Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Who knew work was

Hola amigos! You know what sucks most about work?


No, it's actually having little to no internet access. I'm back to working, and it is as crap-tastic as I remember it being. I'm not going to say what company I am working for, except for the fact that it is a national chain, it sells auto parts, and it rhymes with Barquest. But I'm not going to tell you any more.

The one thing that is good about this job is... well, the benefits are nice. But that's not what I was going to say. The one thing is hearing all the rednecks in there prattling on about their cars and telling stories no one wants to hear. Except maybe you, internet. You always listen to crazy, stupid stories.

I have a feeling the wonderful site Overheard in the Office is going to be a little richer for my experiences, is all I'm saying.

I will offer you a few of the "interesting" comments I've overheard, and a few things I need to get off of my chest. Sooooo... OK.

Fat guy (talking about the bad gas mileage of his car): I've got a lot of junk in the trunk.

Other fat guy: Oh, I've got nothing in the trunk,

{Cut to me trying to not burst out laughing from the back room.}

Young man looking for part in store: Oh, there it is. Don't mind me folks, I'm mildly retarded.

Police officer at counter: Town Hall is hiring!

These were just two of my favorites, but there are oh so many more.

Now, I must unburden myself of some things that have been bugging me. And I can't very well say them at work because well, I'm the new guy, and new guys don't get to complain.

To my new boss: Look, I know you're my boss and all, and I have to listen to what you have to say, but I listened to you go on and on about your parrots for 10 minutes now. Is it really necessary to go to your car and get some pictures for me to look at? I've seen a Macaw before. Yours is not much different than that one.

To the guy training me: Hey, old guy! I know I'm on the bottom rung of the ladder here, but don't you think that if I got here an hour before you, I should take lunch before you. That's just science, man. (Sorry for the dated Anchorman reference) Oh, and old guy? Would you mind not eating licorice all day and then breathing on me? And it's not Twizzlers, it's fucking licorice. BLACK licorice. God damn disgusting.

And finally, to the three guys who asked me today, including my boss twice: NO, I am not interested in going to the NASCAR race in New Hampshire next month. I don't care how close it is to the track, how much "fun" it is, how loud the engines are, how much beer you drink. I can think of a million things I would rather do than go to a race. Off the top of my head? I would rather have the old skin sewn back on to the tip of my penis and be re-circumcised than to go to a NASCAR race. But thank you for asking anyway.

OK. I'm glad I got that out. And I swear I'll have a real post for you guys by Thursday. Pinky swear.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

We will return shortly

Please excuse the interruption. We will return you to your regularly scheduled programming on Wednesday. Or Thursday.

Whichever comes first.

Monday, April 28, 2008

You load 16 tons...

And whattaya get?

Officially back to work this morning.
This time I swear that it's true.
A minute by minute rundown of my first day is in the works.

Fortunately for you, that was a joke.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Off the wagon

Or is it on the wagon? I've never been quite clear on the subject.

I'm such a tard-is.


27 Things That Suck About Turning 27

It was on a dark and stormy afternoon, on the twenty seventh of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty one, at 4:09 PM that a young man was born who would single-handedly change the face of the universe as we know it. He is still trying to figure out how to go about that. So instead, he has compiled a list of the shittiest things that go along with getting older.

And awaaaaaaayyyyyy we goooooo!

  1. Being referred to as "Sir" by teenagers. And I suspect it's not out of respect. More likely it's passive-aggressive mocking. And I hate it.

  2. I am now officially closer to 30 than 20. I know, I was that at 26. But it was easier to rationalize to myself that it wasn't true at 26. Now, there's really no way to get around the fact.

  3. I'm expected to be responsible for things. I've spent my whole life avoiding responsibility. Now I'm supposed to be the embodiment of it. Blech!

  4. I make old man noises when I get out of a sitting position.

  5. My metabolism has slowed waaaaaaaaaaaaaaayy down. I can no longer eat 2 Bic Macs and a large chocolate shake and expect to do anything later that day other than nap. In fact, the thought of eating that right now makes me a little queasy.

  6. I find myself yelling at kids who are playing on my lawn.

  7. Next year is my 10 year high school reunion. Totally not going.

  8. I can no longer refer to myself as "prematurely balding". I am now just simply "balding".

  9. I have to accept the fact that I might never become a professional golfer. And that sucks.

  10. Hearing Metallica and Pearl Jam on the "Classic Rock" radio stations. WTF?

  11. Time to start thinking about the finger.

  12. At every family get together, I am peppered from all sides with THE QUESTION: When are you getting maaaaa-rried? Well, first I have to trick a woman into thinking I'm interesting enough to spend the rest of her life with (or at least the next 10 years). Then I have to continue tricking her into thinking that being married is what I really want. Then I have to accept the fact that my soul has been destroyed, and I am never going to be happy again. Soooo, next year maybe?

  13. I can no longer pull all nighters. Seriously, if I make it to midnight, it's a cause for celebration. And how do I celebrate it? By going to sleep, of course.

  14. Being forced to attend a birthday party for a birthday you do not wish to acknowledge. All I want is to be left alone to wallow in the abject discontent that is brought upon by the realization of my own mortality, crushing the tiny little shred of sanity that I have left.

  15. Taking vitamins daily. Didn't like them as a kid, and I certainly don't like them as an "adult".

  16. You say the names Kelly Kapowski and Zack Morris to kids nowadays, and they look at you like you were from the Pleistocene for Christ's sake. If it isn't Hannah Montana or the Naked Brother's Band (whatever the fuck that is), then they have no interest in it. Dumb bastards.

  17. I have to be very careful. A fall of more than a meter can cause serious damage, putting me out of commission for a week, maybe two. When I was 20, I fell off of a roof 25 feet off of the ground. Not a fucking scratch on me. OK, I didn't fall, but the end result remained the same.

  18. My idea of a crazy Friday night: Giving Floyd a bath and making homemade caramel popcorn.

  19. Heartburn and indigestion no longer a laughing matter.

  20. My impish sense of humor is no longer considered charming. It is now considered juvenile.

  21. All of my oldest friends are married with children, and I'm trying to get rid of my dog because he's too needy.

  22. "Getting some herb" no longer means getting some marijuana. It means tending to my garden.

  23. I have officially spent more years writing my novel than I have chapters (11 years, 10 chapters).

  24. Dreams are not usually of a sexual nature anymore. They are mostly about finding comfortable pants.

  25. I have maybe 3 friends that I went to high school with that I still see. That's sad.

  26. A good day can be made better by one thing: Taking a nap.

  27. This song now makes sense:

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Oh for the love of...

The most distressing thing about coaching a baseball team with 5 girls on it? Looking out at them in the field and seeing five of these:

Pink baseball gloves? That's worse than almost anything I could imagine.

A little privacy, please?

It's hot.
And when it gets hot,
I like to have some room to "breathe".

The one tremendous disadvantage of having a dog,
Aside from the astronomical food bill, stains on the carpet,
And their insidious need for affection,
Is the lack of nudie time.

You heard me.

Anyone who owns, or has owned,
Or has slept with someone who owned a dog,
Knows that they are voraciously curious about our bodies.
And that sucks.

Like I said, it's hot.
And as a man,
We have certain, appendages,
That need to be air dried,
For fear of the dreaded "Crotch Rot".
It's a common malady,
Which all men have, at one time or another, had to deal with.
And it's no fun.
It is like you have stapled two pieces of 150 grit sandpaper
To the inside of your thighs.
The pain is almost unbearable.

Unabashed nudity.
It's the easiest way to prevent it,
And it's also one of the main cures.
After a shower,
Which you must do frequently with "The Rot",
You have to take 20 to thirty minutes to air dry the wedding tackle.
Just let the boys hang out,
Swinging steak.
On a hot July day, it is divine.

Here comes the wrench in the plan:
God damn dogs.
They are so inquisitive,
It borders on stalking.
I would consider getting a restraining order,
But I'd probably get laughed out of court.

I'm serious though.
Every dog I've ever been naked in front of
Has been keenly interested in my junk.
And do not turn your back on them, naturally.
Or you are asking for it.
Turning around practically begs them to stick their noses up there.

I don't know what's so damn interesting.
I personally find the male form repulsive.
But they are just entranced by it.
The second I gear down, he's right there,
With my bits and pieces in his gaze.
And it's like the Mona Lisa,
You know how they say that no matter where you stand,
It seems as if she is staring at you?
Well, this ain't no work of art your admiring, fella.
It's my...cripes, I've run out of euphemisms.
I thought this might happen.

I'm just asking dogs to lay off.
All I want is 25 minutes to air out my naughty bits.
Is it too much to ask?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Celebrity Crush Time!

It's that time again. And I am truly in love. It's not like the other times. This is real. I am head over heels in love. And nobody can dissuade me from feeling as such.

