Sunday, December 25, 2011

Medium Whoop.

Merry Christmas.

This morning at about quarter to nine I got up, threw on some clothes and headed to church. See, there is a big old church near our house, and I've been wanting to see the inside of it because I like big old churches with stained glass and nice ceilings and all that shit, and the one time that I went to church there (while my parents were visiting a year or two ago), they had mass in some, like, conference room or church annex or something like that, probably because there aren't enough parishners to have church every week in the big church or something like that. So anyway, I figured the other day that they might have a Christmas service in the big church, and if I was awake and motivated I might check it out. So I did. And it only took like 2 minutes to get there, which was pretty awesome, and they sure enough were having mass in the big church. So I got to check it out, and it is nice and big and old and pretty, and I stayed for half the mass and then I jetted out. Don't worry, I said prayers for all of you fucking pagans out there.

And then I came home and fixed a delicious egg and bacon and biscuit breakfast for me and the J-Dog, which we ate at the left-over candlelit table from last night. This, by the way, is what our candlelit dinner from last night looked like:

And then after breakfast the Jeanners and I headed over to Robert E. Lee park for an outdoor stroll, and then came home and took a nap, and then ate dinner, and then worked on our kitchen floor. I'd say it was a pretty damned good Christmas.

Oh, and my brother-in-law, Jake, gave me some Superman underwear for Christmas. Sort of like adult underoos, with the S-symbol right on my junk.

Tomorrow: back to work.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Take This Job and Do You-Know-What With It

Ugh. Christmas shopping season 2011 is now officially over. At least where I work. It's been a crazy week. Made more crazy by the fact that our store was not adequately prepared and my boss kept stealing people out of my department (which was at least partially adequately prepared) to use elsewhere in the store. This morning I blew up at him in a not-nice way. He later called me back into the office to let me know that he appreciated that I stick up for my department but that I let him know about it in a less than respectful manner. That is probably true. But still, quit stealing my fucking people.

I got a call from the doctor's office yesterday that my x-ray looks normal. So at least I probably don't have lung cancer.

Anyway, aside from all the bitching about the job, I'm thankful that I at least have a job, and that I don't have to work in a dangerous or uncomfortable environment, and that I have decent insurance, and that I haven't had to like move to another state or anything for work. And when I got home from work today the J-Dog was in the process of cooking a delicious chicken dinner with roasted vegetables, and had set up a beautiful, candlelit table in what one day may very well be a dining room, and had a table cloth and everything, and had Christmas tunes playing (which I very politely and gently asked if we might switch to something else). And now we're just waiting for the chicken to finish cooking, and I am taking a long overdue poop, and typing this blog post.

Tomorrow I would like to:
1. Sleep in.
2. Give myself a haircut.
3. Go outside somewhere, if it's a nice day.
4. Maybe put up a door?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

XXX-ray vision

I have had a bit of a cough for the last 2.5 months. So Monday I went to the doctor. And she asked me questions and listened to my breathing and stuff. And she said that it doesn't sound like anything super terrible is going on, but she told me to go get a chest x-ray and gave me a prescription for an inhaler that will help my bronchial tubes not constrict if for some reason my bronchial tubes are constricted. Constricting. One of the two. So yesterday on my pseudo day off work I went and got a chest x-ray. Which I had never done before. It was neither fun nor not fun. Also: using an inhaler makes me feel like Sean Astin in The Goonies.

Work has been pretty bad some days and not too bad other days. Today was not too bad. They have ok'd managers going overtime this week, so I'll probably work somewhere between 50 and 60 hours, but I don't care cause I'll be making time and a half. And that should pay for a lot of homemade sausage gravy.

J-Dog and I went to her work Christmas party last night. It was relatively uneventful. She won the "Richard Gere" award for being smooth under pressure. And as a result she had to wear a life-sized picture of RG's head around her neck for a good portion of the evening.

We bought a new camera which arrived yesterday. We took our picture to test it out, and this is what we look like:

The neck beard is coming in nicely, thank you very much.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

+ gravy

So much has happened, so much has happened.

Last weekend, a bunch of people (I think like 10 or 12 total) from Jeannie's work came over and helped us work on shit at our house. And since they are all from Habitat, they were all pretty skilled. So they were able to get a lot done in one day, probably stuff that would've taken Jeannie and I a week or two to do by ourselves. So that was pretty awesome.

And then Sunday night, Jeannie's brother Jake came in for a visit and stayed with us until yesterday (Saturday) morning. He spent much of his time here up n our roof, helping us put some new shingles on a section of the roof that's been leaking. So hopefully that's been taken care of. He also helped with some floor framing and electrical work, too.

And, perhaps most importantly, he helped me take my biscuit game to the next level. He taught me how to make homemade sausage gravy. It's deceptively simple. I think that this will probably change my life in a big way.

Thanks, Jake!

In other news, today at work was pretty crazy busy. My feet hurt. I'm tired. I'm tired of people. I need a couple days of peace and quiet. Wish I didn't have to go back tomorrow.

Next up: read through the blog to find out when I last served on jury duty to see if I can get out of the new jury duty summons that I got in the mail the other day. Shouldn't have to go if I've served within the last 365 days. And by 'served', I mean 'sat in a room and watched The Pursuit of Happyness.'

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Ultrasound (Light My Way)

I'm a bit worn out this morning. Had the day mostly off from work yesterday, and spent it prying up layers of flooring, underlayment, and adhesive off of the kitchen floor. It was a bit tough on the knees, back, and hands. Today I go into work in the afternoon, so I'm taking Jeannie's advice and having a relaxing morning. As soon as I'm done writing this, I'm gonna start on a tasty breakfast and listen to some car talk.

Monday morning we had an ultrasound appointment, where we got to see the little bambino. Everything looked good. I was expecting to be not very impressed or moved by the ultrasound, but I gotta say that seeing the little bugger moving around was pretty cool.

Just took a break from writing to go up into the attic and do some leak checking.

What else? Been catching mice, been watching CHEERS, been listening to the CD's I bought last week. I remember when I first bought Wilco's Summerteeth many years ago I didn't like it. Probably cause it didn't sound like AM, and I ended up giving it to Sean or selling it or something. Anyway, this time around I am totally in love with it. I guess things just have to hit you at the right time.

The other day Jeannie was trying to say "a bag of fake vomit," but instead she said, "a bake of fag vomit."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jewdy Blewm (or The Potato, the Ladle, and the Hammer.)

Whew! I'm takin' a break! Just did a little painting on the ceiling in a closet. Good times. I'm going to take a dinner break (the Jeanners has given me permission to get Chinese food. She's at a dinner for work.) and then I hope to get a ceiling fan installed before it's time to turn in for the night. I have a day off tomorrow (planning on starting to clean out the attic) and I am very much looking forward to it. I stopped by Joe's (Trader) on the way home from work and picked up some biscuits and bacon in preparation for it. My day off. When we were in St. Louis at the beginning of November, I was having bacon every morning at Jeannie's folks' house and I have once again ignited the flame of my love for the stuff. And then the other day I had a little bacon and egg on a biscuit and damn if it wasn't like the best day of my life.

The other day at work I bought a bunch of stuff (it's the time of year when we get an extra 10% added to our employee discount), including but not limited to:
1. a french press
2. the second in a series of five Bloom County books. I already have volume one and three. When I have all five I will have the entirety of the comic strip Bloom County. Bloom County is one of my top 7 or 8 favorite pieces of art in the whole world.
3. Many CD's, including (but not limited to): Tom Petty, Sam & Dave, Wilco, Dione Warwick, Andy Williams, Sonic Youth. Oh, also Rosemary Clooney.

I'm getting a little light headed from the paint fumes in this room. Don't worry, I won't let Jeannie come in here when she gets home. Maybe I'm just hungry.

I've had a cough for about 2 months now. Some days it's better and some days it's worse. Now that I mention it, though, I haven't really been coughing very much today. When I watch Breaking Bad, it makes me think I have cancer. I probably don't have cancer, though. Knock, knock.

That's all I got for now. I need to go call the Chinese people. It's the place that Jeannie got food poisoning from when we last ate there. Fates be damned!

Friday, November 25, 2011

You Can Stop Blaming BJ Now

BJ finally called me back. Which means I was able to tell him the news. And I heard back from Spiff, which means that he has heard the news. So now that most of the people that I needed to tell the news to have heard the news, I guess I can post the news on the blog. The Jeanners and I are expecting a baby in April. I think that everybody who reads the blog already knows, so it's not that much of a revelation, but I think it's more of like a place marker in the life of the blog. It has been weird to know for a few months and not tell other people, including our family and closest friends, and just keep it to ourselves.

Anyway, it's getting late. The Jeanners is pretty much asleep next to me on the couch. Black Friday was today. Not a big deal. Another Black Friday on the books. Work felt annoying all night long, even though it wasn't particularly annoying.

