Monday, June 30, 2008

Why does everything look like a nail?

Why does everything look like a nail?

Day off. Been opening the store for weeks. Woke on the day off at 5:15...this despite my not turning in until midnight.

Got up. Did laundry. Watched a news story on the Today Show while folding, about the dangers of having children near lawnmowers...had to disagree and vocally with the television person, as they said we need to teach kids to fear the lawnmower, when all we need in this country is a dose of common sense and respect for the immutable power that is the lawnmower.


Not fear.

The lawnmower can smell your fear.

Yeah. You laugh. But how funny is it when the Deere comes up the stairs and down the hallway, and pins you the guest room with its nine-level adjustable deck and its badass zero-radius turning power?

Hell, yeah.

The lawnmower can smell your fear.

The lawnmower can also smell your farts.

The lawnmower wonders why you're eating all that broccoli.

The lawnmower wonders why the mother who ran her son over with the lawnmower didn't do the common sense thing, and look behind her before backing up.

The lawnmower doesn't have mirrors, the lady said.

The lawnmower doesn't have mirrors.

No mirrors, so there must be nothing to see back there.

Seems to me that the threat isn't lawnmowers, it's dumbass lawnmower drivers.

Just ask the lawnmower.

I did have to agree with one statement made this morning: That parents shouldn't let kids ride in their laps while operating a lawnmower.

There was an old metal outbuilding at our house growing up, with a Lowe's mower shaped indention, that is testament to that particular fact. I was in my Dad's lap, and we ran the mower into the building. It was the only time I heard my mother use the phrase "I think I shit in my pants."

True story.

I've never been so scared that I've shit in my pants. Not nearly.

And I'm scared of most things.

Bees. Snakes. Commitment. Roller Coasters.

And if this weekend didn't give you reason to be afraid of roller they're coming after you.

Actually, I'm not afraid of roller coasters. I rather enjoy them. But it's been literally years since I've ridden a roller coaster.

That's a shame.

It was at Six Flags over Georgia, too. Although it was the Georgia Cyclone, and not the Batman Decapitator.

I say we elect Sylvester Stallone judge, in Georgia, but only if he's allowed to use his costumes from Judge Dredd. And if he promises to shoot dead any family member of the dumbass who hopped the fence who attempts to sue Six Flags over this stupid shit. We put fences up for a reason. And there are no guarantees in life.

Especially if your fate is in the hands of Sylvester Stallone.

If you think about it, though, most of our fates truly are in the hands of Sylvester Stallone.

Scary Thoughts.

Anyway. Re: the title of this post.

Work too much. Makes everything start to look like a task. Even the stuff you really enjoy. Had a couple of netflix movies sitting on the TeeVee for weeks--just couldn't find time to watch them...started Glengarry Glen Ross, which I haven't seen since college, only to find myself looking at my watch ten minutes in.

Same with keeping the Blahg.

One of the few hobbies I've stuck with for more than a few months...and posting started to feel like an obligation...another task.

Forgot that this is actually something I enjoy doing...something I feel like I was put here to do.

Not blogging, specifically. But, when I write, and it goes well, it feels like I'm somewhere in the neighborhood of what I'm supposed to be doing down here on this blue and green marble.

I forget things, sometimes.

I also sometimes wear mismatched shoes.

They were both white New Balance shoes...just not the same make or level of cleanliness.

It is becoming painfully apparent that I am in need of, at best, an executive assistant. At worst, a keeper.

Are executive assistants allowed to hurl fish at me, for my eating and entertainment?


Saturday, June 28, 2008

In which Kerry Wood VAULTS himself back to the top of my favorite player list....

In which Kerry Wood VAULTS himself back to the top of my favorite player list...

You had to be quick.

Thom Brennaman and Mark "I hate the shit out of you Sammy Sosa" Grace were talking about the Cubs bullpen...specifically Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol.

The camera finds Kerry Wood in the bullpen. Just for a split second. At the most inopportune time.

I need a screen cap.

Kerry Wood was giving somebody the double bird....

I gotta get a screen cap....

We have nothing to fear....

We have nothing to fear...

