Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Live in the moment . . . or don't.

Let's pretend you have an ex-mormon, gay, buddhist therapist that occasionally falls asleep when you are talking to him. He's a good guy. You like him. He's only suggested you read one book and when you tell him the reason you go to therapy is so you don't have to read a book, he concedes and says you don't have to read it. He's perceptive, honest and keeps changing his office location, further and further away from your house. But like I said, you like him. He's a good guy. He really wants to help. Then he says something he can't take back, he says, "You know [you], what you need to do is live in the moment. Stop thinking about things that you can't change." He even says that, when you get stressed, "you need to take off your shoes, go outside and stand in grass or something. So you are in contact with earth." That sounded neat.

And pretend it works. A little. But you could take it too far. Easily. I'll explain in a moment. Just not this moment. Try not to think about it while you wait. As a matter of fact, if you can just take off your shoes and go stand in the grass while you read this blog (even though you shouldn't even be reading this blog because the first rule of this blog is do not read this blog), you will probably succeed in not thinking about it. Good luck.

Now, let's say you are talking to, oh, I don't know, your father. And you are just shooting the breeze with your old man, talking about life in general and he says, "You know, [you], you know what you need to do? You need to live in the moment. Be in the now."

So, think to yourself for a moment (this moment). Is this a coincidence? Two people observing you and making the same conclusion? Or is this a kind of truth?

I am going to assume that you are now done thinking to yourself and I am going to move on to the next moment. I'm kinda like your moment to moment guide right now. Stay with me. You don't want to get lost in then or if.

One final pretending. Let's pretend that the person you spend the most time with one person, be it your spouse, your significant someone, your best friend or even your cat and that person says "You know, [you], you should stop worrying so much. Let go. Live in the moment," or "Meow, [you], meow."

Trifecta coincidence? Trifincidence? The hat trick? What the heck is going on here? Maybe this is advice that you should take. Take that person outside with you. Take off your shoes, step into the grass and while you are standing there, toes in the cool green grass, soft earth molding to your heels, right before the ants swarm, say to that person, "Say that again." or "Meow." See what happens.

Okay, so I did say I would talk about taking it too far. That's going to happen pretty much now. And it also totally, openly, misses the point of living in the now, but if you are going to live in the now, you have to think about how it is going to affect you so you can be prepared. I mean, if you take any one of these scenarios and imagine yourself saying "Oops, I was living in the moment," it probably won't do you much good. But this is the part that all those people that tell you to live in the moment aren't going to tell you. Just be thankful that something brought you here, to this moment where you can learn some valuable lessons about living in the moment. If you don't want to know, head the advice of rule one.

What follows is a short and totally comprehensive list of times when it is inappropriate to live in the moment (TOTALLY comprehensive):

When you are planning your retirement.

When you are considering a career.

When you are at a bar and you need to drive home.

Considering when you will have time to go to the bathroom.

When you are walking towards the Grand Canyon.

Getting ready for a trip.

Putting on your seat belt.

Buying a car.

Brushing your teeth.

Eating broccoli.

Wearing white clothes.

Buying an umbrella.


Buying a TiVo.

Eating a hive full of killer bees.

Taking dance lessons.

Deciding between Trojan or generic.

Selecting curtains.

Wearing leggings as pants.

Telling someone you love them before you leave the house.

Getting your ears pierced.

Waxing anything.

Term or Whole life?

Pretending everything that other people tell you to pretend.

There you have it. A complete and exhaustive list of all the things you will need to do before you can live in the moment. Once you do all those things, you are ready to seize the day and live for now. Of course, by the time you finish doing all those things, you may very well be dead.

Or you may have preserved yourself quite well and be standing at the precipice of a new adventure.

Either way, you can stop pretending about what your therapist, father and cat are doing and take their pretend advice and prepare to live in the moment. Tomorrow.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dear Coffee . . .an open dear john letter

Dear Coffee,

We need to talk. No doubt that I feel good when we are together. I'm a little giddy. I miss you when you are not around. I think about you a lot. Right after we're together, my heart beats so hard, I think people standing near me can hear it.

I love the way you smell.

You are beautiful in everything you wear. And when you wear those see-through little Starbucks numbers - whoah!

And then we fight.

You burn me. From the inside. We've tried taking it slow. We've tried rushing things. Hot or cold. Sweet or straight. It always ends the same. My heart races. I crash. Crash and burn.

Remember that time you were all like, "Let's give it another shot." And I was like, "I've heard that one before." And you were all, "No. No. Look, I'm clean. Decaffed. You can handle this." But it wasn't long before I was curled up in a ball with those shooting pains in my veins and you just sat there and said, "Wuss."

Then you were like, "Take me back. I've changed. I'm gentler. Smoother. I was made for you." I was all like "What do you mean? Is that some kind of soul mate, marketing thing? You know I don't buy that crap." And you kept at it with, "Just give me another chance. It won't be like it was."

I wake up, pounding on my chest with a fist full of crushed Tums and I am hitting the stuff like it's Pixie sticks.

You even tried to make me think it was all my fault. You were all, "You're so cheap, you know that? I mean, you have to drop a little cash to get quality. You get what you pay for. You wonder why you get hurt."

