Thursday, December 29, 2005

So... how's the life hanging?...

With the year ending, here's a short way to see how things are going so far: RATE YOUR LIFE!

(Quizzes were invented for slow blog days...)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Vicky would write this but, as you’ll see, she’s busy… painting.

For about four years, I lived in an apartment in Santa Ana. Some of you saw it. Some of you survived it. One thing about it (pertinent to this blog entry), I never painted the walls. Nope. Not once.

I’m not big on painting. Never have been. In fact, when I owned my home with Rosa, I only painted one room and that was the kitchen and that was because it was yellow from years of chain smokers who lived there before us. Notice I don’t say I painted the room with Rosa. Actually, I painted it with Sean Roberson. If it hadn’t been for him, I wouldn’t have painted the ceiling! (He was tall, you see.) Sean was a huge help. He’d take me outside to have a cigarette every time I started ranting about how Rosa wouldn’t help.

Before that, all of my painting experience dwelled within my mom’s house. We used to paint very often when I was a child… and always white. My mom had an affinity for white; I don’t know why. We’d paint about once a year, it seems, and we’d always paint white.

How did we paint? With brushes and rollers, putting up a couple of layers and moving on along.

… which brings us to this week.

Vicky has a week off work and has decided to paint the guest bedroom/future-baby’s room. Words cannot express the attention she’s giving this room. She’s amazing. She has this single-minded energy… makes me wish I was a wall! She patches! She sands! She primers! She textures! She paints! On and On!

Me? I stand back and watch. I’m not getting in the middle of that!

Things work out this way...

A couple of months ago, Vicky and I took a trip down Route 66. We stopped in Oatman for a while, taking pictures. See, the new book was going to take place along Route 66 and I wanted to get some local landscape, local color, pictures of things I could describe in the book... filler. So, we took a few and got out of there.

When I started the book, I wasn't sure how this would all fit in. I figured the Hotel Oatman would be somewhere the characters would stay. I figured they'd go up the road that cut through town, that road being Route 66.

What I didn't know was that the main character's older brother would be, um... how do I say this?... confused about his sexual identity. I didn't realize that Matt, the character's name, would be giving blowjobs to anonymous dicks through holes cut in the stall of public restroom. I didn't realize that this would dovetail so well with a sister who used sex as a weapon and a brother so wrapped in guilt about a relationship. I knew these characters would all have problems, stemming from their very dysfunctional family, but I didn't know the specifics when I took the pictures.

So, it was that I wrote a scene today that took place in Oatman. Two of the the characters are looking for each other and find each other in front of the general store. I had taken a picture of the general store.

And when I looked at it, I saw the sign that bore the store's name.

The store's name?

The Glory Hole.

... so be careful what you name things.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Sure, but is it an orgasm on your tongue?...

Perhaps I should explain.


Vicky and I just got in from an afternoon with family to find that we'd left a piece of banana bread on the counter. It was pretty stale. It was really stale. The only thing that made it better was a swig of egg nog. Vicky said, "Why don't you just put it all in a bowl?"

OF COURSE! Why hadn't I thought of that???

So, here's how to make BANANA BREAD EGG NOG SOUP!

Take one piece of banana bread and break it up into a bowl. Pour in enough egg nog to cover. Then, let it sit and soak for a minute.

What you have then is, well, dare I say it? It's an orgasm on your tongue - that's what it is!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

New Job News...

I can't believe it's only the end of the second day.

Yep, I started the new job yesterday.... oy. That's all I can say. Oy.

You know the old saying, "Be careful what you wish for?"

The grass is always greener?

I'm sure I won't hear the end of this?

Well... it turns out that the new place has been dying for a "top-notch writer" since their last one left some months ago. Their last "top-notch writer"? NO! Their last "didn't-know-what-the-fuck-she-was-doing writer"!

Now, I find myself not only cleaning up her enormous messes and a backlog that makes Katrina look a bit humid - but my new boss expects all kinds of shit from me and... well...

I may actually have to ... gasp ... work!

... son of a bitch...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Tell me again. The buck stops where?...

Looks like Shrub has come out and admitted that all the pre-war intelligence was WRONG.

