April 30, 2004

Friday, Updates and Questions

Happy Friday everyone! I'm already trapped in a windowless office despite the fact that it looks to be a gorgeous day! Thoughts on means of escape?

Back in December, I asked you guys to hit me with the best questions you could think of for me. And you did! I've just (finally!) added those to my "about section". Feel free to go check them out. Now, I realize that many people have started reading since I answered all those questions. Now's the time to step up to the plate. Got questions? Ask away! I'll post your questions and my answers and add them to my about section. So, c'mon! What are you waiting for?

UPDATE: Apparently I tried to actaully do something that required attention before I'd consumed enough coffee. If you hit the about section and didn't notice any questions...my bad! I kinda hosed that up. Its fixed. Now...questions!

Posted by Chris at 07:16 AM | Comments (6)

April 29, 2004

Theme Thursday: Purple

Today's theme for Theme Thursday is purple. That's really not a tough one for me. Its my wife's favorite color. We have a rather comfy purple couch and we even painted the bedroom a nice shade of purple (aren't I a good husband?). But today? Purple roses.

Posted by Chris at 05:23 PM | Comments (4)


For all of you expecting something brilliant (or even moderately amusing) out of me today, I've got nothing. I mean, I'll probably be inspired to log back on in a couple minutes and give you something meaty to bite into but until then? This (over there, on the right) will just have to do. I invite you to make your own jokes. It really can't be all that hard.

Posted by Chris at 05:16 PM | Comments (4)

Notes for Thursday

...that time again...
Don't forget that its Thursday. Why is that important, you ask? Its time for the Thursday Haiku Smackdown being held at Zoots new pad, yo. Have you not participated? Go. Try it. You'll like it.

...funnier with Ed...
Fellow JLBers have helped me conclude that things are just funnier with Ed McMahon. Consider the following examples, if you will:

-Trout? Not funny. Trout and Ed McMahon? Hilarious!
-Crack whore? Kinda sad, actually. Crack whore and Ed McMahon? Funny!
-Midget porn? Just a little strange. Midget porn and Ed McMahon? Laugh riot!
-Twister? Sorta fun. Twister with Ed McMahon? An evening of non-stop entertainment.

I realize why I worry you guys sometimes. Don't worry. Really. I'll be fine. Just let me drink my coffee and wake up a little bit.

Posted by Chris at 07:14 AM | Comments (11)

April 28, 2004

Last of the Season

I know I've posted endlessly about the tulips. I could very well be spanking beating a dead monkey horse, I know. But I believe they've reached their peak. Alas, my front yard...

Posted by Chris at 08:33 PM | Comments (9)

My Other Car Is The Short Bus

All this talk of haircuts leads me to another story. Perhaps this walk down memory lane is turning into a marathon. Regardless, I’ll share.

In 1989, I moved to the Washington DC area with my family. Just before I started at my new school, planets aligned and several things happened that scarred me for life…or at least a few months.

- I needed a haircut. My dad and I broke open the yellow pages and found the closest place. And while he got a good haircut, mine was less than perfect. Actually, it was downright sucky. “Closest” does not mean “best.” When I emerged there was a sizable amount of scalp showing on one particular area of my head. This was not flattering. I was not impressed.

- Our new house was really brand new. They hadn’t yet installed the carpet so I was stuck sleeping on a mattress on the floor. Most of me didn’t mind. My neck? Thoroughly pissed off about the whole idea. One morning I woke up and my neck had actually quit working entirely. Sadly, this was the same morning I was due to start school.

When I reported for school, my first day in a brand new place, I turned heads. Here I was, the new guy, with my head twisted to the right, unable to move and a big chunk of hair missing from my scalp. I’m sure lots of people wondered why someone would come to school so soon after a full frontal lobotomy. Others were probably impressed that I’d made such a successful transition from the “special school.” Me? I just wanted painkillers and time for my hair to grow out again.

Posted by Chris at 08:36 AM | Comments (18)

April 27, 2004

Hair Today, Gone...Well, Now

Ok...I just got all my hair chopped off (well, as much chopping as can be done with the amount I already had) and I think its seriously shorter than I've ever had it. Please keep in mind this is coming from the guy who used to have hair down to his ass. Really. So, what do you think?

Wow. Cupcakes, donuts and hair. Quite the day today. Enjoy your evening. And seriously...if you're voting for the American Idol contestants tonight, lets not have a repeat of last week, okay? John Stevens? Bye bye.

Posted by Chris at 07:56 PM | Comments (21)

...And Donuts

So, while we're on the topic of pastry its a good time to admit to something...although I might have admitted to it earlier in which case, this is really not all that much of a revelation. Ok. I've developed a really bad habit. It inolves me and Dunkin Donuts. And stopping there. Every morning. Not just for coffee.

Now, I'm not fat, hefty, plump or even slightly approaching overweight. But I'm concerned about my health since the most exercise I get is usually walking from my car into Dunkin Donuts in the morning.

I get up very early every morning and like to get into work as early as I can (masochistic much?). I used to plug in the toaster and heat up some Pop Tarts every morning and eat on the way into work. That is, until I figured out there was a Dunkin Donuts about a mile from my house. On the way to work. Does it get any better? Hence my dilemma. But what was all this doing to me? And really, how much more quickly will the heart attack come by eating donuts instead of Pop Tarts? I did a little investigating and, against my better judgement, I checked the nutritional facts for both of my breakfast habits.

Drumroll please...

As it turns out, I'm not as bad off as I thought. If I add up the total number of Pop Tarts consumed on the way to work and compare with the donuts, I'm actually doing better with the donuts in terms of both fat, sugar and cholesterol! And the price? For a couple of donuts and a large cup of coffee, I come out better than I previously did with Pop Tarts and Starbucks.

So get me! I'm not as pathetic as I thought! And I've just proved that I am the King of Justification! You may bow to me.

Posted by Chris at 06:00 PM | Comments (11)


When I was in elementary school, it was customary for moms to make cupcakes when it was their kid's birthday. The kid would bring enough cupcakes for the whole class, kids would ingest way too much sugar and the teacher would silently curse whichever parent it was who'd decided to get knocked up in the first place, while the kids in their class, operating under the influnce of sugar and lard, threw crayons at one another and made farting sounds while sticking chalk in their ears. My mom, not wanting me to be left out despite her early objections to sugar and the consumption thereof, complied.

One birthday when I was in first or second grade, my mom and I were loading up the car, getting ready to pick up the rest of my neighborhood schoolmates. Just as soon as we'd finished loading the two boxes of cupcakes into the backseat of the car, a visitor arrived. A dog. A big-ass dog. A dog that, I'm convinced, must have taken steroids and bench-pressed other dogs in the neighborhood. Easily the size of my first grade self and capable of producing its bodyweight in drool, a skill it showed off quite a bit, it climbed into the backseat and placed its large, well-toned steroid-enhanced dog ass right on the two boxes of cupcakes. Smooshing them mightily.

It took us a half hour - I shit you not - to get this dog out of the backseat. He was nice, never growled or barked, but he was also stubborn ("I shall not be moved!"). He was just, I guess, happy sitting there in the back of our Buick. Eventually he just got bored and left. My mom and I got back in the car and pondered the destruction of so many innocent cupcakes. Really, she pondered. I just worried what the hell all the kids were going to think of me and my crushed dog-ass flavored cupcakes. I mean, how ghetto is that? We saved the vast majority and it didn't hurt that my mom had made extras. The ones that were superficially destroyed? My carpool buddies volunteered to take those.

