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Friday, October 29, 2004
That’s Sick
Well, we’d been blessed for a great deal of this year. And now we begin the dreaded Winter (or, sick) months. Memories of the Great New Year’s Flu of 2004 are still pretty fresh and, now that Mia’s not part of the high-risk pediatric group, we know all too well what we have to look forward to.

The “sick” months started with something unrelated to season illness---a nice bout of viral nausea. She threw up the entire contents of her stomach at daycare Wednesday morning and was then fine for the rest of the day . . . until the evening when she puked up some juice and store-brand Crispix. And then some more after her bath, thus ensuring that she wouldn’t see the inside of the daycare for at least one more day.

I was home with her yesterday, along with Michelle (who was also sick). She spit up again yesterday morning, and was acting lethargic and ornery. I took her to the doctor, who told me that we were doing all the right things and that the virus was unfortunately lingering. She cried herself to sleep at naptime and awoke about an hour later refreshed and much better. She hasn’t thrown up since and is back at daycare. And my phone hasn’t rung all day.

The moral of the story: Any day you don’t get an adverse call from the daycare (or school) is a good day. Particularly when you earn 45 minutes of sick leave every week, and you just used about 11 hours in two days.

In other news, my car’s A/C drain is leaking into my car . . . again. Those motherfuckers.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004
All My Friends, the Socialists
I got this link to a political quiz* over at Dawn’s. It uses 40 questions to determine where you fall in the political spectrum/axis. So, I forwarded the link to several friends** and family members. Turns out my wife is more of a “centrist,” but almost all of my friends (who responded) are more liberal than I am. And my boss must be fuckin’ Karl Marx.

I also forwarded the link to my mother-in-law, who is a tax-friendly social conservative (otherwise known as a “totalitarian” . . . Darth Vader is an example they give of a celebrity totalitarian). I’d guess Michelle’s dad would be at least as socially conservative, but much more fiscally conservative.

Observe the results:

Where do you fall?

* I forwarded this to one of my coworkers, who sent back a link to the site’s “slut” quiz. Turns out I’m 54% “slut.” There were comments from some of the other respondents (who were much sluttier). One wrote that he’d fucked his best friend’s girlfriend in the elevator of his apartment building. Another wrote that after receiving oral sex from a “pretty young girl,” he proceeded to have sex with the girl’s mother while the girl was in the shower. However, the icing on the cake was the guy who claimed that he’d sucked off his best friend’s dad. I don’t know how true any of these claims are, but shit . . . that last one is just plain wrong.

** All this political writing/talking/ranting is going to come to an abrupt end sometime next week (I hope). After the election, no matter which way it turns out, some of these same communists friends and I are going to start a political ‘blog. There are many details to be worked out, but if/when something shapes up, I’ll let you all know.

Monday, October 25, 2004
Kamikaze Psycho
Y’know in the beginning of American Psycho, where Patrick Bateman is telling us about his morning ritual? Do you have one of those? Maybe not as clinical and exact as Mr. Bateman’s, but do you use the same products, in the same order, in the same way, each and every day?

I think about this shit sometimes. Because I’ve fallen into a routine, although my product-use is somewhat un-rigid. I can safely say that my “metrosexual” reputation wasn’t born with my hygiene routine. You can imagine Christian Bale’s voice narrating my morning:

The alarm goes off at 6:15 each morning. The clock is across the room, so I have to get out of bed to turn it off. Once the echoes of beeping have subsided, I stand bracing myself against the wall in the dark for a few moments before heading to the shower. Our shower is special (in the retarded way), so I turn on the hot water and wait about 15 to 20 seconds for it to start running lukewarm before I step into the stall and turn on the cold water to balance things out. I start by lathering my hair with whatever Suave / Prell / Pert 2-in-1 shit I have on-hand. Before rinsing my hair, I soap my face with the oatmeal-blend hotel soap from our trip(s) to Destin. After that, I use the bath wash / gay-scrubby combo to wash my body (the body wash is about as particular as shampoo). Once, I’m fully rinsed off, I towel-dry, starting with my hair, which goes from the towel to my shaving hat (a backwards baseball hat I use to keep my hair out of the shaving cream . . . also keeps my hair flat so I don’t have to brush it . . . seriously, I haven’t brushed my hair in over a month). The shaving ritual is a little more brand-specific than the showering ritual, in that I use Edge gel and a Gillette Mach 3 Turbo razor. Once I get the shaving cream on, I get dressed on the lower half of my body. Then I shave (using very-bad short, quick strokes), apply no after-shave or cologne, and finish getting dressed.

