As I sit to type this letter my hands still quake from the excitement of battle, for I have just completed a most dangerous quest in which I slew a pack of foul rats in the basement of commoner Drarayne Thelas. Thelas is a dark elf (or Dunmer, in her native tongue) and it is my hope that the completion of this quest will soften the cold reception I have received in Balmora, if even the smallest bit. Otherwise all I will have to show for my peril is a few pounds of rat meat, which has no effect on Wood Elves whatsoever and for which I can find no other use, not even the proverbial relief of fatigue. Neverthelater, life goes on. “Such,” Nalcarya of White Haven would say, “is the life of a Witchhunter.”
Indeed much has happened in the land of Vvardenfell since last Christmas (a holiday which is not, might I add, celebrated anywhere in Morrowind), but I am reminded that many of this letter’s recipients spend no part of their lives in that realm and that still more maintain that my expanded existence as Drookox is... not worthy of the time it requires. Being that as it is, not the case, I am yet amusedly reminded of the lesson recorded in The Homilies of Blessed Almalexia, which Sotha Sil learned from the scribs while casting stones in the egg mines, namely that “The idle amusements of one may be the solemn tortures of another.” Therefore, as I am sure your interests lie more in the adventures of my non-virtual family, and as I am by this time well enough recovered from my skirmish with the rats, I will do as best I can at my current level to impart to you some knowledge as to the happenings of my wife and child.ren
Megan is still happy at her job at the hospital, which isn’t as a nurse but still involves answering phones and provides free childcare. As there are no children in Morrowind I am not proficient in the care of children and we’re all very happy about the free childcare. Megan also still likes to do different things outside like walk and drive around to places. Sometimes she leaves for days at a time for something about her dad, and by the time she gets back she hardly recognizes my avatar and is too busy feeding the kids at all hours of the day to fully appreciate my upgraded stats. The new Daedric weapons I can conjure mid-battle amaze even myself and have made quite a stir in the forums that are still active (for some reason, whenever a sequel to a game comes out, that’s all anyone wants to talk about even if it isn’t as good as the first, or the third in this case).
Most of you already know about the newest addition to our family, little Justin Eärendil, who was born on July 25 (a date I will always remember because I had to miss Max Brooks at Comic-Con 08). Justin is like his brother Denethor was at that age (who, I remind you, was named after the canonical character of the books, NOT the abomination in Peter Jackson’s three-part crapogy) in that he basically sits around and always needs stuff when Megan is at her parents’ house. Sometimes he can be a real handful (I’m constantly having to save), but what I lack in willpower and agility I more than make up for in endurance. Denethor is usually quiet and enjoys his ant farm.
Now, as my time allotted for writing this letter is coming to a close (as once more the thirst for adventure spurs me on to greater things), I would like to leave you with an excerpt from Saryoni’s Sermons as collected in the Hierograph by Archcanon Tholer Saryoni, words I find particularly applicable at Christmas time. From The Grace of Humility, “Thank you for your humility, Lord Vivec [read: Jesus]. I shall neither strut nor preen in vanity, but shall know and give thanks for my place in the greater world.” Amen.
We all know that you glean personal information from my account profile and use it to target advertising directly at me. But seriously, "Are you tired of jeans?" Come on, Facebook, you know I'm not in a relationship.
I'm taking care of my friends' dog while they're out of town for a few days. Consequently, it isn't weird that I watched a dog pee this afternoon. The dog's name is Silas, and the session went a little bit like this:
"Buds, go potties" ("Buds" is short for Silas).
Silas dashes to the lawn, sniffs around for a suitable location and does the deed.
"Good Buddies. Come on."
Silas walks away toward the edge of the property and sniffs in the grass by the front gate.
"Silas, come here."
He sniffs some more, then picks something out of the grass with his mouth and looks at me apprehensively.
"What'cha got there Buds? Leave it."
He sets the object on the ground without breaking eye contact. It looks like a piece of bark. I pick it up and toss it over the fence into the road.
"Come on Silas. Go inside."
