Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolution Season

SOOOO many things to change. I am happy, but I know what I could/should be doing better. Here's the list: 1. Since my daughter was born, I can count the number of times I've gone into work on time/early on my toes. 2. On the same line of thought, I could really use a stricter sleep schedule for myself so that I can actually work out with my boss in the morning like I wanted to. I could also spend morning time (cooking breakfast, reading the paper, chatting with my wife) not on the clock. 3. To top off the work adjustments, I need more organization and follow up. But enough about the J-O-B. 4. Now that Tina is expecting our second, we need to get our finances in order. A, to better budget for a new mouth. B, because Tina's unemployment will go away right as the baby is born. C, because we need to buy a house and stop paying someone else's mortgage. 5. Our current home needs HELP, I'll fully admit, I'm a lazy ass, but so is Tina, therefore I must lead by example and start just doing the things that need to be taken care of. 6. Gross for me to admit, but I know the majority of Americans are with me here, I need to floss regularly. Seriously, I purchased these little floss picks and have used them at least 4 out of 7 days a week for the last couple weeks. It had probably been a year since I'd flossed last.

So, that would be, in a more appropriate order for my day to day...

Wake up when the alarm clock goes off. Floss your damn teeth after you brush. Cook breakfast for my family instead of grabbing a bite on the way to work, spending money I shouldn't. Call people back and actually complete my daily duties at work. Come home and pick up the house or work on a project. Finally, go to bed at a decent hour.

After thought but, I want to learn to play guitar this year, got a how-to DVD for Christmas to go along with the awesome guitar my father-in-law gave me two years ago! Happy New Year Everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'm addicted!

I downloaded the "Words With Friends" app a about a month ago. I cannot stop playing this. I'll admit, I love Scrabble, but rarely break out the game and play with my wife. I think the last time we played was last Christmas with my parents.

Words with Friends lets you play "Scrabble" with random people on your phone. You don't have to play through the end in one setting either. As a player puts down their word, you get a push notification on your phone that it's your turn. I think I have 8 to 10 games going at once. I love waking up in the morning and having 5 or 6 turns to play. It's like a little moment of joy for me. Yes I know I'm a dork, but I've found a fun outlet for my head.
~
I've played people who are SOOOO much better than I am and they've really taught me new words that I'd never thought of or heard of, but can come in really handy. Occasionally I get to school and idiot, but it seems the majority of the time I'm super far in the lead, they resign before the game is over.
I've only used the chat feature on a couple games, it's nice, but most games it isn't touched. I just whooped up on a punk who got testy with me on the chat when it took me a few hours to get back to the game we were playing. Love passive aggression. I did get to wish everyone I was playing Merry Christmas which was super cheesy, but ah well. I've had a couple rematches because the opponent enjoyed the game with me, that's a nice boost to the ego.

If I had to rate it versus all the other apps I've downloaded, it would be #1.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Would You Rather

I didn't want to write about the holidays, family or work today. So I grabbed Heimberg & Gomberg's "Would You Rather...? Pop Culture Edition" book I got a few Christmases ago. Random page turn opened to...

Would you rather...

have all of your hook-ups displayed prominently in You Tube videos
OR
all your masturbatory fantasies printed as a Sunday comic in explicit detail?

Simple answer...cartoonize my jerk off sessions!

Explanation...There is no way I'd want my booty calls, random strange, exes and everything in between displayed in video format for the whole world to see. Y'all it ain't all pretty. That does mean I'd have to find Wankasaurus Rex (WR) on every doorstep weekly beating cancer.

~side note~ They say masturbation helps prevent prostate cancer, therefore, alone time shall now be refereed to as "beating cancer."

I think comic format desensitizes the whole affair. My dad might even laugh on occasion whilst WR is victorious in his next battle. Then again, my coworkers would have to see what drives the inter fantasies. Oh well, it would give me a reason behind all of those awkward moments I currently experience with no rationale.

Monday, December 28, 2009

2009 has been a Rollercoaster

The Christmas travel week is done and I've found myself reflecting back on the year we are closing. It included many overwhelmingly happy memories and a few gut punches that won't soon be forgotten.
Here's a quick recap:

Jan - Still getting used to having a baby in the house. Life as we knew it has vanished!

Feb - Tina went back to work, so we started using my old boss as a baby sitter. The long drive was worth it because I knew Mo was taking great care of Berlin.

Mar - Did the second round of lay-offs, I hate being the boss sometimes.

Apr - Kick in the junk - quadrupled my work load and gained 20x the territory - I hate, no loathe the company I work for "just be glad you have a job."

May - Family vacation to Denver and Estes Park - absolutely majestic!

Jun - Tina got laid off - Damnitalltohell!

Jul - Berlin started crawling!!!
Aug - The start of teething her two bottom teeth.

Sep - Nearly got my counterpart trained to take over half my territory - little shit is making more money than me and only took half my workload. I must have put some really bad Karma out there.

Oct - Tina's little brother got married. Hard to see him as an adult, he was only 13 when we started dating!

Nov - Berlin turned 1 and I turned 30, these are major milestones people!

Dec - Wrapping this year up with Tina 12 weeks pregnant!!!
2010 should be interesting at best! Get out your party hats and champagne flutes and sing Auld Lang Sine with loved ones and say good bye to this decade!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas is the Greatest Holiday!!!!

