Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday Morning....

Monday Morning...

Sitting down this morning, hoping to put a couple pictures from the weekend into the computer...I cannot seem to locate my camera. There are calls and text messages out...the last time I took a picture with it was at an Appalachian Trail rest area along Georgia 76. I've got a feeling it's in my sister's car.

She, my brother-in-law and I wandered down to Clayton, Georgia for my cousin Michelle's wedding. They'd put us all up at Chota Falls, a little getaway created for such things, I think, in the mountains just outside of Clayton.

As a personal aside, this was an opportunity to disconnect for a little while. A minor touch of obsessive compulsion finds on the computer or on the mobile phone a little too much. Be it facebook or twitter or this blogamathing. A little too much time on the computer.

It was a good weekend. Got to see family I don't normally get to see. My Aunt Pat and Uncle Joe, along with my cousins Michelle and Jeffrey, were the family I got to see maybe once a year, sometimes twice, growing up. They're from Delaware, and they were the family we'd go see on our way up to Cape May to see my grandparents.

Time passes. I last saw Michelle at my sister's wedding, a couple or three summers ago. I've honestly been racking my brains trying to figure out the last time I saw Jeffrey. My sister saw him at my grandfather's funeral a few years ago, which I could not attend. Beyond that, I'm thinking it may have been eleven or twelve years ago, when I went up with my folks during my spring break to help clean up my grandfather's house...he'd been placed into a home. I don't have a real clear memory of having seen Jeffrey then, though. I figure he'd have been 12 or 13 then.

Dude's 24 or 25 now, and a freaking giant. I'm walking around 6'3" or 6'4"...he had two or three inches on me...

It was a rainy weekend. The outdoor wedding, next to the waterfall, wasn't to be. Ben and Michelle were married in the chapel on the grounds. I don't know that I'll ever get used to it...there's a lot of ceremony and a lot of buildup.

The reception was good, though I'll admit spending part of it at the TeeVee at the bar, watching my bracket get destroyed by Villanova. I got to do so with a couple of Villanova's always good to see a game with somebody who has more of a dog in the hunt than $5 in an office pool.

Anyway. Just rambling this morning. Got a text confirmation that my camera is, indeed, in my sister's car. We'll try this again when, with proof that I clean up pretty good for a botard...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Disaster Movie?

Disaster Movie?

A Brief Review of Knowing (here there be's a spoiler):

Outside of the disaster footage, this was possibly the worst movie I've sat through in a movie theater since I took a date to Blues Brothers 2000. While this movie will likely not have the same impact on my social life as did that particular abortion, it is no less appalling. Nicholas Cage was once a great actor. I'm thinking Jerry Bruckheimer stole his talent. And ate it. And shat it out. After which, Alex Proyas picked it up and wiped it on film, and called it "Knowing." Rarely have I ever seen such a triumphant combination of bad science and dime store religion in the same flick. It pleases me to think that the whole shebang ends with every badly drawn, poorly realized adult character incinerated by a sun flare.

Monday, March 23, 2009



Dear Online Nerd Diary,

You'll pardon the lack of communication. There's been basketball, and working like a botard.

But mostly, there's been exultation.

I did not know, until this weekend, that Andy Richter Controls the Universe was coming out on DVD.

My mind shut down upon receiving this joyous news.


Big Stupid Tommy

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Failings of Science..

The Failings of Science...

I've noted twice this morning the need for either a cloned version of me, or an identical android version of myself.

And while I'm unsure of the need of another procrastinating goof-off who won't throw his laundry into a hamper, who buys books he won't read for several years, who just has to be right all the time....

I sure would like the ability to go watch basketball today. I could send my clone/mandroid to work in my place. Give it the direction "Go be an asshole, and do my paperwork."

Not a ridiculous basketball fan. But I do love college basketball this time of year. And the first round of the tournament is one of my favorite days of the year. I like underdog stories, and I like single-elimination tournaments. I'm a man of simple tastes.

