November 23, 2010

Trilogy Of Trash

It's a short week, my mind is oatmeal and I couldn't dredge up an idea to save my ass.

So what better time is there to haul out the crap!

None ... I repeat none of the following is suitable for work, so don't even try it unless you want your Thanksgiving holiday to extend well into the next fiscal year.

Enjoy ... and Happy Holiday!

You Look Like Shit!

Every Arnold Scream From Every Arnold Movie!

And my personal favorite ...

Nicolas Cage Loses His Shit!

See you soon!!

November 21, 2010

The Inconvenience Index

This past Saturday morning, I woke up at 6 a.m., which is about par for me on the weekend, as I normally get up at 5 a.m. during the work week.  If someone had told me when I was a teenager that I'd be getting up at 5 in the morning on a regular basis, I would have suggested that they go have their head examined, because that wasn't going to be me.  Yet here I am ...

Anyway, I was sitting at the kitchen table, drinking my coffee and looking around the room.  And it suddenly dawned on me that everything looked like shit. Especially the side table in our main "being room".  We had bought the thing when we were first married and were trying to furnish our apartment, and it just looked so 70's, even though we had refinished it.  Disguise is just what it is ... disguise.  Underneath it's still unfashionable 1978, staring you right in the face.

So later on in the morning, I pushed Jan into the truck and we went out looking for something to replace it.  Put-it-together-yourself furniture is always cheaper than going to the furniture store, so we headed over to one of "those" places and in no time, had spotted a large buffet that was not only perfect, but it was 25 percent off.  When the clerk loaded the box with a thousand pieces of wood and screws onto the truck and I said something about the huge tear in the carton, he said to not worry about it because it was so well padded.  And off we went.

After much grunting and cursing, we managed to lug the one ton box into the house and when we opened it up ... voila'! ... half of the material was in match sticks, right at the torn part of the box that "we shouldn't worry about".

Incensed, and full of adrenalin, I lifted the massive load of scrap all by myself and threw it in the back of the truck to return it.  Back at the store, there was much tut-tutting, and after cooling my heels for a few minutes waiting for the replacement, the store manager emerged from the back and told me there weren't any more buffets.

Me:  What???

Store Manager:  I'm sorry, we have some more coming to us in a few weeks.  They've just been so popular!

Me:  Shit ... what about the floor model?

Store Manager:  Oh no, that's our floor model!

Me:  So what?  It's for sale isn't it?

Store Manager:  Oh no, that's our floor model!

Me:  (Death Ray Stare)  Look, I just paid 400 dollars for a piece of furniture.  I'm not walking out of here with just my dick in my hand.

Long Pause Punctuated By Continued Death Ray Stare.

Store Manager:  Okay.

Me:  Good.  I'll pull my truck up out front.

Store Manager:  All right.  There's a fee for putting the table together.

Me:  I'm sure you'll waive if for me though, won't you?

Store Manager:  Uh ... yeah.

So, the Store Manager and his minions loaded the table on the truck, all the while bitching that he had put it together himself and it had taken three hours to do it.

On the way home, I called Jan and told her I'd be there in a few minutes.  She sighed and said that she'd get the tools ready to assemble it.

There are few times in married life that the husband feels like a hero, but when Jan's eyes bugged out when she saw the all-ready-assembled piece of furniture in the back of the truck, I reveled in the glory.

Today, I put up a new ceiling fan in the living room. What should have taken 20 minutes took three-and -a half hours.

It all evens out.

November 14, 2010

Fish Boiled

Several weeks ago, Jan and I attended an evening "dinner" event.  I emphasize dinner, because it was some sort of awards thing, and "dinner" was just a euphemism for shit-on-a-plate.  Knowing we wouldn't eat but a polite bite or two, we had planned ahead with what has become known between the two of us as the "White Gull Inn" defense.

Back in the days before the kid arrived, we experimented with the concept of vacation.  However, we weren't very good at it and ended up going to a lot of crummy places. When we arrived in Northern Illinois, several friends brought up the subject of us vacationing in Door County, Wisconsin, a mere 6 hour drive as the crow flies from our home.  Being dumb-ass still-almost newlyweds, we thought this was a grand idea and booked a weeks vacation there.

After our arrival at what turned out to be an off-season hunting lodge on a place called Kangaroo Lake, we set off to see the sights; and after a day of trudging through what seemed like a hundred cute little touristy shops, we arrived back at our cabin with the realization that we still had 5 days to fill ... with something.

