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Previous Notes

2007

October
September
August
July

June

May

April

March

February

January

2006

December
November
October
 
September

August
July

June

May

April

March

February

January

2005

December
November

October

September

August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January


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

2004

December
November
October

September

August
July

June

May

April

March

February

January


A bowl of corn, motherfuckers!

2003

December
November
October

September

August

July
June
May

April

March

February
January


Is that man-ass I smell?

2002

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


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

2001

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2000

December
November
October

The View From Down Here
                     
November 2007

 


November 29, 2007

Instructions for what? Any idea??

-- How y’all doing? Sorry I’ve been absent for the past few days, but this new job is burning my ass down. After Friday, though, the poor man’s boot camp will be over, and my regular schedule will begin. And I’m confident all will return to “normal” soon. I appreciate your patience.

-- I also appreciate the excellent advice you folks provided for our upcoming trip to London
. A few things were confirmed, I’m now thinking twice about a couple of previous plans, and I learned new stuff. So thanks!

A little background on our crackpot scheme:

Longtime readers of the site know we’ve always wanted to travel to England
. It’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was a kid, and Toney feels the same way. But, you know, it’s pretty damn expensive, and the whole thing seems almost impossible to a man with my particular background. As Grandma Walton once said, “Cross the ocean?! Why I wouldn't fly from here to Rockfish in one of those things.

But over the past few years we’ve started making movements toward throwing caution to the wind, and just doing it. Yes,
we were making plans to be spontaneous. At least twice we set dates, made a grand proclamation, then got cold feet and didn’t follow through. But, dammit, we’d turned a corner in our heads; we were freakin’ going… sometime.

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November 26, 2007

Always stay safe at work

-- We refused to participate in Black Friday, but jumped feet-first into Skidmark Saturday, or whatever they’re calling it these days. 

I can’t give you a reason, but I was craving human interaction, and actually suggested we go to a few stores. So it was my fault. We ended up visiting Sam’s, Target, Borders, and the freakin’ mall. This working stuff is messing with my head,
maaaaaan. 

What follows are a few, um, highlights from our inaugural Christmas shopping adventure of 2007.

-- At Sam’s we looked at a terrifying horse-toy that supposedly grows when you “feed” it. The thing is already too large at the beginning, and gets even bigger over time. 

How is that possible?! How does a stuffed animal increase in size?? I don’t care for it, not one tiny bit. I’d be afraid to go to sleep at night. What with all the
metamorphosing and whatnot.

Holy shit! It’s the scariest toy since My Big Retarded Baby.

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November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving at the Compound

-- I'm not looking for sympathy or anything, but I’m having a bit of trouble transitioning from my eight-month “long weekend,” back into the working life.

For one thing, they’re asking me to arrive in the middle of the night: 8 am on the first day, and 7 am
the next. Outrageous! Plus, I don’t know anyone, have no idea what I’m doing, and sometimes get lost.

The people have been exceedingly friendly so far, but they all know one another and have
history. So, we’ll be sitting around bullshitting in the break room, and a guy will turn to another person and say something like, “Who do you think you are, John McAllister?!”

This will cause the entire group to bust out in wild shrieks of laughter, and I’ll just be sitting there blinking my eyes real fast, thinking, “Who the fuck’s John McAllister?”

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November 20, 2007

A pretty good price for squril

-- Yesterday afternoon I received word that I’d passed my background check and pee test, and my long weekend is officially over. By the time you read this, I’m probably already back to work; I have to report at 8 am , which seems like the middle of the night to me. But I’m not complaining, God knows I’m not complaining.

I haven’t been writing about this much, because I was afraid I’d jinx myself, but I REALLY wanted this job. When I went on the interview it just felt right. Ya know? You can usually get a general vibe from a place, and the people and their attitudes, and this one seemed like The One. 

Apparently they agreed, and I’m happy they did.

I hinted at this earlier, but I received TWO job offers on the same day. How bizarre is that? Nothing for eight months, then two in a single day. 

But, it wasn’t a difficult choice: one I wanted badly, the other I couldn’t have given a single dingle about. The decision-making process took exactly the same amount of time it takes a person to say, “Well, I appreciate it and everything, but I’ve decided to accept another offer.” Good times.

