Friday, October 30, 2009

Three for the price of none

Tonight I needed a coat hanger. This is not good news in our house, since I needed it to try to fix the dishwasher.

The need of a wire coat hanger, I have found, is rarely good news. It's a locked car door, something stuck in the gas tank of my lawn mower, a plate stuck in the back of the dishwasher, or even (in the old days) poor TV reception.


Hate crimes are in the news. There is a movement to expand the definition of "hate crime" when a murder is committed against someone "different" than the alleged committer of the crime. Well, duh...we're all different, and has anyone heard of a murder not being a hate crime? Is there a case where someone MURDERED someone they had good feelings toward at the time of the act?


And finally, the people who are doing the TV listings for shows after football or baseball games have apparently never watched one or they would know that Seinfeld will not be airing 2 hours after the start of a World Series Game.

Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The fact that a rabbit can't lay an egg was my first clue...

Dear Jill,

I appreciate your email to the station letting us know that you can get us an interview with Santa Claus for a future broadcast.

In past years, we were interested in an interview with Mr. Claus (on a personal rather than professional level), but have been unable to get him to return our calls or our emails. Also, we suspect that our letters to him (addressed to the North Pole) were either not delivered or ignored, as they have consistently gone unanswered. Checking with colleagues has shown them to have an experience much like ours in this area.

Our other experiences with Santa have been unsatisfactory also. We have observed even those who were naughty instead of nice receiving gifts, in some cases in a disproportionate amount to our gifts. We feel his diligence in obtaining information in this area is misguided, sloppily done, or not done at all.

But the problem, we feel, is more insidious that just incompetence. Things such as duplicate gifts, lack of batteries included with gifts, uneaten cookies and the milk mustache our parents have sported on Christmas morning has led us to doubt the existence of this gentleman in the first place.

To be blunt, we think you’ve invented him. Our investigation supports this theory.

In closing, we’ve alerted the Better Business Bureau and hope that you will limit your offers of interviews to actual people, not ones created to make us behave during the month of December.


P.S. And don’t send us the Easter Bunny thing next year either.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Someone in England (A Lord Stern who is the Climate EXPERT???) has said the way to save the planet is to stop eating meat.

I, for one, agree that this will save the planet. For the cows, chickens, sheep and pigs, that is. The rest of us would be in serious trouble.

I have no statistics to support this, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the number of animals made of meat right now is a rather significant figure. And to stop eating them would mean we would have to FEED them into old age, unless this gentleman suggests we slaughter them and take them to a landfill or something which would probably make the vegetarians rather angry since many of them have a problem with humans making dead animals period, not just the eating of them.

So we’d need to go out and spay/neuter them (although we could pick one of the two and it would have the same effect) in order to keep them from overpopulating the planet. This would be rather pricey.

And how about the economic effect of telling everyone working in the meat industry that in order to save the planet, they can neither profit from nor eat the spoils of the industry that until yesterday, they owed their livelihood to? That’s a long question, but I think you see where I am going with this.

And if we (meaning the countries with animals made of meat) tried to do away with them, the starving people of the world (who can’t get corn because some idiot wants to make gasoline out of it) would probably politely request that we send these “worthless” animals to them for food. But if we did this, WE would be the starving people, so let's not waste a stamp and just keep them here.

Yo...Stern…IT’S TOO LATE to stop the world from eating meat. Think of something else. But, I admit, it will be hard to top this one.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Well, I don’t get mad when you do it…

My apologies need some work.

In most situations, I’m perfectly willing to admit my mistakes, whether tangible or not.

I guess my philosophy is that if you are mad, I’ll say I’m sorry. Even when the reason is mysterious to me.

The problem is when my performance is less than convincing. Such as when I say it too soon. Or too late. I need some kind of guide for creating an atmosphere of believability when I humble myself and admit that yes, I left the toilet seat up, I’m sorry for it and it won’t ever happen again.

I mean, how can leaving it UP cause bodily harm?

Monday, October 26, 2009

The not-so-silent killer...

Every cell phone call you make takes five minutes off your life. We all know that. But the real killer is the calls that are being made around you.

When a cell phone is used, about half of the noise in the air is absorbed into the head by the user and the other half floats around in the air. The combination of mainstream and sidestream phone calls makes up environmental cell phone noise.

Also known as secondhand cell phone noise, this plays a part in more health problems than you might realize. No one should be forced to have their head poisoned with second hand cell phone noise.

If someone is using a phone in your area, crouch down so that the cancer causing waves go over your head on the way to the tower or if you can’t crouch down, ask the user to stand on a chair during his or her call.


