Sunday, October 30, 2005

The night before All Hallow's Eve

TK Jr's costume purchased. It's a puppy dog. We were going to do evil Anakin, but then he wanted to be a cat. Couldn't find a friggin cat costume anywhere. He liked the puppy, we bought that. Tried it on at home, he didn't want to wear it.
Trick or Treat bag and flashlight purchased. The kid is ready for his first "official" Halloween.
$30 in candy, a black light for the hallway and an orange light for the porch. 2 jack o lanterns carved and ready to go.
We're set over here. Hope y'all have a happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Instant Karma

Yesterday was one of those days. Cold, rainy, miserable. I had a horrible ride home, and of course there was an inch of standing water inside my car. I stopped at Shaw's for some groceries on the way home.
Gallon of milk, half gallon of soy milk, some Halloween candy, pudding, Smartfood, and a few other things. I used a basket, and it was heavy.
Anyway, I go to the self check-out. There are 3 of them. One is broken. One has a mother with a cart full of groceries and 2 little kids. She's letting the kids scan the items. (Mind you, I'm a Dad and might do the same, but not on a Monday at 5:30 when the place is packed. And not with a freaking cart full of shit). The last one had some dim witted guy who didn't know how to use the check-out. He wasn't bagging his items, just piling them up on the bagging area. He screwed something up and tripped the alert, so we had to wait for a manager to come over and reset it.
At this point, I was getting pretty pissed. I usually don't make noise about these sort of things, but I couldn't stifle a loud sigh. There was a girl behind me with just a cake and a card, and she sighed as well. Being a bit of flirt and a smart ass, I turned to her and said something about how you should be required to be marginally intelligent to use the self check-out. She chuckled in agreement.
So, the dipshit finally finished up and piled his loose groceries into the cart. He took his receipt, and then proceeded to search all over for said receipt. I put my basket down and started my business before he was out of the way.
I scanned my first item, a DiGiorno Pepperoni Pizza. I put the pizza in a bag and scanned the next item.
Before I could get the item in the bag, the register started saying, rather loudly, "Unexpected item in bagging area. Please remove." It refused to shut up until I took the pizza off and placed it on the floor. I went to rescan the next item, but the insipid electronic voice stated "Item removed from bagging area. Please return item to bagging area."
The machine and I went through this a good number of times. I'd put the pizza back, it told me to remove it. I removed it, it told me to put it back.
I had to wait for a manager to come and reset the machine.
So, maybe Earl is right. Next time, I'll keep my comments to myself.
If I find myself in a similiar situation, I guess I'll have to stop and ask myself: What would Earl do?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Star Wars hangover

What a weekend! The gala opening at the MOS was a blast. I got there around 10AM, spent a few hours checking out the exhibit and riding on the Falcon again. I can't say enough about the exhibit. It's incredible! Seeing all the costumes and props, standing inches away from Luke's landspeeder, the original Tantive IV model. If you look in the cockpit window, you can even see the Playboy centerfold!
We had a few hours of down time, and then suited up for the main event. 80 costumed characters, including an 8 foot Chewie. It actually looked like the MOS was under Imperial occupation, Stormtroopers lined the halls, squads marched back and forth. Awesome.
I did not get to meet George. Didn't even see him. But he was there.
I'll throw up a few pics soon. I got my picture in today's Herald. Of course, I'm probably the only one who can tell for certain it's me.

That's me on the right!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Chewie, lock in the auxillary thrusters!

So.... it's very late and I'm very tired. But I couldn't resist posting this news...

I sat in the pilots seat of the mutha fucking Millenium Falcon!!!

Got a sneak peek at the SW exhibit as well. Oh... my... God. I ain't giving details just yet.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Ass Clowns, Inc.

Today I got a valuable lesson in why exactly a certain someone at work has been dubbed Trainwreck.

She railroaded me today.

Let's see, here's my day in a nutshell or two. Called in sick yesterday, so I started off a day behind. 90 fucking minute commute to the office. (Santa dog is a jesus fetus.) I had 4 reports to do that should have been done yesterday. Tons of voicemail and emails to get through. FIFs to QC. I printed my error list so I could start working it. Then MT calls. She wants me to grab 2 trainer laptops so she can test the transfer time on them. I go get them. I put them back. I go get them again when I'm told it's OK to do that. I try to log on to the database so I can do a network transfer. I encounter problems. Things start going to shit.
Mind you... this is slightly outside the scope of my job. I have other shit to do. I made the mistake, as I always do, of being too willing to help.
So, MT shows up, and the chains of chaos she drags behind her started hitting things and making a mess. I lost a few hours, and she dragged in people who also have much more important things to do. In the end, my time invested netted nothing. She had already gotten herself a training laptop, and ended up doing the transfer she wanted me to do.
Then I get back to my desk, only to remember I have a retro fee change to Medicare to take care of. That abortion is going to take me the rest of the week to fix. I had to take shit home tonight to work on.
Trainwreck indeed.

