Friday, April 29, 2005


Mother Nature is a whore. I don’t say this lightly. I’ve been asking around to various other ethereal beings and the reputation is already out there; I’m just the messenger. Father Time says, “Mother nature? Totally easy.” Poseidon agrees, “You put a few in Mother Nature and look out! Away go all trappings of respectability. Robes flying, the foul language, it’s terrible, unless you’re the one putting the drinks in her – if you know what I mean? And I think you do. Huh? Know what I’m saying?” So, really, it’s obvious. Total slut. For serious, a foot of snow in mid-April? What kind of cruel freakin’ joke is that Batman? Oh, don’t worry, we followed that up with a warm-up. Yah, two weeks of 50 degree weather. Let's just skip the whole spring/summer charade and have perpetual winter. It'd be like The Day After Tomorrow – talk about a great movie. You should see it! Oh wait, you can’t hear sarcasm over the blog, can you?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

i hate the umbrella people

You've seen the umbrella people. Think back to a beautiful sunny morning on your commute into work. The birds are chirping; the squirrels are standing on their hind legs looking quizzically at everything, because really, they're squirrels, what could they possibly "get"?; the hoboes are engaged in hobo-related hassling of respectable citizens. What could possibly disrupt this glorious day? Only the umbrella people.

You catch one out of the corner of your eye. A perfectly sane looking man walking amidst the same lovely atmospheric conditions as yourself with the exception that he is carrying a closed umbrella. "Hey there umbrella man." "Me?" "Yes, you. The fellow with the umbrella." "How can I help you?" He says, clutching his umbrella tighter, worried you fancy it. "Well, I was wondering, seeing as how it's such a nice day out, why are you carrying that umbrella?" "Oh, this," he replies, relieved. "The weather said it was going to rain this afternoon." You look umbrella man up and down and say, "You sorry son of a bitch. Can't you enjoy this beautiful day without hedging your bets?" Umbrella man runs off; you've scared him. You've forgotten that the umbrella people are a timid folk. They do, after all, carry an umbrella all day on the off-chance they'll get wet.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Netflix: 13 Going On 30

Think Big meets Love Potion #9 meets Alias AND it's really, really terrible.


Close Encounters of the Noxious Kind

Well, yesterday I certainly had an interesting morning.

First, I was running a little late. Not crazy late, just late enough for me to think, “Man, I’m running late.” I get to my lot, park, pay and as I’m walking away from the pay box I'm approached by a hobo (I call any panhandler a hobo. I call some of them nothoboes because they look like you or me and don't have the hobo stench and probably are otherwise perfectly capable of having the life sucked out of them like the rest of us at a 9 to 5 job). He starts in on his spiel about his car breaking down or his girlfriend having been taken to the hospital or the fact that he just got out of jail. I mean, color me apathetic, but I feel like a Hollywood producer being pitched romantic comedy ideas. “You see Roger, she APPEARS ugly, but after a visit to the ophthalmologist for contacts and the beauty salon for a hair flattening, it turns out that she’s actually HOT. Now everybody likes her. How she gonna handle that?” I didn’t really pay any attention to what he was saying; I’ve heard it all before.

I happened to have some change in my pocket and I handed it to him. Let’s all remember here that I am under no moral or legal obligation to give this random, reeking of booze dude any money at all. He takes the money and immediately starts
dropping f-bombs on me. Here's how the conversation went with my thoughts in italics.

AngeredHobo: What the fuck is this? Fourteen cents.
Me: Uh, sir, it's actually 15 cents.
AH: What the fuck am I supposed to do with this?
Me: I don’t know take a shower? Put it towards a bottle of mouthwash . . . well, you’d probably just drink that.
AH: Fourteen cents, how can I do anything with that?
Me: Sorry man, you’ll have to ask someone else. That’s all I have to give you. [Hoboes know you have more money. I always try to defuse the situation by saying it's all I have to give you. -ed.]
AH: Fuck man. I can’t even by a quarter cupcake with this!
Me: What the fuck is a quarter cupcake?

He continues to drop the f-bomb, loudly, and starts to walk away. Now, I’m no dummy and momma always told me not to follow an irate hobo, so I stay in front of my parking lot waiting to cross the street.

He got far enough away that I thought I was safe and I began formulating this post in my mind, because really, "quarter cupcake". I formulated too soon. He turns around still within his f-bomb raid. He walks up to me and stands within my
“noHobo Zone”, i.e. right on top of me. We're looking at each other and at this point, the adrenalin starts kicking in. I have a problem though. I wasn’t in my fighting gear. I had my European carry-all over my left shoulder and my lunch bag in my right hand, not exactly brass knuckle material. I don't really know HOW to fight, but Hobo doesn't know that. He also doesn't know that my last fight was in the 6th grade and that I hit like a girl – think Danny Ferry trying to slap Michael Jordan. What he does know is that I’ve got about 2 inches and 40 pounds on him and
that his lack of calcium intake probably means a few broken ribs if I’m able to sit on him. I’m thinking, “This dude is probably on something. I’ve never seen a dime and five pennies make someone so upset. I’ll take my chances with him, hand-to-hand, if I have to – then I’ll go home and shower – man does he stink. But, if he’s strung out on something I’m in trouble. And he might have the shiv on him that he used to stab some other hobo for a half-bottle of Mad Dog last night.” I wasn’t intimidated, but I was scared.

