Thursday, January 31, 2008

I look almost lifelike!...

For the past few weeks, I had decided to let my beard grow out. Now, listen. I grow facial hair like a teenager… a young teenager… with glandular problems, so it’s not like mine is impressive in its bulkiness or anything. Still, I thought I’d try it out and, in fact, I liked it. I like the beard thing. I’ll probably grow it back.

Yes, I say “grow it back” because last night I shaved it all off. My face is now just as smooth as a baby’s but… as well…

So, Ruben comes into my office today. He’s a young guy in his early 20’s. Actually, everyone here is in their 20’s, except our Director of Marketing… who’s in his early 30’s… Ruben walks in, notices my lack of whiskers, and says, “Wow. You look like a young man.”

I felt like removing my false teeth and asking for my walker.

But I didn’t. I just smiled and said, “Thank you, Ruben. I feel like a young man.”

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A short one…

Vicky’s been so busy lately she hasn’t even had time to read this thing. (You remember when she used to write?) (Me neither.) So, I just thought I’d keep this one short.

Vicky and I were up until 11:00 last night.

No, perverts. We were talking. Don’t you think I’ve written enough about sex lately?

It was really cool. I got home from school rather late and Vicky and I laid in bed… and talked. When older people are asked what makes a good partner, it always comes down to communication, having someone you can talk to. So, it’s nice to know that Vicky and I can still keep each other up, just gabbing. Granted, we haven’t been together forever, but it has been years and years.

I never want our friendship to fade off. It’s nice to know it’s still there.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Missing dreams and spicy realities…

I want to tell you about two very different episodes from this weekend.

The first began on Sunday morning – and when I say “morning”, I mean it – it was 1:00am! Suki was scratching at the door, which she usually does when she needs to go out. I, being the good puppy poppy, got up from my deep slumber, got dressed, and said, “Okay, let’s go.” I went downstairs, now wide away… and Suki stayed in the bedroom. The little mutt even took my side of the bed. Who has who trained???

After I went back to sleep, I experienced the strangest dream. It was one of those hyper-real dreams and it had me off for the rest of the day. Vicky was offered membership to a very exclusive club. I couldn’t get in because I didn’t have my degree. But, Vicky talked them into letting me in as well and, as she was let in, I had to fill out a stack of forms. After a while, though, they let me in. The club was enormous, filling this vast network of buildings and Vicky, of course, was nowhere to be found. So, I began searching for her, crossing room after room and building after building.

It was a very permissive club; you could do pretty much anything you wanted. I crossed rooms where people were having all kinds of weird sex, engaging is all kinds of strange activities, but I didn’t stop. I was looking for Vicky. She had mentioned that we would meet at the bar – but I couldn’t find the bar. Strangely, the further into the building I went, the laws of physics became something to be ignored. I found a woman would could ball herself up like silly putty and bounce herself off the wall. Hallways went in strange directions.

Finally, I passed an employee and mentioned I was looking for Vicky. He was pulling out a cabinet drawer and stepping into it. “I can show you, but you’ll have to come with me first.” He pushed back the back of the drawer and began to move forward.

“No,” I said, cautiously. “I’ll wait.”

“Okay,” he said. “Then, I won’t tell you about Rosa.”

At this point, I woke up a little and thought: How would this guy know about Rosa? I must be dreaming. I should follow him and find out what happens next. “Okay,” I said. “I’ll go with you.” I stepped into the drawer, pushed back the back, which opened into another room, and began to crawl through. Suddenly, the drawer began to bounce furiously up and down, making it impossible to move forward – Suki was bouncing in the drawer! Suki, stop it, I thought – but it was too late.

I was yanked out of the dream and found Suki bouncing around on the bed. Stupid dog.

But the dream had seemed to real that I went downstairs, extra happy to see my wife there. I held her close and said, “I missed you.”

“I didn’t go anywhere,” she said. Little did she know.

Vicky and I have a very different sense of romance. We also have a very different sense of taco sauce.

I am infamous for taking extra taco sauce packets from fast food joints, especially Taco Bell. And I don’t just take a couple extra – I take mounds! Vicky thought we could just buy the little bottles they sell at the store but she forgot that my reason for eating burritos (which I love) is to serve as a holder for taco sauce. I use a TON of taco sauce. One of those little bottles can go in a week!

What to do? Well, I suggested we just hit Taco Bell again and grab a few thousand packets. Vicky, however, had another idea.

She found the recipe – the actual recipe for the stuff – and made it at home. She made me taco sauce! And it tastes better than the stuff in the packets!!!

Is taco sauce romance? Probably not. But I’m thinking that romance is somewhere between that and dreams of crawling through cabinet drawers. Somewhere in there romance lies.

