Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Philosophy At 430a

Conversations can be interesting when one of the people doing the talking is only half awake. Case in point:

Me: I had "My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas stuck in my head the other day.

Her: Oh, that song's horrible!

Me: I know! I had a hard time believing that somebody actually sat down, put pen to paper & expended the energy to write "I like my lady bumps." I mean, I don't need all of my music to have deep meaning, but c'mon..."My Humps?"

Her: Sir Mix-A-Lot said it so much better.

Me: Ah yes, Sir Mix-A-Lot. Perhaps the greatest philosophical lyricist of our time. And he's direct & honest. (At this point I start hearing "I like big butts/& I can not lie..." in my head)

Aristotle. Plato. Socrates. Sir Mix-A-Lot. That's one impressive pantheon of great minds.

I wonder if Socrates liked 'em little in the middle, but with much back?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Finally - A Good Use For Spam Email




Office Supply For ETS

No more sporks breaking off at the handle after she's embedded it in a co-workers cranuim. Plus, she can have it engraved.

MY-Ti Titanium Spork

Saturday, December 03, 2005

I meant to write yesterday but I got distracted by bright shiny objects and never got around to it. This is why my own blog resembles nothing so much as a second-hand store full of odd tidbits of flotsam and jetsom.

I wanted to talk about my payroll, about how it was due to arrive on Thursday in order for me to be able to collate and package and distribute and highlight and copy and sticky-tape and mail everybody's paychecks to everybody's location, but that by mid-afternoon and less than two hours 'til the cutoff for a timely mail-drop, the checks had not arrived. The idea of this caused much imaginary panic and mayhem and torching and bloodshed, so I thought I'd best give our provider a call, see what might possibly have happened to delay our shipment. And, you know, get a tracking number.

The man who answered the phone was very nice and apologetic, but I fired him anyway. For a day. Then I told him he could come back to work because, quite frankly, I need him around to ensure that my next payroll gets to me on time. It seems that although it's a straight shot from there to here, no layovers, no plane changes, no nothing but fresh, clean, frigid air in between and, therefore, no reason for my payroll to be making any unexpected stops in any sort of warm, tropical regions, imagine my absolute astonishment to find that my payroll, instead of flying here to the Northlands, was currently sitting in a warehouse in Ontario, California with no intentions of arriving to me until Friday morning, more than twenty-four hours later and guaranteeing that at least one of my branches would not be getting paid until a week past its due date.

It happens. Once (as some may recall by a certain conversation posted between The Pete and I regarding frat boys and poor, defensively and perfectly innocent sheep) my payroll spent the night in Montana, which is several states too far east so this isn't exactly an abnormal occurence by any means, but I was miffed all the same.

I mean, really - why should my payroll get to visit my Grandma when I can't, huh? The unfairness simply boggles the mind....

- Posted by ETS

Friday, December 02, 2005

Dear Jay

I understand that you are at the annual Thanksmas celebration you have with your family in Arkansas. Family is important and I am glad to hear that you are celebrating the holidays with them.

Worry not, Jay- I did get your christmas list this year. No- I do not plan a repeat of last years gift of coal. We are working on getting your presents done in time for the big day.

Unfortunately I don't think that I will be able to get you that "authentic" storm trooper suit you asked elves are having trouble finding the correct materials to create the suit the exacting specifications you are requesting.

I also don't think we will be able to deliver the lifesize wax replica of John Stamos you are asking for. He said that any requests coming from you could be considered harassment.

Perhaps you should be a little less specific when sending in your lists…the elves get upset when they can’t find certain materials for the presents or are denied by the likes of John Stamos. That elf is still crying about the rude treatment.

Don’t worry – Mrs. Claus has a nice stocking for you with tons of Star Wars Pez dispensers and a Mace Windu Action figure already set up for you and it is in my bag of goodies.

I have to go – my head elf said something about a big box of coal heading your way. Don’t worry- I am sure it is all a misunderstanding. I will look into it right now.


Santa Claus

Brought to you by AMY of BADGROOVE

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Off We Go, Into The Wild Blue Yonder

We're heading back to Arkansas for Thanksmas '05.

What does this mean to MLCotW?

It means that I actually have an excuse for the lack of posting.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

File Under "Silver Linings"

Sure, being sick at work sucks like a singularity, but I did find a way to use it to my advantage.

Yesterday, Fearless Leader called me in to her office to go over my personal job goals for, literally, the fourth time this year (#1 goal - make it through the day without strangling someone - so far, so good). As I walked up to her office, I coughed a couple times right outside her door. She asked me if I was catching a cold, to which I responded, in my best "stuffy head" voice, that I already had a cold. After closing her door, I coughed again & told her that she probably didn't want to be in a small, enclosed office with me for too long. "We'll make this quick," she said.

I was out of there in fifteen minutes.
Not Dead, But I Sure Feel Like It

What's worse than having a cold?

Having a cold at work.

What's worse than having a cold at work?

Having a cold at work & not having the time to take off from work so that you can drug yourself into a Ny-Quil induced coma & get well quicker.


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Home, Home Again...

I like to be here, when I can - Breathe - Pink Floyd

I've been having a lot of dreams about home lately. "Home" being the house & city that I grew up in. Dreams about old friends & even my dog, Scruffy. Those dreams, & the recent homework I did trying to find out how much of a house T & I could afford out here, have made me just a wee bit depressed. Couple that with the fact that I am just plain sick, sick of living in an apartment & you've got the makings for a very somber & sullen Jay.

I have very fond memories of growing up. Unlike pretty much everyone who gets their 15 minutes of fame on a talkshow to tell about how they had it so rotten, I had a very charmed childhood. I mean, it wasn't Saturdays at the country club & school clothes shopping at Nordstrom's. Not at all. Even better than that, it was weekends spent exploring the fields & drainage ditches around town & riding bikes or skateboards with my friends (me on my bike, they on their boards; I couldn't ride a board to save my life. It does explain my tolerance & defense of boarders, though). I used to ride to the local comic shop each week with my $5 allowance to pick up the latest Spider-Man, X-Men or Batman books. A friend & I used to take off at about 6p & walk around town until about 10p, frequently hitting the local videogame trader so that I could fawn over, from a distance of course (except for one ill-fated time which I'll go into in another post), the auburn-haired object of my affection.

During the week, it was school & Wednesday night youth group meetings, which were the highlight of the week. I went to a small private school (17 in my graduating class), &, while my eighth grade year sucked, due to being bullied constantly, my junior & senior high years weren't too bad. My best friends during those years were Patrick Fisher, Suzanne Toothill (now Davis) & Brett Lamborn.

I met Patrick in 6th grade &, I don't know why, but we became the best of friends. We both loved Star Wars & GI Joes. In fact, every time one of us went to the other's house for the weekend, it looked like the Normandy invasion, with boxes of troops & armaments being unloaded. We also spent a lot of time exploring & riding our bikes in the hills. Well, I guess I should rephrase that - we spent a lot of time getting lost & carrying our bikes up hills. We were doing the "extreme mountainbiking" thing before anyone else was.

Patrick went into the Army shortly after I entered the Air Force. He went through a lot of rough training & came out as an Airborne Ranger. I always admired him for making it through that. It was shortly after that that he & his girlfriend had an unplanned visit from Mr. Stork. He did the right thing, though, & married her, which was something else that I admired about him. I know his parents were disappointed, & I kept getting the feeling that they wanted me to side up with them on the matter. But, I couldn't. I mean, Patrick was like a brother to me. And he did the right thing, given the situation.

He moved to Phoenix, near his wife's family, & joined the Phoenix police department. The last time I saw him, he was doing well & life seemed to be treating him good. As we were just passing through town on our way home from Denver, I didn't get to spend as much time there as I wanted to. I remember him saying that he wished I could stay longer.

That time, eight years ago, was the last time I saw him. I tried calling him again about seven years ago, left a message with his wife & never heard from him again, with the exception of a couple of Christmas letters. I keep trying to figure out what happened. Did I do something to make him want to sever ties with me? Did, heaven forbid, something happen to him? I don't know. As a kid, I always had this picture of us being friends as adults, getting together with our families, our kids growing up together. I guess it just wasn't meant to be.

I met Suzanne in eighth grade (probably the only good thing to come out of that year) when we started carpooling together. Ours was an adversarial relationship in the beginning, with us constantly taking verbal jabs at each other. We lost contact for a bit when she left in the ninth grade. I remember running into her on day while I was out riding. She had changed a lot & I didn't recognize her at first. She called me a short while later & I filled her in on who was still at school & who wasn't & whatnot. She came back to school, I think mid-term, in tenth grade. We were inseperable after that. I remember people asking if we were an "item" all the time because we were always together. I found out later that, had I not been so stupid & blind, we could've been. That was the way I always was in school, though; I never could see what was right in front of me. Instead I was always setting my sights on the wrong person.

The thing that stood between Suzanne & I seeing each other was, strangely enough, me. I was afraid that if anything did happen between us & then fell apart, I'd lose my best friend. Ironically, because I hesitated, I ended up losing her anyway. The closest I came to taking a step in that direction happened on my 18th birthday. Suzanne had gone off to college in San Diego, but was in town visiting her family. I didn't know she was around & she showed up to say hi, not realizing it was my birthday. I remember her digging through her purse & finally finding a stick of gum to give me for a present. I think she found a rock outside & gave that to me, too. I left with her to walk her home, which was only a few blocks away. Four hours later, after walking all over town & stopping at Subway for a sandwich, we were sitting on a sidewalk across from her house, talking. I just kept looking at her & I remember thinking that all I had to do was lean in & give her a kiss - she was that close. But, my fear of losing her gripped me & I didn't follow through with it.

