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Monday, February 28, 2005
Shout Out to Slidell (I-10 Exits 263 and 266)! Comfort Inn Rocks!
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Our New Orleans trip was a mixed success. The main reason for the 11-hour roundtrip drive (Interpol) was missed, but the rest of the trip was pretty awesome. Even if we did have to spend a lot of our non-driving time in Slidell. But, really, the whole trip boosted my view of New Orleans. It’s like, finally, after a half-dozen visits, the city shows me a good time!

I wanna send some mad props out to some people who made the trip worth taking:

-- To the parking attendant at the Canal Street Plaza Whatever-the-Fuck, you were most helpful. That corkscrew ramp up to (and down from) Level 7 was da bomb. I think the view of the Mississippi River from our parking spot was one of the highlights of our trip. And sub-props to that slow-moving tanker!

-- Shout out to Osaka Sushi in Slidell. The one at Exit 266. Not really the food or service, per se. Just that blog-worthy conversation that I had with Michelle. Like, “Wow, Slidell does have some culture.” “Yeah, but you haven’t even had the sushi yet. It could taste like plastic dick.”

-- A solid “You go, girl” to our waitress at Mena’s in the French Quarter. We tipped her, like, 40% for what I termed as the best service EVER (no, CW, there was no hand-release involved).

-- Hot props to Dino’s. With their $3 martinis. Nice selection, even though both Michelle and I chose to drink beer. Still. Oh, and the nice waitress who asked if I was related to some girl in St. Louis who shares my last name.

-- And, of course, eternal thanks to the poofy-haired guy in front of the TwiRoPa. Although you should be thanking me, fucker. I totally didn’t rape you for the ticket to the sold-out show. One dollar over list price? And you offered more? This makes me look like a sucker. But I wasn’t sure I was gonna be able to sell both tickets. Until I was swarmed with lots of people wanting the other ticket. The high point of the ticket-dumping transaction? As I was walking back to the car, hearing that post-punklet spouting, “No, that guy had two tickets, but he sold them!” I think I’d be remiss if I didn’t make another “hand-release” reference here. Ah, what could have been.

-- Last, but not least, kudos to Louisiana State liquor laws, whereby you can purchase full-on liquor in any grocery or convenience store. I wasn’t looking to get too crunk in the hotel room, so I opted for some light, malty beverages . . . and some godawful vodka/melon-ball concoction. Sweet thunder, that was not very good. Went great with a side of Twister, though.

Oh, and I have to mention that our “continental breakfast” on the morning of our departure was quite comprehensive. The banana nut muffins were out-of-sight. Thanks, Comfort Inn. I’m only sad we didn’t get to see the severe, bowl-cutted dominatrix that checked us in one last time.

Thursday, February 24, 2005
New Orleans, Here We Come! (God Help Us.)
The Kamikaze gang is off to the shitty that always seeps. (Yes, this is really how I feel about the “Big Easy.”) We’re dropping our daughter off at daycare and hitting the road. Once we get to the city, we’ll have several hours to kill before we join the swampy, post-punk locals at the TwiRoPa for an evening with Blonde Redhead and Interpol. After that, we’ll hit the road to come back to Tallahassee . . . stopping for a respite at the hotel we booked . . . in Slidell.

Man, you really wish you were us.

In other news, I left mom with some food, her pills, and a sitter. She’ll be fine. No, really.

Stats that Shape a Poker Tournament*
Number of Players Entered: 32

Cost of Tournament Buy-in: $30

Amount of Chips that Equaled: 250

Frequency the Blinds were Increased: every 30 minutes

Number of Hands I Played: 21 (five from the Big Blind)

Number of Hands I Won: 8.5 (40% of those played)

Percentage of Hands I Would Estimate that I Folded Throughout the Tournament: about 60%

Number of Hands I Went All-in On: one (the last)

Position in Which I Finished: eighth (tied, technically)

Payout for First Place: $500

Payout for Sixth Place: $30

Payout for Eighth Place: $0

Really, I feel pretty good about how things went. I got fairly decent cards most of the night. The best hand I saw was ace-king (off-suit), and I lost. Most of the hands I played were aces and kings with (much) lower number cards. The first hand I won was a queen-two (from the Big Blind). Once, I won with a suited nine-ten (Small Blind).

