Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Another thing I will never do

Just like the last one of these, this is a response to an actual occurrence. These occurrences are not always something that happened to me, but they are real occurrences. So let me say this...

I will never buy New York Strip Steak, or any other cut of meat, from a homeless person standing in front of Giant, or any other grocery store, who has been storing the meat down the front of his pants, or in any other article of clothing he is wearing, or from any area of said clothes.

Monday, May 15, 2006

My faith in man is restored by a gallon of diet green tea

I can probably be described as being ever so slightly cynical when it comes to the intentions of the average person. Usually I am right. But sometimes a random thing will show you that people care, at least about random crap.

I am tired a lot. It comes with the territory with the life that I lead. This is not a complaint, just a statement of fact. Because of my schedule, I can sometimes forget the little things. One of the things that helps me get through my days is diet green tea. It is like crack with antioxidants and ginseng, and I am completely addicted. I drink a lot of it. But I figure it is better for me than pretty much anything I can drink a lot of instead of water, and dammit, I like flavor in my beverages. So I consider it to be an acceptable vice.

About a week and a half ago, I was driving home from Target after pulling a 2 job double. It was about 11pm when I got to the car, partialyl consumed gallon of diet green tea in tow. I got in the car and started the drive to my bed, and blissful coma.

The path home from Target is all back roads, so there is no need for high speed driving. Being back roads it isn't overly populated nor is it heavily trafficked at that time of night, so there was no one behind me until I made the turn onto Belair Road (which is a pretty major in-the-city road in Baltimore). Suddenly a car pulls up behind me and at the light starts to honk and point at my car. Well I will admit that I was curious, but at 11pm on the east side of Baltimore, you don't stop and get out of your car when someone honks and points at you. So when ther light turns green I drive on. They pull up beside me and at the next light they roll down their window to let me know that I have a gallon of juice on my roof. Yup, I put it on top of the car as I was leaving Target, and forgot to put it IN the car before I pulled away. I realized what they were talink about, but by that time the light was turning green and there were a few cars behind me, and since it had stayed up there through all the twists and turns of the drive, I figured it would be safe for the remainder, which except for the turn onto the access road and the turn onto my road, were pretty straight shots at about 35 mph. Plus, I was now kind of curious if it WOULD stay up there for the rest of the trip. It was like an impromptu science experiment. I thanked them for telling me and they drove off, and I started to make my way down the road and to the house. There were two more lights before my turn, and at both lights, multiple people told me that there was a jug of juice on top of my car. I explained to all of them that I was trying to cool it off because the refrigerator at the house was broken, they would give me a funny look, and then move on. After I made the turn into the neighborhood, I drove past random groups of people, mainly high school and college aged kids standing outside talking and stoop sitting, both Baltimore neighborhood traditions. Each group I passed, oblivious to the fact that the previous group just shouted at me that I had a bottle of juice on top of my truck, would shout to me that I had a bottle of juice on top of my truck. I thanked each group for telling me and continued on my way, while they watched me drive off with juice on my hood, looking at me rather nonplussed at my lack of caring about the aforementioned juice.

I made it home without losing the tea, and with my admiration for society's can do come together (right now over me) attitude multiplied tenfold. Because sometimes, people really don't suck.


Things I will never do

Welcome to the first in an occasional series where I will be telling you things that I will not do, not under any conceivable circumstances. I hope the reasons beind my choices will be abundantly clear, for I have no intention of explaining my decisions. I will be posting these as they occur, so there is no rhyme or reason to the frequency of them.

There, I think I have over explained them enough now. Let's move on to the first thing I will never do...

I will never buy condoms that are on clearance.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Moving On/Locking and Loading

No, I am still not fully over Leo. I probably won't be for a while. But that doesn't mean that life stops. Wednesday nights are trivia night, I meet some friends at a bar/resteraunt in Timonium. Not the trivia with the board and the tv screens, but a dj asking questions and teams playing...its a lot of fun. We are competitive, but we go to have fun and hang out and hopefully win some house cash. Well, I went last night. I wanted to go and laugh. Of course, poor Long Arm (I am pretty sure I have mentioned him, and I might have given him a different name. I can't keep track anymore. He's my lawyer friend) sees the number written on my hand and starts kidding me about scoring some digits, and does the wife know. Well, the number on my hand is the number for the vet. When I called 411 Tuesday night, I didn't have paper, so I used what was available (isn't it weird how even in the middle of this and trying to deal with finding a dead pet in the middle of the floor, I had the thought that I wasn't going to pay 50 cents to have them autodial the number for me? How much of a flippin cheapskate can I be? Cat dead? Grieving? Check and check. Let the phone company connect me to the vet for a little more than the cost of a pay phone call? SCREW YOU BASTARDS!!!

