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31 December 2014

Daily Ambivalence - ring out the old

Tonight everyone's going to stay up until twelve to ring out the old year and then ring in the new year. These hopeful people will look to the new year to bring them all the things they wanted to get this year but didn't because Costco ran out of them.

The approaching new year is often represented in the media as a baby and the year ending is represented as an old man with a beard. I guess because babies are good and old men are fairly bad.

I just wonder why we don't spend a little more time considering how the old man did? Maybe he did a pretty good job. I mean, what if the baby is a brat who refuses to live on a budget and leaves the toilet seat up?

With modern medicine these days being old doesn't mean you can only be defined as having one foot in the grave. Old people live into their sixties. Even seventies, I think. I'm just saying it might be wise to take a look at the old man before you throw him out.

I'm just kidding. This year sucked.

Ring out the old . . . eh.

29 December 2014

Daily Ambivalence - Captain America's broken shield in the last Avenger's trailer

I've broken lots of things in my life.

When I was a kid I used to break things all the time. Less so now. I've learned to not touch stuff so much. Because, you know, it's the touching that starts it all.

I don't think I've ever broken anything that I didn't touch. Unless you count that time with the boomerang. Or that other time with the kazoo at the museum.

Anyways, I guess you can't fault Captain America for breaking his shield in the last Avenger's trailer. It is, after all, his shield. So of course he can touch it.

And maybe that's not even Captain America's real shield in the movie trailer. Maybe Captain America was fighting the bad guy near a Toys R Us and they blew the place up. You been to a Toys R Us lately? There's Captain America shields everywhere, and they're just made of plastic.

What with product placement in movies these days, I'll bet that's what you actually saw in the trailer. SPOILER ALERT. That probably means Ultron's lair is under a toy store.

Captain America's broken shield in the last Avenger's trailer . . . eh.

26 December 2014

Daily Ambivalence - only 364 days until Christmas

Statements like that used to fill me with gloom but as I grow older the days seem to blink by.

I've heard different theories as to why time hastens when you age. For me, I think it's because of all the days I stay in bed with a pillow over my head. Sometimes I don't wake up for weeks on end.

Whatever the reason, I'm getting older and so now when I say to myself that Christmas is 364 days away, I . . .

No, that's still pretty depressing.

Only 354 days until Christmas . . . eh.

23 December 2014

Daily Ambivalence - I've got to watch thirty-seven Christmas movies this week

No Christmas would be complete without watching that movie where Cousin Eddie says the sh@%#er's full.

And I love Red Ryder BB Guns. Syrup on spaghetti too. Classic stuff.

And maybe I'm still waiting for the perfect iteration of Christmas Carol to be made, even though there are dozens, but Scrooge taking his heart out of the ice box is a must.

If I don't hear Boris Karloff narrate the Grinch or Bing Crosby croon about snow that is a total fail.

Three stop-animation films featuring Rudolph is an absolute minimum, and Jack Skellington's incursion can't be missed.

But this December has been really busy so far.

I just counted everything up and I've got to watch thirty-seven Christmas movies this week.

This is going to suck.

 I've got to watch thirty-seven Christmas movies this week . . . eh.

22 December 2014

Christmas story reading/2014

Merry Christmas.

I hope the holidays are working out for you this year. If you have time in this busy week, here is a reading of a Christmas story I wrote for friends and neighbors a few years ago. Enjoy.


18 December 2014

There was that dream about Cousin Eddie

There was that dream where I was wearing Cousin Eddie's dickie at a Christmas party and the two skinny children from the Christmas Carol were hiding underneath the buffet table and I knew I was supposed to be afraid of Want and that I should fear Ignorance even more but I just caught each of them by the ear and made them eat a whole plate of mac 'n cheese  and a few other things and those kids turned out to be kind of nice.

Ignorance went nuts over the creamed corn.

17 December 2014

Daily Ambivalence - getting off Santa's naughty list is hard

Getting off Santa's naughty list is hard. I've tried bribing elves, writing letters to the President of the United States, eating candy, changing my identity, even stocking premium reindeer feed and spreading it on the lawn at night. None of it works.

I got a letter back from the President, which was cool, but he wasn't much help. The letter just said:
"Suck it, loser!"
I didn't really thinking eating candy would do anything but I like candy.

Maybe there's nothing you can do to get off Santa's naughty list. Once you're on you're just plain on.

It's a conundrum.

Getting off Santa's naughty list is hard . . . eh.

16 December 2014

That dream about the tarantula

There was that dream where I bought my wife a tarantula for Christmas and the salesman seemed to think it was a good idea and in the dream the tarantula wasn't hairy like most tarantulas are but more kind of furry like Snuffleupagus and who doesn't like Sesame Street so I figured, yeah, a tarantula was a great idea but on Christmas morning the tarantula had escaped from its box but I didn't want my wife to be sad so I assured her that her pet tarantula was somewhere in the house and we only had two more years before we paid off the mortgage but my wife made us move anyway.

15 December 2014

Daily Ambivalence - that lady at the cash register doesn't seem to have the Christmas spirit

I haven't gotten up to the lady at the cash register yet, still twenty shoppers in front of me, but I have gotta say that she just doesn't seem to have the Christmas spirit. She isn't smiling, and when she moves it doesn't look at all like she could break into a song any moment, or a dance, or and song and a dance.

Now I'm not a judgmental person normally but that lady is bringing me down. What a hum bug. She obviously doesn't care that Santa Claus will be coming just a few short nights from now. She'll probably deserve that lump of coal that's coming. And you know what? I don't even feel sorry for her. What gives her the right to be such a buzzkill?

Oh, good, just nineteen more shoppers in front of me. I'm going to give that lady a piece of my mind. It's December and she needs to be more jolly.

That lady at the cash register doesn't seem to have the Christmas spirit . . . eh.

