Posted on Thursday, January 8th, 2009
I don't generally make New Years resolutions, because I never know where my head will be at ten minutes from now. I could suddenly decide to shave my head and become a porn star or something.
The only goal I really set for myself is to blog every day, but I do that anyway.
So I decided that I should take a good hard look at myself and come up with five things that I can commit to doing in the new year.
My New Years Resolutions for 2009...
Meh. I'll probably have all that done within a month. Those are not very far-reaching resolutions.
My New Years Resolutions for 2010...
Now there's some resolutions!
Posted on Monday, January 12th, 2009
Posted on Tuesday, January 13th, 2009
I had made a promise to myself that I would stay home an entire month so I could recuperate after the continuous travel-hell I was subjected to the last three months... but, alas...
Here I am packing my suitcase again.
I am not even a little upset about it. I had two-and-a-half glorious travel-free weeks, so it's not like I can really complain. Besides, I'm heading to So-Cal, where I understand the weather is fantastic. This would be a nice change from the freezing fog that's been plaguing us in the valley here for the past several days.
Assuming the airport is open tomorrow.
If the weather continues to suck, I may not be going anywhere.
Which wouldn't be the worst thing in the world because, assuming I do make it out, I'm back for only a week before I fly out again.
In the meanwhile, I will attempt to make the most out of the five hours sleep I get tonight. A pity I've been wrestling with stomach cramps all evening and won't be able to enjoy it.
Posted on Wednesday, January 21st, 2009
This has been an unbelievably crappy day, and it's not even over yet.
It's hard for me to complain too much, because things are tough all over. There's a lot of people having a lot of bad days, and the odds of things getting better any time soon are growing slimmer with each passing moment.
Rather than dwell on the depressing state of my existence now, I've decided to look ahead to a (hopefully) better future.
One week from now, I will be meeting up with the incomparable Ms. Sizzle...
... to go see Etta James in concert...
... and perhaps even have a cupcake love affair with Kate...
Right now it's the lovely lady trifecta of Sizzle, Etta, and Kate that's keeping me going.
Without them to look forward to, I'd probably be passed out drunk.
Posted on Thursday, January 22nd, 2009
Posted on Friday, January 23rd, 2009
It is tough to blog when you're in the condition I'm in.
The past couple of weeks has been very difficult and I'm not expecting things to improve any time soon. It seems as if every part of my life is in some kind of turmoil, and I'm just exhausted from it all. It's gotten to the point where I don't want to get out of bed in the morning. All I want is for the world to go away. I gave up using alcohol to escape from my troubles a long time ago, but it is looking like a better solution every day (albeit a temporary one that causes more problems than it ever solves).
I work very hard to be multi-dimensional. Mostly because people who make their entire life all about one thing are not interesting to me. Those whose entire life is about their job and nothing else. Or being gay and nothing else. Or being Christian and nothing else.* Or being Jewish and nothing else.* Or being political and nothing else. Or whatever. Every time you see them, hear from them, talk to them, or even think about them, they're all about that one thing and rarely ever express any other side to their existence. I get bored easily, so tend to ignore these one-dimensional beings as a matter of course.
So being depressed and nothing else is just not something I can let myself do... even on my blog.
I had considered taking a hiatus last week but ended up going to San Diego, which gave me something else to write about. I had considered starting a hiatus tonight, but will soon be going to Seattle for two days, then to Germany for a week, so that seemed kind of pointless. Odds are that leaving the country for a bit will snap me out of this funk I'm in, so I would have broken a long chain of daily blogging for nothing. And it's not like I'm looking for more things to be depressed about.
So for the next couple of days if I post stupider crap than usual in an effort to amuse myself and add some dimension to my miserable existence, I hope I can be forgiven.
And because efforts to cheer me up would probably backfire, I'll spare you the uncomfortable situation of trying to come up with something appropriate to say by turning off comments for this entry.
Why? Because I like you!
No reason for both of us to feel like crap.
* Do you ever notice how when you make a list with a religion in it, the passage can be interpreted as offensive? Had I only put "Christian" in that list or only "Jewish" in that list, it would seem as though I was coming down on that faith when my only intent was to provide an example. Very few things strike with this kind of sensitivity, and I'm thinking there's a metaphor for religious coexistence in there somewhere.
Posted on Monday, February 16th, 2009
I have been hit with fatigue, headache, fever, intestinal distress, stomach pain, sore throat, chills, and all-over body aches. After plugging that into WebMD, it appears I have Lyme Disease. Except I haven't been bitten, so I'm guessing it's a stomach flu of some kind. Yay! If I'm lucky, it'll be a temporary thing and I'll be better tomorrow. At least I hope so.
In the meanwhile, I'll be dropping off the face of the earth. Or, at least the face of the interwebs, while I die for a bit...
I'm just so lucky.
Posted on Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
I have come to the conclusion that the greatest thing since pre-sliced bread is pre-shredded cheese.I've heard a lot of people using a lot of things to try and trump sliced bread as far as great inventions go... but not one of them measures up to the awesomeness of pre-shreded cheese. Especially when you find yourself making tacos at home. Last night I was was feeling awful. So this morning's conversation with myself went something like this...
DAVE: wah! i feel terrible.
DAVE: No you don't!
DAVE: yes i do. see... i just said so on twitter.
DAVE: No, you really don't! Does your throat hurt?
DAVE: Do your intestines feel like they're going to climb out of your throat and strangle you?
DAVE: Are you feeling hot?
DAVE: Errr... I mean feverish.
DAVE: Headache? Chills? Stomach pain? Runny nose? Cough?
DAVE: no. no. no. no. no.
DAVE: Then you're fine!
DAVE: no i'm not. i feel terrible.
DAVE: That's because you took three Benadryl, a Unisom, and a couple Excedrin PM so you could fall asleep. You're not sick... you're just groggy and drugged. Now get up and get to work!
DAVE: okay. i'm going.
And I've regretted it ever since.
I felt more terrible being not-sick today than I've ever felt being for-reals-sick in the past. Now I think I'm actually getting for-reals-sick.
All because I listened to my body and went to work instead of just staying in bed.
I should have known better. It's not like I'm a doctor or anything.
Posted on Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
For I have become Death, destroyer of blogs.
Posted on Thursday, February 19th, 2009
The situation here is quite dire. I feel absolutely-kill-me-now horrible, and appear to be getting worse with each passing minute. On top of everything else (searing pain, crippling headaches, cough, runny nose, and heartburn), my right eye has suddenly decided to swell up. Not a fun time to be Dave.
I'd try and blog, but all I'd have to talk about was how miserable I am, so I think it's best that I don't.
Instead, I'm going to take a handful of pills, climb into bed, then die for 6 or 7 hours (hopefully)...
Posted on Friday, February 20th, 2009
Ummm... yeah... probably not much of blog entry today. I am one hot mess right over here, and spend most of my time in a drug-induced coma. I started to draw a new DaveToon showing Armageddon and the End of Days happening because ignorant publicity whore Ann Coulter actually made a statement I partially agree with (the Stimulus Package rewards failure), but I can only see out of one eye, which makes drawing difficult.
Agreeing even sightly with Ann Coulter has me terrified that my sickness is far worse than I imagined. I'm guessing I have some kind of brain virus or something. Or maybe I'm okay and she's the one with the brain virus. This is highly unlikely, however, given that I've already determined that she's brain dead...
One thing I did do today was make myself into a comic book super-hero, because I could manage it with only one eye...
You can make your own hero here.
And now I feel another coma coming on...
Posted on Saturday, February 21st, 2009
Being sick is just time off work you can't enjoy.
Except I ended up going to work for a couple hours this morning to get caught up on a few things. This was a huge mistake, because the effort of working those two hours ruined me for the rest of the day. Any progress I made in getting better was wiped away, leaving me an exhausted husk who was barely able to climb into bed once I got back home.
Tomorrow I get to make the same mistake, hopefully while feeling better than today. Otherwise, on Monday I get to pay a visit to the doctor. Hopefully for mass coma-inducing drugs.
Which I think we can all agree is the best part of going to the doctor...
Posted on Tuesday, February 24th, 2009
This morning I awoke feeling like the usual bucket of crap. I slowly managed to get through my morning routine so I could shuffle off to work, then opened the door to... snow. Lots of snow. Huge golf-ball-sized flakes of snow falling so thick I could barely see across the street. This took me completely by surprise, because the sun had been making regular appearances on previous days.
Argh. The weather had gotten better. Then it got much worse.
Which pretty much sums up my health. An hour into work I was feeling better than I had in days, and was thrilled at the prospect of getting 8 hours of work done. Alas, it was not to last, as I came crashing down around 1:00, ultimately feeling much worse than I had when the day started.
Now, here I am at 6:30 banging on death's door once again, wanting nothing more than to sleep the misery away. It's probably time to consult a doctor, so now I've got that hanging over my head as well. Meanwhile the email piles higher and higher... I get further and further behind... and life continues to pass me by. Woe. Woe Woe.
For some reason I though whining about it all would make me feel better.
Posted on Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
The wonderful world of over-the-counter medication is a magical place.
As you might have guessed from my past week of blogging, I'm a total baby when it comes to being sick, so I tend to spend a lot of my time inventing new and creative ways of using over-the-counter medication to make my life suck less when I get ill. Mostly by mixing and matching various drugs until I find a happy combination that puts me in a mental state where I don't mind so much that my nose is leaking all over the place.
Finding the right mix of pills is a daunting task. Screw up too much, and you get to take a trip to the hospital. Don't screw up enough, and you end up aware that you're sick.
Most of my time is spent negotiating with medicine packaging as to the proper dosage because, well, you just know that they're low-balling it...
The rest of my time is spent figuring out which pills go good together, and which pills will have a battle-to-the-death in your stomach. Initially, I figured things out by trial-and-error. Eventually I figured out that it's actually the COLOR of the pills that determines how your body will react. Red pills, for example, seem to go good with any other color. Green pills should never be mixed with pink pills. Blue pills should only be mixed with yellow pills if you want to end up psychotic for a few hours. White pills are just fooling themselves.
Right now I will be taking two giant blue pills, two circle red pills, two small blue pills, and one green pill, followed by a handful of M&M's candies in assorted colors. I'm hoping at least one of those will help me get some sleep tonight.
Posted on Thursday, February 26th, 2009
How do scientists figure out how chemicals affect the body? Surely it can't be an accident. As in "Hey, I accidentally sprinkled Dextromethorphan on my corn flakes this morning, and my cough went away!" or "I accidentally snorted some Phenylephrine last night, and my nasal congestion cleared up!" Maybe they're just good guessers, as in "I needed an antihistamine, and something told me that Doxylamine Succinate would do the trick!" Or maybe scientists are just playing tricks on each other all the time and sometimes they get lucky, as in "I spiked his coffee with some Guaifenesin as a goof, and it broke up his chest congestion... who knew?"
Of course, sometimes it probably doesn't go as planned, as in "I laced his chocolate pudding with Strychnine on a dare... it's not like I meant to kill him or anything."
I am entirely too bored laying in bed all day, obviously.
Posted on Monday, March 2nd, 2009
It's 8:00pm and I'm already in bed. Not because I'm tired, but because I kind of got used to working in bed while I was sick. It's a pretty comfy way to be on the job, that's for sure.
This morning while I was cleaning up the disaster in my bedroom that's accumulated from the past week of sloth, I found a big bag of money laying at the foot of my bed. And by "big bag" I mean a gallon-sized Ziplock plastic bag, and by "lot of money" I mean $320 in tens and twenties (which may not be a lot of money to you, but it's sure a lot of money to me).
I spent the rest of my day trying to figure out what it was doing there, and where it came from. Not that I was assuming somebody broke into my home and put it there... no... I knew it was my money. I just couldn't for the life of me remember why I would have put it in a Ziplock bag and stashed it at the foot of my bed. Did I knock over a lemonade stand? Hold up a Girl Scout selling cookies? I rarely carry much cash, preferring to put even small purchases on a credit or debit card, so what was it for?
Eventually I gave up trying to figure it out, and decided to put it in the bank. Maybe I will treat myself to something pretty with my new-found wealth later this week. And by "pretty" I mean get the oil and brakes changed on my car.
I suppose there are worse mysteries to have... like finding a big bag with a severed monkey head stashed at the foot of your bed... so I'm trying hard not to complain...
But still, it sure would be nice if I could remember stuff like this.
Posted on Thursday, March 5th, 2009
For as long as I can remember, I've been in love with maps and map-making.
Old maps, new maps, road maps, land maps, ocean maps, weather maps... any kind of map at all is a source of fascination to me. At one point I even considered a career in cartography, and did a lot of research on how maps are crafted. It never really amounted to anything, but the reward was in the learning, and my appreciation for maps grew as I studied them.
I did eventually do some map work for hire... usually presentations for land developers, graphics for realtors, and stuff like that... but most of the hundreds of maps I drew were just for fun. Like this map of Davetopia, which was one of my very first maps (original drawn on paper, but digitized years later). It was created for an online experiment called DaveWorld...
Today when I stopped for gas my leg rubbed against the big wad of road maps I keep in my car door pocket, and they all fell to the ground. As I bent over to pick them up, it suddenly occurred to me that I haven't opened any of them in years. About a decade ago, I started using online sites like MapQuest and Google Maps when I needed directions. Now-a-days, I just turn on my iPhone.
When it comes to actually using maps, print is apparently dead to me. Once I got home, I grabbed a couple of the more useful-looking laminated maps from the pile (just in case) and threw the rest in the trash.
After dinner, I dug them back out of the garbage so I could look at them one last time before I trashed them again. It's hard to let go of something you love. As I sit here typing this, a part of me is still mourning the maps I threw out. But then I look at the dozens of map books, atlases, travel books, and cartography books on my shelf and know that I made the right decision.
Just like in cartography, life is something you should keep as uncluttered as possible.
Posted on Monday, March 9th, 2009
Posted on Wednesday, March 11th, 2009
As I get older, my sense of time seems to be slipping away, causing me to get things mixed up in my head. As an example, I regularly think of events that happened 20 years ago as having taken place in the same time frame as something that happened 5 years ago. It's as if my mind is lumping all my past experiences together. I can figure out a chronology of events if I really think about it, but the distance between their happening is totally lost.
Which makes looking at old photos a real challenge.
While at my sisters house this past weekend, I found this picture of me...
