Wednesday, June 30, 2004

In case you haven't noticed...

I really, really, reeeeally can't stand my exwife.


Monday, June 28, 2004

Breaking News

REDLANDS(Reuters) - Several attacks by a pack of roaming feral garden gnomes have been reported over the past several weeks, prompting officials to issue a warning for gardeners in the city to be on their guard.

"I was outside, pruning back my prized boganvilla, when I noticed about half a dozen pointed hats poking out of the neighbors ivy. They seemed to follow me as I walked about the yard. Then, they suddenly jumped out & started poking me about the shins with their hats!" said South Side resident Henrietta Berg, displaying the multiple bruises on her lower legs.

"I came out one morning to get the paper & couldn't believe what I saw," said Irv Gustafson. "The legs on my pink flamingoes had been twisted into knots & there were dents & red scuff marks all over my deer & fawn statues. It was so horrible!"

Local officials have so far been unable to catch any of the gnomes. "I had seen what I thought was a gnome while on patrol around Brookside Park last Thursday," said Officer James Clark. "It was only upon closer inspection that I found that it was a soccer cone."

The city has called upon Dr. John Dietrich, Professor of Medieval Folklore at San Bernardino Valley College & foremost expert on garden gnomes. "These occurrences happen from time to time. People see a garden gnome in the Wal-Mart Garden Center & decide to take it home or give them as gifts, without thinking about the responsibility involved in their care & maintenance," says Dietrich. "The paint starts chipping & the gnomes get muddy & people just turn them loose thinking that they can fend for themselves, which is not true. Besides, they make tacky gifts."

When asked about the dangers of feral garden gnomes, Dr. Dietrich replied, "Well, as they have no mouths, so they can't bite. And since their bodies are made of plaster or, in some cases, resin plastic, they can't scratch you with their hands. And you have a good chance of outrunning them since their legs can't move. In fact, the only real danger is from them poking someone with their pointed hats. Or from somebody tripping over one."

Officials have released the following guidelines should anyone encounter a feral garden gnome:

-If you do see a garden gnome, assume that it is wild & steer clear of it. A brisk walking pace is oftentimes fast enough to outrun them.

- Do not invite gnomes around your home by leaving food out for them. You'll just be inviting trouble & besides, they don't have mouths & can't eat.

- If you come across a strange gnome, contact Vector Control or your local plant nursery.

They are described as being around eighteen inches in height, including the pointed hat, with a white beard, large nose & usually dressed in a jacket & small pants.
Club Jota

While I'm here slaving away at work (looking like I'm really into a project is hard work!), T is at home, running Club Jota. Since she's only working a handful of hours this week & they're all in the evening, we don't have to send The Boy off to daycare, thus saving a few pennies.

Part of being the head counselor at Club Jota means hosting a bunch of The Boy's friends from around the apartment complex, fielding the usual barrage of "Can I? Can I? Can I?" questions, taking the kids down to the pool & inevitably, feeding everyone.

Why T's so tired by the time I get home, I have no idea.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

I've got yer answers

Okey doke - as promised, here be the answers to the Metalhead edition of Name That Song over at ETS' place.

How'd you do? Leave your score in the comments box.

1. I Remember You - Skid Row

2. Electric Gypsy - L.A. Guns

3. Fly On The Wall - AC/DC

4. Photograph - Def Leppard

5. Shot In The Dark - Ozzy Osbourne

6. I Don't Believe In Love - Queensryche

7. Love Song - Tesla

8. Ace Of Spades - Motorhead

9. Seek & Destroy - Metallica

10. Over My Head - King's X

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Guest Posting

Over at ETS' place, whilst she mommy-sits.

Go...enjoy...cookies for everyone!
Home again, home again, jiggity jig

Well, the Jay & T Whirlwind Tour o' Las Vegas 2004 has come to an end (thank you's go out to Amy & ETS for holding down the MLCotW fort on such short notice. Thanks, ladies - nicely done :)). After a stop at my sister's house to ooo & ahh over the wedding pix, we finally pulled into Casa de Jota at around midnight.

Let me just say that I wish we would've had Amy's list of Fun Things To Do In Vegas with us. It may have made the trip a bit more entertaining. But, as we only had less than a day to visit & see the sites, we piled in most all that we could do on Thursday night.

Our official reason for going out there was to meet up with a college friend of T's that she hadn't seen in a couple of years. Since neither T or I had ever been to Lost Wages, we thought it'd be fun to see what all the hoopla was about.

The hoopla stopped as soon as we got off the freeway into town.