Silas hesitates. He looks back at the spot where he found the piece of bark, then looks back at me. I don't have anything new to say, but the silence is awkward and I'm ready to put in a couple hours on my friends' Playstation 3, so I more or less repeat myself until he decides to listen and goes inside without a word.
Part 2: the good part
Inside the house, I find that my friends have taken the Playstation 3 with them on their vacation, which makes perfect sense. I set down the game I rented and search for any instructions they may have left, like "please water the lawn every other morning," or "please sit around in our empty house bored out of your mind." There's no note, so I opt for the latter.
Sometime later one of the culprits calls to check in and, among other things, asks me to pay their rent for the month. I start to wonder if I accidently joined a cult when I offered to take care of the dog until she clarifies that I'm supposed to use one of her own checks and forge the signature. Okay, good, because that was getting shady.
"Oh yeah," she says, "and there's some poop by the front gate that Silas was interested in yesterday, so make sure he doesn't eat it."
Editor's Note: The following conversation is presented in its entirety. The names have not been changed because neither/none of them are the actual names of the parties involved, except maybe Mick D William/Williams/Williamson... one of those, anyway. The Hotmail alias "BobbyGeneric88" is indeed a reference to the character of the same name from the 90s cartoon "Bobby's World" and is used without permission. Should FOX and/or Howie Mandel seek legal recourse, we at This Guy ask that they start with the jerks who took "BobbyGeneric" and all the BobbyGenerics numbered one through 22.
Part 1: sacramento craigslist > media jobs Job Offer/Stress Free Apply Now Reply to: email@example.com Date: 2008-07-12, 8:38AM PDT
Job Offer/Stress Free Apply With Resume.
Compensation: 400 This is a part-time job. This is a contract job. OK to highlight this job opening for persons with disabilities OK for recruiters to contact this job poster. Please, no phone calls about this job! You may contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.
Part 2: Stress Free Application From: Bobby Generic (firstname.lastname@example.org) Sent: Sat 7/12/08 11:17 AM To: email@example.com
I saw your job offer on craigslist and it sounded really interesting. You will find that I am already more than qualified for the described position and would be a great asset to your company/household/workplace/whatever it is you're looking for. I do however, have a question about compensation. What exactly would I be receiving 400 of, and how often?
Your Favorite Applicant
Objective: to get a stress free job
Education: a college one time
Major coursework: 135
Employment History: some jobs
Job Related Skills: aplenty
Other Interests: stress free recreation, stress free volunteer work
References: people I know (they’re great)
Part 3: Regardings Your Job offer as an Executive Trustee
From: Mick Williamson (firstname.lastname@example.org) [You may not know this sender. Mark as safe|Mark as unsafe] Sent: Sat 7/12/08 10:15 PM Reply-to: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks very much for the response. I must say it’s highly appreciated. The job does not entail much. All you would be doing is receiving these payments in form of Money Orders/Check or Bank Wire Transfers, which would be coming from clients of mine in the United States via courier e.g. FedEx or UPS.
So when you get these Funds all you have to do is have them cashed and deduct your share (10%) and wire the rest down to me here in UK or anywhere our correspondent is in the world via (Western Union Money Transfer) or (Money Gram Money Transfer).
I would also need some proof of Identity. So I have attached an Employment form for you to fill and send back to me via email.
Vinyl Carpets vary in prices but most purchases range from about $3000 and above. Well you would be receiving funds ranging from over $3000 and you are meant to take out 10% from the funds you received and then forward the remaining balance as instructed via Wire Transfer. You are likely to be receiving these funds every week and possibly twice a week, so you are meant to take 10% out of every Transaction processed.
With this offer, you'll be earning at least $300 a week.
NOTICE: This is strictly a legal offer and your Private personal information is not needed e.g. Social Security # or anything that can be of adverse effect to your personal security and privacy.
