More wine? Sure. What do I have to do to get it?

Last night was interesting

I had a fantasy baseball draft, and it’s a well-known fact that I draft best when half-drunk. And my “best”, I mean “in a way guaranteed to amuse the other people in the league”. So, I needed wine when I left work. I also needed dinner. Since the Shoprite in Ramey depresses me (Sorry hon, but it’s dark and has little prepared food), I found the nearest Stop and Shop. But, I left the directions at the office, so I was on my own when I set out. I found it OK, but got lost going to the hotel. Plus, since it’s NJ and they don’t sell wine in a supermarket, I had to find a liquor store. I drove damn well almost all the way to HealthCareRelatedCompany to find one. Having found wine and my way back, I got to the hotel.

Jeannine: Mr. Daddy. Howzit goin’
Me: (after 5 1/2 months finally annoyed) “Must you call me that?”
Jeannine: No.
Me: OK then (Now we’re on a first name basis. This would come in handy later in the evening)

I had a bottle of some crappy-ass wine that was too expensive because Bergen County NJ is too expensive. I was ready to go.

Things went well at the draft for a while. I had the #1 pick overall and took Albert Poo-holes with the pick. I have never drafted in the top spot before, so it was odd. I had forever and a half between picks and then 2 in a row. I realized that you are almost forced to pick people too early when in that position. As a result, I took a few people who are solid players, but maybe were picked too early. Among them was Nationals 3B, Ryan Zimmerman. But, I had to pick him. I had no choice.

It was all good until I tried to draft Adam Wainright in the 16th round and pushed the button for Francisco Liriano instead. (Smed is laughing at me right now). It’s best not to draft people who are on the season-long DL with a case of “His arm fell off”. Good move by me. In doing so, I had done my job for the evening; I had made a boneheaded pick and amused the group.

Some time during this, my phone rang.

Now, mind you, in the 5 months that I’ve been staying here, my in-room phone has never rung. Not a once. It took me 2 tries to answer because I couldn’t figure out how to pick up the line.

Hello?
Hi. It’s me. (Jeannine and her shotgun-like voice) I have to ask you the weirdest question ever.
OK?
Some woman here needs a ride in the morning to HealthCareRelatedCompany and I can’t find her a cab. (whispers) It may be for an interview. (not whispering anymore) Anyway, what time do you leave in the morning?
Um…7:45?
Good. I’ll tell her.
Um…I have to make a pick (she knew I was drafting) I’ll come down in a minute.

Baffled, I drafted some bozo and went to the lobby

Jeannine eye-nudged me over to the end of the counter and eye-pointed to a woman in the food room (because calling it a restaurant is a stretch, don’t you think?)

That’s her. She looks normal enough, doesn’t she?
Sure. Can I get a glass of wine?

So, I not only got a glass on the house, I got the last 2 inches of the bottle. Because, that’s what I needed; more wine.

The draft ended and I picked up Boof Bonser with the last pick. Mostly because his name is actually Boof. I told the group that I had Boof Bonsered JewelrySlut the other night. I’ll be here all week folks, try the veal.

I called JewelrySlut after the draft and proceeded to babble at her like a true champion. I think I told her at least twice that I had to drive some woman to HealthCareRelatedCompany this morning. At one point, I stopped and asked if I’d already told her the story. I was a little bit drunk.

I babbled a little while longer and then wandered back to the lobby. It seems my services were going to be needed a bit earlier. 7:45 was no longer acceptable. I needed to be ready at 7:30. Ugh…there went my extra time in the morning. I like to sit in my underpants reading ESPN.com. Clearly that was not happening now!

The desk was all a twitter. Dave was freaking out because it was now almost 10:30 and they were “Plus 2″. They still had 2 more people booked than they had rooms. He was pacing back and forth, calling the Sheraton across the street, looking for rooms for the 2 people. Jeannine was dealing with asshole customers.

It seems that just about every person who checks into the hotel is an asshole. They say horribly inappropriate things to Jeannine. Now, don’t get me wrong, she’s a snappy looking babe and I hope to look that good after having 7 kids, but inappropriate is inappropriate. Someone wanted to know if, as a Platinum Member, she’d be visiting him in his room later in the evening. No, dickbag, you get to choose from the basket of candy just like everyone else. And, to make it worse, he kept repeating the joke. It just kinda hung there like a fart in an elevator. Dave, while not panicking over the “Plus 2″ was starting to seethe. He looks out for Jeannine and was not happy. Finally, Mr. Dickbag left and I was able to resume having the front desk hold me upright.

It was nearly 11 when I stumbled back down the hall. Happily, I did not fall asleep in a pile of my own stink. That would have been awkward in the morning.

