So far we haven't met any gazebos

I would apologize profusely for my recent period of inactivity, but at this point I'm like a five year old with his finger in the cake batter. I'm not sorry for what I did, I'm just sorry I got caught.

There are reasons for me not writing much lately. Several of which I can't mention just yet and some of which are just too embarrassing.

Now any of you out there who where with me during the great Karaoke incident of '04 know when I say I'm embarrassed to tell you something, it's gotta be pretty bad.

One reason for my absence that I'm not embarrassed to admit (but probably should be) is that recently I've been spending a lot of time pretending to be a lot shorter than I really am.

Finally, after a life time of wondering how I could make myself more of a social outcast, I've finally found it. I've started playing Dungeons and Dragons.

Dungeons and Dragons has always been the split entry landing that has prevented me from falling all the way down the social steps to the basement where everyone paints miniatures and writes slash fiction about Doctor Who and Darkwing Duck.

Secretly however, Dungeons and Dragons has always been my unicorn, the one thing that I really wanted to do, but unfortunately was just too cool for.

Darn my ability to play sports and make out with pretty girls.

I've spent plenty time in fictional dungeons and slain many a dragon in my day, but still this mythical combination of the two had always eluded me and this made me sad.

But no more, all it took was seven friends and coworkers to admit to each other that we all had this same desire, burrowed away, deep in the crawl spaces of our souls.

It was a defining moment in my life, one where I never felt so united in purpose with so many people.

That's kind of sad actually.

Regardless, this fearless party of adventurers has set forth into a world of darkness, hoping to connect the scattered points of light. We fight evil, by rolling dice at it.

Occasionally we speak in funny voices, but that doesn't seem to have any effect on the evil so it's kind of tailed off.

Still, we don't talk too much about our exploits with the outside world. We've already found the prejudices that kept us from playing as kids is still alive and well today.

It blows my mind that these days, a group of men and women, ages 23 to 35 can spent hours in a windowless basement waggling small plastic guitars and pretend to be rock star and no one will say boo, but have a group of the same demographic in the same place and have them do math and pretending to be guys with swords and gnomes and all of a sudden people start getting uncomfortable.

The one defense that I have against the attacks such uncomfort spawns is the fact that I play a dwarf.

I don't know what it is, but when I tell people I play a son of Earth, people seem to understand a little bit. I guess no one can deny that short, bearded men such as my self only have so many options in life and pretending to be a shorter, more bearded man seems to be one of them.

I think that may have been why so many people gave me hammers for Christmas.

With adult life as busy, complicated and down right scary as it is these days, I happy to have an escape, one made better still by the presence of friends and five pound bags of Swedish fish.

I highly recommend it to anyone who, like me, wants to roll maximum damage, but was too scared to before.

In conclusion, elves are gay.

Geek on.

Steve Shinney is a level two dwarf ranger and has waited his whole life to say that. Intense mockery can be left below.

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