Friday, August 31, 2007

Labor/Labour Day Is Here

Yes, I realize I used two spellings for Labor/Labour Day. It is in respect for all my friends north of the border. That’s Canada, not the state of Oregon. I learned this week that although it may be spelled differently, Canadians and Americans celebrate Labor Day (I am going to alternate the American and Canadian spellings of it to be fair to all) on the same day. I’m not sure why that fascinates me, but then watching ceiling fans spin fascinates me…a lot.

Well, the sun is setting on yet another summer. I don’t know about you but it sure went by quickly. Too quickly, if you ask me, which for some reason you did not. Labour Day kind of marks the unofficial end to summer, which is somewhat ironic considering it was about 115 degrees here today. Maybe it’s the heatstroke talking, but it sure doesn’t feel like the end of summer with weather like this. I could have roasted a pig in the breeze every time the wind blew today. If the heat index was charted by the quickness with which a slice of cheese melts, this was a heat of fondue proportions. I realize that makes no sense at all, so I will give you another example to compare it to. Cheese melting on a mild spring day would be like putting it in the microwave on high for three minutes (comparatively speaking, mind you). I hope that helps you understand just how hot ‘fondue’ is on my heat index. Seriously, what the heck did I just write????

I think I would like to take the remainder of this post to recount the highlights of my summer for you. Uhhhh, ummmmm (this is where the camera pans way out to reveal the view of a forest while all you can hear are the sounds of nature). There had to be some highlights from my summer.

I know, there was my trip to SeaWorld with Lucy and Ethel. That’s where we saw the Lesser Flamingos (which I did a post about) who are colored a light pink. I will forever have the photo I took of Lucy and Ethel posed with their cotton candy of the same color in front of the Lesser Flamingos. The resulting picture looked like they are holding a Lesser Flamingo that they hunted and bagged. If either one of them ever dates a hunter, I am definitely breaking out the scrapbook with that gem in it.

Then there was the 4th of July. My nation’s birthday is one of my favorite days of the year. This year was extra special because an American finally won the famous Nathan’s Hotdog Eating Contest. Not only did Joey Chestnut win, he beat the reigning champion from Japan who happened to throw up in the contest’s final few moments. It may not be on par (yet) with the 1980 Olympic hockey upset over the Russians, but it was pretty cool. Of course that’s not actually anything I did this summer. I spent my 4th of July falling asleep in Lucy and Ethel’s kiddy pool without sunscreen on. After at least two hours of my sunny slumber, I was awakened by my ever-faithful, ever-watchful dog that just happened to wake up before I did. I think I’m still sunburned. I literally began to cry whenever I put a tie on for the two weeks following that.

Then there was the memory of barbecuing that will remain seared into my mind. Why will it be seared into my mind you ask? Because it seared me, that’s why. It seemed like such a good idea at the time to add lighter fluid to charcoal already pre-soaked with it. According to my calculations, it should have helped the charcoal ignite and burn faster, thereby reducing the amount of time I would need to wait to introduce meat onto the grill. There was just one thing I didn’t take into consideration beforehand…the wind that day. If I didn’t know better, I would swear that the flame from the charcoal briquettes was actually chasing me around the patio as if I was Pee Wee Herman running. I went left, it went left. I went right, it went right. If that is what hell is going to be like, I’d better stop playing practical jokes on my coworkers right away. I’m pretty sure the column of flame could have been spotted from space. By the way, when flame is attacking you, a spatula doesn’t provide much protection.

That brings me to my most recent summer memory. That’s the one when I actually got in trouble with my nurse because I walked too far from the nurses station during my recent hospital visit. If they didn’t want me to walk out of range of the wireless heart monitor’s reach, then they should have told me to not go to the other side of the hospital wing. And why is it they can get wireless heart monitors to deliver a signal but I couldn’t get a Wi-Fi connection? I will be writing such a nasty letter to my healthcare provider when I decide to take the time to do so. Eventually. Whenever.

So, as we prepare for Labor/Labour Day weekend and celebrate the close of summer, let us remember what an enjoyable summer this was. We should prepare happily for the gentle caress of fall, the changing of the leaves and cooler weather. Well maybe in other parts of the country. Not much will change here in Southern California. In fact, it’ll be warm enough that I can still wear white until Thanksgiving!!!

P.S. If you want to, feel free to rate my blog at Blog Interviewer. I'd say there's something in it for you if you do, but then I'd just be lying...

P.S.S (Or is that P.S. squared?) I just posted a little end of the week podcast.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Repost Thursday: Tonight’s Main Event…Is In The Operating Room

This Reuter’s story sounds more like an episode of Scrubs or that serious medical drama with some guy named something like Dr. McDoodle that everyone loves to talk about these days. I think it’s called St. Elsewhere? Seriously, the story was about two professional, by the book doctors in Belgrade who got into a fistfight during an appendix operation. I thought it was called the Hippocratic Oath, not the Hit-ocratic Oath. The fight was a really rough and tumble affair according to the story that reported one doctor pulling the ear and slapping the face of the other. Man, do those Belgradians (or is it just simply people from Belgrade) really know how to fight!

As someone who’s had a few surgeries or so in his day, I would love to have been awake to see it. Do you think the patient was told about the fight that ensued during their operation after awaking from the anesthesia? I vaguely remember signing my life away before being put under but I don’t recall giving the surgeons my OK to go six rounds while my body lay cut open. I guess I would have been fine with it as long as they didn’t bump into my heart/lung bypass machine during the melee.

Once again, I think we’ve accidentally tapped into a great new reality TV series. I’ll give it the working title of Professional Punches until I can think of something better. Wouldn’t it be great to see two lawyers break into fisticuffs during a serious trial? How about seeing members of Congress beating the legislation out of each other? Heck that happens all the time in other countries. I’d suggest postal workers or air traffic controllers fighting one another, but they’ve been pretty well maligned already. Although one of the episodes could involve two brawling airline stewardesses. Oh, never mind, when I stop to really think about it, that would probably fall into an entirely different type of television. I imagine it would most likely be the type of television you have to pay extra for…

Apparently, reports that one of the doctors kept yelling ‘I float like anesthesia and sting like an IV,’ have not been confirmed. Just imagine all of the ‘weapons’ that could be made available to anyone fighting in an operating room. You have to believe that a bedpan to the head would cause some serious pain. Although who’s worried about pain when you could take a shot of morphine and strike back with a scalpel to the arm?

Fortunately, the attending assistant doctor was able to finish the surgery while the fight wrapped up. There is concern though that one of the doctor’s knocked out teeth has still not been found and the patient is complaining of a sharp, almost bite like pain in the abdomen. I’m sure it’s not related though…

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

And Then There Are The Times When We Work…

I had been out of the office working in the field the last few days, so needless to say, I wasn’t super thrilled at walking back into the office this morning. However, what I encountered when I got to work was so unexpected that the day actually ended up being quite enjoyable. It turns out that an unknown person left ‘gifts’ for most of us under our desks. We don’t think it was our boss, we don’t think it was someone who entered our office and accidentally left all of his (or her…I believe in equality) things strategically placed under our chairs and it’s not the time of year for Santa sightings. Whoever this mysterious gift-bearing elf was, he or she certainly is kind! The gifts that were left for us weren’t your usual gifts of silver, frankincense and mir (sorry, I couldn’t help myself there). These were toy guns that shoot NERF darts and NERF balls.

Being the efficient group that we are, we didn’t take long to use them. In fact, before lunchtime, I had already been shot at twelve times. I am actually in awe of the speed that Female Coworker’s gun shoots the NERF darts. I am also in awe of her accuracy in shooting said darts. Perhaps if I had not caught the first dart barehanded between my two fingers (ok, that gives the wrong impression. I actually do possess all ten of my digits) that she shot at me from across the hall; she would have stopped shooting at me. In fact, she made it such a mission of hers to get one by me that several embarrassing moments occurred. Every time I approached her office for the rest of the day, I did so while holding my hand over my ‘man area.’ Needless to say, this created a few awkward moments as employees from other departments walked by to see me entering or exiting her office shielding my aforementioned ‘man area.’ As if that wasn’t bad enough, Female Coworker figured out how to shoot her darts with real power (TWSS). This made every dart she launched sail over my cubicle wall and into the unsuspecting office of Mommy To Be coworker. I ran into her office as quickly as I could and when she showed alarm, I casually asked her ‘did anything happen to strike your head within the last thirty seconds or so?’ When she replied that nothing had, I retrieved the errant dart and returned it to Female Coworker (and yes, my man area was still shielded because she was still packing heat – TWSS. Sorry, I had to).