The only hand I regret was the final hand. I had a pair of nines, and I was the Small Blind. I felt good enough to call the bet to see the flop, which was two lower cards and a queen. I checked, but the Big Blind bet 300 chips. The table folded around to me. I only had about 340 chips and a pocket pair, with one over-card on the table. So, I took a risk and called the 300 bet, praying for a generous draw . . . or that the Big Blind (who was flush with chips) was trying to bluff and bully us. The Turn wasn’t a nine, either, but I went “All-in” with my 40-or-so chips. The last card also wasn’t a nine. And the Big Blind had the queen.

I think the painful thing was that I was almost out of the blinds. I could’ve played for free for a few hands (at the final table, no less) and coasted into the money. Because in the next three or four hands, the field was cut in half. Still, I predicted I’d finish somewhere in the middle of the field, but I lasted longer than several stronger players I know (coughcoughgloryholecough). Could’ve been the cards, but I think I might have played better than my usual.

* This post parallels that of the ‘Poo, whose tournament experience earlier this year I learned something from. Well, that and the e-mail she graciously sent with additional tips (all of which came in handy). Thanks, ‘Poo.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Open Letter to the Tallahassee Medical Community
Dearest Medical Professionals:

First of all, I want to thank (some of) you for your patience with my somewhat-negative attitude. And eye-rolling. And cursing under my breath.

Look, I’m not pretending to be Florence Fucking Nightingale, okay? It’s just disconcerting when your mother falls and has to go to the ER, where she is ultimately released and said to be “fine,” and then the MRI a week later shows a possible fracture. On the way to the MRI follow-up appointment with the neurosurgeon, I told my mother that that would be the last appointment I’d have to drag her out of bed for, stuff her into my car for, borrow a wheelchair from the hospital / clinic for, push her around for. Because all of these things cause my mother a lot of pain.

So, of course, the neurosurgeon dangled the prospect of a beneficial “procedure” in front of my mother . . . one that could alleviate all of her pain almost instantaneously. (GREAT!) But it required a lot of tests. (Shit.) The test-scheduling RN gave us orders for the tests and sent us on our way. The next day (yesterday), we went to the testing place for her bone scan and CT . . . both of which were supposed to be administered back-to-back. But, wait . . . confusion. The neurosurgeon’s office ordered the wrong tests! So, we’re going back today to get the correct bone scan. (Throw out all the “brain surgery” cliches, please.) This whole scheduling snafu could put off the procedure, which could make it irrelevant.

Look, I’m holding back. I’m running severely low on sick leave, and my mother is steeped in crippling pain from her back. Should an obese woman with a possibly fractured back be put through all of this? No? Are you sure, because you don’t act like it? That’s not the message I’m getting.

Oh, and if all of this turns out to be a waste of our time (and energy), you’re gonna hear a lot of four-letter words. And one of them might be “shiv.”


Tuesday, February 22, 2005
I’m Not Mad at You, Tony. Really.
Funny story. Somehow, my ‘blog (along with a few others*) made the front page of the local paper. The Tallahassee Democrat did a local-slant story on the blogging phenomenon, and my ‘blog was one of those featured. There were quotes from a few of the other featured bloggers, but not me. Why, you ask?

Because my Hotmail account junked the initial request for an interview!

Ooops. Likely, I wouldn’t have handed over my real name, even though the wife and I have fairly compelling evidence that her parents are already onto us**. But my parents aren’t (yet), nor are my co-workers (except for my boss, who I’m pretty sure knows [Hi, Ecuador]).

Anyway, I e-mailed Tony and let him know I never got his initial e-mail requesting an interview. That was yesterday. Before I knew what he wanted to interview me for. I hadn’t even checked my e-mail this morning when Michelle called to say my ‘blog was on the front page of the paper. My boss’ boss happened to be in the office at the time, so I couldn’t check the on-line version of the paper. I was literally breaking out in a sweat, hands shaking.

Christ. Where do I go from here? I guess I need to reassess the ol’ quality-control standards. Think about who (else) I might be offending. Should I write about work? (No.) Should I write about interactions with family? (No. And I’m sure they’ll confirm that later today.) Should I feel bad about the NASCAR comment yesterday? (No. And I don’t.)

* Other featured local ‘blogs: 1,000 Words from Iraq, Brad Simpson, Rob Rem and, with the best name of all, Jewkakke.

