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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!

Please visit my new home at:
http://www.wherethehellwasi.com

I'll be glad you did!

Saturday, October 11, 2003
 
Dude, Keanu's Like, Six Stories Tall! Kewl!

Hey, all -- sorry for a short post tonight, but I've had a busy day. Golf this morning, then back just in time for the Red Sox game (which they lost, dammit, to Roger and the damned Yankees), and then hanging out with some friends watching sports, drinking beer, and eating. The last folks left our house just a little while ago.

And just to warn you -- unfortunately (for blogging purposes), something similar may this way come tomorrow. The current plan includes three softball games, then dinner and debauchery before and during the next Red Sox game. I may have a few minutes here and there to say hello, but the pickin's may be a little thin for the next day or so. Don't hate me because I'm busy. I'll make it up to you, I promise. In the meantime, go trawl around the archives for shit you haven't read, or have forgotten about. That shit is 'comedy bronze', I tell you -- comedy bronze.

For now, I'd just like to mention what I did last night. For you see, last night, I (finally) saw the Matrix: Reloaded movie. And I dug it. A lot. Charlie saw the film, and he saw that the film was good. Praise Hollywood.

(Yes, I realize that I'm getting into the game a bit tardily here. And while that's better than getting into the game 'turdily', it still isn't good.

See, I live much of my life a few months -- or more -- behind. I don't see many movies in their first run, and generally don't get caught up in the hype of every new show, movie, game, pop icon, or porn star that comes along. Most of the time, this is a pretty good thing, since said 'new sensation' turns out to be pablum, or drivel. Or both. 'Pablel'. Or 'drivum'. Whatever.

But once in a while, something comes along that's worth the effort, and it takes me a bit longer to jump on the bandwagon and get my ass in gear to check it out. This even happens when my antennae are um, pricked up, so to speak. Ahem.

Seriously, even when I'm expecting and anticipating some new thing or other, I still often miss the boat. I got into the original Matrix late, for instance, but I really liked it. I'm a big science fiction fan, and it was right up my alley. I've watched it several times since on movie channels, and have even become a Propellerheads fan because of the 'lobby scene' music they contributed to the soundtrack. Really, I'm a fan. Scout's honor.

But I still waited months and months to bother seeing 'Reloaded'. Why? I don't know. Maybe I'm too busy. (Yeah, right.) Maybe I've got better things to do. (If you count picking lint from my navel as 'better'.) Maybe I just forget, or don't care enough, or I'm just a moron. (Houston, I think we're getting warmer...)

In any case, I saw the damned movie six months after everyone else, okay? So don't fret -- I'm not going to bother you with a plot synopsis or a review of the thing. I just saw it, that's all. Don't be so cynical, all right? That's my job.)

So, the cool thing is that I saw the movie at our local handy-dandy IMAX theater. And for my money, the only way to see an action flick like this one is on IMAX. Or 'in IMAX', or 'at IMAX', or whatever. I don't know what the damned acronym stands for, so I don't know which is appropriate. Wherefore art thou, 'Conjunction Junction'? Or 'Prepositionary Missionary', or whichever gimmicky part-of-speech ditty I'm supposed to call upon in this situation. (Yeah, I wasn't an English major, all right? Give me a freakin' break here.)

Anyway, IMAX is the way to go. After all, you can't spell 'THE MATRIX' without 'IMAX', right?

(Well, that and 'RHETT', I suppose, but we didn't have anyone named 'Rhett' with us last night. So maybe we didn't get the full experience, after all. Perhaps we should have planned ahead. Eh.)

But IMAX Matrix was cool, man. Everything was magnified a hundred-fold and thrust at us on a towering screen. We saw it all -- the pounding music, the action, the explosions, the fights... the remnants of every pimple Lawrence Fishburne has ever had -- it was all there, fifty feet tall and loud as fuck.Not for the faint of heart, perhaps, but I reveled in it. The freeway scenes alone were worth the price of admission, plus popcorn and a drink. What a bargain!

But like I promised, I won't burden you with a slew of details. If you care about seeing this movie, then you'll have seen it by now, and probably months ago. If not -- well, you're probably fed up with this post already, and thinking about what to do next. (Once again, I respectfully suggest browsing the archives -- c'mon, you know you want to.)

As a matter of fact, I think I'll let all of you nice readers off the hook now, and hit the sack myself. (Thereby ending this post, of course. Contrary to popular theory, I don't write this shit in my sleep, half-witted stream-of-consciousness style. Really, that hurts, people. Have a heart.)

But I hope to be here tomorrow for another installment. And maybe I'll think of something to do on Monday to make it up to you. Something creative and pointless and unnecessarily complex, of course, in keeping with the rest of the shit around here. No, really, it'll be fun. Oh, do stop by, won't you?

For now, though, I need my beauty sleep. (To the tune of a couple of years' worth, if I was really using it to become 'pretty', but that's another matter.) Seriously, I need my shuteye. Those softball games of mine start at ten am tomorrow, and those errors at third base aren't just going to commit themselves, you know. I've got to be there, and so I'll bid you adieu. We'll continue this discussion -- or, more likely, two or three other discussions, just as rambling and incoherent as this one -- tomorrow. G'night!




Friday, October 10, 2003
 
I May Never Park the Damned Car Again

Fuck da po-lice.

(I say that fairly regularly, but I suppose I should explain. Most of you don't know me well, and I don't want you getting the wrong idea. Or even the right idea, but one I'm trying to hide. Really, it's best if you just have no ideas whatsoever, okay? That way there can't be any misunderstandings, plus there'll be more ideas left over for me. And I need all the ideas my little itty bitty brain can handle.)

Anyway, let me explain. Usually when I say, 'Fuck da po-lice', I don't mean it literally.

(Well, okay, actually I never mean it entirely literally, of course. Nobody means it literally -- no one's going around suggesting that we 'wax flagpoles' with our local law enforcement officers. Nobody around here, anyway. Most cops around Boston are big burly Irish guys, or butchy hulking mullet chicks. So there's really not much public outcry to show these folks the sweaty love. Maybe in your town, but not here. Just so we're clear on that.)

What I mean to say, though, is that I don't mean 'Fuck da po-lice' the way that most people might mean it. Really. I've got no beef with cops, and they don't seem to have any particular problem with me, either. We generally stay out of each others' way, and I keep my nose more or less clean, in the legal sense. So I'm not generally coming down on the boys and girls in blue, like you might think.

No, usually I use 'Fuck da po-lice' in one of two situations. I say it to mean either:

'Oh, my word, look how da man has screwed me again'
or
'I know this ain't smart... but fuck it, I'm doin' it anyway'

So, just as a for-instance, say that the boss tells me I've got to stay late. There's 'da man' again. So, under my breath, 'Aw, man, fuck da po-lice'.

Or say I'm on a two-lane highway behind some swervy old bluehair bitch, and I'm late (as usual) to get somewhere across town. I'm not supposed to be passing with a double yellow line, but if the coast is clear, I might just say, 'Shit, man, fuck da po-lice' and go for it.

So. I hope that's clear. Hopefully, you can see that I don't generally go around really bashing the police, or bitching about them. These folks do a good, tough, brave job, and I have a healthy amount of respect for each and every one of them. Especially the ones with guns. I respect anyone with a loaded gun, at least to their face. It's that whole 'survival instinct' thing.

