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Thursday, April 28, 2005
I Want to be Anyone Else Today, So I’ll Make Like Everyone’s Favorite List-Poster
1) My trips to the ER with my mom are becoming ridiculously routine. I took my mother to an appointment with her doctor yesterday afternoon, and one false vomiting episode and one unwitting claim that she was “going to die” later, and we were back in the ER. The city'sother ER because my mom didn't want to admitted to the familiar hospital as she didn’t enjoy her stay last time. But as it turned out, she was discharged after a few hours because there was nothing really wrong with her that she wasn’t already being treated for. They gave her a shot for the nausea and a scrip for anti-nausea meds.

2) I watched American Idol with Michelle Tuesday night, so I can say with all certainty that I can understand why Constantine needed to go. Nickelback? Dude, leave that shit to rock-hacks-in-the-making like Bo Bice. After Constantine was finished (and Bice had actually turned in an average performance), I knew he was gone. Because, y’know, the city of Cleveland isn’t gonna give up on the talentless fat guy. (I’m sorry, Mr. Savol. But if you win, this show will be the punch line to the joke of reality TV. [Fuck. I should call and vote for him next week.])

?) We’ve been potty training Mia for, oh, about eight months now. Really, we’re taking the ultra-passive, let-her-find-her-own-way approach. Which isn’t working. She knows all about peeing on the big-people's toilet, but now it’s a control issue. She’s choosing to pee in her diapers/pull-ups. So . . . this weekend, we’re drawing the proverbial line in the proverbial sand. We’re going to Target tomorrow and buying several pairs of training pants. We’re gonna show her who’s boss frustrated repeatedly rinsing the pee and poop out of those training pants!

µg/l) Besides the struggle with the daughter’s elimination practices, I’m hoping to get out to see The Mountain Goats Saturday night. Mr. Darnielle is making another swing through town, and our friends’ band is opening the show. It’s nice to get out and enjoy a show and NOT have to worry about playing, too. Even if the cover is $8 and ciders are full price.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005
I love the change of seasons, especially the phasing into and out of winter. Which makes it all the more painful to live in a place where this does not occur. Either there’s no winter to speak of, or the transition to summer is very abrupt (sometimes taking place in March . . . seriously). Or both.

But this year, 2005, is fucking with me. First of all, I’m hating winter. And the strangely prolonged (gentle) transition to summer (an actual spring, for fuck’s sake!) . . . I hate that, too.

You see, our house’s heating system is sick. I think the underground heating-oil tank is taking on water. After spending hundreds to fix the pump on our furnace, and a few more dollars to pay for unnecessary visits and water-exorcising, I refuse to throw more money at a hopeless situation. Either we have to replace our heating system this summer, or replace our heating-oil tank (with one that’s aboveground).

This has been made all the harder with the beautifully cool nights we’ve been having. It’s hard to enjoy a brisk spring evening when you’re trying to calculate how many degrees the temperature in your house will drop overnight as the temperature dips to around 40 degrees. Or avoiding the use of the air conditioner when the house starts to get overly warm and stuffy because you’re hoarding heat for the approaching cold front. Opening the curtains to let in every ray of sunlight and leaving the 450-degree stove open will only heat the house so much, people.

* not really a reference to my recent posting frequency

Thursday, April 21, 2005
Reality stared me down yesterday as I was grocery shopping for my mother’s imminent return home after two months in the hospital and rehabilitation. I was in the “feminine products” section trying to do the nonchalant scan as if I’m looking for the wife’s tampons, but was actually looking for maxi pads (not panty liners). And, of course, while I was trying to stealthily look for the maxis (standing across the aisle and looking sideways at the shelves), hordes of people decided they needed toothbrushes and deodorant. At that same moment. Fuck. Can’t a man inconspicuously look for maxi pads for his mom anymore?

I took my revenge on the World by mishandling some phone calls at the office. Our receptionist is on vacation and the backup phone-answerers are either out or not willing to answer the phone regularly. As the phone rings loud enough for everyone on our floor to hear, I’ll pick it up if it rings long enough to annoy me. And usually only when I’m expecting a call from someone who can’t use (or doesn’t have) my direct-dial number. While I was making some copies, I picked up a call from American Express, wanting to talk to someone who “can make financial decisions for the office.” I said, “Okay, hold on. Let me transfer you,” and I hung up the phone.

