Friday, February 27, 2004

jesus fixed my speeding ticket

The interstate I travel every day in order to get to work is a bitch at the best of times, but today it was exceptionally bad. I was getting pissed so I blew a red light...well, "blew" is a strong word, as we were all travelling at roughly three miles per hour. The other lane was backed up through the intersection, thus blocking any perpendicular traffic anyway, so I eased up to fill up the other lane. And the light was red. Big hairy deal.

Not to the cop sitting there in an unmarked car, however. He pulled me over and asked me, "Do you know why I pulled you over?" My standard answer, "Yeah, because The Man can't stand to see a strong, black man driving a nice vehicle." didn't come readily to my lips...see, I'd actually been distracted because I'd pulled the hood of my jacket up high and put on my sunglasses and was making the "Unibomber wanted poster" face into the mirror and the cop caught me off-guard. I looked kind of confused and said, "No, actually, I don't know why you pulled me over." He told me I blew the light, blah blah blah, and he asked, "Where are you headed that's worth skipping a red light?"

I don't know where it came from, but I heard myself say, "Son, I'm going to do the Lord's work."

Delivered from God's lips to my ears, then to my lips and the cop's ears. Or something.

The cop asked me about what my work is so I told him. He whipped out a $20 bill and sent me on my way. Didn't even ask for a receipt.


I didn't get his badge number (which is something I usually do as a matter of course...can't be too careful when you're a strong black man) so I don't know where to send his receipt, so I guess a general receipt addressed to the police station will have to suffice. That just made my day - I was particularly proud of how I called him "son". Makes me sound way more preachy, I think.

Speaking of nothing in particular, I've discovered that my new favorite thing is being asked, "Do you have any idea who I am?" I hear that a lot. Um, are you the basketball coach? No? Okay, then you're the guy who refinished our office furniture, right? No, you're not that guy, either? Then I'm afraid I don't know who you are, sorry. Isn't senility a bitch? This poor guy doesn't know who he is!

Gah, these fecking people! You know, I'm sure that, in some circles, there are people who would stand in line to suck the asses of these pretentious wankers but frankly, I don't give two shits if you're here to unclog the toilet or if your sermons are broadcast across the country - if you're an asshole to me or, heaven forbid, you have a problem with me treating you no differently than anyone else, then I'm going to go out of my way to not be impressed with you. I may even start calling you by the name I think best fits you, regardless of the name you were given, Roy.

I had another Gordon day today, but this time he brought a friend. I don't know how or why his poor "career coach" got stuck doing double-duty but I felt bad for her and thought I'd have a little fun.

me: Hey Gordie, who's your friend?
Gordie: Hey, tell him about how your butt has poop in it!
them: Eewww!
me: sigh My butt...has poop in it.
them: Ahahahaha! She said butt! Then she said poop!
Gordie: (all serious now) Can you see me?
me: Yep.
Gordon: Now you can't! (pulls his hood over his head. I think he meant to pull my hood over my head, but that's just not how we do things in Gordie-land)
me: Okay, cool, well watch this! (pull my hood over my head) Now you can't see me! (I make a few moves like "floating" the paper around, knocking over a stapler...then I realize Gordie and Co. aren't saying anything. I take my hood down and they're looking at me like I'm stupid.)
Gordie: We can still see you. You can't just cover your head and get invisible! (they laugh to one another over how dumb I am. Granted.)

Today was floor mopping day, but neither one of them would go into the ladies' bathroom because "that's where the girls go poop! Ha ha ha, poop out their butts!" Instead, they decided to play with the bungee cords in the warehouse because if they pulled the bungee cords really far apart and let their ends go at just the right time, the hooks would clack together. Gordie's friend said, "How do we know when the right time is?" Gordie tells him, "I'll let my end go and then you can see my hook flying. Then you let go."

It was the first time in my life I said "You'll lose an eye!" without it being a Christmas Story reference. Thankfully, I saved them but they didn't care. They put their hoods up, became invisible and started calling me "Stinky Meat".

If you call me "stinky meat" I'm going to rip your eye out with a taut bungee cord. I let them get away with it but I'll punch you right in the throat if you try it.

Besides, I have my hood up so you can't see where to direct your insults. See? You're not even looking in the right direction. Fools. Has Gordie taught you nothing?



I love my sweaha-ha-hashirt! Red hooded sweaha-ha-hashirt...shamalamadingdong...okay, I'll stop that now. It's not even red - it's all stripey. Me likey the stripey. Nevermind - I'm going to go poop out my butt now and be productive. ()

Thursday, February 26, 2004

my, my, my

(Link found via The Swirliest of all the Swirly Things)

Guess what I am? Seriously, guess!

Wow, I can't believe you guessed it on the first try. That kinda sucked.

But, yes, I am Minnesota's Blog of the Day. That's for the whole state, and the whole day, yo.

And if you take into account the sheer population of the state, and the roughly one percent of us that blogs it seems...well, it seems like I should have been blog of the day a couple of times already by now, but I don't really pay attention to my stats.

After I saw the link on Swirly's site I took a gander at my referrals page, and lo and behold, there it was - tucked neatly between search referrals for "happy steak and a blow job day" and "where can I buy Jewy shirts?" was the url for Babelogue. I clicked the link and saw there laid before me in all its glory...


Smells like lunch meat, as white as Frank Black, it's Pickle Juice!

Okay, so I took some liberty in where I put the bold tags, but they had them in a couple of places and I'm just too lazy for that. It must be nice to have that kind of time, ya know?

I'm just kidding...not only am I that shallow that I'm pleased when someone notes my little blog here, I even go so far as to post it as if to say, "See? See, suckahs, someone out there likes me. Someone from City Pages, yo. So you can just go suck on that, mmmkay?" Maybe that's why I'm not very popular.

How is it that I can find time to litter an insult with bold tags but not a compliment directed at me? Actually, what Mary Ellen said wasn't exactly a compliment...she just said I'm white and smelly. But there is that whole "of the day" thing...but that does indicate that our relationship is fleeting at best. How can I expect to get serious about someone who, by their very own admission and chosen name of the feature, prides themself on getting through three hundred and sixty-five (sixty-six this year) blogs? How can I not expect to be cast aside tomorrow? By virtue of the "of the day" moniker I can only reasonably assume another four and a half hours, tops, of Babelogue-laden glory.

That's it - I need to start reading more blogs at work and keeping less people out of jail with my mad-azz accounting skillz. That's the only way I can keep on top of the myriad accolades that routinely rain down upon my head and then post them for your viewing pleasure.

Okay, it's now closer to less than four hours left in my glory o' the day - what can I say, I got distracted! I started typing this and then, um, yeah. There were, ah, glittery...things? Yeah, glittery things were...over there. So I went over there and forgot about writing my stuff here. (Damn you, Gordie!)

Wow, that whole "of the day" thing was really wasted on my dumb ass. Maybe next week.



It's kind of anti-climactic, as I don't even get a statue of a naked golden man without genitals or anything. But I can claim that, for whatever brief period, a woman called Mary Ellen kinda sorta liked me. And how many people can say that? Well, if you're in Minnesota, your chance is coming, I'm sure. ()

can i get a woot-woot, and a tax deductible receipt for my services rendered? thanks

Right now I wish I could find an ocean steamliner that I could climb onto and scream, "I AM COMPTROLLER OF THE WORLD!!" Cuz, see, I've rocked. Big time, I've rocked.

I took a charity that has never even had a bookkeeper for the past five years and made sense of everything they've done thus far. Not only did I make sense of it, I've gotten them fully 501c3 compliant. And I've almost finished their 990 for 2003.

All in the span of, what, two weeks?

Do you want to know why that rocks so much for them as well as myself? Because if they'd have farmed out this task (the compliance had to be done by the end of March) they would have paid many, many tens of thousands more than they've paid me. In fact, when I was calling around getting quotes from accounting firms a great majority of them wouldn't even touch this problem because of the lack of substantiated records for the past five years.

So the difference between what I charged them (with fully substantiated, easily verifiable paper trails lovingly constructed by yours truly) and the average price of what an external firm would have cost them is right at the wrong end of $200 per hour. So I'm taking the difference between what they could have spent and what I charged, and writing it off. Crafty, non?

Nah, I'm kidding - I wouldn't do that in a million years. But still, the thought is pretty delicious.

Man, did I work my ass off to achieve this. And this compliance was so overlooked that it wasn't even on anyone's radar. I approached my director and said, "Um, you do realize, don't you, that you need a full audit of the past five years of operation by the end of March or else you lose your non-profit status, right?" and he replied with, "Oh, is it because I didn't send that $25 to the Attorney General in time? I'll write that check now."

Uh, yeah but no. Doesn't work that way. It was going to take blood, sweat and tears to get this damn thing sorted out. "Oh, okay then, do what you have to."

Okay, I initially wasn't even hired on in any financial sense. I was going to be doing marketing and crap like that - maybe a few of those "what did this dollar cost us?" studies. Nothing toward this scope - nothing even approaching this scope.