Last Night my Wife, Daughter and I went to the Zilker Park Christmas Tree Light Festival. They have a huge Moon Tower (yes, the one from Dazed & Confused) strung with beautiful Christmas lights. Over half a mile of other themed scenes and stages await travelers through the walk. Berlin had issues halfway through, but for the most part loved being outside with all the people to watch. My Daughter is truly a people watcher. She couldn't take her eyes off the yokels and their offspring.
I kept trying to get a shot of us with these goofy moose antlers and a blinky Rudolph nose. A broken antler later and barely escaping a black eye and broken nose, I've learned my lesson on trying to get a toddler to do anything on cue!

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Piraat Cheers to You!

A couple guys in my family are going to receive a beer mug with their NCAA team logo on it along with 750 ML of an unusual beer to accompany it. For my uncle John, I've chosen Arrogant Bastard Ale. I've tried it and it's neither here nor there for me. The name wins hands down however. For my uncle Larry, I chose Piraat Ale because he lives in Bristow, OK where the high school mascot is a pirate. Sure it's a hokey reason, but at least there is some thought put into it. I couldn't however give a brew I haven't certified as mondo libatio. So I bought a second and cracked it open this evening.

Y'all...The beer is great! I'm not just saying it because I've drank half the bottle of the 10.5% alcohol brew. Like all European beers, especially Belgium, the head is very aromatic and the flavor is out of sight. I'll definitely be revisiting this when the celebratory mood comes along.


Cheers!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

VFWs are Disappearing

Watching the local news last week, there was a segment on the loss of VFWs across the nation and some around Austin. A VFW from what I understand are meeting places for Veterans of Foreign Wars to hang out and participate with fellow veterans in random activities. Apparently their member numbers are dropping and new recruits are hard to attract.

Some jarring figures were thrown around. After 1945 there were 16 Million WWII veterans. Today there are only 2 Million WWII veterans left. They are dieing at a rate of 1000 people a day. That's a staggering statistic. My grandparents were too young to serve, most were in the Korean War. But the idea that soon they will join the ranks of the disappearing at a rate of what ever a day is terrifying. I guess I've never quantified death in terms of number of people who die of (fill in the blank) or number of people from this group who die per day. Little depressing to think of mortality in terms of statistics, it really removes the human factor.

As for the VFWs, they are having to get modern to attract new recruits. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Myspace, Etc. I can't wait for the out of touch rap commercials that will ensue from desperation for members. I guess they shouldn't have bullied the Vietnam vets for being overly sensitive when they got back into the country. Maybe they wouldn't be in this situation.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Frailty, Thy Name is Woman...Mine's Vanity

Warning, vanity shall rear its ugly head in the following passage. Don't you just hate it when you put effort into an outfit and no one of consequence is around the whole day? Since the weather has been surprisingly wintry lately, I've gotten to break out sweaters, suits and jackets I'd normally never wear this early in Texas. I'm still out of shape, but honestly, I've looked well put together the majority of the work days lately. Because it is the end of the year everybody is out of the office. Most days lately I only see 20% of my coworkers at most. I'm not saying I'm hurt if I don't get a compliment or at least a look...who am I kidding, my ego is definitely bruised. I may not be hot, but damn it, I've looked good lately and it's gone to waste. Whatever, I'm whining like a little bitch right now. Let's hope my overconfidence in my sense of style translates into the family portrait we are taking next week.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Shopping in Your Own Closet

I had to attend a training in Houston yesterday so I stayed with my parents for a couple days. Last night I was hanging out with my mom while she wrapped Christmas presents. OK, so my mom could never be labeled a superior gift giver. My daughter's birth was the exception. We totally got hooked up with an awesome stroller and car seat. Still continues to give awesome stuff to her granddaughter. I'm pretty sure that's Grandma's job, so it is the exception, not the rule.

My middle sister is perfect for Mom's gift giving. She loves the random stuff in life. So getting a purse stuffed with body wash and shower puff thingies is AOK. I'm not saying I don't like what she gives, it just always makes me pause for a moment as I assess how or why she chose the particular item that had my name on the tag.

So this year, my dad had less than subtly been hinting that he wanted a mini fridge for his office. Mom found the perfect gift, a mini Coca Cola fridge from Sears. She envisioned a floor safe sized unit would arrive at the house and she'd get it wrapped up and Dad would be elated. Now, my mother is one of those people who is fully capable of using the Internet and does, but doesn't always note the details or options associated with sites she doesn't frequent. Her first Internet purchase that was not a book was delivered and what to her wandering eye should appear, but an elf fridge that could hold a max of 6 beers. This thing is cute, really. But I felt so bad for her, I'm sure dad will love it as he actually is not allowed to have a fridge in his office per Fire Marshall rules, but come on. So she wrapped it and laughed the whole time. I just hope Dad doesn't have that glimmer of disappointment as he opens it that will destroy any chance of its success.

We continued talking about horrible gifts she was giving others and we were making fun of a gift my Grandfather had recently given her. She mentioned getting underwear and undershirts to Grandpa. My little eleven-year-old sister said "EWW, why are you giving him underwear for Christmas?" Mom explained that it's something he won't buy himself, so she gives it for Christmas. Then Mom explained that Dad had recently opened his drawer and exclaimed, "I'm out of undershirts!" She told him I just did the whites. To which he comments, I guess I do have an unopened pack of them that you gave me last Christmas. WTF, Dad? Don't tell someone, I've never used your gift, even if it was friggin' underwear! So Mom told me that she will just start shopping for his Christmas presents in his own closet. Dad will receive the same packages of socks, under ware and undershirts he did last year. I can't wait for it! Imagine receiving the exact same set of underwear for Christmas every year. How long could it last? I'm betting two or three Christmases at least!

