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Thank you guys.
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Aug 16th 2014 edited

Hey. I know I haven't really been around in more than a year, but the fact is that I was a part of this community, in a huge way, for a long time. A lot of us have become friends in that weird, almost-real-life space where we know one another's names, but have never met.

I think this is only the second, maybe third thread I've ever created. I'm sure at least one of the other ones was about Harry Potter.

I'm not sure how often I'm going to be around here anymore. It seems like some people are around here now and again, but it also seems like I'm not alone in having lost track of NA over the last few years. After all, The Office is no longer on the air. This forum became about something other than The Office a long time ago. But I wanted to pay you guys a tribute.

This isn't going to be as eloquent as I want it to be. It's not going to be as happy as it should be. It will almost certainly contain more typos than it should. It'll probably seem weird and ostentatious to any (notional) new comers who don't know me. But I got to talking about The Office on the internet today, and it got me thinking about y'all, and how important you guys were to me.

I came here at a rough point in my life. I wasn't willing to admit it at the time, but I was a part of a marriage that had been failing basically since the day it had been sealed. I was lonely, bored, unhappy. NA, surprisingly, and unlike any other online community I've ever encountered, supplied me with a group of people who were willing to listen to me and talk to me and -- well, it's the only place on the internet where I've ever got in a fight and actually read the responses. In a way that I was unwilling to tell people in the "real" world, NA gave me a group of friends and peers that I could just shoot the shit with, agree and disagree with, and joke with, unlike any I'd had in a long time.

It's been a long journey since then. It's been . . . nine? . . . years. Maybe eight. Anyway. My life has gone through radical change in that time. I've gotten divorced, moved four (!) times (my god, that astounds me, that I was living in Bend and dealing with the then-Mrs-F's family when I first came here), lived in New York and Minneapolis, both places I had never imagined for myself when I first showed up here, become a published writer, gotten an agent, failed to become a big star in the way I thought I was meant to be, realized that maybe my future lay in a related-but-not-identical field. I've made and lost girl & boyfriends, I've made & lost "real" friends, I've discovered that some of us have weird, 6-degrees of separation connections, in that time.

I know y'all have done a lot of the same shit. I mean not to claim that I'm unique in this. I just . . . I think it's interesting, I guess. If you'd have asked me when I was watching The Office on a very early version of iTunes video, and discovering NA, if it would still be there this far in the future, and if my future would be the one it's come to be, I would have said, "Psh. No," to both. And yet here we are. Or I am, anyway.

I think a lot of you know that a huge, bad event exploded all over my life a few months ago. A lot of you sent messages of condolence, and I appreciated those; if you didn't, I have been in your spot and know exactly why you didn't. This isn't about that. And it is. Shortly after I first came to NA, the foster brother I called my "brother Jon" was alive, well, and giving the ex-Mrs-F & I shelter when we left Bend and moved back to Portland, hoping against hope that going home would save our marriage. It didn't; it couldn't have. But Jon sheltered us in those days. And frankly, without reservation, I think you guys sheltered me. You guys made it possible for me to survive. A few months ago, Jon died, suddenly, shockingly. It's the most important thing that has ever happened to me. It seemed important that I mention it.

I dunno. I've been drinking, which I suppose surprises nobody who remembers the last many years. But I wanted to say something. After so long here, during which I wrote so many long posts -- including my first very long one, bitching about the apple selection in Bend, to which I remember the long-gone ferd farkle replied with, "The future must suck" -- it seemed weird just to fade away. NA will almost certainly die a slow death, the slow death it has been dying since before the show was cancelled. And maybe I should have just left it at that. But that's not who I am. I'm a word person, and I'm, let's be frank, a narcissist, and the idea of this place going away without my coming by to say goodbye bothered me.

And so, in no particular order, and accidentally excluding some, I wanna thank Jinx, Anque, griefbone, toosie, Brian, BTF, garbagethrower, Pan, THPJ, Loaded Teapot, whatevs, da-ooo, ST, lemoñade, and at least two people whose real names I now know but whose NA names I no longer remember, for making my life a warmer, funnier, better, spicier, happier place than it would otherwise have been. And for making sure that LOL, OMG, and many other linguistic atrocities never poisoned our little playroom.