I can’t believe this is what I’ve been reduced to. But Michelle already covered a lot of the weekend which, even for us, was pretty non-exciting. Two weeks from now, however, we’ll be getting back from Atlanta with more than a few stories to tell. Of course, several of you will have read them lived them, so what’s the point, really?

Thursday, October 21, 2004
Botox.* Heh, That’s Funny. But Who’s Your Daddy?
I stopped by Kat’s to console her (sort of) about her team losing. And “losing” is putting it kindly. As much of an ass-kicking as the game was, I really thought that the Red Sox were gonna crumble when they put Pedro in to pitch. Hello, remember last year?

Now, for my wife’s sake (and mine), I really want to not care about baseball anymore. So here’s what we need to happen: The Astros need to win Game 7 tonight, and then the Red Sox need to rain down a gadzillion home runs on the “Rocket” so he’ll fucking retire for good, and then the Red Sox need to finally break The Curse.


In other news, I have blood all over my shirt.

After I’d left the house with Mia (on the way to an eye appointment, then daycare), I noticed there was blood on her shirt, her left hand, her left arm, and scattered other places on her body. She didn’t seem to be in pain, or really bothered by it much, but there was quite a bit of blood. Then I noticed I had blood on my shirt where I’d been holding her. I dug out a wipe and gave it to her to get the blood off her hands; she played with it for a second and then put the wipe down on the seat next to her.

When we got to the hospital, I used the wipe to get all the blood off of her and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. It could’ve been a puncture wound on her fingertip, but I couldn’t see it. Was it paint from the living room?

Anyway, because I have no basic hygiene / grooming / appearance-improvement skills am too lazy to worry about going home to change clothes, I guess I’ll go around with blood all over my right shoulder. I could change into the Hard Rock Café t-shirt I have in the car, but it probably smells like the stank I’ve been plagued with since I had my A/C leaking problem.

* how Kat refers to the "BoSox"

Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Jeremy Spoke in Claa-aas TodaaaaaaAAAAY . . . HOOO, HOOO, HOOO, HOOO, HOOO, HOOO, HOOO
First of all, I guess I should apologize to Michelle for my behavior last night. This “behavior” included watching baseball. And, for that, I am sorry. I guess it’s just because it’s the Yankees and Red Sox, with the latter trying to do something no baseball team has ever done before. Against the team that represents everything that is bad (and sacred) about baseball.

Also, for those of you who, like my wife, weren’t paying attention, A-Rod is a big fat cheater.

Go Red Sox!


Here are two observations that have me questioning just how specialized broadcast media and advertising have become:

-- I’ve noticed that all the Wal-Mart “testimonial” commercials I see feature people with Southern accents. Being in the South, this doesn’t surprise me. Except when I think about whether the Wal-Mart commercials in New England feature people with Bostonian accents. I mean, how region-specific is Wal-Mart’s advertising?

-- When I drive home after picking Mia up from daycare, I usually don’t listen to CDs, unless I have something dance-y / bouncy / upbeat in my car (because I’m not sure I need to subject my 2-year-old to moody post-rock or loudly melodramatic British guitar rock). So, I surf the radio stations. And I’ve noticed a peculiar trend. The “80s, 90s, and today” station, the “classic rock” station, and the “new rock” station all seem to play Pearl Jam and/or Red Hot Chili Peppers for the drive home. A lot. These bands represent a very, very small part of their respective potential playlists, yet I hear those bands all the time. Now, if you like Pearl Jam and/or Red Hot Chili Peppers, then that’s great. I don’t have much of an opinion either way about either band, so . . . y’know. Has anyone else noticed this in their Arbitron-tested, inoffensive, market-tested, commerical-drowned radio broadcast area?

Monday, October 18, 2004
I saw a lot of great and interesting stuff over the weekend. While not all of it could be as magical as the happy-flash in Mia’s eyes while we played with a balloon yesterday, it was worth documenting here. Maybe.

-- We got to see what Mia’s third birthday could be like if we invited several kids from daycare, as well as many other partially related kids. And it wasn’t pretty. Michelle commented that we’d only have small family gatherings for Mia’s (early) birthdays. I agreed.

-- I got to see my alma mater finally play coach to win a game. Don’t get me wrong; the players came to play (no doubt inspired by all the predictions of their defeat). But to see them dismantle a team thought to be so strong . . . that was inspiring. Y’know, if you’re a football fan. Rooting for FSU.

