Posts Tagged ‘donkey’

Going down Highway 40 in my big ole’ pick up truck

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Well, so, I’m about to be 40. The 66% complete mark of my father’s life. The 48% complete mark of my grandfather’ on one side and 67% complete of the other. It’s a time to reassess. I’m a mid-level tech project manager working on web projects that will have to be re-done in between 2 months to 2 years by people who I hope are not me. That’s the nature of the web, imperminance is the rule. I get it. However, this is not what I envisioned for myself. Let’s go back and get the skinny on how me at a variety of other ages thought we’d turn out:

4- Fireman: Look at them! The trucks are shiny! The sirens are nifty! I don’t know what they do, but that whole truck / siren thing looks like it’s about the coolest thing on the planet. I want to have a fireman on my cake this year!

7- Han Solo:  Luke is awesome, but c’mon… Han has a blaster and drives a space ship. Luke is basically his bitch. Everytime Luke gets into trouble Han has to dig him out. Greg told me that there’ll be 9 movies in total. If we see one movie every three years it’ll be 2000 when they’re done. We’ll be seeing the last one at the age of 30! 30!?! Who’s 30? Oh like I don’t even think my mom’s that old. That’s like a million years from now. Let’s go kill water striders in the creek!

13- Shut up! I’m not growing up! You’re stupid. Leave me alone!

15-Astronaut: Okay. Han Solo doesn’t exist. If we want to go into space, we’re gonna need to learn how to fly fighter jets like Buzz Aldren. Maybe join the Air Force? I hear that if you have anything less than 20/20 vision that they basically send you to hanger and hand you a wrench. I can still be one. I’ll figure it out. The world is my oyster.

19- Hemingway: I read books! I wrote important sounding short stories! I drink! We sit around the cube at Bethany and talking about important deep things. We like Hemingway! We’re gonna be just like him in the 20’s! Maybe not Hemingway. Maybe I’m gonna be Eugene O’Neal. No matter! Why choose? We’re all gonna be famous writers! Kids are gonna hafta study Us!

22- Reporter: I’ll write about war zones! I’ll have a column like Dave Berry! I’ll settle in around 40 and work on that first novel like Voneguet did. Newspapers are never going anywhere! Let’s start a ‘zine!

24- How the F@#$ should I know what I’m gonna be? Maybe I’ll own a record store or something? You gonna pass that thing over or just bogart it all yourself.

27- Retired: This Internet thing is never going away and I’m gonna make like a gazillion dollars for ever. It’s gonna be the freight train to awesometown from here on out. I’m gonna hit some start up and then just sit back a travel. Yup! I’ve got this thing licked.

28- Famous Comedian: The bronx is a freight train to the big time baby! Robin Williams opened for us!  We’re touring and stuff. We’re funny all the time. Pass me that Jack and let’s write some funny sh!t and we’ll perform it and people will say we’re awesome!

30- Doomed/ Poor House/ Street Vagrant: This internet thing is never coming back. We’re completely ruined. I am gonna live out here in a shack in the woods forever. This pooch is screwed. Expect nothing. get nothing. Maybe I should develop a meth habit?

35- Middle Management: Okay. We’re fine. You’re not destitute. Things don’t suck. Just ride this thing out. Put a couple dollars away. Retire at 67 and then fritter the rest of your days away until the sweet embrace of death. You have friends! They’ll come by. You’re fine. Just sit tight.

39- Shut up! I’m not growing up! You’re stupid. Leave me alone!

I hope you enjoyed that trip though my failings to fulfill my own perceived promise as much as I did. 2 weeks from now we’ll see how it works out. I’ll keep you posted.

Spin Grandma

Friday, December 4th, 2009

On my way into work today I was wearing the same jeans I was wearing a few days ago. It’s not that I’m a dirty person but anyone who really understands jeans knows that most pairs have about 4 or 5 wearings in them before you need to wash them.* So reach into the pocket and find some change from a previous wearing. There’s two quarters and 4 pennys. Now quarters you have to keep- that’s 50 cents, you’re almost to a pack of gum. But the pennys, you may dispense with.

Years ago, when I was living on Valencia Street with Devyn our next door neighbors were a bunch of 20 somethings from Indiana. Great guys. We’d play basketball, there would be cross apartment parties, Devyn developed and then rejected crushes on most of them, it was a generally genial and social environment. So one day I’m walking back from who knows where with Chris and James and suddenly Chris throws a penny up and then kicks it “punt style” into the street.

“What Are you doing!?” says I, alarmed, because my depression era grandparents have hammered home the fact that you keep and roll all your change. They’re probably spinning in their mauselum at the thought of this.

“Penny kicking” says Chris, “I am going to show you a game that will provide you years of enjoyment.”

