Saturday, September 15, 2007

A gentle return to the mundane performance of my life.

Oh God, another trip to the grocery store. Whenever I dry up for blog posts, I head on over to the local supermarket and stock up on fresh meat.
I'm not really sure why I was there. It's so cool to have a supermarket a thousand feet from my house, so sometimes I go just because of because. I love the Cheerios, so I'll grab a box. There's like a hundred Cheerios products - wheat, fruit, stonewashed - they call them the "Cheerios Family", as though they had parents or something. So, which kid am I bringing home to pour Soy milk on and eat? It was MultiGrain. You probably could have guessed that one. You are what you eat.
And that meant I needed pork chops. But not the regular pork chops that I'd have to [egad] cook. These are already cooked (sorta like pre-chewed, but not as sickening) and packaged in an air-tight tomb that would be safe to eat until Al Gore becomes president. Between those and the Purdue pre-shaped breaded and flavored (real) chicken, it's a regular Diner around here.
I also like the flavored water. And I'd like to get some, but I can't, because the Swiss Family Robinson is debating which of the multitude of flavors they want. Just take one, OK? You look like you need more Taurine. Take the red one. You should see these people trying to buy Cheerios!
Anyway, inevitably it's off to my favorite place, the check-out line. Is anyone besides me completely grossed out by men who carry those wallets with the little change purse inside? Put your change in your pants, like a man. There's the guy in front of me, delicately reaching for eight cents among his week's worth of collected change. In a one-inch square container. Keep fishing, Nancy.
As faithful readers know, I bring my own bags. Usually, they look at me cross eyed, because they're the same bags that the store sells, so they're always confused as to whether I'm buying them or bringing them. Or, maybe they're just cross eyed?
The odd thing is that I'm supposed to be getting 2 cents for each bag I use, but I didn't find out about it until Thursday. The two bags I brought earned me 4 cents off my bill. If you can use them 50 times, they'll pay for themselves. After that, it's pure profit, baby.
I figured that if you really wanted to piss them off, you'd come to the store with 50 of them, and put one item in each bag. Would they have to give you a dollar off? You could say you were OCD or something and had to have each item in its own 'home'. I feel a little OCD just for thinking it up.
Then, I figured it probably wouldn't be worth a dollar to have to lug all those bags in and put one thing in each one. More trouble than it's worth, and all. You could probably get one of those hidden camera TV shows to do it, though. The ones that like to piss off strangers and then laugh about it.
NOTE TO PRODUCERS: If I see it, I'm callin' ya for my share of the 2 cents.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Comments are blog seeds

"Your writing has taken a different tone the past week or so...what's changed in you? You kind of have this sort of more relaxed attitude and you seem to be writing whatever it is that you're thinking."
- a Kimmyk comment
If you're anything like me (and pray that you're not) you have tiny, subtle personality shifts that take place depending on where you are. At work, we're "Workface", where we stand up a little straighter and things that are normally funny are borderline harassment. At home, we're probably most comfortable, and since it's our home, we act with a greater honesty and behave in some manner that is closer to who we are, really.
On our own, we can stretch the borders, but in company with other humans, there is a level of us that we really don't want people to know much about - whether it's some odd behavior or a particular TV show or food that we like that would cause embarrassment. Like Flip This House and Cauliflower.
If you're anything like me (yada yada) you struggle to find a balance between the Workface and the real you, which lies a great distance away from Workface. But, since Workface makes everything else possible, we are forced to deal with Workface. But, for now, let's keep Workface out of the discussion, since it is so far from who we really are as to be irrelevant.
Where we struggle the most is with the value that we place on what other people think of us. The sensitive among us value it highly, since causing discomfort or interference is a reflection on them - so they say. Usually, that causes us to hide our true feelings.
Most of all, we don't want anyone to think we're weird or unusual. Being an outcast is perhaps society's greatest punishment, since companionship is so highly sought after. So we behave normally, so that we'll be just like the ones from which we desire acceptance. Often, that normal behavior will wear on ones nerves to the point that he feels that it isn't worth the internal strife for the sake of being thought of as normal. I hate to break it to you, folks, but normal isn't what it's cracked up to be.
The blog setup is the ideal vehicle for people (now you are like me) who desire expression in its truest form. Here, my language is as colorful as is necessary, my attitudes as open as I can have them and every emotion is open to explore. It's perhaps the perfect mode of expression.
Recently, I've been contimplating my mortality and thinking that I haven't quite accomplished or experienced all the things I should, and part of the reason is that I haven't always been expressive enough or true enough to my feelings. It comes and goes.
Then, as I began thinking about post ideas, I found that most of the social topics have been covered here in one form or another. I was awash in repeated history.
So, like the space program, I stopped looking out and started looking in. There are way more topics in than out, and I've enjoyed ranting and venting for a while. I like the shorter thoughts and the stream of consciousness thing and trying to tie the junk in together.
Besides, the blog isn't as funny as it used to be, and if I'm not going to be funny, I don't want to just rant for rant's sake. Those people yell so much that eventually they disappear in their own mouthhole. I don't want that.
I think the blog is truer to its name if the posts are about what I'm thinking rather than what I think of something that has happened to someone else. Regardless of what's going on and what I think of it, one thing is for certain.
I couldn't be more comfortable here.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Georgie on the Tele