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November 19, 2007

Even bigger than Rippling Waters

-- The weather “experts” told us we might get a dusting of snow on Sunday/Monday, but we probably wouldn’t. Nothing to worry about, they assured us, it won’t amount to anything. 

So, needless to say, we have seven or eight inches of the stuff out there today. Schools are on a two-hour delay, and I’m going to have to break out the snow shovel already.

But I’m not bitching. It’s far too early for such a thing. There’s never any bitching after the first few snow storms of the year; at this point it’s still beautiful and exciting. Bitching’s for January. And February. And March.

Here’s a pic I snapped last night, shortly after dark. Understand why I’m not in a bad mood yet?

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November 16, 2007

Four random photographs

-- It would be premature to be making any grand announcements at this point, but yesterday was an interesting day for your corpulent correspondent.

I was sitting here tapping out another ridiculous update, like most days, when the phone starting ringing. These were job search calls, coming from two unrelated sources. Two! After all this time, and considering the amount of frustration and
grrrrrr I’d endured, it was an unbelievable turn of events. 

And my “normal” day promptly came off the tracks like the Richard Kimball Death Row Express.

Yes, it was good stuff, but nothing’s definite yet. Because of the nature of the job I
might be starting soon, there are an inordinate number of contingencies to be dealt with. I’m not sure, but I think they’re going to go back and talk to the doctor who delivered me, track down my high school teachers, and attempt to interview my grandparents through a séance.

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November 14, 2007

Meet the White Stripes of Russia

-- The younger Secret had a birfday last week, and one of the gifts he received was a 4GB iPod nano. Over the past few days he’s been borrowing CDs from the massive Surf Report sound library, and loading them onto the impossibly tiny device.

And what’s he been requesting? Well, I’m glad you asked… He’s nine years old and rocking out to Foo Fighters, AC/DC, Green Day, Fountains of Wayne(!), Paul Westerberg(!!), and get this – Graham Parker’s
Squeezing Out Sparks. 

Both Secrets
really responded to Graham Parker. It’s a hard thing to understand… I play all manner of music around the house, but their ears instantly perked up the very first time they heard Squeezing Out Sparks. Now they request I bring it along when we’re driving somewhere, and have memorized all the words at this point. It’s baffling, but cool.

Just a few minutes ago he came in here (no school today because of “conferences,” or some such bullshit), and asked if he could borrow
Exile on Main Street. I located it, handed it over, and was unable to speak because of the large lump in my throat, and the tears welling in my eyes.

I’m sorry, I’m getting a little emotional…

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November 13, 2007

A Shocking Case of Poodle Abuse

-- I drove Sunshine back to Syracuse on Sunday evening, so she could nod-out aboard Amtrak, and sloooowly make her way home.

She was booked on a train scheduled to leave for Chicago
at 9:41 pm . I don’t know why it had to be so late at night, or why she was required to depart from a station located 125 miles from our house. Toney and Nancy worked out the logistics of all that; I was only transportation services.

I figured we could leave at 6 o’clock
, eat a quick dinner somewhere, and still have an adequate buffer zone in case of unforeseen circumstances. But Sunny was becoming hysterical as the day wore on, convinced she would miss the train. She wanted to leave our house at 3 o’clock .

I held out until 4:30
, and we hit the road.

Surprisingly enough, she didn’t seem to be flying high on her “antibiotics.” She was fairly normal as we drove, and we passed the time by mocking Nostrils – the old standby. She likes to use the word
putrid when describing him, and that always makes me laugh for some reason.

We arrived at 6:30
, and I asked if she wanted to eat dinner at the mall food court, across the road. “Oh, no!” she shouted. “We need to check in and stay by the gate, so I don’t miss the train.” We had three hours!

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November 9, 2007

Where's Moe's & Joe's??

-- We received a scary phone call this morning, from a grocery store. Wegman’s, to be precise. According to the pre-recorded message, we purchased ground beef from them “in October,” from a lot number that’s been recalled following reports of E. coli.

I told Toney about this, and she said we’ve already ingested all hamburger bought at Wegman’s, and the last of it might have been used to make tacos earlier in the week. <gulp>

But you instantly get sick, right? That’s what we were telling each other, hoping it was true. However… according to this page, there’s a one-week incubation period, then it’s 10 or more violent liqui-shits per day, “all blood and no stool.”

