Friday, October 31, 2008

Today's Mood Is...

Organized begging in quasi-celebration of a pagan harvesting day will probably have begun by the time you read this. The only redeeming factor that I can currently see to this is that if the current economic climate it might be beneficial to teach the kiddies that begging for handouts is okay. After all, coal faced street urchins are more apt to get those crusts of bread you will need to feed your family.
So start dressing the little bastards up and send 'em on over to our house! I won't be home, but Wifey and Momm-o-in-law will be (Wifey is going all out for her costume this year. She is going to be the "I don't give a rat's ass about this stupid damn holiday and I want you off my damn property but my husband bought three freaking jumbo-sized bags of fun sized Skittles and / or Starburst and what the hell is so fun about fun sized anyway but wait I got off track so anyway he bought all this damn candy and if you don't send your spawn up to mooch for it I will wind up eating it and I will feel all bloated and will need a root canal and why the hell didn't he get good candy like chocolate so I could have turned off all the lights in the house and hid in the bedroom with the TV and my mom and we could have spent the whole night watching BBC America and eating miniature Hershey bars and since I am already chocolate colored he would not have known EVER and I would have had a much more satisfying evening I mean really Skittles why the hell do I want to taste a rainbow when I can taste chocolate and peanut butter dammit!!!!")
And believe me that is not an easy costume to find in ANY store or thrift shop.
Happy Halloween my minions.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Today's Mood Is...

There are certain things that you like to hear coming from the lips of the love of your life. When the love of your life is lying in bed, naked, there is a different list of things that you might want to hear. But no matter what it is, I can pretty much guarantee that there is one thing that you DO NOT want to hear coming from the lips of the love of your life...
Now, to be fair, it was early this morning while I was getting dressed for work, and Wifey was still sleeping. And it was dark (I turn on the light in the utility room in order to have enough light to see but not so that it is so bright that it wakes / bothers her). And it is a good possibility that she had been having a dream that involved her mother and was still 77% asleep while she started to mumblespeak. But that doesn't make it any less creepy when it happens.
I really wasn't sure how to respond to that, so the first time she said it I just stood there (having frozen in my spot when asked the question). I hoped that it would be a one time deal and then she would go back to sleep and I could continue on with my preparations. But the second time she said it, with a good bit more fervor...
I was THIS close (my fingers are about 1/2 millimeter apart right now) to getting my best early morning falsetto going and answering her, just to see what would happen. But since I was afraid that I would blow my vocal cords first thing in the morning, I instead lowered my voice to my best James Earl Jones level and said "Nope". At that point Wifey decided to end the conversation herself and rolled over.
I got dressed, made my liter of coffee and left. But for the first time in a long time, I wasn't doing any yawning on the way to work. Being mistaken for a small, older black woman can do that for a thirty-something white guy. It wakes you up pretty well, at least the first time that it happens...

Can you tell I was on hold for a while this morning?

As always, all dialogue verbatim...

odis.sweetruabxpnznvqxnkwq: hi

bgddy24601: hi

odis.sweetruabxpnznvqxnkwq: Hi, im Kimberly

bgddy24601: hello Kimberly, I am Lothar, of the Hill People

odis.sweetruabxpnznvqxnkwq: i moved here from outta town, Christina gave me ur info

bgddy24601: Christina is good woman. Wide birthing hips. Do you have wide birthing hips?

odis.sweetruabxpnznvqxnkwq: I hope that was ok, she said u were allot of fun

bgddy24601: I am fun. I provide meat and shelter to many concubines.

odis.sweetruabxpnznvqxnkwq: Hey a few friends of ours are gonna meet up this week, wanna come with?

bgddy24601: If there are any other males there, I will smite them to prove my dominance and alpha status.

odis.sweetruabxpnznvqxnkwq: Hi, im Stephanie ­

bgddy24601: hello Stephanie. Do you come with Kimberly? Lothar is a fan of multiple partners.

odis.sweetruabxpnznvqxnkwq: i moved here from outta town, Alyssa gave me ur info

bgddy24601: Alyssa displeased me so I had her beheaded. I kept her corpse on my wall as a warning to others not to get too lippy with Lothar

odis.sweetruabxpnznvqxnkwq: I hope that was ok, she said u were allot of fun

bgddy24601: I am more fun than beheaded former concubines who talk too much and are unable to provide me with a male heir.

odis.sweetruabxpnznvqxnkwq: Hey a few friends of ours are gonna meet up this week, wanna come with?

bgddy24601: I will gladly take both you, Kimberly, and all other fertile women you have at your disposal.

odis.sweetruabxpnznvqxnkwq: check out my profile www.%6c%6fnl%65%79-h%6frney%2dwi%76%65%73.%63om let me know if u wanna join us


odis.sweetruabxpnznvqxnkwq: im tired of my toys, wanna come play with me

bgddy24601: I do not play. I win.

odis.sweetruabxpnznvqxnkwq: To remove your Yahoo! ID visit

bgddy24601: I will visit nothing. You will bring your willing flesh to Lothar!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Today's Mood Is...

Which is being caused by THIS...

I neglected to mention yesterday that I had to make a bank run, and since my nearest branch is 25 minutes away, I decided to stop and grab some lunch on the way back.
One of those places that I grew up going to (and the place where I had my first ever "real" job) was Hardee's. I worked there 20 years ago, when they were making a big push to expand out of the South and into the Northeast. They (unfortunately just like Krispy Kreme) ended up failing and pulling back. But there are still a few bastions of ginormous-osity, and one is not too far from one of the branches of my bank (the fact that it is right down the street from a hospital is also rather fitting).
I was having a craving for a Mushroom and Swiss (the Mush-n-Swiss from Hardee's is LEGENDARY), so I parked the car and went to walk in (I don't care that gas has gone down $2/gallon in the last month and a half, I am not wasting the money to do the drive-thru). And THAT is when I saw the sign in the window for the PORK CHOP AND GRAVY BISCUIT.
It is just my luck that it is a breakfast only sandwich. But imagine (if you will) a boneless pork chop, breaded and deep fried like chicken, then put on a homemade biscuit and smothered on both sides by sausage gravy...
I will give you a moment to wipe the drool from your keyboard as I am doing to mine.
Oh. My. GOD. As much as I do not want to wake up any earlier than absolutely, legally necessary on ANY given day I can see myself setting the alarm sometime soon on a weekend day and picking up a few of these. I understand that if you buy 4 you get a coupon for 50% off your next angioplasty. How can you turn down a bargain like that?
BTW - the Frisco burger at Hardees is also damn tasty. Just sayin'.