You see, I'm not what you'd call a "people person." In fact, most people bug the crap out of me. And it seemed that most of those people were holding a convention of some sort while we were there. The First Annual Let's See How Many Ways We Can Bug the Crap Out of Jay Conference. And I was the special guest of honor. An apparent requirement to get into this conference (other than the ability to annoy me) is to chain smoke until your lungs explode.

T & I probably have blacklung now.

We went to eat at the buffet at the Alladin. They've got different kitchens for different kinds of food (American, Italian, Mexican, etc.). The food was really good...well, the Italian food was really good. And when I say "Italian food," what I really mean is the pizza & raviolli that I had, because the place was a bit busy that night, which made getting anything other than Italian food really difficult. At one point I was ready to bite a lady who, with her plate already piled high, made the unfortunate decision to stand between me & the pizza.

After dinner, we walked around the mall inside the Alladin, which was made up of pretty much all reeeeeally expensive stores. I did enjoy the Sharper Image store, with it's $500 life-sized Yoda figure & the Cartoon store, which had some really nifty miniature statues of comic book characters. And, I don't know how they did it, but the ceiling is painted to look like the open sky & as you walk, the clouds look like they're moving, even thought they, too, are painted on the ceiling. Way cool.

Eventually, we made it out onto the Strip, which is apparently named for the fact that on every corner & most points inbetween, you can find men trying to hand you business cards & brochures for the mobile stripper trade.

Yes, ladies & gentlemen, you too can have your own private strip show right in the comfort of your hotel room.

I couldn't figure out what these people were handing out at first until I looked down at the ocean of business cards with nekid women on them. And then heard a guy negotiating prices with one of the gentlemen. Call me a prude, I don't care, but I just felt icky every time I walked past one of these people.

As we were walking (& dodging drunks), we did get to see the water show at the Bellagio. It was most impressive. Of course, as I'm watching the production, my mind starts wandering to things like "I'd sure hate to be standing over one of those fountains when they go off" & "I wonder how they make repairs on those things when they break." As you can see, the show didn't quite have my full attention.

We waded through more stripper peddlers & drunks & finally made it back to the hotel at around midnight. I was trying to be a trooper & not kill the evening so that T & her friend could have a good time together, but T finally called it a night, due in no small part to the fact that I looked like death warmed over dragging my butt down the Strip. I don't like the nightlife, I don't like to boogie. Well, I like to boogie...a little.

Later that morning, we had breakfast in the Teahouse of the Imperial Palace hotel, where we stayed. Muy yummy grub & not too many people this time made for a pleasant eating experience. Shortly after that, it was off to Ceasar's Palace (nice casino - not too smoky & not too crowded) so that one of the other ladies that had traveled with T's friend could pick up some Celine Dion goodies. Not being a fan (at all...not one the least) of the Great White Bore, I just couldn't see why someone would want a rhinestone covered picture frame with Ms. Dion's likeness in it. Maybe for a twelve-year-old girl. The scary thing is is that there are probably a few hundred homes of grown women with the aforementioned picture in them...*shudder*

As it was about two hundred & fifty bajillion degrees outside (& I was the only desert dweller amongst us who was comfortable in it), we headed back to the hotel & chatted with T's friend for a bit more & then set out for home.

Our ultimate impression of Sin City? Well, it's appropriately named, for one. And we both felt that we could've gone our entire lives & been just as happy (& possibly more lung cancer free) if we'd never gone. I don't get on my Christian soapbox on my site much, but, as a Christian, I just felt dirty being there, like it was definitely not the place that I should be at.

Walking down the Strip & seeing all of the sleaze & muck that's put out there for public consumption, it occurred to me that the ex-wife frequently takes The Boy out there & he's being exposed to all of this stuff. It's hard enough to shield him from the slings & arrows of the outside world & let him just be a kid & she's walking him around in a place that has a giant thong-clad butt on a sign on the side of one of the hotels. And who knows how many times he's picked up one of the stripper service's business cards?

Vegas is trying to make itself into a family friendly resort destination, but it's only a facade. Scratch beneath the surface & you'll find an machine whose sole purpose is to feed & make money off the vices of man. From the slot junkie, betting their last quarter & hoping that maybe this time they'll hit it rich to the strippers who sell themselves, the city uses & discards them & waits for the next batch of people it can lure to it with it's lights & hopes of hitting the big jackpot.

Wow...that was deep. I'll stop ranting now.

All in all, Vegas - not that great. Meeting T's friend - great. I really did enjoy that.

Oh, & the drive out there & back is beautiful.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Fun Things To Do In Vegas

Since Jay is in Las Vegas...I thought I would give a list of fun things to do in Sin City.