But I happen to be an IRS groupie so I jumped all over the challenge. I love doing taxes. Absolutely fucking love it.

Why no, as a matter of fact, I don't get invited to a lot of parties - why do you ask?

In other work-related news, the lunch meat is now gone. The developmentally-disabled boy who comes in for "career training" took it. ("Career training" literally means that we teach him how to vacuum without wandering away - "Gordon, where are you going?" "I'm going over here now." "Come on, Gordon, you have to finish vacuuming." "Oh, I forgot." What, like this is going to somehow teach him the skills needed to get a real job by himself? Doubtful.)

So, yeah, he took it. I only mention that he's developmentally disabled as to provide a reason for why I didn't smack him down and make him put the meat back. He was really proud, too, and told me, "You don't have to stink no more!" as he peeled each slice out of the container and slapped it down on the table. I didn't even want to show him how we'd clean that up, as it involved a spray bottle and I really don't think we're ready to advance that far.

I really do love Gordon - don't take my ribbing as anything serious. I like spending a little time with him each week while we all pretend that, somehow, Gordon is ever going to manage on his own in the real world. I have a niece with severe autism and we play that game with her, too. We all know that Gordon and my niece will only ever live in a home, so we loosen up a little bit and try to make things fun and easy for them. Like the first time I saw Gordon he told me, "You're ugly!" I said, "But I'm pretty on the inside." He then told me, "Your butt is pretty." I said, "Well, that's ugly on the inside." He fucking lost it, he was laughing so hard. His "career coach" told me that Gordon never laughed for new people, so I was pretty happy to have pleased him. Even if he does knock over my computer speakers with his nose because he's "sniffing the fire". I wish him only the best in all his endeavors.

Even if he did steal my lunch meat fun.



I'm starting to wish I were far more corrupt than I am because I could really clean up at work. Good thing I have old Gordie to keep me straight. ()

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

ah, that old familiar feeling

I believe it was W.C. Fields who said he felt sorry for people who didn't drink, because when they wake up in the morning, that's the best they're going to feel all day. Or maybe it was Churchill, I dunno.

Anyway, by that same token, I feel sorry for people who are mentally stable because they will never know the joy of a balls-to-the-wall mania.

Unfortunately, these mentally stable people have to work with me so they're experiencing a mania vicariously through me.

I am the Rubber Band Man today. My coworkers have never seen the commercial, so that makes it even funnier for me.

I have found the elusive source of the general lunch meat smell in the store room. It was, in fact, lunch meat.

Strangest thing is that it hasn't been there for very long - the "sell by" date hasn't even occurred yet. I can't imagine who may have put it there.

I left it there. I'm sure it's serving some purpose.

Some guy poked his head into the store room and said, "Something stinks in there!" I said, "That would be the lunchmeat" and stared at him. I don't owe him an explanation - I don't even know who he is.


You know, this post actually had some potential until something crappy happened at work, then I lost my good mood and have yet to find it again. Trouble is, I can't even really talk about much. Do you remember in the movie "PCU" where Jeremy Pivens or whatever he's called was explaining the various demographics on campus? There were the hard-core women's libbers, the stoners, and the cause-heads. They latch onto the protest du jour and shake it with the ferocity of rabid dogs before they get bored and move on. I was faced with a group of cause-heads today and it kind of shook me up.

All I'll say about it is that if you plan to protest something, at least take the time to learn about it before you jump in with both feet. If you're really that ignorant to believe that relief efforts in places like Iraq, Haiti, Afghanistan, et al. are adding to the problem because it's "America" trying to play "big brother" then I urge you to pick up a fucking history book, newspaper or turn on the television and learn about how these people are living. Saddam had multiple palaces while his "loyal subjects" sucked on rocks because they had no food. The presence of American relief workers is not what's making the Iraqi militants shoot down our helicopters.

Gah. Okay, rant over with. I've got to get ready to go back into work now.

The fun never ends, does it?



The link to the comment in the last post was way longer and better than usual, so this one is much shorter and not funny or revealing in the slightest. I'm all about balance round here. ()

Tuesday, February 24, 2004


Got nothing to say, except that I now smell like lunch meat from searching for the lunch meat smell in the store room at work today.

Lunch meat. Just in general terms. I mean, I'm pretty good at identifying various, specific lunch meats...I can tell the difference between cotto salami and summer sausage from a mile away. My olfactory sense are so astute that I can tell if something is thick cut or deli sliced. I'm pretty fecking good with the old lunch meat sniffing. And yet, the origin of the lunch meat smell in the store room has thus eluded me, though the scent has permeated my clothing. Which is okay by me, since Andy said I could have this sweater because I've "put boobs in it" so it's somehow ruined, but I just wish I didn't have that Oscar Mayer funk about me. At the same time, if anyone should bear the burden of smelling like a sandwich counter, I'll pick up that gauntlet for the sake of my family.

What. The fuck. Was I talking about?

Oh that's right - nuthin. I think Charlie's starting to rub off on me...which could be turned into a dirty joke if you're so inclined. Me? I take the high road, thankyouverymuch.

I was going to post the ten random songs that pop up on my playlist when it's in shuffle mode, (link via the solliest of all the solonors) but Andy's a big dumb poopy-head and won't let me give you the files (he's all, "That's stealing, Natalie" but he doesn't care when he's wanting to Kazaa my ass for some Howard Jones) so I have to just give you the titles.

Don't judge.

Weird Al - Angry White Boy Polka (shaddup)
They Might Be Giants - Ana Ng (shaddup)
Barenaked Ladies - Oops I Did It Again (yes, that "Oops I Did It Again") (shaddup)
Mountain Goats - Cubs In Five (throw-back to my World Series domination fantasies) (shaddup)
Bob Dylan - House of the Rising Sun (okay, this is actually a good one)
White Stripes - Seven Nation Army (getting better...)
Johnny Cash & U2 - The Wanderer (man, I'm looking pretty good right about now, huh?)
Haydn - Trumpet Concerto in E Flat Major (oooh, so close! Bested again by that damn Haydn. A pox upon your house, Haydn!)
Harry Connick Jr - It Had To Be You (like buttah)
The Simpsons - 60 Ralph Wiggum Quotes (it tastes like burning!)

Thinking on it, it's probably not an issue that Andy wouldn't let me put up the mp3s. Apart from the Ralph Wiggum thing I doubt anyone would bother with the others.

Because I am a big fucking dork.

Looks like it's back to sniffing the lunch meat for me. Maybe that's where my problem stems from - my nefarious lunch meat sniffing ways. Wait, does that mean I only sniff nefarious lunch meat, or that I sniff standard lunch meat in a nefarious manner? A nefarious sniff. I like the thought of that.



My favorite is the beef bologna. I hate it when people spell it "baloney". That's just stupid. And what's up with ham and cheese loaf? First off - the word "loaf". That's all kinds of nasty wrapped up in a single word. But the flecks of cheese...? We're too lazy to, heaven forbid, unwrap a Kraft Single for our sandwich? Hey, I just remembered something - in ham and cheese loaf you have a choice of how large the cheese chunks are. Some are very small, like radioactive mouse poop, and some are quite large, like radioactive rabbit poop. My mom would never get the radioactive rabbit poop cheese because she said - and I'm not making this up - that it's easier to poison when the cheese pieces are so large. I swear to God, she used to tell me that. She also told us that pinching causes cancer - it took me two "Hey you dumb-ass!" letters to the Mayo Clinic when I was young to be convinced that pinching does not, in fact, cause cancer. But telling your kids it does is an effective way to make them stop pinching. And telling them that the big cheese chunks are poisoned paves the way for you to buy the cheaper, non-cheesed ham loaf. I'm tempted to buy some just to tell my kids that it might be poisoned. Cuz I'm a good mom, just like my mommy before me. ()

shhhh...i'm telling secrets

Hey, lookit me, blogging from work!

Pretty cool, eh?

So why am I doing it, anyway? Is it because I have nothing to do? Nope, no chance - I'm busy as hell.

Well, is it because I have something really important to say? Not really - unless you want to hear about how the store room smells like lunch meat but I'm apparently the only person who's noticed.

Why am I blogging from work? Because I just installed my swanky new computer with the monitor facing the wall instead of the door. No one has a clue what I'm doing, and I likes it that way.

Not that anyone would have particularly cared one way or another, but it just seems rude to me to flaunt my websurfing during business hours. I like to keep that as my secret shame.

I am thisclose to installing a little fort under my desk so I can take a nap. I mean it.

No one would really notice, I don't think. All I have to do is clack at the calculator a lot, rustle some papers and say random numbers like, "But where did that forty-seven come from? This should be twelve over here." and no one would even notice or care. Until they went to jail, that is.

This is why it's so helpful to hire motivated, self-starters. See? Those words really do mean something.