On the plus side, tomorrow night I'm trooping at the MOS. They're having a press event for the SW exhibit. Good times. On top of that, M & G are in town, so hopefully I'll get to see them this week. And I pulled my fake snot gag on three people, all with satisfactory results. Finally, I spent a painless ride home enjoying some previously unheard Tom Waits. So the day wasn't a total wash.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Heebie Jeebies

I'm a hardcore horror fan. I've been enjoying the genre since I was way too young to be watching such things. My biggest complaint is usually I don't get scared, or even spooked by horror movies.
Well, last night I confess I actually got the willies. And from a classic, no less. One I've seen a hundred times.
I didn't start watching it until after 10 last night. After it was over, I went out onto the porch for a smoke with the theme music still playing on the stereo (5.1 y'all!). It's been overcast and raining for 8 straight days. When I went out for a butt before starting the movie, it still was.
So, I step out there, and the yard is bright with moon light. An eerie wind is blowing strong, and the sky is clear. The moon is full. Spooky.
But it didn't end there.
Around 2AM, KG and I were awoken by what sounded like TK Jr. wailing. We both jumped up and glanced at the monitor. No sound registering there. The we heard it again, an unearthly wail full of terror and menace. It sounded like a dying baby, and it was right outside the bedroom door.
It came again and again. Then I realized what it was. The trailer trash neighbors upstairs had left the porch door wide open, and 2 cats were in the back hallway fighting. They were literally right next to us, seperated by a thin and ancient wall.
I got up to take a leak, and as I passed by the door I grabbed the handle and shook it hard and loud. KG and I both heard the cats crash down the stairs and out of the hall.
I decided I had to close the outside door so this wouldn't happen again. This is where the real fear comes in. Now mind you, 20 years ago the sound of cats fighting at night scared me to death. I would become paralyzed with fear when I heard it. Now, not so much... but I was slightly unnerved. Worse yet, our door to the back hall opens out into the hall, and the only light is out there. There's no switch inside.
So, I grabbed the trusted "Zombie Crusher" (a Louisville Slugger for those that don't know me), steeled my nerves, and opened the door. No sound in the hall. I tried the light... no luck. It was dead. The bright moonlight was illuminating the doorway slightly above me. I walked up the few steps to the door, and flipped the switch for the porch light. Again nothing.
At this point, my hackles were raised. I closed the outside door, leaving myself in a pitch black stairwell. I scrambled back down to our door, tore through it, and latched it with haste.
At this point, I was so unnerved I needed a cigarette. This, of course, meant going back outside. I opted for the relative safey of the front door. I stood on the front porch, smking my stress cigarette, peering out into the moonlit yard. I could hear the "Halloween" theme in my head, and I half expected to see the form of a large man standing in the shadows, staring silently.

Thank you John Carpenter, and thank you rat bastard yard cats. I haven't had a good scare like that in ages.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Great Gag in the Sky

Thankfully, it's finally stopped raining. We had to cancel our plans for a day at the farm today. No corn mazes, hay rides or pumpkin patches in this shit.
I decided to run a few errands instead, only to discover 3 inches of standing water in my car. So I took KG's instead.

I went to Don's Joke Shop in Quincy, in search of a rubber chicken. What an awesme little store. I haven't been there in years. Jokes, gags, magic tricks and masks. Just like I remembered. Don is still behind the counter, demonstrating various gags as you look around. I had a hard time resisting all the goodies.
Snapping gum, fish flavored candy, bug ice cubes, fake cat shit, squirting lighters, whoopie cushions. The prankster in me giggled.
I settled on my rubber chicken, some fake snot, and a kazoo for TK Jr.

The highlight of the day? I came home and of course had to demonstrate the fake snot for KG. As soon as I took it out of my nose, Jr, grabbed it, tried to stick it in his tiny nostril, and proceeded to pretend sneeze.

He's a natural, a real chip of the old block.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Christina Mirabilis

So, I'm listening to Henry's Dream on the way home from work today. One of Nick Cave's best albums, in my humble opinion. The following song is one of my favorites, and has always intrigued me.

Christina The Astonishing

Christina the Astonishing
Lived a long time ago
She was stricken with a seizure
At the age of twenty-two
They took her body in a coffin
To a tiny church in LiƩge
Where she sprang up from the coffin
Just after the Agnus Dei
She soared up to the rafters
Perched on a beam up there
Cried, "The stink of human sin
Is more than I can bear"
Christina the Astonishing
Was the most astonishing of all
She prayed balanced on a hurdle
Or curled up into a ball
She fled to remote places
Climbed towers and trees and walls
To escape the stench of human corruption
Into an oven she did crawl
Christina the Astonishing
Behaved in a terrifying manner
Died at the age of seventy-four
In the convent of St. Anna

So, curiosity got the better of me and I googled her. Turns out Christina is the patron saint of insanity, lunatics, madness, mental disorders, mental handicaps, mental health caregivers, mental health professionals, mental illness, mentally ill people, psychiatrists, therapists.