** That’s what all the strange let’s-all-hold-hands-for-the-love-of-blogging posting was about. And Michelle’s “spill” post. Now the jig really is up. All the IP-address evidence pales in comparison to being on the front page of the paper.

Monday, February 21, 2005
Million Dollar Hype-Fest
No, this isn’t a post about the poker tournament I played in. That’ll be tomorrow. Today’s angry, jaded post is brought to you by the letter C and the number 5.

Average. Enthusiastically average. That’s how I feel about the movie that is almost sure to be christened Best Picture, Million Dollar Baby. I saw it with Michelle over the weekend. My friend, Mr. ADD, would be so disappointed that I went to see it, as he was railing about Clint Eastwood, blah, blah, blah, hype, blah, blah, blah, people talk about the crap he churns out as being so great, blah, blah, blah. I wanted to see it because all the reviews were so positive. And the movie had a nice pace for a while, until it got really . . .


. . . gloomy. And full of pap. I mean, it was trite long before the sucker-punch thing. Frankly, the only thing keeping my interest during the turgid hospital-bed scenes was finding out what the Gaelic phrase “Mo Chuisle” meant (and my prediction, “my daughter,” wasn’t far off). The whole One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest ending was telegraphed, much in the same way that Eastwood did with the more-enjoyable Mystic River.


Look, I’ve now seen two of the Best Picture nominees, and I can’t tell you how much better Sideways is than Million Dollar Baby. (Actually, I can: A lot.) Fine, Sideways is a “small” movie, but Million Dollar Baby is formulaic crap. Seriously. Yeah, there’s a nice “plot twist” that’s an unexpected punch to the gut, but it’s a total drag . . . and not in an interesting way. I didn’t feel it. I didn’t care.

In other news, Jeff Gordon drove 500 miles around an oval track in a moving billboard faster than anyone else. Yay. Woo. Go, NASCAR.

Oh, and my mom’s opting to have a “procedure” to repair her quite-possibly fractured spine. The one that the ER doctors said wasn’t fractured when they sent her home (alone) with a scrip for vicodin and valium. More on THAT later, too.

Thursday, February 17, 2005
Survey Says: PERCOCET!
Mom update: The vicodin wasn’t cutting it, so mom begged her primary care doctor for something to mask the pain (of her unspecified, perhaps misdiagnosed, injury). The doctor ok’d some percocet, which is something of a controlled substance, so I had to pick up the prescription in person, take it to the pharmacy, and wait while it was filled. I’m surprised the pharmacy let me pick it up for her. I don’t look THAT much like a tweaked-out gutter-skank, but I could have just run off with them. I could have been anybody. On the other hand, I could’ve busted out the trusty ol’ Power of Attorney. Luckily, it didn’t come to that. Because there’s probably some clause that would’ve invalidated my trump card. That’s how the World works. Scott cannot have a trump card.

Oh, P.S.: The percocet didn’t help. On to Plan C. Horse drugs? Heroin?


I saw this band last night. If you’re on the East Coast, you may be able to catch them in the next few days. According to their schedule, after a brief rest at home, they’re headed West. They put on a great (and loud) live show. And their band name is (reportedly) Japanese for “playful sex.” I mean, what’s not to like?


You should know that I like doing this . . . blogging . . . thing. I don’t really see the point of Friendster or My Space, even though they have some blog-type features. I’m not dating, and I don’t want unsolicited “friends.” (Although, I signed up for the latter to interact with my friends in Pocket Novel Mystery.) This space is for expression . . . my expression. First and foremost. I mean, what better way is there for a slightly introverted and misanthropic person to communicate with a large group of people . . . all at once?

It started out simple enough, right? Casting an anonymous “voice” over the Intarweb. Not telling anyone, even the wife. But then I told one or two people. And added comments. And an e-mail account. And, pretty soon, I was brushing up against other people. Exchanging ideas. Exchanging art (and other people’s art). Helping one another. Pretty soon, I have several friends (note the lack of quotation marks) that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. Where’s the harm?

I like to be honest here. And open. As of yet, there have been no serious repercussions for that honesty and openness. I think the benefits have far outweighed the ill-effects.

So, going forward:
-- Don’t judge me for what I write here.
-- No, I’m not stupid. In fact, I’m un-stupid in lots of ways.
-- Your children aren’t automatically spies.
-- There’s nothing I would tell a pack of “strangers” that I wouldn’t tell you.
-- I’m not looking to be Dooced, so I’m careful in writing about my job and the [nice, very competent, people] I work for.

