I finally gave in and bought a couple of shows from TMBG’s online store. Choosing was difficult. I’ve been afraid to even start buying these at all, because once the seal is broken it’s hard to tell where I’ll stop. But since they don’t seem very keen on actually performing in North Carolina lately, I figure the money can come from the tickets I’m not getting a chance to buy.

Speaking of willpower, I flew through Peasant’s Quest yesterday. Now I kind of wish I’d dragged it out to last longer. But I ended the game with 14 points left to earn, so I’ll have to go back and find what I missed. Anyway, it made me wax nostalgic for Hero’s Quest.

Speaking of hero games (I’m on quite the segue roll today, aren’t I), City of Heroes refuses to play nicely with my graphics card. Curses! Must… justify… upgrade…!

haiku time

Know what today is?
Just in case you weren’t aware:
World Blog Haiku Day

Not doing that much
Just sitting, barely moving
Still sticky with sweat

They Might Be Giants
New album eight days away
They’ll pass too slowly

Next Maryland trip
May now be delayed one week
If colleagues consent

This week Laura takes
Step three of medical boards.
I don’t envy her.

Perfectionist’s fear
Growing moment by moment
Yet unjustified

Precision, balance,
Economy of language:
Haiku teaches these.

Item the number one: Yesterday we made stir fry of tempeh, cabbage, onions, and red peppers—although it’s probably not technically a stir fry because we made it outdoors on the grill (using a “grill wok“). It was laughably easy, and delicious. Fire good.

Item the next one: After spending two weeks dead, my sound card has mysteriously resurrected itself! *cue spooky music* Maybe it was the thunderstorm, although that seems more like a convenient sitcom plot twist than an explanation. Whatever the cause, I’m grateful to have music at my desk again.

Item the other one: I will definitely be going to the free outdoor TMBG show in Baltimore this Saturday. We’ll just see about this new drummer fellow. I hope the weather holds.

I just updated tmbg.net with (among other things) the details from last Wednesday’s instore appearance. I’ll have some photos up in a week or two.

After the performance, the Johns moved to a small table for the autographing. I ran into violentfemmebot and her friend, who had just arrived, and we got in line. For autographs, I had brought Then: The Earlier Years and McSweeney’s Issue 6, with a snazzy silver marker specifically so they could sign the navy blue endsheets of the McSweeney’s book.

After winding through the CD racks, I started trying to prime the marker. Being a complete idiot, I couldn’t figure out how to get it started. My frustration grew until it was finally my turn with the Johns. Flansburgh saw me struggling with my marker and said, “Don’t worry about it, man, we’ve got Sharpies.” He took my Then liner notes, and suggested that I get Linnell to sign my McSweeney’s at the same time. Linnell greeted me and asked me where he should sign. I indicated the navy blue endsheet with the lyrics printed on it, in a stupefied yet Quixotic attempt to cling to my great silver marker plan. Linnell hesitated, saying that he didn’t think it would be legible if he signed there, but I misunderstood him to mean that I wouldn’t be able to read the printed lyrics anymore, so I dismissed it and he signed there in green Sharpie. He was right, of course, it was very hard to see. Flans asked my name, leaned over and signed the McSweeney’s disc for me while Linnell signed the Then liner notes. It was all over pretty quickly. They were on to the next person before I even remembered to ask for a photo with them. Oh well, I looked kind of bad that day anyway. I left feeling like Ralphie sitting at the bottom of the Santa slide in A Christmas Story.

Within two minutes of getting home, I figured out the stupid marker. So I poured all available light onto Linnell’s autograph, and traced over it in silver. It looks damn awesome. Take that, Fate.