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Below are the 6 most recent journal entries recorded in tugthumper's LiveJournal:

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007
12:45 am
That sentence kinda got away from me a bit there...
Can't argue with this one...

Your Score: The Tenth Doctor

You scored 30% intelligence, 37% compassion, 64% sense of humor, and 13% weirdness!

You're a charming, friendly, easy-going sort -- the type who looks just as comfortable in a suit and tie as in a bathrobe. Nothing fazes you...until someone starts picking on somebody you love. Then you get all intense and pull a face not unlike an angry bullpup. Yeah, it's hard to take you seriously sometimes, but you're nobody's fool. Your turn-ons include pinstripes, Douglas Adams, incoherent mumbling, Elvis, Scots accents, and Kylie Minogue, apparently. Your turn-offs include Christmas angst, long-distance relationships, jealousy, and other people's stubborn parents.

Link: The Which Doctor Who Are You? Test written by TottersLane on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test
Sunday, September 23rd, 2007
5:44 pm
Still alive
I really need to start keeping up on this more. You would think being jobless again would mean I would have plenty of time to do this kind of stuff.

In the year-plus since I've posted, quite a bit has changed.

I had to drop out of going back to school because of finances.

I got a job back at the software company that laid me off in June - doing phone support for customers, some of which I had previously trained.

I got to do a couple training trips in November and March back to Utah, so at least I got to complete my training career on my terms (kinda).

I had a meltdown in February and didn't leave the house for four days.

My house (specifically under and behind) became some sort of battleground for all of the indigenous wildlife (birds vs snakes vs groundhogs vs skunks).

I thought I had a heart attack, but it turned out to be a combination of a gallstone attack and elevated stress.

Sean bought a new townhouse in Ashburn, VA and asked me to move in with him.

And there was the whole wonderful song and dance I did with the software company from May until July where they talked me into staying because I would be perfect for this new position they were creating. Only they didn't make a decision for six weeks. And then they didn't have the money for the position. And then support didn't really want me around anymore anyway.

So I managed to get let go from the same company in two different capacities in the span of 14 months. That's gotta be some sort of record.

Anyway, I'm now trying to figure out exactly what I'm supposed to be doing (seems to be a lot of that going around). While trying not to be a total burden on Sean because as it so happens I didn't lose my job until AFTER I had moved in and promised to take care of my share of things. And my parents already had a buyer for the house I was living in - probably those groundhogs.

Sooooo...still alive. Just not particularly chatty.

Current Mood: Meh
Thursday, February 16th, 2006
1:01 am
We all scream for ice cream. EEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!
So, after the week I've had, Wednesday finally rolls around. Yay new comic book day. On top of new comics, this is also the release date for the newest Heroclix set - Collateral Damage. I've been looking forward to this one because it rounds out the Justice League International and Outsiders teams, plus we finally get a Kyle Rayner GL figure. So I picked up some boosters of that (got all 3 versions of Kyle - each one has a different ring weapon), plus a Veteran Elongated Man, a Veteran Ice, a Veteran Katana, and a Unique Ambush Bug. Yes. AMBUSH BUG! He rocks. I also picked up Zatanna and Deadshot from the DC Direct Identity Crisis line. Zatanna's head is a bit small, but it's probably the only figure we're ever going to get of her in the blue, black and white Perez costume from the Satellite Era.

It was good to geek out at the shop. Then I decided to stop at the Coldstone Creamery that recently opened. I stopped by there last week, but they had no Cake Batter ice cream, so I couldn't try the idea I had in my head and went with Strawberry Shortcake Serenade instead. This time they had Cake Batter, so I tested out a recipe for what I consider to be the perfect anytime dessert - yellow cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. Now, the trick for this is to get the Ultimate Bucket size, since it includes 5 mix-ins. BTW, if you're unfamiliar with Coldstone, they have soft ice cream in these pans, and then they will fold in candy, syrups, cookies, fruit, etc right on the spot to make a unique mixed ice cream.

So, here's my attempt at:

Drew's Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Ice Cream

BASE FLAVOR: Cake Batter ice cream

  • MIX IN #1: Yellow cake pieces - adds texture)
  • MIX IN #2: Chocolate shavings - again, for texture, plus less intrusive chocolate source than chocolate chips
  • MIX IN #3: Fudge syrup
  • MIX IN #4: MORE Fudge syrup (I'm one of those that tends to eat the cake from the bottom and leave the icing for last
  • MIX IN #5: Whipped topping - this adds a bit more pure sugary sweetness in spots, plus it and the fudge are absorbed by the cake pieces

I'm pretty happy with the results, and it will probably take me two weeks to eat all of it. I can justify spending $12 for a half gallon of ice cream when it's this good and fresh tasting. Plus it's so rich that you can eat about half of what you normally would and be satisfied.

I don't know if I'll try changing anything next time - especially since they've brought back Oatmeal Cookie Dough as a limited edition Red Pan flavor. That stuff is GOOD! If I get that next time, I'll just add in chocolate chips and maybe a little fudge.

And workwise, I may not have to go to Alabama next week. Hopefully I'll know tomorrow.

