Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Live from the SOTU!!!!

Very few people watch the State of the Union address. Even fewer are required to watch as part of their job. Pretty much me and civics teachers. Anyway, if I have to watch it, I'm gonna report on it. I am a blogger, after all. Here goes:

Clarence Thomas looks like he's at a fraternity party. Seriously man, he looks funky without his glasses. Like Dolemite, yo!

I just referred to Nancy Pelosi as a word no Christian should use. No, not that one. The worser of the two. I know, but I really don't like her.

What was with the whooping at the President's introduction? Did Arsenio Hall enter the building?

Someone just clapped, but they were the only one, so they clapped once. That's gotta be awkward.

To summarize his intro. the United States will lead, and they seek the end of tyranny. refreshing change from the norm.

Bush just brought up Burma. Is it Burma now? I thought it went back to Myanmar. Why can't they make up their mind?

Charlie Rangel did not applaud when Bush said we will never surrender to evil. Does Rep. Rangel believe we should surrender to evil? Fascinating.

I love the "to applaud or not to applaud" game with the Dems. Sometimes half of them do it. Don't they all get the same memo?

Somebody in the audience looks like Derek Jeter. He's not him, though...

I'm waiting for Lieberman to stand up and applaud, and for Ted Kennedy to throw a paper-wad at his head or something.

"Hindsight is not wisdom, and second-guessing is not a strategy" love it. Suck it, Murtha!

It's interesting that Democrats hate Republicans, yet support the troops, who are overwhlemingly Republican. My idea? Let's let military folk decide the next election. You want that, Murtha? Huh, you want it?

Bush just winked at the family of a fallen soldier. That's a little weird.

From now on, Bush should just end every sentence with, "never forget to thank our military families." It's a winner.

Pistons are down 5 with 5 minutes to play. Not cool man. Oh, the President.... Right...

Bush hates AIDS and Malaria. Rangel is pro, just to be contrarian.

Unanimous standing-O. Bush should end every sentence with "I love troops, but hate malaria."

Bush defend wiretapping. Hillary smiles that awful botoxed smile of hers, and shakes her head, cynically. Is there anything she does that wouldn't be categorized as cynical?

Hillary is applauding now, with a grimace. She is awful...

Pistons down by one, 90 second left... Oh, yeah, the economy, right...

Condoleeza Rice has something on her lip... Oh, cool, she got it...

"make the tax cuts permanent" brings the Aresnio whoops again. When did this start?

Awkward, delayed standing-O

the line-item veto is not popular with Dems. Hmmmm....

Hillary doesn't like the "President Clinton" joke. But again, she is awful...

Social Security - Wow, who invited the British parliament? Everbody's screaming all of a sudden.

Affordable health care? Uh, oh. I don't like this.

Pistons lose. Dang it... Alright, focus man, focus...

Democrats are unfond of Medical liability reform. How much did the trial lawyers pay them to sit that one out? eat your heart out, Abramoff.

Cars that run on hydrogen? Cars that run on grass? Is Bush about to introduce Flubber to the marketplace?

Apparently the token little girl is indifferent to children receiving a firm-ground in math and science.

Leroy hopes that Bush concludes with "And I also hope that America kicks ass in the Olympics. Wooooo!"

Leroy is not a serious person.

Bush would rather we treat each other better, and have hope. I disagree.

"Abortion is at its lowest point in three decades." Jim Wallis has no idea how to demagogue this. He will simply pretend that nobody said it.

Curiously, ABC News opts not to show Democrats sitting on their hands for John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Chance coincidence, I'm sure.

"Human life is a gift from our creator, and that gift should never be degraded, discarded, or put up for sale." What do the libs think about this. it seems hard to argue with, but....

Laura Bush is standing for herself, but not applauding. It must be hard to know what to do when you are announed by a speaker. Some mindlessly applaud themselves, which must be embarassing.

The answer to the lessons of hurricane Katrina are better education, opportunity, blah... blah... blah... How about not building your city below sea level? No?

Did somebody's cell phone go off? Wow, that must be humiliating.

John Kerry is against AIDS, but in a detached, ironic sort of way.

Barak Obama is doing his best to look very, very smart. He is pretending to take notes, as though he won't get a transcript on his way out the door.

Yeah, Cheney does look a little creepy. Good thing he's a friggin' genius.

It's over... Not a magnificent speech, but it got the job done. The Democrats look more and more ridiculous opposing a war that they refuse to vote to end. They applauded themselves for opposing sensible Social Security reform. Overall, a positive for the Prez. But then, I love the dude...

