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Charlie/Male/31-35. Lives in United States/Massachusetts/Watertown, speaks English. Eye color is hazel.
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Where the Hell Was I? has moved!

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Saturday, September 20, 2003
 
I'll Finally Find Out How Tomorrow People Ended!

Get thee behind me, sanity!

I had another interview on Friday. It didn't go quite as well as the last one, though. Which is quite an accomplishment, if you think about it. I'd have thought there was nowhere to go but 'up' from there. It seems I was misinformed.

Actually, this one started out pretty well. Except that it didn't, really, come to think of it. It was the middle part that went well. The beginning was lonely, and weird, and a little scary. The end was just a disaster. The middle was definitely the best part. The whole thing reminded me of Jurassic Park, actually.

(The problem with Jurassic Park is that I read the book first, and preferred the original ending. So I was all miffed and poopy about the movie version. Damned Hollywood 'end on a high note' buffoons. Does every goddamned movie made have to have a happy ending, fer chrissakes? I honestly think some of the writers out there are just trying to see how friggin' deep they can dig a hole for their characters and still pull 'em out. I'm surprised they didn't find some asshatted way to keep the Titanic floating in that movie.)

Okay, I'm off my 'movie soapbox' now. For one thing, it's not helping anybody, and it's not going to change the way those Hollywood lollygaggers do their jobs. In the meantime, I'm just showing how few movies that I watch by citing examples from before most of you were frickin' born. So I'm done. Next topic.

Which would be the interview, I guess, but I'm really not all that interested in reliving the horror that was the second half of it. Let's just say that I'm not going to be hovering over the phone on Monday, expecting a callback for a second look. Not that I pissed anybody off or anything like that. I didn't tell any jokes about nuns or donkeys or ears of corn. (Though maybe I should have; at least I'd have gotten a chuckle out of something that day.) Nor did I whip out the old lumber and skip up and down the hall, waving it back and forth and singing, 'I've Got a Secret'. (I'm saving that one for the in-laws' Christmas party. That'll be a hoot.)

So, I suppose it's just possible that the other candidates failed as miserably as I did to meet the requirements for this job, and that I'll get a call, after all. I didn't really do that badly, and stranger things have happened. A few years ago, I showed up forty minutes late to an interview, listened to their technical people describe the sorts of technology they work with, and honestly said, 'Um, I don't really do any of that. I do this, and this, and a little of this thing over here, but your stuff? I haven't even heard of some of that shit.'

And, of course, they called me back for a second interview. Which I refused, as it happens, and that makes me happy. They had to feel like Lucy Liu asking Tom Arnold to have sex with her, and being told, 'Um... nah. You know, I'm just not that into it.' Hee! I may have even said, 'Dude. What the fuck are you thinking?' (But probably I didn't. You know, just because.)

In any case, I don't expect much to come out of Friday's interview. But that's three I've been on now, and so I'm hoping something develops on one of those fronts. I have to say, getting back to work isn't going to be easy. I've been getting a lot of sleep lately. (On nights when I don't sit up until four in the morning translating and un-translating tripe about pirates, that is.) So the old 9-to-5 schedule is going to be a bit of a shock to the system. I may have to sleep at the office for the first couple of weeks, just to make sure I can manage to be at my desk when the workday starts. I may be snoring and drooling all over my keyboard, but I'll be there, dammit! Be careful what you wish for, prospective employers.

All right, enough about that. Work talk is for weekdays. Weekends were made for Michelob, or something like that. Not that we have any Michelob in the house, mind you -- it's just a figure of speech. Certainly, there are other beers in the fridge that would be happy to fill in for the absent Mic's. Well, maybe not happy. I suppose if someone threw me in a frickin' cold box for a week, then popped the top of my head off and poured all my tasty liquids out, I probably wouldn't be all that pleased. I probably wouldn't be thinking much at all at that point, if I can believe anything I learned in anatomy class. But assuming that I were still miraculously conscious, I'm fairly certain that the first thought popping into my brain wouldn't be, 'Oh, goody!' Now that I've written about it, it might be, 'Man, I fuckin' knew this was going to happen!' But not 'Goody!' Not by a longshot.

Okay, where the hell was I? Trying not to talk about jobs, if I recall. (And I don't, so I cheated and looked. Eh.)

So, how about I wrap up with a few words about television, then? Or better yet, telly. Maybe you noticed a few weeks ago when the BBC announced that it would be making its entire 'programme' archive available for download, for free. How fuckin' cool is that, eh? Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, Doctor Who, Dangermouse, Young Ones, the Hitchhiker's Guide series... all at our grubby little Yankee fingertips. Of course, we're all going to need four-terabyte drives and T3's running into our dens to handle the bandwidth, but it'll be worth it, just for the sheer coolness of it all. And never mind that I already have half the shit I just mentioned on videocassette -- I'll download it again, along with hours and hours of its closest friends. I'll spin that shit off to optical disks if I have to -- this is pure gold we're talking about here.

Of course, we do have a bit of time to prepare, it seems. It'll take a while to get things hooked up on the BBC end. And if it takes more than a year or so, someone else may take over and nix the whole deal. We're walking a bit of a fine line, I imagine. But I choose to be optimistic. So start saving your pennies, folks. Don't buy that extra mocha latte at lunch; squirrel those two bucks away toward paying for a big fat pipe running right off the 'net backbone and into your living room. Some day, you'll be awfully glad that you did. Just don't let me catch you downloading old Are You Being Served? episodes. We've only got room enough for the good shit. Don't go slowing down everybody's connection just for crap, okay? (Benny Hill, on the other hand, is just fine. Recommended, even. Look, I never claimed to have 'taste', all right? I just know what I like.)

Man, this is gonna be like Christmas! BBC rocks!




Friday, September 19, 2003
 
Maintenance Like One Day of Pirate**

It's a little like taking the blue pill and the red pill, and chasing them with Windex.

** aka, 'Talk Like a Pirate Day'

So, as usual, I'm determined to do things just a little bit differently around here. (You should be used to this by now. Or at least tolerant. Have a damned heart, will ya?)

Anyway, I've decided to commemorate 'Talk Like a Pirate Day' not by 'avast'ing and 'scurvy'ing all over the place, like most folks might. (There are still a few 'avast' stains on the carpet from the last time I got all swashbuckly, and I don't even want to describe what happened with the scurvy.)

So, just to be different (and to save the furniture), I've decided to blog like a pirate. But not just any pirate, and certainly not the stereotypical Long John Silver / Captain Morgan / Blackbeard hybrid that people seem to want to emulate. No, instead, I'm going to blog like a particular pirate, one of the saltiest dogs to sail the seven seas.

