Monday, May 31, 2010

In Which I Can't Help Myself

The Boss and I were at our second home the other day (the bookstore), and as is customary, we both went our separate ways. She went to what I call the Bloodsucker Section, while I went to see if there was anything new in the horror/fiction section. I exhausted the sections that I find interesting within about ten minutes, and then went to track down The Boss to see what she was up to.

I found her in the young adult area with a couple of different books in her hands, looking at the latest in a certain series. I don't find anything in the young adult section remotely interesting, but that's probably because I'm not a young adult. I let my eyes wander aimlessly around the various titles, and finally I found something that held my attention.

The Boss turned around to look at me when she heard me chuckle to myself. "What?"

I pointed. "Look. Woody's Big Dance."




The Boss sighed and rolled her eyes, which is a very common reaction that I get. Perhaps I'm not as mature as I should be all the time, but so what? I have a good time.

"Want me to show you Woody's Big Dance when we get home?" I asked, waggling my eyebrows.

"Uh, no." She turned her back, shaking her head.

Right above the shelf that held that particular toy was this lovely gem:




Now, I know that these are geared towards kids and are meant to be innocent and cute... but come on. Seriously. The phrase "Ride 'em Cowboy!" some rope, and some dude watching from the side? That could mean something entirely different to any slightly immature and dirty-minded individual (raise your hand if you fit that description). 

Coming from Disney, the folks who purportedly gave a Priest in The Little Mermaid a boner, it doesn't surprise me all that much. The marketing exec's probably got a good chuckle out of it themselves.

Happy Monday, folks.

P.S. Today is Memorial Day. Please take a moment to remember those who have died serving our country.

Friday, May 28, 2010

In Which I Back Away Slowly

On the morning of the second day that The Boss and I were camping, we had to stop in at the Ranger Station (corny name, I know, but it was a state park campground) to speak to them about our reservation. We had reserved the site for the night and wanted to make sure that they knew of it. They've fucked up our reservations in the past, so the trip up to the Station was well merited to make sure that we didn't get forcefully evicted later that afternoon.

While we were checking to make sure everything was squared away, another person pulled up to the Station. The car this guy was driving was in bad shape, even by backwoods Maine standards. There was more rust than there was paint, and there were enough dents covering it that I wondered if he'd been through a bad hail storm or if he used it to collect golf balls out at the driving range. The muffler blatted noisily, and poured dark grey smoke into the air. The door squeaked loudly as he opened it and got out.

This guy was a living, breathing stereotype for the country Maine demographic. He was in his late sixties (or so I presumed), balding, and was dressed to the nines in a pair of tattered jeans and a threadbare t-shirt. He held his jeans up with a pair of suspenders that looked like they might lose their grip at any moment, disappearing at his waistline under an ample beer belly. He smiled at us as he approached, displaying all six of his teeth in a jack-o-lantern grin.

While the Ranger we were speaking with was looking for our reservation paperwork, she mentioned that she had seen us the night before, huddling around our campfire. It had been cold and windy that night, so The Boss small-talked with her about that for a moment. The candidate for Mr Maine Redneck Of The Year sidled up closer to the counter and weaseled his way into the conversation.

"Say, do you kids need more firewood?" he asks The Boss and I. He's breathing like he just completed a marathon, which, in considering the distance from his car to the counter, probably wasn't too far off. 

"No, I think we've got enough to last us. We're only here for one more night," I said politely, trying to ignore the smell of his breath, which carried the remnants of cheap alcohol and morning breath. "Thanks, though."

"Ah, okay, then." He scratched absently at his stomach with grimy fingernails. I turn back to the Ranger and plead silently for her to hurry it up. I was starting to get a bad feeling about this guy. He had this... hungry look in his eyes that was unsettling. Like he was the kind of guy who'd make a detailed comment about killing someone and laugh at it like it was a joke.

"If you kids get cold, though, just come on up over to my place. It's just up the road a piece. It ain't much, but it's warm, and I've got the hardest, driest wood in town." He pronounced warm like it was missing a consonant, wa'am.

