Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Wife Cannot Put the Toilet Seat Down!

I never noticed it before this week, but my wife doesn't put the toilet seat down after she uses it. I'm not saying she stands up to pee or anything crazy, she just doesn't put the lid part of the seat down.

I have no clue why, but I have always put the seat and lid down when I am done, ever since I was a child. I don't recall any explanation from my Mother or anything like that. I guess, it just made sense and therefore I did it.

So we installed a child safety device for the toilet this week. Berlin has played in the toilet more than once. Entire toilet paper rolls and beauty products of all kinds have had a nice little bath. Luckily she has yet to figure out how to flush.

At least a dozen times, I've stepped into the facilities and didn't have to mess with the "push-the-button-while-sliding-the-tab-whilst-twisting-the-lever" safety release. I don't usually notice it until I'm putting the seat down and my brain says, glad we didn't have to mess with the first part.

What woman doesn't put the toilet lid down? I asked her and she said she doesn't think about it. Would she complain if I never put it down? Strange thing for a man to complain about, but the whole situation is quite odd in my opinion.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Dying Tina's Hair

So my slow balding has been really difficult to accept, but it is my reality. As a red head, I kinda associate my "ego" with my hair, so having it disappear is well, earth shattering.

My beautiful wife is also a red head. Yes, I know it's odd, rare, whatever ... and no, we do not spontaneously combust in bed. We are very different in our ginger-ness. She has very translucent skin with more freckles than I do. Her red is not as vibrant as mine and is curly. I get somewhat tan and have a golden red that is very straight. Neither of us are covered in freckles nor do we have the kinky curly hair many red heads are associated with. We do both have green eyes...something we did not pass on to our daughter. She's got my hair texture, my wife's color and skin with gorgeous blue eyes.

So my wife's hair has been darkening over the last 5 years. It's going brown, auburn in the sun, but it isn't the red she once had. I bleached and colored my hair many times back when I was 18-22ish. I think it may have led to the loss of it now! Tina on the other hand had never messed with her color...ever. I had her get it colored when she was pregnant with Berlin after the DMV asshole argued with her over her hair color. (My exact words to him were "Knock it off, I have to go home with her and will not stop her if she climbs over this counter and rips your balls out through your throat.")

I think she liked it. So about 4 months ago, we did it again. Or should I say, I did it. Money is tighter, Tina is a stay at home mom now and we have a second baby on the way. It came out pretty good, but honestly it was friggin' exhausting. So we did it again tonight. We went with a darker shade of red and oh does not look natural. From a red head, that is not a good thing. Red is a hard color to strip and even harder to make look legit! Hopefully it fades into a realistic shade, otherwise, I might be dying it again soon. Fingers are crossed...maybe I'll just pay for it to be done professionally again even though it saves me $70 this way.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Dead Speak Through Social Networks

A friend of mine lost a friend recently. I don't know the details, I just know she past away. A few days after she died, he posted that Facebook recommended he send her a note. OK, so FB posts "suggestions" on your home page for you to keep in touch with people who don't use it often or people you haven't "interacted with recently." It's just a creepy thought that a dead person needs you to keep in touch!
My Best Man at my wedding past away a couple years ago. I never found out who it was, but someone kept his Myspace page alive LOOONG after he was dead. This was really creepy. He would have new pictures post or notices sent. One of our friends lashed out at who ever was controlling it. She basically told them how hurtful it was to have notes sent from someone you are trying to overcome the grieving process for.

I think it is inconsiderate to friends and family to just delete their profile, but on the other hand the constant reminder of their absence is distressing. What is the acceptable time frame to remove their pages?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It Is Snowing In Austin, TX

Global Warming...Ha!

Berlin has gotten to see snow 3 times now and she's not even a year and a half old. White Christmas in Tulsa, OK. Pittsburgh and Punxsutawney, PA was a guarantee. Now in our own home town where it never snows, Austin, TX.

I took her outside while the flakes were HUGE and she giggled as they fell on her head. This of course got me scolded by the wife for bringing her outside without a hat. Oh well. The kid has to be allowed to experience somethings without the over protection of Mom.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Adult Beverage Chemistry

I bar tended for awhile. I really liked it, I was good at the service side, really good at making strangers carry on a conversation, but my favorite part was mixing drinks. I really enjoyed making something and having someone go, "wow, that's great" or "this is the best (fill in the blank) I've had in a long time." OK, so admittedly, I enjoy praise, but more over, something I created made someone else happy, even temporarily.

