Sunday, November 26, 2006

a passionate italian... who knew?

There's something I need to get off my chest, and so this post will be a fairly serious one. Those of you that hate maudlin rants, tune in tomorrow for stories of this year's Fry-day.

Warning: You must be at least this emotionally mature to ride this ride--------------

It occured to me the other day that at 209 some-odd entries, this blog is probably the longest thing I've ever written. It is also in many ways the most dishonest. I don't post a lot about my personal life here, primarily because almost everyone I know reads this blog, and I am constantly worried about hurting those I care about, or making bad situations worse. Plus that, I really try to write to entertain.

I'm thinking that needs to change. (the not writing about my personal life and those important to me part... hopefully not the entertaining part). I can already see in my mind's eye some folk cringing as I say that. "Oh, great" you're thinking, "he's gonna tell the world about that story with the three hookers and the Chimpanzee". No... I have no desire to air the dirty laundry of others. "Uh-Oh..." Others are thinking, "so he's gonna rat me out for pantsing him in front of the girl he had a crush on in high school". No, sorry... my personal pain and humiliation isn't on today's menu either.

What I'm talking about today is passion.

I am passionate about a lot of ideas, people and things. I tend not to let it creep into these pages, and I think that is doing a disservice to my readers. My passions tend to get me into a lot of trouble... and are directly responsible for many errors in judgement over the years... I say this not for any sort of absolution, but simply as an obsevation. I think that a passionate soul is simply something no writer can be without... Just like the fractured parts of my personality that make for vivid characters in my stories (shizophrenia isn't just for actors anymore:)). I think that by not including my passions on these pages, it has led this Blog to be perhaps the most unreal thing I've ever written.

But I am passionate. I get very, very angry at more than just mice. I have been very deeply hurt by people I care about more times than I care to recount, each time leaving a permenant scar on my silent soul. I have cared so deeply about some people that I would tell them that daily if I didn't think that they would find it just a little bit creepy. I have been through things that have made me question my existance. I have and still do deeply love many women that i've known, even though all common sense says I'm a complete idiot for doing so (Yes, despite any ex-wife jokes to the contrary, Charity is still among that number). I am forceful with my ideas, and would gladly give my life for my right to express them... even the stupid frustrated artist type ones. I believe in many things not just with my mind, but with my soul.

Most of all... I am really passionate about my life... and I'm thinking it's time these pages reflected that.

Maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed... maybe I'm being overly dramatic, but it's something I needed to say...and that's what a blog is really about, isn't it?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Some Tuesday humor...

A lady was walking past a pet store when a parrot said, ''Hey, lady! You're really ugly!" The lady was furious and continued on her way. On the way home, she passed by the petstore again and the parrot once more said "Hey, lady! You're really ugly!" She was incredibly ticked now, so she went into the store and said that she would sue the store and kill the bird. The store manager apologized profusely and promised he would make sure the parrot didn't say it again. The next day, she deliberately passed by the store to test the parrot. "Hey, lady!" it said. "Yes?" "You know."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

So this preacher gets mugged in an alley...

This is not a joke post, but darned if it doesn’t start like one. I’m listening to the radio the other day, and they told a story of a Texas inner-city preacher that after having been mugged, decided that his mission was to bring the Lord to the inner city youth of today. Apparently, the preacher turned to his bible for guidance on the subject, and came to an interesting conclusion: The bible was really long and difficult to read.

No huge mystery there, padre. It was written and re-written at least a thousand years ago (no, I don’t need the exact date... It’s not integral to the point of this story) and our language has changed since quill met papyrus. Inspired by this bit of divine obviousness, the preacher has decided to do something about it.

He is writing a Hip-Hop translation of the bible.

To quote psalm 23: “Yo, check it…even tho I’s walkin thru an evil hood, I got no fear… cause God got my back. Though them Gangstas try to bring a playa down, I got no worries, cause my homey… the Lord… is with me.”

Now, I understand the time honored tradition of translating the bible into another tounge to convert the unbelievers. If you want a populace to get the message, they need to be able to read it. This still seems like a stupid idea to me… Gangstas so inclined to pick up a bible won’t care if it’s in hip-hop or not, will they? I just don’t understand how this will not directly contribute and encourage the decline of the English language. Why bother to learn the finer points of our language if we’re gonna translate everything into our slang anyway?

So says the fat white guy of course, so I’d be interested in hearing any dissenting opinion.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Man vs. Mouse-round 4, and more!

