Sunday, December 31, 2006
Saturday, December 30, 2006
- Go Angry Filberts!
- I'm taking partial responsibility in successfully fulfilling my job as Dead Weight.
- I only wear shoes that rule. In case you were wondering.
- This is where I always baaa quietly to myself.
- I'm sure it has seen things that I would rather not ever see without a cleansing frontal lobotomy…
- Those shoes are mine, betch.
- Kind of like forced interpretive dance, with only one of us knowing the steps.
- The Bloody Stump
- Dammit, and damn their fascist rules.
- Almighty Father, please stop making jerks. Amen.
- I walked away slowly, so as not to look too delicious...
- Sub-elite level cyclist.
- It’s garbage day, Frozen Pizza Boy.
- I’m a slow reader. But jolly. Okay, I’m not jolly.
- Drew to Dean, whose head is wrapped in a wet scarf: Is that cool?
- Dean: If by "cool," you mean, "awesome."
- Oscar Pereiro trying to answer journalists' questions in English: ("I...[unintelligible]...go faster...[unintelligible garble]...zen I hear...Floyd garble garble...[long pause]...[unintelligible] yallow jersey...sank you").
- My son is a vicious pirate.
- Hear me now and believe me later. George Hincapie will win the Tour.
- I have been training for the weekend by wearing an underwire bra for two days in a row.
- "I am about to fall asleep in the most hostile way."
- I apologize for continuing to publish posts that I feel compelled to apologize for.
- My friends, I give you the Visayan Warty Pig. Gaze not too long, lest ye lose all hope of matching such beauty with thine own humble visage.
- I love children. I believe that children are the future. I just don’t like the way they act, sound, or smell.
- "Each pig, dressed in a numbered bib, was carried squealing into the arena for each event."
- Phrase of the week: dysfunctional douche-nozzles
- Viva los oysters el nudo!
- No, don't call me pathetic. How about "rather troubled but dealing with it quite bravely"?
- “The wettest month since (whatever)!” “Flooding in (everywhere with a river)!)”
- But if you played me one of those 60’s happy-sunshine songs right now, I would seriously slug you.
- My oven has a button that says "Stop Time." I haven't tried it yet.
- That said, walking into American Apparel is – well, it’s a cross between Term Project Day at Home Ec class and a look at the first clothing shop to open after a Mad Max-like apocalypse where the only thing left is one sterno-powered sewing machine and a truck full of jersey fabric, hijacked after being mistaken for a load of hooch.
- It’s not quite jersey weather in the Great Northwest. It’s tarp weather.
- The rest of the day, I walked around like somebody trying not to wake a panther sleeping on her head (a panther that has a tendency to be cross when wakened).
- This is Janice “Storm Saxon” McTracy, signing off and heading for the tub.”
Friday, December 29, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
A dragonfly that sat on my walkway for a while and posed for me.
A good reason never to wear this hat again.
Maryhill winery. Almost heaven. Columbia Gorge.
If Heather's stare isn't enough to scare the competition, get Dean. He will maim you with his steely gaze. Hey, you in the national champion jersey. You're going down.
Yeah. Summer. Good times.
Ho. ho. ho.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I'm aiming for 5:00. That means I'll get there by 6, and still have to sit in the back.
Ooh, I should remember to sit over on the right side where the signing line begins. I'm guessing that will mean that I'll get trampled by everyone else fighting for a spot in line, and someone will stand on my foot, and then I'll slink out in a quiet huff.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
- Plastic luminarias. Luminarias are cool only because they're incredibly dangerous. Brought to us by those safety experts south of the border, the original design calls for paper bags with candles inside, held down by a little sand. Awesome! Now they are making them out of electric bulbs and plastic. Take the danger away and you have a pretend paper bag. Paper bags are not pretty. And if you live in a region that does not have cacti, it's double silly. Do not ever use these.
- Half-way-up tree lighting. If you have a humongous tree in your yard, congratulations. Trees are great. But do not try to put lights on it if you cannot reach the top. The lit-up outline of the bottom half of your tree is not attractive.
- Large inflated decorations. Unless you want your neighborhood to look like a strip mall. These are the worst examples of Wal-Mart globalization and unnecessary gobs of petroleum by-products that will surely end up in the landfill after a half-hearted try at trying to dry them out enough to box them up for next year. Those who manage to box them up will undoubtedly pull out a wad of deadly black mildew next December, so they are just delaying the inevitable. And what is the deal with the one below? What is Santa trying to do? And where are his pants? And why is there a carousel inside an igloo? Wouldn't this scare eskimo children? Steer clear.
- Colored "icicles." Bizarre.
- Laura Bush. Do not try to put Laura Bush in your Christmas decorations. It will just bum people out. I feel sorry for her. I bet George never listens to her.
- Mixing messages. I love nativity scenes. But not if they include Santa, reindeer or snowmen. Let's keep some separation of church and greed.
- Excess. There is no such thing as an excess of Christmas decorations.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
The restaurant's sprinkler system put the fire out.
There's an uglier, less amusing side to this story, but I like the dumb parts better.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Here's my student visa circa May of 1982. It seems I remember ripping up my driver's license to get a picture for it. Another example of how well prepared I was for this trip.
