Thursday, July 29, 2004

Hey You! Drop That Candy!

Thank heavens that DC's finest are protecting the citzenry from all the ne'er do wells who seek to undermine society.

Good thing there are no other problems demanding police attention these days.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Girl Fight!

Girl fight. Are there two words in the english language better guaranteed to cause every male head poke out of every hole, doorway or window? It's never pretty; it's rarely fun; yet you always seem to walk away with a smile.

Let's turn the clock back to last Friday evening. Trudy and I were walking up along Christy, coming back up to Delor when we passed in front of an apartment building. A young woman stood in front, her dishrag blonde hair bobbing as she shouted something up to the swarthy young man standing in the balcony.

"Rebecca, you bitch! Get your drunk ass off my front yard before I call the cops! Leave my brother alone!"

This was new. I glanced around, seeing that swarthy young man in the balcony had been replaced with Italian princess.

"Call the cops bitch! They won't do nothin'! I'll go when and where I want!" Rebecca's reply.

"Don' mess wit' me, bitch! You'll get smoked!"

"HA! You can't smoke me. You don't got the guts!"

I kept on walking, trying not to smirk as I passed Rebecca, who was glaring up at the princess on the balcony. This is where I noticed many male heads popping out of windows and doors along the street, like prairie dogs checking out the plains.

"I so will smoke you! You're nothin'! Bitch!" At this point, I'm not sure who said it. I really didn't care. The princess wasn't going to come down to give Rebecca her richly-deserved ass-kicking, and watching two white girls screeching in street talk to one another, while funny at first, gets old after awhile.

My fellow spectators agreed with me, and returned to what they were doing. The last I saw, Rebecca stomped to her black TrailBlazer and tore out, leaving a trail of rubber and smoke in the street.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Hiding Behind a Wall of Spin

This found its way onto my computer screen this morning. Another spin doctoring triumph!

You're celebrating a failed assassination attempt in an effort to show that not all Germans were behind Hitler? One small problem: many of these same "heroes" were behind him - until they realized just how crazy the man was.

Not having lived in those days, I can't really say what I would have done in those situations; I'd like to think that I would have opposed the Nazi rule, but that's easy to say here in Missouri in 2004.

The main reason this burns me so much is that rewriting history to hide the sins of the past isn't the answer - making sure that nothing like this ever happens again is, but in this day and age, where instant gratification and the quick fix rule, sending history to rewrite looks far more appealing.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Random Crap, Part XXXIII

Every once in awhile, I feel the need to clean out the inbox that is my brain. Odd thoughts clutter things up, keeping me from giving my usual witty insights and razor-sharp social commentary. Man, I really need to lay off the brandy before I start writing here . . .

  • I honestly believe that if you spend more than three days watching daytime television, you can be declared legally insane. While waiting for some plumbers to come out this morning, I was dividing my time between Star Trek (and the Space Hippie episode to boot!), Highlander and some makeover show where some nosy friends took a pretty redhead and turned her into - I'll admit it - a gorgeous redhead. Usually, I have nothing but scorn for these shows, but given my options this morning, I found it oddly compelling. I blame the opium.
  • Why do I keep driving up Morgan Ford? There's always some car driving at five miles per hour up the street, causing my blood pressure to spike dangerously.
  • I've been involved in a lot of drama lately, which I can't really get into details yet. However, I find it funny that there's been tons of bile and vinegar spilled over this - mainly by people who hide behind anonymous tags on various web sites. What ever happened to boldly stating your convictions? Heck, I might not agree with you, but I certainly am more likely to listen to what you have to say. I'm bet that most of these people who are so full of righteous anger and conspiracy theories won't be coming forward to speak their piece at the elections.
  • There's a gaping hole in my kitchen ceiling, but at least my wallet is $300 lighter. On the plus side, my pipes don't leak anymore.
  • I no longer believe that the Cardinals really need Randy Johsnon, but I would still make a move for him. Can you imagine the bedlam with the Big Unit in a Cards uniform? Bring on the playoffs!
  • Last night, I played catcher at our softball game. The position has really been growing on me of late. I really enjoyed how our pitcher SHOWED UP to the game drunk as hell. Every pitch careened to the left. Amazing. I try to time my drunkenness to hit by the fifth or so inning - you get a few solid innings of play in followed by a few solid innings of being drunk. I'm a big fan of the golden mean.

Next Time You Tell Someone to Light a Match, Be Careful . . .

This guy lights up a cigarette in a portable toilet and KA-BOOM!!!

