Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A brief lie.

I've never mentioned this to you fine folks, but I have the ability to turn sound into a concussive form of light energy. Call it what you will: super power, mutant ability, foible that makes trips to the bathroom a roller coast ride every single fucking time--I've simply accepted it as my cross to bear.

Bear. Now that's an interesting turn of phrase. I was walking through my little town the other day, and I happened across a dumpster behind one of Athens' finer eateries (Arby's), and saw what I thought was my Dad rooting through the contents of that restaurant's detritus.

"Dad!" I said. "Get out of the dumpster!"

He ignored me.

"Dad!" I called again, hoping that I wouldn't be heard over the drive-thru call box. The last thing I wanted was the Arby's Ninjas to come vaulting from who-knows-where, fighting me and my Dad with their daggers and throwing stars, and perhaps carving us up to use as Beef n' Cheddars.

But still, I got no response. My father is well known for his love of rooting around in dumpsters.

I walked over to the big green box, and pulled what I thought was my Dad by his short, stubby tail, wishing all that while that he'd learn once and for all to put on a damn pair of pants when he's going to town. I wanted only to get his attention. Mom has lots and lots of fine foods for him to eat, few of which will give him intestinal parasites. I yanked the short stubby tail, to get him to quit rattling the foundations of our growing family by eating out of restaurant dumpsters.

I guess my skills as a storyteller fail me, because I'm guessing you've figured at this point that it wasn't my Dad digging around in the trashbin behind Arby's, and it wasn't my Dad whose tail I pulled to roust him from his revelry in a half-eaten Big Montana.

Nor was it actor Anthony Anderson, whom I've likewise stopped from scavenging through dumpsters around my town and had to fight on two separate occasions. It is a little known fact that Anthony Anderson holds the first and only Doctorate in Dumpster Diving. (I am awaiting the rubber match in our series, sir. I wait patiently at the landfill).

No, it was bear.

A bear, eating out of the dumpster behind Arby's.

A big, black, bear with sharp teeth, a bad attitude, and breath that smelled like two pieces of shit had fought to the death, and he'd eaten them both.

I've never fought a bear. The opening scenes to the third volume of Stephen King's Dark Tower series have put me ready for that sort of thing, or so I thought. I pulled my six-shooter from my side, and started to aim for his radar dish.

And I realized: this bear has no radar dish twirling on his head..

I wish there were more to tell.

No radar dish? Plan A thrown asunder, I found myself lacking a Plan B.

So, I crapped in my pants. Audibly.

I didn't mention that bit about my ability to turn sound into a concussive light blast just for shits and giggles, though this story involves both.

The sound of my crapping in my pants was loud enough to create a light blast, which managed to blast the bear into hamburger.

It did not make for good sandwiches. This, I am sorry to report.

I have no good way to close this narrative, except to apologize to the family of that bear, whom it turns out was actually Mike Ditka.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


On this particular Sunday, there was a sudden call: "Hey, want to get something to eat this morning?"

To which I replied "Oh hells, yes!!!!"

With four exclamation marks. Just like that.

Plans, dashed on the rocks on my drive, though. Sick kids.

You people with kids. I just dunno, sometimes.

Honestly. We survived millions of years. Won't they survive the sniffles long enough for me to get my biscuit and gravy on?

It's all good, though. Thankfully, those people at Hardee's know what the hell they're doing when it comes to all things biscuity.

So, I say all that to say all this: any trip to Knoxville is incomplete without a wandering through McKay's.

Did you know that?

I found a Legendary Shack Shakers CD. They're kinda new to me, but I dig 'em.

I also found a cheap copy of Germs, Guns & Steel, which is a book that has that sudden sychronicity of a new word in my life. It's been around a while, but suddenly everybody I know is reading it, or wanting to read it.

I say that it's like a new word. You know when you hear a new word. Let's say that new word is exophagy, which the internet describes as the practice, among cannibals, of not eating your own relatives (because you have to have boundaries).

Now, exophagy has always been a word (I mean, since we made words, I guess). But I learned it only recently, and I would be willing to be that the majority of you have just learned it, too.

Now watch! I bet suddenly, that word will pop up into the lexicon 300 times over the next week.

Now, did it just pop up? Or have you simply not noticed?

In this case, back to the point, I'm going to guess that I simply did not notice Germs, Guns and Steel. Which is fortunate for the book, since the folks who award the Pulitzer Prize very rarely ask me what I think.

Which is more the pity.