-- We were pulling into the Eckerd/CVS Drugs drive-thru yesterday. There was a car at the window with its rear driver-side door open and a young boy standing next to the car. “What is that?” Michelle asked. I could just tell it was a boy . . . with his hands down near his crotch. He turned a little and that’s when I fully realized he was peeing. In broad daylight. In a drugstore drive-thru. And, lemme tell ya, he was arcing that pee about 5 feet. (Rather than directly confronting the situation, we parked in front of the store and went in to get the prescriptions. We told the pharmacy tech/cashier about the peeing incident, and she was unimpressed.)*

-- I got to see my beloved Steelers beat the once-hated Cowboys. I use “once-hated” because I’d always hated them, but I’ve backed off in recent years because their lameness had diffused the hate somewhat. But now that they’re getting better, and have the Big Tuna coaching for them, maybe it’s time to re-ignite that hatred. Had Testeverde not totally fumbled the game away for them, I would’ve been back on the hate-wagon. But right now, my team’s on a Halloween collision course with the undefeated-record-setting Patriots.


* This was really the reason for the post. I thought I’d seen more great stuff this weekend. Maybe I did and forgot. Maybe I just felt like writing about all the great football I got to see this weekend. Hey, at least I’m writing about real football and not fantasy football (and my team, The Angry Dragons).

Friday, October 15, 2004
6:30 Tiger
Waking to the borrowed cell-phone alarm, I
know we must collect our rafting-wet clothes,
gather ourselves,
shuffle out to the car.

There is no encouragement you can shout
to someone flying overboard.
There is no time.
From airborne
to the cold slap of water
to 30 feet downstream---
hiking boots heavy with the river’s bitter bacteria---
the heart doesn’t beat once.

I struggle to touch the bottom of the rain-swollen river,
struggle to bring my feet up and forward
to guide myself down the rapids,
all the while thinking,
“This is it. This is how it ends.”

This sudden morning, I’m rinsed clean---
bedewed, adrift in a haze of cottonmouth
and contentment.
From a listing, eddy-trapped raft, I’m
lifted, pitched, launched,
but not unpiloted, not air-drowned
and grasping for the rope bag,

but home-bound,

on a highway from me to myself.


6:30 a.m. was the time we woke up to leave the rented cabin in Tiger (a backwoods town in extreme Northeastern Georgia). This poem was revised so many times over the course of a year, it’s not even funny. The back-story is (mostly) here. The poem leaves out the part where I pulled Mr. ADD off the raft with me, but hints at me being in a state of PTSD for the rest of that day (until I started drinking and passing a “funny” cigarette by the bonfire).

Thursday, October 14, 2004
You’d Better Get This Party Started
Another milestone: Mia got invited to her first birthday party. It’s for a boy who’s turning three. I think he and my daughter have some kind of flirtation. I also think he’s a little slow. Anyway, the birthday party is here, this Saturday morning.


Speaking of “a little slow,” have you people been watching the debates? I guess it would just fuckin’ figure that coming down the home stretch, the debates have only helped to muddy the water. I mean, going into them, Kerry was down quite a bit but, with Bush’s first-debate fumble, he’s pulled even . . . but no further.

It was more-than-slightly disconcerting to see Bush pull his shit together more and more with each successive debate. Last night’s was somewhat close . . . y’know, from a purely independent-voter/overall impression perspective (because, in the harsh light of Reality, Bush at best comes off like an exasperated and desperate weasel spouting half-truths and empty rhetoric . . . and Kerry doesn’t look a lot better).

I have a feeling we’re still gonna be sorting through our votes when Iraq has their elections in January sometime next year.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Before the debate last Friday, Dayment sent out an e-mail with a link to the Bush Bingo card. I forwarded it to some of my coworkers . . . one of whom suggested that we play at lunch this week. So, being the dutiful little miscreant that I am, I printed several Bingo “cards” and taped the debate Friday night. Today during lunch, we watched and played the tape.

I was surprised that we actually had a winner, because some of the Bingo “squares” were a little dated, and this was a debate and not one of his catch-phrase heavy campaign speeches.

I think I was a “tax relief” away from winning. The lucky winner used the free space and had a “giggle” and a “smirk” on the same row. That’s just not fair. You can’t compete with that.

Monday, October 11, 2004
Things Mia has mastered in her 25.5 months on the planet:
-- Accurately locating her “booty” (with both hands) when that part of her body is referenced.
-- Asking for more “juith” when the liquid in her cup is “gone.”
-- Kicking a soccer ball on command (and in the general direction requested).

Things Mia’s father has not mastered in his 33 years on the planet:
-- Chewing with his mouth closed.
-- How to avoid making improper comments in mixed company.
-- How to keep his wife from wanting to paint and/or re-arrange several rooms in the house every 6 to 12 months.

