March 31, 2006
Schadenfreude Friday: Superschadenfreude Me
Let's see...we've taken the past couple of Fridays and focused on a lame, megalomaniacal painter, a hopelessly coked-out singer, a washed up actor-slash-murderer, a reality TV
star has-been and an award-winning author. Obviously, it's time to tackle those rowdy documentarians.
Earlier this month, Morgan Spurlock, best known for subsisting on nothing but food - if you'd call it that - from McDonalds while filming the hit Supersize Me, addressed a Pennsylvania high school. The gig paid $30,000. Clearly we all need to eat fast food and film it.
According to those in attendance, Mr Spurlock went off on a comedic rant, telling jokes and stories, encouraging audience participation, and throwing out a handful of profanities as he made fun of teachers and the kind of teenagers who become McDonald's employees - in his words, "the retarded kids in the back wearing helmets".
Don't worry. It gets worse.
His crack about retarded kids prompted one teacher to lead out a group of special education students who were indeed in the back of the school hall. After the talk, others said they did not appreciate the humor of Spurlock putting on an Indian accent and pretending to be a McDonald's cashier. At the end of his hour-long presentation, Mr. Spurlock was summoned by the principal and the superintendent of the local school district and told he had crossed a line. A planned news conference was cancelled, as was a second presentation he had been due to give. School officials said they would offer a refund to anyone who felt the $15-$30 they had shelled out was a waste of money.
Spurlock is 36 years old. He should know better. And? It must have really sucked getting called to the principal's office at that age.
Spurlock countered using the ever-popular I was trying to get through to them at their level argument.
Mr. Spurlock himself was unapologetic, saying he had never had a problem when giving similar addresses to high school audiences in the past. "I didn't talk to them the way most lecturers do and bore them. I made an inaccessible topic accessible and left the room with more friends than enemies," he said.
He has, since, relented, admitting he might have crossed some sort of line.
I did make an aside about kids sleeping in the back wearing helmets, which was done with no malicious intent (I was playing it as a slacker reference to the Jon Heder character in the upcoming film ďBenchwarmers,Ē a reference which was lost and, as I was later told, there were no actual students wearing helmets in the back).
And Bill Clinton was just looking for someone to hold his cigar. And by all means, run with the Napoleon Dynamite guy. Always an argument winner. It would have been so much better and completely justified if there had been helmeted kids in the back. Note for future engagements - plant a kid with a helmet in the audience. Problem solved!
The Superintendent said to me backstage that the only words he had problems with were the ďF-Bombs,Ē (of which there were only two) so perhaps I should have toned down even those two uses, but as another student told me, itís nothing they hadnít heard before. It has also been said that I insulted faculty, when in actuality, all I was doing was making a joke at their expense for the enjoyment of the students. While the main floor of the auditorium was full, 7 or 8 teachers sat up in the balcony. During the Q&A after my talk, I asked them if they had any questions for me. They shook their heads no and I said to the kids, ďYou see, while you guys sit down here and watch, the teachers sit up in the balcony and smoke pot.Ē The students roared with laughter, and once again, that was all I wanted to do: entertain the kids.
Funny! Only not. He's right - those kids didn't hear anything they hadn't already heard, inside or outside the school walls. But they probably didn't need to hear it from someone paid an exorbitant amount of money to come talk to them. And while it's always fun to poke fun at the teachers, I think the last thing teachers need in this day and age is more undermining.
I think Spurlock's probable genuinely apologetic. Still? Stupid move. Could it be that the special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame seed bun could have had a previously undetected effect on his french-fry grease-saturated grey matter? Perhaps he's the one who needs the helmet.
March 30, 2006
Behold, The Power of Breeze
As you saw, this morning didn't exactly start off well, what with the Great Computer Crash of '06 and all. Then, of course, I got frustrated as I do when severed from the technology I love. The help desk dude eventually came (I guess it was wrong to expect him to be there waiting when I rolled into work at 7), swapped out a hard drive and I was good to go with a replacement laptop. Then, however, I was forced to embark on a day-long cruise of conference rooms. Lots of meetings. Lots. Then? A ray of hope. My final meeting of the day was cancelled. I packed up my stuff, made a mad dash for the car, barely escaping work's bizarre gravitational field, and headed for home. Traffic was no obstacle; mere mortal commuters bowed before my insanely efficient driving skills. Red lights proved no match for timing even the Swiss would admire with awe. Only the laws of physics in any way prevented an instantaneous journey home, and even they didn't put of their usual fight. The goal? My wife, my daughter, spring blossoms, and a warm breeze.
...more, of course, at flickr...
Location Is Everything
Finally posting for the morning...three or four hours late. Why? My work laptop died last night and I'm just now getting up and running with a replacement. Technology is grand but when it fails, it sucks big, sweaty donkey balls. Eloquent when flustered, aren't I?
Anyway, it's Thursday. We're over the hump. Was it good for you?
March 29, 2006
I Fought The Pseudo Law
Dear Homeowners Association -
Thank you for your correspondence. Ah, how I live to see mail from your revered committee (Robert Heinlein once stated that "a committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain." I quite agree and assume that the same holds for an association such as yours.). You'll be happy to know that the majority of issues you mentioned have been taken care of. You see, we have a nice home. We're proud of it. Frankly, we were rather surprised to hear from you with any complaints to begin with. The trim is fixed and painted and, since it looks like we're out of the woods with the white stuff (not cocaine, we try and keep that off our lawn, and, instead, in bags in the attic) for the season, I've moved the snow shovel around back. The only issue left, then, is the trashcan...
As you know, our house is built on a hill. If you didn't know that, your observation skills suck. This makes fencing off the backyard impossible which, consequently, makes it damn near impossible to hold the annual Cactus Summer Orgy and Midget Tossing Weekend, especially after the bust several years ago. It also makes it really tough to hide the trashcan from view. And what do you care? If I'd decorated the trashcan with hardcore porn, I could see your point. But there's no porn. No offensive language. No big-ass metal spikes some innocent, misguided youth could inadvertently run into and lose an eye. It's a nice, harmless, garden variety trashcan.
We appreciated your follow-up phone call as well. It made one thing abundantly clear - you have nothing better to do with your sorry little life. Your argument in favor of building a trash enclosure was convincing. I could see how you'd think that might be our best option. And bonus points for convenience since we'd have to apply, to your office, to actually build said trash enclosure. By the way, what is a trash enclosure?
Here's what I'm thinking. You? Lay off. Go do your inspecting in another neighborhood or I'll kick your ass. Okay, maybe not. But if I get another letter about a fucking trash enclosure I'm going to build one. It's going to consist of a hot pink tarp with a message addressed to yours truly - Suck it, jackass.
Respectfully yours in Christ,
March 28, 2006
How Bobby Ewing Changed My Life
I love my parents. They're hip, wonderful people. They make me laugh and, quite often, they surprise me.
One of their biggest challenges seems to be remembering names and events. Detail isn't their thing. It really doesn't have anything to do with age - they're not that old. They've always been like this. My mom may, for instance, ask me if I remember running into Yul Brenner after seeing Cats in London. Of course, I'd reply, as I remember it vividly. It's only slightly less likely that she'd ask about the time we saw the Pope outside a church in Romania in which case I'd have to remind her that a) we've never seen the Pope and b) we've never set foot in Romania. Like I said, details.
My parents have also developed code names for actors and musicians. If they're to be believed, golfer Jack Nicholaus has starred in many fine films such as As Good As It Gets, About Schmidt and The Shining. Jon Anderson isn't the vocalist best known for fronting the once-powerful progressive rock band Yes. She's referring The Daily Show host John Stewart. Stephen Colbert is just known as The Report.
Before you say it, yes, I'm incredibly lucky to have parents who religiously watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. I know that.