And we love you, too. Very much.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Why Can’t I?
I was going through my mix CDs last night (yeah, I know . . . THEY’RE [not yet] ON THE WAY!), and I realized there was one missing . . . the one I wanted to hear. Luckily, I found it in my car this morning. I popped it into the player on the way back to work from my lunchtime visit to check on mom, skipping to track #8. That’s right, the über-cheesy “Why Can’t I?” by Liz Phair.

I have no shame. Sure, I front like I’m all indie-cool, but I’m a whore for loud, anthemic schmaltz. With curse words.*

I’m growing old, y’know. I remember being in my 20s, thinking, “Man, I will never stop listening to this stuff.” But The Cure’s Faith isn’t my favorite album of ALL TIME anymore. The Sisters of Mercy and And Also the Trees and Christian Death and Death in June don’t hold that special place in my heart anymore. It just doesn’t feel the same. Now it’s all adult-contemporary. Luckily, I’ve been phasing into that stuff for the past decade, so it’s not a total culture shock.

But it’s not like I’ve totally abandoned the indie thing. Maybe it’s just the Teat of Doom and Gloom that I suckled on for much of my teens and early 20s. I’m actually going to buy the CD re-issues of the first two For Against albums. So, I’m not a total lost cause.

Not yet, anyway.

* I was listening to this song with Michelle one day, and I wrote down what she said about it in my notebook:** “It’s adult-contemporary with the word ‘fuck’ in it. It’s probably the only part of the song she wrote!”

** I have lots of odd things written in here. Some of them attributed to other people. It’s supposed to be all for my poetry, etc., but I have strange lists. Two things in particular stand out, though. The first was actually written by CW during the Meetup last November. There was a discussion over dinner about how Miss America waves . . . you know, the WAVE. Anyway, he wrote, “Miss America has to have her hands chopped off.” I suppose this is so they can be replaced with mannequin hands. The second thing was actually written the next day to remind myself that I’d just coughed up something “ridiculously nasty into my mouth” while driving alone, and didn’t have anywhere to spit it out, so I had to spit it into an empty potato chip bag from the floor of the car. I even added the note that, “This, more than anything, is why people should ‘blog.”

Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Love is a Bouquet of Flowers from the Grocery Store. Love is a Bottle of Low-Grade Champagne. Love is Prix Fixe.
For the third year running, we shared Valentine’s Night dinner with the Glory Holes. This year it was at a 4-star(ish) restaurant* in town that, amazingly, I’ve never been to. Not that I frequent 4-star(ish) restaurants, but I’ve been just about everywhere in town once . . . especially places that have been open for years and years and years.

Once seated, we were presented with our menu—a very stripped-down prix fixe menu that featured four courses. In typical fashion, I skipped to the bottom to see that price for the dinner was $35 a person, which seemed reasonable. But wait . . . one appetizer** per couple? And sharing a dessert? (Even more unfair, the dessert wasn’t a fern-bar-sized slab of 3,000-calorie, ice-cream covered cheesecake. It was downright, fucking dainty. I had a couple bites and was, like, “You go ahead and finish that, honey.”) So, yeah, in retrospect, seems like a little bit of a rip off.

And the entrée selections? Perhaps lacking. For a vegetarian and/or seafood lover, it was top-notch. Filet mignon and rack of lamb as the only non-sea creature dishes? Michelle and Mr. Glory Hole went with the grouper, and Mrs. Glory Hole chose the filet. I was about to do the same, but picked a seafood pasta with spicy tomato sauce. Apparently, this turned out to be something Mr. Glory Hole would’ve loved, because there was a very high seafood-to-pasta ratio, and a lot of the shell-bound creatures were still in their shells, including lobster chunks and clams. Lots of clams. I thought it was a lot of work for $35, but it’s the experience, right?

In the end, a great time was had by all. Afterward, Michelle and I went to pick Mia up from the grandparents, drove back home, and (romantically) watched The Bachelorette and Super Nanny. Because—not only are we whores for Hallmark, florists, and restaurants—we’re whores for ABC and network television.

* For translation, a 4-star restaurant in Tallahassee would be a 3-star (or less) in a much larger city. Shit, it’d probably be just another fern bar in NYC.

