And Then There Were Two…

By now you’ve probably read the most recent blog post about me leaving WombatCast. You may or may not have questions or you may or may not even give a rip, but I figured I would explain a few things and go from there.

Justin came to me with a bat-shit crazy idea just about 2 years ago. We had been merrily wrecking people’s Facebook threads and Twitter feeds with random talk of Wombats and pop culture and generally having a good time for a fair few months. In fact, people had gone so far as to friend both of us simply so they could watch these insane comment-wars unfold real-time instead of hearing about them after the fact. It sounds incredible, but that’s what was happening. Justin saw the potential in this and suggested that we start a podcast. Both of us already listened to a dozen or more shows that weren’t much different than what we were doing so he bought a URL and a mic and tricked me into agreeing. Well, I may have consented a little easier than that, but if you ask Justin, that’s pretty close to the truth.

We went through a lot of changes and tweaked the show all the time and when I look back to 2 years ago (both of us being nervous on mic and needing to chug a few drinks to get going) to where the show is today with 3 regular hosts, modern equipment, solid relationships with other podcasts and leaders in the gaming industry, local businesses, and even a few conventions, I am amazed. Straight. Up. Amazed. The show has come an incredible distance, but the race isn’t over, not by a long shot. There are some awesome changes in the works (new logo, new layout, less cursing/racism/misogyny/homeless abuse) and a less random feel to the things talked about. Think of it as WombatCast v2.0.

All shows experience ups and downs, and in this medium “pod-fading” is a real thing. That is when a show slows down or dies completely for any number of reasons – the most common reasons being not having the time to do it, not wanting the put out the effort, the sometimes high cost to take a show to the next level, and simply losing the drive to do it. In fact, a quick look at the stats show that 25% of all podcasts, that’s 1/4th of all these shows, don’t make it past their 10th episode. Well, WombastCast has around 80 shows on air with a half dozen or more shows that have been recorded but never posted because of faulty tech or because of low quality.

With that in mind, I guess you could say I am a victim of pod-fading. As much as I love the show, it is time for me to move on and the upcoming changes are a great time for me to step gracefully away from the mic and let Justin and Matthew helm this ship of fools towards adventure, fame, and the edge of the world. As far as Justin and Matthew and I, we are parting the same way we started the show: as the best of friends. Expect to hear me at the conventions, game days, and as the occasional drop-in guest host. I also hope to attend whatever Wombat Outings I can. Much to the dismay of some folks that have written me today, I am not dying, getting a sex change, joining a Furry Cult, or taking over a small South American country (although I do have my eye on French Guiana – roll all up in that bitch and take over, know what I mean?)

There have been some truly awesome times, a few of which I will list below in no particular order:

  • Meeting and recording with Ben Schulz (aka Leeroy Jenkins). He’s a great guy and a ton of fun.
  • Recording a live show with an audience at a tattoo parlor while Justin got inked for the first time and V-Dub and Marn chugged LemoNapalm.
  • Joining forces with the Denver Gamers Association and being part of three great conventions.
  • The Wombat Army Field Trip to see Super 8.
  • Watching some of our fans and listeners fall in love with podcasting and take off on their own to do great new things.

I could go on all day so I’ll end my list there. Something that I didn’t list is that I have gotten to spend at least an hour a week with two awesome friends, Justin and Matthew. The show happens because they are incredible guys and they are fun to be around and to record with. It never would’ve worked without that chemistry. I want to thank them both sincerely for putting up with me for so long.

What will I do with my time you ask? Well, aside from my family and my day job, I’m helping tweak the Cyberpunk 2020 rule set with our friend Harley Stroh from Goodman Games, writing modules, doing some HR consulting, and recording a podcast of my own. A podcast of my own, you ask? Yes indeed. I started AndysMovieMinute.com. If you love the Andy-style snarky humor and you like movies, this 8-10 minute weekly show might just be for you. Head over to the URL and check it out and tell your friends (I bleep the bad parts so it is safe for families as well). I’ve also got a Facebook page and a Twitter account. I’m doing it under the P5 banner so I’m still part of the Wombat Family.

If you have anything you want to ask me or tell me in public, head over to the FB page or the forums and lay it out there. If you have something to say in private, feel free to e-mail me.