Anyway. Watching a little baseball. Braves and Tigers. I'm having a bit of a personal crisis with the Cubs, whose biggest claim to fame lately is a smackfight between a psycho I once thought of as my favorite pitcher in baseball, and a beloved teddy bear whose leadership philosophy seems to be speak softly, and carry a small stick.

I don't want to be one of those guys who screams get to get rid of management, but damn. I see a lazy team that doesn't seem to care that they lose, and is completely unable to adjust in any meaningful way.

The Cubs have had a handful of private meetings lately. The solution that's popping out on the media from the team? "Maybe Lou could hang the lineup earlier."


You're making more in one season playing a game, badly, than I'll make in my entire career of doing my job for 55 hours a week? And it pisses you off that you don't know when you'll be stepping up to the plate, or who you'll be batting behind?

I once again offer my services to any team in Major League Baseball. I will play for the league minimum (roughly 10 times my annual salary), and I will NEVER BITCH.

And I bitch a lot. Bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch.

But pay me more to work 8 months a year, fly me all over the world and play a game?

Yeah. Hang the lineup whenthehellever. Do not care. I'm getting paid.


I'd like to Cubs to look into the whole practice of exophagy. I still think this is a team with as much talent as anybody in the National League Central. Seems that they are too busy chewing on each other, though....

Monday, June 21, 2010

Notes from a Hill in the Woods....

Just a few things that are on my mind, on the Summer Solstice....

I'm still looking for the milepost in this country we crossed, where lack of interest in an event equals disdain, and starting to doubt that there was one. It's something stashed deep in our DNA, somewhere in the same place where we choose Coke or Pepsi, Democrat or Republican, or to fight or flee.

I say that, to say this: My lack of interest in the World Cup is not that I do not understand, or do not like, necessarily, though when I express ignorance or lack of excitement, the response is largely disdainful. It's kinda like when somebody tells me a joke, or cracks wise, and I don't laugh, and the teller feels like they need to explain the humor in it....

Look, it's not my thing. It seems like it would be enough fun to be at in person...it's always cool to feel the energy of a crowd in that capacity. But, in general, it's just not my thing, and especially not on teevee (and especially not in a period of time where my free time's squashed to the time I wake up to the time I walk to my truck). There aren't a lot of reasons that I can or care to put a finger on, but then, there aren't a lot of reasons I don't like to eat okra, either. It's just a matter of taste.

If you dig it, cool. Aside from a poke at friends over watching somebody run seven miles to watch a game end a tie, there's not much bad I can say about the game. Multiple billion people can't be wrong. If it's your thing, then it's your thing. More power to you. I wish you well, and I hope you remember the sentiment the next time I say I'm going to watch baseball, or pro wrestling, or hockey, or Lost, or Head of the Class re-runs, or that series of commercials for Restasis with the redhead girl with the creepy eyes that I just can't seem to Not watch when it come on.


Worked a hella-bunch last week. Such is life, working like a botard. Occasionally, I ponder a change in the blog name, and Working Like a Botard is something of a theme in my life...it's perpetually a candidate should I become too annoyed that people push too far with the belief that a blog name requests that I have everything explained to me, to the point of vomiting.

Anyway, I worked a lot last week, due to a co-worker's vacation. Unfortunately, it came on a week that I'd kinda earmarked and planned out. Chattanooga's Riverbend festival was last week. It's not a huge thing, but a couple acts had made their way to Chattaboogie, and I kinda wanted to go see. I've had an odd crush on Sheryl Crow for a few years now, and Allison Krauss was playing one Saturday night, and Charlie Daniels playing the closing night. Work and proximity to Chattanooga being what they are, I couldn't make it down for those shows, but I did head out with my friend Rachel to see George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic Thursday, thus filling in a box on a minor musical bucket list for yours, truly.

Got to see a local band, The Nim Nims, too. Good group. A bit heavy, southern enough and alty-enough without my having to think too hard about deciphering the lyrics. Right in my wheelhouse, actually....

Wandered to Mellow Mushroom for a beer pre-show. Was muchly chagrined to find that Rogue's Dead Guy Ale was no longer on tap. I haven't researched the phenomenon, but I'm thinking the economy's something to blame. You can't find a six-pack of the junk around here for less than $10 or $11, anymore. The barkeep said it's a distribution issue that's keeping them from stocking it on tap.

I did find it in bottles of Dead Guy at Hair of the Dog. Rachel & I wandered that way between the Nim Nims and P-Funk for a sandwich and a beer. I did a load of laundry this morning, and found the Dead Guy Ale label I pulled off the humidity induced sweaty bottle in the pocket of the shirt I wore that night....