APPLICANT INFORMATION NEEDED FOR EMPLOYMENT CONFIRMATION
HOME ADDRESS (* NO P.O. BOXES*) …………………………………………………………
PHONE NUMBER (S) CELL ……………………………………
MARITAL STATUS (OPTIONAL)……………………………
PRESENT PLACE OF WORK…………………………………………………………
ATTESTATION According to how you have been briefed earlier. You are required to receive payment on behalf of the above-mentioned firm. You are to deduct 10% of all funds processed on a particular order & forward the balance payment via Money gram or Western Union to any of the company’s regional warehouses that will be given to you later.
You will notify the company a week ahead if eventually you want to discontinue this job. This will enable us stop any payments coming your way and it would also reduce conflicts.
You will not be held liable for any issues arising from shipping errors you will also not be accountable for funds not collected and all order implementation errors. My instruction will be followed to provide the best possible service for both parties and the Client in Question
In agreement to this kindly append signature below.
As soon as the form is signed and returned to us you will receive an email from us accepting or declining your application within 24 hours. Note in the event that your application is turned down it will not be as a result of any of the optional data supplied those are just to enable us know you (our employee) better.
M D Williamson Carpets Ltd, 12B Norwich Road, Fakenham, Norfolk, NR21 8AX Email: email@example.com VAT Registration No: 787 4632 80
Most people, and by most people I mean all people, either agree that breakfast sausage is not a tasty meat or are wrong in their opinion about breakfast sausage (And yes, opinions can be wrong [And yes, your opinion that my opinion that opinions can be wrong is wrong ((should you have such an opinion)) not only supports that my opinion is, if not right, at least valid, but certainly invalidates your own.] including opinions of personal taste, if such things even exist. [And no, as I will soon explain, I don't think they do; and yes, you can start a sentence with and; and no, you shouldn't do it very often, and, yes, that's the same as saying "and yes, you shouldn't do it very often" as long as it answers your question]). There are no exceptions to this rule. None. Not even my roommate, who eats breakfast sausage almost every day and who just yesterday used breakfast sausage as the primary, if not the sole, meat component of a meat loaf unbeknownst to me and to my eternal detriment. And no, that wasn't a complete sentence.
What foul, Hellborn, most assuredly twisted and rheumatoid hand first penned such a recipe I know not, yet I count such ignorance a blessing most sweet. Should I ask my roommate, he would probably answer "my mother," and might take issue with some or all of the adjectives in the previous sentence, but I cannot take them back, for I have tasted the meat loaf, and the loaf has spoken. "Well, I like it," he might say in defense of his disgusting meat loaf, but that's not good enough. Because of his choices, stemming no doubt from his so-called "personal" opinions, I was encouraged to have some of the meat loaf for myself today. I've since brushed my teeth and still I taste it.
This horrible, horrible taste of breakfast sausage.
Imagine that a wild boar has come to the end of his life and now wanders through the jungle. Once strong and proud, he is now weak from years of struggle and a lingering disease. His eyes are glazed and see nothing until a harsh light awakens them to their purpose. He sees that he is no longer in the jungle but now stands in a clearing. The boar's first thought is to run back into the jungle, but he is too tired to run, too tired to even turn around.
He scans the clearing for danger but finds nothing but an open box of romaine lettuce. He approaches the box and sniffs a leaf. Unharmed, he takes a bite, then a second. Instinct shoots powerful electrical messages to every part of his body telling him to eat—eat until the food is gone. Soon his powerful jaws tear at lettuce and box indiscriminately. The boar slips into a blind frenzy and does not notice that beyond the top layer of fresh romaine the lettuce is wet and rotten and only barely covers a giant block of putrid beef fat. He gorges on the contents of the box. His stomach becomes distended with rotten lettuce and fat, then bursts, and the boar, too maddened by his frenzy to feel any pain, lies down on the unfinished pile of putrid fat and dies.
Now there appears a man who has come to check on his trap. Indeed he has caught and killed a mighty beast of the jungle. He knows that a catch this size will have to be left out to stew in the sun for at least a week before it is ready to grind, but soon he will have a bounty of breakfast sausage to sell in the market. This summer, his family will have all that it needs.
