Amazing Spaghetti

The Life, Loves, and Unadulterated Pathos of Joel Widdershins, Ph.D.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Apologies, Gentle Readers, for my extended absence and utter neglect of this blog.  I have had many major life changes since my last post.  I lost one job, endured a rather extended period of unemployment, found a new, very different job, and am now acclimated fully to my new work environment.

I have also neglected my duties as gamemaster of my various games, and I have utterly neglected to further my guitar practice in the interim.  But, on the good side, I'm doing exceptionally well at my new job, and I've already received my first raise.  I miss my douchebag former employer not one whit!  They had made some rumblings about continuing to use my services as an independent goulsash-chef at times and consistencies of their own choosing, of course, but I tore that contract up and flung it back in their homely faces.  No, I'm not really sorry, either.

This will be a truncated post while I try to re-vitalize my blogging from a dead standstill.  I hope I am successful!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Ok, so we have one dude in the class who's owned up to being a gamer. I'm not sure I've ever even heard of "Elder Scrolls," so please enlighten us all, Ed? Personally, as disgusting as some of these new variants to DND are, overall, it's hard to beat the original! We're about 4 or 5 days away from taking character submissions for, and the excitement is building! So warm up those dice and send us a character! We are in DIRE need of some good characters! Truthfully, what would just tickle me the most would be if we could receive about 5 or 6 more characters, 3 wizards, 1 fighter, and 2 clerics. So far, no one in the limited group that we have is playing a wizard, and I am very, very disappointed by that. I had such cool plans and npcs just waiting for all of our wizards! boo hoo hoo.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Howdy, folks! Yep, ol' Witch Doctor Joel here, wishing you a jagged needle in the eyeball of your worst enemy (as long as it's not me! :-D ). So I have been falling down on the old blog job of late. There's a reason, but it may not be just really airtight. I forgot my password, ya see. "So why didn't you immediately get a new password?" you ask? I kept thinking that it'd come back to me sooner or later, and then I forgot again. :-(

How many in the class have ever played D&D? How many have ever HEARD of D&D? Anyone, anyone? Or maybe y'all are of the opinion that everyone who plays D&D is a devil-worshipping, longhaired, unwashed heathen? Well, that's just wrong, I think. [Joel snifs under his arms] YEP, it's wrong on ALL counts!! (I just had to check the one I wasn't sure about.) Back in the DAY, your ol' pal Joel and his best bud got together and created a D&D game that we DM'ed together. It was fun, but after a year or so it kinda came to a natural end when we graduated from high school. Well, me and said Bud have again been cooking up some new, improved mischief! We've now been working on our new fantasy milieu since about last September. Needless to say, we've achieved quite a high degree of detail and depth. We have, like, a buttload of non-player characters made up, named, and detailed. I mean, we have enough to populate a small village!

If you care about this at all, you might want to go to and see for yourself just what I mean.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Our hearts and best wishes go out to Friend of the Blog Penny Karma and her hubby, who were both under the weather this past weekend. I'm not sure if they're better yet or not, but hopefully they are.

Insurance. Sigh..... What an ulcer-inducer, indigestion-producer, and diarrhea-causer. Although, for me, the insurance situation has improved greatly in the past few years. You see, for about ten years, I was a self-employed, independent goulash mixer. Being a freelance goulash mixer has great potential, because when you create a great batch of goulash you don't have to share the goulash glory with anyone. But 99% of the time, truly great goulash is more of a matter of luck than mixing skill, and ordinarily-good goulash is a dime a dozen. Maybe I just say that to make myself feel better. So? It works! Anyway, a few years ago, I became a corporate goulash mixer, and that is the reason for the improvement in my insurance situation.

