Orlando: Day Five, Six and Seven

I'll make this quick because I'm sure you're as tired of reading about it as I am of writing about it. By the last day of the conference, I was almost used to the chairs that smelled of ass. I had gotten pretty good and didn't even really need to sit down to determine the relative nastiness of the chair. My senses were honed - I was a machine. A lot of the time I just sat on the floor in the back of the room, truth be told. But in my last session, I sat down in what I thought was a perfectly good chair.

A little while later, as the room is filling up, I smell what can only be described as rotten-cheese ass. I look around and there is nobody sitting to either side of me, and I'm pretty sure it's not me, since I just got out of the shower 30 minutes ago. I immediately assume it's my chair, and that my own hot ass reactivated some sort of latent funk that was embedded deep within its feeble padding. I bend down a little closer to see if I can make a positive ID, and I immediately see black dress socks directly under my chair. In my mind, I can see the invisible stink lines radiating directly into my nose. Goddammit, don't people understand that if your feet smell like your toenails are rotting off, you should leave your shoes on? You don't take them off and then shove your feet under someone else's chair. This has happened to me a few times on an airplane, but never before in a conference - so this was a first. I gave the guy a dirty look and then went to the back of the room and sat on the floor.

So that was my last day of the conference. I didn't stick around for the closing session. Instead, I spent that time changing my hotel from the the insanely expensive one that work was paying for to a slightly less insanely expensive one that I was paying for.

On Friday we hung around downtown disney and the highlight of the entire day was a fantastic dirty vodka martini that was the best I've ever had. When I ordered it, I didn't expect that the waiter would actually bring the ingredients to the table and make it in front of me, but that's what he did. Gorgonzola stuffed olives. My mouth is watering just thinking about this thing. My boss got food poisoning somewhere so never ended up meeting us for drinks.

On Saturday we took a quick day trip to Epcot, and if you've never been there it's pretty cool. However, if you've been there more times than you can count and you don't feel like going on Mission Mars, and the wait for the Soarin' ride is over two hours, then there's not much to do other than walk around and pay too much for stuff. We did see a really quick dolphin show at the Living Seas that was pretty amazing. Dolphins are smarter than me, in case you were wondering. I got to ride on a Segway, so that was something. It feels like snowboarding. That's the most accurate description I can give.

There are other things to see at Epcot, however. Amazing hairstyles is one thing that I particularly enjoy. This guy wins for 2007:

Bullets would bounce off that helmet. It was pretty damn breezy that day, and this thing did not move. My theory is that his hair was so ridiculously awesome that when he walked down the street, the wind actually stepped out of his way.

We also saw some cool skywriting. At first I was like, "Hey! Someone is going to propose to Jess!"

Then it all went directly to hell, (as I am sure I will be if hell actually exists):

It was pretty exciting to watch, and by exciting I mean excrutiatingly painful. After about 5 minutes more, the pilot had managed to squeeze out a "U" and an "S" and I knew then that Jess was out of luck and would remain single forever.

Ten minutes later, he had JESUS LOVES, and there was still some part of me that was holding out for "SPICY CHIMICHANGAS" or "DIRTY MARTINIS" but I knew it was not to be. The only thing left to determine was whether the pilot was an egotistical born again, in which case the next word would be "ME" or whether they were traditional christians and were going to go with the more generic "YOU" and really annoy me by pushing their faith on me from above.

Luckily as I said, the wind was pretty stiff so by the time he was finished (it was "YOU" by the way) all you could see was "VES YOU" and it wasn't really all that offensive. But still... VES YOU too, Mr. Pilot man. VES YOU and the plane you flew in on.

All in all, it was a marginally better visit to Epcot than my last one, which involved a random small child running up to me, screaming at the top of his lungs, and then punching me full force in the nuts.


I wish I could say it's good to be back.

But damn, it's cold up here.

I have a few Epcot pictures to download from my camera before making any sort of relevant post, but I just wanted to stop in and say that I made it back. Right now, I'm going to work out a bit, then negate all that healthy goodness with a bigass Irish coffee.

I do have one mildly amusing story that occurred in the Epcot bathroom yesterday. You may or may not remember the story about how I became a stall man, but apparently that sort of behaviour carries over to other public bathrooms and not just the one at my place of employment. The added bonus of an Epcot men's room, of course, is the sheer multitude of wildly pissing children. So I wisely chose a stall.

As I was standing there in the stall doing my business, there was a loud pounding on the door, followed immediately by some angry guy yelling, "Jeremy! ARE YOU POOPING?"

I said, "No, I'm Johnny. And I'm just peeing." Adding that second bit may have been more than he needed to know, but he sounded pretty accusatory and I think he was about one frayed nerve away from kicking down the stall door.

