TheWVSR.com
JeffKay.com

     

Previous Notes

2007

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
                     
September 2007

 


September 28, 2007

Can a warden be a good wife?

-- Toney went out and bought a new coffee maker this week. The old one was pretty cool, it was the kind where you press your mug up against a dispenser, and hot coffee just comes shooting out. No carafe to break, and no hot plate to turn your good ol’ Eight O’Clock fresh-roasted into something straight out of a 1970’s Kentucky convenience store.

But the thing was old and had started shedding water. Before we went to bed at night we’d set it up to begin brewing at
5:30 am , and while we slept half the water in the reservoir would seep out. So we’d stumble downstairs to find half a pot of incredibly strong diarrhea coffee, and water all over, as one of my aunts used to say, carnation.

I looked at it, and it didn’t appear a hose had come loose, or anything like that. There was just a slow-leak from God knows where, and it was making us go grrrrr.

So Toney was at Sam’s a few days ago, and bought a brand new fancy-ass Cuisinart model. It’s all shiny and chrome and whatnot, and features more knobs and gauges than a Boeing 737. You can actually adjust the temperature of the hot plate, which is something I’d never seen before, and I’m almost certain there’s a headphone jack, for some reason.

Continue reading here  


September 27, 2007

Your WV Almanac First Edition

-- A couple of days ago I accidentally banged by hand on the console of my car (I think I was getting a little carried away with the tuneage), and the nail on my middle finger cracked down the middle. Never, in my entire life, had something like that ever happened before.  I mean, what the hell, man? 

I clipped it down as low as I dared to go, but there’s still a split there that gets hung on every damn thing. It seems like every move I make now ends with the creepy-crawly feeling of my fingernail being tugged from its traditional home out on the end of my right middle finger. I’m afraid I’m going to get it caught on the couch or something, and the shit will just open up like a fire door.

And I can’t have that.

-- I was listening to Clive Bull earlier in the week, and he was talking about sleep. He read a newspaper article about a study that claims adults need seven hours of sleep per night, no more and no less. And too much is as harmful as too little.

Continue reading here 


September 26, 2007

Your WV Almanac First Edition

-- After the younger Secret went to school this morning, I took my car to “the shop.” Over the past few days it’s been acting funny, not wanting to start, and sounding like a fat man getting punched in the gut during a bar fight. And believe me, I know that sound...

I was hoping it was only the battery, but feared it might be the alternator, or starter, or something else expensive. I had terrifying flashbacks of my Chevy Blazer days, and experienced a full-body shiver.

Preferring to remain ignorant, but afraid of getting stranded somewhere, I bit the bullet and took my car to the Last Honest Garage in America
. The guy there said he could probably get to it in a half-hour or so, and I gave him my cell number and told him I’d be having breakfast within walking distance.

Continue reading here  


September 24, 2007

Bradys + Sears = High Fashion!

-- I took the older Secret to his soccer game (match?) on Saturday, and Toney stayed home. She’d gone to the earlier game (match?) with the younger Secret, while I was still wallowing around in bed, moaning and screaming, “No, no, no, no, NO!!” Now it was my turn.

So I carried a camping chair with me and settled near what would be the fifty yard line in a more American sport. And within minutes a big slob planted his chair near mine, and slightly in front, blocking my view to the left. What the hell, man?!  It was literally wide-open spaces there. Why’d he have to sit near me?

Grrr… I got up and adjusted my position so I could see better, and thought I could smell a slight musty funk wafting off the guy. I chuckled as I thought of the way Phil Hendrie, would surely describe him: “300 lbs of donut oil.”

The kids started playing, but I couldn’t take my eyes off Fatty Arbuckle for some reason. He’d produced some big-ass scholarly book from God knows where (he wasn’t carrying a bag or anything), and was now reading it. And every once in a while he’d seem to notice other adults cheering and hollering, and doing the things you do at a soccer game (match?). Then he’d shake his head in apparent disgust.

Continue reading here  


September 21, 2007

Candid zoom-lens celebrity photos

-- A little over two weeks ago I started looking for a job again. I hadn’t planned on it, but I basically took the summer off from that horribleness. And now here I am, right back at it. Sigh.

