Thursday, May 10, 2007


I have decided to leave blog land for a while, maybe forever. I don't know if anyone still cares. But just know I go out with a smile. Remember me fondly.
--The AML

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Up To The Challenge

I am admittedly a fan of movies. I enjoy them and have seen perhaps too many. I am not someone who studies them and knows the name of every actor who starred in every movie. I do, however, have a good memory for what I see. Things like plot and dialogue stick with me. For those of you that know me, or those who have been around here for a while, this is no big surprise. Therefore, when a few posts back I casually asked if anyone could guess the movie reference that matched my inside-out-sock-thing, I'm sure most of you didn't think twice. After all, it was sort of a random reference to a movie that never made it very big. Therefore, I wasn't all that surprised when no one even offered a guess.

No one, that is, until Runner Girl stepped up and nailed it. Even though she was a full post behind, as she said, it was better late than never. Somehow she knew that it was Sean Connery playing the title role of a reclusive author in Finding Forrester. I am both impressed and frightened by this channeling of the trivial. She was of course rewarded handsomely with the promised, inconsequential 500 points. Congrats Runner Girl, try not to squander those 500 points frivolously.

Now, all of this movie randomness made me start to think. The thinking made me have to take a nap. After the nap, I wondered if anyone knows the movie that contains the quote that is the title of my blog. In fact, I wondered how many people even knew that the title of my blog is a movie quote. Beyond that, I wondered how many people even give a crap.

Regardless, I figure I'll offer it up and see if anyone knows. The first person to guess the movie and scene wins a whopping 1,000 points. Plus, they may even be rewarded with some of my personalized Photo Shop goodness. I ask that the small handful of people I may have told long ago not spoil the fun.

I am not one to go without giving a clue. And while the top banner of my blog containing the lovely Rosario Dawson is NOT a clue, the title of my first post is. That title is the next line in the same movie.
Oooh, can't you just feel the excitement?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Some Like It Hot

While my lovely wife has been urging me to post pics of the movie room construction process, I am trying to hold off for the finished product so as to give you the full beginning-to-end view. This is the second time I have created a movie room, but in our old house I just built it to fit the room. This time around I have more space to play with and have decided to do it up right. Therefore, the whole process is a bit more extensive and takes a while to complete. So, be patient and I'll get some pictures up soon.

On to a completely different subject, there has been something that has been bothering me for a while. During this time of Lent, Fridays bring about a search for fish. While I have pretty strong feelings about man's rules pertaining to God and organised religion in general, the Lenten season is one I choose to participate in. For me, it is less about doing what the church tells me so that I don't go to hell (I think the church has shown they are a little lost in this arena themselves) and more about me joining the self-sacrifice, however small. It serves as a little reminder to myself that there are bigger things at play than just my little world.

But I digress. It is not my intent to bore you with my philosophies or sway you with my personal practices. My beef here is more of the truth in advertising nature. On a recent Friday, my daily running around brought me to an Arby's. Now, most fast food places cater to the Catholic crowd this time of year and offer some sort of fish special. Arby's is no exception. They have a two fish sandwiches for $4 deal. They even claim you can get the sandwiches with "spicy Cajun sauce." This second part is what drew me in, and here-in lies the problem.

Now, I have been known to enjoy spicy food on occasion. I'm not talking about needing the spices to burn my mouth. I just like certain foods to have an extra flavor kick and I'm not afraid to "kick it up a notch" in that pursuit. While I will not claim Squid's expertise in the hot sauce realm, let's just say I have to be conscious of whether or not I'm cooking for someone other than just me. So, as a spicy fan, I am drawn to new things which claim this title. Likewise, I am disappointed when they don't live up to this claim. Let me just say that Arby's spicy Cajun sauce is anything but spicy or Cajun. In fact, I can picture many a Cajun rolling over in their bayous at being associated with that sauce.

