29 October 2008


The advances in halloween costumes over the past handful of decades is nothing short of remarkable. A century ago, I image most costumes had to be hand made, and few children were clamoring for Spiderman and Joker outfits, as pop-culture fame is not retroactive. These days, Wal-Mart has entire aisles stocked with lowest-common-denominator costumes for those too lazy/busy/uncreative enough to create their own. But even the most creative and difficult costumes don't have a patch on the "creepy factor" of the garb of yesteryear.

I defy you to make something this scary at home:

And even if you could put something like this together, would any child today actually WEAR it? "Dead eye" masks and depression-era clothing aren't very cutting edge. I think most kids go for a "cool" factor when picking out a costume. I don't think the "make an adult involuntarily shit himself" factor is such a large concern.

Kids are missing out on some possible fun they could have at the expense of adults. Imagine for a moment:

You open your front door after the doorbell rings. Instead of the ghosts and princesses and ninjas and spidermen you've been seeing all night, there stand two depression-era waifs wearing dead-eye masks.

"Hey, guys! What are you supposed to be?" you ask.

They don't respond, but instead start swaying slowly back and forth, rocking from foot to foot.

"Well, would you like some candy to ..."

Midway through pawing through your candy bowl, you trail off as you realize that they don't have sacks or buckets or pillow-cases to put candy in. You peer out into the blackness behind them, looking in vain for their parents. Leaves blow down the street.

"Uh, some candy...uh, trick-or-treat?" you trail off, trying to cling to your sanity.

From behind the mask, the little girl starts making some strange, cricket-like clicking noise. The little boy hums something that sounds vaguely like a nursery rhyme. The clicking stops, replaced by the repeated whispering of the word "trick".

You lose your shit, and slam the door screaming.

See THAT'S how I'd fuck with adults if I was a kid.

24 October 2008

Friday Mash-Up

Left Lane Cruiser's track Set Me Down reminds me of George Thorogood, but only in a good way.

Gary Busey (a topic of fascination to me), will be appearing in a movie in called The Hand Job playing the role of "Blind Master". I can't decide whether to laugh or scream.

Some things
make me want to get a vasectomy. Right now.

I discovered something new to have nightmares about. I could have gone my whole life without knowing those things exist. I think I'd weta my pantsa if I ever saw one of those in real life.

Logging into my computer at work today, I was greeted by the audit software (it checks and keeps a record of software and hardware on every PC). It has run many times before, but for some reason it was asking me to input my name this morning. Sick of the audit software for various reasons, I jokingly entered the name "Ted Nugent" as my user name. Five minutes later it completed it's process and finally allowed me to operate my computer at speeds approaching sloth. At that point I was able to open my email and read a company-wide announcement that systems had upgraded the audit software, and that we would have to re-enter all of our user information the first time it ran. Thereafter, it would be stored in a database and we would never have to enter it again. I hope my co-workers like their new data services coordinator.

When in doubt I whip it out, got me a rock-n-roll band.

It's a free for all!

21 October 2008


Back in August my cousin's husband came to me asking if I was interested in attending any OU home games this season.

"We got KU at home this year?" I asked, remembering their dominant 2007 season, and feeling certain that they must still be talented.

"Sure do," he replied.

"Let's do that one."

After some mild screaming when I saw the cost of the tickets, I was told that the figure included parking. Fuck, for that price we'd better be parking somewhere near midfield. Yes, well. Very good parking, I was assured. Very good. Calm down. I coughed up the cash around the same time in August that I bought the Hammond organ and was dating a woman that apparently had expensive tastes in fuck-all-everything, so it left me severely strapped through half of September. This better be worth it. I nurtured optimism that the Kansas game would be worth watching, and not a complete blowout.

As the time between ticket purchase and game play narrowed, it became apparent that the Jayhawks were overrated, the Hammond kicks ass, and sometimes extremely beautiful women are single for very ugly reasons. At some point during that interim, my friend Zakary contacted me and told me that she and her family would be at the KU game too. Cool news. My ex-wife told me she would also be at the KU game. Irrelevant news, except that I couldn't ask her to feed the dogs while I was gone. And the day rolled closer and closer. OU's season was looking fantastic up until they faced off against and lost to Texas the week prior to the Kansas game.

Eric asked me Friday night what time I wanted to leave on Saturday.

"9:00," I said.
"Nine? Shit, I was thinking more like Ten"
"Ten? Man, I'm not sure I can get drunk enough before the game if we leave then. Unless I can drink in the car while you're driving....?" I half joked.
"Probably not a good idea. How about 9:30?"

So, by 10:15 we were headed out of town, and I must take a minute to pat myself on the back for not constantly shouting GET IN THE LEFT LANE AND PUSH YOUR FOOT DOWN ONTO THAT SKINNY PEDAL ON THE RIGHT in Eric's ear. I think a little old lady with a walker passed us at one point. I suppose I should take comfort in his safe driving habits. As we neared the part of I-44 that I affectionately refer to as the "road vagina," I noticed that the quarter moon was visible above the western horizon. Even though it was only 11:15, I had a sweet thought. Cool. I'll get to get drunk under the moon at noon.