Here I am with Drew, panicking inside while I wait for my flight to Germany via British Airways. You could say I look white as a sheet, but I always do, so it's hard to tell... My most vivid memory of the flight? The headcheese. Mmmm, British cuisine...
Here is the view outside of my Frankfurt hotel. You probably can't tell from here, but those are naked ladies on the posters in the window. The professionals in the doorway have more clothes on this morning then they did the night before. The schoolchildren are trying to get gum out of the gum machine. At least I thought that was a gum machine. On second thought, I'm not so sure.
Friday, December 01, 2006
My nose has been stuffy, so I have been taking Sudafed, which is the only thing that works without putting me to sleep. Just the opposite, in fact.
Unfortunately, my personal Sudafed side affect has been heightened to an extreme degree lately that I have had to give it up.
When I try to sleep after taking Sudafed during the day, my mind will go into an endless loop of whatever was in my head when I went to bed. This used to last a few hours, but this week it has gone on all night.
If you have read this blog before, you might guess that my last thought will inevitably be some sort of worry, real or imagined. Last night I tried to derail the unwanted thoughts by trying to construct a blog post about a time in Germany twenty-four years ago. Turns out a lot of it is gone now. Which is a pity because it was a good story and you would have gotten a kick out of it.
Here’s what I remember.
When I was a sophomore in college, I was invited to participate in a guinea-piggy program of immersion language study through a partnership program between the University of Oregon and Universität Tűbingen (founded in 1477, newbies) in Tubingen, Germany (Deutschland for you Deutsche sprechers).
Since we were the first group of students to be offered this program, it was soon clear that they had not worked out all the kinks yet. First, they did not arrange for travel to and from the program. It was left to the students to transport themselves to a pick-up spot in Stuttgart. This is akin to telling kindergartners to meet you up at the zoo for the class field trip. We scattered. Some spent a month wandering through the Mediterranean before the program started, some came into Germany early to hang out in the beer halls of Munich, and some just went to Berlin to heckle the (pre-glasnost) East Germans. I, being a small and timid creature, made arrangements to land in Frankfurt and be at the Stuttgart rendezvous about three days later. By myself.
Second, it was soon clear that the professors from Tubingen University had expected students with a better grip on the language than those sent to them. Our group all had two solid semesters of first-year German under our belt. That means we were still working out why the hell every noun had to be feminine, masculine, or “neuter.” Actually, I’m still not over that. But still, we could barely say “Ich liebe dich” without giggling.
I remember being completely shocked when, as I was in the Frankfurt airport trying to figure out how to get a rail ticket into town out of a vending machine, a well-meaning Ger-man told me that the machine was “kaput.” You mean they really say “kaput?” The thought would have been hilarious if I hadn’t been so terrified.
Cut to a small, frightened creature trudging through the streets of Frankfurt, looking for Moselstrasse (Mosel Street), where my well-meaning mom had booked a room in the Hotel Ambassador through her local travel agent (sight unseen, oooooobviously). It sounds like a likely place for young international travelers, right?
Turns out it wasn’t.
It was getting dark. I finally asked a nice policeman to direct me to the Ambassador Hotel on Moselstrasse. He gives me a very odd look, asks if I really want to go there. I say yes. He gives me directions and tells me to hurry before it gets dark, because it’s not a very nice neighborhood. Oops. Well, I’m committed. Off I trudge.
It was once a very grand hotel. Not so much by the time I walked in. I was smack dab in the middle of Frankfurt’s red light district. Working girls were lined up on the street and posed in second story windows. Windows without hos had x-rated pictures in them.
For a small, easily frightened girl from Vernonia, Oregon, it was too, too much. But it was dark, I was tired, my duffle weighed a ton, and I was here. I checked in, declined a ride up in the elevator with some leering men, spend my last bit of energy tugging my duffle up the stairs, had a private panic in my room, and went to bed.
In the morning, school children with little school book packs were marching past the naked-lady pictures in the windows on the way to school, and a few of the working girls were now lounging in doorways, wishing them a good day. I snapped a picture and went down to breakfast. Which was delicious.
The rest of the semester was slightly less panicky.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
Saturday, November 25, 2006
This year, I hosted dessert night with folks who had been stuffed elsewhere, and were able to come up here, put their tootsies up and unwind with treats and booze.
I highly recommend it.
And the leftovers were more fun.
Final Note: the Ducks have disappointed me once again. Story of my life.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
- Spent too much money on clothes without (a) stepping inside a mall, (b) buying anything stiff or itchy, or (c) trying on a bra.
- Allowed Dean to introduce me to a new chocolate shop in town. So trendy there is no sign. So small we had to wait outside to fit in and there were only three people in the shop. So good you could literally go blind. 150 proof. Like the Everclear of chocolate.
- Went 30 miles out of my way to get my hair fixed by a genius. A savior of small-haired heads. Thank God for Sherry.
- Took Dean and Jenny out for lunch. They are funny. And fun.
- Walked the dogs without getting wet.
- Created a new mascott for a school based on the successful "Buckeye" notion. I just have to find a school to adopt it. Go Angry Filberts!
Here are the bad parts about Saturday:
- I spent too much money (bad piggy).
- I let a sunny day go by without raking leaves (bad piggy).
- I had to look in the dressing room mirror a lot (piggy piggy).
- The Ducks lost. Crap.
