Friday, March 31, 2006

Dinner with Doug and Lucas

A short video of us waiting for our table.

A Drive to the Vet

Dave drives Casey to the Vet. This time, with YouTube (for the technically challenged.)

Peek Pic 76

From the monthly employee Meet and Greet. Obligations, ya know.

The Video Craze

I'm developing an addiction to YouTube video bloggers (or vloggers for short). The office blocks it at work (which is probably a good thing for my own personal productivity), but I've been spending at least an hour each night watching them. The voyeur in me thinks it's fascinating to see the unique and often hilarious things people add to the internet landscape. Here're just a few things I saw last night that I thought were particularly noteworthy:

--A deaf guy signing his vlog
--A overweight teenager brushing her teeth in her PJs
--An octopus captured on an underwater camera, in slow motion
--A skinny shirtless kid using a hair straightener while he danced to music
--A cartwheel contest
--Approximately 83,273 people lip-synching to music
--Three instructional bicep exercise videos, in Portuguese
--A slide show of hot water polo players set to a Metallica song
--A cute and articulate guy describing how his car was trashed by anti-gay vandals
--Some dork and his Beagle, talking about poop and massages

I'm into this vlogging thing. I'm going to start doing more of it. Stay tuned while I line up a crew. Anyone have hair and makeup skills that wants to hold a camera for me?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Peek Pic 75

Looks like I've got another houseguest. Now if she'd just clean out the rest of the gutters for me, we could probably make this a more permanent arrangement.

Super Family, Activate!

Last night my family had a conference call to begin developing a care plan around my Mom's heart transplant surgery. We made a plan of action from the moment Mom gets the call, well into 3 months after her surgery. It was truly a fantastic experience in a family rallying together and showing support for each other. I was proud of us. Really proud.

Here are some highlights of the players and our roles:

Kelly - My older sister. We are incredibly close and 100% committed to caring for our parents. She's probably the best caretaker of all of us, but she let me do most of the talking during the call. She's got four kids and a wonderful husband and they live in Norman, OK. Kelly's primary role will be tending to my Dad's needs (they're very close) while the rest of us focus on Mom. Because she's awesome at it, she will also cook and bake (I hope).

Jane- My Mom's younger sister. Jane is one of my favorite people in the whole world. I lived with her for about 6 months in Dallas after moving from New York. Jane is the Project Manager. She is the master e-mailer, facilitator, collector of contact information, information sharer, event planner and calendar keeper. She will also play a secondary role in bed-side duty with Mom immediately following the surgery. She lives in Phoenix, AZ.

Trina. My Dad's sister. Trina is the kindest and most sincere person you'll ever meet. She loves my Mom and Dad with all her heart. She also lives in Marble Falls and will serve as primary transportation to the hospital when Mom gets the call. She'll also rotate in/out as a bed-side aide for Mom.

Joyce. My Mom's older sister. A bit overbearing at times, but well-intentioned. She lives just outside Austin and will likely serve as the primary caretaker for Mom immediately following the surgery.

John. My brother. John and his wife Ellen are busy professionals with two kids. They've signed up for meal creation and delivery, airport transportation and temporary housing while we find a more permanent house/apartment to rent. They also have a swimming pool the size of Rhode Island, which will help for R&R requirements.

Me. I am the utility player and general counsel to the group. I will alternate with Kelly taking care of Dad. I will be in the rotation for bed-side care for Mom. I will cook pick up dinner on the way home. I will take people to appointments. I will assume all logistical and financial responsibilities on my parent's behalf to keep their house/life/business interests afloat. I will negotiate and secure the apartment or house. I will be there to assure that the team itself is taken care of and has appropriate shifts and relief. I will be on the front line asking questions of the doctors. I will provide comic relief and general entertainment. I will supply hugs for everyone.

And, it what is surely the most critical aspect of assuring my family's happiness: I will make the Coke floats.

These are going to be the most well taken care of people in the history of health care. As I see it, it's just a reflection of how truly awesome they both are. They deserve it.

Now THAT'S Customer Service

Back in 1995, at the ripe old age of 25, I had the opportunity to conceptualize, build and then manage a new business unit for my company. I started with a team of four and a small budget and grew it to over 30 staff with annual revenues nearing $5M in under 2 years. It was, without a doubt, the catalyst for my current career. It also taught me MANY, MANY lessons about life. In one case--the careful use of spell check.

The department was mostly clerical staff that were responsible for verifying the credentials of health care providers (mostly physicians) on behalf of state medical boards. If any of you have ever worked directly with physicians or their office staff, you know that they can be a demanding lot (and I say that nicely). The truth is, physicians fall into two camps: 1) kind, nurturing, level-headed, humble folks; and 2) arrogant, demanding, impatient pricks. From my experience, I'd say 98% fall into category one. It's the other 2% that I had to deal with on a regular basis.

One one occasion, I had a telephone representative curse at who turned out to be the cousin/sister/nephew/lover (can't remember) of one of our Board members. Now I can't lie--the guy deserved to be cursed at, if not taken out behind the barn--but that's never an option in the customer service world. I was immediately summoned to the CEOs office following a call from said big-wig and was forced to terminate the customer service rep on the spot. After I did it, I sent an all staff e-mail to remind everyone of the importance of being nice. It was SUPPOSED to go something like this...