You've even started showing up everywhere. Man that's awkward. I can't go get a donut. I can't go get breakfast at McDonald's. I can't even go to Paradise Bakery. I mean there you were, all fancied up, just chilling, looking all sweet, but did you even look at yourself? That giant straw made you look like a whore.

I know I sound bitter, but you're the one who's bitter and I'll be honest, I like that a little bit. A little sweet and a little bitter. What's not to love? But you're acidic. You are corrosive to me.

I know it shouldn't go on like this but I know I am weak. I mean, it's just like at Paradise the other day. I could just get a smoothie. I know it would be better for me. But there you are. Looking so cool and sweet and ready to go. What am I supposed to do? You were right about me. I am a wuss. I know my heart will burn from you. Everytime. And I'll be back. I like the rush. The thrill. The bitter sweet hell of your warming charge.

You'll be the death of me.

Want to go for a drink?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Other People Having Fun While You Are Not

I've been told by old people (and that's anyone over the age of 37) that it used to be a form of torture to have to look at someone else's vacation pictures. Out comes the slide projector. Out go the lights and here comes the "look how much better my life is than yours" speech. So if you are here, willingly reading a blog entitled "Do Not Read This!", keep in mind that you brought this on yourself and you probably deserve it.

My end of the deal would be to at least make this entertaining, unless of course I want you to be tortured. My recommendation to avoid seeing this as a form of torture would be to just imagine yourself on the beach. Unless of course seeing beach photos of someone else having the time of their life is your idea of bliss, in which case (and remember, these photos include me), please feel free to bliss out.

Here's the premise:

Rob and I seek "adventure" road tripping to the coast and "catching some waves" (this is, and I now feel quite qualified to say so, surfer lingo for successful surfing. This lingo must be spoken at a very moderate pace, preferably uttered while under the influence of inhaleable herbs while wearing a woven poncho, hood up or down is fine).

Public service announcement: Please don't stereo type surfers, they are all individuals.

Stocked with trail mix, beef jerky, chex mix, gatorade and water (yes mom, lots and lots of water unless we became stranded in the desert and were forced to survive by eating people that had crossed the border illegally -- you know, the ones sneaking right past John McCain who stands on a tower peering through a sniper scope saying "My friends I see no aliens, just a bunch of thirsty Mexican people. The fence is working. Oh look, an endangered jaguar." BANG) Rob and I made the trek to San Diego, which is a word of German origin, with a definition made famous by Ron Burgandy and Pinocchio, okay maybe not exactly Pinocchio. I also want to point out that I did not take the "wrong" freeway, just a "different" freeway. Roben is a VERY GOOD navigator.

We traveled to Encinitas, actually north of San Diego, and got a room at the Portofino Inn. Here is a picture along with a picture of Rob coming out of the hotel room.

It was quaint, cheep, and less than a mile from the beach. I highly recommend you do not stay there because then it will become popular and not cheap. Find your own bargain.

Here is a picture of the trailer park right next to our hotel where I do not currently live. Feel free to buy me a trailer in this trailer park and stay at the Portofino Inn all you want.Austin drove down from LA (THANKS AUSTIN!), and we walked across the whole town in search of Swami's - a semi hipster, mostly republican vegetarian joint. Then we walked to the "No dogs allowed beach" with Austin's dog Dexter, who likes to bark at skaters almost as much as Roben. With the soothing sounds of waves cresting below, we considered disguising Dexter with a hat, but without a hooded skater poncho, he might have stood out a bit much. After some "fro-yo" (*punches own face*), Austin took Dexter home to LA where he is more appreciated by Leif Garrett, who does not wear skater ponchos but does do drugs.

Rob and I biked to the beach that night. There were bonfires.

The next morning, Roben slept in and I went to the beach again. Here is a picture I took.

I, unlike most people, really like the beach.

As proof that most people do not like the beach, here is a picture from the last time Roben went to the beach a few weeks ago.Please note how unhappy these people are. See how many people are unlike me? This second picture is from Pacific Beach so we drove there to surf.

So I have this weird fear of sharks. Especially like the one looking at you in this picture, because to them a surfer looks like a seal when you are a shark looking up from below.

I know this is completely unreasonable, so please feel free to shut up about it. As luck would have it, the hotel had cable and it was shark week. My compliments to the Discovery Channel. Nevertheless, assured by statistics and reason, Rob and I rented surfboards and wetsuits and headed out to the water. Now I had this top notch reality TV show crew following us around, expecting that they would take all the video of us surfing, but while we were out "catching waves", the TV crew heard that the Situation and Snooki were on a west coast tour where they were both flashing people out on the pier. I know what a Situation is, but I am still a little baffled considering I am pretty sure that a Snooki is either a robe you wear backwards or it's what you call it when you are dumpster diving behind a restaurant and find someone has dumped ice cream and a pie-sized chocolate chip cookie in the garbage. When I tried to give the film crew a hard time about this, they said, "Cuz (and the guy was not my cousin), even if that's what a Snooki was, it would still be more interesting to film than you surfing." This is what surfers call "Trash talking".

