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Frivolous Profundity

Friv-o-lous: trivial, unworthy of serious attention … Pro-fun-di-ty: wisdom that is profound, difficult to uncover

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This weekend I’m taking a mini-vacation to hug my inner geek at Gamex 2011, a gaming convention here in LA. Oddly enough, while the economy Travelodge down the street offers free Wi-Fi, the Sheraton where the convention actually is does not (though they’re happy to sell you ‘net access from your room for $12/day).

I’ll try to post some occasional updates on how the con is going from my phone – you can follow along through my Twitter page.

The Mook Cave

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A lot of folks have been curious about my new room here in L.A. so I’m posting some pics. It is perfectly cozy and sufficient for my needs, especially since I’m only in it while sleeping or on the computer. A bed and my PC are pretty much all I need, the rest of the time I’m in the house with the rest of the family.

Here’s a shot from the doorway looking in – computer and bed, with the closet on the left and a bookshelf to the right:

From Doorway

And here’s a shot taken from the bed, showing the bookshelf – chess books and computer chess game, theology books, and of course the GURPS 4th Edition line (including Low-Tech, which just arrived yesterday, woo!):

From Bed

This is the closet/cupboard and other bookshelf – a few books on writing, my shelf of “Books To Read”, and the games I brought with me for amusement (Talisman, Hero Quest, Munchkin, Once Upon a Time, Knightmare Chess, Zombie Dice, and many others):

Closet

Finally, here’s my closet – yep, those are all the clothes I own in the world, excepting a few pieces of cold weather gear I left in Tucson for when I return to New England:

Closet Open

Modest but extremely comfortable! I affectionately refer to it as my Cave, Nest, or sometimes Cell (in the “monk’s room” sense, not the “incarcerated” sense). A perfect little niche for me in the world.

Last night J and I went to a kind of “geek social gathering” at a nearby comics shop. These are my people, they are of my herd. We played a little Apples to Apples and chatted with a few folks, there were games of Magic: the Gathering and Rock Band going on too, mostly it was just an excuse to get out of the house for a while.

During one of the ‘whole group’ games the host of the evening, a pleasant fellow introduced to me as Dino went around the room reading off the answers that people wrote down as part of the game. At one point someone wrote down/made him say “Good news everyone!” I commented to the guy next to me, “That’s a really good Professor Putricide impression,” the good Professor being one of the end bosses from World of Warcraft’s Icecrown Citadel. The guy laughed and said, “It should be, that’s his voice in the game.” Most entertaining. 🙂

I also won one of the (many) raffle drawings, which allowed me to choose my prize from a shelf of assorted merchandise. As I made my way to the prizes I noticed the word “Buffy” in big letters on a book so I grabbed that without even looking at the other stuff. When I got back to my seat I actually looked at it, and Hooray! It’s the behind-the-scenes and script book for the Buffy episode “Once More With Feeling.” Nice.

My New Church

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve had a lot of trouble finding a church that I actually feel comfortable in since leaving Massachusetts. I’m very used to a certain style of architecture and a certain way of celebrating mass (that is, the liturgically correct way lol), imprinted on me as they were in my youth, and the places I’ve been to in my travels have been less than inspiring.

Which is why I was so happy to go to mass this morning and see my new church! First off, it is literally a 5-minute walk from the  house. I left here at 6:50 am and got there well before 7:00 for the 7:15 mass, and that’s walking at “Mook speed” (which is somewhere between “glacial speed” and “no speed”).

The outside of the building looks like a church to me – like there could be a disfigured hunchback living in the belfry.

Inside it is majestic, very “old school” and beautiful, just the kind of style I find peaceful and inviting.

I couldn’t be happier! This time coming home really felt like coming home. This morning’s liturgy was wonderful as well, orthodox and faith-filled. The celebrating priest was young and enthusiastic, his homily was insightful, and the community doesn’t do any of the many nit-picky things that drive me crazy (remember, I’m a curmudgeon!). I’m really looking forward to worshiping here over the next few months.

In theory, 2011 is going to be a big year for me dammit! 🙂

I’ve moved from Arizona where I continued to waste away to Los Angeles, which holds out hope of being a more nourishing place. Despite my frequent protestations and attempts to be an isolated curmudgeon I’m actually an incredibly social creature. Without being plugged in to real community I just wither away, so hopefully L.A. will give me a chance to really recharge and conquer.

It’s supposed to be a temporary move, a helpful staging area on the way back to good ol’ New England. The tentative plan is to be back in Massachusetts by sometime this summer – I miss my old stomping grounds, all the dear friends I have there, the ocean, the seasons, and I plan to reclaim a life there as soon as I’m able!