That's pretty damn cool.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Another non notable day

Neither KG or I got much sleep last night. TK Jr. is going through an anti sleeping stage.
It's been raining for so long now I can't remember what bluse sky really looks like.
I closed MN a day early, cleaned up all my other error reports, answered all my email and left work an hour early.
Stopped at Wally*Mart, didn't buy anything. Hit the grocery, forgot to get pediatric cold medicine.
Went to CVS, bought the syrup, a pack of butts, Altoids and an Elmo Halloween DVD.
It's 9PM and I'm ready for bed, though I doubt I'll head there just yet.
And that is all I got.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Oh dear again...

You Are A: Kitten!

kitty catCute as can be, kittens are playful, mischevious, and ever-curious. Like you, kittens hate getting wet. Kittens are often loving, but are known to scratch or bite when annoyed. These adorable animals are the most popular pets in the United States--37% of American households have at least one cat. Whether it is your gentle purr or your disarming appearance, you make a wonderful kitten.

You were almost a: Lamb or a Pony
You are least like a: Squirrel or a DucklingWhat Cute Animal Are You?

Monday, October 10, 2005

This land is our land

So, 513 years ago some dago sailed his boat across the ocean blue and "discovered" America. Today, and every second Monday in October, some of us celebrate the occasion by staying home from work.
A long weekend and car sales to celebrate all the wonderful things the Europeans brought to this great land. Manifest Destiny, slavery, smallpox blankets. Scalping. Yup, that's right. Scalping actually began with the European settlers. The Native Americans just cottoned to it, and of course history is written by the victor. We also brought industrial pollution, mass consumption, suburban sprawl and urban decay. Strip mining, segregation, religious intolerance. Wal*Mart, fast food and all that.
Don't get me wrong. America has created some great things over the course of it's short history. Happy hour, double coupons and "Two for Tuesdays", to name a few.

I'd like to think I'm fairly enlightened. Compassionate, kind. But let's face it. I'm white and middle class. If blacks were still only worth 3/5th of a human, I'd probably own one. It'd be nice to own someone who could take care of the chores. Someone to keep the house clean and cook the food. Someone I could throw an occasional hump in when the wife wasn't in the mood.

Thankfully, we're all victims of the times we're born into. It's the 21st century. You can't buy people in this country anymore. There was a big old war here that ended that. And that's a good thing. I was born into this era without any say, and I'm glad I am where I am. We got us one hell of a country now. A great place to live.

Unless of course, you're black and live in the path of a hurricane. Or you're white and poor and join the Army so you can pay for college. Or you're an indigenous person and live on a reservation. Cuz we still got those.

So, happy Columbus Day, y'all. He might not have been the first to discover this little corner of the world. But he was the first to wipe his ass with it, and for that we all should be proud.

Friday, October 07, 2005


The Incredible Mr. Limpet or Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter.

I'm going to have to flip a coin.

I logged into work briefly cuz I had some stuff on my mind. I checked my email and learned, much to my glee (yes, glee. I said it.) that suddenly elaborate processes and reports and man hours are going to be put in place to track something I've been making noise about for a while.

Lock & Load.

Mind you, not much thought or effort will go into solving the problem or identifying and dealing with the offenders. We're just going to create a boatload of reports about it.
Well, I'm giving it some thought, and I'm putting in some effort.

Things might actually get interesting, and quite possibly improve.

Lock & Load.

I didn't really need to write that again. I just really, really like ampersands.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

No and then!

A very, very long commute home. Grocery store, package store. Pumpkin ale because fall is here. It is, despite the fact that KG is running the a/c.
The Lion King, frozen pizza, playing with the farm, bath time, "Night night, TK Jr."
Check my email, chat with the wife, smoke some butts and watch Hardware. Note a familiar name in the credits. Have a good chuckle.
Now it's late, time for bed. I'm looking forward to heading into work so I can do the caseload report. Excitement she wrote!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Milking the pig

You ever wonder how much spare change can fit in a piggy bank? While cleaning the spare room, I found a shitload of coin condoms (change wrappers, call them what you will) so I decided to find out. Tonight I emptied out TK Jr's piggy and rolled up the change. Granted, there was a good amount of paper money in there as well.... but I managed to roll close to $500.
Not too shabby. The kids got more money than me at the moment!
Man, I love Chris Walken.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Demons Dance Alone

You can know a needle's eye
Or a hungry baby's cry
But no one knows that demons dance alone

Silver linings came and went
When I was an innocent
Never knowing demons dance alone

But somehow I was seduced
And my innocence reduced
By a demon that became my own

Knowingly I followed it
Took the hook and swallowed it
But then I found it dancing in my home

Terrified I tried to quit
But now I need the taste of shit
Like a dancing demon needs a home

I had hoped to fill my years with
More than melancholy tears
But the demon makes me dance alone

Thank you, KG for removing the mote. I got a glimpse of the demon before it was too late.