Monday, December 31, 2007

The closing of the year

I'd like to say that I have some fantabulous idea for a New Year's post... but I don't. Honestly, I'm just really fucking bored at work. So, a couple of random notes:

Our anniversary dinner... it... I still get a little excited thinking about it. Zebra's in Medfield, MA. If you're ever in the neighborhood, you owe it to yourself... to baby Jesus... Hell, you owe it to America to eat there. Seriously. All in all, a wonderful night.

Saturday... I'm not gonna harp on it. I'll just say a single word, and move on.


Sunday. I played what can probably be called an unhealthy amount of Playstation 3. Peppered with watching some football. Hey, if you've gotta be home alone on a cold Sunday in December, there are worse ways to spend the day.

And now I'm stuck at work. Sweet.

OK, this post really blows. I'm not feelin' it. But I hope you all have a spectacular night tonight. Be safe, have fun. We're having sushi with friends, and then maybe a late cocktail at their house. I'm perfectly happy with that plan, frankly.

Happy New Year.

Friday, December 28, 2007

You've got the cool water, when the fever runs high.

Anyone who tells you that an beautiful, stunningly smart Philly girl who loves science, documentaries, knitting and Broadway musicals can't get along with a math-impaired, sports-obsessed Boston boy who loves video games, comic books, punk music, and science-fiction movies... Well, let me tell you a story.

About twelve years ago, I did the smartest thing I've ever done. I ignored the voice in my head that told me it couldn't work.

About nine years ago, I did the dumbest thing I've ever done. I broke up with her because I was scared. It only took her a few weeks to talk me out of it.

About six or so years ago, I did the second smartest thing I've ever done. I asked her to marry me.

Five years ago today, she did just that. I can say, hands-down and without reservation, it's been the happiest five years of my entire life.

Happy Anniversary, babe.

Yours Forever.

Listening to: Paul Simon - St. Judy's Comet

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas is all around

OK, here's the obligatory post-Christmas post.

The good:

*The drive to Philly. Made it in less than five hours. The dogs did not pee in the car.

*The playlist I made for the drive. Featuring the greatest hits of Journey, Foreigner, Pat Benatar, Boston and Kenny Loggins. Cheezalicious.

*Seeing our friends, who are all doing well, with the exception of my friend B, whose dad died suddenly two weeks ago. But I hung out with him, and he's doing better, all things considered. I brought one of my dogs over to console him (his dog also died recently. I know. Rough few months.)

*Cheesesteaks. I can't help it. Those fuckers are good.

*Mrs. TK's parents. Who are crazy, but overall, a fun crazy. They keep their house heated to about 100 degrees. They watch TV at deafening volumes, then shout at each other because it's so loud (but make no effort to turn the volume down). Here's a verbatim example:

I'm watching TV (and slowly going deaf) with her mom. Her dad has to work the next day, so he's upstairs. He comes downstairs, and...

Dad: I need my glasses so I can set my alarm.
Mom: WHAT?
Dad: WHAT?
Mom: WHAT?

(I swear, it's like living in a sketch comedy show. They're sweet, and very good to me, but hoo-boy. A little nutty.)

*My new, shiny, pretty Playstation 3. It takes a special woman to buy her husband something that is guaranteed to distract him for... well... forever.

The bad:

*The temperature in the in-laws' house. Like I said, it was easily 100 degrees. And dry as the desert. I thought I was going to wake up completely dessicated. Seriously. At one point, I was lying in bed and I swear I could here myself blinking.

*The terrifying car accident we got into on the way home. I was driving Mrs. TK's car, in the left lane on the PA Turnpike. A Mercedes SUV came flying up behind us and proceeded to drive about 4 inches off my rear end. I swear, I could smell the guy's breath he was so close. So I pass the truck next to me, and change into the middle lane. The SUV pulls up next to me and starts SCREAMING at me through his open window. I make a "whatever, man" gesture, and he DELIBERATELY SWERVES INTO OUR LANE, SLAMS INTO OUR CAR, AND TAKES OFF.

I am not kidding. Thankfully, despite having a mini-heart attack, I managed to get us to the breakdown lane without smashing into any other cars. We called the staties, made out a report and all that, but I'm sure they never caught the crazy motherfucker. So Crazy Motherfucker in the Black Mercedes SUV - I hope you die in a fiery crash, you worthless bastard. People like you are a danger to the rest of us, and should just be taken out of the gene pool altogether. You almost killed me and my wife, and scared the hell out of my poor dogs, on the day after Christmas, no less. So burn in hell, you stupid fuck.


[deep breath]


Anyway, other than that, it was a wonderful trip, and a very good Christmas. How was y'alls?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

You sexy thing.

Hey there, hot stuff.

How you doin'? You're lookin' good, that's for sure.

I've been lookin' forward to meeting you.

Yeah, seeing you on Christmas is just what I needed.


Friday, December 21, 2007

It's the most wonderful time of the year

And I mean that. Seriously. Christmas is hands-down my favorite holiday, and no amount of cynicism can change that.

But I gotta get movin' and packin', since we're heading to Motownphilly tonight to spend Christmas with Mrs. TK's family. It promises to be a great weekend. So I hope you all have great holidays, where you get lots of shiny, pretty things. Make sure to eat and drink your faces off, and be careful out there, OK? Whatever you celebrate, be it Christmas or whatever the Jews do or some sort of zombie-hybrid Chrismukkahzaa, celebrate the ass off that bitch.

Happy Holidays, everyone.


Monday, December 17, 2007

I hope this letter finds you well out of harm's way

Open letters... return!

Dear Winter:
Listen, you overeager motherfucker. It's December 17th. You are supposed to stay away for FIVE MORE DAYS. So seriously, back the hell off. Enough. 16 inches of snow in the last five days? Four and a half hours to drive home? 11 degree weather? What the hell? ENOUGH ALREADY, you overzealous bastard. Wait your fucking turn.

Your pen pal,

Dear fire alarm in my office that has been going off incessantly for the last two hours:
Seriously. Knock it the fuck off. I feel like there's a gigantic mosquito in my head. And if there are two things I despise, it's mosquitoes and gigantism.

Eat shit and die,

Dear co-worker who I accidentally crashed into and knocked over and sent flying into that table with the printers and stuff on it when I came stampeding out of my office because I am sometimes careless and tend to walk too fast and without looking and with heavy feet and you're kind of small and I didn't see you:
Um... sorry 'bout that.

Apologetically yours,

Dear Rilo Kiley:
Um, I'm not sure how to say this. Because you know I love you, and I think "Take-offs and Landings" and "More Adventurous" are spectacular albums, and I think "Portions for Foxes" is seriously a song that I can listen to on an endless loop, especially the part where you yell "Come here!" All of that said... "Under the Blacklight"? Kind of blows.

Disappointed but not angry,

Dear chipmunk that has taken up living in the ceiling above my basement:
OK, apparently you didn't get my last letter. I know you're still in there, you fucker. I'm warning you. I killed three of your cousins, and I am coming for you next. Get out while you still can, or I swear on the swollen belly of Buddha you will suffer.

