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

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Is that man-ass I smell?

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

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  Willard "Bill" Hershberger

The View From Down Here
                             June 2007

 

 


June 29, 2007

Before we get started today, I have a few quick things…

-- First and foremost: the t-shirts are ready! I’m going to pick them up this afternoon, and should be able to start shipping them out on Monday. The T-Shirt Lady says they turned out “nice,” and I’ll post a picture later today. 

Thanks to everyone who’s already pre-ordered. And if you haven’t, now’s the time. Here’s yer link.

-- Also, check out this great new Smoking Fish sighting. I don’t think there’s any chance in hell I could eat such a thing. 

I’m not really a huge fan of ridiculous amounts of meat. In fact, I have to avert my eyes when I’m at Wendy’s and encounter an illuminated photograph of a so-called “triple,” which is nothing more than a column of ground beef. Blecch. 

Continue reading here
  




June 28, 2007

-- How y’all doing? That just rolls off my tongue (keyboard) this morning, following our refresher course in South Carolina over the past week or so. I feel like I’ve reconnected with my roots, or somesuch... 

And, I’m sorry to have to report this, but the trip was great. The weather was incredible, we had a blast, and there weren’t too many I Love Lucy moments. It was about as perfect as a camping trip to the beach can get.

Again, I apologize.

Continue reading here
  




June 21, 2007


-- This is it, my friends. We’re leaving for Myrtle Beach this afternoon, and should arrive mid-day on Friday. We’re breaking up the drive because it’s, you know, far. 

Toney made reservations at a Black Lips Houlihan-friendly motel somewhere in Virginia for tonight, and we’ll continue on from there. The campground where we’ll ultimately be staying is supposed to have my parents’ travel trailer all set up for us, with the air conditioner a-rockin’. And how great is that?

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June 20, 2007


-- I was completely exhausted all day on Monday, so I vowed to turn over a new leaf and get to bed earlier. 

The first night, because my brain was expanding and contracting inside its housing, I drifted off immediately. I hit the sack around 9:00 , and was clear-cutting rain forest by 9:30 . It was, as they say, the sleep of kings.

But last night didn’t go so well… Again I was in bed before half past nine , and read for a little while. Then I wallowed and flopped and thrashed and turned. 

At one point Toney sat bolt upright and said, “What exactly is your problem?!” Then she mumbled something about feeling like she was in a rowboat on the ocean, and rolled over like she meant that crap.

Continue reading here
  




June 19, 2007


-- We were in a local restaurant a few nights ago for dinner, and I found a hunk of metal in my fish samlich. I was a-smilin’ and a-chewin’ when I detected something in there that didn’t feel quite right. 

Luckily I didn’t chomp down on it full-out, but just enough to realize the shit wasn’t going to be very forgiving. Concerned, I hawked everything into my hand, and started picking through the grossness with a steak knife. 

It looked like a short length of heavy wire, folded into a circle. What the?! Was the fish hook still in that thing? Talk about fresh!

Continue reading here
  




June 18, 2007


-- I’m not operating at full capacity this morning. My brain wants more sleep, or some such pussification. It’s being all sluggish and buggy on me. Just curious: have you ever yelled at your brain? I have. In fact, mine just got a good dressing-down today. Because it deserved it. 

Anyway, this one’s just gonna be another clearing house of items from my notebook. It’s the best I can do under the circumstances… 

-- Yesterday we took our dog Andy to the park, and walked around in the sunshine. Without us knowing it, one of the Secrets brought along his “fart jar.” Here’s what it looks like, and the thing makes incredibly realistic assplosion noises. 

Continue reading here
  




June 15, 2007


-- When I was a little kid I asked my grandmother if I could have a taste of her coffee. She and my grandfather seemed to drink the stuff ‘round the clock, so it must be pretty good, huh? Heck, they even had special cups, green and plastic, shallow and wide, that were apparently purchased especially for coffee-drinking. 

I had to know.

So she and my mother exchanged significant glances, and I was allowed to take a sip. And it tasted like dirt clods filtered through a pair of August underwear, then heated up. Blechh. For a few seconds there was a very real threat of vomit in the room, something that seemed to amuse the adults to no end.

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June 14, 2007


-- Yesterday our mail arrived late (grrr), and I was checking on it every fifteen minutes or so. Hey, it’s one of the highlights of my days at this point…

Sometime after lunch I opened the door and the mail still hadn’t been delivered, and I found two massive jugs of Tide laundry detergent on our front porch instead. WTS?!

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June 13, 2007


-- It’s amazing how you run out of things to write about when you spend your days alone inside an 8x8 babyshit-green box. Ya know? Wonder if anyone’s ever done a study on that? Maybe with mice and typewriters, or something? I’d like to know the results.

-- We’ve been watching the first season of The Shield, and the jury is still out. I have a feeling Toney is about to jump-ship on it, but we’ll see how it goes. She says, accurately I think, that the rogue cops aren’t very likable; they just seem like your garden-variety assholes. 

Many of the characters on The Sopranos are homicidal maniacs, but you got the sense they’d be fun to have a beer with. As long as they remain on your side, of course… I don’t think I’d want to have a beer with that Peter Chicklets (or whatever his name is), under any circumstances. The dude seems to be operating on perma-confrontation. And who needs that?    

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June 12, 2007


-- Man, that blew a whole primate house full of monkeys.

Yesterday afternoon a woman called and wanted to set up an interview for Tuesday morning, with a Large Company We All Know. Cool, I thought. I like the Large Companies We All Know. 