I can make a Margaritas, LITs, Martinis (real and flavored), Nearly any frozen concoction, and every highball imaginable really well. I'm not a showman. I'm not the best in the business. I'm just good at it.

So I haven't made up many drinks on my own. A fellow bartender used to whip up chocolate Dr. Peppers all the time. I hated them, but the whole staff was in love with them. I tended to work in the sour or fruity realm. I was comfortable with those flavors.

One I came up with and my wife and I eventually named the "Lazy Morning" was basically a twisted Vodka & Soda. I use Absolute Kurant (Black Currant Flavored Vodka), Soda, a Splash of Pineapple Juice and a squeeze of Lime. That was my wife's preferred version. Nix the Pineapple and sub Lemon for the Lime and you have my "Clearly Canadian." Seriously tastes like those little flavored carbonated waters from my childhood. There were others, but this is getting long already.

So tonight, I was whipping up a smoothie for dessert and decided to use up some Plums that were going to go bad soon. I've never tasted any drink made with plums, let alone anything alcoholic. Weird thought since Plums are just a step away from Prunes. Probably why you don't run across it. So I made the virgin versions for the wife and child. I then took the Plum, Strawberry, OJ , Cranberry concoction and added some Spiced Rum. Damn it was tasty. Distinctively unique, but yummy altogether. I'm not sure on a name, but Horny Jack is floating around right now (Think Little Jack Horner sat in a corner nursery rhyme).

Mixology may be in my past, but it's still fun to enjoy something new every once and awhile.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Year of the Tiger

We went to Chinatown today to witness the Chinese New Year Festival. The actual New Year was earlier in the week, but this weekend they had their "festival." Jam packed week of holidays, no? Valentine's Day, President's Day, Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday and Chinese New Year!

We had a blast in the midst of utter craziness. The little area in Austin where the Chinatown Center is located is a cluster f***. People jaywalk across one of the busiest streets in North Austin. Cars park where ever...literally. The dragon dances and fireworks lasted around 15 minutes and were performed in every corner of the center. Those dancers under the dragon costumes had to be exhausted. Many of them were kids too.My son will be born in the year of the Tiger, sounds fun. Though, I specifically remember the tigers at the Tulsa Zoo jumping into the ravine between visitors and them to growl and swipe at me as a child. It was definitely the red hair, but maybe my kiddo will have better luck with them on his "astrological" side.

If you ever get the chance to see the dragon dance ceremony in person, do it. Very unique experience and for kids...extremely visually stimulating.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

House and Bones

So my go to TV for boredom was always CSI and Law & Order. I've seen nearly every episode of all variations of these shows. So over the last year, Bones and House have replaced my Boob Tube go to shows.

I watch WAAAAY to much television. I probably am an alcoholic too. I know these facts. I know these habits are bad for my health. Not so astonishingly, I still continue to do them!
So my newest TV obsessions are narrowing down as well. I've seen most Bones and House episodes that exist. I still rarely run into a repeat, but I see the end of the path approaching. We have shows we follow through out the year as the new episodes come out, but those are not the "can watch them anytime" shows.
I want to start watching Lost. The wife has been watching Army Wives...meh, neither here nor there with it. Charmed and Family Guy both have gone the way of CSI and L&O. We'll see where it goes. Probably should just take up Walking or something more Productive, but then again, I do know me!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Crazies in Austin

So, yesterday Austin had someone go bat shit and commit suicide by crashing into an IRS building as payback. First of the crazies. The second which hit closer to home was far less devastating, but crazy none the less.
I work for a Car Rental Company. When Toyota did their recalls, we had to get all of them off rentals. Most customers came in and did vehicle exchanges and went on about their business. About a dozen lingered in my area over the last few weeks. Until yesterday all but one from my stores had returned or exchanged cars. So I was sending a letter of demand that this guy return the vehicle immediately. My guy running the store where it was rented kept trying to get him to return it as well, but stepped it up over the last week.

Finally he hears back from the customer in our Corolla. He has been in Miami and didn't have cell coverage. Pretty sure Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile and hell, everyone else has a city as huge as Miami covered. But that's just a silly detail, after all CUSTOMERS LIE ALL THE TIME! So, my guy told him to get it swapped out immediately. He said he'd just return it to Miami. OK, great, more money because it's a one way rental and we get the friggin' thing back that's now over due by a week.