12 December 2014

There was that dream about Christmas day

There was that dream where I woke up and I'd been transported back in time to that Christmas morning when Uncle Bradford went off his meds again and he got confused about what we were celebrating and he jumped out of a cake mom had made and he started singing happy birthday in a low, sultry voice and I couldn't get over how he'd fit in that little cake but who am I to say what you can or can't do when you put your mind to it and mom was upset because the cake was ruined but I told her to have faith that the Grinch's heart would grow and break the x-ray machine but the Grinch never came. Thanks a lot Jim Carrey.

11 December 2014

Daily Ambivalence - I'm not going to switch out that bulb on the Christmas tree

C'mon, there's probably 200 lights on that Christmas tree. Maybe more.

My wife wants me to fix one bulb but what does it matter? 1 out of 200.

No, 500 I'll bet. 1 out of 500 lights. Maybe even a 1,000.

This is one of the reasons Christmas bugs me sometimes. You've got all these heightened expectations. Every dinner, every party, every polite exchange, every song, every waking moment of every day assigned an expectation that no normal human could ever realize.

So, yeah, I'm not going to switch out that bulb.

If I change that bulb my wife might actually expect me to attend a dinner or a party or make polite exchanges or sing songs when I'm awake. No way man.

 I'm not going to switch out that bulb on the Christmas tree . . . eh.

09 December 2014

Christmas story/last year

Here is my reading of last year's Christmas story. Thought I'd throw it out again. If you missed it last year give it a try.

Tonight I will work on another another Christmas story from the past and probably have that out for you to hear in a couple days. Look for that.



08 December 2014

Daily Ambivalence - I saw a documentary on figgy pudding

I saw a documentary on figgy pudding the other night and - call me crazy - the pudding looked disgusting. Didn't even look like pudding.

Kind of ruins that whole Christmas song for me, you know, even makes me question the Victorian era pattern upon which much of our current Christmas tradition is based.

I don't understand what it is about figgy pudding that could inspire a song. Follow me on this - you're a kid living during the Victorian era and you make songs about figgy pudding when you could have had a Snickers bar or maybe some rope licorice. Why not write a song where you say "now bring us some Reese's Pieces, now bring us some Reese's Pieces . . ." That totally scans.

I'd sing along with that version of the song. But figgy pudding? Pass.

 I saw a documentary on figgy pudding . . . eh.

05 December 2014

I could have sworn that guy was dead

I just got a Christmas card from Harvey and I could have sworn that guy was dead.

I even stopped sending Harvey Christmas cards a couple years ago. And I took him off my Facebook friends list.

You know what that means?

That video of the cat band playing In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida that I shared yesterday? Harvey didn't get that. Because I thought he was dead. But he's not.

It's a Christmas miracle.

03 December 2014

Daily Ambivalence - I heard that Christmas song 20 minutes ago

I've been listening to the same radio station all morning and they played this same song twenty minutes ago.

After a little careful thought this actually fills my heart with gladness, because probably the only logical explanation for this with all the millions of Christmas songs to choose from is parental pride. I'll bet the DJ on the other end of the speakers really loves this song because his kid is the one singing it.

Totally understandable. If I was a DJ and my kid had a Christmas album, I'd play it all the time.

Weird though. That DJ must be really old if Neal Diamond is his kid.

 I heard that Christmas song 20 minutes ago . . . eh.

01 December 2014

There was that dream about the midnight train

There was that dream where I took the midnight train to Georgia and I was hoping it would drop me off somewhere along the coast but when the conductor kicked me off I was in Macon, which sounds great because Macon sounds like bacon but I didn't even catch a whiff of cured pork and Macon is in the center of Georgia so there was no ocean except for this guy's yard where he'd set up a small wading pool for his daughter and her friends but when I crashed the party to lay out a little I found that most southerners actually do carry guns and the dad didn't appreciate it when I spoke to him in my best southern accent and I'm lucky that my dog Oakley jumped up on my bed at that moment in the dream and licked my face because I've heard if you die in a dream you die for real.

26 November 2014

Daily Ambivalence - Thanksgiving is on a Thursday this year

That guy on the phone says Thanksgiving is always on Thursday but I swear when I was little it happened on Monday once.

Not that it was all that great a Thanksgiving, as Thanksgivings go. Mom got out a frozen pizza and dad had to work at the sock factory. The police even raided my older brother's garden that he was growing in his room. But it was still Thanksgiving and I was grateful for so many things:
  • the purplish gray rash on the side of Uncle Herman's face seemed to be fading
  • that squirrel I'd locked away in a box in my closet had stopped moving and keeping me up at night
  • my teacher had recently stopped crossing herself every time she walked by my desk
Yeah, I remember that Thanksgiving Monday like it was yesterday. We might have been eating pizza but mom had all the candy corn pumpkins you could eat. I got in trouble because I bit off all the green stems.

That's the only part I like.

Thanksgiving is on a Thursday this year . . . eh.

24 November 2014

Daily Ambivalence - if I had a Brummie accent

From what I hear, you have a Brummie accent if you come from Birmingham, which is a city somewhere in England.

I've always wanted to have an English accent because maybe then people would think I was smart or interesting. Trouble is, I hear if you're going to spontaneously adopt a new accent, Brummie is not a good choice.

Which is too bad because the word Brummie sounds so Brittsh and I like to say it with every bit of affectation available inside my mouth.

Brummie. Brummie. Brummie.

Imagine that the sound of my voice as I say this is a sweet mix of Charles Dickens' Oliver asking for more and Dick Van Dyke on his way to what should have been an Oscar nomination. That's what it sounds like when I say Brummie.

Top of the mornin', Govna. And all that rot. Excuse me while I pop on the tele and watch some BBC.

If I had a Brummie accent . . . eh.

20 November 2014

Daily Ambivalence - boys don't paint their toenails

Toenail  polish is part and parcel of any woman's make-up sack but guys typically come into contact with toenail polish only if they have a girlfriend and she wants to brand him without using irons that you stick in a fire.

