Monday, December 31, 2012

Post Christmas

Christmas 2012 is over with and now I can write about what happened. I snuck into my mother's house (knowing full well that the hounds would be released if I knocked on the door and they saw me) so I could get a good, home cooked meal. I don't want to be that guy who just takes and takes so I brought a bowl of stuffing mix to leave behind. The mix just lay in the bowl. I didn't actually make it. I was going to let my family do that since my cooking skills are nonexistent and I did not want to be the one who made the horrible, horrible dish. My talent in the kitchen is so bad that I can burn anything even if the stove and oven are off.

Unfortunately, my family was waiting and they caught me trying to sneak in through the basement. My mother was at the front, surrounded by my siblings, cousins and their kids.

"So you have been writing about us." She crossed her arms and, like a wave, all the other arms behind her crossed as well. I almost asked my mother to start tapping her foot to see if everyone else would as well.

"Wasn't me. Someone hacked into my account. I would never write about my loving family."

A slight pause and my mother pointed her fingers at her eyes and then pointed at me. I got the idea. She wanted me to look at her. I did. I made eye contact. I forget that means I am challenging her authority. In my family, you never make eye contact with our mother.

Her right hand went up, pointing to my brother. "Sweater him!" My brother and cousins moved with the speed of a cheetah and rough hands grabbed me and I felt something being pulled over my head. I struggled to no avail and then I was released only to discover the horrible thing they had done. I was now wearing a snowman sweater. I started to yank it off but when I grabbed the edges the family started to move towards me. I let it go and they backed off. I grabbed the edges and they started forward. This went on for some time. I was not amused by the sweater (don't like the things) but enjoyed seeing them moving forward and back.

I stuffed my face during dinner. I ate so quickly that the other people at the table stopped to watch me. My cheeks puffed up like a rodents as I shoveled the food down. I was moving so fast that my fork grew hot. I dropped it and began using my hands. Social niceties be damned. My belly grew tight. The button on my pants flew off and bounced off the wall across from me.

After eating my fill I decided I needed to work it off so I started to run. As I ran I yanked the horrible sweater off and let it drop into a snow drift. My brother and sister watched me from the window.

"Was that the sweater we gave him?"
"He's still running."
"Did we give him those pants or t-shirt?"
"He's taking everything off!"
"He's running bare naked down the street!"

Thus ended my 2012 holiday.

Monday, December 24, 2012


     Roommates are an interesting mix of things. I have one and I am starting to understand why most animals are loners who mark their territory. I probably would do that but I am sure my roommate already has. This is just another reason why I shouldn't pick roommates from the Internet.

     Warren, my roommate, does nightly security checks which would not bother me so much if he did not end up in my room, pantless. The light from the hallway wakens me so I can see him standing in my doorway.

     "Man, put that thing away!" is a phrase I use way too often living with him. I am not going to explain what the thing is.

     It got worse one night when I came home from work late to a dark house. As I moved toward the light switch in the living room, he jumped on me from behind, putting me in a choke hold. When I came to, he handed me what turned out to be a report card. It read as follows:
                                                       Reaction time: F
                                                       Awareness:      F
                                                       Fighting skill:  F

     "You have a lot of room for improvement."
     "I'll keep that in mind." Somehow I find it little comfort he is grading my performance.
      To be fair, he did the same thing when I brought a woman home. Needless to say the date pretty much ended there since there is no point trying to get intimate with a woman your roommate put in a choker hold and she passed out. It kind of destroys the mood. After that I never brought a woman home. This affected my dating life as women grew concerned that I would not let them in. Nothing quite says your quality like telling her she can never ever come to your house.

     I normally have a sleepy eyed looked but the morning he announced he was getting married caused my eyes to pop open like the pull down maps on a classroom board. I wondered who would ever marry this nutjob but then he started to laugh and said I should have seen the look on my face. It was priceless.

     At this point I realized I needed to move. Thus began my quest to find the perfect roommate and I did it. I found the perfect person to live with. It's me! Who else understands my wants and needs better than I do? No one and that means there will be no arguments about where my laundry is laying, no conflicts about the smell of food I cook and no real arguments about is on my DVR. Isn't that the dream, to live with just that perfect person?


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Short 2012 recap

                The year is quickly coming to a close. I know this because Christmas is almost here and that is a very clear sign the year is almost over. It is amazing how that works. What a way to end a year—with unbridled consumerism and candy canes. I have learned several things over the course of the last year and I am going to pass on some of my wisdom. My advice is to duck and cover while taking everything I say with a grain of salt. I do.