It is with great disappointment that I report the termination of _____, effective immediately, due to inappropriate conduct with a customer. While I would have preferred to have avoided this course of action, senior staff felt it was critical to communicate the importance of our work in the context of our clients, our members and the providers we serve on a daily basis.

As I've said before, customer service is the backbone of our success. As a new and highly-contested business, we must shine at every moment. No exceptions. If we cannot earn the basic respect and trust of our clients from the moment they contact us, we'll never get the opportunity to show them how well we work and add value to their daily lives.

So let me reiterate... In order for us to succeed together, Dr. Winn (our CEO) and I expect that each of you will provide outstanding courtesy to our clients at every opportunity. ESPECIALLY when it seems like they deserve it the least.

Thank you all for your continued outstanding work.


Now, this isn't the exact letter I sent. I accidentally omitted an "r" in the word courtesy as I was typing it in MS Outlook. And when spell check rolled around, I must have clicked through the Ignore/Change buttons a little too quickly. The result, unfortunately, was for me to communicate an expectation that no manager before had ever asked his entire team to do...

So let me reiterate... In order for us to succeed together, Dr. Winn (our CEO) and I expect that each of you will provide outstanding coitus to our clients at every opportunity. ESPECIALLY when it seems like they deserve it the least.

As you might imagine, they never let me live that one down!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Chat with Dave and Casey

Taken with the new camera. I accidentally recorded it on High Quality, so the output file was enormous. I compressed it to 3Meg so it'd load fast, but it made it look a little pixelated. You'll get the idea, though. About 2 1/2 minutes.

More Camera Fun

Just a few shots from the new camera. I love it!

My Life at Work

This cartoon perfectly sums up what I do for work. I am Dilbert.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Really. Eww.

Peek Pic 74

Snapped today at the Dollar Store with my new camera. I felt like I was back at Baker Road Baptist Church. Can I get an AMEN, sista?

He's Baaaack

My crush has returned to work. Stalking resumes. News at 11.

Casey Talk

Top 10 things Casey would say if he could speak English. Or, well, any language I suppose, other than barking and whimpering. (Casey is my Beagle for anyone new).

10. Can we play ball now?
Can we play ball now?
Can we play ball now?
7. I'm hungry.
Can we play ball now?
Can we play ball now?
4. I need to poop.
Can you get my ball out from under this chair?
Can we play ball now?
Can we play ball now?

Simplicity is bliss.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Peek Pic 73

Another shot from the Home and Garden Show. I think I can make one of these pergolas myself. Seriously. Stop laughing. I can.

Random Thoughts #17

--My pants are too short today. I hate that. I'm going to burn these jeans when I get home. No wait, I could make some cut offs! I can SEW, ya know.

--I mentioned a little crush I thought I might have on a guy here at work. Well, apparently the word somehow got out, because he hasn't been to work in over a week. Or, well, more specifically, he hasn't been parking in his regular spot for over a week. Maybe he saw me staring at him out the window with my hands cupped around my penis face.

--Doug and Lucas dragged me (kicking and screaming I might add) out for a cocktail last night (Sunday). This is a rare event for me. I must say, though, I had a very good time seeing old friends, catching up on the local gossip, listening to good music and, oh yeah, getting laid two phone numbers. I should do that more often.

--If you have a few minutes, I have a favor to ask. One of my favorite bloggers, Faustus, MD is having a contest in honor of his undying love for me World Tuberculosis Day. He's soliciting hypotheses from readers as to what role a dollar bill recently played in his life. No need to take too much time or be too creative, because the contest is secretly rigged for me to win, but I think he'd appreciate the attention. Because, poor thing, I'm sure he gets none.

--I've been seriously deliberating over what I'm going to do for my spring vacation. I was thinking of two options: 1) taking a trip to London; or 2) landscaping my back yard. I suppose I could do both, but that just seems wasteful. Any advice? I'm leaning towards the backyard, truthfully. I think it'd be more fulfilling for me to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty. Plus, there'd probably be shirtless pics of me doing construction work. How can you pass THAT up?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Peek Pic 72

Today, at the KC Home and Garden Show.
And yes, that IS a kid getting candy out of a toilet.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Perect Saturday?

Ahhhhhh. What a nice day it' been in KC today. No clouds, 55 degrees, and a leisurely agenda...

8:30am - Breakfast
9:00am - Workout
10:30am - Give Pepper a bath
11:00am - Run errands, shop, eat
1:45pm - Nap
3:30pm - Carwash and tan
4:30pm - Grocery store
5:15pm - A cold beer on the porch while the pups play
7:00pm - Dinner
8:00pm - Bowling/Movie/Cocktails/Who knows

A guy could get used to this...

Friday, March 24, 2006

I smell a project coming on

Today at lunch I broke bread (actually, it was very tasty Turkey Burger from Fuddruckers) with good pal and former guest blogger Mike. It was good to see him, as always. He's doing quite well for himself in his new job, which makes me proud.

I stopped at Half-Price Books and did a little browsing. I picked up three books to satiate my need for project activities. They are, in no paricular order:

The Idiot's Guide to London
Lighting Options for Your Home: A Complete Guide
An Introduction to Fence Construction

Hmmm. I wonder which one will get my attention first?

On corporate atmosphere, admins and apostrophes

The culture in our office is very late-nineties software-company-chic. To keep the old-school corporate hierarchy bullshit to a minimum, we all have identical fancy-schmancy Herman Miller cubes--no offices. The mail clerk has the same desk/cube setup as the VP. Only the CEO and several other "privacy-focused" staff have their own space. I like this about our company.