Anyway, all of that said, I'd just like to repeat:

'Fuck da po-lice! And I mean 'da po-lice'.'

Not all da po-lice... ahem, 'the police', that is. Just the Boston metro traffic police. The car cops. The meter maids. The blood-sucking clock-watching anal dickheads who've screwed me not once, but twice in the past week. Let me tell you about my parking experiences over the last several days. Hell, it even starts out pretty good. But it's all downhill into the toilet from there. Watch and see --

Last Wednesday, just before nine-thirty am: I agreed to sit in on a meeting at my new job, even though I don't technically start until this coming Tuesday. Fine. Parking around my new office is a bitch on steroids, so I circled the block a couple of times looking for a spot. Finally, I found a one-hour meter a block or so away, and took it. Now, I had no idea how long this meeting was supposed to last, or when the hell I'd get out of there. So I plopped two quarters in the slot, got my hour on the meter, and took my chances. I was pretty sure I might end up with a ticket, and that would be okay. I was taking a risk. I understand what can happen.

So, I come out of the building at eleven-thirty (just a shade over two hours later, if you're keeping track of such things), and found... nothing. Well, not 'nothing', of course; my car was there. But no tickets, or notes, or warnings. I walked the tightrope and survived. A full hour-plus of unprotected time, free of charge. Yeah, muthafuckahs! I got away with one!

Little did I know my luck was about to spoil. Or curdle, or get moldy, or whatever the fuck luck does when it goes bad. How the hell should I know; I don't just sit around all day watching luck, fer Chrissakes!

This Wednesday, at nine-thirty: Like a dumbass, I agreed to come back for the same group meeting, even though I still wasn't 'official' yet. (So I'm technically unemployed, and getting up at eight o'clock to make some meeting. I didn't do that shit back when I had a job... though I suppose I will from now on. Bitches!)

Anyway, I showed up right on time, if not a couple of minutes late. So I threw two more quarters in a one-hour meter, and hoped for the best. I wasn't terribly thrilled about poking Fate in the eye over and over again like that, but I didn't have a lot of choice. I said I'd go to the meeting, and that was the only meter I could find. Life is hard, right?

So, you can imagine my relief when this meeting let out at a reasonable time. (Really, go ahead, imagine it. Here, I'll help you -- it was somewhere between the relief of remembering that you actually did turn the stove off before you left the house and the relief of seeing a negative result on a pregnancy test. It's in that range.)

And perhaps you can also imagine my apoplectic fury (If not, you may need to look up 'apoplectic'. It's okay; this is how we learn.) when I reached the car and noticed a parking ticket, with a timestamp of exactly ten-thirty. The fuckin' guy must have been leaning against my damned car writing the thing just as I was leaving the office. Fucknuggets! Fifteen dollars down the tubes because Officer Dingleprick was -- presumably -- standing at my meter as it wound down, counting off the final seconds like it was New Year's Fuckin' Eve. Asswipe.

But of course, that's not the end of the saga. Oh, no -- it gets better. Have a look...

Today, ten forty-five am: Another day, another meeting that I'm unofficially roped into. Which is fine -- I'm eager to start, and I've got nothing to do at home but write and clean house and lose staring contests to the frigging dog. (Doesn't that bitch ever blink? I owe her like seventy-three Snausages now. Damn!)

So, I got there early this time (because eleven is actually a reasonable time to be awake and functional), and found a two-hour meter. Score! But I didn't know how long this meeting was gonna last, either, so I decided to while away a few more minutes in the car before feeding the meter. I had a book with me, so I read a bit. Twitchily, of course. Nervously. Every six words, I whipped my head around like some fricking lemur on acid to make sure Mr. Slappy McHappyTicket wasn't creeping up behind my bumper and writing me another damned citation. The seconds crept by, but no one busted me. I'm gonna have to go over those three pages all over again, dammit, because I can't remember a stupid word I read, but at least I didn't get a ticket. I fed my last three quarters -- that's important, kids; remember that -- into the meter for an hour-and-a-half window, and went into the office.

And found -- get this -- that the meeting had been cancelled. It seems the woman who'd called it was out sick, and let everyone invited know that it wasn't going to happen. (Except me, of course. I'm not 'official' yet, remember? Somewhere in all of this, I'm sure there's some delicious irony, but I'm afraid I'm too busy choking on the bile to taste it properly. So sorry.) So now I've got an hour and twenty minutes on the meter, and no reason to be there. Just fricking peachy. Where was that shit on Wednesday, dammit?

Anyway, I scooted out of there, and decided to try picking up my new contact lenses, over in another part of town. I had made an afternoon appointment to get them -- I thought I had an eleven o'clock meeting, you see -- but if I could take care of it earlier, then I wouldn't have to go back out. So I rambled over there, and cruised around, looking for a spot.

A block from the place, I found a two-hour spot and pulled in. Perfect. Plenty of time to either get in and out, or find out that I couldn't move the appointment up. Either way, I'd just plop in a couple of hours' worth of quarters and be on my way.

Except.

I ran out of quarters. My last three quarters were, at that very moment, merrily ticking time away in a meter across town, letting some jackoff park near my office for a free hour or more. Bullshit!

As luck would have it, though, I was parked right outside a convenience store. And I had three dollars in my pocket. Sweet! I'd just hop in, buy some water or something, and come back with the quarterage. No problem. So, I slid in, found a bottle of that pretentious Evian crap at a buck-oh-nine, and hustled my change outside to feed the meter.

That's when I saw the fucking ticket on my windshield. And the meter 'munch halfway down the block, casting her evil eye on more cars down there. 'Oh no you didn't', was all I could think. Bitch must have been right fucking behind me when I parked, and wrote the damned ticket in the thirty-eight seconds it took me to buy that stupid bottle of yuppie water and get back out. What, do these bastards have fucking spy cameras on me or something? How the hell do they do that?!

So, anyway, that's my sad little bitchy story. I'm disgusted, and I'm forty-one dollars and nine cents poorer, and all I've got to show for it is three hours spent in meetings and a bottle of water I don't want. (I didn't even get to pick up my contacts, as the doctor didn't like the fit.) Where's the love, man?

And so, again I say, 'Fuck da po-lice'. And for once -- just this once -- I really mean it. Those traffic cops can suck my monkey and come back for seconds, man. I think I deserve at least that for forty bucks and change, don't I? What? No?

'Man, fuck da po-lice.'



 
Eat That, 'Bisexual Plano Texas Brunette'!

I was just trolling through the logs for the day, and found that someone got here by Googling for 'wild and crazy shit'. This site -- or a page in the archives, at least, is #16 on the results list. (The first is a not-safe-for-work ad for a horny chick in Texas. Go figure.)

But -- but! -- I am the only result if you lengthen the search to the more specific 'bucketfuls of wild and crazy shit'. And I think that's pretty damned good, especially since I didn't have to show my titties on the Internet like that crazy Texan nympho girl. Par-tay!




Thursday, October 09, 2003
 
I Knew I Should Have Gone to the Store Today...

Well, this isn't good.

I just used the last scrap of toilet paper in the whole house.

(Well, honestly, the last scrap and a couple of the next-to-last scraps, too. I don't want you to think I just used a half a square and called my ass 'clean'. I'm an optimist, but I'm a little better than that.)