For Thanksgiving we headed up to Katie's farmhouse outside of Gettysburg. Spent a lovely day taking a hike, cooking up tasty grub, playing games, and listening to music. Really relaxing, really wonderful day spent with a good friend.

That's all I've got for now. Work tomorrow morning, so we should hit the hay.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blame BJ

I haven't been keeping up with the blogging. I think it might be because I might be working more hours at work during the week, thus leaving less time to do things at home. I'm not sure. Whatever. I'm blaming BJ.

What's been going on? Lots and nothing. The usual. Jeannie and I cut a big-ass hole into the wall that separates our kitchen and dining room. Kinda scary, kinda exciting.

I chose this picture because the blurriness and the way I'm standing reminds me of every picture of bigfoot. The mythical creature, not the monster truck. I blame BJ for that, too.

Work has gotten a little crazy. Got a few new people working for me, which I don't like cause I hate training new people. That's probably why I'm working more hours - so the newbies work less. Fewer, I mean. Hours. BJ, again.

Today I'm heading down to a high school in Columbia (Maryland, not South America) to help set up the set for the last shows of the Midsummer tour. Then it's off to work. Oh, I'm having to work more nights now, too, which is pretty sucky because then I see the J-Dog less.

I'm done writing, for now. I'm thinking about going back to bed for an hour. But I really need to do the dishes, too. BJ's dishes.

Friday, November 04, 2011


A little over a week ago, Jeannie was out of town and I was home alone. I was very bored and I had already watched some CHEERS, worked on the house a little, and tried to do some reading. All my usual time-killers. But I knew that the St. Louis Cardinals were in the world series, and they were playing game 6, and if the Cards lost they would be eliminated so I decided to get online and see if I could find a broadcast or something of the game. And I haven't followed baseball (or any sport, really) since 8th grade, and when I last followed the Cardinals their manager was named "Whitey" and Ozzie Smith used to do flips before the games. So really, the only player I knew was Albert Pujols (pronounced poo holes) and I didn't give a rats ass about the Cardinals, the World Series, or baseball in general. And then I found a broadcast of the game on internet radio and turned it on and it was the 6th inning, and it was the best baseball game I've ever heard. And I was laying in the dark listening until 1am when the Cards finally won on a home run in the 11th inning. It was basically everything that is good and exciting and somewhat mythological and sacred (at least in the U.S.) about baseball distilled down into a few innings. Really amazing.

So anyway, I just wanted to write about that because it was a very strange experience for me.

The Jeanners and I are in St. Louis, in town for the impending nuptuals of E. Elz. We got in town relatively late Thursday night and it's been a good trip so far. Had some good time with the fams, and last night I went to dinner with Drew and Eric and some other dudes that I didn't know and we had a good time chatting and having drinks and smoking cigars (although I abstained from the cigars [I think if I had one it might be a little too close to a cigarette and I don't even want to tempt fate with that]) and speaking of manly things. Then we headed to a bar that was called, I think, Atomic Cowboy, that included a patio out back and a quonset hut and a bathroom without a toilet, and swing dancers and a stage. And the ladies arrived from wherever they had been out dining, probably speaking about womanly things, and I got to see Catherine and Karista and Felicity and Amy E. and meet Catherine's sister. And so we sat around and chatted and had drinks and took pictures and then Amy E. threw a Guinness glass against the wall after being egged on by someone. So that was weird. But it was a good time, and great to see Eric and Drew, and I had a lot of fun.

Today Jerns and I had lunch with my brother at the high school where he teaches, and right now she is getting a haircut, and then tonight we are meeting Uncle Rico to have some Mexican food at a restaurant that will most likely not have the word "BIG" or an animal name in its name. Which means that we will be breaking our tradition of eating in restaurants that have the word "BIG" or an animal name in their respective names.

What else?

I'm done working on the set. The tour has started in Maryland and the set is travelling around and so unless it needs mid-tour repairs I'm done.

Work has been busy, mostly getting ready for Christmas (I think it's going to be a busy holiday season this year) and getting ready for my being out of town.

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Undies

Let me tell you a little bit about the history of my underwear wearing. I started out as a little kid with tighty whities, and they were fine. And then in high school I switched to boxers, because something about them seemed rebellious. And then in college, I moved on up to boxer briefs, because they are the sexiest of the underwear. And for a long time I've been wearing good, old fashioned 100% cotton boxer briefs, Fruit of the Looms or Hanes or whatever's handy. And they've been great, but in the summer time when Jerns and I would go for walks they'd get a little chafy around the inner thighs. So I scouted around and found some Under Armour polyester/cotton/spandex blend things that cost like $25 for one stupid pair but that totally solved the chafing problem, and were still sexy boxer brief things, and then I found some off-brand p/c/s blend things that were still expensive but considerably less expensive, and all my underwear planets seemed to be aligning and life was good. But after a year or so of wearing those p/c/s blend things, something has happened in either the chemical makeup of the underwear (perhaps from constant exposure to a state that my brother refers to as "swamp ass"), or the humidity or PH or general atmosphere that's occuring in my undies, and they have stopped letting any moisture (hopefully caused by sweat) out and have started giving me isolated instances of what appears to be good, old fashioned, American diaper rash. So now I've gone back to wearing the 100% cotton boxer briefs. And the diaper rash problems have abated, but they (the cotton BB's) are just not as comfortable as the suped-up p/c/s blend. So now I'm on the lookout again for the perfect pair of underwear. I think they probably are some sort of weird hybrid - a cotton crotch and ass but with spandex leg portions sewn on.


The Jeanners is out of town on a work trip as of this morning. I wasted no time and promptly hit the grocery store to by 20 hot dogs & buns and extra tonic. We just got off the phone a little while ago. We have started a new thing where before we go to sleep I ask her questions from a Trivial Pursuit handheld game. She answered one of two questions correctly tonight, which means she has won my love for another day.

We moved our furniture from one half of the house into the other half last night. This doesn't mean that the half we moved our shit into is done, it just means it was done enough for us to move in. Either way, it feels pretty good to be sleeping in an actual bedroom and not in the room that's smack-dab in the middle of the house with a big damn picture window that looks out into the front yard and street. So anyway, work continues on that front.

Tonight at work I spent most of my time reading various parts of the Steve Jobs biography. Although I really don't give a rat's ass about Steve Jobs or Apple or anything, it was weirdly inspiring to read. Inspiring to read about a guy who built something from the ground up and loved it enough to stick with it and explore all kinds of different areas with it, areas he probably never dreamed he'd be getting into when the thing started.

Bought the new Coldplay album and the new Tom Waits album today. Looking forward to both of them, although Brian Eno isn't as involved with this Coldplay cd as much as he was with the last one, which makes it decidedly less interesting for me. But who cares. It's new music.

Lots of changes at work. I am coasting through it all on an "I don't care" attitude.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bushy Bush

I thought I had to go to work today, so I got up this morning and took a shower and got dressed and drove to work only to find out it was my day off. I should really start looking at those schedules that I make...

So I had a surprise day off. Spent it mostly farting around - worked on the CSC set, looked at new printers online (we're in the market for a new printer), disconnected some old wiring, did some new wiring, put up a little drywall, and now I am sitting on the couch listening to an old Kate Bush album. Not wanting to go into the torn up kitchen and do dishes.

Feeling a little bit at sea lately. Slightly overwhelmed by house stuff (but not too bad), feeling busy because I've got to get CSC's set done in addition to the house stuff, work is a little crazy (lots of upcoming changes) and annoying, and I think I overdid it last week while working on the house so now I just feel sore all the time. I had a dream last night about tearing shit up in the house, and in my dream I was feeling sore, and I was also probably feeling sore in real life, so I got up (mostly asleep) and took 2 ibuprofen.

Looking forward to the J-Dog getting home.

Oh, I forgot to mention something that I did today. I watched The Werewolf of London on Netflix. Haven't seen that movie since I was a little kid. When I was little I went through a phase where I was obsessed with old-school monster movies. Except it was the before the days when you could watch whatever the hell you want whenever the hell you want, so I never saw many of the movies, I just used to read books about them. But Werewolf of London is one that I did see as a youngster, and I remember being impressed by the werewolf-transformation sequences. For 1935, I guess they were pretty good. Almost as good as Teen Wolf, made about 50 years later.

Speaking of Teen Wolf, the J-Dog is in the market for a full-body hair suit and a yellow basketball uniform so she can win the Halloween costume contest at work. If anybody has a full-body hair suit that they can quickly ship to Baltimore, please leave a comment on this post.

I could go for a Sprite and a coupla ibuprofen. What's fer dinner?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bad Blogger

I have been a bad blogger. Lots going on to keep me busy, and writing about what's going on seems far less important than it did back in the days when I didn't have anything going on.

My parents were here for a visit, and I think everybody had a pretty decent time. The key, I think, is getting the hell out of the house. We headed down to the Eastern Shore for the weekend, had beautiful weather all weekend, got to play on the beach, etc. When we got back to our place on Sunday evening, we had a nice dinner of ravioli, complete with red wine and some Italian music on the cd player. Good dinner and good conversation, too. Probably the highlight of the visit for me.