Public service announcement: Even my s*#&&@ puns are better than Jersey Shore. This is also what the surfers call "trash talking".

So here are some pictures Rob and I took when we dropped off our boards and wet suits.

Surfing is really hard, no matter how easy Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves make it look. "Nobody puts Ted in a corner." You have to paddle a lot, wait for a wave, turn your fat a%& around and pull your doughy white suburban body up onto a teetering, floating piece of fiberglass. I managed to achieve this about four times for sure. Two times I was still on my left knee and the other two times I fell off right away. Mostly I just paddled around. Roben said that's his favorite part. He would have enjoyed himself way more if he were me. If you still think you can do better, remember that the surfing you are doing right now consists of moving your mouse and clicking.

We pool hopped at a coast hotel, lunched at Ralph's grocery and stopped at a store called Pangea, where they had these. Lot's and lot's of these. We bought a monkey one for Heather.

Then we headed to Harbor Village for fresh fish tacos. You don't know it, but you are very jealous. We considered renting a boat because, as Roben said, we could say "I'm on a boat." There was also an unfortunately ugly lady there that Roben couldn't stand to look at. There was also a scrawny little gal that could easily lift a bucket full of ice over her head. We ordered deep fried OREOs. My arteries swelled up like Snooki after botox.

Next morning was the beach again. It is habit forming. We took pictures. I tried to get pictures of Sand Pipers, but they kept flying away. Here are some that stayed.

I found a pair of sunglasses that likely belonged to someone who was carried off by the tide. It seemed to me that whoever it was lived their life like a candle in the wind. I put them on and was not carried out to sea.

We also took pictures of each other looking contemplative as the waves went about their business of never stopping.

Waves make a soothing noise. They actually sell machines that attempt to replicate it but these will ultimately pale in comparison to the real thing. I believe the surfer term for this noise is "Whoah."

We toured the town on our bikes and found the oddly random little girl statue right below the rail station and the boss mural of whales and other sea life. This would be a terrible time to call to mind the German definition of San Diego.

You can easily see how much fun Roben was having in these pictures. What could be more fun than taking pictures by sea murals and a statue of a little girl?

We headed down to Swami beach to check out the tidepools. There were crabs, anemones, sea slugs and Roben's shoes got soaked. I took pictures but they all sucked. Trust me, it was cool.

I swam and took one last picture. We went to Juanita's tacos, got hunormous sodas and basically peed the whole way home. El Centro. Yuma. A rest stop. A special thanks to Manchester Orchestra, Muse, Tom Petty and R.E.M. for the soundtrack of our trip. If you would like to hear a sample or own the soundtrack, buy the songs off of iTunes yourself or something. Feel free to create a playlist called Roben and Joel's West Coast Adventure.

Please note no actual Snooki's were injured in the making of this blog. All the damage done to Snooki she did on her own. Also, here is a picture of a Snooki in the wild. A surfer word for Snooki would be "Skank".

Monday, July 26, 2010


What if I got warm,
a heater box,
a generator,
my atoms vibrated,
I radiated.

What if I could power your car,
your little apartment,
your whole building,
the security door.

What if I didn't cool down,
expanded brilliantly
gave you my energy
an illuminated city.

What if I were sound,
tidal power overcast,
sand dragging under your feet.

What if you could feel it,
the networking current,
the regenerating fusion,
what if you could see me from space.

And what if I went nuclear.
Melted the whole place
burned everything in range
and devistated everyone.

What if I stay inside the core,
where the electromagnet hangs on tight
and nothing can be pulled apart.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Another solution brought to you by me.

Seeing as how 2 out of the three branches of government can't figure out how to solve the US unemployment problem immediately (and I'm not including the judicial because their latest ruling on campaign finance should just about secure every lobbyist job and every lobbyist related job - and I know right now as you're reading this Judge Alito, you're saying to yourself "not true", but at least the justices are taking the economy into their own hands), it guess it's up to me.

So let's look at the evidence: 20% to 50% of employers check facebook before hiring you. That can mean "you" specifically or the general "you". I know you already have a job Justice Alito. This data can lead to only one conclusion: Facebook is responsible for the high unemployment. You can't ignore data. But you can spin and skew it if necessary. If you couldn't, you wouldn't have Bill Maher or Glen Beck (as a sidenote, if you type "smug" into google and click "I'm feeling lucky", a picture of Bill Maher comes up. Also note, if you make a typo and type "Smoug" and click "I'm feeling lucky", Glen Beck will show up at your house wearing only a sweater and a Speedo. I recommend aiming your arrow at the missing stitch in the soft underbelly of his sweater. Or just don't make the typo - it's in your hands).

Anyway, Facebook is obviously responsible for the unemployment rate exceeding 9% because people are always putting douchey things on their Facebook page like "Dude, got totally blitzed last night. Fell asleep between two hookers and when I woke up my unemployment check was gone." or "Had an interview today. Boy that guy was a total idiot." Or "Committed murder again tonight. Stupid cops. I just keep ignoring their friend requests."

