Monday, October 31, 2005

I Have To Say It Was Good Day

I got a good night's rest last night, and I was feeling hearty. I walked out to the kitchen and, to my surpise, emperor penguins were making breakfast. The bacon was overcooked, but frankly I am impressed that they had the wherewithal, not to mention the intitiative, to make breakfast at all.

One of the penguins stole my apples. His name was Petey. I killed him. The rest of them understood. Some even applauded.

I ran off to work. No traffic at all. Except for wandering zombies throughout NE Minneapolis. But even Zombies couldn't take the smile off my face.

One of them wanted to battle. I was running late, though.

The parking ramp had a plethora of quality spaces available. Usually you have to be handicapped to get spaces of such quality. Not me, apparently.

I hopped into work with a wink and a smile. A young executive on the go. Ready to conquer the world.

My girlfriend forwarded me a nasty picture of an overweight lady who had a pumpkin painted onto her ass-cheeks. No matter. I will simply reply to her and cc our Pastor, with the message "it's over between us."

It should be noted that I did not even need to use my AK, though that stands to reason considering I live in New Brighton. Could've used it on the zombies though, but can it reasonably be considered a good day if you use your AK? Describe one good day that culminated in a conflict resulting in AK usage. However, if one is accustomed to days that require use of said AK, then any day wherein one was not used would, by comparison, be good. You could almost say that AK usage is the primary determinent of the quality of a given day.

And now, here I am, happily blogging away. Blog, blog, blog... Bloggy, blog, blog.

Friday, October 28, 2005

More Sojourners Fun

I got my 4th e-mail of the week from Sojourners. It was a breaking news alert regarding the indictment of Scooter Libby. It featured a picture of Karl Rove. Is that a Freudian slip, or are they just going to go ahead and pretend that they are the same person? Of course, from an organization whose leader thinks Ghandhi is the same is Jesus, I guess I'm unsurprised.

Urgent Your Help Is Want

Dear loyal TPWK reader,

My name is Folma K. Dushku. I am leader of westearn aliance.

I am writing because you are trusted, respected. Kenyan Ambassador Songaila D'ioGu has been largely vanquished. His respectible sum of $140,000,000 (300,000,000 dotels) has ben unclamed.

We are trusting you for your secrets. The ambassador had no beneficial, and will need your trusting service to act as claimant. For your eforts, we are unmistakable wiring $14,000,000 into your akount.

You are the trusted for your secrits. D'ioGu mentioned you prior to his execushion at the hands of rebels. We are seeking urgent protection of his funds through many swizz bank acounts, of witch yours is a certain respectable part.

please contact me at with you bank details. I wish for utmost probable secrecy, for my family is at steak.

If you are questions, please contact me at Fdushku69@hotlips.com

You are thanked in advance by country and statesmen sevral in number.

Folma

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Say What?

Leroy and I were watching some previously-Tivoed Survivor. Things were going smoothly, until one of the southern cast members had this to say regarding team unity.

"Your teammates are so important. It's like mice on the cornbread in your mouth."

Come again?

Apparently, you can just say whatever you want when you're from the south. Well, two can play that game. From now on, all of my blogs will utilize the Devil-may-care metaphorical stylings of the south.

Some examples

On Harriet Miers:

She was like the pickle who found Jesus and bought a Cadillac.

On Dining Out:

It's wilder than a washing machine with six wallpaper samples.

Here's one from Leroy:

It's like a pelican up a dog's ass on a rainy day.

On Ashley Simpson

She's the gold star that makes the donkey square.

Ah, yes. No longer will my metaphors be constrained by logic or reason. I will use whatever words suit me. If you have a problem with that, well then, you're just like robots at a company function.

I bid you adieu. I'm as happy as an al paca in a Pennsylvania whorehouse.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Halloween’s coming up, and you know what that means. Trick-or-treating! Yes indeed. Even though I’m 26 years old, I feel not the least bit pathetic nudging up shoulder-to-shoulder along side by younger pals.

It gives me no shame to throw on my Burger King crown that I have worn for that last 9 years, grab my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pillowcase, and hit the town.

What if people say I’m too old? I simply act as thought I’m mentally handicapped. Then they feel really guilty, and I get twice as much candy.

What do you mean, that’s sick? Like there’s some law that says you can’t go trick-or-treating if you’re not a kid? Is there a law? Find me the law. Find me the law. Shut up, then.

I am not a pedophile! That doesn’t even make sense. My lust is for the sweet, sweet taste of candy. The delicate squish of a peanut-butter cup on the side of my tongue. The teasing resistance of a Snicker’s nougat center. The nuanced, earthy tones of a Heath bar. The lasting satisfaction of a Charms Blow-pop.