I love the fact that he drove himself, burned and stinking to the hospital, where emergency room attendants probably had to don biohazard suits and gas masks to treat the guy. Wonder if he views this as a possible reason not to smoke any more? Probably not.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Pimpin' Ain't Easy - Especially at Nine

Cool summer nights mean the old neighborhood starts a-hoppin'. People walked, laughed and cooked out, enjoying the cool, breezy night. I returned home and decided to enjoy it by taking Trudy for her walk.

We followed our usual route and closed in on home when we came across five boys playing in a front yard. They all had dark, mostly unkempt hair and wide eyes. At first, I thought they were brothers, but they were too close in age to be brothers, unless Dad was going in for some serious extracurricular activity.

"Vat's your dog's name?"

"Vat's his name? Vill he bite me?"

"Her name is Trudy, and no -- she doesn't bite."

"Oooh. She's nice. Ken I valk her around the block?"

"Uh. No." Much as I bitch and moan about the dog, she's still my dog, and generally, the happiest two minutes of my day is when I walk in the door and she greets me. I don't want her being carried off by some kid to God knows where.

"Vere do you live?" they asked.

"Up the street."

"How many kids do you have?" they wanted to know.

"None." This threw them for a loop.

"None? Do you have a wife?"

"Nope." Now they were flabergasted.

"Do you want one?" Now I was flabergasted. "I know a 17-year-old."

I didn't feel like explaining consent laws to these nine-year-olds, not to mention the whole dirty old man thing that would come up. So I kept from laughing out loud and said no thanks.

"How about a 27-year-old? I know one who vorks at poosline." (I really don't know what the hell he said, but I figured out what he meant really fast). "You know, where they dance." And he stood up and started writhing while rubbing his hands all over his body -- doing a passable stripper impersonation. That in itself was a little shocking -- I'm not sure I knew strippers even existed until I was 13.

"That's allright. Thanks, guys. We're going to go." And I headed home.

So basically, opportunity came knocking in the form of a bunch of nine-year-old pimps. Except at that age, I used to enjoy ringing doorbells and running like hell before the homeowner could answer the door, so I decided to let them keep knocking.

In any case, it's nice to see that the entrepenurial spirit is still alive in the area's nine-year-olds.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

I've Got Them Dog-Howling-Ceiling-on-the-Floor-Money-Burning Blues

Home is where I always want to be
Home is there for you and is for me
Home is where I never want to leave

-Josh Rouse, Nothing Gives Me Pleasure

Vegas is taking odds on when I'm going to snap and how it's going to happen. Me? I'm leaning towards the drink, but you never know what form a good nervous breakdown's going to take.

Let's review this evening, shall we? I return home from another soul-crushing day at the office and find my half-crazed dog, bouncing around the room like a pinball. After I calm down her barking and whining, I go into the house itself (I keep her in an air conditioned sunroom) to find that a good chunk of my ceiling has found its way to the floor.

I may not know much about drills, hammers, plumbing and electrical work, but I know for a fact that the ceiling does indeed belong on the ceilng. Otherwise, it would be a floor. Or so I've been told.

After checking to make sure gravity didn't reverse itself and I wasn't at that moment spinning towards the sun, I examined the remains of the ceiling (that was still attached to the ceiling) to see that my toilet is leaking. Great.

Plumbers. I fear plumbers. I don't undestand how plumbing works. All I know is water comes out the faucets and everyone's happy. When something goes wrong, I know it's going to take a lot of time and even more money to make things right. The last time I called a plumber, he came in for 15 minutes, told me I need to caulk my tub and charged me $60. I nearly asked him where he hid his ski mask and gun, but fearing for my life, I refrained.

Fortunately, I had yardwork to distract me from my problems. And even better, my trusted hound wanted to join me in my yardwork. So I mowed the lawn and repeatedly screamed "GET OUT OF THE WAY DAMMIT!!!!!" "JESUS DOG, DO YOU WANT TO DIE?" "NO!!! NO!!!!!!!! DON'T EAT THAT!!!!!!!!"

Mental note: the cries and howls are far better than what I went through tonight. Especially when I walked in a different door, and she thought I left her. If you've never seen a dog have a panic attack, consider yourself lucky. It's not a pretty sight.

So here I am; preparing for bed. I'm exhausted. I'm sick of things going wrong with my house. I'm tired of my dog going hysterical when I walk out the door for five minutes. Fortunately, I'll be asleep in about a half hour, so I won't have to think about all this until tomorrow.

However, on the plus side, after early next week, all the issues with my kitchen ceiling will be resolved and I can finally start repairing it, I'll hopefully have my gutters repaired, and I can start painting the house like I've wanted to do for several months.

