Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I suppose everyone is looking for nirvana in one way or another (perhaps with the exception of Courtney Love who is content with Nirvana's money)--we even watched a film that may have been about that (not exactly sure what it was trying to accomplish). Anyway, recently I've noticed people who seemed to have reached the lofty state. Who are these people? Monks, philanthropists, pimps? None of the above. No the folks who seem oddly content and satisfied with this world (besides the mentally retarded--my cat included) are Blockbuster employees. Recently I've become quite the (ab)user of Blockbuster Online and their cool provision for returning discs to the store for more rentals, and I've interacted quite a bit (usually unwillingly) with the dudes who work there, and they're always so happy, content, outgoing, and more than anything--weird. I try to play nice, but perhaps I'm just not on their plane of existence.

So now I confront the issue confronting me: what about working there has them so happy, and how can I get there myself. Well first off working there is simply impossible, as I tend to enjoy the fruits of a decent job, and Liz likely doesn't want to be with a video store clerk. Perhaps there is a component of their existence I can replicate in a more financially rewarding job. It can't be free movies, as even if it were a benefit, we're hemorrhaging with movies and TV shows on DVD. Sometimes my biggest chore for the day is to keep pace with the influx of discs. It can't be the people who shop there, as I tend to feel the urge to vomit more often than smile when amongst the huddled masses that infiltrate the store. The work environment is laid back, but without internet access, I'd be paralyzed. Sadly they can't even decide which DVDs are playing on the TVs. So all I'm left with is the complete lack of responsibility.

I suppose this shouldn't be a surprise, as American Beauty seemed to hit that point, and I suppose Fight Club too (I did mention that I watch a lot of movies). Care free freeloaders, such as K-Fed, Paris Hilton, and perhaps the most freeloading freeloader--Kato Kaelin (I wonder if he's helping OJ find the real killer?) all seem happy as well. Maybe I'm just wired differently, as I kinda like responsibility, and I tend to waste away when there's nothing to do--unless I have a movie to watch. I suppose being trapped surrounded by movies but not being able to watch them (or at least choose what's on) is hell--movies movies everywhere but not a one to watch! Nirvana my ass, it must be hell. They must simply be stoners, retards (subtle distinction at times), or alien spies.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Unleashing the Beast

Stuart is our little dog.  His bark is worse than his bite (but not his breath)
'Kuma trying to look serious--or just about ready to burb and/or fart.
This morning, while I was cheering our big baby on to completing breakfast, which can be a chore when eight cups on food is the norm, I was watching how they scare away bears with dogs. As a kid I watched Grizzley Adams, which was somewhat tainted when I saw him on Cathouse--anyway, I always marveled how he controlled the big beast. Now I wonder how I control the big beast, as even bears are afraid of dogs, and our boy is quite big. He may be the youngest (or perhaps the 2nd youngest) member of the family, but he's 85x the mass of the eldest. This all has been put to the test lately, as we've tried taking the boys out for a little exercise, so that grandma and grandpa can walk their grandpups when they comes to visit.

Stuart is our little dog.  His bark is worse than his bite (but not his breath)
Stuart is our little dog. His bark is worse than his bite (but not his breath)
Let's just say it's easier said than done. Being that I'm enormous myself, I kinda inherited the big boy (a St Bernard btw), while Liz, being a petite gal, gets the petite pup (no easy chore being a snooty basset hound). It all went well, save for a yelping dog who the gentle giant may have stepped on (the dog may have just shit himself when he realized how big 'Kuma is up close), then again I yelp when I can't get my feet out of the way of his mammoth paws. I suppose the big bubba is more of a suitable fit for me than my little yorkie I used to walk around campus in Gainesville.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Our Recent Dining Encounters

Unlike most folks who gorge on Thanksgiving and feast on the leftovers thereafter, we had a relatively modest meal with no real leftovers. So how better to balance things off than a weekend of buffets? I sure can't think of anything. Saturday seemed like a great day for the wonders of the Super Seafood Buffet, as Liz was thinking Chinese, and I was thinking of crab legs (I tend to do that often). While the buffet isn't quite as nice looking as the web site (which is oddly slick for what seems to be a family owned restaurant), the selection is very diverse (including real sushi, a Mongolian BBQ no one seems to ever want to take advantage of--I certainly don't wish to be the first, and the aforementioned crab legs). I'm glad they appear to have removed the chicken feat, which tend to make my taste buds sour a bit. Anyway, we got there, were greeted like anxiously awaited VIPs, and began our meal. I loaded up on the first of four plates of crab legs, and I was as happy as a clam (well happier than the clams on the buffet!). After a while I half expected to be approached by ownership with a buy-out offer to get me to leave the crab legs alone, but I started to notice how bad the Muzak was. It was heinous (think instrumental Richard Marx and Jackson 5 numbers), and Liz and I determined that it must have been a form of encouragement to leave, and it worked.