Cordially,
Future Dwight

Aug 17th 2014

Everything you just wrote could have been said by me, with different circumstances and events, but the same feelings. It was the best of times.

Aug 17th 2014

brother Jon

I love you, DftF. So freaking much. You know, I facebook-friended this brother of yours, your other brothers seem to have avoided me (haha) anyway, one of the first conversations I had with him, I told him I had met you online and he said, "how do you get through all the words to find his personality?"

^ That's how, man. NA was the best. I love you a-holes.

You should drunk-post more. That's my favorite kind of the posts.

Aug 17th 2014 edited

This place was a unique and good thing. Lives are lives, and change comes. But it's rare you can share those changes in a setting that lends anonymity and affection and laughs and kinship all at once. I'll admit this: I've looked up to you as a writer and been an admirer of your ambition and bravery in pursuing it. Sorry if that's weird for you, and anyone else left in this shrinking circle, to hear. I'm also sorry for your loss. I recently had one of those "biggest losses ever" of my own. It leaves a hole that won't fill. In a far smaller but still real way, so does this place's decline.

Aug 17th 2014

I've looked up to you as a writer and been an admirer of your ambition and bravery in pursuing it.

You're so gay for DftF.

hole that won't fill.

I have a reply that's really too insensitive to post.

In a far smaller but still real way, so does this place's decline.

Don't make me sad, jerk.

Aug 17th 2014

DftF, I barely know what to say. I'm going to be perfectly honest here. A few months ago, some stuff you posted on FB about the Midwest pissed me off so goddamn much, I decided to take you off my newsfeed for a while. I never wanted to unfriend you, but I needed to take a break. And then I guess I didn't think about looking in on you now and then. Now that I read your post here, I feel shitty about that in at least 10 different ways. I'm so, so sorry about your brother. Jesus. I wish I could help with your pain, and I'm sorry that I didn't know and express that much sooner.

I'm glad you posted here. I check in once a week or so, whenever I remember, and tonight I was happy to see a long DftF post. Reading it, I smiled, I reminisced, and I cried, and then Toosie made me laugh with her smart-ass comments. Full circle. Anyway, I'm glad you're back, even if it's temporary.

Aug 18th 2014

I have a reply that's really too insensitive to post.

That's a different kind of hole.

Aug 18th 2014

One thing I've learned on NA, is that almost everybody is an interesting person and worthy of love. I wish I had the ability to really get to know people in real life the way I can on NA. Unfortunately, people's looks, or speech, or personalities, get in the way in real life. And I'm not strong enough to look past that. Yes, most of you on NA, I wouldn't look twice at you in real life, because you're not charming or good looking, you're too outspoken, you're too pushy, you're too liberal, too drunk, you're too boring (ditto for me). In real life. But if I gave the people around me in real life the chance, and got to know them, the way I've gotten to know all of you, I'd probably love them too.

Aug 18th 2014

Or, to quote Michael Scott:

"Even the hot ones aren't really that skinny."

Aug 18th 2014 edited

Wow. I'm so glad I poked my head in here today. I came to this group when my kids were toddlers, when I was a stay-at-home mom who needed an outlet to talk to other adults during the day, and I'm so glad I did. It probably helped me stay a little sane. Like Jinx pointed out, I became friends with people I probably would not be friends with in real life. I still see many of you on Facebook, but it's not the same. This post makes me nostalgic, in a good way.

It's a good day.

Aug 18th 2014

I became friends with people I probably would not be friends with in real life.

What "probably"? I love you mofo's.

Aug 19th 2014

I love you a-holes.

Word.

I still have a water bottle with GT's sticker on it, and a skein of yarn from Post-It from back in the book-box days.

I have a wonderful community in my life now, but there was a dark period in my life where y'all were virtually my only community, because co-workers and students don't count.

Thanks for the post, DftF. Right back at you, brother.