Waiting to see the whites of your eyes,

Dear Ipod:
Please don't die. Please? I love you so. And then I'd be forced to get some overly fancy new Ipod that plays video and massages my hands and... shit, I don't know... speaks four languages and knows how to satisfy a camel. And frankly, I don't need any of that. You're fine. You're better than fine. But... you're kind of shitting the bed right now. You freeze up for hours. I've needed to wipe you clean and start over twice. And there's that creepy death rattle that comes out every now and then. I'd really rather not have to replace you. Plus, I kind of dig that you're old-school in that cool-like-Donkey-Kong kind of way. So, please don't die.

Hopelessly devoted to you,

Listening to: Rilo Kiley - Portions For Foxes

Monday, December 10, 2007

We interrupt this blog for a special announcement:

Dear Michael Vick:


*This message is brought to you by Ceili the Wonder Dog and Audrey the Three-Legged Beagle.
**Picture courtesy of With Leather.

Listening to: The Soggy Bottom Boys - In The Jailhouse Now

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

There'll never be a better chance to change your mind

I read about this over at Kerstin's, and decided to give it a run. By the way, check her site out. Good stuff.

Anyway. The premise: compose a letter to your 13 year old self. That's it.

Dear 13 Year Old TK:

Hey there. Yeah, I know this is weird. But I think there are some things you need to know. It's currently 1988, and you're in the middle of Junior High School. So let's start there. I guess your sister is in high school and being an insufferable bitch. You probably just moved into the new house, which will be your favorite house ever until you're... oh, about 30 years old. In a couple of years you'll be jumping off the roof into the snow banks.

That blond kid with the glasses? Don't waste your time being friends with him. Eventually, you're going to get busted for shoplifting and he's going to blame the whole thing on you (and Dad is going to knock you around pretty badly for it). Yeah, he's kind of a dick. But it should make you feel better to know that if you do go through with it, when you're 17 or so and have grown a lot more, you're going to beat his ass. He'll totally have it coming.

Speaking of growing... um... the next few years? Are going to be kind of awkward. The good news is you don't have to worry about being the small kid for much longer. I know you're only 5 feet tall, but trust me. Your enormous feet should be a good hint. In the next 2-3 years, you'll grow about 14 inches. Seriously. It's hard to believe, but it's true. So... um... eat more. Or else you're gonna be painfully skinny. Yes, I hate to admit it, but Mom is totally right about this. She's also right about not buying you nice clothes, since you're going to need new ones every 4 months.

OK... I'll tell you this, but I don't think it's going to matter. You're going to hurt yourself. A lot. And soon. I'd tell you to stay off your bike and don't go play football when you get the call in 8th grade, but the truth is, knowing us as I now know us... you're gonna find a way to hurt yourself no matter what. So don't sweat it. But you should really do the physical therapy after you break your left arm the third time, because now it's not terribly useful.

On that note, you're going to break your thumb soon. Badly. I mean, you'll snap that fucker right in two. I'd tell you how it's going to happen, but it's much more fun as a surprise. Plus, it'll make for a good story later in life. And it'll get you out of history class.

By the way - wear your damn glasses more.

High School is going to suck. But it sucks for everyone, so don't sweat it. But my two biggest pieces of advice are: go to class more, and no matter what you do, DO NOT GO AFTER EITHER OF THE CURLY-HAIRED GIRLS. Only heartbreak will ensue, and it will take you a long time to recover. Trust me on this. There is one curly-haired girl who will make your life great, but neither of them is her. Stick with the tall blonde, she's perfectly nice and won't mistreat you. It'll ultimately fail, but that's high school. Also, be less of a jerk when you break up with her.

Don't sweat the drugs. Seriously. Just go ahead and try them, have fun. You're going to end up fine. But... maybe don't drop acid that Thursday morning in homeroom, because that entire day was a disaster. And I guess you should avoid trying the hard stuff. Nothing bad really came about from it... but it just wasn't a great idea.

Oh, right... Hey, Mom is gonna fight with you about your clothes, your hair, and your earrings. My advice? Let her win. Seriously. It's no big deal. You're gonna get some goofy haircuts in college and then get a bunch of tattoos anyway, so just let her have that small victory.

Listen. About Dad. This is the hardest part, because I know you kind of hate him right now. But try to be patient with him. It's not going to be easy, and you've got another year or two of scattered beatings before he stops. But he will stop. Although... he'll still be a pain in the ass. Look, he's... he's a pretty angry guy. And he doesn't really know how to handle these things. But he'll learn. I promise.

It's... hard to explain.

And... he's going to apologize eventually, believe it or not. It's going to be one of the top-five weirdest days of your life. You're not going to know how to react, because it's going to be blurted out at dinner. And when he does? Do me a favor... Get up and hug the sonofabitch. It's going to be his most vulnerable moment, and he's going to need it. I regret never acknowledging that to him.

For God's sake, drive safely.

College is going to be an unholy mess. I'd tell you to drink less and go to class more, but I don't think it'll do any good. Amazingly, you won't have any serious girl-related drama. Incidentally, the curly-haired girl you meet in college? THAT'S "the one". But you're going to know it right away anyway, so don't worry about remembering this. Try to be less of a pretentious asshole, and for God's sake, stop making fun of the Midwestern kids, because that East-coast ego is going to earn you some enemies.

Also... the hardest time of your life is going to be the summer of 1996, when Mom and Dad move. It's going to be brutal. I have no advice, nothing that can make it easier. It'll get better, but never heal. But I guess that's why you should be nicer to them, because eventually, you're not going to have them around, and you will be amazed at how much you miss them.

Your sister will continue to annoy you. And you'll continue to love her in spite of it. Deal with it.

After college - you're going to panic. You won't have a home or a job. Relax. These things will work themselves out, though I'd advise avoiding that first apartment in Allston. That place will turn into a nightmare. And believe me when I tell you that you'll be surprised at the direction you'll go in, career-wise. Let's just say there's more of Dad in you than you think. The good parts, that is.

That's about it. Nothing too earth-shattering, right? Oh, three final things:

1. Your two best friends in high school will probably be your two best friends forever.

2. Don't give up on the Red Sox or Patriots. Just... trust me on this.

3. Don't get your hopes up when you hear about new Star Wars movies.

There you go. Enjoy the next 19 years until you get to here.


PS - Oh, fuck it. Eat more damn vegetables, OK? I mean it.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Two short, unrelated, but somewhat funny things:
The scene: My TV room, last night, during the Patriots game. Patriots are up 3-0.

Mrs. TK comes down to watch with me. The Ravens score. "Uh oh," she says. The Ravens score again.

I begin my usual routine when my team is losing. Namely, swearing constantly, standing up, sitting down, stalking around the room, swearing some more, and throwing things. Mrs. TK says "OK, you're freaking me out. I'm going upstairs."

She leaves. The Patriots promptly tie the game.

Now, I'm not sayin'... I'm just sayin'. You know?

Impromptu IM with A Lover and a Fighter that demonstrates that I am not alone in this world:

11:30 AM L&F: i have squash soup in my hair
11:31 AM send help
me: oh dear god
L&F: i know
me: how did you... what did you...
11:32 AM L&F: i am eating lunch
and it is squash soup
11:33 AM me: no, you are apparently accessorizing with squash soup
L&F: and it is hot
so i put some in my mouth
and then went "blarghgh"
me: uh huh
L&F: and it fell out of my mouth
and into the cup
and splashed
11:34 AM with some amazing hang time
and landed in my hair
the end
me: were you eating it upside down?
i mean... were you upside down when you were eating?
11:35 AM this reminds me of the time a friend found General Tso's chicken on the brim of my baseball cap.11:43 AM L&F: i can totally see how that would happen
11:45 AM me: i knew you'd understand


Last but not least - FUCK it's cold.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Here's your Antichrist Superstar...