I've had some manner of light cold the last couple of days. I was calling it a sinus infection, but half the people I know have some degree of it, and given my general malaise and fatigue, I'm going to say that it's a cold that's moving its way from sinus cavity to sinus cavity, and flourishing.

I spent most of yesterday sleeping. Went to bed Thursday at the unheard of hour of 9:00, and slept until about 5 or so. Got up. Wandered to the Wal Mart for O.J. and sinus medicine. Came home, slept on the couch until just before eleven. At lunch with Shyam, who is suffering from the similar, came home, took another hour and a half nap.

All told, in a space of 18 hours or so, I slept 13 of it.

I was never all that sick. Just a little puny and overtired, which may have something to do with my rampant working-like-a-botardism. I was feeling mostly better, but I still took another early night...went to bed shortly after 9. Woke up at 12:30, and here I sit, fearful that I'm going to have to wander to work (and the scheduled viewing of Incredible Hulk Saturday night at the Midway Drive-In) and do that whole damn deal having been awake since 12:30.

So, what you're reading is a degree of a mental purgative. Ex Lax of the Mind, if you will. Something to see if I can get the thoughts and spin and ricochet against the lining of my skull to come out, so's your old pal Tommy can sleep.

If I can put my finger on something I dislike about being sick--aside, of course, from the part where you feel like shit, where everything aches, where you can't breathe--is the whole thing where I'm not falling all the way to sleep, but it doesn't stop whichever mechanisms in my brain that control dreaming.

I'll lie there totally conscious, but not quite awake, if that makes sense. I'll know that I'm in bed, feeling like crap, and that I can't sleep. Yet the movie theater of my mind will start showing whatever stupid dream it can come up with on the spot. And if it were something interesting, I don't think it would be a problem. But it's something mundane, like me putting product on a display at work, or having a conversation with my mother about the tires I just bought.

I liken to a movie being shown in a theater with the house lights still up, and the sound not turned all the way on.

Anyway. Going to wander back to sleep....hope it works out a little better this time....

Friday, June 27, 2008



I do not care for my sinuses, but it is because they do not care for me.

Thursday, June 26, 2008



Tommy needum sleep.

All of it.

Yours too.

Gimme it.

Monday, June 23, 2008



There were a lot of things about George that I dug.

But mostly, it was his love of language, and his contempt for its use to mask the unpleasantness of life...

I dig his eye for the little absurdities of life, too....



I don't have many heroes. But George was one of them.

He passed away at 71 last evening.

Sunday, June 22, 2008



I know every song played on the in-store radio at my job, by heart.

Whether I want to know it by heart, or not.

Mostly, not.

They play little insipid, nonoffensive, poppy things that you are supposed to enjoy while you hear them, but forget instantly. Which is easy to do, when you're just in the store for a few minutes. Problem is, I'm in the store 11 to 12 hours a day, and every now and then, they play something that gets trapped in your head.

Christmas is bad for it...Feliz Navidad still ranks #1 for Worst Earworm in history.

Close behind it, that "Bad Day" song, that they were playing at the end of American Idol a few years back. Luckily, they don't play that one on ours, anymore. But that one would get stuck in my head, and short of using the jaws of life to crack my head open and fish it out, that booger wasn't coming out for nothing.

Recently, it's been "Calling You," by Blue October. Now that I think about it, I haven't noticed that one. Which doesn't mean they haven't played it. It means I've inadvertantly stumbled upon the secret of reversing the Earworm Curse. I wish I could bottle that little bit of lightning. I'd like to be a millionaire.

And can I just say that Paul McCartney's "Dance Tonight" dropkicked me all the way into the center of the camp that says The Wrong Two Beatles are Dead.

But I digress. Occasionally, I will catch an earworm. And in this case, I kinda dig th song. But, I had no idea of the title, because my particular store has nobody telling you who's singing what. So, I have to scrawl down a bit of lyric to try to find it on the Google.

Like I said, I kinda like this one. I think the video's cool, too. I should say that Yes, I realize the song isn't particularly new. It's just that I spend my radio time listening to baseball on the XM, and my CD time on punk bands and Shooter Jennings, nowadays. I have no clue what's going on in the popular music world. And 99.2 percent of the time, that's fine.

Unless I get an earworm that I'm afraid is going to send me the way of George Harrison.

