Monday, November 29, 2004
Or something like that...The whiskey being vodka and the 45 being me, in about 2 hours anyway. When I was 25, I couldn't even see that far down this road. Now before you click away thinking this is going to turn into some sort of drunken train wreck rant/whine about how it sucks to be me, it won't. I'm not drunk, and while some people might think it sucks to be me, I don't think that way...or, it might be better to say I don't operate that way. I have pity parties just like everyone else does, I just generally keep them to myself. Except for that one meltdown a couple of months back that I'm still beating myself up for.
I've been thinking alot about this whole turning 45 business alot lately...30 didn't bother me, 40 didn't bother me, but 45...man. Initially it was reflection on a shoulda done/coulda done level, and let me tell you, I shoulda/coulda done alot of shit in the last 20 years. The single thing that I regret, I mean truely regret, is that I didn't finish school. That regret is easily corrected however, I can go back to school. And, in a sense, I am in school right now, learning to be an electrician. I'm still not 100% on this gig, but I'm learning valuable skills and staying afloat, albeit with the assistance of Ann's job and her parents helping us out. That parents helping us out thing bugged me for a while, until I got over myself and realized how lucky we are to have them willing to help, and...well, god bless them.
On to the point...I started thinking about the things I did do over the last 20 years, and you know what? It's not such a shabby list, and when you get right down to it, it beats making a shitload of money and driving a Hummer 2 just like lil' bow wow's. Although the shitload of money is appealing. I have, in the last 20 years:
Managed to help raise a son who is destined to shine.
Found and married the love of my life 10 years ago, even though she was under my nose 20 years ago.
Helped alot of people.
Helped alot of animals.
Wrote some decent songs, with a decent band, that made people very uncomfortable (sometimes) when we played them.
Met lots of different people, from all walks of life and been enriched by the experience.And still have alot of them around after all this time.
Managed to keep a roof over my head and food in my pantry, so, "what have you got to complain about"? (thanks, mom, for the unending pounding of what really matters into my head).
There's more, but it's late...work in the morning, you know. Suffice to say, that, upon reflection, 45 isn't so bad after all.
Sunday, November 28, 2004
I've had this thing on my mind all day...discrimination, and in particular, discrimination in the US of A. I can only speak from my experiences, and so I will. Growing up in texas in the late 60's and nearly 70's gave me a pallette of discrimination beyond imagination as I was awash in a sea of rednecks. they hated blacks,mexicans, asians...anyone who wasn't white, except for hippies, or freaks, or whatever you want to call them. And from 7th grade, I was one of those hippies. To run away from a group of rednecks intent on kicking your ass and removing your hair with goat shears gave me a unique connection with my ethnic brethren, which I carry with me to this day. But I had a choice, had I cut my hair and changed my dress, I would've obstensively been alright, but a haircut and fashion adjustment was easy...not like changing the color of your skin. I finally did cut my hair off in 1977, and it won me a job washing dishes at a hotel...in the back, with the blacks and the mexicans, so go figure.
People of color have persevered in this country for many generations at great expense, and through that perseverence have gained significant footholds in society. Even in government...high ranking government even, but I'm sure there's some hardcore racist somewhere decrying the niggers in the woodpile (whitehouse). The difference is they don't have permission to be vocal like they used to, because Colin Powell is a great man, and nobody has the balls to spout that kind of undistilled hatred these days. I realize there are many prominent black leaders in the us today, but Colin is the obvious choice, because he is a great man, and an example of aforementioned perseverence. I don't like Condoleeza Rice, but she is a another example of that perseverence...you don't have to like her politics, but god damn! She's black and female and has a high ranking position in the government, if you look at the history of this country that's nothing short of fucking amazing, and more power to her for that.
I still don't like her, or republicans for that matter, and struggle to dispel the thought that she is just an "Aunt Jemima" of the republican party, put in a place of power for appearance sake to fool the other black people in this country into believing the republican party welcomes diversity. And don't be fooled for one second, Rastus, it's a front...trust me. They welcome diversity like you welcome a case of the crabs or scabies, but they know what works...and this diversity shit works, like a charm.
Discrimination in this country has gone further underground as ethnic groups have integrated themselves into the main workings of america...they still get fucked over, to be sure, but it's done on a level more subtle and sinister than back in the day when people could just be blatently racist. It's harder to prove, and "affirmative action" in all it's wide eyed earnestness has in a way made it easier to "stealth discriminate" and made things harder for everyone, whites included.
But these days, your ethnicity is secondary to what I call your "approval rating"...what do you represent by your appearance? And peoples perception of said appearance. I no longer fly the flag of the hippy...my hairline won't allow it :), I haven't worn an earring for almost a year.I was never much into beads or fringe. But I have these tattoos...lot's of them, they are not a remnant of my hippy past. I'm colored by choice, part of it has to do with my dad and his friends, part of it has to do with punk rock, part of it has to do with wanting to be different, but mostly it has to do with distance I think. Distance from a society that I'm ashamed of. Because of discrimination.
People make broadstroke generalizations about me because of the way I look.
I am an ex convict...No, I paid good money for these tats and I have never been in prison
I am a biker...No...I like motorcycles and all, but please, give it a rest.
I am a racist...No...you will find no swastikas on my body...my mom taught me well, and I love you all, regardless of creed or color.
I am a rock star...I wish I was, I tried to be one, but when your pushing 45 and the phones not ringing, you have to reinvent yourself.
But how do you do that when people can't see past the ink on your body? I might as well be black.
Get my point?
More to come.
Instead of me just throwing it around here all willy-nilly...how about that?
Anyway, BW and Mr.BW were discussing discrimination in the good old US, and wondered what thoughts, if any, I might have on the subject. They were particularly curious about the whole gay discrimination thing. Well...here goes,uh...something.
I live in Austin, Texas, which has a large gay community that has been here for years. There are also lots of baptists here, and if they weren't so busy trying to ban breast feeding in public places (seriously) I'm sure they would be after the gay folks like a duck on a junebug. It's hard for me to opine on the plight of gay folks in america, because of the gay community here. In some respects, they are a vital source...on many levels, but especially in support and activism for the gay population in and around Austin. And that activism is steady and quiet, not militant and loud, which might explain the harmony we experience here.
Moving on to the bigger picture...gays are discriminated against on a national level, big time. Denied rights and priviledges not because of the religiously guided members of our society (loons for short), but because the white house is occupied by a loon who has energised all the other loons with his anti gay agenda, and they have been mobilized and legitimized and, by god, their time is NOW!
If you think about it, prior to Bushes first term, there were positive steps being taken in regard to gay rights...it was still a fight, but the loons didn't have quite the "advantage" they have now.
So,yes, in the case of gay discrimination, you are correct...GOD is on their side, and his biggest fan in the white house. All I can say is, if there IS a real god it's time for him/her/it to make an appearance and straighten these idiots out before it's too late.
I mean, what's next? Black republicans holding cabinet positions? Oh...wait...
Talk about your oxymoron.
"When they came for the gypsies, I did not speak, for I am
not a gypsy. When they came for the Jews, I did not speak,
because I wasn't a Jew. When they came for the Catholics, I
did not speak, for I am not a Catholic. And when they came
for me, there was no one left to speak."
-On the Wall at the Holocaust Museum in Washington
To me, that quote speaks volumes about discrimination in this country.
Friday, November 26, 2004
apparently, this, is more newsworthy. Drunk cops stealing fajitas. Cool. Anyway, it's time for a stoned guy with a skink on his head...man...
...Dude...can I have one of those fajitas?
...come on man...I got the munchies
...my skink's hungry too...dude, come on...show some love...
...yeah? Well fuck you too...bastard.
...damn it...excuse me miss...are you into skinks?I have this giant one on my head...interested?
So...how was your thanksgiving? Ours was just fine...had a big meal at the in laws with Ann's big brother and mom and dad. Mom made green bean cassarole (apparently) just for me, and it rocked, very tasty stuff.
Of course, we came home with a shitload of leftovers, and, the ham bone. So I made soup today, but before that could happen I had to go to the store. Since Ann was at work with the car, I walked to the store. About 3 or 4 miles round trip. I could of waited for Ann to get home with the car, but hey, I wasn't doing anything else and I said I was going to make soup. And making soup takes time, plus,this being the "holiday" season and all, I wanted Ann to come home to the smell of good things cooking. The smell of good things cooking is one thing that redeems the "holiday" season for me.
A stove warm house full of good cooking smells is just the shit...anyway...
Thanksgiving continues for us as my son and his fiance are coming for lunch tomorrow...I haven't done this for years, but I'm doing cornish hens and all the fixin's including my moms sausage dressing.
And all this from a guy who says fuck christmas...it's not about the holidays for me, it's about love, and you feed the ones you love.
Thursday, November 25, 2004
There was a hunter killed a while back in Michigan, the suspects were seen fleeing the scene in a 1987 nissan truck. Vang, the Wisconsin suspect, has a 1987 nissan truck. So...does this Vang drive around during hunting season and kill hunters for fun or is it a dead end? Who knows...well, somebody does, but they aren't saying anything...yet.
Blue Witch comments " this is beyond my comprehension"...yeah, BW, mine too. But it says something about american culture on a number of levels. First you have the gun culture thing, we are split, some of us are gun advocates, and some of us are anti-gun. There are millions of guns in this country, owned by law abiding citizens for hunting and/or home protection, and criminals for robbing and killing. When you get right down to it, guns are not the problem. It's the people who have them. And how they came to have those guns. We have legitimately purchased the firearm in our house...filled out the paper work and all that shit, just like millions of other americans. But guns change hands in alot of different ways here and it's nigh impossible to control it.
