The Irony, it burn's.

It took all of my nerd super powers to resist adding "So's he don't end up like me" to the end of that paragraph.

Also, a part of my childhood died today.

I'll never forget doing the "Monkee Walk" down the street with my brothers.

Davy was a large part of the soundtrack to my childhood. Even though the show was in syndication by the time we saw it, it was new to us, and we didn't know any different.

We just knew we liked it.

Hey, Hey.


Free Candy.

I have a bad habit of turning the passenger-side of my car into a dumpster. It drives my wife nuts. But since I rarely if ever have passengers, it just sort of happens over time, especially in the winter when I don't have a chance to clean my car. For instance, I've had the Miata's license plates sitting on the floor since I took the car off the road in October. I never actually made it to the DMV to turn them in because I'm a lazy piece.

Sunday morning I stopped over to Paul's house to help his wife figure out what to do with some of his camping gear, and ended up taking a few things. They also ended on the floor in my car. I had some tools in the back that I wanted to remember to take into the house, so I put those there too. Of course, that didn't happen, and so everything sat there.

The next day was monday and as a result I sucked it up and went to work, since that's the kind of guy I am. I figure it's bad form to call in sick on a monday. Unless you're actually sick, I mean. Since I get there very early, I parked where I usually park, which is right in front of the building because, well, lazy piece.

As I grabbed my coffee and my laptop, I happened to look over at the floor of the passenger side and saw this:

Jesus. I think the only thing missing was a bottle of chloroform and a rag.

After work I drove home very carefully, going the exact speed limit the entire way.

Then I cleaned my car.


I think there's a little crack in the family tree

I have one of those families that's strewn all over hell's half acre, so it always seems like getting together on the holidays never happens. It's a shame since I have nieces and nephews I don't get to see without making a three hour drive. As far as my wife's family, her brother is the only one we see pretty regularly. Her mother is a bit "colorful," shall we say, and we tend to avoid contact with her and my sister-in-law. To digress for a second, let me tell you a short story.

We lived at my in-law's house for about four months while we were building our house, and I once spent about forty minutes smelling candles. Let me explain.
One day we came back from the store and when we walked into the house, we were hit by the stench of weed. The house smelled like backstage at a Peter Tosh concert. Being the tactful sort of guy that I am, I immediately said, "Holy shit! It smells like you were smoking weed in here." Her mom stammered for a bit then managed to think of a lie and think of it quick.

"No, no, that's not what you smell," she managed to say, "I had some candles going, and I blew them out. That's probably it."
"Noooo, I'm pretty sure that's weed," I said.

I should have just kept my mouth shut, because then she made me sniff every one of her multitude of scented candles to determine if any one of them could have been the culprit. I finally told her that unless Yankee Candle had released a new Purple Kush line of candles that I was currently unaware of, none of her candles came even remotely close to smelling like the cloud of smoke we walked through to get to the kitchen. She eventually relented and let me go.

We agreed to disagree on what I had smelled. Even though we repeatedly told her that we didn't care whether or not she smoked or didn't smoke, she never admitted to it, even though she had obviously been exhaling the last lungful 30 seconds before we walked in the front door and had probably been surprised into swallowing a lit roach.

So that sort of sets the stage. (Remind me to tell you guys about the time she buried the pet bird. Alive. That's a fun story.)
Anyway, with the family such that it is, we always end up holding on to Christmas and birthday presents until they finally get so far past the intended date that we end up shipping them weeks or months later -- which explains why my mother-in-law told my wife that she wanted to have lunch because she had some Christmas gifts for us.

My wife was kind of dreading it, but her mom was all excited, especially about my gift. "I found a really nice shirt for Johnny!" she said. "I can't wait for him to open it." The lunch went off without a hitch, and they caught up a little on the craziness, and the gifts sat in my wife's car for a few days. The other night, she remembered to bring them in and we opened them up.

I do have to say, my mother-in-law knows my taste in clothes. You know how I can tell? Because the first thing I saw when I opened my gift was a mirrored sticker that said "OFFICIAL PARTNER OF THE UFC" in block letters. If you don't know, UFC stands for Ultimate Fighting Championship, and I am pretty sure she didn't even know that I am currently training to become the ultimate fighter in between working and blogging.

The shirt itself is black (befitting its bad-ass status) with white stitching, and has "MMA FORCE DIV." in block letters over the pocket. I'm not sure what MMA stands for, but it might be either "Mixed Martial Arts" or "My Muscles Atrophied" since I haven't worked out for a few months.  Not to be outdone by the pocket, the sleeves have their own ridiculousness to share.  

On one side there's an embroidered patch that said "ELITE DIVISION" on it, with a sillouette of a Lion and two crossed spears, and on the other is a shield with what appears to be a phoenix and three stars.

I really can't argue with the the ELITE status since I am sure if I wore this shirt my ELITE status would already be confirmed. The phoenix seems to indicate that I will rise from the ashes, which I am interpreting to mean that my plans to become the ultimate fighter are completely justified.

