Monday, April 30, 2007

Lucky 13

Tovah turns 13 today. She's a pretty girl - no? I've loved all our cats, but she does have the bestest markings of any of the girls.

Like Kylie before her, we got her sight unseen. I came home on day one to find that she escaped from her dedicated space to see her on the stairs looking down at me.

Tovah is a variation of the Hebrew word for 'good' - which as a kitten was exactly what she was not.

Tovah wanted to be Kylie's friend. Kylie would have nothing to do with it. Kylie and Tovah pretty much co-existed, but friends they were not. I would catch them snuggling when it was cold, but other than that led separate lives. Tovah is experiencing the same big sister thing now with Sophie.

Tovah is, or was, a talker. Full conversations could be had with her. Since we've gotten Sophie, she's much quieter, but not seemingly mad at us for getting a little sister. Just peeved at Sophie and her constant attacks.

Tov is all about control. Born in a barn she didn't have much human interaction those first formative weeks, so we rarely get to hold her and she isn't a lap cat. She loves to sleep with us and likes to sleep ON my arm. This way she knows I'm there but she can control where the hand goes. Smart girl. She only comes on top of us while we are in bed so she can attempt to strangle us knead our necks. It's some kind of soothing thing for her....and for us. I can fall asleep as she does it to me.

Unlike most cats, she isn't about the food or treats. She LOVES water. Fresh water. Fill her water bowl and she comes running. She also fancies herself to be an outdoor cat - which she is not. She gets supervised outdoor time in good weather. All she really wants to do is chew on our ornamental grasses then come back in.

Tovah is a pretty happy cat. She has a great purr, and even when it is not in full volume, she likes to keep it on what I call a 'maintenance rumble'. All the girls hold a special place in my heart, but Tovah will always be extra special to me. For her special day, we'll give her some outdoor time. No special wet food this year - mostly due to the poisoning thing still going on. I'm not above giving her tuna water though.

...but we try to make every day a special one for Tovah. She does it for us.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The New Adventures of New Christine, not the Julia Louis-Dreyfus show. It's the tale of a Los Angeles Times sportswriter.

It's a nice article.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

It's Keepin' Me Way-ay-ay-ay-ting

Why is it that tooth pain is seemingly worse than other pain?

Denton and I were to take the kids to see 'Suessical' today. I had forgotten and scheduled a dentist appointment months ago. With the new job, I didn't feel I could take off in the middle of the day for a cleaning.

As I re-found out about "Suessical", I wasn't sure which would be the most uncomfortable: cleaning and possible filling replacement or adults singing in children's voices in weird-ass rhyme. I'm calling it even.

So that the kids weren't disappointed, I sent Denton alone. G-d, he is SO the better uncle. ...and he didn't go alone, my sister went too. He'll be fine.

Back to my original question though. The filling I might have needed replaced, but they now didn't have time to do, became necessary when while during the cleaning the filling actually broke! I almost swallowed it, but sat up in time.

So now I knew drilling would be the topper of the day, after they already jabbed pointy metal things into my enamel and under my gumline. I told them they better numb me to the roof.

I have only had novocaine once before...for my crown. All my other eight fillings were done without numbing. Hence my fear of the dentist. As I was led back to the 'procedure room', Dr. Dorothy asked what was it about the act I hated: the noise? the sound?

My immediate response was: "THE PAIN". But in a split second I knew that was the wrong answer...and the answer to this original question. It was the anticipation of pain.

Often we go to doctors for treatment or just check-ups. Rarely do they cause pain. With a dentist, it's almost a forgone conclusion. My dental history doesn't help this situation.

The process was quick and really quite painless. The iPod barely helped with the noise. Dr. Dorothy likes to talk. So with her yammering away about things I might need to know about, the noise from the drill and the Smithereens playing in my ears, I eventually just powered down.

There's no up-shot to this story.

I'm the kind of guy who goes to a doctor and they always find 'something else'. Go for an eye exam and they find some weird virus that now precludes me lasik surgery and wearing contacts again. Or the ruptured appendix where they find cancer. That kind of thing.

Today, it was just a receding gum that needs graphed or to lose the tooth in a few years. YEA!!!! Periodontist, here I come!!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

WORK is a 4-Letter Word

...or so says Morrissey.

I hesitate to crow about my job. Isn't the blogosphere usually where people just gripe about work and co-workers?

I'm really liking my job, my co-workers, my clients and even my boss! Thank you jebus.

The travel is very tolerable. I'm learning some new things - including sales. Well kind of. Part of my job is to expand services to my existing clients. There is a certain amount of salemanship in this. I think I can expand services by almost 20% this year. I think.

David, my gay boss, and I get along really well. He's loosening up somewhat...or maybe I am. Perhaps we both are. When we travel together, it goes well and there's a lot to be said for that. But he's from the newer boss school of asking if he's providing everything I need to be successful. Unthinkable at my old place - even though that's what they tauted should happen.

And speaking of my old workplace......

If there was any validation that I made the right choice in not going back, I received it yesterday and today. The old old department, who offered me a job, well...the boss is leaving. Yes, that could have left me in a prime position to take the Director role. She had to have been looking when we were negotiating my terms two months ago, but she would never cop to that with me. The reason I left there in the first place was not knowing the succession plan.

The kick in the balls though (actually there are two of them), was her telling people that I was 'a fool for not taking the job - which would have him sitting pretty for my job'. FUCK YOU, honey. Naturally, she told people who she knew would relay this to me.

The reality is, she could have confided her plans to me. We had been ok in the area. But I wouldn't want that job in its current state. The interesting pieces (not necessarily fun), the ones I ran, are being cherry-picked by other departments before she leaves. I would have been left with all the crappy pieces....the ones she couldn't fix. (btw...that was the 2nd kick in the nuts.)

But had I just come back in another role, I don't know that two months later there'd be a promotion to Director. And she couldn't guarantee it either.

I made the right choice. On umpteen different levels.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Good Day, Mr. Giuliani

You have been served!

My soon-to-be 2nd husband had a great commentary on his show last night.

Go back and crawl in your hole until the Iowa caucuses, Rudy.

Like would-be Hubby Keith, I'm so tired of politics being run by fear. Bush has successfully done it since 2001. Rove & Co. have done this almost flawlessly (whether you agree with it or not). Rudy is now taking on their tactics. The GOP vortex is sucking him into the true axis of evil.

I'd like to think that people are on to this. If the voting public is, someone needs to alert Rudy's strategists. No apology necessary Mr. Giuliani, because none will be fucking putz!

You can read or watch the commentary here
. I suggest you watch it. The last two minutes, to me, make the entire thing.

As for my 1st and (so far) only husband - well, it's his birfday today, so as a present, I won't leave him just yet for Keith. It's ok, he knows about my lust for Mr. Olbermann. Who doesn't?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Canadian Tiffany

I will cop to watching and liking How I Met Your Mother (hey, don't make fun, I mean, it's not Medium). It can be funny and Doogie Howser can play the straight cad pretty well......well...for being a homo. And Willow is in it.

