The State of My Fat Ass: April 2014

man-frowning (1)Hello Surf Reporters! Today I’m going to interrupt the sporadic, questionable, and inconsistent “comedy,” and bring you up to date on a few things: behind the scenes kinda shit.

First of all… I don’t do this as much as I used to do, mostly because it makes me sad. But if you ever felt the urge to contribute to the Surf Report fund, today would be a perfect day to indulge your urges.

I appreciate your support, in any way you offer it. But the cash way actually helps me pay the bills. I make a little money from the site in November and December, because of Christmas shopping at Amazon. But other than that… it’s minimal. So, if you’d like to contribute to the “beer fund” (only a small percentage — no more than 75 — actually goes toward beer), please do so. I’ll be forever grateful.

Here’s your link. Thank you guys, and sorry to get all NPR on you. But the site costs money to maintain, and I’m not exactly Ted Turner over here. A few things are starting to fall through the cracks.

And the t-shirts… It’s been a disaster, which I could honestly lay at the sandal-feet of the hippie motherfuckers I was dealing with. At least for a while. I had three different people say they could make the shirts for me, and eventually backed-out. This ordeal dragged out for months, and spawned many sleepless nights, not to mention loose stools.

It’s the bar scene shirt that’s the problem, with the fish smoking a cig and drinking a beer. As it turns out, it’s super-complicated, and nobody wants to touch it. I shouldn’t have chosen that design, but had no idea. It was a rookie mistake.

Anyway, it’s gotten to the point where it’s no longer the hippies’ fault. It’s mine. The whole thing was stressing me out so much, I shut down. I didn’t even want to deal with it. I work all the time, have crap coming at me from every direction, and trying to navigate a world of flaky Wavy Gravys was the last thing I wanted to do. So, I just didn’t deal with it.

I’m sorry about that; it’s inexcusable. But the black shirts are done, and are really nice. The same place swears they can do the complicated one, and will be starting on them soon. I will send both out to you guys ASAP, and will never wade into the murky t-shirt waters again.

Finally… I had a few setbacks with the book project, and everything is currently on hold. I don’t want to talk too much about it, because there’s still a tiny glimmer of hope. But, in a nutshell, my agent sent the manuscript to several publishers, and we had no offers. A few of them had nice things to say about it, but didn’t bust out the check book.

It was a disappointment. I’d been working on it, off and on, for a couple of years. Plus, I’d never gotten so far into the process before, and was excited. But, it goes with the territory. Rejection is a HUGE part of writing.

The project isn’t totally dead, unless I decide to pull the plug. Jenny, my agent, tells me it’s salvageable and I shouldn’t give up. But, I’m discouraged. Over the next few weeks I’ll have to make a decision. It might be time to move on to the next thing.

And speaking of that… this summer there will be a gigantic change coming to our little world here. A few of you won’t like it at first, but I’m convinced it’ll be a positive, in the long run.

It’s no secret I’m not as engaged as I used to be, and that bugs me. This past Sunday I sat down with my laptop, and wrote an update the way I used to do it. I spent a couple of hours on the thing, and was laughing to myself as I wrote. It felt like old times, and made me realize how far adrift I am.

I’ve been toying with a few ideas over the past year or so… and Sunday convinced me it’s time to implement the most radical of them. So, stay tuned for that. You guys will be the first to know, once I’m ready to go with it.

Thanks for your indulgence today. Once again, here’s the Beer Fund link. And I’m not working tomorrow, so I’ll post a real update Friday afternoon. This thing will only be at the top of the page for a few hours.

In the meantime, what’s going on in your worlds? Anything new to report? Please bring us up to date in the comments section below.

Have a great day, my friends!

Now playing in the bunker
Treat yourself to something cool at Amazon!

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  • A Few Quick Things, vol. 5

    the internet is beautifulWe just mailed our check to the IRS. Once again, we owe. The good news? It’s only five bucks. I believe we owe something like three dollars to the state of Pennsylvania, and our accountant praised us for being in the “sweet spot.” Meaning, I guess, not owing and not getting a refund. That’s what you’re supposed to strive for, correct?