I immediately put it on (for the first and most likely last time), threw a spinning back kick at my wife and shouted, "I WILL FIGHT YOUR ASS RIGHT NOW!" Then I took it off and wrote this blog.

Just in case you cannot seriously believe this shirt exists, I present you with this photographic evidence:
I am torn between keeping it for its sheer awesomeness, or dropping it into the salvation army bin and taking a chance on having to fight a homeless guy wearing it at the final round of a UFC tournament somewhere.


Best comment ever. (Or at least today.)

I was reading an article this morning about the rioting kicked off as a result of someone somewhere burning a pile of Korans or Qurans or however it's spelled. My opinions about crazy people rioting -- whether it's over a supposed religious slight or the fact that your sports team won or didn't win -- notwithstanding, this comment thread made me laugh, so I figured I'd share. (Click to enlarge)

You gotta either laugh or cry, you know?


I'm shutting down this blog forever.

A little while ago, I took my blog down for one day to join what seemed like the rest of the world in protesting SOPA -- except I wasn't exactly sure how to do it so I ended up applying a password to the blog instead of making it go away. Shortly thereafter, I received an awesome e-mail from a woman named Angela telling me how much she enjoyed reading my mental diarrhea, and asking if I'd share the password with her. To sweeten the deal, she said she'd send me some coffee samples from a new line her company was launching.

I told her the shutdown was only temporary, and it would be back to normal the next day, and then I pretty much forgot about it. A few days later the UPS guy staggered up to the door holding a giant box, and had me sign for it.

When I dragged it inside and opened it, this fell out:

That's like 25 lbs of free coffee from mother-parkers.com. I'm thinking about shutting my blog down permanently just to see if I win the lottery.

Each bag is filled with coffee from a particular region, and the coffee comes from 5 different regions. I had really expected some sample packets, maybe enough to make a cup or two of each flavor. It's pretty good stuff too, but I wish it wasn't pre-ground. (Beggars can't be choosers as my mom used to say.) So far I've tried the 100% Colombian and the 100% Ethiopian, and both were really tasty.

Tomorrow morning, for the first time ever, I'm going to take an extra-long shower and then go 100% Brazilian. (I've heard it's very smooth but a little hard to get used to at first. I'll let you know.)

[Edit: I've shut off that horrible new captcha. Let's see how much spam I get.]


Happy Valentine's Day, Ted.

Am I the only one who thinks Jane Seymour should stick to acting and leave the jewelry design work to someone more qualified? Every time I catch her "open heart" necklace ad on TV, all I see is a fat sparkly ass dangling on a chain.

So it's Valentine's Day and everything everywhere is covered in hearts. I've always wondered where the "heart" shape came from. It looks nothing like an actual heart, right? I suppose with the internet at my fingertips I could look this up, but the depths of laziness you can achieve when you have that sort of research tool at your disposal are pretty amazing.

It used to be that if I thought, I wonder where the traditional symmetrical image representing the heart originated? I'd either have to drive to the library, look it up and make some photocopies of the pertinent info, or just decide it wasn't worth the effort to know and remain ignorant. Doing the latter, however, would ultimately drive me crazy enough so that I'd probably end up at the library anyway trying to find answers.

These days if I ask myself that question, I can either: (1) type a single sentence into a search engine and have instant gratification with a couple of mouse clicks, or (2) refresh my twitter feed to see what @wilw's dog just said. (Dog: IMA PLAY WITH YOU! Cat: Fuck off. Dog: POUNCE! Cat: Watch me run across the wall like I'm in the Matrix.)

So yeah. No idea on that heart thing.

I did manage to rummage around in my old third-grade Valentine's day card pile and come up with the most terrifying card I ever received:

In case you can't make it out, it says "Howdy Pardner" across the top of whatever that is supposed to be. A red hat? Bloody hair? I don't know, and that's just the head covering. The creature itself appears to be a pig of some sort. Why he's wearing a red bomber hat and has a heart tattooed on his forehead remains a mystery to me. And that grin. It haunts my dreams and I don't know why.

I think Tracy is the only one who will ever know for sure. Thanks, Tracy, wherever you are. Sorry I couldn't be your Valen-swine. Please don't hunt me down and kill me for my bacon.

The next one I found deserves an "A" for effort. Purple mountain majesties, beautiful multi-colored flowers, a scalloped edge, and in case you can't make it out from my horrible picture, actual glitter. Glitter, you guys.

Sadly for me, here's the inside:

Danny. Not Tina, not Donna -- either of which I would have been more than thrilled with -- but Danny. It's the story of my life.

I'm afraid Danny and I never really hit it off. I think maybe if he had gone with "Love, Danny" things may have turned out differently. Who knows? OK! I admit it! I liked the movie Burlesque! Xtina's costumes were to die for! Oh wait, sorry. That movie sucked. Cher sings like a transvestite and can't move her face. Christina Aguilera did look pretty hot though when she wasn't made up like a hooker clown. OK, I'm back now.

