Topic: The Table

Welcome to the table. At this here table, we share stories. The etiquette is simple: anybody who wants to share a story, can. At any given time there are three prompts, and if you want to tell a story, you have to tell a story based on one of the three prompts.

Once you've used a prompt, it's out, and you replace it with a new one of your choosing. (Or replace the one you took, I guess.) The prompt can be specific or general, just make sure it's something you feel relatively sure someone will actually have a story about.

That's the thing, here. Stories. Not anecdotes. Reader beware; long posts contained within.

Let's do this.

1. When you were the most surprised you have ever been in your life, what were you surprised about?

2. What did you do wrong the day you felt the most physical pain you've ever experienced?

3. What is the least sexy sexy thing that has ever happened to you?

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: The Table

Teague wrote:

Welcome to the table. At this here table, we share stories. The etiquette is simple: anybody who wants to share a story, can. At any given time there are three prompts, and if you want to tell a story, you have to tell a story based on one of the three prompts.

Once you've used a prompt, it's out, and you replace it with a new one of your choosing. (Or replace the one you took, I guess.) The prompt can be specific or general, just make sure it's something you feel relatively sure someone will actually have a story about.

That's the thing, here. Stories. Not anecdotes. Reader beware; long posts contained within.

Let's do this.

1. When you were the most surprised you have ever been in your life, what were you surprised about?

2. What did you do wrong the day you felt the most physical pain you've ever experienced?

3. What is the least sexy sexy thing that has ever happened to you?

I'll bite.

The most surprised thing was on my 25th birthday party. My wife had arranged for me to have a friend do a manicure for me, since my daughter would be born soon and I wanted my hands soft. My wife, being very pregnant, left due to the fumes, or so she said. She then proceeded to gather about 20 of my close friends and family, got a cake and decorated our duplex in the span of an hour. When she picked me up, we headed home and my brother nearly killed me with a heart attack as he led the surprise welcome.

I've never had a surprise party before (or since) and while I may have been a little older than most to say that, I still was incredibly surprised by the work my wife did.

(will find pics later)

(Also, wish I had a sexy story, as those are the most fun, but I can't think of any sad )

New prompt:
Worse work related incident you experienced

God loves you!

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Re: The Table

I'll take this one:

" What did you do wrong the day you felt the most physical pain you've ever experienced?"

Technically the story starts when I was 16.  Unlike most, I was looking forward to braces.  Dr. Anil had assured me that I would only need 10 months  in braces, and if I responded well, I could have them off before senior portraits were taken.  "There's only one problem, Eddie."  A grandmaster at getting a dental X-Ray illuminated with one hand, Dr. Anil pointed directly at the cluster of teeth that looked like someone hit "rotate," in photoshop.  "These four wisdom teeth have got to go."

"Do they need to go before I get my braces on?" I asked.  With a familiar sigh that comes from having answered this question to numerous kids and their parents, "No, but this isn't something you want to waste time dealing with."

Fast forward 17 years.

It's the tuesday before Comic Con 2011.  I'm brushing my teeth when I feel something hard floating around my toothbrush.  Sure enough, a tiny piece of wisdom tooth has broken off.  This was one of four impacted wisdom teeth that had poked through my gum line, in formations that resembled the dinosaur statues at the La Brea Tar Pits.  Wisdom Tooth 1, as I would come to know it, was positioned at a 45 degree angle towards my back upper left molar.  Prying my cheek back, I see where the break occurred.  Scientists say that when human flesh is exposed to a blowtorch, the initial sensation actually feels ice cold to the touch.  The inverse is true of cold water against a freshly exposed nerve inside of a tooth.  Aside from the pain, I immediately panicked about how this might affect my trip to San Diego, because priorities, am I right?  That evening provided some ad hoc relief.  Namely, wine.  After three glasses of fairly cheap pinot grigio, the pain had all but gone.  The following day, a solid mix of prescription grade ibuprofen and not touching the tooth with any type of matter seemed to keep the pain at bay.  The Thursday morning of Comic Con, I got up at 4:00 am to make the train.  Immediately, I knew that my cocktail of meds was not a sustainable solution.  Yet I pushed on, trying to enjoy the vista of Solana Beach in the morning as the train chugged towards my destination.  I arrived, got my badge, and hit the show floor.  I had several individual packs of Motrin, and they couldn't go down quick enough.  The pain clearly started on one tooth, but the sensation was similar to a single fire igniting several other fires nearby.  The result was a state of chronic pain that led me to believe that relief would come only if nine of my teeth were removed immediately.  I've broken bones, dislocated toes, had abdominal surgery, and nothing felt like this.  Beyond pain, it was a steady panic that there was nothing I could do about this pain.  At one point it felt like there was actually something stuck between the mean old wisdom tooth, and the nice, well behaved molar that had clearly fallen in with a bad crowd.  I remembered my grandfather used to floss his teeth with the clear plastic wrapper that his cigarettes used to come packaged in (can I get a what-what, Arkansas?) so I took one of the individual motrin packs and tried something similar on the tiny border around my wisdom tooth. 

