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You don't understand. I'm a mysterious loner, not lonely.

2004

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A bowl of corn, motherfuckers!

2003

December
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January


Is that man-ass I smell?

2002

December
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I'm loaded with tumors darling, and I don't even know it.

2001

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2000

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On the Surf Report Nightstand
 
     

You're Lucky You're Funny 
by Phil Rosenthal

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  Willard "Bill" Hershberger

The View From Down Here
                              continued...


My "antibiotics" are starting to kick in. 

 

 


August 24, 2007


-- Last night my parents experienced a catastrophic air mattress malfunction. 

My dad has a history of back problems, and is very particular about beds and mattresses, and whatnot. So they travel with an ancient old air mattress that meets his approval, and they break it out whenever faced with a questionable sleeping surface.

We always offer them our bed when they visit, but they never take us up on it. Probably too many horrifying visions to deal withÖ No, they just fold out the sleeper sofa, and put their air mattress on top of it. And that does the trick, I guess.

Until last night, anyway.

They were asleep, my dad was telling me, when something popped and woke him up. The hell was that?! He didnít know, but wondered if the bedsprings were giving way. He remained very still, and it happened again: POP! POP POP!! What in the living crap?! 

Continue reading here 



August 22, 2007

-- Our Season of Way Too Much continues today. My parents are currently en route, and will be staying at Jeff & Toneyís Bed and Breakfast Inn and Old Country Saloon through Sunday. 

Tomorrow I think weíre going to Knoebels again, and there are other similar items on the docket as well. Itís been one of the strangest summers of my ridiculous life...

Nobody can accuse us of not taking advantage of my ďtime off.Ē Oh, weíve done plenty. But during all our travels and adventures, thereís always something nagging and gnawing at the back of my mind: my, um, employment deficit.

So, itís been bizarre; almost unreal. Weíre doing many of the things we want to do, but I canít fully enjoy them. Iím sort of detached from it all, being there physically, and somewhere else as well. Know what I mean? Itís hard to explain...     

Last year we didnít do a damn thing, and felt guilty about it. And this summer we did a lot, and felt guilty about it.

And so it goes.

Continue reading here
  




August 21, 2007


-- The scanners started working again, the crazy person who was hollering about Gates Brown (and who mightíve been Gates Brown) had moved on to bother other people, and we were about to enter Hallowed Ground: Yankee Stadium, the freakiní House That Ruth Built.

I gave the vest-wearing Civil War veteran my ticket, he ran an infrared beam over it, then handed it back. And I was allowed official entrance.

Iím a complete geek when it comes to baseball history. Iím one of those guys who still gets pissed when he hears the words ďdesignated hitter,Ē and donít even get me started on inter-league play... Baseball was perfect in the 40s and 50s, I think, and hadnít been completely screwed-up by the time I was a kid in the 70s. 

Everything after that? Highly questionable. Hell, I still view the
Rockies and Marlins as phonies; I havenít yet accepted them as real Major League baseball teams. Maybe someday, but not yet. Itís too soon.

So visiting an old stadium with such a rich history, a place so many iconic players called home, is right up my alley. I was super-excited to get to our seats, and drink it all in.

Continue reading here
  




August 20, 2007


-- Steve and I were at K-Mart yesterday morning before the appointed time, and our bus to Yankee Stadium arrived exactly as scheduled.

The thing was packed when we climbed aboard, and it didnít take long to realize we were dressed inappropriately for the occasion. Apparently itís customary to wear a full baseball uniform, body-type be damned, while attending Yankees games. Who knew? 

Wonder if they make a Jeter in a super-husky? Iíd like to be better prepared next time.

As soon as we were moving, the driver flipped a switch and the various TV screens around the bus flickered into action. And we got to watch the Billy Bob Thornton version of Bad News Bears. 

I rented that thing through Netflix a few months ago, and it seemed much funnier yesterday for some reason. I was laughing my ass off. On Saturday I probably wouldíve told you it sucked, but by Sunday afternoon Iíd pretty much changed my mind.