This is more that just an unpleasant and pointless tangent, it is probably a true story. If nothing else, I think it accurately describes the taste I'm dealing with right now, still.
Yesterday I walked into a KFC/A&W, a combination of, you guessed it, KFC and A&W. The idea for the merger came a few years ago when the last A&W went out of business in a mall food court somewhere and they still had hot dogs and mustard packets left over.
"What can I get for you, boss?" says the guy behind the counter.
After taking a few minutes to look over the menu (and a few seconds to laugh about having been called "boss"), I say, "I'll have a hot dog, a small thing of potato wedges, and a root beer float."
"Do you want me to make it a combo?"
"Um... you can do that?"
(Well, that explains the offer.) "Sure, whatever's easiest."
"All right, so you want a hot dog, potato wedges, and what to drink?"
"A root beer float."
I watch my order come up one selection at a time.
HOT DOG (1) POTATO WEDGES SM (1) AQUAFINA (1)
"Um, I actually wanted a root beer float."
"I ordered a root beer float, not an Aquafina."
"Oh, don't worry about it, it's the same thing."
"They cost the same, but we like to drink the Aquafina's when we're working, so this helps balance everything out when we do the inventory."
"Oh, working the system..." (a wording choice that implies, "you could get fired for this").
"Yeah, it helps work out the system." (a wording choice that implies, "it's technical, but you seem to understand").
"I can change it if you want."
"No, don't worry about it."
"Okay," he says," what's your name for the order?"
I almost say "the only customer in here," but settle on "Drew."
"Drew? Okay Drew, here's your cup and I'll call you when the rest of your order's ready."
He walks away and I'm left looking at the cup.
"..." (That's me looking at the cup.)
"Did you need something else, boss?"
"Um... actually I wanted a root beer float."
"A root beer float? Oh, that'll be a dollar extra."
Part 1: sacramento craigslist > labor gigs I need leaves and branches cleaned out my pond Reply to: [email address removed] Date: 2008-03-14, 3:44PM PDT
Must have own tools for the job, I have a koy pond that is 10 by 20 give or take a few, just moved in and need to have it cleaned out this weekend sometime. email me your bid and I'll contact the best bid. I have more work available as well but want to start with this job for now
Location: Auburn it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests Compensation: best bid
That sounds like something I would do for $40-$50. If that seems ridiculously high, maybe I'm just not picturing it correctly, but I'm picturing a lot of mud and algae. I'm probably willing to do the work for whatever you think is reasonable.
What tools do you think would be needed? A pool net and a small rake, plus some trash bags? Would I be able to wear shorts and wade in the pond. or is the process somehow more involved than that?
Anyway, if it's a job that's possible to do with the tools I have, I know I will do it well.
You can call me at home or on my cell. I live in Auburn too. I can do the work anytime Saturday or Sunday.
[contact information removed]
Part 3: Subject: Re: craigslist, cleaning koy pond Sent: Sat 3/15/2008 12:13 PM Attachments: koi pond.jpg(151KB)
about 10 x 20
Part 4: Subject: Re: Re: craigslist, cleaning koy pond Sent Sat 3/15/2008 12:53 PM
Huh... that came across a little rude. Let me know if you want to communicate in complete sentences, and we can talk about your koy pond.
Part 5: Conclusion response: none condition of koi pond: unknown
The thing about March was that... Well, you see, March is a really busy time of the year for me, what with Daylight Saving Time, St. Patrick's Day, Palm Sunday (and everything that went with that), Purim (on the first day of spring, no less [seriously... could've used a little calendar space to pencil in my Thursday appointments, Jews]), the new moon (pretty lackluster this month, to be honest)... shoot... what am I doing... okay, here's the deal, this is the truth now... Basically, what happened with March is, I fell in love. I fell in love with hating Malaise. Maybe not Malaise, exactly, but everything Malaise had to say, at the very least. My love was deep and my love was pure, like if you put "Ode on a Grecian Urn" through a Brita filter, or something... then, what would happen is, the poem wouldn't taste so much like metal, or... sorry for that. Probably you didn't need an example anyway.