And if anyone gives me toothpaste, or a Charleston Chew, or an apple, I will hit them in the face with a hammer, I swear… I will hit them so hard…

Oh, how I will hit them. I almost hope they give me one, just so I have an excuse…

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Things I Remember About Pizza

I remember
pizza
in square slices

Fitting snugly
in the main entrée vestibule
right besides the milk square

With a circular divot
just in case
you were drinking juice

The dough was soft
wet
and disappointing

The sausage was vaguely sweet
overly moist
and scarce

But if I were to eat it again
encountering it, perhaps
at some retro-themed restauarant

It would remind me
of people I enjoyed
more than pizza

Monday, October 24, 2005

You know what?

I like balloons. I don't care what anyone says. If a guy comes up to me, and offers me a balloon, I'll be like "thanks, man... thanks for this balloon."

Some are indifferent to balloons, which is ridiculous.

Sometimes cats choke on balloon leftovers.

Not a good match, balloons and cats.

Interview With My Girlfriend

One of my goals with TPWK is to make it a sort of forum to interview various names and faces. Well, I was in Michigan with my girlfriend, Khris, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to let everyone in on how our relationship was going. So, TPWK is proud to welcome Khris Eisenbeisz…

TPWK: Do you have time for a few questions, honey?

Khris: Not really.

TPWK: Ummm… We’re going to be in the car for ten hours, sweetie. It would be nice to have something to pass the time.

Khris: Fine. Is this going to go on your stupid blog?

TPWK: Ummm. No…

Khris: Cause I read that, you know. What is Gilbert about, anyway?

TPWK: It’s a segmented narrative, an opportunity to use a new medium to create a new kind of story.

Khris: Well, it sucks.

TPWK: Umm… So, Khris, how is work going?

Khris: Stressful.

TPWK: Ummm… Anything else you want to share about work?

Khris: Well, it’s hard, and I have to work all day instead of just sitting around blogging.

TPWK: What’s your favorite book?

Khris: I don’t know. The Bible, I guess.

TPWK: Honey, that’s no fun.

Khris: Oh, sorry let me be fun. Ummm… I like Harry Potter. I love him, and I’ve seen all the movies. They’re awesome, but not as good as the books… Is that what you want me to say?

TPWK: Not particularly.

Khris: What is this for anyway?

TPWK: An adventure, neither here nor there… An exclamation among periods, I guess.

Khris: What? What the hell does that mean? What are you, David Mamet all of the sudden? You think you’ve earned the right to just say that?

TPWK: No, I do not think I’m David Mamet. Maybe now isn’t the best time.

Khris: Oh, no. Now is a great time. 40 minutes into our trip and you begin with your ceaseless prattle.

TPWK: I am inadequate, I will concede that.

Khris: Pull over, I want to go to Applebees.

TPWK: We just ate.

Khris: I want Applebees. I am craving their mexi-ranch dressing. I put it on my fries.

TPWK: You’re not acting rational. Applebees is over an hour away.

Khris: You’re always doing this.

TPWK: Ummm… Let’s get back to the questions. What was your favorite childhood memory?

Khris: The one where I wasn’t dating you.

TPWK: Well, that would be all of them.

Khris: Yeah, childhood was awesome.

TPWK: That seemed an unnecessary barb.

Khris: I’m in a bad mood. I haven’t had my crackers.

TPWK: You don’t eat crackers.

Khris: There’s a lot of things I don’t eat.

TPWK: Look, a hot air balloon.

Khris: That’s a cloud.

TPWK: Well, that concludes our interview. Khris, thanks for being appearing on TPWK, and we hope to have you back in the future.

Khris: Are you kidding me? Did you just say that? My God, you are weird.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I Heart Michigan!


Later today I am going to visit my family in Michigan. We are driving ten hours to get there, which is a bit like running for 7 miles for the opportunity to jump into a pile of diaper-riddled garbage. Only, my family lives in the garbage... Voluntarily, it turns out.

Now, everyone where I live thinks of Michigan as the Upper Peninsula, essentially a pastiche of quaint resort towns that are pleasant enough. Nobody lives there. Lower Michigan, where I am going, is nothing like the upper peninsula.

Let me put it this way. We've all ehard about the housing boom, right? People making 10, 15, even 20 percent a year on their homes? Not in Michigan, where home values have gone down, somehow. Part of this is because the residents of Benton Harbor (which recently surpassed Gary, Indiana as the country's most unlivable city, which is totally hard to do) set fire to their own town, for some reason. Many set fire to their own homes (thus rendering any insurance null) and are now forced to live in their badly singed properties.

Now, I should note that I am from Michigan. I was born in Kalamazoo (which is merely 58th on the unlivable cities list). About the nicest thing in Kalamazoo is a 35 year old department store with an ant problem. But don't you dare criticize it, cause I'll kill you, which will add to Michigan's already jaw-dropping murder-rate.

Of course, my family moved to the Detroit area when I was young, so I've had the best of both worlds. Detroit is known for being the city most similar to Detroit, which is saying a lot. It's like post-hurricane New Orleans on cocaine. For fun, go to Google Image Search, and enter Detroit. You get the idea...