Lastly, I found this Valentine's day mural of my family, each represented by a different heart and helpful label:

So we have Mommy, Daddy, Kevin (Houdini), Brian (The Snitch) and baby. That about covers it, as far I can recall. Two parents, three boys, one girl... yep, that was it.

Then we apparently have other baby, small small baby, and Ted.


Who the eff was Ted? I can almost see missing a couple of babies, because I really wasn't all that observant when I was eight -- and in my defense, small small babies are really small -- but Ted? I think I probably would have noticed an entire other guy living with us.

I still have no idea who Ted may have been, or why he ranked high enough on my list of important people to rate his own large blue heart, but I hope that wherever he and the missing babies are today, they are doing well.

So anyway, Happy Valentine's Day, everyone else. And let me know about that paper heart thing.

FYI, I'm all caught up on Wil Wheaton's dog.


I'm shocked.

Beach towels? Flip flops? Green screen photography? Professional teeth whitening? Six-second tanning?

How is it possible that this place could go out of business? If those things are not the basis for a solid five-year business plan, I'm not sure what is.

They probably should have added pizza, tattoos and psychic readings. That would have been too big to fail.


Final touch.

I went to AC Moore the other day to see if they had any poster framing/hanging-type stuff, because I had ordered a few posters on-line and I was going to (foolishly) try to frame them myself.

If you've never heard of these stores, they are chock-full of the type of crap that keeps old ladies busy when they're not playing bingo. Scrapbooking supplies, beads, baubles, loose buckets of creepy doll heads, painting and drawing supplies, you name it. Oh, and shitloads of over-priced fabric paint. I haven't seen fabric paint in squeeze bottles since I drew an REO Speedwagon logo on the back of a denim jacket and thought it was cool. Shut it. You can't fight this feelin' and don't tell me you can because I will know you're lying. Anyway, I am pretty sure you can't go to this place without coming home with inadvertent glitter in your asscrack.

About 30 minutes later, I walked out of there with a can of spray adhesive, a couple pieces of foam board, two giant frames, and glitter down my pants. And yes, that was intentional. What? I needed the glitter.

I've never used this spray adhesive before, but I'm an expert now so let me give you a few tips. One, don't spray it inside your house. In fact, I would go so far as to recommend you don't spray it at all, unless what you're after is mild hallucinations, probable neurological damage, missing short-term memories and a splitting headache. Two, I would not recommend spraying this in the vicinity of open flames or even static electricity unless you have a deep burning need to violently explode, or at the very least, burn off all your body hair. Just by the smell of this stuff, you can tell it would go up like the Hindenburg.

Speaking of your high potential to be sporting vast quantities of errant body hair (I know you guys), cover that shit up, because if you don't you'll be sorry. Especially watch out for your arm hair. If you have arm hair, I mean. If you do, you should probably wear long sleeves when you spray it, otherwise you will have a matted pelt on both arms by the time you are finished, and trust me, this glue does not wash off. I never had dreads on my arms before. It's not a good look for me, fyi.

So long story short, after almost turning myself into human flypaper with the spray adhesive, I ended up with this:

I was originally thinking of going for The Crow and Army of Darkness, but I went old school instead. Plus, I kinda like to look at Audrey Hepburn whenever I get the chance.

I didn't really notice this until after I had the new posters in, but I'm pretty sure my frames were happy to see me, based on the "stock" picture I removed:

Maybe it's just the leftover adhesive fumes talking, but if it were my company, I would have probably thought twice before naming my product Supreme Wood.* On the other hand, who can say? I mean, it IS Supreme, so I think you are pretty much obligated to go with it. Anything else is just pedestrian wood, and nobody wants that.

In other news, I have the on-call pager this week, so be prepared for some additional bitching and moaning. #firstworldproblems, as the kids say.

*Unless it was for erectile dysfunction, in which case you really couldn't pick a better name.


The Spirit of Video.

OK. The project which has been sucking up almost every available second of my weekend time since July is finally (almost) done, and I wanted to share a picture with you:

Thanks go out to my buddy Yort for all his donated time and effort. Without his help, I'd probably still be framing the walls. We made our share of mistakes along the way, but every time I was pissing and moaning about something we screwed up, Yort would wave his hand and say, "Ah, nobody will ever see it" and even though I didn't believe him at the time, it turns out that he's right.

It still needs a coffee table, some old framed movie posters, one less bentwood rocker, and a small bar/fridge area and I'm going to call it finished and get back to work on my book-in-waiting. Either that, or I'm going to watch every movie in my collection in alphabetical order. So it might be a while is all I'm saying.

I haven't forgotten about the Orlando Geek-fest post -- hopefully I'll get to that later this week. In the meantime, here's a photo I call "Lotusphere: Encapsulated."

That's a day four snow crash you're looking at right there.