Posted by Chris at 09:53 AM | Comments (16)

April 26, 2004

The 80's Strike Cactus

This weekend I got a little nostalgic. I surfed the net, my computer and grabbed a few CDs from my music room downstairs and threw together a CD that took me back, oh, about 20 years. Curious? See what these titles do for you...

Oingo Boingo - Weird Science
The Bangles - Eternal Flame
Thompson Twins - Doctor Doctor
Big Country - In A Big Country
The Hooters - All You Zombies
Dead Or Alive - You Spin Me Around (Like A Record)
OMD - If You Leave
Depeche Mode - People Are People
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax
Power Station - Some Like It Hot
Hall & Oates - Private Eyes
Simple Minds - Don't Forget About Me
Howard Jones - No One Is To Blame
Huey Lewis - The Power Of Love
Til Tuesday - Voices Carry
Men At Work - Land Down Under
Men Without Hats - The Safety Dance
Don Henley - Sunset Grill

Okay, okay...some of these are pure crap. I'll admit that! But each one holds a memory and I value them for that.

In one other piece of music-related news, a big thanks to Anne for the tip about Gary Jules. Never heard of the guy? You will. He's most recognizable now for his cover of Tears for Fears' "Mad World" from the movie Donnie Darko.

Posted by Chris at 07:54 PM | Comments (16)

Your Turn

It's Monday morning and I'm officially braindead. So, how bout we help each other out, okay? What I'll do is start a story (below) and you come up with the next piece in your comment. The next person picks up where the previous person left off. Clear as mud? Good!

I was passing through a deserted village when I realized I had a flat tire. Just as I was surveying the damage, who should come out of the woods to help than...

Now its your turn. Don't let this be a miserable failure.

Posted by Chris at 09:33 AM | Comments (31)

Haiku For Monday #27

Out of the office
Friday, playing with my tool.
Billion emails now.

Posted by Chris at 06:55 AM | Comments (1)

April 25, 2004

Saturday In Review

I got up early so the first thing I managed to do once I was up and dressed was to fall asleep on the couch reading a book. It was all good until Pixel fell asleep on my head. An 18 pound cat is just one of those things you notice...on your head.

After I'd successfully removed the cat from my head, and done a few things around the house, Beth and I went to the Round House Theater in Bethesda to see a play called Fences. It was good. Long, but good. The Round House never fails to put on interesting productions. This was no exception.

One thing about the Round House Theater is that its located right next to an old folks' facility. So the afternoon matines? A veritable sea of blue and gray hair. Really, if you want to feel especially young, go to this place around three in the afternoon. Just be on the lookout for walkers. Those things? Good for keeping the older folks upright, mere obstacles for the rest of us.

After the play, we headed over to Jaleo for dinner - gazpacho and tapas to be exact. We sat outside and took advantage of the nice weather. And frankly I'm no fashion expert, and I know it was a really nice warm spring day but my god there are people in this world who must seriously not own mirrors. Kudos to the lady wearing a multi-paterned purple outfit with hair dyed to match. Oh, and the high heeled flip-flops? Classy.

After stuffing ourselves, we walked around Bethesda for a while, saw what independent films were playing at the theater, picked up a couple books at the local Barnes & Noble then headed back to the car for the drive home. And I boogied.

All-in-all, it was a wonderful day. Too bad the weather didn't hold out today. It looks like a cool, gray day but I'm okay with that. I've got books to read, music to listen to and more TiVoed stuff than you can shake a remote control at.

I hope you all have wonderful Sundays!

Posted by Chris at 09:48 AM | Comments (16)

April 24, 2004


So, where was I yesterday? I spent the whole day demoing a tool my company uses for a government client.

When we got there, I whipped out my tool and set it up for everyone to see. There were lots of other people there showing off their tools. Some of the tools were pretty impressive yet some of the other tools we just lacking. Its not all about size or complexity! And all these government people kept stopping by to ask about our tools. And talk about tools of their own. Some just wanted to talk about random stuff and I'm thinking, "I'm here to show you my tool. Look at my tool, damnit!" Luckily, I wasn't one of the guest speakers - they had to show their tools off in front of a crowded room of tool-seekers. They were up there for, like, a half and hour running through the features of their tool and showing everyone exactly how it worked. They musta been tired!

After a full day of tool action, I put mine away, went home and crashed. There's only so much you can do with your tool on any given day.

Posted by Chris at 08:31 AM | Comments (18)

April 23, 2004

Friday...and the Missing Cactus

Happy Friday everyone! After last weekend's Heartbreaking Weekend of Unbearable Suckage*, I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. I won't be around much today - I'll be attending a conference. Um, woohoo? No, not quite. Have a great day!

* A Heartbreaking Weekend of Unbearable Suckage is a registered trademark of Amy and the JLB. All rights reserved, suckah. Plus really? You don't want to have one of those weekends.

Posted by Chris at 06:53 AM | Comments (11)

April 22, 2004

Theme Thursday: Oops

Today's theme on Theme Thursday is Oops. I looked through some of the pictures I've snapped recently and, aside from me making a few funny faces, nothing really jumped out at me...except for this.

There's something funny to me about Pix, a big old 18 pound cat, with a little pink tongue hanging out. I mean, you know that's gotta be a mistake.

Posted by Chris at 05:13 PM | Comments (14)

Hey America, What's the Deal?


Did you see the pathetic excuse for a ratings grabber otherwise known as American Idol: The Results Show last night? I did.

So, here's the question - what the fuck is up, America? Do you not understand the rules? You're supposed to be voting FOR people you LIKE. I mean, this is the third season. You should really know how this works by now. There's no excuse for not catching on by now. This is not rocket surgery or brain science! I spent yesterday evening huddled in the Cactus Situation Room working on an Idol Mitigation Strategy. In doing so, I came up with several possible causes for the madness.

1. Al Qaeda has hatched a new scheme - infiltrating American Idol by gaining some sort of freaky mind control over 16 year old girls and their cell phones. They know that a John Stevens win would disrupt the very fabric of American society and culture.

2. John Stevens is an actual Iraqi weapon of mass distruction and their arms program was much more advanced than we'd previously believed. He's the first blow. They'll send in William Hung to finish us off.

3. All Americans, except for a select few, are completely delusional. Be prepared - there may come a time very shortly when the few of us who are marginally sane will find ourselves trapped in a suburban shopping mall protecting ourselves from the masses of John Stevens fans attempting to break in and bring an end to our crazy rational ways. Think "Dawn of the Idol."

4. Barry Manilow is indeed the anti-christ and his rogue group of Idols are doing his bidding. Expect a showdown of Biblical proportions involving Barry facing off against Kelly Clarkson, the outcome of which may decide the fate of us all.

5. There's always the possibility that I'm making this too hard and America's just stupid.

Posted by Chris at 07:14 AM | Comments (20)

Thursday Haiku Smackdown: Week Seven

It's Thursday and you know what that means, right? Its that time again for the Thursday Haiku Smackdown. Today's festivities are being moderated by Zoot over at the official Thursday Haiku Smackdown site! Go! Haiku. Show off your mad skillz.

