Slo da hell dahn. It's slippy.

Four-wheel drive doesn't make you invincible but apparently makes you think you are.

Yeah, I'm in Pittsburgh.

And it snowed.

And got icy.

I drove up north of Pittsburgh to see my daughter on Monday.

I left 'da Burgh at 4:45. I got to Sharpsville at 6:15.

I saw SEVEN wrecks on the way.

Wanna guess how many of the wrecks involved SUV's?

All of them.

Because people think they're driving a four-wheel drive fortress that protects them from everything.

Everything, that is, except stupidity.

The first one I came upon was a red Chevy facing the wrong way, one fender crumpled.

Then I saw a white Dodge Durango looking much the same, a few miles later.

And down the road, a Lexus Whateverthehellitis halfway up an embankment.

Then another Chevy with a banged front-end courtesy of the car it hit.

The car's back end was crumpled, so apparently the SUV tried to move the car out of its way. Because the car was going too slow.

And I saw another Dodge, this one on its side, dumbass driver dude talking to the police with that "I don't know what happened" look.

What happened? Well, I was going 40. You blew past me like I was standing still because while your Durango is four-wheel drive, your brain still has training wheels.

Near New Castle I saw a Hummer that collided with a pickup and a Toyota SUV.

Hummers look tough, but they're not.

The Hummer was worse for the wear than the Toyota and pickup truck. All were off the road, paths marked by mud, slush and torn-up grass.

And I'd bet my last dollar that was probably the first time any of those SUV's with the full off-road package had actually BEEN off the road since they were driven off the new car lot.

But I digress.

And finally, I saw my last wreck before I got to Cammi's house ... it was a little red Kia Sportage, laying on its side, half in and half out of a ditch.

I didn't see anyone injured, which is good.

I did see a lot of wrecked SUV's though.

Meanwhile other than the car that was hit by the Chevy me, in my 1997 Lumina with a banged-up door, and the rest of the cars were tooling through the snow and ice, knowing that we had to be careful, and not thinking we were invincible and could drive through the snow and ice.

Because we know we only have two-wheel drive.

And we drove accordingly.

Like I said four-wheel drive doesn't make you invincible.

But it does make you stupid.

In Pittsburghese ... Allah yinz jagoffs is stoopid n'at. Slo da hell dahn. It's slippy on dah parkway. Yinz won't make it ta Pantz'n'at ifis yinz wreck da Jimmy. Yinz shoulda took da Bonneyville.


Hey Yinz Guyz

I'm goin inta da burgh fer a few ayrns an'nat. Seeze yinz Saherday. An'nat.

For those of you who don't speak Pittsburghese, let me translate:

I have to go to Pittsburgh for work. I"ll be back by Saturday

Or something like that.

I'm going to be in Pittsburgh for the next couple of days, maybe the week, don't know yet. Long story ... work related ... but good. Nice to get away for a couple of days, even if it is to Pittsburgh.

What? 'Get Away' ... um, hello, dumbass, you were gone all weekend. Friday in Dayton at the Friends of the Bob & Tom Show with Kristy Lee, Jack Freeman, Donnie Baker, Bob Zany, Drew Hastings & Pat Godwin; and Saturday in Wheeling watching the Nailers lose to Trenton. Um, where else do you want to go?

Lots of places, but that's just me.

But yeah, I'll be out ... I'm leaving in a few minutes to head over. Hopefully I'll have innnernet axess (that's internet access for the Pittsburgh impaired) at the hotel I'm staying at. If not, there's always Panera.

Enjoy your week. Fear for your language. An'nat.


Noah's Ark - 2006 Edition

And the Lord spoke to Noah and said: "In one year, I am going to make it rain enough to cover the whole earth with water until all flesh is destroyed. But I want you to save the righteous people and two of every kind of living thing on the earth. Therefore, I am commanding you to build an ark."

In a flash of lightning, God delivered the specifications for an ark.

In fear and trembling, Noah took the plans and agreed to build the ark.

"Remember," said the Lord, "You must complete the ark and bring everything aboard in one year."

Exactly one year later, fierce storm clouds covered the earth and all the seas of the earth went into a tumult.

The Lord saw that Noah was sitting in his front yard, weeping.

"Noah," He shouted, "Where is the Ark?"

"Lord, please forgive me," cried Noah. "I did my best, but there were big problem. First, I had to get a permit for construction, and Your plans did not meet the codes.I had to hire an engineering firm and redraw the plans.

Then I got into a fight with OSHA over whether or not the ark needed a fire sprinkler system and flotation devices. Then my neighbors objected, claiming I was violating zoning ordinances by building the ark in my front yard, so I had to get a variance from the city planning commission."

"Then I had problems getting enough wood for the ark, because there was a ban on cutting trees, to protect the spotted owl. I finally convinced the U.S.Forest Service that I needed the wood to save the owls. However, the Fish and Wildlife Service wouldn't let me catch any owls. So, no owls."

"The carpenters formed a union and went out on strike. I had to negotiate a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board before anyone would pick up a saw or a hammer. Now I have 16 carpenters on the ark, but still no owls."

"When I started rounding up the other animals, I got sued by an animal rights group.

They objected to me only taking two of each kind aboard.

Just when I got the suit dismissed, the EPA notified me that I could not complete the ark without filing an environmental impact statement on Your proposed flood. They didn't take very kindly to the idea that they had no jurisdiction over the conduct of the Creator of the universe."

"Then the Army Corps of Engineers demanded a map of the proposed new flood plane. So I sent them a globe."

"Right now, I am trying to resolve a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that I am practicing discrimination by not taking godless, unbelieving people aboard. The IRS has seized my assets, claiming that I'm building the ark in preparation to flee the country to avoid paying taxes. I just got a notice from the state that I owe them some kind of user tax, and failed to register the Ark as a 'recreational water craft'."

"Finally, the ACLU got the courts to issue an injunction against further construction of the ark, saying that since God is flooding the earth, it is a religious event and, therefore, unconstitutional."

"I really don't think I can finish the ark for another five or six years",

Noah wailed.

The sky began to clear, the sun began to shine, and the seas began to calm.

A rainbow arched across the sky. Noah looked up hopefully.

"You mean You are not going to destroy the earth, Lord?"

"No," said the Lord sadly, "I don't have to. The government already has."