May Santa take pity on your lump of coal!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh

Christmas shopping today took us to the darkest of dark places. The outlet mall. Austin has two outlet malls on either side of the city. The one in Round Rock is fairly forgettable. The two mashed together in San Marcos on the other hand has an appealing variety of stores. It was there that I got to see Michael Korrs work in person. SOOOO, not worth the hype if you're under 50. That said, we went with a list of people and gift ideas and at least her half of the marriage was motivated to accomplish great things.

Intentions were to go to Crate & Barrel and William Sonoma to knock out half the list. Yeah, not so much. We were in and out of many stores and found only three family members taken care of and a couple half ways. All in all not horrible, but it means there is a long road ahead with only two weeks left.

So, someone please explain to me the outlet mall experience. They are designed to make parking and maneuvering the lot spirit-crushing. Half the stores are legitimately Outlet Mall inspired, meaning they have last years items or broken stuff marked down. But really the majority of them are identically priced to their counterparts found in the hell holes we call malls located happily within the city limits.
Seriously, Old Navy is 100% identical in both places. Gap (yes, I know they are the same company) actually has special Outlet Mall tags that read something like $69.50 compare to similar look for $99.99. WTF is that? Gap is Gap, there is no "compare to similar look" about it. I understand "regularly $50, now $20."

It just seems to be a trick to get super cheap (or broke like us) folks shopping your brand. It does make Podunk town's economy come to life, but over all the whole experience is maddeningly exhausting.

I don't know who was more miserable, my one-year-old daughter who had utterly given up any chance of escape three and a half hours in and had an emotional breakdown by hour five. My wife who pregnancy is not kind to in the first trimester. Or me, who could barely see straight after the 40th store. We are all glad to be home.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Spiral in the Night Sky

Norway had an interesting sight the other day.What looks like a computer generate image or someone playing around with a really powerful laser has sparked controversy.

The official word is it was an out of control Russian Rocket. I really don't believe it. I don't think it was a UFO like initial panicked Norwegians believed. I'm sure this will be touted as evidence for many a year to come. Think Fringe will try to work it into their story line?

I can't see how a rocket could cause that pattern, let alone have the light linger as it did. I'm not a meteorologist nor a scientist of any kind. But I think it may have been an experiment with atmospheric "distortion" that either went really right or really wrong. Maybe they are testing out a rain maker or something. Hello, cartoons have had them for decades, bout time we catch up right?

Fine, I probably sound as crazy as the UFO conspiracy/cover up theorists, but oh well. Pretty damn cool if you ask me.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Can I just spray a little PAM down there right before the baby comes out?

Discovery Health and TLC are like crack for my wife. Now that I office from home, I see what my wife's "Stay-At-Home-Mom" life is really like. From 9 to 3 she's semi productive around the house. But running constantly in the background is the TV. 90% of the time it is tuned to Discovery Health, TLC or Lifetime. Discovery Health has wonderful shows like "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" and other random shows displaying Extreme Births. TLC has such insightful shows as "18 Kids and Counting." Seriously the Duggars are just wrong in every way, but that could be its own blog.

I remember a show on MTV she watched that was 16 and pregnant, it was truly disturbing. These trailer park elites and their parents would debate what was to become of the baby and the shenanigans surrounding two children having children.

This voyeuristic need she has for other people's jacked up pregnancies and home lives is somewhat understandable. Just like watching a train wreck, you know you shouldn't watch, but just can't help being drawn in.

She used to have another obsession however. When we were first engaged, she watched "Bridezillas," "Platinum Weddings" and other wretched wedding shows that flood women with unrealistic expectations. But once married, they literally disappeared. I guess it was just a matter of time before she found a new vice.

Monday, December 7, 2009

All is Merry and Bright

My 13-month-old daughter had her first picture with Santa this evening. I'm not going to call it traumatic, but it was definitely less than pleasant. The look on her face as she realized she was alone with this bearded man was priceless. She looked toward me for help and when the response was not to rescue her more panic set in. She's looking back at him and then me and at that moment, I believe the "Stewie Griffin moment" hit her as she contemplated my death.

In Santa's defense, he was well composed the entire time. I don't know if I could handle the insane range of emotions the wide variety of children display in this quintessential moment in a child's life. The neurotic parents are one thing, but the kid in front of us had a mental breakdown before he even made it to the big guy's lap.

Her Great Grandfather also has a Santa Beard. In fact while living on a North Carolina beach he frequently was accosted by children asking if Santa was on vacation like they were. Grandpa also smells like pipe smoke, so the combination of the two keep my baby very uneasy around him.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Off With Her Head


I'm watching SyFy Channel's Alice Miniseries right now. It's a modern twist on Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass. So far, I'm diggin' it! I love the idea that emotions can be milked and served up as tea! My need for immediate gratification is only a few "oyster's pearls" away. Fear, Lust, Excitement? How grand!

I watched Tin Man last year which was SyFy's take on The Wizard of Oz. Zoey Deschanel's DG (Dorothy Gale) was awesome. Hoping Kathy Bates as the Queen of Hearts is as great as I seems it should!

Using the Yeah, Yeah, Yeah's latest song was genius too. Off with her head! Dance til you're dead!!