                My year began in February (January is dead to me). I started off attending Katsucon at National Harbor, Maryland. This is where I met Meagan Marie and Linda Le. Not that they would admit to this. In fact, if you were to ask them who I am the reply would be “Al who?” I also met Yaya Han and proved the old adage “Good model, lousy photographer” which, to be honest, was basically the one statement that defined my year. It turns out that if you go out into the world you actually meet people. I had no idea. That is a double edged sword though. While you meet people, you also have to meet people which is how most people define their interactions with me. Which comes to the one thing I heard repeatedly this year:

                “What is wrong with you?” or some other variation, which most would find insulting. I don’t, since there is actually no good answer to this. Plus, the amount of space it would take to explain what is really wrong with me (well, according to “the experts”) would take up too much space to cover. Some of the things I have done caused someone to remark “If anyone else had done this I would be shocked. With you, I’m not surprised anymore.” I took that as a challenge. This lead to the statement listed above as well as the much beloved “I hate you, Al.”

                March was horrible. Too horrible to discuss. Actually, I don’t even remember that month. Great, I lost a whole month. Well, I thought I lost it but then I looked under my seat in the car and found it. After brushing it off and seeing that it was lackluster, I dropped it back under the seat.

                April brought me a lot of confusion about birthdays. First, how could my special day be so ignored? Very few people on Facebook even acknowledged it and isn’t that what FB is for, to know when to tell someone happy birthday? Then there was the issue with the cosplay model/writer A.L. who, after I wished her a happy birthday, wrote back with the following:

                Glenn, thanks for the birthday wish. How are you doing?

                Al, sorry, Facebook is screwing up my messages.

                Wait, where was my thank you? I don’t even rate a thank you. Man, the things you learn from social media.

                Anyway, after my birthday I joined LinkedIn. I cannot say it has done much except for introducing me to Kim Bookless which made it worthwhile. If you don’t know Kim Bookless, you should. She is the reason my blog has become coherent and makes sense (well, it is supposed to and if it doesn’t that is my fault). Kim also made me sign on to Twitter where I decided to use the name TheOneTrueAl. I am still not sure what I am doing there but I’ll take her word that it is important.

                September brought my first trip to Dragon*Con, and what happens at Dragon stays at Dragon. Except for the YouTube videos. And the posts on Facebook. Plus every other type of social media where people can post pictures and comments. Whatever happened to privacy? I will say this is where I learned that Brandy Gibson has a mean right hook, that there is an ultra secret group called the Superhero Cosplay Forum and Sherri Lyn, along with her sister Mae, made me try sushi.

                Later I learned not to trust translator programs. I translated a phrase into Turkish and sent it to a person with Turkish heritage. She is no longer speaking to me and I am blaming the program as there is no way anyone would EVER want to stop talking to me since I am such a delight.

                One thing that amazes me is how much the start of the year has in common with the end of the year. I started the year with no money, single and sporadic employment. I’m ending the year with no money, single and sporadic employment. You would think that things would change in 12 months. You haven’t met me.

                                                                                Her majesty Kim Bookless made this blog better.

Monday, December 10, 2012

meeting Danea

            This is about the woman, Danea (pronounced like Dana but spelled with an e), who became the love of my life or maybe the one I am a little scared of. I’m not sure she is the love of my life, but she says she is and I am too scared to contradict her (or I am not smart enough which seems much more likely).