P.S. I'm watching Tim Kaine deliver the Democratic rebuttal. Ouch. He reminds me of Champ Kind from Anchorman. What's with the eyebrows. If this schmuck is the future of the Democratic party, then we can be sure the party is going the way of the Whig.

Monday, January 30, 2006

It isn't

If there were dancing
I'd dance
If there were laughing
I'd laugh
If there were clapping
I'd applaud
If there were flying
I'd...

Instead, I have
a bedspread
some fears
a lampshade

and a tonic
old and warm
that others drink
to spirits full

the tonic's soft
it has no muster
I quaff and spit
and sleep to dream:

undancing
unlaughing
unclapping
grounded

awaiting...
flight

Da Vinci madness!

With the premier of the new Da Vinci Code film slated for the upcoming Cannes film festival, pop-culture is yet again abuzz about the original book's supposedly controversial content.

I had my own terse experience with the book. I was lounging around at a friend's house in Chicago one evening, and picked up a copy that was sitting on a chair. The first 15 pages read like a cross between an Agatha Christie mystery and a Romance Novel. No more reading necessary.

The book is controversial because it said Jesus had a son with Mary Magdalene, I guess. If that's all it takes to generate controversy, perhaps I should start my own manuscript, entitled: "Bill Clinton Kills Puppies For Sport."

Hey, it must be controversial. Somebody said it. That makes it controversial. Also, chickens can talk. I did write a story about that, as loyal TPWK readers will recall.

See, I don't think this book should be controversial at all. It is manifestly a work of fiction, haphazardly researched. The reason it is taken seriously is that it plays into what people desperately want to believe about Jesus, that he is anything but the sinless son of God.

Why else would serious-minded people fawn over this piece of literary dreck (though, to be fair, some objective literary critics have called it precisely that?)

If Jesus had a son, then he wasn't really that big of a deal after all. Just an average Joe like you or me. And everyone would realize that this is true, if it weren't for a secretive band of marauding zealots desperate to preserve the reputation of their precious deity. Savvy people know the real truth. The Da Vinci Code tells us so.

And so, the Da Vinci Code is placed on reading lists of college classes across the country, representing a nearly unprecedented compromise of intellectual seriousness. All in the hopes that a bad, poorly-researched bestseller can provide a little bit of gravity to all the hopelessness.

In the end, however, it's just a crappy book.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Controversy

You know who shouldn't be pastors?

Women, that's who.

Also, when tall people wear vertical stripes, they look freakishly tall. Like circus-men.

What? We were all thinking it.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Hurray for Coupons!

You know what I like? Coupons!

$3.50 for that pizza? I don't think so Mr. Evil Cashier... Try a price 35 cents less than that.

I am experiencing savings!

Sir, I believe I'll purchase your baby orangutan. $3,000 you say? Wrong! This National Geographic coupon entitles me to 10 percent off my first purchase of any impractical wildlife.

The Organgutan is not, technically, a monkey. Neither are chimpanzees or gorillas. They are primates.

BUT THEY ARE DISCOUNTED PRIMATES!

At present, my new Orangutan is eating my coupon for 50 cents off Crest Whitening Toothpaste, which I had no intention of buying.

Some coupons are two for one. Many offer percentage-based discounts. Either way, they are money in the bank.

The Orangutan and I are enjoying the pizza. He wished to express his unqualified endorsement of coupons. Miraculous, the orangutan, talking. If everyone used coupons, there would be no world hunger. I have submitted a proposal to President Bush designed to ensure that this will happen.

You see how coupons and I will save the children.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Disturbing Roommate Conversation

Yesterday evening, I was on my way to watching my Detroit Pistons square off against the Minnesota Lynx, when I got a call from my roommate Leroy. Here's a transcript.


Leroy: So what do you want me to do with this?
Kevin: I don't follow.
Leroy: The ant farm, where do you want me to put it?
Kevin: You bought an ant farm? They still make those?
Leroy: I got it at the Discovery Store.
Kevin: Well, put it in your room.
Leroy: Um.....
Kevin: Is your room full of jelly beans again?
Leroy: No, ate those.
Kevin: So put it in your room. I don't want to look at an ant farm.
Leroy: It's educational.
Kevin: Educational? For what, learning how to tunnel?
Leroy: It's a Macrocosm.
Kevin: No, it isn't.
Leroy: Says so right on the box.
Kevin: Well, if anything it would be a microcosm, but it's neither, cause it's ants.
Leroy: The rest of the box is in Japanese.
Kevin: Well, put it in your room.
Leroy: Can't.
Kevin: Can't what?
Leroy: It's a big one.
Kevin: A big one?
Leroy: Huge.
Kevin: A huge ant farm?
Leroy: Had to remove the door to get it in here.
Kevin: You are establishing a track record of not thinking things through.
Leroy: I'm my own man. It's my 401k, I do what I want with it.
Kevin: How many ants does your farm hold?
Leroy: I don't know. I'm counting them.
Kevin: So you've set up the farm already?
Leroy: ....
Kevin: Are they in the farm?
Leroy: yes..... no..... well, some are
Kevin: I know where this is going.
Leroy: It's kind of an "ants everywhere" type scenario right now.
Kevin: You're kidding me.
Leroy: Oh, wait, here's the instructions. Okay, they recommend that you dump them right into the farm.
Kevin: In retrospect, that may have been the best option
Leroy: Oh, here we go. There's 63,400 ants.
Kevin: ......
Leroy: It's a pretty big farm.
Kevin: I'm going to a hotel.
Leroy: Hmmmm.... There they go..... Fascinating.