This week's love of my life comes from the television show LOST. I am a freak for this show. Since the first episode, I have been hooked. I belong to a community of fellow freaks who worship the show the same as I. I never thought that I would ever become a fanboy. Going on message boards, analyzing every second of every episode. But, lo and behold, I am one of those people. And you know what I've found? Those people are awesome. At least the people at my site. They are smart and funny and diverse and not at all what I imagined fanatics to be like. We are reasoned and measured in our considerations. We're like a little commune of hippies. Only it's not pot and acid that are our drugs of choice. It's Jack, and Locke, and Hurley.

And my crush. I know what those of you who watch the show are thinking. It's Kate. And maybe at one time it was. Sure, she's hot. VERY HOT! Exceedingly hot.

But I've grown weary of her vascillations between Jack and Sawyer. Pick one already.

No, my crush is none other than:

That's right. Benjamin Linus. Henry Gale. Benry. Dean Moriarty. Call him whatever you like. He's just fucking awesome. I wish I could manipulate people the way he does. And he does it while making them think that they are in control. He's devilishly evil. And I love him.

When he turns away from whomever it is he just convinced that they are right, and he smirks that Mephestophelean smirk, I just melt. He could imprison me on a tropical island for his own malicious intents ANYDAY. Name the time and place, Ben, and I'll be there. I will kill for you. I will travel through time with you. I will tell you to comb down that cowlick every now and then. But I only do it because I love you.

I was inspired and I made a little kid cry. Good times. Good times.

Much to the chagrin of parents all over my small town, I have been installed as the dark overlord and all seeing despot who is currently reigning over their unwitting children. Translation: I am coaching T-ball.

T-ball is baseball for little kids. You put the baseball on a big rubber tee, and they hit it and run, and hilarity ensues. If you have never seen 6 year olds play baseball, it is really a sight to see. Imagine you live in an apartment infested by cockroaches. You come home from a long days work, so long in fact, that it is now dark outside. You enter your home, and flick on the light. And what happens? The roaches, startled by the light, scatter in every direction, trying to find a place to hide.

This is, in essence, what happens at a T-ball game. When the ball is hit, it usually rolls about 10 feet down towards third base. At which point, of the 11 kids on the field, 9 of them converge on the ball. And when one finally does manage to pick it up, they turn, and look at you, because they have no idea what the hell to do with it.

So you implore them, "Throw it to first! To first base!" They look at you as if you are speaking Aramaic. It is right then that you realize, there is a slight chance that these kids might not know what they are doing.

But it's all in good fun. I have a bunch of good kids. A few of them actually know what a baseball is. Coaching T-ball requires extreme patience. Not really my strong suit. But I manage. To see these kids having fun and laughing and trying their best is actually quite fulfilling.

But I'm not coaching for my own fulfillment. I'm here to win. Anything less than a championship is utter failure. The only kink in my plan: We don't keep score, and nobody wins... EVER. But that meaningless fact doesn't hinder me. I give them the old Lomabardi speech, that failure is not an option. That they can rest when they are dead. That the only thing that matters is winning. Fortunately, while I was giving this speech, all of them were either A) digging in the dirt, B) trying to get their mother's attention, or C) were watching the airplane flying overhead. So my words went unappreciated.

At the end of practice, we have them line up and run around the bases. They have to touch every base, and then give us a high five as the cross home plate. One boy, Noah, who is extremely shy and wonderfully innocent (and also a helluva baseball player), missed third base on his way home. I yelled to him, "You missed third! You have to touch third!"

This precipitated my learning the first rule of coaching: Know your players. Noah, as I said, is very shy. I think he's an only child, and has trouble making friends. Little boys who are shy are also usually hyper-sensitive. My playful cajoling with him went completely awry. There he stood, halfway between third and home, bawling his eyes out. He thought I was yelling at him. Of course I wasn't. But how could he know that? To him, some guy whom he just met was publicly chastising him for making a mistake. And he was not happy about it, and reacted the only way he knew how. I was heartbroken. I tried to console him, but he was (rightfully?) scared of me now. He ran to his mother, and she gave me the "It's okay," look. I plan on making it up to him at practice on Sunday, but I'm not yet sure how.

Until then, I have to take solace in knowing that one kid likes me. Well, two. My niece Kaileen is on the team, and she is contractually obligated to like. But there is this little girl, Katie. She is a doll. I'm not sure she wants to play baseball, but she does, and she tries so hard and gives more effort than any other kid out there.

You see, Katie has Down Syndrome. And despite that, she makes every effort to be normal and do everything a kid her age should do. As well she should. And I love her. She has a helper on the field, who directs her and tells her what to do and when to do it. And she is out on the field, with the biggest smile you have ever seen, loving every minute of it. When it was her turn to run the bases, she took off like a bullet. She missed every base, and tripped a few times, but I've never seen someone have so much fun just to be somewhere. When she crossed the plate, she gave me the biggest high five she possibly could, almost breaking her little arm she slapped my hand so hard. And after, she gave me a big hug, and thanked me. I wasn't sure what for, but I was more than willing to accept it. She is my new favorite baseball player.

To be honest, I almost cried when she thanked me.

I can imagine that this baseball season is going to be more rewarding than any other I've participated in, ever. Because these kids just want to have fun. And I'm all about fun. And I know that eventually, there will come a time when one of them will throw me the ball, and it will hit me in the crotch. And we will all have a good laugh about it.

And it will be the first time that I got hit in the balls and the words "mother" or "fucker" will not have come out my mouth.

Good times.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Taking the reins

Wilkommen! Floyd here. I'm doing Adam a favor and writing a few posts for him, because everyone loves me, and I know that you just tolerate Adam. But to hear him tell it, he's under the impression that he's the brains behind our little operation, and I'm just window dressing. Very sexy window dressing, but window dressing nonetheless. But I'm sure you guys are smart enough to know who the real brains are, and it isn't the one of us who only has two legs and pees in a toilet.

Adam couldn't even get a job without my help. I was forced to pull a few strings for him. I got the word out, via my numerous unnamed contacts, that he needed work, and the grapevine led to the right people. And it's nice that he's working, but... well, I don't even want to tell you about the things I had to do to get him the job. Let's just say I had to spend more than a few hours lying on my back, and you can construe that any way you like.

Let's see, what should I talk about today? Either my hilarious misadventures with the moose, or why I'm so depressed and how I deal with it. They're both uproariously funny, in their own special ways.

How about the moose? That's the more lighthearted story, and I'm not in the place I need to be to write about depression. So, the moose it is.

The dipwad and I were walking on Monday, and sometime around the end of the walk, a car stopped us and asked a question.

"Are you going all the way down this street?" the kind older woman curiously probed.

Let me see, unless I want to cut through swampland, 10 different people's yards, and a brier patch, then yes, we might be going all the way down this street. Some people.

"Well, I just wanted to tell you that it might not be a good idea. There's a moose down there. And he might bark at it."

O-kay. Is barking against the law? I know Bush has enacted some strange laws, curtailing most of our civil liberties, but I had assumed barking was an inalienable right. Is it not keeping within your idea of what a dog should do, lady? If it will make you feel better, I'll try to contain myself. She was right. however. I would bark at it. I might even try to fight it if the urge struck me. Knowing this, Adam had the exact same impulse that I had:

We better run like hell to go see that moose!

I think he wanted me to fight it. I can't be sure, but I think that was the case. And I would have too, if I wasn't constrained by this damn harness. We approached the area where "Crazy old lady who warned us about the moose" had said it would be. There was a clearing in the woods, leading to a path. Should we take it, or shouldn't we? We both gave it the sufficient amount of thought, and 5 seconds later we were heading down the path. I could smell it immediately. It smelled unlike anything I have ever tracked before.

You see, while we do live in the boondocks of Massachusetts, it is still somewhat civilized. The only moose Adam had ever seen was one that had just had an unfortunate meeting with a semi-trailer. And that moose wasn't in the best of shape. So he was as eager as I to get a good look at this one. We followed the path to its end, but alas, there was no moose to be found. Lying bitch.

We were certainly crestfallen, to say the least. After considering our options, we decided to head back down the trail and back to the house. As we began back, we turned around, and were surprised to find ourselves staring right into the grinning maw of an eight foot tall, 1000 plus pound moose. He was right in the path! Six feet away from us! This was so incredible. Nature at its finest. This majestic creature was standing right there, not on some nature show, right there. I was in awe of its sheer immensity.

I had already decided what I would do: I was going to fight it. Sure, I'm maybe 19 inches tall, on a good day. And if I had been working out, you could call me perhaps 22 pounds. But I knew I could take the fucker. All I had to do was position myself underneath the massive beast, take one leap upwards and grab on to his throat. The story would be over in 5 minutes, after I drained from him the will to live. It would be quite easy. I made a quick, lurching motion towards him. He was startled.

Yeah, I knew it. He was afraid of me. I would now make my move on him. I took off like a jack rabbit, intent on taking down this monster and thus saving the neighborhood from the menace that was he. I would be a considered a hero. Tomorrow's newspaper headlines would read "Local Dog Saves Day, Receives Giant Milk Bone For Efforts". And that would be quite alright. I could live with the fame. He would have to live (or not live) with the ignominious distinction of being felled by an animal 1/50th his size. Truly a David and Goliath story if there ever was one.