Then came my turn to shoot my gun towards Female Coworker. Unfortunately, this is when new guy chose to walk by. Let’s put it this way. The sound that the ball made when it struck his thigh is NOT the sound that a soft, spongy NERF-like substance should make when it strikes clothed human flesh. It was then that I realized the power of my weapon. Ok, I was going to try to be above this but can’t waste such a good opportunity, so…TWSS! I actually spent all day trying to get my coworkers to say TWSS, but it never caught on, can you believe that? I also spent way too much time walking around with the NERF Darts suctioned to my head, but no one found it the least bit funny. Do you also ever get the feeling that you just don’t belong?

When my boss came down the hall to ask if he should eat a day old donut in our break room, all guns were stowed and we went back to work, with darts and balls strewn all over the office. I explained to him that a donut was nothing but preservatives anyway and it should be ok. I think he appreciated my insight. I just hope the night cleaning staff isn’t miffed and turns me into him about the note I left asking them to kindly return the missing ball from my gun if they come across it tonight.

A little later Female Coworker asked us if we wanted to see her new economy-luxury car (which I will refer to going forward as Eco-Lux). Now I realize how oxy-moronorific a statement this is, but apparently, such a thing exists. I mean I know it does because I have seen it. It’s like the Frankenstein of fine cars with its Jag looking front and Lincoln Continental hind end. After she scolded us for ten minutes about getting too close to it or not getting into it while dirty, we congratulated her on her purchase, kicked the tires and went back into the office. In case you were wondering, we should not have kicked the tires…Female Coworker doesn’t like that.

To her credit, Female Coworker decided to drive us all to lunch in her new Eco-Lux car. While driving with her is always a white-knuckled experience, we got to Chili’s in relative safety. We ordered way too much food. At one point Female Coworker made mention of doing what a Bulimapologymist would do when they eat too much food. As we were not sure what this meant, I asked if she was referring to a person with an eating disorder who is married to multiple people. The five knuckles that then struck my left arm told me that was most certainly NOT what she meant. After the meal we all piled back into the pearl colored Eco-Lux for the trip back to the office. And then the most revealing part of the day occurred. For it is then that the woman who uses the F-bomb at the drop of a hat and who has taught the entire staff new and never before heard cuss words put on praise music for us to listen to. Everyone in the car mentioned how odd this was and she responded by profanely telling us all where we could go and what we could do when we get there. Hours later, I am still not sure how we all were not struck by lightning today. So here we all were flying down the local city streets with Female Coworker singing along to her blaring praise music while cussing out nearby slower motorists. After several close calls, I can tell you without a doubt that driving while playing music loudly does in fact diminish one’s ability to concentrate on their driving.

When we finally got back to the office, we were all singing our own praise and thanks. Sadly, I know that for years to come I will awaken scared to death in the middle of the night to the image of the green Chevy tailgate that we just missed smashing into. Oh yeah, about the work mentioned in today’s title, well it didn’t get done today. Maybe tomorrow...or the day after that...

By the way, not to take away from my blog post, but for those of you that appreciate this type of thing, isn't this the coolest picture ever? Could it be the Farrah Fawcett poster for this generation? Yeah, I'm probably making too much of it...

****I am going to be doing a Q&A Podcast, so hop on over and leave me a question. If you want to. No pressure...*****

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Q & A Tuesday…Again.

Happy Tuesday! Well, here we are again, another Q&A Tuesday. I just finished my homemade quesadilla with salsa, it’s late and I had one too many Diet Mountain Dews today, so what follows should be very, very interesting. There’s another great batch of questions this week and I’m about 25% positive that I didn’t miss any again this week (sorry Odat).

Remember, you get bonus points if you spot the Tina Fey or That’s What She Said references. I know you hate this part, but my legal counsel says I need to review the rules again: no note taking, you will reference these questions in public at your own risk, I fact check nothing because by the time I am done, I am far too lazy tired to spell or grammar check. Ok, here we go…

The Exception becomes the rule this week since her questions are up first. She asked:
Which is your favorite Looney Tunes Cartoon?
I have always been a fan of Elmer Fudd. However, please do not let this be a reflection on me or my appearance.

What is your all time, absolute favorite, meal?
That’s a toughie. So, I’ll just combine the 2 meals into one great large ‘you are about to be electrocuted at midnight’ type of feast. Cheeseburgers, Strawberry Malt, French Fries, Lobster tail (can you find the second meal I added yet??) all topped off with a nice slice of Key Lime Pie. And a 4-mile walk. And a some sit-ups…

Why haven't you sent me my interview questions?
Uhhh, ya got me. But let the record reflect that after seven days, I did manage to get them to you. Perhaps I should be crowned the King of Procrasti Nation or something...but more on that later in this post...

What is your favorite part about being a dad?
Awwww. Everything. But I will say that it’s having two little best friends who want to make me laugh just as much as I want to make them laugh. It’s having these two adorable little people look up to you (both literally and figuratively) and WANT you to spend time with them and want to show off for you and want hugs and kisses and bedtime stories and coloring. It’s watching them grow and mature, even if it’s just a little sad at the same time. If I continue on, I risk getting Ver Klempt, so I will stop here. There is a major transformation when you realize you have two little sunshines to brighten up every day.

Lis, who’s style of illustrating thoroughly enjoy, asked a topical question. It was ‘what will you do when you run out of posts to recycle? Recycle recycled posts?’
Wow, say that last sentence several time quickly! I guess when it gets to the point that I start repost yesterday’s post today that it’s time to quit. It has been hard lately to keep writing every day and I have read the same thing on a lot of my favorite bloggers’ sites lately. Maybe it’s an end of summer doldrum or something. Maybe I’ll repost other people’s blog posts. I’m sure there is some sort of copyright infringement against this though, so I just won’t tell the person that wrote the post I’m using. You won’t say anything either, will you?

Airam, the Queen of Procrasti Nation (Woo Hoo, she named me King and is responsible for me starting to podcast) posed some great questions for me this week. Although I think she was just asking them to procrastinate, but I’m cool with that. She asked:
‘Have you ever been mistaken for John Travolta because of your cleft chin?’
Uh no. I think that’s only because I don’t own my own airliner and never got to be a Sweat Hog. Although I do a very good impression of him on the dance floor. But then cue up ‘Staying Alive’ and what guy doesn’t, right? Perhaps it’s just because I am better looking than he is. Or perhaps I am just making that up…

‘Do people randomly come up to you and say, "Tell me about it ... stud!"’
Unfortunately, no they do not. They call me plenty of things, but most cannot be repeated here and some of them I have never heard of or are difficult for me to pronounce. If there is a magical land where people randomly come up to you and address you as stud, then I should move there. It must be better than living in Corona. I could really get used to that. Ok, I guess if anyone wants to, they can begin calling me stud.

Lastly, Airam asked ‘why did Justin Timberlake feel as though he needed to bring sexy back? Did it ever really go away? Or is he just THAT full of himself?’
Well, those are questions that have plagued all of us lately. I think Justin is just that full of himself (TWSS). I think he missed hearing his name used in magazines, radio and TV so felt that he must bring sexy back. That is of course buying into the notion that one believes Mr. Timberlake IS sexy, which I do not. I don’t think sexy ever went away at all. I mean Tina Fey has been here the whole time. Wow, I used both references in the same answer!!!!! I’ll be honest, I have never heard of any of Justin’s solo songs. You don’t ever hear about country legend George Jones singing about bringing sexy back. Even Sinatra, the king of cool cats never tried to bring sexy back. Besides, I don’t think Justin has a sexy back at all…

That brings us to my bestest blogging buddy Odat, who through some horrible technical glitch last week, had her question skipped (which is why she put them in all caps this week). She asked (and patiently waited for an answer)
Probably at the bottom of the sea. Or maybe the dog ate it. Perhaps it was just misplaced. These are all very common answers when something cannot be found. However, I much more prefer ‘well, it was here two seconds ago, so the better question to be asking is what did YOU do with it?’ Put the asking party on the defensive, thereby deflecting any responsibility from yourself. However, I could never do that to Odat, but you get the point. Yep, I have no idea where ‘all that is not lost’ went. Maybe we should ask Justin Timberlake since he managed to tell us he found ‘sexy’ and brought it back.

I think it had the disease called ‘living.’ I mean who wants to eat a live pig? We cured the pig of living so that we could eat it. MMMMMMMM, pork products…. I’m sorry, what was I writing about again?