Frankly, I wasn't sure that there was enough left to, um, do the job I needed done. But luckily, there was just enough to use, without resorting to anything 'creative'. Which is a relief. I don't know how the hell I'd have explained that kind of stain on the shower curtain.

'Well, gee, honey, I don't know how the dog got it all the way up there. Maybe... um, maybe she stood on the sink? I dunno. Bad dog!'

Anyway, the immediate crisis is over, but there's still trouble brewing. I'm just about to leave the house to play volleyball, and I won't be back for three hours. In the meantime, my wife will come home, and -- who knows? -- just might have the 'urge to purge', derriere-style. And as far as I know, she's unaware of our current predicament. Hell, I didn't know we were down to the last roll either, until I looked around for something to replace the empty with. But since I'm the one who took the last sheets, it's gonna be my ass that's in hot water over this.

(Well, in the literal sense, it might just be my wife's. If she can't find any suitable ass-paper substitute, she might just have to hop in the shower, and wash it all down the drain. I don't even want to think about the tub ring that would leave. Ick. But it's my ass that's gonna get in trouble, that much is for sure.)

Maybe I can find something to put in the bathroom to help her before I leave. Some sort of emergency TP substitute. But what's best? Kleenex? Too wispy. There's always the chance that stuff will rip and tear, and you'll end up with your bare fingers all up in your bidness. I don't think I could do that to her. (Plus, she might save it, and try to wipe it on me when I come home, just to teach me a lesson. She's crafty like that.)

So what else? Paper towels? Maybe. I bet that Brawny guy wouldn't look so fucking smug if he knew what I was thinking of doing with his precious towels. Still, those things could get awfully rough. It's not quite like using sandpaper on your backside, but I imagine there'd be some chafing involved. Perhaps not something I want to burden my sweetie with. Especially since we all know who'd have to kiss that shit and make it better. I think I kiss my wife's ass quite enough as it is, thank you very much. (Just kidding, honey pie. Love you!)

Well, shit. Now I gotta go, and I'm no closer to a solution. What can I put in there? A notebook? Wrapping paper? A Post-It pad? I'm at a loss. Damn.

So, I guess I'm gonna go, and just let her wing it. Hopefully, she'll see the problem before any unpleasantness happens. And now that I know, I'll stop off on the way home and grab a couple of rolls. You know, a sort of peace offering, in case she ends up having to do something regrettable before I get back.

I just hope it doesn't come to that. I actually like the shower curtain we have now. I'd hate to have to throw it out. Yuck.



 
You Wanna Climb Down My What and Do What-What?!

I was visited by a chimney cleaner today.

He didn't actually do any work, but he took a look around and gave me some estimates on shit that we should have done before winter sets in. It was pretty informative; my wife and I moved in here in April, and have never had a working fireplace of our own before. So it was good to pick up a few tidbits of information about the thing before giving it a test run.

(Like which end the wood goes into -- I was so not looking forward to climbing up on the roof and dropping logs down the chimney, too. So it's a relief to know that you stick 'em in the bottom end. I guess I should have known, really. Where else would you find logs but in a bottom?)

Anyway, it was good that I was expecting him. He seemed like a nice guy, but he was frickin' huge. And sooty, of course, as he'd already had a couple of appointments earlier in the day. So I think I might have been a little taken aback if I'd gotten off the couch to see who was at the door, and have this big hulking filthy dude say,

'Yo, I'm gonna clean your chimney, man.'

And by 'little taken aback', I really mean 'scared out of my fucking mind'. I've seen prison movies. I think I'd have just screamed like a girl, and tried to escape through my back door before he could... um, escape into my back door, if you get my connotataries. You won't catch me squealin' like a pig. Uh-uh.

But, luckily, I knew what he was really there for, and so I showed him around the place. And he was cool, and very specific about what we needed, so I didn't have anything to worry about, after all. (Sure, he may bend us over and stick it to us when it gets down to prices, but that's different. This is Boston. Everybody gets the proverbial shaft on shit like this around here. It's kind of expected.)

So, we'll call him back in a week or so, once we've decided how much work we need to have done right now.

(Which means, how much work we can afford to have done, and still eat people food for our meals. The dog didn't appreciate it when we bought our car, and had to dig into her kibble because we were so poor for a while. On the other hand, it wasn't all that bad. That shit tastes like chicken. Who'da thunk it?)

Anyway, we'll soon have a fully-functional fireplace, and just in time for winter. The 'sweeps' will be back soon to scrub our chimney, and grease our flues, and all sorts of other suggestive-sounding shit like that. I'm strangely excited just thinking about it. Of course, if the dude shows up next time with flowers, or friggin' candy, I'm still running the other way. He may be a nice guy, but in my fireplace, the logs come out of the bottom, not the other way around. I ain't got that kind of 'chimney', understand?



 
Just Another Pain in the Ice

My wife and I play little games sometimes.

(And before you get all lubed and bothered, I don't mean that kind of game. You're not gonna hear about me putting her in fuzzy handcuffs, or us trying to bump uglies at a table in the back of Denny's, or me strapping a carrot onto my nose so we can 'do it snowman-style'. None of that, all right? Just forget it.

Of course, I won't say that we don't do any of those things -- you know, in case that sort of thing would raise your opinion of me -- but I'm not gonna write about it. So don't get your hopes up.

Besides, I don't even know where to buy a carrot-strap, anyway. Frederick's of Hollywood? Stop 'n' Shop? Who sells shit like that?)

So, anyway, the games we play. I should also mention that these aren't 'mind games', either. Well, in a sense, they are -- you'll see -- but they're not the malicious, important types of things that some couples engage in. We don't hold the others' parents, or past relationships, or shit like that over the other's head. We're not mean, or spiteful, or generally even snippy.

(Okay, so if I have to get up before ten am or so, I do get a little cranky. I'd tell Mother Theresa to go stick her head up her ass before I get my head on straight in the morning. And my wife can be a little grumpy on the other end of the day, if you keep her up past eleven or so. But for those thirteen hours or so in the middle, we're just peachy. Couple of freakin' lovebirds, we are.)

Instead, we're mischievous. We play little games, just to keep things interesting, keep us both on our toes. I'll give you an example. ('Cause otherwise, all this setup is just crap, right?)

My favorite thing we play is the 'Ice Cube Game'.

(And if I didn't manage to clear out all you pervs earlier, I'll say right up front that this is not the 9 1/2 Weeks 'ice cube game'. So keep your goodies in your pants out there. This is not that kind of blog. Not today, anyway. We'll see how I feel tomorrow.)

Anyway, how the Ice Cube Game works is this: we've got two ice trays. They each hold something like fourteen or sixteen cubes, and they sit side by side in the freezer. They're the only source of ice for drinks in the house.

So, the object of the game is to avoid filling the ice trays. And the rules say that if you empty a tray, you have to fill it. And so the goal is to use as many cubes as necessary for your drink, but not to use the last cub e in a tray. So there's some strategy to think about here.

Clearly, when both trays -- or even one tray, really -- are full, there's no issue. We simply don't have the kinds of glasses that would need sixteen ice cubes all at once, so a full tray is absolutely safe. No worries there.

