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Gradoop Gradoop!

Well, even when it comes to random installments, it seems I can’t get my butt over to the Oddball control panel to actually input anything! Well, no matter. I’m here now, so stop yer bitchin’.

What a week! I should have known something was amiss when I managed to completely eliminate the backlog of messages in my inbox on my first day back from vacation. It turns out that everyone was hiding the rest of the work from me, and waited until I got settled in to dump it on me. In the end I guess that was considerate of them, but it didn’t make this week any less crazy. I’ve even been bringing work home, something I don’t usually have to do. At least I’ve been lucky with my job in the sense that I can usually “leave work at work,” as it were, meaning that when I get home I’m free to occupy my brain completely with my wife, a computer game, or HOW REALLY STUPID the season premiere of Enterprise was.

Eh? Did I just unwittingly segue into a new topic? Seems I did. Clumsy me. Anyhoo, as long as I’m discussing it…Enterprise! God, the season premiere sure was a letdown. I mean, after all how absolutely great the last six episodes of season three were, and after all the dramatic (if not a bit hackneyed) build-up with the anonymous Alienazi at the end of the final episode, the payoff certainly wasn’t worth any of it. Perhaps the scariest thing is that last Friday’s episode was the work of a brand new writer, Manny Coto, who was hailed as being the cat’s meow compared to Berman and Braga, who have “taken a step back” from the show this season (likely because they realize it’s a sinking ship that UPN is not going to be courteous enough to renew for a fifth season).

Anyway, it’s ENT season four and also quite possibly “season last,” and so that puts us… checks watch …yep, right on schedule for the creators to start trotting out the guest star of the week! Just like every Trek series before it! VOY season four brought us Seven of Nine, and ENT season four brings us…Brent Spiner! That’s right…Data.

Well, no…not Data. Because that would be so impossibly stupid, your TV sets would explode. No, I guess Mr. Spiner will be playing some kind of ancestor of Dr. Noonian Soong, the guy who created Data in the TNG era. But for some reason, he looked all evil and shit on the teaser last week, almost like he thinks he’s playing Lore again. Well, it should be an interesting outing, I guess. If the ENT guys really wanted to spice up the ratings, they’d invite someone like William Shatner or Patrick Stewart. But I think the former is busy with his new cornball legal show about nothing, and the latter probably wants no more to do with Trek after how badly they screwed up the last movie he was in. So there you have it.

We had a “teambuilding event” today at work. Ohhhh boysies. I think I was busily shielding my house from the impending peril of oncoming hurricanes when the last “teambuilding event” happened, which is why I didn’t post anything about it, but yes, there has been another such event already. That one was a trip to the local bowling alley for a couple of games and a few heaping platters of chicken wings and fries. All-in-all, it was a good time, although the fact that I don’t use many of the inherent motor functions my body came equipped with rendered me quite sore for several days afterwards. However, today’s teambuilding event was beach volleyball, which isn’t exactly my cup of tea. Well, unless you’re talking about Kasumi or some other anime babe rollicking on a virtual beach on the Xbox; yeah, that I can dig.

I actually used to rather like volleyback back in gym class in the eighties, back when I was less cynical and didn’t think much about how other people would view my obviously talentless antics as I tried to put the ball over the net and not under it or into some poor sap’s face. I also don’t mind watching volleyball on TV, such as during the recent summer Olympics. Based on the lunchtime conversation I was engaged in with the software development team the other day, I can tell that our programmers also like volleyball, in their case because it gives them a chance to gaze upon a couple of our more large-breasted female employees “gradooping” around the beach in what is probably somewhat skimpy attire. Whatever. I also know at least one person who was only attending for the beer, so there’s that angle too.

I don’t know if I’m using the word “gradoop” correctly, but it sounds neat. I heard it in a China Dolls song. In fact, it’s the name of the song. Being a Thai word I didn’t understand, I thought it probably had some kind of deep, spiritual meaning, or at least was a really cool name you might give to your motorcycle, assuming you had one. My wife informed me, though, with a weird look on her face, that she thinks it’s a sound effect word for jumping up and down. Thai onomatopoeia. Like in English, we would say, “Boing Boing!” Heh. “Gradoop Gradoop!” Yeah, I’ll take that.

Weirdly, just this morning as I was preparing to go to work, I remembered that today was volleyball day, and that it would be a sheer slice of goofitude if somebody at the office started referring to themselves as Misty May or some other volleyball Olympian. So it wasn’t any surprise when I got to work and saw an email in my inbox from the V.P. of the directory department, who was asking if I could make her a cubicle nameplate reading “Misty May.” Heh. You got it, ma’am. And while we’re making my creepiest dreams come true here, how about that one where I stole some guy’s KITT replica? Can we do that one next? Or maybe the one where I’m getting on a plane to take a vacation and realize that I neglected to pack a single thing. Anyway, I decided to make another nameplate reading “Kerri Walsh” while I was at it. Hey, if you’re gonna do something, go all out.

Tomorrow’s Friday, and that’s hoedown day at the saloon! Of course, since there isn’t a saloon anywhere near here, I won’t be attending hoedown day. Instead, I’ll be attending the showing of Voyager. On the DVD player. In my living room. Yeeeaaaaah. Actually, this weekend should be pretty fun because my mom is coming to visit, so we’ll hang out for a bit, go out to eat and stuff. I suggested that we go down to the Japanese restaurant where my wife recently got a new job. It’s one of those places where they cook at your table. Pretty good stuff. Sorta like the chain of restaurants in Michigan that were formerly called Kyoto, I think, then they changed their name to Benny Haha or something I swear to God I can never remember, and couldn’t even when I was living there. Heh. All I know is, whenever I try to remember it, I hear “Wacky Sax” playing in my head, and I immediately want to stop.

I preordered Halo 2 last December, and now it looks like I’m finally going to get it, 11 months later. The release date is November 9th. But! There’s a problem. It seems “some jerk from manufacturing” decided to pocket one of the CDs as it came off the assembly line (well, not an assembly line per se, since you don’t…oh forget it), and now an ISO of Halo 2 is floating all over the Internet. Well, the newsgroups and IRC, at least. It’s also the French version, which really proves that the whole thing was a CONSPIRACY THEORY perpetrated by the French government to piss the hell out of the ‘Murricans. Eh, or something. Anyway, I’m just treading lightly, hoping I don’t accidentally run into any plot spoilers before I play the game myself. I’m quite into the Halo universe, having read the books and all that crap, so I don’t want it to be ruined.

Wow, it’s 11:00 already! Guess I’ll wrap this up now. Sayonara…