14 December 2009

Guiseley, England

I’m currently sitting in a place called the Cellar V in Guiesely, England. There is supposedly free Wi-Fi here (with a passcode of ‘splendid’…how very English) but I’ve yet to get it connected properly. No worries, I’ll be headed over to the Regent (how very English) soon for lunch and a pint – and more free Wi-Fi – hopefully though with a valid connection.

So yes! I made it here. Here being England, a place I never thought I would get to see again unless I spent a week on a train and 6 days on an ocean liner. The flight, or flights, turned out OK. Although queasy at the John Wayne airport, I managed not to puke and by the time we were up in the air with the seatbelt sign off, I was fine. I even managed about an hour and ½ of sleep on the flight from Jersey to Manchester. At this point I’d like to call Andy a big ole liar who stated, “there’s never turbulence over the ocean” as there was, and badly so. I will forgive Andy though as without him, I wouldn’t be sitting here at the Cellar V in Guiselely, England. Thank you sweetheart.

The first 24 hours here have been great. We got in at about 7:30 in the morning and were picked up by Andy’s cousin, Julia, and her 5-year old daughter, Eliska. Julia drove us to Andy’s mom’s house (sorry, mum’s house) where I had not less than 3 cups of tea and a plate full of biscuits while discussing Dr. Who and other British programming. Andy’s mum recently got a DVR so according to all the shows we circled in the TV guide for recording, we will be watching tellie for approximately 4 days full stop.

By the way, yes, I will be using British verbiage for now as I have already been scolded\corrected too many times for my American English to go back right now. I used ‘potato chips’! I know they are ‘crisps’ dammit, the word just didn’t escape my mouth in time!

After chatting with Andy’s mum and then a roast dinner, Julia took Andy and I to Anfield, the home of the Liverpool Football Club. There was a match on between Arsenal and Liverpool and Julia and had tickets for her and Andy. I did not mind not going to the game as it was fucking freezing out and I much preferred to sit in a warm pub…well, that was the plan anyhow. I had no idea how crazy the pubs around Anfield would be. Standing room only, lots of Liverpool chant songs, smells of meat pies and cigarettes, loads of “excuse me, love” while being elbowed out of the way. When the match started the pub was left like a State Fair at closing time. Only a few unlucky non-ticket holders remained, broken glass and beer littered the floor. On every available surface there were bottles and pints of beer, some empty but mostly not. I wondered at the fact that there weren’t a few kids or homeless folk chugging the beer leftovers on the tables. I am not kidding in any way when I state that a person could get drunk 3 times over for what was left. Andy and I parted ways and I went up for a pint. With no TV to watch the match on, I ended up just sitting in one of the side rooms by myself honestly wondering what I was going to do for the next 2 hours. I need not worry. I wasn’t there for more than 5 minutes when this Scouse (term for a person from Liverpool) girl came up and asked me if I was alone. After saying I was she said, “Come’n join us then, we’re all Liverpool Football widows.”

The next two hours passed in a daze. I was jet lagged, and with no sleep, managed to get myself rather drunk rather quickly. I heard of the widows love lives and their jobs, truthfully missing half of what was said (if I’m not concentrating well enough (read: drunk), I have a hard time with accents). Not that I was alone. I have the accent here. Carrie, the girl who invited me over, never could understand that I was from California, instead introducing me to everyone as the girl from Canada. Close enough, right? I was laughing up a storm and having a grand time when Andy finally found me. He seemed a bit shocked at my new band of friends. I may or may not have introduced him as my husband from Canada.

Andy and Julia dragged me away finally and we grabbed what I imagine is the best meat pie and chips I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating (but this opinion might be lager based) and put me in the back seat of the car. Apparently I was in the back seat of the car for about 3 hours…not that I remember as I was dead asleep, only waking when we got back to Julia’s. Two cups of tea later and I was in bed where I slept for 9 hours straight without waking up once. Thank you beer and jet lag.

Today Andy had to go to work in Leeds so Julia’s husband, Lokash, took me about Guiseley. We had a full English breakfast for 3 pounds and then Lokash showed me around town. The town isn’t that big but for me, I’m finding plenty to do. Hell, I could spend an hour at the grocery store just looking about.

Sorry I don’t have any pictures to show you right now. Andy took the camera cord into work with him. Maybe I’ll give you a webcam shot of the Cellar V. Oh hey, that worked. Cool.



A group of teenagers just walked past. They are all wearing uniforms and for an American, one can’t help but think that one just stepped into a Harry Potter film.

07 December 2009

A bit about the rain

I moved to Southern California for a reason. Well, to be fair, I moved to Southern California for loads of reasons, but the biggest one being the weather. After spending many a chilly winter growing up in Wisconsin, the yearlong 70+ degree weather of Southern California was a godsend. Every year I’m so grateful that I’m not breaking my back shoveling the walk or being white knuckled and panic stricken trying to drive to work during a blizzard. I haven’t seen snow in 6 years and I’m very comfortable about that. That being said, Southern California has this nasty habit of being sunny ALL THE TIME. I’m sure a lot of you are reading this from the warm comfort of your living rooms looking at the snow outside and sneering at me for thinking such a thing, but let’s be honest…too much of anything will start to wear on you. I love the weather here, don’t get me wrong. But every now and again, you just wish for a cloudy day. Or rain! I love rain.

Today is one of those very rare rainy days. And not just a morning sprinkle with the sun doing it’s jolly “dum dee dum dum, let’s brighten the people’s day” in the afternoon. No, this is a proper cold rain with proper clouds and proper need for an umbrella. Because rain doesn’t happen very often, when it does, it’s absolutely awesome. I went to Starbucks this morning. I was wearing a scarf. I had buttoned my jacket all the way up. I ordered a latte and was completely buzzing about it. It was that whole “it’s cold and wet out there but it’s warm and cozy in here” sort of feeling. Trust me when I say that I don’t like Starbucks that much normally. I’m really looking forward to going home tonight and getting under a blanket and watching a crap movie with a cup of tea. I like doing that usually, but when it’s raining, I don’t feel so guilty about it.

We’re leaving for England in 5 days and I will get my lion’s share of rain there. I’m sure by the end of three weeks I’ll be moaning about wet jeans, frizzy hair, destroyed cigarettes. But for right now, I’m digging it- rain away.

03 December 2009

I feel I have myself to blame...

In September last year I wrote an entry about Shishmaref, Alaska. It was basically a piss take:

Shishmaref Piss Take

Now I find out today that poor seal oil loving Shishmaref is falling into the sea:

Shishmaref Suicide Watch

Community of Shishmaref, I was only joking. No need to fling yourself into the ocean! I'm sure you are all really lovely people who aren't cannibals.

02 December 2009

So what have YOU been up to?

Sorry to be absent for so long. I have been meaning to throw something out for a couple weeks now but as usual time got away from me and most everything I have to say is Old News. Ach well, I think you’ll live.

The entry I was going to write about but never did was about Andy’s birthday over two weeks ago. His birthday was on November 19th, but I surprised him with a trip up to LA on the Saturday after. It was a pretty good surprise if I do say so myself.

At 2 o’clock on that Saturday, I handed him an envelope with a task in it. The first task was to use the enclosed directions to get us to the hotel in Beverly Hills. The 2nd envelope directed us to a restaurant, the 3rd a bar, so on and so forth. I had 9 envelopes in total, each with a time to open the envelope and instructions on what we’d be doing next. I sent us to the restaurant, quite a few bars, an improve show, on the LA subway system, a bar that was run by a Russian lady who tried to overfeed us, a long walk through Echo Park, more bars. Andy got to have an old man’s drink in the Dresden, a fruity cocktail at Tiki Ti, a not so great showing of Beer Shark Mice. It turned out really well. When I ran out of envelopes we just hopped in a cab – which was the story of us asking our cab driver to take us to a dive bar in Beverly Hills and him dropping us off at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel with $17 cocktails and the most beautiful Christmas tree I’ve ever seen. I might have tried to steal one of the posh cloth towels in the Ladies room. Andy definitely stole a pen and very cheekily asked that our complimentary snacks be boxed up (just on principle).

So that was two weeks ago…

This past weekend, Thanksgiving weekend, which seems like a virtual lifetime ago was also very busy.

Thanksgiving Day we invited Maggie, Dave, and Cousin Tony to have dinner with us. All was going well until an unfortunate argument over the proper method to make Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. Not wanting to get into it, let’s just say that the argument had me storming out of the house and driving off to Mutt Lynch’s. I stayed at Mutt’s for hours (having forgotten my phone) and was taken care of by Sarah and her friend via free food, drinks and fruity shots. I also pet a horse. Yes, a horse. I’m just sitting there and the woman next to me looks over and says, “Would you like to pet my horse?” Already knowing that there was a trailer outside that had a horse in it and not worrying that this woman was offering me drugs or worse, I said, “Yes.” It was a very nice horse. I got a hold of Andy later and we spent the rest of the night on the peninsula.

