Friday, August 31, 2007

Memories (like the phone booths on my block)

I was riding the Metro back fro Silver Spring today when Sinead O'Connor's I Want Your Hands on Me came up on the iPod playlist.

I just sat their on the train flashing on a memory that has to go back maybe 18 years or so. Jon and I were invited to a wedding reception for a nurse who worked with us on the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit.

Actually it was Janice's second her ex-husband. Eat, Drink and Remarry said the napkins and matchbooks. Janice was fun. Her husband/ex-husband/husband was kind of a douche. Not that we really knew. They were getting remarried - and for all the wrong reasons: she was preggers. Honestly, isn't that the worst reason to get hitched? Because your father has added two goats to your dowry is a better justification.

Janice was a fun chick. She and another nurse, Noreen, Jon and myself performed twice at the Oncology holiday party. Once doing Julie Brown's The Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun and the following year doing a weird take on Sisters, from the movie 'White Christmas'. We took 2nd place the first year and was robbed the next. And that year we had choreography with fans and everything.

I'm sure I was drunk - though I cannot speak for Jon. We hijacked the reception. Jon made me go out to my car (oh....Pteri, you had a good life) and get one of my mix tapes. This wasn't Hi-N-R-G music. No No...this was late New Order, Depeche Mode, Sinead and the likes. But it wasn't enough just to get the tape and queue it up. No - we had to take over the dance floor. Together.

Yes, it was Jon and myself ON the dance floor shakin our groove thang to I Want You Hands On Me. Naturally, people just stared! Two men. Together. I'm pretty sure none of these people had seen man-on-man dancing before. Keep in mind - this was before cable.

...and this is how I know I was drunk. I was dancing. Sure, I dance around the house and make up moves that just annoys and enchants my man. I do it to get a reaction. But I was never one to go out at a bar and move to anything they put on that was 168 beats per minute. Ruckiry (not Jon's boss), I used to drink a lot and would inevitably find my way on the floor. If I could dance or not was irrelevant. Sometimes being the only one out there when something like a B-52's song (NOT Love Shack) came on.

I'm sure we had our fill of the place and the people, just as the clock turned the bewitching hour of 'time to hit the gay bars'. I'm also sure we were talked about the rest of the evening.

It sure is amazing what a song on the iPod and a 25 minute train ride will do to bring back memories.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Site of the Month

I had a number of potential sites for the month of August, but the one that I found the most amusing - or at least nostalgic - would be the On-Line-Etch-a-Sketch.

Just like the real thing, I could never do much with this Ohio Arts product (which is no longer made in Ohio and I don't even think in the U.S.). So at least I'm consistent.

If I wanted something else I couldn't do in real life, let alone on-line, they just as well make an internet Hula-Hoop.

Rebecca gets credit for the site...or pointing me to it. By the way - have you pre-ordered her novel yet?

Wednesday, August 29, 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!

I don't know why this struck me as so funny - but it did. The popcorn does not seem to be Disney-sanctioned.

And except for using the snack to "Feed the Birds" - I have no other Mary Poppins tie-ins, puns or jokes. I got nothing. Tis a sad day.

When my oldest niece was little, instead of Raffi or Barney, she listened to the soundtracks to Mary Poppins and the Music Man, day in and day out. I blame my mother for that one. These would be the only music my parents purchased since Benny Goodman or Glen Miller's deaths. So I've been exposed to most of the music at one point or another.

And yet I don't even know Ms. Poppins. I've never seen it. The closest I get is the Simpsons version of Shary Bobbins. And you might be thinking it, but I'll say something Rebecca mentioned to me almost a decade ago: 'everything comes back to the Simpsons!'

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Hasta Luego

I had my Shopping with Blobby post already to go before Alberto V05 decided to resign. I guess you'll get that tomorrow.

As much as I have been rallying for this to happen, I have to say it took me by surprise.

Albee (as I just affectionately nicknamed him, just as I typed this) has had full support of the Bush administration. He has faced an ineffectual congress - one that isn't even currently in session, I might add. And he has seemingly gotten away with murder. Or at least torture. Not only gotten away with it - but condoned it and signed off on it too.

So my question is: why now?

My original thought is - something else is coming down the pike that hasn't been made public. It is probably just my cynical and paranoid mind. Probably.