The customer calls back and says, Miami won't accept it unless we give permission...odd, but what ever, we'll call and straighten that out.

In the meantime, a local manager from the airport calls and asks my guy to close out a rental that they just picked up from impound. Turns out a customer had responded to a Craigslist ad where someone was selling a car. They left OUR car as pseudo-collateral while they took the one for sale on a test drive. PSA: Craigslisters, always ride along on the test drive, idiots. The guy didn't come back in his car. Eventually the Craigslister called the police and they towed the car away.

My guy goes to check it in and, WTF? it's the same customer in the Corolla that is supposedly in Miami! Well, that's our problem solved, the Corolla is back in our possession. But that just leaves a bunch of unanswered questions. Where is the Craigslister's car? Why would you make up a story about Miami if the car is in Austin? What the fuck is going on? Crazy Shit, that's what's going!
For the record, Austin is full of crazies, these two are just the topic of the day. If you read the article posted with the IRS bomber-pilot's wife's statement, you can see a string of insane comments. Paranoia is in the water here, along with ill-informed stupidity.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Plane Crashes into an Austin Building

Holy Crap. About an hour ago a single engine plane crashed into a building in NW Austin. I'm hearing reports about a couple people missing, a few injured and rushed to the hospital. They keep showing pictures of the impact. There was a Lexus driving down the access road at the same time that appears to be demolished along with the plane. It looks like it impacted a rock wall that the building is built on. The fire from the explosion seems to be what damaged the building. The windows weren't blown out until after the fire and firefighters. The images of the street and black smoking coming from the building are frightening.

Adding this later on today:
Turns out this whack job was losing his home to the IRS. He torched it (still hearing different stories about whether his family was inside or not at the time) and then jumped in the plane (unclear if it was stolen or his own). He supposedly left a really long suicide note on his website explaining it all. So the building wasn't random, he was aiming at the IRS. What an asshole! If you're going to kill yourself (especially over something as trivial as losing an object!) start with yourself and don't try to take others down with you. Two employees in the building were rushed to burn units. These total strangers will have to live with scars from this guy for the rest of their lives. The family of this guy not only lost their house, but the father and breadwinner. Great solution you selfish douche bag!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Censoring Yourself

My boss and I have a long distance relationship. This isn't abnormal for a corporation but it is for me. I've always had a boss who I could go to and talk things over with in person. I work 3 hours away from mine though.

Last year when they dumped a new responsibility into everyone in my position's lap, the chain of command was altered. Instead of reporting directly to the person in charge of Austin and San Antonio, I now report to someone with technically less power but is in charge of my division for all of South Texas. He had to adjust to the change just like I did.
I didn't realize how much easier it is to communicate with a person face to face on a regular basis until it wasn't an option. I find myself being ultra cautious of my words and actions when in direct contact or view of my boss now. It's not like I'm doing anything wrong, but because he only sees me on rare occasions, I feel like I'm being judged even more so than normal.

I'm not going to say it stresses me out to be judged. I do find myself not quite saying what I'm really thinking or overdoing it to ensure my point is driven across the state properly. Maybe I'm just over analysing like I usually do. I just wish I had a little more feed back about his real assessment of me beyond the critiques he gives me when I've censored myself to the point I sound like an idiot. Be true to yourself is probably the best advice a fortune cookie ever gave. Maybe I should crack it open and not follow it up with "in bed."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Presumptuous Biyatches!

I've been telling my coworkers and employees that we are expecting a son in July. People hate to be left out, so at this point, I'm trying to head off the rumor mill before it hits people I actually care somewhat about.

The problem is, people keep saying "Ooh, now you have one of each. You don't need to have any more." People tell me about their sister having 4 boys before she got her girl. Their husband insisting on having another until he got his boy.