As the months wore on, she'd write to me, telling me about the weird adventures she was having in San Diego (she even sent her hair that she'd cut off to me in Basic Training, figuring that I'd need it). Upon later reviews of the letters, I finally saw that she'd dropped hints (& not subtle ones, either) here & there about her feelings for me. It finally took a letter from her where she told me, flat out, that she'd had a crush on me for a long time, but that she knew she wasn't good enough for me (which was completely wrong - I was just too stupid) & that she'd resigned herself to just be "one of the guys" with me.

We lost contact for a few years. Then she tried getting ahold of me. We talked a few times, but the ex, being the jealous type that she is, made things difficult. After we separated, I managed to get in touch with Suzanne again. We spent, over the span of two phone calls, about eight hours catching up with each other. I knew she had gotten married & had a child & I was happy for her. We wrote a bit to each other, as well. Then one day I called her & she told me that her talking to me was causing conflict with her husband & that she couldn't talk to me anymore. I think that hit me harder that the ex & I splitting. That was seven years ago. I found her email a year or so ago & wanted to see how she was doing & to tell her about my (then) impending nuptials with T. She wrote back, saying the same thing she had six years earlier. I don't know what happened with her husband, but...I guess all I can do is respect her request. If she ever wants to talk to me again, well...I guess it's up to her now.

I met Brett through a mutual friend. I remember that friend, also named Pat, talking about him (they went to school together). I had met Brett a couple of times, but, as he was in a different neighborhood, I didn't have much to do with him. One day, I'd gone to Pat's to see if he was home & was told that he was at Brett's. I went over to find Pat & thus began my friendship with Brett.

Brett was a skater, as was Pat & a couple of other guys on Brett's block, Josh & David. We spent many a day at Josh's parent's skate shop, watched copious amounts of eMpTeeVee, skated/biked all over town, chased girls & just plain enjoyed life. A couple years later, Pat moved, followed by David & then Josh. This left Brett & I to get in trouble on our own. When Brett was in high school (I'd already graduated), this included calling the school to get him out for the day, takin gthe bus to the mall, investigating what was behind all of the "Do Not Enter" doors, &, after we both had cars, driving to San Bernardino or the beach or wherever & doing, generally, not a lot.

Before we had wheels, we'd usually just wander around town, going up to The Wherehouse to look at what tapes (!) they had at the time, or to the aforementioned videogame store, Doc's, & blowing through $10 trying to beat an arcade game (with me trying to build up the courage to talk to the also aforementioned auburn-haired object of my affection) or scraping together enough money to by nachos at Naugle's (I guess we should've eaten before we stopped by Doc's).

The thing that I used to think was funny was that his parents thought I had this horrible influence on him. Of course, the opposite was true. I mean, I guess I could understand it at first. The first time that I met them, I had long hair, my thrashed up denim jacket & my bike chain in hand. I think they thought I was there to beat on him. You'd think after awhile they would've figured out that I wasn't there to kill him. Brett knew that I was a Christian & that I had a strong definition of right & wrong (OK, except maybe when he ditched school). He about had a coronary once when we were leaving The Wherehouse, as I'd picked up a free magazine & walked out of the store with it. He didn't know it was free & thought that I'd suddenly & without warning turned over to the Dark Side & lifted the magazine.

Brett was the Best Man at my first wedding & I was glad to have him there. Unfortunately (or, rather, fortunately, given the ex's, uh...issues with fidelity), he & the ex never got along. I should've listened to him. Later, even after he'd seen how the Service was through me (which was a little biased, as I kinda hated it there), he joined up with the Air Force &, having a Master's degree, earned his commission. I lost track of him a couple years ago. I hope & pray that he didn't end up in the mess over in Iraq. And if he did, I hope & pray that he's safe.

I want to get back in touch with these people. They were like brothers & a sister to me. I mean, I don't really make "casual" friends. When I offer my friendship to someone, I try to put my all into it. These are people that I would love for T to be able to meet. I want to be able to tell them about her & have them get to know her. She has friends that she's known since junior high, that I've met & that I like & enjoy being around. When I tell her about my friends, though, it always feels like I'm talking about someone who's died, that she'll never have the opportunity to meet. I know that things will probably never be like they used to be, due to distance & time & the fact that we all have responsibilities & families & all, but I just want to be able to pick up the phone & hear them on the other end or be able to plan to see them, be it visiting them or them coming out here. I just want them back in my life again.

Suzanne Toothill (Davis), Patrick Fisher, Brett Lamborn - if you ever see this, contact me. Phone call, email, carrier pigeon, smoke signal...I don't care.

I miss you all.

Monday, October 17, 2005

An Open Letter To The Putz At Work Who Defaces All Of The Magazines

Dear Mr. Rembrandt -

Could you please find it in you to not write in, or tear pages out of, the magazines in the breakroom? Or, if you feel you must, can you please spare the "Entertainment Weekly" & maybe focus on the numerous issues of "Gourmet" strewn about the room? I know this would leave you with far fewer targets to set your black felt tip marker to, but it would sure make it easier to read the EW's. If you're honestly having trouble leaving the magazines unmolested, here's a few tips I have for you:

1) Learn how to spell. The word is "Skank," not "Scank."

2) We already know that Britney, Christina & to put this?, portray themselves in a less than wholesome light. Writing "Slut" or, as you so eloquently put it, "Scank" over all of their photos really isn't telling us anything that we don't already know. It's like writing "Catholic!" across pictures of the Pope.

3) Think about this every time you write "Loser" across a celebrity's image: who's the bigger loser - the celebrity, who probably rolls around naked in gigantic piles of money every night or the person who makes slightly above minimum wage putting software components* into a box for a living & writes "Loser" across pictures of movie stars in magazines? Don't think too hard about it. I wouldn't want you to forget how to glue boxes shut or how to count to three or anything like that.

4) Attempting to write celebrity autographs? See tip #3.

Basically, get a dictionary, get a new hobby & get a life.



*PS - "Components" is a big word meaning "stuff." Sorry, didn't mean to confuse you there.
Happy Birthapalooza To Me!

Yes, Loyal Readers, last Friday was my b-day. The Big 3-4. Another milemarker on the road of life. Another trip around the sun. Another excuse to make up some other analogies for birthdays.

So, how was it celebrated?, you may be asking. Well, I'll tell ya.

First, Birthiversary greetings were received (OK, second, as T was first in line to wish me a happy birthday) from the lovely & talented Amy & ETS. Amy played go-between for me & posted b-day greetings from John Stamos, in response to some deranged fan letter I'd apparently written to him (me? Do something like that? Perish the thought!). Unfortunately, like last year, Mr. Stamos will not be able to attend my annual "I Am Thankful For John Stamos" Thanksgiving dinner. Drat! ETS apparently got ahold of my b-day wishlist & hoped that Dave Coulier would pop out of a cake wearing little glitter pasties for me (I've really got to quit leaving that list laying around).

The intention on Friday night was to pick The Boy up from the ex & head out to the Souther California Fair (cripes, how many of these things do we have?) to see Third Day perform. But, I guess T & I are starting to get old, as neither of us particularly felt like driving twenty miles & freezing after being at work all day. So, instead we went out to eat at Jose's, were we were treated to the ramblings of loud, tattoed people. That's always fun. A couple rentals were picked up afterward & we headed for home. I opened up my gifts & scored a nifty keen USC shirt, a nice & warm fleece jacket & a mega cool Darth Vader alarm clock (yes, my wife is encouraging my almost unhealthy Star Wars addiction). The Boy & I then watched "Spirited Away" (well, I did; he crashed out. Pansy.). This proved to be the first of an Asian film doubleheader for me, as on Sunday I watched "Hero."

Anyway, Saturday was spent leisurely doing a lot of nothing after T got home. A trip to a couple of thrift stores yeilded a few CD's, including both ZZ Top & Bruce Springsteen's greatest hits compilations (Schweet!). The rest of the day was spent napping, gaming & watching movies.

Sunday started a little bumpy, as T wasn't feeling up to par, so the morning was spent surfing &, eventually, viewing the aforementioned "Hero." Since the weather had let up a bit, we decided to see what was going on outside, got ready & headed out to my most favoritest of places, the Pumpkin Patch! T & I meandered through the petting zoo area & the gift shop, went for a hayride & then walked around the patch, all the while mindful of the large stormclouds moving in from the west. Sure enough, as we made our way back, we started feeling a few sprinkles. We headed up to the local pizza place, played some pinball, consumed pizza (of course) & then did a little shopping at Ye Olde Big Lots, where a couple of The Boy's Christmas gifts were purchased as well as a couple of goodies for the pantry. Shortly after that, T & I enjoyed a nice evening walk, noticing the lightening flashing to the south of us. We also found a really sharp looking Mitsubishi Montero (we're looking at getting a bigger "family" type vehicle someday) which I totally was digging until I researched the gas mileage. I dug it a whole lot less after figuring out how much it'd be to fill the beast up.

The weekend was capped off falling asleep with T curled up behind me, being lulled to sleep by the sound of the rain & thunder raging outside. A nice end to a nice weekend.