The Saturday after, we had the Harp Golf Tournament. I’ve never played golf before but Mari wanted to play and needed a team. The Harp hosts this tournament every year and it’s a pretty sweet deal. For $100 you get 18 holes of golf (including golf cart), a swag bag (read: a bunch of promotional crap that the Harp got for free and wanted to get rid of), a cold lunch, and a bag of beer. A bag of beer! What’s not to like? Overall I did very very poorly until about the 13th or 14th hole when I was standing in the way of Andy’s drive shot and got hit in the knee. While incredibly painful (still), you have to admit it’s funny. I think it’s funny and everyone (except Andy who feels dreadful about it) thinks it funny. It’s hard to imagine without the proper sound effects but just imagine the crack of the driver hitting golf ball, the thunck of said ball hitting my knee, and the thud of me hitting the ground like a shot. Anyhow, because my knee hit and I couldn’t really move it without some pain, I ended up playing OK the last few rounds as my whole initial problem was that I was moving around too much. I’m not sure I want to play golf again if I have to be injured to play decently. After golf was the free steak dinner at the Harp and my award for Best Female Golfer. Ironic, no?

Sunday Andy and I went out on Patrick and Michele’s new boat for a Harbor Cruise but there’s not much to say about it except that it was relaxing as all get out.

So that’s about it I think, you’re all caught up. Andy and I leave for our 3 week England vacation, sorry, holiday soon so I’ve mostly been running around trying to get everything taken care of for the trip and last minute things for the wedding which is all of 8 days after we get back. Oh, and the Pub Quiz is tonight if you feel like coming down.

18 November 2009

Roll That Orange!



I'm just a blogging fool today! Something else has come up that I needed to get a general opinion on from my 6 readers.

This might be going back to my mother's "ideas" but growing up my mother always told me that the easiest way to peel an orange was to briskly roll the orange on a flat surface - something about it loosening the rind from the orange or something. So this is what I've done my entire life. I get an orange, orange gets "rolled", orange gets peeled, orange gets eaten.

For the past three days I've brought in an orange to work and when I'm ready to eat it, I stroll over to the kitchen area to peel it. For three days straight, whom ever was in the kitchen at the time has questioned my orange rolling method.

"Are you trying to squash it?"

"Are you making juice?"

"Playing with your food, huh?"

"If you don't want it, I'll eat it."

Today's question was a very basic, "Why are you rolling it?" At the time, I didn't really know how to respond so I just shrugged with a basic, "I dunno. It's how I've always done it." Of course the minute I got back to my computer I had to look it up. Surely I wasn't the only person on the face of the planet that rolls their orange prior to peeling it.

Yeah, I'm pretty close to being the only one on the planet that rolls their oranges if the internet has anything to say about it.

The only mention I found was here on the London Times.

I'm starting to wonder if my mother's "ideas" are loosely based on a previously unnoticed anglophile notion.

7 Random Musings for your enjoyment

This is going to be a random post - just getting that statement out of the way in case you had some sort of hope for a cohesive, well thought out entry. Then again, you’re reading my blog; I already know your expectations are low.

RANDOM MUSING #1: HR just passed out Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to everyone. Best comment overheard: “So we’re expected to clean the entire building then? What happened to the late night cleaning crew? Were they eating by wolves?”

RANDOM MUSING #2: Andy has decided to start his own blog. It’s his first blog from what I can tell and his entries so far are, well, what you would expect from Andy. Please go and visit his blog and make lots of comments so I’m not the only one in the ‘Recent Comments’ section.

RANDOM MUSING #3: I’m pretty sure that the whole 6 of you who read this blog are aware that Andy and I are getting married on January 10th. In an effort not to look like a pork belly sandwich in photos that I’m sure I’ll be passing out and looking at for many years to come, I’ve been trying to lose some poundage before the event. I recognize the fact that I’m not going to lose the 50 pounds I wish I could lose in two months, but I was hoping for 10 maybe, or 15 if I really really work at it. Last week, after busting my ass at the gym and getting myself familiarized with vegetables again I managed to lose… a half of a pound. HALF of a pound. There’s like a little Indian man in my body smirking, “Thank you, come again.”

RANDOM MUSING #4: I hate the gym.

RANDOM MUSING #5: Andy and I are headed to England for 3 weeks in December. While I’m incredibly excited to go, I’m already getting nervous about the 13-14 hour flight there as I’m still quite terrified of flying. While most people have fantasies of a sexual nature, two nights ago I was laying in bed fantasying about how awesome it would be if I was able to fall asleep during the New Jersey to Manchester lag. Seriously. I was thinking about what kind of pillow I’d have and wouldn’t it be cool if there was an empty seat I could stretch out on, and debating whether or not I could have Andy wake me up in 3 hour intervals to take another Xanax, etc. etc. I got all giddy with the thought that I could fall asleep over Canada and not wake up until we were over Ireland. All this, of course, is a fantasy…just like Johnny Deep is never going to be knocking at your door…and I am sure I will be wide awake for the entire 14 hours hoping and praying that the pilots didn’t knock a few cocktails back that afternoon and that the engines decide to not only stay attached, but also continue to do their engine things…OH, and those damn birds and their damn strikes! AHHHHH!

RANDOM MUSING #6: I hate flying.

RANDOM MUSING #7: Andy’s birthday is tomorrow, so if you haven’t already, go to his blog and flood his comments with birthday wishes. He’ll love that.

Get my humor dammit!

So I posted this on Facebook and didn't get one bit of response on it. Obviously no one bothered to open it up bigger or else I would have gotten plenty of LOL's. Or perhaps I'm just easily amused.



LOL DAMMIT!

11 November 2009

Cuppa

I was over reading WNP this morning when I got to an entry about tea. It was a great entry and I was a little put off that I couldn’t comment on it as the entry is old and the comment section are closed for it. An epiphany happened as I realized that I have my own damn blog in which I can write as many comments as I damn well felt like. So here I am ready to tell you all about ME (it’s all about ME in this here blog) and tea. I can sense your enthusiasm already. Of course, I do run the risk of you all heading your ass over to WNP and reading her entry about tea and having yourself a big ole “blog entry about tea” comparison in which I lose miserably as I don’t write nearly enough anymore and she’s all cool and foreign and shit and I’m not. Again, stop with the enthusiasm, it’s practically deafening.

SO YES! Tea…

I will begin this tale by letting you know that growing up in the quiet suburbs of Wisconsin, my mother would make me tea and toast whenever I was ill with fever. Seeing my mother slide into my room with that little white cup meant only one thing – it was ‘Price is Right’ and ‘Love Connection’ all morning baby, with a splash of Nickelodeon and crap cartoons in the afternoon. My mother always made Lipton tea with milk and honey and while plopping it down in front me would announce, “This is the way the English drink it!” I love my mother, but my mother gets “ideas”, if you know what I mean.

I didn’t know about my mother’s “ideas” back then. Like most children under the age of 10, I tended to take anything my parents said as the Absolute Truth. It’s was only at age 34, when I made my first cup of tea for my English boyfriend asking him very politely if he’d like it with milk and honey like “the English drink it” that I realized that some of my mother’s “ideas” might have gone amiss. And here I thought I had my tea follies eradicated by never referring to Lipton as “real tea”. I know better now.

I drink tea a lot, though probably more so than ever before considering Andy’s influence in my life. We drink PG Tips tea mostly, and I still take mine with milk and sugar (honey when I’m sick, some things never die). What I like about living with Andy in regards to tea is that he finds it impossible to turn down the offer of a cuppa. “It’s in my blood, I can’t refuse!” he will exclaim. It’s true. He could have just opened a beer and I’ll say, “Care for a cuppa?” and he’ll dutifully respond, “Oh, go on then.” Or he’ll be ready to go to bed, “Oh, go on then.” Late for work…”Oh, go on then.” Herd of elephants about to attack…”Oh, go on then.” What I find incredibly funny, besides his inability to refuse, is that he rarely actually DRINKS the tea. He’ll have a couple sips but more often than not, the tea will sit there over half full getting stronger in taste and colder by touch. It’s almost as though he just likes the IDEA of the cuppa sitting there. Funny Brit.

In regards to WNP, I would have to agree, there is nothing better than a cuppa with a Digestive or chocolate Hob Nob. I’d elaborate, but she said it a lot better than me.

All this talk has made me want a cup. Hey Andy, care for a cuppa?

