Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I'm Speechless

Of all the things I've read, and all the things I've heard, I have never in my life come across something so unbelievably offensive and distasteful as this. Pay particular attention to the very last line. By the way, the link is suitable for the office, it's just a link to a Yahoo news article.

Be prepared to be flabbergasted.

Peek Pic 5

Dining room, and fakus calla lillius


Inspired by Alanis Morrisette's "Unsent." Grossly lacking in any poetic quality, just gutteral musings.

dear chris you were my first and I
won't forget when you approached me
and bought me a beer and fed me
eggs at 3am and touched me
in ways I didn't know
so fun so gentle so fleeting

dear david I loved you so much and
never told you
all the times I dreamt about holding your hand
and sharing laughs and growing old
you taught me to be afraid of myself
and my feelings

but that was good to know

dear ryan we were quite the pair
I hated every moment
I wasn’t holding you close or kissing your lips
or being disappointed
we were so young and innocent
for the time being
I learned so much

dear steven you were my life and love
for so long
it still hurts sometimes that we didn’t

persevere I thought We would of all people
but We made memories and mistakes
We’ll keep forever
without regret, for me at least

dear ryan I opened my heart to you
and won't soon forget how it was closed
god it hurt so bad like nothing else before
but the truth is I’m glad it happened
because now you're in my heart where you belong
and sound

dear someone I may or may not know

I know you’re out there but
I’m scared to death of you
not wanting to do this again and
fearing the worst having been there
I'm trying to convince myself it’s worth it
to touch again to feel again to share again

maybe soon

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Peek Pic 4

Daddy, I'm HUNGRY!! And THIRSTY!!

To Grandmother's House We Go

My grandmother passed away Christmas eve last year and left our family her beautiful lakefront home in Marble Falls, TX. I love that place. I have so many fond memories from my childhood. Like fishing off the pier late at night with my whole family catching fish and fish after fish. And riding our two 3-seater jet skis with my sister's kids. Or quiet time by the lake on a calm summer morning. And skipping rocks. And watching the hot neighbor boy ski barefoot behind his boat. And overcoming my fear of swimming without seeing the bottom. And catching perch with just a string, a worm and a hook. And learning about the stars from my brother. And being the only one that could swim across the lake without stopping. And skinny dipping. And taking the boat out for the first time without my Dad. And so many more memories to even count.

Originally, the plan was for my parents to completely remodel the house and move in after my grandmother passed. That's what she wanted. But my father's illness (and probably some subconscious guilt--it was his mother) has caused my Dad to decide to sell it "as is." He just isn't up for the effort. I learned about this decision over Thanksgiving. Naturally, I had a fit.

So on Wednesday of last week my Mom and I went over to the house to see if I wanted any of the furniture or pictures or rugs, etc. (I didn't), and I took the opportunity to begin my crusade for keeping the house in the family. It went something like this:

Me: "Let's go down to the lake real quick. I'd like to get some pictures."

Mom: "Sure, if I can make it all the way down there."

Me: "Come on grandma, you can do it."

[We walk down the hill.]

Me: [pensive] "Mom, I don't want Dad to sell this place. I'd really like to keep it in the family, even if I have to buy it myself."

Mom: "I would, too, but you know your father when he makes up his mind. And it's not about the money, you pretty much already own it. He just doesn't want to fool with it."

Me: "Well if I pretty much already own it, then I should have a say. All the grandkids want to fool with it. It's special to us."

Mom: "It does hold a lot of memories for us. And if we fixed it up, everyone would have a place to come visit."

[Here I cite a list much like the opening paragraph, but much longer and sappier. And in a tone of voice that conjures a pouty lower lip.]

Mom: "You're right, we should try to talk him out of it. I'll see what I can do."

Me: "I recommend using guilt."

Mom: "Yes, I agree. Gimme a few days after you leave."

So I'm currently executing my evil plan to save grandma's house by proxy through my Mom. If I have to, I'll step in with more sappiness and a good old-fashioned pity party. I'll even cry on command if I have to. Or throw myself in front of any Realtor that goes near it. Or let a skunk loose in it. Or write a newspaper article about the ghosts that live there. I could get really inventive if I have to...