Really? Is this the only thing people think about with children? You have to have one of each, boy and girl. Sure it's the 1950's television version of the perfect nuclear family, but it's not what I want. I do like this take on the Nuclear Family ; )
I'm in the minority of educated, semi-intelligent Americans I guess. I want a big family. Granted big to me is four children, but still. Westerners typically only produce one to two children per couple. That's the wrong ratio to prolong the species people!
The mental rejects are the ones having multiple children. America's brightest are reluctant to reproduce for a number of reasons. Most seem to be waiting for the right time. Whether that is financially, age-wise, career-wise or whatever, they all seem to have their excuse. The perfect time will never come...have your children, everything will fall into place or you'll have to work at it, either way you are living life and making it worth it. Those who choose not to "bring a child into this world" are just adding to the problem, not helping solve it. Don't die without anyone to carry on your life or at least have yours truly intertwined with theirs. I guarantee you Oprah regrets not having her own heirs!
This is a call to action to all above average intelligent humans! Make babies with your superior DNA! Do not let the gene pool continue to "dumb down" because only uneducated religious nuts (yes I'm talking about you Catholics, Muslims, Mormons and Baptists!) overpopulate our planet. For a laugh and a frightening view of our future if things continue in the same direction, rent Idiocracy (with Maya Rudolph, Dax Shepard and Luke Wilson).

"You have one of each, now you're done!" Screw you, you presumptuous Biyatches!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Technologically Retarded

Between the IPhones, my work phone, our laptops, our desktop, the Wii, and my work laptop, we have Internet access from EIGHT places in our home.

Every stinking one of them is a different version of something. Obviously the IPhones are the same and my work cell and the Wii aren't really a problem. That said, HELLOOOO Adobe!!! Allow Mac/Iphone Safari users to view Flash content!
My work laptop has restrictions that the company placed to prevent me from downloading BAD things. So I don't have Flash player or Video Clip watching capabilities on my work laptop. No clue how to get around that, but it would be nice if I had. They also uninstalled the latest version of Internet Explorer because of some bug or whatever.

My desktop has a seriously outdated version of Adobe Acrobat but every time I try to update it, Adobe runs across some issue and cannot do it. Flash is the same way on both of our laptops. So I keep being told by website after website that my Internet Explorer is out of date and I need to switch to a more modern web browser.

So Youtube has a link to IE8 which I've tried multiple times to download and it runs into an error (surprise surprise, just like Adobe) and doesn't complete. I downloaded their little fix it program. The new error said something else was trying to restart the system so once again it couldn't be completed. For the 5th time, I attempted to do it again. Now it's back to square one with the original error.
Fuck this shit! These programmers are the IT nerds, shouldn't they just be able to work around issues as it installs? Hello geeks, you're not working with a blank slate on peoples PCs, what do people who are totally technically retarded doing? I hated Google Chrome, slowed my PC down something awful, so that option is out. I can use Firefox and probably should, but Fuck man, I don't want to be pushed into it simply because Microsoft is unable to do anything but waste hours of my life! ARGH!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

My Wife's Cousin proposed last night and his girl said yes! Congratulations Dustin & Stacey!

This will be the fifth year in a row for my generation of relatives to have a wedding. My Wife's younger brother Billy married Stacy in 2006. I married Tina in 2007. Dustin's older brother Eric married Nichola in 2008. Tina's youngest brother, Andy, married Casey this past October in 2009. Now The final cousin will marry in 2010.

There are a couple siblings who are WAAAY to young or are mentally handicapped on each side who will not be marrying, or won't be for a decade or two. That said, of these two parents, Tina's Mom and Mother's Older Brother, all of their babies are married off and starting families.

These two siblings' parents were engaged on Valentine's day 55 years ago. It's touching that we're wrapping it up with Dustin & Stacey getting engaged the day before. I'm so happy for these two.

This Valentine's Day wasn't over the top or anything, just nice. Hope it was for many others as well.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Avatar is Incredible

Wow! The story was really great. Pandora was unbelievable! The visuals were incredible! I loved this movie. The 3D was really cool too! You could feel the depth between characters, it added so much to the experience. Many points I moved to get out of the way of something in the foreground because my brain interpreted the movement so close to my personal space. Good job Mr. Cameron!

I'll admit, the 3D didn't always work for me, it was really distracting when they were running through the jungle. The commander with the scratches was out of focus a couple times. I also had trouble adjusting to the glasses the IMAX gave us, little head achy, but I think it's because I haven't seen but three movies now in 3D. Seriously though, those aren't important enough to reduce my reaction to the movie.