10 November 2009

Short but sweet memory from the Moe file

Short but sweet: A memory from the Moe file

Sometime in 2000-2001, I went to visit Buxy up in Portland.  One of the days that I was there, Buxy, Staley, and I drove up to Mt. Hood to, you know, go somewhere high up to look at stuff.  I believe Buxy had his Need A Walker It's So Old Volvo at the time, which was a manual, and on the way down the mountain decided to put the Volvo in neutral to see how far we could go without stepping on the gas.  We made it quite a few miles with little effort this way but it started getting to the point where there were uphill bits and much as there were downhill bits.  On an uphill bit, the three of us would start pleading with the Volvo to roll a little bit faster, rubbing the dash of the Volvo to spur it to No Gas Greatness, making bets between ourselves if this indeed was the last hill.  I think all and all we made it 5 some miles in this manner and had a big collective sigh when the Volvo finally found its way back into gear. 

And that is a short but sweet memory from the Moe file.

02 November 2009

The curious case of the grumpy Monday

I'm grumpy today.  It's not a PMS grumpy, it's a general Monday grumpy that appears to be highly intensified by...well, I don't know.  All I know is that it can't be humanly possible that everyone in Southern California is lost and driving in front of me.  Or has a brand new car that apparently did not come with a gas pedal that is unable to exceed 25 miles per hour.  And I know it can't be possible that every single person that has our software is unable to navigate the computer past the Start button.  It's just not possible.  For this reason I can only ascertain that I am grump-tastic.

At lunch today I actually said to the very new cashier girl at Daphne's in response to the question, "Would you like the plate lunch?"

"Um, yeah."  -and not "um, yeah" in that indecisive sort of way, "um, yeah" in that horrible sarcastic way.

I'm not this person!  I've worked in the service industry for the first half of my working life.  I'm nice to cashiers and wait staff and bartenders!   "Um, yeah" is not part of my regular vocabulary!

I hate being grumpy.  The worst thing about being grumpy is knowing full well that you are grumpy and have no control over it.   It's that look people give you when you've been particularly grumpy: 

"Oh, you're grumpy" or, if they don't know you, "Oh, what a bitch."

I'm going to go sulk now.   Sulking is the bastard love child of grumpy. 

29 October 2009

Clink Here

I normally don't like to talk about work, but this humors me and I have to share. I pre-apologize to all the non-technical people who may be reading this.

In my lifetime, I've worked at a bunch of software companies. While the software itself might be different at these different companies, and the bosses are different, and the atmosphere is different, one thing remains a constant at all software companies - unhelpful developers. Developers who have no time for support requests. Developers who roll their eyes at any mention that there might be an issue with something they've created. It's annoying and it's frustrating.

With that said, I will wholeheartedly admit that at my current company there is one developer who is not like this. I'll call him Fred for the sake of anonymity. Fred is great. Fred is helpful. If you report a problem, he attacks it like a ninja. If he can't reproduce the problem he offers (OFFERS!) to do a Webex with the customer to see the problem. He gets patches out quickly and he always has loads of suggestions if we come to him for a basic problem we can't figure out. I have loads of respect for Fred so when I relate the following story, it's not because I think Fred is a dunce. I think Fred just happened to be having a very off day.

Oh, and Fred is Asian. This wouldn't matter except that he is unable to say the word "click".

So Fred and I had a Webex with a customer today to go over an issue that Fred has so far been unable to reproduce. The issue is that the customer would like to click on link #1 to open a document as a TIF and click on link #2 to open the same document as a PDF file. This is important, and again, I apologize non-technical people.

We get the Webex going and the customer brings up the web page with the two links. These are the following instructions, given by Fred to the customer:

FRED: OK, clink the first one. What does it do?
CUSTOMER: (clicks) It opens the document as a TIF.
FRED: OK, clink the second one, what does it do?
CUSTOMER: (clicks) It opens the document in Word. It should open as a PDF.
FRED: OK, clink the first one. What does it do?
ME: Fred, it opens it as a TIF. The first one always opens as a TIF. The 2nd one always as a Word document.
FRED: OK, clink the second one, what does it do?
ME: It opens as a Word document.
FRED: Can he clink it?
CUSTOMER: (clicks) Word document
FRED: What about the 2nd one?
CUSTOMER: We just did that one.
FRED: Can you clink it?
CUSTOMER: (clicks) Word document.
FRED: Oh, I see. Can you clink the first one?
ME: Fred, no....see? First link, TIF. Second link, Word.
FRED: Oh, that's right. Can he clink the second one?
ME: Would you like to take control of the mouse?
FRED: No. Can he clink it?
ME: Which one? The one that opens as a TIF or the one that opens as a Word document?
FRED: The first one. Have him clink it.
CUSTOMER: (clicks) It's the TIF.
FRED: Oh, I see. Can he clink...
ME: (interrupting) I think I understand. Thank you customer. I will explain to Fred and get back to you.

Clink you very much.

15 October 2009

ShakeOut Day or Why I would be dead if this wasn't a drill

From the 12 page pamphlet left on my office chair this morning, I learned that it was The Great California ShakeOut Day. Actually, I didn't really learn that, since anything HR leaves on my chair I quickly place in my filing rack without bothering to read it. OK, I glance on Things HR Leaves On My Chair to make sure that it doesn't say anything like, "Surprise! Free day off with pay tomorrow!" or "Bagels in the kitchen!" Everything else gets Filed Without Reading.

I have to say, if you ever do stop by my cube one day, feel free to peruse such fascinating reads as:

  • How to use the fire extinguisher in 9 easy steps!

  • "What's That Smell?" - A Guide to Gas

  • Swine Flu and You: A comprehensive guide on how to wash your hands

  • The terrorists won't win if you back up your hard drive!

  • CPR - How to give life to your co-workers without having to kiss them



So yes, the ShakeOut. Earthquake Safety. After I was settled in this morning, one of my co-workers who is known to Take Things Seriously Only When He Has To, started playing the earthquake drill sound effects. Basically, a lot of rumbling and glass shattering and car alarms going off, that sort of thing. He played it at least 3 times at a loud volume, giggling to himself about it sounding like a herd of donkeys coming through. One of his buddies who Never Takes Things Seriously Even When He's Suppose To joined in the fun by manually shaking the cube walls, which I might mention are all attached and therefore I might have spilled soda on myself. I really wish I could say that these sort of Work Disturbances are rare, but they are not. There is a reason I leave headphones at my desk.

At 10:30 this morning, Mr. Only Take Things Seriously Only When He Has To once again played the earthquake drill sound effects. There was general shuffling in my work vicinity, but I figured it was just people shifting uncomfortably in their chairs having to listen to the fucking sound effects for the 4th time this morning. But no. 3 minutes later Mr. Never Takes Things Seriously Even When He's Suppose gets on the loud speaker to announce that we are in fact having an earthquake drill and he's sorry to say that everyone who is left in the building is technically dead. The 8 of us who were left at our desks decide to go outside with the others as we Don't Want to Get Singled Out By Our Bosses. It was time for a cigarette anyhow, since I'm dead already, it doesn't really matter now does it?

Don't worry, Daddy will get you some applesauce and soon as he unearths Mommy from under the refrigerator.

Just for shits and grins, here is a map of the recent earthquakes in Southern California: http://quake.usgs.gov/recenteqs/Maps/118-34.html

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I smell bagels. It might be gas though, hard to tell without reading the pamphlet.

14 October 2009

I can see your cod piece from here!

By a stroke of per luck, I was able to see Eddie Izzard perform last night at a very small venue, only 4 rows back from the stage.  

By all accounts, the night wasn't going well from the start.  I had popped into the Harp to give Kevin my camera for the show.  He had bought two tickets earlier with the intent on bringing a date.  His date couldn't make it and to make matters worse, he got pulled over and given a ticket for driving while talking on cell phone.  The call, of course, was the one I had placed to him asking him if he wanted me to drop off the camera.   He had decided that fate was against him at this point and was thinking about not going at all.  With several pushes from the Harp peanut gallery, he changed his mind and also asked if I wanted to go with...with the precursor that I drive.   Hell yeah, I'll drive.

Kevin had brought this show up to me earlier that day.  It was a benefit show held at the EchoPlex for $25.  It wasn't even advertised except for on the benefit's web page.   I had asked Andy if he was interested, but he was working late so I didn't bother to pursue it further, especially since we're seeing him in January.

So Kevin and I take off around 6:00 PM with the knowledge that the show starts at 7.   The EchoPlex is only technically 40 miles away, but it's Los Angeles, it's rush hour, and it's raining.   Los Angelians may know how to scorn a fashion mishap three blocks away but they do not know how to drive in the rain.  As 6 PM turns into 7 PM and we are still sitting in the parking lot known as the I-5, we wonder if we'll make it at all.   We call 5 people locally trying to find our traffic fate on sigalert.com but can't reach anyone.  Actually, the one person that we did reach was also on the I-5 north of us and stated that he hadn't moved more than 3 miles in the last hour.   Oh dear.

We finally reach the venue at 10 minutes to 8 PM.  My bladder is seconds away from bursting.  There's no parking so I fork out $8 for the valet.  The storm decided to close up to downpour just as we step out of the car and we get drenched.  I run to the bathroom where there is no toilet paper and afterward buy myself a $8.00 beer that comes in a Dixie cup.  