On Sunday evening, after the now-obligatory argument over who told everyone in the country to stock up on tuna in case of an emergency (It was the Secretary of the Interior. No, it was the Surgeon General. But it was a man and the Secretary of the Interior's a woman. It was before she stepped down...) which got absolutely no farther than it did the previous week, my parents started talking about some show I supposedly used to love as a kid. Don't you remember? It was some guy who lived in the ocean and rescued people. He was like a superhero. You loved it! I was skeptical. Actually, I thought my parents had finally lost it. I could see them, teetering on the edge between independence and jello salad in the home. That is, until my mom went Rainman on me and said, it starred Patrick Duffy, who played Bobby on Dallas. I was shocked. Three pieces of information that all fit together perfectly. I still didn't have any idea what they were talking about. But still...
Yesterday morning, I IMDBed it and, sure enough Mr. Duffy starred in The Man From Atlantis which, during the 1977-78 television season, I apparently loved.
I'm sorry I doubted you, mom and dad. But you do give sanity a run for it's money sometimes.
March 27, 2006
At Play In The Fields of The Bored
(See what I did there with the whole banana/ape thing?)
God, Hasselhoff, And My Android Buddy
Sarcomical just had to upset the delicate balance that is my sanity, didn't she? Apparently so. Luckily, I didn't dream about hairy-chested wife-beater and German pop sensation David Hasselhoff. That would have been too much.
Dream #1: Truck and a Street Fight
The first involved Born Again Neighbors (BAN). I call them that since they seem to be a very religious family, sending all their kids (like, five boys) to private school, spending all day Sunday in church. Don't get me wrong - if that's what makes them happy, I'm cool with it. But they do take it a bit far sometimes. Ever seen those "God Bless America" stickers with the little American flags in the shape of a heart? They actually took the time to break out the Exacto knives and alter theirs. It now proudly says "America Bless God" which, for some reason, I find slightly offensive. Anyway, BAN dad works for a company that fixes shit. Fixing shit requires him to drive a big-ass truck that's super-loud. And instead of parking said big-ass truck close to his own house, he parks it in front of ours. Beth finally told him she'd kick his ass if he did it again (although, perhaps that wasn't quite how the conversation went). In one of last night's dreams, he found another place to park it - under our back deck. Then? I got half the neighbors on my side and a mighty street fight, complete with Matrix-like moves ensued. Don't worry - we kicked their asses, although we never were able to move the damn truck.
Dream #2: Stall Tactics
I was in the bathroom at work, only it wasn't the bathroom at work - you know how locations can change in dreams and seem perfectly correct. I'm sitting there going about my business when three of my female colleagues knock then open the stall door. They explain that they're on their way to a client meeting and need some advice before they go. I proceed to tell them everything they want to know and, recalling what I said this morning, I have to say I really did know what I was talking about. They ended up leaving, as did I after I'd finished what I'd begun in the first place. A parting comment from one, however, reminded me that I had a concert to attend, so I got on my skateboard and hightailed it out of there, my android friend in tow. And if the android thing wasn't odd enough, he seemed to be traveling on a six foot section of chain-link fence with wheels on the bottom. Oh, and a robot dog.
Let the analysis begin. Although, I'm not sure I really want to know.
Haiku For Monday #123
Weekends - like boy bands
or a porn star's lingerie.
Blink and you miss 'em.
March 26, 2006
Blue Sky Mining
Happy Sunday. That means we have to go back to work tomorrow, doesn't it? Fuck.
March 24, 2006
The Electric Company
Or, The Lamest Amusement Park In All The Land
Last night, we'd just put Mia to bed when we heard the sound of trucks. Big trucks. Big, loud trucks. We looked out the window and, sure enough, three big trucks from the power company, one wielding a cherry-picker loaded with a power company guy with a flashlight floating around in the night sky. Despite the fact that there was nothing remotely electric anywhere in the area, on the ground or in the air.
Me: What the fuck are they looking for?
Her: I have no idea but those trucks are going to wake up the baby.
Me: You know, they're the damn electric company. You'd think they'd turn off their trucks when they're just sitting there.
Her: I'll go find out what they're doing.
Me: So, what's that all about?
Her: They said they're replacing the bulbs in the streetlights.
Me: Um, there's no streetlight anywhere close to where they are, right?
Her: No, there isn't.
Me: So, basically, it's just two fat guys giving the other fat guy a ride in a cherry picker.
Her: Yep. Seems about right.
Schadenfreude Friday: Short Attention-Span Schadenfreude
First up...spotlight on addiction. Yes, addict of the year, a title formerly held by Robert Downey and Scott Weiland, goes to Babyshambles member (I haven't heard the band but with a name like that, I'm sure they suck) and boyfriend to the ever-clean, sober and pudgy Kate Moss, Pete Doherty. While I hate to poke fun at other's addictions (because, really, I know it's an illness and not something you should mock), I can't help being fascinated by the folks who seem to do everything in their power to unravel themselves, like some bizarre personality-fuelled suicide bomber. Like Doherty, who plead guilty to seven counts of possession, kicked a reporter on his way out of court then shot up in front of Rolling Stone writers during an interview.
"In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Doherty reportedly kicked off the Q&A by downing a veritable buffet of illegal substances. 'Over the next three hours, Doherty will also smoke crack, shoot heroin and take an ecstasy pill,' the New York Post quotes the article as saying. 'He does all of this casually, and openly, except for the shooting up, which he performs near the kitchenette, with his back to us...The more drugs Doherty does, the more he seems to relax. He never becomes incoherent, though occasionally he seems confused.'
A former participant on the ABC reality TV show "Wife Swap" was arrested for allegedly using his father's identity obtain a luxury car, loans and goods worth $100,000, authorities said on Thursday. Edward Heiss Jr., 50, allegedly used his father's identity to get credit cards and buy a $77,000 BMW, State Police Capt. Stephen Lynch said. Investigators said the spending spree began in 2004 and continued for more than a year.
Swapping wives wasn't enough? Prison will be fun. I hear they have a nice game there - bitch swap.
Will Beretta Fire Again?
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Robert Blake, who is apparently hoping for a comeback.
"I can be an actor no matter what happens. I was in the middle of a job when my father committed suicide and I went to work the next day...I've woken up some nights and wanted to drive till the car goes off a cliff. And an hour later, poetry is coming out of me. I want to go act. I want to go teach. I want to dance.
Poetry. Sing it, Beretta, sing.
"I'd like to give my best performance," Blake said. "I'd like to leave a legacy...I'm not ready for a dog and fishing pole yet. I'd like to go to bed each night desperate to wake up each morning and create some magic."
No dog or fishing pole necessary. A gun and a wife seemed to be all you needed to step back into the spotlight. As for a legacy, well, I think you did just fine. It might not have been what you were going for but sometimes we can't control these things.
March 23, 2006
Yesterday, amazingly, Mia turned eight months old. Could someone please tell me how this happened? I'm not going to be satisfied with anything less than theories incorporating quantum physics and large proofs containing equations I don't understand. Because I don't think there's any simple way for me to comprehend it.
Some days, it feels as if Mia came into the world eight short days ago. Other times, well, it seems more like eight years. Regardless of how it feels, we have proof. Mia has grown from a cute, sleepy blob into a little girl who's incredibly mobile for her age, able to entertain herself, play the guitar (and by play I mean bang), laugh and, as of yesterday, clap her hands when she's excited. It is absolutely, without doubt, the coolest and most amazing thing I have ever witnessed in my life.
Whenever I walk into a room, Mia smiles. But it's not just a smile. It's something much more radiant than that. As if someone punched a hole in the sky and funneled all the twinkling lights of the universe into her eyes. It makes me proud to be myself and lets me know, when nothing else seems to be going right, that I might not be such a bad guy after all.