The time it took me to post that counted as my lunch break, you know. I'm really, really busy. Busy like a fox. ()

Monday, February 23, 2004

stop the insanity

I was writing a post the other day, during which I somehow managed to lose two other posts in the process, but didn't realize it. Then I went in to finish the post I'd started - the Post of Destruction, as I like to call it - and managed to feck that one up, too.

High point of my day? My office was literally filled with Norwegian bachelor farmers. No lie - not only do they really exist, but they do, in fact, travel in packs. That Garrison Keillor keeps finding new ways to astound me.

The farmers were around to help with a shipment that got messed up and reappropriated to another country - if you're local, watch your news, as you may see me...don't ask me what channel, as I was too fascinated by the presence of the Norwegian bachelor farmers to note the number on the side of the camera. Maybe you shouldn't tune in, as I was wearing my fat pants today. Just forget I brought any of it up at all, mmm'kay?

I have been having a shit time of it lately. It's the stupid people. It's always the stupid people. Look, I can understand it when, say, someone is very old and they don't understand technology. That's fine - it's impressive enough that some of these people are online, but...but when you get an email from someone THAT USES CAPITAL LETTERS BECAUSE THEY'RE ON THE ROAD PRETTY FAR AWAY AND WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU CAN READ THEIR EMAIL WHEN THEY'RE NOT IN THE BUILDING then it gets a little bit tiresome. Explaining how web pages work is another trying issue. See, we're getting screwed in a number of ways with multiple urls and whatnot...I explained it like this: We own our building. The inside of our building will always be the same, no matter what sign we put out front. We can have fifty signs out front, all pointing to our building, which remains unchanged. Now, imagine we put up a sign and the sign company said, "Yeah, and by the way, we're going to charge you rent for your building." See where the problem is? They have no authority to charge us, they're not helping us in any way, they're just trying to make you think that they're doing you some kind of favor.

Pretty decent analogy, right? Gives you the exact story as to how we're getting screwed, doesn't it?

The response to this was, "Well, what if we have our web address painted on the building instead of on our signs? Will that make a difference?"




Okay, now, keep in mind that this conversation happened right at the tail end of the EMAIL FROM HELL.

I've gotta admit, I said a little prayer. I believe it began with, "Oh Lord, give me strength."

I had a few more dealings with the Christian Mafia today, too. I used to joke with Andy that my uncles in Chicago are part of the Crooked Nose Brigade and that I learned from an early age how valuable it is to "know a guy". You need a good trash company? I know a guy. Going through a troublesome divorce? I know a guy. A guy is a good thing to know.

With the Christian Mafia I now know lots of guys. Guys who call each other "youse". As in "youse all better not be sayin nuthin to no one 'bout nuthin". I asked one guy which chuch he was affiliated with and he said, "That one. You don't never heard of it."

Oh yeah. He's a guy, all right. And now I know 'em. I won't tell you the unbelievable deals he's offering me for "a nice little contract" as long as I don't mind that "some of the stuff kinda fell offa truck".

I was really hoping that this churchy gig would hook me up with some Masons as contacts, but organized crime works pretty well, too.

Lordy knows that those Norwegian bachelor farmers won't be hocking any hot dvd players, that's for sure.



Norwegian bachelor farmers. I'll be a son of a bitch. ()

Friday, February 20, 2004

yep, it's a laugh a minute when i'm around...

You're The Dictionary!

by Merriam-Webster

You're one of those know-it-all types, with an amazing amount of
knowledge at your command. People really enjoy spending time with you in very short
spurts, but hanging out with you for a long time tends to bore them. When folks
really need an authority to refer to, however, you're the one they seek. You're an
exceptional speller and very well organized.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Found via my evil twin.

The dictionary? The fricking dictionary?!?

I'm going to go boil my head now.



I will not calm down! Nor will I placate myself, mollify myself or....argh, only two synonyms? I'm losing my perspicacity! ()

if i'm playing hookey, does that make me a hooker?

Yeah, so I stayed home today. I'll probably go in tomorrow, but today I just was not up to it. No one would be in the office, anyway, and that kind of creeps me out because I'm worried I'll be attacked by a group of vegetarian zombies who smelled the soy stockpile from miles away. "S-o-o-o-o-o-y...we want s-o-o-o-o-y!" they'd moan while trying to scramble through the door to the warehouse. I'd try to keep them out by ramming the forklift into them, but one of them would jump on the back and attack me.

Not that I'd be in any immediate danger from vegetarian zombies, mind you, but it's just the fact that I have nothing to say to vegetarians. It's like trying to talk to German people and not mentioning the war. Just doesn't work...the kid could be six years old and you're bringing up Nazis and all sorts. That's what I do with vegetarians - I can't help but talk about eating meat. So I'd be sitting there with the vegetarian zombies, talking about how great meat is, and for once in my life I'd convince someone to switch to eating meat. The vegetarian zombie would drop his soybeans and say, "You know what? Meat does sound pretty good. As a matter of fact, I think I'll start with you." Then they'd feast on me.

Could you imagine the cops that got called to that crime scene? "Well, chief, it appears they feasted on soy with her for a while - I dunno, maybe she was trying to convert the zombies to be vegetarians and it worked for a minute or something. My wife went vegan a few years ago and I tried it out just to shut her up, but it pissed me off so bad that I snapped one night and ate a raw dog. Not our dog - that's just sick. I smeared myself in feces, tore off my clothes and ate the neighbor's dog by the light of the full moon. Yeah, you try to convert a meat eater into a vegetarian and some scary, dangerous things happen. It was her own fault, really - I mean, we're talking about soybeans for cripe's sake! Poor girl never stood a chance."

That's a hobby of mine, you see...imagining the crime scene and trying to determine what would prove to be just distracting enough to bring the police to the wrong conclusion about my early demise. This most often involves one of them looking around my house and saying, "Yeah, this was definitely a burglary gone wrong - look at how they ransacked the place!" I will not, however, die in a botched burglary. I'm going to be garrotted, dragged to the tub and drowned. Don't ask me how I know - I just do. But the stupid cops will think I interrupted a burglary in progress, and the real killer will go scott-free.

I probably shouldn't mention that, in case the real killer is reading this right now and thinking, "Will I? Cool - let me go pull a wire out of my piano and I'll be right over." But ha-ha, the joke's on you, Real Killer - my house is almost tidy for a change, so if you came over to kill me now they'd find out who you are. I have a habit of wiping down doorknobs and window sills so they can get a clean fingerprint that's not smudged by any of our prints. So you'd better wear gloves; that's all I'm saying.

Huh. Now I'm starting to think I should have gone into work today after all.

Three day weekend-iously,


I can't figure out when I'm at my most annoying - when I'm whining about the inhumanity in the world or when I'm...ya know...just being myself. ()

Thursday, February 19, 2004

charity? yeah, she was a stripper i once knew. could make change for a buck without using her hands.

Today was rather interesting. I'm pretty sure I sat in on a meeting of the Christian Mafia but I don't want to say too much in case they break into my house and put Bibles in all my bedside tables, but it was interesting.

I had a moment when I was pretty concerned, though. One of the guys I was in a meeting with saw a couple of very, very dark-skinned foreign men go into another man's office and he remarked, "I really hate it when black people stop in." For a second I froze, weighing how I would respond to this blatant racism. What am I supposed to say? I was like Tom Hanks in "Philadelphia" when he's hanging out in the steam room with the old guys who are cracking gay jokes. (Which always kind of threw me, as every homoerotic story I read that included a gay sex scene always began with a couple of "straights" hanging out in steam rooms cracking gay jokes, but anyway.)

I reigned in my desire to spew venom into this man's eyes and asked, "Why do you take issue with black people who come into the office?" and he gave me a wink and said, "You'll see." I was literally shaking and thought I was going to puke. I walked away for a while until I heard the visitors leave, then marched back into his office and said, "Well?" "You'll see" was his answer again.

A few minutes later, our director came thundering down the hall but before he could catch his breath, Bigot Guy said, "So where are we headed now?" The director gulped a few times and said, "Haiti!" Bigot Guy said, "And why is that?" "Civil war...rebels...need help!" Bigot Guy gave me another wink and said, "Oh, so we're helping the rebels now, are we?" and the director threw up his hands and said, "You're impossible!" When he walked away, Bigot Guy said, "This is why I hate it when black people come into the office, because now it means that Director Guy and his wife won't get that vacation they've been planning for three years."

Ah, well, that's okay then. It was a positive bigotry, kind of. I think. Anyway, it wasn't what I was expecting the reason to be, that's for sure.

I had a rather scary time for a moment with one of the guys I'd met. Not scary; just panicked. See, since my scope of exposure is increasing I'm meeting more and more people who are on the fringe of the operation - people less inclined to be all gung-ho on the voice of God and increasingly likely to trawl the internet. This guy today asked me for my card, which I don't have yet, so I wrote down my info on a piece of paper for him. He said, "Natalie...Yates? Natalie Yates, is it?" and raised his eyebrow. I made a lame joke like, "Come on, my handwriting isn't that bad!" and he said, "No, it's just that I used to know a Natalie Yates." But he kept looking at me, ya know? In a way that no old retired Christian Mafia don should have been looking at me.

