pure evil

Can you guys actually believe I write on this dang thing like pretty much every day? Sometimes I can’t believe it. You know, it does take time, however easy my consistency may make it look (or, however easy my lack of substance and poor writing may make it look – two sides to every coin). Every day I get a complete entry together I surprise myself. Some days are easier than others, some days I just skip straight up because it’s not in me, and some days I publish something short and off-the-cuff thinking it’s just a notch on the blog bedpost – and it ends up being something I’m really happy with upon reflection.

Browsing my blog stats the other day, I noticed a strange, seemingly inexplicable spike in which entry is the “most read” on the year. Surprisingly, the satanic flier has been sounds familiar’s most popular entry this year, being read a “whopping” 432 times since March (when I reinstalled my stats tracking). Digging deeper, it’s interesting (to me, at least) that that same entry has topped the “daily” most-read stats for an entire month now – being consistently read by visitors between 10 and 15 times each day in April. Odd, right? I did some searching, and turns out the flier is a page-one return for a Google image search on the word “satanic.” Just what I want to be famous for.

I know I’m waaay late to the “Colbert lays into Bush at the White House correspondents dinner” party, but these videos are just too good not to share. So, for those of you who somehow missed the tsunami of internet attention this thing generated this week – here are the videos (the more user-friendly YouTube versions were removed late last night due to “copyright” issues, so I have to just use plain old links to some other website). Watch the 1st part here, and the 2nd part here. Or, if you’d rather, download the entire thing as a Windows Media file here (clocking in at around ~20min).

Made two appointments for Lasik evaluations in the next couple weeks, can’t wear the contacts prior to the consultation – which means glasses only for couple weeks. I’m so dang excited, and the ballpark prices I got over the phone fall right in line with the money received from my CD dump. Eyes! Eyes that can see!

I’ve got nothing… goodnight.

40,000ft: shrimp and wine

Day one in Germany was spent trying to stay outside and occupied during daylight hours to stave off jetlag. After picking up our rental (BMW 318i convertible, gotta love Germany), we headed straight from the airport into downtown Munich, where we parked at a Marriot (for familiarity sake, not our hotel) and asked the concierge for “stuff to do.” We planned to take the subway into city center, get some beer and ‘wurst, and watch the Glockenspiel do its thing. After that, we pushed a planned visit to Dachau off until Friday, as time was short. Checked in at the hotel, grabbed some coffee to try and keep the eyes open, and am now taking the pre-dinner downtime to pen this entry. If all goes well, tomorrow’s entry will include a gallery update from Germany and also an 8-week update to Keaton’s gallery (lofty goals while on a business trip, I know). But… for now… this is it.

Sometimes I wonder about the clientele they’ll book in business class these days. Take for example this kid: iPod hardwired to his ear canals, a ratty, pea-green knit shirt tucked into baggy khakis (the kind with the “cargo” pockets on the thighs), and a pair of overworn brown shoes.. He’s got those scuffed shoes off – I can see him curling his toes within his brown socks, and his drink order was a simple “I’ll have the ‘cab,’” as if he comes from money.. I’d peg him in his early thirties, his thinning crown says not much younger, if any. Exuding a lack of polish: stuffing gobs of lettuce into his mouth from the salad bowl, occasionally re-positioning his crotch with his hand when he thinks no one is looking, picking asparagus out of his teeth with his fingernail. How can this kid fly business class? How can he afford to rub elbows with us, think himself on-par with us?

I’ll tell you how, bitch. I’m that kid in the green shirt, I like it because it’s loose and not “scratchy.”. Oh, and those khakis, they’re comfortable and I can put my passport and iPod in those “cargo” pockets. I’m the change of the guard, motherfucker, and me and an army of kids just like me are taking over. We’re coming to take your job, take your money and your glory. We’ll push you out of your office and into an assisted living facility where you can reminisce about the days of US Steel. We’d punch you in your wrinkled face, but we don’t have a free hand for adjusting our huge balls. Get used to it; we’ll see you on the next flight to Munich, when we look back on you from 1st class. We are the new.