Aug 20th 2014

I became friends with people I probably would not be friends with in real life

Word...like Canadians and Southerners.

Aug 20th 2014

I have some cool swag from gt on my desk right now, and a bunch of CDs in my car that I don't listen to. Sorry. When I came here, my job entailed mostly solo work, often from my car or coffee shops. This place was a refuge of human contact and discussion of things far more interesting than the work I was doing. I did a lot of cool things as a result of coming here, like NaNoWriMo and T.V. blogging. My wife knows some of you indirectly through Facebook, since she uses my account in lieu of having her own. I've never bothered trying to explain this place to her. I just refer to you as the TV blog people. I've had two kids and bought a house and three cars since I joined here. I switched jobs, though not companies. I've also gained and lost about 100 pounds. I remain very attractive and funny, though.

Aug 20th 2014

My wife knows some of you indirectly through Facebook

Me! I hope she knows me!

Aug 20th 2014

I remain very attractive and funny, though.

OMG it's like we're twins!

Aug 20th 2014

Exactly. I'm Schwarzennegger. You're Danny DeVito.

By the way, I still check here fairly regularly. And if there's a comment, I read and respond. And I'll post comments if the mood strikes me, based on that "not fit for Facebook" criteria described above. As close to dead as it is, it's still a lingering part of my routine.

Aug 20th 2014

Samesies. Great, now I'm Bri's twin.

Aug 20th 2014

As close to dead as it is, it's still a lingering part of my routine.

Me too.

And, I'm very sorry about your brother, DftF.

Aug 20th 2014 edited

As close to dead as it is, it's still a lingering part of my routine.

Tritto. Try as I might, I just can't seem to quit you, Northern Attack.

Thanks for writing that, DftF. I appreciated all you had to say.

Aug 20th 2014

By the way, I still check here fairly regularly. And if there's a comment, I read and respond.

Yep. It doesn't consume quite as much time as it used to though.

Sep 2nd 2014

Having just read this, I can agree with those who've said so that my sentiments are the same (if the circumstances are different). I've been coming here, what, seven years? Eight? At any rate, this has been a nice refuge from the real world at times, and a nice place to put that real world in perspective, to see that things aren't really so bad (getting sappy here) if you have friends, people you can talk to.

I will say the "anonymity" of the internet message board (hey, look, it's not my real name!) has often meant that I could say things here I couldn't say in my "real" life, and I treasure that. Nothing earth-shattering (usually some crush I had on a girl that never came to be, for whatever reason), but it's nice to know there's a place where I can go and air out such things as need be.

This stopped being about The Office years ago, in the best way (granted, the show was hitting a creative tailspin in its last years, but enough about that). It became an honest-to-God community of friends, many of whom have never met in real life but have shared something. That's one of the good things about the internet, the ability to connect with people over shared ideas or passions and discover new ones you didn't even know you had.

In time, of course, this community might eventually seperate and cease to be what it once was. Change is the only constant. But I'd like to think that being here with you all, trading quips and heartbreaks and bad breaks and fantastic news and the lot, has made me a better person. I mean, I'm still a sarcastic asshole, but at least now I acknowledge it :-p

Mar 7th 2015

So I'm poking my head in many months later to find this. I've had you all on my mind. I'm going to finish a first draft of a new novel either tonight or tomorrow, and that made me think of our Threat Level Midnight NaNoWriMo thread, and then it made me wonder how DftF did in Minneapolis. So I came on to find out.

I miss you all. My beau who's been in and out of my life for the past 8 years (but we decided to lock it down about a year and a half ago) started watching "The Office" on Netflix basically on repeat, and currently his depth of knowledge of later seasons far outspans mine. But I can still recite seasons 1-3 word for word.

And even though I stopped coming by quite a few years ago now—I'm not even sure when I stopped or why—I want you all to know how much I cared about you then. I still care.

I should probably stop procrastinating, but I'm glad I got to come here and stumble upon this thread.

Love to you all.