Look what we did!
I would like to thank all four of my loyal readers, and to everyone who happens to stop by every now and then or has stumbled upon this bit of self masturbatory time wasting and spent a few minutes trying to figure out why I don't use the spellchecker more often for making me feel like I need to keep coming back here and doing this instead of actually performing tasks for the employers who so begrudgingly almost pay my bills after taxes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Today's Mood Is...

One major life annoyance down, one to go...
So Narrow Face got canned on Friday. The toughest part of Friday after I found out? Trying to look neutral about it to the masses here in Cubicle 2- Electric Bugalloo land (I gave up on trying to look sad and/or concerned about it. Even I am not that good of an actor, and I think I am pretty damn good at it).
So no more JACK-FM and nasally whining making me want to shoot her in the face with a bazooka. I am sure there will be others who will annoy me (I am easily annoyed by inanity and willful stupidity. It's a flaw of mine), but for now it is free and clear.
But there is still the truck issue. I got the gas line fixed, so there is no more leak (someone pointed out to me that it is probably an EXTRA good thing that I quit smoking back when I did, since smoking while sitting in a car leaking gas, no matter how minimal the leak, is probably not the best way to spend either my disposable income OR my time). However, the hesitation is still happening. I was hoping that it was just a by-product of the car needing to rebuild the lost pressure in the gas line, but it seems that isn't the case. So now I have to call the repair shop back and see if they can look at it again this coming Saturday (and frankly I am getting tired of spending my money AND my Saturdays getting my car fixed). So for every silver lining, there is still a black cloud.
Lunch hour is ending, time to get back to work.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Today's Mood Is...

Narrow-Face has spent the better part of the last hour and 9 minutes (whenever she wasn't on the phone) wishing EVERYONE in here "TGIF Everybody!" then looking rather smug at how witty she is.

I have been known to have "A Case of the Mondays" from time to time. But I might have the first ever case of the Fridays. And if the situation doesn't rectify itself, and that right soon, I might have a case of justifiable homicide. I can just see myself walking around like DeNiro saying "Part. Of. A. Team."

Why oh why did I leave my Louisville Slugger at home?


Today's OTHER Mood Is...

THIS is what I want to do to that damn radio she has playing "Jack-FM".
A lot.

Another great idea comes to fruition

So we are in the midst of a recession. The pundits might not want to say it, but I will. We. Are. In. A. Recession. To the point that I am no longer as confident that I am going to cut back a shift at Bullseye Inc. after the 1st of the year, or that I will be leaving there after the holiday season of 2009. I am going to see how this all plays out. If I am lucky enough to have 2 jobs when a lot of people can't even find one, I am not going to cut off my nose to spite my face.

To make it even more clear, we are in the midst of a GLOBAL recession. Markets are spiraling down around the world, stock futures are not being allowed to be traded, and the NYSE might even have to put the brakes on trading altogether for the 1st time since 1997. Why am I telling you all of this (when odds are you already know all of this)?

Because THIS is the climate that Towson Town Center decided to use as the backdrop to open their "high end luxury wing".

For those too lazy to read the article, here are the highlights:

  • Burberry, Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel opened in the new wing yesterday
  • Louis Vuitton and apparel retailer Lacoste will open next summer
  • Restaurants P.F. Chang's and the Cheesecake Factory also began serving yesterday
  • Some analysts say they have heard that Tiffany's is considering moving to the mall
  • Other stores that have opened or will open soon are Sephora, BCBG Max Azria, Bose, Fossil, Lucky Brand and Martin + Osa

All bullet points are directly copied and pasted from the article. Any misspellings / incorrect information is solely the responsibility of the fact checker of the Baltimore Sun.

Now I know I am not, nor have I ever been one of those affluent people that buys overpriced, useless crap because of the label on / in it. I am one of those middle class people that buys decently priced / sale priced useless crap without giving a crap about the name on the label. But THESE two people make me shake my head...

Maria Lugl, a Towson homemaker whose husband is an architect, bought two clutches from the Coach store, a pair of designer jeans from Martin + Osa and a slipcover from Pottery Barn. She's happy she soon won't have to travel as far for the brands she likes."The guys at the Louis Vuitton store in Chevy Chase are going to miss me," the 29-year-old said. Angela Lang, who was carrying a Burberry purse yesterday, said she likes upscale stores but it's difficult to travel too far for shopping with her 5-year daughter and 2-year-old son."We've been waiting for great shopping for a long time," said 33-year-old Lang, who lives in Fork. "I'm anxious to see what else is coming."

You know what I am anxious to see coming? The bottom of the stock plunge, so I can know if I should wipe my mouth with my latest 401K breakdown, or if I should just wipe my ass with it. THAT would be nice to know.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Today's Mood Is...

