Friday, March 30, 2007

Harness the Amazing Power of "P*SSED OFF"

You know, I never realized this until today.

Did you ever notice that when you're p*ssed off, you can get a lot done?

Take this morning for instance. The last couple of weeks, we've been looking at stuff related to our mortgage which is coming due for renewal, but I was procrastinating pulling the trigger. After a brief early morning conversation with my sweet wife that got my... um... aggressive energy up, I managed to research, decide, and blow off some instructions to the mortgage guy. Bam! Not only that, I barked a few orders to the kids, and they all *listened* to me! They helped with breakfast, got dressed, brushed their hair and teeth, helped to pack lunches for the day, and did it all fast without complaining! (Man, I should get p*ssed off more often!!)

Only then did I look back and examine other times I've been p*ssed off and accomplished things. Did you ever notice how much housework you can do when you're p*ssed off? It's weird. It's much more efficient. Aggressively efficient, even.

In fact, I shaved my head for the first time when I was p*ssed off. Back in 2000 I had spent weeks (maybe even months) pondering shaving my head. Now, truth to tell, it's not like there was a lot of hair by that time to make a difference... but it did to me! Anyway, and the reasons are lost to the vagaries of time, but there I was p*ssed off at something... and then I thought about shaving my head... and I pretty much just said, "F*ck it, I'm shaving my head!!" So I did it, I liked it, and I've been doing it ever since. Even when I've been in a good mood. ;)

So there you have it. The power of being p*ssed off. And now you've been warned:

Don't p*ss me off.

Um... unless there's something you need for me to get done.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I Pity the Fool... Who Knows No "Pity"

Remember when I was resisting watching Battlestar Galactica due to loyalty to the old 70's show?

Man, I'm glad I started. The other day I saw the third season finale, and it totally blew me off my a$$.

Which reminds me: have I never mentioned Television Without Pity? It's an awesome website that provides detailed, interesting, witty, and humourous reviews of a slew of popular tv shows. Each of these shows also has its own forum where fans blab about it. I've been following the 24 episode reviews for pretty much as long as I've been watching the show.

If you have a show you really love, go to Television Without Pity and read the reviews. If you have time, get into the forums too. You'll probably think it's all pretty cool.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Berry Satisfying

Well, it's a good thing I think I'm really going to like my job.

Because leaving would have been a problem for everyone. Since they will only get my BlackBerry back by prying it from my cold dead fingers.

Not that it's addictive or anything.

However, I may need to look into getting one of these helmets:

You know, just for safety's sake.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Rise of the ... DEMON CHILD (shudder)

I've experienced this a few times before, so it didn't have as much of an impact on me as it did on my two teenage children.

That being said, it was still a little freaky.


Last night, my 9-year-old son walks into the living room where I'm up watching tv with the teenagers.

It's pretty late, round about 11:30pm.

Now, this young man has had a habit on some weekends of forcing himself to stay awake late. Not only that-- he, his twin sister, and younger brother were having a 'sleepover' down in their playroom... which increased the likelihood of him being awake at this time of night.

So, when I hear him coming, my first question is a "What's wrong, there, buddy?" kind of thing. Expecting him to want a drink or to tell me he can't get to sleep.

Then I see THE LOOK.

The slack-faced, glassy eyed look of a child whose soul has been sucked from his body and is acting under the control of evil spirits from beyond.

Either that, or a kid who is totally asleep, walking around and talking.

He says something to the effect that I have to help collect some money from his older brother because he brother wouldn't give it to him. Or something like that. Whatever it was, I'm sure it made perfect sense to him at the time.

Without missing a beat, I put my hand on his shoulder and lead him back toward his bed, telling him that we should probably wait until morning to collect that money when we're not so sleepy.

I tuck him in, give him a kiss, and that's it for the night. He doesn't say another word.

When I return to the living room, my 17-year-old daughter points out that this was "the freakiest thing I've ever seen in my life."

I know what she means. However, I actually do find it kind of cool to see someone functioning at a level somewhere below the surface of consciousness.

But it still creeps me out a little.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Now With Even More SUPER...

Watched "Superman 2 - The Richard Donner Cut" recently.

Holy Crap.

See, I've always loved "Superman 2". And I always managed to overlook the parts I didn't care for:

-the silly "rip the S off the chest and throw it at the bad guy so that it wraps him up in some weird way";

- the "since when do Krypton people shoot weird rays from their fingers?" part;

and especially the "I have no superpowers and my fortress has been destroyed, but suddenly I find a green crystal and all of a sudden I'm super again".