Friday, January 25, 2008

It’s the all sex, all the time edition…

So… sex.

Sex. Sex. Sex.


See, the thing is it’s 8:00am and it’s rather cold in my office this morning. The idiot with the thermostat must be from the east coast is all I can figure because, in California, 65 degrees is considered cold… well, it is for an office! My alternative, then, is to warm myself up. And what’s better for that than sex. And since having an affair on my desk might attract a little attention, I figured I’d just write about it.

In fact, that’s what I was doing this morning, writing about it. The book I’m currently working on (Working title: Last Ditch. Just about halfway done with it.) is a psychological thriller, Film Noir version 2.0 with lots and lots of sex in it. Sexual acts, sexual tension – lots. And just about all of it is just, plain wrong. Adultery, incest, and just so much more. What can I tell you? You can only write deep, philosophical insight for so long before it all goes back to SEX!

When you’re writing about sex at work – and, by the way, I wrote about 1400 words today – you’d think the only thing on your mind would be sex… right? Wrong! The thing foremost on your mind is, “Please don’t anybody walk in! Please don’t anybody walk in!” Because the last thing you want to have happen is someone looking over your shoulder, catching a glimpse of:

He was holding her legs up but let them go so she could stand on the bed. She stood before him looking like all the innocence of youth, but he knew better and the tent in his trousers told her he didn’t mind. The skirt unbuttoned, she dropped it with a kick onto the floor. Then, she peeled off the leggings. Her body wasn’t well-defined and her ex-boyfriend was mostly right. She was obviously uncomfortable, standing there before him with her body on display, even in the darkened room. He smiled, kissed her belly, and moved down, trailing his kisses into her small bush, spreading her legs. All the while his eyes looked into hers.

That would be bad. What do you say? School paper? Letter to mom? No! There’s nothing you can say at that point!

Speaking of talking, there’s usually a bit of conversation that goes on during sex. Rarely however, is the emphasis: “What are we doing for dinner tomorrow.”

… well, at least, it shouldn’t be.

That’s when you find out you’re an old, married couple.

… at least, you do if you’re an old, married couple.

Vicky and I, after just a couple of years, are an old, married couple.

After reviewing a few items in our freezer and talking about our schedules for the evening – Vicky’s going out with Trish, I have to read my Pre-Socratic text – Vicky stopped us right there. We were in the middle of being as in flagrante delicto as you can be and we were discussing schedules and menus. “Whatever happened to ‘Yeah, fuck me’?” she asked.

Woody Allen once said that sex is the most fun you can have without laughing… Vicky and I sometimes add the laughing.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Vicky to the rescue…

So, I got up this morning, did my daily routine, and gathered all of my things so I could get going to work.

I got my lunch packed in my lunchbox. I got my school books. I got my car stereo’s faceplate, my phone, my ring, and my watch. I got everything.

So, I went out into the cold morning, locked the door and closed it behind me. Then, I locked the screen door and closed it behind me.

Then, I walked to my car.

… then, I realized that I forgot my keys and my wallet.


So, what to do? I couldn’t get back inside!

I called Vicky. After telling her not to laugh, I cracked up. “Can you come down and open the door for me?”

She did.

I’m a dork and she’s my hero.

A drink before I wake…

Vicky and I were at home with the kids one night just before Christmas, when a strange visitor came to the door. I seem to remember knowing him so we invited him in. He couldn’t stay long, he said. Could we get him a drink? Yes, he told us, and then proceeded to describe a strange and oddly specific mix. It was a punch of some kind, with brandy, and peppermint stick around the rim of the glass.

Vicky and I hurried into the kitchen. What could we do? We didn’t have half of the ingredients. So, we fudged the punch and, in place of brandy, we found some fruit-infused tequila. Vicky was amazing at crumbling the peppermint stick and getting it to stick to the rim of the glass.

“Here we go,” I said, bringing it out.

But before he took the drink, the stranger began asking me all kinds of questions about ethics. My ethics. And when I pushed him to take the drink, he said, “Oh, I can’t drink that. I’m on the wagon. That drink is for you.” At which time, he said his goodbyes and was off. I leaned against the doorjam, holding the drink, and wondered what that was all about.

And I opened my eyes and found my arm raised as though I was leaning on a doorjam. I was in bed. And thought of his questions, along with the drink – and the ethical dilemma that represented – haunted me.

But for only a second. Then, the alarm went off.

Boy, does my timing suck.

It’s official. I’m married to Pod Vicky…

Perhaps I shouldn’t say anything. Perhaps this is far bigger than just the wife. Perhaps this is worldwide… it’s spread… it can’t be contained…

But, I’ll say it anyway.

Vicky’s been doing a great job with her physical trainer. Just great. She’s stuck with it. I’m really proud of her.