I for one am grateful for toenail polish because I've heard that branding is quite painful. That and branding seems like it would be confusing as well. You see a guy with a Bar S or a Circle J branded on his shoulder and what exactly is that supposed to mean?

Boys don't paint their toenails . . . eh.

18 November 2014

Daily Ambivalence - three things to know before you die

Some people take it for granted that cats clean themselves and therefore have no need for cat shampoo, conditioner, or any of a string of vitalizing products.
The most amazing dog
in the world

In the pet store yesterday I noticed there are lots of hair products for dogs.

This is my dog Oakley.

Even though Oakley is a she, the shampoo we use is called Stud. If Oakley has a problem with that she has never said anything about it.

I think my cat Boris would definitely have a problem with a shampoo called Stud, even though Boris is a guy. But like I said, cats clean themselves.

All this brings me to the subject line above which is "three things to know before you die."

I had a friend who thought there were four things you need to know before you die but he died last week so I think he was wrong.

There are only three things you need to know before you die.

Three things to know before you die . . . eh.

14 November 2014

Daily Ambivalence - cuff links with a dose of cyanide in a hidden compartment

Cuff links look cool but I always wonder about one thing - does the guy just not like buttons?

A bit of history for you. Buttons were invented some time in the past. Before buttons people used twigs and pins and cuff links to secure garments or to avoid wardrobe malfunctions. Cuff link people are mired in the past, stuck using an archaic form of fastening.

I for one am glad buttons were invented. And I'm glad for many reasons.

Can you imagine playing the Xbox without buttons? Try pushing on a cuff link or even a collection of pins to get your warrior princess to jump across the Eternal Chasm and then stab the Red Orc. Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start. No way you do that with cuff links.

I wonder if people who wear cuff links are even aware of the controversy?

One time I saw a spy show where the bad guy hid cyanide in a cuff link and he killed himself when he got caught. That was kind of cool, but if I remember right it was an old movie. Black and white even.

Cuff links with a dose of cyanide in a hidden compartment . . . eh.

11 November 2014

Daily Ambivalence - if wishes were fishes

I don't know anyone who would wish for a fish if a genie popped out of a bottle and gave him or her three wishes.

Even if the "I wish for a million wishes" wish was on the table, I don't think a fish wish would ever come into play.

Think about it. Sushi is great and all, and  inarizushi is even better because it's deep fried, but to waste a whole wish on it?

By the by, I could totally kiss the guy who invented inarizushi. Or girl. I guess it could have been a girl. I don't want to fall prey to sexism. A girl could have invented inarizushi because of course it has that tofu crap in it, but my money's on it being a guy. I mean, sure it's tofu, but then you deep fry it. That has guy written all over it.

But back to the genie, I wonder what he would even do if you wished for a fish? I'm thinking it would probably piss him off. Isn't there some clause in the genie code of ethics that allows a genie to turn you into shower curtain mold or a piece of Brach's candy if you wish for a fish? Seems like I read that once.

Not to put any pressure on you.

If wishes were fishes . . . eh.

04 November 2014

Daily Ambivalence - the habits of highly effective people

I'm on the train again and I'm watching this guy standing by the door. He's reading a book about highly effective people but first off I notice he's not standing on the friction tape.

Maybe the guy just barely started the book.

When I think of friction tape I'm almost always transported back in memory to that time in WWII when my best pal Joey and I were hunkered down in a fox hole and that dog with one leg delivered the message from General MacArthur about Joey's girlfriend, how she was touring with the USO and her plane went down and Joey was afraid he'd never see her again. Call me shallow, but when Joey was reading the letter all I could think about was how much I hated K-rations.

I don't know why friction tapes reminds of that. Maybe because back then people were less safety conscious than they are now.

I sure hope that guy finishes his book soon.

The habits of highly effective people . . . eh.

30 October 2014

That orange tape measure

There was that dream where I had an orange tape measure and I liked going around measuring the property lines of neighbors' yards and then telling them the results and it was surprising that Wes Craven cared so much about a 3/4" difference on the south side of his front yard, and it was even more surprising that I didn't think it was weird that Wes Craven was my neighbor but I went ahead and measured the boat dock out back where those teenagers disappeared last summer and Wes told me not to tell anyone but he said the teenagers were dead because they had sex.

28 October 2014

Daily Ambivalence - there's that guy with the whipcow again

I'm riding the train and there's that guy with the whipcow again.

By me using the word whipcow, you might assume I got that job I mentioned earlier. And you'd be right. I actually did have that job for a few days.

The pay was decent and my boss was nice, but the first day by the water cooler I threw out for a topic of conversation the Third Punic War and it's impact by Rome on the Mediterranean. No one was interested.

Now who can work under conditions like that?

There's that guy with the whipcow again . . . eh.

24 October 2014

Solar panels

There was that dream where solar panels became an economically feasible form of power production because their upfront cost was dropped to a nickel and a carton of peaches but I didn't thin the peaches in my tree early in the year so most of the branches broke off and I was left with only one peach but it was frickin' huge and instead of buying solar panels I entered the county fair and won the blue ribbon but the picture of me in the paper was awful because I didn't have power for my hair dryer.

20 October 2014

Daily Ambivalence - whenever I get a manicure

That's one way I could start a post if I ever got a manicure. I've never had a manicure though.

That guy across from me on the train has. And he's not really the kind you would expect to have nice fingernails. He's kind of scruffy and he's wearing a hat that's kind of a cross between a cowboy hat and an Indiana Jones fedora.

What do they call those kinds of hats?

And speaking of "they," how do you even get a job where you are the "they" who gets to come up with the name for a hat that's a cross between a cowboy hat and an Indiana Jones fedora?

I totally want that job. I'd call that guy's hat a whipcow.