                 See, my sister has a simple system of getting things she wanted (our brother was a reward/incentive). She got rid of people she didn’t like (sending me in to get them to leave her circle). Everything was fine until Danea had to go and ruin everything.
                Danea had something shiny Janie Mae wanted (the exact phrase my sister used was, “Oh, shiny”) but rather than going with Joseph, Danea told Janie I was the reward Danea wanted. Janie tried to convince her otherwise, tried to make Danea see the error of her ways but Danea was insistent. So this is the story of how I met Danea (and things that occurred later).
                Janie pushed me towards her where Danea scribbled a series of numbers on my hand. The pen dug into my flesh and even though I tried to pull away her grip was like a vise. When she finished writing, she released my hand and whispered, “If you think that hurt, wait until later.” With that, she left. Janie demanded to know what she had said but I kept that little treasure to myself.
                Danea arrived in a red dress and hair coiffed. I came in a t-shirt and jeans. Obviously she took this more seriously than I did. Of course, if you know me than you know that is not hard to accomplish. Serious is not something I excel at.
                “Why do you spell your name so crazily? There’s no e in Dana so why do you insist on putting one there? Is there something wrong with your spelling ability?” Normally, going on the attack works. It forces my date into a defensive position, which means my later moves go down smoother. Not with Danea. She avoids the whole mess altogether.
                “Keep talking like that and there won’t be a second date.” She leaned back into her chair.
                Sucking down the buffet shrimp, I told her “I don’t care about a second date. I’m just here for the food and God willing, some sex.“ Another specialty of mine is mentioning physical relations but not saying with whom. That leaves the night ending with someone open. Danea doesn’t buy into it.
                “Oh, you say the sweetest things,” she replied. At this point I know I am in trouble since my two early moves have been avoided. It is like she knew what I was going to do before I even did it. Like someone had coached her. Like this had been set up before
                “I see you came prepared for this” I said, looking into her green eyes.
                “Gee, what ever could you mean?” Danea asked as she batted her eyelashes innocently and folded her arms over her chest.
                She didn’t sleep with me that night. I thought it was over. I was wrong. She was just getting started with me. As I sit here typing this I realize she ruined me for unintelligent women. She made me realize I need someone to challenge me (and she did every day of our exasperating, beautiful relationship).
                The next time I saw her was when she showed up where I was working at the time. I say “at the time” since I change jobs like most people change socks. She stopped at the front desk where, when they asked whom she was there to see, she told them we were newly married. She even had on her spare wedding ring.
                As soon as she said it multiple heads raised their heads above their cubicles like gophers coming out of a hole. They all wanted to know who would dare marry me and who would even admit it. People surrounded her. I couldn’t see her through the mass. Later she said she thought some of them even sniffed her. I don’t doubt it. People are strange. I brought the ring thing up. I asked her what kind of person has a spare wedding ring just for emergencies. Actually I think the word crazy slipped out of my mouth. In case you don’t know, calling a woman crazy is never a good idea.
                “Is this really the conversation you want to start with?”
                My head lowered. “No, ma’am.”
                I was doomed.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Secret to Women

The Secret to Women

                I have discovered the secret to women and I am going to share it with you. I know this is one that has plagued men for generations and I am going to reveal it here. I am going to expose it for the low, low price of $19.95 and I take all major credit cards, as well as some minor ones. If you do not want to know, if you prefer that it stay a secret since you do not want this life-altering information then stop reading and go back to your ordinary life where you are mystified by women. Go on, scram.





                Still there?

                Okay, here it is:

                Women are people. That is the big secret. Shocking I know.

                Some women are good, some are not.

                Some are kind, some are not.

                Some are happy, some are not.

                Some donate time to charities, some do not.

                Some are in the WNBA, some are not.

                Some have chosen to get married, some have not.

                Some think I am crazy—okay, they all do that.


                The point is that women are just like men. They have hopes and hates, dreams and desires. Women want to be successful, accepted, loved, have good relationships, be understood and acknowledged. All the same things men want. This makes me wonder why there are so many derogatory names for women and so few for men. Men and women both do many idiotic things but women have labels attached to them when they do it. Men are just laughed at but no label is attached to the action. Is there a male equivalent to tramp or whore? Also, if a man doesn’t get married it is okay, but if a woman makes that choice people think something is wrong with her.

                One problem I have noticed is that it is not always men doing the degrading. Woman can do just as much to hurt their own gender. Some women choose to judge other women based on fashion and beauty rather than positive qualities such as generosity and intelligence. “Girl, you look so pretty today,”is what might get said instead of “You did okay on that presentation but I know you’ll do better next time.”

                 Yes, I know women differ from men in a biological sense. Women can have babies and men cannot. That is one thing I am confused about. One would think that the gender responsible from keeping the species going would be held in higher regard and not treated as less than.

                Yes, I know there are other biological differences such as women having breasts (well, some men do but they are not supposed to as far as I know) and women handling certain situations differently. This does not mean women are better than men or will make better leaders than men. Well, women won’t refer to rape as legitimate and there won’t be as many female politicians sending pictures of their anatomy to interns. Hmmm, maybe they are better leaders.



The secret to women may change at any time and this secret does not guarantee accuracy to the nature of women. The writer bears no responsibility for any action taken by a woman upon a person who claims to know the secret of women. Men may use this statement at their own risk and the writer bears no liability for injuries sustained.