Then there's the melting pot phenomena of america...which in my estimation, breaks down like this:
50% of americans are not racist...25% pretend they aren't, but hold some umbrage against other ethnic groups...two faced in other words.And 20% make no secret of being racist, this 20 % is made up of whites who hate other races,blacks who hate other races...and so on, down the line of every color group you can think of. And then there's the 5% that could give a shit what color you are or what god you pray to, they just don't care...they are like Rodney King, who said "why can't we all just get along"? after a bunch of white cops kicked his ass...not really, he was a drug addled n***er that deserved a beating who said that martin luther shit to further his cause...WHOA!!! Where did that come from??? Which leads me to the biggest problem americans face.
The media. That's right...the fucking media...for much of america, media calls the shots. I listen to a particular AM talk radio station that repetes the same shit over and over again 24/7, and in between takes calls from the populace listening to it, and guess what? The callers that agree with the station are expanded upon, while dissenters are quickly cut off...wow, imagine that.
If you fall in line it's all good, if you don't, bye-bye and "thanks" for your call.
The media plays shape shifter and we suffer the consequences...now back to this Vang thing.
Yeah...take me there.
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
With 6 dead and 2 wounded, it's hard to imagine Vang was able to take out "8 armed men" all by his lonesome with an SKS. That's because he didn't, or rather, they weren't all armed, only one of them was.
Yet there are sites reporting that they were...and labelling Vang a "gun nut" and telling people to thank the NRA for allowing Vang to wander the Wisconsin woods with an assault rifle.
Here's a shining example of the shit I'm referring to from a contributer to Bartcop
Subject: that new NRA office in Wisconsin
The "incident" in Wisconsin blows to hell the NRA's argument that when people are armed
they can better defend themselves. Everybody involved in this was armed. It's just the other guy had a fucking semi-auto crappy Chinese AK-47 wannabe.machine gun.
So now all the deer hunters will want one "just in case".
(me: It's not a machine gun asshat, it's a semi- automatic rifle. Machine gun intimates "fully" automatic...get over yourself already)
Who the F hunts with a SKS or AK-47?
(me: You got me, but I'm sure people do. And they shouldn't. I mean, hunt at all with a rifle, if you have to hunt, do it on the ground with a bow and arrow...not in a tree stand with a cannon and a 12 pack.)
I bet if you check the guy with the SKS his dink will be about 3 inches.
The smaller the dink the bigger the gun. That's the rule.
And to the families of the dead. I am sorry for your loss.
(me: me too...unless they were racists, like this guy.)
But aren't you glad we have that glorious second amendment?
At least your lost loved ones had a chance.
That should be of some comfort.
(me: that's just stupid bleeding heart rhetoric)
( B for bonehead)
OK, let's clear things up...again. Perhaps this illustration will help clarify: I used to own a remington model 714, 30.06 "hunting" rifle, it was a semi-automatic weapon capable of delivering 8 rounds as fast as I could pull the trigger...with extra clips on hand you could reload in no time and deliver 7 more with each clip. The only differences between that weapon and the SKS are as follows: the Remington 30.06 is a bigger round, more damage, bigger kick. The SKS in question has a larger magazine capacity, and those magazines are readily available for about 10 dollars each (for a 30 round magazine), you can get larger magazines for the remington, but they are far and few between from my experience browsing at gun shows and cost considerably more. But the reality of it is, it's the same fucking thing,6 of 1-half a dozen of the other. The remington does hurt your shoulder more, I'll admit...you can shoot an SKS all day long if you want to. The only difference then, really, is classification, the semi-automatic remington is a "hunting rifle" and the semi-automatic SKS is an "assault rifle". I really don't see much of a difference here, what is shooting a deer (except for the armed ones) other than "assault"? Oh, yeah, I forgot...it's a "sport" and a "time honored american tradition"...ask a deer that's been shot with a 30.06 what they think about hunting, well never mind, they're dead and they can't talk anyway,but I assure you they don't like it.
Enough about that though, back to the matter at hand.
A new bit of info I read today calls for a correction on my last post about this...Vang was in the national guard, not the army.While in the gaurd, he earned a sharpshooter emblem but his duties mostly involved "clerical work" (this was an AP story in the Austin american statesman today...I would provide a link, but I can't remember the dummy password to access the article). The article also went on to say that Vangs grandfather(I think it was his GF) was General Vang, leader of the Hmong "secret army" that helped the US in Laos (even though we weren't there) during the war in Viet Nam.
In light of the statements by Vang implying the hunter fired on him first and his emerging background, I'd say these hunters picked the wrong Hmong to fuck with...if they fucked with him. If you do a google search you can find links that mention tension and strife between whitey and the Hmong community in that area, some of it related to hunting, and oddly enough, fish poaching (angling...not cooking). So, the Hmong community is bracing for a backlash? Why? Is it because one of there own killed 6 and wounded 2 out of the fucking blue? A Hmong/American member of minnesota government opined that Vang was "crazy", to which I'm sure Vang said "thanks homegirl"!
Or is it because they have reason to be fearful?
Stay tuned...you know there will be more.
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Stumbling across "Dog, the Bounty Hunter" is like walking up on a train wreck. It's not something you would ever wish to see, but once it's caught your eye you can't seem to look away. Gad, I'm going to bed late because of this crap? What's wrong with me?
Things have been lean around here lately, and we humans aren't the only ones to suffer the consequences. Our extended family is an odd one, we don't have kids...well, we do, but they are manifested in the guise of dogs...3 of them, black, thank you very much, offering as much dysfunction and unpredictability as any human child could offer. There is a human child, he is mine and currently 19...he does not live with us, but at one time did. We love him dearly, but do not miss his particular brand of dysfunction and unpredictability when he did. He's much better now, I can assure you, and as testimony I offer the simple fact that he is still alive. ( Love ya Kyle!:P).
Our live in family is rounded out by a platoon of turtles...currently numbering 20...this may seem like alot of turtles, but at one time we were approaching 50...some were local injured turts, rehabbed and released...some were adopted out and some died, from their injuries/illnesses, some from old age and 2, sadly,killed by rodentia . All of the turtles here have been rescues save 4...exotics that I bought.
And the icing on the cake is Sid, our horribly tempered blue tongued skink...he's an ass, but we love him all the same.
Keeping up with this number of critters is not cheap, and we have cut corners on the human needs to meet the needs of our canine and reptilian friends.
But since Ann has a job now, we have been able to resume "the giving of the cheese" for our three black doggies...cheese is dog crack, make no mistake about it, and the power of said cheese is evident in the doggy reaction to the production of that plastic wrapped sleeve of yellowish joy.
Visceral it is, that reaction...drooling, hopping and a glazed over affect...they will do anything for the magic contained in a slice of cheese.
The boys spring boners over the cheese and I always think "The cheese council needs to produce commercials with dogs getting boners over cheese...fuck that little red headed girl".
Needless to say, the sheets of joy have returned, and the dogs are thrilled.
I provide ISP tech support for rural America. My customers do not live in cities. Most of them do not even live in towns. When they have a problem with their computer, the telephone is their only hope. There is no neighbor or coworker they can ask to come over and help them. The closest computer repair place is usually miles and miles away. As a result, they call us for EVERYTHING that goes wrong with their machine. I had a woman burst out in tears today when I told her she needed to call her computer manufacturer. She'd said she'd already tried that but she couldn't understand a word they said and when she finally got someone who spoke with less of an accent, they couldn't explain things to her in a way that made sense. I get a lot of calls like that (though usually without the tears) and unfortunately I have to refer them right back to the manufacturer. The odd thing though, is the calls I get from customers who have called my employer before that say things like "I'm so glad to get someone that I can understand." Huh? Everyone I work with speaks perfect English. There might be the odd accent or two, but nothing so overwhelming that you can't understand them. I started paying attention to where these callers were from and, for today, it turns out that most of them were from Kentucky. For some reason, my peculiar mix of German/Texan/Southern accent is pleasing to their ears which I find odd because they have a very distinctive accent and I sound nothing like that. And here's a bit of trivia for you - in Kentucky you don't click on the "next" button, you mash it.
The suspect says the hunters shot at him first while he was trying to leave. I had the feeling there was more to this story.
The suspect is a Hmong tribesman from Laos, even though he's been here for more than 20 years and a US army veteran. Back during the Viet Nam War, the Hmong were valued by american special forces who "weren't really in Laos" for their superior skills in sneaking around the jungle and tracking and fighting, and well, the Hmong were apparently some badasses.
And there's a whole shitload of them in St. Paul...the largest concentration in the country, which is near where this tragedy occurred. But you can read that yourself by clicking on the link.
I wonder why, as described in the article, the entire hunting party felt the need to jump on their 4 wheelers and go confront this guy? There was only one gun amongst them apparently, why?
Here's a scenario...Vang is discovered in the deer stand by a couple of the hunting group...one grabs his nextal and beepbeep!" Hey there's one of them Hmong fuckers in our deer stand". The recipient of said message rally's the remaining hunters to the scene, because, after all," he's a Hmong fucker, you know, one of the 24,000 currently taking over the bioscience industry in our area" (I don't know if this is actually the case, but bioscience was listed at the St.Paul area chamber of commerce website, so the Hmongs are taking it over, much like the Vietnamese "took over" commercial fishing along the coast of Texas in the early 80's...which, BTW, really riled up the locals, even though it wasn't true). They were just better fisherman...anyway, back to the scenario...