He was probably kidding, but he was right, once I got past my initial fear of throwing away money, I realized that this was big fun. Competitions can be held. Cars can be targeted. Squirrels can be marauded. All you do is drop kick you penny. It can be played anywhere. Although I do recommend a “standard shoe” like a doc martin or the like, Tennis shoes can be difficult because the penny can stick in the webbing.

Don’t get me wrong, I still keep and roll change, but only if I forget to kick the pennys first**.

However, over the years since then I have wholeheartedly enjoyed booting a penny across a parking lot.

MO Update:

Thanks to everyone who donated. Our team made $6,793.48, which Microsoft will double! I alone, thanks to many of you made $545! Awesome! Thank you!

*unless you spent the day standing a small crap pond in your garage, but that’s another story.

**It can happen.

SHE (Humping Motion)

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

So I had this weird dream a couple nights ago and I wanted to make sure I could recount it. I’m not sure if it’s funny or if it’s signs of my larger sociopathic tendencies and fear of the republican party. I woke from the dream, not wanting to forget it, I scrawled out these notes on a beside pad:

Adverb

Obama

Subsidy

republican

pronoun

deregulate

From that, I have total recall of the dream, which goes…a little… like this (1..2..1..2..3..4 Hit it!):

To speak, everyone needed to buy each word as they said it. So if you wanted to say “Hi honey, how are the kids? Where’s tea?” you’d have to buy all those words from the various words markets. Just like there’s a meat market and a grocery, there were noun markets and verb markets, etc. So I was the guy who sells adverbs*. I was plying my trade as someone who sells adverbs would, when this world word recession hits and the adverb market tanks. Everyone in the word market is struck equally, except the guys who sell pronouns.

The pronoun industry, during the previous administration had be completely deregulated by the republican party who ran on the slogan “If you can’t say it with pronouns, then you’re probably gay”.  So suddenly it’s so expensive to buy words that aren’t pronouns that people are only using pronouns and then acting out the rest of the sentence. For some unknown reason that I can’t explain anymore than I can explain the rest of the premise the only verb anyone wants to use is “to hump” which is symbolized by a humping motion. So a collection of sample sentences might be:

SHE (points at a woman) (humping motion) IT (points at a couch). At which point the woman would then be required by the republican deregulation laws to hump the couch.

THEY (point to a group of dogs) (humping motion) HIM (points at a guy). The dogs hump the guy

This happened in the dream for longer than I feel comfortable telling you.

So the Obama administration, hoping to bolster the other word industries** subsidized the other words so that we can bring down prices and allow for “more effective communication”. This is roundly dismissed as word socialism by the right wing pundits, however, since they are right wing pundits they refuse to use the subsidized words so they can only use pronouns and the humping motion. They have to resort to images to indicate their nouns which eliminates all radio talk shows. Fox news eliminates the crawl because they can’t use the words “humping motion” and substitutes a constantly changing roll of small pictures of cars and girls in bikinis. However, above for the main content all of the TV pundits take their turn doing the same sentence over and over again which goes like this:

HE (points to crudely drawn crayon picture of Obama) (humping motion***) IT (points to American Flag)

This content runs 24 x 7.

Meanwhile, the rest of the nation, with it subsidized word industry quietly goes about its business. Eventually the word industry recovers and the democratically controlled congress, using the payback and interest of the word subsidy, repeals the pronoun deregulation. French Prime Minister Sarkozy send a giant gilded “O” to America in thanks for allowing the entire world to begin using full sentences again. It’s placed in Long Beach Harbor.

At the same time a team of radical right wing lumberjacks carve a giant “W” visible from space into the Canadian north woods.

At this point I start laughing, for real, not in the dream and wake myself up.

There you have it. Do with that what you will.****

*From Schoolhouse rock

** And cut down on chafing

*** BTW, if you’ve never had a dream where Glen Beck repeatedly does a humping motion I *highly* recommend it, even now, remembering it, I’m chuckling to myself

**** I’m pretty sure I can commit any crime at this point and then use this dream to prove out my insanity plea.

The Gecko who wasn’t

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

For years, I used to play this game which I called “Plane Nun” which draws its name from a story I think I remember my uncle telling when I was a kid. The story goes like this:

He would travel frequently and got bored telling the same stories from flight to flight and so he decided to just make something up. He starts to tell some guy he’s sitting next to he’s a brain surgeon* but soon realizes that he’s sitting next to an actual brain surgeon so he confesses the ruse. The brain surgeon loves the game and so they start fresh with new personalities and play the whole flight.

The brain surgeon was a minor league short stop and my uncle was a nun. Purportedly, when they exited the plane the flight attendant says to my uncle “Take care, sister”

I have played this game on and off for a while. My favorite instance was when I told a pipe-fitter from Akron that I was the  guitar player from 90’s band “Filter” .  At the end of the flight he asked me for my autograph for his daughter. My ruse was believable enough for several reasons, Filter was from Cleveland, so it makes sense that I would be flying to Pittsburgh especially around the holidays, Filter wasn’t famous enough to be recognized and he was a 50 something pipe-fitter. My guess is that since Filter fell off the earth right after that and his daughter was 14 that the autograph was probably a prized possession. I was even enough of a band dork to know the right name to sign (Richard Patrick) I mean, how would she check that? So she had a theoretical autograph from a semi-famous guy and Filter probably got an  album sale that they wouldn’t have.