(Though I do often wish that we had those big mega-glasses lying around. Like a 'yard glass', or one of those beach-ball sized 'scorpion bowls'. Who wouldn't want a yard of margarita, or a custom-made scorpion bowl? How cool would it be to just dump six shots of every alcohol you have in the house into one glass, toss in a couple of pounds of ice, spritz it with some fruit juice, and settle in for the evening sitcoms? Now that would take the edge off a hard day at the office. It might force you to miss the next three days while you recover, but still -- that might not be a bad thing, either. I think I'm onto something here...)

The challenge comes when the trays are half-full or less. Maybe I need six cubes for my glass, and I find the trays mostly empty. Fine. All I need is a few cubes in each tray -- I'll take three from each, and just hope to hell my wife needs ice again before I do. Or I'll mostly raid the tray that's more full, and just take one or two from the other. Whatever the situation calls for. You've got to be crafty to win at this game.

And I'll say this: I'm a competitive person. I hate to lose. I'll give 110 percent, and then dig deep for more, in order to win in some sport or game. But this game, the Ice Cube Game? Well, I'm sorry to report that my wife kicks my ass at this game. Regularly. With gusto. It's not even close.

You see, she's willing to go further than I am to win. Me, if I'm thirsty, I'll go to the cabinet where we keep the glasses, and I'll pick one out. Small glass for small thirst, big glass for big thirst. Pretty simple. So, I might need anywhere from three to eight cubes of ice, depending on what I've selected. Then, I go to the icebox to see what I'm facing.

I'm convinced, however, that my wife does it in reverse. (Not a sexual euphemism, by the way. Didn't I shoo you perverts off already?) I think she goes to the freezer when she wants a drink, and then picks out a glass that needs just a couple of cubes less than what's available. Or she eschews ice entirely. Or maybe she drops a few cubes down the sink just for the hell of it when she's done, I don't know.

All I know for sure is this -- about three-quarters of the times that I dig into the freezer for some ice, I find no more than two cubes in each tray. Two. And more often than I would've thought possible, I'm staring at the ultimate screw job: one cube per tray. So if I want to have hot Pepsi, or I'm interested in drinking from a frigging shot glass, I'm fine. But if I want to actually use the glass that I've already picked out, the one I'm holding in my hand, then I've got to use the ice that's there, and fill the fricking trays. Both of them, too. I don't know how the hell she does it.

So, anyway, that's our little game. Maybe you can play this one at home yourself. Hopefully, you'll have better luck than I do. Or you'll just buy a few more stupid ice trays and never have to worry about it so often. Hell, forget that -- just get one of those fancy ice-making fridges, and be done with the whole sorry mess. Sure, the cubes end up tasting like plastic, but you'll never have to fill a tray again. I think it's a small price to pay, personally. Sure as hell beats going 3-159 in a game you play in your own damned kitchen. Even the Tigers had a better record than that.



 
I Got Your 'Friendly Confines' Right Here

So, at the risk of alienating some many even more of you, I have a confession to make.

I'm not rooting for the Cubs. I'm simply not doing it.

I know, I know, the Cubbies are the en vogue underdogs to cheer for, the feel-good saccharine du jour. Well, I say poop on that party. Poop, poop, and poop some more. Poop till you droop. I'm a big Poopenheimer, and I'm not afraid to admit it.

Now, I don't want you to think that this is some sort of 'sour grapes' thing, either. Don't give me that crap. Yes, I am an Atlanta Braves fan, and yes, the Cubs did eliminate the Braves in the NLDS. They found a way to beat a Braves club that finally showed up in the playoffs with some offensive firepower, who had team speed, and a great closer. Those little upstart Cubs were somehow able to overcome all of that, and outpitch Atlanta, a feat nearly unthinkable for a decade or more. Those... those... fucking bastards sent home a team that's won a dozen division titles in a row, and that may finally be dismantled in the offseason, plunging them into 'rebuilding mode', when this -- this -- was to be their year, their time in the sun. Those goddamned Cubs -- who the hell do they think they are? -- have ruined everything! Bastards!! Douchebags!! Those asswipe freaking no-talent, ivy-lovin', goofy-looking --

Um... ahem. Perhaps I should start that paragraph again. Er, yeah. Let's try that again. Ahem.

Now, I don't want you to think that this is some sort of 'sour grapes' thing, either. (Oh, no, never.) Seriously, though, I just don't get any kind of vibe from the Cubs. Think about the teams left in the playoffs -- the Cubs, the Marlins, the Red Sox, and the Yankees. What do you think of when you think of each team? Let's take a stroll through them, shall we?

New York Yankees -- This is the easiest one. You either love them or hate them. (Of course, if you live outside the Bronx, then you have to be a sadistic babybeating slutmonkey to love them, but that's another matter. I, uh, don't have any 'sour grapes' over them, either. Ahem.) But you can't deny that the Yankees have a vibe. Brash, cocky, confident -- they definitely have an aura surrounding the team and the uniform. (The bastards.)

Boston Red Sox -- Now, I'm a little biased here, because I live in Boston, and cheer heartily for them. But even outside the area, I have to believe that the BoSox mystique is well-known. Sure, they're defined more than they should really appreciate by their second-fiddle status viz a viz the Yankees. But they've got more than that. This incarnation of the Sox is scrappy -- Trot Nixon and Jason Varitek and Todd Walker are dirtmonkeys -- baseball versions of the workaholic, dedicated 'gym rats' that basketball boasts.

And they're quirky -- which is about the nicest thing you can say about the clip of Kevin Millar getting his groove on that's played during a late-inning rally at Fenway, or the 'Cowboy Up' slogan that's got ten-gallon hats littering the stands now. But at least they're trying -- they even shaved their heads like some college hoops squad or fraternity pledge class trying to show solidarity. Like 'em or not, they've got personality.

Florida Marlins -- To me, these guys are the real underdogs this year. Sure, the Cubs -- or possibly the Red Sox -- hold that distinction historically, but these guys were left for dead at midseason. There were too many good teams in the National League for the Marlins -- who didn't win even half their games last year -- to squeak into the playoffs. But squeak they did, and then they roared, as they knocked off the San Francisco Giants. Plus, they're fun to watch. They have tremendous speed, stealing more bases than any team in baseball this year. There's always a hit-and-run or a double steal, or a runner scoring all the way from first. It's exciting, risky, and nerve-wracking. What's not to like?

Chicago Cubs -- Now, certainly, I have to concede the historical aspect. The Cubs are the 'lovable losers' that makes them attractive to a lot of people. And Wrigley Field is practically a shrine; I've watched a game there, and it truly is spectacular. I'll even admit that Mark Prior and Kerry Wood are fun to watch, and have electric 'stuff'. (Not 'junk', 'cause I don't know about that. 'Stuff' is what we're talking about here. Keep your mind out of the gutter.)

But what about the days when they're not pitching? What about the team as a whole? What kind of vibe do they give off?

Well, as far as I can tell -- none, really. Sure, there's Sammy. Everybody loves Sammy, though his halo did get a bit tarnished with that whole corked-bat fiasco earlier this year. But he's still an icon; no denying that. To me, though, the essence of a team is not the star power of their big player or two -- the Braves to me aren't Greg Maddux and Chipper Jones; those guys are sort of 'givens', who'll produce more often than not and quietly go about their business. The Braves are cannon-armed Rafael Furcal, and scrappy Marcus Giles, and enigmatic Andruw Jones. Similarly, the Mets aren't all about Mike Piazza. The really interesting players are the fringe guys -- Joe McEwing and Ty Wigginton and Jae Weong Seo. The up-and-coming stars, or the guys fighting to stick around another year, or the players who've found their niche, and are working day and night to perfect it.