Whenever I get a manicure. . . eh.

13 October 2014

Daily Ambivalence - I always play the girl in video games

It occurred to me the other day that I always play the girl in video games.

Not really sure what that says about my inner child.

Do I have a latent need to accessorize more than I do? That's the only thing I can think of that makes sense. My wife buys most of my clothes and I usually put on whatever's the least wrinkled in my closet. So, yeah, there's probably some part of me that wants to be more involved in matching my belt to my socks.

Strange how something like a need to accessorize can manifest itself in a desire to virtually strap on tight leather clothes and shoot monsters and bad guys with a sniper rifle. Doesn't seem logical that head shots would be any more satisfying when you're sporting a pigtail vs. a handlebar mustache, but there you go.

There's just something tremendously empowering about, you know, girl power. And to think, ninety-five years ago girls didn't even have the right to vote. Now they're kickin' A on a daily basis with a rifle as long as a minivan.

I always play the girl in video games . . . eh.

06 October 2014

Daily Ambivalence - so you're standing in a crowd and some stranger asks to borrow your cell phone

This is one of those questions I'm asking from the point-of-view of 20/20 hindsight.

When it happened to me the other day I panicked and ran away from the guy.

Even at the time, panicking and running away seemed like the wrong thing to do, but it was like that one time at Thanksgiving where I forgot to buy cranberry sauce and it was the only thing I was supposed to bring to Thanksgiving but 7-eleven doesn't sell cranberry sauce and if you take cherry Slurpee and add some shredded beef jerky to it to, well, to thicken it, it doesn't taste much like cranberry sauce.

Or so I was told.

I hate cranberry sauce so I didn't try it.

So you're standing in a crowd and some stranger asks to borrow your cell phone . . . eh.

29 September 2014

Daily Ambivalence - I wonder if seeing a cloud that looks like a severed chicken head is a sign of the Apocalypse

I haven't read the Book of Revelations in a while so I'm not sure what that cloud up there means.

People get all bent out of shape about the Apocalypse but I'm pretty there can be things in the sky that are a sign of something else besides the end of the world.

Store openings, for instance.

Come to think of it, there is a new sunglasses kiosk opening in the mall this weekend. What that has to do with a severed chicken head is anyone's guess.

Seems like poor marketing to me.

I wonder if seeing a cloud that looks like a severed chicken head is a sign of the Apocalypse . . . eh.

25 September 2014

Daily Ambivalence - Mexican drug lords

Sometimes I wonder if the leaders of Mexican drug cartels allow their kids to go trick-or-treating on Halloween. And if they do, I wonder if they take their kids to the store to buy costumes.

I mean, well, of course they take their kids to the store to buy costumes, so that being settled, the next question boils down to  costume choice.

If your dad is a Mexican drug lord and you lean towards science fiction, is it more likely that you will fall in the Star Wars camp or Star Trek camp? If fantasy, do you wear school robes on Halloween or elf ears? And if you want to go monster, is it 1930s Universal or scissor hands?

I don't know.

That's the one thing I can't figure out about Mexican drug lords.

Mexican drug lords . . . eh.

24 September 2014

Next great American novel

This is a picture of the next great American novel being created.
Yeah, no bald spot yet

16 September 2014

Daily Ambivalence - this potato salad has celery in it

The first thing you notice about the existence of celery in your potato salad is that celery is spelled with a "c" and not an "s."

The second thing you notice is that celery is a horrid, crunchy surprise lurking among your potatoes. The celery doesn't necessarily attack you, but it doesn't not attack you either. I'm no lawyer, but I'm sure there is some level of criminal molestation inherent in the unexpected crunch that accompanies celery in potato salad.

If a super genius invented an accurate measurement system that could tell you with absolute certainty which of these two properties of celery in potato salad was more egregious, which do you think it would be?

That is a trick question, of course. You could never create such an unbiased measurement system. Too many variables.

Still, it would be nice to know the answer.

Some nights I sneak into my backyard and stare up at the night sky. I can't see very many stars because I live in a city, but I have a good imagination so I imagine dozens of stars and then I think about questions such as this.

I'm kind of like Plato.

This potato salad has celery in it . . . eh.

12 September 2014

In voices

I read the last post and got confused for a second because I thought I said writing in voices, which wouldn't make sense because voices are just sound produced by continuous and regular vibrations made by another human being's vocal chords, which to my knowledge isn't like an invoice at all. I got a real laugh when I realized my mistake, but then I remembered a post I once wrote about gum disease, which is no laughing matter, and that shut me right up real quick.

10 September 2014

Daily Ambivalence - writing invoices

The thing about writing an invoice is that invoices typically reflect actual work that has been done, services provided, or items taken off a shelf.

Too bad an invoice can't be more like a best-selling novel or even a movie about a government cover up with aliens and a cute local bartender played by Sandra Bullock where she's down on her luck and poor but she has always been fascinated by molecular biology and she uses this knowledge to help the handsome thirty-something FBI agent who is single and who is sick of putting up with all the crap from his supervisors. Together they prevent an alien invasion using Bullock's radical theories on DNA. The movie ends at the bottom of an abandoned mine shaft where they kiss for the first time.

Invoices aren't like that though. They're just pieces of paper that say "I did something, pay me."

Writing invoices . . . eh.

03 September 2014

There was that dream about prefabricated sheds

There was that dream about prefabricated sheds and the angry mob of Quakers who had come for a barn raising and isn't it funny how raising and razing sound the same when you pronounce them but they mean the complete opposite and I wonder how often people get confused and show up for a barn raising but then do something totally unexpected and looking at that from the outside seems the very definition of sitcom gold but I'll bet it's not funny to the farm animals who were looking forward to a little shelter this winter but there you are laughing because some guy pushed a button on a laugh track. You bastard.

28 August 2014

Daily Ambivalence - one broken leg is better than two broken legs

I met a guy in a Jiffy Lube who had a broken leg.

