Thursday, December 15, 2011

Closing Time?

I had to get my car* inspected the other day, so I cruised by a mechanic's shop. It was 4:15 in the afternoon and the shop's sign said they closed at 5:30. I asked the guy behind the desk if they performed state inspections, and he said, "sure do, but not after 4."
"Uh, ok. And you close at 5:30?"
"Yes, we do."
"What time do you open in the morning?" I asked as I fixed his face in my memory.
"7 am."
"See you then."

Working in the restaurant industry has made me rather sensitive to bullshit like this. If a bunch of jerks walk in five or less minutes before closing and I deny them service, I would gf such an earthly. Yelp and Chowhound and Facebook would burst into flames with the scorn. If you sit a table and tell them the kitchen closes in five minutes, and they order some apps, and then ask for entrees forty minutes later, there goes all hope of a tip. But if a mechanic says that he doesn't do inspections after four with no posted sign to that effect, I've just got to smile and thank his lazy ass.

If that same mechanic then tells you his shop opens at 7, and doesn't open that shop until 7:50, Yelp isn't going to care. But Heaven help a waiter that refuses to sit a table of people 5 minutes before closing.

* Thanks for the loan, GeniusFather.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Holiday Pun

The Russian Ballet Company is in DC this week performing the Nutcracker, and a co-worker expressed a desire to take her daughter to see the show.  I said that the last time I had seen the Russian Ballet perform I couldn't understand the dancing.

She gave me a flat stare in response.


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The 12 Steps of Holiday Angst

Please note that the years are only estimates based on a small sample size.

1. Bewilderment. Years 0 to 3. "Why is my food giver and poop cleaner putting this itchy hat on my head?" Let's dress the kid up for some cute pictures that will only get lost in the electronic sea of pictures on several hard drives. These pictures will only be missed if said hard drives are irrevocably destroyed.

2. Glee! Years 3.1 to 12. "DO YOU KNOW WHY CHRISTMAS IS GREAT!? BECAUSE YOU GET NEW TOYS!!!!" As related to me by a young cousin.

3. Irritation. Years 12.1 to 22. "Man, Christmas is so lame. I just wanna hang out with my friends, play video games, and not be in school. I never get what I really want anyway, no one understands me. I don't wanna go look at lighting displays or sing carols or whatever." Or at least, you don't want to admit that you like doing these things with your family. You don't make it easy for your family to understand you, either, since you barely speak to them.

4. Aggravation. Years 22.1 to Infinity (for some). "I fucking HATE Christmas! The music is so repetitive! I hate the way THEY play it immediately after Halloween! ARGH! And I'm too broke to buy anything cool for people anyway, this blows. I'll just go get drunk like I do every week, and not think about how much money I've spent on booze this past year." Let's not forget your $25 a week mocha habit, either.

5. Acceptance. Years 22.1 to Infinity (for some). "OKay, so Christmas is really commercial, and all about spending money you don't have to stimulate the economy for the Capitalists to rake in even more money from the workers, but it doesn't have to be. My family and I have just turned it into this little celebration of another year's end. Sure, we buy each other stuff, but not because of any other reason than we love and respect each other. I try to find something that I think my family would like, and just really enjoy seeing their expressions of joy. You know, it may be stupid and pedantic, but we've changed it so Christmas means something special, not just the day some kid was born without adequate medical care in the Middle East." That is a fine sentiment, but could you try saying that without being a smug cobag?

6. Rebounding Joy. Years 22.1 to Infinity(for some). "I don't care about getting gifts anymore, but I do love watching my kids tear into presents. I hope they stay like this forever. I'm still glad I paid extra for a hybrid car." I hope you like ties because that is all you are getting from your kids until they are mature enough to see that you are a person, and not just their parent.

7. Booze. Years 21 to Infinity. "Great eggnog, Eddie!" Nothing wrong with a libation or four here and there.

8. Booze. Years 21 to Infinity. "Great eggnog, Clark!" You're not driving, right?

9. Booze. Years 21 to Infinity. "If I had a rubber hose, I would beat you..." If you do it right, you can make tire tracks looks like reindeer tracks. We carry this secret to our graves.