Either he knows who I am or he was picturing me in latex. Either way, it's just not good.

I'm going to have to face my non-Christianity at some point with these people - I know it. I just don't want to do it yet. I can make my jokes all I want and they laugh and look at me like I'm some other species but it's not sunk in yet. Ya know, Who I Am. I don't think they'll fault me for it, necessarily, but. Just but.

I've stopped smoking during the day because I don't want to smell smokey to these people.

I don't know what that means, except that I have a deeper capacity for being a phony than I ever thought. (Wait, wasn't I ordered to lighten up on myself? I think I was...)

You know, I really, really wanted to be funny this entry, but it didn't happen.

Maybe tomorrow-iously,


Maybe I should cry off work tomorrow - find my sense of humor again. Maybe I will...until I remember how many kids will have died while I was 'playing sick' and that'll fuck me up all sorts once again. ()

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

i love these kids

I have developed a fascination with the uber-religious kids that come in to volunteer. It's like seeing baby boys wearing khakis and sweaters - the schmoopsy-poo cuteness factor increases exponentially with the addition of every adult accessory. You should see me go balls to the wall when I see a little boy in a tuxedo...I can hardly contain myself from bouncing like a Tigger. I'm becoming the same way with religious children.

I overheard a couple of little boys, maybe five or six years old, tops, as they walked past my office today:

Boy 1: Well, my favorite part is hearing about Luther. Nothing gets me fired up like Luther.
Boy 2: Word.

I spent the rest of the day walking around saying, "Luther fires me up. Word."

Those were a couple of the schmoopsy-poo'ingest little tykes I've ever seen in my life.



I do need to learn to edit myself around these kids, though...they don't really get it when you say to them, "Ah yes, Luther is rather exciting, but how do you feel about the teachings of Cathol?" ()

Tuesday, February 17, 2004


What to do, what to do?

I'm having a rather weird time of it lately. Work has totally consumed me - I have what's known in the more psychotic circles as a "highly addictive work ethic" in that I throw myself into every job I have, no matter how banal or unimportant it may be. I've always done this and I can honestly say that my biggest weakness is that I take too much on myself and flirt with burn-out. Yeah, it sounds like one of those bullshit interview answers for when they think they're being all cutting-edge and asking you what your weakness is, but it's true. I never answer that way - I tend to say things like, "Well, I kind of have a kleptomania about office supplies" or "If I don't drink on my lunchbreak the bugs try to break out of my skin" or something, but really my worst weakness is doing too damn much.

At this job, I'm being paid a pittance...not just a pittance, but an hourly pittance, to do the same thing that can be contracted out for hundreds of dollars per hour without the heart I put into it. I'm not bitter about that, per se, but I have this bad habit of, ya know, wanting to be listened to and appreciated for bringing such mad-azz skillz at such a discount price. For the most part, I am - in fact, I would go so far as to say that I'm in a pretty sweet position at the moment, but the money-changer in me (I can't help but throw out Biblical stuff when I'm talking about work) is getting increasingly pissed off at how things are being managed. I have to take a deep breath, walk away and remind myself, "This is charity. This is to help people." So when some homeless-looking guy comes stumbling in to the office, talking about how he'd really love to help starving kids and the like, and the director hands him a bag of the product we ship I can't be upset. This bag of food will make a difference, however briefly, in the life of this homeless guy so who am I to judge? But part of me is thinking, "Great - he might as well have handed that guy two bucks...we'll never see the end of it now." I envisioned this never-ending stream of homeless people lining up to get food - food that's meant to be shipped to Bosnia, to El Salvador, to for the children, for God's sake, won't anyone think of the children?!?!

I hate the change in my thinking, in this "bottom line" with regards to charity. I remember wandering around the streets of Leeds city center one afternoon and dropping a two-pound coin at some homeless guy who seemed to be sleeping in a doorway. The moment the thing hit the ground the guy sat up and said, "Canadian or American?" I was taken aback and said, "American - how did you know?" He told me, "No one in England would waste this much on the likes of me." That cut me. I stopped and talked to the guy for a while and he admitted that he spent his money on booze - I could relate to that. Hell, my life was never even nearly as hard as this guy's life on the streets must have been and I've tried to drown my sorrows many times. I took him for a sandwich and a few four pints and we hung out and talked. He told me about how they'd "clean up" the streets of the homeless by rounding people up, putting them on a bus, and shipping them into Manchester. A few weeks in Manchester and they'd round 'em all up and put 'em on a bus back to Leeds. He told me how he would play chess with his dad before his dad ran out on them and his mom turned to prostitution. (If you've never been to Leeds you should go at your first chance - one of my favorite cities in the world - and in front of the museum there's a couple of giant chess boards with pieces taller than my children. It's fantastic, as you'll see homeless guys playing side by side with child phenoms, older stately gentlemen, and punk Bobby Fischer wannabes.) He told me stories I've forgotten now, and he said nice things that had no ulterior motive.

I don't talk about this much, but my brother-in-law was in prison for drug trafficking. I, being the only non-felon in the family, used to drive down to Illinois to visit him. I'd been inside prisons before - most notably Joliet - to see people who were more hard-core thug than my brother-in-law, but seeing him really gutted me. Since the visiting room was more intimate to allow a bit of physical touch (a hug here, holding hands there) the prisoners had to submit to a full cavity search after their visit. That hurt me, that this guy's only visit from someone who loved him was punctuated by a finger up his ass in case I slipped him some drugs. The first time I left the visiting area I broke down and was apologetic and bitter toward the guard that I had a member of my family locked up in that place. I was angry that no one in my family had the good sense to not be a criminal. I was desperate to make this guard understand that I was Not Like Them. He stopped me, mid-sob, and said, "Hey, I've heard every story there is, I understand more than you think I do. When I see these guys all I think to myself is, 'There but by the grace of God, go I'. Because that could just as easily be me in there, kissing my sister-in-law good-bye and wondering about my wife."

I think about that sometimes - lately more than most times - and realize how close so many of us are to being left alone in the world, and without shelter or money or love or anything that matters. The grip on what we have is so very tenuous for most of us, isn't it? Sure, there are stop-gaps, like, "If it ever got really bad I could move back with mom and dad" or similar, but when you think about how many of us are, literally, a paycheck or two away from losing everything, it can be overwhelming.

I can't fault that guy for stopping into my work today and having the good sense to ask about the food we send to the kids overseas. I can't fault my boss for giving him some. I can, however, fault myself for so quickly becoming so jaded and so "what, exactly, do you want from me?" in my way of thinking.

Part of me really loves this job but part of me hates it for making me know myself. I'm a far bigger asshole than I've ever given myself credit for.

Lord it's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way-ingly,


Do you remember in "Schindler's List" at the end where, what was he called - Oskar? - was upset with himself because his watch could have bought more Jews, and his ring could have saved more people...I really, really want to be that guy, honestly I do. How stupid is it to think, "If the director keeps helping people, we won't have the money and resources to keep helping people!" How do you put a value on the life of a child in another country and a lesser value on the life of a homeless person just down the street from you? Someone you drive past every day to get your 99cent Whopper, ya know? ()

Monday, February 16, 2004

just cuz he's so damn cute

It's no secret (at least, I hope it isn't a secret, or else I've just totally outed myself) that I think that Matt is one of the cutest of all the patooties out there. It's also now no longer a secret that I gank his pictures from his's my own special way of stalking people. Cuz I'm too lazy to actually go to anyone's house and take pictures of them through a telescopic lense while hiding in their shrubbery.

Anyway, you know how I was talking about how great it was that he and Brian got married and all of that? Well, apparently I didn't read the fine print...behold, San Francisco's dirty little secret:

Yes, you're seeing that right...four gay men, a small child and an Asian woman were married. And it's still going on.

So this is that "slippery slope" everyone's so worried I understand it perfectly.



update No sooner did I post this than I saw that my favorite lap-dance recipient MJ got hitched, too! much for that torrid love affair I'd planned for us...looks like it's just me and Melly now.

This post is dedicated to mothers of bloggers showing up and dropping the f-bomb in my comments. Cuz that's just cool. ()

short entry

It's all fine, well and good to believe that God will provide a way for you through your struggles, but until Jesus himself sits down with me to sort out these taxes, I think I'm going to have to have a little faith in myself for a change.

You can't spell "IRS non-profit charity audit", hell, I don't know-ingly,


In God we trust - all others pay cash and provide a detailed receipt. ()

Sunday, February 15, 2004

love is in the air

A huge congratulations goes out to my good friend Matt and his lovely partner husband, Brian, on their wedding Friday.

I was reading up on some of the other fine folks who tied the knot yesterday and I got the feeling it was something like in those movies like "Footloose" where the authorities are trying to stop the kids from dancing, but they realize they're fighting a losing battle and in the end join in the fun themselves. I hope it was like that - at least, I haven't heard of anyone getting violent at courthouses or anything, so that's a great thing. Anyway, go read his account and look at his pictures - it'll make you a little weepy, even if you're all cynical about marriage like I am.