Here are the good parts about Sunday:
- Hung around at a doggy gift shop helping a photographer take Christmas-themed pictures of doggies. It was a Humane Society fund raiser.
- Met two bull dogs, two Shih Tzus, one mini poodle, one Leon De something-or-other, one Irishesque Setter, one mutt, one Cocker Spaniel, and a Jack Russell Terrier.
- Got my dogs' pictures taken (couldn't help it).
Here are the bad parts about Sunday:
- I had to drive out to padonkadonkville twice to go to this doggy boutique, and I had Drew's red-light mojo really bad. (Once to pull the morning shift as photographer's assistant, and once more in the afternoon to bring the dogs out to be models.)
- As usual, the Humane Society panicked and booked twice as many volunteer helpers as required, so we all got to stand around a lot.
- The Seahawks lost. Crap.
How was your weekend?
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Party girls are a subgenus of the species Girlus People Readerus, who I am sure you would recognize if I pointed out one to you: holds down a job, but works in order to afford shoes and happy hour, loves whichever soap opera her friends love, and goes to the mall in packs.
The particular party girl I was virtually standing on would often pick up her blackberry and text away with a someone. I'm sure I would have paid more attention to the messages if (a) I wasn't watching a football game, and (b) I had known the content earlier. When I finally looked closely enough to read, this is what her friend had just sent:
"Just bought a Michael Jackson CD - Man in the Mirror gets me every time."
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Worry about whether I survived picking up a 200-pound retired roller derby bruiser when she fell from the (really steep) seats above and behind us onto Drew and nearly caused a domino effect all the way to the field (sort of a wave gone horribly, vertically wrong). Somehow she landed on her back, so I had to grab her around the shoulders and heave her back to a standing position like Dracula coming out of his coffin.
She survived with her beer still firmly in hand.
My shoulder is a little sore, but otherwise I am fine. I fully expected it to happen. I always sit behind the drunkest, foulest-mouthed houligan in the stadium. Who knew this time it would be a 50-year-old woman from St. Louis?
The game was the best kind: close but with a happy ending.
Maurice Morris gets no respect.
Monday, November 13, 2006
It didn't turn out as grimly as you might assume. Although I thought our friend might have a stroke when we helpfully pointed it out.
More excitement later.
Deadly. And cool. Icy cool.
Friday, November 10, 2006
We also have tickets to see some exhibition of dead people with no skin on. More on that later.
Off we go to the Only Place On Earth Wetter Than Here.
More wisdom later.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Just wanted to update you on the dangers of eating live alligators.
P.S.: Santorum goes down!
Monday, November 06, 2006
Drew's vertigo is sticking to him like a smirk on Bush. I would feel more empathy if he at least looked sick. Or barfed once in a while, even if it was just for my benefit.
Unfortunately, it is one of those silent non-killers that just makes him feel like somebody blindfolded him and made him twirl around. It can be mildly entertaining at times, but those times are too far apart to make it worth my while.
Meanwhile, this is one of the things that happened:
We had a bird riot in our back yard yesterday when the rain storm pulled all the leaves off the grape vines, and the little neighborhood birds (don't ask me which kinds - that part of my education has been completely neglected) realized that there were grapes hanging underneath. It was a full-blown grape-pulling-off and hopping-around and snarfing-away orgy for a couple hours, until one doofus (you know the type), after overimbibing in overripe grapes flew directly into the picture window and turned instantly into a dead bird.
This put such a damper on the festivities that the rest of the birds just left with those bogus excuses that you always get when a party starts circling the drain.
Even after we disposed of the corpse, the birds refused to come back and finish the grapes. They had obviously learned their lesson about the dangers of grape eating and flying (unlike we humans), and swore off them for good.
The grapes are still bird free today. Weird.
It has rained two and a half inches today alone, probably the same yesterday and tomorrow. There is flooding here and there, but we live on a hill. No worries. Well, no flooding worries.
More wisdom later.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Although logic would dictate that I then remove the pirate pumpkin from the bathroom, and I haven't actually done that yet.
I kind of like it there now.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
I haven't convinced Scotty to model his "Lil Devil" costume yet. He will need more convincing. But when he does, you will be needing that, too, I'm pretty sure.
Monday, October 23, 2006
A good call, because my gas tank was dry. Too dry to make it to Oregon. I would have been one of those losers on the side of the 5, hoofing it to the nearest gas station. Of course, filling my tank would be less scary after a fiasco like that. Or more scary.
Hard to say.
Anyway, you can continue with your regularly scheduled anxieties in progress.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
He started barfing in earnest yesterday evening while at work. More specifically, at a car fire.
I got to drive him, dizzy, nauseous, barfy, and moaning, (he was moaning, not me), to the ER. He was so dizzy he couldn't walk straight, so I got to push him around in a wheelchair, while trying not to make it, you know, move, because motion made him vomit.
In the ER, he got a 12-lead, an IV, valium, and anti-nausea pills. A whole bag of IV fluid. Drip, drip, drip. I read a six-month-old copy of Glamour. If you could see me, you would know how much I might thoroughly enjoy reading something entitled "Glamour." But now I know how to keep my nails looking nice longer between manicures. There was a TV in the room, but it was behind me, and showing some true-crime show about how bad it is to kill somebody.