Anyway, I told him what the number was, and he couldn't have felt worse. If this had been a Looney Tunes cartoon, he would have started shrinking or would have turned to the camera and held up a picture of a donkey and an arrow pointing at himself. I felt bad for him. I told him don't worry about it, but you could tell he felt awkward. Luckily for him, another guy on the team looked at my hand and started teasing me about scoring some digits. I just made a joke back at him and looked back at Long Arm and changed the subject. It wasn't long before we were into the game and joking around and generally having fun. I still think about him from time to time, but I am not going to build a shrine or anything. Not yet anyway.

Okay, now on to the business at hand. JJ is going to be in our midst for two weeks STRAIGHT. Yup, 11 working days. And while there are 2 weekends built in to offer the briefest of respites from her, they re fleeting compared to the hell that will be ensuing. Although she apparently isn't coming in tomorrow. So it's almost like a 3 day weekend for me. But, I know that my patience is going to be sorely tested. Anyone who hasn't bet on Psycho's over/under for when I pick her off Oswald style had better get their bets in now, because there is a good chance that if it is going to happen, it will happen before the end of May.

Now when she is here, I usually go into shut down mode, not really talking or looking up from my computer. I could be working or playing Freecell, I look really damn busy while she is sitting across from me. After two days, my jaw actually is slightly sore from the clenching I have been doing. In fact, twice in the time it took to type hat sentence, I had to force myself to relax my jaw. So it might be sanity at the cost of a couple of molars. I guess that is a valid trade-off. I did find out that she and her husband were discussing ways to get over sleep ailments (thank GOD she was walking away and I didn't actually have to hear her "cure". I don't know that I have the constitution to handle that). Also, it seems she needs to do some shopping for summer pants. The ones from last year just aren't fitting like they were then. Is it too late to warn you of disturbing mental images possible? Yup. Sorry.

Sorry, my jaw was locking up again.

I warned the Wonder Twins not to encourage her, and at least one of the Hens was saying the same thing to Jamaica at one point. It is going to be a FUN 2 weeks.

I need to prep for werk part deux, so I am gonna wrap this up now. But let me tell you real quick about the link. All you need to do is go to the photo and right click on it as if you were going to save it, and see the name the photo was given. If you don't laugh (unless they change it), you probably aren't the kind of person I want to have a beer with. Unless you are buying.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A short visit

Yesterday was a day of contradictions. Niji and David got engaged yesterday. Wifey and I were supposed to be there to join the celebration David had planned (he must have been pretty confident that she would say yes. That is why I got Wifey drunk at a party first. Lowered her resistance a bit. Once she sobered up, I knew she would be too embarassed to break what amounted to an oral contract). However, when I got home in between work and the celebration, I went downstairs and found Leo laying on the floor by the basement door with his eyes open. But he didn't look right. I mentioned last week that he has been sick for a while. When I went to check him, I knew. He was dead. I called Wifey and told her to come home instead of heading to Annapolis for the party. I called the Vet's office (I still have the number on my hand. I had to call 411 because I didn't have the number in front of me and didn't want to go looking through the phone book. There was no paper nearby, so I wrote it on my hand). I knew he was gone, but I wanted to let them look at him anyway. So I put him in a box and took him to the vet's office. It didn't take the vet long to second my opinion. I kept his collar, it is on my rear view mirror right now.