March 22, 2006
I hope you'll all forgive me for a lack of personal replies to each of the comments you left yesterday. Let me just say that, as always, you guys rock. As a matter of fact, while I was looking through the comments last night, I turned to Beth and said, "You know, we're really lucky. We have a lot of really nice people who read our sites." She, of course, agreed. Yesterday was tough. The events that played out had been in motion for a little while, but it was still hard. Your comments, however, made it a little easier. So, thanks.
Then? We had beer. I heartily recommend you all have a beer or three for Callie. Just 'cos. Except for those of you who may be pregnant. In that case, just choose the beverage of your choice and consider naming your child Calypso. Sure he/she might get picked on on the playground but that builds character.
This morning? Back at work. There are meetings to lead, people to meet, and hands to shake. For good or ill, the world does continue to spin and we all continue to spin with it. Except for those of us who got off at the last stop.
Recap: What have we learned?
- Death sucks big hairy donkey balls.
- It's Hump Day and Have A Beer for Callie Day.
- Calypso is a fantastic, versatile name appropriate for girls or boys.
- You guys rock.
March 21, 2006
Calypso, Callie, Cipster, Caliptus Rex, Callie-Alley-Oxen-Free, Cipso-Facto, Callie The Great...
...you were the sweetest animal to ever walk the earth. I really wish you'd turned out to be immortal after all. I will miss you.
Do you remember Alexander? He of the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, incredibly shitty day? (Okay, so the shitty part was my addition.) Ladies and gentlemen, today you can just call me Alexander. Please excuse the lack of intelligent posting here today. More details to come...
March 20, 2006
In other words, perhaps I've made a geek.
Things I Could Talk About, But Won't
Monday morning again, huh? I can't say I'm too pleased about that. And my brain, it's not functioning too well. I've got all kinds of things I shouldn't talk about but nothing I should.
I won't talk about sleep. Or, more accurately, lack of sleep. No matter how apropos it might be in light of some terrible sleeping this weekend. It's a familiar, old refrain and I'd hate to bore you.
I can't even begin to go into the dream I had last night. Part of it was cool - I met some of you bloggers. But mostly it was disturbing. For some reason we were all sitting around a giant campfire in the desert, eating lots of meat while reading sections of Wizard of Oz aloud. I don't really want to know what forced that out of my subconscious. I do know, however, that the presence of David Hasslehoff was entirely attributable to Sarcomical.
I'm positive that I don't have the time or energy right now to get into a politically-charged rant about the blatant disregard for both truth and common sense on the part of the current administration in time to mark the three year anniversary of all that damn shock and awe. I think that deserves a post of its own.
Sadly, I'm not able to tell you how I put my hillbilly ninja skills to use leading a secret reconnaissance mission I led into the wilds of West Virginia in an attempt to take out those dueling banjo players once and for all. It was a secret mission, don't you know. You shall have your revenge, Ned Beatty!
I can't tell you how simultaneously amused and repulsed I am by the idea of Scientology. Or how much I love the South Park guys for this statement released by their lawyers (seriously).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!
-Trey Parker and Matt Stone, servants of the dark lord Xenu
Finally, I can't tell you how many cups of coffee I'm going to need to get myself moving this morning. I don't have that many fingers and, since it's Monday, my ability to count is based solely on the number of fingers I have. If you see me in the office with my shoes off, just know I was called on to do higher math.
Haiku For Monday #122
Haiku time seems to happen
A bit too often.
March 19, 2006
All three of us were in our bed this morning. I was making funny little gestures and Mia which both she and Beth were finding amusing for different reasons.
Her: Daddy must be one of the Stooges. Which Stooge are you?
Me: Iggy Pop.
Her: What? Was Iggy Pop one of the Three Stooges?
Me: No, he was one of The Stooges.
Her: I don't think that counts.
Me: Well, I've always hated the Three Stooges.
Her: I don't think you can be a guy and hate the Three Stooges. They'll take away your membership.
Me: I have a penis and I have a daughter. I've got the goods and I've procreated. I think I've met the major membership criteria.
March 17, 2006
Really Random. I Mean It.
"And the Lord ripened the avocados and said "Squasheth with thine feet and maketh guacamole, for it shall be a fiesta in thine mouths". And the people said, "Refrieth thine beans and let us make nachos." And the Lord did don his Holy Sombrero and make it so. And it was good."Perhaps I've gone to the well one too many times...
When you and a friend are being chased by a bear, you don't need to be faster than the bear, just faster than your friend.Twisted, but true.
Schadenfreude Friday Part II
Last Friday, I brought you a tale of woe from the Thomas Kinkade camp. I have to guiltily admit, I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing the Painter Of Light suffering so. This week, it's author Annie Proulx's turn to implode in front of us all.
Last weekend, Annie unleashed a rather scathing rant regarding the loss of Brokeback Mountain, based on a short story she authored, at the Academy Awards. While the piece is quite well-written, she only succeeds in making herself look like a selfish, 70-year old brat.
Roughly 6,000 film industry voters, most in the Los Angeles area, many living cloistered lives behind wrought-iron gates or in deluxe rest-homes, out of touch not only with the shifting larger culture and the yeasty ferment that is America these days, but also out of touch with their own segregated city, decide which films are good. And rumour has it that Lions Gate inundated the academy voters with DVD copies of Trash - excuse me - Crash a few weeks before the ballot deadline.
If Annie is claiming that Hollywood is out of touch with the rest of the world, well, no shit. And "segregated city"? Funny. The way she describes L.A. is the way the folks who came up with Crash described L.A. Which is odd, since the elements of racism and class the movie brought out are, in actuality, quite representative of the problems faced across the country, at least as I see it. It's at least as relevant as gay cowboys.
From the first there was an atmosphere of insufferable self-importance emanating from "the show" which, as the audience was reminded several times, was televised and being watched by billions of people all over the world. Those lucky watchers could get up any time they wished and do something worthwhile, like go to the bathroom.
Annie needs to decide something here. Either an Academy Award is something of honor, in which case she has the right to be disappointed, or they're a farce, a popularity contest, a masturbatory exercise amongst a small group of self-important people, in which case, why would she care if she lost?
You can't have it both ways, Annie. You can't believe that we'll feel your pain if you turn around and diminish the importance of whatever it is you hoped to win. I, for instance, don't particularly like the idea of blog awards. I've been nominated for a few, even won a few, and both experiences were nice. But, personally, I think they're kind of silly. Now, if I turned around and bashed a particular blogging award I was nominated for and lost knowing that, you'd think I was a spoiled, insufferable human being, right? If the shoe fits, Annie...
And that was it, three awards, putting it on equal footing with King Kong. When Jack Nicholson said best picture went to Crash, there was a gasp of shock, and then applause from many - the choice was a hit with the home team since the film is set in Los Angeles. It was a safe pick of "controversial film" for the heffalumps.
I didn't see the gay cowboy movie. I didn't see any of them with the exception of Crash, which I thought was slightly less than safe. And who cares? Movie makers aren't mandated to solve societal problems. They're not required to tackle controversial subjects. Movies are made, first and foremost, to entertain.
With the exception of her column in The Guardian, I've never read anything by Annie. I hear she's an excellent writer. Pity I'll never find out. Grace, like writing, is a talent. A talent Annie doesn't have. She might be right about a few things. But she sure didn't help herself by throwing a verbal temper tantrum in front of a public she deemed shallow to begin with.
March 16, 2006
I don't envy Beth, having to live and put up with me and my stupid sense of humor...
Beth is making all of Mia's baby food. She makes a batch of whatever fruit or vegetable, puts it into ice cube trays, freezes it and then puts it all in Ziploc bags. Bam! Little Mia-sized, Hungry Baby meals whenever we need them. Cool huh?