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and I probably gained another five pounds. Despite my earlier concerns, Thanksgiving day wasn't nearly as awkward (or violent) as it could have been. I made it to my aunts house around 2:00, spent the afternoon nursing a couple of beers with my cousins and watching football, and mostly managed to avoid my uncle.

Oh, right. And there was another incident. And it's beginning to make me believe in God. And hate him. I really don't even want to write about it, because it's getting ridiculous, and people are going to think I travel under some sort of perpetual cloud of retarded dumbassery, but... *sigh* here goes:

My uncle took me outside to show me the new fence he put up. It's a fairly nice fence. Big, white, wood. You know. A fence. Anyway, as I'm looking around, asking him about the post holes, I step in dog shit.

And so it begins.

My uncle suggests that I go into the basement and wash my shoes off in his slop sink. I say this is a great idea, and wasn't I clever for wearing waterproof shoes! So I go into the basement, he gives me a little rug to stand on, and I take off my shoe. I hold it under the faucet, and turn the water on.

[here it comes]

The water comes ROCKETING out of the faucet, hits the sole of my shoe, and splatters dog shit and water... all over my shirt. Yes, it was a lovely poopy-shirt Thanksgiving.

Friends, this is a new low. I think I need to take some sort of class, or get reprogrammed, or something. This cannot continue. Needless to say, I ate thanksgiving dinner in a t-shirt. Nice. Everyone else is in a nice button-down, or a dress, and I'm in a white t-shirt. And no, I couldn't borrow a shirt, because I'm bigger than everyone in the house. Goddamn it. I guess I lied when I said it wasn't awkward.


Anyway, I really wanted to talk about my Friday night, which was weird, but in a different, non-shit-related way. Wednesday, Mrs. TK and I had gone out for dinner and ran into an old, dear high school friend and her family at the restaurant (her dad lives in the same town as us). He very kindly invited me to dinner at his house for Friday night, and while Mrs. TK was working, I agreed to go. And then he said, "Great! That'll make 12 people!"

Um... what? Twelve people? Aw, balls. As some of you know, I'm not great with crowds, and I'm really not great with new people. But I sack up and go. And... well, it had a real bull-in-a-China-shop feel to it. Her father is quite wealthy, being some sort of attorney. Her father's boyfriend (yes, I said boyfriend) does some sort of thing where he secures insurance for fabulously wealthy foreign people. Also on the guest list:

-Her brother, who is in Rabbinical school.
-Her brother's extremely unfriendly and whiny girlfriend, who is in Cantorial school. (I provided the link because I had no idea what this was.)
-Her stone-deaf grandmother, who would go into periodic rages because everyone kept mumbling.
-A rabbi
-Someone who works in the Governor's office
-A neurosurgeon
-the Cultural Attache to the Israeli embassy

Oh, did I mention I was the only non-Jew there?

I know, I know. You're thinking, "Wow, TK. You must have been completely comfortable and not even a little bit awkward. I'm sure you didn't swear accidentally and inappropriately, or laugh too loudly, or knock over anything important".

And you would be saying this, because you are a moron who has never read this blog before.

Oh, also, as soon as I walked in? The smoke detectors in the entire house went off. No joke. It was like cocktail hour during Pearl Harbor. LOUD, REPEATED HOWLING, with smoke everywhere and the windows open. Literally started the moment I walked in. I swear to God... This led to a number of conversations like this:

TK: SO, HOW DO YOU KNOW [redacted] AND [redacted]?
Other person: EXCUSE ME?

Needless to say, it NOT was the quiet little family meal I had expected. It was bizarre... not just because it was cold and smoke-filled and deafeningly loud, but because any time you are the ONLY person who is not of the predominant religion, during a very religious meal, it's a little jarring. Not to mention... there wasn't a lot I had to offer in terms of conversation. No one seemed interested in sports. No one seemed interested in The Wire. No one seemed interested in hearing me blather about my dogs. No one seemed interested in hearing how I got so fucking high the night before. I don't think anyone wanted to talk about the new Jay-Z record, and I certainly wasn't going to tell anyone about how I'd splattered myself in dogshit the day before.

It was... unusual, to say the least. But I actually had an OK time, and more importantly, came home with a clean shirt.

I call that fucker a win, if you ask me.

Listening to: The Grifters - Blood Thirsty Lovers

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thank you, faceless consumer horde... I mean, people.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Today is the 21st. Which means it's Burt Reynold's Mustache Day.

So click here and read more stupid nonsense from yours truly.

Happy T-Day, peeps.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Now I wonder what it is you're after, keeping company with this disaster

What, you may be asking, do these things have in common?

They are all things I have spilled on myself. Today. It's not even noon yet.

Word-for-word conversation that I had with my boss 20 minutes ago:

Boss: Oh, I think you-
TK: I know. It's coffee.
Boss: Oh. Sorry. Actually, I think you got some right-
TK: No, that's yogurt. And before you say anything else, this here is ink.
Boss:... oh.
TK: Can we talk about something else?


Listening to: DJ Shadow - What Does Your Sould Look Like ( Part 4)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Midnight's comin' round, still mostly down around here...

Sometimes, the real world can be a real bitch.

And so, I have a tale to tell.

When I was a senior in high school, on the last day of school there was always a talent show. At least, I think it was a talent show. I don't really remember, because I was high a lot. But I'll never forget my last day of high school, and I'll never forget Nick (not his real name).

At a time when high school stereotypes are either changing or disintegrating altogether, Nick fit the stereotype of "outcast" to a T. He dressed in ill-fitting, awkward looking clothes. His hair was a wiry mess with absolutely no style. He wasn't very good at school. He talked so quietly you could barely hear him, because he was self-conscious of his incredibly nasally voice. He had incredibly bad acne. He had few friends, and the few he did have were similar social outcasts.

I do not tell you this because I am trying to put him down, nor do I tell you because I was oh-so-cool. Despite my super cool fashion sense, I was neither much of an outcast, nor much of a popular kid. I was simply there. I had good friends, many of which are still around me. My point is, I tell you this because it's the truth. If you picture the sad sack outcast stereotype, this kid was it.

Anyway. So, our stupid talent show starts, and a couple of friends and I head over there. We stumble around a little, trying to find seats, because we are high as a motherfucker. And the usual collection of stupid dance numbers and lip syncing takes place. And then, we hear the loudspeaker say,
"OK, guys, let's give it up for Nick [Name Redacted]!!"

And there is collective silence. Deafening silence. Not because no one knows who Nick is, but because we all know who he is. My school was pretty big, but for the most part, you knew the rest of the students by name. And we all knew who he was, and knowing what we (thought) we knew, it seemed either a joke or a lie or... who knows.

So. High school gymnasium. 500+ kids sitting there in stunned and confused silence. And then... roaring over the loudspeaker... we hear it:

"Love is like a bomb, baby, come on get it on..."

No. Fucking. Way.

And suddenly, this kid, this introverted, misfit, four-years-of-quietly-suffering kid, comes TEARING out from the back of the room, pumping his fists and jumping in the air, and NAILS IT. He lip syncs Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me", and he runs crazily around the room. He dances like his life depended on it. He's high fiving people as he runs through the stands. He whips his shirt off and throws it at a group of preppy girls. He's shaking his ass like he's got bees in his pants. I'm telling you, he fucking killed it.