Frigga sent me a question this week and it was good one. Frigga wanted to know ‘Who would you rather be, Darth Vader, or Jeff Gordon?’
That’s an easy one Frigga. I hate Jeff Gordon. He makes my blood boil and possesses no fancy Dark Side powers or Sith-like abilities. He just has really good race equipment. Darth Vader on the other hand is the man in black (much like Johhny Cash and the late great Dale Earnhardt Sr., who COULD drive a race car, I might add). Darth can choke people without touching them, which would be so cool to be able to do at work. He has that really cool heavy breathing (don’t get the wrong idea) and talks in a really deep voice. I bet he kicks butt when he sings ‘Old Man River’ at karaoke bars on the 13th level of the Death Star, or the cantina on Tatooine. Crap, I fear I just outed myself as a dork. But if I was Darth Vader, no one would dare question my dorkyness because they would all fear me (cue the heavy breathing)…

Patti sent me the following question. I had to reread it 13 times to make sure I understood it and kept messing up the phrasing. Her question was: ‘Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers; A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?’
They are presently in a pea production plant in Pittsburgh, probably.

Last up this week, we have Best Bud’s Wife. Hmmmm, now I wonder who that could be (he he he). You might detect a slight theme with these great questions…
What about Bob?
One of my favorite movies. I’m not sure if I know a Bob, now that I think of it. Therefore I cannot asses what should be done about him.

What's in your wallet?
Not much. Certainly not money. I really want to get away from carrying a wallet. Would I sound too girly if I said that wallets make my butt look big? Yeah, I probably would, so strike that from the record. I want to be a money clip dude. It think cool is projected much better when you remove a money clip from your pocket rather than try to yank a wallet out of your backside. I was so flirting with a TWSS there!

Who framed Roger Rabbit?
This is just a guess, but probably Aaron Brothers who specialize in framing things. Hopefully they went with the dark stained oak and glare resistant glass for the framing of Roger. It’s a little more expensive, but the finished project looks very good. Oh yeah, it needs to have the simple white matte border. That helps, too.

Where's Waldo?
He may be hiding with the help of Pakistanis in the mountains of Tora Bora. At least that’s the last place we thought he was. He’s very elusive.

Do you know the way to San Jose?
Well, no I don’t. I think my God Mother lives there and I have been there, but was too young to drive. However, I am very familiar with the way to San Bernardino, and that’s all that really matters. And I don’t mean the way you get there by going through St. Louie, Joplin, Missouri And Oklahoma City (which looks mighty pretty). Or they way you go where you'll see Amarillo, Gallup, New Mexico, Flagstaff Arizona, don't forget Winona, Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino. Well, you get the point.

Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too?
I’ve always thought of myself as more of a seasoning salt or marinade or meat rub. They might not be as common, but they are so much more flavorful and vital to producing a good piece of grilled meat. Although that really wasn’t your question, was it? Sorry…

Well, that wraps another week for Q & A Tuesday. Thanks again for a great batch of questions and remember to check out my new podcast page. Have a great week!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Repost Sunday: A Slow Pitch Right Down The Middle

I rerun some of my older posts on Sundays as a way to highlight stories that you may have missed. Just think of it as 'thought recycling' and a day off, or that I am incredibly, incredibly lazy.

When you get your inspiration from making fun of odd news stories, it doesn’t get any easier than this: A woman with the last name of Butts was accused of stealing toilet paper from an Iowa Courthouse. Ok, it could have been just a little better; her last name could have been something like Wipey. Yeah, I would pay someone with the last name of Wipey to steal toilet paper. Hey, what about Hiney? Hiney would be good too.

What I can’t figure out is why someone with such a ‘touchy’ or ‘sensitive’ last name as Butts would ever try to steal toilet paper, let alone steal it from a hall of justice, how cheeky. Sorry. Couldn’t she think of better booty to loot? Now she’ll be the butt of many jokes, although she probably already is. I can think of a few of my own to well, crack. Of course, I would never make them directly to someone with the last name of Butts because I wouldn’t want to look like an ass. I guess in hindsight, I already do.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the stealing thing. It has to be on par with stealing a candy bar from a police station vending machine. I wanted to say stealing donuts from a donut shop, but that’s too obvious so I decided to glaze right over it and just sprinkle it in there. I don’t like to leave holes in my stories. Maybe the Butts family could open a cigarette shop or sell a certain prosthesis? But…which body part? How about chins? My favorite is the cleft chin, like the one I possess. Some folks refer to that as a butt-chin, although that should probably be a different tale.

I guess I really have no other point to make. I’ve already come up with every angle of this story that I could. Unfortunately, I can be anal that way. So, I’ll wrap it up now. This could be my shortest post ever but it will allow me to cook dinner tonight. For some reason, I thinking of either rump roast or, yes you guessed it, pork butt, which isn’t what you’d think it is. I think it comes from the shoulder. Although in some animals, the definition of shoulder can be very broad…You know what, I’ll stop while I’m ahead. Or am I behind?

******I have officially become a Podcaster. Click here to check out my very first spoken post...please be kind....

******Here's my weekly reminder to get your questions in for Q&A Tuesday. Yes, tomorrow is Monday, but I find lately that I am filled with such sorrow and despair on Mondays that I can't bring myself to blog. Unless I were to write about death, depression and Rachael Ray, but I wouldn't do that to you.*********

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Things I Learned This Week: 8/25/07

Because I want to spare you from experiencing some of the things I endured over the last few days, I post “Things I Learned This Week” each Saturday. It’s educational, sometimes insightful and for some reason it never makes me look good. I hope that knowing about at least one item on this list will make your upcoming week much easier.

! I learned that powdered sugar should never be a waffle topping for a young child’s breakfast. This has nothing to do with raising their sugar level and them being rambunctious in school, it’s because the floor will look like it received a foot of snow.

! I learned that I should never have shown Lucy and Ethel how to copy what other people are saying. Especially me. Especially when I never know when or where they are going to start playing ‘the copy game.’ Especially when I may or may not have just unleashed a curse-laden tirade about something most people would find insignificant.

! I learned that tipping a waitress an extra $8 because she was cute doesn’t rest well with my coworkers. It’s not her fault that she forgot Partner In Crime’s extra side of Ranch. I’m sure there was a very good reason that she put Mayo on his burger after he asked for no Mayo.

! I learned that a horrible hacking cough and the disclaimer that I fear I am getting pneumonia is a great way to make sure people avoid my office. It’s also a great excuse for cutting phone calls short, and for getting the entire pot of coffee to myself.

! I learned that the rest of my coworkers don’t appreciate me celebrating Kenny Rogers’ birthday in the office with a daylong musical tribute. I also learned that when I leave my desk for more than a few minutes, my Kenny Rogers Birthday Musical Extravaganza will be sabotaged.

! I learned that watching ‘Lobster Wars’ on the Discovery Channel makes me crave lobster to the point that I can’t see straight. Perhaps I should write a letter to Red Lobster telling them to advertise during this show, as it is sure to increase traffic in their fine establishments. I also learned that watching four straight episodes of ‘Dirty Jobs’ is a great weight loss tool. I should publicize this so I can rule the airwaves like that annoying Jarrod from Subway!

And lastly,

! I learned that I have really let my twins’ new rebellious behavior get to me when I have a dream that my dog Mabel has a twin and the twin is bent on attacking me every time I bend over. I can tell you that imaginary twin-dog butt bites hurt, A LOT! The only thing I can’t figure out is why my ass hurts so much…

Friday, August 24, 2007

They Actually Had To Do A Study For This???

OK, I just finished reading a Reuters news story that said researchers in Canada have discovered that young male students do better when being tutored in reading by female tutors rather than male tutors. The boys that were studied were in the third and fourth grades. Uhhhh, isn’t that when boys start to really ‘discover’ the fairer sex?

I wonder if the study involved watching Van Halen’s ‘Hot For Teacher’ video. There is also a nice tutoring scene in Adam Sandler’s ‘Billy Madison’ that comes to mind too! Were the results of this study really a surprise? Yeah the male tutor could use things like sport analogies and high fives to connect with his student, but all the female tutor has to do is show up and speak in soft dulcet tones.

Yes I’m probably being sexist here, but if I had to be tutored for work (ok, it’s more like WHEN I need to be tutored for work), I would pay a lot more attention to the female work tutor than I would the man. Although, if the man liked NASCAR and had a real appreciation for the miracle that is the deep fryer, I’ll admit that we would not get much done because we’d be talking about what a God Dale Earnhardt was, what a little girly boy Jeff Gordon is and try to one up each other with stories of the greatest things we have ever tried to deep fry. Now if the work tutor was a woman who was paying attention to me (if only because she was being paid to help me become a better worker), I would most certainly give her more attention than the guy. I’d probably hang on her every word and become more productive over night.