... but thinks the war was the right thing to do!

No punchline here. It's revolting.

Let me play World of Warcraft or I'LL KILL YOU!...

(another in a series of bad entry titles...)

There's been a lot of hubbub lately about the "dangers" of violent video games. ("Hello, Senator Leiberman!") Well, this MIT professor has a thing or two to say...

Here's his take on violence (but the whole thing's a great read):

According to federal crime statistics, the rate of juvenile violent crime in the United States is at a 30-year low. Researchers find that people serving time for violent crimes typically consume less media before committing their crimes than the average person in the general population. It's true that young offenders who have committed school shootings in America have also been game players. But young people in general are more likely to be gamers — 90 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls play. The overwhelming majority of kids who play do NOT commit antisocial acts. According to a 2001 U.S. Surgeon General's report, the strongest risk factors for school shootings centered on mental stability and the quality of home life, not media exposure. The moral panic over violent video games is doubly harmful. It has led adult authorities to be more suspicious and hostile to many kids who already feel cut off from the system. It also misdirects energy away from eliminating the actual causes of youth violence and allows problems to continue to fester.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Global Warming? Shrub's got a plan...

Thank you, Will Farrell!

(I don't know how long this clip will be up so check it out soon.)

(And, yes, it's a clip... so let's not view it on dial-up, okay?)

Sunday, December 11, 2005

It's Obvious Joke Time!!!

(The obvious joke for this week comes to you from Bree Goldblum, Berkley, California.)

Bush wins Heisman!

... that guy will throw any election!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

After Five Years, Ken Does The IMPOSSIBLE...

(As with all of Ken's stories, you must endure the "parable beginning"... sorry...)

So, I was driving into work today on the 55 freeway. Right around 4th Street, a car two lanes over gets a flat. His left-rear tire practically explodes! You can hear it thumpity-thump on the road - because he keeps going. Oh, there was a moment of swerving there but he stayed in his lane. He kept going.

We pass 1st Street. We pass the 5 freeway. Then, his tire just shreds off the wheel - it leaps right off - jumps into the lane beside me!

But, he keeps going. You can hear the metal screeching on the pavement. But he keeps going.

We pass McFadden.

Suddenly, he veers to the right and exits on Edinger.

True story.

And this is exactly how my life has been. About five years ago, I got a flat of monumental proportions... but I kept going.

And it's about damned time I got off the road.

What the hell am I talking about?

I went into my boss' office yesterday. I was hired over five years ago as a marketing writer and was asked to help with technical manuals. When this guy started three years ago, he decided that I would do NOTHING but write technical manuals. Oh, he didn't decide right away. I wrote some ads for him and he loved them. If he didn't, he shouldn't have had me do them over and over. But after about a year, a couple years ago, he told me, "We don't hire marketing writers. You're a technical writer. Your job is to make widgets. And you're going to keep making widgets as long as I'm in charge."

A few month later, he brought some friends on board... as marketing writers. The both sucked horribly. One of them even quit.

I went in, acknowledged the new opening, and asked him if, since I was hired to do that job, he would consider me for it. He said, "No."

But not right away.

First, he told me that the job was being "retooled". Its duties would now include managing the writing staff in addition to marketing writing. So, I wasn't qualified.

Did I mention I was also the manager of the writing department before he started? That I was removed because he didn't like my crazy ideas, such as "proofreading", because they were a waste of time? So, there are two jobs I've done at this company and have done well... for which I am not qualified.

Normally, this would devastate me. You see, the big secret is, I like my company. I think it's capable of being a first-class company with first-class products. They are the number one networking company, by virtue of the amount of cash they spend on PR, but they still put out a crappy product with crappy documentation (no thanks to my attempts to improve it - see "Proofreading") and crappy customer service. I want to help make it a good company. I'm just not allowed to help. I'm shut out of the process, which is a horrible feeling.


I say "normally" because, yesterday, things changed.

I decided to leave my horrible, nightmare job.

I decided just a few minutes after getting myself another job.

I decided after getting a job that pays a lot more with people who seem (on the outset) to respect me and my abilities.