I'm not sure where Jeremy is right now, but with a dad like that, I'd be willing to bet that he's probably afraid to ever poop again.


Orlando: Day Four

I am nowhere near buzzed enough to write this entry, but I'm going to anyway.

I am cold, wet, and basically miserable. It was about 50 degrees here tonight, and raining like a bitch. And of course, tonight was the night of the big conference party. Traditionally on Wednesday night, the organizers of this thing will actually rent out one of the Disney parks and ship 7,000 people off on buses so they can hang out there for 3 hours. Everyone rides the rides, eats the bad food and drinks free wine and beer. I only had two little glasses of free wine and that's not near enough to offset the amount of water that is currently dripping off of me. My boss's kids were there with her, so it was a little more...um, subdued than the other nights.

This year's outing was at Animal Kingdom, and I'm not sure whose brilliant idea it was to go on a night-time excursion to a theme park where the main attraction is watching animals during the day, but that's what we did. If you're an animal, what do you do on rainy, cold nights? You guessed it. You curl up in your little cave or whatever and sleep, or you stay warm with the monkey sex. Well, if you're a monkey, I mean. Either way, you're not out sharing the evening with a bunch of nerds from all over the country.

The new Everest rollercoaster was pretty good. If you've never ridden it and plan to, then skip this part, because I'm going to tell you about it. The two big surprises are a big section of track that is all torn up -- you slow down and stop just short of it, and start falling backwards -- and then you get to see the giant bigfoot creature that is tearing up the track. The cool part is, after you stop going backwards, you start down the same track again -- the one you know is out -- only this time you don't slow down. At the last second you change direction somehow and drop down onto a different track. Here's how much of an IT geek I am: When the track changed direction and we started down the loop, I actually yelled, "Conditional Routing!!"

I am so ashamed.

I know what you will say. I should be. And you are absolutely right.


Orlando: Day Three

Just to fulfill my sponsorship duties, I'd like to get this out of the way:

Tonight's buzz is brought to you by RIM Blackberry and Skyy vodka.*

Something else I'd like to get off my chest right up front:

There are three very definite things people can do that will instantly get me to label them as a Giant Douche.
  • Refuse to put your phone on vibrate when you are at a conference.
  • Talk loudly to the person next to you while you are sitting behind me.
  • Wear your stupid, LED blinking bluetooth earpiece 24x7 like some kind of retarded cyborg wannabee.
Ah, I feel much better now. Thanks for listening.

Last night, as we were heading up to our rooms after the JamFest abortion, My friend says "I'll meet you down by the fountain at 7:15." Normally, we don't have to show up for breakfast until 8 or so, but he wants to get an early start so I agreed after some haggling.

I was pretty beat, and I knew I'd be up late writing, so around 1:00 am I set my cell phone alarm to go off at 6:30. I hate doing that because my alarm sounds like a fire engine siren and it always scares the living shit out of me when it goes off. Jumping out of bed with my heart in my throat and scrabbling around for a non-existent AR-15 is not a fantastic way to wake up. I never remember my dreams when I wake up like that, and I have to tell you, I have awesome dreams so that pisses me off.

Anyway, the alarm went off, I screamed and leapt out of bed. I finally stopped hyperventilating, and jumped in the shower and got dressed. By 7:10, I was down by the fountain waiting. 7:15 comes and goes, then 7:20. Finally at 7:30, I checked my Blackberry and there's a text from scott that just says "I'm not meeting you."

Goddammit. The last time this happened I had to take a bus to downtown Cleveland and I ended up sitting across from moleman. At least this time I wasn't depending on him for transportation. I sent him a text message back that told him how much he sucks, and a few seconds later I got a reply that said, "I have a good excuse." I replied that the only acceptable excuse would be "I have a severe case of the runs" but he never replied. Later on, after I ran into Special Dark, I had to amend that short list of acceptable excuses to include:
"I am currently passing a jagged, baseball-sized rock through my urethra, and I am being rushed to the hospital as we speak."

Yes. Ironically, Big Tool Scott had Big Tool issues. Big Tool Scott had a kidney stone, and his kidneys were having a little trouble with the handoff of said stone to the bladder. This was all pretty new to him, but thank god for the internet. He was able to get on-line in the hotel room and self-diagnose. He narrowed it down to either Ebola or a kidney stone, and since he still had most of his skin when he got out of the tub, he figured it was the latter. Of course, even after all this, he did what any self-respecting 32 year old father-of-two-with-one-on-the-way would do:
He called his mom.

It was his first stone, and we were all so proud of him when he finally gave birth. I didn't find out the actual time of birth, but even so, I think we should have a small celebration every year on this day.