Vang finds himself surrounded by angry locals...some of which may or may not be victims of the Hmong takeover of the areas bioscience industry...As he is leaving the scene...the one person with a gun takes a pot shot...Vang's deeply seated Hmong badass-ness rushes to the surface and in fear for his life he turns ands lights them up with his SKS assault rifle . Next question: What the fuck is he doing with an SKS? And what kind is it? Most SKS rifles have a fixed clip with 5 or 10 rounds, if his was one of those, based on reports, he would have had to reload at least once. But if it was a chinese made SKS, some of those are modified and can accept large capacity clips...30, 40 rounds or even a drum that holds upwards to 75 rounds. I don't know about the deer in Wisconsin, maybe they carry weapons, but you don't need 30 rounds to kill one here in Texas.
Victim #6 died today, leaving 2 survivors. I'm sure the people mourning the end of the Scott Peterson trial are stoked!
My hibernation was rudely interrupted by the need to go to work today. I'm having a hard time motivating myself this morning. I'm not sure if this is from the rain or because I only had one day off instead of the normal two days in a row that my brain thinks I'm supposed to get after 5 days of work. I'm glad this is a jeans and t-shirts job because if I had to deal with a dress or suit, pantyhose and high heels I would have to call in sick. And there was much mental kicking and screaming when it came to taking a shower this morning. After all this rain, the thought of more water was not appealing, but I felt it best to scrub off just in case I sprouted mold on the back of my neck or mushrooms between my toes during the night. A front is supposed to move through later today and clear all this mess out of here, but not before it brings more rain. Sigh.
Monday, November 22, 2004
I get this vision of a scene from "The Beast" toward the end, when the tank commander is lying on the ground about to meet his maker and he utters hopelessly and with resignation "Afghanistan". Only in this case, there were 5 people on the ground who died and 3 more wounded all at the hand of a hunter trespassing on their lease, laying in the fallen leaves and staring at the sky saying "Wisconsin"...different circumstances to be sure, but the wounds were real enough, and I'm sure it didn't matter where they were laying, the bullet holes were real, as was the death. And the desperation of laying on the ground, shot by some crazy fucker...dying..."Wisconsin" is the powder and lead equivilent of "Afghanistan".
According to reports, this one guy chased down 8 other hunters and managed to kill 5 of them...by his own self. did these other hunters not have guns?Why did they not, in unison, fill that bastard full of fucking holes right after he opened up on them?
I'm just sayin', if I'm in the middle of the woods and some fuckstick starts shooting at me...I will blow his fucking head off, no question...that is unless he kills me first, and if there are 8 of us, the way I figure it, if your'e not hit first, you got 7 chances to take his crazy ass out.There is more to this story. But I say we paint a stripe down his ass and give him a 5 minute head start.
I saw this headline at CNN today..."FBI report: Prejudice fuels hate crimes"...wow, really? I'm stunned, all this time I thought it had something to do with grasshopper emissions.
WHAT'S NEXT IN THE WAR ON TERRA' ?
But, if I can put on the turban for a minute...the US has nuclear weapons...lot's of them, not to mention Russia (currently developing a new and improved nuke) and China and India and...oh, you get the point.
I can kind of relate with these countries in and around the middle east that do not have nuclear weapons as a deterrant to those that do. The fact that we have only unleashed our horrible power twice since it's developement says that we are either a: very measured and thoughtful or b: there that oughta teach those other countries a fucking lesson they and the Japanese won't soon forget, and, no, you can't have one, by the way, and if you try to develop one, we'll invade your country and kill you in the name of "freedom" and "democracy". Which roughly translates to " You can't harsh our edge, and if you do, we'll kill you" And...ever so subtly..."we could nuke you too if you push us, so don't push us.K"?
In the face of this, if I was a country, like say, Iran, I would want nuclear capability for no other reason than maintaining a level playing field. You nuke us, we nuke you...now that's an effective deterrant.
A very different statement, than, say..You nuke us, we fly some planes into some buildings.
For my purposes only, "nuke" equals "invade" in this post, because anybody invaded by the US has to have the nuke issue in the back of their minds...it could happen because it has happened. What better way to deter invasion than to have your own "doomsday weapon"?
9-11 was an atrocity, make no mistake about it...there were 3000 or more people killed, but let's look at the score card, a quick google search showed that we don't know how many Japanese were casualties of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, anywhere from 20,000 ( I had to laugh at this number ) to 1.2 million...again...1.2 MILLION people killed by the good old US of A...it was put forth at the time that it was done to avoid "more death" via a land invasion, but in reality, it was more to drive the point home to Stalin that we meant business, at the expense of the Japanese. Now before you jump on me for being sympathetic to the Japanese, let me point out that the Japanese militaries "Rape of Nanking" netted 300,000 killed and 80,000 raped...by some estimates, more devastating than our little drop on Japan...and done with coventional weapons and dimuntive japanese penises...who said they weren't efficient?
So, it appears that Japan has proven that you don't necessarily need a nuke to kill a shitload of people, but we saved all those lives that would have been lost by invasion by letting a bomb do our talking for us in one fell swoop. Fuck all that marching and raping and killing! Fire up the Enola Gay boys! Let's teach those nips a lesson!
It's insane. All of it. None of it makes any sense if you look at it...I mean, do you really think the majority of the middle east wants to enjoy the spoils of freedom and democracy? I don't think so. The ones that do are already here. I think we need to leave them alone as a whole and refocus our energy on the real threat...the terrorists...Osama, et al.
If we just nuked Saudi Arabia our problem would soon be over (just kidding).Which is not to say that I don't think SA is a problem. They are, more than we admit, I'm afraid...but we are so far up the ass of Saudi Arabia, we are in some sort of denial about how fucked up they really are, and what a threat they represent.
Just for grins, lets take a look at the joy of "freedom" and "democracy" according to the US. Unemployment,underemployment, outsourcing to third world countries killing our industries,healthcare in crisis and healthcare costs skyrocketing, a creeping, unending slide into poverty. The government is now effectively controlled by the religious right, the slow eradication of our rights...this is "freedom"? "Democracy"? Please...who'd want any part of this shitstorm?
Which brings me back to this...
and so it goes.
Enough with the rain, already. It's my day off and I have a ton of things I need/want to do before I head back to work tomorrow, but the thing I was hoping for the most was a bit of sunshine. You see, the office where I work is very dark. There's not much overhead lighting and much of the light comes from the rows of flat screen monitors. It's a bit like being inside one of those big aquarium facilities where the hallways are dark and the only light is the tanks lining the walls. I rather like it and it's well suited for staring at monitor eight hours a day, but it also happens to be just like my house. In fact, the place looks a whole lot like my house. Our computer desks here at home are the exact same desks the managers use. I sit at my workstation and a face a metal wall, just like the one I face at home. There are even walls painted red, just like we have at home (though a slightly different shade.) Now there's nothing wrong with this home away from home atmosphere except that when you combine it with the fact that we've had nothing but rain here for weeks now, I feel like I've been shuttling back and forth between two underwater caves. The decor that's normally a soothing respite from the glaring light and heat of the seemingly endless Texas summer becomes a real liability in this kind of non-stop rainy weather. It's grey outside, it's grey inside and even my mood is turning grey at this point. Meh. I think I'll go back to bed and hibernate. Wake me when the sun comes out again.
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Today was the end of my second week of tech support. My supervisor was working today so I stopped by his desk on my way out and asked him to look up my call stats. I was a little concerned because I felt that I had been taking way too much time on calls, even for a newbie. Much to my relief, my average length of call is two minutes under the preferred amount and my average number of calls per hour was, to quote my supervisor, "really good." I'm a bit confused about the number of calls per hour statistic since I have absolutely no control over how many calls come my way. The phone rings and I answer it. When I hang up after a call, the phone rings again and I answer it. If I should happen to be sitting there twiddling my thumbs for two minutes (not that it happens very often) then there's nothing I can do to pull a call my way. I'm not sure how a person could end up with a "bad" average on the number of calls per hour, but there must be a way or it wouldn't be a performance tracking point. I suppose one could just not answer the phone and let roll over to someone else, but there's no way I could sit there and just let the phone ring. That would drive me insane. Ringing phones ignite my "it's making an obnoxious noise, I must stop it" response and the only way to stop it is to answer the damn thing. I feel the same way about alarm clocks, oven timers and pagers. I've even been known to flee the Home Depot if there is a forklift operating that's sending out it's beep-beep-beep warning for an extended length of time. That sort of thing just drives me nuts, but I digress. Given the stats, it appears that I average about 50 calls a day and, quite frankly, that doesn't seem like much given the call volume I've had at other jobs. Other jobs where I was juggling far more duties than just answering the phone. Hmm... I'm starting to like this tech support gig more and more.
