Monday, December 31, 2007

This Is Mean

This is Christmas

Oops! Died again. Sorry. Weird, yes, but weirder still that it didn't take.

Maybe I don't understand Christmas. If it passes and the primary thought left in my head is, "Have I permanently damaged that relationship?", I think I might be missing the point. Or, I just don't get how it works. Either way, I don't want "Christmas" to happen at my house again.

Whatever it is, it isn't working.

Brother was thoroughly depressed/depressing. Mom was hostile. Dad was as ever. Even though Mom and Dad have the Golden Anniversary on the bubble, Mom's decided that leaving Dad is going to be the answer to her problems, or at least it's going to serve as a trade for a better set of problems. Great, but whatever way you want to look at that, none of it is my fault. Take it outside.

And as for Mr. Wallow In Self-Pity, I don't know how to cure your problems, but I do know that moping isn't a cure for anything. Neither is the plan of WAKE UP, TAKE NAP, SHOWER, TAKE NAP. You've got to give the Prozac a fighting chance there, Admiral Shuteye. Well, at least you got SHOWER in there. Count it.

To put it as eloquently as I can muster, the whole affair really sucked really bad. It sucked. No - after last year's pukefest, I can see that my daughter is "off" a certain restaurant. I'll give her that one. The fact that you guys keep trying your damndest to make Japanese food a Christmas Eve tradition only further proves your complete insensitivity - towards your own granddaughter/niece for fuck's sake. Find a Hibachi place in your town and get your fill some other time of the year. Here's another hot tip: It won't kill you to make a 1/2 hour appearance with my wife's family and have some food, but it will be embarrassing for me to try to explain that "they just didn't feel like coming." Morons. How about doing it for my wife?

Yeah, let's definitely do this again next year.

Mom just couldn't wait to leave. It was, again, pretty embarrassing to see how anxious she was to get the hell out, and she did a LOT of moping on the 26th, when my brother decided he needed one more day up here. When the morning of the 27th came, Mom put whatever could obviously fit in the car, threw the rest in a box and told me to mail it. She assured me (with some hostility) that there was no way it was all going to fit. Right, except I spent five minutes and got it all in there without problem. Didn't even keep anybody waiting. That's how bad she wanted out of there. And to do what? I'm not really sure.

Of course I don't want to do this again, but there's little chance of any other option because my brother's got nothing going on down where he lives and his whole plan is to just bring his kids to someone who has a plan (and then ignore them while he mopes and looks for pity and continues to not have a plan.) I don't travel during the holidays because travel ruins holidays. I always say my gift to everyone is that I'm not going to ask them to travel. Stay where you are and enjoy yourself! That's what I always say. Never works.

Not that this worked....

But I had an awesome Christmas. The Wife and daughter kicked total ass and got me something great. I got my Dad the fairly interesting and amusing gift of a home security system, which I thought was the perfect thing to both satisfy his addiction to gadgets, and properly serve his paranoia. (As an interesting side-note, I called Mom a couple weeks ago looking for ideas for Dad, or at least looking to go in on something with her. She had nothing. I told her about the lame security camera idea and she said to get it and then asked to split it with me. B-A-C-K-F-I-R-E)

I also did well for my wife this year, and when I reflect on the simple and thoughtful gifts we gave each other, that's enough for me to go on.

Everyone else can go fuck themselves.

Merry Christmas, bastiges!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Beyond and Back

The real-time updates stopped because I died.

...for a little bit. I came back. Actual death would've been too easy.

Pretty sure the final report will appear by the end of the year. Look for it at a blournal near you.

Monday, December 24, 2007

How Come You're Reading My Blournal?

Something good has come from this holiday visit. Twice now, I've heard a person pick up a ringing cell phone and greet the other person with simply, "How come you're calling my cell phone?"

Not even a "Hello" or a "Hey (Tom, Jane, etc.), how come..."

Now, I don't own one of those infernal devices, but if I ever do, well, now I know how I'm going to answer it. I recommend you do the same. We could really start something awesome.


Okay - don't help Dad with either of his bags. And I know there are three boxes left in the car and I can only carry one of them, but go ahead and just head right for the house empty handed. When we get to the house and I haven't yet gone back to the car (which I left open) feel free to get on my ass about making a fire.

When eight cups of coffee sit in the pot starting at 8AM, wait until we dump it out at 3PM before you come in and go, "Aw man, someone dumped all that coffee? I was gonna nuke me some of that."

Otherwise, let's just spend all day watching "Great Weapons of the Bible" on some TV channel I didn't even know I had.

"Happy" Holidays

A new day is a chance to try again. Since it's bound to be a really long day, that means plenty of chances.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Not Even 15 Minutes Later

Those of you who are familiar with my affinity with Sparkle Moose know that it probably wasn't a good idea to say, "Hey, can I unplug this moose to charge my phone?"

I like to think I'd have had more tolerance for that if I hadn't already hit my limit 15 minutes ago.
...guess we'll never know though.

Four and One Half Hours Later me.

Real Time Holiday Updates

We are pleased to bring you, for the first time ever, family crisis updates in real time.

Family Visit - Day One:

I came home from a basketball game to find a car full of people sitting in my driveway. They had been parked there for about 20 minutes.

Perhaps your decision not to extend the courtesy of an arrival time was not the best plan.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

How To Holiday Shop

First, clean your windshield. That could be a real hazard.