Thursday, October 07, 2004
Kamikaze Reading Hour
I’ve been trying to keep up with my resolved reading schedule, which means I need to read 12 books this year. It think I’m on pace to meet that goal, although I slacked a bit this Summer.

Last night, I finished a real page-turner called The Girl Who Played Go by Shan Sa. It’s the story of a Manchurian girl and a Japanese soldier whose lives become entangled in pre-World War II China. I’d recommend it, highly, although many people don’t share my taste in books and might not enjoy its stark / spare imagery and characterization, sharp yet poetic language, sudden flourishes of violence, Asian historical anecdotes, and forays into erotica. But the combination of these make for a very languid, pleasing read.

I give it 8 shots out of a possible 10.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Dear Liberal Coworker/Neighbor*
Look, I’m really sorry about not inviting you to order lunch with us for my birthday.** It’s just that, well, we don’t usually have lunch with you, especially not when we order in. I didn’t invite [UglyTrailerSkank], either, and she does eat lunch with us a lot (but that’s because she didn’t invite me to her wedding, which I pitched in on a gift for).

Anyway, don’t hold it against me and get all passive-aggressive about it over the e-mail when I invite you to go out for pizza with us today. I know you don’t have a “better offer.” And, ask yourself, how often do you invite me to lunch? Wait, why am I apologizing to you, douchebag? No, seriously.

Your comrade in arms,

* borrowed from CW (via Michelle)

** Actually, we went to Moe’s the day after my birthday, and ordered in (Chinese/Japanese) a couple days later (the “official” birthday lunch).

Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Happy Monday Tuesday
I think today has been yesterday was good to me. Here’s why:

-- The FSU radio station played my “12 o’clock Takeover” today. The songs were “Helicon 1” (Mogwai), “Obstacle 1” (Interpol), “Misco” (Ms John Soda), “Moya”* (Godspeed), and “The Wedding Disaster” (The Butchies). I put that my name as Norm the Indifferent (my name from Kingdom of Loathing) and that “I'm married to a little drummer girl” (as something interesting about me).

-- The Explosions in the Sky show was pretty good . . . not quite as much of a life-changing event as the first time I saw them. Anyway, I found out that they didn’t play an encore in Atlanta, either, which made me feel better about our show and our stupid little town.**

-- My car’s still not fixed. Yeah, this is no reason to be claiming a “happy” day, but it’s just typical . . . which lets me know that life is okay. I mean, they broke my window. I bet if I hadn’t told the Service Department manager that I had a back-up car (my mom’s van) on Saturday, he’d have my fuckin’ car done today, or he’d be renting me a replacement. Tomorrow, I’m done being taken for a ride. Unless I feel like waiting to get my car until the weekend. I mean, wouldn’t it be badass to pester them into getting my windshield fixed, really hassling and harassing them, and then say, “Oh, well, I’m not going to be able to get my car until the weekend.” Stellar.

-- It was nice and cool this morning. I’m very pleased.

* The DJ played the wrong Godspeed song, and then said that it was some other song title, “otherwise known as ‘Moya.’” Wha—? “Moya” is on Slow Riot for a New Kanada E.P., and the song he played was on Lift Your Skinny Fists . . . Sheesh. College kids.

** Look, an indie show in Tallahassee that draws over 400 people is nothing to sneeze at, okay. Especially when your last show in town brought in about 25. After playing your set (albeit an energetic one) and people are waiting for your encore, don’t draw straws to see who’s gonna come on stage and tell the crowd that you’re “really tired and just want to go to sleep.” Especially not two nights in a row.

Friday, October 01, 2004
Poetry Got Me Off . . . the Space Station!
I’m still reeling at how my dashed-off sestina was my ticket out on Reverse Survivor. Seriously, I waited until the last day to write it, and composed it in Notepad in between assignments over the course of a morning.

Somehow, I feel empty now that I’m not being pressured to write. Perhaps I need to be pressured to write more often, eh?

Besides that somewhat-instant gratification, here are some other happy-making things:

-- My poker chips arrived yesterday. That’s right, Ebay’d a set of 650 professional-esque poker chips. They came in an aluminum case and weighed 22 pounds. (Feel free to make fun of me, Chipster.)

-- Explosions in the Sky are playing in town tonight, and I’m getting in for free.

-- I’m just generally in a good mood.

On the flipside (and of course there’s a flipside), my car is leaking water from behind the dash on the passenger side. My wife’s coworker said it was a heater something-or-other. Look, I don’t know a lot about cars, but I do know that my passenger-side mat is saturated and my car smells musty.