It was one of the greatest things I've ever witnessed. It was way better than the Paradise City scene in Can't Hardly Wait, because it was real and it was him and it was just fucking perfect. I'm telling you, every single person in that gym was on their feet and cheering. Kids were running in from the hallway to see what the ruckus was about. And then, as the song came to a close, Nick, with a huge, sweet smile on his face, took a bow and ran out of the room.

It was the last time I saw him. But it wasn't the last time I thought of him, not by a long shot. How does one forget something like that? Something like that makes history. It becomes a story. People I run into that I went to high school with all still remember it fondly.

And while I didn't see Nick again, that was part of the poetry of it. In my mind, he ran out of that gym, shirtless, and jumped into his car and drove to California, getting into adventures and eventually meeting the girl of his dreams. Or he struck oil in Texas and became a tycoon. Or somehow ended up a secret agent, living off of fancy food and cocktails in Europe, in between dangerous missions into the middle east. I played through these scenarios in my head, periodically, and I always smiled. Nick had done something no one I knew had ever known had ever had the guts to do. To finally give the finger to an institution that shunned him, or worse, ignored him, while at the same time causing them to celebrate him.

In that small corner of the world, Nick became a legend.

I mean, 14 years later and I'm blogging about him, for God's sake. We didn't even have the damn internet back then.

And then, two months ago, I saw him...

Bagging groceries in a supermarket.

I saw him, and he had a brief moment of recognition with me. I gave a little half-smile, and he simply looked away. Ironically, I remembered his name, and yet I doubt he remembered mine.

But there was something incredibly sad about that moment. Something that tugged at me. In a weird way, it was like seeing a hero come down from the pedestal. I mean, the guy wasn't my hero, but... there was something about him that always made me smile, something that always made me think, "Not everyone plays by the damn rules. Sooner or later, people will crack and they will run from their mess of a life and become free. They will break the shackles of anonymity and become someone, and no force on this earth can stop it from happening!"

And I kind of enjoyed that, even if it was something I'd only think about once every couple of years.

Like I said... Sometimes, the real world? Can be a real bitch.

Listening to: Uncle Tupelo - Life Worth Livin'

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I would like to extend to you an invitation to the pants party.

OK, I swear this is the last Red Sox related post. But when one finds a picture of Manny Ramirez fist-bumping Steve Carell... I mean, that's like a perfect storm of things I love. I mean, I even once made the analogy that Manny is like the baseball version of Brick Tamland.


As you were.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

What kind of fuckery is this?

Bullshit. That's what this is. Nothing but straight-up bullshit. So go screw, Onthevirg and Country Roads. Fucking tagging is for dorks. Not to mention that there's very little you vultures don't know at this point because a) I'm not that interesting and b) I pretty much blurt out everything about myself on this damn site.

Anyway, the retard-o rules:

A). Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog...

B). Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself...

C). Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs...

D). Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

Here you go:

1. I'm terrified of fire. Specifically, of my house burning down. I can barely sleep if I go to bed after using the fireplace, lit candles worry me, that sort of thing. And don't get me started on space heaters.

2. When I was six years old I insisted that my clothes match completely. As in, blue shirt, blue pants, blue socks, blue shoes. I was compulsive about it. Now I'm lucky if I remember to wear pants in the first place.

3. I never learned how to drive a stick shift.

4. I can crack virtually every joint in my body, and do it frequently. Knuckles, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, back, neck, you name it. If it bends, I can make it pop. This disturbs some people.

5. Not counting English, I have studied four other languages. I cannot speak, read or write any of them even remotely competently.

6. When I was in high school, I shaved half of my head, dyed my hair purple, had my ears pierced, wore motorcycle jackets and combat boots and skull rings, because I wanted to be totally punk rock. Now I shop at Old Navy and complain when the kids on the street yell too much.

7. The first concert I ever went to was Kool and the Gang.

As for tagging other people - I'm too fucking lazy. So if you read this, I'm suggesting A Lover and a Fighter, New Texan, Girl With Curious Hair, Maxine Motherfucking Dangerous, Alex the Odd, and now I'm too tired to think of anyone else. So if you punks read this, write some shit down, OK?

Listening to: Built To Spill - Conventional Wisdom

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

How terrible is wisdom when it brings no profit to the wise?

OK. I promise, no more sports related posts for a while. But forgive me if I had to spread my Sox-loving joy around a bit.

Anyway. I was recently talking to a friend of mine who is having something of a mid-life crisis (Despite not being in the middle of his life. Unless he dies young. Which he might, if he keeps annoying me) and I got to thinking about what makes a good life. You know, what do you really, truly need. My friend has developed this malaise where he is annoyed with the American need to own something bigger, better, faster, which is part of the reason he jumped on a plane and is now surfing his life away in Indonesia.

I maintain the things in life that make me happy are relatively simple things, and the rest is just window dressing.

So, in no particular order, here are the basic things in this life that make me content:

1. My wife. No-brainer, that one.

2. My house. Yes, it's a material thing, but... people forget - a house is a project. It's a chance to do things the way you want to. Much like sculpting an elephant out of ice (just chip away at everything that isn't part of an elephant), owning a house is just changing the things that aren't the house you want, until you have... the house you want. I may have mangled that metaphor. Shut up.

3. A barber who doesn't need to ask you how you want your hair cut. I've finally achieved this status, and for some reason, it pleases me.

4. A rock-solid alibi. I know I said this list wasn't in order, but if it was? This might be #1.

5. A bartender who starts pouring/uncaps your favorite as soon as he sees you. Um... I've got a couple of these. Uh oh.

6. Dogs. Come on... who doesn't love dogs? I'll tell you who: sick, crazy people. We established long ago that if you don't like dogs, you simply can't come to our house. That might also be because our dogs will aggressively insist on getting in your lap, and snuggle you into submission.

7. Sharp blades. Because nothing sucks more than not being able to cut up and dispose of your... accidents.

8. Books. I don't care if it's history, horror, or creepy Gilmore Girls slash fiction - as long as you have books, you can be content. Also, please do not think that I read creepy slash fiction. Because I don't.

9. Sports. I know, I know, I said I wouldn't talk about the Red Sox. But the truth is, there is something truly exciting about sports, about following your team and the sense of camaraderie that comes with it. I know not everyone enjoys sports, but I do, and dammit, it makes me happy.

10. A car with a good-sized trunk. Let's be honest - if the blades aren't handy, you'll need some spacious and impromptu transportation. Also, make sure your car is reliable and inconspicuous.

11. Food. What can I say. I love me some good food. It doesn't have to be fancy (though I sometimes enjoy that), it doesn't have to be expensive (though sometimes it's worth the price), but good food is one of my great joys.

12. Sleep. And of course, this one is bittersweet for me. Because I love sleep. But I'm not terribly good at it. I love sleeping late, though I rarely do. For some reason, regardless of how late I'm up, on most Saturdays I'm out of bed and dressed by 8:30. It's official, I'm turning into my father.

13. Speaking of which - my parents. Who I miss terribly, and think about constantly. Those of you who love your folks, but bitch about them - at least they're close by, you know? Having parents across an ocean? Big time sucky.

14. Friends who don't ask questions. The best friend is the one who, when you show up and say you need to bury something in their yard, simply asks, "do you need to borrow a shovel?"