As for the George Clinton show itself? Definitely worth the time and effort. It's not a show so much as a spectacle, and I can dig that very much. Rachel & I figured that much of Parliament-Funkadelic has managed to pickle themselves in drugs and alcohol. Though hearing George Clinton get up and down out of a recliner has to be a lot like throwing four sets of bagpipes down a garbage chute. He won't pass away so much as dry up like a raisin, and we will be able to reconstitute him in the future.



Shit. What are we? 70 games in? (69...a-her-her...). 31-38 this morning. Nobody in the Central is dominant. I wouldn't surprise me if the winner of the division ends up with 87-90 wins. Could it be the Cubs?

Not with this feast or damn famine group. Seems like they have a 12-run game once in a blue moon, and then struggle to score 12 runs combined over the next six games. The starting pitching is less consistent than it was early in the year, especially with Randy Wells shitting on the field more and more. And lately, I've seen tee-ball teams that field more fundamentally.

Let me go back to say this about Randy Wells: I don't know if he's tipping pitches or not, but if I had to bet, I'd say there's something to the argument. Still, I haven't had opportunity to see but a start or two this year, and even then, if I was the type who could decipher the tendencies of a major league pitcher, I'd like to think I wouldn't be putting 60 hours in retail management a week.

Is it weird to say that Wells reminds me of Tommy Glavine? Maybe it's all the junk he throws, and how the first inning seems to be a problem but (until recently) he found a way through it after he settles down. Glavine found a way through it to finish up with what will be a Hall of Fame career.

I dunno. At this point, I'm just curious to see if the Oakland start last week was an aberration.

That, or that 1.28 WHIP in 2009, up a quarter in 2010....


Wrasslin'? I honestly haven't watched much more than an episode or two of Monday Night Raw since Wrestlemania. Not having cable has most to do with that, but even when there's the opportunity, I haven't been keeping up. Nothing terribly interesting going on any of the three shows.

Still, when the NXT guys attacked John Cena a couple weeks ago, it made me pay attention. Hearing that much the same happened last night makes me curious if it'll be a story worth paying attention to. Given how pretty much every major story for a decade's not finished well (except maybe for Bret hitting Vince with a chair for 10 minutes at Wrestlemania, but I'm in the clear minority there), I'm pessimistic.

Still, I'm dogsitting, so I'll take advantage of a satellite connection to watch some Raw tonight.....

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Quotable Craigyferg

From Craig Ferguson's monologue. I liked it enough to have to write a few lines down....

"Now I know the President was trying to take the long view, but talking about solar energy in the middle of the oil spill...it's like watching your house being engulfed by flames and saying 'we really should change the curtains.'"

"At this point, it's not even an oil spill anymore. Spill is an accident that can be cleaned up. Calling this a spill is like calling World War II a tiff. It's not a spill, it's a fucking disaster, is what it is..."

"A few weeks ago [BP Chairman Tony] Heyward said, 'the environmental impact of the spill is likely to be very, very modest.' If by modest, you mean it's only destroyed one of the Solar System's eight planets, then yes, it's modest."

"Now listen, I'm not naive about large faceless corporations who destroy everything that's beautiful, I work here at CBS...but, BP even by the standards of Big Oil is evil. Listen, since 2007 the Government has fined BP 760 times for safety violoations. Exxon was only fined once. If Big Oil is a happy family, then BP is the creepy uncle nobody invites for Christmas. Let me put it another way. If the oil companies are a family, and that family is The Simpsons, then BP would be O.J. Simpson."

Lastly, and probably most importantly:

"Sometimes only a cuss word will do."

Thought from the Ass End of the Night, Second Stanza

Hey, what's up?

Just a couple of small thoughts from Thursday morning, at 1:37 in the morning.

First: If you ever, ever get the idea that it would be a good (verging on great) idea to put pork chops on your head, and let gila monsters eat it for money (cash) on a Japanese game show, I need you to quickly figure just how much dandruff you have, and just how much the gila monster will treat it like the greatest treat out of Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory.

Never agree to appear on a Japanese Game Show. Chris Farley tried to tell us. But you wouldn't listen,

You just wouldn't listen.

Even your voicemail.

What did I learn tonight? Coriander comes from Cilantro.

Always remember.

You're all buttholes.

Monday, June 14, 2010

8 Days?!?!?!?!

It ain't that there ain't things to say.

It's that there ain't time to say them.

Work's been a booger. Again. Such is life.

Or is it?

Random thoughts, anecdotes?

