Friday, March 19, 2010

The Coffee Incident - Based On a True Story

I was sitting there, watching Jack play on the video games and listen to Mark repeat the phrase "I'm thirsty" over and over again. Mom and Dad were still sleeping, seeing's how it was only 6:30.
Getting bored with the video game, I got up and walked into Mom and Dad's room. Nope, not yet, still sleeping. I toyed briefly with climbing up on the bed and inserting myself between the two of them. If they wanted to cuddle, I need to be there to make sure they're cuddling properly. Face it, how can they cuddle properly if I'm not there to show them how?
Ah well, I walk back out to the living room and into the kitchen. After tugging on the door to the refrigerator. Yep, milk is still there. Wonder if I could get Jack to pour me some. I shut the door and walk back out to the living room. Jack is still playing, but Mark has found a stuffed animal and is playing with it. Wait a minute... that's my stuffed animal! I've got to take it back!
After wrestling with Mark for a couple of minutes, Dad gets up and grumps at us for a few minutes, then he goes to the bathroom. While he's in the bathroom, I sneak into their room and climb into bed with Mom. She looks like she needs to wake up. I know the best way to wake her up.
Now I running back out to the living room. I thought Mom would have liked me jumping on her, but I guess not. Dad's in the kitchen, I'll get him to give me some milk.
Ahh.... milk. That's good stuff. Now Mark's got some milk, and Dad's taken over the video game. Since he's sitting on the floor, I'm going to sit in his lap. Mom's up now, telling Dad how I woke her up. Seriously, I didn't think it was that bad - it wasn't like I was aiming for her head.
Now Mom is in the kitchen, making coffee. No, wait, she's off to the bathroom. Dad's muttering under his breath again. He must be losing his video game again. Jack's talking to Dad about the game, and Mark is lying on the floor.
Mom's back in the kitchen. I think she's getting her coffee... yep, now she's sitting down on the couch. I need to stand up. I'm hearing something, and I've got to find it.
You don't hear it? I can hear it... it's calling me. Oh, it's Mom's phone! Hello Mom's phone. What? You want some coffee? I thought you weren't supposed to drink coffee. Oh, you want to soak? Well, I suppose that's not so bad. Here, let me help you. It's not too hot is it? No? O.k. I'm going to go play in my room now.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Story for Roger

Rough hands shoved me into the room. As I looked around my surroundings, the door slammed behind me. Spinning around quickly, I lost my balance, as my hands were still shackled behind my back.
Struggling over, I managed to roll over onto my back. Looking around the room, I saw a chair and a table in the middle of the room. In the corner was a fabric panel that I could make out the bottom of a toilet on the other side of.
As I adjusted my hands to try and keep from crushing them, the door opened again. Two men came over and hauled me to my feet. Looking at them, I tried to memorize their faces, but they had bandannas over their faces, their eyes glaring malevolently over the cloth. Snapping to attention as if silently commanded, the two thugs turned into boards.
Another man strutted into the room, his face covered with a bandanna. Quickly, he walked up to me, and glared. I tried to return his gaze, but the Ni Hao Kai Lan bandanna kept distracting me. Finally, I was able to tear my gaze away from his dashing face wear.
"You're probably wondering why we've brought you here" His voice was muffled slightly by the bandanna.
"well, the thought had crossed my mind." I replied, returning his gaze steadily. He gestured to the two goons, and the restraints were removed. I rubbed my wrists, trying to massage the abuse away.
"I apologize for the rough treatment, but under normal circumstances, I fear you would have declined my invitation." My captor continued. I continued to study his face, trying to figure out who had abducted me.
"Well, it all depends - how would you have invited me?" I asked. "My first impulse was to demand that you come and do some work for me." He replied. I nodded slightly. "Yeah, I don't think that the outcome would have been posi-" "Then" he cut me off "I thought I would call you and invite you over to hang out." I shifted my weight slightly "under what pretext? A sleepover?" This response elicited a glare from him. "I am well aware of you feelings on sleepovers!" The vehemence startled me slightly.
Regaining his composure, the masked man continued "Finally, I just figured that I would kidnap you. Sometimes, the simplest solution is the best." He shrugged. "O.k." I replied "now that you have me, what exactly is it that you want from me?" He reached out and straightened the lapels on my flannel. "I want you to write me a story... a story that involves a few different ideas..." my mouth hung open.
"You put all this time and effort into kidnapping me, just so I can write you a story?" I threw my hands in the air. Unperturbed, he waited for for me to calm down. "Yes, I want you to write me a story." I shook my head, incredulously. "The story I want you to write concerns three things" he held his splayed fingers up to emphasize his point. "One, hot dogs. Two, t-shirts. Three, Meissner Corpuscles."
"Are you mad?" I shrieked.
He shook his head, slowly. "No, I am not. I know you can do this. I have read your writing, and I know you are the one who can do this the proper respect it deserves."
Sighing heavily, I resigned myself to writing something that would work. "Alright, I'm going to need supplies."
"Everything you may need is on the table." He gestured to the table behind me. I turned to face the table. The two goons walked past me. As I turned back around, I was alone in the room, the door clanging shut behind Goon #2. I walked to the door. Ni Hao's face appeared in the grill of the door. "and another thing... We won't be paying you for this."
My howls of rage rang through the compound for days afterwards.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An Inglorious Post

