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Monday, December 7, 2009

Trying to build a fire...

So not much of anything happened over the weekend. Didn't have to set the alarm for two days and that is such a delight. Sleeping until at least 4 maybe 5AM is a pleasure to behold. A few times after a few days with no nap, I've even made it until after 6:30 - and then I feel as if the day is half over already!

I do love a good nap though. I think I took 4 of them this weekend.

Saturday I went to breakfast with my friend Tracy. We went to Chutes in Windham. They have awesome toast. Go try it. Sunday meh. Watched My Fair Lady on TV. Made egg rolls for dinner to have my son give an awkward compliment "Those egg rolls look suspiciously Asian. Are you sure you made them?" Go figure.

Today after work I hear from my daughter that she's stopping by to pick up her laundry. That I washed/dried/folded for her yesterday. And of course she has to be fed. The house is cold and we decide to start the wood stove... which brings me to the point I'm at right now in my day.
I thought I would take this opportunity to say what a complete idiot I am, and that I'm a worthless lumberjack.

Now, normally, Mike - the landlord, starts the wood stove around dinner time. It gets nice and toasty and usually stays warm until I get up and leave for work at 3:15. This morning though it was cold, and when I came home the house was still freezing. But, since Mike's not here, it is I that have to start the damned stove.

Don't get me wrong, I know how to build a fire, but I can't find any kindling wood anywhere. Mike must have used the last of it when he built the fire last night. He chops it up from a stick of firewood as he goes I guess. That didn't help me any today...

I find myself at the woodpile, searching for one of those nice big splintery pieces of wood, you know the ones I mean, hardly any bark on em and they're all jagged. I decided that I would take it upon myself to chop said piece of firewood into kindling. Caitlin of course thinks this will be wickedly funny and stands around to offer not so much support.

This axe has seen better days. It was as dull as a hoe. And my poor chopping skills were getting me no where, and fast. Now I'm not a weakling, but this is an AXE! It's friggin sharpened on both ends, and despite the dullness of the actual blade it's still a friggin AXE and not something I want to swing with great force and hit myself with. Get it? That would HURT. A LOT. At least Caitlin was on standby should I need a ride to the ER.

In any case, the house was freezing and I needed to do this, so I couldn't just wimp out and wait. I would swing and get stuck, have to pry the axe free, stand the piece of wood up again and take another whack. I almost hit my left leg twice and just avoided a blow to my head. To which Caitlin said, "Careful Mum, you wouldn't want to hit yourself". Really Caitlin? Naw, that sounds like FUN! Sweet mother of God. NO KIDDING!

I was sore from swinging and bending and I already had anxiety because I know how uncoordinated I am; and tensing up every time I swing because I'm afraid of missing the wood. Man, that wood chopping is no fun! I don't much care for that business. Next time, I'm going to the store to purchase said kindling log(s). That chopping with a dull axe is for the birds.

It took me about 10 minutes, 147 swear words, standing the log up countless times and telling Caitlin to shut up on a continual basis. But, finally I had some kindling. The fire is going nicely and now I have to go shut the damper or it'll start to feel like one of the rings of hell.

Rock on with yourself. It's time for my nap.


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Thursday, December 3, 2009

$70 down the toilet...

So, I got pulled over yesterday, and yes, I got a ticket for not wearing my seat-belt.

$70 of my Christmas fund goes out the window to pay for that little gem.

Now, I realize that he has a job to do, and I can’t fault him for doing it well. Especially, since he explained that he was specifically on seat-belt duty, and that he had me ‘fair and square’.

I told him that seat-belt duty ‘sucked’ to which he replied “EXCUSE ME?” I quickly said, “Well, what I meant, was that, seat-belt duty is rather dull. Wouldn’t you rather be doing something more exciting?”

Of course THEN, the cop told me that he had already worked 8 hours and was on seat-belt duty as OT… Great. My taxes pay his salary and his OT so he can pull me over and write me a ticket. He didn’t seem impressed when I asked for a loan of approximately $70.

Then he said “Well, think of it this way, the $70 ticket for not wearing a seatbelt is a lot less than the ticket I could have written you for speeding. Have a nice day Ma’am.”

“You have a nice day too sir”


Rock on,

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

OMG. It's been since July...

Holy crap. I can't believe I haven't been here since July. It's been on my mind to get here, I just kept letting time get away from me...

A lot has happened since July!

I had a crappy vacation, ended a relationship, moved, broke a valuable piece of ceramics and went without an inspection sticker for more than two months. My daughter moved out and started college, my dog got attacked by a rooster, I've made a great many new friends AND I started dating.

Now, lets stop here for a second. I just want to say that DATING SUCKS. I have come to realize, in a very short time, that there really are people who are 'serial daters'. Creepers. Let me please advise you that Craigslist is NOT the place to try and meet anyone. TRUST ME. Either way you go with CL, you're in for a treat. Lets just say that the one person I did meet from CL, I was afraid to step away from my car. In fact, I opened the door and stood inside the door to talk with him. Seriously. That sucked. Perhaps I have an overactive imagination, but he reminded me of a wolf. He actually 'licked his chops' if you can believe it.