I'm a bit frustrated so I tell Kevin to wait by the side of the stage while I go out and have a cigarette.  There's a Brazilian woman outside who commends me for not being afraid of the rain and I start to feel better.  Better yet, the show doesn't even start until the minute I get back inside.   Best yet, one of the bouncers tapped us and told us to go sit in the 4th row (middle) because the seats are reserved but the people didn't show up and they didn't want empty sections.   Score!

Eddie Izzard was of course, brilliant.  He was not in drag though it was suggested that he might have been wearing a cod piece.  Either that or he had a large furry weasel down his pants.  Hard to tell.  All I know is even though I had to sit in traffic for 2 hours, got completely soaked, was starving from missing dinner, and spent money that I couldn't afford to spend, I'm grateful I got to see him at such a small venue. 

08 October 2009

Vote for the Badger, you know you want to.

I know you've been sitting there thinking to yourself, "Gee, what can I do to help beautify the rusted automobiles of Wisconsin?"

I'm here to help.  Everyone, please vote for the badger.  I mean, you can vote another way, but the badger is just so awesome.  It would be a shame not to.

http://www.jsonline.com/polls/63708472.html

I love how the badger on the plate is just sitting there on his hind legs with a deep stream of consciousness residing behind his beady black eyes, "I hope they don't notice I'm sitting on a knife."

06 October 2009

To be on a quest is nothing more or less than to become an asker of questions.

To continue on from last week, here is the next set of questions posted by my devoted followers (all 4 of you, but you are the best four followers a blogger could ever ask for!).

Beth continues on to ask:

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

The very boring answer to this would be flying.  I like the idea that if I felt like going to a pub in Hungary on a Friday night, I could fly myself and be there in 20 minutes.  This is under the assumption that I could fly really fast like Superman and not slow like Batman who I don't even think can fly now that I think about it (stupid Batman!).   I suppose the trouble under that scenerio would be that I might be slightly drunk when I left the bar in Budapest and tried to fly home.  I'm sure I'd have trouble avoiding other flying objects at that point.   Not to mention, that while I was still at the pub and drinking my lager, I'm sure I'd start wanting to show off a little.

"You there!  Yeah, you're all cool with your ability to slug a beer with your hands behind your back, but I can fly.  No really, I can.  Want to bet?"

Of course I would win the bet but since I don't have superhuman strength whatever Hungarian brut who lost their money would be able to break my arms and legs, no problem.

Indian food or Mexican food?

Tough choice since I really love both.  If I would have to choose though, I'd say Mexican.  It doesn't give me the shits like Indian food does.

Why do you like your favorite TV show?

It's impossible to answer this as I could not tell you what my favorite TV show is.  As a TV whore, it's like asking the Taliban what they hate most about Americans.  It's impossible to narrow it down.

What is something you wish you had never done?

I can't say there is anything I wish I hadn't done as everything I've done, even the awful things, makes me who I am today.  A better question is what I wish I had done, which is fairly easy since I think about it a lot....when I was in Japan I saw this eye pillow in the shape of a fuzzy sheep.  It was cute and it smelled like fresh flowers.  I didn't buy it thinking that I could probably find something like it in the States and that I really couldn't afford buying "silly" things.   That was over 7 years ago and I'm still searching for that fucking sheep eye pillow.

What is your favorite guilty pleasure?

I'd say television but that would be a cop-out.  Truthfully, it's click-lit novels.   I'm too embarrassed to elaborate.

Why am I your bestest friend in the whole world?

Because I've known you since I was five and you continue to be awesome and never fish for compliments.  ;-)

Later this week we'll dive into the absurd as I answer Andy's submitted questions...

02 October 2009

“I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said, "I don't know."”

A-ha! Thank you Andy and Bethhead for your questions! I feel as if I have a purpose again in writing. Actually, thank you Bethhead, your questions moved me. Andy, not so much.

From British man residing in California who may or may not be wearing the same t-shirt he had on yesterday: What are you talking about?

Thank you very much for your interest Mr. Teabagger. I have thought long and hard about exactly what it is that I am talking about and I have finally come to the conclusion that it must be about pastry. Thanks for writing in.


From a new mother residing in the frozen tundra of Wausau, WI we have a myriad of questions. I will post the first three for now.

Why is it that cats do not like to get wet and why do dogs smell like ass when they do?

Excellent question Beth! This is actually a two part question that would be best answered in song.

Since you cannot hear my most intriguing and philosophical song on the subject, I will just have to say, "They just do." Trust me, the song was much better.

When you move, what is something you will miss about the States?

I have never actually been to Australia before so I can't be an expert on what exactly I will miss, I can only assume from the things that I have read. Here is that list so far:

  • Rabbits - unless I manage to grow a garden.
  • Spiders that I can easily kill with a paper towel without hearing a squishing sound.
  • 1/2 and 1/2 - Why Australia? Why? It's not like I'm going to have my own cow and dairy to make my own.
  • Ranch dressing - This can't even be imported from the States as it's a dairy product. Perhaps getting my own cow and dairy isn't such a bad idea after all.
  • Being able to call flip-flops flip-flops and not 'thongs'. -I guarantee that I will be giggling the first time that comes out of my mouth.

Things I wish I could un-see: Kylie Minogue on a giant thong

(Dammit)Why can't my kid take a nap longer than 30-45 min?

Because he isn't old enough to drink himself to a nap, nor is he going to work, the bum. I think at 3 months you should get him an application at McDonald's. It's never too early to teach financial responsibility.

More next week...

01 October 2009

Failure

I completely take responsibility for the failure of my "write every day in September" claim.  I thought about things to write almost every day and every day my mind just went, "naaaaah."  Truthfully, it's been really hard to write lately.  There are so many things that my mind has been thinking about that it hasn't had time to dwell on the silly and frivolous things.  A bit of a shame really.  I miss my dancing lobsters and karate carrots.  I really do.

3 years ago I think I was going through the same thing.  It's the point where I was in Wisconsin for Beth's wedding and everyone was coming up to me asking what I've been up to and I didn't have anything to say.  It's the same sort of thing really.  I have so many big things happening in the upcoming year that my mind has been focused on them.  Of course, the upcoming things are just that..upcoming...so trying to sound interesting right now is a bit of a challenge.  I've been finding that when I'm not at work, or out at the pub, or somewhere equally enthralling, I'm either watching TV, reading a book, or doing some mundane task on Facebook just to turn my head off. 

Help me out here.  Give me some questions in the comments and I will answer them as best I can.  They don't have to be serious questions either (unless you prefer).  I'm hoping answering a direct question rather then spewing out some random shit from my overworked mind will get this blog (which has an awesome title, admit it) a kick.


:-p

22 September 2009

Best photo of the year

I like how this just looks natural.

21 September 2009

No Cold

Andy has a cold.  He states that this is from the air conditioner running in the bedroom during the summer.  So far I have not caught this cold, or am denying that I have caught this cold.  I like to believe that all the orange juice I drank this weekend has preventing me from catching it.   I also think that it is besides the point that the orange juice was mixed with champagne. 

20 September 2009

I wish I could be in a cocoon right now

So the powers that be have decided that although I am absolutely exhausted, I am not allowed to have a sleep in this Sunday morning. I shuffled downstairs at 5:30 AM and finally gave up and turned on the TV at 6. It was all dark and quiet and 'Cocoon' was on. If you are like me, you probably have not seen this movie in a really, really, long time. I couldn't remember how it ended.

Let me enlighten you.

Bunch of old geezers get on a boat driven by Steve Gutenberg. The get chased by the Coast Guard. Fog comes in and a big spaceship comes down to get geezers. Instead of using a space ladder or space stairs, the aliens suck up the entire boat into the spaceship. Steve Gutenberg jumps out to dingy with a pile of money and a goonie look on his face (not a huge stretch for Steve Gutenberg). Spaceship takes off into the sky and we attend the funeral for all the old geezers as the family doesn't know that they are now space geezers.

Now I know this a Ron Howard film and we are suppose to assume that the aliens who took the geezers away are actually going to give the geezers this everlasting non-pain life that they promised. I personally am not so sure. Are we really suppose to trust this man to give these geezers rainbows and skips through fields? I don't think so. Brian Dennehy is evil. I think Alien Brian Dennehy took the geezers to Evil Alien Planet and chopped them up. Experiments with the aging humans. I think Evil Alien Brian Dennehy made hats out of the geezers.

Maybe I just need to get some more sleep.

18 September 2009

Nothing but the kitchen sink

Speaking of pet peeves, I actually have another one...  Oh, who am I kidding?  My pet peeves are endless.  There is another one that I have that I'm pretty sure I'm the only one in the universe who is bothered by it.  For this reason alone, I never bring it up as I know it's stupid and petty and bringing it up may make think I have OCD but...