Then there's Flint, which is so bad, it made Michael Moore famous. Thank you, Flint.

Then there's Battle Creek, home of Kellogs. This is where my parents live. It is notable for being impoverished and smelling like rotten cereal.

Of course, not all of Michigan in urban-hell. Some of it is rural hell. In fact, the official state bird is a 40 ounce Michelob. Little known fact. Indeed, all of the urban blights are connected by a seemingly endless chain of trailer homes and strip clubs (lots of truckers).

And, of course, you can't say Michigan without thinking of the overpaid Union employees who don't have jobs any more. Or the Lions. Or the Tigers. Or the nationally televised fireworks beatings. Or the hyperdermic needles in the lakes.

But I could go on forever.

Seriously, I'm really excited to go. It's not depressing at all.

Love you mom and sis...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Now It Is Time To Talk About Sadness


Michael died yesterday.

He was my best friend. He died in a car accident, cause some stupid drunk driver hit him.

I was in school, and his desk was empty. The assistant principal came and took the stuff out of his desk. I was confused. Then Mr. Johnson told us what had happened. He started to cry. He said "excuse me."

Sometimes, Michael and I would pretend we were killer robots, and we would jump on the monkey bars, and kill everyone with our death beams. We'd go like:

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzkrunch...

I don't have anyone to play with anymore.

I had to walk home today. It was really cold. I lost my jacket during recess. I thought mommy would be mad, but she wasn't though. She made me some ice cream, and told me everything would be okay. That's stupid. It's not okay.

One time, Michael and I found a clock in a pile of woodchips. We thought it was a time bomb, and we were afraid to touch it. But then Michael grabbed it and started pushing buttons, and made it stop. He said "see, it's not a bomb!" Michael was so cool.

One time, we were getting ready for baseball, and the kids were making fun of me. Joe hit me in the head, so Michael ran after him and told him to leave me alone cause I was his friend. He said, and I quote "if you do that again, I'll kick your ass."

He was my best friend. We played Spiderman sometimes, but not always though. Sometimes we talked about what we'd want to be when he grew up. He wanted to be a Secret policeman. I didn't know what that meant. Now I never will.

Daddy says this is the sort of thing we learn from.

I tried to sleep tonight, but I couldn't. I had weird dreams about me and Michael playing soccer, and it'd be like he was right there, but he wasn't though, and I'd wake up and feel sad and alone.

I threw up the ice cream mommy gave me. Daddy told me to try and get some sleep.

I hope that drunk driver dies. I hope that drunk driver goes to hell, cause he's a fucker, and I hope he bleeds and dies. He's fine, though.

The school counselor came into our class and showed us a film strip entitled "Grieving and You: Toward a Happier Tomorrow!". It made me feel sick all over again. I want people to leave me alone right now, but they won't though.

I miss Michael. Sometimes he was mean, and I called him a jerkbutt once, but then we were friends again. He was cool, and nice, and made me feel better, and now I wish I were dead too. Sorry this blog isn't funny. I'm sad now.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Movie Review Time!

One of my plans when I started this blog was to write movie reviews, on occasion. Well, what with the fast paced life of a young executive on-the-go, time is scarce. So I'm passing on my movie reviewing responsibilities to my friend Mitch, a hockey player at Apple Valley High School. This weekend, Mitch had the privilege to attend an advance screening of Capote, the new film starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as the renowned author Truman Capote. Here is...

Movie Review of Capote
By Mitch Judd - Captain, AVHS Hockey Team

Dude, WTF? With a name like Capote, I thought this movie would be all like, violence and "say hello to my little friend", like Scarface you know? I knew the guy wrote In Cold Blood, so I thought it was gonna be sweet, but it totally sucked. This movie is really gay. I hope you guys don't see it.

We were running late, cause Tammy was all worried about her makeup and her hair. I'm like, who cares? It's a movie? Nobody can see you. But she was all like hungover from Digger's party last night, and said her eyes looked baggy.
Finally, I run into the bathroom and grab her, cause we had to go pick up Josh on the way.

So we get into the theater, and had to sit in the back, cause the theater is packed. I'm like, what the hell? This must be a good movie. The previews were totally boring. They were for like French movies and crap. Josh brought his laser pointer, though, which was cool. He's always pulling of funny crap like that.

So the movie starts, and it totally sucks. Turns out the main guy has a boyfriend. How friggin' nasty is that? Tammy gets totally bored, and she wants to go home. I'm like, "No, Kevin asked me to review the film. He totally has good taste. He's the one who recommended Batman Begins."

Then, somebody's all like shhhhhh! And I'm like "screw you!". Then he got all pissy and told me to watch the movie. Yeah, too bad it sucks.

Josh whipped out his laser pointer again, and pointed it right at Capote's nut-sack. Josh is so sweet. It's too bad his stupid lesbian girlfriend dumped him.

Instead of describing the movie, I'll just say, don't see it. It's stupid. Tammy and Josh thought so too. We saw "The Fog" last weekend, and that was so awesome. This was a total letdown.

