Thursday, August 31, 2006

Die Motherf*cker!

How will we all die, you ask? Well, that’s a good question, and one that deserves to have our advertisement-divided attention for two hours. Thank god for the ABC network.

“The Last Days on Earth” aired last night. A dramatic laundry list of the most catastrophic ways that humanity can meet its final demise. Interspersed between the CGI “Armageddons” were testimonials of what people would do if they learned that the life as we know it was going to end in the near future. Stuff like “If a big asteroid were coming to devastate the planet I’d:”

Spend time with my family.
Take that vacation that I’ve always wanted.
Go on a shopping spree.

You know, important stuff like that. I suppose that I should go easy on these people in the testimonials. After all, they’ve been asked an incredibly dumb question. What the hell difference does it make? Unless you’ve got the money and know-how to build a planet-killing-asteroid-proof bunker…or a new planet, any answer you give is just an exercise in creative writing.

But I would like to see some of these people be honest. Granted, I didn’t watch the entire show, so I might have missed something, but I didn’t see anyone say “If a big asteroid were coming to devastate the planet I’d run around like a fool, throw some garbage cans through a few store windows and loot and pillage like there’s no tomorrow…which, ostensibly, there wouldn’t be.”

Pretty much everyone was taking the high road. I don’t blame them; they were on TV after all. But come on, we all know what it would really be like if we all discovered that the world was coming to an end. It would be chaos. It would be hell on earth. Madness. Confusion. No one would be taking vacations because the planes and trains and boats wouldn’t be running. Hell, you’d be lucky if you could get gas for your car. Gas station employees barely work now as it is. The last thing that anybody wants is to spend their few remaining days on earth working the cash register at the Flying-J.

Personally, I’d probably just shoot myself. I couldn’t deal with the violent madness. And if nothing else, I’d kill myself just so I didn’t have to listen to those idiots with the “Welcome Back Jesus” banners and their incessant “I told you so-s.”

But the reality is that I probably won’t have to kill myself. The odds of a giant asteroid hitting the planet are fairly remote. I just don’t worry about such things anyway because, I mean, what’s the point?

Here are some of the other ways in which ABC wants you to know that you can die along with everyone else you’ve ever met.

Death of a Star (Gamma Ray Burst and Black Hole):

A star could implode near us and we could be pounded with gamma rays or it could suck our universe into a black hole. The black hole thing sounds cool, but we’d all be crushed into a singularity. And I don’t really like my neighbors all that much to spend the rest of eternity being one with them.

Death by Machine:

No, they don’t mean being pulled into the automated pig masher at the local slaughterhouse. They’re talking about AI: Artificial Intelligence. I wasn’t a huge fan of that movie, but I don’t think it would cause massive death. I kid. No, scientists are afraid of robots. Smart robots to be exact. One thing that you must remember is that scientists are geeks. They worry about these kinds of things. Hey scientists, if you don’t want computers to take over the world then here’s some advice: Stop trying to invent computers with the capability to take over the freaking world!

Again, this problem is pretty remote and a little bit stupid. But it’s a cool and scary way to die so it was on the show.

Super Volcano:

A really, really, really big volcano. A volcano that will erupt without you even knowing it until you’re about to die. That’s something to worry about, huh? Think of all the positive things that can come from worrying about a super volcano eruption that you have no hope of preventing. Just embrace the super volcano. Embrace your firey death! Why not? What other choice do you have?

Asteroid Strike:

I already mentioned this one. If you saw “Armageddon” with Bruce Willis, you know what will probably happen. Also, if you saw Armageddon…I’m sorry.

Nuclear War: (read politics)

Scientists are still really concerned about nuclear war. I’m not all that worried myself. See, when I was a kid, I was terrified of nukes. I thought that just one of them could destroy the planet. They can’t. Sure, they all could. But there’s little chance of all the world’s nukes going off at once. Nuclear bombs will more than likely just fuck everything up for a while. And I think I can live with that. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t stop building them. We should. We should dismantle all the world’s nuclear bombs. I’m just saying that they’re not all that scary to me anymore. Hey, they're no Super Volcano.

