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“Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment."
--Solomon Short

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3/25/15

3/26

--label on a key holder

3/27

      I was checking in a beer order when I overheard the owner talking to a customer about a local brewery. I said "Do you want their [highly-sought after, difficult-to-get double ipa]? We literally got it in minutes ago!" With difficulty, I got him a 4-pack. "Perfect timing!" he said. "Yes," I agreed in pain, "it's all about the timing."
      After a terrible night's sleep the night before, I really wanted to sleep for about 10 hours. I slept a very deep sleep with crazy and detailed dreams (about a science expo in some alternate reality where the Soviet Union bioengineered weird little lifeforms that escaped and were crawling all over the place. An American sheep bit me and I got anthrax from that, and the Americans and Soviets kept blaming each other while I went blind and died, but then they gave me a virtual reality suit that sent me to Let me just stop here, before my dream got really weird). I woke up just 2 minutes before the alarm was due to go off at 7, which was good. As I hadn't set it. And I normally sleep to about 9/930. I could've been very late to work. Good timing!
      It almost was; there was a breakdown on the slowest part of the highway. In the center of the merge lane of the onramp, so there was just enough room for cars to squirm by it. An emergency vehicle pulled up to it just as I passed, and flashing lights means a huge backup. I was only 4 minutes late. Good timing, since it was raining and that always adds minutes to the commute.
      I had 150 cases of beer coming in, but they were late. A liquor delivery came. I saw that his handtruck had wet wheels, but I put that to the rain and sent him all the way to the liquor aisle. That's when we both noticed that the bottom case of Stolichnaya 1.75s was gushing vodka from the bottom. Shipped half a world a way from Russia, straight onto a Connecticut floor. The guy quickly restacked the rest of it--and then just stared at the flood. I said "We'll mop it up, just get it out of here!"
      I grabbed the mop, got the worst of it, took one step, and violently slipped. I didn't fall! I twisted in just the right way to throw my back out, right at the point where my spinal arthritis lurks.
      It did not feel good.
      That's when the owner came in. If he'd come in 5 minutes earlier (he was late, not because of traffic), he would've been the one checking it in. Maybe he would've slipped on the vodka, but he's half may age and doesn't have that spine thing that I do. Perfect timing! For one of us!
      Not me. I was in a lot of pain. If only I'd twisted the other way!--but the precise results of twisting in mid-slip is not a thing your brain gives a lot of analysis to, and I would've gone head first into metal shelving. I then put the whole order away by myself. Rather slowly. A coworker said "We have ibuprofen!" but that's the type of pain I don't want dulled, because then I just forget about it and make it worse. I have to work 10 hours tomorrow...
      The pain wasn't unbearable--yet. So I asked a coworker who was coming in anyway to cover for me, if he could, although he said maybe he couldn't, as he depends on a ride to work. Then the biggest beer delivery came in, and, yes, I started putting it away. "Rest it, then work it!" my physical therapist said, while the driver and I discussed our years of lower lumbar pain. I largely communicated with "grunt" as every fifth word.
      "I can make it!" I thought "Rest it, work it!" And then the other guy came in earlier than he said he could, and it wasn't like I could tell a guy with no ride to get a ride home and come back 4 hours later.
      So I went home, losing 5 hours pay, and just rested and worked it. Still hurts. And I have no idea how tomorrow will be when I wake up. But it's all about the timing! Bad, bad timing.

      I sort of remember Red Buttons, as a washed-up comic who appeared on 1970s game shows, and that paratrooper who got his shoes shot off in The Longest Day. Apparently in the early days of TV, he was a gigantic star and also a gigantic fucking asshole. He hired most of the greatest comedy writers of his time, and then fired them after a week. Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, the guy who would create MASH--buncha hacks compared to Red Buttons!

3/29

4/13

      Spending way too much time over 2 weeks to get your website simply there doesn't induce much writing once it's back.
      Remember our friend, the Swedish Coat Factory that redirected the News? It wasn't them--for the fourth time--but the Chinese Knock-Off Shoe Company, for the third time. Every other time, I called ReadyHosting and bang, it was fixed. Now, the site just went down. A call told me that my "site has 4000 malware files, and it's suspended. We put them in this folder, delete them." Well, I would kinda think that preventing malware and getting rid of it is YOUR FUCKING JOB, READYHOSTING. But I deleted them, and my site was taken off suspension by ReadyHosting, which you would think meant that it was back online, but they did nothing.
      Then, a few days later, another email said the 4000 files were back again. I deleted them, and my site remained invisible as Hawaiian cows. Then I got the email AGAIN. But this time--oh, I should call the "experts at SiteLock," their strategic corporate partners in crime, and pay them to fix it for me. Also, I should fix it myself, and the files this time are "in the attachment to this email." The email had not attachment, it went to the latest in my long series of trouble tickets, and trouble tickets have no fucking attachments.
      So on my latest call, RH explained--well, really nothing about SiteLock, because at the 10 day point, I just wanted this fucking thing over with. $189 for a one-time sweep and a year's worth of supposed protection. And of course, my site remained "suspended."
      Getting home on the 10th, SiteLock insisted that I call them. Do you think they wanted more money? Long story short, yes, of course, for the SUPA-POWERFULS firewall. $69 a month, on top of the $89 year's worth. I refused. After 2 fucking weeks of bullshit, I admit to being curt with the operator in a "What is this going to cost me?" way, but she wasn't very pleasant back, so yeah, nice extortion scheme you guys got going. Her spiel boiled down to "Nice site ya got...wouldn't want to see nothin' BAD happen to it, capiche?"
      Interesting that "all of a sudden" Readyhosting suddenly stopped preventing the malware and flushing their own toilet. It sure as fuck wasn't coming from anything I uploaded.
      Of course, the site came online at That Time of the Month, when I work so much I had no desire to update. Also, on a Saturday just as I was rushing to work. I only checked that it finally was up, not what was here until I got to work. "Oh, right, they made me repeatedly upload my entire page, I didn't know there was unedited content. Eh, who's going to look at the page on a Saturday after it's been down for 2 weeks?"
      Well, at least 3 of you! Sorry about the garbled alphabet soup you tried to digest. And also to everyone who's looked since then, hoping it updated. Here's what I could've written, if I wasn't busy thinking of how many of Readyhosting owner's Mercedes tires I could've been slashing. It ain't much.

      I take online surveys for points, mainly iTunes gift certificates. One I got began with this. What do you think the survey is about?

      ...what? "Why, yes, I have been with some malarias while pushing my unicycle down a garbage disposal while singing Aida arias! OH MY GOD, we are like soulmates!! ...Wait--painted my whole house?! I didn't paint my whole house, I only painted the garbage disposal! Get away, you freakish asshole!"
      And of course, the survey was about what type of beer I drink. I think it was written by a frat boy halfway through a 30 pack of Natty Ice. "I can rides ah unicycle--wait...gotta vomit. Gonna paint the whole frat house with--HOO-WAAAALP"
      The next survey was about Sam's Club, which is for people who think they should pay to go to Wal-Mart. I was asked to not divulge in any way the information I was about to see, and so pretend you're not reading this. C'mon, you couldn't read it for 2 weeks anyway! It was a series of print ads that I was supposed to rate as to how likely I'd shop at Sam's. Since there was no button for "I'd shop there when Satan says 'Wow, are my nuts cold!'" I started it.
      Did you know that Sam's has an on-premises butcher and fishmonger? That's almost as good as an off-premises butcher and fishmonger, who comes into your living room and hacks bloody meat chunks! I was to choose between ads about the on-premises butcher and fishmonger, and ones that said "Wal-Mart wants everyone you've ever met to work for sub-minimum wage and STARVE TO DEATH so the Walton family can buy a solid platinum Death Star." So I voted for every single one that featured the on-premises butcher and fishmonger. He was such a happy butcher and fishmonger!
      "And what do you do for a living?" "I'm a fishmonger. I MONG FISH. Just for the halibut! I stop whenever I get a splitting haddock and yell OH, COD SAVE ME! Because I'm in a Franciscan Order, and specialize in the genus Lophius with my trained chimp Michael. Yes, he's Mike the monkfish fishmonger monk monkey!
      "...And you?"

4/14

4/15

      Not a lot going on right now. ("A lot" begins in a week--that annual book sale that my purchases will be described in a level of detail called "excrutiating", antiquing with Jessie, see previous comment, Spamalot at the dinner theater with my second cousin in a role, 2 or 3 movies (Avengers 2: The One With Tron, Rifftrax presents The Room: The Mockingating, Mad Max: The One Without the Mouth-Foaming Crypto-Fascist Lead Actor, me standing outside the theater screaming "Tron was NOT in that! RIPOFF. Also, Max did not once blame the Jews!")
      I did go to the People's Choice Pizza Soviet for wings. Pizza Guy said "How saucy do you like it?" and I paused, thinking "That sounds like a line from a 1980s porno" and responded "HOT! As hot as you can make them!" without realizing that made it sound even more like a porno. An older employee said "Insanity Sauce! I'm afraid to even try that!" And, whoa, they were hot the way I like them: dressed as 1966 Dawn Wells in her tiny shorts really spicy hot. "Eat 3 and gasp for breath" hot!
      Today was to be a "go from my pajamas to the shower to my tiny shorts pajamas" day. But it was the first beautiful day after our horrible winter that I had off, so I went for a wee walk and got the mail. What, I got a package? A return address from Greater Good? I didn't order anything! Intentionally, anyway. Sober, anyway. I narrowed it down to Hot Babes Sending Me Something. Well, I'm seeing Ms Massachusetts in 2 weeks, so not Jess. The Omaha Hottie? More likely the California Cutie!

      DJ, you're in the way, buddy--

      Yes, Lila sent me a cat-shaped cat food bowl! "I know Killsy's eyes aren't blue, but this was so darned cute I couldn't resist! With love (and hopefully less feline acne), Sophie, Moe, Fergus and Lucky's mama."
      Miss Kays did have blue eyes, until she was 3 months, not weeks, old. I think that's why she's mine--blue-eyed, all-white cats are deaf. But given her eyes, her pointed face, big ears and general chattiness, I think she has mucho Siamese in her. Jess said "That's probably why she isn't deaf!" which isn't something that I'd thought of, but probably true.
      The bowl was from "PETRAGE." Umm...okay. Maybe keep your enraged pet away from me then. Oh, it's "PETRAGE(paw emoji)US." So, "PetRageous"? Or "Raging Pet (Stomps Your Face), AMERICA!" It's hard to say.

4/16

4/17

      Well, here's a question I've never been asked in 16 years selling booze: "Do you have any old refrigerators you're throwing out as scrap? I want to turn one into an incubator because I'm breeding snakes."

      I had dinner with my Mom to celebrate my birthday. I had dinner with her and the family a month ago to celebrate hers. And then, 2 weeks later, dinner with the family to celebrate Easter. And in 2 weeks, I'll see her, a sister and a niece at Spamalot. That's 4 times in 6 weeks, whereas I've seen Jess twice all year.
      She'd just come from her smuggling operation. I have a nephew who lives in the Bahamas--you read that right--and she and his mother were sneaking in heroin and several machine guns. Actually, that's only how they acted. It was a satellite radio, a cheese cutter, and a bunch of pots and pans. There are heavy import duties on anything not a "gift," and "a bunch of used pots and pans" is kinda hard to explain as a "gift" beyond "Well, we're super cheap bastards." They were terrified of getting through customs, as we were all raised Irish Catholic and feel guilty for things we haven't done yet. Everyone else got waved through, but for some reason they got questioned. Maybe the fact they were likely sweating as if they had suitcases full of anthrax hand grenades with "I HEART ISIS" stickers on them.
      "Do you have any...gifts? TAXABLE--GIFTS?! YOU MAGGOTS!" they expected to be asked. "Do you have anything besides clothes?" they were asked in a monotone. This is the way one phrases a question when you want the answer to be "No", so you can move onto the next thousand people. Then, "Do you have any gifts? Or draws?"
      "Wait, what--what was that?"
      "Gifts or draws. DRAWS."
      "I...don't understand what you're saying..."
      (rolls eyes) "If you don't know what I'm talking about, then I guess you don't have any! NEXT!"
      Mom later figured out the accent and realized what she was being asked: "Do you have any drones?" The guy they were staying with confirmed that they ask you that now. I suppose that if you come from the USA, you're expected to have a swarm of Predator drones around you, looking to kill the 159th In A Row Number Two Man In al Qaeda, and any random toddlers within his city block.

4/18

4/19

      Well, today was interesting. For no reason I'm sure of, I was awake just long enough to go to sleep again. All day. Well, the cats liked it. That's their regular schedule anyway.

      I took another survey. It asked about the last time I drank alcohol in a place that serves alcohol for drinking. (It kind of repeated itself) That would be the beloved Someplace Special in Putnam CT, with a certain long-legged lady with freckles. You know who I mean! (She was on stilts and Freckles is her pet Komodo dragon. Damn thing ate 3 people)
      The 99 Restaurant and Red Lobster were names I recognized, but the rest were utter cyphers to me.
      ALE HOUSE
      "We were thinking of going with 'Beer Hovel' or 'Place Where You Ingest Alcohol and Then Vomit,' but it's not like we're English majors here!"
      REDNECK HEAVEN
      "You can't miss it! Turn right at the burning cross, then look for the synagogue covered in spray-painted swastikas!"
      MELLOW MUSHROOM
      "You can't miss it! Look for the melting sky and the talking clouds, turn left at the...the...OH MY GOD THE COLORS ARE SINGING"
      RICKS CRAB
      "Formerly Dicks Herpe."
      FRICKERS
      "If you glance at the sign from a distance, it totally says FUCKERS! Oh God, we are so awesome!" (high fives another shithead)
      NATIVE NEW YORKER
      (pounds on car hood) "HEY LADY I'M DRINKIN' HERE!!"
      ROOF BROTHERS SOUTH
      "Oh, and I suppose you've never named your place using the leftover Scrabble tiles!"
      SERV-CAR LA JOYA
      "HU-MAN. WE SERV THE CARS. YOU WILL LA ENJOYA THIS! HA HA. IT IS A HU-MAN JOKE WE MAKE. YES, ALL OUR BEER SMELLS LIKE HU-MAN BLOOD. THIS IS NOR-MAL."
      STUMBLE INN
      "D'ya get it? Because we're drunk too!" (falls down)
      TWIN PEAKS
      "Try our damn fine apple pie coffee stout!"
      TWIN PEAKS
      "Yes, this was in the survey twice. But here your order is filled by a dwarf who talks backwards!" DWARF: "!boj siht etah I"
      QUAKER STEAK & LUBE
      This I've actually heard of, and it's still the worst name for a restaurant besides "MR SHARK: Where You're the Menu!"

4/20

4/22

4/23      An email I sent to Jess titled "Byron has a lip thing."

      I just noticed it yesterday. It may be a few days older. I caught it because his hair has NEVER been grey there. Sorry, the pics are big and also the best I could get.

      One

      Two

      He doesn't want me to touch it, but he doesn't want me to touch anything below his back anyway. He had no trouble eating or drinking, and I'm not sure he's even aware he has it. There's been some fighting with DJ, maybe he got what he was dishing out. Maybe he got MORE than that. Like I said, it's recent, but if it looks bad to you, well...gonna have to get him to the vet.

      And what do you guys think? I'm giving it a few days to see if it goes away, unless it begins giving him obvious annoyance, or he has trouble eating. Yes, any other cat I'd immediately bring to the vet, but my other cats don't get crippling mental illnesses from going to the vet.
      I should add that I'm always trying to get him to raise his chin, so I can check out his acne, so this may be only 2 days old.

4/24

      My on-call vet (Jess) says that Byron's carbuncle is feline acne. I'm keeping an eye on it--not physically directly on it, that'd be super gross--but his chin acne is receding, and he has no contact with plastic. His wet food is placed in styrofoam bowls, but it always has been. So, confusing. It does look a bit better than the last 2 days.