But if you’re a user and you’ve tried everything…remember, trying to quit “cold turkey” by throwing away your phone and charger just won’t work. Odds are you’ll be back at the store buying more within a day or two as the chemical imbalance in your body cries out for the endorphins released by a text message or phone call. That’s why we offer the phone patch. A harmless patch that you put on your body that rings every three minutes, then every four minutes and so on until you’ve quit without even knowing it.

Call today (but use a land line)…1-800-PATCH ME. We’ll ship you six weeks worth of fake text messages and inane conversation that will rid you of your cell phone urges forever.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thanks, Google!

Once upon a time, I wanted to be a newspaper columnist.

I would be witty and occasionally wise and always entertaining. But then I found out you didn’t apply to be a columnist, instead you started by writing obits, then if you were lucky you’d get to write feature stories about the 4-H fair, and then if someone died, you might get to write a sports story. If you did that well and you really had good fortune, right before your 59th birthday, you’d get that column with your picture on the page next to your diatribe on the Designated Hitter that would be read and adored by millions.

They called it “paying dues,” but I was broke and couldn’t afford it. And then (not right away, it took about 15 years) along came blogging, which has given me a forum to discuss at whatever length I want, any subject I want, as long as it doesn’t make wife mad or my parents wonder what they did wrong.

And you never know what might happen next.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

And they don't always match...

My life seems headed toward “sock drawer” analogy.

Occasionally in my life, I’ve had too many socks for my drawer. But it always seemed like I could get one more pair in there…I’d cram them in…and then somehow get the door shut. Then, I’d find another pair. Same method. I wondered, sometimes, just how many more pairs I could get in there. Five, Ten? Who knew?

And this where my life is heading. I seem to be taking on (or negotiating toward) more stuff all the time…but it somehow fits in there. Seventy basketball games in 83 days? Sure, cram it in. Start a new business? Yeah, fine. Do your own yard work? Uh, ok…

To make room for my new socks, sometimes I’d have to throw away an old pair. But usually that would only come when they fell apart.

And I know I could get a bigger drawer. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The start of my next novel

At the immigration counter, I wistfully looked down at the cyan-colored burlap tourniquet I had fastened to my arm to stop the blood flow.

This will be tough to explain, I thought.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I need to stop reading Ayn Rand...

This past Saturday I found myself at the Music Festival listening to the tunes being sent up by the live artists. I looked around and noticed just about everyone had a toe tap or a hand slap...something to the beat of the music.

I meanwhile, just stood there.

I've got a little rhythm, but it only shows up during Dancing with the Stars or for no reason whatsoever...this is somewhat annoying to those are then forced to grab the hand or the pen that I am keeping a clandestine, unknown time with.

It's not that I'm marching to the beat of a different drummer, it's that a drummer isn't required or when one is present, I won't acknowledge that it even exists.

And if you are sitting there wondering what I'm talking about, you're not any different than someone that charged me $75 to listen.

Monday, October 19, 2009

And the national color would be pink...

Tonight I learned what the world would be like in a Gracie controlled environment.

1. You would go on Red and Stop on Green. She's not sure what to do about yellow.
2. The speed limit would be 80. At least.
3. There would be no bedtime.
4. There would be better tasting toothpaste.

There would, however, still be spankings for writing on the walls in crayon.

In accessing the list, I really wouldn't have much of a problem with this either, I'd get used to the Red-Green switch, I kind of have a lead foot, I don't have a bedtime and there IS better tasting toothpaste...we just haven't given it to her yet (but her birthday is coming).

Friday, October 16, 2009

I didn't dance all night...why should I pay the piper?

I wouldn’t say the fabric of society has been breached, but it’s close. Well, maybe it’s not close, but for today it’s close enough.

After delivering play-by-play the local high school football team, the crew went to a local wing joint where beer and wings were purchased and eaten. A good time was had by all.

Until this morning.

I awoke with a pounding headache, a bit queasy and a dry mouth. Now, I know what these symptoms mean, as I had friends in college who drank too much. But I only had two beers and I ate plenty of food with them. I got plenty of sleep.

(about 11:30 pm until 7:24 am...which left me 6 minutes to get dressed and get to work...I had to skip a few things...which accounts for the awful taste in my mouth right now)

The point is, this isn’t how the universe is supposed to work. I wasn’t drunk. I violated no rules. Therefore, I should have no hangover. But as it is, I feel terrible. It’s not fair.