It's Betty Crocker SuperMoist... there's pudding in the mix!
Noting the skinny tie and digital watch that I'm wearing, I'm guessing this was taken in the mid 1980's. Given the location, I'm thinking it's probably 1986. And that means it was 23 years ago, which seems impossible. I remember those times as if they were yesterday but, in reality, they were an eternity ago.
Reconciling these two conflicting perspectives is enough to make my brain explode if I dwell on it long enough.
And so I try not to.
Cute! I was totally a NAMBLA wet dream!
So far, the denial has been working out quite well for me.
Which totally explains if I show up at TequilaCon wearing a T-shirt, tighty-whiteys, and a pair of tiger slippers.
Posted on Saturday, March 28th, 2009
Posted on Monday, March 30th, 2009
When you think of modern Western medicine, you envision all this high-tech gadgetry and miraculous resources like they have in ER or Grey's Anatomy. And, in many ways, it's true... the toys and technology that doctor's have available to them are state-of-the-art and almost magical with the cool stuff they can do. But in so many ways doctors are fumbling around in the dark ages, and I am beyond confused as to why that should be.
When I went to the Emergency Room during my layover at Sea-Tac last Thursday, they took a CAT scan so they could see what was going on inside of me. On Friday when I made my Monday appointment, my Wenatchee doctor asked if I would have the CAT scan sent to them. Can you guess what happens when I ask?
The answer, of course, is "C"... and I ended up begging them to FedEx it for Saturday Delivery (using my FedEx account number) so that it would be there when I arrived today at 8:30am. Turns out they DID FedEx it, but DIDN'T send it Saturday Delivery, so the CAT scan was never there for my doctor to look at. All this effort was just a waste of time and money, because I ended up having to get X-rays anyway.
The Percocet I was given to manage my extreme pain stopped working last night around 9:30pm. By the time this morning's appointment arrived, I was in total agony. For women, I hear that having kidney stones is as painful as childbirth. For guys, you have to envision somebody kicking you in the balls as hard as they can over and over and over again...
Now, keeping in mind that I am doubled over in horrendous pain and barely able to keep from screaming, what do you think the nurse says to me as I am waiting for my doctor to show up...
And, yes, the answer is "C" again. Never mind that I could barely hold a pen, she wanted me to fill out a booklet of stupid-ass questions. The thing that really kills me is that it never even occurred to her that she could read the questions out loud and write down my answers for me. When I say "I don't think I can fill it out right now," her solution is to set it in my lap and bail. Lovely.
Anyway, eventually my doctor comes in and presents me with two choices...
Given the pain I was in, I actually considered the old "laser up your penis" trick... until I realized that it involved SHOVING A LASER UP MY PENIS... at which time I went for the pills. And that was that. The doctor's assistant came in and shot me full of drugs. The pain subsided in about 15 minutes. I got my prescriptions filled. I went back to work.
Life goes on.
Posted on Thursday, April 2nd, 2009
Work has been all-consuming as of late, which meant the "Travel Planner" email from the airline came as a bit of a surprise when it landed in my inbox this morning. So here I am packing my suitcase while desperately trying to get those last-minute details handled before flying out tomorrow. Same as it always is.
I may not have time to comment very often anymore, but I'm reading more blogs than ever and have been absolutely fascinated with just how strange things seem in the blogosphere lately. It's like Spring hit on March 20th and everybody decided to do something to mark the occasion. Some bloggers in smaller ways than others, but the changes are happening everywhere I look.
And all I got were these lousy kidney stones.
Which still haven't passed, which means I will be more medicated than usual for the flight to NYC in the morning. Having already experienced what it's like to be in agony at 20,000 feet, I am in no hurry to go through that again. Fortunately, these new pills I got are a miracle in the bottle, because most days I forget there's even something wrong. Viva la pharmaceuticals!
Everybody fly safe...
Posted on Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
I stopped taking all the pain medication I was prescribed because my kidney stone has apparently disappeared. This is a real mystery and has me wondering where the heck it went, but I'm so happy that I'm finding it hard to care. Unless, of course, it is just hiding somewhere temporarily and comes back again. The sneaky bastard.
The problem is that the medication was masking the daily aches and pains that I usually have from my joint problems, and now they've all come back. This is a major bummer, and has given me an entirely new appreciation of drug addiction. Who wouldn't want to have a pain-free life, after all?
Of course, given how shitty "life" is now-a-days, I've also been given an entirely new appreciation of alcoholism. Who wouldn't want to live oblivious to all the world's fucked-up problems, after all?
Of course, given that it's difficult to hold a job when you're popping pills and drowning in alcohol, I've also been given an entirely new appreciation of gambling addiction. Who wants to work when they can just win money for free, after all?
Of course, given all that drinking, drug-abuse, and gambling, I've also been given an entirely new appreciation for Depends Brand Adult Diapers. Who wants to haul their drunk, drugged-up, broke ass off the sofa to go to the bathroom, after all?
So the next time you see me hanging around in a diaper all stoned, drunk, and begging for cash, well... now you know why...
It's because I want my life to be perfect and pain-free.
Posted on Thursday, April 9th, 2009
This was pretty much my entire day today...
Coming home and finding out my internet was down made it suck even harder.
Can't. Catch. A. Break.
Posted on Friday, April 10th, 2009
The small Eastern Washington town I live in is quite the back-country paradise.
Not that this is a bad thing, it's just that it does present its challenges from time to time. Today it was while driving through downtown.
An awful lot of people around these parts drive pickups. And not just any old pickups... huge-ass pickups with king cabs and extended beds on them. Massive metal monstrosities that are way longer than any parking space will ever be. And yet they still shove their giant rides into those parking places because there's nowhere else to park. Problem is... their asses are sticking out into the street and you have to swerve to avoid running into them.
But what happens when two cars on opposite sides of the road are trying to swerve at the same time? Something like this...
On my way home I very nearly got into an accident with another poor bastard trying to avoid a king cab extended bed truck on his side. Fortunately we both managed to slam on the brakes in time, or else my day would have taken a very different turn (heh heh heh).
At first I was rattled... but then I noticed there was a gun rack in the back window of the pickup I was swerving to miss, and found that funny for some reason. I guess nearly running into somebody makes everything funny, assuming you don't actually hit them.
Life is a series of near-misses, and I'm sure there's a Jeff Foxworthy redneck joke in here somewhere.
If only I had the necessary inbreeding to see it.
UPDATE: Carol says the joke I was probably thinking of was the title of Foxworthy's book "You Might Be a Redneck If... Your Bicycle Has a Gun Rack. She could be right, though Foxworthy has had a lot of redneck jokes about gun racks, pickups, and inbreeding over the years, so I can't be sure. Or maybe I'm just insane and will laugh at anything.
Posted on Monday, April 13th, 2009
After a long and very difficult day, all I wanted to do was pick up a bag of lettuce and some cheese I needed for the dinner I was planning, go home, eat, and go to bed. Simple, right?
Of course, nothing is nearly as simple as you'd think it would be. Not these days.
There I am in the cheese aisle at the grocery store looking for a bag of medium cheddar shreds. But all the cheeses are mixed up, and I'm having a hard time finding what I want. As I'm searching, I hear two women talking loudly nearby, but ignore them. At least I do until something runs into me.
So I turn to see that one of the women who is pushing a plastic shopping cart made to look like a truck for kids to ride in has bumped into me. Except her kid is not actually in the fake truck, but instead buzzing around the two ladies. Thinking that I was run into accidentally because the woman was trying to manage her child, I ignored it and went back to searching.
Until I am ran into again. This time harder.
So I look up and suddenly realize that she was not running into me by accident. She is running into me intentionally because she wants me to move.
"ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?" I say, instantly pissed off.
Which results in her unloading a stream of rapid-fire Spanish that I don't understand.
Near the boiling point, I ignore her and say "You ram that thing into me one more time and I'm wrapping it around your neck."
Then I go back to searching for cheese, taking my time and seething with rage. I've heard the phrase "I'm going to cut a bitch" bantered around and always thought it was funny. But if I had a knife on my at that moment, I'm pretty sure I would have cut a bitch for reals...
Seriously, what the hell? Is this where we're at as a society now? I know we've already reached unprecedented levels of rudeness, but intentionally ramming into people with shopping carts? Really?!? People are so lazy that they can't be bothered to park their cart and walk over to what they want... now they just run into people so they don't have to be bothered?
Well that's just fine.
I can only hope that I remember to leave my knives at home from here on out, or I guess I'm going to end up in prison for manslaughter sooner rather than later.
Posted on Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
Yesterday was freezing rain and hail. Today was flawless blue skies with not a cloud to be found.
And yet it was today I found out a data backup with some critical files was corrupted. This kind of defeats the purpose of a backup, so now I'm trying to find a way of keeping a backup to my backup. That should be loads of fun. Almost as fun as filing my taxes, which I finally got around to doing today. Every year I am more and more amazed at how unbelievably complicated they make it to pay taxes (with or without teabagging). Even with tax preparation software prompting me every step of the way, it was still much more difficult and painful than it should be.
Oh well, it's all over now.
Until next year.
Posted on Thursday, April 16th, 2009
This morning I woke up with a searing pain running from my neck into the left side of my chest and all the way down into my torso. Apparently I pulled a muscle or pinched a nerve in the middle of the night. The ache was so bad that it was triggering something in my digestive track that made me feel like I had to poop all day long (even though there was nothing in me to poop). Compared to a kidney stone, the pain is laughably tame, but it still makes for a very uncomfortable day. I can only hope that this is something that heals quickly, because it would be nice to be able to move again. I'd take some of the hard-core drugs I've got left over, but didn't want to waste them in case my kidney stones come back.
And speaking of kidney stones, I got the bills for my lovely emergency room visit today. Talk about pain. Even with insurance, the cost is obscenely high. I may have to sell my kidneys in order to pay for treating them.
Irony removeth thy beak from out my heart...
So much for buying a backup for my backup this year!
I've received a few emails telling me that my blog is suddenly displaying hotlink errors for all my graphics. I've no idea what could be wrong, but have been trying to investigate in-between phone calls and dealing with all the work I've got piled up. If anybody is experiencing this, please let me know (and be sure to tell me how you're viewing this site... which feedreader, browser, etc.).
Posted on Friday, May 1st, 2009
The fascinating thing about hanging out with Jenny and her TequilaCon Planning Posse is how much it has altered my life... even though I was only exposed to them for a short period of time. Somehow I've returned home with a completely new vocabulary that made perfect sense in Santa Fe, but which nobody here can understand. I'll start talking to somebody, and they'll just wander off scratching their head all confused.
Just in case it starts seeping into my blog entries, I thought I'd take a minute to define some of the most common new vocabulary which has been permanently embedded in my brain...
POPSICLE or POPSICLE NASTY.
Meaning: Very, very wrong or messed up. Unethical, perverted, or naughty.
Usage: "Wow, good thing I asked to see ID before I rented that hooker... she was only fourteen years old! - That would have been so popsicle!"
Origin: Jenny's infatuation with Family Guy quotes. In one episode, Herbert the pedophile pervert tries to tempt Chris Griffin to his basement by promising him free popsicles.
SHARK EXTREME or SHARKY.
Meaning: Way beyond normal parameters. Eclipsing the extreme with it's extremeness. Badass.
Usage: "I'm not just rollerblading down Mt. Kilimanjaro... I'm rollerblading down Mt. Kilimanjaro shark extreme because I'm doing it naked! Yeah, I'm sharky that way."
Origin: Playing "Apples to Apples" and having to choose whether Hitler or Sharks better define "extreme." Jenny has the full story here.
OHH NAHOOOOOO! ("oh no") or AHY KNAHOOOOOO! ("I know")
Meaning: Disbelief followed by emphatic agreement.
Usage: "OHH NAHOOOOOO! TequilaCon 10 is going to be in Wasilla, Alaska!" — "AHY KNAHOOOOOO!"
Origin: That would be Jenny's addiction to Family Guy again... this time it's quoted from Bruce.
Meaning: Something terrifyingly evil. Beyond scary.
Usage: "Holy crap! Dick Cheney just shot somebody in the face and then laughed while he took away their health care! Now that's Zombie Dog cold!"
Origin: Driving back from Taos, Jenny made the mistake of slowing down when she saw some dogs near the road. This sign of weakness was all they needed to attack, but not before psyching us out by staring at us with their cold, dead eyes.
Meaning: Unbelievably cool. Mind-blowingly awesome.
Usage: "Dave's blog is so viper! I can't believe he doesn't charge us to read it."
Origin: Jenny's conversation with her seat-mate on the flight to Albuquerque. She's got the whole story here.
Meaning: Stinky. Smelling bad.
Usage: "I was going to have the broccoli casserole, but it was all used cowboy so I got the cheese sandwich instead."
Origin: Do you know what happens when you pack four pairs of used cowboy boots into Jenny's sealed van in 90-degree heat? You get a very smelly van that reeks of used cowboy.
And now I think I'll try to get some sleep because I am shark extreme tired.
Posted on Tuesday, May 5th, 2009
I am not a big fan of when people blog about their medical problems. Not because I think it's boring or stupid or anything... it's just that I find the inner workings of the human body to be "icky" and don't like to think about that kind of stuff.
Especially when it comes to talking about my own medical problems.
Because somewhere along the way "puss" or "mucus" or "bile" or some other kind of nastiness is just bound to creep into the conversation, and I'd really prefer not getting into it.
But I am not having a very pleasant evening, and the situation is all I really have to blog about right now. So rather than leaving a blank entry, I thought I'd find a way to discuss matters in a way that's not going to gross anybody out.
A metaphor, if you will.
Let's say that you built a new greenhouse where the plants require special water. Highly filtered water, you might say. So you build a nice system where dual filtration units remove all the impurities, then pass the filtered water off into a bucket. The bucket in turn feeds a massive nozzle which you then use to spray your plants...
The key to comprehending this system is understanding just how massive the nozzle is. It's enormous. Firefighters are in awe of just how big it is. You could hose down an entire football field plus a team of cheerleaders in just five minutes (assuming you didn't want to take your time, of course)... because that's how astoundingly large this nozzle is.
Unfortunately, the tubing you bought to feed the system is way too small. It's also very soft, and easily ripped if anything sharp comes near it. It can also be prone to tearing if you force something too wide through it. And no, I don't know why. Maybe you spent all your money on the massive nozzle and didn't have enough left over to buy decent tubes... whatever... it's not important.