      Woo, Annual Historical Society Book Sale! I actually didn't get that much, but I'll go 2 more times. They have so much they can't put it all out at once.
      Since I know you care, 2 CDs: a Narada New Age sampler, and Cantus Artica by...bear with me, he's Finnish...Einojuhani Rautavaara, born to parents on the day they had a big sale on vowels. I came so close to buying this back in my Lechmere music manager days, so worth it for $2. 3 books: a Bob & Ray book, as there always seems to be one Bob & Ray book every year. Don't Know Much About History: Everything You Need To Know About American History But Never Learned, a 670-page slab about what the title says. I opened it at random to the story about Uncle Tom's Cabin, written by a Hartford, CT native. And Panati's Extraordinary Endings of Practically Everything, and Everybody. It's by a guy named Panati. A quick read at only 470 pages, let's flip through: The Cambrian Extinction, which I just read a book about, Henry the Eighth's unfortunate brides, oh, cats can live to 27? (looks at Killsy, fast approaching her sweet 16th) Both of those last 2 look like they'd never been read.
      Seven dollars for the lot. I'll go this Sunday, then the following one for the 50% off sale. It'll give me something to do before seeing Spamalot again.

      7 Lost American Slang Words. It's spizzerinctum! An English teacher in high school said that his favorite Elizabethan word was "prog," meaning somebody who pushed their way through crowds. We could use that word today. If a guy's doing that at a Rush concert, he could be a Prog prog!

4/25

      COWORKER: That will be 18.05.
      CUSTOMER: That's the year I was born!
      COWORKER: You look good for...um...one...hundred...and...ten?
      This math is why we have computers to do our counting now. Or maybe it's because of having computers to do our counting now.
      ME, an hour later: That's 19.07.
      CUSTOMER: That's the year I was born!
      ME: You don't look a day over a hundred!
      And she gave me a dirty look and left angry. You're the one that made the "joke," lady, and you looked 70! Also...that was weird, twice in an hour.
      It was at least better than "If it doesn't scan, IT MUST BE FREE HAHAHAHA!!" Why every person who says this thinks they're the first person in history ever to make that non-joke and yet always adds their own laugh track like it's Gilligan's Island, I dunno. Just like after 40 years, I still get "OHH NOOO MR BILL!" followed by gales of laughter from not-me. The Drunken Toddler did it every few months, apparently thinking it was both brilliant and something he had never said--for 11 years. Well, at least there's one person I won't hear it from! (As he's dead. I wish every original "wit" who says it was too)

4/26

4/27

      I carried out a case of beer for a customer, and he popped his trunk and said "Just put it on the cow manure." I thought it was a weird joke, but I put it on the bag of cow manure. Kind of closer than I like my drinks to be near manure.

      I watched Interstellar. It started off brilliant, with a documentary feel for a story set in the future about a dying Earth. Then the science got a bit off. A planet for colonization orbits a black hole, so "the gravity is so heavy that an hour here is 7 years on Earth!" Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's how gravity works. Wouldn't kill the astronauts that high, just, you know, go all dog years on them. Whatever, I'll just accept that. Then we find out the truth in the film's most important lines, via Michael Caine's deathbed confession: "Wuh bluh buh duh muh..." The person he's talking to replies in shock "Muh blug huh?!" It's a Christopher Nolan movie, and he made one in which Batman and his enemy exchanged long chunks of dialogue like "RASP rasp wheeze rasp!" and "Mmph mmph RASP gasp urgh."
      I guess it was "There are no habitable planets, it's a hoax, just propaganda to give people hope!" because the movie also thinks the Apollo landings were a hoax (yes, that's at the very beginning). So, your propaganda was...about your Top Secret Program that no one's heard of, to give the people who've never heard of it hope? Da Fuq? But you built actual spaceships and sent them through wormholes and...This was already at the point where I was laughing at the movie for the wrong reasons, and soon the second false ending came. I checked the time left, and it was 20 minutes. "10 of that will be credits" I thought, "but 10 more minutes is too much." and I turned it off. I'm guessing Astronaut Farmer man made it home to his daughter. Didn't care if the characters lived or died at that point.
      His daughter's name was "Murf." Someday soon, Nolan will make a movie where every line of dialogue is "Murf. Murf MURF, murf murf murrrrrfffff" followed by Batman coughing up a hairball.

4/28

      Dr Oz: I Am Just Helping Complete Idiots Be Their Best Selves.

4/29

      "I love going to Putnam," I thought, "but I hate the drive." I got off the highway, drove a mile and--the road there was closed?! I took the detour. And drove. And drove. 10 minutes later, it put me back on the highway. The highway was 2 minutes behind me, dammit! I feel sorry for the businesses on that road, especially the animal clinic. I'd hate to be rushing a pet there for an emergency and then discover I had to find where the next closest place was.
      I ran into road construction 5 times, the last one blocking the traffic despite no one coming in the opposite direction. Then I got stuck behind a guy doing 10 MPH below the limit, and when I finally ditched him, got behind a fucking farm tractor hauling manure. "Yeah, this is a load of manure!"
      Jess was running late herself--because of road construction, we both hate that drive--so it wasn't so bad. I suggested "How about we go to the new place, and if most stuff is unpriced, and the stuff that is is overpriced, we leave. We really don't need to go upstairs to look at the 20 foot long table of dirty bottles. Unless you need dirty bottles. We can always check the trash cans." 9 months the place has been open, and still...let's just leave it at we didn't look at any dirty bottles.
      We went to the comics shop to see if they had any Jem & the Holograms variant covers by our friend Amy Mebberson. Sadly, issue #1 was gone, and I so wanted an Aja. Jess would've wanted a Jem. They had 1 issue of #2 with the Misfits. Do not feel bad if you didn't understand those sentences: you may not have been a young girl in the 80s, and I'm probably the only straight male of my age group who does. She's going to check her comic shop, but I suppose I could ask Amy herself and maybe even get an autographed one. Do feel bad that we didn't get them, because I was going to take photos of us miming the cover's poses. Also, there were 4 people working there, and all of them loudly complaining about how the boss doesn't order right. Must be a fun place to not work at.
      At the art gallery, a crow cawed loudly from a phone line while staring at us. "The messenger of death!" she joked. "It's trying to tell us something!" Inside, she liked a picture/painting of a dead bird. "You would," I said. Then she waxed philosophical about the transience of life, "It's dead, and no one sees his body, just walks by, like his life had no meaning..." which went on for about 2 minutes. Oddly, we had both forgotten about the crow.
      One of our favorite places had a "UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP" sign, and, wow, sure did. You could walk in there! There wasn't crap piled upon crap! We'd rather have less stuff to choose and be able to see it without our eyes glazing over. We didn't buy anything, although I was tempted by the $6 inflatable blimp. But where would I hang it, where DJ wouldn't try to climb up and take a lunge at it?
      We went to the Big Place. She got a bookmark, a Mickey Mouse paint set complete with dried up squares of umixed paint (that fell on the floor when she tried to pay), and 2 handbags, all cheap. I didn't see anything interesting, except for a book for very young kids called "Cookie's Week," which begins with a kitten who falls in the toilet and continues on her merry ways, causing havoc throughout the house. Silly book, that's called "Young Byron's Life!" And the book "SPAG," about a guy you've never heard of, which I mention here because Kitsplut's bestie is moving to Holyoke MA, and I said "It's too bad she's going there after Spag's closed. It was like a BIG!Lots for the insane. I only went once, and it had a giant Stalinist-style statue of Spag himself, and an endcap of rat poison leading into the toy aisle." And he also commisioned a book about himself! He must've been a super great egomaniac to not work for. There was a WWII poster of a dramatic falling bomb with the words "STOCK UP ON TOILET SOAP NOW!" which I guess was for when you walk in and say "WOO, who dropped a bomb in here?!"
      We discussed more serious things over lunch. I had the buffalo pizza, she had the small calzone. If you remember our last trip, it's the size of a fucking football. A large must be the size of a sleeping bag.
      "Remember to always end your essays with a summary and closing line." Summary and Closing Line.

4/30

5/1

5/3

      Arrgh, apparently there are problems AGAIN with my page--or more accurately, Readyhosting and/or SiteLock. I can see it just fine. Other people can't. It looked like it was not being shown on certain browsers, except when it would. My hit counter dropped to just users of Firefox or IOS, but there's an IE and now a Chrome in there, so I don't know. You can't get there by Googling, as I assume they visited during the downtime. I am so sick of this shit. And I have better things to do than get on the phone again, just to be told that I need to pay SiteLock some more protection money.

      Better things such as--Seeing Spamalot for the third time! With Mom, sister Pat, her husband John, and niece Cassie. (Jessica was asked, but she's currently in Buffalo, NY. Dealing with family crap--and not even her family's crap--so she wished she was here instead).
      I've seen the Tony-award winning Broadway version, the off-Broadway touring company, and now--the Broad Brook edition! Which would be the historic part of East Windsor, CT. One of the featured players was my second cousin, Randy Davidson.
      I think I last saw him when he was 8? He's probably in his early 30s by now. I remember him then, as I was close friends (well, close for me, anyway) with his mother. He was play-acting with a friend on her lawn one summer day, and she whispered to me, "I think he's going to grow up to be an actor. And maybe gay. I have no problem with either!" Good prediction on his mom's part.
      It was in an 1892 brick building with giant wood beams, repurposed many times over its lifetime. When we arrived, Pat said "We're so early! Randy's not even here!" Mom said, reasonably, "How do you know?!" And there he was, on the back step smoking a cigarette. Mom said "That can't be good for his voice!" Pat replied "Why don't you tell him that."
      The seating capacity was maybe 150, but it was almost full, which is good for a playhouse that you have drive to through residential neighborhoods to reach. The "Emergency exits are at the" speech mentioned that "We're next door to the fire department. If you hear sirens, please stay in your seats."
      And a good audience mix--the really old people you expect at these things, but also families with kids and teens. Part of their funding was ticket sales, but also a raffle. That's at a place where everyone's a volunteer. But they have rent to pay, along with all the bills the rest of us have.
      If you ever have a chance to see Spamalot near you, GO. I was expecting a dinner theater level experience, but these people were very good. Sure, there was a flubbed line or spotlight hitting off or two, and the production was done as best they could afford, with the lines rewritten to reflect this (Arthur: "Here we are in a really expensive forest rather sparsely made forest," or such), although there was a very large wooden rabbit. But the acting was great overall, the dancing was amazing--these people work at actual day jobs, remember--and, wow, they had great voices. They sang great while dancing, yeah, try that sometime. Try singing to your iPod while power walking! The Lady of the Lake even handled her demanding songs amazingly.
      The sets were, of course, minimal, and the effects even more. When the great wizard Tim appears, he's not on "visible wires" but an aluminum stepladder. The Killer Rabbit is--a hand puppet!! oh wait that's what it was on Broadway too.
      Am I biased because I had a family member in the cast? No. They were all universally good. The singing I expected, but the dancing by everybody...I guess tapdancing is still a useful skill in some settings (there was a lot of tapdancing, and it didn't look easy).
      As we left, the fire department next door's sirens wailed. A couple behind us snarled "Well, this was a complete waste of money!" and "I couldn't wait for it to end!" Mom said "They couldn't say that after they left and got to their car? Didn't they think about who could hear them?" and I said "Like--someone's family?"
      And Randy was with the rest of the cast outside, greeting the theatergoers as they left, and was thrilled to see us. "Everyone says they like my hair like this," he said, touching his blond pageboy wig, "I don't think it's a good look for me." An apparent regular said "I wasn't sure it was you!" and he took it off, showing his dark red hair, "It's me!"
      It's a really funny show, and, if it appears in any form near you, just go. If you're a LTRotD, there's no way you wouldn't like it, whether you're a fan of musical theater or Python or just like smart funny stuff.

      I thank you for being able to read this. The Fifteen is currently the...Four or Five? *sigh* More calls to tech support await.

5/4

      If you thought I gave that performance of Spamalot a glowing review because it had a relative in it, think again. Here's a review that gives it high praise, especially for my cousin Randy. (He's the one on the lower left in the photo) It makes a few minor nitpicks as I did, but it also makes one of its one, referring to the strangely flatulent Sir Bedevere as "Sir Belvedere." I think that was an 80's sitcom about King Arthur's butler.
      Randy will next be in Avenue Q. The one with the puppets. Yeah, I don't think that I'll miss that!

5/6

      I saw Avengers: The Age of Motown today, and the Hulk is terrible at Temptations karaoke.
      The movie wasn't bad. Certainly worth what I paid to see it (first matinee, $5.75). First movie, I had a lot to say about. This time...Well, we're kinda hitting superhero overload. And aren't there ten years worth of Marvel movies left? I've said for a while that eventually there will be so many superhero movies, and at least several bad ones, that the box office will drop way off. That DC is still making their money-losers is a sign of that. Then what's Marvel/Disney going to do with a pipeline filled with literally billions of dollars of movies sputters?
      Again, it wasn't bad. Worth a matinee viewing or a rental. The editing is this new standard of "A 5 second shot? The audience doesn't have the patience for that!" Especially in the first scene, which isn't quite Michael Bay in utter incoherence, but still too fast for the human mind to clearly follow. The character scenes should've been more deliberately edited as well. All the main characters get at least One Big Scene, which is good. And there are a lot of characters.
      All but me and 3 other guys waited for the credits to end. "Don't these people know there's always something at the end of a Marvel movie's credits?" I thought as I watched 95% of the audience leave. Well, SPOILER, here's what you see after the very end:
      "The Avengers will return."
      YEP. That's it. I guess those people leaving knew something I didn't.
      Trailers: Apparently, Tomorrowland really does involve a future dystopia! WOW NEVER SEEN THAT BEFORE. A reboot of Fantastic Four, who cares. Why not just throw Spider-Man in there and get all your reboot needs in one convenient location? In an example of "Hollywood's using all the ideas ever," it's The Man From U.N.C.L.E. By...Guy Ritchie?! Well, that's a def rental, at least. And...wait for it...ANT-MAN! The movie that made the world jump up, raise their fists, and yell "Who?" He's the character that even Marvel had no idea what to do with. He's Ant-Man, he's Giant-Man, he's Goliath, he's a bad guy, he's just some guy in a lab coat--I'm sure he's been through another dozen incarnations since I stopped following comics. The movie lost its director, star and writers, so it doesn't know what the movie's about either. He fights another bug guy. They're on a speeding train. It hits an obstacle and derails! It's a toy Thomas the Tank Engine train set, and in a long shot, it falls over...like it should. Like a cheap toy train set. The audience got a big laugh out of the absurdity, and since the replacement director, star and writers are known for comedies...one can hope that they're going to go for comedy even more than Guardians did.
      Of course, if they aren't, this could be the bad superhero movie that also derails the Marvel franchise. OTOH, the audience had a mild laugh at the trailer for Pixels, so I guess that anything can sell tickets.

5/7

5/8

5/9

      People here like to say "I like living in New England, because you get to experience all four seasons!"
      The highs were in the mid 50s last week. This week, nearly 90.
      Enjoy the four seasons! One week of Spring, one week of Fall, and 25 weeks each of Brutal Winter and Harsh Summer.
      But there's no climate change! It still gets cold in the Winter! Okay, months of a high half what it should be, and twice as much snow as normal! But half as normal and twice as much as normal is...Normal! IT AVERAGES OUT.

5/10

      Whoa, busy weekend! Partly Mother's Day, mainly nice weather. Well, 85 degrees in early May forbodes Evil Weather, but certainly not global warming! IT SNOWED IN MARCH so there, shut all the ups.
      Busy enough that I was on the register, even with 2 cashiers. To witness these exchanges:
      CUSTOMER: Cigarettes.
      COWORKER: What kind?
      "CIGARETTES!"
      "What kind of cigarettes?"
      "Newport 100--FORGET IT, I'LL GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!" (storms out)
      "How was I to know what cigarettes he wanted? I can't read his mind!"
      Today, same customer, coworker not present:
      "She asked me 'Have you been drinking?' I said No! She said "You're drunk!' Who is she to ask that, is she the police?!" That's the short version. The 3 of us working all thought "Well, that answers whether you were drunk yesterday."

      We have to balance out our lottery drawer before closing. It takes 1 person 20 minutes to do it, if it comes out okay. It takes 45 minutes if it doesn't, like the last 2 days. If we get $3000 in sales a week from it, we make about $150. Divided by the time it's open, that's about $2 an hour. Nickels on the dollar.
      And we have a regular who's quite reasonable during the day. But he makes a point of coming in during the last half hour we're open, when he knows the lottery is closed, and then SCA-REAMING that we won't sell him any tickets. Today, he shrieked "YOU CAN'T SELL ME 2 FUCKING TICKETS?!" in a full parking lot. Why doesn't he come in when he knows we're selling them? I'm sure his wife treats him the same way when he's home. He needs some pathetic realease for his pent up, futile anger.
      You certainly remember DT. He'd verbally abuse all his employees, and random customers, in front of other employees and customers. Many times we'd have customers who'd tell him "If this is how you treat your employees, I'm never shopping here again!" And then he'd fawn all over them, because he knew that if that was kicked upstairs, he'd be in trouble.
      One time DT was moving, and told a coworker that he could take whatever he wanted. When E got to DT's house, DT started to say something and his wife said "ROBERT--SIT DOWN and SHUT UP!" And he did! People who are powerless in one aspect of their lives try to take it out on people who can't fight back. Because they're assholes.
      Note that the Booze Biz actually has the least obnoxious customers of any I've worked in.