God bless you, Mabel Tang.

Congrats, Matt and Brian!

Times they are a-changin'-ious,


Is "husband" the right word to use? Or is it a "spouse and spouse" thing? Neither of them wore a dress so I'm not sure which one's the wife...I bet Matt wants to pinch me for saying that. ()

Saturday, February 14, 2004

happy "steak and a blow job day", y'all

May all your clematis be fiddled and your labilia well-tended.



The schmaltzy cards; the over-priced flowers of mass destruction; the dusty tasting chocolate; the "I put zero thought into this but I figured it'll get me laid" gifts of jewelry...and only one day to celebrate it all? Hope you got an early start. ()

Friday, February 13, 2004

talk about hitting the ground running

Is it any coincidence that I lost the energy to post right around the same time I started work? Coincidence, my ass.

I am now nearly positive that no one affiliated with my work will ever even think to google me and read my blog - with the glaring exception of the daughter of my main boss, who is a minister, and we all know what minister's kids are like. She's probably the one who keeps emailing me her suggestions for my next sex toy purchase, which is something I don't recall ever having asked for, but it's the thought that counts, no?

So anyway - my job. My job. What can I say about my job?

Okay, well, the brief overview is that I'm working for one of those "feed the children" charities, but this one is revolutionary. It's responsible for shipping the single most nutritious meal available in the world. This place is on the brink of a major explosion because it's that revolutionary. Even the main guy at the emergency foreign relief department in D.C. (whatever they're called - I forget) is tripping all over himself about it. (I won't include the guy's name because he's kind of a major asshole to me and I know for a fact that he googles his own name because he suggested I do so as well when I made the mistake of saying I didn't know who he is.) When I say this is going to be major, I mean it in a, "Call Sammy Sosa and find out if he's willing to be our spokesperson in the Dominican Republic - his home number's in your rolodex" kind of big.

It's all very exciting and fulfilling and humbling and everything, but...

...but people who want to work with charities are the biggest fucking assholes in the world, bar none.

We package the meals on-site and constantly have youth volunteers streaming through the place - which is fantastic, don't get me wrong, but sometimes a need is so over filled that you have to turn people away. And when people get the idea that they want to do something for charity and you tell them that they can't do the one and only thing that they're willing to do, well, sparks fly.

Now, to me, a ten dollar donation from the UPS guy as he drops off a package is no different than a two-thousand dollar check from Dick Clark. If anything, I'd expect ol' Dickie-boy to give even more than he has because he can afford more than the UPS guy. Still, I don't discriminate - a donation is a donation, but you'd be amazed at how many people apologize for not being able to give more than they do. Could you imagine? They're embarrassed that they can only give $20 or whatever...but I guarantee you, we're not snorting at it. We're like, "Whoo-hoo! $20!" So don't think for a single second that we're not grateful for whatever anyone can provide.

That said, the most popular part of the whole operation is to package the food. Great. That's wonderful, especially since it's done by youth groups and it's good for kids to participate in that kind of thing - it gets their heads out of their asses long enough to think about countries where the majority of homes don't even have electricity, let alone Playstations. But there is only so much food we can store at one moment, you know? When our warehouse is full we can't do anything until we get the government stuff sorted out and are able to ship the food.

Anyway, I had to deal with a woman today who just wouldn't get it through her head that we did not have any use for her youth group right now. At least, not to package food - but anything else I suggested was met with anger. Yes, while working at a charity I was yelled at because I "wouldn't let" her group help out. I suggested maybe her group would like to collect canned food for the local shelter - that was another thing that she didn't understand...she thought that we sent canned food donations to foreign countries. Um, no - doesn't work that way. So take the canned food you have collected to a local shelter - that was no good. Maybe have a raffle through your church and donate the money to the charity? Nope, no good. Okay, then, have a special collection tin at your church and donate that to the charity. Nope. By now she was livid - "Do you mean to tell me that there are starving kids around the world that you don't want us to help?" Um, no, that's not what I'm saying at all - they ALL need help, just not the single offer of help that you're willing to provide. Then she drops the bomb -

"But I have space reserved in next week's church newsletter that was designated for pictures of the kids packaging food for starving children!"

Ah, I it's a photo op for ya, is it? Lovely. You don't really want to help - you just want to show people how much you helped out.

Them 'pious points' punch cards must be pretty popular.

What am I supposed to do when someone is so hell-bent on "getting their hands dirty" (that was her phrase - hell, you could build electronics in the room we package food in, it's that clean, but I understand what she was driving at) that they won't accept a suggestion to do anything else in any other capacity for our charity or any other charity? I do not understand this way of thinking.

In the end, I penciled her in for June and she sniffed at me and said, "Well, we'll call you if we're still interested in helping."

Not long after I hung up with her, the UPS guy stopped in and gave his $10 donation, like he does every day, with a small smile and an apology that he couldn't do more.

Nothing like charity to bring out the worst in people.



There are a surprising number of glory-hounds in charity work - and an inordinate number of people named "Dick", I've noticed. I work with two of them, and people ask for them on the phone as "Big Dick" and "Little Dick". Neither one of them even give a glance of amusement when being paged, but they don't look angry, either. Leave it to a minister to totally not get the joke. I say, "I need big dick - I'm looking for big dick!" and he's like, "I'm right here." without a snicker or a chuckle or anything. It's like they're from another planet. ()

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

things not to say to the televangelist who's invested quite a bit of money in this operation and doesn't find you funny at all, young lady

  • So are you the one who got busted for embezzlement or are you the one who was videotaped snorting coke off a hooker's ass?

  • So what's the going rate for a place in heaven these days, and do you charge more if they're older? Like how life insurance premiums increase after the age of 65 or something?

  • You know why I think there are so many missionaries sent over to Africa? It's not to spread the gospel - it's to see them sweet-ass tribal titties.

  • Does it turn you on when I arch my back like this? How about when I suck on my finger...does that do anything for ya?

  • Well, as you know, the majority of the Bible was written by lawyers and politicians, so I don't know if I would really trust it. Could you imagine something like that flying today? Word of God or not, I don't think I'd really trust Johnny Cochran's interpretation of "The Corrections", let alone the gospel.

  • I always thought the passage read, "And the freaks shall inherit the earth"...I was supposed to be meek this whole time? Damn, looks like I was cut out of the will again, but that's cool because I'm Jewish and we're the Chosen People so it's all good.

  • So what did you think of that Ben Hur movie? Was that a pretty accurate interpretation of Biblical events? Those Romans sure were a bunch of bastards, huh?

  • "Immaculate conception" my ass. More like, "drunken one-night stand with a Wise Man who wisely took off after knocking me up". Man, was Joseph the biggest schmuck of all time or what? Talk about gullible!

  • Why did they give Jesus a Hispanic name?

  • Was Joan of Arc just some crazy bitch, or do you think there was some truth to that? Because sometimes I hear voices telling me to kill people, too, and I would really love to pin that one on God.

  • Anyone who's even vaguely familiar with human biology knows that you'd drive the stake through the wrist to crucify someone, not the hands. All Jews know that. School-boy error, that was.

  • Why does Mary with the Cherry's visage keep showing up in tortillas, anyway?

  • I bet Noah was the first person to say, "Hey, it tastes just like chicken!". That's why we don't have any unicorns.

  • There certainly is a lot of "begatting" going on in the Old Testament. That book's so smutty that I won't allow it in my house.

  • Do you ever wonder if the 'Burning Bush' was a euphemism for Moses' raging gonorrhea?

  • I've always felt I had some kind of link to Jesus since I always preferred to burn myrrh incense when I'd get stoned.

  • ...there isn't any name that I can't rhyme. Let's try Methuselah! Methuselah, Methuselah, bo-buselah, bananafana fo-fuselelah, me mi mo-uselah...Methuselah!

  • If those priests were allowed to kick it once in a while with some hot chica maybe they'd leave the little boys alone, am I right? Or do you think that gay pedophiles are naturally drawn to the priesthood?

  • Don't bother praying for my soul - I already sold it for some front-row Dave Matthews tickets. Yeah, the price was pretty steep until you consider what the scalpers were trying to charge!

  • If I were Noah I'd have smacked the mosquitoes. I wouldn't do it deliberately to defy the command of God or anything, but come on - it's a natural response. You hear the buzz, and you smack.

  • Do you think that the first "wish you were here" postcard was sent from God in Eden to Adam? Cuz that would have been a pretty funny joke.

  • I think that God was entirely too concerned with what Thou was up to. Why did he hold Thou to higher standards than the rest of the people? He wouldn't let Thou have any fun at all, poor guy.

  • Let me get this Bliblical times, everyone in the middle east was white, but now they're not. How does that work?

  • So do you guys lose a lot of people in Africa, or do you think the lions have forgotten how tasty y'all can be?

