Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I been framed, yer honor!

About 30 years ago, in the dead of winter, I was a very sick little boy. I had a horrible wasting disease. I could do nothing but lay on the couch and watch TV with a pillow under my head as the worst blizzard in years raged outside.
It was a nasty cold.
Somehow, though the snow was piling against the house, a small squad of ants made their way inside and into our living room. They picked up a discarded purple crayon and, in a great show of teamwork, carried it up the couch, past my face, and proceeded to color on my pillow case. I tried to stop them or at least to cry out an alarm, but in my weakened condition I just couldn't manage.
Then, quick as they came, the ants dropped the crayon and skedaddled back into the bleak winter night.
When my father asked who had colored on my pillow I tried to explain what had happened. He didn't believe me and wrote it down in my Baby Book as "My 1st Lie."
This accusation so shattered my self esteem it sent me on a lifetime spiral of lying, cheating and petty theft.*

*    *    *    *    *

Yesterday morning I was at the computer, doing my daily job searching, and my daughter was in the kitchen rustling around.  She came quickly back out to the living room and plopped down to watch Elmo or Super Why! or whatever.
A little later I went back to the coffee maker to refill my mug and noticed that a cup of melted ice and tea remnants had been spilled across the kitchen table. 
I confronted my daughter, "What happened?"
"Did you knock over the tea?"
"No? Who did then?"
"....a dog."
"A dog?" She nods. "You're saying a dog came into our house, jumped on the kitchen table, knocked over the tea and then ran back out?"
"...a small dog."

Needless to say, though we don't have a baby book, I'm sharing this story with the entire internet. I've shattered her self esteem and am sending her on a spiral of shame and degradation... 
...or I showed her that I'm not buying her crap anymore than my dad bought mine. 

*ok, not really, but it sounds more fun that way. I'm a good boy, honest!

Monday, July 2, 2012

I'm the baby, gotta love me!

I've seen it happen on TV and heard about it through other parents, but I'd hoped it wouldn't happen to us. It has.

When you have a kid who's just out of toddlerhood (like ours) and are expecting another one soon, sometimes your kid can have some infantile regression issues. They wanna be the baby just that much longer.

They've spent 3 years growing and learning and being proud of the things they can do for themselves and suddenly they just want to whine and suck a nük and all that. She's dry all night and then she's willfully peeing in her Pull-Ups when she gets up.
She is finally big enough to help put things away in the fridge, but she refuses to feed herself.
It's a magical time. (barf)

Well, a couple months ago a well meaning friend of ours (who's a mommy blogger and is inundated with free stuff) gave us a fancy-pants bottle for the new baby. It bounced around the back seat of my wife's car for a while until our daughter found it.

For a while she used it to feed her baby doll, until the regression kicked in about a week ago. Suddenly she's sucking on it and pretending to be the baby again.

It stayed in the car until yesterday when I brought it into the house fully intending to throw it out. Somehow our daughter convinced us to even put water in it so she could drink from it. (Sometimes you 're so blinded by whining and pestering you do dumb things. You gotta pick your battles.) She proceeded to pop the nipple off and spill the water all over her floor. Lesson learned.

When she went to bed last night I put the bottle on the top of my desk, again, intending to throw it out.

I forgot.

This morning, soon as she got up, she was asking for it. When she saw it on the desk the whining amped up even higher. This was getting to be a problem. She'd run around with it hanging from her mouth like a dog with a raggedy chew toy.  How the hell was I going to get rid of this thing without traumatizing her even more?

So, this afternoon, I'm sitting at my desk and hear her at her potty. Knowing the signs point to "poopy" I intercept her (bottle in mouth) and redirect her into the bathroom to perform the proper "post-potty cleanup."  She dances ahead of me, shaking the bottle in her teeth like a proud lioness with a gazelle... the nipple slips...


...the bottle drops right into the toilet.

"Whelp, there that goes," I said, pulling it out of the bowl.

"But you got it out!"

"Nope. Into the trash."

"It'll dry off."

"Yes, and then it will have dried potty water on it. Into the trash."

"Oh. Ok." And she scampered off totally over it.