Then there’s the chance that the whole thing would backfire and I’d actually tank the learning so that I’d get to spend more time with my female tutor. That’s just a joke because I’m not really THAT bad of a guy, I swear. Unless the female tutor could name several NASCAR tracks and smiled at the mention of things like bounce houses. Then who could blame me for wanting to learn more? OK, I got lost in my thoughts for a moment…what was I writing about? Yes, that’s right, the study that showed boys learn more from female tutors. Hmmmm, a bunch of awkward hormonal kids spending one on one time so close to a woman? Yeah, the tutor would have their full attention. I hope this wasn’t a very expensive study!

Speaking of recent published study results, I came across another one yesterday. I logged into my internet account last night ready to visit my favorite blogs, download pictures of cheddar and Colby Jack cheese for my cubicle walls and to catch a few 30 Rock episodes on Youtube. But what did I encounter before that? An unclothed very elderly couple seen from the shoulders up in a deep and uh, loving embrace. It was awkward to see and then it got even more awkward when I read the headline that accompanied the photo: ‘Study reveals the elderly are having more sex than thought.’

Uh, um, whoa, gee, well, oh boy…I’m speechless. The last time I was this speechless I was under general anesthesia. Explain to me why this was so important for me know. How was this study conducted? More importantly, WHY was this study conducted? You know what, I just can’t continue with this. Can we just come to an agreement and declare that whatever happens in these ‘experienced’ couples’ Craftmatic Adjustable old people’s beds stays in their Craftmatic Adjustable old people’s beds?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm Too Lazy Thursday Repost: Bring Ye Your Fat, Your Tired, Your Asthmatic…

I must have celebrated the big 4-0-0 too much or something yesterday because I KNOW I had a good idea at some point within the last 24 hours. I just seemed to have either lost it, misplaced it or dreamed it. Sorry 'bout that. Here's a repost...

Reuters recently reported that Australia has decided it’s time to increase the size of their army. Having committed soldiers in the Pacific Islands to monitor destabilization has left the Australian army a little thin. However, a new plan proposed by the military’s leadership will fatten their army, in more ways than one.

Australia’s army is going to loosen the requirements for military service (and waist size). This will allow overweight individuals and borderline asthmatics to become Australian soldiers. One of the highest ranking military officials in Australia was quoted as saying he wasn’t worried about the methods used to increase his forces because (and this is a real quote, not a fabricated one) “we're good at getting people fit and taking the weight off them.” He makes it sound so obvious that you wonder why any military wouldn’t run out and sign up all the unfit people they can find.

I am currently reading David McCullough’s “1776” about George Washington’s leadership of America’s Continental Army during the revolution. I bring this up because as desperate as this young country was for soldiers to fight the British, we didn’t even resort to what Australia has proposed. Now granted we had no problem enlisting the elderly and the occasional 14-year male, but we never enlisted asthmatics. That’s just cruel.

If the Australian government is anything like ours, I’m sure they’ve researched the impact this will have on their army. Have they thought about how many potential soldiers they will lose during training though? Can you imagine how grueling boot camp will be for these recruits? It’ll be very similar to NBC’s “Biggest Loser.” Man, that could end up being the next big thing in reality TV. The Australian Army could call it “Fitness Camp – March to the Death” and either sell the rights for it or air it themselves and make a killing (non-militarily speaking, of course) on ad revenue. The money they bring in could be used to bankroll their military industrial complex for years to come.

The recruits could be divided into teams with the overweight folks on one team battling against the asthmatics on the other. I’m not a big fan of reality TV, but this one might be fun to watch. The team that loses a particular week’s boot camp training exercise competition has to vote which recruit to kick off. The eventual individual winner of the show wins money and an automatic military promotion to a higher rank.

The Australians are brilliant. Not only did they give us Paul Hogan, Men At Work and shrimp on the bar-b, but they were also home to the Bee Gees for a few years before they made it big. All of that pales in comparison though to what they can teach our military leadership…a way to make Americans fit, increase the size of our military and entertain us at the same time. To Australia, I say thank you and Good Day, mate.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

399 More Than I Ever Planned On

This is my 400th post. Gheesh that’s a lot. Perhaps too many. I came across this realization Saturday as I wrote about how my twins see shapes in their dog’s ‘eliminations.’ Perhaps I have covered all the writeable territory there is. I have already tackled some of life’s most important topics like cheese, Kenny Rogers, the Office and the angel that is one Ms. Tina Fey. I’ve waxed poetic about lobster, Las Vegas and bounce houses. I’ve shared things that I’ve learned and fielded questions from my favorite visitors. I’ve angered written about my coworkers and professed my lust fine appreciation of grilled meats. I think I have also admitted to liking the Bee Gees, quite possibly more than once. It’s all been fun, but maybe, just maybe there is more to it all.

So, I have turned a corner. I am now going to write about important things. I mean I know that cheese is important, but when I talk about it, certain people’s eyes tend to glaze over. I’m talking about real serious things here like Medicare, Politics, Religion, Finance, Global Warming (I mean it was really hot here today) and the escalating price of a drink at Starbucks. These are the issues that concern us and define us as a people. I have a lot to say about these things and cannot hold my tongue or excitement at the idea of writing about them any longer.

So, I shall begin with this post. Today’s topic will be about the proliferation of the internet in attracting volunteers to political campaigns. Ok, you know what; I can’t do this with a straight face. I’ve tried to sit at the big table, but always feel more at ease at the kid’s table. I’ve tried to sip fine wine, but always come back to soda.

Perhaps I should celebrate #400 just as if it were post #287. I have no idea what I wrote about for #287, but it probably mentioned me getting in trouble…at work….or with the twins…or at a local restaurant...well, you get the point. It may have also mentioned Fred Willard. The man is a genius. I could tell you that today is Kenny Rogers’ birthday. I listened to him all day long, much to the chagrin of my coworkers. I’m sure they would not have been as violently angry with me if I had turned it down a little, but it’s The Gambler’s birthday! I’m not sure how old he is, but he doesn’t look a day over…oh let’s say an artificial 55. Why, he looks just as good as Burt Reynolds does. I think any public picture of each of those men should contain a disclaimer that reads something like ‘butchered professionals on a closed course…do not try this at home.’ But that’s just me.

I could write about the miracle that is cargo pants and shorts. With pockets everywhere, it’s like having a purse strategically attached to your clothing. Seriously, I don’t even carry a wallet anymore. Granted I have to fumble around through four different pockets to find anything, but it beats having a hunk of leather slapped to my rear (that’s what she said). It would not be out of the ordinary to write about how I sound like an American Idol finalist when I sing out loud with the music but when I sing around the office without it, I am actually booed.

The idea of an amusement park named Kitchenland seemed to go well. I probably should devote some time to that. Magic Kingdom? No, Magic Kitchen! Blogworthy moments with my twins are always easy to do. For example, when Ethel accidentally flipped me off last night while showing me her cut middle finger, I sprinted to find my digital camera to catch the moment. In hindsight, it might be a good thing that she wouldn’t show me again once I found it.

An interesting topic might be how quickly the human body can be propelled from a treadmill. Not that I’d know or anything. Not that I learned this lesson personally last night when I tried running on the treadmill momentarily without holding on to anything. Nope, I have no clue about the velocity of mankind when launched from such exercise devices. None at all…

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Q & A Tuesday 399th Post Extravaganza

I was planning on celebrating my 400th post in grand Q & A style. That was before I wasn’t able to get a Monday post done, so this is only post number 399, which is kinda fruitless. If you are a baseball player, 399 homeruns won’t get you in the hall of fame. So, let’s hope I can make it to 400. Before I begin, it is important to warn inform you of the following things: nothing here was researched, my answers will probably get me forever banned from contributing on Wikipedia, my answers should never be quoted or referenced in any public or social forum, there will probably be at least one reference to Tina Fey and at least one incidence of TWSS (which is the new ‘hip’ way for me to say that’s what she said. Let’s hope it takes blogsville by storm!). So, remain seated please; Permanecer sentados por favor…

Airam begins the festivities with an Oz inspiring question. She wondered ‘If you had to choose between having a heart (like the tin man) or having a brain (like scarecrow) or having courage (like lion) or having red ruby slippers (like dorothy), which would you choose and why?’
Wow, so many to choose from. With my heart problems, I should immediately answer The Tin man, but I’m not smart enough to get by without a brain. I think I’m ok on courage and the ruby reds would make me look like Klinger on MASH. By process of elimination, I will have to say a brain like the scarecrow. Although I would really rather have that cool voice enhancing curtained telephone booth that the Wizard had. See, without my brain, I was not able to realize that that wasn’t an option.