So, this post is a little late, due to the fact that Melissa and I stayed up and watched Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds" last night.
First off, let me say that I like Tarantino - his directing capabilities are top notch, and his movies are engaging and entertaining, not to mention frantic, frenetic, violent (extremely violent), and funny.
However, what I watched last night was anything but. So, I present to you gentle reader, my totally one sided and biased review of Inglorious Basterds.

Starting out, the movie is 2 1/2 hours long. The first warning sign of a potentially problematic movie. Thanks to the American need for everything to be bite sized, easily digestible chunks of information, any movie that edges past the two hour mark is like putting a 14oz steak in front of a starving man and giving him a fork, but no knife. More than likely, he's gonna choke on it.
Second, the title is Inglorious Basterds, not Psychotic, Yet Deviously Evil Nazi Detective and Various Bit Players. For 2 1/2 hours, we only see the Basterds for approximately 45 minutes.
Third, Tarantino is known for fast paced, frenetic action sequences and snappy dialog. Basterds feels like the antithesis to his forte. The dialog feels forced in points, overwrought in others and the action scenes, while full of all that action-y goodness Tarantino is known for is sadly lacking, and what is there is abrupt, graphic, and over all too soon.
Fourth, Tarantino seems to have taken a page from the Ang Lee book of Directing. Namely, if the story can be told in an hour, hour and-a-half, it needs to be padded out with extraneous story lines and fluff, because it will be so much better. It has to be!
Fifth, Brad Pitt for some reason just annoyed the living hell out of me. His accent was quite accurate, but it just grated on my nerves. Personally, I don't think as great an actor as many people like to think he is.
Now, Just because I've aired my grievances about the movie does not mean there was not things that I enjoyed about the movie. Christoph Waltz was brilliant as the delightfully psychotic, yet calculating Nazi Col. Hans Landa. He truly earned every single award he won. I hope he continues to appear in American cinema for a long time to come.
The action scenes were classic Tarantino. Tightly paced, incredibly violent (I personally think Tarantino has a fetish for squibs - special effects explosives that explode fake blood packets), and exciting.
The cameo by Mike Meyers was seriously surreal. I felt like I was watching Austin Powers grow up, develop a receding hairline, and lose the overt sexual connotations.

All in all, I found Inglorious Basterds to be long in the tooth, tedious, and well beneath Tarantino's usual fare.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Hippie

This is based off of a real incident that happened lately, but parts of it have been fictionalized due to artistic license.

