Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Heading South

Gary was raucously honking his name again but Louis wouldn't even look at the lead goose.

"Louis! Straighten up! This is supposed to be a letter "V!" Gary squawked.

Gary made Louis want to cough up his worms. Louis didn't even know what a letter "V" was but he wasn't about to admit that to a jerk like Gary. The next time they landed he would make a point of reminding everyone about the time Gary tried to initiate a mating ritual with a plastic decoy.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Who are the people in your neighborhood?

In my neighborhood we, once again, have some interesting characters. To our west we have a guy who refuses to cover his giant gut with a shirt. It's getting better now that the weather is cooling off. He has a wife, teenage daughter and some annoying dogs. He had a successful vegetable garden. There are three big cucumbers hanging from a vine on our fence and my wife is very worried that they will ruin before the neighbors pick them. When I was roofing the shed he yelled at me, "What the hell are ya buildin'?" I said, "It's a shed." Aside from that I've only heard him and his family yelling about all of the guns they own and which gun belongs to whom.

To the east of us is an old widow. Her name is Flo. She is retired. She doesn't work. She doesn't seem to go anywhere. She does nothing but spend every waking moment making sure her lawn is in perfect condition and, when she gets a chance, she comes and talks to us about what we can do to make OUR yard more perfect.

She sees the needles that fall from our pine tree and on to her lawn and reacts as if we are throwing dirty diapers on her grass without wadding them up first. She tells us that previous owners of the house agreed to cut down the tree but canceled that plan when they put the house up for sale. Hint, hint. She says, "And I told Jack that these are HIS pine needles and that HE should rake them up. And HE did a couple of times. Well that was awfully kind of him, Flo. You really shouldn't have let a neighbor like that get away from you. Oh how she wants all of our trees gone so she can sleep without dreaming of all those pesky autumn leaves scurrying across her living-astroturf. Doesn't mother nature know how she bothers Flo?

We live in a regular neighborhood but behind the fence in our backyard there are some duplexes. That is where our neighbor Bull lives. He hangs drywall and trains dogs and restores cars in his spare time. He has tattoos on his face and a pitbull. He and his buddies like to set up spotlights and work on cars until the wee hours of the night. He is actually like a home security system for us.

He asked me about buying my old Pontiac. I told him I was open to offers. He wanted me to know that if he bought the car that he wouldn't keep it stock. He would customize it. I said it is hard to keep old cars original. One of the first things I did was throw on a 4-barrel Edelbrock. Bull said, "No, I mean custom work like chopping the roof. Have you seen my buddy's truck over here. Me and him did that." Here is the truck:

To each his own, I guess. I can't complain. I'm the guy flying the Jolly Rodger in my front yard. One old man came by and asked if we were going to keep the flag up. When I said Yes, he said, "Well, I guess it means different things to different people."

P.S. The elementary school sucks here. It was one of the only schools in the state to fail the No Child Left Behind requirements. Our son never seems to have his homework assignments. The beer bottle is finally gone from the sidewalk but for almost a week an old car battery showed up on the main sidewalk directly in front of the school. It finally got hauled away today. I don't think any kids got into the acid, they were too busy kicking eachother in the groonies on the playground. The system works, to an extent.

L to the V to the Beethoven

Last week I borrowed a Beethoven CD from the library. I played it in the car to which my daughter proclaimed, "Daddy, this is pretty music."

We were enjoying it, and since the girls had sat long through the library's "story hour" (they have a pretty good program, I recommend it) I asked them where they wanted to get lunch. They wanted tacos.

When I ordered and approached the Drive-Thru window with the music still blaring I wondered, "Is it pompous to pull up for fast food blasting triumphant classical music?" As in, is the middle-aged woman who makes my change going to think that I think I am better than her just because I'm listening to Beethoven? I didn't want to believe it was so, so I left the music playing. If anything, Beethoven is the one who is better than US. It truly is a plastic-fantastic society we live in where anything with any depth or sincerity is sacrificed for the sake of making money and having cool crap we don't need and can't afford anyway. It is sad that Beethoven doesn't fit into our society unless it's in the form of bad muzak ringtones for our cellphones. And those are snooty, too, aren't they?