Now I'm just one mixer in the great corporate horde. Luckily, my previous experience as an independent mixer helped elevate me to Head Mixer. My only superior here at the mixing plant is Walking Boss. Technically, I'm supposedly at the same level with Queen Underboss and Princess Underboss, but Queen Underboss has a way of making me feel like her inferior most of the time. I haven't really helped the situation, because I have adopted a somewhat servile countenance when dealing with her. But, still, I take great comfort and pride in the fact that she doesn't know diddly about goulash mixing, which is my great, enduring specialty.

We also have Waldo the Farmer working here. I'm not sure exactly where he falls in the pecking order, but, as near as I can tell, he's on a par with me, Queen Underboss, and Princess Underboss. Waldo is much more assertive and "drill-sergeant-like" than anyone else working here. He manages our farm, of course, and wrangles the hired help farmhands and cowboys. He is what Tim Robbins' character in some movie ("Bull Durham", maybe?) called "a no-shit guy." He's pretty-much a no goulash guy, too, so our paths don't cross very often. He has a hilarious personality, though, so I make it a point to go out and listen to him every so often. It's not really "talking" to him, because he does most of the actual talking. I'm usually laughing too hard to say anything, anyway.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

So, I found a good website where all of you, My Gentle Readers, can enlighten yourselves regarding "Raising Arizona": . You're all most welcome. Please note that the similarity between one of the jokes on that website and the attempted joke in my blog entry is entirely accidental. I didn't even know that site existed when I wrote that entry. This is just further evidence of how masterfully funny the movie is!

And here is the definitive quotation from the movie that I had mostly correct in an earlier post:

Memorable Quotes from Raising Arizona (1987)
Evelle: Gale? Um, Junior just had a - an accident.
Gale: What's that, pardner?
Evelle: He had hisself a little ol' accident.
Gale: What do you mean? He looks okay.
Evelle: No. You see, moving though we are, he just went and had hisself a little ol' rest stop.
Gale: [sniffs the air] Well, that's natural.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Well, hello again! I hope that the recent holday was as great for everyone else as it was for me. Yep, the Widdershins folks had an un-traditional Thanksgiving feast, and it was WONNNDERFUL! Pappy Widdershins and Mammy Widdershins were neither one too keen on the idea of pigging out on turkey, dressing, and sweet potatoes for days, so.... YoursTruly suggested that we just have hamburgers. Mammy Widdershins perked right up, and said, "Hey, that's a good idea! I'll put some turkey burgers in my George Foreman Grill!" So that's what she did, and they were yummmmmmmmm-mmmieeee!! If I had been thinking at the time, I would have asked her to thinly slice some sweet potatoes and deep fry them into sweetpotato chips. Maybe next year.... She probably won't be too keen on that idea, though. See, Mammy and Pappy Widdershins have become more and more health conscious with each passing year. I really think that by now, just the very idea of deep fried ANYTHING could potentially cause an aneurism, an apoplectic fit, or some equally disturbing catastrophe.

Oh, and the holiday was even better for me, because I actually took off work starting on November 16th! Yep, I used a week of my accumulated vacation for the five work days from November 16th to November 22nd, and then we got November 23rd and 24th off for Thanksgiving, so today is my first day back, shackled to the grindstone, after 11 days off. (Eleven days off for the price of five is a deal that I'll take, with great relish and mucho gusto, anytime.) Surprsingly, my Overseer, the Walkin' Boss, has so far not been too heavy handed with the lash. I hope I don't jinx myself by saying that! Still, my back is very pleased, and my deepest stripes have almost totally healed! Now, if I can just avoid getting very many splinters from this old, rough-assed oar!

