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2008

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2006

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October
 
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January

2005

December
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October

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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
                    
     April 2008


 

April 30, 2008

People Holding Oversized Items!

-- I think I’m going to have to mow the grass this weekend, dammit. Spring comes late in these parts, and most people mowed last Saturday or Sunday for the first time this season. I, and a few other holdouts, decided to give it another week. Ahem.

Unfortunately, it’s been raining nearly every day since I made that decision, and the stuff is growing fast. At this point there’s a ripple whenever the wind blows, like a field of wheat. I’m sure Poppa Half-Shirt is over there walking from window to window, muttering obscenities, and slamming Coors Light. He probably has to draw himself a hot bath, and put on some Michael McDonald to calm himself down…

So I’d better drag my ass out there on Saturday, and start walking behind the vibrating box again. God, how I hate it. Whenever my ship comes in, a lawn service will be the very first call I make. Oh, I’ll be calling them
real good.

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April 29, 2008

A Disturbing New Craze For Spring

-- When I was a kid there was a big vacant lot behind Sloan's Department Store, which a traveling carnival would overtake for a week every summer. Now there's a hotel there, and a Shoney's restaurant, and I don't know if Dunbar 's even part of the carnie circuit anymore. And how sad is that?

But it sure was exciting when I was a youngling. Big trucks would roll into town with folded-up Tilt-O-Whirls and Scramblers on the back. We'd see corndog stands coming off the interstate exit, and in one impossibly abbreviated afternoon there'd be a full-blown carnival where none had stood just hours before.

I remember hanging around while they assembled tall rides, like the Ferris wheel, and seeing them sledge-hammer uncooperative bolts into place. I told my Dad about this, not really understanding the significance of it, and we were never allowed to ride anything at those carnivals again.

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April 28, 2008

Thursday Is Better Than Monday

-- Tragedy has struck at the Compound: my CD player stopped working! Yes, the unthinkable has occurred. I was so cocky, for so long… I went around believing, "Oh, it'll never happen to me." I thought my equipment was strong, and invincible. And now look where I'm at. So very, very sad…

In my subterranean office, aka the Surf Report Bunker, I have a JVC shelf stereo, which has served me well for six or seven years. Before it I had a series of Sonys which sucked the proverbial ass. They skipped, sounded terrible, etc. Somewhere along the way I'd picked up the notion Sony is best, and it took me a while to understand it might all be a myth.

In any case, my beloved JVC made a strange noise on Saturday, and now it won't perform its duties. I think the sound was its soul ascending to heaven. I hate to see it go, we've been through so much together, but I've got to be strong.

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April 25, 2008

Every Thursday a Theme!

-- We went to the Old Country Buffet for dinner last night. The Secrets hate it, and Toney’s not far behind them, so we rarely set foot in the place. But they mailed us some coupons, for kids eat free, and I talked them into it.

Yeah, it wasn’t very good. They were serving “steak,” which looked like an old baseball glove on a cutting board. The woman at the
carving station would slice you off a finger, and drop it on your plate… and I just couldn’t do it. I saw her fishing meat from a vat of murky water, located inside the bar itself, and decided to go semi-veg for the meal.

The oldest Secret tried the water-steak, though, and said it was pretty good. I asked if there was a Willie Mays autograph on it, but he didn’t know what in the everlovin’ hell I was talking about…

I ended up eating a towering salad, some kind of chicken and noodles deal (very salty, therefore good), a bunch of the canned vegetables they serve, and a half-dozen yeast rolls. Everything I ate reminded me of the high school cafeteria.  And I don’t mean that as a compliment.

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April 23, 2008

Advertising For A Belgian Optician!

-- One more night and it’ll all be over. If I can just shuffle and stumble my way to 2:30 am , I won’t have to even think about work until Sunday evening. Oh, how grand it will be…

And, as of this writing, Nancy and the gang will NOT be visiting on the weekend. It’s hard to get excited about such a thing, because they could change their minds ten more times before Friday, but I’m pretty excited anyway.

The idea of a normal weekend – just hanging around the house in big ol’ fat pants, taking Andy for a few leisurely pee-slinging tours, drinking fancy-ass beer and maybe watching a little baseball – is very appealing indeed.