I HATE Attention Whores

This is an open letter to attention whores.

Are you one of those women who think that getting drunk and acting like a slut gets you the attention from men your daddy never gave you?

Are you one of the guys who think you live in a frat house or a beer commercial?

Then you might be an attention whore ... or that's what us armchair psychiatrists will say.

An attention whore is defined by the Urban Dictionary as the following:

A person, usually female, who tends to: dress excessively provocatively (i.e., high heels and cleavage to the upper abdomen for a 2 year old's birthday party); keep eye contact with her female audience (her "competition") to a bare minimum, flickering the occasional glance only to verify she still has their attention, while standing toe to toe with a loud open mouth with any male who does not step back; raises her voice and speaks over others to either a) ensure that input into a conversation by any other females is not noticed or b) make sure no one forgets she is in the vicinity; constantly reapplies makeup/lipgloss in public; cannot stop talking about her clothing size/weight; loves being the only female to "show up" on an all-guys night out or trip and bragging about some happening in detail to each man's wife afterward; ends a visit/conversation only when someone else actually has something to say or starts to yawn.

If you're vain and wondering if this song is about you, take the following short quiz.

  1. Are you uncomfortable in situations in which you are not the center of attention?
  2. Is your interaction with others often characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior?
  3. Do you display rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions?
  4. Do you consistently use your physical appearance to draw attention to yourself?
  5. Do you have a style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail?
  6. Do you show self-dramatization, theatricality and exaggerated expression of emotion?
  7. Are you suggestible, i.e., easily influenced by others or circumstances?
  8. Do you consider relationships to be more intimate than they actually are?
  9. Do you use alcohol to help you act out and make yourself feel better?
  10. Do you use alcohol to help you act out and make yourself feel loved?
  11. Do you use alcohol to help you act out and make yourself feel wanted?
  12. Do you use alcohol to help you act out and make yourself feel desired?

If you answered YES to five or more of the twelve questions, you are an attention whore and yes, this song is about you.

But if you're not an attention whore, you may find the following funny. If so, please share it with your attention whore friends. Because if you're not the attention whore in your group, you know who is. And if you're mentally looking around your group of friends and don't see an attention whore, sorry, but it's you.

What causes people to become attention whores? I think it's just people pathetically lacking love in their lives to the point that any attention, whether good, bad, or ugly, satisfies that need in them.

And this comes from years of observation.

At the bars you frequent, at the parties you attend, I've been the guy behind the bar mixing your drinks, opening your beer, and cleaning up the drinks you spill, either by knocking over the glass/bottle or vomiting it back up later.

I've been the guy behind the camera recording your "moments" for posterity. Or to show you just how stupid you look. Because you obviously don't know.

Or don't have the self-esteem to care.

Let me explain where this is coming from:

Last weekend Kara & I went to see a good cover band (and by good I mean I didn't sit there nervously awaiting the next song and wondering if I'd be dropping the requisite "Oh no. Please stop and don't play that. Ever. Again. For the love of all that is good and right remove that song from your play list, or, as my friend JT from Pittsburgh says, "I'm mo kill you.")

The band?

Next Exit.

And they were good for a cover band.

And I don't like cover bands.

But I liked Next Exit. And not because Kara is friends with the singer and his wife.

Because they were good. They were fun. And they weren't pretending to be serious musicians. Sure, they might be. And they were all good at their respective instruments. And I'm sure given the chance they could play some great original music.

But Friday night at Gatsby's they were a cover band. And they were good.

I mean good like Uncle Sandwich good. (Uncle Sandwich played at the University of Toledo area bars in the mid to late 1990's. They were an amazing cover band. As I was waiting outside the first night, I heard the Katrina and the Waves song "Walkin' on Sunshine" and I thought, wow, this girl can sing. Then we got in and heard "Brick House" and I saw four guys on stage in big-ass Afro wigs. Then they went into "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys. And then they followed that up with Nena's "99 Luftballoons" in perfect German. And I realized there wasn't a girl singing. It was those four guys. And thy were awesome. And I later found out they're all serious punk musicians who earn money playing covers to drunk college kids to pay the rent while working on their album. What ever became of them I have no idea. Anyone in Toledo remember them? Or the name of their punk band? Lemme know.)

But back to Gatsby's on the Friday after Valentine's Day and Next Exit ... because the attention whores were out in force.

Maybe because it was the weekend after Valentine's Day, and those who didn't have a Valentine this year still felt that sting three days later and decided they were going to change their fortune by next Valentine's Day ... starting that night.

Oh, and for the record, I'm not just talking about women. There are many male attention whores, too.

Most of them, as I've seen, are pathetic guys who can't understand the highlight of their lives, whether it's the exploits on the high school/college athletic fields or college frat bars, are over.

Think Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite.

Like Uncle Rico, their best and brightest moment happened many years ago.

Male Attention Whore Case Studies, Gatsby's, February 17, 2005:

The mid-40's guy who was grooving to "Brick House" and flashing what he thinks were gang symbols to show just how hip and happening he is while wearing his creased Khaki Dockers and striped button down long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves buttoned and making sure his executive hairstyle isn't messed up while dancing with the female attention whores. (breathe)

The Jewish banker/accountant who was there, wearing the monotone maroon button down long-sleeved shirt with sleeves buttoned and creased dark blue Dockers, trolling the edge of the dance floor hoping the female attention whores would grab him to dance. (breathe)

The "cool military pilot" who violated many Air Force uniform regulations by wearing his flightsuit to an off-base bar and drinking in uniform. (sigh)

But I digress.

But the ones that pissed me off (and you can keep that present tense as well, because they do and always will piss me off) are the women who think that every man is available to them. Because, in their mind, nobody is hotter than they are. (And again, this can apply to both men and women, because we saw a very unhappy husband/boyfriend drag his wife/girlfriend off the dance floor after a guy was dancing way too close or talking way too much to her.)

Because he knew, in his head, he could have her. Even if she wasn't interested. Because he was that hot. A legend in his own mind. And while I'm all for the power of positive thinking, dude, yeah, you just keep thinking that.

To quote Vernon Wormer, "drunk and stupid is no way to go through life."

You should have gone after the yellow/orange shirt girl. Or her friend(s).