Because employers aren't going to stop disrespecting our privacy any time soon, and because some people don't understand how to make posts visible to only friends or to just NOT put damning posts on Facebook while they are looking for a job, I have invented a new Job Seeker's Facebook Post Generator.

For the low price of just $500 . . . wait . . . $2,000 a month, you can send me your name, age, gender and employment history and my generator does the rest.

Here are a few examples of Facebook Posts, created by my generator, that have already started helping people get back to work.

"Had a job interview today. I have great respect and admiration for this company. The interviewers struck me as shrewd, hard working, friendly but professional."


"What I didn't do last night was get drunk so I have no pictures to post of me naked on the lawn of that place where I interviewed yesterday."


"Yesterday, just as a learning experience, I, a casual bystander in Miami, successfully negotiated the deal that will bring LeBron James to Miami with enough of a pay cut that Penny Hardaway may come out of retirement." (This may not work in Cleveland)


"Last night, I was at a restaurant, not drunk, and this older gentleman had symptoms of a heart attack. Though I don't have a lot of medical training, I was a quick, detail oriented learner and performed a triple bypass. I'm no doctor, but I bet this kind of capability would come in handy as an office manager."

These are all actual cases that have helped people get real jobs. If you want to start a franchise of your own Job Seeker's Facebook Post Generator company, stop trying to steal my ideas. This is America, the land of opportunity. Quit trying to take my opportunity. Or buy me a pony. Then maybe we'll talk.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Froyo? Oh no.

Maybe it was just the overall experience of the cleverly named "Yogurtland". Maybe it was because I mixed too many flavors (chocolate, vanilla and coffee, plus whatever chocolate flavored candy stuff I could find). Or maybe it was the bright pastel colors and hipster something kind of atmosphere. Or maybe it was the "dude" that shuffled in with his wavy blonde hair, Right-Said-Fred-one-size-too-small white polo and salmon colored shorts (with watchband to match). Or maybe it was because the scale was in hundredths of a pound but the price was in ounces; if it was that hip, it should have all been in grams (note - semi-colon). Or maybe it was the fact that they had a tip jar. Yes. A tip jar at a SELF-SERVE establishment. Do they not know how miserly I am? The poor vacant kid at the register did ask if we wanted a receipt, but is that really worthy of a tip? What the crap are you tipping for? "Nice job converting pounds to ounces - you're a champ. Here's 1/8th of a ten dollar bill."

Also, I'm lactose intolerant. It happens when you get older. There, I said it. But I have pills for that. But apparently I'm hipster intolerant too, though I'm not sure the affects are similar (for example, I don't think Ivy Caps, mutton chops and black plastic frames make my stomach gurgle - but I'm not ruling it out). But that probably happens when you get older, too. "You darn young-uns and your kitsch. Back in my day we called kitschy 'contemporary' and it was all new and young and we did it just to piss off old people."

So if I could just lasso in the tangent for a second, I think I went in for frozen yogurt, with the wrong idea (never saying "froyo" again for fear I might just start punching myself in the face to make it stop). It's supposed to be kinda healthy, right? Vanilla. Fruit. Done. Maybe peach yogurt with some nuts. In which case, I have an idea for a tip: a folded up piece of paper with these words of advice "Do NOT try to trick me with chocolate. Know who you are. If froyo (punch, punch) is supposed to be an alternative, do this: yogurt. fruits. nuts. and if you must, lychee. But for the love of God, do not insult me by faking chocolate yogurt. Leave that to ice cream." Or maybe a ransom style note that says, "Arm-wrestling contest. Parking lot. 10 o'clock." And then leave a note in the tip jar at Cold Stone that says "Arm-wrestling contest. Parking lot of Yogurtland. 10 o-clock. Bring the thunder." And then when the scrawny hipster waddles into the parking lot, the Pop-eye fore-armed, basketball shoed, baseball cap wearing chic from Cold Stone pop's off froyo's ivy cap, twists him into a headlock and demonstrates the "Mix-in" technique with blood and teeth and unflattering use of a waffle bowl.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Decision 2010

Decision 2010 - Where will LeBron Joel go?

It's the question on everyone's mind, so I decided to host a one hour special from the nearly completed bathroom of my house where I will finally announce my decision about several things a lot of you have been asking about, like, where will he end up in the fall? What does this mean for his hometown? And then there's the brownie question.

What degree will leBron Joel go for? I know there's a lot of speculation out there. Will Lebron Joel head towards one of the sciences? Some have been reporting a lot of buzz around Molecular Biology lately due to a report of a downloaded program of study on his desktop. But after all the big talk and flirting with calculus and chemistry, you have to wonder if that was all just a bunch of hype, or if there was really something to it. Will he stay with his "degree of convenience", Wildlife Ecology and Restoration, just because the degree is easier to get? And what about the little bird in the ear that said something about psychology and work on autism? Where is that going? Or will he drop a huge bombshell and revisit teaching so he can have summers off to hit the beach?