One thing I can recommend? Digger's parties. He had a whole bunch of leftover gin, and rum and crap, and his parents were still out of town, so we went over. It's like the party never stopped. He throws the best parties of anyone in youth group.

I give the movie negative one and a half for sucking.

Thanks, Mitch!

Monday Musings

It’s Monday. Let’s muse.



And now for some bad news. It appears as though Apple Valley is now home to one less mortgage company. Well, TPWK is never one to withhold constructive advice, so here is a link to an organization with which Richard Garvey and pals might wish to get acquainted. Don’t say I never helped you in a pinch. Seriously, though, thanks for helping crash our economy.

--------------------

*Editors note: Apparently Mr. Garvey has brought his unethical services to Great Rivers Mortgage (what is with all the generic names for these scumbags?). Suffice to say, unless you are looking for the opportunity to jump on the subprime foreclosure bandwagon, I would go to Great Rivers Mortgage. And no, Rich, you can't sue someone for calling you a scumbag, especially when the shoe fits, and if you are going to scrub tri-minnesota from your blog, well, try harder.

Monday, October 17, 2005

A Conversation

Between me and my roommate this weekend.

Kevin: Hey, what is that?
Leroy: It's a rabbit, pretty much a bunny, why?
Kevin: Is it yours?
Leroy: Indeed.
Kevin: It smells.
Leroy: Comes with the territory.
Kevin: I'm allergic to rabbits.
Leroy: I thought it was dogs.
Kevin: It's all animals.
Leroy: Bummer...
Kevin: Why did you get a rabbit?
Leroy: Creme eggs.
Kevin: What?
Leroy: Like at Easter. But I don't want to wait until Easter, so I got a rabbit.
Kevin: Rabbits don't lay creme eggs.
Leroy: Apparently, you don't watch commercials. Look, he's laying little one already.
Kevin: That's crap, Leroy. Your rabbit just defecated on your laptop.
Leroy: Then why does it taste so... Oh... Yeah, it's feces.
Kevin: You are returning the rabbit.
Leroy: Oh come on... I've already named him bugs.
Kevin: Oh, I like that, like the cartoon.
Leroy: Yeah, I thought it was clever.
Kevin: Well, you're taking him back.
Leroy: I love him.
Kevin: No you don't.
Leroy: My parents would never buy me one.
Kevin: That's cause you always ate your goldfish.
Leroy: Whimper... sniff...
Kevin: Oh fine, you can keep him.
Leroy: I can?
Kevin: Yeah, but you have to keep him in your room.
Leroy: Ummm... I can't.
Kevin: What? Why?
Leroy: There isn't space.
Kevin: What are you talking about?
(goes to Leroy's room, opens door)
Kevin: Oh, you have got to be @#$!%#$@ kidding me.
Leroy: You see my predicament.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Lost - Catch the Fever!


Have you gotten 'Lost'?

It's the newest television sensation. Move over, 'Survivor'. Take a hike 'Joey'. This show's got staying power. An eerie blend of human drama, sci-fi, with a little action thrown in, Lost is titillating viewers across the globe.

Are you watching yet? No? That's awful!

Will Jack let down his guard long enough to strike a love affair with the enigmatic Kate? Will Locke's unshakable belief that everything happens for a reason stay firm? Will Hurley ever lose weight?

If you don't watch, you won't know the answer to these questions. What do you mean you don't care? My description of the show was compellingly written! If TV Guide wrote that, you'd watch.

What if Jesus comes back and wants to know what's up with pop culture. What, are you going to show him, your Golden Girls DVDs? You idiot.

Whatever became of the raft, where four of the brave survivors attempted to find rescue? You don't know, do you? You probably don't know where babies come from, either.

Yes, there was a baby born on the show. Yes, I do think that's plausible. I don't see why...

Oh, right, and playing Halo all day is a really productive use of your time. Thank you, I'm glad I'm listening to your time management advice.

No, we are not watching baseball right now. No, dude... It's Wednesday, Lost is on. The appearance of the sexy, yet gruff Ana Lucia has mucked the waters of the Jack-Sawyer-Kate love triangle.

Whatever, Steve, you don't even care about the Astros. Craig Biggio sucks anyway.
Just let me watch my show, so I can find out whether Shannon has truly changed, and can love Sayid, or if she's bound to fall into her old manipulative ways.

I have caught the fever, Steve, and I love my show. If you do not give me the remote, I will kill you, I will literally kill you... Think I'm bluffing? Oh look, here's my gun... Oh, look, here's me shooting the TV...

Oh God, what have I done?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I am frustrated

My roommate will not go get chicken wings with me tonight. This is a man who spent ten minutes last night crawling under our coffee table (an act that prompeted the unlikely phrase "I know where you're going with this, and if you break another coffee table, I'm going to be angry").

You see how far I have fallen.