You gotta do what you gotta do, I guess. Work, work, work. Owing to that I like my foods and beers kept cold, and the interweb requires electricity to work. And I have not yet perfected my electricity-generating machine--I am sure my premise works...I just do not have enough 1988 Donruss baseball cards, and perhaps too much strapping tape.

Thank the heavens for telephones that tell you basketball scores.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009



Had the occasion this weekend to finally check out Eastbound & Down, and can't remember laughing that hard at four straight episodes of a television show in a long time. This after declaring 30 Rock the best comedy on television. I'm going to hold to that, though Eastbound's a close second. Interestingly (or not), I think they're both funny for the same reason: the establish an absurd set of rules, but adhere to them without once winking to the audience.

I appreciate that.

Daunting, though, is the neverending pendulum swing of how I feel about Will Ferrell. I said as much over on Stephen Silver's blog....citing the following commercial. I've gone back and forth between loving Will Ferrell and despising him...this one doesn't lump him over into the "love" category, but it's started the ball rolling in that direction.

Anyway. The show itself? Funny stuff. It's almost like a more distilled, frustrated version of Foot Fist Way, which is another underrated flick you might want to check.

Scary? Danny McBride's three or four roles that come to my mind? All similar. It's possible he's a one trick pony. That being the case? Six episodes might be a smart move. Get in, get paid, and get out.

I call that the Chris Tucker rule.

Anyway. I dig it....

Saturday, March 14, 2009



Found a news report this morning, while looking at a story of a guy who went to the hospital after deciding that hitting bullets with a hammer seemed like a swell idea....

Former WWE and TNA wrestler Test was found dead in his apartment....

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Of Interdimensional Portals....

Of Interdimensional Portals....

I have a fair number of local readers, and this post might be of some interest to them.

Today, I learned something momentous.

I was buying a Coke Zero at the gas station, after buying a tank of gas. I went to the counter. There was a gentleman in front of me, who was engaged in vigorous conversation with the girl working the BP this morning.

Let me qualify that last statement by backing up a second. By vigorous conversation, I mean that he was gesticulating excitedly, but short of wildly. His voice was raised, enough that I glanced in the counter's direction as I walked into the store, to make sure nothing was too out of the ordinary, but not raised enough that I needed to break my stride in wandering toward the blessed elixir of life men call Coke Zero is stashed. The man was either excited about what he was talking about, or at having somebody to talk to, I decided, so there was no danger to me or my Coke Zero. And conversation might be an exaggeration, as the girl behind the counter seemed to be participating little, if at all.

Back on point, I get behind the gentleman as I go to pay for my drink.

And I hear him saying "It's down there just after the Valley Mart." (Valley Marts are our 7-11's or whathaveyouever for a chain of convenience stores...there are a couple corners in Athens where Valley Marts face each other, and as luck would have it, I was currently standing in the White Street Valley Mart having this conversation). The Valley Mart he refers to was a former Kelly Mart (how's that for local trivia), and is maybe midway between Athens and Englewood.

The lady behind the counter catches my eye, and waves me forward. The gentleman never pauses in his story. Her taking her attention away from him and giving it to me might as well have been a cool, summer breeze for all the effect it had on his telling his narrative. I hold up my Coke Zero for her to see. She tells me the cost, again not knocking the train of his tale off the tracks.

"Did you know about it?" he asks me, as I dig change out of my pants pocket.

"Know about about?" I think I said.

"There's an interdimensional portal down highway 39."

I was in the motion of handing the lady behind the counter three quarters, and all I could manage was "Really?" along with a polite smile. It's not often you run into a guy in a Dickies workshirt espousing the virtues of Interdimensional Portals. At least, not for me.

"Sure is." I wish I could find a way to describe the tone of voice, except that it was somewhere in the middle of mutual surprise at the existence of such a thing, and irritation at my ignorance at the fact. Maybe, in his mind, this was his key to the door of this lady's heart, and I was supposed to instinctively know to be his wing man in his love's endeavor.