The other interesting but frustrating thing about the company is that no one has administrative assistants. I can't tell you how many countless and pointless hours I spend on copying, stapling, doing expense reports, booking my own travel, scheduling my own meetings and filling out ridiculous report templates
. There are four Directors in my group, and we all sit together. I can only imagine that if you added up the collective hours we each spend doing all this crap and multiplied it by our collective salaries, we could afford an ARMY of clerical support staff. I have no idea why they don't do that. Who's in charge around here? (not me, thank god).

On a totally unrelated note: When I first joined the company, I used to sit directly across from the poorly-named "Lactation Room." At the time, there were two recent mothers that would enter the room and pump the milk from their breasts. [I think I need to go back and add this to my list.] Needless to say, it grossed me out. Completely and totally grossed me out. Sometimes I could hear things. Strange things that gay men aren't meant to hear...

Yesterday as I was walking around in my old area I noticed that the sign had been changed.
It's now the "Mother's Room." And noticed that the cube across was now a storage space for marketing materials and books.

The only problem with this new sign, of course, is that MY mother (singular) doesn't work here. And since they intend to service all of the mothers (plural) here in the office, the correct punctuation for this room (plural possessive) would, in fact, be "Mothers' Room." Now, I'm not perfect--there are hundreds of errors (I'm sure) contained within this blog (and probably within this post). But if you're going to make a friggin SIGN to be permanently affixed to the walls of a corporate office, shouldn't you consult an authoritative source? Maybe, like, a 6th grade English book? Scary...

Porsche Pranks

Outside my third-floor window at the office I can see the back of an office complex. One of the businesses there consistently has 5-10 brand new Porsches lined up behind the building. I don't know what exactly they're doing to them, but I suspect they have a contract with the Porsche dealer just down the road to detail them as they're selling or servicing them.

Also behind this building is a well-paved road spanning maybe 1000 yards or so. In the past couple of weeks, I have seen two complete-circle burnouts (where the front wheels stay put and the back wheels spin the car in a circle), one tire burn off (white smoke billowing from the tires) and at least six pseudo zero-to-60 (or probably more) runs down this road. Now, I know I should be appalled at this behavior--especially if it was MY $80,000 car being treated like that--but I have to say: those friggin cars are a sight to behold.

So, if you have a Porsche, good for you. You've got a great car. I just hope you're not having it serviced at the local Kansas City Porsche dealership. You're getting a good old-fashioned Ferris Bueller's day off valet job like nobody's business.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Peek Pic 71

Did I mention my shoulder was still hurting?
This is my E.T. look-alike massager. Feels guuuuud.

Mom's Approved

Well, it's official, my Mom is now on a heart transplant list. The cardiac care board at Austin Heart Hospital reviewed and approved her case yesterday. I spent an hour on the phone with her last night convincing her that my sister and I will take care of everything when she gets her motor replaced.

I've now gone into obsessive planning mode. I'll need to buy open-ended plane tickets, make arrangements for someone to stay at the house on short notice, inform my boss of what's going to happen, figure out transportation and lodging options, etc. I want to be able to be in Austin within 12 hours of getting "the call." And I want to hit the ground running.

My plan is to find a furnished apartment in Austin so I can commute back and forth for a month or two during all the medical events. It'll be nice to have a home base in Austin instead of Marble Falls (where my parents live). They're about 45 miles apart. Not only will it be a nice place for my Dad to stay while he visits my Mom in the hospital every day, but it'll have some basic necessities I need to remain sane during an extended stay with the 'rents. Things like: decent restaurants, laundry service, recreational activities, gyms, gay people, nearby airports and copious amounts of alcohol.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Last Three Meals Today

4:00 p.m. Fat Free Wheat Tortilla, Sliced Turkey and Field Greens

7:15 p.m. Canned Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup

9:30 p.m. Protean Protein shake with fresh strawberries.

First Three Meals Today

If you're uncertain as to why you're seeing food here, you may want to read this.

6:45 a.m. 8 egg whites, piece of wheat toast, sugar-free strawberry jelly.
(And coffee in a cool Seaworld mug!)

10:00 a.m. Protein powder (75g) mixed with yogurt and ice cubes, banana.

1:00 p.m. Chicken breast and green beans.

More to come later...


Since I've been home from Texas, I've dusted off my old eating/workout plan and have been making excellent progress on removing the 20 pounds of chocolate chip cookies and Coke floats hanging around my waist and ass. I actually thought about documenting the progress, but I didn't want to jinx myself.

The "plan" is a three-parter: Food, Walking and Lifting. In spite of what you might think, the food is the hardest part. The concept is based on the idea that you eat for one reason and one reason only: to fuel your muscles. If you eat the kind of foods to fuel (and grow) these muscles, the less that gets put away into fat storage. Obviously, the more muscle you have, the more the fuel (and what's already in fat storage) gets used. The mantra: Feed your muscles, starve your fat.

This is done with a high protein (200g/day), very low-fat and low-sugar diet. Every day I eat six small meals. While the eating is easy, the preparation is actually the hardest part. I'll be posting pictures of my meals throughout the day today, just in case you're curious about the things that go down my throat. [Sorry guys, these days, it's ONLY food].