(Maybe that's how he got cancer, by listening to Paul McCartney so much...)

A Plank in my Platform...

A Plank in my Platform...

I'm not sure that I'll ever run for office. For one, I don't like people, and for two, I don't like responsibility.

But in the case that I do, I'd like to have a platform to stand on.

And herein, I nail the first plank...

If elected, I vow to hunt down any and all persons looking to start "The Wave" at a baseball game, and have them dipped in pine tar, rolled in Dippin' Dots Ice Cream, and set before C.C. Sabathia."

That last part's not funny.

Let me try again....if elected, I will make starting the wave at a baseball game a capital offense, with yours, truly being the sole arbiter of your being right or, most likely, wrong.

So, watch the game. Do not stand in front of me while trying to start the Wave.

I need powers of vaporization.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008



Well, because of the rare-ass three day weekend, I ended up wandering around all this Tuesday having to remind myself that it is not Monday. And then having to remind myself that all the days blur together and their names are not important. Why keep insisting to myself that it is "Tuesday," and not say to myself it is "Slamberday?" Or perhaps "Nibelung" or "Quark?"

Tuesday is a day made for asswipes.

Today, I ate at the new Thai Buffet that opened near work.

We'll call that a learning experience.

What does it say about a place that I'll consider myself lucky if I come out of it with just a case of the runs, and not a full blown case of wailing, hemorrhagic shigetosis?

Luckily for all involved, they had cantaloupe on the salad bar.


I penned a small piece where I professed my love for all the films of M. Night Shyamalan. Even the Village.

Well...I wandered down to The Happening yesterday.

Night...if a movie is going to be that bad, could you at least have the decency to be cheesy about it?

Damn. That one's preachy even for me....

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hall of Fame Game...

Hall of Fame Game...

Now, keep in mind that my righteous indignation regarding the Hall of Fame game is somewhere around a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10....

But why are we nixing the Hall of Fame game? I keep hearing "scheduling difficulties," though I gotta think it's got more to do with owners not wanting to risk the players' health for an exhibition.

I dunno. I like the tradition...for some reason, I like the idea of Major League teams playing in a smaller, community environment.

We're playing games in Japan that count.

Why can we not play one in Cooperstown each year, and if they're going to bitch about exhibitions...just make the game count in the standings

And if there's a team that's griping about losing home revenue for a game...why not make the home team for the Hall of Fame game the team that's hosting the All Star game that year? So, instead of losing a home date to the game in Cooperstown, you get the All Star game, with its jacked up pricing and Home Run Derby and all the hoopla?

For example, this year, the Yankees are hosting the All Star Game. As such, let the Yankees and the, I dunno, the Royals. Or the Tigers. Or whomever, play a game at Cooperstown, and have it count in the standings. That way, we have our fun little throwback game, still, and everybody gets the beloved money that they so desperately need....

Eh. Since the car salesman took over, baseball's getting farther and farther away from its community roots. And I think it's to the game's detriment.

But, like I said, this one's small potatoes. Don't color me extremely indignant....

Thunderbolt Kid

Thunderbolt Kid

Boy, the lazyass who runs this blog NEVER changes that shit on the sidebar. He's been reading Duma Key and Child of God FERFRIGGINEVER.

Well, laziness aside, I took Bill Bryson's The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid with me when I went to get new tires put on the truck this morning. Expecting to find a line, I figured I'd get half the book read before they finished with the Tommymobile.

And while I found myself first in line, and there for just an hour, I did read enough of Bryson's piece to find myself laughing out loud a couple of times.

Here were a couple of my favorite passages:

On following his father to baseball events, and the folks he got to meet:

Baseball, like everything else, was part of a simpler world in those days, and I was allowed to go with [my father] into the clubhouse and dugout and onto the field before games. I have had my hair tousled by Stan Musial. I have handed Willie Mays a ball that had skittered past him as he played catch. I have lent my binoculars to Harvey Kuenn (or possibly it was Billy Hoeft) so that he could scope some busty blonde in the upper deck. Once on a hot July afternoon I sat in a nearly airless clubhouse under the left-field grandstand at Wrigley Field beside Ernie Banks, the Cubs' great shortstop, as he autographed boxes of new white baseballs (which are, incidentally, one of the most pleasurably aromatic things on earth, and worth spending time around anyway). Unbidden, I took it upon myself to sit beside him and pass him each new ball. This slowed the process considerably, but he gave a little smile each time and said thank you as if I had done him quite a favor. He was the nicest human being I have ever met. It was like being friends with God.