I want to wrap this up before I hit a 3rd page so I will close with this: our listeners, for being a rabid bunch of misanthropes, are amazing. No, really. This is my serious voice now. You’ve been there for us as friends and as entertainers and you are the reason we put ourselves out there each week. You’ve stuck by the show during our ups and downs and stayed loyal while we tried out new tech and new hosts. I want to thank all of you truly and deeply. You’ve made the last couple of years worthwhile and I love you all for it.

Andy out.

StarFest

StarFest 2012 and Ayla…uh…me.

So as all of you but the most troublesomely uneducated *cough* as I was a year ago so sue me *cough* will know, StarFest is a weekend event so as I sit here stalling and trying to figure out if I want to cover it as a whole thing, story to story…or day by day…or event by event, which all come out to be about the same thing….I’m also messing around on Facebook.

I think it’s important to start the story where it started for me which is the text my big sister sent me telling me that Jewel Staite was going to be at StarFest this year and that I could meet her. That was months ago, and as happy as meeting Jewel Staite would have made me, It wasn’t something that was at the forefront of my mind until it got closer and I said to Justin that it was coming up and he contacted them about Press passes….sorta, the story is longer than that but this post is too long to begin with so let’s move right along now.

Although I didn’t know if I could tell anyone at the time, and for a long time afterward I wasn’t allowed to, I was told 3-14 (although not at 1:59 which I blame Justin for) that I was going to be getting a press pass. And. I. Flipped! There was just no way that I thought I’d be able to go…but I did. This is where we get to the story part of the story.

My awesome family and I got there Friday afternoon, later than expected of course but the time spent buying lemons was VITAL damn it! More on that later. We checked in (super awesome fun for you guys to be reading about) and I paced around trying to figure out what to wear to the Meet and Greet that I had bought tickets for so that I could meet Jewel Stait, still who I was most looking forward to see, and everyone else, who were also really damn cool!

So I’m sitting at the table with, okay hell I’ll admit I don’t remember who the first guest at the table I happened to sit down at was because the second person to sit down (directly to my left) was John Noble. Less than three minutes later we had our arms linked and were leaning on eachother, how? trade secret…yeah, that’s what we’ll call it. Then the bell that signaled that the guests had to switch tables chimed and he stood to leave I asked for a proper hug goodbye and got cheek kiss #1. the rest of the Meet and Greet progressed wonderfully with my 2nd favorite guest who sat with us being J. G. Hertzler who sat at our table for three rounds screaming things like “OH LEAVE US ALONE ALREADY!” each time the bell chimed. The final guest we had before we were all dismissed was Dee Wallace who talked A LOT and ended up sharing something with us that we had to promise not to tell people so (no really I respect that I wasn’t allowed to tell…sorry, it’s REALLY awesome!)

They announce that the Meet and Greet has ended, I stood, looked at the door…and walk pointedly away to see if I could find anyone I wanted to talk to who didn’t make it to my table. Such as seeing if Jewel had made it and just not managed to get to my table, turns out she was working, but I saw that the table John (Noble) was at hadn’t gotten up yet, and the seat next to him unoccupied. As I sat down he looked up from his story (about how Fox shouldn’t have canceled Firefly, Just sayin), looked me in the eyes and said “where HAVE you BEEN all night?” I replied “I know, I was supposed to be following you around, I failed, I’m sorry” I smiled at him took his arm and let him finish what he was saying.

Now comes the part where I made a mistake that I’d rather not relay over the Internet but suffice to say that the “getting Ayla an interview” ball was rolling and John seemed as excited about it as I was. After the M&G I was floating on air, I wandered around the atrium a bit till I made a REALLY awesome new friend wearing a toga (have I said yet that I love StarFest), then wandered around a bit with my niece…till I made the mistake of walking outside on 420 and nearly died, another story I’d rather not get into.
Despite not sleeping that night, not for the reasons you guys are thinking I promise. I got into the elevator and said to the group at large “so, the reason I gathered you all here…” which I was doing ALL weekend and managed to start the day off with a guy who was dressed as Captain Hammer in that elevator telling me that the hammer was his penis. I spent the day wandering around waiting for people I knew to find me or for new people to become friends with and also waiting for the phone call that would let me know if there was any way the interview could actually happen. Guess where I was when I found out (side note, do you know how hard it is to find a clip of Homer Simpson saying “Let’s just say I’m sitting in the right chair.” and how sad it is to me that some of you won’t get that reference from the episode where he tries to be Thomas Edison…but I digress). I got the interview, it was to be done at 6:30 that night and I was asked where I wanted it to happen.

