Sunday, February 24, 2008

Phrases I Need To Learn In Spanish

When not dumbfounded by the antics of young Emerson or the several appearances of his mother’s whale tail, something else happened at the carwash Sunday that resulted in the epiphany found in the title of this here post.

Let me give you a little non-Emerson or whale tail related background; the whole reason for going to this particular vehicle de-dirting station was due to the fact that I had – a coupon! And not just any coupon, nosireebob! This was a coupon for the extra special wash/wax/hot wax/tire shine & air freshener spritz deal which usually costs about $15, all for the low, low price of $10.99 ($9.99 every day except Friday-Sunday). A pretty schweet deal at a business that I’ve always enjoyed patronizing.

All was going well with the wash (hell child & unsolicited thong appearances aside). The Cruiser was in & out of the wash cycle before The Boy & I knew it. Quick as a flash, our attendant was out drying, buffing & polishing nearly every inch of the car. With a tap of the horn & a twirl of his drying rag, we were soon to be on our way; but first, there was the issue of our non-existent air freshener. And the fact that our attendant spoke not a lick of English.

I take that back; he knew exactly one word that sounded sorta English-y.

The conversation went something like this:

Me: Um…did you add the air freshener?
Attendant, puzzled nodding: Yuh
Me: The air freshener – did you add it?
Attendant, uneasy nodding: Yuh?
Me: Is the air freshener just really mild? Because I can’t smell anything.
Attendant, panicked nodding: Yuh!

And with that, he ran off to get a translator, who told him to add the requested (& purchased) air freshener.

He returned with a squirt bottle full of liquefied new car scent & proceeded to liberally spray the floor mats of the Cruiser. Actually, “spray” would be a gross understatement.

“Drown” would be a more accurate description.

We tipped our monolingual friend & took off, soon realizing that a) the smell of the air freshener was one of the most noxious smells that I’ve not produced myself & b) we couldn’t roll the windows down without smearing them with water. Thus, we were forced to crank the a/c up in a vain attempt to blow fresh, non-new car scented air in our face & not pass out.

So, having survived Emerson & the thong monster & a chemical attack from a foreign national on my car, I’ve decided to create a list of helpful phrases in Spanish to carry around, just in case I come across another car wash employee armed with a Squirt Gun O’ Terror:

Where is the bathroom, please? ¿Dónde está el cuarto de baño, por favor?

May I please use your phone? ¿Puedo satisfacer uso su teléfono?

How much is my bail? ¿Cuánto es mi fianza?

Do you accept cash? ¿Usted acepta efectivo?

Would you accept my sister? She is a hard worker. ¿Usted aceptaría a mi hermana? Ella es trabajador duro.

Please only spray a little air freshener in my car. Pine scent, if you have it. Rocíe por favor solamente un poco ambientador del aire en mi coche. Olor del pino, si usted lo tiene.

Please cease the chemical weapons assault on my car! ¡Cese por favor el asalto químico de las armas en mi coche!

Where are the wookiee’s pants? (You never know) ¿Dónde están los pantalones de los wookiee?

Emerson! Open your ears! (Maybe Emerson only understood Spanish?) ¡Emerson! ¡Ábrase los oídos!

Ma’am, your thong is showing. La señora, su correa está demostrando.

Got any more, Loyal Readers?

Monday, February 18, 2008

We're Huge In Belgium

Behold - one of the coolest things in the world:

Darth in the Sky

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Meme Madness

Amy sent this to me &, as she answered “Jay” to question #24 (“Who is least likely to respond?”), I decided that I’d not only prove her wrong, but I’d also show her up by stealing the questions & turning them into a meme post.

Because I’m original like that, yo!