Today, just for you loyal readers, I'm going to blog like Jean Lafitte.

(Pretty cool, huh?)

Which, um, means, since I don't really know how he talked, that I'm going to do the next best thing, and blog in French.

(Not bad, eh?)

Except... unfortunately, I don't speak French and can't write it, so I'm going to have to blog in English, and then use Babelfish to translate it into French.

(How's that for going the extra mile, folks?)

Only... it occurs to me that many of you may not know French, either, so you may not get much out of an entry fully in translated French. So, I'll tell you what -- once I've paid homage to the dread pirate Lafitte by converting the post into French, then I'll use BabelFish to translate it back to English.

(Now we're cooking with gas, no?)

(And to all of you smarty-pants types out there, no, this is not just some contrived and ill-conceived attempt to get out of talking like a pirate because I can't think of anything clever to say in buccaneer-speak, while simultaneously justifying doing something I've been wanting to do for a long time now -- namely, see if I can artificially cause an entry to make even less damned sense. Well, okay, fine. It is that, but it's not just that. So you can suck my 'arrrrrr'.)

Now, for the rest of you, here we go. Everything below the line was written just like a regular post, then translated into French (in honor of Monsieur Lafitte), and then translated back into English. I've left it exactly as it was spit out by BabelFish. But just in case any snippets of hilarity were lost in translation (or re-translation), I've also saved the original post. So, if you don't get something, look there. Or even at the French translation, if you really think that's going to help you.

(But if you don't get it once you've read those, then you're on your own. It's perfectly reasonable in my little world, whatever it is. Oh, and it's hilarious, too. So you should probably laugh, whether you get it or not. You don't want to look foolish in front of all these people, do you?)

And the English-to-French-back-to-English-but-not-quite-the-same-English post, in honor of 'Talk Like a Pirate Day' -- and even about pirates, at least before all the grinding -- begins... (wait for it...) ... begiiiins... (wait...) NOW!


Yo Ho Ho and a Well Completely of Mud

Thus, pirates. Queest this which I can say to the pirates?

I am afraid which I do not have a terrible fate of experiment with pirate truths, manner that the majority of the people think of them. In fact, I sure that no matter whom am not made imagine the experiment with the kinds of pirates the majority of the people. Seriously, how much real buccaneers of plundering of cutthroat you think accessorize their equipment with leg of ankle, the eyepatch, and a smart-assed parrot? I doubt of whom good number of them buckles equalizes their lappings more. (Not that there is something badly with that, naturally.)

Thus I suppose that what I should say is that I was never exposed to pirate truths.

(Which is completely an exploit, really, because I exposed myself to all the kinds of people during years. You would think that at least one of them would have been the bloodthirsty man, skittle-transporting the type. But not.)

Probably, it is easy thing right of geography. What I hear that -- and see in films -- pirates trail mainly in and around the Caribbean. What is a luxury to which I am not really accustomed,I am afraid. To say the minors. (Hé, perhaps there is something with all this boat-which flies and hostage-which takes, if these people obtain to pass all their lives moving of the beach to the beach in the sunny Bahamas. Perhaps is a change of career in rule, yes?)

Thus, I suppose that it is not any surprise which I did not mix much with crowd privateering. We have various circles of the friends, I guess, not to mention in an extravagant way various sections of imposition of imposition.

Not that the pirates pay really taxes, naturally -- I would think who would rather demolish the goal of all plundering. More, they usually left there in international water; with which they pays taxes, at all events? Switzerland? NATO? Forget the thing of taxes thus. I was to speak insane there.

But I do not want to disappoint, naturally. I can leave you with nothing; nobody goes far from my blog the empty hands, you see. (Stupid, I am not sure I can guarantee for. But empty hands? Not.) Thus, I will say to you a little about my preferred history of the buried treasure of pirate who. is not most probably (Hé, it is not much, but it is nothing, either. More, this will be good filler so that the translators chew above.
Make confiancemoi. It all will establish at the end.)

At all events, my of large tale very the majority preferred of sea turn around the legend of the Island of Oak. It seems that towards the end of 1700s, three men rowed outside in the Island of Oak, in addition to coast of News-Scotland. There, they discovered a tree with a sawn member hanging above a depression in the ground. The sight caught their attention, and carried out their to believe that something could be buried under the tree. And thus, they are turned over, and started to dig. More than two hundred years afterwards, to dig continues, and nobody knows for sure what is in the hole, now doubled 'the money well'.

(Correct, just to be clear, they are still not same the three types digging. You began again on that, right? It is a whole group of others, including six which died the test to obtain at the bottom things. Um, thus to speak, which is. Ahem.)

Thus, I do not want to give far the whole history. There were specials of television about the site, and the whole sites of sequence devoted to the mystery. That it is enough for saying that what the three original men the diggers -- and following -- found is that the well is a problem very crafty one, indeed. Check this diagram of the EC what about the well for an idea with the Juste is known what they treat. It is not any ordinary hole in the ground, people. The treasure or not at the bottom, that which established this thing was serious frickin'.

Naturally, that supposes that somebody really built. At least a person does not think thus, statement the this whole hubbub is a result of the phenomena, coincidence, and hoax normal. Well, and avarice, naturally. There is always avarice.

Even if the well is true, and were built to safeguard the treasure, there remains the question of which treasure, and by which the thing was dug. There are several theories as for the two questions, but I, for one, voice for pirates (today, at all events, because it is adapted with the occasion. I reserve myself the right to vote for Templar knights, or of the freemasons, or even Vikings certain an other day. When is 'maintenance like one day of Templar of knight', at all events?) And apparently, a couple of truths doozies of pirate is plausible -- Blackbeard and Kidd captain were digities because the possible suspects in this pled case of 'encavator and skin and veil far'.

In the final analysis, we can never know the truth. The whole side of the Island of Oak is alveolate with tunnels and wells dug in an effort to reach the price. The majority, if not all, are flooded and useless, and -- given the fact that it is an island speak us here -- it is rather sure of saying that the new tunnels will not solve the problem any time soon. Ni is the whole Atlantic Ocean approximately to pump to the top
of the well and outside. Thus this can be a case where you are free to believe that which the hell want you, without fear unquestionably contradiction. You cannot be proven badly when nothing can be proven whole, you see. Ask the Christian scientists just. (Group of boobs clueless.)