Then of course, there was the one at Starbucks who continually texted me, and I never did meet; and after him the guy who continually talked about his 'stuff'. He was strange. He would randomly throw a compliment into conversation and then quickly change the subject.

"Sure is a nice day, I've been working outside all morning; Gee you have a really nice smile; It sure does smell good in here, I wonder what they're cooking.."

Um, WHAT??

I mean really, how does one respond to a compliment like that? He did speak of interesting subject matter and the conversation wasn't boring, when I could keep up with him...

I did find it odd, that 2 hours after I met him he texted me and said "Thank you. So, did you like me so far?" :/


OMG. Lemme think about that. Ok, no.

Then, 15 minutes later, I get a text from the 'Text Guy' that said"Lets try it again". :/ :/ :/

I didn't respond to either message.

Then, being the brave soul that I am, I decided to meet yet another person at Starbucks. He too walked right by me and outside, at least he called instead of texting. I would have been out of there so quick my own head would have been spinning. This guy was very nice and a complete gentleman. I felt that he was a decent enough guy and agreed to go on a date with him. The next day. We had a date with night vision goggles, baby oil and saran wrap, that was absolutely a ton of fun! He didn't know it, but he got total bonus points, when he whipped out some of those hand warmers that you can fit in your pockets - Ahh. I do love to be warm.

He's a complete geek about STAR WARS and Star Trek. I know that 'The Shat' played Captain Kirk and Spock had pointy ears. Jean-Luc Picard had a #1 and Whoopie Goldberg is thrown in there somewhere too. I know even less about STAR WARS. Of course, I see this as an opportunity to learn, because 'Jedi Dan' has offered to sit with me and watch all 6 STAR WARS movies. Oh boy.

Aren't these movies like 3 plus hours long or something crazy like that? I'm gonna need some beer if I have to sit that long. Did I mention that there were 6 films total? I hope there's intermission. I already need more beer.

Last night, I went to the 'Red Carpet Premiere' of Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, with my son and it rocked my socks! I hadn't seen the first one, had no clue what it was about; but it didn't take me long to understand and I was hooked from beginning to end. It was fantastically active and unbelievable. The acting was good, it made me laugh out loud and it left me wanting another sequel. If you're into vigilante-type justice with lots of shooting and things being smashed to pieces, you'll love it. Jared was totally pumped! He got an autograph and photo and plans to give it to his friend Colleen. How sweet! We had a great time together, I'm glad we got to share that. Thank you Bob Marley, for the sweet hook-up!

If you're still here reading all this drivel, I'd like to thank you. Thank you for being my Facebook friend, thank you for calling and saying how much you like the show, thank you for just listening. It's nice to know that I've got such a BIG family! You guys make me laugh and you make me laugh at you. You support me when you think I'm being mistreated and you chide me when I make a mistake. It's all good fun and I love every minute of it.

I'll try to be better at blogging. Heck, I gotta try and be good at something. I suck at math, as we all know from the fiasco on Defend your Gender yesterday. Like I said, I'm no mathlete.

I admit it freely, ask my kids, they call their friends for homework help.

Rock on with your bad self.


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Monday, July 20, 2009

HGTV Is Evil!

I absolutely LOVE cable TV; Sports Center, The First 48, VH-1...all GREAT! HGTV...not so much!

For those of you unfamiliar with HGTV it's Home & Garden Television...and it's pure evil! And not just plain old evil's eeeevviiiillll! What's wrong with HGTV you ask. Oh that's simple: it airs shows on how to do home repairs and remodeling. That's right, forget about calling in the can do it yourself...or so they make you believe you can do it by yourself!

Alright, maybe some people can open up a book, read a website, or attend a class at Home Depot and then go rip down a wall without the house caving in, pull out a shower and replace it, or in my out all of the carpet in your house and replace it with hard wood floors!

How I fell for this trick is anyones guess. Perhaps it was because I really wanted to do something nice for my wife. Or maybe it was because my friend Wayne told me it would only take a day or two to complete, or maybe it's because I'm what my mom calls a huge ignoramus!

No matter, because the fact is that I spent the last three days of my vacation pulling out carpet, removing base boards, and discussing the virtue of quarter round. Five days ago I didn't know what quarter round was. If asked I would have guessed it had something to do with ground beef! Needless to say, but now I know it isn't prepared on a grill or served with fries!

I was so happy to get back to work and away from saws, hammers, and staple guns that I actually woke up and got to work early! Although I'm reminded of all the crawling around on the floor, the pushing and the pulling every time I stand up. If my back isn't hurting then my knees are popping like a bowl of Rice Krispies!