This morning I used my last eyedropper full of gas to fill Drew's new prescriptions for Valium and two anti-nausea pills. One of the anti-nausea pills is some high-powered super-pill they give to chemo patients that cost $295.00 to the uninsured. $295.00! Good God! What do the uninsured do?
It's frightening. Gosh, wouldn't have fixing the national health care insurance crisis have been a super way to spend hundreds of billions of dollars, instead of invading a country with a lame-ass dictator with no credible ties to terrorism and no WMDs?
Ah, well. Live and learn. Or invade and learn. Or invade and dissemble. Whatevs.
Now I have no gas and my gas putter-inner is out of commission. This is serious because my gas-putting-in-phobia is worse than my telephone-o-phobia.
If I'm in luck, I have enough to get to the border so that I can get it filled by professionals in Oregon (thank you, Oregon, and your archaic gas-filling-by-professionals-only laws!).
More phobias later.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Craig and I, we're like this (finger thing). Whenever I'm in town, I stop by his show. I've got a VIP card I could show you if you think I'm fibbing.
Of course, just to keep it real, we line up with all the other audience members on the benches outside the CBS "Television City" studios, and you know, go through the metal detector and everything. They wave me through even though I set it off like I'm smuggling Emmys under my blouse.
Then the littlest producer comes out and begs us to pretend that we are actually several more people because they are shy a few audience members tonight. He says that his job is on the line, and we are the only ones who can keep him from ending up as an extra on The Price Is Right.
Did I tell you that for several blocks around the CBS studios, tourists walk around with their The Price Is Right name tags on their shirts? They don't take them off after the show. They just keep them on like suburban middle schoolers with ski lift tickets hanging from their coats. I find it endearing.
Where was I? Oh, yes. Saving Craig Ferguson's littlest producer from failure.
After we assure him that we will take up the slack, the audience warmer-upper, a fellow by the name of, oh, I forget. Something about Pudgy. Or Tubby. Let's call him Derwent.
So Derwent comes out and tells us some rather elderly jokes, but he seems like a nice enough fellow, and we don't want to make him feel bad, so we laugh heartily. When Derwent is satisfied that we indeed have the mechanics of laughter down pat, we allow ourselves to be herded into the studio. This is where I always baaa quietly to myself. This is also where another producer eyes each audience unit and seats them according to beauty. That's why we were in the third row. Hmmmm.... They probably just figured that in the front row, we would be too distracting.
Derwent comes back to remind us to be loud and laugh heartily. We agree.
Guests that night were: Tim Daly, hoping we would watch his show The Nine. Not likely. David Cross, hoping we would watch his Comedy Central show Freakshow. More likely. And Billy Bragg, who sung a song about stupid people with smart bombs. My kind of rabble rouser.
Craig Ferguson was as funny and Scottish as always, bless his heart. We waved. He nodded. In our general direction. Wouldn't want to be too ostentatious. Lovely. Quite lovely.
We filed out with the riff-raff. I baaaed once more. I was given a VIP card. I plan on having it laminated.
We ended the evening by walking around a Disneyesque shopping center nearby that had its own trolley even though it was no bigger than four square blocks, speakers in the bushes playing Sinatra, and male models posing at the entrance to Abercrombie and Fitch. Apparently abdominal muscles attract shoppers like chocolate attracts, well, fatter shoppers.
Wretched excess makes me wretch. We booked it for the track in South Central, where we felt more at home.
We'll be back, Craig Ferguson! As soon as we can figure out how to do it without having to drive through LA.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
I fell asleep during the game once, but Dean helpfully called and woke me up so that I could watch the Ducks finish off the Bruins.
Not sorry I missed last week's game against Cal. Heard it was ugly.
No more ugly. More happy! Jump and bump against a yellow O, rampant in a field of green!
Now back to playing dead. The cat is beginning to meow.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
These days I can only convince myself I am thin by sidling up to an actual walrus. And walruses are hard to come by this far upstream.
Two instances back-to-back have nearly ruined my appetite.
Yesterday, I downloaded the pictures from our LA trip onto the computer, and noticed one of me, which looks like a small head perched on top of a large, shapeless pile of laundry.
Then, this morning, in my cold-drug-addled bleariness, I did not shield myself properly from the sight of my own backside. Oh, the horror.
Something must be done.
Something besides cutting down on food.
Where's a good witch's potion when you need one?
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Then I picked several bushels (if bushels are the size of Home Depot buckets) of grapes from the back yard, washed and de-stemmed them, and began making them into grape jelly until I collapsed in a quivering mass of phlegm, requiring me to put the rest in the fridge for when I am safely tucked back into my cloud of Benadryl, Sudafed, Claritin and Pinot Grigio.
Here's Dean last week in LA at the moment he realized he no longer had The Cold, and had passed it safely on to me. I would post some action photos of the races, but it turns out I'm a lousy action photographer, especially when my son is involved, and people have been landing face down on other people's handle bars all night.
More wisdom later.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Saturday, September 30, 2006
My pinot gris-swilling, 400-threat-count-sheet-needing, soaking-tub-loving, privacy hoarding self is going to stumble into the team van tomorrow morning (can you locate the team van in this picture?) at Oh Dark Thirty with Dean, Drew and the team manager, and we will begin to haul ourselves and approximately $30,000 worth of specialty bike equipment down to Carson, California to watch Dean and Norene and the rest of the Rubicon team kick ass at the National Track Cycling Championships.