At least Beethoven didn't sell out to the rich like so many other composers of his time. He wrote what he wanted and scraped up what he needed to pay the bills. He was a commoner. It kept him lonely throughout his life. And like so many other great minds that rise from lowly ranks, he seems to have started life hopeful as to the promise this world holds, only to have those ideas crushed in his later years and accepting that people are rotten. I can say that because I know that our every-man-for-himself society is slowly going deaf and no one will hear it anyhow.

I regret being the type of person to hear Beethoven's music performed and automatically think, "Wow, they are getting some good sound out of their synthesizers," only to have to remind myself that the sound actually IS 20 violins being played at once. Beethoven makes it easy to transition from music that is all two notes and a fat beat into real melody and harmony. Kurt Cobain may be the highest paid dead dude but does that mean he was better than Beethoven? I don't think I have to answer that. So here is to Beethoven who knows how to rock without drums. Maybe one day the people will live up to the music.

Ladies' Halloween Costumes

What do you get for $30?

Basically, you ladies get a plastic mini-skirt, a pair of fishnet stockings and your choice of barely-recognizable police hat, fireman hat, nurse's head-thingy, bunny ears, devil horns, witch hat... the possibilities are limitless.

Cheap?!?! I will have you know that this stuff was originally designed for strippers and is guaranteed for at least THREE pole-dances. Now get out there and sex it up.

Why haven't these guys been run out of town?

(The CandyCorn costume is actually $50 online. You have to buy your own broom though.)

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Key to Simple Living

Eleanor: "I think I'm going to have Emilee cut about four inches off of my hair."

Me: "Why don't you have her give you a hip haircut? I bet she knows them all."

Eleanor: "No. It's too hard to have a hip haircut. It's so much easier just to be stuck in a rut."

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Shed a Little Love

Here is the shed I built the other week. Isn't it splendid?

I didn't have a plan. I made it up out of my head as I went. The idea was to make as few cuts as possible. That is why it is so tall. I thought I could build it in less than two days. I almost did but then I started working again at the furniture warehouse (25 hours in two shifts, even) so it ended up taking a week. The shingles were the time consuming part. I was worried during construction because the whole thing was pretty wobbly but it came together very strong. Minnow helped me lift the plywood on to the roof and he referred to it as "The tougher than Tuff-shed." I know it was several thousand dollars cheaper than Tuffshed.

My whole life, my granpa was known for saying things like, "Oh, hah; I s'pose; and If I build it, I will walk on it." I've decided to carry on that tradition.

We have enough room in our house for regular living but not for any of the things that I like. My stuff is what clutters our living room. So I built the shed and that's where MY stuff will go. Bikes, boards, books, music stuff. It isn't insulated yet but give me time. I will also add electricity.

What you see is Phase 1. Phase 2 involves building a greenhouse on the backside. For those of you worried about appearances, I will also soon add trim to the front and finish adding a metal drip-edge around the entire roof. Once that is done it will look good and I am confident that you will all want to make out with me.

Hijacking Halloween

Community. Identity. Stability.

I see news articles saying that Halloween is quickly becoming almost as much of a spending spree as Christmas. I think it all boils down to suburbanites being bored and restless and all-too-eager to get into the holiday spirit. ANY holiday, just let us decorate and be festive! We need. We need.

I get annoyed with all of these pre-planned, over-organized Halloween get-togethers. Like where you pay a few bucks and your kids trick-or-treat in the nice warm shopping mall or expo-center at designated hours. Nobody gets dirty. Everyone gets the same amount of candy. And I especially get annoyed with the Mormon Trunk-or-Treating where mormons get together in a parking lot and let their kids do their trick-or-treating there.

It's exclusive. Non-mormon kids can't get mormon candy? We can't let our kids be spontaneous? We can't let them explore the neighborhood? We can't let them get a little chilly? Why must we spoil the whole thing with some over-formal, over-controlled micro-trick-or-treating experience.

I have candy. Come and get it from me. It's free. Knocking on strangers doors will help get you ready for your mission. We can't live in fear. Meeting people is easy.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Come for the harsh conditions, stay for the smog

The urban sprawl has crept into nearly every nook and cranny of the valley around Salt Lake City. As a result, the people of this valley have decided that it would be a good idea to begin building communities ON TOP of the mountain walls.