10. Booze. Years 21 to Infinity. "The carols are in my head! THEY'RE IN MY HEAD!" Put the electric drill down.

11. Booze. Years 21 to Infinity. "Macy's parade sure is good this year." This stage is also known as senility.

12. Death. Years Far away, I hope. "Christmas isn't quite the same without grandpa reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas." Yeah, your father hasn't quite found his rhythm yet.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

19 Days Later

How did I let 19 days disappear between posts of any substance?  Like cash at a farmer's market, these are the days of our lives.  I'll have to file this one under an apology for not posting, and an apology for fulsome not posting. 

I could try to make an excuse, but who would care?  I'm not working under a deadline, but that might help.  I'm still drifting, but I am straining toward the shore.  Maybe this paddle could be useful.

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Overlords Clearly Not 3Bullsian

As this interesting piece of news shows us, 3 Bulls will indeed be rendered into a filthbot-spamblog when the Editors of that vile rag cease and decease.

Had the candy in question been Take-5s instead of Kit-Kats, this post would have a rather different tone.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

As My Favorite Parole Officer Says

You need this:

Wye Oak covers Danzig

They Might Be Giants covers Chumbawamba

I am not ashamed to say that I bought this album and still own it. I think I still have Pretty Hate Machine, too, so that says something about me that I am not sure I can translate.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Probably Late to This Party, Like Always

And I doubt that I am even fashionably late, but I'm at the party now, and I'm gonna drink your beer, smoke your cigarettes, flirt with your girlfriend, and draw on you when you pass out with your shoes on.

Thanks to A Softer World for telling me about the party.

This song may seem odd for me, but I can't stop listening to it. I think I am on replay six or seven.

A Near Total Failure of Civic Responsibility

I voted yesterday. That is about all that counts because the only effort I put into the whole damn process was half-listening to a few segments on "the death of the two party system in Virginia" due to gerrymandering and attending a fireside chat with a district supervisor hosted by my landlord and neighbor. There were appetizers and drinks, so my attendance wasn't exactly altruistic. I am embarrassed to say that I voted for a bunch of people who may or may not agree with my views, but I didn't want my vote for the one guy I did like to get discounted because I didn't vote in all categories.

I liked what my candidate had to say about improving the economy of my new home, and he also said that if he won re-election, he would send the county's internet wizard by my place to set us up with a roof antenna for our potential aircard internet service. It may even help us receive calls on our cell phones, too. I've lived overseas, I know how to get wheels greased, and this candidate knew where my bread was buttered. Icing on the cake was when he spoke about how he hated the idea of turning our beautiful, rural county into another block of suburban sprawl for "anything with a cash register business development." Fuck that shit, Virginia has enough strip malls, what about getting a permanent facility for the farmer's market for year round sales?(His Idea) What about getting some companies in here that support the agriculture of the area, like a canning plant co-op or something similar?(His idea.) There are plenty of nearly-empty stripmalls that could be bulldozed to put in a meat-processing plant.(My idea.) Toss some LEED certifications on top, and you've got a recipe for a 20/20 Anderson Cooper expose or whoever: Supporting the Real Family Farm.

As for all the other people, the best I can say about them is that they were signs on a lawn. I voted for the Democrats because I knew next to nothing about anyone, so I couldn't say with any confidence that there were any fundamental differences between candidates. Based on the Virginia conservatives I've met, I am inclined to think that the Virginia liberals would have to regularly set puppies on fire using a whale-oil accelerant to anger me. Someone has seriously used "the War of Northern Aggression" in a sentence with me. And I use the adverb seriously not for emphasis, but BECAUSE HE WAS SERIOUS WHEN HE SAID IT. As my father said, immediately after the incident, "that sort of outlook glosses over the fact that the South fired first." Among other facts.