"To depend strictly on defense means that there is not enough strength of purpose in your heart" --Sun Tzu

So, before going home to decide the fate of my P.O.W. in the great Mouse police action of 2006(see previous entry) I had to do my civic duty. That’s right, kids… it was voting time once again. This time, one of the issues was about how the parish has the right or lack thereof to tax me for owning a car. Personally, I think that’s ridiculous, and just another excuse for the government to shift as much of its overweight bureaucratic ass as it can upon the backs of the working stiff.

Anyway, seeing as how Ducky lives basically across the street from me, he decided to tag along and vote, too. He was however, turned away at the polls. As it turns out, that even though he changed his address after Katrina to reflect his residency in my neighborhood, not a single state or federal agency thought it appropriate to share this with the voters registration people. They were nice about it, but basically told Ducky that if he really wanted to vote, we would have to cross the river and drive the 17 or so miles down a still-dark-cause-the-streetlights-still-haven’t-been-fixed-since-the-storm road to Chalmette to do so.

In the 37 minutes before the polls closed.

“Dude…” I said, stifling my righteous indignation, “you have just been disenfranchised.”
“So it would seem.” Ducky replied.
“Isn’t there something in the bill of rights about this?”
“It’s taxation without representation, at the very least.”
“Hooters?” I suggested, thinking that going for chicken wings was somehow appropriate just then.
“Hooters.” Ducky agreed.

It was trivia night at Hooters, but we still regaled the waitresses with Ducky’s tale of woe. While managing to win a pitcher of beer. (Behold our brilliance!) The problem is, Ducky doesn’t drink, and I was driving. We got several thousand points for style when we decided to donate our hard-won pitcher to the team that came in last place.

Afterward, Ducky told me he had read my blog entry from earlier that day.

“Yeah,” I said, “I still haven’t figured out what to do with that P.O.W.”
“He’s not a P.O.W.!” Ducky quacked at me, “He’s an enemy combatant and a thief! He pillaged valuable resources and attempted to spread disease among your populace! He deserves no mercy!”
“My regime is not one to line people up in front of a firing squad, my friend.”
Ducky frowned.
“And you call yourself a dictator.”
“I prefer to think of myself as a benevolent Monarchy.”
“Most dictators do.”

I got home fairly late, half expecting that the Mouse in the wastebasket would have managed to escape somehow, but he was still there.

“You have been tried and found guilty of crimes against the sovereign state of Casa Kahunah.” I said to my furry prisoner, “we have decided that the sentence for your crimes is…" I paused, still unsure of his fate.

I thought of Sun Tzu, and his quote above. I thought of the errors of the current regime of the United states government, and why so many other nations don't like us.

I sighed. I'm just not a bully, I guess.

"Your sentence is banishment and exile.” I said.

I guess I lack strength of purpose... but at least I can live with myself.

I know what you’re thinking… I’ve tried this before. This time, I walked two blocks away, with the wastebasket and let him loose in a small park. The Mouse ran off into the night, in the opposite direction of my house. The war, for the moment, was once again over. Casa Kahunah is apparently mouse free but we can never forget the great police action of 2006, lest we repeat it’s mistakes.

Now if I could just get rid of that squirrel in the attic…

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Man vs. Mouse, round 3.

The struggle continues to make Casa Kahunah rodent free… and I am seriously considering borrowing a friend’s cat for a few weeks. I just don’t think I can borrow Drew’s cat (Nimbus) in good conscience, because A) I live in a more urban setting that an indoor/outdoor suburbs cat like Nimbus might not find as safe, and B) That cat’s a bit of a jerk (according to Stacey).

Plus that, I’m thinking that these mice are not nearly as smart as I’ve been giving them credit for.

Case in point… Last episode, I found a mouse trapped in the living room wastebasket, and released him to the wild. At least, that was the plan. (no snickering out there… I’m lookin at you, Melinda.) The wily beast ran back into the house before I could react… Well, this morning, as I got ready for work, I heard a rustling in the (still empty) wastebasket again. I looked over the rim, and there was the same, stupid mouse.

At least I’m pretty sure it was the same mouse… I didn’t ask him for any I.D.

I didn’t feel like dealing with it just then and there, so I put a board over the wastebasket to confine the little S.O.B. till I get home. I also intend on stopping at Wal-mart to pick up a few more of those nifty traps. (The link is for Dreamwalker, who liked the sound of the design) I still have to decide what to do with my P.O.W. when I get home though… I think just outright executing it may be against the Geneva convention.

I’m off to re-read Sun-Tsu… but I’ll be damned if I know how to take a mouse’s wind.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Man vs. Mouse, round 2.

Okay… I’m willing to admit that my conclusion that it was just ONE mouse that had set up shop on the premises at Casa Kahunah was maybe a tad optimistic. As I sat down to the computer the other night to pound out a few more pages of my latest screenplay, I was quite startled as a second mouse jumped out from the couch cushions and took off across the living room floor.