Popping those suckers out of the trays after they're frozen isn't always easy. Beth was having a little trouble last night with a batch of bananas.
Me: Having a hard time?
Her: There's one that just won't come out!
Me: Doesn't it know that resistance is fruitile?
Her: I'm not even going to acknowledge that.
Before she pulled them out of the freezer, I was clued into what she'd made. I saw the labeled Ziploc bag on the kitchen counter. The label was simple - "bananas" and the date.
Me: Heh. This bag? Kinda reads like a lost book of the Bible. Bananas Three-Fifteen. "And the Lord delivered unto man bananas. For he wished to provide them great nutrients and comedic devices on which the Three Stooges could slip. And the people rejoiced and said, oh Lord, spliteth them in twain and serve them with ice cream, and hot fudge, with a cherry on top. And he did. And it was good."
March 15, 2006
Spring Sprung At Midnight
Okay, okay. I took it this past Monday afternoon, around 4:00. But it looks like midnight, doesn't it?
Sadly, it appears as though Spring teased us with a glancing blow only to let that asshat Winter back in a few days later. Oh well. Can't last forever.
More on Flickr as always.
Coffee and Crying Jags
Things have not started well...
There are three kinds of cries Mia seems to break out depending on her mood and the criticality of whatever it is that happens to be wrong. First, there's the I'm moderately annoyed and/or uncomfortable but, hey, I'll get over it cry which is more fussy than anything. It's easily dealt with by picking her up or waving something shiny in front of her. Next, and slightly more robust, is the damnit, I'm pissed, I feel like crap, so get your asses in here now, people, marked by more serious, loud crying jags with extra-added bonus tears. Finally, there's the dreaded holy shit, people, a pack of wild dogs somehow made it into the house, climbed a flight of stairs and started chewing my appendages off cry. You would think that the end of the world as foretold by the book of Revelations was playing out in her room.
Last night? It was that third thing. Most of the night.
Then, before I knew it, the damn alarm was going off and, of course, I hit snooze over and over again despite being hit in the head by my wife because I'm still feeling about as motivated to go to work as I am to let rabid raccoons devour my scrotum. When I did head into work, it was cold and windy and the traffic sucked. And, just now, I strolled into my office, booted up and took a sip of coffee. Instead of it being the standard black, they dumped gallons of cream and sugar into it. I feel betrayed. Those women at Dunkin Donuts, I thought they knew me. I thought we were tight. Soulless bitches.
I have eight meetings standing between me and the weekend. I think itís time to get more coffee.
March 14, 2006
On Books: February '06
Huh. Only two weeks late with this. Not bad. Here's what I read in February...
Charlie Huston: Already Dead
Now famous for his incredibly brutal, gritty novels Caught Stealing and Six Bad Things, Huston takes an offramp on the crime fiction highway and enters Horrorville. Already Dead is a novel about vampires in modern-day Manhattan. this concept did not thrill me. I could care less about vampires. But I like Huston so I gave it a shot...and I'm pretty impressed. Already Dead is a great novel that reads like a mystery aside from the whole blood-sucking thing. I don't know enough about the other trillion vampire novels out there to gauge how unique an approach this was but I liked it. If you enjoyed his previous novels, this one won't disappoint.
Stephen Dedman: Foreign Bodies
Each month, I have a new imperative - read one or two of the books that have been on my shelves for years. This was one. It was your standard dystopian science fiction novel in which the world has gone to hell in a handbasket and authoritarian regimes are running the show. There was nothing at all original about the plot or the way it was executed. The writing was decent but, on the whole, there's better stuff out there that deals with the same things more effectively. Anything by William Gibson, for instance.
Sujata Massey: The Floating Girl
Another in the lackluster Rei Shimura series. Last month I think I blamed Massey for cheesy dialogue. And I will do the same this month. I honestly think she's trying to convey something cultural, something inherently Japanese and proper, in her dialogue but it comes off sounding stilted and not at all realistic. That said, she can write a decent story and the education she delivers about Japan is well worth struggling through awkward dialogue.
Peter Carey: Wrong About Japan
During February, I became thoroughly entranced by Japan, specifically Japanese manga, or graphic novels. A few months earlier, as luck would have it, I picked up this slim volume from the author of Oscar and Lucinda and True History of the Kelly Gang. It's the true story of the trip he and his manga-obsessed son took to Japan. It's interesting but terribly under-developed. I'd have liked it more if it had been twice the length. It just comes off sounding like shallow travel narrative. It's not bad. It's just not great.
William Nicholson: The Wind Singer
When I read Nicholson's The Society of Others a couple months ago I was astounded. It was Nicholson's first novel for adults which really limited what else from him I could go back and read. So I picked up the first of his children's trilogy. The Wind Singer is very Narnia in scope and style. That shouldn't be a surprise coming from Nicholson, who wrote the screenplay for Shadowlands, a movie about C.S. Lewis. That's not to say Nicholson isn't original. He is. The Wind Singer is wonderfully written full of imagery which more than adequately sated my overactive imagination. It is, in parts, a little brutal, a tad scary and there's a lot of death. I enjoyed it but I wouldn't let a 10 year old read it.
Nick Laird: Utterly Monkey
Laird is Ireland's answer to Nick Hornby or Jonathan Tropper. Sure, that sets the expectations high but he can live up to it. Utterly Monkey is a novel about work, hating work, screwing up work, and, most of all, friendship. It sounds cheesy but it's true. It's a very good novel, not heavy and definitely not light.
John Sandford: Mortal Prey
One word - solid. Even Sandford's worst book - not that this is it - is solid. He's just an excellent writer. This chapter in the Prey series finds hero Lucas Davenport facing a familiar foe, a foe that I quite liked the first time she surfaced. It could have been a bit better but it was, of course, solid.
Search String Madness!
The good news is that the whole dentist thing yesterday went well. No cavities or anything, although I did get a talking-to about my poor flossing habits. Those people are just obsessed with floss. I think they're getting paid off by the corporate flossing giants. Sadly, most of my creative powers were, apparently, housed in that gunk between my teeth because honestly I've got nothing. Luckily for me, it was about time to comb my search strings so, without further ado, here they are.
Rude games to play now. I'm going to recommend the always-fun Fuck With Weird Search String People.
A-Team soundtrack words. It was an instrumental, jackass.
Bootie butt. Isn't that somewhat redundant? Like "boobie tits" or "penis dick"?
You look very GQ. Why, thank you!
I don't know my neighbors. You wanna borrow our white trash neighbors? You're welcome to 'em.
Remove your pants. You first.
Am I having a boy or girl? and Free test is it a boy or a girl. Since there's obviously some demand, try the following: First, you'll want to grab a package of fresh boneless chicken breasts, a package of nails and some ping-pong balls. Also? A copy of J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. Remove the chicken breasts from the package and nail one to each available wall. Now, shove as many of the ping-pong balls in your mouth as you can. Open your copy of Catcher In The Rye and begin singing it to the tune of Gilligan's Island. Continue until chicken begins to smell or you reach chapter 10 in the book. Then call your doctor and schedule a sonogram. That other stuff doesn't prove a damn thing except that you're the asshat I assumed you were having searched my site for this information.
Acupuncture pressure points for pee. Look, I have no idea what you're going for but I can tell you this - needles and any body part involved in peeing really don't go together.
Ass dog! Penis cat!
Harry Potter cartoon porn. Yes, from the little known, unpublished adventure, Harry Potter and the Sex Slaves of Fluffandhump.
Louie Anderson you go now! Thank god I'm not alone. He is annoying as hell, isn't he?
Shaving with cool whip. Hey, whatever works.
The scariest shit on the web. I'm looking at it.
How do i know if my boobs are growing? Gah!
Picture of pregnant lobster. Oh great, now people are here looking for crustacean porn.