Monday, January 23, 2006

I Heart Minneapolis - Part 3

So... i spent the last three week trying to track the the phenomenally incompetent Jack Allison, Inspections supervisor. I had a number of issues, in addition to my tree story, which you can find out more about here.

One of my primary concerns was that I had received a warning letter regarding "rubbish" including tires, palettes et al, at the property I am currently renting... A visit to the premises revealed no rubbish (save for a garden hose which, to be fair, had probably been their since the summertime, but went unmentioned in the warning letter). I called to ask what was up. And called again. And again.

Finally, I called my city councilman's office. The lackey there said he would look into it. He called me back to inform me that he had spoken with Jack Allison, and that Mr. Allison would be happy to spek with me anytime. I called Mr. Allison (hereinafter known as Wonderpants), and left yet another message, stating that, while he might be happy to speak with me, this would actually entail him picking up his phone and dialing my phone number, as a means of initiating conversation.

No dice. Another call, this time bypassing dimwitted lackey, and putting a message through to councilman, who said he would take care of it.

Seems Mr. Councilman has some pull. I get a call back. There is some rubbish, says Wonderpants, but I couldn't see it with the snow. Now that the snow has melted, adds Wonderpants, I should be able to see it. Interesting, I think to myself.

Well, you know where this is going. Not one week later, I find that an order had been sent one month ago to remove the non-existent "rubbish" to the tune of $133.

So tonight I leave a not-so-Christian call to Wonderpants, telling him I will do my best to remove him from his job. Of course, this is an empty threat. Jack Allison is black, which in Minneapolis makes him something of a God, all part of painting the city chocolate or whatever the hell liberals are into.

So... If I have to pay all this money, on account of Wonderpants, with no real recourse, what say you, readers of TPWK, to helping me put some pressure on him?

Call him at the following number.

612-673-5852.

Tell him you read about my plight, and want an official letter of explanation (don't tell him I called him wonderpants).

Or, alternately, call councilman Schiff's office. Be nice. I have no beef with him (don't be nice to wonderpants).

612-673-2209

UPDATE: I received a voice message from Mr. Allison this morning. He said that I must not have anything to do since I have time to leave all these messages for him.
If God is truly great, there will be a special place in Hell for city employees.

10,000!

You are the 10,000th visitor to the Problem With Kevin!

No, not you... No, not you either. The guy, to the left. No, that guy is visitor 10,005. Well, now wait a minute, I thought it was that guy, but he's just walking in, so he can't be it. Oh, crap why didn't I pay more attention.

Wait, was it you? What about you Steve? You've been here for two hours? No, then it probably isn't you then.

Oh, this is so anti-climactic... I'm sorry people.

Congratulations, you, collectively, are thwe 9,984th through the 10,032nd visitors to the Problem With Kevin.

That doesn't sound good at all...

Well, since you're all hear, how about we play a game. Maybe some Cranium?

What? Okay, Steve, if Cranium sucks, then what do you want to play? No suggestions? YOu just want to criticize, rain on everyone else's good time. You want to make everyone play Sorry, like last time? Remember that? You kept sending my pieces back to Home, even though Sandra had three pieces in the safety zone? You draw all the Sorry cards, so everyone just has to watch her win. Yeah, that's what we call asinine, Steve. Yeah, that's why you don't have a girlfriend. There, I said it. We were all thinking it, Mr. "I rain on everyone's parade cause that's what I do and I only listen to obscure bands that I don't really enjoy, but if they happen to become famous I lord it over my friends like I'm some sort of musical genius."

Oh, or are you crying now? Look, everyone, Steve can dish it but he can't take it. Yep, crying at parties is a great way to behave. Oh, perfect, pound the top of your head with your fist. Yeah that's real normal. Way to fit in, Steve. Yeah, maybe you SHOULD go. Freak.....