I actually got an extremely early (for me) jump on my Christmas shopping last Friday, the day after T-Day. Some of the things that I wanted to get from the T-Day sale flyers were already sold out, too! But, then, chances are that they were just teasers and the store only had one or two of each of those items anyway, so I snagged reasonable facsimiles and made the best of it. Then, this morning, mere moments ago in fact, I continued my shopping online. is a truly blessed website! I may never need to go to an actual store again! But, then, I would miss finding my bargain socks, wouldn't I? :-(

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Happiness is a new pair of socks. So I have TRIPLE happiness, I suppose. You see, I've known for some time that my town would have a new Kohl's store opening soon, because I saw where they were building it. Well, they got it built, all stocked, and opened it several days ago. And those sweethearts sent me in the mail a $10 gift card to use at their new store! I figured that it was a way to get me in the store to spend more money, but I was needing some new socks anyway, so I figured I'd be spending money for them no matter where I went, so why not spend $10 less for them! So I go to Kohl's yesterday after work. I became momentarily disoriented in the women's department, and nearly bought women's socks, but women and men have basically the same kind of feet, so I guess it really wouldn't have mattered. Still, I couldn't find any colors that I liked, so I decided to explore the store more, and then I relized what I had done! So I located the men's department, tracked down the socks, and THEN I found the colors I was looking for. Yay me! So the socks that I wanted were marked @12.00 for 3 pairs, and I figured with tax, I'd end up spending between 3 and 4 dollars. So I go to the checkout and start fishing for my billfold. About the time I work it loose from my pocket, the clerk is handing me my sack o' socks and my receipt. I say, "Whaaaa?" She tells me that the socks came to only $9 something. So I said, "Thank you, ma'am," took my FREE socks and got out of there before they changed their minds!

So that's why I'm wearing nifty new socks today! And they feel WUNNNDERFUL! What's that? You say I'm easily amused? Maybe so, but I'll tell you what though: If there's one thing I've learned in life, it's that happy times are much better than sad times, and being satisfied, or even TICKLED PINK, with simple things is one of the easiest ways in the world to maximize your happy time! You can take that to the bank, Jack!

Monday, November 13, 2006

I so don't want to talk about the recent election results that it is not EVEN funny. Yep, closet republican here. I wish the Dem(ogogue) party well. though, and pray that they govern us well beyond even their own ridiculously inflated expectations and hopes. If the result was an injustice, well that would be one thing. But the reality is quite another. Too many republicans have been playing fast and loose with morality issues while claiming to be so morally superior, and it finally caught up with them. Shame on them, anyway.

Here at work I'm Head Goulash Mixer. Yep, all day. Every day. Mix the friggin' goulash. Taste the friggin' goulash. Mix the friggin' goulash some mo. Then, my helper, Guido, pours the goulash into big boot-shaped molds and we bake it. Guess what we get? GOULASHES!! get it? goulash? galoshes? isn't that a total scream!? haha*sigh* ok, maybe not....

Anyway, I was taking a break after mixing up a fresh batch of goulash, and I sauntered out to our workshop are to talk to our production manager. He's also our "grounds-guru" in charge of the physical facilities here, and, as such, one thing he does is take care of arranging trash pick-up for our dumpster. It seems that we've been having a bit of a situation lately with someone going dumpster diving. We've got a sign on the dumpster that informs people that messing with our trash is, legally, trespassing, and, besides all that, it just plain really hacks us off! So, I asked, why should we care if some nimrod wants to jump off in our dumpster and pretend it's his bathtub? The answer, I learned, is that we're not so irritated that they're in the thing, but. rather, that they have a disturbing tendency to strew the contents of the dumpster around on the ground and generally make a total mess of things. I mean, what a jerk!

And why, oh why would someone even think for a moment that he might find something worth keeping in a dumpster? Ok, I did learn that sometimes we throw away perfectly good teddy bears. It seems that lots and lots of people donate teddy bears to us, and, after awhile, we have accumulated enough teddy bears to last a few lifetimes for every child that we have ever heard of. So, to free up storage space, sometimes a load of teddy bears has to be dumped. Doesn't make good sense to me. Looks like they could be packed up and shipped off to kids somewhere, in Mississippi, or Africa, or SOMEwhere! But, no, I was told, we just have too many anyway. And the organizations that we know of that could give the teddy bears to sick kids, or something, apparently have a strict policy of only providing brand new, pristine teddy bears, which policy would eliminate about 99.9% of any such ursines that fell into our possession. Maybe I should pick out a couple and send them to John Kerry? Bet that bastard could use a hug about now.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