I realize I didn't watch Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland this year. Gotta Netflix it!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Wow, OU Fans are Evil

I'm from Oklahoma. Or, at least, I grew up there. But today during the Florida Alabama Game and the Texas Nebraska game, I heard noting but smack coming from my peeps across the Red River. They loved Tebow crying on national television. They hated Texas getting another second (literally, for those of you who didn't watch, UT won with an extra second {singular} on the clock). I love OU. I cheer for Texas in every game except the Red River Shoot Out and I cheer for OU in all of their games. So, maybe I'm not the most die hard fan. But the straight Hate-er-ade that Okies drink for all teams that beat OU or who have national championships against OU in the past is bizarre. My aunt was trash talking me on Facebook. She graduated from TU (University of Tulsa) and only this year did her son start at OU. WTF? I still like OU, why is supporting UT so bad? If the Razorbacks were any good, I guess the hatred would be equivalent. I dunno, maybe I've been across the "border" too long to view this objectively. If your team isn't going to the championship bowl, why hate on the ones who have a chance?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Homeless...An Aspiration?

Austin has an infestation of panhandlers. Every major intersection has 4 folks posted up hitting each direction of traffic for "compassionate sharing." Apparently the folks in this town liked it so much they decided to put the "Bum Hotel" (AKA Homeless Shelter) right in the Downtown Bar District. Guess they didn't want them drinking and driving back to their boxes.

So along with the tired and poor are the fakers. The intersection at Brodie and William Cannon by my house is their training grounds. These guys practice their sad limp, dirt make up, proper signage inscriptions and wear and tear. Because of these (It's been 7 years since the incident in Tulsa that jaded me against all panhandlers for life...not gonna go into it here, let's just say he screwed the pooch for all legit vagrants) I don't trust anyone outside my car window.
We also have the aggressive former-drug-addicts-turned-bible-thumpers on our streets. These whack jobs will throw themselves on your car, shake your car and reach into your car to get the goods.

So, my wife and I have established a practice of only giving actual items to charities. We refuse to donate cash, period. I don't like the idea of some non-profit exec driving a BMW while only 5% goes to the charity we are backing. So food banks, toys for tots, coat donations, etc are the only feasible way for us to give back beyond our time, blood, sweat and tears.

Tomorrow we are going to the Capitol Tree Lighting Ceremony and the admission cost is a jar of peanut butter per attendee. I love this. It's benefiting Caritas Austin, a local food bank. If you're going to give, give cautiously and know the recipient percentage. If you're Scrooged against the idea, join my train of thought and donate goods and services...not your cold cash.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Eba Bebi Bu Mi

Listened to the new song by Fifty Cent yesterday. CRAP! The title of the song is "Baby By Me" and the chorus/intro he is repeating Have A Baby By Me. The lyrics are neither here nor there for me. But the way he says them really rubbed me the wrong way. Literally sounds like EBA BEBI BU MI over and over.

Fine black people speak differently in America no matter what part of the country they grew up in. I can accept that as a sad fact of our life. But this is really retarded. I do not believe a person is defined by how they were raised, but will concede it affects the final outcome. That said, aren't we trying to bring the education and intelligence level up in the projects? This is straight ghetto and not the Elvis kind. Enunciate people. I grew up in Oklahoma and have no problem pronouncing words with minimal accent. Let alone sounding like I'm having a discussion with my dentist while his hands are in my mouth.


Thank you Fifty "fity" Cent for helping dumb down the nations youth. I'd say you should be shot, but some one's already tired that. I'm thinking public flogging.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sages, Scorpios and Cancers, OH MY!

Looking through Babycenter.com and ran across the Horoscopes section. I'm not one to put my faith in anything...especially predetermined character patterns. That said, I've always found the star signs interesting. I'm a Scorpio and so is my mother. My wife is a Sagittarius and so is her mother. Both of us have Taurus fathers. The fact that our mothers share our sign and Taurus ruled the house actually bring another similarity to us and our parenting style. My daughter is also a Scorpio, a fact that utterly crushed my wife as she was due to be a Sag and came a month early.

So Baby Center breaks it down like this...Scorpio/Sagitarius combo is a great yin and yang to parenting...sounds like we're off to a great start huh? For my wife and daughter, hell will be unleashed as she gets older. The emotional depth and complicated passions of our Scorpio will turn my wife's Sagittarius flightiness into fodder for many wars. Lovely. This next one is due to be a Cancer. Could my wife have a worse match up? The patience required to make that relationship work will most likely crush my wife.

The only redeeming point to note here is if this one comes as early as the first, we'll end up with a Gemini and that combo will be perfect for my wife and to quote Baby Center "You and your Gemini Child could hardly be more different."

Que Sera, Sera!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bogus Federal Medical Advice

Women should wait to get their mammograms done and do them less frequently. Women should wait to get their pap smears done and do them less frequently.

How the hell is it possible for two separate, supposedly scientific based entities come up with the same conclusion about two women's cancer preventative procedures in the same week?

How are we supposed to believe it is pure coincidence that it coincides with the rushing demand that the health care reform bill be passed? The bill which will limit the amount of every kind of medical procedure people are allowed to receive.

In no way am I an expert or could I even hold a debate with proponents of the bill. That said, as an outsider (male and I'm not in the medical field) this sounds like a line of bullshit a used car salesman with a fabulous 73 Gremlin would be ashamed to use.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sausage Fest

Today was utterly worthless. I seriously accomplished nothing of note. A conference call, some emails and an interview. The rest of the day was spent in an office bullshitting with fellow managers. There was no fleet, so they weren't busy. I think Aaron searched for UT tickets for 6 hours today. Highlight might have been that Rick was wearing a cheap knock off of the identical outfit I was wearing. At any given point there were 6 to 8 male managers in one tiny office just sitting around and goofing off. So I guess it was ultimately a really enjoyable day. Hope you can have one like it too.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Attention Whores

I love to be the center of attention...I passed that gene on to my daughter. For the most part, I believe most people have this constant need for positive feedback. So, maybe I shouldn't criticize these freaks of nature for doing what comes naturally to all of us. Screw that, of course I should. How the hell do people like Kim Kardashian and Levi Johnston continue to gain popularity/gawking audiences?