I still love how Bush says that this whole thing has been politicized. I just laugh and laugh when politicians say that. For g-d's sake - it is WASHINGTON. Taking a crap is a political statement. And yes, it is political. When you have a guy who fires people due to trying to help sway an election, or sanction torture at the hands of the military - guess what? IT'S POLITICAL.

But anyone who thinks that Mr. V05 was this smart on his own has clearly got their head in the sand.

My secondary thought to my 'why now' question revolves around the Turdblossom himself - Mr. Rove. I have to believe there is a connection between his 'exit' and the AG.

I'd say that 'it's over', but it's not. If John Ashcroft has taught us anything: The only thing worse than the devil you know, is the one that you don't.

Monday, August 27, 2007

YouTube Monday

I feel like I've been letting down the readership a bit. I always do when I post a YouTube clip instead of a post post.

That being said, a friend of mine sent me this clip which I found amusing - at least at first showing. It's not one of those things that will be played over and over.

I was offered the opportunity to get an iPhone as my birthday present a few weeks ago. We even went to the Apple store to play with them....again. I just could not justify that kind of money on a first generation phone. That didn't even include the plan or breaking my existing service contract with Sprint - though I'd love to. G-d do they have the crappiest service/reception ever. But I digress.....kind of....

I did get taken to my annual birthday dinner last Friday. Ok - maybe it happens every two or three years. Many a-time, the event usually goes by the wayside. Someone is traveling or we never get around to it, but this year I emailed the man and said 'where are you taking me for my dinner?' - even though it was almost two weeks ago. I was kind of shameless, but we've been really enjoying getting out more and not being such homebodies.

We hit a nice little, but upscale, italian place overlooking the city.
Kind of a cool picture. I didn't know where we were going or I might have brought my real camera with me - but the phone still captures the essence after a few glasses of wine. (click image to enlarge)

Denton got the most amazing goat cheese ravioli dish with a balsamic reduction, topped with bits of prosciutto and melon. My pasta was ok, but I kept picking from his dish. The chocolate mousse cake with chocolate ganache was not too shabby either.

As for the iPhone? I can live without it. I picked out something that will last a lot longer and not go out of date so quickly. Hopefully not at all. But it's not here yet - so you'll hear about it and see once it arrives.

Friday, August 24, 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 am revitalized by an album.

Ok – maybe not me, but my faith in the music industry is been resuscitated. Or possibly just reanimated.

…and everything that’s old is new again.

I am loving the Arcade Fire’s The Neon Bible.

I don’t know that they or the disk have anything revolutionary to say – but how they say it is pretty frickin’ impressive. Yeah – their lyrics could be deeper and less repetitive, but because of the music and vocal arrangements along with the production, those things are minor flaws.

It can be argued they pull from many influences- and they do - but guess what? It works!! The influences are so varied and the arrangements so well put together that the disk is still extremely cohesive.

Sure, I have favourites, like “Intervention”. How is this not ELO meets the Tragically Hip? (yes, you read that right!) The pipe organ is a nice and unexpected touch. During the first five seconds I want to break into the first line of the Alarm’s “Strength”. But even when the rest of the instruments kick in, the organ remains a subtle, yet strong presence. But the background vocals are pretty good too.

“No Cars Go” is Ultravox meets Big Country. “Ocean of Noise” uses the lower register of a piano and bass beautifully. It also contains a great vocal arrangement that includes “now who here among us/still believes in choice/not I.”

The Montreal-based band (but mostly the vocalist) channels their best Nebraska-era Springsteen, albeit fleshed out, with both and “Antichrist Television Blues” and “Windowsills” (in which the last 40-50 seconds just repeats ‘I don’t wanna see it on my windowsill’ over and over – and yet it I do not find it annoying).

They close out with “My Body is a Cage”. Again with the pipe organ. I really enjoy this – where it might have been done by Beck, Arcade Fire does nicely on it, The song starts off so minimally and then becomes not quite bombastic, but could border on the overwhelming. But you have to play it loud – that’s my opinion.

Granted the entire disk is not great. I’m still struggling with the title track and “Black Wave/Bad Vibrations”. But only two marginal songs off an entire disk is nothing to sneeze at.

I’ve played the album quite a lot and still really like it. I can’t say it’s a sing-a-long disk, but one could do it. Maybe it is just me, but it is great for a night time drive.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

By the Sea

Well, we went out to dinner last night with friends, but I was told I was forbidden to blog about them. I told them they thought that now, but when I actually didn't they would feel slighted. Only time will tell.

