Sunday, August 29, 2004

One Less Stop For The Great Pumpkin

I'm writing this at 2a, so please excuse the typos. I'll fix 'em later.

You may ask "Why is this freak posting & not in bed?" Well, according to this article, my beloved pumpkin patch may be no more in the near future.

And, it's made me sad.

One day, I'll take my children shopping there & as we walk across the cold tile floor, under the acoustical ceiling & security camera pods, feeling & smelling the cold recirculated air conditioning & being bathed in flourescent light, I'll tell the kids that once upon a time, I used to go there & feel the earth beneath my feet, walk under the deep blue sky, smell the hay & dust & feel the warm sunlight on my skin. I'll point out to them where the haybale castle used to stand; where the ponyrides & the kettle corn stand & the scarecrow used to be. I might even be able to pick out a few places where The Boy & I would find animal tracks & guess at what animal left them as we followed the prints to some half-eaten gourd. I'll show them where we used to stand & throw rocks into the creekbed below.

I'll tell them about coming to the patch after Halloween, when all of the Christmas trees were readied for sale. I'll reminisce about the smell of the fresh cut trees & cinnamon & cider on cool autumn nights. Even though we never bought a tree there (the mess coupled with the fact that I tend to leave the artificial tree up until February makes it an unappealing proposition), there was a certain something about just going & looking at & smelling the trees.

The opening of the patch is the one thing that I look forward to every year. It means that fall has finally arrived. The nights will start earlier, the temperature will start cooling - well, in a month or so. It means Halloween is just around the corner, & with it an abundance of ghost stories about Headless Hessians & other goblins & creepy crawlies that go bump in the night. It means looking forward to & wondering what the theme for the annual haunted house in the graphics department at work - one of the only times that I enjoy being at the place - will be. And soon after that, Thanksgiving & Christmas, being with family & stuffing myself silly with pumpkin pie &, for a short time at least, having that feeling that peace on Earth & goodwill toward men is an actual possibility.

You see, Loyal Readers, the pumpkin patch isn't just a physical place. It's another milemarker in my life. It's something to look forward to. It's a place where my memories live &, I hope for a little while longer, a few more will be made.

I'll mourn the day when all that's left of it are just memories. A story to be passed on to my children as we shop.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Dumb, Dumb, Dumb

I had to go demo some work I've been doing. Having just eaten a sandwich, my breath was not quite smelling springtime fresh. So, since I don't like chewing gum, I opted for a mint. Neither Blonde In the Corner nor Irene had any, so, my only option was one of the peppermints that we have in abundance in the office. But, I didn't want to be chomping on it while dazzling my boss with the demo. Furthermore, I didn't want that gooey feeling that one gets in their mouth after eating candy. So, I decided to try to break it into a smaller piece.

Being a male of the species, & one that has, in the past, used his fists to break apart blocks of frozen cheese & meat, I proceeded to try to break the peppermint by smashing it with my hand. Repeatedly.

This resulted in me bruising the side of my hand to the point where it was hard to type.

And the real kicker to this story?

I ended up eating the stupid peppermint whole anyway.

Lousy candy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Mini Reviews

I had meant to write this up a couple of weeks ago, after I'd watched the videos & had lines & scenes & whatnot fresh in my noggin'. But, since I am the President of the Procrastinators of America, Southern California chapter, you're getting this review now.

Now, on with the, reviews.

First up at the McUnoPlex -

Mystic River

First & foremost, do not watch this movie if you are severely depressed or on the edge of a breakdown. This is an extremely bleak, gloomy movie. Of course, being a Sean Penn movie, what'd you expect?

The movie revolves around three childhood friends (the aforementioned Mr. Penn, Kevin Bacon & Tim Robbins, who, I didn't realize, is a freakin' huge individual) who drift apart as they grow older, only to be brought together by a murder. I can't really go too much into the movie without giving anything away. All in all, not a bad movie. F-bombs a'plenty are liberally dropped throughout, because, apparently, ev-er-y-one in Boston talks like that. No nudidity & the violence is relatively tame.

I recommend seeing this movie, but only after something really great has happened & you need to balance out your euphoria because, as I said above, this is a depressing movie. Good, but depressing.

Next up -

Bubba Ho-Tep

This is a movie about Elvis, a black JFK & a soul-sucking mummy, set in a rest home.

This is quite possibly the greatest movie premise ever, Loyal Readers.

This type of movie is also one of the few areas where T & I have a divergence of opinion. She's more of a thriller/mystery/chick flick type. Me? Cheese all the way, baby! But, she allows me to feed my need for cheesey movies & I allow her to decorate the house however she likes. It works for both of us.