I don’t think I could handle a house full of shrieking translucents, and Eninen’s circus of kookery, right now. I really don’t. I have a pretty good track record of putting up with a lot of crap, but this ain’t the weekend for it.

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April 22, 2008

Our big summer of camping

-- Last night at work everybody hit the wall at approximately the same time. We’ve had no real day-off since April 12, and as late as Sunday evening most of us were still doing reasonably well. But after lunch yesterday, something happened. Suddenly there was a palpable sense of enough is enough in the air, and asses began dragging.

Unfortunately, we’ve still got two nights to go. If we can just make it to Thursday without a fistfight breaking out (a real possibility), or somebody yelling “FUCK THIS!” and shoving over a flow-rack, we’ll be good. Wish us luck.

Of course… there’s still a threat of a
Nancy visit looming on the horizon. It’s not as definite as it was last week, they’re pit-hedging a bit, but it could still happen. There’s no way to predict their travel decisions; it’s all last-minute, flying by the seat of your used and terrifyingly stained highwaters with those people.

I seriously don’t know if I can put up with their bullshit right now. It’s going to take a lot of medicine…

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April 21, 2008

Candy moved to New York City

-- I know this might come as a surprise to many of you, but I'm not really accustomed to prolonged physical labor. For most of my adult life I've been (as Lynyrd Skynyrd would probably put it) a pencil-pusher. I've been sitting behind desks, participating in conference calls, and emailing my friends pictures of squirrels with enormous testicles.

So when my current employer informed me I'd be working on a special project, a warehouse "reset," I was a little concerned. I had visions of me bent over like that Pope who always looked like an upside-down fishhook, moaning and groaning, and begging strangers to rush me to a hospital.

And to make matters worse, this so-called special project was to happen on my traditional days off, thus bridging two work weeks and causing my life to eat it from the ass-in.

But it's come and gone, and I survived. Yeah, my lower back is aching a little, but it wasn't anything like I’d feared. I mean, one recent spring I mowed the grass for the first time of the season, and could barely put on a pair of underwear for a week. This was nothing like that.

So, while it was no fun whatsoever, I'd be forced to admit it wasn't all
that bad.

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April 17, 2008

An act of elaborate defiance

-- Remember when people used to put newspaper in the bottom of their drawers? No, not draw’s, drawers; like inside a dresser or whatever. My grandparents used to do that, and I think my parents did as well.

And what is the point of such an exercise? Is it to protect the drawer bottom from wear and tear? If so, what the hell? You’d have to be mighty neurotic to worry about scratching, or discoloring a drawer bottom. Ya know? What’s next, Simonizing the back of the refrigerator? Scotchgarding the dust rag?  

Or was it to protect the clothes (or whatever)
from the drawer? It seems like there’d be more damage done with a sheet of ink-saturated pulp, than a slab of pressed board. Who wants to walk down the street with the upper left hand corner of a Rite-Aid ad burned into their sweater shoulder? 

So I don’t understand it, and we do not subscribe to the tradition. The cycle of Kay-family drawer-papering stops right here, with me! You’ve got to stand up for what you believe in… like
Lincoln .

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April 16, 2008

Now head to the grade school, I'm starving

-- If you were to ask Toney which of my traits irritate her the most, you'd probably get a long list. I mean, living with me isn't something I'd ever want to do… But near the top of the page would surely be impatience.

Waiting makes me crazy. In fact, I'm waiting on an important phone call right now, and am full-on obsessed with it. Every minute that goes by, without relief, cranks me up even tighter.

Last night at work I went out to my car on a break, and checked my cell phone. It said I had a new voicemail, and I just KNEW it was the one I was waiting for. Exhaling with relief I plugged in my password – and it was a recording of a woman from the Obama Campaign.

At the top of my lungs I yelled, "BITCH!" and caused all the smokers outside the break room to look over with alarm.

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April 15, 2008

Dawson Leary is still very sad

-- There's some sort of "special project" scheduled at my job this weekend, and they want all hands on deck. The so-called extra hours are supposed to be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. So my normal two days off ain’t gonna happen...

Yeah, it's gonna suck with the intensity of a thousand suns. But you want to hear the real kicker? After I finish this week …and the weekend special project …and next week, Nancy and the Gang will be rolling into town.