People laugh when they say I'm riding down in the team van. I understand it has a pretty shady (read smelly) history. I'm sure it has seen things that I would rather not ever see without a cleansing frontal lobotomy. But I want to go. Dean is riding really fast, and barring any unforeseen hip fractures, should do well.
Even though my presence is not exactly an omen of success. Even though I would buy valium out of a grocery cart in front of a pawn shop right now, thinking about the 18-hour drive and subsequent freak-out festival that is watching velodrome cycling. (That would be me freaking out, not the riders. They are usually cool as cucumbers as they donate their skin to the surface of the track.) Oh, and the return 18-hour drive.
So wish Dean luck. And book me a massage.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
- If you put a doggy flotation vest on your wedding registry, be prepared to suffer the consequences long-term.
- If you plan to wear a long, filmy veil, you might think twice about an outdoor venue in a very windy part of town. Although it makes a cute moment when your dad has to fetch your veil out of a nearby tree.
- You get extra wedding points if your names sound cute together.
- Bicycle racers tend to stretch the bounds of wedding fashion close to, but not past, the breaking point. Although what is allowed of bicycle racers (retro martini-age gear including white shoes and belt) should not be attempted by members of the General Public.
- Despite what you may think, you can get a brew pub, which makes highly regarded artisan beers, to serve Bud Light to your guests.
- Wedding bands are a musical sub-set that should be admired much more than they are. First, they play soft Norah Jones tunes while everybody ignores them and eats their little wedding dinners. Then they try to get everybody interested with some catchy covers of Neil Diamond and Elvis while everybody ignores them some more. Then, after the speeches and the cake and the open bar and the couple's first dance, they let loose with some Tommy Tutone (867-5309) and everybody crowds them on the dance floor and steps on their cords. And they smile and sing pretty much any genre you can throw at them.
- Speaking of the wedding singers, whenever I hear Van Morrison (Moondance), I always think of every Grammy speech I heard in the 80's, because it was cool to thank him for being such a "huge influence" on them, even though none of them sounded anything like him.
- I like to dance. Drew does not. This means that once every two years or so, if he gets caught with me at a function with an open bar and some dancing, he is forced to dance with me, and I return the favor by not just leading, but gripping him so tightly that he has no other option than to do what I am doing. Which is not strictly a "dance," like the samba or the foxtrot, but more like whatever the music is requiring me to do. Kind of like forced interpretive dance, with only one of us knowing the steps. It's my method, and it works for me. He's good natured about it, as long as he can keep it down to once every two years or so.
- Dean is ready for nationals. I can tell because he looked like he was smuggling trout in the utility pockets of his trousers, even though his trousers didn't technically have utility pockets. (Large thighs. He's a sprinter. On the track. The bicycle track. The round one. Well, oval. Is the joke dead yet? Ah well. It wasn't very healthy to begin with.)
Okay, Sally and I liked Nancy Drew enough to have once attempted to write our own Nancy Drew mystery after noticing what may have been blood on a tree stump (although it may have also been berry juice). We entitled it "The Bloody Stump."
We found nothing amusing about that title.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Things I was not into as a kid (in no particular chronological order):
- Those girly patty-cake games. Please. I was reminded of these by one of my favorite bloggers, who seems to have enjoyed them. I was bored crazy after about 10 seconds, and could never get my patty-cake partner to go faster, or change to a crazy samba beat.
- Thrill seeking. Some things never change.
- Nancy Drew. Come on. She was a major Nancy.
- That girl who went down the rabbit hole. Who was she? Alice. Yeah. I didn’t buy that whole scene.
- Swimming. My brother and sister were great swimmers. I couldn’t see crap without my glasses, and felt completely out of control in swim class. Plus one of my teachers caught me trying to sneak into class without taking a (freezing cold) shower first and made an example of me to the rest of the class. That sort of treatment just exacerbates my personality quirks, if you know what I mean.
- Tether ball. Fabulously popular in the grade schools I attended. I would have loved playing it if I had been any good at it. Ditto for kick ball and baseball. Ball games were never my forte. Balls just never went where I thought they should have.
- Dodge ball. Who invented that, anyway? A guy for sure. (Fo sho.) I was great at dodging balls, which meant that I was always the last one left on the floor. Unfortunately, I could barely throw a ball past the center line of the gym, let alone throw hard enough to get somebody out. That left me out on the floor by myself, dodging, dipping, ducking, diving, and dodging, while the rest of my team (who obviously had picked me last) sat on the sidelines, begging me to just take one in the gut so they could get back up and play another game. It made for some awkward standoffs.
Things I liked when I was a kid.
- Our family’s wiener dog, Fritzy.
- My friend Sally’s gerbil, Tilly. I always wanted to take her out and play with her, but that was not allowed. Dammit, and damn their fascist rules.
- Dancing to the Monkees on Sally’s mom and dad’s stereo. Groovy. When we got tired of the Monkees (does one ever really get tired of the Monkees?), we would listen to her parents’ Roger Miller albums (“Trailers for sale or rent, roooooms to let, fifty cents…”).
- Watching the Monkees on TV. How many times over the years did Sally and I reenact the opening walking-funny scene, or the running up to the waves and running away scene? TV magic, and funny every time when you are 6.