15. Music. I can't help it, I'm a music junkie. I'm addicted to music of almost every kind, and collect it at a ridiculous pace. But it's the only way I survive the commute to work, and one of my favorite things is learning about, and listening to, new music.

16. Beer. I know, I know. Lame and obvious and derivative. But dammit, it tastes good, and it makes me feel good. So there.

17. The Ocean. I hope to never live too far from the ocean. It's one of my favorite things - the sound, the smell, the view of the ocean. It's one of those things that has an instant calming affect on me, and always brings a smile to my face.

18. Good sound-proofing. Because the screaming bothers the neighbors.

Anyway, that's all kids. All you need to live a life of contentment. Some would say I'm oversimplifying, but I beg to differ. Like I said, everything else is just window dressing.

Listening to: The Clash - Somebody Got Murdered

Monday, October 29, 2007

They sang another victory song

For today, all is right with the world.

Listening to: Dropkick Murphys - Tessie

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

That just happened...

I was cleaning up my desk, trying to find a stack of budget reports. I toss some papers to the floor. I spin my wheeled office chair around, reach for the stack on the floor, tilt the the chair, tip over, send the chair flying across the room, crash half into my desk, half into the floor, kick a cup of soup and a piece of cornbread off the desk and onto the floor, and knock over the trash can. I swear loudly, and look up to see three people standing in the doorway, stunned. As I get up, I mash my hand into the cornbread, effectively smushing it into the carpet (and my hand).

This happened roughly 15 minutes ago.

Fucking hell.

The soup is fucking everywhere.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Shipping up to Boston


Friday I get an email from my friend Jen, asking me, if the Red Sox series go to game seven, do I want to go?

Do I want to go? OF COURSE I want to go. But... shit. I have a wedding to go to. Two of Mrs. TK's work friends are getting married on Sunday. I regretfully, and tragically, decline. I turn down a chance to see my team play in Game Seven of the American League Championship Series.

I am not a happy boy. I get home Friday night, and...

Me: Yeah, Jen offered me a ticket. Bummer, but I told her I couldn't make it.
Mrs. TK: Ouch.
Me: Yeah.
MTK: Wait... you know what? You should go.
Me: WHAT? But... we...
MTK: Whatever, we'll take two cars, or I'll get a ride from someone. We'll go, you can stay for the ceremony, have a drink and some hors d'oeuvres, and then take off. You better call her before she gives the ticket away.
Me: (happy dance)

Folks... this is one of those moments when you know you've married the right person. Not that I didn't know it before, but... I mean, that's All-Star wife material right there. Hall of fucking Fame.

Saturday night, we watch Game Six with baited breath. Victory! Celebration!

Sunday. Watch a little football, get all gussied up for the wedding. Drive to Newport, RI. Sit through a beautiful ceremony (seriously. It was outdoors in a field on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Spectacular). Go inside. Drink a beer during cocktail hour. Sit down. They announce there will be three toasts. THREE? First up: Maid of honor. Hers... it's nice, but... it's long.
  • Quick aside here. I've been the Best Man at two weddings. I have a simple philosophy on toasts: Keep it simple, be funny, don't be crude or too embarrassing, and be BRIEF. People are there to eat, drink, dance, and maybe make some bad decisions. Don't keep them from that. OK, that's all.
Best Man - quick, sweet, touching.
Father of the Groom: Likewise.

I bolt up, run over, shake the groom's hand, hug the bride, and I think I left a vapor trail, I ran out of there so fast. I barrel up to Boston - It's 6:45, the game starts at 8:15, and I've got 75 miles to drive, the find parking (on a night when parking... let's just say it's scarce), get to the park. I fly up to Boston, park in a garage, get in a cab and say, "Get me as close to Fenway as you can." Cab driver hauls through downtown, I throw money through the glass, and... I made it by the middle of the first inning. Proceed to watch the game in my wedding attire and a baseball hat. And let the record show: I DID NOT SPILL MUSTARD ON MYSELF!

And... well, most of you know how that ended. Let's just say there was lots of yelling, lots of high-fiving and hugging complete strangers, and I am very sleepy today. But I haven't stopped smiling yet.

Listening to: The Avalanches - Frontier Psychiatrist

Friday, October 19, 2007


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Now we end up takin' the long way home, Lookin' overdressed wearin' buckets of stale cologne

Soooo... Mrs. TK and I, being the suburban wunderkinds that we are, were feeling hungry and cheap a few nights ago. And where do you go when you're hungry, broke, and want to watch baseball? Why, Applebee's of course!

As I've mentioned before, we live in super-suburbia. So of course there's an Applebee's, just like there are ubiquitous Dunkin' Donuts, car dealerships, friendly neighborhood convenience stores, barber shops named Joe's or Pete's, and little league parks. Our particular one is quite nice, as those things go. Except this night was a bit... unusual. Different, shall we say.

We went on a weeknight, took our seat in the bar section, ordered something to drink and started perusing the heart attack-inducing menu. As I'm glancing through it, the following conversation takes place:

Mrs. TK: Um... does anything about tonight strike you as odd?
Me: No.
MTK: Look around.
Me: (looks around) What? Just a bunch of guys watching the game. Looks like some construction workers.
MTK: Uh huh...
Me: Weird. Those two guys are sitting kind of close to each other... and... rubbing each others backs...
What the hell?
MTK: I think our Applebee's turned gay!
Me: What? Just because there's a gay couple here?
MTK: Keep looking....

And then we realize... I think we're the only straight couple in the room.

At Applebees.

In suburban Massachusetts. It was somewhat unusual. Our waiter was gay. The bartender? gay. Most of the patrons? Also gay. It was actually kind of awesome. Our "friendly neighborhood bar and grill" had come out of the closet! And it was a mix of nicely dressed, well coiffed gay men, and guys in dirty jeans and work boots with awesome Masshole accents. Picture this conversation, if you will, between a Masshole and the bartender (spelling to reflect the accent):

Masshole: What's up, kid.
Bartender: Oh, nothing.
Masshole: Dude, it's my fahkin' birthday on Satahday.
Bartender: Oh, that's so great! Congratulations!
Masshole: Yah, dude. We're gonna go out, get fahkin' bawmbed.
Bartender: Sweet!
Masshole: (Now rubbing the bartenders hand) Yah, dude. Fahkin, you should come out, kid. We're gonna have cocktails, mebbe go dancin' or some shit.
Bartender: Really? I'd love to!

I mean... talk about incongruous.

Anyway, I'm just glad my little suburb is open-minded enough to have this. It makes me quite happy, actually. Our friendly neighborhood Brokeback Applebee's!

Listening to: Say Anything - The Writhing South

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I go to work like a boxer, train the brain and aim to outfox ya...

Dear applicants who have sent me resumes recently:

OK, look. I understand that I can be something of a jerk. And perhaps my standards are a bit too high. Maybe it's not you. Maybe it's me. But... if I could just take a teensy, tiny, little second of a moment to point out a few things? Would that be OK?

1. Please spell my name correctly.

2. Please spell the name of my agency correctly.

3. I understand that you are "eiger" to start a new position. However, you do not appear to be "eiger" to use a spell-check, you dumb fuck.

4. A beeper? Seriously? You left a beeper number as a contact number? I'm not looking for a drug dealer. (Although... let's talk later, OK?)