Of course, the dog will still be a nervous wreck. C'est la vie.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Adventures in e-Dating Part II - Hell Hath No Fury Like an Oprah Scorned

Previously -- I was lonely and bored, and rather than settle into a life of dedicated, bitter alcoholism, I decided to troll for women on the internet.

My new relationship lasted about a month. I'm not complaining; she's a sweet person, and we still talk regularly. We both realized that we weren't a good couple, so we both moved on with our lives.

But I returned to my original problem - no women. I thought about talking to some of the perfectly lovely women I see at the bookstores, but after the dreaded macing-in-the-Faulkner aisle incident, I felt a new approach was needed.

"Try!" a friend suggested. "That's how I made a lot of friends and ultimately wound up hanging out with you guys." A ringing endorsement, if I've ever heard one.

If Yahoo! personals are the Chevy Cavaliers of internet dating services - safe, generally reliable and rather boring, then is the Grand Am - bigger, prettier to look at, but it doesn't seem to work as well as you think it should.

And Match wasn't a total loss; I learned that I'm really big in the sticks. I received tons of e-mails from wild, hard-drinking women who live about 80 miles from St. Louis.

Now, I'm not a babysitter; a few drinks? Great! Happily social? Great! Falling down drunk every night and looking for someone to watch over you while you drink yourself into oblivion? Call a cab. I only drink alone.

That last sentence was a joke, by the way. The Lord is always with me. And the dog - she's there too. She counts, right?

And the three dates? One of them made it to the second date, when I made an important discovery: no matter how tempting it is; no matter how badly you want to say it, don't call a book "too Oprah book club."

Now, I probably should have thought a little before making such a comment, but I made it. So men, if you want to see a woman go from zero to pissed in no time flat, don't insult her father. Don't insult her mother; just insult Oprah. I guarantee, you won't be getting any sweet loving that night. You'll be lucky not to have a black eye.

I should also point out that it's rather odd when you stumble across a friend's profile on one of these services. What's the protocol? Do you mention it to her? Do you send her an e-mail just to say hello. I'm always reminded of that Southwest ad where the two women anser the personal ad only to find it's the nebbish guy from the next cube. I decided to leave well enough alone.

But after awhile, you can only read the same profiles so many times. You can send witty and funny e-mails only to receive no reply so many times. Connections that look good on paper mean little in the real world. So I withdrew from Match, and entered the summer with a song (albeit an angry one, but no angrier than usual) in my heart and the clouds in the sky.

Strangely enough though, I'm not bitter I did it. I pissed some money away, but I also learned a lot during my experience. As Annie pointed out in the comments section of the earlier entry on the topic, "Real people are much more fun." Which they are. There's only so much you can pick up on and see via a monitor and keyboard.

Of course, now I actually have to leave the house to meet some of these "real people".

Monday, July 12, 2004

Hey! Here's to Your Health!

Another story from the "Hell in a Handbasket" file.

The really funny thing here is that she teaches classes on home safety!

Do you think her brother-in-law grew suspicious when she stood there staring at him intently, waiting for him to chug down this smoothie?

And what do you say to your husband after murdering his brother? I don't think "sorry" would cut it. I'm curious to see if they stay together after all this.

How was she planning to "control his money" when he grew really sick - there's a reason animals and people die when chugging anti-freeze - IT'S FREAKIN' POISON!!!!! It might taste sweet and smooth going down, but it leaves a nice empty feeling when all is said and done.

I wonder how she explained the empty bottle of Prestone in her kitchen cabinet when the police came a-callin'.

Friday, July 09, 2004

At Least He Didn't Ask to Use the Bathroom

Check this story out.

They're charging him with making a terrorist threat? How did what he do remotely involve terrorism? Sure it was stupid, juvenile and potentially dangerous - for himself, the clerk and any other patrons, but terrorism?

He's more guilty of falling into the trap of bad radio - you know, that medium where sight gags work so well, than being a threat to the country.

Memo to overzealous prosecutor: in these troubled times, the most important thing you can have is a sense of humor - even for lame on-air radio stunts.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Adventures in e-Dating, Part I: Fortune Favors the Bold (or is that the Desperate?)

About nine years ago, I was sitting at a wedding reception with a friend discussing dating; at some point in the conversation, personal ads came up.

"A haven for the desperate and lonely," I said. "Only freaks, fetishists and people who don't play well with others use them." I think I nodded sagely after saying this, because that's what I do when I make profound observations.

The ironic thing about me looking down my nose at the lonely is that I'm not exactly setting dating records myself. I have this uncanny knack of causing women to slowly back away after 30 seconds; that is, if they don't reach for the can of mace first.