I turned into a snarky, irrational bitch yesterday when I didn't get my lunch break at the the usual 11 o'clock hour and had to wait until 1 PM. It's a miracle I didn't kill any innocent bystanders on my way to get something to eat and it took an extreme amount of self-control not to rip the head off of the unsupervised child that visited my table at Jack-n-the-Box and stared at me while I devoured my Jumbo Jack combo. I was still in a very bad mood over 12 hours later when I woke up today, but I had regained enough sanity to figure out what happened. I've been drinking soft drinks at work and eating candy bars. I've consumed more processed sugar in the past two weeks than I usually eat in an entire year. I don't even LIKE soft drinks and candy bars, but I was hungry or thirsty at the time and since that's what they have in the vending machines at work, that's what I consumed. Big mistake. Some people shouldn't consume large quantities of sugar and I'm one of them. If the army wanted to develop a bunch of homicidal maniac killing machines, they only need to round up people like me, feed them a diet high in processed sugar for a couple of weeks, then have them miss a meal. Presto - one pissed off, crazy person that would like nothing more than to rip out the enemy's throat with their bare hands. Then again, they are also likely to rip out the throat of their commanding officer so it's probably not be the best idea. Today I brought plenty of sparkling water and a packet of cheese and finally, 24 hours later, I'm back to my normal mood. I hope I wasn't rude to any customers at work yesterday and this morning, but if I was... well, the sugar made me do it!
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Well, not all alone if you count the tres negras peros, but Ann's at work. So it's just me and the dogs. I haven't had this much time to myself since I can remember. I had planned on cleaning out the office for a project, but 30 minutes into that I was so overwhelmed I gave up, and turned my attention to the main rooms of the house, sweeping,dusting and cleaning up clutter. The place looks pretty good if I must say so myself. I had an awesome breakfast...leftover piccadillo enchiladas with fried eggs...over medium. The coffee was gone and there was nothing left to drink save the orange juice...and what goes better with OJ than vodka(except a not guilty verdict)...yummy.
I hooked the real stereo up a couple of weeks ago out in the main room of the house...so I've been playing the music loud today. Started out with the Who live at leeds, hung there for a while (played substitute a half dozen times) and then threw in Sade's Lover's Rock...I'm sure the neighbors are scratching their heads...just wait till I throw in the jesus lizard ... now, I think. Wait, some Pogue's first...sunny side of the street, in honor of the fucking rain that continues to fall.
"I will not be reconstructed"...I love that line. I got this CD (Hell's Ditch) in the mail the day my mom died in 1992.I remember coming home from the hospital and finding it in my mailbox along with 4 free packs of camel wides taunting me. I still smoke them to this day. It doesn't remind me of her, but it reminds me of that day, which reminds me of the black watch's amazing grace, which reminds me of my mom.
"You can't take 'em with you when you go"...Ghost of a smile...There are things I'd like to take with me when I go, but I can't prioritize them exactly...some involve gunfire.
Summer in Siam...ewww...time to jump to the lizard. Oh wait...rain street first then 5 green queens and jean. Then the lizard...oh, most beautiful lizard.
"I recall the moment, more distant than it seems, when 5 green queens on a black bin bag meant all the world to me"...For some reason this reminds me of my dad...and regret.
Ahhh...Jesus Lizard's "Shot"...ugly ugly music...I used to see these guys when they were Scratch acid ( 2 of 'em anyway) way back in the 80's...The bass players mom was a nurse at the treatment center I worked at way back when, when they learned she was the mother of David William Sims, they suddenly cooperated...she was instantly cool. And he is an awesome bass player...there would be no Scratch Acid or Jesus Lizard if it were'nt for his bass lines...or the vocals(?) of David Yow, a scary little guy who was on the tennis team at austin high. He's not short, he's just wrapped tighter.
"They found him in a latrine hiding, dressed in clothing 15 layers deep" Huh? I fucking love it. On to Marilyn Manson...one song really, from Holywood..."Burning Flag"..."We are just stars on your burning flag"...yes we are. " I killed myself to make everybody pay"? That's a bit much.
Blah...blah...blah as our illustrious drummer would say.
Have a good weekend.
Friday, November 19, 2004
It's friday, time for the weekend...woo-hoo! Ann and I decide on a easy dinner and I jet to the grocery to procure corn dogs and mac and cheese. And cigarettes. I'm cruising along in the rodeo jamming out to nail bomb's "world of shit"...the most awesome song.ever. Nevermind that Rolling stone named Dylan's "Like a rolling stone" the top 500 song ever...I mean it's a great song, but, come on...Dylan has the best out of 500? I don't think so.
Anyway...I get done at the grocery and hit the liquor store for some vodka...this place is attached to the G&S lounge, and up until a year or so ago was run by the same family...bar and store, run by brothers George and Jimmy. I grew up with these guys...since seventh grade anyway. Jimmy is a blight on humanity...a real piece of work deserving of a beatdown...if you look up angry piece of shit in the dictionary, there is a picture of him next to the definition. He runs the lounge. And lounge is an oxymoron...the place reeks of ozone and your in constant fear of Jimmy deciding he doesn't like you and brandishing his cattle prod as he points you toward the door. George ran the store until he sold it to this vietnamese family and moved on, presumably as far away from Jimmy as possible. George was the nicest person you'd ever want to meet...even in a bad mood, he was pleasant in explaining said mood. He was my friend.
I have continued to patronize this store for a couple of reasons...1: It's right by our house. 2:George used to run it. and 3:The daughters that help run the place are fucking hot looking, as the graffiti I saw in the education building at UT proclaims "Jap chicks rule"...seriously, I was just looking for a place to stick this graffiti I saw...the family that bought the store are very nice and the service is always friendly and courteous. But the daughters are really cute...I guess that makes me a pervert...for "jap chicks"...who rock BTW.
Tonight, as I'm checking out, the short,petite daughter asks as she's ringing me up " Were you close to George"? I said yes and that we'd known each other for 30 plus years. She then proceeded to tell me he was dead...found alone in his house by his mom...apparently the victim of a heart attack. Jimmy, the asshole brother, is taking care of Josuah (Georges dog) , the obit will be in the paper tomorrow and the funeral is next week.
My brain melted...I welled up instantly, looking at this asian butterfly who realized she had just told someone that someone I had known and held in high regard was dead...and there were several people waiting ( and overhearing) in line. I just looked at her as time stood still for a minute..."$18.65" she said, and I reached into my pocket and handed her a 10...she put it back on the counter and looked at me and then it registered for her and me both...I gave her a 10 instead of a 20, And she just told me that someone I had known forever and held in close regard was gone...forever. The guy behind me just wanted to pay for his bourbon and get his drink on and was thinking, "move on you crybaby, I got some bourbon to drink and some internet porn to thump it to". He looked like that kind of person, but who knows... I payed and left and drove home, choking back the tears.
I called his mom and offered my condolences when I got home.
Godspeed, George...I'll miss you.
I've passed the half-way point of my second week on the phones and things are going okay. I don't seem to be near as stressed out as my coworkers, though they've been there a bit longer so maybe my time will come. It's not the kind of job that travels with you after you hang up your headset and head out the door so even my worst day fades after a few beers and a good night's sleep. It doesn't take much effort to be polite, patient and kind with complete boobs who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a computer since I've doing that for years in one form or another (just not over the phone.) And if you are reading this blog, then you are NOT one of the idiots I'm talking about no matter how technologically challenged you may think you are. You ain't got nothing on these folks. On the other hand, the angry, screaming customers who think everything is somehow MY fault and I should magically fix it DO frazzle my nerves a bit at times (especially if I have several in a row), but as I said, after a few beers and a good night's sleep it's all ancient history. The part of this job that wears me out is when I don't know the answer, when I have to frantically search the knowledge base, Google the web or IM the level twos in order to solve some weird problem in under 20 minutes. That's still happening with a higher frequency than I'd like, but it's a problem that more experience should solve. Maybe after a month or two I'll have enough energy when I get home to do something besides eat dinner, drink a few beers and go to bed.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
So we can bring you this pre - holiday special...from Depthmarker.com. SGWASOHH will return when he makes bail.
MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY
I recently posted on the consumer/guilt driven, heavily carbunckled thing that is christmas. Although my feelings have not changed about it, I still attend the festivities for the sake of Ann and proper manners to my in laws. Have you ever seen a carbunkle in it's glorious prime? Here ya go...EEEWWW! That's christmas alright.
But back to the point. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, and not because we fooled the indians into thinking we were worthy of being saved that hardcore winter so many years ago only later to give them the gift of smallpox laden blankets to rid ourselves of the burden of the drunken red man...Nope...not me, like everybody else, I want to gloss over that and instead focus on the chicken cordon bleu sandwich that Jack (in the box) turned our red brethren onto back in the day. Enough "comedy"...on to the post.
Thanksgiving to me is the time of year you reflect on your blessings, however large or small, and gather together with family and loved ones to share those reflections and it culminates in a gigantic meal reflective of the blessings, which everyone shares. And you're just together, there's no pressure to "give" beyond your ability to whip up a fantastic green bean cassarole and share it.
I remember the day I decided it was my favorite holiday, oddly enough it was thanksgiving, when I was the house manager at the homeless/ runaway youth shelter. I wasn't working that day, but I came in and helped cook and just hung out with the kids and staff.
When we sat down to eat, one of the kids staying at the shelter decided she wanted to say something before we ate. God, I wish I could remember her name, she was a scrawny little black girl from the east side, who had only known strife for much of her life. And here she was, sitting at the head of the table with her "holiday hair do" she had gotten the day before...some really cheesy looking extensions with christmas tree balls weaved into them. It was huge on her little frame, blue, green and red, and silver balls (the big ones) haphazardly placed in these cheesy looking braids that hung well below her boney shoulders as she spoke of her life. I don't remember what she said exactly, but it was harrowing. It ended with her saying she was thankful to be with all of us...on her first thanksgiving. She then invited everyone else to say something, and we did. Every last one of us.