I admit to knowing very little about foreign politics, and particularly little about the Middle East, other than they seem to hate each other times pi-squared, so it gets confusing for me to keep up with the cells, policies and hateful slogans for all of them. With that in mind, I tuned into the President's TV show on Thursday night, mostly to see how much older he looks now than a couple years ago.
The first thing I noticed was a strange parallax between the Tele-PrompTer and his eyes. He was maybe seeing that speech for the second time, and he stumbled as he read. I kept creeping over to the right side of my screen so I could catch his gaze, but the bastard wouldn't look at me. Sumbitch.
NBC had the speech in hi-def, so lucky me, I got to see his puss in broad detail, and I'm pretty sure I could make out scales under the make-up. Yeah, definitely scales.
He rambled on a bunch of the same-old, same-old about his policies and supposed goals - stuff I'd heard before - and I got this odd DejaVu thing a couple of times. Hard to tell, though, whether my skin was itchy from that or just from him. I think it's both.
Then he trots out the "letter about a dead soldier". When in doubt, turn to mourning and creating a nice martyr that we can all relate to. Cheap, if you ask me - and you didn't.
But mostly, it pushed The Office back a half hour, and I got all out of rhythm. New shows start in two weeks, with the first four being one-hour episodes. It's one of the best shows on TV, and even though it's popular and all, I bet it doesn't last as long as the War in Iraq.
The President's attitude seems to be that we'll wipe [those people] off the face of the earth. Well, how many wars have accomplished that lofty goal? Wars kill bunches of people who are replaced by more bunches. The sad part is that the longer the war lasts, the more kids get cycled in. It practically feeds on itself.
I remember meeting a kid in a local pub who was getting ready to be shipped out to Afghanistan. He said, "I'm not supposed to be telling you this, but they've got this thing planned out until 2011." That was about 2 years ago, and I'm starting to think that the kid knew what he was talking about.
I just hope he got home.

New Jersey on $368 a day.

“I have three kids and no money. Why can’t I have no kids and three money?”
Homer Simpson

Microsoft Word tells me that there’s a “number agreement” problem with that quote, but that’s our Homer.
Speaking of number agreements, Dina Matos McGreevey, the estranged (strange) wife of former New Jersey governor and current Gay American Jim McGreevey says that her $1,129 support payment she’s getting from Jimbo isn’t enough to maintain her luxurious ex-wife of a gay governor lifestyle. Pity.
She wants a judge to increase her monthly allotment to $4,000, or in legal-speak, three money. She said that “In total, I need $11,162 per month to meet my expenses.” I realize that she is raising a 5-year-old daughter by herself, and I have no kids (and no money) but seriously, does it take $2,575 a week to maintain a house and a kid?
Maybe she figures that Jim is used to being jammed up the ass, so what’s another 4-grand? Or, perhaps once you are no longer married to the governor your lifestyle should change accordingly?
For the record, Dina earned $80,000 last year, in addition to a $275,000 book advance. Don’t spend it all in one place. Good luck, Dina. Jim’s fists aren’t the only thing that’s tight.
Or, so I hear.