Resolutions for the New Year? Too many to count! The bottom line is – a year from now, when I look back from 2012, I hope to be happier, healthier, and more alive. Doesn’t seem too much to ask.

On a more mundane front, this site is kind of a mess and covered with cobwebs – I’d like to post more frequently and clean it up a bit, not because I think the hordes of the internet would even notice, but because it’s a simple way to stay creative and productive.

2011 will be my year, the year of triumphant return to the land of the living! Or it won’t, as so many previous years have failed to be. But as I write this I am hopeful and looking forward to the months ahead. It’s been many, many, many years since I was able to say that! So here’s to the coming year – may it bring us all gobs of good things.

As is annual tradition, here’s an Amazon wishlist for this year’s holidays.

Though I had originally planned to return from my visit to Los Angeles today, we decided to extend for another couple of weeks – so don’t plan on seeing me back in the desert until the 15th of December! 🙂

Having a fantastic time – so nice to be surrounded by friends. I am a very lucky man.

Backfire

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Words cannot describe how funny I found this video, even after multiple viewings and uncounted slow-mos. This, my friends … this is what the internet was made for.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cfeTZNcA3g[/youtube]

One Ugly Church

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At the risk of sounding shallow or overly critical – my church is ugly. I am fully aware that the physical architecture of the building has absolutely zero bearing on what takes place inside – but I have to admit, the number of small things I dislike about this church can be really distracting.

Let’s start with the exterior.

Church Exterior

Is this a Catholic church, or Spacely Space Sprockets? Blech. Can’t stand it. The interior is no better.

Church Interior

Wow, where to begin. First and foremost, there is no tabernacle anywhere near the altar. I’m sure everyone has noticed that most Catholics genuflect (that is, get down on one knee) before entering the pew to sit down – we do this as a sign of adoration and respect for Christ’s body, present in the tabernacle. In this church, though, the tabernacle is not up at the front, it is in the rear, in its own little ‘chapel’ room. Again, yuck.

The overall style is very southwestern, which is to say – drab and dreary. It also annoys me to no end that the crucifix isn’t even centered behind the altar, it’s stuck off to one side (though I admit – that may be more of an OCD thing :P). And speaking of the crucifix – yep, you guessed it, my absolutely least favorite style. I find it difficult to call to mind the sufferings of our Lord when it looks like He’s flying off to join the rest of the Superfriends (here’s a closer up shot of the style).

Crucifix

I will say this though – I’ve never, ever encountered more comfortable kneelers than the ones at this church! I’m not an old man just yet, but my knees are in pretty rough shape, and I find it extremely difficult (usually impossible in fact) to remain kneeling as long as the 70- and 80-year olds around me. This place has like Tempurpedic kneelers or something, though, they’re really great.

So why am I so grouchy about all this? Well, here’s a picture of the first church I ever attended as an adult.

IC Exterior

This is the interior of my second church (as it happens, about 2-3 miles from the first).

St. Joe's Interior

To me, those look like churches, and more importantly – they feel like churches. Majestic, almost gothic.

*sigh* I really miss New England.

Call Me Ishmook

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As happens so often, it’s been quite a while since last I posted, leaving TheMook.Net to languish in the ether. In my time away, though, I’ve enjoyed both a month-long vacation to Los Angeles, and a wonderfully refreshing return to my old New England stomping grounds. Much happened on both trips, all sorts of juicy realizations, foolish musings, and good old-fashioned fun; hopefully some of those thoughts will make their way here to the blog in the coming weeks and months.

One thing I will mention, that struck me when I was back in Massachusetts, is that – I adore the ocean. Apparently sea water runs through these veins of mine, because nothing touches me quite like seeing the ocean. For 33 years of my life I could smell the sea air every single day just walking out my front door, always had the ocean just a few miles away. I miss it.

I used to walk from my house to this lighthouse a lot when I was a younger man. Countless hours were spent there, late at night, thinking the oh-so-important thoughts of a high school teen. It always feels like home to me.

Seems like one of the few things that ever gets me to post is the death of someone I admired. Today’s turn of the wheel is Frank Frazetta, who, from early reports, appears to have passed away this morning at the age of 82.

Frazetta’s oil paintings were the very definition of fantasy to me growing up. We all made AD&D characters based on his works, used them as enemies to battle in our games, or princesses to be rescued. His paintings were pure awesome, there’s really not much more to say.

Most folks probably know Frazetta best for his Death Dealer series, but here are a couple of my other favorites. Rest in peace, good sir.

Princess of Mars

Princess of Mars

Alien Crucifixion

Alien Crucifixion

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