OK, listen.  You have the kitchen sink, right?  And it has two, um, sinks in it.  On the left hand side, is the sink with the garbage disposal.  On the right hand side is the sink with the round metal food catcher thing that you can also use to plug up the sink to wash dishes in.   No matter what apartment I've lived in that has this dual sink setup, I always keep the tap over the disposal side.  It just makes sense.  I have a dirty dish, so I rinse it off over the disposal in case there are big chunky things I can grumble up (yes, grumble...that is the action verb that garbage disposals do).   If I'm too lazy or too busy at that time to put said dish in the dishwasher (oddly, not a pet peeve of mine...I know, right?), I will put said dish on the non-disposal side so that when I next use the tap, I don't have to bang my new dish (dirty or otherwise) against the old dish that is now sitting on top of the disposal. 

But that's not all!  If there is already a plate on the disposal side, for example, and I go to rinse off another plate, then 2 things happen:  

1. The chunky bits become wet chunky bit that are now floating on top of the plate in the sink
2. The existing plate will block the entrance to the disposal causing all those wet chunky bit closer and closer to my hand.  I don't like touching wet chunky bits. (sounds dirty!)

My pet peeve is obviously when I reach the sink and there is a dish...or dishes (usually pots and pans, and those irk me more than anything) in the disposal side area.   To be fair, when I'm in the physical act of cooking, I will do that.  But it's only because I'm going to be rinsing them and most likely, washing those items right away.

Drives me mental and I know it shouldn't.  I'm working on it.  I guess by "working on it", I mean "complain about it on my blog".   Hello, passive aggressive.

17 September 2009

Ordinal-Linguistic Personification (a.k.a. I'm not a freak!)

Ever since I can remember, I have always associated gender types to letters and numbers.  In my mind, 1 - 9 can be classified as such:

1 - Male
2 - Female
3 -  Male
4 - Female
5 - Male
6 - Male
7 - Female
8 - Male
9 - Male
0 - An old fat bald guy who plays video games all day long in his smelly apartment

I never understood why I did this, and I rarely brought it up to anyone else as the few times that I did, I was called weird.  I suppose it is weird in a way, but today I finally have justification that not only am I not the only one who does this, but it's a fairly common trait.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8248589.stm

A-ha!  I can finally come out of the closet (in a sense) about my ordinal-linguistic personification!  Now I can finally explain how when 6 (male) is multiplied by 7 (female) to make 42, in my head 6 swings around to 7's apartment and they drive off to attend a party at 42's house.  42 have punch and 7 drinks too much and 6 has to carry her home mumbling the entire way that he'd rather hang out with 4 as she's got a Corvette.  24 is an awesome tree house by the way and whenever 6 swings by, 4 always wishes she was with 8. 

I. Am. Not. Weird.  Read the article people!  I'm normal!  NORMAL.  In this sense anyhow.


16 September 2009

I'm so lazy, I'm giving you an entry from 8 years ago

The Arctic Monkeys show was fantastic but not much to tell about it as nobody got stabbed and I didn't get to go back stage and give Alex Turner a back rub (not that I'd want to Andy!). I am glad I got to see them finally though next time I really wish they would play Mardy Bum (Are you listening Alex Turner? No back rubs for you!).

Because it's the end of the day and my brain has turned off, I've decided to give you a entry I wrote (no longer available at the Diaryland site, at least not to you) 8 years ago when my roommate, Articulate Tom, and I went to Vegas 4 days after 9/11. I think I might be posting this as evidence that 1) I may have been a bit more exiting\excitable than I am now and 2) Damn! Look how thin I was!

Enjoy.

(cue going back in time music)

09/16/2001

How was everyone's weekend? Mine was great. It really was.

I Went To Vegas.

Vegas baby.

The rundown was as following:

On Friday, we raped New York, New York. So much in fact, that we had enough for another night's stay in Vegas, enough spending money for another night, and enough for two new outfits at the Gap as we didn't bring enough clothes for a two nights.

On Saturday, Mandalay Bay raped us. So we turned around and raped the Luxor. But then Paris, MGM, and Aladdin raped us back.

(2009 Editor's side note: I had used the word 'rape' to be shocking. Did it shock you? Exactly)

On Sunday...well, I don't even want to talk about Sunday, I'm too ashamed.

(2009 Editor's side note: I honestly don't know what I did on that Sunday that was so shameful after admitting to all the raping that was going on.)

But all and all, it was fun. We dressed up on Friday and just got stared at all night long. We learned how to play craps at 4 in the morning. We fell down flights of stairs, we spilled full drinks on ourselves. We went to dance clubs and decked-out restaurants. We stayed up until 7 in the morning and had 3 hour naps in the afternoon. We stalked cocktail waitresses for free drinks. We made friends at the Roulette table. We made enemies at the all night cafe. We blew hundreds on Double Diamond Delux, we won hundreds at Blackjack. We rode trams, taxis, and roller coasters. We giggled until our sides hurt.

We had fun.

And once we got back from all that fun...I got sick.

I thought it was a hangover...

Nope. It was a serious throat infection. My doctor (and I'm not kidding about this) actually jumped back from the examination table after viewing my throat.

"Well, let's see what we've got in ....AHHH!"

JUMPED BACK, people. As in, it was so hideous to look at that the DOCTOR had to shield her eyes from it. Talk about feeling like a leper.

I've still got it too, and it's a pain in the ass. I haven't been able to eat anything besides soup for the last 4 days. *sigh* All I really want is a cheeseburger...

So, I'm sorry about the delay in getting this out. And I wish I had more time to really go into the entire weekend (I'm sure I've missed some funny bits) but that stupid Work Crap That You Wouldn't Care About is once again calling me back. Until I write you next, remember that not all Blackjack dealers will find you funny if you try to double down on 13.

(2009 Editor's side note: I actually had tried to do that. Double down on 13. )

I'm wondering who will rape who next.


15 September 2009

It's all about the cuddles in the kitchen.

So tonight Andy, Dave, and I are going up to see the Arctic Monkeys play at the Hollywood Palladium.   I'm pretty stoked for this show even though physically speaking, I'm feeling less than up for it (as a self diagnosed hypochondriac, I'm convinced I have the swine flu)(not really).  The Arctic Monkeys swung through the LA area about two years ago.  Two years ago I didn't really know who the Arctic Monkeys were so I missed my chance by a country mile ever to see them in a small venue again. 

I'm not a big fan of big stadium concerts.   I used to be, when I was younger, and couldn't give a toss about really hearing the music, or seeing the performers.  Back then it was all about being there, being with your friends, getting injured in mosh pits, finding some older guy to buy you beer, getting the t-shirt that you'd wear every other day faithfully under it deteriorated into threads.   Nowadays, it is about seeing the performers, hearing the music live, and bitching about the high cost of beers at the venue.   I'm a cheap bastard, so if I go to shows now, I'm going to buy the cheapest tickets available, which basically means the bigger the venue, the less likelihood I'm going to see what I paid to see.  For most bands, I would just skip it if they were playing at a bigger venue.  For the Arctic Monkeys, I'd go no matter what.

Here is the song that made me fall in love with the Arctic Monkeys:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x201rz_arctic-monkeys-mardy-bum-live-mtvu_music

Swine flu can wait until tomorrow.

14 September 2009

Cat party wore me out

Shit!  I forgot to post today!   Seeing as for the first few hours this morning I was holding my eyes open with toothpicks, it makes sense.   After that, I got caught up with work and reading Neatorama posts. 

Fortuitously, I really don't have much for you anyhow besides letting you know that Chloe's first cat party was a success (see didn't hiss or bite anyone...which is shocking) and I won the office football pool (seeing as I've got $3 in my bank account until tomorrow, this was quite the blessing).

Here's a joke to make up for it:
One neighbor says to the other, "Hey Joe, you have to stop leaving the 
blinds on your bedroom open, I saw you screwing your wife." Joe responds
"The jokes on you, Stan, I was away on a business trip yesterday."


13 September 2009

Happy Birthday Chloe

Chloe Cat turned 7 years old on 09/09/09.  I'm ashamed to admit that we are holding her a very small party in which she will not appreciate until we open the can of tuna.  Any excuse to drink beer on a Sunday really.

11 September 2009

I'm my own pet peeve

So lately I've been reading various blogs that have a centralized theme of the writers being American women who married Australian men and have thus gone to Australia to live. Obviously I don't have to tell you why blogs like these have sparked my interest of late. Most of these blogs that I've been reading have really irritated me in some way or another though. I understand that the most useful purpose of a blog (on a personal level) is to get rants off your chest so you don't have to bore a live person with the rant. I understand that, hell, I'm doing it right now. My problem with most of these blogs is the rant subject. Maybe not the subject, par se, but just the writers decided angle to get to the subject. Oh hell, let me see if I can find you an example.