But earlier in the day, I received a call from Becky who is vacationing in Rehoboth. We were to join her, but work issues got in the way. Part of me is glad we didn't get to go - as it has been raining there constantly. That and the near drowning of her kids!!!

Anyhoo....she called to ask me if I remembered an eavesdropping moment at the same beach maybe a decade or so ago.

Ok - she knew I'd remember, so what she was really asking was to relay it. She was trying to tell her father-in-law the story.

But Denton, Becca and I were lounging in our chairs chatting away at Poodle Beach and these guys behind us were working an NYT or Washington Post crossword puzzle. "Who was Ronald Reagan's secretary of state?" one of the guys kept asking. Yes, I immediately knew even though it was umpteen years after that administrations time in power. "Haig"....I said...just under my breath, but loud enough where my crew heard me.

"Let's see....I don't think it was X" (I can't remember who he said). "Haig" I said again, and once again sotto voce. "It's four letters." "Haig!" I said louder but not loud enough, where my friends were just openly chuckling at this point.

"Who was it?" I think this may have gone one two or three more times where I didn't even turn around and said in a voice where he could finally finish the clue, "It's Haig. Alexander Haig!".

"Oh yeah!"

Glad that was over. Kind of. I amused my friends.

Then Becky went on about how she was proofreading a book for someone and the person interchanged 'plaque' and 'plague'. And we just sat there making up sentences using either or both inappropriately. Laughing laughing laughing. Now it was these guys' turn to listen to us.

But then to my other side, some newly gay boy was reading Tales of the City. "The characters are like my family......."

Rain or not - work be damned.....maybe we should have gone this year.

Who knew that Steve Jobs was such a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation?

Who knew that all the time on the USS Enterprise, Geodri La Forge was just watching downloaded episodes of Lost and The Office instead of doing is engineering job?

The Prime Directive?? Fuck that! I just bought The Incredibles!

Jon pointed out the text in the Apple ad: 'hands free' and that is must be so you can eat popcorn at the same time (yes, plant tongue firmly in cheek!). I suppose 'hands free' is just in case they decide to allow iTunes to carry Romancing the Bone or Beetlejism.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Minesweeper: The Movie

Denton sent this to me and I found it so incredibly funny.

I think it should be humourous to almost any office worker who has had to work on a desktop PC and had 90 minutes of downtime anytime within the last decade.

Or maybe I'm just alone out there in my thinking. Nah......I can't be. Someone did not go to the entire trouble of making this video for just me (not that they shouldn't have).

I do like the movie tagline, which is located right under the title.

Click here to enjoy.

Monday, August 20, 2007


We went to go see Superbad this weekend.

Was it a little low-brow? Perhaps. Was it possibly the funniest movie I've seen in about the last 5 years? Definitely.

Superbad is a totally R-rated movie. At the end of it, Denton turned to me and said, "words you'll never hear associated with Superbad: "...and now, the network television premiere of..." There is no way to ever cut it for regular broadcast televion.

For about three seconds we considered bringing the teen niece and nephew, but I thought....'no'. That decision was validated in the first 60 seconds. The theatre wasn't full by any means, but who was there seemed to be a bunch of male couples. Not like we were a couple - but just guy friends. I am sure we were the oldest folks there.

I've never seen any of the Porkys series or an entire American Pie movie, so I really have nothing to compare it to in this genre. But I really wanted to see this mostly because of the creative team behind it - and the cast I knew was good. I mean - c'mon, it's Seth Rogan. Gimme a Semitic man, in a police uniform and a fu man chu moustache....what's not to love?

But seriously - the three 'teens' were hilarious. Each one funnier than the last - and all with a different style. I've seen Jonah Hill (Knocked Up and the 40 Year Old Virgin) and Michael Cera (Arrested Development) and they were great, but the guy who plays McLovin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) almost stole the movie. Actually, they all worked well as a unit.

Save a Ted Nugent song or two - the soundtrack really works too.

I highly recommend it. Honestly, I cannot remember when I laughed so often, so hard and out loud.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Chimpan A to Chimpan Z

The other night I had a dream. I know I know - you're shocked. But you know, I haven't really posted my dreams as of late. There has been nothing outstanding. Weird? Yes. But they have been so nebulous that they are too hard to conjure into a blog post.