I think I'm going to like working there.



Stay tuned for our next installment of "Putting the FUN Back in Christian Fundamentalist!" ()

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

the morning after the night before

I had an absolutely rotten time of it last night.

I had stayed up late watching a video of a show from around 1990 called "Chancer" starring Clive Owen - you probably know Clive better as the baddie, I forget what it's called but he was recently the bad guy in some movie.

I don't like the show "Chancer", nor do I like Clive Owen, because he is particularly smarmy article and Andy wants to be just like him. But further than that, he has this nose. Not just any ordinary nose - it's a nose messed up to funktastaic proportions. I can't really put my finger on what's wrong with it, but it's just one of those things.

I'm a bit of a nose aficionado and I like a nose that's been broken a time or two. Practically every boyfriend I've ever had has had his nose broken at least once. One ex-boyfriend's nose was so crooked that if you looked at him straight-on, you'd swear his nose was trying to direct your attention to something to the left of you. I used to pretend his nose was a warning system for danger because I'm pretty sure it would bend to different sides depending on the threat level.

I always dismissed Clive Owen because of his nose, but I've discovered that, late at night, his nose becomes utterly captivating. I couldn't stop watching him. It's like Andy with the girl from Ground Force that never wears a bra...this chick, Charlie, has these really low, full breasts that frankly scare the hell out of me. They're less like breasts and more like a couple of pointy things that protrude from her stomach. Yeah, boobs like that. Andy and I once joked about starting a "Support Charlie's Charlies!" campaign where we would assemble a group of English people who would follow the Ground Force team around England and pitch bras at her while she's working. But her breasts are oddly fascinating...watching them swing around like misshapen sandbags will put you in a trance. Andy said, "I can't help but imagine her operating a jackhammer...the black eyes she'd suffer, the sound of her boobs slapping against her stomach..." and then he trails off with a glazed look on his face before giving a little shudder.

I was doing the same thing last night with this video before I realized I was knocking on the door of four o'clock. And I still haven't exorcised the nose demon...I'm tempted to go watch the show again.

Wow, that was a really long, boring story about why I was awake so late, huh? I should work on that. I should try to begin sentences with statements like, "I was up late and..." instead of "I was up late because..." What do you care why I was up? If anything, you're probably a little weirded-out on the nose thing now.

Anyway, I go to climb into bed and Andy's being a total bitch. He's curled up in the fetal position with pillows over his head (yeah, I know the insinuation here, but I swear I never deliberately injure him while he's asleep) and he has one duvet under him and the other wrapped around him. No covers for me. Not even a sliver.

I'm pretty flexible so I tried to curve around him but then my butt was hanging out of the covers. Chilly Ass Syndrome is not exactly conducive to a good night's sleep, so I twisted the other way before I realized I was not a Chinese acrobat and couldn't twist that way. I flopped around for a solid two hours looking for a comfy position that would afford me some blanket before I struck on the most brilliant idea for getting him up off the blanket ever.

You may never have had occasion to realize this, but that fat bit on your upper, inner thigh is very sensitive. If you ever got squeezed there you know what I mean. It's not a "Damn it, that hurts!" kind of pain, but you'd probably go, "Oh, ow, that just sucked." It's a very dull, lasting pain - go ahead and give yourself a squeeze there and you'll see what I mean. It's okay, we'll wait.

See what I'm talking about? That sucked, didn't it?

There's something really special about that bit of your thigh - I don't know what it is, but it has some intense power. Have you ever played baseball in the cold and hit the ball funny such that it rattled you clear up to your shoulders? You feel like you're going to fall apart. This sensation can be replicated by placing a nicely chilled foot right between the upper part of your thighs. So that's what I did.

I stuck my frozen sausages right between his legs and it was like he was suddenly being drawn and quartered - arms and legs went flailing and I was able to extract the blanket from Andy's kung-fu grip. Trouble is that he also let out this low, guttural moan which led me to believe that he either really, really liked it or that he was getting ready to crap the bed. In either case I figured it was better that I should remove my foot immediately.

So around six this morning I finally got to sleep and I slept until just a little while ago when Andy came in and said, "Do you want me to turn you over so you don't get bedsores?" I still want to be in bed, though. I may start to incorporate the cold feet to the crotch torture in my everyday dealings with him just so I can get my way more often.

Wow - again, really long, boring story that could have been said with a lot less words. This post was really just a "I was up late, I was cold, but I got some blanket and now I'm still tired." That's the basic idea here, but I like the way I said it a lot better. Because saying it the other way is even more boring than the way I said it. I just wanted to get the story out there, though, so that Andy realizes I wield the true power here, in the form of my frozen toes.



If I bought myself a sleeping bag and took to snoozing on the couch this wouldn't be an issue...then again, I'd have very little to write about if I did that. Which just might be a good thing. ()

Monday, February 09, 2004

but of course i did!

I am now the proud owner of a brand-spanking-new job.

Where shall I work? I cannot say. What shall I be doing? You cannot know. How will I get there? Eh...I'll probably take 169 if the traffic doesn't get too bad.

I'm kidding - it's not as cloak and dagger as all of that, but I'd rather not mention it because it involves some easily recognizable names of people that I really, really, really do not want to find this in case they were to google their name. Primarily because they're really, really, really keen on that Jesus fella and I'm, well, not. It's good work, making a difference and all that, and as I was told today, "With God, all things are possible." So it's entirely possible that Jesus Dude in question might, in fact, google his own name.

If he straight-up googles my name, I'm screwed. I'd predict a whole lot of prayer services on my behalf in the future if that were to happen.

It's like the premise of a Christian sitcom, like all these holy people milling about the place doing holy things and I'm the wacky neighbor that everyone makes fun of, but I don't realize it cuz I'm not able to decipher the holy crowd's inside jokes.

Oooh, note to self: do not wear t-shirts that say, "Hey Zeus, have you met my friend, Jesus?" or "Jesus built my hotrod but Satan is my motor". Ooh, I think my "Exorcism-free for 13 days!" shirt is out, too. I should probably leave my naked nun puppets at home. But they're not Catholic, so maybe they'd find that funny.

Oh what a friend we have in Hey Zeus!

I really hope that religion doesn't come up, because if someone asks me about my "calling" or anything like that I'm going to have to say, "Listen, I'm only here to get my 'pious points' card punched enough times that I'll get into heaven. Not that I believe in heaven, mind you, but hey - I don't believe that my house will be struck by a tornado, either, but I still have insurance for it, ya know what I'm sayin?"

I wonder if they'd let me put "I'm on a mission from Gawd" on my business card?

Man, oh, man, this is going to be wild. Born a Jew, baptized Catholic and Pentecostal, raised by a foot-washing Baptist and ordained by the Universal Unitarian church. Yeah, I'm a good fit to work with them good gawd a'fearin' Christians.

And to think that not too long ago I was sharing all of my religious-themed swears with Mac. What are some of my favorites? Glad you asked!
  • Jessica Tapdancing Christ/Christmas

  • Holy Rollin' Moses

  • Mary with the Cherry

  • Hangin' J

  • Sweaty Jeebus

  • Bad (programming, bookkeeping, attitudes, porn, etc.) makes baby Jesus cry

  • Eve'd (used in context to when a chick generally screws someone, "Did you hear about John's girlfriend? She slept with his best friend, kicked him out of his own apartment and drained their bank account. Yeah, she Eve'd him but good.")

  • I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for that pesky God and Jesus fella (yeah, that's an Eddie Izzard, but it's good)

You get the idea.

So, yeah, it should be interesting. I wonder how long I should be working there before I come out with, "Hey, God visited me in a vision last night...he wants you to give me a raise. And a better parking spot. Oh, and you need to learn how to be more humble, so we have to swap offices." I mean, what can they say? They can't deny the word of God...would they really take the chance with the Big Guy upstairs and call me a liar?

Why have I suddenly come across feeling all Jane Goodall?

I hope they don't start getting preachy on me. Is the fingers-in-the-ears, "La-la-la I can't hear you!" an acceptable response to being preached at?

I have a lot to learn.



I'm on the fast track to a seat at the right hand of Jebus - can I get a yee-haaawww!? A yee-haw feels strangely appropriate at this moment in time... ()

Sunday, February 08, 2004


It's all lies. I hate cats really and honestly would grill them before looking at them. In fact I loved ALF's stance. What a hero.

In reponse to Jody, Andy's really sweet in reality and the van was his way of telling me how much he loves me. After all, this is America and bigger is better.

Purrfect-ly hacked,

Natalie (or am I?)

Andy's just like this guy, you know? I'm just off to dump some more kittens in the canal. ()

now ya done pissed me off

So there's that whole cat thing going on 'round these parts, right? Well, I was content to just sit around and whine about wanting a cat and not getting a cat because of Big Bad Andy being a douche bag jerk face big old meanie, but he just crossed the line and made me cry so now I'm mad.