Continuing with the ‘ask a deep question’ theme, Not Fearing Change asked ‘How do we make the world a better place?’
Since nothing was mentioned about peace, harmony or the brotherhood of mankind, I am going to answer with ‘soft inflatable bumpers,’ like the kind they use for small kids (or me) down at the bowling alley. Seriously, doesn’t everyone believe the world would be a much better place if it were just one big bounce house? I think so. We could all just bounce to and fro and I’m pretty sure that would help us all get into shape. Besides, with soft bumpers and bouncy thingies all over, it’s bound to make auto insurance rates go down. It is virtually impossible to hurt something against a bouncy side. Believe me, I have tried…extensively.

My fellow Rat Packer Ralph asked ‘Do you love your Chevy Truck so much that you would have Mabel pee on a Ford truck?’
For those of you who don’t know, Mabel is my golden retriever…not Lucy or Ethel’s real name. I have a good friend who is a social worker and she reads this blog, so I just wanna clear that up. But then, she already knows Lucy and Ethel’s real names, so my joke is kinda pointless. I would have to say no, I’m still trying to get her NOT to go in the grass, so I don’t want to confuse her even more. By the way, does anyone happen to know where there is a levee in Corona, California so that I can go drive my Chevy down by it? Or, as I believe George Jones and Tammy Wynette (who beat the heck outta Tim McGraw and Faith Hill by the way) once sang (as did Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in a recent commercial)…we aren’t the jet set, we’re the old Chevrolet set…

ARM, who can probably appreciate the George and Tammy song I just mentioned, got right to the heart of me with her questions: ‘Which character from The Office do you relate to the most. Which character do you wish you could be? Which character would you like to gouge out their eyes with a pencil?’
I probably do relate to Jim the most, but I’ve got a lot of Kevin and a little bit of Toby in me (TWSS – that’s what she said….was it ever more appropriate? Plus I got it worked into this post). I most wish that I could be Jim. I mean he’s probably gonna get Pam and he already has Karen. What’s next? Jim gets Jan Levinson Gould?? As far as the pencil gouging, you might think I’d say Dwight, but he’s so entertaining. I would say Angela. When I’m annoyed, it would be Kelly.

Lone Grey Squirrel shows that he is the true intellectual with his questions.
1. (Economics) Why is it that I am poor while Paris Hilton is rich?
That’s a good question. It might have something to do with the fact that your family never established a very large hotel chain (I'm assuming). I’m not sure she has actually ever made a dime on her own. Then again, she probably doesn’t even know what a dime is.

2. (Science) If the Star Trek Holodeck was really invented, what would you use it for?
Good question. Perhaps I would use it to take Tina Fey (there, I worked her in) to a greasy diner for disco fries and corn dogs while I make her read my blog until she gives me a job. I might also pretend it’s one big bounce house that serves lobster and has plenty of Lime-Aid on tap. Yes, now I want a holodeck. Can they be ordered by catalog yet??

3. (History) What really happened to the Lost Colony at Roanoke Island, Virginia?
I don’t know, we never found them. Get it? They’re lost and we never found them? Ok, you’re right, it might not be as funny as I think. My guess is that they heard there were no Starbucks in Virginia and headed for the Carolinas.

4. (Art) What is the difference between a painting done by a chimpanzee and one that is sold for millions as modern art?
Most likely it’s due to the fact that the chimp flings its own ‘eliminations.’ Or perhaps the chimps don’t have a good agent like Thomas Kincaide does. Seriously, do we need to have bath towels with his paintings on it? I think Charmin will be releasing their ‘Works of Thomas Kincaide’ toilet paper rolls in the fall.

5. (Sociology)How do ugly guys like Mick Jagger get such pretty wives and girlfriends? Is there hope for me?
The obvious answer is money. One could also say it’s his stellar dance moves, but I used to impersonate him in high school and never got one single date out of it. I think it’s because his pretty wives and girlfriends know that they will have access to his closest, like is leggings and stuff. Get some sweats, a tight fitting leotard-like shirt and some leggings and there is PLENTY of hope for you!

6. (Politics) How can squirrels conquer the world?
One nut at a time (that’s what she said – it’s just so hard to stop saying that!!) First they probably need to form a political party. Then develop a military. My parents live in the mountains of Southern California and I have seen squirrels there fight over one peanut. Believe me, they have what it takes to rule the world. Cue the scary background music….

Next up is Brandy. Wow her questions were tough for me this week for some reason. You all have to respect her because she keeps a Dwight Bobblehead doll on her nightstand. This means that I have to surrender my claim to being the World’s Biggest Office Fan’ to her. She asked:
1. Would you rather have sustainable world peace or free cheese for everyone for the rest of eternity?
I don’t really think there is a choice to me made there, Bran. Free cheese for everyone forever WOULD lead to sustainable world peace. Our arteries may be more clogged than my spam email folder, but we’d all be so happy that we’d forget our differences. Loss of blood flow due to the clogged arteries would probably help us forget just a little too.

2. Is a dream a wish your heart makes, or is it the result of a life time of images, sounds, ideas randomly being put together in a haphazard way that mean nothing?
That’s deep Bran! Quite possibly, too deep for me. However, I will attempt an answer nonetheless. The ‘images, sounds, ideas randomly being put together in a haphazard way that mean nothing’ is actually my blog. I don’t think there are very many random dreams. I don’t dream very often, but when I do, it was a dream that I enjoyed so much I was upset when I woke up, which must mean there was a reason for it. Perhaps this could be due to the fact that waking up means it’s time to head to work…or that I dream about food and wake up hungry.

3. If you could be anywhere else right now, where would you be? And does Martina McBride ever age, or is she part robot like I suspect?
Right now I would choose to be on a Caribbean island, or Scranton, Pennsylvania. It’s a very tough decision. Martina McBride has not aged a bit since she debuted in about 1995 singing ‘My Baby Loves Me.’ Although I’m a Sara Evans man myself, she is a beautiful woman who never fails to look or sound amazing. I think she’s more angel than Robot. The real robot is Shania Twain. Every song sounds exactly the same…I blame her husband who is her programmer producer.

SilverNeurotic asked ‘Who did you have to bribe to release you from the loony hospital?’
No one. I just annoyed the heck out of them until they could endure me no longer. Bringing in outside food, walking way too far from the nurses station, randomly taking one of the heart monitor leads off my chest and keeping my room at 62 degrees all no doubt helped facilitate my discharge. Next time I’m hospitalized, I’m going to sing ‘What’s New Pussycat?’ Whenever a nurse enters the room. I’ll be there one day, tops!

Erica AP also had a question about dreams. She asked ‘Have you heard of people only dreaming in black & white or in cartoons? And do you do that?’
I have not heard of the cartoon part, although it would be VERY cool to have a cartoon dream. I did once watch 8 straight Simpsons episodes and only saw things in yellows, blues, reds, whites and purples afterward. I have dreamt in black and white though, but it usually ends in a richly produced full color segment.

The Exception again posed some great questions, including one from a youngin…to give me practice. She asked:
Since you have been at home with the girls throughout this week, what is your favorite children's program - what is your least favorite?
Favorite – Those damn Wiggles. It was the Simpsons until Lucy and Ethel got old enough to repeat what they heard…oops. Least favorite – Barney. Always Barney!!

Is there a children's tune/song that drives you crazy as you have heard it just one too many times?
Toot, Toot, Chugga, Chugga Big Red Car. And anything from High School Musical

Did you prefer Ginger or Maryanne?
Maryanne. The pony tails, the humility, the overalls and checked shirt. She could actually give Daisy Duke a run for her down home money!!

And the question posed by my 7 year old this week: (drum roll please)
"How does the sperm get into the woman's body?"
It’s magic. Or I could Dr. Seuss/Grinch it up and say ‘it comes from here and ends in there.’ If and when I am asked that one by the twins, I will be more squirmy than the spermie…

Last but certainly not least is Patti. She asked: Michael, if money were no object and you had it to do over, would you go to medical school?
No. Too much work. If money were no object, I’d build an amusement park with a food theme. I’d call it Kitchenland…

She also asked 'If so, in what field would you specialize? (I'm thinking cardiology)'
If for some reason I passed out and woke up in medical school, I would specialize in the pinky toe, quite possibly the most useless appendage ever.

Thanks for all the great questions this week! I now have a headache and can't see straight. Maybe I'll go visit some more blogs...

****Update***** Crap, I knew this would happen eventually. I forgot to answer a question. It was my best blogging buddy Odat's questions. Ooops!!! In her infinite kindness, she said I can answer them next week. Which just increases the probability of me forgetting again. Bwahahahaha

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Repost Sunday: Monday, Monday? How About Funday, Funday!