It’s a balancing act trying to manage the roles of dutiful son vs. competent father, and valuable employee vs. competent blogger. What, that Communist Party was five days ago? Michelle beat me to the pictures, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to Ms. Jazz Hand’s “Leninades,” or the manly UFC-watching in a small cat shelter bedroom, or the infinite enjoyment of the really drunk girl who threw up in the gay guy’s lap, causing the gay guy to throw up. (I wish I hadn’t been watching UFC during that last part. All I got to see was the RDG's shoes sticking out of the bathtub as I walked by.)

So, in summation, I’m busy. And tired. And worried about my mother ending up in the ER again. Dammit.

Friday, April 15, 2005
Comrades of the Chorus Line
So, Miss Jazz Hands is having a birthday this weekend, and that’s got our schedule all a-jangle. (<----- I totally don’t know where that came from.) Tonight, we’re going to some sort of Italian bistro/café that I didn’t know existed (which is hard in Tallahassee), and tomorrow is The Party. The Communist Party. And because Miss JH is quite the planner/organizer/decorator, her “Communist Party” should be all the rage. Lord DeLay knows I have enough drab clothing to look like a Communist. I even have a hammer-and-sickle pin somewhere. And a red star. Man, I’m such a Leftist. Look out, Capitalists! Watch your backs, Democracy-ers!

In other news, I have CDs of mine and Michelle’s that are overdue from, like, two months ago. Oh, and I hear there's gonna be a D.R.A.F.T.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005
”Sacred,” Simon? Really?
Yeah, I’m not a big American Idol supporter. I’m certainly not frantically dialing 866 numbers at 10 o’clock at night. Because Carrie doesn’t need my vote.

Anyway, last night was pretty disgusting. First of all, the fact that Federov is still on the show after last week’s bonanza of horror is real-world improbable. But then Bice dials up “Freebird” and phones that shit in. And didn’t get called for it. Not by “dude” man Randy. The vocal melody for the verse has, like, three notes. Adventurous choice? Same with Anwar and Scott’s choices. The only thing anyone remembers about “She’s Gone” is the fucking chorus (sorry, Hall & Oates). When you ask people to sing the verses, they sound lost. Point that shit out, Randy.

And Simon. What the fuck?

Bo Bice is gonna make a damn fine, second-rate Scott Stapp someday. Soon, hopefully. But, the way he’s being “pushed,” he could win. And then we can all Idolize mediocrity.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Organization Killed Scott-san’s Blog
There have been lots of changes in ‘kazeland over the past week or so. More than I can write here. But, in the interest of my own manic state and America’s need to be fed information in bite-size bits, I’ve bulletized our recent life:
-- The house-cleaning reached a comfortable, maintainable level that we’re . . . comfortable with. I’ve expanded the aesthetic-improvement efforts to include the yard. We’ve even discussed inviting people to our house again. (The house was briefly in-law tested, so the scourge of cat pee has been satisfactorily alleviated . . . or just moved to a less-public part of the house.)

-- The cat, of course, is still peeing in inappropriate places. One of them is the back of my closet, where I’d thrown shoes I was no longer wearing but had held onto “just in case.” I’m brainstorming ways to harness Archie’s piss-pattern, perhaps outfitting the back of my closet as a “wink-wink, nudge-nudge” pee spot; plastic to protect the hardwood and newspaper . . . with some kind of carbon to absorb the odor so I don’t walk around smelling like a litterbox all fuckin’ day. As long as Archie still feels like a urinary outlaw peeing there, maybe he won't pee any place else.

-- I’ve started using my “planner” on a consistent basis, which means I’m getting a lot more done. And I’m rediscovering my love for list-making. But all of this productivity means that I’m not writing much here. I’m torn, really. (Uh-oh, this bullet is about to go in a completely different direction.) It just seems that everyone is in a lull right now and I feel that I might be, too, in spite of all the shit going on. My (creative) mind is going in 20 different directions; the band’s as enjoyable and productive as it’s ever been, I’ve given thought to Re-Animating my long-dormant poetry journal, and then there’s the daily obsession of the political ‘blog that has yet-to-be. And, most importantly, I’m (briefly) writing for Mr. Crunchy (again). Maybe I need a break. I didn’t want this to be all existential, but there it is. I wouldn't have much to say otherwise.

