May 30, 2005


A day filled with laughter, conversation and relaxation.
The weather cooperated, incredibly.
Guitarmanship lacked, but that was okay from all sides.
Thanks to all who added to the day.
Thanks to you who has been my friend, my supporter, my muse and my everything for so long.
You left before the jury decided that there was no metallic flavor in the fact, the jury gave their judgment with big grinning cool-whip covered faces.
I love you.

May 29, 2005

Sunday Stroll

I have a new rule which is that I will not buy cigarettes unless I walk the three blocks to the Tobacco Outlet store. Since my nicotine addiction is such that I won't do without, I figure that I'm at least getting some needed exercise. Plus, this place is much cheaper than your garden variety convenience store. Plus, my car is unreliable and it seems a shame to waste perfectly good starts on driving just up the street.
So, today, I need to walk up the street. Halfway there, it starts to rain.
At first, it was bothersome, but I soon rediscovered the joys of walking along with the smell of wet sidewalk and spring greenery hanging in the air. Eminently enjoyable.
Except the temperature dropped about 15 degrees at the same time. Not quite so pleasant as before, but, being the type of person who insists on perservering when smokes are in the offing, I plodded along.
On the way home, it started raining harder.
And then this guy pulls up alongside me wearing a polo shirt, white shorts and sandals riding a Schwinn single speed bike. He's breathing hard and starts to tell me that he rode all the way up to his bar just to find out it was closed. He said his name was Ernie. And he is openly and obviously leering at me! Now, this is a new one on me. Especially while walking along in the rain and cold. Luckily, I had a loose denim shirt on or he might have construed my chestal perkiness caused by the weather as an added invitation. I mean, I've had the look of interest, the nods and the flirting from both genders through the years, but I have never had a complete stranger approach me and ogle me so blatantly.
So, while he is raking me up and down with his hungry stare, I'm trying to steer the conversation into either a dead end or into something innocuous. No luck, so then I'm stuck trying to decide how to ditch this strangoid.
I mean,it isn't like he was all that creepy to look at or be around and he wasn't reaching over to try to fondle me or anything; it was just the penetrating stare.
"Oh, boy", I thought. "Is this another Dahmer or something?"
Anyway, he must have either taken the hint by my definite lack of interest or there was too much traffic on the road for him to do anything dastardly so he finally kicked up his pedals, called "See ya around" and pedalled off. I made sure he was down the road quite aways before turning onto my side street since I have no plans to see him around.
And the moral of the story, people, is that smoking will not only make you wet and cold, but will also attract the weirdos that are in the vicinity.

May 25, 2005


I am speechless.
Totally without speech.
Another Seinfeld episode tonight that I have not seen before.
Did I just miss a whole season through year after year of reruns?
How is this possible?
And this one was pretty good.
Wonder if I can make this a trifecta tomorrow?

In other news updates, remember that dead fish along the sidewalk (if not, read several posts further down)?
Today it had a business card from a Realty company stuck underneath it. Not all the way, just the edge of the card was lodged under the back spine of the rotting aquatic beastie.
Did the card blow there and through some quirky circumstance get stuck that way? Or is this a new form of guerilla marketing from hungry real estate agents? If so, I doubt this method will do their bottom line much good...

Also, I drove to work with the sunroof open today. Beautiful morning.
Until I got into the parking lot where I normally park under a small tree growing at the edge of the macadam. A small bird took it upon itself at that moment to let loose with a dab of excrement which (you see this already, dontcha) fell through the damn sunroof right onto the lid of my travelmug of coffee.
Needless to say, I was caffeine lessened today.

May 24, 2005

Life's surprises are to be savored

I have watched Seinfeld for, well, what is it now, fifteen years? An avid fan, actually. To my embarassment, favorite lines still crop up regularly in my everyday conversation.
Imagine my surprise tonight, then, to find an episode that I have never seen before!
I can now die complete.

Too bad it wasn't one of their best efforts...

May 23, 2005

Here I go...

Just applied on line for a part time job to help through the financial nastiness that has become my current lifestyle.
And the questions are more ridiculous, personal and intense than any other job I have ever applied to! Keep in mind that this is a part time position for evenings and weekends and not exactly at a skill level that puts humankind in danger.
Here are some prime examples:
In the past five years, what is the total dollar amount of money or merchandise you have taken from all of your previous employers?
Umm...none? Duh.
Have you been involved in any shoving matches or fistfights at work in the last two years?
Wow...does, say, 5 years ago count?
In previous jobs, how many days were you late for work in an average month?
So, are you looking for or eliminating potential employees?
In the past 30 days, have you used any illegal drug, such as LSD, marijuana, speed, crack, heroin, etc. while at work or away from work?
Not knowingly....