Gilbert - Part 4

Read

Part 1

Part 2
Part 3

He was washing dishes. Lines of water cascading down his arm, making him itch. In the periphery, he caught the blinkering of the television, the spasmodic grays and blues that seem to fill a room entirely, then vanish at its threshold.

She had a look. Before she left. She had the look of not quite wanting to talk. Peaceable, not angry, nor particularly tired. She was to fly out for a culinary convention, an event she found banal but a good change of scenery, nonetheless. He knew the look, knew she was fine. But he asked anyway… Asked if everything was alright, or if anything was wrong.... One of the two.

He could hear mumbles of the nightly Action-8 news team, predicting coverage of today’s deadly such and such, immediately following lurid, ratings-garnering, sci-fi crime drama. The water mingled with the humidity to form a skin of sticky sweat on his arms, as he sat down to watch.

The Action-8 news team announced their arrival with a jamboree of synth-trumpet wails and smiley introduction. The thipping sound of the ceiling fan added it’s own peculiar din to the proceedings, and he felt oddly alone. Tragedy, it turns out… Pilot malfeasance, combined with flukiest engine malfunction. A tragic spectacle. 100 dead. Each of them a human life, the anchor was quick to observe.

It was inevitable, Gilbert thought, cyclical. He simply couldn’t be aroused by the mathematical inevitability of the plane crash. A lottery ticket in reverse, he thought. Better chance of winning the hyperbolically named state lottery game. No cause for real concern, or change in worldview. Un-news, to be certain.

He caught the flight number. 835.

She had said something about a flight number. He felt certain it had an 8. 238? 85? He couldn’t recall. Suddenly attentive, he scanned the histrionic reporter rantings for flight destination info.

Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City, 835. The convention was in California. Did she have a one-way flight? Seemed likely. She was the guest speaker. Would a guest speaker be forced to change flights? Things were looking in the clear. He scanned his memory for information.

Flight numbers, possessing no inherent numerical value, are much more difficult to remember. Like an identification number, or a phone number, they must be memorized by rote. Numbers of value, the price of a new car, an exceptional score on standardized tests et al., are seldom forgotten. He taught about this in his course “MATH/PSYCH 132 (Interdisc., prereq.) – The Mathematics of Memory”.

He remembered an 8, but certainly not two 8s. Vaguely recalled a triple digit figure. 271 three-digit numerical combinations contain precisely one ‘8’. A bevy of numerical options. Happy odds. She was alive, statistically speaking. He settled himself back into the couch, assured by this likelihood.

The phone rang. An unlikely occurrence during nightly news. Well past the polite calling hour. A call undoubtedly related to the televised sadness. A call from his wife, perhaps. Or…

The phone rang again, sustaining its wail through the fan’s percussive wisps. The mathematics of the situation were grim. Could she have seen the report? Time zone differentials placed her squarely in sitcom territory, television-wise. She was not, per se, a let-you-know-I’m-safe-stress-reliever type.

He picked up the phone.

“Hello?”

The TV flickered. The ceiling fan made a buzzing-gurgling sound Action-8 news team moved on to a local athletic hero’s recent legal transgression, and the sweat turned icy and hot at the same time.

(to be continued)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Ruthlessly parked

My work springs for a monthly pass at the nearest parking ramp. Great. Score. I am jet-set; on-the-go, as they say. But there is residual bad news, hanging as a fog over my free-parking-related joy... The ramp imposes a pantheon of regulations respecting appropriate parking. First off, the whole main level is "2 hour parking only". As though someone would say "you know, since I have less than 2 hours worth of business in this area, I think I would rather spend 45 minutes trying to find street parking than park on the second level." After that, a number of spots are reserved for specific businesses (certainly not mine).

So, I'm strolling into work a smidge late, as we of the entitlement generation are inclined to do, and I see only one vacant parking spot meets all of the aforementioned requirements. Unfortunately, some ass with a Subaru has decided to occupy about one-third of it. It's a subaru outback, in that new trendy aqua color which, along with the resurgence of olive-green and burnt siena, have coordinated an aesthetic assualt on the nation's auto industry. So I park, diligent to ensure that the thoughtfully parked Mazda to my left is not unduly burdened by the callous parking of Subaru-ass.

The point? All day, this fantasy play will run through my mind.

It is 5 p.m. two gentleman approach adjacent automobiles. Kevin turns to Subaru-ass, and is clearly flummoxed.

Kevin: I am flummoxed.

Subaru-ass: I don't follow.

Kevin: Flummoxed, chap, that you have deigned to execute a parking maneuver so obstreperous and vile.

Subaru-ass: By jove. A million pardons.

Kevin: Of a million, I offer none! You have made a cuckold of your parking space, warmly grazing with that wanton harlot, the yellow line.

Subaru-ass: You have moistened me with your rebuke.

Kevin: I will moisten you further! We shall duel!

Subaru-ass: Willikers!

Kevin brandishes a piston and shoots Subaru-man in the abdomen.


Subaru-ass: Aye, but I am slain.