It was a missed opportunity. In more ways than one. There wasn't any more to the talk. I took my change and left with my Coke Zero, leaving the talk of interdimensional portals to the folks at the BP station. Coke Zeros are important, but really, how often do you run into an interdimensional portal?

It occurred to me this afternoon that quite possibly, I've traveled through that portal many a time without thinking about it...sometimes, stepping into Englewood is like stepping 28 years into the past.

But there could be more to it. I'm not sure. Suppose I'll feel silly if it's true, and the Mobs under George Noory's command descend upon McMinn County. But then, there's not a lot of time I don't feel silly. It's why I drink.

So. It's apparently near the Valley Mart, if you're interested.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Movie Day....

Movie Day....

Earlier today, I decided that the cure for what ails me would be a smack upside the head what I like to call Movie Day. And I have opined that I think it should be within our rights to, twice-a-year, declare "Movie Day" which would for that day relieve us of our obligations, freeing for us the time to sit on our asses and take in a few movies.

I've detailed it here before. I work like a botard. Trying to do some schooling and maintain a life at the same time. I don't get the chance like I'd like to sit and watch a few flicks.

Over the past few months, I've had a few mounting up that I've picked up, but not gotten a chance to watch like I'd like. Add to that, there are a couple that have come up recently in conversation that I feel warrant another viewing....

A quick recounting of what I've seen:

The Specials

I think my buddy Alex was the one who introduced this one to me, back in the day. Neat little indy superhero flick. Funny. Jamie Kennedy's best role. Plus, for my money, you can never go wrong with Paget Brewster....

The Bucket List

Got this one for my birthday a few weeks back. I ended up digging it. I was afraid it would wander into maudlin territory, and I suppose it does. It's lighthearted enough, though, and I dig the message.


Got this one for Christmas. Wanted to watch it again, after seeing Watchmen last weekend. It rivals Thirteenth Warrior for sweatiest movie ever made. I dig the movie, but I suggest ditching dialog in favor of a grinding metal soundtrack...

Conan the Barbarian

It's been since high school that I've seen this movie. Frankly, I'm a bit overtired, and it's not grabbing me. Conan just punched the camel a minute ago, and that was always my favorite part. Probably gonna switch it off and head for bed....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Vacation Insomnia, or Why I'll Never Go To Jurassic Park.

Vacation Insomnia, or Why I'll Never Go To Jurassic Park

What the hell is this shit?

Awake at 5:30 on my vacation? I went to bed at 1. Why am I awake two hours before sunup? And can I just say this, as a guy who's often driving to work before the crack of dawn? This switch back to Daylight Savings Time is a helluva mindfuck, because now it's like waking up at 4....

This week? Shouldn't be a problem. I'm on vacation. If I want to sleep until 3 in the afternoon, I'm gonna do it. (and I might just).

But here we sit, wide awake.

Tyrannosaur looking in my SUV awake.

There aren't many moments, real or fictional, where I can say "I would void my bowels were I in this situation," but if I'm in a situation where a 50-foot dinosaur is eyeballing me through my driver's side window? If I'm not an appetizer, I'm throwing away a pair of boxer shorts when it's all said and done.

Note to self: Wear briefs if visiting Jurassic Park. You're probably gonna shit in your pants, and if you can contain that mess, maybe you won't have to throw your pants away, too. No guarantees, but it's something to think about.

One more thought? Say the Tyrannosaur does make me drop a deuce, and he eats me anyway...does this do anything for his taste for human beings?

Giving it some thought, I'd say it'll factor in little, positive or negative. The tyrannosaur's going to swallow me whole, most likely, whether there's poop in my pants or in my bowels.

And considering that my parent's pug Max treats the catbox like his own personal Whitman's Sampler, and the dinosaur's brain isn't much bigger than Max's, it'll probably be an added bonus.

Which is an interesting enough visual, in and of itself, thinking of a dinosaur rooting around in the catbox for a morsel....

Yeah. You're gonna have to dope me up B.A. Baracus style to get me to Jurassic Park.