Back in 1998-99, I started this plan and went from a 36 waist to a 31 in about 4 months. While my overall weight didn't fluctuate all that much, I shed fat like nobody's business and gained a lot of muscle fast.

I'm really enjoying being back on the plan. I can feel my body significantly morphing already. When I got back from Texas, I was on the first notch of my belt. This morning: the third. If you're interested, I learned how to do it here. More on walking and lifting later...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Every Time I Turn My Back

My first night alone with the dogs while Kurt is away. I plan the evening meticulously...

Let Casey out to potty
Feed Casey
Put Casey back in his house
Let Pepper and Helen out to potty
Feed Pepper and Helen

Let Casey out

Put Helen and Casey in the kitchen to play

Let Pepper sleep on her bed (she's lazy)

Work out while everyone plays and is happy

Ahh, a well executed plan. But then, about 15 minutes into the treadmill: sniff, sniff. Pepper has taken a huge shit in the middle of my living room floor.The whole house smells. I am furious.

This event will go down in history as the straw that broke the camel's back. I like Kurt and all, but those dogs have finally worn out their welcome.
Soon, there will be vacancy at Dave's. I've had enough.

Peek Pic 70

Seen at the office today on the table in the kitchen. Eww.

Top Ten Things That Give Me the Heebie Jeebies

10. That creepy little dermatophyte, Digger, as he burrows under the toenail.
9. Fingernails chewed to the quick.
8. Unwanted touching.
7. A shower curtain at a hotel touching my skin.
6. Cat urine.
5. Body odor.
4. Ashtrays full of rain water.
3. Hangover breath.
2. Uncooked chicken juice.
1. Human hair not attached to its owner.

Swing and a Miss

For the second time in a month, our weather forecasters have prepared us for a significant weather event that didn't materialize. I'm not complaining, though, because predicting weather is something I know absolutely nothing about--except that it's not a perfect science. So I forgive our local meteorhomologist for his inaccurate predictions.

But DAMMIT. I would've liked a lazy day at home on the couch.

Monday, March 20, 2006

New Blogroll

Since I began using Bloglines (the feed aggregator) my life has become much more efficient. I get my content hot-off-the-press from each of my favorite blogs as they're posted. And since my taste in blogs is changing (or growing, really), I'm glad to have the help keeping track of everything.

So today I commented my old blogroll out of the HTML code in favor of my REAL blogroll, which I've been using for a couple of months now via Bloglines. I do keep track of several other blogs, but due to their sensitive subject matter I have kept them off the public list. I will, however, tell you what they are for sexual favors. One favor per blog, please.

Peek Pic 69 (heh heh, I said 69)

My new Vectra 1400 home gym. It rocks.

Soon, I shall be cracking walnuts between my pecs and doing my laundry on my washboard abs. Or, maybe eating peanuts while I do laundry... something like that.

Random Thoughts #16

--First day of spring. Yay!

--8-10 inches of snow tonight. Boo!

--I may (I said MAY) be developing a slight crush on someone. At work (yikes). I know nothing about him, not even his name. Today I will launch all available resources to gather pertinent information about this lad. I will report back with progress.

--Went to see V for Vendetta this weekend. GO SEE IT, it rocks.

--Saturday night I had Doug and Lucas over for chicken fajitas and margaritas. Later we watched Memoirs with a Geisha on DVD. I probably should have had a different menu considering the Asian theme. Or maybe a different movie. Oh well, I don't think there are any movies about high-class hookers in Mexico anyway.

--Kurt is going out of town for six days for his sister's wedding. I get the honor of taking care of all three dogs during a frigging snow storm (12 paws are are a pain in the ass to wipe off). I wonder if he'd be pissed if I just boarded them until he got back. It'd be nice to have a quiet, non-stinky, furball-free house to myself for a few days.

--I've added some new gym equipment to my gym at home (pics later today). I've been working out regularly for the last three weeks and I can already see the results. I'm not going to jinx myself again like I did last week by revealing my stat counter numbers (I guess that was a no-no), you'll just have to take my word for it.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Missing Willie (another Father Friday)

I was 12 years old and not a fan of country music. In fact, listening to the tunes of Crystal Gale, Anne Murray and Merle Haggard for the last three hours was enough to put anyone over the edge. My Mom, Dad and I were riding in our powder blue Mercury Grand Marquis on our way to my grandparent's house from Houston. I was sprawled out in the back seat listening intently to my Walkman--probably a cassette of Cool and the Gang if I had to guess.

[...Get down on it,
Come on and
Get down on it
Baby, Baby...]

Part of this trip involved a mission. A schoolteacher friend of my mother's had requested that we stop by a certain golf course in the nearby town of Spicewood to pick up a souvenir T-shirt. This was no regular golf course, though. It was Willie Nelson's Perdernales Cutt and Putt, a professional golf course owned and operated by none other than country music legend Willie Nelson. My father was overjoyed at the thought of being on the property, but my mother saw it merely as a doing a favor for a friend. I, of course, wanted nothing to do with it.

Mom: Honey, I think this is our turn right here.
[Dad drives past turn].
Dad: That one? Jeez. You gotta tell me sooner than that. I can't just slam on the brakes and put her in a tailspin.
Mom: Well you wouldn't have to slam on the brakes if you weren't driving so fast.
Dad: I wouldn't be driving so fast if we didn't have to make this 50 mile detour to get a t-shirt.
Mom: Oh stop it, you know you want one, too.
Dad: No, I don't.
Mom: Yes you do!
Me: Ugh. {Turns up Walkman].