Of course, this morning came on like a bucket of cold water, but, that's a post for another day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Weekend That Was

And what a weekend it was.

First off, my in-laws are in town for a visit, which has been nice as it's afforded me a bit more time to get to know them & for them to see the alien world that I took their daughter to live in. With the exception of nearly having a heart attack on the freeway (we warned 'em), having their eyes pop out of their heads every time they see how expensive everything is out here & the dry heat, I think they like it out here. Not enough to pull up stakes & move out here, but enough to have enjoyed their visit. They've seen that we're doing OK out here & that T hasn't been corrupted. Well, not completely, anyway.

My dad also came down to visit for a couple of weeks, which gave he & T's parents the opportunity to meet. They all got along quite well, with my dad & T's dad sharing stories of growing up poor. It was fun to listen to them comiserate.

On Saturday, T, The Boy & I went up to my sister's (where Dad is staying) to visit (T's parents had gone down to San Diego to visit family for the weekend). What would've been a pleasant day for all was a bit mucked up by The Boy's homework, which he'd neglected to bring home for five weeks. Much whip cracking was done in an attempt to get him to finish it up. On the plus side, we had some scrumptious BBQ'd chicken with all the fixin's & I whipped T & my sister at 8-Ball. (We won't talk about the games of 9-Ball in which I cleared the table, only to have my sister sink the 9-ball. And I completely deny having seen her sink the 9-ball on a break. Nope, didn't see it. Didn't happen.)

Sunday was quiet. As T had to work that morning, The Boy & I went to church, where I learned a valuable lesson: don't sit in the aisle seat of the last pew if you don't want to risk being asked to help collect the offering. Not being comfortable in the spotlight, I usually try to blend in with the crowd. Less so when T's with me, but I still don't try to draw attention to myself. At any rate, I survived that harrowing experience & helped a couple of old ladies up out of their seats & to their walkers, so, it wasn't all that bad, I suppose. I racked up a few Brownie points.

I took Monday off so that we could take T's parents up to see my sister's house & to meet Dad. The Santa Ana winds had cleared all the gunk out of the air, so it made for a beautiful day. I got to play tour guide on the way up, throwing out random tidbits about how, as we made the climb up the Cajon Pass, we were driving in the San Andreas fault & how Joshua Trees only grow in the Mojave Desert. Dumb schtuff, sure, but it was fun to imbue them with my wisdom. My sister Q'ed up some burgers & hot dogs & much consuption of said foodstuffs ensued. We topped it off with T's fruit pizza & then proceeded to roll into the living room & complain about how full we were. It was like a preview of Thanksgiving.

All in all, nothing too exciting, but nice nonetheless.

So, how was your weekend?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Birthaversary Greetings

It's ETS' birthaversary! And, since she's a week older than me, I can point & snicker when she uses her senior discount card to get her Code Red.

Well, for a week at least.

Go - wish her well!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Words Of Wisdom

I learned tonight, while trying to refill a squeezable mustard bottle, that mustard does not flow well through a funnel.

Who knew?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Funniest Song Title Of The Day

"Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off" by Joe Nichols

Country music can be fun sometimes.
Weirdest Sentence In An Email Today

"Incubus. I don't think a succubus would have the, uh...proper fixtures to facilitate impregnation. Unless it carried a turkey baster around. Don't ask me why I know that."

I have weird friends. We have weird discussions.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Random Rants

Yesterday, I was tired. I was cranky. And I was in the mood to rant. Not always a good combination.

Let's start off with someone that's been bothering me ever since this year's eMpTeeVee VMA's - Puffy Puff Daddy P. Diddy whatever he's calling himself these days. I refuse to stroke this man's ego anymore by referring to him by whatever name of the month he's using to get some attention. From this point forward, he will simply be referred to as "Sean." That's the name he started out with, that's the name I'm going to use. The same goes for Marion Knight, Marshall Mathers, Curtis Jackson & Calvin Brodis. And any other actor/performer/artiste who thinks more of themselves than they probably should (I'm looking at you Tony Hall, Ms. Ciccone & Cherilyn LaPierre Bono Allman).

While we're on the topic of celebrities, I'd like to thank the Good Lord Above for the birth of Britney Spears & Kevin "look at me, I'm Britney Spears' husband!" Federlane's baby. Why, you ask? Because I was so frickin' sick of seeing pictures of her trying to wear the clothes that she wore before she was pregnant! Tight t-shirts, long skirts & cowboy boots? Ugh! Hey, Brit - here's a little tip for you, should you decide to procreate again (& I pray that you think long & hard before doing that again): quit shopping at Wet Seal & Hot Topic & try the maternity section at Sears or Wal-Mart. Please?!?

On the international rant front - Canada. I went to buy a soda from the machine this morning, thinking that I had the requisite $.90 to purchase my morning fix, only to find Queen Elizabeth staring back at me. Listen, Canada - if you want quarters that are the same size, shape & weight as American quartes, then apply for statehood. You can have all the quarters you want then. Heck, wait a few years & you'll get your own state quarter. Lousy America, Jr.

And now, a personal rant or two. First off, who was the person who thought that two days off was an adequate amount of time for a weekend? I mean, you get off Friday evening & spend the time unwinding. Saturday, you try to cram as much R&R into as possible. Then, on Sunday, you spend the day thinking about the week ahead. So, in effect, you have one decompression day evening, one carefree day & one day getting ready for Monday, followed by five days of wishing the weekend would hurry up & get here. Thanks a lot, Mr. Architect-of-the-workweek! Would a four & three workweek have killed us?

This one's directed at the guy in my apartment complex with the Harley, who feels that it's necessary to let it run for a bit before leaving & the wonderful parents from across the park who displayed their awesome parenting skills (which basically amounts to "let them run around & scream & someone else will take care of them") at The Boy's birthday party last year (which they invited themselves to), who decided to make friends with the neighbor behind me. Meaning that I get to listen to her little girl scream her head off while the mother says "Don't be too loud" in the most unconvincing manner. All of you & your ilk are the primary reasons that I want my own house.

On about a thousand acres.

In the middle of nowhere.

On Mars.

And you, Mr. LA Fitness rep, who, after being told I don't know how many times in one phone call (& about three or four before that) that we're not interested in a membership with your establishment, had the cajones to ask me, several times, "Why?", even though I told you, again, I don't know how many times that your rates were ridiculously high. You had the nerve to set up an appointment that we didn't even ask for. Please tell me - when does "How much are your membership fees?" translate into "Please set me up for an appointment without my asking & then call me incessantly, even though I told you, repeatedly, that I'm not interested"? Have the steroids shriveled your brains as well as your genitals?

Frickin' retarded musclehead.

And finally, a rant directed at the ex, who annoys me just by the fact that she breathes. Gah! What was I thinking?

There. Much better now.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

You're Quite Welcome, Amy

I received this in my inbox from Amy of Ye Olde Badgroove:

"Jay...I think I can thank you for this! Remember that john stamos fan
??? Remember???
Well...because of that I got this...and I get tons of John Stamos (and
dave coulier) hits a


------------- Forwarded message follows -------------

The following message was sent on 09/13/05 at 3:37pm by xxxxxx:

My name is (name witheld to keep the freaky-types from flocking here), I am 10 years old and live in Texas. I am a
huge fan of John Stamos
and was wondering if you know where I can purchase some John Stamos
bedding. I have tried
several sites with no results. I would also like to know how I can join
his fan club. Thank

What I want to know is:

Where can I find some John Stamos bedding? I mean, I use cedar chips & newspaper for my little pet John Stamos, but if there's some bedding made specifically for him, then I'm all over it!
Dave Coulier Deficiency

I realized that there has been a drastic decrease in stories, letters & all around general mentions of MLCotW's Unofficial Patron Saint, Dave Coulier (or Coullier as I have been known to spell it - sorry Dave) & any & all things directly related to him. So, it is with a humbled heart & a bowed head that I now attempt to rectify the situation:

Dave Coulier, John Stamos, Bob Saget, The Olsen Twins, the other two sisters, Full House, Dave Coulier, John Stamos, Bob Saget, The Olsen Twins, the other two sisters, Full House, Dave Coulier, John Stamos, Bob Saget, The Olsen Twins, the other two sisters, Full House, Dave Coulier, John Stamos, Bob Saget, The Olsen Twins, the other two sisters, Full House, Dave Coulier, John Stamos, Bob Saget, The Olsen Twins, the other two sisters, Full House

There. That should do the trick. I feel much better now.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Saturday, September 03, 2005

And If They Jumped Off A Cliff?

I saw this over at ETS' & Amy's places, & they found it over at The Pete's site, so I figured "Why not?"

Here are the original instructions:

1. Go to

2. Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year

3. Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you hate and underline your favorite. Do nothing to the ones you don't remember (or don't care about).

As you'll see, I modified the directions a bit. Instead of the bolding/underlining/striking out bit, I gave my comments about the songs in question (bolding/underlining/striking out just doesn't give you much flexibility). I guess it doesn't really tell much if I liked the song or not (although, some are pretty obvious). But, I had fun flipping through the playlist of my senior year, so, it's not all bad.