What IS important is that the nozzle is just fine. The nozzle works perfectly and can handle just about anything you throw at it. It's the tubing which is totally inadequate to the task here.
Because, oops! Every once in a while the filters let a particle slip through. This causes all kinds of agony, because those little tubes just aren't built to handle it. Eventually, it will most likely make its way through the system, but it's a painful process. The worst, most horrifying part is in the tubes leaving the filters and depositing into the bucket. These are the tubes least able to cope with the damage. You get something going through here and you become so traumatized that all you want to do is burn down the entire greenhouse.
The tube from the bucket to the massive nozzle is uncomfortable, but nowhere near as painful. Which is where I'm at now...
Not at all agonizing, but scary nevertheless. Having a particle stuck here feels like you have a little razor blade about to run through your nozzle. It also makes you feel like your bucket is full all the time. So you spend your entire day running to the greenhouse even though your bucket is mostly empty. What time you don't spend at the greenhouse is spent in quiet discomfort, just waiting for the particle to finally exit your filtration system so you can get back to a normal gardening experience.
And I would really, really, like to get back to normal so I can start my next trip without having to worry about my massive penis nozzle.
Posted on Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
I have been having a really tough time keeping up with my life lately. It seems as though every minute of every day is accounted for, and there's just no room to breathe. Even the tiniest setback has massive consequences, and it's driving me insane. This morning I had an unexpected phone call that lasted 20 minutes. Before I knew it, I'm two hours behind with no way of catching up. At this point I honestly don't know whether to laugh or cry.
Thanks to the diminishing flight schedule out of my tiny local airport, finding good connections to East Coast flights out of Seattle is almost impossible... both coming and going. Unless you like a 6-hour layover, which I don't. This means a drive over the mountains, which is not a big deal except I'm so tired that the 2-1/2 hour trip is paramount to torture. Not that I have any choice.
Originally, I was supposed to meet up with a friend to go see Wolverine. But the reviews for the film haven't been the greatest. Add that to the complete failure of Spider-Man 3, X-Men, X-Men 2, and the horrendously shitty X-Men 3, and I just couldn't do it. Why risk spending my precious little free time stuck in a theater watching something that totally blows?
So I decided to wait for Wolverine on DVD and have dinner with my sister instead. That's a guarantee of time well-spent.
After a fantastic dinner and a quick game of cards, it was off to the airport. But first I had to stop for disinfectant wipes (SWINE FLU! OMFG! SWINE FLU!!). I also wanted to pick up a book to read since I left the one Vahid gave me back home. Barnes & Noble Books was on the way, so I thought I'd dash in real quick and grab a new sci-fi paperback.
The rest of this entry has been rated R for profanity and other naughtiness...
When I go to a library to check out a book, I expect that the books there will have been previously read. That's the nature of a library, after all... a bunch of used books that everybody shares.
When I go to a book store, however, I fully expect that anything I purchase will be in new condition. I am, after all, paying full price for the merchandise they sell.
After all this talk about Dune in my blog lately, I decide it might be a good idea to re-read the original book by Frank Herbert. There was one copy available. I pull it out and discover that the cover is mangled and the spine is bent open at several places. It was painfully obvious that the book was used, not new. I skip over a spot and there's an over-sized 40th anniversary edition of the book. It's $10 more, but at least it doesn't have somebody's swine flu all over it. I open it up to see if there's a special introduction or something for the anniversary edition, and instead find dirty fingerprints on the title page. I skim through the book and notice that there are smudgy fingerprints scattered throughout the entire book. Just like before, it's been used.
What the hell?
Is Barnes & Noble cheating people by selling used books as new? How can that be?!?
And then I see it.
Throughout the store, there are big comfy chairs and tables.
These chairs are where people sit down with huge stacks of books and magazines so they can spend all day reading them. These chairs are where new books are turned into used books.
I. Am. Furious.
THIS IS A FUCKING BOOK STORE YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES... NOT A FUCKING LIBRARY! PEOPLE ARE BUYING THESE BOOKS THAT YOU'RE STINKING UP!
Well fuck that. And fuck the total losers that don't know what a fucking library is. And especially fuck Barnes & Noble for encouraging people to turn their new books into used books by having all those lounge chairs and tables everywhere. And fuck Barnes & Noble again for then selling their used books at full price. In fact, fuck chain book stores in general for being so stupid that they cater to those who don't buy shit instead of paying customers.
I mean, seriously... what is the fucking point of having chairs and tables everywhere in a fucking BOOK STORE?!?
Paying customers aren't going to be sitting down and reading books for free... no... they're going to buy their books then go home and read them there. Or on a plane. Or on a cruise ship. Or where-the-fuck-ever. And if paying customers aren't going to be using all those chairs, THEY SHOULDN'T BE THERE!
I am fucking done with these book stores that don't give a shit that their customers have to buy USED books.
Guess I'll just have to pick something up at an airport kiosk.
WHERE THEY DON'T LET PEOPLE READ YOUR BOOKS!! ARRRRRRGH!!!
Posted on Wednesday, May 13th, 2009
And I'm back home again!
Where it's cold and rainy and there was snow falling on both mountain passes for the drive home. Quite an adjustment from the big basket of hot that I had in Savannah and Orlando.
But the good news is that I finally passed the boulder that's been working it's way through my greenhouse plumbing for the past two months...
And speaking of painful blockage...
Am I the only one who feels that unless Ex-Miss-California Carrie Prejean starts doing porn, I don't ever want to see or hear from her again? She keeps whining about being punished for freedom of speech. Did the government throw her in jail for saying something when I wasn't looking? She was in a fucking beauty pageant! WHERE THEY JUDGE YOU FOR WHAT YOU SAY (and how good your breast implants look). Unless the police arrested you for saying what you said, or prevent you from speaking in the first place, YOUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS STILL INTACT YOU STUPID BITCH!! YOU HAVEN'T BEEN "PUNISHED" FOR SHIT!!
Ooh! I'm cranky tonight! I guess the kidney stone wasn't responsible for everything that's wrong with me...
Posted on Thursday, May 14th, 2009
Today when I turned in my kidney stone for analysis at the clinic, the nurse took one look at the massive size of it and said "Wow. I'll bet that was no fun to pass!" What I wanted to say was "Nah, it was a total party in my penis." What I actually said was "It was agony. It took two months, and I was having to travel most of that time." This got me a sympathetic nod, though I doubt she really understood.
And how could she? My days and nights spent in a pain-killer-induced haze while trapped in an airplane at 35,000 feet isn't easy to relate to unless you've done it. You're in agony, so you dope up on pills before the flight. Then you climb on board and pass out. All of a sudden you've landed in a strange city and have to figure out who you are and what you're doing there.
This is particularly scary when the strange city you find yourself in is your home town.
Of all the shopping experiences to be found online, Amazon is probably my favorite. They just seem to get everything right.
Which is why I was shocked to find that they could fail so badly.
I went to purchase a gift certificate as a "thank-you" gift, and was given these three options:
I decided to go with the email gift card, because it would be delivered immediately, and that way I wouldn't have to send a separate email with my thanks. Amazon would take care of two birds with one stone. Easy.
But not really.
After four hours, I had not received a confirmation that the gift had been sent. So I logged into my account only to find it had NOT been sent. Wondering if I had missed something, I went back to the gift card section to verify that I had read what I thought I read...
So I wrote to Customer Service asking them if they knew what "immediate" meant, and eventually get a reply...
Greetings from Amazon.com.
Please accept our apologies for the slight delay in processing your order.
It is always important for us to hear how customers react to all aspects of shopping at Amazon.com.
Due to the amount of your gift card order, we need to manually obtain authorization from your bank for processing this transaction.
We expect to send your gift card order shortly.
We will of course send you our usual e-mail confirmation to let you know when the order has been sent.
The amount of the gift card was $200. Not a tiny amount, sure, but they make it sound as if I was sending Fort Knox. This kind of pissed me off, so I fired back a reply...
Slight delay?!? It's been SIX HOURS now and my email gift card which was promised for "immediate delivery" has STILL not been sent!
I'd say the gap between "Immediate" and "Six Hours" is a lot more than a "slight delay."
This is very disappointing, especially considering I wrote to Customer Service with the problem and nothing has been done to remedy it. I sure hope you change the wording on your gift cards from "Immediate Delivery" to something else, because "immediate" is a gross exaggeration of reality.
"immediate: occurring, acting, or accomplished without loss or interval of time: instant."
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online
All this got me was yet another email telling me that the amount of my gift card would require 12-24 hours to process because they needed to get manual authorization from my bank before they can send it. From what I can tell, it took two days.
I was willing to overlook the problem, because it's possible the person designing the site didn't have the right information... but I emailed and told them it was wrong. They know there's bad information on their site. But when I go back to the gift card page at Amazon, it still says "immediate delivery" with no asterisk or disclaimer of any kind. They didn't correct the error. Apparently Amazon doesn't give a flying fuck that they are still lying to their customers.
And so... I guess won't be ordering from Amazon anymore, much as I like their site and service.
How can I, knowing that they deliberately lie to their customers?
Posted on Monday, May 18th, 2009
"I never meant to hurt you" she said as she turned and walked to the door. "I never meant to hurt anybody."
And she was gone.
A part of me wanted to believe her, but rational thought eventually triumphed. In truth, she probably didn't set out to hurt me. She just didn't care. That's all that really mattered, but my mind surged onward in hopes of finding deeper meaning where none existed. My hand instinctively wandered up to my chest in a sad attempt to feel if my heart were broken. Again. Breathing deeply now, all I feel is the scar tissue of past traumas. A little battered... a bit bruised perhaps... but life beats on.
Time passes yet I sit unmoving. Let the world run forward into its uncertain future, I will have none of it.
Here in the past I am safe.
This pain will heal. Eventually. Why should I seek out a new heartache to replace it?
Shouldn't I be more careful?
Shouldn't this be enough?
I wonder if that girl from the mini-mart is seeing anybody?
Dave's Crappy Life Journal — 1993
Posted on Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
Umm... yeah... where to start.
Somebody I haven't seen or spoken to in over fifteen years tracked me down and gave me a call. After pleasantries were exchanged, we started chit-chatting about the good-old-days. About ten minutes into the conversation a bomb was dropped that left me (literally) speechless. It turns out a mutual acquaintance of ours ran into some trouble which eventually snowballed way out of control. The tale had everything... passion... drugs... sex... crime... money... revenge. It was like a prime time soap opera... but with real people I actually know.
After several rounds of me saying "You're kidding, right?" and "No shit? Are you serious?!?" the conversation eventually wound down and we said our goodbyes.
Now, I've been around. I've seen and done a lot of cool stuff all over the globe. But my adventures positively pale in comparison to this guy. He not only lives life to the fullest, he kicks it in the testicles while doing so. Compared to him, I might as well be locked in a monastery somewhere.
I don't know why, but this bothers me.
It's not like I'm dying to trade places with him or anything... it's just that, for the first time in a long while, I'm feeling regret about some of the choices I've made. I'm looking back and thinking "my life would have been more interesting if I had only done things differently."
I suppose it's never too late to change course, but I'm just not wanting to do that at this point in my life.
Okay, maybe I do know why this bothers me.
Posted on Thursday, May 28th, 2009
Greetings from the Bat Cave.
There are so many of the little guys hanging around my neighborhood lately that it kind of feels like a Bat Cave. Every evening I crack my window open for some cool air and can hear them flapping around outside. I thought that bats were inaudible to humans, but I'm definitely hearing some kind of squeaking going on as well (I'm assuming it's not birds, because it's so dark out).
I love bats. In addition to being cute as hell, they eat insets by the bajillions... even a small bat can consume hundreds of mosquitos an hour. As if that wasn't enough, bats were the inspiration for one of the greatest super-heroes of all time: The Batman!
Cute baby fruit bats photo taken from a story at The Daily Mail
I mostly feel sorry for bats since they have an unwarranted reputation for spreading disease and sucking people's blood and stuff. Because of this, people try to kill bats and destroy their homes. That's really too bad, because bats are actually pretty harmless to humans. On the contrary, bats are so beneficial to have around that the Organization for Bat Conservation actually encourages people to purchase nifty bat houses.
Awww... it's kind of nice that they put a bat symbol on the outside so that bats know they're welcome to go inside and make themselves at home...
Bat-Jacuzzi is sadly not included
Sadly, many bats are in danger of becoming an endangered species because the places they live are being polluted or destroyed. As an important part of our ecosystem, this is bad news for both bats and humans.
But there's a way you can help! Become a member of Bat Conservation International. When you join up, you'll get a free subscription to BATS Magazine, a quarterly publication filled with cool photos and articles about our fuzzy, guano-producing friends.
Posted on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009
I am planning an escape. Who's with me?
Posted on Thursday, June 4th, 2009
It is thundering so loud the windows are shaking. It's a nice compliment to the rain pounding on the roof. I have no idea where this weather came from, but I kind of like it. Except for the temperature, which is stuck at 92° and way too hot for my tastes.
I'm not much of a Sims "life simulation" fan, but decided to buy The Sims 3 for my iPhone anyway. It'll give me something to do when I'm next stranded at the airport. It's surprisingly good. Shockingly good even. They made it a much bigger world that I'd have thought for an iPhone app. If I ever have time to play with it, I think it will be a lot of fun...
Creating a Dave2 Sim... He's geeky hot, like Alfalfa minus the rooster-tail.
Dave2 Sim Trying to Stay Clean... And, yes, I shower with my boxers on.
Dave2 Sim is Chatting Up the Ladies... How you doin'??
Dave2 Sim Around Town... Looking for a bank to rob.
Three days until I leave town. I'd best try to get some work done before I go...
Posted on Friday, June 5th, 2009
I am pretty much clueless when it comes to rhetorical questions.
I just thought I'd put that out there. This way, if we ever meet, there won't be an uncomfortable moment for you when you say "How are you?" and I respond with a ten minute dissertation on that strange burning sensation when I urinate. Or when you say something like "Why me?" and I give you a lecture on how God really doesn't like you very much, and your current plight is probably because The Almighty is punishing you for all that sinful masturbation.
It's a tragic character flaw, but at least now I know that I have a problem with rhetorical questions.