I was starting to tell him about the "last chance before we kill them all" cat adoption event going on today and he rolled his eyes, sighed at me and stomped away. Now, I wasn't going to suggest that we went - if for no other reason that it only goes until four pm and is roughly an hour away so I couldn't make it even if he'd said yes - but rather I was going to tell him about a particularly fluffy faced little cat that was missing an eye and had a gimpy leg...yeah, I know, it's not the best case I could make for adopting a cat but I'm a sucker for the unlovable. (See also: Yates, Andy)

So he was a big old meanie about it and he said, again, "We're not getting a fecking cat!" and I got sad and I cried, and the quickest way to really piss me off is to make me cry. So here we go - the top ten twelve reasons (to counter his own top ten reasons) why I deserve to get a cat. Ready? Here we go.

1. I do not like dogs. I've never particularly cared for dogs. You wanted a dog, so we got one. Erm...make that two. We got two of the things - primarily because I knew who the dogs would be adopted out to if we didn't take them and I didn't want anything bad to happen to Sasha or Stella in the hands of some dumb-ass teen thug-wannabe whose only interest in the dogs was for illegal fighting. But we wouldn't have gotten two if you hadn't have wanted one. I put myself and my comfort on the back burner for the sake of your desire for a dog. That should count for something. Cuz I was all flexible an' stuff.

2. Yes, I did end up getting the third one on my own, but you saw how she was. Someone was treating her badly and if she'd have ended up at the pound no one else would have adopted her. The hardest one to love is the one who needs the love the most - that's Bowie. She needed us, and she needed to live a life where she wasn't constantly locked in a closet and ripped open on a daily basis by her own mother. I take the point that you didn't want Bowie and you consider her "my" dog, but I ask you - which one is the most tolerant of the kids? Bowie's just little but Nico climbs all over her without her giving so much as a peep of discomfort. That dog was a good choice for the family - ergo, my animal judgment is sound so when I say we need a cat you should defer to my opinion.

3. You bought a van specifically for transporting the dogs. I did not want that van; I do not like that van. You promised when we bought it that you would drive it and I could keep driving the truck. That didn't happen - instead, I was having to haul kids around in a POS van that would overheat at the drop of a hat and handled like a John Deere combine while you drove the truck to work every day where it sat for hours rather than being the safe, reliable vehicle that should have been carting your wife and kids around the metro area. You claimed that you'd drive the van once I cleaned it out but even when I cleaned it you still wouldn't take it because you had to drive with the heat on full-blast and it didn't have a cd player. (Blantant play for martyr-dom status here, I know, but damn it, man, I had to drive that van clear over to St. Paul to the midwife. Through tunnels - and you know how bad my depth perception is...everytime I'd enter a tunnel I would flinch because I was sure the van's roof would scrape against the concrete. That was more of a mental thing, but so is Chinese Water Torture. Doesn't make it any less traumatic.)

4. We moved out of the house we were renting because of the dogs - admit it, that was the primary reason. Yeah, I was sick of paying rent for the sake of someone else's mortgage and, yes, they were upping the rent on us, but the fact remains that if we wanted to keep the dogs we had to move.

5. Cat food doesn't stink any more than dog food. I know, I know - you have a "thing" for the smell of dog food and I honestly do not believe you when you say you've never eaten any of it before. Wet catfood stinks but we wouldn't get wet cat food. I've had cats before and I can tell you that cat food smells no differently than dog food. And it's cheaper, too, and we wouldn't have to buy it by the metric ton like we do dog food.

6. These dogs have unleashed destruction that would require an entire army of cats to accomplish. Case in point - a hole in the bedroom wall, a hole in the computer room wall, a fully-consumed sofa, two mattresses, holes in the other sofas, a number of holes ripped down to the padding in the carpet (that was only two years old when we moved in), holes throughout the yard, a destroyed lattice beneath the hot tub decking, countless chewed shoes, a nearly devoured cell phone, one pair of glasses chewed beyond repair, two pair of glasses with exposed earpieces from chewing, deep scratches in the wood of the porch, a destroyed underground cable in the back yard, pillows, the carpeting in our room near the bathroom, the wall in the garage...and let's not forget how they used the basement as a toilet, the foyer as a toilet, behind the couch as a toilet, the kids' bedroom floor as a toilet, behind our bedroom door as a toilet...this here's just the tip of the iceberg. (And you have the nerve to complain that the kids have scratched up a few dvds? We chose to have these beasts while the kids were just, ya know, poor planning. We deserve whatever havoc the children wreck upon our abode but with them dogs, man - well, that shit was optional.)

7. When the dogs escape, I have to spend hours wandering the neighborhood looking for them, chasing them in the truck, crying for their dumb-asses, jumping fences into neighbor's yards to bring them home...a cat comes back without having to be chased. When cats are in the road and see a car coming, the majority of the time they'll dart away, while dogs view an approaching vehicle as a challenge.

8. I touched upon the money/damage factor in number six, but additionally, consider the fact that you're wanting to spend thousands of dollars on a privacy fence (high enough so the dogs won't jump over it, but that won't stop them from digging beneath it) or hundred of dollars getting shock-collars to keep them in the yard. Again, see number seven with regards to cats. (You weren't around when I filled in the holes that the dogs made under the fence with huge stones, were you? That's why those boulders are all over the perimeter of the yard - they're being used as stop-gaps against the dogs digging bigger holes.)

9. You may say, "Well, that's not an issue anymore because we only let the dogs out one at a time on the chain." Yes, and it take a half-hour at least for those three to just use the bathroom three times a day. And in case you haven't noticed, the support that the chain is tied to is ready to tumble - file that one under "porch repair costs". When a cat needs to go there's no chain, no worry. Either a littler box by the front door or a solo excursion out the back would suit the cat just fine. (And you know I'd be the one to clean the litter box. I'm the guy who usually gets stuck cleaning up the poop and puke that the dogs leave lying around the house. You make a start on it, to be sure, but then you make that gaggy face and walk away so I finish cleaning it. Probably because I have the ability to projectile vomit into the garbage can if necessary. One less mess to clean up, cuz you're not a very talented puker.)

10. Cats only bring half-dead animals into the house when they love you - sharing their kill is a sign of affection, so you can be sure that the cat would never present you with a half-dead creature. The field mice and barn owls would be dropped at my feet and I'm not squeamish. I'd cuddle up the cat and love it right back - sharing the kill is the ultimate affection a cat can offer and I'll be proud to keep that all for myself. But you can console yourself by realizing that the dogs must love you oodles and oodles, seeing as how they keep bringing you mouthfuls of their frozen poop.

11. Speaking of rodents and creatures and the like...for the past two winters we've had mice. Remember what happened the first time it happened, when the mouse ran from underneath the fridge to the dog's water dish? Remember what the dogs did? That's right...NOTHING. They just went, "Hey, there's a my water dish. How about that." I'm the guy who had to kill the mouse. This year, when the mouse was trying to scratch through the wall...the dogs heard the skrit, skriiit, skrit and what did they do? Come on, this is an easy one...what did the dogs do? That's right - not a damn thing! Stella may have sniffed the wall but I think that's only because I'd put poisoned peanut butter behind the outlet cover. Poisoned peanut butter gets their attention - a small furry interloper, however, goes unnoticed. Except by cats - cats are all over that dish.

12. And lastly, having a cat would make me happy. Don't you want me to be happy? (Now you all go awwwwww)

Additionally, having a cat greatly reduces the likelihood that I'll ever make tuna noodle casserole ever again. Not that I've ever made it for you in the past, but without a cat around I just may have to start. And I know how much you love canned tuna. Mmm, mmm, good!

Just a few points to ponder...if you need me, I'll be over here googling "cat adoption Minneapolis". Not for any, ya know, real reason...just because. Oh, and I really do need to get a start on dinner - do I have enough potato chips left to make a crunchy topping for my casserole? I'd better check on that.



I am not above blackmail to get what I want. This is just the beginning...hell hath no fury like a woman. Is there more to that quote? There really doesn't need to be anything further, just "Hell hath no fury like a woman" period. ()

spam the sham

Do you ever double-check your deleted folder for email that was flagged as spam and dumped, just on the off-chance that your software made a mistake? I don't do that very often because I get hit with some three hundred-plus spam emails a day to one account, but sometimes I pop in there and it makes me sad. Sad because the spammers all sound like they're so very interesting, and that I might like to talk to them. For example, one Mr. Salvatore Funk has spammed me twelve times in the past two days. This is a shame to me, as I think I'd quite like to talk with someone called Mr. Salvatore Funk. I'd like for Mr. Salvatore Funk to email me about my blog and tell me how much he likes me, instead of trying to sell me pills to "drive the women wild".

Mr. Salvatore Funk, it's like you've never even read me at all.

I was under the weather yesterday and barely made it out of bed long enough to suck down some broth. I spent the day moaning about how I want a cat. I'm pretty sure that I'm serious - I need a cat. Growing up we always had cats and dogs and guinea pigs and hamsters and gerbils and bunnies running around the place - one bunny was so spoiled that he had a whole room in the house to himself. He would hop out of his bedroom and over to my parent's bed where he'd nest down on my dad's pillow and eat his hair.