"...if you are ever in Sydney and in need of cheapish, fast Mexican food, this is the place I'd recommend! The place had real Mexican people working (I've never seen a Mexican in Australia before!) and it tasted like legit Mexican food, and although they didn't have authentic Mexican style red rice, it was still good."

Irritation #1: Did she ask if they were real Mexicans?
Irritation #2: What exactly is legit Mexican food? Is it the tacos and burritos covered in cheese served up for Americans or is it the Mexican food that Mexicans actually eat, like chilaquiles?
Irritation #3: Authentic Mexican Style red rice.

Another irritation I have with one of the blogs is actually something I do myself, but hate that I do it. Can you have a pet peeve if you're guilty of doing it? Sometimes it happens that when you're around people who talk differently then you and use different phrases then you, you might have a tendency to pick up some of the verbiage and inflections into your own way of speaking, without even realizing you're doing it.

Andy is British. We are dating and we are living together. This does not give me the right to use "gobsmacked" in a sentence nor does it give me the right to say "lee-ver" instead of "leh-ver". I'm ashamed to say that I've used both in recent memory. I try really hard to keep such infractions out of my blog though I will admit that some have sneaked in on occasion (typically when I'm in a frame of thought and just write whatever is in my head without proof reading the result). But some of these blogs I'm reading do it purposefully. It's as if to say, "Look, I know an Aussie slang word. Do you know it? I bet you don't. You'll have to ask me what that means and then I can tell you with a bit of a superior voice when I do."

Tossers. (Heh.)

Though the irritations (and there are others that I'm not going to get into), I still enjoy the blogs to some extent, and I've actually learned quite a bit in the process. Truthfully, to enjoy a blog, you have to be able to relate to the writer on some level like you would any friend. And if you wouldn't want to hang out with that person in real life, you sure as hell won't enjoy reading a blog all about their intimate thoughts. Just saying.

Have a great Friday and enjoy this if you feel a bit bored: http://www.translatebritish.com/reverse.php

--
Casey a.k.a. Moe
http://badgerswithknives.blogspot.com

10 September 2009

I'm not the only one.

As the smell of someone's reheated fish lunch wanders its way into my nostrils and therefore started my gagging reflex, I delight in the fact that there are others like myself, who cannot bear to eat anything that has come from the sea.

http://hubpages.com/hub/I-Dont-Like-Seafood-Please-Let-Me-Be

I haven't been this happy since I found the I Hate Cilantro site.  (Note: I'd link it but it looks like a Pro Cilantro eater has put a malware virus on it - sorry!)

--
Casey a.k.a. Moe
http://badgerswithknives.blogspot.com

09 September 2009

My sister needs to warn me.

My younger sister, Maggie, has been staying with us for the last few weeks.  She was only planning on staying until the end of the month but has recently decided to stick around as California is awesome.  Maggie is awesome in herself, so I think it's a good fit. 

Last night while Andy was working, I decided to put on "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" which I've been wanting to see for awhile but Andy hadn't as he doesn't seem to be too keen on serious dramas.  Maggie came down just as the movie was starting and when she found out what I was watching she said, "Oooh, I read the book, it was really good.  A bit deep though."

Have you seen (or read) "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" people?  I can't give away the end, I can't, but JAYSUS MOTHER OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, seriously?  Way to get me all, "la dee da, that's pretty funny, la dee da, oh dear, la dee da, WHAT THE MOTHER OF PANDA BASKETS?"

A bit deep.  This is what my sister tells me.  Like Mt. Everest is a bit tall. 

--
Casey a.k.a. Moe
http://badgerswithknives.blogspot.com

08 September 2009

The evidence!

"Hello? Mr. Lach? Yes, I would like to report that your daughter is a big mean bitch. You wouldn't believe what she's done to me..."


"OK, fine. I'm sorry. Yes, it was me who ran face first into a retaining wall."


"Buy beautiful a beer, why don't you?"

The one where Andy runs into a wall...

To recap, I appear to be very poor at this whole updating every day in September thing.  I blame the weekends.  Many times over the weekend I'm out or if I am home and have my computer on, it's to play on Facebook briefly before settling in to watch a movie.  This weekend was especially bad as we had my friend, Philly Beefsteak, in from Wisconsin.   Philly Beefsteak is better known as Pork Chop in most circles but I never liked that so I have been calling him Beefsteak for the better part of 13 years.  Sorry Phil.

Philly B.S. is part of the Milwaukee Hurling Club that I used to be a member of (albeit briefly) back in the late 90's.  He and I were on the same (losing) team one year.  He's a great guy and it was nice having him in town.  One thing about Philly though is that he has a tendency to bring chaos where ever he goes.  He doesn't do this purposefully, it just appears to follow him around.   There are a lot of stories I could tell but for discretion purposes, it is best that I just tell the story at hand.

On Saturday, I had decided that the three of us (Andy, Phil, and myself) would take the bikes down to the peninsula to enjoy the sun and perhaps a few cocktails.  We started off at Mutt Lynch's and since Andy and I know one of the waitresses there we may, perhaps, stayed a bit longer then we had first planned.  No worries.  We then biked down to the Balboa Saloon to play pool and finally to Cabo Catina for a blue drink (it's tradition).  Realizing that we should best head back after the blue drink, we started off.  I was in the lead on the boardwalk but as Andy knows, I tend to forget that people who might be behind me might not be keeping up to my speed and I sometimes forget to look back (because I'm concentrating so hard on pedaling) that I tend to lose those people.  Which is what happened.  Figuring there wasn't really anywhere to get lost (it was a boardwalk after all), I waited at the Blue Beat for Andy and Phil to show up.  After waiting for a good half an hour, I finally get a call from Phil.  Andy has been an accident.   He hands the phone to Andy who said, "it's just a scratch" but when I finally see Andy, my first reaction was to throw my sunglasses off my face, rip off my shirt, and use it to start wiping off the blood from Andy's face.  Just a scratch my eye.

The story, as much as Andy can remember it, is that as he was biking along, a lady on another bicycle ran into him.  Andy fell into to the left and used his face to break the fall into one of those shorter walls that lines everyone's houses on the boardwalk.  He got up and said he was fine (adrenaline anyone?) and started walking the bike with Phil, who had finally caught up with him again.  The beach ambulance followed him down the boardwalk and insisted that they clean him up.  They got the bleeding to stop for the moment, but by the time I saw him, Andy had two huge streaks of blood running down his cheek again - hence my reaction - caused from a centimeter long (and wide) gash on his cheek.  His right eye was already purple and closing up.  I very smartly suggested that we head to the hospital.

I say "smartly", which I think it was, that is, if HOAG HOSPITAL WASN'T A BUNCH OF LAZY UNHELPFUL INGRATES.   Basically we waited at Hoag for 3 hours and all that happened was Andy got a bag of ice.   3 hours was all Andy would wait so I've played Nurse Moe (with the help of Rite-Aid and First Aid kit provided by my sister) for the last few days.  He's looking better.  And if he'll send me the photos, I'll give you all a peek at what he looked like at the hospital (sans ice).

To recap this post: Sorry I didn't update.  Be careful if you ever hang around a guy going by Pork Chop.

Cheers.

--
Casey a.k.a. Moe
http://badgerswithknives.blogspot.com

06 September 2009

Wow, I'm really bad at this!

I didn't write yesterday and today this is all you get.   Philly Beefsteak is in town so we're showing him around.  It's already been chaos.  More later!

--
Casey a.k.a. Moe
http://badgerswithknives.blogspot.com

04 September 2009

Dear Stuart Little

Andy and I never IM each other. The reasoning goes well back and involves his unwillingness to install Yahoo! and my unwillingness to install MSN. Now that I'm on Gmail, we could use that, but we don't, as emailing has become the main source of communication whilst we are slaving away at our workplaces.

Because it's Friday before the holiday weekend, work is pretty dead so I've been passing my time looking through all my old emails. I found the following that I thought was pretty funny and I think demonstrates the sameness in humor that Andy and I share, which is to say absurdness.

This string started as me faux writing letters to Stuart Little as he appeared to be having a bad day. Enjoy.

******************

Dear Mr. Little,

Please, sit down and relax. Would you like a piece of cheese? I have sharp Wisconsin cheddar and a bit of Gouda. Care for crackers or would you prefer just to nibble on the corner of the package? Just the corner then? Well done. Yes please, just put your paws up. I do have a match box if you care for a nap later. Never mind that trap in the corner...that's for the hedgehogs. Nasty buggers those hedgehogs are.

Sincerely,

Me

******************

Hi Me!

I am lactose intolerant, which is pretty fucked up for a mouse. Some crackers would be lovely though. Although I do feel you are patronizing/patronising (delete as appropriate) me. That is bloody mousist!

Steady on, some of my best friends are hedgehogs!

Mr S. Little, mouse first class


******************

Mr. Little,

I would never patronize\patronise a mouse. Not with the knowledge that they could gnaw off my hair when I sleep at night.