Since Job Search 2.0 was launched, I’ve probably sent out twenty-five resumes, wasted time with a cigarette and bourbon-voiced “recruiter,” attended three so-called career fairs, and spoken to one actual human with hiring power on the telephone.

The human was very friendly and positive, and gave me hope. He called me, which is a miracle right there, and seemed to have truly spent time with my resume. He had nothing to offer at the moment, but said my experience is “very attractive,” etc. etc. He volunteered his name and number, and urged me to call him if I notice any pertinent job openings on their corporate website. And he seemed to mean it.

When it comes to this kind of thing, I’m not accustomed to friendly and positive. Therefore, I’m kinda skeptical. I don’t want to be, but am. Is that crazy?

Continue reading here  


September 20, 2007

Can you spot the filthy innuendos?

-- I just couldn’t do it yesterday. I took the younger Secret to school, returned home as normal, and was ready to get down to bitness with TheWVSR. But almost as soon as I flopped down here, I realized there wasn’t going to be a Wednesday update; my brain and central nervous system were conspiring against me. 

Experience has taught me not to fight such a feeling. It’s like when your body is craving fruits and vegetables – there‘s a reason. So I turned off my computer and walked away.

Occasionally I need a break from the internet, it’s as simple as that. I don’t live my entire life in front of a monitor, but sometimes it feels that way. Yesterday I was apparently at a point where it had become Too Much, and I heeded the warning.

Needless to say, I went straight to Waffle House. There I purchased a USA Today from the machine outside, took a seat at the “low bar,” and ordered breakfast. That was, as usual, scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns with cheese, toast, and sweet tea. I lingered over my food while reading the paper, and could feel the big clinched-fist of anxiety loosen with every passing moment.

Continue reading here  


September 18, 2007

Under no circumstances at all

-- More information on the “adaptation specialist” Toney’s sister hired to help her and her family come to terms with their recent relocation to Canada… 

Apparently she’s suffering from standard depression brought on by a move to a new country, and a different culture(?!). But Nanners is reportedly exhibiting symptoms of “re-entry anxiety,” in addition to the depression. This, the specialist says, is similar to a returning war veteran who, because of his experiences, now sees his country in a different light. Heh.

And how are they being instructed to combat the all-encompassing black, black sadness? That’s right, with green tea and yoga.

I clipped my fingernails earlier today, and am feeling slightly off because of it. Wonder if that woman does long-distance phone consultations? ‘Cause I think I need some help adjusting to my “new nail reality.”

Continue reading here  


September 17, 2007

Fledgling Laysan albatross Shed Bird

-- On Friday afternoon I learned that Greg Beck died. I didn’t know the man personally, but considered him to be a friend. He was an early supporter of TheWVSR, occasional commenter, and keeper of an online journal that could probably make even Joan Baez smile. 

We communicated via email a few times over the years, often about music, and I have nothing but positive thoughts about Greg; he seemed to be warm, funny, and kind. When I learned of his death last week, I felt almost sick to my stomach.   

And that’s all I know to say… My best wishes to his family and friends.

-- It’s full-on autumn up here in the Rolled-Sausage Belt. On Saturday, at the Secrets’ soccer games (matches?), people were decked-out in winter coats and knit caps, and sipping boiling-hot coffee from mitten-gripped cups. 

Just a couple of weeks ago it was so hot the goalie vomited, and a man sprang from his chair screaming, “Give him Gatorade immediately! Give the boy Gatorade!!” They had to abbreviate the quarters to five minutes each, because kids were literally getting sick from the heat, and at least one forward broke down in tears.

Continue reading here  


September 14, 2007

No, I don't believe I am ready

-- This Associated Press article, about West Virginia’s infamous Jack Whittaker, is on the front page of today’s Scranton Times. Whittaker, of course, is the winner of a gargantuan Powerball jackpot ($315 million!), and star of the ongoing real-life Aaron Spelling soap opera, Bumfuck 25880.    

Since winning the money it’s just been one scandal after another for Citizen Jack. There have been dead bodies, stolen suitcases full of cash, strip club banishments, fistfights, divorce, DUIs, lawsuits… It seemingly never stops. His name is almost literally in the local newspapers every day of the week.