Now, you have to understand this place...there were kids like her, black kids, from hard scrabble fucked up lives and from the east side, there were hispanic kids of similar background and white kids from your white trash "kenny from south park" types to the disaffected goth kids from wealthy families who had run away for ??? , but they all had something to say. As did the staff present, who were as diverse as the kids staying there. It was overwhelming.
And when the meal was over, we did what any other family did. Some of us fell asleep watching football, some of us packed up leftovers for visitors, some of us cleaned in the kitchen...just like any other family on thanksgiving.On that day, we were a family, thanks to a little girl with christmas balls in her hair...and a vision in her heart.
That a group so diverse could join together and count their blessings amazed me then and now.
Count your blessings this year ok?
I know I will.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
My four day weekend has come to an end and it's back to work this morning. The long break was nice, though the weather sucked. It was rainy and cold (by my standards) until yesterday when it was just rainy. I didn't get much done which I blame on the weather and the fact that I knew I would probably not get more than one day off at a time in the near future (provided they don't fire me.) My only plans were to keep my early to bed and early to rise schedule, drink lots of cheap beer and go to the laundromat. Of the three, the only one I didn't accomplish was to drink lots of cheap beer. That 8:30 pm bedtime really got in the way of the beer drinking. Next time I have a long weekend, I'm going to have to remember to start drinking at 10:00 am. I should be nicely rested after such a long break, but the heavy rains last night kept me from getting much sleep. Like Rob, I can't sleep at night when that happens thanks to the time the house flooded. I guess that sort of event marks a person for a long time. Today will be the first day in a long time that no one has been home during a flood event so I'm sure we'll both be quite anxious if the rain keeps falling today (and it's expected to do so.) Ah well, what will be, will be - there's nothing we can do about it.
Update: The house was nice and dry when we got home. Whew.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
It's been raining here for days...there are flash flood watches and warnings, a couple even got washed away in the Blanco river the other day. They found the guy clinging to a tree and rescued him, but they haven't found the woman. Who recently returned from duty in Iraq after being awarded the silver star after some asshole she was trying to help (medic,BTW) shot her in the knee. Imagine that, you survive that nightmare only to be sucked away by a river engourged with all this rain. Man, I think I'd rather be shot and killed given the option.
Steady rain like this frazzels my nerves, which accounts for why I'm up and posting after 11:00pm. I can't sleep. I'm worried that our house will flood...again.
This morning, one of the other electricians quipped, " Man, a few more days of rain like this and we'll have to form a grunge band". I wish I could remember what we did with the flannel shirts during the remodel.
This cell of storms is particularly evil...It swells for 5 or so minutes then stops for 5 or so, then swells again. It reminds me of a bully holding someone down on the ground and lowering a loogie slowly towards their face only to suck it up at the last possible minute...over and over, with the victim never knowing when it would actually hit them, also known as white trash water torture in some circles.
At least it's not real heavy rain, it's moderately heavy, like a grunge band...just heavy enough to make me queasy.
OK...now I'm officially rambling...seriously though, "Barking Spiders". Has a kind of ring to it, eh?
Monday, November 15, 2004
Really...I mean it. The city has already put up the decorations...the same tired sorry ass decorations that I've been looking at for years. Sure, they move the pole location of the cheesy guitar every once and a while along with the bell, in an attempt I guess to shake things up, but it's still the same old shit. And then there's television, commercials of people buying cars for christmas, diamonds for christmas, in fact, the diamonds are given early and then "Santa" gives you a ride home in his cab while you make out in the back, because he gave you a diamond. And santa ignores the hand job, because, after all, he gave you a diamond...for christmas. And it's not even fucking thanksgiving yet.
And then there's the cologne and perfume commercials...give me something that stinks-please...so I can douse myself in holiday spirit and annoy all those people who are allergic while I push past them with my stinky self to throw a dollar or two in the sally bucket...if I can find one this year. Seems that charity has been beaten out by the ongoing commercialism of the holiday, beggars with a bell and a bucket are far and in between this year for christmas...which by the way, is originally a celebration of the birth of christ.
What? You mean christmas is a religious holiday? No way! Really?
Put that in your pipe and smoke it religious right...and choke on it. Or better yet...send me a sappy card from Hallmark...I dare you.
From the monday Statesman:
the grandfather, was baby-sitting the child and three other grandchildren when the gun went off in Glass' bedroom, Bridges said.
"The grandfather was in the kitchen, heard the gun discharge, went and found the 2-year-old next to the weapon laying on the floor," Bridges said.
It was not clear Sunday who owned the gun or how it had been stored.
It was a .38, thank god, or we may have been reading an obit instead of a story with a happy ending. Or will it have a happy ending? So lets sum up the facts as we know them:
Grandpa is watching four of his grandchildren...the 2 year old goes into grandpa's room, finds a gun and tries to shoot himself in the head.
Those are the facts...which begs the questions:
How old is grandpa? Some grandpas are my age, and should be able to handle 4 little kids...well, maybe not. What was the 2 year old doing in grandpa's room? When I was growing up, my parents bedroom was off limits unless I was invited or supervised. Where was the gun? I'm guessing it wasn't out in plain sight...if it was, he's a dumbass. Since this occurred in Hays county, he will more than likely be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and rot away in prison...unless he's affluent and white, in which case the toddler will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and see light of day when he's 21, if he lives that long.
This is a serious exaggeration of the judicial system in Hays county...well, it's an exaggeration, let's leave it at that...oh, one more thing, don't get pulled over in Hays county...ever. seriously.
Anyhoo...back to the matter at hand. Gun control. There are many who will site this event as another reason to remove guns from the citizenry...they will be the same people calling for grandpa's head, because, after all...he had a GUN...a gun that was putting out such strong gun vibes that his 2 year old grandson was drawn to his bedroom and attempted to shoot himself in the head.
My father was a weapons and munitions guy in the service...he was into guns. We had guns in my house all the time. They were in my parents bedroom. I was not allowed in that room unsupervised...ever. When I was old enough...8 or 9 I think, I was taught about guns and how to resist the gun vibe (kidding here), seriously though, my dad taught me the power of guns and the responsibility connected to owning them. I was unable to grasp this concept at 2 years old admittedly, but I knew that the bedroom was off limits. And throughout my life my house was bristling with firepower with nary an accident. Lucky? Maybe. Responsible? Most definitely.
I hope they don't jam grandpa up for this, but if it turns out he was irresponsible with his gun (s) , take them away.From him.
Sunday, November 14, 2004
by Hermann Hesse
You simply don't know what to believe, but you're willing to try
anything once. Western values, Eastern values, hedonism and minimalism, you've spent
some time in every camp. But you still don't have any idea what camp you belong in.
This makes you an individualist of the highest order, but also really lonely. It's
time to chill out under a tree. And realize that at least you believe in
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Well folks, I don't feel lonely, but I do feel tired since it's past my normal bedtime. It's still mindboggling to me that I go to bed at 8:30pm now during the work week and can't seem to stay up past nine on nights I don't have to be at work the next day. Weirdness.
Yep, I was sitting at my computer trying repeatedly to post my last entry about substitutions (because Blogger is still being a prick) when a vision appeared before me, clear as day. It was my usual luck that it wasn't something earthshaking like a message that I was to send out to the world or what I'm supposed to do with the rest of my life. No, it was simply the precise location of the CD mentioned in my last post. The CD that has been missing for the last two years. I know it's been missing at least that long because "Binge and Purge" was a song I wanted to play when I got laid off two years ago, but I couldn't find the CD. However today, thanks to the fortuitous vision, I was able today to dance madly around the house while screaming the lyrics at the top of my lungs (you'll have to scroll down on that page to find the lyrics to Binge and Purge.) There's just something cleansing about the process of screaming "motherfucker" repeatedly at the top of your lungs, especially when it's set to music ;->
If I remember correctly, my "Joy of Cooking" book has a chart of substitutions. Something along the lines of alternates for when you are in the middle of cooking something and discover you don't have an egg or any milk. Well, I have just discovered that playing a Clutch CD on the stereo really, really loud is a pretty good substitution for the couple of shots of whiskey that I was needing after that template editing fiasco. Maybe the head banging is loosening up the ol' neck muscles. Now if I could just find our copy of Clutch's Transnational Speedway League CD that's been missing for a couple of years now because listening to Binge and Purge would definitely be the icing on the cake (and sugar free, no less.)
There's a war going on in this country against "them homo's"...and in our own corner of the united states of simple minded pious asswipes, the charge on the educational level anyway, seems to be headed up by state board of education member Terri Leo (R-latent? Spring, Tx.), who has managed to get textbook publishers Glenco/McGraw Hill and locals Holt, Rinehart and Winston to change passages in health textbooks to specifically state that marriage and partnerships involve a union of a man and a woman exclusively. Bravo! (not) and if you think that's bad, check out this passage that the publishers passed on: "Opinions vary on why homosexuals,lesbians and bi-sexuals as a group (?) are more prone to self destructive behaviors like depression, illegal drug use and suicide".
Now...let's examine this a bit further, homosexuals and lesbians can be a "group" considering homosexual and lesbian both indicate a preference for same sex proclivity. Bi-sexual indicates a taste for both sexes...hence, a group unto themselves but able to relate to the aforementioned "group" of homos and lesbos because they like eating pussy and sucking dick equally. I won't comment on the endless permutations of bisexuality because it makes me dizzy. Moving forward, I always thought depression was a disease, and I'll admit it can lead to destructive behavior, it is in and of itself not a behavior. Lets assume by "illegal drug use" Leo means substance abuse, this is a destructive behavior, but it is usually triggered by a disease, like depression. Suicide is most definitely a behavior, a really ugly one, that leads to death for the practicioner and unresolved grief for the victims.Homo or not.