The mountains run north and south, parallel to Interstate 15. This picture is taken from a new community called Suncrest in the southeast corner of the valley. About as far south as you can go before you reach Utah County where things REALLY get strange. Directly ahead, in this picture, you should be able to see downtown Salt Lake City. On the horizon towards the left side you should be able to see the Great Salt Lake, itself. Click the picture to enlarge it. The clouds are high and the skies are clear. This is about as good a view as you will get from this expensive new community. I guess the top of a nearby mountain is the wrong place to gaze at a lake that is visible from space. It is funny that in a valley famous for its smokestacks, people regard it as a mystery that the Great Salt Lake has some of the highest levels of mercury of any lake in the entire country. Don't eat the birds that stop here, you'll go mad as a hatter.

If you choose to live in Suncrest community then you should plan to miss a lot of work due to harsh weather, even as the weather is mild on the valley floor. Warn your children not to fall off the mountain as they play in the yard and to avoid engulfment in vast snowbanks.

Before the houses were built, we would ride our mountain bikes there. It would be hot in the valley but the wind at the top was biting cold. I'm sure environmentalists are pleased that after their efforts to block off unnecessary trails and rehabilitate Corner Canyon years ago, the final result is golf courses and million dollar homes. But look how smooth that pavement sits.

When I drove through the neighborhood, some soccer mom in a giant SUV smiled and waved at me. She seemed to have a look on her face like, "They all think we are crazy for living up here, but we know better, don't we?"

I waved back, but I didn't have the gall to put on my look of, "Speak for yourself, mama. I will send up a Saint Bernard with a cask of bourbon round his neck after every mountain storm."

The road to the community is steep and windy and wide. People seem to drive a minimum of 10 mph over the speed limit. It feels quite similar to driving through the old Sardine Canyon between Brigham City and Logan. You know? That canyon that usually reports at least one head-on collision every winter?

When do we stop calling it "progress" and start calling it "desparation?"

Monday, October 23, 2006

Drastic Park

Halloween is closer than I realized so this weekend we kicked into pagan mode. We went to the local, ever-most-sincere pumpkin patch, snapped a few pictures, and brought home some gourds that Charlie Brown would have been proud to have worn as a helmet. We don't try that hard to get perfect pictures. The kids fake horrible smiles.

Then I told the kids, "Get ready for a voyage to the wonderful land of Ogden." And then we headed for the Eccles Dinosaur Park near the mouth of their canyon. Ogden is a strange place. The city seems too small to be run down the way it is. But I actually saw a news article that said the highest incomes in Utah are in Ogden and lord knows the real estate is cheaper there. Snow Basin is also a very nice ski resort. Industrial relics are pretty common throughout the valley so the strangest thing about Ogden is the people. They were 80's before 80's was cool. They beat everyone to the punch on the Farrah Fawcett hair coming back, but I don't know if it counts when it never seems to have left. If Ogden can be looked to for what is coming next in fashion then we should all prepare for poofy hair, hat-head and stonewashed jeans.

My friend Sam is from Ogden (Actually Layton, south Ogden). He is a cool guy. I'm not sure if he is an exception to the Ogden anomoly. But come to think of it, I do remember that he left a button-up shirt with the sleeves ripped off in my car once. He was a little upset when he found out that I had been using it to wipe the fog off of my windshield during the winter, "That's my favorite shirt!" he said. And I remember one morning when we went to see our friend Jana. I forget where we decided to go but while we were walking to the car she started laughting really hard for no apparent reason. When Sam and I asked her what she was laughing at she cited Sam's outfit as the culprit. He was wearing very expensive, very technical hiking boots with worn-out blue sweatpants that had blown out ankle-elastic (they sort of looked like blue terry cloth karate pants) and he wore a red and white flannel shirt over a plain white t-shirt and topped off the whole look with a winter beanie. I was used to seeing Sam dress like this but when she pointed it out I realized it WAS funny to the average person. Then again, what does Jana know? She's from IDAHO.

We took our kids to the dinosaur park around Halloween 2004. The experience took me off gaurd because the whole park was decked out for the holiday. I didn't know where to start the damage control when my then 4 year old son looked at the bloody jeans and tennis shoes hanging out of the mouths of dino sculptures. I'm sure I panicked a little and started a speech like "Ethan, you need to understand that dinosaurs disappeared 60 million years before any human being ever lived..."