Kevin: Your tomfoolery has ceased!

Subaru-ass: Now, those orphans will never get their lasagna.

Kevin: That doesn't even make any sense...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Now it is time to talk about dragons




Dragons are sweeeeeeeeeeet!

They have big tails, and they breathe fire, which is why they are dangerous, but some are friendly. They're kind of like dinosaurs, but not really, though.

Most dragons are green, but some are red and purple, and black. Black dragons are cool because they're evil and they'll kill Jimmy for taking my sandwich and throwing it on the floor. That is how Jimmy will pay.

Dragons are, for myriad obvious reasons, unfond of jet-skis.

Dragons spend most of their life at the earth's core, until they are aroused by the spirits. They are our guardians, like Jesus. Some aren't, though.

I did my science project on dragons. It was a ten-page paper, with lots of drawings of fire and dwarves. I got a 'D'. Mr. Johnson said my science was, and I quote, "tenuous at best".

One time I ran down the stairs with my arms out, and made this sound:

Whoooooshiiiiiiiishhhhhhh!

Daddy told me to calm the hell down.

In conclusion, dragons are evil, but sometimes they are good. They can breathe fire, and some people do not think they exist, but they do. They have tails, and are cool like nintendo and skateboards, and are better than dinosaurs cause they don't have long names. Dragons are nice, but most aren't, and they're green too.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Matanalysis

One of the joys of purchasing a house is that, not only do you buy a house, but you also get a random assortment of crap that the previous owners assumed they could get away with leaving. When Leroy and I purchased our duplex, our owners were kind enough to leave the following:

A duplex
2,374 pinecones (in tidy stacks)
A ceiling fan (sans blades)
2 mousetraps (an ominous sign)
6 air conditioners (???)
Wood

And, my favorite of all, a charming little mat in front of the dryer that says, "wipe your damp feet"

How whacky and carefree. But, you see, it's not just a request. No... They've infused the situation with comedy. Allow me to explain. You see, the word damp is actually a play on a certain word. The utterance of this word would be, how to say, malapropos of said light-hearted placemat. So they instead switch a certain letter, with another letter, and you get a very similar word to the aforementioned. Of course, the new word is harmless and inoffensive. The result is a sassy, family-friendly little piece of vintage Americana.

But wait, there's more. See, the word 'damp', of course, refers to the predominant state of feet that are, and I'm speaking in generalities, in need of wiping. Therefore we have a Shakespearean style entendre, in which an everyday word is loaded with meaning. Simply brilliant. To top it off, a picture of a skunk, which I find to be somewhat contrived, to be honest, accompanies the slogan.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Spammers

Can spammers have any friends? Can they only be friends with other spammers? I ask this because, if one were to reveal themself as one who work to proliferate spam to me, I would find it utterly impossible not to bludgeon them. Others, I suspect, would find themselves similarly unable to suppress same urge.

If there is one set of people I revile more than pedophiles, it is the group of people responsible for placing their little links on my page, with fake messages that attempt to assimilate themselves into conversation. Were I to meet one of these people on the street I would:

1) Insult their shirt, regardless of shirt.

2) Teach their children that poison is, and I quote, "yummy".

3) Blog about them... Very personally, and without irony or humor.

4) Kiss their dogs right in the mouth.

5) Write hackneyed poetry about love and flowers, and leave it on their dashboard.

6) Tell them riddles.

7) Smell them, and judge their scent out of context.

8) Condescend.

That'll teach 'em...

Columbus Day

Is it Columbus day soon? It is, right?

Gosh, I hope so. Day off, sunshine, cruisin' for chicks.

And a chance to reflect on Columbus' accomplishments. Christopher Columbus, over 500 years ago, famously dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

What's the saying? In "fourteen-hundred-and-ninety-two, Columbus ended the war with an act of questionable integrity." That's not right.

But really, folks, this is a total top ten holiday, even though liberals want to say that Christopher Columbus didn't do anything. That's commie talk, and I'll give them a piece of my mind. To those boneheads, I say, it's not the man who matters, it's the holiday.

I wonder, sometimes, if Christopher Columbus whistled. Wouldn't that be nice? I mean, if he whistled, just like you are me? What would he have whistled, though? they didn't have music back then, except for harpsichords. Did he whistle some harpsichord-related ditty? I am confused.

Columbus day does not confuse me, but rather fills me with joy. It is a time for water balloons and babies and sleepovers.

What? I don't have Columbus day off?

Crap in a barrel...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Under It All

I've taken to smoking cheap cigars, on occasion.

Cognac-tipped "Al Capones", approximating cigarettes in every way save for the fact that they are not them.

Out on my deck last night. Feeling the harsh, late-night whispers of winter. Exhaling... Searching for meaning in the smokey neptunes, floating into the ether.

I've messed things up, I think, so far as God is concerned. And I'm left alone, under the snow-predicting magenta of the nighttime sky.