There was once a time that I was clueless about being clueless about rhetorical questions.
But all that changed one day thanks to my friend Oliver.
Olver is a very cool, very British, former co-worker who is incredibly fond of saying "Well that's not right, now is it?" when faced with a situation gone wrong. He says it constantly. There'd be a pickle on his sandwich when he asked for no pickle... "Well that's not right, now is it?" A print-out would be smeared with ink... "Well that's not right, now is it?" A woman with an unfortunate haircut would walk by... "Well that's not right, now is it?"
With most people, this would be annoying as hell, but when spoken with Oliver's posh English accent it never got old.
Apparently what was annoying was my constantly answering Oliver whenever he said "Well that's not right, now is it?"
Because one day when Oliver said "Well that's not right, now is it?" after the wrong text was placed in a document... I replied with "No, it most certainly isn't right!" and Oliver shot back with "THAT WAS A BLOODY RHETORICAL QUESTION! OF COURSE I KNOW IT'S NOT RIGHT!!!"
All I could say was "Oh, sorry!" and admit to myself that I have a problem.
This was only reinforced today when I was getting help at the drugstore and a very smelly woman waiting behind me mumbled "How much longer is this going to take?" Apparently I was asking too many questions about the right kind of splint to buy for my sprained finger.
Given my smart mouth, I really shouldn't have answered that particular rhetorical question...
Posted on Saturday, June 6th, 2009
Last Saturday I was wandering through beautiful sun-drenched parks, playing mini-golf, drinking Jäger shots, and eating really bad Mexican food.
This Saturday I spent every last minute inside a dark room glued to a glowing computer screen, desperately trying to get caught up with work before I have to leave on Monday.
If there's a better example of karma in action, I don't know what it would be...
More of the same. More of the same.
Posted on Wednesday, June 10th, 2009
Tonight I had to eat at McDonalds for dinner because it was the only thing open once I got back from a high school graduation ceremony. Dinner at McDonalds sucks ass for vegetarians because about all we can eat is French fries and an apple pie. That would be awesome if I was 16, but now it just guarantees a night of gastroenterological distress.
This is the first graduation ceremony I've been to in over 20 years and nothing has changed. As I was listening to the cheesy speeches with all the appropriate empowerment buzzwords ("BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!"), it occurred to me that if you took every student graduation speech from every school in the USA and analyzed them, they'd all have the exact same words... just shuffled around in a different order. I suppose that there is only so many ways you can say "THE FUTURE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT!" which is going to make any kind of sense.
Oh well. Congratulations to the Class of 2009! If you made it to graduation, you managed to limit your drug and alcohol use enough to pass the sub-standard requirements from our failing education system... so best of luck to you!
Meanwhile, the pussification of America continues...
I learned something at graduation that disturbs me greatly. The school had co-principals. The class had co-presidents. I'm guessing the cheerleading squad had co-captains and the football team had co-quarterbacks. Remember when there was a winner and a loser and that was it? It was just like life. Except now it's co-everything because striving for mediocrity is the best we can do. "Co-President" and "Co-Principal" is so much easier than having a subordinate "Vice President" and "Vice Principal" because responsibility is divided up and pushed around so nobody loses.
I don't know what this bodes for the future, but it can't be good.
Posted on Friday, June 12th, 2009
It's getting to the point that I can't stand to attend public functions because there's bound to be people there.
And most people suck.
Today I attended a conference with other people and came very close to having to kill them all. It started with the dumbass who came in late then sat next to me eating an apple. I didn't pay good money to attend this shit so I could listen to an asshole chomp an apple while somebody is speaking. Then I nearly had to kill the two idiots behind me who were talking the entire time. And don't get me started on the bitch wearing fifty bracelets who was clanking and jingling every time she moved... which was often, because she was taking notes and flipping her hair every ten seconds.
It's this kind of inconsiderate bullshit that causes me to become homicidal. People PAY to attend conferences so they can learn stuff. But you can't learn stuff when you can't hear anything because people won't shut the fuck up and stop being a distraction.
It makes me want to hold my own conferences.
With an attendance of just one person... ME!
Unfortunately, the fee to attend such a conference would be a lot more money than I got.
Psycho Cat sez...
The good news is that once I blow this popsicle stand, I'm off to my sister's house.
It's party time.
Posted on Monday, June 15th, 2009
It was just another one of those days of trying to contain a bunch of shit before it hits the carpet...
Posted on Thursday, June 18th, 2009
Before I left for Seattle last week, I sprained my right-hand ring finger. Not only did it hurt like hell, but I am having to wear a splint on it for the next couple months to avoid getting a mallet finger. Next week I'm hoping to find time to visit the doctor and make sure I don't need surgery or physical therapy (which would make a sucky situation even suckier).
But why stop there? On Tuesday I pulled a muscle in my back. About the only thing I can do to avoid pain is to lay flat and not move. This is highly impractical, because driving a car requires one to sit up. And so I spend my days doped up on pain-killers while attempting to find a sitting position at my desk which won't bring me to tears.
But why stop there? This morning as I was attempting to get into my car with as little back-trauma as possible, I smacked the side of my head into the door frame. The hit was so hard that I fell into my seat stunned and seeing stars. Suddenly my back didn't feel quite so bad. Something tells me that this is a headache that will be around for a few days.
But why stop there? Limping along with my splinted finder, aching back, throbbing head, and in a pain-killer-induced haze, I managed to step wrong on my foot tonight while climbing stairs. So now I've got a sprained left ankle as well.
Well, I've still got hips that are in pretty good shape, so I'm guessing I'll be run over in the street tomorrow morning so I can get me a fractured pelvis.
If everything happens for a reason, I'm sure there's some kind of master plan at work here.
Or I'm being tortured.
Either way, I'm assuming that I've got a rough couple of weeks ahead of me.
Posted on Monday, June 29th, 2009
Today as I was driving home, I stopped to let a little gangsta' cross the street. Well, he wasn't an actual gangsta', he was just dressed up in gangsta' attire with the over-sized T-shirt, over-sized pants, and a crooked baseball cap that I'm guessing still had the merchandising stickers on it. This was surprising to me, because I thought the whole "gangsta'-wear" fad for lil' crackers had gone out of style a couple years back... but there he was, running across the street in front of my car.
You can see where this is going...
In what can only be described as a Moment of Zen, his pants slid down to his knees before he got to the other side. Not missing a step, he pulled up his pants, then continued to hold them up as he ran down the sidewalk.
It's one of those things that you think you'd see all the time, but never actually see at all.
Miracles really do happen every day.
Posted on Thursday, July 2nd, 2009
Posted on Friday, July 3rd, 2009
As I was driving home, I saw a sticker that said "Miami" in the back window of a car I passed. This got me thinking of CSI: Miami and how much I loathe that show because David Caruso is one of the Worst Actors on the Planet (Shia LaBeouf hasn't stolen the title from him... yet). I then got to thinking how the ultimate torture would be to watch an episode of Inside The Actor's Studio where James Lipton did a retrospective of all the shit that David Caruso has squeezed out in his career. This got me to thinking about a totally forgettable movie he did after leaving NYPD Blue with the actress from Mad About You. Except I couldn't remember her name. All I could come up with was "Linda Hunt" except she was Shadout Mapes in the movie version of Dune.
Things like this drive me crazy.
Eventually I got stopped at a train crossing. This gave me an opportunity to pull out my iPhone, call up the Internet Movie Database, and find out that it was HELEN Hunt who had the grave misfortune of starring with David Caruso in Kiss of Death...
I don't know that I will ever get used to having such unprecedented constant access to the massive store of information on the internet.
A part of me thinks it's a bad thing. Eventually I would have remembered Helen Hunt on my own. But the internet has made me lazy and impatient, so I took the easy way out. And my memory is probably suffering because of it. What does this mean for future generations? They won't know of a time when people didn't have constant access to the internet... hell, they'll probably have a connection implanted in their brain or something. Or whatever passes for a brain once they're all shriveled from lack of use. Why bother remembering anything except how to breathe when the internet does it for you?
I'm surprised that I remembered to blog today.
Not that anybody would have noticed. The blogosphere has been eerily quiet lately.
Posted on Thursday, July 9th, 2009
My finger, which became deformed when its tendons were snapped several weeks back, has straightened out pretty good now. I've been faithfully wearing a splint to keep it flat, and it seems to be paying off. I doubt my digit will ever be as flexible as it used to be, but at least it looks quasi-normal.
Or will look quasi-normal once I can take my splint off in six more weeks.
In the meanwhile, I get to keep wearing this massive bundle of steel and Velcro...
To be honest, I barely notice it anymore. Even when typing, my brain has re-mapped the letters I typed with it to other fingers, so it's not a big deal. About the only time it bothers me is when I go to wash my hands and have to go to the hassle of taking it off and putting it back on again.
The problem is that other people notice it.
Usually, it's just to ask "What did you do to your finger?"But sometimes it's worse. Like today after work when I went to pay for my groceries at Safeway and the cashier jumped back once she grabbed the money out of my hand. Apparently, she thought my splint was a bug. It's been a while since I've worked retail, but I don't recall people ever handing over insects with their money, so I'm guessing this is a new thing.
So now I'm self conscious about my splint... trying to hide it from people and using my left hand when I have to interact with them. Since I'm right-handed, this leads to even more embarrassing situations so I guess I just can't win. But it beats people thinking that I have a bug infestation problem, so what can you do?
NOTE: I was going to draw a DaveToon here where a giant cockroach is peeking over Lil' Dave's shoulder, but I freak out when I see creepy insects. The idea of Googling pictures of roaches, cutting one out in Photoshop, then compositing it with a DaveToon is enough to make me want to pass out. So instead, I put an ice cream cone back there...
Just picture the ice cream as a cockroach, and everything will be fine.
Posted on Saturday, July 11th, 2009
Today I was supposed to work, but couldn't make it because I awoke with a splitting headache which made me so ill that I was fighting the urge to vomit all morning. I'm not sure what the problem is, but I had to make severe changes in my diet at the request of my doctor, and it's been wrecking havoc with my system.
So, in-between dry-heaves, I set about sorting through twenty years of memories that have been stacked up in boxes. It mostly photos, post cards, travel souvenirs, and maps... but occasionally I run into other cool stuff. Like money. I found $46 in US bills scattered amongst the crap I've collected. Not to mention what probably amounts to hundreds of dollars in expired foreign currency.
My main goal is to track down any loose negatives that might be hiding so I can get them scanned. Otherwise, I'll miss the opportunity to see such gems as these (which were scanned in my last batch)...
Clockwise... That's me in a tux at my good friend's wedding. Me in Hawaii circa 1986. Me at the top of Petronas Towers (Kuala Lumpur) circa 2000. And me being all business-casual in Tokyo circa 1990.
Rummaging through crap for hours wasn't doing my headache any good, but it's all worth it because every once in a while, I run across something like this...
That's me and my sister, circa 1987. If I remember correctly, we had finished off all the alcohol in the apartment except Yukon Jack Whiskey and some kind of Bailey's Irish Cream knock-off. Not knowing what else to do, we mixed them together and did shots.
Googling this horrific concoction, I now know this drink actually has a name... it's called a "Yukon Jackoff."
That sounds about right.
And so I made it half-way through my memories today and was very happy to learn that most of them are actually worth remembering.
That's kind of a nice thing to have happen on a Saturday, isn't it?
Posted on Monday, July 13th, 2009
I was recently forced into a conversation with an old acquaintance. And when I say "forced" I don't mean that there was a gun at my head... it's just that it was a conversation neither one of us wanted to be having. We were never on the best of terms, but have always been civil those rare times we run into each other. When it comes down to it, we simply have no interests in common, no reason to be friends, and there's nothing wrong with that on either side.
Anyway... the topic of the conversation was a mutual friend who has gotten into some serious trouble lately. It's all a sad situation brought on by a number of converging factors that I won't go into... but suffice to say the poor bastard has been assaulted on all fronts, and is not dealing with it well.
As I sat there listening to the long list of terrible things going on with a friend I no longer recognize, I couldn't help but wonder where my breaking point is. What would have to happen in my life to make me toss everything out the window? How much crap would it take to send me over the edge?
I honestly don't know, but I'll bet it's not as much as I'd like to think it is.
And I'm okay with that, but only because I have to be.
Once my old acquaintance was done updating me on all the latest horror stories in our mutual friend's life, there was an uncomfortably long pause... as if he was waiting for me to come up with a solution to fix everything. But instead I just said "Yeah, that's too bad." and "I hope everything works out." Not because I don't care or don't want to help, but because I honestly don't know how. These problems are so far outside my ability to grasp that I can only guess alien abduction, voodoo, super-powers gained from a nuclear accident, and one million dollars would be required to solve them.
As I sat there in silence with the phone glued to my ear, wishing I was an extra-terrestrial witch-doctor super-hero millionaire, I realized that our combined helplessness finally gave us something in common...
"I could stop by for dinner in-between my next two trips if you want."
"Thanks, but you don't have to do that."
"No... I think I will. Besides, a new Hard Rock Cafe just opened up in town, and I've been looking for an excuse to visit."
"Oh. Okay. We should go then."
Nothing like mutual helplessness and despair to bring people together.
Why isn't this world a much closer place?
Posted on Tuesday, July 21st, 2009
Today I paid $6.49 for a bag filled with two cups of slivered almonds. The shock still hasn't worn off, because that's nearly $16 per pound. By shopping online, I could get the exact same thing for $6 per pound. This sounds like an incredible bargain, except shipping and handling charges end up being about $10 which means I'm right back where I started. Things like this drive me insane when I think about it, so I am very careful to turn off my brain when I go to the grocery store. Apparently everybody else is doing the same thing, which is why everybody is wandering around in a zombie-like haze.
This is a good plan, assuming you turn your brain back ON when you get to the parking lot.
Today I found out that most people do not do this, resulting in zombie drivers...
This was made clear to me as I watched two cars gunning towards the exit at the same time... each completely ignoring the lanes painted on the pavement. It was quite distressing because I was in the proper lane to exit the parking lot, which meant I had cars coming at me from both sides.
The first car arrived on my right. The driver was apparently very impatient, because they honked their horn at me while I was looking to make sure no traffic was coming. This caused me to become instantly enraged for two reasons... 1) It was unnecessary and rude. 2) I WASN'T THE ONE WHO WAS IGNORING THE TRAFFIC LANES!