This is what the movie would have looked like if the man who directed the first movie had been able to finish the second (see, he actually shot a significant part of it back when he was making the first) instead of it having been taken over and finished by another director.

Let me just say, if you liked Superman 2 originally, please track down this movie and watch it. It's SO much more satisfying. Especially to see all the great stuff with Marlon Brando that was hacked off for financial reasons. It fits together with the first so much better.

You'll believe a man can... um... *totally* not suck.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Fountain of Youth Accelerated Aging

You know what? By the time I get through having teenagers five times, I'm going to be very old.

And I'm not just saying that because I'll *actually* be very old. Though technically that will be true as well.

But I'll be older beyond my years.

Trust me.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Trick Yourself, Trick the World... the Bug Doesn't Trick

So I started my new job on Monday.

Which would have been great if I wasn't SICK AS A FRICKIN' DOG.

See, I spent the previous weekend taking my little kids to my folks' house in Cape Breton, and leaving them there for a fun filled week of bowling, playing cards, eating junk food and watching television. As I was there, though, I started to feel... crappy.

Have you ever had this kind of internal dialogue: "Oh, man. I'm starting to feel weird. Am I getting sick? I can't get sick. I'm starting my job on Monday. OK, maybe I'm alright. Yeah, I think it's passing. I'm fine."

Then later: "Hm... well, I'm not sick, but something is going on. I'll just take a Motrin to get rid of this headache. That'll be good. And I'll drink lots of water. Probably I'm just a little dehydrated."

So this sad charade goes on for a day or so, and allows me to get myself home by Sunday night. By Sunday night, there's no denying it: "Oh crap, I'm sick. OK, I know what to do. I'll just take some cold medicine, get to bed nice and early, and blast it away fast. I'm sure I'll be fine for tomorrow."

Come Monday morning, after a nice of tossing, turning, freakish dreams, and general bad sleeping... I get up. I had already (through the night in fact) formulated a plan for what to do, so here's what I do:

1) Get up two hours early. Take cold medicine and Motrin right away.
2) Drink a glass of water.
3) Mix up some warm salt water.
4) Gargle it.
5) Snort it up my sinuses.
6) Gag and throw up the water from step 2.

(OK, maybe the snorting the water up into my sinuses wasn't the best idea. But my dad *swears* that it's a great way to help clear up congestion and get rid of bugs growing up there. That may be so, but let me also tell you that it's *very* offensive to the system. Not at the level of that bowel prep I did once, but close enough to mention).

7) Check the sink to confirm that the cold tablet and the Motrin from step 1 didn't come up with the water from step 2. Um, they didn't. Good.

8) Have a nice hot shower, and add some Tea Tree Oil to the water. Tea Tree Oil is good stuff.

So, by the time I leave for work, I'm sufficiently drugged up to pass for a normal human. Which I pretty much do. For most of the day, anyway. Luckily, there are a group of eight of us, and it's pretty much just a classroom session of orientation presentations. So I'm faking it pretty well.

Towards the end of the day, though, I think my drugs are wearing off. I meant to bring more with me. I forgot. Trust me that my brain capacity was at a maximum of maybe 50% at best.

So all of a sudden, I'm starting to feel like death warmed over, and my nose is starting to run. All the tissues I brought for the day are gone. Just great.

Now the 'orientation' session is over and it's time to meet our supervisors. Perfect timing.

Let's just say that I wasn't my most chatty outgoing self. (I hope my supervisor doesn't base her opinion on me from this contact, considering I was trying to keep my distance and end any conversation as abruptly as possible. Believe me, it was for her own good.)

It's all I can do to get home at the end of the day and get my a$$ to bed.

The week eventually improves. Tuesday's a bit better, and Wednesday's a bit better than that. By Thursday I was drug free, and by Friday I am actually a normal human again. (Or as close as I ever get, anyway)

I wonder how my *second* week of work will go?

Maybe this weekend I can break my leg or something.

(*After* I pick the kids back up, of course.)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

POLICE SQUAD! in color. On my TV.

Yay! At the end of a weekend trip to Cape Breton, I dropped by my cousin Steve's to return the LOST dvd's that we never managed to watch.

And what did I pick up, but all six classic episodes of POLICE SQUAD!

