Saturday, September 29, 2007

Under the Weather

Sorry my friends, not feeling too well these last few days, I'm having trouble mustering up the adequate snarkiness. I'll return soon. Until then, please enjoy this photo I took at Garden of the Gods recently. . .


Monday, September 24, 2007

Generous People are Selfishly Crowding Me Out

One of the loans I sponsored thru KIVA paid off early, so I went to find a new third world business I could invest in, and came up short! Apparently, with Bill Clinton's new book Giving, and also a feature spot on Oprah Winfrey, all the loans are pretty much sponsored right now.

Thanks a lot, generous people! Shouldn't you be saving your cash for Halo 3 tonight? Junior is going to be upset when he finds you spent it on the poor. . .

How will I be able to feel good about myself if I can't anonymously sponsor a third world business today? Now I'll have to give blood or participate in my neighborhood food drive, and as it's a cold drizzle outside, neither have immediate appeal. I like to stay dry when I'm in a philanthopic mood.

I like Kiva, they never send me endless bulk mail requesting more donations, (unlike Doctors without Borders, who clearly spent ever dime I ever sent them in more mail to me, and the Red Cross, who misled me and countless others on my donation and used it for other "pressing needs" programs as opposed to the 9/11 familys I sent it to them for.) Just an email from each lendee once a month, letting me know their progress.

I pick who I want, and when I want. Kind of like Netflix.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Zombie Dog Kills Again.

As I mentioned in my "I'm thinking my dog just might be a zombie" post, my pug puppy is apparently a brain-sucking zombie, and I am at a loss to stop him. Well, short of actually doing anything, having a zombie dog is kind of cool.

While on a quest to find more stuffed toys for the Zombie dog to destroy and leave us unbitten, I stopped by a trendy high end pet store in our neighborhood.

Unfortunately, he escaped and killed again:

Here he is displaying his supernatural zombie strength, as he weighs 11 pounds soaking wet, and this lab was about 45 lbs.

This lab's owner was busy picking out a new Kong for her precious pet, and didn't see the terrible event, so I didn't have the heart to tell her that her doggie would soon rise and crave more than a Kong, unless she filed it with brainnssss

Rounding up ZD, I went about my day, whistling a merry tune. . .


P.S. The flash made this dog's eye glow with unholy menace, no Photoshop required. It still makes me chuckle every time I see it, but I am disturbed like that.

P.P.S Almost forgot. Thank you to Dazd from "Dazed and Confused" for picking my entry in last week's caption contest. I love that shot.

Also, a thank you goes out to S.O.S. from "Someday Satori" for her post she dedicated to me here. Consider my head fed.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Viva La Rojo Pelo!

See how bilingual I am? Most of my spanish comes from my time from working as a waiter, so I could discuss fuego chickas and bet on football with the line cooks. (Who incidently, largely bet on the Raiders, to their collective misfortune.)I can also order "Dos margaritas, por favor."

Just last week, I heard a radio news story crop up again, the one that redheads will be extinct in 100 years, as our Chinese Overlords blitzed the world population with their monocolored genes.

Ha! I say. Ha! again, for you will never rub us out. We are like roaches, we are hard to kill and we do poorly in direct sunlight.

Doing some research, I found this article refuting those findings. Again.

So, brunettes, don't get your hopes up, we're going to be around for awhile.

That being said, I apparently am getting a jump on evolution, as my red hair began to go grey last year. Cripes, I'm only 37, can't it wait?

I just can't bring myself to go all metrosexual on it, I like to think that it will be considered distiguished. However, as I alluded to in my lambasting of divorced men I am sure that if I ever found myself single again, that I would cave and get my Queer Eye makeover, and be as red as Howdy Doody

So future overlords, prepare for redheaded Chinese to start cropping up.

Heck, even if extinction was knocking on our doors, it's not like we are the only species of redheads...


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Pinnacle of Glory

Gather 'round, people. Even more praise had been heaped on my snarky, yet humble head. Sunshine, from "...and the pursuit of happiness" has bestowed another award to me.

Behold my newest award:

Now that's a kickass honor! I always knew that I had some purpose, a to fulfill. Now it has fallen to me to measure up to the awesome responsibility of a feline's hind end.

I will do my best, Sunshine. I will pick up your torch and attempt to fulfill your greatest wish, to see the term "Cat's Ass" enter modern vernacular, and someday be uttered by world leaders. Obey her wishes, before she applies "The Shocker".