The movie takes place, as previously stated, in a rest home in Texas, where Elvis (B-Movie Lord & Master Bruce Campbell) - that apparently wasn't the real King keeled over in the throneroom - a black man (Ossie Davis) who claims to be JFK - one is never sure if he really is the former President or not - & a gaggle of other, colorful elderly residents reside. And a mummy - that Elvis calls Bubba Ho-Tep - lurks.

Hijinks ensue as the King & the Prez set out to destroy the Stetson & Tony Llama bedecked undead soul-eater.

I highly recommend this movie if you are into cheese, Bruce Campbell, mummies & have ever wondered what Elvis would've looked like in his later years. A few F-Bombs here & there, as well as a few other colorful phrases, a bitty bit o' nudidity & a couple of suggestive scenes make this a movie aimed at adults. Get the kiddies the director's cuts of Finding Nemo (where, as in every director's cut, everyone dies) or Bambi (where everyone, including Bambi's mom, also dies) instead.

And now, after awhile spent in mothballs, time to break out the eyeball rating system, five being best, one being, well, you get the picture.

Mystic River 3/5 Eyeballs

Bubba Ho-Tep 4/5 Eyeballs

Friday, August 20, 2004

Okay... probably wasn't the most Christian thing to do, but yesterday at work, Evil T came into the office trying to get a few bucks to buy cake & ice cream for the department admin's birthday. Normally, I have no problem tossing a peso or two into the hat for birthdays, whether or not I particularly like the person. But this person has never, in the whole year & a half that I've been in the cornfield, been nice. I gave up saying "Good Morning" or "Hello" to her because she, not once, ever acknowledged the greeting. I've tried being nice to her, but to no avail. I mean, I'm not looking to get into some deep theological discussion with the woman, but is it really too hard to say "Hi"? It's two freakin' letters long. How difficult is that?

So, she & Evil T can enjoy their little b-day celebration on their own.

For once, I'd rather be at my desk.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Man The Lifeboats!

Well, we made it through our first summer storm of the past five years or so. Lots of rain & hail & thunder & lightning.

And I loves it!

Living in the deserts of So Cal, we don't see much of the wet schtuff. At all. A little to the east - thunder storms every year. Big, nasty ones. In the High Desert & mountains - a few summer storms per year. But down in the valley we get passed over.

I imagine that the local TV news teams were all out & about in their slickers, reporting on STORMWATCH 2004! or some such hysterically titled nonsense. If we get so much as three non-consecutive raindrops over the course of a week, the reporters start telling everyone to break out the rubber rafts, get their snorkeling gear on, start gathering up animals two by two & kiss it all goodbye, because we're gonna wash away, people!. That is quickly followed by the vacuous blonde anchortwit asking the weatherboob "When is all this rain going to end? I mean, I haven't seen the sun in, like, three & a half minutes! Tee hee hee!" Fifteen minutes later, when it's one hundred eleventy bajillion degrees out, they're asking when the heatwave is going to end.

And to think - these people went to college.


Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Forever & Ever Amen

I came home tonight & could smell T's perfume. Everywhere I go in the apartment I see little touches here & there that remind me of her. It makes me miss her when she has to work at night.

And it makes it all that much better when she gets home.

I love you, Beautiful.

Forever & Ever Amen - Randy Travis

You may think that I'm talking foolish
You've heard that I'm wild & I'm free
You may wonder how I can promise you now
This love that I feel for you always will be
You're not just time that I'm killing
I'm no longer one of those guys
As sure as I live this love that I give
Is gonna be yours until the day that I die -- Oh baby

I'm gonna love you forever, forever & ever amen
As long as old men sit & talk about the weather
As long as old women sit & talk about old men
If you wonder how long I'll be faithful
I'll be happy to tell you again
I'm gonna love you forever & ever, forever & ever Amen

They say that time takes it's toll on a body
Makes a young girl's brown hair turn grey
But honey, I don't care, I ain't in love with your hair
And if it all fell out well I'd love you anyway
They say time can play tricks on a memory
Make people forget things they knew
Well it's easy to see it's happening to me
I've already forgotten every woman but you --- Oh darlin'

I'm gonna love you forever, forever & ever amen
As long as old men sit & talk about the weather
As long as old women sit & talk about old men
If you wonder how long I'll be faithful
Just listen to how this song ends
I'm gonna love you forever & ever, forever & ever
Forever & ever, Forever & ever Amen
Herb the Fish

Herb's not doing well.

About a year ago, Irene brought in a fish in a vase with a plant growing out of it. Just one of those little betta fish - the Siamese Fighting fish. I named him Herb. He's been a source of much amusment, as bettas flair out their gills when they get mad. And they don't like bright colors. Or me, apparently.