About that time Justin finally got HIS ass to the hotel and boy did I have a story to tell him! We wandered, we chatted, we brainstormed about what to ask, he left. I went to stand in line for my photo with Jewel who had finally arrived. I was standing in line behind one of the many awesome incarnations of the Doctor who entertained me well enough that it seemed like only a little time had passed till I was standing next to Jewel with her arm around me and mine on her waist. (I was so gorram happy in that moment and no one got to see how happy it made me except my doctor…oh, and anyone who sees the picture).

The interview was still ahead and I was getting a bit stressed, wanted to relax…I..uh…overly relaxed and had to get back to a happy medium. When I showed up to the place that the interview was going to happen I found out that we were going to be taped…with two cameras…it was going to be like a REAL interview. John even walked in smiled at me and said “Well, it looks like we made it happen!”

So, with the interview done and my nerves totally out of control I went again in search of a friend…or an anyone really…I ran into someone who I had random bits of conversation with and hung out with him and his friends for the most of the rest of that night…relaxing and socializing in the way that nearly everyone relaxes and socializes on Saturday night at StarFest. Although I’m not sure how many people were slowly changing into random parts of a suit that they weren’t the only one wearing that night…

Sunday, the final day, came along quite promptly I found myself Cos playing Life with my niece and handing out lemons, except our last ones that we made into lemonade. Then sneaking up on people because, sometimes Life sneaks up on you, and turning everything into a really deep comment by figuring out how Life would react to something or what Life would say. That continued as my niece and I wandered around trying to find the people we each wanted to see the most, I never found mine…but it’s okay he was busy planning cool things for next year.

According to my nephew this is where I lost some nerd/ geek points because I decided to try and tan a bit and get a little sun while everyone was finishing up and heading to the car… I was just happy because the sun was warm on my belly.

StarFest was wonderful, the people I met were all really really awesome and I walked away with some real friends I hope. I also walked away with one of the most awesome moments of my life on camera.

–The Mayor

An Update and a Tease

First the tease. Our own Mayor, Ayla, went to Starfest over the weekend and may have gotten an interview that we may play later this week…

Ayla with Mr. John Noble

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now the update. The collective hive mind of WombatCast also met yesterday to discuss the future of the show. The good news is we want WombatCast to move forward. The better news is we think we won’t change a lot of what makes the show great. We will still keep that geeks in the basement vibe, but now our focus will narrow down to geek entertainment (Movies, books, games) and not generalized like before. We felt this is what the three of us were most passionate about, and listening to past episodes I think you can hear that. So no more talk about Taco Copter or other random topics.

One major change is we are going to go non-explicit. A few of you made comments about how it can be hard to find time to listen to the show because of kids or just being in the office. Also, we feel it is easier to spread the word about the show if we can keep the language and topics to a PG rating. Will this mean we will stop making fun of Andy’s Furry hobby? Not at all!

I ask you to be a little more patient as it will be at least another couple of weeks before we roll out the reformatted show. But we will continue to blog and, as I teased before, we have a video interview to play.

Do you have more thoughts or suggestions about the show? Please leave a comment here, on the forums, or the Facebook page!

So Why Change?

I’ve had a few people contact me, asking about what is bringing on the talk about changing WombatCast. I know we have devoted fans, so I think it is fair to bring you into the thought process.

I have a few goals in mind with a podcasts that I am involved in. First and foremost, is to entertain. I would hate to think that what I produce and co-host isn’t fun or entertaining to listen to. Then I want my projects to be successful. I have big dreams and goals for the projects I involve myself in. As of late the downloads the show sees has been steadily declining, and that is disheartening. Podcasts can only be successful if people listen.