Trust me, you don't want to know.


PS. The Cat's Ass really is the pinnacle of glory. This should fill out my trophy cabinet nicely. I shall retire with my awards, undefeated. No more are necessary, unless you plan to start an all out awards match. I WILL WIN.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Serial Killer Causes Awkward Moment in a Marriage

My wife woke up from a dead sleep, no doubt from the disturbing sounds emanating from our TV. I was sitting at the end of the bed, watching it from 3 feet away. She had just caught me watching my secret passion.

Slowly, she sat up, then crawled to where I sat, over a pile of protesting Pugs. (Say that 5 times fast.)

"Why are you watching this?" She said, rubbing her eyes.

"I like it, I think it's fascinating," I replied. A nude figure appears upon the screen.

"Aren't you cold?" She asked.

Perhaps this would be the appropriate time to tell you I was in the nude, eating a chocolate pudding pack. "Mmm no, I'm okay," I said, scraping the spoon in the plastic cup to pick up any chocolate I missed. Delicious!

What?? I was snackish, and it was too hot for jammies. . .

Turning her attention back to the TV, she watched for a moment before asking another question.

"Who is that man?"

"That's Dexter," I responded. "He's the antihero of this show."

"Why does he have that other naked man wrapped in plastic?"

"It's part of his ritual," I said attempting to spare her the details.

"And who's that man on the table?" She asked.

"A vicious serial killer."

"I've never seen you watch this before," she frowned.

"Well, I know it's not your cup of tea," I replied. I usually waited until she was asleep before I pulled it up.

"Um, why does Dexter have that saw. .?" She said slowly, as the scene before us began to play out.

I shifted uncomfortably for a moment before replying; "Well, Dexter there is going to pass judgement on Mr. Sicko killer here, deliver his monologue, and then merrily saw him into little bits while festive music plays."

She paused for a long moment. "He's a serial killer too?"

"Oh yeah, but for justice. He only kills serial killers," I said, then added "Mostly."

"Let me get this straight. Dexter is a serial killer who chops people up, and you find this funny? That's awful," she exclaimed, glaring at me.

"Well, gee when you put it that sounds a little disturbing. But really, it's so much more!" I went on to explain the complex relationships Dexter has to weave through, the great internal dialogue, his damaged beginnings and why the unfolding story arc was brilliant. Not since "Profit" got pulled has this type of dark dramedy been allowed to exist.

I could tell that this explanation had about the same effect as a man trying to explain to his wife that he only reads Playboy for the articles.

"Look honey, it's just a show, why don't you go back to sleep?" I pleaded.

She looked at me sideways. "I think there's something wrong with you," she said.

Dexter ended, and I switched off the TV, and crawled back into bed.

She tossed back and forth for awhile, and just as sleep began to overtake me...

"I can't sleep now," she grumped. Then: "I think I heard a noise. Did you check the locks?"

"Yes," I said, from beyond full awareness.

She shifted some more. "Go check again. I don't want to get hacked up in our sleep."

Groan. "Fine." I shuffled of into the darkness, using my bat-like senses to keep from barking my shins on our furniture.

When I trudged back, I find her still awake. I jump in, roll over, and as blissful sleep begins to overtake me, I hear: "You went all the way downstairs and you didn't get me a pudding pack?" she pouted.


No rest for the wicked . . .


(come on, for a second, you thought I was watching SkinaMax, didn't you? Sickos ;)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

20% Award Speech

Let me get up on my soap box, so I can expose these rampant blogger awards.

These awards are out of control! They are mostly shameless ploys for reciprocal linking, as well as modern versions of those evil chain letters of yore. And really, lets face it, they are popularity contests, so you send them to all your friends, and you can all win awards. It's like high school all over again, and I for one refuse to partake in the festi. . .

Huh. . .what was that. . .?

I won an award???

Magnificent! Sue from Sue's Daily Photos has awarded me with the coveted "You Make Me Smile" award, the blogger equivalent of the "Palme d'Or". Clearly my brilliant writing, charming demeanor and acidic wit has moved Sue to bestow this singular honor on me, setting me head and shoulders above all othe.....

What? She awarded more than one winner? No! After reading mine?

Well. . . that's OK. The blogosphere is a big place, and I am humbled to be chosen for this award, and will place my 20% of it in my ether awards cabinet, to sit next to my Dating Tales award.