Until tomorrow, auf wiedersehen.

on the island, all bets are off

Keaton’s in her swing, wrapped loosely in a pink blanket that defines soft, watching the mobile spin above her head while hiccuping. Sharaun ran out to do some errands and I happily traded the babble of the TV for silence and some time to write. I’m kicked back on the couch in shorts and my house slippers, thinking about how I’ll do the dishes from dinner just a little later. Tuesday night, home from a busy day at work around 6pm – had to stay late to finish “just a couple” things before heading home. Every day at work I have just enough “just a couple” things to do before I leave to keep me around until morning the next day, you just have to draw the line somewhere and cash out. I’m pretty good at drawing that line in the sand and sticking to it, and more often than not it’s right around 5pm. What am I talking about?

It’s Springtime, and my backyard is a verdant bloom of weeds again, the unending rain helping them take root in otherwise non-ideal places. They blanket the unplanted hillsides that flank my house left and rear, growing in the damp mulch. They crowd the Japanese maple, blocking out the little plot of dirt I’ve been intending to plant pretty flowers in. They have taken over, and I hate them. My only solace is in the knowledge that the summer swelter will scorch their little leaves and stems; dry up the milky sap that is their lifeblood, and leave them as brittle, crumbling shells of their former thriving selves. I hate weeds.

I have this daydream thing I sometimes do, where I sometimes dream about getting stranded on a desert island (yes, I know I’ve done the island thing over and over and over, but this one’s different). It takes me as I am now, and puts me washed up on some desolate beach far away – only I’m not alone. I’m with a woman, one that’s not my wife. The fantasy really doesn’t do much else, it’s more of a setup for the line of questions that follow. I always wonder, if I were to find myself in this situation, how would my new island life with this person unfold? I’m assuming, of course, that I am a skilled enough survivalist to provide us with food and shelter and keep us alive, and we’d have each other’s company as a ward against insanity. With all the basics of life taken care of, you’re now left with an island existence, both of you living out your days together. It’s there that my mind begins to work, to twist and turn…

At some point, this woman and you would do it, right? I mean, you’re on an island, there’s nothing but the trees and waves and coconuts to eat… It may be slow in coming: you first erect a small lean-to for shelter, later you further the bond between you by perhaps bringing her a fresh-caught fish or starting a fire with a stick. She begins to trust you, depend on you even. In my daydreams, this woman is nearly always someone I know, a friend of mine or Sharaun’s. It’s all the better if, in real life, you could never imagine yourself having a relationship with the person. But, on the island, with just the crabs and gulls and wind in the palms, all bets are off. It may start as a simple compliment – how becoming her new grass skirt is; how the berries make her hair smell good. Yes, that’s where it may start, friends, but it’s not where it ends – only the island knows where it ends.

Soon, as the reality of life on the island sets in, urges turn less survivalist and more animal. Glances are cast, body language broadcast: it’s about to be on. Then, one day (yes, it’s the bright of day – that’s the awesome thing about stranded-on-a-desert-island sex, there’s no one there to be bridled for… in fact, you can be as unbridled as you want on the island), the impossible happens: humping. Oh yes, there’s no question that the time on the island would lead to doin’ it; all desert-island roads lead to fornication – I’m convinced. The bond that the island can form is a unique one, and the island can get even the loneliest of men laid… provided they can build a fire and clean a fish. You’re Screech Powers and find yourself washed waywardly ashore alongside the fetching Kelly Kapowski? No worries my friend, the thick impenetrable layers of highschool social strata do not exist here on the island. Here, you are as boneable as AC Slater. All God’s children got game on the island.

Uh-huh, I’m aware that this is nothing more than a complex construct to daydream about humping unattainable women whom I know – and I’m OK with that because it’s not as direct as simply dreaming about an affair. At least my sex-fantasies are set in impossible situations and only happen after hard-won demonstrations of manhood and survivor/provider instinct. Only if all men had to jump through such a set of pre-daydream-sex hoops – maybe there’d be less indiscriminate humping. Sharaun’s pretty much guaranteed a faithful husband unless a friend of hers and I happen to land ourselves in the remote South Pacific… and even then I have to keep us both alive long enough for the island to make her want me. Those are pretty good odds, if you ask me.

