November 30, 2003

Questions: Round One

Yesterday, I invited everyone to let me know what you thought you needed to know about me. I've gotten a decent response so far but keep them coming. I'll be rolling all these into a 100 Things soon.

This round of questions comes to you courtesy of Olive.

How'd you end up as an "IT Security Geek"?

I graduated school with very non-technical liberal arts degrees. I mean, how was Far Eastern history going to get my anywhere? I got a temporary job at a local non-profit agency as their assistant communications director. It became permanent very quickly and I began to wear many, many hats. Before I knew it, I was running and designing their Web site and handling all the technical aspects of the agency. I left the company and went to work as a systems administrator/network architect for a dot-com. After two years of good experience, I got laid off (couldn’t see that one coming could you?) and moved into the wonderful world of post-9/11 IT security. It was just that simple.

If you could live anywhere on the planet, where would you choose?

Paris. Its freshest in my mind but the quality of life is so much better than ours in North America. We’re always rushing from point a to point b. The Parisians, however, seem to take their time. It doesn’t hurt that they live in a gorgeous city.

What's the story behind the cats' names?

Callie: Real name Calypso. I’m not sure exactly how it came about. She’s been my wife’s cat since she (my wife) was twelve.
Pixel: The name was taken from a book by Robert Heinlein entitled The Cat Who Walks Through Walls. It seems somewhat appropriate.

How big is that list of books you've read in the last 5 years?

I’ve been keeping track of everything I’ve read over the last five years. I average somewhere around 100 books a year. So, probably right around 500.

Favourite possession (other than the Fender :)

Other than the Fender? Surely you jest. There’s a group of stuff I keep in my right-front pocket. First, I have a rock that my wife gave me as a good luck charm many years go. I also have a small keyring on which I have:
-an old earring that reminds me of my youth
-a Fosters bottle cap that my wife handed me several years ago and said, “Here, keep this forever”
-a button, I’m not sure what from; and
-a small silver elephant, a good luck symbol

Yes, that’s a cheesy answer but it’s the first thing I pick up in the morning and the last thing I put down at night. And I go nowhere without them.

What's the mileage on that SUV (oh, come on, you KNEW I was going to ask that one *grin)

I think its around 18 mpg. Its my wife’s…I actually don’t get to drive it as much as I’d like.

What do you look for in a blog that keeps you reading?

Honesty and personality. Its all well and good having a blog that keeps track of the latest news or issues but if it doesn’t have personality or isn’t an honest reflection on the person sitting at the keyboard, it really doesn’t interest me much.

Posted by Chris at 04:04 PM | Comments (5)

November 29, 2003

Shortest Movie Review Ever

Title: Love, Actually
Verdict: Fantastic, Actually.

Posted by Chris at 03:50 PM | Comments (14)

100 Things: What Must You Know?

I've been trying to think of my 100 Things. And I realize for all the narcissistic pictures I post of myself, I'm not all that good talking about myself. So, here's my challenge to you: Ask me questions. Tell me what you want to know. Maybe that'll help :-)

Posted by Chris at 10:04 AM | Comments (9)

November 28, 2003

The Fine Print

I'm getting older. I know, I know. Everyone is. And the age thing doesn't exactly bother me. Except that I realized several months ago that I've been choosing books to read based on the size of the type. I've got a fairly substantial 'to-read' shelf (read: about two full bookcases that I've not yet plowed through) but all the larger type books are flying off the shelves at a more furious pace than others. Sure, I have reading glasses but that seems extreme for a 30 year-old, right? And they make me look like this:

Posted by Chris at 09:30 PM | Comments (9)

The Day After

Luckily, I don't have to work today. While we don't get too many holidays off, this is truly one I appreciate. I'm in uber-lazy mode and am not actually planning on even leaving the house today. I did update the galleries though. So, enjoy!

Oh...and happy Official-Start-of-the-Christmas-Season.

Posted by Chris at 02:02 PM | Comments (4)

Best Wishes for A Fellow Blogger

Marie just had surgery. I wish her all the best and a speedy recovery. Drop by and leave some happy thoughts for her.