Thus, it is my history. If all is well, before you read this, it will be always a history, and not simply a random disorder of gibberish. (Well, not a more random is order of gibberish, at all events. Unfortunately, I think that I gave him completely a principal beginning in this direction.) I hope that you appreciated this 'maintenance extravagance like pirate'. Agree sure in the next year, and will do we it once again. The hell, which knows? Perhaps by then, I will have met by chance some pirate truths, and I will have better stories to say to you. Or at the very least, I will have had one year to compose the shit. Thus it cannot help but to be better.

I can hardly wait, I mateys! Arrrrr!


Well, that was fun.

Not terribly useful, but fun, nonetheless. I had a good time with it, and I hope you did, too. If you want something that you can actually read now, go see the original post.

(In the meantime, though, check out the links in the post. I'm pretty sure that BabelFish is munging those pages, too, so they're getting the same English-French-English treatment that my entry went through. And frankly, the more the merrier, in this case.)

In the meantime, I did get a few laughs out of this version. (Including 'I was to speak insane there.' and 'Thus, it is my history.') I also liked how 'brouhaha' in the original ended up becoming 'hubbub' in the end. I really had no idea that 'hubbub' had become the accepted term for chaotic willy-nillyness. I'll have to keep that in mind in future.

Anyway, happy 'Talk Like a Pirate Day'. I suppose I should have just said 'Arrr!' and 'Ye landlubbin' keelhaulers', like everyone else, and been happy with that. Instead, I brought you a taste of what 'Talk Like a Drunken Parisian with Brain Damage Day' might be like. It's up to you to decide how close to 'pirate' you think that is. In the meantime, I've learned a couple of French words, and finally put Babelfish to good use, so I'm happy. Oh, and I finally see why we're always bitching back and forth with the French. How the hell could anybody get along with this sort of language barrier? 'Skittle-transporting the type', indeed.



 
Just a Program Note, Nothing to See Here... Move Along, Folks

It's where the freaks who come out at night spend their afternoons.

Hey, all. I just wanted to apologize to anyone who came by anytime on Thursday looking for Wednesday's or Thursday's posts. Apparently, the folks at Blogger had some (more) technical difficulties, in this case preventing anyone using their facilities from actually publishing anything to the web at large. But rest easy now, folks -- because I know how nervous you must have been these past several hours -- both posts were completed on time (and under budget!), and have been lined up and waiting all day to be eyeballed by you and your closest of friends. (Because you have told all your friends about this blog, right? Lord knows they need a chuckle, too; what the hell are you waiting for?)

So, finally, the guy who runs Blogger got his shit back together, and I could post those entries. I figure his mom blew a fuse in the house, or his little sister accidentally kicked the cord on one of the servers. You know how these 'mom and pop' Internet ventures are sometimes. But it's all sorted out now, so please scroll down to check out not one, but two batches of hilarity submitted for your approval. And if you can't be bothered to even scroll down, ya lazy stinkin' bastard, I'll make it even easier for you.

Here's a link to Wednesday's post, all about things that you'll never catch me doing. (Unless you're very nosy, indeed.)

And here's a link to Thursday's entry, in which I ruin my chances to get a job. Or do I? You be the judge.

Anyway, check those out; I think you'll like them. They made me giggle like a schoolgirl, anyway. In a really embarrassed and horribly shameful way, of course, but still -- girly giggling is girly giggling, right? Who am I to be picky?

So, that's it for now. I'll be back later today with a 'real' Friday post. I'm not quite sure what it'll be about yet, but I have a cool idea that I'm thinking of trying, just for laughs, to commemorate 'Talk Like a Pirate Day'. Which is today, as of about half an hour ago where I'm sitting. So until I get back, check out the belatedly-posted drivel from the past couple of days, and I'll see you again in a few hours. Just don't be surprised if I show up with a patch on me eye, and a parrot on me shoulder, ye landlubbin' keelhaulers. Arrrrr!




Thursday, September 18, 2003
 
Tell Me, O Mighty Liege of Destruction, How Many Vacation Weeks Will I Have?

Live in your blog. Play in ours.

A couple of days ago, I had an interview. I think it went really well, and normally, except for one teensy little thing. Maybe it hurt my chances at the job, and then again, maybe it helped. I'll explain, and then you can tell me, because I can't decide.

So, in this interview, I met with a human resources woman, and then a guy, and then another woman. The guy is the leader of the group where the job is, and the last woman is the person currently doing the job.

(And she was a little bitter about the whole deal, I'm afraid.

'Humph. You wore that tie to an interview?'

'You know your resume isn't nearly as good as mine, don't you?'

'You call that ass-kissing? Come on, man, get that tongue working!'

Bitch and moan, bitch and moan. Still, I guess it would be tough to help find your own replacement for anything, really, much less a full-time job. What could be worse than that? Well, okay, maybe picking out your significant other's next partner. That would suck. I don't think I could help but be snarky and mean about that.

'Penis, shmenis, dude. What're you gonna do with that little thing? It's practically an 'innie'. Next!')

All right, what was I talking about? Oh, the interview. Right.

So, the bits with the ladies actually went okay, all things considered. Which is quite an accomplishment, really. When interacting with the fairer sex, I often manage to get my eyes or my mouth -- and once, rather famously, the big toe on my left foot -- stuck in places where they really shouldn't be. So it's a small miracle that I was able to talk to two women on the same day without getting so much as frowned at, not to mention slapped, kicked, shrieked at, headlocked, frisked, decked, or summarily escorted from the premises. So, yay Charlie.

But the boss-man interview was a bit... different. You see, I had the list of interviewers a couple of days before the event. Normally, this is just a good chance for me to practice saying strangers' names without stuttering or fumbling like a clueless boob. I spend a few hours each day in front of a mirror, just reciting, 'Yes, hello, I'm here to see John Smith.' or 'Hi, Ms. Jones; it's very nice to meet you.', until I can do it without sounding like a leprous schizophrenic.

(No, I don't know how leprosy fits in there, either. I'm pretty sure that it has nothing to do with how you sound or speak or anything like that. Look, it sounded good at the time, and I've really got nothing better to replace it with, okay? Just let it go. They can't all be gems, dammit.)

Anyway, that's what usually happens. But not with this guy. See, he's from another country. Which is cool -- I'm all about flitting from nation to nation until you find one you like, or that has good food or hot bods, or a drinking age of nine. Whatever you're into, that's cool with me. That's not the point here.

The point is that this guy -- my prospective new boss -- has a rather unusual name. At least for me. Maybe in his land, his name is like 'John' or 'Mary' over here, and he has to have a dozen nicknames so people can keep him straight amongst all his namesakes. Maybe. But probably not, really.