Though this YouTube won't make a lot of sense if you hadn't seen the episode, but I'll try to set it up for you in about 50 words or less:

Robin, a character, refuses to go to a mall with her friends...and won't say why. As it turns out she was a Canadian one-hit wonder back in the '90s, who sang in malls. As her friends saw the video she made, they asked if it was the '90s, why did the video look like the '80s. Her response was, "the 80's didn't come to Canada until 1993".

Seriously though - watch the video. The writers and creators pretty much nail everything that was wrong with music (and video) in the late 80s. Personally, I love the reference to 'Canada Day' and all the regional dialect. The addition of 'the robot' is a really nice touch too.

..and if you couldn't figure it oot (ha!), yes, I had nothing to really blog about today. Sue me.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Well, Fuck Me Gently With a Chainsaw

The other day week, Becky was lamenting on how girl cliques have started earlier and earlier in the life of a female. 5 year olds, to be specific. FIVE.

Though she was looking for support I had a hard time conjuring up a positive thing to say. Not because I didn't want to, I love Becky and her daughter. I couldn't because I've been watching in horrid fascination at my oldest niece, who turns 16 today, and what she has been going through since attending high school. Well....high schools!

I've written and deleted most of this post at least a half dozen times. The specifics of how she is treated and allowed to by the school is more than painful. Not only in a public school, but a private girls school - which is where things went from bad to worse. I don't think I'm just saying this as an uncle either.

The most accurate thing I could think to say to Becca was that Mean Girls doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of what it is like. If you must assign a movie to this kind of scene, it has to be much closer to Heathers. Even that might be too kind. At least they had corn nuts.

The great thing is, my niece is extremely intelligent, has a great sense of humour and has developed somewhat of a tough skin. Her entire high school experience has to be shit - and that's saying something.

She also has extremely supportive parents. Ones who are willing to do whatever is necessary to change the situation - including putting the house they just bought and have yet to move into back on the market, just so she can attend another school. ...and they let it be their daughter's choice. She opted to go back to the public school because she did not want to be 'the new kid' again. Fair enough.

I see this as a positive in so many ways. First that she is making the decision and not her parents. More importantly, she can also use the mindset of leaving that school to navigate the next two months. She could, in theory, find something completely and utterly liberating: giving the school and student population the big FUCK YOU.

Can you imagine if we lived this way? I mean - really lived it?

The school is going to lose a high-ranking honor student and state level athlete. Clearly they don't care. The kids haven't allowed her to be part of the group and have been mercurial at best - but now she doesn't have to try to foster those relationships.

She can go about her routine for HER and not give a fuck about what anyone thinks, says or does. She has the opportunity to give these wenches (and I'm being really nice here) the proverbial bird! And she can do it daily!!!

Not only that, I think she'll go back to her old school with some of that attitude. Two more years of high school - sure. But she has a few friends there, not many. But now she has the thought process of - 'who cares', but in a healthier way - not a Heather Chandler kind of way.

Monday, April 23, 2007


Yet another installment in the drudgery that is everyday shopping. The camera-phone makes it a bit more fun - though I get looks whenever I take pics of products. Like I care what people think!

Within the last two months we have gotten ourselves a Fresh Market and a Whole Foods stores. I'd been to both in other cities and they seemed good on the surface - but I cannot say I spent any time in either of them, as I was picking up certain items and not shopping shopping. ...if you know what I mean.

If I have to pick where I'm going to go, it's going to be Fresh Market.

On the surface, Whole Foods seems to have it all. It's bigger, it contains a lot more food and has set aisles like a traditional grocery store. ....and it has the blandest prepared foods I have ever eaten in my life.

Everything is pretty and expertly done. The staff is great. I'm sure I'll shop there when I'm preparing a really nice meal and want some ingredients you can't get most places. But for those meals they so beautifully prepare, they might want to spend some time adding flavour. This includes desserts - which I swear they stock in most every section of the store.

Fresh Market is much smaller, but has a great fresh meat and fish selection (just like Whole Foods), but it's a lot more manageable to get in and out of. The desserts are decent, and whereas their prepared food section is much more limited, it's pretty good.

The better thing about Whole Foods, at least in terms of this blog, is the wide selection of Shopping for Blobby segments I can get out of it. On my first trip, I already snapped the next 4-5 months of entries.

I should build up to my favourite, but I'm not going to. It's right here.

$19.99 is a good price for Emu Eggs....don't you think?

What the Hell? Is this to make the world's biggest omelet or something?

I do love the sign though: 'Locally Grown'.
  1. Last I checked, eggs weren't 'grown'. But to be fair, I do not have a degree in animal husbandry.
  2. Last I checked, emus weren't indigenous to Cleveland Kenton. Being flightless birds, I know they didn't flap their wings over the Pacific, land in California and make their way east. Maybe they were 'grown' here. They can run 50 kilometers per hour, so it might not have taken that long to wind up in Ohio.
I'll have to check the prices on Skate Wing next time I'm at either of these places.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Virginia Tech

I have honestly been avoiding most media when it comes to the Virginia Tech shootings. When you're traveling for work, it really isn't that hard. Sure, during meetings you talk about it, but if you are not near a television or on-line, you are also not inundated with over the top reports of what happened and the what-if scenarios.

When I got back from my work travel, I still avoided whatever I could. I don't think it is a hole-in-the-ground approach. I am not in denial.

I've said it before and I'm sure I will again: I blame the 24 hr news cycle. The overexposure is just exhausting.

I'm amused by the media who lambastes NBC for broadcasting the video that the shooter had sent them. It's just sour grapes on the other media's part - isn't it? NBC got the exclusive. All of the others, print included, would have reported it just as NBC did, had they gotten the package. They were all happy to do it afterward in hopes of boosting ratings or sales.

After watching the Sunday Morning Old People's Show, I decided to visit the NRA site to see what they had to say. (click on image to enlarge.)

Exactly what facts will have to be known before they can comment? It was semi-automatic weapons with hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Even sold 'legally', there is no use for a weapon like this for public use. I'm not even convinced there is a need for it in military use....but that's another debate.

While perusing some blogs over the week a few arguments struck me about gun-control. It is like cockroaches, in that we'll never be able to get rid of them entirely at this point. A gun-owner blogger who didn't belong to the NRA due to their 'right leanings' said there is no reason for any gun-owner not to have a license. It might be a tried and true expression, but I had never heard it - he said, 'even people who cut hair are required to have a license'.

I don't see how the NRA can sit there and seriously debate how killings like this should not change how we allow guns and owners. As someone else said, 'now they can tell Charleton Heston they did pry the gun out of their dead cold hands.'

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Beware Evil-Doers Everywhere!

"Guess who was on my flight?" asked my boss. I never have a quick enough response to questions like these. I immediately want to go with someone like 'Charo'.

David was asking me this while I waited in the hotel lobby for him to arrive, as he flew to DC a day after I arrived. Later in the day when he'd do this same routine to others, he got responses in the form of Jerry Springer and Geraldo.

While those answers were odd and a tad bit scary - it didn't compare to the real thing: Karl Rove! ewwww.