Mister Softee - World's Worst Porno Film ... ever

So I'm watching ... something ... on the TV and this ad for ... something ... comes on and the voice-over says that whatever it is was an Award Winning company. So I'm thinking World's Worst Business Award is still an award, isn't it? So maybe there should be a modifier in there somewhere, like best or finest. Don't leave us hanging.
I think I'm being secretly videotaped by the New England Patriots.
There's a new movie opening this week called Mr. Woodcock. I guess that's supposed to be funny. Woodpecker would have been funnier, but I think it's been done. The porn industry won't even have to subtly change the title for their version, like Broadcast Nudes or Edward Penishands.

Buy two and save! Can somebody explain that concept to me? I know, buy none and save isn't a very good marketing tact, right?

I guess I'm the only sports fan in the world who isn't appalled by the Patriots video tape cheating scandal. So, they figured a way to know what the other side was doing? It strikes me as that casino mentality where they throw a guy out if they think he's counting cards. You're welcome to come in and lose as much money as you want, but once you start to win, you have to leave. That's one of the many reasons I don't like casinos.
Besides, you're dealing with the NFL, a league that fines a guy for wearing an unapproved headband. Don't expect progressive thinking to come out of that office anytime soon.
I'm thinking about getting a new phone.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

God is in his imaginary Heaven, and all is right with the world.

Natalie Gulbis is running a blog (of sorts) from Sweden, where the girls are playing The Solheim Cup. The photo on the right would be a really nice photo if the camera had worked.
What's particularly odd is that the big ad in the right corner is supposedly for the camera that took the crappy shot.
Are they really trying to sell cameras? Maybe a nice outdoor shot where there's sun. A flash would be a nice touch, don't-cha-think?

I have to admit, those new iPods are pretty cool. A 3.5 inch screen and wireless Internet capable. Three hundred bucks is a bit steep for all that, but maybe they'll drop the price like they did with the stupid iPhone. Glad you waited in line?
I'm a little confused, though about the TV sizes. We seem to want them in all sizes, and we're equally amazed by both small and large. "Wow, look at that screen!" could be applied to anything. I'm not sure I want to watch TV on my cell phone.
"Who the hell are you and what did you do with the dude who used to post pictures of the half naked golfing chicks up in here?" - Kimmyk
And, so that the world will once again come into sharp focus for our Kimmyk, here is a half-naked golfing chick:

Bonus points if you know who she is. I'll bet Sparky knows.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I'm not anonymous

I really must work on being more revealing on a personal level. The comments come-a-flooding in, and you know I do love a comment. Especially when they're from mysterious cyberspace Lamont Cranston types, stirring the shit under a pseudonym. Just like leaving out a sugary snack at a picnic. Soon, you're infested. They're not very good spellers, though.
Canada, however seems to be accommodating to all manner of people. There's a mental hospital nearby [I know, very funny] and one of the lunatics has escaped the asylum. His name is William Enman, and he's not just crazy, he's a crazy killer. This paragraph from today's newspaper story had me intrigued: The Prosecutor's Office in Morris County, where Enman's murder case originated, said that Enman may have purchased real estate in Nova Scotia. Officials at the Prosecutor's Office could not provide more details to explain how a man diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and confined to a mental hospital managed to buy a place in Canada.
I'm guessing he saved his cigarette money and probably bought it over the Internet, like we do drugs. Just because he's crazy doesn't mean he's stupid.
I get a lot of hits when I mention Britney Spears. More than I get when I write that stupid philosophical jazz. Give the people what they want. If I ran a picture of Britney Spears kissing Cecily Tynan, taken by Alycia Lane, Blogger would have to upgrade its server. It's strange, I tell ya.
This 9/11 thing is really close to being a National holiday. I can feel it growing. It must be what it was like in the middle ages when somebody brought home a tree in December and started decorating it. At the beginning, everybody wondered what in Hell he was doing, but before long they all had the stupid trees and there were so many of them that a store had to open to have all the junk that people wanted. Then the lights and the mistletoe ... Just like that. The Nine-Eleven Store.
I read an article today about the planned National Park in Shanksville, where Flight 93 crashed. The design is finished, and there's going to be another of these walls with all the names on it. I've noticed that since the Vietnam Memorial went up in D.C. that there's this trend of putting all the names on monuments. That's something new.
So who needs a girlfriend, anyway? Not me, that's who. That's my story and it's sticking to me. I can have fun by myself. [What do you think that means?] It was kind of fun to exorcise that demon yesterday. I had that saved in 'Drafts' for about 4 months. Can I hold a grudge, or what? I thought it might be a little harsh, but I no longer care how things I say are interpreted, since I only say what is necessary. Besides, I didn't mention any names, and she's the only one who knows who I'm talking about ... well maybe somebody else. You might know, too, and if you want to know, like any good Beatle album, the clues are in there somewhere, you just have to know where to look. Maybe if you spelled my posts backward?
Number 9, number 9, number 9.