OK, so reality stars become famous because they make fools of themselves on national television. But they weren't famous until they were on a retarded show.
Take Nichole Richie, she was a famous person's daughter. She got a show because of it, but really no one knew her until Paris and Nichole hit big with the Simple Life. Fine, she...this is hard for me to put into words...did something before she was the Rodeo-Drive-Slag.
Fucking OJ Simpson gave us three (not counting other opportunistic family members associated with Kim) famous players from his trial. Greta van Susteren channeling Ron Perlman in "Beauty and the Beast" has her own TV show. Kato Kaelin...WTF folks? But the ultimate is Kim Kardashian, daughter of Killer's lucky ass lawyer. Who the hell could have predicted that crap? No the dancing Itos don't factor in to this.

We've dealt with the Gotti family parading the my daddy was a mobster fanfare on our TVs. Hell if you're a TV personality from E! you're automatically in the ring to get your own reality show.

So that leads me to my latest annoyance...Levi "in hind sight how did I not know boinking the Governor's daughter would be my ticket to success" Johnson. Really folks, why do we care? Why are we booking him on shows? Why aren't people lambasting him for being an absentee father? Why is it OK for his only quality...being a schmuck...what makes him famous? He an K-Fed should start a reality show...how to ride the coattails of my famous baby mama!


Isn't there an old saying something like...Famous for being talented or are they talented because they are famous? Whatever...I may be just jealous because they have a ridiculous amount of money for absolutely nothing!!!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm Not Fat, I'm Fluffy!


Gotta get in shape pronto!!! I have 6 weeks til family pictures with the in-laws and refuse to be the fat ass of the group. Went for a brisk walk with the family today. It was only two miles and we took a swing break for about 20 minutes between miles. I'm sweaty and my legs hurt. I just turned 30 and should not be the fluffy man I am today. As we prepare for the second bun in the oven, the wife has to get in shape as well. I guess it's the right motivation for her, I'm just vain and don't have anything to back it up. If I can quit smoking, I should be able to continue a work out routine, right? That said, I've stopped and started several times, but gotta look only at the positive right now. If I can drop down to my pre-cubicle-life weight over the next year, I'd be happy. That's only 40 pounds. I'd still be considered overweight for a 6' tall man, but I can deal with that once it comes around.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Make it Work

While trying to get my one-year-old daughter to fall asleep (unsuccessfully) to night, I saw a side of her never before specifically defined. She grabbed my ear and twisted as hard as she could. I winced in pain and her eyes suddenly brightened. She twisted harder and I winced more. Then the wicked smile cracked across her face. The little brat enjoyed causing me pain. There was a sadistic side of her that I've suspected but never explicitly seen.

Now, she's been developing a very strong personality over the last couple months that honestly cracks me up. But this was cruelty causing pleasure. I guess the innocence had to have a point that it would begin to fade. Not gone, but the first noticeable diminishing moment.

Yes, I'm over analysing my child, but I hadn't actually scrutinized it until I saw a moment on Project Runway tonight that brought clarity to it. It's part one of the finale. Carol Hannah is apparently infectiously sick. Irina had this look of shear pleasure overcome her. It's quite disgusting when you think about it...joy from some ones pain...but more common than it should be.

Irina's look and my daughter's look were identical. Damn...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bob Vila Would Kick My Ass

I had 3 aluminum "towing enforced" signs made for one of my stores last week. I thought I was going to screw them in place and be done with it. Then I realized I couldn't use the poles in around the parking lot because they are owned by the city. So, that leaves me with parts of the building and one of our pylon sign posts for placement. From some type of concrete on the building to the metal post of the sign, I wasn't going to be drilling anything into them.
+
New tactic - I'll use adhesive to affix them. Sounds simple enough right? So I read the labels on dozens of items at Home Depot and decide the quick set epoxy will be my best bet. The store manager is a five foot tall 22 year-old Puerto Rican girly-girl. She is a genius, so I asked her to read the instructions to make sure I was following them properly. I needed a "disposable wooden stick" to blend the two chemicals together that apparently is not included. Why wouldn't they just include one in the package? I think she jumped when I whacked an old thingamajig against the shelf to break it in half to make the "tool" necessary for the job. This crap smelled like a perm...yes like what you do to your hair to get 80's curls. Totally Gag-Tastic. +
After 10 minutes of holding this sign in place in the heat of the afternoon we determine it's good. I come back with a second sign for the other side and see that the first has slid so it is now crooked. She laughed at me until I made her hold up the wall as it continued to dry and headed across the parking lot. 10 more minutes holding the 5 minute quick set and I realized I suck.
+
Went to Lowe's and asked for help this time. The lady recommended this silicone metal roofing stuff that required a caulking gun. Sure why not. My store manager laughed and laughed at me as that turned out to be an even bigger failure. I made her clean up my mistake and headed back to Lowe's to get better advice and a refund.
+
Leave it to a couple of men to point me in the right direction. I show back up with my new product in hand and not only does it look more like what I'd originally thought I was purchasing, but it freaking worked instantly!
+
Third time was the charm, but my ego is bruised and honestly I know that in the future I'll ignore my company's no-spend policy and hire someone to do this crap for me.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Naughty Subconcious


A friend gave my daughter a puzzle that makes animal noises for her first birthday. All of the animals are alone in their wooden puzzle pose except for the mice. I'm not sure if breaking the pattern was necessary, especially if this is what they decided to go with. Maybe I'm just a perv. Decide for yourself.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I'm Not A Statistic