“Well, hello sir!” I turned around at the greeting.
Standing before me was a man, had to be close to fifty or so, long goatee and moustache that together swallowed his mouth when he closed it. I looked him over quickly, and replied, “Hey, how’s it going?”
He walked up to me, close enough to get a good look at him, but not close enough to violate anyone’s sense of personal space. He wore a red pullover and denim pants. At his foot was a little Chihuahua about the size of a large rat.
“I’m doing good today, sir. Might I ask where you’re headed to today?” He asked, as I looked at his dog. The dog stared back, his large round eyes bulging from his head slightly. “Well, the family and I were doing some sight-seeing, heading into Moab to hang out.” I explained, not totally sure where this conversation was headed. “I see, I see...” he replied, nodding his head. “Good afternoon Beautiful.” He said without a trace of lechery to a passing woman. In response, she smiled widely, and continued up to the visitor center.
Theresa walked up to the car and opened the door. “Hello Beautiful” he said to her. She smiled and said “Hi!” and climbed into the passenger seat. The man turned back to me and started talking about a local picnic spot. “The local park has pictographs, petroglyphs, and other indigenous artwork from thousands of years ago. It also has a picnic area, and playground, and its own arch. We call it ‘Hidden Arch’ park because people can never seem to find the arch. I tell them that if they’re looking at the pictographs, they just need to look behind themselves.”
He was getting animated about the park, but I knew we didn’t have time to check it out now. “That sounds really cool, we might be able to check it out on the way back, but for now, we have to get rolling.” I took a step back, getting ready to walk to the car when he stepped closer.
“Do you consider yourself a ‘happy hippie’? You strike me as the type to be a ‘happy hippie’.” He asked his voice low, as if we were discussing a conspiracy. Raised on the ideals of the hippie movement, I looked at him “well, yeah, I guess I am a happy hippie.” He looked me in the eyes “Well, as you might be able to tell, it’s difficult to get buds out here, and it’s next to impossible to grow it, so I was wondering if you might have a pod or two you could drop me?”
It took me a second to process what he was saying, and then it hit me. “Ah, man, no. I’m sorry, I don’t have anything.” Which was the truth – I hadn’t touched the stuff in close to fifteen years. “Ah, better to not travel with it… especially out here.” I thought on this for a second, remembering horror stories from friends who had the misfortune to be pulled over in Utah. “Well,” I stated “If I come across anyone with anything, I be sure to send them your way.”
A big grin broke across his face, revealing bright, straight teeth. “I do appreciate that,” he said, chuckling slightly. “you guys have a safe trip today.” I smiled at him, looked at his bulge-eyed dog, and got into the car.
“What was that all about?” Theresa asked me as I put the van in reverse and backed out. “he was telling me about a picnic spot back over there” I gestured off to the left and put the van in drive. “He was a nice enough guy.” As we pulled onto the interstate, I chuckled to myself. “What?” she asked me, looking over at me. “Well, the guy also asked me for some pot.” I explained as we merged left into traffic. “He did what?” a hint of incredulity creeping into Theresa’s voice. I nodded my head. “Seriously; I told him I didn’t have any. He asked me if I was a ‘happy hippie,’” I told her the rest of the conversation, and we both had a good chuckle about it.


The man talked quietly to his dog for a couple more minutes and then walked up to the visitor center. Pulling open the door, he glanced quickly at the woman behind the counter and walked over to the movie center. Normally, there would be a movie playing about the highlights of Utah, but now, it was just a blank screen.
Closing the sheets across the opening, the man flipped back a panel on the wall and pressed a series of buttons. On the screen to his right, an image appeared of a man in a State Trooper uniform.
“Yes, Agent Madison?” The man on the screen said in a strict, business tone.
“Reporting in to let you know that we hand another ‘HH’ stop by; I engaged the subject, with a negative outcome.” The man replied. He glanced over at his dog who was now napping on a chair, the leash hanging down to the ground.
“Do you think they suspected anything?” The screen man asked.
“No” the other man said – I think he’s clean.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Bit of Historical Fiction

Just a quick note to my fans before I get to the writing tonight:

This is the 80th post! Hot Damn! I hope tonight's writing will do this milestone justice, as this is also new territory for me.