"Yeah?" I said.

"Oh, ayuh. Best damn wood in town."

That's what she said, I thought to myself. 

"I'll keep that in mind."

I turned to face The Boss and the Ranger, who looked like she was finally done with our reservation. The Boss looked at me, unaware of the conversation that I was having with this guy.

"All set?" I asked.

"All set!" The Ranger replied. "Enjoy your stay!"

I grabbed The Boss' hand and walked away. 

"Don't forget about my offer!" the man cried out as we walked away. "Best damn wood in town!"

The Boss turned to say something to him, but I pulled her away and opened her car door for her. She was quiet for a few minutes as I drove away from the Station.

"What was that all about?"

"That guy was just plain creepy," I said. "Offered for us to come up to his house if we got cold at night."

"Uh, yeah... okay. That is creepy," The Boss agreed. "And did you see the knife sheath on his belt?"

"Yeah. I did. If we stayed any longer, I think he would have turned us into lampshades."

Just goes to prove that rural Maine isn't for the light of heart or the overly trusting. You just never know what kind of crazies you'll meet.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

In Which I Am Glad To Be Home

The Boss and I got back from our camping weekend yesterday morning. It was a good and well-deserved break from the constant routine of working and responsibility, but it was over much too quickly. Despite our sunburns (mine isn't too bad, but The Boss looks like she got into a fight with a tanning bed), the weather could not have been more perfect. We're going to try to get another weekend of camping in before the summer ends, that is if the summer months don't blaze past us like they normally do.

As much as I enjoy camping, I do look forward to getting back home. I enjoy sleeping on a cushy mattress instead of on the ground with a rock or a tree root jabbing me in the back. I enjoy taking a shower and having control over the temperature. I enjoy sitting down to relax and not having to worry about slapping bugs off my legs and arms. Camping is a lot of work and involves some discomfort here or there, but there are plenty of things that make it worth it.

Like seeing the sun rise and burn off the mist that hugs the still lake water in the morning, or watching the sunset over the mountains and set fire to the clouds. Like letting the sound of the spring peepers and the rush of small waves breaking on the beach lull you to sleep, or sitting down at the campfire and watching the most primitive and basic exchange of energy occur in front of you. Like leaving the computers at home and turning off the cellphones and just enjoying a few days where there are no schedules, no deadlines, no requirements.

One of the things The Boss and I did to pass the time was play Six Degrees of Separation. I'm sure you've all heard of this idea before, but The Boss and I play a slightly different version of it. We play it with actors or actresses in movies, and try to stump and challenge each other by coming up with two actors you'd likely never see in a movie together.

Like Jack Nicholson to Viggo Mortenson in six steps. Or Carrie Fisher to Mos Def in four steps. Keifer Sutherland to Michael Caine in two steps. Matthew McConaughey to Ricky Gervais in two steps. Rosario Dawson to Laura Linney in five steps.

This is a game that The Boss doesn't like to lose at, so we played this game for a couple hours both Sunday and Monday. It probably looked odd to our neighbors around the campground, seeing the both of us just sitting there, not talking, staring off into the trees or out at the lake, deep in thought. To some, spending a few hours like that probably doesn't sound like fun, but it is. If you are a movie buff, give it a try.

I've got a few stories to share about this past weekend, but I'm going to save them for Friday's post. This post is long enough as it is. 

It's good to be back, people.

Monday, May 24, 2010

In Which I Hate Camping

As I mentioned last week, I'm off camping for a few nights with The Boss. I'll be back later this week with my regular posting fare, but for today we've got a guest post from Logical Libby. She's a good blog-friend of mine, and has a no-nonsense style that is quite appealing. Enjoy!

---

So, the Badass Geek is camping.

I am not a fan of camping. Wait, no, scratch that.

I do not like camping. Hmm, yeah, that still doesn’t cut it.