Also, at some point late this afternoon Special Dark realized he had his new T-shirt on backwards. Blackberry was giving out free T-shirts, and they must have given out 300 of these things. Everywhere you looked, there was someone wearing this shirt. I am not sure if it was his enormous sense of self-worth that allowed him to think that he was clearly right and everyone else so clearly wrong, or if it was just that he has no clue that the little white tag goes in back, but it was awesome.

Also, I've discovered something. It's pretty easy to write when you're sober. It's also pretty easy to write when you're drunk. But it's pretty hard to write when you're rapidly losing your buzz and the only option is a 15 oz., $13.00 dollar bottle of cheap merlot in the mini bar. My kingdom for a corkscrew.

*with special guest, Bombay Gin


Orlando: Day Two

So this morning we all meet up in the lobby to head out to breakfast and Special Dark is all pimped out. While we are all wearing jeans/shorts, t-shirts and sneakers, he is dressed in slacks, dress shoes, a dress shirt and a suit jacket. WTF? I have no idea. I said "Hey, I can see that pimpin' ain't easy, but is it necessary?" and he said "Eff you. I have to make a good impression." and by 5 pm he had given it up and was dressed like the rest of us. I am still not sure who he was trying to impress.

Our guest speaker at the opening session today was Neil Armstrong. A guy who walked on the fucking moon. How awesome is that? A true American hero. I actually got a little teary when they introduced him. I am a giant pussy when it comes to stuff like that.

Oh, and something I forgot to tell you about -- Last night there was a big party and the theme was gambling and/or arcade games. I'm not sure what they have to do with each other, but there was a bunch of shitty 80's arcade games like centipede and pacman set up, and a few air hockey tables and pool tables. The highlight of the night had to be when Big Tool Scott was playing air hockey like a crazy man and sent the puck flying about 20 feet through the air at roughly mach 3. It smashed directly into some poor bastard's forehead. I think the guy was probably walking around all day today with a red stripe of a welt on his head. I almost peed myself.

Tonight's wine drunk was brought to you by something called "JamFest" which was a party where anyone with any musical "talent" at all can get up on stage and play. I was going to do it, but the drum set was configured for a right-hander, and it was all mic'd up, so there was no way I was going to be able to move the drums around to fit a lefty. We were treated to horrendous versions of "mustang sally", "8675309" and various and sundry Lynyrd Skynyrd songs. It was pretty pathetic. We left when they were trying to get us to do a sing-along. I scored an XXL t-shirt, which I promptly threw into the crowd. I am nothing if not medium.

In our last session of the day, Scott and I were treated to something very special. There was an Asian dude sitting pretty much right next to us that had some sort of nasal issue. Throughout the entire hour-long presentation, he was busily snorting snot. It was the most disgusting thing so far this conference. Each snort was literally 4 seconds long, and the frequency had to be at least once a minute. I don't know how much snot this guy could have possibly had in his head, but during the last few snorts I swear I could feel all the matter in the universe inching its way toward his gaping nostrils. Goddammit people are disgusting.

Orlando: Day One

I'm pretty drunk on 3-dollar-a-bottle wine right now, so I take no responsibility for this post. It was suggested by someone else and I have no idea what I'm going to write.

The first thing I need to mention is this -- you guys all failed me miserably on my flight here. I was supposed to be sitting by the window with a winsome beauty in the seat next to me, but what I got instead was a huge guy who liked to golf. Not only that, he liked to talk about golf. A lot.

He liked to talk about particular courses and particular holes, all of which I really tried hard to discourage, but that didn't seem to work. It never does with these sorts of people. So finally I pointedly ignored him and loaded up a season two episode of The Office and watched Michael trash the warehouse on Valentine's Day. I am not sure if the guy actually stopped talking or not but I didn't give a shit. I did give a shit however, when he co-opted my armrest. Fat bastard.

When I finally got off the smelly-ass plane, I walked down to baggage claim where all the Limo drivers were standing with their little signs. There was one really tall Lurch-lookin' mofo holding a sign that just said "SICKO." I tried like hell to get a picture of it, but he was getting pretty annoyed at my blatantly transparent attempts to surreptitiously take his picture with my camera phone.

I did manage to finally get a decent shot, but the shitty "high-speed" connection in this hotel won't let me upload it for some reason.

Once I got to the hotel and checked in, it turns out that floor number 8 is really broken. If you get in the elevator, all the other floors work as designed, but floor 8 does not. If you choose eight, what happens is this:

The elevator reaches what you can only assume to be floor 8 - given that the number 8 is illuminated - and the inside elevator doors open, and you start to walk toward what should by all rights be a magic archway that leads you to the hallway of floor 8 and then right before you ram your skull into steel you realize that you are being denied by an additional set of internal blue steel doors that say "sorry assknob. not today." Don't ask me how I know this, but I am now typing this from the 12th floor.