"Harris!" The call rang out loud and clear. Robert Harris jumped up from his desk. "Yes, Colonel!" The lanky youth dashed down the aisle of desks, other journalists looking up, some annoyed, others interested at the blur racing past.
Stopping outside of the Editor's office, Harris tried to compose himself before stepping into his bosses office. Taking a deep breath, and trying not to panic, he knocked on the door.
"You wanted to see me, sir?" Harris stuck his head in the office. Across the room, he could see his boss standing at the window, looking out, his back to the nervous employee in the doorway. Turning on his heel, his chin strip and goatee quivering. Harris winced inwardly, he was about to get an ear full.
"Those goddamn hags, harlots and pollutants have joined up with those skunks, pinheads, gas-pipe ruffians, rowdies, anarchists and deadbeats again!" Otis was working up a full head of steam, and if Harris didn't do something quick about it, he would rage against the democrats and unions for the next three days.
"Whoa, slow down there Colonel!" Harris paled from the glare he received, but forged on doggedly "What's going on now sir?" Otis stormed up to the reporter and waved his finger at the young man.
"Those damn unions are trying to get us shut down again! They're saying that I'm trying to outlaw unions around here and paying off organizers to reach those means!" Otis was practically shrieking now. "Well, Colonel, aren't you trying to outlaw unions?"
Otis glared at him again. "Yes, but I'll be damned if I'm trying to buy those bastards off! Why the hell would I give good money to those pinheads?" He jabbed his finger into Harris's chest.
Harris winced. "Look, Colonel, what if I go out tomorrow, and see if I can find something on this group. I know of a couple of brothers that I might be able to hit up for some information." Otis glared at him for a moment, and then turned away "I had better have some damn good dirt on them tomorrow, or you're fired!"
Leaving work early, Harris ran down to the iron workers union, looking for two brothers. Asking around, Harris finally found the McNamara brothers conversing quietly with a few co-workers. As soon as they laid eyes on the reporter, the co-workers walked away, surreptitiously glancing at him as they walked by.
"Ah, Mister Harris, how are ya t'day?" The older brother, John, greeted Harris, his eyes hard, yet mischievous. "Ah, I'm good J.J., Listen, I was wondering what you've heard lately. I know it sounds like I'm fishing, but the fact of the matter is that the colonel is breathing down my back, and if I can't get something, he's gonna fire me."
JJ put his arm around Harris's shoulders and began to walk away from his brother. "Listen, we don't have anything major
going on anytime soon, but word on the street is that something big might be going on here in the next couple of days. We should know something later on tonight. Listen, what time do you guys all clear out of the building?"
Harris looked at McNamara, a cold feeling setting into his gut. "Why?" McNamara smiled. "Because, if Old man Otis finds out that we're coming over to see you, he's gonna fire you anyways."
Harris stopped dead. "What do you mean, stop by?" McNamara stopped with him. "We might know about something later tonight, and I want you to be the first one to know about it - but, I want to be able to tell you in strict confidence. That's why I want to know when we can stop by your place without being noticed."
Harris felt something twist in his stomach, but tried to ignore it. "Listen, everyone usually cleans out around 11, sometimes 12. If we get a good story, or the Colonel is fired up, we might not make it out until 2 or 3 in the morning." McNamara nodded to himself. "Alright - listen, we'll swing by around 4, just to make sure you've had time to get home. It'll still be dark, so nobody will see us, and that early in the morning, there shouldn't be anyone around anyways."
Harris sighed, and nodded. "Alright, I'll see you then." As he walked away, James walked up to his brother. "Why did you tell him we'll meet up at his house?" John looked at his younger brother. "It's simple. We place the bomb at the Times, set the timer for 4 a.m. When the bomb goes off, we'll be at his house. If we're questioned, we can just say we're there, and he's not going to go out and say we were there with him. It's insurance."
James stared at his brother, searching his older siblings face for information. "I guess October 1st will go down in history as a turning point for unions everywhere."

Author's Note: On October 1st 1910, The Los Angeles Times Building was bombed by union activists J.J. and J.B. McNamara. Their attempts to bomb the building were complicated by the fact that the bomb went off prematurely, not only destroying one of the walls of the building, but also damaging natural gas pipes that caught fire, killing 21 people.
The McNamara brothers were eventually caught and convicted, serving life sentences in San Quentin.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Trifecta - Again

Midget Discrimination

From a discussion with Johnny Finklestein - associate editor of Diminutive Discourse Monthly.

"People always ask me 'Johnny, why is it that little folk can get parts in movies, but you can't become president?' and I tell them that one we don't like being called little folk - it's demeaning and two most of the time, it's due to discrimination."
He sits back in his chair, looking slightly upset. I ask him if he wants to continue.
"Yeah I want to continue, but it just pisses me off, y'know? I mean, we've been busting our asses since the twenties to carve out an area for us. Look at Billy Barty! The man was a damn genius when it came to our rights - he fought for us to be able to lead regular lives in Hollywood. He helped outlaw dwarf tossing for chrissakes! The man should be canonized for all the work he has done... but we still can't be taken seriously when it comes to politics!"
Johnny has really worked up a froth by now. There is a crazed look in his eyes, and he keeps clawing the arms of his chair. Apparently, the alarmed look on my face calms him enough to regain his composure.
"Look - we can play oompa loompas, we can play munchkins. We can play ewoks, small service droids, evil leprechauns, jawas, or any other diminutive fantastical creature - except for hobbits (Johnny's face clouds up for a moment), even magic users - but when it comes to congress, or the senate, or even the local school board, we are looked over. (he winces at his unintentional pun) I've asked about this before - I have spoken with several people in various political arenas, and they always tell me the same thing..."
a heavy pause fills the room.... I look in askance as Johnny, who has turned beet red. I brace myself for the next outburst.

SUBARU Drivers

I'm stuck. Again. I'm already late, and this goddamn SUBARU is in front of me, taking its time. 'This is supposed to be the fast lane!' I scream in my head as I see the break lights flash for a moment. Damn, damn, DAMN! I knew I shouldn't have stayed to watch DORK FIGHTS 4: THE RETURN OF THE SLIDE RULE, but just watching them use those pocket protectors as shields was inspired.
Argh! Those fricken' brake lights again! Can I get over? no... That Semi is hogging the next lane... *sigh* what's the point of buying an Impreza WRX, if you always get stuck behind a 1985 SUBARU DL WAGON. Screw this.... I'm gonna roll down my window....