Anywho, here we go:

1. Look Away, Chicago - Peter Cetera left & they were never the same.

2. My Perogative, Bobby Brown - I was a raging metalhead in the 80's, but I could still appreciate a catchy dance song.

3. Every Rose Has Its Thorn, Poison
- One of the literally thousands of ballads to come out after Gn'R made it fashionable with "Patience"; also, the genesis for one of the funniest lines in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey.

4. Straight Up, Paula Abdul - I was a raging metalhead in the 80's, but I could still appreciate a catchy dance song. Nonetheless, this song annoyed the crap out of me.

5. Miss You Much, Janet Jackson - That's Ms. Jackson if your nasty (I know, different song, but I never pass up an opprtunity to use that line).

6. Cold Hearted, Paula Abdul - See #4, but omit the "catchy dance song" part.

7. Wind Beneath My Wings, Bette Midler - The lyrical equivalent of diabetic shock.

8. Girl You Know Its True, Milli Vanilli - Apparently, it wasn't true.

9. Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird, Will To Power - So, at what point did mixing a Frampton song with a Skynyrd song sound like a good idea?

10. Giving You The Best That I Got, Anita Baker - Apparently, she didn't give me the best she had because I don't remember this one.

11. Right Here Waiting, Richard Marx - The first man to mix a 'fro with a mullet (the 'frullet!). Frightening.

12. Waiting For A Star To Fall, Boy Meets Girl - Never heard this one.

13. Lost In Your Eyes, Debbie Gibson - Ugh...see #7.

14. Don't Wanna Lose You, Gloria Estefan - Could you at least try?

15. Heaven, Warrant - Another schmaltzy metal ballad. Not as bad as some.

16. Girl I'm Gonna Miss You, Milli Vanilli
- I'm not gonna miss you, Milli Vanilli.

17. The Look, Roxette - Crumbs...can we please ban future Swedish import bands?

18. She Drives Me Crazy, Fine Young Cannibals - I really liked this one. Just quirky enough to suit my tastes.

19. On Our Own, Bobby Brown - Haven't heard this one, either.

20. Two Hearts, Phil Collins - Man, Phil - what happened to you?

21. Blame It On The Rain, Milli Vanilli - Wow...'89 was a sucky year for music.

22. Listen To Your Heart, Roxette - Listen to me - don't encourage any more Swedish pop bands.

23. I'll Be There For You, Bon Jovi - A great song from a band that knew how to put out fun music.

24. If You Don't Know Me By Now, Simply Red - Mick Hucknail gave me the willies.

25. Like A Prayer, Madonna - So did Madonna.

26. I'll Be Loving You (Forever), New Kids On The Block - Gag!

27. How Can I Fall?, Breathe - Easy. Step one - trip. Let gravity do the rest.

28. Baby Don't Forget My Number, Milli Vanilli - Geez, they put out a lot of crap in a short time.

29. Toy Solider, Martika - I remember hearing of the song, but I don't think I ever actually heard it.

30. Forever Your Girl, Paula Abdul - Please. Shoot me. Now.

31. The Living Years, Mike and the Mechanics - Whereas Phil Collins was putting out dreck like #20, Mike Rutherford of Genesis actually put out some great songs with his side project.

32. Eternal Flame, The Bangles - I liked the Bangles (Susanna Hoffs was certainly easy on the eyes), but I was sick of this song about five minutes after it came out.

33. Wild Thing, Tone Loc - I was insensed when I heard Jamie's Cryin' by Van Halen being sampled. Eventually, though, the song grew on me.

34. When I See You Smile, Bad English - Bad English = Bad Idea.

35. If I Could Turn Back Time, Cher - If I could turn back time, I pummel whomever thought putting Cher in a thong was a good idea.

36. Buffalo Stance, Neneh Cherry - I could take it or leave it.

37. When I'm With You, Sheriff - For some reason, I think I remember this song. But then again, I don't.

38. Don't Rush Me, Taylor Dayne - The only rushing I did whenever Taylor ane came on the TV was to turn the channel.

39. Born To Be My Baby, Bon Jovi - Another great Bon Jovi tune.

40. Good Thing, Fine Young Cannibals - I like this one a wee bit less than She Drives Me Crazy, but it was still listenable.

41. The Lover In Me, Sheena Easton - She made a song in '89?

42. Bust A Move, Young M.C.
- I fought & fought & fought liking this one. I finally gave in. One of my favorite late 80's rap songs.

43. Once Bitten, Twice Shy, Great White - Such a fun song! When I was stationed in Mississippi & terribly homesick, this song helped me through the blues.

44. Batdance, Prince - Sorry, Prince, but Danny Elfman made the only decent Batman soundtrack.

45. Rock On, Michael Damian - Bleah! I hate, hate, HATE this song.

46. Real Love, Jody Watley - No thanks, Jody.

47. Love Shack, B-52's - This song brings back fond memories of my last summer at home. Tiiiiiin roof - rusted!

48. Every Little Step, Bobby Brown - Another infectious dance ditty.

49. Hangin' Tough, New Kids On The Block - Cripes! I could not stand those guys. My sister, on the other hand, loved, loved, LOOOOVED them. I knew then something wasn't right with her.

50. My Heart Can't Tell You No, Rod Stewart - I think I remember this one. Shows how much I cared for it.

51. So Alive, Love and Rockets - This was such a great song. I hadn't heard much Bauhaus (except for what my friend Brett exposed me to), so I wasn't familiar with Daniel Ash, but it had a great groove & I could dance to it. OK, just kidding on the dancing part.

52. You Got It (The Right Stuff), New Kids On The Block - Have you figured out yet just how much I loathed these guys?

53. Armageddon It, Def Leppard - Sorry T & Amy, but I detested this song. I like older Def Leppard. Everything that came out after Rick Savage lost his arm sounded alike.

54. Satisfied, Richard Marx - The return of the 'frullet!

55. Express Yourself, Madonna - You suck! How's that for expressing myself, Madonna?

56. I Like It, Dino - No, I don't.

57. Soldier Of Love, Donny Osmond - Donny Osmond?

58. Sowing The Seeds Of Love, Tears For Fears - I was never a big TFF fans, but I did like this & Head Over Heels a lot.

59. Cherish, Madonna - Please, Madonna, go "reinvent" yourself - somewhere far away from me.

60. When The Children Cry, White Lion - Ugh...whiney metal ballad - the worst kind.

61. 18 And Life, Skid Row - Depressing song, but, lemme tell you - Skid Row RAWKED in concert!

62. I Don't Want Your Love, Duran Duran - The poster children for 80's stylistic rock.

63. Second Chances, .38 Special - Why don't I remember this one? I liked .38 Special.

64. The Way You Love Me, Karyn White
- Another one for the "Huh?" list.

65. Funky Cold Medina, Tone Loc - Yet another fun 80's rap song that grew on me.

66. In Your Room, Bangles - I'm trying to remember this one, but all I can see is Susanna Hoffs...

67. Miss You Like Crazy, Natalie Cole - I missed this one, evidentally.

68. Love Song, Cure - I was just starting to get into the Cure when Disitegration came out (thanks again, Brett). This song, though, just didn't do much for me.

69. Secret Rendevous, Karyn White - Who the frick is Karyn White? And why is she on this list so many times?

70. Angel Eyes, Jeff Healey Band - I'd probably go to hell if I made any smart remarks against a blind blues guitarist, so, I'll pass.

71. Patience, Guns N' Roses - Here it is, Ladies & Gents - the one that made it cool for metal guitarists to pick up a Takaminie & strum it like a folkie. Thanks a lot guys.

72. Walk On Water, Eddie Money - At least it's not "Take Me Home Tonight."

73. Cover Girl, New Kids On The Block - Wow...there's a lot of suckage on this list.

74. Welcome To The Jungle, Guns N' Roses - Um...this came out in '87, I believe. Still one of the hardest metal songs ever made.

75. Shower Me With Your Love, Surface - I'd rather not.

76. Stand, R.E.M. - I just recently picked up "Green" & was suprised at how great a record it was. And Stand isn't even the best song on it.

77. Close My Eyes Forever, Lita Ford - Lita Ford - every metalhead's dream woman.

78. All This Time, Tiffany - Tiffany - every metalhead's worst nightmare.

79. After All, Cher and Peter Cetera - I don't remember this one. I must've blotted it out of my memory.

80. Roni, Bobby Brown - This one, too.

81. Love In An Elevator, Aerosmith - An awesome song from an awesome record!

82. Lay Your Hands On Me, Bon Jovi
- OK, Bon Jovi - leave some room for others to get on the list.

83. This Promise, When In Rome - The only song that I remember from them. A true classic one hit wonder.

84. What I Am, Edie Brickell and The New Bohemians - Ack! The Popeye song (what I yam is what I yam...)! I'd rather listen to just about any other song on this list. To this day, I despise this song.

85. I Remember Holding You, Boys Club - But I don't remember you, Boys Club.

86. Paradise City, Guns N' Roses - A hard driving, rocking song. I still can't resist bangin' my head when I hear this one.

87. I Wanna Have Some Fun, Samantha Fox - How in the world did she get a recording deal?

88. She Wants To Dance With Me, Rick Astley - The white Luther Vandross.

89. Dreamin', Vanessa Williams - Remember Vanessa Williams' "Dreamin'?" Neither do I.

90. It's No Crime, Babyface - Yet another one that slipped under my radar. I was probably busy thinking about Susanna Hoffs.

91. Poison, Alice Cooper - One of my favorite records of the late 80's. I saw him in '91. He was still putting on a great show.