I'm not picking on just Arby's here; this has happened more times than I can count at various restaurants, fast food or otherwise. And I'm not stooopid, I realize that sometimes these places try and appeal to a broader audience and therefore cozy up to what is safe. But, it has been my experience that most people who do not favor spicy food will not go anywhere near a dish with the words Cajun, spicy, hot, blackened, or the like. The people who do like this kind of thing are the ones who venture over. And as long as you have our attention, you might as well do it right. That's all I'm sayin' really.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I'm back... from where I don't know

Here I am, at long last. Sorry to worry you, and after I promised I wouldn't stay away so long. I've just been keeping busy and taking a break from blog land. But I'm OK, and all is well. I'm still looking for the right position to take the place of the others. In the mean time I've been working on putting some business deals together and getting closer to finishing the movie room project (pictures to follow soon).

For now, let me do the little meme that I was tagged with some time ago. It is the one called 6 Weird Things About Me that has been around for a while. But I've never done it, and I said I would, so here it is.

1) Socks
I wear my socks inside out. All colors, always. I believe that socks are made wrong with the seam that runs across the toes being on the inside. Therefore it is more comfortable to wear them inside out. Plus, there are some cultures that say it is good luck to wear a piece of clothing inside out. Who knows, but it can't hurt. 500 points to whoever knows what movie character agrees with me on this.

2) Jeans
Not only do I not wear them, I don't own a single pair. I used to just because everyone else did, but I have never thought that they are very comfortable. I don't like pants that start out stiff and have to be loosened up. I think pants should be comfortable without me convincing them to act right. Also, I think jeans come with an inherent sense of being casual. They are even the bottom marker of how casual an event is, as in "It's not a dressy place, but I wouldn't wear jeans." So, sometime early on in college I made a conscious decision to give them up and I've never looked back. I'm not against them on anyone else, they're just not for me.

3) Cheesecake
Speaking of things that aren't for me, add cheesecake to that list. I know, I know, it seems downright un-American. I get the same reaction from people whenever they learn this about me, like there is something wrong with me, or maybe I just haven't tried the right one. Trust me, I've tried many different types, never with success. And I don't mean that I just prefer other things, cheesecake almost makes me feel a little sick. Even if it's hidden in some other evil dessert, I'll know with the first bite.

4) Iced-tea
So, let's move on to something I do like: iced-tea for example. I love it, all different types and kinds from green tea to sweet tea to raspberry tea, you name it. The weird thing is that since I like it so much that I'm very picky about it. I can taste if a restaurant hasn't cleaned their tea machine in a while. I can taste if the tea has been sitting around too long. And I can't stand tea that hasn't been brewed. You know, a drink that is tea flavored but put together like a cola (one part syrup and one part carbonation). This is something that I have in common with Asians and people from the southern part of the U.S., we all take our tea pretty seriously.

5) A kitchen
For me, it has to be clean. I enjoy cooking and food in general, and I think that where it comes from should be clean. Now, I don't get all obsessive compulsive about it, but a camera in our house would catch me giving the kitchen a good night-time wipe down after the day's various activities. This may stem from my childhood when I used to wipe my high-chair tray clean onto the floor. Apparently back then as long as I didn't have to see the mess it was OK. It also may stem from having to see far too many nasty kitchens in the apartments of my tenants. Again, I'm not here to pass judgment on other people's kitchens. Unless of course that person is making something they would like me to eat, then I may think twice.

6) Facial hair
My German/Irish heritage does not lend me to being a particularly hairy guy, although my facial hair tends to come in pretty thick. I have to shave every day, or twice a day if I'm going out in the evening. This is not a strange thing, what is weird is that the hair grows in a spiral pattern. I only know this because as a young man when my peach fuzz was growing in I could see it. I had the distinct feeling that if I had let it go I would have had two cones growing out from under my jaw bones. The fun thing about this is that I have to shave both down and then up to even look like I shaved. If I really want to be smooth, I have to shave every which way. Good times.