What is Your Superpower?

News Anchor: An in other news, we have a new superhero in town. With him right now is Slate Bladen. Slate, who do you have with you?

Slate: Thanks Denise, with me I have The Bladder, the newest superhero in town. Now, Bladder, what exactly is your superpower?

The Bladder: Well, as my name implies, I can ingest any sort of liquid, and then expel liquid at a prodigious rate.

Slate: Well, not to make light of your "powers", but I think most people can do that - it's part of the digestive cycle.

The Bladder: Yeah, but can you put out a fire two miles away?

Slate: [Looks green} and there you have it! The Bladder! Now back to you in the studio Denise!

Friday, March 5, 2010

a plea to my fans...

Well, I've been going at this for almost two months now, and I've got to say that I've been having fun. I'm still fiddling with the parameters of the experiment, and I could use suggestions on what I can do to improve the content.
For the time being, I'm going to be taking it easy for the next couple of weeks as I have to tighten up my manuscript, but I still consider every suggestion submitted, so please keep them coming - I enjoy your suggestions!
Other than that, it's been a bit hectic today - taking the van back into the shop to get the rotor straightened, crabby kids, other drama, joining netflix.... I've got to tell you, it has been a life altering day today.

So, all my readers out there, I love you all, and I will continue to write, just not tonight...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Talking dog

"I always imagined that a talking dog would have a deeper voice."
Shawn looked at me like I had swallowed a mouse in front of him. "What?" I looked up from my beer, locking onto his gaze. "I said, 'I always imagined that a talking dog would have a deeper voice' I don't know why I have to repeat myself."
"That's what I thought you said" Shawn mumbled. "I know I'm going to regret this, but let me hear it". He rolled his hand, signaling me to start telling the story.
I grunted negatively - "If I'm gonna tell you this story, I need to lubricate my throat. Get me another beer, and I'll fill you in on the details." Shawn glared at me for a moment, then waved over the waitress. Bobbling over, the bleach blond beer jockey took my order. As she walked away with my order, my eyes followed of their own accord, analyzing the curves of her hips as she swayed across the room.
"Well?" Shawn was getting annoyed, his voice tinged with impatience - if I pushed him much longer, he would change his mind and I would have to pay for the beer. Normally, not a problem, but with too much month left for too little money, I couldn't afford to push my luck.
"A few months back, I got a job working in a lab. Still not sure as to what they were doing - lots of animal testing however. I would go in and clean the rooms after everyone had left for the night. They would have cages on cages of mice that had body parts grafted to them." Shawn choked momentarily on his beer. "Grafted?"
I nodded, and continued.
"They had this one mouse who had an ear grafted onto his back, while another one had a nose grafted on to his back." Shawn was shaking his head now. "The weirdest one I ever saw though, was this mouse that had a fulling working pair of human arms grafted onto the creature." By this time, Shawn's jaw was swinging freely. "The mouse was nice, but if you did anything to it, the mouse would haul off and punch you."
The waitress had come back by now and placed my beer on the table. I winked at her, making a mental note to get her number later.
"So, I get this call to clean a new room one night, and I go in there, and there's this dog lying on the floor." I take a pull from my mug and continue. "I'm positive that the poor beast is dead, so I go over to it, and nudge it with my foot." Shawn is rapt with attention now - if I can keep it going, I might be able to get a pitcher out of him.
"So I nudge him with my foot, and I hear this high pitched voice call out from somewhere, says 'please don't do that' and I jump a good two feet back. Now, I'm thinking that this is a recorded voice or some such crap like that. I'm getting my bearings when I hear the voice again, only this time, I pay attention to the tonal quality of it. Imagine that Alvin from Alvin and the Chipmunks gets kicked in the balls, and then tries to have a regular conversation."
"Jesus, man... so what did you do?" Shawn is hanging onto my every word now.
"Well, It was like nails on a chalkboard - but I finally figured out that it was coming from the dog itself. I sat and talked with the dog for a good long while. Finally, I smuggled it out of the lab, and we hit a 24 hour Waffle House. By then I knew that I was going to be fired, so I didn't bother going back. We hung out for a while, but one night, we got really drunk. I got upset and kicked the dog who proceeded to bite me. After that, the dog took off, and I passed out."
Shawn is flabbergasted; without thinking, he orders two more beers.
"The next day" I continue "this other dog shows up with a last will and testament, and hands it to me. I open it up and read that the dog died last night, and has left everything to the dog in front of me, it's son. However, there is a caveat that I am awarded custody of the dog."
Shawn pays the waitress and asks "so what happened?"
I look down and say "well, I was nursing a wicked hangover, so I got drunk again, and ended up eating the dog."
Shawn looks horrified.
"Yeah" I explain "There really is nothing quite like the heir of the dog that bit you the night before."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Horror Story