So, I guess a word of explanation is in order about my vocabulary. In reading back over this blog, I notice that I have a tendency to over-use words like "heinous." heh heh heh Ok, it's true, I amdit it: I lonnnnng to be just like Billl S. Preston, esq. and Ted "Theodore" Logan, a/k/a/ Bill and Ted from "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure." And, while I'm thinking about it, the practice of grading blogs for vocabulary and english usage is totally bogus! Maybe it's just that I want to have George Carlin for a mentor, or maybe it's because it would be so cool to hang out with Rufus, or maybe it's the enchanting music of WYLD STALYNS!! Come to think of it, George Carlin may BE Rufus, I'm just not sure. I remember a really cool-loooking black guy in a slick suit and shades played by Clarence Clemons (sax player for Bruce Springsteen) as I recall, and for some reason the name "Rufus" comes to mind, but I've learned over years of error that this doesn't necessarily mean diddly shit.

So let's talk more about movies, whattaya say? You may have your own opinion about the greatest movie of all time, past, present, and future, but surely you'll admit that your insight pales in comparison to my eminently reasonable and sound judgment on the matter. CLEARLY, the greatest movie of All Time is Raising Arizona. This just goes without saying. If you disagree, then you clearly haven't seen the movie. If you've seen the movie and still disagree, then you need to 1) see the movie again, and PAY ATTENTION this time, and/or 2) immediately surrender yourself for psychiatric evaluation and detention. Ok, I freely admit that the Coen brothers (Joel --I'm his namesake, blush, blush, and Ethan) have made a few movies that are, shall we say, questionable. I approached "Fargo" expecting to laugh my butt off. Guess what? No dice dude! Oh, it's ok, I guess, in a kind of a sick, weird sorta way, but it wholly lacks the innocent charm of "Raising Arizona." "O Brother Where Art Thou" comes close. VERY close. In fact, there are arguably moments in that one that are more uproariously funny than "Raising A", but, overall, I have to say that it falls rather short. And I have to admit that George Clooney is a more dashing lead than Nicholas Cage (sorry, Nick), but I hasten to point out that Nick's character was not intended to be dashing in any sense of the word, nor can anyone be dashing while dressed in an undershirt and sitting in the middle of the living room floor of a trailer house surrounded by spilled cheerios. Or maybe it was Captain Crunch. (That, by the way, is an homage to the movie: "maybe it was Utah," <-- which is, quite possibly, the funniest line in the entire-ruh movie, but, unless you're really paying attention to the ENTIRE-RUH movie, you'll miss it.) Clearly, "Raising Arizona" also has a vastly superior supporting cast also: John Goodman, WILLIAM FORSYTHE for goodness' sake! (in a role that is the absolute pinnacle of his illustrious career, no doubt!), Holly Hunter, and Randall "Tex" Cobb. John Forsythe as Evelle Snoates is well-worth the price of admission all by itself. "Gale? Junior needs to take hisself a little ol' rest stop."

In keeping with my newly formed tradition of posing a really pesky question at the end of my entries, here goes nothing: Why, oh why, oh why, do two of the filaments in any three-way bulb belonging to me always burn out so quickly? Seems like every time I get a new 3-way bulb, it works fine for about 3 days, and the POOF, there goes the brightest setting, and then soon, POOF, there goes the lowest setting. *sigh* And, why, by the way, does that really torque me off so much??

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Well, it's definitely a Monday today. In a word, shi-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-t!

Oh, wait, that's right, I called in sick yesterday, so it's actually Tuesday. Damn. You know it's gonna be a rough week when Tuesday feels like Monday because Monday was so heinously crappy that you couldn't even face life in the absence of a bourbon i.v. and an endless supply of Milano cookies. But, hey, that also means that there's one less day until Friday. Cold comfort, I know.