Come to think of it, if it means falling back to sleep, I'll drink the magic potion now, if I can sleep eight hours on the plane ride down....

Monday, March 09, 2009

Who Moved My Remote Control?

Who Moved My Remote Control?

OK, you sunsabitches.

Which one of you assholes moved my remote control?

If I get up, and find it next to the fridge, I'm gonna be pissed. That's all the way in the kitchen.

Thoughts this Monday evening on Watchmen....

Thoughts this Monday evening....

I saw Watchmen on Saturday, and generally liked it. I'm reserving final opinion on a later day. My friend Alex has (rather correctly, I think) stated that Zach Snyder's movies lack soul. I view this one as a step up from 300, which was itself a step up from Dawn of the Dead....

In general, I liked the movie. Let me say that first. It gets a thumbs up. I thought it was fun, and worth the price of admission.

A few things to say:

I've never been a huge booster for Watchmen, not because I don't like the book, but because the title seems overrun with people who drool over it.

Me? I like the book, and I own it. But it's not one of those that I re-read on an annual basis. Hell, it had probably sat on my shelf for five years before I re-read it upon learning that they'd be making a movie out of it. It's one of those that I recognize the quality and message of, but frankly, it's not one of those that's an overly fun read, for me.

Kinda like how I recognize the greatness of Citizen Kane, but will most likely watch Dr. Strangelove or Star Wars...they're most accessible and easy to fall into, and are more to my personal sensibility. Not as great, but maybe a little more fun, for my taste.

But anyway....Snyder's movies are fast food. They're good and easy on the surface, but generally there's not a lot original or of value beyond what's on the surface, other than what the original authors put there.

And I guess that's my issue, this slightly inebriated Monday night (and by Damn is that Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale tasty).

The poster for Watchmen, in large bold letters, declares that this movie comes from the visionary director of 300.

OK. 300, I kinda liked, too. In a cotton-candy kind of way, where I know that none of what goes on really bears a lot of thought.

And Dawn of the Dead? It puts a little quicker motion into what I've always viewed as the least enjoyable of George Romero's zombie movies.

But visionary?

I'll tell you what I infer from that "visionary" label.

That there is a specific message, or at the very least, a distinctive visual, artistic imprint coming from Snyder, as an auteur.

Well, that's all well and good, I guess, until you realize that Zach Snyder's best two known movies to date are A.) a remake of a cult classic and b.) an almost page to screen remake of one of Frank Miller's best comic works.

Well, if Zach Snyder's a visionary, he's lifting his visions directly from other people. Which I suppose happens from time to time, but he's not bringing anything new to the table. Let's call a spade a spade, and go from there.

Like I said, I liked the movie. It was a faithful re-telling of the Watchmen comic. There wasn't a lot new, except for the infusion of Dr. Manhattan into the destruction of city sequences, which I'll admit worked very well for the whole flick. I'll give Zach Snyder credit...he recognizes what works, and translates it to a different medium well.

Little things?

Patrick Wilson? Reads his lines. Same with The Alamo, Hard Candy or Lakeview Terrace. He's not acting. He's reading his lines. He's better in Watchmen, playing a guy who's uneasy with the roll thrust upon him. Not to damn with faint praise, but this is maybe the perfect roll.

Other things?

Second only to my own, I have probably seen more of Dr. Manhattan's penis than any other man's

Other than that?

The movie's not bad. I just don't know that it's going to hold up to a lot of analysis....

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night...

Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night...

As I wander, a little groggy and a touch buzzed, into vacation....

As I recover from an e-mail that kinda hurt, if you want the truth....

As I revel in the fact that I don't have to wake my ass up early for the next several days....

As I watch China and Chinese Taipei battle in the World Baseball Classic....

I have found my new favorite search string:

"Who Is Clem Peckerhead?"

It was amended with "Beavis and Butthead."

But I like the first part, if only for the eye-catching name of what might be Tommy Acuff's first novel.

Heh heh heh.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Funniest Toilet Commercial Ever

The Funniest Toilet Commercial Ever

Oh my God.

I love it.