You may have noticed that we have been asking what you want to see WombatCast change and what you like. We have gotten some great feedback, and I thank all of you for that! We have listened and read to every bit of advice and are considering everything said.  We are also trying to figure out what we want from WombatCast and where we see things heading.

Right now the ideas range from cleaning up the language to making a the show less generalized and focusing on a few categories of discussion points. All I can say is that I want to try and balance out the changes that will make the show better and keeping the elements that might be keeping WC from really taking off.

For now keep looking to the site for more blog posts and visit the forums where you can interact with us and the other crazy members of the Wombat Army!

 

Remodeling For a Brighter Future

OK…we don’t have an episode today. I am sorry about that. Truth be told we did record yesterday, but the quality wasn’t there. There have been some behind the scenes discussions on our desire to keep WombatCast fresh and fun. I think last night we realized we need to make some changes and what we recorded wasn’t good at all. Don’t worry, we aren’t going anywhere and WombatCast is going to move forward! We have already been discussing what is best for us, the show, and our loyal fans.

So please be patient while we figure out what WombatCast 2.0 will be. No one likes change, but sometimes you need to tinker with things and make slight adjustments to improve things. We are going to take at least another week to meet and discuss. Hopefully in a week or two the next episode will roll out and we will move forward again!

What can really help us is you, our fans, to give us some feedback on what we can do to make the show enjoyable. I asked this already on our FB page and the forums, and I am asking again. What do you like? What do you want to see changed? Is there a kind of topic you want to hear the three of us talk about? Let us know here or on the forums!

We will return…

When D&D Was Evil

Justin on Mic

Justin on Mic

Full disclosure…I was the kid who was evil and played Dungeons and Dragons. I was the one that corrupted my other friends, who were once good kids who attended church regularly. I left a trail of evil and fear in my wake. Don’t believe me? Well take a few minutes and watch the first half of this video:

Some of you may not be old enough to remember society’s campaign against the evils of Dungeons and Dragons. I lived through those interesting times. Lucky for me I had parents who had a firm grip on reality, and knew my hobby was harmless. In fact they liked that I had a creative outlet that I got so much joy out of.

But my parents had friends who knew just how evil the game was. These friends often told my mother and father they should watch for signs of Satanic worship and other evil things that I would surely start doing. I had friends in school who had to play D&D in secret. Often I was labeled as the evil one.

One memory from high school is where a buddy of mine wanted to play, but his parents didn’t want him to. They argued about it for a long time, until a compromise was reached. They had to observe one game and see what happened in a D&D game. My friend asked me to run this demonstration and I gladly accepted the challenge. I ran a game I had already created, I didn’t pull back on anything in the game. One hour into the dungeon crawl my friend’s father laughed and basically wondered what the big fuss was about.

It is easy to look back and laugh at how society jumped on the story of kids killing themselves and others over a game. But it is just as easy to draw the parallels to today’s society that blames videogames for the same thing. Those first person shooters are teaching children to kill! But common sense tells us this isn’t true.

In all cases of a child murdering someone or harming themselves, there is something going on. It isn’t a game, music, books, or dancing…it is depression, lackluster parenting, etc. As a society we don’t have the patience to take a long hard look at a problem. We want quick answers and solutions. I imagine that parents want something to blame for a child’s evils because it is too painful to examine what could have been done differently. We as a people want to make sure children are happy and safe, but we spend far too much energy on quick fixes. We blame words on a page before we point a finger at ourselves.

Looking back at the time that D&D was considered evil is both funny and sad. In all the times that people told me how evil the game was, I kept wondering how something so evil could introduce me to new friends and give us a collective experience we all enjoyed. Gaming helped the socially awkward version of myself make it through the tough years of my development. It gave me a creative outlet. D&D didn’t destroy my life, it saved it.

 

Facebook and the art of friendship

So recently I had a chance to sit and have a good long think…15 min later after I’d responded to all my Facebook notifications I realized I wasn’t doing the thinking I’d set time aside for. Then, it hit me…the book I had carelessly placed on the pillow behind me that must have dislodged just enough to fall on me when I decided to sit upside down in my chair.

While I was replacing the book on the bookshelf I started to think about what draws me to Facebook…why it is that each time I have a moment I sit down and scan it. Want a hint? It’s you.

