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John's Atari Laundromat

I like to write. When I talk to relatives, or friends with whom I have not recently spoken they usually ask me if I've been writing recently, as they seem to enjoy reading the things I write. I've recently gotten it in my head that I'd like to start getting creative again. I find myself getting wordy with some of the most inane descriptions and write-ups. For example, this morning I posted a link to a youtube video over at facebook and took over 100 words to explain why I liked Something About You by Level 42 as much as I do.

This means to me that it's time to start putting my mind and my keyboard to a more active and creative use. As I am unable to follow any such pursuit without the copious aid of machines, I have written a small web application this evening to facilitate some inspiration. Feel free to contribute, or maybe even subscribe. Click away. The title of this post was one of the first results that good sir Nicolas uncovered in the application's proof of concept phase.

6:00 PM, Jul 8, 2009

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IPA Doesn't Make Me Sick

I love beer. Along with central air conditioning, it's one of the reasons I work. It brings people together, and gives us something to do while we try to force conversation. If not for beer, I would have 42-67% fewer friends. The flavor is complex, and it's not easy to appreciate it at first. It took me years to actually start enjoying the flavor of beer.

I don't pretend to be some kind of expert on the matter, but I know what I like, and I know I like to find out as much as I can. This past Friday I held an impromptu gathering of the minds and mouths at my shabby little apartment to consume the remaining circa-2008 Pale Ale from our keg. The mission was accomplished in a very convenient period of time, and the assembled group of perhaps ten people moved on to eat and drink for money at the Stables on Walnut.

But we drained the keg to make room for the keg we'll be getting for the post-party at Splutschnik next week. So, with this in mind, many of the attendees had a mind to influence me as to what the contents of the next keg should be. Anna was enthusiastic about getting a keg of something white and wheaty, which made me knee-jerk a horrible face that I wasn't fully able to hide. My first choice for a keg is Single-Wide, with fond places in my heart for Two Hearted and 5-day IPA. I think these are outstanding summer beers, but Anna begged to differ.

She asserted that beers that lend themselves to infusions of citrus fruit are more along the lines of the summertime, and more adherent to its temperatures and pressures. I absolutely disagree. Besides the fact that whites and wheats give me a horrible headache, their flavor is actually pretty distasteful to me. I assume they must be for most people, as the normal way to serve them is with a piece of citrus fruit floating in it, completely masking whatever flavor it had before.

A dry, bitter, clean, crisp pale ale is absolutely perfect for summer, in my opinion. It's smooth, refreshing, delicious, and it gets out of the way. Wheats, whites, and other cloudy glutinous beers linger on your palate, and with rare exceptions, are absolutely disgusting when not served as cold as cold.

So, in the writing of this post, my mind is made up. The next keg will be Boulevard Single-Wide. I'll get on the horn with Gomer's tomorrow.

12:08 AM, Jul 13, 2009

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An Update of no Consequence

I've settled in at the office well enough to actually get work done when I'm here, mostly because of some guides I've found online about getting my new phone tethered, so I can enjoy EVDO speeds on my computer from anywhere I can get a Sprint signal.

This weekend I'm going on my first-ever float trip. In case you're not from Kansas City, a float trip is a weekend trip during which a group of friends pick a length of scenic mountainous river to canoe with the current, and consume several hundred can of beer between everyone. Previously, my only experience with canoeing in rivers was when I was the leader of the Flaming Arrow Patrol in Boy Scout Troop 28. I think that would be about 1990.

The beer-drinking sounds fine, though I don't see myself getting housed, as it will all be canned, shitty-style beer. We'll see though.

In the last four weeks I have made a surprising number of new friends. I suppose the recent breakup has left me in a more receptive state for such things. But however it's happened, I have a lot of nice, new people in my life to complement the great friends I already have.

I suppose I'll get something better written soon.

12:58 PM, Jul 29, 2009

1 comment »»
Lost Outlines

As time passed he lost the outlines of the buildings against the increasingly greying sky. He had the reference of the urban-orange backlight until the weather got thick enough to obscure even that. It was quiet- quiet enough that he could hear anything around him, or would, if the fresh snow didn't mute everything. All he could hear was the sound of his holed shoes mashing the half-inch of snow into messy footprints in the sidewalk.

He loved the sensory deprivation of the first snow of the advancing winter. He loved anything that dulled or eliminated the echoes of the city around him. This particular sidewalk was usually empty this much later than rush hour anyway, but he felt doubly solitary in the muted darkness, blinking through the falling flakes. He was the last person in the world.

Occasions like this afforded him undistracted opportunities to contemplate any of the countless thoughts that flitted to the fore of his mind. At the moment, his thoughts were on Lena. He didn't like thinking about her, as it filled him with miserable desire. Though he tried not to, he thought about how important she was to him, and how she appeared to be able to turn off whatever feelings she'd had and just walk away. It hurt him to think about Lena.

He tried to clear his mind, and took a left on his street. He had to cross to the far side because the city was demolishing an old building. Some would call it abandoned and dilapidated. He called it historic and significant. But that didn't matter. The large glass building across the street needed additional parking, and decided to turn the old building- it appeared to be a theatre or an opera house in happier times -into twenty-eight landscaped surface parking spaces.

He needed something to cheer him up. Just as he thought that, his phone vibrated with a text. It was Lena, asking him what he's up to. He didn't answer, but he was reminded that he'd like to go and do something. Something about this kind of evening and weather invigorated him. He sent a text to Mark, who lived nearby.

"Quick beer at barney's? I'm on the move."

A response came within a minute. "no can do. got a meeting at 7am and my boss is on to me."

He decided not to explore what the second part of the text meant, and just kept walking. The sidewalk became steep, and he lost his footing in the snow as he put his phone back in his pocket. His right foot slid left, sweeping his left foot out of action, and he came to an unpleasant impact against the sidewalk, his right elbow taking the brunt of the blow.

There was nobody to see him fall, but he was still embarrassed. His elbow was screaming, and painfully popped back into what he assumed was the proper position when he stood up and straightened his arm. The stickiness against his new shirt confirmed to him that he was bleeding. "Dammit," he said.

His invigorated hopes for an interesting evening dashed, he went home to dress his elbow and go to bed early.

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2:30 PM, Jul 30, 2009

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