I pat myself on the back for solving that problem so easily. Parenting is easy.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Is overreacting covered by my HMO?

Imma try not to get heated here, let's see how I do...

I held my previous job for 5 years. The last 3 of those 5 years I was miserable. My hours got cut to the minimum. Raises were frozen company wide. Health insurance went up every year and the plans got worse and worse.

I made less than I could've made working at McDonalds full time because of these things, but I stayed. Why? Because I had healthcare coverage for me and my daughter. My wife's healthcare is so wildly expensive that if we were on hers she'd make half her paycheck each week.

Flash back to March. I get laid off. COBRA (Continued health insurance) is more than I make on unemployment, making my income negative dollars. Because of my wife's job and insurance we're having a very hard time getting my daughter on Medicaid until I find a new job. So we're both uninsured right now. We just can't get sick or injured. We're not allowed. My wife can't leave her job in a terribly hostile work environment until after our new baby is born ini August because of the healthcare.

You can throw around words like Socialism and Communism or just say reactive bullshit like "Fuck America" or "I gotta go somewhere else!" all you want. (Try Canada.. oh wait, they have socialized healthcare too. Ok, Mexico... oh wait, you'll get a staph infection if you go to a Mexican hospital for a paper cut...)  But I think this is a great plan and only wish it'd go into effect faster so I can worry about one less thing at night.

I have enough on my plate.

What I've Been Up To

Hey, long time no post!
Not that there's much to report on here, of course.
The wife is still pregnant. I'm still unemployed. The kid's still a kid. Oh-bla-dee. Oh-bla-dah.
I figured I'd share this spring/summer's project, though... the "garden".

See, we live on the second floor of a duplex. While we technically have full access of the whole yard, our relationship with the downstairs neighbors is less than stellar... so we keep to our own side.
Sadly, our side has very little sun and no real space for a garden. So we did what apartment dwellers have done for years... we took to the sky! (or something)

I already had a window box that I've used with varying degrees of failure, so I went out and got one of those "Suspended Tomato" jobbers and got a couple more container planters from my mom.

Then we got some seed starters and dirt and some green bean & basil seeds.

I thought it would be a fun project with my kid to grow our own veggies from seeds. Every day we'd check their progress, bla bla bla....

She was more interested in growing sponge animals in warm water.
Lousy instant gratification.

So after a while I was able to transplant our basil and beans to our window box along with a free (mostly dead) flower from HomeDepot. (They were giving away free flowers for Mother's Day. The bud fell off in the parking lot and the leaves were mostly withered, I didn't have much hope, but I humored my kid by planting it anyway.)

Around this time we started our hanging tomato plant. I've never seen one of those things actually work before, but I figured I'd try it out.

I also "repurposed" one of our two mailboxes into a planter for parrots beak

Add to those a hanging basket of Mother's Day impatiens, a small planter of petunias, and mom's old strawberry planter full of blue ageratumcreeping wire vine, and mint, and a window box outside the kitchen for Lemon Balm and Oregano and I was spent! (Oh, and some on-a-whim sunflower seeds for the yard itself.)

Flash forward a bit...

Things are established.... the beans grew like crazy, had about a dozen beans total, dried up and haven't done squat since.  The tomato plant started slow, but is now weighed down with green green tomatoes. (They take sooooo long to ripen!)

The dying Mother's Day flowers exploded under a little TLC....

...and the basil is three times bigger than it was in this picture. 

The kitchen window box (on a shelf I made myself, thankyouverymuch) is doing well, though it doesn't get as much sun as I'd hoped. But whatever, I have fresh oregano and lemon balm I can pick right out my window! 

The sunflowers are growing, despite the constant attack of either beetles, slugs or both... even the ones my daughter planted under the porch are doing ok.

So.... yeah. This was just a really long, picture heavy way of showing off my mad green thumb skillz.
See, even in a cruddy duplex you can make something green survive... just make sure you water the living shit out of everything every day.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Cheese Fondue

Yesterday we enjoyed a Fondue party with some friends. I remembered I had a recipe for a beer cheese soup that was too damned thick to be soup, but works great as a dippin' sauce.