My self and my co-winners will now head off to fight boring content and sad clowns, much like the Justice league, until the day comes where we must pass on this heavy mantle to the next generation of bloggers.

*Reads fine print*

Now? I have to award FIVE more now?

Well, I really smile at:

  1. Someday Satori, great writer and shutterbug.

  2. The Laidback Buddhist Joanne doesn't do knee slapping hilarity, but is a wonderful and introspective writer.

  3. Oh the Joys, my mommy blog fix. An advocate against giftbags. Through her, I can experience the joys of parenting, from a safe distance.

  4. ...and the pursuit of happiness. Sunshine is hardcore, straight out of. . .Iowa.

  5. Predator Press. Lobo and I must have gone to the same humor finishing school.

*kisses both cheeks of each*

There is so many I didn't get to mention that I read every day, I only hope another award shows up soon so I can honor them as well.

Thank you Sue.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I remember.

No humor today. It will return tomorrow.

Early May, 2001:

The dot coms were collapsing at an exponential rate, and I found myself bounced out along with a quarter million others that year. Near-total industry meltdown. Everyone I knew, every contact I worked hard to make was gone along with me, my career and job title meant nothing, and the 50K in shares in three main companies were now worth exactly . . .dick. The day I got laid off, the company promoted my longtime colleague girlfriend, and that spelled the end of our casual relationship.

After 4 weeks of feeling sorry for myself, calling everyone I knew, and going on major bender, I decided that I could not just hang around the house, or I would be dead by Christmas. I had just recently managed a trade show staff of six for thirty tradeshows a year, had a 500k budget to oversee, as well as expert SEO knowledge. Worthless. The main jobs now available in my chosen industry were either as IT gurus or sales monkeys, neither of which I craved.

I decided to go, in honored tradition, to the career Limbo that many of us have chosen at one time or another: Restaurant work.

As a busboy, at 31 years old. . .

I took a job at a 5 star restaurant that I had been going to for much of my life. It felt safe, I would still eat well, and everyone there drank like a fish. Most of the core staff regarded me as an mutant, as I was the only male non-Moroccan busser they had, older than most by 5 years, and they didn't know what to make of me. I persevered, struggled with the breakneck pace, and worked my way up to the decent shifts.

Within a month, I lost 20 pounds, and was absolutely ripped for the first time since 25. Another month, another 20 pounds, and I made the jump to waiter. I am good at memorization and can be charming when the mood strikes me, so I was going to be decent at it. The cash you can make as a 5 star waiter is actually pretty good. I took between $150 and $350 in cash per shift, and if I hadn't been pissing half it away drinking after hours, I would have been making more than a mid-level dotcom exec. And I got to wait on famous people: Our mayor, our former mayor our Governor, 3 congressmen, every weatherman in Denver, Aerosmith, Al Gore, etc.

With fall fast approaching, I was having the most fun in five years. No faxes, no meetings, free food, toned and fit, and all the female companionship I would ever require with no messy relationships. Actually I felt a little like Tom Hank's character in "Big", I was having a great time, but I felt there was a life I was supposed to get back to.

Sunday, September 10:

I took a girl I was seeing out for dinner for her birthday, and we drank and partied until the wheels came off. I made it back home from her house around 4:30 am, and since I wasn't on until the night shift, I planned to sleep until 2:30 pm. . .

*Ring* ... *Ring*... *Ring*...*Ring*

6:58 am

No way was I answering that. It might be some fool who wanted me to cover his shift, and I was in no condition for that. Ice picks were stabbing my skull from every side.

I check the display: it was my roommates’ girlfriend. Reluctantly, I picked up.

"Hellllooooo?" I said in a groggy voice. I was severely hung over.

"Is Trent there?" she said. She sounded like she was crying.

"Mmmm . . .no. . .Sorry . . . he left for work" Lying thru my teeth, as I knew where he actually had spent his night.

"If you hear from him, please tell him to turn on the TV right away!" She sniffed some more, clearly sounding sad.

"What channel?" I sighed.

"Any fucking channel." She hung up.

That got my attention. She never cursed.

I woke up enough to shuffle down to the living room and switched on the TV.


Attacks in progress. Both towers were smoking, and I sat down with the rest of the world to try to get a grasp on what happened. They showed the second plane going into the tower over and over. I switched channels. She was right, it was one every network, and many of the cable channels. All were showing the exact same footage, over and over. I saw a man standing in a gash on an upper floor jump to his death, and I wondered why he couldn’t wait for the rescue crews to get to him. I imagined news crews everywhere in the US scrambling to get to the scene to capture all the lurid detail, as they had with Okalahoma City and Columbine.