The 2008 Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends

1. What is your occupation? Shipping Wage Monkey.
2. What color are your socks right now? White bootie socks (it was supposed to be warm today; needless to say, I’m freezing). (*Edit: It’s warmed up now! Yay for bootie socks!)
3. What are you listening to right now? The voices in my head.
4. What was the last thing that you ate? A blueberry breakfast bar thingy. (*Edit: I’ve since had lunch – this was a long meme!)
5. Can you drive a stick shift? If I had to. I’m terribly uncoordinated &, as I drive 2 footed in an automatic, have the unfortunate tendency to push the clutch in when I want to brake. It’s usually a pretty scary moment.
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Probably one of those that never get used, like burnt umber or yellow/green.
7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? T
8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? But, of course! (Now, where’s my $5, Amy?)
9. How old are you today? 36. I think.…uhhh…pass! Pass!
10. Favorite drink? Soda pop, iced tea.
11. What is your favorite sport to watch? I groove on the X Games when they come around.
12. Have you ever dyed your hair? Nope. I have had my head shaved though. Does “scalp” count as a color?
13. Pets? The Boy has a goldfish & I’ve finally convinced T that rats aren’t icky, so I may have one again in the future.
14. Favorite food? The shorter list would be my non-favorites. Pizza & cheeseburgers are probably at the top of the favorites list, though.
15. Last movie you watched? Cloverfield – yeah!
16. Favorite Day of the year? Saturday. All of ‘em.
17. What do you do to vent anger? Growl. Grumble. Make up new swear words. Blow things up in videogames.
18. What was your favorite toy as a child? My Star Wars (duh!) & GI Joe toys!
19. What is your favorite season? Fall
20. Hugs or kisses? Either way, it’s dinner & a movie first, Slick.
21. Cherry or Blueberry? Both! Although, we found through experimentation (not my own stupidity, this time) that berries & pears do not a good pie filling make.
22. Do you want your friends to email you back? That would imply that I emailed them in the first place.
23. Who is most likely to respond? See #22.
24. Who is least likely to respond? See #22.
25. What happened to #25? Yeah, Amy – where’d it go?
26. When was the last time you cried? I seem to recall a tear or two when I first saw T coming down the aisle in her wedding dress. And I cried like a frickin’ baby when “Townies” was cancelled. Poor Molly Ringwald – will she ever get another break?
27. What is on the floor of your closet? Carpeting. Oh, & the Super Bucket O’ Dirty Clothes (currently unoccupied).
28. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending this to? Again, see #22. Way to rub in the whole lack of friends, meme…
29. Who is the friend you have had the shortest that you are sending this to? *sob!*
30. Favorite smells? Of my own or that I’ve come across? Oh…um…the ocean/beach. Fresh cut lawn. Cookies, cookies, cookies!
31. Who inspires you? Clowns, balloons & carny folk. Oh…”inspires,” not “perspires.” I wondered why the question sounded wrong.
32. What are you afraid of? Clowns, balloons & balloon making clowns. Not a fear, so much as a deep dislike.
33. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? I don’t believe I’ve had a spicy burger, so I’ll go with B – cheese.
34. Favorite car? The late 80’s Lamborghini Countach. Beauty, speed & horrible gas mileage. What more could you want out of a dream car?
35. Favorite cat breed? Fried.
36. Number of keys on your key ring? Geez, didn’t I do a post on this a few months ago? Pay attention, meme!
37. How many years at your current job? I’m in my 13th glorious year with The Company.
38. Favorite day of the week? Any that don’t have the word “work” in front of them.
39. How many states have you lived in? As a resident? Only Cali. That I lived in whilst training? 2 more – Texas & Mississippi.
40. Do you think you're funny? Well, duh! I’m a friggin’ riot!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

4 Things

T sent these questions to me in an email a few days ago. I answered the questions & then replied to everyone that she’d sent it to, which explains the weird looks & hushed tones at church on Sunday.


4 Things

A) Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Wage Monkey
2. Box boy at Stater Bros grocery store (for a whole two weeks - apparently, speed & the ability to find your way around the store are core requirements - who knew?)
3. Switchboard operator (a job that's every bit as thrilling as the name implies)
4. US Air Force, handling top secret messages & whatnot

B) Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. Star Wars
2. The Empire Strikes Back
3. Return of the Jedi
4. Pippi on the High Seas (just kidding about #2)

C) Four places I have lived:
1. Yucaipa
2. Redlands
3. Rialto
4. San Antonio, TX/Biloxi, MS (at the same time - there was a warp in time & space that allowed me to occupy two places at once; stupid physicists don't know anything!)