5. While the irony is delicious, I cannot, in good conscience, look closely at someone who wrote that they are "proficint in Microsoft Work." Thanks for playing, though.

6. OK, look. The apostrophe thing. It's (NOT "ITS") killing me. Absolutely killing me. Please, learn to use it properly? Before I explode? Look, there's a whole website about it. Read it. Learn it. Love it.

7. "I can manage meetings and maintain meeting materials masterfully." While I am basking in your alliterative glory, I only barely understand what this means. Also, was it deliberate? Because if it was, I either want to shake your hand or throw you off a bridge.

8. I also understand that you sometimes use the same cover letter for a variety of applications. However, it is important to point out that this is not the Museum of Fine Arts. You stupid bastard.

9. I like a comfortable work environment. So I can appreciate those who work towards that. However, can we talk about your interest in "building rappaport with those who I work with"? As in... Michael Rappaport? Because while I loved him in True Romance and Kiss of Death, I don't think he belongs in this agency. Especially since you plan on creating some sort of cyborg-Michael Rappaport with your co-workers. Because that will end badly for everyone.

10. Please spell your own name correctly.




Two notes:
1. Yes, someone did spell their name wrong. One way on the cover letter, another on the resume.

2. Shut up, Meg.

Monday, October 08, 2007

"I swear I want 'em to play that song on the pipes at my funeral when I die"

OTV, this one's for you pal.

Better luck next time.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Let em' in on your secret heart

Who's ready for some rambling? No? Well, go screw, 'cuz it's happening.

Tuesday was something of an event for me. It was an otherwise normal day, work, eat, etc. And then, that night, I went out for a couple of drinks. Which is, as some of you may know, not that unusual. What made it unusual was that I went out with two fellow bloggers. It was... actually, it was great. They were both fun, very cool people. I must admit, I was nervous as hell about it. I mean - it's the internet. Who knows what people are like in the really real world? What if they turned out to be giant douchebags? Or werewolves? What if they tried to kill me and turn my skin into sheets and feast on my steaming entrails?

Worst of all, what if they were just flat-out fucking dull?

Well, they weren't. They were charming and funny and cool as hell.

But it brings to me a strange point - I feel like I've lifted the veil that has shrouded my blogging (journey? career? endless diatribe?) thing for the first time. I mean, until recently, I never actually considered meeting anyone who I read, or who comes by the ole' Meat Factory. It's somewhat comforting that they were actually normal semi-normal people.

But see... here's the thing. Here's my strange little secret.

No one knows about this site. With the exception of Mrs. TK, who treats it like she treats my tattoos, my drinking, and my clumsiness - that is, just another side of the man she foolishly decided to marry. Not one friend, not one family member, knows anything about this. And for a while, that used to be cool. As I said to Matt once, I kind of liked having this secret world. It was fun, and it was special, and it was mine and mine alone. And I still like that about it. I know that I'm probably the exception and not the rule - I think a lot of peoples' friends and family know about their sites. Not me.

When I started this mess over a year ago, it was basically just so I could comment on other sites. Then I took about a six-month hiatus, then started up in earnest. Now... now people actually read it. I'm not always sure why, but you do (and don't think I don't appreciate it). But I still never told anyone. I guess after a while, it got weird to think about:

"Oh, hey guys. By the way, for the last 18 months I've had my own website that I write in sort of regularly and now know a bunch of people that you've never heard of."

I dunno. I just don't know. I don't know why I've suddenly started to think about this, but I have. And I'm not sure what to do.

Anyway. Enough about that.

Some of you may have read about my plight last night over at I'm Quietly Judging You. If you care to, check that out and come back (but don't read the comments, because they're a quagmire of lunacy and barely constrained sexual tension). Well, you should be happy to know that our Executive Director took pity on me. We were sitting in the terminally dull meeting, listening to the Police Commissioner ramble on about some shit. I was going out of my mind. Checking my watch compulsively, and fidgeting like a 5 year old who had to pee (one thing you may not know - I fidget incessantly. All the time. I might have OCD. But I can't go 30 minutes without getting all antsy in my pantsy). And then, we heard a roaring noise...

... it was fighter jets. They were flying over Fenway, which is only a couple of miles from my office. I glanced out the window glumly, turned back to the table, and my ED caught my eye and gave me the subtle high sign, and silently mouthed:

"Get out of here".

I double taked, stared at him, and he repeated his gesture, and I quietly gathered my paperwork, smiled at him, and fucking BOLTED out of the building, down the street, into my car, and made it to the bar where me friends were in time for the middle of the second inning. (It's worth noting that my ED is a Yankees fan, and still took pity on me. I think I'm going to send him a nice fruit basket.)

So alls well that ends well. I made my meeting appearance, and got to see a great game and had a great time.

"That's right buddy"

That's all for now. But I got subpoenaed yesterday for court tomorrow, so maybe you'll get to hear about that.


I just got offered tickets to tomorrow night's game. God, I take back some of the things I said about you.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Everyone's so intimately rearranged, everyone can focus clearly with that shine

Look, I know it's been a while. Shut up already, will you? I've been busy. It's not you, it's me.

Actually, it's you.

In all seriousness, September was one of the busiest months I've ever had, and it's looking like October isn't going to downshift much, either. But I suppose I should write something, for fear that someone will give me even more shit. So here's the recap of the past week or so.

I went to a wedding this past weekend, which was fantastic. It was the wedding of my half-Indian, half Kansan friend, and his now-wife, who is Lithuanian. Let's just say it was quite eclectic. Saturday night was the dull-as-watching-paint-dry Christian church ceremony, with more than 50% of it in Lithuanian. It's bad enough that I don't know shit about Christianity, but now we have to do it in other languages?

As a side bar, let me just say - I've been to weddings of a variety of different denominations, and man - do Catholics know how to fuck up what is supposed to be a celebratory day. No offense to any Catholics, but... man. Did we really need the passage about the guy with sores all over his body? Did we really need that? Egads. And also - can we do something about the pews? I'm a naturally fidgety person, and I thought that if I shifted wrong, I was gonna tear that thing into toothpicks by accident. Small and uncomfortable is not a good combo if people are gonna be sitting (and standing. and kneeling. rinse, repeat.) for a couple of hours in a row. Though I suspect it would have been funny to see me standing in the wreckage of a church pew in my suit, waiting for the lightning to strike.

Anyway. Saturday night was the reception, which is where all the fun is anyway. And it was a ball. I, of course, remained sober and sedate, as is my way. And by that I mean... I got rowdily drunk, and my friends and I did whiskey toasts, which is never a good idea. But I succeeded in not spilling anything on myself, which is the equivalent of me winning a war single-handed.

The following day, after waking up and feeling like someone had left a steak knife in my brain, we went back and there was the Hindu ceremony, which was fascinating. Of course, one of my friends (and a groomsman, incidentally) was so hungover he simply left in the middle of it, to go (as he phrased it) "shout at his shoes". Not pretty. But the ceremony was great, we had a lovely brunch at a hotel on the Charles River with a great view, and I accidentally got drunk again. At one in the afternoon. Whoops.