It was a hit and I was asked to share the secret, so here it is for everyone!


  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 5 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 5 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer


  1. In a large saucepan over medium high heat, melt butter. Cook celery, carrots and onion in butter until onion is translucent. Stir in flour and mustard to coat vegetables. Pour in chicken broth and simmer until slightly thickened. Puree mixture in a blender or food processor or using an immersion blender. Return to pot.
  2. When pureed mixture is hot, begin to stir in Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Parmesan, a little at a time, alternately with the beer, until all is fully incorporated and melted. Serve at once.
 I didn't blend the veggie mix, it's cooked down enough to be squishy and soft, so if you get some on your dippin' bread it's no big deal. It's one less step and less clean-up later. We transported the mix to the party, reheated it right in the fondue pot and added the cheese and beer then.  It fed 6 adults and 3 kids pretty well. 
Great with apples!

Friday, April 27, 2012

7 Days of Uncomfortable Snuggling

Anyone bother watching that 7 Days of Sex show on Lifetime last night?

We did, because we're suckers for awful television. And while the premise is decent, the execution was pretty terrible.

The premise (if you don't feel like clicking the link) is that couples that are having relationship problems pledge to have sex every day for a week straight. They figure that the forced intimacy will rekindle their relationship and revive their love.  I understand the idea behind this, of course. When you don't "do it" for more than a week or so you can get very crabby and grumpy and, after you have sex it kinda hits the reset button and you reconnect and makes everything better.

But here's the thing... when you know the effect having/not having sex can have on you, you don't let it go that long. These couples have grown so distant that they can't even remember the last time they made love or even wanted to. I've been in a relationship that got that bad, and there were bigger issues at hand than just not having sex. If me and my ex tried doing it for a week straight a) we never woulda made it for a whole week, b) yeah, after a week we would've felt connected and happy and all that, cuz that's what sex does, (endorphins and all). But 3 months later, when we haven't had sex in 6 weeks, we'd be back to square one. I'd love to see a "where are they now" for these folks.

Another issue I had with this show is the way these folks went about this undertaking. These people haven't had sex in how long and they try to jump right into it hardcore right out of the box. The one couple we saw last night tried experimenting with hot wax the first night. Why not start slow, idiots? Knock some dust off it first. Work out some of the kinks (no pun intended). You can't just run a marathon without doing some stretching. Then they move on to feathers and vibrators and crotchless body stockings. Either they really didn't have a problem to begin with, or they're really overcompensating.

I think a better idea would be to enlist a professional therapist to slowly up the intimacy/kinky levels while helping them deal with the surrounding issues that the weeks worth of loving inevitably brings up.  Have them start with just touching and kissing and reconnecting. Not the willy-nilly pouring of burning hot candle wax on everything.

Anyway, check it out if you wanna. You can laugh at their idiotic expense and shudder at the creep factor that comes from taping an average gross couple in the afterglow of scheduled lovemaking.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pulled Pork, Take 1

Since Lulu's Mexican closed we've been in dire need of an excellent pulled pork recipe.
Being unemployed (have I mentioned that yet? No? I got laid off. Moving on.) I figured a good thing to do with my time is to try to make a reasonable replacement for it.
Here's the recipe for my first attempt. I got it from the Fix-It & Forget-It Cookbook.

3 lbs pork, cubed (I bought three 1lb packs of "pork" from Shoprite. No specific cut was given and I didn't ask. It was the cheapest way. Good color and marbling. Came out fine. Whew!)
2 cups chopped onions
3 green peppers, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar, it's what I use in my taco mix)
6 oz can tomato paste
1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dry mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. salt

Throw everything in a slow cooker on Hi for 8 hours. Mix it around now and again. After 8 hours, shred the pork that hasn't already fallen apart on it's own. Mix it around some more & serve.

This is a pretty good jumping off point, but I think it really needs some more Oomph. The flavor is good, just kinda flat. I'm thinking more vinegar? Maybe some molasses? Use smoked pork?
My wife cut through the hassle and suggested throwing in some store bought BBQ sauce towards the end. It'll make the liquidy sauce a bit thicker and add some smokiness and depth to it. So next time we'll try that.