Man, did I love that show. It was so twisted. Even then, I couldn't believe it was on TV. In fact, it wasn't for long. Six episodes was it. The "Naked Gun" movies that followed it were pretty good, but this show was *great*.

Going to watch it now, and add it to the list of classic tv experiences I'm sharing with my 14 year old.

Note to Steve:

You weren't actually *home* when I borrowed your Police Squad dvd. But your sister was. Yes, I know I live four and a half hours away. And I kept your LOST disks for a year.

Oh, and I also "borrowed" your Richard Donner cut of Superman 2. But I *returned* your 'regular' Superman 2 dvd!! So that one kind of balances out. :)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

REALLY Bad Timing for a Captain America T-shirt...

So yesterday my MIL comes up and brings my kid a new t-shirt. He loves it. Puts it on. Look at this.

Captain America.

I say to her (out of earshot, of course), "Nice timing. He's dead."


"Captain America."

"WHAAATTT?!?!?!", she says, with a little more emotion than I would expect from a lady in her 60's who has never had any real comic book ties that I'm aware of.

"Yeah, it's on the news. Comic just came out today."

She expresses disbelief. Remember this is a *fictional* character we're talking about. Tells me how fond she always was of him. (Ah, right, she's American originally.)

"Don't worry. I'm sure it won't last," I tell her. "Remember when Superman died? He eventually came back."

That was it for the conversation. And I haven't shared with little kiddie that Captain America is "dead". Somehow I don't think telling him would serve any useful purpose in his world.

But I'll always look at that shirt as the "Captain America death day" shirt. (shudder)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Gee, I Wish I Could Get that Picture onto my Cell Phone... (sigh)

I love free cool little internet utilities. Here's another one. Allow me to demonstrate.

Here we have a nice new promo picture from the upcoming Spider-man 3 movie.

Now, here's the same picture, which within moments appeared on my cell phone!

(Ok, well, my photography sucks, but don't let that influence you.)

It's thanks to Pix2Fone, a nice little add-on to Firefox or Internet Explorer that lets you right-click on any image and send it to your phone! Total coolness.

Cool, quick and free. Spyware and Adware free, as well. Just the way I like it.

Monday, March 05, 2007

When I Learned the Meaning of "Retribution"

Back when I was a kid in the 70's, I remember when we would torment my older cousin Murray and his friend David Bone on the way to school.

They were teenagers, and we weren't. Wasn't that reason enough?

We'd yell at them, call them names, and throw snowballs at them in the winter. Anything to get their attention.

Sometimes they would chase us. I remember once when they caught us; they used our heads to make lifelike impressions of our faces in the snowbanks. All good fun.

I *do* remember, however, the time that teenage retribution went to the next level. And it still makes me smile fondly.

I can't recall what I had done to deserve what I got, but I'm pretty sure I did deserve it, whatever it was. Anyway, on with my story.

I was out walking around with a couple of friends, when we went to the corner store in our neighbourhood. The corner store where David Bone worked. At the time, it didn't dawn on me that this was a problem. Ah, the naivete of youth.

However, once I walked into the store, and the door slammed behind me, I started to get the idea. I look at Dave, and he's come around from behind the counter, and he's smiling at me. Kind of a "Well, what do we have here?" type of smile. The smile a wolf would give a fluffy sheep.

"Heh, heh..." says I. I turn for some support from my friends.

Oh, wait. They didn't follow me into the store. When I look behind me, I see them.

Outside the door, looking in. Laughing their asses off.

The rats sold me out. Probably for a quarter each.

The young gentleman proceeds to educate me on the pitfalls of teasing someone bigger and older (and clearly more diabolical) than oneself.

The entire sequence has faded a bit over the years, but I do quite clearly recall:

1) Being peppered with "knucklers" to maniacal laughter

2) Being swung around and around by the straps of my then-popular overalls. I wasn't a heavy kid. I caught some pretty good air. And got a pretty good wedgie too.

3) Being stuffed into the ice cream cooler with the popsicles and freezies. I didn't actually *fit*, but that didn't make the effort any less energetic.

4) Being assisted back out the door with a helpful foot to my rear end. A very LARGE and SWIFT foot, at that.

Now, let me say, he didn't "beat me up". This wasn't me being terrorized by a big kid. This was me getting taught a good lesson that I could carry with me in life. It was kind of fun, except for the painful parts.