So, my question is: given the level of employment here, what are they looking for? Obviously, something above the 'dregs of society'? I just seemed overly intrusive considering that it is unskilled labor that I was able to perform flawlessly 30 years ago.
Maybe I am just too sensitive....

May 21, 2005

I didn't know I was allergic to music...

Started out the night with riding my bike over to a friend's house so we could jam on guitar for a bit. We're looking at being buskers downtown for lack of any other musical venue to latch upon. Figures that my first bike ride of the season would be a marathon-esque affair that would leave me gasping at the end. But, I made it without having to resort to a stranger's CPR ministrations.
The night evolved until we found ourselves at a dive bar that actually was playing some pretty good music.
One of the most hideous songs came on. "Islands in the Stream" - Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.
I almost screamed like a girl.
I did plug my ears as best I could, told the folks I was with that I couldn't handle this and fled from the establishment. They were done drinking there anyway, so followed me out quickly. But it was unnerving that it took such a little thing to drive me out of a public venue (if this place could even be called a venue).

In other news....
There has been a dead fish and an uninflated black balloon on the sidewalk that I transverse everyday to get to work for a month now.
It has become somewhat reassuring that they are there everyday.
But still somewhat disturbing. Even the carrion fowl have neglected the free meal that the fish would provide. And the black balloon? Who the fuck knows?
I wonder daily how long these will stay there. Is there no sidewalk sweeping patrol that takes care of this stuff? Am I destined to slowly watch this fish deteriorate to nothingness? Should I pick up the balloon, stuff the fish into it and throw the whole baliwick away?
I dunno.

May 18, 2005


I live in a very pc community. And this week, true to form, is "Bike To Work" week.
I am not participating. When queried as to why not, I respond with "Well, I smoke" and then shrug as if that should end the conversation. It usually does.
I did actually consider joining the pedalling throng but decided that without any preparation I would probably kick off from a heart attack halfway here and run off the bike path into the fringes of the lake where my body wouldn't be found until July.
But today, I saw the shallowest thing I have seen in a long time.
A guy pulled into the parking lot where I house my vehicle during the day, parked, pulled a bike out of the back of his Explorer and proceeded to nonchalantly crank his way the three blocks up the hill to downtown.
It is entirely possible that he was biking through downtown to somewhere else, but the circumstantial evidence shoots this theory down.

Technology loses things along the way

So yesterday I bought a can of V8. Not a plastic bottle with the screw cap, but an old fashioned metal can of the stuff.
I'm not sure why. Resealing it is impossible and you can't shake it before pouring (well, you can, but it sloshes contents indiscriminately).
And there is one more most important downside to buying in this way: you need an old fashioned churchkey type can opener to access the interior of the container!
And I didn't have one anywhere in any of my utensil caches.
Oh, I had my swiss army knife which has a can opener on it, but it creates a small slit instead of the larger (and smoother pouring) triangular shaped puncture.
I finally had to go to the garage and rummage through the camping gear in a desperate gamble that I would have thrown one in there. Luckily, I had indeed had the forethought to do so.
Way too much activity and stress for early morn.

May 17, 2005

Wacky night with fire

Last time I dealt with fire (not the campground type or the Bic type), I was at a local high school football game and came home to find my residence surrounded by smoke and frantic activity.
Tonight, I'm at the high school for my daughter's spring concert. 30 seconds after the concert was over, the fire alarms went off.
Let me just add here that it has been a very long time since I have had to deal with a fire drill in a primary education setting.
First thought was that the custodial staff pulled the alarm so they could get everyone out of there sooner so they could go home.
But the alarm didn't turn off; what an obnoxious noise it was, too! (I suppose it was designed that way, huh?)
Anyway, we all filed outta there just the way you are supposed to: no running or pushing, just calmly take yourself outside. Good thing the adults took at least that out of their own early years.
First sign of real trouble was a custodian holding open the doors to an alternative hallway yelling at people that they could also go that way, but to "Hurry up and get out of here!"
Once outside it was not long before the fire trucks showed up. And, I thought I was getting whiffs of smoke.
But I'm not sure what actually transpired...when I left, there were four fire trucks there and they showed no signs of leaving anytime soon.
Guess I have to watch the news tonight to find out.
My oldest might be happy, though, if she doesn't have school tomorrow; there, I imagine, might be the silver lining.

May 13, 2005


I have no idea why I'm so tired.
But after 2 this afternoon, I absolutely knew that I would wake up at some point with blocked QWERTY imprinted on my forehead.
I'll be lucky to make it through Comedy Central Stand Up this evening.
And here I was all set (this morning, anyway) to finally get to the studio to write a drum track or two for the new tunes.
Ah well....the weekend beckons.