So there you have it. Even a handsome, intelligent, modest guy like me can think of six weird things. And like usual, no tagging, just steal if you'd like.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Time to Dish

Wow, has it really been that long since I last posted? I am far from being a daily poster, but this gap is even big for me. Well, I suppose I'll let the cat out of the bag and fill you in on what has been going on with me lately. First off, my bonus this year came less than two weeks before Christmas: being laid off. And since two of the companies I worked for are owned by the same person, it was like loosing two jobs at the same time. For the past few years he had been making some poor business decisions and ignoring the advice of those around him. So, it ended up that he could no longer afford to pay my salary. And since I was basically just an extension of him, I was the expendable one. Merry Christmas, no more job for me. OK, I still have my real estate dealings and what-not, but these other positions were my steady income. They were what let me breath easy and pay bills. Besides, I'm someone who is used to being quite busy, so this was a big hit in the grand scheme of things.

Combine this with the fact that my lovely wife is fighting with her own personal demons, our good friend was going to suddenly be moving seven hours away, and there was some drama with the foreign exchange student living with us. All of the above then added up to relationship struggles. Good times, good times.

But it seems that even clouds filled with poo have silver linings. While I have not yet found a proper replacement, I know that I will in time. The upside is that now that I am away from there I realize just how unhappy I was. Sure, I've known it sucked for some time, but I didn't realize how much it was affecting my life. I wouldn't say that I was depressed, or maybe that is as depressed as I get. From the outside I seemed fine, but the few people who really know me could tell something was gradually different. My motivation was way down because the damn place was sucking my energy. When I came home I didn't feel like doing any projects, I didn't feel like working out, I didn't even want to talk about my day. I was so unhappy all day that all my energy was used up.

Now I am feeling like the old me again. I am finally tackling a huge project at the house and I can't wait to get back to it. I want so badly to finish it so that I can move on to the next one. I am excercising faithfully again and feeling great. The longer I am away from that place the better I feel. I pledge to never let a job make me feel like that again. Even though I am thick skinned and can put up with a lot, I am going to be aware of when enough is enough.

Plus, things have smoothed out with our exchange student and our friend decided not to move away. And while the battle between light and dark rages on, there is strength even when all seems lost.

So as I said in my last post (if you can remember back that far) life can bring it on. Now that my energy is back there's nothing I can't accomplish. Plus, I'll try not to stay away so long again, I know you missed me.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Bring It

Although this is not one of my comic drawings, it is done by one of my favorites, Mr. Berkeley Breathed. He originally did the daily strip, Bloom County. Then he did a few variations of a Sunday only comic which came and went and now currently shows up as simply "Opus" (which is the name of the big nosed fella above). While I mourned the loss of Bloom County, I certainly can't begrudge a guy for wanting to only work 1/7th as much.

Anywho, I have this little comic posted above my desk at the house. It is pretty good advice, of which I am trying to take to heart. 2007 is continuing the trend of 2006's end though, so my glass is still not quite half full. Part of the problem is that every time I peak my head out to see if it is safe, life keeps poking me in the eye. I'll get there, maybe I just need some goggles.

I hate being this person. It is not like me at all. I am normally the person whom you never know if anything is bothering them. I am the fortified one, I'm not used to feeling the effects of upheaval. So I say, screw this. The next time life tries to come at me in a threatening way, I am going to give it a swift kick to the chops.

I am going to do my best to keep my eyes open and to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself. You just never know where the good stuff might come from.

I am going to loose myself as often as I can in a world that I enjoy, the land of movies. Good movies, bad movies, new ones, or ones I've seen a hundred times. It is my escape, my relaxation, and one of my favorite down times.

I am going to tune into the ol' boob-tube from time to time. I don't get the chance to watch TV all that often, and I get the sneaking feeling that I may be missing some good stuff. New shows, new episodes, even some of the old shows may be changing it up a bit. And to steal a by-gone slogan from one of the networks: if I haven't seen it, it's new to me.

And, while I am still going to focuss on eating right and exercising, I am going to enjoy what I eat and treat myself to tasty splurges from time to time. (damn you Taco Bell and your evil goodness)

That's right, life ain't keepin' me down. I laugh in the face of adversity! I spit in the wind of change! OK, maybe that one isn't such a good idea, but you get the point. Bring it on life; I'm right here and I'm not going anywhere! Ow, my eye.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

NSFW Holiday Post

Sorry I haven’t been around much lately. I’ve been in a funk due to the end of 2006 shitting on me and many people I know. I’ll not go into details now, save to say it’s just crappy crap. I’ve done my best to stay positive and generally I’m a pretty good actor. But even I have my limits.