City of Heroes was productive tonight - didn't get on until late, but the villain-side (The Agenda) wanted to try the respec trial - quite a few had given it two tries already and teamwiped both times. This go round we had 5 people - 2 Brutes (Grizz and Nikolai), 1 Corruptor (Oral Majority), 1 Mastermind (Cpt Ocelot, on loan from AXIS), and my Dominator, Strapdown. While we had a couple minor defeats, we had no total team wipes, and we managed to get it done in less than 2 hours. Strapdown almost hit 25 while doing it too, so after we finished, I did a fun mission involving some Sneaky Freakshow and hit 25. Now I can finally hold another 5 Inspirations! Still need to do a LOT more work to get him to 40 before Issue 7 rolls out.

Last tidbit for today is that I read on the CoH forums that those people who got the Toy Collector Badge will have the Snow Beast Gladiator given to them soon. I picked it up on a few of my guys, but a lot of people are complaining that they would have tried for the badge (open 200 presents during the holiday event) if they knew a Gladiator was attached. I was more interested in having the badge as a possible title than it having any sort of benefit, but I'm glad to get something else out of it. I still have yet to actually DO a Gladiator match though - maybe some time this week.

Current Mood: content
Tuesday, February 14th, 2006
11:20 pm
Valentine's Day: Now with 50% less massacre!
So, had a morning full of ranting - didn't do much good though, since my boss didn't make it in until close to lunch.

Then I had to go to the dentist to deal with a tooth that's been bothering me since MAL (curse those sesame seed buns at Dakota Cowgirl!). The dentist said there was some definite decay in the tooth, but when he went in to clean it out to put a filling in - well, have you ever heard of internal resorption? Basically the immune system treats the tooth as a foreign body and starts attacking it, trying to break it down. Now, I had to go through a root canal last year, so I was steeling myself for having to have another one. Problem is that this now goes beyond a simple root canal since the tooth itself is effectively dead. I get to go meet with an endodontist to discuss options when I get back from my next batch of trainings.

Yes, I'm still going on my scheduled trips next week and the week after. Next week I'll be heading to Decatur, Alabama. It's a FULL week - leaving Sunday and getting back Saturday. But Alabama is one of my 23 remaining states. And it's not going to be THAT difficult of a training. The week after that is Frankfort, Kentucky for a tiny two day training. That one I've decided I'm going to drive to, since I haven't been on a road trip for business since last July. I'll be travelling through the bulk of West Virginia and plan on stopping by my old comic shop in Morgantown on the way back through. That'll be nice - I haven't been in there since July either. And I DID work there for four years, plus a couple months when I was having the delusion of expanding my old store into a chain. Silly.

Anyway, I did get to talk with my boss in the parking lot after hours today. He's worried about me - said I had been visibly frazzled lately and while I was getting my work done, it wasn't the level that it usually is. I told him about the microbreakdowns and how I've been lashing out at my friends. He told me that the job isn't worth the amount of stress it's causing me. He wants to keep me on as long as I can stick it out. And after the next two weeks, the only road training I have is in Detroit for a couple days after St. Patty's. I THINK I can find something to do to relax in Detroit. :)

CoH-wise, I got the Helenic Sandals and Victory Laurel upgrades in my account today. Victory Laurel is a Hair option. Helenic Sandals only appear as a Boots option if you have Tight selected as your lower half. And men need shorts, if not briefs, to go with the toga. I also ran with a new guy who isn't really a new guy - just back after a long hiatus. Tried out my new Fire/Ax tanker - Fire Ax. Yes yes, it's not the most original name, but it's simple. I actually kinda enjoyed it once I hit 6 and got Provoke (since they reorg'd Tanker powers, you don't get the regular Taunt until level 10 now) and could actually start pulling mobs off of other people. Some of you are probably shaking your head at a Tanker getting stuff from the Presence Pool, but I've always played character concept first. Fire Ax is Tug's dad, and he'll Challenge, Provoke, Intimidate and Invoke Panic. I MAY still have some unresolved father issues. ;)

Lastly, I feel like I should at least acknowledge that it's Valentine's Day. Two years ago, I drove down to Nashville to spend the weekend with a guy who I had been friends with for a couple years and had started to feel something more for. Even though we're no longer together, he was my first boyfriend and we still talk every now and then. And while I'm still not the most out guy in the world, I'm at least more comfortable talking about it now than I was then.

I'm not going to make some ludicrous decree like "This is the last Valentine's Day I'm spending alone!" But I am going to try to at least make an effort to date again. I have no business being jealous of other relationships if I'm not willing to get out there and try.

I'm doing better than I was yesterday. And tomorrow, I'll be doing a little better still.

Current Mood: okay
Monday, February 13th, 2006
10:40 pm
Ugh. The thing I don't want to write, but I need to.
I thought too much this weekend.

Most everyone knows about my issues with my current job. And pretty much everyone has told me I need to get out because I'm not happy. But since I've had two stints of extended unemployment in the past, I've been really hesitant to do anything until I had something lined up.