A Cautionary Tale

When I was a kid, I had a neighbor who was one of those people who was constantly doting on his house – always around, raking, sweeping and picking up stuff. One day, the newspaper wound up being delivered to his roof, just above his front door. Incredulously, he looked up at it, hands on hips, shook his head and said, “People are no damned good.”
I think about that little episode whenever someone disappoints me. It doesn’t happen all that often, since I think I am a pretty good judge of character. Sometimes, however, the evaluations go wrong, and I allow my own prejudices and priorities to creep in - especially with women. After all, there are 160 million of them in the United States, so the odds of finding a weasel in the bunch are low, right? That’s what I would have thought, but weasels, being weasels, are sneaky little bastards. That’s why they’re called weasels.
Inject the Internet into the mix and the possibilities for finding weasels increases, since the lack of an actual face-to-face greeting throws the monkey wrench in. As such, the on-line experience must be done with the utmost of care, as I was to find.
She lived over a thousand miles away. She was married, [uh oh - weasel alert] but willing to cheat on her husband because he was a skunk (which, some would say, makes her one too). I wasn’t seeing anyone, so I bypassed all the things in my head that told me it was a crazy notion, and proceeded – still looking for the weasels – but not quite as hard.
She told me that she was going to divorce her husband. FLASHBACK: I remember reading those Ann Landers columns where Ann would tell someone in my situation not to believe her when she said that, and to run, because people rarely follow-through on such hollow promises. Ann knows a weasel when she sees one. Nevertheless, I ignored Ann’s advice. Love blinds. Weasels lie.
To think that we could have sustained a relationship with the distance involved would have been hoping against hope to begin with, even in the ideal world where we were both single. Add to the mix the fact that we couldn’t see each other every day (or every month) and the general lack of time for anything besides hurried telephone calls and e-mail, and you see the problem. Why couldn’t I see it? [Is love blind, or does it just need glasses?] As great a benefit as the Internet is, it does not replace face-to-face or hand-to-hand contact.
I never should have started something that I knew I couldn't finish. To think that either of us would move to be closer was at least temporarily out of the question, so I could not anticipate when or if we could be closer. However, loneliness is everything it's cracked up to be, so any viable option to relieve the pressure is welcomed.
We did get together once - in person. Four enjoyable days, unbeknownst to Weasel's spouse or many in the general public. However, what I thought would be a promotional tour turned into a guilt-ridden angst festival, followed by her pulling away while I was moving closer. Gradually, it dawned on me that it just wasn't going to happen.

In the end, it just got to be too much, and it, as all things, had to end. The marriage got better and my place as the alternative had lost its meaning. Deceit and distrust had nothing to do with it, but should have had everything to do with it. After all, the relationship (such as it was) was based on deceit and distrust. Quite the foundation, eh?

Ann was right.

What surprized me was how she turned on me toward the end. Picking needless arguments over ridiculous things and reading things into innocent comments that could only serve to drive a wedge between us - which may have been her intent from the beginning. Weasels are hard to figure.

Here I am, broken up with someone that I was probably never “with” anyway. So, why do I feel so badly about it? Probably because I feel used and stupid. That's a bad combination. She’s one of 160 million women, so she’s not statistically relevant. She’s a fly-speck on a grain of sand. Something so insignificant in the grand scheme should not be awarded such high priority status. To be blunt, she isn't worth the 800 or so words I just wrote, but it's still free to blog, so, as Mr. "Bluto" Blutarsky once said, "It don't cost nothin'." Unless you don't count my heart, my trusting nature or the scars that will have to heal. Other than that, I'm doing great.


I cannot allow one weasel to ruin the whole hen house.