A couple of years ago he bought a house directly across the street from some people I know, and kept one of his “female employees” there. He’d reportedly show up in the middle of the night and park his Hummer-of-the-week in the yard, right up against the front porch. This was presumably so he wouldn’t have to stumble so far to reach the front door, and get right to the, um, 3 am
dictation.

Continue reading here  




September 13, 2007

Do these come in a super-husky?

-- My big problem with the Time magazine 100 Best TV Shows of All-Time is, of course, the omission of The Andy Griffith Show. I mean, what in the tap-dancin’ crap?! Here are the greatest TV shows of all time:

1. The Andy Griffith Show
2. Seinfeld
…everything else

I think that guy was either purposely trying to create controversy and, in turn, web traffic, or he’s just some elitist Ivy League snob who’s far too sophisticated for Goober, Gomer, Barney and the gang.

In any case, who cares? It’s just a stoopid list. With an emphasis on stoopid. Right?!

But one more thing before I drop the subject (I’m trying to resist it, but the guy’s getting under my skin)… Soap was one of the most overrated TV shows in history. I hated it, even though the hipster newsletter said I was supposed to pretend otherwise. Here’s some rare video footage of me watching Soap in 1978.

The fact that it’s included by Time, says a lot, I think. Soap. Ha! That thing was about as funny as bladder cancer. Bladder cancer, I say!

Continue reading here  




September 12, 2007

The cold war is officially over

-- “Chinese food in Scranton ” is one discouraging (not to mention scary) phrase. Our current base of operations has plenty to offer when it comes to restaurants, especially if you like Italian or Polish, but one doesn’t usually associate northeastern Pennsylvania with Asian cooking. Ya know? It’s almost as frightening a concept as, say, “Chinese food in Charleston , WV .”

Shit, I just had a full-body shiver!

Defiant and ignorant, however, we were determined from day one to find a decent place for cashew chicken and egg rolls and whatnot. And it turned out to be a harrowing adventure. 

We visited many restaurants, and the gloop-factor was almost always high. And the chicken was usually slimy and the color of pewter. And the idea that what you’re eating was very likely on somebody else’s plate earlier in the day, or catching a Frisbee in its mouth at the park on Tuesday, was constantly in the back of your mind.

Continue reading here  


September 11, 2007

He's watching... always watching

-- Exhausted and dragging fat-ass, I crawled into bed last night before 9:30 and slept like Natalee Holloway. 

Yesterday was hot and sticky again, but while I was “writing” at a table in the young adult section of the library (the least-visited part of the building, it seems) the temperature must’ve plunged a full fifteen degrees. It was grotesque outside when I entered the joint, and it felt shockingly pleasant when I came out, two hours later. So we slept with the windows open last night, and that’s the best sleeping of all.

Since I hit the sack so early, I didn’t have time to prepare the site for today’s update. I try (and sometimes succeed) to have the Further Evidence link, the bunker pic, Charley West, and the permanent page ready to go the night before. But I didn’t do any of that yesterday.

So, this morning I came down here, turned on the latest Lindsey Buckingham CD, and started tending to the tasks at hand.

Continue reading here  




September 10, 2007

Stephen Hawking in Lego!

-- I’m thinking about selling our dog Andy in an internet auction. That hound is pissing me off, on a consistent basis. 

All weekend he did that staring crap, where he sits in front of you and shoots a laser beam, willing you to do his bidding. I’ve read several articles about border collies over the years, and their intense stare is almost always mentioned. And Andy’s got that shit down to a science.

I’ll be reading the paper and drinking coffee or whatever, and Black Lips Houlihan walks into the room and plops down at my feet. And he just looks at me, unmoving, for as long it takes. I resist as much as I can, but there’s no man alive who can withstand a fixed Andy-stare. The military should study it, they really should.

Usually he wants to go outside (again), so I cut loose with a loud “Grrrrrr…,” slam the newspaper down, and open the front door. Then he goes out there and stands, like he’s made of ceramic. He leads me to believe he’s about to explode in a spectacular supernova of pee, but does he pee? No, he does not. He just stands on the sidewalk with his snout in the air, like some elitist snob.