[...Get down on it,
Come on and
Get down on it
Baby, Baby...]

Finally, we find the club house. The task is simple: Go in, buy a t-shirt, get back in the car.

Mom: Dave, run in and get a t-shirt for Mrs. Patterson. Here's $20.
Me: No, Mom. I'm not going in there by myself.
Mom: Honey, why don't you go with him, to take a look around.
Dad: No, you go. I just wanted to see the place on the outside. There's nothing in there I want to see.
Mom: Maybe you'll see Willie!
Dad: Don't hold your breath.
Me: I'll probably have to what with all the pot smoke.
Dad: [laughing] Shut up and get in there.
Mom: Wait, I'll go with you.

My Mom and I enter the building and snake through several poorly marked, dark paneled hallways. Finally we see a sign that says "Pro Shop." We make a right and open a huge wooden door. A tiny bell rings at the top.

Shop worker: Well, Howdy y'all! Come on in! Wut can I helpya with?
Mom: Hello, we just need to get a t-shirt for a friend, something with the name of the golf course on it.
SW: Well I gotsa buncha them. [Points to glass case]. Take a look up in der and pick yerself one out.

My Mom and I consult for a few minutes on the size and color. She holds several up against me to get the right fit. We decide on a bright yellow one with an obnoxious screen print of rattlesnakes chomping at the heels of Lone Star Beer-drinking golfers. As we're paying, the tiny bell rings again.

I saw him first in the mirror. He was wearing nothing but running shoes, a pair of paper-thin running shorts (in the shape/colors of the Texas flag) and a red bandanna. He was glistening with sweat. His long and ratty beard was held taught by a series of rubber bands. He was fantastically in shape, but also the quintessential hippy. A true original. Lo and behold, standing right behind us in all his glory was Willie Nelson.

Shop Worker: Hey folks, y'all meet Willie. [We turn around and face him].
Willie: Hi folks. I'm pleased to make your acquaintance. Please pardon my attire, ma'am.

We shook hands, exchanged pleasantries and he signed a couple of calendars my Mom decided to buy at the last minute. It was definitely a cool experience, even if I didn't appreciate his music or his personal style. As we once again made our way through the wooden maze towards the parking lot we contemplated whether or not we should let Dad know what he missed.

Mom: I don't think we should tell your father about this, he'll be so disappointed.
Me: Are you kidding me? Of course we have to tell him. I want to rub this in.
Mom: Don't be mean about it, let me break it to him slowly so he doesn't get upset we didn't come and get him.
Me: He's not going to be upset. He's the one that didn't want to get his lazy butt out of the car to come in.
Mom: That's true.

The car door opens. The teasing, the laughing and the start of a lasting memory begins.

Me: Hey Dad--GUESS WHAT????

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Peek Pic 68

Free lunch, games and college basketball in the lunchroom? I smell a layoff!

The Things You Learn

Yesterday evening, as I was watching City of God, (a fantastic portrayal of life in the slums of Rio de Janeiro) the term "30-06" (the rifle) flashed across the subtitles. When I saw it, I had an slap-the-forhead epiphany.

Me: Wait, it's not "thirty yacht six" (which never made any sense to me, but as a non-hunter, never gave much thought to). It's "thirty aught six." Hmm.

The things you learn in the slums of Rio.

A New Sport

10:01 a.m. E-mail from Rhonda, our "Employee Welfare Committee Chairperson":


The first batch of popcorn is ready and available in the Lunch room. When you notice that it is getting low, if someone could please send me a note that would be great.

Also just a reminder to join the Employee Welfare Committee for a free lunch from Qdoba from 11:30 - 1:00pm today in the lunchroom. Please note that you need to provide your own beverage - they are not included in lunch.

Games start at Noon today. There will be a Bouncy Ball event, Putting Event and Chair Race Event.

Happy Thursday!

I just can't decide... bouncy balls or chair race? If I were only 4 years old again, I could probably decide. Wait, I know. I'll start a new event! It's called "The Round Up," and it's just for Managers and 29+ pay grades. When I say "Go!" you've got one minute to lasso as many lazy-ass slackers in the lunchroom as you can and beat them over the head with your free burrito. The winner gets to fire Rhonda, and the losers have to make their teams work overtime this weekend to make up for all the lost productivity. I just LOVE intramurals.

And, I can't get this damn popcorn out of my teeth.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Peek Pic 67

This was in a magazine I was skimming while at the chiropractor's office the other day. It's an advertisement for The Point Foundation, an organization that provides scholarships to gay and lesbian youth. My question: Is "suicidal victim of societal oppression" the ONLY promotional angle they could come up with?? Jeez. I like the effort, but can't stand the style.

Random Thoughts #15

--I won't drone on about getting food poisoning, but it sucks. Or, more correctly, blows.

--I was supposed to be in Louisville today for a meeting, but my little stomach thingy kept me grounded. Can you IMAGINE having to run to the bathroom every 10 minutes on an airplane? I'm now doing a conference call--for 4 hours. Ugh.

--I've been through lots of fads, and have even have participated in some. Like: a popped collar (the first time), a skinny tie, flip-flops with jeans, sunglasses at clubs and even had a Michael Jackson jacket from Thriller (seriously). However, I will never, EVER, wear a hat sideways on my head. Never. Not gonna do it.