What job will LeBron Joel take? A lot of speculation here, too. There's the "just stay at storage" crowd, or as I like to call them, the people who don't exist. Then there's the, take the mail room job and get back your girlish figure and embrace your love for physical labor. The biggest contender is the ILL job. Sure, you can bid for that, but do they really have the salary room to bring in LeBron Joel full time? Do they even want LeBron Joel full time? Aren't there plenty of other qualified all-stars? Can all the all stars really work together at ILL or it will be a fractious, spotlight hogging juggernaut that collapses under its own weight? Will LeBron Joel throw off everyone and play for the Clippers? Or even less likely, head back to Bowne? Or will LeBron Joel leave it all behind, drop off the radar and live out of his truck on the coast, selling used books to tourists from a hot dog cart on the beach?

Then there's the brownie thing. One co-worker refusing to make brownies until LeBron Joel comes out with a cross dressing Lady Gaga video and another agreeing to make brownies but then "washing her hands of the whole thing". Will LeBron Joel suck it up and make his own brownies or will he just keep gnawing away at the fudge and 56 oz bag of dark chocolate M&Ms?

Tune in this evening for Decision 2010 to found out the answer to all these questions and more, like when the heck will that bathroom get finished and when will he stop whining about his back and get back on the court.

Tonight's most likely outcome: Joel will say, "I just need a little more time. Can I just have a little more time to think about this?" After which, he will promptly shut the bathroom door and turn on the fan.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's the "You can suck it Earth Day" song.

Hey Earth Day, you can suck it. Oh Earth Day, you can chuck it. If I could think of another rhyming word, that would apply to you too, oh I would. Oh, Earth Day.

Say Earth, with your ashes and volcanos and your earthquakes, you probably think you're pretty awesome right now. With your shaking and your spewing and your killing lots of people. Oh Earth day. It's like a birth day.

Yeah. Yeah.

You probably think you deserve your day. And maybe a cake with green frosting. CAUSE green is the color of stuff that grows right out of the earth. BUUUT most of the actual earth is brown. But please don't frown. It's your special day, oh earth.

Oh shoobie doo whop, shoobie doo whop.

Oh earth day, if I had an SUV I would drive all over your exposed little Grand Canyon. Oh Earth Day! You want the freon, take the freon, freakin freon eating earth day. Oh Freon is the whipped topping on the can of whoop axis that I think someone needs to crack open on you. Shoobie doo whop. Shoobie doo whop.

I hope and hope and hope my old air conditioner takes a thousand years to decompose and you feel it like a hemroid, every time you rotate. Earth day. Tree hugger mirth day. I'd rather celebrate Colin Firth day even though he's kind of a pansy British romantic comedy guy whose name rhymes with Earth and MIIIIIIRTH.


Oh earth, you can take your day, and stick it on a sleigh and drive it all away and that's where you can stay where rich people alieviate their guilt by singing to themselves "hey, i have a whole crapload of money, why don't I just buy the 16 seer and get the tax credit AND rebate while the lazy low income slobs . . .
[Big finish, bring out the dancing girls]
PAAAY . . .

(oh man, I think that note is out of my voice range. I think I pulled something . . . I mean besides all the stops.)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bible Stories for Children

So what if God is actually a little kid. Not in a star trek kind of way (GEEK CHECK!), but what if God actually has all these powers, but is still working on responsibility, but with no parental supervision. And that whole bible thing about "Fear God" is a mistranslation. It actually means, "God Fears," or, to be precise, "God is scared!" So there is this scared little kid in charge of everything. So he decides, old people should die, that way, I can drag them into the afterlife and try to figure out what makes them tick. Which turns out to be kind of a disappointment. They show up in the afterlife, bodiless, with all this knowledge about medications, health insurance and investment advice. Not to mention the fact they keep telling the same old stories over and over.
Now if you'll excuse my sequencing issues, pretend you are a kid watching adam and eve run around naked. You really don't care about naked very much if you are a kid, as a matter of fact, it's kind of funny. Then, all the sudden, the dude and the chick figure out what's what with their nakedness and BOOM they are all over each other (I'm just skipping over the whole snake and fruit metaphor and getting to the nitty-gritty). God, the kid, sees this and its like walking in on your parents. "Nobody wants to see that. I didn't make that for this. Mr. Peepers was just put there to be funny looking and the lady didn't have one to make Mr. Peepers more funny looking."
Out they go.
At some point, God, the kid, gets this crazy idea. What if I do the whole human body thing? Then I could grow up. Be an adult. See what that's like.
So here comes this kid with these crazy ideas. He checks out parties. Finds out about the affects of wine. Hangs out with friends. He never really messes around with chicks because, well he saw that in the garden one time and it was straight up nasty. He tells people they should become like kids. He also tells grown ups to stop fighting all the time. Tries to tell old religious dudes not to be so bossy. And he tells everybody they should share everything. That pretty much did it. So God, the kid, finds out that being a grown-up totally sucks in a BIG way. In one of the most misunderstood passages in the bible, God, the kid, says "eli eli lama sabachthani", which is an old proverb meaning "Screw you guys, I'm going home!"

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Little Chicken Little Chicken Little Chicken Little

Which came first? Did the sky fall or did chicken little wonk about it first?

So I know the sky didn't fall. yet. But if it's up there, surely it has to come down here.

Let me explain. Here is the long version. Ready?