He's standing close enough to give me my next dental exam when he reaches inside his coat . . . Uh-oh . . . and pulls out . . . a lighter . . . Dude, 15 cents is like 15% of the way to a new lighter! Yours is looking pretty raggedy . . . He starts to light up a joint, I think, or an olden-style cigarette that was rolled with newspaper and filled with pencil shavings. I can smell the stink of booze and rage on his breath. He says, “You wanna swing man?” Swing? Like sleep with you and your partner? Or are you talking about dancing? Or maybe fighting? . . . Roger, this is Brain - we're unable to determine what the hobo is talking about, you’re on your own. I say, “Uh, no thanks man.” He drops another f-bomb, by now the sidewalk is littered with them, and walks off.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


guy1: Forget all that, bro. You just gotta be yourself, then there's no chance she'll be surprised by the "real you".
guy2: That's a bad idea. You know people don't like me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

i'm just asking

Why, in pictures, do women always look like they're getting a dental exam? "Look Doc, no cavities!"

Thursday, April 14, 2005

breaking the mold

Neighbors Express Indifference To Discovery of Local Murderer.
MC Wire Reports: Ypsilanti, Michigan

Recently 18 bodies were found buried in the backyard of Ike Walters. Despite the grizzly nature of the crimes, neighbors were unsurprised by the finding. "I'm unsurprised. He was always threatening to kill people, saying stuff like, 'I'm going to kill you and chop up your body and possibly eat parts of it. And maybe I'll put remaining parts into my freezer and save them as mementos of my twisted nature.' And then there were people always going into his house, but you'd never see anyone leave." Asked about his social tendencies, another neighbor commented, "He always had his nose in other peoples' business. He'd walk around the neighborhood all the time, loudly bothering everyone. He was especially mean to the children. I'm not shocked at all by this."

performance anxiety

Sometimes at work someone will come to me for help with a problem they are unable to solve. (Not that I'm a mega-genius or anything, but we all have are specialties.) The person will come over and say, "I've been looking at this all day and I can't figure out how to make it work. Can you help me?" I, being a sucker, am more than happy to help. So they explain the problem to me and I say ok, I'll take a look at it. And then . . . they stand there . . . waiting. Not only am I supposed to help, but I'm also supposed to help so quickly that they can comfortably stand in my cube before our internal awkwardness clocks go off emitting shrill cries with red lights flashing. And really, you can't comfortably stare at someone thinking for very long before it starts to feel weird. Quick answer or not, once the person stays in the cube, all I can think about is how they should just go back to their own damn cube and let me be in peace for a minute. I'm not thinking about their problem at all. Sheesh. You can't figure something out for an entire day and I only get 12 seconds? That is not cool.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Netflix: Tora! Tora! Tora!

It's Brooks Hatlen from Shawshank! Right here he's asking this other navy dude if he wants to borrow a book about getting out tough stains.

Special effects by Billy.

"Dear, something's been weighing on my mind. Maybe next time we should get a wider car."

Admiral Yamamoto, prognosticator.

From the movie, we figured out what was happening in time to ameliorate the attack on Pearl Harbor - IF they had had cellphones. There were innumerable military brass out riding horses or walking dogs when they should have been reading decoded Japanese military transmissions.


Friday, April 01, 2005

thought . . .

Being drunk with power would be fun, but I venture I will always prefer drunkeness of the booze kind.

piano lessons

My last lesson went pretty well, despite the fact that I've had little time to practice recently. I think I need to buy Chuck a ruler to rap my knuckles when I screw up. I seem to make a lot of mistakes for pieces that I've been practicing for a while. I don't know. The bad thing about having no expectations is that, well, you don't know what to expect.

I also asked Chuck to find me a book about music theory that would help me. (He sometimes gets going about theory and I'm at about 47% comprehension). Fittingly, he chose The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory. Complete Idiots, eh? I have no problem owning my ignorance on the subject, but what marketing forces were at work here?

MarketingGuy1: So, what you're pitching here is just like the "for Dummies" series, right?
MarketingGuy2: Right, like that, but we're going after people that are dumber than dummies.
MG1: Dumber than dummies?
MG2: Exactly.
MG1: Who's dumber than a dummie?
MG2: A Complete Idiot.
MG1: Isn't that a little harsh?
MG2: I don't think so. I think we're gladhandling a little. I wanted to call it the, "Fucking Morons" series.
MG1: Complete Idiot is an improvement, but couldn't we call it the,
"Reasonably Intelligent People Who Are Curious About a Subject Unfamilar to Them and Have Found Other Materials Too Advanced" series?
MG2: Too smart. We want Complete Idiots.
MG1: Kinda Idiotic?
MG2: Complete!
MG1: Probably?

I guess we know who won that argument.

Which reminds me, ". . . this idea of marketing being a science - if you look at the evidence, it's all anecdotal."