Posted by Chris at 11:58 AM | Comments (1)

November 27, 2003

Thanksgiving Reflections

I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving. Beth and I went to the in-laws' place along with my parents and Beth's brother and his wife. People seem to think its really strange that we all get along so well. While it might be rare, I think its special. Kinda what the holiday is all about.

Loading the car on the way to dinner...

Posted by Chris at 11:10 PM | Comments (4)

November 26, 2003

The Meeting

Thank you all for your good thoughts this afternoon. I'm happy to report that the meeting turned out pretty well. By the time I left I heard a "thanks for all the hard work" and a "good job" so I'm taking that as a good sign. Now I can finally kick back and enjoy the long weekend without that hanging over my head. Ahhhh...freedom!

Posted by Chris at 10:33 PM | Comments (9)

One Last Hurdle

Who schedules a big meeting at 2:00 in the afternoon on the day before a holiday? The Big Government Agency (BGA) that I'm headed to in a bit, that's who. Not only is this a big meeting, but I have to lead it. And not only do I have to lead it, but the thing I'm presenting is my idea! I'm a little nervous. Wish me luck.

Posted by Chris at 12:01 PM | Comments (8)

Giving Thanks

Instead of what I'm thankful for, lets try who...

Jozjozjoz (::jozjozjoz::), Tracy (aboutdamntime), Sonia (Alive and Bloggin), Annie J (an eighth), Annessa, Annie (anniebella), Katherine (anxiousdog), Tiffanie (Beautiful Addiction), Christine (Big Pink Cookie), Cathy (Bloggin Hell), Theresa (Bloglicious), Boots (Bootsy Boogie), Tara (burning paper), Busy Mom, Buzz (Buzzstuff), Annie (Crazy Saxy Cutie), Kelly (, Nicole (Delirity), Ash (Diva Diversion), Heather (Dooce), Dawn (Driving with Dawn), Mikey (electric bugaloo), Zeno (Fast Eddies Bullet), Del (First Person Singular), Mary (fruitcakebrigade), Dee (Glassy Eyed), Laura (glittering), Mac (Go Fish), Jessica (GraceWithin), Emily (I don't think), Anne (In A Puddle), Kristie (Incoherent Babbling), Jen (Jen Speaks), Judy (Jewdez), Hunter (Jolichat), Olive (Just A Girl), Rebecca (Mamageek's Journal), Shelli (Not Me), Kimmie (one lazy blonde), Sphinx (Pixel Sphinx), Statia (Pizza Dreams), Mike (Poofle), Rob (pre-op), Sassy (Sassy Blonde), Sarah (Sassypants), Lil (Shades of Azure), Irma (Shades-Of-Me.Com), Sidereal, Colleen (Simple Kind Of Life), Meredith (Simple Pleasures), Jennifer (SkurdyCat), Matt (sledgeblog), Melanie (sn0wangel), Jane (Social Reject), Phill (The Enigmatic Musings of a Cynical Mind), Empress (The introverted exhibitionist), TJ (, Traces, JDiddy (TummyMonsters), Alicia (Twilight Cafe), Griff (Ultramicroscopic), The Rambler (Vermont Ramblings), Marie (Welcome To Bitch Country), btezra (whatthehellhappenedlastnight), and Zandria.

I've also traded email with countless other people over the last several months and I thank them - the blogless - for stopping by and commenting.

I hope you all (in the US, at least) have a fantastic holiday. For those of you outside the country, happy Wednesday. To all, my heartfelt thanks.

Posted by Chris at 08:49 AM | Comments (28)

November 25, 2003

...And The Haircut

Ok...the haircut...what do you think?

Posted by Chris at 06:20 PM | Comments (22)

A Tuesday Sunset

From the cameraphone. Enjoy...

Posted by Chris at 06:12 PM | Comments (3)

Duckie Redux

A while back on my blog, someone mentioned that I looked like Duckie. As in Jon Cryer in Pretty In Pink. There ensued a great amount of agreement from my faithful readers. I've learned since that this is actually a good thing.

So, I was getting my hair cut this evening. My stylist is cutting, I'm sitting there watching in the mirror when all of the sudden another hair stylist stops right behind my chair. "Duckie!" she exclaims. My stylist looked confused so we got the whole Jon Cryer/Pretty In Pink story. "You look just like Duckie" she said again. I told her I'd heard that before.

