Thursday, December 28, 2006

Progress? you call that Progress?

Yesterday I realized that I've had my Buick for a little over a year, and thus far 'Maybelyne' hasn't let me down when its counted. Unfortunately, all my giddy little bits of sentimentality were blasted out of the water by the fact that it also means it was time for me to take the old girl for her yearly brake tag inspection.

I called work to say I would be late, and figured the whole process wouldn't take very long... After all, "hit your turn signals and honk the horn" is the automotive equivalent to "open wide and say ahhhh". So I pulled into the station like I normally would, waited paitently for the four cars ahead of me to get their inspection stickers, and greeted the attendant with a smile. She asked no questions, had me honk the horn once and presented me and Maybelyne with a pretty piece of paper that said "REJECTED" on it in large, friendly, red letters.

"Say what?" I asked calmly.

"I'm sorry sir, but all of your turn signal bulbs are not lensed." the Inspection lady said.

I felt May's engine huccup in dissatisfaction. The front turn signals haven't had lenses since I bought the car... I just taped them over and moved on with my life without incident.

"I know that. They have tape over them."

"Sorry, sir. No cars can be passed without lensed lights."

"It's never been a problem before, Darlin. You sure this isn't some plot just to get me to come back so you can spend more time with me?" I batted my eyelashes at her in a hopeless attempt to flirt my way out of this.

Nothing is less impressive apparently, than a large italian man calling you 'darlin' while batting his eyelashes at you.

"No, sir. New rules passed by the parish. All lights to be lensed, no cracks of any kind in windshields, and all windshield wipers must be functional. That's progress for you."

"But you didn't ask me to do the wipers."

"Saw the lens first, so I saw no need. I can give you a temporary tag till you get them fixed though. That'll be 20 dollars"

"Twenty bucks for just the temp one?"

"That's right. Make sure that you keep the temp tag somewhere hidden, though... these things are a very high theft item since the new rules."

No Kidding. I wonder why. I thought, scowling slightly."Not in the windshield? but what if I get pulled over?"

"Just show the cops the temporary one and they'll let you go."

Yeah. Right. I took the tag and drove off in search of turn signals, after calling in to my boss first to say I was going to be even later.

"Your car was rejected?" He asked.

"That's right."

"Well, how does your Buick feel about that?"

"She's a little upset about it. I'll be there as soon as I can."

"I've been to that inspection station before... the lines get pretty long after the morning hours."

"So, I promise I'll be in by 4:00. Bye." (we get off work at 4:30)

I went to several junkyards, none of which seemed to have any wrecked Buicks. I was ready to give up when someone told me to try one last one, an auto salvage place near the Huey P Long bridge. the man behind the counter had a thick cajun accent, but obviously knew his stuff.

"Nah. We got no buicks ov da riht year here. But we do have udders dat'l work."

"wait... you mean you have the lenses?"

"Uhns dat'l work, yah. Diffent year, riht part. Dat'll be 50 bucks."

"I only have 42 dollars on me, but I can.."

"Hokay... 42 bucks den."

I love this town sometimes. I thanked the man and ran out to the car before he changed his mind and had me wrestle an alligator out of a wrecked school bus to make up the extra eight bucks. I slapped the parts on the car, waited in line at the station for another couple of hours, but got to work by noon.

Maybelyne, with her new turn signals, has never looked better.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Hmmm... I see no difference... or do I?

I took the plunge today and switched over to the new version of Blogger... after all, a man's gotta face his fears sooner or later, right? I see no difference though, between this new version and the old except that now the Google Gestapo has a file on me.

In me, however I have noticed a change over the past couple of months or so... the spring is back in my step, the songs have returned to my heart, and I've been just chock-full of the spirit of the season. Compared to last year, when I was ranting about Festivus well into January, I think that this is quite the improvement.