All of these wonderful thoughts were running through my head, when suddenly, out of nowhere, my harness snaps to attention, pulling me back towards Adam and leaving one hell of a mark on my little chest.

He scooped me up and we tucked our tails and ran headlong past the moose, leaving our own trail of ignominy in our wake. Just shameful.

The morning papers would not tell of my glorious victory over this indefatigable foe. If anything, they would read "Cowardly man and his devastatingly handsome dog run like little girls from a gentle giant!"

This simply would not stand. They would go about characterizing this beast as harmless, and merely lost and looking for its family. No, no. Not when we knew the truth of the situation. We could see the blood lust in its eyes, smell the acrid smell of rotting human flesh emanating off of him. This animal had killed before. And someday, it will kill again. And it must be stopped. And I can think of no one else to do the job. I am making plans for a group of us dogs to escape and take out the maniacal moose. Come hell or high water, he will be disposed of and disposed of with extreme prejudice. Soon enough, he will no longer be bothering our quiet little town. But that time will be some other day. Because Cam and Ginger pussied out. I will have to do this alone. I believe it to be my destiny. And I will fulfill my destiny. I am destined to. I am assured of reaching my destination. (Are we clear on this whole destiny thing? I can't possibly be any more overt in my declarations.)

Interestingly enough, last night Adam was informed that there was another of Mother Nature's creatures stalking the neighborhood. A black bear was spotted in someones yard, pawing at their bird feeder.

I knew what I had to do. I got to Adam, and told him exactly how we should handle this situation:

He should call animal control and have them take care of it. Are you crazy, I ain't fighting no bear. Those things will FUCK YOU UP!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I've been seriously considering getting a tattoo recently. I've never really understood tattoos. Why would you willingly desecrate your own body? And they are usually impulsive choices people get. Why would a grown man want a tattoo of Toucan Sam riding a motorcycle?

But I've thought about it. I think I might be one of those people who could get a tattoo. Not anything stupid. No cartoon characters. I won't put a girl's name on it, because with my luck, she'd either change her name or dump me immediately, so it would be useless.

No, I want something practical. Some of my considerations:

The Boston "B". I love the Red Sox, and they would never break up with me. At least I don't think they would. Maybe I should hedge my bets and not pick this one, just in case.

I could go the utilitarian route. Have a shopping list tattooed on my arm: milk, bread, asparagus, Jergen's triple action moisturizing hand cream. You know, the essentials. Nothing I don't buy every time I go to the market. Just a friendly reminder, emblazoned on my forearm (A MASSIVE forearm, btw. See number 4 on the list) just saying, "Hey, you need these things." I'm seriously considering this.

Perhaps a famous work of art? Like the Last Supper on my chest. Or the Thinker on my left ass cheek. Why left? Because the right would seem pretentious. Or maybe American Gothic on my back. That would be sweet! Not likely to go in this direction, as I presume it would be a mite expensive.

Honestly, these are the only ideas I've had, and I'm not totally in love with any of them. Anybody have any suggestions?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I'm a moron

Still getting used to this new Blogger edition. I may have posted something I had meant to post later in the week. If you read it, then consider yourself ahead of the game. If not, well, wait until Thursday and you will have your chance.

Adam, it's the Governor.... for you.

Well, thanks to Paul Revere*,
I am not working today.
I was fully expecting to be at work this morning.
But I'm not.

Instead, I'm watering my lawn,
And clearing more brush,
And stockpiling generic blog posts,
For when I don't feel like writing when I am working.

But Paul Revere decided that yesterday
(Well, not yesterday yesterday)
Would be a good day to start the American Revolution.
Well, he didn't start it.
The British did.
Well, the British didn't really,
American Colonists did.
Well, not so much them,
As it was the salutary neglect exhibited by a hundred years
Of British Monarchs.

You know, I could take this all the way back to Imperial Rome,
But I'm not going to.

Yesterday was Patriot's Day.
I don't imagine it's a big deal wherever you are,
Especially my foreign readers,
And most especially my British readers
(It's still a sore subject across the pond).

But here, in Massachusetts,
The cradle of Democracy
(Fuck you Philadelphia. And Ancient Greece.),
It's a big deal.

We have Revolutionary War re-enactments of the first battle,
At Lexington and Concord,
And all sorts of other BS.
Like the Boston Marathon.
And the Red Sox playing at 10 in the morning.

We... Massachusetts-ians?
We Mass-Holes are proud of our heritage.
We like to point out to anyone and everyone,
That if we hadn't existed,
We would all be speaking with effeminate British accents
And drinking tea.
And although I do drink tea,
It's not because I'm a loyalist.
No, no, I am most certainly not loyal to King George,
The tyrannical madman.
I just enjoy tea.

What was my point?

Oh, yes, my job.
Well, apparently, Patriot's Day is a really big deal.
The place that did my drug test was not open.
So it couldn't relay my results to the home office in Schenectady.
And that means that I am, for another day at least,
Still unemployed.

And it is nice.
I like having a little reprieve.
But I would much rather be at work being paid not to work.
Here, I'm just not working.

And it's fun, but I'm certainly not getting paid.

*Paul Revere was a pussy. Read this and expand your knowledge of the Revolution.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

But can you do the Freddy?

I had my nieces, Kaileen and Arianna,
Over for breakfast this morning.
Our conversation turned,
As it invariably does,
To existentialism.

Kaileen, age 6 (Almost 7),
Made some random comment about somebody being dead.
I made the remark that everybody is dead in some way.
I, for instance,
Am dead inside, I told her.
She, who is far too quick for her age,
Responded by saying,
"I'm not dead inside."

Ari, age 4, listening intently,
Commented that she isn't dead inside either.
"I'm a robot inside!"
And she proceeded to break it down and do the robot dance!

I actually fell on the floor laughing.
Ari 2-D2 is a frickin' nutjob.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

"Some old guy"? Fuck you, you damn whippersnapper!

I'm old. Not so much chronologically, but apparently, to teenagers, I'm old. That sucks. I never wanted to get old. I tried my best to avoid it. And I thought I was winning the war until today.

It all started because I forgot to go play basketball this morning. I try to play every Saturday. I try. But today I was busy. Busy with 1) sleeping until 10 AM, which is nice, and something I won't be able to do for much longer. And for 2) I went to the Salvation Army store, which is a place I could spend hours and hours and hours at, and get 20 different things, and still only spend 30 bucks. It's awesome.

So it was a confluence of events that kept me from my routine. I felt guilty this afternoon, partly because I didn't go play and felt lazy, and partly because I ate half a pound cake in 20 minutes. So, guilt ridden, I got my sneakers and headed out to at least go break a sweat shooting some hoops.

I had no idea what I was in for. Upon my arrival, I was encountered with a choice. There were two groups of guys playing. One was teenagers. The other was 40 year old men wearing goggles. I weighed my options, and decided to not play with the goggle gang, and jumped in with the kids.

"Can I get get in?" I asked.

"Yeah. Can you play?"

Should I lie and sandbag them, or tell the truth?

"All State, 1999," I tell them. (Totally a lie. I'm good, but not that good.)

"Let's go then!"

At this point, I was made aware of how these kids viewed me. There was four of them, and I made 5. To even it out, they yelled to a buddy of theirs on his BMX (Do they still call a freestyle bike a BMX?) to come play.

"Hey, Eric, let's go. Some old guy is jumping in. We need you!"

Sonofabitch. Dude, I'm 26. OK, almost 27 (The twenty seventh everyone. That's next Sunday! I expect presents!). Is that old? I don't think so. But I suppose to them, I am. They asked me when I graduated high school.

"1999," I tell them. Apparently graduating in the last century makes you old. More than one of them let out an audible gasp. Sons of bitches.

So we played three on three for a while. I showed them just how old I really am. I'm not in the best shape of my life, to be sure. In fact, I've spent the last 3 months falling out of shape. But I can still play. I hit my shots, I made some sweet passes, behind the back, through their legs, crisp bounce passes, I ran the gamut. I impressed these young punks who are in the best shape they will ever be in for the rest of their life. If I could be in the shape I was when I was 16, I'd be a happy man. But I'm not.

Surprisingly, they were the ones huffing and puffing afterwards. I was doing my fair share of panting, but they were BEAT! I had proven to them, and most importantly to myself, that I'm not an old geezer. I can still hang with the kids. I threw a good amount of elbows, and so did they. But I wasn't going to be pushed around. My 6'3 frame was a virtual brick wall of indestructibility. On the outside.

On the inside, the wall was losing its support structure. It was crumbling down. But I never let on.

I got home, too tired to even lick my own wounds. Thank God for Floyd. He's a good licker of wounds. And his crotch, but also wounds. After a 30 minute shower that was absolutely WONDERFUL, I sat down to my after-ball cup of tea and my book, some Kurt Vonnegut, because Sisyphus hasn't come in yet, damn library, and I realized something.