Though it may not seem like it at times I am actually very picky about who I allow on my Facebook…If any of you think that you’ve made it on there without a moments consideration as my mouse hovered over the ‘Ignore’ button…think again. That goes for you three too boys…even if you are the hosts of Wombatcast…

I took inventory before doing this blog and of the 157 people on my friends list there are only 5 that I don’t have a story about, although there are 29 that I haven’t met yet in person. Now granted some of these stories are old, and some of them new…some of them borrowed…some of them blue. They are stories none the less and of the 5 I don’t have stories for…yet…4 of them are likely reading this as they are members of the Wombat Army, the other one being someone that I randomly friended because Facebook said he was the most compatible profile in my area…and random friends sometimes turn out to be the best.

If there is anything that ANYONE can say about me that would be accurate it is that I am a naturally social creature, would those of you who have met me disagree? Yet I find myself at times wondering just what Facebook has done to friendship. Yes I can chat with my HS boyfriend about comic books again and I can see pictures of my best girlfriends baby, but it’s almost shallow…I post a lot to Facebook, because I’ve got it with me in some way no matter where I am and yes…it’s open in another tab even as I write this, and when I took a month away from it, people around me were sad not to see what I had to say…But it’s not like I lost them, the ones who are most pivotal to my life have other ways to reach me.

Friendship has always been extremely important to me, Facebook makes that easier to maintain in some ways…but also makes it less potent. There are some friends that I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for Facebook (all the people that Role Play in my Firefly group with me…and others) but there has been something that has gotten me more friends recently than Facebook and that is this podcast…maybe some day I’ll do a blog about how I didn’t really have a social group that didn’t involve borrowing friends heavily from my sister…but that won’t be today.

As it turns out, one of the best ways to get to know me is to be on my Facebook, because I’m not one of those people who is shy about what I post there…open book and all…and there are SOME things that I’m not cool with having on there…like my phone number but most people can just ask for that if they want it. I guess what I’m getting at here is that Facebook is fun and good and all for maintaining a very specific level of “friendship” where you can pick and choose each day who you want to talk to, who you want to ignore, and what you want to know about and hear from each of them.

My Facebook is like a fruit salad…some days I only want to eat the pineapple…some days I want to throw all kinds of fruit in there…and some days…this analogy isn’t working.

I’ll let you guys get back to your lives now, online or otherwise (whatever that would be), but I’ll leave you with this. Friendships are the kind of thing that you only get out of them what you put into them…except with me…with me you get more than double the friendship you put into me. So start filling me up with your friendship…you won’t be disappointed.

The Mayor

Who are you again?

I have a pretty good memory. At least I thought I did. As of today I’m starting to wonder. At my last job, where I had worked for better than 11 years, I was widely known as having an almost impeccable memory for things…my former employees still talk about it actually. If you wanted to know some obscure law or act involving human resources or if you wanted to know who the project manager was for some HRIS implementation back in 2002, I could tell you. I’d literally have people come to me as the “HR historian” because I remembered all these ridiculous details from the last decade – who did what and who worked where and who was responsible for that dumb-ass policy. As soon as I was asked, it would just come to me – the information was right there waiting for me to pick at it. Now that I’ve been away from that company for 10 months, it is starting to fade. I can still recall the long term details (faces, names, anecdotes, etc) but the shorter term details or the complex things like how to build a query using SQL is fading. I can still remember that you need to concatenate your data set before dropping it into the query, and I can still remember that I used the program TOAD to run it all, but the names of the tables are lost to me.

I’ve always had a mind for trivia. I used to read through pointless facts and figures, trying to commit the details to memory so I could break them out later. This was really handy in High School when I was on the Knowledge Bowl team (think of the TV show from way back called “Head of the Class”) but mightily worthless for day to day life as a student. I knew Leon Trotsky’s real name was Lev Davidovich Bronstein and that a Parsec was shorthand for “one second in the arc of a helio-centric parallax” when I had no need to know such things – I just wanted to know them because in my mind knowledge was power. Knowing things that no one else knew, especially in an intellectually competitive group like I was with in High School was a win. We’d constantly argue amongst ourselves on pointless minutia and winning meant having the upper hand on data. I might make fun of Justin but he’s got a pretty incredible brain under that ugly lump of a head, and Will – The Professor – is no slouch either what with those degrees in physics and all that. Those were just two in our gang of uber-nerds. Throw in more IQ-outliers like our high school friends Brad and Dan and we had far more brains between us than common sense or social acumen.