I reached for my gun, but then remembered that I subscribe to Buddhist precepts which forbid me from owning one, so there was no gun to be found.
So instead I ignored the asshole and exited the parking lot. Which was just as the second car arrived on my left. This caused another round of honking as two cars... both ignoring the traffic lanes... attempted to exit at the same time. To make matters worse, a car arrived wanting to enter the parking lot, but couldn't get in because the two cars were blocking her. I didn't stick around to see how it all worked out. For all I know, they are all still there honking at each other.
It is getting to the point where I hate... hate... to drive anywhere because it's wall-to-wall dumbasses everywhere you go. Everybody seems to have their brain turned off, and so it's just not fun (or even safe) anymore.
So you can imagine how thrilled I am to be making the three-hour drive to Spokane tomorrow.
Posted on Friday, July 31st, 2009
And so now I'm in Atlanta where it's hot and wet, but not in a good way.
Despite eating a very early dinner so I could get caught up with my life, I still have 44 unread emails. Even though I just spent two hours mucking around in my in-box. Such a severe lack of progress (I'm only down 34 from 78 I started with) is really depressing. What's even more depressing is that four of the emails were all related to a rather shocking incident that a friend of mine was involved in. Everybody was all "Holy crap, have you heard this juicy bit of news?" And even though I had heard it, it still seemed so wildly out of character and impossible that I decided to do something unprecedented...
I called the person directly and asked what the hell had happened.
Turned out that none of the information in the emails was true, and my friend was in complete shock over hearing what they had supposedly done. Apparently it was all a case of somebody hearing something and passing it along to somebody else who then passed it along to somebody else until suddenly idle gossip had become fact.
Even though it really wasn't.
Modern day communication is very, very scary that way.
Eventually my friend (the one accused of all the insanity) wrote an email of their own that they sent out to their entire address book. It was very smart, clever, and funny... even going so far as to include photographic evidence to refute the crazy accusations. As if that wasn't enough, there was a list of people with phone numbers so that anybody who didn't believe them could call witnesses who were actually there to refute the stuff people were saying.
But the best part was at the very end...
"Even though this rumor turned out to be false, I'm sure everything else that's being said about me is 100% true."
But of course.
I'm sure it's the same for everybody.
Posted on Tuesday, August 4th, 2009
Posted on Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
And so here I am back in Spokane.
I just got back from having The Best Pizza on Earth, but even that wasn't enough to compensate for the crappy 3-hour drive over. Or the balls-slow internet here at my hotel (seriously, my iPhone is faster than this). The only thing that keeps me from going postal is that the shitty internet is free. Because there's nothing worse than having to pay for shitty internet.
Except maybe having no internet at all.
Though, if I didn't have internet, then at least I would have a decent excuse for not answering all the emails overflowing from my inbox. Instead, I have no excuse except to say that I am thoroughly exhausted.
That really should be enough, but the guilt lingers.
Guess it's time to get back to planning some much-needed life changes.
Sadly, none of which involve my becoming an astronaut. I said "much-needed" not "much wanted."
Posted on Thursday, August 6th, 2009
Instead of driving back home today, I ended up having to stay another night in Spokane. At first I was going to use this as an opportunity to go see a movie, but there was nothing playing that was compelling enough to lure me to the theater. Instead I decided to catch up on work. Sure it's not much fun, but I am so far behind that it seemed the smart thing to do.
Especially since there's a pretty big thunderstorm brewing outside.
In addition to work, I've also been catching up with news...
I was very saddened to learn about the passing of John Hughes. His ability to portray high school life in the 1980's was dead-acurate, and resulted in some of the best films of my generation. You didn't have to look too hard to find yourself in his movies, which is what made them so compelling. The back-to-back triumph of Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club would be enough for any writer/director to live off of for their entire career. But he followed them up with Weird Science and Ferris Bueller's Day Off which only served to cement his genius. His writing career was equally prolific, giving us such gems as Home Alone and Vacation. Few filmmakers reach the level of John Hughes, and I thank him for his contribution to some of my favorite cinematic memories.
SAM THE KOALA
Speaking of loss... today was equally devastating for animal lovers because Sam, the famous koala who became the poster-bear for the plight of animals affected by the horrific Victorian bushfires that raged in Australia. Sadly, Sam managed to recover from her burns, but ultimately succumbed to chlamydia, a disease that is ravaging the koala population with a 50% infection rate. I ended up buying the official photo of Sam for my office wall, where she inspires me to persevere over setbacks in life that our outside of my control. How sad that she eventually perished despite all her strength and will to survive. Something else we can learn by, I suppose.
Speaking of chlamydia... when you are so fucking insane that the Queen of Fucking Insane calls you crazy... shouldn't that be a major wake up call? I mean, come on! ANN COULTER has come out and said that Orly Taitz is off her fucking rocker, and yet this bat-shit crazy media whore is still popping up like a herpes outbreak everywhere you look. Her obsession with making a case for President Obama not being an American citizen is bordering on mania, and I expect it's only a matter of time before she's committed. You would think that the overwhelming evidence to the contrary would be enough to deter the dumbass, but it only seems to spur her on. Since this is America, it's fully her right to speak her peace, present forged birth certificates as authentic, and say whatever stupid shit she can dream up, but at some point don't you just have to point and laugh? I mean, seriously... ANN COULTER SAYS SHE'S A CRANK!! At first I found her entertaining. Now I just find her scary. Somebody needs to take off the tin-foil conspiracy hat and fake eyelashes and get some much-needed mental help.
Though I suppose Orly Taitz is still a shade more sane that Rush Limbaugh, whose infatuation with Bill Clinton's penis is approaching truly disturbing depths. I can only guess that when Rush isn't theorizing what's going on with Clinton's penis that he's fantasizing about having it for himself. It would sure explain a lot. Like the playground schoolgirl who keeps beating up the boy she professes to hate because secretly she's in love with him, Rush just can't leave Clinton alone. Add that to his hardcore stance against gay marriage (when his three divorces show that straight marriage works so well for him) and all the pieces seem to fall into place. Denial, Rush... it's not just a river in Egypt.
Speaking of disturbing depths... now I suppose I really should get back to work.
Posted on Tuesday, August 11th, 2009
Today I went to the dentist for my 6-month cleaning and check-up.
Which I hate.
But probably not for the reason you expect. It's not because I'm terrified of the dentist. It's not because I don't like people sticking metal tools in my mouth. It's not because I'm especially sensitive to dental work. It's not because I am afraid they'll find something wrong. It's not because I neglect my teeth. It's not because I forget to floss. It's none of those things.
It's because of the grit.
I hate the grit.
At the end of the cleaning (which is really no big deal, because I brush and floss regularly) they want to "polish" your teeth using a hideous mixture of fluoride paste, nasty flavoring, and some kind of abrasive grit. Grit that they can never entirely rinse away, leaving you with a horrific grit residue that scritches against your teeth when you bite down. And even when it dissipates after an hour or so, the gruesome memory of the stuff lingers for days.
At least it does for me.
I am freaking out right now just typing about it.
I would rather have a full-on root canal... hell, I'd rather have a tooth pulled... than to suffer through that gritty crap. That's how much I hate it. I'd even rather brush my teeth with baking soda, and I think we all remember how much I hate that...
I have no idea why getting grit on my teeth torments me so badly, but it does. If I'm ever captured by the enemy and they want me to spill secret information, waterboarding isn't necessary. Threaten to put that gritty crap on my teeth and I'll tell you whatever you want to know. On more than one occasion I have asked if I really need to endure the polishing and they always tell me that I do. Maybe they think that I'm joking at how badly it freaks me out. Maybe they refuse to believe that it's a big deal. Maybe they think that I'm lying when I say I'm traumatized by it. Maybe they think I'm just a big baby. Whatever the case, apparently this is a necessary evil for proper dental maintenance, and all my teeth will fall out if I don't subject myself to it. I honestly don't know. All I do know is that I really really hate it.
Perhaps I should just let my teeth fall out and switch to an all chocolate pudding diet. Sounds like a win-win scenario to me.
Posted on Tuesday, August 18th, 2009
After finally dragging my ass to bed at midnight, I got a whopping three hours of sleep before I was wide awake again. Needless to say, this blows. With nothing better to do, I decided to see if any blogs were updated and check my email.
My first email was a notice telling me that the itinerary for my upcoming Denver/Salt Lake City trip had changed... again! Since I made the reservation on May 1st, I've received itinerary changes on May 16th, June 7th, June 13th, July 22nd, August 3rd, and now August 18th. Nothing major, but with seven flight segments, it's a pain in the ass to try and figure out what's changed each time. MAKE. UP. YOUR. MIND!
The next email was from ScanCafe telling me that they had scanned another batch of my old photos and I need to go online and review which ones I wanted to keep. Sweet! That's almost worth losing sleep over!
Probably my favorite photo of me ever taken is this one...
Half-asleep... messed up hair... hanging out in my underwear and tiger slippers... it's as if nothing has changed in 40 years.
I never noticed until now that this was just one in a series of awesome photos from Halloween at 19 months...
Damn, what a cute baby I was! Seriously, I'm like a pedophile's wet dream I was so adorable!
How is it that I never ended up in movies and television commercials?
I totally blame my parents that I'm not a drug-addicted former child-star living in some Hollywood back-alley waiting for my shot at a humiliating reality television show. Why couldn't I have reprehensible parents who whore their kids out for money like Jon and Kate? What good is it being one of the cutest babies ever if I wasn't exploited for cash?
I really do need to find me a new pair of tiger slippers. It's so totally a good look for me.
Posted on Wednesday, August 19th, 2009
Still looking through old photos I'm having scanned and running across all kinds of interesting stuff. The 1960's and 70's were an absolutely bizarre time for just about everything. Especially fashion. Nothing fascinated me more than all the insane clothes that everybody wore back then...
I honestly cannot tell if this Valentine's Day photo is cute... or just incredibly creepy. The blow-up dolphin certainly looks innocent enough, but his freaky smile is hiding something. Can you imagine the Stephen King moment of waking up in the middle of the night and seeing that thing staring back at you? =shudder= On the other hand, this is probably the most sane, rational clothing I ever wore in my early childhood, so it's hard for me to not to appreciate the photo itself. I can so totally rock stripes.
This is me dressed up in authentic Native American clothing, but adding a cowboy hat to make a fashion statement for peace and the acceptance of different cultures. Or cultural stereotypes... I haven't quite got that figured out. But hey, I'm a baby here... all I really care about is whether my diaper makes me look fat in this jumper... not whether the embroidered knife and tomahawk in my faux "Little Chief" belt are politically correct.
And here I am in stripes again... chilling like a Sears Catalog model. Originally I had a cigarette in my hand, but thought it best to Photoshop that out. Showing a two-year old smoking in the 1960's might have been perfectly acceptable, but today that's considered "wrong" for some reason. Shortly after this photo was taken, I decided to give up my pack-a-day Marlboro habit so I could put the money towards shoes.
How is it that pants like this were ever in style? I mean, I know it's 1975 here and so things are bound to look a little dated by today's fashion standards, but seriously... holy crap!
Probably more interesting to me here is not the clothes, but the toys. The Six Million Dollar Man doll was probably one of the coolest toys ever made. When you turned his head and pumped the button on his back, his bionic arm would ratchet up, allowing him to lift all kinds of things... including the plastic engine block they thoughtfully included in the package! He also had a bionic eye that you could use by looking through the hole in the back of his head... AND you could roll back the "skin" on his arm to reveal bionic circuitry which could be plugged into his "Bionic Transport and Repair Station" (shown, sold separately).
"The Magic Hat" toy was something else entirely. It was made of hard plastic (so you could never actually wear it) and had all kinds of secret compartments and nifty tricks you could do. And by "nifty tricks" I mean "crappy tricks that wouldn't fool anybody"... but don't tell my 9-year-old self that! In 1975, this was the most amazing toy ever! At least it would have been if it included a real rabbit to pull out of the hat... but the closest thing they had to offer was a rabbit scarf. Lame!
I'll spare you the photo of me and my brother in giant sombrerros. Sometimes Memory Lane can be a scary, scary place.
Posted on Thursday, August 27th, 2009
In oh so many ways the human condition is as fragile as it is fallible. This wouldn't be so bad if it could be rationalized, quantified, and explained, but the reasoning behind why we're so damaged and flawed remains a mystery. Fortunately, we also have more positive traits to balance things out... such as determination, strength, and resilience. It's a good thing too, because life would be pretty miserable otherwise.
Some people focus entirely on the negative so their lives really are miserable. And that's fine, because we've all been there. And I make no judgement, because people should be entitled to feel how they want to feel.
People who decide to focus entirely on the negative all the time tend to rub off on us, contaminating our peace and throwing our lives out of balance. This toxicity really should be avoided for the sake of our mental well-being, but to do so is looked upon as a bad thing. Avoid a friend when they're being all toxic, and you're the bad person. Avoid a toxic family member, and you're being a bad relative. Avoid a toxic blogger, and you're the elitist asshole.
And I get it. You shouldn't be abandoning friends, family, and fellow bloggers when they're going through hard times. But that's not what I'm talking about. Because the process also works in reverse. Your positivity can rub off on them, and restore their peace and put their lives back in balance. Not only that, but it's also a decent thing to do for someone you care about.
There is a limit. There should be a limit. Because some people have no intention of ever letting go of their negativity no matter how hard you try to pull them away from it. At that point, when you realize that there is absolutely nothing you can do to help them, your self-preservation has to kick in. Otherwise, you become mired in their negativity and risk losing yourself in their toxic world. And you know what? At that point... where you've done your best and tried your best and been your best... it's okay to finally step away. You were there when they needed you. You did what you could. You sacrificed what you had. It's time to let go.
Because, in reality, it is they who are abandoning you. And if people want to label you a bad person... or a bad relative... or an elitist asshole... all because you choose to escape with your sanity, then so be it. There's nothing you can do about that either.
Reclaim your life, embrace the positive, stay in balance, and move forward.
Life would be pretty miserable otherwise.
And so I try.
Until I was filling out a hotel reservation tonight, and ran across this tragedy...
How disappointing! There's no "Lord" in that list. I want to be LORD DAVID SIMMER II, dammit!
Or, more accurately, OVERLORD DAVID SIMMER II.