But you didn't. Because, maybe you agree with me: "Drunk, stupid and slutty is not attractive."

But I'm not talking to you. To paraphrase most rappers, I'm just talking to the ladies now.

Sure, you in the tight white shirt and your friend in the yellow/orange ... your attention-whore antics and dress may score the occasional attached guy who's bored in his relationship and wanting something new and different and you might think you got one up on his wife/girlfriend, and another notch in your belt/bedpost isn't what you were hoping for, that's what you got.

Sluts, meet my friend Reality. Reality meet a couple of sluts. Sluts: "Pretty Woman" was a movie. Nobody's gonna come rescue you.

The truth of the matter is this: Until you change your attitude, and antics, you'll never be more than a last call casualty and a one night stand.

Both of which will continue to feed your already damaged self-image and low self-esteem, but again, I digress.

And it's not just those women in their mid-to-late-20's sporting the outfit from A&F/Hollister/Insert Other Hip Clothing Company Here ... you know, the stylishly ripped jeans and the too-tight T-shirt rife with some witty saying that bares the midriff and/or the tattoo on the lower back when they "raise the roof." (Your view is dependent on which side they're trying to attract you with the boobs or the butt.)

And watching you, Miss Yellow/Orange too-tight-t-shirt, get stinking drunk, crash into the guitar player's setup ... twice ... that's attractive.


I think what pissed you off the most was my total failure to pay attention to you. I wouldn't stare at your ass, or your tits, or even look you in the eye. Even when you walked right up to the table and asked my girlfriend to join you and your friend on the dance floor, I guess you wanted a third in your simulated lesbian music video dance routine, or felt you needed help using the support beam as a stripper pole.

Yeah, I noticed.

It was hard not to.

But I noticed with the look of disinterest and disgust, not the "wow she's hot and I want her" reaction you were going for.

Because, as I said, drunk, stupid and slutty, is not attractive to me.

And that look you got from me is the same one I shot the most interesting attention whore of the evening ... the really hard-looking woman who was at minimum mid-40's wearing the fringed denim miniskirt, white button-down shirt and black hose and when not dancing with the too-tight-white-t-shirt girl and her orange/yellow t-shirt girl, sat on the barstool, smoking, legs askew.

That was a view that was just frightening.

Not I'm not an ageist. I'm an observationalist.

It's not because she was old.

It's because she was ugly.

And while she was dancing she sleezed over towards where Kara and I were sitting and gave me that look of "I'd do you."

And our eyes met.

And mine totally dismissed hers.

Why? Well, honey, not be rude, but I'm sitting there with a woman who has at least 15 years of age on you, about 25 fewer years of wear and tear, and I'm guessing between 75 and 150 IQ points.

And one who interests my heart and my head, as well as what's below the belt.

You had the attention of none of the above.

In fact, I think you caused shrinkage

In all three areas.

So the odds of you doing me?



If you and I were the last two people on earth and we were out of farm animals and I had both my arms ripped from the sockets by whatever forces destroyed everyone on the earth except you and I well, at that point

No. Not even at that point. I'd either walk around with a bursting nutsack or I'd kill myself rather than go where many many many have gone before me.

But that's just me.

Anyway, this started as a rant to say there's nothing worse than attention whores who think that they can steal away anyone they want, simply by their whoring abilities.

Well, ladies, you've met your match.

I'm the ying to your yang.

I'm the white to your black.

I'm the day to your night.

I'm out of opposing clich├ęs.

I'm not interested in you.



Because drunk and stupid with no self-esteem and a poor self-image is no way to go through life, or find anyone who's life is worth sharing, or finds your life worth sharing, for more than a few dances, a drunken drive home and a romp between the sheets.

And I'll end this with a song from a presently-retired attention whore, who was recently engaged to his loving Jessica. Congrats!

I look across the room
And I wonder if you're just like me
You're not pretty but you're pretty lonely
You know there's just one thing
That keeps this world spinning around
The lights come up and the standards go down

Low self-esteem and alcohol
If it weren't for you I'd have no one at all
Every Saturday night I answer the call

Will another year find me
Alone in front of the TV
Watching Dick Clark's New Year's Eve
And February fourteenth
Will I be looking out the window of my apartment
Waiting for flowers that no one sends

Low self-esteem and alcohol
Will I be standing ten feet tall
Or face down again in a bathroom stall

Everyone's pretending that they got some place better to go
But night after night you'll still find us here

Low self-esteem and alcohol
If it weren't for you I'd have no one at all
Every Saturday night I answer the call

~ Quinn Fallon "Low Self-Esteem & Alcohol"
Album: X-Rated Cowboys (2005)


Song of the Day

Not Too Much To Ask
Mary Chapin-Carpenter

To hear you say my name, to see you search my eyes
To feel you touch my hand, it more than satisfies.
If I was not the first, just say I'll be the last
It's too much to expect, but it's not too much to ask.

Now I can only dream of being all you need
And I can only try to be the reason why
You think about today and forget about the past
It's too much to expect, but it's not too much to ask.

Now I can only dream of being all you need
And I can only try to be the reason why
You think about today 'cause the past is just the past
It's too much to expect, but it doesn't hurt to ask
It's too much to expect, but it's not too much to ask.

What's great about this? Well, I'm sitting here working on a computer I built for a guy I work with while this is playing on my computer ... and I realize that I have all of this ... and I didn't really even have to ask ... because of great wonderful adorable beautiful lovable woman ... and that just makes the lucky one.


Curious George is adorable

Yep. I loved it. And there's a great poster for the movie, too

Then again, I always did love the books.

But the movie ... it's adorable. It's funny. It's totally perfect for kids ... of all ages. Like me.

And my favorite part ... well, duh, Maggie, the teacher. Apparently I have a thing for blue-eyed teachers ... or at least one that will be ... who like nerds who know way too much about way too many things. Like me ... and like Ted.

But anyway, it is super duper cute. And I can't wait to see it again.

Oh, yeah, for the record, I took my super cute daughter, Cammi, to see it today. Then we went bowling. She totally rocked a 92 in the middle game. Me, I had headpin issues. It hated me. Hated me. Wouldn't go away. Ever. But I did get a 116, 120, 105 ... 114 average. Not bad. Typical for a guy who uses a straight ball ... can't throw the hook. Never learned. Cammi had a 69, 92 and a 72... so she averaged a 78. Not bad for a cutie who'll be 8 in a month. In her defense, in the last game she was kicking butt then she cut her finger about halfway through the third game. But she finally learned how to keep moving when she releases the ball to toss it stronger ... so she's getting more juice behind her six-pound projectile.