I wandered out to my Aunt Charlotte's house Friday last. I haven't gotten to see much of the extended family in the last little while. Wandered out to their new home in Sweetwater. Got to eat one of the finer meals I've had in the past while, discussing books with my Aunt Annette. Most notable? I got to see my cousin Tim, who I don't believe I've seen in 13 years. Maybe not much more than one of those My How Time Flies moments.

He's joined the hordes of you folks with kids.

As has my sister. Got to go see my nephew again late last week. It's still a novelty for me to hold a baby. Thomas is the fourth baby I've held, in my life. Most of that's because I learned a long time ago that the most dangerous place in the universe is the empty space between a group of women and a newborn baby. I've learned to leave that particular No Man's Land (maybe the most literal of terms, at this point) to the womenfolk. But, enough folks in decent enough proximal kinship to me have started having kids that it's happened a few times (though the first time was accounted on the pages of this here blogamathing...funny that I can count stretches in my life as pre-blogamathing and post-blogamathing).

Anyway, we've established that tomorrow, at 2:50, or so, my nephew will be 500 hours old.

That should warrant some manner of party.

But seeing as how he doesn't do much more than try to raise his head, a little, cry and shit, he probably won't need me to break out the keg or the funnel cake machine any time soon.

I called my sister today, to see how the tiny man was doing. "Gassy," came her reply. She was holding him as we spoke, and was going to put him down on his belly, because he seemed to fart better that way.

Just like his daddy.


Not much else on my mind.

Watching the Cubs and their three-quarters decent pitching and their less-than-anemic offense is feeling a bit like a fool's errand, to be honest. And while the eternal optimist (I have been doing this for 27 seasons, now) wants to take heart in the stat that they had this same record in 2007 at this point in the season, and won the division. Still, the realist in my heart (I have been doing this for 27 seasons, after all) is frustrated with what a fool's errand it feels like, sometimes.

I dunno. It's a long season. And nobody else in the Central is dominant. I still need things to curse about in September.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

It's like finding money....

A couple evenings ago, I wandered out to my folks' house. I'd gotten off a whole six minutes early for work, and hadn't come over to say hello to them in more than a while. I got out to the house as they were making a pizza to bake.

We ate pizza, talked about our weeks, made plans to take over the world. You know: suppertime conversation.

Later in the evening, I happened to look down at their pug, Maximus. He'd finished eating his own supper, and had gone outside for his evening constitutional. Returning to his bed, he found a treat. Apparently, Dad had been sharing the pepperoni with the dogs. Max, whose eyes are bad and whose memory is worse, had missed and forgotten the treat.

As Max was preparing his bedding, he found the errant pepperoni.

I tend to think it was the canine equivalent of finding a dollar in a pair of pants, or an old coat.

Max spent the next couple of minutes smelling his bed. Likely, it was simply the residual scent of the snack meat. I like to think that inside his doggie-imagination, his bed had sprouted meat, and he was wishing that it would do it again.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Rue, or: We are Pop Culture Ghouls, in 140 characters

Rue McClanahan has died.

I first heard via text message.

In the next several minutes, I received notifications from no less than 6 people.

I myself had texted 3 people. One of them was a person who was texting me in the process. He won our ghoulish little race.

The official count. 6 people texted me to let me know Rue McClanahan had died.

3 people for Gary Coleman.

My brother-in-law texted to mention how bad it sucked Dennis Hopper had passed, but it was a day after the fact.

I'm not much better. I did 3 for Rue, 3 for Gary, and 1 for Dennis.

Pop Culture Ghouls.

Stabbed in the business....

I wish only to link to this story, because it has a phrasing that I enjoyed very much:

Hill grabbed a sword, which was used as a prop, and stabbed a co-worker in the back of the business, police said.

Man. Stabbed in the business. What a horrible way to die.

It strikes me now, as it is the adult industry, that joke actually works on a couple of levels, as the films literally are their business.

I realize I'm likely not writing this well.

Just keep in mind that whenever I write "business" meaning private parts, I'm saying it with a cocked eyebrow. To assure irony.

Heh. Cocked.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

A Kindle of Kittens....

My friend Rachel and I went out to the Riverhouse Pub for a night of trivia. It was a good night, even if the final result was our tanking a question about putting Bon Jovi albums in chronological order.

It wasn't the only question to flummox us...there was a question that asked: What word, which is also the name of a popular electronic device, also describes a group of kittens?

The answer, as the title of this post suggests, is Kindle. A Kindle of Kittens.

We missed it, though I had to admit having heard or read that before. It just wouldn't pop to the front of my head. We answered "A Garage Door Opener of Kittens," though in retrospect, it's not completely logical, as it's more electrical than electronic. You know, if you wanna be a dick about it.