My bestest blogging buddy Odat recently suggested that a regret of mine might be the fact that I failed in my efforts last year to replace Monday on the calendar with Funday...and you know what, she's right! Many of you weren't reading this blog last year, so I decided to repost this one since I am going to revive my attempts to remove Monday from our calendars. Uh, it's not too obvious that I have been off work for more than a week and have to go back it?? Sorry Odat, I know this is about the 3rd time you'll have to read this, so I added a little to it...

Although it’ll almost be over by the time you read this post, I have to say how much I hate Mondays. I know that I am not alone and it’s certainly not a new sentiment among the blogging community. You can see the disdain for Mondays on the faces of coworkers, other commuters and just about everyone you interact with on this solemn day. Go ahead, wish someone a Happy Monday and see what happens...

It’s time to address the issue head on. Monday should be removed from our calendar. I propose that we make Tuesday the new Monday. Of course, Tuesday has done nothing to deserve the wrath that becoming the new Monday will bring. Therefore, I also propose that Tuesdays become a universal casual day at work. By 'casual,' I don't mean shorts and sandals, although they certainly are welcome. I mean relaxing, kicking back, sipping drinks and visiting with your coworkers (providing you actually find that relaxing) all while listening to music. Plus, because things are so relaxed, you can come in whenever you want!
That and the fact that it’s one day closer to the weekend should help Tuesday remain the somewhat innocuous day it already is. Is there the chance that your company will not want to pay you for relaxing on Back To Work Tuesday? Probably not, remember that the bosses and payroll folks will be relaxing too, just hopefully not with you. That would not be relaxing at all. Well, unless the payroll guy has a little too much to drink and starts doling out 'expense' reimbursements!!

I don’t expect much flak about the abandonment of Mondays except from the folks getting royalties on music about Mondays. I’m speaking of tunes like “Manic Monday,” “Come Monday,” “Monday, Monday” and my favorite “Rainy Days and Mondays.” (Yes, I just used the word 'favorite' in conjunction with the title of a Carpenters song. And yet I still maintain my dignity!) Those Monday songs would become outdated over night. Would it affect “Ruby Tuesday?” I don’t know, I haven't thought that far ahead. Do you really think the Stones are complaining?

When we remove Monday from the calendar it will set in motion a horrible period of chaos and confusion as was expected to occur during the dawn of Y2K. Remember buying up canned goods and erecting a Y2K bunker? No, well then never mind, you daredevil. I suppose you don't cook your pork until it's completely done either! Surely I was not the only one who built a Y2K bunker, right? Well, at least I got a tin-foiled lined, cable TV ready storage shed out of it. I just wish I wasn't still paying it off.

To avoid the problems that converting to a 6-day week would cause, I’ve come up with a solution I hope will be a popular one. We will name the new day Funday and it will become essentially another Sunday (to fill up the empty day) with a Friday feel. This will create the 3-day weekend, every weekend.

So there you have it, a well thought out fair and balanced solution to Mondays. Now if I can just find some crackpot candidate belonging to some obscure political party, we’ll be good to go. We’ll call the new party the Calendarians. Imagine how well a candidate campaigning on the Calendarians’ “Create Funday” ticket would be. How in the world can you run a smear campaign against that? Even if the party loses, man the nominating convention will be a blast!

*****Reminder to get your questions in for my 400th Post Q&A Tuesday Extravaganza. What do I have planned for the big occasion (especially after using such a big word like extravaganza)? Uh, I'll be answering your questions...*******

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Things I Learned This Week: 8/18/07

Because I want to spare you from experiencing some of the things I endured over the last few days, I post “Things I Learned This Week” each Saturday. It’s educational, sometimes insightful and for some reason it never makes me look good. I hope that knowing about at least one item on this list will make your upcoming week much easier.

! I learned that a cheese grater is a very dangerous kitchen accessory that can cause major knuckle destruction if not used with extreme attention and care. Caution and care in this case excludes grating cheese while watching The Office, especially when the blood of the person grating the cheese is the thinnest it has been in seven years.

! I learned that ‘Ready to Light’ charcoal is actually more fun a bigger fire hazard than soaking regular charcoal with lighter fluid myself. Do I really need to mention how much more fun more dangerous adding lighter fluid to the burning ‘Ready to Light’ charcoal is? Also, a shift in the direction of the wind WILL in fact change the direction that the fire is blowing. Lastly, there is a decent chance that I won’t need to shave the right side of my face for another day or two.

! I learned that I really do have a very artistic twin when she believes that every pile of dog waste I clean up looks like something else. I just wish that Ethel new how to modulate the volume of her voice so that the neighbors didn’t know that my dog is apparently able to, uh, ‘lay’ waste that looks like a turtle, an airplane and Grover from The Muppets, just to mention a few. On second thought, maybe it’s my dog Mabel who has the real talent here.

! I learned that hospital food really isn’t that bad. It’s actually quite tasty if you give it a chance. And by giving it a chance, I mean chasing it down with an extra large Whopper and a strawberry milkshake.

! I learned when my doctor said I needed to be off work this week that absence truly does NOT make the heart grow fonder. Boy will I be in a great mood when I return on Monday. I’m hoping you can detect the sarcasm I am typing this with.

! I learned that after Lucy and Ethel watched the premier of 'High School Musical 2' last night, I'll be spending my Saturday trying to find them the soundtrack on CD. Oh joy, oh joy, oh joy, oh joy. I'm again hoping
you can detect the sarcasm I am typing this with.

! I learned that I don’t particularly care to be awaken at 4AM to have my blood drawn, especially when it takes 8 minutes and 3 attempts to find a vein that feels like cooperating. I also learned that cussing at my veins is a very good way to get other people to look at you funny.

And lastly,

! I learned that picking Lucy and Ethel up from Kindergarten requires me to bring my ‘A’ game with regards to completely useless conversations with other parents just because we all happen to have children in the same class. For the record, apparently asking other moms, ‘Hey, did you catch Dirty Jobs last night? That Mike Rowe is hysterical, isn’t he?’ is most definitely not ‘A’ game material.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Interview

While I’ll admit that sounds like a bad romantic movie…but it’s not. It’s the name of a post that I found over at AndreAnna’s blog. Since I enjoy reading her blog soooooo much, I had to participate. I asked her to interview me and she submitted these five questions for me to answer. If you wish to play along, the rules are at the end of this email (Man, I should not have said that…DO NOT SCROLL DOWN NOW!!!). The questions are, and I quote (sorry, felt like working in a little Dr. Suess Grinch line today):

1) If you were independently wealthy and didn't have to work, what would you do with your free time?
Not much! I would go to Graceland, I would blog even more than I do now and I would probably go to my old office a lot and wave at my coworkers through the windows. Oh wait, we don’t have windows. Ok then, I would install windows for them and then taunt them from the outside.

I would also spend A LOT more time with Lucy and Ethel, start a championship BBQ team, go see a major league baseball game in every ball park and go to every NASCAR track. I would try to write a book essentially about nothing that would contain really good photos taken by me and continue working on the pseudo-musical ‘Nylons In Arizona.’ Because I would have so much time, I might even do an entire ‘Nylons’ series for each state, not counting Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Well, the Hawaiian one would be fun. That way I could do an entire musical number about ‘Poi.’ Oh boy!!!

2) What is your dream car?
Normally I just say a bigger Chevy truck, but I’m feeling saucy today, so I will say James Bond’s original Aston Martin. I would also like a #8 Budweiser Chevy Monte Carlo Nextel Cup Car, but I fear it would not pass California’s emissions test. Then again, neither would the Aston Martin, but it has guns and stuff, so I’m sure something could be worked out!

3) Do you consider yourself successful in your life?
Nope! I do not yet have a burger, sandwich or hot dog named after me and in our culture, that is the mark of success. Actually, I have a job, can support my kids, no more of my fish have died and I can tie my own shoes. It’s not REALLY successful, but it’ll do. And if you’re wondering, the burger named after me would need to have 5 layers of different types of melted cheese, grilled onions, and really expensive bacon…for starters…

4) What is one regret you have?
Possibly leaving my PR assistant job with the FOX Network. It wasn’t really my type of environment, but 2 years after I left they started broadcasting NASCAR. I kinda feel like Pete Best after the Beatles kicked him out. I also regret that I didn’t start writing the way I do now sooner than I did. But really, what is regret but a container full of restaurant leftovers that you forgot to put in the refrigerator when you got home…right??

5) Have you ever been fired?
BWAHAHAHAHAHA…not yet. Came close, but I learned that a smile, a few bucks and possessing ‘sensitive’ photos of the person wanting to fire you are pretty helpful. However, I’ve got two words for you all: ‘Blogging at work.’ AWWWWW Booger, that was three words, wasn’t it??