This one isn't too weird. It just kind of came out of nowhere. So here we go:

I was sitting in the backseat of a car and Becky was in the front passenger seat. There were other people in the car, all seats taken, but the only one I remember was Ditto (I do not remember her seat positioning).

Becky is all excited saying she got gifts for us and rummages through some bag and pulls out copies of the book, Planet of the Apes. Dith was non-plussed. I was thrilled. I loved the book.

The dream went on into more of a memory from there. Me in 11th grade (I think) reading this for a literature course. Go figure. We read a number of books along these lines, by Orwell, Huxley & Shute (I loooooved On the Beach). I still struggle with calling 'PotA' to be "literature". But I'm not Dewey Decimal - so who am I to say?

Mr. Gavalinski was my teacher. He made Rip Taylor, Liberace and Paul Lynde look uber-butch. But he had a wedding ring, so I'm sure he was more like "Lyle: the Effeminate Heterosexual". NOT.

Naturally, with each selection we were assigned to read there was discussion, a paper or both. Mr. Gavalinski was what I always considered to be a cruel fag man. He took pleasure at other people's mistakes - especially the students. And that is really what you want out of your educators. He was like a fey(er) Professor Snape.

Oddly enough, in the dream/memory, I remember exactly where I sat in that class (first row - stage right, second to last seat from the back). I also remember how "Gav", as the students referred to him when he was not around, pulled a paper and made the student who wrote it read the entire thing aloud.

For the life of me, I do not remember who the student was. The poor guy had no idea what was coming. For that matter, neither did we. This was uncharted waters for this class. It soon became apparent to all but said student why this was done.

This guy didn't even read the Cliff Note version (if there is one), but opted to write his paper from the screenplay.

If you have ever read the book and seen the movie - you will know, except for being astronauts (French at that!) and apes, there is very little similarity between the two. That can be true of many film interpretations.

Hoots and hollers from the class were priceless and I sat there silently thanking some unnamed deity that it was not me being singled out for humiliation.

The kid wanted to stop reading - without knowing exactly why, as he still had no idea what exactly was going on - but as he was nearing the end, Gav made him finish. Suffice to say, in the book there is no Statue of Liberty buried up to her chest with the waves crashing against her open book. But the teacher had to rub that final bit of salt into the wound. The F that was inevitably coming wasn't going to be enough I guess.

Anyway - I have no idea where any of this came from. The dream part only lasted a few minutes if that. The scarring of high school - a lifetime

The image above is from a Simpsons when Troy McClure was attempting a comeback with a musical stage version of PotA. The song Dr. Zaius (sung to Falco's Amadeus) was priceless, as was the song that contains the title of this post. You must watch it when and if you get a chance.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Giggity Giggity Giggity

Yes, I support ...and granted this clip is 13 years old, but the essentials are the same. It is not like Iraq has changed so much over the past decade (or less when you think how long it has been since we have been there.

I'm sure before Rove left he crafted a good political response (not that Dick isn't fully capable of spinning his own deceit). ....and I never believe Karl is leaving. He might not be in the west wing, but there are telephonic and electronic means to direct evil from a distance.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella

Yes, I posted it was my birthday the other day - and I'm ok with that. I wasn't soliciting for birthday wishes - honest! But thanks to all those who provided them.

No offense to others, but the best (well, second best after Denton's card) had to come from Rebecca.

To all of you who say I don't smile enough in my pictures: ARE YOU HAPPY NOW???

Unfortunately, the picture hasn't been altered that the antennae. I'm sure I have glasses similar to those. I am sure when I drink have a cold, my nose gets that red. I KNOW I have eyebrows just like those....though Becky might have referred to them as 'batwings' in her upcoming novel (have you pre-ordered it yet???)

To be fair, Becky did not do this to my picture. I did. She just provided me to the tools to do such things.

Overall, I just don't care for the birthday attention - though I'm sure I've blogged that before on some other birthday. Imagine my surprise when on a four hour drive to a client site, I had a conference call. Somehow, someway someone on the call knew it was my birthday. I know I didn't tell anyone.

When I get to the client site, which by the way I am only temporarily covering, and they have a cake for me. Granted it was from Wal-Mart (and disgusting) but still, they say it is the thought that counts. I cannot deny it was a great gesture from people I barely know.

Still.....the attention.....ick.