You see, he has a Godzillla name. An evil supergenius name. A cartoon nemesis name. Now, I can't tell you exactly what it is, for reasons that should be pretty damned obvious. But I can make up a name that's pretty similar, with most of the same letters, and that's just as instructive. Yes, that seems safe enough. And so, henceforth, I'll refer to this man as Goltar. Yes, Goltar it is. Goltar, Ruler of the Underworld. Has a nice ring to it, no?

And that's the problem, of course. Look, I had two whole days to chew on this guy's name, and to practice saying it, and to run it past the smartass little men who live in my brain. And so, by the time I showed up at this interview, ready to respectfully genuflect my way to a job, it was impossible to say, hear, or think of this man's name without adding an imaginary title. In my head, at the least, but far preferably, out loud. I'm sure you can see where this is heading.

So, I managed to make it through the first interview, with the HR lady, without peeing myself or blurting anything out. She almost got me a couple of times, though.

Me: (Just ask me a damned question... ask me a question... don't say his name... ask me a question...)
Her: So.
Me: Yes, ma'am?
Her: It looks like you'll be meeting with Goltar next.
Me: (Goltar! Goltar, Defender of Darkness! Goltar will see you now! Aaaiiieeeeee!!)
Me: Hee hee -- um, I mean, He. He... he's meeting with me next? Good, good. I look forward to that.
Her: Yes, you'll like him. Goltar's very nice.
Me: (Goltar not nice! Goltar drink the blood of Goltar's enemies! All hail, mighty Goltar, Destroyer of Men! Wooooot!)
Me: Ha hah! Uh, that is, 'ha'. Ha... hou... how long has he been at the company?
Her: Who, Goltar?
Me: (Do you mock Goltar, Render of Souls? Goltar will crush thee like an insect! Insolence!)
Me: Mmppht! Mmrrr... Um, mmm-hmm. How long?
Her: Well, several years now. He was one of our first employees, as a matter of fact. Um, are you okay? Can I get you some water or something?
Me: Ah, no thanks. I think liquid in my mouth would actually be a really bad idea right now.
Her: Oh. I...um, see.

Okay, I said I 'made it through' the thing, all right? I never claimed that I managed to make a good impression or anything useful like that. One small miracle at a time, you know.

So, anyway, we finished up and it was finally time to meet Goltar in the flesh. Or cape, or scales, or chain mail, or whatever the hell a 'Goltar' would be wearing. I half-expected him to sidle through the door, leering about and twirling a greasy moustache between his fingers. (Not necessarily his own moustache, mind you; I couldn't decide which would be more evil.) On the other hand, I wouldn't have been terribly surprised if he'd been nine feet tall and green and wearing animal skins of some kind, with some sort of death-dealy sword at his side. Oh, I'd have wet my pants; don't get me wrong. But I'm not sure that I'd have been 'surprised', per se. Just so we're clear on that point.

Anyway, he was a pretty normal-looking guy. Slacks, a button-down shirt, loafers. Short brown hair, average height, forties-ish. Nothing out of the ordinary, really. Which turned out to be the worst thing of all, because that lulled me into a false sense of control over my asinine reflexes. I actually thought that because he looked normal, my brain would forget all that other crap and settle down to the business of landing me this job.

No such luck. Stupid brain.

So, when he introduced himself, I -- with my guard down -- let loose with that teensy weensy embarrassing thing that I mentioned above. It went hauntingly like this:

Him: Hello. Charlie?
Me: Yes, sir, that's right.
Him: Good to meet you. I'm Goltar.
Me: GOLTAR! MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE!!
Him: ...
Me: It's -- ahem -- nice to meet you, too. Um, sir.

Amazingly, the rest of the interview with him went pretty smoothly. He gave me a very odd look after my little outburst, of course, but we settled down to business rather quickly. I even managed to piece together a few reasonable answers to his questions. Luckily, my brain was in 'recharge' mode after turning me into its temporary Tourette bitch, and I was left to concentrate on the actual interview. Of course, if he'd chosen to refer to himself in the third person ('Goltar wants to know about your work experience.'), I'm pretty sure Mr. Brain would have been back at the plate, ready to swing for the fences again. Thankfully, it didn't come to that.

In the end, he never mentioned my little faux pas, and I sure as hell wasn't about to bring it up, even to apologize. So who knows what he thought? Perhaps he didn't register it at all -- maybe it was so strange and foreign to him that it passed through his mind without generating any memory whatsoever. Maybe? Nah. I could never be that lucky.

But maybe he didn't know what I was talking about, so he cut me some slack. Hell, maybe he really thinks I have Tourette Syndrome, which could work in my favor. For one thing, he can't reject me from consideration based on a medical condition. (Or in this case, behavior bizarre enough to seem to warrant a clinical explanation, even if it's not the case.) More importantly, if I get the job, I can say anything the hell I want, and curse anywhere, any time, and at anybody I feel like, just so long as I look sheepish and innocent afterwards. Just like the interview, keeping a straight face may be the hardest part of the job.

Of course, it's overwhelmingly likely that he did hear me, has some clue where the hell it came from, and he shit-canned my resume the moment I stepped out the door. It wouldn't be the first time, nor the last. Still, that seems like a pretty harsh sentence to me. Think about it -- who wouldn't dig being the 'Master of the Universe'? Or even called that by a relative stranger? I mean, look, there are 'mad props', and then there are 'mad props!', and then there's being called master of the freakin' universe by some toady-wannabe begging for a job. C'mon, how could you possibly take that the wrong way?

So, maybe -- just maybe -- my brain's little stunt helped me. In a few days, as Goltar ('Conjurer of Unholy Spirits') looks through his stack of resumes, perhaps he'll remember me. I'll be the one who threw out the ultimate compliment, even before we'd sat down to chat. And Goltar ('Prince of Shadows') will see my name, and realize that I'm the one for the job. I'm the one who'll do the work, and do it fast and do it right, and never complain, and still pledge allegiance to His Excellence at the end of the day without reservation or complaint. Not everyone is cut out to serve Goltar ('Lord of the Furies'), you see. But Goltar ('Bringer of Pestilence') knows a true disciple when he sees one, and I am that disciple. The Chosen One. So maybe blurting out one of the many titles held by Goltar ('Punisher of Mortals') will get me that job, after all. Right? Um, right? Yeah?

Oh, I am so screwed.




Wednesday, September 17, 2003
 
If You Didn't Get It On Tape, You Can't Prove Nothin'

Okay, I think I've got 'quantity' down pat. What was the other thing again?

All right, I think I should probably set some things straight around here.