Buy me one.

Not because I have bowel movements that are like 3 lbs. of gummy bears, but more for the entertainment value. Who needs cable when you have a toilet that'll swallow up 3.5 pounds of grapes?

Reminds me of the toilets in the Science Building at MTSU...I'd use them just for the thrill of flushing those sonsabitches. I figure you could throw a five gallon bucket of dirt in there, and those commodes would take it....

Wednesday, March 04, 2009




Got it here, by way of the twitter feed....

And, a re-run:

The Inner Gary Busey

That blank white page is frustrating me.

It's been frustrating me for a few weeks now.

It is my enemy.

Do you know who else is my enemy? Gary Busey.

Or, rather, the disembodied voice of Gary Busey.

I'll write something. Whether it's for myself, or intended for publication, or for this very blog you're reading now. And I'll write it. I'll struggle with it. I'll wrestle with it. Sometimes, it's like wringing water from a cloth, and the cloth is twisted until the tension in it is pulling knots and threatening to tear the fabric. The droplets that fall out? They suck.

Or, at least that's what Gary Busey says.

Gary will read what I've written. He sees with my eyes.

"Boy," he say, his voice wavering between disappointed incredulity and derisive condescension, "that really sucks."

Gary Busey is my harshest critic.

"You can't do no better than that? You've been sitting in front of that computer for hours, and all you got is a couple of paragraphs about how much you hate some guy named Alex Gonzalez?"

You write what you know.

The voice leans in. I don't know how. It's Gary Busey. Gary can do anything.

"You ain't got shit, then."

Gary Busey is my inner critic. And he mocks me. Dammit, he mocks. And I loved Under Siege so much.

The inner dialog, it goes a little something like this.

I write: The bear went over the mountain.

Gary wanders up, from out of nowhere, deep within the recesses of my brain. Reading what I've written, he comments: "Naw. That ain't no good."

The bear lumbered over the mountain?

"Lumbered, huh? Did you get that word the sameplace you got that haircut?"

What the Hell does that mean?

"Never mind. Why the hell you writin' about a bear?"

(I can see his big, googly, scary, baked and burned out eyes even across the ethos. I do not answer.)

"Everybody's already written the hell out that bear."

I'm trying to make myself write, Gary.

"By writing something's already been written? Something that nobody care much about in the first place?"

It's writing something.

"No, it's writing nothing, and it's re-writing nothing."

I'm just trying to be funny. I figured it was a start.

"Trying to be funny?"


"Like a clown?"

Well, after a fashion, I guess.

"After a fashion?" (Incredulous, and a little angry. Like he might lash out.)

After a fashion.

"Like a clown?"

You're confusing me.

"I hate clowns. They scare me. It's the mouths, and the big giant teeth. And also the eyes and noses."

How did we get from bears to clowns?

"I hate bears, too. They scare me. It's the mouths."

And the eyes and noses?

"Are you mockin' me?"

No sir. I think you're mocking me.

"You get riled too easy. Need to take up some tai-chi. Settle your mind."

Will that help my writing?

"Couldn't hurt."

What would you write about?


Texas? The state?

"No, retard, Texas the Panty Hose."

I've been to Texas.

"Texas the Panty Hose?"

What were we talking about?

"Your lack of writing skills. And that you suck. And bears."

You're scared of bears?

"Not scared. Maybe once. Maybe a long, long time ago."

But not anymore?

"One day, I had an inkling that I was scared of bears. And if there's anything that Gary Busey hates, it's being scared of something.

So, what did you do?

(Even though he's just a disembodied voice, I can feel Gary Busey leaning in, violating that personal zone, getting right in my face.)

"It's all about mastering your fear."


"It's all about letting that fucker know that it can't whip you."

Can't whip me?

"It's about getting in it's face, and saying 'Hey Bear! I ain't scared of you!' and then smacking the shit out of it, just to show it that you ain't kidding."

Doesn't that make the bear angry?

"Hell yes it makes the bear angry! It pisses the shit out of a bear! But you just gotta get back angry at it. Smack it again. Let it know that you're the boss."