- Playing the maracas in grade school music class when the teacher passed around the big box of sticks, tambourines and other, lamer percussion instruments. I remember once being so into my maraca music that I hadn't noticed that the rest of the class had quit playing some time ago and were all looking at me.
- The Boy’s Adventure Series by Willard Price. Books like Elephant Adventure, South Sea Adventure, and my favorite, Amazon Adventure. I had the baby hots for Hal, one of the adventuring brothers. After reading Volcano Adventure, I decided to become a volcanologist. What happened to that dream? Probably something to do with the thrill seeking issue…
- Going to the mom & pop store up the road for candy. Duh.
- Finger painting. What’s not to like? Messy. Arty. You can’t make a bad finger painting.
- Wile E. Coyote and that crazy road runner.
- A. A. Milne. NOT the Disney version. The original books by A. A. Milne were funny, breezy, and ever so British. And I did tend to identify with a certain mild mannered and stuttery Very Small Animal, who always had one eye open for Heffalumps.
- The comic strip Tumbleweeds. Look it up. Very funny, if not so politically correct anymore.
- Leg warmers. They were like an advertisement that you were a serious dancer, like in Flashdance. I hear they're coming back. Awesome!
- Spelling Bees, at which I kicked ass. In your face, dodgeball players!
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
It turns out that my teeth are fine, but those headaches I've been having? Probably my hideously misshapen temporal mandibular joint, which may or may not need to be taken out and replaced with a baboon joint, or maybe Tupperware. However, he can't really tell me which until he fits me with this tooth-holder thing which I would wear at night to keep me from grinding them, which he says I am doing, which I had no idea I was doing, and of which I am a tad skeptical. He says he can tell from the shape of my tongue. So, obviously my tongue is also repulsively misshapen. He says just let him know when I am ready (to plunk down a grand or so) and he will get going on that mouthpiece. Now, I guess I sit around and ponder my revolting tongue until my head hurts and go back to beg him to relieve me of my subhuman jaw.
What's that new teeth cleaning machine they have? Is that supposed to double as a dog whistle? My ears are still ringing. It looks like a regular pick-style implement crossed with a water-pic, only attached to a wire that goes to a machine that makes it scream. I asked "Heather" about it. She said something like, "Well, there are these two discs inside here (pointing to the handle) that rub against each other and make an ultra-sonic sound (hey, not that ultra) that make the cell walls of bacteria explode. And the vibrations help me get the tartar off your teeth. But it gets really hot so that's why this water keeps it wet (yeah, and keeps me drowning)."
Hows that, Drew? Angry enough for ya?
BONUS: Your prayer for the day, courtesy of me stealing it from Tim Dorsey's book Torpedo Juice:
Almighty Father, please stop making jerks. Amen.
So if you need to go to the dentist, I can call for you. I totally nailed it.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Here are two Ducks enjoying some Esprit de Corps.
That's all for today. My ears itch, My head hurts, I'm sleepy, I'm fighting off a bug, and I have a flamingo to paint.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
So eat this, baby. And pray (like this sad, sad Fresno State lad) that your Sooners won't bite it too badly on Saturday.
(Okay, Ducks, don't make me look stupid.)
(I'm going to regret this.)
One note: if I run amok, don't expect to bring me down with some wimpy taser.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006
It was touching (a local police officer with a wonderful voice singing the National Anthem, a friend playing bagpipes, seeing all the faces of Vancouver’s finest and bravest) and infuriating (constant conflation of 9/11 and the current fiasco in Iraq).
My favorite part was in the closing prayer by a local pastor, who first asked God to bless this country, which our forefathers set up to be just like He liked it, and then invoked Him to flush out the enemy for us so that we might kill them as He intended.
So evildoers, you are on notice.
Vancouver “hearts” NY and DC, and our thoughts (both the righties and the lefties) are with you.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Obviously, a certain fashionella loitering about in New York for fashion week needed a few more cocktail galas, or orgies, or limbo dance parties, or whatever they do to pass the time between fashion shows where they seem to measure the fashionesque-ness of any "line" by how much they can make anorexic 15-year-olds look ugly and misshapen, because a certain Nancy Armour of the Associated Press, having 10 minutes or so to spare, has taken it upon herself to rate college football uniforms. (You are free to enter that sentence in the writing competition of your choosing.)
That she has chosen to rate the most fashion-forward, Nike (tm) Brand designed team as the worst of the worst just shows how topsy-turvy her world has become.
The Michigan Wolverines. This is what she deems the epitome of gridiron style. Maybe back when people still used words like "gridiron." It's 2006, fashion weekers! And this is old school. It almost looks like its made out of wool, or "gabardine," or "discarded flour sacks." What they used to call "dry goods" at Ye Olde Countrye Store. And their helmets aren't even shiny. Actually, they look a lot like our old high school football uniforms. How precious. Now hold on to your eyeballs.
THIS is what a football uniform circa 2006 should look like. What, you can't see him clearly? That's because he's so friggin' fast. Then check this one out.
That's some fashion happening right there. That's taking some chances. Throwing some curves. Rocking the stadium. And you get the impression that he might have done some blocking drills against a Ram truck and won.
Put that in your catwalk and smoke it (because I hear smoking dulls the appetite, and they certainly won't let you in to the most important Fashion Week shows with those extra ounces you've packed on).