I know it is a little bizarre to compare the engagement of two dear friends to the passing of a housepet. And I am not even thinking about the fact that he was only with us for about 8 months, when we took him in from the streets (hence the title of this post), because 8 months or 8 years, he was a part of our lives, and a part of the family. Even Wifey, who does not handle grief well (her words, not mine), said "He was just a cat" in regards to the $150+ cost of a private cremation and a take home box of ashes offered by the vet's office, which seems like a bit of a racket to me. I chose the group cremation and they can dispose of the ashes. What am I going to do with them? I hope it doesn't sound too callous, but who puts their pet's ashes on the mantle next to Grandpa? Does some person have a mausoleum with Rex next to his ex? And apparently they gauge cost (a little under $40 for Leo) based on weight. As I signed the invoice (which felt weird. It was a very antiseptic transaction, and it didn't feel right to see a paper with the word "invoice" bold faced and center justified at the top as I signed over the body of a pet for them to take care of in a manner that is, I hope, respectfully handled. Is that how it is handled at funeral homes? Does the bill say "invoice" on the top? Can't they find something a little more human to put at the top?), I noticed it said "for group cremation under 20 lbs. It was one of those surreal moments where I am standing there waiting for my credit card to approve for the (for lack of a better term) disposal of a family pet, and I am signing an invoice for "animal under 20 lbs. It was one of those morbidly funny moments to me, how businesslike it was. How unfeeling the document was. And when she stapled my copy of the receipt to my copy of the invoice, she handed them to me, and it seemed she was surprised that I told her she could just throw those away. She asked me if I was sure. I don't know how it sounded, I hope it didn't come off as dismissive or rude, but I looked at her with tears in my eyes and told her that it wasn't like I could return it, so why did I need a receipt? What would I do with the invoice? File it? Frame it? Give Wifey another reminder of him being gone? Tuxedo is still trying to figure it out. I know she saw him before I did. I closed the door to the basement before I picked him up and put him in the box I took him to the vet's in, I didn't want her down there where he was laying. And last night, as I was downstairs doing something, she came down and was exploring. I followed her as she followed what I assume was his path, right up to where I found him. She sniffed around where he was laying when I found him, then moved to the window and looked up there for him, came back, sniffed some more and looked at me. That broke me again. In fact, I am getting a little teary eyed right now remembering it. But eventually she will move on, and so will we. More than anything, I think she is going to miss having a playmate while we are out of the house.

Wifey and I discussed bringing in another cat, but we both think that if and when we are meant to have another cat, it will happen. We got him by accident. We were taking care of Tuxedo, who needed protection, and when she started getting into the house, we kind of just accepted that feeding her out in back of the house wasn't good enough for her. I am not really sure how Leo even got into the family.I remember he was what I would call a neighborhood porch cat, trying to get in whatever house he could (I think he lived with a family that moved away and left him/lost him, so he just expected to get into another house). For some reason we let him in, and he decided he liked it there. And he was just a strange cat. At times he could be really damn annoying, CONSTANTLY crying to be let out, even in the middle of snowstorms and torrential downpours. He was fond of bitching, to say the least. But there were times when he was just like some kind of zen master. He looked almost perma-stoned, his head back a little, eyes half open, just laying wherever he happened to be, the window sill or the couch or in the middle of the floor, and he would just watch all of us with a look of bemused detachment. He just didn't want to be bothered by our petty lives. Maybe in a little while, we will find another cat walking about who needs to be loved, or we could go to the pound or the shelter and rescue a cat or kitten. But right now I personally can't deal with "replacing" him.

The house will be different without him. Rest in Peace buddy.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I'm on to you all

Okay, this is gonna be a quickie (of course, if you ask Wifey, they ALL are, but we have different concepts of time. At least in certain circumstances). I just want to let you all know that I am aware of your nefarious plot. It must have been omitted from my calendar, this "Everybody Do Everything It Is In Your Power To Do If At All Humanly Possible To Get In Ron's Way Wherever He Is Going Today" Day. That's okay, I will thwart you. From the MTA bus that decided to stop (not break down, just STOP) in the right hand turn lane of a very busy intersection where I make a right turn every morning in order to get to work, to the three yahoos that decided to pick that particular time to also stop, to the car right behind me that stopped approximately 3 inches from my rear bumper, effectively trapping me in space, to the trash truck that decided that it would be a good time to grab the trash can RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, even if that meant cutting me off and slamming its brakes on (forcing me to follow suit), and apparently city budget cutbacks have forced all municipal vehicles to be sold without turn signals in order to save money on bulbs, to the CORVETTE that was doing around 8 miles under the 25 mph speed limit on the last road before I arrive at work. 2006 Corvette and it can't go faster than idle speed? WTF?!?!?!?!?