I’d sent them a resume and didn’t apply for any specific position, so I asked her what I’d be interviewing for. Her answer didn’t really excite me. It sounded like warehouse management, and at a level that probably wouldn’t pay nearly enough. But there’s no harm in going through the process. Right?

So, I went to bed around 9:30 , hoping to wake up refreshed and clear-thinking. And, for reasons unknown, I tossed and turned through the night. I wasn’t thinking about the interview, or anything, I just couldn’t get comfortable. Maybe it was too hot? I don’t know, but at one point I had the sheets wound around me like a murder victim being prepared for a river-dumping.

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July 11, 2007


-- I witnessed something amazing over the weekend.

I was sitting on a couch reading the newspaper, and our dog Andy (Black Lips Houlihan) was asleep beside me. All the windows were open and a satisfying breeze was blowing the curtains around. Toney was in the kitchen, and the kids were watching something on Nickelodeon which featured the sphincter-clinching voice of Gilbert Gottfried.

Suddenly Andy sat bolt upright, from a deep sleep, tilted his head back and began manipulating his nostrils like he’d been entered into a nostrils manipulation contest. He took his reading, and went wild. He began barking and snarling and leaping at the front windows. The hell?!

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June 8, 2007


-- I don’t have much this morning, so I’m just gonna zero-out the notebook again, and start fresh on Monday. ‘kay? Prepare yourselves for a short but bumpy ride…

-- I saw a news report yesterday about the shocking (shocking!) prospect of Pennsylvania beer distributors being allowed to sell six-packs and twelve-packs in the near future. Apparently a bill has been sent to the State Senate, and there’s a good chance it’ll pass. 

Already the hand-wringing has begun, and some folks are anticipating the end of American civilization, if not humankind itself. When the inevitable finally happens in twenty or fifty years, and grocery stores (gasp!) are allowed to sell beer, I’m predicting that at least one person will set himself on fire out of a feeling of complete hopelessness.

Continue reading here
  




June 7, 2008


-- Every morning I wake up and shuffle down the hall to the Small Room, have myself a good shiver, go downstairs for coffee, then let Andy outside. And that’s usually when I get annoyed for the first time of the day.

The newspaper is always on the front porch, and as our dog tip-toes through the wet grass, I notice it and get irritated. It’s the rubber band that does it, you see, and sometimes even a plastic bag(!!). 

When did paper delivery become so pansy?! I was a paperboy for a long time, and our family would’ve been forced to sell the house and move to another community if I’d ever used a rubber band on a paper. Good God, don’t even get me started on those prophylactics...

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June 6, 2007


-- I caught about thirty minutes of the Republican presidential debate last night on CNN, and there are a few things I found puzzling.

For instance, why did John McCain have a chaw in his mouth? I’m from West Virginia and am fairly accustomed to being around people with a mouthful of chewing tobacco, but during a presidential debate?! Wonder if his spit cup was emblazoned with the stars and stripes?

And was there some kind of catastrophic malfunction of the tanning bed at Mitt Romney’s house? Sweet sainted mother of George Hamilton! The man looked like he’d been exposed to a nuclear blast. And who names their kid after baseball equipment anyway? Does he have a sister named Fungo Bat? …Hello? 

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June 5, 2007


-- Yesterday’s job interview went perfectly well (I’m old and don’t make big mistakes anymore), except I’m not exactly what they’re looking for. And how do I know this? Because they told me so. Yep, we went through the entire process and they just laid their cards on the table, right there in front of me and on the very same day. 

While I was driving home I was focusing on all the negatives (of course), discarded the positives (needless to say), and was mildly pissed-off. I don’t have enough supervisory experience, they said, and am probably used to making more money than they’re willing to pay.

Ever had this kind of honesty at a job interview? Me either. And to tell you truth… I kinda like it. I was irritated immediately afterwards, but now appreciate knowing exactly the way they feel. I’m not sitting here today trying to read between the lines, and wondering what the inflection of certain words meant, etc. 

Sure, their bluntness was a bit disconcerting, but I wish everyone would do it that way. It removes most of the maddening mystery that surrounds the process, and lets you know where you stand. If they call me in for a second interview it’ll be totally unexpected, and there’s value in knowing it.

As Wilt Chamberlain used to say, “Next!”

Continue reading here  




June 4, 2007


-- I have a job interview today, so this needs to be super-quick. I’ll have to allow time to wriggle into a pair of fancy-pants, de-Andy hair my suit jacket, and cry softly for fifteen minutes or so. It’s becoming a ritual.

The interview is to take place in the Poconos, about forty miles from here. I don’t know if anyone else does this, but I drove there yesterday just so there wouldn’t be any surprises today. 

I hate going places I’ve never been, with a hard-coded deadline. I always envision myself riding up and down unfamiliar roads with three or four minutes to go, running my hands through my hair, and not having any idea where I am. So, when possible, I do a test run.

We found it with no problem, and afterwards stopped at a dairy bar kinda place that looked like it hadn’t changed in fifty years. We all had milkshakes except Toney, who ordered a malt. Very good indeed.

Continue reading here
 




June 1, 2007


-- Last night we went to an art show at the elementary school, and it was hotter than the proverbial owl piss in there. It was easily 100 degrees, and that’s not an exaggeration; it felt like we were walking into Satan’s laundry room. 

They were serving what was supposed to be ice cream in the cafeteria, but it was just bowls of milk by the time we got to it. You can tell there’s a problem when the sprinkles sink. Ya know?

Therefore, we didn’t stay long. But I did snap this photo, to give you guys a flavor of the event.

Continue reading here 



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