Monday, August 13, 2007

44 Stories

Rosanne Cash has a song from her Rules of Travel cd that is the same title as this post (or vice versa, actually). Allegedly it references her first 44 years and was actually supposed to be the title of her half-biography which has never materialized. Never mind that the song came out when she was 50. I'm co-opting it for my birthday blog.

...the title, that is. You're not getting 44 stories from me. But oh, the stories I could tell. Good enough for a series on the WB......and a full season at that! One that only a talent the calibre of a Jon Cryer understudy could convey what I have lived.

But true to form, David G sent me an email a few days ago with the subject matter: You're OLD. Touching....yes? But the kind of touch you'd get, like being poked with a dull stick....over and over and over.

On the plus side, David remembered my birthday month. After 23 years, that is the closest he has gotten.......ever. So for him (and me) this is kind of huge. I think he actually even remembered the day, and might be contacting me to give me birthday wishes, but "claims" to be traveling that day.

The minus side is the pointed out something all too obvious. I'm OLD and have been acting it in this blog. He pointed out that recent topics include: weather, traffic, airports and 'these kids today who don't know who Patti Smith is'.

He goes on to say, and I quote, "You're starting to sound like Andy Rooney's grandpa's grandpa! Which makes me Andy Rooney's grandpa's grandpa's older friend!". OUCH. The ouch is more about him than me. At least I think.

For the record - I and as he pointed out, he IS older. Game. Set. Match.

I'm not (quite) that dirty old man on 'Family Guy' who sings "I Know What Boys Like", nor can I really expound upon High School Musical, or to a lesser extent, High School Musical 2. They say, write what you know.......and lately I know traffic, weather, airports and 'those kids...'. Sue me.

I'm fine being 44 (or really - starting my 45th year), but David is right. I'm old. I am passed middle-age (g-d, I hope) and I've said before - who knew I'd make it this far? Not me.

Most of the time I do not feel my age, but there is no getting around the other times. Cultural references I have and use that no one else gets. The inability to drink as much I used to - liquor that is. The inability to drink as late as I want to (any liquid), or have the need to get up and pee during the night. Oy.

The reality is, all my life, my age has felt like a double-edged sword. I am clearly immature when it comes to my humour and have rarely progressed in this area past 14 years of age. But on the other hand, I've always been a realist and a fatalist making me much more crumudgeonlier (it could be a word!) than my years would suggest.

What is a 44 year old to do?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Weekend America

Every once in awhile I shill for NPR. I urge folks to give at pledge time, or at least give a listen. I have a hard time with commercial radio - but that's old news here.

Many a-morning, I have a hard time listening to NPR on my drive to work. Morning Edition has way too many sound bytes with GWB - and who the fuck needs to hear that early in the morning? Not me.

But there are plenty of other shows to search out - Marketplace (yes, I'm geek), Diane Rehm, Fresh Air and then two of my weekend faves: Wait Wait.....Don't Tell Me! and Weekend America.

The latter had a show on this weekend had a segment on a guy's favorite song, which happened to be Hall & Oates' "Private Eyes". The stories around it are more amusing than the choice of song. There is also a segment on-line where listeners can submit their favourite song and the memory associated with it.

I am asked a lot by my coming of age niece and nephew my favourite group and/or song. That is really hard to say - so I don't. I'd love to submit a response to Weekend America - but I don't know where to even begin or how to narrow it down - so I won't.

As for Wait Wait.... if you have not heard it - you must. It is basically a quiz show with famous people playing for NPR listeners. The winner gets an answering message recorded by Carl Kasell.

If you have never come across the show, I have one show for you to listen to. Guests include Stephen Breyer, Ted Koppel and Linda Ronstadt. Panelists include Paula Poundstone and Mo Rocca. The quiz themselves are is the banter in between that is hilarious. Listen on-line or podcast it. It is SO worth it.

NPR shoppe makes good gift idea too. I had never heard of it, but Denton tells me they have an item called the Nina Totin'bag. (If I have to explain it - you don't listen to NPR and won't think it's funny.)

Friday, August 10, 2007

S-A-F-E-T-Y (dance)

Security is a funny thing. It doesn't really exist.

I found this out with my job last year and continually reminded of it in the daily news. Everything is random.

The same people who balk at taking off their shoes and packing no more than 3oz of liquid in a clear container at airports are the same ones who probably have home security systems. I'm one of them. (well, I don't really balk at the airport stuff anymore, though I think the TSA are morons.)