I celebrated the holidays, and they were fine; nothing really to complain about there. In fact, I love this time of year. It is one of my favorites. So, it ticks me off even more that crap would try and overshadow it.

I couldn’t even enjoy cheering the Bengals on lately because they decided to suck the last three games and miss the playoffs.

I have decided to make a conscious effort to work out more though. It’s not really a new year’s resolution, since those never seem to stick. It’s just something I need to do and have put off for far too long. It may even help my mental outlook too. Who knows, it’s just time.

So, for lack of wanting to share anything more, here is a Christmas themed video that made me smile. Beware, for like my pictures were, this guy’s language is NSFW. Enjoy.

Fear not, I’ll be back to sharing inane stories soon I’m sure. Bear with me, for I know 2007 is going to be better.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Except for you, you can touch me

I fear that my last post got a little too deep. Even though I shared some of my comic strip drawings, I still ended up getting a little seemingly profound. So, in an effort to ensure an equilibrium of silliness, I offer the following idiocy. A few posts back I mentioned that I enjoyed breaking it down when the mood was right. Someone then challenged me to prove it, so feel free to click here to see me breaking it down to a holiday jig.

Then, for no reason except to carry on the dancing theme, check out my buddy Peter doing his own little dance.

There, I feel balance has been restored. Happy holidays.

Monday, December 18, 2006

What's with the face, man?

This post was inspired by the "scribbles" of fellow inward-looker and blogging buddy M.

P.S.: I was tagged with a strange meme, curtesy of both Doc and Baba Ganoush. I am to pick up a book that is close by, tell what it is, turn to page 123, skip to the fifth sentence, and type the next three sentences. Then I'm supposed to tag, but I don't tag, I'll just offer it up. Strangely enough, the quote almost fits with this post. Here it is:

Awakening The Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das...
"We don't want to reinforce any form of mood addiction or mental fixation. When you experience your own doubts- and almost everyone has doubts- you will wonder what to do and where you go with your questioning. In my own spiritual practice, I have several times struggled with doubts and about what I was doing, and I would like to share some of my experiences."

Monday, December 11, 2006

AML, The Babysitter

A few nights ago I went out with a friend of mine. I was lured out of my busy schedule on a weeknight with the promise of free food and an open bar. It was a party being thrown by a guy who owns a mortgage company. He was throwing it for people who work for him and, I thought, Realtors. As it turned out, my friend and I were the only Realtors there. Apparently, my friend sends the guy a lot of business.

I had met this guy before; in fact he has taken me out to lunch. This may sound strange until you realize the dance that goes on. You see, Realtors prospect to the general public while loan officers prospect to Realtors. This prospecting often comes in the form of taking a Realtor out to lunch. It's not a bad deal, since for the price a meal they may be sent thousands of dollars worth of business. I am not bought this easily. Anyone I would recommend to a client has either come highly recommended from someone else who has done business with them, has done well for my clients, or both. However, if a loan officer would like to take me out to lunch while spewing their sales pitch to me, I am not going to stop them: I've made no promises. Who said there was no such thing as a free lunch?

So, my friend invites me to go with him to this dinner thing. He is all excited about it, partially for the free food, but mainly for the open bar. My buddy has what you might consider a slight drinking problem.

We're going streaking, up through the quad!
I'm not talking about the sit home alone and drink type of thing. He is more the go out at least twice a week and get hammered every time type of thing. And I do mean hammered, not a little tipsy. It has gotten him into trouble and some embarrassing situations to say the least. But, ever since his DUI, he is very conscious of how he gets home. This is where I come in. Now I'm not saying the only reason he invited me was to be his designated driver. I know he would be very offended if I thought that. His plan is always to take a cab home, which he does on the normal occasions that I'm not out with him. He even keeps the number of "his guy" (translation: regular cab driver) on speed dial in his cell phone. However, he does know that he can trust me, and that I vary rarely drink when I'm out with him. It's not that I don't drink, but on the scarce times that I plan on getting drunk I want to know there is going to be at least one responsible person around. And I know that this is never going to be him.