For more than 200 bills a night, I expected more from my room. My carpet is kinda thread-bare and my internet connection is ass. The clothes iron works ok, and nobody seems to have pissed in it, so it's a step up from the Scranton Marriott.

I'll tell you what though. Free wine (cheap or not) and 70 degrees at 8:30 pm makes for a nice night when you just left -4 degrees.


Nerdfest 2007 here I come.

I leave tomorrow morning to attend a week-long geek conference in what's looking to be not-so-sunny Orlando. Tonight, I'm going to see my buddy Doug play guitar for Kasim Sulton (of Todd Rundgren/Utopia fame) and as a result, I will be doing some serious airplane sleeping in the morning.

Keep your fingers crossed for a skinny, non-talkative, un-smelly person in the seat next to me. I realize that a hot chick would be pressing my luck, but maybe with the combined mojo of all my faithful readers, this can be accomplished. Just to clarify, I still want her to be non-talkative. So get to work on that. I'll let you know how you do.

I am not sure how often I will be able to post from there, but I'm sure some Special Dark stories worth mentioning will be coming my way. At the very least, I'll get to "enjoy" the olfactory nuances of 47 different varieties of bitter ass while I'm there.

Goddammit, computer geeks. The water, shampoo and soap in the hotel are free. Shower once in a while. It won't kill you.


My big fat Italian wake.

Things that are apparently needed for a man over 60 to attend an Italian wake (in no particular order):

  • black shoes and white socks.
  • Light blue or tan polyester suit.
  • Striped tie at least 5 inches wide at the bottom.
  • Pants that are pulled up to somewhere around your armpits.
  • A plaid cabbie hat, or a tan and brown Stetson.
  • A crushing handshake that says, "I still got it," and a desire to advertise this fact.
  • 5-10 interesting and/or mind-numbingly boring anecdotes about "the old days."
  • A tan wool coat with flap pockets and a fur collar.
  • Varying amounts of body odor.
  • Garlic. As much as you can get.
  • Old Spice. As much as you can get.

Things that are apparently needed for a woman over 60 to attend an Italian wake (in no particular order):

  • Enough perfume to consume all the available oxygen within a twenty-foot radius.
  • Said perfume must smell like decaying flowers, or a mixture of Glade and Raid.
  • Bright red lipstick specifically designed to come off on the cheeks of others.
  • The genetic predisposition to slobber-kiss complete strangers.
  • The ability to touch and kiss deceased people with no qualms whatsoever.
  • 5-10 interesting and/or mind-numbingly boring anecdotes about "just last week."
  • More fake fur than Chewbacca and the hairclub for men president combined.

The night was incredibly sad, and many tears were shed, but it wasn't without its laughs. For instance, before the wake when we were all at my wife's grandfather's house, I realized that I forgot my black wool coat that I normally wear with my suit. Her grandfather, in an attempt to be helpful, went into his closet and brought out a full-length tan overcoat with a white fur collar and said, "Here, wear this." I laughed and said, "I can't wear that. I'll look like a pimp." He said, "What do you mean? It's the coat I'm wearing tomorrow!" Then I asked him where his bitches be at. No, actually I'm lying about that part, but the rest is true.

Later on, after most of the crowd had gone, we got to reminiscing a little. Somehow or other the conversation came around to M____'s last words. I'm pretty sure her last words to my wife were "I love you so much."

Her last words to me were:

"They stuck it in my rectum."

Apparently, she was talking about her recently received dose of Tylenol, but she didn't initially clarify that fact. I didn't find that out until a bit later. It did clear up a few things in my mind, as you can imagine.

The previous day, before I had reluctantly learned how they give Tylenol to patients who can't swallow, she felt she needed to share another important fact with me. Obviously, since she had a stroke her voice wasn't always very intelligible and she had to work at it quite a bit. Sometimes, when she concentrated really hard on what she wanted to say and took her time, it came out right.

On this particular day, she made a little "come closer" motion with the finger on her good hand, and so I did. I held her hand and leaned in close to her face so I could pick up her whisper. She paused for a second, took a deep breath, and then said:

"Papa....is a fantastic lover."

I burst out laughing, and blinked away the tears that were starting to form. Why she couldn't just tell me "I love you so much" and leave it at that, I'll never know. I dutifully passed the proclamation on to my wife's grandfather, and it made him blush and laugh a lot, so... there's that.

She was a special lady.