Okay, I got it… I hate camping with a white hot intensity that burns like the sun. Perfect. That sums it up exactly.

It isn’t that I don’t love the outdoors. I do. I love the mountains, and the desert; the trees and the rivers; the flowers and the gentle, big eyed woodland creatures. I love it all. I just love leaving it all at the end of a long day, going back to a hotel room and having a hot bath and room service.

It isn’t that I haven’t tried camping. I was born and raised in Utah. They love camping here. When I was a kid, there were school camping trips. When I was a teen, people wanted to go camping to get drunk, instead of just going to house where the parents were out of town like civilized hooligans. Everyone in my current circle of friends has stories about “relaxing camping trips,” or “romantic camping trips.” I’m sorry, but there is nothing relaxing about having to put up and take down a tent that is usually covered in mud or sand; or having to cook food over a fire that will almost certainly burn it or undercook it. Oh, and sex in a tent doesn’t scream “romance” to me. It screams “yeast infection.”

My husband LOVES to camp. He loves it so much, in fact, that one two occasions in the past ten years I have allowed myself to be dragged into the wilderness. On both occasions I insisted that we “car camp” meaning that we never had to carry anything further than ten feet, that we could pack way more stuff than we needed “just in case,” and that we could always drive quickly to a hotel in case I started to freak out. Both times I struggled to keep my panic level to a minimum as I tried to figure out how to keep the garbage all in one place, how to sort what we had used from what we hadn’t, and what we had worn from what we hadn’t; and exactly how to keep the dirt from getting into my shoes and between my toes. I hate dirt in my shoes. It was a constant battle and I went to sleep every night exhausted. Then I would wake every twenty minutes throughout the night because the sleeping bag had shifted, or the air mattress was deflating, or I thought I heard Bigfoot. By the end of both trips I just wanted to go home, take a Silkwood shower, and go to bed. And at the end of both trips my husband exclaimed how much fun he had had, and suggested that next time we go backpacking.

Not on his life. I love him, but even love has its limits. Maybe when she’s a bit older he can talk our daughter into going, telling her what a “fun adventure” they’ll have.

He just better hope I don’t get to her first.

---

Happy Monday, folks.

Friday, May 21, 2010

In Which I'm Slightly Turned On

I don't know how we got on the subject, but The Boss and I were talking about the story of Goldilocks and of Little Red Riding Hood. I had somehow confused the two, and my addled brain had made some messed up version that combined the two of them together. As usual, The Boss was quick to correct me, but not before the wheels of my imagination started turning.

"Do you ever think about what it'd be like if childhood stories or fairy tales were turned into pornos?" I asked her after a moment or two of careful thought.

"You know, Mike, I haven't. I take it you have?" She sounded none too surprised. 

"Just now, yes, and I think it'd be awesome," I admitted. "But only certain stories would work."

"Yeah?" she said. I could tell she was just humoring me now, but I continued anyways. I had invested too much time into mapping it out in my mind to not share it.

"Yeah. I can picture it now..."

---

SCENE: A small rustic cabin sits in a secluded part of the forest, tendrils of smoke curling out from the chimney. We see a tall, slender woman approaching on foot, wearing a red satin shawl draped over her head and shoulders, and six-inch stilettos. She is all legs, and more than likely is surgically enchanted in her chesticular region. She approaches the front door of the cabin and knocks gently.

"Hello?" a sultry female voice calls out from behind the door. "Who is it?"

"It's Little Red Riding Hood," the woman in the red shawl says. She pulls the hood off of her head to reveal a pretty face framed by thick brunette hair. She's attractive, but you can tell she's been around the block a few times. "I've come to visit."

The door opens slowly, and we see Goldilocks. She's wearing a short, blue, low-cut dress, her long blonde hair pulled back into pigtails. "How unexpected! Come in, Red Riding Hood! Come in!"

She enters the cabin, and we see the interior is decorated like the houses of just about every porno ever made: Too many couches, thick carpeting, and large, barren tables. There's a fire crackling warmly in the fireplace, and a blanket laid out on the floor in front of it. 