Needless to say, I immediately checked my hard drive to see if he had been downloading any mouse porn.

The short lived peace it seemed, was over. I had once again underestimated my enemy, but would not do so again. The score was once again even: Man1, Mouse1. I put the remaining trap I had into position once more… baited yet again with that most magic of foods, peanut butter cups.

As darkness feel, I retreated to base camp Beta (my bedroom) and watched some Pinky and the Brain cartoons for inspiration. I was just dozing off when I heard the trap in the kitchen go off.

“HA HA!” I yelled from the ramparts of my mattress, “Man 2, Mouse 1! Take that, you foul beast!” As I stooped to pick up the trap, I looked at the little plastic indicator and noticed that it was in a different place this time. Could it be that the mouse had somehow set off the first one to lull me into a false sense of security? Or was it just a smaller mouse the first time? Did this mean there were more? Were the mice better organized than I had previously assumed?

I pondered this as I tossed the trap into the trash outside. I went to sleep, fitfully dreaming of the Brain and Pinky leading these field mice in an attempt to breach the levees of New Orleans (again) in the aftermath of hurricane Narf.

I awoke Sunday morning in a pensive mood. The house was quiet… a little too quiet. I cautiously took out the trash, (emptying the kitchen can and the waste basket in the living room as I try to do every Sunday), and made myself breakfast. As I settled in for a morning of shows I had taped throughout the week, I heard a rustling. From the living room trash can I had just emptied, no less! I slowly leaned over and looked into the basket, and saw a mouse struggling to climb the sheer, blue plastic walls. To be honest, I don’t know who was more scared.

We have met the enemy, and we have the common ground of being chickens.

As I looked down into what the mouse must have considered his pit of doom, I felt sorry for the little guy. It had to really suck to be him. In short, despite generations of conquerors in my Italian DNA, I couldn’t bring myself to put it out of it’s misery. After all, I’m a lover… not a killer.

I put a board over the wastebasket, and walked out to the very back of my back yard, and let the mouse go. It promptly ran across the yard and into the open back door of my house.

The stream of obscenities I yelled at that point is best not recounted here.

Man 2, Mouse 2. It isn't over.

Making with the funny on a Monday...

A policeman pulls over a driver for swerving in and out of lanes on the highway. He tells the guy to blow a breath into a breathalyzer.
''I can't do that, officer.''
''Why not?''
''Because I'm an asthmatic. I could get an asthma attack if I blow into that tube.''
''Okay, we'll just get a urine sample down at the station.''
''Can't do that either, officer.''
''Why not?''
''Because I'm a diabetic. I could get low blood sugar if I pee in a cup.''
''Alright, we could get a blood sample.''
''Can't do that either, officer.''
''Why not?''
''Because I'm a hemophiliac. If I give blood I could die.''
''Fine then, just walk this white line.''
''Can't do that either, officer.''
''Why not?''
''Because I'm drunk.''

Friday, November 03, 2006

Man vs. Mouse

Over the past few weeks, I have noticed that a mouse has taken up residence in my home. It wouldn’t even especially bother me so much, were he paying rent… but this mouse turned out to be quite the freeloader. He even ruined a large Sam’s Club pack of oatmeal.

So I tried the usual things… laid out a few of the old Tom and Jerry spring-type traps… some mouse poison… did a little song and dance number hoping the mouse would join in… I also considered (briefly) setting out a Wile E. Coyote style trap, but it somehow seemed unlikely that the mouse would be able to read the signs I put up saying “this way to the cheese”, “cheese around corner” and “stand here for the cheese” below a large rock.

Please keep in mind that my major source of knowledge about mouse behavior and how to get rid of them comes from hours and hours of Saturday morning cartoons.

In any event, I’ve been trying to evict this mouse for almost a month. I finally had the last straw the other morning, when as I sat up in bed, trying to blow away the cobwebs of sleep from my mind, the mouse struts across my bedroom floor.

And when I say ‘strut’ I mean a leisurely, I-got-nowhere-to-be, I-am-king-of-the-beasts kinda stroll.

I was too in shock to react to the thing, but one thing suddenly became etched in my mind: This mouse thinks it’s his freaking house. It was then and there that I declared war on this rodent. This attitude of his would not stand.

I went to Wal-mart that day, and bought the latest, greatest, state of the art in mouse dispatching traps, which were a real bargain at only 2 bucks each. I considered the glue traps too, but then reminded myself that I had duct tape at home that would work just as well if I needed it… The traps were this nifty little spin-guillotine thing that kills the mouse, and hides the carcass from view. The trap had a little piece of red plastic to let you know if you actually caught a mouse, and you could just throw the whole thing away without having to get squeamish over a dead mouse.