Around 10 am I started hearing the sound of beer cans popping open. Indeed, the dude across the aisle from me cracked open a Coors Lite, and continued pounding those babies all day long. Iím not exaggerating when I say he probably had upwards of twelve on the bus alone. And Iím sure he didnít stop at the game, either.  

Continue reading here
 




August 17, 2007


-- Toney bought me a new computer chair today. For the past couple of years Iíd been using an old dining room chair with the back broken-off, and she hated it. It was just four legs and an ass-platform, and I donít even know what happened to the part youíre supposed to lean against. I have a feeling itís in the basement somewhere, or maybe the garage.

Anyway, she took it upon herself to buy me a new chair, and itís going to take some getting used to. Right now I feel like Iím typing uphill, if you know what I mean. This deal is slightly lower than the old ass-scaffolding (ass-scaff), and Iím not sure I care for it.

And how much you want to bet the previous ďchairĒ is already in the trash? Iím getting a sick feeling in my stomach, and this time it has nothing to do with the 40 ounces (or so) of Dunkin Donuts coffee sloshing around in thereÖ

-- Iím also having trouble with email. For some reason Comcast is flagging everything addressed to thewvsr as spam, and wonít allow it to drop into my inbox. And this makes me go grrrr... I appreciate their spam-filtering efforts, I really do, but theyíre getting a tad overzealous. Ya know?

This happened once before, and I had to have my webhost contact my internet provider; my people talked to their people, and got everything straightened out. 

At that time I also set it up so every Surf Report email is sent to a second destination, as back-up. But Iím still not convinced everything is making it to me.

Itís political correctness gone mad! Or something.

Continue reading here   




August 16, 2007


-- Did you know that in Canada milk is sold in bags? Yeah, I didnít either. But itís true. 

On Sunday morning I saw Toneyís sister using some sort of plastic apparatus that holds the milk bag, and turns it into a makeshift pitcher. From what I gather, youíre supposed to snip the corner off the plastic sack, place it inside the housing, and go to town.

You think Iím joking? Hereís a site dedicated to the Canadian Milk Bag, complete with photographic evidence. Itís almost like a foreign country up there.

After we oohed and ahhed at the spectacle of milk being dispensed from a pouch, everyone hustled downtown again for the Changing of the Guard. This, of course, happens at Parliament, and reportedly takes place every morning at 10, weather permitting.

And all I can say is, they sure make a big to-do about a shift change. At the factory where I used to work folks would just punch-out, and the new people would punch-in. 

There was no formal ceremony, or parade, or anything. Unless, of course, you count the playful verbal abuse one shift heaped upon the other, every day. Perhaps they shouldíve set up bleachers and invited in spectators for the daily Calling of the Faggot? I just donít know.

Continue reading here
  




August 15, 2007


-- On Saturday morning in Ottawa I went to an ATM to withdraw forty dollars from my checking account. And two questionable pieces of paper came out, each bearing an artistís rendering of Betty White. At least I think it was Betty WhiteÖ And on the back was a rowboat filled with cartoon characters. 

The hell, man? Was somebody playing a trick on me? Even though I knew it was a ridiculous notion deep-down, part of me didnít fully believe this ďmoneyĒ was actually spendable.

From the bank we followed Toneyís sister to a farmerís market. There we walked amongst hippies and large dogs wearing bandanas, and looked at vegetables, and baked goods prepared with something called spelt flour. I have no idea what that means, and have little interest in finding out.

I was really hungry, but afraid to purchase anything at this jamboree of wire-rim glasses and body hair run amok. So I just waited in the shade of a tree, my stomach growling and sweat rolling down my back. A guy in a booth nearby had a gigantic wok going, and was mixing up something that smelled like garlic and bad hygiene.

Continue reading here
    




August 14, 2007


-- As I type this we have no electricity; Iím sitting at the dining room table using my laptop, and its fancy-pants eBay battery. Iím not sure whatís going on, but everything groaned to a halt about a half-hour ago. And itís been deader than Kelseyís nuts ever since. 

Toney says thereís a work crew from the power company doing something in front of Half-Shirtís house. Who the hell knows? One of those guys probably spilled a Dr. Pepper into something important, and the outage will be classified as ďsystem malfunction,Ē or another similarly vague phrase.