I guess it's time to come clean, as well... I think had been suffering from a rather serious bout with depression for almost a year, and it seems no one noticed. I don't know if my acting skills are just that good, or if those that care about me just didn't know how to bring it up, but I finally caught on to this about two months ago and started doing something about it. For those who wonder about such things, for me it really didn't take all that much, either... an exercise routine here, learing to embrace my stupidity there, and I'm a whole new man. It also helps that there's a genuine feeling of hope in the city again as people start moving back into their rebuilt homes, and FEMA trailers start slowly disappearing. Not to mention the Saints having a winning season for the first time ever... for all those that wonder why it was so important to get the superdome up and running again when there is so much left to do, you should see the smile that crosses nearly everyone's face when they hear the word "playoffs" being spoken aloud in a bar here.

Anyway, I'm much better now. To those I had been aloof to for a while, I apologize. Won't happen again.

The Moral: True change comes from within, but you have to step outside the box sometimes to see when it's needed.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The miracle of creativity....

From Dave and I working on the Dyno man christmas special-

Dave; I've got King kong all dressed as Cindy lou Who... now what?

Me: Okay, for these next few scenes, David Hasslehoff will need a few costumes.

Dave: Sure... what do we need?

Me: He has to be convincing as a christmas tree, a judge, a reindeer, Ralphie, and...uh... tokyo.

Dave: a reindeer? that's gonna be tough.

Merry Christmas, Y'all.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Monty zuma's revenge on Algiers point?

I promise that this isn’t one of those “well, first I got up, then I showered, then I got dressed, then I did my hair, then I decided to have an egg, then some toast…” kind of blog entries that Lauren and I make fun of all the time. Read on.

Allow me to describe my morning to you...
1) Wake up
2) Take shower
3) Brush teeth
4) Get Dressed
5) Make some toast
6) Eat said toast with a bit of peanut butter
6) Drink a couple of glasses of tap water to wash down toast and peanut butter
7) Turn on cell phone and remove from charger
8) Check my voicemail messages.
10) Panic
11) Promise myself that I’m not having a heart attack
12) Check pulse anyway
13) Tell myself that the sudden queasy feeling in my stomach probably has more to do with the 26 hot wings I ate the night before than the water I just drank.
14) Watch morning news that doesn't say a blasted thing about the water, or what to do if you've already drunk a few quarts of water before hearing the news that you shouldn’t drink it.
15) Go to work, hoping that I don't suddenly die from salmonella behind the wheel.
16) Realize on way to work that the odds of anyone suddenly dying from salmonella are fairly slim
17) Hear report on radio confirming that Algiers residents need to boil their water before drinking it until Thursday because of a water main break, but not what to do if you’ve already drunk it.
18) Panic some more
19) Realize that dying from drinking tainted tap water has to be worth a Darwin award.
20) Get to work, check internet, and find out that the boil water thing is just a standard procedure precaution for water main breaks, and that anyone who drank the water before hearing the news should be fine.
21) Realize that I will live to blog another day

Monday, December 11, 2006

Some funny for a Monday...

Those of you that haven't should really check out Lauren's Gingerbread Minions. What she's not telling you is that they're really all 100 ft tall, baked in an enormous oven :)

And now, a joke...

After dying a grisly death in an Afghan cave, Osama made his way to the pearly gates. There, he was greeted by George Washington. "How dare you attack the nation I helped conceive!" yelled Washington, slapping Osama in the face. Patrick Henry came up from behind. "You wanted to end America's liberty, so they gave you death!" Henry punched Osama in the nose. James Madison came next, and said, "This is why I allowed the government provide for the common defense!" He took a sledge hammer and whacked Osama's knees. Osama was subjected to similar beatings from John Randolph, James Monroe, and 65 other people who had the same love for liberty and America. As he writhed on the ground, Thomas Jefferson hurled him back toward the gate where he was to be judged. As Osama awaited his journey to his final very hot destination, he screamed, "This is not what I was promised!" An angel replied, "I told you there would be 72 Virginians waiting for you. What did you think I said?"