I wish I could say it stops there.

But then, she’s recently gotten really good about eating healthy lunches. Really good. I’m… proud of her.

And then, this woman started thinking of healthy things we could eat at dinner. At dinner. The other night, when we were going to have chicken burgers, she told me that “chicken burgers” means that she has one and I have one. One and one equal two… plural… burgers

Yesterday, when I told her I was going to make angel hair pasta in a tomato and basil sauce, and I might throw some shrimp in it, and get some crusty bread, and open a bottle of wine, she said, “I’m going to eat a big bowl of vegetables so I don’t fill up on pasta.”

And then, I realized.

This wasn’t Vicky. It looked like her. It sounded like her.

It was not her. She was replaced. Something has taken my wife.

… well, whatever she is, I hope she can make pancakes…

Say Goodbye to Plastic…

It’s not often that I link a Texas paper, but I will here… and here… and here! Oh, screw it! Let's just go to the press release!

Here’s the gist: Whole Foods is going to stop using plastic bags. And God Bless Em!

Plastic bags are made with petroleum by-products (not the wisest use of the last of our planet’s oil), stick around for about a thousand years in everywhere from landfills to a growing island in the middle of the Pacific (no kidding!), and when they do decompose leech into our water supply and food. Tasty! All for a few minutes of use. Nice, huh?

Vicky and I have been doing our best to eliminate plastic from our lives wherever we can. We have stopped buying bottled juices and sodas and the like… okay, I do once in a while – maybe one bottle a month or so – but that’s usually when I’m on the road and I get thirsty. But we’ve dropped our consumption by about 90%, easily, and even when we do use a plastic bottle, we recycle. As for bags, we have reusable bags and, when we’re only buying a couple of things, let the store employee know we don’t need a bag.

Do I think we should all do this? Yes! Absolutely! It’s a little difficult at first but you find yourself drinking more water, which is better for you, and amassing less trash. I hope we all go the way of Whole Foods.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Vicky’s morning…

(Vicky assures me this wasn't a typical morning... still...)

I went into work late this morning. By late, I mean 8:00am. I woke up at 5:30, went to the gym, took a shower, had some breakfast – really kinda took it easy this morning and went in late.

You see, normally, I’m at work long before the butt-crack of dawn even begins to show a cheek. I start at 6:30am.

One of the benefits of going in late is that I really got to see what Vicky’s morning is like. You see, she normally starts later in the day and gets home hours after I do.

And I’ve found myself wondering why that is.

This morning, I found out. I usually wake up in the dark and the cold. Vicky wakes up when the sun comes up and warms her. I wake up long before the world is awake. Vicky wakes up with radio and TV programs, live not pre-recorded. And we both go to bed at the same time, mind you. Who do you think gets more sleep?

Now, I can see how she’s able to sleep in on the weekends. I usually wake up at 5am or 6am and she’s usually asleep until 9am. It’s because that’s about how we usually wake up during the week! I think I’m totally sleeping in when I get up at 6am – I know nothing about sleeping in! Vicky is the pro! I am not worthy of her skillz!

Tomorrow, I’ll go back to my normal routine and leave as Vicky still has hours of sleep to go. I’m not bitter; I’m glad she gets her mornings… but I do feel kinda stupid

Sunday, January 20, 2008

We went to the movies today...

An overzealous cameraman!
A writer who consistently displays his utter lack of knowledge on – oh – just about everything!
A girl who finds a punctured chest cavity no more inconvenient than running down 30-40 flights of stairs barefoot!
And a mysteriously exploding head!

I bring you: Cloverfield! Try not to laugh!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

You’re probably wondering what she does for an encore…

This happened shortly after we got home tonight.

Vicky ran into the kitchen with Suki, calling, “Suki! Suki! Suki!” Suddenly, I heard her tone shift and she yelled a prolonged, “Whaaaaaa….”

I ran into the kitchen, asking, “Are you all right?”

Vicky lay there, face down on the floor, laughing hysterically.

Ladies and Gentlemen: My wife.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Clutzy and Old…

In case you’re wondering what old age is all about, well, let me tell you I’m getting a taste of it first hand. I’m beginning to think it’s all about mornings, making time in your mornings – at least, that’s a slice of it. The clutzy part… that’s age agnostic.

I woke up this morning to my routine and realized, I should have seen it coming the night before but my goosefleshed skin spoke up, that Vicky had turned off the heater. Great. Stupid-o’clock and freezing cold as well. Fun!