Fortunately, I woke up this morning with a relatively clear head. It’s hotter than balls in the office, and I just hope that if I start sweating I don’t end up smelling like wine.

It’s too quiet in the office. I need to start singing or something.

No Jerkface, that’s not your seat!

Ahhh…NJ. How I love thee. Let me count yet another way:
There’s snow on the ground. It’s supposed to be in the 70′s today. It’s really lovely.

Have I recently mentioned how much I don’t miss living here?

But, let’s go back to NC for a moment. Back to Saturday.

We woke up and went downstairs for a leisurely breakfast. A lovely day had dawned. The sun was out, it was warm and there was an angry cat stuck in a wire mesh trap just outside our dining room windows.

When JewelrySlut sat down, she jumped because, sitting there just outside the window behind her, was this massive black and white cat. Now, I’d been told by Animal Control that they didn’t work weekends so I should being in the traps on Friday nights. Well, I didn’t and we had caught us a cat. I figured I’d call one of the local shelters, gather the cat, trap and all, into my car and go drop it off.

Once the shelters opened, I went to work.

The trap is probably about 3-4 feet long and maybe a foot tall. It’s made of wire mesh. The end opens and there’s a spring-loaded trap door. The cat steps on a lever placed in the middle of the cage and the door slams shut.

I gathered up our cat carriers and a large blanket to put in my car. I didn’t know if Mr. Cat would get sick and shit all over, so I wanted my seats protected. I went outside to gather my catch. I grabbed the little handles and nearly got mauled. The cat sprang to life, snarling and hissing, claws flying and generally being unhappy. JewelrySlut, of course, was in the doorway laughing her ass off. I told her, again, that she should have the camera out because this was bound to be amusing. Also, when the cat started moving, it released a horrid stench. I don’t know if it shat itself or it just smelled like a dirty cat. Either way, it was putrid.

So, now I had a cat that needed moving to my car. The cat was mad. I tried to grab the cage and kinda tip it on end. I figured the cat could be all at the end of the cage and be as far from me as possible. I tipped up the cage and the cat took flight. It was all over the place, again with the clawing and the hissing. WHAM! I dropped it to the ground. JewelrySlut…still laughing. Not giving up, I grabbed the cage at one end, near the trap door thing. There’s an overhang of maybe 6-8 inches between the end of the cage and the interior. I figured this was safe because there was no way the cat could reach me. I grabbed it and the cat took off again, this time using telescoping legs to claw at me. I shrieked and dropped the cage.

By now, the cat had won. I called the number on the cage and told whoever it was who answered that I had an extremely angry cat in my yard and I needed it picked up. We left it there in the front yard and went about our day.

Since it was warm out, the rest of our day involved throwing out a bunch of crap from the clubhouse and going up to Falls Lake to sit in the sun. The lake was nice. One of Shmuppie’s classmates was there so they played in the water…the cold water. But, when you’re 4, you have no internal thermostat. We got some sun and had a good time.

Sunday was mostly painless. My father was at the house by 8:30 because we had a fantasy baseball draft to do. Not an overly religious group apparently. I think our team stinks. I have another draft tonight and that team will also likely stink.

And now I’m here.

Riddle me this:
I get on the plane yesterday morning. We were on a small plane, there’s a single row of seats down the left side, an aisle, and a double row on the right. One can assume that Continental Airlines uses the English language to assign seat numbers, right? So, if I have seat B, don’t I have to be on the aisle of the 2-seat side? If A is the solo seat, B is across from it. If A is the window on the double side, B must be next to it, right? No matter how you cut it, B has to be the aisle seat of the double row.

I get on the plane, and head for 5B. There’s a doofy-looking guy sitting in it. I look at him, look at the rows, look at him and ask “Do you have 5B?” He looked at me like I was speaking Urdu.
“I have 5C. Is that the aisle?”
“No, 5C is the window. I don’t care where I sit, but I either need you to move to the window seat or to move so I can sit down”
He moved to the window. And proceeded to sit with his legs all in my space. He had on ugly pants too. I hated him.

I love flying.

It’s my life; all you have to do it sit back and watch it happen

Before you go any further, please visit this site. It will keep you entertained for hours.

I now present you with another chapter from “These things Write Themselves” by NoGoodDaddy.

On Wednesday evening, my father called. He needed me to come over the following day to help him with the pond.

They have a fish pond in the backyard. It’s of a decent size and has an elaborately complicated filtration system. When they bought the house, the previous owner showed me how to prime the pump and take care of it. Basically, you keep it running and it does the rest. My mother being my mother wants to drain the pond, scrub the walls and generally make a disaster of things. I want no part of that. The system is self-cleaning and works well.