The sum of all my fears... (with apologies to Tom Clancy)

Okay, let it never be said that I'm not man enough to look inside and figure out what sends me to the corner, curled up in the fetal position. If Dave can do it, after all...

I fear:

1) That all the world's major religions are wrong, and Death=nonexistance.

2) That the reason I have yet to publish a story or sell a screenplay is because I, in fact, suck.

3) That I have made misakes in my life that I will never truly recover from.

4) That no one that actually reads my blog really cares what I say here.

5) That no one but me and god actually see all the good I have done just trying to leave this planet a better place than I found it.

6) That I am a loser, but am too preoccupied to notice.

6a) That no one takes me seriously.

7) That what I think is "Love" isn't, but I'll never experience the real thing and will thusly never know for sure.

8) That the people I care about have no clue how much they really mean to me.

9) That when I switch over to blogger beta, I'll lose all my previous posts, and Google will be able to track my movements for the CIA.

You're wrong, Dave. This wasn't enlightening... it was depressing.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A near miss

Well, I think that I probably came the closest I will hopefully ever come to winning a Darwin Award this morning… by nearly removing myself from the gene pool in a spectacularly stupid manner.

It was a fairly normal (if chilly) morning here in the big easy, and overnight the temperature had dipped down near the twenties. Of course, this meant little to me as I hopped into my car to head to work, other than that I grabbed my sweater before leaving the house. Or so I thought.

While passing over the bridge, I noticed that my windshield was kinda dusty, and instinctively pressed the washer button to clear it. Predictably, wipers started, and the washer fluid sprayed over the windshield…

And froze solid on contact.

I was rendered totally blind to the cars in front of me in less time than it takes to tell, and still moving at 60 miles an hour. My windshield wipers made no headway against the super thin sudden frost that my stupidity had rendered upon me. I frantically pushed the heater lever over to defrost, but nothing happened. Terrified, I found the presence of mind to pull over, and waited there on the side of the road for almost a half hour for the defroster to finally melt the mess that sat there mocking me after nearly getting me killed.

I realized a few things from this experience.

1) My worst fears are true… Without my ex-wife around, I have indeed become the ‘stupid one’ of my clique of friends. The ‘Joey’ of our little group, as it were.
2) After living in the deep south for 13 years, I no longer think it important to carry an ice scraper or deicer in my car, despite the fact that I am known for my long drives into northern climates.
3) All this time, the oil change place I go to has been adding water to my windshield washer bottle instead of washer fluid.

I’m still working on which of these makes me more upset.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Drunken babies... what will they think of next?

The Dogs of Atlantis Management would like to say that while the following post is meant to be funny, we in no way condone child abuse through accidentaly having a baby ingest alcohol. People who are dumb enough to do so don't deserve kids, and should be spayed and/or neutered.

I came across this story while watching the news last night, and it brought to mind the following questions:

1) How could she not smell that the clear liquid she was mixing with the baby formula wasn't water? Furthermore, did she not 'test' the bottle in any way before feeding it to her kid?

2) Do they have a 'worst dumb-ass parent ever' award (like the darwin awards for parenting)? If so, how do I nominate this lady?

3) How can one tell if a two month old is drunk? It's not like they start stumbling around and slurring their words, right? Furthermore, what prompted the doctors to check his blood for alcohol?

4) Why is there even a process for determining the blood alcohol level of an infant? It's not like they're gonna get behind the wheel of a car, right?

5) Wouldn't shotgunning the formula been more efficient than a bottle? For that matter, a funnel!

6) Do babies have drunken parties behind our backs?

7) At what point does alcohol not nearly kill you when ingested?

8) Wouldn't having a drunk baby take 'peekaboo' to a whole new level?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I desprately need some funny.