You welcomed me into your family and showed me the meaning of unconditional love.

You will be missed every single day.


Two years of my life. Down the drain.

So my blog turns 2 years old tomorrow, and I wasn't really sure what to do about that. I could write a bunch of stuff about how it's been a lot of fun, and thank all you guys for stopping by to read my crap and while that's all certainly true, it still seemed a little cookie-cutter.

Instead, I opted to take a page from this post by Sarah, over at Okay Seriously, who actually has a little party for her blog every year. I thought that was nice, even if the idea was tarnished somewhat by the fact that her blog is a complete whore and will get it on with portable computer games and other miscellaneous desk accessories.

Instead of just staying in, I decided to take my blog out for an early birthday celebration. So last night, we hit the bar circuit pretty hard. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and then started hopping from club to club. I was the designated driver, and by around 10 pm my blog was pretty blasted. He was drinking Tequila and (don't tell him I told you this) he can't really hold his liquor.

He wouldn't shut up about this one club he likes, so finally I drove him over there. It didn't look too bad from the outside, and the inside was even nicer. I really didn't expect that of him, so I was pleasantly surprised. We grabbed a couple of open seats and waited for our server. Here's a shot of where we were sitting:

I knew something was up when the waitress came over and told me there was a two drink minimum. I explained to her that I was the DD, but she said we'd have to leave unless I ordered at least 4 drinks. I said "Fine." and told her that my blog was already shit-faced and would have no problem at all downing four more himself. She seemed satisfied with that and left to get our drink order.

I looked around the place, and noticed something strange. There was a serious sausage fest in progress. I realized exactly why that was when the stage lights lit up the other end of the room and I saw the stripper poles.

Goddammit, he did it to me again. Still, it seemed like a fairly nice place, as these places go, and I have to admit they had some high-class dancers. So we stayed.

Well, long story short -- by the time the drinks were gone and he was out of singles, he started asking me what I got him for his birthday. Truthfully, I figured that by picking up the tab for dinner and a bunch of drinks that would be enough, but you know those kind of friends -- no matter how often you're there for them, you're only as good as your last post.

So under the circumstances, I did the only thing left to do.

I bought him a lap dance. This place seemed to have two sets of girls -- there were the ones that do the stage dancing, and then there were the ones that do the lap dancing. As I'm sure you can imagine, the second string girls aren't of quite the same caliber.

You're not really allowed to take pictures of the lap dances in progress, but I snuck this one while the bouncers weren't looking. The most amazing part of this entire story? You will never believe who works there:

The best part? TEN BUCKS. That's it.

Afterward he said that Sarah's blog smelled a little like hand-held Tetris, but that all in all, he thought it was a pretty fine birthday celebration.

He was seriously hung over this morning, and spent a really long time in the shower, but I think he'll probably be fully recovered by tomorrow.


This one does it all.

You can get your very own fan-foreskin-tastic mug and be the envy of all your friends. Failing that, you can completely alienate them until they don't want to hang out with you anymore and then you can just loiter in public libraries and use the free internet terminals, all the while making people around you extremely uncomfortable.

It holds beer, coffee, vodka or water -- or in the event of an extra-long staff meeting -- urine!

Get one for each, but don't mix them up. I'm just sayin'.


Roll over Bay Tovin.

I've been a drummer since high school, and I've played in more bad bands than I can count. I even collected drummer jokes. (What do you call a drummer who just broke up with his girlfriend? Homeless. How can you tell if a drummer is at your door? The knocking speeds up, then slows down, then speeds up. What do you call someone who hangs out with musicians? A drummer) Needless to say, the drummer doesn't get the chicks and doesn't get the respect. I resigned myself to that fact a long time ago.

But there was always one thing nagging at the back of my mind.

I always wanted to play a real instrument. I wanted to play something that you could actually use to write a song. I wanted to learn actual notes. Play a tune and not just a rhythm.

Tonight, on this 11th of January in the fan-foreskin-tastic** year of 2007, I took my first piano lesson.

I want you to look at something very closely. Here is a picture of my right hand:

It's not a piano player's hand, by any stretch of the imagination. The fingers aren't long and slender, they don't have much reach. From a practical usability standpoint, it's not too bad -- all the fingers are there, there's no webbing, everything works. Not too shabby, as hands go. It's served me well for most of my life. In truth, my left hand has probably served me a little better if I'm being completely honest with you,* but all in all they work pretty much as designed. Memorize that picture because you are going witness a miraculous transformation. Got it memorized? Good.

Here is a picture of that same hand the exact second it touches a piano:

Well, it wasn't quite that bad, but close. The first lesson was only a half-hour long, so by the end of the night I was playing this pretty well:

OK, I can see nobody is buying that, so I'll admit the truth.