Germs/Disease Plagues and Bioterrorism: (read politics)

My computer doesn’t know how to spell bioterrorism. It’s a relatively new threat. Sure, we had mustard gas in WWI and that was nasty. But new militarized strains of disease are worse. These are scary. And we can try to get rid of all the bioweapons. But, realistically, if an asshole has his heart set on releasing this crap, there’s nothing we can really do about it. Why not write to your congressmen and tell them to have the Pentagon destroy all of the stockpiles? Washington DC controls way more bioweapons than Saddam could have ever hoped to.

Global Warming: (read politics)

The scariest of them all. Why? Because this one is the only one completely controlled by money. Money is motivating global warming. Money and convenience. Why has President Bush cut the environmental protection laws? Is it because the atmosphere is doing just fine the way it is? Sitting up there, above our heads, looking cute and being all disproportionately “carbon dioxidey?”

It might have to do with competing in a global marketplace. It’s the battle of who could care less out there. It costs money to be environmentally responsible. And, my god, that might hurt the economy (thank god that Bush cut those repressive laws! Our economy is thriving!)! The misconception is that if factories are made to be more responsible, they’ll lose money, the price of the goods they manufacture will rise, American consumers will turn up their noses, everyone will start buying tee-shirts from China and the commies will take over the world!

That’s true a little bit. It will cost more…at first (and it’s a forgone conclusion about the commies, face it). But shit, what other choice do we have? Bushie and his cronies will tell you that we can’t compete with China. “China’s not being environmentally responsible! Why should we?!” Look, Bushie, if China jumped off a bridge, would you? No, really, if I could convince China to jump off a bridge, would you? Please?

That’s why global warming is so scary. It’s real. Life will change as we know it. I’m telling you this now. But you already know it. Other people have been telling everyone for years. Since at least the mid 80s, we’ve known about global warming. We were told that if we didn’t do something about it soon, life as we know it would change forever.

I know change is hard. It’s too convenient not to die!

Maybe it’s time to go on that shopping spree?

…Or loot.

Fun Fact: I dislike our President. I think he’s an ass. I saw that interview with him by Brian Williams. Honestly, can anyone out there explain to me why we elected this clown?

Really. I want someone who voted for Bush to defend him. I have to know. Why?! Why would you vote for him? Because he could deal with the terroists? What the hell made you think that? Because he had such an illustrious military career? Please help me! Is it because he’s a “Christian?” Is it worth selling out the rest of humanity just so that gays can’t marry or women can’t have abortions? Please? Please!

Sorry, I’m getting emotional. But, I’m telling you, I’ve just about had it. I’ve reached my “smug indifference” limit.

I hate George W. Bush. That’s a fact.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Tar Nation

They’re doing the roof on the new condos next door. Fumes are filling my apartment. I would close the windows but it’s supposed to be hot today. 90°.

The heat and the smell make me feel as if I’m a roofer. I’m getting the virtual roofer experience. I have a couple of ex-step-relatives who were roofers. Now I know what they were going through. But I have to tell you it doesn’t seem all that bad. They used to complain that it was strenuous work. What a bunch of crybabies. Apart from the smell and the heat there’s nothing to this roofing business. Just sit around smelling tar, sweating and working on a computer. What’s so hard about that?

And I haven’t fallen off a roof once so far this morning.

However, I think the fumes are starting to get to me. So we’ll see about that “falling off a roof” thing. A couple more good, heavy lungs full of steaming petroleum and I’ll probably go up on my roof for the purpose of falling off. Luckily, I’m a smoker so I’m used to having my lungs filled with tar. And the chances of me getting a “good, heavy lung full” of anything are remote.

See, there are upsides to being stupid.

The fumes are getting to me though. Perhaps it’s the missing nicotine?

I’m just going to sit here watching the polar bear in the corner and wait for one of the workers to fall off the roof. Because, let’s face it, the job’s not over until one of the roofers breaks a leg.