Red Riding Hood turns to face Goldilocks, who is standing with her back against the door, twirling a strand of hair around her finger.

"Can I take your coat?" she asks, extending her hand. 

"Sure," Red Riding Hood says, and slowly removes her red satin shawl. Not surprisingly, the rest of what she's wearing barely qualifies as clothing, at least by traditional standards. Goldilocks steps forward, leaning in close to Red, and takes the shawl from her. Their lips almost touch, teasing. She sets the shawl down on a nearby counter top. 

"My, what big eyes you have!" Red Riding Hood says in awe.

"All the better to see you with," Goldilocks replies. She's embracing Red now, running her hands over her shoulders and near her backside. 

"And my!" Red exclaims again, "what big lips you have!"

"All the better to kiss you with."

They finally kiss, and embrace each other tightly. They stumble into the open living room and make their way to one of the couches, never once letting go of each other. Their hands are all over, roaming, searching. Finally, they break apart. Red puts her hands on Goldilocks' shoulders and holds her away for a moment. 

"And my! What a big... tongue you have!" she says in a breathless whisper. 

Goldilocks leans in to whisper in Red's ear. Her hands work busily on the zipper on the back of her dress. 

"All the better to..."

---

"Mike? Earth to Mike. Mike!"

"Huh? What?" I mumble, startled out of my daydream.

"You disappeared there for a minute. You were saying something about make-believe pornos?"

"Oh, yeah," I said quickly. "Nevermind."

"Oh, come on!" she said, chastising me. "I want to hear it!"

"No, it was a stupid thought. Forget I said anything about it."

I didn't really think it was a stupid idea. I dismissed the idea to The Boss because I was simply saving it for myself.  Some things are better left to the imagination. Besides, it probably already exists somewhere. I highly doubt that I'm the first person to think of how awesome that would be. 

Have a good weekend, everyone. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

In Which I Pick

Just a quick post today to announce the lucky son-of-a-gun who gets to guest post here this coming Monday, all thanks to the incredibly smart, kick-ass algorithms at Random.org. There were a total of 7 comments on yesterday's post from people who wanted a shot at guest posting, and when entering the sequence from 1 to 7, I got the following result:




Congratulations, Logical Libby! Start brainstorming for your guest post (cute kittens or clown porn would be okay, I suppose), and shoot me an e-mail when you've got it all done.

For those who didn't make the cut, don't be disappointed. I have some vacation time later this summer, and I'll be looking for some guest posters then, too.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

In Which I Go Camping

The Boss and I are going camping this weekend. We both had some vacation time to use, and with a majority of the Summer and early Fall already blocked off or taken, we decided that going early would have to do. The campground we go to shouldn't be crowded (with the start of Tourist season being the following weekend), so we're both looking forward to a relaxing long weekend in the woods.

We always go to this one campground, one that we've stayed at many times over the years, starting back when we were still dating. We've been there enough times to have our favorite spot, and a suitable back-up should the one we like be reserved already. This campground is the spot where many memories have been made, including where The Boss and I spent our honeymoon.

It's also the spot where I took one of my favorite pictures. It was of this amazing and awe-inspiring sunset, the most beautiful I had ever seen (and will likely ever see again). The Boss and I stood there watching the sunset for the better part of a half hour, witnessing the following:




If there ever was a moment where I was truly at a complete loss for words, it was then. There really are no words to accurately describe that sunset even now, which is why I am grateful to have been there and to have had enough battery power left in my camera to remember it by.

With this mini-vacation on the horizon, I've been thinking about what I was going to do with my blog while I'm gone. Day Two of my camping trip falls on a Monday, which is one of the days that I usually have a new post up. Normally when I'm not going to be around for a day or so I just schedule a post ahead of time, but I think I want to do something different this time around... Something I haven't done too often around here, and definitely not recently.

Who wants to guest post?