The dumb bastards were right: I am old. Not so much chronologically, but physically, I'm elderly. I had ice on my knee, a heating pad for my back, and a cup of Earl Grey (yes, I'm a dandy).

If that doesn't scream "Old Man", then I don't know what would.

Perhaps the lingering scent of Ben-Gay in the air?

Been dreaming since I woke up today.

Tunes running through my head today.


A pie in the face for being a sleepy bull toad.

Shangri La

Acute Paranoia Schizophrenia Blues

And unfortunately, this:

Friday, April 18, 2008

In the kitchen with Adam

Hello boys and girls.
I'm here today to offer you a few helpful tips,
From my kitchen to yours.

Tip Number One
Never, no matter how tempting it seems,
Never ever EVER
Fry ground beef without a shirt on.
Now, I know the ladies out there are saying,
"But Adam, I always fry meat shirtless!"
To that I say,
That's hot.
But it's also very dangerous.
Unless you would like your stomach, and
Lady parts,
Spattered with thousand degree oil,
Don't do it.
I am currently nursing 2nd degree burns,
Located on my lady parts.

Tip Number Two
Never eat magically appearing food.

I saw a Tupperware container on the counter,
Opened it up,
It was filled with delicious stir fry.
After a cursory inspection,
For both edibility,
And for anyone looking to thwart my eating their stir fry,
I gobbled up the delicious pea pods,
Mushrooms, and quite a few slices of beef.

Cut to twenty minutes later,
When someone walks into the kitchen,
And proceeds to dump the stir fry in the trash.

"You just threw that away? I would've eaten that!"

To which they respond,
"That has been in the fridge for 3 months."

Oh, no.
If I do get sick,
And right now it seems a foregone conclusion,
This will be the THIRD time in the last year
That I have given myself,
Not gotten,
Food poisoning.
Yeah, I'm a frickin genius.

I fear this weekend will not go well.

Big Day

To pee, or not to pee;
That is the question.

I'm going with the former and not the latter.
I really need that job.


Vini, Vidi, Urini.

I came, I saw, I peed in a cup.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Half the frequency, Twice the quality!

Good news and bad news kiddies.
Good news:
I am now,
Pending the result of a drug screen tomorrow,
Gainfully employed.
This is good news as it allows me to actually earn money,
Instead of mooching off of family and friends.

Bad news, it's going to seriously cut into my blogging time.
So I will most likely be posting less often.
Maybe 4 times a week.

But this job is one where I have to drive around a lot,
So it will enable me to think about blogging while working.
Although, this being a new job,
I should probably concentrate on doing good work in the short term,
As opposed to writing blog posts in traffic.

So consequentially, there will be more posts like this,
Off the cuff, no actual composition,
Free flowing illogical rants.

Long time readers will be used to this method.
Newer readers are going to have to get used to it,
Or just stop coming here.

I'm going to spend the next few days writing like a madman.
Thanks to Blogger's new format,
I can write multiple posts ahead of time,
And set them to publish weeks later.
Fucking technology...
Ain't it crazy?

So my irreverent wit will still be heard around here.
Just less often.

I want to thank my readers, whom I adore,
For coming back here day after day,
Despite the fact that I never really post anything interesting.
I appreciate your loyalty,
And I hope you will stick with me through these next few months
As I get myself back on track and prioritize.
I love blogging.
I think about what I'm going to write about every night,
Lulling myself to sleep with thoughts of possible blog rants
For tomorrow.

So, until next time, which will probably be tonight,
Good day to you all.

Oh, hey, I started a new play this week, and I am two acts into it. Anyone interested in me publishing it here for you to read?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Damn you, Dr. House!

Is common courtesy dead? Has the teat that supplies the milk of human kindness been suckled dry by the chapped lips of human misery (How's that for a metaphor?!?)? Is there no chivalry left in America? Can I write this whole post in generalized rhetorical questions?

Probably not. In all cases.

To my point, though, as I know you have been wondering whether there is one: Are there any friendly people left on this planet?

To wit: Today, Floyd and I were on our morning constitutional, and no less than five people were greeted with a hearty "Hello! How are you today?" by me, the man with the perpetual sunny disposition (HA!). And on no less than five occasions, we were rudely and summarily, rebuffed. Nothing. Not a courteous "Wonderful! And you?", or even a discourteous nod in my general direction. Silence. No response at all. Head down, they kept on walking.

What the hell has happened in America? Is it to the point where we have all been stupified by a sudden onset of unabashed misanthropy, or are we so deluded by our own crass feelings of smug superiority that a simple salutation is considered far too much effort to exert? Have we no souls left?

Don't get me wrong. I am not trying to imply that I am the embodiment of kindness. Anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes with me is privy to the knowledge that I am most certainly not. But I am not so devoid of manners that I am unable to at least smile politely and feign benevolence and offer a kind word back to this person who is merely trying to be friendly. Even if it is wholly disingenuous, I still make the attempt.

I guess I'm an anomaly. I am the kind of person who still holds doors open for people. Certainly for women, but also for men. Although I have often debated internally whether I am obligated to do so for the man. But I do. Because that is how I was raised. I was brought up to believe that being kind and courteous is not an option, it is a requirement. Even if it is your mortal enemy, perhaps the one who stole your girlfriend in the eighth grade, and then proceeded to try and steal each successive girlfriend from thereon in (I'm looking at you, Art Murphy), you must still be kind to them.

I suppose it can be seen by some as a character flaw. A fatal defect in my DNA. It makes me completely useless when it comes to confrontation, that's for sure. I am a professional doormat, who allows himself to be walked over at the slightest hint of a "situation". But that's just my nature. I am generally affable and easy to get along with. And I must accept that with that comes the ability to be taken advantage of and very easily dismissed.

But I guess trying to transfer my morals and standards onto others is a losing proposition. "That dog just won't hunt," is what someone might say (although that someone is nobody that I would ever associate with).

I am simply amazed at the total lack of friendliness being exhibited in this small town. Hamlets like mine are supposed to be the kind of place where you walk down the street and everyone is genial with everyone else. But instead, everyone here seems to be pissed off at nothing in particular. Just pissed off. That they are stuck here, probably. That they never fulfilled their dreams of casting off the yoke of country living, and becoming big city people. Their dreams of getting out of this one horse town. (To be truthful, we don't even have a horse. There is one, but it's a giant toy rocking horse that sits in the center of the VFW parking lot. I suppose one Shetland pony town is a more accurate description. Or perhaps one llama town.) They dream of city living where, paradoxically, general and wanton disdain for anyone and everyone else is not only accepted, it's de'regur!

I'm guess just disappointed with how this cozy, quaint, amiable, lovely little town has slid so far downhill, that it is no longer recognizable to someone who has lived here for so long. All I wanted was someone to simply acknowledge my greeting. Is that so much to ask? I mean, honestly?


Dear Lord, not you guys too.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Now that's just a-goddamn-dorable!

Hiya all! "Celebrity" crush time again. And this week, it is someone so cute, so, as the title suggests, a-goddamn-dorable, I just couldn't ignore them any longer. I have known this person for most of my life. It's not a real celebrity, but in my own little delusion-based reality, they are the most famous person in the world. Who is it? Well, it's the person I love more than anyone else in existence!

Fucking me, of course! I found these pictures this weekend, I just had to post them. I especially like the one with the Hawaiian shirt. Yeah, I was definitely a big fat party animal at the tender age of 8.

Just to give you an idea for you moms, this is how quickly it can turn. You saw me at 8, here is 20 years later:

Yes, so eventually my ears did stop growing long enough for my body to catch up, as you can see. If you look very carefully, you will notice that they are the same size at 8 as they are today. Can you imagine having those dinner plates on the side of your head? But this is the toll years of drug abuse can take. Not the least of which is choosing that color yellow to paint your spare room. Yuck!

But I still love you, childhood version of me. And if I could, I'd go back and make make a few changes to make your life a little easier. Like instilling in you a sense what colors look good where. And maybe I would advise you to stay away from the drugs, you know, if I got around to it.

If you love something, set it free... Just don't be surprised when it comes back with herpes.








Thought provoking.

These are just a few of the words I would use to describe the book I just read. Haunted By Chuck Palahniuk. Anyone not familiar with him is certainly familiar with his work. He is the author of the highly acclaimed novel turned blockbuster film, Fight Club. Anyone who read it or saw it will know immediately that Palahniuk makes you think about many things over the course of his stories. He also has ways of making the mundane seem obscene. He is a master of it, in fact.

Imagine being given the opportunity to create your master work. The freedom from the obligations of your everyday life. Away from the madness inducing routine of your everyday life, and were just allowed to work. It's a writer's dream. And Palahniuk turns it into their nightmare.


Just disappear.

Leave behind everything that keeps you from creating your masterpiece.

Your job and family and home,
all those obligations and distractions-

Put them on hold FOR THREE MONTHS.

Live with like-minded people in a
setting that supports total immersion in
your work. Food and lodging included free
for those who qualify. Gamble a small
fraction of your life on the chance to
create a new future as a professional
poet, novelist, screenwriter.