Until then, enjoy a short video of the lake and the pier. PLEASE forgive my awful Texas accent. It happens when I go down there. I can keep the pearls and Prada handbags inside, but the accent just goes flying. :)

Monday, November 28, 2005

Peek Pic 3

Inside the refrigerator.

The Christmas List

I do a lot of thinking on airplanes. It's a peaceful time for me, usually (thanks to my earplugs). On Friday as I was flying back to KC, I happened upon the Sky Mall magazine and thought that it would be a good opportunity to make my Official 2005 Holiday Gift List. So, if anyone out there is in the holiday spirit and want to know what to get me, here ya go:

Sometimes a guy just needs a leg massage and can't find anyone to help him, or, he just gets really tired of rubbing himself. These Air Massage Boots will solve all my leg massaging problems. I think maybe I could take them to work and wear them under my desk. She really looks comfortable, I can't wait. $139.99.

You can't really honor your loved ones without a Personalized Garden Bench. In fact, each bench is engraved with a heartfelt poem. I chose: "Walking with Grandma and Grandpa: I like to walk with Grandma and Grandpa. Their steps are short like mine. They never say "Now hurry up," they always take their time. Most people have to hurry, they never stop to see. I'm so glad that God made grandparents "Unrushed" and young like me." $199.95 + $50 shipping.

No household is complete without The Sword of Archangel Michael From The Vatican Collection. According to SkyMall, "In splendid bas relief [I learned that this is a method of engraving, who knew], his legendary deeds are portrayed. The casting out of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. His fight of the Angels against the legions of Satan. The compassionate rescue of tormented souls. And the dramatic victory over "The Serpent". Each scene is meticulously detailed. Set with brilliant crystals and tastefully plated in 24-karat gold." $395.00.

And on those cold winter nights when the lights are off, and you've forgotten the way to the bathroom or the refrigerator, these handy Lighted Slippers will light the way! I plan to walk Casey around the neighborhood in them so we don't get scared in the dark. Maybe they come in puppy sizes, too! $39.95.

And who wouldn't want to be constantly refreshed with your personal Ultra-Mini Air Supply? This unique, laboratory tested ionic wind technology projects trillions of air cleansing ions from its grill that electronically charge pollutants, resulting in cleaner, fresher air. I can wear this out to the bar to filter out my own cigarette smoke, or breathe a lot easier when I am Casey is gassy. A bargain at $129.00.

And speaking of toxic fumes, my holiday list wraps up with the ultra-stylish Emergency Escape Hood to give me 15 life-saving minutes to keep my lungs blessedly free from deadly gases and carbon monoxide. I also plan to use this on a daily basis to protect myself from the smell of curry in our lunchroom (we outsource, ya know). I could use a few of these. $75.00/ea.

So start saving now! I'm sure these items will sell like hotcakes. If I get them all, I'll take a picture of me sitting outside on the bench with my leg massagers and lighted slippers on, sword at my side, ready to take on the pollutants of the world.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Happy Thankgiving!!

This post is a bit late because we've had nonstop festivities going on the last two days. First, I had to wake my tired ass up Thursday morning (in San Antonio) from only about two hours sleep thanks to a evening (and morning) of druken debauchery. Those San Antonio boys sure are fun, but it was all I could do to keep them in line. Thank GOD someone with a voice of reason and a good head on his shoulders was there (I never saw him, though). Here's Steven (my ex) and I before hitting the town. I'm making a dumb face. He always looks like that. hehe

After a long and sleepy drive home to Marble Falls, I took a much-needed nap and chowed on some truly delicious Thanksgiving dinner. After another short nap to digest, I then devoured a couple of pieces of pecan pie and sat staring blankly and gluttonously into the TV. I've been repeating this same pie/stare pattern for the last 48 hours. I think I'm breaking some kind of a record. My own, no doubt.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Uncle Sam

If ever there was an overly opinionated, Red-state living, Rush Limbaugh-lovin', cattle ranchin', story-tellin', knee-slappin', good ol' boy Texan, it would be my Uncle Sam. Last night he came over for dinner and I had to got to listen to my brother and him talk for about two straight hours. Here were some of the topics:

--Why a Rudolph Giuliani/Condie Rice combo might not be the best combination
--How Sam videotaped two Indigo snakes fighting on the ranch
--How to predict volatility in the stock market via who's in the Oval Office
--Why "Hilary" would ruin America
--The time one of Sam's bulls got loose in traffic
--Why Sam should be on the jury for Tom Delay's trial (to hang it)
--How those damn Democrats are scheming to impeach Bush

Of course, the best thing about a good story is the delivery. Which, as you can see below, Sam has down to a perfect science. Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

My Mommy Loves Me

The Comforts of Home

This morning's post is brought to you from my parent's living room sofa in Marble Falls, TX. Thanks to the fully-stocked pharmacy that sits on my father's bathroom countertop, I had a glorious night's sleep. I mixed it up a little last night by choosing Lunesta over my old stand-by, Ambien. It worked wonders. The last thing I remember was crawling into bed and thinking "Crap, I forgot to take my socks off..." Needless to say, they were still on 8 hours later when my eyes peeled open. I don't even think I moved the whole night. I'm all for living better chemically.

My Dad has a doctor's appointment this morning, so I've got the house to myself. I snooped wandered around a bit while my coffee kicked in to see what these guys have been up to since I was here last. The kitchen's been redone. Nice new countertops, a tile backslash and new appliances. And I love their new sink. I'm jealous. The guest bathroom has a new shower curtain and a cute little antique lamp near the sink. There's a new refrigerator under the bar with a glass door. There would be wine in there if my parents were drinkers. Instead it's filled with Coke and Sprite and Diet Rite (yay). All the photos of the grandkids have been updated and rearranged. They've even got a picture of me holding Casey. Awwww.

I'd be remiss if I didn't report the obvious increase in items related to my Dad's illness. [If you haven't been keeping up, he's very ill with cancer]. Next to his recliner is a large grey respirator for his breathing treatments. There are tubes and masks and assorted boxes of inhalation solutions. There are also charts and reminders everywhere, obviously created on the computer by my anal retentive (but well-intentioned) mother. One list includes all my father's medicines to take and when to take them. It's quite the list. Hanging off the new (and very fancy) exercise bike is a chart for tracking their workouts. Mom has even thought to include sample stretching exercises on the reverse side. Oh, and it's laminated. Go figure.

But enough about that. I've got a full plate of cinnamon rolls to eat and a big fat Vicodin (for my, um, sore, um BACK) waiting to be swallowed. Yes, my back is REALLY hurting, Mom. Does Dad have anything for that? :)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Blood Road (Part III)

The van sped around the curve and the tiny red taillights disappeared from sight. As soon as Scott and I made the turn, we killed the lights and turned the van around. We didn't want them standing out there too long, as the intent was only to scare them, not to torture them (although the thought did cross our minds). With the lights out, we headed back towards them.

One of the accessories in the Hopper van was a CB radio and a loudspeaker hidden under the front grill. We decided it was perfect for us to reveal our dastardly plot (and at a safe distance from the girls). As we neared the group, we clicked on the high-beams and came to a full stop. I turned the CB to the loudest setting and picked up the handheld microphone.

"Jen, Denise, Kim and Melanie. May I have your attention please? Everything is OK. You have just been hijacked courtesy of Dave ___ and Scott ____. I believe your boyfriends can explain the rest."

After a few slaps, chuckles, beers and laughs, the girls came around to appreciating the prank. They even admitted that they were pretty impressed at our ability to scare them. And apparently, so was everyone else. We soon learned that the tape recording that Randy made during the whole episode was shared around school. Even without the internet to proliferate the story, the story spread like wildfire.

Scott and I became instant celebrities. As we walked the halls at school, we got pats on the back from the guys, and nasty looks from the girls. We got offers from at least 30 different kids asking us to pull the same stunt on their own girlfriends. Some even offered to pay us. Of course, we declined. We decided that it was sufficient to leave our singular mark on our urban legend: the night that Blood Road was just a street, and two masked high school kids stole the show.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Peek Pic 2

My dashboard at night.

Blood Road (Part II)

Standing in my bedroom, Scott and I looked each other over. Black pants and shirts? Check. Heavy boots, ski masks, flashlights? Check. Guns? Check. We were armed and ready for the thrill of a lifetime.