Now the Jeanners and I are both on vacation for a week, trying to get some shit done. Mostly we've been working outside, doing a lot of planting, but we've also got a little bit of work done inside, too. Hopefully we will be tearing into the kitchen in a major way before the week is over. I also need to get some work done on the touring set for CSC's upcoming school matinees.

Feeling busy, feeling somewhat accomplished, enjoying spending time with my sweetheart. I think we'll be heading off to bed now.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chunky Beef

I just erased a large rant about why I feel like the world is becoming a stupid place to live.

The Jeanners and I got some good work done this weekend - parts of the house are actually starting to look like parts of a house. I'm starting to feel a little run down. I've started making a list of things I need to get done every day. I hate that shit. I'm not a list-maker by nature. I like to not have a plan and just figure shit out. But I seem to get a lot more done when I make a list, and I think there's a lot to get done right now.

What I need right now: a four day weekend spent in Ohio with the Schluetermetz' and Uncle Rico, with one day in the middle where Jeannie and I take off by ourselves and get massages and DQ Blizzards.

I also wouldn't mind another steak dinner from Applebee's. Did I mention that Jeannie took me to Applebee's a few weeks ago and it was just about the best thing I've ever eaten? I know I shouldn't like Applebee's, and mostly I don't, but jeez that was a tasty steak.

I am waiting for impending rainstorms. I am also procrastinating.

Breakfast for dinner?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

King Duncan Donut

Remember the last time I wrote? I'm guessing it was a week or so ago, and I remember writing that I was very, very, very tired of working on drywall. I also know that Jerns and I have been working on drywall pretty much every day since then. Jesus, am I tired of working on drywall. The main problem is that I'm just not very good at it. It takes me 5 passes with the knife when I know it would take somebody who was good 1 pass with the knife. And theirs would look better. Frustrating. But, only a few more days and then we'll be done (with the rooms we're working on right now, anyway), and we can start priming this shizzle.

Jeannie and I watched The Hustler the other night. I had seen it when I was a kid, and I remember liking it. The other night it was OK. Better than The goddam Bucket List, which Jeannie made me watch a few weeks ago. Next up in my Netflix movie watchin' list: Die Hard. Never seen it.

My folks are going to be coming out for a visit in a few weeks. Hopefully it will not be a repeat of last year. The plan is to go down to the Eastern Shore and stay out of the house as much as possible. I am cautiously optimistic about the visit.

Jeanners is buggin' me about letting her use the computer, so I guess I should go. Plus, I gotsta poo.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Butterhorn Swirl, or, Saturday Night When Buttholes Fight

I am very tired of working on drywall. Very, very, very tired of it. Unfortunately, about 2/3 of our house still needs to be drywalled. Oh well.

Went to a 50th birthday dinner for Ian last night. It was a good time. It was at an Asian fusion restaurant that had lots of neon-ish colored lights in it and the place made me feel like I should've been wearing a sportcoat with rolled-up sleeves and doing lines of cocaine off of a mirror while a Don Henley song played in the background.

I am totally procrastinating. I should be doing some sanding right now. Or mudding. Ugh, I don't want to. Don't make me.

My new favorite video, courtesy of Brian G:

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


Korn was in town for a visit, so she and I and Brian G got together, and they came over to the neighborhood to check out the house and then hit Los Amigos for mediocre mexican food and drink.

What else? Not much. The Jeanners and I had a fun time last night working on some drywall and blasting some tunes. We had a nice run of a few songs in a row that were good and pumped. Good workin' music.

It seems to rain here all the time now -- the remnants of whatever current tropical depression is breaking up down in the Gulf.

Tonight Jerns and I did a stack of dishes that was taller than [here I came up with three possible conclusions to this statement, none of which are very funny. Feel free to use a conclusion of your own. 1: your mom. 2: my mom 3: the height of my ballsack from the floor.]

I had to google "ballsack." I thought it was spelled "ballsac," but it seems "ballsack" is the preferred spelling.

Tomorrow: work and drywall.

Thursday: drywall and work.

Friday: work and drywall.

Saturday: drywall.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Moo Pants

Today at work I was tired as hell, so during my 15 minute break, I went into the managers' office and took a quick nap in one of the office chairs, during which time a co-worker of mine was having a phone conversation in the same room. When I woke up, I asked her if she had used the expression "MOO PANTS" during her conversation because that phrase was in my head when I woke up. She said she hadn't.

My 11 days of work in a row is now over. I'm going to celebrate by not standing up for the next 3 days.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Goodnight Irene

I wonder how many blog posts have this title today. Hmmmm.

Well, hurricane Irene has passed, and if you know me well you know I don't like the wind. Irene had some wind, and I spent a good portion of the night worrying about our trees. We have quite a few big, old trees in the yard, trees that need to be trimmed, most of them hanging over cars or near the house or stuff like that. So I worried, and every time I'd hear a big gust of wind I'd worry more, and it went on like that for awhile until I decided to put in the ol' earbuds and fire up the mp3 player and listen to the sound of a fan that we've got on an mp3 loop on there, and turn it up just loud enough to drown out the blowing. Worked pretty damned well.

So this morning I got up and headed into work, and there really wasn't much damage around the neighborhood - a few downed branches (a decent-sized one fell in our yard, but didn't hit anything), that's about it. We never lost power for any length of time, which is pretty miraculous. I don't want to jinx us, but we haven't lost power very much in this place, which has been nice. Also, no new leaks and the basement didn't flood. All things that I worried about that did not come to pass.

I'm in the middle of a long stretch at work and it's getting a little annoying. Any days after 5 in a row get to be a pain. Tomorrow will be day 8 of 11.

That's it, really, for now. There's not that much interesting going on. Cut up some branches when I got home from work. Jeannie worked on drywall. We went to 3 different grocery stores looking for one that had power so we could buy something for dinner. I ate too many mashed potatoes. Back to work tomorrow. And so it goes...

Oh, and for you Infinite Jest fans out there, in case you haven't see it:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chesterfield Kings

Something is wrong with my taste lately. I think it all started with the CHEERS bender I've been on, and feeling nostalgic for cheesy, earnest things. This is the music I've been listening to and, for the most part, enjoying for the last couple of weeks:

I think it is the beginning of the end for me. Wait, no. Listening to smooth jazz is the end of the end. It is the bottom.

But no, it gets worse. Here's another one:

The thing is, I bought the Donald Fagen CD because 1.) the cover is awesome 2.) it was cheap 3.) I'd been on a little Steely Dan kick a few months ago, and 4.) the reviews at work gave it 4.5 stars, and when I would listen to samples of it, I would think to myself, "Jesus, that sounds really cheesy, how could it have gotten 4 and a half stars?" So my curiosity was piqued. So I checked it out. And damn if that stuff doesn't grow on you like a thick orange fungus.

The Jeanners and I sat down last night and figured out how much work we need to get done before the insulation folks can come in and complete Phase 2 of the insulation work. Which needs to be finished by the end of February for our loan shit to all work out. We figured that, after we finish the two bedrooms we're working on now (which we've given ourselves until the end of September to do), we've got about 20 days of work to do. The problem is, because of our work schedukes, and Christmas, and all the other stuff that's coming our way over the next few months, it's gonna take us pretty much the entire 6 months to get those twenty days of work done. And as we were going through the list, it seemed like a lot of stuff that we need to get done. So I got a little overwhelmed. And, although I've been abstaining from the G&T's since around my birthday, I had a G&T so I could melt my brain a little bit and be able to sleep without worrying about house stuff all night. It worked. It also worked that Jeannie was willing to come into the bathroom with me and sit on the floor and watch a CHEERS on the laptop with me while I soaked in the tub. True love, ladies and gentlemen.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Don't You F#@$'in Look at Me

I have a day off work today. My plan is to eat a hearty breakfast, do some drywall sandin', and then have a delicious Chinese lunch. I've been looking forward to the Chinese lunch for a few days now. I will also probably watch a couple of CHEERS episodes at some point today.

Had a good birthday on Saturday. The Jeanners got me Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (the book), which has been on my list to read for awhile. Also a tambourine. Jeannie also got me a tambourine for my birthday. So now when you come over I will play the tambourine for you and dance my dances.

We spent the weekend (and the subsequent days) diving back into wonderful world of drywall finishing. I am attempting to get some practice in by working in the closets (in the hopes that one day Jeannie will let me "come out of the closet" (pun intended). Because my drywall finishing skills are non-existent. Meaning I've never really done it before. And fucking up the drywall finishing can make everything look really bad. So it seems that getting some practice in in the closets is a good idea before venturing out onto walls that we'll be staring at a lot.

Anyway, the fact that we're working on drywall is a good thing, because it means we're getting that much closer to moving into the bedroom. So anyway, yeah.