Posted by Chris at 06:47 AM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2004

Accidental Portrait

This was caught by accident but there's something that I like about it. Maybe its the way the guitar's body seems to bend. Fender bender? :-)

Posted by Chris at 06:31 PM | Comments (5)

An Easter Explanation (Part Two)


Yesterday, I discussed my freaky mother as part of an explanation for my post regarding my unusual easter. Today, the second and, unless there's something I missed, final installment.

You see, I was raised as an only child. I grew up learning how to exist in my own head, how to entertain myself. Little did I know, I had a long lost sister. A long lost black sister. A long lost black sister from Cameroon who would one day become a political refugee. I mean, you'd think someone would have told me, right?

Alexis is a political refugee from Cameroon. She's only a few years older than me but has had a life that far exceeds mine in terms of sheer experience. Alexis' father was a bigwig in the ruling political party in Cameroon a few years ago but he started to get the feeling that many of the things the government was trying to do were not the appropriate things for the people. He switched parties and was executed. Alexis' mother and brother were quickly arrested. They remain in prison. Alexis was lucky. She was in France at the time but because the French were and are cooperative with the government of Cameroon, she felt unsafe. She fled to America. Sadly, she was forced to leave her three children behind.

I say that Alexis lights up a room not as a cliche but as an actual fact. She has a radiant, infectious smile. Which is pretty amazing if you think about what she's been though. About a year ago, she became one of my mom's students - my mom teaches speech and life skills to political refugees. Almost immediately, Alexis began calling her "mommy." The first time she and I met, she called me her "brew-dah" - it took me a second to interpret though the heavily accented English. Brother.

Meeting Alexis and hearing her story, in addition to the other stories I hear from my mom, I think we're a little bit jaded. I've got lots of problems with our government and its policies. I've got issues with society and the way we conduct ourselves. But all of those become so minor when we look at someone like Alexis. None of us have, I don't think, had their parents murdered or jailed because their views differed from the views of those in power. None of us have ever had to flee our countries for fear of persecution. Sometimes, maybe it would be a good thing to reflect on how lucky we all are and try to help those who don't quite have it so good.

Regardless, that's how I came to spend Easter with a political refugee. And how I found my long lost black refugee sister from Cameroon, the one I never knew I had. How I became a brew-dah.

Posted by Chris at 07:52 AM | Comments (14)

April 20, 2004

Is This Thing On?

Pulse-check time. As much as I'd like to say I don't pay attention to the number of comments I get, I think that the vast majority of the pleasure I derive from this is hearing from the people who actually read this thing. And while I've got, like, four blogrolls over there on the right, I enjoy hearing from each and every one of you and try and make it to your blogs as much as possible. So, since you're already here, leave me a comment and let me know how I'm doing. Its been a while since I've heard from some of you!

Posted by Chris at 11:53 AM | Comments (52)

An Easter Explanation (Part One)


Last week, I visited the topic of how I spent my Easter. There were calls for elucidation. So, I decided to explain...but where to start? How about with my mother...the one with the silly hat.

My mom's an interesting person. And please don't take that to mean anything negative, although as with anyone there is some of that.

My mother is just barely five feet tall which makes me, not incredibly tall myself, feel gigantic. She weighs in at just over 100 pounds but I remember times in my life when she was in double digits. She's just a teeny little person. Which makes her big personality that much more difficult to explain. Some facts:

- When I was born my mother didn't believe she could wait until the elevator arrived in the hospital lobby. She ran up four flights of stairs and brought me into the world in 20 minutes. I have a feeling this is why I'm punctual.

- My parents were living in Argentina when I was born. She was having the nursery constructed and was telling the various workmen where she wanted the cabinets to be hung on the walls. She was never a good Spanish speaker. No one should have been surprised when she requested that the workmen nail their balls to the wall. They left without complying with her request.

- My mom has always been a teacher. She taught American diplomats' kids in Argentina. She taught in New York City and Chicago. When we moved to Houston (I was a whopping one year old), her career took a different track - she began teaching kids with learning disabilities and mental retardation. When my family moved to Washington DC, she began teaching kids with severe behavioral problems. These were kids who were one step away from institutionalization. They were twice her size, tried to physically assult her and screamed every name in the book at her while she took it, stared them down and kept teaching. She retired a couple of years ago. I think there's only so much of that you can take.

- In nearly every photo taken at our wedding, my mom's arms are straight up in the air. Its become her thing. I think its an I'm-short-but-you-damn-well-better-notice-me thing. It works.

- My mom has what she's termed the "silly garden." This consists of a rather large flower bed in which fairly normal plants are grown. What's slightly unusual, however, is the collection of pink flamingos, cartoon-like frogs, and generally unusual sculpture sprinkled throughout. My father is just happy she decided to do this behind the house, away from the prying eyes of the neighbors.

- My mom thinks she knows how to operate a computer correctly. This makes her incredibly dangerous. I field tech support calls at all hours of the day. When she sends an email, its generally in all caps and contains LOTS of punctuation, mainly exclamation points. We've told her its considered yelling. She does it anyway. We think this is her online equivalent of the arms in the air thing.

- After a year of retirement, my mom started going nuts. She started volunteering at a library, something she still does. But then came this opportunity to use some of her skills teaching life skills and speech pathology. A group of truly wonderful people began working with political refugees. These people are largely from war torn countries, and most are seeking political asylum in the United States for fear they'll be killed upon their return home. Most of the refugees suffer from post traumatic stress disorders. Many have been tortured or seen members of their families killed. About a year ago, my mom helped out with a production of something that would become quite remarkable. A prominent stage director heard about the children who this group was helping and decided they should tell their stories to audiences. And they did. Helping them do so, to communicate through heavy accents in front of audiences, was my mom. MTV recently filmed the production for release sometime in the near future.

So my mom? She's a nut. She has to be the center of attention but in most cases, she deserves to be.

Posted by Chris at 08:55 AM | Comments (15)

April 19, 2004

Weekend? Meh.

My weekend? Not so hot. All-in-all, the gorgeous weather balanced all the bad stuff enough to make the weekend a non-event. In a word, meh.

Early (and I'm talking 1:00 AM here) on Saturday morning, I was awakened to the sound of flushing and other assorted things happening in the bathroom. My first thought? Another mouse. My second thought? Mice can't flush toilets. And if they can? Not something I want to deal with unless heavily armed and more awake. As it turned out, it was my wife. My wife who apparently ate something her body didn't like. At all. Beth spent Saturday and Sunday recovering while I waited on her hand and foot armed with plain pasta and saltines.

Sunday brought new tragedy. As I reported earlier one of my parents' cats died. Yesterday afternoon, shovel in hand, I arrived at their house to dig a final resting place. Of course, I had to pick a place where there was nothing but clay...and an old tree stump. I was just a couple minutes away from dynamiting the whole of their backyard when I finally broke through and had a decent size hole. The experience reassured me that my whole cremation decision is the right one. Ashes to ashes and all that.

There you have it. Next weekend? No puking or dying, okay?

Posted by Chris at 11:02 AM | Comments (8)

Haiku For Monday #26

After a gorgeous
weekend, you expect me to
sit inside all day?

Crazy bastards!

Posted by Chris at 07:07 AM | Comments (4)

April 18, 2004

Burying Beau

If I haven't introduced him before, this is Beau. He's not one of ours but belongs to my parents. Beau died this morning.