Go figure. Are any of you stalking me?

Posted by Chris at 06:01 PM | Comments (5)

New Word for the Day

Jane has introduced me to a new word: chucklefuck. I'm eternally grateful.

Posted by Chris at 03:52 PM | Comments (3)

Opinions Welcome

I've had a couple interesting comments from my last post. I've heard from a few people and much of the email I've received expresses some surprise that I a) didn't jump all over them for having a different opinion or b) didn't delete their comments because my views didn't match theirs. So, once and for all - you are all welcome to say whatever you feel (unless its just totally offensive or you're trying to pawn some Viagra on me again). It doesn't matter whether I agree or not - that certainly wouldn't be any fun.

Posted by Chris at 03:37 PM | Comments (0)

Eye For An Eye?

You've probably heard the news by now. John Allen Muhammad has been nominted by a jury of his peers to receive the most special award the judicial system can hand out - the death penalty. Despite living in the area and being a news junkie, I heard the news from fellow bleeding-heart liberal (her description, and one that applies to me as well)Jewdez.

Now, don't get me wrong - I think this guy deserves to be punished. As I've written previously, I was one of the people running through parking lots into grocery stores, avoiding taking the trash out at night, and filling up on gas in out-of-the-way gas stations. Everyone who lived in the area was terrified. It was not a good time to be a Washington DC resident. But that said, I'm not sure I get what's accomplished by killing him. I'm not sure that I don't see more actual punishment in letting this guy rot in a cell for the rest of his natural life. And I just don't agree with the death penalty. There's something about hearing jury members saying "he deserves to die" that doesn't sit well with me. Regardless of the horrible things this guy did, its still a life.

Posted by Chris at 07:03 AM | Comments (7)

November 24, 2003

Haiku for Monday #5

Three-day week ahead
But I have the work of ten
Not thankful for that

Starbucks still doesn't make cups big enough for Monday mornings...

Posted by Chris at 07:38 AM | Comments (15)

November 23, 2003

Vegetarianism (and a bonus gift)

Many of you who read on a regular basis might have caught on that I'm a vegetarian. I was recently talking to a friend (you know who you are), discussing how she didn't believe she could ever be one. I told her, like I tell most people, that you can eat surprisingly well.

When I talk to people about being a vegetarian, a lot of people look at me funny. Like I'm one of those people. To break the common stereotypes, I offer you the following:

1. I've never owned a pair of Birkenstocks in my life.

2. I did once have really long hair but I did it out of a love for Chris Cornell, not Jerry Garcia.

3. I own no tie-die.

4. I do not eat granola, meat-shaped things made from tofu, or 27 energy bars a day.

5. I do not believe that my vegetarianism will save a single animal. Its not a moral thing with me.

6. I love me some bacon. Bacon is my crack. But I resist.

I owe that certain friend a recipe. I figured I'd share with everyone.

Corn Chowder

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup peeled potatoes, diced into ½ inch pieces
2 cups corn kernels
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. In a 3 quart saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter or margarine. Stir in the onions and celery; cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and stir until absorbed.

2. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, corn, thyme, and bay leaf; return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Discard bay leaf.

3. Stir in cream, pepper, and salt. Continue to cook, stirring, until heated through.

Posted by Chris at 05:46 PM | Comments (17)


New image from the grocery store courtesy of my new camera phone! Can you tell I'm bored again today? Anyway, more pics have been added to the gallery.

Posted by Chris at 03:23 PM | Comments (3)

Grand Opening

I've opened a gallery here at Rude Cactus. There's not much there yet but I'll be adding images often. Drop by and let me know what you think.

Posted by Chris at 12:06 PM | Comments (4)

November 22, 2003


I've so got nothing to say today. Just bored. Does it show?

Posted by Chris at 03:37 PM | Comments (8)

November 21, 2003

The Week Ends In Flames

In a good way of course...

Posted by Chris at 06:43 PM | Comments (4)

Tales from the OR

Ok, so it wasn't really a big operating room. My wife pulled through the laser eye surgery and is resting somewhat comfortably...aside from the sensation she described as "being next to a really strong onion but not being able to do anything about it." Thank you all for your kind wishes and thoughts.