Oh, and I so totally want to take my super duper adorable girlfriend ... who's the bestest girlfriend in the whole world, to see Curious George too ... because at times she's a big kid like me, too, and that one of the multitude of things I love about her.

Did I mention how cute this movie is?


Valentine's Day ruled

So I got the COOLEST stuff for Valentine's Day ... and yes, this is the 16th, I know ... but we didn't celebrate until the 15th because Kara had to work on the 14th. So we had a very good one-day-later-than-you-did Valentine's Day.

And I got the COOLEST stuff ever.

From the bestest Valentine ever.

And I wanna brag about it.

Check this out!
  • A book that discusses various writer's interpretations of or works based upon popular song lyrics. VERY COOL. (I'd post a link, but I forget the name of the book and don't wanna mess it up. So I'll post it later.) EDIT: Book is Lit Riffs - Writers "cover" songs they love.
  • Tickets to a Wheeling Nailers game on Feb 25th against the Trenton Titans. Minor League Hockey - ECHL style. Always a winner in my book.
  • A cool black t-shirt that just says, hockey. Very cool. Very minimillist. Very cool.
  • A superduper cool Chicago Blackhawks THIRD JERSEY ... yep, that's right, the black one. It's awesome. I love it. I'm gonna wear it. A lot.
  • And the bestest of all ... a hand-made, one-of-a-kind, memory book of all the reasons Kara loves me. Melted me. Period. Best.Gift.Ever. And all made by hand (well, the page filling stuff. Cause she's crafty like that. And I love it.) And I'm gonna show it off to everyone every chance I get because it's sooooooooo coool.
And it was all done by hand (did I mention that?) By Kara. Cause she's the best! OH, and dinner at Molly Woo's!

Yummy Chinese-people food.

And Kara

And hot and iced tea.

And Kara.

And presents.

And Kara.

Doesn't get any better than that.


Idiots behind the Wheel

Subtitles under consideration for this blog included:

From Mr. Ovbious:
Left-turn lane means TURN LEFT

From Mr. Sarcastic:
Learn how to drive your big fucking SUV, dumbass.

From Jules Winnfield:
ENGLISH, motherfucker. Do you speak it?

So this morning, like every morning, I'm headed to Dunkin Donuts to get my 24 ounces of love ... a big-ass coffee to get me going in the morning.

Now if you're not from Columbus, there are several things you might not know:
  1. We have a lot of people who drive SUV's ... and Minivans (right Steph-a-nee?) and drive them poorly.
  2. We have a lot of turning lanes and access roads because we are the strip mall capital of the midwest.
  3. We have a lot of immigrants from African nations.

Add that all up and you get 6.

(3 plus 2 plus 1 equals 6. Yep, I graduated college math.)

But add up the context of those statements and you get my morning.

So this morning, like every morning, I'm headed to Dunkin Donuts to get my 24 ounces of love ... a big-ass coffee to get me going in the morning.

And if you're not from my part of Columbus, you might not know the intersection I'm referring to ... so I've (badly) sketched out a map in Paint to give you an idea of what I'm talking about:

So I'm in lane B ... which is the lane you use to go straight or turn right and head west on Dublin-Granville Road (State Route 161).

Some big-ass black SUV is in Lane A ... which is the lane you use to turn left and head east on Dublin-Granville Road (State Route 161).

So when the light turns green and I move forward across Dublin-Granville Road (State Route 161) ... and the big-ass black SUV moves forward as well, both of us crossing the west-bound lanes of Dublin-Granville Road (State Route 161). Just like the traffic department planned.

And here's where our paths should have parted ways, like fate-crossed lovers leaving after being each other's last call casualty at the bar the night before, waking up realizing you don't even know who you're sleeping beside, let alone what prompted you go home with them, and what you might have done, and why you're as sore as you are ... but I digress.

Nope. Not to be. Like the hook-up-turned-girlfriend you can't get rid of (or the social disease she gives you), the big-ass black SUV decides to keep going straight and doesn't turn left and head east on Dublin-Granville Road (State Route 161) like the traffic department planned it. Nope. Big-ass black SUV decides to go straight, like me, and try to come into my lane, forgetting that Newton's law states, in a nutshell, that no two objects can occupy the same space at the same time.

Realizing I'm about to become a lugnut to the tire of this big-ass black SUV, I speed up. And I don't even give it the one-finger salute because it's early, I'm not angry (yet) and don't feel like taking the risk of getting a 9mm answer to my suggestion.

So then I make the right-turn onto the access road that leads me to Dunkin Donuts.

As does does the big-ass black SUV.

And I turn into Dunkin Donuts.

As does the big-ass black SUV.

And I pull into a parking space.

And right beside me pulls the big-ass black SUV.

But only after pausing long enough to let me open my door before whipping right beside me, even though there were two other parking spaces open. And the big-ass black SUV had to stop before taking me, and my door, out.


Now I'm on full alert. I'm the most passive motherfucker you'll ever meet, unless I'm threatened, or those I love are threatened. Then I'm on watch like hungry dog. And this motherfucker has almost hit me, TWICE. Granted, I'm driving a white car, and yes, it snowed, and yes, visibility in a big-ass SUV is limited because they're pretty high off the ground. But still.

So I turn to look at the (for lack of a better term) person driving this SUV and determine their intent. At the same time, the passenger door opens and a tiny little black female dismounts from this big-ass black SUV and looks at me. And apparently says something in some bush-language that wasn't ebonics, and wasn't any of the normal African dialects that I recognize from hearing in my neighborhood, and from my upstairs neighbors. Nope, she's clicking at me. Yeah. Speaking in clicks.

And the driver's door opens and out steps a 100-pound, 6-foot tall guy who says something to me in a very heavily accented African language punctuated with some hand gesture like I was supposed to turn right at the light.

And the only thing in my brain was this:


So I look at him and say "You were in the left-turn lane. I was in the straight or right-turn lane" and he looks at me like a dog watching a card trick. Realizing this is a language difference as well as a difference of opinion I just shake my head and walk away.