Where that all came from, I have no idea. Goodnight.

shooting sharks

An ongiong parody.
Near 10pm Monday evening, sitting in the “computer room” for a change, since Sharaun’s holed up in here working on progress reports for her class or something. She can’t concentrate with music, so I’ve got the iPod on shuffle in the “blues” genre – really been getting off on listening to blues standards lately, maybe it’s the weather. Still need to do the dishes and put some coffee in the pot for the morning… too late already. I guess today’s thing is a hodgepodge of little one-off paragraphs that didn’t fit anywhere else. Oh, and you may notice the larger-than-average post-accompanying pictures of late, just roll with it, it won’t be forever – I’m having fun.

Even though some may say it’s too early to call, I think we may have a frontrunner for media-overdose of 2006: the trapped miner. 2003 it was shark attacks, 2004 was attractive white girls going missing (extra bonus if they were pregnant), hurricanes ruled 2005, and it’s looking like ’06 may shape up to be a cave-in frenzy. If only we could get some attractive, pregnant white woman trapped in a caved-in mine, with rescuers unable to reach her due to a massive hurricane which has picked up sharks from the ocean and is raining them over the West Virginian countryside… CNN’s head would asplode. Really, I just wrote that whole paragraph because I pictured swirling clouds “shooting out” hungry sharks and cracked up at a vision of them hurtling towards earth, gaping razor-mouth first. Hahaha. Shooting sharks.

Do you know that nowhere on all my DirecTV channels is there any instance of Gilligan’s Island? Are you for real? We have 300 some-odd channels, each with 24hrs of programming, and not a single one can show an hour a week of a classic like Gilligan’s Island? What the heck am I paying for if I can’t even watch Gilligan’s Island?

Before I leave, I wanted to share a little thing that happened to me a few weeks ago. I wrote about it then (post 611, this is 621), but binned it for the next God entry instead of pushing it through. Anyway, I basically cut and pasted it out of that work-in-progress God entry here: Friday night I had some beer. I was driving home afterward (buzzed driving is drunk driving), listening to Sufjan’s Seven Swans. The song “The Transfiguration” has always been a favorite or mine, and this particular night I was extra struck by its religious imagery. At this point in the old entry, I quoted the lyrics in full. Rather than do that here, I just wanted to link to it so you can hear for yourself. It’s a great tune (if you like the trademark super-super-super gay Sufjan sound), so don’t let the God-talk scare you off.

OK whatever goodnight.

defending the castle

Beware my sword.
I wrote a lot this weekend, so I’m gonna do the famous two-day material split and win myself a night off today. Tomorrow it’ll be old to me, but new to you…

A couple weeks ago, when the Frappr! thing was big, I setup an account for sounds familiar. Then I stopped short of posting the link here for y’all to populate because I was a scaredycat when it came to linking myself with my zipcode. I have no idea why I insist on hiding behind some imagined anonymity… this is the internets, for pete’s sake. So, let’s do it. If you don’t know what Frappr! is about, let me tell you: it’s a dead simple way to graphically plot where people are, usually people with some common interest or theme. In this case, readers this here blog. So, fair people, favor me and populate the sounds familiar Frappr! page, OK? Don’t worry, you can do it anonymously, I’m more interested just how far-flung my readership (those that dare own up to it) is. So, without further ado: the sounds familiar Frappr page. If I get a half-decent turnout, I may add a permanent link in the sidebar so all the noobs can join in the fun.

Friday morning I had a really creepy experience. I had just gotten out of the shower and dried off. Realizing that I had no clean boxers in the bedroom, I walked, naked, down the hallway into the laundry room where I knew some fresh, clean boxers lay in wait in the dryer. As I sifted through the laundry and pulled out a clean pair, a voice rang out from the next room. Although I didn’t quite catch what it said, it was a loud, clear, male voice which sounded to be asking a question. And, from the sounds of it, it was in my house. Immediately I knew something was wrong. It’s 7:30am, no one should be here… and definitely not in the house. My first thought was that it could be the landscaping company – they had warned me that they were having some topsoil delivered that day – maybe the door was open and they poked their head in to ask where to dump the load.