And that's where I get nothing from the Cubs. Once you get past Wood and Sosa (the superstars) and Prior (one legitimate phenom), what's left? A bunch of castoffs and spare parts from other teams, as far as I can tell. A bunch of has-beens and barely-wases that nobody else wanted. And maybe that's enough for a lot of folks -- they're the 'hodgepodge kids', scrapping their way into the playoffs. For me, though, it's just not that interesting. I've watched Eric Karros hit .280 for ten years with the Dodgers, and Doug Glanville hit .260 for five with the Phillies. Grudzielanek, Miller, Remlinger, Lofton, Ramirez and Simon -- all of these guys, and others, have just been glommed onto the team, stuck to Sammy and Kerry and made to fit.

See, if the Cubs are all about history and tradition, then I'm just not seeing very much of that in their current lineup. I had a whole different opinion of them, back in the day. Mark Grace and Shawon Dunston abd Ryne Sandberg -- now those were Cubs! They were steeped in the waters of Cubbiehood, and soaked it all up and asked for more. Those were 'lovable losers' I could root for. These Rent-a-Cubs just aren't the same. Most of them have never even spent one miserable offseason wishing their Cubs could have made the playoffs; what the hell kind of Cubbies are those?

So, I'm sticking with the Red Sox all the way. And if they lose, I'm picking the Marlins. The Yankees can go sit on pointy sticks, and I just can't get into the Cubs. Everybody else seems to be able to, but not me. I like to think that I take a deeper look at important issues like these, a more cerebral approach. A reasoned approach.

Yeah, you're right. It's pretty much just sour grapes. Damn those Cubbies!




Wednesday, October 08, 2003
 
What I Should Have Done On My Summer Vacation

Finally.

After three long months -- and landing a new job -- I finally had the day I should have been having throughout my unemployment this summer. It seems I even procrastinate about the good things, too. I'm not sure what the hell is wrong with me.

But at least I finally got it right. I got up and got some things accomplished. In this case, I went to a meeting for my new job, to get 'acclimated' into the workplace a little early. (Or was that 'assimilated'? 'Aggravated'? I can't remember. So maybe it was 'Alzheimersated'. Who knows?)

By noon, I was done. By one-thirty, I was on a golf course, playing a few holes with a friend of mine playing hooky from work.

(Speaking of which, have you ever noticed how many good things start with 'hook'? There's 'hooky', and 'hookah', and even 'hookers'. When you love doing something, you're 'hooked'. When you get your gullible friend to do something stupid, you say he went for your gag 'hook, line, and sinker'. Really, I'm beginning to think there's nothing bad that starts with 'hook'.

Makes me want to try one of those 'hookworms' all the kids are raving about these days. Might be fun.)

Anyway, I played like shit, but that's pretty standard. (You may remember my earlier diatribe on how much golf sucks, and I suck at it. If not, then fricking go read it. How dare you forget my shit so quickly?) Still, it was a damned fine way to spend an afternoon. After nine holes, it was back to the pro shop for a beer -- hey, we had to have something to cry in about our ineptitude out there -- and then back home.

Just in time, as it happens, to turn right around and hit a local watering hole and watch the Red Sox beat those damned Yankees. A couple more beers, some good food, and a Boston win. Nothing could be finer. And there's none of this 'getting up early' shit going on tomorrow, so I can sleep as long as I damned well please. I love it when a plan comes together.

I just have one question -- where the hell was this shit in June? Or July, or August, or even September? What the hell is wrong with me? I spent more weekdays this summer mowing the goddamned grass than I did playing golf! I mean, I know I'm old, but when did I become clinically retarded? Can I have a do-over for the summer? Please?



 
Status Report from Clown College

Yesterday was my first semi-real foray into standup comedy. I stood up in front of the class -- about a dozen people -- and shot off some material I've been working on. I had to consult my notes a few times, which is fine; I hadn't really practiced the stuff all at once beforehand. I had almost forgotten that I got into acting and public speaking sorts of things because it scares the bejeesus out of me. The old 'facing your fears' sort of thing, you see. I was scared of heights, so I got into roller-coasters and did some skydiving. I get nervous talking to several people at once, so I signed up to act in plays and give presentations at meetings for work. And now, to do standup comedy. Frankly, I'm not so sure I picked the right strategy for battling these phobias. Hiding under the covers was working much better, now that I think about it.

But my little monologue went pretty well, I think. I got a few laughs. Really, how could I not? My set had 'lesbian porno', and 'handjobs', and 'Asshats Anonymous'. Who could resist a chuckle among that sort of company?

(Just to be clear, folks, there was no lesbian porn or handjobbing going on during my quasi-performance. I just mentioned those things. Really, it's not that kind of class. Of course, if you happen to know of a class like that, please -- let me know. I've still got Wednesdays free, and I think I can spare the time for something so obviously... um, 'educational'. I'm all about the edumacation.)

Anyway, it was fun. I've still got a lot of work to do, and some gaps to fill, but I think it's going to be just fine. You know, unless I seize up on stage and forget my stuff and hyperventilate at everyone in the crowd. Which isn't outside the realm of possibility, you know. I haven't done shit like this for a while, so that irrational fear of looking stupid in front of a gaggle of strangers has had time to rebound.

Hey, maybe I can nip that in the bud, though. You know, do something so stupid and embarrassing before the show that I'll be confident in my ability to deliver my lines. Like I could streak through a mall, or something. Or sing 'I'm a Little Teapot' in falsetto down in the Financial District. Or just start groping people on the subway. (Yeah, I'm not sure that last one really fits; I've just been trying to think of an excuse to try it out. Just ignore me.)

Anyway, I'll let you know how things go. (With the comedy, not the groping. I'll probably have to keep mum about that as part of whatever plea bargain I end up getting.) And hey, maybe you can come watch for yourself. Just don't bring any eggs or rotting tomatoes, all right? I'm worried enough about getting that big hook around my waist and being pulled offstage, without having produce to think about. If I want to be smeared with nasty vegetables, I'll climb into our compost heap. All the muss without any fuss, or embarrassing public displays. Maybe I should be working up toward that instead. Hmmm...




Tuesday, October 07, 2003
 
May I Have the Extension for 'Maladjusted Shit-for-Brains', Please?

Okay, so I haven't offered you nice folks much in the way of hilarity today. (Or any day, depending on your sense of humor. But I'm trying, damn you -- I'm trying! Cut me some frigging slack, all right?)

I really didn't intend to get all misty-eyed and weepy about Shampoo Solo closing up shop. And yet, there it is -- my last post, all teary and wistful, and yes, weepy over the loss. Really, in general, I try to keep the heavy shit out of here, and make with the yuk-yuks pretty much non-stop. But I'm not made of stone, for Chrissakes. 'Poo's blog kicked ass, plus she linked me, and even interviewed me, so seeing her site go bye-bye was a bit of a shock for me. I hope you'll all forgive me one heartfelt 'goodbye, and good luck!' every four months or so. And hopefully, I won't need any more than that. There are few enough quality sites -- and people -- around as it is.