Though I would settle for HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS DAVID SIMMER II.
Or maybe MASTER COMMANDER DAVID SIMMER II.
Or something simple like DICTATOR FOR LIFE DAVID SIMMER II or SAVIOR DAVID SIMMER II or even DEMI-GOD DAVID SIMMER II.
Alas, I had to settle for "Captain David Simmer II" because none of my preferred titles were available. This is just me trying to stay positive in the face of those who would seek to destroy my peace with their negativity.
Posted on Friday, September 4th, 2009
And so here I am in Sin City. I've been a lot of bizarre and strange places, but all of it pretty much pales in comparison to the bizarre and strange stuff you see in Las Vegas. Limos with hot tubs in the back... people puking on the street... half-naked partiers on the sidewalk... gamblers sobbing inconsolably... drunks EVERYWHERE... it goes on and on. Some might say this parade of non-stop debauchery is the ultimate expression of humanity's downfall. I just think it adds to Las Vegas's already considerable charm.
My day began very, very early as I drove to the airport at 4:00am for my 6:00am plane ride. From there I had three quick back-to-back flights which deposited me in Vegas around 11:00am. I packed light to avoid Horizon Airline's STUPID FUCKING $15 LUGGAGE FEE, which allowed me to skip baggage claim and head directly to my hotel.
After checking in, I played the slots for 15 minutes before winnings $200. Yay me! This money got pocketed, leaving me $62 of my original $100 daily gambling budget (which I would eventually lose, netting me out at +$100 for the day).
I'm guessing that was all the luck I'm gonna get this trip. But you never know.
I cashed out my winnings and headed out to have some drinks with a good friend and his wife whom I haven't seen in nearly seven years. That's when the magic began, as we headed out into the wilds of The Vegas Strip. We started out at The Excalibur where I decided to go out and people-watch while my friends played the tables...
In wandering around the South end for a while, I came to the inescapable conclusion that a lot of people... a lot of people... come to Vegas to fight. Every 50-feet I ran into people yelling about something. One drunk woman was causing a major scene as she screamed for her boyfriend/husband to "GIVE ME SOME MONEY!!" over and over and over again. Next I'd see two people yelling over who's turn it was to buy cigarettes. More than a couple of times I overheard people fighting over where they wanted to go next. A particularly nasty brawl erupted in front of the MGM Grand Casino because, from what I could gather, one guy slept with his friend's girlfriend and was freaking out because the guy who got cheated on was threatening to tell the guy's mother on him. This might have been funny, except I'm guessing the guys were in their late 30's or early 40's.
In an attempt to get caught up on the USA Hard Rock properties I haven't visited yet, I dropped by the new cafe on The Strip (leaving only the new Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma remaining)...
After joining back up with my friends and losing $50 at blackjack, the three of us decided to eat a late dinner at the original Hard Rock Cafe Las Vegas, located in front of the Hard Rock Hotel...
The hotel's casino is where I decided to blow my last $12 in nickel slots before we started doing Jäger shots at the bar. Oddly enough, it took well over an hour to lose my remaining money... even at MAX BET. They really know how to drag things out in Vegas... but it doesn't really matter, because the house always seems to win in the end. At least they're patient about it.
My friends were staying at Paris Las Vegas, so we decided to take the shuttle back to the MGM Grand and walk back to their hotel. I didn't have any gambling money left, but my $100 in winnings was quickly consumed in alcohol-related expenses along the way...
Yes, that's right... it's Mr. Morality Himself, Donny Osmond. I find it oddly satisfying that this self-righteous ass is more than happy to tell people how to live their lives according to his beliefs with his lobbying against gay marriage... and yet here he is, right next to his twice-divorced sister advertising at a venue where pole dancers are shaking their ass to beckon people inside the casino to smoke, drink, and gamble (all three of which I'd imagine are also against his beliefs). I guess Donny's moral superiority can be yours... IF the price is right.
But I'd imagine that would hold true for a lot of people in Las Vegas.
*My morals can be rented for very favorable hourly rates. Long-term leases also welcome!
If you're not afraid of bugs, there's more to today's post in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
Work on my blog templates continues. If you notice any issues, please leave a comment. If you can't leave a comment, please send me an email (my address is in the sidebar of every page) so I can try and get it fixed. Thanks!
This morning I was awakened by leg cramps from being too cold. Something happened to the weather while I was gone, forcing me to break out some blankets for my bed at 2:00am. I guess this means summer is over, and I'm kind of sad about that. All I can think about is all the things I wanted to do that never happened this year. Now there's no time left... the days are flying by, and it's going to be 2010 before we know it.
I'd make plans to put everything off until then, but that strategy didn't work out too well when I tried it in 2008.
Apparently, I'm in a losing battle with time...
But, then again, I guess that's a battle nobody ever really wins.
Except zombies, of course...
If there's a benefit to being undead, that would be it.
Well, that and all those delicious brains you get to eat
Posted on Thursday, September 10th, 2009
My morning routine is a rather complex series of events which is based on a number of "What-If" scenarios. Such as if I wake up and can't move because my joints are messed up, I then have to take pills so I can function properly. But these pills can trigger an idiopathic angioedema swelling attack... usually in dangerous or uncomfortable places.
Like the bottoms of my feet, which ballooned up with painful welts that made walking and driving a difficult and agonizing experience this morning. A massive dose of antihistamines helps some, but it still takes a serious chunk of time for the swelling to subside. In the meanwhile, I am having to hobble around in pain all day long. Not a fun time.
As of 10:00pm tonight, my feet are still in pretty bad shape, so I am taking some serious drugs which will probably have me passing out any minute now.
I'll see how far I can get...
I received a rather interesting comment about my rant yesterday from somebody accusing me of being "anti-Apple" (oh the sweet, sweet irony). I would have gladly published it... except they used a couple of slurs which I refuse to publish on my blog. The gist of the comment was that my "tirade" against MobileMe was unjustified, and I "obviously haven't been using it lately, because it performs flawlessly." This is laughable for a number of reasons, one of which being that I use MobileMe several times a day to sync information between my various Macs (when it feels like syncing anyway). But mostly it's bullshit because iDisk is a complete and total piece of crap which has NEVER worked. Here's an example...
Today I bought a couple new iTunes songs on my work computer. I wanted to transfer them to my laptop when I got home, so I thought I'd drag them into my iDisk where they'd be waiting for me. Except dropping the first music file in my iDisk immediately made The Finder drop to its knees and become unresponsive. After ten minutes, I decided to give up and restart the Finder. Except this is what I got halfway through the process...
Game over. MobileMe's iDisk was able to crash the Mac's Finder file system so thoroughly that it couldn't even be restarted. A complete reboot of the entire computer was required. And this is not an isolated incident. This is an easily reproduced problem that happens ALL THE TIME for no apparent reason. So I am not talking out of my ass here. When I say MobileMe is a flaming pile of shit, it comes from experience.
And, in happier news, have you seen the latest images to come from the Hubble Telescope after it was updated and refurbished? Holy cats, it's beautiful stuff...
I could literally stare at stuff like this all day long. Thank you NASA for using some of my tax dollars in a way I whole-heartedly approve of. I look forward to many, many more incredible images from Hubble.
And now the drugs are starting to kick in, which means I should probably stop blogging before I hurt myself.
Posted on Saturday, September 12th, 2009
Many years ago I rescued a plant that somebody had thrown in the garbage at work. He was kind of an odd thing, because he had been planted in a hole that had been drilled in a piece of lava rock. He was also pretty sickly-looking with only three yellow-ish leaves stuck to a crooked twig.
But I felt sorry for him sitting all alone in the trash, and figured that any plant that could survive living on a rock deserved a shot. So I rescued him, then started nursing him back to health with plant vitamins. I also bought some wire and sticks in an attempt to straighten out his stem. After a couple of years of tender loving care, he actually ended up looking pretty good. I named him Cooper, and he's sat on top of my filing cabinet ever since.
Over the years Cooper has had to put up with some pretty heinous treatment.
I've gone on trips and forgotten to water him. I've knocked him off the filing cabinet. He even had to suffer through the Winter of 1997 when somebody turned the heat up to 90-degrees in an attempt to melt the snow off the roof. But Cooper is a survivor, and always manages to pull through.
Yesterday he had his worst day since being tossed in the garbage.
I went to the water cooler to get a glass of water and ended up grabbing a handful of Cheez-Its along the way. When I got back to my office, I remembered that I'm going on vacation for a week, so I thought I'd share my water with Cooper so he'd be okay while I was gone.
As I was packing up to go home, I noticed something odd...
Apparently I ended up drinking the water and dropping my remaining Cheez-Its into his bowl instead. And while I would never question the fantastic nutritional value of Cheez-Its for humans... something tells me that they don't have the same benefits for plants.
Fortunately, I noticed my stupidity and was able to remedy the situation. Cooper is now Cheez-It-free, well-watered, and ready for a week of alone-time.
But what in the heck does this say about my mental state?
I must really, really need this vacation.
Posted on Friday, September 18th, 2009
I don't believe in luck.
That being said, I have been incredibly lucky all-around on this trip. Landed in Juneau... POURING RAIN! But then it stops just in time to trek on the Mendenhall Glacier. Arrive in Skagway... POURING RAIN! But then it slows to barely a drizzle when it's time to raft through the Chilkat Eagle Preserve. Floating through Glacier Bay... POURING RAIN AND IMPENETRABLE MIST! But then, just as the ship arrives at the Margerie Glacier, the sun breaks through and we have perfect visibility. And then this morning, dock at Ketchikan... POURING RAIN AND MORE MIST! But then, after a half-hour or so, it pretty much stops.
As I said, unbelievably lucky.
And then there was today's excursion, which was a float-plane flight to Neets Bay to look at bears...
And then I got so unfuckingbelievably lucky that I should probably buy lottery tickets immediately.
Because usually on nature sightseeing trips, there are odds that you won't get to see any wildlife at all. I booked the earliest bear-watch tour I could get since I was told the odds were better in the morning, but even that was no guarantee.
But I was lucky, again, because there were bears to be seen. And it was pretty much as I expected. Little bears off in the distance, looking for food...
What I didn't expect was to see a bear up close...
I certainly didn't anticipate being just 30 feet away either...
And I about shit myself when I saw bears just 15 feet away...
So you can imagine how I nearly lost all control over my bodily functions when I saw a momma bear and baby bear in a tree just 10 feet overhead...
As I said, unfuckingbelievably lucky. Having a Bald Eagle show up as I was leaving was just icing on the cake...
Then the float-plane arrived to take our group back to Ketchikan... where the rain started pouring again...
Maybe I should start believing in luck after all.
Posted on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009
I'm in a little bit of a snarky mood tonight.
And that's making it tough to blog, because saying what's actually on my mind would bring me nothing but trouble. Especially since I ran across some reeeeeaally juicy information about a total asshole who has been badmouthing me to cover his own ass. So now I'm in the unique position of being able to humiliate somebody who totally deserves it, all while eliminating a thorn in my side at the same time. But, alas, I'm just not evil enough to press the button. Sure I like to try evil on occasion... but I don't think I'm ready to turn pro and go full-time...
So I hold my peace.
Take the high road.
Be the bigger man.
The better person.
The nice guy.
And try not to regret that I'm not more evil. Because how will I ever conquer the planet if I can't crush my enemies?
In other news... there's an interesting observation over at Ain't It Cool News...
CW darling "Gossip Girl" pulled 2.1 million total viewers last night, while the final season of the CW's "Veronica Mars" averaged 2.5 million viewers three seasons back.
So The CW cancels Veronica Mars, one of the best shows ever to air on television, and is now doing worse in the ratings with their hottest new show. Well, good. It couldn't happen to a nicer network.
Oooh. I'm more than just a little snarky tonight!
Posted on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
For over a year now I've had some problems reading things up close and working on my laptop any time it's higher than my actual lap. Things then to go a little blurry, and I thought it might be because my eyes were deteriorating. So I bought a pair of reading glasses and use them from time to time... usually when my eyes get tired. But they're kind of a pain in the ass when I'm used to wearing contacts, and have even been responsible for me almost dying.
So this morning when I went in for my annual eye exam, I asked about it.
My doctor says that my close-up is actually pretty good, and it really shouldn't be necessary for me to go bi yet (as in bifocal glasses). But, in order to humor me, she let me try a pair of these nifty new contact lenses that are magical and all multi-focal and stuff. How they work is actually very cool, as each lens is "zoned" for different functions...
How my eye figures out where to look through each lens is a total mystery to me, but Bausch & Lomb has a cool demo to explain the logic. All I know is that they really work, and I am hopeful that I can get used to wearing them because they are just that sweet.
Now all I need is a flying car and my life will be complete.
Posted on Saturday, September 26th, 2009
Today as I was driving home from work I saw some dude urinating on the side of the road in plain sight.
I honestly didn't know whether to pull over and shake his hand for such brazen disregard of public health and safety laws... or grab the tire iron out of my trunk and beat him to death for being such a disgusting pig. Not wanting to end up diseased or in jail, I instead laid on my horn as a sign of my contempt and drove onward.
When things like this happen to me, I'm convinced that I've somehow become trapped in a game of The Sims and some god-like gamer is throwing bizarre, absurd, and repugnant stuff my way for sheer entertainment value. Except I'm not amused, so it must be for their entertainment and not mine...
If I'm going to be trapped in a game of The Sims, why couldn't I have been made an astronaut?
Or at least something a little more exciting. Like a gynecologist... or a porn star... or even a mad scientist? Instead I get a guy peeing on the side of the road?
Life can be so cruel.
Even if it's simulated.
Posted on Tuesday, September 29th, 2009
It has been one of those days where nothing went right.
I was hopeful that things would improve once I finally got home tonight, but that was just wishful thinking.
I feel buried.
Fortunately, I'll be leaving soon so I can escape from it all... for just a little while, anyway.
Posted on Monday, October 5th, 2009
"Let me get this straight. You're traveling half-way around the world... for a party?"
Lately I've been reconnecting with some of my former high school classmates on FaceBook. It's been kind of fascinating to me because we've never been close as a group, even though some of the close friendships are still intact. Case in point: our 25-year Class of 1984 reunion fell apart before it ever got started this year. It's sad, but not a big deal to me because I undoubtedly would have been traveling and couldn't go anyway (just like our 10-year). But we all served time together in the public school system so there's a common bond there that can't be broken no matter how hard we try.