Most everyone also knows about my terminal singleness. Mainly because I'm ludicrously picky. Also because the dating pool around here is pretty shallow.

I'm stalling...

Ok. I think everyone who reads this knows that if they asked me to do something for them, there's a 99% chance I'll do it no questions asked, and that last 1% will be after I ask a question or two. I will go out of my way to make someone else's life easier.

So why can I not ask anyone for help?

I'm not really sure when it started, but I go through these cycles where I lock myself up internally, shun pretty much everyone and everything, to the point where I start subconsciously sabotaging friendships and my job and my health. And then I'll just start randomly lashing out at people.

Tonight I could very well have lost one of my best friends because of it. I knew this was building - I almost wrote this yesterday, and I didn't. And if I had, I might have not said some things last night.

But what's done is done.

It's been about a year and a half since my last major episode. At that time, my parents urged me to go to therapy. I called a therapist, but she wasn't available when I called, and when she returned my calls, I decided that I really didn't need therapy and that I'd be fine.

I'm not going back on anti-depressants. I know I can beat this. I hated the way they made me feel - like a zombie. I didn't care about anything. I can't go back to that. I HAVE to beat this.

I have a nephew now - Jack. I never wanted kids, because I'm such a big one still. Jack's going to be ten months old next week, and he's already ahead of the curve in everything. He could probably walk on his own if he wasn't convinced he needed to hold on to something. I know he'll be having full blown conversations by Christmas next year. Last week my mom got licensed as a pastor in the Church of the Brethren and we had a big get together with family afterwards, and I saw Jack for the first time since Christmas. My brother and his wife told me that the Hippo Walker I'd gotten him for Christmas is the one toy he can't be without. And he was just running back and forth at my parents' house, pushing that Hippo - from the living room, through the dining room, all the way into the kitchen. As soon as he learns how to back it up and turn it around, we're all in trouble.

Anyway, I mention Jack because right now, HE is the bright spot in my life. I don't have to do anything to impress him (although the toys probably help). Every time he sees me, he starts smiling and laughing. And, for that little bit of time I get to spend with him, I feel like I have a purpose.

And now I'm starting to well up. Ok. Time to wrap this up.

I obviously can't continue my current job in my current state. I don't need to be in another time zone when the breakdown happens. I've already been laying the groundwork to set myself up for a fall. Which is silly - I should just have the balls to quit. But for some twisted reason, I want to make them think that it's THEIR idea to get rid of me.

I've only had someone tell me that didn't want to be my friend once before. And when it happened, I thought it was their fault and that I had done everything I could to be a good friend. Now...now I'm not so sure. A lot of what I was told then I was told tonight.

Tomorrow morning, I have to get up, go to work, and tell my boss I'm done. No "I'll stick it out until you find a replacement" - no "It's just a phase, I'll work through it" - none of that.

There's something wrong with me, and it's causing me to lose friends.

And I HATE to lose.
Wednesday, February 8th, 2006
12:28 pm
Workday Called on Account of the Crazy
I woke up this morning and decided I needed a day off. Considering I was on the road the last three weeks and had to work over a holiday (thus banking a free personal day) I think it was justified.

Yesterday I could kind of feel that part of me taking over that just wanted to cause absolute chaos. I decided that a simple argument over the rules of Shotgun on the way to lunch would be a perfect time to stage a fake walkout. I stormed out of the car (still in the parking lot), went inside, gathered up the toys I had around my desk (most notably Castle Greyskull - the 2003 redone one, not the original), and got into my car. My boss chased after me, but I told him I wasn't really quitting, I was just spazzing out the other guys in the dept (mission accomplished).

In retrospect, I really should have just followed through and quit.

The afternoon was not exactly ideal. Our scheduling dept, despite repeated requests not to schedule last minute training, scheduled more last minute trainings at the end of this month. Now, I'm already having to go to Alabama for a full week (Sunday-Saturday), and working over President's Day (which means I'll get another personal day banked...whee). But now I have to go to Kentucky immediately after that for a 2 day training. For a moment, I thought my boss was finally going to stand up for us, because he kicked it back to them saying it wasn't scheduled far out enough. Then his boss came in and told him that they were staying where they were and our dept would once again have to "deal with it".

Then came the Burn of the Day.

Me (to my boss): That's OK, Pinnochio. Someday you'll become a real boy and grow a pair.

Things were kind of strained for the rest of the day, and I really didn't make it any better. I had the sarcasm meter turned up to 11. By the end of the day, I think I had snarked my boss to the point of breaking.

Another good reason to take today off.

So what am I doing today? Well, I already got Strapdown to 24. The Togas are now unlocked on the live servers, as well as the Valentine's Day missions from DJ Zero.

I'm checking a few job leads - primarily an inventory manager position at the Borders about to open in Winchester. I'm also planning on hitting Winchester later to pick up a full month's work of comics from Four Color. Then over to Suncoast to finally pick up my Buffy: The Chosen Collection complete series DVD set.

Tonight will be a couple games of Vs. at my friend Chuck's house - I've got my Justice League International deck all ready to go. Then a new episode of Lost - this time with a Sawyer flashback! Woo! Sawyer!
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