That same ability to memorize worthless information was an amazing boon in the military and with my career. I was a terrible student in High School and was lucky to graduate my senior year – I knew the coursework, I just never went to class to get the grades for it. Generally I have a good memory for things I read; that makes memorizing things from books pretty easy. I also have a good memory for directions and places I’ve been. I could sketch you maps of places I haven’t been in years with no problem. I never studied in high school and spent far more time memorizing the Players Handbook for AD&D than I did learning about the Revolutionary War. On a side note, I ended up memorizing most of the lineage of the Romanov Family from Old Russia because I thought it was a quirky thing to know – I had been reading up on Rasputin, a most interesting fellow – and ended up gathering facts on the Russian Throne. Anyway, I took my C- to D+ average self and before I was 18, I shipped off to boot camp for the Navy. Boot camp is really about the memorization of pattern, behavior, and detail through repetition. The sooner you get it, the fewer pushups you do and the fewer times your footlocker is dumped out and you are made to refold and repack it while being screamed at by a drill instructor. I took to that mentality like a duck takes to quacking and I shot up to the top of my class. I did reasonably well on the rest of the stuff included in the curriculum but the tests based on classroom lessons and books were cake and I graduated 3rd in my class. I wondered why I didn’t do this well in high school – it didn’t occur to me until years later that no one was going to make me run until I puked or do sit ups while singing the Navy Hymn in high school so there was no drive to do it. Granted I should have been motivated by the thought of getting into college or getting a good job or maybe just graduating but that didn’t occur to me at the time. The competition of beating the other guys in my boot camp class was motivation as well. This carried over to my technical school in the Navy but that would be a long story so I’ll save that for a different post.

What does any of this have to do with memory you ask? My parents came over for Easter today and they brought my “yearbook” from my senior year of high school. My sister had already graduated by then and they weren’t wild about spending the $30 or however much on a book so I had a little plastic notebook with lined sheets and paper in it and that was my yearbook. I went around when everyone else did and I had them sign it. I only collected a dozen or so signatures and comments and a couple of those were from teachers. I know I wasn’t popular and I don’t kid myself that I had lots of friends. I had the guys and a few random acquaintances and that was it. I remember most everyone that signed with the exception of one person. There was a note tucked into the back pocket of the notebook. A full page printed note from someone named Lisa. She apparently knew me rather well and referenced Justin in the note so I know she was part of the inner circle. Just one problem: I had no idea who she was. I scratched my head a bit and ended up texting Justin asking if the name rang a bell with him. He replied with “The girl I dated for two years? Yes, I remember her”. I was floored. Not that Justin had a girlfriend in high school, even smelly anti-social Andy had a few of those – it was that I completely forgot about someone who had likely hung with our band of geeks for a year or more. I remember other guy’s girlfriends – I remember Joe’s, I remember Mike’s, I remember mine. I even remember Will’s (I saw her at the mall not long ago actually). I just didn’t remember this one…at all…even a little.

It isn’t like I regularly forget those kinds of things. Not at all. I saw a guy at the pool a few weeks ago and knew immediately what his full name was and that he went to our high school and graduated the year after us. That is a guy that I haven’t seen or thought of in 20 years and 3 seconds after seeing his face across the room I knew who he was. I recognized his wife as another high school person but not her name – she was a jock and I likely never knew her name. I knew this guy’s name as we had a few classes together and he was a stoner/hard rocker guy and therefore was an outcast like I was. I remember all kinds of crazy detail from 20 or more years ago. I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday without concentrating, but I can pull up dusty old stuff pretty easily. To add to this, I love reminiscing. I can spend hours going through photo albums and memorabilia. There is almost a pleasurable feeling in my brain to see something I remember from years ago – like it dusts off the pathways in the brain and it tickles in a nice way. I went through a stack of old 1st edition Dungeons and Dragons modules last month and it was a treat. I could still remember all sorts of details from playing “Keep on the Borderlands” and “The Temple of Elemental Evil”. I see people all the time that I remember, poking my wife and telling her “I used to work with that lady” or “I went to school with that guy”. Sometimes their names come to me, and sometimes not – but that spark is there.