So far as I know, only two of my graduating class are blogging. One of them is me. What this means is that I'm pretty easy to track down, even though I'm not so much tied to my "real name" but my "online identity" of Blogography. All it takes is a Google search and there I am. And now that I'm connecting on FaceBook it's even easier to find me because I'm linked to a bunch of former classmates there.
And this is where it gets interesting. Because my blog entries are duplicated on FaceBook as "notes."
It's interesting because my blog is highly superficial, as I don't talk about work, family, relationships, or anything I consider to be "personal." So while people from my past can find me easily enough, they can't really know me online. This is a paradox to be sure, and lately I've been trying to grasp what it must be like for old friends and acquaintances to stumble across my online life.
And let's face it, the online version of my life is pretty bizarre.
To say the very least.
This was driven home last Wednesday when one of my former classmates wrote and said "Let me get this straight. You're traveling half-way around the world for a party?"
Answering this question in the affirmative just raises more questions, namely "You're traveling half-way around the world to stay with random people you met on the internet?!? Are you crazy? And there's no real way to explain that to somebody who isn't involved in a blogger community and still appear sane. Believe me, I've tried.
Though, even if you remove blogging from the equation, it doesn't make much difference in my case. I once flew to Copenhagen for just 9 hours so I could attend a birthday party of a non-blogging friend. I guess I am crazy like that.
At some point you have to stop trying to explain your life and just live it.
I guess I'm there.
Posted on Wednesday, October 7th, 2009
I've certainly done my share of stupid things. Surprisingly, not all of them can be blamed on alcohol.
My latest bout with moronic behavior came when I gave a second chance to somebody who didn't deserve it. Extending second chances is highly unusual for me to begin with, but in this case it was particularly idiotic because I knew better. My inner voice was screaming that I was going to get screwed, but I ignored it and let common sense fly out the window. All because I'm trying to be less cynical and dared to hope I was wrong. All because I was counting on being wrong.
But I wasn't wrong.
So I got screwed. They got screwed. Other people got screwed. It was a virtual suck-fest of screwage.
And, technically, it's all my fault for stupidly believing somebody had changed.
When deep down I knew they hadn't...
So now I don't have time to be messing around with a blog because I've got to attempt to repair a situation that is pretty much unrepairable... hoping against hope that I'll be given a second chance for daring to have given a second chance to somebody else.
Glad I'm not the one making that decision.
Posted on Friday, October 9th, 2009
I really need to get some sleep one of these days.
This morning I finally finished going through the thousands of photo scans waiting to be approved. Most of what remained were pictures from when I was young, and that's always fun. It's interesting to see how so many things in my life haven't changed all that much, even from when I was a baby.
My adventures with toothpaste were not always tragic...
The reason I am terrified of clowns becomes clear once I saw the scary-ass clown doll I was given... DEMON EYES! IT HAS DEMON EYES!! KILL IT! KILLLLLL IIIIIT!
Ride 'em, Tiger...
I don't know why I stopped wearing red suit jackets. They totally work for me...
That's a HUGE package you've got between your legs, Dave...
My what a BIG wick you have between your legs there, Dave...
Wow that's a MASSIVE hose you've got there, Dave...
My obsession with monkeys started at an early age...
Growing up Dave...
And now I need to get working on a very long weekend before I have to fly out again next Tuesday.
Something tells me I am not going to get that sleep any time soon.
Posted on Monday, October 12th, 2009
Ever been so overwhelmed and full of dread at the thought of facing another day that you secretly hope the earth explodes while you sleep so you don't have to?
Yeah, that's pretty much me tonight.
Just look at it... our small blue world... so fragile... hanging in space there... waiting...
Posted on Tuesday, October 27th, 2009
Ooh! It's a day in the life of Dave2!
Last night I arrived at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport around 11:30pm. I was exhausted from traveling for over 12 hours, and was in no mood to mess with a car rental, but since I had to drive out at 6:00am I didn't have much choice. After getting my stall number from the Hertz #1 Club Gold board, I made my way to the car, tossed my crap in the back, sat down, grabbed the keys, went to start the ignition... and noticed my "keys" were not keys at all. They were some kind of magical transmitter that communicated with the car. Turns out I had been given a Nissan Altima Hybrid, and all I needed to do was have the "keys" inside the car and press the "start" button...
Photo taken from a nice review at About.com.
From there it was only a short drive to the Aloft Hotel at Arundel Mills.
SIDE NOTE: I love, love, love Aloft Hotels. I'm usually a Hilton Whore, but any time I find an Aloft where I'm staying, it is my absolute first choice. Very nice rooms at very nice prices, and service that is second to none. This is the fifth Aloft city I've stayed at, and I have nothing but raves for the chain. If I were to build my dream hotel, it would be an Aloft. Highest possible recommendation.
This morning after waking up, getting showered & dressed, and heading to my car... I noticed it was pitch black and raining... hard. Not the best conditions for a two hour drive into Pennsylvania, but I've had worse. Until it started raining even harder and I could barely see the road. Accidents were everywhere, and the extra hour and fifteen minutes I had added "just in case" was gone before I knew it. I barely arrived to my meeting on time.
Fortunately, the return drive to BWI was much easier. I got back around 1:30, worked for two hours at the hotel, then drove back to the airport so I could drop off the Nissan Altima Hybrid (which I ended up liking a lot!). From there... I decided to hop a train down to Washington, D.C. for dinner in the rain. All my photos are from the crummy camera in my iPhone, so you've been warned...
The White House. I thought for sure President Obama would have come out to say hello, but he didn't. Maybe he wasn't home?
The Washington Monument. I love this photo, and titled it "Monumental Construction" when I uploaded it to Flickr.
The J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building. Conveniently located across the street from the Hard Rock Cafe.
The Hard Rock Cafe Washington, D.C. Kind of boring on the outside, but vintage Hard Rock on the inside!
The Embassy of Rock. A very nice dual-level Hard Rock property with plenty of nifty memorabilia.
After dinner, I hopped a train back to the airport. But along the way I somehow decided that I should continue on into Baltimore since it was only 8:00. Fortunately, the conductor was able to upgrade my ticket onboard, and away I went...
Tired of Pants? This is the first thing I see when I arrive at Baltimore's Penn Station. My kind of city!
Klaatu Barada Nikto? The first thing you see when exiting Penn Station is a freaky giant aluminum statue called "Male/Female."
Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore. My iPhone obviously does not do well in the dark.
Inside the HRC Baltimore. Yet another classic, beautiful, memorabilia-packed Hard Rock property.
Guardrails?!? Every time I'm in Baltimore, I'm shocked as hell that there are NO GUARDRAILS at the waterfront! What keeps drunks from falling in? Or kids from goofing off and being pushed in? It's just mind-boggling that nobody has been sued over this yet.
I had thought I was in Baltimore just a couple years ago, but I can't find any record of it on my blog. Maybe I wasn't able to blog about the trip? I dunno. The last time I can verify that I was here was six years ago on a layover to Reykjavik, Iceland. I know I wasn't here in May of this year, because the Baltimore Sun News Building is still standing.
Anyway... I was too tired to track down a light-rail train back to BWI and arrange for a shuttle, so I just bit the bullet and paid the $35 to take a taxi back to my hotel. I still had a couple hours work to get done, so any time saved would be worth the cost.
And that was pretty much my day today. Now it's time to get some sleep.
Posted on Monday, November 2nd, 2009
Not a good day to be Dave2.
If you're sensitive to foul language, adult situations, and abundant use of the "F-word," it would be best to skip this entry.
This rant has been placed in an extended entry to protect the innocent...
Posted on Thursday, November 5th, 2009
You know that feeling when you're in a wide open field with the sky so limitless and all the world surrounds you? Or you know that feeling you get when you're in the mountains where the peaks tower over you and overwhelm your senses? Or do you know that feeling you experience when you're standing in the middle of a big city and the buildings eclipse your every field of view? Or you know that feeling you have when you're out in the ocean with a vast sea encompassing your entire being?
But in a good way.
Sometimes feeling small is what gives a person some much-needed perspective. It is a sign from whatever higher power you believe in that it's not all about you. It gives some critical insight into your place in the grand scheme of things. It makes you realize that there's something bigger... something more...
Washington State offers so many ways to feel small.
But in a good way.
Yet some people here are too busy feeling large to notice. They think their personal perspective can fill the entire world because they refuse to open their eyes and see.
And so they sleep.
To those who are awake... enjoy the view!
Posted on Saturday, November 7th, 2009
My day can be summed up thusly...
That probably doesn't mean much to anybody but, if I was able to talk about some of the stuff going on in my life right now, it would make perfect sense. Or not. Sometimes I don't even understand me myself.
Posted on Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
It was a strange day.
It started with me being backed into a corner with few options. Eventually I had to choose my way out. And though I'm still not sure I made the right choice, I'm so relieved to have escaped the situation that I really don't care. Because when you've had a weight pressing down on you long enough, getting rid of the constant pressure is worth just about any price. I guess I'll celebrate now and worry about the consequences later...
Now I have the pressure of wondering if I made the correct decision hanging over me.
If it's not one thing it's another.
Posted on Wednesday, November 11th, 2009
It's Veteran's Day!
Tonight Applebee's was offering an entrée to all veterans, so I took my mom (US Navy Veteran!) to claim her free dinner. It was a really nice thing for the restaurant chain to do... but the place was packed to the rafters, and most of them weren't veterans. They were just accompanying a veteran (like me, my brother, and sister-in-law). So Applebee's was making out like bandits, probably clearing one of their biggest money-making days ever. I actually think that's pretty cool though. Do something nice, and get something in return... everybody wins!
Which is why a group of friends and I continue to take turns grabbing names from AnySoldier.com and sending care packages to them while they're serving far from home. Soldiers get something that makes their lives a little better, and we get to be the ones who makes it happen... everybody wins!
(With my apologies to the Coast Guard, but I haven't received a name in that branch of service yet!)
A heartfelt thank you to all those who are serving in our military or have served in the past (thanks mom & dad!) and those who have given their lives in service of a grateful nation.
I've said it before, but every day should be Veteran's Day.
Posted on Tuesday, November 17th, 2009
On my way home tonight, I spent the entire trip trying to make other cars explode using the power of my mind.
I know some might consider this to be cruel and hateful, but when somebody is driving 20 MPH in a 35 MPH zone, what else can you expect? When somebody comes to a full-stop at a caution light, what else can you expect? When somebody doesn't take their turn at an intersection stop, what else can you expect? When somebody is blocking the road so they can talk to somebody in a car coming from the opposite direction, what else can you expect? When everybody you encounter on the road is a frickin' moron, what else can you expect?
This is what I keep hoping happens...
Wouldn't that be great?
Just think of how much more fun it would be to drive if you could asplode dumbass drivers on the road?
Of course, none of this would be necessary if I were to get those flying cars we've been promised all these years...
Talking about being able to explode things with psychic powers makes me wonder how much of the population would eventually find themselves asploded because they did something to piss me off. 25%? 50%? 75%? Who can say? It's kind of worrisome to think that I might get carried away and end up asploding 98% of the people on earth. Who would be left to make the chocolate pudding?
Hopefully it wouldn't be raging moron turned media whore Carie Prejean. She is so fantastically stupid that I think I'd asplode her even if it meant I wouldn't get any pudding. I don't know how much longer I can listen to this idiot whine about the imaginary liberal media trying to take away her right to free speech... especially when she's showing up absolutely everywhere talking about it. She's just like every other radical Christian hardcore Conservative beauty queen homophobe with fake boobs, naked photos, dozens of sex tapes, and a new book to sell... a hypocrite who is perfectly happy judging others by her lofty moral standards, but gets pissy when somebody presumes to judge her with theirs. I don't want her to shut up because she's pushing some kind of anti-human, anti-equality, anti-gay agenda... I want her to shut up because she's a fucking dumbass.
How is it that these faux-pious assholes with a "do as I say, not as I do" attitude seem to think that people are dense enough to buy their lies, hypocrisy, and bullshit? Probably because people are that dense, and I have little doubt her book will be a bestseller. People are not only buying the crap she's selling, they're forking over their hard-earned money to do it.
So, no. Nobody is taking away Prejean's right of free speech.
But I really wish they would.
Posted on Wednesday, November 18th, 2009
After work I took a few minutes to hook up the Xbox 360 I bought to play NetFlix on-demand streaming titles. I had purchased a 360 when they first came out, but ended up giving it away to a kid who needed it more than I did (especially since I never have time to play games on it anyway). But when I saw that NetFlix was now available on Xbox Live, and I could get the machine on sale for only $98 new, it seemed like a no-brainer. That's only slightly higher than a dedicated media box, but with extra stuff.
Given that this is Microsoft, the problems happened almost immediately when it wouldn't let me enter my old "GamerTag" because it said my password was wrong. Even though it wasn't wrong. But just in case, I reset the password MULTIPLE TIMES but it still wouldn't let me log-in. The reset works, my email address is acknowledged, but I'm invalid. Typical.
So I created a NEW GamerTag until Microsoft Passport can get their shit figured out. Say hello to Pooferflargen...
Pretty sweet, huh?
I'll give Microsoft credit, their avatar "people" look a hell of a lot better than the freaky-ass avatars you get from the Nintendo Wii...
Which ultimately doesn't seem to make much difference, since I always have more fun playing Wii games anyway. I guess great graphics isn't everything.
Fortunately, the new Xbox purchase was not in vain. It streams Netflix on-demand titles beautifully, and the heavy compression isn't as noticeable as I thought it would be on my television. The only frustrating part is that the program has to "check you connection speed" EVERY FRICKIN' TIME YOU START A TITLE. It takes a lot longer than it should, and you'd think that they'd just remember what your speed was the last time you ran it, but oh well.
Hopefully I'll have time to play with it more one of these days...
Posted on Monday, November 23rd, 2009
Posted on Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
Posted on Saturday, November 28th, 2009
Have I really gotten to that point?
Have I really gotten to the point where I've already blogged about everything?
Because today I was looking through the newspaper ad section and admiring all the freaky new toys that kids are playing with now-a-days. Most of them are very, very different from the toys I played with as a kid, and I thought that would be something fun to blog about. I could come up with 10 toys from my childhood I liked, then list them.