I've been blogging for three whole months now, plus one day, and I'm thinking that you folks may be getting the wrong idea about me. Sure, I tell you about the weird and snarky and downright doofalicious situations that I find myself dropped in the middle of. (Through no fault of my own, thank you very little.) And I suppose I've -- *cough cough* -- been known to rant and foam every so often about people who share too much or morons too clueless to properly operate a phone. Guilty, as charged.

But I don't want you to get the wrong idea.

I'm not a bad person. Really. Look, I'm not even a mean person, if you ask most of the people who know me. Well, okay, probably not if you ask the ones who sit close enough to hear the shit I mutter under my breath. But you can pick just about anyone outside a three-foot perimeter from my mouth, and they'd probably tell you that I'm just grand.

And, for large portions of the day, I am grand. At least, I play grand on TV. I know when and where to draw the line, how to blend in with the 'normal' humans, and what sorts of things must never, ever be done. And so, lest you form the wrong opinion of me, I want to prove it.

(Really, your opinions mean everything to me. I mean it. Most everyone else I know has, or will, sit within the 'Muttering Zone', and find out just what a heartless, acerbic dickhead I really am. Most of you will never climb that particular mountain, so I have to keep you convinced that I have at least the merest shreds of compassion and sanity left. I am Leia, and you are my internet Kenobi. 'You are my only hope.')

(Well, shit. If that explanation didn't blow my chances with you people, I don't know what will. I've really got to stop typing everything that pops into my head.)

(Froot Loops. Dongleware. Bride of Chucky. Hmmm. Yeah, maybe tomorrow.)

Anyway, I'm out to show you that while I'll go far, there are lines that it cannot be conclusively proven that I've crossed. Some things are just too dumb, disgusting, or depraved even for me. And so, I present to you, in order to earn your undying respect and love (or disgust and pity; I'm really not so picky about such things), my list of:

Things That I Would Never, Never, Ever Do in a Million Years (So Far As You Know)

  • I would never squeeze my car into a half-open parking spot next to some dickhead who tried to double-park his precious Beemer, but left just enough room for me to snake my car in, leaving my passenger door mere millimeters away from his driver's side window. And even if it happened, I'm sure I wouldn't then wait across the parking lot for the dumbass to come out, just to watch him (or her; anything's possible, right?) have to climb in through the other side, or preferably, the moonroof. Why, I'd never so much as dream of it.
  • I would never tell our friends' children that our house is full of dragons and vampires and scary radioactive bees to keep them from asking to come bother us. And in any case, there's no way I'd go to the trouble of hooking up a series of motion sensors on the porch and attaching them to a stereo, so that bloodcurdling shrieks and moans are played whenever anyone less than four and a half feet tall walks to the door. What kind of a monster do you take me for?
  • I would never slather ink from a permanent marker all over the mouth of a coworker's coffee mug, even if she (or, um, he, hypothetically speaking) made bitchy comments about my messy desk. And I definitely wouldn't go the extra mile and coat the mug handle, too, so that when she wiped her mouth, the mess would just be compounded. Not right before a big important staff meeting, anyway. How rude would that be?
  • I would never pee in the shower, regardless of how badly I needed to go. And if I ever broke that rule, then I certainly wouldn't use the stream to scoot little pieces of soap around the tub, or to knock small insects off the shower walls. That's just wrong.
  • I would never wait until no one is looking, and then taste a piece of the dog's kibble, just to see what she has to put up with every day for the rest of her life. And I definitely wouldn't get the piece from her filthy, slobber-encrusted bowl, rather than walking the extra two feet to reach the relatively clean bag of dog food. I couldn't even bear to think of it.
  • I would never visit a barber who speaks broken English and whose native tongue I know only slightly, and then proceed to nod and agree at every suggestion he makes during the haircut, without understanding a word. And I'm confident that I wouldn't compound the problem by then attempting to speak to him in his own language, because that might lead him to believe that all I really want left on my head are triangular tufts of green hair behind each ear and dotted lines where my eyebrows used to be. Do I seem like I'd do something that stupid?
  • I would never send a 'priority' email to important clients for the sole purpose of asking them to look over an attached file, and then forget to attach it. But if I ever did, then I absolutely wouldn't send another email, apologizing for the error and cc'ing my boss, and neglect to attach the file again. And I would be shocked to meet someone who would.
  • I would never drag a dirty plate out of the sink and be too lazy to wash it before using it for dinner, nor would I strategically place the fresh food over any existing stains to hide the fact that the plate wasn't clean in the first place. And I emphatically wouldn't then serve dinner to my wife on that plate, and use the only clean one for my own. I'm not sure I could live with myself if I did.
  • I would never forget which way to turn the shower faucet in the thirty seconds after turning the water off, and then accidentally douse myself and my only dry towel with several gallons of water while trying to stop the nozzle from dripping. What kind of idiot would do that?
  • I would never turn around to try and identify the components of a big number two before flushing, no matter how 'interesting' or 'frightening' or 'chunkadelic' it may have felt, or how much pain it caused en route. And under no circumstances would I invite my wife, or friends, or dinner party guests to look, and play a round of 'Name That Turd'. Who would do such a thing?

See what I mean? I'm just a regular guy, here, folks. I wouldn't do any of those things, just like you. Or at least, I wouldn't admit to doing any of them. (Just like you.) And you can't prove otherwise. I'm just as clean on these things as you are. Now who's the crazy dickhead, eh?

(Just for the record, though, I think the little green things came from a salad I had for lunch yesterday. I've got no idea about the yellow gunk, though. I haven't had corn in weeks. Spooky, huh?)




Tuesday, September 16, 2003
 
Well, There's a Quarter. Do You Care Yet?

It's my blog. I'll cry if I want to. You would cry too, if I blogged about you.

Today marks my three-month blogging anniversary. One whole quarter's worth of blather, and another milestone to talk about.

(Yes, I'm well aware that I just wrote about finishing my '101 Things Posts About Me', and then my hundredth post, and now I'm already blogging about the blog again. Give me a break. What do you think, I'm made of topics here? Eighty-five posts in two weeks cuts into the old subject pile, you know.)

Anyway, I wrote my first post on June 16th, exactly three months ago. I wasn't quite sure how things would turn out, or whether I'd still be writing now, but I think the first quarter has gone okay. I seem to have found my voice. Never mind that it alternates between the crackly wheeze of a dirty old man and the whiny whinny of a pre-teen girl -- it's my voice, dammit. And now that I've found it, I'm unleashing it on the world. Stand back!

So, to commemorate the occasion, I've updated my 'Best Of' links over on the right. I finally filled the entry list out to twenty, and added another twenty from the '101 Things' posts. Anything to drag the eyeballs to the good stuff, you know. I'm here to help. Help me help you, would you?