92. This Time I Know It's For Real, Donna Summer
- Are you sure, Donna?

93. Smooth Criminal, Michael Jackson - Yes, Michael, you certainly are.

94. Heaven Help Me, Deon Estus - Who?

95. Rock Wit'cha, Bobby Brown - No thanks, Bobby. You scare me.

96. Thinking Of You, Sa-fire - I can't say that I'm doing the same, Sa-Fire.

97. What You Don't Know, Expose - In this case, ignorance is bliss.

98. Surrender To Me, Ann Wilson and Robin Zander - Nope, can't recall this one.

99. The End Of The Innocence, Don Henley - An appropriate song for the end of my time as a student.

100. Keep On Movin', Soul II Soul - Another one hit wonder that I liked. I don't think they did anything after that.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


This weekend brought the long awaited (well, in my household, anyway) viewing of Napoleon Dynamite. I was told that it was really good & that I'd probably enjoy it.

"So, did you?" you ask? do I put this?

Lessee...imagine, if you will, walking into a room & seeing the family cat practicing on the tuba. You'd walk in, see the cat &, even though you know that it's a little strange seeing a feline handle a brass instrument, your brain still kind of overloads for a minute & you have a hard time wrapping your mind around the sight. That pretty much sums up Napoleon Dynamite - it's the movie equivalent of a cat playing a tuba.

"But, did you like it?" you're still asking.

Simple answer - yes, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Slightly more complicated answer - yes, I thoroughly enjoyed it. But it wasn't near as funny as everyone was making it out to be.

The story was strange, to say the least. The main characters all seemed like they were stoned or had taken too much Ny-Quil, each speaking in different monotone pitch (except Uncle Rico, the only one to really show any range). Some of them were hysterical, but after awhile, the main character in particular was a little annoying. Funny, but still a little annoying. The mishmash of eras (some were dressed like they came out of a Go Go's video, others like they went to the vintage 70's section of the local thrift shop, etc) was a little distracting at times, as I spent part of the movie trying to figure out when the story was supposed to take place.

All in all, though, a good watch. No swearing or sex (thank goodness). Just a bewildered feeling after having watched it.

Like after one sees a cat playing a tuba.

Three & a half Ligers out of a possible five

Monday, August 22, 2005

Delurker Post

OK, so, I've noticed, from time to time, that other sites have an occasional "Delurker Day." I've yet to figure out if this is really a specific day of the week in the Blogiverse or if it's just a random day or what.

Obviously, I spend too much time pondering these things.

I've also noticed, as of late, an increase in direct hits (as opposed to people who stumble in here Googling for information on O'Brien's Beef Sticks or Good Guy Chucky dolls), & to be honest, I'm kind of surprised, given the recent paucity of posts that I've penned. I noticed an upswing after The A Files, Walking Stick & Elwyn's Imagination all added me to their sidebars (Thanks Amy, Andy & Elly!). And I know when my regular Loyal Readers Check in (Hi Amy, ETS, Elly, again &, yes, you, too, Mom!)

But, I'm just curious as to who else has been checking in on my l'il ol' site. So, if you'd be so kind, drop a comment in the squawk box below. Go on! It won't hurt. This is for nothing more than my own curiosity. Well, & a chance to say "Hi!" & "Thanks for stopping by."
There's No Place Like Home

Two nights in a row, now, I've had dreams where I was back in the city that I grew up in. Vivid dreams, where I can see places that I used to frequent as a kid.

While it's no longer safe to live there (lots & lots of gang activity), I still miss it alot. I still feel like a part of me is there. The last time that I went through, a lot of things were different. But it still felt like home.

While I think that the Video Flicks store is still there (with its sign that, from a certain angle, looked like it, let's just say that it didn't look like it said Video Flicks). The old comic shop that I spent an inordinate amount of time riding to & fro from is long gone. The Lucky's grocery store is now some warehouse-type, bag your own groceries kind of place. Miller's Outpost went under, but I can't remember what was there the last time I was in town. The old drive-in movie theatre (that I can still remember seeing "The Towering Inferno" at when I was just a wee one) has long since been bulldozed & had a shopping center built over it.

Even the house I grew up in (which I would've gladly taken had the rest of the town not been falling apart), the one that was instantly recognizable as it was the only green house on the block, has changed. It's white & surrounded by a wroughtiron fence. The new owners seem to take care of it, but, I dunno...the house seems almost - sad being stuck behind iron bars. Even eleven or so years after it'd been sold, it still seems weird to not be able to just walk in. I've thought at times that, if the town changed & I could afford to do it, I'd love to buy that house back.

My family's house.

My house.

My home.

*sigh* I guess I can still live there in my dreams.
Like Moths To A Flame

In an attempt to save electricity during the Great Power Shortage of Aught-Two, the Company installed motion detector light switches so that people wouldn't be leaving their office lights on all the time, which is all good & well. The bad thing about the switches is that the sensor has a very narrow range. So much so that when I sit at my desk, the light frequently goes out because I'm not moving around or anything. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as the dark gives the office a little ambience.

Now, I can usually sit still enough while working so as not to trigger the sensor. Inevitably - & I mean WITH OUT FAIL - the light goes off & someone will feel that it's necessary to poke their head into the office to see if anyone's in here. Not to discuss something. Not to hand a problem off to me. Not even to get a piece of candy.

It's just to see if anyone's in here.

It's like the light goes off & it triggers this primal instinct to look in here.

Makes me wish I had a cattle prod to pop 'em on the nose with.
I'd Better Get Some Cool Spider Powers

I woke on Friday morning with itchy legs.

Upon closer inspection, I found that the itching was caused by two bites on the sides of my shins (in almost the same spot on both shins). T chalked it up to mosquitoes, but, since I know that mosquitoes aren't attracted to me (probably due to my blood having the thickness of a semi-frozen milkshake), I attributed it to a spider, thinking that it may have gotten into the bedding & bit me when I rolled around.

Saturday morning, I woke with an additional two bites on each calf. I began to suspect that the next morning, I'd find myself wrapped up in a silk cocoon in the corner of the ceiling. So, despite the liberal application of hydrocortisone cream to the afflicted areas, I spent a good part of the day fighting the urge to claw through the skin on my legs.

On Sunday morning, T let out a loud gasp, which at first I thought meant that she was running late (she was getting ready for work). I was still half asleep & couldn't figure out what she was saying. Finally, I picked up on the words "big" & "spider." Being the Great White Critter Hunter in our home, I took great pleasure in squooshing the spider that, I was certain, was trying to suck my insides out through my legs. The euphoria of having vanquished my foe was quickly replaced by the itching from the grand total of six bites on my legs.

After all of this, I had better be able to stick to walls or shoot webs or something.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The MLCotW 2005 NoCal Trek

Can someone please explain how an eight hour day at work can seem to drag on for an eternity, but three days spent visiting family in beautiful, calm, peaceful surroundings (& clean air, to boot) can pass in the blink of an eye? I'd really love to know how that works so that I can maybe find a way to reverse the process.

As was alluded to in a previous post, my sister, The Boy, T & myself trekked up to the northern tippy-top of the state to visit my dad, aunt & uncle & a couple of my cousins. For the most part, it was the vacation that T & I have been needing for awhile - getting out of the grind of SoCal living, the crowds, the nasty air, work, etc. It was one of those vacations that you wanted to last for a little bit longer (I know, I know - what vacation isn't?).


Starting out at 330a to head up to my sister's house made for an exceptionally long day. The trip itself, nonstop, is about ten hours. When you're running on four hours of sleep, though, it feels twice as long. Even trying to sleep in the car along the way didn't make too much of a difference.

Most of the trip was pretty uneventful, as we were driving through farm country & there's only so many times you can look at a passing orchard & try to figure out what's growing there before your brain has had enough. Don't get me wrong - California gets more & more beautiful the further north you go. But, unlike SoCal, the cities in Central & Northern California (along the 99 & 5, at least) are spread far apart. Not as far as they are in Arkansas, mind you. But farther than I'm accustomed to. It's very wide open & a wee bit disorienting, as there aren't a lot of reference points to let you know where you're at.

One of the more disturbing things that we learned on our trip was how turkeys are transported. After seeing the truck in front of us stuffed with turkeys, I will now have reason to think twice the next time I complain about the seating in coach class.

Anyway, we made our way up the 99, passing through Modesto, which kind of gave me the willies thinking about the recent events that happened in that city. Eventually, we made it to Sacramento & took a stroll around the Capitol & the grounds around it. They have a beautiful garden containing flora from all different parts of the state. And about a million squirrels. Literally.

Interesting Tidbit: The California Highway Patrol (CHiPs!) has an equestrian unit that patrols the Capitol grounds - & only the Capitol grounds. You won't find this unit anywhere else in the state.

The Capitol building, inside & out, is gorgeous. The interior of the Dome is gilded with intricate gold designs. As there are in other capitols, I would imagine, there are paintings of the governors from California's past. The weirdest one was Pat Brown's, looking like something a third grader would paint (minus the legs coming directly out of the head). It really, uh...stood out against the other portraits. We toured the Governor's reception area - which consists of a couch, chair, desk & a few pictures & knick knacks.

T'was a wee bit underwhelming.