Yeah, I had to share a bedroom with my sister but the damn bunny got his own room.

We lived at the end of a dead-end street that led to the park near a canal so people were always dumping off their animals. I guess people thought that since the animal was left at the park that some nice family would take the animal in and, thus, alleviate the burden of guilt and shame that they should have felt for dumping their animal. This was, in fact, the case...every single dumped animal was taken in by some family - trouble was that it was the same family that rescued each animal. Mine.

Okay, to make a comparison...this is a pretty common practice amongst women...say you were out shopping and bought an outfit that you knew your husband wouldn't want you to spend the money on, or make a big issue like, "Why do you need another black suit?" kind of thing. What do you do? You hang it in your closet for a while, then when you pull it out to wear and your husband says, "I've never seen that before" you can say, "What do you mean? It's been in my closet for ages." Then he remembers, yeah, I suppose I have seen that suit hanging there for some time. And he shuts up about it.

My mom tried that with dogs.

When she rescued a new dog she'd immediately take a Polaroid shot of it with the cats or other dogs or whatever. One day she took a photo of me with a rescue dog, then had me change my clothes so that when my dad saw the picture he wouldn't realize it had been taken that day. Before my dad would come home from work she'd have me take the new pet to the backyard and play for a while, then after my dad got home we'd all come tearing it into the house. Dad would yell something like, "What the fuck? Is this a new dog? Did you get another god damn dog?" and my mom and I would don identical blank looks, cut our eyes at one another and my mom would say, in slow, even tones, "Um, dear...we've had Buster for weeks now. Remember, we had that big fight about it?" Dad would stop for a moment, trying to remember the last fight they'd had and realize that, yes, it was about a dog...what he wouldn't remember is that the fight was actually over Buster's predecessor. He'd shrug it off, like, "Well, what's one more animal to the ark?"

I have every faith that trickery such as this is what led to my father's early senility.

Around the time I turned eight or so, the road was extended and became much busier than before and the park was moved, so there were no other dump pets to adopt. Which was a good thing, because that's around the time that my mom lost interest in home life entirely so there wouldn't have been anyone to rescue the animals anyway. We only had one dog after that, who got to be so big that he had to be sent to a farm. (This wasn't just a euphemism...he really did go to a farm.) After that I only had one pet, a stray cat called Cleo, who used to come back home to squeeze out a few kittens then run away again. Dad never let me keep any of the kittens - which was probably okay, as I'd developed a rather nasty allergy to cats - but he let me keep Cleo in the house for the few days every few months that she'd come back. I loved that cat and didn't care that every time I let her sleep on my pillow I would nearly suffocate to death. I took pictures of her lying on a bed of cash, for some reason - they were all ones and fives from my paper route, but for some reason I thought it would look cool - this empress-esque, Egyptian-looking sleek cat on a bed of money. I don't know why - gimme a break; I was ten.

When I left home I tried to keep a bird but it died. This was when I was living in the projects and my dad told me that the bird died of a broken heart because I wasn't home often enough, but I think it had more to do with the slow carbon monoxide leak in my apartment. After that I only kept snakes.

When I lost my snakes in the Great Boyfriend Break-up of '98 I didn't get another pet until my dogs, whom I'm mildly allergic to, as well. Nothing like I used to be - this is just a constant itch and watery eyes. If they slobber on me I break out in a rash, and if I touch my face after petting them my lips and eyes swell up and I have trouble breathing. But, hey, I've been a smoker since I was, like, nine, so breathing difficulties aren't unusual for me.

And now I want a cat. And Andy refuses.

I have a really bad feeling that my longing for a cat is really the yearning for another baby (on a figurative level - I most certainly do not want another kid but I'm thinking I'm feeling that whole "my baby's not a baby anymore" kind of thing) but I'll take a cat as a stand-in. Nico doesn't let me cuddle with him anymore - well, he does, but only on his terms. If I want a cuddle and he doesn't, he kicks me and pokes me in the throat. Sometimes he'll head-butt me, or smack me with a dowel. I feel like the mom in "Pet Cemetery" when she goes to hug her little boy, never realizing until it's too late that he was holding a scalpel behind his back.

Yeah, I do check Nico's hands for sharp objects before hugging him. Better to be safe than have your lung punctured by your own evil child - that's my motto.

So I have this yearning for a fuzzy wuzzy widdle titty-tat to love on and hug on and be resented and pitied by. That's what cats do, isn't it. They absolutely loathe you and hate you and feel nothing but disdain. It'd be like having a little version of myself running around the place, and I quite like that idea.

But it'll never happen - Andy swears that if we get a cat that he'll kick it, and then I'd have to slit his throat while he was asleep, and that would cause a whole different set of problems and I just don't have the energy for a murder trial.

Maybe I'll pick up another snake instead...



Snakes are actually much higher-maintenance animals than cats are, and with snakes you have to keep rodents in the house to feed them, while with cats the rodents are reduced to a tasty snack. (This is my new approach - offer a substitute that Andy finds repulsive so that a cat doesn't seem so bad anymore. But since he reads this I probably shouldn't tip my hand like that, huh? I never was very bright.) ()

Friday, February 06, 2004

sometimes real life gets in the way

So I'm talking to this woman about a job and liking what I'm hearing...casual environment, flexible hours, non-profit charity, close to home...sounding pretty good. Yeah, the pay's not great but no problem...

...all I have to do is work on my charisma and before too long, I'll be the assistant director making a fatload of money.

Then I stopped myself and thought, "Charisma? Charisma?!? What am I, a Sim?"

That's exactly what I was thinking. I had it in my head that I'd advance in my career like a Sim.

So I guess my hope that they'll send a car for me is probably not going to happen.

My 'energy' bar is more red than green so I should probably just take a nap now, or maybe hit the espresso machine. My 'rejuvination' cheat doesn't seem to be working - at least, I have yet to be properly deleted. It's only because I'm missing the giant pointer thing that should be floating around my house.

Wouldn't it be sweet to be a Sim, though? You could just look at one another and read exactly what their needs are at any given time.

Right about now, however, I'm sure I would see my face in a bubble above Andy's head with a big, red X through it. Because, see, I've just had a very lengthy conversation with him about how cool it would be to be a Sim. A very, very, very long conversation. Despite my begging, he refuses to change our last name to "Bomb-Diggety". He sucks. I'm about thisclose from inviting him for a swim, then removing the ladder from the pool.



Someone must have installed the nude patch, cuz I keep checking my boobs and they're not pixelated. Mmmm....pixelated boobs. ()

i keep forgetting to put something clever here.

Thanks for the comments from yesterday's post - I didn't think it was that great of an article and I wouldn't even know how to go about getting it published, but I appreciate the thought. The break from regular blogging was because of the other Natalie, as the night before we'd had a really long discussion about Very Heavy Issues...actually, it was more like me babbling my opinions and theories on Very Heavy Issues and her going, "Um...yeah."

I was telling her about all of the topics that I end up scrap-heaping because I get too long-winded, angry or just generally up my own ass about things. Religion, science, politics - it doesn't make a difference. I'll furiously pound out an entry, then check it in Word to see how long it is and think to myself, "Should I really post this six page entry on Galileo? I most certainly think not!" and instead post something about, I don't know, Queer Eye. It's just as much to save me as it is to spare you, as one of these days I'm going to get so far buried up my own ass that I'm afraid I won't be able to find my way out again.

So anyway, that's the deal with that. I know I'm sounding stupid today, but as Andy just said to me, "I'd like to applaud you for waking up before noon managed to wake up after only a paltry twelve hours of sleep!" Brava to me, indeed.

Forgot to mention my birthday...I do have pictures to post at some point (just for you, Steve, cuz I know how you're warm for my form...ew, did I just say that?) but not yet. I'm still busily trying to photoshop Janet Jackson's boob into every photo, which is pretty difficult in some, but I've found that if I invert it and place it on Nico's head, it makes quite the festive party hat.

I do have one picture, however, but I'm not sure if I should post it or not...see, MJ, as you know, is busily refurbishing the house she bought across the street from her residence so her blogging has been pretty light as of late. I figured she was just really, really busy until I got this form letter in my inbox today:

Dear Friends, Clients, and Family:

I am writing to let you know that my contact with you will be suspended until further notice. You are no doubt aware that I am currently undertaking a rather large renovation project, which has taken up a considerable amount of my time lately, but there's been a new development. In light of the work that needs to be done I've decided to swallow my pride and hire a contractor to assist me with the work. While she came highly recommended, I've decided it's in my best interest to supervise her at all times. I'm sure you understand.

Take care,


There - boobs o' the day. Yes, there are two of 'em there, but you can only see half of each, really, so I'm counting it as one.

Singularly boobtastic-ingly,


Yeah, I'm slipping, and I know I'm slipping. ()