This was my first mistake.  The pain went from bad, to geneva convention violation.  Within four minutes I was googling "San Diego+dentist+gaslamp+oral surgery+oh my god send help."  A quick taxi ride later took me to a rather lovely suburb that I would love to visit again, only when my skull wasn't on fire, and I wasn't involuntarily in tears.  I collected myself enough to squeak out, "wisdom tooth broke, please help" because by this point talking was next to impossible.  They said that they could see me, but there was a wait because I had no appointment.  I said that was fine, but was there anyway they could, I dunno....numb me, or knock me out, or place me in a medically induced coma while I wait?  They could, but there would still be a wait.  Meanwhile I should sit in one of their, admittedly, comfy chairs in the waiting room and try to distract myself with some tv.   Now showing, was "Just Go With It," starring Jennifer Anniston and Adam Sandler. 

I waited outside, googling deities that I could pray to. 

Finally seated, the first question they had was, "Have you eaten popcorn recently?  Because, y'know kernels sometimes get stuck there and-"

"MY FUCKING TOOTH BROKE!!!!!!"

The novocaine needle seemed to be accompanied "Halcyon+on+on," by Orbital.  They gave me some painkillers, a specialty mouthwash, and they did a deep clean of the area, and gave me another shot to numb me.  I would be mostly fine for the rest of con, and could schedule an appointment when I got back to LA to have it removed.

The following Monday at work, a quarter of the tooth broke off.  Also, it was one of those days I decided to take the train into the office that day because THE ENVIRONMENT, you guys.  Stuck with no car, I walked to the closest Dentist near my office in Hollywood, clearly a pro at this sort of thing now.  "Look," I explained to the dentist like a guy on his third tour to the soldier fresh out of boot camp, "This happened last week, so just do the thing with the needle and the deep clean I'll go tomorrow to get it pulled."  Except the thing with the needle wouldn't work this time.  My exposed nerve endings had learned the Contra Code, and any shot would last maybe 2 hours at best.  Well, shit.

I came back to my office, WHERE I HAD A DEADLINE THAT EVENING, and explained that I would be gone for about 90 minutes, but I would finish tonight.  I found an oral surgeon somewhere in Mid Wilshire and at 4:45, this little demon in my skull and I were going to have our final showdown.  The cab ride was when I first noticed that my lunch time novocaine shot was starting to wear off.  After a hilarious set of interactions with the receptionist I was in the chair.  "Okay, so let's get you gassed.."  my new best friend said.  "No."  I heard someone who sounded a lot like me but no way could possibly be me, say.  "I have to go back to work after this, so just do local."

It was almost a work of art, how a single, confused blink could communicate so many different thoughts.  Like an old, late night commercial for a shitty compilation album, I imagined how the blink the dentist gave me scrolled all of his thoughts to the right of him.  "Is this guy fucking kidding me?"  "Maybe he's a Sado-masochist and gets off on this?"  "Is he uninsured and needs his wits about him when he tries to ditch the bill?"  "Does Apotemnophilia extend to teeth?   This could be an awesome peer-reviewed study." (This track was highlighted in Yellow, as it was the track currently playing."

"Um...ok.  I should warn you.....you're going to hear things."  Holy shit, this guy should write script punch ups for horror films, I thought, as the all too familiar needle pierced my gum line. 

For the record, I did, in fact, hear things.  I felt no pain, but did feel immense pressure. When he commented about how the roots were splayed in different directions, and after sawing two of them off, he had to stand on a stool to get the proper leverage to pry the wisdom tooth out.  After stitching and packing, the ordeal was over.  I looked down at the tray, and much like the debrief on Apollo 13, the story became clear.  At some point a piece of food had become wedged on the backside of the tooth, in an area that was impossible to reach with a tooth brush.  Over time, it burrowed a hole into the tooth, weakening it from one side.  After the first break from the tooth brush, it was just going to crumble piece by piece until it all fell out.  My way was better.  I cabbed it back to the office, and as the other editors were packing it up for a day, they all noticed my engorged face.  For the record, while there is no worse pain than exposed tooth nerve pain, there is NO greater joy than when it's over.  At that moment, I felt like a champion.  I passed by my Post Supervisor's office, where he was likely about to scream in shock at the sight of my asymmetrical face, before I cut him off with a thumbs up and a muffled "GERD TER GER."  I finished my cut at midnight, and had the best sleep of my entire life.

Prompts remaining:

What is the least sexy sexy thing that has ever happened to you?

Worst work related incident you experienced?

What led to the best sleep you've ever gotten? (new)

Last edited by Eddie (2013-08-13 18:04:45)

Eddie Doty

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Re: The Table

clap

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: The Table

What led to the best sleep I've ever gotten?

Alright, so I've told this story in one form before, but it's worth telling again.

So the setting, Vancouver, BDA is about halfway through his first year at film school, young, nieve and still filled with dreams and passion. The large project for this term (2 months) is an (exactly) 13 shot horror film no longer than 3 minutes. Simple enough. You would think.

My teams plan? Fully greenscreen, digital environment, sci-fi. 5 guys. A month and a half. Yeah, it's exactly as fucking insane as it sounds. So we began planning before the term break, the group was initially kinda nebulous and uncoordinated, the guy who had originally had piped up and suggested the idea had pretty fallen into a state of near comatose disinterest (this would be a recurring theme). So as is my nature I stood up and tried to get some kind of direction going. I volunteered to write the script over the break, and the other guys would do some basic groundwork for thier areas. (Basically we had me, writing/directing/3D work, 2 compositors, another 3D guy and a sound guy). So flash-forward a week. I have the script done and we are reconvening to begin the actual project.