I just hope that the three people I voted for in the school board race are decent human beings. I refused to vote for the tardiloquent fool named William Something that had Bill in quotes between his first and last name. If your constituents can't figure out that your nickname Bill comes from the name William, then you need not be elected to the School Board because you should be not be anywhere near a school except as a student. I would have voted for anyone other than the guy with the nickname Duke for Sheriff, except he was running unopposed. Hmmm. If I still need a job in a couple years, and he is running unopposed again...

When asked if I wanted a paper ballot instead of the touchscreen voting machine, I chose a paper ballot for all the reasons that anyone with any shred of awareness should, and also because fuck Diebold and those other cobags. I would rather vote on recycled toilet paper than use a computer voting system at this time, and until such time as the code and machine design becomes completely transparent.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Spanish is the Cupid's Arrow to the Larynx of Love.

Or Language. This phrase, and the deliberate capitalization, is one of those Midnight Moments that are rather similar to Senior Moments, except that your half-remembered thought is so hilarious that you wake up hours later, laughing your various anatomy right off. You keep laughing until you realize that you can't remember the whole thought, and won't be able to share this nearly lethal joke with anyone. I do remember that there was considerably more to this metaphor, and that the rest of it was capitalized as well, but I will never be able to perfectly replicate the pure bliss that I felt at the moment of conception.

Which is a serious double entendre of its own.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My New Musical Project

I am starting a band called Catfish Jones and the Bottom Feeders. I will always wax my mustache at our appearances.

I may sometimes play with Wyatt and the Earps, but I will not wax my 'stache at these shows. Even if Wyatt and the Earps open for Catfish Jones and the Bottom Feeders.

Now all I need to do is learn to play the guitar, get some instruments for my backing band, get a backing band, and write some songs. The wealth and fame will come as soon as everything else is built. I've already got a fan club, or maybe they're paparazzi. Whoever they are, they are the people that take my picture when they think I am not looking, they are the people that send their kids over to say they like my mustache at the Renn Faire, they are the people who stop and stare, they are the people who ask to have their picture taken with me.

I have only one question for these people, WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I WAS FAMOUS ON THE INTERNET!?!?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tickling My Fallout Bone

Fallout: Nuka Break is pretty amusing, if you like the Fallout series of games. If you don't, you can just leave existence.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why Are You Bothering?

No, this is not a Tuesday Random Ten as is Brando's style. This is a reaction to the people I am seeing at the library. Specifically, the four men sitting in different areas, and not obviously associated with each other aside from their nearly identical outfits. Faded t-shirt, basketball shorts, dark socks, and flip flops. All of these men are overweight, have grey hair, and should know better. Unless I am on a week-long bike trip across an entire state, or actively working out, I have enough self-respect to at least dress myself before leaving my house.

The salt of the earth people that the Republican'ts seem to legislatively hate and publicly love are said to complain constantly about the degradation of society. And yet, here we see four alleged gentlemen doing more to erode civilization than any two married gay men ever could. I can feel the barriers in my head between American and Thighbonewieldinghomohabilis eroding as I type.

I will confess to being slightly curious about why a person dressed like this would ever leave the house. Even on vacation, I will dress myself if I am leaving the house. If I am on a winter vacation, and not leaving the house, then I may stay in pajamas for an entire day. That is fundamentally different. I am also curious as to why one of these fools tucked his shirt into his Nike shorts. You can't be bothered to wear pants and shoes in public, but you're worried about having an untucked t-shirt? Momma sure didn't raise no fool.