I told David before he met me, he'd have to delouse or take a bath in Purell.

A number of questions popped into my mind: why was in he in Cleveland? Why was he flying commercial? Why was he flying a air-express jet that holds only 80 folks - tops.

I couldn't answer the first question - except to say he was probably up to some evil-doing. What specifically, only the dark lords would know. The other answers would be - I guess he doesn't rate for a military jet, though one would wonder, why, since he actually runs the country.

But if you have to fly commercial from Cleveland to DC with a non-stop option, you only have one choice. And with only 80 people (tops) on the flight, you have a smaller chance of someone trying to off you.

One person asked David how tall Rove was. Surprisingly he is only about 5'8". Evil seems so much taller on television. It's the old Far Side comic where in a presentation to dogs, a slide is shown of a cat's back going up to make the cat look bigger, and the dog instructor says 'trickery trickery'.

If there was any redemption to this travel, on the flight home, we shared it with Sherrod Brown, our new Democratic senator. While waiting for our luggage, David mentioned to Sen. Brown that Rove was on his trip to DC. Amused, Brown asked why Rove was in if David would know.

Sherrod also relayed a story on how he introduced his wife, Connie Schultz, a Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner, to Rove. Karl turned and asked them when she was planning on going back to the PD. Brown then said to David, "he just knows way too much".

...and no offense to Sherrod, but I didn't need a U.S. Congressman to tell me that.

Friday, April 20, 2007


.....that's all

I'm not a foodie. Not by a long shot.

As food goes, I can be pretty limited in my likes. I am not as adventurous as many people I know. I am ok with this. Some of my limitations arise from what the food actually is. While I'm not a person who refuses to eat 'food with a face', some things just don't seem right: veal. fois gras. oysters.

Many times it is a tactile thing for me. Certain foods just feel wrong eating. Not like the above wrong, but the feeling of biting into it and chewing it. Many times it has nothing to do with flavour. Mushrooms, olives, squash by products and most kinds of beans/peas.

I love most kinds of nuts - but I don't like them in (most) foods. For some reason, chinese food is the exception. I'll eat a Milky Way bar (albeit rarely), and I love peanuts - but I'd have to be stranded in my car that is buried in a snow drift, and be on day 6 when I found a Snickers in the glove compartment before I'd ever eat it. And that is only IF I were hard pressed.

All of this makes menu and/or restaurant selection best.

Sometimes I almost get browbeaten into trying things. I hate that. Sometimes I will try things due to over zealous recommendations on food. Sometimes you're stuck at a restaurant where you choose the lesser of evils.

Last night was a culmination of those three things. I went out to dinner in DC with a physician and his wife. It was a really nice setting - thought it won't sound like it. Sitting directly on the Potomac, it sat about a half mile from National Airport. We could sit and watch planes take off and land - and as the sun set, the lights from the runway and the planes were sort of magical.

The fare was limited to begin with. Oyster pie? Not thanks! Veal cheek? Not that I would have gotten it anyway, but I assumed it was the butt cheek. No. It was the face cheek. Lordy!
I was about to order the flounder. How much could they really fuck that up, I wondered to myself.

But Melissa (the wife) raved and raved about the Skate Wing. How she couldn't describe the taste, but how it was one of the best things she had ever eaten. She claimed it tasted like nothing else. I took the bait.....pun firmly intended.

Truth be told - I didn't know what skate or skate wing was. The waiter said it didn't have a fishy taste, so I thought it

...and possibly it is. But here is what it looks like when alive-ish. Krikey - it's frickin' STINGRAY! ...or at least it looks like it.

Never in a million years would I have eaten, let alone ordered, this. Had I only just known or axed. I will say - it wasn't like anything else I've ever tasted. But it also was not one of the best things I've ever eaten.

I think I'll just stick to burgers and fries for a while.

Song by:  Dire Straits

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I'm thinking the staff at WIRED did a collective "OH FUCK" on Monday.

This came in the mail yesterday

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tragedy Plus Time

...equals comedy. Or so says Woody Allen (via Alan Alda).

Taking the Metro up to Silver Spring I just sat back and people-watched. I love doing that. In another life, being a sociologist wouldn't be such a bad thing.

Public transportation is oddly such a solitary journey. Ironic since depending on the mode and city, you can be packed in like sardines.

If you've ever used the Metro, it is set up slightly different than say the NYC subway system. It is not as extensive and there are more hot points, meaning busier stops when you know the trains will load up or empty out. Trust me, going to Silver Spring, after Union Station, no one has to stand.

With the advent of the iPod or even the Walkman (ahhh....the cassette!), it has made these rides even that more isolated.

The odd moment hit me today as we pulled into and out of the Galludet University stop. For those who don't know, Galludet is a college where the majority (if not all) that students are deaf. Big bruhaha a year ago about their would-be dean who didn't know sign language...or wouldn't use it. She never took the job.

Also a few years ago, a few students were killed up there. There was a laughable and unfortunate Washington Post headline regarding a memorial service which read: A Moment of Silence at Galludet.

Anyway - this stop made me think of two things.

One was how the students getting on the train would love the opportunity to be able to hear and partake in the world around. I don't want to generalize...many don't have that desire. But I don't know one hearing-abled person who would want to be deaf and close themselves off of the world. Except about two dozen people in my car....including me. There we were with our ear buds firmly in place - distancing ourselves from the world around us.

The other thing was just a streaming thought of the murders at Galludet and Virginia Tech. I flashed on the 'Crimes and Misdemeanor' quote that is the post title. I admit the Post headline made me laugh. I hope out of absurdity, but deep down I don't know this for sure, now that it's almost seven years later.

Usually after a tragedy there are jokes soon after. I swear that is how we cope sometimes and how we go on. I remember a few Challenger ones that didn't take long at all after that disaster. I will say - there have been none from 9/ least that I've heard.

I know I shouldn't laugh about Virginia Tech - and technically I don't think I am. A friend, who shall go nameless, made an off the cuff remark yesterday that referenced them, but more so his/her job and frustration: My boss makes me envious of the dead VA Tech kids.

That goes to the 2nd Allen/Alda line from the same movie: if it bends, it's comedy. if it breaks, it isn't.

It might be a serious bend on that last one - but I don't think a break. Bad taste? Perhaps. But isn't much humour based in bad taste?

Anyway - no great revelations. Just random thoughts from the train.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there!

These may or may not be newly released disks. They might not even be a good disk - just what is been in heavy rotation in my car (as usually the iPod is playing anywhere else).

I know Everyone Is Here is a few years old, but it’s good to get this out before the new Crowded House disk drops later this year. This CD got lost in my collection and I never really played it much – and never at an entire sitting. But for the last few weeks it has resided in my car and much of the time in the player.

Not surprising if you’ve read any of my other Record of the Month selections – most of the stuff here is not radio accessible. At least not the way radio is currently programmed. There are no hit singles. I’m not sure there were any singles – none in this country anyway.

Everyone Is Here is not a Crowded House disk. Nor is it a Split Enz record. Heck, it’s not even the same as their last disk together, Finn Brothers. For those unfamiliar, both Finns were in Split Enz and appeared together on one Crowded House disk.