This isn't unprecedented, as I recall Disney World playing a non-stop ever changing rendition of 'It's a Small World' complete with transitions to Hip-Hop, Jazz, Ragtime, and Rae-Gae versions of the annoying diddy. It's far worse than it sounds, and I'm sure there are subliminal messages to buy shit and get the fuck out.

Back to our fine dining encounters, we made a visit to the gourmet pizza shop, also known as Cicis. They not only make a selection of original creations (such as mac n' cheese pizza), they offer it all for $5.75 with all you can drink fountain drinks. Due to some somewhat undesirable types of folks that frequent the establishment, we tend to visit only one location that has proven to be relatively trash-free, but this has led us to become regulars of a sort at this locale. Upon our last visit, one of the employees, who we call Dante (he once proclaimed that he wasn't even supposed to be working that day--and he looks a bit like Brian O'Halloran as well), started to call us out and recall that I always ask for a mac n' cheese pizza, which I don't enjoy, but Liz loves it (kinda odd for a grown up who's not a stoner). He was there again for our most recent encounter, and sure enough he was all buddy-buddy with us. I've learned to be more people friendly, but I'm kinda weirded out by complete strangers who I run into multiple times acting like they know me. I do feel bad, as I kinda imagine he has no real friends, and his mom likely doesn't even talk to him much, as he refuses to move out. I'm hoping he doesn't spring a request that I be his best man or something on me--then again, he doesn't strike me as being the ideal catch for the ladies. Anyway, between Cici's, the Dollar Theater, and a trip to Wal Mart (topped by an evening of COPS), we had the ultimate white trash date. I'm such a good boyfriend.

Friday, November 17, 2006

It's almost over

After a year of what could tamely be described as hype and perhaps more accurately hysteria, the end is near--for this year. Once every year representatives of the fine institution up in Ann Arbor play the hoodlums from Columbus in a football game, and the hooligans who idolize the process and invest their lives and sanity into the silly rivalry allow the irrational enthusiasm to reach a crescendo--typically leading to fires, flipped cars, pepper spray, rubber bullets--you know the usual riot stuff. Time to make sure the insurance is paid up, the fire extinguishers are full, and I need to see if I can borrow Maurice's kevlar outfit. Weeks of incessant murmuring, boisterous remarks, and blinding amounts of red are converging upon tomorrow, with quite a bit of turmoil today, mostly in the form of nausea inducing potlucks (my office reeks of sour kraut). What's sad is that it's all so devoid of pageantry or anything truly positive. It makes me miss the simplicity of the hokey homecoming parade of Gainesville (local schools close--as do many businesses) along with the mediocre comedy of the always over hyped Gator Growl.

I hope we make it through this weekend--if this is my last blog, adieu.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I'm Not Really White Trash

Lately I have been reacquainting myself with my white trash roots, and nothing exemplifies that more than watching COPS and WWE wrestling. COPS is especially nostalgic, as many locals I've frequented or had occasion to travel through are subjects of the fine show (worry not, I never was a crack head or tweaker). I've watched enough COPs lately that I can tell what city they're in without reading obvious clues (such as decals on the side of police cars or badges). I've learned how to make crystal meth, how to shop lift, and how cheap a ho really can be. I've had many meals that cost less than a romp in the bushes with some of those nasty girls, and by the looks of some of the men, I'd want much more money just to spend 5 minutes in their presence, let alone--eeeeeewwwweee. WWE is somewhat less nostalgic, as many familiar faces are older, fatter, and less entertaining. Rowdy Roddy Piper looks bad, the undertaker looks older than my now retired dad, and Ric Flair looks absolutely horrible. He's aged more in the past two years than Charo has in the past twenty--ney forty years. I don't recall wrestlers wearing french maid outfits (complete with tiger print g-string), and I'm not talking about a chic! Totally unnecessary. Oh, the Boogeyman is a sigh to behold--homeboy runs out with live worms in his mouth. He wrestles quickly to avoid chocking on them, then spits them out on his opponents upon defeating them. He carries a few extra in his cargo pants, just in case he wants to go fishing afterwards. The Flava-Flav clock he smashes on his head is cool though. Eddy Guerrero has been replaced with his wife, who looks worse than he would in drag (well while he was still alive at least). At least she continues his tradition of sporting a mullet. Only in WWE and the NHL does the mullet thrive. I blame Canada, the homeland for white trash. All this talk of white trash makes me want some Waffle House---mmmmm yum!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Who's Watching Us?