A bit of real life here, please bear with me as the usual insanity will resume tomorrow:

So this week started out much like any other - completely unassuming, lying in wait, ready to spring up, slavering and growling, claws bared, fangs glistening, ready to take a huge bite out of my ass. Since there's no easy way to run down the week, I'll do it by day.

The week started out fairly mellow - standard grousing and prodding to get the oldest up and out of the house for school. Piled the family into the van, dropped of eldest and trucked out to Fruita (smaller town outside Grand Junction) to pick up a couple of end tables we scored off of Freecycle. I was kind of cranky due to lack of sleep and general sunny disposition first thing in the morning.
We drove back into town and decided to go out to breakfast, settling on Sonic (which is half way across town), we get within 100 feet of sonic, and the car starts shuddering while trying to shift gears. General snark bounces back and forth between Melissa and I, and we forgo breakfast to limp home. After getting home, Call a local shop, find out they can look at it, limp it across town again, drop off the van, and go get some breakfast - finally.
Get a call from the shop - Transmission is shot. Chest tightens, ask how much (ballpark). Guy replies: "Transmission has basically disintegrated, fluid is burnt, metal is rattling around in there. That's why it's hard shifting into second, and rattling into third. I'm surprised you could even get it into third." Pressure behind my eyes. Guy continues: it's going to run you about $2200. Time stops as the back of my head hits the far wall. Somehow I manage to explain that I need to discuss it with my wife.
Hang up with the guy, immediately call another transmission store. They say that best case would be $1100 - worst case would be $2100. Thank him and call yet another transmission shop. Worst case $2100 - $2300. Hang up, and talk to Melissa. We decide to get it fixed at the shop.
Pain starts behind left eyebrow - Melissa says to call in to work. I call in to work, manager tries to guilt me into coming in. I explain to him that I will cause more customer complaints than I will solve. Manager tells me to feel better soon.
By this point, I feel like throwing up, so I lay down on the floor to take a nap. Kids are asleep, but I still don't get any sleep. Wake up about an hour later to go get eldest from school.
We get home, try to get eldest to finish homework before he has to go to karate - instead he gets into a fight with his brother. pushing, shoving, yelling, throwing shit - I detonate. I have been pushed to beyond my limits, and I break down.
Kids are completely oblivious.
Finally, get my shit back together, compose myself, and take eldest to karate. Start feeling better over the next hour, go home, Melissa cuts off the tip of her finger, order out, have dinner, put kids in bed, and finally wrap up the day, exhausted, frustrated and worried about how we're now going to afford to buy fire bricks for Melissa's kiln.

Get up, hassle eldest into getting up and going to school. Come home, stress most of the day about the kiln situation. Finally go to work, immediately go to manager's meeting. An hour and a half later, get out and get bombarded with idiot customer who swears up and down that she special ordered a door from us, but has no receipt, no paperwork, doesn't know when she bought it, paid cash, and wants to return it.
Search through system to no avail.
Customer's husband calls up, explains that the door was a special order return that they purchased with cash. They still don't have a receipt, no paperwork, no idea of an exact date when it was purchased, or how much they paid for it. Finally, we make the decision that they did not purchase it from us, so I have my supervisor call the customer back to let him know to pick up the door.
Spend the rest of the day trying to get weekly paperwork all figured out, wrestling with on hand variances (my favorite is the one that says we had 110 sheets of something when we actually have 50. Our host system says that we have 140) and generally trying not to kill customers.
At the end of the night, the door is still waiting to be picked up.