Tuesday my old boss comes in the office sick as a dog. As he's hacking all over everyone, he announces that no one is to come to work sick as they'll get everyone else sick. Dumbass.
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So, now I'm sick. It's the flu: I'm achy, exhausted, coughing with a sore throat and fever. I went to the doctors to verify I didn't have Swine Flu. They had me wait outside until someone brought me a mask to enter the lobby. Smart really. The nurse does the usual Q&A while she checks my vitals. Then she pulls out one of those long QTip thingies. She shoves it into the back of my nose. My eyes teared up and I was squirming all over the place. She kept saying, I know it's bad, but I have to get all the way in there. Then she did the other!!! As she was finishing up I had to ask her for a Kleenex and let her know until then I hadn't had a problem with my nose. She laughed.

So the MA (I've heard of a PA or Physicians Assistant, but no clue what an MA is) comes in to check me over. The test came back and I DON'T HAVE SWINE FLU. She said it is definitely viral and probably did get it from the boss. Then she started explaining the medication she's prescribing. Tamiflu. She made an off-hand comment about it not causing the flu like people were claiming and then began to give me instructions. I said, wait, what are you talking about it causes the flu. She explained that you're supposed to take it as a precaution for five days and if you develop the flu you continue for five more days. Otherwise you double up and take it for only five days if you've come down with symptoms within 48 hours. WTF? It is supposed to make the whole thing last less time. OK great, but why even throw out a shadow of a doubt?

To top it off, I got back to the car and my wife pointed out that the prescription was filled out to the wrong person...not me. When I went back in to get it corrected, the office manager looked like he was going to chop the MA's head off. I tried to brush it under the carpet, but I probably got her written up. Shit happens you know? But then again, this is the stuff that lawsuits are made of.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

OMG I Can't Wait for "V"

I love Sci-Fi. My parents and I watched "V" when I was a kid. "Alien Nation," "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "X-Files," and "Quantum Leap."

These shows captivated me. I have to admit, the sci-fi of recent years has truly stepped up the genre's game. I got into Fringe last year and have been following it. It replaced the loss of X-Files. Flashforward has me watching intently, but I'm affraid of the utter disappointment as the date approaches when we have the flashforward catch up. I'll enjoy it while it's around and try not to be so pessimistic for now.
I never got into "Lost" and think I'll watch them on Netflix and see if I want to catch up on the hype once these others go on hiatus.

But for now, a third Sci-Fi show is plenty. PLEASE LET "V" LIVE UP TO THE PEDESTAL I'VE PLACED IT ON FROM MY CHILDHOOD MEMORIES!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Paul McCartney is on Letterman


I'm watching Sir Paul McCartney right now talk to Dave about what it was like when they came to America originally. How freakin' awesome is his job? I know he interviews famous people all the time but holy hell! He's got a Beatle on tonight and the Mother F*ing President of the United States on Tomorrow!
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I wonder what went through Dave's head when he knew that he would literally interview every famous person alive? At this point, do yo think he gets bored with his job no matter who is on the other side of the desk? Hopefully not.
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BTW, Sir Paul is really funny, he keeps throwing jabs at Dave and I'm not entirely sure Dave is catching them.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Respect My Authoritah

Fox News is the republican party's news source. I don't care how they try to spin it, that is the whole point of the station. I remember watching CNN and Headline News growing up. When my mom's siblings were over in Iraq during Desert Shield and subsequently Desert Storm we watched Wolf Blitzer religiously. Ted Turner's 24 hour television news stations were a hit. Even though Ted and in CNN/HLN's prime his wife Jane are over the top Liberals, the stations seemed to just deliver the news. I never noticed a slant.

I remember watching MSNBC when I graduated High School in the late 90's and didn't notice anything overtly left, I just thought it was odd that Bill Gates and NBC were close enough to form a whole other news station. I still tended to watch CNN.

I did notice during the last Presidential campaign MSNBC no longer delivered the news but campaigned directly for Obama. Now in their defense, all non-Fox-News stations were excessively anti-Bush, so it was not so far fetched that they'd support a democrat for President. It did border the ridiculous after Obama won.

By that point I'd been reading Canadian and British news sources regularly and left the political bias to Fox and MSNBC.

So all that builds up to the latest Fox Scandal...from the White House. So here is what I've understood: The Obama Administration has decided not to do any interviews with Fox News as they are "Not a News Source" they are merely a greedy corporation feeding on the republican craze and marketing to a segment of America they can make a lot of money from.

Are they kidding? I could understand if they chose not to give an interview to the Onion, the Daily Show or Colbert Report. But to call out an opposing point of view and say you're not credible because I get unfavorable coverage on your station is pathetic. Seriously, if they really view Fox as a threat, take the high road or better, come on prepared to demonstrate your position articulately. All political points of view are opinions and differing opinions are still valid in their own right.

I don't fit into any one party completely. I don't understand people who do. It's like believing a religious denomination wholly without question. If you don't have independent thought and differing opinions and unique lifestyles we might as well have a dictatorship. The mindless lemmings of this country truly scare me. I don't know how much longer we're going to survive when we have a "two party" system who refuse to accomplish anything for fear of offending some segment of their voting constituency.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

It Takes a Village to Debase a Child

We've been costume shopping for the kiddo the last couple weeks. The wife and I have had our share of naughtier costumes. That said, most years we make our own from thrift store finds and arts and crafts style assembly. This is the first year we've had a third. She was born 4 days after our Pregnant Nun and Pervie Priest costumes from last year were paraded around town.
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So we decided to start with the kiddo and work ours into her theme. It's time for "G - Rated" costumes to begin. She's a little duckling and we'll be farmers (though mine won't be as sexy as the one my wife's concocting, so maybe PG is more appropriate).