It goes...well enough. We get an actor for our main antagonist (Who is way more awesome than we could have used him for unfortunately), and a kickass makeup artist to make him up, but we were still lacking a protaganist. And us all being fresh, pretty much clueless and inexperienced, we began to panic as the days counted down and we still couldn't find anyone. Eventually our sound guy landed on a friend of his who could do the part. He wasn't amazing, and if I could do it all over I would have probably held out for someone else, but we took him, relieved to have SOMEONE. We scheduled the shoot date, and got things organized.

Now, while all this is going on, me and the other 3D guy are working our ASSES off getting the 3D elements built and ready to be animated and rendered when we get the footage to line it up. Also, while this was going the 2 comp guys were working on getting elements ready that we knew we would need mostly a lot of holographic displays and screens etc... well one of the comp guys was working on that, the other one (remember our friend? The comatose disinterested? The CD, Yeah...) said he was working on it, but we'll come back to that.

So shoot day arrives, I've been working my ass off getting things organized and ready, and the other guys have been chipping in where ever they can. But it's here and all we have left to do is shoot it. So, to put things in context for you, the room we are shooting in is about 30ft by 15 ft, with the greenscreen permanently installed at one of the thin ends. Needless to say not ideal for having large shots with lots of character movement. As well, our friend the CD, pipes up and says he wants to run cam-op, spouting off some long string of past experience and how he's an absolute pro etc etc (We would soon come to realize most of this was complete and utter BS), so alright, we let him do it.

We somehow work around the green screen issues, we make it work, our lead actor not exactly getting it, the make up taking about twice as long as I was expecting...etc etc, nothing horribly overwhelming for a typical set. So we get everything we need, call it a wrap and pack up. At this point, I was stressed, but not overwhelmed.

Then, the next day happened. I come to school, still somewhat riding the high of the shoot, and meet up with the guys to take a look at the footage. But then, I see thier faces, and I know something is desperately desperately wrong. I sit down, and they turn on the video. It's one of the most grainy, distorted pieces of crap I had ever seen, and have seen since. Our master cam-op had turned the gain on the camera up to the highest possible setting (if you are experienced with miniDV cams you know what this means, if you don't, imagine viewing a show through a badly tuned rabbit ear TV setup and you'll get an idea). My heart fucking falls through my stomach, all of the footage was essentially useless. Now. At this point in our story we are about 4 weeks into our 6ish weeks to work. A reshoot is absolutely out of the schedule, we had to get the 3D pumped out NOW if we wanted any chance of having it finished.

So, we said fuck it and dived in. Me and the other 3D guy dove in headfirst and starting cranking out renders as fast as we could. I gave the 2 compers the list of shit we needed and they dove in too... well kinda.

Alright, so here's the thing, our friend the CD, was...well... to put it bluntly a dick. He would proclaim these great and profound ideas, stating he knew how to do it no problem, it would be done in 5 minutes. And it would never show up again. This entire film was his idea, but at the first sign of actual work, I had to take the reigns and actually put it in gear. So basically spent 5 weeks asking him if he was working, asking to see something, and getting the royal runaround, under assurances that he was and it looked amazing. I'm just saying this so that you can get a full and complete understanding of all my sources of stress in this project.

So we start sending out final plates to the comp guys, and to the sound guy so he can start comping and mixing. And low and behold our friend the CD actually had done dick-all for the last 5 weeks. To say I was pissed off would be an understatement, but I couldn't unleash it at him because A) I was young (I was 18 at this point, and he was late 20-something, a big difference back then) B) Inexperienced at actually confronting anyone like that and C) Way to fucking busy for that shit. So I threw the plates at him and basically "get it done" in the most threatening manner I could attempt (Which probably included a voice crack... self confidence was never one of my strong suits), and got back to my work. Now, luckily I'll say this the other Comp guy was AMAZING, and is actually a really freaking intesely good graphic designer now, so he saved our ass on this one.

So we are now about 2 weeks away from our deadline and screening. Our compers tried their best to try to salvage the footage and make it at least semi-compable, which unfortunately included a lot of roto. A fact of which our friend the CD never let an hour go by without bitching about, and informing us how truly difficult it was, but that he would do it for the team. To which I promptly rolled my eyes, and made eye contact with the other comper (Who was doing equally as much roto) and shared in the mutual joke that was this guy. (Our friend the CD was also responsible for creating the door holographic panel, which he had spent 5 weeks assuring me would be awesome, but then never actually bothered to make)

Flashforward another week. One week to deadline, every single one of us is spending evenings, lunches, free periods, everything, working on this project. We were still a long way off, but I could at least start to see it coalescing and it was working...ish.

Now I need to just interject a small thing here. At this time I was living about an hour skytrain ride away from the school (aka, way the hell out there), the vancouver skytrain stops running at around 1 in the morning. So baically what that means is that, if I was at the school any later than midnightish, I was there ALL night.