It is kind of a funny idea that they have dinosaur displays where one dinosaur statue is tearing the flesh off another dinosaur statue and then you make it spooky by hanging a bloody leg out of some meat-eater's mouth. Seems like dino-business as usual to me. Here is a picture I took in 2004. They had two meat eaters roaring at eachother in a face off. For Halloween they put some bloody jeans in the mouth of one dinosaur and a torso in the mouth of the opposite dinosaur with red ropes connecting the torso to the jeans. They didn't do that display this year. This is the Torvosaurus(?) who had the jeans in his mouth. At the time, I wanted to preserve the dinosaur viewing experience so I tried to take the pictures to minimize the Halloween stuff.

This year I decided to embrace the Halloween decorations and just let my kids accept the experience for what it was. I made no attempt to explain all the plastic brains hanging from the trees.

There is one scientific theory that if humans DID exist during the age of the dinosaurs, that they surely would have used the dinorsaurs for rodeo purposes.

There is a less accepted theory that humans WERE in existence for a short time but were quickly wiped out by the dinosaurs because of man's annoying tendency to hump the legs of the giants.

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While we were walking around the park my wife constantly complained to me that she had the Dead Milkmen song "Born to love volcanos" stuck in her head. She said, "It's especially annoying since the guy who wrote it probably didn't REALLY love volcanos." I told her that only someone who truly loved volcanos could come up with a line like "she looks like a little volcano with her red hair and brown dress."

The dinosaur park also holds answers to questions in american pop culture. Like "Was Tolkein's GOLLUM character just a rip off of a poorly sculpted deinonichus?"

"Was Lisa Simpson inspired by the footprint of a chasmosaurus?"

Overall, I have grown to like the haunted dinosaur park and make no attempt to make sense of the scenes to my kids. It's better to just go and have fun.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Follow in Your Footsteps

Today, our daughter told us that she was eager to become a teenager and "have big feet."

Ethan took this opportunity to the inform the family that his dream is to have an opposable toe growing out of the side of each foot "like a gorilla." He finds so many flaws in the human design. No wings, no opposable toes... what does he have to look forward to? That's right. Acne.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

69 Shopping Days Left

We have already done a lot of our Christmas shopping for the kids. It is nice to get it out of the way but sometimes the holidays seem uneventful if you don't have to jam into the malls like cattle with the rest of the shoppers.

My wife is hard to shop for because she mostly likes to receive clothes. When I buy the clothes myself I am usually met with a response like, "I like it... or I can see what you were going for here... but NOT FOR ME." I can also never forget how my wife ripped into her mother one Christmas morning, "DARK chocolate? WHO buys DARK chocolate? Why did you buy DARK chocolate?" Then her mother had to apologize and feel bad about candy on Christmas morning. It makes me laugh.

I know that it is not fun to buy presents for me either. I ask for weird stuff like instructional DVD's on playing guitar in DADDGD or a block of ISBN numbers for books I haven't written. One year I asked for stock in "The Gap" when it was $11 per share. I didn't get it but it would have been a good investment. There is ONE THING I have been asking my wife for over the past couple of years. It probably isn't what you're thinking. I have asked her for the past two years to write and perform stand-up comedy for me. Just because I know she has the potential.

She never has, but when we were driving through a slum earlier in the summer looking for a house to buy, my wife saw a guy on the sidewalk and said, "That guy looks like he's worried about being kidnapped. He's thinking, 'Is someone going to pull up in their car and kidnap me? Wait a minute... I'm 40 years old.'" She said maybe she would put that in the comedy act I wanted her to write. So maybe someday.

My sister met me halfway one year. I went on the internet and found the exact page she needed to buy me a Direct Injection box for my guitar and sent it to her, then she bought it for me. It was nice.

Or, on the other extreme, sometimes I cause trouble by being too simple. One year all I asked for was a flashlight. I got yelled at a lot for that. Because apparently it is no fun for people to buy and give flashlights. But I got a flashlight that year and I was happy. Another year I couldn't think of anything I wanted so I just asked for DVD's. I got about 10 DVD's that year. It was kind of strange but I think gift-givers like it when you ask for gifts like that as long as you don't specify a DVD like Robotech or The Razor's Edge.

I do think that I am a good person to ask for a gift that is harder to find. I have an idea of how to use the internet and I'm not too lazy to run around town to find something that is going out of stock.

Good luck on your shopping.