Personally, I am a fan of Tim Finn’s, and he is clearly the winner in this outing. He gets to play off his more popular, more accomplished younger brother, Neil. Tim does not posses as keen a knack for the popular song and his voice is not as polished. So his songs, like "Luckiest Man Alive" get a good, probably better, recording than they would have on a solo outing.

Neil does good with his main song also. It's no surprise "Won't Give In" and "Nothing Wrong With You" lead off the disk. They are seemingly the strongest, but the more you listen to the rest of the disk, there is some really good stuff out there. It just takes a few listens.

I'm really liking "A Life Between Us". The lyric provides a river as a metaphor as a relationship. That has been done a lot in music, and usually it is about flow. But the words here take a new stab at it and succeed: 'we stare at each other/like the banks of a river/and we can't get any closer/but we form a life between us'. The melody helps.

And though the Finn boys are from New Zealand, the song “Homesick” is a perfect metaphor for America and the politics of the day – 3 years ago and even today. "First you made me hungry/then you feed me something I don't want/...then when I complain/I get thrown out of the restaurant" and "Homesick for the country that I'm living in". I can relate.

Technically they don't have the best harmony, but it seems to really work. And yeah, there are some clunkers, but I am really enjoying the disk and sorry it took me so long to find it, even though I had it the entire time.

Monday, April 16, 2007

ReFocus on the Family

Sorry for a comic posting - but Sunday's Doonesbury was hilarious.....and (un)fortunately oh so true. (click to enlarge image/comic)

It really is this kind of hypocrisy that makes me ill. Dobson's (and the like) lack of comments on any of these 'family values' speaks volumes.

Unless something happens, I see no way in which McCain will get the nomination. I'm not complaining on this. He's a douchebag on the BS Express. And he's not getting the money coming in to run a successful campaign.

Mitt has the money - his own. Though he's polling in the single digits. And by single I mean 2%...tops. Newt isn't even in the race.......yet. Which pretty much leaves Rudy.

Rudy who faxes his wife divorce information after telling the press. Rudy who had his then mistress stay at the mayor's mansion. Rudy who was aware (allegedly) of his police chiefs ties to organized crime. Rudy - who thinks that walking around a city in a mask and suit after two planes hit the WTC will erase all of this. Because you know those will be THE images his people use when the campaign gets into high gear.

Honestly, with these folks as the GOP leaders, the Democrats are going to have to be complete fuck-ups to lose this. But I think they're up to that task. Unfortunately.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Princess and the Pea

We got a new mattress and box springs yesterday!!! YAYYY.

Our last one was about 10yrs old. The salesman gave the gloom and doom speech about the box springs going bad too and how it would ruin any new mattress if we didn't get a new set.

To be honest, I was so pissed about the hard sell, I just walked out of the store a few weeks ago. I don't let car sales folks do that to me, you think I'm going to let a mattress dork try it?

The BF did some on-line research about the whole new vs same old box springs. Naturally there is the sales person's theory and the conspiracy ones too. In the end, we got an entirely new set of everything.

The BF axed which of the beds I wanted, but who can tell? There were a few that were definitely a 'no', but the others, how does one get a feel for them fully clothed and lying on them for 2 minutes a piece. I mean, if I could take a 2.5 hour nap on one...there's the test. So I told him just to pick one and order it...I didn't really care. I knew he wouldn't order the hard hard one or the squishy one.

So it arrived today. OMG. We had a pillow top. But not this time. We got the deluxe pillow top The BF thought he ordered the same thing. He didn't. I swear the bed is a foot taller. Add to that the new pillow top mattress pad I picked up at Blood Bath & Beyond today and the bed is ginormo! The fickin' sheets barely fit.

Sophie will most likely be able to leap up with no problem. She has young kitten legs. Tovah might needs some help. I might need some help! As it is, I'm going to have to get a book to put under my clock radio to even get it into approximate eye range. I'm thinking the biggest Harry Porter book there is.

And for our guests, there is now a king sized bed up on the 3rd floor!! Yes, it looks a little like the third floor of a rental property on E. 17th and Indianola, but it beats the futon. And while there is still the futon up there, no one has to use it unless we have a super-duper house full of people. I see no way where Dity will even have to bring her Aerobed next time. Nor will Tom Green have to sleep on the couch...again.

Oh - and as for my car? It is the fuel-pump and one or two other things. Odd it all happened together. So I got a loaner for a few days. The Volvo S40, which is the sedan version of my Viggo. Everything, including towing, is still covered by Volvo's pretty good warranty.

I only sat in the S60 briefly as I waited for the service guy and never really seriously considered it. It's a great car if your 55. Which I'm not. Yet.

Repairs won't be done until Wednesday, but I'll be in DC by then - so I can't pick it up until Saturday. Oh well.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Very Superstitious

...actually, I'm not.

I'd chase a black cat under a ladder that had salt shakers on each rung and not think twice about it. I've never understood the concept of buildings that don't have a 13th floor. Is anyone so stupid to think because it's not numbered that it doesn't exist? Strike that - there are probably plenty of them.

When I was working at a major hospital, we had a thoracic surgeon who would refuse to do surgery on any of his patients if they came from any bed numbered 13. Literally, my staff would have to transfer the patient the day before their operation just to get their operation. The guy was a freak. Later in life, he was pretty much disbarred for a number of reasons - and for being unreasonable. Go figure.

Now I can tell you when there is a full moon, and that's without ever looking up in the sky or at a calendar. When you work in healthcare - you know. Everyone and everything goes crazy. Someone told me that once 20-odd years ago when I starte and I poo-poo'd them. But it is absolutely true.

I was born on a 13th (mark that down you can narrow it down to a possible 12 days of the year) so every so often my 'special day' is on Friday the 13th. BFD. I've never believed in that shit. Until today..........kind of....

Yesterday I leave the house at my normal time. No biggie. 20 minutes later I'm pulling into the parking garage at work. If you park on level 5 and above the rate is half-price. Being the cheap-0 that I am, I always park that high. Today I didn't make it. On level 2 every light on my dashboard came alive....and my car just lost total power.

I managed to somewhat glide it into 'reserved parking'. Actually I had to get out and push it the rest of the way. Frick!

Viggo, my Volvo V50 (turbo), is only 2.5 years old. Never gave me a days trouble. There was no getting him started again. A not so quick call to roadside assistance and a tow truck was on its way. ...though I do have to say something about the roadside assistance: it's almost all automated. Fine! It is the 21st century (and it's gonna be much better for a girl like me) so it is to be expected. But here's how it went:

"Is this is a 911 emergency? Press 1 for yes or 2 for no." Ok. I can almost see that.
"Is this to report an Amber Alert? Press 1 for yes or 2 for no"


Would I be calling Volvo Roadside Assistance if my child was snatched? (hehehe, I said 'snatch'.) Fucking odd.

Anyhoo....after all the rigamarole, an hour later they come to get my car.....BUT.....the tow truck can't fit into the garage due to low clearance (7'). AND there's only one guy. Honest to g-d, we had to push my car down the straightaways, then I would jump in to steer around the corners and down the ramps....with no power steering and cars coming in the opposite direction. The speed bumps at the exit were the hardest part though.