Sorry about that folks. That was, uh... That was a long time coming... Anyway, um..... Thanks everyone for your continued readership. TPWK wouldn't be the same without you...

Is he... Is he heading to his car??? I'm not sure that's a great idea right now. Sandra, you want to go give him a ride. Well, there he goes...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Fun With Mad Libs

Yesterday marked the 33rd anniversary of the Supreme Courts AWESOME decision in the KICK-ASS case of Roe v. Wade. In a 7-2 decision, the courts used SUPER-DUPER reasoning to ensure the right of women to have a PARTY, up until the end of the second PENCIL.

Since that time, the AWESOME decision has been a subject of substantial WHACKINESS. SPACE ALIENS on both sides of the debate have DANCED, FLIPPED, and even POOPED in their support of legalized PARTIES. GARGOYLES have won or lost elections based on their own views of whether PARTIES should be legal.

SPACE ALIENS who prefer that PARTIES be legal have worked diligently to ensure that their views are represented by the PEANUTS. They have waged a long and ardent BOLOGNA campaign, in an attempt to PLAY BASKETBALL on the issue, and delude apathetic MAD-SCIENTISTS into supporting the court's AWESOME decision. By doing so, they have created an atmosphere in which intelligent dialogue is EATEN in favor of SMELLY POOPS and BANANAS.

In their efforts to make sure that PARTIES are banned, certain FARCICAL groups have produced BRILLIANT ad campaigns which go to the heart of the matter. Their efforts primarily consist of putting RABBITS along highways which say "PARTYING stops a beating heart". However, their efforts have had MAGNIFICENT affect in pursuading MAD-SCIENTISTS to find fault with the Court's AWESOME decision.

Most modern JAZZ MUSICIANS, in an attempt to present their Lord, BRAD PITT, as some sort of antiseptic popsicle, decline to discuss PARTYING, for fear that it might DELIGHT certain SPACE ALIENS. Many are certainly DELIGHTED right now, just reading this.

In the meantime, an estimated 1.3 million PARTIES happen each year.

And that's just FLIPPING AWESOME.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Confessions of a female college student

TGIF!

I have no classes today… Score! I heart being a philo major…

I got an 82 on my math test. I totally thought I failed. I was so hungover from Sally's the night before.

Oh my gosh, Cindy just totally burped, and she had Doritos for breakfast! That’s sooooooo nasty…

I just went to Caribou to get a mocha winter-haven Blast. Hot guy was working behind the counter. He smiled at me. I tipped him three dollars when he wasn’t looking.

I’m so pissed at Sheena right now.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Miller Time

Some people call me Maurice.......

Also, this morning I had an orange chocolate bar from England.....

......

Now that I think of it, Maurice isn't a particularly sexy name. Maybe they aren't sure of my real name. You know how people are inherently bad with names? It's not like I go around talking in the third person or anything........

What are capers exactly? I mean, I know they're pickled in brine or something, but... Are there like Caper trees? It's not a legume or anything, is it???? Maybe a type of berry......

.......

Now that I think of it, Maurice can be considered effeminate. Don't you think? Is it some sort of putdown? That wouldn't be cool......

........

So, Khris and I are buying a house. Our offer is accepted, we just have to have the inspector look at it. We'll have to throw a housewarming party. Won't that be nice?

........

You know... It's probably from that song. How's it go? I'm a joker, I'm a smoker, I'm a midnight toker, I go dancing on the sun......

That would explain the cat noises.

You know, I don't really like that song. I think I played it once when I was in a jam band in college... Not really my thing. Who sings it, Tom Petty? I don't know.......

Anyone else tired today?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Press Release: ADL Bestows Highest Award

In a surprise announcement, the Anti-Defamation League has bestowed it's highest honor, the Eli Wiesel award for Achievement in Human Rights, to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Citing his crusade against what the ADL calls "the scourge of right-wing fundamentalism", the group will donate $100,000 to a charity of the Iranian leader's choosing.

"President Ahmadinejad has stood up to imperialist American forces," said ADL president Abraham H. Foxman. "In doing so, he was worked to thwart the greatest threat to Judaism today, Christians."

President Ahmadinejad has come under some criticism recently for calling the Holocaust a European myth. He has also called for the extermination of Israel, saying that the nation should be "wiped off the map."

"By standing up to Israel, the Iranian president has sent a clear cut message to the United States. Stay out of our region," said Foxman. "For too long, the Holocaust myth has been used by the Christian right to prevent the rise of brilliant leaders such as Ahmadinejad."