I asked the guy how he was doing and he said one broken leg is better than two broken legs. Then he laughed. I wanted to punch him.

Blanket statements like that remind me of that time when I was buying calamari from a street vendor in San Francisco and the guy said that the round, onion ring-like pieces of calamari are easier to bread than the pieces with legs and that's why there were more of the onion ring-type pieces of calamari in the basket than the ones with legs.

Breading, for those of you who might not know, is a thin coating of some white substance over a surface, very much like a cast, at least before you deep fry the squid pieces. Once the calamari is deep fried and golden brown the association is less obvious. But it's still a coating.

Anyway, whether you like your calamari battered or not seems like more of a personal choice than anything else. You couldn't say that one deep-fried calamari piece is better than two deep-fried calamari pieces. That would be stupid.

Then again, if the calamari isn't battered and then deep fried it isn't calamari. It's just squid.

Hmm. That kind of collapses my whole argument.

Never mind.

One broken leg is better than two broken legs . . . eh.

25 August 2014

Daily Ambivalence - every table has that one bad spot

I was thinking this the other day at what's his name's wedding.

You know the bad spot on tables I'm talking about. Your chair abuts one of the table legs but this unpleasant detail is hidden by the white table cloth and so you don't know until you commit and sit down.

It's like crocodiles in a river. The danger is hidden, the river a lazy welcoming ribbon of blue until you jump, but then there's blood in the water.

I think someone should make a law that tables have signs warning you about lurking table legs. Just common sense. I mean, who wants pools of blood at a wedding?

Every table has that one bad spot . . . eh.

18 August 2014

There was that dream about breakfast

There was that dream where I was having breakfast with the alien and I wanted to ask a question about baldness and why no aliens seem to have hair but that was stupid of me because the alien was likely reading my mind that very moment which is a little embarrassing because I was also thinking how crappy the hash browns were and in the dream I was pretty sure the alien had made the hash browns which is strange because if aliens have perfected faster-than-light travel you would think they could make hash browns so good they'd blow your mind but these hash browns were underdone and didn't have enough butter and I would have been happier with just a bowl of Captain Crunch which either way that's not a very good breakfast and maybe that's why aliens don't have hair and their skin is green and leathery. They should eat better breakfasts.

11 August 2014

Daily Ambivalence - that guy with the guitar looks like Paul Simon

Well, I guess he only kind of looks like Paul Simon.

It probably isn't Paul Simon because even though it's been a while since Paul Simon released an album, I don't think Paul Simon would need to perform with a rhesus monkey on a sidewalk in San Antonio.

You remember that song about the boxer and how he stands in a clearing? It seems like the boxer is waiting for something and you would think it was probably his next opponent, but I've always thought he was probably waiting for one of his friends to bring him a Reuben sandwich.

I say Reuben sandwich because I hear Garfunkel was a total maniac when it came to Reuben sandwiches. Garfunkel used to perform with Paul Simon too. Not that I'm comparing Garfunkel to a rhesus monkey, but his name was Garfunkel so you can understand why Paul Simon kicked him out of the band and might now be performing in San Antonio.

If you remember, Garfunkel was kind of tall and skinny and those guys can usually really pack in the food. I've got a good recipe for Reuben sandwiches and my secret ingredient is that I add a little Pitzman's mustard.

One time I ate three whole Reuben sandwiches in one sitting. I'll bet Garfunkel could do four at least.

I wouldn't invite Paul Simon to the eating contest because he has that rhesus monkey to help him.

That guy with the guitar looks like Paul Simon . . . eh.

30 July 2014

Daily Ambivalence - I wonder if I left my window back home open

That's a question I would probably ask myself a lot if I ever went on a trip.

Which sucks because I'm a bit of a foody and I'd love to visit Italy and see what kinds of different things they have on the McDonald's menu there.

Or Japan. I'll bet you in Japan they have sushi on the McDonald's menu, only maybe it's fried or they drop it in your Coke instead of ice cubes.

Are there McDonald's restaurants in Thailand? Maybe you can go to a McDonald's in Thailand and order tom kha kai off the dollar menu. That would be totally cool and I hope I can do that some day.

Except for that stupid window back home.

It's a problem.

I wonder if I left my window back home open . . .eh.

22 July 2014

Daily Ambivalence - every time I work out

You can end lots of sentences with "every time I work out" and it makes you sound active and maybe even virile.


"I take the bus to work and sometimes have interesting conversations with a hobo . . . every time I work out."

"I'm a little behind the times when it comes to the latest and greatest apps available for download on my smart phone . . . every time I work out." 

"My brother caught me reading a Regency Romance the other day and he has been teasing me but unlike most people I don't read romances for the steamy parts . . . every time I work out." 

"Last week, I went up to my state capitol and pretended to be a reporter and I asked a few senators about the smell of money and whether they can tell the different between a 50 and 100 just by scent, which naturally led to questions about crowd control and whether rubber bullets work better than tear gas . . . every time I work out."

Actually, maybe that doesn't work all that well.

Every time I work out . . . eh.

11 July 2014

Daily Ambivalence - I don't remember this scratch

I love those stories where a dude wakes up in a bathtub full of ice and there's a note telling him he only has one kidney now.

A couple weeks ago I was reading a blog that kind of made me feel guilty because of the glut of kidney's I possess. Us humans only need one.

Maybe I wouldn't be all that upset if one day I woke up in a bathtub full of ice, you know? It would make me feel kind of heroic, actually, and not so full of guilt anymore that I have more kidneys than I need.

I'd expect to get a medal if I woke up in a bathtub full of ice though. Maybe the mayor could present the award or a cute girl like they do for stage winners in the Tour of France.

What kind of freaks me out today is this scratch on my forearm. I don't remember getting this scratch. I suspect I was drugged and then maybe someone took my kidney out through my arm. Sure the kidney isn't all that close to the forearm but what with technology nowadays, who knows?