--Friday night's date with Matt went very well. We had dinner at a place called City Tavern, which I enjoyed very much. Then we decided to head home and watched The Wedding Crashers where I promptly fell asleep. But then I was abruptly awakened by...

--I spent Saturday morning cleaning out the flowerbeds in the front yard to get it ready for Spring planting. There were so many leaves and crap up in the shrubs that it took me almost two hours to get finished. In spite of wearing gloves, I was striken with a giant blister between my thumb and forefinger from using the rake. I was a little surprised I didn't already have a callus there.

--I've been checking my hit counter more than usual lately (I usually don't). Let's just say that I'm glad I'm not in this for the popularity. My average daily hits is only 47. I guess I could try harder to bring in more readers, but honestly, I think that 47 people a day is pretty amazing. I mean, if 47 people a day rang my doorbell, I'd feel pretty popular (but don't get ideas, stalkers). Thanks to everyone who swings by.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

King for a Day (or maybe more)

No posting today... I've been on my throne with a stomach virus or food poisoning or something.


Monday, March 13, 2006

Casey Loves Poppers (or something like that)

Little did I know, Casey loves to chase balloons.
[QT movie, 1.8M, 1 minute, 38 seconds. SFW.


As an adult, I thought I had lost my ability to be "scared." I outgrew the bogeyman, monsters in my closet and can usually make my way through a scary movie with the realization that a camera and a crew is only feet away. Knowing that I've got a good support network, I'm also not that fearful of disease or a tragic accident or some debilitating injury. I know I could make it. For all intents and purposes, I walk through life feeling largely (and naively) impenetrable.

Until yesterday.

Like any typical March in Kansas, the skies went from gloomy to threatening in a matter of minutes. Then shortly after I heard the downstairs TV blast the annoying-but-noticeable alarms via the Emergency Broadcast System. This was certainly not a test.
I went outside to get a first-hand look at the sky and it possessed an eerie greenish glow. And then thunder. Loud, violent thunder. Within minutes, the dogs were at my heels seeking refuge and comfort. I sought the same by going inside and watching NBC Action News. The news wasn't good--"tornadic activity," softball-sized hail and winds of up to 120mph were fast approaching.

Living in Tornado Alley for most of my life, I was taught that tornados sound a lot like a train whistle, so I was on high-alert for the tell-tale signs of a trumpeting twister. Not 20 seconds after I began watching the weather, I heard a strange, high-pitched whine. It got louder. And closer. The dogs and I exchanged frightened stares. They knew something was amiss. Pepper, the Dalmation, was visibly shaking.

But then the sound's frequency fluctuated. I soon realized it was our tornado warning sirens, and at full blast, they sent a frightening chill down my spine. I gathered the dogs, grabbed a flashlight and headed to the basement. I won't lie, my heart was racing. Even in the bowels beneath my house, surrounded by a least a foot of stone walls, I was scared. I felt like a primitive villager as the ancient Maya guardians beat the warning drums as enemies approached, or a defenseless London family during Hitler's bombing campaign.

As I watched our advanced weather technology and live video feeds of cloud formations I thought about how lucky we were to have such systems. I wondered how earlier, more primitive Americans coped with getting caught in a surprise storm such as this one. And then I realized--they did exactly what I was doing: they huddled together and hoped.

As with most tornados, I (and thousands of others) fell outside the path of destruction. We only got some strong wind and a few drops of rain. But I was not unaffected. Those twisters tore the roof right off my house of invincibility. Mother nature: you win.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Ring My Bell

I use a program called mRing on my Treo650. It allows you to assign MP3 files to each of the contacts in my address book and play them as ringtones when they call. Today I downloaded a shareware program called WavePad that allows me to rip, edit, and trim music I've got on my PC and SD card. So, viola: now I can make my own (free) ringtones.

Of course, none of these tools is very effective if you can't make up your mind which song goes to which person. Or, if you still have a phone that just takes calls and sends text messages (Zzzzzzzz). You know who you are...

The Dating Pool (Needs Chlorine)

I haven't been dating a lot lately. It seems to come in spurts for me (pun intended). My favorite date is with Matt (who I have a date with tonight), but he's a lot younger and we have really different lives, so I've been somewhat reluctant to pursue anything serious with him--for both of our sakes. Although I wish I could figure out how to make it work, he's a sweetheart.

Last night, though, I was contacted via my Out in Kansas City profile, and got high hopes that all of my dreams may have been answered. Here's what I got from a jovial and optimistic man who says he's 38; however, I suspect by the picture that he's actually 138. Here's the note (verbatim):

Maybe you could see your way, to Have Lunch or Dinner, with NOT so fit of a guy, that is normal, like's to Laugh, and have fun w/o Sex all the time!!!!!!!!!!! If that is you then hit me Back, we'd have a good time, no matter!!!!!!!!!!


Ethan.............. do you have the ball's?

Hmmm. Tempting. But the truth is, I doubt I will see my way to have Lunch or Dinner with Ethan. Not necessarily because he's older or isn't interested in sex, but because he uses random capitalization, run-on sentences and inappropriate apostrophes with simple plural words. However, sometimes I do think it's cute to use 15-20 exclamation points, but generally not after saying that we WON'T have sex all the time. I mean, if we DID have sex all the time, that might be worth some extra punctuation. And, ya gotta love a hip 38 year old that says "Late," short for Later (although he spelled it "Lat").