May 11, 2005

yet another audi story

So I am sitting in the parking lot of Tobacco Outlet (I know, I vices always catch up with me) and I'm attempting to start my car for the journey home. The key, however, just dead-ends at the end of its turning radius without engaging the starter. Usually, there is a spring tension at the end of the keystroke where the 'starting zone' is, but now there is nothing. I am able to quickly deduce that I have a bad ignition switch.
So, I spend the next two hours in that parking lot ripping apart the dashboard trying to get at the starter switch. After being able to access it, I then can pull the wiring harness off the back of it and begin the journey called 'hot-wiring'. Audi doesn't make this easy.
Eventually, after another hour of cussing and sparking, I come up with the combination of jumper wires that finally gets it started. I feel like McGuiver! I drive home.
So now tonight, I have to cobble a starter button tapped into the electrical of the switch. The key will still be needed to get power to the right places (instead of the jumper wires), but then the button will crank the engine over.
This may actually fix my prior hard start problem as well. I can only hope for such a bonus...

May 9, 2005

My next-door neighbor

The lady who lives in the apartment building next door to me is very nice, but a tad strange. She spends many evenings outdoors pulling weeds, cutting sod to make room for small gardens and essentially beautifying the landscape.
But she is renting!
I applaud her efforts in making the most of her domain. And, tonight, she extolled the virtues of cutting away the large trees that threaten the very foundations of the apartment building where lives in.
But...when she walks, she doesn't swing her arms! There was a Seinfeld episode that latched onto this very thing which I always think of whenever I see her out in the yard. And it is disconcerting, to say the least.
It seems seems unnatural.
How can a person walk with their arms hanging at their side like dead weight? Gawky - that's the word for it.
It takes all kinds in the world. I am accepting of them all (or, so I like to think), but....

May 6, 2005

I live in a land of sunshine

I love thunderstorms.
So, I wait expectantly every winter for this time of the year - early spring when the cumulonimbus pile up to the stratosphere and release their magnificent energies for my personal enjoyment.
Imagine my disappointment annually, then, when these storms rage around me except in a radius of 2 miles centered on my residence!
Sure, it rains locally...sometimes very hard. And, from afar, I can hear the thunder and see the lightening creasing the darkening gloom.
But most of the time, the skies are much lighter here. Sometimes even (as tonight) sunny while the clouds bunched up in a circle around me.
Rainbows are popular in my skies. You'd think I was a CareBear or something. Sheesh.

May 5, 2005

a social work out

The company I work for is a sponsor of the local rep theater troupe and tonight was the opening night of their last production of the season. I was able to comp a ticket for it and was looking forward to seeing 'dirty Blonde' - a humorous romp based on the life of Mae West.
As part of the festivities, we were supplying decadent chocolate from a local chocolatier and varied selections from a local wine shop. When I got to the venue, the sweets were there, but not the wine (much to my dismay!). Shortly, though, two cases of various vintages arrived and the theater patrons were anxiously awaiting the chance to slake their thirst.
But nobody thought to bring a corkscrew.
Luckily, I, as always, had my handy-dandy Swiss army knife in my pocket which has a small corkscrew as one of the required utensils. It is not, however, meant to be a serious means of broaching many bottles. I think I opened 22 bottles with it; not smoothly, either - to pop the cork with this thing, you have to twist it in, grasp the bottle with one hand as well as between your thighs and heave mightily. Even then, chances are good that the cork will break in half since the screw is much shorter than your standard garden variety suburban corkscrew - let alone the cork. I can categorically state that the new-fangled faux corks are much more difficult to pull!
But we got them all out and I am now lauded as a hero with my coworkers.
And, as an extra added bonus, the play was quite good. It had a bit of everything...some pathos, a lot of laughter ("You are my friend - I wouldn't care if you fuck your cat!"), a great leading lady who had the Mae West persona down cold ("When choosing between two evils, I pick the one I haven't tried yet") and even a boob shot a la Janet Jackson (though I think this wardrobe malfunction was a planned event).
All in all, a well rounded and enjoyable evening.

early morning funeral

One of the kid's gerbils died overnight.
Not the best of things to discover first thing in the morning.
It made it through a lot over the last 3 years...being terrorized by the cat at times, living through the fire and being forced into a gay relationship due to the amorous attentions bestowed on it by the other male gerbil (since they are caged, does that mean I was condoning penitentiary love?).
No more.
I expect the other one to pine away and go soon now as well since his roommate/lover is deceased. And I refuse to procure a more rodents!