Ranch dressing cow urine. Ahhh, the secret of Hidden Valley.
Shit! Nothing makes sense so I won t think about it. I'll go with the ignorance. Amen, my friend. Amen.
Dick Cheney nude pix. You sick fuck. Please step away from the Internet.
March 13, 2006
My Lame Monday Morning Post
Yes, as I mentioned when I got all poetic on your asses, I'm working from home today since I have a dentist appointment this morning. Fun, right?
Since Mia came into the picture, I've had to adjust my working-from-home routine. Instead of working out of the office upstairs, I've found myself holed up in the basement. So, if you've ever wondered just where I am when I'm working from home, here you go.
Now, just don't tell my dentist about the Krispy Kremes, okay?
Happy Monday folks. If, well, there is such a thing.
Haiku For Monday #121
Home, working but home.
Don't be jealous. Coming soon...
March 11, 2006
March 10, 2006
Schadenfreude - pleasure taken from someone else's misfortune.
I'm not going to talk smack about art because everyone's different and everyone likes different stuff. That said, there's almost no part of this story, about pop-artist, "Painter of Light" Thomas Kinkade, that doesn't crack me up. Don't worry about reading it. I'm more than happy to give you the completely one-sided highlights.
In sworn testimony and interviews, they recount incidents in which an allegedly drunken Kinkade heckled illusionists Siegfried & Roy in Las Vegas, cursed a former employee's wife who came to his aid when he fell off a barstool, and palmed a startled woman's breasts at a signing party in South Bend, Ind.
I sincerely hope it wasn't this incident which caused that tiger to freak out. Painter of Light, Decapitator of Illusionists.
"He approached [her] and he palmed her breasts and he said, 'These are great tits!' " Ernie Dodson, another Cote employee, told The Times, adding that he drank no alcohol that night. "I was just standing in the corner in amazement. It was like, holy cow!"
Well, artists are quirky. Apparently this one isn't too bright...and only slightly self-centered. His explanation?
"But you've got to remember," he said, "I'm the idol to these women who are there. They sell my work every day, you know. They're enamored with any attention I would give them. I don't know what kind of flirting they were trying to do with me. I don't recall what was going on that night."
My favorite part, however, is this:
And then there is Kinkade's proclivity for "ritual territory marking," as he called it, which allegedly manifested itself in the late 1990s outside the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. "This one's for you, Walt," the artist quipped late one night as he urinated on a Winnie the Pooh figure.
And there you go, my loser of the week. Who's yours?
March 9, 2006
Ten Things I Can't Wrap My Head Around
In lieu of anything of substance this morning (I'm kinda tired), I give you 10 Things I Can't Wrap My Head Around. They will shock and amaze you. Or? Bore you to tears. But pretend like you're shocked and amazed because it's all I've got this morning.
1. American Idol. I've watched it since it debuted but I'm not feeling it this year. It very well might have jumped the shark for me this year. Maybe parenting has taken over the part of my brain that used to be amused by seeing sucky singers vogue for the camera. Apparently, I haven't lost the ability to use "vogue" as a verb, though, which is a little scary.
2. Spray On Hair. I think the reasons are obvious.
3. Leashes for Kids. If you really wanted a dog, you probably should have gotten a dog. Maybe I'll understand when my kid starts to walk but I doubt it. Just don't let me catch you feeding little Timmy a bowl of kibble, okay?
4. Norah Jones. Yeah, yeah, yeah, nice smoky voice, jazz stylings mature beyond her years. But? Really boring. Come away with you? What, for a nap?
5. Elisha Cuthbert. People, she's funny lookin'. And what's up with her eyebrows?
6. Really Old People Who Drive No More Than 20 Miles An Hour.
7. Myspace. Now, I haven't fully explored its potential but, um, I'm not sure I understand how it's different from the 2.4 billion other sites out there that claim to do the same thing. Plus - and no offence to you who have myspace pages because, of course, I have one too - its a fugly site. But like I said, I haven't played with it much so I could just be talking out of my ass. Metaphorically.
8. The Oscars. I know a lot of you watch. And I'll admit that the first thing I did when I got into work on Monday was to check out the winners. That said, am I the only one who sees it as a big circle-jerk for an exclusive group of people? There's nothing wrong with that. It just needs to be recognized for what it is.
9. Shock and Outrage At Abundant Steroid Use. We're supposed to be surprised? Come on, these people's heads are huge. The best revenge, however, is that their balls are very tiny.
10. The Bush Administration. How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways. Do I need to explain?
March 8, 2006
David Gilmour: On An Island
Iím a guitarist. That means Iím super-critical of other guitarists and hard to impress. Guitarists with recording contracts who can do what I can do? Not impressive. But there are some guitarists who have incredibly unique sounds and techniques. Among those, David Gilmour has to be my favorite.
Recorded on the Astoria, the guitaristís houseboat-slash-recording studio, Gilmour gathers a host of stunningly able musicians yet fails to produce an album worthy of such a long wait. Itís been 22 years since his last solo release, and 12 years since his last studio work with Pink Floyd saw the light of day. Maybe itís because of the anticipation but Iíve got to say, Iím a little disappointed.
The album opens on a promising note, with the instrumental Castellorizon. Orchestral noise and effects eventually yield something more cohesive out of which a sensational guitar solo blooms. The solo represents almost everything Gilmour stands for musically. The title track is up next. I first heard it a few weeks back and wasn't all that impressed. Now I'm convinced it's one of the better offerings on the disc. I'm not sure whether that says something good about the song or something bad about the album. On An Island is a fairly mellow song, reminiscent of something Pink Floyd would have released somewhere around 1975 with hints of his work on The Wall. Floyd keyboardist Rick Wright's contribution to the song probably has something to do with this. Underutilized here are David Crosby and Graham Nash who contribute backing vocals. I say "underutilized" because I wouldn't have known it was them had I not read the liner notes. Gilmourís Fender Strat isn't underutilized. His solo is nothing short of brilliant.
The Blue provides the soundtrack to a breezy summer Sunday. Know what I mean? It's quiet and dreamy with lush vocals, a little keyboard and piano thrown in for good measure. The song structure is odd which wouldn't be a problem if it was powerful in the right places. It's not. Instead it's merely strident until the signature guitar solo which kicks in around the three minute mark. I don't have any problem with the solo. The rest of the song? Not all that exciting. Take A Breath follows, the title of which is ominously muttered over and over punctuated by layering of coarse, crunchy guitars. As with The Blue, there's something missing, an edge. Without it, the song just fails to connect. The guitar work is great, layered thick with fantastic soloing similar to that on High Hopes, one of the oft-overlooked Floyd masterpieces.
While Take A Breath might sounds familiar, Red Sky At Night is quite different. On it, Gilmour makes his saxophone debut. Not half bad. The short instrumental would sound at home in a 50's black and white noir film. It sounds okay here too. This Heaven takes a different tack, exposing a bluesier side of Gilmour. A very raw sounding acoustic guitar provides the rhythm and a rough, distorted electric shows off Gilmour's soloing abilities once again. That said, it's not a very interesting song and the orchestral arrangement behind it seems a little out of place. The instrumental Then I Close My Eyes opens in much the same way as This Heaven - with an unprocessed acoustic bit. A glass harmonica and piano back more guitars as they enter the mix and the whole thing settles into another one of those warm, lazy Sunday numbers.
Smile is a short, acoustic number that, again, fits well with the whole laid back, mellow thing Gilmour has going. It is, perhaps, one of the nicest songs he's ever written. There's nothing especially brilliant or flashy about it. It's just, well, nice. A Pocketfull of Stones follows. It contains some of the best lyrics on the album (most of which were penned by longtime collaborator and wife, Polly Samson) but it's not a very interesting song. Think Pink Floyd on Valium. It's only partially redeemed by the standard issue Gilmour solo. Where We Start closes the album. With its clean electric guitars and backing acoustics, it sums up the album nicely. It doesn't go out in a blaze of electric guitar soloing glory. Instead, the clean guitars and pianos fade nicely away.
