Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Which has nothing to do with this picture. Like I ever worried about continuity.
Speaking of which, I do know that the baboon is not technically a simian. Because while I couldn't care less about continuity, I do like to be accurate. But "Satan's Own Baboon" or "Lucifer's Own Old-World Monkey" just didn't make the cut.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
It wasn't overheard because I was the frustrated soul speaking.
Working here is like being in charge of a day care center, without the satisfaction of handing out spankings.
Best co-worker response:
I thought you would've reached this point two hours ago.
I now work in downtown DC. My parking garage is about four blocks from the building where I work, and I drive in early enough that I normally don't see but one or two people on the sidewalks in the morning.
Turns out that wasn't what I should've been watching for. This morning, just as I stepped off the curb to cross the street - with the light - a brand new Lincoln Town Car screeches to a nose-dropping stop halfway into the crosswalk I was in. Not ten feet in front of me.
The driver was an elderly black man, grey goatee, porkpie hat, dark suit, dark shirt, light colored tie. Pimp.
I glared at him. He glared at me.
I walked around his car and continued on my way. Behind me, the light changed and he turned onto the street I was on, already flying as he passed me.
Two blocks later, he's parked on the street and stepping out of his car, greeting his addict friends as they all waited for the Meth Clinic to open. After doing their thing, they all wander over to the building I work in and mingle with the homeless in the open-to-the-public cafeteria. This happens every. Freakin. Morning.
I'm a live and let live kind of guy, and as long as Pimp Nitwit doesn't try to run me over again I'll have no problem with them. I'm glad they're getting help. On my dime. And I don't ever use the cafeteria in our building.
Friday, September 17, 2010
The Potomac Nationals (single A) won the Carolina League Championship for the second time in three years this evening.
Police in North Londonderry Township say they are investigating a Tuesday night incident where someone toilet papered a vehicle and some bushes in the 100 block of Bradley Road. The unknown perpetrators also stuck 50 plastic forks and knives in the yard.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
...so it's picturebook story time! Yay!
Once upon a time, people realized that almost everyone else was a complete jerk.
And even when you thought it might be true love, it usually hurt like a mother.
Finding that special someone seemed impossible because of incompatibility issues.
Some retreated to their faithful toys, some into childhood fantasies. Some both.
Finding a friend who shared your interests could be frustrating, sometimes joining a club helped. Sometimes.
And if you found your special someone and shouted it from the rooftops, the rest of the world looked at you like you were crazy.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
This will be a little different from most 9/11 posts and articles you'll see today. This one goes a little more towards who we are, as Americans, and how we approach life in general. This is not full of great insight or analysis, it's just one of my little stories.
When I got my orders to Germany, I had to go alone because my family was not allowed to join me until I had secured housing on the German economy. This was standard procedure for almost everyone who went overseas. It wasn't a quick and easy process, both because acceptable housing was limited off base and you had to house hunt while in-processing and getting up to speed on your new job.
And I found a house. The village was named Reuschbach and was about 5 miles from the air base. I moved in to the bottom floor of a two story house (the landlords lived upstairs) and Liz began the process of getting our household goods shipped over and scheduling the trip for herself and our two very young kids.
In the meantime, Reuschbach was having a party. Maybe it was their 750th birthday* or something, I don't remember. But the important thing was that there would be a weeklong party out at the village park, in the woods outside of town. My landlord made sure to invite me and made sure I went.
The first night was fun. I straightened out the beer vendor, who insisted that all Americans drank beer ice cold. German beer sucks when it's ice cold, it's meant to be cool. Like I said, that happened once, and I was even more accepted after that. I ate sausages and saurkraut** and staggered home in the early morning hours.
The next night we did it again. I drank beer and became best friends with several people who spoke as little English as I spoke German. And there was one very pretty young lady there.
I started to talk to her and found she spoke much better English than most of my new friends. She was 20 years old, and it wasn't until we both got up to get more beer that I discovered that she limped badly from a physical deformity.
As the night went on, I found out that she really wanted to be a teacher, but the Government wouldn't let her because "a cripple cannot take proper care of children." I was outraged, and spent much of the next two nights encouraging her to fight back and not accept their stupid rules.
At one point, she told me, "You Americans are always like this. You never give up and you think you can have anything you want, just because you want it." She said this with wonder in her voice, as if she was discovering that all she'd heard about us crazy Americans was true.
I pressed her on it, telling her that if she was willing to work hard for it, there was no reason that she couldn't fulfill her dream of teaching. To hell with the authorities who decided she was better suited to clerical work in an office, just because of her bodily imperfection.
Eventually her Mother got involved, reminding me that I was a guest and shouldn't be putting crazy ideas into her daughter's head. We exchanged a few letters after that, and at one point we were going to meet in a nearby city so that my wife could meet her too, but plans for that fell through and were never followed up.
I often wonder whatever happened to her. I sometimes wonder if a little bit of the crazy American attitude rubbed off on her. Lord knows I tried.
* If that sounds implausible, a good friend of mine lived in Biersborn, not too far away. They celebrated their 1500th birthday while we were there. Biersborn appeared on ancient Roman maps as a trade route waypoint.
** I had saurkraut that night within weeks of arriving in Germany, and never again even saw it on a menu in a restaurant for the rest of my three-year tour.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Creative. Cool. I suspect though, that it only really works a couple of hours a day.
You had the acronym first? Fine, here's your fucking pandas.
Redundant caption goes here.
I admit it. I smiled.
In somewhat related news, my daughter noticed that I had bought the first two seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her reaction? She said I was "such a teenaged girl."
Monday, September 06, 2010
Behold. Furniture to scare guests away.
During the luncheon after the funeral, I got into some great conversations with my relatives. These folks are all from Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota.
The most common question I got was, "do you ever see politicians?"
This was always followed up with a statement of dissatisfaction about the current administration and congress. In fact, the nicest reaction was a simple eye roll. Most of them were really and truly pissed off about what's been going on in Washington.
It wasn't limited to agricultural issues either. Iowa has an illegal immigrant problem (see "Egg Recall" for a glaring example), and they're none too happy about it. Unsurprisingly (to me), it's not about race, it's about following the rules and doing the right thing. It's about coming to America and *becoming* an American, not living on the fringes and staying on the outside of society by choice.
It was like looking into a mirror. It was like listening to myself. I guess sturdy midwestern stock breeds true.
Sunday, September 05, 2010
Round trip drive to Iowa is about 2500 miles, and we've done it three times since April.
You may recall that Dad spent six weeks with us earlier this year, so we were blessed by having that time with him before he died. Near the end, I'd talked to him once or twice a day, so we had already said our goodbyes. My main reason for going to Iowa this time was to reconnect with family that I've drifted away from over the years. That happened in a big way.
I have a ton of thank you cards and emails to catch up on. Look for canned nonsense for the immediate future. In other words, back to normal.