The shower warmed me up but, you know the drill, that warmth is stripped off of you like an ice bath the minute you step out and, when the heater’s not on, that ice bath is a mean mother. So, you hurry. Hurry on the socks – hurry on the jeans – hurry on the shirt – hurry on the shoes – hurry downstairs – hurry, hurry, hurry. (Yes, I skipped the part about giving Vicky a kiss goodbye. Not that I didn’t do it, I just decided not to go on and on about how warm she looked under three blankets while I was freezing cold.)(Yes, in Southern California 50 degrees fahrenheit is considered freezing!)

I’ve been trying to eat a healthy – not big or fattening but healthy and small – breakfast every morning. Usually, I start with a cereal that’s good for me and some light soy milk… usually… we’re out of light soy milk. Okay. Plan B: find something else. I opt for a frozen burrito, which… well, let’s just say you should never have read this paragraph.

The reason you need to make plenty of time in the morning is because you’ll be spending all that time taking pills. I’ve only just started and I hear it just gets worse from here. First thing: glucosamine chondroitin. My doctor has me taking this for… well, old age basically. These are not the kinds of joint I want to have to concern myself with (when was the last time I smoked pot, anyway?) but, to relieve the aches and pains of 42,000 years, my doc has me taking three horsepills worth of this each day. Next: red rice yeast. Here’s the story about red rice yeast; it’s a big joke. Doctors put you on this stuff just before they put you on “Hardongobyebye” meds. I swear. Have you ever heard of red rice? Have you ever heard of rice yeast? NO! It’s a placebo, people! When I look it up in the Wiki, I get red yeast rice – fucking people can’t even make up their minds on what to call it!

And “red yeast rice” sounds even worse than red rice yeast. “Would you like white or brown rice? Or red yeast rice?” Blech! It’s supposed to lower your LDL-cholesterol. I take it because I am a fat, old fuck. God damn.

So, as if that wasn’t bad enough. On top of all that, I have to take my vitamins. Vicky has me taking them in liquid form. They taste like a glass of liquid crap. But I take a swig every morning, right after my old age meds, to make me healthier…. Sure…. Give me a fucking break.

I reach into the fridge, grab the bottle – it says to shake – and I give it a vigorous shake.

… Here’s a tip! Make sure the lid is all the way on!

It takes three shakes for me to realize exactly what I’m doing. What can I tell you? I’m not completely awake, yet. The first shake registers a weary “Huh?” The second shake elicits a disturbed “What the hell is that?” With the third shake, I realize I am reenacting Mount Vesuvius in my right hand – or something far more sexual than even I will imply – and liquid vitamins are all over the floor.


Old and clutzy. I can’t wait for senility.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Suki kisses…

(What follows is a tale of bestiality so hideous that no dog should be forced to read it... unless you think it'll help...)

I don’t ordinarily go on about my dog – extricating poop from a dog’s butt is pretty much proof of ownership – but I figured today would be a good day. (And I’m short of things to write about… but, anyway…)

This morning, I awoke as I usually do – in the dark at stupid-o’clock. I went through my morning routine (the brushing, washing, dressing, generally making myself look presentable – “good” was given up years ago) and, as I picked out my tie, I noticed Suki, sleeping in her spot on the end of the bed, her head craned up towards me.

“What?” I asked, trying to trick her into speaking English.

It didn’t work. Her head craned, she cocked it to one side.

“What?” I asked again and, being the good person, I obeyed her psychic command and went to her.

She craned her head a little further and began to give me kisses. Now, listen, this is not a kissey dog. Oh, she gives her momma (that would be Vicky) loads of kisses – when Vicky gets home, when Vicky goes to bed… pretty much any time Vicky wants a puppy kiss, Suki is there for her. I’ve pretty much settled into the role of second banana in Suki’s life. We go for walks after I get home from work; sometimes, we jog. I play with her on the bed. We’re close, but she is not demonstrative.

And for those of you who think puppy kisses are icky – poo on you! (We’re not talking about french kisses here, folks!)

In fact, once I let Suki start giving me kisses, she moves up from my cheek to my nose to my left eye (which she found very tasty, indeed) and ended on my forehead. By that time, I was sufficiently licked, even if Suki wasn’t finished. As I backed away, though, I could see she wasn’t finished. She gave me “the look.” I’m very empathetic towards the emotional needs of animals. When Alacrity meows to be pet, I am there! Any child Vicky and I have will not want for luvin. So, I moved in and gave Suki a big hug. To which, she responded with her typical, “Huff.” That’s her way of saying, “I like it. Don’t move. Stay here. Call in.”

I figured Vicky might have a problem with that. “I gotta call in, Vic. Suki wants me to stay and pet her.” I’m thinking that wouldn’t go over well.

So, I backed away from the pooch and saw “the look” again.