-- In TV Land, it’s nice that The West Wing is over. Now our DVR has more room for The Amazing Race, American Idol, Lost, Grey’s Anatomy (all three episodes waiting to be watched), Desperate Housewives, South Park, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

-- I’m very disenchanted with MTV’s PoweR Girls, which really deserves it’s own bullet (or series of bullets . . . or just bullets). Michelle was watching it when I got home one night, and my hatred of Lizzie Grubman was only stoked into a raging inferno. Why does she have to be successful? And ugly. Good Lord! While not quite as foul as Donatella Versace, she makes Paris Hilton look like Grace Kelly . . . on many, many levels.

-- We're very much enchanted with Deadwood, though. But I feel that there needs to be some more dyin'. No, the three whores weren't enough. That shady Mr. Wolcott is due. We know they're not gonna off Tolliver just yet, so we're probably headed for a full-on war between him and Al. And we know who wins when that happens, right? Yes . . . everyone.

-- I was gonna say I was done, but I have to add that I’m naming Duran Duran the Greatest Band of the 80s. Okay? We all knew that’s where things were headed.

Be back sooner than you hope want think.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Civil Disobedience
Besides being somewhat petty, gossipy, and . . . petty, my working environment is fairly politically charged. A group of us often get together to eat in the conference room and air our differences (with other people . . . not usually one another). A lot of the time, we’ll discuss important issues of the day, like some silly thing the president said or did, what a douchebag Tom Delay is, how we’re going to Hell for reading a ‘blog “written” by Terri Schiavo, and whether a certain future First Lady was drunk when she killed her boyfriend all those years ago.

Today, one of our cohorts brought in a glossy of the First Couple, with a “personal” note underneath the picture, thanking the recipient for his support. The letter was addressed to a bastardization of our company’s name. The glossy had been casually displayed in our office’s reception area. We’re pretty sure who was responsible for the “support” and for displaying the picture/letter.

Somehow, the president was cut out of the picture and placed in a urinal downstairs. And we’re pretty certain this war is not over. In fact, it's just starting.

Monday, April 04, 2005
This past weekend was one of the highest highs and the lowest lows. Actually, there was just one low, but it was a pretty big one.

-- Cleaning the house. No, really cleaning the house, which is kind of its own reward. We haven’t really cleaned our house since moving in four and a half years ago . . . so, yeah, it’s nice.

-- Dinner on Saturday. Michelle’s parents kept Mia Saturday night so that we could get some cleaning done, but we took a little detour . . . out to one of the nicest restaurants in town where one of my oldest friends happens to be the Executive Chef. I hadn’t talked to him in about two years, but I asked the waiter to let him know we were there. My friend sent out a bottle of champagne, two extra appetizers (tuna tartare in shot glasses and crab cakes), an extra salad, and desserts. He came to see us at the table for a few minutes and we promised to catch up soon. After bringing our desserts (to go), the waiter announced that my friend was picking up the entire tab. Really, getting a free dinner is great, but it was one of the best meals I’ve had in my life.

The battle of the “pee chair.” In our cleaning, we decided to move some furniture around. Part of this effort included moving a chair back to the “office” from the living room. The chosen chair was the “pee chair,” which Archie had taken to spraying. This chair is 95% of the reason that people don't visit us. We've grown accustomed to our living room's smell; most people haven't. It wasn’t until we actually started moving the chair that we discovered the extent of the damage. Even though Archie hadn’t peed on the chair in several weeks, the bottom of it was still wet. It seems that his pee has soaked completely through the upholstery of the chair down to the netting on the very bottom; even the feet of the chair were pee-coated. By the time we wrestled the chair into the office, my hands were orange with pee. The inside of the chair was saturated. So, I cut off all the bottom netting and douched the innards with an aggressive vinegar/water attack, aided by our wet-dry vacuum. And then nuked it with all sorts of cat-odor-hiders and Febreeze-type stuff. The next morning, the room smelled like a burnt vinegar. I’m sure the pee will ultimately win out (as it is wont to do), but then there’s always the axe. And fire.

* We really didn’t do a lot this weekend. I thought there were several “highs.” Maybe the dinner was just several "highs" rolled into one.

Friday, April 01, 2005
Be My Friend
One would think that I've stopped writing anything important/interesting/vital here, especially since diving head-long into that 80s silliness. And "one" would be right. But I've been pretty busy at work and it is (was?) review season, after all. (That was a joke, boss. Actually, not really.)

I've thought of interesting stories, only to forget them. But, hey, I'm great at posting links to totally inappropriate material.

Anyway, I'll get back into it, I swear. I pinkie swear.

In the meantime, you can stop by my place at MySpace. If you sign up, you can be my friend. Styro has. Why haven't you?