Screw it. Iíll just make sure to hit the SAVE button every few seconds. Letís get to the Ottawa
trip, shall we?

-- On Friday we traveled. We (Toney) wanted to leave around noon , but it was closer to 1:30 before we finally hit the road. It was just a few days ago, but I canít remember exactly why we were delayed. It probably had something to do with half-assery on someoneís part. Iím just having a little trouble recalling the details. 

Ahem.

As usual, we got bogged down in so-called road construction on I-81. I say ďso-calledĒ because we never actually saw anyone doing work on the roads. In fact, we never saw a single worker or piece of heavy machinery. They just had lanes coned-off, for no apparent reason. And this caused me to recite a random sampling of the bad words.


Continue reading here
  




August 10, 2007


-- This is going to have be super-quick. Weíre supposed to leave for Canada around noon, and in true Jeff Kay fashion, I havenít done shit. Heck, I havenít even brought my duffle bag up from the basement yet, which is something I do to demonstrate progress to Toney. 

And itís also a pretty good indicator as to why I was a solid C student in high school. Pass the Tangy Taffy.

On a more positive note, Iím drinking a really kick-ass cup of coffee right now. Itís Dunkin Donuts brand, the kind you buy at the grocery store and make at home. How is it so impossibly good? Itís a question I cannot answer. But one thing Iím certain about:  it is the yum.

Do any of you have a travel checklist saved to your computer, like I do? Itís a Word document with everything I need to take with me when I travel. Whenever Iím packing for a trip, I just print one out and start checking shit off. If I donít, Iíve learned, I forget many things. Like pants.

Continue reading here
  




August 9, 2007


-- Weíll be traveling abroad this weekend. On Friday weíre driving to Ottawa to visit Toneyís sister and her family, and to check out their new house. You know, stuff like that.

Not to be a wet blanket, or anything, but I have a few concerns. Ahem. At the top of my list is food. Iíll be damned if Iím eating Nancy's slimy garlic-marinated seaweed and carrot casserole for three days straight. I might have to smuggle in a few boxes of Pop-Tarts, just to maintain.

And, needless to say, they donít believe in air conditioning. So thereís that, as well. Iíll probably need to buy a long-handled crack-swab somewhere. Wonder if IKEA carries those?

There wonít be an update on Monday either. So, in case I forget to mention it tomorrowÖ Weíll be driving back on that day, and I wonít be able to post anything new until Tuesday. But Iíll try to make it up to you folks, with lots of pictures and maybe a few good stories. 

Continue reading here
  




August 8, 2007


-- Because itís been skeleton-melting hot outside, and we have two pre-teen boys, Iíve been getting more than the recommended daily allowance of Nickelodeon lately. Oh, thatís nothing new, of course, it just seems to be even more pronounced since the weather turned hot and moist, like weíre living way up inside a humongous butt crack.

Here are a few completely random/scattered observations and opinions:

I hate the new Spongebob voice (high and squeaky), and the same goes for Patrick (more of a cadence-change than an actual voice-change, but still suckiní). I canít even watch the show anymore, and it used to be my favorite.

Even discounting the voices, which isnít easy to do, I donít think the new shows are even in the neighborhood of funny. Today thereís lots of singing, and yelling, and noiseÖ Sometimes I have to check to see if weíre watching the Cartoon Network. 

And theyíve largely abandoned the simple story lines, for big epic tales often set in the Middle Ages, for some reason. Wot up wit dat?

Continue reading here
  




August 7, 2007


-- I frantically fled Panera Bread yesterday afternoon, with an electric cord trailing behind my Jack Bauer man-bag. 

The place was absolutely lousy with children. I have no idea why, Ďcause as far as I know kids donít usually go in for hand-tossed Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken salads, and the like. But the joint was teeming with hollering booger-machines/tricycle motors. And I canít have that.

Also, and this was the straw that broke the hillbillyís back, sitting right across from me was a mother/daughter team Iíd seen there before. Each is roughly the size of your average Macyís Thanksgiving Day Parade float. And they look almost exactly alike(!), each sporting some sort of hipster horn rim glasses. 