And, I know this is the very last place on Earth you want to go, but late-season desperation can often lead to



And there she is. It's old-lady-with-empty-cart-moving-real-slow. Yeah, and you can't get past her, either. No you can't. Yes, it does look like you'd be home free if you could just get in front of her, but if you believe that can actually happen, you really need to firm up your understanding of "intelligent design". Still not a believer? Her moves in the parking lot will change your life.

Alas, my trip to this most unfortunate place would bear no #10 can of fruit. The whole day was unsuccessful to the point that I couldn't even find a bag of kindling wood at the damn lumber store, which was pretty low on my list of things to do.

On my way home, I did manage to take this cheery little snap.

Oh... sorry. Here it is in color.

Thank you, recycle bin. You sure know how to brighten up the season.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I hate to think of all the time I've wasted on the stupid Interwebcomputernet, because it'd probably have to be measured in years and might even involve use of the word "dozen". Worse, maybe even "bakers." Let's not think about it. Let's instead think about the fact that after all that wasted time, I've now found a way to turn the Intercomputerwebnet into something that brings $25 to my mailbox on what's becoming a pretty regular basis. Oh yes - let's talk about that. My dormant PayPal account suddenly sees some activity, and I decide to leave the cash in there.

Now, regular readers will know that a couple months back, I scored myself a pretty cool piece of gear. I got it used because they don't make it anymore. I found a good one, but, like many, it came without all of its original parts. The lens hood is what was missing. Not usually a vital piece, but I wanted one for some protection.

One turned up on the eBay a while back, but it ended up selling, in classic eBay fashion, for way more than it should have. I even bid too high on it and I lost. This is an item that should sell for $45 is as-new condition. Some yokel ended up paying about $80 for it. Dumb. Ass. You go eBay!

So I made this model number a part of my everyday search for porn. Lo and behold, I found a lot of porn. But yesterday, I found the part at a reputable dealer.

Click click click, oh look! There's a "Pay here with PayPal" option. I just got me some PayPal. Clicky-click, porn, click, boom, done. $18. Well, didn't that all button up quite nicely.

Intercomputerwebnet, I take back every bad thing I ever said about you.

Wait - no I don't.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Fred the Tobacco Store

A lot of people call here asking if I can please take a look at their piss for them. I know I'm just a few simple and well considered responses away from having a sample sent to me via bonded courier, and I know there's a serious gag to be played here somewhere, but I'm not so sure it's one I want to be part of. Still, the invitations keep coming.

If you work in the medical field, you really should verify just who the hell you're speaking to before you get to the, y'know, "business" at hand. In other words, don't be so damn quick to send off some really important piss as soon as someone picks up your call. If you don't hear "Urology lab, this is Cathy" or similar, proceed no further. Heed this advice my pee-pee friends; get a name up front. Also, when it comes to urine, be suspect of anyone named "Cathy". Could be short for something really painful. Just a heads-up.

Pizza is another story, though. Most misdialers have the excuse that they're drunk (or at least their intoxication is understandable.) Then again, working around whiz all day, I guess I can see how you might want to hit the sauce now and again just to cope. Then once more again, pizza drunks tend to call during the "wee" hours of the morning... I don't know. Something's up.

Anyway, here's your classic pizza call from 3:30AM:

"Yeah... I didn't call Leonardo's! Shut the hell up! NO, dude! Yeah, I need a large barbeque chicken."
"Yeah, try calling Dominoes."
"Oh, okay."

And like that. My number, which I've had for damn near 20 years, is only a few drunken digits away from the fastest and most horrible pizza $5.99 can buy. I could just as easily take orders and few on the collegiate drinking squad would ever know, but where's the payoff for me - another call in 40 minutes wondering where the fuck's my pizza, dude? I'll pass.

So I guess you've got your everyday non detail-oriented healthcare workers, your drunk pizza lovers (seriously, barbeque chicken pizza at 4AM and then, what - bedtime? I believe this combination has the potential to actually kill you) and then there's this guy, which is a new one on me.

9:30AM, weekday morning
"Oh - do I have the wrong number?"
"You might."
"Is this Fred the tobacco store?"
"Alright. Heh-heh. Thanks."

Well there's a first-timer. That one may actually have been just a wrong number.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Wisdom of Children

Children often have a way of summarizing important life lessons in a very plain and succinct way. As we grow older and learn the many exceptions and conditions placed on the things we once thought pure and virtuous, the wisdom of a child can occasionally remind us that some things still remain black-and-white.

For example, a three-year-old tells me that "hogurt" gets placed in the "fittifater."

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


After a few months of losing my shirt and wasting gas, I believe I've hit upon something and found a way to turn photograhs into actual money.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Countdown to Christmas Partytime

I think I've figured out how to deal with the family visit; tune out. For three days, I'll more or less be Peter Gibbons to my family's Lumbergh. With this plan, I can't miss.

Then I'll write a blournal entry all about it with some photos and that should just about do it for "This is NOT a blog" V1.2 (I wasn't kidding about the paper trail thing, and the Christmas entry will undoubtedly seal the deal. Then I'll hide the body.)

After that, this will probably turn into more of a photo blog type of thing, as in the case of the previous entry. Then the only harm I'm potentially bringing upon myself is posting pictures without consent, which is - what? only a felony? That's not a big deal.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Do Not Disturb

...a local hockey fan enjoying a concession stand cheeseburger and a game.