Before it's too late, live the life you
dream about. Spaces very limited.

That is the entire premise of the novel. Doesn't it sound fun? I know if I saw that ad, I would be first in line. And I would also be the first to flip out while I was there. The story is at some times disgusting, at others touching, at still others absolutely hilarious.

There is very little about this book that I disliked. If you do happen to read it, I would suggest skipping the first story about Saint Gut-Free. Oh, I should mention this: The book is broken up into 23 short stories told by the attendees of the retreat, about their own lives, only they glamorize themselves and embellish the story ever so slightly, just like you would if you were writing the story of your life. The small details may change, but the overarching narrative remains the same.

Back to Saint Gut-Free, it is the first of the short stories after the introduction to all of the characters. DO NOT READ IT! I implore you. It has almost no narrative value, and is, I believe, only meant to shock the reader. If you are a sexual pervert, and enjoy reading about the many ways teenage boys "get off", then by all means, read it. But it serves no purpose to the novel itself. Trust me. You might miss out on one joke, that appears 3/4 of the way into the story, and it is forgotten as soon as you read it. And honestly, the joke isn't even that funny. Not funny enough to have to read that passage at least.

Other than that, I totally recommend this book. It's 400 or so pages, and I blew through it in a weekend, and I am not one who usually reads like that. I usually pace myself. But I would find the book calling me to pick it up, enticing me to read on about Comrade Snarky (who is my favorite character and provides for the most uncomfortable breakfast scene in recorded history), and The Duke of Vandals, and Lady Baglady. And Mrs. Clark, who is the emotional epicenter of the novel. Her story plays out over three separate short stories, and holds the cathartic release the whole novel works towards. And the final story is one that will stick in your mind for days and days, and it won't let got until you accept the delicious irony of it.

Just a good summertime read overall, it's a good beach book, provided you can keep from discussing it in front of the kids. It's not really their fare. The whole thing will leave you with as many questions as it answers. It leaves many stories unfinished, and you are meant to infer how it actually ended. But it isn't like other books that have tried to do that. It doesn't leave you unsatisfied. If anything, I think it was very well played by Palahniuk. After reading these stories, our mind becomes so numb to the ideas put forth by them, it makes what we imagine to be the end of a story so much more sick and twisted than he ever could have written. Well, that's probably not true, but you know what I mean.

Palahniuk is maybe the finest writer of our generation, in my opinion. I would compare him to Jack Kerouac, but I am far too big a fan of Jack to do that him. Let's just say, he's Kerouacian in his style. Fast paced, layers upon layers of plot, and wonderfully enjoyable in its subversiveness.

I will leave you with the question old Mr. Whittier asks us all to consider:

If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as a new character... Would you slow down? Or speed up?


Sunday, April 13, 2008

To Rupert Murdoch, et al

Dear FOX Broadcasting Network,

My name is Adam Raymond. I am a casual viewer of your network. I enjoy maybe, oh, 30%of the crap you put on the air. I am just writing to thank you for last night.

I appreciate it soooo much that you cut out the last inning of the Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees game to go to the heavily anticipated NASCAR race. I can tell you one thing, there is nothing us north easterners love more than a good car race. And we certainly don't want to watch the ending of what was a very good baseball game between two teams who have been rivals for almost one hundred years. No, it was much better that way. It was like reading an Agatha Christie play, and finding out someone had ripped the last 3 pages out of the book. It just makes the mystery that much more mysterious.

Because, God forbid that the yokels who watch NASCAR should be forced to miss even one solitary moment of cars driving.... around a circle....the same circle..... over and over again. They may have missed some of the nuances.

And I mean, it's not like New York and Boston are two of the three largest television markets in the entire nation in terms of audience size. So by all means, go ahead and alienate them.

What's that? Oh.... Yeah, I'm being told they are the number two and the number three markets in the nation respectively. Soooo... Nice one.

Oh, and by the way, nice work too. When you cut away to the race, they immediately went to commercial. So, we were forced to scream at our television sets for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which being the incompetence of your programming division.

Now, I am not proposing a boycott of your network. Because Lord knows people need their four nights a week of American Idol. I would just hope in the future, you would be more considerate of the people who are watching your network. By that, I mean the ones who are NOT slack jawed dimwits preparing to spend a lovely Saturday evening of watching cars driving in circles, drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon to excess, and probably beating their wives.

Thank you for being complete douchebags your future consideration,

Adam Raymond

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I vant to ask a qvestion.

If, when I cut myself, and I then suck on the blood because, well, I like the taste, does that make me a cannibal, or even worse, a vampire? I've ruled out vampire because I just checked and, yep, I can see my reflection in the mirror.

And moreover, if it does make me a cannibal, does that automatically make me a bad person?

I'm in quite the little quagmire here, as you can see.

Friday, April 11, 2008

So, you get paid to do this for a living?

Here is an excerpt from a conversation I had this afternoon with my local librarian. Let me preface this by saying that I LOVE the library. It is one of my favorite places to waste an afternoon. And it's so much cheaper than going to Barnes and Noble.

OK, my conversation:

Adam: Yes, I was looking through the stacks and I couldn't find a book I was looking for...

Professional Librarian: Well, no problem. We can look it up right here on the computer and tell you where it is. What is the title?

Me: The Myth of Sisyphus.

PL: OK. {click click click} Hmmmm. I'm not seeing it.

Me: {Glancing at the screen} OK, there are three problems. One, his first name is spelled "f-r-a-n-Z", not "S". Two, his last name is spelled "k-a-f-k-A", not "E".

PL: Oops, sorry. What was the third problem?

Me: It was written by Albert Camus.

PL: Ohhh. Sorry. {typing} Albert Camus. {pause} Nope. Not here.

Me: {checking screen to make sure she's all set} No. The Myth Of Sisyphus, not Metamorphosis.

PL: {typing} Sorry. We don't have it. We can borrow it from another library for you.

Me: That would be wonderful if you could.

PL: Is there anything else I can help you with.

Me: I'll just take this Chuck Palahniuk.

PL: Who?

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnddddddddddd.................... scene.

She also tried to tell me that Hermann Hesse wrote Catch-22. And I'm not entirely certain she knows the actual meaning of the word "esoteric". Honestly, she gets paid to work there?

I can't get a menial job as a delivery driver at an auto parts store, but she is making a living as a librarian. It truly boggles the mind.

Maybe happy thoughts will bring the sun out!

I'm trying to will the sun out by playing some of my favorite springtime music. It's not working, but it is causing an awful lot of dancing and singing around my house. I would much rather the sun come out.

Pink Floyd- Biding My Time

ELO- Mr. Blue Sky

Sublime- Summertime

Bob Marley- Three Little Birds

Wilco- Hummingbird

The Cars- Just What I Needed

Cheap Trick- I Want You To Want Me

Yeah. All this really did was cause an unseemly amount of me rocking out on the air guitar, and also me wussing out for an hour or so. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of wuss rock, BIG FAN. But I have to hide it from everyone usually.

What do you guys like to listen to when spring is in the air?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dog Day Afternoon

To Whom It May Concern:

Attention, all dog owners. I would like to express my wishes to you that you do not walk your dogs while Adam and I are walking. It is most distracting. How can I be expected to concentrate on where other dogs have defecated if I must constantly be pulling Adam from one side of the street to the other because you are there with your dog.

It would be most appreciated if you could keep your walking hours between 8AM and 3 PM, as before and after these hours are when I am out and about. And please don't bark at me if we do happen to pass on the street. It will only cause me to get upset, and I will then run at you. And Adam, having the world's fastest reflexes, will snap my leash and in the process, I will get choked out. It's not really as fun as it looks on Ultimate Fightng. So if we could just avoid that, I'd be grateful.

Oh, and neighborhood cats: I want to eat you. Well, maybe not eat you, but grab your neck and thrash it back and forth until your lifeless body hangs limp in my grinning maw. So, please, stay away. I am not interested in being put down, and you are a one way ticket to doggy heaven.



P.S. Knibb High Football rules!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pastime: A pointless rant about baseball, which leads to a pointless rant about fathers and sons

This was originally going to be a post about how great it is that New Kids On The Block are getting back together, but that changed. Maybe another day, all you NKOTB-ers. I know you are out there, just salivating over this news and my take on it.

But alas, this post will not be about that. It is about the rites of spring, camaraderie, and the relationships between men.

Ahh, springtime. When a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts Well, if you had grown up in New England, they would. The fresh air, combined with the April showers and warming temperatures beget burgeoning green fields of lush grasses, perfectly suitable for lighthearted games between children and adults alike.

I've stated many times here on this blog my thoughts on religion. And they haven't changed much. But if I was forced to choose a religion, it would be baseball. I would worship at the altar of the double steal. My priest would have been Curt Gowdy. The Pope would be Carl Yastrzemski, or Pope Yaz for short. Tony Conigliaro would be our Prophet and Savior. And as for God? Well, that's easy. No one else but Ted Williams, of course.

And if we had a Basilica, it would surely be Fenway Park.