If you try it at home and decide to tinker with the recipe please let me know how it turns out!! There's still work to do, people!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hey, NyQuil Driver

Having a 2 year old is like a fever dream you can't wake up from.

A man walks into a bar....

When I get a cold, I suffer through the coughing-sniffling-sneezing-aching-stuffy-head rather than put up with the dreams. NyQuil lets you sleep but it doesn't let you sleep.

A man... A man walks into.... 

It's just a light teasing sleep. No REM to be found, just that vague, "Was I sleeping? Have I slept?" kinda feeling. Seconds spread to hours. Phrases and snippets of songs repeat over and over.

A man walks into a bar... a man... a man walks into a bar... a man walks... the bartender says... a man... "hey, are you a piece of string?" a man...

You can try to change the course of your dream...

Our whole universe was in a hot dense state, til 40 million years ago expansion started... Wait!

The bartender says, "Are you... hey...."

But it never lasts for long.

Minutes spread to eons...

Math, science, history, unraveling the mystery....

But it's still only 10:30 and you just rolled over to try to sleep.

"Are you a piece of string?"

Now spend an hour in a car with a 2 year old who wants to hear Barbara Ann over and over and over. 

Bah bah bah bah bahbahran!

And then have her try to tell you a knock knock joke.

Knock-knock-who's-there? Icy!

You might as well Robodoze and at least not be responsible for deliberately driving into oncoming traffic.

...All started with a big bang! BANG!!


"No, I'm a frayed knot."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ce Sac N'est Pas Un Joue

I'm a bit of a musical hummingbird. I'll bounce from channel to channel on my Sirius radio all day if I get the chance. Or I'll sit on one station for hours. But chances are good, unless it's oldies it's stuff no one else likes. I must admit, I'm a bit of a hipster that way. I like weird things until other people like them. Then they suck
Recently I've been hanging out in Espace Musique which is a great French music station. It's hard to describe, but it's very melodious, kinda poppy, kinda retro, kinda like stuff you'd hear in hip indie movies. But the best thing about it is that it's not in English. No insipid lyrics to piss me off or get stuck in my head. (Other than Sukiyaki, I think most foreign language songs are pretty hard to "ear-worm")
But today I found myself half wishing I knew more than every 8th word or so.  
I wish I'd paid attention in French Class.  I thought.... but wait... that's not right... I wish I learned anything in my French Class.

When I was about 10 or 11 I decided that I really liked French stuff. Don't ask me why. I was just a young silly Francophile. I even went to a summer camp at the local community college to learn French stuff. We sang songs "Napoléon avait cinq cent soldats..." ate Nutella and learned to count to ten.

In middle school we had to take Spanish. I didn't like Spanish and our teacher looked like a naugahyde chew toy with a blond wig. But I knew that in high school I'd be able to return to my true Romance Language love.

My high school had Spanish, Latin and French classes with a teacher designated for each. Our French teacher was Madame Goldberg. She was the only Jewish teacher (that I knew of) in my very Irish Catholic school. Her parents had fled France with her to come to America before the Nazi's moved in. She was a sweet old lady who loved me from the moment I told her that I'd "studied" French before and even knew my French name was Guillaume.
She was also battier than a vampire convention.
The other kids in my class picked up on this weakness instantly and set about exploiting the living hell out of it. No one even attempted to speak the recitations properly. An entire room full of kids speaking monotone Jersey French. It was awful. Everyone took to calling her M'Damn. We'd say "I have to go to M'Damn class now." 
One girl in particular was the evil ring-leader of disrespect and awfulness. I forget her real name now (and I'm too lazy to go get my yearbook) but she'd already failed the class her Freshman year and was retaking it as a Sophomore, putting her ahead of the rest of the class and elevating her to a position of power simply based on her seniority. I'm pretty certain she's the first person I ever met that I would classify as an "Effing C."
Pure. Evil.
She would derail every class. "M'Damn, let's sing a song! M'Damn, I don't get it! M'Damn! M'Damn! M'Damn!" During tests she'd leave her book open in her bag next to her desk and copy answers. When that stopped working and M'Damn had us put our bags in the back of the room her pen would "run out of ink" and she'd go back to her bag every two minutes. When that stopped working she'd just cry.
Speaking of crying, one day M'Damn broke down in front of the class talking about how hard it was that everyone she grew up with in France had died in the Hollocaust!!! The Effing C spent the next few weeks asking inane questions about the war in hopes of getting a repeat performance and maybe a reprieve from learning.
If I remember correctly she finally got caught cheating by writing the answers on her thighs just above the hem of her skirt. How that was what did it, I'll never know.  She cried a lot and pleaded, but, in a moment of clarity Madam booted her out of the class.
One day towards the end of my second year,  a fella in another class somehow got his hands on M'Damn's grade book. He changed his grades and those of a few of his friends. He got caught. To hear him tell the story he was then "Asked to leave the school, under a cloud." M'Damn knew then she had no control over her class. I believe she was asked to leave, just behind the cloud.