My brother-in-law didn't like how liberal the film was and how it depicted the military. Pull the stick out of your ass Billy. Movies take you out of reality. I'll admit, I've taken a story line to personally before. i.e. the moral of "House of Sand and Fog" which came out like 9 months after 9-11 was Americans hurt Muslims too! But it does seem that Billy becomes overly self-righteous often, so it isn't surprising that he didn't like this film, especially since he just enlisted.

Others complained about the White Savior Complex. Whatever, go enjoy this movie!!! If you want to complain about the plot or anything, great, but don't miss it in 3D. Don't be the only one who didn't give in to the hype and blow your chance to see a truly epic event!

Friday, February 12, 2010

2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver

Missed the opening ceremonies. Really sad about it. I've been surfing around on to catch up. So excited to watch the events. I hadn't heard about Georgia's Nodar Kumaritashvili dieing until I was scoping out the Luge. I was thinking, wow, that really looks awesome. I want to do it! Then I saw the article about him and that the opening ceremonies were dedicated to him and the flags were flying at half staff. His death is so sad. I'll admit though, I still want to do it. Seriously, what a rush that would be! Racing on that track, flying at 90 miles an hour with just you and a little mini sled! Yeah, Baby! So, good luck to all the Olympians! Go USA!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What's in a Name?

My name is unusual (Dorn). I am a junior, so I can't call it unique nor original. My wife's name isn't overly common (Tina), but isn't weird in any way like my own. So when we were naming our daughter, Jennifer, Jessica, Megan, Rachel, and other pretty common names weren't even up for grabs.
Don't get me wrong, I love Emily and Olivia, but they are the new Jane and Joan. Every name we came up with has a back story but I'm not going to go into any of them right now. We didn't know what we were having so we decided on two names. Roman Elijah and Berlin Elise. Obviously thematic, neither common, but neither whackadoo. My daughter is Berlin Elise Permenter, very strong yet feminine, no?
So, we've been working with new names for this second pregnancy. My wife likes Lorelei Clementine and I leaned toward Juliet Elizabeth. Both are ridiculously long names paired with my last name. We settled on Lorelei Juliet. The boy was even more debatable. We have Keiran Alexander, Declan Rhys and Finnegan Garrett. Guess what, we are having a boy. Figures doesn't it? Girl name, check. Not a girl, hmm.

Keiran is rather effeminate, so I think that one is off the table for now. I really love Declan, but our friends and family do not. That leaves Finn. It really is a fun name once shortened. The reception for Finn isn't 100% either. Most of my buddies suggest their own names...FYI, no, that's just weird. My deceased best friend is the exception as his name would be Finn's middle name.

Now, I've done it three times here and it would probably carry over into his life, I'd be shortening his name to Finn instead of Finnegan. General rules of thumb naming a child: 1.) Do not let them get made fun of because of their name (more than usual) because you can prevent it. 2.) Do not use your child's middle name as their first (Like myself, mother and'd think they would have learned how fucked up that can be, alas they did it any way) teachers and bosses are easily confused. 3.) Do not name a child something you intend to shorten, just shorten it on the birth certificate or go all the way.

So much pressure, this sticks with them for a lifetime (unless they become a star or have a sex change or become a criminal). This also shapes their personality in many ways. Ever thought Dweezil would be normal? Ever met a Jim or Scott you'd never forget?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Toilet Water in the Carpet

So my wife's cousin overflowed the toilet while he was here the other day. He's a special needs adult, but a very high functioning one. That said, embarrassment over came him and he didn't tell us what was happening until it was too late. The toilet flooded the hallway and came about three feet into the two adjacent rooms.

We sopped it up and left the fans going on the carpet, but weren't really concerned as the water appeared clear. Hello, toilets don't overflow with clear water jack asses! So yesterday the smell was gag-tastic!Reading up online, the CDC recommends removing the carpet. Yeah, I'm a Broke, Broke...
So I used a container of baking soda on each carpet area, luckily the hallway is tiled. The smell seems to be gone today. I'm going to treat it with an enzyme product that should eat any poop bacteria that could be dangerous. I'll borrow my parents steam cleaner this weekend too. Hopefully this solves it.

I don't want to think of the consequences...seriously!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Eco Chic = Overpriced Trash

Not even sure how I ended up following InSytle Magazine on Twitter, but what ever, it's there now. They posted:
We're Obsessed! Marni's recycled rubber necklace.

I randomly decided to click it, after all, Valentine's Day is next week!This is an interesting necklace. It is even more so because they used old tires to create the base under the bling. Then I glanced down at what Marni was selling it for....$747.00.