Like I said, it's not like I needed that kidney, but getting a medal from a cute girl would have been nice.

I don't remember this scratch . . . eh.

07 July 2014

Daily Ambivalence - there was that guy who climbed to the top of mountains

I was watching television the other day, which in my experience is an activity that affirms my belief the world is full of serial killers but that we shouldn't be all that worried because the world is also full of dedicated cops who always catch the serial killer because he or she carelessly left a DNA strand in a P.O. Box, or something like that.

Having said that, I realize I went off point for a moment. So, I was watching television and there was this documentary about a guy who climbed to the top of the tallest mountain on every continent but he died hiking down Kilimanjaro because he got cholera and dysenteried himself to death. Which at the heart of it is just a poop joke and I swore I would never do one of those. But there you have it.

I think that guy would have been better off staying at home close to the bathroom, maybe watching television.

There was that guy who climbed to the top of mountains . . . eh.

03 July 2014

Daily Ambivalence - people who have jobs where bricklaying is involved

So, what, you got mortar and bricks. Even tools like trowels, which as I write this I'm not really sure what a trowel is but I think they have handles.

Of course, a description where you say "I think it has a handle" doesn't really describe much at all.

Chevy Impalas have handles and I don't think trowels are much like Chevy Impalas. But like I said, I don't remember what a trowel is so who am I to disparage any comparison someone in the know might make between a Chevy Impala and a trowel?

All this makes me think I'd be a pretty crappy bricklayer.

People who have jobs where bricklaying is involved . . . eh.

25 June 2014

Daily Ambivalence - my tree in the front yard

Like most people I have a tree in my front yard.

At least, among people who have a front yard.

And a tree, of course. I mean, that's a given.

If you include those parameters then I feel confident when I say that most people have a tree in their front yard. Like me. In case you forgot, I have a tree in my front yard as well.

My wife doesn't like the tree in our front yard.

I'm not sure how common that is.

I suppose if you limit the original sampling to people who also have a wife then you could probably say "most" in that instance as well.

Women don't like trees.

If the trees are in the front yard.

My tree in the front yard . . . eh.

19 June 2014

Daily Ambivalence - fragrant telegrams

People don't send telegrams anymore and you'd think that was mostly because someone invented telephones and then later Instagram.

Most people don't realize that Alexander Graham Bell was on the verge of inventing fragrant telegrams, which would have changed the world as we now know it. But then there was that tragic chlorine accident in his kitchen, changing the course of his inventing career.

Of such vagaries are the fates of nations decided.

Still, it's probably a good thing we don't communicate nowadays with fragrant telegrams. I just got back from a run and as I write this I suspect I smell like old socks.

Fragrant telegrams . . . eh.

16 June 2014

Daily Ambivalence - my uncle's accordion

I actually have six uncles and to my knowledge none of them own an accordion.

Of course, that doesn’t rule out the possibility that one of them does own one. Or all of them, for that matter.

Maybe all of my uncles own accordions, and wouldn’t that make a great band? But there again, maybe my uncles already formed a band and they just never told me.

Uncle Robert, if you guys formed an accordion band and are touring soon please tell me. I would love to attend. I’ll even buy a ticket. I wouldn’t expect a freebie. I'm cool with that.

I’ll wait to hear back from you.

That is, if you even want me to come to your concert. Which it doesn’t make sense that you don’t because I’d be a paying customer.

What’s the deal? Did I offend you guys or something?

My uncle’s accordion . . . eh.

04 June 2014

Daily Ambivalence - sharing earbuds

What if sharing earbuds was more than just an exchange of wax?

You know, like what if sharing earbuds was an exchange of essence, your essence, maybe even portions of your personality?

Like maybe one day I'm not a big fan of rodeos but the next day I'm listening to Hank Williams just because I was sitting next to a guy on the bus and the dude was wearing cowboy boots and a vest and I asked if I could borrow his earbuds.

Something to think about. A word of caution the next time you're riding a bus.

Sharing eabuds . . . eh.

29 May 2014

There was that dream about the drain pipe

There was that dream where the drain pipe was sticking out of a wall on the side of that freeway but it was actually an entrance to a magical world where wash rags never smell mildewy but when you think about it how could you ever shrink down enough to climb into such a little drain pipe, which makes me question why I was trying to use logic in a dream in the first place because anything can happen in a dream if you've had a big enough meal right before going to bed, which is a bad habit but a little secret that not many people know is that that only thing better than Captain Crunch in the morning is Captain Crunch at about 11 or 11:35 at night, though for maximum pleasure you have to pour the milk and then wait for fifty seconds so that the individual cereals are just getting soft on the outside but the inside is still crunchy.

Wow, I really do love Captain Crunch. Except crunch berries ruin everything.

20 May 2014

Daily Ambivalence - people who hate spring blossoms

I'm sure there are people who hate spring blossoms. If you look hard enough you can find someone who hates just about anything.

Think about it. There are actually  people who don't like French fries cooked in lard. Mind boggling.

Of course, nowadays that's lots of people.

My favorite local burger joint, Ketl Krack, still bathes French fries in hot lard. Fist fights between supposed lovers are not uncommon at this place when you get down to the last fry. Now sure, lard isn't the best substance in the world when it comes to heart health, but we're talking French fries people.

What happened to my America? Lard didn't use to be a four-letter word in this country. What happened to the good old lard-by-the-foot sales down at the corner market? Why don't we see lard sculptures at weddings anymore?

We are losing touch with our bedrock traditions. Please, people, think of the children. Remember spring blossoms!

And lard. Don't forget the lard.

But if you can only remember one of those things, I'd say remember the lard.

People who hate spring blossoms . . . eh.

15 May 2014

Daily Ambivalence - Live and Let Die

I saw a list of greatest James Bond theme songs and the theme from Octopussy was high on the list and Live and Let Die was low on the list.