Upon hearing that he had received the award, President Ahmadinejad had this to say:

"Mr. Foxman has pleased me. He will be among the last to die."

At the award ceremony, Elie Wiesel was called upon to comment.

"I am glad that the fight to... Wait. What? They gave it to.... Oh, you have got to be !@#$%^& kidding me," said Wiesel. "You know what? !@#$ it. I'm too old for this !@#$."

"Now we can be unified against the real threat to Jews," added Foxman. "And by that, I mean George W. Bush and his attempt to establish Democracy on the middle east, and to protect Israel. I honestly don't get what all this pro-Israel crap is about. Are they even a country? When was the last time they won an Olympic medal? Munich 1976? Oh, that's right, they got totally executed. Guess Nixon wasn't there to save them. Bitches."

Today on Robertson

I was going to do an interview with Pat Robertson today for my blog. But as I constructed it, it dawned on me that everything has been said. In his old age, Rev. Robertson has become the whipping boy of the left, who cherry-pick quotes re: Israel, Chavez, 9/11 in order to demonize all of Christianity. Any effort to parody him would have been cheap and cruel. True, much of my blog is cheap, and much of it is cruel, but usually not at the same time.

Christians, in their attempts to seem moderate and unextreme, heap on the criticism. Meanwhile, relativist demagogues such as Jim Wallis, who has a long-established repetorie of buffonery and even implied that George W. Bush was the anti-Christ, receive the most favorable possible interpretation of their words (though not from me).

But such efforts fail to demonize even Rev. Robertson. A quick glance at his biography reveals a man of considerable education, an even more considerable lineage, and who has an immense track record of doing good. He has used his clout and consderable personal resources to raise millions of dollars for charitable organizations.

Does this make his remarks defensible? No, though the indignant response to the Chavez remark is likely borne of ignorance as to who that man really is. As a public figure, who has thrust himself into the spotlight via television, panel shows, and even a Presidential bid, he has a responsibility to check his more extreme opinions at the door.

There are literally entire political entities devoted to scanning Robertson and Falwell transcripts in search of something incriminating. they are bound to find it. The quotes do not reflect the man, by and large. They certainly do not reflect the Christian faith, but rather reflect the "see I told you so," mentality that prevailing media establishments possess toward Evangelical Christians. To them, these quotes represent their worldview. Nothing we say is going to change that worldview. They will continually work to find someone who represents that view. In a nation of 300 million people, they will succeed.

So enough already. If the political left want to handpick quotes that make Christians look like bigots, I could grab some quotes from Howard Dean to make al liberals look like insane morons. Pat Robertson has never done anything truly henious, like, say, drowning his secretary and failing to report the fact to the police. Neither has he, say, sent a friend off to die in war to see could sleep with his wife. He said a couple of stupid things, and apologized for them, which is more than I could say for Howard Dean and his cohorts.

For Christians to join in the pointing and tsk-tsking is silly. I won't engage in that behavior.

Monday, January 16, 2006

As a Soccer Mom, I am Thoroughly Alienated by Both Political Parties

I am a 37 year old mother of two healthy boys. I'll admit, it's pretty rare that I get time to pick up the newspaper, or find out about the political goings on in Washington D.C. But I can tell you this. Neither political parties represent my values, whatever they are. I want stronger families, and a safe place to raise my two healthy boys, and low gas prices. Is that too much to ask? I think we should tax the oil companies, and use the proceeds to decrease the price of gasoline. I can't think of any holes in that plan.

I did get the chance to follow the hearings of Sam Alito. He seems like a nice decent man. I think they should filibuster him through to the Supreme Court, or whatever they call it (not up on my legal jargon).

I can tell you, I'd have more time to follow this stuff if I didn't have to work a part time job to put our kids through private school. They really need to fix our public schools. Some people are talking about using voucher system. I don't know what that means, but it sure sound scary and complicated. I will simply oppose it.

The other day one of my sons asked me if i knew who the vice-president was. "Of course," I said. "It's the affable Dan Quayle. Sensible fellow." He told me I was wrong, and that it was Dick Cheney. I told him to watch his mouth. The terrible things kids are saying in schools these days.

From a moral perspective, I try to raise my children right. That's why I'm voting against Sen. Abramoff in the next election. The way he stole money from the Native Americans is a terrible lesson for our children. I'm sure he's a great leader, but as a mother, I really have to put my foot down.

I really admire Hillary Clinton. I think she is a positive role model for women who want to "do it all," as they say. I also have no recollection of anything that happened from 1992-2000.