On An Island is an odd album, primarily because it didn't thrill me but I was happy to get my hands on any new Gilmour material so I don't feel entirely shortchanged. It's also odd because, while the music didn't hold my interest, the guitar work is excellent and will, no doubt, prompt repeated listens. The album does nothing to change my mind about Gilmour - he's talented as hell and is one of the greatest guitarists to walk the earth.
Should you buy it? If you're a Floyd fan, definitely (I noticed my mind drifting to the rarely talked-about 1972 Floyd release Obscured By Clouds; these two albums, despite being released so far apart, have a very similar feel). I'd also recommend it if you're a fan of Gilmour or good guitarists in general. If you want a solid, mellow album, this is for you as well.
In many respects this is a perfect David Gilmour album. Instead of making a sad attempt to recapture his rock-star glory, he's made an album that's solid and, according to recent reviews, he feels very comfortable with. As a musician, he's aging with grace and dignity. Sure, I wish it was a little more interesting but, well, it's what he gave us so I'll just have to be content with that.
Inappropriate Things I Did Last Night
Stress, people. It drives you to do some crazy things. I had a big decision to make about work last night and found myself doing some rather, well, inappropriate things. Let's take a look, shall we?
Thing One: Craps
Just before we sat down to dinner, I tried to teach my daughter how to play craps with two of her blocks.
Beth: What are you doing?
Me: Teaching Mia to play craps with her blocks.
Beth: Oh. How are you doing?
Me: The house has been cruel but it looks like we're getting dinner comped.
Thing Two: Raise High The Roof Beam Bitches
Mia was in her jumpy seat/contraption/thingy. The whole jumping experience is really much better, in her opinion, if we jump along with her. She enjoyed it tonight. She raised her hands in the air, over and over again, like a comedian going for extra applause. I did the same. At some point, I might have also said, rather enthusiastically, "Let's raise the roof on this bitch." Um, several times.
Thing Three: Innocent and Always Prepared? My Ass!
Two weeks ago - one...two...two! - the neighborhood gang of Girlscouts we bought cookies from tried to deliver our two boxes. I didn't have cash, but I did have a screaming baby in my arms, and they refused to take a check. The nerve. I told them to come back. Finally, last night, they returned. We owed them $7 but Beth and I agreed we should dock them at least $2 for the late delivery and crappy service.
Beth: Did you give them all $7?
Beth: But they were late.
Me: Well, I pulled one of them aside and I kicked her ass.
Beth: Oh, that's fine then.
Me (evil voice): Four went out to deliver cookies...only three returned. Mwahhahaha.
March 7, 2006
Welcome To The Jungle
The astonishing fact for the morning is this - I'm wide awake. Now, that might not seem like a huge accomplishment but it should be noted that Mia spent half the night screaming. And when she wasn't screaming, I was having odd dreams about professional wrestling and NASCAR. Which is really fucked up because, well, I'm not exactly a professional wrestling or NASCAR kinda guy.
Because of The Tiredness, not to mention a plethora of paperwork I have to get done this morning, I recount last night's dinner conversation. Should you wish to recreate this conversation exactly as it occurred, find and commandeer the nearest baby, poking it occasionally for the appropriate sound effects and fling some mashed up avocado around the kitchen.
Not long ago, Beth and I tried to name all the real-life Monkees. From the sixties TV show. We didn't just throw down this challenge randomly. It was, instead, sparked by the presence of Mia's little monkey toy. We could only name three - Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork and Davy Jones. We'd forgotten about poor Mickey Dolenz.
Last night, we traveled down a similar albeit more bizarre road, once again inspired by the damn monkey toy.
Her: The Monkees! Starring Peter O'Toole.
Me: Peter O'Toole wasn't a Monkee. He was in A Monkey In Winter. Or was it Monkey of Arabia?
Her: All The President's Monkeys
Me: The famous war flick Monkeys Over The River Kwai.
Her: The Monkeys of Navarone
Me: Mr. Monkey's Navy
Her: Code Name: Monkey
Me: Guadalcanal Monkey
Her: The eighties classic Pretty In Monkey
Me: Sixteen Monkeys
Her: The Monkey Club
Me: St. Elmo's Monkey
Her: Can't Buy Me Monkey
Me: Bill And Ted's Excellent Monkey
Her: Say Monkeything
Me: The breakthrough filmaking of Citizen Monkey
Her: Wizard of Monkey
Me: Gone With The Monkey
Her: To Kill A Monkeybird
Me: Twelve Angry Monkeys
Her: A Monkey To Remember
Me: Bang A Monkey Slowly
Her: Monkey Gump
Me: Monkey Encounters of the Third Kind
Her: The Urban Monkey
Me: The Day The Monkey Stood Still
Her: Forbidden Monkey
Me: Soylent Monkey
Her: Dead Monkey's Society
Me: Monkey X
Her: Born on the Fourth of Monkey
Me: Hunt For The Red Monkey
Her: On Golden Monkey
Me: Saturday Night Monkey
Her: Saving Private Monkey
Me: The Grapes of Monkey
Her: Of Mice And Monkeys
Me: Natural Born Monkeys
Her: Monkey and Flow
Me: Brokeback Monkey
Her: The Man With Two Monkeys
Me: The Man From Snowy Monkey
Her: Monkey Night Lights
Me: Scent of a Monkey
Me: The Godmonkey Part One
Her: Apocalypse Monkey
Me: Full Metal Monkey
Her: 2001: A Monkey Odyssey
Me: Beverly Hills Monkey
Her: Lethal Monkey
Me: Boogie Monkey
Her: Office Monkey
Me: Good Monkey Hunting
Her: Fried Green Monkeys
Me: Harry Monkey and the Goblet of Poo
Her: Walk The Monkey
Me: A History of Monkey
Her: The Constant Monkey
Me: Memoirs of A Monkey
Her: March of the Monkeys
Me: Good Night and Good Monkey
March 6, 2006
World, Slow Down!
As with most weekends, this recent one was just way too short. I could have used an extra day and, perhaps, a little more sleep (since I just noticed that I'm wearing black pants, black shoes and - oops - blue socks). I did, however, get some stuff done this weekend, including a little day in the life photo set on Saturday.
Aside from the collected photographic evidence, the weekened played out the way most tend to. Although this one contained some extra-added bonus sleep deprivation. On Saturday night, after only a couple hours of sleep, Mia decided she was wide awake. Trying to entertain an infant while lulling her to sleep at 1:00 AM isn't as easy as you'd think. Last night, there was a great deal of screaming going on at around the same time. But, since I had to head into work this morning, um, I kinda let Beth deal with the consequences. I know. I'm terrible.
So that's it. Another weekend down. These weeks, and months, seem to be passing a little too quickly for my comfort. Anyone know how to slow the world down a bit?
Haiku For Monday #120
Don't let the closed eyes
fool you. I'm awake. Really.
March 4, 2006
Where Bad Puns Go To Die
The three of us went grocery shopping a little while ago armed with a new padded contraption designed to make a comfortable seat for Mia in the cart. While waiting in line to check out...
Beth (to Mia): So, was the seat comfortable? Looks like you had fun except for the fact that you leaned to the right the whole time.
Me (to Beth): Well, Mia knows that every good shopper has a list.
March 3, 2006
Answers! Get Your Fresh Hot Answers (Part Two)
...as promised, more answers to more of your questions...
[Jessie] What CD in your (apparently expansive) collection would you be embarrassed about owning if we found out about it?