Alright, I think it's time for me to start on this hearty breakfast.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Bad Case of the Sammies

The Jeanners was out of town for the last three days, and I spent most of the time (the time that I wasn't at work, anyway) watching CHEERS episodes and drinking gin and tonics. Ok, I did do some other things. I worked on the kitchen pipe and also played some guitar. But I watched about 20 cheers episodes over 3 days. I am currently toying with the decision to dress more like Sam Malone. Feel free to weigh in with a vote if you feel strongly one way or the other.

My birthday is tomorrow. 34. I will have officially beaten Jesus. Now I just need to avoid the lightning bolts until then. Speaking of lightning, Facebook has really made me aware of the fact that there are a lot of people out there who spell it "lightening." That drives me up a flippin' wall.

Some neighbors gave us canned goods this week.

Why not?

What else. The Jeanners and I are going to hopefully be working on some drywall tomorrow, followed by a birthday dinner at Kathmandu Kitchen, my recently-declared favorite restaurant in Baltimore.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Tube 'a Lube Express

The Gena's visit came to an end today and she hopped on a plane back to the Lou. 'Twas a good visit. Some things that happened:

1. We went tubing on the Gunpowder River. Great fun. Relaxing. Beautiful nature. And only about 45 minutes from home. Summer fun that I know the Jeanners and I will be repeating in the future.

2. I made them watch Teen Wolf. Couldn't get them to watch Teen Wolf Too.

3. They made me watch Dirty Dancing. I was hoping that the dancing would be dirtier.

4. Hot dog dinner. I don't eat hot dogs like I used to, but for a day I did. And it was good.

So we had a good time. Now, it is back to the realities of work and kitchen drain repair. The Jeanners is going to be flying to Chicago tomorrow for a few days of training, so I think I'll use the opportunity of her absence (and the subsequent reduced kitchen drain usage that comes with it) to start cutting up some pipe.

I finished re-reading The Broom of the System. I liked it more than when I read it the first time, but it still feels kinda sophmoric. It has some of the show-offy stuff that's in Infinite Jest, but doesn't create any sort of reader connection with the characters that IJ does so well (by the end). Basically, I didn't care what happened to any of the characters in BOTS.

Whatever. Anyway, I have to go now and clean up my hibatchi.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

More Wine?

Our friend Gena is here visiting us, and it's been pretty damned fun. Although I've been working like a fool this past week, so I haven't been able to hang out with the ladies (The Jeanners and the Geners) as much as I would've liked. Especially yesterday, when they spent the entire day sleeping and waking up only to eat ice cream. And then we had a tasty home-made shrimp enchilada dinner last night followed by a wicked kitchen dance party. Anyway, it's been nice having somebody else around for a week.

One bad thing that's happened this week is that all the piping underneath our kitchen sink drain is basically falling apart. We've got a temporary fix set up and will attempt a more permanent fix after our guest departs, just in case things don't go well and we end up completely sodomizing the whole drain line.

So my dad spent a lot of time as a kid out in the sun, and he's always had lots of freckles on his back, and as he's aged the freckles have turned into some pretty wicked-looking, scary cancerous-looking spots. On his back and his face. And he's very stubborn about going to the doctor, so he'd never been to a dermatologist to get them checked out or anything. Well, after getting goaded by my Mom's sister ("I've never known anyone who is as smart as you to be so dumb"), he finally made an appointment with a dermatologist to get them checked out and, sure enough, all the really bad-looking spots are all basal-cell cancers. Which is not a huge surprise (he had pretty much figured that they were all cancer anyway), and is actually good news (basal-cell is the less-dangerous type of cancer; melanoma is the really bad kind), but is still pretty shitty. So for the last couple of weeks he's been going and getting a few of the spots removed, including the big one on his temple, right next to his eye. Basically, they either cut or scrape it off, and then burn and sew it closed. Yuck. He said for the one next to his eye, they had to put in like 20 stitches to close it up. And he's awake for the whole thing. And then his eye swelled shut the next day. And then he's been going and getting the ones on his back removed, too, which isn't as bad because they're in a less sensitive location, but still the same shitty procedure. And so anyway, now when I've been calling my parents for the last couple of weeks it's been weird, because my dad, who is usually fairly upbeat or at least stoic about hard situations, sounds depressed. He sounds like he's been almost beaten by this. And that sucks. I hope going to the doctor was the right decision. I'm going to call them today and hopefully he's doing better. Right now I'm wishing that I wasn't so far away and that I could go over and visit every couple of days. (audible sigh).

Been doing some shifts as a real manager-manager at work. It is strange because on those days I end up running around like crazy and actually doing work. As opposed to standing around and waiting for the clock to tick tick tick, which is what I do on most other days.

Tonight: Faidley's crab cakes (the best in Baltimore!) and possible karaoke! You are jealous!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Lookout, DC, K-Torr be all up in ya.

Yesterday evening the Jeanners and I had a nice drive down to DC to visit with one J. Hubert, aka K-Torr, who is in town for a convention of folks who conduct choirs. It was a longer drive than usual (we were leaving from the very north side of Baltimore and heading down to the very south side of DC), but we had a good chat, and we got down to K-Torr's sweet-ass hotel suite at around 8. Headed to a nearby PF Changs for dinner and drinks and conversation, covering conversational topics such as children, therapy of various sorts, jobs, and marriage. It is always such a wonderful feeling to get together with someone that you haven't seen in awhile, who in the olden days seemed like such a unique, sweet person, and realize that they are still a wonderful, sweet person and that if they lived around the corner you would almost assuredly be calling them several times a week to go over to their house and play cards or watch a professional tennis match or borrow a wheelbarrow. Anyway, it was really good to see K-Torr. And he invited me down to attend a workshop tomorrow with one of the members of Sweet Honey in the Rock, and I ain't got nothing going on and I'd like to hang with Johnny again so I think I'm gonna head on down.

Other news:

The insulation folks came in did their insulatin' thing on Monday, and although they were able to make progress in several areas (basement, rear bedroom walls, rear bedroom floor), they discovered that anywhere where we left the plaster on the walls and drywalled over the plaster, there was not enough room behind the plaster for them to run their insulatin' hose down into the cavity to shoot their insulation wad behind the walls. So that means they couldn't/can't do the walls in our future bedroom or in the middle bedroom. And also that they won't be able to do the walls in the other half of the house, when that time comes. So we are now in the process of re-thinking what we want to do with the money that had originally been earmarked for that purpose. Not the end of the world, but definitely a snag.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Feisted Out

Today Jerns and I took a day off and headed up towards Gettysburg to visit Katie the North American Wanderer on her farm. We all drove to Fuller Lake and had a fantastic swim on a hot afternoon. A lovely little vacation-in-a-box. Meaning a short vacation.

Busy times coming up:

Tomorrow the insulation dudes come to the house and start (and hopefully finish) phase one (of two) of the insulation work. We've been working towards this day pretty much since we bought the place (almost 2 years ago!), so it feels pretty good to be getting them started.

K-Torr will be arriving in DC tomorrow. We hope to get down there for a dinner and nocturnal stroll.

Work's gonna be a little busy this week.

Bill Morrissey and Amy Winehouse died yesterday.


p.s. Feisted Out means that you've listened to too much Feist.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Feeling entirely unmotivated today. It's my day off, and so far this morning, I have farted around on the internet, made a tasty eggs-n-fauxsage-n-biscuits breakfast, and talked to my mom on the phone. Also, took a concrete paver (that I made!) outside and leveled it. Eventually the rain boxes (barrels) will live on it. I will soon head to home depot to buy concrete to make more pavers, but, again, feeling unmotivated.

Yesterday I had a training session at a swanky boardroom-type room in a swanky office building on the harbor downtown. Jeannie drove me down on her way into work yesterday morning, so I had a few hours to sit by the water and read and contemplate. It was a really beautiful morning. It's too bad I don't spend more mornings out and about, it would be nice to get up early and run or walk or something, but really, sleep is gonna win every time.

Then after work Jeannie and I headed over to the house of one of her coworkers for an end-of-the-Americorps-service-year soiree. A good excuse to drink beer and eat meat and get eaten by bugs.

And after the party we headed back downtownish to the Meyerhoff symphony hall for the k.d. lang concert. It was a pretty good show. We were surrounded by mostly bluehairs (it was at the symphony hall, after all), but the band sounded good (some really good pedal steel playing), and k.d. has a pretty unbelievable voice. Plus, it ws nice to see a show and arrive 10 minutes after the show started and still have good seats, and not have to stand around for 4-8 hours before the show. I did not stick around afterwards to meet k.d. (but probably only because Jeannie wouldn't let me).

Things I am contemplating doing:
1. bath
2. nap
3. trip to home depot.
4. playing Civilization III

Probably gonna do a 2 then 3.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Appian Way

It's a hot day today. I am laying on my bed, the laptop resting on my belly, with a fan blowing room-temp air on my legs. I am deciding whether I should take a nap or go downstairs and put up some junction boxes for some wires that I ran through the walls the other day. I will probably end up going with a 30 minute nap followed by junction-box-installation.