Which leads me to the question, are these "self destructive behaviors" a bastion of the homosexual community? I did a bit of research and discovered at the national institute for mental health that 73% of suicides were done by white males...and with a gun, not a penis in their mouths, which is to say that most people that opt for the dirt nap are male, and white, and overwhelmingly with a gun. The rest of the sites I visited in my whirlwind 30 minute research session ( probably 15 minutes more than most researching this subject) found many sites disputing or dispelling the gay suicide issue as a front to further their homosexual agenda...so, who the fuck knows really?
I can tell you that if I was gay in this country right now I would be depressed and drinking alot...Hell, I'm not even gay and I am depressed and I am drinking alot. So go figure.
I can tell you this without question, In my previous line of work, I had the opportunity to work with many gay men and women, and while a small portion of them had no business in the field, the vast majority of my gay peers were the most professional dedicated people I worked with. The percentage of "straight" people that had no business in the field surpassed the gay numbers because of these factors: Pedophilia, drugs and gang affiliation. I shit you not. What better recruiting ground than unstable, impressionable youth? The "homos" I worked with werer trying to help, while the members on "my team" were making money selling drugs, or fucking 13 year olds, or recruiting gang members.
It seems to me that we are equally dangerous.
It seems to me that we are the same, despite our genital preference...our sex lives do not complete the picture...our actions do.
You faggots are alright with me.
Friday, November 12, 2004
I'm sure all three of you saw the news clips regarding ABC and some affiliates deciding not to broadcast Saving Private Ryan on veterans day. Fearing major fines from the FCC because of content and language (Speilberg wouldn't allow it to be altered for TV broadcast, apparently, and good for him...it's his movie after all). My initial reaction to this was "Man, that Janet Jackson has a mighty influential tit"
and I thought nothing more about it because I have cable, and a DVD of this film and I don't watch network TV because it sucks. If I want to watch something like "Survivor" or "Fear Factor" all I have to do is go hang out with the drag rats on a friday night. I can tell you from experience, they WILL eat bugs.
But on the way home, the Jeff Ward show on my AM dial was taking calls on this "controversy" and the callers, quite frankly, made me want to go home, load up my gun and go hunt them down.
As I understand it, the main issues were the amount of profanity and the violence. OK, I can pretend that there are people in the world who have never said the word "fuck" or thought about it and then fell into a prayerfest to be forgiven for thinking about the word "fuck"...or "damn" or "shit" for that matter. Actually, now that I really think about it, the latter makes a kind of perverse sense to me considering the current spiritual terrain we find ourselves deployed on in this country.
Back to the movie for a minute...I think this film is the perfect one to be shown on veterans day. You have a veteran returning to the scene of the crime and his memory of those events follows. Here's an old man that's been trying to live his life since the war ended suddenly thrown back to the horror he was a part of, and a survivor of. War is not pretty...I've never been there, but trust me, from everything I've heard from people who have been down that road, it's ugly...and violent and people use bad language when it's ugly and violent and people are trying to kill the fuck out of you.
From this we can say the quest for freedom is often ugly and violent and in response to that people cuss...alot. But religious conservatives in this country (based on the calls I heard on the radio) would prefer you to believe that war is akin to flag football...that is, no one gets tackled and the highest score wins. They want to sanitize everything for our viewing enjoyment.
You can pretend it's not what it is and it's still what it is...a well placed mortar will still blow you and yours to bits stuck on the remaining walls no matter how much TV ignores it or redirects you to that pleasant but obese woman with dreads selling pinesol.
And you will still say "fuck" when it happens...the mortar or the pinesol, you pick.
And all of this triggered by a titty...amazing.
Here's a snippit of a phone conversation I had with a customer yesterday:
Customer: Click the next button?
Me: Yes sir.
Customer: You don't have to call me sir.
Me: I'm sorry sir, I'm from Texas and I can't help it.
It's true, I can't help it. I've spent 40 plus years saying sir and m'am and it takes an enormous amount of concentration to stop doing it. I wish I could ask my employer to just send me calls from the southern states, but it doesn't work that way. Well, I wouldn't mind keeping upstate NY - they seem to find the habit kind of cute. I guess I'm going to have to start thinking along the lines of this: Call from Georgia - I can be polite in the way I was taught to be polite. Call from Nebraska - time to put on my cranky hat. My only experience with this difference was when I worked at Wendys and we had a manager with years of experience who was from Pennsylvania and had just relocated to Texas. We were all shocked and appalled at how rude she was to the customers. Except that she wasn't being rude, she was just from Pennsylvania where things were different. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a book out there called "How to be Polite, the Northern Way" so I guess this is one more thing I'm going to have to learn by trial and error.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Well, as usual, the mail bag is as empty as my tray during a kind bud drought. Unless I want to buy a used rolex or keep my dick hard for hours or give my money to some deposed diplomats son in tanzania or look at some horny housewives it looks like we're fucked...but hold on naysayers! As much as I'd like a watch to tell me when it was time to come after they deposit 15 million imaginary dollars into my bank account from some deposed (yet mysteriously rich) dead guy after I send them my account info...hey! I'm stoned not stupid you nigerian asshats, or lagos, or wherever the fuck your from. I think it's cleveland, cause of the ground water thing. Rob told me about that.
But it's veterans day...He who has no name placed a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns and said some words about how veterans rocked...I was amused by the fact that he who has no name could praise our veterans when he in fact, was a chickenhawk. Bush didn't serve in any meaningful way, in fact he didn't serve at all. But he went on to say that there was no way we could properly thank all the vets that have served our country...and he is right about that, no matter how much of a hypocrite liar he is...I warned you the THC was running a bit low, so you get the undistilled skink mojo tonight...even if the skink is more erect on my head...maybe because of that cialis I bought on line...booo-ya!
But back to veterans day.
I have a friend who was a forward scout in Viet Nam in '70-71...he saw some shit that fucked him up. My dad was a war veteran who saw some shit that fucked him up. My father in law is a war veteran that saw some shit that fucked him up...
Apparently war is some shit , that when you see it, it fucks you up.
Thank you dad, and father in law, and my dear friend John, and all those guy's that ate BBQ and drank beer in my backyard in the early '70's that had to walk around with the memory of killing another human being for the sake of the free world.
So I say again...hello veterans, thank you...and if you've got a minute, recruit this skink on my head cause he really wants to kill...KILL...KILL...blood-guts-viens in my teeth...wait! that's Arlo on the CD player...
I was getting a pre employment health screen for a job with the county and after the doctor took my blood pressure he asked me if I had a regular doctor.When I replied yes, he suggested that I go see him NOW, and offered his phone so I could call and let them know I was coming. I don't remember exactly how high my BP was, but that doctor got me out of there so fast I think he thought I was going to explode at any minute and didn't want to deal with the mess!
After a long series of "lets try these meds with these meds" and a sonogram of my kidneys to rule out stenosis, We finally got it under control.
Flash forward to a year ago.
Some routine blood work showed my blood sugar was screwy...so I had to get a glucose tolerance test (which, in my case, should be called a survive the trauma of having blood drawn 4 times in 2 hours without fainting like a southern belle test) and guess what? If you score a 200, you are a diabetic.
I scored 199. Suddenly a light went on...we had had such a hard time getting my BP under control because I was a borderline fucking diabetic! Apparently, diabetes drives blood pressure up.
I radically changed my diet, began exercising and losing weight and continued to take my meds regularly.
If you've seen those TV commercials about the importance of taking blood pressure medication like your life depended on it, they are not kidding.
Even with insurance, my monthly pharmacy costs are about 150.00 USD...
Flash forward to about six months ago.
I got fired from my job (fuck you very much Andy Hines). I lost my insurance, the COBRA program was out of the question because Ann had been "laid off" by the same piece of dogshit, had exhausted her unemployment benefits and had just started a job that wouldn't pay the rent on a cardboard box. My doctor was really cool though, and gave me samples of the expensive meds and cut me slack on my visits. We were getting by.
I got this electrician gig, but union rules state you have to "bank" so many hours before benefits kicked in...ok...that's cool, we're both working again. Oh,wait a minute...Ann got laid off again.
Well, my benefits kicked in, but there was this little problem...it's called "piss ass broke", oh, and there was another problem too...I was getting dizzy at work, not a good thing when your'e on a 16 foot ladder. I stopped taking my pm doses of meds to a) make them last longer between refills and b) not fall off a ladder and break my neck. Recent events have caused me to miss a week of meds ( that piss ass broke thing again).
So, today, I went to see the doctor. My BP was high ( what a surprise ). After relating the last few months events to my doc, he attributed it to missing meds for a week and stress, tweaked my dosages to address the dizzyness issue and gave me a shitload of samples, like I said, my doctor is cool...a genuinely decent caring man. And then he said "You know, the dizzyness could be a blood sugar thing". And reminded me of my 199 score from last year.
I'm getting a blood sugar test next month...meh.
So, what's the point of all this? I'll tell you. I'm tired of waking up every day for the last eleven years wondering if today is the day I have a stroke. I'm tired of wondering how we're gonna get by from week to week...I'm, just fucking tired, ya know?
But, as I just shared with a friend of ours, King from platoon said if "you keep your pecker hard and your powder dry the world will surely turn"...I still believe him.