Home security systems I realize are great when you're not home and an alarm is activated. They are not as useful when you are home and the same event occurs.

What do YOU do when that alarm is tripped in the middle of the night?

The few times this has happened, I get out of bed and groggily remember the code (1-1-1-1-1.....kidding!!!...that's for Jon) and punch it in. Then I normally roam the house, unclothed, looking for a defect in the system....or something that tripped it. Normally I blame the cats.

Just as easily, the alarm could have been tripped by a real-life intruder. But if this is the case, by the time I'd realize that, the alarm is off - the security company has not been notified nor have they contacted the authorities. Yet the alarm is so annoying no one wants it blaring for 60 seconds before those two departments are notified.

When you think about it - it is a good business model: make people pay for something they only think they're getting. I guess they pay for peace-of-mind, whether they are getting it or not. It's the perception. And perception is reality.

But last night, after the alarm got turned off, I didn't even look around the house this time and went right back to bed....and slept securely.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

A Tad Bit Warm

What can I say? It's hot. Africa hot.

Actually, it is the humidity that's killing me. But the heat makes for some unstable weather.

Working right at the lake, you see some wild weather come and go. Last week it was biblical storms. 60mph winds. Hail. 5" of badly needed rain - but in a 90 minute period. Roads were flooded...traffic diverted. Street signals knocked out. It was every man for himself - or so I heard.

Me? I walked up the street and went to a bar with a few people from work. It was easier to drink beer and wait it out. Beer helps everything.

Two days ago at 9:00a it was pitch black out. I don't mean that it was 'like pitch black...'....if you looked out your window you would have sworn it was 10p on a moonless night. There might have been wind - or rain for that matter. You couldn't see. Jon told me to take a pic with my cellphone, but there was no use.....I could have taken a picture of a piece of black construction paper for the same effect.

Apparently there was over 3" of rain in less than 60 minutes. Once again, flooded roads and the like. Flash floods I guess. People climbing out their sun/moon roofs to escape being trapped in their automobiles (say that last word like Long Duck Dong).

In both instances, my parents who live maybe 25 miles aways never got a drop of the badly needed precipitation. We're slated for more of the same every day for the rest of the week. It is cool to watch the lightening from the 25th floor.

But right now, I just sitting here........sweating. Always sweating. Pretty - ain't it?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


It's official: We have 'help'.

I cannot say I am comfortable with the prospect, but on the other hand there is something satisfying about the results.

My paternal grandparents always had 'help'. As a child I was more comfortable with them, only because they were like family. Hell, Carrie, Mrs. Price or even college student Bill Bissmeyer took more interest in us kids than Grandma Tuffy ever did. No my father's last name wasn't Tuffy - it was their dog's name. She liked us calling her that (or so I'm told) since I think she cared more for her dog(s) than her own children or grandkids. It's ok - we liked the dogs better than her anyway. Oddly enough, my mother isn't thrilled when I try to get her grandkids to call her Grandma Murphy or Grandma Bonkers. She's definitely not down with Grandma Spook.

But I digress. Denton made these cleaning arrangements. Not me. From the get-go, I wasn't sure about it all. My trepidation wasn't about having someone I didn't know in the house while we weren't there - though I wasn't great with that. I was not happy that the cats wouldn't like it - I am an overprotective dad that way. I wasn't even shelling out money for someone to do the things we don't. Ok - maybe that's part of it. I even worried that she was older and made Denton check our liability insurance if she croaked while working in the house.

Granted we haven't been good at keeping house, but it is not a pig pen either. It's a big house. To any person passing though - things seem neat and tidy - but I don't know that I would call the 'clean'. Sure, we would do the deep clean for events, but not everyday living.

What I think my hesitation really comes down to is guilt. 80% or so. Maybe it's racial. Maybe it's economics I don't know. 10% is just embarrassment that someone has to clean for us. Or does that just tie into the guilt?

Yes, we have a big house and we work long hours and I travel a lot for work. Some things fall by the wayside. We try to do most of the things around the house ourselves - I do believe we are the only one in our neighborhood who does their own yardwork. And there is the other 10%: justification.

The house looks and smells nice - and she's only coming twice per month, so I'm trying to deal with that. But in reality, I'm letting Denton deal with that.

....and I just thought I'd let you know, our hired help husband's name? Jimmy Walker

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

S. Katt

In the Cleveland Plain Dealer, someone has been advertising daily regarding their missing cat, Sabrina. The ad has been running for almost two years. I love my cats, but at some point you have to give up the ghost: the cat is gone or the cat is gone!