My heart racing, I hastily pulled on my boxers, not wanting to be naked and in fear of my life. After covering my shame, I looked around for something to clutch, some makeshift weapon I could rely on should the need arise to batter my intruder; but in the laundry room blunt objects are hard to come by. So, I edged my way around the corner, calling out, “Hello?! Who’s there?” No one. As I came into the living room, my eyes fell on a sheathed leather sword – a left-behind item from a costumed guest at our recent Halloween party. But this is no plastic costume sword, it’s got a real metal blade, albeit not very sharp, that has a good weight to it. Perfect! I unsheathed the sword and held it at the ready as I continued my search. Picture it folks: Here I am; ready to defend my home. I’m walking around in naught but my boxer briefs (with a pink piggie on them, no less), holding a damn sword in a strike position shouting, “Hello?! Hello?!” What home invader wouldn’t just throw down their arms and run?

Anyway, I still have no idea what the voice was, and I swear I heard it. After clearing the house, backyard and garage, I even poked the mouse on our two PCs to see if perhaps one had been left on one of those annoying webpages that talk – but there was nothing. My only explanation is that I heard the carried sound of someone outside, a voice that maybe caught just the right wind and floated right through a vent or something to sound so present. Odd.

Did you guys see the comment by “Bob” on my entry from a couple days ago? I know Shaine did, because he already commented on it – but I feel the need to make sure it gets some wider attention. I read it with disbelief this weekend. It is most certainly a spam comment, but I’m going to leave it up. Know why? Well, #1 because I think it’s hilarious; but #2 because, whoever wrote it, they actually read my post. Amazing. So, check out Bob’s hair-site if you wanna… and if you see me in two weeks with lush flowing locks not unlike Motley Crew, don’t ask.

I’m writing again. Maybe I shouldn’t write about it, I’ll jinx it. K then, ‘nite.

all that glitters

Work today was an all-out assault. I don’t remember feeling so completely taxed in a long time. It was one of those days where I just couldn’t get away from the distractions and interruptions. Whenever I got focused on something, something came up and sidetracked me. Phone calls, working with people, my brain was switching tasks too fast and I got burned out. To top it off, I didn’t get a proper night’s sleep the previous night and it was my first day trying to cut back on both the amount of, and kind of, food I eat. I figure I have to do something about this gut… I just can’t abide it any longer.

The other day I was IMing with my old friend Andy, and mentioned that I was also multitasking and trying to write an entry. Since I’m not entirely sure if this not-writing jag I’ve been on is a product of me being so busy lately, or just me not having something decent to write about – I asked Andy for some ideas. He bounced a couple ideas off me before the words “Robin’s birthday present” come across the IM. Once my memory was jogged, I agreed that this had to be written down. Before the story, let me set the scene.

Robin was the first person I met when my family moved to Florida before I started the 6th grade. Her dad was our real estate agent when we were searching for the place we’d eventually call home. During the house-hunting process, my folks formed a decent relationship with our agent, Robin’s dad, and after we’d decided on a property and the deal was done he asked the family over for dinner at their place. That’s the night I met Robin. She was a smart girl, we were both around the same age – and me being a 6th grade boy I was of course mildly attracted to her (as 6th grade boys tend to be to any and all females). I remember that night, she had a book on handwriting analysis and she had me write a paragraph to analyze. Turns out the book said my handwriting showed I was conceited… at the time I didn’t know what the word meant, but I suppose that book had me pegged.

When I started the 6th grade at my new school, Robin ended up being in almost all of my classes. (When I was in the 1st grade, I took a test and was branded “gifted.” It was by virtue of this taxonomic classification that I met and stayed with my clique of friends, including Robin, for my entire middle-school career). Around the 8th grade, Robin became my first real girlfriend and we dated on and off (mostly on) for the next two-ish years. Come Robin’s sweet-16, we had recently broken up for what I think was the last time. It wasn’t a nasty breakup, our relationship had been mostly one of convenience… y’know, someone to sneak into the woods with and fool around, someone to talk to and hold hands with, etc. I mean, we were kids after all. Anyway, although freshly-estranged, I was still invited to her 16th birthday celebration, along with 15-20 more of her closest friends.