Holy Shit! They are calling it Eco Chic, I think any one who pays that much for some feathers, rubber and craft store gems is a retard. Hello, it's recycled, not gold dipped!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tallywacker sighting!

Well, the ultrasound says so anyway! He's already 9 ounces, crazy no? I didn't even realize we could find out this early...17.5 weeks.

We did not find out with Berlin before she was born if she was a boy or girl. The surprise was fun, but stressful all the same. This time I didn't want to wait. I'm glad I didn't, we have very few boy things (yes a few as everyone assumed Berlin was a boy, after all, all pregnant women have and want boys right?) just green and yellow or girly stuff.

So, I wanted a boy with the first one but knew she was a girl before she was born. This one, I wanted another girl. I thought two girls under two years a part would be closer than any other arrangement. But I knew this one was a boy. Guess that psychic Scorpio trait is coming out huh?

I'm going to have a SON! Incredible, now we just have to settle on a name.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Special Olympians

My wife's Aunt, Uncle and Cousin stayed with us last night. They came to town so her cousin, Blair, could bowl in the Special Olympics State tournament. It was a team competition, one with two Special Olympians and two sponsors. Blair Boy's team came in first in their flight! Way to go buddy, high game of 201. I'm pretty sure his brother owes him a steak dinner for that score. Here he is with his gold medal!It reminded me of high school when I would work with my sister's class mates and help out at her Special Olympics meets and whatnot. I'm going to be father to a second child soon. I have to start being the example of what I want my kids to become. Giving back to the community is something I really believe is important. This might be a good avenue for me to go toward as I have a lot of experience and frankly not everyone is cut out to work with the handicapped. I'll give it some thought and research before I settle on anything.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Valentine's Day, Are You Up for the Challenge?

Short Post today, more to show a funny card that I did not purchase to give to my wife.

The sentiment is still there...honestly, it's all the beach we can afford right now.
Do you think people are shunning these little holidays because the economic crunch is on? Or do you think guys will try to make up for a shallow Christmas by doing something special (note I didn't say extravagant) for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, etc.?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Race Exclusion in a Modern World?

I'd like to weigh in on the Vanity Fair "Young Hollywood" cover that is garnering so much controversy. As a courtesy for the curious I'll admit I am white and I am male.
I've read blogs and comments about this cover which includes ALL white girls on the fold out cover. The previous issues produced under the same premise have not been quite so alabaster but, as they say in sales, you are only as good as your last month's record. That said, this seemed pretty par for the course.

Firstly, I'd like to note that there are specifically Hispanic publications and Black publications, Vanity Fair is probably as close to a White publication as the NAACP will allow. So why is it surprising that this is what we see? Remember that ultimately they are selling to a target audience. If Jet targeted White readers they probably wouldn't have nothing but Black people in their magazine. (Does that make Tiger Woods officially White because he was on last month's Vanity Fair cover?)

Secondly, I'd like to note that it "Affirmative Action" definitely touched Hollywood and all other media outlets. We can see this on Black shows that have a single white person or family and the reverse on a predominately White show where there is a token Black, Hispanic and/or Asian. (I won't go down the rabbit hole of how successful "minority characters" are on a white show and how retarded "white characters" are on a Black show.) So now we expect a forced setting where a bunch of White folks fit a topic and they have to quickly come up with a "Ethnic" to throw in to the bunch.

Wouldn't that type of contrived connection offend people more? I'm not going to argue how Gabby Sidibe deserved or didn't deserve to be included or why Zoe Saldana was too old or why Amanda Seyfried and Kristen Stewart were on the Vanity Fair's cover for "Hollywood's New Wave." I would just like to start seeing people accept that race doesn't matter. People are People, be famous or successful because of you, not because of your skin color.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

In the Event of a Water Landing...

To steal from Comedian Robert Schimmel here...Water Landing? You mean crashing in the fucking ocean?

I have some issues with the people who work in the air travel industry. I know everyone has bad days and passengers who don't travel often are righteously retarded. It just seems if you've chosen this line of work, you'd anticipate it and work with it, not against it.