It's in the upper 90's here, but it hasn't been hot enough to get the temp inside above 90. When it gets above 90 inside, I turn on the AC. Actually, I just turn on the AC whe I get uncomfortably hot, and usually that's around 90. If it's real humid, I might turn it on even though it's lower than 90.

Aren't you glad you read that?

Last weekend the J-Dog and I worked on putting in a new walkway in front of our house, from the porch to the street. The old one was cracked and falling apart, and then it got real bad when the landscaping guys drove the heavy equipment over it, so we had them pull the old one out and haul it away. And we've been living surrounded by an ocean of dirt ever since. But anyway, while we were putting in the new one we had to do a lot of digging, and tamping of dirt and gravel, and it was real chain-gang type work. At one point, I even tried to get Jeannie to join me in the singing of some spirituals, but she wasn't interested.

I would like to go on record, though, as saying that there is not much in this world that is as sexy as watching your wife dig a big hole.

Anyway, it took 2 full days of work, but we eventually got the thing done, and it looks pretty much like this:

And we're pleased with how it looks. Hopefully it will last.

Tonight: should we have breakfast for dinner or super-duper nachos?

Thursday: k.d. lang concert.

Later this month: k-torr in DC.

Early next month: The Geners coming for a visit.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Hey now, I'm an all-star.

During the past week, I've had three dreams where I was hanging out with rockstars. It's probably the recurring dream I've had the most, ever since I was a little kid. Back in the day, I would dream about hanging out pretty much exclusively with U2, but as I've gotten older and my musical tastes have broadened, so have my dream tastes. This week, I hung out with Tom Waits (he was sitting on a couch and he said I was a "pretty alright guy."), U2 (I think I was at a concert, but one where the band and I could converse back and forth), and Black Dub (again, I was at a show, one where the band and I could converse back and forth, and Brian Blade remembered who I was [from our real-life encounter at the 9:30 Club alley a few weeks ago]). So anyway, I think hanging out with rockstars is some very-deep-seated need that I have down in the core of my being, and I'm not sure what that need means or why it's there.

Also this week: battling ant infestation and figuring out how to build a walkway.

Went to a pretty great 4th of July party last night at Lesley and Scott's. I worked a long day yesterday and didn't really feel like going after work (actually I kinda forgot that there was a party), but Jeannie lured me in with tales of free food and drink, and socializing. All of which turned out to be true. Plus some pretty decent fireworks that we were able to sit close enough to to feel in our chests. Or at least my chest. I'm not sure if Jeannie was able to feel it in her chest, but she was sitting right next to me so I'm assuming she was. Anyway. Whatevs.

Tomorrow: gravel and sand and paver acquisition and babysitting at Chez Kilpatrick!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Out in the west Texas town of El Paso, I fell in love with a Mexican lasso.

Many things have happened in the million-year interval since I last wrote. The biggest things:

1. Continued digging up of our yard.
2. U2 show.
3. Relatively last minute, brief vacation to St. Robert, MO.

I will try to sum up each item in three words, and then post a picture of each.

1. Continued digging up of our yard - scary, dirt, holes.

2. U2 show - standing, dry, waiting

3. Relatively last minute, brief vacation to St. Robert, MO. - relaxing, good, smiles

Could probably write a lot about each one, but don't feel like it. The vacation was nice, although brief, and it was wonderful to get down to my family's cabin at Mossy Springs.

Yesterday, the Jeanners and I were still both off work, so we seeded half of the front yard, patched some cracks (that the ants were using to get in the house) and cleaned up the bedrooms so we can get some more work done. Topped it all off with an end-of-vacation dinner at the Hamilton Tavern.

Today: cleaned some nasty vine out that was taking over the azaleas, watered the grass seed, and catching up on e-mail, writing and facebook. Going to go finish wiring an exterior light and then drill some holes in the dining room wall.

Friday, June 17, 2011


There are dudes with large pices of equipment in our yard digging up shrubs and excavating some large holes, what will eventually become rain gardens. I've explained what a rain garden is to numerous neighbors and relatives who have asked, and I don't do a very good job, so feel free to google it. Or even look it up on Wikipedia. Or, if it's a nice day in your area and you feel adventurous, walk to your local public library and look it up in an encyclopedia Brittanica.

So anyway, dudes and large equipment and digging up lots of shit. It's making me feel a little bit queasy. I'm trying not to watch.

Also, there was a car accident on our street this morning where a car turned over into somebody's lawn.

Crazy day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Daryl Johnson Eludes Me Yet Again

Yesterday afternoon after work I headed down to DC to see Daniel Lanois' band Black Dub at the 9:30 Club. Got down there around 4:30pm, so I had a few hours to stand around and wait until the doors opened at 7. I was expecting there to be at least a few other people waiting around, but to my surprise I was the only one there except for venue people and crew people. I parked my car by the alley behind the club and just started walking around when I saw a guy come out of a back door into the alley. I went up and asked him if he was Brian Blade (he was), told him I was a big fan of his work and chatted a little bit about the tour (where they've been playing, where they go next), told him that Art Blakey was my favorite drummer but since he's dead Brian Blade has moved to the top of the list. Asked if I could take a piucture, took a picture, then told him I didn't want to bother him anymore and went back to walking around. Super nice guy. Here's the picture:

Well, because this happened within like the first five minutes, I was super pumped, thinking that the rest of the band would be coming out sporadically for breaks and I'd get a chance to chat with everybody individually and stuff. That didn't happen. I went back to meandering around, occasionally going back by the alley (I was told by a large venue person not to go back into the alley) or just hanging out by the front door, where people also seemed to be coming and going. At one point a guy came up to me and introduced himself as Mark (he looked like a younger version of Willie Nelson), and I asked him if he was Mark Howard, and he said he was. I was really surprised and a little bit blown away. Mark Howard is a guy who engineers a lot of Lanois-produced records, and also engineers, produces, and mixes a lot of records on his own. His resume is like a who's who list of my favorite artists. I told him that it was really amazing to meet him, and that I've seen his name on just about everything I like but never knew what he looked like. He said, "well, this is what I look like." He said I was down there really early for the show, and I explained that I got off work in Baltimore in the afternoon and didn't really feel like hanging out at home for a few hours so I decided to head down to the venue. He said I should stick around after the show and I'd probably get to meet the band, and asked if I knew the area or if I knew of any good restaurants around. I said I didn't. Again, super nice guy. Didn't get a picture.

A little later I saw a woman that looked like Trixie Whitley (lead singer, occasional drums, very occasional guitar) across the street taking pictures of the club. I would have gone over and said hi, but I wasn't sure it was her because she was dressed up in like semi-business attire. So I just hung out and very subtly tried to get in her pictures.

Not much else of note happened before the show. Got inside at seven, had a couple of beers, stood and looked at the inside of the place (which is actually really nice, I didn't get a good sense of it during the Josh Ritter show), was surprised at how it didn't seem to be filling up at all. After the opening act (Rocco Deluca) I was able to go pee (in the restroom) and make it back to my spot in the front row unhindered and with no pushing, elbowing, or shouldering. At most, for the entirety of the evening, the place was maybe half full. Very surprising to me and I'm sure somewhat disheartening for the band. Oh well. It made for a much nicer experience for those of us in the audience.

The show was great. Not a lot of chitchat, but I was close enough (about 3 feet away) to the band members to hear their conversations with each other and to actually have conversations (not really conversations, but sentences back and forth) with them. They're all really fun to watch. Daryl Johnson (bass player extraordinaire) was unfortunately absent, but the person who was subbing was pretty good and funny to watch. Trixie seemed unbelievably self-conscious, seemed at times a little morose or sad or something (maybe the half-filled house?), but has an amazing voice and really got into what she was singing. Lanois was wearing a hat and shades for most of the show, but seemed really warm and happy to be there. Surprisingly (to me) thick fingers. Like farmer's hands. He only played one pedal steel song, which was surpising to me and a little sad. The show lighting was mostly dim and a little dark for my crappy camera to get decent pictures, but here's on of him playing some pedal steel. And then one scary one where I accidentally used a flash (sorry, D.L.!).

Show ended, most people left, a few people (myself included) stayed around as the roadies cleared stuff away. The venue staff gently shoo'd us into the lobby, and a few minutes later, D.L. comes in the lobby. There's maybe 10 people left at this point. I go up to him and shake hands and tell him it was a great show and that I'm a big fan, usual fan stuff, and his handler-person asks if I want to get a picture with Daniel. I say sure and he takes the picture and then moves on to the next person. He seemed a little more interested in the ladies, to be honest. Which is ok with me, I understand. But I was bummed when he then invited two small groups of people (with ladies in them) to go upstairs and have drinks. I didn't get invited. Which bummed me out. Maybe he was insulted when I told him I'd been waiting to see him since I was 10 years old. Hmm. But really, going up and having drinks would've been beyond my wildest imaginings (actually, it would be equal to my wildest imaginings). So I went outside and hung out a little bit (in the hopes that Mark Howard, who was loading up gear into the bus, would see me and invite me up for drinks [no such luck]). But Trixie did come outside right near where I was standing, so I went and shook hands and told her what a great show it was, and how she was really badass on the drums, and she said it was really intimidating to be playing next to Brian Blade, and I told her it took a lot of balls to even be playing next to him. But that she did a really good job. She was really down-to-earth and pleasant to talk to.