In all honesty the floors in my living room, family room, and boys bedroom look GREAT! I wish I had taken "before and after" pictures to post here. I also wish that I could take more credit, but it really goes to my friend Wayne who had all the really awesome tools and did the majority of the tough stuff.

And I guess if I had to admit was actually pretty fun. But I'm still considering blocking HGTV before my wife sees a show about how to rip out the kitchen cabinets or replace the counter tops!

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Final Word on Michael Jackson

I've held off on blogging about the passing of Michael Jackson for a couple of reasons. First, like most people, I was shocked by the news. It's certainly one of those events that I'll always remember where I was and what I was doing when it happened.

I also wanted to wait until after the initial hoopla had worn off and there was a clearer picture of what really happened...although I'm not sure that's going to happen anytime soon. And then before I knew it a week had passed and it was time for the memorial service.

Let me begin by saying that I was never a huge Michael Jackson fan. If you look in my CD collection you won't find a single MJ title. The only Michael Jackson album I ever owned was Thriller, and it was given to me by a high school girlfriend in 1983. By the way, this is the same girlfriend I broke up with a week later because she like Billie Jean better than she liked Down By The River by Neil Young!

This isn't to say that I don't like Michael Jackson's music. I actually love Off the Wall and Thriller, and needless to say the early Jackson 5 stuff is awesome.

As I've gotten older my musical tastes have matured as well. As a kid , into my early 20's, I was a Rock guy. Then as I approached my 30's I discovered a whole treasure trove of music that I had ignored earlier in life. All of a sudden I was listening to Top 40, Rap, and Country...and surprisingly I liked a large majority of it. That's when I rediscovered Michael Jackson...and that led to way too many nights spent on a packed dance floor shakin' my groove thang with a PYT...yeah, scary vision I know!

For me it's always been about the music. Sure, I couldn't ignore the crazy stories about Michael...who could? There was the story about trying to buy the remains of the Elephant Man, sleeping in some sort of chamber to stay young, there was the ever changing nose, and of course the horrible charges of child molestation. Through all of that, I, like a lot of other radio personalities, made jokes and took pot shots at the King of Pop. He was an easy mark and good for a quick laugh. His superstar status made it all the easier to make him the butt of jokes. However, there was always the music...there was never any denying that.

As Americans we love our celebrities. We go to great lengths to build them up, put them on a pedestal, and make them bigger than life. Then after they reach a certain level, we love to tear them down, put them through the wringer, and shred them to pieces.

Obviously when MJ was accused of child molestation that got the worlds attention. We were all shocked that such a beloved figure could possibly do something so horrific. Then when we found out that Michael had paid to settle out of court, many of us saw that as an admission of guilt. Why else would he pay? Who does that? The answer? Michael Jackson. I don't know if it's because he was guilty or if he was just worried about the damage to his career. Either way, it certainly cast a shadow of doubt and tarnished his image.

Then when Michael married Debbie Rowe, had kids, divorced and paid her off...several different times...again, we all scratched our heads. I always thought it was odd, but's Michael Jackson, it's Hollywood, he's a star...they all do weird stuff. It's part of being famous.

The Martin Bashir documentary, designed to help redefine his image as devoted father and pop superstar, only fueled the fire for those set on defining him as a freak and a pedophile. Most of the world couldn't get passed the words they heard him say long enough to hear what I think Michael was truly trying to say. It's always been my impression that he was just a kid himself...forever trapped inside an adults body...just trying to recapture what was taken from him when he was a kid.

When someone is accused of something as deplorable as molesting a child it's easy to judge and convict them in the court of public opinion...without ever seeing the facts. We read the tabloids or watch Access Hollywood, or listen to the story being told by a co-worker in the break room. We don't know the truth.

Who among us hasn't done something that witnessed, or overheard and then taken in the wrong context, would potentially make us look like a horrible person? If you have kids, think about a time you may have snapped at them in public or taken hold of their arm in a manner that if viewed by the wrong person you may have been accused of child abuse.

I think we've all done things we're not proud of and would like to keep from others. The difference is most of us don't live our lives on the world stage where our every move is scrutinized, nor do we have the money to keep it quiet in the event someone does find out.

I don't know if Michael Jackson took advantage of young boys. And unless you've seen the evidence that the Los Angeles District Attorney and the jury in his subsequent trial saw, then neither do you. I know what he was accused of and it turns my stomach. I also know he was never found guilty.

Many will never set aside the accusations, the plastic surgeries, and the circus that was Michael Jackson's life long enough to see who Michael Jackson really was...a son, a brother, and a dad to three kids. I can't imagine how they must feel when they hear all of the negative things being said about their father. How could anyone watch his daughter Paris at the memorial service and not feel the pain she and her siblings are going through.

Strip away all the stories, the rumors, and even some of the ugly truth...and at his core MJ was possibly the greatest entertainer to have ever lived.

And when I can finally find someplace that has his music in stock again I think I'll finally add a few of his CD's to my collection.

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