Oh well. As it turns out, I guess I don't have the balls.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Peek Pic 66

And speaking of TicketMaster, I'm dedicating today's Peek Pic to them.

Customer Service

I never got a response to my letter to Ticketmaster. I logged into their Web site to see if anything had been left there and they had simply changed the status of my question to "Resolved-Event Passed." WTF kind of customer service is THAT?

So, since I have neither the time, nor the patience to try to right this wrong, I'll just go ahead and get it out of my system here:


Childhood Memories #3

--Age 10. In elementary school, it was customary for guys to have girlfriends. I had a few myself. There was nothing physical to these relationships, other than the guy giving his comb to the girl, who promptly inserted it into the back pocket of her Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. My comb was powder blue and pressed against the butts of Becky, Heather, Melissa, Shauna and Jennifer (to name a few).

--Age 12. I was in the Junior High Band. I played tenor sax as my primary instrument. I once stayed really late in the band director's office with two friends, Ernie and David. While no one was looking, David photocopied his dick on the Xerox machine. It was huge funny. David and I became much closer friends after that.

--Age 9. We used to wait for the school bus at one of the houses near the middle of our street. They had a U-shaped driveway and we'd all play for a while before the bus came. Once, Mrs. Heinchel came out of the house and yelled at me for turning her water hose off and on. I had no idea what she was talking about. As she pointed over to the water hose, she saw that it was actually her dog doing it by running back and forth under the faucet to scratch his back. She didn't apologize to me.

--Age 5. I once climbed up into the window on our screen-in patio--Spiderman style. I tried to make it all the way around the room, but started to get a little tired. I happened to have stopped above a very awkward spot and couldn't get down. So, I sat there and sreamed "HELP A FELLA (my Dad called me "fella" a lot) over and over until my Mom came to rescue me. They still make fun of me for that.

--Age 16. I was over at my friend Jennifer's house making big (stupid) Homecoming banners (the one's you put up in the hallway at school--Go Team!). There were 4-5 other girls over there, no guys. I got up to pee in her bathroom under the stairs and when I came back, everyone was giggling. When I asked what was so funny, they said, "Damn, it sounded like a HORSE was in there." I was as pleased as an insecure 16 year-old can be; however, they declined to tell everyone they knew about the incident, even when I offered them $20 a piece.

--4 weeks old. On a particularly restless night, my grandmother cradled me in her lap while she sat on the toilet (lid closed) to rock me back to sleep. As she did this, she, herself, fell asleep and accidentally dropped me, head first, onto the bathroom floor. Though I do not remember this at all, the incident--at least for my family--became the root cause of all my defects. Poor Mammaw.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Peek Pic 65

Phil, Ryan and me (shitfaced).

Also, I am pleased as punch to be the first to blog about my friend Ryan having accepted a Staff Psychologist position at a hospital here in Kansas City, MO. Congratulations, Ryan! I can't wait 'til you get here. And, sorry NYC, you've lost a good one. Of course, you never really stood a chance...;)

Peer Pressure

Some of my very best friends are starting to do some things that I'm not very happy about. I've casually teased them hoping to discourage them from doing it, but it's not working. I mean, they have every right to do whatever it is they want--I still respect them, but lately I've been wondering whether or not I should say something to them. The problem is, I don't think I can stop it. It's just about taken over the lives of every person I know.

It seemed to have started several months ago. First, it was just two friends, then a few more, now everytime I look around someone is talking about it or doing it behind my back. Hell, I admit it--I'm a little jealous. I feel left out. I've even caught myself reading up on it on the Internet and even watching a documentary about it.

So I've come to a conclusion. Rather than try and be an example and a leader, I'm going to give in. I just don't think I can take it anymore. I think.. I think I'm going to get a MySpace page.

LEASE, someone HELP ME!

Party, Party, Party

This weekend my dearest boy-pal Lucas is becoming an antique. Yup, 25 years old. My other friend Nathan (who has been an antique for YEARS) is also celebrating. What does this mean? Party at Dave's, of course. :)

Thankfully, I still have about 200 gallons of liquor left over from New Year's Eve, and the brie is probably still good, too (gag). I think, though, that I'm going to leave all the evenings preparations to others and sit back and enjoy it. I've been so damn busy entertaining others lately that I haven't had time to entertain myself. Well, at least not in public...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Peek Pic 64

On my desk when I arrived at work today was a little gift from our COO: A printed note that reminded us to aggressively pursue our goals this year, and a small tin of M&Ms with the words "Reinvent [Our Company Name]" printed on the back. It was a nice gesture, but it really just showed how out of touch with me he is. If he REALLY wanted me to work more effectively and reach our goals, it would have been a tin of xanax.

Eye Am Oppressed

I went to the eye doctor last week because my prescription expired. I hate having to do that. The optometry business is a racket. I feel like I'm being strong-armed into going to get care I don't need. I mean, as long as I can see, I feel like I should be able to refill them as often as I like. I can buy shoes without consulting a podiatrist, and can buy toothpaste without seeing the dentist. Hell, I can go to Walgreens and buy any number of reading and magnification glasses over the counter. So why do I need to see a doctor to get more contacts of the same prescription that already meets my needs? Grrr.

So after my exam, he tells me that I had previously been "overprescribed," and that he wanted to "dial back" my lens power by a factor of two degrees. This was Friday evening. Saturday, I learned the hard way (vis-a-vis upper level Cirque Du Soleil tickets) that I couldn't see 20 feet in front of me. Luckily for him, I think the blurry performance actually improved the experience.