5/11

5/12

      My vacation is but days away. I have such exciting events planned! Like an oil change, and paying a guy to shove his finger up my ass. (I'm due for a physical) I was hoping to see That Woman, but her daughter is graduating college. Amazing! Not that she's doing it, but that she's been in college for 4 years. Yeah, I guess she is 20 or 21 now.
      I worked Sunday, so I called for my traditional Tuesday after People's Choice Pizza Soviet hot wings. The phone was answered with "Yeah, what?" When he realized I wasn't the food truck guy calling back, he apologized. I said "Yeah, your greeting seemed a little abrupt!" "Did you say 'it seemed a little abrupt'?" So I apologized back, and most of the call was us apologizing. When I picked it up, he didn't apologize for making me wait while he texted, or smearing sauce on my credit card.
      I'm currently winding down the remaining time until I see Rifftrax Presents: The Room, a movie so bad even my niece and nephew recommended it.

      Rifftrax: "He had never directed a movie before. I don't think he'd even seen a movie before. Wait, he may have never seen another human being before."
      That's a good assessment. It's like a movie based on human behaviour as seen by carpenter ants. Character motivations change within seconds. They actually left a lot of dialogue unriffed, and the audience howled with laughter anyway. No human ever carried on conversations like these, with illogical interjections about something nobody would interject, except possibly during psychotic breaks. Characters appear from nowhere, then disappear, sometimes for the whole movie. Cinemax After Dark movies don't have this much simulated sex--3 scenes in the first half hour!--and those actors at least have attractive bodies. Actor Tommy Wiseau looks like someone shrinkwrapped 200 pounds of cottage cheese, and boy, does Director Tommy Wiseau love to linger over his Cronenbergian flesh. Almost every scene is someone walking into The Room, saying "Oh Hai!" and a few lines of dialogue, before immediately exiting when someone else comes in. Some enter only to to exit seconds later. Everyone seems to live outside the door. Plot, when there is any, is forgotten instaneously (what was the point of the brief scene with the screaming, gun-toting drug dealer? The mother having breast cancer, which is dropped after one more sentence?).
      The writer/producer/director/star Tommy Wiseau probably has less screen time than the other characters, who implode the Bechdel Test. Not only do the women talk only about the male characters, they talk only about him, as do all the male characters. One will go from praising how utterly awesome he is to the point a Mary Sue writer would feel embarassed for the schlub, to pointlessly backstabbing him in the same conversation. I'm guessing Auteur Wiseau had a relationship end badly, given his onscreen girlfriend's incomprehensible actions and personality. Oh, and Spoiler! He kills himself in the end, and It's all That Bitch's Fault somehow. And then he lays there dead while no less than 3 characters--apparently hanging around outside--rush in to scream at each other and cry about how much they'll miss him, including Evil GF and his "best friend" who was cheating on him. Much in the way a 14 year old would punch his pillow while thinking "You'll ALL be SORRY when I'm GONE!"
      Oh yeah, the Riffers made some really funny jokes. The latest Rifftrax offerings have been theater only, so you may not get to see it. Or maybe you will--it did have an after-credits ad for tommywiseau.com, which we thought was a weird joke, as he's selling "TWunderwear." "My underwears" is a line in the movie. But it looks legit, and for the love of Gourd, do NOT click the link. It looks like a corporate website from 1999. Yeah, I should talk (except most of my readers can't see my site THANKS READYHOSTING), with useless frames and a screaming autoplaying video. You can buy the movie's "script," and he'll throw in free underwear. That is not a joke. It's safe to visit the Wikipedia entry, and discover it cost $6M to make. It doesn't look like it cost $6K. I think the article may have been last edited by the second male lead, as his full name and the title of his book turn up about every seven sentences.

5/13

      This article on Star Wars games led me, for no reason, to think of that odd question that haunts the internet to this day: "Who would win, Star Trek's Federation or the Empire?"
      My first view of this was a site squarely in the Wars camp. Mainly it compared the size and firepower of the ships, and the Empire's were like super wicked big, dude. Which makes a lot of no-sense, if you give it any thought. How big was the Death Star? It was the size of a small...pie, right? Moon! Sorry, I was thinking of Moon Pies, those little snack cakes. It got taken out by a ship the size of a really big moon! No, wait...some farm boy in a cropduster, who used to whomp on rats or something.
      Who would win: the Federation. Because it's fiction. The Federation's the good guys, the Empire the bad guys. It's like asking if the Empire could beat James Bond. In reality, sure, but this isn't reality. Could Jabba the Hutt beat the Empire? Of course not. That's the level of nerd-dumbness this question lies at.
      A fairer match-up: Federation vs Rebel Alliance. But you know how that'd play out: They'd fight for a while, realize they're both the good guys, and team up against the bad guys. Who hopefully are the Daleks, because why not.
      Much fairer: Who would win, the Empire or the Borg? Since the Borg evolve defenses after every attack, I'd go with them. The Empire wasn't big on innovation.
      "Emperor, our Death Star was destroyed by a hick flying a Space Vespa!"
      "Hmm...the obvious solution is...build another Death Star! Just fix that tiny drainpipe thingie so they can't drop bombs down it. Instead, leave a gigantic hole in the side and keep the inside so empty that entire spaceships can fly around the reactor core! Let them find a way to destroy that!"
      "Also, the firing accuracy rate of our stormtroopers has dropped to -5%."
      "What? How is it negative?"
      "Five percent are holding their blasters backwards. You know, some rebels infiltrated the Death Star by wearing stormtrooper armor, and they complained that they couldn't see out of their helmets. Maybe if we redesigned the helmets so you can actually look out of them, we could get our accuracy up to nearly 10%!"
      "What?! My father wore that helmet when he died! His father wore that helmet when he died! His father's father wore that helmet when he destroyed the Death Star prototype!"
      "He...what?"
      "Yeah, he was in the bathroom and got his blaster confused with his dick. Little design flaw in the prototype, you could blow the whole thing up by shooting the urinals. That designer promised to fix that in our second one, once he's finished making the enormous hole."
      The Fairest Match-Up of Them All: Stormtroopers vs Redshirts. I'm guessing a casaulty rate of 100%. Most would either get crushed in closing blast doors or spontaneously combust, and one guy would die in a tragic shoe-tieing accident.

5/15

5/17      Thanks to all of you who responded to my mass email. The site is back! And so ends the latest drama with Readyhosting. Or--HAS IT?
      Probably not. It was down 5 times in 3 months. This last one was the weirdest. It started when a Googlebot hit the page, indexing it during the last outage, so any search led to "HTTP Error 403.6 - Forbidden: IP address of the client has been rejected." Some people could still see it, most couldn't, even without a search. I could see it at home sometimes, but never at work. According to my hit counter, the ones who could were in Connecticut, Alberta, and Mexico. So, I guess Readyhosting was graciously granting me one reader per North American nation.
      I work in retail, so I'm naturally polite to other workers. Not this time. My first trouble ticket began with "Site is down AGAIN. FIX IT!! I am so done with you people. Fix it NOW and fix it FOR GOOD" When I got a response claiming that Readyhosting could see it, I replied "Well, that's interesting. I can't see it on my home or work computer, on either Firefox or IE. So, I guess Readyhosting isn't good at lying, either." It was rude, but it finally got results. I was giving a 5 step list of how they wanted me to send them a screengrab, to which I said "No. Here's the text, that should be good enough" even though I'd already sent them the error message. It kept going up the food chain until I was told "I have removed IP from blocked list." Wow, thanks. Why the fuck do you keep blocking my page? Is it the "malicious files" that I'm paying SiteLock to clean off my site? Or do you just, I dunno, suck baboon ass?
      I don't get it. I've never had a problem with them for 14 years, I don't know why it's happening now. I do have an offer from this site's greatest tech friend Kirk to host it, although he wants to charge me the exorbitant sum of nothing. (I managed to talk him down to $20 to $40 a year). I think I have at least 2 years left on my Readyhosting contract, and if cancelling and getting a refund from them is as easy as just getting them to DO WHAT I'M PAYING THEM FOR, it would likely happen when Santa Jesus returns riding a celestial wombat.

      I'm on vacation! 8 days of not even thinking about work! So I got an incoherent phone call from work at 1020AM.
      Seems J. had no idea who was working that day. K. had called out with C. covering for him, because he hates working with J. (yes, everyone there is called by a first initial, at least to confuse the Googlebots) Then C. called out, as he was sick enough to be on antibiotics. K. refused to come in, because working 5 hours with someone you don't like is an eternity! (I work 36 hours a week with people I don't like) So we asked P. if she could come in, and she could. On the phone, I asked "Isn't Y. there?" J: "Oh yeah, she's here." Me: "She was the one who asked P.! Didn't she tell you that?" J: "Oh, she wasn't sure." J.C., WTF.
      This is why I need a vacation. At work, I'm always D.W.I. (Dealing With Idiots) Yesterday, P. came in 10 minutes late, which apparently is O.K., as she always does and the boss never says anything. "Let me guess how long Y.'s half hour lunch will last," I thought. And it was 40 minutes. When P.'s lunch hit the 33 minute mark, Y. screamed "What, is she going to take an HOUR?!" "You took 40 minutes!" "SO WHAT?! I--" and I walked away saying "BLAH BLAH BLAH!" If she does it, it's justified; if someone else does it, it's a fucking war crime. That place Drives me Mad with Fury!

      Are they giving Pulitzers for segues? I think that was eligible. Because it's likely that tomorow I'll be seeing Mad Max: Fury Road. The only review I've read (reading too many just leads to spoilers) is on RogerEbert.com, and man, do they love it. Or, woman, do they love it. It's apparently not just fueled with testosterone, but estrogen. One of the script doctors wrote The Vagina Monologues. One of the reasons I love The Road Warrior so much is that it's a crazy action movie on the surface, but there's much more below that surface.

5/18

      I just Googled Readyhosting and found their Yelp reviews. Only 5, but with a single 2-star review. And that's the highest one.
      Almost all of them are very recent reviews, all saying "They were great up until now." Apparently, they were bought by TuCows, who I've never had experience with (until now), but I can't say I've heard anything good about those guys. So I need to sort this out--I may just end up paying them until it's time to renew, but move a lot sooner to Kirk. But one review said that after you cancel, they just keep charging you anyway. That can be fixed by disputing it on your card. But I'm used to my website hosting as I thing I don't think about, not something I suddenly have to pay constant attention to.

      Of the movies-I-won't-ever-see trailers before Mad Max: Fury Road, the only one that got a reaction from the audience was the title of one: Entourage. I can't say I understand why, but the reaction was best called "derisive laughter."
      I think that review I linked to about Fury Road overplayed the Deep Meaning bit. I was hoping that for once "empowered woman" didn't mean "kills the faceless bad guys with equal efficiency as the males do." The Slave Brides don't do more than reload guns, but the rest of the women fire them. There is some kindness and nurturing from the Brides, but...it's a 2 hour fucking car chase.
      With real cars! I stayed through the end credits, and the stunt team far outnumbered the CG people. And these cars are...holy shit. Ed "Big Daddy" Roth would die if he saw them, either by aneurysm or orgasm. The bigger ones are made of smaller cars. The few of you who saw Speed Racer: remember the Desert Race? Those insanely-designed cars are fucking Geo Prizms compared to these. And, you know--real. They crash a lot, with flying stuntmen. None of this "What means gravity and physics?" CG shit you see in every movie, making the effects seem "Who cares?" Crimeny, even The Room had green screen! These are real cars with real people. Crashing gigantically.
      There is some CG, especially in the weather. And I don't follow celebrities, but I'm pretty sure that Charlize Theron has a left arm. There's a shot at the end of the final chase that's clearly "Here's your fucking CGI, asshole!" But when a giant monster truck--we're talking more of a Godzilla truck--crashes, Jiminy Christmas, they couldn't fix that in post. One take, or build another Kaijumobile.
      There aren't a lot of pauses. Like Road Warrior, the bullshit that would fill another movie with subplots just isn't there. Sorry, Hollywood, but I'm guessing that when you're fighting for your life, you kind of don't care about the dating scene.
      If there's a downside, that's it. It's unrelenting. Forget what I said about testoerone and estrogen, it's all adrenaline. It's never boring. Just when you think "How more insane can this get?" it gets more insane. They find new ways for lunatic cars and their riders to interact. The main bad guys are of the "ugly is evil" kind, but more like "mutants deformed by the radioactive wasteland" variety. Showing the corruption inherent in their poisoned and poisonous souls, rotting on screen.
      Is it a prequel or some intersticial sequel? The director refers to it as "a revisit." I thought from the trailers, it was set between Mad Max and Road Warrior, as there still are guns and enough "gazoline". But while there are teasing moments that reflect on Road Warrior, such as the V8 Interceptor, the sawed-off shotgun, the metal knee brace, the bolt cutters (Hollywood's new star, Bolt Cutters, is more important to the plot here than in its historic first role), but well, spoiler--I expected through the whole movie for Max to recover the Interceptor, and maybe he still could at the scrap widely-scattered debris yard. So, I guess, same character, new continuity.
      Do you want to see it? Then, please see it in a theater. It will lose a lot at home. Bear in mind that I've seen silent movies where the heroes have more dialog. Also, if you're like me, yes, there is a lot of violence, but thankfully no gore that is lovingly lingered over as torture porn.
      Car crash porn, sure.

5/19

      That random image search link from yesterday really didn't do them justice, so here's Every Killer Car in Mad Max: Fury Road Explained. Oh, Doof Wagon, you shall e'er be my favorite!

5/20

      "It feels like a nodule," he said, jamming it further in, "Well, maybe not a nodule. More of an irregularity."
      This was the doctor, squirming his finger way up my asshole. The longest prostate check of my life.
      Yeah, I know there are people who like fingers up their butts. I had a girlfriend who would go crazy when I did that. (Note: do not assume that this will carry over into every one of your sexual relationships) There are also people who like autoerotic asphyxiation, and that's one reason why you'll never buy tickets to the INXS Reunion Tour.
      Apparently there's a blood test for "neoplasms" or whatever the form said, that tells them what bug is up your ass. Do I take a blue pill? ("THIS SUMMER: Keanu Reaves as NEOPLASM, in The Matrix: Revolting. The role he was born to play, as an inarticulate lump of flesh in your colon!")
      "Nice ceiling you have here," I said to the tech's confusion as she prepared to take my blood. "I think I'll stare at it for a while." She was great; I barely felt it, and we discussed JFK airport's passenger drop-off rules. I should ask my doc if I should give blood, given that I'm B Negative. Only 1.5% of the world has that. Know how I'm down to one RL friend? Guess what her blood type is. What are the odds?
      With that over (and up and way under), I paid my bi-decade visit to the Mall. First thing I saw: a closed store. Not as many as the last time, as the economy imploded (unless you were a banker who caused it; Dubya made sure you ended up even richer), but still a lot. The food court had the most--even the McDonalds was gone. Mostly clothing stores there now. 25 years after I worked in the Sam Goody/Suncoast when the mall first opened, I think that only Sears, the jewelry store and, strangely, Sunglass Hut, still remain. I only went into a few stores. Spencer Gifts, where the fake vomit and poop are a foot apart from the sex toys, and the only worker was behind the register blowing up an air mattress. A retro video game store, where retro is defined as Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, with prices that are not retro at all. The dollar-or-more store. The down escalator was sealed off, so I walked halfway across the mall to the elevator, forgetting how I used to impatiently run down the up escalator when I worked there. I went to Newbury Comics and bought a used CD, 2002's "Chillout Mix 3." The Borders was still there--yeah, an actual bookstore! Now half a toy store. "Doctor Who Risk," okay. "Doctor Who Monopoly," oh fuck you. Why has anyone ever played that game? They should make "Walking Dead Monopoly," as that's how most people feel after half an hour's play.
      Then I bought some Soviet hot wings, drank a bottle of Lindeman's Framboise as I wrote this, and now will watch some Rifftrax, likely with a cat purring in my lap. It's my vacation, I can do what I damn want!