Also, it seems that Wifey and I were accidentally poisoning the cats. I bought a name brand cat food the other day (not mentioning the brand for fear of legal reprisal, but contact me and I will let you know on an individual basis). One cat is sick, and one cat is apparently very horny (if the lambada-esque dance she has been doing is any indication), and Wifey called the vet. The vet said it is the food that is doing all of the damage. Like I said to Wifey when she IM'ed me the info, I am surprised, because I remember using this food for my cats growing up and there never being a problem. I don't think it is our cat specific-type issues with the food from the reaction that the vet apparently had (I say apparently because I was not the one on the phone talking to him. Wifey was). I guess the brand has gone downhill since the glory days. So if you have cats, drop me a line and I will tell you what the food was so you know to avoid it. If you hate cats or have an ex (or someone you are planning to put in "ex" status soon) that has cats and you want to screw them up, drop me a line and if I feel your desire to kill kitties (pic to your right excluded) is justified, I will also tell you the brand.

George Clooney and Texas Whoppers will probably have to wait until tomorrow.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tom Cruise movies and The Boob Thief

As always, the link has nothing to do with the post, it is just a fun little story. I love TheSmokingGun . But on to business.

Apparently there are at least two people clamoring for my review of MI:3. Wow. I feel like Ebert, but with lips and a neck. And I get laid. Other than that, it is eerily similar. So lets give the old BSR one word review


Yup, it is a fun movie. JJ Abrams gets a good performance out of Tom Cruise (no small task), and Phillip Seymour Hoffman is just a badass. I always knew he could act, but to see him play evil, well it is scenery chewin' time, and Phil has one hell of an appetite. But this isn't about nuance and depth and inner monologues. Mission Impossible is about ONE thing, making your eyes glue themselves to the screen with one cool damn thing after another while you shovel that $8 drum of popcorn with "golden flavored topping" (I actually use the stuff to re-lube my gear shift the other day. WD-40 has NOTHING on golden flavored topping) and sucking down that 1.5 gallon size Diet Coke with enough ice in it to reverse global warming (but hey, free refills. And I am thinking about trying to set the Guinness World Record for longest pee duration in a public restroom - Urinal Division). Ving Rhames is his usual fun self, Lawrence Fishburne is cool (even if his teeth are a little like corn nubs. Somehow he pulls it off). The British guy with the middle name Rhys (pronounced "Reese". Is it just me or has there been about 500 British guys with the middle name "Rhys" popping up in every other damn movie made? What is it with that name and pensive brooding and impaired oral hygiene?). And because of that movie, I now have a new career goal. I want to be a remote held to the thigh of the Asian chick in the movie. The one held on by a garter belt. I don't care what I would be a remote for (but I have some ideas if she is reading. Yeah, right). Oh. My. DAMN.

Now on to more pressing matters. The BOOB Thief. The Boob Thief also goes by the name of Ben. Ben is my mortal enemy. Ben is, to the best of my knowledge, less than a year old. Let me explain. Wifey works in an office (at least some of you that are reading this are looking over your cubicle wall at her right now and saying "Yeah, we know. Dumbass". Well screw you and your elitist attitude! But anyway, in this office are other employees (the aforementioned elite), and some of them are female. I am painfully aware that one of them got knocked up and had a kid. A boy named Ben. It seems that Ben is the cutest thing EVER. At least that is what I am told. Repeatedly. Well, if his only crime was cuteness, I would be fine with his continued existence in my world. I have never claimed to be cute, and I have no real desire to have that added to the list of adjectives that are used to regularly describe me. Well, it seems that he has a fetish. A fetish for my wife's breasts. Now if you ask Wifey, she will tell you that she has perfect breasts. And since, as Wesley pointed out, there are very few perfect breasts in this world, it would be a shame to ruin them. AND THAT IS WHAT HE IS DOING!!!!! Not ruining them in any physical way, but ruining my enjoyment of them. Whenever he is brought to the office, he immediately makes a bee-line for Wifey's Grand Central Stition (get it? Huh?!?). Now for the rest of the day will be IM's from Wifey cooing about how cute he is and how adorable he is and all that crap. Well let me tell you something Boob Thief. I am ON to you! The longer you rest your perfect little head on my Wifey's bosom, the longer I have to wait to get to use them for my own nefarious purposes. And I only have a limited window until we start having kids of our own, and then I don't get them for at least a couple of years. He gets her motherly instincts all whirled up, which is good from the standpoint that she wants to go home and practice making babies the old fashioned way, but bad because she starts plotting on how to use them for our eventual brood and then I don't get to play hide and go seek with my friends Lefty and Nips. And that is just wrong.