Here are the lessons I learned:

1) Anyone with the last name of 'Bone' will eventually tire of being called any number of variations on the word "boner".

2) Always scope out a convenience store in anticipation of an ambush.

3) Your friends will sell you out for a quarter if there's a good laugh in it.

Um, that's pretty much it.

Now, in today's world, good natured beatings like this just don't happen any more. We're too politically correct for that.

But man... those were the days.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

A Fish Called... Earl?

I must say, before I start, there's not much more pathetic than a sick little kid. Take a look at this. Even the picture doesn't do justice to how miserable he is.

OK, back on topic. Here is what my Far Side calendar gave me today:

And you know what it reminded me of? "Goodbye Earl."

I loved that video; especially, that Earl was played by Dennis Franz (man, I miss "NYPD Blue"). I particularly liked Zombie Earl dancing around at the end of the video. Also the moral of the video, which was... um... "be nice to yer woman", I think.

Anyway here it is. Still a darn catchy tune.

Now I'm off to go be nice to my woman.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Three Questions for the Ages

(1) Does anyone remember pay toilets? When did they disappear? Like, the 70's? They *were* kind of cruel, after all.

(2) Do all men hate little wicker baskets, or is it just me? Conversely, do all women love little wicker baskets, or is it just my wife?

(3) Why is it that when you come out of the grocery store:
a) Sometimes you know exactly where your car is;
b) Sometimes you have no clue where your car is, but your feet take you there anyway;
c) Sometimes you have no clue where your car is, and neither love nor money can help you find your friggin' car?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Humourous Article Which Has No Bearing on Any Particular Situation In Our Family Right Now

I have always enjoyed this article. So I'm reprinting it here for you all to enjoy. Many of you, I'm sure, have read it before.

I simply feel compelled to share it with you now. Not for any particular reason. *Certainly* not because my daughter has a new boyfriend. Has nothing to do with that. In fact, I'm sure he doesn't even read my blog. (Though he's certainly *old* enough to...)

However... IF, purely by happenstance, he does chance to read it... he might find it of interest.

Particularly rules 2, 4, 6, and 8.


8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter

Copyright 1998 W. Bruce Cameron

When I was in high school I used to be terrified of my girlfriend's father, who I believe suspected me of wanting to place my hands on his daughter's chest. He would open the door and immediately affect a good-naturedly murderous expression, holding out a handshake that, when gripped, felt like it could squeeze carbon into diamonds.

Now, years later, it is my turn to be the dad. Remembering how unfairly persecuted I felt when I would pick up my dates, I do my best to make my daughter's suitors feel even worse. My motto: wilt them in the living room and they'll stay wilted all night.

"So," I'll call out jovially. "I see you have your nose pierced. Is that because you're stupid, or did you merely want to APPEAR stupid?"

As a dad, I have some basic rules, which I have carved into two stone tablets that I have on display in my living room.

Rule One:

If you pull into my driveway and honk you'd better be delivering a package, because you're sure as heck not picking anything up.

Rule Two:

You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter's body, I will remove them.

Rule Three:

I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don't take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, In order to assure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric staple gun and fasten your trousers securely in place around your waist.

Rule Four:

I'm sure you've been told that in today's world, sex without utilizing a "barrier method" of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate: when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I WILL kill you.

Rule Five:

In order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is "early."

Rule Six:

I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make YOU cry.

Rule Seven:

As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process which can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don't you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?

Rule Eight:

The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places lacking parents, policemen, or nuns. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka zipped up to her chin. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which feature chainsaws are okay. Hockey games are okay.

My daughter claims it embarrasses her to come downstairs and find me attempting to get her date to recite these eight simple rules from memory. I'd be embarrassed too--there are only eight of them, for crying out loud! And, for the record, I did NOT suggest to one of these cretins that I'd have these rules tattooed on his arm if he couldn't remember them. (I checked into it and the cost is prohibitive.) I merely told him that I thought writing the rules on his arm with a ball point might be inadequate—ink washes off—and that my wood burning set was probably a better alternative.

One time, when my wife caught me having one of my daughter's would-be suitors practice pulling into the driveway, get out of the car, and go up to knock on the front door (he had violated rule number one, so I figured he needed to run through the drill a few dozen times) she asked me why I was being so hard on the boy. "Don't you remember being that age?" she challenged.

Of course I remember. Why do you think I came up with the eight simple rules?