Fun Fact: Last night I wasn’t hallucinating when I ran across the insectoid monster that decided to make my ceiling fan home. It was this largish, green, cricket/grasshopper/praying mantis-looking thing. It was creepy. And I almost touched it!

See, it wasn’t enough for this creature to invade my home, he had to plant himself on the one thing that I needed to touch. I understand that it may seem strange that I needed to touch my ceiling fan, but trust me I did. I needed to pull the cord to turn off the light because if I switch the fan off from the wall it’ll turn off the blades and…look, I don’t need to explain myself to you! Just know that I needed to touch my ceiling fan and let’s leave it at that.

Thanks to some Raid and Tanya’s fancy shoe work, the creature is no longer with us. It’s grossing out Jesus now.

But when something like that finds its way into my home I always feel violated. As if I’m being burgled. As if the feelings of torment caused by the insect are deliberate and not just a byproduct of my intense “pussiosity.” I know that other people feel the same way. In fact it was one of the first things Tanya said when I pointed the bug out to her. “How the hell did that get in here?!” As if we somehow left an insect-sized door unlocked somewhere.

I hate bugs. Thanks Tanya for killing it for me. Although, I would like to point out that the only reason Tanya could kill the bug was because I put my life on the line to spray its general vicinity with poison.

Which reminds me, I should really clean off the dinning table and the buffet. Oh, and the tops of those Coke cans before I serve them to anybody.

I’ll do it later. I’m sure that I won’t forget.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I Don’t Even Read it for the Articles

I don’t care for Playboy. There, I said it. I’m a heterosexual man who doesn’t like Playboy Magazine. In fact, Playboy gets on my nerves.

Let me explain why I’m even bringing this up at the moment. Last night Tanya, our friend Kathy and me were discussing Playboy because Kathy’s been watching “The Girls Next Door” on the E! network. Kathy said that the show made her want to buy issues of Playboy so that she could see the fruits of the girls’ labor. I could have chastised her for being a pawn to Playboy’s publicity machine, but I didn’t, I’m more mature than that. Instead, I just spent the next half hour throwing a hissy about the stupid magazine.

I’ve never liked Playboy. I take that back. I think that there was a brief moment when I was around 10 or 11 or so that I was a fan, but that’s only because the pictures of naked chicks in Playboy were the only ones I could get my hands on. As soon as I was introduced to the more expansive world of porn, Playboy got left behind. It was a fairly sad time. I remember my youthful disillusionment with Playboy even now.

See, to a pre-teen boy, Playboy is like the Holy Grail. I mean it’s right up there with drinking beer. If a kid had a Playboy he was king for a month. At least that’s the way it was supposed to be. That’s what I saw in movies. Kids in movies were always looking at Playboys with awe and wonderment. The cool kids always found a way to sneak a Playboy out of their “Old Man’s” collection. But the reality was this; the naked pictures in Playboy weren’t any sexier than anything I could find in my mother’s art books (and I knew where every naked woman was in my mother’s art books. I memorized the pages they were on. I had to, my mom would have noticed if I had dog-eared the paper).

Incidentally, my disillusion with beer was almost as bad. It didn’t live up to the hype either. And I like beer.

So, I stopped being interested in Playboy. I put away childish things. Sure, when a kid would show up with one, I would feign interest just so that no one would beat me up for being gay. It’s hard to explain to a 13-year-old who’s cool enough to steal a Playboy, that the pictures just don’t “do it for you” on a strictly cerebral level. That your sexual fantasies involve the woman to do more than just show up and be naked. I was pretty sure that I couldn’t argue my point eloquently enough to avoid being labeled “fag” for the rest of my Junior High career.

But there’s something interesting about the allure of Playboy. There is an allure, after all. But it’s purely mythological. That’s why men are drawn to it.

And then there are the articles.