Beau had a heart problem so it wasn't any real surprise that this was going to happen. Actually, its somewhat of a relief. My folks had been told that it would be a painful death, he'd fight it, and it would be horrible to see. They even had an injection of some major painkiller ready to give him should it happen when they were around. They were spared all that.

My parents are strong people but stuff like this gets to them. They've had to put cats to sleep before but since they can't stand to face it, I've always been there in their places while its done. And afterwards I usually end up with a shovel, in search of a final resting place. Today will be no different. And I'm cool with that. Cos me? When something happens to ours I'm going to cry like a little girl and lock myself in the house for a week...or two!

Posted by Chris at 11:02 AM | Comments (19)

April 17, 2004

Is There A Doctor or Florist In The House?

Good Saturday morning to you! I hope that, wherever you happen to be, the weather is as wonderful as it is here. To celebrate, I give you another tulip shot (and no, that's not a euphemism for something else).

Overnight, my wife became startlingly ill. We're not really clear on why but it looks to be a quiet day of recuperation. Cross your fingers that the worst is over.

Posted by Chris at 08:56 AM | Comments (17)

April 16, 2004

I-O-U 4 R

I owed r a shot of the new footboard. I threw in a cat as a bonus...

Posted by Chris at 06:45 PM | Comments (7)

Wise Words From Readers

Already did my friday happy dance of joy. Course i looked like a spastic giraffe with leg cramps doing it, but it's done. Graceful, i'm not.

no time to dance, too busy avoiding work and staring out the window.

I almost died laughing about your mother's hat. Everyone should have a mother like that. Or at least an aunt.

I love that the confusion was simpley rolled into acceptance.

I think I've found my new pickup line: "Hey baby, you want to be my political refugee?"

I almost snorted salad dressing out my nose...WE have a token Middle-Eastern political refugee in the fam! No one knows what he's saying, and my dad mostly asks repeatedly, "you don't eat pork? pork is good! are you sure you don't eat it?"

Although I? Am a SAINT. Because I sat through lunch with an ALREADY POSSIBLY BROKEN FOOT.

you also jump up and down on beds and smash your head into ceilings. nobody's perfect ;)

How funny Chris...you have a cat who is more like a dog...and I have a dog who acts more like a cat...

I use to think... 'Now wouldn't it be nice to meet Chris and Beth when they're over on their next European tour', but ta hell with that!! I wanna meet chore mamma!!!

After being away from "The Rude" for a few days, I'm still the #1 commenter on this post? Well, **I** at least thought it was interesting...

i cant say anything. my mother used to bedazzle her clothing.

What is this "happy" of which you speak? I'm too tired to drum up that kind of energy. Email me some caffeine and we'll talk.

Posted by Chris at 04:08 PM | Comments (1)

Friday...and Sun

Guys, its Friday. And its sunny and warm! Rejoice and do the Friday dance.

Posted by Chris at 09:59 AM | Comments (13)

April 15, 2004

Bring In The Noise

I traded email with r earlier today. She made me a bargain - she'd participate in today's haiku smackdown if I'd post to Theme Thursday. Happy to. And r, you don't owe me anything for this one. I'm happy to participate.

The theme is noise...and I made some...

Posted by Chris at 06:14 PM | Comments (8)

The Smackdown Week Six

This week we'll continue the Thursday Haiku Smackdown tradition. For inspiration, I give you five fantabulistic photos. Be inspired and let the haiku flow. Confused? Visit the official Haiku Smackdown site for more info. Now, 'ku! Please. And if you're not one of those who normally 'kus, give it a shot!

Posted by Chris at 06:32 AM | Comments (180)

April 14, 2004

One Flew Over The Easter Basket

I was just reflecting on my Easter and thinking how absolutely bizarre it was, mainly because of the people I was with. Allow me to paint a quick picture.

My brother-in-law and his wife were there (they're both relatively normal) as well as Beth's parents of course. My father-in-law has the proud distinction of being the only one in the crowd guity of voting for Bush. We pick on him for it. Its a little game we play. Rounding out the more sedate members of the crowd were my father and my wife. Seems like your normal holiday so far, right? Not so much.

My wife's grandfather (grandfather-in-law?) flew in from California...with his new girlfriend. His wife died last year and, after being significantly depressed about it for quite a while, he found himself a hottie. A hottie in her early 80's but a hottie nontheless. She joined us as well. We were also joined by two college students from a conservative Christian college in California (one of whom is my wife's cousin). They're in town doing an internship on the Hill (Capitol Hill, that is). The last of our visitors was Alexis who you might remember as our token political refugee from Cameroon. All families have to have a token political refugee from some African country, right? No? All the festivities were overseen by my mother, flaunting a hat of her own creation. She'd adorned a black, wide-brimmed hat with flowers, the stems of which extended easily 12 inches from the hat itself. From these she delicately hung cheap plastic earrings which portrayed flamingos under palm trees. We were confused. Then we just decided to roll with it.

When people talk about diversity, I'm pretty sure this is what they're talking about. Would I be correct if I assumed you're going to want a back-story for some of this?

Posted by Chris at 04:52 PM | Comments (14)

Playing Catch-up

Yesterday I was busy and in a funk so my level of blogging was a little on the weak side...so I'll take this opportunity to catch up on some stuff.

Dubya: Really I would have preferred to watch John Stevens sing for an hour. It probably would have been more coherent. While I thought Dubya's speech portion of the evening was above average (he didn't do the stupid Dubya sneer/smile as much, nor did he invent new words) the Q&A was a miserable failure. I'm not sure I actually heard him answer any of the questions - instead we were treated to a rare glimpse of Dubya's mind in action. It was almost as if he was thinking out loud. I continually wondered if he knew we could hear him. No second term for you. Thank you for playing. Next!

Lunch: I had a very nice lunch with Amy. Despite the uber-crappy weather, we had good food and good conversation but no mutant strawberries. Here's a picture. No, this isn't the same picture from last time. Of course I didn't just Photoshop the old picture. See, its raining in this one. It has to be real!

Movies: We watched a couple of movies over the weekend, both fluff action flix. Xmen - the first one cos yes, we have been living in a cave thank you very much - was pretty damn decent. Lots of fun. Underworld, however, was not. Cate Beckinsdale Kate Beckinsale (thanks for the spelling catch, Marie) was really the only good reason to watch this one, which was basically The Matrix with vampires and stuff. I was not impressed.

Feel good link of the week: Who Is That With Jeremy?

Posted by Chris at 09:08 AM | Comments (10)

April 13, 2004

Blue Cactus

To follow-up on the rather unusually subdued post I left this morning, I'll pull back the curtain just a little bit more. Mrs. Cactus and I had a fight...kinda. More an ongoing issue that came to a head. And I'm ready and willing to admit its my fault, what with being a self-centered asshole person and all. All will be well with some effort on my part. Mrs. Cactus and I are a great pair, of that there is no doubt.

Thank you all for being so damn supportive and sending me the encouraging messages. I thank you, I appreciate you, and I am humbled by you. Special thanks to Amy who put up with me at lunch. I'm sure I wasn't the most exciting or entertaining dining companion. At least there wasn't any mutant fruit this time!

Posted by Chris at 07:57 PM | Comments (3)

An Admission...

If you took all the pieces, all the random bits, diatribes, rants, complaints and silliness, that I've laid out before you here, what would you come up with? Think of some elaborate mosaic, the entries here being crushed pieces of tile and glass. Maybe shards of green sea glass for political views. Orange Spanish tile for cats. Perhaps a few tons of broken blue porcelain for music. Even assembled with the most care, I don't think it would form a perfect, accurate picture. Because, as with anyone given a pencil and paper, fingers and a keyboard, I choose what I tell you. And what I don't.

I certainly can't be expected to write everything. I mean, you'd get bored quickly and I'm not all that interesting. And perhaps there are things I don't want to tell you. That don't make me look all that hot. In the interest of being honest, I'll cop to something here, in public to everyone can hold me to it...I'm sometimes not all that nice to the people I love.

You see, I'm a little pretty self-centered. Everyone is to a certain degree. But I think that some of the relationships I have with people suffer because of it. I operate under the assumption that people are going to be there for me, in my life, no matter what so I don't always take them into consideration as often as I should. But the simple fact is that things happen, relationships take constant maintenance, and I'm often guilty of not doing my part. I want to fix that.

There you have it. As they say...you take the good, you take the bad, you take it all and there you have the facts of life. Wisdom from a sitcom? Scary. I will continue to produce the pieces of this giant puzzle. You may continue putting them together as you see fit.

Posted by Chris at 08:27 AM | Comments (12)

April 12, 2004

Rain...and Pixel

I don't know about the weather where you are but its crappy here. Really crappy. Like people from Seattle would be throwing themselves from the top of the tallest Starbucks. Anyone suffering from weather like this needs a heavy dose of cuteness.

Pixel here's hard to snap a picture of. Its mainly because he's black. Sure, you say. Play the race card. But its true. I snap a picture of him, check it out and because he's so dark, he looks like a faceless blob of black hair. Imagine my surprise when I accidentally snapped this one.

Pix is an interesting cat. When Beth and I were in college, we moved into an apartment together. During a terrible icy winter (I'm not overstating it here - my college was closed for a week and we literally skated around our college town for another week after that) six months after we moved in, he showed up. We could see his ribs, he was losing hair and was a mess. If you look you can see the notch missing from his ear. We figure the other guy must've been a complete wreck. Anyway, as it turned out, the people who lived in our apartment before us packed up the last of their stuff, they just kicked him out and left.

He's now a healthy 18 pounds (and believe it or not, because he's got a significant amount of wild cat in him and is just huge, that really is healthy for him) and has a pretty good life. But I'm convinced he's more dog than cat. He comes when you call him, walks beside me everywhere I go and sits at my feet when I'm eating.

One last bit of Pixel trivia for those who might be wondering. He's named after an astonishingly talented cat from the novel The Cat Who Walks Through Walls by Robert Heinlein.

Posted by Chris at 07:45 PM | Comments (12)

Keys (Or, Oops)

At seven this morning I received a phone call at the office from my wife. It went something like this:

Me: Hello?
Her: Good morning. I have a question for you.
Me: Shoot.
Her: Have you seen my keys?
Me: Shit!
Her: ...
Me: Shit! Shit! Shit!
Her: What?
Me: I have them. I threw them in my jacket pocket last night when we went to take out the trash. Wait. That means you don't have any keys at all right?

Usually I forget stuff, not steal other people's stuff. It all worked out, sorta. Cut me some slack, its Monday!

Posted by Chris at 12:46 PM | Comments (15)

Haiku For Monday #25

Somebody stole the
Easter Bunny because he
never came Sunday.

Posted by Chris at 09:24 AM | Comments (5)

April 10, 2004

The Winner

Our first tulip of the year. The other 149 should be blooming any day now.

Posted by Chris at 12:12 PM | Comments (10)

Meme's The Word

Ahhh...questions for a Saturday morning! This was shamelessly stolen from Anne who claims to have abducted it from Mac.

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4.
"He thought that dying would be easy compared to lying in a box for all the world to see this way." From The Black Brook, an excellent novel by Tom Drury.

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What do you touch first?
Coffee cup. Thankfully, with some hot coffee still in it.

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
The "Roman" episode of Monster House...TiVoed.

4. WITHOUT LOOKING, can you guess what the time is?

5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
A few cars driving by on the road not far from the house. And birds.

7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
I was headed out to dinner last night. I met my wife at our local Thai hangout.

8. Before you came to this website, what did you look at?
I was over at Amy's site.

9. What are you wearing?
Flannel PJ pants and a long-sleeve fleece sweatshirt-like thing. And socks. Its chilly this morning.

10. Did you dream last night?
Yes. But I'll be damed if I can tell you what it was about. This, however, is a bonus after horrible dreams the night before.

11. When did you last laugh?
See number 8. Amy always cracks me up.

12. What is on the walls of the room you are in?
Deep, dark red paint, college diplomas, four overly stuffed bookshelves and a couple small pieces of random art.

13. Seen anything weird lately?
After dinner last night we dropped by a store...there was this guy there who was majorly cross-eyed. Like, so cross-eyed I couldn't believe he could see at all.

14. What do you think of this quiz?
I dig it.

15. What is the last film you saw? In a movie theater?
Last film was the second Tomb Raider flick. It was...well...here's the thing. It would have been okay if it hadn't gone all Lord of the Rings toward the end. If you've seen it you know what I'm talking about. Total jumping of the shark. In theaters, I saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Or Eternal Sunlight of A Beautiful Mind. Or External Scrubbing of a Sunny Disposition. Whatever. It was good. Highly recommended.

16. If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy first?
A good lawyer.

17. Can you tell something about you that no one knows?
Wow. That's tough. Really tough. I just completed the rest of the questions and came back to this one with no good answer. I'll keep thinking...

18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
With the wealth that exists, there's no excuse for anyone to go to bed hungry - in this country or in any other. I'd like to change that.

19. Do you like to dance?
No. Unless I'm by myself. And even then its not pretty.

20. George Bush: is he a power-crazy nut case or some one who is finally doing something that has needed to be done for years?
Neither. I think he's an average guy who's completely out of his depth. As much as I loathe him, I don't think he's evil. I don't think he's all that bright. I just don't think he has the skill to be the president. Nor has he been able to surround himself with people who have the necessary skills.

21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
At one point we were digging the name Emma. But now everyone seems to be using our idea. So its back to the drawing board.

22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?
I honestly have no idea. Boys names are impossible for me.

23. Would you ever consider living abroad?
No, I'm quite happy being a man. Oh! Abroad! Yes, I think it would be a great experience. How cool would Paris be for a year?

Posted by Chris at 08:29 AM | Comments (1)

April 09, 2004

Wise Words From Readers III

Thank you all for the comments (or even just snooping around without saying anything) this week. As is now the tradition, I give you...well...you!

Hey Peep, you have a cactus stuck on your butt!
- zenwanderer

The only acceptable use of Peeps is as packing material. Blech.
- Gesikah

IKEA = difficult to assemble, but nice to have.
- Cassie-b

Holy hell. I get the urge to beat old ladies in line at the grocery store, so by the time I get out of Ikea, I'm a mess.
- Anne

That's right. I've logged more Ikea time than the entire cast of 'Trading Spaces.' Well, Doug at least.
- Coleen

I'm not a mom - nor do I plan to be in the near future, but I gotta say, that whole spooning out my ovaries thing is starting to sound really good right now.
- Tjej

A plant for an electrocution? you got short-changed.
- Liz

I think all new beds should be tested! *jump* *jump* *jump* *jump* *jump* *jump* *jump* *jump* *jump*
- Sweety

Okay, I didn't realize, according to Ikea you're supposed to put furniture together while naked. Damn, I guess I've been doing it wrong for years.
- Oliquig

I did not watch The Swan. I was too embarrassed to let TiVo know that I secretly really, really wanted to see it.
- Amy

One word: DORK!
- Laura

Bring back MASH! Bring back Cheers! Bring back Seinfeld! If I'm going to watch mindless programming, I want it to be just a little bit clever.
- Mala

Anything with "smackdown" in the title just sounds like far too much hard work.
- Pie

...he seems to prefer wool. Not so much undergarment material, that.
- Dawnie

You'd be a much better President than Bush...
- Krush

Posted by Chris at 03:05 PM | Comments (3)

Three Questions

Sweety sent three questions my way. The goal here is to answer these then think of three other questions for two other bloggers. Here goes...

1. If you had to live in another country, and you'd had to pack your
bags and leave TONIGHT, where would you go?

If I had to live somewhere else for the rest of my days, my first instinct is to say Canada. Its close, language is the same and I think I'd be happy there. But if you told me I had to move someplace for a year, I'd probably say Paris.

2. The US Government decides to kick Bush out of the White House today,
but only if you replace him as President and move immediately into the
White House, would you do that?

Yes. Personally I think anyone who wants to be the President should be disqualified immediately - its something only the self-centered would want. But if it meant replacing Bush, I'd do it. Anything's gotta be better. Plus, I'd let you guys help write the speeches and stuff :-)

3. Who (celebrity/ writer/ politician/ anyone) would you like to meet
and why?

I've got to go with two answers. If its someone alive or dead, I'd say Mr. Rogers. Sure, laugh if you want. I think he was a singularly fascinating and good human being. I'd like to have met him. If I can't bring back the dead, I'll go with musician Peter Gabriel. Gabriel is an astonishingly talented individual. I'd like to be able to have a tenth of the talent he's got. In addition, I have a great deal of respect for his stance on social and political issues.

Posted by Chris at 11:44 AM | Comments (4)

Lord of the Peeps

Since we've previously discussed the pros and cons of Peeps, I thought you all might enjoy what was obviously a herculean effort by someone with way too much time on their hands. I give you Lord of the Peeps.

Link courtesy of Christine.

Posted by Chris at 07:30 AM | Comments (5)

April 08, 2004

A Picture is Worth 35 Bazillion Calories

Her: Its like the mothership calling you home.
Me: Oh yeah. Can't argue with that.

And for those of you who are curious what I went with...

Posted by Chris at 07:48 PM | Comments (16)

Happy Cat

Warning: Obligatory cute cat photo below.

I seem to have a cat in my underwear. Thankfully, I was not wearing them at the time. I realize there are many jokes here. Go ahead. Fire away.

Posted by Chris at 06:18 PM | Comments (7)

A Picture is Worth 5-7-5

What do all these images have in common? They're inspiration for many-a-haiku in the Thursday Haiku Smackdown taking place today at the JLBrigade. Go check it out. Maybe you'll be crowned the Haiku Grand Master like Sweety.

Posted by Chris at 02:07 PM | Comments (3)

Take A Memo

Note To Self #1:
New bedroom furniture is larger than old bedroom furniture. And its arranged differently.

Note To Self #2:
New bedroom furniture hurts when walked into early in the morning...in the dark.

Note To Self #3:
The Swan has to be the worst thing I've ever seen on TV. Yet, why was I compelled to watch the whole damn thing?

Note To Self #4:
It's Thursday so its Haiku Smackdown time. Its being hosted over at the Judith Light Brigade site this week!

Posted by Chris at 06:48 AM | Comments (10)

April 07, 2004


I'm not making this up. This is a real conversation held in my office with two coworkers. And while I'm sure you'll be tempted to chalk it up to locker room guy humor, please keep in mind, the two coworkers are women.

Me: So its rumored that he has a woman.
Coworker 1: Who?
Me: I thought you'd probably know.
Coworker 2: I know, I know.
Me: Ok but you have to swear not to tell anyone. We all think he's dating Karen.
Coworker 1: Well that makes sense because she's tall too. Their junk lines up.
Me: Exactly. That's what I thought.
Coworker 2: Huh? Excuse me. What are you talking about?
Me: Their junk. He's tall so he wants a tall woman so their junk lines up.
Coworker 2: I got that. But, junk? What do you mean.
Coworker 1: You know. Their junk. Their junk.
Coworker 2: Ahhhh. I see. Their junk!
Me: Yup. Their junk.

Coworker 1 then approached our whiteboard, pulled out two markers and illustrated with blue and red stick figures.

Coworker 1: So if you draw a line from junk to junk you'll see that they line up if they're both tall. Otherwise their junk doesn't match.
Me: Hence the Junk Derivation Quotient.
Coworker 2: What?
Coworker 1: That would be the difference in junk. Too much derivation, not an acceptable girl.
Me: He has some interesting standards.

Posted by Chris at 05:39 PM | Comments (18)

The Danger of Bouncy Beds

In one of the comments I received about the new bedroom furniture, someone was encouraging jumping on beds. I have a warning to some of you out there - your mom was right. Don't do it. I found this out the hard way. See, what happened was I was jumping on a bed this one time and it was especially bouncy. So bouncy in fact that my head hit the ceiling. I ended up with a concussion.

Me: Well, I think I might have hurt my head and I'm kind of dizzy.
Doctor: How exactly did you hurt yourself.
Me: I hit my head on the ceiling.
Doctor: Do you mind if I ask you how?
Me: Well...uh...I was jumping up and down on the bed.
Doctor: ... ... ...

I guess it might help explain the doctor's reaction if I told you that I was 23 years old at the time.

Posted by Chris at 08:04 AM | Comments (20)

April 06, 2004

The Reveal

I mentioned over the weekend that we'd finally bought new bedroom furniture. The delivery arrived this afternoon and we've spent the afternoon and evening putting the last bits of furniture together.

Without further ado...the new bedroom!

Wood...lots of freaking pieces of wood...

What's up with these funky Ikea dudes? They know people don't look like this, right?

At last...assembled and ready for sleep...

Do I really need a caption here?

My side of the bed...

Again, do you really need a caption? Oh, alright. This young Zulu tribe member sneaks up on the rare African lion only to engage in the ancient African ritual of tickle-the-cat, necessary to achieve manhood and win $2 from his fellow tribemates.

Posted by Chris at 08:38 PM | Comments (21)

Tales of Home Repair

Sweety recently described a household problem, the details of which are probably familiar to most of us. You know those situations - something breaks, you call someone to fix it and when they show up, it works perfectly. Case in point...the stove from hell...

After college, my wife and I moved from our college town an hour south of DC back into the Northern Virginia DC suburbs. We found a nice little apartment in a decent neighborhood for, in retrospect, very little money. Not everything was quite right with the apartment though...

One night I went to cook dinner. I was making pasta so I tried to boil water. No such luck. The burners on the stove got hot but not hot enough to actually bring the water to a boil. So I called Wade The Maintenace Guy.

Me: Yeah, I cant get water to boil.
Wade: You sure you know what you're doing.
Me: Its water dude. I can boil water.
Wade: Just asking.

Wade turned on the stove, felt the burner getting hot and glared back at me.

Wade: Its hot. I don't know what you're doing wrong. Should work.
Me: But it doesnt.
Wade: Well, it will now. Just boil your water and call me if it doesn't work.
Me: Uh, thanks.

About a half an hour later I gave the whole boiling water thing another try. And failed miserably. I called Wade who said he'd be there the next day. Chinese takeout that night.

Wade: So, you can't boil water?
Me: I can. The stove can't.
Wade: Uh-huh. Look, its getting hot. Get me a pan and I'll show you.
Me: You think I didn't try this?
Wade: Just get me a pan.

In life, you pick your battles. I gave Wade a pot of water and let him go to town. He couldn't get the water to boil.

Wade: Huh.
Me: This is what I've been saying for days now.
Wade: Okay. We'll get a new stove in here. I'll be right back.

Sure enough, within five minutes, Wade brought in a brand new stove, hooked it up for me and left. If course, I tried the boiling water test again just to make sure. The result? Hot water, no boil. I called Wade. He said he'd be there the following day. Chinese takeout again.

Wade: So, you still can't boil water? What the hell are you doing wrong?
Me: Me?
Wade: Yeah, you. We gave you a new stove.
Me: Ever think that maybe its not the stove?
Wade: What else could it be?
Me: You're the maintenace person. Not me.
Wade: I'll be right back. Dumb-ass mother fucker.
Me: Excuse me?
Wade: I said I'll be right back.

Yes, Wade was getting a little testy and so was I. Especially after being called a dumb-ass mother fucker. But he returned, tool belt in hand, mood improved after a few minutes. He slid the stove out and checked the wiring.

Wade: Well, here it is! Its wired wrong. That's why you're getting some heat but not enough to boil water.
Me: So it wasn't my poor cooking skills after all, huh?
Wade: Nope. Sorry for all the trouble. You should be good to go now.
Me: No problem. Thanks.

That night? I was going to boil water and revel in its boily goodness. After a steady diet of Chinese takeout, I was going to boil water and cook some homemade pasta for dinner. Sure enough, the water boiled and my wife and I started cooking.

Everything was going pretty well until I leaned against the stove itself. And found myself in the dining room several feet outside the kitchen. On my ass. You see, while Wade had fixed one problem, he'd created another. He'd unhooked the ground wire. I received a jolt of electricity that literally sent me flying. I felt it for days.

The next day I called the building management and discussed my issues with Wade. I'd been willing to overlook the dumb-ass mother fucker comment until he electrocuted me. I also informed them that they were lucky I was a nice guy and wasn't planning to sue. Wade dissappeared a few days later and they brought me a plant.

Dumb-ass mother fuckers.

Posted by Chris at 09:25 AM | Comments (13)

April 05, 2004

On Books: March

As I did in March, here are my top picks for recent reads.

My top pick? A Box of Matches by Nicholson Baker. Baker has made his reputation as a writer who pays attention to the little stuff. His previous novels have focused on details and while you'd think that might be boring, its not. Oh, and trivia - Monica Lewinsky actually gave Bill Clinton a copy of Baker's novel Vox. Read it and you'll see why. A Box Of Matches is a singularly beautiful novel. Bloggers will appreciate it as well - our narrator wakes early every morning and writes. His observations range from the mundane to the poignant to flat-out absurd. This is truly a remarkable novel.

Honorable mention to Hot Plastic by Peter Craig. What might seem like an ordinary crime thriller really isn't. Its a fantastic story, well worth the $15 to pick up. In addition, Nicolo Ammanti's I'm Not Scared turned out to be an excellent read. Half Saligeresque coming of age novel, part Hitchcock drama, Ammanti weaves a short and utterly disturbing tale.

Dissappointment? You bet. I tried out Elmore Leonard for the second time and was utterly mystified why this guy's so popular. Ending in similar trainwreck fashion was Greg Iles Footprints of God, which went from DaVinci Code wannabe to apocalyptic Dr. Strangelove farse in 500 easy pages. Also a hearty 'meh' to Michael Prescott's In Dark Places. Typical thriller, nothing more.

Posted by Chris at 08:21 PM | Comments (7)

Calling All Moms

I need an expert opinion...and for that, I need input from the moms in the crowd. Here goes. At what age is it no long normal for a kid to howl ever friggin minute of the day?

The explanation:
We live in a townhome. We're in an end unit and they're well built - rarely do we hear anything from our neighbors. I said "rarely" not "never." About 18 months ago the bitch on wheels lady next door had a baby. We'd occasionally hear it crying at night be we figued that was normal. Its a baby after all. But as time (18 months, let me remind you) has gone by, that kid's developed some lungs. And she cries every minute of every damn day. I wake up at five in the morning - kid's crying. I come home in the afternoon - kid's crying. I wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of this kid crying.

Posted by Chris at 01:27 PM | Comments (19)

Haiku For Monday #24

Can someone tell me
Just where in the hell spring went?
Its freaking cold out!

Posted by Chris at 07:39 AM | Comments (11)

April 04, 2004

Some Assembly Required

What's this weekend been about? Well, I'll tell ya. Furniture.

After the horriffic porn furniture incident, we decided that Ikea was still our best bet. Yesterday we ventured to Ikea once again and braved the Saturday crowds. Two hours later we emerged the proud owners of brand spakin' new bedroom furniture. We were able to bring some of it home but we're having the rest delivered (we thought today, but apparently that's changed to Tuesday). I promise before and after pictures upon the room's completion. In the mean time, some lessons-learned.

1. People walk crazy-ass slow in the middle of stores. There needs to be a fast lane. If you're in front of me and you're walking slow, I'm liable to unleash a beat-down. And before you ask, yes, this does apply to children and the elderly.

2. Assembly directions would be easier to follow if I spoke Swedish. Sadly, I knew of no way to get them to Tjej for translation. But hey, who needs directions anyway?

3. I did learn one word - "Ikea" is Swedish for "very long wait for furniture in the delivery department." This can be used as a noun or a verb.

Noun: Did you see the Ikea? I don't have time for that!
Verb: I'm sorry I can't make it. I have to Ikea this afternoon.

4. Upon slamming a hammer into one's thumb, the appropriate response is always a hearty "fuck!" I tried the rest. They're not nearly as satisfying.

Posted by Chris at 12:47 PM | Comments (16)

April 03, 2004


You know its spring when you see the return of the peep.

Posted by Chris at 09:23 AM | Comments (23)

April 02, 2004

Wise Words From Readers II

Its becoming a Friday tradition - here are a few of the many wise, witty and often odd comments I get from you guys daily. Keep 'em coming. I can't tell you how much more pleasant you make my days.

* * * *

whoever utters the word "decaf" should be instantly removed from society...it's just not an allowable word...
- btezra

Donuts can be dangerous weapons in the hands of the right people, you know.
- Dawnie

If you met Yul Brenner, I want to be you. I'd pee myself.
- Anne

wait, you mean you aren't a complete and utter dork?
- Sledge

We all need little translators to wear around our necks, that tell people what we really mean. Oh wait, that is a *really* bad idea!
- Alicia

Wait. What did you mean by that post? Did you mean you dont want me reading your blog anymore? Do you not WANT me commenting? And did you call me fat? You're such a jerk.
- Zoot

Uggghhhh. Lost in translation moments. MAJOR suckage.
- Jane

you paint quite the foxy picture sometimes. mrowr.
- Marie

goodness, I think today is the longest day in history. it's only 4:30 but I would swear it feels like midnight.
- Liz

There's something about coming out of hibernation for so long that is absolutely heart-bursting. One of those extreme feelings you get. Mindbogglingly undescrible.
- Maureen

"two, two - two mints in one"
- Tjej

And I can't overlook Sweety who chose the right lies and figured me out completely.