For those of you unfamiliar with Fenway, it is the smallest ballpark in all of baseball. Which would, at first, seem counter intuitive. If Boston is so baseball crazy, then why not build a bigger ballpark? It is a logical question that has been asked for the last 20 years. The answer is simple: We don't want it. We want the intimacy Fenway supplies. It makes the game that much better. Eighty-one times a year, 40,000 people get together and have one kick ass party for 3 and a half hours. And for those 3 1/2 hours, everyone in that ballpark is equal. There are no classes. There are no pretensions. There is just baseball. And, sure, it can get a little rowdy. But that is what happens when passions are inflamed.

The beauty of it is, as I said, we forget our pretensions. The stockbroker and the construction worker gleefully debate the intricacies of the hit and run or the suicide squeeze. The bank teller and the deli clerk share the stories of their first trip to a game, so many years ago. The computer analyst and the housewife bemoan their husbands' maniacal behavior, and then let out a visceral "WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" that puts the gentleman to shame.

Baseball is the great equalizer. We all learned the game as kids, and anyone can play. All you need is a stick and a ball. And I have never met a person who has seen a pickup baseball game being played that didn't stop and watch for a few minutes. And you can see them pining, wishing that they could play. And when finally asked, they roll up their sleeves, and loosen their tie, and almost in a childlike trance pick up a glove and hustle out to an open spot that needs covering.

Men and women gladly play ball with children they have never met. If only for a few fleeting minutes. There isn't enough time anymore. Baseball is a game that requires time. But people are far too busy to stop and take the time to play. It's why I fear children are losing interest in the game. And it saddens me. They would rather play their video games and watch TV instead of picking up a glove and tossing the ball around with their friends. And parents aren't any better nowadays. They are far too busy to play catch with their kids. They would much rather the kids entertain themselves with the video games and television.

And that is slowly destroying a game we once called America's Pastime. That has given way to football. FOOTBALL! How barbaric! I have nothing against the sport. I watch it occasionally, and even enjoy it sometimes. But to compare it to baseball and the beautiful dichotomy that is its complexity and sheer simplicity is almost laughable. Baseball can be played almost anywhere, anytime, by anyone. You need almost no skill to play. You pick up a bat, someone throws a ball, you try to hit it. You need no knowledge of button hooks, or fly patterns, or 32 belly options. There is no violence. The point of the game is not to try and kill your opponent. The point is to out strategize the other team.

There are no arbitrary rules like offensive pass interference. Or the tuck rule. There are only simple rules: You hit it, they catch it, you're out. You put the ball in play and reach base, you have a chance to score.

And there is no convoluted scoring system. There are no three point field goals or two point safeties. If you score a run, it's worth one run. Plain and simple.

There are no "specialists" who are there to perform only one job. Everyone has to do everything. Offense, defense, you have to perform equally well at both to win the game.

The only problem is the time it takes to play. A good football game takes maybe 2 hours to play out. A good baseball game can take a minimum of 3 hours, sometimes four. And yes, there are some who may even find it boring. But those who do, don't understand the finer points of the game. (They are also probably hockey fans.)

Baseball is a game of guile and cunning. It requires deep thought and intuition. It requires you to notice small, seemingly insignificant things and use them to your advantage. Like the way the pitcher holds his glove before he comes to the plate. The way the catcher positions himself. The way a batter stands at the plate: whether he stands back from the plate or hangs over it, up in the box or back in it. It is seeing how the third baseman might be playing a little farther back than he should be. So you, who's usually a power hitter, might try and drop a bunt down and see if you can't get a cheap single out of it. And even if you don't, hey, you moved the runner up from second to third and there's still only one out.

OK, I've definitely gotten a little esoteric here, but do you see what I am saying? It isn't boring. Maybe slightly tedious at times, but surely never boring.

I think I am so fond of baseball because it was a way for me to relate to my father. I don't talk about him much here, and there's a reason for that: I don't really like him. He was a terrible dad, and an even worse husband. The things he did to my wonderful mother.... need not be explored here. But when it all came down to it, he was still my father. And he loved baseball. He was a great pitcher when he was a kid, and he passed his love of the game on to his son. I wanted my father's love. And I never got any from him that was not directly related to my being good at sports. I would play ball for hours and hours, trying to make myself better, so that maybe he would say to me, "Hey, kid, you were great. I love you."

But that was almost impossible to come by. He was a cold man. Not very emotional. The little emotion he did show was to yell at my mother, or at my brothers and sisters. He was a drunk, and not a fun one. There was nothing more important than getting drunk. If it was a choice between paying the mortgage or going on a bender, the bender always won.

Luckily, he was out of my house long before I was able to realize what kind of person he was. It was the smartest decision my Mom ever made. But there was still this pathological need for his approval. Even though I knew I was good at what I was doing, to be told that by your father is what all young men want, what they dream about. I wanted to make him so proud, that he felt guilty for leaving us, for treating us like garbage. It doesn't really make sense, but to me it did.

And baseball was the way to do it. He was at almost every game I played in growing up. I could hear his gravelly voice cheering me on all the way through high school. It was the only way he ever showed he loved me. I could hear the pride in his voice when I was on the field. He would talk to the other parents and extol my finest qualities, listing them for everyone to hear. It was fulfilling to hear it, even if it was not really directed at or intended for me. He never told me how well I had played. He only criticized me and told me how I could do some things better and why I was doing other things badly. And he never gave me more than a "Good game, Adam," or a pat on the head.

But there was never a time when I wouldn't look to play catch with him, regardless of my feelings for him. Even in high school, after I had learned how truly awful a person he was, I would still play with him. If only so I could show my disdain for him by how hard I would throw the ball at him. The more he rubbed his hand afterwards, the more satisfied I was. I think he knew how I felt, and he still does. We haven't talked much for the last, oh, 10 years. The last time I spoke to him was at his mother's funeral over a year ago. And it wasn't a conversation about his Mom, or our embittered past. Or even why it is we don't talk much anymore. We talked about the Red Sox, and how the team looked this year, and what moves we thought would be important.

It may sound hokey, but the film Field of Dreams had it right...

There is really only one thing that fathers and sons are able to talk about, no matter how dark and dismal their past is. And that's baseball. So, another season begins. The Sox are back at Fenway, and the world is back to normal.

And if I ran into my father tomorrow, that is all we would be able talk about.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Putting the "rash" in "irrational" (alt. title: Not that there's anything wrong with that!)

Well, it's a new week. Which means I have had time to develop another... you guessed it! It's time for another installment of Adam's Irrational Celebrity Crush! The focus of mine eye this week is not anything you would ever expect. Yes, it is someone in Hollywood. They are the star of their very own television drama series. And strikingly gorgeous. So, I give to you my new crush:

Michael C. Hall of Dexter. Yeah, I know. He's a guy. But after watching the first season on DVD a while ago, and after having my buddy transfer the second season off of his Tivo to DVD, I am truly, honestly, unequivocally, in love. How can you not be? I mean, look at him. He's a frickin' dreamboat! And he lives by a code!

Sure, maybe you could point out the fact that he kills people. Well, to you I quote from the Bible. Well, not quote so much as make a passing mention to the part that talks about people who live in glass houses, and what they are or are not supposed to do with any foreign matter that they may have a predisposition towards hurling at other people's domiciles. You know what I'm talking about. Do you? Because I'm not so sure myself anymore.

Anyhoo, I am just infatuated with the sardonic voice overs and the cold, emotionless manner in which he lives his life. That is, until you fuck with his sister.

Alright, I'm gonna go. I'm going to be darkly dreaming of Dexter. You should try it. It's kinda fun.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Part two


I awoke from my nap, what I believe to be, several days later. Adam was still not home. He was surely out buying me a new toy or a fancy new collar. I had my eye on one specific one, but I'm sure he wasn't listening when I told him which one. I would just have to lovingly accept whichever terribly gauche choice he made, and live with it. Those are the sacrifices you make when you are in a committed relationship, I guess. So I set about putting the house in order before he arrived home.

First, I would do the bathroom. After a cool, refreshing drink from the porcelain bowl, I looked to see if there were any boxes of tissues or loose rolls of toilet paper that needed shredding. There weren't, so I moved on. The bedrooms seemed to be in order, except that I noticed something: There was another dog in there. Yes, ANOTHER DOG! I approached it stealthily, and he did the same. As we got closer, I could see he was a very handsome dog. Well groomed, excellent markings, just a tremendous specimen of good breeding. His devastating good looks aside, I made my attack. Coincidentally, at that exact moment, HE made HIS move. I let a barrage of bellicose barking (I'm a BIG alliteration fan) loose upon him, the likes of which I am sure he had never born witness to before. For all intents and purposes, I cried havoc, and let slip the dogs of war. Antony would have been proud.

Apparently, my ferocity did not frighten him. He came back at me with the same viciousness, which would have made a coward of a lesser animal. Eventually, I was the bigger man, and backed off. I slowly moved away from him, and he from me, and made my way out of the room. He may have won this round, but he will return one day. And when he does, I will crush him.