After forcing myself through 2 years of not learning French, I told my mom I didn't want to take it any more. She tried to give me this line about how "Some colleges expect you to take 3 years of a language."
"Well, I'm not going to those colleges." Was my reply. It seemed to work.
That next year there was a new French teacher. And all the students who were expected to know 2 years worth of conjugation going into French 3 suddenly found themselves lost in a sea of je/tu/vous/nous.

So, I still don't know any useful French, but I know enough to enjoy my new favorite radio station. Good enough for me.

Friday, January 27, 2012

In my life, I've loved them all.

At least once a week my wife and I have an urge. A desire we can never fulfill. This usually leads to wailing and sorrow and resorting to a less satisfying alternative. Drizzly cloudy days like today stir my desire even more. But it's all for naught.
We really miss the Pufferbelly.
The Pufferbelly was a bar/restaurant not too far from where we live. It was dark and noisy and had an awesome salad bar. The chicken pot pie was home made and meals came with a slice of spiced apple. She, being a local girl, had gone there with her folks as a kid and we brought our daughter there when she was only days old.
Despite having a loyal clientele and always being moderately busy, the Pufferbelly closed a little more than a year ago leaving us with no good local options for pub food that we can bring a kid to.
There's a Walgreen's on the spot now. We'll never shop there and I give the place the bird when I drive by.

On my way to work from the babysitters there was a closed McDonald's.  About a year ago someone started doing some work renovating the place and it reopened as Good2Go.  They were a "healthy" fast food place that used fresh chicken and beef, cooked to order, hand made fries and the best breakfast sandwich ever... pork roll, egg & cheese on pretzel bread. Gah! So good!
But their location wasn't great, I'd imagine the rent was atrocious, and they were never very busy. They closed within 6 months.

When I worked in the chemical lawn maintenance industry I found a little gelato place next to an Acme. They were called Dolce Crema. Their banana gelato was the most delicious frozen treat ever. It was frozen creamy über-banana. Even though they were a 45 minute drive away, they became a destination spot. We got to know the owner and always had fun visiting... until they closed.

We try to visit my folks every couple weeks. For a while we had a routine where, 15 minutes away, we'd call Lulu's Mexican and place our order for pulled pork quesadillas and chips and guacamole. We'd pick it up just before we got to my parents and start our visit with a wonderful feast. We knew the end was near when the owner got rid of his employees, raised his prices a bit and extended his hours. Every week we waited for the shoe to drop... and it did. One day he just didn't open. Skipped out on his rent and his loyal biweekly customers. Chipotle and Baja Fresh are poor substitutes.

Last night I took the family to Pizza Hut. While they weren't as awful as I recall from my childhood, they were not spectacular. For most of our meal we were the only diners in the joint. The waitstaff was inattentive. And yet, since despite spreading their meh pizza and halfway decent bread sticks (and terribly barren salad bar) from coast to coast they will survive forever.