The whole thing is pretty disturbing. And donít even get me started on the way they eatÖ All I can say is, people seated at adjacent tables should be issued welding helmets, or some similar protective device, by Panera Corporate.

I got the hell out of there.  

Continue reading here  




August 6, 2007


-- Saturday was so hot here, we barely moved. It was a disgusting day, really, with loads of inactivity and becoming one with various seating solutions. I hate that, but couldnít muster enough energy to free myself from the bonds of heat-induced laziness.

I did manage to take the oldest Secret out to lunch, to the Chinese buffet. Occasionally Toney and I like to split up and spend a little one-on-one time with each of the boys, and thatís what we did on Saturday afternoon. 

Iím convinced they flick uneaten shrimp right back onto the hot table at this so-called buffet, but the Secret doesnít seem to mind. He loves the House of Reused Crustaceans, so thatís where we went. And I ordered off the menu.

Continue reading here  




August 3, 2007


-- We almost went to New York City today. Toney and I were talking about how we want to go before school starts, and how there arenít too many free days left. The Secrets are involved in all manner of things, we have to go to Canada in a couple of weeks to see Toneyís sisterís new house, and we might be doing a quick West Virginia tripÖ 

It just goes on and on. 

And I said, ďHey, whatís wrong with today? Why canít we just walk out to the car right now, and freakiní go?Ē

Yes, it was a very inspirational speech, and for a half-hour we buzzed around getting ready. We were actually gonna do it, just like that; we were going to be all spontaneous, and shit.

But then the thinking kicked inÖ Stupid thinking. We started doing the calculations, considering what we wanted to do, and at what time weíd realistically be able to do them. And we had visions of driving back in the dark, getting home really late, and all that unsavory crapola. 

You could almost physically feel the enthusiasm leech away. Man, wotta let-down. If Iíd only taken to the Senate floor two hours earlier, weíd probably be sitting at Sammyís Noodle Shop right now, eating ourselves right up to the cusp of a blackout.

Continue reading here
 




August 2, 2007


-- As mentioned multiple times, Iíve adopted a local Panera Bread location as my afternoon office. I try to get as much writing done as possible every day, but canít just sit in this tiny room for hours on end; it makes me want to start talking politics to a can of Del Monte fruit salad.  

So, Panera offers a much-needed change of venue, meat-locker temperatures inside, bottomless Dr. Peppers, and sometimes even a topnotch sandwich and/or bowl of soup. 

Itís something that works for me. At least until dinnertime rolls around and they crank the jazz music so loud it sends all us laptop assholes scrambling for the exitÖ

Anyway, as the hours continue to pile up at my afternoon office, Iíve made many an observation. And, if youíll indulge me, Iíd like to share a few of them with you now.

Continue reading here
 




August 1, 2007


-- Toney and I were at Jim Dandyís recently, enjoying some late afternoon adult refreshments. Since the birth of our younglings we rarely get time alone, and this was one of those rare times.... 

In case youíre keeping score at home, Iíd chosen a pint (and then another) of Sam Adams summer brew, and Toney went with the Blue Moon draft. I like Blue Moon as well, but all the fruit they serve it with makes me feel uneasy. Ya know? May as well hang a set of balls across the lip of the glass. 

Anyway, we were sitting there discussing Big Issues, just like old times. Back during the Atlanta days we rarely made an important decision without first hammering it out in a boof at Moeís and Joeís, over a pitcher of ďthe finest,Ē aka Pabst Blue Ribbon. 

In fact, thatís where we decided to make an offer on our first house, where we planned our wedding, and where we discussed the possibility of moving to (gulp) Southern California. Oh, we have a rich history of Making Decisions in Bars.

We didnít have to decide anything this time, though. We were just talking about my job situation, and how to proceed, etc. It was a fairly low-key affair.

About halfway through our stay, another couple sat down beside us. They were, Iíd guess, in their late 70s, and all dressed-up. The man was wearing a full-on suit and tie, and the woman was sporting the female equivalent. I noticed he held the barstool for her, like a gentleman, and was exceedingly mannered.

The bartender sauntered over and the man ordered for both of them: ďTwo bottles of Miller High Life, please, and two short glasses.Ē

Continue reading here
  



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