I was thinking today (an amazing feat in and of itself, I know) about what I really want out of life. I mean, what do I reeeeeaaaaaaallllllllyyy want more than practically everything else besides an 80-year-long continuous orgasm? And would 80 years really be enough? How long would it take to recover from that? I mean, why stop at 80 if you're pretty sure you're going to be dead by the time you're ready to go again? But I digress.....

What Joel (Dr. J, thank you) wants:
1. A big chocolate cake and 4 hours to eat it before anyone else even knows it's there.
2. Summa dat nub we's all wookin fo.
3. Lil' bit modat sweet, sweet nubbin.
4. To achieve 75 mpg with my Hyundai Santa Fe on 250 consecutive fill-ups.
5. All of the glory and fame of winning a nationally significant Supreme Court case, without having to actually do any of that tedious junk like preparation, preliminary appeals, answering picky questions from Justices, etc. You know, WORK.
6. Once I wanna just see that friggin Publishers Clearinghouse Prize Van! It doesn't even have to be coming to my house, I just wanna see the thing.

That's enough of that for right now. Maybe more later, if I feel like it.

Question: If you have an idea about something that is merely a filament of your imagination, does the light bulb over your head burn brighter or dimmer?
Nudder Question: Does it depend on what the wattage of said filament is?

Adieu pour maintenant!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Okay, I stand corrected: "Dude, some bitch TOTALLY farted in my all-women Pilates class, where we're taught to inhale through our noses. It was rancid. She better hope I don't find out who she is, or else I'll eat a can of chili and sauerkraut and chug a 2 liter of Diet Coke right before class and get directly in front of her face when we do the Downward-Facing Dog pose." --Penny.

But, you see, Gentle Readers, the above-recounted flatulence was most heinously committed in a group of all women, and it would surely be denied if men sought verification from the perpetrator herself! So is it just that women are utterly unable (I believe the fact that they are unwilling to do so goes without saying) to fart when in the presence of men? Anyone? Anyone?

This runs contrary to the behavior of most, if not all, men who find themselves in similar situations. The typical man, if so confronted, will NOT ONLY admit to said gaseous perpetration, he will ACTUALLY GLOAT, and BE PROUD of it! This behavior is often accompanied by a sly look from the corner of the eye, a twirling of the mustache, and subdued, maniacal chuckling. So, if you see a group of men standing or sitting together, and all but one of them shows various signs of respiratory distress and/or nausea, while the remaining gent has what can best be decribed as a shit-eating grin, invite all those accompanying you to make a wager with you on what just happened. You will fleece them dry. (Is that a mixed metaphor? maybe so, but who cares?)

There are certain questions that have persisted since the dawn of time and that still perplex all of humankind. Such are the mysteries of this mortal existence that they are burrs under the saddles of all inquisitive, curious people, those who are wise enough to have realized the vastness of their own foolishness. These questions still linger in the shadows of the minds of the wise, lurking, as if waiting to pounce upon their scholarly consciousnesses, and exclaim to all existence: "SEE! HERE AM I!! THOU HAST NOT SOLVED MY ASS YET, AND EVER WILL I TASK THEE! HEHEHE HAHAHA HOHOHO!!"

Among these Great Questions for the Ages, there is one in particular that is insistently knocking upon the door of my brain today: WHY DON'T WOMEN FART?? Can anyone who doesn't fart really be trusted??

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Whew! Thank you, thank you Jonesboro! It's great to be back! Okay, look, I know that the election this year is NOT for Presidet, even though you couldn't tell that from previous posts. Did I know that at the time I made those posts? Ahhhhhh, THAT'S the question!