So he starts clicking at me.

And what pissed me off was I had no way of clicking back.

Sure, I could have clicked and clacked, but how would I know if I was telling him to go pound salt or pound me? I'm sure he told me to go fuck myself in a series of nice-sounding soothing background clicks as I walked in the store and ordered my coffee.

But the best part ... he walked in behind me and ordered, in perfect-yet-accented English.

So I gave him my best stare, and told him that he shouldn't go straight from the left turn lane. It can cause accidents.

Then I threw a scalding hot cup of coffee in his face.

He screamed in agony and fell to the ground. I laughed and followed that up with a couple of Vanderlai Silva stomp-kicks to his burned face.(Not really, just seeing if you're paying attention)

In reality, I just smiled at my African Friend (to add the obligatory music snob reference to my blog so it's complete. Yes, Michelle, that's for you!) and walked away.

Got into my car, realized that while we might pay the same amount for a gallon of gas, I get about three times the miles per gallon.

Clackety-Clack, motherfucker.


Random Thoughts #4

Random Thought: Valentine's day ... is a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap.

Explaining the less-than-obvious in that thought: Quote stolen from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Greatest love story ever put on film. My favorite movie. One of Kara's favorite movies. Yeah.

Exception to that thought: I'm soooo looking forward to Valentine's Day this year .... Because I have the bestest ever Valentine. Ever. And you can't have her. None of you. She's mine :-) But she works on Tuesday so we're celebrating the 15th. Because we're different like that.

Random Thought: This Present Expression is a band from Pittsburgh that I knew nothing about before Saturday night's show at Ruby Tuesday's. The best thing I can say about them is their lyrics are memorable. Memorable because there weren't any. At all.

Explaining the less-than-obvious in that thought: There's a reason that Metallica puts a single 10-minute guitar-effect instrumental with driving bass & drums on every album. It's a good way to showcase what outstanding musicians you can be. However, there's a reason that Metallica only ever puts one on an album. Because after about 10 minutes, it's totally fucking boring.

Exception to that thought: TPE had a song with some spoken words behind it. But it was so far down in the mix it was like the TV at a bar without closed captioning. Someone was mumbling something that was inaudible over the din of the boring conversations, only the boring conversations was the music of TPE.

Random Thought: There is NOTHING like a bowl of oatmeal to warm you up on a cold day.

Explaining the less-than-obvious in that thought: If I didn't just finish a 32 ounce glass of iced tea that starts out with me filling the glass with ice and then pouring tea that's so cold in my fridge that ice has formed inside the tea into the glass, drinking the tea and then eating all the ice, I bet I wouldn't be as cold.

Exception to that thought: If Kara was here with me instead of working I doubt I'd be cold.

Random thought: A well-made bed that someone else made for you looks too good to lay on.

Explaining the less-than-obvious in that thought: Kara made my bed today and it looks too good to sleep on.

Exception to that thought: If I make the bed, I just mess it all up again anyway.

Random thought: Dr. Atkins had it right. The meat in the sandwich is the best part and the bread sucks.

Explaining the less-than-obvious in that thought: Saturday night at Ruby Tuesday's there were three bands that played:

TPE is from Pittsburgh; AUE is from Columbus; Mr. Gnome is from Cleveland. TPE, well, they got explained above. Mark Nye, bassist for Autumn Under Echoes, called TPE "interesting" onstage last night. Interesting was said with an interesting twist on it that made one of the two guitarists question Mark after the show.

Dude, take it easy, it's not like he said it sucked.

Mr. Gnome ... I'm sure they're good at what they do. It's kinda like Kara said ... the White Stripes reversed. A guy drums barefoot, while a skinny woman plays guitar and sounds a lot like Bjork. Who I think sucks.

We left after the second song.
And yeah, they're good at what they do ... which is a nice way of saying "But I don't like it" (thanks for that Chris Skrobot of Autumn Under Echoes and X-Rated Cowboys, who used that on some band that opened for AUE/XRC at a show in December at the Treehouse!)

But anyway ... in our story here, TPE is one slice of bread, Mr. Gnome is the other.
The filling of that bad band sandwich was the fucking awesomest Autumn Under Echoes show I've seen ... and I've seen them three times now (or four, I forget).

They rock.

Better than any band I've seen in Columbus, or anywhere.

And you have to see them. March 18th at Andyman's Treehouse is the next Autumn Under Echoes show.


This band totally rocked the roof off Ruby Tuesday's Saturday night.

Aaron is an amazing showman. He really controls a stage and makes you watch.
His lyrics are genius. The blog header I had "Cause I'm like a telephone, I never ring, and I have no messages" is an Aaron lyric.

The header on my (since deleted) MySpace profile ... "I guess I'm not socially erotic" is an Aaron lyric.

(The current blog headline here - Honesty is such a shallow grave - is an Aaron lyric)

The song on my profile "Dirty Numbers" is the song all those lyrics are from ... and that's an Autumn Under Echoes song.

And it's not even my favorite AUE song.

That's "Life Is A Movie" ... but that may change after seeing the show on Saturday, because I gotta tell you ... "This Is It" made my hands hurt ... and not from applauding you for nothing or hitting you so hard.

They hurt from just WATCHING Mark demolish the strings on the bass.

They hurt from just watching Chris Skrobot play the shit out of the guitar.

And they hurt from watching
Eddie D on the drums.
And to paraphrase the Kinks' song "The Road" ... Eddie was solid as a rocker sitting time on the drums for AUE last night. And Eddie, to answer your question you asked me after the show ... Seth who? Yeah, you totally rocked it last ... and "This Is It" was fucking amazing. You and Mark just held it so solid that Aaron & Chris were pieces to round out the puzzle, not the other way around. Rhythm section rock at its finest.

Exception to that thought: Nice soft warm fresh bread that's only like an hour out of the oven is the shit. Yummy.


Working like gangbusters

So I’m sitting here wondering what to do next. I have so many things to get done at work, and at home, and so few hours in a day to do them but I cant help but take the time to stop every now and then and reflect on the first six weeks of 2006 because they’ve been pretty exiting and interesting from where I sit.I'll start with the obvious: things with Kara are absolutely amazing in a way I never imagined. It's obvious to regular blog/bulletin readers that things are good. In fact, I called her the highlight of my year, and my future. Which prompted some questions from people.