And Herb gets mad. A lot.

But, ol' Herb's not looking so well anymore. A little green around the gills, if you will. He doesn't swim much anymore, except to occasionally show everyone that he's not dead yet. And then he promptly sinks to the botton of the vase. And leans to his side.

Poor Herb.

First Rick James, then Faye Wray & now, it seems Herb the Fish will be going to that big fishtank in the sky.
What does it mean when you stop sweating?

It is abso-freakin'-lutely hot outside.

And I went for a walk after lunch.

And I walked further than I usually do.

Cripes, I'm an idiot sometimes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

New Reader

A big "Hello" & a cookie, to boot, to my little sister, who recently joined the twenty first century & got a computer.

Welcome to the 'net!

I'll think up an amusing name for you on the site later.
Border Run

This is not being written from a Mexican jail, nor am I being held by the Border Patrol for smuggling midget wrestlers into the country. We made it back safe & sound. Thanks, ETS, for watchin' the place.

T & I had decided to go south of the border to celebrate her birthday. Actually, the festivities had started on Friday night with dinner prepared by moi - no, it was not macaroni & cheese - & a dessert of crepes, also prepared by yours truly. The apartment was subtley lit with candles & lanterns & looked pretty nifty. And, the food ended up being edible, which was a plus.

We left for Mexico late Saturday morning, originally looking to get a hotel room in Rosarito (about twelve miles past the border), but couldn't arrange any reservations before the trip. Since we didn't want to get there & then end up having to settle for a roach motel, we opted to find a room in San Diego & then take a coach on down.

We made it about ten miles from the border before finding a room. And spent an hour trying to do that.

After touring Imperial Beach trying to find a place, we then decided to go to Tijuana (T had never been there) on Saturday & then on down to Rosarito on Sunday. We made it to TJ about 3p & were met with a mix of oppressive heat, rancid odors & a ton of vendors, ready to sell us anything from necklaces to pharmaceuticals to lap dances.

One walk down one side of Revolution Blvd through all that was enough fun for us. We had lunch (& survived!) & headed back after a couple hours, laden with the fruits of our bartering & haggling.

It was after we got back that we realized that another trip down was going to leave us extremely short of funds. We chose to putz around San Diego on Sunday & then head for home. That night we went down to the beach & watched the sunset while walking through the surf & collectiong shells. It was gorgeous out there. And I had T by my side, which made it that much better.

We found a church in Imperial Beach the night before & made plans to visit it Sunday. When we got there in the morning, it became apparent that the place wasn't going to be packed. T jokingly commented that there would be fifteen to twenty people there.

Counting us, there were nine people. Yes, nine.

This was also quite possibly the world's longest, slowest sermon. Ever. The other seven members were very nice, but the pastor had a very monotone voice that threatened to put T & I into a coma. He kept referencing the "visitors," which made us kinda stand out a bit. Then came Communinon. With what appeared to be real wine.

Or reeeeeally old grape juice. And given the size of the congregation, it didn't seem that they'd be replenishing the juice & wafers too often, so it's quite possible.

After that, we made our way to San Diego & strolled around Horton Plaza for a bit. The Plaza, for those that don't know, is a huge, four or five story open air mall. Every manner of store can be found there. It's like TJ with set prices.

After all that we made our way back on home, with stories to tell about being harrassed nearly to death, a baja blanket & a few sea shells. We plan on trying to actually make it to Rosarito next time. It's supposed to be nicer than TJ, which isn't hard to do. My closet is a nicer place than TJ.

Smells better, too.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I became the proud recipient of a beautiful, sparkling shiny golden crown this past Thursday.

When I sent out the e-mail to my immediate co-workers and supervisor(s) that I was leaving to fetch my crown and that I would not return for the day, I received a flurry of e-mails, all of the smart-assed variety: "I thought you were a goddess, not a queen!" "Did I miss the Miss America Pageant on TV last night?" "Oh! I forgot to bring in my tiara - we could have been twinsies!"

I replied: "Can't I be both?" "Yes!" and "Yes!"

That's me, Miss Goddess-Queen America.

The funny thing about it all? Yesterday I had lunch with a friend, eating the same manner of food that I was eating when I broke the tooth that required this gold crown, and I ... broke another tooth, same region - in fact, the upper plate equivalent of the one just crowned.

We won't know until next week whether I'll need another crown on it, but if I do? I'll not only be the first woman in my department to be crowned Miss Goddess-Queen America, I'll hold the title twice.

(Guest-posted by ETS because your illustrious host and his lovely wife have made a run for the border, not to return until Sunday at the latest. Or so I'm told....)

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free"

The Statue of Liberty is reopened.

Welcome back, m'lady.