We arrive at the place and I scan the crowd. I know no one other than the host and my friend. This stands in stark contrast to my friend, as he is what I affectionately term as a "social slut." The man knows everyone, and not just at this function, I mean in general. He is the type of guy it takes forever to walk across the room with because he has to stop and talk with every third person.

"Our" first priority was to find the bar. Once we had our drinks in hand (he with his Jack and Coke, me with my Jack and Coke hold the Jack) we found our way to the free food. The night then progressed with meeting people and various mingling. I quickly learn not to mention that I'm a Realtor after being harassed for business by a few loan officers. As my buddy is getting more and more drunk, I amuse myself by watching him being pulled around the place by some unseen divining rod from female to female. He has gone from happy drunk to horny drunk. The trick is to get him out of there before we reach angry drunk. I talk with people while keeping a close eye on him. I know this role and I play it well. At this point his eyes are mere slits and then I see him do the standing stumble. That is my cue. There is no way I am carrying his ass to my car, so I have to make my move while I can. I suavely convince him to set his drink down, work him towards the door, say a quick thank you to the host, and make our way outside. A young couple is unfortunate enough to be going out the door the same time we are and my friend acts like he is going to pick a fight with them. Luckily they ignore us and we make our way to the car.

The next 30-minute car ride is filled with a constant barrage of "you 'k to drive?" "where we goin'?" "I love you man" "how're you not drunk?" I started out answering him, but then ended up just telling him to be quiet until we got home. The next day is followed by the inevitable phone call of thanks and me filling him in on the things he doesn't remember.

He is one of my dearest friends. I'd do anything for him, and he for me. I truly enjoy when we get together. So, he often wonders why I don't go out with him more to the bars. And while I have fun when I do, I'm just not always in the mood to be the babysitter.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The real me

I realize that I don't often post pics of myself. In fact, I think only one has slipped in around here. So, inspired by Evil Spock, I've decided to give you a glimpse at some snapshots of me. Hopefully they will satiate your curiosity and you will leave feeling more fulfilled. In order for there not to be any confusion, I'll walk you through them.

This first one is of me when I visited the kids of South Park not long ago. Handsome fella, eh? Anyone who knows me would agree, that is pretty much my normal look: button-up shirt, khaki pants. I've kind of turned it into my own little uniform. You'll never see me in jeans, not often in suits. It is a comfortable look that can be professional without being intimidating.
Now, don't get me wrong. If the occasion calls for it, I'm all for kickin' it up a notch. Here I am feeling slick.

On the other hand, I'm probably most happy during some precious down time. Here I am in what my Japanese friend refers to as "change wear:" T-shirt and sweatpants. Maybe I'm about to do some project around the house, maybe I'm about to watch a movie, or play around on the computer. Who knows, it's all good.

That relax time is important, for sometimes at work it feels as though I've been through battle.

Some days I'm a little bit this...

Other days I'm a little more this...

Most days, I'm just a healthy combination of both.

Whoops, hey, how'd that one get in there? I don't look like... who took that... OK, that's enough pictures. Hopefully you now have a mental image while you read on. BTW, if you're interested in wasting time too, click here and knock yourself out.

Monday, November 27, 2006

In this way it's OK to use me

Hey AML, aren't you a Realtor too. How come we never hear any tales about that?

Well, I wouldn't say never. I did tell you about the time I was caught between the old man and his ex-wife. Plus there was the story about the guy who didn't show up at his own closing. But, mainly the reason I don't say much about it is, well… the stories aren't that interesting.

Most of your stories aren't that interesting.

Yeah, yeah, piss off. I guess as long as we're thinking about it, and it's the onslaught of the holiday season and all, let me tell you about real estate as it pertains to family: my family to be specific.