Eldest out of bed early, got everything together without complaining. Gets his planner out and has me sign it. Take kid to school, meet dad across town to haul Melissa's kiln frame out past Fruita to get a door welded to it. Youngest gets into Desitin, but I manage to prevent him from finger-painting the leather couch with it. Eventually get into work, knock out the rest of weekly paperwork within the hour. Things are going fairly good. I've got things under control. Find two mirror doors in different sections of the department - returns because the back fo the doors have been scratched. Find out customer wants the store to pay her installer for his time to run back and forth to the store from Delta (approximately an hour away).
While helping a customer, I get a phone call from the shop - the van has been fixed - to the tune of $2300. Immediately getting off the phone with him, I get a text from my series editor. Manuscript is on it's way back, and it looks *good*. Feeling jazzed, I call Melissa with the news. Kids have been monstrous again. Explain the news. Melissa is not happy with the added cost of the repairs, but she's happy that her finger is healing.
Get a voice mail from my mom explaining that my grandma will be sending me a check in the next week, so not to freak out - My grandmother is getting on in years, and we've had a couple of incidents that have caused concern. She's not senile, or suffering from Alzheimer's, but some decisions she's made have caused some consternation.
Melissa calls me up, asking why the Internet is not working. She's already tried the basic troubleshooting, but nothing is working. I tell her that I'll look at it when I get home for lunch. We grab some dinner, on the way home, I get a phone call from my mom explaining the message. Grandma recently sold her house to move closer to her grandkids in Colorado Springs (good move). She also found out that she can gift money to family so she doesn't have to pay capital gains taxes, so we're getting a good chunk of money this next week. So much for sweating the kiln. We get home and I call our service provider. Finally getting a live person from India, I have to explain that I don't know what my account number is, and I don't have any identifying information that they can easily access. Finally, we manage to find the account.
He tells me there is a block on my account. I tell him that the account is in good standing and paid up. He explains that it has a cease and desist block. My heart sinks - he asks me if I've downloaded anything copyrighted. I play dumb, finally he gets the block removed, and we check our email. Warner Bros. has sent a cease and desist regarding the movie "Where the Wild Things Are". I spend close to 45 minutes of my lunch hour getting this all sorted out. So yes Virginia, I have been DMRC'ed. No more downloading movies for me.
Eldest walks into the room while I'm talking to Melissa about it. We have to explain that dad got busted for stealing a movie, and how bad it is.
Go back to work, get department cleaned up, come home, and discover that our eldest has been involved in a bit of naughtiness at school - apparently he was with a group of 5th graders who were playing "Truth or Dare" and the subject of exposing oneself came up - nothing happened, no bits were exposed, but a teacher overheard and busted the group.
I have the next four days off - I just hope to goddess that she will look somewhere else for entertainment. If she grants me her blessing much more this week, I might end up going sane and join the greyfaces - or they Mayan calendar may be wrong and they misinterpreted the date as 4 - 8 March 2010.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A disturbing love story

"Butterfingers, please don't look at me that way, you know I can't be with you. It's a crime to my heart~"
I stood there, staring at the yellow wrapped temptress sitting on the counter, the only sound was the wheeze that escaped from my asthmatic throat. In the stillness of the day, I could feel the sweat bead up on my chins, slowly working it's way down the front of my shirt. The tension was palatable - just me and the object of my undying desire. Taking a deep breath, I could feel the t-shirt straining against my bulk, the individual threads screaming out in agony as they were stretched beyond their limits.
The whore lay on the table lewdly, flashing just enough of her chocolate brown covering to cause erotic images spring forth in my mind of what I would do to her the minute I got her into my meaty mitts.
But alas, it was not to be - she was beyond bad for me. I must be strong I told myself, my tongue making a trip around my bulbous lips, anticipating the joy of teasing her semi-sweet clothes off her unnaturally orange, flaky, crunchy body. Dragging a hand that resembled a bag of hamburger with sausages attached to it across my deep set (and almost invisible) eyes, my heart skipped a beat as I noticed the way the light played off of her plastic cellophane wrapper.
She had come home with me earlier in the night, looking for a quick one off - she was always about the quickie - but I had wanted to savor the moment, to enjoy the anticipation of taking her one little lick, nibble and bite at a time. I was getting excited at the prospect of our intimate little tete-a-tete when Stephen burst in.
Startled, I quickly tossed her off of me, trying to gain some semblance of normalcy. Too surprised to react, she lay there on the table, her wrapper lewdly hanging off her body, almost telling me to look at her. I could hear her in my head "I've been so naughty.... I really need a good tongue lashing, perhaps a nibble... are you going to taste me, and show me the error of my ways?"
"Hey, mom says no more candy." He stared at me, a pair of eyes looking out from lanky dyed black hair mostly covering a face ravaged by acne and pimples.
Quickly going on the offensive, I searched my arsenal for a biting retort to blast this interloper from my sight, so I could comfort my sweetness. Looking him square in the eyes, I mustered all my strength and fired back. "Oh yeah? Why's that?"
I could tell I had scored a hit when he shrugged - he was reeling from the attack! Yes! I have once again defeated my enemies with a minimum of bloodshed... but wait, what's this? "She says that if you eat any more candy, your heart's going to explode. I told her that if that happens, I'm not moving your ass downstairs."
What!? The enemy had booby-trapped his body! I was now realizing that I had walked right into his trap! He knew he would go down, so he figured he would get me posthumously... the sly devil... he had my respect. I had to handle this delicately...
"For how long?" I queried, trying to figure out how much time I had before I was just a greasy spot on the far wall. Another shrug... "Dunno".
Damn! not much to work with.... well, I shall do my best. He had disappeared from my view, but the trap was still there - he had attached it to my love while I must have been not looking. He was going to rue the day that he crossed paths with me! For now, I had to figure out how to rescue my love without killing both of us.
I glanced at her again, and I felt the urge rise again - I must have her! The light from the lamps had been beating down on her, causing her to start shedding her milky smooth brown wrap to reveal the tasty peanut butter flesh underneath... the sweat began to come more profusely... Finally, I couldn't stand it anymore... I lurched up out of my chair and lumbered across the room towards my destiny.... I must have my precious!
As my hand closed in on my prize, a yellow cartoon hand swept in, stealing the object of my desire. Uncomprehending, I looked up into the face of a famous cartoon character smiling at me. As if in slow motion, I watched him pull my darling up to his face, sliding her into his mouth, he bit down, taking a bit off of her.
I howled in despair and rage - I had to kill this interloper, but for some reason, I couldn't move... He looked at me, through me, into my soul, and uttered...
"Nobody had better lay a finger on my Butterfinger."