So, I looked at Mike, thanked him for his "honesty", and handed him my letter of resignation.

First, I'm rid of Rosa. Now, I'm rid of my nightmare job. What's next? A published novel?

... let's just be happy I found a new job for now.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Say it isn't so...

I was going to write something about politics this morning but, to be honest, I'm too disgusted. (Check out I'm Just Sayin' over on the right if you want some of that. He does a much better job than I ever could.)

Instead, let's talk about music.

I was driving in to work today and, as I'm listening to Stephanie Miller, my internal radio decides it wants to listen to something else. (Nothing against Steph - LOVE her!) What does it put on? Darryl Hall and John Fucking Oates! Swear to Gawd! I suddenly have "Say It Isn't So" going through my head!

And that's not the worst part.

Oh no, dear friends. I gets worse!

The worst part is... I'm liking it!

It's a kind of upbeat, peppy song. Sure. I can remember "back in the day", before it became fashionable to mock the Hall and the Oates, they had a certain cubic measurement of coolness. I even remember being in my first band and discussing the possibilities of adding a H&O cover. In fact, there was once a time when I very nearly got laid after singing "Sara Smile" at a karaoke bar. (I say "very nearly" because it was a very close thing... but I was married... so...)

Maybe, I thought as I drove, they weren't so bad. Maybe it's time to pull out the old "Hall & Oates Greatest Hit" CD that's hiding amongst the "H"s in the CD cabinet. Maybe...

Then, I got to work and, being the dolt that I am (don't laugh - I'm sure you're all adolts!), I decided to look up some lyrics online.

Say it isn’t so painful to tell me that you’re dissatisfied.
Last time I asked you I really got a lame excuse.
I know that you lied.
Now wicked things can happen...
you see ’em goin’ down in war.
But when you play in a quiet way that bites it even more.
[say it]
Tell me what you want yeah
I’ll do it baby I promise right now.
[say it]
Who propped you up when you were stopped low motivation had you on the ground.
I know your first reaction you slide away hide away goodbye.
But if there’s a doubt maybe I can give out a thousand reasons why.
You have to say it isn’t so...
[it isn’t so].

... oh ... my ... god...

Insipid doesn't quite cover it.

Lame? ... Close.

Re... volting?

That's it!

What was I thinking?! Hall & Oates did suck! And I was giving them air time in my mental radio?! (Ah, make that "neuron time") I felt so disappointed. What's next? "Man-eater"? "Adult Education"???

But then, I thought I'd try to redeem them...

Baby hair with a woman’s eyes
I can feel you watching in the night
All alone with me and we’re waiting for the sunlight
When I feel cold you warm me
When I feel I can’t go on you come and hold me
It’s you... and me forever
Sara smile

... not so bad ... almost good...

But you gotta be careful what you play, in your noggin or elsewhere, my friends. (And, seriously, BEWARE anything from Big Bam Boom...)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Snoopy... cicle...

Sometimes, when people are involved in horrible accidents or witness incredible atrocities, they forget what happened to them for a while. Then, something jogs the memory and - BAM - they require therapy.

I'll give you an example.

And I won't have to go to extremes like the Holocaust or the Titanic (both the boat and the movie) to prove my point. I don't have to go any farther back than Saturday... at Knotts.

Because I just remembered the most horrible of all atrocities: Snoopy on Ice!

As previously noted, Billie and Dan went with a multitude of nieces and I went with Vicky. And they asked me, "Do you want to go on Snoopy on Ice?" and the preferable form, "Would you like to SEE Snoopy on Ice?"

They asked me over and over and over.

Believing that options suggest choice, I chose. I answered, "No." Why? I think it's obvious. Shows like Snoopy on Ice or Mickey on Steam are, by their very nature, children's shows. Can we agree on that? Okay. Well, I'm neither a child nor do I have a child. Vicky was free to see it but I just didn't want to. Not my cup of tea. Thank you. No.

And this brought the immediate response, "You know you're going to have to see this when you have kids."