Thus armed, I determined I should set up a perimeter in what would be known as “No Mouse’s Land” for the duration of my police action (known to non-combatants as my kitchen). Keeping my head low and watching for ‘charlie’, I crawled under the table and carefully armed my traps, baiting them with my favorite food, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

“Indeed,” I thought as I carefully placed the trap in what I assumed was a well-traveled mouse path, “how could they resist the power of peanut butter and chocolate?”

I set a few more traps in what I figured were key mouse strongholds… places where I was sure that the rodent was gathering his forces together to put a peanut butter cup sandwich under a very large rock, with a crudely drawn sign that said “Free sandwich for guys named Rob”.

I shuddered at the thought as I retreated to the relative safety of Base Camp Alpha (known as my living room couch to non-combatants) and waited for the inevitable sounds of carnage. Though I dared not turn up the TV lest I give away my position to the enemy, I still heard nothing.

War was much quieter than I had previously heard. Eventually I fell asleep, with nightmares of my time in No Mouse’s land waking me periodically. In them, I was a Wooly Mammoth… and the mouse and his furry brethren were hunting me with toothpicks while carrying bitty torches and wearing loincloths.

The next morning, I checked my traps. Nothing. My adversary was obviously more clever than I thought. I decided to give the traps another day, while I considered an alternative strategy. (Of course, the alternative strategy was moving away, but hey… I was a little upset)

The next morning I checked the traps again, and was amazed to see the little red indicator showed a mouse in the trap! I thumped my chest and let out a primal “Yalp”. I wondered aloud if a taxidermist would be willing to stuff and mount the beast’s head for my wall. I did the little happy dance. Man 1, Mouse 0.

In the end, I carried my worthy adversary in his round plastic coffin outside to the trash can, where he was dumped without further ceremony. The war had taken it’s toll on me… but history will remember this as the day that a brave man stood up to the rodents that dare intrude upon our homes, and said this far! No further!

Maybe I’ve just watched “Star Trek: First Contact” too many times.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A thought for all saints day...

I was reading over at Behind The Counter, where the unnamed wal-mart associate that keeps the blog had to ring up a purchase of 60 pumpkins, leaving our intrepid reporter to wonder just what they were all for. I know that you’re thinking, “Well, Halloween decoration of course”. And it is the obvious answer… but 60 pumpkins is a LOT of freakin gourds. More to the point, it got me thinking, “What the heck is this lady gonna do with all these pumpkins come November 1st?”

Alternative uses for 60 pumpkins the day after Halloween:

Pie. Lots and lots of pie.

A cheap 'b' horror movie for release next Halloween called "Attack of the Killer Pumpkins"

Spray paint them white, for easily compostable, warm weather climate snowmen.

Cheap Trebuchet ammo. (Not my idea, but really funny… posted in BTC’s comments, and the inspiration behind this post)

Impressive but cheap orange bricks to make a pyramid for a grade school production of "the ten commandments".

Festive way to smash windshields, so that the local glass companies get a much needed economic boost.*

Let them rot in the crawl space under the house of someone you don't like.*

Cheap Tourist attraction- "Rotting Gourd City"

Smash em on the desk of each co-worker that didn’t attend your Halloween party. Claim it’s an ancient religious forgiveness ceremony for your people (so you don’t get in trouble). Wear safety goggles and a raincoat while you do it.*

Pick a house at random and leave one on the doorstep. Replace it each time they throw one away until there are none left. (this gets even funnier as they begin to rot).

Sandbags? who needs stinkin sandbags?

Carve all into Jack-o-lanterns, place them all around co-workers car in the parking lot or their cubicle and say in a creepy voice "Ve have you surrounded." or "Surrender now, and ve vill kill you quickly." Better yet, just leave a note in red crayon saying such.

Dodgeball practice. (if you can dodge a pumpkin…)

Leave them all outside your local green grocer in a line with picket signs that say "Halloween unfair to pumpkins", "Pumpkins are people too!" and "Stop killing our Kin!"

Cut them in half, and use them as “biodegradeable siding” to tick off the local facist homeowners association.*

Two words… Highway overpass.*

Five more words… Empire State Building Observation Deck.*

and of course... (my favorite), create instant high ground in the event of levee breaches.

*the Dogs Of Atlantis Management does not condone or approve any acts of violence/revenge/vandalism, no matter how side-splitingly funny or silly they may be... unless of course you send us a video tape of such acts of violence/revenge/vandalism that we can win 10,000 dollars with, In which case... high five.