It started sunday, and moved into monday, and moved into tuesday. I honestly can't remember much from this week, I know that I didn't...couldn't...sleep. I knew that I pretty much alternated nights working at the school, attending class the next day (Oh yeah, we still had full class load during all this btw), going home, being unable to sleep due to stress and body's inate ability to hate me (Actually, as would later reveal itself fully, I was dealing with a lot of mental issues during these years, depression namely, among similar things which was probably a key factor in why this week played out the way it did). So essentially, it boiled down to a solid week of pure work, me not sleeping for any of it (Maybe at best a not at all restful 10 minutes of head meet desk every 6 hours or so).

So finally we meet thursday night, well as much as 6 in the morning on Friday can be considered thursday night, and we are exporting our final film, due and shown at 9am. First render fails, 7am, second render has no sound, 8am, third renders good. burn to DVD, and literally RUN into class about 1 minute under the buzzer DVD in hand prayin to the gods of old and new that the DVD didn't fragment into shards or something. DVD meets teachers desk, a collapse into a chair at the back of the room, and from what thy told me they showed the movie and everyone was very impressed. I was in such a fog I don't remember any of it. The next thing I do remember is me sitting on the skytrain about halfway home, when I noticed a tree. I don't know why, it's one of those things when you are so incredibly over tired that you have almost zero cognitive ability or logical thinking, but I just saw it, and the sun hitting it, and somehow knew it was over. Not in the way that the stress was gone, that always sticks around for a long time, but some part of me knew it was over. 45 minutes later, I had completed the walk home and met my bed.

Now here's the thing, like I said before I was dealing with a lot mental stuff in my time in Van, still am tbh, one of those things has always been insomnia and just a generally inability to sleep. It's not so much the actual sleeping part that's the problem, it's the falling alseep part, the actual transition from awakeness to sleep that has alluded me.

I didn't have that problem that day. From what I recall I slept for nearly 24 hours straight, but again, almost that whole week exists in a fog. And that is the best nights sleep I ever had.

If you would like to take a look at this thing that nearly killed me... taaadaaaa!!!

PS. this doesn't actually have any bearing on that story, but a long while after the movie was done and finished, I rewatched Iron Man, and the holographic panel that our dear friend the CD had boasted and proclaimed about designing and being so amazing, was ripped directly and wholey from the doorway into Tony's home garage. So, yep, I have some very paticulars about that individual that were never dissuaded from me in the next year and half I had to be in the same class as him.

Last edited by BigDamnArtist (2013-08-14 01:13:27)

My movies: ZangrethorDigital.ca
Let's plays: youtube.com/bigdamnartist
Other movie thing I do: youtube.com/BullskitComedy

Re: The Table

Not the worst thing to happen at work but possibly The least sexy. My actual least sexy story started with some pretty sexy sex but ended with blood and a terrible 'pop' sound.

I work in a cinema which is cool cos I get to watch blu-rays after we close up. Some days however are worse than others. Back when we had projectionists we had someone to keep an eye of what was happening in the auditoriums between checks.

it came down the radio that it looked like there was some funny business in screen 6 and would I put a stop to it.

I was then phoned by the duty manager who made it very clear that I couldn't do anything sensible like saying "Excuse me, would you be so kind as to stop giving that blow job?" or "Fellatio cease!" Or in fact mention the sex act at all. I was to simply walk in and make my presence known and well... hope for the best?

Luckily they had left before I got up there. The next time this happened however was at 10pm one night just before the last film started. The couple in question had assumed just because they were the only ones in the room 10 minutes before the scheduled start time that no one else would buy a ticket.

This time however things were in fall swing and a group of us went up and made sure we stuck to the aforementioned rules. By standing just outside and giggling.

twice as effective.

Prompt - what is the weirdest booze you've ever drank?

Extended Edition - 134 Blade Runner 2049
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Re: The Table

Current prompts:

Worst work related incident you experienced?
Tell me the story of how you came to whatever faith/belief system/non belief system you hold.
What is the weirdest booze you've ever drank?

Last edited by BigDamnArtist (2013-08-14 01:14:47)

My movies: ZangrethorDigital.ca
Let's plays: youtube.com/bigdamnartist
Other movie thing I do: youtube.com/BullskitComedy

Re: The Table

Well, I'll take a shot at the belief/nonbelief system one (specifically nonbelief for me). WAYDM actually factored into this choice of beliefs, for me.

I was born and raised in a very Christian household, and was saved at the age of seven. I was homeschooled from kindergarten through my sophomore year of high school, and all of my friends went to my church, so I was a very sheltered child. The only way I came into contact with atheistic/evolutionary points of view was in the context of a Christian's counterargument to such points of view. I remember obsessively listening to radio plays that were basically propaganda for creationist science, and devouring books by Billy Graham and Chuck Swindoll that were in my parents' library. As I became a teenager, I became intensely interested in apologetics and defending my faith logically. I really liked the pastoral staff at my church, liked my friends, and firmly believed that all of what we talked about in church was true. I loved knowing that God was there all the time, and that I could talk to Him whenever I wanted.