Also, I need to make a point clear here. Wifey and I damaged the bed the other day. And by damaged the bed I mean we bent the bedframe. If you know me, you can probably imagine me being able to do that without any help. But when libido calls, sometimes you have to crawl to position. Just don't crawl to the foot of the bed on a regular frame. Well, we took care of the problem the next day, we got a new Heavy Duty Lifetime Warranty bedframe for a reasonable price. And the salesman threw in two free pillows for to sweeten the deal (more on pillows as weapons in a moment). But (and this is a MAJOR but), I guess Wifey just HAD to let her mother come over the one day that the bed as in a state of limbo, with one end being held up by a personal sized igloo cooler I have had since my high school football days. And she just HAD to let her go to the bathroom, which is downstairs next to the bedroom. And she just HAD to not block her view and MOMM-O version 2.0 just HAD to notice. AND WIFEY COULDN'T LIE TO HER!!!!!!! I mean come on, I am not naive enough to think that Mv.2 was unaware that we had consummated our marriage by now, and I don't expect her to have a big problem, since she wants grandkids as much as my parents do (possibly more, since my parents have my niece and nephew from my sister and her hubb-o). But it was the bottom leg of the bed that broke off. And why is that a problem? Because you wouldn't break off the bottom leg, the one by the foot of the bed, if you were having regular old Walton's Family approved sex. She would have been in the middle of the bed, with her head at the top. In order to snap off that leg, we had to be going for some bizarre synchronized swimming, cirque de soleil type maneuver. And I am willing to bet she doesn't want to picture her daughter doing THAT (I can just hear it now. "Daughter, why is there a hole in that wall? And where are the ceiling tiles? Why did you need to reinforce that beam in the ceiling?"). And that is why I have banned Mv.2 from making any kind of contact with me for the month of May. No phone calls, no instant messages, no being at the house when I come home, no coming in when I am already there. Not because I don't love her, but because I cannot fathom the thought of making eye contact with her. And apparently Wifey clued her in to reading this. ARRRGH!!! I put up semi-pornographic pictures of Disney characters and Wifey tells her mom to read? Now that I think about it, I might have to extend the ban until June.

And one final thing before I end this thing. We have already established that Wifey like to treat sleepy time like she is Germany and I am France (there is an obvious Maginot Line joke here, but for all I know I have made it previously. I am too lazy to check, and now it is too late to make the joke. TPPPBBBBBBBTH). Well, let me add that I am not a very cuddling person when it comes to sleep. I sweat quickly and easily, and having someone pressed or draped against me can only cause the rivers to flow. I need air, and will spend a lot of time during the night kicking my covers off to cool down, then getting chilly and pulling them back up. I have apologized to Wifey privately, and now I do so publicly. I am sorry I am not a cuddler. That being said, Wifey likes to bring extra pillows to bed. Not those stupid little decorative pillows that people with too much money have all over their beds and couches, but standard regulation sized pillows. Okay, I can deal with that. But while it may start as innocent cuddling with sleep gear, it soon turns violent. And by that I mean the pillow will somehow magically migrate from her arms to her ass, and as she turns away from me, she bends and contorts and uses her fluff down doom to claim the bed's Kashmir. Like a padded badonk-a-donk bulldozer, she flattens the rainforest of the bed that is me. This morning I told her we were going to have to re-think her use of pillows as potential WMD's. I am all but sure I am going to lose the battle, but I will not go down without a fight.

Now I must take my leave of you. I have to get back to work, and I have to allow lunch to finish running its course (yup. That is the nicest way of saying "I gotta take a shit" as there is. You can use that). But let me leave you with this. Either tomorrow or Friday, I promise a review of the Burger King Texas Whopper, and to reveal to you that while I am a raging heterosexual, I am officially gay for George Clooney.

Stay tuned. And taste the rainbow!