Good questions.

Because until this week, I haven’t really said in public ... on the blog ... just how wonderful it is.

So my average reader, you're probably not yet aware of the depth of ... or the number of ... the connections she and I have.And the most interesting thing about Kara that I’ve never felt with anyone else:

I just believe.

In my head.

And my heart.

But in my head, my brain knows that:

I trust her.
I love her.
I respect her.
I admire her.

And my heart knows as well, because in both my heart and my head, I don’t think about those things.

They just are.

I don’t wonder about those things.

They just are.

I don’t worry about those things.

They just are.

I don’t hope for those things.

They just are.

I just believe.And its been that way from the beginning.

And I’ve never had that before in my life. I didn’t feel the need to be in love with her.

Or the need to be with her.

But it happened.

And I’ve never had that before in my life, either. I’ve always fallen in love, to quote Joel Barrish, with every woman I see who shows me the least bit of attention.

And where did that get me?


And what’s funny about Kara is it could have happened any number of times with her ... as far back as the early 90s when we were both in the Delaware/Marion area who knows we might have passed each other in Kroger, she might have ordered a burger from me when I was a register jockey at Burger King, we might have reached for the same album at Pat's.

But we didn’t. Or we don't know we did.We might have passed each other every day and never have known it.

Until now.And I’m okay with that.

Because I wasn’t aware that she existed.And I wasn’t aware how perfect she is for me.

Because the me that is now isn’t the me that was then.But to be honest, the me that is me now didn’t even recognize consciously that I was interested in her.

I guess because I wasn’t looking.And she wasn’t looking.

In fact, she and I had discussed the fact that we weren’t looking. Which, I’m learning, is the best way to find someone. By not looking.Now I have to backtrack some here.

When I first moved to Columbus, I was doing the whole online dating thing (again) hoping for better results than I found in Pittsburgh.


And stumbled across a funny, attractive, smart profile headlined, "More than just a nice rack" which immediately caught my attention. (Hey, I have legs. Why would I be a legman) And we talked, online, for a week or so, exchanged emails. She gave me her phone number. I never called. Then a week or so later, I realized I never called her and figured what was the point in trying after waiting that long, so I just kinda gave up and started looking again.

That was Lauren.

And in September when I started blogging on MySpace I stumbled upon her again. And we talked but I was coming out of a relationship and she was just starting one. And Kara is one of Lauren's friends in real life ... and on MySpace ... for a very interesting reason that’s not my story to tell, but funny funny funny.

And me being the flirtatious guy I am ... apparently my comments sparked some questions in Kara, who asked me, via email, one night in November, if I was attracted to Lauren. And me being me, and completely unable to give her a simple monosyllabic answer to a blatant yes or no question, proceeded to write FOUR OR FIVE PAGES of yes but I’m not pursuing for a variety of reasons blah blah blah ... including the fact that I’m not looking and Lauren's involved. And, near the end, I did say to Kara that there were several things about Kara that I was attracted to as well. And I forgot about those things ... until Kara reminded me last week :-)

But I wasn’t consciously aware of the attraction or even looking for anything to spring from that kinda sorta hidden attraction when I invited Kara out to see Autumn Under Echoes/X-Rated Cowboys show in December at Andyman's. And then I showed up an hour late. Luckily she was still there (Thanks Jess!).

And we had a good night. It was fun. It was without pressure. It wasn’t a date so neither of us felt the need to impress the other. We just hung out. And enjoyed the show. It wasn’t until hours later I realized that my normal three-feet-of-distance-at-all-times-from-people wall was totally blown out of the water by her we were sitting close, touching on a platonic level all night long. Which is very unusual for me.

I don’t come from huggy affectionate people.

I am one, but I don’t come from people like that, so it normally takes me a while to let someone into my space. She was in, instantly.

And the next time we saw each other, about weeks later when we had dinner with Lauren at On The Border, according to Lauren, when Kara walked in, my face "lit up."

And I did give Kara the perfect Christmas gift that night ... in fact, she said later it was amazing because it was like I'd know exactly what to get her. Her family, people she’s known most of her life, wouldn’t have known that was the perfect gift to give her, but I did. (BTW it was The Readers Encyclopedia, 1949 edition. Basically, an encyclopedia on everyone, everywhere and everything in fiction. For a woman who majored in nineteenth century British literature, yeah, that was the perfect gift. Thanks to my favorite eBay seller and former neighbor Stephanie Stout for the help finding it in her massive collection of old books to eBay, eventually).

But even that night I wasn’t aware of what I was feeling for Kara. Or even thought anything was possible. Because she wasn't looking. And I wasn't looking. And I really didn't think I was her type (yeah, I'm my own worst enemy, but more on that later).

It wasn’t until we went to the Zoo the week after Christmas to look at the lights that I first felt something. As we were walking in, we were talking about my total lack of desire for a relationship, and Kara said, "But if you meet that perfect woman, you’d be interested, right?" And I said, "Yes, I would be." And we left it at that. Because me, a graduate of the school of reading-way-too-much-into-things, didn't read anything into that.

(And you can read the zoo blog here if you so desire ... December 2005 archives, Local Man Attacked by Crocodiles.)

At some point in the night, as we were walking, talking, admiring, photographing I realized that she’s really amazing. She's smart, funny, determined, guarded, beautiful, witty, has great taste in music and movies, and amazing blue eyes that I get lost in ... and and and ... but I really was doubting that I was her type. So I just kind of started admiring her, detached, like I do (Stalker? Me? NO. Just have been distantly in love, to quote Jimmy Buffett, a few times in my life).

Then as we were rounding the corner back to the beginning of the zoo ... we began a conversation that pretty much started me on a new path in life that I’m still exploring, and will continue to explore, with her and because of her, but not for her.

I asked her why she was going back to grad school. What made her decide to do that.

And she started talking about God's plan and being guided down the right path by decisions she's made in life, and recognizing that every so often, she sees a bit of light on the path that lets
her know she’s going in the right direction. And that helps her make the right decisions.

And then she dropped the bombshell ... how nothing is really random in life when you're aware that God has a grand plan for your life.