I remembered that we had just executed Timmy McVeigh for being the rabid dog that he was last month, and I wondered if some of his militia cronies were behind this.

Like many others, I was shaken to my core. I had recently been part of a massive global economic expansion, and I foolishly had really believed that the world was never going to see another massive war again. That the major countries were becoming so interdependent on each other for trade, war could never be risked. And possibly, it was becoming clear to all that with massive technology breakthroughs, conventional war was not a winnable option. The best you could hope was to fight to a standstill. Did not Korea and Vietnam clearly show this?

When the towers collapsed, I cried. I was sad for the victims, and I was sad for America. Who hated us so much as to attack civilians?

And where were the Air Raid Sirens? It had been ingrained since birth to listen to for that irritating warble, to warn us of impending attack and violent weather, and I never head a peep from them. Wasn’t this exactly what we’ve been drilling for all these years?

Another call. The girl I saw last night called, and we talked about the scene playing out before us on TV. She wailed bitterly that this tragedy was going to ruin her birthday from now on. Being moody and hung over, I told her that she was a self-absorbed brat, and to pay attention to the big picture. Obviously, that is not what she wanted to hear, and so began the slow spiral of the end of our burgeoning relationship. Nice job, Sarcasm. I moved on, I had other things to worry about anyway and the premature death of that relationship allowed me to meet an intense smart-mouthed young woman who would eventually become my sweet wife.

As everyone did, I hurt. I always have a snappy comment or running joke that I can fire off at a moment’s notice, but it felt wrong. It felt right just to morn for awhile. I couldn’t be funny. Also, watching CNN headline news 24 hours a day for a week straight wasn’t healthy. If you don’t kill yourself within two weeks doing this, check your pulse, you must already be dead.

September 20th, 2001:

When regular programming finally returned on September 20th, the first show I watched was the Daily Show. Jon Stewart’s emotional opening seemed to speak to exactly how I was feeling and by the end of that, I felt cleansed. I turned off CNN, took a long shower and got my shit together. Thanks Jon. Then I began to send out resumes again. While restaurant life was fun for awhile, it was a job with no future, except certain alcoholism.

This national tragedy was a sign for me that I had to better myself as a person. I found new employment, lower that what I had become accustomed to in the heady dot com boom, but stable and low stress. I met my wife, and I reenrolled in school, partially to finish the degree I left so long ago, but mostly to try to gain more wisdom, more insight, and find a way that I might personally better the world in which I lived.

Time will tell.

I tell you all that to tell you this. I remember 911. I know how it personally changed me, and I don’t forget. I rail against the politicians and talking heads of all stripes seek to use that event for their own purposes, first to unite us as a nation, then to divide us into smaller and smaller squabbling groups. I remember a leader who squandered the collective goodwill of the world and the trust of a united nation when we might have needed it the most. I remember every promise made left unfulfilled. I remember the Red Cross using the money I sent them to specifically help the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 for shortfalls in their other programs. I remember the specific stepping stones set to lead us down the inevitable path to war with Iraq, and will most likely lead to further war with Iran. I remember that our nation's actions have subjected another nations citizens to unimaginable horrors in the name of my protection.

I feel that 9/11 was a very personal moment for each of us in America, unique and yet unifiing, and something that can not be assuaged by the vague platitudes of those who crave power.

I remember and will never forget, I do what I can to improve the world around me with insight and occasional humor.

What do you remember?


Friday, September 7, 2007

I'm thinking my dog just might be a zombie.

Once upon a time, I was mauled by a big dog.

I was four, and he plucked me off my Big Wheel and shook me like a ragdoll. I ran home, and I got a line of stiches on my right arm, and a cool scar that I carry to this day. It sucked, but I did get a 12" GI Joe during recovery, so it wasn't all bad, IMO. Never underestimate the power of toys in times of trauma.

I vowed never to own a dog. Ever.

Then I got married.

I married into a pair of pets (package deal, you see) and when it came time for me to choose a pet of my own, I wanted to start with something small, something that could never maul me.

Meet my puppy:

A googlie-eyed Pug with endless energy, and a love of water. This dog will take a shower or bath with you every single day if you let him. He has an older Pug brother that he spends his days with locked in eternal battle for either high ground or favorite toy.