On shoes and weekends:

The illimitable nature of weekends was both a good and a necessary thing because you always had such a lot to do in those days. A whole morning could be spent just getting the laces on your sneakers right, since all sneakers in the 1950s had more than seven dozen lace holes and the laces were fourteen feet long. Each morning, you would jump out of bed to find that the laces had somehow become four feet longer on one side of the shoes than the other. Quite how sneakers did this just by being left on the floor overnight was a question that could not be answered--it was one of those things, like nuns and bad weather, that life threw at you from time to time--but it took endless reserves of patience and scientific judgment to get them right, for no matter how painstakingly you shunted the laces around the holes, they always came out at unequal lengths. In fact, the more carefully you shunted, the more unequal they became. When by some miracle you finally got them exactly right, the second lace would always snap, leaving you to sigh and start again.

On the red berries of youth:

Only slightly less threatening that poison sumac were pulpy red berries that grew in clumps on bushes in almost everybody's backyard...interestingly, the berries weren't poisonous at all. I can say this with some confidence because we made Lanny Kowalski's little brother, Lumpy, eat about four pounds of them to see if they would kill him and they didn't. It was a controlled experiment, I hasten to add. We fed them to him one at a time and waited a decent interval to see if his eyes rolled up into his head or anything before passing him another. But apart from throwing up in the middle tow pounds, he showed no ill effects

Digging this one.

A Logistical Question about Field of Dreams

A Logistical Question about Field of Dreams

Okay, so I sat to watch Field of Dreams this weekend, because I apparently needed to cry about a movie, and I got to wondering about something.

Say Shoeless Joe launches a shot out of the field, and into the corn.

Who gets the ball?

Shoeless Joe, Ed Ciccote, Chuck Gandill and friends fade into nothingness whenever they wander too far into the corn, merging back with the ether of the afterlife, one would assume. We know that they can't leave the boundaries of the ballfield, lest they lose the magic of their time on the field.

Do the baseballs likewise fade into the ether, thusly making them retrievable by the spirits?

Or do one of the living, breathing people have to get up off the bleachers, where they're busy making a three-person wave and choking on hot dogs, traipse across 300 feet of baseball legends and burning hot Iowa sun and find the baseball amongst the corn?

I like baseball, too. And seeing Shoeless Joe and Mel Ott and all the legends of yesteryear might be neat.

But I walk a lot over the course of a week, and don't want to have to spend my day off wandering the corn to find baseballs.

I say all that, because I just don't know if I'd feel comfortable telling Thulsa Doom his own self to get up off his ass to go get baseballs.

Just wondering.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Father's Day

Do you have one defining image of a person? That when you think of them, the first thing that pops to mind is that defining event? It's an event that can be astounding or mundane...regardless, it strikes a tone so deep in your psyche, it transcends all logical thought, so that all your opinions, beliefs and values regarding that person use that as the starting point?

I was nine. It was 1986, and I'd just lost my very last baby tooth. The little bugger had started loosening a few days earlier, and had popped out during a viewing of Head of the Class. I was in a state I could only describe as ebullient...a level of joy I had never reached prior nor have I reached since.

I was still reeling from the satisfaction of essentially having a small bone pop out of my head, when I changed the channel to Night Court.

My dad taught nights. At least, that's what I believed, and still believe to a point to this day. At the time, he was teaching computer courses at the town just below ours, at the small college one could find there. I know he taught these classes, because I still have people in around my small town coming to me and saying "Your Dad taught me how to use Fortran."

To which I reply: "Fortran? Quit making up words, Aunt Charlotte, and make me a sandwich..."

Anyway, back to the point.

I settled in for a half-hour of sheer hilarity with the comic stylings of Judge Harold T. Stone. It was a fun episode, though I feel like it's important to note that this was while Selma Diamond was still part of the cast, and before John Astin started making his appearances as Buddy. I'll grant you that it was indeed a creative valley in the show's storied run, but I'll submit to you that no better use of a nine-year-old's time could I come up with, even to this day, than to learn about the ins and outs of the legal system in nightfall New York City, and to do so with a laugh.