While shopping though, we've run across a wide variety of costumes for little girls. I have to say, I'm more than a little appalled. What happened to innocence in youth? There are some slutty costumes for little girls. I'm not talking about a skirt too short, but more like they're straight out of Frederick's of Hollywood hooker outfits.



Alright fine, I'm looking through "father-of-a-little-girl" lenses, but seriously people! Hannah Montana may not have any naughtiness to her persona, but her attire borders ridiculous. But Miley's alter-ego doesn't have anything on the Bratz dolls.

I'm worried about our kids. Doesn't anyone think we might be desensitizing our girls? Guys are already pervs, but do we really need our girls to grow up thinking they should dress provocatively on a regular basis? OK, yes we're talking Halloween costumes and not their whole life, but each choice is a stepping stone that builds their whole life's path.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sing it Galinda!

I've been half ass following Glee. The show has me at a typical stand off that new shows often bring me to. The hype got me. The random break out musical moments are so much fun. But someone faking a pregnancy, someone with two baby-daddy's and two different girls and a guy for that matter crossing unrequited love/crushes on others are seriously blase. But I'm not a professional critic and have followed crappier shows.

So I was watching the episode with Kristen Chenowith on Hulu last night. The guy playing Finn reminds me of Chris Klein's character on American Pie. First he has the same squinty smile and clumsy charm. When he dances in the second production when they wore the blue shirts and black ties, what the hell? He looked so stiff and awkward. Like seriously, what the hell was the choreographer thinking? For that matter, what was the casting director thinking. Didn't he have to dance for the audition?
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While I'm comparing the two actors look, acting inability and dancing that ASIMO could rival, should I mention that the characters are nearly identical. Chris Klein's "Oz" was a jock with an unconsummated love affair and an internal struggle with what to make of his future and the pointlessness of peaking in high school. Cory Monteith, who plays Finn on Glee, has a girlfriend in the abstinence club and a glee club girl affair, all while he has the internal struggle with his future being launched by high school jock-dom or choir esteem. I guess 10 years is long enough to recycle a character.


What ever, I'll continue watching and they'll continue singing. Don't Stop Believing! All will remain happy.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Whoring Out a Franchise

Law & Order - Dick Wolf was able to make a franchise massively huge that I don't know if any could compare. Law & Order begot SVU, a show that completely stands on it's own. Law & Order Criminal Intent has had to use various shticks to sustain itself like rotating leading characters and staff overhauls in recent years. The original having new faces constantly makes sense when the series lasts 19 years...we miss you Lenny! Wolf's had his failure as well with Trial By Jury, but I'm sure he loses no sleep over it with his other babies all grown up and successful. I've seen L&O: UK on imdb and wonder how far he'll be able to stretch this before something breaks.

Then you have CSI. The original may not survive the loss of three primary characters. I feel sorry for the actress playing Riley...her character was completely lost in the shuffle when everyone else started dropping like flies. CSI: Miami is truly a joke to me...no science to drag down the average viewer just crappy dialog, unrealistic situations (not just Calley running in 6" stilettos, but every couple weeks something huge blows up), and somehow it's the cream of the crop from Mr. Bruckheimer. CSI: NY took me a while to warm up to after being let down by Miami. These aren't going away anytime soon.


Now I see NCIS is bringing on NCIS: LA - Congratulations you officially have a ridiculous amount of letters in your acronym.


Spin offs are almost as mind boggling, but at least they have the courage to call the new show by another name. They still stretch the franchise, but it seems closer to riding coat tails rather than the rub and tug the ones above seem to be. Angel spinning off of Buffy seemed to be successful. Joey...not so much. The jury is still out on Grey's Anatomy's creation of Private Practice. How Cleveland coming from Family Guy will fair is really going to be a test of Seth McFarland's cult like following.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

British Pop

I've been listening to BBC Radio 1 on Satellite radio for the last year or so. I have to admit, I'm totally gay for the DJs and bands that are played repeatedly. The Wife hates talking on the radio...don't even think about leaving a commercial on. So maybe that's the attraction for me. I did go to school to work on radio and don't get to experience any of my former passion when she's around. That said, the Brits absolutely love the garbage Disney and the other Mega-Record Companies manufacture for teeny-bopper-pop coming out of America. Their own island inhabitants however really make me smile (at least more than 50% of the time). Most of the time those lead to groovin' in the driver's seat and embarrassing shower-karaoke-style sing-a-longs in the car.
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Dizzee Rascal for example, I just can't get enough. Bonkers was absolute perfection. Others from him I've heard have sampled songs you can't help but love so they to are awesome. David Guetta teamed up with Akon to put out Sexy Chick (censored version of Sexy Bitch is my preference) that also makes me groove more than others. Can't say that Jay Sean works though. I heard he was the first UK artist to hit the 10 ten in the US since James Blunt. I'm appalled, but not really surprised. Though Muse of Franz Ferdinand I thought would have hit up there...maybe that's just because I like them.
Florence and the Machine and La Roux are two bands that have won me over whole-heartedly! Everything these ladies put out there is gold! Marmaduke Duke's Rubber Lover and Calvin Harris' I'm Not Alone are definitely worth a mention.
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So that brings me to my real confusion with some of what I'm hearing. There will always be throw away music produced...but there are a few bands I've been hearing that just weird me out. Do you remember hearing the Bee Gee’s for the first time? At first your brain thinks it's a girl singing. As you realize it's definitely a man you wonder...how the f^*%? When The Darkness came out a few years ago, they reminded me of the Bee Gee’s because of the ultra high falsetto. Still really easy to enjoy, so really no threat. Then last year in the US Robin Thicke came out and I wanted to vomit. Definitely throw away music and sounds like a castration victim. So two other groups have been playing on this type of success...Scissor Sisters and Mika. I love Mika's We Are Golden...makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, but so far his only release to do it. Scissor Sisters are questionably over the top gay...but I don't have anything other than one video I've seen to go on. All of these guys have a distinct sound due to utterly falsetto voices. First, when are their vocal cords going to go on strike? Second, what producer keeps pushing this sound? Third, why, why, why? Fine, I'm gay for Scott Mills and Greg James, but darn it...at least I'm not a rabid Robin Thicke fan...Ha!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Braggin' 'Bout the Kid