Every so often, in an effort to protect our valued possessions, I stock up on new toys for him to chew on.

Here is his newest toy:

A nice little toy with two squeakers and a rope running through it for endless tug-of-war. I felt this was the perfect toy for them, it should last for quite a while, and I smugly went about my life.

36 hours later, I happened to find this toy on top of our comforter, except now it looked like this:

Oh my God. . . he sucked out it's brains!! There is almost no stuffing left in this thing. He even ate the squeaker.

I am afraid to sleep at night, I'll have to crate him before he kills again. . .how can I protect myself and my family?

The only thing I know about doing in zombies I learned on "Kolchack, The Night Stalker". It required packing it's mouth with salt and sewing the zombies lips shut, but that seems a tad cruel, and no way am I putting my fingers near his rows of fangs. The bite might cause me to become a zombie.

What to do?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Ahh Politics, I Weep for Thee (Part One)

I am going to delve into politics for a moment on this blog. Being such a polarizing issue at this time, I am inviting criticism, however I don't feel I can tell this story without giving you insight into my political leanings. If this is not your cup of tea, but would like to look in on me in the future, I recommend perusing this website until I return to my next nonpartisan update. (You can thank Tee-Plate for that.)

I would like to qualify the following story by telling you that I am a Lefty, as was my mother and father before me, as were their parents, and their parents before them. Cops, Journalists, Bar owners and Teachers. People with actual jobs, not the "Civilization of Middlemen" that the Internet has helped spawn.

I was brought up to be aware of the policies of the government under which I live, to be objective, and to be civic minded. I was also taught to be suspicious of leaders who put money and God before education and common sense. It would have saved me a lot of time if they could also brought me up to cook and balance a checkbook, but I digress...

We discussed politics at the dinner table quite a bit. My parents were both free spirited Hippies from the Summer of Love, who now found themselves saddled with jobs at which they had to be responsible, and as parents. Looking at them now in their '50s, you would barely recognize them as they were then in their lifestyles now. Liberal Conservatives would best describe them, although both words have now been so mutated as to become direct opposites.

Skipping ahead to adulthood, trying to be the good citizen, I have voted in every election, shown up for (almost) every jury summons, donate to my party, send wanted items to the specific soldiers I know serving overseas, donate blood regularly, and volunteer when and where I can. Living in beautiful Red State Colorado, and specifically Tancredo's District 6, I live in a fairly affluent community in harmony with my predominately older Evangelical and Mormon Republican neighbors. I could live in a superlefty part of town, but I choose central air, low crime and plentiful parking over community gardens, flash mobs and dilapidation.

I would like to think that I am either a local saint or a wussie liberal, depending on your individual perspective.

My personality does have it's share of quirks, which would explain why I have always been deeply attracted to conservative women (cashmere cardigans and stylish glasses, mmmm, that's my brand). Sorry, flower children. We can still be friends! :) I even married a staunch Catholic Republican, and it took me two years to draw her into my world view.

Which brings us to the story at hand: The 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Now in my mid 30's, when I heard that the Convention would be held locally, beyond being excited that my hometown would see some action, I felt that it was my civic duty to volunteer. As soon as they announced it, I jumped onto the Colorado democratic party website, and volunteered. A week passed, and I got an email from them telling me how excited we should all be, and at the end of the email, it asked me to click the link if I wanted to volunteer. I did, and went about my life.

Another week passed, and I got a further email from them, basically saying that if was interested in volunteering for the convention, I should attend the kickoff with the Democratic Chairman, Howard Dean, scheduled a week later. At this point, I was a little confused, as I had now twice volunteered exactly as they had asked. However, I decided to take the day off and go down to the event, thinking it would be fun to see the excitement when Dean and the local Dems came to speak.

That morning, I went downtown to the Democratic Party headquarters to pick up my ticket for the event. As I was in the HQ, I thought I should donate, and wrote them a check for $100. As I handed the kindly chap manning the HQ my check, he in turn handed me a little white card, saying that if I was interested in volunteering for the convention, I should fill out this card. I happily explained that I had already done so online, twice. He hesitated, then said that it would be better to fill in this card, as they might be having problems with their online submissions. Sighing, I complied, and headed off to the event.

You starting to see a theme here, people?

In part two of this piece, we will cover the actual event, groupies, subpoenas, more volunteer opportunities, and what I would like to coin 'casual incompetence' of my party fellows. The part of the story where I delve deep to find the humor, so I don't openly weep.