You can put it on my tombstone.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
And I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing. Let me explain ( better go pee or get a beer-or both, this might take awhile ).
I got a phone call from a guy today that you can't really call a friend, We know him, he's a musician and he has been in the periphery of our circle for years. About 5 years ago, he fell off the planet. When he resurfaced, he was a mere shadow of his former self. Was it mental illness or cocaine? I have no idea. The last time I saw him we were down on 6th street getting our Mark Davis (ROCK STAR) memorial tattoos ( miss you Mark ) and he looked a little better than the last time I saw him, meaning (at my estimation) he had lost no more teeth and looked like he had gained a few pounds...he still had that look in his eyes though...not unlike a racoon you inadvertantly caught raiding your trashcan. All of us were drunk, we embraced on the street and went our seperate ways.
So...this afternoon, on the way home, my cell phone rang ( and by rang I mean played Cypress Hill's " Insane in the membrane" or whatever it's called ) and the conversation went like this:
PHONE: "Insane in the membrane! Insane in the brain"! Over and over while I attempted to drive, find my phone, and answer it.
GUY:That's alot of static...is this Rob?
ME: Yeah...who is this?
GUY:Oh, hey Rob, it's XXXXXX, I was talking to XXXX and he gave me your number...I'm in a short term crisis right now and I have a favor to ask, either you can help me out or not, if not, I'll understand.
ME: What's up?
What's up is basically this...The house he was gonna move into today turned out to be a "hot" house...I can only guess that by "hot" he means drugs are involved. His short term crisis translates to he needs a place to crash "for a couple of days" inside or out.
The last time we did this for someone, I would find him sleeping in our hammock in the back yard weeks after the "couple of days" had expired... he would just be there as if by magic when I'd go to retrieve a pair of socks off the clothesline...there he'd be with his bag of clothes and hygiene products snoring away, and I would be quiet to not wake him ( in MY OWN backyard) it was unsettling to say the least. Back then we had dogs that were not people aggressive, plus they knew the hammock guy. He finally went back to the valley or something.
These days we have dogs that ARE stranger/people aggressive...This is "out" number one, it just wouldn't work. Inside or out.
So, the call ended with me shining him on and wishing him luck.
A year ago, we would have put him up in a hotel or a KOA campground or given him money for food... we would have done something to help. But, these days, we can barely keep ourselves afloat. The times of altruism have passed in this house for now. We just can't afford to be as generous as we once were.
(angry,bitter portion deleted...)
Special veterans day "stoned guy with a skink on his head" tomorrow...send your questions NOW DAMMIT or I'll make up some shit...the THC levels are wavering...whoa:)
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Ashcroft has resigned ! I can't imagine Bunnypants having a worse piece of shit in his deck of evil to replace this freak of nature, but you never know what the spawn of satan has waiting in the wings.
To celebrate I put in a Marilyn Manson CD and played it really loud...for Ashcroft...I hope it's terminal.
I'm changing "Bunnypants" to "He who has no name" for the duration of his time spent driving us into the ground...I'm just sayin', so you'll know.
Blue Witch had a link to a website featuring folks with hand written signs apologising to the rest of the world for the re-election of bunnypants and co. I went and looked at the site, when I got to the image of the girl from Travis County, I stopped. She was pleading with ??? to not bomb Travis County- jesus christ on a crutch! Who the fuck is gonna bomb Travis County in response to the re-election of Bunnypants? Except maybe Bunnypants hisownself,since Kerry took Travis County...seat of the capitol of Texas. That image, plus the dozen or so others of earnest looking, misty eyed retards I looked at with their crybaby signs got my blood to a simmer. When I saw the giant billboard on the drag yesterday advertising this hall of shame, it put me over the top.
Trying to be fair...I thought to myself, "self, they're just trying to make a point". Ultimately, I decided that there was a better way to get the point across without underlining what a bunch of gutless, spineless, apologetic weinertards the democratic party has become.
Here it is.
There ya go...simple and to the point. Am I sorry he got re-elected? Yes, most definitely. Do I feel the need to aplogise to the rest of the world because of a stacked deck in this country that made it possible? Hell no.
Democrats need to hunker down for another 4 years of hell, and when the next election rolls around come out swinging with both hands and mean it. And for gods sake, stop encouraging Hillary...if you think we took an asswhooping this time around, put her on the ticket and see what happens. It's not that I think a woman can' t or shouldn't be president, just look at what's in office now and imagine campaign 2008.
PS: This is post #666...no kidding...
Day two went a little better. I had a lot more "easy" calls today. What a relief. I was afraid every day was going to be like yesterday. I still had plenty of tough calls, but at least they weren't up at the 99% mark this day. And at one point I actually sat and stared at my phone in wonder after it didn't ring for an entire minute! One whole entire minute of peace and quiet. Nirvana. Unfortunately the phone system did it's best to make my life miserable by experiencing major problems. Yes, I'm taking it personally because it was only ME that was affected. The managers apologized and promised it would be fixed in a couple of days, but until then I would just have to deal with it. Friggin' great. You know those thoughts you have about yourself that rattle around in your head and become reality? Well, I'm erasing the one that says "I love a challenge" right here and now.
[Listening to: SILENCE! WONDERFUL GLORIOUS SILENCE!]
Monday, November 08, 2004
My reply to a discussion with a friend involving a 5 hour problematic download of cost estimating software where she's agreed that maybe paper and pencil (and perhaps a bit of Excel) is the better choice over some fancy software...
To: (name deleted)
Yep. I never thought I'd say this, but software, smoshware. At the
rate this society is going, people are going to want a computer
program to wipe their ass. Oh wait, we have that already - there's a
programmable bidet... AUGGHGHGH!
Hmmm... not my normal email demeanor. Perhaps this this new job has put me a bit over the edge....
First real day on the job and it sucked. Or rather, I sucked. I haven't done this poorly at a new job in over 20 years. It wasn't the customer service that sucked or the technical knowledge since I hit the same end of the road that any level two would have hit on some of those calls. No, it was the process of using the phone system, the call tracking database and the knowledge base. If I were a quarterback and the "system" was a hike from the center, then I would probably have had a 40% fumble rate. Sigh. Maybe things will improve tomorrow, but if I'm still this much of a klutz at the end of the week then I'll be begging them to fire me if they haven't decided to do that already. It's a good thing I wasn't cursed with this perfectionism as a young child or I would never have learned to walk. I'm trying really hard to remember my first week as a switchboard operator back in 1980. I'm convinced it was the same sort of experience, but the memory of that struggle has faded completely.
Because our breaks are limited during the day, it's not possible to actually go somewhere and sit down and eat a meal. 15 min. in the morning, 30 min. for lunch and another 15 min. in the afternoon.So,here's the break down.
Morning break: drive north down the drag to the Tetco station at 29th st. ( right next to Taco shack ) buy a coke and two one dollar scratch tickets...cruise through taco shack for a carne guisada taco. Scratch tickets, eat taco. If theres a big winner ( I won 50.00 about a month ago), stop at the 7-11 midway to our job site to cash it in. This makes for hilarious morning banter like, "whadidja win"? and "this shit is rigged, I'm tellin' ya"...throw loser tickets behind the seat of the work truck in disgust proclaiming " I need a new game"...smoke as many cigarettes as you can in 15 minutes and go back to work.
Lunch: drive back to the Tetco, buy a coke and a .50 cent bag of spicy peanuts, cash in winning tickets ( if you have a 1.00 ticket that won 4.00, trade it for 4 1.00 tickets ) if not, buy 2 1.00 tickets and try again. After the near crack like experience of scratching the tickets, one of us say's "now what"? After all, we still have 15 to 20 minutes to kill...if there are any winning tickets, we drive back down the drag and trade them at the 7-11 at MLK Blvd. for more tickets, which we feverishly scratch while chain smoking, and listening to paul harvey read stuff he downloaded from Fark.
Afternoon break: Walk across the street from job site to the convenience store for a drink...usually a coke, or sometimes water. Look at scratch tickets on display at the register...trade in any winners from lunch, or if not, resist temptation as your eyes glaze over...fuck it! You say " I can't win if I don't play" and buy another 1.00 ticket, that's sure to be a winner. It isn't, because the tickets at that store suck...or, you win a 1.00 and at least your even.Sit on the tailgate and smoke.
Yes sir...High rollers indeed :)
Sunday, November 07, 2004
The weather has been about as perfect as it gets here in Austin with warm days and cool nights just right for sitting outside on the deck with a fire in the chiminea. Except that the deck was covered with crap from the remodel and the chimenea was in some far corner of the backyard. Not anymore. Rob busted ass yesterday and cleaned off the deck. Today he moved the chimenea into place and set up an impromptu weatherproof coffee table out of stuff we had laying around. I ran off to HEB and splurged by spending $3.50 on two strings of white christmas lights, another $2.50 on a bundle of wood and $9 on beer. I know $15 doesn't sound like much to some people, but on our budget that's a fair chunk of change. However, it was SO worth it. There are few things that bring me more joy than sitting outside on a cool fall evening watching a fire and drinking a few cold ones. What can I say? I am, and always have been, a cheap date :)
I don't usually comment on the local happenings around here...but this one just begged for a smack or two...Leander ISD bans baggy pants and long coats . Please...this was in response to threats made by a couple of kids who wanted to bring a little columbine to the suburbs of Austin. They have been charged with the 3rd degree felony of making terroristic threats. You don't need baggy pants and trench coats to kill some people...you need guns. Which are probably easier to procure than trench coats in leander. Just open up dad's gun cabinet, and walaa! it's a massacre.