I’m not usually a fan of pure-bred dogs. We are a world of mutts and pure breeds have little place. But I do love Suki. I’m just saying.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Vicky’s calling…

Ken’s phone: Buzz! Buzz! (I have it on vibrate.)

Ken (answering): Hello.

Vicky: Hi. What’cha doing?

Ken (at work): Working.

Vicky: Okay.

…. And then, there is silence.

Seriously, what is with you women???

Radio game…

(Not to be confused with Name That Tune… don’t ask…)

Vicky and I wanted to take the new car out on the road. Really spend some time in it.

… then, we hit LA traffic. Lesson learned!

We had to do something to keep ourselves amused. So, we put on the satellite radio. Vicky has six months of free Sirius (seriously!) but the way we listen, I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up paying money for it. We love it! The music is great; there’s lots of choices!

But that’s not the part we really love.

We have 10 music channels set, everything from classic rock to hair bands to modern crap (leave me alone! I’m old!) to disco. Lots of crap! And we love it.

Then, it began.

I clicked #1.

“Ah, George Harrison,” I said, showing off my musical erudition.

Then, #2.

“Def Leppard,” Vicky informed me.


“Cindy Lauper.”



And, before we knew it, we had a game. But what’s a game without a way to score? Turns out, Vicky’s car has a TEXT button that, when pressed, displays the artist and song title. So, when we really want to show off, we’ll give both. (But how sad is it when you yell out “The Streak by Ray Stevens” only to realize you would have been better off getting that one wrong?)

As a result, Vicky and I no longer listen to music. We listen to 5-10 seconds of a song and either scream out answers or make straining sounds as we juice our brains for musical lore. This has actually turned out some interesting facts. Sure, we know that Vicky’s strength is not music from the 1970’s nor is mine anything… recent… but there’s more! For instance, Vicky cannot identify any song by Tesla. I, on the other hand, have a black hole where female artists from the early ‘70’s reside. I can zap any tune by Elton John. Vicky is the Hair Band princess… though we kinda knew that, huh?

Be very afraid if you every ride in our new Escape with us. You may find yourself playing it, too.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Getty… not related to Rush…

How irritating would it be to spend your day at the Getty Center(s) and have someone constantly make jokes about Rush’s lead singer? Welcome to our Saturday!

Vicky and I woke early to spend the whole day together, something we do – oh – about once every blue moon. We were both looking forward to a day of culture, a day of peace, a date day just for the two of us… so we started it at Polly’s. Have I mentioned Polly’s? It’s a SoCal kinda thing. But we had a nicer breakfast than we probably would have eaten at IHOP so, you know, it’s all about perspective…

Vicky insisted that I drive up to the Getty Villa, our first stop. Located in Malibu, off the shore, it was beautifully located, with perfect weather, and… ah, but first, I had to drive. What I didn’t realize – what I should have realized was this whole competitive thing Vicky and I have going. She told me about how she drove the hybrid to get better gas mileage. Rather than be the guy who screwed all that up, I did everything I could do to improve gas mileage, too… which included driving 40 on the freeway. Vicky’s got to learn that I’m not above sinking as low as I need to in order to soar high above her… or something…

Eventually, we made it to the Getty Villa and, yes, it was lovely. They keep the crowds down and surround you with beauty – and it’s all free. Love it! The Villa specializes in pieces from antiquity: beautiful pottery, statues, pottery, columns, pottery… pottery… After a few hours, Vicky spoke for us both, “I can’t look at one more bowl.”

Off we went to The Getty, located in LA. We took Sunset Boulevard all the way up to the 405 through gorgeous vistas and neighborhoods, rolling hills, idyllic surroundings – so, yes, hitting LA was a lot like vomiting after a fine wine. Several hours at the Villa had turned our feet to mush but we were rested again and ready to look at more art. I wanted to hit the Impressionist exhibit so… up we went. On the way, we viewed some photography, an exhibit on the nude, and just a mish-mash of stuff I can’t even remember. It was culture overload!

Before the Impressionists, we toured through some Neo-Classical and Romantic works. Now, I could have spent hours looking at each painting but Vicky was zipping through. I began to understand what I’m like when we’re in a department store together. Oh well. And so, we reached the Impressionists. We looked at Degas, Monet, Renoir, and then… Van Gogh! Vincent’s Irises stood right before us, the actual painting. History grabbed me and shook me by the collar. The whole day had been one giant “fuck you” courtesy of time itself! All those antiquated bowls! Photographs of people from a century before! Van Gogh’s Irises! They had all stood before me and laughed. How impotent we are in the face of time and how impotent are our attempts to deny it. Back at the Villa, there had been many displays about how pieces had been restored over and over and over again. The fact was that the Irises would be a candidate for restoration, too. And those nudes had grown old, shriveled up, and had died.