When it comes to friends using me as their Realtor to buy a piece of property, the only excuse for them not to use me is if they have another Realtor in their family. When it comes to family, there is no excuse not to use me. It's not like I'm new to the game; I have many satisfied clients to give me cred. Plus, I am the smartest man alive, so I got that going for me. Keep in mind also that a buyer does not pay a Realtor anything; the buyer's Realtor is paid a part of the selling Realtor's commission. Now, when it comes to selling your house, my view changes a bit. Since it is then that you actually have to pay me, I never just expect friends or family to give me business. I do expect, however, for them to at least talk with me about it. If you don't like what I have to say, or I don't effectively sell my services to you and you decide to use someone else, well then that's on me.

I don't assume that people inherently know this, so I've done my best to educate those in my life to these facts in one way or another. Most of my friends and family understand and I thank them for the business. Although apparently some people just cannot be taught.

Case in point, I have one uncle who is all but dead to me. Now, I don't say this lightly, but this particular fellow really added insult to injury. He is a savvy, intelligent enough guy who runs his own company. If anyone should understand the importance of loyalty in business, it should be him. He started out fine, by slowly looking for a new house. My aunt was really more motivated than he, so I showed them about eight houses over the course of a year or so. Whenever they found one they liked they would call me and we'd go take a look. Then my uncle would think up reasons not to like it and we'd move on. One time we found a place that even he couldn't find something wrong with, so he offered such a low price that the deal just never went together.

Let me now fast forward the events, since they actually took place rather rapidly. First, he suddenly bought a house that was for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) without me. OK, since a Realtor didn't have it for sale it wasn't as bad. But still, normally a FSBO will deal with a buying agent for at least partial commission. Since my uncle didn’t bother to include me, I got paid zero for all the time I spent working with him = strike one. Then, he decides to put his current house for sale by himself. Since he is kind of a tightwad, I didn’t blame him for trying. Going FSBO has a very low success rate, so when he decided to give up I'd take over, right? Wrong, he listed the house with another random Realtor without talking to me = strike two. The final piece-de-resistance was when I found out he then purchased an investment property (which was on the market with a Realtor) without me. Apparently he would rather have a guy he doesn’t know get paid double than have his own nephew get paid at all. He is a very impulsive person and in his warped little head he probably thought he would get a better deal that way somehow. Plus, I'm sure he figured I'd never find out. I'm a Realtor, I can find out anything in regards to property. So I did find out = strike fucking three.
Yoooou're out!

Now, this all happened a little while back. It came to mind recently due to spending Thanksgiving with my family. No, there was no confrontational food fight. That uncle wasn't there, so it would have been pointless. I did, however, find out some news. I have been working with one of my cousins and he just recently had his offer accepted on his first house. Then, during the course of Thanksgiving conversation I hear that another cousin, the brother of the one I'm working with, just bought his first house too. Although, he didn't use me. This guy is two years younger than me. We grew up together. And, even though we don't hang out much, we have a very cordial relationship. Yet, when it comes to one of the most important things he'll do at this stage in his life, he doesn't even call. I don't want it to sound like I'm pissing and moaning. I do just fine with or without my family's business. It's not about the money; it's about principle. I am a very loyal person. If you do right by me I'll stick by you until you give me reason not to. And if you're family, you are first in line no matter what. Unfortunately, not every one thinks this way.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Mine Eyes Have Seen the... Glory?

As a kid, life was a blank slate. It seemed as though every turn of events was surprising and fascinating. People would surprise me and curve balls could come around any corner. It was a confusing time, but a carefree one. My glasses were rose colored and ignorance was bliss.

Now, as I get older, I am surprised by less and less. Not to say that I’ve become hardened and cynical (well OK, I am generally rather cynical). It’s just that I’ve seen a lot over the years. Life has presented itself in surplus, and I am pretty observant.

Most people who have met me would say that I’m a laid back, fun-loving fella. I’ve tried hard to not let life change this. Back in the day when I was still considering going for my doctorate in Psychology, I made sure to observe as much of the field as I could. In that, I saw a good friend of mine change over the years. I always knew her as someone with a gleam in her eye; someone who was quick to flash you a smile and laugh at life. But years of being a Psychologist have broken her. Day after day of dealing with other people’s problems has brought a sadness to her that is undeniable.