My mother was/is convinced the ad is secret code for a drug ring, given that it is daily and she feels no one puts this much effort into finding a lost cat. She feels it must be something more sinister.

When I was in Columbus the other week, I mentioned this to Tom G. He reads the PD daily (or almost), but he's never seen the ad. Since they run next to the obituaries, which are not in the Sports section....or near Family is not a surprise that he has missed this.

Imagine my surprise when this was delivered over the weekend. (please please please - click image to enlarge)

I say 'imagine my surprise...' but I don't really mean it. If you knew Tom G. one shouldn't be too too surprised, but always amused. This is assuming the letter did come from Tom G. and not Sabrina herself.

And yes, the return address was from S. Katt. Where the 'S' could be for Sabrina - never ever ever underestimate good fecal humour.

Monday, August 06, 2007


After my travels it was nice to be home - not only because it is home, but because friends were afoot.

I mentioned last week that Rebecca was in town. It is always fun to hang with her, though since having kids, the dynamics are little different. Not bad - just different. I'm thrilled that her two girls are not shy around Denton and myself. It could so easily turn into a scared and crying situation....and I'm talking for us, not them. I know I didn't want to be near any of my parent's friends....ever.

Apparently, during some of their travels the oldest daughter asked Becky why Denton and I were not married, as older men should be. There was a brief conversation about gay marriage. Then there seemed to be confusion about which one of us was Denton and which one of us was Blobby. "The balding one...." commentary didn't help clarify the matter.

During the relay of this conversation, Becky said something about how couples start to look alike after they've been together for awhile. Suffice to say, it is only a slight exaggeration to say that this is the look both Becky and I caught on my partner's face: The prospect or perception of looking like me less than thrilled him. (btw...this is not him.)

We also got to spend time with her family - whom I like and if nothing else, is a gold mine for blog material. Well not all of her family - we think the world of her parents.

Over this last weekend, Andrew came into town. It has been at least 2.5 yrs since we've seen Andrew. I was beginning to take it personally. Ok, not really. He's been very busy getting his practice up and running.

We had lunch. We went to Big Fun (sorry - they have no link). We had a great visit, even though I opted (once again) not to purchase the talking Ed Grimley doll. What is my hold-up with that?

But in the evening we were invited to her brother's house for pizza, beer and cake......and his wife. You can get food and drink anywhere, but (un)fortunately there is only one LDFRN. To believe she exists is to encounter her.....kind of like Nessie.

Unlike Nessie, she lives to be acknowledged - not hide at the bottom of some Loch. There is no 'off' switch with LDFRN - which is great. She is a non-stop question machine - not that she actually wants to hear the answers. And not that I will be stopped from giving them - not that those answers have much to do with the questions she actually poses - much to the delight of her family and in-laws.

OH oh oh oh....I also saw the galley for Becky's novel which comes out in 2008. (Pre-order NOW!). LDFRN kept trying to formulate a question on what I thought of the main gay character, which may or may not be based on me (pre-order now!). I don't think we ever got to the end-point except the fact that I was disappointed the book wasn't titled McKay & Friends. (have you pre-ordered yet?)

I got a great note from Becca Sunday morning before they hit the road at 5:00 a.m., it just made me smile. And it made the weekend.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Travel Post

I've been a little slow on the postings lately, haven't I? I was so busy on my last work trip that posting was on my mind, but not at the top of my priority list. It did not help that I didn't have lot going on to post about. I'm working on it.

I believe I have mentioned that before this job, I have never been much of a business traveler. It is completely different than vacation or pleasure travel. I am not sure if it should be - it just is. You can't get as annoyed with oversold planes, delayed flights and missed connections. Or you shouldn't. The more you travel, the more your odds are increased for these things to happen. You just have to deal.

Take last Monday. I as on my way to DC and had a 7:35 a.m. flight out. I loathe early Monday flights because every business traveler starts out then. Security lines are backed up much farther than any other time of the day or week - today it was out the door.....literally. Where I'd normally be at the airport maybe 75 minutes before my flight, this time I leave for the airport at least two hours before hand. So yes, I'm out the door by 5:15 a.m.. whoo-hoooo?