But now, it's on to our regularly scheduled blather. And I think I'm going to mix it up a little bit tonight. Here's the deal -- I can't help but notice that my very looooong posts don't garner all that many comments. (Or readers, really, but that's a whole other ballgame. I'd have to actually be good to drum up readers.) Now, I don't want to write any less each day -- I don't want this crap swimming around in my head, you know -- but I'm beginning to wonder whether thirty-eight paragraphs of uninterrupted fluff is just a bit daunting for the average reader. (Or even the below-average reader, which is the type most likely to be drawn in by my sex jokes and adolescent inuendo.)

So, I'm going to try something new. I'm going to hack and chop my posts into more manageable bits, at least for the next couple of days. Instead of sequeing ideas and shooting off topics, I'm going to stick each thing in its own post. I have no idea how many posts that'll get me, or how long they'll end up being. But I'm pretty sure that you'll still be able to suck your daily dose of drivel out of it, no matter what your appetite. Let's see how this works out, shall we? Don't knock it till you've read it.

Why, lookee there! Here comes the first topic now, right on schedule! How about that?


I have the coolest office game ever.

Maybe you've already played this game. I didn't steal my idea from anyone, mind you, but this is the sort of thing that I can easily see being discovered independently in all sorts of industries. So perhaps the word has already gotten around. But in case it hasn't, here are the rules.

First, you need an office of some sort. I"d have thought that this would be an obvious prerequisite for an 'office game', but you never know what sort of loose interprettion people are going to take. So right up front, I'll mention that you need an office. Preferably a fairly large one, with lots of people working in it. And hopefully a social one, too -- the more people you personally know in your office, the more fun the game becomes.

You're also going to need one of those voice-activated auto-directory thingamabobs on the phone system in your office. You know, the function that lets you dial a number and speak someone's name into the phone to reach their extension. This is key; this directory dealie is the heart of the game.

Now, the rules for this game are very simple. Gather together an arbitrary number of players. The more, the merrier. Each person gets to come up with one word or phrase to say to the recorded auto-directory voice. The winner is the person, determined by popular vote, whose word returns the most appropriate person for whatever was spoken.

Needless to say, the words should be disparaging, insulting, and, if at all possible, dirty as hell. This simply makes the game more fun.

So, for instance, you might say into the phone, 'Needledick'. The voice might then ask, 'Do you mean Stephen Glick?' At which point, you and your buddies have to decide how funny that answer is. Maybe Steve's a good guy; hell, maybe he's even playing the game with you right now. But maybe, this Glick guy really is a needledick -- score! Laughs all 'round, and a shot at the grand prize. (Which is typically nothing, of course. Can't you just live for the glory, like everyone else, dammit?)

There's some strategy involved, of course. Maybe only you remember that asshole down in accounting named Rucker. That would be a major find. But maybe he's pissed everybody off, so everyone's gunning for him. You'd do well to look for a different insult that sounds like someone else's name, just to set yourself apart. Maybe 'dumbass' could be 'Thomas'. Or 'fuckhead' would sound enough like 'Fred' to work. Experiment. Try some combinations yourself. Hell, cheat for all I give a damn. This ain't the Olympics, folks.

Above all, have fun. See who 'incompetent boob' and 'waste of fucking space' bring up in your office. Even these old chestnuts are worth a giggle if the person served up by the directory is deserving enough. Just pray it's not your name coming up. This is just the sort of thing that could get a nickname stuck on you for life. You could be 'Dimwit Dixon' or 'Flighty Freddie' for years if you're not careful with this. Watch your back. And feel free to cut the directory bitch off if you hear your name started. That's your last line of defense before the gathered crowd turns on you. Choose wisely, and act fast. That's the only way to survive, 'The Phonebook of Phools Game', pholks. Er, I mean 'folks'. Good luck out there.



 
This Is Not the Kind of 'Solo' I Want, Dammit!

Well, folks, the blogiverse has lost a star, at least for a while. The venerable 'poo -- Shampoo, that is -- has closed up shop. And things are a little less hilarious in her absence. Tis a sad day, indeed.

I haven't met, or even corresponded directly with, many bloggers out there. Including 'poo. But her posts were spectacular -- her humor dry, her wit sublime. Certainly, I wouldn't say I felt like I knew her, but she did make me care. And laugh, and dig through her archives just a bit. (Sorry for the mess I left, 'poo. I promise to vacuum next time I rummage through your attic.)

There are a few folks out in the blogosphere that I've had more or less direct contact with. Sue Playdee was kind enough to accept and publish my recipe for bratwurst. Hilatron posted my 'guest post' on getting fired from my job. And I've traded email or comments, or both, with Shelley, Lara, and Andy, among others. I even know who Jonathan is, though since we met before we knew the other had a site, he's not technically just a 'blog-friend'.

I enjoy a lot of other blogs, too, of course. My sidebar is full of witty folks and tittery tirades. (And, on more than one occasion, just plain 'titty tirades'. Hell, I'm even guilty of joining in that particular fray myself.) But to most folks out there in Blogland, I'm just a lurker. A regular reader, perhaps, but an infrequent commenter, and an unlikely emailer. It's not that I don't care; I just don't often know what to say -- what to add to contribute something unique to the idea, or to show my appreciation. So, I generally stay pretty quiet and keep to myself. It's high school all over again.

But the 'poo holds a special place for me. Not only was her blog spectacular, but she helped contribute to mine. Perhaps she was just being polite (and following the rules) when I asked her to send me five interview questions. But she sent some damned good ones, with thought and mischief behind them, and then came back to read the answers. It's a small gesture, perhaps, but supremely appreciated by a starting-out blogger with just a couple of months of drivel under his belt. It made me feel like I was 'in the club'. (Finally -- whew!)

Now, I don't know whether Shampoo plans to keep up with her blog reading, or if she ever checked in here much. (Though she's also one of a handful of people who have honored me by linking to my site. And that was before the interview request. And she kept my link up even after I answered her questions as goofily as I possibly could. Is that a pal, or what!?) But 'poo, if you're out there, and you're reading this, I just want to say 'thanks'. Thanks for the laughs and the support, and for all the hard work that you put into your site. I sincerely hope that you'll come back someday, and that the day is sometime soon. Do let us know if you get the itch to come back, okay?

Maybe one day we'll even meet in person. I owe you a beer for giving me such good -- and hard, dammit! -- questions to answer. So maybe I'll get to pay my debt someday. (Hey, any excuse to get near the 'best boobs in the world', right, guys?)

So for now, Shampoo, rest well. Take it easy. Relax. We'll do our best to hold down the fort for you while you're away, living a less hectic and more private life. And if you decide to come back, we'll be here, ready to snort orange juice out our noses and onto our monitors in response to some particularly hilarious bit of yours. (No, really -- we live for that shit, no matter how gross it sounds.) So take care, and we'll hope to run into you again someday. Best of luck, and best wishes. We'll miss you, 'poo.




Monday, October 06, 2003
 
'Number One' Just Got Easier, Gents

Hey, I've got a great idea for a new invention. And you'll be the first to read about it. Aren't you lucky?