Me and Mr. Lanois:

Anyway, it was a really great time. I got to meet some of my musical heroes (Daryl Johnson, I will see you yet!), got to have an adventure on my own in DC, and saw a really great show. I hope that the band is on their way to New York right now, reminiscing fondly about the annoying geek in the orange hat.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Scratch my nails down your back...or something like that.

Just got back from karaoke at Mango Manny's. Jesus, it was awesome. After 10 years of looking, I have finally found a place that comes close to Kirksville karaoke with Wendy. An amazing mix of people, some songs I have never in my life heard, some black dudes in women's pants with large afro wigs, a woman singing a Mary J. Blige tune with a white dude that sings country songs dancing along with her. I don't know. It's just a really great thing to see. A very Baltimore mix of people.

The A-Train came out to jaraoke with us. She's a pretty perfect karaoke buddy.

The crowd seemed to like "Parents Just Don't Understand," but was luke warm towards "Born to Run." "Born to Run" was a little higher and faster than I'm used to singing but it felt pretty good, vocally. I wasn't quite drunk enough to go crazy with it, though. Oh well. It still felt good. Didn't get to sing Phil Collins/Phillip Bailey this time, but maybe next time. Also next time, maybe a duet with the A-Train?

Thursday, June 09, 2011

And I also enjoy...levitation.

It looks like it wants to rain outside. Please, please let it rain. It needs to cool the fuck off, the garden could use the water, and I noticed today that the grass is starting to brown. And I don't mind a nice brown lawn in late July or August, but June is just too early.

Ugh. It's been a bit of a crazy week. Sometimes I feel like I'm going a bit crazy, but I'm just at the very beginning part of it where it only seems like slight little changes that don't mean much. But then after a decade of tiny imperceptable changes you're completely batshit bonkers. "On Your Way to the Noble," I like to call it. (because the crazies like to hang out at the Noble.) Here is an example of a guy who is "on his way to the Noble":


I'm tired. Jeannie and I have been staying up past our bedtime (10PM) watching episodes of Mad Men's fourth season. It's really good. My favorite season so far.

I went for a run yesterday in the million-degree heat. I usually run down to Lake Montebello and around the lake and then home. And usually, during the summertime there are always a bunch of people walking or biking or running around the lake. Not yesterday. There were a couple of people on bikes but that was about it. I thought I was going to die a little bit. I only made it about 3/4 of the way around the lake and then I had to quit. I felt like I had stopped sweating, and my days of working at the power plant and learning all about heatstroke had taught me that that is a bad sign.

We're going to have some landscaping done. The dude might start next week. That would be pretty cool. Also, the house is just about ready to begin "Phase 1" of the insulation work. Also pretty cool. It will feel fantastic to get some of this deadlined work out of the way.

Yikes! The wind has kicked up and there is a nice little thunderstorm going on outside. Stupid wind.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Hott az Balz

It has gotten summer-time hot here in Baltimore City. 99 today. Yep. So ends my weather small-talk.

The Beej was in town for about a week, and last Thursday night I headed on down to Chez Kilpatrick and played some geek games until 4 in the morning. Seriously! And then the children Kilpatrick woke up at like 7:30, and Teresa mercifully kept them upstairs for about 45 minutes so I got to catch a little more sleep downstairs on the couch. It was a good time. During the geek games, by the way, I stomped on BJ and Pat's weak spines. Which never happens. For those keeping score at home, the last time I played spades with BJ I stomped on his spine, and the last time I played geek games (geek games, by the way, is a really dorky card-based game put out by the history channel called Anachronism. It's actually really fun if you're a big ol' geek like BJ or even just a borderline geek like me.) with Pat and BJ, I stomped on their spines. Also, I ate about a bag and a half of Doritos and drank 2 litres of caffeine-free Coke. A good night.

Then, on Sunday, the Jeanners and I worked on our roof all day, from 9 in the morning until around 9 at night. And I was a complete bitch the entire day. Seriously. Tremendous bitch. I complained the whole day and was grumpy and complaining and grumpy. All day. I am glad and surprised that Jeannie didn't accidentally nudge me off the roof. So props to the J-Dog for putting up with my b-crap. Also, mad props to the J-Dog for finishing the job all by herself on Monday while I was at work. Monday, when it was much sunnier and hotter up on the roof than on Sunday when I was pissing and crying all day, and she did it with no complaining. One of a kind.

Monday night the Beej came up to our place for dinner (actually, he had been hanging out at the B&N all day while I was at work, which is probably only slightly higher on the sucky-boredom scale than actually working there), and the A-Train came over and we headed up to the Hamilton Tavern for some tasty burgers. Once again, the Hamilton Tavern did not disappoint, and because it was a holiday, it wasn't super-crowded in there. Then we came back to the house and talked a little bit, and listened to some Rick Astley, and tried to figure out who the hell Aimee was talking about when she was describing a guy with long dark hair, circa 2004, who had a video on MTV where he wiggled his eyebrows a lot. If anybody knows who it might be, please send me a message because nobody could figure it out. Jeanners and I also realized that the A-Train would be a perfect karaoke companion, so the next time we head to Mango Manny's for some splended B-More-style karaoke, we will be calling the Aims.

That is all for now. Yesterday I put up some drywall and sweated a lot and ripped the ass entirely out of my shorts.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Words to Live By.

Disclaimer: the basic idea behind this post has been gestating in my head all day. However, it is being written after a particularly potent G&T, probably particularly potent because it was made without ice. Made without ice because the Jeanners is sleeping, and when I got up to put more ice in my glass before making the G&T, she stirred in bed, and I heard her, and I didn't want to wake her.

End of disclaimer.

During my high school years, I lived by quotes that I learned from the movie Dead Poets Society. Carpe Diem and "What's the worst that can happen?" Actually, I think the quote that I used to have run through my head is, "Even if it kills me." And really, those quotes worked pretty well.

During my college years I didn't live by much at all, but I wanted to be sexy, and I wanted to be artistic, and I wanted to be the guy in the corner of the party drinking red wine and chain smoking. It wasn't that hard.

During my post-college years, I have lived by the mantras of "Want Less" and "Talk Less," but I think I have taken those about as far as I care to go with them. I'm going to stop pushing them.

And so, my mantras for my mid-thirties, things I need to work on:
1. Take a chance.
2. Don't be negative.
3. Life should be fun.
4. Hard work is usually fun. With the right music and/or the right company.

So anyway, that's what I've been thinking about today. From the time I took my shower this morning, and at work, and right now.

For th last hour or so, I've been watching CHEERS, and then Tom Waits videos on Youtube. Ouch. Sometimes watching Tom Waits videos makes my chest hurt.

Tonight I made a joke about Castlevania. I think if you're going to make a joke about video games, Castlevania is a good video game to choose to make a joke about. Contra is a close second.

Authors I want to read:
Flannery O'Connor
Charles Bukowski

Music I want to Download because I don't feel like paying the B&N price for the CD:
Mavis Staples, We'll Never Turn back

Movies I want to watch:
Teen Wolf on Netflix (it's streaming!)
Watch the rest of 8 1/2 even though it seems a bit too foreign for me.

The Wire. I really do need to watch it so I know what the hell "Omar comin'!" means. Ha ha. I doubt I'll like it as much as thirtysomething but who cares.
Match Game. I wish I still had the game show network so I could wear a bathrobe and watch Match Game all day long.

Disclaimer II: This post has been moderately proofread.

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's Not the Heat, It's the Stupidity

Who the hell went and made it all humid all up in here?

Hmmmm. Not too much shakin' this evening. Just went for a quick walk with the Jeanners and talked it up real good. Had a quick chat with the Beej (who is coming to visit this week! Geek games, Thursday night!) on the phone to make some plans, now I'm just drinkin' a beer and probably gonna go read a little Jack London.

Did some drywalling this weekend (last weekend's drywalling party turned into more of a framing party so the drywalling party got moved back a week). Yesterday we had one of Jeannie's Americorp volunteers from work offer to come over and help because she wanted to get some practice doing drywall (J's Habitat affiliate subs out all the drywall work these days), and we've got nothing in this house so much as drywalling practice, so she came over. It was nice having a third person working because then it was more like a mini-party and less like another day working on this fucking house, but a little weird, too, because most of my work pants/shorts have holes and my balls poke out. And I had a surprise fart that popped out and made me feel like an 80 year old man, but the Americorp volunteer either didn't hear or was very nice and pretended not to hear.