Thank g-d I never made it to level 5 or we'd still be there pushing. Volvo hasn't even had a chance to look at it yet - but we know it's not the battery, and yes, I had gas in the car. I cannot tell you how many people axed me that today.

Today I go out there to get my loaner car. Which is dangerous. I kid you not - I was building new Volvo S60 on-line.

While working out and waiting for the BF to pick me up after work, my iPod headphones completely broke beyond repair. WTF!

What is going on here? Is this what happens to people on Friday the 13th? What happened to the good old days, when it was just a quiet day at camp with a guy and a chainsaw????? I could have used Jason's assistance to help me push the car today.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Qu'est que c'est.

Fah fah fah fah fah fah fah fah fah.

What do you say when a friend assumes you know his niece was murdered by a serial killer and brings it up sort of casually?

The question is rhetorical, because there is no correct answer. At least not one that springs to mind at the moment it is happening.

It was just an odd conversation for me yesterday - and I'm guessing for him too. I had only called to wish him a good trip to Spain and South Africa, as we hadn't talked for a few months.

He had been getting ready to go on his trip, making sure insurance information was all updated, things at work were taken care of , etc when he gets a call from the History Channel wanting to interview him regarding the events leading up to and after the event.

My friend, who will obviously go nameless here, was just taken aback. His niece was murdered approximately 30 years ago. Her father is dead and the girl was estranged from her mother. My friend was the next family member in line who was around. Unknown to me, he was interviewed by Dateline 10 years ago regarding the same incident. Maybe that's why he thought I knew this. Clearly 30 years is a long time to heal, but there must be a gut-punch feeling or scab being ripped off when someone calls you out of the blue on this.

And not to diminish her death or his pain, but has the History Channel so run out of things to broadcast that they are doing an hour special on this guy? I didn't mention the killer is from Nepal and the murders happened in Nepal and Thailand. I don't know if he is up for release or what the deal is. Has everything been said about Nikola Tesla that could give him another 60 minute slot and not provide a killer any more notoriety?

But going back to my original question - I had such a lack of response due to not knowing what to say exactly. "Sorry" doesn't cut it. My jumping off point was, "I'm sorry - I don't think we've ever had this discussion". Luckily, he's a talker and just kept going about the history of what had happened and how he was feeling, I didn't need to say much. I was there as a sounding board and happy to do it. As Dionne (the singing skull), Elton, Gladys and someone else sang: 'that's what friends are for.'

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Scenes from a White Spring

I've been working like a dog....granted, a good dog that has a nice work home...but I haven't had time to really formulate some posts. Between the job, trying to stick to working out and the partner starting his new job this week, time has been tight. We've tried to steal some time after work just for us. That hasn't worked out too well - since for some g-ddamn reason we both completely forgot about taxes. Oooops.

When I was out of work I had posts written for days. That is not so much the case anymore. Though I like working, I do miss the effort I put into my blog. I still have a running list of things I want to write about, but I also don't want to do it too half-assed.

Even yesterday's post was only so-so at best and I didn't realize until that evening I only saved it as 'draft' and didn't hit 'publish'. Where the frick is my head at?

Yeah - I've got my Shopping w/Blobby and Record of the Month segments all ready to go (or mostly), and I've already used up my Site of the Month post. I don't want all of those done before half-way through the month. I have to pace myself.

So here are some photos of last Sunday's snow storm. I can't even claim them as my own. They are from my 78 yo mother!!!!!!! She trekked out in foot deep snow, most likely to fill the bird feeder and thought to take the camera. Go figure.

We ended up with 16" of snow on Sunday and it looks like my parents got a similar amount. Actually, the pictures are not bad (click images to make bigger). I was more surprised she got them off the digital camera. She still doesn't know how to work her cell phone. She did admit to me that my father pulled them off the camera - which is no less impressive, as the man is 86.

The squirrel (say like Veruca Salt) in the bell is kind of cute. Squirrels are my mother's arch nemesis...well except for Greta, her sister-in-law...always ruining her trees and eating all the bird seed (the squirrels...not Greta).

Are you wondering about the bell itself? Yes, my parents put it up when we moved to this house in 1969. The bell could be heard for miles. When it rang, us kids knew it was time to come home. I kid you not. Total stimulus:response. A mile away, swimming at the lake: 'Was that the bell? I gotta go home for dinner. Later."

None of my friends ever said anything about it....I wonder what they thought. The grandkids still love to pull on the rope and just make it ring and ring and ring.

The birdy picture is prettier. Hell, it's frickin holiday card material. I think the upside down one is a woodpecker. What the hell do I know about birds?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

....And You All Think I'M a Coot?

I'm torn on this Dom Imus thing.

Ok - actually I'm not. The guy creeps me out. Even if he never opened his mouth, he's like something from Tales from the Crypt. ...but that's just the low blow.

Like the interpretation on the 2nd Amendment to bare arms (and silky smooth legs), free speech is only kind of free. There's yelling 'fire' in the movie house and then there's flag burning. There is opinion and then there's hate speech. You have the right to say almost anything you want - but there's a price, isn't there?

One of my brothers-in-law used to be married to one of Imus' daughters. No shock that he still actually likes Imus. Though I haven't spoken with him, I bet he thinks what Don said was just fine. This is the same guy who would have banned the Dixie Chicks from radio forever.

Fox "news" is out there defending Imus and how he should not be suspended of fired. These were the same folks who were all for the demise of the Dixie Chicks four years ago - right? And in reality, the Chicks didn't say anything nearly as bad. Saying they were embarrassed to be from the same state as Bush was hardly a denouncement of the president, the troops or the then possible war. Media and special interest groups (you know - Bush's friend, the head of Clear Channel) made it into a lot more than it ever was or should have been.

What Imus said was a lot more targeted in his thoughts and hate. It was not only race related, but misogynistic too. At best. The apology doesn't cut it in my book. He took his view out on a frickin' college basketball team. Even if the Chicks were more than just embarrassed by sharing Texas with Shrub, it was on the eve of war, not post-NCAA competition.

Though some folks said the Chicks had a right to say what they did, so did other people by not buying tickets or cds, etc. I can't say I liked that, but in a way you have to respect it. They went from selling 10 million disks to 2 million afterwards....even with critical acclaim for their last disk. While I would have loved to see them sell 10 million and it was painful to watch the hate people spewed at them - that was their right. You can't fire or suspend a recording artist per se. But it is in fact what happened. I won't say their career is ruined, but very damaged, comparatively.

It's why I don't really care if Imus gets suspended or fired. He has the right to say what he thinks, I guess. But MSNBC has a right to answer to viewers and sponsors. If that means Imus goes - so be it.

With both Imus and the Chicks, there was no slip of the tongue. Neither might have been planned, but some thought went into what they said. At least Natalie Maines stood by her statement and never really apologized. I applaud that. Imus' apology falls as flat as Mel Gibson's - along with his last movie.