And I can’t have that.

-- Speaking of disturbing messages, I received an email a couple of days ago from a supposed “domain name register center” in China
. At first glance I thought it was just another in a long line of scamulation attempts. But on further review, I think it might actually be legit.

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November 7, 2007

Rock stars front and sideways

-- Wotta mess. I wrote some of this update yesterday, and never got around to posting it. But some of it’s from today... So, in an attempt to cut down on the confusion, I’ll put a (Y) in front of the chunks where the date-written seems relevant. OK? Let’s roll…

-- (Y) I'm driving to Syracuse this morning for the Sunshine hand-off, so I have very little time for "comedy." Also, I have no idea what the rest of the week might bring.

Sunny's going to be here, but the Secrets won't; they'll be in school every day, and both have a metric shitload of evening activities to attend. Plus, Toney works and takes computer classes at night. So what the hell, man?  It's just going to be me and Toney's mother??

I can already feel a charley horse building in the wall of my poop chute.

-- Indeed, Sunshine is alone at our house this very moment, and I’m at the library hunched over a laptop. Is that rude? I have a nagging concern that it might be, but I don’t think I care all that much. After yesterday, I’m pretty much beyond caring.

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November 5, 2007

A study in aerodynamic drag

-- Tomorrow I have to drive to Syracuse , pick up a load of bitterness, and haul it back to our house. Toney’s mother Sunshine has been in Canada for the past week or so, visiting Toney’s sister and her family, and now it’s our turn. I’m meeting them at the halfway point, for the hand-off.

Since Toney has to work tomorrow, and the Secrets are in school, I “volunteered.” Oh, it should be an interesting day...

According to intel, Sunny has been running on perma-bitch ever since she arrived in Ottawa
. Those Canadians are giving her attitude, she says, and hate her because she’s American. Of course, this happens everywhere she goes; the whole world is constantly looking at her, judging her, and putting her down with their eyes.

Never mind that she reportedly arrived with a whole suitcase full of clothes emblazoned, simply
covered, in American flags. Or that she walks around with a “what the fuck are you looking at?!” sneer on her face at all times. That doesn’t have anything to do with it.

And when she gets here it’ll be the
Pennsylvanians who are victimizing her. Or the more generic “bitches back east.”  Because that’s the way Sunny rolls.

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November 2, 2007

Expensive food all the time

-- I was at the library yesterday working on a few things, and listening to a 2002 Phil Hendrie show through headphones. Seated in front of me was a woman in her mid-50s, sporting a Hillary Clinton jumpsuit o’ power. When I arrived she asked if she could use my pen and, of course, I obliged.

Then one of Phil’s characters, Margaret Gray, got into an argument with a Southern woman (a person Margaret repeatedly referred to as “Ellie Mae”), and I started laughing and couldn’t stop. Before hanging up, the caller yelled, “Up yours, bitch!” And the whole thing was hilarious.

I’d almost forgotten about Jumpsuit, when I realized she was standing right in front of me with a scowl on her face. She handed my pen back, and spat, “Are you enjoying yourself?” Just really pissed-off and venomous.

I considered this for a second, and answered, “Yeah, I guess I am.” And she said, “Well, I’m glad,” packed up all her shit, and stormed out.

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November 1, 2007

A nice cake is waiting for you

-- Usually Toney walks around with the Secrets while they do their trick or treating, and I stay home and hand out candy. But we switched roles this year, at Toney’s insistence. I’m unclear as to why, but she wanted me to be the street-chaperone this go ‘round.

Whatever. It doesn’t really matter to me; it’s six of one and half a gallon of the other, or whatever.

After dinner we cracked open the first Maker’s Mark bottle of the Season, and each enjoyed a stiff drink while the kids put on their costumes, etc. Yes, it’s a Halloween tradition. And man, it tasted just like autumn.

Since I knew I’d probably be wandering around the neighborhood in the dark for the next hour, I decided to pack a survival kit. I poured a Yuengling lager into a plastic cup, and put two additional cans in the pockets of my jacket. Then we hit the road.

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