That's right, folks. I'm opening up the doors and laying out the welcome mat for one lucky person to write a guest post that will go up on my blog and be featured this coming Monday morning the 24th. If you want a shot at guest posting here, just leave a comment on this entry stating yes or no. I'll use Random.org to pick a winner, and will announce it on Thursday*. 

As I'm sure you'll be curious to know, there is no required subject for this guest post. You can write about anything you'd like, although my only request is that you steer clear of religion or politics. Those tend to be hot topics, and I don't want to come back from vacation having to negotiate peace in the comments section. 

So what do you think? You game?

Good luck!

* To make sure I have enough time to get the post scheduled and up on the site, the winner would have to send me their guest post no later than midnight on the 22nd. Please consider this when entering.

Monday, May 17, 2010

In Which I Don't Know Why I Thought Of This

If you were to ask me how, exactly, I came up with the idea for this post, I would not be able to give you a good explanation. It wasn't some brilliant thought that came to me in the shower. It wasn't an epiphany I had while driving to work. It wasn't anything that came to me in my sleep. It's just one of those weird things that I, for some unknown reason, thought about at random, and that's the best way I can justify this post.

I was sitting at work one day recently, waiting for my next call to come in. On this particular day the call center was pretty warm and the air circulating around was stale and dry. Being a pretty big guy and prone to sweating this made me a bit uncomfortable, so I started thinking of cooler things. Like a glass of ice water, a crystal-clear swimming pool, summer rain... the kind of things a man stranded in the desert would think of. My mind eventually wound its way to ice cream (of course), and that's when it hit me.

If celebrities were ice cream, what type or flavor would they be?

Yes, you read that right. That got the ol' wheels turning, and throughout the rest of my shift I wrote down some notes about a few celebrity/ice cream combinations. And today, for your viewing pleasure, here is the result of my somewhat twisted, extremely random yet somehow fitting brainchild.



Michael Jackson / Chocolate and Vanilla Swirl



 


Is he black? Is he white? Is it chocolate, or is it vanilla? Your guess is as good as mine, but I think the general consensus is that it's the perfect combination of both.



Joan Rivers / Freezer-Burned Ice Cream



 


Remember that carton of ice cream that's been sitting in the back of your freezer since 1998? The one that has layers of ice crystals and some sort of gelatinous funk all over it? Yeah. No matter what kind of extreme measures you take, it's still not going to be edible ever again.



Perez Hilton / Rainbow Sherbet



 


I don't think I need to explain this one.



Justin Beiber / Bubble Gum Ice Cream



 


Have you ever heard people raving about this certain type of ice cream? You tell yourself that you don't need to try it, that your old standbys do the job just fine. And then you break down and try it, thinking it could do no harm... Come to find out that the ice cream is so sweet and so full of sugary bullshit that you wanted to throw it in the trash before you even finished one bite? By then it's too late, and it's left a bad taste in your mouth that hangs around for days. Screw you, Justin Beiber.



Sylvester Stallone (Rocky) / Rocky Road



 


I couldn't resist this one. I mean, seriously. If I had left it out, I'd be chastised for it.

So there you have it, the product of my strange and impossibly unexplainable imagination. Can you think of any celebrity ice cream combinations that I left out?

Happy Monday, folks.

Friday, May 14, 2010

In Which I Am Immature

Back when I was a senior in high school, I played on the varsity basketball team's Pep Band. There wasn't a whole lot of talent spread out among us, which I suppose could also have been said about the basketball team, too. What we lacked in talent, though, we made up for in enthusiasm, and we managed to come off sounding halfway decent when we put our minds to it. Come to find out, so did our basketball team. By mid-season they were proving themselves to be a force to be reckoned with, and earned a spot in the divisional championships to compete for the state title. Having become an integral part of the home games, they invited the Pep Band to come with them to the divisional championship games to cheer them on.

My fellow band members and I were psyched about this. Sure, we had the standard amount of team spirit (being on the Pep Band and all), but our excitement came not from our desire to see our basketball team get first place, but because of the fact that competing in the regional competitions meant one thing:

Field trip.