I made my way back downstairs. There were more important things to attend to. Like pacing back and forth for twenty minutes or so. After that was done, I was fairly certain Adam would never be returning. So I did the only thing I could think to do: I took a shit on the floor. I know I said that would do this earlier, but I remembered Adam's forbearance that if I did, I would not get to go on a walk. Well, reasonably assured of my future as the head of this household, doomed to spend the rest of my days alone and hungry, I made a battlefield decision. I had to go, so I went. Consequences be damned!

And wouldn't you know it, two seconds after I "dropped the kids off at the pool," who comes walking through the door, but good ol' Adam. I was so excited, I wasn't even interested in inspecting my work. It would have to wait until later.

I greeted him, and he, me. He was holding a bag. I knew he was getting something for me! What was it? Some bacon flavored paste for my Kong? Or maybe a new rope tug? Or... or... heavens, I was so excited, I couldn't even formulate any other guesses as to what it might be! Anything but another stupid hat, and I would be happy.

Imagine my surprise then, when he emptied the bag and had nothing for me! All he had purchased were items to fill the giant foodbox. And no treats for me. The compunction of him. The unmitigated gall! I was quite happy I had left him that "present" in the dining room. Serves him right.

I was so angry, I almost didn't hear him when he asked me if I wanted to go on a walk. Of course I did! Let's frickin' go! He put on my harness and slapped on my leash, and away we went. This is the best part of any day. We quickly make our way across the street into the field across the way, so I can inspect for any markings that may not be mine. We then go for a quick sprint down the road. As I am so much faster, and in much better shape, than him, I have to moderate my formidable speed. I allow him to catch up, and then I kick on the afterburners and pull away again. This continues for a good quarter mile or so, until he implores me to stop and inspect some more. I can hear him huffing and puffing. I'm glad he finally quit smoking, but we have a long way to go in his conditioning. But we'll get there. Hopefully.

After a good 5 minutes of him panting, I force him to move along. He is a burden sometimes, but I like having him around. And he feeds me, so I guess I'll keep him. Our travels take us past the home of Miss Alex Conner. She is a rather attractive woman, brown hair, green eyes, and a nice little body. Adam is smitten with her, and I presume that is why we take this particular route every day. So we stop, and Adam flirts with her. It's quite embarrassing, but she seems to respond to it, and even returns the favor. So I allow it to go on. My only problem is that she is a cat person. For this reason alone, I can never allow them to be together. It goes against everything I stand for. I will not share him with someone who willingly spends time with those altogether useless animals. What exactly is it that they do? Lick themselves? I can do that! Shit in a box? Give me a box, and I'll do my best to hit it. No, no. They are disgusting and self centered, and I have no desire to do anything other than eat them. Let alone share my home with one.

I grow weary of these two and their obvious attraction for one another, so I force Adam's hand, and go off to begin our walk again. He is none too happy, but I really don't care. We have business to attend to.

The rest of our walk goes by uneventfully. We arrive back home and he begins to fix dinner. A nice little stuffed chicken dish with baby carrots and red potatoes. I notice that he has set two places at the table. Is my dream coming true? Will I finally get a spot at the table and a dish all of my own? I've waited quite a while, too long in fact, but I deserve this. My time has come.

A knock at the door. Who could be disturbing our nice little dinner? On such an occasion, no less! What the...

Alex? What the HELL is she doing here?

Did her cat escape and she needs him to help her find it? Or maybe she needs ME to kill it for her! I could handle that.

Wait a minute. why is she sitting at the table. At my place! Adam, what the fuck man? I have suffered for the last 3 years, all in the hopes of one day being able to sit at that table and have dignified meal with you, and not being forced to eat off of the floor like a mongrel. And this.... this... charlatan... comes galloping in here, reeking of cat, and now she gets to have dinner with you. This will not stand. It. Will. Not. Stand.

Look at her. All painted up like a some kind of clown. A whorish clown, to be certain. I swear, she isn't going anywhere NEAR our bedroom. I won't have it.

Ooooooh, plates! Mmmm. Mmmmmmmm. Very good, Adam. What's that? Oh, yeah, my dinner was great. It makes its own gravy!

So, I can safely assume she's going to be leaving us now, correct? Honestly, there really isn't much left for you to do. I mean, I guess we could watch a movie or something. That would be okay.

Oh, nice. The Darjeeling Limited. Yeah, well, actually we were supposed to watch it together, just me and you, but I guess she's welcome to join us.

Man, I love Wes Anderson. His movies are so incredible. And Jason Schwartzman? Love him. Don't you agree guys?



What are you doing?!? I thought we were watching this! And you guys are... I'm not sure what you're doing. Does she have food on her face? It's the only reason you need to have your tongue there. And... Hey guys?

Didn't you have clothes on a little while ago?

Oh... Oh my god. Adam! Adam! Adam! I think you're hurting her! Adam! Adam!

Hey! Where are you going? Guys? Guys? Can I come too?

I can't believe they shut the door right in my face. And the movie is still on! There's $3.99, wasted. Well, fuck you. I'm watching this. Screw you guys.

Man, I hope she doesn't need to go to the hospital. Sounds like she's praying, too. She's an odd one. Friggin' cat people. I'll never understand them.

I'm tired.

Huh? Adam? I heard the door close. Is she gone? Good. Now, can we please just go to bed? I'm tired, and I have a busy day planned tomorrow. Yeah, hop up on the bed there. AHEM! Covers up? Thank you. I'm just going to burrow into the crook of your legs here, and we can forget all about that lousy cat woman.

Good night, buddy. I love you.

Hey, Adam...What's that smell?

And what am I laying in, and why is it wet?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Please join me in welcoming a new contributor at Shadows on the Wall

Hi there. We haven't been formally introduced. If you have been reading Adam's blog, then you are familiar with me. For everyone else, my name is Floyd. I am a four year old Parson Jack Russell Terrier. I am a purebred. That matter, however, is insignificant, because at the age of 2 I was heartlessly and against my own will, neutered. It was the saddest day of my life. And I have made it my mission in life to inconvenience and otherwise piss off Adam and everyone else ever since.

But that is not why I am here. Adam is currently taking a little respite from blogging. I heard him say so. He is tired and unable to write anything of any significance. Or more importantly, of any interest. So that is where I come in. I am not just a dog, you see. I graduated Suma Cum Laude from the prestigious Greenlee School of Journalism at Iowa State University. I have ghost written several novels for various heads of state, however they shall, at present, remain nameless for varying security reasons.

And even though my credentials are far above and beyond that of the idiot who "owns" me, I figured I would try and give this whole blogging thing a shot. He can do it (sort of), so it must be pretty easy.

My first attempt is going to be a chronicle of life as a dog. It is in the first person (canine) narrative, and will encompass the day to day goings on of what I laughingly refer to as "my life". I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. Keep in mind, I didn't enjoy writing this in the least. So, there you go.

And without any further ado, I give you part one of:


(Yes, I know I stole that from the Kafka short story. Suma Cum Laude, remember? But the title fits and I am big Kafka fan, so consider it an homage.)

Ohhhh. I don't want to get up. I think it's morning. But I don't want to climb out and check. Why, Adam, do you insist that I sleep curled up in between your legs? It's quite uncomfortable. But I endure, for your sake. However, I really need to take a piss. I wish he would get up.

As much as I like to think to the contrary, I do need you Adam. I have no opposable thumbs to open doors or packages of chew toys, so I keep you around. But the moment I evolve and am capable of opening them on my own, you're dead to me.

Oh! He's moving. Alright. I'll climb out.

HEY! Wake up! Maybe if I stick my cold, wet nose in his eye socket I can jolt him awake.

Well, that did the trick. Morning sleepy head! I need to pee.

Are we going downstairs? You're up. And I need to go downstairs, so logically, I believe you are going downstairs. {sigh} OK, I suppose it's alright for you to go to the bathroom. It's not like I'm in a hurry here.

How you manage to pee in that porcelain bowl every morning boggles my mind. Why do you want that in your house? Why not just go outside like every other civilized mammal on the Earth? Humans. So dumb.

Alright. Let's go. I need to go! NOW!

{Sigh} Yeah, yeah. Hook me up to this demoralizing run. None of the other dogs have to go on a run. You dig a hole through one fence, and forever you are marked as an escape artist. I hate stereotypes. Just let me go already.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Yeah, I had way too much to drink last night. Well, let's go greet the neighbors.

"Morning Ginger! How's life at the Bartlett homestead treating you?"

Oh, Ginger. If I were 6 months younger and you weren't so annoying to be around, and I wasn't a eunuch, I'd definitely take a run at you. But alas, 'tis not to be.

"Morning Cam. How goes your percentage of life?"

Poor Cam. He's a good guy. He certainly means well, but dumb as a Doberman.

"What's that buddy? Oh, man. That's awful. I hate getting my nails clipped too. But you made it through, right pal? Another day, another ass to sniff. Speaking of...

Niiice. You have lasagna last night?"

Alright. Time to make my rounds.