I’d write more, but I just found some toothpaste and a toothbrush in my desk. Gotta go.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Well, brava...

Normally I have to show up a few times before I get fired/replaced, but this time it was before the first rehearsal.

I was asked to play Mr. Martini (complete with accent) in a stage adaptation of It’s a Wonderful Life. I was really excited about it and was working on my character…I slicked my hair and I emailed an Italian friend (with an accent) with a list of phrases I wanted him to send me mp3 files of. I ordered a pair of tri-colored bowling shoes for everyday wear. I've been reading Chef Boyardee’s autobiography.

But while I was getting lunch today (an Italian sub of course) I was told that some guy named Bob was going to replace me by the lady that gave me my sandwich, which if she hadn’t been the wife of the director would have really been humiliating as I'd hate for the word to have already been on the street before it got to me.

But no hard feelings. However, if Bob needs the complete Godfather series on DVD, I've got a copy on the way.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sugar and spice and everything nice...

Right before the scintillating 500th post on this personal tragedy of a blog site, I thought I'd enlighten you as to one of my new favorite sites to visit.

I don't spend a lot of time reading other blogs...often I just skim them to see if they've mentioned me.

But this one I read in full each post. It's a blog by the daughter of a dear couple of friends who in a past life let me sleep on their couch, although I was wise enough to bring a blanket, my own towels and set my own alarm clock. It was good training for adulthood, even though I was 33 at the time.

But anyway, she writes about haircuts and shows off her art. She doesn't have a link to my blog...which shows incredible taste and judgment at such a young age. She writes about two or three paragraphs and they are easy to follow, which may be why I like reading it.

(I know this post is a bit different but I promise to return to sarcastic and shallow by tomorrow.)

Her big sister was once my favorite little girl. But she grew up and got replaced, although her growing up wasn't the reason she fell to second place. She may have been the reason I figured I could actually be a parent...

But back to her sister. If I ever become un-self-absorbed enough to have a blogroll, she'll be on it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just some friendly occult hijinks...

I’m confused about something.

With the Halloween season comes the haunted houses and such to raise money for charity. You walk on uneven floors and people in bedsheets jump out and say “boo” and the like. Not my cup of eye-of-newt, but to each his own.

It's time now for the Real County Music lyric of the day:
Cause ladies love outlaws like babies love stray dogs...

Moving on...the other thing is the house that really is haunted…verified by Bill Murray and the Ghostbusters themselves or people who deal in this kind of paranormal stuff. These folks give tours of their house during the Halloween season and people go and…well, this is where I lose my way on this one.

If it really is haunted…why would you go? Why wouldn’t you go in the opposite direction? Didn’t these people ever watch Scooby Doo?

Monday, October 12, 2009

A little respect please...

Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain all the way to the Dominican Republic. He didn’t have sonar, radar, GPS or the weather channel.

He battled dysentery, scurvy, sea-sickness and bad breath.

And when he got to his destination, it wasn’t where he thought it was, nor were the conditions any better than what he had on the boat. There was no beer, not even Miller Lite. (There still isn’t, thankfully)

And for all this, his hard work and grit, some people think I should go to work today.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Lies Men Believe...

I’ve never had much affection for the electric razor. They don’t seem to work very well, they give you this thing called “razor burn,” and it doesn’t seem manly.

In college I had one, but that was when my beard didn’t sprout a noon-o’clock shadow. But now every few years the grind of buying blades for my razor and the dream of the ease of a “quick shave” causes me to go back out and buy the latest Gillette-o-Matic or whatever the latest ad is pitching.

I tell no one, not wanting to be shunned by the purists in the shaving world for violation of the sacred. Also, because deep down I don’t think the newest thing has a breath of a chance of working.

It’s been about five years since I last tried this.

But now it’s time for the Real Country Music lyric of the day…You’re the reason I went to beer from Soda Pop.
You’re the reason I never go to the beauty shop.
And you’re the reason our kids are ugly, little darling
But looks aint everything and money aint everything
And I still love you anyway

Back to the monologue (even if the song wasn’t)…you never hear a man tell another man about the close shave he gets from his electric razor. And the reason is that it doesn’t exist.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Technically, it qualifies...

The writer of this blog has been too &(^&^%)_ busy to write today. Also, he has been too busy to look up the correct spelling of obscenities.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Where I'll be for lunch...

A scared and shattered psyche is all I have to show for my years of crossing paths with bullies. I have no story of standing up to them and having THEM back down. Yes, I stood up to them on occasion, but I have no great victories to show for it. The TV and movies often show the disadvantaged rising up and smiting the great bully, but in real life it usually doesn’t work that way.