(with a tip o' the shirt to C3PO for reminding me how awesome this pic is...)
There is a coffee maker in the break room. No charge, no suggested donation, no "drop a quarter in the cup". Just a coffee maker and the creamer and sugar that all the repair shops have (if you have ever taken your vehicle to one of the chain places for tires or a muffler or an oil change or anything like that and had a cup of coffee while you were waiting you know EXACTLY what I am talking about). It has a flavor all its own.
There are 3 or 4 gold tone filters in the break room. We use one at the house. It is great for saving a few bucks and is better for the environment since it is reusable.
There are also regular paper coffee filters in the break room. We also have them at the house. We use them if the gold tone filter is in the sink waiting to be washed and we are feeling too lazy / tired and in need of coffee to wash it, and also to filter the water in the Iced Tea Maker, which we also use to boil / filter water for consumption, since the gold tone won't fit into the smaller basket.
What we DON'T do at the house, however, is use a paper filter IN the gold tone filter. That would be redundant, and a complete waste of resources. However, for some reason that escapes me, it is done here.
I usually don't drink the coffee here (the fact that it makes me feel like I am being forced to work while waiting at Mr. Tire is added reason). I bring a giant mug (I have the 34 oz travel mug in basic black with a metallic band in the middle. But now that I have seen the 52 oz. one, I have a new quest) with coffee that I make in the morning (actually I program the coffee maker the night before) that I like (God is shining down on me, making Dunkin' Donuts coffee available at Bullseye Inc. for large scale purchase, and at a better price than this online site I just shamelessly hotlinked to). But this morning I am dragging a little more than usual, and I forgot to bring my beloved GIGANTOR mug home from work last night (I washed it and left it next to the sink), so I had to break out one of the smaller travel mugs that we have in the house (we probably have 4 or 5 travel mugs total, and that is after Wifey and I pared down our collection after beginning co-habitation) , and have had to refill it a couple of times with coffee that is more Pep Boys than pep giving.
If you have a spare moment (and have a deity that you worship), say a little prayer for my stomach lining that it will survive this swill.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Today's Mood Is...

(I hope this doesn't get you in trouble at work...)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Today's Mood Is...

RIP to the Godfather of rap.

Return of the Mack...

ulysses.maxwell mivpwvgvmrrc (10/21/2008 3:29:43 PM): zagkq u there

bgddy24601 (10/21/2008 3:30:08 PM): rumblesnort. yes.

ulysses.maxwell mivpwvgvmrrc (10/21/2008 3:30:09 PM): hey, whats going on êÇþâÉ

bgddy24601 (10/21/2008 3:30:39 PM): ...depends. ulysses maxwell is kind of a dude-sounding name

ulysses.maxwell mivpwvgvmrrc (10/21/2008 3:30:40 PM): i got ur info from Alyssa,Á“äÌ´i hope u dont mind

bgddy24601 (10/21/2008 3:31:05 PM): holy shit, how the hell is alyssa? You know she stood me up for a date tomorrow

ulysses.maxwell mivpwvgvmrrc (10/21/2008 3:31:06 PM): I just moved here last week,ìøý§Áand im looking to meet some new people

bgddy24601 (10/21/2008 3:31:32 PM): well ulysses, I am sure there are "alternative" groups out there that would cater to your needs

ulysses.maxwell mivpwvgvmrrc (10/21/2008 3:31:33 PM): she said you were cool,ÂøûÔÆso u wanna meet up? grab a drink... have a lilil fun

bgddy24601 (10/21/2008 3:32:01 PM): umm...dude? seriously, I'm flattered, but my gate don't swing that way, ya dig?

ulysses.maxwell mivpwvgvmrrc (10/21/2008 3:32:03 PM): i got my pix and info here žÎµ³¦ check it out, shoot me a message if u think i'm cute

bgddy24601 (10/21/2008 3:32:24 PM): you are a persistent bugger (pun intended), ain'tcha?

ulysses.maxwell mivpwvgvmrrc (10/21/2008 3:32:25 PM): ®“¦“éIm looking to get a lilÊÇĹÖcrazy this week u should come join us°ÕêÏ°http://www.lon%6cey%2dhorn%65y%2dw%69%76es%2e%63%6f%6d

bgddy24601 (10/21/2008 3:32:45 PM): ...

ulysses.maxwell mivpwvgvmrrc (10/21/2008 3:32:46 PM): To remove your ID visit

bgddy24601 (10/21/2008 3:33:10 PM): I am not removing ANYTHING with you around. I don't think that you would respect my personal space.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Today's Mood Is...

Yes, it IS Friday. Yes, I now work in an office that acknowledges and supports the concept of "casual Friday", and have dressed accordingly these last two weeks. YES, I wore one of my Ravens' jerseys today (FYI, it is the Siragusa).
Does that mean that I had to be subjected to Narrow Face and her "So Annoying It Would Make the Biggest Hon of Hampden Run Away Shrieking With Terror" voice serenade me with "Go Ravens" (phonetically, it would be read as "gaow raivinz!")?
I would have hoped the answer would be "no". I would have hoped in vain.
And the Minister of the Obvious strikes again.

It's going to happen...

So, I was just talking to a few coworkers about...
  1. Gay Drink Night (details still forthcoming), and
  2. the next Drop 3 Show (November 15th. Reserve your seats now and beat the rush. You know you wanna come see the fun. Why fight it?)

...when, a few minutes after the conversation had wrapped up, Narrow Face came over (with a disregard for personal space rivaled only by JabberJaws herself) and asked me if I had been talking about getting people from the office together for drinks and was it the whole office and yadda yadda yadda.


So I told her that I was discussing a number of things and that my comedy show and drinking afterwards was a part of it. And that more information will be made available to the entire office when the time comes. Until then speak when spoken to, tyvm.

I brought lunch in today, but all of this is going to drive me right into the sweet embrace of Polock Johnny.

It has begun ANEW...