Posted by Chris at 02:08 PM | Comments (8)

My Roadie

Should I ever get gig-worthy and hit the road, I've got my roadie all picked out.

Posted by Chris at 08:51 AM | Comments (4)

Happy Friday!!

Happy Friday everyone!

Today should be an interesting day. My wife is having laser eye surgery - say goodbye to glasses and contacts! I'll let you know how it goes. In the mean time, think good thoughts.

Posted by Chris at 07:34 AM | Comments (3)

November 20, 2003

Me and My Dented Fender

Posted by Chris at 07:44 PM | Comments (10)

An Admission

I have something to spill...I'm not proud but in the interest of honesty, I figured I'd share. I've developed a habit...

When I was 13 I started smoking. I used to climb out my second story bedroom window to smoke. I'm not sure why my parents never stopped me but they didn't. None of my friends smoked...none really had the desire to. In college it was easier. My psycho roommate smoked which automatically made it an offical smoking room. And most of my friends there were smokers. When my wife and I graduated, we kept smoking but about six years ago, I decided that I'd had enough. Despite the fact that she still smoked, I was determined to quit and I did. My wife quit a few months later.

Several months ago, we were bound for France. Now, nothing makes me more nervous than getting on a plane. A few weeks prior to the flight, I was freaking big time. Almost as a dare, my wife and I went out and bought a pack of cigarettes. I felt defeated smoking that first one but it felt good at the same time. I'd really wanted nothing more than a cigarette in my hand for more than five years. We limited ourselves to one or two a day but made the mistake of carrying the tradition to France with us. In our defense, the bad stuff that you do in a foreign country doesn't count!

Unfortunately, the habit has stuck around. I don't think I have any other choice than to consider myself a smoker. And I so don't want to be one. I don't like the taste, I hate the smell, and I really hate other people judging me because of it - I'm a reasonably bright, college graduate with a decent job and a wife and yes, I do know better. More than anything else, though, I hate being a slave to something like a pack of cigarettes. I don't know when I'm going to stop but wish me luck.

Posted by Chris at 12:33 PM | Comments (14)


I keep bugging everyone to re-blogroll me using my new blog address but I also want to reach out to you guys. Do you visit me on a regular basis? Have I not blogrolled you? Is there a blog out there you think I should check out? Let me know!

Posted by Chris at 07:48 AM | Comments (15)

November 19, 2003

Paris In The Rain

I keep getting requests for pictures so I'm just going to start posting them at random. Today's entry: Paris in the rain.

Posted by Chris at 04:36 PM | Comments (3)

If You Can't Stand The Heat...

It is 2,186 degrees in my office. I might be off by a degree or two but its damn hot.

Posted by Chris at 01:31 PM | Comments (3)

Politically Grumpy

It seems as though quite a few of my recent posts have been angry political rants. Maybe I'm just grumpy at the world. Instead of just reading my rants, for those of you who might dig some acoustic-punk liberalism, I urge you to check out Hamell-On-Trial.

You're a world leader with your finger on the button, thinking that history is smiling on you. Blow the shit out of everybody that doesn't agree. Do it in the name of patriotism, what else should you do?

I mean fuck it, why go halfway?
I mean fuck it, why go halfway?

I'm a self-righteous prick, with a great mouth,
but I'm sick to death of mediocrity and lies.
And I'm preaching to the choir, and I'm yelling down a hole,
I used to sing between the lines but then I got wise.

I mean fuck it, why go halfway?
I mean fuck it, why go halfway?

Posted by Chris at 11:44 AM | Comments (2)

Bought Your Ammo Today?

Thanks to Mac, I've learned its National Ammo Day. In related news, CNN is reporting on the top 10 most dangerous toys for kids. So, there you have it - the most dangerous toys for adults and kids this holiday season.

Posted by Chris at 09:25 AM | Comments (1)

Notes To Self

1. Accidentally doubling medication is really a bad idea. If you think you might have taken them once, don't go back to the medicine cabinet all willy-nilly and take more. It doesn't make you feel good. At all!

2. When you're awake at 3:00 in the morning and possibly overdosing due to #1, its very easy to get lost in your own home. Take breadcrumbs to bed for the next excursion.