Go enjoy something locally owned today. Tip them well and enjoy your meal... they won't be around for long.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I Hate Commercials (Issue 1)

Ok, so this lady is walking through the Mac/PC void world when the T-Mobile chickie in the pink dress tries to stop her to push her cell-phone agenda on her.
"Can't stop, I'm going to be late for the game!"
"No problem, T-Mobile can bring the game to you!'
"Wow! Look at that! A 4 inch screen is just exactly the same as being in the crowd at a basketball game! I'm amazed!"
Uh... sure, it's been 15 years since I've been to a basketball game, and I'll admit I spent the whole time hitting on a girl in the pep band... and I know there've been great advances in cell phone technology... but I really don't think I'd be placated by signing up for a new phone plan rather than going to the game I probably already had tickets to.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Next Great Shut the Hell Up.

Somehow the latest offering from Buddy the New Jersey Baker ended up on my TV tonight. Four whiney-ass "bakers" were competing for who was the Next Greatest... whose title are they usurping? I have no idea.
So after, tough guy Buddy shows them how to make a dainty rose out of chocolate (he seemed to take a perverse pleasure in spreading the petals) they have 15 minutes to each make flowers that look exactly the same, but apparently he can discern enough difference in them to tell the old bald contestant that he sucks just a little less than the girl who didn't even finish.
Then we got introduced to a former Miss Teen New Jersey who wanted "a beautiful cake." Fueled by so many other cake competition shows, these idiots set out to make overly elaborate super-cakes by themselves in under 10 hours. Yeah. Cakes that take a team of four eight hours to complete these fools are gonna do solo in 10.
They start whoofing out saws and power drills and... aren't they bakers?!?
Make a goddamned tasty cookie or some scones and shut the hell up!!
Since when do bakers need to be engineers and architects. They don't have a team of art school kids like Duff does. The one girl's giving this whiny monologue about how she didn't care about high school and didn't go to college but she followed her baking dreams and now she's melting down on a baking competition show....
Ugh... go back to Panera or making donuts at Wegmans and get off my TV!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Like Boutros Boutros Ghali?

After a cousin's playdate today, my wife and I had a nice long drive home with an exhausted 2 year old in the back seat. As usual we spent the time talking about things expecting couples talk about...
Baby Names.
We're both pretty sure, via a combination of old wives tales and gut feelings, that this one's going to be a boy. We think it's especially possible because we can't agree on a boy's name. At all.
The only name we really really liked would've giving him the initials A.S.S. and I can't be responsible for that...
Though we did agree that the name Jefferson Airplane Schlitz would be awful enough to be totally awesome. He'd have a great conversation piece later in life.
"Hey, Jeff, what's your middle name?"
"Uh, nothin..."
"No, really, what is it?"
"A. Just A. Like Harry S. Truman."
"Aww, c'mon! I saw your driver's license! What is it?"

According to our daughter, Nora, we should name the baby, "Booter."

So, since we can't think of anything better, until further notice, "New Baby" shall be dubbed "Booter."

We are awesome parents.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Voices In My Head

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking.
"We hope you're enjoying your work day, where the local time is 11:58am. It would appear we're heading into a patch of irrational irritability and we'd like you to return to your seats and buckle your safety belt. This is just a precaution, I have no doubt we'll all make it through just fine.
"These events generally occur when a low-blood-sugar area meets with upper-management-incompetence creating a swirling grumpy turmoil. They can also occur when any of the body's extremities quickly come in contact with solid immobile objects.
"If anyone has access to a Zagnut or, perhaps, some sourdough pretzels we'd appreciate them signaling a flight attendant and help get us out of this situation that much faster.
"Otherwise, just buckle up, put your seat backs forward and stow your tray tables until our regularly scheduled lunch at 2pm and we'll get through this fix with a minimum of property damage.
"Thank you again for choosing to travel with Will's Brain."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

'Allo, Govnah!

Sorry I've been missing lately, but between a bout of gastrointestinal unhappiness and a week of having to be at work an hour before I usually wake up, it hasn't really been feasible.

But I'm back today and ready for fun!