Anyway, so I have just figured out that the game was played on me.

Here’s the ruse:

I’m on a chairlift at Homewood last season and I’m riding with an older guy who has a sort of Aussie accent. We do the standard “what do you do” conversation and he tells me he’s a voice actor. I say “Wow, that’s neat! Would I have heard you?”

He spins a yarn about how he’s the Gieco Gecko. Tells me a whole story about how they fly him down to L.A. once or twice a month to record new spots. He lives in Tahoe year round on the retainer they pay him. It’s believable and just like the guitar player for Filter, it’s just unfamous enough that why would I check on that?

I have been telling folks for the past year about how I met the Gecko and blah blah blah.

Yesterday I’m trying to find out whether I can get the series “Red Dwarf”** from Greencine and I’m following around some links on the web and I find a link to “Jake Wood, British Soap Actor and Voice of the Gieco Gecko”. So I check into his info on Wikipedia and IMDB. First of all, the unassuming middle aged aussie fellow is not a mid-thirties British soap actor and second of all he doesn’t live in London with his wife and two children.

I guess that’s fair. I mean, I’ve been duping people for years, why wouldn’t somebody have duped me? It actually makes me happy that there’s someone else out there playing the game. Sort of gives the universe more certainty.

* Uncle Jay worked for Westinghouse, I think he did some kinda project management before he retired a few years ago, so…not a brain surgeon.

**Late 80’s British sci-fi sit com in the vein of Doctor Who***

***Yes I know, I’m a big dork. Shut up. Go ask Jody about which Star Wars is the worst and why or ask Ivy why light sabers are certain colors for certain characters.

Too cool for brakes

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

I know it’s been ages. I forgot my password and then I forgot that I forgot my password and then I forgot to forget that there was something to remember. Basically I slacked out for about 3 months.

However, I got an email from our old friend Sarah and she asked what had become of the bucket list and I realized that I had better get to it.

Fortunately, there’s something that I’ve been wondering about and so it lends itself to a instant topic.

In most major metropolitan areas* there are these folks who have what’s called a fixed gear bicycle or “fixie”. These are bikes that have, as you might imagine, only one gear that they are in all the time. Not unlike that huffy you had when you were 7. The difference, dear reader, between these bikes and your huffy is of course that the people that ride these are not 7… oh and most times these bikes don’t have brakes.

The other day I was explaining to Jen what a fixie was and I tried to explain why there weren’t brakes on the bikes and I couldn’t. According to some of the more popular fixie websites, it has something to do with being really connected to the road, bro.

Fixie culture seems to indicate that if you want to be …um… “super connected to the road” you must also be the kind of hipster that claims “I don’t even care what you think man, I’m just gonna be myself”**

As far as I can tell, fixies are like skateboards with more moving parts. You are required to outfit your fixie in all sorts of expensive ways like turning over and then sawing off the handle bars *** or sticking one of those idiotic center bar pads on it or making your wheels not match, or painting it some kind of spacey lime green or sticking one of those goofy mag wheels on it**** 

According to The fixed gear gallery: “In general, these bikes tend be more light weight and simple, requiring less maintenance than other bicycles. The lighter weight and continuous feedback through the transmission can translate to increased performance in some conditions, such as a better sense of control on slippery surface.” What they don’t tell you is that since you’re clearly too cool for brakes, it’ll also make you a menace if some objects gets in your way quickly.*****

I’m sure that were any of the fixie enthusiasts to actually come to my website (they won’t), they might call me a “hater”******. I’m okay with that. Anyone that tells me they love the simplicity of something and then spends hours and hours fixing something up needs to hear about their double standard. It’s like my friend in high school who told us her didn’t care about what people thought and then spent like 6 months perfectly adjusting the # of safety pins in his very carefully etched leather jacket with “The Exploited” painted on it. I even remember the day he told us it was finally just right.

I guess I should be glad they’re not driving cars….

 

—-

*and especially here in SF

**And then working very, very, very hard to look like he doesn’t care, while still wearing all the right deisel fashons and bike messanger gear.

***Known as the “flop and chop”

**** but only on one of the wheels  (see rule 3)

*****Like a dog or a child or a swiftly moving 2 x 4 being swung at you from a conscientious resident of the sidewalk you insist on riding on (hey buddy, isn’t that a bike lane over there? Yes, right over there? Oh, you didn’t realize that you could use the bike lane for your ….uh…bike?)

******that’s youth speak for someone who doesn’t like the thing that you like used in a sentence like this “why do you haters got to hate on my super cool neon bike with no brakes”