5/21

      Sign I saw at the Mall yesterday: "We store is moving in mall in May 11." It didn't say which store, but I'm guessing that they weren't selling Rosetta Stone CDs.

      The New Mad Max Film Is So Feminist My Scrotum Killed Itself. It's funny, but as you might guess from the title, the humor is very subtle. (Also about the only post I've ever seen in which the comments are actually worth reading, if you don't mind spoilers)

5/22

5/25

      Down in Texas, Kevin said on Facebook: "Getting ready for UFC 187. It's our first time at D&B. So far so good!"
      To which I commented: "Ugnaughts Freezing Carbonite? At the Darth & Boba? You Star Wars nerds are so weird."
      Get it? You don't just know what movie that was about, you know the exact scene! That was me being clever! Or was it the gibberings of a madman as his last vestiges of sanity trickled away?
      (It was the second one)
      Friday I thought "I bought all my favorite food for my vacation, and I don't want to eat anything." About 12 hours later, I woke up after apparently eating nothing but sandpaper, and went into a cycle of "awake for an hour, asleep for 2 hours." It's currently Monday, and have not eaten since Thursday.
      I guess because I went to the doctor on Weds, and sometimes doctor's offices have sick people. The 60 hour incubation period is weird, but I don't see where else I could've become sick.
      So of course I went to work. "No one is going to believe you if you call out sick on your first day back from vacation, especially if it's also Memorial Day." I shuffled around half-dead on the slowest day of the year. Well, I hope it stayed slow, because after I covered lunches and called in my orders (losing most of my voice in the process), I left 3 hours early.
      Ah, shit. Literally. I also haven't cleaned the litter boxes in 3 days. I have a feeling that I won't be eating after that, either.
      Also, thank you guy (I'm sure it was a guy) who found my page by Googling "wrestlers nose hair close up." Also, thanks from being from New Jersey, because where the fuck else would you be from.

5/27

      There's always a typo or 2 in my posts, but this is what wrote yesterday, unaltered.      The next fucking Hemingway, people!
      Since I hadn't eaten in like a literal week, I went yp the grocery store. (In my defense, "to" and "yp" are just one key away from each other) My goal was to get some soup and microwave omelets, basically about the only things I could picture myself forcing down. Or did I hallucinate it? When the clerk says "...Are you okay?" who knows, perhaps you have fallen into some kind of dream world. I didn't buy omelettes because I couldn't find them, or possibly they were stolen by that T. Rex with a platypus for a head pushing a grocery cart. I bought bananas instead, because eggs = bananas or something. It took a very long time for me to ring up the eggs or whatever they weren't at the self-serv register, because pressing a button is apparently a skill I no longer have. Maybe it took no time, because time ran backwards and it's the Cambrian Age and I'm really a trilobite who only thinks he's typing this.
      I did get soup of the Cup-O' variety, and if you're thinking "How out of it do you have to be to fuck up instant soup?" how should I know, I'm a trilobite and know not of your microwave ovens and that something might boil over if you set the timer to "Next Week." Maybe it took no time, because time ran forwards and future events like this may affect us in the future. Maybe I'm a trilobite imagining that I'm Criswell, a guy who could predict the future so well that he thought a bleach-blond spit curl was a look he could pull off.
      I have managed to eat some crappy soup, and may even attempt a banana, once I get it out of its shell. I should write down some instructions: "You cannot eat a banana through your ear." I can't hear you, I've got a banana in my ear! OMG, I actually laughed at that incredibly stupid thing I just said. Ha ha, I'm funny when I'm incoherent!
      Or maybe--all of us, deep down inside us--is a T. Rex with a platypus for a head. Whoa, deep, man.

      Review of the Five Newest IPAs in Town: "It's hard to believe that Hop Teeth IPA has been around for six months already. Though there are already seventy-two newer IPAs brewed within the same city mile, I still reach for this simple and rustic beer whenever I'm in the mood to taste my own bile. The first sip really highlights a bright front that will bring up summer memories if most of your summer memories involve putting D batteries against your tongue."

5/30

      Lilly commented:      Okay. Not sure why you'd want a Flair, but here you go.

      

      

5/31

      I've linked to trailer before, but the movie's out! And...Well, Jessica was basically raised in a Florida video store, so I'll just quote what I said to her:      

      

6/1

6/3

      Listening to the sound of the landscapers tearing out the shrubs that have been outside our backdoors for the 28 years I've been here. They're the last greenery in the courtyard. They haven't even replanted the grass where the gas company put in the lines a year ago. Why? Who the fuck knows. I think my Condo Ass is run by a retired Captain Planet villain.

      Since I haven't been posting much, here's a brief health update:
      I called out last Thursday, the sickest day of this thing. I never do that. I thought I was through it last Friday afternoon, despite still being sick in the morning. Then 350 cases of beer came in all at once. One coworker helped put maybe 10% of it away, then stopped to go socialize behind the register. When I slumped into my car, I realized that I'd made myself sick again.
      Saturday, woke up sick; felt better later. Sunday, woke up sick; felt better later. Better, not good. Monday, same thing--but it took. I felt normal. But at home, I still had to force myself to eat. I choked down, almost literally, a Cup O' Soup. I felt bloated. (Your stomach expands or contracts depending on how much or little you eat. This is why you eat like a pig on Thanksgiving, then wake up the next day and are hungry enough to eat a pig. A live one) Half an hour later, up it came like a geyser.Then I couldn't fall asleep until 630 AM.
      Good thing I had Tuesday off. I kept thinking it was Wednesday, because I'd been awake for so long Monday. Since I had a delicate tummy, I ate hot wings with hot sauce. A whole four! I slept almost 13 hours last night.
      Today I ate a bunch of clam strips. I feel okay. Except for wanting to scream at the landscapers' bulldozer "SHUT THAT BLOODY BOUZOUKI OFF!" But what did I have? I today remembered that during my physical, my doctor said "Let's check where you are with your immunizations...Up to date. Oh, did you get a flu shot?" "Yeah," I answered, thinking it was an odd question for mid-May. But the flu virus mutated this year, so maybe I got some less-brutal version.
      I certainly hope this is my last health update for a long time.

      Win The Most Sought After Bourbon In The World!
      *sigh* I deal with this as daily a Liquor Professional. The new marketing paradigm: the Fake Shortage. People want it, because they can't get it. And if they can: Participation Mystique. "I have it, you don't."
      The sought-after beer now is Sip of Sunshine. I had it at work. Out of 3 people, the reviews were two "Okay, I guess," and one "This is awful!" But even the people who have bought it want it, so they can brag about it. It's the sophisticated adult version of sticking out your tongue and going "NYAAH NYAAH!"
      I'm bringing out a new liqueur distilled from what I find in the McDonald's dumpster. Verrrry limited production! Infused with rotting McNugg--er, the finest ingredients. It's called "La Hypester."
      In other words, if you win a bottle, go straight to eBay.
      I'm not saying that I didn't enter the contest, mind you. I could fleece some suckers. Since I work in a Boozeteria, I have a ready made set of saps and rubes. "Well, I'll sell it to the best offer...MONEY UP FRONT."

6/4

      I work at the only likker store in town that opens at 8 AM. We get the clientele one might expect: Seniors who have shed the need for sleep past 3 AM, people readying themselves for their workday by buying 8 nips/16 shots of cheap whiskey, guys with hands shaking from the DTs, people with hands shaking because they need their lottery tickets, man! This guy was dressed differently. Expensive suit, and a conversation I've never had in 17 years of this.
      "How big is a half pint?" I showed him. "What's the stinkiest rum you have?"
      "I'm...not sure I understand what you mean?"
      "That Jamaican rum, that really smells, right?"
      "Oh, Wray & Nephew, the 126 proof stuff? If you mean 'stinks like alcohol,' yeah, sure does!"
      "How many shots are in that?"
      "Um," thinking this is too early for me to do math, "8 shots? Yeah, 8."
      "How many ounces is that? One and a half?" I checked our conversion chart. "1.73 ounces."
      "How about a 6 pack of cheap beer?" I showed him the shit beer section; he bought Red Dog.
      "Do you have any shotglasses?"
      "No, we don't have--wait, we have little glasses from CVS that we use for wine tastings, maybe we have some of those." We didn't. So I recommended CVS, where they sell them for mouthwash.
      Of course I finally asked what was going on. "I'm a lawyer! I'm [redacted name]! I have a client who's been accused of kidnapping, and the witness said he had a half pint, a 6 of beer, some pot. I'm going to lay it all out, the shots, the beer, the weed, so the jury can see!"
      Given the name, I almost asked "Are you [redacted], who left all those fridge magnets here saying 'Roll With [redacted], Criminal Defense Medical Marijuana'?" but I'm going to just go with "yes."
      When he left, I thought--"Am I helping someone get away with kidnapping?"

6/5

6/6

      Driving to my garage, I was behind 2 other cars. One pulled over to the side, so I prepared to pass. Then hit the brakes--KITTEN! A little tuxedo, probably around 4 months. I expected it to run, but it just stood there. The Jeep tried to pull to towards a garage, so I jumped out of my car. So did he, and began motioning to the kitten.
      I said "Is he yours?"
      "Yeah, I don't know how she got out!" He reached for her quite slowly, she ran past me. "Let me pull in," he said. In my sweetest cat-voice, I said "What are you doin'? You shouldn't be out here!" And, as he pulled into his spot, she ran in front of his car. The garage was open just enough for a kitten to fit in, so I said "Keep going, keep going!" to both of them. She backed up as he pulled in. When he opened his door, she made a leap to the stone wall on the side. "Thanks!" he said. "I can get her now." "Good luck!" I said, thinking of Byron Houdini's 3 hour escapes.
      I noticed that the third car involved, which had followed him in and parked behind him, had a woman beaming with affection at the scene. Maybe I'm a cynic, but I really hoped that this wasn't staged for her benefit. How did such a little kitten get out, who was clearly quite nervous about being outside while waiting for Dad, and why was the garage door open just wide enough for her to get in and out?
      Whatever. The kitten is fine.

      It has been seen in earlier discussions in the Comments that Tim Burton fans have movies of his they love, and ones they hate, and other people hate the movies they love and love movies they hate...Well, in my case, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Yeah, that's my favorite. Also, fuck off.
      I thought that 6 Reasons Burton's Willy Wonka Is Actually A Serial Killer would be kinda dumb, but it actually makes such a clear if complex case for its premise that it sounds like noted weirdo Burton may have planned it that way.

6/7

      Probably you were thinking of going to Moose Jaw, seriously, that's a good town for cannibals, they're all fucking nuts there, they named their city after what was left after their killing frenzy. Naming it was either "Moose Jaw," or "Tony's Left Thigh With Teeth Marks."
      This is a very demented/wow, so boring movie. I guess it was going for a "The Thing" vibe, with its David Cronenbergian body horror effects, and also the fact that the bad guy is played by a non-actor named "David Cronenberg." Every scene seems like it should have "SCENE MISSING" between them. (Hell, I only rented it because I really like the soundtrack) Kung Fury wasn't as 80s dumb-ass action-movie as this is, and at least that had a comprehensible plot. This one only gets points for really pointing out that it's set in Calgary, with its insane, gun-shootin' police, who carry M16s and gas cans for burnin' stuff! I guess those Harper cuts even hurt the monster-fightin' budget. All the monster guys get blown up real good. You know--the only interesting characters.
      SPOILER: What a suck-ass movie. I can't even be bothered to write about it. Except to say--Why aren't they rebooting THIS movie? The "superpowered misfits hated by society, so they create their own" one? What a great concept, and how wasted it was here.

6/8

      I love crossword puzzles! I always get a little thrill when the clue is (3 letters) "British musician Brian."
      The Boston Globe puzzle I started today included these clues, all of which I got instantly. How many can you get? Googling is cheating!
      4 letters: "Girl U Want" new wavers
      3: "Dear God" new wavers
      8: Peruvian singer
      I admit the last one is a bit of a stumper. To you.
      I didn't have time to look at all the clues, so for all I know, it also includes 9: Eyeball head band, 10: "Explosion" Japanese rockers, and 5: Swan dress singer.
      Answers tomorrow! Or not!

6/9

      (If you're wondering, the Queen of Outer Space had the ridiculous sci-fi name of Zsa Zsa. Ha ha, that's not a name, that's spilled Scrabble tiles! From 2 sets of Scrabble!)

      Hey, it's the terrifying comic book villain BRICKBAT! He wears a lime-green business suit with a Batman mask and kills you with bricks. Special bricks, with poison gas inside! Make sure you're upwind, Brickbat.
      That was recently featured on Gone & Forgotten, and if you don't check that site at least twice a week, you are the wrong kind of comic book nerd. It makes fun of dopey ol' comics, but in a smart way.
      In probably my quickest Amazon transaction (ordered Sunday night, arrived Tuesday afternoon), I have his book, The League of Regrettable Superheroes. Mmm, don't you just love the smell of a new hardcover with lots of color pictures? That new book stench? Seriously, this is like huffin' Magic Markers.
      It is a gorgeous book. I actually don't know some of these weirdo characters--just a few, really, I've been following strange comics since I read that one chapter in All in Color For a Dime 40 years ago. From reading a few entries, the book is not as funny as the site, but I don't think it's trying to be. It also sadly misses Super Green Beret, but then, who actually misses Super Green Beret? He's in his 60s now and, assuming that he didn't drown by confusing himself with his laundry and climbing into the washing machine, he's staring at the Food Pyramid and wondering "Where does it list library paste?"
      One of the heroes that I was barely aware of in it is The Red Bee. He fights crime with a pet bee in his belt buckle. The bee is named Michael. No, not even half of the bee is named Eric.

      

      I'll write a full review after reading it.

      5 Ways Powerful People Trick You Into Hating Underdogs. Cracked articles aren't always funny. Sometimes they're uncomfortably accurate.
      And very true. It's always been this way: If the people at the top can keep the people at the bottom fighting between themselves, they'll never unite to stop the people at the top.

6/10

      Oh, right, the crossword puzzle answers.
      We'll start with the extra credit ones that I came up with: Eno, Residents, Shonen Knife (umm, sorry, I put that clue down as having 10 letters), Bjork.
      Crossword puzzle: Devo, XTC, and, of course

      

      But you got that.

      I could've also done (5 6) All-Mael band, which of course would be Sparks. They have a new album with some Austro-Hungarian archduke that I may get.

      

      

6/11

      A fond farewell to Christopher FUCKIN' Lee. 93's a good run.
      My favorite anecdote: On a movie set, the director told an actor "Now make a sound you imagine someone being stabbed to death in the back might make." F! Lee, who in WWII had been a commando behind Nazi lines, said "Oh, you don't have to imagine that!" and made a horrible gurgling noise. In the silence that followed, he said "Well...that's what it sounds like." Fuck Tarentino, he was an inglorious basterd.

      In a similar vein (because he played Dracula! No, fuck you), I rented a movie better than Nightbreed, White Tiger. It's a Russian WWII drama about the Eastern Front, and total tank porn. If you don't look at a wrecked tank and think "That's a T-34/76!" your tank-boner may not last as long as mine.
      Or was it some diesel-fueled fairy tale? The lead character is a Russian tank driver with 90% of his body covered in 3rd degree burns. He gets better, which is commented on a lot at the beginning, then ignored. The enemy is a Nazi Tiger tank that appears from impossible areas, slaughters the Russian tanks, then vanishes. "They never told you about the nightmares" is an early line. It doesn't so much have an ending as just end.
      But, man, tanks! Perfectly recreated, unless they're the real fucking things. Russia has the world's biggest tank museum. The Tiger looks like a fucking Tiger, and the hero's got a T-34/85, the war's best all-around tank. The German Panther was better, but who cares how good your tin box is once you've already lost the war and can't make enough? The British/Canadian Sherman Firefly could decapitate any panzer with one shot, assuming it got in the first shot. It was a Sherman, with armor thin enough that--why are you yawning?
      If you rent this, consult a doctor if your tank boner lasts longer than the Battle of Kursk.

6/12

6/13

6/14

6/15

6/16

      Guess who turned Sweet 16 today!

      

      And who turned 12!

      

      I tried taking photos of them today, but after a dozen attempts that turned out terrible--cats are smart enough to know that a camera means "flash," so they look away--I gave up, and simply Googled these. I like the Killsy one, as nothing in that 2003 picture is like that today, outside of the furniture. Not even that beautiful tree outside the window. Byron took care of the thriving spider plant. In his picture, he is asleep. Upright.