Today, I overslept. In itself, not a truly bad thing, but enough to throw my morning into chaos. Usually, it means a longer commute because I normally avoid the long lines at the toll plaza for the bridge by getting there before they develop.

But like I said, I overslept.

After spending about a half hour waiting in line to get my toll tag scanned so I could proceed, I get to a toll booth and nothing happens. The tag (which I just got last week, and have been using since) will not register for the toll collector. The lady in the booth says "I'm sorry sir, but you'll have to pay me a dollar if you want to cross the bridge."

Of course, I don't have a dollar on me. That's why I have the freaking toll tag, so I don't have to say "hey, do I have a dollar" before I leave Casa Kahunah in the morning. So she has me back up a bit, in hopes that the scanner will pick up my tag. the hundred or so folks behind me began to honk their approval at this particular tactic.

Which of course, didn't work.

"I'm sorry sir, but I can't let you cross the bridge." the toll lady says, a little smug about it.
"So, you're telling me that there's nothing I can do to get across this bridge now? I mean, I do have the toll tag..." I said.
"Well, to go across without paying is a 26 dollar fine... or you could ask the people behind you if they have an extra dollar..."

Great... so I'm either a beggar or a criminal. Thank you, but you can keep your stupid bridge, lady. I pulled off onto the special ramp they have for idiots who can't pay the toll with my blood pressure threatening to blow the top of my head off.

By this time, I'm already 15 minutes late for work, and still at least a 45 minute drive away. The tempatation to just go home and back to bed was almost overwhelming, but then I realized I really can't afford to lose a full day's pay this close to Chrismahannakwanzaka. So I went over another (fairly terrifying) bridge to get across the river, getting to work an hour late.

I guess some days you're the big dog, and some days you're the dog chow.

So, to lighten the mood, A joke I heard today:

A salesman from KFC walked up to the Pope and offers him a million dollars if he would change "The Lord's Prayer" from "give us this day our daily bread" to "give us this day our daily chicken." The Pope refused his offer. Two weeks later, the man offered the pope 10 million dollars to change it from "give us this day our daily bread" to "give us this day our daily chicken" and again the Pope refused the man's generous offer. Another week later, the man offered the Pope 20 million dollars and finally the Pope accepted. The following day, the Pope said to all his officials, "I have some good news and some bad news. 'The good news is, that we have just received a check for 20 million dollars. The bad news is, we lost the Wonder Bread account!'''

Gotta love a good pope joke.

Friday, December 01, 2006

A Few quick thoughts for a Friday afternoon…

1)Fry-day this year was better than ever. Best newcomer award goes to the crab Rangoon… biggest surprise was Dave’s fried ice cream. Our menu was far more extensive this year, primarily because we had a year to think and plan for this one. I would love to see fryday catch on somehow. I need to see if the domain name is still available.

2)About a month or two ago, I embarked on a crusade to improve my life in general and reverse the downward spiral I seemed to be locked into. So far, I’ve gotten into an exercise routine, mended some interpersonal relationships that really needed it, and think i've finally personally come to grips with my new life (post divorce and post Katrina). So far so good, I suppose… It still bothers me that there is so much left to do. It amazes me that I got so emotionally detached there for a while that I let everything get as bad as it got. I think I’ll probably feel better when I can stand on the deck of my houseboat and say that. Whenever that’s gonna be (sigh).

3)At my weekly pub quiz, there’s a rival team of women that thinks they’re just so like the women from “sex in the city”… they’re really much more like “The View” with a mean drunk on.

4)A good way to know that it’s Christmas time in L.A…. The Grinch just signed a deal for a book and interview deal called “If I actually stole Christmas, here’s how I would have done it”.

5)At work, when my desk looks like this:

It’s amazing how little work I’m actually doing.
When it’s clean, however… watch out!

6)New Orleans Update... there are now two fast food places and three gas stations on my commute. Progress goes forward with a boink. :)

Have a nice weekend, y'all.