Book Review - Yaaaaaaaayyyyyyy!!!!!

I have a confession to make - I like zombies. Unlike other supernatural entities, zombies are a constant. Vampires have become, not only tragic heroes, but in the case of Twilight, quite sparkly.
Werewolves have also gotten the anti-hero treatment, becoming heroic in their own right. Ghosts have always had that kind of sultry, sexy, pseudo-erotic feel to them - often portrayed as jilted lovers or innocents robbed of their life. Frankenstein's monster has always been a tragic figure - more often seen as a victim as opposed to a monster.
Now zombies, zombies are the quintessential villain. Single minded, unswerving, implacable, unstoppable. You take one out, two more take it's place. They feed off the living, and draw their ranks from their fallen victims.
There is absolutely nothing sexy, nor attractive about zombies - unless you've got a horrific love fetish for the deceased. *shivers* ick. It is impossible to make a zombie attractive or sexy, or even sympathetic.
Now, keeping this in mind, let us insert one of the founding mothers of the feminist movement - Jane Austin.
Pride and Prejudice has been hailed as a bellwether for women's lit, and has been very heavily studied, interpreted, re-interpreted and disassembled, but never before has it been rewritten with zombies.
Now, I can dig Jane Austin - within reason, and I love zombies. Figuring that combining the two together would be awesome, much like a series of commercials in the 70's and 80's for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups featuring situations in which two people, one eating peanut butter and one eating chocolate, collided. One person would exclaim, "You got your peanut butter in my chocolate!" and the other would exclaim, "You got your chocolate in my peanut butter!" They would then sample the mixture and remark on the great taste, tying in with the slogan "Two great tastes that taste great together."
Now imagine if you had the chocolate guy and the peanut butter guy collide, start eating the mixture, and then about three quarters of the way through the jar, somebody takes a massive dump in the jar.
Yeah.... Pride & Prejudice & Zombies ends up with a ruined candy bar mixture.
F'ing ninjas........

Aside from that, the book reads a lot like Austin's original story, albeit against the background of a zombie infestation of Victorian London. Those who are familiar with The original story will find that for the most part, it is the same, with various zombie attacks peppered in for color. Many don't make much sense - A dance that occurs (and continues) in spite of a zombie attack that takes out several attendees.
Needless to say, the story progresses following the traditional ideas of the story - namely Elizabeth despising and then falling for Mr. Darcy. Interspersed between all of this comedy of errors bit is liberal doses of ultra-violence, mayhem, and damnit.... ninjas. Leave it to ninjas to ruin anything. I gave up on the book when I get to the ninjas.
Now, the book has been optioned into a movie, a prequel will be coming out at the end of the month, and in May - look for the graphic novel adaptation.
Also, another Austin staple has been raked over the coals, but I haven't bothered checking it out - just not enough appeal I guess.
I mean, who would want to read Sense & Sensability & Sea Monsters?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Failed post

I'm sorry folks, I just can't write tonight. It's been one hell of a day, and my creativity is at an all-time low. I'll make it up later this week, but right now - I think that I would rather have psychotic midgets throw hammers at my head while yodeling raunchy sea shanties - the midgets... not me.