Look, I have to be honest. I haven’t read that many Playboy articles in my lifetime. I know that many of our countries great writers have contributed to the magazine over the years. But…I just don’t like to read all that much. Plus, the articles that I’ve read in Playboy tend to be a little on the…heady…side. Overcompensating, I’m sure, for being in Playboy to begin with. I mean do I really need to read another interview with former FEMA Director Michael Brown? And can I take the article seriously if it shares a leaf with some bimbo’s “knockers?” it’s hard enough to take Michael Brown seriously as it is without being distracted by boobs bigger than he is.

In college, I had some friends who would put Playboy out on their coffee table. These guys claimed that they read Playboy for the articles. And I can honestly say that they did read the articles, but I think it was more in case anyone actually confronted them about it than anything else. I don’t think that they got off on the pictures either. I mean, sure, they were perverts, but I believe that their number one motivating factor for putting Playboys on the coffee table was to look cool.

They were sensitive to this criticism. Instead of using the tired old “I read it for the articles” argument, they did one better. They acted as if their decision to place Playboys on the coffee table were in fact a genius social experiment. They would have you believe that they were keeping score of how many men picked up the magazines compared to how many women and in which social circumstances they did so. As if there was a one-way mirror with a man behind it wearing a white lab coat and scribbling on a clipboard (ostensibly not masturbating).

But they really did it to look cool. Let’s just face facts.

However, every single time I would go over to their place and I would see those Playboys on the coffee table, I would pick one up and thumb through it. There were two reasons for this. One is that I wanted to look cool, as if I had evolved beyond mortal taboos. And the other is that Playboy does something to me. It’s in the ink they use, I think. It gives me amnesia. I see a Playboy and I think “hey look! A Playboy! Wow! Naked ladies!” Then I pick it up, thumb through it for a second and put it back down. Disappointed all over again.

The people with the Playboys would always give me grief. They would see me put the magazine down and mistake my look of utter bemusement with one of embarrassment. They would offer a way out. “You know, there’s a fascinating interview with so-and-so in there.”

“Uh…that’s okay” I’d say.

See. I was looking at the magazine because I wanted to see some porn. I never pick up a magazine with a picture of a mostly naked cheerleader on the cover because I am interested in how Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange are holding up these days. That’s never my motivation. I like my porn to be porn.

Problem is that the pictures in Playboy aren’t porn. They’re “classy.” By classy, they mean that you don’t see genitalia. I have a much broader definition of the word, but that’s what it means to Playboy. It’s not as if the scenes set up in the magazine are all that tasteful. I don’t look at them as the epitome of class and taste. It’s just another picture of a woman who’s not allowed to show me her ho-ha. I can see that every day! Every time I walk down the street I’m barraged by women who aren’t allowed to show me their ho-has. Not in public anyway.

So if Playboy isn’t sexually stimulating, let’s address their other “selling point.”


Playboy likes to parade itself around as if it’s walking the high ground. As if the pictures, since they don’t show actual labias, are somehow “artistic.” If that’s the criteria for artistic then we live in an art-filled world, my friend. Myself, not being cursed with a labia, am a freaking walking work of art 24 hours a day!

But seriously, there’s nothing artistic about Playboy pictures most of the time. They’re stock. Cookie-cutter. Like Glamour Shots for areolas.

So if Playboy is neither stimulating sexually or artistically, what is it? It’s immature. And if you need “painstakingly trimmed bush” as your incentive to read about the failed policies of President Bush then perhaps you need to rethink your intellectual life.

And that’s why I hate Playboy. Listen Playboy, stop objectifying women in your “porn!” Have them do something!

Fun Fact: I don’t read porn magazines. I mean why buy porn magazines anyway?

I pay good money for DSL.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Am I Blue? Oh God No!

So, they were on the news again this morning. Of course, I’m talking about twin sister racist pop supergroup “Prussian Blue.” Debutants of dislike. Sweeties of stupidity. Princesses of…uh…Prussianousness.

These aren’t your typical brainwashed white supremest kids. No! Sure, they prefer the term “racialist” to the more sinister “racist.” Sure, they spout the same asinine tripe that their parents have been spitting out all their lives. But unlike most racist twins, these girls play their own instruments!