      

      Based on a dream of mine, an unsolicited drawing from Amy Mebberson titled "If Capcom got ahold of the Kids." Note Byron's hand, and the amount of fingers.

      Their birthday began with me in bed, DJ purring on top of me, and the sound of jackhammers. Christ, what now, Condo Ass?! They were destroying the concrete steps right outside my back door. Why? WHO THE FUCK KNOWS.
      Actually, I'm pretty sure that I do know. For the last 2 years, there have been all these unnecessary make-work projects, always done by the same construction company and the same landscapers. That beautiful tree in KK's photo? They cut it and all the others down with no reason given a few years ago. A storm came through a few days later, and Jessica said of the one that fell over, "Look at that tree! It's hollow! That's why they cut it down!" I said "That's the only one they left standing." They cut down the healthy ones and left the one that, if it had fallen in the other direction, would've smashed some cars.
      They destroyed the 40 year old oaks last year for no reason, recently ripped out all the 40 year old shrubs for no reason, and still haven't even bothered to reseed the grass where they did it. Well, I guess they uprooted the bushes so that they could rip apart the stairs that they were on either side of them, despite there being no fucking reason to do so. So, my theory is: kickbacks. They pay OUR condo fees to these 2 same companies, and then they give somebody on the Condo Ass some of our cash back to stuff in their corrupt pockets. If that sounds paranoid, remember that these are the scumbags who charge us for "heat" every month when they turn it off for 5 solid months. Our fees, their pockets.

      So Birthday Day was just a noisy source of stress for 2 of the Kids. For once, Byron was lucky; he slept through it, and of course the larcenous landscapers came right as the construction crooks left. I went to get groceries, including rotisserie turkey breast for the natal day kids. The store didn't have any. I also wanted some BOGO multivitamins for myself. They didn't have any. I went to KMart in the same plaza to buy a watch for work with a velcro watchband. They didn't have any. I settled for the cheapest one. Last week, I struggled to get the air conditioner in the window, the one with the "ON" knob busted off. I say "struggled." because the fucker likely weighs half of what I do. Then I found out that the needlenose pliers I use to turn it off were missing. So I did all that work for something that didn't work. And then there were jackhammers outside a window I couldn't shut without dragging the AC out, and putting it back in again later. They did have needlenose pliers! So...Win?
      The $18 on sale of $14 watch was easily opened, with its 2 security tags and four different pieces holding it in its impenetrable packaging, requiring only 10 minutes of pointless wrestling and cursing, and a hammer and a wire cutter (that is not a joke. I had to smash that fucker open, and I still needed another tool). I put it on my wrist and...Is this a women's watch? It's really small, but it looks like a regular "male" Casio. Wait--is this a kid's watch? It's the tinest damn watch I've ever owned. With my scrawny wrists, just as well.
      My last watch...why, yes, I am going to talk about my last KMart watch, feel free to do macrame or watch paint dry on grass growing while I do--was the cheapest fucking watch I ever bought. It had no brand name, unless "CHRONO" counts as anything but a 1960s Batman villain name, and it came with no instructions. Changing the time was mashing buttons, turning the alarm on or off at random. All I wanted to do was add a minute to the time, but it wouldn't do that. It kept changing the hour, and turning every alarm function on. I threw it out, and waited for the annual KMart Father's Day watch sale. The new one's manual tells me that it only loses/gains a second a day. If it loses a second a day, that means me and the cats are getting younger, right?

6/17

      It took five reboots to get the computer to work for more than 10 minutes in a row, leaving me in that zone of "I sure don't want to buy Windows 8" and "I also don't want to be an unpaid beta tester for Windows 10." Then, my $220 iPod decided "THE GHOST OF STEVE JOBS NEEDS $220!" and apparently has died, unless it hasn't, who knows. That's on reset #4 itself, with no syncing the music back, unless that's what it's doing now without saying so, who knows, iTunes doesn't even think the iPod's connected.
      First world problems, of course, but I also need to pay $1300 in town taxes this month, and if it's another $500+ to Microsoft and Apple...just because I can afford it doesn't mean I want to pay it.

6/18

      I checked the 160G iPod this morning, and it knew the time and my name, and should have 11.2G on it left open, but it had no songs and only 352M left...What did it fill itself with? I didn't think Nothing used up that much space. 160 gigs of existential void.
      My worst-case scenario for the computer was to buy a new one when this one inevitably dies, even though it will probably use Windows Ry'Leth, and sync my iTunes from the Pod to the unspeakable, leather-winged abomination of the Great Money Sink. You can guess where this is going.
      Wow, thanks for the $220 brick, Ghost of Steve Jobs!
      So I looked for another 160G iPod. I really don't want to lose 17,000 tracks, especially the ones I paid iTunes for. And, yeah, very first world problem, but I kinda need a big music player, given the amount of time I spend in my car at work. But it seems the Ghost of Steve Jobs is a specter of spite and greed, because a 160G iPod is now $619. Da...fuq. I could get one used for more than I paid for my new one, if I didn't mind that it was "torn and ripped and holds a charge for 2 hours, but if it's plugged in it works for 1 hour" what the fuck. I already have two used ones, and I can currently use them to prop open doors. So I found a place selling a new one for for a mere $449. My car's refusal to play anything on a thumb drive kinda...well, that's my option, buy that iPod. I sure can't use the radio when I have to work mornings, when the only tolerable station is 50 miles away and for half my commute, I receive 3-5 stations at once, 6 if static counts. I think I need an alternative to iPods. When this happens AGAIN.

6/19

--ad, Paradise Valley Resort, Dawsonville, Georgia

6/20

      I ordered my iPod Wednesday night, was immediately emailed that it had shipped and was due Tuesday. Today I discovered that the public radio station I'd mainly be listening to in the car was having--a pledge drive! I could hear people talk a lot! There was nothing else on the radio that I could stand, so I turned it off and listened to the windshield wipers for half an hour. I'll be doing the same thing during Monday's commute. Except that it won't be raining, so I won't even get to hear that.
      And the iPod was in my mailbox. With free shipping, no less. "Nacho.Stuff" is definitely getting a 5-star review, once I verify that it works. It's going to take all night to transfer 137.5G of music.
      I also noted that the charger that came with it is not the clunky 2004 one I'd been using with an iPod I got in 2012. Maybe that's why it died.

      I'm to see That Woman next week. I missed out out on our visit last month, for the very good reason of her daughter graduating. And I may miss out next week, also for a very good reason. Which is also a truly terrible one:

      The first time I read that, I thought "She'll be back, especially with a rescuer like Jess looking for her!" 10 minutes later I reread it, and noticed something I'd missed: She escaped 5 days ago. It's a tony neighborhood, but her house is also a mile from a very busy 4-lane road, her asshole neighbors let their giant dogs run free, and the woods have fisher cats, which are not "cats" so much as vicious weasels.
      I told her to not worry about our get-together, unless she needed the distraction. She hasn't written back, and this is definitely a "No news is bad news" situation. Send your best cat-loving thoughts to Jess and little Chanci.

      An iPod can be replaced. Some things can't.

6/21

6/22

      When my needlenose pliers teleported to Dimension X, I thought "As soon as I buy these new ones, they'll turn up." It took a week, but there they were, just inches from the chair I'm typing from. I kept all the packaging from the new ones, so I can return them. Except I realize that the old ones suck.

      No good news about Jessica's girl Chanci after a week. In the "things can always get worse" file, her husband was sitting at a stoplight when an SUV rammed his Mercedes from behind at 45MPH. He's fine, but Jess referred to the car as "totaled." As she said "That is how bad the accident was. His trunk is in his back seat. I could have lost my cat and my husband this week.
      "The police office said if he was in any other vehicle he would be going to the hospital that is how messed up he would have been."
      What a week of nightmare! So, yeah, I'm really not complaining about buying pliers twice.

      Long but funny and frequently jaw-dropping, Conversations with Dad.

6/23

      I thought "Why did the Condo Ass replace the perfectly good steps? The sidewalk is all buckled and broken, and has orange safety cones on it!" Which apparently counted as an invocation to the Elder Gods, because yesterday I was once again awakened to the soothing sound of a jackhammer.
      Today, the broken remains of the sidewalk were piled outside my back door.

      

      The haze and humidity made day seem as dusk. I approached the cairn, reeking with its Stygian miasma of another realm, one beyond the meager comprehension of Man. What foul creation that should never have been born laid under its cadaverous, loathsome, virulent, swamp-crotched evil? To know would be to go mad! But I love my craft enough that I dared to approach, like a fool, a mad, impetous fool, who dared to confront the abyss and probably should have brought a change of Fruit of the Looms. My fear grew, my terror increased, there was a squirrel nearby and I said "Hey there, Mr Nutty!" and longer, longer did my sentence run on, on and on it ran, like snot running down Aqualung's nose, it ran so far, so far away as if it were a veritable terrified flock of seagulls, maybe I should've bought it some New Balance sneakers, in the dreaded, cavernous, flame-broiling pits of Hell I hear that even the Damned find those comfortable. Trembling, I did what only a man of this new modern age of science, this one with flivvers and flappers and the 23 Skidoos could do: I took a selfie!
      Lo, what horror reaches from underneath the cairn? A tentacle--no, more than one! writhing toward me with grim intent, as slimy and ebon and malodourous as...a really old Fruit Roll-Up maybe? Look, ol' HP doesn't get out of the house much. "Curse you, damned hellion!" I cried, before remembering that if it was damned, it pretty much was already cursed. It rose, unspeakable in its horror, shambling indescribably, inutterably vague are my descriptions! I screamed "If I'd but brought a selfie stick!" And then, the hideous, repulsive, malevolent, I get paid by the word abomination marinated me in a light garlic mayo and et me down. ET ME DOWN!
      Wait, how the hell am I still narrating this if I've been et? Oh, from hell's gullet am I vomited! Well, you don't smell like you've bathed in months either, abomination. Oh. All the freakish abomination from across time and space wanted to eat was the mayo and my tie. And so I went mad, gibberingly insane. It was a really good tie! Now I cringe upon my knees, begging and pleading for an end to this madness (cf above; gibbering), the sweet release of death, or my mom buying me another tie. It had Darth Vader playing a guitar on it!

      At the grocery store, I passed the newspaper rack--yes, those still exist--and the Hartford Courant's headline was "NC Gov says Take Down That Flag." I put this on Facebook 2 hours later, but it's exactly what I thought after seeing the paper.

      I'd also had just read this: Confederate Flag Etiquette and Disposal. Good advice, especially at the end.

6/24

      "Now Sandwiches" read a sign of the type normally associated with yard sales. There was no second sign declaring "Now Moose" or "Thereby Dali," so I thought "Sandwiches? At Verizon?"
      (Guy slaps some pimento loaf on a clamshell phone, snaps it shut) "That'll be $15 and $60 a month forever."
      Or State Farm Insurance? Farms in this state sell food that could be made all sandwichy. No, it was The Great Harvest Bread Company! They had a location the next town over that I was vaguely aware of. It burned down in October, and in November and just up the road from me, they posted the sign for their new location.
      Why they then took until mid-June to open, I don't know. (Waiting for insurance payouts? They sure love to take your money, but they also want you to pay for a service that they don't intend to provide)
      I was there at lunchtime, but I wasn't expecting a line. They must have a built-in fanbase from their old location. I ordered the Spicy Pecan Chicken Salad Sandwich, after asking how big the pecans were. Chic Sal should have something crunchy in it, but tree nuts? "Pretty big" I was told, although they were actually pretty small. I also ordered a scone, which was free or would've been if I was an asshole and hadn't reminded the clerk.
      My Now Sandwich was sloppy. Well, overstuffed chicken salad, it's in a big wrapper so you don't stain your shirt. It was great! "Spicy" I would not call it. "Sweet" is more accurate. But when you eat all processed shit all the time, your body just says "THANK YOU!" when you eat something healthy like this. So I'll be back--it's literally a quarter mile from here, or .00578 kilograms for you people using that backwards metrical system. I'll get a turkey Sandwich Now next time, and maybe a loaf of Wheat Bread Transdimensional with Extra No Rhino in 1848.
      Someone from the Hockanum Valley Community Council carried out 4 giant bags of round bread and was back for a fourth run. They're the local mental health/food pantry place, just up the road from Great Harvest. If they get a price break, I'll be doubly back! And they are a franchise, so there may be one more-or-less near you. I haven't had my scone yet, but I'm thinking it'll be pretty good.

      Every state flag is wrong, and here is why. Washington is lucky it didn't name itself "Taft".

6/25

items on résumés

6/26

6/27

6/29

      Customer: "Do you have that beer, Nunchuk?"
      Me: "Nunchuk?"
      "Yeah, Nunchuk!"
      "Nunchuk?"
      "Yeah!"
      "I've never heard of that...Is it new?"
      "Nah, it's been around a while--Wait, you have it, right there!" (points vaguely at the beer cooler)
      "Nunchuk? Where?"
      "Right here!"
      "...Land Shark?"
      "Yeah! Well, maybe it was the way I pronounced it."
      They should make that. Make it really high proof, and have the tagline be "It's like having your skull staved in with a big stick's worth of Flavor!" And they could sell it as 2 bottles connected by a chain. Can't see anybody drinking 2 and then making any bad decisions with that packaging!

6/30

7/1

      I went to Great Harvest Bread again. I had a very good turkey/avocado spread sandwich (which the Divine Miss K said "I WANT!"), and bought a loaf of honey wheat bread that they sliced then & there. Tried to get a blueberry scone, but they were out of them. The guy behind me bought every last scone they had. Demand obviously outstrips their ability to bake, which is a sign of a local business that's going to succeed.

      For those of you in CT crowing about how liquor stores must stay open another hour...Why do you hate local businesses? That was a giveaway to giant chains like Total Wine and Sam's Club. And let me ask you: When we started closing at 9, and then being open on Sundays--did you buy more? No, you just spread the same spending out. The business we did between 7 and 8 became what we did between 7 and 9. What we do on Saturday and Sunday is what we did on Saturday. But with 25 hours more payroll. Do you think I should work for free, because our being open for 85 hours a week isn't enough time for you to get your lazy ass into the store on time? Who do you think pays for that, the Beer Fairy?
      We aren't doing it. We know what's going to happen--the same amount of sales with more expenses. We're already the only place in town that's open 8AM to 9PM, and there's only one other that's open until 9. and they don't open until 11. We still get people banging on the door at 9--is 13 hours not long enough, because you're too fucking stupid to leave your house 5 minutes earlier?
      I know for at least a month, we'll get assholes shrieking at us in the parking lot at 9:05 "But you HAVE to be open until 10!" (No, we don't) I want to ask them: "So, we should spend 15-20 hours more a week on payroll and utilities for your convenience? And lose money doing it? Which would you prefer, that we lay people off, raise prices, or go out of business? Because you shopping more is obviously never going to happen. Well, I suppose you could just get here before we close, but that would require effort on your part."
      And remember--when you get excited about us being open later, or get mad when we don't, the person behind the counter is thinking nothing but "Wow. How pathetic an alcoholic are you?"
      Also, where do YOU work? I think you should stay there an extra hour every day and be open 7 days a week. For MY convenience! Or are you saying my time is less important than yours?
      Also, fuck off, you entitled little shits.

      C'mon, don't taunt Japan with your giant robot. They'll just breed a bigger kaiju.

      

      Instead, come park that sucker outside my liquor store. I'll get more use from it than you ever could.