Flip flops alone are enough to drive up my blood pressure. I think the callous use of flippy floppies is far more damaging to our society than vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Put on some fucking shoes for the Baby Jesus! I bet if I installed a billboard with that slogan, I would get some traction with this issue. I'll just use the various Christian faiths to promote my not-at-all Christian political views and social agendas. That's worked so well in the past for the other people.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Cooking With The Genius: Back to School Night Scramble

One (1) yellow onion from the farmer's market a few Saturdays ago
One and a half (1.5) cherry tomatoes that were 24 hours from the mulch pile (cut off the wrinkly-looking parts)
Two (2) green peppers from your landlord's garden
One (1) yellow-skinned cucumber from the same garden (whatever it is, it tastes and smells like a cucumber, but looks like a squash)
Olive oil
Sweet chili sauce
Hoisin sauce
One (1) can of baked beans because you're out of couscous, rice, and all other bland starch bases
One (1) package of Jiffy corn muffin mix because it is the best, but you can skip this stuff if all of your milk is from August and went bad a few weeks ago, but you haven't thrown it out because you're playing chicken with your roommates/NotWife

Toss some olive oil in your wok, click away if you're some sort of foodie poseur and don't own an actual wok, and get the heat going.  Dice your onion, green peppers, tomatoes, and what not.  You can throw in mushrooms or other veggies if you want, that was my intent until I checked the mushrooms and other veggies.  They had gone around the slimy bend.  I don't even know what one of the bags had in it, but it had brown skin before it went putrescent.  So dump the bad stuff in your compost heap, that's the trash can for you city-folk, wash your hands, and stir the wok.

Keep the wok going while you hunt for something to put this mess on.  While you're looking, you might want to spice the stuff.  I threw on some provincial herbs, ground ginger, and then found my sweet chili sauce in the fridge.  Toss some of this on there, say three tablespoons or so.  That gives it some serious flavor, and nice color, too.  I prefer to cook colorful foods.  I'm not alone in thinking that color means flavor, but those similar-thinking other people aren't always perceived by other human beings.  I couldn't find a decent starch, no potatoes, no rice, no bread, but I did find some baked beans.

After settling on baked beans for my starch, I thought about flavor profiles for a moment.  This pondering lead me back to the fridge, wherein I found hoisin sauce I thought this would go well because I think of hoisin as Asian molasses.  Baked beans and molasses shouldn't need an explanation, but some people aren't lucky enough to have experienced the majesty of baked beans so I will explain.  Baked beans are often cooked with molasses.  Two tablespoons later, the color was really blending.  Everything was well and evenly cooked, and the beans were about ready, too.

After putting the bowl of corn meal back in the fridge with the greased and now useless pan I had intended to use to cook the corn bread, I settled on a corn bread-free meal.  The milk was thoroughly unusable, either of the two cartons in the fridge, but you don't really need to hear more about that.

I threw both items into a bowl, and was surprised that I didn't need to work at eating.  Unlike my fried rice experiment a few weeks ago, this was surprisingly edible.  It was both flavorful, and mushy, both of which are great for ease of eating.  Kind of like baby food, but yummy.  The NotWife refused to even try it.  This didn't hurt my feelings, no it did not.  You can't prove anything.

This may just be baloney pie with vegetables, but it was still tasty.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

What Happens After the Zoo Closes?

Weddings, apparently. I had the pleasure of assisting in the marriage of one of my brothers to a lovely woman, and now none of us need worry about him any longer. That's her job now, read the fine print, honey.

The ceremony took place in a portion of the African Savanna, near the zebras and giraffe habitats. Ideally, the peacocks were to have pranced about tails a-waving, and the zebras were supposed to graze peacefully behind the couple and the officiator while everyone gazed at the beautiful scene. Instead, we got twenty minutes of maribou storks, and twenty seconds of zebras. The peacocks stayed out of sight, and periodically screeched like a child without LEGOs, or a parent stepping on a LEGO. I'm told that the zookeepers refused to apply the cattle prods to coerce the animals into the pattern set by the wedding planner.

Maribou storks are not the prettiest birds in the world, rather more competitive in the ugliest birds in the world category, but are incidentally hilarious when standing behind your brother as he swears his vows. Someone took the bold move of ensuring that my other brothers and I could not look each other in the face, obviously assuming that we would spend the entire ceremony attempting to crack each other up. This is an important part of all wedding planning involving any men, especially the Brothers of Indeterminate Number since we seem to have made an informal and previously unmentioned tradition of throwing each other into Giggle Loops.