Our illustrious Governor, Mr. Chris Christoph Christie held his first town hall meeting of 2012 in the Macys court of the Echelon Mall... oops, I mean Ye Olde Voorhees Towne Centre or whatever they're calling it these days. (I'm sure I'll get into it another time, but the old Echelon Mall has kinda played a bit of a role in my life, to say the least.) Well, the meeting started at just about the time I'd be passing the mall on my way to get pick up the kid at the sitters. I'm always down for a free chance to see someone that I've seen on the Daily Show in real life. (Hell, he was even spoofed on the Simpsons a couple weeks ago.)

Upon entering the parking lot the first thing I noticed was the total lack of parking. If there's one thing that's never a problem at this mall, it's parking. Even during the Christmas rush you can usually find a spot pretty close to any entrance.  Not today. Today I actually had to walk to get in. and even then I had to cut through the food court. Police and fire trucks and TV news vans were blocking the court entrance.

I didn't know what all to expect, but a crowd like this was not it. They did a good job of making the place look less like a court area of a failing mall, and more like an official fancy speech givin' place. Every seat was full. People were crammed together standing on tip-toes to see the action. I was going to try the second floor, but it didn't seem you could get anywhere near the railing. Other than rappelling down the outside of the place I wasn't gonna get a good view.

After playing a little intro video thingy da Gubna came out and people clapped. In the shifting standing crowd I was able to finagle my way between a column and the escalator.  

Ahhh, that's more like it. 

Oh, wait. Never mind.

Mr. Christie-face made a decent speech. He told us all the cool stuff he's done, explained some of his less popular moves, told us what he's got planned (10% lower income tax? Yes, please.) and ragged on the kids from Jersey Shore. He's definitely a dynamic speaker and very comfortable in front of the crowd.  Too bad I was stuck standing behind Lurch the whole time. Sadly, a late start meant that I couldn't stay for the actual Q&A portion, so if anyone got a can of whoop-ass opened on them I missed it. I had to boogie out to pick up the kiddo. Oh well.

When my wife got home she accused me of "sneaking off" and of being a closet Republican. 

A Libertarian can't catch a break, these days.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Survivors

As I was taking out the trash this evening I realized I suffer from a disorder I've decided to call McClaneatosis. (Not to be confused with McLeanitis which involves an American Pie earworm. That's actually called ChevyLevee Disease.)

No, McClaneatosis is the irrational fear that you're somehow under-dressed for some out-of-the-blue disaster. See, I was wearing slippers and a sweater, and it's about 18 degrees out. "What if there's a plane crash next door? Or a zombie attack? I'll freeze to death! Or at least lose a toe to frost bite! Never mind the fact that my shoes and coat are just 20 steps away.  I'm just not prepared! Hell, I don't even have a dressing gown and a towel!"

At least I'm no longer concerned with the possibility of having to save the day in a strappy t-shirt or even topless. After 34 years I am finally at a weight/size that I am comfortable with taking my shirt off.

At least from the front.

From the back I look like I was shot with paintballs full of Rogaine.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

An auspicious start.

A few days ago it I had a bit of a Baader Meinhof experience with Blogs. Everywhere I looked it was "Blog this. Blog that." It felt like 2004 again.

I had a Livejournal for a while, but after it became the public forum for the demise of my first marriage I kinda soured on it. Go figure.  But I do miss the writing and the Facebook really doesn't lend itself to long-winded diatribes.  It also seems like life is about to get interesting again so I figured I should get back into the swing of documenting it before it gets too hectic to even try.

So I figured it was time to jump back into the pool, work out the kinks and get into it again. (As my disjointed paragraphs and shit grammar indicate, I'm rusty, so bear with me.) I set myself up with one-a these here blogger-blogs only to find the name I've always wanted to use (first for a comic strip that never got off the ground in college, then an aborted web comic, then every other failed creative outlet ever) was already taken by some guy who hasn't updated in 6 years. Just my luck.

So, I watched some Dragnet, wandered the Wikipedia, scraped some ideas outta my skull and tried anything that came to mind. Nothing was available.

Until I turned on the 2012 Miss America pageant just in time for the talent portion. The first thought that came to mind became the name of my blog.

Thank you, Miss America. Something good came out of your awful awful program after all.