I have about 90 minutes until I get to leave dayjob (I do not have a better name than that currently for the day job. And I do not feel like putting valuable mind power behind it right now). I do work tonight, but it is with Kathy and Matt and usually pretty low-key and easy. I went to Polock Johnny's for lunch and had two (2) polocks with everything (chili AND the works), a large order of freshly beer battered onion rings, and a jumbo home made, freshly squeezed lemonade. Pretty much the entire office has gone to about 25% work capacity, mainly we are bullshitting back and forth, with small spurts of work blended in for appearance. The Brothers Grimm-Chin (the brothers who own this place have prominent chins) are off being business owners who do not have to be in their office 18 hours a day, 6 days a week. I do not begrudge them that (although I am a bit envious of the freedom they have, it is not with any jealousy mixed in). So for now, everything seems about as copacetic as possible, right?

Spaghetti Sauce (she's pregnant. Or Prego...) just waddled past my desk and dropped off an order form for her daughter's school fund raiser (from the sounds of things, her husband and her are hardcore Catholics, at least when it comes to birth control. I don't know about anything else, but I am glad neither of them are drummers in a band, because they have no method for keeping rhythm). Yes, I have been working here for just under 3 weeks and already I have to buy some freaking candle for some ankle biter that I will (in all likelihood) never meet, but who will, in absentia, be selling me useless shit on average of 2-3 times per semester (why the hell they have to charge so much for private school when they are selling some damn thing every other week as a fund raiser is beyond me. With the way they sell crap on a regular basis the damn kids should get some kind of stipend or commission for all of their hard work. Except for the fact that the parents do all the damn work...).

So I will be waiting patiently for my apple nut muffin scented candle. And silently cursing the skies for not sending me to an office full of sterile women.

4 PM can NOT come soon enough for me.


I am SUCH a shameless flirt...

The following is copied verbatim from a spam instant message I just received while at dayjob. No names have been changed to protect the innocent, because who is really "innocent" these days anyway?

Yes, these is how my brain works.

cassandra_bowersbdblbnwptbjsltha (10/17/2008 2:39:54 PM): hey u there iusih

bgddy24601 (10/17/2008 2:40:08 PM): hey back

cassandra_bowersbdblbnwptbjsltha (10/17/2008 2:40:09 PM): hi bgddy24601 how r u ? i'm Jennifer «ž´ý³

bgddy24601 (10/17/2008 2:40:18 PM): hi jennifer. call me ron

cassandra_bowersbdblbnwptbjsltha (10/17/2008 2:40:20 PM): â긡•i hope u dont mind i got ur info from Alyssa

bgddy24601 (10/17/2008 2:40:34 PM): how is good old alyssa doing, anyway?

cassandra_bowersbdblbnwptbjsltha (10/17/2008 2:40:35 PM): I just moved here from outta town,ˬڷÉshe said u were cool people

bgddy24601 (10/17/2008 2:40:53 PM): well if anyone would know, it would be someone I don't know and have never met

cassandra_bowersbdblbnwptbjsltha (10/17/2008 2:40:54 PM): ¥ÒäÏãr u busy this week?ÕÖ¥”íwe should meet up grab a drink... have alil fun

bgddy24601 (10/17/2008 2:41:16 PM): do you like daquaris? did I spell daquari right?

cassandra_bowersbdblbnwptbjsltha (10/17/2008 2:41:17 PM): i got my pix and info here ¡öÔáÉhttp://www.d%69s%63%72et-%6fn%65%2d%6ei%67ht%2eco%6d check it out, shoot me a message if u think i'm cute

bgddy24601 (10/17/2008 2:42:16 PM): but your link scares me. I fear it will lead me, neo-like, out of the safety of this matrix I call "websites that don't eat my hard drive"

cassandra_bowersbdblbnwptbjsltha (10/17/2008 2:42:17 PM): ›ÎÇÇÂIm looking to get a lilÖ·‘úcrazy this week u should come join us¨õ¦åÂhttp://www.%64is%63r%65%74%2d%6fne-%6ei%67h%74.c%6fm

bgddy24601 (10/17/2008 2:42:54 PM): is that a different site? the address looks different. I don't know if I can remember all of that to type it in the address bar

cassandra_bowersbdblbnwptbjsltha (10/17/2008 2:42:56 PM): hi bgddy24601 how r u ? i'm Laura íÔÒÍÚ

bgddy24601 (10/17/2008 2:43:21 PM): you're Laura now? What happened to Jennifer?

cassandra_bowersbdblbnwptbjsltha (10/17/2008 2:43:22 PM): ªàïË¿i hope u dont mind i got ur info from Brittany

bgddy24601 (10/17/2008 2:43:34 PM): Brittany? Is Alyssa dead?!?!?

cassandra_bowersbdblbnwptbjsltha (10/17/2008 2:43:36 PM): I just moved here from outta town,ÀàñÍŸshe said u were cool people

bgddy24601 (10/17/2008 2:43:59 PM): who did? Alyssa? Laura? I am so confused now...

cassandra_bowersbdblbnwptbjsltha (10/17/2008 2:44:01 PM): Áéí¢Ór u busy this week?ÀøóÜýwe should meet up grab a drink... have alil fun

bgddy24601 (10/17/2008 2:44:33 PM): but I already have plans with Jennifer for this weekend. Are you free Tuesday?

cassandra_bowersbdblbnwptbjsltha (10/17/2008 2:44:34 PM): i got my pix and info here µ¥«—žhttp://www.%6conl%65y%2dho%72ney-w%69%76%65%73.%63%6fm check it out, shoot me a message if u think i'm cute

bgddy24601 (10/17/2008 2:45:08 PM): and now it is a third address? I feel dizzy. Mayhap I should lay down for a bit

cassandra_bowersbdblbnwptbjsltha (10/17/2008 2:45:09 PM): ³Ý•çËIm looking to get a lilÀߞ³crazy this week u should come join usÃþ ììhttp://www.dis%63r%65%74-one-%6e%69%67h%74%2ec%6f%6d

bgddy24601 (10/17/2008 2:45:32 PM): why won't you just give me a straight answer?!? WHO ARE YOU!?!?!?!?!

cassandra_bowersbdblbnwptbjsltha (10/17/2008 2:45:34 PM): To remove your ID visit

bgddy24601 (10/17/2008 2:45:54 PM): affiliated diamond? Sounds like a bad band name

bgddy24601 (10/17/2008 2:46:08 PM): hello?

bgddy24601 (10/17/2008 2:46:14 PM): why did you leave me?

bgddy24601 (10/17/2008 2:46:29 PM): I am oh so ready to get together for a drink

bgddy24601 (10/17/2008 2:46:48 PM): did you think the daquari thing was too gay? I can order a whiskey sour!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Today's Mood Is...