I'm the boss.

"No, I'm the boss. Can you believe that Tony Danza is getting a talk show?"

Back to the bear...

"Glad to see you're payin' attention."

You just smack the bear again?

"Just hit it again. Poke it in the nose."

Doesn't the bear fight back?

"Yeah. It fights like hell, sometimes."

Does it win?

"Sometimes. But..."


"But at least you went out there and punched the shit out of the bear, and didn't sit there starin' at it, lettin' it whip you without even touching it. At least you got whipped trying."


"Yeah. I hate bears."

Thanks, Gary.

"Anytime. What are you thanking me for?"

Just the thought.

"Yep. What thought?"

What about clowns?

"Clowns scare me. It's the mouths, and the teeth. Also the eyes and........"

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Plastic Planes, and whatnot....

Plastic Planes, and whatnot...

Boing Boing had a link up this morning, to this particular Donald Duck cartoon:

This one was always a favorite. It was the inspiration of many a plan, in my youth. The idea of melting things down and molding them into something else held an odd fascination for me for a short time (roughly age 6 to age 28). I present this cartoon as much the inspiration for my plan to build a hovercraft.

Why a hovercraft? Couldn't say, for sure. All I can point to know is the closet show-off in me...the quiet kid who still wants to find a way to be noticed. Whatever way, I'm 32 now, and I can still remember as clearly as day the 1 1/2" x 3" ad in the back of nearly every Boy's Life magazine, declaring that You Can Build the Hovercraft with these easy plan. The ad featured a boy sitting on a tripod hovercraft that seemed from my vantage point to be 3 round discs connected with PVC pipe, with the body of a tricycle sitting atop. The boy in the seat seemed to be nearly drooling with insane glee at the prospect of driving this hovercraft around the neighborhood.

Come to think of it, I'd have been a gibbering idiot at the prospect of my own hovercraft, and still would be. It is why, to this day, those "Hoverround" commercials hold my attention so much. The social stigma and my lack of desire to answer everybody's never ending questions about why exactly I'm using a hoveround all the time are the only thing that keep me from ordering one of those boogers. If my home were a little large, I might order one to move between the rooms of my house.

When I was 8, or so, I started devising a plan of sorts, based very much on this cartoon. In this plan, I would find a way to secret household trash into a hiding place under the deck behind the house we lived in at the time. When the time came, I would take trash from the hiding place, as well as toys that I and my sister no longer used (and probably ones that she still used, frankly), as well as trash from a small junkpile our neighbor Imogene had behind her house.

I spent many a day wondering if I could find a way to take the broken down Volkswagen bug sitting in Imogene's driveway apart, to melt it down. I figured that it being a mechanical device, I could probably salvage vital engine parts from the bug's engine compartment (somehow, I figured sparkplugs were of vital importance...a drawing I found years later tucked into a book of stories featured sparkplugs and wires prominently). I was sure that if I asked, Imogene would give me the belonged to her son, and it had served as little more than a nest for cats having kittens for a couple of years....

My parents had a peach tree at one corner of the house. It didn't bear other peach trees were nearby to pollinate. Still, it was a fairly neat little tree, made all the more fascinating to the young Tommy because one Saturday morning, the tree split, and approximately a third of the entire tree fell off from a spot about four feet from the ground up. The sap-weeping wound on the trunk of the tree was a source of interest, but ultimately, I found myself more content to study the fallen branch. I asked, one day, if I could chop that branch up.

My dad had a hatchet that we'd used whenever we went camping. He told me I could use that...which led to one particular eventful afternoon when I was just sure that I'd accidentally started an amputation of my left leg. One errant chop with the hatchet one day after school, and I went screaming inside that we had to take me to the hospital!!!!

Let me pause in my rambling to ask you, one of my threes of readers, to take your right pinky nail, and run lengthwise like a knife up the underside of your left forearm. See the little white line that's probably appeared on your skin? That's pretty much the same injury I sustained with my errant chop. There may have been some bruising associated, but not so much that I remember it clearly. Years later, it's come to my attention that the hatchet was likely dulled to prevent just such a hospital trip....