Today, I faxed in an order for two (count 'em TWO) remote control, electronic, toy tanks, complete with small, plastic soldiers for drivers. Why, you ask? It has to do with my "surrogate pet" / "my replacement" / my "sister." Babe is her name. She is a Scottish Terrier owned by my parents. You see, when I went away to college, they had "empty nest syndrome", and soon moved a dog into the house to take my place. This after both of them swore they'd never let a DOG live in the HOUSE! hehehehe The current pooch is named Babe, actually her official name on her akc papers is longer than that, but the only part of it that I know for sure is that whatever it is, it starts with "Jan's". Any--wayyy, Dad got me a stocking-stuffer last year that was a small remote control car, and he got one for himself, too. See, he figured that Babe would go nuts chasing these cars around the house. He was right, too! Oh, it's great fun! So... when I saw the catalog entry today for the tanks that really shoot and emit smoke when "hit" by the other tank, I totally couldn't resist. hehehe Yeah, it's sure to be a rowdy, raucus, fun time around the Widdershins house this Christmas! Babe may have to be committed on Dec. 26th. Gee, I've never seen a dog in a straight jacket.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Okay, whew! I was afraid for a minute there that I wasn't going to be able to figure out how to put up another post! I'm sure glad puberty is over for me, but that fact does make computers somehow more inscrutable than they appear to be to our Youth.

A few words now, about our upcoming election in America: Ok, look, I'm not going to pull any punches here. Let's just tell it like it is for once: ALL DEMOCRATS ARE SELF-RIGHTEOUS, USELESS, LYING, THIEVING BUTTHOLES! This is no consolation to anyone, because ALL REPUBLICANS ARE MORALISTIC, PREACHY, MEDDLING, PEDANTIC BUTTHOLES.

This, unfortunately does not leave us with many choices. Every four years, we, the American people, go to the polls to decide whether we will be subject, for the four years to come, to thumbscrews or chinese water torture. It's like they say to us: "Excuse me, Sir, but would you prefer to be disembowelled with this big, jagged sword, or have your brains blown out by this blunderbuss? There is no right answer, because DEAD is DEAD is DEAD. And that's they way it feels, come the following January 20th. The only time, I guess, when we can really enjoy our country is during those brief days between the election of a new president, and his inauguration. I wish, just once, we could have that time fall in the summer, instead of late fall to mid-winter. If the weather was good, I'll just bet there would be some PARTAYYYYS! whoo hooo!! We have no real president! yayy!!

Here endeth the first day's second blog instalment.

So, here we are. Dang, somehow, I expected more. Kinda reminds me of how I felt upon waking up and realizing we had held our wedding the day before. Nothing really felt different, but I had an overwhelming sense that something should be different! So, I carried on as before, and hoped that whatever it was would catch up with me soon.

Had I known beforehand how things would turn out, I would have started running immediately and never looked back. But, alas, such is hindsight. There are things about that "marriage", if anything so brief can be called a marriage, that I still do not know for sure . (Like, for example, I basically have NO FRIGGING IDEA why she left me without even a word of goodbye or at least a parting "screw you.") I also basically have no idea why I'm sitting here now, some nine years later, thinking about all of this again.

It's not like I have been dwelling on this unfortunate occurrence for nine years. No, even though I admit that it did take me some long, tedious months to get over this, I basically never think about it now. I guess the reason must be that I've been reading my friend Penny's blog. Her blog ( is her intensely humorous reporting of her life and trials as a mother of some indeterminant (I'm just forgetful) number of wee laddies (whose shenanigans are a HOOT!).

Yes, it was awful, all things considered, being married to that woman. Oh, it had moments of utter bliss, but the ending was so sudden and so horrible that it has degraded the overall experience into a painful remembrance. Marriage number two was really no better, but, at least, thankfully, it was even more brief. Well, a little bit, anyway. No, I don't want to talk about it. Even to myself.

The Inspiration Fairy that had lit upon my shoulder, has now moved on to bigger and better things. *Sigh* So ..... "this is the only friend...."--J. Morrisson