The boys and their girlfriends were finishing up a few beers at Brad's house. The plan was to get a little buzzed and drive the "Hopper Van" (from their last name)--a gargantuan dark blue Ford Econoline Extend-a-cab--down to Blood Road. Completely tricked out in the best 1985 van accessories, the Hopper Van was the epitome of the party wagon. All eight of them fit easily into the back of the van and they were soon headed on the 10-mile journey out to the darkest woods in town.

Scott and I ditched the car about a half-mile at the end of Blood Road and set out towards the farmers house. It was pitch black; only the moon threw a slight glow on the unevenly paved road. We picked out a perfect spot and walked through our plan. I was to be face-down in the middle of the road. Scott would hide in the ditch on the left flank. Ski masks on, heavy metal CO2 BB pistols cocked, we waited.

The music is blaring inside the Hopper van. We know this thanks to the tape-recorder placed strategically in the cushions. As he drives slowly down Blood Road, Brad tells the infamous tale of the murderous dragging. The girls--not frightened in the least--crack jokes and poke fun at him, much like quasi-brave Boy Scouts would do at their first campfire story. The tone inside the van is hardly one of fear. That is, until a large dark object appears in the middle of the road.

"Holy shit," says Brad as he turns off the radio. "What the hell is that?" You can hear the hush fall on the van as everyone scurries to see out the front windshield.

"It looks like a fucking PERSON," Randy shouts.

"Go around him Brad," says Kim. "Seriously, don't even slow down."
But Brad does slow down. In fact, he slows the van to a crawl and lowers the driver-side window to survey the scene. And before he can even mutter the first two words of his rehearsed "Hey are you OK?" the cold metal of Scott's pistol is placed carefully against the back of his head.

"Put the van in park, asshole, and get out slowly!" Scott says in his most sinister car-jacking tone. Loud, panicked screams follow, but are briefly interrupted by the sight of a 6'2" masked man flinging the side door of the van open. His gun is the first thing they see.

"Everybody out. Get the fuck out NOW!" I screamed as I began to grab arms and literally toss the passengers out into the grassy ditch. In the adrenaline-filled moment, the girls watch with horror as I pull David, the largest of the guys, down to his knees and fling him like a rag-doll into the darkness. "OUT, bitch!" I yell to to
Denise as she clings desperately to the leather strap on the door. I have to pry her hands loose as she screams with terror.

Within a span of about 15 seconds, the van was emptied. Scott, already in the driver's seat, began speeding away as I slammed the van's side door. As it closed, the van's dome light briefly illuminated the most horrified faces I've ever seen--even the guys. Scott and I lock hands in a splendid high-five. It was perfect.

Behind us, in utter darkness, just feet from the scariest, most remote place in town, four horrified and utterly helpless young girls stood clinging to the arms of their boyfriends. Naturally, the guys comforted them with feigned concern and stared in amazement as the van pulled away. Inside, though, they were giddy with anticipation.

[Conclusion on Monday!! Have a good weekend.]

Thursday, November 17, 2005

What's a Peek Pic?

Why Peek Pics:
--I like taking pictures.
--I want to share my world.
--A picture's worth a 1,000 words (saves me a lot of typing).
--Because it's my blog and I can do what I want.

What you'll see:
--Daily (hopefully) pictures about my life.
--Shots inside my house.
--Casey, my Beagle.
--My work environment.
--Things I think are funny.
--Things I think are cool.
--Things I think are stupid.
--Any other thing I want.

What you won't see:
--Anything unsuitable for work.
--Anything that reveals my CIA operative status.
--Anything too terribly exciting.
--Cute boys aimed at driving traffic to my site.

So... Hope you enjoy!

Blood Road (Part 1)

At a swim meet during high school, my friends and I were huddled together, chatting. Several of them (but not me) were commiserating about how their respective girlfriends were "really pissing them off lately." The conversation quickly became focused on devising a scheme to playfully get back at them for being so inconsiderate to otherwise extremely well behaved high school boys. As we watched heat after heat of the same race, our devious minds poured over the possibilities. Soon, we had a plan. We would take them to "Blood Road" for the scare of their lives.

I imagine that in most small towns like mine, there is an urban legend that captures the imaginations of local teenagers. In my day (somewhere in the mid-80's), Baytown teens had Blood Road. Blood Road was a narrow, one lane road in a very secluded and heavily wooded area outside of town. The story was that a reclusive farmer who lived on this road went on a murderous tirade and slaughtered his wife with ax. Afterwards (to dispose of the body), the farmer dragged her bloody corpse down the middle of the street until her last drop of blood was gone.