1 - Stay within your own time zone.
2 - Wait until you see the final divorce decree before giving up your heart.
3 - Dig deep to find the weasels.

One day next week, there will be a Weasel Warehouse Clearance Sale on Ebay of all the crap she gave me. Should be good for five or ten dollars.

Afterward, I’ll throw a newspaper on my roof in her memory..

Monday, September 10, 2007

Where did the day go?

I hate myself sometimes. OK, so most of the time, but you get the point.
Maybe it was that post I wrote on Saturday, or maybe it was something else, but I missed Sunday's 6th season premiere of Curb Your Enthusiasm - the second funniest show on TV. I had to set one of those cable-TV reminders to bleep my TV when 9 o'clock came around on Monday to catch the shortest-ever repeat episode. Never mind that it interrupted my constant switching between the Phillies and the Ravens - seriously, folks, I think I lived in Baltimore in a previous life, since I'm inexplicably drawn to the Orioles and Ravens - but I finally saw the show. Let me tell ya. If you have any way of getting HBO for free, even for 6 months like I did, do it just to see this show. And, if you haven't seen it for any of the other 5 years it has been on, start with season 1 and work your way forward. Hear me now, believe me later.
Not to mention that I fell asleep during the Eagles game on Sunday. It's one of those things. I go to the gym, get lunch, flip on the TV for the game and by 3:30 I'm out - Saturday post notwithstanding. Perhaps gratefully, I missed the game-winning field goal by that kid from Colorado, and I had to see it on highlights and read about it in the newspaper and hear about it on the radio.
So now, I see that one of my former Blogger buddies has made her blog "subscribers only." What's the point, I wonder [quietly to myself]? Why not just send out e-mail's? If the purpose of blogging is to make your skewed viewpoint accessable to the general public, why would you bother to make it "subscriber only"? You want to know why? Ask me, I might tell. Some of you might be dying to know.

Paunch or no paunch?

This was the first line of the article about Sunday night’s VMA’s and Britney Spears’ effort:
Out-of-synch lip-synching, lethargic moves and a paunch doomed Britney Spears' MTV opening.
I didn't watch the show [surprised?] so I can’t vouch for the out-of-synch part or the alleged lethargy, but if this qualifies as a “paunch,” then I think our standards are way out of whack over our bodies. Literally, paunch is defined as “a large, prominent belly.” You want to see a paunch? I can show you some paunches. It’s no wonder that people are so conflicted.
One local radio host called it a "muffin top", and I fully expected to see this rippling lap-over in some disgraceful display of a sloth-like lifestyle.
I'm thinking it's just a bad fashion choice.
Meanwhile, take a stroll around the local shopping plaza and spy the apparently mirror-less and equally clueless people (men and women) who have ample paunches, and picture them in the same outfit Britney wore on Sunday night. Bad fashion choices abound, and your gaze will be turned away and you'll feel like you stared at a solar eclipse.
When your vision is restored, let me know. As for Britney, she's still in the top 5 percent - big time TV shows notwithstanding.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

There's no joy in Mudville

I'm ready for it. On Monday around here, people will be a little more grouchy, a little more irritable and just plain pissed off. Why? It's such a beautiful place to live (they even called it The Garden State), there's farm-fresh food, great entertainment, and taxes are ... oh, well never mind. But it is a nice place most of the time. So what could have people so worked up that their day is ruined?
The Eagles lost. They're an American football team. Fans around here bleed green. I used to think it was a stupid thing to say, then I realized that I'm a Phillies fan and I bleed red. Not so stupid now, huh?
The local sports talk radio station is going to have to run in extra telephone lines or hire more hosts, because it's going to be ugly around there. The newspaper guys that are prone to criticism will need more space and the local cable outlet's sports rant program will probably get big ratings this week.
Sometimes I think that fans around here are in a strange way happier when their teams lose. I'm not sure how it works, but rather than sit and mope, they call the radio station and scream for two minutes. They send e-mail's to the newspaper and rant in the Eagles chat room. Losing, for most of us promotes anguish and sadness and we can become almost catatonic. It makes Eagles fans angry. Mention the game, and their faces will get all scrunched up and they'll start complaining more than they would if their kid got an F on a math test.
I think the fans are more angry than the players, who seem almost catatonic. That's strange, don't you think?