I bought tickets to see Daniel Lanois' new-ish band, Black Dub, at the 9:30 Club in DC in a few weeks. I'm pretty fucking excited, for several reasons:

A) I've been following Daniel Lanois since I was 10 years old and I saw on my Joshua Tree tape jacket: "Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno." And I thought that:
1) Those are really strange names
2) I don't know what "produced" means, but it sounds very important and it
seems like these guys must be responsible for the wonderful sounds on this
tape, almost as much or maybe moreso than the band themselves?
So I started looking for other things that had the name "Eno" or "Lanois" on them, and discovered some pretty great stuff. And this was way before the internet, so it meant lots of magazine reading and record store diving and just generally wonderful hunting time. So it'll just be nice to be in the same room as one of my life-long musical heroes.

B) The band includes Brian Blade and Daryl Johnson. Brian Blade is my favorite living drummer. He's actually a jazz drummer who shows up on a lot of pop stuff, too. The awesome drum pattern in Emmylou's "Where Will I Be"? Brian Blade. Anyway, he's not too flashy, just really funky and unpredictable and he's always dropping heavy bombs into the middle of his beats. Daryl Johnson is just a badass. Thick, funky bass. Once I was at an Emmylou concert and I thought it was Daryl Johnson playing bass, so I yelled out "Daryl!" but it turns out it was not Daryl. Jeannie still makes fun of me for that one. But anyway, Daryl Johnson is a badass, plain and simple.

C) Several other smaller reasons. Black Dub only has one album so they'll most likely play some older Lanois stuff. Lanois usually brings out the ol' pedal steel during shows, which is my favorite instrument but one that I don't get to see live very much.

Anyway, here's a little taste of the Black Dub (p.s. the singer is not my favorite but has been growing on me):

The Jeanners has gone to bed. I should probably follow suit.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ghosts of High School Past

Tina B. and her man-friend, Dan B., visited last night. As previously reported, Tina B. is a friend from high school that the J-Dog and I had lost touch with and hadn't seen for 15 years. She's been living in Chicago since around 98' or so. It was really nice to see her. She seems to have aged in the same ways that the J-Dog and I have aged: a little more mellow, a little less wide-eyed, maybe a little quieter. But still fun and creative and down-to earth. It was just good to talk to her. I think if we all lived in the same place, we would all still hang out. Unless she thought the Jeanners and I are freaks or something. But anyway, it was really good to see her and catch up. And she and her fella are a really cute couple, and he's very laid-back and nice, and an interesting guy to talk to. It was good to meet him.

So -- hopefully it will not be another 15 years before we see Tina B. and Dan B. We now know that they are in St. Louis for a lot of the holidays, so we will make the effort to get in touch when we head that way.

Things we need to get before we have overnight guests again: suitable guest pillows. It is embarrassing to offer someone a pillow that smells kinda like it's been stored in your rectum for the last coupla years. It would also be nice to have a door up on the spare bedroom.

It's rainin' like hell right now. It's been rainin' like hell off and on for the last few days.

Had a run in yesterday at work with a crazy lady looking for "work" (not a job), but who refused to fill out a job application. Finally, she said, "Look. Just tell me, yes or no. Is there anything I can do here where I will get paid a hundred and fifty dollars, TODAY?" I had to tell her no. I should have told her that if she finds such a job that she should let me know because I, too, would be interested in throwing my hat in that particular ring.

Anyway, I think the Jeanners wants to check her shit (online shit, that is), so I will bid you a fond adieu.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Not Me

Today I saw a picture online and I thought for a second that it was of me. Then I realized that it was not me. But it sure does look like me.

Friday, May 13, 2011

All Good Things Must Come To an End (A Joke)

I have spent the evening watching old Cheers episodes on Netflix. I don't think there's annything in the world that makes me feel like a kid again as much as the sounds and colors of Cheers. The theme song. Somebody saying "Cheers is filmed before a live studio audience." The snappy bass-intensive jazz as an outside scene of the bar or somewhere in Boston is shown. And then into the episode. Cheers and Taxi and MASH. The shows that were shown in reruns after the news during my high school years. I don't know why it's those shows in particular that stir up such vivid memories, or really rather just feelings. No particular head pictures come into view, but more like stomach feelings. The world seems like a different world now than the world that I associate with Cheers, but I think that I'm pretty certain that it's me that's changed, more than the world.

I had the day off today and headed to the beach. A nice 3 hour drive down, listening to a mix of Fleet Foxes, K.D. Lang, Paul Simon, and Robbie Robertson. A nice 3 hours hanging out at the beach, swimming (Damn cold. Nobody else in the water), and a nice 3 hour drive home, listening to a mix of Fleet Foxes, K.D. Lang, Paul Simon, and Robbie Robertson (the Robbie Robertson and kd lang held up surprisingly well to 6 hours of repeated listening - the Paul Simon and Fleet Foxes, not so much). I got a bit of a sunburn, although it wasn't sunny the whole time I was there, a little cloudy when I first got there. I ate a hotdog and an ice cream. I read a little Jack London. I thought about going in an arcade, then decided I would be too depressed when the video games cost more than twenty five cents. All-in-all it was a good day. Got a chance to relax and reflect, to get off the feet for a little while, and to get tossed around by the waves a little bit.

The Jeanners gets back tomorrow. I am looking forward to her return. Life is very lonely without her. Plus, I stop eating vegetables and my poop gets weird.

Through the wonders of Facebook, our old friend Tina B. and her boyfriend will be stopping by in Baltimore on an East Coast roadtrip that they're taking next week. Tina B. is a friend from high school that the Jeanners and I haven't seen for about 15 years. Yikes. She's also the girl that taught me that girls can be freaks, too. And I mean that in the best possible way. She is a true original, and I look forward to seeing her and hearing what life is like for her.

Jeannie has put the kibosh on my plans to have a drywalling party after she gets back into town tomorrow. However, Sunday - drywalling party.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Music Round Up

There are quite a few decent albums out right now. We've been listening to some great music at work and I brought some of the CD's home, so now I've been listening to them both at work and at home. Here's a few recent ones that stand out:

Paul Simon, So Beautiful or So What. (A-) It seems like pretty much everything Paul Simon puts out is at least excellent. This CD is totally solid all the way through, but my only complaint is that a couple of the songs start to sound alike, and there's only one song that really jumps out and grabs me by the nut hairs.

The Fleet Foxes, Hopelessness Blues. (B+) This CD picks up right where their first album left off, and adds a few new sounds and instruments to keep the material sounding fresh. But really, this CD is great to listen to for the same reasons as the first: gorgeous harmonies, interesting song structures, and some interesting songwriting. The songs can start to sound the same a little bit and there's only a few standout tracks, though.

Robbie Robertson, How to Become Clairvoyant. (B-) This one's my least favorite of the bunch, but it's got a couple of nice songs on it. Robbie Robertson puts out a solo CD about once a decade, and the one from the 80's was hit-and-miss, the one from the 90's was pretty bad, but this one's definitely listenable. I like his voice a lot. If Tom Waits' voice is 50 grit sandpaper, Robbie Robertson's is about a 150 grit. Maybe 200.

k.d. lang, Sing it Loud. (A) This one is, surprisingly, my favorite one. I've only liked one other k.d. lang album before this one (Hymns of the 49th Parallel), and I think I only liked that one because she was covering some great songs. But I've liked a few of her other songs along the way, too. But this album is listenable all the way through (although one of the worst songs is the first one, which is just a bad idea), and there are a few songs on there that are pretty perfect. The album as a whole reminds me of Josh Rouse's Nashville, although there's definitely some differences, too. But I was not surprised today to read that Sing it Loud was recorded in Nashville. Really nice pedal steel all the way through, some nice banjo, and some low twangy tremolo guitar. The songs, though, are really pop songs but with country instrumentation. Anyway, here's one song off the CD that I think is just about perfect:

Anyway, so that's what I've been listening to for the last week or two. After work, Jeannie and I spent Saturday afternoon putting in the sub-flooring in the rear bedroom, and we listened to a mix of all of the cd's, so now in my head, the songs conjure images of working back there together. Which is not a bad thing. Here's the room with the floor in it, by the way:

The tricky part was getting the new floor to match up well to the edge of the old floor, but I think we did a good job. Anyway, the new floor at least keeps the mosquitoes out.

The Jeanners left for Birmingham yesterday. I don't know if it was because I had the bed to myself or because I was pretty tired, but I slept like a log last night. I was completely suprised when my alarm went off this morning. But anyway, I talked to the Jeanners last night when I got home from work and she said that somehow she managed to score a cushy hotel room while most of the other folks at the conference are staying on a church basement floor. Which is nice for her cause she has a hard time sleeping and staying asleep. Also nice for her because it's easier to bring dudes back to a hotel room than it is to a church basement floor. Trust me, I know.

That is all I got. I am going to take an hour nap and then I am going to go down in the basement and start tearing shit up.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Edwin Ignatius Elliot Icabod O'Brien (E.I.E.I.O.)