I hate answers like this. I mean, what are they trying to suggest? That I should surrender my last few months of freedom just because I won't be free later? Hell, I might as well get a pacemaker now! Where's my walker?! Look, we're not even sure any child of mine would LIKE that kind of stuff. Try to imagine a little Ken running around - do you see him wanting to see Goofy on Mist? There's a chance he won't. Are we to force him, too???

Thankfully, Vicky's not the kind of person to guilt me into seeing stuff like that. (Not that she doesn't guilt me into other things - she IS a woman, after all.) She was happy with the Mystery Lodge... actually, that may be exaggerating...

Meanwhile, I'll bide my time in the hopes that by the time my child is old enough to go to things like Snoopy on Ice, the take out the ice skates and replace them with skis... at high speed... through a mine field! Now, that's family fun!

Monday, December 05, 2005


I know. I know. I'm a horrible, terrible person. I'm so corrupt, I'm practically a (burning) Bush appointee. I'm so jaded I could be mined... for jade!

But I can't help it. It's who I am!

So, we went to Knotts Berry Farm this weekend and I was, let's say, less than enthusiastic. I know I should have been. After all, we were getting in for $10 each, thanks to being a friend of a cop and a fireman. (That's Billie and Dan, in case you didn't know.) (Cop & Fireman... you know... public servants... people the Revolticons hate.) Billie was there with my book, With Eyes to See, telling me how much she LOVED it. What's not to like.

By the way, they were there with some nieces and... well, other nieces. When they asked what the book was about, Dan said, "It's about people who gouge their own eyes out." And these kids are TINY!... Granted, the book is about people who gouge their own eyes out...

So, we got inside and we're going from ride to ride and I am, let's say, underwhelmed. I'm grumbling in all the lines for the rides - though, I will say, there are hardly any! But, really, Knotts is the smallest amusement park in the world! If Disneyland was so small, they'd call it Disneyroom! If Magic Mountain was that size, it would be Magic Mound!

But I got better as the day went on and I even shopped with Vicky at all the little shops. Actually, it was mostly little shops. What the hell is with all the little shops?! We went from shop to shop to shop to... and my feet started to get tired.

All day long, I was trying to convince Vicky to go on Bigfoot Rapids, one of those white water because they put soap in the water kind of rides. One of those rides where they say "You will get wet!" and then turn a hose on you as you step off just to make sure.

Vicky was having no part of it.

Somewhere along the way, there formed an unspoken agreement that she would go on Bigfoot Rapids with me if I went into the Mystery Lodge with her.

We had an agreement.

So, Billie and some of her nieces went with us on Bigfoot Rapids. Vicky was grumbling through the whole line - a lot like I was earlier in the day. We get on and Vicky and I, both of us sadly the heaviest people on our innertube-like raft, are positioned right next to each other. Simply, grade-school science (remember? science?) tells us that we're gonna get very wet. We're hosed... or soon will be. Sure enough, Vicky gets hit by a big wave. This makes me laugh - but not for long. Because I get hit by a huge wave! Everyone else on the raft laughs, even me... but not Vicky. She's wetter than anyone else. She's wetter than the ride! She's wanting them to turn the hose on her just to dry off!

I felt pretty bad about that as we walked around the park. Sadly, that wasn't the worst thing to happen. Vicky got a call on her cell. Her grandmother was in the hospital, doing very poorly. She could die. The decision before us was if we should go and drive up to Lancaster to see her before she died or if we should stay and remember Audrey (her grandmother) as we knew her. Audrey was too far gone to recognize us if we did go and going there would just make that our last memory. And we didn't want that.

Give me just a minute here. The only grandmother I ever knew wasn't exactly what you'd call a nice person. On top of that, she liked Rosa... so meeting Audrey was a wonderful gift. I met her in a hospital. She's never been very well. She's old and frail. And I'm so grateful for meeting her. From only the few moments we've had together, I think she's an angel. And this is coming from someone who hates old people! (We'll get into that another time but let's just say I can't stand the coming attractions.) The thought of her dying just tore at my heart and there, amidst the crowded paths, Vicky and I held each other.

(Audrey is still in the hospital. She's doing very poorly but she's got a will like titanium.)