Not Retarded but still the Dregs of Society

I was telling some friends the other night that what I like best about working a job available to anyone who can lift 100 pounds is that as long as you are not completely retarded your coworkers and bosses all think you are a superstar. I've never driven a forklift fullspeed into one of the ceiling support beams nor have I dropped a refrigerator from 40 feet. The job is such that I can even be an hour late, everyday if I like, and they're all still glad that I just keep showing up. In short, I can show up and do my thing and everyone will leave me alone. That is hard to find at most jobs.

But do you know what I did that really annoys people? I bought my house. For a couple of weeks we had a couple things lined up against the house in the driveway along with a lot of empty cardboard boxes. Our house only had ONE garbage can which was already filled when we moved in. We called the city a couple of times to see if we could get another and it was weeks before it arrived. In the meantime, I took a U-haul truck filled with garbage to the dump, we had a junk car hauled off, we had a yardsale (People act like $5 is too much to ask for an original painting by Picasso and then once they finally agree to your price they try to pay you with a hundred dollar bill; we also had people steal items we would have sold for $0.25. Losers.) and we arranged our house as best we could to maximize the space we had available.

Regardless, we received a threatening form letter from the city stating we had one week to get the crap out of our driveway. They included with the letter a picture of the junk in the driveway. See, JUNK! It's right here in this picture if you failed to notice it every time you park your car! And welcome to the neighborhood, scumbag!

Don't worry about it. I built an awesome shed. I will post pictures of it as soon as I find our camera (or buy a new one). The junk is moved. And just in time. They said they would charge us $30 per day until it was gone.

A couple of weeks after we moved in I received a postcard from our (homeowners-) insurance company. It said 'thank you, blah, blah, blah' and had a handwritten sentence that said, "I need to talk to you about one of the trees on your property."

Of course, I've been too busy to get around to calling the guy about said tree and today I received a letter from the insurance company stating that my policy with them will soon be canceled due to the issue with the tree. I called the insurance rep for more information:

Me: "Hello, I'm calling because I just received a letter stating that you would be canceling my insurance policy because of a tree in my yard."

Rep: "Yeah, and...?"

I wanted to swear at the guy but I didn't, "AND, I wanted to know what I could do to keep the policy from being canceled." Happy now, dork? Big surprise, he doesn't know what I need to do. He needs to call some people and then he says he will call me and tell me. Why do I get the feeling he will be treating me like the girl he took on one date who mistakenly let it slip that she had an STD? I'm sure he'll be calling any time now.

On that note, here are some other examples of stellar customer service I have recently experienced:

Eddie Bauer---

"Can I help you find something today?"
"I was looking for a SWEATER for my wife. I talked her into giving her old ones to charity and now she doesn't have anything warm for winter."
"I see. I'd like to show you these LONG SLEEVED SHIRTS right here. They just came in."

When was the last time you BUNDLED UP in a long sleeve shirt?


"I see that you have this board in 10 ft lengths. Do you have it in 8 ft?"
"Uh, I don't know anything about the wood. The guy who does just left."

Well, it's great that you are sitting HERE, in the woods section, giving the APPEARANCE of help. Have you ever walked down these aisles before? Have you ever wondered about the stuff you're supposed to be selling? What kind of glue did you use to glue your butt to the chair? THAT seems to be working.

Credit Card---

I received a phone call telling me a credit card payment was 30 days overdue. I told them I never received the bill and updated them with my new address. I paid by phone and the lady told me I was paid through November. A few days later I received a bill in the mail but the payment due was about $50 more than what I'd paid by phone. I called them again:

"I paid by phone a few days ago but the statement I received in the mail is asking for $50 more. Do I need to pay the difference?"
"Yes, you do."
"Why did the last person I spoke to tell me I was paid through November?"
"I don't know."

Should I bother to ask what would have happened if I hadn't called again to straighten things out?

I'm not perfect but it's too bad we can't all be un-completely-retarded superstars.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Singing My Way to the Top

The other night we hopped in the car and the dumb song on the radio inspired me to sing out with gusto:

Everee thiiing... is gonna be alright. Roooock-a-bye. Rock-a-BYE.


Eleanor looked at me. I knew she was preparing a review of my singing. She said, "When you sing, you sound like...

(Wait for it)

... Spongebob. You know. When he sings rock music and gets all into it."

I actually don't consider that to be an insult. Spongebob is a top-notch entertainer. He can belt things out: "The Krusty Krab Pizza, is the pizza, for you and me! I'm a Goofy Goober!"