In any case, thanks for reading. A couple of you have been here since the beginning, and I really appreciate that. It's just that sort of love that makes the world go 'round. Some say love won't pay the rent, but... well, I've never been a landlord myself, but I've got to believe that a little hootchie-cootchie with the man would at least buy you a few days to get some money together. That's all I'm saying. Now what the hell was I talking about?

Anyway, woo hoo, first quarter!

I've been thinking of doing something to spice the old place up, but I'm not sure what would work well. Really, I should never be trusted to make my own judgements.

(That's why I always order out when it's my night to put dinner on the table. I've had too many culinary experiences go hurl-inducingly wrong. You know the 'two great tastes that taste great together' theory? Well, apparently in the hands of a madman, it can't be trusted. Like a chainsaw, or missle launcher, or a smarmy boy band.

Anyway, I apparently have no clue about food 'pairings'. Pairings. Harrumph. You'd think edibles were sad, lonely teenagers -- why do they need 'pairing', anyway? I say, if you like something, then eat it, and then eat something else you like. What's all the fuss about? Why can't I serve steak and ice cream, for instance, or broccoli in applesauce? Does it really matter if you eat them together, or ten minutes apart? C'mon -- they're all headed down the same chute in the end, right? Gimme a break.

It also seems that I've got a problem with substitutions. I'll give you an example -- a while back, I wanted to surprise my wife with some homemade fudge. Peanut butter fudge, to be specific. Fine. So, I found a recipe, and started mixing, and things were going just swimmingly. Until I discovered that we were out of peanut butter, that is. Bitches!

But I was past the point of no return. There were dirty bowls and measuring cups, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna dirty dishes and get nothing out of it. So, I improvised; I got as close as I possibly could, given the supplies I had to work with at the time. It was a perfectly reasonable decision, I think. Really.

Unfortunately, once I'd mixed the mayonnaise into the chocolate, I realized that it wasn't quite as thick as real peanut butter. Close, but no Jiffy. So, I needed something to thicken the mix. And even in retrospect, I'm not sure that I could have done better than Crisco. I'm really not. It seemed like a good idea at the time, anyway, and the fudge mix actually looked just about right. (Okay, a little more marshmallowy than I'd ideally like, but that's pretty true of me, too, and I'm not giving up on that. So why would I call it quits on the fudge?)

Now, I'd like to be able to describe the series of faces that my wife made when she tasted the fudge. I'd also like to be able to tell you that I gave her some warning that all in the fudge pan may not have been as it seemed. I'd like to do those things, but good Lord and butter, I just can't. I can't tell you that I told her, because obviously I didn't, or she'd have never dared to try the unholy mess I offered her. She's a smart girl, that one, no matter who she ended up marrying.

And the faces... well, there were just too many, and too twisted and pained, for me to really be able to do them justice. Oh, and there was some rather spectacular projectile vomiting happening in the middle there, somewhere, too. I wouldn't even know how to begin to tell you about that. Suffice to say that I know my wife had pizza and a salad for lunch and dinner that day, but I can't really tell you in which order. Our kitchen wall still smells vaguely of grease and chocolate.)

I get the feeling I was talking about something else. But all that talk of mayo and peanut butter just makes me want a sandwich. Eh.

Oh, I remember. It's how my judgement can't be trusted. Right. So, I'm thinking of doing a little tinkering around here, but I'm not sure where to focus my energies. Here are a few of the things I have in mind to spruce up the old blog:

  • A 'window dressing' redesign, possibly even moving to more 'hands-on' software than Blogger
  • Another hideously long obscure project, like the '100 Things' posts. The best (read 'only, but harebrained') idea I've had so far is an interactive 'Day in the Life' project in a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' style
  • An email option, to allow folks to get their daily dose of drivel in their mailbox, rather than here. I suppose I'd lose some hits that way, but it might be a fun way to spread the crap. Er, word. Spread the word. Ahem.

So, does any of that sound appetizing? (More so than my extra-special mayo fudge, at least.) Anything else you'd like to see? Anybody? Bueller? Just lemme know, and I'll give it a shot, no matter how ridiculous. Hey, you've seen what I write. I've got very little pride left.

So, I guess that's about it for this evening. Go check out the links on the right. Maybe you missed something good, who knows? Hell, if you've seen all that crap, go check out one of the blogs listed over there. Those people are saner than I am, and won't take up nearly as much of your time. Except the ones that do, I suppose. A couple of them are just about as talky and random as I am. But they've been at it a lot longer, so at least you won't have to hear about their 'first quarter blogiversaries'. Who'd want to go through this again?




Monday, September 15, 2003
 
Musings From the Porcelain Cathedral (No, Dammit, the Other One!)

Apparently my insolence will be tolerated.

Today, I'd like to talk about my showers.

Okay, not all about my showers; this isn't that kind of blog. (And you can thank your lucky undies that this isn't a photo blog, while you're at it.) So stick with me here. I won't promise that I'm not going to gross you out, but... well, I'll at least ease you into it, okay? I'll begin with the basics, and work my way down the scale into the things that aren't to be mentioned in polite society. Deal? Deal.

So, first I should probably mention that I'm a top-downer. (See? I'm not making any lewd comment or turning that into some sort of Kama Sutra reference or ass-slapping joke. See how good I can be, even if it's killing me?)

What I mean is that I start with my hair, and generally work my way down my body.

When I'm washing in the shower, that is. That sort of order doesn't really work for much of anything else, except maybe getting sweaty with your main squeeze. After all, 'The first base is connected to the -- second base. And second base is connected to the -- third base...' You get the idea.

But that's about it, and even then, you don't finish with the feet, now, do you? Sure, if you're into that sort of thing, you might start with the feet, but if it's uglies you're looking to bump, you're generally going to find them somewhere in the middle of the body. At least, that's where the 'bumping' ones will be. You may run into other ugly bits on the body, of course, but you're probably not going to get anywhere by bumping with those. I tell you this from years of experience. Don't make the same mistakes that I made. (Or risk the same lawsuits.)

Anyway, I wash myself from the top downward. First, I shampoo my hair, or 'lather'. Then I wash it out, or 'rinse'. I do not, however, 'repeat'. Life's too short to be standing in the shower all fucking day with my eyes smooshed shut. Besides, I'm not filthying up my hair by swimming in a pool or standing under an oil rig all day. So once is enough.