3. E True Hollywood Stories about porn stars never show anything good. Don't watch, they're just silly.

Posted by Chris at 08:46 AM | Comments (4)

November 18, 2003

Prove Me Wrong

Could someone, somewhere please put together a good, coherent argument outlining why gay marriage should be illegal? I've yet to hear one decent argument, just rhetoric. As for me, I'm not altogether sure I see why this is even an issue. Should we not encourage people - of any sexual orientation - to love each other? Its a hell of a lot better than the alternative.

Posted by Chris at 08:03 PM | Comments (12)

Runaway!! Jury

As previously mentioned, I headed to the courthouse this morning to report for jury duty. Thank god for cell phones...I'm blogging from the jury box now. Kidding...

I was one of around 50 people called for two separate trials. The trial I was called in on was a medical malpractice case. It seemed rather interesting and I'd love to have stayed but it was scheduled to run somewhere around 4 days. My wife's having eye surgery on Friday so I had to stand up and tell the judge that I couldn't do it.

Overall the experience was fine. It was really a lot of sitting around, something I come by pretty naturally.

Posted by Chris at 01:31 PM | Comments (3)

November 17, 2003

Incompetency in the News

I read quite a few blogs, a few of them politically focused at least at times. While I can't claim to be as eloquent as Mac or Jane or Dawn, its become clear to me, reading the paper, watching the news, and taking in other people's opinions, that there's some great disconnect with respect to people's expectations. Its this:

Either the government itself is inherently flawed or our expectations are simply too high.

If you caught Mr. Brokaw this evening, you might have heard a story about how the government has let suspected terrorists not only live and thrive in this country but become American citizens. Is the government incompetent or do we wrongly expect the system to work well?

We raise millions of dollars a year to feed starving kids overseas yet 60% - yes, 60% - of kids under the age of 16 in the District of Columbia will go to bed hungry tonight. Is this the work of a government that doesn't know ass from elbow? Or are our expectations just too high?

Senior citizens take bus trips to Canada to buy prescriptions. And our own government takes steps to block these prescriptions from entering the country. Is government just so incompetent that it doesn't see a problem here? Should we even expect them to see the obvious?

A while back I was hiking in the Grand Teton mountains in Wyoming. I checked in at the ranger station to check the weather before I went up. While I was standing there a woman came up and kindly asked the ranger, "When do you bring the bear to the side of the road?" The ranger looked at me with a blank look on his face - I'm sure my expression was similar. He patiently replied, "They're wild animals ma'am. They pretty much go whereve they want." It was eye-opening. People think we live in theme parks when in actuality, we're out in the wild with the bear. We have to approach government the same way. The rangers are out there. They're doing what they can but really, they can only do so much. We've got to look out for ourselves.

Posted by Chris at 08:09 PM | Comments (2)

1 Angry Man

As is my civic duty, I must report for jury duty tomorrow. I don't really mind except for the fact that I can think of a few better ways of spending the day. But at least its not:

1. Having to sit through Gigli 27 times;
2. A full-frontal lobotomy (roughly equivalent to #1);
3. Sitting in mind-numbing work-related meetings; or
4. Redoing my blog again.

So it could be much worse.

Last but not least, good luck to Jessica who's got a final tonight!!

Posted by Chris at 06:09 PM | Comments (1)

Monday's End

How'd she know it was going to be one of those days?

Posted by Chris at 05:58 PM | Comments (6)

It's All Fun And Games...

Regarding upcoming laser eye surgery...

Her: They say in the informed consent form that you could lose an eye.
Me: I doubt that happens often.
Her: I'm going to ask the doctor.
Me: Good call.
Her: Will you still love me if I just have one eye?
Me: Of course. Plus, it'll give you a good excuse to wear a patch and talk like a pirate.
Her: You're right. All I need is the parrot.
Me: Write it in on the consent form. "Doctor agrees to provide one parrot should patient lose an eye."
Her: I'll just write that in.
Me: Good. 'Cos if they cause you to lose an eye, the least they can do is spring for a parrot.

Posted by Chris at 07:58 AM | Comments (5)

Haiku for Monday #5

Monday already
Oh, where did the weekend go?
Come back, weekend, back!

And a bonus haiku...