I did not want this for myself. It ended up being one of the reasons I went a different direction. Granted, I deal with a lion’s share of idiocy on a regular basis. The difference is that it is not my job to save them. From this standpoint I make sure their residential experience is as pleasant as possible, and I make sure they pay their rent. Other than that I can stand back and mock them at will. I believe this to be my mental salvation.

So, that is me in a nutshell.

Look at the size of this nutshell. How did I get into this huge nutshell?

I am still willing and able to laugh at life, I can just read it better than I used to. This ability to read life is important to my daily work. I need to be able to judge who is being honest with me; to determine what people’s ulterior motives are (if any). This is never more true than when I am taking an apartment application. I don’t just hand applications over. I fill them out myself, thereby turning the process into a sort of interview. I use this opportunity to get a feel for them. I pick up on when they stumble over an answer or look away. I probe deeper when they try to gloss over. I also do things to amuse myself, such as trying to guess the answers in my head before they tell me. Things like age, or what they do for a living.

Not long ago, a guy came in to look at an apartment. Now, it’s not often that someone makes me feel physically small. Trust me when I say, this dude was big. He was no taller than me, but he was easily two of me thick, if not more. He had a huge barrel chest and wide shoulders. His neck was like a tree trunk that came straight down from his head. Not just muscle, not just fat, he was a hefty combination of both. So, when he said his occupation was “security,” it seemed to fit nicely. I was going with either that or professional midget tosser, but security is more common.

Another guy came in who was a little tougher to gage. He was a well-built man with scruffy clothes and the hands of a laborer. He seemed intelligent enough, but there was just something off about him. He would lose his train of thought, he would repeat himself, and he would repeat himself. At times he would be saying something and then trail off until he was just staring at me. When he said he was a general laborer in construction it still didn’t fit completely with what I saw. I have known many construction workers who are very talented and on the ball. It wasn’t until I asked him the question “do you have any income other than your primary” that the riddle was solved. His response was:

“Yeah, I’m an amateur boxer too. I make a grand here and there when I have fights.”

Yes, this made sense. Apparently he had had his bell rung a few too many times. He never said he was a good boxer.

Aren’t you feeding into a negative mind frame of stereotypes and generalization?

Perhaps, but it’s entertaining for me. And as life opens my eyes more and more, it’s important that I continue to laugh at it. If not, I may start to loose my fight with sanity. It is a slippery slope and at times there are landslides.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The AML has gone nuts

I returned home from the office today, my mind running free about nothing in particular. I walked up the steps to my side door and began to work through my keys. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a streak of color. It was enough to make me turn my head just in time to see cat #2 go flying by. He had been chasing cat #1, and they both stopped abruptly just as they reached the street curb.

Now cat #1 is the local tomcat.
I wasn't talking about you Tom, so piss off. This cat doesn't seem to belong to anyone in particular. He has a habit of hanging out by our side door in an attempt to drive The Doc's cat bonkers on the inside. He likes to waltz around across the street from our yard, making sure he is in eyesight of my dog in order to drive her crazy.

Now cat #2 lives in the house next door. I think he is more of an inside cat, but he does hang around outside a fair amount as well. On this particular occasion I assume cat #2 decided he had had enough of cat #1 in his yard, thus the ensuing chase. By the time they had reached the street, cat #1 realized he was going out like a punk and decided to stand his ground. At this point they were both sitting under the front end of a parked car, about a foot from each other.

Next came the most bizarre sound I have ever heard an animal make. Now, I've owned animals my entire life, cats included. I have never heard them make this sound. It seemed to start from cat #2, but they both were chiming in and taking turns as far as I could tell. It was not like a hiss or a growl. There was no purr and not a trace of meow. Imagine a loud haunting siren, like a ghost had just called an ambulance.

