Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

End of year shuffle

Jesus Christ. If you dig around in the archives, you will find mention of the fact that every year, because of a design decision made back in 1997, I have to do this whole firedrill of moving all of last year’s entries into another directory, starting a new one, and of course, fucking it all up because I forget where everything goes because I only do this once a year. And yes, all of you fucks can start with the BUT WHY DONT YOU JUST SWITCH TO WORDPRESS shit, and I will write the clue on the end of a baseball bat and swing it into your eye: this was around before the term “blog” was even invented, let alone blog software. Also, it all sucks. So today, I started hacking away on a new scheme to put all of the entries in one big directory and somehow link it all together without fucking everything up. I think I have accomplished that now, although the archives pages are slightly fucked up at the moment. And I am sure it will all be broken on your browser, or if you type the entire swahili alphabet on the end of the URL, or whatever. But it’s largely functional, and I won’t be worrying about this as the ball drops.

Anyway, I am back from Christmas in Milwaukee. I did not announce it on this site (or did I?) largely because of the amount of unending shit I get whenever I mention even the slightest shred of truth on here. But we took off for about a week, and I had a lot of fun with Sarah’s family. I went to a Marquette basketball game, which was my first non-high school basketball game I’ve ever seen. (Okay, technically I saw a lot of elementary school ones when I played in the 6th grade.) The game was interesting because we had very good seats – Sarah’s grandfather taught law there decades ago, which means he has good season tickets. They played another team that may or may not have been a high school or maybe Ivy Tech campus, because they played like shit. I think our average 9th grade PE class teams could have beat them. But it was still fun to watch.

I also went to a hockey game the other night, Milwaukee’s AHL team against Chicago’s. I have no idea at all how hockey is played, aside from the fact that you get a puck in a goal, and it involves skating. Watching the game confused me even more. I don’t think any goal could have been anything other than an accident, because it took so much effort to get the puck across the ice, and then someone else would inevitably knock it back. I found it weird too that players go in and out of the game while game play is in motion, and when they are taken out for a penalty, they aren’t replaced, meaning lopsided teams. I was also amazed at the amount of general violence that is tolerated by the refs, and the fact that the AHL all but guarantees a fight per game. We had two fights, and they were all-out slugfests, while the refs stood an arm’s length away and basically watched. The violence and general fan atmosphere was very cool, but the fact that one of the guys I went with had been to a dozen games that year and still hadn’t seen the Admirals win was a big turn-off.

Christmas was good – I got a million books and some DVDs, including the Beatles Anthology set. I ate way too much, both in restaurants and at two family-cooked dinners. We went with Sarah’s dad’s family to a Serbian restaurant, which was way too much food, but a good house band and hilarious Serbian waitress. I ate at a diner where Clinton and Helmut Kohl ate in 1996, which was weird. I also had a pre-bball Friday fish fry, which is somewhat of a tradition in Milwaukee. We went to an IHOP twice, both times good, except that they make me miss having one just down the street, like in Seattle. My only bratwurst was at the hockey game, and it was fairly bad. Everything else was excellent, albeit too excellent, and I’m glad to get back on a boring and regular diet here.

The one other thing is that Sarah’s sister’s boyfriend had an ’84 Plymouth Turismo almost identical to the one I had that blew up. It was reddish instead of grey on the outside, but the interior was the same burgandy. His car had all of the same problems mine did: sticky doors, fucked up locks, shitty shifter linkage, messed up heater, busted dash lights, noisy CV, the whole thing. I should have told him to keep a fire extinguisher and/or a disposable camera in there, although he says he’s dumping it soon for something else.

Another thing to mention is that I have been wasting a lot of time playing Guitar Hero for the PS2. It is a game that comes with a plastic toy guitar that has five buttons on the neck, a switch where you’d pick, and a whammy bar. You plug it in the PlayStation, and then have to play various songs. It’s a lot like the dance-oriented things with the floor mats, where you step on different colors at different times, but instead, you’re pressing buttons on the guitar neck and strumming the fake pick switch thing. It has a lot of metal-oriented songs, and starts easy, then gets very hard. Anyway, lots of fun.

Okay, time to not think about this PHP crap and think about dinner.