First the folks who take your bags and give you boarding tickets - about 50/50 on pleasant but efficient versus testy and indignant. The folks working security screening, sadly to say, are probably the most consistent and friendly. Don't break a rule and you'll have no problem. Then there are those sad little wonders working the food courts throughout airports around the country. These people are given security clearance to get in and out of the airports as if they were pilots or FAA administrators. They are the most disgruntled, unapproachable, dim-witted, jack asses I've ever encountered. If you are too big of a retard to be employed by Taco Bell in the real world, you'll fit right in at Quizno's at Pittsburgh airport. I could write a dozen blogs on that single experience alone, but suffice it to say, I've never really had a good airport food purchasing experience...seriously.

Ticketing gate people think they are rulers of the earth, I'll leave it that because out of the 20 or so bad experiences I've had, only one time have I caused the issue that became the point of contention between them and me. However, I was always made to feel as though I was retarded beyond repair and I should be offering blow jobs to merely be in their presence.

So, once inside the plane, it's a different story. Flight Attendants are over qualified cocktail waiters. That said, they have the service industry mentality and because you're stuck on the little flying tin box with them, they're more apt to remain pleasant with you.

That is until this last trip from Baltimore to San Antonio. I rarely see a male flight attendant, but this flight had two! One was the stereo typical gay man, but the other was a very intimidating rather large black man. His biceps were the size of my head. He was reviewing the emergency exit protocol with the folks a few aisles in front of us. He seemed to take his job more seriously than most, but none the less, he was dealing with a completely full plane and therefore safety was the utmost priority. After giving his spiel, he pointed individually at each passenger in the seats on this row and asked them for a yes or no answer. "Can you handle this responsibility and can you lift the 50 pound door?" All on the left confirmed, but he gets to number 5 of 6 on the right and encounters a little smart ass middle aged woman. I couldn't make out what she said, but it was definitely not a single word answer. He raised his voice and asked her to take this seriously as she would be putting all our lives in danger if she is unable to do it. Idiot still didn't say yes and he threatened to throw her off the plane. He got the other male flight attendant and she complied, but holy hell? Later as he worked our area, he was funny and pleasant, so it really was just an idiot who jacked with the wrong guy!

The moral of the story, Airport Personnel Suck and Don't fuck with people who can eject you from a plane!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Ground Hogs Day From Punxsutawney, PA

The In-Laws got into Pittsburgh on Sunday and we all drove into Punxy on Monday morning. We are staying at the famous Pantall Hotel (pretty underwhelmed by the front of house staff, but otherwise, I'm glad we are here). This is the hotel where the cast and crew of Groundhog's Day stayed while filming. We explored the town yesterday and in the evening we attended the "Inner Circle" Banquet.
The Inner Circle are the folks in charge of this town's most famous denizen, Punxsutawney Phil, the Prognosticator of Prognosticator, the King of the Ground Hogs.
It was a small town event held in the high school cafeteria so it had some quirky charm and the emcee was hilarious. They went around the room of roughly 500 people and spoke with those of us who traveled great distances to be here. Being from Texas, they called us out and asked us if we had any celebrations like this one down there. I think I threw him for a loop with my answer..."None where the Hog comes out Alive!" Half the room quickly sucked in air, the rest cracked up. He quickly moved on to California. Slight Faux Pas?

Stephen Tobolowsky, AKA Ned Ryerson from the movie Grounghog's Day, BING, was the guest speaker. He was funny and extremely personable. I hadn't connected it until last night that his last name in the movie is the same as his last name in Glee. Here's a picture of my wife and daughter with him.

We woke up around 3 am today to get ready to go down to Gobbler's Knob for Phil's big appearance. It was roughly 2 degrees (yes that's a single digit, not a typo) so we had lots and lots of layers. I wore the kiddo in a Moby Wrap for most of the 5 hour festivities. I think there were about 15,000 people on that hill watching cheesy jr. high dancers ("sometimes I question your commitment to Sparkle Motion"), wacky emcees and a really long fireworks show waiting for Phil to make his weather prediction.
Around 7:20 as the crowd chanted, PHIL, PHIL, PHIL, PHIL, the furry weatherman came out of his hole at the Knob and saw his shadow. The Inner Circle President, Bill Deeley, listened to Phil's prognostication and announced there will be 6 more weeks of Winter!

Once we got back to the hotel, we went to breakfast where Phil did a meet and greet with everyone. It's been a trip that I'll not soon forget, but I am most definitely ready to enjoy the warmth of Texas, snuggled in my own bed.