Friday, January 17, 2014

2013: A Rage Odyssey.

Hello, dear reader.  Congratulations on both staying alive for another year and (one assumes) facing this new, sexy, sassy journey around the sun with your usual sense of optimism, youthful charms, and hankering for adventure of a non Voightian type.

Who wants to party?

In keeping with the normal blogging tropes, this first entry of 2014 will be equal parts navel gazing, self high fiving, and reflection on all the awesome things I have done and rubbed into people's faces repeatedly.  Also, probably some cheap plugs because, well, my awesomeness doesn't pay the bills.  At least not all of them.

My current awesome level only affords me one shoe and half a pimp cane.

What a year it has been, ladies and gentleman:  a time of changes, big moves, new jobs, and new friends.  I started off last year without a job lined up, not very many prospects, and at least 4 of my 10 fans telling me I should have taken the pool maintenance job (as mentioned here).

But shortly thereafter I landed a sweet gig and began preparations for moving to the land of Pharaohs (and online fast food delivery service) where I have been since then, as outlined in stunning detail here.  I would like to take a minute now and say that was all planned from the start, but even my legendary retconning skills can't take it quite that far.

And if they could I would probably have given myself more abs, maybe in Photoshop.

Oh, and my new book came out, available for practically nothing by simply clicking here(new year, new plugs!  So good.)

Speaking of my new book, I got what has to be my favorite review ever, which I have lovingly pasted below.  It was titled "A Real Stinker" and only got one lonely star.

This book is so bad I couldn't force myself to read more than 26% of it. It opens with a sick drunk making a stinking mess of his whole house, and fails to get appreciable better as it proceeds. The verbal pictures, the bad language, the indiscernible plot are made even worse by the prolific use of words which I took to be mistakenly used in place of similar sounding words. There are so many of these that this might have been the author's attempt at humor. I didn't get far enough into the book to find out.

Though I am against all forms of censorship, it would have been better for this book never having been accepted for sale on Amazon.

While not my first bad review, by any means, this one has to be the most quotable, especially that last line.  I would hope that one day "Though I am against all forms of (blank), it would have been better for this (blank) never to have been (blank) can become the next Keep Calm and (Blank) meme.

Ah, one can dream.

Wait, y'all asked me a question back in like October or something.

Consults file folder.

Gives up on folder.

Stops pretending he has a folder.

So how has Egypt been thus far?

Well, I am glad you asked, you sexy minxes.  By and large, I have had some good times sprinkled with occasional great times.  The people are very friendly, minus the occasional violent uprising, and I have learned an appreciation both for handshaking and afternoon tea.  I also feel like my new job has changed me a bit. Whether this is good or bad, I am not sure, but the other day I found myself spending almost three minutes debating which tie clip would go most dashingly with my purple paisley admin tie.

This might not seem like such a big change for most of you, but this time last year I didn't even know how to tie a tie, much less be cognizant of the existence of the mythical creature known as the tie clip.  I am someone who, around this day in 2013, had his biggest fashion questions revolve around whether to wear the Morbid Angel shirt or the At The Gates shirt for the visit with the Mama Congos.

For the record, I almost always go with Morbid Angel.

But in true admin style, I digress.

Egypt has been an interesting experience for me.  The day after I arrived was when the latest round of violence and sharp pointy bit tossing happened, and that continued for much of my first month or so here. Not a very fun intro to the country, to be sure, but things have been settling down somewhat as of late.  Just the other day Egypt had their constitutional referendum and it was nice to see some smiling, happy faces in the news coverage for once.

I think the fact that none of the millions did the Dr. Evil pose will go down as one of Egypt's most tragic missed photo bomb opportunities.

One of the the things about "living through history" that people don't realize if they aren't actually there is that, for the most part, it can be pretty irritating on an actual day to day basis.  While years later the experiences gleaned can be used to pick up poetry majors in darkened bars along the dregs of the East Coast, actually being in the moment is oftentimes a less than attractive proposition, much like if Basic Instinct was remade with Nell Carter.

It mostly boils down to periods of calm (or tedious waiting, depending) followed by a few frantic minutes of running, hiding, or pointing at the other guy over there whilst running in the opposite direction.  While I am the first guy to admit that the special flavors of societal breakdown beer have their own, strange appeal, usually I prefer knowing, in a vague way at least, whether or not the society I woke up to will still exist at the end of the day.

Or, failing that, that the sniper assigned to my balcony will remember to bring me tea in the mornings (spoiler alert:  he was pretty good about that).

So some big changes, for sure.  Probably the biggest effect my move would have on you, patient readers, is that I no longer have access to the wonderful kiddos whose stories and conversations I would blatantly exploit to write some of my most well received columns.  For posterity's sake, here is one of my favorites. Hopefully I will be able to meet up with them again soon and come back with new stories about science, monsters, and Smurfs.

But as we look back, of course, we must also look forward.  So,what is on tap for the Rage Cage 2014? Well, for the first time in eight years as an overseas man of mystery, I will actually have some people visiting me this year, which I am stoked about.  Also, I will be hopefully making it out to Latvia this Spring, so you bastards out there, feel free to suggest places to stay, beers to drink, or sweet heavy metal clubs to rock out at.

Plus I got a sweater for Christmas, so all in all it should be a pretty swell year.

Recently I was taken to a nice watering hole that, while paling in comparison to the spot by the river and sweet, sweet Mamma G's, has its own special place in my heart.  Mostly for the view.

And the beer.

Stay frosty, planet Earth!  Hope your 2014 is starting off as kick-assedly as Daniel Bryan's (if you hate wrestling and have no soul, skip to 3:23 and see the greatest crowd response to anything I have ever witnessed) and that you have slain your 2013 demons with repeated kicks to the face and chest, just like he did: