July 31, 2004
Pictures of Saturday
So what do you do when you're not feeling so hot on a Saturday? Well, you take pictures of stuff of course. Like pictures of:
- Yourself when you're feeling especially pathetic;
- Flowers you bought your wife and the teddy bear that went along with it;
- Your cat, because lord knows you dont have enough of those;
- Spouses doing tricks;
- New sunglasses to replace the ones lost in the great monsoon; and
- Your untamed bush which really, you realize, needs a good trim.
It's been a full day, my friends. Hope you are enjoying your Saturdays.
What Goes Around...
Further proof of the old addage...I think I might have caught the very cold my wife had...which she maintains I gave to her in the first place. Oh well...we didn't have anything planned for this weekend anyway and that three hour nap sure was nice.
July 30, 2004
SLACKER'S LOG...SLACKDATE: WHO CARES?
As it turns out, I haven't forgotten how to completely and utterly slack. Okay, so I have been working a little bit and I was doing a little bit of design work earlier, trying to capture some ideas for a new banner and stuff. Other than that? Nothing.
Here's my question - do you think its totally wrong that I'm really amused by the idea of going to a Barry Manilow concert? It would be so deeply and insanely unhip that it may actually have a high potential hip factor. Three words: Drunken. Singalong. Mandy.
I'm off to slack a little more. My ass is back by the way. Thanks to all of you who expressed concern. You can take down the 'missing' signs and out away your ass detectors.
Happy Friday and good morning. I'm happy to report I'm checking in not from my office but from a comfy chair in my living room. Yep. Screw the man, I'm working from home! I've gotta say, sitting here with my cats is a lot better than being surrounded by my coworkers
July 29, 2004
My Mouth: Size Ten
I'm well aware that its only Thursday, although the way this week has gone it feels like it should be at least Saturday...in September.
I've been working on a big proposal for about the last two weeks. My friends? She is out the door. Bye bye proposal. Bye bye twelve hour days! Maybe - at last - I can go back to slacking a little bit. Is that too much to ask?
This afternoon I got past another work hurdle...I had to deliver a speech to 150 people. I'm horrified to admit that the words "I'm so glad I didn't have to follow a man wearing a dress" came out of my mouth as I was introduced. Yes, there was context and sure, people laughed (and not in that oh dear jesus what a freak kind of way) so I guess I wasn't totally out there. Still. Who says that to a crowd? Me, apparently.
Tomorrow? I'm working from home in the morning and taking the rest of the day off. And attempting to pry my foot from my mouth.
Missing: One 'Ku, Slightly Used
'Ku seems to be missing. Its Thursday so I came in and started looking around but all I found was this little note taped to my monitor --
Many weeks, no rest.
I go free like summer breeze.
But just for a week.
I checked with Amy and she knew nothing about it, except the strange message in her menu at dinner last night --
I take flight, like kite
But I will return next week.
I miss you long time.
Then the strange reports started flooding in. One such report told of a drunken 'ku seen doing body shots off of five hookers and a donkey in Cancun. Another spotted something described as "short, squat and Asian" streaking across the field of a Yankees game. Even more disturbing was the email I received from Sally Lettes of New Glockenspiel, Tennessee:
Yesterday I was in the farmhouse washing dishes and I heard all this mooing out back. Sure enough, there was 'ku out tipping cows. Then he made off with all my sheets hanging out to dry.
Worse still? Duane Thompson of Port Baughty, New Jersey emailed me with this:
You seen your friend 'ku lately? I swear I was out walking with my lady and out the corner of my eye some bitch jacked my Ford Probe. All I heard was this damn fool screaming, "Thanks for the lift yo/I return it but if not/Make you Grand Master."
And finally, thank god for TiVo. As I was watching the Democratic National Convention last night, I thought, just out of the corner of my eye, I saw a suspicious sign. Sure enough, upon repeated viewing, there 'ku was holding up a sign reading KU: 5-7-5.
Rest assured, 'ku will be back next week. If you do happen to see it in the mean time, drop me a line and let me know what 'ku's getting up to.
July 28, 2004
Have You Seen My Ass?
Some of you know I've been working a lot lately. I guess that's why I shouldn't have been surprised when I noticed that sitting was a little less comfortable than usual. Turns out my ass is missing. I've officially worked my ass off. And its only Wednesday.
Bite-Sized Hump Day Goodness
I refuse to let the fourth straight day of rain get me down. Even though I found myself sprinting through a monsoon of Gilligan's Island proportions last night trying to get to my car. Even though, since I was apparently running all bouncy, my sunglasses took flight and were swept away never to be heard from again. The glass is half full - its raining again today so I won't really miss them.
From the number of comments I got, I'm guessing that the long-hair post was at least slightly amusing. Just for the record, I'll admit to having a mullet at one point in time. I have enough self-confidence to cop to that. But no pictures for you! No matter how much you may beg. That bad hair chapter of my life is closed. Forevah. Thank god.
And by the way, for those that asked I was pretty much screwed either way when it came down to cropping that picture or leaving Beth in it. Had I kept her in it, I'm pretty sure I would have heard I hate that picture! Take it down! Of course, leaving her out probably meant the equivalent of you're fat or your ass looks big in those jeans, neither of which is true. I was just trying to be proactive.
There's a virus (computer, not human) going around our company. People seem shocked that the emails they've been getting from our help desk aren't real. But really, since when has our help desk signed their emails Virtually Yours or With Love. They're nice. But they're not that nice.
Happy Wednesday to all, and to all a good Hump.
July 27, 2004
At Least It Wasn't A Mullet
Now, I know this will come as a shock to some of you. But the plain truth is, I haven't always been this clean-cut, consultant type of guy. No, once, my friends, I was a long-haired, earring wearing wannabe grunge musician. Its true...my hair was, for a goodly number of years, longer than my wife's. And despite the fact that I was sometimes referred to as "hey, lady" or, when with my wife, "you girls" I kept it until the last possible moment. That moment being the end of college.
Sadly, age determines many things...like you can't go to work looking like a girl. Or, earrings after thirty kinda makes it look like you're trying to recapture lost youth buddy. Or even, hey man, you used to be in Skid Row, right? Something along those lines. But hey, that's just me. And as scary as it is, that's me over there (on the left) too :-)
Now, is it me or does lots of hair make my head look freakin' enormous?
To Sleep, Perchance To...Sleep! Tonight, Please!
Its becoming apparent that I'm having some work-related stress issues, as this dream illustrates...
I'm living in a dorm or an office building. Its around 1:30 in the morning and I can't sleep. I poke my head out the door and realize there's another light on. I walk into the hallway, knock on the door frame of the room and its Crazy Client (one of my current clients who's, well, a bit off). He invites me in and we talk about all kinds of stuff and I'm getting the definite vibe that he's really an alright guy, just misunderstood. Fast forward several hours in dreamtime... Crazy Client and I find ourselves in a big meeting room. Instead of a very large table, there are many rectangular tables that form a huge rectangle with a lot of space in the middle. Everyone on the project for Crazy Client is there - which amounts to a lot of people. The meeting is going okay until Crazy Client asks me for a cigarette. I give him one, he and I go outside and smoke and then return. Its then when a coworker informs Crazy Client that we have to stop work on his project...at which time, he explodes (figuratively). But then, after consulting with the people around her and passing many papers back and forth, that very same coworker begins to sing. And all of the sudden a few other coworkers stand up and begin dancing. Before long everyone's on their feet and the whole room is moving. Then it ends...
July 26, 2004
Adventures in Geekdom
We're geeks...and we've entered complete, unadulterated geekhood this evening. Allow me to set the scene. Beth has logged onto our brand spankin' new wireless network with her laptop. I've done the same with mine. And we're having a nice conversation. The funny thing is that we're in the same house. The truly odd thing? We're sitting about, oh, a foot away from each other. Without further ado...Adventures In Geekdom...
me: hows it going over there?
her: not too bad. How are things on your side of the couch?
me: pretty fine, I must say
her: good to hear
me: yeah...so, weather alright on your side of the room?
her: a little chilly
Lull, in which I do not notice that my wife has IMed me.
me: I'm sorry...I didn't notice you flashing or anything ;-)
her: I'm offended - how could you not notice me flashing. Is that a crack about my boobs?
me: well...you weren't flashing flashing...you just weren't blinking...or is blinking some chick thing that I don't know about?
her: is that another crack about my boobs?
me: NONONONONONONONO!! that was a completely non-boob related comment I swear
her: you are so in the dog house, buster
me: yeah...I know...but at least I can get email and shit from there now
her: email, yes. boobs, no.
You guys are quiet today! I know, I know...so am I. In truth, I'm not too fond of my job today. Overworked and undersleeped :-)
Haiku For Monday #40
AC? Not so much.
The net? Not so much either.
Monday? Not so great.
July 25, 2004
July 24, 2004
Saturday So Far
A quiet Saturday...
Despite the fact that I was absolutely dead by the end of the day, Beth and I went out with family for my sister's birthday (yes, I'm an only child...confused? That's why I gave you the link!). While waiting for everyone to arrive, I played a game of Hide Behind The Beer Lists and discovered a new Irish beer in the process. Eventually, everyone arrived and much fun (not strout) was had by all.
Today I've engaged in a project to bring our house into the 21st century and ensure marital bliss - I installed a wireless network. Fast connection and no fighting over the computer anymore! I hope you're all having a fantastic weekend!!
PS - QC's right - I don't look thrilled. I actually am. Dont let that serious look fool you.
July 23, 2004
Ever been curious what I sound like? I give you the first ever AudioCactus entry. Please right-click and save as. Don't worry...I'll work on the file size a bit.
Whew! I'm out of breath! Why? Because I've been doing the Friday dance! Luckily I finished up before anyone else made it into the office. The Friday dance is joyful but it ain't pretty.
I didn't get to stop at my usual place for breakfast because, well, I didn't have any cash and there's no ATM handy. So, I got cash and stopped at the Starbucks across the street from work. Now I ask you - am I the only one who's a little intimidated by Starbucks? When I go to Starbucks, I want a big-ass cup of black coffee. None of that froofroocino-avacado stuff. Big-ass. Black. Coffee. So then I say "large coffee" and they say venti? and I say, sure, large. Then they look at me and I'm forced to wonder did I just grow a new head? Why's this guy looking at me like I'm on crack? Ahhh, I didn't use the special terminology. I didn't speak Starbuckean. Will he not give me my coffee now? And after the guy's convinced I've learned my lesson, he gives me a venti (translation: big-ass cup of black coffee) and I got on my merry way, feeling slightly self conscious that I'm not walking away with anything that required a blender, loads of cream or milk, knowledge of quantuum physics or divine intervention. And behind me? Lemmings. Venti double-shot iced mocha-taquito with plush corintian leather and whipped cream on top, please.
July 22, 2004
Where's The Cactus?
Have you recently received brief, one line comments or emails from me? Have I just not dropped by your blog in a while? Well, there are reasons...here are a few.
a. I've sat through more meetings in the last week than I thought possible. What's especially sad is the meetings that are about other meetings. Or meetings to set up meetings. Truthfully, they all suck.
b. I've been throwing a proposal together for a big-ass chunk of work...in between all the meetings of course.
c. I won a big fat performance award. Further validation that blogging hasn't completely taken over my life...yet.
Hopefully I'll be back to my normal self by tomorrow afternoon. Cross your fingers. Until then, thanks for putting up with the fact that I've had nothing of interest to say recently. You guys truly rock!
Let the 'kuing begin. That's right - its Thursday and time for some smackdown action. Use the following as inspiration or be daring and go out on your own. You too could join the ranks of the grandmasters.
July 21, 2004
The Big Sleepy
First, an apology - if I haven't visited your blog lately, I'm sorry. Work has gotten Busy. That's Busy with a capital B. Please don't think I'm ignoring you.
I began the morning at 5-something-o'clock with a brilliant idea - I'd document my day! Sure, it would put most of you to sleep, but it was something, right? I did really well until I actually made it into my office. Then hell? She broke loose and I forgot I had a camera. Hell, I forgot I had a name. So I give you the beginnings of the Wednesday Noir photo essay I like to call The Big Sleepy...
It was a dark morning in the city. The humidity was so think there were flies hovering in place not able to fly, not able to fall. Humidity's sister, Heat was in on it too, like that redheaded dame I hadn't seen since last Tuesday when she'd slipped in for a smoke and a ten-spot.
Yeah, the way the light reflected off the sedan reminded of the gleam in that dame's eye when the lighter flared into action. But I wouldn't get the day started by reminiscing.
A cup of joe was the only thing that would get me moving. A steaming cup of joe from the Chinese lady who I was sure was working for the Reds. Not the baseball team, mind you. The commies. I'd staked the joint out before and I'd seen some pretty strange doings.
I grew curious when I parked the car and thought, for a minute, I'd been setup. But no, just some poor sap who'd been sucked in by the man with the same promise of a couple bills to rub together at the end of a hard day. It was no surprise that no one was around when I rolled in
In my office, safe from prying eyes, I looked at the glowing anachronism on my desk and stared, amazed. 'What is this glowing box?' I wondered. And then it dawned on me- I'm no private dick from the forties. No, I'm a consutant and I've got a hard day ahead.
And I did.
My mind works overtime, most of the time. Sadly this included last night, while I was trying to fall asleep (not so successful, if you're wondering). Once again, I came up with a million ideas for entries, none of which I can remember, of course. But I did remember that I wanted to post this...something about little mysteries and perspective that I very much like.
One picture puzzle piece
Lyin' on the sidewalk,
One picture puzzle piece
Soakin' in the rain.
It might be a button of blue
On the coat of the woman
Who lived in a shoe.
It might be a magical bean,
Or a fold in the red
Velvet robe of a queen.
It might be the one little bite
Of the apple her stepmother
Gave to Snow White.
It might be the veil of a bride
Or a bottle with some evil genie inside.
It might be a small tuft of hair
On the big bouncy belly
Of Bobo the Bear.
It might be a bit of the cloak
Of the Witch of the West
As she melted to smoke.
It might be a shadowy trace
Of a tear that runs down an angel's face.
Nothing has more possibilities
Than one old wet picture puzzle piece.
Its not mine...its his.
Genius at Work: Part III
The Ladder Toss
As I might have mentioned, the house? She was tall. So we rented a ladder, a big shiny ladder, a 20 foot long extension ladder (capable of reaching heights of 40 insane feet above the ground!).
The ladder served us well. It never collapsed, never fell, never left us hanging. Most importantly, it led to the creation of an entirely new sport. The Ladder Toss. Here’s what you need to do to play at home. Warning: Please don’t attempt this sport unless you are under the supervision of a trained professional or you’re merely and idiot.
Its really simple. All you have to do is get a really long ladder. Take said ladder and put in on top of your truck, car, bicycle or Big Wheel. The next step is really the key – what ever you do, DO NOT – I repeat DO NOT – properly secure it to the top of your vehicle. After the ladder is NOT secured to the top of your vehicle, begin to drive erratically. Bonus points are given for drinking large containers of Gatorade and attempting to light cigarettes while driving. You’re not done yet – here’s the part that takes some timing and skill. What you’re looking for is a traffic light that’s just about to change. Speed up until you’re almost at the intersection then, abruptly, slam on your brakes. If you’ve done everything correctly, your ladder should immediately take flight and become a very long, shiny and dangerous projectile. The overall launch is scored based on flair, speed, collateral damage and the level of negative impact on normal traffic patterns.
Our reaction was neither swift nor intelligent.
Adam: Dude, did you see that?
Chris: Yeah. That was pretty cool.
Adam: Almost hit that truck though.
Chris: Almost. Man, they woulda been pissed.
Adam: Heh. Yep.
Chris: Think we should get it out of the middle of the intersection?
Adam: Sure. Couldn’t hurt.
July 20, 2004
Recap (In Incomplete Sentences)
A very quick recap of things that happened today:
- Email crashed, email came back, email crashed, email came back...you get the general trend here, no?
- Had lunch with Amy! Had lots of fun. Got hopped up on caffeine. Saw Amy's new camera. Saw Amy take pictures of the filthier parts of my car. Saw Amy post them on her site. Tried in vain to defend myself. Gave up.
- Realized I had an album by a band named Life Sex Death. Even better? A song on the album called Fucking Shit Ass. Listened to Fucking Shit Ass. Realized Fucking Shit Ass wasn't nearly as bad as I'd remembered. Questioned sanity...and my music collection.
- Tried to come up with an amusing, thought-provoking blog entry. Realized I could neither type nor form complete sentences. Gave up.
The One In Which I Run Into My Mom At Work
You ever picked up a glass of, say, orange juice, taken a sip and been absolutely repulsed because you'd been expecting something else? Its not that you don't like orange juice, you'd just anticipated something different. If so, you'll understand my confusion earlier this morning. I caught the elevator this morning to mail a package (our mail room is located in another building accessible by an underground tunnel) and ran into my mother. This led to a startling blast of Parent Out Of Context Syndrome (POOCS) and kind of freaked me out.
It turns out that there was a very logical reason for her to be there. She teaches life skills classes to political refugees and one of the training centers just happens to be in my building. I knew that but still? Getting off of an elevator and running into your mother? That's a little odd.
Genius at Work: Part II
<< Part I | Ants!
I might have mentioned it but its worth repeating - the house Adam and I got hired to paint was a big old three-story house. It has been built in the mid-1800’s and repeatedly added onto throughout its long history. This formed a very odd roof-line and posed a distinctly unusual challenge when painting. We had a fully extended forty-foot ladder, braced in place by my Jeep. I’m no great fan of heights but I’d have preferred staying on the ladder over becoming a human yo-yo.
You see, there was one side of the house that was very difficult to get to. And aside from a little paint job, the owners wanted us to clean out the gutters. Sure, for a few extra bucks, why not? Hi, I’m Chris, your home improvement whore.
The problem was that cleaning the gutters required very precise coordination. We needed to hatch a plan. The owner was willing to rent scaffolding so we could scale the side of the house without plunging to our deaths. But no. We were sure we could come up with a less expensive plan. And we did. It was a simple plan. A plan that involved me, a chimney, Adam’s upper body strength and a rope.
The rope was anchored around the chimney on top of the third story of the house. It was then tied around me, looping around my waist, then arms. A second rope was attached to me then the chimney just in case the first one gave out. Then I slid off the edge of the house to attack the gutters and do a little painting while Adam held on and fed me slack when I needed to move. While uncomfortable and insane, it really wasn’t a bad plan. It would have been completely successful had it not been for one little issue.
The gutters were filled with the ivy that was attacking the house. It was also filled with ants. Bare-handed I began scooping ivy and dirt out of the gutters and was almost immediately attacked. I yelled for backup. “Ants! Big fucking ants!” I yelled. I could hear Adam, most likely half-asleep on the roof, scurry into action. “What?” he replied sleepily. “Fucking ants. All over the fucking place. Get me the fuck up. Fucking ants! Wake the fuck up and get my ass onto the fucking roof” I answered. Adam heard me. So did the neighbors. They flocked from afar to see the crazy white boy screaming obscenities from the roof of a three story house held only by a taller, sleepier crazy white boy and a rope around the chimney.
July 19, 2004
Everyone's Reading It
Pixel? Yes, huge David Sedaris fan.
Genius at Work: Part I
I've mentioned my old friend Adam and I figure some of our stories are good for a laugh. This morning I give you the first part in what is truly an epic saga. Its about determination, hard work and the occasional mishap...and paint. Lots of paint. Yes, we'd landed a gig painting a house...
Part I: Magic Erase
One day we had to venture into the house to get some extra paint out of the cellar. I don’t often use the word cellar but this was not your standard basement. This thing was dark and creepy with dirt floors and the sound of things scurrying whenever you flipped the light on. This was a place where there was a very real possibility bodies were buried. Regardless, me made it out alive. Once back upstairs, we found a cool magic erase board that belonged to the resident four year old. Being 19 and, you know, obnoxious, we did what any 19 year-old obnoxious people would do – we drew a gigantic penis on it. Then we completely forgot about it, leaving our phallic masterpiece sitting in the pile of the kid’s toys.
When the owner returned from vacation a month later and we were settling the bill, he called us inside to talk. He handed over the check and told us we’d done a pretty good job. And despite all our screwing around, we really had done a decent job on the old place. But for a horrifying instant I remembered our phallic art project. Oh shit! Danger! Danger! Gigantic dick on the kids magic erase board. I didn’t erase it. Did Adam erase it? Is this kid scarred for life. Did he walk in one day, pick it up and ask daddy what this was? I covertly looked over to the pile of toys and caught a glimpse of the magic erase board right where we’d left it. Our artistic anatomical display was, thankfully, missing.
We shook hands with the owner and made our exit. As soon as the front door had closed, I turned to Adam.
Me: Dude, did you see the magic erase board?
Adam: No man…oh shit!
Me: Yeah. Thanks for erasing it.
Adam: I didn’t erase it.
Haiku For Monday #39
Dear Monday, why don't
you go bug someone else, eh?
Take off you hoser!
Note to my Canadian friends: No, I'm not making fun of you. I just had a major flashback to the time a friend and I watched Strange Brew about three gazillion times in a row. Comedy gold, people!
July 18, 2004
We're thinking about where we can go for our 'big vacation' this year. We already took a wee vacation (North Carolina) but we're talking a 10-day extravaganza here. Since we did France last year, we logically came up with Italy.
If I can pull back the curtain and let you see the Dark Side Of The Cactus for a minute, I'll let you know that I don't do so well with adventure...or flying. I'm happy with a beach and a book...and a means of getting to said beach without hurtling through the air. See, there's this thing I do...I obsess about stuff (like flying) for a long time before it happens. I've been known brood in anticipation month ahead of time. I do strange things like start smoking again and act like a twelve year old. Anyway, I would be lying if I said that I was fun to hang out with in that state. Even less fun than hanging out with me is probably being married to me. Really, it brings out my completely whacked-out side which I try and hide at all costs.
The thing? Beth really wants to go...and it would be over her birthday...and she'd probably be very disappointed if I cancelled because I'm, well, frankly a pussy sometimes. So while I'm still not positive, just pass me the pack of cigarettes because apparently I'll be going to Italy in the next few months. Let's hope my wife doesn't kill me for being a pain in the ass in the mean time.
Anyone? Words of wisdom? Kind pieces of reassurance? A light? ;-)
July 17, 2004
Sleep, Robots and Saturdays
Its a little after 10:00 AM and I just woke up! How cool is that? That's basically 5 hours later than I usually sleep. I'm sorry...its something of a small victory.
After I picked Beth up from dropping off her recalled Honda CRV for repairs yesterday afternoon (grrrr), we went out and caught a nice dinner. Then we decided, what the hell, we're not 90. Let's see a movie!
Now, when I first started getting very interested in reading as a kid, my dad handed me a copy of Isaac Asimov's I Robot. It was a great book and I soon discovered and read almost everything else the man wrote. I was, therefore, really skeptical about seeing the movie I Robot. My thoughts? Sure, it bastardized Asimov's early novels and twisted many of his concepts but it looked cool and was pretty entertaining. That's really all I was paying it to do.
I also neglected to mention that we recently saw The Terminal. I'm not quite sure why it got such lukewarm reviews. It was excellent! There were, however, two problems. First, Catherine Zeta-Chicago-Jones-Douglas wasn't all that good. Totally the wrong person to play that character. Also? Speilberg kept dancing across that line between "cute" and "poignant." They're not mutually exclusive but rarely does a combination of the two payoff.
Enjoy your Saturdays everyone!
July 16, 2004
Revolution Number Mime
Yesterday? She was long. But you know, nothing makes a day brighter than a mime. I now share with you a little conversation with Amy.
amy: i just HAD to include the mime joke
amy: it was just too good
chris: well, it was astonishingly brilliant...and by that I mean BAD
amy: brilliantly bad though
amy: like anything involving mimes
chris: true...mimes are usually bad news
chris: especially the ones who are afraid to swim - land mimes
amy: I hate to say it, but I just laughed out loud at that
amy: and i mean loudly
chris: well then, I'll take that as a compliment
amy: so I'm stuck with the mime puns
chris: I know! me too
chris: King Solomons Mimes
chris: mime's the word
amy: mime eyes have seen the glory
chris: or the hollywood blockbuster, Enemy Mime
amy: Auntie Mime, the broadway sensation
chris: where do they get their shoes? Mime West
amy: Sweet Child of Mime
chris: New York Mimes
amy: The Thin Red Mime
amy: Sierra Mist, a refreshing Lemon-Mime choice
chris: Key Mime Pie
amy: I have tears coming from mime eyes
amy: Brother, can you spare a mime?
chris: I can stop on a mime
amy: you've got to make mime for love
chris: Mimex: Takes A Lickin
amy: a mime is a terrible thing to waste
chris: a beautiful mime
amy: there is just no mime or reason to this conversation
chris: (but there's certainly a good post in it)
amy: (the same thing crossed my mime)
chris: (we'll have to keep it in mime)
chris: get a mime caught in your throat - mimelich!
amy: take a bite out of mime
chris: I think I might be out
I'd add a hearty "wish you were here" but that seems pretty inappropriate. Anyway, its Friday. Unlike my wife who is taking a well-deserved day off, I am at work. I've been working on a proposal for the last few days which means that you shouldn't be surprised if you find me using words like robust, value-add, return-on-investment, and compliance.
Happy Friday to you all!
July 15, 2004
Knitting (As Percussion)
Just let me explain. I was trying out the hat my wife knit and, at the same time, figured her knitting needles would be great for a little chair percussion. I'm a musician - everything's percussion!
After awhile, they were simply decorative. C'mon! I'm tired! Its been a long week...
If The Shoe Fits...
IN WHICH A MAN, YES A MAN, A STRAIGHT MAN, TALKS ABOUT SHOES ALBEIT VERY BRIEFLY
Its odd for men to get compliments about their shoes. Its even stranger to get three compliments in one day.
One of two things is going on here - either my current, shiny new shoes are, in fact, very nice or my old shoes are just so crappy that everyone was happy to see me get a new pair.
Eeyore At Work
I've got a coworker who I'll call Eeyore - he's got the tired voice and is about as charasmatic. Despite this, Eeyore has a surprisingly loud phone voice so I get to hear everything he says. For your entertainment, I give you the following recent Quotes from Eyeore.
"Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah."
"How're you doing mom? How are your bowels?"
"I've always told my boss, if there's ever a help wanted sign hanging in the window of World of Beer, I'm turning in my resignation."
"Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeahj yeah yeah yeah."
"So, I had the colonoscopy and it wasn't too bad. They knocked me out and afterwards when I woke up I could definitely feel where that snake thingy went but really it wasn't too terrible."
"Hi Mom! How's the pain today? You couldn't walk so someone had to go with you to the bathroom?"
"Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeahj yeah yeah yeah."
"We went down to the Outer Banks for a week and I got crabs!"
Can you believe another week has flown by and its time for the Thursday Haiku Smackdown again? Appropriately enough, today's smackdown is happening over at the Smackdown site. How fitting. What do volleyball playing cats, horny bulls and badly ageing superheroes have in common? Go find out.
July 14, 2004
The topic of close friendships came up earlier today. Whenever I talk about the subject, especially friendships that have somehow, through lack of effort or exertion of circumstance, lapsed, I think of Adam. And whenever I think of Adam, I remember the long-buried trophy of our friendship - a stop sign.
There are lots of stories I could tell about Adam. Maybe I will someday. Like the time he was bragging about his car to friends, pulled away and his muffler fell off. Or the time I was home from college with mono and he'd wake me up everyday throwing rocks at my window (usually followed by a very loud "fuck off" from me). Or the summer gig we landed painting houses. Even the time his car got hit by a boat. Yeah, I'll tell those stories sometime.
What I can't tell you is what's ever happened to Adam. The last few years were rough for him, I know. He got married then divorced then had a kid with someone else and dated a married woman. He was never the king of common sense. Actually he was never the king of any kind of sense. Despite the fact that we drifted apart in ever loosening circles, Adam taught me something - its better to stay close to the ones you love than it is to wonder about whatever happened to them.
Night two for some sleeping issues. While the night before I dreamed of axe murderers and awoke my wife by walking full steam into some furniture, last night I just couldn't get to sleep. I used the time to brainstorm some blogging ideas and I really think I was onto some good ones, some good memories that I wanted to write about...
There was the day I invented the Turbee Twist, that time I single-handedly cooked a seven course meal for seventeen UN embassadors, and the time I invented the Internet along with my cat and trusty sidekick Pixel. And I can't forget to tell you about my run-in with the famed Yeti (nice guy...little self-conscious about the hair thing) or the year I balanced the U.S. budget. Or the day I ran into that advertising exec and mentioned my idea about a little bunny who kept going and going and going... There was also that "new Coke" idea but I don't like to talk about that. And, no, contrary to popular belief, I didn't have anything to do with the hit show "Survivor." "Paradise Hotel" was mine but I don't like to talk about that either. Also, just to be clear, I told Stanley that "Eyes Wide Shut" wasn't going to work but he just went ahead anyway.
So there I was lying in bed thinking of all these things, all these great ideas. But this morning I get to work and what have I got? Nuthin'...not a damn thing. So, um, how 'bout those Mets?
July 13, 2004
Office Space Oddity
Heard in meeting:
"The budget numbers we prophesied should continue to remain constant and guarantee full funding through September..."
Excuse me. Prophesied? Let's just say you meant projected, couldn't come up with it, and delved into the far reaches of the brain for a synonym. Prophesied is what you went with? When did the budgetary process go Biblical? In the beginning the budget request came from on high. The numbers were good and it pleased the CFO and the consultants rejoiced.
So, another round of meetings tomorrow but they should be somewhat less painful and less plentiful. And today's lunch thing? Turned out pretty well. Now, if I can avoid dreaming of axe murderers and walking into furniture in the middle of the night...
Insane in the Membrane
I'm pretty sure I need a mental health day...and I don't really mean being driven off in a white van and deposited in a padded cell for a day. Although some might say otherwise. A few reasons why...
Example One: The Memo
I received a memo this morning. It stated, in part, "the hot asphalt patching around the telecom manhole should be completed between 2:00 and 3:00PM. During this time one lane of traffic will be blocked in the driveway. Flaggers will be provided." Now, is it me or does that sound vaguely dirty? Hot asphalt? Manholes? Flagging?
Example Two: Meetings, Meetings, Lunch and More Meetings (MMLMM)
I have four meetings today with a lunch thing smack-dab in the middle. This is going to keep me occupied from 10 AM until at least 4 PM. The lunch in the middle? My boss, boss (x2) and boss (x3) are taking me out to say, "good job." Is it wrong that I'd rather they toss me a bag of Cheez-Its and a Coke? And also? I think I've reached the saturation point for acronyms. If I get one new one thrown at me, my head just might explode.
Example Three: Dreams and Furniture
This morning around two, I woke up in a cold sweat after some dream about falling in love with an axe wielding murderer. Then I realized I had to pee...so I got out of bed and walked straight into our 5 foot-tall dresser. I don't mean that I just glanced off of it or stubbed my toe on the damn thing...I mean, full-on naked-man-on-Ikea contact. Then I got up this morning to get ready for work...and did it again.
...so yes...a mental health day is in order but I don't see that happening anytime soon. Happy Tuesday everyone.
July 12, 2004
Guestblogging Part II: A Success!
How many times can I say it? You guys rock! Thanks to you all for picking up my slack and blogging for me today. Looks like 22 of you took me up on the offer. Whether you posted, commented or just lurked, I thank you!
Take My Blog...Please
Good morning everyone! I want it to be known now that I don't have an original thought in my head this morning. Nor would I have the time to write it down if I did. What does that mean? Guestblogging!! Username and password are below. My blog is your blog today. Have fun.
(This message will stay on top all day!)
chris is so brave to do this ... mwahahaha!
oh, ahem. well ... without trying to get too political on somebody else's blog, i wanted to let you know that congress is going to vote in less than 48 hours on a constitutional amendment to deny marriage equality to same-sex couples.
if this is something that bothers you ... do something about it!
oh, and i'll understand if chris wants to remove my post.
Dreaming of Rude Cactus
Hey Chris, its goodsnake! I could not let your guest blogging day pass without posting something. Even if it is as mundane as this note. You know I wake up in the morning and your blog is one of the first things I read in the morning. So on days like today when there is nothing there to read... it is distressing. You are my mental cup of coffee. Today was a rest day in the Tour de France too, so I missed out on all my favorite things, on top of that it was a MONDAY!!! I posted a note to Zandria on my blog today. I swear, that when she gets back from Holland, if this blogging family is not a memory, I am coming up to the great state of Virginia and meeting you all, and now meeting Mrs. Cactus counts too, although I have been reading her blog since a while back when I discovered it when she posted a Hiaku with the link. I mean, how many people have a cat named Pixel. Hope your mind comes back soon, cause mental caffene withdrawl sucks!
No guts, No glory
No guts, No glory!
Here you are, you have all the Guts ... i SALUTE you ;)!
Being Rude Cactus
What if instead of posting in Chris's blog I could be Chris.
First I could get him into lots of trouble with his coworkers by patting cute women on the butt, and saying things like "nice pair of ta tas ya got there." I'm giddy with power already. To bad I didn't see Being John Malcovich, because I could steal a bunch of clever ideas from there.
Anyway, I'm sure Chris rates an office with a door, so I could take off my shoes, and flip through his private CD collection....Celine Dion, Cats original cast recording, Titanic, more Celine...well it's okay, I didn't want to listen to anything anyway.
I think Chris is in pretty good shape and I've never done a chin up on a door frame before, so I might try a couple of those. And I could eat plenty of donuts, because one day of ingesting a lot of junk food really wouldn't hurt him. Relax in the IKEA office furniture and read for a while.
Well I think that's lunch...a 3 hour, 3 martini session with Amalah, and TJ and whoever else happens to be in the vicinity.
And then back in my office I would floss, because I know he takes really good care of his teeth. I never know if I'm flossing right, and what better way to learn than to spend a day in someone else's body. Then I would pick his brain about HTML, and maybe create a innocuous virus that makes an animated spider scurry across your monitor.
Well...guess I better call it a day. There's nothing quite like being you Chris, thanks.
To know Chris, don't walk
a mile in his shoes, but post
a smile in his blog.
What I would be doing...
...if I weren't stuck at work. I've already complained about the fact that I'm waiting and waiting for someone else at work in my own blog, so now I'm going to do in Chris' blog too! Right now, I could be:
• hanging out with my husband.
• giving my dog a belly rub. He dances and kills his stuffed bear when I come home, and I tell him how fierce he is.
• taking off my stockings and putting on comfy clothes.
• getting ready to watch Jeopardy to see if today's the day that Ken guy loses.
• reading my book. I've just started The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson.
• making dinner. I'm getting hungry!
I know, you're overwhelmed by the glamor of my evenings. It would be better than being here at work though, I can tell you that. But, hey, I probably wouldn't have done the guest blogging thing from home. Thanks, Chris!
My Son - Trouble Down the Road.
It's Me, Zoot!
So - I have this kid, LilZoot. He's nine and today was his first day back at the Art Camp he participates in every summer. The second he walked in the door, the teachers and director were all over him, excited he was back. He just smiles coyly and blushes. He is such a ladies' man. Grown women love him and just brag about him. Teachers, parents, strangers at the store. They all are won over by his charm.
Even the girls his age seem to adore him because he hasnt hit the "girls are GRODY" phase yet. He'll hang out with the girls on the playground and stick up for them in P.E.
So - how much do you want to bet in about five years I am going to be wishing he was NOT as proficient with charming the ladies, huh?
Inmates Running the Asylum
I would like to take this opportunity to profess my love for the Golden Ratio, also known as the divine proportion, golden mean or golden section.
Without it I am just a rational number.
Hello Mr. Cactus
i love when you do guest blogging. even though i never have anything insightful or witty to say. but, what can ya do? =)
for anyone who is interested, my name is Judy and i'm a fellow DC Metro area-ian (area-dweller?). i found Chris through TJ, another DC Metro person. i've never met chris in person. but i'm sure we'll get around to that at some point.
well, it's now 5 o'clock and time for me to leave work. now it's off to the gym and then home. hope you're doing well Chris!
I like to think of myself as an individualist, but I realize now I'm just a lemming. Yep, posting here just because everyone else did (If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you too? Maybe - if it looked like fun!)
Wanted to parade my wares in front of everyone (hell- I'm a statistics whore, who isn't?) So here ya go: Psycho Babble
Ok, now that I'm done with that I realize I'm just wasting a WHOLE lotta space on your blog. Don't know why I thought I would have anything witty to say, since I can barely muster witty on my own blog. Chris, I found you through The Blue Sloth and I'm glad I did. You are always an entertaining read, even when you don't think you are (yes, you ARE!). Hopefully others don't paste as lame an entry as I did. Good luck on the guest blogging today!
Ultimate Bloggy Power
Yayyyyyyyyy! =D Just taking this chance to test run Movable Type *nod* On my all cool new blog *nod* that belongs to me *nod* on this nice domain *nod* with a man posting besides me who's name is Chris *nod* who has a wife *nod* but this is really my blog. Yep.
Well, I should go now ;-)
Super Sneaky Bloggy
I can't believe Chris has the pelotas to open his blog up to complete and total strangers. Sure, I'm not a complete and total stranger myself, but you know, anyone could take this ultimate power and abuse it. They could post all sorts of links to their site to gratuitously mooch off his google ranking, (i.e. visit my blog, visit my blog, visit my blog), somehow pretend to be the mighty Cactus and tell everyone that drinks are on him tonight (*wink*), or perhaps try to siphon his always loving legions of commenters. But would I do that? No, of course not, because I'd like to think I'm a friend of the Cactus, and would a friend do something like that? No, never.
So what will I do? Tell inappropriate jokes? It's been suggested we post compromising pictures, but nah, not in the mood. Instead, I'll tell you something entirely random - I've been reading Chris' blog for a few months now, fully aware that he lived in Northern Virginia somewhere. I mean, sure, he did manage to take that picture of a sign that was relatively near my house, which I thought was an odd coincidence. But little did I know, the guy lives about five minutes away. What a small blogging world, eh? So yes, there's my entirely random comment for the day. Now I think I should stop - it's too tempting to post something extremely long and boring here, just to take up space and continually abuse this great gift of power that the Cactus has bestowed upon us. But would a random blogging friend do that? No, never. :)
Put Down the Cactus!
This is a heady feeling: I have my hands all over a blog that gets about ten times as many comments per post as my own. I dream of having a blog like Cactus someday. Or maybe I can bring this one down to my level with the ineptitude of my posting. Either way, it's all mine, baby!
Okay, let's talk about me some more. My name is Casey and I'm from Idaho. I've lived here all 29 years of my life and despite all that still like to consider myself fairly normal. I'm married, I have two dogs, and my job (which I'm not supposed to talk about but often allude to) can sometimes be described as fecal management. Literally.
How do I know Chris? Well, through blogging, obviously. Chris and I are also both mad Robert A. Heinlein fans, and he's a great one to talk books with.
Okay, I'm going to hand over the reins to the next person. Thanks for the opportunity to shine!
Laugh-y laugh laugh laugh
Chris said it would be funnier if I mentioned "diarrhea" and "Ed McMahon" in the same train of thought. And I must admit, it really does have some possibilities.
But you know what really made me crack up over the weekend? I was interviewing this dude who owns one of the last successful family owned restaurants in NWI (holla if y'all know Teibel's), and he and I got off on a tangent and started talking about this illness he was stricken with a couple months ago. (Doctors originally thought it was a stroke, but turns out it was a herpes virus gone apeshit and into his eye cavity (!).) So as he was describing this, he says that at one point before the diagnosis -- and I quote -- "I couldn't hold my butt with both hands." And I'm STILL giggling over it. I mean, do we hold our butts with one hand? And to what purpose?
In fact, I was giggling so hard that I had to start coughing to keep him from realizing that I was laughing when he was being serious.
Btw, I'm entry no. 666. Is that bad?
Isn't it scary to open up your blog like that?
I guess your the expert on that subject though. Anyway, its 3:05pm and i noticed no-one had taken up your offer, so here I am. I found my way here through Del's blog
I don't really have a point, but I can share something I already wrote about today. Edy's ice cream has a new flavor called "America's Vanilla" i guess to replace french vanilla, in the same vein (vain?) as freedom fries.
Summer time @ the fair by Nicole
Summers remind me of the Del Mar Fair (now called the San Diego County fair, but really, it will always remain the Del Mar Fair to me). A few years ago Jesse and I went to the fair together for the first time. One of the best things about the fair are all the different odd foods you can get.
Now, I've always been a big fan of those huge dill pickles that make your mouth go numb about halfway into them and I was set on getting one. As Jesse and I started our search for the big pickle I suddenly realized that there might be something even better for me to eat at the fair, but I didn't know what. In true Nicole fashion we had the following conversation:
Nicole: You know what I want more than a pickle?
Nicole: I don't know.
I swear I had an idea in my mind of what I wanted, I just didn't know the exact food. We ended up with some funnel cake which I must say did the trick. This past year I ended up with a pickle instead of the funnel cake we've had the past two years. I definitely enjoyed it, but because of it I had to relive the pickle conversation about 5 times in the 2-3 hour span that we were at the fair.
I don't wanna grow up
I drink Jones Soda everyday. It's good stuff and a lot of it is caffeine free, which is a plus in my book. In addition to the great taste and flavor selection, Jones soda has a fortune under each cap. My fortune today...
"Financial Security is just around the corner."
And my first thought when I read that was "Well sure, I'm buying the condo and all...and real estate is a good investment." I didn't think about getting a massive raise, or meeting and marrying a billionaire, or winning the lottery. I thought about the condo I'm buying.
I am now officially a grown up. Not sure how I feel about that.
Hi there! Well….um, yeah.
When I was 9, and in third grade, we used to have lots of sleepovers. Not so much pillow fighting in our underwear sleepovers, but wholesome NINE year old sleepovers. And if you were thinking of the former type, well I think you and Principal Ed Rooney have more in common than is you should. Perv! But, like I was saying…we used to totally lip-synch to songs in-the-round. Meaning? That one person was the “song master” and they’d hold the flashlight and whomever was being shined upon had to act out the lip-synch. The standard line was, “spotlight’s on you babe”. Because we were SO Hollywood.
That’s what this made me think of.
But I really felt that I should write something because as it turns out Mr. Cactus is my long lost brother. That is, if the private dick we hired ever finds that traveling salesman. I think he’s a little caught up right now (being suspended in a jar and all).
A clever and devious plan
I am a little disappointed that Chris and I did not have a fight yesterday because if we had and if I were still holding a grudge I would have an excuse to use this opportunity to post really embarassing pictures of Chris or tell embarassing stories. Wait, I know! I can go pick a fight and then come back and post something embarassing and then if he gets mad I will just say I was hurt because he was so mean to me when we had that fight and I will make the whole thing totally his fault because I'm a girl and I can do that!
Do you think he will be suspicious when he sees this post though?
Alright, look at me, like my new domain name and design?
OK, enough lameness, for now at least. I'm a new reader, and simply wanted to say thanks. Yes I could have emailed you and told you this, or simply left a comment on one of the thousands of posts you have created, but that just wouldn't have the same flair, now would it.
It also would not give me the opportunity to sign my name and pimp my blog, now would it? Happy thinking to ya Chris.
So, I forget exactly who lead me to Chris’ blog, but I’m glad because that last post about the Dental Hygienist is hilarious. Since it’s Monday, and I’m really bored at work, and Chris has done such a bold thing, to open his blog up for all to post in, I’ll give you all a little treat.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with Canadian band The Tragically Hip, well you should be. I mean, if you’ve ever aspired to be another nationality (which is probably particularly enticing for some of you that oppose the war) it’s easy to become a Canadian. For those of you already drinking Molson Canadian beer, it’s even easier: Canadian Citizenship and Immigration will give out citizenships to anyone that can prove they have done a couple of the following:
- Eaten at Tim Hortons (oh and “Rolled Up the Rim”).
- Consumed a two-four of Canadian.
- Worn a toque.
- Seen a Hip concert (four or seventeen times).
- Put Maple Syrup on sausages or bacon.
- Trashed the country next door to them.
- Dissed’ the Bare Naked Ladies (for being such sell-out bitches).
- Dissed’ Rush. (for being Rush)
- Complained about the value of the Canadian ruble.
- Went on vacation (completely legally) to Cuba , and brought back some big fat Cuban cigars (and declared them to customs).
Anyway all this drivel is leading up to something. Chris, you’re really, really brave to let random people have access to your blog and for that I gotta give you some props. You never know what might happen. To reward you, here’s something I’m too scared to put on my own blog for fear someone that knows her knows me and I’ll get in trouble (after all, us Canadians, we all know each other—eh.)…
Some photos from the hip show! Yay:
The first one, a completely innocent shot of Gordie, doin’ his thing:
A nice girl in the audience that knows how to please the dudes (also completely legal in Ontario, Canada ) take note of the youngster in the bottom right hand corner—lucky guy:
Fear The Dawnie
Man, Chris is a brave, brave soul, y'all. Giving the keys to his blog to the internet in general. I mean, there are some evil, evil people out there. People that could do some serious damage. For all Chris knows, I've got pictures of him in compromising positions with livestock (sure, he says he was chased up the Potomac by cows, but I've got the real story...) that I could post up here for all y'all to see. And, because he gave me access to do it? I totally could.
Lucky for him, I don't. Although I kind of wish I did now. Not that I'd actually do something that mean, since I like Chris and all, but I'd definitely think very very hard about it and giggle to myself all day. However, since I am sans sketchy photos (yeah, I wouldn't post them. Unless he told me I could. Which, you never know, he just might), I'll just have to amuse you all with my randomness.
Although, now that I've promised randomness? My brain has locked up, and I am unable to deliver. It's like I've turned into a pumpkin or something. So I shall simply use this public venue to shamelessly pimp my shiny new portal, where me and a few of my equally silly partners in crime have congregated to unleash our silliness upon the internet en masse.
Or something like that. Obviously, it's time for me to wrap this up, before I go and say something really silly. In closing, be nice to Chris. It's Monday. Give him a hug or something.
Lastly, does anyone have change for a $20? I need to hit the vending machine for my daily dose of crack. I mean, Diet Coke.
Hasta la pasta,
Haiku For Monday #38
I'm armed with coffee
and donuts, but I still don't
wanna be here, yo!
July 11, 2004
Okay...everyone hold up. Stop the world, I'm getting off for a minute. I need a moment to myself. How many times have you wanted to do that? Now, lets put our heads together and see if we can come up with a workable solution to this problem. It would really come in handy on days like today. So you - yes, you scientist and engineering types - get right on it tootsweet.
Where Did You
Sleep Go Last Night?
Last night worlds collided and the rift between the virtual and real space-time continuums was temporarily bridged. By this, I mean we had dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Amalah.
After a stop-over at the Amalah pad, we ventured to a new Indian (Delhi, not wigwam) place in DC named Nirvana. It was casual, as advertised - you could pretty much come as you are. While there was no lounge act, there was some funky music featuring what sounded like someone squeezing a cat. And the owner? He came off as a pretty negative creep. Luckily, the place was empty - everyone must have been on a plain - so we could laugh as loud as we wanted without being a downer. My verdict on the restaurant - stay away. Mexican seafood and pennyroyal tea might have been better options.
I'm sure Jason will post a more thorough and well-informed review of the restaurant...most likely without the need to throw in as many Nirvana song titles as he can come up with off the top of his head.
Now? Beth and I are steam-cleaning the carpets. We sure know how to live it up!
July 10, 2004
Thank Mindy for This
Word On The "Street"
So, we've totally been outed. Yesterday, you very well might have discovered that my wife has a blog. Some of you who found out thought it was cool. Others? Not so much. Why did we keep it a secret? Let me see if I can explain...
By the time Beth started blogging (after I'd bugged her to start one because of all the cool people I'd met - that's you, by the way), I'd developed a decent sized readership. She, however, didn't feel right inheriting readers from her husband. Now, despite the fact that Beth and I have been together for eleven years, despite the frequency with which we finish each others sentences and completey ignoring the number of times we spontaneously start dancing in the living room, we remain individuals. She's got things to say and so do I. And we've each got our places to do that.
For those reasons, and those reasons alone, I kept you guys in the dark. Ok...you can yell at me now.
July 09, 2004
Hygienist of Horror!!
A couple of weeks ago I had to go to the dentist for my six-month checkup and cleaning. Like most people, I hate the concept of dentists but I really do like mine. The hygienist? That's another story. Here's how it unfolded...her hands were in my mouth most of the time. I've provided a translation.
Hygienist: Do you floss regularly?
Translation: No. I try but I have the self-discipline of Robert Downey Jr. when faced with a mound of cocaine and a rolled-up dollar bill.
Hygienist: You really want to floss daily. And get in between those teeth. Don’t be afraid to floss hard.
Translation: Sweet Jesus! You just went out to lunch and ate 37 cloves of raw garlic didn't you? I can't breathe.
Hygienist: When you brush, you brush in little circles don't you? You should really be brushing straight up and down.
Me: I han hry hat.
Translation: Now you're just talking silly, oh smelly hygienist. Everyone's always told me to brush in little circles. To change the rules now would be decidedly unfair. I refuse to play your little dental mind game.
Hygienist: Brush up and down for at least two minutes. Plaque has the consistency of maple syrup. Its tough to get off your teeth.
Me: Yeah, uh-huh.
Translation: I think I'm going to pass out. Didn't you brush after lunch? Christ, your breath stinks! You look like the nice grandma type but I think you're evil.
Hygienist: Plaque's a waste product. You don't want that in your mouth do you?
Me: Huh-uh. Ope!
Translation: Scare tactics? I thought you hygienists were supposed to be nice...and hot in a cute, smocked kinda way. You're not hot at all. I want Michelle back! I don't care that she's on maternity leave. Have I mentioned that you stink?
Hygienist: Plaque's like urine!
Me: Wha? Oohh.
Translation: Fuck! Urine? One more word and I'm going to have to bite down. You're losing a finger, lady.
Hygienist: You have to get rid of urine. You have to get rid of plaque. You wouldn't want urine in your mouth.
Me: Uh, no.
Translation: You scary, scary bitch. You're the smelly dental hygienist from hell. The anti-Crest. Get your hands out of my mouth you foul beast. Out! Out I say!
Hygienist: I'm going to Italy!
Me: Wha? Huh?
Translation: That was abrupt. Are you going to spread the word about plaque and urine? What's the number for Italy, because I should definitely call and warn them. Yes, hello, Italy? There's this scary-ass hygienist coming over. She's got floss and one of those tiny mirrors and she's not afraid to use them. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Hygienist: Okay, we're almost done. Just remember about the urine in your mouth.
Translation: See, I wouldn't even consider allowing a sentence like that to come out of my mouth. Just give me a cup of water and two or three hours to rinse and spit. I feel dirty.
July 08, 2004
OR, MY SMART-ASS WIFE
The JLB has been having a day-long discussion involving real versus made-up words. Coincidentally, I found myself with a little verbal conundrum myself. When I IMed my wife about it, I didn't exactly explain myself well. Nor did she really help the situation.
Me: brain fart - is it metaphoric or metaphorical?
Me: metaphorical, right?
Her: is a brain fart metaphorical?
Her: I suppose
Her: in that you are making a comparison
Her: but not using like or as
Her: now, is smart ass metaphorical?
Me: is metaphoric or metaphorical the right word
Her: come on, I am so funny
Her: either is correct
Her: I am also very smart, so I know that
Her: I so did not look it up
Me: yes, you are indeed funny!
Me: lol :-)
Her: that's all I wanted
The Day My Dad Snapped
When I was growing up, my parents were yippees – a bizarre combination of hippie and yuppie. It was kind of along the lines of drink your grapefruit juice with wheat germ before I drive you to private school in the Monte Carlo. Like most kids at Easter, I got to hunt around the yard for plastic eggs. Unlike the eggs most kids found, mine were usually filled with raisins and Cheerios. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t mind. Hell, I didn’t know any better.
This brings me to The Day My Dad Snapped…
When I was around five or so, I was home with my mom (who was a teacher and had summers off) and I was playing in my room. Armed with the materials at hand, I created a Brand NewToy ™. I loved the Brand New Toy ™. That day Brand New Toy ™ became my friend and we were inseparable. Until my dad got home that evening. To find his son dragging an empty coffee can around by a string.
Yes, the Brand New Toy ™ was a Folgers can and a piece of string. Brilliant engineering feat? No. Fun? To me at age five, yes.
My father glanced at me, dragging Brand New Toy ™ behind me, did a quick double-take and stormed out of the room. I heard the following conversation:
Dad: Susan? Susan?
Mom: Yes? What is it?
Dad: Have you seen what Chris is playing with?
Mom: Sure. He’s been playing with that all day.
Dad: It’s a coffee can. And a string. It’s a coffee can and a string!
Mom: So? He made it and he’s been pretty entertained most of the day.
Dad: It’s a coffee can. On a string!
Mom: Do you have some kind of problem with that?
Dad: We can afford real toys, you know.
Mom: But he’s happy! And he made it himself.
Dad: It’s a coffee can. And a string! Where are my car keys?
Only seconds passed before I heard the rattle of keys and was swooped up in my dad’s arms. “We’re going to Toys R Us,” he said, “and you can pick out whatever you want.”
In retrospect, I’d like to be proud of myself for being creative and self-sufficient as a kid. Because its either that or incredibly simple-minded.
That Time Again
Yes, its Thursday...and that means that some haiku smackdown is coming your way. This time around, Genuine's hosting the festivities. Be sure to swing by and check it out!
July 07, 2004
Good Toy, Bad Name
This weekend my wife and I were at my parents house for the Fourth. We were playing with their cats and, since we were in my old room, I opened up a closet looking for someting good for them to play with. Low and behold I found one of my ancient childhood toys. Now, despite the fact that this thing was one of my favorites, how did its name escape me?
I ask you, how did this ever seem like a good idea? They just sitting around thinking, we've got this big gray thing so I think we should name it after an old, evil, seemingly immortal Russian mystic with a giant schlong? Furthermore, can anyone tell me exactly what you think this thing is supposed to be?
I'll give you one guess who's going to be stuck in meetings all day. Those of you who guessed me are correct. Because of this, I'm leaving the driving to you. I'll start a story and you guys keep it going a sentence or two at a time. Tell all your friends and amaze me with your brilliance while I'm away. Lurkers, please join in!
"It was a long, hot summer in the big city. I was kicking back after a long hard day of playing championship Whack-A-Mole, when who should walk through my office door but..."
July 06, 2004
During my Fourth of July hanging out with my new friends the political refugees (how many people can say that?), I heard something both heartwarming and heartbreaking. I was talking to Eileen, a six year old from Cameroon who's been in this country for about nine months. We were discussing what she liked and didn't like about Cameroon. At one point, she said:
"At school they only give you bread and water and most of the people have empty feet."
Empty feet. It hit me a few seconds later - no shoes. Interesting the way some people verbalize things. Then I gave her my digital camera which was the most fun thing ever. She's responsible for most of the Fourth Of July photos I'll post sometime this week. They're blurry but otherwise pretty good.
This Ain't Your Momma's Survivor
So, have you heard the latest Survivor gossip? Turns out that Jenna (not the swimsuit model Jenna but the other one from the first season) and her new, younger, male-model hubby recorded a little something special on their wedding night. And it wasn't their vows. We watched it over the weekend - and no, I didn't cough up the $40 they're (whoever "they" are) asking because I'm not that interested - and it was amusing for one reason and one reason only. It was so staged! The upfront conversation about burning the tape so it wouldn't accidentally get out was just priceless, as was the false modesty ("I have to say that the camera is making me feel a little self-conscious"...um, yeah, sure). Even funnier? Hubby just looked bored.
1) They released it themselves. There's more than one way to make a million off Survivor.
2) The two will be divorced before you can say J-Lo.
July 05, 2004
Thumbs Bursting In Air
Ok...so...a couple of people have asked about my fireworks accident. Here's the closest I can come to representing what was going on in my head at the time. I warn you, my head is a strange place.
"Let's see...I'll just light this big-ass sparkler using this teensy little lighter I've got here - the size that's only appropriate for lighting small cigarettes for babies. Wait. Strike that. Babies? Flick, flick, flick. Not exactly a flamethrower, is it? Crap! Wind! Flick, flick, flick. There. Hold it just a little closer...a little closer...just a bit more. Oh shit! Ouch. Fuck! Huh. I'm blind and I don't think I have a thumbprint anymore. At least I still have the thumb. Jump around! Jumping around helps. Why? Who knows! Jump around some more! Fuck!"
This proves, yet again, that I'm a bit of a dumbass. This should come as no surprise to any of you.
It’ll sound odd, but I spent my Fourth of July with political refugees. And I can’t think of a better way to have spent it.
If you’ve been reading my site for a while, you probably know that my mother teaches political refugees who’ve arrived in this country seeking political asylum. While I’d met one of her students, last night my wife and I got the chance to hang out with the rest.
The demographics will surprise you – all in attendance were from Africa, specifically Uganda, Cameroon and Ethiopia. Many were jailed and subsequently tortured for their political views. Some were sold into slavery. All are highly educated – most hold bachelor’s degrees from schools in their countries, a few have master’s degrees as well. All have left behind families – spouses, children and parents. They each carry cell phones constantly so they’re available if their families are somehow able to call them. The cell phones are accompanied by pre-paid phone cards, the least expensive way to call home.
Perhaps the thing that most surprised me was the happiness. In spite of the sacrifices they’d made, they were happy. They’d arrived in this country with nothing other than their lives, made so many sacrifices to be here and struggled once they’d arrived. And yet, they were happy.
I think we often recognize how fortunate we are, our own luck for being born where we were, through the eyes of others who’ve seen the way the rest of the world works. Its those people who can teach us the most. And there was no end to the stories that made me feel truly lucky to be who and where I am.
On July 4, 2004, I spent my night with the most patriotic among us yet they weren’t Americans. They were merely hopeful…and they came here with that hope, the hope of things we sometimes take for granted. I was grateful to be in their presence and see my country through their eyes.
Haiku For Monday #37
Despite warning in
jest, who do you think got burned
If you said "cactus"
you're right! Don't worry - I still
have all my fingers :-)
July 04, 2004
Happy Fourth of July to you all! Have a wonderful and safe holiday...no missing limbs or emergency room trips, okay?
July 03, 2004
On Books: June
Its the beginning of the month so its time to look back on the best and worst books I consumed during the month of June...
What I Enjoyed:
The book that's stuck with me the most since I finished it is Nani Power's Crawling At Night. Its a very non-traditional novel yet the story of a Japanese sushi chef and his affection for woman who can only be described as a hopeless alcoholic has managed to stay lodged in my brain despite having read four or five other novels since. Also excellent was Douglas Coupland's Hey Nostradamus! Written from the perspective of four people involved in a very Columbine-like school shooting, the novel is disturbing yet heartfelt.
What Was Just Okay:
Just One Look, Harlan Coben's latest, delivered an enjoyable mystery but didn't live up to the expectations set by his previous three novels. Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was nothing spectacular despite the critical praise it received. I couldn't help but think he'd fallen well short of what he was obviously capable of. With Dead Even, Brad Meltzer did what he does best - write a character-driven legal thriller. It was entertaining, nothing more. The Coma is the latest release by Alex Garland, author of The Beach (from which the movie was made), The Tesseract and the screenplay for 28 Days Later. There's no questioning his talent but The Coma just didn't work. It was, in places, intriguing but lacked the punch of Garland’s previous efforts.
What Wasn't All That Hot:
Monkeewrench by PJ Tracy (actually a mother-daughter writing team) received a lot of hype but really wasn't great. It was a derivative throw-away. Jonathan Carroll's The Marriage of Sticks was just plain bad. That's particularly sad because I've read and enjoyed a few of his earlier novels.
As always, if you have any thoughts or recommendations, let me know!
July 02, 2004
Roman Candle Holiday
For those of you, dear readers, who live in the United States, I imagine you're very well aware that at the close of business today, we kick off the July 4th weekend. For those of you in far-flung corners of the world, you'll know this as the Weekend When Americans Blow Shit Up. This all came about beacuse of John Adams:
John Adams thought Americans would commemorate their Independence Day on the second of July. Future generations, he confidently predicted, would remember July 2, 1776, as "the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America" and celebrate it as their "Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."
Obviously John Adams didn't have a calendar handy when he made this statement but he clearly had the foresight to envision Disney's Epcot, even if he did spell it incorrectly. Quite obviously, he heartily endorsed capitalizing things and, most importantly, blowing shit up. This is a popular pastime - every year somewhere around 9,300 people get hurt blowing shit up, most right around this time of year. But other things do happen on the 4th:
Sometimes aliens come while Bill Pullman is the president. Will Smith generally saves the world and makes sure everything's a-ok. Still? Lots of shit gets blown up.
In the Pacific Northwest, many express their love of the forests on the 4th and buy their trees a beer. Arboreal alcoholism rates have tripled in the last three decades since this became common practice.
Many people dress up for the holidays and don't look at all silly. Manufacturers of holiday suspenders, hats and t-shirts go into overdrive, targeting the hillbilly market.
Little known fact: When Washington became the nation's first president, he trained his dog Skipper to play the piano. Its been a tradition among canine musical enthusiasts ever since. Advances in technology have guaranteed musicial opportunities for dogs everywhere.
But really, some people just enjoy blowing shit up.
July 01, 2004
I get grumpy after long drama-laden days at work, skipping lunch, not getting enough sleep or returning home to find cat puke in need of cleaning up. When this happens, my wife calls me Mr. Crankypants. My response this evening? "At least I'm not Mr. Passive-Aggressivepants."
Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of
As tired as I was by the time I went to bed last night, I couldn't fall asleep. I ended up reading for an hour or so. When I did finally fall asleep my brain squeezed out two really strange dreams.
Mice in Kittens' Clothing:
Its the middle of the night and I'm awakened by a loud noise...the sound of our cats chasing after one another. Since I'm awake, I decide to go downstairs to the basement and break it up. But when I arrive I find four mice. It turns out that three of the four mice are actually kittens. Mouse...kitten...mouse...kitten...easy mistake to make right? When I look a little more closely at the mouse I realize he's tiny, like an inch long. And he walks upright. He has a little hat and a tiny suitcase. And he sings show-tunes. The kittens are just being kittens, rolling around the basement. I finally let Pixel (our big black cat in real life) attack and eat the tiny, singing mouse. I'm not sure what happened to the suitcase...or the hat.
Aisle Three: Condiments, Candy and Cocktail Parties:
Beth and I find ourselves in our black-tie best, at a cocktail party in a grocery store. Everyone is similarly decked out walking around pushing shopping carts with one hand, holding martinis in the other. There's a gigantic sale on bundles of fresh garlic cloves and everyone picks up a bundle or two.
Any wannabe shrinks out there? Better yet, any real shrinks? Care to interpret?
The Smackdown Continues
Oh, and I might add that last week we had an actual, real-live birth during the 'kuage last week. You never know what's going to happen!