Really what I want is a leader who will lower taxes, while increasing law enforcement. Also, my aunt is very poor, so it is important to me that we increase Social Security, and have a special program that gives money to poor elderly people.
It shouldn't just be left to family members. My husband and I can barely make payments on our new, 6 bedroom townhome in Apple Valley, much less help a widowed aunt.

I want our national security preserved. However, I will oppose any action taken to achieve this end.

Why isn't there a party that represents my views?

Well that's my two cents. I wish the best for President Bush. I should write him a letter. IF ONLY I HAD THE TIME ;)

Friday, January 13, 2006

A favorite passage

"And when the event, the big change in your life, is simply an insight - isn't that a strange thing? That absolutely nothing changes except that you see things differently and you're less fearful and less anxious and generally stronger as a result: isn't it amazing that a completely invisible thing in your head can feel realer than anything you've experienced before? You see things more clearly and you know that you're seeing them more clearly. And it comes to you that this is what it means to love life, this is all anybody who talks seriously about God is ever talking about. Moments like this."

-The Corrections

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Stupid Fresh

Nobody uses the term "stupid fresh" anymore, and that's absolutely ridiculous. What am I supposed to say when I hear DJ Jazzy Jeff laying down tasty beats beneath the Fresh Prince's unstoppable rhymes?

You see the predicament.

What should I holler when my homeboys Kriss-Kross are sporting their traditional pants to da back?

"Nice job, boys, you look swell in your classy duds."

What am I supposed to say my milkshake Tyrene disses some roughneck with a hearty "yo mama!" I mean, if that isn't stupid fresh, I don't know what is.

There are literally millions of things in this world that are fresh. How can I separate the plain old fresh from the exquisitely fresh? Some thing are manifestly, empirically fresh, and they ought to be deemed "stupid" for their high freshness content.

But alas, the grunge generation came along, with their heroin and their plaid-ridden anxiety, telling us all to calm the hell down with respect to freshness, and any stupidity contained therein. Kurt Cobain killing himself? Stupid, though not necessarily fresh.

You know what else isn't fresh? Yo mama. DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANG!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The letters - Part 2

Read part 1 here

“Fas” “fav” “Vat” “Fat”

He had ceased, for the time being, to engage in the game. Rather, he contrived different letter-scenarios, in which simple words might be found.

“I” “Is” “Ist” “Tish” “This”

That the Combos brand pretzel snacks had the wherewithal to put pen to paper in any coherent fashion was, to put it mildly, remarkable. The notion that the snacks might be interacting with the game, perhaps even enjoying themselves, struck him with awe.

“Sit” “Sih” “Shit”

Several non-scoring words, to be certain. The pretzel snacks were unskilled, but manifestly playing, participating in the Boggle. He felt at once the giddy joy of a child who thinks that a ghost might be real, or the tooth fairy, or Santa. Instinctively, he picked up the phone.

In the midst of a steady procession of button mashing, a relevant thought occurred to him. There might be a perception-reality issue, as respects the ability of packaged snack food to participate in a household family-fun game. He had seen such scenarios in countless films. Protagonist sees ghost, tooth fairy, or Santa. Protagonist is consequently dismissed by friends and relatives. Protagonist is redeemed from insanity-type assumptions by unmistakable evidence of ghost, tooth fairy or Santa.

The proclamation of Boggle-playing pretzel snacks, imbued with requisite intelligence, would be met with a certain level of incredulity. Friends might perceive this as a hoax, or worse, some tragic, but natural extension of mania relating to obsession with said game. Obvious questions would be asked. Judgments, severe and friendship-threatening would be made. Isolation would ensue.

The latter thought scared him into dropping the phone. He had seen with his own eyes, the Combos brand pretzel snacks, putting pen to paper, forming words. He took the Boggle tray in hand, covering the cubes with the opaque cover. His hands trembled, causing the dice to dance and tap about the plastic interior.

He removed the cover, and observed the Combos.

“Tu” “Bu” “But” “Tub” “Ubiquitous” “Qu”

Each letter written succinctly and precisely, the “t”s crossed at identical heights, rounded at their bottom. Almost feminine, but vaguely inhuman. He stared at their shape, focusing on the curves and angles of each letter, until they lost their meaning, like glyphs, abstract little pieces of art.

“Buqui”

Remarkable, indeed. Others should know. But later. For now, he would simply watch.

(To be continued)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Unsleeping

I can't sleep. Usually I can, but tonight I can't. It's too hot in my room. My sinuses are making themselves known. The starchiness of my brand new bedding is grating against my skin. Sleep is difficult, under such circumstances. The night, squeezing it's darkness against my puffy face, reminds me of my daylight failures.

