11 August 2013

Soapbox Time

*climbs up onto soapbox*

So, somebody I know had to leave her place of work because she was uncomfortable with a conversation that some of her supervisors were having. This discussion took place in the middle of her department, with no discretion used at all, between two well educated adults.

Basically, it amounted to "Hey, this guy who used to work here got a sex change, and that's unnatural, and it's against God, and I'm glad that Texas doesn't allow gays to adopt because that puts kids into a hazardous environment, and it's not about Civil Rights because I was born black, and you can't be concerned about Civil Rights unless you're black."

Prefacing each disparaging statement was something along the lines of "Well, I don't wanna end up in Human Resources, but...".

Now, I don't care what your religion or own personal beliefs are, or how you feel about subject A, or subject B, but if you have to preface your statement at work with "I don't wanna end up in HR," you probably shouldn't be saying it at work. I would expect two relatively well educated people, with doctorate degrees in their chosen fields, to understand that concept.

Also, in my own personal opinion, if you judge anyone based on anything other than your personal interactions with them, and the quality of their work ethic (be it employment, or academic, or personal), you're an asshole.

*steps down from soapbox*

23 July 2013

Law Enforcement Academy...

So, I started one of the local Community College's Law Enforcement Academy last night. And I get to work this morning...

My life is gonna be a series of long days for the next ten months. Good times.

30 March 2013

Dancing...and my inability to do it...

So, I was informed the day before yesterday that I would be going out dancing (two-stepping, specifically) last night with my wife, brother-in-law, and a friend of his from college, along with one of their cousins and her friend.  I fussed a little bit about being informed instead of invited, but it's not that big a deal.
Now, as a Texan man, I was taught early on how to two-step. It's a very simple dance that can be embellished and flourished to no end, and it's very easy to learn. Unfortunately for me, I haven't danced in a while, and I haven't two-stepped in a long while. 

Last time I went to a dance club I was in Alaska, probably eight years ago, and they don't two-step. They just kinda bob back and forth. So the last time I actually two-stepped with someone who knew what they were doing, I was probably about sixteen years old, and by that time I'd grown out of country music and into rock/pop/alternative. I don't know that I was a teenager yet, the last time I danced to country music and enjoyed it.

So, we arrived at the club, which was packed, and I got my first glance at how much country music dance has changed in the 18 years or so since I participated, and my heart dropped. I think I was in the middle of the post Achy Breaky Heart line dancing craze of the early '90s the last time I paid any attention to country dancing, and so I was completely out of my depth. 

Unbeknownst to me, my brother-in-law's friend is fully capable of competitive level dancing, and has been training my brother-in-law, and the cousin/friend duo, so everyone in our group had me at a disadvantage. There was an unfamiliar song  playing, but I wasn't surprised. I hadn't really followed country music in a decade. The dance floor was jam packed, with people faster, flashier, and more skilled than I was, and so when the others in our group went onto the floor, my wife and I retreated upstairs to practice. I showed her how to two-step, and we were doing okay, until I realized that I was totally holding her in the wrong position. 

I was always taught that the leader in a dance, drove the follower around the dance floor. Turns out, I'm a right handed driver (dancer, which is reversed from the norm, where the leader's left hand is clasped), and so I was driving in the follower position. 

What a maroon...*sigh*.

Well, confidence shattered, she and I never made it onto the dance floor, and I felt like a grade a Jerk Face McGee for taking her dancing and not actually dancing. We've resolved to go dancing again, after some practice, and I'm actually looking forward to it, which surprises the shit out of me. I'm not graceful at all, but I'm trusting that she'll make me look good...

19 February 2013

Married life...

So, as some of you may know, I got married last year. 4 February 2012, to be precise. We got married on a  Saturday, and both had to be back at work on Monday. Over the last year we've had good times and bad. We've had very good times and very bad times. I've been an asshole, she's been a bitch. I've been a decent husband and she's been the best wife/friend/partner anyone could ever ask for.

We're now finally getting to go on our honey moon, a year and change late. We're taking a trip to Ireland over Spring Break. We're not sure what all we're going to do while we're there, though traveling and drinking (not at the same time) are definitely on the agenda. We'll be there for Saint Patrick's Day, so that should be...interesting.

So yeah...good times.

13 February 2013

Live Action Role Playing...or Larping...

So I recently got into Larping. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, it's where a bunch of folks dress up in a particular kind of garb (medieval, high fantasy, steam punk, etc...) and role play as created characters. This might just involve in character actions and speech, or it might involve combat with varying degrees of realism.

I recently (last month, and then again last weekend) began playing in a LARP game that's about two hours from my house, with my father in law's best friend. He has an old SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) fighting buddy who made the initial invite, and I got brought along. I was initially afraid that it would wind up being LARP like one sees on TV and in movies. A bunch of sad, socially awkward nerds who have no friends in real life, and prance around throwing spell packets at each other, scraping and bowing to a king/lord/duke who is entirely too impressed with himself.

It's only half like that. There is lots of prancing around, and there's bowing (in a tongue in cheek kind of way), but there's also comedy, and adventure, and setting traps, and acres and acres of combat. Oh my dear lord the combat...

Some folks use latex weapons, specifically designed to be less dangerous, while still looking like weapons. Others use "boffer weapons", which are typically made from closed cell foam padding around a solid core of some kind, and then wrapped in some sort of soft cloth to avoid abrasions to targets. I initially tried the sword and shield method, but I find that I don't like how slow the shield makes me. I tried a polearm, and while I like the range it provides, I find I'm most comfortable wielding two equal or nearly equally sized weapons.

Then there's the role playing. I've been NPCing (Non Player Character), which means running around as various bad guys for the PC's (Player Characters) to fight. I've been an orc, a goblin, a bandit, a thug, a pirate, a kidnapper, a mob heavy, a fae lord, a fae enforcer....I've killed, I've died (lots of dying), I've laughed, I've wailed in anguish.

I signed up for a 3 month NPC shift, at the end of which I get extra points towards building my character, but I'm having so much fun, I might just go ahead and NPC more than the required 5 hour shift per weekend.

There's running, jumping, sliding, grabbing, fencing, beating, whacking, laughing...it's stupid amounts of fun, and I think I may have found a new hobby that I'm going to stick with for a while.