When the regional games came up, we all piled onto the bus and drove down to the Civic Center about an hour away. In addition to getting the chance to play for a much larger crowd, going on this field trip was a chance to goof off and horse around and generally act younger than your age. It had all the elements of a quintessential high school memory (well, for a band geek, anyways), and even though our school lost in the first round, we still had a blast.

During a period of downtime before the game started, I went off in search of the bathroom. I had consumed way more soda than my bladder could hold, and if I didn't make water soon I was going to be sporting a not-so-fashionable dark stain on the crotch of my jeans. I found the Men's Room and took care of business without any issue. 

While I was at the sink washing up, a trio of younger boys walked in. They were horsing around and being loud, shoving each other into the walls and having a good time as young boys are wont to do. They ignored me, which was more than fine. I shook my hands off in the sink and went to the air dryer to dry my hands. I used my elbow to turn on the blower, and put my hands underneath. 

Suddenly, a loud, wet, farting sound echoed through the bathroom.

I froze.

Was that me? I wondered to myself. I didn't feel anything.

The sound of flatulence had caused immediate silence from the boys, who I could see in the mirror, standing at the urinals. They looked at each other over the partitions, eyes wide. 

"Dude! That was gross!" one of them said.

"It wasn't me, I swear!" the one in the middle protested.

"Well it sure as hell wasn't me," the last one added in. "I kinda wish it was, though."

The first one zipped up and flushed. Walking away from the urinal, he sniffed at the air.

"Doesn't smell too bad."

Just then, another slippery, wet fart ripped through the relative quiet, rising over the roar of the air dryer with ease. It clearly came from my direction, and my face flushed deep red. I could feel three sets of eyes come to rest on me. I knew it wasn't me that was farting, but I also knew it wouldn't do any good to deny anything. All of the other stalls in the bathroom were empty, and there was no one else in the bathroom but me.

"Holy shit, man," the second kid said. "You feelin' alright?"

"It wasn't me, either," I started to say, but I got interrupted by another break of wind. This time, though, I felt something. Not in my ass, but on my hands. I looked down, and a lightbulb clicked on in my head.

"Yeah, okay," the third kid said, starting to laugh a bit.

"No, seriously!" I protested. "It's the air dryer, I swear. Look!"

I stood out of the way, and demonstrated how holding my wet hands out with the heels of my palms together but barely touching under the forceful rush of air from the dryer caused the sound of a fart. I made the sound a couple times, and with a few seconds of practice found I could even change the pitch of it.

In that moment, I was a God to those three boys.

They immediately went to the sink to wash their hands, and then tried their hand at making the air dryer farts. In as few as thirty seconds they mastered the art of fart-making, and pretty soon it was like break time at a baked bean factory, minus the smell and the methane gas.

I eventually had to leave and return to the bandstand to play, although I probably could have stayed in there for the duration of the game and continued to make fart sounds. Few things are as funny as farts when you're a teenage boy, and neither I nor the three boys could keep from laughing.

When I think back about some of the things I did in high school, as stupid as this memory is, its one of my favorites. Sometimes it feels good to let go and act less then your age, to be silly for the sake of being silly.

Do any of you have a similar immature (but fond) memory?

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

In Which I See The Resemblance

Thanks to an upset stomach, I played hooky from work on Monday. Missing work due to illness is something that happens very infrequently (short of last Fall's allergy fiasco), but with a volatile-feeling stomach I figured that it'd be better for both myself and my co-workers that I fight through Colon War 2010 on home territory than on enemy ground.

So there I was, sitting on the couch and watching TV and remarking to myself about how much daytime television really sucks when the pithy banter between the morning show hosts gets interrupted by a CBS News graphic and an announcer stating in a non-confrontational baritone voice that This is a CBS News Special Report. I immediately think that something horrible has happened, that there has been a terrorist attack or something. The graphic fades away to a shot of Katie Couric at the news desk sporting what looks to be like a prime example of what Bed Head looks like.