Asprin and coffee
Just what I need this morning
I'll call it breakfast

Posted by Chris at 07:48 AM | Comments (1)

November 16, 2003

Thank You!

I DO hate to blog about blogging but I just wanted to thank all of you who've dropped me a line in the last couple days. I think RudeCactus is back up and running.

And just a reminder - I'd really appreciate it if you took a second to update your blogrolls, as the address has changed ever so slightly.

Oh...and to the fucktards (term courtesy of the similarly plagued Emily - thanks!) who dropped my database...I'm expecting some FREE hosting!

Posted by Chris at 05:21 PM | Comments (8)

November 15, 2003

I'm Back!

Hey Everyone! It might be painfully obvious (but I hope not too obvious) that things have changed around here. I had a major database outage and had to start nearly from scratch. A few things you'll notice:

1. I've now redirected all traffic from to the new instance of MT on Please update me in your blogroll, I beg of you!

2. Most of the archives are - thankfully - intact. If you see something funky, please let me know.

3. PLEASE COMMENT - help make me guarantee this is up and working again as it should.

Thank you all very much for your support! I appreciate the help I've gotten from so many of you.

Posted by Chris at 04:56 PM | Comments (31)

November 13, 2003

I Saw Dick

I live in the suburbs of DC, on the Virgina side of the Potomac. Living around Washington, we see some interesting political stuff. Not long ago, I was in my local Safeway picking up some ice cream for a little late night snack. Turns out, the guy in front of me was Dick Gephardt. He was buying milk and a copy of The Washington Post. And I'm thinking, "doesn't this guy have a better source of news than a day old copy of the Post?"

Posted by Chris at 02:19 PM | Comments (1)

By Request

Since I started posting the occasional picture, I've had requests for more. I thought I'd posted this one. Apparently not.

Before you ask or start thinking the wrong thing, I'm no more narcissistic than the next guy. But this is my site - you're reading all about me, you might as well see the occasional picture of me.

Posted by Chris at 01:44 PM | Comments (4)

Individual History

I posted an entry on Vetrans' Day that I got a lot of interesting feedback about and I ended up having some good discussions with some of you.

Through discussing it, I wound up saying some of the same things a few times. I thought I'd repeat it here because I believe it to be truly important.

Despite the fact that I'm a computer geek by trade, I have a degree in history, specifically Asian history. I discovered that the history we're taught centers around leaders, countries or large groups of people. It ignores the individual stories and everyone has a story.

The picture above was taken at the American cemetary at Omaha Beach. Every name on every cross has a story. Some are probably written down somewhere, captured by loved ones but others are surely lost. Its our job to capture our stories, the stories of our families and loved ones, so future generations may profit from the lessons we've learned.

Posted by Chris at 08:18 AM | Comments (0)

November 12, 2003


I just went to a meeting. It was the single most mind-numbing meeting I've ever been in. It might actually have been the single most mind-numbing meeting in the history of meetings.

Excerpts from my thoughts during today's fascinating meeting:

1. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

2. You know, I bet if I got up and danced naked on the table, it would spice this up a little bit.

3. Wow! Are those real?

4. Shouldn't have had that much coffee.

5. Smoke on the in the sky.

6. If I weren't sitting here, I could get some real work done.

7. This better end soon...or I'm going to drive the pen into my eye as an excuse to leave.

8. I really shouldn't have had that much coffee.

9. Its going to get windy this afternoon and all my deck furniture is going to go flying.

10. All Hanna-Barbara cartoons are essentially the same. Well, at least like The Jetsons and The Flintstones. Same damn thing. Then there's Scooby Doo and Josie and the Pussycats and a whole bunch of others. Those were all alot a like.

11. Just fucking shoot me now. Please shoot me. Please!

Posted by Chris at 01:29 PM | Comments (1)

American Psycho

I short time ago, Kelly described her living situation with a psycho roommate. While I’m sure we’ve all had some freaky roommate experiences, I thought I’d share mine. Graphic evidence follows. Please turn away if you’re squeamish. This is not pretty.

Exhibit A: The Smoke Ritual

3 AM. Awakened by a strange, somewhat manic little singing noise. Opening my eyes reveals Joe sitting at one of our desks, singing and waving his hands in strange ways through a never ending plume of cigarette smoke aimed towards the desk lamp. After a few minutes I asked him what was up and he said he was nervous about classes starting. Fair enough. Sadly the Smoke Ritual went on until 6 AM.