Well, since the girls are fighting to save the white man’s racial identity, and since I’m a white man, I figured that I should check these girls out and see how well they’re waving the banner for my skin color.

I mean, I’ve got people looking after every other part of me. My masculinity’s covered in spades. We men have people like Tom Lycus, Howard Stern, Adam Carolla and various other questionably talented people to raise the flag for men everywhere.

My brain has been well cared for. Barbara Bush was kind enough to keep it off drugs and Bill Clinton worked his ass off to make sure my brain could go to college at reasonable interest rates (a mute point now…thanks for nothing George Bush, you dickhead).

So, with my brain and testicles in good hands, I popped over to Lynx and Lamb’s (those are the girls’ names in Prussian Blue) web site to see how the custodians of my skin color are doing.

I’ve got to say, I’m disappointed. Never mind that they’re both ignorant, uneducated hate-mongers, but – they suck!

Yeah. They suck. They claim to be representing the entire “white race” and they can’t stop to make sure that they’re writing songs that don’t stink on ice? They do claim to be musicians after all.

I have a little advice for everyone who’s ever tried to make the argument that their race is genetically superior:

If you’re going to put yourself up as the example, try not to be a complete waste of space. Please?

I understand how difficult it can be to find a good example of a racist. It’s a paradox. By qualifying, you’re disqualified.

But, Prussian Blue, at least write your hate songs with a good “hook.” Every great song needs a hook. You can’t just subsist on hate for your entire career. It’s a one trick pony.

The Prussian Blue web site (which I won’t link to here, but if you really want to find it, it’s easy) claims that their latest and second album has the potential to cross over in to mainstream alternative rock. Not likely. The samples that I’ve heard from it are pretty hard to listen to.

In fact, I must admit that I prefer “vintage” Prussian Blue. Their old stuff is better. No, it’s not good. But it’s better. It’s got more blatant “hate” which, let’s face it, is what you look for in a Prussian Blue song. Plus it has a homemade, down homey, little girls with guitars and violins, innocent, let’s lynch us some black folk and go to a picnic quality to it that could be endearing if your ears would stop bleeding long enough for you to regain equilibrium.

In all the years that I’ve been alive there have been hundreds upon hundreds of people who have stepped forward to carry the banner for my skin color. And none of them has done a good job. It just strengthens my belief that my skin color doesn’t really need a banner. It’s doing just fine without one. It sits there, covering my body, being all “white” and all. My skin doesn’t even seem to care that it’s white. It changes color in the summer. And that seems disrespectful if you ask me. So, screw my skin color! If it can’t be bothered to take “pride” in itself then why the hell should I?! What has my skin color done historically speaking anyway? It never won a war. It never painted the ceiling of a church. It never went to the moon. It just hung around while those things happened.

I hate my skin color! I hate all skin colors!

Lazy-ass, good-for-nothing color!

Prussian Blue can have my skin color. Just as long as they promise to never make another album ever again for the rest of their sad, hate-filled lives.

Fun Fact: Prussian Blue also has a blog on Blogspot! Cool. I clicked a link to another racist heavy metal band called Battlecry. It’s actually a little bit better. The production quality is better, that is.

But I tell you – after listening to this music all morning – if you’re going to listen to this stuff too, take an antacid or something because, honestly, it’ll turn your stomach.

Unless you’re a RACIST!


Thursday, August 17, 2006

I’m a Big Boy Now

And it has nothing to do with Pampers Pull-Ups diapers. My character doesn’t derive from disposable undergarments. I wear them strictly for the comfort.

When Tanya and I went to Nags Head a while back, we returned from the trip with a 2002 4-door Saturn L200. My father, in a fit of generosity, gave the car to me. It’s been sitting around like an out-of-towner ever since. That is, until yesterday. I went down to the AAA, transferred the title and registered the car. I even had the thing smog checked.