So needless to say, you can probably see where this entry is going.

Fast forward to the fall of 2002; I was a new homeowner. I was recently dumped by my girlfriend. I had a car. I had a job. Heck, I even had some money rolling in from time to time - at least when I kept myself from the fire water and one-armed bandits, which wasn't too often, but I was willing to forego it once in awhile.

Digressions aside, somehow, I decided to put my writing skills to good use and find myself a woman. Yep. I tell myself that I can write. It's one of those illusions we all live under - like how we're all witty and charming, and people think we're really funny . . . wait - that's what I tell myself! Go find your own illusions!

But this left me with a different dilemma - which service to use?

There's Lavalife,, e-Harmony (that spokesman scares the bejeesus out of me - creepy little troll), Bubba's Dating, all those ads you see at 3:00 AM on weekends, Yahoo! - no shortage of possibilities!

After reviewing my options (i.e., seeing which service offered the most hotties), I made my choice - Yahoo! it was!

Armed with a special issue of Men's Health giving me advice on how to navigate these potentially treacherous waters, I boldly logged on and prepared to be overwhelmed by all the responses I would receive.

I opened my foray into e-dating by e-mailing an attractive woman who had just turned 30 (like me), recently returned to town (I know it well, so I could show her around), and works for Wal-Mart (I have nothing there. I hate Wal-Mart, but what the hell, she was cute). And I never heard back from her.

But that was okay. To hell with her! I didn't need her! I posted my profile, and promptly started two weeks of correspondence with a woman who wouldn't answer my questions but demanded I answer hers. She wouldn't show me a picture of herself, even though I sent her one. Oh, and she insulted all of the answers I provided. It was a lot of fun, in a self-loathing-maybe-this-is-all-I-have-to-look-forward-to-please-God-kill-me-now kind of way. However, she grew weary of playing with me and found a new mouse, so I was left to my own devices. Then I found another Amy.

Like everyone, I have a name that is the bane of my existence. Being with someone with this name is bad news; it means the train is rushing down the track with the broken bridge, and the engineer is laughing maniacally while taking a swig of whiskey, pouring it into the fire box followed by three more logs. The funny thing is that you really don't care while it's happening - it's a fun ride, until you go flying off the tracks. That's how I feel when I meet a new Amy.

Fortunately, she blew me off after a few e-mails back and forth.

I gave up for a brief time, then I jumped back in with a new message sent to a new girl. She seemed nice, fun and pleasant.

Yep. Her name was Amy. We corresponded for about two weeks, but she ran off as soon as I suggested we meet. I'm guessing it wasn't meant to be.

So I was discouraged, frustrated and generally pissed off; where the hell were the 30-40 women that writer promised me? Where were all the dates? Dear Lord, would a publication actually lie in order to increase circulation? Fortunately, I didn't have to face down this crisis of journalistic faith. Fate stepped in and I stared dating someone new, so I bid Yahoo! Personals a nice "adieu!"

"I don't need these losers anymore," I thought while giggling and canceling my account. Happily, I shut off the computer and the lights, and went off to start a new chapter of life.

A rather short one, as it turns out.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004


Testing this remote publishing thingy . . . technology is neat! Technology is your friend! Say nothing evil about technology, it may be watching . . .


Be on the lookout for large, angry joeys.

Man, what's this world coming to when peaceful, playful roos run around assaulting people and dogs? I blame the Republicans.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Walking Life

I believe one of the main reasons people are so in love with their cars is that they serve as a shield between themselves and the rest of the world. It's sort of like watching television -- you can see and in some cases, hear what's going on, but you're not involved. You don't like what you see? Drive a block down the road and it's like you've found a new channel.

After all the walking I've done this summer, I really think I'm onto something. In the car, you roll up a window or turn down the air conditioning and the problem is solved. When walking outdoors, you either find shelter or hope the bad weather lets up soon.

You notice things from the streets that the car windows hide: life - rabbits, opossums, snakes -- all of these things live in my neighborhood; until I stepped out of the car, I never saw them (save as the occasional bit of roadkill); details - people striving to improve their houses, streets and living conditions.

Instead of driving down to the riverfront this year, I walked the dog the night of the fourth. I was treated to several dozen small firework displays as we walked through the warm night.

Ultimately, walking makes you a participant in the world, as opposed to a spectator. You're forced to acknowledge others and even (gasp!) carry on a conversation with a stranger, instead of smiling and nodding with the radio personality.

What I'm getting at here is that if you're looking for a change and have somewhere to go that's not too far, walk to where you're going. I think you'll find it a whole new experience.