I think this is an outrage and I intend . . . okay, let me just dial back for a second and say - what the hell were the sensors thinking when they let the title Octopussy pass? It's not rocket science, you break that title up and it basically says eight . . . were there eight girls in that movie?

I remember there being two girls, and wasn't one of them queen of a bunch of Amazon girls? But then the title still doesn't make sense. I've identified two girls and if there were Amazons then there were probably more than just six other girls. Think about it, there had to be more than just six girls if they were Amazons. The Amazon is huge. Amazon the company is huge too, so either way.

And speaking of Amazon, I bought a book the other day and it hasn't arrived in the mail yet. With all this uproar over Live and Let Die being so low on the list and Octopussy being high on the list, I wonder if I used the wrong Amazon when I ordered the book. I should never have seen either of those movies.

Live and Let Die . . . eh.

08 May 2014

There was that dream where I only had 10 minutes to get dressed

There was that dream where I only had 10 minutes to get dressed but all I owned was a pair of basketball shorts from the 70s so I called my old gym teacher, who we called Smokin Joe back then, on the phone but he was in the middle of a jock check which is when a gym teacher makes the boys pull down their shorts to prove they wore their jock that day because it's important for boys to . . . actually I'm not really clear on the whole jock check rationale, but to each his own, and time was running out so I picked up the 70s basketball shorts as I ran and put them on two legs at a time just to spite people whole like old sayings but in the process I tripped and impaled myself on a pair a scissors.

26 April 2014

My cat Boris

Cats are probably smarter than dogs, though I don't mean to make this post about that.

I let my cat Boris in this morning from doing whatever he does at night. It's raining outside and as he strolled in I thought about how a dog would stop and shake and get everything wet, but like I said, Boris just strolled in.

I put out some food for Boris and pet him on the head once (he doesn't like people touching him), and he was pretty wet. I then put out a little saucer of milk diluted with water and noticed that he kind of turned his nose up at that this morning. Which I suppose means he isn't thirsty.

Or maybe he just knows he's going to get a full drink of water as he cleans himself off this morning. There's something so practical about that. Not really circle of life crap, but kind of in keeping with today's reduce, reuse, recycle ethic. Pretty smart . . .

Yeah, I just went and checked on Boris. He got up on my bed and rolled around on the cover until he was dry. Stupid cat.

13 April 2014

It's been a long time since I posted

"I don't owe you guys nothing!"

Is what I said the other day to those firemen who pulled me out of the burning building when they asked me to meet them for lunch. I got the feeling they expected me to pay.

I mean, call me ungrateful but they were just doing what they get paid to do, right? Lunch for 8 guys would have run a hundred bucks. Maybe more.

Money doesn't grow on trees. I'm just sayin.

31 March 2014

Daily Ambivalence - baby carrots

A few years from now, when it's the end of the world and dogs and cats are living together, it won't surprise me at all if the reason it came falling down around us isn't because I Came in Like a Wrecking Ball will probably be played on a classic rock station some day, or because the next president accidentally pushes the red button in the middle of a game of Candy Crush, but because we can't even wait for carrots to fully mature before we eat them.

Baby carrots . . . eh.

27 March 2014

Once my daughter brought home a cat she got at Walmart

I don't even remember what we called that cat. We had it for a couple weeks and then it ran away. I didn't mourn.

I always feel bad when I excise a portion of a story from a novel I am writing. I can tell when I have to. I'll be chugging along on the story and then for a week or two I won't hardly be able to write a word. That's my computer screen telling me I've gone down a wrong path.

I am all for the whole write so many words a day rule. I buy into that maxim wholeheartedly, but I also  think you have to listen to the story when it tells you that you are starting to make it suck. I say this because I might be at a part in the novel I am currently writing where it is telling me I'm an idiot. I'm not sure yet, but I might have to backtrack and cut some stuff I have written.

I always cut/paste this stuff into another document and then save it in the same folder labeled didn't make the cut. It's interesting to go back to this once the novel is finished and wonder what if. I'm always glad I listened to the story. I've taken some drastic turns as a result of these deletions and I've never regretted it.

Still, it's sad to revisit story threads that could have been but never will. They seem sad.

26 March 2014

Daily Ambivalence - the "t" is right next tot he "r" on the QWERTY keyboard

I think it's wrong when people accuse you of being obstinate or prideful just because one key on a keyboard gets pressed instead of another.
Someone offers me a potawto chip,
I'd totally eat it. Wouldn't hesitate.

If you press a "t" twice instead of an "r" and spell sotty instead of sorry, doesn't that basically mean the same thing? It's just a potato/potawto kind of thing.

Look, if you squint your eyes those two words almost look like the same word.

Seems to me the only time it really pays to be precise is when you're forging lotto tickets. Other than that I'm all for free expression and creativity.

The "t" is right next to the "r" on the QWERTY keyboard , , , eh.

25 March 2014

Beating dead horses

Ok, this is kind of like beating a dead horse but my friend from last week said I still never said I'm sorry.

So, just like last week I went back and reviewed the post in question. And it's true. I didn't say I'm sorry when I said something mean like everyone is stupid except for me.

What I'd like to know is why she even thinks I'm the one who wrote that particular post in the first place? It's not outside the realm of possibility that someone knows my password (12345 for anyone who wants to know) and they logged on and wrote the post themselves.

But I'm not afraid to say I'm sorry even if I haven't done anything wrong. It's no big deal. I don't feel like I need to but I will just to prove that I'm a man.

To everyone who was offended because a post that is loosely tied to my name said they were stupid . . . I'm sotty.

24 March 2014

Daily Ambivalence - that kid across the street on the porch

That kid across the street on the porch has been sitting there all day. Sitting and just staring at my house.

Such a penetrating gaze. It's like sharks with laser beams.

