Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Monday, July 17, 2006

No One Can Hear You Scream

And just for the record: I do not cry while my wife is in labor and my children are being born. That is not to say it is not a moving experience. It's exciting.

It's kind of like that scene from the movie "Alien" where the baby pops out of that androids chest. Except instead of screaming in terror and running for your life, you pick the thing up and cradle it in the crook of your arm and tell it you will love it without condition forever, forever, forever...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Dedicated to My One True Love: The Ladies

And what do girls like? Big tough men who still cry every once in a while. I'm not afraid to talk about it. My rule for quitting my desk job was that I would certainly quit before the job flustered me enough to make me cry. When I punched a hole in the wall I figured that was close enough and stopped going to work.

I have met a few girls that like to cry. They encourage crying for cleansing and recreation and say that at the very least any normal person should cry on a regular basis. I don't agree with that. It sounds annoying.

I will tell you about things that I like. One of my most favorite things in the world is to drive across the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. I have done it quite a few times and every time it makes me want to win the lottery and become a professional ski bum, spending my life in exotic resort settings and letting it all sink in.

My mother went to college in Colorado and still has friends in the area and we visit them every few years or so. One Thanksgiving my mother, stepfather, brother and I drove out to Denver. My brother and I followed my mom's truck in her convertible Mustang. We drove through high mountain roads, the less traveled ones with hidden fields and apple orchards. It was sunny and we listened to one of my favorite CDs: The Meat Puppets, Too High Too Die. The only thing that was missing was some awesome girl to share the experience with. In that regard, I felt especially slighted, since my fiance had only recently dumped me.

It wasn't the worst but it definitely wasn't the best dumping. She said, "I can't marry you." I said, "We don't have to get married, we can keep dating." She said, "No. I can never be with you again." And she offered that alpha and omega of explanations, "I don't know why." Of course, it would have been nice if I didn't have to dwell on it and if the rejection wouldn't have burned in my chest for months and months, but that is what happened.

So we went to Denver for Thanksgiving and the drive was nice but not quite perfect. My mother's friend was divorced and had a daughter about six or seven years old. She had been married to a lawyer from a wealthy family and they had a lot of material things but they lived under the thumb of the in-laws. Nothing they had in their lives actually belonged to them. She didn't like living that way and divorced the man. But he always lived in close proximity so the daughter could have both of her parents and they still had a strong friendship.

During this Thanksgiving, other relatives and friends of the family were all gathering together. There was another small girl who was about twelve years old. I spent most of my time hanging around with the little girls, taking them to the park and stuff. It was evident that the twelve year old liked me. It was flattering, so much as you can be flattered by a prepubescent girl who knows nothing about you but likes you anyway. Maybe love is always like having your wishes granted by the devil, like that Simpson's episode where Homer wishes for a turkey sandwich but worries it will be made with zombie turkey meat (it turns out the turkey was dry).

I liked challenging that little girl though. I laughed at her description of school. How she was in A-club. Therefore, she could only date guys who were in A-club. To be in A-club you had to get straight-A's, you couldn't do drugs and you could NOT wear the same article of clothing twice in a two week period. When she told me that, I told her I did not get straight A's and I asked her what she thought about the way I only wore homemade t-shirts or just plain white t-shirts and shorts that were usually made from cutting off Dockers bought at a second-hand store. I think she fought for a way to continue thinking of me as A-club material.

This little girl had an awesome father. He was probably nearing 40. A single dad. He kind of reminds me of Ferris Bueller's best friend. He had a good sense of humor. When I ran out of clean clothes, he loaned me a t-shirt. He laughed about my noodle arms and we had a long conversation about making t-shirts. He was the one who suggested that I make a t-shirt that read "Body by Ramen." If I lived in Colorado today I would be friends with that guy.

Everyone wanted to drive into the mountains and visit that hotel where Stephen King wrote his book, "The Shining." I got to ride with the guys, including the dad, and we had a good time.

At one point on this trip to Denver, my mother mentioned to me, "You know... that twelve year old is pretty cute..." like I should totally bust a move. When she said it, I thought, please be kidding, please be kidding, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, mother, please be kidding. Oh, but mother wasn't kidding. It brought another aspect of loneliness to the trip.

We all went to the hotel and looked around for awhile and then we watched the small town holiday parade from the sidewalk of their modest Main Street. I was able to laugh whole-heartedly when the father of the twelve-year-old mentioned in casual conversation that he planned to indiscriminately shoot and kill the first boy his little girl ever brought home. The comment had nothing to do with mom's suggestion.

Given my emotional state, it was as good a Thanksgiving as could be hoped for.

Closer to Christmas and New Years, my father and stepmother asked if my brother and I would like to go to Denver for a ski weekend. They had a friend in Denver who was flying to the midwest for a rendezvous with some guy so the friend said we could use her house while she was away.