The storks tried their best at looking pretty, even putting on a little show and dance for the gathering crowd. This show stopped as soon as the wedding party took their assigned positions, and the storks, perhaps sensing that no one was looking at them anymore, went back to picking at their nits. I am undyingly grateful to them for having the good sense to avoid crapping during the service because that would have been cruel and unusual punishment for me. I would have burst into laughter, and then my severed head might have landed in their enclosure. To be promptly eaten by the carrion consuming storks.

The peacocks were no help at all. I do not exaggerate when I say that they sound like a man stepping on a LEGO. Scatter some LEGOs by Daddy's bathroom door in the middle of the night, and you will know exactly what a peacock sounds like. The sound of much grounding.

After the ceremony, we were allowed to feed and pet giraffes. I took the opportunity to size up the average reticulated giraffe for the possible consumption by fire in Snag's backyard. It pleases me to say that Snag's grill is more than adequate for the job, as if we thought it would be any different. I was not allowed to feed or punch a cheetah. I was, however, allowed to punch a tiger with a false perspective shot, but potato tomato.

In case you care, and I know you don't, giraffes do not have soft lips like a horse, cow, or emu. Giraffes have tough, rubbery lips, and require a serious duration marinade, and a serious duration low roasting. Snag is probably an expert at cooking these great beasts, and I've heard their necks are rather like osso buco, but the other way around.

One final note, Helob is still angry at me for my lack of effort. He wanted me to break into the temporary exhibit of tarantulas, and take some photos for him. I told him that was gross, and that he should leave me out of his sex life. Eat your crickets, Helob. They're well-fed, and loud.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Attenuation, or I AM STRUNG OUT

Like a heroin addict in a mormon temple.

I am starting to get pretty antsy at The Cottage. The Old Lady takes off every morning from work, and returns in the evening with grand tales of social interactions with actual, living, human beings while I can only discourse about the day's events on The Days of Our Mockingbrids. She doesn't listen well to my tales of territory encroachment and infidelity among our yards most common aerial inhabitants. I really empathize with the chicks, how can they develop good and civil morals when their mother acts like she is on a telenovella, and their father fights constantly with the neighbors. The crickets, stink bugs, and ticks make far less interesting television, and the network disregards all of my correspondence on the subject of cancelling these programs in favor of a greater variety of avian-oriented shows.

I have not yet been able to convince a telecommunication company to sell me internet and phone service. How did people survive in the time before time? Trekking five miles to the library is already getting seriously old, and my antivirus program is still out of date, Windows keeps asking to be allowed to connect to the internet to check for updates, and my firewall program is also annoyed that it can't annoy me with a constant stream of antivirus and version updates. My guild is meandering, foundering even, without my guidance, and my friends haven't heard from me in far too long! I haven't received a communique from Sadi Fansa about the status of our sponsorship request to the corporate office, and I am afraid that he has joined another band.

In long, I am fiending.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Celebrity Dream Cameo: Candy Bar Guy From Die Hard (Al Leong)

In the dream, I wake to a call in my dingy apartment, answer the phone, and then run and grab a web vest, tactical gear, and one of those Russian pistols that look like a Colt .45 acp.* I nod at my partner in the other room, as he is grabbing the same sort of gear, and loading a similar pistol.

The next thing I know, my partner and I are speeding through the surf in a rubber boat with a bunch of other mercenary-looking toughguys. We all have AK-47s, and random other assault weapons like grenades, and such. The guy assigned to our fire team is that guy from Die Hard who broke the display case to grab some candy bars when they were repelling the first SWAT assault. He also tortured Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon.****

Anyway, we end up assaulting a beach, and a system of bunkers that guard a drug processing operation. It looked like heroin and opium, but doesn't really matter. Most of the defending troops looked like Latino extras from Red Dawn, or Predator. While we were tearing our way through their defenses, Candy Bar Guy ends up with a puppy. Some of the cartel dudes had some puppies, and their mother had been killed or something, so they were seriously pathetic. While we were taking cover behind a concrete wall waiting for the flamethrower guy to show up, Candy Bar Guy feeds the puppy, and waters it, and then sticks it in his vest. He leans over and says in English, "always wanted a puppy." Everything said so far had been in Russian.