As I'm driving to the airport, and observing the full moon low in the sky, I get an automated call from the airline that my flight has been cancelled! This is not delayed or oversold. I don't deal the cancelled very well. My planned work schedule was immediately all off.

The good thing with DC is there are three airports to deal with: BWI, Dulles and National. This gave me least in theory. The airline, without asking me, automatically booked me on the 8:55 a.m. ...for the following day. This would not work for me.

So, I got on stand-by for each airport and multiple different flights per airport. I did get a definite ticket for a 5 p.m. flight to Baltimore, which then meant an Amtrak ride...but I'd be there. Naturally each stand-by was in a different terminal, so I got a work-out. It was like a big Blobby ping-pong game.

I did get to see the DC / Ohio crowd. Once again, Sherrod Brown was on my flight. But on one of my four (or was it five?) unsuccessful stand-by attempts, Stephanie Tubbs-Jones got on and so did representative/presidential candidate, Dennis Kucinich.

The same x amount of people affected by the cancelled flight were attempting the same thing I was and we would all be standing at the gate like vultures, hoping for some minor miracle of an open seat. One of these guys asked if I had seen Kucinich at that one gate. Then he asked, who was that with him? I responded, that's his wife. The guy was stunned.

Dennis is about 5'2" (ok...maybe taller), but his wife is at least 6' with long red hair. It's his new wife, as they got married around the holidays last year. She's British I think, so I just call her his mail-order bride. The guy assumed it was his aide and couldn't believe he could be married to someone who was 'that hot'. I told him, I think it would have been in appropriate for him to be stroking the hair of his aide while waiting at the gate. ....but slimier things have happened with politicians.

I think I finally made the 3 p.m. flight to National. One woman didn't show up. They kept paging "Jennifer" to arrive or lose her seat. It would have been hypocritical to pray that Jennifer not show or something happen to her, as I just don't pray...period. G-d, would probably smite me for praying have Jennifer apperate out of nowhere to claim her seat.

The funny thing about travelers - we're all stuck there and doing some bonding, but no one really wants the other to succeed if it means the others are left behind. When the gate-guy finally called my name (yes!), and I made my way to the jetway, two of the folks kept saying "goodbye Jennifer". As I entered the ramp, I turned and said, "I've been called worse things."

Friday, August 03, 2007

Girls on Film

There's a camera rolling on her back, on her back And I sense the rhythm humming in a frenzy all the way down her spine

Yesterday I came back from most of the week on the road only to find that I was scheduled to have a professional portrait taken of me for what I'm assuming is our corporate website.

Lipstick cherry all over the lens as she's falling
In miles of sharp blue water coming in where she lies

I wasn't prepared for this - and did not dress appropriately. I had to borrow a sport coat and a tie. Neither would be ones I would own, but I guess they did the job. The chances of them being in black and white are highly probable so I'm not horrible worried - at least with wardrobe selection.

The diving man's coming up for air cause the crowd all love pulling dolly by the hair, by the hair
And she wonders how she ever got here as she goes under again

I think the last time I sat for a picture like this would be for a fraternity composite. Not unlike the few of us yesterday having this done - that time was also pretty much blue blazers, solid colour shirt and a rep tie. And it is what I probably would have worn had I known about this....except for the rep tie....I don't own those.

Wider baby smiling you just made a million
Fuses pumping live heat twisting out on a wire

One of the women I worked with had her pictures taken before I did. She was a natural and was done in what seemed to be two minutes. Even the photographer said, "Well you were easy." And as g-d is my witness I couldn't stop myself and immediately chimed in, "Oh, it's not the first time she's hear that." Afterwards I felt bad about saying it, but as Sarah repeatedly told the story she was hysterical (in a funny way) about it and said afterward the photographer wouldn't even look her way again. But she also said, "I thought it, you said it".

Take one last glimpse into the night I'm touching close I'm holding bright, holding tight
Give me shudders in a whisper take me up till I'm shooting a star

Then it was my turn. I stood there, turning my shoulders one way, my chin(s) another - dropping it and raising it as directed, some smiling, some not. All the while a raging thunderstorm was right beyond the backdrop this guy was using. There was much more electrical activity outside than in this guy's lighting system.

It was a red-hot photo session inside and out.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I Got Nothing

No image. No YouTube. No joke. No insight.

Maybe I do. But my travel the last few days hasn't left me much time or energy for it. I'll get there though. Tomorrow (or perhaps later today), I promise to have a post for you guys.