(I'd run it past my wife, but she's a patent agent, so she'll tell me all about how silly it is, and how thirteen different people already have patents that I'd be infringing on. Worse, she'd be right. And if there's anything I hate more than having a cockeyed stupid idea shot down, it's having a cockeyed stupid idea shot down convincingly. So I'm telling you, and hoping that none of you know what she knows. Or at least that you'll keep your yaps shut if you do. Can I just hold on to one dream, just for a little while?)

So, anyway, here's the thing. I live in New England. And I don't know where you fine feathered folks live, but around here, we've got some pretty interesting ideas about architecture and interior design. A lot of novel concepts have originated here -- the 'Cape House' style, the 'colonial farmhouse', and the 'saltbox', for instance. And, as far as I can tell, the hardwood-floored bathroom.

Now, maybe I'm wrong about this being a New England phenomenon. Certainly, I haven't lived in very many places -- a couple of places in what I'd call the 'Mid-Atlantic region', and some rather interesting (and frightening) spots in the South. But in my admittedly limited experience, I never saw a bathroom with anything other than tile or linoleum floors. Or perhaps, in the seedier establishments, concrete. But never hardwood. Not even once.

So it was a bit of a surprise to me when I ran into these beasts in and around Boston. Certainly, the New Englanders love their hardwood floors. And so do I, frankly. But in the bathroom? Isn't that going just a bit far?

Well, for a lot of folks around here, apparently not. I've seen several of these wood-bottomed washrooms in the few years I've been living in New England. I've seen them at parties, and at friends' houses, and now, I even have one of my own. I can see it whenever the hell I want. (Really. Hey, I'll go look at it now if you don't believe me. It's right down the hall. Don't make me go there.)

So what the hell does this have to do with the original topic? I'm glad you asked! It's...um...well... what was the original topic again? Oh, my invention. Okay, I can do this. No problem.

Now, before we go any further, I want to make one thing clear -- I like the hardwood floors in the bathroom. It looks great, and it's easy to clean. No peeling like linoleum, or grime getting in between tiles. Aesthetically, it's a dream.

But there is one problem, of course. One teensy piddling little problem.

Which is the problem, right there. 'Piddling', that is. Oh, it's not an issue for the ladies. They can 'squat and squirt' as usual, with little regard for what sort of floor is beneath their feet. It's awfully hard for a woman to sit on the can and accidentally spray the floor with urine.

(Not impossible, mind you; I've been to too many fraternity parties and seen too many hammered chicks to believe that falling off the john or rocking too far backwards and fountaining a whiz over the front lip of the bowl can't happen. But that's the exception, not the rule. Typically, if a woman wees on the floor -- or the walls, or even the ceiling, if she's got that kind of oomph -- she meant to do it. Don't let any sober woman fool you into thinking otherwise, gents.)

But it's different for us guys, now, isn't it? We're shooting from three feet away or more. It's not just a matter of letting loose; no, we've got to aim. With tiles or concrete underfoot, we can afford to be a bit, shall we say, cavalier. A spill here, or a dribble there, and none's the wiser, right, fellas? That'll dry, and no one ever has to know.

Ah, but hardwood is different. The moisture warps the wood, and the acid can stain it. The last thing you want is a bathroom floor with little bleached-out polka dots around your toilet. Seriously, questions will be asked. So, it's a lot harder on us menfolk when putting the proverbial biscuit in the basket while standing on hardwood.

(Perhaps not quite as hard as getting the job done while we're standing there with hardwood of our own, but that's an entirely different matter. Our happy little friends basically only know two tricks, and they simply can't concentrate on both at once. And while it's inconvenient to have the floodgates slammed shut by a bit too much enthusiasm, I'm pretty sure it evens out in the end. No doubt we all appreciate that the 'yellow tide' is held back while Mr. Winkie is working on his other duties. Our faucets run in two colors, but they're not 'two great tastes that taste great together'. Or so I'm told. Ahem.)

So aiming definitely becomes an issue. You have to become a dead-eye master with your one-eyed monster. (So to speak. Even I'm a little embarrassed over that one.) But there are so many things that can go wrong. There's the first-squeeze spurt that tends to overshoot the bowl. The after-shake dribbles, which sometimes fly off in all directions, as though each drop has a mind -- and a preferred trajectory -- of its own. And heaven help you if you've got a wrinkle or a hair or something blocking the path of the pee; the stuff will shoot out of you at wild angles, maybe even splitting into two or three messy streamlets. Forget the floor -- I've almost pissed on my own chest before. It pays to do an equipment check before you get the show started. Absolutely.

But that's not all. Oh, no. We've also got the 'splash factor' to worry about. Even with laser-like aim, we can accidentally litter the floor with dribbles and droplets flying upwards from the impact in the bowl. Who the hell made this so hard, anyway? And a lot of you people think God is a man? This is just the sort of crap that makes me skeptical.

So, where does that leave us? Well, it leaves me with some rather unattractive options. When I'm downstairs in my house and I've got to answer the call of nature, I've got three choices. I can schlep all the way upstairs to the other, tile-floored bathroom. But that sounds a helluva lot like work. So instead, I can hit the hardwood head, and have a seat to get the job done. But that just leaves me with all sorts of adjusting and shirt-tucking and shit like that to do, so that's not so good, either. Plus, I'm on my ass long enough every day as it is, I think. I'd prefer to get a little aerobicizing in while I'm draining the lizard, if it's at all possible. Some days, it's the only exercise I get.

So, I'm left with door number three; namely, lining up my shot like a sniper or a trick-shot artist, and letting fly as gently as I can. (Which is often not all that friggin' gently. When you gotta go, you gotta go, you know.) Of course, things don't always go quite as planned, and then I'm stuck with a mess on my hands. (Or the floor. Or sometimes both, but I don't really like to talk about that. That's just nasty.)

And so -- finally -- we come to my Big Idea™. Namely, a toilet curtain. You know those flimsy circular curtains that some people hang around their free-standing bathtubs? The ones they string around a bar high over the tub, so they can take an actual shower? Well, why not the same thing for the toilet? It wouldn't have to be all that tall -- maybe two or three feet over the bowl. It'd even be low enough to see over, so you could keep an eye on what you're doing in there.

Not that you'd need to watch any more, though. With your handy Commode Curtain™ in place (yes, I changed the name already; alliteration is king, folks), you're free to shimmy and shake and wiggle to your heart's content. Prance while you pee, if you want. Do the Wee-Wee Watusi. Go nuts. Because all the 'spillage' will be caught and collected by the Curtain, and drained down the drain, and away from your precious floor. Just as it should be. No fuss, and no muss. How could this not make money?

Anyway, that's my rather convoluted (and pretty damned gross, I have to admit) thought for today. Maybe I'll get on the ball and have my wife check into the patent records for something similar. Maybe I really am the first to come up with this. How cool would that be? Maybe it'll become known as the 'Charlie Curtain', or simply the 'Charlie'. Which would... um, be quite an honor, I guess, if a little creepy. I'm not sure I really want every man in the country praising my name as he's making slippy-slides into his toilet. Ugh.

So, as usual, I'll have to rethink this whole damned thing. It's probably just as well. My wife would never go for a contraption that let me unzip and let 'er rip all willy-nilly like that. Which is pretty reasonable, I guess. Knowing me, I'd eventually get overzealous, and find a way to spray the walls or the sink, or the extra roll of toilet paper. Or I'd end up pissing on my own chest, just as I feared. And I don't need any help with that, thanks. It's pretty much just a matter of time as it is.