But I digress...

The chopping? Was to make enough firewood to heat a pot to melt the Volkswagen Bug and neighborhood trash down into enough plastic to create my own hovercraft.

I wish there were more to tell here, because I LOVE wasting people's time.

I found myself at something of an impasse when still constructing plans.

You notice that Donald uses a large iron kettle to melt his trash down into the raw material necessary for his plastic plane. I figured I need something close to that size, but in my journeys around the Suburban Hills subdivision, I'd come into contact with nothing that would even be a reasonable substitute. Mom had a large pot that she'd used for homemade soups and chili, but I figured a fire hot enough to melt down a Volkswagen would most likely melt that chili pot, and I couldn't figure Mom or Dad would be too happy about that. Truth be told, I was a big chili fan (and still am), so I figured discretion as it concerned pots of chili was the best course of action.

The other quandary, I realized, revolved around baking the engine parts, as Donald does. It would bear out to be something of a problem owing to that at 7, 8 or 9 years old, I wasn't allowed to use the oven without supervision. To this day, there are probably those in my own family who would argue that such is still the case.

See, I wanted the hovercraft to be a big surprise for everybody. Maybe I should have mentioned that fact before now. Somehow, I had grand schemes of showing up in the middle of a crowded event of dozens of people at my parents' house (this despite the fact that my parents rarely, if ever, had hosted more than three or four people at a time, at our home)...or perhaps riding victoriously into a crowd of my schoolmates at Riceville school. To that last, I figured I would fake sick on a day where we had a big presentation, a science or history fair, perhaps. And my classmates would be wondering "Where's Tommy?" And at the last moment, I would ride triumphantly in to a cheering throng of fourth-graders on my homemade plastic hovercraft!!!

How could my hovercraft be a surprise if I couldn't bake the engine parts? (I feel it important to note, parenthetically, that I wouldn't need a helmet, as Donald does for his plane. I wouldn't be much more than a foot off the ground, at any given point, so no ultra hot hair dryer was needed.) Mom and Dad are pretty smart people. Smart enough, at least, to comment that these things I was cooking looked something like gears....

Not considered an obstacle at the time? The fact that I could barely use a hammer to build a birdhouse (or a hatchet, without nearly amputating my leg). Consider, though, that at no point does Donald Duck use a hammer in the construction of his plane. A Spackle blade, yes. But not a hammer. It was like I had the ability buried deep down within, something I was born with, that would rise to the surface whenever I needed it.

Come to think of it, it's not that different from the old Underpants Gnomes....

Step 1: Get Materials Together for Hovercraft
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Ride Hovercraft Triumphantly about town

Anyway, I have not much else to say about this little spat of memory, except for these last two things.

First, I figured that I never figured I'd need an apron, as Donald utilizes, owing to that I already wore pants to protect my private parts. Even then, I couldn't think of anything more embarrassing as having to explain to Emergency Room staff that I burned my pecker trying to construct my super-secret hovercraft.

And second? I was sure that I'd end up interviewed by Johnny Carson. Johnny retired somewhere around the time I was 12 or 13, but I'd been up enough Friday nights and Summer evenings to know that he interviewed famous people. I was pretty sure that if I got my hovercraft together, I'd end up on the couch alongside Angie Dickinson, but just before Joe Isuzu.

Anyway, I thank you for indulging me in this little piece....You folks have a good day....

Sunday, March 01, 2009



Had dinner with the folks. Hung out with their dogs, and felt a little better about the world after doing so. That's the cool thing about the dogs (And folks, too, I reckon) is that they make you feel like, no matter how big a botard you feel like, they still think you're pretty cool.

On the drive home, I found myself behind an Isuzu Trooper at a red light. We were in the right hand lane, waiting for the light to change. A car drove up past me, and took the first position at the light in the left hand lane.