1. Go to Bonnie Springs- there is a free petting zoo (kids love it and do animal lovers and young at heart...I had a deer fall in love with me and follow me around). There is also a fairly cheap old western town recreation. There are gunfights in the street and an old fashion (yet hokey enough to not be too scary) hanging. It is great fun.

2. If you have the extra dough- I highly suggest checking out one (if not both) of the art museums in the casinos. There is the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art and the Guggenheim Hermitiage (located in the Venetian). They have different exibits every time I go.

3. Another must stop at the Venetian? Madame Tussaud's wax museum. They are SO realistic looking it is amazing. It is truly an odd experience. They let you get right up to them so that you can touch them and stuff. Amazing!

4. A must stop at the Bellagio is The Conservatory. It is free. And changes with the season/holiday. I loved the 2003 Fall display. And the 2004 spring display was great. Caution- there are LOTS of if you have allergies...take claritin or something first :)

5. If you have the time and the fundage you may wish to take a trip to the observation deck of the Stratosphere. Even though I am afraid of heights- I am not as afraid up there for some reason. The view is breathtaking both day and night.

6. Another free fun thing is to catch the impressive watershow at the Bellagio fountatins. They are incredible. And there are different shows- all fountain shows are set to music- and the water seems to dance along with the music. A must see.

7. The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is off the strip but has two of my favorite restaurants: The Pink Taco and Mr. Lucky's 24/7. The Pink Taco has great ambiance and wonderful twists on traditional mexican faire. Mr. Lucky's 24/7 has a little bit of everything (they have a killer personal pepperoni pizza) and the best thing about them, is, as their name entails...they are open 24/7 so there is always a cool place to go eat.

8. The MGM Grand has a free lion habitat is always fun to go see the lions. I always stop by and take a gander.

9. The Mirage has a free white tiger habitat where you can get a look at the gorgeous beasts for free. Also at the Mirage is the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. While not free I absolutely LOVED it both times I went. The Dolphin Habitat is my favorite part- but the Garden Zoo habitat was fun too. :)

10. If you like aquariums, there is the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef. My favorite part here is the park where you feel like you are under water with them. But the shark reef isn't just sharks and fish. There are also other kinds of aquatic animals including alligators. It was fun. I haven't seen the knew hammerhead shark exhibit...but I would like to.

11. I always like to go to Red Rock Canyon while I am is a nice place to hike. Watch out for the wild burros...they will come right up to your car or person and they can bite!

12. For the chocolate lover there isEthel M's Chocolate factory. They have free tours of both the chocolate factory (with a free sample at the end !) and the Cactus Garden on the grounds of the chocolate factory. I highly suggest visiting the cactus gardens in winter when they are decorated with tons of christmas lights. It is something to see!

Well that is but a few of my favorite things to do while I am in Las Vegas. I am sure there are more....but they are escaping me right now. I have always wanted to go see Wayne Newton...but have never been able to fit it in yet.... I hope Jay is having fun...who knows...maybe he is seeing Mr. Las Vegas (wayne newton) right now!!!!

Posted By: Amy

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Exploring One's Ancestry Through Footwear

I have this new pair of shoes.

They've got spongy soles that give you a little oomph as you walk, springing up after each step and cushioning my foot in such a way that in a week's worth of wearing I have yet to come home aching. They're black, with little bitty zippers on the heel, and they have something of a sandal front, my furry little hobbit toes open to the ruffling breezes while the basket-weave cross-hatching over the top of my foot leaves cute little patterns on my skin when the sun shines and I just have to be out in it.

I love these shoes.

The problem is that they are of a particular leather type material, more like sheepskin than anything else. And, as this type of material generally comes in shades of tan, any other color must be dyed in. Therefore, for the past week, every time I wear these shoes they stain my skin black.

It makes for interesting conversation when one mentions that one has black feet. ("Oh, you're Blackfoot, you say?" "Oklahoma, actually, but that has nothing to do with my shoes....") And nothing I've tried has ever really removed the black stains; they have to just kind of wear off on their own. I learned that when breaking in my Uggs so many years ago. Therefore, I have black feet.

But wait, it gets better.

My mother called me this afternoon to tell me that she'd found another pair just like this one. They happen to be blue....

Next week I'll be part smurf, just you watch.

Posted by ETS
An introduction of sorts...

Jay, your usual curator here at MLCotW, has gone to the desert in search of Elvis (or possibly slot machines). So, whilst Jay is away in Vegas, the micettes will play. Those micettes being yours truly (Amy of the fair groove of badness) and ETS (of the fair echoes of dreams). We may not have Jay's quick wit, humor, or connections to the stars...but worry not. We will strive to entertain you in his absence, the best way we know how! Now... on with the show!!!