As dreams regurgitate subconscious maladies into fragmented narratives involving chases, broken teeth and bugs, so the waking night reminds me of my more extant faults. I pray jarringly little. I've let myself become angry again. I'm making lots of decisions with precious little evidence that they are the right ones.

In the darkness, alone with starchy sheets and scattered thoughts, the whole enterprise of life is unsettling. On the veneer, it is a series of appointments. Meetings at conference rooms, at my desk, at church, at church small group, at the sink etc... punctuated by joyful errata... kisses from girlfriend, financial success an outstanding favorite basketball team.

For some, the latter elements are said to make the former worth the trouble. I know in my mind that they do not. It requires a third striation, the joy that stems from the absolute confidence in the Lord, and the vindication that comes from being able to ignore the balance of work/play in favor of a more compelling story.

And yet, in the darkness, absent the errata of joy and the slavish appointments, I am reminded that my story has become less compelling. My story has become lost, my narrative meandering.

The simple answer is to chalk this up to some sort to ecclesiastical experience. I've searched the world for pleasure in all of it's prescribed venues and, having failed to find true joy, should humbly return to Godly foundations. That's the simple answer.

Yet, part of me feels as though I've searched through God and Christianity as well. That's rather unfair to God, as I've been diligently neglecting him for weeks. One does not cease to take water from a well, then curse the well for his thirst. I don't need a new well, so much as maybe a new bucket. Enough about wells.

Somewhere, somehow, I got off track. I made some unspoken compromises between faith and world. Subtle cracks in my ironclad promise to God. But I didn't know how, when or why I had made them. I can see symptoms all over the place, but can't identify the disease.

I remember being 9 years old, being unable to sleep. Then, like an envelope slipped into my thoughts, I had a notion. I was going to die. For weeks, I wrestled with this concept, alone. I brought it up to my parents, and my mother gave me some silver rock and some new-age music to listen to. Eager to find anything to assuage the heavy, souless feeling, I gave it a try. Holding the silvery stone, listening to that drivel, I felt something. It came and went, but it was something. And it was good.

I compare that feeling to what I have experienced in God. Real joy and transformation. There is part of me that says that part of the deal is over, and that I ought not to pine for it. I could just become more diligent, certainly getting more serious about prayer, perhaps perusing a Christian book every now and then, like an energy drink for my soul.

Maybe it's that simple, but I doubt it. So I'm left, in the darkness, with little envelopes of dread telling me life is short, so I'd better find a way to make better use of it.

Maybe that's why I can't sleep.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Joke Day

It's Monday, and that means it's joke day.

Joker: Knock, knock!

Jokee: Who's there?

Joker: Interrupting cow!

Jokee: Interrupting...

Joker: (throws milk in jokees face)

Jokee: See, this is why you don't have a girlfriend.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

So, here I am... In Bismarck. Yet again. I've had plenty of time to get acquainted with my hotel room. It's pretty much like all the other ones, which makes me curious about a few things.

What is with the comforters in Hotel rooms? I mean, did the Aztecs live on as a culture entirley devoted to knitting comforters for the Best Western? Every time I lay down, I feel like I'm diving into a war scroll.

Why are alarm clocks in hotel rooms so damn ridiculous? I mean, the cheap ones at Target are plenty easy to use. Do hotels pay more to have nebulous alarm clock settings? My little switch has the following options: radio, buzzer, sound (?), alarm 1, alarm 2, awake. Huh? So, I set it to "awake", and this morning I've got Starscream pointing a laser at my head, telling me it's time to do the Decepticon. Total jerk, Starscream.

In North Dakota, they have mentally-handicapped maids, in lieu of hispanic ones. That's awful to say, but is manifestly true. Every morning, it sounds like the Cocoa-puffs crow is knocking at my door... "Time to clean your bathroom, raaaak!" He is cuckoo for waking my ass up at 6:00 a.m.

Lamps in hotel rooms have these convenient little knobs at their base. This begs the question, why don't normal lamps have convenient switches at their base. Why must I spend $75 a night not to have to burn my hand on a light bulb trying to reach for some little perforated knob that is hidden by the lampshade?

The buttons on a hotel remote control are uniformly impossible to press. they have these little plastic buttons which extend about 1/2 inch into from the remote platform. All of this is intended to further faciliate the accidental ordering of pornography, I assume, but is a pain when I'm trying to catch the football game, and could care less about Bismarck community news.

Has anyone ever said "gee, this cheap print sure adds class to my hotel room,"? Probably not.

I can pee with the door open... Score...

Some hotels are doing away with Gideons Bibles. Not in Bismarck, which is sweet.