Now, that doesn’t sound like that big a deal. But I don’t register cars every day. And when I do, I rarely have to go it alone. So, when the world didn’t end because I filled out the paperwork incorrectly, I felt a great sense of empowerment.

See, when I actually accomplish an adult task – all by myself – it makes me feel a little more like a competent member of society. Like I can survive on my own. Sure, I’m 33 years old now and I’ve been living “on my own” (read: no parents) for a while now. But I still feel as if, any minute, I could encounter a task that is so incredibly “adult” and complicated that I would slip into a responsibility-induced coma at its very mention. Even though I’m not a complete dullard, I lack a certain amount of confidence when it comes to taking care of grown-up business.

The nice thing is that I don’t think I’m alone here. Registering things, signing loans, making health-related appointments, dealing with insurance (or the lack of it), re-financing stuff…all that crap is scary. But my lack of confidence isn’t helped by certain people who waltz around this little planet as if they’ve figured all of it out. As if calling a credit card company isn’t nerve-wracking. As if calling the pizza place isn’t terrifying. As if strangers in general aren’t something to be completely avoided at all costs.

Maybe that’s the problem. You know, if my buddy Phil worked down at the AAA, I wouldn’t have a problem taking care of that stuff. Not at all. I’d just call Phil and as him how to take care of it. But my buddy Phil doesn’t work at the AAA. I don’t even have a buddy named Phil. So I’m on my own and forced to subjugate myself to complete strangers. And what have I been told since I was an Anthropomorphic Boy? “Don’t talk to strangers!” “If you need help, find a policeman!”

Well, now I’m forced to talk to strangers, with my “Stranger Danger” alarm ringing loudly in my subconscious, and the last person I want to talk to is a cop.

Plus, I can never get a police officer to make my dental appointments for me. They suck.

So what am I saying? All I really need to know I didn’t learn in kindergarten. In fact some of that crap really screwed me up. And if you’ve ever said to someone “I was filling out my tax forms the other day and thought to myself, am I going to have to fill out a Schedule-M3? Ha ha ha ha!” and you’re not the CFO of anything, then you need to stop. You’re only doing it to make the rest of us feel like adolescent pussies.

And it’s working.

But, yeah me! I registered my car! Now it doesn’t have West Virginia plates on it anymore. However, I was hoping that someone would mistake me for an out-of-towner. That way, when they flipped me off in traffic and yelled something like “hey, you hillbilly douchebag, why don’t you go back to West Virginia, your sister’s getting lonely!” I could yell something back that only a local Los Angelino would know like “Santa Monica is overpriced!”

And that would rock their little world.

Fun Fact: I didn’t just take care of my car yesterday. I also painted a painting for the apartment. We had the need for a large 30” X 40” painting, so I created one.

And this is it. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Did Everything Come Out Okay?

I’m back from PA hell. That’s “Production Assistant” hell, not Pennsylvania hell. Pennsylvania’s actually quite nice. I haven’t been there for years. But if the Amish like it, you know it’s good.

So, in lieu of anything else to post about, I thought that I would share a little bit more of the cross country trip that Tanya and I returned from about a month ago.

When you drive across the country, you get very familiar with certain aspects of freeway life. You learn which gas station chains have the best bathrooms. You learn that places that sell fireworks need gigantic billboards because, well, how else are you supposed to find fireworks? (As a rule, the billboard size is directly proportionate to the size of the fireworks stand; the ratio is 5:1, 5 feet of billboard for every 1 actual square foot of fireworks stand)

Truck stops and rest areas become very important on a cross country trip. There are a few similarities between the two. Both generally have a lot of trucks parked at them. Both have bathrooms. And both are crawling with prostitutes. But rest areas are much nicer to look at. I enjoy Yosemite Sam and bare breasted women, don’t get me wrong, but there is something a bit more serene about a rest area.

Nowadays rest areas aren’t the same rat infested, biohazards that they used to be when I was a kid. Some of them are downright pleasant. When I was young, rest areas were not much more than a port-a-potty housed in a wooden shed with a lovely view of the freeway and a smell that could make a river worm turn up its nose (river worms are used to treat sewage by the way. Vermicomposters will find that last joke funny at least).