But after childhood, the bullies persist, but in a different way (I haven’t had anyone throw my car on top of a house, steal my baseball glove or threaten to follow me home from work) using a different set of techniques. Now the bullies just yell (and email) until everyone stops what they are doing and agrees to go along with what they want. It seems easier to deal with them that way instead of kicking them out of the committee or telling (who do you tell?) on them.

Occasionally, you hear of the adult bullies resorting to physical intimidation, but that usually is followed by jail or lawsuits.

But, since we aren’t thrown in a huge collection with EVERYONE like we were in school, you can avoid the bullies (unless you have to go to the DMV or something) by staying out of biker bars and Wal-Mart during the Christmas shopping season. Well, for the most part.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My oh Mayans...

This “end of the world” thing is still making me chuckle. I know I’m late in picking this whole 2012 Mayan prediction thing up, but I don’t think I should forfeit my chance at a bit of ridicule at their (whoever they are) expense.

In case you hadn’t heard, the Mayans (who didn’t make it out of the 14th century) predicted that the earth would cease to exist on December 21, 2012. Of course, since the Caesarian calendar was proved to be off by about 15 days by the early 1900’s (see time dot gov if you don’t believe me), even if these guys had a calendar, it wasn’t correct anyway. Some of the reasons given for the Mayan civilization disappearing involved witch/priests (complete with a cauldron full of eye of newt, I’m sure), a peasant revolt, and poor environmental policy that involved abuse of land and pulverizing natural resources such as forests, animals, and shoals and/or reefs that could have proved useful. If only Al Gore had been around.

So when these guys got together to map out the remainder of history, it is said they only went until 2012. To me, that would seem to be enough…seven hundred or so years ahead. But it is said to be a sign that the earth wouldn’t last past that…all because some Mayan guy had to get home to his wife before she changed the locks.

But these guys were the experts, not the sovereign being of the universe (translation: God) or even Isaac Newton or Morley Safer.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I guess it would fade to black...

The trouble with the end of the world is that you can’t be sure it really is the end of the world.

If you know that it IS the end of the world, you could just sit back with a cold beer and watch the festivities, because unless you had a spaceship and advance reservations to another world, you’re not going to make it out alive. It is after all, the end of the world.

But if you’re not sure, you get in your car and drive until the inevitable road-buckling that seems to be common with the “almost end of the world” scenarios played out in various styles and film genre. Then you run as fast as you can toward I have no idea what…which I would guess would make you wish you’d stayed home in the first place. It’s much better to use your own bathroom right before the world ends (or almost ends), unless you’ve run out of toilet paper or something.

But if the movie really is about the end of the world and the world ends at the end of the movie, how does the movie itself end?

Friday, October 2, 2009

My little number 8...

The soccer season ended last night for Gracie.

The first game was Tuesday and about 10 minutes in, a kid head-butted her (not on purpose) and she had to come off the field. Shaken, but still ready, she went back in only to be hit with a ball in the face from about 3 or 4 yards away.

She didn’t go back in. Last night we went and she was (understandably) too scared to go out there. Her beaming smile she had before the game as she warmed up with her teammates turned into a frown and fear-filled eyes when the game started.

So, for this year at least, she is retired.

As parents, we don’t know why she was the only one who got hit in the face with an airborne ball, but we can’t do anything about it.

We can’t ask her to do anything that terrified her when it isn’t a necessary part of life. There will be things she will have to overcome her fear for, but kicking a soccer ball with 18 other kids (most of them bigger than her) isn’t going to be one of them.

We’ll kick the ball in the yard. That’ll be more fun anyway.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

And maybe tomorrow too...

Since the hysterectomy, I’ve got a real problem.

Before the surgery, we knew WHEN it was her. We had physical proof that while YES, I WAS AN INSENSITIVE JERK, her reaction was somewhat enhanced due to the hormones that had her in a more fragile state of mind. Or at least the proof came a day or two later and we all understood that her throwing the Baklava was probably only 50% my fault.

But now, with no physical evidence, I don’t know if it really is 100% me or a 50-50 deal. And, even worse still, neither does she.

You would think eliminating the “honey, are you PMSing?” question would help things, but good luck thinking of a different question designed to get that type of information that will work as well. And we have one less thing to talk about now.

So while I’m glad for the savings on paper products, I really need some sort of a signal that the “dark side” of the force has reappeared.

But today, I’m pretty sure it’ll be 100% me.