Gram's pool is a mess. A mess. I have been trying to get it right for 3 years. Years, as you may know, are the sum of months, which are the sum of weeks, which are the sum of days. A long 3 years.

When you swim in it, it's sorta like liquid mountain climbing. Webbed footed creatures would be able to break new records with the particulate level in this pool. Every flap of the foot would be like a track and field starting gate.

This stuff would take forever in an hourglass. It would slow down time. As a matter of fact, it is probably my grandmother's pool water, in some sort of multi-dimensional hourglass, the outside of which is constructed of a turtle shell, that has been tracking the time I have spent working on the freakin pool.

Oh yeah, that idea you're thinking right now, I tried that. And that.

Now, after 3 long years of fighting the good fight AGAINST filling it in (which, by the way is like hiding chocolate under dog poop), and, instead, just cleaning it up, we were close.

Chemicals upgraded - check.
Sand changed - check.
Hose repairs (2 backflush, 6 vacuum) - check
Pool drained - yeah, that, well . . .

Joel: I can do that.
Joel's Mom: No. No you probably shouldn't do that. The plaster cracks. The pool rises out of the ground.
Joel: No really. You just need to rent a pump.
Mom: where does the water go?
Joel: I'll find out.

Joel find's out: the sewer access pipe in front of the house. No problem. Let me just go locate that real quick. Hmm. Somewhere around here. Hmm. No. There? No. Hmm. I think someone is moving it. Every other house in the neighborhood has one. Hmm. I guess I could dig.

Joel's Mom: No. You probably shouldn't do that.
Joel: Why not? How hard could that be?
Mom: Well you could hit a gas line. Or an electrical line. Or a water pipe.
Joel thinks to himself, sewer pipes are way bigger than all those other things. Surely, if I am going to hit something, it would be the bigger thing, not to mention the added advantage of actually looking for it.
Mom: We should probably just have a plummer come out.
Joel tries anyway. Digs. Gramma. Mom. Wife. All watching. Wife even starts helping. Nope. Hmm. No. New hole. Nope. Hmm. Most of the rocks in the yard moved. Hmm. Deeper hole. Oh look, late mesozoic fossils. Score 1 for evolution and zero for God for not helping me find the missing sewer pipe.

Mom: We should call a plummer.
Joel: We could totally empty the water down another sewer line. Maybe where the washing machine drains?
Mom: And flood the house?
Joel: No. The washer drains just fine there.
Mom: Yeah now.
Joel: But . . .
Mom: We should call a plummer. What if we need to know where the sewer is for something else.
Joel: Okay. Call a plummer.

several days, weeks and months pass. No plummer is called.

89 year old gramother recruits neighbor with plumbing sign on his truck. Neighbor plummer, also apparently part mole that is unable to see in the daylight, puts a stick in the ground, right where I had been digging.

Gramma: It only took him a few minutes.
Gramma's meaning: Joel, you kinda suck.

Joel: So I guess now we just need to rent a pump and some hose.
Mom: Um. The pump could break. There may be more to it than you think. Plus the plaster cracking and the pool lifting out of the ground. Why don't we just hire someone? Is there anyone that will do that?
Joel: I could just . . .
Mom: No. Let's just hire someone.

Several days and weeks pass. The hourglass of particulated pool water is inching viscously down the glass. Drrrrriiiiiiippppppp.

Joel: Got anybody yet.
Mom: Not yet.

Joel does research. Finds several places that will do pool maintenance and will more than likely drain the pool.

Joel: Here's the number.
Mom: Where did you find these guys.
Joel: The internet. highly rated, too.
Mom (suspiciously): The internet?
Joel: Oh yeah. Highly reviewed. Here's another number. Highly reviewed too.
Mom: Where . . .
Joel: The internet, Mom.
Mom (suspiciously): Oh. Hmm.

Phone numbers sit on kitchen table for days and weeks.


Sister: We should fill it.
Mom: We should fill it.
God: Just fill it already.
Joel: God, why are there fossils where my grandmother's sewer pipe should be?
God: Ha ha. You said your grandmother's sewer pipe. Fill the pool.
Joel: But the fossil.
God: Um. I really have to take this call. Pat Robert's opened his mouth again. Messy. Messy.


Joel finds:

DA DA DA DA "CALSAWAY POOLS". On the internet. :(

Mom: The internet?
Joel: Let me just call them.

Ken (Nice Calsaway pool guy): We can UBER-FILTER your pool. No need to drain it. So clean you could drink it afterwards.
Joel: That's sounds easy. But I don't think you know this pool.
Ken: We are pool guys. We got this.
Joel: Awesome.
Ken: One thing.
Joel: Uh oh.
Ken: The pool needs to be pretty clear.
Joel: How clear?

Joel: Mom . . .
Mom: The internet?
Joel: I just told them to come check it out.


Ken: No problem.

Several days and weeks pass.

Ken: Wow.

Several more days and weeks.

Ken: Wow.

Several more days.

Mom: Do these guys have any idea what they are doing?
Joel: I found them on the internet.

Several days.

Ken: I think. . . . Maybe . . . just . . . No? Wow.