While heading South on Blood Road, the farmers house was visible from the road. A good storyteller would stop the car and point this out while he told the story—maybe even mention that his crazy son still lived there, or that they never caught the farmer to spice it up a bit. The storyteller would instruct the group look very closely at the road, revealing no trace of any blood or marks. Then, the driver would turn the car around and head North.

It was then that the car's headlights illuminated the legend—a dark, reddish-brown stain on the concrete that closely resembled the erratic patterns of a large object being dragged. The bravest of brave would get out of the car and inspect it up close. To be honest, it was pretty creepy to see.

When the guys invited the girls to make the trip, they cheerfully accepted, being clear about the fact that they wouldn’t be scared—at all. We’d see about that…

[To be continued]

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

On the drive to work this morning...

Kansas City's politically incorrect "Big and Tall" store:

First Snow

For the first time this season, snow fell in Kansas City yesterday. Luckily, it was only about 34 degrees, so no accumulation. To celebrate this event, I captured some video on my Treo 650. Naturally, I expected to simply download the video file onto my laptop and upload it magically into the blogsphere. A simple little gesture for all my friends to see. Little did I know...

Nine and a half hours later, I'm giving up. I am not smart enough. I lack the patience. There aren't sufficient resources on the Web to help me. I am out of Jack Daniels. The dog hates me for ignoring him. Why I can't figure out how to put a simple little goddamn QuickTime frame in a post and have it run inside the frame is beyond me. I need some help from my QuickTime video idol.

Thus, you shall get a crappy screen shot which should automatically launch Quick Time. Behind this screenshot is 22 glorious seconds of barely visible snow, lousy camera work and a brief glimpse of me in a wind-storm. You can't get this shit just anywhere, ya know.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Random Thoughts #5

--I got a call from my ex last night asking me if I would consider investing in the company he works for. He said the shares (not publicly-traded mind you) are currently worth about $1.50 each. I told him I'd take 20-30, because I'm almost out of toilet paper.

--We also discussed meeting up in San Antonio over Thanksgiving holiday. Looks like we've got dinner and drinks planned with some friends. And then a sleepover at our his friend Chuck's house. Should be fun. We are NOT going to have sex. We're not. No seriously, I mean it. Really.

--My name, including the middle initial, is exactly the same as a person on the "No Fly" list as established by the FAA. His birthday is also three days and one year from mine. Alas, I am unnecessarily detained at every airport ticket counter in the continental United States. I wonder what he did to get on that list. I bet you 50 bucks I've done worse.

--"A significant winter storm" is in the forecast. Ugh.

--I'm going to start boycotting products with doorbells in their commercials. I'm sure I can speak for many of the dog owners in the world when I say that doorbells in commercials are an unnecessary torture for our naive four-legged friends. Poor Casey, he just doesn't get it.

--Volvo is Latin for "I Roll." I think that's cool. I contemplated getting a personalized license plate with that on it, but I figured someone might interpret it as a reference to using Ecstasy. When I shared this with a friend, he suggested I make it "IROLLOVR." Imagine how THAT would have been interpreted.

--OK, so I just ran to the QuickTrip (Kansas' version of 7-11, Stop-N-Go, etc.) to buy some cigarettes milk, and when I pulled up, I saw our local NBC sports anchor walking out with a bottle in a paper bag. Hilarious.

--I was chatting on for a bit tonight and got to thinking how appalled a stranger (like my Mom) would be if they saw some of these screen names. Some of the names are kinda funny, though: ruffuk, ridemy9, mrsucnfuc, hungbignvers, udomeidou, spunkluvr, and my personal favorite--LagunaButch. People are crazy.

Monday, November 14, 2005


On the plane home from Boston I stumbled across an article asking for me to "Outsource my Personal Life." I am all for this. In fact, I've already worked out the array of tasks I'm going to outsource. I wonder if someone from India will do this for me. I hope not. Here goes:

--Outsourced Dave will workout twice daily. Cardio in the morning and weights in the evening. He'll also do a 2-hour abs class on Saturday for me. And he will call me on my cell immediately if there is a hot guy in the steam room.