...with a second, voire dire sized serving of...

So, I am officially a contributing citizen of Baltimore, the self professed Greatest City in America. On Tuesday I was called for jury duty. I was called last year, too. Meanwhile, Wifey has not been called at least since the accident, and she is not sure if she was called before the accident, memories being somewhat fuzzy on details before then (although it is interesting to have THAT defined of a line of demarcation between things I remember and things I don't. It's like there is a mile marker on the road of her brain synapses, with a spike strip labeled "DO NOT PASS THIS POINT" in big red letters. I, on the other hand, have a rumble strip of "it probably happened while you were off getting a snack" whenever I cannot recall something). Is that fair? No. But what the hell can I do about it, besides mention to the court clerks that there is a viable juror just waiting for a summons (and luckily for her I did not think of that the other day).
I realized that it was going to be a long day when I heard the announcements commencing. Last time we had an earnest, if slightly too-energetic nice young lady informing us of our 8 hours of frivolity wrapped in a poorly air-conditioned package. In July. THIS time we had a man that had obviously fought life tooth and nail, raging against the dying of the light. And after he failed, he gave up and took a job with the city. I honestly think I heard more emotion from Droopy Dog before he got angry. If I am about to pass out from boredom within the first 15 minutes of arriving at a destination, there is probably going to be a problem before long.
It was made painfully clear that there were a lot of judges looking for juries. I have never served on a jury. And if I wasn't in the midst of a new job and new responsibilities I think that I would enjoy being on a jury. But with all of my extenuating circumstances, I knew that getting put on a jury would be bad for me.
So of course I was one of the first ones called for a jury pool.
I went off to the courtroom, hoping in vain to see either one of the lawyers I know from working with Bloom and Associates or (even better) C3PO the Translator Lawyer so I could immediately be excused. That was a no-go. So I waited while the judge (the name escapes me, but I am hoping that C3PO will recognize him from this description) went through the whole process. And whenever there was a lull in activity, he felt the need to do his best impression of Cliff Clavin, telling all of us about all the things that someone might find fascinating about local law and the history of the buildings (technically I was no longer in the Circuit Court building, but in the Post Office building / former federal court house across the street). It took almost 4 1/2 hours for him and the lawyers to decide on 6 jurors and 3 alternates (this being a civil case). I was dismissed for lunch around 1pm, and told I had to report back to the jury collection area by 2pm, because they were not done with us, yet.
I walked about the city for the majority of my hour, feeling semi-hungry but not seeing anything I wanted to eat. I even went down to the Inner Harbor to see if one of the places there would pique my fancy. Nothing. So I hit the 7-11 on the way back and got a bag of chips and some Gatorade.
I went back to the collection area and waited. After about 10 minutes one of my fellow jurors denied the first time decided to sit down next to me. She was fairly attractive, but the over-riding feeling that one got from her is BAT SHIT CRAZY. If I wasn't married, I would have had a bit of curiosity towards the one and done bedroom escapade that I get the feeling could have ensued if I had pursued it (why one and done? Because I am fairly sure that she is the kind to give you an incredible night of torrid passion, followed by ritualistic murder and then skinning / using body parts for either meals or voodoo potions). To be honest, I was more turned off by the thought of it than anything, and tried to make my wedding band VERY noticeable as I held my book and read it.
Eventually (at 3:15pm for the love of God) I was called for ANOTHER jury pool.
Now I need to let you know that I would never lie in order to get out of doing my civic duty. Usually.
For those who have never been subjected to the pain that is jury duty, the pool of potential jurors is asked a series of questions as a group, and if you intend to answer a certain way then you stand. When asked you give your juror number. Both lawyers and the judge make note of it, then you are sometimes called to approach the bench if any one of the aforementioned note takers decide that they want more information on any particular answer. Well, the second case was an assault case, with a weapon used. When the judge asked if anyone in my immediate family had been either a perpetrator or a victim of a crime I stood up. I stood up because my sister and my brother-in-law, while at the bank one day many years ago (and with my at the time very young nephew in tow) stood there in the lobby while the bank was robbed. It was all very scary for them, and rightfully so. I also answered that I had a working relationship with law enforcement (and as a member of the security force at Bullseye Inc. I am in fact in contact with the local police on a regular basis). I was called up to the bench to expound on my answers. I answered the first question (about law enforcement). It seems my answers frustrated the judge (this one was kind of a crab). And he took a bit of an attitude with me. So I took one back with him. Nothing disrespectful. But when he asked me if I would be able to look at the evidence and the witnesses without any bias, I told him a truth. Not the truth, but A truth. The truth is, probably. If forced to answer with a yes or no, I would have said "yes". But A truth was that I cannot truthfully answer that question, because I cannot know in advance what the evidence will trigger inside of me. It is like saying to a person "I have something to tell you. You have to promise not to get mad". I cannot promise something like that. Anger is an emotion. That cannot be controlled like that. Likewise, I cannot say 100% that I would not be affected by evidence presented to me in a visceral manner, and that response might cause me to make a connection that causes me to not be able to look at it with total impartiality.
What? It IS a truth.
Well, if you guessed that they skipped right over me as even a potential juror that was to be given final approval by both teams, you made the right call.
And I am not going to have to think about any of this again until at least mid-October of 2009. And THAT is the kind of parole I can live with, for at least the next 364 days.