She goes on to say that they are interrupting the regularly scheduled program to announce that President Obama is about to officially give his nomination for the person to replace Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. There is some more political blah blah blah for a few minutes, and then the camera pans up to the podium where President Obama, Vice President Biden, and the nominee for the soon-to-be vacant Supreme Court are standing.

The President begins speaking, but I tune him out. I'm too distracted by the person standing to his left.

"Who is that?" I ask The Boss, who is sitting next to me.

"I have no idea," she admits. We both fall silent as we listen to Obama speak a bit more. A few minutes pass.

"Holy Shit, is that Jon Lovitz?"

"What? Where?" The Boss asks.

"The person Obama is nominating for the Supreme Court. She looks like Jon Lovitz."


   


Holy crap, people. They could be related.

Maybe if Elena Kagan doesn't work out, they can just switch her with Jon Lovitz instead. They both have no judicial experience, and aside from an in-depth knowledge of the law, I don't think anyone would really notice the difference.

P.S. Ms Kagan, I'm only kidding. I'm sure you'd make a much better judge than Mr Lovitz.

---

Based upon interest from my post on Friday last week, The Boss has completed some more of her handmade felt animals and has listed them on Etsy. To view her collection, visit her store, The Grateful Threads.

Monday, May 10, 2010

In Which I Think About Stuff

Whenever I spend long stretches of time in the car (much like I did yesterday, covering 157 miles of pothole-ridden Maine roads to visit both my mother and my mother-in-law for Mother's Day), I tend to think about things. I'll consider the standard routine of thought subjects for a few moments, like work things or relationship things or financial things, but then I'll get to thinking about other stuff. 

Strange stuff. 

After turning the thought over in my mind for a minute or two, I'll share my thought with The Boss. I'm sure there are times when she'd wish I'd keep my thoughts to myself and spare her the enlightenment, but it's one of my joys in life (even with the look that she gives me afterwards that says "I wish I had known this man was crazy before I said 'I do.'").

For example:

"Do you ever think about just how cool bark is? Like tree bark? It's like skin, but for trees."

"Do you ever think about how fucking scary it would be to be like a raccoon or a squirrel or some other small animal, just minding its own business crossing the road, trying to get to some better grub on the other side, and then all of a sudden they look up to see this huge-ass car comes up and squashes it? Do you think they have a moment to think to themselves, 'This is probably going to hurt,' before they become roadkill?"

"Do you ever think about how the gravitational pull in the right-hand lane on the highway must be stronger than the gravitational pull in the left-hand lane?"

Every single time I ask The Boss if she has ever thought about something that I recently just happened upon, she always responds in the same manner: "No, Mike, I haven't." Sure, I may think about some strange things from time to time, but it helps to keep my mind occupied while I look at so many miles of unwinding asphalt and yellow lines.

What kind of odd things do you think of?

Happy Monday, folks.

Friday, May 7, 2010

In Which It Might Not Be The Best Idea

For the past year and a half or so, The Boss has been dabbling around with various craft projects. Prior to this she had no real hobby to speak of, so I encouraged her to test things out and find out what she enjoyed doing the most. So far she's tried out painting, beading, jewelry making, doll making, and embroidery. She's amassed an impressive amount of supplies and materials during this time, and despite the fact that her supplies are gradually taking over our small apartment, I'm glad she has something that she enjoys doing that she can do by herself. It gives me the freedom to work on other projects I have going on, and to write the posts that I share here on a weekly basis. 

Through all the various things that she's tried out, the project she's working on right now seems to be holding her attention more than anything else. Lately she's been focusing on making these little stuffed animals, namely bears and bunnies. They're made out of felt and they are all hand-stitched. Here's an example:



Since she started making these about three months ago, she's been trying to come up with a name for them. She wants to try to market them and sell them at local craft fairs, or on Etsy. She came to me to help, and I've been brainstorming like crazy to come up with something. Most of them have little pockets on their stomachs that you could put things in, so at first the tentative name was Pocket Pals. That moniker eventually fell by the wayside because it sounds really corny, and there is a company that already exists with that name.