It's been a while...life flies by whether you're paying attention or not.

The kid is crawling everywhere. Literally our little escape artist. We've been using walkers to block the "holes" in the living room. She's figured out how to crawl through them or push them out of the way. She thinks it's hilarious when we chase her, she giggles all the way down the hall. But her favorite is the dining room and kitchen. She squeals with joy everytime she crosses a rug instead of the tile.
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Her first two bottom teeth came in a couple months ago. She doesn't bite while breastfeeding anymore, but everything else is free game. Toes are just askin' for it, sitting there uncovered on her level. The top two teeth look like they're trying to come through now.
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She learned to clap last week and couldn't be happier with herself. A toy of her plays the alphabet song, she hums and claps along with it.
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While words and books fascinate her, no obsession seems to be quite as strong as our laptops. If we're on them, she wants to play. Watching videos and slideshows of herself having top billing. If she's on the ground and we're using one, she'll slide her hand on the keyboard and start grabbing/typing away. She's rotated my wife's screen sideways dozens of times. It still takes us 10 minutes to fix it too. (while trying to type this, she's erased and typed tons of times).
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She's also an eater. We've introduced all kinds of veggies and fruits. Some more successful than others. We make everything using this Beba baby food steamer and pureer. Hands down one of the greatest gifts we've used. If you've ever compared how brown peas in a baby food jar and then looked at how bright and green steamed and pureed peas look, you'd never feed your kid that crap in a jar again.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Stupid Protesters in Austin

I live in the capitol of Texas. The majority of the state who are eligible to vote are republican. The majority of this city are democrats. It's an interesting and typical situation, most capitols are liberal. I assume it has something to do with the heightened political environment tied to the combination of higher minority percentages in larger cities and liberal activism focusing on the political leaders instead of the actual public they strive to protect.

So, stubborn, redneck, conservatives outside of the city limits, wealthy, hippie, liberals within.
I see protests and local programing dedicated to promoting the destruction of all things conservative on a regular basis. My family has always viewed me as the liberal of the clan, but living down here, I stand out as a conservative. Nice dichotomy huh?
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The first protest I witnessed was in an upscale shopping area called the Arboretum about 4 years ago. There was 20 or so people, mostly women blocking traffic in front of the Renaissance Hotel. They all held signs that said things like 9-11 didn't come from Iraq, Impeach Bush, End War, etc. Just really not the best venue and honestly it seemed disjointed from the things they were protesting. Considering W was former governor...maybe the capitol building, Camp Mabry Air Force Base or any place would have seemed more appropriate.

So there are protesters being organized by the NAACP to go against a shopping mall in town. http://www.news8austin.com/content/top_stories/default.asp?ArID=237338 The mall closed last weekend during the UT relays. For some reason I don't understand, the relays bring in the gang banger crowd. I'm not talking about just a normal black person, I mean scary lock your doors as a grown man mother f*@%ers. They are everywhere that would normally be a black hang out. Spiro, a black club downtown also closed its doors and claimed to turn away 3000 people. Most companies didn't release reasons and those that did were lame, but it's obvious what's going on. They have problems with militant loitering and shop lifting from the hoards of teenagers that come to follow the high schools and colleges that are in the relays. Clubs down town are flooded with minors. It really isn't racist considering the typical crowd in the locations that closed. It's practical for profitability to not serve minors drinks and have kids shop lift and scare normal customers. Fine I'm white and don't fully get it, but it seems stupid.
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Then there are the folks protesting our new recycling program that started last year. We've been able to have these huge blue containers for curb side pick up with all recycling products from containers to cardboard and everything in between. I literally have one bag of trash a week now that we can recycle nearly everything. They call it single stream recycling and they pick up the blue bins every other week along with our weekly trash bins. Many cities in Texas use the same company as Austin. The difference is, Austin signed a short contract that doesn't pay back as much as a long term contract does in Dallas and San Antonio. So folks are protesting that Austin has done it's part and city leaders have let them down. We have to be saving $$$ on waste management in general. And the idea that we are getting money at all for someone collecting and sorting our recyclables is fantastically surprising. They want to fight this? A liberal city wants to fight an easy to participate in recycling program that pays us money? The alternative if I'm not mistaken would be the 41% increase in recycling dropping to single digits and us to all load down our land fills with recyclables. I swear, they just want to protest something. Barack is in power so they can't hate the president like they used to. What ever are they to do...god forbid they have to contribute to the community instead of finding new ways for tax payers to throw their money away. Damn I sound bitter, this wonderful city is crushing my spirit and at the same time, I never want to leave.