In the space of 30 minutes, my innate musical skills allowed me to completely master this complex piece of music:

Next week, I will attempt the awesome feat of using not only my right hand, but my left hand as well. Maybe even (dare I say it) both at the same time!

My practice book is filled with amazing and arcane insights into the shadowy and mysterious world of the instrument called Piano. Let me share some of my hard-won wisdom with you all, just to prove to myself that I am not wasting my money.

When you hit the key with a little weight, you make a SOFT tone. When you use MORE weight, you make a LOUDER tone.

I mean, that was not at all intuitive, right? Also -- and don't tell anybody this, because I am not sure if word is supposed to get out -- I learned that LOW sounds are on the LEFT side of the piano, and HIGH sounds are on the RIGHT.

Now you all need to give me twenty dollars, because that is apparently what the information I just imparted to you is worth.

We'll see how this goes. I could fail miserably, or you could all be looking at the next Elton John. Only, you know -- with a more tasteful fashion sense and way less butt sex.

*Get your mind out of the gutter. My father, in a completely misguided attempt to make me a fearsome baseball player, made me throw lefty. As a consequence, I am ambidextrous, with a decidedly left-leaning preference.

**What google spell checker insists on substituting for "fan-freakin-tastic"


Farewell, sweet silence.

Well, I guess all good things must come to an end.

I've decided to quit blogging.

It's been a fun almost-two years but....No, I'm kidding. You aren't quite rid of me yet.

Unfortunately, the "good thing" ending is my current cube situation at work.

For quite a while now, I've been in a "stand-alone" cube, in a part of the floor that was inhabited by nobody. That meant the only annoying person around me was me, and that's the way I liked it. It was so quiet, I didn't actually need my iPod to stay sane and my ear canals had even started to go back to their normal, non-earbud-expanded shape.

But lately, there's been some jibber-jabber, to quote the big guy. About 2 weeks ago, a couple of loud talkers moved into adjacent cubes one row over. One of them has a laugh that sounds like the Joker has Janice from friends stuck in his throat. I almost wrote that in the reverse order, but the analogy lost something vital in conjunction with that unwanted and disturbing mental image.

Last week, one of the two loud people decided she wanted a bigger cube, so she moved all her shit to a nice double-wide over by the window, far away from her original neighbor. At first I thought that would be good, as it would cut down on the combination idle chit-chat/laugh-fest over the cube wall, but no. Now the idle chit-chat is actually yelled across the room, because for some reason I'm invisible and they think they are the only two here. They are also both signed into the Instant Messaging system, and I know this because I made it a point to find out their names and add them to my buddy list, which I expect to grow quickly over the next few weeks:

Apparently they lack the motor skills to master typing, because even when both of them are online and available, they yell across the frigging room. One of them usually stands up to do it. I am fairly certain they just use their buddy list status to know when it will be most effective to scream at each other.

It's not foolproof, however, since on at least a few occasions, I've heard "HEY _______! Are you over there?" when that person's icon clearly showed them in "Away" status. I can almost see this person at home at night, quickly opening and closing the refrigerator door trying to see if the light really does go off when the door closes.

The other day I got a third neighbor and this one is also pretty close to me.

She's a nice enough lady, and I liked working with her on the few projects we've had together, but sometimes she likes to have what I call "walking phone conversations." She talks. And paces. For some reason her pacing always brings her to the space between my cube and the window, a small area of about 3 square feet. She will stand right there and converse. It's awesome. I'm betting in another couple of weeks, I'll know all her kids' names.

She also has some sort of palm device that she incessantly "syncs-to-desktop." Every single time she does this, it makes a noise like "Bee Doooooooop!" which goes from high to low.....and then a few seconds later, another noise like "Dooo Beeeeeeeeep!" which goes from low to high -- which is about as pleasant to listen to every 60 seconds as it is to read. There's some weird acoustic thing happening as well, because I hear her phone voice bouncing off the plate glass window to the left of me even when she's sitting in her chair. It literally sounds like she's curled up under my desk. Oh, and the same thing happens with the "easy listening" muzak that she was playing from her clock radio the other day.

This new person, while quite adept at using IM, is apparently not adept at a little thing I like to call "hearing," because she has an extremely loud notification noise set to trigger on every single incoming IM. It sounds like PING! I was almost gonna go out to my truck and get my synthesizer to give you the full effect, but instead I will give you my day in visual format:


If one of them gets a cold and starts in with a phlegmy cough, I may have to quit.

This morning I saw a few post-it notes on 4 other empty cubes that said something to the effect of "reserved for other loud people" so I can't wait to see who moves in there.