Memo for Music Execs

We need a new music movement. I know grunge was written off as noise but there was a lot more to it than Kurt Cobain having a breakdown. There was a lot of range between Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. Most of all, these guys weren't out to create an image. Showing up for an interview in an ugly prom dress and homemade t-shirts was testament of that. Flannel shirts are just how people dress in Seattle. That was all heaven compared to today's music.

All of those bands: Fallout Boy, Yellowcard, Jimmy Eat World, All American Rejects are white noise. They are what make the radio dial a wasteland. It is obvious that there is a "sound" that is IN and being force fed to the public. If you took all the best songs from these clone bands you would end up with ONE good album. I am tired of seeing bands led by style-consultants and people who fake singing by talking. In a Deep Voice. Tell me. How. Does it Feel. ?. I'm talking about you Killers, Panic!At the disco and you other deep talkers.

I'm even disappointed in Thom York from Radiohead. Letely, Keane does a better job of sounding like Radiohead than Radiohead. Why do you need to do a solo album, Thom? With guest appearances by who? The rest of Radiohead? The way I see it you are just jipping the world out of the important talent offered by the rest of your band. Am I right, Gwen Stefani? Hey Fergie, I like getting retarded more than I like going down like London Bridge. And stop stealing Mary J. Blige beats and style. It is probably your producer's fault. Nelly Furtado. It's all the same.

I think it should be required of all music executives to read Jello Biafra's "Chickenshit Conformist" lyrics EVERY MONTH. The guy can't sing but he makes a good point and pulls all aspects of life into the music. That is how life works:

Punk's not dead
It just deserves to die
When it becomes another stale cartoon
A close-minded, self-centered social club
Ideas don't matter
It's who you know
If the music's gotten boring
It's because of the people who want everyone to sound the same
Who drive the bright people out of our so-called scene
Till all that's left is just a meaningless fad
Hardcore formulas are dogshit
Change and caring are what's real
Is this a state of mind
Or just another label
The joy and hope of an alternative
Have become its own cliche
A hairstyle's not a lifestyle
Imagine Sid Vicious at 35
Who needs a scene
Scared to love and to feel
Judging everythng
By loud fast rules appeal
Who played last night?
"I don't know, I forgot.
But diving off the stage Was a lot of fun."
So eager to please
Peer pressure decrees
So eager to please
Peer pressure decrees
Make the same old mistakes
Again and again,
Chickenshit conformist like your parents
What's ripped us apart even more than drugs
Are the thieves and the goddamn liars
Flipping people off when they share their stuff
When someone falls are there any friends?
Harder core than thou for a year or two
Then it's time to get a real job
Others stay home; it's no fun to go out
When the gigs are wrecked by gangs and thugs
When the thugs form bands, look who gets record deals
From New York metal labels looking to scam
Who sign the most racist queer-bashing bands they can find
To make a buck revving kids up for war
Walk tall, act small
Only as tough as gang approval
Unity is bullshit
When it's under someone's fat boot
Where's the common cause
Too many factions
Safely sulk in their shells
Agree with us on everything
Or we won't help with anything
That kind of attitude
Just makes a split grow wider
Guess who's laughing while the world explodes
When we're all crybabies
Who fight best among ourselves
So eager to please
Peer pressure decrees
So eager to please
Peer pressure decrees
That farty old rock and roll attitude's back
"It's competition, man, we wanna break big."
Who needs friends when the money's good
That's right, the '70s are back.
Cock-rock metal's like a bad laxative
It just don't move me, ya know?
The music's OK when there's more ideas than solos
Do we rally need the attitude too?
Shedding thin skin too quickly
As a fan it disappoints me
Same old stupid sexist lyrics
Or is Satan all you can think of?
Crossover is just another word
For lack of ideas
Maybe what we need
Are more trolls under the bridge
Will the metalheads finally learn something-
Or will the punks throw away their education?
No one's ever the best
Once they believe their own press
"Maturing" don't mean rehashing
Mistakes of the past
So eager to please
Peer pressure decrees
So eager to please
Peer pressure decrees
The more things change
The more they stay the same
We can't grow
When we won't criticize ourselves
The '60s weren't all failure
It's the '70s that stunk
As the clock ticks we dig the same hole
Music scenes ain't real life
They won't get rid of the bomb
Won't eliminate rape
Or bring down the banks
Any kind of real change
Takes more time and work
Than changing channels on a TV set
So eager to please
Peer pressure decrees
So eager to please
Peer pressure decrees

Chickenshit conformist like your parents!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Conversations I wouldn't expect to have with a six year old or any others

Me: "Why did you do that?"