Sunday, October 05, 2003
 
All I'm Asking for Is a Sporting Chance

I apologize in advance for any random expletives or outbursts that work their way into this post. (Of course, I stand by the planned expletives and outbursts. Those will proceed as scheduled.)

I'm watching my favorite baseball team and my favorite football team at the same time. I'm doing so using a little TiVo trick a buddy of mine taught me, pausing the game on one tuner and watching the other until a commercial, then catching up during the advertising break. So far, I haven't missed anything important -- not a single at-bat, play, kickoff, or crotch scratch. (All right, so I probably missed a few crotch scrathes, and quite a bit of the spitting. Hopefully, I've avoided many of the ass-pats, too. Is that (Fuck! Dammit! Down 4-0 in the baseball game now.) shit really necessary?)

But I'm catching all the good stuff... except for the fact that the 'good stuff' has been pretty teeth-gnashingly miserable so far. Shut out in baseball, and down thirteen points in football. Bitches. (And bastards, dammit! A punt return TD called back! Fuckmonkeys!)

Anyway, I may be a little distracted tonight. (Or distracting, depending on how hard it is for you to follow this shit. And I can't imagine it's easy.) So bear with me -- we'll get through this together, okay?

Frankly, I'm a little surprised that these games are (Woo hoo! Touchdown, good guys! Rock on!) going so craptastically tonight. These things usually go in bunches for me -- either the whole day sucks ass, or it's all nice and tingly all over. (A lesser blogger might suggest that it's pretty much like oral sex in that way. Me, I'm above crude shit like that. Or beside it. Or right in the middle of it; I can really never remember which it is. But I digress.)

The point is, my sports teams seem to just know when I'm paying attention, and conspire to elate or disgust me. They must have some impromptu conference call or something, and flip a coin, and then decide to kick ass or throw their respective games. Really. No, I mean it. That's the way it always goes. What other explanation could there be?

So tonight's athletic incompetence (so far) is more than a little surprising. (Oh, shit. The baseball team's making Bad News Bears plays on the basepaths. Whew! It didn't cost them -- and the umpires blew a call to let us score. Eh, I'll take it. A run's a run.) But early in the day, things went just swimmingly. Peachily, even. The Red Sox won, and the Patriots won, and our softball team (speaking of the bungling Bears) also won. So all's well in Beantown today. Maybe someone else's favorite teams are lining up for them today. Because my non-New England loves are frittering away their games as I speak. Er, type. You know what the hell I mean.

(And, just for the record, while my baseball buds were eking out an undeserved run, the football lads gave up another touchdown. Dagnabbit!)

So, maybe I'm not the exact epicenter of the universe, after all. (Although I should be, of course. There is no cosmological theory quite as enticing as the Charliocentric Universe Hypothesis. Wouldn't you agree?)

I was just beginning to think that the stars were aligning themselves for me, too. After fifteen-plus years of anxiety and frustration, my beloved Syracuse Orangemen went all the way in the NCAA basketball tourney. Surely triumphs in the other major sports wouldn't be far behind, right? Um, right?

Wrong, or so it would seem. At least the losing's a little easier these days. For one thing, I'm getting used to it. (Did I mention I like the Hawks in the NBA? What a bunch of sorry sad sacks they are. Dominique Wilkins, where art thou?)

More importantly for my sanity, though, I've finally -- like, a couple of months ago -- learned that what I do has no effect on these highly trained, finely tuned strangers playing their games hundreds of miles away. And yes, for you non-diehard fans, I'm fully aware that this sort of obvious concept shouldn't have taken thirty-plus years to sink into my thick skull. I'm fairly well versed in the concepts of physics and cause-and-effect, so in my brain, I suppose I've always known that I'm nothing more than an impotent bystander. An observer. Mere window dressing.

Ah, but in my heart, I allowed that my brain might -- just might be mistaken. (Hey, if you knew my brain as well as my other body parts do, you wouldn't just assume everything it comes up with is reasonable, either. My brain is pretty full of shit sometimes. As is my blog, but that's another beast entirely. Let's focus here.)

And so, just in case, I used to do all sorts of ridiculous bullshit to 'help' my teams. If they were losing while I sat, I'd stand. If they started coming back, I'd stay on my feet for the rest of the game. (I once made the mistake of doing that during a five-hour multi-overtime hockey game. Dumbass.) If I clapped, it would be an even number of claps. Same with kneeslaps, joyous leaps, or even finger-crossings.

(Yes, all of the players on all of my sports teams just happen to obsessively prefer even numbers over odds. I don't know why. Bunch of whacked-out neurotics, if you ask me. But, you know -- that's just me talking. If that's what they want, that's what I'll do. Who am I to upset the delicate psyches of today's professional athletes?)

So, in years past, those watching sports with me would see some pretty ridiculous crap. (Bitches! Interception returned for a TD! Crap salad!) If I was touching my nose when my team scored, I'd keep touching my nose. Hell, if I was picking my nose and they happened to make a great play, then I'd keep my finger up there all night. If it worked, I might jam one up the other nostril, too. Sure, I'd look like a dork -- a mouth-breathing dork, pretty much by definition at that point -- but if it got us a win, then so be it. I'm willing to take one for the team.

Or rather, I was willing. I don't know whether I'm just older, or more apathetic (or plain pathetic), but I can't do it any more. The jinxes, the rally caps, the willing my team to victory -- it's all down the toilet. Sure, I'm still pretty, um, animated during games. I bitch, and curse, and jump, and cheer, but not in any particular way or rhythm now. It's finally gotten through to me -- what I do, or don't do, or pick, or don't pick, simply doesn't matter. It's sad, really. Kind of depressing. (Wah!)

Unfortunately, that doesn't make the losses hurt any less. I still live and die with my teams; I just look less like a dork while I'm doing it. My in-game geekiness used to be off the scale; now it's somewhere between baby-talking to the dog and my 'Macarena' dancing. In other words, not good. But not likely to cause my wife to divorce me, either. So that's a solid improvement.

At least I never went so far as to paint my face for a game. Or worse still, my whole body, like some of the freakshows out there. (Do you know how hard it is to get spray paint washed out of your crotch hair? Well, me, either. And I'd like to keep it that way, if you don't mind. Unless the wife has some sort of kinky Goldfinger fantasy that I don't know about. For that, I'd make an exception. But just for that.)

(Fuck! Another run against in the baseball game. Down four in the ninth. Guh.)

Well, it looks like neither of my teams is likely to mount a raging comeback tonight. My baseball team will be out of the playoffs, and the football team will sink further in the standings. Suck, suck, suck, suck, suck. Sure, it's nothing to do with me, really, but that's still hard to stomach. I want to do something to pull these losers out of the hole they've dug themselves. But I can't. And that doesn't sit well. I'll be a pissy bitch all day tomorrow. (Pissier, anyway, and bitchier, too. If such things are in the realm of possibility.)

And I suppose it's fathomable that my teams will mount surging comebacks, and take these games, after all. It ain't over till it's over, right? But I'm not counting on it. Nor am I going to jam my thumbs up my nose, or clap exactly twenty-six times, to try to make it happen. Those days are over. These friggin' guys are just going to have to find a way to do it themselves. But apparently, not tonight. *sigh*




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