Mar 7th 2015 edited

Hi Pan! There are a lot of things that happen during my days that make me think of all you guys. Sometimes I'll hear something in the news and wonder what DC would think about that, or what LT's take on that would be. And a lot of you I see on Facebook. But I always check here at least once a day, just in case anyone has something to say that you just can't say on FB.

Mar 7th 2015

Sometimes I'll hear something in the news and wonder what DC would think about that

I check daily so ask away. Unless it's about Ted Cruz because that guy is an a$$hole.

Mar 9th 2015

My opinion of the Repubs:

  1. Marco Rubio: I don't really like this guy. Every speech seems to be about him, and how to advance his career.

  2. Rand Paul: Since I am Libertarian, I always liked him and agreed with him, but was scared that he was too isolationist. However, recently I heard some more nuanced opinions about foreign policy, and now I agree more with him. He correctly states that Qadafi, Saddam, Assad, etc are terrible guys, but they kept a lid on this muslim extremism, and that's why he was against the Iraq war (and arming the Syrian or Libyan rebels). I can't argue with him.

  3. Ted Cruz: Probably the smartest guy in the room, but I confess I haven't heard him enough to have a really good opinion. Tell me what you hate about him, I'd like to know. Other than, you know, that you disagree with his positions on probably everything. He seems honest and smart and hispanic, which is what you need from a candidate.

  4. Jeb Bush: Just no. I'm not a Bush hater, but enough already.

  5. Scott Walker: Policy wise, I align with him the most. I think he'd be the best president (as far as moving the country where I think it needs to go). But I don't think he'd ever get elected. He kind of looks like a goof, and there is so much animus towards him (misguided, I think, but it's still there) from the left.

  6. Ben Carson: No. Really smart guy, agree with most of his ideas, but you can't just jump into politics from being a doctor. Plus, I'm uncomfortable with someone as religious as he is. I guess I want my politicians to believe in God (or at least pretend to), but not act like they are carrying out God's commands.

So at the moment, I'd vote for Paul or Walker. Now you tell me your opinion of your one candidate.

Mar 9th 2015

I find Hilary to be a lot like Bill, a centrist Democrat with far too many ties to Wall Street and therefore constrained in her ability to do what I think is necessary in terms of economic policy. Also, I find her a bit too hawkish in her foreign policy views, too eager to intervene in places where we don't know what the hell we are doing. She is, however, a flower power-loving hippie in comparison to the Republican field who still seem to be under the thrall of the Cheney wing of the party.

Mar 10th 2015

I'd vote for Paul or Walker

I'd vote for Paul Walker. Too bad he's dead.

May 29th 2015

What is happening?! I can't believe I stumbled across this thread on a weird night almost six months after the last time I came by here. Just now, as I'm up studying at what seems to be the only time I can get my shit together enough to do so, I had a desire to get away from this research paper I'm reading and automatically typed "forums.northernattack.com" in the browser the way I always used to.

I'm so glad. I love all your faces. I think about you the same way I think about my friends in real life that I've lost contact with over the years. And you're right. Facebook isn't the same. Mostly because I still feel this weird sort of protective feeling surrounding us. There's a bubble actually, for most of us, and interacting with you on your Facebook pages with your in real life family and friends might destroy it.

But I do stalk you. All of you, I promise.

I wish I had more time to tell you why DftF's post made me tear up and all the ways that I think of all of you so often, but it is 3 AM and I must be taking crazy pills because I have to get up and meet with my advisor in the morning about this research paper!

P.S. How can we possibly do a major presidential election cycle without being here to discuss it?

May 29th 2015

It's good to see you here, Anque!

I'm so glad. I love all your faces. I think about you the same way I think about my friends in real life that I've lost contact with over the years. And you're right. Facebook isn't the same. Mostly because I still feel this weird sort of protective feeling surrounding us. There's a bubble actually, for most of us, and interacting with you on your Facebook pages with your in real life family and friends might destroy it.

This place is indeed special. I know I wasn't part of the "classic gang," but I agree with all of this.

P.S. How can we possibly do a major presidential election cycle without being here to discuss it?

There ain't no stoppin' us!

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