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Today I watched the opening game of the Nike (tm) Brand Oregon Ducks 2006 football season.
It was a corker. They came out in all their fashionableness and spanked the Stanford Cardinal (Really. Don't call them Cardinals. They get all huffy. They are a color. Or one bird. Although their mascot seems to be a tree. Whatevs.)
The announcers said that something like 50 of Stanford's players have a grade point average of 3.0 or better. That's sweet, but they're bad at football.
The Oregon Ducks probably don't have such good grade point averages, but I bet they have longer rap sheets.
The Oregon defense is all up-in-your-face this year. Literally. Great football if you like yellow flags. I especially enjoyed the guy who all devil-may-carishly tackled a guy by happily yanking on his face mask until he crumpled to the ground.
Jonathan Stewart and (no kidding) Jeremiah Johnson (What, aren't you old enough to remember Jeremiah Johnson, the hairy, leather-covered mountain man? The MacGyver of the woods? What, you don't know who MacGyver is? Get out.) are two running backs who are going to be very fun to watch this year (if Stewart's girly ankles hold up).
And Keith Oldperson has retired! Whew! No more "boy howdys" or "cats pajamas" or whatever other bizarre old-personism he used to throw in for "color". Besides, he didn't love the Ducks enough.
I read in the paper today that Autzen Stadium now has a "jerk line," so if there's a loud, obnoxious drunk in the row above you, spilling his beer on you and calling you a bad word, you can call this number and have the security goons escort him out.
Lee, I heard about you. You're on notice.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
If you think the sky is too blue, and the grass and trees are too green, it's because they were that day.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
"DEFINING YOU. As you move through the many aspects of your life, you want your defining style to always shine through."
I couldn't have said it more assily myself.
Here's another good one from an article on a development of million-dollar play-houses blighting the view from Smith Rock, using up high-yield farm land and calling its design influence "Napa/Tuscan Style": "The [Richingtons] step inside to the foyer, where the view into their home's great room and beyond is staggering."
I'd hate to make all my house guests stagger out of pure fabulousness. I'd rather use beer.
And I'd rather not see their ridiculous Disney Tuscan World houses from the top of Smith Rock State Park, the best hiking and rock climbing park in Oregon.
I've got to go move through some aspects now.
Monday, August 28, 2006
- A shortage of Kiwis;
- The Miracle of the Shingles, wherein one roof worth of shingles multiplied supernaturally into at least five rooves (roofs?) worth;
- The Incredible Shrinking Dumpster;
- Panic and Complaint;
- The Plague of the Surprise Rainstorm;
- A shortage of roofers;
- Nail gun compressor failure;
- A shortage of nails; and
- A shortage of shingles;
the roof is on there. And in a weird moment of foresight, the Captain bought the most burly, heaviest-duty, Category 5, 50-year-warranted shingles, so that we never have to do this again.
BEHOLD THE RATTY 20-YEAR-OLD SLICES OF CEDAR, AS USED BY PRIMITIVE CULTURES THAT HAVE COME BEFORE US.BEHOLD THE SHINGLES OF SECURITY NOW BLANKETING US WITH THEIR TARRY PROTECTION.
AND BEHOLD THE PATIO OF CLEANLINESS, FREE OF THE SHINGLES OF FILTH.
AND WE SHALL DWELL IN THE SHELTER OF PETROLEUM RESIDUE FOREVER...or until we move to an over-55 gated community and get a miniature poodle and a golf cart to get to the recreation hall.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
So there I was at JC Penney’s, buying another Formal Sweat Suit for my collection, when I encountered a zombie at the checkout counter. It was hard to tell at first, but there is no other explanation for the following transaction.
Zombie: That will be $76.01.
Me: (Hands over four twenties and a penny, not wishing to get 99 cents in change)
Zombie: (Takes money and turns to her cash register. beep-beep ka-ching) $3.93 is your change.
Me: $3.93? I thought you said the total was $76.01.
Zombie: No. It was $76.08. Next.
That’s right. No “Oops, you must have mis-heard me; the total is $76.08.” Not even a funny look. She just took the penny and rang it up like people hand her random coins all the time, maybe to give the cash register calculator a workout.
I walked away slowly, so as not to look too delicious, as I realized that my brain, being one of the more active ones in the mall, must be a highly prized treat to such a creature.
I suppose it must be mind-numbing to work the register at the Penney’s store at Westfield Shoppingtown Vancouver (its honest-to-God name), but holy cripes. That’s like only using the brain part that keeps you breathing and releasing unwanted gas buildup.
So keep an eye out. And don’t leave your brain unattended.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
A worthy title for which we should all aspire: Legendary Bouncer.
Favorite quote from Roadhouse: "Pain don't hurt."
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Can you hardly not wait for the before and after?
That's what I thought.
You’ll just have to wait longer.
I have nothing witty to say, so I will give you a small slice of gonzo from the late great Hunter S. Thompson, apropos of nothing.
“I decided to call my attorney as soon as possible. Have him wire me some money to buy a huge albino Doberman. Denver is a national clearinghouse for stolen Dobermans. They come from all parts of the country.”
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
This is what twenty-year-old cedar shakes look like on the ground, instead of on your roof. Today, most of it is in the 30-yard dumpster parked out front.
Fortunately, the guys who did the destruction are not the same ones putting the new shingles on.