While we are clearing the encampment or resistance, I realize that this is probably a CIA operation, and that my control will probably want to know why I helped destroy it. I glance at my partner, and he shrugs at me, meaning "maintain cover." A giant Soviet Army helicopter swooped into a clearing to pick us up, and Candy Bar decides to stay and "enjoy the war." I toss him an AK, a bunch of magazines, and a box of ammunition. Then I take my seat with the other mercenaries.

When we are back in Moscow, I contact control in the usual manner. (I think I put a flower pot on my fire escape, how Woodwardian.) Then partner and I go for a walk to meet control. We are walking toward an area that we know control likes because it has a number of busy bars that we can use as randomly as humanly possible to avoid a pattern, when these two college looking girls approach us and give us the signs that they are control. This is new.

They look like they're eighteen, dark, mousy, both wearing dark blue, puffy winter jackets, and they keep using stupid language like "report about your last mission." I keep tying to use code like "I'm a Canadian hiking enthusiast" and "let's go enjoy some local color at a bar I know." These two morons don't understand that surreptitious meetings in dark alleys draw the most eyes.

We walk along until I see a sign outside a loud bar that says in English, "Good Service. On Tap." Signs like this are becoming fashionable in Moscow, or so the dream tells me. "Hey, look! They have good service on tap! This looks inviting!" I say, and drag the stupid girls into the bar despite their protests about drinking on the job, and using agency funds for illegal activities. My partner circles round the block to check for tails, and get a paper and some woefully bad Soviet cigarettes.

I smile and tell them to grab that booth by the bathrooms, and I will get the drinks. The bar turns out to be a Sparta Praha-supporting bar, and my orange-y red baseball cap is the exact color of the team. I make some stupid sports talk with he dues at the bar who all love my hat, and are surprised that a Canadian journalist would support Sparta.***** I tell them that I studied in Prague, which is true in the dream, and why I know Czech and Russian.

I grab the beers, probably all #9s, and sit down with the sour looking young agents. My partner enters from the kitchen door, and gives me the "no tails, back door is clear" signs. He sits with us and throws his arm around the other girl's shoulders. The next time the team scores, I jump and yell and clap hands with crowd. Then I sit down and give the girl a kiss, and whisper in her ear, "shut the fuck up before you get us all knicked by the KGB. Use proper craft, or I'll leave your carcass in a shallow grave." I have decided while getting the drinks that the reason these two idiots have been assigned as our new control is because someone at the Company has decided that we are dead men because we did exactly what we were supposed to do to maintain cover, and are being sacrificed to the tender mercies of the KGB. I make the arranged signs to my partner of "cover blown, disappear, home not safe, good luck."

And then I woke up.

(Please excuse any typos or wordos, typing on my touch screen is annoying, and this interface makes it difficult to edit as well.)

* I would normally link here, but my phone is not connecting very well this morning. On the other hand, all I hear is crickets chirping in the field and walnuts dropping from the sky.**

** This is why I have a walnut helmet.***

*** Some parts of this statement may not be accurate.

**** And no, I don't mean Mel's memories of his murdered wife and fighting Vietnam, I mean actually tortured him with electricity.

***** I have the real life, and possibly quite wrong, impression that this team's fans are the worst hooligans in the Czech Republic. I think I got this impression solely from the movie "Up and Down."

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

SPX is This Weekend

I will attend the Small Press Expo in Bethesda* this weekend, if only to buy the second volume of Questionable Content.  Maybe I will be able to get a t-shirt or two.  I am also hoping to run into the cartoonist who runs Man's Face Stuff, because I need some manly face stuff.  For a project I am keeping secret from fulsome.  Since I am keeping it secret from fulsome, I should blog about it because we haven't seen his dumbass on the internets in years.