Probably the most objectionable CD I own is called Eat Me In St. Louis by It Bites. Now, there's truth in advertising. Surprisingly, they're actually a well-respected British band attempting something of a reunion right now. Aside from that, I'm not really ashamed of anything I own. Yes, I have a TON of hair metal, not to mention some very bad examples of stuff created in the 80's. But I'm ready and willing to admit that some of it's crap. I guess the worst are the William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy albums from the late 60's. God are those terrible.
[Jay Wilkins] If you could do one thing before you die (and if money were not an object) what would you do?
As much as I'd like to rebel against the saintly, good-guy answer that wants to break free and expose itself, I can't. Here's my idea. I put together a band and a world tour. Mia, Beth and I travel the world, I play music and - since money is no object - we provide food and cash to people without around the globe. Sure, that's a tad idealistic. I'd just settle for making sure that, somehow, no one goes to bed hungry for a day.
[Alice] What was Mr. Zzwxys your client for? What colour are the pants, and do Beth and Mia agree with you?
I have no clue although I have the sneaking suspicion that was the name we assigned to the guy who dropped dead in front of us while mowing his lawn. No shit. We were out in my friend's front yard and, boom, dude goes down. We called an ambulance but it was too late. He'd had a heart attack. Of course, our investigation yielded foul play. I mean, what fun was a naturally dead guy? The pants? They were camel colored pleated slacks. Beth didn't have a chance to see me in them much and Mia currently lacks the language skills to express any sort of opinion regarding my pants or just about anything else.
[Sunshine] What is the one thing (besides your daughter, your cats, and your wife pretty much anything not breathing) that you would save in a fire?
Most everything we have is replicable. There's some stuff in a fire safe I might try to grab (yes, I know it's a fire safe and, therefore, should be safe in a fire but still). I think I'd also grab the computer and toss it out a window or something. I back things up pretty regularly but I wouldn't want to take any chances with all the pictures of Mia. You know, this is a question I used to worry about the answer to a lot. Now, I don't. I've come to realize that the only things that matter are Mia, Beth and the cats. As long as they're okay, the world is alright.
[Bethany] If you could have one day without any family obligations (pretend Beth and Mia went away on a little mommy-daughter holiday)--what would you do?
A day alone? I don't think I understand the question. That's not possible, is it? Seriously, I don't have a hard time entertaining myself. I was an only child. I'm happy with a book and a comfy chair. I'd probably hang out in bed for a while, read a book or two, maybe watch a movie. Most likely, after a couple hours, I'd just end up staring at the clock waiting for Beth and Mia to come back home. Because I'm lovably pathetic like that.
[Sarcomical] Have you ever colored your hair?
No. Although to be completely honest with you guys, I have used that Sun-In crap at the beach. Now that I'm going gray, I've realized I just don't give a damn anymore. Hair is hair. At least I've got some.
[Melissa] What do you hope your daughter will grow up to be?
I don't want to be a pushy parent. I want Mia to do whatever makes her happy. That said, there are some professions that I hope she steers clear of. I mean, the world needs strippers and porn stars. My daughter just doesn't need to be one of them.
[Nic] When you're driving and someone cuts you off in traffic, do you right off look at their plate to see where they're from? And having done that do you excuse the people from out of state (cause they don't know how to drive here) or do you growl and mentally wish them back to whatever backwoods state they oozed from?
I try and wave and shoot them a smile because I'm convinced that pisses people off more. Of course, while I'm waving at them I'm usually calling them bitch-ass motherfuckers or some other, equally nonsensical combination of expletives.
[Lisa B] If Beth has ever asked you, "Do I look fat in these pants?" (I can't imagine she'd look anything else but gorgeous but women tend to ask things like that anyway...) What was your answer?
The answer (both the standard and accurate answer, mind you) is always no. Anything less than an emphatic and immediate no would be a deviation from the Committed Man's Rules For Modern Living, the secret handbook all men are given when they get hitched or otherwise involved with the opposite sex. Of course, now that I just admitted to its existence, who knows what'll happen to me.
[Melati] Have you ever really hated someone? I mean that really deep seeded hate, pure, straight, stemming from your toes kind of hate. If so, why? And have you gotten over it?
I pride myself on being open-minded and even-tempered but the answer to this? A resounding yes. I once worked for this horrid bitch. All she had to do was gaze in my general direction and I'd get pissed. She's really the only person I'd ever describe by dropping the C-bomb. The funny thing is that I really don't know why she was able to push my buttons so effectively. We worked for a non-profit, with too few employees to cover the work and no budget whatsoever. Yet, she'd strut in wearing her furs over a fantastic outfit from Holier Than Thou of Paris, completely self-important and indulgent. To say there wasn't a fit between her style and our business would be an understatement. One day, I'd completely had it. I walked out of her office and someone stopped my just outside her door. "Why are you so pissed?" he asked. Knowing I was still within earshot of her, I raised my voice. "Because she's such a fucking bitch" I responded." I didn't give a damn what happened. Nothing did. Except for the fact that she quit a few weeks later. I did a happiness dance the likes of which the world had never quite seen.
[Gavin] Okay, what's your favourite time of day?
Late night or early morning. Now, I don't get to see much of the night anymore, but I still dig being up early, before the sun rises. I feel like it's my little chunk of day before everyone else wakes up and starts needing stuff from me.
[Wordgirl] If you had your own tv channel one night a week and it played only OLD shows that were in syndication, what would be your line-up from 6-10 p.m.?
Are you trying to kill my brain? That's tough. Let's see, that's four hours of television. I know I'm going to have 20 other ideas once I post this but here it goes.
6:00 - 6:30: I Love Lucy Call me light in the loafers but that show never gets old.
6:30 - 7:00: Dick Van Dyke Show Another classic that never gets old.
7:00 - 7:30: Are You Being Served
7:30 - 8:00: Soap I'm not sure how many people remember this one but it was one of the single oddest and funniest shows on television.
8:00 - 8:30: Cheers Norm!
8:30 - 9:00: Friends
9:00 - 10:00: Law & Order
[Beth in STL] I know you're a musician so I'll ask you this. Which band/musical artist do you think has had the biggest influence--good or bad--on the music industry in the U.S. and why?
Great question. Although my immediate response is to stress that I think it's the music industry that has a bad influence on artists and bands, not the other way around. Frankly, I think the Beatles had the most lasting influence on the music industry and the artists that followed. In addition, the bands who followed in the immediate aftermath of the British invasion - Cream, Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and progressive rock bands like early Genesis, Yes and ELP - had substantial influence as well. While the Beatles crafted pop and rock, their successors took disparate elements - blues, jazz, classical - and formed one giant, complex sound. I'd argue that Zeppelin single-handedly set the stage for contemporary rock and metal while, at the same time, cultivated a new appreciation for traditional American blues.
Nearly every Friday, I say something like damn, it's been a long week. I'm the Boy Who Cried Long Week. Or something. But it's true!
Aside from lunch with my dad, my schedule, for once, is clear. I won't have to test any of your excellent meeting excuses. As for weekend plans, who knows? You?
For now, I'm just going to bond with my cup of coffee, check the news and hope no fires need putting out...for a least the next half hour. Happy Friday guys. You guys, without a shadow of a doubt, rock.
March 2, 2006
Would someone please give me an excuse to get out of the two meetings I've got this afternoon? Somehow, I don't think I don't fucking care will suffice. I've come up with the following but I don't think they're any better.
1. I'm sorry, I have to take a nap.
2. You sure you need me? I've got vicious gas.
3. I'm so drunk!
4. God commanded me not to attend.
5. Mind if I bring my lunch? Anyone want some raw garlic and blue cheese salad?
6. I'm on duty as one of Satan's minions today. Gotta stay close to the phone.
7. I've temporarily lost the ability to hear. What? Huh?
8. I've fucking come down with a rare motherfucking case of African Cursing Sickness, bitches.
Answers! Get Your Fresh Hot Answers (Part One)
Ahhh, I love the smell of questions in the morning! You asked, I've answered. Some of them at least. I've still got my work cut out for me but here's the first round!