Tanya and I stopped at a few rest areas on our trek. Not as many as you might think since we usually just popped into McDonalds when we needed to heed the call of nature. Rest areas don’t sell Double Quarter Pounders. But, like I said, we stopped at a few.

Most of them were your typical new concrete and block type places. Sturdy and clean…ish. Texas actually had some very nice rest areas. With tile mosaics adorning the walls inside. Places you could feel slightly classy pooping in.

But I saw something new in New Mexico. Here’s the rest area. Pretty normal.

It’s located near some kind of historical site, so there’s the obligatory plaque to make the spot seem more important than it actually is. This plaque does a nice job of that.

But there was one thing that set this particular rest area apart. This was on the outside of the rest area bathrooms.

Good for them! Hey, New Mexico cares about your rest area experience. And they make you feel regal by allowing you to refer to yourself in the survey as "we." Very classy.

Then I saw this and I knew that New Mexico really cares about your rest area experience.

Fun Fact: When I was a kid and we were at a rest area, I would stand out by the freeway and get semi trucks to honk as they sped by. Rest areas became much nosier places when I was in town.

The “kid me” would really bug the living hell out of the “adult me.”

Monday, August 07, 2006


That’s what it’s going to be around this blog for the next few days. I’ve gotten another job with HGTV so I’ll be working this week. I’ll try to get a post or two up, but I can’t promise anything.

In the meantime, I’ll just put up some pictures of the trip that Tanya and I just got back from a couple weeks ago. I would post about something topical but really, what’s the point? There’s really nothing worth blogging about right now anyway. Sure, there are the wars in the Middle East, but they’re depressing. And there’s Mel Gibson, but that’s too easy. I mean when the best possible defense you can offer up is “hey, you have to remember, when that cop pulled me over I was really drunk! Then you know you’re trapped in a PR nightmare.

So, you get to look at pictures. Lucky, lucky you.

Here’s my nephew Dylan. He’s my brother’s son and is built like a masonry poophut. If he doesn’t want you to open a door, damnit, you’re not opening a door.

This is my gentler, albeit slightly more possessive, other nephew Asher with his sister Lily (my sister’s kids). We buried Lily in the sand and then tried to convince Asher to give her a kiss.

100,000 hours later, he did. Kids are fun. They’re tiny miracles. Until you’ve experienced the glory of children, you’ll never know the pure nirvana that can be obtained from standing in the hot sun on hotter sand with a camera, just waiting for the kid to get over the fact that sometimes sand is “sinky.” It’s like the finger of God has parted the clouds…to flick your ear really hard.

Here’s a picture of a lighthouse. It’s the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse to be specific. It used to be closer to the ocean but not too long ago, because of beach erosion, they put the entire thing on a huge trailer and hauled it a few hundred yards to its current location. Wow, aren’t you interested in that fact!

Here’s a picture of the outside of the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas. It’s like an anti-President Bush haven. It was a vacation within a vacation.

Tanya took the opportunity to be president for a little while. She sat in Clinton’s cabinet meeting chair. I’m sure it wasn’t really his chair, but rather a replica of his chair. But it was remarkably lifelike. I mean, you could almost swear that it was an actual chair!

Actually, this picture got me to thinking about what it would be like if Tanya were president. I think the world would be a much better place. We wouldn’t be embroiled in a hopeless war in the Middle East and all of America’s bedroom floors would be completely free of stinky guy clothes.

And here’s a picture of Tanya playing with some petrified wood. Insert your own “big wood” joke here. I’m too classy.

I should include some “exciting” pictures. So here they are. Exciting!

It’s a hamster attack! Me with Tanya’s niece’s hamster “Junior.” It’s a good thing that hamsters can’t understand English. It’s never a good thing to be a hamster named Junior. The only thing worse is to be a hamster with a more dubious suffix like “the 3rd” or “the 4th.”