I have always been a voracious reader, and as I grew older my tastes matured with me. Star Wars was what began my journey through adult science fiction and fantasy literature, and it was with those books, I think, that my innocence began to experience some cracks. I knew that my parents would not be at all okay with a lot of the stuff I was reading—the language, the sex, the graphic violence—and that they would be considered immoral by many of my friends, but I read anyway. Mostly, my parents never bothered to examine what I read. When I got into rock music through Green Day, however, it was a different story. They read the lyrics to the album American Idiot and were horrified by the language and drug references, and made me delete the band's entire catalogue from my computer. They didn't seem to understand that the music did not inspire me to take drugs or act immorally myself—it was that the album's story connected to me on an intensely personal level. This is the first time I can remember that I fought them on something I felt they were seriously wrong about. When I lost, I downloaded the band's music again and kept it secret. Still do four years later.

When I discovered [Redacted], about a year after it started, I knew my parents would object to my listening if they were to listen to it—profanity, sexual jokes, etc. But I loved the show, and it was teaching me more useful things about writing and moviemaking than I had ever known, so I listened in silence. There was one thing about it that did bother me, though, and it was the occasional slights they made against God. To me, Brian's comment that "we made God in our image" seemed the height of arrogance, and I hated the part of the Raiders commentary where Dorkman presented facts about Old Testament history and Jewish polytheism that I wasn't prepared to hear. Despite my freethinking attitude when it came to entertainment, I was still thoroughly a believer, and hated the twinges of doubt that these moments would cause in me.

Late last year, I had hit a low point in my spiritual enthusiasm. For my junior and senior years of high school, I had gone to a Baptist private school whose staff were shockingly ignorant and intolerant (homosexuals are evil, rock music should be [and was] burned, any Bible other than the King James version is of Satan, sci-fi and fantasy are of the devil, etc.). I did not do well there; academically, I was at the top of my class, but socially I didn't have many friends, and I was in trouble several times because I unwisely attempted to debate the school's ignorant views. This was a side of my religion I had not seen before, and it made me nervous. I no longer felt as if God were there and listening to me—praying was like talking to a brick wall. In addition, typical teenage sexuality was making me feel unbearably guilty, even though it nagged me that there was really no good reason as to why masturbation was wrong, etc. I felt as though it had to be a problem with me—that my faith wasn't strong enough.

Then, one day on YouTube, I stumbled upon a video by accident—an assortment of video clips of the late Christopher Hitchens expressing his view on religion. It was roughly the spiritual equivalent of being hit by a freight train. I had heard bits and pieces of Hitchen's style of arguments before, but always in a setting in which they were then "refuted" by apologetics. Hearing Hitchens speak was an utterly different experience than reading strawman arguments. His bold, confrontational, angry style did not allow me to simply brush the questions aside, and they were numerous: how can God be moral and order the rape of women and death of children? Why should we follow an eternal dictator who we did not appoint? Why should we all be born sinful? And on and on. I did my best to answer these questions to myself, and could not. I begged God to show me some sign that He was there and He was good, and received none. I even went so far as to stage an intervention with my youth group, but their best argument was, "Well, you have to have faith." That wasn't good enough.

By May of this year, I was an antitheist in all but name, but I couldn't bring myself to say so. I knew that many of my friends would be horrified and saddened, and some of my relatives might even cut off contact with me. Also, I still felt a sense of guilt, as if I was being a bad person for acknowledging that God was really a nasty sort of person. I was sick with guilt and worry, and didn't know what to do.

And then [Redacted] came in again, this time to save me.

The Friends in Your Head thing has always been literally that for me. I don't make friends very easily, and my new school had not helped at all in that regard. But whenever I was feeling lonely or needed a laugh or some intellectual "conversation", the guys were there for me. I could listen and relisten to episodes, on the bus or late at night or in the car, and laugh again at old jokes, or learn something new. They really were my friends, and got me through a lot of hard times. Listening to them had been a huge source of comfort to me throughout the months of my trials in faith.

And then, one night, I was reading Dorkman's old blog entries. I mean *old* old, from four or five years back. I discovered an incredible number of posts about the issue of atheism and Christianity, and reading them helped me further understand why I was doubting so much. Dorkman came at it logically as well as morally, which helped me in understanding that God wasn't just a bad idea, he was just an idea. He doesn't exist. The most important entry I read, though, was his account of his own deconversion. As I read it, it finally clicked for me: leaving the faith does not make you a bad person. Choosing to ignore something you don't believe in rather than lying to yourself is the only morally responsible choice to make. Here is a man who has made me laugh, has inspired me, has taught me, who is in that bizarre Internet way a friend to me, even though I've never spoken to him directly. He is a good man—as are Teague, Brian, Trey, Eddie and all the rest—and not in spite of his lack of faith. And at that moment, I said to myself. I am an atheist.

It was the most liberating feeling I've ever had.

Apart from a few close friends, who are also atheistic (fellow saber fencers all), I have not told anyone I know of my deconversion. I'm going to a Christian college in the fall, because my dad's financial situation is precarious right now and I can't switch colleges when he's in that position. But as soon as he's recovered, I am going to tell my family and then my friends and church that I am no longer a believer. I have no doubt it will be hard, and change some of my relationships forever. But the friends in my head will always be there to help me through it.

Current prompts:
Worst work related incident?
Weirdest booze?
One fictional work that has most changed your life?