Since we were staying, it was time for the Mystery Lodge. I thought I'd gone on this years ago and I might have... but they must have changed it. Now, when you walk in, there's a large hall in which you're asked to wait. And so, we wait. As we're waiting, this announcer walks out and tries to warm up the crowd - the mystery here being who would ever think he's funny. The other mystery is when the show would start. Because we kept waiting. Another mystery: why weren't there any chairs? We had to stand... and wait... and listen to this chump's bad jokes.

And then, lightening flashed! And the lights changed!

And then the chump made some more bad jokes.

Finally, some doors opened and we walked into a theater where we sat on benches. The chump said a few things, which nobody listened to, and the show began. It was a special effects show, in a way, with an old Indian (an actor) telling a story. Now, to be honest, the show was pretty good. Cheesy but good. It would have been a thousand times better without the chump and his stupid comments.

After that, we went home. Wet and a little sad.

But we had a pretty good time...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Weekend things...

Yes, I'm back with another weekend prognostication... of sorts! You see, this weekend we actually have "planned" - the quotes make it flexible, as if to say "we have things we think we're going to do and might do and probably will do if we do them..."

First, I gotta tell you that as I was searching the web this morning I found something that got me laughing. Not a joke in the traditional sense, it's actually one of those things we used to joke about. Turns out there really is such a thing as Adult ADD! Honestly! Hey, the legal drug pushers wouldn't lie to you... would they? Take this pill - you'll understand.

Vicky and I are meeting Billie and Dan at Knott's Crappy Farm this weekend. I call it Knott's Crappy Farm because, well, it's pretty crappy. If you've never been there, you can cover the entire part, with all the rides and attractions in the time it takes middle-aged men to go to the bathroom. (Unless they've been eating a lot of cheese...) It's the single most boring "amusement" park... but Vicky wants to go see all the Christmas shops. So, that clinches it! NOTHING is as boring!

But I have to go. You see, Billie just finished reading my latest book, With Eyes to See. Since it's a horror novel with lots of, what I call, "cop stuff" (that being business in the book dealing with cops), I wanted to get her opinion on how very far off I was. Billie's a cop, you see. A Lieutenant. The big cheese! Well, I spoke with her last night and not only did she LOVE the book but she thinks I got the cop stuff pretty right. So, next it goes to Vicky for proofreading. Then, it's out to agents for rejection letters. Ah, how I adore rejection letters. That or sex - I don't know which is better!

So our Saturday will be spent at Knott's. Joy.

But we'll be back home Saturday night, which is good, because if we miss it tonight we'll have a second chance to catch HOMECOMING. What is HOMECOMING? HOMECOMING is a new movie by Joe Dante (of Gremlin's fame) for Showtime that you just have to see. The premise? In an election year, all the dead from the Iraqi Abomination rise from their graves to vote out the Republicans. Surely this can't be the only way we'll get rid of those fucking thugs! I figure that if Mr. Dante is sending zombies after Republicans - I gotta watch! And the great thing is that this weekend is one of those free preview weekends for Showitme so, if you don't have it, you get it this weekend. If you have cable (or, like us, satellite) you have no excuse!

Speaking of good uses for meat, we'll also be hitting Henry's or Whole Foods this weekend to pick up some steaks. Vicky got an early Christmas gift this year: a very nice barbeque. This weekend, we're breaking that bad boy in! Vicky is quite the barbequesse and I'm quite the fat pig... so things work out well.

We also might get a game of Scrabble going. Weekends seem to be the time for that. We play our Scrabble by slightly different rules - we allow the dictionary. Yes. That's right. I said it. We allow it. In fact, we encourage here. Want to know why? When you play without the dictionary (only using it to prove someone else is wrong, losing your turn if they're not) you discourage the learning of new words. By introducing the dictionary into our game, we have a more supportive environment. Not only that but when we have kids we'll get them involved with the dictionary, too, taking the taboo away. (You know, if they play with us.) Okay, so we're wimps! That's the bottom line! But we use more of our tiles, damn you!

We also need to start looking into this whole Christmas thing - buying gifts and cards and blah blah blah... Wasn't it just September?