Friday, Mrs. TK and I went to The Big E in Springfield, MA, which is a... I'm not sure how to describe it. It's a combination of carnival, amusement park, shopping expo and livestock expo. It's actually far weirder than it sounds. But it was a surprisingly fun time, and not just because of the inordinate number and variety of mullets. I think the highlight of it was there was a demonstration by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, where they did intricate choreographed patterns and whatnot on horseback. Mrs. TK was fascinated by the horses, I was fascinated because in my mind, the Mounties are always dressed like that. That's what I like to think, anyway. I picture bars and supermarkets up in Canada with guys dressed like this all the time wandering in and out. I think this is what they wear when they have sex, or mow their lawns. At least, I hope so.

Wednesday I got a new tattoo. I was gonna post pictures, but that turned out to be harder than I thought. It's on my shoulder and wraps around my arm a couple of times. Not an easy photo to take. It was a great experience and I love the new work. So anyone in the Boston area - Redemption Tattoo in Porter Square, Cambridge. Good spot. Ask for Josh.

Anyway. There's my recap of the past week, for anyone who cares. This week marks a momentous occasion - namely, meeting up with a fellow blogger for the first time. Should be interesting, though he's probably a gigantic douchebag. I kid, Matt, I kid.

Only not really.

Oh, and one more thing:

Fuck. Yeah.

Listening to: Dropkick Murphys - Wicked Sensitive Crew

Friday, September 21, 2007

Oh, for fuck's sake.

It's the 21st again.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Welcome back to the world - continued

Part II - The Land of Rape and Honey

I don't know why I titled it that... I just really like that album and was listening to it recently. Scroll down for Part I.


So I zip down to the airport. I stand in line for what seems like weeks to go through security. My hangover has kicked itself into a higher gear. I'm crying on the inside, because
a) I'm missing the Pats game that night
b) I'm missing the Sox game that night (IDON'TWANTTOTALKABOUTIT!)
c) Remember, the hangover.

But I make it through security and.... waitaminnit.

Wait just one goddamn motherfucking minute. Some of you may remember my retardo-trip through Lagaurdia with my sister a few years ago. Remember? When I got searched like 87 times? Well, this time went off without a hitch. Which was great. Except for the fact that I was carrying the following things in my carry-on luggage:

1. A lighter (no flammables!)
2. A bottle of iced tea (no gels or liquids!)
3. A book of matches (no flammables!)
4. Hair gel (no gels or liquids!)
5. A pocket knife (no knives!)

Great. I feel really fucking safe now. Just super.

ANYWAY. Blah blah blah waiting waiting waiting. Finally, an hour after the flight was supposed to take off, we board the sonofabitch. And I... all 6'2", 200 lbs of awkward, gangly, hungover TK... am in the middle seat in a three person row.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TK's private hell # 436.

Sold out flight. No other seats. I walk past an exit row with two people who couldn't possibly be over 5'8". Let me tell you something, folks. If you are under six feet tall and you request to sit in the exit row?

Go fuck yourself. I hope you catch syphilis and die. I hope you get hit by lightning while falling down a well filled with venomous snakes. You are, to borrow from Shepherd Book, going to a special hell, reserved for child molesters and people who talk in the theater.

So. I elbow and knee my way into the middle seat and prepare for 5 1/2 hours of torture. My only saving grace is that there is no one in front of me, so the seat will stay upright. And the people next me are small, so I can monopolize the elbow and leg room. Which I did. But sweet merciful fucking Buddha, was it torture.

But I get into LAX without further incident, other than an aching back and ruined knees. I check into the hotel at around 12:30, check SportsCenter briefly, and fall asleep like I fell into a hole.


I begin our conference. It alternates between being very interesting, and incredibly boring. No middle ground. I'm dead tired, and in the middle of it, I go back to the room and take a nap. That night, I meet a friend who is also in LA for business and have a great dinner. I conclude that yes, LA is still a shitty town. Particularly if you don't have a car. And the cabs are basically legalized extortion.


I saw Floyd Mayweather. Other than that, nothing even remotely interesting happened.


I skip the entire morning session of our conference to sit in bed and watch Superman Returns. Mainly because I am a lazy bastard, but also because they weren't covering anything useful in that session. I then pack my shit, head downstairs and wait for the shuttle bus. Everything goes smoothly. I get to the airport, and thank the supreme baby Allah, this flight is NOT sold out. I get an aisle seat. In an exit row. I dance a little jig. The guy at the counter looks at me funny. I dance a little jig some more, then carry on before I get my dancin' ass arrested.

I go through security. I'd tossed my lighter and matches earlier, not wanting to press my luck. My knife and hair gel makes it through. Despite still feeling a little uneasy about our lax national airline security, everything is going smoothly.

I get to the waiting area. I read my book. I eat a sandwich. I listen to my Ipod. Everything is going smoothly.

The plane is slightly delayed. The guy on the loudspeaker at least has a decent sense of humor about it. Everything is going smoothly.

We board the plane. I have the entire row to myself! I dance a little jig again, this time while sitting in my luxuriously spacious seat. Everything is going super smoothly. The plane takes off. I'm happy. I'm on my way home. They serve drinks, and I have a celebratory vodka tonic. Everything is going smoothly. I start to get hungry. Of course, in the modern air travel age, they no longer serve meals, instead making you PAY for them. I'm temporarily pissed, but so pleased with my good fortune so far, I splurge and buy an eight dollar salad.

I open the salad and promptly spill it on myself.

"Hmmm..." I think to myself. Oh well. I've made it for three days without spilling anything on myself, which is a personal best. That's not a sign of anything, right?


My salad is surprisingly tasty. It's some sort of Asian chicken salad thingy, with a thick brown sweet and sour dressing. The dressing comes in a little plastic cup, with a peel-back lid. I'm trying to apply said dressing. The lid is giving me trouble. I get it partially peeled back, and figure I can just aim the small hole I've opened, squeeze the cup, and squirt the dressing onto my salad.

Can you see where this is going? Well... you're wrong. It's so much worse than that.

I'm still having trouble. My monkey hands cannot cope with this little dressing cup. I squeeze the cup a little harder. And then... well, folks, then the wheels come off this bitch.

I squeeze too hard. The lid pops straight up into the air. The thick, brown dressing comes firing out of the cup, shoots diagonally across the aisle, and hits a random stranger right in the neck.

God, I'd love to say I'm making this up.

He now has a splat of dressing on his neck, and it is dribbling down his collar. He's freaking out, because he has no idea what happened. He jumps out of his seat, slapping at his neck, and spinning around, trying to figure out what the hell just happened. He is also inadvertently smearing dressing all over his shirt. I want to die. I want to pop the emergency exit and just leap out of the plane. He catches me, frozen in time, the offending little cup still crushed between my stupid monkey fingers. I bolt up from my seat, but I still have my belt on. I spill more of my salad onto the floor. I gently place the salad on the seat next to me, unbuckle my seat belt, bolt up again, hit my head on the overhead bin, and begin apologizing profusely (and slightly dizzily). We have now officially Drawn Attention To Ourselves. I am dying a little bit with each passing second. I give him my napkin. I think about taking my shirt off to help with the cleanup, then decide it would make a bad thing worse. The flight attendants come and provide him with extra napkins. I apologize some more. He says "it's fine. It's fine. IT'S FINE!!!"

I sit down again, and quietly, with flushed face and bowed head and salad-y shirt, finish eating. The rest of the trip is an exercise in awkward, shameful dread.

We land without incident. I hurry off the plane without making eye contact with anyone. I rush outside, run to my car and realize... I left my goddamn glasses on the plane. As of 90 minutes ago, they still can't find them.