When I'm done rinsing -- but not repeating -- I dry my hair just a bit with a washcloth. I figure I'm gonna need my eyes for most of the rest of the procedure, so I should nip the drips from above in the bud. A few shakes through the follicles usually does the trick. Next, I lather up the washcloth and give my face a good scrubbing. This achieves the obvious goal of cleaning any dirt from my facial region, while also applying soap to the skin around my eyes, again rendering me effectively blind. In other words, completely negating all that work I just went through to dry my hair. I realize this, and yet I do not alter the routine, washing my face later or bothering to rinse the soap from my eyes. I am, of course, a moron.

(In my defense, I usually shower within a few minutes of waking up, and my mind is a notoriously slow starter. In stark contrast to certain other bits, which often seem all too eager to, ahem, 'rise and shine' in the morning. But no one wants to hear about my, uh, thumbs. Um, yeah. Moving right along.)

So, from there, I work by touch. Armpits and arms, chest and back, legs and feet. Then there's the middle bits. I save those for last. Not because I have special plans for them or anything. (Usually.) It's just that none of the other parts of the body like to be washed after the cloth has delved into the 'Underwear Zone'. So those areas get taken care of at the end of the process.

And that's pretty much it -- I rinse off, towel down (again, from top to bottom), and I declare myself clean for the day. Pretty standard stuff, really. Sure, some people shampoo last, or do some special thing to their face, but the routine isn't all that earthshattering. But it's the other things that happen in the shower that make it really interesting. Things like what, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. All you have to do is ask, you know.

First of all, I do a lot of thinking in the shower. Not the deep, heavy-lifting sort of thinking, mind you. Nothing useful like that. No, instead, I have weird, convoluted trains of thought. Frightening, sometimes. There's something about being naked and warm and wet and half-asleep that brings out the bizarre side of me, I guess. I must have been a crazy son of a bitch in the womb. (Yeah, not like when I'm blogging. Whee.)

Anyway, I'll give you an example. I had a now-forgotten series of thoughts yesterday in the shower that culminated in one question, and it was this:

'If someone were to put a gun to my head and demand that I sing one song without getting a single word wrong, what song would I choose to sing?'

Now, first of all, who the fuck has thoughts like that? And -- since the answer to that question is rather obvious -- why did I have that thought, and how the hell did I get there? (And if you thought my schizophrenic topic-jumping was confined to my writing, you've got me all wrong, bub. I actually edit for you people; try living in my brain sometime.)

But more to the point -- what song would it be, anyway? I mean, if I'm going to bother to dream up such an oddball question, I might as well answer it, right? So I stood there in the water a while, and eventually decided on 'Waitress in the Sky' by the Replacemnts. It's short, the words are all clear, and I know it by heart, which are all prerequisites, of course. If I went 'um'ing and 'er'ing or mumbling through a bridge, I was gonna get my brains blown out. (Hypothetically speaking, of course.)

So, I stood there for another couple of minutes, water sliding off my back, and softly sang it. You know, to see how I'd fare with this imaginary and strangely demented gunman. And, of course, I mis-sang one bit, garbling the 'garbage man, janitor, and you my dear' line. Which disappointed me no end, of course, seeing as how I'd hypthetically just had my head splattered all over the shower wall. Bitches. Still, I did get through the song without forgetting any words; I just have to hope I'd be able to keep calmer if the real situation were to ever come up. Which it won't, because it's ridiculously stupid. But, you know, if it did.

(Hey, while I'm here, why not drag you nice folks into my shower, as well? Still speaking proverbially, of course. But what song would you pick? In my little world, I decided that it couldn't be a fairy tale, or old folk song, or anything like that. It had to be a song by a modern band or singer, with real words (no instrumentals or sample-only tracks), and should have at least a couple of verses. So what would it be? What song could you recite verbatim, under pressure, without a single misstep? And after you pick one, can you really do it? Sing it to yourself out loud and see whether you'd survive this little test. Enquiring minds have nothing better to do right now.)

Anyway, that's the kind of thing that randomly strikes me in the shower. But there are also some rather non-random thoughts that arise, as well. And the most common by far is, 'Shit, I don't have a clean towel or washcloth, do I?' How to get around this little pickle? Well, assuming that the initial assessment is correct, and I don't have any clean towelage, I've got three options.

  • If I've just stepped into the shower, and I'm not yet soaked, I can turn the water off, stamp my feet to dry them, and trudge the twenty yards or so down the hall to the towel shelves. I'd then grab a towel and washcloth, and try not to kill myself by slipping in the wet footprints I've just left all over the floor.
  • I can ignore the problem, washing myself with just my hands, and air-dry after my shower. While this does have the advantage of maximizing my 'naked time', it also gets pretty boring standing in the tub with nothing to do for an hour and a half.
  • If there are dirty washcloths and towels in the bathroom, I can swallow my pride and use those. This actually represents four options, since for both the towel and cloth, I may have the choice of using one of my used items, or my wife's used items.

Now, none of these options are good ones. I've tried them all at one point or another, and not one of them is pretty. But I have to say, the third choice is the one I keep coming back to, and the one I'd recommend. I'll tell you why.

First of all , you have to buy into an important concept. And I mean buy in; don't just pay it lip service. Believe it. You must believe in the power of 'The Other Side'. As in, 'The Other Side' of the towel or washcloth. This is an absolute necessity if you're going to recycle a used towel. See, you must believe that whatever funky, nasty, disgusting thing that might have been deposited on that hunk of fabric is safely tucked away on 'The Other Side'.

So as you bring that towel to your face, and you think:

'Hey, didn't I wipe my nasty underarms on this thing yesterday?'

You'll always have this comforting answer:

'Well, yeah. But that's not on this side of the towel. I wiped them on The Other Side.'

Or if you hesitate to rub that washcloth all over your body, remembering:

'Whoa, this thing was picking my ass just this morning!'

You can remind yourself:

'Ah, but not the side I'm using now. That was The Other Side!'

You can see how powerful this simple trick can be. Practice it well enough, and any used item becomes fair game. Any towel or cloth that doesn't actually have visible stains can be redeemed with this method. It's just that simple. No matter how heinously the towel's been treated -- maybe you pull your towels through your legs and floss your ass with them, no matter! -- the 'The Other Side' technique can work for you. Just remember, the unspeakable horrors that were let loose on the towel always, always left their filthy remnants on the side of the towel you're not currently using. In other words, The Other Side. Keep it in mind; it could save your life one day.

(Or at least a trip to the linen closet, which could theoretically kill you. Do you really want to be found naked and dripping and dead in your hallway, clutching a clean fluffy towel to your chest? Or would you prefer to simply dry your bod on a towel that's not really dirty -- all the gross shit's on The Other Side, remember -- and go merrily on your way? I know what I'm choosin'.)