(Here I pause for you to say "what in the?")
Let's start from the top. I feel as though I may have lost you. Easter was in March this year, we should probably start with that. A few days ago I was in Barnes & Noble (just one place) and the couple at the register was talking to the... registrar about how they didn't know why Easter was always moving around (or, that, rather than how [the whole point being that they didn't know how, ((or why, for that matter)) or else they wouldn't have been having the conversation ((unless, of course [[however unlikely]], the whole scene was a ruse))]), why, I don't know, but anyway I chimed in and told them (why, I do know) that Easter is always on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox (I didn't say vernal, though... it was an understood vernal) and that ended that. What I'm getting at is, that and other things happened in March, but I couldn't bring myself to share it and them with you and yours because I was so wrapped up in waiting for another post from Malaise that I'd forgotten (perhaps 've forgotten) how to blog. Part of what's ridiculous about all this is that Easter really only moves once a year, tops. And as cheesy as that may be, the fact remains that I'm brimming with this crap, but it's a good kind of crap, like how there are good bacteria, and if you could see them you'd be grossed out but without them you'd get sick all the time, only this blog is the other way around, sort of, and with commas instead of cilia... that kind of thing.
Okay, I think I said what I needed to say. So, I guess this is goodnight america (sic).
On my way to a friend's house last night I remembered that I owed my friend money, so I stopped at a nearby Safeway figuring I could buy a candy bar or something and get cash back. I settled on a 12-ounce bottle of Tropicana orange juice and stood in line behind a guy at the 10 items or less register. Nothing about the guy in front of me is important to this story except to note that his grocery needs were limited enough that the bagger finished bagging his groceries before the guy was done paying for them. My expressed motivation for entering Safeway is also not important, nor is the fact that it was a Safeway in particular or a Tropicana, specifically, but I'm not going to go back and edit out that information, and you've already read it, so just thank me for the clarification and let's move on. The only things to keep in mind at this point are that I was purchasing a single bottle of orange juice and that the bagger was present for the entire transaction.
After a short wait the checker rang up the orange juice and, bypassing the two-foot conveyor belt to the bagger, handed it directly to me. I swiped my card, hit debit, swiped my card again because I shouldn't have the first time, entered my pin, OK'd the amount and asked for $20 back in fives. The checker counted out the fives to me, handed me my receipt, and told me to have a good evening. I said the same to him and turned to leave as the bagger asked...
"Would you like help out with that?"
Today I got a call on my cell phone from an unknown caller during my lunch break. I decided that the mystery caller could maintain his or her secret identity all he or she wanted but he or she would have to leave a message if he or she really needed to reach me because I don't like talking to people who waste my time withholding valuable, time-saving pronouns. A minute or so later my phone buzzed to tell me that I had a voicemail, so I checked it.
"Hi," said a man's voice (about a paragraph too late), "I guess I have a wrong number [then I guess you shouldn't have left this message]. I'm trying to reach a friend but I must have an old number for him [yep, must], so I'm just leaving this message so you aren't left hanging about why you had a missed call from someone you didn't know [huh, that was polite, maybe I should go a little easier on people in the inner monologue department].
"Anyway, we'll talk to you again soon, okay, bye."
I bought a can of dust remover spray at RadioShack today. The guy who rang me up had to ask for my date of birth. You have to be over 18 to purchase dust remover spray. He'd have to ask me even if I looked 60. Company policy.
That's a good policy—limiting the purchase of dust remover spray to adults and dishonest minors with a working knowledge of the Gregorian calendar system and first-grade arithmetic.
"M" stands for malaise, which means "a vague feeling of physical discomfort or of uneasiness." Sadly, it could be mistaken for either "Malaise," which means "someone who struggles to group words into sentences" or "magaise," which means "an ironic thing to call someone who insists on calling other people 'gay' even when unprovoked." To avoid confusion, it is best not to write in a public forum if your name is Malaise or if you are magaise.