That's right, I'll be working a minimum of ten hours per day until April 24, and Eninen and their rolling circus of kookery will be here on April 25.

I have a feeling I'm going to be a little less tolerant of stupid shit by then, and am not completely confident in the ability of the golden elixir to counterbalance such a significant disturbance in the irritation curve. To my mind it's never been adequately tested. Who knows what might happen?

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April 14, 2008

Do they make a model for the ass?

-- The older Secret had a birthday over the weekend. On Friday he was eleven, and now he's twelve. When he was younger we'd have parties for him, at "interesting" places, and invite what seemed like every squealing fart-cloud booger-machine within the tri-state area. But those days are behind us (thank you Jesus).

Now we just have a few of his friends over, fold the party money into a better gift, and go out to dinner at the restaurant of his choice. You know, within reason.

This year there were several boys at our house on Saturday afternoon, having an "airsoft war" in the yard. Airsoft guns, in case you're not tapped into sixth grade culture, are similar to the old fashioned BB guns.

They shoot little plastic dingleberries – HARD. I mean those things can pierce a soda can at twenty feet; it's fairly unnerving. It takes the concept of "toy" to its fullest extreme.

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April 11, 2008

Latest Surf Report Wallpaper!

-- Back when I worked for Big Movie I knew a guy who took his family to Disney World every year, for a week. He’d buy a package deal that included airfare, hotel (in one of the Disney properties), some kind of meal plan, and unrestricted access to all the bemusement parks.

This sounded mighty expensive to me, so, lacking the tact of many people, I said, “How much does all that cost ya?”

And his answer almost made me to lose a rectal shelf. He said, and I didn’t know this dude to be a bullshitter or a bragger, that it always runs him “just north of $10,000.”

Gulp.

Of course he’s a big-shot, and pulls down a handsome salary (with one more digit than I’m accustomed to). And I have no doubt he stays in the best hotel, and has the best meal plan, and all that. But still… ten grand? Every summer??

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April 10, 2008

A bunch of old condom wrappers

-- What's the average lifespan of a pair of underwear? I didn't mark my calendar when I made the purchases, or anything, but I believe most of my stuff is about a year old. And it's in a state of full collapse.

I went through a period of undergarment confusion, you see, switching from style to style and having a difficult time settling on something I liked. At one point my top drawer looked like a Goodwill collection box, filled with all manner of ball sock.

I tried boxers, and hated them. There was an unfortunate glacier effect associated with the things, which would cause me to do deep knee-bends and continuously pluck and prod my crotch. And this is why, I suspect, I was never promoted to director at my job...

But I couldn't sport tighty-whities; I was 43, not 7. I'd look like that fat New Year's baby, in a diaper. I thought I could cheat and go with the colored versions of the whities, but there was something disturbingly pre-school about the whole affair. The only thing missing was a smiling steam engine across my ass.

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April 9, 2008

The natural center of gravity

-- Another "free" day, another "breakfast" from the bakery around the corner… I had a cup of coffee and a simply kick-ass (I don't care how gay it sounds) lemon poppy seed muffin. Mmmm… I wish I had one right now.

Our first stop would be the Beatles store. The two things the kids wanted to do on our previous open day didn't get done, and we felt kind of bad about it. So we decided to go directly to the store.

It was in an unfamiliar neighborhood, but we found it with no trouble. For such a huge city, London is a breeze to move around in; it's amazing, really. I'm used to chaos and confusion, and running my hands through my hair. I got none of that in London .

The Beatles store, however, was a bit of a letdown. It's tiny, and I didn't see anything I couldn't live without. They had a lot of framed photos, and keychains, and postcards, and that sort of thing. It took me roughly three minutes to familiarize myself with their entire inventory, and I was done.

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April 8, 2008

Spring is time for Chinese pressed-dog!

-- We were going to be day-trippers again today, and that meant being up and ready at an ungodly hour. The restaurant at the hotel opened at 6:30 a.m. , so, for the sake of convenience, we decided to eat there.

I had a toweringly bad cup of coffee, a spoonful of scrambled eggs, two slices of Canadian bacon (probably called something else there), a bowl of mixed fruit, and some Rice Krispies. For the equal of fifteen U.S. dollars...