Well, I hope you've enjoyed this little glimpse into my showering life. (The neighbors seemed to like it, before we put up the bathroom blinds.) And I hope I've helped you to make the right choice the next time you find yourself in your own tub without the proper towelage. It's all a matter of mind over perfectly reasonable disgust. Of course, it helps to have your significant other's towels and cloths to choose from. There are plenty of areas on my body that I wouldn't want to rub on a towel that I was going to dry my face with. (Unless I used The Other Side of the towel, of course!) But the list of those taboo places on my wife is pretty damned short, which makes her towels much easier to reuse. Basically, if she didn't literally fart on the towel at point-blank range, it's still in play. And even at that, the fart would be on The Other Side. Of course, those things can seep, so maybe I wouldn't risk it.

Anyway, that's about all I can tell you about my showers for the moment. If I think of anything else that you should know, or I have any other freaky hypotheticals come up, I'll be sure to tell you. And honestly, it's pretty damned likely. I shower at least once a day, whether I need it or not, so there are plenty of opportunities for new epiphanies and posers. I'll just be sure to dry off before coming to the computer to blog them for you. Exactly what I'll dry off with, I can't really say yet. But with any luck, it'll still be damp and smell like my wife. Well, like most of her, anyway. Just as long as it doesn't smell like the parts she dried on The Other Side. 'Cause that's just nasty.




Sunday, September 14, 2003
 
Whatever You Do, Don't Lick the Aluminum Bats

It's not completely random. Just think of it as 'topic kebabs'.

Well, softball starts up again today. And I know what you're probably thinking --

'Softball? Starting? Mid-September? In New England? Nuh-uh.'

And to you, I emphatically retort: 'Yuh-huh!' (See, ma, that year on the debate team in high school really did pay off!

(Oh, and by the way, stop thinking in sentence fragments. You keep that up, your brain will freeze like that one day.)

Anyway, Team Guinness and I are embarking this afternoon on yet another quest for a title. This game begins the clinically accurate but frighteningly-named 'Frostbite Season'. And if you've had any late-fall experience in the Boston area, you'll know just how apt the name is. A couple of years ago, we played a game in a snowstorm. If not for all the blood smeared on the ball from the cracked skin on our fingers, we'd have never been able to see it in the snow. So thank heaven for split cuticles, eh?

Many of our games are in barren, remote places way outside of Boston, too. Places even further north of the city, like Lexington and North Reading. (No, no -- not Reading, folks. You hit Reading, and then you keep going! Like two more whole miles, or something! It's crazy!) I'm just hoping that we don't get into any 'Donner party' nonsense one of these Sundays, out in the wilderness like that. Of course -- assuming I'm not the first course -- that might not be all bad. Some of our players do look pretty tasty, I have to admit. I've been thinking about eating our catcher for a while now, actually.

We shouldn't have any problems today, though. The game's just a few blocks away from my house, and it's still pretty summery around here. So it should be fun -- other than the fact that we may only have four people showing up. See, the fall is actually worse than the summer, as far as people showing up for the games. You'd think we'd all be too scared or disgusted to travel far, what with all the New York yahoos stampeding up here to look at the autumn foliage.

(Which I simply don't understand. People, they're leaves. Lee-eaves. What's the attraction? Sure, I can see that having brown, and red, and yellow instead of boring old green is an improvement, but just because something's better doesn't mean it's particularly good. Look, 'naked' is generally 'better', but do you really want to see Kathy Bates in her birthday suit? (Or, for the ladies in the audience, Brian Dennehy?) No, not unless you have an icepick at the ready to gouge your eyes out. And you certainly wouldn't travel hundreds of miles to 'ooh' and 'aah' over it. ('Ewww' and 'aaugh', maybe, but that's different. Liver-spotted. Yellowed. Different.

Now, I'm not trying to compare our majestic northeastern forests to pudgy, aging film stars. But, well -- I guess I just did, so I'm gonna go with it. Look, I wouldn't drive several hours to spend a weekend gaping slack-jawed at these old Hollywood farts, nor any others I can think of. (Okay, so maybe if Natalie Portman decides to display herself in the nude over a weekend on a bet or something, I'd schlep over to see that. But hey -- she goes to Harvard, so I could probably walk there. The argument stands.) So, I suppose I just don't see the point when it comes to the leaves. Sure, they're kind of pretty, but if you've seen one deciduous forest closing down shop for the year, you've seem 'em all, right? And even if you haven't -- how long can it possibly take to get the gist? Ten minutes? Twenty, if you're a little slow? And that deserves a weekend trip? Nah.

No, I think the real reason these damned New Yorkers ooze their way up here every damned year is because they want to rub our noses in the fuckin' Yankees, and the insurmountable lead they have every frickin' September over our belov'd Red Sox. Yeah, you don't see these bastards comin' in the spring for the flowers. And they don't drive up here for the snow in the winter, when the Celtics are kickin' their Knicks' ass up and down the hardwood. No. Just in the fall, for 'the leaves'. Right. Yankee-lovin' dickheads. Everything that's wrong with the world is Yankees fans' fault. You people know that, right?)

Anyway, what the hell was I talking about? Softball? I think I was bitching about getting enough people to play. (I was bitching about something, anyway, and that seems like a good enough place to pick it back up.)

So, the fall is actually the toughest time to get people. There are still Red Sox games for people to go to, and late vacations, and our shortstop has Patriots season tickets. Other folks decide that it's more fun to watch football and drink beer all day and night than to play softball and drink beer just all night. (Which sounds so damned reasonable when I write it down like that. Hmmm, maybe they've got a point there.) Plus, there's apparently an awful lot of jiggy-gettin'-with around here at Christmastime, because it seems like every year, there's a baby being dropped in September or October, which takes another player out of circulation for a few dozen years. (Or at least until the spring... but honestly, none of the guys whose wives have had kids have ever come back. It's like a giant black baby hole. Fear it!)

So it's quite possible that we'll end up 'scrimmaging' today, rather than playing a game that counts. I think we've got six or seven people confirmed, and another couple who might show. But we have to have nine to play, and we really should have ten or more, so I don't have high hopes. I suppose the best thing that could happen is that we forfeit right away, pack up all our shit, and hit the bar. We'll have lost a couple of hours of early-afternoon drinking, but we can make up for that. We're Team Guinness, after all. Even with diminished numbers, we'll put away our fair share. I just hope there aren't any New Yorkers at our bar. If we forfeit our game, I am so not gonna be in the mood for those goddamned snooty Yankholes. Grrr.




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