For those of you in the dark, I love to eat. It's fitting, as I also love to cook, and I have the pleasure of enjoying all of the wonderful cooking that Liz has to offer as well, but every once in a while we venture out to let someone else do the cooking. Yesterday was such a day. Armed with a coupon and an appetite, we ventured for breakfast at Scramblers, an establishment that fancies itself as a breakfast bistro, and they tend to deliver on one's expectations. The wait was modest, affording a modest people watching opportunity, which makes the journey that much more worthwhile. When we were sat, we were surprised to see a couple crowded in a table adjacent to us with newspaper and coupons sprawled out upon the table, discussing the weeks deals and the various deals in front of them. They obviously were a couple, likewise apparently cohabitating, but they seemed to know very little of what each other liked, which would have been the most surprising aspect of the situation, were it not for the fact that it occurred in a pact establishment with a wait for tables. A truly bizarre situation. Dinner also was rewarding, as the wonders of loads of sausage and other German fare are hard to resist (well, being the lousy German I am, I can easily resist sour kraut), but all I can remember was seeing Liberace reincarnated, complete with a silvery reflective shirt--more than mere sequins, rather nickel sized bits of reflective plastic.

So the question is, who's watching us? I enjoy people watching, but I'm not so sure about being watched.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


It is finally election day, and I couldn't be happier (well if it weren't raining, the old farts knew how to operate the voting machines and there were likable candidates, I could be happier). I've grown tired of hokey signs littering the landscape (shouldn't they subtract the # of signs remaining on the roadside the day after election day from official vote totals? Wouldn't that be interesting? I've also grown sore from lugging reams of junk mail, typically duplicated for my girlfriend (isn't there a candidate smart enough to run a filter on their database for duplicates? are candidates that well funded that they could care less?). Perhaps most annoying are the ridiculous attack ads, often focusing on bizarre connections, peripheral issues, or things that happened decades ago. I don't know about you, but if the worst thing you can say about a candidate is that someone who supports them is wacko or they once voted for something silly 20 years ago, I'm kinda inclined to think there not that bad. Lastly, and perhaps most annoying, is the return of deceptively worded and far to easy to pass constitutional amendments. The whole point of adopting a constitution, a higher law, is to protect the minority (those in the majority do have an odd tendency to always have their rights protected), so why should a simple majority allow for such fundamental change? Why should the masses be entrusted to read cryptic legislation and make a split decision (wait, those 'yes on x' and 'no on y' signs explain it all so well). Anyway, given my lack of faith in people, my jaded views on politics, and my general dislike of crowds organized by elderly volunteers, election day is no thrill for me.

Friday, November 03, 2006

An Ode to and Old Friend

A year ago I had to put an old friend down, someone I had known for 13 years. When I first knew him he was a weathered three year old, who had been around the block a few times. It was a friendship of convenience, as he needed a new home, and I was in need of the services he could provide. He was my first, and I will never forget him.

At first the hot summer days were invigorating, as I felt freer than I ever was before. My friends liked him, and my foes stayed clear. He was big, black, powerful, and named after a sword--not just any sword, the sword of a pirate. Arrr!!! Before long we got pulled over for the first time, but his stealthy exterior concealed our velocity. Sadly it all started to spiral--at first I sneezed at the sight of the bright Florida sun (damn photic sneeze reflex--why do only white people get cursed with that?), which led me to shut my eyes the moment he slammed into a shitty-ass mustang. He was OK, and a little bit of cosmetic surgery left him as good as new. Alas minus the stealthiness, and I soon got my first ticket. Later we began to feel the exhilaration of weightlessness, being airborn, and an occasional bath in a small pond. After a while he started becoming ill. First he lost his cool, then he couldn't keep a charge. Before long he would forget how to keep warm in the winter, and he finally acquired quite a loud persona. Through it all he kept going.

I miss my Olds. He made it 180,000 miles, sounded like a '68 Camero, looked like A Chevy Celebrity, Pontiac 6000, and Buick Century, but he was way cooler, as he had a rocket on his grill. He was a rocket--the rocket, and my old friend. Not many cars have experienced ice on the inside of the windshield (no heat), exploding pop cans from brutal Florida heat (no AC), flat tires from rusty rims that no longer hold a seal, an odd odor from a leaky crown air freshener, wiring chewed by squirrels, and many other adventures. I had to have him put down, and I wish him well in the auto afterlife.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

An Open Letter to Meth Heads

Dear Meth Head (yeah, tweaker--that's you):

We've had a rocky friendship, stemming mostly from your entertainment value. I can't tell you how many laughs you provided Liz and I on our frequent viewings of COPS, but we often have to watch while we're all congested. You see, you've made it hard to buy Sudafed and many other things with pseudoephedrine. Now I've found out that my good ole' friend Nyquil no longer has pseudoephedrine (nor does it have that half-ass phenylephrine shit). My extensive Sudafed purchases likely have me on some federal database (I guess checking out Mein Kampf in high school also had me being watched). I know you like to make your Saturday nights in Missouri more interesting, but we need to breath. Here's an idea, smoke crack like everyone else on COPs, and then we won't have an even harder time getting pseudoephedrine. That would make everyone happy. Now, get back to cleaning your kitchen, freaking out, or living in a house that smells like cat piss.