Anyhoo…he calls the other night because the main out-flow pipe isn’t flowing and the water had gotten murky. I needed to come over.

Background: when he’s not in NJ for work, my father works from home. And, either because he sometimes has a pole up his ass or because he hasn’t been doing it for long, he’s still playing the whole “Pretend I’m not here…I’m at work and am on work time” thing. So, if my mother needs anything during the day, she doesn’t ask him. Like, one day he needed to go to the store to buy honey. He had a sore throat and was making tea with honey. She asked him to pick up milk. He said he could not because he was on work time (while leaving the office to go to the supermarket) and could not buy milk.

So, when he needed me to come over to the house in the middle of the workday, we had an obvious subversion of the rules. Me? I could care less about work. I, however, suspected that they had been messing around in the pond and had broken it.

We head to their house and I go down to where the pumps live. I can see that the pump is straining and that the filter basket is all mucked up. My father had told me that the basket looked fine, so it’s quite clear that he doesn’t know what dirt looks like. I pry apart the filter and remove the hideously clogged basket. I notice funny-looking orange things in it. Wondering what they are, I head outside to the hose.

I tip over the basket and out pops a fish…a mangled fish. Looks like we’d found our culprit. I scoop out fish bits and get everything nice and clean. It seems that the covers for the 2 intake pipes had come off and a fishy had been sucked to its death. Poor fishy.

Now, I need to put the covers on the intake pipes. The pipe is in roughly the middle of the pond. My father is using a pole to hold it from underneath. I’m now supposed to reach across the pond and put the caps on the pipes. Keeping in mind that my arms are not 7 feet long, I wonder aloud just how in hell I’m supposed to do this. Then, both parents start getting pissy at me. I don’t know why they’re pissy, but they are. The only way I’m getting this thing put back together is by going in. This sets my father off like you would not believe. Mind you, it’s not him going into the ice-cold water. It’s me. I ask for a pair of shorts or a bathing suit. He storms off saying that there’s no way he’s going to talk me out of this so he just might as well do what I want.

Excuse me? As I said again…how the hell did you want me to do this otherwise?

He returns and I change into a fetching bathing suit.

Into the pond I go. He’s still seething. I mention that this would be a good time to either get a camera out or get my brother on the phone because he’d want the play by play when I fall and go swimming. The parents are still mad. Again, I don’t know why. Maybe because they still hate each other. Beats me.

The pond has a plastic/rubber bottom (it’s man-made). As you can imagine, it’s slick as all hell from algae and funk. This is going to be fun. I put one foot in and the cold water immediately freezes my leg. My foot touches the bottom and immediately flies out from under me. I manage to hold on to something and not fall completely in. I managed to grab some rocks and use them as footholds as I slowly walked across the bottom of the pond. You also have to note that during all of this, Shmuppie is yelling at me because I’m not supposed to be in the pond. My father is still seething, JewelrySlut is cracking up and the dogs are eating their own shit. It’s a lot of fun. I reach the middle and can reach the intake pipes. My father throws me the end caps and I screw them into place. Still freezing to death and trying not to fall, I gingerly make my way to the edge and crawl out.

Now it’s time to go under the house and prime the pump. This, like all things, is a process. You really need 2 people to do it. It involves a large garbage can, a few hoses, some valves and prayer.

Well, it took 3 tries to get the pump going. You have to do it by feel. There are 2 valves that need to be worked; one needs to slowly be closed while you open another. If you do one or the other too fast, you lose the prime and have to start over. Well, of course, while I’m doing this, my father is seething. Again, why he’s seething while I do all the work is way beyond me. I finally get the prime and finish up. I now smell like fish mung and want to go home.

Shmuppie had behaved this week so she got to sleep over at their house last night. That was good. We went home and I showered. I had to go down to the clubhouse with my Treasurer to find some old documents. I found all kinds of awesome shit; like the meeting minutes from the 70′s. I also learned that there was a guy who seems to have been board president for like 12 years. He’s a much better man than I am.

JewelrySlut and I got to go out to dinner last night. That was nice. We also hit the ABC store to stock up on booze. It seems everything had run out at once. We ended up buying 3 bottles of vodka and 3 bottles of rum. It’s hard to believe that we could need more rum considering that we have like 12 bottles, but we needed 3 more. We got a tankard of Gosling’s because it was ridiculously on sale, a bottle of Cruzan and some Bacardi Limon. Throw in the bottle of Ketel One (for martinis), a tank of vodka (for mixed drinks) and a Smirnoff lemon, and we came in just under the limit. Apparently, in NC, if you buy too much booze at once, you have to fill out paperwork. The guy explained it as having to do with bootlegging and NASCAR. I don’t know what to say, but the South is a strange place.