At the time, the group of friends I ran with was pretty tight. So it was no surprise that the afternoon before the party found us all hanging at my place kicking around potential gift ideas. I’m not entirely sure what the genesis of our eventual gift was… I imagine that it had something to do with the fact that none of us had given the matter any though until the day-of, and was compounded by our inability or lack of desire to “run out” and pick something up for the occasion. Either way, someone came up with the idea to get a medium sized cardboard box, line it with plastic, and then fill it with a vile mix of random substances from around my house. Once we had the leakproof plastic-lined box prepared, we began dumping in the ingredients. I had forgotten a lot of what went into the box, but a quick consultation with both Andy and Kyle helped reconstruct what I think is a pretty accurate rundown.

The base of the box was dirt. We piled in a decent amount of soil from the backyard. After that, we began rooting through the pantry. Chocolate syrup, ketchup, two swiss cake rolls, whip cream, raw ground beef, flour, milk, a can of kidney beans, one egg, cream corn; it all went into the box and was mixed thoroughly with a stick. Now, I don’t think it wasn’t part of the original plan, and was even a bit extreme for my taste… but I heard a rumour that someone may have even relieved himself into the box during the ingredients procedure. #1, not #2. Actually, that’s not a rumour at all… I saw my buddy straddle and pee into the box of crap right before my eyes. We all knew it was taking it a step to far, but once the pee was in the box it became part of the plan. As you can imagine, the varied nature of our box’s contents favored the nose with a super nasty stank. Once sealed and wrapped, the little square box looked rather unassuming – and its considerable weight worked in our favor as it piqued curiosity over the possible gift contained within.

I remember taking the gift to the party, along with the card we’d done: a greeting card (not even for a birthday) that we’d all signed and then purposely put in the road and run over with the car so it had tire-marks and road-burn all over the…

Wait… wait…
This is bad.
I feel more and more like a dick the more I write about this…

Sometimes the stuff we did back then confounds me, but y’know, I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything. Like driving around subdivisions late at night and spotting a Big Wheel left out on a porch, then pulling it to the middle of the street and running it down at 40mph in the Nissan Sentra. Or cruising the K Mart parking lot for a car with its sunroof open so we could drop a lit “Mammoth Smoke” inside, then watching the firetruck from the bank parking lot across the street. Some kid’s Big Wheel! Someone’s car! We had no hearts. Anyway… I digress, back to the story.

The party was a grand event, and all our friends were there. When we walked in with the box and handed it to Robin, Andy remembers her saying, with excitement, something like, “This is the heaviest gift, so I’m going to save it for last!” I don’t remember much from the actual party, as my nervousness and anticipation about the gift-opening probably occupied most of my thoughts. Having a reputation as jokers, a considerable amount of “buzz” developed about the gift. So much so that, when the time came for Robin to open her gifts, people crowded around the dining room table. As she promised, she saved our gift for last. I vaguely remember not being able to bring myself to watch the event transpire in real time. Instead, I think I turned my head and waited for the crowd’s reaction. From here on out I get the details mixed up, but I can remember a few things. I remember people saying, “What is that?!,” and, “It smells so bad!,” and I remember a guy named Paul laughing loudly.

Robin cried.

I don’t remember how long after that it was that I swung a stick and shattered their porchlight, quite by mistake I might add, but I guess that was the final straw. Her father, who was red in the face with anger, promptly called us foul words and banished us from the party. I think we actually left through the screened in porch in the backyard, he didn’t even give us the chance to walk back through the house and say goodbye. Apparently, due to the smell, quite a few people assumed we had given Robin a box of shit for her 16th birthday. It was a box of “shit,” I guess, although not in the literal sense. And, despite how things now seem when I look back, I don’t think we really understood the utter rudeness and downright meanness of some of the things we used to do. At the time, we were just into pulling pranks and doing stupid stuff.