Last edited by DarthPraxus (2013-08-14 03:51:46)

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Re: The Table

Praying for you, Praxus (not sarcasm).

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Re: The Table

Sam F wrote:

Praying for you, Praxus (not sarcasm).

Much appreciated, thank you.  smile

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Re: The Table

Eddie wrote:

I'll take this one:

" What did you do wrong the day you felt the most physical pain you've ever experienced?"

Technically the story starts when I was 16.  Unlike most, I was looking forward to braces.  Dr. Anil had assured me that I would only need 10 months  in braces, and if I responded well, I could have them off before senior portraits were taken.  "There's only one problem, Eddie."  A grandmaster at getting a dental X-Ray illuminated with one hand, Dr. Anil pointed directly at the cluster of teeth that looked like someone hit "rotate," in photoshop.  "These four wisdom teeth have got to go."

"Do they need to go before I get my braces on?" I asked.  With a familiar sigh that comes from having answered this question to numerous kids and their parents, "No, but this isn't something you want to waste time dealing with."

Fast forward 17 years.

Wow, Eddie, just...wow

I hate laughing at your misfortune but I did laugh...a lot.

God loves you!

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Re: The Table

Darth Praxus wrote:

One fictional work that has most changed your life?

Well, one could argue the Bible, but I'll not quibble nor preach wink

Actually, "Starship Troopers" was probably the piece of fiction that influenced me the most. I credit my dad for giving me a love of science fiction, but my uncle fanned the flames with books like "Tunnel in the Sky" and "Space Cadet" by Robert Heinlein, and "Dune" by Frank Herbert. I spend many times at the library, looking for more books by Heinlein, Herbert and the like, taking in the stories with eagerness, often staying up until 1 to finish the book.

I don't remember how I got "Starship Troopers." I think I picked it up at a book store with birthday money or something like that.

Few books have informed my world view like this one. While I don't 100% agree with all the ideas that Heinlein wrote about, the ideas of responsibility, earning your right to vote and the virtue of service and corporal punishment.

As I got older, I read more on Heinlein, as well as the ideas he postulated. Again, my world view has matured, but the ideas presented of responsibility and service have stuck with me.

Also, I also want to write military fiction and have written smaller bits influenced by and inspired by "Starship Troopers." Again, this book inspired me to want to WRITE military science fiction and led to me discovering various other authors and books in the same genre.

I'll leave this prompt up since it is a great one smile

God loves you!

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Re: The Table

Many thanks to everybody who's contributed so far.  The stories are by turns interesting, funny and moving, and all very well-written.  I'm afraid I don't really have anything to contribute with respect to the current prompts.  However, I hope, without doing too much violence to the spirit of the concept, that I might be allowed to propose my own prompt, reply to it, and leave it for somebody else to take shot at:


What's the most ironic thing that's ever happened to you? 


To answer this, we need to set the Wayback Machine to junior year in college, where I'd just started rooming with a group of guys I'd met the previous year through a friend.  One of my roommates, Mark (names changed to protect the innocent of course), was really into Model United Nations, especially the conference that was put on every year for high school students.  His role that year was Director of the Security Council, so he'd been working all summer on issues for the kids to work on and debate, background briefings, etc.

Because I'd been a bit of a politics geek myself in high school, he'd roped me into participating in the conference as well and I'd agreed to give him a hand with one of the traditional Security Council events: the Crisis.  In addition to the other issues they'd be working on over the weekend, roleplaying their various national positions, the students on Saturday night would be woken up at 2AM and told that there was some urgent critical event that required an immediate convening of the Security Council.  They would then have a big debate, pass some kind of resolution, and head back to sleep in the morning.  My job was to be the main expert on whatever it was (Soviet military intelligence or something, as I recall), who they would consult about how the situation was evolving, get advice on what they might do, etc. 

In that incestuous way that virtually any large student organization works (orchestra/band, radio station, etc.), Mark had starting dating Sarah, his Deputy Director.  It was her job to brief me before we got the students up about what my role was, the information I had, how they thought things might play out, etc.  I knew her a little (they hadn't been going out for all that long), but this was really the first time I'd hung out with her for any length of time.  We talked for probably an hour and a half or so about exactly what she and Mark needed me to do, interspersed with the usual getting-to-know-you stuff, and then the students were summoned and we all went to work.  The whole thing was good fun and went very well.  But by the end of the session, as the morning light started gradually filtering in and the students staggered off to bed, I realized that I was absolutely, positively, 100%, head-over-heels in love with Sarah. 

I already knew, in a kind of abstract, detached way, that I found her really attractive.  (Think Jewel Staite when she was in Firefly.  Just heart-stoppingly cute, if that kind of thing floats your boat.  She even looks a bit like Sarah actually.)  Then I got to know her, and found out that she was amazingly smart, funny, did not suffer fools and had a slight geeky streak (a mutual interest in Star Trek and old 70's Genesis albums).  At the same time though, she was also a little bit insecure and maybe even a little sad.  Basically, she pushed every, single one of my buttons, all at the same time.  So it's no wonder really. 