And here’s the Lone Ranger’s costume. It was at the Clinton Presidential Library. Why shouldn’t the Lone Ranger’s costume be at the Clinton Library?!

Fun Fact: I’m grateful, humbled and only slightly annoyed at all the comments, emails and cards I got for my birthday. Thank you. You’re the best.

That’s a fact.

Friday, August 04, 2006


Yeah, it’s my birthday today. I’m feeling a bit old. But you know what they say; 33 is the new 23!

They do say that right?


For the benefit of future historians who find this blog looking for a picture of me at 33, I’ve decided to include a photograph of myself.

See how young I look? And I didn’t doctor that photo one bit either. My skin! It’s so supple. And I look like I’ve even lost a few pounds.

Maybe getting older isn’t so bad. So far my organs still work and there’s not one hint of dementia.

Happy 25th birthday to me!

Fun Fact: There are about 4 birthdays that I can’t remember at all. I’ve tried, but it’s no use. It would be cool if I could blame alcohol. Then I would seem like a real partier. I’m going to assume that alcohol isn’t to blame for my birthday amnesia. Unless my parents were giving alcohol to their toddler!

Mom? Dad? You wouldn’t do that, right? Right?

Also, you may remember that I thought it was 33rd birthday last year. Determined never to make that mistake again, I’ve researched my birthday this year. Turns out that I am indeed turning 33.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Sweep This!

My hand is planted firmly on my crotch.

They’ve done it to me again! Or, I’ve done it to myself?

I blame my car.

My father has generously given me a new car. But I still have my old car which means that, when you add Tanya’s car to the equation, we just have one car too many. We’ve got lovely two car tandem parking (which if you’re not from a city where there’s an overcrowding problem means that we have to park one of our cars behind the other). Since my old car doesn’t actually run anymore, it gets a permanent place in the driveway which leaves another car to fend for itself, forced to circle the streets like an angry hobo just looking for an open doorway in which to spend the night.

Well, my car overslept this morning. It stayed in its cozy little cubby, tucked into the same spot it’s spent the entire previous week.

That’s when it was molested by some jerk in a white hybrid car with “Los Angeles Parking Enforcement” written on the side. It’s street sweeping day.

LA loves street sweeping day (that’s why it’s always street sweeping day somewhere in this town). If someone were to come up with some animated map of parking tickets issued in Los Angeles, you’d be able to watch the city coffers fill up block by block as the street sweepers winded their way through the city.

The city wants you to believe that street sweeping exists for the sole purpose of sweeping the street. Residents of Los Angeles know better. Street sweeping is an excuse to hand out parking tickets at $45 a pop. On my block alone, this morning my car was one of four others who had either purposefully or inadvertently ignored the posted no parking sign. That’s $180 dollars just on my block. I took a walk this morning and noticed an average of about three cars a block that were parked on the wrong side of the street at the wrong time.

So why $45? I’ll tell you my theory. It’s the same strategy they use in marketing. You don’t charge $20 for an item. You charge $19.95. Why? Because it’s not $20. It makes it seem more reasonable. $45? Well, it’s not $50, that’s why. $50 is a lot of money. It’s half of $100. But $45 is worth taking a risk on.

I wasn’t trying to take a risk. I had every intention of moving the car this morning (uh, I mean, my car had every intention of moving itself).

Instead, now I’m out 45 bucks. For absolutely no reason.

I hate this town.

Fun Fact: As I was researching for this blog post (yes, I do some research…very little research but…) I found this article on the subject from the Los Angeles Times.

Also, you’ll notice that the picture at the top of the post says “No Parking” on Wednesday. I realize that it’s Thursday today. See, our apartment building sits on a corner. The street in front of the house has no parking on Thursday. The street on the side of the apartment has no parking on Wednesday. That’s where I took that picture.

Incidentally, on both streets there’s only legal parking on one side of the street. This means that every week on Wednesday and Thursday, we get to have the “Great Car Shuffle!”

It sounds more exciting that it really is.