Hey, what's more sexy than before and after roofing photos?
Friday, August 18, 2006
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
- If you want some motivation, listen to "Do Your Thing" by Basement Jaxx.
- Sorry. I don't know how you motivate yourself to find your iPod, put the bud thingies in your ears and turn it on. Or buy that song. It's on the Rooty CD, if you were wondering.
- If you want your dogs to go outside, sprinkle some cat food on the patio.
- I don't have any problem getting them to come in, so I have no advice for that.
- If you want to get more done today, drink more caffeine. No, more than that.
- If you want to read books for free, go to the library. My check-outs this week: something from Kingley Amis, Martin Amis, and Tim Dorsey (I was in a caffeine-induced hurry and A-D is closest, although you need no excuse to read Tim Dorsey).
- If you want to watch some good TV, stay up late or get a DVR and watch The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and The Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Conan O'Brien is good, but Craig Ferguson's monologues kick Scottish ass.
- Finish what you started. It's what my mom always said, so its probably a good idea.
- Mom, am I finished with this? 'Cause I want to go watch TV...
Friday, August 11, 2006
A threeee hour tour....a threeee hour tour...
Update: The Captain straggled in at 9:45 after picking up the pieces of another friend who bit it on one of his little rides. Word to the wise: if the Captain invites you on one of his little dirt bike jaunts, politely decline. Despite being Captain Safety in addition to being Captain America, his buddies tend to come back with less skin and/or bike parts then when they started. Coincidence? I think not.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
My backyard is being overtaken by vines. It's a common problem here in the PNW. Leave an old car in a field and by next year the blackberries will have swallowed it and spit out the tires (too chewy). This works with old gardening equipment, houses, and the elderly if they don't move fast enough.
In my back yard it's wisteria vines, which fight my urge to trim them by shooting out blossoms that are just so ridiculously purply and sweet-smelling that I give them a little space to grow. However, they are starting to look aggressive and scary so I may have to go out there with a machete and a crucifix and beat them back.
My kitchen is being overtaken by fruit. There are blueberries from the bushes out back, blackberries from the farmer's market, and plums from a friend's tree. Not even a close friend - just someone trying to get rid of the wheelbarrows full of plums that plum trees dump in your yard, if you are unlucky enough to have one (or dumb enough to plant one). If you don't pawn them off on your friends and neighbors, your yard ends up ankle deep in plum goo all winter.
Summer fruit popping up out of nowhere must be nature's way of keeping humanity alive in spite of being mostly stupid and, if America's Funniest Home Videos is to believed, prone to stunts that end in testicular damage.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
and one for the ridiculously long tail, the usefulness of which I can't imagine. I think they live in the desert, like in Morocco-land.
This probably won't make up for the fact that some of your tax dollars are going to enrich Halliburton, and the rest of your take-home pay is going to the oil companies, but it couldn't hoit.
Sorry, did that just wipe the cuteness smile off your face?
Saturday, August 05, 2006
The Israelis bit on the bait and are getting reeled into more death and hatred.
Floyd Landis, the cyclist least likely to dope (second only to Tyler Hamilton) seems to have been caught with his pants down and a needle in his ass.
It turns out my son has been using his college classes as opportunities to catch up on his sleep.
And to cap it off,
I seem to have gained weight on my most recent diet attempt.
I would just hunker down and wait for Christmas, but I’m afraid Santa may have drowned from melting polar ice caps.
Anybody for a drink?
Thursday, August 03, 2006
See the way these balls are juggled?
That's how my feet look when I dance.
Boppity boppity, baby.
You know what's funny?
All the comments for this video are from "serious" jugglers who consider this Chris Bliss quite the hack.
Juggler fight! Juggler fight!
Monday, July 31, 2006
I'll never forget the day I read a book;
It was contagious;
There were pictures here and there;
So it wasn't hard to bear;
The day I read a book.
Thank you, Jimmy.
Yes, I read a whole book today. Instead of working on my painting or finishing the top-down kitchen cleaning that I started this morning, I played serious hooky with a booky. And yes, it took me all afternoon. I'm a slow reader. But jolly. Okay, I'm not jolly.
Recommended fun light summer reading: Lord Vishnu's Love Handles by Will Clarke.
Tomorrow it's back to work.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Well, lost to painting on a ridiculously big canvas. Man, that baby sucks up the paint. Tubes are being squeezed and discarded like (do NOT go there! NO altar boy references!) lemons at a lemonade stand (whew!).
A photo is all I can offer you for now. No, I don't remember where I got it, and I don't know what it means. Just savor.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Piglet: Certainly, Curious Reader, if you have too much aluminum foil on your hands and want me to throw that away along with that nasty leftover frozen pizza.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
This is the sort of padding Keirin racers wear in Japan, where it is the number one betting sport. They wear padding because the object of the game is to come across the finish line first at all costs, if you get my drift. Costs may include skin and/or bones.
These are the crowds they get at Japanese Keirin races.
Dean won the Oregon State championship Keirin race today at the fabled Alpenrose Velodrome. I'm going to guess that the crowd was not quite that size. I'm having to guess because if I had gone out to watch, my skin would have melted from the sun and, from all accounts, my stomach would have succeeded in escaping my body in fright.
But he still has all his skin and bones. And a new jersey.