Exhibit B: Upon My Return From Visiting My Girlfriend for the Weekend

Me: Hey man.

Joe: Welcome home!

Me: Thanks. Hey, my beds all fucked up.

Joe: Someone slept there over the weekend.

Me: Okay. Who?

Joe: Amy, that chick from the fifth floor.

Me: Whatever.

Joe: Well, and me. Sorry, I screwed her on your bed.

Exhibit C: On The Phone with Mom

Me: No, Joe’s not here right now.

Joe’s Mom: Ok. Is he okay?

Me: I think so although that might be questionable.

Joe’s Mom: He’s spent a couple thousand dollars on our credit card this month.

Me: Oh. That explains the new TV then and video game thing.

Joe’s Mom: Has he been taking his medication?

Me: You’re his mom.

Joe’s Mom: He gets kind of funny when he’s not. You might want to pay attention.

Exhibit D: The Bathroom Incident

Steve (suite mate): Watch yourself in the shower.

Me: Okay. Any particular reason why?

Steve: I had an…incident.

Me: Explanation please.

Steve: I slipped in something.

Me: Well, you’ve gotta watch out in the shower.

Steve: Its more what I stepped in that bothers me.

Me: What was it?

Steve: Well, Joe was in there for a really long time and when I got in the shower there was jizz everywhere.

Me: Oh. I didn’t need to know that.

Exhibit E: Paranoia Sets In

Joe: Hey man, check this out.

Me: Dude, why do you have a six inch blade in your boot?

Joe: Protection, man, protection.

Me: From what?

Joe: Dunno.

Exhibit F: Resident Advisor Part One

Me: I don’t know what I expect you to do but I’m living with a freak!

Him: Aside from the weird stuff at night, what else has he done?

Me: I think repeated jacking off in the middle of the room is probably a biggie on my list. And the fact that he obviously does the same thing in the shower at all hours of the day.

Him: Huh?

Me: Yeah. You heard me.

Him: While you’re there?

Me: Now how else would I know?

Exhibit G: Resident Advisor Part Two

Him: We called you in here to tell you what we found. We searched your room like you asked us to.

Me: And you found something?

Him: Yes.

Me: Lay it on me.

Him: Well, we went through everything and only found six large knives, one or two pocket knives. And some brass knuckes.

Me: Only? Is that not enough or something?

Him: Sorry. We really can’t do much about it.

Posted by Chris at 07:32 AM | Comments (1)

November 11, 2003

Veterans' Day

On the way into work, I pass a fire station that has one of those message boards out front. Whoever thinks of the messages - they change weekly - has a great sense of humor. Today's was a little more sentimental. It read, "Veteran's Day: Remember, ask and listen." It made me think.


My grandfather is a cook in the Pacific Theater. He cooks meals from scratch three times a day using whatever they've managed to bring in. He's most proud of the bread he bakes. Aside from his cooking duties, he has to carry a gun and shoot people. Its part of his job. Defending our country, and all.


My grandfather sits in a nursing home. He can't remember his wife, his kids or his grandkids but he remembers The War. He's lost weight and lapses into German from time to time but he doesn't forget the bread he baked or the meals he served. He keeps lists - he's got one that lists every place he served, every place his platoon was located. He's listed the guys he served with and the meals he served them. But he doesn't remember me.

That sign? Yeah, I think its a pretty important message. There are people with stories to tell of times that will hopefully will never be repeated. Its our obligation - all of us - to listen to those stories and learn from them. Someday, the story tellers will lapse into German, stop remembering the people who are trying to listen, and we'll be left with lists.

Posted by Chris at 08:33 AM | Comments (1)

November 10, 2003

The Skank Is In The Mail

So, today when I got home I checked the mail and imagine my surprise when I found Jessica Simpson and Brittney wearing hardly anything in my mailbox. Not that I've got a problem with that.

Posted by Chris at 05:34 PM | Comments (0)

A Haiku For Monday #4

Cold Monday morning

Icy windshield, freezing hands

I need a stiff drink

Posted by Chris at 07:35 AM | Comments (0)