Fast-forward to about 18 months later, toward the end of senior year.  I was still living with Mark and the guys, and Mark and Sarah were still together.  Not surprisingly I guess, Sarah and I had become really close friends, and that had been really great.  But it had also been a living hell, because I was still utterly and completely in love with her.  But I'd worked, very hard sometimes, to never ever let on how I really felt.  I told myself it was loyalty and pragmatics -- my roommate, a very good friend, and his girlfriend, also a very good friend.  How is trying to interpose myself into their relationship possibly going to end well?  And it wasn't too long before I was probably permanently in the "Friend" box anyway.  But the truth of it was that it was always just a lack of confidence and fear of rejection.

Now I say that Mark and Sarah were still together, but their relationship by this point was getting a little rocky.  Mark, for all of his good qualities, was absolutely incapable of admitting that he was wrong about anything, once he'd committed himself to a position.  And Sarah was one of those people who had trouble letting stuff just slide.  She actually told me once that she genuinely felt the weight of the millions of women over millions of years who had no choice but to just let it go when men were talking out of their ass.  And if there was one thing on God's Earth that Sarah hated, it was being patronized.  So they'd been having bigger and more frequent fights.  I of course (without voicing my opinion) blamed Mark for basically all of it and felt that he didn't really appreciate what he had with Sarah. 

With all that going on in the background, it's a Saturday night in May, and Mark and Sarah have had another one of their entirely stupid and avoidable fights.  (Honest to God, I think this one started over the nature of agriculture subsidies during the Eisenhower administration.) They'd planned to go see a play that they already had tickets for, but now Mark was in a huff and said he didn't want to go see the play.  He was gonna go see this movie instead.  Sarah was telling me all this, and I knew she really wanted go see the play, and that she didn't want to go by herself, so of course I said "listen, I'll go with you".  What was the play?  Cyrano de Bergerac.

Every...single...moment of that play was like being stabbed through the heart over, and over, and over.  I'm sitting there next to the woman I love with every fiber of my being, and who has no idea whatsoever how I feel, and I'm watching a beautiful and incredibly moving play about a renowned soldier and romantic poet who uses his words to help a friend woo the woman that in reality he loves, because he feels that his extremely large nose makes him so ugly that no woman could ever possibly love him. 

SPOILER Show
And unlike the bastardized Hollywood movie starring Steve Martin, may everyone associated with that production burn in hell forever, it does not have a happy ending.

Literally the only way I could keep from having a complete psychotic break was to embrace and savor the unbelievable irony.  And of course, appropriately enough, not a soul in the world, least of all Sarah, had any idea that this was happening.  It was an entirely private joke between me and The Universe.

So, that's the most ironic thing that's ever happened to me: I went to see Cyrano de Bergerac with someone who I was utterly in love with, but who I couldn't tell how I felt, and who was actually involved with a good friend, who I didn't think was worthy of her.  And my God it was painful.



Now having said all that, my little tribute to the suffering of my younger self, and to a girl who I loved very much, I do feel obligated to provide the over-the-closing-credits postscript.  Mark and Sarah broke up by mutual consent about 5 minutes after graduation, but Sarah immediately went off to teach English in Eastern Europe for two years.  By the time she got back, she had a boyfriend from the Czech Republic.  They're still together, now something like 20 years later, and he's a really nice guy, so it was obviously the right thing, but I was still crushed at the time.  For my part, it took me a long, long time to get over Sarah.  In the end though, although I had to leave the country to do it, I did find another unbelievably wonderful woman of my dreams who by some miracle I managed to fool into loving me.  She is simply the greatest thing that could have ever possibly happened to me, and the 16 years we've been together have been better than I ever could have hoped for or imagined. 

So I guess that's ultimately the message, one that I wish I could send back in time: it does eventually work out.  However bad things get, if you can just hang on, you will eventually get to a better place.  Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, and maybe not even soon, but eventually.


Current prompts:
Worst work related incident?
Weirdest booze?
One fictional work that has most changed your life?
Most ironic thing that's ever happened to you?

Last edited by sellew (2013-08-22 20:47:44)

For the next hour, everything in this post is strictly based on the available facts.

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Re: The Table

^^
This needs to be a movie now. I seriously almost cried because I have had similar situations (no ironic play though-unless you count watching Moulin Rouge...no, that doesn't really count).

Yes, yes, I know, several movies have the whole "love but can't have" theme, not the least of which was "Anna and the King" that I just watched. Just, the ironic twist at the end makes it so much more palpable.

Anyway, thanks for sharing smile

God loves you!

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Re: The Table

clap

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: The Table

Bump for funsies.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: The Table

Ah, I'll have to keep this in mind. I have answers for some previous prompts (faith: "My very religious girlfriend wanted to help me explore my faith and go from casual believer to active believer and I ended up discovering I was atheist instead") but will have to think about the current ones.

Alright, here goes. What fictional work has most changed your life?

I'll probably say Star Wars. Big shocker. I grew up with the Original Trilogy and reading the Expanded Universe, begged my parents to go see the Special Editions in theaters (well, begged is strong, I wanted and they easily said yes, Dad being the one who got me into it and all), and I looked forward to and truly enjoyed the prequels. To summarize the path my life took after Attack of the Clones came out:

2002: We started coming up with lightsaber choreography. We pondered making a movie out of it. I discovered fanfilms. And that... normal people could do this.