** The real appetizer, though, was making brief eye contact with Herr Governor on the sidewalk on the way to the restaurant. I shit you not. I nodded, too. I mean, what kind of whore am I? Not that I’m supposed to kick him in the shins and yell, “Take that, FASCIST!” Because he’s not a small man. No sir. Not like his brother.

Monday, February 14, 2005
Headline Newz: Woman, Falling (Repeatedly)
If this were CNN’s news show for people with no time and/or short attention spans and I was Robin Meade, this would be a lot easier . . . and timely. And I’d be a lot prettier.

Friday afternoon, sometime between working and deciding if I could come up with any ‘blog material, I got a call from my mom’s friend, Mr. S. It seems that my mom was on the phone with a mutual friend of theirs, when she suddenly fell in her kitchen . . . dropping the phone and screaming in pain. Not knowing what else to do, the mutual friend called Mr. S who drove over to mom’s, repeatedly trying to call her on his cell phone. When he got there and found her on the floor of the kitchen, he called me at work. He gave me the above account and then said he’d call back when the EMTs arrived and they assessed the situation. So, of course, the next call from Mr. S was to tell me that she’d be going to the emergency room.

It may seem like I have a certain detachment from the situation, which I likely do. I’m not sure what to chalk that up to . . . perhaps having been there before, I’m really afraid of what comes next. I think I need to make her afraid, because there’s a lot that she can do to improve her condition.

Anyway, the Ms. Meade version is that nothing was broken, blah, blah, blah, mom’s more or less bed-ridden, blah, blah, blah, dosed on a nifty mix of vicodin and valium, yadda, yadda, yadda, there’s some guilt on my part that I haven’t been forcing her to lose more weight, blah, blah, blah, and I spent almost 24 hours with her after the ER visit to make sure she was okay and help out . . . but I totally bailed yesterday.

I’m not dealing with it well. I went over at lunch today (after Lifeline sent firemen to come help her get to the bathroom and back to bed) and read her the Riot Act. Yeah, so I have no bed-side manner. Where on this ‘blog does it say I’m a doctor?

In other news, Ray Charles sweeps the Grammys. Look, I don’t wanna seem disrespectful, but don’t you think the other nominees in his categories were pissed? Seriously, would he have won eight Grammys if he hadn’t died? I know, I’m already going to Hell (see above), so save it.

And watching cartoons with Mia Saturday morning, I heard something so dirty that I had to write it down. See if you agree. In Dragon Tales, one of the siblings says to the other: “I think my butter-frog is hungry for your pomegranate.” Dude, the context doesn’t matter. That is just dirrrty.

Thursday, February 10, 2005
I Think This Recent Stomach Bug Our Daughter Had Will Beat Out Paris Hilton’s Rumored Spread in Playboy AND Her Upcoming CD. Really, It was That Bad.
As we stumble toward mid-February, I think I’ve set the low-point bar for the year: Waking up at 2:25 a.m. on the floor of our daughter’s room, where I and said daughter have been drifting in and out sleep, (half) lying on a crib mattress, in between daughterly performance-pieces of screaming and conjuring up bile every 20 or 30 minutes. I imagine it’s like what’s been said about Vietnam . . . long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Bad enough to launch Michelle into a full-blown panic attack. And this was two crib sheets and two sleepers after the messy part. Because surely, when you’re a toddler, “messy” doesn’t feel like dying, as dry heaves probably do.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Wait, What is This . . . the 1970s? Because That Chevy Looks to Be a Mid-90s Model. And YOU SHOULD BE SHOT IN THE FACE, WHORE!
I make many of my daily observations by looking in the rearview mirror. Like, today, there was a woman in a beige Chevy pickup / SUV behind me at the light (on my way home to meet the heater-repair guy for our seemingly annual heater meltdown). She looked to be around my age, listening to an older woman who was talking to her from the passenger seat; we’ll pretend it was her mother . . . and she was nagging.

The younger woman had a cigarette between the fingers of her right hand, which was clutching the steering wheel. The cigarette was beckoning to be stubbed out. And between these two women, there was a child playing--head popping up over the dashboard periodically and between the two seats, just below a yellow air freshener hanging from her rearview mirror. The younger woman (mother?) didn’t seem to notice anything, her eyes fixated straight ahead (probably looking at the jerkoff in the car ahead of her who was glaring into his rearview mirror).