Sharaun hates it when I cuss on my blog, and I generally agree with her. It’s usually not necessary to swear to make good comedy, and, in general, it detracts from the perceived intelligence and couth of a person. But some stories, like this one, absolutely require the use of a few bad-words. Them’s the breaks I guess. I guess the story may not be as funny to someone who wasn’t there or doesn’t remember it, reading it back I got a little chuckle but I’m not sure how the uninitiated will receive it. I thought I’d float it out anyway, so now it’s over.

Well, tonight was the Bravery show and I must admit it was mighty enjoyable. Short, but good sound and nice bouncy 80s-synth-rock goodness. Local shows are always the best because I can be home and in bed before midnight, all with a good show still ringing in my ears. Goooooood night.

ivy walls

Not the bull kind.
Yesterday I had a 6:30am meeting. I also had a 5pm meeting. I finally quit working around 10:30pm. When the first thing you say to your wife when you climb into bed is, “How was your day?,” you know you’ve been a little too focused on work. Needless to say I didn’t feel much like writing. Being busy like this is really taking a toll on the page… but I will maintain… I will persevere. So, with my eyes on the prize, I boldly march forward into today’s entry.

Just because a fellow decides to buy a bike and ride it to work some days instead of driving, does that mean you need to ask him every day if he rode his bike? It’s an unexpected side-effect of my decision: guilt. I know that, every day when she gets home, Sharaun is going to ask me if I rode my bike to work. And every day I don’t ride my bike to work, I feel the guilt as I back the truck out of the garage; my bike still hanging from its hook in the rafters. You people who ask me if I rode, I’ve got your number. I’m convinced you’re not just asking me if I rode my bike on that particular day. Nay, you are charging me under the cloak of curiosity, silently indicting me! “Did you ride today” translates to “I know you didn’t ride your bike today, you lazy bum. Now admit as much out loud before the world and God, and be ashamed of your sloth.” I know, I’m perceptive.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before that Sharaun is a teacher, but… Sharaun’s a teacher. OK, now that I’ve established that… wait, what did I establish again… that’s right, Sharaun’s a teacher – you get an A. Anyway, she often grades papers in the evening. As much as this sucks for her, to be working in the evenings, sometimes it can be fun…. those times are mostly the times when we sit around and make fun of the answers some of her kids come up with. And, after careful consideration of the ethical principles involved, I decided to post some of the brightest gems from tonight’s papers. This lesson was on “Aryans Bringing Change to India,” and below is a sampling of some of our favorite answers from her 6th grade class, original spelling and grammar intact. All these kids got Fs… my wife is brutal.

Question: Where did the Aryans come from? Where did they migrate to?

Answer: They migrated to the Black and Caspian Seas.
(Really? They migrated to the sea?)

Answer: They came from Black Sea and Caspian Sea, and they went southward Indo-Europeans.
(They came from the sea… and they… huh?)

Answer: The Aryans came from Europe and Western Asia. They migrate took over a hundreds of years ago.
(Ohhh… that first sentence was so dead on. The Ritalin must’ve worn off before the second one though.)

Answer: India came from hometown, and went to Europe.
(I don’t even… know how to… what!?)

Question: How did the Aryan migrations effect civilization in India?

Answer: It effected them by drying up the crops.
(Migration dried up the crops. OK.)

Answer: They just too over and too over they’re land with out them knowing and just mess up everything.
(Can’t even comment… laughing.)

Question: If you had been a Brahman in early Indian society, how might you have felt about the teachings of Buddha? How might you have felt about his teachings if you had been an untouchable?

Answer: I would’ve felt interesting and happy. If I were an untouchable I would feel like crying into tears becan he’s telling us to keep our head up.
(The phrase “crying into tears” is outstanding.)

Answer: I will have felt confused because it’s bad that they were doing those things and doing things unknown. Probuly helpful in a way because they were keeping they’re country clean in away.
(Say what?)

I’d like to thank her for her help with today’s entry. Goodnight.