Ethan: "The ghost inside of me did it."

Me: "The ghost inside of you? Do you mean your soul?"

Ethan: Nods.

Me: "YOU ARE the ghost inside of you. Knock it off."

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Tragic: Instant Winner In Waiting

I have been neglecting the blog and now this stuff is building up. I have several characters to add to this wonderful game. Today's installment is "The Instant Winner In Waiting." He is that guy at work who is all hung up on winning the lottery. He can't believe that anyone would not give him their hard-earned dollars so he can take it on his monthly trip to Idaho to buy those glorious tickets.

Can you picture it. You and your co-workers huddled at a podium on CNN talking about how you have 11 freckles on your nose and how there are 9 people in your family (counting the pet fish) and on and on until you couldn't even open your eyes without those winning numbers bombarding you and bombarding you? The Instant Winner can picture that. He dreams about it every night. He has already decided what to buy and where to travel, now he need only do one more thing: WIN.

Hey! You're not getting paid to daydream, Instant Winner In Waiting! Get that dolly moving! Load those trucks!

The Instant Winner actually holds a lot of sway with people because he talks about what all people like to talk about: What are we going to do with all of that money once it is given to us? We're in it to win it.

The saddest part of all is that I have so many bouts of outragously BAD luck that a small voice tells me I'm due for something like a lottery win. Either that or cancer.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Transcending by Bike

I gave the kids advice about bike racing today:

Anyone who wins all the time is a coward because he is too scared to give anyone else a fair chance.

Please keep that in mind during YOUR next bike race, strange internet people.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Tragic: Invizo-kid

I should be on the payroll at my son's elementary school. I break up fights like these at least a couple times a week and I'm only there for about five minutes per day before the teacher allows my first grader into his classroom.

The backpack seems to be the weapon of choice, but it isn't uncommon for a board with a nail in it to make it's way onto the playground. I am astounded at how many parents will look the other way as children are mauled by bullies an arm's length away. I try to intervene in as many scuffles as I can but it is tough with a baby and two little girls in tow.

But the school is on lock-down until the teachers open the classroom doors. One day we were late so I told my nephew to run in through the front door to get to class faster. They stopped him and told him to get outside with the rest of the rabble. Would it kill the school system to provide a playground monitor?

Until then, Invizo-kid is just screwed. See you at the next school shooting.

I'm also surprised that there are at least ten guys that tend the yard around the school and yet there has been a broken beer bottle on the sidewalk (inches from the grass) since the first day of school. I also think some smoker across the street from the school leaves cigarettes on the ground for the kiddies. I usually stomp them to pieces as I walk by in the mornings.

Get involved parents. The odds are already against them.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Letter From the Family Dog

Dear Emmett,

In answer to your question, it's alright for a dawg to call a dawg a dawg but that doesn't mean dawgs like people to call them dawgs. Especially if they say it like dog, ya know?

I'm sorry about all of the poop. I poop a lot. And I step in it when I walk around. And smear it around. There was a time in my life when I worried about the mess like you do. I tried to be a neat freak. You must trust me, though: My life is so much better since I just stopped caring.

It makes me feel proud when you tell people that I am nice and that I get along with everyone. But that pride makes me feel like I owe you an explanation regarding all the barking I do at the mailman. I just REALLY don't like that person. Really.

Oh, man. Do you ever get an itch that makes you want to gnaw your leg down to the bone? I've got that right now.

Anytime you want to go for a walk or play a game of tug-of-war just let me know. And, um, I'm not sorry about the poop. I just said that to be polite.

Your faithful companion,


Monday, October 09, 2006

Dead Reckoning

I'm busy as always. I've had a lot of things to write about but now it's Columbus Day so now I will have to flick my acid tongue at that instead.

Does Christopher Columbus deserve a holiday? If, by "holiday," you mean "a swift kick in the kiwis," then I say ABSOLUTELY. Google is known for adding graphics to their homepage to mark events dear to us all and yet there is nothing there about Columbus. I'm sure they do it to avoid bickering but I don't need some snooty search engine telling me when to keep my trap shut. Here we go:

One lofty argument as to why Columbus need not be celebrated is... HE DID NOT DISCOVER AMERICA.