Four years after the fact, the Chicks could be considered vindicated, but weren't...not really. Polls would agree that Bush isn't doing the job and people think we shouldn't be in Iraq. The Chicks just said it publicly before anyone else and took the fall for it.

I don't think Imus is going to get the same kind of reprieve. No one is going to come back and say - "you know, they were nappy-headed hos".

G-d, I hope not.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Tuesday Post

...that I don't really have to think about.

Because somedays I really am just this lazy. Some of the profile is me - but I'm guessing like horror-scopes, they could pertain to just about anyone to some degree.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Name Game

This post originally appeared in the now defunct Gay Men Rule. I’ve reposted here – just so it didn’t get lost in my writings.

The last few days of email exchange between some friends have brought up some gay bar experiences from the far past.

I’ve been done living my life to 168 beats per minute for quite a while now. I can no longer stay out (or up) all night and make it to work the next morning looking no worse the wear. I probably couldn’t then either, but was naive enough to think I could. The true bonus of this life change is never having to listen to Dead of Alive again – let alone their extended dance mixes!

Anyhoo, during the email exchange, somehow a former ‘want’ of mine, Derek, came into the conversation. Morty could remember who he was – eventually. Jon could not. So Jon started running down the list of names of people from our past he thought it might be.

Naturally, these weren’t real names – because we never really conversed with people outside our group. For a long time the group was just Jon, Fat Girl and myself. Eventually FG dropped out and Morty joined in with his traveling pack of rotating hangers-on. And no Ditto and Becky, I’m not including you in that group.

Jon and I had names for many of the bar regulars. Made up names of course. Mr. Big Nose. Mr. Red Shirt. Mr. Blue Shirt who then later went by Mr. 38″ Waist (that one isn’t quite as funny as it once was. back then I had a 29″ waist). Like the New York Times, we seemed very respectful, in that we used the pre-fix of their “names” at all times. I don’t think you need a Ph.D. in nameology as to how these were picked. If you’re still stumped, contact me later and I’ll spell it out for you.

And who could ever forget Mr. & Mrs. Coat? Not unlike Jon and FG, Mr. Coat brought his hag to the Garage weekly. No matter the weather, they always seemed to wear big and heavy coats. And smoke. Then one weekend Mrs. Coat was gone – only to be replaced shortly thereafter by Mrs. Coat II. I’d say she was a ‘trophy hag’, but in reality she didn’t look all that different than Mrs. Coat I.

Then there was Mrs. Howell (though sometimes he was just “Lovey”). This poor faegella who wore maroon or pastel pantsuits my mother ditched back in 1964, and sunglasses Jackie O. made a career out of wearing. In winter, it was the full length mink, still with the Jackie O. shades even in a dark bar…at night. More likely the coat was rabbit, but I’m guessing he pretended it was mink.

I think my favourite (well…believe it or not, it could be Mr. 38″ Waist, just due to his handsome handsome face) was probably Mr. Pez. Eventually he went international and was finally dubbed: Monsieur Pez (and yes, the ‘ez‘ is pronounced ‘ay‘). Always in his pressed jeans and button down shirt – no matter what time of the year. Always dancing by his lonesome, in his inimitable way (well except by me) – never giving anyone the time of day or even a look. Too cute to approach and what I’m guessing, too lonely for words.

Why ‘Mr. Pez‘, you ask? At the time I was prone to carrying around a Pez dispenser. It was a good opening line. Find someone attractive. Whip it out. Pull back the head, extend the dispenser and address the intended victim date with an offer of, ‘Pez?’.

Just standing there with Jon and admiring Mr. Pez, I said off the cuff, “I’d give him all my Pez“.

Alas, it was not meant to be. He seemed too stand-off-ish and I was too shy. Now and again, I’d be drunk enough pseudo-bold and dance near him, but in actuality, never a word uttered.

Eventually, I’d go back and stand with Jon over in Obetz (our name for the corner of the bar where we’d stand) while we oh so silently mocked others, never once wondering what names others had invariably had to have come up for us.


Oh yeah - I posted to Gay Men Rule this morning also. ...I knew you'd all wanna know.
Kicks Some Ice?

Nah - not so much.

We went to go see Blades of Glory over the weekend.

Am I the only one to think that the Ferrell-Wilson-Wilson-Vaughn-Stiller mafia is growing a bit tiresome? It'd be fine if they weren't all so one dimensional. But they are all pretty much one-note kind of guys when it comes to acting and comedy.

Who knew that Zoolander would be the artistic stretch and possibly the defining moment for any and all of them? ....and one of the Wilsons wasn't even in that one and I don't think Vaughn had a speaking role (nor is the other Wilson and Vaughn in Blades, but Stiller does produce it).

Ferrell hasn't developed that much from the SNL character who use to disrobe for the art class skit and would sometimes vomit. Or the naked guy he plays in Old School who would occasionally vomit. Are you picking up on a pattern? Do I have to spell it out for your what he does here?

That's not to say he doesn't provide some funny moments (though his one line to Nancy Kerrigan was delivered expertly) ....but those moments don't make a funny movie. But most of the funny moments come from Will Arnett and Amy Poehler - as you knew it would. Had they showed more of their JFK/Marilyn Monroe skating routine, it would have been much funnier. Actually, had the movie been about them, as the main characters, it would have been a much better movie.

Joe thought the movie was more than a little homophobic. I could have seen this as being an issue, but you also kind of know what you're getting into with this type of movie. This kind of film has to make the teenagers, the target audience, cringe with being uncomfortable to make it funny to them - right or wrong.

But you know, the homophobia wasn't really that bad. No one at our screening made any audible noises at the man on man (staking) action. It could have been so much worse. The more subtle things, like the breath the guy from Napoleon Dynamite had to take before touching hands was what I responded negatively to.

Our audience responded to the vomiting and one scene involving some North Koreans attempting a new skating move (admittedly, I could not stop laughing at that one).

The bigger issue and problem with the movie is: it's all been done before. And better.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

THIS is Bullshit

This was/is the scene from the kitchen window this morning.

Not only was the home opener snowed out, and yesterday's games postponed, I can guarantee that the double-header will not be played today either.

We woke up to 8" of snow this morning. Or should I say - eight inches of more snow. We still await the possibility of 6 more inches by this afternoon.

Sure, it's pretty, but IT'S APRIL 8th!!!! Yes, I know it's Cleveland, but this sucks!! We had a very light December, but it's been snowing since October! Almost 6 months of this crap. Yesterday, while driving, the visibility was less than 50' - and naturally, most drivers are morons. A white out, driving 60 mph in the 45 zone with no lights on.

I'm beginning to wonder if I should have conducted my job search outside of Ohio.
Her Lovely Lady Lumps

Yes, it's a YouTube Sunday - because I'm kind of, sort of, lazy.

I know the Alanis video has been making the blog rounds - and for good reasons. It is hilarious and not altogether bad. The scary thing is - even as a parody (at least I think it is), it is still probably the best thing she's recorded in years. Think Tori Amos doing 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' or 'Angie', but a lot more tongue-in-cheek.