[Wicked H] When Mia starts dating, at age 25 of course, will you intimidate her suitors?
First, I'm afraid you have that age wrong. Add 5 years, please. In the mean time, I'll be developing a small arsenal of weapons, although Beth forbids me to own firearms. Therefore, I shall own a slingshot. Not only will I become an excellent slingshot marksman, I will cultivate (rightly so) the reputation for being Mia's Dad The Crazy Slingshot Guy. No one wants to fuck with The Crazy Slingshot Guy.
[Pea] Barring the death of a loved one, or the birth of a child, do guys (or if you feel comfortable, you) have crying jags?
After Mia was born, I copped to having a full-on, overwhelming crying jag. I bawled like a little sissy boy. Aside from that, however, I don't feel like a need a good cry every now and then. I personally tend to deal wiht stress and emotion in other ways...like buying stuff. But I'm not afraid to cry.
[Tricia] What is the biggest change in your daily routine or something you just do differently in general since becoming a father? What do you do now that you didnt before, aside from kiss TWO princesses in the morning?
Uh, everything. Those of you who have kids can attest - the center of the universe radically shifts, and the focus of every waking moment becomes that child. One of the things I was most concerned about before Mia arrived was how my life was going to change, how my relationship with Beth would change. I was really terrified about things never being the same again. Justifiably. They wouldn't be. But what I later realized was that I just didn't care. Life is different. And wonderful.
[Emily] Where did the stop sign on the wall in your music room come from?
Search through the archives and you'll find a few entries about my friend Adam. during the last couple of years of high school, he and I were inseparable. One night we made elaborate plans to steal street signs. We dressed in black and had a shitload of tools. We stole the stop sign. And then we quit for the night. I don't really remember why we ended our sign spree so early but it's probably best that we did. When people use the phrase "up to no good" they're talking about Adam and I.
[Emily] What was your favorite ever TV show when you were a kid?
I have to go with The Brady Bunch. I think I've seen every single episode of that show dozens of times. I also used to love The Price Is Right, especially on days I was sick and stayed home from school.
[Rocky] If you could relive your entire life, but do only one thing different, what would it be?
You know, what I'm about to say is going to sound like a cop-out but I don't mean it that way at all. My answer? Nothing. I've done some stupid shit in my 33 years. I've done some stuff that I regret, things that had intended or unintended consequences, and made mistakes that hurt people. But I fully believe in the Star Trek Theory Of Time - change one thing, you change hundreds or thousands of things down the road. I am who I am today because of the life I've led so far. And I like who I am today.
[Autumn] What has changed the most about your view of YOU since Mia came along?
I've always been a self-centered bastard. No, really. I'm a whole lot less important than I previously thought. Then again, I'm more important in different ways. I'm now providing for a family. It's funny. I look at the way my daughter looks at me and I feel more important than I've ever felt for all the right reasons.
[Red] Do you plan on having more kids?
Note to the Internet - no decisions have been made and thinking is different than trying. We're thinking about it. I think we both envision having two kids. We're just trying to think through the timing. And? I personally can't imagine focusing on any other little person besides Mia right now.
[JackassJimmy] During the height of college buffoonery, did you ever think you would be where you are today?
You know, I did some stupid stuff in college, the kind of stuff we all do or did, but I always saw myself growing up, getting my stuff together and being a family kinda guy. That said, did I see this exact picture? Kinda.
[Fauve] If Mia had been a boy, what name did you have picked out? and Any chance we get to see a picture of your, uh, pants?
Well, I didn't manage to take a picture of my good-ass pants. So sorry. As for your other question, you know, we didn't have any good boy names picked out. Beth and I both felt early on that we were having a girl. Thank god. We couldn't think of ANY good boy names.
[Pammer] Who would you cast to play you in a sitcom or movie about your life?
Although he looks nothing like me, I've got to go with perpetually underrated actor John Cusak. And it would have to be a sitcom. No serious movie about my life would be at all accurate.
[Michelle] Out of your mobile tie collection, which tie is your favorite? Do you have a least favorite?
My recent favorite is a tie my parents gave me that they picked up last time they were in Paris. It's got tiny porcupines on it. There's a long, unfunny story that resulted in me calling Mia squizzle which, in this long, unfunny story, was a name for a porcupine. So, it's my squizzle tie.
[Traci] I'm curious what you did with the box that was full of old remotes from electronic items you no longer own?
I shoved that box of remotes back in the closet. My daughter seems to have a remote fetish so I'm hanging on to them for a rainy day.
[Kim] What do you like the best/least about where you live? If you could live anywhere else, where would you go?
This area's totally overgrown. I dig the fact, though, that my neighborhood is about as built up as it can possibly be yet there are still trees and woods and parks and walking trails. Of course, there's the added bonus that we're close to great restaurants too. If I had to live anywhere else? That's a tough one. I'd dig living in Paris for a year. But I'd also like to move to a small town in the middle of nowhere and lead a more simple life. I know. A simple life might very well be a myth.
[CroutonBoy] When you have a quiet moment, and your mind wanders, where does it most often land? And when you're really, really pissed, does it ever recall a deep-seeded memory of something in your past that made you feel the same? If so, what was it?
Damn. That's a thinker. My mind wanders constantly and rarely does it land on any one thing for more than a second. Lately, it tends to land on my daughter. When I'm pissed, I think back to this little asshole who lived in my neighborhood growing up. His name was Russel and he was a complete and utter dick. One time, he tried to stab me through the heart with an arrow. He missed. Dick couldn't even aim right.
March 1, 2006
Bet You Didn't Know...
Stephanie tagged me! So here, without further ado, are five things you might be surprised to learn about me.
1. I've admitted that spiders creep me out. But so do big ships, specifically big ships in large expanses of water. I was snorkeling in the Caymans once and the water was so clear I could see the underside of a cruise ship pass by off the coast. Ever since, it's just been one of those things that sends eerie chills up my spine.
2. I'm fascinated by the histories of objects and places that exist outside the mainstream. Like, I really dig watching Antiques Roadshow. I think the ability to trace the history of an object is fascinating. I like old pictures of people I don't know. I guess, more than anything, I like knowing that there are little mysteries that remain unsolved in a society that leaves little to the imagination.
3. I'm not a picky eater. That said, I have a weird food thing. I don't like it if something's been opened - even well refrigerated - for any length of time. An opened jar of pickles or salsa in the fridge? I'll probably pass. And I'm not a fan of leftovers. I mean, maybe the power went off and that leftover casserole has developed a rare, mutant strain of some deadly flesh-eating bacteria. Yes, yes, I know it's not rational but then, I never advertised myself as a rational person.
4. I'm wearing a pair of pants today that, I think, makes my ass look good. I hesitate to mention this because, well, it sounds like a girly thing to say. But really, I think my ass looks pretty decent in these pants.
5. When I was a kid, a friend and I formed a private detective agency. He was John Dickson. I was John Copley. We were independently wealthy and only took the cases that interested us. We were inspired by Magnum PI, Simon & Simon and Charlie's Angels (without the angels, sadly). Our most notable client (fake, of course) was a Mr. Zzwxys. We picked that name because it was the last name in the phone book.
There. Five brand-spankin' new nuggets of neuroticism. Instead of tagging anyone in particular, I point to you all. Even you, hiding behind the couch. For what? Several times in the past, I've opened up my comments for questions - anything you want to ask, anything you want to know. I haven't done so since becoming a dad so I figured, what the hell. So, open up the comments and ask me anything. All questions will be answered here on the site and the whole batch will be posted to my "about" page as well.