She wants to come up with a decent name for them before trying to list them for sale anywhere, but both she and I are drawing a blank. The best name I've been able to come up as an alternative?

Stitch Bitches.

What do you think? A million-dollar idea, right?

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

In Which I Edit, Undo

Wouldn't it be nice if Life came with an Edit / Undo option? Where you could immediately take back the last thing you said or did and have another chance to make a better, more educated decision? How many relationships could be saved by this? How many arguments would instantly dissipate without any hurt feelings? More importantly, how many times could I save myself from saying something incredibly stupid?

Case and point: An interaction between The Boss and I this past Sunday evening.

It was almost eight o'clock, and despite the fact that the sun had gone down it was still stifling hot in our apartment. The windows were open to exchange the stale air for some reasonably cool, fresh air, but still the thermostat read 75 degrees. Such is life in a third-floor apartment, with geriatric neighbors on both floors below you who leave their heat on year-round.

We had been out all day, driving around and enjoying the nice weather. Dinner consisted of grilled hamburgers and potatoes, and after all the dishes had been cleared away we watched some TV. It seemed to get hotter the longer we stayed inside, the fans we had aimed at us doing nothing but push more warm air around. I soon reached my breaking point.

"Want to go out for ice cream?" I asked.

"I thought you've never ask," The Boss immediately replied. 

We both got up, and while all I had to do was pull on my shoes, The Boss headed straight for the bathroom to fix her hair. I groaned inwardly and sat down at the kitchen table to wait, not understanding why she felt the need to fix her hair. 

(Don't get me wrong, I understood why she was fixing her hair, but it still didn't make sense to me. Any guy will understand where I'm coming from. We're going out to get ice cream, not to visit the President or anything. Besides, the best place in town for ice cream is in a pretty trashy neighborhood, so that right there lowers the standards for how one looks. Something to cover the top, and something to cover the bottom. Done.)

After a few minutes of waiting patiently, I got up and went to the bathroom door. It was open, so I stood in the doorway, trying my best to look innocently impatient (again, any guy will know what I mean by that). 

"I'm almost done," she said, mumbling around a bobby pin she held between her lips.

"Your hair looked fine the way it was," I said. 

"No, it didn't," she replied defensively, "Besides, I just wanted to freshen it up."

"Alright," I sighed. I walked back into the kitchen and leaned against the counter.

"Two minutes, I promise. Not even. One minute!" she promised. 

"It doesn't matter what your hair looks like," I said, jingling my car keys in one hand, knowing full well the argument but deciding still to continue. "It's going to be dark out for one, and it's a trashy neighborhood. You're probably going to be the best looking woman there."

(Can I get a collective wince?)

There was a pause. The kitchen echoed with the words I just said, yet no lightbulb.

"What did you say?" The Boss asked, finally emerging from the bathroom. 

"I said you're probably..."

Que lightbulb. 

I quickly started over before I started losing ground. "I said you're going to be the best looking woman there."

"That's what I thought you said," she said with a smart smile.

At long last we left the apartment and stepped out into the cool night air to get ice cream, both of us knowing that I got away with that one by the skin of my teeth.

Monday, May 3, 2010

In Which It Could Go Either Way

Walking back to the car after picking up some groceries the other night, an odd vanity license plate caught my eye. I stopped to take a longer look at it.

"What is it?" The Boss asked, having walked ahead not realizing I had stopped.

"Nothing... Just this custom license plate. I can't figure out what it says."

She walked back up to where I stood to see it.

"Huh," she said, puzzled.

"I mean, I know what it says, but it's still kind of ambiguous."




"Right. Is it supposed to be 'Go Turbo'?" she asked.

"Got Urbo?" I suggested.

The world may never know.

What kind of ambiguous license plates have you seen?

Happy Monday, folks.