As an aside, I still have a thing for Markie Post.

But anyway, the episode was nearing the end of the second act, when a commotion arose in the courtroom.

I was watching intently. "This is all quite odd," I said to no one in particular, though my mother was hosting her weekly McMinn County Lady's Mixed Martial Arts Cotillion right behind the sofa.

In the courtroom, just after Harry had rendered a verdict (Court costs and time served), a ruckus arose. The camera pans back, a little uncertain, I believe. And a rather large, hairy man starts throwing hookers, extras and bums aside. And by throwing, I mean picking up and heaving like logs of firewood through a pickup truck window.

The camera panned back for a second to Dan Fielding, who in a rare display of valour grabbed Christine Sullivan and pulled her off screen to safety.

The large man, whose voice became dreadfully clear to me, continued his rampage to the front of the courtroom. The bailiffs came running in, guns drawn. It was the first time I'd ever seen weapons displayed in the courtroom.

Shots were fired, and it was at that moment that the beast stopped his rampage long enough for the cameras to get a focus on his face.

For reasons known only to himself, my Dad was rampaging through the courtroom on that Sitcom.

The bullets didn't stop him. They slowed him down, though. Long enough, I think, to consider just how angry he was going to be.

With a sweep of one mighty arm, he smashed Selma Diamond against the defense table. She was on the next week, so he didn't kill her, thankfully.

In the next motion, he picked up a nameless bailiff (the one with red hair) and threw him against Judge Stone's bench.

He took one step, and found himself face to face with all 6 feet, five inches of Richard Moll's Bull Shannon.

The air was electric. These two behemoths, nose to nose. Each bringing hell with them in their hip pockets, each holding the power of Valhalla in their hands.

The fight was epic. It lasted seven minutes, and each blow was like an frog punch from God. Lights flickered, streets ruptured, and the Hoover Dam burst (though that was later revealed to be the result of a drunken Buddy Hackett playing with the controls...still, it was coincidental and dramatic).

At the end of seven minutes, with dust and smoke filling the courtroom, the broken remains of the prosecution table underneath his dying body, Bull Shannon said to my father "I yield!....I yield sir!...."

My father, holding a filing cabinet in one hand, let it drop with a muffled bang.

"It is finished. We now know."

And he looked at the camera.

"We all know."

And with nothing more said, he left the courtroom, and Night Court went to commercial.

My mother sent me to bed after that. She was too busy applying a triangle choke to have seen what just happened, and she didn't believe me. The next morning, while eating a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, I asked my father "Were you on TV last night, beating up Bull Shannon?"

My Dad looked at me as if I had tentacles growing out of my nostrils.

"No, I was teaching."


I wandered to school that day, and indeed many days after that, confused and questioning. I knew what I'd seen. Was it merely a creation of my own mind?

Several weeks later, during my Dad's summer break, we were sitting down, watching Night Court. Nothing much was said, until the third act. Harry Stone had just issued some edict or another, too which Bull Shannon replied "ooo...kay." I heard my dad utter a small, gravelly laugh.

And I heard him say "pussy."

He got up to leave, and he reached into his pocket, and pulled something shiny out of it. He tossed it to me, and went into the kitchen.

I still have it to this day.

It is a New York Court Officer's badge, with the name Shannon emblazoned across the nameplate....

Thursday, June 12, 2008



Whad Up, yo?

My brain needs an out of order sign.


Remember that.

Cabbage futures.

You'll thank me.

Or else.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Life, in general

Life, in general

Very little posting. Truth be told, if I did post, it'd be little more lately than seventeen paragraphs worth of the word "fuck."

Why seventeen?

Because that word applies. Muchly.

Not eighteen though. Definitely not. You don't want to go ass over teakettle with such things.

Nah. There's busy, and there's also the probability that the blog would become a Blahg.

Pardon me while I stuff all that singular wit back into my blogging pants.