We spent the days straying from one cutesy place to another, and in our down time, found that drinking helped a lot to pass the time.  All week, the helpful lodge keeper had been recommending places of interest for us, and toward the end of the week, suggested that we couldn't leave Door County without experiencing a Friday night "fish boil".  In fact, she had already made reservations for us at the White Gull Inn, which if you believe the press, was the Premiere fish boil establishment in the continental United States.

Jan hates fish, and I'm not real fond of it either unless the entree' has "O-fish" somewhere in it's name.  But we had no other place to go and thought it would make for interesting bragging rights at some time ... "Fish Boil? Why, yes.  Jan and I ate at the top rated fish boil restaurant in the country".

So, on Friday night, we headed out for the White Gull Inn.  At the appointed time, all of us diners were herded into the Inn's courtyard, where a sizeable wood pyre had been constructed.  There was a circus made of cutting raw fish into hunks; skin, bones and all; and throwing them into a gigantic kettle along with some potatoes. The kettle was then placed on the pyre and the material lit.

After about an hour of watching the kettle sit in the fire, and consuming many drinks, it was time for the coup d' etat.  A coffee can full of kerosene was tossed into the fire at the base of the kettle and a huge flaming eruption followed.  Like this:


Water and foam boiled out of the kettle, making a mess of everything, and as the chefs gathered the fish and potatoes, we were herded back into the dining room to wait for our meals to be delivered.

In the menu, the dinner was supposed to look like this:

Okay ... Not Too Bad.
Even If You Don't Like Fish

However, what arrived at our table looked a bit more like this:


Jan took one look at her plate and immediately covered it with her napkin.  I thought she was being a little melodramatic, so I put on my "go" face and took a forkful and shoved it my mouth ... where it stayed for about one and a half seconds before I spit it out into my napkin.

Boozed up and hungry, we thought that maybe we could eat the potatoes, but they were covered with gross fish foam.  They had already taken away the complimentary bread and crackers, so we were stuck.  Not wanting to offend the owners with our persnicketyness, we pulled and pushed at the dinners until they had been spread around the plate enough to mimic having been eaten ... at.  I even threw a couple of pieces under the table for extra "I ate some" realism.

Finally, the check came and we bolted.  Fortunately, it was just after 9:00 and we had time to go find another place to eat.  Unfortunately, the county as a unified whole, rolled up it's sidewalks at 8:00 and went home to eat fish boil.

We went the length of Door County, first east-west, then north-south ... and nothing was open.  There wasn't even a McDonald's.  What kind of God-forsaken land doesn't even have a McDonald's?

And then we stopped at a gas station, with one of those new-fangled mini-marts (a radical idea for it's time).  We loaded up on pretzels, potato chips and Fritos ... as well as a twelve-pack of beer and headed back for the cabin.

I'd like to tell you it was the best meal of our young lives. But frankly, it sucked.  We went to bed gassy and bloated ... and still feeling unsated.

When we left the next morning, we told ourselves that we'd have a story to tell when we got home.  But in the real world, a "story to tell" and 20 dollars will get you dinner for two at Chili's. 

And a blog post.

November 02, 2010

Nobody Predicts Me

Back in about, oh ... let's say July, I started to see the media ads increase for the November elections.  As it slowly dawned on me what absolutely awful choices there were for the offices of Governor and U.S. Senate, not to mention the lesser races, I told myself that I wasn't going to be brought to the level of holding my nose while I marked my ballot.  And I decided to sit this election out.

And as the weeks and months moved along, I remained convinced that my decision was the right one.  I didn't want to be responsible for any of the sorry lot getting into, or remaining in office.

That is, until last night.

I was watching one of the early evening news shows and one particularly smug reporter asshole confidently predicted that this guy ... and that guy were going to win because most people would stay home and not bother to vote.

That got me a little hot under the collar, so after work today I drove over to the village office in Antioch to vote, simply to upset that asshole reporter's ... and others ... worthless projections.  Turns out I wasn't the only one.  The pretty large parking lot was packed and people were parking on the streets and highway running past the facility.  And there were over 500 people inside, crushing each other for the chance to fill out a ballot.

And I hope when I wake up tomorrow morning and turn on the radio, that every single one of these carefully "polled" predictions were wrong.

I'm tired of people telling me what I'm going to do before I even do it.  Piss on you news media.

Or maybe that's the way they planned it ...