--Outsourced Dave will date regularly. This will include dinner, movies, maintaining interesting conversation, fielding all telephone calls, text messages and e-mails, cuddling and pretending to be interested. I will handle all sexual activity until I get bored, in which case Outsourced Dave will dump him.

--Outsourced Dave will read and summarize all NY Times bestsellers.

--Outsourced Dave will pick out cute, hip clothes for me at rock-bottom prices. He will ensure that all my relatives get something cute for their birthday and Christmas. Said gifts should be wrapped in adorable paper with a matching (but not too matching) bow.

--Outsourced Dave will call each of my friends and family members on a weekly basis to tell them I said Hi and catch them up on how my life is going. He will ask a series of questions about each of them and will document the results.

--Outsourced Dave will attend all work-related social activities.

--Outsourced Dave will attend regular Alcohol, Overeaters, Narcotics, Sexaholics and Codependents Anonymous meetings. He will report our progress weekly.

I can't wait to get this going. If I just send in $19.95, I'll have all I need to get started! Anyone want to apply?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Boston Legal

This morning I'm writing from the lovely Courtyard Marriott in Boston, MA. I've been here since yesterday morning having a very terse meeting with some very angry clients. We both brought our lawyers. And I'm here to tell you, there's no better way to start a meeting aimed at collaboratively resolving difficult issues than by introducing your lawyers. Alas, no blood was shed and I think we'll be able to work things out without getting the Supreme Court involved.

The best thing about a meeting that runs late into the evening is that everyone needs a drink by the end. Without even loosening my tie, we headed straight for Davio's in the One Charles condominium building that straddles the Theater District and Park Square. There were six of us (colleagues and local family). It was a gluttonous experience:

2 Extra dirty Ketel One Martini, up

--Iceberg Wedge, Niman Ranch Bacon, Roasted Pecans and Creamy Pepper Goat Cheese Dressing
--Pan-seared Jonah crab cakes with sweet corn onion soffrito, lemon aioli

--2001 Merriam Carbernet (fabulous)

--Veal Tenderloin, crispy sweet onion polenta, wilted escaroe in a marsala sage sauce

--Mango, raspberry and lemon sorbet with a cookie garnish
--B&B cordial with a decaf chaser


Kinda made my Courtyard Marriott buffet breakfast seem a little puny. Are you hungry now??

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Little Red _____?

While eating lunch today, a guy drives up in what appeared to be a cross between a golf-cart and a ricksha. If the theory is true, this guy must be hung like a horse. Now, get outta my way so I can get in my 7-passenger all-terrain heated-leather vagina and drive my kids to practice.

Dave Needs

After reading an interesting post from Rotten Ryan, I decided to play the Google game of searching on "Dave Needs" and documenting the results. So, according to Google:

1. Dave needs Firefox and BugMeNot.
2. Dave needs a timeout.
3. Dave needs dusting often.
4. Dave needs some advice.
5. Dave needs some help walking through doors.
6. Dave needs a vacation.
7. Dave needs a kidney.
8. Dave needs some love, people.
9. Dave needs your financial support.
10. Dave needs support from a stable and harmonious family.

I couldn't agree more, except for the kidney thing. So don't anyone try to send me their's in the mail.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

War Boy

On NPR yesterday there was a spot on military blogs, or "milblogs," so naturally I ran straight back to the office to take a look. It was a refreshing and thought-provoking experience.

The two that were spotlighted had obviously hit it big and came across as a bit too overhyped, so I ventured out on my own to find others. I read several, but was particularly captivated with one from an anonymous 20-something infantryman called "The Unlikely Soldier." I read all I had time to read, plus two additional hours. And just for the record, there aren't any shirtless pictures of him or other hot army guys on his site, so those readers that might be inclined to go there for that reason alone (you know who you are), you'll be disappointed. You will not, however, be disappointed with his humble charm and light-hearted accounts of an average guy learning to protect us from enemies.

Reading his blog opened my eyes to how little I know about military life, and what compels people to choose it as a path in their life. It was really very interesting. While it's hard to admit this to myself, I suppose I have a [unfounded] perception that the military is just various tiers of power-mongering leaders exercizing complete control over high school drop-outs and disenfranchised youth (with guns). I think I need to work on that misguided opinion.