As Denton pointed out - you couldn't have Alanis' version without the original. And he's right. It wouldn't be funny - and it is, if you are aware of the Peas' song. I'm not a BEP fan in the slightest and always thought it was such a crappy song. Alanis pretty much shows it for what it is. ...and Will Ferrell even takes it on in Blades of Glory, where his skating partner says 'I don't know what it means' and Ferrell replies 'No one knows what it means..'. Amen to that.

Honestly, you have to watch the original (or at least part of it) before you click on the Morissette version.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Losing My Religion

Yes, I know I'm a Grandpa Simpson type, and there is much that annoys me - and it doesn't have to take a lot. You're shocked - I know!

At my old job, one woman would always go around this time of year saying, "have a Good Friday". Not a 'good Friday'. Sorry, but keep your religion to yourself. I don't share in your beliefs - but more importantly, you are unaware of who does and who does not. I also don't (not so) subtley force upon you my cram it.

The woman at my parking garage says 'good morning' every day, but on Fridays it's: "have a blessed weekend". I say good morning to her Monday through Thursday only. I don't think she'll ever pick-up on my low key, non-verbal protest.

I do laugh when Jon (not Jon C.) tells his story of a woman he dealt with who would sign-off all her calls with "Yours in Christ", then hang-up. It surely would have annoyed the fuck out of me, but the way Jon told it, the story was hilarious. And to be honest, for fun, I'll sign off emails to him like that now and again.

Yesterday we got to leave work at 3:00p. Though it wasn't stated that it was for Good Friday, it probably was. I like to think it was because of that other religious holiday: The Home Opener!!!! You worship your false idols, I'll worship mine (c'mon....would you just look at Mr. Hafner up there in the picture?).

I know I have expounded here on my lack of caring about most sports. I do watch Ohio State football and root for the Cleveland Indians. That is about it. I love going to Indians games and I'm just as happy to watch them on tv.

I have learned never to go to a game before mid-May. Not in Cleveland. Take today. 27 degrees as the high. The first three innings took over 2.5 hours. They had to take leaf blowers to the field to clear the snow....multiple times!! Everyone understands 'rain-delays', but 'snow-delays'?? At times there were just complete white outs. It was crazy.

I sat through that once: on an Easter sunday (ironically enough). The Easter game wasn't worth it to me. They ran out of coffee, tea and hot chocolate by the 3rd inning....and I don't even normally drink hot beverages. I left by the 5th inning.

Another cold cold game I went to was Game 4 of the 1997 World Series. You endure the freezing temps because, well, it was the WORLD SERIES. And the Indians make it (on average) to that level twice in one's lifetime. Yes we won the game (not the series), but lost in the fact that we had to sit through Leah Thompson sing the national anthem! Damn NBC for promoting 'Caroline in the City' in such a heinous way! I had to pay $300 for my ticket and still be subjected to that shit??

So, back to yesterday. As home opener time neared and the weather continued to deteriorate, I got more and more offers to go to the game. Five in all. I kindly turned down each and every one. Hell, I didn't even have a hat or gloves with me, let alone a flannel union suit.

Here's a little peak at what it was looking like well into game time.

Though the game was technically sold out, I'd say that two-thirds of the Jake was empty. But I bet there wasn't a sweatshirt that went unsold in the concession stands.

As it turns out, we were ahead 4-0 when they called the game in the 4th inning. They'll try play again during a Sunday double-header. Good luck with that.

Good Friday indeed!

Friday, April 06, 2007


From my office 25 floors up, I hear the sirens. By the time the noise reaches up that far, and the time I look down from my windown, I'll be able to pinpoint exactly where the fire truck will be on its way down the road.

I'm sure there is a physics calculation that explains the speed of sound versus the distance said truck will be by the time the audible gets to me. Without fail, upon first hearing the sound, the hook & ladder is a good eighth of a mile from the station. They leave their a dozen times a workday - and it usually draws my attention.

Somewhere in the last few days, constantly seeing the trucks I flashed upon something I hadn't thought about for years: I was deathly afraid of firetrucks as a tot. I don't know why. I think most boys are enthralled by them - not me.

I don't think it was the truck itself. I don't think it was the siren. I never had a bad reaction to police sirens. And I don't think it was fire - as I think I was too young to even know what fire was.

I would wake up in the middle of my night - my parents were still up (I mean, I was only like 4) and come crying about the sirens. My parents would think I was nuts - until 3-5-minutes later when they'd hear them. They could never quite figure that out about me - and clearly it was just the start of what they could never grasp about me.

Once, my mother left me and my sister (only 18 mos older) in the car in the parking lot of Sauters grocery store. It was the mid-60s - you could still do that without getting arrested or having your kids to children's services. Unfortunately, Sauters was located directly behind the fire station. Unfortunately for me, someone else had a fire emergency. Damn them!

My mother had to run out of the store without the food needed to nourish her husband and four other kids. To be honest, I'm surprised she heard the sirens or put it all together that she had a kid in hysterics stuck in the back seat of her big Pontiac station wagon.

In retrospect, I think it was the firehouse alarm that spooked me, not the sirens or the trucks. But I always grew up afraid of fire. For the most part I still am. I'd never have been that caveman. Is it any wonder I never smoked? I'll freeze before lighting a pilot light or a fireplace.

And no surprise, I wasn't like other boys (for oh so many reasons). I've never wanted to be a fireman.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Site of the Month

David says his Target is one of the busiest in terms of Easter items.

Clearly I had no idea that Easter had anything more to do than crappy baskets with chocolate, eggs and green cellophane grass. Apparently now the grass comes in recycled paper, wood and edible. It must be true - David told me.

But he also says that the holiday is turning into xmas. More toys than candy get sold and it's a big to-do. I guess if you're worshipping resurrections, you may as well get a dvd of Happy Feet!

David also says that Target has a special line of blood-red Peeps. He's thinking like 'red-robin red'. I'm thinking like 'blood of christ red'. We're both thinking - disgusting.

So I started telling David about this site regarding Peeps and the things people do to them. He says I should make it my Site of the Month. Good idea. But as I looked at the site it wasn't as funny as I remembered. Then I stumbled upon an even better one:


If you click on the 'movie' link, it will take you scene by scene of the book/movie....with Peeps. The movie isn't quite as long as making your way through this. Actually, the making of the movie probably isn't this long.

Becca - where is the stick-figure version of LOTR?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Why Is This Night Different Than All Other Nights?

"Because I said so!"

I have always wanted to write this dialogue into a short story scene where the grumpy Jewish father just snaps at his children as they read the four questions.

No one ever writes Passover funny stuff. I mean - except for Edward G. Robinson in The Ten Commandments. HILARIOUS! What were they thinking?? Sure, Eve Harrington Anne Baxter was perfect in the role of Nefretiri - but Edward G. Robinson and/or Vincent Price??? That Hollywood contract system left a lot to be desired when it came to accuracy, especially in period pieces

As Tom Green would say: "Let my people go-go!"

But as Jewish humour goes - not much beats the exchange in Hannah and Her Sisters:

Woody: "...I mean, why there were there Nazis?"
His Father: "How the hell do I know why there were Nazis? I don't know how the can opener works!"