Several more days. 1 Week. Drrrrriiiiiiippppppp.

The big day is scheduled. They are going to do this.

Ken (on the big day, calls joel, exhasperated, on the cell phone): Joel?
Joel: Yeah, Ken.
Ken: We have been digging all over. We can't find the stupid sewer drain?
Joel: Huh?
Ken: Sewer drain.
Joel: But?
Ken: Yeah, some of the water does have to be flushed. Like 6000 gallons.
Mom (though she is not present, her voice can be heard): The internet. hmph.
Joel: The stick?
Ken: Yeah, no.
Joel: There was a plummer. With a stick.
Ken: Nope.
Joel: Bummer.

Please note (Joel is on the phone, not present. He is at his job, where he should be working).

Joel: What about where the washing machine empties?
Ken: Great idea, Joel. you're Mom must be so proud of you.
Joel: Yeah, no.
Ken: Let's do it.
Gramma: Let's do it.
Joel: Let's do it.

Ken: Couple things.
Joel: Um.
Ken: Garage door will be propped open slightly. Door to the washroom too.
Joel: My mom . . .
Ken: Be a man.
Joel: Yes sir.


Later that night, mom calls.

Mom: They couldn't find the sewer. (internet)
Joel: No.
Mom: There's a stick. (internet)
Joel: I know.
Mom: We should have called a real plummer. I also noticed the hose is running into the washer. Do these guys know what they are doing? (internet)
Joel: Hope so.
Mom: I just went out and looked. There's all these pipes. It makes no sense.
Joel: It's kinda neat.
Mom: I just hope the water doesn't back up and flood the house.

The next day. Ken calls. Too early.

Ken: So. I had this dream.
Joel: Were there fossils?
Ken: Dude? No. I had a nightmare. Woke me up. 3 am. Dreamed your grandmother's house was flooded. FLOODED. Isn't that funny?
Joel: Funny. :|
Ken: You haven't heard anything?
Joel: No.
Ken: Maybe everything is good.
Joel: Maybe.

Joel calls gramma:

Joel: Gram . . .
Gram: Everything is fine.
Joel: You didn't have to swim to the phone?
Gram: I don't like swimming. Your grandfather wanted the damn pool. Everything is fine.

In just a few hours from now, the pool should be all sparkly blue. . .

Monday, April 5, 2010

Random and uninvited.

Uninvited, random thought.
Did I leave the window open?
The door?

You would be.
You cannot stay.
You burred and barbed,
Hooked and crooked,
Twisted and tempting

I will take no action.
And you can grow,
If you like.
And make more yellow.
Take over sky blue.

I will take no action.

I can sleep and drift,
But you will swell,
Lift the skin. Infect.

You are the canary.
You are the signal.
You are peripheral,
Shifting to center.
Bore into the burrow of my brain.
Take up the chair.
Take up the bed.
Take up the room.
I will roll over and close my eyes.

Take up my eyelids.

I can exhale you.
I can busy myself.
I will crowd you out.
And you will drop to the bottom of your cage,

I will take no action.

Not closing the window.
Doors ajarred. Unbarred.
But I never invited you.

You're being embarrassing and awkward again. Lol.

When to use lol? I'd say pretty much never. Unless you mean it literally. Otherwise it sounds foolish. It's original purpose, to reward people who couldn't hear you laugh (a terrible surrogate anyway), has long since passed into folklore.

Maybe I'm wrong. I mean, maybe it's not used enough. Maybe everyone should use lol. All the time. JUST IN CASE people don't know you're kidding. Or so people will think you are kidding, when you're not.

Check this out:

"This is a sentence. lol."

Self congratulatory:
"This is a funny sentence. lmao."

Softening the blow:
"Honey, I have syphilis. lol."

I know I shouldn't have, but I couldn't help myself:
"I just drowned a puppy. lol."

"Let's totally have sex then. lol."

Bridging the gap:
"Yeah, I know you're a republican. All republicans are a-holes. lol."
(please insert the appropriate political party and notice it works both ways)

Hiccups (aka, drunk):
"Yeah.lol. I know. lol. that's totally true. lol. I am totally an lol-er. lol."

Right now, I am saying something that I know is true, that I want you to know is true but I don't want you to have any evidence against me:
"You are an irritating person. lol. I have always hated you. lol. If I could, I would take all your money and never see you again. lol."

Subtlety fail:
I hope you die. lol.

Lol has sure come a long way.

Here is a cute little story about the time I learned what lol stands for (this should also be helpful for those that have no idea what it means, however, this is no excuse to take up using it).

So I am in a chat room maybe ten years ago (I know, it's where ugly people go to make friends without good looking people throwing rocks at them and yelling "go back inside, freak."), and I say something incredibly witty (like I always do. lol), and someone types back "lol" and someone else types "lol" and maybe even a third person. I was like, what the heck, I was so witty that I gave all these people some sort of fit where they are unable to type correctly anymore. Then they all start up with the chatting again. So I got a little curious and I typed "what is this lol?" and someone typed "laugh out loud" and I thought, oh it's funny because I don't get your little lingo, eh. So I go on "chatting". And inevitably, I say something else clever and witty. And again with the lols. I am still confused. I ask again, "what's with this lol? I don't get it." Two responses from two different chatters "laugh out loud" and "Laugh Out Loud". I still don't get it and I had an ever so brief moment where my self esteem was low (lol) and I type back: "when you get done laughing at me, can you tell me what lol means?"