We also got to see the Senate room, which is every bit as ornate as the Dome, although, the paint scheme looked like Hildie from Trading Spaces got ahold of the place. Gold trim & design, like the Dome, with pinkish-peach colored paint. Bleah! The audience seating is up in a balcony over the Senate floor, so I was more than just a bit dizzy & had to fight the urge to crawl out of the place. Of course, The Boy had to keep leaning over the railings to look below him, which did wonders for me. Much taunting was made at my expense there.

We then went to a gallery there in the Capitol building. Many interesting artifacts were seen & tidbits of information gleaned from the staff.

Interesting Tidbit: California has, among other things, a State Bird (some kind of quail), State Fish (the garibaldi), State Flower (the California Poppy), a State Insect (the dogfaced butterfly) & - believe it or not - a State Dirt (the staff couldn't remember what it was, though). I guess our government is doing something up there.

The Boy & I also toured one of the men's rooms. I now know where some of my tax dollars go, for, not only do the stalls sport fancy schmancy wooden doors with nice locks on them, but they also have cupholders. Yes, cupholders. I suppose the person that left the coffee ring on the urinal that I posted about a while ago could've used one of those.

Freakin'. Cupholders.

Soon we were on the road again. We made a pitstop to refuel in some little town that seemed to be straight out of a Stephen King novel. It was just. That. Weird. Apparently, there was some altercation that took place before we got there, as the local fuzz were hashing something out with some of the yokels. The whole place looked like it'd fallen out of the early 80's. T, The Boy & my sister went inside to use the facilities, & I was about to join them. That was until I got out of the car & approached the store. Do you know how a bathroom at a park smells? That very distinctive, been-peed-in-&-on-by-vagrants scent? Yeah, I could smell it outside the store, coming from inside the store. And I was standing a good twenty feet from the entrance. Everyone came out & suggested that, if I could, I should just hold it.

Sage advice, apparently.

We made one more stop at a rest stop to eat & take care of the business that we were holding off on after the last town. After a bite to eat & a good stretch, we hit the road again.

Only to get behind the turkey truck again. And this time, one of the birds had died, its limp head hanging out of one of the cages. Nothing like having a dead bird staring at you, glassy-eyed, while driving.

So, a couple of naps later, we finally made it to the home stretch. The scenery had turned from the cornfileds, vineyards & orchards of Central California to the beautiful, lush, green forests of Northern California. I hadn't seen that many trees since the last time we flew to Arkansas. Living down in the desert, I'm just not used to it. Soon, we were driving over a bridge spanning Lake Shasta. And let me tell you, Lake Shasta is one big friggin' lake. The road wound its way around hills & mountains &, I swear, we must've crossed over Lake Shasta about three or four times.

About thirty minutes later, we arrived at our motel & then headed over to see everyone. I hadn't seen my dad in eight years. Amazingly, he hadn't changed much. Of course, the last time he saw The Boy, The Boy was three, so he had changed a wee bit. I hadn't seen my aunt & uncle for about ten years & the two of their children that made it down I hadn't seen since I was probably three myself.


On the second day, we spent more time visiting, going over the family history & looking at old pictures (I even got a few paintings done by my dad & uncle & a really cool photo of my great grandparents & the whole gaggle of kids they had). That evening, we went to a fair that was taking place up in Yreka. It was pretty cool, with it's big 4-H displays & science exhibits. The big draw for me, though, was the abundance of carnival rides made to spin you around in every conceivable direction (sometimes at the same time).

Now, I have a cast iron stomach. I don't get seasick/airsick/carsick/whatever-manner-of-conveyancesick. I love rollercoasters. Love 'em. But, that night, my beloved carnival rides turned against me.

The first ride that The Boy & I went on was some octopus-type jobbie with four cars on each of four arms that spun you silly. We made it through the ride with a wee bit of dizzyness, but nothing unmanageable. My stomach, having not been on one of these rides in a looooong time, was only minorly agitated. I figured that I'd take it easy for a few minutes, let the beast settle a bit & all would be right with the world again. And that would've been fine, except...

We went on the Tornado about ten minutes later.

The Tornado is kind of like the mutant lovechild of the Octopus Ride & the Teacup Ride at Disneyland. Four seats on each of four arms that have a wheel in the middle that you use to spin yourself as the ride spins you & tilts you at a fortyfive degree angle.

Interesting Tidbit: Carnival rides apparently have a sensor that gauges when riders are getting queasy - & then causes the ride to go even longer & faster than it normally would.

My sister, The Boy & I gave our ride tikets the the carny (who was sporting the most enormous 'fro I'd ever seen) & boarded the ride. All was fine as the ride started spinning. We all tried spinning the wheel in the middle to amp up the nausea inducing G-forces we were experiencing. B & The Boy tried getting it to spin fast, but couldn't quite get it up to speed. This was when the stupid manly-man part of my brain took over & determined that I could get this thing humming nicely all by myself, thankyouverymuch.

It was after I had us spinning at about nine hundred RPM that my stomach said "I've had enough! Everybody out!" I let go of the wheel & sat back in my seat, fighting every urge that I had to yak all over. The Boy kept chiding me, telling me to let my legs hang down & to put my hands up. As I didn't want to open my mouth any more than necessary, all I could mutter was a very low, monotone "Shut. Up." He didn't look to happy with me, but he would've been even more unhappy if I'd let loose the way stomach wanted me to.

After what seemed like, seriously, about a week on the ride, we finally stopped & I went looking for a trashcan off in a secluded corner. When I couldn't find one that didn't have an audience, I summoned up all of my willpower & forced myself not to do my grey whale immitation in the middle of the fair. For the record, I have yet to actually get sick after riding a carnival ride.

Yay, me.

The rest of the evening was spent nursing a Pepsi & feeling like I'd been slugged in the gut, all while trying to stay within close proximity to the bathrooms. The ride back to the motel was just as lovely, as I spent the whole time testing the theory that there's a pressure point in the wrist that can stop nausea.

Interesting Tidbit: There really is pressure point that will relieve nausea!


Day Three found us heading up to a park called Castle Crags. As you're driving up the 5 through Shasta, you see nothing but green forest & trees. Everywhere. Then you'll notice this gigantic, bald mountain jutting up from the greenery. That is Castle Crags.

After a drive on a road that was seemingly, purposefully designed by some demented CalTrans engineer to be almost vertical - & one lane - we arrived at a picnic area that afforded us the most stunning view of Mt. Shasta, Castle Crags & another mountain that - I think - was called Grey Mountain or Black Mountain or something to that effect. It was quiet & clean & just...awesome.

There was a trail out of the picnic area that lead - at least according to the signpost - to a campground that was about a mile & a quarter away. My sister, one of my cousins, K, & myself decided to go for a hike & follow the trail.

Interesting Tidbit: I am woefully out of shape. This was confirmed about halfway into the hike.

The trail was, initially (i.e. before we were exhausted), a bunch of gradual slopes & descents. I had never wandered around in a forest like that & was trying to take in my surroundings (while trying to not break my ankle & keeping an eye out for bears). It was really nice. Such a welcome change from the usual hustle & bustle of life.

Now, I know that I walk at a speed of about about four miles an hour. I should be able to cover one & a quarter miles in less than half an hour. Since B,K & I were all keeping the same pace, we were probably walking a bit slower, but even with that & the uphill/downhill of the trail, we still should've been able to make the whole course in about fortyfive minutes.

After probably more than an hour, the rest of our party started getting worried.

We walked. And walked. And walked some more. We followed signs that pointed to the campground until we ran out of signs. After a little more walking & then some debate over the wisdom of going further versus going back to the road & trying to catch a ride up the hill, we decided to opt for Plan B & headed back toward the road. All the while, I kept thinking about how we were the hikers that you hear about the the six o'clock news. Y'know - the stupid kind that trek off into the wild with a sixteen ounce bottle of water that get attacked by rabid ground squirrels. I sized up my sister & my cousin, trying to figure out which one I could take down for their water -

" sister's small, but she's a kicker & could do some damage. On the other hand, I don't know my cousin all that well. She may be able to take me on, too. Man, I'm thirsty."

As we were heading back & I was planning out my strategy, we noticed a previously unseen trail. One with a sign obscured by bushes. One that pointed the correct direction to the campground. One that we'd passed about fifteen minutes before.

Stupid sign...

We headed on down the trail & heard voices coming from, what we hoped, was the campground. I yelled to get their attention & was met with The Boy's voice, telling the others that we were there. Apparently, they had gone to the Ranger's office to get some help finding us. I guess the path we were on (which seemed to be an access road of some sort) would've taken us waaaaaay further off course.

I hadn't been so glad to sit down in a loooong time.

That night, we went back to the house & had dinner, visited for awhile longer & then said our goodbyes. The trip home the next day went quicker than going up there did. I've noticed the past few times that T & I have gone on a trip that I'm just really in no hurry to get home. If I could, I'd just find a place wherever we may be & start anew. Especially this last trip. It was just so nice up there. It was the kind of place T & I have been needing to go to recharge our batteries (although, I think we need a longer time somewhere like that).

Dad, Aunt M, Uncle N - I'd just like to say thank you for your hospitality & for having us up. I just hope that we don't go another eight to ten years before our paths cross again.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Unapproachable, In Every Way*

Last week, I came in to work not feeling quite up to par. As the day wore on, I started having dizzy spells. The next morning, my brain felt like it'd been sucked out with a straw & replaced with a ziplock full of jell-o. I couldn't get a clear thought & had a hard time even doing the simplest tasks. I kept hoping & praying that no one would have any detailed questions for me - like "What's your name?" or "Can you count to three?" or anything like that.