Eric's safe driving was compounded by my expert directions to try Sooner Road instead of I-35 or Highway 77, because I assumed incorrectly that there would be less traffic headed in from the northeast side of Norman. While we were trapped in traffic, I called Tubbs, as we were on his side of town. He was in Tyler with his wife and their daughter, but thought the rest of his band mates were probably tailgating in their usual spot. Traffic crawled along enough to allow access to some side streets. A few back roads, a few neighborhood streets, and a stop at a convenience store for a 24oz Tecate later, we had dodged most of the thick traffic and maneuvered within a half mile of the stadium. I called Zakary, as she had mentioned attending a tailgate party with booze and food and booze. And booze.

"Hey, what's going on?"
"--the tailg-- --drinking the-- --when--"
"What? This connection is horrible! Unless you're drunk and stuttering!" I yelled, as if that would somehow improve the signal.
"--on an second. Is that better?"
"Somewhat. Where are you?"
"At the tailgate party. It's on Brooks. --northeast side-- --y Jenkins--"
"All right. We're still in the car. We're trying to figure out where we're supposed to park. Be there in about thirty minutes. Call you then."
Cool. I'll be able to get drunk under the moon at 12:30.

What the hell is up with this parking pass? I wondered as we drove past a Wizard Of Oz themed homecoming float. It says Kuhlman Court, but gives NO indication where that might be. Eric counseled calling his wife (my cousin) to have her consult the internet. As I was on the phone with her, we wormed our way around to the south side of the stadium. Hey, maybe we should ask that guy controlling that parking lot over there. The orange-vested gentleman looked as bewildered as we felt, but thanks to his walkie-talkie and a map, he managed to locate our destination. The north side of the stadium. Fuck. Streets were blocked off a half mile on either side of the stadium, and every street that was open was still teeming with people and vehicles. Cool. I'll get to get drunk under the moon at one. Unless it sets by then.

As we crawled from one side of campus to the other, I began to suspect that kickoff would occur before we were parked. We finally turned onto Asp and headed south past the student union. I looked to the left and confirmed that Tubbs' band mates were in fact holding court at their usual place. A policewoman that looked creepily like Queen Latifah noticed our parking pass and flagged us through a barrier. Holy shit. This parking space is going to kick ass! We were the only car in a sea of crimson pedestrians, and when the road forced us to turn left, some woman started knocking on Eric's window. Fuck off. We're allowed to be here. She held up a hole puncher and pointed at our parking pass. Oh. Eric dropped the glass and the woman punched the pass and then asked us to hold on for a second. She then raised her voice and threw her arms out, holding up the massive throng that was trying to make it to the stadium. As Eric was rolling the window back up, we both heard someone remark: "Who the hell do THEY know?" I ejaculated into my pants a little bit.

We parked right under the water tower that is a block from the staduim.

Standing at the corner of Brooks and Jenkins, I called Zakary's phone twice, while emptying the giant Mexican beer. No answer. "Well, I'm about out of beer, and this thing is looking like a bust. Wanna go hang out with Tubbs' band?" We walked the three blocks over to them while making cracks about the latest trends in hooker fashion.

Green, Tanner, and John all greeted us warmly with handshakes and Keystone Light. We jawed for a bit and tried not to brag too much about our climax-inducing parking place. Then we wandered up to campus corner because we were both still dangerously sober.

After loading every available pocket and hand with full beer cans, we made our way back towards the stadium. As it turns out, a half mile walk is not long enough to consume five beers, so we ended up sitting on a bench out front, swilling as quickly as possible.

Once inside, we grabbed some purported food products from a vendor, and stood in line for the elevator that would whisk us up to our seats. It turns out that the seats rivaled the parking, as they were right behind the 20-yard-line cameraman.

I was briefly concerned because I had forgotten my sunblock in the car, but within fifteen minutes, the press box took care of that problem for our section. Other sections weren't so lucky.

At halftime, I finally managed to contact Zakary, and I got to meet Jeff. I also got the CORRECT location for their tailgate party.

The game itself was pretty good, with the exception of the officiating, which was some of the worst I've ever seen. Their incompetence managed to stretch the game to a record four-and-a-half hours. I hope those refs all get demoted to Division II games, or at least booted from the Big 12. Even through that, Sam Bradford managed to shatter all previous OU passing records for a single game.

After the game, Eric and I went to Zakary's tailgate, where I got to meet Troy for the first time, and see Zoe and Zondra again. Troy showed off his ninja-speed hands while trying to snag Jeff's beer. Momma hovered in the backgound to show Junior how to get things done.

Ninja-speed is seldom so well rewarded. Welcome to Oklahoma little guy!

(Please note: That beer can was empty BEFORE Troy got a hold of it)

Eric and I were getting sober and hungry, so after a quick photo (by professional photographer Zoe) and some handshakes and hugs, we said our goodbyes.