So I made my list, and every thing was fine. Until I was on Google hunting down the last image for my entry, and my search results included a photo from my own blog. A photo taken from an entry I wrote almost four years ago about 10 favorite toys from my childhood...
I had no memory of writing the entry, and found it fascinating that most of my choices were the same.
But not all of them, here we go again...
Photo taken from LUGNET
1) LEGO. What can I say? Lego was number one on both of my lists. It's hands-down my favorite toy of all time, and I love LEGO even to this day. When I started, there were pretty much just bricks. If you wanted a "LEGO person" you drew a smiley face on a brick. Now they've got LEGO people and much, much more. Still the coolest toy on earth.
Photo taken from Museum of Play
2) Atari 2600 Video Game. Remarkably, also the same as four years ago. It revolutionized gaming for my generation. so it's really not surprising. When it came to actual games, I liked Superman, Adventure, Warlords, and Pitfall.
Photo taken from Board Game Geek
3) Games. Somehow I missed this last time, but growing up I loved board games, card games, any kind of game, really. I had a few favorites, of course, but PayDay, Monopoly, The Game of Life, and The Great American Auction Card Game were probably played the most. I wish I had time to play games like I used to.
Photo taken from Complex.com
4) MicroVision. Four years ago I put Nintendo GameBoy on my list, but it really should have been MicroVision... it was the first portable gaming system with changeable game cartridges. And while all the games were pretty crappy, it was a pretty cool way to pass the time in a dentist office. Unfortunately, the game itself was also pretty crappy. I lost count of the number of times I had to tear it apart to glue the on/off switch back in place or fix something that had broken (usually the keypad). My favorite game (if you can call it that) was Star Trek Phaser Strike.
Photo taken from Microman Forever (though I turned him blue, because mine was blue)
5) Micronauts. Not only were they on my list last time, they were in the exact same spot. I collected all of them I could get my hands on, including the absurd "Mobile Lab" which could be reassembled in different configurations... all of them lame. But back then it was about the coolest game in town.
Photo taken from The Big Trak Page
6) Big Trak. This is an odd selection for two reasons... One, I forgot about it on my list four years ago, and Two, I never owned one, my brother did. But I played with it every chance I got. You could program it with a list of moves, turns, and fake laser blasts, and then press "GO" and it would carry out the list. In many ways, it was a very crude precursor to computer programming, and planted a seed that would serve me well later in life.
Photo taken from Retro Thing
7) Vertibird. Another new entry on my list. When you think about it, this is probably one of the most boring toys ever. A tiny helicopter on a stick goes around and round and you get to control its direction and height. The challenge came from trying to get the helicopter to use its hook to "rescue" a plastic man for some reason. And rescue him I did... over and over and over again.
Photo taken from Geek Orthodox
8) Six Million Dollar Man. Dropped five places from my previous list. Having your own personal Six Million Dollar Man with "bionic vision" and the ability to lift a tiny plastic motor is just about everything you want in a toy... isn't it?
Photo taken from Mystery Island
9) Hot Wheels. Also from my past list, Hot Wheels were the "cool" alternative to MatchBox cars. I owned quite a few of them, including the Silhouette "Bubble Car" that's featured on the top of that cool ad I took from Mystery Island. Almost as good as the cars themselves were the freaky yellow-orange pieces of plastic "track" you could build into assorted shapes for racing. I spent untold hours running Hot Wheels on the dozens of racetracks I designed.
Photo taken from Parry Game Preserve
10) GI Joe. And not just ANY GI Joe... the GI Joe with the "life-like hair and kung-fu grip!" Joe was an excuse to do a lot of exploring when I was a kid. Probably because video games hadn't been invented yet.
So there they are... toys I liked as a kid.
If I had to make a list of toys I like now as an adult, it would probably start with my iPhone.
Times they do change.
Posted on Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
Yesterday I finally bought new tires for my car. I couldn't really afford the $500, but it had to be done because I was sliding all over the frosty roads each morning. Sure I could have gotten away with cheaper, but I was unhappy with my previous $380 tires and wanted to be sure I got something that has better traction in the wet. So I went for the best-reviewed all-weather tires I could get, just to be sure my money would be well-spent. My thinking is that you can't put a price on safety, and my first impressions have all been good, so I guess I made the right choice.
Not only that, but new tires are so shiny and pretty!
If only I had a shiny-pretty new car to put them on.
And speaking of shiny-pretty cars...
I was looking through some of my old pictures this evening, trying to find an image I wanted to use for work, when I ran across my photos from a visit to Rome in the year 2000. It was taken on the day of "The Feast of the Immaculate Conception" when the streets were crowded with people waiting for a glimpse of The Pope on his way to put flowers at the statue of The Virgin Mary.
I didn't know what was happening. I thought maybe the Backstreet Boys were in town or something. It wasn't until he actually went past that I figured it out.
I was shooting blind with my camera raised above my head, and this is what came of it...
That's His Holiness John-Paul II there in the red cape and white beanie. Sure it's blurry, but given the surge of the crowd, I'm surprised that anything turned out at all. It's a nice memory, but it only reinforces my desire to one day become the Supreme Pontiff...
I'm probably going to need to get a haircut first.
Posted on Thursday, December 10th, 2009
My blog dropped off the face of the internet, again, this evening. I only just now managed to access it with five whole minutes left before midnight. That doesn't give me much time to blog about my day, but it was rather boring so perhaps it's a blessing in disguise. I attacked the work that's been piling up with the ferocity of a piranha, but barely managed to make a dent. If only I could spend a solid amount of time on any one given project, I might accomplish something... but it just doesn't ever seem to work out that way. Sometimes failure is the only possible outcome, which wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't grown so accustomed to it.
I'll try to do something more exciting tomorrow.
My toenails need clipping, so there's always that to look forward to...
Posted on Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
The winter storm that was promised yesterday finally arrived this morning. It didn't end up being as bad as forecast, but I still had to scrape 5-inches of snow off my car when it was time to go home tonight. Tomorrow is supposed to taper off to "Wintry Mix," which is not as fun as it sounds. The rain/snow combo piles on the streets and makes driving a nasty business. It's all too easy to get trapped by the slush accumulation and find yourself being pulled off the road. When that happens your brakes are practically useless, so your only option is to hold onto your balls, enjoy the slide, and hope you don't end up in a wreck. I'll take snow over "Wintry Mix" any day...
And right now I'll gladly take sleep over insomnia, but I have about as much a chance of that as I do controlling the weather.
If only I had an off-switch, my life would be so much easier.
Posted on Friday, December 18th, 2009
It's a blue bleu blu bloo kind of day.
Blue is my favorite color. I don't find it depressing like some people claim, but I do find it calming. Blue skies, blue water, and blue ice all make me happy. I am disappointed that there's not more blue foods to eat.
Yesterday I brought up Jean-Pierre Jeunet after seeing his Chanel No. 5 commercial. This resulted in all kinds of discussion about French cinema and eventually came 'round to another brilliant French writer/director... Luc Besson. His body of work is such genius that it is difficult for me to decide on a favorite. The Fifth Element? Genius! Leon? Genius! Nikita? Genius! It goes on and on. But it's one of his earliest works that I love most... Le Grand Bleu. Now, here in the USA, the film was retitled The Big Blue and butchered to the point of incomprehension. First they lost the achingly beautiful score by Eric Sera. Then they chopped it to pieces. Then they slapped on a stupid happy ending on it that destroyed the entire point of the film. HOWEVER, if you ignore the shitty US version, the original film is... as one would expect... genius. On the surface, it's a film about free-diving competition. Going deeper, the film is so much more. And while I'm willing to accept that it's not going to be everybody's cup of tea... I think humans would have a much better understanding of living if it was.
Assuming you can ignore the misstep in casting Rosanna Arquette as the love interest.
What surprises me... but not really... is reading all the reviews on NetFlix from the many people who liked the butchered American crap, but hated the restored "Director's Cut" with a passion usually reserved for serial killers (Dexter not withstanding). Apparently, if a story doesn't move at a break-neck pace and gets all tied up with a happy ending, Americans just don't "get" it. Not that this is a bad thing... it just speaks volumes as to the cultural differences that make this world such a fascinating place.
Remember the good ol' days when you bought a fucking DVD. You took it back to your fucking house. Then you put it in the fucking DVD player. Then you pressed the fucking "play" button. THEN YOU WATCHED THE FUCKING MOVIE? Now-a-days? Not so much. Now there's Blu-Ray. Sure it has amazing picture and fantastic sound... but you pay a price for it. You pay with time.
This morning my copy of Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds arrived on Blu-Ray, and I spent my entire day dying to run home and watch it. Finally, 5:00 arrived and I rush home to find... that it wouldn't play. Thanks to the idiotic copy protection bullshit that plagues the Blu-Ray format, I had to upgrade my P.O.S. player to accommodate whatever new "protection" crap Macrovision has dreamed up. It took 50 minutes. So I wait. Then, because the player has to boot up like a computer to decode all the copy protection shit, I wait. Then, because everything takes forever with a Blu-Ray player, I press the button to open the drawer, and I wait. Then I put in the disc, and I wait. Then I press the "play" button, and I wait. Then you have to wait for the disc to load... the menus to load... the button presses to be acknowledged... it's waiting on top of waiting on top of waiting to see if the disc will even play. It sucks. Hard.
What good is the superior picture and sound if you can't play the disc? How much of a wait is worth it? I struggle with these questions every time I go to play a Blu-Ray disc. Bigger, more expensive, slower... is progress?
Because nothing blue could be complete without Bloo!
Posted on Saturday, December 19th, 2009
Odd. I nearly forgot to blog today. So here I am in bed with midnight quickly approaching and nothing to write about. Unfortunately I was sketching all day for work, which isn't something conducive to blog fodder. I need to find a new career which involves explosives and super-models... now there's a blog entry!
The one ray of sunshine in my day was finding out that I don't have to appear for jury duty on Monday (but have to call back again on Tuesday). Yes, I was called to serve AGAIN. This pisses me off more and more each time, because I'm called in constantly, yet there are people I know who have only been called once or twice in their entire lifetime. Heck, I've been called FOUR TIMES in the six years I've had this blog... September 2003, February 2006, May 2008, and now in December 2009 (and at least three times before that). And each time I have to somehow find a way of clearing two weeks off my schedule, which is absurd given that I have a hard time scheduling more than a solid week of VACATION at a time. If I do end up being called in, it will take every bit of restraint I have not to stand up and scream "FUCK YOU, YOUR HONOR... WHERE'S MY JUSTICE?!??"
Except I think you can go to prison for that.
And in prison you don't have access to either explosives or super-models.
Posted on Tuesday, December 29th, 2009
Posted on Thursday, December 31st, 2009
It's the easiest blog post of the year, when I get to re-visit all my entries for the past 365 days and see just how pointless and futile my life really is! Much like last year, a lot of my time was spent traveling. I racked up 164,000 air miles on seven airlines. Unlike last year, I had only minimal flight delays and cancellations, which was a pleasant surprise.
And now the traditional random Blogography snippets of crap from the year that was 2009...
• Admitted I have a Twitter addiction.
• Goofed around at SeaWorld with mah Hilly-Sue in San Diego, where we rode the Buckets of Death, learned to BELIEVE, and joined the cult of Shamu the whale...
Seriously, how cute are we in this photo?
• Was traumatized when Ms. Sizzle and I were sexually assaulted by Etta James at her Seattle concert.
• Was nearly brought to tears at the Nazi Documentation Museum in Cologne, Germany.
• Traveled to the beautiful island of Mallorca in Spain to visit the new Hard Rock Cafe there and see the sights...
• Said goodbye to a friend and learned what is really important...
• Spent a weekend goofing off in Seattle with my BFF Vahid.
• Re-lived my life as one of the Spice Girls...
• Had an absolute blast meeting up with friends in Davedon...
• Back to my favorite city on earth... Davenburgh!
• Had the worst airport layover in the history of airport layovers.
• More blogger meet awesomeness at Dave York...
Dawg and Poppy with B.E. Earl.
Robin, Libragirl, B.E. Earl, Me, and Cissa!
• Tried my hand at some inappropriate Broadway reviews.
• Reveled in the glory that is TequilaCon Santa Fe...
• Expressed my disappointment with the current state of Cracker Jack prizes.
• Explained a problem with my MASSIVE NOZZLE.
• Gave a behind-the-scenes look at the Blogography Show when Whall was a guest...
• Took a trip to Savannah, Georgia and visited the magnificent Bonaventure Cemetery.
• Started up the Lil' Dave and Lil' Wayne MAC VS. PC cartoons...
• Attended the spectacular ConFab blogger event in Lexington, Kentucky.
• Debuted Baby Dave and Naughty Monkey for a guest-post on Anissa's blog...
• Took a look at my wild-and-crazy days of youth...
• Revealed the secret of How to Blog the Blogography Way.
• Joined in on Blogathon 2009 where I live-blogged new DaveToons every half-hour to benefit Doctors Without Borders.
• Ah, the wonder of exploring the biggest rock in the world and the joy of attending Davelanta3...
• Explained the Love Equality Formula and said NOH8 the best way I know how...
• Had the adventure of a lifetime when I guest-posted at Puntabulous...
• Gave evidence as to why I was the most adorable baby ever.
• Another fantastic blogger meet, this time at Daveorado...
• Got to see my favorite band ever, Depeche Mode, in Salt Lake City with WarpedGirl 16 and Marty from Banal Leakage!
• Hit Las Vegas with the TequilaCon Planning Posse for event planning, debauchery, and ELVIS...
• Got to see one of my favorite bands, the Pet Shop Boys, at their Seattle concert.
• Explored my virtual career path...
•Just one word: pooferflargen.
• And then there was the life-altering experience of attending Bitchsterdam...
• Finally got to see the adorable spawn of The Bombshell and The Ninja in SoCal.
• Could there possibly be anything better than three days at Disney World with mah Hilly-Sue?
• I dunno. But swimming with dolphins with Robyn and Rachel comes close...
• And so does a wild night at Avitaween and non-stop pussy...
• Went Hard Rock Cafe hopping in Washington DC and Baltimore.
• Back to Atlanta for time with friends and Freestylin' Coke.
• Not a lot, really. I did write this massive blog entry though.
And that was 2009. Everybody have a safe and happy New Year as we head into 2010, and thanks for reading!