Room service is free here. There is a very valid reason for this...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I Heart Feminism

So, here I am in Bismarck, gazing at a random TV screen. It's C-span, on mute. A coalition of feminist groups is angry about everything, as usual. Some sexless, marmish old lady is making comments. Behind her a bevy of brunette, depressed college women are gazing blankly.

I'm thinking... Rough helmet, dude, rough helmet times 30.

It's probably sexist, or in some other way awful, to mock homely girls. But to see this many congregated in one place, on behalf of one particular cause. Damn.... I mean... I certainly thank God I nabbed a hot one, who is visibly not a feminist, you know???

I think the word "frumpy" must have been coined at a feminist convention.

Really, it's not as though all the liberal, Bennington-attending-type men are clamoring for these non-babes. No, they're biding their time, waiting for their careers in dolphin-training or ambulance-chasing (or, better yet, their daddy's trust-fund) to kick in before they work the dating scene.

I mean, what, John Turturro and the Elephant Man were busy? All the mule-kicking in the world couldn't explain this mess. Why, God, why?

But seriously, I'm being shallow. I should judge these women for what's on the inside. Bile, demagoguery and rage.

The cherry on top? One of the college women in the background wore a little pink t-shirt with this message:

"This is what a feminist looks like."

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Bismarck

So, I'm in Bismarck, to do battle with the wizard. I won. Here's how it all went down.

TPWK: Hey, um, how's life, Wizard?

Wizard: Nyahey! You shall not enter my fortress of Bismarck, ND.

TPWK: I was expecting this.

Wizard: In order to pass, you must answer three questions.

TPWK: Ok. I mean, don't get me wrong, this is lame, but OK.

Wizard: Who played the Title role in the 1980 classic "Ordinary People".

TPWK: Title role? I don't think there was anyone named Ordinary People in that film.

Wizard: Wrong. It was Timothy Hutton.

TPWK: Okay, I think you meant lead actor. But even that's pretty debatable. What about Mary Tyler Moore's role.

Wizard: Next question...

TPWK: So, wait, I...

Wizard: Who invented the Cotton Gin?

TPWK: Okay, you know what? (drives dagger through wizard's heart)

Wizard: ARGGGGH! You have rendered my trivia null.

TPWK: Well, that's why they call it trivia.

Wizard: So, what now? Are we cool?

TPWK: Yeah, it's just. You've been pissing me off lately.

Wizard: Was it the Bruegger's thing?

TPWK: That and others. I just think, and I've been praying about this. I'm not sure we're meant to be, you know, good friends.

Wizard: I think you're right.

TPWK: I'll be on my way.

Wizard: Okay, that's cool...

Wizard: .....

Wizard: Jackass.

TPWK: See? That's what I'm talking about.

Wizard: I know. I know. Sorry.

TPWK: ...

Wizard: I think you're right about Mary Tyler Moore.

TPWK: I'm leaving.

Wizard: So, I'm like vanquished, or whatever.

TPWK: Yeah, that's what I was thinking.

Wizard. No. That's cool. That's cool. (Dies)

TPWK: (fumbling through pocket) Quarters? When did I get quarters?

Monday, January 02, 2006

New Year's Resolutions

I'm back. It's that time of year when we all are making New Year's resolutions. So I thought to myself, "hey, much of my blog is hackneyed and uninteresting. What a perfect topic!" So, here you go...

My New Year's resolutions.

1) Try to obsess about Rebecca Pidgeon less.

2) Purchase an air ionizer, which actually turns pollution into oxygen.

3) Triangulate

4) Only watch movies after people tell me "you would LOVE this movie, it is SO you."

5) Ask same people why they continue to think that I, of all people, love teenybopper comedies starring Ben Stiller.

6) Get more serious about my writing, and start crafting more stories. Maybe even publish a novel.

7) Shut up Steve. I'm sorry for exhibiting a modicum of sincerity, instead of just looking down my nose at other people's dreams. What did you accomplish this year? You managed to get your awesome girlfriend to break up with you. Yeah, you remember, the one who even your friends like better than you. Apparently she didn't appreciate your condescension either.

8) Channel Donald Sutherland

9) Win the "Ultimate Orgeon Trail" tournament and finally shove it in (last year's winner) Rodney's face, all the while learning about the hardships suffered by western settlers.

10) Pants.

11) Learn modern rock stylings.

12) Unlearn them. Win Grammys.

13) Treat people better.

14) Not cats though. @#$% cats.

15) Live with the glimmer of possibility that this might be my last year on earth.

16) Make myself better, instead of letting everyone else pass me by.

17) Find a resolution that can make that happen.

18) Stick to it.

19) Smile.

20) Unironically.