We called Tubbs' drummer Green to see what he had shaking, and he invited us over. After a plate of chicken-fry at J-Pats, we spent a few hours with Jeremy, Rachel, their two dogs, and the keg fridge in the garage. By 9:30, we were ready to head back to T-town.

As we made our way out of Oak City, I noticed that Frontier City was still operating, and remarked to Eric that I thought they usually closed for the season in September. He informed me that Six Flags had bought them out and extended their season.

As we turned onto I-44 and blasted past the road vagina, I noticed that the quarter moon was rising in the east.

Cool. I'll get to get drunk under the moon at midnight.

The dogs were pretty damn hungry.

16 October 2008

Tick tock

In 2001, about a month and a half before I got married, my now-ex-wife and I found a Saint Bernard running around stray while we were evaluating a site for our wedding reception. After about five minutes of discussion we decided to take him home, clean him up, and post signs saying we had found a lost dog.

The drive home from the place still sticks in my head today. We had taken separate cars to the reception site, and her car had more interior room than my light truck (read: a back seat). I followed behind her in the event that the dog suddenly freaked out on her and she had to pull over and abandon ship. The ride went without incident, and I can still remember driving behind them and looking through the back window of her car. The sheer size of the animal in her back seat was apparent even from a distance; in fact, at first glance it looked like she was transporting an over-sized hairy human being. The entire trip (about 10 miles) I was in awe of the giant dog in the back seat.

We got him home without any problem, and quickly set about the task of cleaning him up. Not knowing any better, we first tried to wash him in the bathtub. The effort was successful for roughly five minutes, until it became apparent that he was having trouble keeping his footing on the slick porcelain of the tub. But during that five minutes, I was convinced that this giant beast had some laceration on his body: The soap and water being rinsed from him was blood-red. Once we took him outside onto the patio (where he could easily stand) and resumed the de-lousing, I was able to inspect him for deep cuts, but could find none. Then I realized that he was so flea-bitten that he had suffered thousands of micro-bites, and that the dried blood (or "flea-dirt") was just getting cleaned off of him for the first time in a while.

After we finished his three baths, we took him back inside as our yard was not yet fenced. He promptly climbed up on the couch and shook himself. My ex-wife and I both exploded in a chorus of "NO!" and he nearly knocked over a lamp leaping down in order to obey. To his credit, he has never even tried to get on the couch since that first evening.

The next day, we discussed again the idea of putting up "Found Dog" signs and decided against it. Judging by his under-weight condition and the number of fleas and ticks on him, if he was someone's dog he had either been missing for weeks or was being seriously mistreated. By the end of the week, we had dropped a grand on a chain-link fence, plus untold other cash on food, bowls, toys, collars, and a leash.


The past month or so, Ike (as he came to be known) has been showing signs of decline. He was fully grown when we found him, and that first week when we took him to the vet we were told that he was probably three years old, but at least one and a half. Thanks to the ease of Internet research, it is a small matter to find out the life expectancy of a Saint Bernard, so I know I'm in the eleventh hour with Ike.

As we are still on good terms, I have been keeping the ex advised about his status and encouraging her to visit him often. During one visit, she asked me how I was dealing with his declining health and inevitable death.

"Denial," I responded.

I know denial will only take me so far, but right now it is my method of choice regarding the dog that outlasted my marriage. I mean, it is either that or depression and heavy drinking, and there will be plenty of time for that when he is gone. His impending doom is also calling back into focus another reason I'd love to have children: You probably won't have to watch your children grow old and die.

The clock is running down for Ike, and it's slowly breaking my heart.


Something more upbeat and irreverent next time, I promise.

10 October 2008


My 401K has lost ten grand over the past week.

My Roth IRA has lost $325.00 today alone.

I think my bottle of bourbon just skyrocketed in value. At least to me. I'm also wondering if it isn't time to liquidate everything and buy the largest block of gold I can afford.

On the upshot, I have a good 33+ years until retirement, so there's plenty of time so restock the retirement pantry. But I wonder what the sixty and over crowd are going to do? I mean, Wal-Mart only needs a certain number of greeters...

09 October 2008

8 Phases

My brother sent me this, and I almost soiled myself laughing at it.

Dammit, dating kinda sucks.

07 October 2008

Fresh Meat

Seems like everyone has been up my ass to write more lately. And not just for this little stinky little shart of a blog either. Mike has been on me to write something, ANYTHING for our proposed music review site, and school will soon be requiring about a thousand words per day for almost two months. And honestly, after sitting in front of a monitor all day, five days a week, the last thing I want to do is spend MORE time fingering a keyboard. Well, a computer keyboard anyway. And as always, there are plenty of other things I’d rather finger.

Speaking of finger, while looking through one of my older blogs (available here and here and here) for material to recycle for this one, I came across this link: http://www.misternicehands.com/. It seems to be one of the few links on my old blogs that still functions. But I was looking through my old material when I realized that I would be cheating myself out of the opportunity to write compelling new posts that would seem dated and dumb five years from now. Besides, I'm really far too lazy to do a Ctrl+H (find and replace) to change all the instances of "wife" to "ex-wife". So I suppose I’ll have to keep churning out fresh content for now.