I only dislike hedgehogs because they are so damn cute I turn into a big ball of stupid girl who suddenly wants to pet kittens and skip in a large field of sunflowers every time I see one. Dead hedgehogs don't give me that same affliction.

Sincerely,

Me

******************

Me,

I accept your apology. And your hedgehog manifesto.

Stuey Little, friend to hedgehogs everywhere, also preferably alive.

P.S. How are the ants? I asked them to look after the place while you were away.

******************

SL,

Thank you very much for sending the ants. They were very organized while they were still alive. Next time, if you could, please inform them that the bowl on the kitchen floor is cat food not ant food. I realize I normally inform them of this by putting down a liberal layer of cinnamon (surprisingly effective for getting the message across) but in my absence, the cat (not the tidiest of eaters), may have implied that what drops out her mouth is fair game. It's not.

Thanks.

Me

******************

Me,

You killed the ants? They were building the ant Eiffel Tower as a tribute to you, their god. And you frickin' smote them?

Well, they were French.

Stuart Little, mouse of many jackets



******************

Dear Stuart,

I didn't kill the ants. The Lysol "Garden Scent" Can killed them. I made sure they all went to little ant heaven (it's covered in sugar) as a merciful ant god is wont to do.

With much respect,

Me

******************

Dear Sir or Madam,

I regret to inform you that Stuart Little passed away this afternoon. According to the responding medics, he had launched a ground assault on the Lysol factory but was drowned when a container load of
NEW! LYSOL® Healthy Touch™ Hand Sanitizer Foam exploded during the resulting firefight causing Mr Little to asphyxiate instantly.

Our condolences go out to Stuart's family and friends. May he finally find the peace cruelly denied him in life.

--
Casey a.k.a. Moe
http://badgerswithknives.blogspot.com

03 September 2009

Chili Cook Off Photos

Lately I've been uploading all my photos to Facebook to share but I thought for once I'd be selfish and only post the following here. These are from the Hi-Times Chili Cook Off last weekend where I may or may not have had too many tequila related drinks.

Kristie, John Joe and myself ham it up. I did not, I repeat, did not have too many tequila related drinks at this time as much as it might appear that I had.


Andy hangs with the Harp crew, including Vicki and Joe (back right). Andy may or may not have had too many tequila related drinks at this point in time. He certainly didn't have much chili as he's a vegetarian and all.

I could comment on the tequila related drinks in this but I don't think I have to.

See you folks tomorrow.

And they all cheered.

Most of the time I have a pretty thankless job.  I do actually mean that in the literal sense as when you work in support, very rarely do you hear "thank you" uttered from one of your customers that you have spent the last 4 days and 6 hours working on and finally fixed.  Mostly you get, "It's about time" and "Your products sucks".  By that token, when I have a rare moment like today, I feel the need to blog about it.

Not to get into to much specifics, I just got off the phone with a customer who was trying to get his old little Latino women up and running again.  His current setup was atrocious so I spent a good 2 hours tweaking their system.  At one point I added a feature that instead of making his old little Latino women manually type in information, the system did it for them automatically.  During the first run through showing them this new feature, I heard silence on the other end and I got a bit concerned that they didn't like what I had done.  Then I heard a rush of Spanish and my customer explaining to them that the system was entering the numbers for them and all they had to do was verify that the information was correct.   More rush of Spanish - then cheering.  Actual cheering and clapping and more rush of Spanish.   My customer then said, "I think you just made them very very happy."

It's a bit silly but I can't tell you how warm and fuzzy that made me.   I'm buzzing right now actually.  Of course this will most likely be short lived as when they start using the system they will surely find other things that they don't like or isn't working properly, but for now, I'm going to enjoy it.

--
Casey a.k.a. Moe
http://badgerswithknives.blogspot.com

02 September 2009

So I made a quiche...

As you might remember, I was a bit tired yesterday. Like, very very tired. Regardless of my state, we didn't have much in the house for dinner, so I knew I had to cook. I had picked out a recipe earlier that day and stopped at the grocery store on the way home. I was quite a state at the store. I had to get broccoli, for example, so I shuffled my way over to the produce department, stared at the broccoli for a minute, yawned, stared at it some more, then finally decided I probably needed one of those plastic baggie things to put it in. Thankfully I only needed a few items or I might have been at Ralph's until midnight, wandering around, mumbling, yawning, and asking various customers where I could find angel hair pasta and my slippers.

But I did make it back - eventually - and began to cook a quiche.

This is the point that I remind people who may not know me all that well that I am not, even on the best of days, that great of a cook. I can get by, I have a few things I pull off exceptionally well, but new recipes I tend to botch up pretty badly. To make matters worse, the few things I can do exceptionally well usually involve meat - chicken, steak, etc. - but Andy is a vegetarian. To make matters worse upon worse, my back up exceptionally well cooking talent is pasta. There isn't an Italian dish that I can't make with finesse. But Andy doesn't like pasta (at this point I would call anyone who doesn't like pasta a non-American but my point would be moot). Needless to say, we eat out a lot and when we do cook at home it's usually baked potatoes or bean tacos.

So yes! I made the quiche. The first mistake I made was not reading the recipe amounts. I was to only add 1/2 of a cup of all the veggies, which I have come to find out, is not a lot. After chopping up a full onion, heating up a full package of spinach, dicing a whole broccoli head, and opening two packages of feta, I finally realized, "oh." Basically I had enough to make 18 quiches. Then I forgot to add the salt and pepper. (Which I didn't realize until it was half way through cooking, "that's odd, I don't remember having to add salt and pepper...oh.")

When everything was done and sorted and the quiche was in the oven, I said to Andy, "In 52 minutes time either you will have the best quiche you've ever had in your life, or you will be poisoned."

I like to take a gamble when I cook.

I'm happy to report that I did not manage to poison us. I'm also happy to report that the quiche turned out exceptionally well (I've added it to my list!) and that if you need a dummy proof recipe, that's the one to do.

01 September 2009

Day One of Project "bore you to death every day for a month"

So I'm tired.  Like extremely tired, as a result for tossing and turning all night long having quick 20 minute dreams that I was alternating between plowing fields in Facebook Farmtown and getting in a fight with football hooligans.  This actually marks day three of no sleep which means that if I don't fall asleep properly tonight, there may be blood.  I cannot promise you it will be my own.

From time to time this happens to me.  I'll get in some sort of sleeping rut and for days on end, no matter how physically and mentally depleted I am, I won't be able to sleep.  Typically this is just a basic "can't fall to sleep" over a "wake up all night long", but when it gets bad, it's both.  And it's been bad.  Last time this happened this badly I went 5 days.  At 2 in the morning on the 5th night, I'm on the couch sobbing my eyes out, pleading with my body to shut down.  It wasn't pretty, nor was the nonsensical call I made to my boss letting her know that no, I wasn't actually sick but if I didn't sleep soon, I would be.  She never liked me anyhow.  The two good things that came out of the 5th night was that I finally got to see "Easy Rider" and after my phone call to my bitchy (now) ex boss, I did manage to fall asleep and didn't wake up for 15 hours (and woke up for a measly 2 hours and went back to bed for another 10).

I actually feel a bit bad for complaining about this as I know Beth is out there right now reading this, holding a newborn in her arms, thinking I don't know the half of it.  And it's true, I don't.  I'm not newborn baby tired.  I'm simply "been rock star living for too damn long without break and could just use some peace and quiet" tired.  But at the end of the day (pun!), tired is tired and it makes me long for a preschool moment where I could lay down for a nap on a stinky blue mat with a ratty blanket and with graham cracker crumbs stuck to my cheek.

--
Casey a.k.a. Moe
http://badgerswithknives.blogspot.com

27 August 2009

If you don't mind egg on your sub...

Did you know Subway serves breakfast?  It's true, and it's damn cheap.  You can get an egg, cheese and bacon sandwich on flatbread for $3.00.  Plus, you can put on any of the regular sub toppings on it at no extra charge. 

I like BLTs.  No, I love BLTs.   They are god's gift to my stomach.  My stomach goes "hallelujah" the minute the first bit of chewed up bacon\tomato\lettuce combo hits it.  I made the mistake one morning by ordering a regular BLT sandwich on flatbread.  It was a little over $5.   While it doesn't make sense that adding a sad slab of formed egg product to said sandwich suddenly makes it $2 cheaper, I'm going with it.  Like the egg they use has any flavor anyhow.

This is a message from your local cheap bastard.

--
Casey a.k.a. Moe
http://badgerswithknives.blogspot.com

25 August 2009

I'm away for weeks and this is all you get

Oh hey!  I've got a new blog!  Guess what?  I won't write in it for weeks!   In my defense I've been on vacation the last two weeks and now that I'm back I'm playing catch up, but you don't really want excuses, do you?  Fine.  I will have you know that starting September 1st I have decided to update every single day even if it's just a bullshit post like this one.  Excited?  I can see that you are.