2003: I participated in the local FanForce group, and met people in other groups. One of those was Justin Monk, aka Primrodo, as my ears heard the word "fanfilm" across the gymnasium while preparing to march in the Grape and Wine Parade in Niagara Falls.

2004: I became friends with Justin, and he invited me to help film a fanfilm he was working on, Lost Soul. (The second project to go by that name, and like the first never destined to be completed.)

2005: Through Justin, both on Lost Soul and at the beginning of a new project in 2005, I met the members of what would eventually become Key Pixel Gathering of Filmmakers. We'd go on to create movies together for a strong five years, and even for a few years after that. The main creative force behind this - the one who had the most interesting (if not the most polished) ideas and the most able to light fires under asses - was Laszlo Kovacs, aka Covax as he went by online. Through Covax and his online community, Writer's Block Media, I met more new friends - they weren't necessarily Star Wars people, but a direct line could be traced back. In the WBM community, I met a girl, Steph N., who was dating another member at the time. Slowly, I fell for her. (Couldn't have been that slowly though, looking back, man.) Her relationship fell apart over the course of the year, I was there for her, I got the girl as we started dating in fall of 2005.

Also in 2005, I switched my major from computer science to... well, that's not important, but it's when I realized that programming wasn't for me, but film was. I made video projects for class and got more people into it. I took the one film class offered at my school at the time (and, having learned my craft at the school of TF.N FanFilms, almost knew more than the professor teaching it). But I stayed because of the social life, even if it wasn't the ideal school for what I'd discovered I wanted to do, because of the love for filmmaking that Star Wars had ignited years prior.

2006: Did I mention that almost all of the names here have been Canadian, and I ended up crossing the border a lot during this time in my life (no Tom, I'm not Canadian, though the joke was that I was an Honourary Canadian at the time). "Visiting my girlfriend," I'd say to customs agents (when the purpose wasn't for filming Stargate: Hades, which would end up being a baker's dozen of weekends that year and into the beginning of the next). "How did you meet your girlfriend?" I'd look back on this chain of events and be tempted to say, "Star Wars," but would often just say, "A mutual friend." Sometimes I'd have to offer the abbreviated version of all of that anyway.

From 2007 on, that direct line - Star Wars to fanfilms to friends to making movies to communities to the girl - became more blurred. Steph and I stopped dating in May of 2007. (I started dating my now-wife, also named Steph, that October - yes, our ten year anniversary is coming up shortly and I'm excited for that. As for the first Steph, she's now married to someone else named Andrew. I guess we found the wrong ones the first time around.) I work in wedding films - not directly related to Star Wars at all but it can still trace its reasoning back to holding a camera, pointing it at a friend waving a stick around in a forest.

I still have most of the friends I've made along the way. And I do still truly enjoy Star Wars. I may not have a Star Wars job or a Star Wars life, but I carry it with me. I mean, when my wife and I entered the reception hall at our wedding, we entered under an arch of lightsabers held by our best friends. That's pretty special.

Alright, let's try to keep it to four prompts. We have:

Worst work related incident?
Weirdest booze?
Most ironic thing that's ever happened to you?
What is something you did that you once deeply regretted, but now are glad you did? (NEW)

Boter, formerly of TF.N as Boter and DarthArjuna. I like making movies and playing games, in one order or another.

Re: The Table

"Weirdest booze?"

Back in my drinkin' days, Thanksgiving at Cloe's grandma's house, the morning after, the only remaining booze is freezer vodka and there's not a mixer to be found, not even soda. There's just a fridge and fridge-things.

Pickle juice martini.

It was fucking delicious.


Prompts:
Worst work related incident?
Most ironic thing that's ever happened to you?
What is something you did that you once deeply regretted, but now are glad you did?
Moment from your life you've revisited a million times, and why.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: The Table

Teague wrote:

"Weirdest booze?"

Pickle juice martini.

Oh, dear God.

Sébastien Fraud
Facebook | Twitter | 500px
"We're gonna build a great green screen, and make the traditional matte painters pay for it"
Saniss for President 2016 - "Make VFX great again"

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Re: The Table

I'm telling you, it kinda worked!

Can one of y'all still-drinkers ( neutral ) do me a solid and just try a shot-glass sized pickle martini? Chilled vodka, splash of pickle juice? Can a brother get some backup?

No?

That's fair.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: The Table

Iiiiii

I was gonna say next time.

But I might have some pickle juice.

BRB.

*****

Alright, not gonna back you up on that. I half-assed it with what I had (non-chilled vodka, strained some relish), but that wasn't promising enough for me to go, "Not bad, I'll have to do it right next time."

Boter, formerly of TF.N as Boter and DarthArjuna. I like making movies and playing games, in one order or another.

Re: The Table

1) I can't believe anybody did this.

2) Thank you for doing this.

3) I'm so sorry you did this.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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I would have switched shot glasses out of shot. tongue

Hurroo

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I love the face Boter makes when he drinks it.

I want to have it printed on a pillow.

Sébastien Fraud
Facebook | Twitter | 500px
"We're gonna build a great green screen, and make the traditional matte painters pay for it"
Saniss for President 2016 - "Make VFX great again"

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