    However… we used to get big(ish) refunds, and they came in handy. You don’t need to lecture me on how it’s better to have that money in our account throughout the year, I get it. But when it arrived in one lump sum, back in the day, we’d book a vacation, or have some home improvements done. An extra $87 per paycheck just disappears into the black hole, and we don’t really notice it.

    On the other hand, we went through a period — back when I was making home video money — when we owed every year. That SUCKED.

    So, the sweet spot ain’t a bad place to be, I guess. But, to tell you truth, it doesn’t feel all that sweet. How’d you fare with your taxes this year? Did you have to write one of those clenched-jaw checks? Tell us about it, if you feel like it.

    There’s some guy who’s advertising that he’ll mow any lawn in our town, weekly, for $75 per month. If it’s a legitimate offer, he’s got himself a new client. Money well-spent, I say. I’ll take it from our make-believe extra $87.

    I hate mowing, I work all the time, and my kids half-ass it. If I can outsource that shit, I’m gonna do it. I’m excited about this dude’s approach — he certainly distinguishes himself from the pack — but will believe it when I see it. Stay tuned.

    When we lived in California I paid some guy to mow our lawn, but it was super-cheap. It’s expensive here, partly because the yards are so much larger. There are other reasons, as well. But I’d love to get back to a situation where I never have to walk behind a mower again. I used to feel mildly guilty about it, but not anymore. Funk dat. I’ll celebrate the day it happens.

    Do you outsource something that makes you feel a little guilty? Something you simply hate to do? If so, please share. My goal at this point: outsource as much as possible. Sure, my grandfathers are looking down at me and frowning, but they need to mind their own business from beyond. Go mow a cloud or something, and get off my back.

    We actually have a few things in the works here at Chez Kay. We MIGHT go to New York City on Saturday (it still seems to be an unknown), the boys and I are going to see the Eels in Philadelphia on May 30, and we have a condo in Myrtle Beach reserved for later in the summer. I don’t think we’ve been on an actual vacation since London in 2007. Myrtle Beach is a downsize, but it’s better than nothing. People like to turn up their noses about that place, but we’ve always had fun there.

    Do you have anything scheduled for the summer? We’re squeezing blood outta stones up here… blood outta stones.

    See you guys next time.

    Have a great day!

    Now playing in the bunker
    Treat yourself to something cool at Amazon!

    30 Comments »
    Filed under: Daily

    Buying Taco Salad Ingredients with a Grouchy Old Wart-Spangled Man!

    taco-salad (1)I was at work a few nights ago, and walked through a room where three or four people were talking. As I passed by, one of them said, “Why don’t you ask Jeff? I bet he’d know.” Then they all busted out laughing.

    I executed one of those military heel-turns, and went over to them. “What are you guys talking about?” I demanded.

    “Oh, we were just joking,” one of them said, which made it clear I wasn’t going to like what was to follow. Turns out, they were discussing the price of Viagra. And since I’m, you know, a broken-down old man in their eyes… I’d surely have voluminous dick-pill information at the ready.

    Yes, I’m buckled-over with laughter. That’s some quality “joking,” right there. Bastards.

    People are always busting balls, and that’s fine. I’m not the thenthitive type. But I believe it was the first time anyone had come at me for being old. I guess I’ve officially crossed over into some new category now? Is that what’s happened? Fantastic.

    I guess I should now brace for adult diaper comedy, right? Yes, every day is a treat.

    Yesterday, for instance. I had to go to Wegmans, to buy stuff for dinner. Toney was at work, and she put me in charge. And that usually means one thing: taco salad. It’s easy, everybody likes it, and it requires very little cooking.

    The younger boy went along, and we stopped at Wendy’s beforehand, to fortify ourselves with grease. And check out the way some assholes left the trays:

    trays (1)

    I did about ten minutes on those things, while driving to the grocery store. It annoyed me for several reasons. For one, there’s a pronounced lack of consideration for the next guy. Ya know? Like George Costanza says, “We live in a society!” Also, how is such disorganization acceptable? What kind of degenerate would leave stackable trays unstacked like that? I’m not kidding, it would be physically impossible for me to walk away from such a situation. It’s still bugging me.