Now that I covered that, the main reason for this post is to ask you (or challenge you if you are a challenge liking sort of person) to figure out how the hell to spell...well, I don't know if there's a way to spell it so I'll try to convey what I need spelling.

Let's say you are walking down the hall at work and one of your co-workers says, "How are things?" and you respond, "You know, the usual" but you don't actually say "usual", you say a compounded version of "usual" which the best I can figure out might be spelled "uuuge"  but I know that's not right so someone, please god, tell me how to phonetically spell it as it's been driving me crazy for approximately 7 1/2 years.

--
Casey a.k.a. Moe
http://badgerswithknives.blogspot.com

28 July 2009

Is my iPod trying to tell me something?

I usually spend a lot of time getting into work in the morning.  That is to say, I could leave the house at 7:30, take the freeway and be at work by 8 with time to spare.   I don't do this.  Freeways make me crazy especially with traffic in California.  The last thing I need is to be all strung out and stressed before walking into work with a bunch of angry customers waiting for me.  To combat this, in the mornings I leave at 7:10 and take the side streets all the way from Costa Mesa to Irvine.   Sure, it's twenty minutes longer, but the scenery is nicer and I can leisurely drink my coffee, smoke cigarettes and listen to music on the way in.   It's not for everyone (especially those who enjoy extra sleep) but it works for me.

I used to listen to talk radio in the morning on the way in.  No, I take that back...my old truck didn't have an iPod connector so I was forced into listening to talk radio as apparently all the regular music stations feel as though commuters don't actually want to listen to music in the morning but would rather have us listen to them call up random people asking them to fart the theme song to Gilligan's Island.  

I love my iPod.   Besides DVR's and bacon, iPods are one of the world's best inventions.  I have approximately 13 gigs of music on it right now.  That isn't a lot by some standards.   (On a side note, I like that iTunes lets you know how many days you could continuously listen to music without ever hearing the same song.  It's a bit of a comfort to know that if I was trapped on a deserted island, I could listen to 9 straight days of music with no repeats.   Of course, this deserted island would have to have an electrical outlet as the iPod would surely run out of battery life before the 9 days and if that was the case, the deserted island probably wouldn't be all that deserted, but still).  Where was I?  Oh yes.  Anyhow, because I technically don't have all that much music, I rarely bother with playlists.  I have one that has some of my very favorite songs, but otherwise I listen to music by genre or just set the thing to shuffle.

Most mornings, I use the shuffle option.  Depending on my mood or the iPod's tendency to play a "rock block" of the same artist, I sometimes have to do a lot of song skipping.  I don't mind this.  It's a bit like legalized song gambling as I might get all pumped up listening to the Gorillaz and then the iPod thinks that a sad Patsy Cline song would best follow it up.   It's a mood gamble really, but that's part of the fun.   The iPod also, I think, has a little man inside it - I'll call him DJ Podmeister - who likes to play a themed set of shuffled songs.   I had a whole morning once where all the songs were about traveling.   Another morning I had a whole morning of songs about being dirty rotten liars.  This morning, every single song on shuffle was about getting dumped.  Was my iPod trying to tell me something?  Did DJ Podmeister know something I didn't? 

I started to get really concerned about the whole thing until DJ Podmeister put on Hellbound Hayride's "I Think You're Trying to Kill Me".    Getting murdered is so less concerning then getting dumped!

--
Casey a.k.a. Moe
http://badgerswithknives.blogspot.com

13 July 2009

Being Regular

A lot of people don’t understand why I go to the Harp as often as I do.

One common reaction is absolute confusion. "Why are you going to there again? There are so many more things to do in southern California. You can surf, ride, ski, snowboard, jog, spend time with family, catch a game. Why go to the same bar yet again?" Yeah right, all those other options sound very appealing.

Another common reaction is vague or explicit disgust. "Do you have a drinking problem? Are you a bit of a lush?" Which you might consider to be downright rude. And you'd be right.

They simply do not understand what it is like to be a regular at a local pub. It’s more than just drinking, it’s more than just having a pint with the boys, it’s more than yourself, much much more.

To be a regular at a local pub is to be part of a family. There is no definitions on who we, the family members, are. We are old, we are young. We are married with families, we’re divorced, we’ve been single for years, we’ve been dating for years. We work in computers, construction, universities, science labs, the shopping mall. We’re Republicans, Democrats, No Party Affiliation. We are atheists, Christians, Jewish, simply Spiritual. We are meat eaters and vegetarians. We love and we hate but we are family.

To be a regular at a local pub, you would have to understand that it’s more than just a pub; it’s a public living room. We have the chairs we prefer. We know where things are. You could not be a regular without knowing each bartenders name, where they keep the extra paper towels, what shelf the champagne is on, what band is playing on Thursday night, who went home with who last Sunday. To be a regular is to listen and care that the bartender lost her dog in a fire and know that if you get too drunk that night she will drive you home after her shift. To be a regular is clearing up glasses and wiping down tables if the bartenders are too busy. It’s being able to order two chicken strips and ¾ of a pint of lager when it’s not on the menu. It’s having a tab that you forget to pay that day without anyone worrying that you aren’t good for it.

Some think of regulars at local pubs to be alcoholics and drunks. To be fair, some of us are. However, most of us are not. A regular will still come to local pub when they are on the wagon. That isn’t to say that regulars don’t get drunk, we certainly do. But that isn’t the reason why we are there; it’s an occupational hazard of the lifestyle. Regulars will stop in for one on their way to somewhere else, or they’ll spend the afternoon. Drinking isn’t what defines a regular. A regular becomes a regular to be a part of that pub family.

Being part of this pub family means that we are intertwined in each other’s lives just like any other sort of family. We’ve met each other’s children, we’ve helped each other move, we visit each other in the hospital. We rejoice in each other’s successes, and tease each other’s failures as only a family would do. We gossip, we support, we laugh, and we cry.

When we lose a member of this family it affects us all. If we are lucky, we lose members of our family because they move away. If we are lucky, we lose them to the birth of a new child. If we are lucky, we lose them to a change in their life that states that they don’t need us anymore. A lost pub family member is never truly lost this way; there is always a chance we will see them again. Sometimes, however, we lose a family member in the worst way possible.

Paul Holden, a.k.a. Vitamin Paul, a.k.a. Bababooie left the pub family this past Thursday afternoon. He was a character in the best and worst way of the word. He made us laugh, he made us crazy, he annoyed us. We knew Paul like only a pub family could. He had two beautiful children. His first ex-wife once hit him over the head with a cast iron frying pan. He believed in aliens and the British S.A.S.. He could consult us all for hours about the perfect pillow top mattress to buy only to go out and get an air mattress instead. If you were a woman, he’d hit on you. If you were that same woman, you’d laugh at his efforts, decline, but still buy him a beer. He had a tattoo of the Rolling Stones tongue on his butt which he wouldn’t mind showing you. He was 44 and still lived life like he was in his 20’s. Paul died doing what he loved. He loved the ocean and he loved body surfing. He had moved down to the peninsula this past spring and went out surfing every day. The ocean took our brother and our friend. It’s hard to grasp that he’s gone. He will not, could not, ever be forgotten.

I miss you Paulie.



If any of you knew Paul, please leave a Paul story in the comments.

09 July 2009

This is a test from your emergency broadcast system.

Just testing the post by email feature.

--
Moe
http://newthisweekend.blogspot.com

Thought you'd gotten rid of me, hey?

The first post on a new blog is a difficult thing to pull off. The first post of a blog sets the tone for the entire life span of a blog. A bit like your mother who when you say at seven years of age that you like flamingos will always to the end of your days (or hers) buy you flamingo related items although you lost interest in flamingos a week after making that statement. Such is the first post. If I were to say, “this here is a blog all about knitting” most of you would say, “OK, if I ever feel the need to knit, I know where to go” and would be sorely disappointed if you were to come back a year later (because, c’mon, how much information on knitting do you really want to know?) only to discover I’ve moved on to hamster training.

This is my 3rd blog. My first blog over at Diaryland was a blog of a 25 year old who didn’t know how to keep her mouth shut regarding her exploits in the local nightlife. My 2nd blog, newthisweekend.blogspot.com, was fun- but trying to find new things to do every weekend was exhausting, expensive, and just a bit limiting on what I wanted to say. This blog I’m hoping to combine the best bits of the two. I hope it’s good. I hope you stick around. I hope that I win the lotto – ah shit, I just checked. No. Damn.

I haven’t written anything more than work related emails in ages so my thought process in writing is a bit cob-webby. Seriously, there is a spider chilling out in my ear canal a bit paranoid he’s about to be evicted. I had a joke in my head about having a little broom to clean my ear out… *a-hem* Yeah, I’m a bit rusty. Give me time.

So what will this blog be about? Your guess is as good as mine. But it’s got a picture of a badger to start off with so it can’t be all that bad.