I admired Van Gogh’s Irises as a man standing in the porchlight of time, understanding that it will wink off. It had no choice. And so, I will go. And so, you will go. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t been worth it.

Vicky leaned up against the painting to better see the fine lines. A guard walked up and shooed her back – busted! “Then, why don’t they rope it off?” she asked me, over and over. I laughed, which probably did not amuse her.

Then, we stepped out and looked out over the entire LA basin. Millions of lives. Millions of stories. Millions of works of art. And here we had cooped ourselves in with the relics of time.

I held Vicky close and we enjoyed every minute of it as the sun went down. Moments like that make you wish it could last forever. They also make me wish I could paint. Oh well. Vicky took the keys. She didn’t want to head home at 40 miles an hour. We ended up getting caught in LA traffic so we couldn’t enjoy our dinner out. Instead, we picked up a couple of burgers and watched Psyche back at home. So much for art…

Friday, January 11, 2008

I hate it. I’ll eat it…

For those who enjoyed Cinnamon Cluster Fuck, I bring you the following love...)

A few weeks ago, Vicky and I picked up a big box of Kashi Mountain Medley granola cereal from Costco. I like granola and I like to eat healthy so I figured this would be great.

It’s not great. In fact, it’s like eating mud.

… milky mud…

So, I can’t say I’m a fan.

But I have most of a whole box remaining and I can’t justify throwing it out. Would you throw out nearly an entire box of cereal? I can’t do it! Which, of course, means that I’ll be stuck eating it for the next few weeks! CRAP!

And that’s not the worst part, by the way.

The worst part is that I forgot to bring my lunch with me to work today and, this morning, I was only able to choke down a couple spoonfuls of milky mud cereal. It’s nearly 10am. I’m starving. I don’t have lunch. I won’t eat for another nine hours or so. And the last thing I had was milky mud cereal.

Today officially sucks.

UPDATE: Vicky is thankfully not held to the same rules as I and I have been assured that she plans to t'row dat shit out!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Crazy sleep story…

Many of you have heard my crazy sleep stories – there’s the time I drove in my sleep on the 91 freeway, the time I woke up to find all my bedding outside of my apartment, the time I was looking for the secret plans and Vicky told me she had them so I could go back to sleep – but this one is different in a way.

Vicky, of course, is very used to my nocturnal weirdness. She finds it amusing… but I don’t know if I’d call it that.

The mechanics of the thing goes like this: When I sleepwalk, I am often dreaming. In addition, I am often on the verge of being awake, which makes it pretty easy to talk to me and even snap me out of it.

The other night, I was closer to being awake than Vicky thought.

Vicky found me standing near the bedroom door in the middle of the night, looking out at something. So, she asked me what I was looking at. You’ll have to forgive my lack of detail here – you try to take notes next time you sleepwalk.

Because, you see, I had been sleepwalking. I had seen an image outside the bedroom door. I walked over to it and tried to make sense of it, but I couldn’t. When Vicky asked me what I was looking at, I was already very close to being awake. But I was trying to hold on to the image, trying to will myself to continue sleeping. “I don’t know,” I told her.

“Well, why don’t you come back to bed?”

“I can’t,” I said. “I’m trying to figure this out.”

“There’s nothing to figure out. You’re sleepwalking again.”

“No,” I said. I couldn’t quite explain my situation and stay asleep enough to see what I was seeing at the same time, so my words came out confused. “I’m trying to see this.”

Vicky started laughing because, of course, there wasn’t anything there. What I was looking at wasn’t there but I could only see it by looking there, out the door. Actually, I was looking across the hall into the bathroom. And the image was fading. Vicky was waking me up. I tried to ask her to be quiet – just give me another minute so I could figure it out.

“You always do this,” she laughed. “You don’t even realize you’re asleep.”

That did it. I turned to her and growled, “I did realize I was asleep. Now, I’m awake. I realize I was sleepwalking. I was trying to see what I got up in my sleep for.”

“Oh. What was it?”

I had no idea.

After years of sleepwalking, I’ll grab at any clue why, even if I can only see it while I’m sleepwalking. Ugh.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Classical OCD… or, Hating Mozart in Chronological Order…

I can’t explain it. It’s not like I wash my hands three times in a row with fresh soap and, upon leaving the bathroom, have to turn the doorknob a certain amount of times… really. But I figure it’s about time I come clean.

I can’t tell you exactly when it started but I’m sure others could. If Rosa were around, I’m sure she’d have stories. For instance, I remember a couple of years before our divorce when I put my thousands of comic books in chronological order and proceeded to read through them… all of them…

For most of my life, I’ve had a thing about order, putting things in order. One of my favorite jobs was when I worked at a book store and I had to shelve new arrivals. Most employees hated it, but finding orderly ways of putting all the books on display… it wasn’t better than sex, necessarily. It was good, though. Since then, I’ve watched my DVDs in chronological order and there’s the comic book incident.