Finally somebody has the ability to see just how thick headed I am. "Dude (which is hilarious considering my chat name was sexylady99), LOL means Laugh Out Loud."

I type: "oh. I get it." I laughed out loud. A little, so I typed it. "lol" and then everyone else thought that was really funny, so there were a whole slew of "lol's typed that day.

I am pretty sure that is when the firmament burst and the flood gates opened and people have been drowning in it ever since. It's my fault.

If you still want to keep using lol, don't worry. I'll still totally love you. lol.

(pic stolen from Jonathan - thanks!)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Gregor Mendel - Player?

Thanks to my biology book, I now am well versed in the findings of Greogor Mendel, the scientist and monk who postulated that heredity derives from particles rather than a blending of parents. He experimented with pea plant flowers and seeds. One night, after an excruciatingly tedious day of crossing some stamen and carpel of some F1 generation purple flowers, and with some encouragement from some of the other monks, Mendel agreed to go to the local karaoke bar. Now the local karaoke bar, being near the monastery, was pretty much a Gregorian chant revival bar where they had a scroll wrapped backwards on a crank for a teleprompter and with the occasional, though at that time experimental, lute accompaniment.

Gregor's father had named him such on account of his own love for the old chants, but Gregor, a shy and meticulous fellow, was largely tone deaf due to a childhood accident in a bell tower. But if you put enough of the grog in Gregor, he could be known to bark a few quatres.

So here is Gregor, squinting at the scroll, mumbling his way through "Alma Redemptoris Mater"(which was the Justin Bieber hit of its time) and sporting pollen all over his tunic. He is almost all the way through when he catches the eye of a lady in the back corner of the establishment. He finishes and, encouraged by the eye contact and the potency of the grog, makes his way over to her, desperately brushing to get the pollen off his chest. He has a mission. He knows that he is conducting all kinds of precise heredity experiments back at the monastery, but with the grog, being locked up all day long with a bunch of dudes and seeing flowers and pea pods get all the action, he wants to make memory out of this night by performing a little heredity experiment of his own.

"Hey baby, I saw you scoping me out while I was chanting. I had to come over because you are looking fine beyond all this age."


"You know, the age of reason."


"I know you probably have a name, and that your mother and father gave it to you, but it's nothing compared to what they gave you that you've got going on all up in here."

"Thank you. My name's Lilly."

"It would have to be. I'm . . . my name is Stamen. Stamen Mendel."

"And what do you do, Stamen?"

"I make flowers do it while I watch."

"Wow. I just clean houses. I'm kind of a neat freak. You have a little pollen on your shirt."

"Why don't we get out of here and I show you what I can do."

And that worked. Mendel was a lot smoother than he looked. Most people don't know this, but the great great grandfather of Howie Mendel was created that night. You go, Gregor.

The Fantastic ForeFathers!

A little known fact about Ben Franklin, when Ben performed that well known experiment, tying a key to a kite string, a bolt of tremendous energy surged through the apparatus and electrocuted him, but not killing him. Rather, it endowed him with the super power to control electric currents. He swore to keep this secret and to only use his power to defend the American way of life and her precious Constitution’s ideals. With his power, Ben invented a time machine and travels through time to correct America whenever she steers away from her ideal beginnings. He has seen our current state and is not pleased. Forming a band with some famous, some infamous American characters, all having their own super powers, Benjamin Franklin has come now, conjured by the invocation of John Stossel, to clean up America and restore her to a pure, constitutionally sound republic. They are the Fantastic Forefathers. “This time, it’s Constitutional!”

George Washington: wields his Ax of Truth to cleft in twain the powers of deception in politics.
Thomas Jefferson: better known by his chosen superhero name, TJ Max, a shape shifter who has infiltrated American society on any number of occasions. His weapon, a radioactive quill known as the Hancock, is mightier than any sword.
Patrick Henry: with an indestructible exoskeleton, he is always willing to make a seemingly ultimate sacrifice . . . and then get right back up and “finish the job for liberty.”
Fredrick Douglas: the alien symbiote that takes the form of his beard is the source of his power, the Filibuster. The Filibuster is a shockwave, created by Douglas’ voice and enhanced by the alien symbiote beard.
Bionic Betsy Ross: upon one visit to modern times, when George Washington was trying to knock Al Franken and Rush Limbaugh’s heads together to “make a funny coconut sound”, Betsy was standing too close, she received multiple mortal injuries. Using the invention genius of Franklin and his electrical powers, Betsy was reconstructed to be stronger, faster and more just than ever. And she can shoot sewing needles out of her eyes.

Together, with their wisdom, insight and super powers, they will save America and return her to her precious Constitutional purity: a time when health care did not exist, slavery was legal and women couldn’t vote, except of course now we have health care, slavery is illegal and women can vote, but pretty much everything else will be just like it was.