Well, rules are a difficult thing for me, so I hope I followed them ok. Although I can tell you that AndreAnna is a very forgiving person…If you wish to have me interview you (and I warn you that the questions will be questions you’ve never heard before), then please follow these simple rules:

1. Leave me a comment saying “Interview me."

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.

3. You will update your blog with a post containing your the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Post Game Report

Well, now that Q&A Day is out of the way, I can blog a little about my recent hospital incarceration stay. My little three day visit turned into five days for a few medical reasons and with only 7 channels on the 1970s TV fixed to the ceiling with a black pipe used for plumbing, I was a little strung out!

I was going in to be monitored as I started a very potent, almost experimental drug. I should have guessed what was in store for me when my first nurse had no clue why I was there and actually assumed I was in the hospital to have my implanted heart shocking/rhythm maintaining device checked. Uh, here’s the thing Nurse Dixie, I don’t have one. When I told her it was for the meds, she disagreed with me and then confessed to having never heard of Dofetilide, the med I was about to be given. It’s a good thing she had that nice grandmothery thing working because she would be doing something to me or writing something down and then say things like ‘oh wait, that’s not right’ or ‘it’s a good thing I caught myself, you shouldn’t have this.’ Instead of worrying, I just laughed, knowing I would probably die in her care. Fortunately, not long after I arrived, there was a shift change.

My first roommate was something one could only dream up, except I’m telling the truth. He was an older Southern Gentleman, a real dandy. Listening to his voice, I felt like the Confederates were just moments away from stealing my plantation and drinking all my sweet tea…I mean that what the Civil War was like, right? I should probably begin podcasting, because written word will never, ever do justice to my impersonation of him calling his mother’s caretaker. As he was watching an I Love Lucy rerun (as opposed to the new episodes I guess. Did I really need to say it was a rerun), he called his mom’s care taker and this is what I heard (now picture a very, very dignified Southern voice saying this ‘tell mutha, that Vitameatavegimin is on. You can watch your stories lata, Vitameatavegimin is on.’ I was laughing so hard I almost popped my IV out. Moments later his phone rang and in the same dignified voice, I heard ‘I will have to call you back in 90 minutes. Vitiameatavegimin is on and then I need to watch my Judge Hatchett.’ All I could do every time his mouth opened was picture Forrest Gump’s Mama’s house.

Now I believe it is well documented that I can do very little without messing it up. Unfortunately, hospitals stays are apparently no different. Since I was hooked up to a heart monitor that transmitted wirelessly (they can figure that out but not how to get a WiFi connection!!), I was free to take little walks. Part of what I like about walking in the hospital is that I always bring a pair of shorts and a t-shirt to wear, so I let my gown hang open from the rear. It cracks me up watching people turn around as I pass thinking my arse is hanging out (makes me think of the Mike Meyers/Danny Devito SNL sketch – Are you looking at my bum). If they are patients, they usually ask me how I got away with it and I just tell them no one stopped me. It’s a fun game to play and I highly suggest you try it next time you’re hospitalized!

For me, walking was actually encouraged so they could see how my ticker was holding up. I walked as often as I could. My mistake on my first walk was that I went all Energizer Bunny on everybody and just kept going. I saw a window and was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Of course the window was practically on the other side of the floor I was on. About 25 minutes later I realized I might have strayed a little too far so I headed back. It was about half way back, as I approached the elevators, that I thought I heard the faint sounds of my nurse calling my name. So, like any kid in trouble, I stopped to look for a place to hide and could not find one. As my flight or fight reflex took over, I started running towards my ward. I slowed down right before I got to the nurse’s station. She asked if I had been running. Forgetting that she could see every beat I take (with sincere apologies to The Police for butchering that line), I told her no. She then proceeded to tell me that I had gone too far and that she would tell me not to do it again, but since my heartbeat accelerated so rapidly during my ‘little walk,’ I should not walk again until I was shocked back into rhythm. It was at this point that I admitted I had run because I thought I was in trouble. Everyone that heard this just shook their heads. Yep, the trust was gone…no sucker for me.

I learned a few hospital stays back that if you know a visitor is coming, give them directions to the hospital that will take them past all the local eateries and say something to them like ‘I will tell the nurses not to let you in if you don’t bring me a burger and fries.’ This devious method of getting decent food has not failed me yet. But it did lead me to my second straight run-in with the nursing staff. My new nurse walked in as I was polishing off my Whopper (that’s what she said…sorry, that was SO easy) from lunch and gave me the lecture that I was not allowed to have outside food. I shoved the rest in my mouth and apologized for the misunderstanding. What I neglected to tell her was that my parents were on their way with tacos for dinner. Fearing the return of Nazi Nurse, I have never eaten tacos that fast in my life. Little tip here: don’t quickly gobble down spicy tacos. It is not gastronomically worth it!

Finally, after my shock back into normal rhythm and with plenty of my new medicine in my system, it was time to come home. That was until I tried to fill the prescription they gave me for my new med. The pharmacy told me they didn’t have anymore and had no idea how they were going to get any. I wanted to commend them for their excellent customer service skills, but figured it wasn’t worth it. My nurse stepped in to help and was able to get the pharmacy to give me a 14-day supply. When the pharmacist said that’s all they had, I made a joke about cleaning them out of Dofetilide. She said not to worry and that she was assuming I was the ONE person in the hospital who they had been supplying it to for the last 5 days. Now there’s a comforting thought…One of the biggest hospitals in LA and I was the ONLY person on this drug? Who the heck am I supposed to call if I get sweats, diarrhea, chronic fatigue, chills, blurred vision, liver failure, I start receiving AM radio signals in my head or get anything that lasts more than 4 hours? OK, I’ll admit, I probably would not call the same person for that last concern as I would for the rest of them, but you get the point…

Lastly, I must mention that 30 years ago today, Elvis Presley went into the bathroom and never came out. I am a huge Elvis fan and one of the only destinations I hope to get to before I die (hopefully not in the bathroom) is Graceland. In honor of this solemn day, I am going to turn on some of his music and make myself a Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich. You are all free to join me, thank you very much!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Q & A Tuesday #5 – On Wednesday

Well, it’s Wednesday and you know what that means. It’s Q & A Tuesday…or something like that. There are a ton of good questions this week, so let’s begin. Just remember the basics: no quoting me, no putting into practice anything I might suggest, Barry Bonds deserves an asterisk next to his name, nothing you are about to read has been researched and ponies kinda freak me out. Also, I don’t proofread my answers. It would take me until Thursday. Ok, here’s the Q&A…warning, longest post ever dead ahead…

Terri starts us off this week with a question that is both upfront and personal. She asks:
‘What kind of child were you? I wonder if you can relate yourself to any child actor/comedian, someone like Gary Coleman, Danny Bonnaduce or even Punky Brewster?
Hmmmmmmm. Well, I was taller than Gary Coleman, nicer than Danny and the only thing I had in common with Punky Brewster was that I too had to have a breast reduction. I would like to think that I was closest to either Opie, Ralph Malph, Richie Cunningham or Ricky Schroeder on ‘Silver Spoons.’ The chicks really dug Ricky. Oh you know what, I just answered that without even trying. Chicks dug Ricky, which means I was more like Ralph… ‘I still got it…’

My transatlantic pseudo-sister AndreAnna asked a real brainteaser. She wanted to know ‘If you could only listen to one song over and over again for the rest of your life, what would it be?’
Holy Crap, that’s a toughie AA. So many songs cross my mind. The Christmas Song, Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, Ain’t That A Kick In The Head, The WKRP in Cincinnati Theme Song, The Cheers Theme Song, Louis Prima’s Pennies From Heaven, He Stopped Loving Her Today, Sinatra’s ultra-hip version of Mrs. Robinson, Folsom Prison Blues, Haggard’s Working Man Blues, Sunday Morning Coming Down, anything from the Randy Travis or Kenny Rogers catalog and whatever the Bee Gees did on the Saturday Night Fever Sountrack. But since you asked for only one, I’d say Alan Jackson’s Chattahoochie. Or The Hollyridge Strings’ version of Shaft. Or Julie London singing Quinn The Eskimo. Seriously, I’m not kidding…I’m heavily medicated from my hospital visit, but I don’t think I’m kidding…

Patti once again put her fine journalistic talents on the line to ask me a question. She asked ‘Which do you prefer, lizard or caveman?’
After the Geico commercials, I’m pretty sure that lizards are better. Especially if they are related on the evolutionary scale to the Sleestaks from ‘Land of the Lost,’ which I think were also the same suits worn in a Star Trek episode once. Yes, definitely lizards over cavemen.