Note: Please refrain from throwing produce or other items at the guest posters, if they are not as funny as Jay. It hurts their feelings and makes a big mess of your computer monitor.

Posted by Amy of BadGroove

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Opposite ends of the spectrum

It seems that humanity is showing both the heights & depths that it can reach this week.

Both via MSNBC:

Private manned space mission is successful -
The first privately funded space mission soared 62 miles above the earth Monday.

Arab TV says South Korean captive killed -
The Arab TV network al-Jazeera reports South Korean has been killed by his kidnappers.


Monday, June 21, 2004

Celebrating one year of blahdity blah blahing

Three hundred sixty-five days, two hundred eight posts & three different color schemes have passed.

Happy Blogiversary, MLCotW!

Here's a cookie with a candle on it in your honor.

I was looking back through the posts over the past year. Some were good.'s my first year doing this - cut me a little slack, m'kay?

In looking back, though, I can trace the beginnings of my relationship with T & see how my love for her has grown deeper & deeper. I can see some of the events that had happened over the last year, both personal & things that we, as bloggers, shared as a community & a nation & a world as a whole.

I can see that I either need to take a sedative before I drive or that people really need to get out of my way to avoid my road rage.

I can see that I really need to get out more sometimes.

So, in between getting out more, trying to relax more while driving & continuing to nurture my marriage to T, I’ll keep cranking out witty, informative & sometimes thought provoking posts.

Well, at least the witty ones.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

What do you call a man who lets his child have four friends stay the night?

A stupid man.

A very tired & stupid man.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Words fail me

As you all are well aware, Paul Johnson, the American hostage, was killed.

I just can't find the words to describe both the anger & the despondancy I'm feeling. I just want to hold T & The Boy close to me right know & feel some semblance that all is right in the world.

All I can give is a small prayer for his family over their loss.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Artist's block

For about three years now, I have had the worst case of artist's block. I have not been able to draw so much as a straight line. I used to have little lulls in my drawing, but never for three years. I took to writing as a way to get out some of my creativity, but I miss getting an idea, picking up a pencil & seeing my imagination come to fruition right there on the paper. I've tried even just doodling & I can't get anything out.

Any ideas on how to shake it?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Summertime in the SBC

I was driving in to work this morning & noticed that the atmosphere outside was different. It felt like it did when I was a kid & woke up on the first day of summer vacation. Which is weird, because I haven't had a summer vacation in fifteen years.

Yeesh...I've been out of school for fifteen years.

Now I feel old.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

I'm just the messenger...

I am the email forwarder to the stars, as ETS has found out. Go here to find out more.

Go. See. Ooo & ahh.

And, as always, have a cookie.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Silly Rabbit

OK, I don't want to go & use all of my best material so quickly, but I got nothin' else right now. And after yesterday's hissy fittin' about space invaders, I feel the need to cleanse the blogging palette.

So, here you go.

Dear Trix Rabbit,
Hi. How are you? I am fine. I like your commur...comer...your TV ads for your cereal. My mommy won't let me eat your cereal because she says it makes me hyper. I ate some at my friends house once and it made my poo turn green. Mommy thought I ate the toilet tablets again. It was funny.

Why do those kids never let you have Trix? It is your cereal. It has your name on it. My underwear has my name on it. Mommy says to always wear clean underwear. I wear a helmet too. Mommy calls it my magic crown and tells me that I am special and I have to wear it. My mommy loves me.

Do you know Lucky from Lucky Charms? Are the kids that try to steal his cereal the same ones that won't let you have Trix? Daddy says the little twits should buy their own cereal. Daddy doesn't move much after he has his "special drink." Usually he likes about 7 of his special drinks. He makes funny sounds when he's asleep. I laugh at them.

Your friend,
Johnny Doe

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Space Invaders

*begin rant*

After lunch today, I've come to the conclusion that I must be doing something to attract people to me. And not people that I like being around, either. No, these are people whose apparent lot in life is to annoy the crap out of me.

I've already done a few posts about being followed into the bathroom constantly. But the same thing happens wherever I go. I can't just shoot down the lane in the grocery store without there being someone in the lane, cart conveniently parked right in the middle. I stop to look at a CD or book & someone always decides that where I am is the cool place to be.