For some time now I've been absent-mindedly listening to news shows and cringing at how stupid we are for being in Iraq. Like many of us do, I tend to think I know a fair amount about things because I watch 15 minutes of television in the morning and listen to NPR on the way to work. These milblogs made me want to learn more about what's really going on there. Specifically, from the eyes and ears and boots of the agenda-free boys on the ground.

And finally, it was nice to get out of the gay blog world. I should do it more often just to keep myself grounded. It's been a while since I came across the word "faggot," and sometimes I forget there are actually people that still say that. It's also refreshing not to hear about the latest Madonna song, or a shopping excursion to Saks, or a fabulous dinner party with all of our fabulous gay friends. Hearing about drinking toilet water out of a canteen and almost being shot as part of their job begins to put my life a bit more into perspective. Maybe I'll quit bitching about how my housekeeper can't put my pictures back in the right place, or how no first-class upgrades are available or the fact that my adorable puppy hogs the covers.

But then again, that's about as exciting as my life gets. I guess I'll have to continue living vicariously through my fellow bloggers. Cheers to all of you.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Lessons from Jesse

While driving around town this weekend, I heard the song "Beautiful Soul" by Jesse McCartney. Normally, I'd dismiss this as just another teeny-bop pop song and forget I ever heard it. But when I heard it again several hours later, the words struck a chord with me. The lyrics aren't profound by any means, but they really stuck in my head. I wasn't sure why until I thought about them in light of my own [failed] attempts at meeting that special someone.

The chorus [and my life]:

I don't want another pretty face [been there done that],
I don't want just anyone to hold [I've held way too many],
I don't want my love to go to waste [never thought about it like that],
I want you and your beautiful soul [maybe, someday].

Thanks Jess. If you weren't a prepubescent 16-year old, you'd be at the top of my list.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Luck be a Boxer

I like to call my parents from the dog park on weekend mornings. It's a good opportunity for us to talk without interruptions. This morning I was talking with them while watching several dogs run around having the time of ther lives. I noticed one such dog, a Boxer, was a little wild, and commented that he better watch where he's going or he'll knock someone on their ass. Little did I know, only five minutes later, that someone would be me.

I had my back turned to the heart of the park, and didn't see or hear the Boxer and a Chocolate Lab running full-speed at me. With only a split-second notice--not even time enough to turn my head all the way around--the dogs clipped my legs completely out from under me and all 200 pounds of my 6'2" frame hit the ground with a thud that sent the whole park running over to help me. Thankfully, my cat-like reflexes fat ass saved me from any injury. In fact, I didn't even drop the phone! Woo Hoo. That Boxer was lucky it was me and not one of the 60-year old ladies at the park because it surely would have been messy.

So on the way home, I'm thinking to myself that I was pretty lucky not to get hurt. I really hit the ground hard. Windows down, music blaring, I was feeling pretty good, and chuckled to myself at what a switch that was since the Gods of Luck normally frown upon me. Then suddenly, a message from above reminded me not to count myself among the blessed...

Friday, November 04, 2005

Heroin Chic

So I find myself on Wednesday night with Ryan having dinner on Clinton Street in NYC, where just a few years ago the most popular entrée was heroin with a side of dirty needles. We dined at the Clinton Street Baking Company, which was cute, but what we ultimately dubbed as “gustatorily challenged” after using my Treo 650 to look up the word for one's sense of taste. There was an insightful review from The New Yorker hanging just above our table that described the typical crowd as “self-consciously scruffy-faced twenty-somethings that can’t wait to tell their fabulous Connecticut mothers about their sophisticated new life in NYC.” Ryan and I got a chuckle that every single twenty-something in the restaurant was a dead ringer for the author’s description.