D) Four TV Shows that I watch:
1. Heroes
2. Lost
3. Sabado Gigante! (a variety show on Telemundo that goes on for a bajillion hours straight)
4. TV shows that I inadvertently record because I forgot to set the clock on the VCR (they're never as good as what I really wanted to record)

E) Four cool places I have been:
1. The refrigerated storage area in Staters
2. A cemetery in The Middle of Nowhere, Arkansas (that's really its name!)
3. The shower when Tammie leaves the bathroom door open (brrr!)
4. The couch tonight after Tammie reads #3 (just kidding! I love you, Honey! Please quit looking up divorce attorneys!)

F) People who e-mail me regularly
1. Customer Service Rep's
2. Spambots
3. Friend requests on Myspace that turn out to be Spambots
4. Myself (I'm lonely)

G) Four Favorite foods
1. The first two slices of pizza
2. The next two slices of pizza
3. The following two slices of pizza
4. The last two slices of pizza

H) Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Any
2. Where
3. But
4. Here

I) Four friends I think will respond:
1. The Spambots
2. ETS
3. Amy

J) Things I am looking forward to this year:
1. Sitting on the Lido deck with a foofy, non-alcoholic drink in my hand
2. Meeting Tammie's classmates at her reunion as she tries to prove to everyone, once & for all, that I'm not her "imaginary husband"
3. Seeing my sibling's & their kids this summer
4. Answering more email surveys

Monday, February 11, 2008

Super Happy Fun Day!

Today is Foundation Day in Japan.

Tiny women’s undergarments for everyone!
The Answer!

For those two of you who played the “Name That Fib” game that I posted a couple weeks ago – all 2 of you (3, if you count The Boy, who played offline), here’s the answers to my list of interesting facts about me - & the one fib:

1. I’ve been in a music video. – True; I was in the video for Great White’s “Call It Rock & Roll!” OK, I was technically there when it was filmed & the camera panned over the crowd where I was standing. Unfortunately, the light cannons that swooped over the crowd managed to not be on me when the camera went by, so all you can see is a big group of people in a shadow.


2. I’ve found myself in the arms of a queen. – True; Apparently, when I was an infant, I was held by a Rose Queen. I was irresistible to women, even as a baby. They swooned, I tells ya – swooned!

3. I’ve had my artwork exhibited in public. – True; In 1st grade, we were given an assignment to make a Christmas card for the city that we lived in, Colton, that would be blown up & put on a billboard. The only stipulation: we couldn’t put “Merry Christmas Colton” on it (strange, as this was long before rampant PCness overtook everyone’s common sense). So, I made a picture of Santa in a sleigh being pulled by Rudolph – under a banner that read “Merry Christmas Colton” (no one was going to tell this little Rembrandt what to paint. I’ve since named the picture “Vato Santa,” as, because of the abundance of white background in the picture, Santa’s beard didn’t show up very well, so we painted it black, making it look like Santa’s rockin’ a goatee). All of this led to an article & picture in the local paper, as well.

Crap…I just realized that I spent my entire 15 minutes of fame in 1st grade. It’s all been downhill since then.

4. I’ve had an out-of-body experience. True; No, really! When I was about 12 years old, I passed out & hit my head on a cinderblock. While I was out, I could see myself - from up in the air! I could see one of my friends trying to wake me up & his sister running for help. Fortunately, no tunnels with bright lights at the end were involved & I recovered with a sweet scar on my head.

Chicks dig scars.

5. I hold dual citizenship: US & Canadian. – False; For some reason (I dunno, maybe because all three of the participants know me?) this was the one that everyone picked as a total fabrication. Maybe I should’ve gone with my first choice: US & Mongolian.