Twiddling my certainly-not-cigarette, praying beneath a fit of nicotine dizzy. Wearing my vintage grey-blue leather-suede for the first time since I had different things on my mind.

It's a somber realization, to be one of those men, alone, wrestling with his thoughts. Unsure of his steps, and saddened by his uncertainty.

As a boy, I could never have fathomed being one of those men, who stands, and smokes, and contemplates, and comes to no conclusions whatsoever.

I never thought those men were possible.

Now I am one.

Water In His Power



Last night, I was caught in a rainstorm. Seemed to be typical fall-shower type material, until I got onto Central Avenue, and realized that my car was more floating than driving.
I was thinking this morning, under the obsessively gray sky, about water, and God.

When acted upon, water is the most powerful force on earth. When yanked by gravity, it cascades in shingles of white, and forms canyons. When inhaled, it drowns with a seizing of lungs.

No less a force than our moon creates the waves. High winds immerse manmade fortresses, (and, apparently, Fridley). When God decided to end man, save Noah, and start anew, water was His chosen tool to cleanse the earth’s palette of our depravity.

When chemically transformed, it provides sustenance. Life is impossible without the conversion of water, as are kool-aid and beer.

But water, when inert, does little. It pools, and forms, and sits. Every droplet requires God’s fingerprint, before it can be water. Otherwise, it is simply one part hydrogen, and two parts oxygen, a chance convergence of happy electrons.

Perhaps that’s why, after an angry storm, when we catch the humid sniff of ozone reflecting off the earth, or observe the placid ripples on the ocean’s layer cake…

We are at peace.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Incidentally

So, because they have subscribed my to their newsletter, the folks at Sojourners (far-left Christian organization of which I am not remotely fond) has taken it upon themselves to frequently mass e-mail me in hopes that I will donate to their organization. Now, my own church would never even think of spamming it's members for dollars, but I digress. Today, I get a note on that begins by talking about the need to help the poor by sacrificing financially.

"Fair enough," I think to myself. Been there, done that, got the tax receipt. Then the message goes on to request money, not for Katrina victims, but for Sojourners! Not for Sojourner's hurricane relief efforts, but for Sojourners as a political entity.

You see, the poor need groups like Sojourners to act on their behalf. Or, at least, I guess that's their rationale. Cynical Kevin thinks that perhaps this group might be exploiting a tragedy to raise money for their morally bankrupt organization... but that's just cynical Kevin talkin', and I ain't cynical.

I just wonder what would happen if, say, Dr. Dobson used this opportunity to point out the crisis of broken families, and used it to raise money for his own (political) ministries. That might just catch someones eye.

Ironically enough, I gave them $500... I appreciate paradox.

October


Before I loved God
The cloudy fall days made me happy
Hiding the sun’s secrets
Like gray lingerie

Their din makes the sky
Seem finite and tangible
The slick haze of rain
Polishing the dirty streets

The breeze, Octoberish and crisp
Breaking the numbness of summer’s wet heat
Flittering off into a horizon
Of ash and quiet purples

Then, I started to love the sun
It’s indefatigable brightness and warmth
Tanning my flesh and clearing my senses
I thought, perhaps, it symbolized God

But now
I find

I’ve discovered fall again
It’s autumnal melancholy
Subtle hues of introspection
Clouds forcing my thoughts inward

And I wonder what that means.

Monday, October 03, 2005

A tisket, a tasket...

Umm... Can I please have my basket back. The round one. It's like weaved with that thin wood, what's it called, bamboo?

Come on man. I need my basket. I need it to hold my cheese.

Yes, I bought cheese. What difference does it make to you? Why would you get hung up about whether I bought cheese.

Well, right now I'm in possession of a tisket and tasket, but no basket. My tisket-tasket/basket ratio is an impossible number to compute.

What do mean that was nerdy? Oh, don't give me that pedantic crap.

Hey, I've got a new slogan "A tisket a tasket, screw you Lisa, I want a divorce!"

Yeah, you heard me right...

Chicken Voice - The End


Read part 1 here
Read part 2 here


There they were Just a nudge beyond the gregarious maitre d’. Clad in ominous leather, undoubtedly in search of chicken, and inexplicably failing to garner so much as a second glance from carnivorous patrons.

I stuffed the chicken and made a quick path to the bathroom. I climbed into a stall, and performed a little standing-on-the-toilet-to-escape-detection number. “Clandestine” said Roy, as I stood, crouched and surreptitious-feeling.

Moments passed. The drizzly little sounds of a room primarily devoted to the passage of water. Chicken slightly nervous, his heart prattling beneath his feathered chest.

The door opened. The swaggery stomp of leather boots. A quick back and forth to scour the room for man and chicken, followed by a cliché little shrug and an about-face.

A sudden decision to urinate moved the leather boots in our direction. Spooked by the sudden action, the chicken went bananas.

“Convex! Arbitrary! Halcyon!”

I hurriedly attempted to hush the fear-stricken chicken. I burrowed his head into my armpit, to no avail.