That got me thinking about my life and how all the things I thought were random probably weren't. I just didn't realize it. And all of which is blogged here (January 2006 Archives - Anyone have a super computer I can borrow) .

Then we went to see Watershed on New Years Eve.

Blogged here (January 2006 Archives).

And that was the first time I was really feeling the attraction. And I figured what better to have a first kiss than a concert of a band we both liked ... at Midnight on New Year's Eve.


That's perfect.

Well, it didn't work out like I planned.

I mentioned that in a bulletin the next day ... but in a way that really hurt Kara's feelings. Unintentionally. I was going for the comedic approach. And failed. And when I read the words she wrote me in an email, it was then I realized just how much I liked her. And realized I was blowing it. And I realized I really hurt her feelings by what I wrote.

So I deleted the bulletin, picked up the phone (rather than reply to her email ... yeah, that's right. Me, phoning rather than emailing. That's how I knew it was different) and called her.

No answer. I was thinking of leaving a message like this:

The fact that you're not answering leads me to believe you're either (a) not at home, (b) home but don't want to talk to me, or (c) home, desperately want to talk to me, but trapped under something heavy. If it's either (a) or (c), please call me back.

from When Harry Met Sally, but decided against it because my last attempt at humor failed miserably.

So I decided to drive over to her house. I stopped along the way for a little bear holding vase with three red roses. I believe I asked the woman at Flower-Rama for the "I'm an Idiot" section.
If I had a boom box and Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" I'd have taken that, too.

Because I was going over to her house to tell her how I felt. Because I couldn't let this feeling I had just fade away. I wasn't going to vanish into the woodwork. I was going over there to tell her how I felt. And If I was going down, I was going down in flames.

So I knocked on the door and got no answer.

Because she was at work. Or at least I hoped she was at work. Because either she was at work, or something heavy had fallen on her. Or she was ignoring me knocking on her door. I was hoping for the first and that was the case. She was at work.

And I sent her a text message telling her I left her something on her porch so she wouldn't miss it when she got home and parked in the garage.

Her reply was "Call me." So I did. And we talked. And I confessed that I kinda liked her. And I was an idiot for what I wrote. And she was right by saying she wanted a kiss to mean something
more than a check on a list (part of what I wrote that hurt her feelings). And I told her that I did want it to mean more. And I told her I was afraid of being rejected ... so afraid of losing her as a friend to say anything about how much I was attracted to her. But I couldn't not tell her how I felt because it hurt me to have hurt her feelings like that.

Yeah, it was full-out ramble mode.

And then she confessed she kinda like me, too.


Stop the presses.

It's mutual??!!

And then we both confessed that we were afraid of liking each other and afraid of rushing into things and afraid of repeating past mistakes ... and and and.

So we decided we were going to take things slow.

Super duper slow.

And let them develop if they were going to develop.

Or not develop if they were not meant to develop.

Kinda like that path on life ... we were looking for the little bits of illumination to let us know we were on the right path.

Or not.

And we started seeing those bits of illumination.

And things started building.




With serious long-term potential.

And while those feelings were first building, I spent some time talking to Lauren about it because I needed someone to validate that what I was feeling was okay. Because Lauren went through through the same thing with the guy she’s involved with.

It was weird to me because what I was/am feeling is so different than past relationships I've ever had, and so relaxing.

It isn't work.

I don't have to spend every minute thinking about every single detail.

I don't have to stress about what to wear or where to go or what to say or when to call or write or kiss or anything.

I just do what feels right.

And ya know what? It is right.And right on more levels than I've ever connected with anyone before.

But the best part?

We're not worried about the destination. We're not worried about or focused on where the relationship will end up.

We're enjoying the journey that we're on.


And that's why Kara is the highlight of my year.

And the highlight of my future.

Any questions?



My 2005 Grammy Picks

The joke that is the Grammys is Wednesday ... here's the truth of the matter:

(Best.Comic.Strip.Ever.) (But don't read it at work)

But with that in mind ... here are the biggest awards they give out ... and my ideas of who should win, and why. I'm curious to see what you think.


RECORD OF THE YEAR (awarded to the performer and producer)
[ ] "We Belong Together," Mariah Carey
[ ] "Feel Good Inc.," Gorillaz Featuring De La Soul
[X] "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams," Green Day
[ ] "Hollaback Girl," Gwen Stefani
[ ] "Gold Digger," Kanye West

Can't listen to Mariah. Or Gwen. Or Kanye. Gorillaz are okay, but Green Day is the great and American Idiot was my 2004 Album of the Year.

SONG OF THE YEAR (awarded to the songwriter)
[ ] "Bless The Broken Road," Bobby Boyd, Jeff Hanna & Marcus Hummon, songwriters (Rascal Flatts)
[ ] "Devils & Dust," Bruce Springsteen, songwriter (Bruce Springsteen)
[ ] "Ordinary People," W. Adams & J. Stephens, songwriters (John Legend)
[X] "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own," U2, songwriters (U2)
[ ] "We Belong Together," J. Austin, M. Carey, J. Dupri & M. Seal, songwriters; (D. Bristol, K. Edmonds, S. Johnson, P. Moten, S. Sully & B. Womack, songwriters) (Mariah Carey)

John Legend's only good song (yeah, the CD blows), but it's not better than U2's obligatory ballad. Again, can't listen to Mariah. Ever. And Rascal Flatts is too predictable a song to win. Bruce? Meh. Don't like the album. Yeah, that's right. Me, the guy with 300 Springsteen bootlegs.

[ ] "The Emancipation Of Mimi," Mariah Carey
[ ] "Chaos And Creation In The Backyard," Paul McCartney
[ ] "Love. Angel. Music. Baby.," Gwen Stefani
[X] "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb," U2
[ ] "Late Registration," Kanye West

Can't.Listen.To.Mariah. Or.Gwen. Paul McCartney put out an album? I'll be dammed. Must have sucked. Another legend nominated because he's a legend. Kanye might be good, but not my style. So that leaves U2.

[ ] Ciara

[X] Fall Out Boy
[ ] Keane

[ ] John Legend

[ ] SugarLand

... not my style. John Legend ... one good song. Keane ... I like ... but maybe too much to give them the award, because when you win this award it's the quickest way to disappear musically. Past 10 winners:
2005 - Maroon 5 2004 - Evanescence 2003 - Norah Jones 2002 - Alicia Keys 2001 - Shelby Lynne 2000 - Christine Aguilera 1999 - Lauryn Hill 1998 - Paula Cole 1997 - LeAnn Rimes 1996 - Hootie & The Blowfish 'nuff said.