The two cubes directly across from me are still unoccupied, at least for now. I really need to figure out a way to work from my house permanently before the "reserved" signs go up there.

God, I hate people.

On a completely different note, I am totally getting one of these for our long-ass weekly staff meetings because it never fails that my 32oz. coffee comes calling about 45 minutes into it. Besides, I can always use a little more comfort and confidence in my day.

I know it says one size fits all, but it looks like it might be a little big. Or maybe not. I'll let you know.


Placeholder. It looks kinda like a coaster.

This is a first -- I'm writing a blog entry and I must confess that the Tanqueray has been very good to me so far this evening. I have a few minutes before "You, Me & Dupree" starts. If it sucks, I blame you all for not warning me. I'll let you know.

I had to pick up the cat at the vet after work today, so I asked my wife to call me close to the time I leave to remind me. I have a tendency to get on the highway and start listening to music, which usually results in a lot of terrible singing, and ends with me arriving at my house with no actual recollection of how I got there. So she called to remind me to pick up the cat. Then she said, "Do you want me to call you while you're driving, to remind you again?" I told her I was forgetful, not retarded. Although I did almost miss my turn on the way home so maybe I shouldn't be drinking because I am apparently pretty adept at killing the brain cells that I actually use instead of the ones that are just lying around doing nothing.

At any rate, as I was driving home at roughly 20 miles over the speed limit, I passed a cop. Luckily, everyone around me was also going the same speed, and there occurred a simultaneous mashing of brakes that stopped the forward momentum of about 50 tons of steel in 3 seconds flat. This is generally not a good thing, and it results in lots of finger waving and swerving.

That got me thinking. What's up with this whole cat and mouse game, anyway? It started with the cops getting radar guns. The next thing you know, someone invents a very useful object that detects the microwave radiation that the guns put out. They call this a "radar detector" and sell a zillion of them. So after this, the cops aren't catching many speeders, so they have to invent craftier radar like "instant on" and Ka band and even go so far as to create something that uses lasers, which I assume is called a laser gun. That's pretty cool even though they don't actually slice moving cars in half as the name would make you think.

The detector companies come up with ways to counter all of these, which results in the cops not catching many speeders once again. What do they do? Pass laws to outlaw radar detectors, and then invent something called a radar detector detector. This little bit of high-tech can actually tell whether a car has a detector in it, in which case the cop can hand out a ticket if detectors are illegal in that state.

The detector companies decide that they can actually detect the method that the police are using to detect the detector, and they make their detector actually sense when it is about to be detected, and temporarily shut itself off. They call this "stealth mode" which is, essentially, a radar detector detector detector. About 2 minutes of research on the web reveals that there is also a radar detector detector which claims that "its anti-cloaking system defeats radar detectors with this feature" -- which actually makes this radar detector detector a radar detector detector detector detector. Are you following this because I'm barely hanging on here.

I guess my point is that the whole thing is just a game to amuse the cops and make money for the manufacturers of the various and sundry detectors. This really strikes me funny when you're talking about a toll road, like 87 south or I90. At least once a week I drive on these roads. I get a little ticket when I get on, and I surrender my ticket and pay my toll when I get off. The thing has a frigging time stamp on it. All they have to do is figure out the minimum time it can possibly take you to get from exit to exit while going the speed limit, then when you surrender your ticket, they can tell if you've been speeding. They could just issue a summons right there.

See, I think they like to play, because if you do it the smart way, it's no fun for anyone. OK, my movie is starting and I have more drinks to prepare so you guys are on your own. Rest well, and dream of large women.


Search and Rescue 2007

I need one more picture of a particular mailbox before I subject you to that upcoming post, and I really didn't want to get all introspective on your asses again, since the guys would be all like, "He sucks now. He's all sensitive and shit. What a pussy." and the girls would be all like "Eww...he's so Nicholas Sparks these days, only less hot and not rich." With that in mind, I'm going to go neutral, and lean on Site-Meter for this post. Yes, that's right -- it's time for:

Fantastic Searches that Somehow Led People To My Site

my testicles are the size of coconuts and I shoot fire from my ass - Oh, man. I'm so sorry. No, wait. On second thought, I think I'm jealous. That shit right there will get you noticed. You can't be all shy and introverted when you are shooting fire from your ass. The coconuts balls are just a bonus.

conversation starters undescended testicle - If you're looking for ways to mingle at a party, I have some better suggestions. Try talking about: The weather, what you do for a living, hobbies, favorite television shows, even music. If, however, you've already done that bit and you've found someone who wants you to drive her home and you're desperately trying to come up with a way to tell her about your recalcitrant nut, you might want to say, "Hey, by the way, one of my boys is still hiding. You want to try to coax him out on the way back to your place?" because that always works.