7/2

      Netflix lists Jupiter Ascending in my queue, so I guess I didn't dream about watching it. It's almost like I didn't watch it, it just looped around and I can't remember watching it.
      I can't call myself a "fan" of the Wachowskis. I've never seen any Matrix movies, but Speed Racer, sure! LOVE THAT! And that one with Tom Hanks and Halle Berry was really great, which was named...something. Huh. Can't remember.
      Ever have a dream with an overarching plot that held together, but every individual scene was random gibberish? And when you awoke, the dream was as fresh and clear as if it had really happened? For a few minutes? And then it was gone forever? This is that movie.
      Seriously, I'm not even sure who the bad guys were. I guess the Earth's landlords, 3 squabbling siblings, and maybe one was a good guy, maybe not. I don't remember. Like the blur of a nearly forgotten dream.
      If that's what they were going for, well, job well done! If they were going for "Let's burn another studio's $150 million! With our third box office bomb!" wow, accomplishment unlocked.
      Also, it was really subtle. The bad guys' henchmen are reptilian, bat-winged monsters, as if they were demons. When the good guys win, they grow from their backs big white-feathered wings! As if they were like unto...pigeons? Garbage seagulls at the dump? Jesus Christ God Almighty Mary Mother and Joseph and Zuzu's petals, I have no idea. "Every time a bell rings, a pigeon man shits on things!" Do NOT drive under winged Tatum Channing!
      It's a great looking movie, but so were the movies involving Jar Jar. A brand new stoplight is probably pretty gorgeous, but that doesn't mean you should spend 2 hours looking at it. (Unless you want to hear a lot of honking behind you)
      And I have to admit, this movie is the only one ever that I cannot give a true answer to the question: "Would this be better if watched stoned?" I do not know. Are your dreams better that way? No, you're asleep. This, you're awake, but...I have no idea. It's not that it's super-weird, just...Wachowski-ish a bit much?
      I appreciate the Siblings for making weird movies with budgets larger than the GNPs of the BeNeLux nations. But why do you two still get such insane amounts of cash for your movies that are plotted like you wrote them on the scratch pads by your beds, while screaming "MY DREAM WAS AWESOME!" followed by the maid telling the butler "I think that they then said 'WOOOOOO!!!' and smoked some more." "And...how long have they been writing this...script?" "Oh, a week. I hope they go to sleep again soon."
      "AAAALFRED! MORE TEEEEA!!!"
      "sigh Yes, Maria. One can only hope." (brews another 5 gallon bucket)
      Netflix lists Jupiter Ascending in my queue, so I guess I didn't dream about watching it. It's almost like I didn't watch it, it just looped around and I can't remember watching it.

7/3

7/4

      Patrick Henry: "Give me a sandwich, or give me snacks!"

      Happy Fourth of July! Except you're reading this on not that day.
      The store closed at 8, an hour early. I actually argued for staying open until 9, although I was the one closing and the one opening 12 hours later. It turned out not to be as busy as I thought--the weather kinda sucked--but not as slow as the owner thought. We did like a regular Saturday's business. I took a phone call at 7:53 from a town a half an hour away, asking when we closed. "In about 5 minutes." Did you think we were closing at 8:21? If you live that far away, why didn't you call hours earlier, or just go to the store anyway?
      Both of the nearest stores I drive by on the way home had their doors open. Literally; meaning that they were showing people that they weren't closed, and probably getting the same amount of business we were. Which after 6, was Not Much. The store closest to my home was closed, although I have no idea when they did.

      Nathan Hale: "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country! And only one bag of delicious Cool Ranch Doritos, WOO!" (holds bag up; hangman gives him a high five)
      "And a Mountain Dew XTREME to wash it down with--GLAAaaarrrghh..." (hangs)

7/5

7/6

      The greatest fantasy epic of all time is coming to the screen! You know, the one with the immortal line "COME FORTH, SPIRIT OF GARY!" You remember that the Lord of the Rings' main villain was The Eye of Bobby, who works third shift at Dairy Mart.
      I will SO rent this if it Netflixes, assuming it's ever actually made by the director who is also the 15 year old author's dad (prefixed with "Dr." and if that's even true, I'll bet it's followed with "D.D.S." because seeing it will be as fun as going to the dentist).
      A bit more info here, including a video news report that would make Fox News go "Well, that's fake."

7/9

      Given that I've rebooted this computer 4 times in less than that many hours, I think it's time to explain to my kids that "It's going to a farm upstate, where it will play Civilization II with all the other computers all day."

      ‘The Iron Giant’ Will (Finally) Return to Theaters in September. The headline pretty much says it--limited theaters, no info where--but it will contain 2 new scenes that weren't filmed.

7/10

      I think "aghastement" should be a word. When something amazes one, who is also aghast at the thought. Usages:
      "The Supreme Court says fags can get MARRIED!" she cried in aghastment.
      Her husband replied in aghastement, "And they took down the Confederate flag!" while licking his AR-15 to soothe himself.

      I saw on the Book of Faces--which, when phrased that way, sounds like something from a Clive Barker book--a sarcastic post about of a bag of chips with the words "NO CHEMICALS" on it.
      I'm gonna go with those chips having chemicals. I'm made of chemicals. Rocks are made of chemicals; here's a bag of BBQ-flavored rocks, eat these. Don't worry, they're gluten-free! Y'know, do you have celiac? Then you don't need to worry about gluten. It's like when Atkins came out, and people had this really vague idea of how it worked, and then decided without asking anybody "I'll eat a pound of bacon every day and be healthy forever!"
      I'm thinking of selling bags labeled "Gluten-Free, No Carbs, All Natural!" and they'll be filled with dead cockroaches. I'll grind 'em up and make them Cool Ranch or Sriracha flavored or whatever else is trendy, and people would eat them. If I caught the roaches behind the dumpster, I could also label them "ORGANIC" and "FREE RANGE."
      On the "NO CHEMICALS" post, I commented "I only eat food without molecules!" All week on the work radio, I've heard an ad with the line "French's ketchup is made with 100% REAL INGREDIENTS!" Asphalt, broken glass and Polonium-110 are also real ingredients. And Wow, not even 25% Imaginary Ingredients?! I like my catsup with extra Phlogiston and Aether! Know what really brings out the flavor? Unicorn turds. But they have to be fed only free range, organic leprechauns.
      Wait--are your "real ingredients" made from molecules? Sorry, but my tummy gets upset when I eat atoms.

      "Obama wants the TPP passed without anyone actually reading it first?!" screamed Bill in aghastement.

7/11

      I was hoping for more vitriol in this article about Dr Oz from the USA's funniest, smartest site for angry liberals--but I'll take it.
      I use homeopathy every day! It's called "a glass of fucking water."

7/13

7/15

      11 Movies That Made Less Than $400 at the U.S. Box Office

7/16

      In the "Y'Okay" category, this was the very first question I was asked in an online survey:

      Which of the following items are blue? Please select all that apply
      Grass Dandelion Koala Blueberries Dirt Monkey Orange Banana Tree Elephant Sky None of the above
      It turned out be about grocery shopping. The survey is interminabile; I'm still taking it, and waiting for it to ask me "Did you walk through the store shrieking 'GRASS MONKEY DIRT BANANA SKYYYYY!!'?"

      Since possibly 2 people here might find this funny, and also because I don't know what people can and can't see on Facebook:

       Fan of classic horror friend Scott posted: ‘Nosferatu’ Director F.W. Murnau’s Head Reportedly Stolen From Grave
      Pixie (Scott's sister): I know what I'm getting somebody for Christmas...
      Bill Young: (Singing) "I saw Scottie kissing Murnau's skull, underneath the mistletoe last night..."

      Bill Young: From the hit sitcom, "Two and Half Murnau's Skulls":
      SCOTT: "Honey, where did I leave Murnau's skull?"
      SHEILA: "In the cabinet!"
      SCOTT, opens cabinet: "There's nothing in here but--DR CALIGARI?!"
      (sitcom laughtrack)
      (out steps DR CALIGARI with Murnau's Skull)
      SCOTT: "Thanks, honey!"
      SHEILA: "I always knew you'd get--ahead!"
      (sitcom "Aaaaawwww!"

       Godzilla Marathon this Saturday!! I also don't care, I have to work all day or sleep so that I can work. Watch some Ultra 7 for me.

7/17

7/18

7/19

      Late last night, I realized that I could actually watch a bit of the Godzilla marathon before bed. It was Godzilla's Revenge, a movie so bad that it was generally compared to Montezuma's Revenge (that would be "Explosive Diarrhea"). I think I may have watched it in my "stoner Godzilla fan" years, and quit quickly, because--yeah, it was fucking awful. It combined the most "Kenny of short pants wearing little Japanese 8 year old boys wearing ballcaps" and kaiju fans are cringing already, with THE most horrible character: Son of Godzilla. Minya. I think. In his only other appearance, Godzilla's version of Dobby Jar Jar was half his daddy's size, so clocking in at 50 feet. Here he's Kenny's height of 4 feet, or 900 Euros to you in the uncivilized world. Except when he decides to randomly grow to Godzilla's height of 50 feet/a billion centigrams (or $37 American). Because...Kenny's having a psychotic break.
      I'm not kidding. Kenny Hot Pants is being terrorized by bullies, and he fantasizes about going to Monster Island, and his imaginary friend is Minya. What he sees becomes photo negatives and he sees it through what can only be described as a "Sauron's Eye View" camera. He's either imagining this, or he's hallucinating it.
      I think that this is the point where, 35 years ago, I just said "Jesus FUCK" and turned the TV off. The kid needs professional help. And so does the movie, as it turns into nothing but clips from older Big G movies, with Kenny and Minya commenting on them in the "OH! Look at that thing I'm pointing at!" And, OH! did I mention that Minya

      

      THAT'S WHAT HE LOOKS LIKE. LET IT SINK IN, HE'S HALF OF THE FUCKING NOT-MOVIE

      This bug-eyed WTF freak thing--okay, let's not judge Minya on his face, which would make David Cronenberg spit out his cup of Tim Holton's, let's just focus on the fact, the idea, the concussion-based concept that he's meant to be FUCKING CUTE. And you spend most of the movie with this guy. Who would lose in a "cutest baby" contest with that kid from Eraserhead.
      No, seriously, look at Minya. LOOK. At MINYA. Oh, you can't, can you? But he's so cute! LOOK. At MINYA. He's Benjamin Button turned into a reptile. And he talks that way. Yes, he's 4 feet tall, but he has the voice of a 55 year old child molester with early onset Alzheimer's. He sounds like Barney as a 1960's Catskills comedian, but with a pipe through his head. After smoking a pack a day of Chesterfields.
      Did I mention that Godzilla was in this? Not really! Just old footage of him beating up other monsters! (MST3K fans: Godzilla fights that crab monster, and you say "I'm on a seafood diet! I see food, and I RIP IT OUT OF YOUR ARM SOCKET!" a-hahaha! That was awesome [YES, then G sits down like he's using a toilet OMG they left that in there]) The Godzilla footage is for no apparent reason, because this movie is about the evils of bullying. The last 20!!! minutes are about Kenny beating up a bully, because of Godzilla and Minya, his hallucinated friend. The gang of bullies then immediately marches in obedient lockstep with Kenny. Will they follow his every whim? Invade the Phillipines and attack Pearl Harbor? Who knows. KENNY IS FUCKING INSANE, and they may just want to date Hello Kitty. Or Minya.
      I should point out that Kenny's worst fear is a monster--a goofy, stupid redhaired lizard with pot-bellied abs--that is named Gamera. Take a wild guess at what flying turtle was Godzilla's biggest box office rival at the time Toho wet-farted this out.

7/23

      No (update to The) News is Good News! Except when it's not.

      Good news: Kev & Meg are doing so well in Austin that they bought a house! And they're coming to CT next month for a week, so I may actually see them!
      I say "may" as I asked "Which week?" a week ago with no reply. Plans might've changed.

      As you may remember, Jessica's little black cat Chanci got out of the house. I rescheduled our visit for 3 weeks later, hoping for the best. She cancelled again with a brief email, and until she caught Chanci.
      Here's some good news and some bad news. I thought I'd never see my only RL friend again. This put me into my spiral of deep depression This is depression that
      It spirals, okay? It'd been a month since Chanci ran. Then there was good news! Jess wrote back

      That cheered me up. Until christ, I hate my job. I'm always the scapegoat. I don't want to go into it, but downward spiral again, really bad. Today, Jess emailed with...News.
      Chanci is a skinny all-black cat, as is her feral Spit (named after what he does when any human or feline approaches him). She thinks it's him she's been seeing, not Chanci. She wants to see me next week, so I guess good news? It could change.
      Also...I guess good news? It took 18 years here because it was so hard to say, I don't want to say it all, but I finally will admit to my soul-crushing depression. I took a step to confront this yesterday, I won't say what, but that was one dark day. Of course, if any of my friends--and I consider you all my friends--felt this way and didn't tell me, I'd be upset. But when I do it, it just feels like begging for attention. But, here it is, it's finally out there. I really need to talk to Jess.
      And if Kevin comes up, maybe finally tell him the story about the time he unintentionally saved
      No. Not here, not now. But maybe I can start talking about this.

      You can email me about this or comment (or completely not; I'm not looking for attention), but do NOT put anything on Facebook please.

7/24

      Rereading yesterday's post, it's hard to see how wrenching it was for me to write. Maybe because, well, now I'm out of the closet so to speak, and I feel relieved to have stopped bottling it in, after not admittting it to anyone but me for so long. I even was able to eat something last night! In fact, I think Jess has had a bad enough 5 weeks as it is, so I probably shouldn't tell her about it. I need to listen to her heartbreak, not talk.
      And I'm already doing it AGAIN. I love you guys, but I wasn't looking you in the eyes yesterday. I'll tell her. Just not next week.

      Felines of New York. That's cheerier!

7/25

      20 Weird And Not So Weird Facts About "Weird Al" Yankovic and His Songs. Note that "Weird Al claims" turns up in a lot of the stories.

7/26

      The last time I linked to Gone & Forgotten, it was to a comic book bad guy named Brickbat. He wore a business suit and a Batman mask, and threw bricks at people. Bricks filled with poison gas, so better hope your enemies don't come at you from upwind. It's not like in WWI, the Allies released phosgene in their own trenches while hoping a gentle breeze would waft it over to the Germans.
      Well, here's another villian who uses poison gas. He has no name, but he dresses like Santy Claus and attacks using his...bubble pipe. For you kids today who don't know what that is, what with your Betamax tapes and the Pac-Mans, it was a pipe that blew soap bubbles. Which weren't something you could actually aim, and usually popped in front of your nose. Not the world's best Sarin delivery device, is all I'm sayin'.
      There should've been a Legion of Doomed Villians. Here are the names I came up with in 10 minutes:
      12 Packs of Pall Malls a Day Man
      Eats Lead Paint Chips Man
      Doctor Sets His Hair on Fire and Head Butts You
      The Turpentine Drinker
      The Lye-Bather
      Raw Egg Eating Sally Salmonella
      Kid Runs With Scissors
      The Mad Bomber Who Never Leaves His Apartment Oh Shit, Did I Just Light This Thing?!
      Expecting a Good Adam Sandler Movie Fan Boy
      Meth Crank Krokidil User
      Professor Cobra and Mongoose Down His Pants
      The Tornado Twister Funnel Clouder (lives in Oklahoma; watches the Weather Channel, hoping a tornado rips open a bank vault)
      Self-Exploding Trump Card (just Donald Trump)

      Shout! Factory has some new free streaming features! Yes, can see for yourself how awesome Godzilla's Revenge is!
      Godzilla
      MST3K (a LOT, and some great ones)
      Ultra Seven! I haven't seen one yet, but I'm hoping it's the Canadian-dubbed version that was dryly funny.

7/28

      The delayed visit with Jessica came today. Seconds after our hug hello, she said "Are you okay? You seem kind of...heavy today." Which was an odd choice of a word. "It's work," I said, "I don't want to talk about it."
      It was the usual, brunch at Cracker Barrel and then junk shopping. At the Crack Bar, we talked about her lost kitty Chanci. She hasn't given up hope. It's pretty sweltering in southern New England right now, and she has given up turning on the central air. She wants to hear if any of the eight (!) Hav-a-Heart traps get sprung. Her once-feral cat Paul is also running to the window at any sound, looking for Chanci himself. She admitted that when this started, she couldn't sleep more than 15 minutes without checking for her. We've all heard stories about cats reappearing after long periods missing, so there's still hope for a good ending.
      We went to 2 indoor flea markets. The second one I would've left after 5 minutes if I wasn't with her. They set the thermostat at 60 in the winter, and leave the AC off in the summer. Jess was fine with it, having turned her AC off 2 months ago. We talked about serious stuff, we talked about funny stuff. She bought a lot for very little, all Disney or cat-related, except for a MicroMachines collection of Star Wars vehicles for her husband Ron's Xmas presents. I'd already had my eye on it, but where would I put it? She made sure to check that it was prequel-free. And then we drove back to my car, The End.
      Okay...there was a bit more.
      "Without prying, what's going on at work?" she asked. I had her repeat that twice, because I thought she was saying "Without crying." Slip, Possibly Freudian. I gave her the lowdown (I do all the work, get abuse in exchange). And then...well, it came out. All of it. Even...Hey, want to hear a funny joke? No matter what Google and the webpage you visit say, that hotline might not actually be a suicide hotline! You call it, painfully force yourself to talk, the hotline girl is all confused, and--you hang up realizing "I'm a failure at being a failure!"
      I'm suicidally funny!
      She held my hand as she drove and said "Bill...I've always known." Apparently I'm not as good as hiding things from her as I thought.
      "If you commit suicide, I'll kill you myself!" It was a long if pretty one-sided conversation, with me just staring blankly ahead and forcing out my words. It's hard for me to talk about this, even to my closest friend. She said Ron suffers from depression, to the point he sometimes can't get out of bed. "It's like having a load of books on your shoulders, and the books keep getting added to, and it just gets heavier until it's so heavy you don't have the energy to take them off. You need to take them off, one book at a time." I guess that's why she said earlier that I seemed "heavy."
      "You're smart, you're funny, you're a wonderful person. I wish I could make you see you how I see you!" When I say Jess is the most beautiful woman I've ever known, I'm never talking about her looks.
      I guess I'll see a doctor about medication. Ron has one he takes when it gets bad. There's only one other cure, and it's called "shotgun in the mouth." And also, get another fucking job.