He just sits there and doesn't move. Stupid kid must be disabled or something to sit like that and not move. Gotta be. Gotta be a disabled kid.

Or maybe not a kid, maybe not a human at all but some harbinger of doom, a specter set to judge me and execute me because it knows what I did last summer. Which sucks because I totally thought I got away with that.


It could be a harbinger of doom. Or a disabled kid. Or maybe it's just a folded up rug. I can't really tell. I have fairly poor vision.

That kid across the street on the porch . . . eh.

20 March 2014

Daily Ambivalence - saying I'm sorry

It was pointed out to me this morning that even though my blog said something mean a couple days ago, and yesterday I acknowledged as much, I didn't say anywhere that I was sorry.

Yeah, I feel bad about that one.
I went back and reread my post from yesterday and it's true, I did not say I'm sorry.

At this point I could make some lame reference to a crappy movie from the 70s and say I love my blog and therefore don't have to say I'm sorry.

I think that's a stupid, nonsensical line so I won't use it. Saying you're sorry is very important in relationships, or even when the tunnel you dug in your backyard compromises the foundation of your neighbor's house. I think it shows character to say the two simple words I reference above when you have done something wrong.

Sometimes though, people can just assume you already said those two words. They just weren't paying attention.

Saying I'm sorry . . . eh.

19 March 2014

Daily Ambivalence - saying mean things on your blog

Someone told me this morning that what I wrote on my blog yesterday was mean.

If you didn't read the blog yesterday then I advise against reading it. I admit, it was mean.

I'll pause here for a moment if you want to ignore my advice, click the left button on your mouse a few times, and read what I wrote yesterday . . . 

For those of you who didn't click, I will at least tell you that yesterday's blog dealt with people who buy crappy stuff, like poorly written books. I'm afraid I might have called these people stupid. And I'm afraid I might have intimated that everyone is stupid except for me.

Which of course isn't true. Steven Hawking is obviously smart. He's not much of a fiction reader though so I don't really count him.

To conclude, if Steven Hawking actually does read fiction I would find it interesting to know if he was a Twilight fan.

Saying mean things on your blog . . . eh.

18 March 2014

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity

Robert Heinlein said that.

I read a book the other night. It was a best seller a few years ago. Well, I tried to read it. The book was really quite awful. It was a political thriller and the first twenty pages were almost all flashbacks. And then the rest of what I read, maybe 170 pages worth, continued with the flashback theme and added thirty or forty different point-of-view characters and lots of tidbits about historical buildings. It was mind numbing. 170 pages of flashback and historical trivia with story interspersed. Shakespeare couldn't make that worth reading.

I finally put the book down even though I will have to discuss it in a couple weeks at book club. Yet it was a best seller. What the hell is wrong with you people? And by you people I mean all you people who aren't me. I'm fine. I like good books. I write good books. Stop buying crappy stuff you guys. Buy good stuff.

I should put that on a t-shirt and sell it. Or maybe a wrist band. Wrist bands are big right now aren't they?

17 March 2014

Daily Ambivalence - March Madness

What's the big deal with March? I have a brother who takes a week off from work to celebrate it for some reason. I don't get it.

For me, it's always nice to kind of take apart words when I don't fully understand them. Take madness. Easily split into two parts. Mad clearly refers to the magazine I usually only buy when I'm taking a trip and want my kids to be quiet in the back seat for a couple hours. Not sure how that relates to March. Ness is perhaps a reference to the character made famous in a few Nintendo games. This only deepens my confusion.

Plato said that love is madness, but that would only make sense if we were talking February Madness and relating it to Valentines Day. Ash Wednesday happens in March. The Jewish holiday Purim also happens in March. What they have to do with Alfred E. Neuman or Nintendo is anyone's guess.

Regardless, I've never been that big a fan of March anyway. There's nothing on TV but basketball.

March Madness . . . eh.

11 March 2014

Puberty Love

Back in the 70s songwriters really knew how to title songs.

There was Boogie Oogie Oogie, and Da Doo Run Ron Ron, and Mandy. Title genius, that's all I can say. Maybe there was something in the water back then that the EPA made the water barons get rid of.

It's sad. Yeah, I'll bet you it was the EPA. The government is always messing with good stuff. Just think of it. We will never have another classic title like Puberty Love busting into the Top 40, and all because some scientist said we shouldn't have measurable amounts of mercury in our water or something like that.

Shouldn't the government do a cost/benefit analysis when things like this come up? So what if a certain percentage of us get born with an extra limb? If that means we continue to see awesomeness like Love Rollercoaster or My Ding-a-Ling then I say government be damned.

10 March 2014

Daily Ambivalence - biting into fish oil capsules

The thing I don't like about biting into fish oil capsules is the taste.


I guess I also don't like the laughter of your fellow employees as they watch you struggle not to retch.

Those two things.

Where does fish oil come from anyway? Do fish drill for it? Why do we allow fish to have a monopoly on that commodity anyway? Seems to me we could muscle in on their business and start drilling for the oil ourselves. But then it would be human oil and that sounds cannibalistic.

Wouldn't stop me though. I'd bite into a human oil capsule too. If someone dared me.

Biting into fish oil capsules . . . eh.

06 March 2014

Late post

Not one of the cute girls who
came to see Tanner
That isn't my arm but it is a family member's.

This is why I didn't post first thing this morning. Yesterday, my son Tanner got hit from behind by a snowboarder. The accident was good enough to produce a 48-stitch visit to the hospital. I could produce a much grosser picture, but that would exceed the MPAA rating for this blog.

Frankly, the thing I learned from all this was a little disheartening. Mary Shelley was completely off when she wrote Frankenstein. Horrendous scars do not repel people or make one a pariah. Scars are a chic magnet. I lost count of how many cute girls came to look at Tanner's soon-to-be scars.

The whole episode makes me question the idea of classic literature at a foundational level.