* If your closest Metro stop is White Flint, guess what, you don't live in Bethesda.  This isn't snobbery, this is annoyance with realtors that stretch borders to sell shitty condominiums.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Expressions of Faith

I learned much while I was working in various bars in DC. I learned that I would rather own a bar than work in one. I learned that I love people sometimes, and despise them at other times. I learned that I am a pessimistically hopeful person, which may the strangest discovery.

There were many shifts in which I was desperately short of funds. I would be carefully rationing my oatmeal to make it last all month, and trying to avoid eating even a half price meal while working. Even working on your feet for nine to eleven hours a day, you can gain some serious weight eating burgers every day, but you wind up needing to eat something. I was stuck between warring impulses, either the food I was serving would remind me that I was hungry, or the end of the crossword would result in extreme boredom and awaken my gnawing stomach. Many nights, I would break down, and order some crappy sandwich from the kitchen, or wander over to the market. After a few lean months, May, June, and July in the non-waterfront/roofdeck bars of DC, I noticed an odd pattern.

On nights that I desperately needed customers, I would almost always have a decent night if I gave up and ordered a sandwich as soon as I could. If I held off and toughed it out, I would almost always have a crappy night. When I changed jobs, and started working weekend brunches, this trend continued. If I woke up early, made coffee, had a decent breakfast, and then went to work, I would have a boring Saturday filled with cable television or girl watching out of the big front window. If I got to work hungry, and ordered some french toast or steak and eggs, we would be unexpectedly, and happily, busy. Soon I started calling it my business tax. If I didn't need, or didn't want to pay it, Serendipity and Infinity would spurn me, and my day would spent in idle chatter, speculating on the temperature of the water in the local pools/coffee shops/museums. If I scarfed a meal just before unlocking the doors, I would see a wave of annoying and outstanding customers parade in the doors, just in town for the conference on erectile sustainability, or the United Dairy Solids Conglomerated Federation of America annual meeting.

As the economic and social news of the last three years of my underemployment has steadily continued gloomening, I have at times marveled at all the young expectant mothers and fathers, and at the number of college friends with wives or husbands and new children. Some of these lunatics have TWO children already, while I, as the joke says, have no children THAT I KNOW OF. How could anyone possibly want to spawn in these uncertain times? Why would you want to bother with the trouble of diapers and midnight feedings when Michelle Bachmann is an allegedly serious candidate for the Presidency? She's worse than the Ever Vacuous Palin! Morons all over the world are refusing to even think about any compromise that would allow any humans anywhere to live in peace. The oceans are critically endangered, and Star Trek IV could actually happen! The levels of toxic pollution are rising to the point that all of today's children's children will be inheriting a shit heap with no refuge, and people are STILL buying SUVs! If I think about everything that is going horribly wrong (as I see it), I could end up pulling my hair out in a rubber room, and these freaks are bringing children into the world! What the hell is wrong with them?

Or maybe it was just me, maybe something was wrong with me? There are still events happening that aren't all shit. Scientists in the Midwest are developing trees and programs to clean up the industrial chemical messes left by irresponsible people in years past, organizations are working with Native American nations out west to rewild areas of the country, and not everyone is an uncompromising chundernozzle. We lived through Mutually Assured Destruction, I told myself. Remember when Dad said that ducking and covering was worthless in the event of a nuclear attack? Remember when he said we would hopefully be killed so fast that wouldn't even have time to wonder why it was so bright in the classroom? Boy, that was a hoot.

So I found myself trying to believe that we aren't all so fucking stupid that we would kill ourselves, but that we have to watch it because a TPK* is still quite easy. Despite the fact that our leaders aren't leading, or even pausing to take deep breaths before shoving their heads up some orifice or another, a person must have faith in our collective desire to not live in shit. You have to look harder for it, but there is evidence that we are not a species of incredibly smart dumbasses. With a few notable exceptions, most humans don't enjoy wars or massacres. If everyone everywhere could just take five years off from killing each other, we could get our shit together and really fulfill one of those hippie songs from the '60s.