7/29

      Creepy thing we saw yesterday: a Bill Cosby album titled "To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With." I said "After I gave him that special drink."

      Unlike coming out here, I don't feel less stressed from telling my best friend. Because...well, I can't pretend any more. As we say, "Don't mess with Jess!" I could tell you guys "I'm fine, I'm fine!" but she's going to want to see action on my part.
      And there is. When she told me her husband got depressed, I thought "How can he be depressed? He's a literal genius, and married to you!" If he can be...maybe it is a chemical imbalance, and I'm not a worthless garbage shit person who never should've been born, and yes, that's how I think of myself. But how bad can I be if I have not just her, but three smart, funny, caring and very gorgeous women who say they want me alive? (Four if you count the one snoozing next to me. She knows Jessie's scent, and spent a long time yesterday sniffing the hand she held. She then sat back and didn't take her eyes off of me. You may say I'm anthropomorphizing, but I know when she's jealous and when she's concerned. Maybe I give off the scent of cortisol)
      I made the doctor's appointment. All I said was "I need to talk about my prescriptions." The earliest appointment that fits my work schedule is in 3 weeks. Longer than I hoped. At least I now I know I have a safety net.

7/30

      I awoke 2 hours before the alarm, and laid there with my guts in a knot. Back to work! What fresh hell awaited? I realized the reason why talking to Jess didn't make me feel better. Since suicide is kinda off the table, that's one hope that's been denied me. While you may think "Most people don't think of trepanning themselves with a 12-gauge as hope," it would end all my problems. Now I have to do the hard work.
      I also wasn't thrilled to be working with Backstabber Prime. And she said "I may be out of it today. Yesterday my brother committed suicide."
      First thought: Why did you come to work?! Followed by "she's taking this calmly." Shock, maybe?
      She said he'd done 2 tours of Iraq and signed up for "10 more years." He'd just moved, had a minor spat with his wife of 6 months, and then went out and immediately hanged himself. I asked if he had a history of depression, and she said no. His job was as a translator "after the devastation," talking to Iraqi survivors. That doesn't sound like a stress-free job! Did he have PTSD? No. People can hide their suicidal impulses for years (raises hand), but he also has a twin brother. I always thought twins had a special bond, but he never said anything. Then she said that "My mother killed herself, and I found the body. At age six. On Mother's Day."
      She said this the way most people would say "I had to throw away my bowl of Cheerios, it got soggy."
      She was babysitting her 2 year old daughter at the store, who was very friendly and happy and less stressed than my cats get when I'm depressed. When 2 people came in who worked with her yesterday when she also worked and found out, they immediately began casting doubt on her story. Parts of it weren't adding up, such as her forgetting the twin and what state her brother lived in. I remembered that when I first said I had cats, she claimed (and still does) that "I rescued him as his owners were boiling him alive to eat him." And I thought then, Yeah, right. Either it was a very slow boil, or your vet didn't care about the third degree burns and put it to sleep, and that cat would never go near another human forever, and isn't McDonald's cheaper than cat adoption? This is the person whose word the owner takes over mine.
      Remind me again why I've worked in an asylum being run by the inmates for 12 years?

7/31

      There are days when having nothing to write about are the best ones.

8/1

      Woman buying Red Label sweet wine: "It's for my mother, she wants to mix it--" I thought "to make sangria" "--with carrot juice."
      Different woman, saying she always gets a discount when she shops here, pointing: "Is that a sweet red wine?" Me: "No, that's Dewar's. It's a scotch." Who drinks brown wine? Her: "Shows you how little I drink!" But...you "always" get a dsicount...

      This song came on the radio today, and a coworker pointed me to this:

      

      

8/2

      I forgot to transfer money from my online banking account to my local one, and the tax checks hit and I was overdrawn. I've been...a bit unfocused the last 2 weeks. I was pretty stressed last night, and so already primed for today to start the week with...a major panic attack at work. I flared up, shook for 10 minutes, spent the next hour apologizing to my coworker.
      This should have some interesting blowback at work tomorrow! I'm trying not to think about it, before it happens again. Since the store is a rogue cop that plays by its own rules, the workweek ends on Sunday. It could be my last day. I'm not panicking. What's done is done.

8/3

      I was expecting blowback today, but nothing was said. Either the coworker said nothing--it was partly her fault; the registers crashed after every sale, and all I needed to do was to run upstairs and literally press one button, but she was late, and there never were less than 2 customers in the store. I didn't know how to fix the crashed sales, which were printing on the receipts but not showing up on the Daily Sales report, so I panicked, thinking "I'm going to get fired!"
      Or, they did find out and are thinking "Who cares? Once all the vacations are done in September, so is he." Of course, I've spent the last 2 Xmases thinking I'd be canned after New Years and I was wrong. But that should also give you an idea of how long my work stress has gone on. Actually, it's come and gone the whole 12 years I've been there.

      Hey, remember back when I actually tried to make this blog funny?
      Customer, holding up a bottle of Kahlua: "Does this Koala come in any other flavors?"
      Me, thinking: "Nah, just marsupial."

      "Do you have Rigling Merlot?"
      "Rigling?"
      "Yes. It said Rigling there on the label, then merlot right below it."
      "Umm...no, I can't think of anything like that. Are you sure?"
      "Oh, yeah, Rigling merlot! We had it in a restaraunt, and my wife said she got some here!"
      "Umm, let me just check the racks, maybe something will ring a bell." I walked up and down the aisles.
      (baffled) "I really don't know what Rigling could be," while thinking "besides some brothers' circus."
      "Wait! I have a picture on my phone!"
      "Chateau Saint Michelle Riesling, oh sure! It's right here. It's not a merlot. It's a semi-sweet white, merlot is a red--"
      "It said merlot right here on the label!" (conversation continues)
      Since the label matched his pic, he bought it. I'm glad for camera phones. This was the hardest puzzle since my record store days, when I somehow got from an angry screamed "YAN ETTAN!!" the name Elton John.

8/4

      Well, after talking via email with 2 people whom I implicitly trust, I guess I should ask my doctor next week about Prozac. They both take it. One is Jess and her daughter. I've known her for 18 years, and yet I'm finding new stuff out about her lately. No one talks about their "mental problems" in this country, I guess.
      Jess' daughter takes it for her OCD, and Jess takes it for "my cataplexsy (paralysis due to the narcolepsy)." I've been frightened of Prozac ever since my then-current boss/Jessie's ex-boss was told by his doctor "You're doing great on Prozac! Let's try lowering your dosage." And he soon had a panic attack so severe that he called 911. Jess was working at the hospital at the time at the admissions desk. I thought "Prozac is a life sentence! Get on it, get off it, I'd kill myself!" Jess wrote:      Oh. That changes things. Changes all the things I've thought about it.

      Well, I don't have any funny of my own, but here's this. I've linked to it in the past, Something Awful's Dog Classifieds, which are a mix of absurdity, non sequitur and just plain WTF? Always funny, though. Here's the latest.

      The inevitable Sail Cat Fail Rip Off

8/6

      I usually work 36 hours a week, so when I go on vacation, I get paid for 36 hours. The other guy--the one that I'm pretty sure steals product and resells it to his old job right across the parking lot--works 35. On vacations, he gets paid 40 hours. Huh.
      His wife works there, too. She got paid an extra half hour for her vacation this week. The owner is on vacation, and her husband gave her today a $90 payout for Monday, when she didn't work. She altered the schedule to make it look like she did. So she got paid for her vacation, and then got paid for not working twice.
      She'd vacationed in Saratoga, playing the horses. "Did you win?" I asked. "No, I lost..." (significant pause) "$100." I'm guessing it was more than $100. And the store is helping her recoup her gambling debt.
      No, you tell my ass-kissed boss about it.

8/7

      On the commute in, I realized that the coworker from yesterday's vacation ran from Tues to Mon, and since our store schedule runs dyslexically from Mon to Sun, maybe she got her paycheck and saw that she didn't get paid for Mon. She did put "OFF" on the schedule and not "VAC DAY."
      Then I realized that we don't get paid for this week until next week. Is she going to be paid 3 times for not being there?

      The coworker who witnessed my panic attack quietly asked me if I'd seen the doctor about my anxiety. No, I tried to move the appointment up, but they were booked. I asked her whom she'd told about my episode, and she said no one. She's the other store scapegoat, so we keep things about each other away from the dominant assholes.

      I somehow missed the Republican debate between the 42 candidates, which followed a different debate between the Legion of Two Percenters in the Polls, which I think included Ted Nugent, Ted Bundy, a pair of Truck Nuts, Flying Hitler Robot Space Whale, and 399 others. Here's what seems a good summary: I Watched the GOP "Debate" and All I Got Was a Lousy Hangover.
      It seemed to be the debate equivalent of speed dating, or speed hating. Surprisingly, Fox "News" immediately ignored the Black Guy. More surprisingly, they've decided that they don't want Trump, and went after him. (their article today is titled "Trump loses Republican debate but Rubio, Cruz and others triumph") Maybe a rich corporate pig may not rubber-stamp the marching orders of rich coporate pigs like Murdoch? Since the avocado with a tumbleweed head says What He Thinks, not matter how stupid, the audience loved him. He just flat-out goes evil without the code words and dog whistles the other crypto-racists use, and the dumber Republican bigots appreciate that he's talking to them in a way that don't got no big words. Some blonde Fox newsbot hit him with a question about his treatment of women, which is the first time Fox has ever pretended to care about women, except in the "Pro-Life" way (which means "I'm Pro into running other people's Lives"). Today, in true Trump style, he refuted this by calling her "a bimbo." I assume that when a Hispanic refutes him, he'll say "I'm not racist! He's just like any other drug-addicted rapist wetback!"
      Final question: "Does GOD speak to you, and what does he say?" OF COURSE HE FUCKING DOES AND TO ALL OF THEM and said that they should be the Prezdents.
      As the saying goes: "If you talk to God, it's praying. If God talks to you, it's schizophrenia."
      The last time a president said "God spoke to me," it was Dubya, and He said to invade Iraq. Bet Yahweh high-fived Jeez after that and said "PUNK'D!"

8/8

      The Owner is on vacation, so I spent the last 2 days running around trying to leave him nothing to complain about. Despite the hundred things I did, he'll find that one thing I missed. Despite the other "manager's" jobs being standing behind the register and chatting.
      Since no one filled in the fine wine racks--which I have never once been told was my job--I did my best. I found some, but it was mainly 3.5 hours wasted. I wrote down everything missing, looked up the counts in the inventory, and saw lots of 1s and 2s. We have the cheapest-ass sales/inventory system that (little) money can buy. It changes counts on its own. So 1 or 2 means "probably not there." The system Jess and I used at our job together was more sophisticated, and that was 15 years ago. Of course, where I work used Win2000 for a dozen years, before upgrading to XP. As soon as there was no support for it. If the ancient computers are on for more than 9 hours, they freeze and crash, so we reboot them halfway through the day.
      I scrambled as much as I could in my 10 hours there, but I'm sure he'll find 1 bottle missing and get angry. And only at me.

      Comment I left at FB yesterday:
      I think Trump should replace his Head Tumbleweed with Timothy hay, and the next time he's blowing gaskets, his Hay Hair should move, and a guinea pig should stick its face out and yell "HEY TIMMY! I'm busy eatin' your hair here buddy, so shut up!"
      It would make the next debate better. Fox would give more attention to the guinea pig than the brain surgeon, because one of them's not bla
      ...NEVER MIND Just a coincidence

8/9

8/10

      The Owner came back from vacation today, and he had no complaints, so maybe all that extra stress was worth it, so that I didn't get any extra stress!
      ...Waitaminnit...there's something wrong with that math...

      Kev & Meg are coming back to CT for a week! And they want to see all their friends! On the same day, and only once. I have no idea what they're doing the rest of the week. Well, they did say that the only reason keeping them in CT was "friends and family," which to me seems like the best reason. Maybe they'll sit in a hotel room with their laptops the other 6.5 days.

8/11

      Okay, I checked that email Kev sent me, and "all his friends" are exactly 3 of us. I was expecting a roomfull. Maybe if I can't make one date, he and Meg will have time to see me separately.

      Hey, speaking of friends, I got together with one today! You'll never guess who!

      

      

      TA-DAAA!
      Oh, Professor Doctor Albert von Smartypants PhD, you guessed that. Well, you didn't count on us going to the same place we did 2 weeks ago and doing the same thing, did you?! Because it was only 2 weeks this time. It'd been 3 months since I'd last seen her. On our last and dark visit, she said she wanted to see me in 2 weeks, and I thought "Yeah, that'll happen." But it did.
      For this visit, I was in much better mental health than I'd been in a month. And we picked a gorgeous day! If you're a mushroom. It poured to the point that I couldn't see the cars on the highway until I was within ramming distance. She was forced to drive The Damned Pike in the middle lane, as the other lanes were flooding and cars were hydroplaning. Since I have no umbrella, I wore a Sam Adams pullover and an Angry Orchard hat. "You look like a walking ad!" she said, in her Audrey Hepburn shirt.
      At Cracker Barrel, we talked about me briefly, as she's been kept up to date via email. She talked about cat-sitting her bestie Emily's cats. Two have to be fed in the office, and then the door must be shut; another only eats on the guest bed; one gets her food in a special "mechanism" because otherwise she scarfs it and then pukes, and she needs to be fed first so the others don't try to steal her food. She forgot the first time that another one must be "canoodled" before she'll eat, meaning praised and petted, and she was yelling at Jess for not giving her her special Cat-dashian treatment. My cats are "Here ya go!" and my only worry is making sure Killsy doesn't abandon her food before she's finished it to steal DJ's.
      And then we kinda wandered. She was looking for a pair of antique stores right across from each other, but they were closed. Heading back to the Route 20, she suddenly said "Did you see that Gothic building?!"

      

      We're not missing out on a cemetery!
      We parked by the rectory, which was small and probably used for small services. She looked in the door and gasped "Is that what I think it is?!"

      

      Great photo, Bill! If Ansel Adams was alive, he'd drop dead just so he could turn in his grave.
      It's a little bat, dead of starvation or thirst, and not long dead. She has a mounted bat skeleton, so she immediately tried to open the door. (Her husband got it for her for Xmas. What she wanted was a cat skeleton, which is not something I would ever want, unless it was a replica. He found a place online in Europe, and he asked "Was the cat humanely treated?" Response: "Of course. We only raise them for their meat." End of conversation)
      "I want to tell someone 'Help me!' My pet bat's in there!" I said "Poor Bartholomew! I need to give him mouth-to-mouth!" And then, on this dark and stormy day, in a graveyard with a dead bat before us, did now the baying of the hounds begin. I am not kidding, a terrible howling and barking began from the suburban houses near us (for it is in the suburbs where our story is set), with one hound of the Baskervilles answering each in turn. It went on for nearly 5 minutes. It wasn't us, given the way the wind was blowing. I said "And now the thunderstorm will begin, with lots of lightning." The dogs suddenly stopped, and I said that they must've put the werewolves back in the dungeon.
      We crossed the street to the main cemetery. I looked around and said, "This isn't that old." I have one in my town next to Auto Zone with early 1800s graves. This cemetery was founded in 1922, so whatever. "I like ones with stones marked 'Revolutionary War Veteran.'" She said "When was that?"
      "1943."
      "Oh," she nodded.
      (realizing she believed me) "Jess! The Revolutionary War? The American Revolution?! It was 1776!"
      "Oh, right, right, I've heard of that."
      "It was won by our first president, George Jefferson!"
      She took photos of some graves with life-sized statues of an angel and the Virgin Mary, and told me that she'd begun plans for her own gravestone. "It will be awesome!" She's also started writing her eulogy. She was not joking. This is the woman who says that I talk about my mortality a lot.
      Walking back to her car, I pointed at the far end of the field and said "THOSE are some old gravestones!" I could tell just by their shapes.