I have never been accused of being the brightest lightbulb in the chandelier

So, I had to run some errands at lunch. Randomly, and without warning, I would feel something brushing up against the right side of my chest. It felt like I had a decal on a t-shirt that was on inside out. It would be there for a moment then go away. Whenever I was feeling it I was not in a place to reach down and adjust anything, and since I DO have on a shirt with a decal / print on it as my undershirt (I have to have on a black undershirt for Bullseye Inc., and since I am going straight there from job Uno, I figured I would beat the middle man and also use one less piece of laundry), I wrote it off as putting my shirt on inside out while still partially asleep / getting dressed in the dark as to not wake up Wifey (at this time I had not discovered that Wifey had woken up a couple of hours ago and was upstairs. It was dark, so I couldn't see that).

I just went to the restroom, and when I AGAIN felt the phantom presence on my right nipple I, while under the cover of being alone in the bathroom, reached down into my shirt, basically copping a feel of myself. And that is when I discovered it.

It was fresh, clean laundry that I put on. How can I guarantee that it was equal to an Outkast song title? I reached down into my upper torso region and pulled a dryer sheet out.

So if nothing else, for the rest of the day, my right nipple is going to be ALL KINDS of April fresh. And at least I got THAT going for me. Which is nice.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Today's Mood Is...

I am on display.

Well, that wasn't what I expected...

So, in no certain or discernible order...
My truck has been acting up for the last few weeks. For a brief, terrifying moment I thought it was the transmission, which would have been a few thousand dollars to fix. It turns out that I had a misfiring cylinder caused by the fact that the people I took the truck to to get my 120,000 mile service did not replace the spark plugs, as per the manufacturer' suggestion. They did not charge me for it either, but in my ignorance of necessary part replacement I did not realize that this was a problem, and never thought to check that they did what they were supposed to (but it is because of things like this that I have stopped going to this particular auto care center). So I bought some spark plugs, and set out to change them, therefore making my vehicle whole again.
It turns out you have to be either touched by the Hand of God, or a certified ASE mechanic in order to get to the spark plugs, let alone change them. So I had to take my truck into a shop to have them do it. At a net extra cost of $82 for labor. But that is the hand I was dealt, so there we go.
Now this becomes a bit of a problem because I had two different friends who needed help moving this weekend and I told both of them that, vehicle permitting, I would be there. I told them this when I thought that I would take an hour or two on Saturday morning, pop open the hood of my truck, and spend some time getting some good old-fashioned grime under my fingernails. Once I took the vehicle to the service station I was told "we might be able to get to it today, we will definitely have it done by tomorrow". And it isn't like I had a whole lot of options, the work HAD to be done and taking it somewhere else as a walk-in on a Saturday afternoon wouldn't get it done any quicker. So I bit the bullet and left it there. I figured that the shop was directly up the main thoroughfare from the house, easily navigated by taking the 15 bus to within a few blocks of the house (Larry the Upstairs Neighbor was off camping and unavailable for shuttling). What I did NOT plan on, however, was the fact that ALL the buses running through the city that went anywhere in the vicinity of downtown were all flummoxed by the Baltimore Marathon. So after waiting for almost 90 minutes (not an exaggeration), I started to walk. And as I was passing the off ramps for the Beltway, almost exactly in the middle of two bus stops, I look back and see the bus finally heading my way. I wave at it, but all I see is the sadistic smile of a driver that is not paid commission or tips and therefore does not give a rat's ass about my predicament.

I have bad feet and legs (long time readers know all about this). Because I had not given any thought to my choice of footwear when I was

  1. Working on the truck myself, or
  2. Driving it to the repair shop

I did not put on shoes that were conducive to walking. After about a mile my feet hurt to the point of not really wanting to keep them anymore. I went into the local High's store and got a cold lemonade (they were out of ice in the soda machine. It was quickly turning into THAT kind of day). I grabbed my cell phone and started to call a cab (yup, I was ready to be gouged in order to get home before I cut my feet off like a wolf in a steel trap). I was on hold, listening to JACK-FM for about 10 minutes when I said "screw it" and hung up. I found another bus stop about 100 feet away and limped over there and sat in the shade of a lovely tree and drank some lemonade. I figured that the buses were running every 90-120 minutes and I was just going to wait it out.

Of course, I did have to pee like a racehorse...

I called Wifey to update her on my own, self inflicted Bataan Death March and the early termination of my Ghandi-esque day when the bus came along, shining in all of its diesel fueled glory. I got home in about 20 minutes.

So the Saturday move was shot. I waited in vain for the repair shop to call me Saturday to at least let me know if I was going to be able to go to work Sunday afternoon, but never heard back from them. Wifey emailed the Sunday move and let them know of our predicament. Finally, they called me. Sunday morning. At 9:30. They were just getting to it, but did I also want to get the engine / fuel cleaning, usually $149.99 on sale this week for $89.99?

No thanks, just go for the plugs and let's move on.

The car is done, Larry (who came home a day early from the camping trip for reasons that I will let him reveal in the comments section if it pleases him to do so) gives me a ride up there and I get my truck back. At last, I feel whole again.

So of course the check engine light comes back on while driving home last night, and I still feel some hesitation when accelerating / driving at highway speed. I am going to take it to a DIFFERENT shop and see what happens. One recommended by AAA (and that apparently gives a 25% discount to first time customers who have AAA with presentation of the card, no coupon needed. HUZZAH!

Why did I tell you ALL OF THIS? Because it resulted in me doing something that has made me feel a little conflicted.

I mentioned how bad my feet were hurting, and that they are not in the best of conditions to begin with. Because I wear the old man socks (compression stockings), they don't get a lot of air / sun. And they calluses on my soles are reaching sovereign nation status. Wifey has been after me for a long time to soak my feet and do all that pampering stuff that just goes against my DNA. But after the day I had, I broke down and asked Wifey to set me up for a soakin'.