“Jejune! Jejune! Jejune!”

The stall door opened. We were discovered… A hairy dude with an all-man-and-nails type jacket removed his sunglasses, and stared at me. Thoughts of bold, jump-kick attacking of leather-clad gentleman faded as soon as they appeared. I am a stand up comedian, and not a killer… At all... The hairy man spoke:

“You’ll forgive me, sir. We, the Hell’s Angels, have a keen interest in symmetry.”

“I don’t follow”

“What comes up, must come down. To every beginning, an end. That is our way. I’ll be needing the chicken.”

“Proverbial,” Roy had clearly peeked at his birthday present.

“Killteeth?”

“I am I.”

And with that, he ripped the chicken from my grasp, placed him into a small, wire carrying case, and walked away. So there I was, chicken-bereft, standing on a toilet with a $47 vocabulary builder that could not be returned.

“I love you, Roy,” I muttered, which was technically far from true, and terribly strange to say.

“Lugubrious” said the chicken. And with that, they were gone.

Weeks passed. Budget for chicken-related sitcom had been approved, so we moved forward with a project starring me opposite a vaguely effeminate frog. The project fizzled, but was notable for featuring a young, pre-My-Two-Dads Paul Reiser.

And so it would be that the chicken was my last breath of fame. Sometimes, in my sleep, I find myself hearing the crowds, exclaiming words with only a tenuous grasp of their meaning.

And it reminds me that I once owned a talking chicken.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Mortgage How-To's

Earlier this week, a depressing (albeit typical) story appeared on KARE 11 regarding our cities pending mortgage crisis.

http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=252402

Essentially, these people were promised one loan and sold another one.

What is strange about all of these mortgage horror stories is that they offer literally no information about how to prevent something like this from happening to you. There is plenty of information about what to do to avoid foreclosure (likely because the stories are pitched to reporters by debt-rehab companies), but nothing about not taking that disastrous first step in the first place. Well, that's what bloggers are for. As someone who has been through the, um, experience, here are some tips to avoid shady loan deals.

1. Shop around. Brokers don't want you to do this. They will tell you that you are committed, that there isn't any reason to because you are getting the best loans, etc... Bologna. You have every reason to compare prices. Brokers should tell you their fees and points right up front. Use this information to shop and compare. If they refuse to let you, thell them to f*** off. There are thousands of brokers, and the primary difference between them is their respective willingness to compromise their integrity in order to screw you.

2. Look for a degree. My job requires a degree, and I don't manage financial futures. I want a broker who has career options that go beyond mortgage-broker and picking cucumbers. No disrespect to readers who don't have a degree. I just don't want you to secure my future.

3. When you get to closing, pour over every piece of documentation. The title company will try to move things along. Ignore them. You are paying them hundreds of dollars for no discernable reason. If they get ansy, throw 50 cents at them and tell them to get a cookie. If you find that the loan terms aren't what you agreed to, walk away. There is a myth (perpetuated by brokers) that you lose thousands of dollars if you don't buy a house at closing. The seller will have the opportunity to re-sell the house, but they will most likely just work with you to sell at a later date rather than put the house back on the market.

4. If you hear the term "option ARM", run...

5. It used to be that certain ARM programs allowed buyers to lock a lower rate for 3, 5 or 7 years. However, these ARM programs now tend to have rates that are just as high as 30-year fixed mortgages. Thus, there is no compelling reason to get very creative, though that might change in the future.

6. The broker should be able to show you your rate, your projected payment, and an amortization schedule. If you ask for this, and they start stammering about how volatile the market is, simply leave and steal their pens.

7. Here's a handy guide to know if your loan program blows. If it has a prepayment penalty, it blows.

8. Remember, the higher the interest rate, the more your broker gets paid. They get a kickback from lenders (I have no idea why this is legal) if they find a way to get you into a high-interest loan. If you have good credit, and good income, your rate should be around 6%. If it's higher, something probably isn't right.

9. If you see any numbers that look weird, like a 2% rate, bail... Many shady loans now feature one-month teaser rates, designed to disguise the actual rate of the loan. Standard loans (e.g. the ones you want) are very straightforward w/r/t rate.

10. The Better Business Bureau is a sham organization. This is neither here nor there, but certainly don't expect them to have your back. As I understand it, they make their money by charging membership dues. And they don't bite the hand that feeds them.

11. Be careful letting brokers check your credit score, as each credit check hurts your score. Credit checks within 30 days all count as one collective credit check, but buying a house can be a 4 months process. Some brokers will use this opportunity to check your credit as frequently as possible, which limits the number of good loans for which you qualify. Remember, the worse your loan, the more the broker makes. You can check your own credit online, and any reputable broker should be able to give you plenty of information if you communicate your score.

It is pathetic that one single profession, comprised of otherwise unremarkable people, could do so much to wreak havoc on our economy. So yeah, be smart, and don't contribute to the foreclosure boom.