The Exception had two questions this week and I consider myself lucky that they both had nothing to do with uncomfortable questions that my twins might one day ask me. She asked:
‘What is your theme song?’
As much as I want to answer the James Bond Theme Song, I’m just not sure I can pull that off. Perhaps the theme song from “Get Smart’ is more appropriate. What do you think? I missed it by that much, huh?

The Exception also wanted to know ‘If you have a half sister and brother but they don't know you exist, do you still really have a brother or sister?’
Probably not. Unless I know that THEY exit. Then they would exit first. But really, in what sense do any of us actually exit? Do we exit upon death? If so, where are we exiting to? To exit something usually infers that we are then going to enter something. I exited a job once and didn’t enter another one for over a year, so that was like a delayed entrance, although I was not trying to be fashionably late. Why are there more exit signs in the world than entrance signs? Why do people want us to leave so badly? Oh, you meant EXIST, not EXIT? Well then, never mind…

Lastly, The Exception asked ‘Which cartoon/TV show from your youth would you like them to bring back and why?’
The Justice League was good, but so was Voltron. Although I really miss Walter Kronkite doing the news. Does that count?? If so, I’m going with Walter.

Brandy’s Five are up again. I had all weekend to ponder the Big Five in the hospital, and this is all I could come up with. I really do rue the day that I asked her a really dumb question which has brought on this revenge. Nah, I’m just kiddin’ Bran…or am I?
1. Kenny Rogers wants you to go on tour with him. Only hitch is that you will be gone for the next year and Lucy and Ethel are not welcome to join/visit (Kenny discriminates against people under 10 years old) and you will not be getting any breaks to come home. He will be paying you enough money that after a year of work you will be able to retire comfortably and provide all the wants your young girls have ever dreamed of. Do you go?
Yep. I should really have a more thought out emotional answer about missing my children but sacrificing so that I can provide for them but seriously man, it’s The Gambler himself. Maybe he’ll even let me duet on ‘Islands.’

2. Are Bratz dolls a symbolic representation of what is wrong with our society in terms of female image, or are they the cause of what is wrong with our society? Are they the cause of what is wrong, or the effect?
Oh boy. Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy. I blame Barbie and Ursula Andress on the beach in ‘Dr. No’ for what is wrong with interpretations of the female image. Bratz dolls are what is wrong with our society. How can we let children play with something that has brat in the title? I hear that they are about to release the next generation of Bratz Dolls called Sorority Slutz. I think after that they are releasing the Soccer Momz and then Dirty Grandmaz. Whatever happened to Strawberry Shortcake? I realize she was a stripper, but at least she wore full-length overalls.

3. Favourite type of lifesaver candy?
Grape! My answer to all flavor questions is always grape. Do I like grapes from the vine, no? Do I like Purple Fructose Sominate 15? Yes!

4. If you were going to live the reminder of your life as a pirate, what would your new pirate name be?
I’m partial to Saucy McBritches. It sounds great in a pirate dialect. Go ahead try it, just say ‘Ah me lad, be findin’ Saucy McBritches ye better be.’ See what I mean? It’s great!! ARRRRRRR!!

5. Can you whistle?
Yes, but not while at work. One has to be happy to whistle, ergo I cannot whistle while I work. I whistle fairly often. I whistle the Andy Griffith Show theme regularly. Perhaps one day I will take my children fishing and we can whistle it then. I love to say whistle, can you tell? I also like saying ‘like the down of a thistle,’ but then people look at me funny. It’s getting really hard to figure out why they are anymore. That’s what she said!!

My best friend and his wife decided to ask a question this week. They are regular visitors here but phoned this question in. They wanted to know ‘What has Brown done for me?’
Well, B and E, Brown has done a few things for me. I have several brown t-shirts and someone told me they are rather slimming, so I guess Brown has slimmed me. Brown is also the color of dirt, which is pervading my backyard because of the dang gophers that have decided to toy with me for the last 3 summers. They too are brown, so I guess you could say that Brown is also elevating my blood pressure. Lastly, brown is the color of really burnt cheese, which I love to eat. So, all in all Brown is doing more good for me than bad.

ARM is new around these parts, but anyone who likes A Christmas Story and Country as much as I do is always welcome. ARM asked ‘Did you really get talked to by HR about blogging?’
Uh, I am afraid I am not at liberty to discuss this. I would like to, very much in fact, but I kinda have to be on the blogging down low, as far as work is concerned. I also made a promise to myself that I would never discuss it. However, I am always free via email to discuss somewhat taboo topics such as this. I just can’t help myself! We’ll just say this for now though, you never know who is reading your blog. Bwahahahahahahaha!

Frigga from just a few miles down south wanted to know ‘Who will star in your musical?’
Well Frigga, I am assuming you mean my newest project ‘Nylons in Arizona.’ My first musical, the musical version of ‘Welcome Back Kotter’ with Squiggy as Horshack, is obviously already cast. I think I would like to have Roseanne Barr play the lead role in ‘Nylons in Arizona.’ However, Tina Fey will have a small part! If I can get Roseanne, I’ve got this great scene worked out where she sings and then grabs her crotch at the end.

Airam asked ‘Which Simpson's character do you relate to the most and why?’
Hmmmm, probably Homer. I’d say Bart because I want to be a rebel, but most things I do end up as if Homer had done them. I am a rather somewhat bumbling dolt at times. I may be a better father than Homer, but I’ve definitely got predominately Homeristic qualities. I fear also that I have a little Milhouse in me…that’s what she said! I just can’t help myself with that great line!

Mother Hoodwink also had a Nylons releated question. You know, all this discussion of nylons on my blog is going to give folks the wrong idea about me…
She asked ‘If you had to wear nylons as part of your new work dress code, (quitting is not an option) which color would you wear? Black, the ever classy white, nude or some crazy color ones?
This is quite the dilemma. I will never, ever wear anything nude, black might make me too sexy, white would make me feel like a nurse and crazy color ones would make me feel like Pipi Longstocking. Soooooo, I guess black is the best of the worst. Are you SURE quitting is not an option??

Lis asked a question I could answer over and over again. The big Q was ‘if you happen to run into Tina Fey (gasp!) somewhere, what will you say or do after you're done giggling like a silly school girl?
Yes, I would giggle incessantly like a 12-year-old school girl for several minutes, then I would realize that my giggling freaked her out and she would begin walking away. I would slap my head for being so goofy and then curse myself for not carrying my ultra-small digital camera. The thing fits in my pocket and I still didn’t bring it! Once sanity returned, I would chase her down to tell her how great I think she is and try to hand her several of my writing samples so that she can see the genius that only I see in myself. By this point though, I’m sure I would have already been tackled by her security. Seriously, Tina Fey must be worthy of official protection. I would later tell the judge that I will abide by the restraining order that I’m sure was instigated by someone in Tina’s entourage as she could never so something so mean.

My bestest blog buddy Odat asked ‘What if the hokey pokey is what it's all about?’
Then we should all be happier and there should be peace upon our planet. The hokey pokey is fun and it should be what it’s all about. If that is indeed the case though, I’m personally in trouble. I can’t dance, guilty feet I’ve got no rhythm (whoa, where the heck did that line come from) and when I try, people attempt to get me transported by ambulance to the local hospital because they think I’m having seizures. Ha! That’s what they think. They’re seizures of fun, baby!!

Ralph asked a Sinatra related question. It was ‘When the Brat Pack grows up, can they rival the Rat Pack in grownup behavior?’
Uh, no. The closest thing we will ever get to the Rat Pack again is Dick Cheney and his hunting buddies or the Russian delegation to the UN. Those guys can par-tay!!!!

Texas Peanut wanted to know ‘If money was no object, what would be the one crazy, can't live without, off the wall item you had to buy?’
Dish towels. I use them all the time. I use them as potholders (they don’t work very well for that, by the way), napkins, security blankets and sometimes in a really far out way. I use them to wipe up excess water and to dry things. Honestly, don’t tell anyone. That’s what paper towels are for, I think. Oh yeah, dish towels are good to use for snapping them at the rears of Lucy and Ethel too.

A Life Uncommon stopped by to ask ‘What color is your dream laptop?’
I think a camouflaged one would be kinda cool. My only concern is that I wouldn’t be able to find it when I am outside. That would be a lot of money just lying around disguised as a bush or something. I’ll just say black with gray and red stripes. The stripes are so that I can find my laptop at night or in a poorly lit room.

OK, I think I got everything answered. Keep in mind that I still had some pretty powerful (prescription) drugs in my system when I wrote this, so if questioned, I will disavow any knowledge of any of this and distance myself further from it than Hillary is distancing herself from Billy. Have a great week! Wait, never mind, I’ll be back tomorrow. I don’t want to give you the idea that I’m not posting again until next Tuesday…