A few other guesses, we could have made:

A Can Opener of Kittens.
A Toaster of Kittens
A Blender of Kittens
An Oven of Kittens
A Freezer of Kittens
A Microwave of Kittens
A Coffeemaker of Kittens
A Coffeegrinder of Kittens
A Juicer of Kittens
A Cuisinart of Kittens
An Icemaker of Kittens
A Knife Sharpener of Kittens
An Electric Toothbrush of Kittens
A Beard Trimmer of Kittens
A Nosehair Trimmer of Kittens
An Alarm Clock of Kittens <----this morning, my favorite
A Blackberry of Kittens
An iPhone of Kittens
An iPad of Kittens
A Walkman of Kittens
A Discman of Kittens
A Boombox of Kittens
A Radar Detector of Kittens
A Satellite Dish of Kittens
A Satellite Radio of Kittens
A Television of Kittens
A VCR of Kittens
A DVR of Kittens
A Tivo of Kittens
A Treadmill of Kittens
An Elliptical Machine of Kittens
A Recumbent Bike of Kittens
A Radar Detector of Kittens
A Telxon of Kittens (professional, customer service reference)
A Digital Camera of Kittens
A Polaroid of Kittens
A Flashlight of Kittens
A Transistor Radio of Kittens
A Nintendo of Kittens
A Super Nintendo of Kittens
A Gamecube of Kittens
A Wii of Kittens
A Genesis of Kittens
A Dreamcast of Kittens
A Playstation of Kittens
An XBox Kittens
A Calculator of Kittens
A Computer of Kittens
A Laptop of Kittens
A Modem of Kittens
A Printer of Kittens
A Copy Machine of Printers
A Scanner of Kittens
A Fax Machine of Kittens
An Answering Machine of Kittens
A Tape Recorder of Kittens
A Digital Recorder of Kittens
An Overhead Projector of Kittens
A Slide Projector of Kittens
An Electric Guitar of Kittens
An Electric Bass of Kittens
An Electric Organ of Kittens
An Amplifier of Kittens

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Ranking Memorial Day

In which I rank the events of my Memorial Day.

5. Waking up to find ants in my kitchen. I've had a minor pest situation, lately. I had a mouse, which I've caught, and the other traps have caught no more mice. So, it was a Lone Ranger, or the other mice are from the Kwai Chang Caine school of mousery. Now that I think I have the mouse problem licked, I wake up to find a million trillion ants. The pests are frustrating because I keep so little food at the house, lately. I'm never home. Still, last night I made the mistake of leaving what little food I have out open on the counter. Word to the wise: Ants LOVE Honey Nut Cheerios.

4. I had no caffeine. I've been cutting my caffeine intake lately. For a couple of weeks. I'll still have a coke or two every now and then, especially if I start with a caffeine headache. A word of caution: mentioning that I'm cutting caffeine while recently saying that I drank a million billion Diet Dr. Peppers while waiting for my sister to have her baby apparently has opened me to certain scrutiny. I'll clarify by saying for my part, I've been cutting coffees, teas and energy drinks out of my intake, and sodas too, but I'll drink a soda to cut any caffeine headaches that pop up.

Why cut? Trouble sleeping, of late. I don't think all the caffeine is the reason, but at the same time, I don't think it hurts to knock consumption down. There was no headache today, though a friend and I went to see Robin Hood this afternoon, and in one particularly slow point, I found myself nodding....

3. My brother-in-law got the new nickname Poop Shoes Slatton. There was an incident involving their dog and his shoes. You do that math. I just like the assonance of Poop Shoes, to be honest.

2. I pulled a dead bat from the grill of my truck. Last night, driving home from work, I caught something out of the corner of my eye for a split second. It fluttered. That's all my mind really registered. It fluttered. And it was gone. My brain said bird, first, and then piece of paper. I didn't think anything more of it, until I saw a neighbor dog particularly interested in the grill of my truck. Figuring a tomcat had peed there, or something, I told him to skedaddle, and then noticed what looked like a dead leaf sticking out from beneath the grill and the bumper. Looking closer, I realized what had fluttered in front of my truck. I'd hit a bat, and the tiny thing was wedged (dead, most likely on impact) between my grill and bumper. Using a plastic bag, I pulled the critter out. Not much bigger than the mouse I'd caught a few days before.

Snap2Twitter - Holy Shit. I have a Bat dead in the grill of my truck.

I gave him a burial in the big green box.

1.) I got to hold my nephew for the first time. My sister and brother-in-law had a baby last Tuesday. I'd just gotten to their house tonight. Neat. Powerful. I wish I had better words. April and Jeff have done good....