Posted by Chris at 11:44 AM | Comments (8)

Spring Ahead

Psst! Yeah, you. Just wanted to let you know a little sumthin'. Its Friday!

Its been a strange week so if I haven't been "all here" on the blog this week, my apologies. Perhaps that needs clarification...the week in review...

Monday. Get to work at the ass-crack of dawn. Drink coffee. Drink more coffee. Drink even more coffee. Pee a lot. Forget how to use the English language. Lead a meeting while linguistically challenged. Drink more coffee. Attend a lunch meeting and attempt to be witty and fun while still lacking the powers to properly speak the English language. Return from lunch. Avoid falling asleep at desk. Remember - oh shit - an afternoon meeting at another building. Drive to other building. Suddenly regain the power to speak the English language. Have successful meeting. Go home. Sleep.

Tuesday. Get to work at the prior to dawns early light. Proudly consume my bodyweight in coffee. Pee. Do the whole thing all over again. Proceed to spend the day doing stuff I cant quite remember but, since it took the whole damn day, it damn well better have been important. Go home. Quality time with wife and pets. Sleep.

Wednesday. Listen to alarm go off. Hit snooze. Listen to alarm go off. Hit snooze. Eventually make it into work somewhere between the actual ass-crack and left buttock of dawn. Wade through the 1,284,289,111 emails that came in overnight. Prepare for big-honcho meeting. Keep preparing for big honcho meeting, all the while preventing English language skills from once again escaping. Go to big-honcho meeting. Become entirely too amused at the incompetence of some big honchos. Return from big honcho meeting and talk shit about said honchos. Vow not to become honcho about whom shit is talked. More meetings. Diet coke with lime. Home. Listen to music. Watch West Wing (crappy episode). Try to sleep. Not successful.

Thursday. Wake up and stumble into work. Tired. Cranky. Headache. Use one word sentences a lot! Drink coffee. Drink more coffee. Attempt world record for coffee consumption. Set the bar high. Answer the 1.2 gazillion emails now residing in my inbox, several trillion of which are from the same person. Try witty haikuing. Fail. Meetings. More meetings. Make mental note - meetings suck. Duck out of work a few minutes early to avoid flinging clock radio and random office supplies at passersby who've annoyed me all day. Go home. Install high speed Internet. Surf the Internet quickly. Love life again. Order pizza. Watch Survivor and CSI (poor Jerri...buh-bye). Sleep.

And now you're caught up. Don't forget the whole spring-ahead, fall-back thing. Yes, thats right. We lose an hour. Change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Oh, check on the elderly. Dont run with scissors.

Posted by Chris at 07:14 AM | Comments (10)

April 01, 2004

High Speed, Baby

We've finally joined the 21st century and gone all high speed at home! Bye-bye dialup.

Posted by Chris at 06:36 PM | Comments (13)

At What Level is Caffeine Fatal?

To say that today is a slow day would be like saying the Pope is marginally Catholic or the North Pole is chilly. It is, in fact, a very slow day and I haven't exactly been on top of things. Its cold and rainy out and the office is abnormally quiet. This explains the 20 ounce cup of coffee from Dunkin Donuts I drank this morning. It also explains the grande Starbucks I polished off an hour ago. And maybe the 20 ounce diet Coke with lime I'm working on now. My head is buzzing with caffeine but it doesn't seem to be doing anything!

Posted by Chris at 12:26 PM | Comments (5)

Made Me Go Hmmmm

Why is it that animals look humans in the eyes?

Think about it. Humans do it because its polite but animals don't really have a reason. Why not the mouth? Its what makes the noise and its the one part of the face that moves. Why not a leg or an arm? What is so inherently special about the eyes?

Posted by Chris at 11:38 AM | Comments (10)

Music...And Memories

Katherine has an interesting post up today, one that I could resist responding to. Her challenge? Pick the first song that pops into your head for each description below.

Reminds you of your youth...
Shout by Tears For Fears. On the way into work this morning one of the radio shows I tune in to was talking about 80's music. I instantly though of Tears for Fears. Excellent band...and they're back together with a new one coming out soon!

Gives you the chills...
I've never hidden the fact that I'm a prog-rock geek. While its probably not the genre I listen to most anymore, I've been hung up recently on Spock's Beard led until recently by Neal Morse, one of the single most talented musicians to walk the earth. Their song The Great Nothing has been giving me the chills recently.

Makes you want to bang your head...
In a good way or a bad way? In a bad way, some of the crappy nu-metal that all sounds exactly the same. In a good way? Old school Zeppelin, some of the kick-ass hair metal, good post-punk or emo (Dashboard Confessional, All American Rejects), any of the great Seattle grunge bands (Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden), Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, Audioslave and the Foo Fighters. To name a few...

You wish you knew the lyrics to...
I think I know most of them but only while the song is actually playing - American Pie by Don McLean. In my opinion, its one of the best-written songs ever.

Makes you so upset you turn it off...
Brittney, most rap and overly twangy country.

Was/is 'your song' with someone else...
I'm not sure I've ever really had one of those. I've been known to heavily quote from songs but I've never really had 'a song.'

Makes you want to dance...
As long as I'm alone and have a guitar handy, I'll dance to anything.

Helps you heal after a breakup...
Its been a while. I think the statute of limitations is up on this one for me. If forced to pick, however, I'd go with the classic In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel. Who can't identify with that scene from Say Anything?

Your parents made you listen to...
My parents never made me listen to anything, really. They always had lots of music on hand and would take me out to buy more. By the time I was 11 or 12, I had a huge stack of 45s. Now that I think about it though, there were some heavy doses of Streisand imposed on me growing up which I wasn't thrilled with. Yet some James Taylor, early Frank Sinatra, Roberta Flack and Carole King more than made up for that.

Ignites a specific memory...
All music ignites specific memories. I think that's one reason I love music so much. Its like some Dewey Decimal system for my brain. I file memories away based on what I was listening to at the time. That's really the beauty of music to me.

You've dedicated to someone...
Again, I'm not sure I've ever dedicated music to anyone. I've made CDs for people - friends, ex-girlfriends, my wife - and each of those in some way is a dedication, each piece of music speaks for me and to something I'd like to say. But the dedication of a specific song all Casey Kasem style? Nope.

You identify with...
Invisible Ink by Aimee Mann.

There comes a time when you swim or sink
So I jumped in the drink
Cause I couldn't make myself clear

Maybe I wrote in invisible ink
Oh I've tried to think
How I could have made it appear

But another illlustration is wasted
Cause the results are the same
I feel like a ghost who's trying to move your hands
over some Ouija board in the hopes I can spell out my name

What some take for magic at first glance
Is just sleight of hand depending on what you believe
Something gets lost when you translate
It's hard to keep straight
Perspective is everything

Posted by Chris at 08:03 AM | Comments (6)