While we ate, a large group of American college (high school?) kids overtook the place. All the girls were wearing what looked like pajama bottoms, and every boy appeared to be some kind of science and/or tuba nerd.

Our British/Filipino friend, seeing this sudden influx of humanity at his restaurant, was a bundle of nerves. He was running around with his eyes bugging out, trying to explain how a buffet works(?), and reminding everyone they can't just charge it to their rooms. He was the Don Knotts of Kensington.

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April 7, 2008

What do they mean, only a burrito??

-- This was one of the "free" days we built into our schedule, an opportunity to play catch-up, etc. We took a poll over breakfast (coffee and pastries from the bakery, not the Thirty Dollars for Beans café downstairs), to see what everyone wanted to do.

Toney said she'd like to take a double-decker bus tour, and try to get some video from the top of the thing. There were still big chunks of the city we hadn't seen yet, and past experience taught us that a bus tour, while nerdy, is a good way to cover a lot of ground with a minimum of stress. Plus, they let you jump on and off, so it can be used as glorified transportation.

The Secrets wanted to go to a playground in Hyde Park , where they supposedly have a giant pirate ship kids can crawl around in, and on. One of them also picked up a flier for a Beatles store located somewhere in the city, and both wanted to find it.

I, of course, was getting highly concerned about the lack of pub-action, and wanted to rectify the problem later in the day. I also wanted to find a bookstore, where I could buy copies of Mark Everett's book for me and Steve. (Steve bought my Philadelphia
concert ticket, in exchange for my promise to buy him a copy of the book in London .)

So, we decided we'd take the train to Victoria Station, pick up one of the tourist buses, and try to stop at places designed to please everyone.

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April 6, 2008

Most places offer ONLY beautiful girls

-- During our Big Winter of Planning, we decided we wanted to see more of England than just London . But we didn’t want to hassle with renting a car, driving through roundabouts from the passenger seat, and getting our asses lost in some mysterious village, with a name like Pissing or Little Pancreas. So we settled on a couple of organized day trips, by bus.

The first was to be to Warwick
Castle , Stratford-upon-Avon , and Oxford . And it required us to be up, showered, and breakfasted by 7:30 in the freakin’ am. Man, what a pain in the crapshaft...

We ate at the hotel again, and the guy who runs the restaurant operation is some sort of English/Filipino hybrid, impossible to understand. He’d always been very friendly to us, but on this morning seemed to be making accusations.

He kept telling me I had to pay for breakfast, I couldn’t just charge it to our room. I hadn’t said a word about charging anything to our room, and had every intention of paying. What was this guy’s problem, anyway? He was starting to piss me off.

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April 2, 2008

Lyle Lovett Out Sitting On A Cow

-- I don't believe in jet lag. I think it's one of those afflictions we create to bring drama to our lives. I've done a little traveling, often across time zones, and honestly don't even know what jet lag is supposed to be.

There are people in my extended family (ahem) who are bedridden for days on end, every time they fly on an airplane. They wallow around, and moan, and act like they're moving toward the light.

Oh, it's quite a scene. I have a feeling they'd need to call in sick if they were even in the same room as a baby making airplane noises. That's how
thenthitive they are.

I was warned about jet lag so often, before our trip to England , I started to actually think about it. What if it's true? What if it's not a complete load, like I believed? I couldn't fly to London , and be sick for half the stay. That simply wouldn't do.

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April 1, 2008

What an incredible asshole!

-- I suspect it was just a bit of theatrics for dumbass Americans, but the flight attendant actually said "Cheerio!" to me, as I exited the plane. I half expected her to follow it up by placing a lei of "bangers" around my neck, and handing me a complimentary sack of boiled roots.

I was in a groggy state of near-sleep, and the excitement I felt about being in London was having a hard time breaking through the layers of fatigue. It didn't help that we were walking through a network of dingy hallways, which might as well have been in Cincinnati.

We passed some bathrooms, and I needed to go inside with a fiery urgency. The so-called urinal was nothing but a stainless steel trough bolted to the wall, and would require me to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with some (international) stranger, everything just laid out in the open air.

So, needless to say, that wasn't going to happening.

I went into one of the stalls, and saw a strange toilet. There was no tank, it was just a bowl sticking out of the wall, with a flush handle mounted above it. What the?! This is exotic urination… This is
Eurination.

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