The spark was decidedly missing with this Lisa person. Justin suggested I look her up on FaceBook as he didn’t have any pictures he could, or was willing to send me. After spelling her name wrong a few times I found her. Zing. I remembered her after that – I guess I needed the file to be opened before the facts would spill out. I just now remembered having her up to the ranch and camping with her. Now that the query has been sent, little memories will probably come trickling in all day. It’s crazy because I can call up details of single role playing games from 23 years ago – the place, people, and plot – but this person completely disappeared from memory until it was jogged.

Do I always remember things the same as other people – even when we were both there at the same time? Of course not. Memory is subjective and fallible but just because I remember something differently than someone else doesn’t make my memory wrong. In any case, today was a good reminder that given the scope of our whole adult lives, we are fortunate to remember a few good jokes and where the crapper is in that nasty Indian restaurant. Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine.

Andy out.

UPDATE: Turns out I am still somewhat bad at remember certain things, but at least now I know that this mystery girl wasn’t from high school at all! She was post-HS while I was out of state. I do remember her face but that’s it. Turns out all the other little things I remembered were actually other people that I blended together in an effort to remember this one. I must have put her note into my cheap-ass yearbook/notebook for safe keeping.

Andy out – again.

Movie Theater Etiquette

Justin on Mic

Justin

I want to talk about movie theater etiquette. Let’s face it, the summer movie season is about to ramp up and that means we all will spend more time in the theater. So here are a few guidelines to follow to make the movie going experience pleasant for you and those around you.

  • Talking during the movie. How many times does it need to be said? I feel like since I was in 3rd grade and the teacher would show a film strip (Some of you may not be old enough to know what this is) the rule was shut the fuck up while the lights are off so we can all hear about the exciting adventures of a tree as it is turned into lumber.
  • Texting or talking on the phone. I get it, you cannot wait to hear about how your BFF Jill just found out that Jake is totally cheating on her with that cunt, Jenny. And texting is silent so what’s the big thing?! A fucking distracting light that everyone to the sides and behind you can see! And talking on the phone?! See the rule above.
  • Showing up one minute before the movie starts and wanting people to move. This might be controversial, but hear me out. I get to the movies early to line up and get a seat I want (just ask my friends who show up one minute before the movie starts whom I was asked to save a seat for). But that seat is the one I wanted and I don’t care how people sit around me and in what configuration. But if you have one empty seat to one side and another empty on the other people come in and ask if you can scoot over to accommodate their lazy asses. I know, people just want to sit together. I get it. But if you want to make sure you sit together then I would plan ahead and make sure you get there in time to get the seating arrangement you want. I paid my dues and waited in line so I could sit where I wanted, so asking me to move is kind of a dick thing to do.
  • Talking about the story in line for the movie. I talked about this on WombatCast when I went to go see the last Harry Potter movie. If you read the books, or have seen the movie before, please do not talk about the plot or ending in line for the movie. Maybe some of us aren’t that well read.
  • For fucks sake, shower before you go out! Going anywhere in public? Lot’s of other people are going to be around? Take a shower you Pigpen wannabe!
  • Do not explain the plot or joke in a movie to show that you got it to those around you. If you don’t get this, just say it out loud. And again, the pretty pictures are moving on the screen…Lips closed.
  • Bringing children to a movie. This is a variable rule depending on the situation. I do not have kids, so I can only imagine how difficult it is to go out and do adult stuff. There are times this rule does not apply, such as kids movies or certain times of the day. But for the love of Thor, do not bring your small children to violent movies or movies that are more adult themed where a crying child (who is crying out of boredom I am sure) will disrupt the movie for everyone else. The counter to this rule is we with no children cannot complain when we go see a Pixar film and the theater is packed with kids. To my friends with kids, I will offer my babysitting services so you can go see a movie. =)

Am I being bitchy? Yes I am. But if you think any of the rules I have put out there aren’t fair or spoil the enjoyment of the movie going experience, then post a comment below or in our forums. I would love to have the discussion. Also, am I missing any rules?