Well, that’s it for me. My NCAA pools have gone to shit and I have to go to NJ next week. While there, I get to attend a celebration of the partnership between RedCompany and HealthCareRelatedCompany. We’ve already celebrated a few times. The thought seems to be that if we throw a party every few months, the folks at HealthCareRelatedCompany won’t realize what a disaster this has been.

I need to go shave. The goatee is coming back. But, in order to not look like a total doofus this week, I let a full beard grow in until it was long enough that I felt the goatee could stand on its own. It’s time.

The titles were easier when I made sure to find a song lyric

Housekeeping:
Regarding the last 2 posts…
Images seem to be giving me and the site trouble. Pete thinks it’s the theme I’m using. It’s got some bug in it. I’m doing all the code correctly, even though he did accuse me of not doing so. It seems to work on IE but not with Firefox. Since IE is for weenies, we’re (and by We I mean “Pete”) looking for a theme that goes both ways. Dirty little theme. You like it both ways, don’t you? Yea…you like it.

Whoa. That got a little ugly there.

Onward…

Thanks. I’m pissed off, how are you?

Remember a little while ago I mentioned that JewelrySlut and I were going to enjoy a weekend in Boston? Bzzzzz. Try again dumbass.

We’re being sent, not to a nice downtown hotel, but to a training compound somewhere on the outskirts of Boston. So, instead of a weekend of sightseeing, drinking and hotel sex, I get a weekend of flights, time in a compound and time with my coworkers. It’s not good times.

I’m really not happy. I was looking forward to having some fun.

I think I may add a new feature to the site. I want to highlight awful writing in the newspaper. I posted a link and article about a goober who had a snowblower at his house. Today, I post this:

This is some crappy writing

Some excerpts:

“Michael, a 12-year-old from Greensboro, spent three nights lost in the rocky and steep mountains in Doughton Park before being found Tuesday morning. Rescuers, including a search dog named Gandalf, found Michael shortly before 11 a.m. walking along a creek in the state park about a half-mile from where he disappeared.” – Thanks for mentioning the dog’s name.

“Michael was dehydrated and hungry for store-bought Grandma’s cookies and chicken fingers, but he was in good spirits as he recovered Tuesday evening at Wilkes Regional Medical Center in North Wilkesboro.” – Excellent brand placement for the cookies if you ask me.

“Michael won’t get in trouble for wandering from the group, but “we’ll have to cover hitchhiking with Michael later,” Auberry said.” – I think we need to do a Scared Straight-type program where he watches NC Hillbillies like WCG’s neighbors rape transients.

“He slept in tree branches” – Thanks for that

“Gandalf, the dog that found Michael, is a 2-year-old Shiloh shepherd named after the wizard in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
Gandalf’s trainer, Misha Marshall of Chesnee, S.C., and her team arrived early Tuesday at the mountain and had been looking for Michael for about two hours when Gandalf found him in an area of 30- to 40-degree rocky slopes, she said.
Gandalf was working off the leash, running ahead of Marshall and another searcher, Erin Horn of Spartanburg. Gandalf caught a scent of Michael, probably from a piece of clothing, Marshall said.
“He popped his head up in a direction — that’s what they do,” she said. “He popped his head up three times when he caught the scent.” – Oh the horror. What a dose of atrocity to greet me on the cover of the state section this morning.

Again, I know I can’t write worth a lick, but, then again, I don’t get paid to do so. The doofus who wrote that drivel was paid to do so. Not good.

Moving on…

Remember when I was having a nervous breakdown a few weeks ago? It seems to be over. And, I’m not happy to say that I think the trip to NJ helped. It somehow rebooted my brain. I was sick all week and had late flights, but it somehow cleared my brain. Knowing my luck, next week will leave me all screwed up again.

I really have nothing else to add. I have conference calls from 12:00-2:00 and then 2:30 – 3:00. I can’t wait. That leaves me no time to go to the gym today. That makes me sad.

More fun with picture uploading

There will be more fun with pictures at the end of this entry, but since Petey has not yet figured out what in hell happened last week, I’ll post them at the end.

STOP SCROLLING! The witty entry is worth the wait!

I’ve noticed lately that this thing has taken on a new personality. It’s less and less about me being a lousy father and more about me being a guy who has really weird shit happen to him.