So then yesterday, I leave the office early for the second time to return to his office to have him prescribe me the exact same lens prescription I had before. Like I said--RACKET. Now excuse me, I need to run to my otolaryngologist to get permission to scream at the top of my lungs. After that, I will go see my chiropractor so that I can be approved to properly extend my middle finger everytime I drive by the Fairway Eye Center. I wonder how long THAT prescription will last...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Peek Pic 63

At Phil's house, Ryan shows the girls some basic yoga moves (and he was worried they wouldn't like him). The pic below sums up my personal feelings about yoga, taken on a recent trip to NYC.

Random Thoughts #14

--In the spirit of superstitious high-rise building architects, I'm skipping Random Thoughts #13.

--The weekend with Ryan was a lot of fun. His interview went well and we had a great time over at my friend Phil's house with the girls. We went out Friday evening, but Ryan decided he wanted to go home shortly after we arrived because his "stomach was hurting." As we walked out, I thought, "If I lived in NYC and came to visit this bar, I'd have a "stomach ache" too."

--I had a lovely little fete last night for the Oscars. I cooked my signature lasagna dish and Cosmopolitans flowed all night long into my new martini glasses. I enjoyed the evening very much. Shockingly, I had no hangover this morning.

--I finally saw Matt last night. It's been WEEKS. He came over after work (post-Oscars) and we stayed up a couple of hours past my bedtime. We sat juxtaposed on my bed sipping cocktails, talking and holding hands. It was sweet. I wish we did that more often (like, um, every night). Too bad I have freakish issues with commitment. :(

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Suck Du Soleil

Dear Ticketmaster:

I purchased two tickets to the Cirque Du Soleil show "Delirium" for Saturday, March 4, 2006. The tickets were in Section 203 seats 3 and 4 and were $99.50/ea (the highest listed price).

As I was purchasing the tickets, neither the Web site nor the tickets made reference to these seats having an obstructed view; however, my guest and I sat directly behind a permanent railing that obstructed all but about 10% of the stage. And since the stage design was narrow and ran parallel to the railing, this wasn't just a partial obstruction--the rail ran straight down the middle of the stage. It wouldn't have been possible to have more perfectly obstructed our view of the performance.

I'm sure you have policies to protect yourself from giving refunds in these cases, so I won't ask for a full refund. However, I DO feel as though I was not provided enough information on your site to make an informed purchase decision (I would not have purchased obstructed view seats) and therefore feel some restitution for such misinformation is warranted.

My request is that I am refunded the difference between the full $99.50 price and a lesser obstructed view price. I believe this is very reasonable compensation for having to sit 2.5 hours with my head on my lap straining see the performers. It absolutely RUINED my experience.

Thank you for considering this, and I look forward to your favorable response.

[Note: With the exception of the amazing woman with the hoola hoops, the show absolutely sucked.]

Friday, March 03, 2006


While I am adamantly opposed to organized groups (especially religious ones) excluding others, I universally support those groups voluntarily excluding themselves from the general population. In fact, I'm going to consider starting my own gay town. I'll call it Homotropolis. No, Buggerton. OK, I need to work on the name a little.

In our gay town, I'll volunteer for policing tan lines and Body Mass Indexes. What will YOU do? And no, you can't be Queen, so don't even ask.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Big Reveal

OK, guys (and gals)... here it is. Hot off the press: my complete bedroom makeover. Kurt and I did this ALL in exactly five days. And I have to say, we're very pleased, if not completely exhausted. To get some perspective of the change, you may want to visit the original pics, shown in a previous post.

Oh, and if, for some reason, you don't like it, please take a lesson from our favorite Mormon and smile like you really, really love it. :)

Thanks to Kurt and Doug for helping me. Couldn't of done it without you! :)

Peek Pic 62

In case you were wondering, this is what happens when your drag queen/Home Depot check-out boy is too busy running his mouth to notice he hasn't double-bagged the quart of Minwax Dark Walnut stain. Luckily, no homosexuals were harmed (or stained) in this incident.

Visitor Panic

My friend Ryan is coming to visit me from NYC tomorrow. He's just completed his Psy.D. program and is interviewing with a hospital here in KC. I have taken it upon myself to be his hostess with the mostest, including round-trip airfare, reservations at KC's finest eateries, a Bikram yoga session and even cocktails and shop-talk with a friend of a friend mine, who happens to be the CEO of one of the hospitals here.

I won't lie, I'm rolling out the red carpet because I selfishly want him to move here. I think it'd be so cool to have him back in my life on a regular basis. He's such an awesome guy. And I'm not at all beneath some heavy-handed recruiting.

Anywho, I've been trying to get the house ready for his visit. And by "ready," I mean getting the bedroom makeover finished, lots of cleaning, stocking up, etc. I have been in an utter state of panic the last two days because I've had a whole weeks worth of work to get done and hardly any time to do it. But I do well under pressure. :)

It's now 1 a.m. and almost everything is ready. I am totally and utterly exhausted. And I'm beaming... I love it when a plan comes together.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Chrisitan Paradox

Megachurches and the new suburban Christianity have always made me sick to my stomach, but I've never taken the time (or interest) to turn the nausea into articulate thoughts. This does it for me.

From We, Like Sheep.