May 4, 2005

and another weirdness

I was sitting out on my front deck this evening (after breaking in, of course - see below), smoking yet another in the long line of cigarettes to get me to the 4 pack a day level so I can feel like I actually have recently accomplished something, when a traveling salesman showed up at my door.
He said he was from Kirby Vacuum and he held a small Dustbuster size vacuum in his hand.
Now, first of all, I didn't know that any vacuum manufacturers were still selling door to door. Secondly, Kirby, being the defacto standard of bulletproof sucking machinery didn't seem the sort of company that would deign to sell a wimpy little version of itself.
I politely declined the free shampoo (of the carpet, of course) and cleaning of one room to prove their worth and sent the amiable lad on his way.
Question: Could this possibly be legit?
Where I live, door-to-door political activists are expected and even encouraged. But the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Vacuum/Fuller Brush sales types are viewed down the end of the nose as being nuisancy at best.
Ah well, it's not like anyone could abscond with much if he was, indeed, casing the joint. Besides, I already broke into my place once today...what are the chances of a second break-in on the same day?

The idiocy continues...

I am becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy...of my own stupidity.
Today, I stop at home after work and gather some postal-bound documents. I know have to be quick to ensure that I make the last pickup time. I have the car key in my hand - it is separate and an extra dating from the days when I had to lock the car while running since it wouldn't restart easily - and I close the door to the apartment. As I hear the snick of the lock, I realize that my other keys are laying on the table just inside the door.
"Oh, damn!" I chide myself.
But, I have to run to get to the drop box, so I do.
Upon my return, I spent the next 30 minutes breaking into my place. I had the garage door opener, so I was able to access my domain that far. But the door to the house proper was locked.
Interestingly enough, I have 6 different key rings laying in my toolbox in the garage. So I tried them all and discovered that not only won't they open the door to the house, but I have absolutely no idea what any of these keys fit.
I finally was able to jimmy the door lock with a knife blade and get in.
If I was a professional, I would have been able to get into the place in about...oh....three seconds or so. I think I'd better investigate a better deadbolt or something.
I wait expectantly for this wretched week to be completed.

May 3, 2005

Some things I have learned recently

1) Sometimes it is not the squeaky wheel that should get the grease. Sometimes it should be the insidious sneaky hidden wheel that is waiting in the eaves to sneak up on you and demand the grease after you have just ran out (because of the squeaky ones)

2) No matter how many times you hear paternal terms like 'Founding Fathers' or hear our current leader extolling his 'compassionate conservatism', the government doesn't really care anything about you, what your life is like or what kind of problems you face on a day to day basis.

3) All right, I actually already knew #2, but it has recently been reiterated.

4) Bad things don't always necessarily happen in threes. Quite often, they can erupt in a barrage of multiples of threes!

5) Audis might be a prime example of fine German engineering, but they are still a major bitch to work on.

6) is an extremely frightening example of personal information retrieval gone mad.

7) Life dies...and then you suck.

May 2, 2005

Wanna know what kind of idiot I am?

Yesterday (and this should have been a portent of the way today was going to go), I had finished cooking and was cleaning up the kitchen. After wiping off the stove, I wanted to check if the front burner which I had been using was still too hot to put the burner cover back over it.
So, with my private internalized audience sucking in its collective breath with disbelief, I actually put the entire palm of my left hand on the fucking burner. Ordinarily, this wouldn't have been a problem, but I had neglected to turn the burner off in the first place!
I am such a complete moron. And now a moron without any distinguishing left palm print characteristics.
I should just be shot and hung up in the shed to dry.

I'm glad I enjoy reading.

Woke up at 1:30. Couldn't get back to sleep, so finaly decided to read to assist the road back to slumber.
Four hours later, a book is finished, no additional sleep was enjoyed and it is now time to arise.
This is going to be a very long day, indeed.

May 1, 2005

Plumber in a thong...

A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I were out at a local watering hole (and when I say hole, I really mean it - this place is an old dive that has the market on kitsch. But they do have Shiner Bock on tap for $1.75 a pint, so it makes it well worth the ambiance or lack thereof...)
Anyway, while we were sitting there enjoying our libations and listening to the collection of Celtic musicians wail out their one and only song (which lasts for hours...musicians come and go but the song stays the same), two women walked in. They were obviously dressed for a night out so it was surprising that they walked into this place. They found seats at the bar and a couple minutes later my friend starts laughing and tells me to turn around and take a look.
Well, while sitting, one of the woman's jeans had ridden halfway down her ass. I realize that this is considered hip and trendy if the girl is wearing a thong and this one wasn't!! So much for high fashion in Madison.
We started joking and I interjected that maybe she was a plumber since she had the look down. We continued to comment (discretely, of course) and wound up the evening not too much later.
The problem is that the phrase 'Plumber in a thong' stuck in my head and I cannot clear it from rumbling around in my subconscious. If you say the words right, they make a pretty good syncopated rhythmic structure. So, of course, I had to write a songs about it.
But, I'm stuck. I got the first verse and the chorus done, but have nowhere to go with it from here. Meanwhile, the damn phrase is stuck like a phono needle on a scratched 45 in my lower cognitive functions.
I guess I have to keep working on it or go crazy trying.