12 Strings, an ulcer, and a phone call.

You missed me.. Admit it, you did.

So many things, where to begin. A recap of the weekend, I guess. I wrote on Friday that I’m kinda retarded, but you already knew that, so that’s nothing new. That whole retarded thing will become a trend again this weekend. So Friday was work, which was uneventful for the most part. Afterwards I headed on home, and I was alone. I didn’t really want to be, but I was. So I played Metroid Prime for a while, and I’m stuck at this part: It takes about an hour to get from the save point to the room where I always die, and I can’t save it in between anywhere because then I’d have to redo everything, so it’s kinda frustrating. The problem is that there’s these guys who don’t die. You shoot them, and they look at you oddly, then create within me what I like to call “a new asshole”. I then die. According to the storyline, these guys have been “reverse engineered based on your weapons”. In other words, you’re screwed. So I played for an hour, and got to that part, and had my ass kindly handed to me, and called it good, and quit. Just then I got a call from Joel, saying that a group had met up at Tuuk and Mark’s place. So I hopped in my car and headed over. Sure enough, a big ole group was there, including Adam, jplant, Mark H, women, etc…So we hung out there for a while, watched some SNL on E!, then headed off to Mulligans. I’ve been to Mulligans a number of times, and it’s always an adventure. So this time, we got to stand around awkwardly, staring viciously at people refusing to leave their table so we could sit down. After quite some time, and some drinking, someone spotted a table, and in a flash, we had seized it. I remained at that table for a very long time. As an aside, I did manage to finally hold a match in my hand until went out. This proved both that I’m fantastically amazing, and that I’m completely retarded. So we stayed there at the bar until we were no longer allowed to stay at the bar. Before I left, I did get my traditional Flaming Dr. Pepper, because I’m a fan of setting things on fire, throwing them around, then slamming them down. Only in America!

So after Mulligans I headed on home, and watched some Home Movies, which makes perfect sense, cause it was very, very late. Eventually I drifted off to sleep, and I woke up Saturday well rested, and without any idea what I ought to do. Steve called, and I talked to him for a good long while, which was really nice, as I hadn’t really had much contact with him in a while. After that, I ended up reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) for a few hours, then I got another call from Joel, and I eventually headed out to GR to see Old School with Joel, Tuuk and Mark H. That movie was quite funny. Now, the majority of the “Frat University” movies follow the same basic plot (Frat becomes popular, introduced to sweet girl, Frat upsets crusty dean, dean declares war on Frat, Frat gets kicked out of school, Frat undergoes some sort of academic review, frat wins review and gets cheated, or fails just barely, small miracle occurs, Frat reinstated, Dead humiliated, cute girl hooks up with guy), but they’re still quite entertaining. And this movie was really funny. Will Ferrell is a brave and funny man.

So after the movie I headed on home, and read Harry Potter for a while. Then Robb, Swac, Mandace, and I headed off to Max and Ermas. It was the lovely Tressa’s final day for quite some time (perhaps ever?), so that was something to celebrate/commiserate over. All in all, it was a good time, and we hung out there for a few hours. Before we jetted she hooked us up with her number, and there was much rejoicing. So we went home, watched SNL, and just kinda dinked around for a while. I eventually faded off to sleep.

I woke up Sunday with a lot on my mind. I had some trouble getting to sleep the night before, as my brain was spinning on things it couldn’t solve, so those thoughts came quickly back when I woke up. I read through Ecclesiastes during church, and made special note of some verses I found interesting. Here’s some of them:

  • 1:2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”
  • 1:9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
  • 1:18 For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.
  • 2:15Then I thought in my heart, “The fate of the fool will overtake me also. What then do I gain by being wise?” I said in my heart “This too is meaningless.”
  • 2:23 All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.
  • 3:12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.
  • 7:15 In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these:a righteous man perishing in his righteousness, and a wicked man living long in his wickedness.
  • 8:14 There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless.
  • 9:1 So I reflected on all this and concluded that the righteous and the wise and what they do are in God’s hands, but no man knows whether love or hate awaits him.
  • 12:13-14 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
New International Version (NIV) Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

If you’ve never read through that book, do yourself a favor and read it. It’s only 12 chapters. I was amazed the first time I really read it to see that in the Bible there was someone willing to admit that from our vantage point, most things are unfair, and most of what we do is just plain pointless. Now I turn to it whenever I need a reminder that I’m not alone in feeling that way.

So after church I didn’t have to teach, so I talked to Christy for about an hour, which is always good. Turns out my good friend (whom I’ve not seen in ages), Cody, her older brother, is engaged. As Brad also got engaged recently, that pretty much singles me out as the only guy from our youth group that isn’t set to get hitched any time soon. I guess you can choose to view that a number of ways, and I’ve chosen to view it and a complete and utter failure on my part. (The glass is half empty, and it’s probably filled with poison.) Anyway, after that, I headed home with intentions of cooking up some food and playing some Metroid. Instead, I came home, grabbed Harry Potter, and read until the book was done. That book was really, really good. As I’m already a fan of the series, I wasn’t surprised that I liked it, but the last few chapters really impressed me on a purely “this is a kewl story idea” level. I hope the 4th book continues this trend.

Sunday night I played some Settlers with the roommates, then talked to Serita for a while, which was very nice. Eventually I drifted off to sleep, only to wake up a few hours later, exhausted but unable to fall back asleep. I hate that. I have been having some odd dreams lately too. I had a dream a few days back that I was at Max and Ermass with my roommates and Mandace, and I just up and stabbed myself in the hand with a fork. I then attempted to go back to eating while blood was just flooding out of the wound. That’s kinda disturbing, isn’t it? Yeah, I’ve got problems.