So, little posting. Trying to get my ass back into the groove. (I wrote that backwards, and had to laugh at the idea of getting the groove back into my ass, if only because were I to wake up with no groove in my ass, my underwear would have simply no place to go).

Eh. Work's a bit much, here lately. Asking for a day off to make up for the multiple six day weeks has proven to be an improbability. And since it costs the same to drive for a half day as it does for a full day (which, in my case, is roughly the equivalent of the gross domestic product of Guinea Bissau), I'll just take my chances with a full day and get my money's worth.

Other than work? Eh. I wander here and there. I do stuff. I sneezed and farted in front of my parents' dogs, and they treated me like I was the most exciting thing to wander down the pike since dried pigs ears.

Did take a couple hours out on my day off to go shoot some pool (badly) with Eric, of Straight White Guy fame. We talked of blogging, and pizza, and life in general. We also braved several games of 8-ball in this ridiculous early summer heat. Honestly. 94 degrees and swampy on the ninth of June?

Leaves me sweating Crisco onto Eric's garage floor.

We talked of bloggers, and who they are. How most that we've met have turned out to be pretty decent people to hang out eclectic bunch, to be sure. It's usually a pretty cool experience to finally meet the person behind the computer screen. (Usually...had one questionable experience...but she treats her dogs well, so she's probably not a complete loon...)

We did take a minute what it is exactly that we do here. Is it art? Is it a means to communicate? Given my tendency toward shit humor, it'd have to say it's somewhere in the middle of the two. Five and a half years ago, I started this little blogamathing to get my ass in gear to write something. To get myself in the habit of writing something daily. Well, once again, it's gonna have to do that. I've found myself a month or so past having written anything really substantial. Blaming work, but fully cognizant of where the blame truly lies.

Anyway. Gonna do my best to get my ass in gear to write something truly witty for your bemusement. Just keep in mind that it's a lot of ass, and there are only 24 hours in the day.

Stupid 24-hour day.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Welcome to Botardville; Population: Me

Welcome to Botardville; Population: Me

Damn, but I work a lot.

11 hours a day. People come, people go. I mess people's vacations up. Little children sneeze on me. I got schooled on what being a professional is. And, I called a lady "sir."

Honestly. Lose the flat-top, the men's shorts and the voice deeper than mine. Then you'll have every friggin' right to be offended.

Tommy sleep tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Life Lessons...

Life Lessons....

Folks...this is a place of business. The intercom is not a toy.

It is not professional to page somebody 4 times in a minute.

In my defense...I never claimed to be a professional.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

There's a doin's a transpirin...

There's a doin's a transpirin...

This was my entertainment the other evening. It was a misty night after work. I was on dogsitting duty this weekend. I was leaving my folks' house, and I saw odd lights on the southern horizon. And by horizon, I mean pretty much the entire third of the sky from south/southwest to due east was being lit up with green, blue, yellow and orange light, flickering and alternating in no pattern I could tell.

Being a curious cat, I drove in that direction. I didn't want to get in anybody's way, but I had a train of thought that no housefire I'd ever seen lit up the sky in that manner. And if it were police lights, it had to be a hella bunch, and I'd get turned away before I could cause trouble.

I wandered toward Highway 11, and then south. I (along with several others) was detoured a couple miles before the fact. I didn't find out what was going on until much later. But, yeah. When a substation decides to give up the ghost, it'll light the sky up something fierce.


My friend, sometime blogger and commentor here Diane had a baby the other morning. They named him Jack, and he popped into the world at a hefty 8 lbs. 11 ounces.

I would like to mention that I was a mere 8 pounds, 8 ounces at birth, and I'm a helluva sunuvagun now....


Gooseneck is blogging again. My apologies to Troy, for not noting this earlier, when he sent me the e-mail. "Real Life" got in the way, and I'm a forgetful sumbitch even on the best of days. And lately, it's not been the best of days


Been thinking about the latest Indiana Jones flick. My initial reaction was negative. Color me disappointed, I guess. I've had some time to ruminate on the flick, though. It's still my least favorite of the Indy movies, but I've come to accept it a little more easily.

That vine thing with Shia though? That's some slaw. Even for an Indiana Jones movie. Took me out of the experience entirely.


Working six days this week. Boss is on vacation. Pray for me, people. Pray for me.