Last night I had a dream about a deli where I used to go eat lunch during college. They had delicious 1/2 pound burgers for a dollar ninety-nine. I believe that included fries. Then, after enjoying one of said tasty burgers, I would sit back and enjoy (indoors) several STOCKTON cigarettes, which cost $1.16 a pack. The good ol' days. I think it was one of those good dreams that's gonna make me feel sad and ill-at-ease for the rest of the day.

I am working an unusual (for me) Friday night shift today, which is why I have the morning off. I have been busting my ass all week, so I don't feel guilty about having a nice, leisurely morning. I also just realized that because I have the morning off, I can make a nice, tasty breakfast. Unfortunately, I did not plan ahead and I have no biscuits in the house. I think, then, that I shall make some fried potatoes to go with the eggs and fauxsage. Fry up the potatoes and fauxsage, throw in some scrambled egg juice and mix 'em all up in a down home skillet.

In world news, Osama Bin Laden has been killed. But world news seems very far away these days, so I have no thoughts on the matter.

My feet have really been bothering me lately. I (perhaps unwisely) went for a pretty long run the other day (down to lake montebello and around the lake and then back home, and I'd never been able to make it all the way home before because there's this killer fucking hill that's on the way back that gets me every time--but the other day I made it), and it actually feels like running helps sometimes, but not long runs like I made the other day. Or maybe I just need to do some stretches before running or something. And, of course, standin g at work all day isn't helping. I now wear two different insoles in my shoes, which seems to help a bit, but my heels still hurt a bit. Anyway, boring stuff.

The Jeanners and I went to karaoke last Saturday night. We were supposed to meet some folks there, but they stood us up. But it was fun, anyway, although I only got to sing one song and it was Bon Jovi and unexciting. But it was some good people watching. We debated the beauty/patheticness of someone who goes to karaoke every week and drinks several pitchers of beer and wears lots of tough-guy biker gear (plus a very incongruous bluetooth ear thingie) and sings Guns n' Roses songs. There really is a great mix of people at this particular bar, though. And relatively cheap beer.

J-Dog leaves town on Sunday for a week. D-Bone flying solo. I have plans to lock myself in the basement and get some work done (not meant as a double-entendre) and come up only to shit and go to work.

Breakfastime soon.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Does this have to do with teabagging?

Right now there is a latino-looking man using a weed whacker around some of the trees next door, and he's wearing one of those black, long-sleeved shirts with what appears to be a white, embossed skeleton torso on it, a la the Cobra Kai halloween costumes. Anyway, that doesn't have much to do with anything, I just happened to look out the window and that's what I saw and it made me think of the Cobra Kai.

Fear does not exist in this dojo.

Not too much going on today. I'm off work, and after doing some dishes and Ipod updating, I'm now going to spend the rest of the morning and probably a good portion of the afternoon pulling nails out of the floor of the back bedroom. We gots to take the floorboards up to try and level the joists underneath so we can then put down some hardwood on top and not feel like we're listing to the starboard side.

Perhaps I shall have a tasty egg-based breakfast before beginning.

Right now I'm listening to a CD that was sent to me by the U2 fan club (don't laugh at me), and it consists of duets that the band has done over the years. Right now I'm listening to a live duet with Mick Jagger on "Stuck in a Moment" that makes my perineum hurt. And not in a good way.

I finished The Pale King. It's strange to say, but it's about 550 pages long and it feels like it's maybe the first 20% of a novel. When it's published as "unfinished," it makes me think that maybe it lacks an ending or it needs to be polished or something, but that really is not the case in this instance. It was good, and I enjoyed reading it, but it really was just the beginning of something that, if DFW had been around to continue it, would have been gargantuan. It really reminds me of, like, finding a dinosaur bone or something. We've got like one tiny leg bone here, and the real ferocious, massive beast that one day was born and lived and ate and died will have to be a lost thing that exists only in the imagination.

I think I definitely will have eggs, and then it's off to pull nails. If I get done early, I might play a little Civ III.

p.s. The title of this post (or something like it, I can't remember exactly what Jeannie told me I said) is something that I said to Jeannie while I was sleeping 2 nights ago and she pulled the sheet up to cover me a little better.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dick Tricks and Poop Crunches

Happy Easter! Or as I like to call it, Greaseter.

The Jeanners and I busted our respective asses this weekend. Well, actually this Friday and Saturday because I had to work today. But anyway, Friday and Saturday we busted our asses. Got some drywall hung in our future bedroom and also our future mancave/unconceived potential future child's room. And because I'm a sucker for before and after pictures, I give you before:

And after:

There is a guy who has been coming to the store for the whole time I've worked there, pretty regularly, and he works for the local symphony orchestra. He is actually the librarian for the symphony, and he's a 100% classical music expert. Like, seriously. An expert. A super smart guy, always rumpled, bespectacled, balding with whisps of hair on the top that are always sticking up and waving around with the lightest of breezes, and totally and completely depressed. He is completely devoted to the arts and is watching interest in and support for the arts grow smaller and smaller every day. Especially his branch of the arts. And bsically, he looks around at the world and it seems like the complete opposite of the type of place he'd like to be, and it seems to be moving in the wrong direction, and he always seemed to be terribly lonely and isolated and basically I have always just been waiting for the day when he stopped coming in and I could safely assume that he had finally committed suicide. Well, he came in today and I was asking him how things at the symphony are going, and we had a variation of a conversation that we've had many times where he tells me that things at the symphony are going shittily, and things at symphonies around the country are going shittily, and that people aren't supporting the arts anymore, and that the arts "save us from ourselves," and that without art and literature and music, what do we become? I said "robots" but the correct answer was "shit." He actually started crying as he was talking with me about this. And I felt really bad, because I have total respect for the guy and I agree with him quite a bit and I can empathize with his rationally suicidal outlook on life. And so we finished up with that conversation and I figured it was just another typical conversation with Mr. K, but then he told me that he had a girlfriend (which is big news because one of the things that he was always lonely and suicidal about was the fact that he always seemed to be interested in one woman or another be they were never interest in him), and they had gone to high school together and had crushes on each other, but never acted on them, and then she got married and moved to Texas and had a son, then divorced, etc. etc. Anway, she'd been in Texas, and really lonely, and had been doing that thing where you pray for "a sign," and somehow she was visiting Baltimore and on a bus, and the bus lurched to a stop and Mr. K, who was also on the bus, bumped into her. And they chatted and then Mr. K sent her a message on and she's been coming up to visit and stuff and now there is talk of new girlfriend possibly moving to Baltimore and moving in with Mr. K. So he said (today) that he had to run because he had to seriously clean up his house.

Anyway, it was cute and funny and he seemed a little less suicidal.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Today, I think, was the first time that I ever took a poop which I described to myself as "woolly."

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Heel

I have worked some long days this week, which means I have been on my feet more than usual, which means my legs and feet have been hurting more than usual. Perhaps time to get new insoles.

Yesterday at work I saw a medical book that was called, like, "Treating Minor Emergencies," or something like that, and it had a drawing of a cross-section of ear with a bug in it on the cover, and inside it had treatments for things ranging from sunburn to removing a lemon (or jar) from somebody's ass. Also had some pictures of some pretty gnarly-looking skin ailments.

Lots of smallish jobs to get done today.

Monday, April 11, 2011

4 Score

The jeanners and I had a fantastic weekend trip up to Katie's farm outside Gettysburg. Well, it's actually outside Arendsville (or something like that) which is outside Biglerville. The farm itself may or may not be located in Ortanna. Anyway, we drove up in a leisurely fashion on Saturday afternoon, stopped and bought some pottery at a place where a co-worker of Jeannie takes pottery classes, and arrived in the late afternoon/early evening. Took a tour of the area and headed over to Katie's sister's (Anna's) house for a tasty meal and socializin' and game playing. Good, good time. It was really nice to just hang out with people that I feel fairly comfortable with. They're good folks.

Sunday we had a slow morning and a big breakfast and then explored the area a bit. I got car sick and ate mexican food. I had three cokes.

It was definitely a battery-recharging trip. It would be nice to be able to head up there on a regular basis. It's really not too far away (about an hour forty-five), and it's an easy drive.

It was back to work for me today, which was uneventful, and the Jeanners had the day off, which meant that she got to work on a plan for the future kitchen, and do a little garden work. We just finished watching a little Thirtysomething, which was a bit of a weeper.

I'm about halfway through The Pale King. Right now it feels more like a collection of stories than a novel. Understandably, I guess, considering it's unfinished. But it's good. Every time I pick it up it makes my stomach hurt.

Last night the J-Dog and I were in laying in bed and talking, and it felt kinda like the talks that people have who are just starting to date and who stay on the phone for hours talking and learning all about each other, and it's the kind of talk that makes you fall in love with the other person and makes you realize how wonderful it is to really "connect" with another person. It makes you realize why people use the word "connect" to describe that phenomenon. Anyway, it's the type of conversation that you have fewer of when you've been together awhile, but it was nice to know that they still happen every now and again.