Case in point:

Friday evening, we’re sitting in the basement. I’m on about hour 22 of basketball watching since Thursday at noon. JewelrySlut is playing on her computer and generally being driven mad by the fact that I insist on trying to watch 3 or 4 games all at once. It’s not something that women understand. I’m convinced.

Anyway, at about 9:30, the phone rang. I figured it was my father calling to tell me that he just now learned how to work the remote and had found all 4 games. No. Based on the past week, I should have known better. It was BSG on the phone.

BSG? Yea. BSG. Short for Big Sexy Glen, our next-door neighbor. Let me describe the BSG. BSG is an older black gentleman. He’s probably in his late 50′s or early 60′s. He teaches at one of the local universities. However, as a black man, he’s about as convincing as C Thomas Howell in Soul Man. I have more black in me than he does. He teaches property management and, as a hobby, sends letters to our property management company about every 2 months or so threatening to sue us.

He’s a fucking dickbag. He’s rude. He’s an asshole. He’s just not a nice guy. I’ve made several attempts at conversation and/or nice neighborness, and it usually ends with him cursing at me and walking away.

Because of this attitude, nobody bothered to wake him up the other morning when we all had flat tires. We didn’t want to hear about it. So, when he came outside to go to work the following day, I had to let him know that he wasn’t going anywhere on account of his 2 flat tires. He had failed to notice the parade of tow trucks in the lot all morning. Now, his car had been in the shop, so he had a loaner that got slashed. Later that evening, he came home with his car. He left his dome light on. We saw it. We did not go to his house to tell him. Because he’s an asshole. So, on Thursday morning, he came by and banged on the door for a jump. Boo-hoo, the jump didn’t work and his car had to be towed. Served him right. JewelrySlut felt a twinge of guilt over knowingly letting his battery die. That was until Friday night.

As I was saying, the phone rang at 9:30. He was on his cell. He’s locked himself out of the house and CrazyAnne had told him I had a ladder. I told him he could borrow it and I’d get my shoes on. He said he “had a dish coming over to watch the game” (NC State in the NIT) and needed to get home soon. That’s right, folks, he referred to his lady friend as “a dish”. I got my sneakers and headed to the door; expecting to see him pull into the lot in a few minutes. I waited. Then, I went downstairs. I waited some more. I checked my watch. Finally, at 10:45, I went outside, got my ladder and put in his backyard. I put a note on our door that basically said “WTF Dude?” Then, we closed up and went to bed.

10:55: the phone rings again. He hopes I’m not “in the bed” (what?) yet because he’ll be home soon.

You have got to be kidding me.

11:05, he rolls into the lot. Mind you, it poured all day on Friday. Also, the ladder in question was my grandfather’s. It’s probably almost 60 years old. It’s made of wood and starting to rot. But, I keep it because I think it’s the last thing I have that belonged to my Papa.

BSG and I walk out back and he complains about the ladder. I tell him it’s all I have and he’s more than willing to climb up. He has a basement unit like ours. We’re on the ground level behind the house. He climbs the ladder and vaults himself on to the deck. I’ve done this move before and it’s not that bad. I start gathering up the ladder, ready to go home. I assume his back doors are open. They’re not. At this point, JewelrySlut is on our deck, looking on in horror and The Dish is outside the fence doing the same. I pass the ladder up to BSG on the deck. He’s climbing through a bedroom window…3 stories up. He goes up the ladder and kinda flings himself through a window. For a second or 2, he just kinda hangs there, legs flailing in the moonlight, ladder teetering back and forth.

I walk The Dish up around the house to the front door. At this point, his alarm system is going bonkers. The Dish and I wait. And wait. Finally, I decide to run down the hill around back to see if he’s there. Apparently he had been because JewelrySlut told him I was around front. By the time I ran back around front, he and The Dish were in the house and the lights were off.

No thank you. No Good night. No nothing.

Asshole.

He finally got around to coming over at about lunchtime on Saturday to offer a cursory thank you and to tell me I could take my ladder home.

He’s a great guy.

From there, the weekend was painless. I had a few moments of glee. On Saturday, before Washington State lost, I was #240 in the ESPN pool. Considering that about 4 million people join, I was impressed with myself. Since they didn’t stop the tournament at that point, I officially sick now. Alas.

My parents came over on Saturday for dinner and took Shmuppie with them when they left. So, JewelrySlut and I had an evening all by ourselves and Sunday to ourselves. It was peaceful. I got a haircut and we got passport pictures taken.

Enjoy.

We have the old passport photo (scanned off the passport). This was taken 10 years ago. The second shows the ravages of the past 10 years.

old passport

mugshot

Pete: the pictures are side by side. I didn’t want that to happen! SHIT! I can’t get anything right.