Monday was work. I listened to Nine Inch Nails much of Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. It’s amazingly good stuff, but after a while, you really start to feel like your head is filled with evil, and the only way to get it out is to take a big steak knife, and jam it through one of your ears, and let it all drain out. When I hit that point, I know it’s time to put the NIN away for a little while. No one was home to get my new guitar when UPS brought it on Friday or Monday, so on the way home from work Monday I swung by UPS, and after about an hour wait, I got my new 12-String guitar. It’s beautiful. Tesla’s Love Song and Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead or Alive have never sounded so nice. So I went to UPS and got it, and then headed on home…

An Aside

What is up with the weather!?! If it’s going to be sunny and nice looking, then be sunny and nice looking. If it’s going to be cold and miserable, then just go with that. Don’t pretend you’re going to be nice, and then *BOOM* blast us with more snow and cold and miserable and evil and bad and I hate it cause it hurts me. I can’t wait for spring.

I made it home and grabbed all the goodies I had purchased along with the new guitar (Strings, a stand, some cords, picks, a new capo, strap, etc..), then began stringing the guitar. I managed to pop a string, which shot back, caught my thumb, sliced it open, and bled all over the new guitar. That kind of thing can’t be taught.. that’s just raw retard talent right there. Anyway, as I was tuning, Cathy came over to tell of her latest zany adventure. We ordered some pizzas, and talked for a while, and played some scattergories. Eventually, she had to leave, and I headed off to my room to lift weights for a while. So I lifted, and talked to Christa for quite a while, watched some Home Movies, then pretended to sleep.

Tuesday started off pretty good. I woke up late, missed the car pool, so I took a nice long hot shower, then headed off to work.

Another Aside

I ran across this really wretched web comic about a month ago, and since then, I’ve been drawn to it like a curious gawker at a train wreck. It’s bad on so many levels that it just drags me in, begging me to just stab myself in the eyes and get it over with. To fully appreciate how vile this thing can get, you must watch this flash animation, which was the Valentine’s Day comic. Afterwards, just kill yourself. It’s easier that way.

Tuesday after work,I put in some time on the bike, then headed off to Best Buy to purchase joy. I loved Deep Space 9 and have been waiting for these DVDs for a long time. Now that there here, I am as happy as a little girl. (I’m assuming, based on the expression, that little girls are quite happy.). After snagging some Bugles from DandW, I headed off to the Pickwick and met up with the crew. Leave it to the crew to explain how even the most minor and insignificant reasons for joy can more accurately be defined as a personal failure. The Pick was good, as usual. I especially enjoyed the varying degrees of “ass” most notably the “shit ass”. (Ass –> In this context, a term of measurement defining just how bad something sucks. E.g. That song sounds like ass. “Shit ass” would then be defined as something so bad, it makes normal ass seem almost good by comparison.). After the Pick, I dropped off Tuuk, then headed home with intentions of writing a blog entry. So I got inside, got into bed, and promptly fell asleep.

While working Tuesday, Dave and I got an email from a user complaining about one of the chapters in our audio bible. You’ve really just got to hear it to understand: [Realplayer -> enter url : http://www.ronveenstra.com/images/56/isa05.rm] Pay close attention right around the 4 minute mark (on verse 24, if you wanted to follow along). The problem had since been corrected on the Bible Gateway.

That brings us to today: Wednesday. The Highlights: Joel proved to me that I suck royally at Tetris by repeatedly crushing me. I hate that game. I did some fancy php that spit out javascript that spit out html. Then got into a fun discussion/argument with Joel about rewarding people for being lazy and stupid. (An argument for making things plainly obvious and understandable for a user vs expecting a certain degree of know-how from a user.) I’m of the opinion that people are kinda stupid, and many are made so out of laziness, and are catered to too much. I’m also of the opinion that Carrot Top should be shot in the face. Afterwards, I headed on home, talked to Tressa for a lil while, then Sven and Julie (and soon after, Mindy) came on over for Ed. If you didn’t see Ed this week, you missed an amazing episode! The majority of the episode took place inside Ed’s dream, and it was both so very very funny, and such an interesting idea that I absolutely loved. They did a great job of adding the crazy random elements of a dream world, with the funny twists, one liners, and recurring gags of classic Ed, to tell a really interesting and important (plot wise) storyline. Many of you know that I tend to relate a lot of what happens in the Ed universe to my own life. Season 2 seemed to me almost like a blurry reenactment of personal events. Well, this season that’s kinda stopped, but this episode really rang true with a lot of the crazy thoughts going on in my own head, and it was really nice to see and feel that again. I also like that fact that they finally hinted back at some unresolved things that I had been disappointed to see seemingly glazed over and forgotten a number of episodes back. (Basically, Ed gave up on Carol, and it didn’t seem to affect him, or their relationship. There was a ton of awkwardness, then after a quick 2 minutes snippet, all was peas and carrots again, and I didn’t buy it. In the dream, we see that those feelings are still unresolved.) An amazing episode, and it was really great to see a really good Ed episode again.

After Ed was the traditional euchre games for a few hours. Then they all took off, and I headed off to bed, which of course meant watching The West Wing and writing this until 4 in the morning. So yeah, that was that.

3 thoughts on “12 Strings, an ulcer, and a phone call.

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