As luck would have it, one of the floor denizens came in with a problem shipment. He explained what was wrong with it & I told him, fighting through the fog that enveloped my head, that he'd need to contact the customer first & that they'd have to request my assistance with the problem.

Now, before I go any further, I must explain that this particular person is a know-it-all & likes to talk over people instead of listening. Oh yeah. Really fun to deal with.

So, after I tell him what needs to be done, he counters with "Well, this order will have to be redone. It's impossible to ship it this way. Blah blah blah." Apparently, no one has ever told him that it's a really, really, reeeeally bad idea to argue with me when I don't feel well. Especially when I'm agitated because my head's so fogged. As he kept talking over me, I finally told him, flat out, in no uncertain terms "I don't care what the problem is! You need to contact the customer, tell them what needs to be done & then I'll get involved."

He then stormed out of the office. As of about two hours later, he still hadn't contacted the customer. It took Irene going to his office & telling him the same thing that I had. Well, probably in a much calmer, nicer way, but the gist was the same.

Shortly after that, Clueless Leader came into the office, asking for some stats. I told her that I was entering the numbers &, if she'd wait a second, I'd have them for her. She told me just to bring them out to her, to which I replied "I'm really dizzy right now. Just hang on & I'll have the numbers for you." But, that's not what she heard me say. Instead, she heard me say that I was "busy" rather than "dizzy."

Cut to about 4p that afternoon. I get called into the principle's office to talk about what had happened that morning. As per usual, they wouldn't just come out & say "Someone complained about such & such" (nor would they bring the person making the complaint in to face me). They wanted to know if something was bothering me or if I needed help with work or if things were overwhelming me & other such nonsense. Finally, after I told then that they were being extremely vague, they brought up the dizzy/busy miscommunication. After that was cleared up, the other matter of snapping at the coworker came up. I told them about feeling under the weather & that the individual kept talking over me instead of listening for five seconds, etc. I was told that they understood, but that I couldn't let me not feeling well affect how I deal with people. Y'see, there's this misconception held by Clueless Leader & the BOMB that I don't get along wth anyone & that people are afraid of dealing with me. Apparently, I am unapproachable.

To which I say - GOOD!!!

Lousy, freakin' crybabies. It's better that they stay clear of me.

I mean, the guy that went crying to CL was in the Navy. What'd he do when his drill sergeant chewed him up one side & down the other in Basic Training? Go whine to his Commanding Officer? UGH!

Frickin' whiny twit...

Anyway, I was given "suggestions" on how to "rebuild the rapport" with the floor denizens who feel that they can't come talk to me. Crap like asking if I can help them out with something & just trying to go out & communicate with them, golly gee willikers!


I just want to grab the higher-ups by the scruffs of their pencil necks & tell them "Look, it's really simple. If I like someone, I'll talk to them. If I don't like them or, better yet, even know them, then I don't talk to them unless it's work related. I DON'T WANT TO GET TO KNOW THESE PEOPLE!!!"

And then I'd thump their noggins together a few times.

*Apologies to the late, great Nat "King" Cole

Friday, July 29, 2005

Gumby I Ain't

Last Friday after work, I joined up with T, The Boy & a couple of his friends at the local regional park for a church function (in name at least; I don't think I saw anyone I recognized there). When it was all over, we made our way back to the parking lot. Now, the path back up the hill to the lot is basically a couple of loooong switchbacks. Being tired from work & swimming, I decided to cut up the slope to the lot rather than follow the walkway. I had in one hand a grocery bag with my clothes in it &, in the other, a small cooler.

Things were fine until I got to the guardrail. An evil guardrail. One that takes perverse pleasure in growing four inches while certain non-flexible, cooler carrying people straddle it. I found this out after I got my right leg over & was preparing to hoist it's counterpart over next. As I brought my left foot over, it caught on the guardrail (evil, stupid guardrail), causing me to start falling over to my right. As I did that, my right foot, which had been firmly planted on the ground, decided to roll under me. In effect, I was standing on my ankle. All two hundred & whatever pounds of me. To make matters worse, I couldn't get the cooler & shopping bag out of my hands. I tried leaning on the cooler, but couldn't get the leverage I needed to get off my ankle.

So, with a mild oath (it was a church function, in name, at least) & a mighty "heave ho," I wrapped my left leg around the guardrail. Being made of a skinny piece of sheet metal, the rail didn't offer much in the way of cushioning. Not wanting my foot to snap off & tumble down the hill, I pulled myself up & managed to get said appendage back under me. I then swung my left leg over. This is when I found out what happens when you apply a death grip to a rail. I now have a nice, long bruise across my calf & a matching one on my inner thigh.

Needless to say, walking has been less than pleasant since then.
The Post With No Name

Ugh...for the first time in, since I can remember, I've actually got some quiet time here at the office (thank you, User Conference). Work has been mega busy for the past month building up to the big, grand extravaganza that is the annual User Conference Freakout. So, besides working like a dog, what else has been going in this little corner of the world, you ask?

Lots, actually. I think I've done more in the year & change that T's been out here than I have in my whole life. Lessee - there was the Grant-Lee Phillips concert down at Largo in Hollyweird at the end of last month (a Father's Day gift from T), where we found out that you now have to add two hours to your drive time if you want to make it anywhere in LA on time. There was the briefly alluded to trip to Tulare for a family reunion, where we actually felt more like party crashers since we were on the distant, way far, be sure to send a postcard side of the family. That same weekend, the annual Yucaipa Freedom Fest was observed, once again, from the comfort of our own home (why pay $2 a head when I can watch it for free at home in my comfy shorts?). Of course, it wouldn't be the Fourth of July without some fool trying to light the hills on fire - had a front row seat to that one. Another fire charred the hillside a couple weeks later. Hopefully unrelated.

On the cinematic entertainment front, Batman Begins was seen, with much ooo-ing & ahh-ing by yours truly (mini review - the movie rocked! This is the Batman movie that should've been made in the first place - sorry, Tim Burton. Nothin' but love for you, my brother.) Disaster was averted when Tim & Kevin both advised against War of the Worlds & Fantastic Four. Still have to go see Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, though. At home, Breakin' & its better known (but, surprisingly, much worse) sequel, Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, have made their way into my video collection (reviews to come soon), as has Bail Out starring Germany's favorite American export David Hasselhoff (I found it at the .99 cent store - you just know that it's a quality flick. I mean, don't all movie masterpieces come in flat cardboard covers?). I expect much cheese from the Hoff, so expect a review of that one as well (I know you're all dying for that one). Also, reviews for two Sci-Fi channel classics Sabretooth & Attack of the Sabretooth are in the works. (Thoughts of creating a review site are being mulled over as I study HTML code) Stay tuned.

Top all of the above off with a trip to Kingman & a separate trip waaaay up to the northern tippy-top part of the state to see my dad & my new venture as a volunteer at the local museum &, as you can see, I'll have plenty to write about.

Oh, & road rage. Can't forget about the road rage stories.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Elwyn's Imagination

My friend in Australia, Elly, has decided to join the Blogsphere.

She likes vegemite & informed me one time that Australians do not say "Crikey!" all the time & pretty much think Steve Irwin's a putz.

Go & say g'day!

Friday, July 01, 2005

You Go, Girl!

Shields vs. Cruise: Round 2

I really wish someone would shut him up. Really.
Tulare Or Not Tulare...

In the morning, T, my mom, my sister & I are heading up north a bit to a family reunion.

I fully anticipate that T & I will be the youngest people there.

Should be fun.

And what are you doing this weekend?

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Guess I Need To Buy The Book

I took the Church of Travolta...uh, I mean, Scientology Emotional Tone Level test. Well, actually, my alterego Ted McGinley, Inactive Man of Action (named because, according to the test, I am "inactive, but capable of action." Oh, & I said my name was Ted McGinley. No offense, Ted. Nothin' but love for you, my friend.) According to the Church of mean, Scientology, I have an Emotional Tone Level of 3.5. Which means:

You have a very good value as a friend.
You are well loved by others.
Your possessions are in good condition.
Others understand you well.
You have the potential to be incredibly successful.

But, alas, I "still suffer from momentary spells of stress, anxiety, unhappiness and irrational anger."

Which, of course, makes me stressed out, anxious, unhappy & consumed with irrational anger!

It's like they know me or something.

Open Letter To All Perveyors Of The News

Dear News Peddlers -





Thursday, June 23, 2005

Happy Belated B-Day, MLCotW!

Nope, I hadn't forgotten - MLCotW turned two on the 21st. Take a stroll with me down memory lane & look back at some of the better posts from the past year:

Breaking News

Bad Combination

One Less Stop For The Great Pumpkin

Border Run

Fourteen Years

What About Thirteen?

Born For Me

Geek Out!

I Did A Little Christmas Shopping

It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Hello, 2005!


Webster, A Teletubbie & The Batmobile

Further Proof That I Will Eat Just About Anything


He Hasn't Written Anything For Two Weeks & This Is The Best He Came Up With?

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor - This post has brought more traffic to this site than any other

"Feelin' guilty, feelin' scared, hidden cameras everywhere" - Destroyer, The Kinks

Q: When Will I Learn?

Happy Anniversary!