I do not consider myself an overly-sensitive person but I do get annoyed at key moments like when I was visiting my sister in Jacksonville, Florida and we voyaged to the fort at St. Augustine. The highway signs said, "St. Augustine. The first (or oldest) city in America." It wasn't just any sign. It was one of those official green highway signs.

As an "Indian" of North America I know that this statement of St. Augustine just isn't true. But let's move on. Even if we accept that THINGS DONE BY BROWN PEOPLE DON'T COUNT and that people living on the North American continent for 13,000 years doesn't count for anything... there is still the matter of that thousand-year-old man, Leif Ericson. Today is actually Leif Ericson Day as well as Columbus Day but who will celebrate that? A viking who does nothing but enjoy the weather and eat grapes? There is no marketability there.

But I think a name like VIKING DAY would be more appropriate than Columbus Day. The idea of murderous plunderers gives a more straight forward idea of what the DISCOVERY of America was all about.

I know that people calling themselves "Capitalists" or some other retarded name will defend the holiday tooth and nail because they like the go-getter business attitude of Columbus's achievements and they think of all Indians as blood-drinking cavemen who are all better off dead. It would be an injustice NOT to take the land they live on, destroy their means of feeding themselves and give them all those diseases. IT'S TIME TO MAKE THIS CONTINENT "CIVILIZED."

When Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were doing a long study of the Iroquois Indians to borrow all those radical "new" ideas in democracy for the Declaration of Independence they were writing, they invited their friend Tom Paine to come along. After many visits with the Indians Tom Paine noticed the tribes had no equivalent of the impoverished bums lying in the gutters like whites had in all of their cities and made this comment:

"Civilization, or that which is so called, has operated in two ways: to make one part of society more affluent, and the other more wretched, than would ever have been the lot of either in a natural state."

Jefferson said, "I am convinced that those societies [as the Indians] which live without government enjoy in their general mass an infinitely greater degree of happiness than those who live under European governments."

Which is not to say that any of these political figures did anything to prevent the future mistreatment of Indians in North America. They wrote the Declaration of Independence BEFORE the Revolutionary War was fought. I believe they used pathos wording just in case they lost. Maybe they wouldn't hang for fighting against the crown if their cause was noble enough. There is something underlying the Declaration of Independence that suggests their message was, "We are English but the people of England are treating us the way WE treat our African slaves and we just can't stand for that." They may have omitted "From one white guy to another white guy..." (These truths, self evident, all men created equal). Jefferson died poor. When he died he released SOME of his slaves. The ones he is rumored to have fathered.

Now back to Columbus:

Spain was locked out of the best trade routes around Africa. Columbus was bad at geography and the stars were mysterious petroglyphs to him, but he promised that he could circumscribe the globe for faster access to those wonderful spices. They didn't want to be stuck drowning everything in Tobasco, afterall. He took a big, fat cargo boat as his flagship, Santa Maria. Probably not the best choice for exploration, but things never got to the point where the crew had to eat eachother or anything. When he reached America, it was kind of like today, in that there was nothing readily available in America to trade with other nations. First he thought, GOLD! There must be gold around here and Spaniards love gold. But he couldn't find it. Next he looked at the "Indians" and thought SLAVES! but that must not have worked out either and, much like today, America ended up importing their slaves.

Stupid history. Why do you always have to suck. Why can't you be flattering and wonderful with tales of one true blue hero after another? Okay, let's forget the history. We will all say this dude "discovered" America. We'll wave some flags. We'll teach our kids the names of the boats like one day they will need to know them to get their lockers open or something and everyone will have a good time with chips and soda and all that.

It is a holiday. That means I have to work extra hours this week.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Motherf***ing Work

You don't have to move fast or give a rat's ass
the living freakshow helps the time pass
People need California Kings and plasma screens
To you it's crap but they're somebody's dreams
Throw it where it goes, drop it from the top rack
if the glass is broken they can bring it back
Don't lose any sleep when the boss calls you Dumbshit
grab a sharpie, draw a penis, where ever it may fit
They don't pay you enough that you give a lick damn
Nothing has changed...

Chad still wants to jam.

I'm back moving furniture at the forklift job now.