Recently, I decided to reduce our CD space in the house. We had two racks holding our hundreds of CDs. I decided we would reduce down to one rack. How to do this? I bought a book that holds 256 CDs and that should hold… a few… But I couldn’t just take the extra CDs and put them in the book – oh no! That would be too easy!

Instead, I took all of our CDs and put them in chronological order, removing from those stacks Vicky’s more hardcore metal and country and that Dion woman… and Cher – ewwwwww…. The rest went into stacks. Then, I took the disks in chronological order and boxed them in said order so they would take up less room, be less intrusive. Now, I am listening to them in – yes, you guessed it – chronological order.

It’s a disease.

So, last night, we were watching Desperate Housewives and Bree (for those in the know) had some music on in the house. “That’s Mozart,” I told Vicky. “I’ve got that in the car.” Yes, that puts me in the 18th century, which should tell you how long it’ll be before I’m listening to Grandaddy again!

Vicky’s aware I’m not really a Mozart fan but wildly misinterpreted that. Judging the music, she said, “That’s nice. I don’t see why you hate Mozart.”

The words “I don’t see why you hate Mozart” seemed, for me, to be filled with irony. Of course, I don’t hate Mozart. I’m just not a fan. Anyway, he’s dead. It’s not like I’m hurting his feelings. More than that, though, those words “I don’t see why you hate Mozart” sounded a whole lot like something else I often hear. People who don’t understand why I’m an atheist (no offense taken, of course, as I can’t fathom why most people believe in imaginary creatures) will sometimes ask, “Why are you so angry with God?” As it’s simply not possible to be angry with an imaginary being, there’s no way for me to respond without being insulting… which is why I always try to respond.

Anyway, Shubert’s next, followed by Tchaikovsky. I like Tchaikovsky but, somewhere along the line, we’ve acquired about four disks of ballet music. I can’t wait to see what that does to my driving…

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I’m kinda cute… it appears…

I’m not going to say that Vanity is my middle name. I don’t need to – that’s why I have you – but I will admit to being slightly attractive in a former life.

Let’s face it, nobody wants to think of themselves as repulsive. You want to be found attractive by beautiful people… or, barring that, at least someone reasonably ungrotesque…

Now, I have loved plenty of women in my life and, in some cases, I’ve been paid to act like I loved them. Many of them were attractive. Some of them still are. Some always will be. And I pride myself in having kept some very nice company.

All this is my way of building up to the unpleasant occasion that happened last night, when a half-crazed, other half senile, witch of an old woman, dressed in her robe, standing in the Ralphs parking lot, instructing a cab driver to load her groceries – a great mound of groceries – while holding a stuffed animal and smoking lecherously from a cigarette, the kind of woman you couldn't locate in a rubbish tip, looked over at Vicky and I walking out of the store and spoke clearly and resoundingly, leaving a thick glop of ickyness, “You’re kinda cute.”

What that woman finds you cute, it’s time to pack it in. It’s time to peel all the skin from your body, because it’s all gone to waste.

“So, you’re telling me that this,” you ask, pointing in your general direction, “is only appealing to someone of that nature? You’re saying that if I were to take myself out on the town, I’d pretty much be open to something along those lines?”

But Vicky, always there to make me feel better, said, “You never know. She could have been talking to me.”

I’m still wondering which is worse

Friday, January 04, 2008

Vicky hates it…

The tragedy of life, I seem to remember Jean Renoir saying, it that everyone has their own reasons.

The title of this blog entry is an inside joke. Vicky hates it when I put words in her mouth, such as when I say about one of my books, “Vicky hates it.”

Vicky and I were talking about the new book last night. Today, I hit the 25,000 word mark. This book is planned to be very short, probably 80,000 words, so I’m very nearly one-third of the way through the book. This book is a departure for me, as are all of my books; I’m fortunate enough to still be hitting landmarks.

Let me tell you why. My writing style is usually very optimistic. I do not like to use good guys or bad guys; those are old devices humanity has long grown tired of, for the most part. We seem to accept them in our political fictions but not in our literature. So, I don’t use them. I approach each character as a person. Bad people don’t want to be bad, I suppose, they just are. They can’t help it. So, I fill my books with accidents and mistakes and people who try to do good. Or, I should say, I did.

My new book is filled with horrible people who do horrible things. They do not try to do good because the world has shown them that any attempt does not pay off in the end. So, they fuck each other and fuck with each other. They manipulate. They are cruel. They kill. The only language they speak is hate.

Last night, Vicky said, “I don’t know if I like it. It sounds too over the top.”