As I sat at my bar, watching CNN on a slow day that had started with a lovely breakfast of maple syrup-and-sausage-infused oatmeal, I realized that I had become an optimist. I then realized how people could have children, and it made my expressions of faith in humanity through french toast seem pretty fucking trite.

Also, babies are pretty damn cute, especially when they are shitting on my brother's lap. Now that was a hoot.

*Total Party Kill, in role-playing games this happens when everyone including the game master screws up badly enough that everyone admits it was a bad idea, and re-rolls shaman.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Yo, Teach

I am registering as a potential substitute teacher. This may be the beginning of a terrible new wave of villainy and dementia, or it may be the coolest idea ever in my employment history. I am also going to get a job for a couple nights a week at one of the local bars. Two steps forward, one step in dogshit.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I think I am allergic to Virginia. I have been twice dosed with poison ivy over much of my body. I am eating benadryl like Chocolate Skittles, and slathering my itchy patches with strange concoctions of ointments and unguents that "should work" and "might help." Should and might are not words that I want to hear from a pharmacist, I want to hear "THIS STUFF WORKS SO GREAT OMNOMNOM I USE IT WHEN I GO ROLLING IN THE IVY!!1!!"

The sad thing is that I made it through four years of Boy Scouts without much more than a square inch or two of poison ivy rash. I know what this stuff looks like, and I know how to avoid it. But someone has to pull it out of the flower beds, and it damn sure isn't going to be the pretty one in the relationship.


These large patches of itchy skin are the reason why I am sleeping in the living room on an air mattress. The Latinos have a saying, that I can't remember en Espanol, but it means a sleeping body can't be blamed for the things it does while sleeping. Like farting under the covers. Or scratching like mad at my crotch which was the epicenter of this outbreak.

I only pulled up a sprig of ivy that was maybe six inches long, using my left hand, and then immediately washed both arms in special poison ivy oil destroying soap. This is really not fair. I am learning new definitions of the words suffering, agony, and pain. I try to endure without complaint, and without scratching. I don't always succeed.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Wizard Uses Item: Scroll of Reanimation

Let us all hope that no otherworldly intelligences have lain spawn within the recesses of this shambling corpse of a bloggio.

The Genius is once again deliberately, and purposefully, unemployed, but not without plan or hope. After all, in this economy it is so easy to find employment that who wouldn't want to take a couple month vacation and then merge with the job stream as the salmon so often do. Except, you know, without the orgy and death at the end of the search.

But seriously, I have moved out of the comfort and light of the lovely city of DC to the far reaches of Virginia-space. The amenities in my new lair are charming and rustic. So rustic in fact, that I must travel 5 miles to find the internets. This rusticity extends to television and radio signals, as well. You might almost wonder if I have violated both Einstein and Lewis' Laws, and traveled into the near-distant past. So do I.

I've got a backlog of post ideas longer than the list of bad wang jokes I told, and I have nothing to stop me from writing. I can't even muster a bad excuse to avoid writing. So look out Pinko Punko, I will be pestering you about Monday Goldriker Theater.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Not Quite The Joke I Was Expecting

I was researching some currency on the internets last Saturday, and the first hit on Google, the sponsored link, was for "Buy Vietnamese Dong." The search terms were "purchasing old Turkish Lira." Rule 34, indeedly doo.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Bloggies Held Last Night, Everyone Snubbed

The 2011 Weblog Awards were held sometime in the recent past, either last night or at some further point in the not-future not-now when. I wasn't expecting to win, but it would have been nice to be nominated and get a chance to thank the Academy. The cool thing is that this means that the Sixth Annual 'Baggie Awards are just around the corner! I'm aiming to win the Slightly-More-Active-Than-fulsome Award, and hoping to at least be nominated for Less-Chunderiffic-Than-Pinko-the-Baby-Blogger. I might even cross my fingers for Biggest Beard, but between Plover and AG, that is a tough category to win.