The best part of the evening, naturally, was spending time with Ryan. As always, our conversations were all over the place, but incredibly engaging and frequently disturbing. Here are some of the topics:

--Our jobs
--Cool places to do post-doctoral study

--Why men from France suck
--The 6 phases of a pandemic (according to the WHO)
--Fist fighting as a tool in gay men’s group therapy
--How the Lower East Side is really an up-and-comer as far as neighborhoods go
--Why Ryan insists on hurting me by not reading my blog
--The difference between a pandemic and an epidemic
--Missing the Canal Street subway stop and winding up in Brooklyn

--Where I’d live if I moved to NYC (we decided Hell’s Kitchen or Upper West Side)
--How long to expect ruminating thoughts to linger after a breakup
--How to meet cool, gay friends in NYC without sleeping with them first
--Whether or not there IS another way to meet cool, gay friends
--Symptoms and duration of anhedonia
--The definition of the word bucolic
--The difference between crystal meth and adderall
--Whether or not we could get America to start using the word “bucolisciousness”

After eating, we headed back to his apartment to walk his seven (or was it seven hundred?) flights of stairs. After we purged our dinner, we headed to a few local hangouts. It was a gorgeous evening; nice and cool with a brisk wind. This helped counter the 243 miles we walked trying to find a gay bar with more than three people in it. Ultimately we landed at Boy's Room where Ryan’s early evening foreshadowing hinted at underwear-only dress codes, circle-jerks in the bathroom and contests where volunteer scrotums were photographed and judged by patrons. Thankfully, we witnessed none of this. In fact, I was surprised that Ryan was even able to tell me stories of such debauchery without cracking up. Oh wait. He did. And so did I. All night long…

Fun times, fun times.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Top of the Rock To Ya

On the Today show yesterday morning they ran a spot about re-opening the Observation Desk (called "Top of the Rock") at Rockefeller Plaza. So when my meeting in Brooklyn ended at 3pm, I talked my colleague Brett into coming with me to check it out. Since we're staying in Times Square (ugh), it was just a short walk over. Suprisingly, it wasn't crowded at all. We walked right up to the ticket counter and got our $14.00 tickets (ouch) without waiting. I snapped a few shots, just for giggles...

The obligatory shot of the park at dusk:

And then the sunset over New Jersey:

A looong way down. 67 stories. And no, I didn't spit.

Once back on the ground, I thought it'd be cute to juxtapose my ass against St. Patrick's Cathedral. Luckily for everyone, I found someone else's ass to use instead.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Ghostly Turnout

I always get excited for Halloween trick-or-treaters (TOTs) and invariably, I wind up disappointed in the turnout. This year was no different. Here was the evening:

5:00pm Leave office promptly to get ready for the festivities.
5:45pm Open bags of candy.
5:46pm Eat Reece's Peanut Butter Cup.
6:00pm Sweep front porch and sidewalk, turn on lights for safety.
6:10pm Put lighted plastic pumpkins in windows.
6:14pm Eat Reece's Peanut Butter Cup.
6:16pm Put Casey in the kitchen, shut baby gate.
6:21pm Eat Reece's Peanut Butter Cup.

6:31pm Eat Reece's Peanut Butter Cup.
6:39pm Doorbell rings for the first time. Wet pants with excitement. Two TOTs.
6:40pm Eight trick or treaters! One was a 16 y/o with a lame mask. He only got one piece of candy.
6:41pm Six TOTs! Cute little ones. They all got two pieces.
6:42pm Three girls in questionable anime outfits. They bitched at only getting two pieces. Seriously.
6:50pm A large red M&M costume and 3 other little cuties. I'm now pouring candy into their bags.
6:55pm Three pre-teen girls (giggling), dressed like 50’s sluts. One piece each.
7:03pm One gay guy dressed in work clothes picking up his boyfriend's wallet that he left in my car Sat evening. No candy.
7:07pm Eat Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup.

7:20pm Wondering where the hell the rest of the the TOTs are.
7:21pm Yell at Casey to stop the goddamn whining!
7:23pm Eat Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup
7:25pm Hears voices. Damn, just the TV.
7:40pm Eats Butterfinger. Looks out window.
7:48pm One bunny, a sheep and a princess (and one very hot dad). 23 pieces each.
7:53pm A devil, a ghost and a hockey mask with a sickle. 10 pieces each.

8:12pm Eat Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup.
8:14pm Let Casey out because I can’t stand the whining.

8:27pm Eat Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup.
8:34pm Consider shutting down the farm. Feel a little gassy.

8:40pm Lights out.
8:45pm Look at all the candy I have left over.
8:46pm Cry at how fat I'm going to get when I eat all of them.
9:14pm Vomit Reece's Peanut Butter Cups.

I'm off to NYC this morning for two nights. I'll try to post from the road!