    We made it to Wegmans, and I gave my son a break by complaining about some new things. I temporarily set aside TrayGate.

    There were a couple of yuppies sauntering through the parking lot, with their mandatory coffee cups, acting like they were out for a stroll in Central Park. We couldn’t get around them, because two zitsters were monkeying with one of those motorized cart-pushers. So we were trapped, forced to saunter, as well. Grrr…

    I had to urinate like Man o’ War, and when we FINALLY got inside the store, I made a beeline for the men’s room. It was a full-house. Every stall and urinal was occupied. One guy had his pants and underwear pulled down to his knees, so his entire ass crack was out in the open, for all to see. Jesus J. McChrist.

    I turned to leave in a huff, and nearly bumped into some dipshit who was grooming himself in the mirror. He was putting handfuls of water into his hair, and slicking it back with a comb. This is a grocery store, asshole. Not Studio 54.

    I maneuvered around that douche, exited the bathroom, and bumped into a shopping cart that was left DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE DOOR. More lack of consideration. I gave it a shove, and it finally came to rest deep inside the produce section, against a display of tomatoes.

    For the next five minutes I ranted about the kind of person who would leave a cart in front of a bathroom door, and how I wished people like that would be rounded up and shipped off to an internment camp. My son just sighed and rolled his eyes, and some sauntering coffee-sipper shot me a dirty look. Oh, I see. I’m the problem.

    I bought all the stuff it takes to build a proper taco salad, and it came to $18. My inner-sensors told me it was roughly 20% too much, but what are you gonna do? I then bought a six-pack of Sam Adams Rebel IPA. In Pennsylvania beer sales are separate, and have to happen at a different cash register. It’s completely ludicrous, but I’ve been beaten down by The Man and conditioned to accept it.

    As we walked back to the car, I voiced my displeasure at those motorized cart-pushers again. It’s a common theme. You see, when I was gathering carts at grocery stores, during the early 1980s, we shoved long lines of the things – with our legs and back. We didn’t have an apparatus, with an idiotic neon flag on it, to supplement our efforts. Hell, I could thread the needle on a run, with 40 connected carts, straight through the front door of the store. But these kids today… they need a remote-controlled robot with a flashing light on it. Pathetic.

    As soon as we left the parking lot, and I stopped complaining for a minute or two, I realized I still had to pee, with a fiery fury. So, I started complaining about that.

    When we got home my son disappeared into his room, and I didn’t see him again for hours. It’s funny how that happens, following most of our father/son outings. Oh well.

    I finally went to the bathroom, and it sounded like Niagara Falls in there. Ahhhh… Then I swabbed my nose wart with apple cider vinegar, and the thing came off. Did I tell you guys I’ve been trying to kill my nose wart with vinegar? Well, it freaking worked. It’s totally gone, and there’s no sign it was ever there.

    I got the idea from an article I read online. It said to put apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball, and hold it to the wart for about five minutes, three times per day. It took about a week, and the thing is completely gone. Halfway through the process it started to burn real bad, then scabbed over. Yesterday the scab came off, and there’s nothing but smoove skin where the wart used to be. Crazy, huh? The whole treatment cost $1.19. And there’s plenty of “wart medicine” left over, for salads or whatever.

    I bet those smartass Viagra boys couldn’t help but be impressed by that story, right? …Hello?

    I’ll see you guys again soon. I had fun writing this one. It felt like old times.

    Have yourselves a great day.

    Now playing in the bunker
    Treat yourself to something cool at Amazon!

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    Filed under: Daily

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    So, who is this guy?

    Thanks for stopping by! My name is Jeff Kay, I was born while JFK was president, and it's all very embarrassing and corny. Today I'm a suburban husband and father, who is sometimes accused of being a bit tightly-wound. The West Virginia Surf Report! is my creative outlet, and insurance policy against completely losing my shit. I hope you'll stick around and participate in the lively community of geniuses and curmudgeons who hang out here every day. I love a full 87% of them! And while you're at it, please follow me at Twitter and Facebook.

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