      

      There were no other graves in a large field. "Why are they way over there?" she asked. "Probably a family site," I replied. And they were, from the Sykes. That large one is for Elizabeth Sykes, d. 1774. She pointed out a little mark by the side: "That's where the engraver would make a mistake, and try to fix it." Why that entire side of the cemetery was unused, I can only speculate. Maybe owned by their descendant, Igor Sykes backed by his baying hounds.
      Of course, before we left, we engaged in some light graverobbing.
      At the front of the cemetery was a huge plastic garbage bin, overflowing with dead memorial flowers and a fast food soda cup. Jess immediately saw something next to it.

      

      It said "Walmart Motorscooter Gnome Male, Made in China" on the sticker. She wants to put it in her garden, and I've no doubt it'll be described as "The one I stole from a graveyard dumpster!"
      "I hope I don't get haunted!"
      "You'll wake up tonight, thinking 'What's that sound?' And it will be the sound of a very small motorcycle. 'YOU STOLE ME FROM MY GREAT-UNCLE'S GRAVE, YOU BITCH!' And then he'll keep running over your foot, saying 'Stop laughing! I'm trying to haunt you!'"
      We drove back, trying to find Route 20. We passed a sign reading "Gentleman's Farm For Sale, 8 Acres." I said "I want to be a Gentleman Farmer! Wait"--[holds up hat]--"an ANGRY Gentleman Farmer! Angry Orchard, that's what I'll call it, and when people come to buy, I'll throw apples at their heads, and say 'I daresay, kind sir! Wouldst thou most graciously go fuck thyself?'" Then we saw 3 wild turkeys by the side of the road. "He could be my Angry Gentleman Farmhand! He'd wear overalls and have a big stalk of wheat in his mouth." Jess: "And wear a little top hat! A paper one, you wouldn't want to weigh down his tiny head."
      This visit was a little lighter in tone than the last one. You may have picked up on that.
      It's pretty much all anticlimax after that. We snarked our way through an antique store. I almost bought some plastic 1960s gumball machine charm bracelet things of all 4 Beatles, but they were $20 with no discount (sorry, Kitsplut!). I did get a Hallmark Xmas ornament of Neil Armstrong on the Moon, which talked and lit up, warranty good until 1997, $8. Jess said that everytime she hears about the Moon landings, she thinks about Little Bill, the only kid in the family who was excited enough to stay awake until 11PM to see it happen, and who, on the next day, looked at the Moon, visible during the day, and said "There's PEOPLE up there!" She bought a wide but thin hardcover children's book, "The Little Kitten Who Would Not Wash His Face." There were a lot of pages and words about this pretty easily solved premise (use a damp washcloth on him!), so I'm interested to hear her review once she's read it. It had many nicely rendered illustrations, and a copyright of 1922. It was $3. Maybe it's a science fiction story? "The Little Kitten Who Would Not Wash His Face" sounds like "The Cat Who Refused to Sleep 16 Hours a Day."
      I'm very glad this happened. This was truly the only stress-free day I've had in a month. It's fun to laugh with your closest friend, and write here out of the pure enjoyment of writing.

      Dunning-Kruger Writ Large: A Democrat Handicaps the 2016 Republican Candidates. Short and funny.

8/12

      Thing we saw yesterday: a copy of Venturous Vegetables at the "Frolic Grounds". This is a sure-fire way to get your kids to eat their veggies! Eat them before they eat YOU.

8/13

8/14

      Stupid lyric I heard today: "Sitting like a setting sun, like a pearl upon the ocean, come and feel me, come on and heal me."
      I'm pretty sure if the setting sun just sat there, half the planet would fry while the other froze, and also: where is it sitting? A really big Lay-Z-Boy?
      A pearl on the ocean is going to go bloop and sink to the bottom, where it's best hope is to be eaten by a particularly dopey anglerfish.
      That's like "My love is like a red, red rose! That I never watered, so here's a dead, dead rose. On which I blew my nose. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! For our meal, I brought you some fish sticks. Kinda freezer burned. OH, sorry! Probably should've taken the thorns off that rose before I shoved it in your hand--what, there's poison ivy where?"

8/15

      I was just petting Byron when I discovered that he'd puked all over Kamikaze Attack. Bad kitty indeed! It's not like I was planning my retirement portfolio around it, but I'm betting I'm one of the few people on the planet that owns one of those. And it was nice and encrusted, so impossible to clean. Thanks, only person in this household with more mental issues than I have!
      His punishment was me saying "Dammit!" and rolling my eyes. His response was "Huh? What?" and going to sleep.

8/16

      Killsy's comments are "YOW!" whenever she wants food or pets. Byron, hearing impaired boy that he is, only purrs or SCA-REAMS. Cats have a hundred different vocalizations that they can make, and I think DJ goes through half of them any time I'm in the bathroom, generally something like "Ow ar bar eee ow ooh."
      Here are some odder ones:

      

      How Many Bad Movies Have You Seen? I got a pathetic 54 out of 170, despite purposely watching bad movies since a teenager. By my late 20s, I realized that "so bad it's good" movies like the perfect Plan 9 are rarities. Most are just "so bad they're fucking bad." I saw almost nothing on that list past the early 90s. Life's too short for Sandler and the Wayans.
      And how did they leave off the outputs of Emmerlich and Boll? ("Outputs" used in sense of "what your dog outputs during his walk")

8/17

8/18

8/19

      Hey, speaking of friends, I got together with one today! You'll never guess who!;

      

      TA-DAAA!
      HA! Got you! I set this joke up a week ago!
      That's Cos, Eric and Kevin (Meg would turn up much later) This was just hours after seeing the doctor and forcing myself to talk about my depression, so, yeah, pretty much an emotional roller coaster day.
      It's late (we closed the restaraunt!) and I have to work early, so no update tonight. I will say that Prozac has been acquired, though not yet taken. More tomorrow.

      Both exciting and ridiculous, Mad Max Tiny Road:

      

      

8/20

      I got a card from Jess today. I wish I had a scanner. It's titled "White Cat sitting in the window of a women's undergarment shop." In it was a page from a coloring book. I initially thought she'd drawn it, as why else would there be a white cat full center with retro robots and spaceships cavorting around it, in her old psychedlic style? No, she "just" colored it, with precise attention to every detail. And there was a lot of detail, bits that were only the pointiest tip of the sharpest marker wide.
      Why'd she send it? Well, why wouldn't she. This is Jess.

      I picked up the generic Prozac today. I wondered why the register screen said 2.15. I paid and found out that's how little it costs. Well, I guess it technically is addictive, so they make it up on volume.

      I knew I'd probably have a late night with Kev & Meg and be emotionally wired afterwards, so I asked to come in to work at 10 instead of 8.
      But I was wired from the doctor's appointment, and not in a good way, and slept badly. I have to be in at 8 tomorrow after staying 2 hours later than usual, and so I don't want to write here and repeat last night's sleeplessness. Tomorrow I'll fill in the details.

      

      

8/21

      In the mail I got a postcard. From Jess, who's at DisneyWorld? No, from beloved Kitsplut! On a road trip ("If I could find an open volcano we'd just drive into it") with her friend Biskit and covered in DEET. "Events are unrelated." How nice! Her sending me the card, not the DEET.

      Well, maybe we can catch up on things here.
      The doctor's visit wasn't fun. I gave him more details than I have even Jess about my suicide attempts (SPOILER: they failed). He's not some cooly detached clinician. At one point, he briefly buried his face in his hands. When it was time to end the visit, he hugged me. After I let my arms go slack, he said "I'm not letting go that easy."
      Side effect warning on the Prozac: "May cause depression or suicidal thoughts." Y'know, I don't take aspirin to get a headache.
      His office was just a couple miles away from where Kev, Meg & I were to meet. I asked the nurse if she knew anything about the place we originally were going to, Dave & Buster's. Given that 3 out of the group wanted to go there, and they're beer snobs, it was surely some new brew pub. I looked it up, and they were Chuck E. Cheese with a liquor license. The menu looked ridiculous--one was a double cheeseburger with a pound of fries. Is there a discount if you have a tapeworm? Because I'm not finishing that unless I'm eating for two. I figured I'd get something from the appetizer menu. Which started with the "Mountain of Nachos," which looked like an entire bag of Doritos.
      Then I checked their Yelp reviews. Wow...not a lot above 2 stars. Long waits, slow service, bad food, expensive, were the repeated complaints. "Maybe we should pick somewhere else" I emailed. The nurse had been there once, "And I'm never going back. You get a beer, and it's $8!" She also said that a coworker's daughter worked there. The management collects the waitstaff's tips and puts the total in their paychecks, so they pay taxes...after the management takes a cut of their tips. There's a reason right there to never patronize Dave & Buster's.
      Kev had decided to try Burger Fi instead. This is a chain too, but a small venue with beer on tap, and self-service. He arrived after me. But where was Meg? The afternoon before they flew up, her father was admitted to the hospital with a terrible leg infection. "I may not be able to do this tonight," he said, implying that her dad's days are numbered. He lives in CT, so...well, at least it happened when they were already on their way here (SPOILER: he's relatively okay). I gave him a CD of Little Rascals music, a series he enjoys unironically.
      When Cos and then Eric arrived, we talked outside while I made probably 25 attempts to start my camera. (The pic from Weds was maybe the 50th attempt; it took exactly 2 awful pics then decided to turn itself off)
      Burger Fi is like McDonalds with a liquor license, except the food isn't made from pet-grade meat slurry and their workers' tears. Excellent, actually, with a burger costing less than a Dave & Buster's beer. And they have some good beer. I had a Sam Adams Octoberfest on tap, and later a Shiner Prickly Pear, which I know is their Spring seasonal, but it's not that long ago. It didn't occur to any of us at the time, but it's from K&M's new hometown of Austin.
      And how are things? Meg's getting dog sitting/training clients, and Kev loves his job. It's "warm calling," getting current customers to renew their contracts and hopefully upgrade. He's making good money--did I mention they bought a house?--and now that's he's been there a year, thinks he may move up the ladder in his department. They're a cybersecurity company, so it's not like that's going obsolete. He wasn't thrilled when they were bought by Raytheon (company motto: "Building a Better Future With Bombs and Slaughtered Foreigners"), but it's not like he's piloting drones.
      Meg arrived very late, and looked drained, as one would expect with her dad in the hospital. Cos described our conversation as "Music, movies, beer, books--geeky stuff." And the differences between New England and Texas. Kev: "There are trees everywhere here! When Autumn came in Austin, the leaves turned brown and fell off in a week!" If you've ever heard how pretty it is in a New England fall, there's why. He also said how they wouldn't live anywhere in the state but Austin, and I told everyone about the (joke) headline in Funny Times recently, "Terrified Citizens of Austin Realize They're Surrounded by Texas."
      There were also some shared memories, with a lot of Kev saying "I remember that!" The only conversation I clearly remember (it's hard when there have been so many topics) was Meg talking about a mutual friend (no one I knew) who got a double masectomy, and who was pretty chipper about it. There are worse things to lose than body parts that are filled with cancer. "She's 'Want to see my scars?!' and lifting up her shirt--Umm, no thanks!" She's getting fake boobs, and apparently there are nipple tattoos that look very realistic. Cos: "I'd make my nipples eyeballs!' Me, pointing with both hands at chest: "Hey, buddy, my eyes are down here!"
      I could've done without the last half hour--it was late and I had to go to work early, Meg looked like she just wanted to go back to the motel and who could blame her, and the non-versation was just Kev & Eric talking about Mixed Martial Arts fighting, while the rest of us sat there (and Meg loves MMA). I kept being aware that we were the only people still there, and the employees were doing clear "closing time" activities. The sign outside said their hours were "11AM to Late Night," which is a bit vague. My old job was across the parking lot, so I watched to see if they stayed open until 10. They closed around 9:20-9:25, so I don't know what that meant. (After I left and stores could be open until 9, they were infamous for closing "when there were no customers"--and making their employees work 15 to 20 minutes off the clock) When a worker asked if we had any garbage, I said "I've got to get up early," and as soon as we left, they turned the music and lights off, and began stacking chairs on the tables. Yes, we closed the place. I haven't done that in a while. I think the last time I did, it was 10 years ago, and with Kevin...
      They say they want to make this an annual thing. It's not like when they lived a mile from me, but I'll take it over never seeing them again.

      Without humans, the whole world could look like Serengeti

      I thought after the cards from Jess and Kitty today, "If Lilly writes me, I've hit the perfecta!" And she just sent me an email inviting me to her wedding. Well, a 3000 mile drive is unlikely, but it's in a place in California named...VOLCANO.
      Hopefully, it's not on Kitsplut's route.

8/22

8/23

      Today I accepted full citizenship into the Prozac Nation.
      I don't feel any different. Maybe you have to take it for a week or something.

8/24

      "Which group in your company is best equipped to survive a zombie apocalypse based on skill set?"
      That was in a baffling survey I took. Umm...I don't think in my company there's a "beheading" skill set. It also asked if there were heroes and villians at my job, and they all were Star Wars characters. "Boba Fett: Always attacking you" and "Jabba: Always barking orders but never doing anything." It did not ask me if my job involved nerf herding.

      I handed a customer a credit card slip to sign, and she said "Why are you putting it on my right when I'm left handed?!" 1) I have no way to tell that without you saying so, and 2) your left arm from knuckles to elbow was in a cast.

      The other dumb person at work was me. I was checking in a beer order, and realized that it didn't have the keg I needed today. I've never forgotten to order something if it's written down. I thought I HAD ordered it. And of course it began--the near panic attack, soon to be followed by "I'm going to get fired!" paranoia and 2 to 3 days of depression. I hastily called the salesman to see if a merchandiser could bring the keg over today, even though I was in the middle of checking the order in. Once I went back to just the order, while still panicking, I could feel myself becoming calm. They've brought kegs over before, and they're only 15 minutes away. Why was I not flipping out? This has never happened before.
      Lily says "Give the Prozac a MINIMUM of six weeks to kick in, and it may not be something you notice immediately." I'm very aware of the placebo effect. So aware that I don't experience it, like that time Vicodin did nothing. If it was the effect, I wouldn't have felt anything. "Why panic; the Prozac is on this." Even after finding out that they couldn't deliver today and that the Owner would have to go and pick it up, I just thought "This isn't a crisis. He's not even bothered by it." Normally--well, normal for me--I'd assume he was quietly angry at me, and it would've been even worse. I thought "If there's blowback, eh, don't worry about things that haven't happened yet." Jess said about Prozac "The misconceptions that you walk around 'happy' and 'care-free' are not realistic, taking the medication gives you the mental energy to deal with the shit." And that's how I felt.
      This might be an example of "it hits different people differently." If it really is the placebo effect (and again, I don't think so. I would've decided yesterday that I felt different), I see no reason to complain about it.
      I called the keg customers, as the slip said "Monday 8/24 Call when it comes in." That means they want it right away. Since I got the same "default answering machine voice" my machine has and they hadn't come, I called back to make sure I dialed the right number. Our phones have endless problems with dialing out and have been there longer than I have, and I've been there since 2003. "Oh, somebody called my husband earlier. He'll be in to pick it up
      tomorrow."
      Yep. The guy who took the call meant "Monday" as in "on the Monday deliveries." I was worried over nothing.

8/25

      I took Prozac thinking "Don't expect anything, but look for anything different." It's been only 3 days, but I do notice that about an hour after taking it, I get drowsy for half an hour. As to yesterday, I still don't know. That clarity sure didn't seem to come from my usual brain. I asked Jess about how long it takes to kick in, and she replied      Obviously sent via phone given the formatting, which I include because it sounds like a haiku written by someone who got distracted 11 syllables in.      You've probably heard of this by now--I heard like a million internet years ago, or about a week in human terms, The Unhappiest Place on Earth: Banksy's Dismaland.

8/26

      Mad Max: The Hieroglyph

      Mad Max: The Honest Trailer:

      

      

8/27

      1974 Brian Eno lipsyncs! Systemically, of course.

      

      

8/28

8/29

      Sorry, Page-A-Day, but that's not a Stupidest Thing Ever Said. That's a sick burn. "You can ask me if you want what he had during Happy Hour."
      Reporter: "Well, sir, what did he have?"
      "A Molotov cocktail. Gave him heartburn."       
      

      


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