[ ] "It's Like That," Mariah Carey

[ ] "Since U Been Gone," Kelly Clarkson
[ ] "Good Is Good," Sheryl Crow

[X] "I Will Not Be Broken," Bonnie Raitt

[ ] "Hollaback Girl," Gwen Stefani

Bonnie. Redhead. Songwriter. Winner.


[ ] "Don't Lie," The Black Eyed Peas
[X] "Mr. Brightside," The Killers
[ ] "More Than Love," Los Lonely Boys
[ ] "This Love," Maroon 5

[ ] "My Doorbell," The White Stripes

Tempted to go with "My Doorbell" because it's the first White Stripes song I like ... but "Mr. Brightside" is too catchy.


[ ] "Speed Of Sound," Coldplay
[X] "Best Of You," Foo Fighters

[ ] "Do You Want To," Franz Ferdinand
[ ] "All These Things That I've Done," The Killers
[ ] "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own," U2

Much better slowed down acoustic, but the released rock version is better than the rest of this pack of nominees.


[ ] "Doesn't Remind Me," Audioslave

[X] "The Hand That Feeds," Nine Inch Nails

[ ] "Tin Pan Valley," Robert Plant

[ ] "Little Sister," Queens Of The Stone Age

[ ] "B.Y.O.B.," System Of A Down

Robert Plant? Hard Rock? Isn't that like giving this award to Jethro Tull. Oh, wait. That happened. (1989, look it up.)

[ ] "The Great Satan," Ministry

[ ] "Determined," Mudvayne

[ ] "Mein Teil," Rammstein

[ ] "What Drives The Weak," Shadows Fall

[X] "Before I Forget," Slipknot

... they all sucked.

BEST ROCK SONG (awarded to the songwriter)

[X] "Best Of You," Foo Fighters, songwriters (Foo Fighters)

[ ] "Beverly Hills," Rivers Cuomo, songwriter (Weezer)

[ ] "City Of Blinding Lights," U2, songwriters (U2)
[ ] "Devils & Dust," Bruce Springsteen, songwriter (Bruce Springsteen)

[ ] "Speed Of Sound," Guy Berryman, Jon Buckland, Will Champion & Chris Martin, songwriters (Coldplay)

Gotta go with Dave & the boys here. I love this song, again, slowed down & acoustic. Although "Beverly Hills" was good ... but Coldplay? I know it's a song writing award ... but Coldplay?

[ ] "X&Y," Coldplay
[X] "In Your Honor," Foo Fighters

[ ] "A Bigger Bang," The Rolling Stones

[ ] "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb," U2
[ ] "Prairie Wind," Neil Young

I'll say it again ... Coldplay? And add this - Rolling Stones? One of the best albums of the year? Legend nominated because they're a legend. Album blows. Hard.


[ ] "Funeral," The Arcade Fire

[ ] "Guero," Beck

[X] "Plans," Death Cab For Cutie
[ ] "You Could Have It So Much Better," Franz Ferdinand

[ ] "Get Behind Me Satan," The White Stripes

Beck is okay ... but for the whole album he bores me. Death Cab needs some love.


I have no basis of voting for any of the Rap/R&B categories.

Because I change the radio when rap or R&B comes on.

Cause I don't like it. But you can't like everything.

And as I see it, you can't spell CRAP without RAP.

But here they are, with the 'winners' in blue.

[ ] "1 Thing," Amerie

[ ] "Wishing On A Star," Beyonce

[ ] "We Belong Together," Mariah Carey

[ ] "Free Yourself," Fantasia

[ ] "Unbreakable," Alicia Keys

BEST R&B SONG (awarded to the songwriter)

[ ] "Cater 2 U, Rodney Jerkins, Beyonc Knowles, Ricky Lewis, Kelly Rowland, Robert Waller & Michelle Williams, songwriters (Destiny's Child)
[ ] "Free Yourself," Craig Brockman, Missy Elliott & Nisan Stewart, songwriters (Fantasia)
[ ] "Ordinary People," W. Adams & J. Stephens, songwriters (John Legend)

[ ] "Unbreakable," Garry Glenn, Alicia Keys, Harold Lily & Kanye West, songwriters (Alicia Keys)

[ ] "We Belong Together," J. Austin, M. Carey, J. Dupri & M. Seal, songwriters; (D. Bristol, K. Edmonds, S. Johnson, P. Moten, S. Sully & B. Womack, songwriters) (Mariah Carey)


[ ] "Testify," Common
[ ] "Mockingbird," Eminem

[ ] "Disco Inferno," 50 Cent

[ ] "Number One Spot," Ludacris

[ ] "U Don't Know Me," T.I.

[ ] "Gold Digger," Kanye West


[ ] "Don't Phunk With My Heart," The Black Eyed Peas
[ ] "The Corner," Common Featuring The Last Poets
[ ] "Encore," Eminem Featuring Dr. Dre & 50 Cent

[ ] "Hate It Or Love It," The Game Featuring 50 Cent
[ ] "Wait (The Whisper Song)," Ying Yang Twins

BEST RAP SONG (awarded to the songwriter)
[ ] "Candy Shop," Curtis Jackson & Scott Storch, songwriters (50 Cent Featuring Olivia)

[ ] "Diamonds From Sierra Leone," D. Harris & Kanye West, songwriters; (J. Barry & D. Black, songwriters) (Kanye West)

[ ] "Don't Phunk With My Heart," William Adams, Printz Board, Stacy Ferguson & George Pajon, Jr., songwriters; (Kalyanji Anandji, Full Force & Indeewar, songwriters) (The Black Eyed Peas)
[ ] "Hate It Or Love It," Curtis Jackson, A. Lyon, Jayceon Taylor & M. Valenzano, songwriters; (Baker, Felder & Harris, songwriters) (The Game Featuring 50 Cent)

[ ] "Lose Control," M. Elliott, C. Harris & G. Isaacs III, songwriters; (J. Atkins, R. Davis & C. Hudson, songwriters) (Missy Elliott Featuring Ciara & Fat Man Scoop)