6. I’ve never drank, smoked or taken illicit drugs. – True; I’ve watched family suffer from the effects of all three, so I figured I didn’t need to tempt fate. Besides, I get enough alcohol from Ny-Quil.

7. When someone says that something is “better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick,” I know, firsthand, just how true that is. True; when I was about 6 or 7 years old, some friends & I were sword fighting with tree branches. The last thing I remember seeing before running off screaming, certain that my eyeball was hanging off the end of the stick, was the tip of one of the branches. Fortunately, it hit where my eyeball & socket meet, so the branch missed hitting anything vital.

8. I’m related to poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, former Vice-President Dan Quayle & pilgrim John Alden. True; Longfellow & Quayle are both direct descendants of John Alden, as am I. For those not up on their history, Alden was one of the Pilgrims that came over on the Mayflower.

He was also portrayed by Elmer Fudd in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

9. My grandfather was a WWI vet, my dad a WWII vet, my step-dad a Korean War vet & I’m a Gulf War vet. True; My grandfather (on my dad’s side) was stationed overseas during WWI; my father was a radar operator on the USS Grapple in WWII; my step-dad, after finding out that he was a US citizen & having already joined the Royal Air Force, was given the option to return to the US, so long as he entered the draft. He did - & the Korean War broke out, wherein the Army sent him to Germany; & I joined the Air Force about a year before Desert Shield/Storm. I just knew something like that would happen.

10. I have a hard time differentiating left from right &, as a result, have resorted to just pointing & saying “Thataway.” True; Although my internal compass is seldom wrong & I can almost always find North by “feel” alone, I have a defective right/left processor. Since people asking which way to go frequently need an answer fast & they don’t have time for me to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, I just point when giving directions.

So, there you have it. Congrats to Amy, ETS & The Boy. Your prize of a hearty pat on the back & a “Job well done!” is in the mail.

Yesterday, whilst washing my car at the Orange Empire Car Wash, a very nice & none too cheap carwash, The Boy & I had the pleasure of meeting 1 ½ year old Emerson & his mother, a so-so attractive woman in her 30’s who drove some fancy-schmancy, $35,000+ SUV.

Of course, by “pleasure,” I mean “unmitigated, slack-jawed horror.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. Emerson seemed to be an average 1 ½ child, prone to sticking everything in arm’s reach in his mouth, including, but not limited to, every piece of candy that the operators of the carwash unwisely placed at ground level. I guess they figured, much like me, that most parents would contain their hellions demon spawn little angels & not let them tear up the displays.

They hadn’t counted on the breeders, apparently.

We watched & listened, as Emerson’s mother, trying to talk to a friend of hers that was there with her & pay for the carwash, did nothing to stop Emerson beyond saying “Emerson! No! Emerson! Emerson! No! Emerson! Etc” Finally, after he opened a box of mints, spilled some on the floor & popped a few in his mouth, his Mother of the Year candidate parent picked him up – but, not before closing the tin & putting it back in the display. (It should be noted that she did come back in & pay for the candy - & complained about having to get back in the line, which consisted of me & one other gentleman)

Oh, did I mention that on the few times she bent down to discipline her child, we were treated to about 3 inches of whale tail sticking out of the back of her pants? Thanks for the show, Emerson’s mom.

Then, it just got better. We went outside to wait for the car. It was here that Emerson decided that the patio wasn’t fun enough & that the parking lot would be much more thrilling. It was also here where my jaw hit the floor & I almost openly wept for the future of the human race, as she said to dear, sweet little Emerson, & I quote, “Emerson! Open your ears!”

Yes, Loyal Readers, she told her 1 ½ year old toddler, who couldn’t do more than squeal & say “No!” & probably couldn’t find his ears if you asked him to, to “open his ears.”

After that, her truck was ready &, when she took her eyes off of Emerson for a second, he dashed out into the parking lot again. I pointed this out to her, but she didn’t seem too concerned. To which I shrugged my shoulders & said “Meh.”