Wait a second. This isn't one of mine. It looks like... {sniff} I'm going to need to root around in this one. {sniff sniff} God damn strays. Always coming into my yard, leaving a deuce on my spot. I'm just gonna mark this here with a little mountain dew. And, we're good. Come on back, Tramp, and I'll show you who's boss.

Adam! Adam! Adam! (You would hear this as bark! bark! bark!) It's breakfast time!

Finally! I'm famished. What do we have this morning? And it better not be that new shit. "Makes it's own gravy" my ass. I am well versed in this subject, and I can tell you, it's not gravy. It is warm water poured over my formerly dry food. You can't fool me.

Dammit! You know I hate this stuff, right? What are you having? {sniff sniff} I smell ham, mushrooms, broccoli... Are you making an omelet? Son of a bitch! I get warm mush, and you get an omelet. Ain't life grand?

Oh, you're ready to eat? Oh, don't mind me. I'm eating my food. See? {crunch crunch} Mmmmmm! Delicious!

Man that omelet looks good. Maybe if I stare incredibly hard at it, it will fall off of his plate and onto the floor.

Fork, plate, mouth. Fork, plate, mouth. Fork, plate, mouth. Fork, plate, mouth.

Was that for me? It fell on the floor, so it's obviously for me. I'll just clean that up. {chomp} Damn. Mushroom. Fork, plate, mouth. Fork, plate, mouth.

A little ham. Is that too much to ask? Fork, plate, mouth.

Oh, you're done. Me? No, I'm still working on mine here. You, uh, you got anything for me there? Ham, perhaps? That's a good boy. Plate on the floor. Here we go! Ham! Ham! Ham! Ham!

Broccoli. You bastard.

Oh, yeah, I'm done here. It was REALLY good. So good, in fact, I couldn't finish it all. I spilled a bunch of it on the floor, too. Be careful with those bare feet... D'oh!

I said be careful.

Where you going? Upstairs? I'll come with you. Oh, man. You're going to sit in front of that damn box aren't you? Day after day, in front of that box. What does it offer that I can't? Does it lick you're feet when you aren't paying attention? Does it keep your seat warm when you get up for five seconds? Is it completely dependent upon you for everything? Does it warn you when that guy in the blue suit and the bag of full of paper gets dangerously close to our house, and any house within a two block radius? Does it? No, I didn't think so. But you go play with your box. I'm going to go lay in the sun.

Man, I love the sun. It's so... so... hot. I like heat. One thing, Adam. Can we figure out a way to keep the sun from going away just when I have gotten comfortable. I mean, I spend twenty minutes picking out the perfect spot, circling around it and around it, and just when I get settled, the sun has moved. And I have to go through it all over again.

Two words: Bay. Window. You really need to renovate around here anyway. How about a whole wall, made entirely out of windows? Sure, you sacrifice a little privacy, but think of how many sunny spots I would have!

Oh, I seem to have dozed off there. Ah. My back hurts. I'm going to stretch it out, and while doing so, make a squeal that makes it sound as though I just got hit by a truck. Deal?

What, lunch time... Already? Sweet. What is it today? Pizza? Subs? Chinese? Oh, please let it be Chinese. I love that new place. Their General Gau's Chicken is to DIE for! What? Leftover roast beef? I guess that will do.

Fork, plate, mouth. Fork, plate, mouth. Annnnnd.... Done. Plate?

I love you Adam. I don't tell you that enough. I could eat roast beef fat every day if you asked me to. I'm done. Take the plate away.

Wait, is he talking to me? I suppose I should listen. It might be important. He could be telling me where there is more roast beef.

"Now Floyd, I'll be back in a few hours. You be good. Okay? No pooping on the floor, please. Or we won't go for a walk later."

Wait, what? Did I hear you say we were going for a walk? Yippee! Walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk....WALK!

Hey, where are you going? You said walk! WALK! That's alright, he's probably just limbering up for our walk. He'll be back any second and say "Come on pal! Walk!"

Adam? Adam? Adam? Adam? Adam? Adam? Adam? (remember what I said earlier about what you hear when I say "Adam"?) Adam? Adam? Adam? Adam?

I don't think he's coming back. He's left me. Forever. I'm all alone. I know I said I could do it, but I can't. I need you Adam! Please, for the love of God, come back! ADAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

Alright. Well, there's really only one thing left to do. Well, one grouping of things to do. Take a shit on the floor, then I'm going to go find his slippers, hide them somewhere blatantly obvious but somewhere he will never look, and then take a nap. I'm so depressed.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

How to scam the government for money that they rightfully owe you.

Otherwise known as being unemployed and collecting. There is a certain cachet to being unemployed these days. The first one being, it's just sexy. All the ladies are dying to be with a guy who is widely considered to be virtually unemployable. They just are transfixed by my Velcro wallet that is, unbelievably enough, not filled with hundred dollar bills. Yes, the ladies sure do love insolvency.

So I have decided to share some of my trade secrets that I have accrued while remaining jobless. There are a few different levels of difficulty, as you will see. Level one is the easiest way to stay unemployed. So let us begin there.

Level One- Ambivalence
By far, this is my favorite level. It requires the least amount of effort, yet almost completely achieves your goal of not working. This level is best approached by :
A. Not applying for any jobs.
B. Sitting on your couch.
C. Eating Cheetos.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the best chance of getting hired, 10 being the worst, I give this method a solid 9.7 . It's not a perfect ten because there is the remote, and I do mean remote, possibility that you could be contacted to become either a couch tester or a Cheetos taster. So again, I give this method a 9.7, Adam Approved!

Level Two- Aiming far too high
Another solid method, but a little trickier to pull off. It requires you to be prepared for embarrassment, possibly harassment, and maybe even vicious ridicule. The main idea is to apply for jobs so far over your head, you stand no chance whatsoever in being chosen for the position. I, for instance, applied to be the CFO of a national supermarket chain. While I won't say which supermarket it was, I will tell you that it rhymes with Diggly Miggly. They were none too impressed with my resume, to say the least. But remember, the point is to not get hired. All you need is some stupid paperwork to show the Unemployment office so they will continue to give you checks. They never said the opportunities had to be realistic. They just wanted proof that you tried.

The downside of this tack is actually having to complete an interview. That is assuming you get through the screening process and actually get in for one. If you can handle a little embarrassment and maybe some light rude name calling, then this is a can't miss non-opportunity.

Score: 9.0 Adam Approved!

Level 3- Seek office
This one is really easy. I recommend seeking the open Senate seat in your state. Especially if your opponent is a Republican. Being a Senator is really easy. You just show up for work four months a year, and the rest of the time is spent on what are known as "junkets", but are really just taxpayer funded vacations. And don't forget the kickbacks. Ohhh, the kickbacks.

Score: 2.5, Adam says, "I would avoid it!" There is just too good a chance of you winning the seat. Again, especially if you are running against a Republican.

Level 4- When all else fails, Adam says, act like an ass.
This one is very simple for me, but I understand if you may need some pointers. We can't all be a world class ass like me. First, you have to apply for a job you are qualified for. Scary, I know. But we live on the edge. Make sure it's one that you are totally uninterested in. Keep in mind, this approach could backfire, because well, you are qualified. But being qualified can put you in a position of power. It may allow you to make outrageous demands in return for your accepting the job. A few examples:

1. Dental Insurance... for my dog.
2. I want three secretaries. All of very loose moral character. Preferably brunettes, but any will do.
3. A company charge card and a strict "No questions asked" policy.
4. 40 weeks of paid vacation (What are you, a Senator?)
5. An albino elephant.

You can also achieve unemployment from this company by asking insane questions that are sure to get you either a psychological evaluation or just thrown out of the building completely.

Some of these questions would be:
"Do you require everyone to wear ascots?" And if they answer no, tell them, "Too bad. That was my deal breaker," and walk out.

"Can I rollover my 401k from when I left my last job?" When they say that you can, remark "Good. It's actually more like a half million. Those guys were so dumb. I probably could have embezzled twice that much! Next time they won't give me two weeks notice. They'll just fire me." By the time you finish saying this, Security will most likely be there to escort you out. Make sure to ask if you can get your parking validated before they hurl you out the front door.

"How strict is your napping on the job policy?"

Another classic is, while you are admiring his family photos, query, "Is that your daughter? So, what's her situation?" (In a desperate situation, replace daughter with son, and you're golden!)

And if all else fails (and honestly, how could it?) go to the game breaker:
"Do you allow Mexicans to work here? What about the blacks? Jews?" And then sigh in a dejected manner. Surefire winner.

Score: 10 out of 10, Adam says "Go for it! This one is very difficult, and takes a lot of balls. But if you can pull it off, it's truly one of the most rewarding things you will ever do.

Now, these are just a few of the ways you can scam the government out of your rightly deserved Unemployment checks. You've been paying into that system for far too long, while never reaping the benefits of it. Take some time off. And this time, let it be on the State's dime!

Next time, we'll go over the best ways to rack up thousands and thousands of dollars in credit card debt, and then try to claim bankruptcy. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!