I still wasn't trying hard not to be in a rotten mood. I think my mother-in-law was trying to help me. When my dad went into a shop and we waited in the car she started some small talk. She noticed I was carrying around a book called "Nine Stories" by J.D. Salinger and she told me how she had met the writer's grand-daughter a few times when she was in college (I should have held out to be a Bruin or a Hoya so I could meet interesting people like that). When my step-mother decided to confront the issue directly, she said, "You have to kiss a lot of frogettes before you find a princess." My stepmother is an accomplished doctor and holds a very high rank in the military but it is still little nuggets of wisdom about frogettes that impresses me the most about her. My parents remarried well.

Anyhow, we went and spent a day on the snowy slopes of Breckenridge. Then we were starving so we stopped at a Denny's for some food. Surprisingly, we bumped into the man that my stepmother's friend had just flown across the country to visit. I don't know anything else about that story. But we shrugged it off and returned to the lady's house to sleep. I can't recall why we were sleeping on the floor of the den instead of in the beds but it was still pleasant and their was a fireplace nearby when we laid out our sleeping bags. It was a nice day made horrible because I had to lay there and try to sleep a few feet away from my brother and his messed-up crazy girlfriend while they made out. I thought about what a wonderful day and wonderful experience and wonderful opportunity it was to be there and that it should be ME making out with my awesome girlfriend on that floor and that my brother's girlfriend didn't deserve to lick his spit off the sidewalk let alone get an all-expenses-paid vacation to one of my favorite places.

I tried to block it all out by lying face down with my hands over my head and that is when I heard drops of water spattering on my pillow. Really it just made me even angrier. Everything that's right was wrong again.

The last time I went to Denver was five years ago. When we showed up my mother's friend told me that her daughter was apprehensive about seeing me because she had always had a crush on me. She said that when I walked in, her daughter turned to her and said. "Do you see how good he looks?" I've known that little girl for her whole life and I do love her. When I showed up with my wife and one year old son it was not my intention to shake up her teenage world. She was hardly around so I didn't get to talk to her but it made me sad to see her hanging out with 14 year old retards and smell her reeking of cigarettes.

My wife and I had spent the day snowboarding at Breckenridge and when we came home I was getting shivery and lathergic and feverish. Slimysculpin and his family came over to see us, as he hails from that area, but I'm sure I wasn't good company that New Years night.

The last I heard, that girl was having problems. Her father (the lawyer) suddenly ran off with some stripper and everything started falling apart. I feel bad that I can't really play any part as a friend in what is probably the hardest time of her life. As always, I'm just some old married dude.

Now you know a little more about the women I love in my life and the places I like to go.

Monday, July 10, 2006

If I went 'round saying I was an Emperor, just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!

Who needs Poptarts when it's easier to grab a leftover steak in a paper towel and eat it while you drive to work? If I can figure out the packaging for grab-and-go steaks I'm going to put those pastry pushers out of business.

Friday, July 07, 2006

You Snooze You Lose, Well I Have Snost and Lost

Just an update:

We made an unofficial offer on that house in Saratoga Springs, which the seller accepted. When we put it in writing the next day, the house had already been sold for $10K more than our bid. We've got things in the works to get another house here in our current neighborhood.

As I guessed, the car accident I was in almost cost me my job. I missed one day of work due to diarrhea and received another two "occurrences" for the accident. That is enough for termination as a temporary hire. Rumors were flying around my workplace that I was no longer employed. They were started by my back-up boss (the coordinator who was disappointed that I wasn't poverty stricken rez fodder).

My real boss came to me and told me the company would make an exception to their own crappy rules and let me stay on. He said it was the fault of an inexperienced coordinator. Other employees laughed and even were upset by the threat that I may be fired as it would mean they would have to work the extra hours not covered by myself. Anyway, my boss made me sign a paper saying we had talked about it and made it clear that if I am even late one more time this month then my employment will still be terminated. I tried to laugh it off by saying, "I'll try really hard not to get into any more car accidents." He nodded like it was a really good idea.

Push out the jive. Bring in the love.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Blogpost

When Eleanor had a week or two off between the regular school year and summer school we watched a couple of episodes of Matlock while we ate lunch. We are not fans of the show but in comparison to the rest of the daytime lineup it seemed like a good choice.

At the beginning of one episode, we looked at eachother and laughed. The title of the episode was "The Suspect."

Man, do they even try to make these interesting? We threw out some guesses that the show's writers were all locked in a room talking:

"Come on you guys. We are one title away from heading home to our families for a long holiday weekend. Let's hit it and get out of here."

"Um... how about 'The Suspect'?"

"The Suspect? That's brilliant."

Only to be followed up with titles like The Victim, The Jury and The Legal Process. They showed up for one idea and ended up naming every episode for the following season. I imagine the same scenario, with serious consideration being given to a title like "What the stenographer heard", when someone finally said, "Maybe it's time to end the whole series?" and everyone just breathed a sigh of relief and thanked him.

The incredible tactic they seem to use in every episode is Matlock figuring out who the real perp is and then nailing him with a line like "I've got your shoe shine boy ready to testify that he saw you the day of the murder fleeing into the woods behind the crime scene" and then the guy spills out a complete confession; often when culprit is not even the one on trial.

I like Don Knotts but it really gives the show a "Mayberry is all grown up" vibe when you see the stars reunited. The only thing missing is a cameo by Opie.

I guess it's good as far as daytime tv goes.