She’s right, of course. It is. And I have to laugh because these kinds of stories, when made into movies, are the movies Vicky loves to watch. So, maybe there’s something to it, maybe I’ve been wrong all along. This is not to say that this will change my writing style for good. As a matter of fact, I hate these characters and I hate writing this way. It’s like writing with my fists and I feel the need to draw blood on every page. I don’t like it.

After I finish this book, the plan is to develop it into a longer narrative. Yes, a second book. The second book will be about the writer and the world he lives in. The reason for that is very simple. For all the horrors that I write in my book, all the manipulations and machinations, cruelty and murder, the world we live in is far worse. The book I am writing portrays a serial killer as a good guy and the second book will address the reality that we live in a world where this actually may be true.

Vicky questioned this idea. So, I asked her, “Who’s worse? A guy who rapes and kills several dozen women or Dick Cheney?” I mean, of course, that Dick Cheney is far worse because he’s been behind the deaths of thousands of people. He has disenfranchised entire populations of Iraqis, stolen their homes, stolen their oil, and has made a bundle off of it. And he is the Vice-President of the United States. And he is admired by many. So, who’s worse?

One of these days, I seriously need to write another comedy.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

As promised...

I'm finally posting a couple of photos of the new car. I had to take them tonight after I got home since it is supposed to rain through the weekend.

Isn't she lovely?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Resolved… 2008…

Vicky and I had a very good Christmas… which is probably why we were sick throughout the whole thing. Cause it’s always something. I’m just saying.

We got everything we wanted, everything we needed, and a few things that fell into neither category but we were pleased with anyway. We were well taken care of by each other. It was nice.

So, leave it to me to screw that up.

But I felt like, now that we’re comfortable, well taken care of, wanting for practically nothing, with all of our needs fulfilled, now may be the time to really try something radical.

I’m talking about self-control.

Now, listen, Vicky and I do pretty well. We pay our bills. We sock a little into savings. We even try to splurge a little now and then. We’re not wasteful. We’re not irresponsible. So, you would think that things are okay as is, right? No need to change.

But right around Christmas, I looked around our house. At the new TV. At Guitar Hero III. At the new car. At all the snacks and food and … the crap.

Terrified at what Vicky’s response might be, I emailed her. How about this for a New Year’s Resolution, I said. How about we stop spending so much money. That means DVDs and video games, purses and clothes. Let’s just stop. Imagine how the rest of the world lives and how out of control our spending is compared to them. Imagine how much better off our finances would be – even considering how good they are now (thanks to my lovely wife who is a financial whiz) – if we put that money into paying our bills. Imagine how much more we could save.

The shocking part was Vicky’s response. Rather than kill me, she thought it was a good idea! Wow!

So, here is our New Year’s Resolution. In 2008, we resolve to spend less on things we don’t need!

But what’s that mean, exactly? Well, for those of you playing along at home – and so we have a written record of this that Vicky can later shove in my face – it means that this applies to non-essentials only. Since Vicky isn’t going to give up “Nail night” and I won’t give up “WoW”… we’ll ignore those. But let’s set a limit. Let’s try to make only one, single, non-essential purchase each month, which is really pretty generous if you think about it. That means that if I buy a DVD, I have to wait until next month to buy another, or a video game, or some other thing I want. If Vicky buys a pair of shoes (a pair she wants – which includes those “but I really need it” kind of wants), she will have to wait one month to buy a CD (including iTunes downloads) or anything else.

Limits are good. They help put things into perspective. Also, with a baby coming… someday… I hope… maybe… dammit… getting our financial house in order will be a good thing.

Now, let’s see how long this lasts.

Any predictions?

The last chicken of 2007…

Two days before Christmas, on December 23, 2007, Vicky and I picked up Popeye’s chicken. Popeye’s is one of my favorite, fast-food, fried chicken joints out there – far superior to KFC! I love picking it up!

Yesterday, while she was cleaning out the fridge, Vicky handed me the Popeye’s box, which had been in there for over a week, and said, “Throw this away.”

“Throw it away? Are you serious? That’s Popeye’s!”

“It’s old. You haven’t eaten it. Throw it away.”

I could hear the last piece in there. Worse, it was a breast! It was the biggest piece! Just waiting!

“I can’t throw it away! It’s Popeye’s!”

Then, Vicky gave me a look. The look said, “Then, eat it.” Which showed her complete lack of understanding. Would you eat the Mona Lisa? That’s been sitting, uneaten, for centuries. Did Da Vinci’s wife tell him to eat it or throw it out? No! And Popeye’s chicken is by no measure any less a work of art than Da Vinci’s little painting!

I never did see if the chicken was moldier than the Mona Lisa…