It took a couple of hours (I tried to balance out the situation by drinking canned domestic beer and watching college football, but it still felt weird to have my tootsies soaking in warm to hot water with Epsom salts and God only knows what else she puts in there to make her feet feel so luxurious. She handed me a "pumice stone" for to wear down the calluses every so often, as the water made them soft enough to wear down. I am pretty sure that my shoe size went down by a whole half step by the time I was done. And then I had to rub Vitamin E oil all over them (which almost went too far for me). And what was the end result?

The next morning I looked at my feet and they actually looked like HUMAN feet for the first time in years. By that I mean that before this past Saturday, if you had happened to look down and see my feet without the old man socks, you would have probably thought they were a combination of Fred Flintstone and Frodo's feet. But combine the fact that I couldn't change my own damn spark plugs (and after all of that the problem is not all the way solved) with the fact that I spent a couple of hours (ON A SATURDAY NIGHT no less) soaking my feet and "pumicing the calluses away", and you have yourself one highly conflicted guy. I am by no means a "metrosexual" (do they still use that term? I know Mike and Mike were awfully fond of the term back in the day, but I don't listen to them regularly, and also I am not relying on them to be the arbiters of popular slang), but I might have moved a few miles from the city towards the metro / suburban area.

So at least I moved SOMEONE this weekend.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Today's Mood Is...

I got your 11 herbs and spices RIGHT HERE!

Best 2 out of 3 falls...

I used to be quite the "mark" for wrestling. After I learned the truth behind wrestling (I grew up during the "kayfabe" era, not like the current days where professional wrestling is referred to as "sports entertainment"), I still enjoyed watching it strictly for its entertainment value. Hell, I still enjoy watching it on that rare evening that I am home and it is on. So that is why I am getting such a kick out of what happened yesterday, when my lovely Wifey decided to take on the furniture in a no holds barred cage match. Guess who won...
So while I am here at work, Wifey and I communicate through Yahoo IM (FREE PLUG ALERT). Wifey keeps to a fairly regular schedule while she is home, she wakes up and has some coffee, takes the dogs for a walk, comes back and exercises, does her Bible Study, and does some work from home. Mingled amidst all of this are bouts of housecleaning and Internet surfing. And sometimes, massive amounts of carnage and head trauma.
Wifey decided that the curtains in the living room needed to be washed. I am sure that they did, but in typical man thought, I had not noticed. Now (for those of you who have never seen my house) we live in a typical Baltimore City rowhome / townhouse. Not one of the more narrow ones, one of the more square shaped ones (locals know what I mean). The living room in our abode is really not all that big, and the fake fireplace takes up the majority of the only wall not interrupted by either a doorway or windows (we use the fireplace and the mantel as the place to hold out TV and other entertainment equipment. Not TOO white trash, I hope...). The radiator is along the window ledge. The curtains are above the windows. Do you see where this is going?
No, Wifey did not light the house (or the furniture) on fire (much to my surprise). Instead, she chose to try to navigate around the radiator in order to get the curtains down (because I was not home and we have not invested in a step ladder as of yet because usually we just wait until I am home, or until Larry the Upstairs neighbor is home. He has no regards for any human life, including his own, so he is a safe bet to do anything we need. We just have to preface it by saying "I bet you can't...").
Before we used the mantel for the television, we had a TV stand we got from Target or Kmart or some damn store. It was functional and served its purpose. After we upgraded our TV and decided that putting it up on the mantel gave us more space to work with in what really is a pretty cramped living area, we moved some old VHS tapes onto the shelves, and use the top shelf for candles and flowers and all that crap (can you figure out who decorates the place?). And the bottom shelf, the left hand edge (as you are facing the thing) sticks out a little further than the other two...
It seems that the shelf in question offended Wifey's delicate sensibilities. So she decided to pull a Harley Race and do a flying headbutt to the damn thing. Except she decided to lead with the BACK of her head, which is a curious finishing move to say the least. Eventually a double count out disqualification was ruled the final decision.
I would like to take a minute here to say that I have read storied about little children who see a parent hurt and call 911. I have even seen stories of a family pet, usually a dog, doing things along those lines (I am too lazy too look that up. But I know I have heard of it happening. Look it up if you are so damn interested). Well according to Wifey (and we do have to keep in mind that she had just reverse headbutted an entertainment center and might not be the best reference point for this, but she is all we have to go on here) BOTH dogs ran away as she fell and didn't come back up until they heard her moving around again after some undetermined length of time (Wifey has not given me an exact timeline. I do not plan to force the issue). The cat kept circling her like a vulture, waiting for the end of life so that she could begin to feast on the eyeballs and entrails of her oppressor. And then she (the cat) would set her trap for me in order to finish the forced captivity. But since Wifey never stopped breathing (and apparently didn't even get a concussion) the cat was forced to continue biding her time. For now...
All of this happens after she tells me that she is going to go off and do her Bible Study. As a rule, I don't email / IM / call / talk to her during this time, for obvious reasons. So I am here at work, completely unaware that in my own house there is a retelling of the Undertaker / Mick Foley Hell in a Cell match going on in my living room, with an old entertainment center subbing for an announcer's table. So to say that I am (and all at the same time) frightened beyond belief that this happened and if she had been seriously injured there would have been no way of knowing for God only knows how many hours, relieved beyond measure that she wasn't seriously hurt, and has only a twisted knee and a diminishing goose egg on her head (and when you consider what the outcome COULD have been, well, those are VERY minor injuries), and disappointed beyond description that my beloved Wifey, who poo-poos professional wrestling every time it comes up either on TV or in conversation, was secretly practicing to be the newest member of GLOW behind my back.
All of this does lead me to a somewhat serious point, and that is the cost of health insurance. For all of the problems that working for Kernan gave me (and believe me, there were a lot more than I ever REALLY talked / bitched about here), I did have excellent health insurance. And if Wifey and I had it when my body went all kookoo a couple of years ago, we probably wouldn't be in the financial straits that we are in right now. We did have Wifey's insurance at the time (if we hadn't odds are I would be typing this from a Commodore 64 while hiding in my parent's attic because Wifey and I would have had to sneak in there after we filed for bankruptcy. I think my mother would figure it out since she hangs out upstairs more than my father does, so she would eventually see us sneaking to the bathroom), but the co-pays and deductibles with her insurance paled to what I had from UMMS. Now I (and Wifey) are without health insurance until sometime early next year (it should kick in in January), because COBRA would have cost us almost as much as my checks are (and no, that is not an exaggeration. And THAT is sad) after taxes. So I have put a moratorium on any housecleaning that could be viewed as potentially dangerous (cleaning the bathroom constitutes an acceptable level of danger. Randomly adjusting ceiling tiles does not. Light bulb changes will be decided on a case by case basis, depending on location of light to other sources of light and to things like stairwells and freestanding water).
Coming up soon, the return of GAY DRINK NIGHT!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Today's Mood Is...