Look, I’m not sure how most of us survived the 1970s, being so ugly of a decade and the fact that our parents didn’t strap us down and smoked in the car and let their friends blow smoke in our faces on trips to Disney World. But haven’t we moved beyond that? Evolved? My feeling is that people who smoke are fine, but people who smoke with their kids in the car are just shitty human beings. And people who smoke with their kids in the car while their kids are just wandering around . . . well, that takes “shitty human being” to another level. Perhaps “shitty human being plus.” Or would that be “minus?”

Monday, February 07, 2005
Looking for Caffeine in All the Wrong Starbucks
I’m not gonna harp on Starbucks just for being a monolithic corporate-coffee conglomerate because I hate large corporations and the fact that they plan to open about a dozen free-standing stores here in Tallahassee in the next year or so. Because, y’know, you can count on Starbucks for a quality drink every time.

Or so I thought.

Until recently, my friend owned and operated a coffee shop, so I’m pretty sensitive to the plight of non-chain coffee shops vs. the (Java) Man. I don’t order espresso drinks all the time because of the heartburn and intestinal urgency that they provoke but, when I do, I try to frequent non-chain places. If they’re convenient, of course.

And, of course, non-chain coffee establishments are very hit-or-miss when it comes to quality and consistency. You’ll always know one or two baristas who will deliver good drinks and one or two who won’t. Apparently, it says a lot of about me that I’m not one of those (Type A) people who stands at the counter and watches the barista make the drink and point out what he or she is doing wrong. (No, apparently, I’d rather get shitty drinks and passive-aggressively write about it on my weblog.)

We were in Atlanta over the weekend, and I had the opportunity to visit a couple of the omnipresent Starbucks in the area with Mia and Miss JAB while Michelle was thrifting. The first was on Pleasant Hill. I ordered a brevé mocha and a piece of pumpkin loaf (to share with Mia), while Miss JAB ordered a chai latte. Her drink was fine, while mine had that burnt, shots-left-sitting-too-long taste . . . something I’d never gotten at a Starbucks (not even the one at our local Target’s “food court”).

The next day, we went to one in the Indian Trail area. Same drinks (except I went for vanilla rather than brevé) and we added a banana nut muffin. It wasn’t a good sign that the woman ringing us up was telling the barista heating temperatures for the various drinks she was working on. This time, my drink was (just) okay, but Miss JAB said that hers tasted like “warm milk.” She went to complain and, instead of receiving a new drink, had hers reheated and more chai spice added, with the barista giving it back to her as an “extra spicy non-fat chai latte.” Miss JAB said it tasted almost normal.

I’m sure Mrs. Dayment can shed a Starbucks employee-manual’s worth of knowledge on the subject, but I just wish that when my desire for frothy, caffeine-fueled goodness propels me to a café, I get a drink worth my $4 (plus tip). I realize there’s an art to it. Maybe I just need to do an in-depth survey / exposé . . . a la The Plug. Hmmm . . .

In other news, the Super Bowl was somewhat less stellar than it should have been (when I’d been hoping the Steelers might somehow be invited to play anyway, because aren’t we ALL just a little sick of the Patriots?), and the commercials were very much less than stellar. Everyone’s blathering about Paul McCartney rescuing our collective dignity, but I’d take a boob flash over his halftime show (ours was a Baby Einstein video before we put Mia to bed). And, apparently, if you’re a five-time Grammy winner, you can get up from playing your piano during the national anthem and your piano will continue on without you. Now that is talent, my friends. Someone alert Norah Jones!

Thursday, February 03, 2005
When Happy Hour Turns to Baby Hour*
Right now, Mia is calling from her room, “Daddy. Daddy. DADDY!” I just read her half of The Cat in the Hat. Good God, is that fucking book long. I was reading ten minutes before I ever got to Thing One and Thing Two. So, I decided to wrap it up. I mean, it was the furthest we’d ever gotten in the story, so a two-and-a-half-year-old wouldn’t know the difference, would she? Plus, it was an hour (or more) past her bedtime.

Happy Hour was fun. Our increasingly budget-conscious office picked up the tab for everything, which is nice considering how freely the beer and wings were flowing. And how they're having to burn their own money in transitional costs for one of the departing employees. Ever the stingy, greedy free-food whore, I ordered a grilled jerk-chicken sandwich on the side . . . of a lot of beer.