The sound made me stop cold and just watch. OK, I was waiting for the catfight to take place. After all, at only ten feet away, I had a ringside seat. A few moments later, another sound chimed in, this one coming from above. I looked up to see squirrel #1 in the tree by the curb. Now, I've witnessed a fair share of squirrels in my day. I've even had one throw nuts at me when I was in college (shut up, he did too). But, I've never heard a squirrel make a sound, at least not like this one. That squirrel started in making a noise like a whistle caught in a blender. He was dancing around on his branch causing it to sway back and forth.

The cats, meanwhile, were undeterred by squirrel #1's antics. They continued their staring match, whirring away. Every so often one of them would move a shoulder or twitch a paw, but otherwise they were completely still. Enter squirrel #2. She(?) comes running across the electrical wire towards squirrel #1. She is making a similar, although slightly less aggressive noise.

So there I stand, surrounded by this bizarre cornucopia of sound. Now these sounds as I described would be how a normal person would have heard them. I have never claimed to be normal, so I'll let you in on how it was translated by my Dr. Dolittle ears. I forewarn you that these are city animals and their language is a bit dicey. You might have to consider the following contents rated R…

Cat2: Oh hell na, I know you not even traipsen' up in my yard again. I'm gonna kick your ass. Oh yeah, bitch, you betta run. Don't let me get hold a ya.

Cat1: Say what? I know you aren't even talkin' shit. See, I was gonna bounce all peacefull like, but now you gone an crossed the line.

Cat2: Line my ass. You crossed the line when you stepped into my yard, ho. You best be shakin' that ratty-ass tail in a different direction. Ain't nobody wanna smell yo shit.

Cat1: Whose tail you callin' ratty houseboy? You don’t know me. I'm from the street, you betta recognize and back off with your little prissy self.

See, at this point they are just name calling, which is never constructive. The squirrel's additions didn't help matters any.

Squirrel1: Oh shit! Oh shit! You gonna let him talk to you like that? You gonna hafta check that bitch. Break him off sumptin' proper like. Let him know how we do on the outside.

Cat1: So what then? You gonna just sit there and twitch, pussy? You want it, it's right here. Come gets you a taste.

Cat2: Don't nobody want a taste of yo dirty ass. What's wrong, didn't you momma teach you how to clean yo'self? Oh, what's that? You don't know who you momma is?

Squirrel1: Oh damn! Now he talkin' 'bout yo momma! If you don't do nuthin' soon I'm commin' down there and plant my little foot in his ass!

Squirrrel2: Simon! That ain't got nuttin' to do with you! You bes' get yo nutty ass away from there 'fore I shows you what pissed off looks like.

Squirrel1: Be still woman! You know I carry the nuts around here. That punk ass is messin' with my boy down there.

Squirrel2: Oh! Oh! Fond of yo nuts are ya? Well, if you ever want me to touch them again you'll keep yo nose outta other people's bidness.

I know, I was surprised the squirrels used so many nut clichés too, but I'm just telling you what I heard. The entire scene came to an anti-climatic end when one of the cats finally realized I was standing there watching.

Cat1: Oh shit, it's the man. Be cool, play it cool.

Cat2: Yeah, you best be goin' over and lickin' his boot 'cause he just saved you from an extraordinary ass beatin'.

The crowd dispersed and I went on inside, my mind racing with thought. I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to see any fur fly. But mainly I was disheartened by how atrocious nature's language has gotten. Are they getting it from us? Are we being terrible influences and not even knowing it? Or, perhaps it is the other way around. Maybe they are subconsciously affecting us with there dirty little mouths. Hmmm, well, fuck if I know.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Wiggly Wii

This has been sent to me by two of my friends recently. Apparently they thought it would be something I would appreciate. They, of course, thought correctly.

As the battle between the new Playstation and Nintendo game systems heats up for the holiday season, Nintendo comes with the following offering. In the tradition of the popular Mac vs PC commercials, it is a personification of a Playstation 3 and a Nintendo Wii. The commercial is simple, funny, gets the point across, and has a cute/wiggly/scantly-clad girl. In short: contender for best commercial ever.

If you have read anything about these two systems, you will pick up on the refferences. If not, you still have the visuals. Enjoy.