I just want to say thank you, Loyal Readers, for your patronage & your friendship. Without you, I probably would've given this up long ago.

Here's looking to the next year!

That was my day. How was yours?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Did You Feel That?

Well, despite being on top of the quake (well, we we're actually downthe hill at the time), T & I didn't feel a thing. A few water bottles jumped & some of my lanterns walked about, but not serious damage was to be had. Quakes are just another part of life when you live on a faultline. (Literally! I can see & drive through the San Andreas Fault everyday.)

Thanks for your thoughts, emails & phone calls, Loyal Readers. Y'all are the best! When we finally have beachfront property here, you're all invited for a BBQ.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Wanna Know How To Kill An Otherwise Good Day?

Put your car in reverse & find that the reverse gear has gone to Reverse Gear Heaven.

Lousy gear...

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Monday, June 06, 2005

A Long Time Ago In A Theatre Not Too Far Away...

OK, I think I've got enough of my mental notes together (gee, you think after having seen it three times now?) to make a cohesive, non-biased (yeah, right...) review of "Revenge of the Sith," the third, & unfortunately, last, of the Star Wars movies. Well, at least until Lucas decides he needs a new wing added to Skywalker Ranch.

But, before we get to the review itself, let's take a look at the trailers, in no particular order (hey, I had to sit through them three times).

First up - "War of the Worlds," the new Tom Cruise/Steven Speilberg collaboration. Lots of destruction & things going "BOOM." It looks a wee bit too much like "Independence Day," though. Most everyone already knows the plot of "War," which, now that I think about it, ID4 followed the exact same story - aliens coming to take over, defeated by a virus (granted, the one in ID4 was a computer virus, but, you get the idea), so the trailer focuses on explosions, people running, explosions, people screaming, explosions, explosions &, just for good measure - explosions. We might see it in the theatre, but it's more likely that we'll be waiting until this one "explodes" onto DVD.

Next is - groan...- "Stealth," or, as Kevin put it, "Top Gun 2: Electric Boogaloo." The short description of the movie is a robot plane gains self awareness & goes on a rampage. It looks like a mix of "Top Gun," "Firefox," "Flight of the Navigator" & "2001". Not a good combination. As I was momentarily distracted when the trailer showed scenes of Jessica Beil in a bikini, I really can't remember who else is in the movie. I think Jamie Foxx was in there somewhere. High cheeseball potential, only because the movie looks like it's trying to be too cool & "extreme" for its own good, much like "Wing Commander." Which is not a good thing. I think I'll wait for this one to come out on Sci-Fi or USA.

Third up - "The Fantastic Four." This one looks to have some potential. The FF were never one of my favorite comic book teams. I had (still do, as a matter of fact) a few issues, but either because they didn't grab my attention or just the fact that I was already following too many series, I just never got into them all that much. Top that off with the fact that I still am critical of superhero movies until I see a bit more of the trailers & read about them & whatnot. I've been burned just a few too many times by 'em. But, from what I've read, & now, have seen, this looks like it might be fun. The effects look good (although, the Thing looks like he's got a bad skin condition). It's got Dr. Doom, who was always a pretty cool bad guy. And the FF's powers look to be pretty well done. I just hope that the makers of the film took a hint from Spider-Man & stay faithful to the source material. I'll probably be seeing this one.

And, last (at least, it's the only other one I can recall) - "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," aka the movie that broke up Brad & Jen. Once again, things explode, Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie exchange quips & more thing blow up (I'm sensing a trend in this summer's movies). As far as actors go, Pitt's alright (I was impressed with him in "12 Monkeys"), but Jolie...I'm sorry, she just don't do it for me. I hated - hated - "Tomb Raider" & I've never really seen the allure of Ms. Jolie (big, poofy lips & tattoos - no mi gusta). Vince Vaughn's character was the only one that made me laugh at all. If I don't see this one, I think I'll still die a happy man.

I think there actually may have been one more, but toward the end of the previews, I really didn't care anymore.

And now, on to the reason that I can now die a happy man - "Revenge of the Sith!"

From the moment the title shot onto the screen & the "Star Wars" theme started up, the hair on the back of my neck was on end & my jaw went slack. All three times that I saw it, I just sat in stunned silence as I watched the events unfold on the screen. I even, uh...felt something in my eye that caused it to tear up a bit (yeah, that's the ticket!).

I don't even know how to describe the movie without giving away too much to those of you who haven't seen it yet. I mean, everyone knows how it ultimately ends. It's the events leading up to it, though, that are hard to explain without going into too much detail. The events of the first two movies, which at times seemed a bit disjointed & confusing, all came together here. And while the first say, two thirds, of the movie lagged at times, the last third more than made up for it. In fact, the movie as a whole more than made up for any gripes I may have had (& there were very few, to be honest) with the first two.

The battles are enormous - ships everywhere. Laser cannons a'blazin'. Explosions (yes, plenty of those). It was almost as exhausting to watch as the Battle of Helm's Deep in "The Two Towers." And more lightsaber battles packed into one SW movie than in any other. And I'm not talking about the big battles with a bunch of nameless Jedi. I'm talking one-on-one or two-on-one duels. Those alone are absolutely amazing. And General Greivous rocks! He put up waaaay more of a fight than Darth Maul, & he's not even trained to use the Force.

One of the complaints that I've heard (among many) is that the second third of the movie sags a bit, & I do agree with that. The schmaltzy scenes between Anakin & Padme were just a wee bit stiff, as if they were written by someone with extremely limited social interaction skills who has never kissed a girl (which is not intended as a slam against Uncle George - I mean, he's got a couple kids, so I imagine he's kissed a least twice).

The zero-g water opera scene, where Palpatine continues to draw Anakin closer to the Dark Side, was a perfect example of how well written the other scenes could've been. Granted, Palpatine's not hitting on Anakin, but he is seducing him, nonetheless. The scene answers a few questions (who's sort of your daddy, Anakin?) & also sheds some light on who Palpatine really is. You see that his rise to power did not happen by chance, but was orchestrated by him, from his humble beginnings as a senator from Naboo to his ascension to ultimate power as the Emperor. He's been pulling the strings & playing everyone against each other for a long time.

Shortly after that, the action cranks up again. Anakin is swayed to the Dark Side & the slaughter of the Jedi begins. This all leads up to the final battle that every single rabid fan has been waiting for - Obi-Wan versus Anakin. And this fight delivers the goods, Loyal Readers. Even though you know how it's going to end, you still see so many times when it looks like Obi-Wan is going to buy the moisture farm. To see Anakin finally be consumed by Vader, though, is sad. To see him lash out the one person that he loved & wanted to protect more than anything & the other person who was more than just a mentor - he was like a brother...I dunno how to explain it. "Sad" doesn't even begin to describe it.

The scene that I was absolutely sure was going to be the ultimate, tippy top, pinnacle of all scenes in the series...disappointed me the most. You see, I had read bits & pieces of the script before I went to the movie &, being me, I read the end. More to the point, I read the scene where Vader is finally dressed in his black armor. There's fear in Anakin/Vader's eyes when the mask is fitted into place. The first time you see him in the complete getup, the scene is silent. And then -

he takes his first, artificially respirated breath.

And then, after what was possibly the most awesome scene in the entire saga - things got silly.

The rest of the scene can be summed up in one word: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Having watched waaaay too many bad movies, the scene that followed, where Vader learns of Padme's death (c'mon, you all knew she died) felt strangely familiar. I'm telling ya, I've spent far more time than is probably healthy thinking of how much better I could've done that scene. Far, far, faaaaar better. It didn't ruin the rest of the movie for me, but it just could've been so much better.

After that, the rest of the film deals with tying up the loose ends that lead to Episode Four. All very nicely done. I think Lucas did a good job of making sure most all of the lingering questions were answered.

I did learn a few things from this movie, though:

Naboo women have an insanely short gestation period The course of the movie seems to have taken place over say, maybe, a month. Padme goes from telling Anakin she's preggers to poppin' the twins out in something like ten days. Perhaps Anakin had been away for the past eight months & she hadn't been able to tell him. If so, that's sloppy writing on the part of the screenwriter. I mean, transmissions can be sent across the galaxy in the SW universe in the blink of an eye. Are they trying to tell me that she couldn't get a call through to Anakin in that time?

And, on the same topic, Naboo women experience short labor & can pop out two seven plus pound babies with the greatest of ease. I imagine many women watching the birth scene were rolling their eyes & going "Oh, puh-leeeese!"

I hope this isn't some kind of blasphemy, but I also learned that Obi-Wan is a pretty sorry Jedi. In fact, pretty much all the Jedi do is sit around on their custom made La-Z-Boys. When they do go to battle, they're mowed down in short order (Kit Fisto, I'm looking at you). I mean, there's a scene where a Padawan kicks more baddie tail than any of the other Jedi "Masters." Well, OK - other than Yoda. Maybe the Jedi Order just got fat. I dunno.

Princess Leia's hairstyle choices are apparently genetic Just watch the first scene that Padme's in. Tell me that that 'do doesn't look a wee bit familiar. I dares ya.

All in all, this was an excellent movie. It made up for, & even improved, Episodes I & II. Things make a bit more sense in the series as a whole now.

Plus, Jar Jar Binks had no speaking parts. Always a good thing.

This is easily my third favorite movie in the series.

Revenge of the Sith: Four & A Half Lightsabers