This morning I let him out as soon as I came downstairs, at 6:30
. I figured I’d just cut-out the middleman, and give him what he wants early. The staring is getting out of hand, and starting to put me in a bad mood. So I thought I’d take steps to limit it.

Continue reading here  




September 7, 2007

For your gums... or whatever

-- The house we’re in now might just be the quietest place I’ve ever lived. It’s very suburban and tranquil, and sometimes entire hours go by without a single car driving past our door. Sure, Half-Shirt sometime flies off the handle, and threatens to kill his entire family. But that’s a relatively rare occurrence... It’s very quiet here. 

I was thinking about it in the shower this morning (where much of my most valuable meditation takes place), and realized I’ve led a fairly noisy life. From childhood all the way to Scranton
, I’ve lived amongst clamor and commotion most of the time. And I don’t think I even realized it until today…

When I was in fifth grade our family moved from 21st Street
, to 17th Street . I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it was. Because, you see, my parents bought a house on the other side of the tracks.

My hometown of Dunbar
, WV is split almost exactly in half by railroad tracks. There’s the river side, where we lived during the 21st Street years, and the hill side, where we moved when I was ten or eleven. I knew nothing of the hill side, and didn’t want to know. The kids over there were a mystery to me, and the thought of going to their schools… well, it made me sick to my stomach.

Continue reading here  




September 6, 2007

Our second-ever caption contest

-- While I was driving the younger Secret to school this morning, we were blasting Dream Police by Cheap Trick. Or as a guy I used work with in Greensboro called them, The Cheap Trick.

This got me to thinking...

Dream Police was released in 1979, which was 28 years ago. The Secret is nine years old. So, when I was nine, in 1972, if my parents had rocked the popular music from 28 years earlier, it would’ve been from 1944. And according to this, Bing Crosby was the big deal that year.

And needless to say, this would’ve turned me into the laughing stock of Dunbar Elementary. I can just see me opening the door of the
Monte Carlo and Bing’s deep-ass boo boo boo rolling out, right in front of Timi Johnson and his “crew.” We probably would’ve had to leave the state. 

Is the Cheap Trick of 2007 the Bing Crosby of 1972? Somehow I doubt it. But what do you think? Am I doing irreparable harm to my kids by playing antique music from a different era?

Continue reading here 

   


September 5, 2007

Our second-ever caption contest

-- It’s the first day of school up here in the Upper Pierogi Belt, and Andy and I dropped the youngest youngling off at the back door of the indoctrination center, then purchased two breakfast burritos through a hole cut in the side of a McDonald’s. Just like we did every day last spring... 

It’s as if the summer never happened.

On Friday they posted the teacher/student information at all the local schools, and Toney and the boys went around and checked everything out. Both Secrets were pleased with what they learned; apparently they got the teachers they were hoping for, etc. etc. 

Toney seemed satisfied, as well. She knows all the players (teachers, aides, administrators, janitorial staff, the people who work on the copiers… I’m tellin’ you, she’s involved), their quirks and personalities, and I didn’t hear a single complaint from anyone. It was an amazing turn of events.

When we were playing basketball at the elementary school over the weekend, we went and checked the information again. The youngest Secret wanted to confirm which classes a few of his friends would be in, and I tagged along.

Continue reading here  




September 4, 2007

Review: Wendy's Baconator burger

-- Toney prodded my back fat before 6 am today, telling me to not only wake up but to also get up. Wha’? What’s going on?  Is there a fire? Is there A GREASE FIRE?!

She said, “The hell?” then went on to explain, in adrenalized tones, that there’s a mouse in the house.

A mouse?  Man, I didn’t like the sounds of that, not even a tiny bit.  When I was a kid a rat the size of a cocker spaniel got in through the dryer vent, and was rampaging from room to room like something out of Stephen King. 

My Dad eventually got it cornered and was spearing at it with the stick end of a broom.  And I watched in horror as it reared up on its hind legs, bared its yellow teeth, and hissed in defiance.  I’ve never been a fan of the yellow hissing... 

But from what Toney was saying, this was no rat.  It was reportedly just a small field mouse, “about the size of a walnut.”  That was the good news.  The bad news?  It was scampering around our family room, and, gulp, the bunker.

Continue reading here  



Google
WWW TheWVSR.com