But this leads to a more pressing question...why do kids feel like they need to kill the fuck out of their classmates? I mean, what's the allure of walking into the cafe at lunchtime in your favorite pair of JNCO pants covered seductively by a black ankle length duster hiding the 12 gauge pump loaded with slugs that you wrote the names of your victims on the night before with a sharpie marker?
Can anyone be fucked with and bullied to the point of killing? That's alot of fucking with and bullying if you ask me, which leads me to the question: why didn't the school officials respond in some meaningful way to all this fucking with and bullying in the first place?Is it because they still believe that the cruelty and abuse hailed upon kids in the public school system is a right of passage, and the barely suppressed memories of the torture the principle of the school endured when he/she was in school leads them to think "they'll get over it" and under respond, only to go home and search the internet for the perpetrators of their own abuse and send hateful anonymous emails? Only to respond with shock and disgust when the local bully catches one in the brain pan secretly wishing they had capped their tormentor way back in the day.
Kids don't need baggy pants and trench coats to perpetrate this kind of violence on each other...
My point is this...you can ban all manner of clothing and jewelry until the cows come home, but until you ban cruelty there will be more less than adequate members of our society who will have had enough of being fucked with and respond with a gun, baggy pants notwithstanding.
BW mentions this site which is a gallery of pictures of Americans apologizing to the world for the election results. I don't get it. To me, that's akin to taking the blame and apologizing for something done by an idiotic co-worker. Yes world, over half of Americans seem to be misguided, deluded, ignorant or incapable of thinking for themselves to the point that they can't see what appears to be obvious. This is not a new trend for this country nor is it limited to Americans.
Billy has written the best explanation of Guy Fawkes Day I have ever read.
Essay has this post which reminds me that things aren't different enough in Canada to make moving up there worth freezing my ass off in the winter.
Amblongus continues to shake his head over the weirdness that is Texas with this post about middle-school textbooks. Keep in mind when you read it that this is the state that spawned George Bush.
Saturday, November 06, 2004
After my dad retired from the military, he took advantage of the GI bill and went to college...this was during the twilight of the nightmare that was Viet nam, and I got to meet people who were also taking advantage of the GI bill and went to school with my dad. The difference was they had been in the Nam, and they were damaged people. But they had service in common with my dad, and so they came to the house and hung out on the weekends, for BBQ and beer and tales of war and unrest. I was 12 years old.
There were the anti-war marches at UT my dad took me to, with his new found friends...I work there now, and every time we drive by the horse fountain I see the girl riding atop the tallest horse of the group, with her jeans bellbottomed with american flags and shooting the peace symbol. Right before the teargas and the running away. I remember howling at the ROTC cadets with my dad and his friends on the west mall...I can see this clearly in my mind every time we drive by the pavilion where they practiced formation.
We lived in a trailer...14x70, feet and my dad was a security guard at a local department store while he was in school. My mom was a nightwatch employee at a residential treatment center. We were poor in a district of rich motherfuckers...I went to school with kids of much higher station. Weed was the common demominator, it erased social boundaries. The rich kids wanted to be us and we wanted to be them and the weed blurred the lines effectively.
My dad had rotating hobbies...photography, guns and aquariums. His cameras and guns spent heavy rotation at the pawn shop during those days...the fish stayed, a whole wall of tanks...his babies. But the pawn shop was a kind of savings and loan for us during those days ( pawn shops carry a taste of shame for me even to this day ). It was lean.
In 1976, my parents bought a house, this house, in fact. My dad had given up on his degree and took a job with the state, having grown tired of the poverty and wanting something stable and a home. A home that was passed on to me...the ghosts are still here,too.
The ghosts of a struggle to get by...to be comfortable and assured. But it was a constant struggle against the current that led my parents to the world we experience today. A slow creeping slide into desperation. And by inheriting this house I have inherited that legacy.
Like my dad, I spent years in a job that provided a good living, since I left that work, it has been a roller coaster of occaisional wealth and damning poverty. My options are limited...some of it is a result of personal choices, some of it because of my age, some of it is due to the economy. But, like my parents, we carry on...we struggle. I'm tired of the struggle, but that's all there is.
I even went to a pawn shop the other day with some rings...I left with the rings and a bad taste in my mouth, I won't ever do that again.
Pawn shops are the department stores of broken dreams, and my dream isn't broken... yet.
Now, I'm not trying to be a crybaby. I'm not feeling sorry for myself, I have a roof over my head, and food to eat and a job. That gives me a leg up on the increasing numbers of homeless people who have lost it all, who were once "middle class" and for reasons that probably escape even them are now living on the streets.
I'm almost 45 years old and I'm scared and on the edge...staring into the abyss of cardboard box housing and aluminum can collecting. One paycheck away from disaster.
But I'll press on...just like everyone else.
Friday, November 05, 2004
I made it through the training program at work (not a difficult thing to do) and I can now start taking customer calls. In fact, I should have taken several calls today as part of my training, but due to problems with my logon I was only able to take one call before my training shift ended. We did not do any practice calls at all, I guess because the other person in my class had previous phone tech support experience and I think they forgot I'd never done this before since I already knew most of the technical stuff. As luck would have it, I got a customer with Windows ME for my first call and the "knowledge base" we use leaves a bit to be desired on this operating system because it is so uncommon. Like most "knowledge bases", information is added as needed and I was told in training that I would probably never get a call from a customer using Windows ME. Hah! She also asked about a few other things that were not covered in training, but I poked around and the information was there (which means we support it) so I was able to give her the answers that she was seeking. Not bad for a first try, though I am a bit nervous about Monday morning. I drew the 7 AM shift and there are only a handful of people working at 7 which means I'm going to be pretty much on my own. I just have to remind myself that I've had plenty of successful experiences at previous jobs where I was thrown into a situation with far less training than I received here and I will probably do just fine. I also hope I enjoy the work because the pay is the lowest I've made in 25 years (and that's NOT counting inflation.) Now I've been told by many that doing phone tech support is akin to working in hell, but only time on the job will reveal how I personally feel about it. Besides, the work environment and people seem to be a perfect fit (though they are all 10 and 20 years younger than me) and that counts higher on my list than actual job duties. Again, only time will tell, but I don't seem to have landed in the maw of Evil Corporate America or Totally Fucked Up Small Business this time around.
I have been a fan of Black Flag for years and years...Henry Rollins put out a benefit CD for the west memphis three a couple years ago...Black Flag covers. Among the artists is Lemmy from Motorhead who covers "Thirsty and miserable"...it fucking rocks, and I can finally understand all of the lyrics:
Thirsty and miserable-always wanting more
Drink until you can't even see anymore
Thirsty and miserable- always wanting more
Thirsty and miserable- always wanting more
My brother wants a ride to the liquor store
Pity him for what he wants it for
Thirsty and miserable- always wanting more
Thirsty and miserable- always wanting more
It's 1:30 and we're getting nervous
They close at 2, there's not enough to last us
Thirsty and miserable- always wanting more
Thirsty and miserable- always wanting more
Thursday, November 04, 2004
The election results were not contested. It wasn't ugly, it wasn't a shame. I stand corrected. Suburban Blight praised him for bowing out like a gentleman, and , upon reflection, I agree. Bunnypants won the election , but I won't go so far as to say "fair and square". You (myself included) can jump up and down and blame it on the corrupt GOP and this nation of idiots that re-elected him, but it's just not that simple.
I am not a republican by any stretch of the imagination, I'm not really a democrat either. I'm more libertarian if I have to label myself...with anarchistic tendencies. Radical libertarian anarchist if you will.
I despise the republican party with every fiber of my being and some of your fiber too, if it were'nt for the old cronies surrounding Bush and propping him up, my dog Theo would do a better job of president (and he has dysplasia and no clue about the world beyond this house and back yard, but he can do tricks and follow basic commands).
( Stoned guy with a skink on his head takes over the keyboard)
Dude! What happened?!?! I was so stoked that Kerry was gonna win. It reminds me of the time me and my bro JoJo ran for student council in high school. We were like the freak party up against the jock party...JoJo's sister was a badass artist and did these cool posters of us with our long flowing hair and badass feather earrings. Our fellow freaks backed us up the whole time until it was time to vote and then they let us down. If I remember ( and I've smoked about a bale of kind bud since high school...wow...a fucking bale...man, that's alot!) Anyway, I think we got like 38 votes out of almost a 1000. Looking back, I think I know what happened. If I had had a skink on my head, we would of fucking won in a landslide...or maybe if we had focused on what was important to the jocks and rednecks instead of expanding the smoking area and lowering the off campus lunch pass to sophomore year ( so we could tag our girlfriends...god...sophomore chicks rocked! ) because it wasn't equitable to the lower classes, we could have won. But the real reason was...lemme see if I can remember what my high school counselor said...you're flitting around the brink...no...she said that but that wasn't it, uhhh...oh yeah! The majority wasn't interested in your agenda and didn't understand where you were coming from because what you were espousing wasn't relevant and didn't resonate with the majority . You smoke too much weed, too (wait!that was another session).
Anyway man, I think Kerry lost because he didn't resinate the people...I mean resonate with the people. There are good parties and bad parties, and Kerry's party was definitely lame-o dude.
Me and the skink are out...later's man!
Thanks dude...whew! That commentary made me dizzy. I think I get his point though.