Narrow Face is rocking out to the Lite FM again. The problem is that, especially earlier in the morning, my mind is not nearly as capable of filtering out background noise. And if that background noise is a low volume radio station playing innocuous rock, and certain people listening to the station like to sing along, well...
For the last 30 minutes I have had "Turn around Bright Eyes" looping through my head. You might remember that as the closing refrain from "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler (WHY THE HELL DO I REMEMBER THAT?!?!?!). The very end where the guy is singing falsetto.
And now she just finished singing along to "King of Pain" by The Police. I do think that is a better song (of course, how could it compare to Bonnie Tyler? I celebrate her entire catalog). But listening to it performed by Sting is one thing. Hearing it performed by the Nasal Dundalk Queen is a WHOLE 'NOTHER ANIMAL.
I have not been a regular drinker since my days working and hanging out in Fell's Point. If this continues at this pace, I might just go back to the dark side.
The dark side has pie...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Today's Mood Is...

I dreamt last night of a meal consisting only of BLTs. I do not know why, I have no idea what could have caused this to happen, but I could probably eat 2 whole packages of bacon right now and not question it at ALL.

It was bound to happen...

I am not known for my skills with a sketchbook and pencil, nor for my abilities with a canvas and paint. So with MS Paint, you are really stretching the bounds of my meager abilities. But I shall carry on...

I have my first enemy (or at least, the first person that I am going to have to start making snarky, pithy comments about here in regards to the new and improved interactive Office Space). I tried to find a picture that I thought would do her justice, but there was not anything that struck my fancy. So instead, I have decided to name her in a way that invokes the best of Dick Tracy's Rogue's Gallery...

Narrow Face

...I am convinced that her left eye is in the right socket and the right eye is in the left socket. It is scary, especially since her profile just shows a slightly larger and pointier than normal nose. But once she is facing you...

Anyway, she is officially on the list because she has some traits from some of my favorite people to bitch about from Kernan. To wit...

  • Likes to say "Smuckers" in lieu of saying "shit", reminicent of Asian Mustard Lady's "Sugar Honey Iced Tea"
  • Has that annoying habit of liking to talk a lot (not nearly as much as Jabberjaws, but still it is an annoying habit to have. And to top it off she likes to play the local "Jack" station and sing along.
  • And to make it that much better, she has an accent straight from the Bel-Loc Diner by way of Middle River, and her voice is on the nasally side to boot (of course, after seeing that nose and the way her entire face is being sucked towards it like it has some extra gravitational pull - maybe there is a Large Hadron Collider in her nasal cavity? - and her tone is not surprising)

There are other things that I am sure are going to come out in the wash, like her prediliction towards wearing those top / bottom combos that kind of look like pajamas, with the thin, not quite sweatpant material for the pants and the top is usually kind of gaudy (today is kind of subdues, gray bottoms and gray with white polka dots for the top). Also, she doesn't understand a basic concept of fast food (or retail in general). If you choose a value meal (or some kind of value pack), you cannot use a coupon for a free sandwich, unless you are buying an additional sandwich. It is already discounted, you don't get ANOTHER discount.

I have always been annoyed when peoplpe cannot grasp that simple concept.

I gotta go grab some lunch. Be back later (or tomorrow, hopefully)


Monday, October 06, 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I might be in Trouble. With a capital "T" and that rhymes with "P" and that stands for...

Yes, there is a Polock Johnny's right down the street from my new office.

I HAVE to fill you in on my new office. Once I start working here more often (this is the first day that the software that I need to do my job has been operational here, so it is the first day I have been here for more than an hour and a half), I will let you know. Currently I am working on nicknames.

I do have to apologize for not updating at all in the last week or so, the changeover (and extra commuting from home to office to old office) has been EXTRA fun, so I have been extra swamped. However, C3PO the Robot Translator Lawyer mentioned last night that he has been looking for an update, and since he is fluent in free legal advice (and snark) in over 6 million different forms of communication, I have to keep him on my good side. Besides, he usually laughs at my jokes, and he makes one hell of a grilled meal. And whenever he comes over he brings beer and pie. And honestly, if you come to my house bearing beer and pie, you will be welcomed. If Charles Manson came to my door with a pecan pie in one hand and a 12 pack of Yeungling in the other, I would helter his skelter right in the house and let him have a conversation with the dog while I feasted.

One problem with the setup here as opposed to Kernan, the cubicles are much more like prefabricated housing along a thoroughfare than an actual area of cubicles. I am currently facing a wall, with my back to the walkway. Those that are across from me are looking into open space, with THEIR backs to the same pathway. The problem is that there is not nearly the same amount of cover / subterfuge available for one such as me who would like to release a little steam from the rear port area (I used to keep a bottle of Febreeze at my desk in case I thought it was getting too bad). Now I have to hold it in.

I might look a little bloated the next time you see me.