(I just went to Mia’s room for the third time . . . gave her the “this-isn’t-playtime, it’s-bedtime” speech. And she reciprocated with her “‘Night.” Then I grabbed another beer—the last—from the fridge.)

Anyway, fun night. I’m going to drink this beer and perhaps clean up the house (some), as the in-laws are cat-sitting this weekend while we’re out of town, and they’re none-to-impressed with the state of our squaller. Maybe I'll have a lime popcicle, too.

I’ll touch base tomorrow, when I’m slacking off at work. And sober.

* I bet you thought this was going to be a philosophical, when-a-man-becomes-a-father-type posts. Yeah, I crossed that internal bridge about 18 months ago . . . maybe more. But I will say, Mr. Byrne, it really gets easier after 2. Actually, Mr. Byrne the advice I have for you NOW is take advantage of your wife's hormonal horniness. Seriously. Pregger sex doesn't SOUND appealing, but . . . really. Enjoy it. Right up there with the conjugal visits. Trust us.

Look, I Don’t Have a Political Blog Yet, Okay? Where the Fuck Am I Supposed to Post this Shit, The Internet? Tell Me!
I’ve been a good patriot / snarky prick for the past few (dark) years, making sure that I watch every State of the Union address . . . hanging on every jumbled and/or mispronounced word that falls out of our fearless leader’s mouth. Maybe there’ll be a hidden pearl of wisdom? Or some infinitely (mis)quotable line that I can torture my Republican mother with?

But this year (last night), we had band practice. And I’m not sure how much I really wanted to listen to the SOTU anyway. I actually walked in the door around 10, when Bush was a few minutes (apparently) from wrapping up. Watching the talking heads afterward, I gathered I’d missed some interesting stuff. Democrats booing? Mothers hugging? Bush not really providing a detailed plan for saving Social Security, but rather a shotgun blast of several proposals that were “on the table?”

I did get a chance, however, to watch / listen to (as I was putting on my bedclothes) the Democrats’ response.

Some thoughts, in a handy, easily digested list:
-- Actually this isn’t MY thought . . . it’s from Wonkette: "9:26 Love how he's warning us that all those options he read are painful. Didn't bother with that about Iraq. So, to summarize. Social Security reform: painful. Iraq: They will greet us with flowers. So imagine JUST HOW BAD SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM WILL BE."

-- Listening to Reid and Pelosi, I feel like they’re trying to sell me paper towels. That’s what the Democratic Party has been reduced to . . . the quicker picker-upper? Seriously, give us a fucking plan for things you’re going to do! The partisan bickering of “Democrats good, Republicans bad” ain’t cuttin’ it anymore. Look, I don’t like the fact that Republicans control every facet of the Federal Government, either, but you have to work with them or work against them (i.e., come up with something better). The key being "work." Just repeating all the great things the Democrats are gonna do, or things the Democrats stand for, is stupid. It’s rhetoric to the nth degree. End it!

-- When is hammering Bush on Iraq gonna get old? When we realize that democracy is finally taking hold and things just might be okay, or when the whole country implodes in a Shia-fueled fury?

-- Ron Reagan is cool an’ all, but (speaking of repeating things over and over) we didn’t need him suggesting three times inside of five minutes that the Iraqi woman and American-mother-of-a-dead-soldier hugging could have been staged. Once gets the point across. Twice is probably too much. But three times is whining.

-- Brian Williams is trying too hard to not express an opinion.

Look, we’re all in this together. So let’s suck it up! Are the Democratic senators and representatives going to suddenly (finally) wake up and realize that their job isn’t to bitch about their Republican counterparts and say “no” to every proposed initiative? Fine, Social Security isn’t in a tailspin yet, but it will be . . . and long before people my age are old enough to collect. Someone needs to do something to fix it . . . eventually. Why not now?

Just because the Republicans—or, God forbid, the president—comes up with something doesn’t automatically mean that it’s bad and/or dangerous. When the incoming Bush Administration took a poop on all the great work Clinton had done, what did you do? Now, how is what you’re doing now different from that?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005
U.B. Corporate
Apparently, when an employee leaves, it’s better to say that she’s leaving to go to graduate school than it is to say that she’s taking another job for more money. And certainly better than making any mention of potential sexual harassment. Just a thought.