So yes. The newly christened American Airlines Salad Dressing Incident of 2007 shall now take its rightful place next to the Batteries and Water-Spitting Debacle of 2001, and the Great Safari Ketchup Fiasco of 2006.

It's good to be home.

Welcome back to the world

Well, I'm back from my oddessey into the wilderness of central Massachusetts and the artificial land of plastic and pretense that is Los Angeles. I did not get eaten by bears. I did not get assaulted by Sean Penn. All in all, with a few minor quirks, it was a good few days. Do you want to hear more details? Settle down, don't all put your hands up at once. Here's the quick version.

Part I - Into The Wild


The plan was to meet at my friend Tim's house to gather up the group, pack up the cars, and barrel down to Munro State Park in Florida, Mass. We were supposed to meet at 6:00, except that I got a call from Tim at 3:00 saying he'd gotten home early and was already drinking. So at 4:00, I quietly stood up, glanced around, nonchalantly announced "I'm going for a cup of coffee", and walked out of the office, down to the parking lot, got in my car and headed for Tim's. I got there and two more friends were there, playing darts and casually sipping beers.

The bachelor and another friend arrived at 6:00. The six of us then piled into two cars (the remaining two friends had left that morning to start setting up the campsite) and took off. The drive took about three hours, and was uneventful except for two things:
1. I almost shredded my brakes on a wicked hill that felt like it was ten miles long.
2. My two passengers, upon learning that I didn't mind if they had a beer in the car, proceeded to get ROARING drunk over the course of the trip. Here's to designated driving.

We got to the park at around 9:30. It was PITCH BLACK. We all strapped on back packs with tents, sleeping bags, a cooler full of beers and whatever we could carry in our hands, and proceeded to hike for about an hour and fifteen minutes. On a narrow path that was next to a ledge that fell straight into a river. In complete and utter darkness, except for our headlamps. We each got blinded at least once. We each fell down at least once. We each drank at least one beer over the course of the hike. No one died or was (seriously) injured. I know, I was surprised too.

We arrived at the campsite at around 11:00, and it was absolutely awesome. Our advance team had done fine work. A fire was roaring, sausages were being grilled, a tarp had been set up as well as a couple of tents and two camping hammocks (also under tarps). We pitched the remaining tents, ate, and then hastily hammered down all the beers we'd brought, dipped into the bottle of Bushmills, and got raucously drunk. At some point I made it into the tent. I do not remember the when or the how.


That morning, I woke up as three friends came in to tell me they were going to hike back to the parking lot to pick up the remaining gear and the remaining beer. I told them they were the greatest friends ever, rolled over, and went back to sleep. I woke up a couple hours later, excited that everything we needed was now here, and ready to crack my first High Life. Except when I got out of my tent... no one else was there. No one else was awake. There was no beer. There was no additional gear. And then I had a terrible realization:

I'd dreamed it. Seriously. I'd fucking dreamed it.


I wandered around in the wilderness for a while until my next friend woke up. We shot the shit, until he got bored and decided we should wake up the rest of the gang. I agreed. He produced a bugle (A BUGLE!) from his backpack and proceed to desperately bleat through it. It sounded somewhat like an elk being sexually assaulted by a bear. Cue cries of dismay and hatred. But it worked. They rose like zombies buried in tents, to consume water and Advil. Finally, three of us sacked up and strapped on empty backpacks and hiked back to the cars. I must say, the hike in broad daylight was much nicer, and muuuuuch safer. We emptied out the cars, made it back to the campsite, and felt much better with the only major task of the day taken care of.

The rest of the day was composed of more hiking, creating campsite B on a small island in the middle of the river, me taking a nap in a tree, grilling, more grilling, and then, by nightfall, staggering around drunkenly making empty threats at each other, bullshitting and laughing our asses off. At one point we tried to cook eggs by putting them in the camp fire, thinking the theory was the same as hard boiling them. Aaaand then we spent ten minutes running around, dodging exploding egg bits. All in all, a day supremely well spent. And I once again succeeded in not hurting myself, other than a minor incident when I fell into the campfire.


Woke up. Wanted to die. Realized that I had to hustle because... I had a fucking plane to catch. Proceed to complain incessantly. Pack up my shit, break down the tent, load up as much gear as we can, eat three strips of bacon and hike back to the car with Tim, leaving the rest of the gang to amuse themselves for the remainder of the day. Tim... he looks bad. Like I-might-have-to-drag-him bad. But he soldiers on, deathly pale and sweating profusely, each of us carrying about 50 pounds of gear, and we make it to the car. We load up, and head out. Twenty minutes later, Tim looks no better. I ask him how he's doing. His response: "I'm trying to keep it together... I might be losing the fight." I get nervous. We drive past a different park entrance.
Tim: Hey, let's look at what's over there!
Me: You betcha.

I pull into the lot, and before the car is at a full stop he's out the door and... um... well, you can probably figure it out. I sit and listen to music, he gets back in and looks slightly less awful. We get back on the road, and I eventually drop him off, swing down to my house, unload the car, kiss the wife, unpack, take a shower, check my email, pack again, kiss the wife again, get back in the car and drive to the airport.

Stay tuned for Part II, wherein I continue my hatred of L.A., suffer through a miserable flight, get very little sleep, and have an "incident" on the plane ride home.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

It'll be dark soon, and they mostly come at night... mostly.

I know! Three posts in a single WEEK! It's like December all over again.

Don't get used to it.

But I'm going on a brutal stretch over the next few days and probably won't be near the internet...

Does that even make sense? "Near the internet?"

Whatever. Shut up. I told you not to question me in front of company.

ANYway. After work tomorrow, I'm barreling over to a friends house, packing a bunch of gear into a couple of cars, and heading out to the Berkshires to go camping. It's a friend of mine' bachelor party. I know, it's not the conventional bachelor party, but he's not a conventional friend. The most exciting part will be arriving at 9:00 at night, and then hiking a mile into the campsite with all our booze camping gear in pitch darkness*. And hoping to not get attacked by bears. It's also supposed to rain all weekend. Should be a blast. File this under "it seemed like a good idea at the time".

Look, I'm not scared of bears. And I love my friends. But all I'm saying is that IF there are bears, and one of them starts to feel punchy and come after us... I'm throwing a motherfucker to the ground in front of him. Just so you know. Should any of you meet me and there are bears nearby... I will totally toss your ass at him to save myself. It's important that you know these things.

Did I just use the phrase "toss your ass?"

Fuck it. I'm comfortable with that.

Anyway. Jesus, enough with the sidetracking already! AS I WAS SAYING. I'm going camping Friday, then burning rubber home on Sunday so I can shower, eat a sandwich, pack and drive to the airport and fly to Los Angeles. Where I shall spend 3 fun-filled days at a conference about how legislative changes are causing adjustments into our low-income housing tracking software.

That is exactly as exciting as it sounds. But on the bright side, it's L.A., which is easily one of the worst cities in the union.

So after tomorrow evening, I'm off the grid until Wednesday. Although, since I only post once every week or so, you probably won't even miss me. You rotten bastards.


*Fortunately, most of us have headlamps. Although, eight guys drunk in the wilderness with flashlights on their heads will most likely result in at least one of us getting blinded. And... um... does anyone know if bears are attracted to bright light?

Listening to: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Michael Brook - Longing (Aki Nawaz Remix)