I think I need to flesh out my work - but a Seder is the perfect setting for a funny story.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

He Shoots.........He Misses........again

I know and care little about college basketball.

Correction - I know and care little about basketball. Period.

Being 6'2" in 8th grade, everyone assumed I'd love to play the sport and would be good at it. I loathed it. And I sucked at it. I'll just have to imagine they were connected. Hand/Eye coordination wasn't my thing. Not only that, I had already tried football and baseball to near disastrous results. So I got signed up for basketball too. I was 0 for 3.

For some reason, I love the fact that everyone assumes 2nd graders know the rules off all these sports. They just send you out to play with no clear direction and then tear you down when you fuck up. It was completely demoralizing. I don't and can't believe I was the only kid out there that didn't know how to complete a double-play. For g-d's sake, we were still hitting balls off the tee!

So walking/running down court while dribbling a basketball? Forget it! I had no idea when and why players would go to the foul line - since I had no idea what constituted a foul. Sports for children is insane.

Yet like any game of chance, yearly I get roped into the NCAA picks for March Madness. I would never put down money to do this. If I waste my money on gambling, I'll do it at the roulette table or bailing out Art Schlichter!

I can, however, actually dupe myself into thinking I read enough and know enough to make a good stab at it. You can see how well I did (click on above image to enlarge if so desired).

I know enough that betting on most any team from North Carolina can get you pretty far. I didn't see Duke losing in the first round. I bet they didn't either. So day one, I was pretty much out of it.

You will see that I did get Ohio State into the finals (and you see how well that ended up for me!) - but that was more out of loyalty than any knowledge-base on college basketball. Is Randy Ayers still coaching the Buckeyes?

I kid. ...but when did he get so butt-ugly?

Monday, April 02, 2007

Old Friends/New Friends

Oh my! Two days without a post. That hasn't happened for a while. I just wasn't feeling it, I guess.

I'm not sure I am feeling it now. I've been struggling with finding a subject and actually putting down on paper the screen.

The weekend was just a little odd. Early on Friday I text messaged my friend, Chef Bob. If you ever want to freak him out, text message him. He can't figure it out and it throws him off his game. He's not the most technically savvy person I've ever come across - which is kind of endearing.

I had left a number of emails for him without any response. I had not seen him since we went to Kathy Griffin almost two months ago. Being technically behind the eight-ball, Bob only has a work it's all I was using. After a few emails, I had a dream about him that he had lost his job and working at a grocery store. I didn't give it much thought.

Anyhoo...Chef Bob calls me back and says he hasn't gotten any of my emails because...........he'd been canned from his job. Anyone and everyone could have seen it coming. The people he worked for were freaks. All it was going to take was a Bob furrowing his brow the wrong way on the wrong date and he'd be out of there....and it's pretty much what happened. It's probably the best thing, but coming off of it recently, no one likes to be fired.

Also on Friday, the bf was ill while his aunt was staying with us. While I was at work and he was out on the couch we were left a message from an old Columbus friend acquaintance...."Daphne" (not her real name, but that's what we'll call her). Honestly, I haven't heard from her in a coon's age. I honestly think the last time was when Rebecca was leaving us after a holiday our old house. To say a proper good-bye to Becca, I told Daphne I'd call her back and I don't think I ever did.

Daphne just wanted to touch base. For some reason I felt the need to call her back, which I did the following day. Obviously I had lots to catch her up on - if nothing else, job-wise. Sadly, in the years we had not talked, she had no updates. None. For anyone here who knows Daphne, this will not come as a surprise as we had this figured out years and years ago. Still working the same job at the same place seeing the same two people socially for eons. She might be driving a new car, I don't know on that last item. I didn't ask.

But Saturday I went out to lunch with an acquaintance from my old job. We had worked on a major project together and I'm telling you my gaydar completely failed me when it came to him. Though I'm kind of glad it failed him to when it came to me. Or so he says. Maybe he was being kind.

We weren't close at work, but ran into each other at Chef Bob's New Year's Open House. Of the 200 people who were there, I'd say 80% were gay. Jon C (not to be confused with just Jon) and I kind of hung out. He only knew Bob and Matt peripherally, but because of a mutual friend in Chicago, he was invited.

Jon C asked if Made me laugh. But he's a great guy and easy to talk to. We kept meaning to get together for lunch or dinner, but never did. Right before I started my new job, I ran into him while I was having lunch with another friend. After I got settled, we touched base and after many cancellations had a 4-hour lunch. We tried to steer the conversation from my old (and his current) place of employ - but it was hard. We at least found fresh angles to our battles.

It was nice getting to know someone in a different way. I remember a Seinfeld when Jerry says people over 30 can't make new friends - and honest to g-d, it is TOUGH. But not impossible. He is looking forward to meeting Denton and I will plan a dinner with Matt, Bob, Jon, Denton and myself.

..and while having lunch my cell rings. It's a Columbus number I don't recognize, but I pick up. It was kind of rude, since I was with someone, but I did it anyway. It was an long-ago co-worker from Ohio State! Odd.

Diane is my age and she used to work with me in Orientation. Diane was a highly educated woman who is Type A to a serious degree. But on the other hand she'd say 'the point is mute' which drove me up a wall! Diane had a seriously hot husband (shut up Kris) - which to this day I don't quite understand the attraction.

After Diane left after having her child, we missed her, but to be honest not enough to really stay in touch. She stopped by with the baby once or twice and I saw her last maybe 7 years ago at a dinner when UVC imploded. Some former members were invited back - but not many. We exchange holiday cards and that is about it.

So imagine my surprise. She and her daughter were up in Cleveland for a weekend away (in Cleveland??). She was hoping I could have lunch or dinner. Since I was at lunch, that was out. I had to check on the bf to see if he was alright, so dinner was out too. I asked if she was up for lunch the next day. She was.

I can't say I was really jazzed about it. How do you catch up over lunch on stuff over the last umpteen years? Oh and her daughter, whom I had never really met (a 2 mo old doesn't really count) was joining us.

Diane looked great. Sounded the same with all the same kind of stories. Family and in-laws. Some funny things. But can I say this about her daughter? SURLY. Now I know it had to be hard for her sitting there for an hour with someone she'd never met. I tried to include her, but to no avail. Ruckiry (not Jon's boss) it was only lunch and we limited it to about 90 minutes.

She remembers everything though (as do I), so she asked about my sisters (by name) and the kids she knew of (by name) and what their ages would be. I asked about her family the same way - and her husband's too. We didn't bring up a mutual friend of ours, Ann. Ann didn't like Diane. She thought she was prissy - and she is. But then I didn't have to tell Diane of my huge falling out with Ann about 10 yrs ago, so all was good.

I guess I'm kind of glad I did it - for nothing else that I can give Kris detailed updates that no one here cares about.

And early this week I get to have dinner with a former nurse and doctor from my old department. Ellen is gone and she is not dating a physician from our that should be interesting to say the least.

I swear, this new job had really got me work/life balanced. I've never been this social. Well not in a decade.