Yesterday at lunch, someone decided to sit at the table that I was sitting at - the table that I have been sitting at, quite happily by myself, in peace & quiet, for quite some time now. And they didn't just sit. No, they clanked their plate & kept bumping the legs of the table. Keep in mind that there are six tables in the breakroom & three of them were empty. And again today, the same person sat at the table, along with two other people, & commenced to holding a conversation in Spanish. And YET again, there were three other frickin' empty tables!!!

Is it my magnetic personality that draws people to me? Is there something in the way that I snarl & growl at them that says "Please! Come invade my personal space! No, really, it's OK!"? Am I sending out vibes to reeeeally annoying, noisy people, inviting them to sit as close as they can to me?

When I eat my lunch, I want to enjoy it in peace & quiet. Unless I've made lunch plans with friends, I don't particularly want to engage in conversation or be sitting right next to someone, & I most certainly don't want to listen to their conversation, regardless of what language they may be speaking. When I go shopping, I don't want to be followed. And when I go to the bathroom, I DON'T WANT AN AUDIENCE!!!

*end rant*

Monday, June 07, 2004

By popular demand...

...I present to you -

The Larry Wilcox Fan Letter!

Ta daa!

Dear Larry Wilcox,

My name is John Doe & I am your #1 fan. I have watched & recorded every episode of "CHiP's" with you in it. Most people think that Erik Estrada was the main draw of the show, what with his white teeth & smooth dancing moves. But you, Larry, with your subtlety & low key demeanor were the reason that I tuned in (& continue to tune in on TNT). Whenever a customized Chevy van would do a barrel roll over a '71 Plymouth, Ponch would do his usual overacting. But not you, no sir. You remained calm & stoic faced in any situation, whether it be the aforementioned flying van or finding yourself in the center of a gaggle of rollerskating girls in bikinis. Good job, Larry! Good job!

When I was a kid, my friends & I would play "CHiP's" on our Huffy's with cards in the spokes to make the motorcycle sound. Although I looked more like Ponch than John, I still always wanted to pretend to be you. For 7 years straight, I wore my "John from CHiP's" costume for Halloween. My mom had to let it out a bit when I turned 16 & the outfit lasted me another two years. After I graduated from high school, I tried to join the California Highway Patrol (the real "CHiP's"), but they said that even though I had my own homemade CHP uniform & that it was very nice, they didn't have any openings & would call me back when something opened up. While that was 8 years ago, I still eagerly await their phone call. Sometimes I answer the phone with "California Highway Patrol, Officer John speaking," just in case it's them.

Anyway, you will always be the best part of the show. Erik Estrada is a shiny toothed hack.

And don't even get me started on "Bobby." What a loser.

Your #1 fan always

John Doe

Friday, June 04, 2004

Thank the Good Lord Above for Caller ID

This has been my week to have The Boy. And much like two weeks ago when I had him, I've gotten a call every stinkin' day from his mom. "I was just checking on this" or "Be sure he takes his medicine" or "I just wanted to say hi to him."

I see her more now than when we were married.

T & I have both had it. No matter how many times I talk to her about it, or ignore her phone calls or wish & hope & pray that she'll pop up on the side of a milk carton, she won't go away. The only thing that seems to have gotten through her think skull is that we don't want her in our home, hanging out. But having her at the door, hugging & kissing & "God bless you"-ing The Boy (this from someone who has never had any interest in church or God or anything like that) or having to check the caller ID & then wait for the phone to quit ringing is almost as annoying.

You see, I don't bug her incessantly when she has The Boy. In fact, I frequently go the whole week without hearing from him. I feel that it's her time & that, unless there's something really urgent that I need to get across to her, I don't need to be talking to her. More to the point - I don't want to be talking to her.

Towards the end of our marriage, I couldn't get ahold of her on the phone. Now I can't get her to quit calling. Grrr...

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Ho hum...

I got news last week that the Amazing Shark Boy is leaving The Company. We met when he started working here about seven years ago. He left for awhile & then came back & we ended up in the same department again for a time.

I'm a bit bummed. I mean, he, Kevin & I will still probably get together from time to time for lunch, but sending out deranged fan letters & twisted news stories will be a little difficult (don't worry, ETS - I still have plenty of fan letters to use & a few in the works).

I hate it when others leave. Another person from my department's leaving this month. It's not a big deal. In fact, there are quite a few people here that I'd love to see go. I just hate still sitting here while others that I like (or can at least tolerate) are moving on to, I'm assuming, greener pastures. It's not sour grapes, either.

I guess it's just a touch of wanderlust. I've been at The Company for nearly nine years. It's had its ups & downs (the past year being a definite down). It's not the worst job that one could have (rectal thermometer quality assurance tester, anyone?). I'm just bored. I don't even know what, if given the choice, I'd like to do.