tiny weenie guys - I think I am insulted that you found my blog with this search. On the other hand, it does go to show that Google Knows All. John and Shamus were also on that list, so I don't feel so bad. I was before them, true, but I'll take what I can get.

how many feet does quikrete cover? - It really depends on the size of the feet, and of course the weight of the body. If you are dumping the body in the ocean, you don't need that much coverage. Between the sharks and the depth, you'll be fine with 4 feet per washtub. (That's two bodies, unless you're creative.) A river is a different story completely. River, you want to use a 55 gallon drum.

why does my saliva smell like shit? - You have to ask yourself a few questions to get to the bottom of this one. (1) Have you been eating shit lately? If no, then (b) have you pissed off your roommate to the point where he's doing something with your toothbrush on a daily basis?

How does a male person felt when he was stranded alone inside a circus Trailer in a Circus Town and when he was lock inside he was surprised to be alone with two Circus clown girls who were wearing with two beautiful Circus Ladies - I'm only guessing here because I've never been with two beautiful ladies or girls at the same time, circus or otherwise. But my thought here is that two circus clown girls wearing with two circus ladies would really have to quadruple your fun. There's squirting flowers, honking noses, colored scarves from all sorts of places...I think I'm going to have to go with "Like he died and went to heaven." Also, if this male person happens to be you, you might want to skip the oral because I hear clown girls taste funny. (I'm here all week, folks. Tip your waitresses!)

turkey bukkake - I saw this recipe on a japanese porn site once, and it is safe to say that I will not be coming over to your house for dinner. Ever.

how to build a house out of wooden pallets - Holy shit, I really have no idea. But I will put you in touch with my neighbors and alla y'all can work something out.

how do I stop smelling of pee in the morning - (1) Stop peeing on yourself. If that's not the problem and in fact someone other than you is peeing on you, then (2) Find a girlfriend/boyfriend with a different, less urine-intensive fetish. And don't come back here all "How do I stop smelling of sour cream and chives in the morning" either.

my wife's problematic labia - Ah, this was my favorite show when I was a kid. I wasn't born early enough to catch them the first time around, but I loved the reruns. All the labial hi-jinks! I was excited when I heard that it was finally out on DVD.

The special features and outtakes are a riot.


Little Rock.

The first full moon of the new year is tomorrow night. I know that most of you probably couldn't care less, but maybe after reading this a few of you will make it a point to search it out at some point during the night, if only for a few seconds.

Make a wish, even. Hey, 47 million Koreans can't be wrong.

I'm not sure why, but I've always loved the moon. There's just something about it that fascinates me. Maybe because it's so close, cosmically speaking. Maybe because out of all the things in the night sky that I can look at through my telescope, the moon is the one that most willingly reveals its secrets.

Or maybe it's only because in a world full of stress and unwanted change, the moon remains a constant.

I like the thought of that.

Sometimes it can be hard-edged, jewel-like and alien -- other times, orange-tinted and warm. Always a thing of untouchable, majestic beauty. But men have touched it. Men much greater than I.

No matter what form it takes when it appears in the sky, looking at it -- even for a few short moments -- always comforts and centers me in a way I can't really explain. It makes me think of what's...possible, perhaps.

Some of the quietest, most peaceful moments in my life have been spent sitting under that cold, soft light while the world sleeps. Whether I'm inside or out, it doesn't matter. For a moment, life is uncomplicated. Nothing can touch me. Time stops. The illusion is complete.

Here's a little ditty I wrote a while ago for another site. Enjoy. Or not.

Lunar, Eclipsed

Sometimes, when I look at the moon, I think back to the late summer nights when we sprawled on the hood of my car and stared up at the night sky. We wondered about our future, and whether we'd be together for a month, a year, a lifetime. We held hands and kissed and swatted bugs and drank our cheap wine under the stars.

And we laughed.

God, even now, just remembering the sound of your laughter can make my heart feel too big for my chest. When I close my eyes, I can still smell your perfume -- mingled with the faint, sweet scent of fresh-cut hay.

Sometimes, when I look at the moon, I wonder if, at that exact moment, you're looking at it too...and perhaps thinking of me.

We were just kids, I know.

But sometimes, when I look at the moon, I miss you more than I can bear.

Here's wishing everyone has a great 2007. Especially my fellow moon freaks out there!


They're right. Tattoos *are* permanent.

Do not drink this, ever:

Unless you actually like burping what tastes like a combination of Dr. Pepper and Vick's Formula 44 cough syrup for ten hours.

You have been warned.

Also, My belated christmas gift to you all.

Happy New Year, everyone!