I do not know if the folks in the Isuzu Trooper knew the folks in the car in the left lane or not.

I just know that slowly, as if making an entrance on stage, as if waiting for just the right moment, a hand extended from the rear passenger window, holding an old type, the kind that they use on boats, or at basketball courts. Or, in on instance in my past, to wake up a co-worker who had fallen asleep one warm spring day inside a donation trailer.

The hand extended. I could not see into the other car. I do not know if they saw this gesture, or how they responded when the inevitable happened.

One long toot from the airhorn, as if announcing the end of a time out at an elementary school basketball game.

Then, a couple seconds later, one short toot.

Then, as deliberately as it came out from the window, it went back in.

I do not know if the drivers and passengers of the two cars knew one another. I just know it tickled me from my point of view. I had to wonder how I'd take it were I the toot-ee of the attack.

At the end of the day, I am no Kim Fields. Please take that into your consideration.

Chapter MMMCCCXXIV: In which there is a real pain in the neck

Chapter MMMCCCXXIV: In which there is a real pain in the neck

Right now, my favorite show on the television would probably be 30 Rock. Lost and Battlestar Galactica are still appointment television, but for the satisfied smile I take away after each goofy ass trip, I gotta take 30 Rock.

This week's episode, which you can watch here, with Tracy Jordan causing a financial panic after an appearance on Larry King's show, contained a reference from the year 1987 that amused me only in that way that something coming to mind after an extended absence can.

Yeah. Avoid the Noid. That's been running around my head for a couple days now.

Well, I realized when I was laughing at that particular joke, that half the people I work with are younger than that particular ad campaign.

There's a kid at work. He's 16, 17 years old. He's taller than me. And you have to understand, if you have not met me, I'm wandering around in the 6'3", 6'4" range (6'7" if I'm wearing my KISS boots)...

Because I am basically unable to contend or interact with people on any meaningful level outside of badgering them about things, such as the height they have no control over, I was again giving this kid a hard time about being so tall. I referred to him using terms something along the lines of "Cleveland, Tennessee's version of Manute Bol."

In reply, I recieved a blank stare.

"You have no idea, do you?"

I gave him homework, told him to go search Manute Bol and "SNL" on Youtube.

Inspiration hit me then.

"Let me ask you something," I said. "Do you know what I mean when I use the phrase 'Avoid the Noid?'"

He looked at me like I'd suggested he carry me around on his back for the rest of the day.

So, he's got homework.

Yeah. The generational gap is widening.

That, or I'm getting older.

Judging by the fact that I am unable to sleep without hurting myself, I'm starting to think the latter is indeed the truer of the two.

Let me say this: My entire life, I've slept on my side. Left side, right side. Doesn't matter. Just one of those fetal position sleepers.

But over the past couple of months, I've found myself waking up having slept on my back. It's just the position I fall into as I'm sleeping, I guess.

This was true this morning, on this night where I slept 3 hours between work shifts. I remember going to sleep on my right side, as that way faces my alarm clock. I awoke with the alarm at 5:20 this morning, on my back.

But more than that, my pillow had somehow wandered down my back, lifting my shoulders up just enough for my head to fall enough backward that when I awoke, disoriented and a little angry about the slumber's interruption, I found myself staring almost upside down at the wall behind my headboard.

Now and again, my arm will fall flat against the elbow off the side of the bed. Lifting that arm will be a brief exercise in agony.

Well, now I had almost the same thing with the vertebrae in my neck.

Have you met me, by the way? Helluva dude, carrying around a size 8 1/8 head on a stack of dimes men call a neck.

So, I dunno. i can't think of the words to describe how my neck feels, though it falls along the same trail as "Quentin Rampage Jackson using the back of my neck as a training dummy." Wandering around today, doing everything I can not to respond to what the world calls "external stimulus," so as not to turn my head, nod, duck or otherwise do anything that would cause me to start weeping in front of employees and customers.

Did alright, I guess. Had a pretty good role model: my Dad's not been responding to external stimuli for years, now. I figure it'll be alright in the long run....