Friday, December 28, 2007

season's tidings of joy and goodness...

...and stuff.

Okay. Let's be honest with each other. It is clear to me, as it should be to you who attempt to read this on a regular basis, that my fascination with non-blogging is diminishing. I knew it was going to happen and, when I started, I actually told people it was inevitable.
It's my way. I get very excited about one media or another, then begin to lose interest and get involved in something else. It just happens.
If you want to keep up to date with the periodic postings that I am sure will continue to drip and drop onto swarveyland, I suggest you subscribe to the feed so you don't have to keep checking, just salivating for more over-wordy goodness.
Or don't. Whichever.

But, for today, there is a new posting. Yay!
Here it is.

Swarvey and Jenn Go to New York

For the Christmas holiday, Jenn took me to New York to stay at her uncle's house which is very close to where she grew up. I've never seen where she grew up, but she describes a blessed upbringing.
Jenn is one of those people who I do not begrudge having a blessed upbringing, because she is aware that she had a blessed upbringing and is grateful for it.
She drove me through her neighborhood on Christmas morning. She grew up in and around Scarsdale.
If you don't know what Scarsdale is, like I didn't, and aren't likely to have someone drive you around it, like I did, but are curious what it looks like, like I was, just rent a copy of Home Alone and look at the house and neighborhood Kevin and his family live in. Actually, just think about where people live in John Hughes movies in general and you'll have a good idea what Scarsdale looks like.
Except where Bender lived. I don't think many people in Scarsdale get cigar burns on their forearms for spilling paint in the garage.
It was a nice drive and I'm glad I finally got to see where Jenny grew up.

On Christmas Eve, we took the train to the city. The city of New York. Manhattan. Jesus, keep up will you?
I think if I lived there, I would have a lot more stuff to non-blog about, but I would also go insane. Which I could then non-blog about, thereby perpetuating almost infinite non-blogging.
Here are some of the things that happened in Manhattan.
I'm not so much of a country bumpkin to not realize that there are a hell of a lot more homeless people in New York. I get that there are. What amazes me about them is how nonchalant most of them are about being homeless.
Like here, a homeless dude will try to find a place to stay warm and dry and be left alone.
There, he might wrap himself up in some towels and packing blankets and build a campfire in the middle of the sidewalk like he was riding on top of the Polar Express.
One fellow was looking for change and attempted to appeal to the holiday spirit of the passersby by singing a Christmas carol.
Take the song Deck the Halls. You know it? Sing it to yourself.
Now, imagine the song is being sung by Animal from the Muppets.
Now, imagine Animal only singing the Fa-La-La-La-La part. Over and over.
Now imagine Animal is a six foot three homeless dude.
That's pretty much what was going on.
He wasn't getting a lot of change that I could see.

Jenn and I walked to Rockefeller center, because it's a law or something. We were on our way to the skating rink when a smallish guy, in a lot of black all-weather gear stopped us.
"Sorry sir.", he said. "We're filming here. You can't go any further."
I noticed a lot of other people just walking by us, not being stopped. What was this?
He told me that, while it was obvious we were a happy couple, my lovely wife was going to leave me.
Okay. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love listening to people talk stupid talk. I let him keep talking.
He told me that, she was going to leave me, but there was something I could do to get her back. All I had to do was make a promise.
What was the promise going to be? Was this a Jesus thing? Where is this guy going?
What I had to promise, he said, was to never pull my pants down and masturbate in public again.

I'm not kidding. Ask Jenn. Go on. Ask her.

Clearly, there was some kind of scam going on here. I'm too curious about stuff to just walk away. Jenn was already way out of this conversation and so ready to go. I had to see what was going on.
Also, being infused as I was with the Christmas Spirit, I decided to not tear into the guy for using such a horrible, offensive joke. He was like the worst stand up comic you've seen. Just saying shocking stuff to elicit a response. His motivation was what was baffling me.
I looked at the identification around his neck. He saw me look and dropped the facade.
He was selling hats for a soup kitchen.
Fine. So you want to sell hats for 10 a piece to benefit a soup kitchen. They weren't crappy hats. We got a pink one with NYC on the front for my daughter. I probably would have bought one anyway if he had just been forward.
I just don't get the motivation behind the joking, especially the flavor of joking he decided to use.
If someone told me someone had used such a joke on them with their wife standing there and that they decided to punch the joker in the face for it, it might have said their response was a little over the top, but not much.
I bit my tongue and moved on, then was pissed at myself all day for not telling the little dork where to screw himself.
Ah well.
I was wearing my black Doc Marten's. My black Doc Marten's are not designed for protracted walking sessions around New York. They're designed to wear so you look tough so other people won't waste your time by talking to you.
I guess the joker had been too short to see them.
Anyway, I wanted to get a new pair of boots while we were there. I figured I could find something cool at a reasonable price.
Jenn took me into a shoe store that looked like a Peruvian spice market.
I'm not sure what that means but it's what comes to mind.
Guys who worked there were running around getting boxes of shoes and quoting prices, apparently, on the fly. There were 40,000 customers and six working-there guys. But somehow the working-there guys got the shoes to the people who were looking for them. I got better service there than I do in a 1:1 exchange at Foot Locker.
We found a nifty pair of a different style of Docs. Slip on with actual support in them. They were great.
While I was trying them on, someone decided to talk to me.
He was a pleasant enough fellow, I guess. Told me I shouldn't get the Docs, but that I should try Frye boots. He said that he was 5 foot 4, but that he got 3 inches out of the Frye boots, so that when he wears them, he looks like he is 5 foot 7.
I wanted to thank him for wrapping up the math for me, but he kept talking.
He said he got them on line, and that he had gotten a different pair on line first, but when he got them, one boot was a little bigger than the other boot, so he had to send them back, but that's the risk you take when you shop on line. Then he ordered the Frye boots which make him look 5 foot 7.

Again. Not kidding. Ask Jenn.

I said, "Okay! Hey! Thanks!"

And he walked away on his tiptoes so he wasn't exactly on face-to-crotch level with the grown-ups.

So I bought me some nice boots.

We left and continued to walk around. It was one of the most pleasant days in my recent memory.

Towards the end of our journey, a dude walked up to me saying, "Sir? Sir! Sir?", while snapping a 20 dollar bill in my face. I deduced that this was going to be a making-change-confuse-the-country-bumpkin scam, so I made like a real New Yorker and looked straight ahead and kept walking.

I know exactly what the problem is. I look at too much stuff. I am curious about things so I look at them. And they see me looking. And eye-contact is made. And that's it. They see an open door and charge on in.
Jenn is different. Hell, I could walk up to Jenn on the street and she might not even see me. She is in a New York zone. She sees what she needs to see and that's it. Everything else is beyond peripheral.

But she doesn't get all kinds of crazy crap to non-blog about.
So there.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

son... of... a...

I get to the gym this evening and am warming up whilst listening to The Christmas Shoes by repeatedly punching myself in the face, when my eyes glance across one of the many television screens the cardio-folks stare at.
(Aside. For those who have not heard this rant, The Christmas Shoes is the most horrific song ever written, followed closely by Poor Man's House and I'll Wait For You. You can look those other two songs up at your leisure, but here is a link for The Christmas Shoes...
Christmas Shoes
Oh you're going to love this one. This particular version of the song was even sung by a child!! So much better!!
Find a wooden spoon, bite down on it and listen to the song if you don't know it, so the rest of the jokes make sense. Hell, if you know it, listen to this version. You might find yourself down a pound or two from the heaving.
I used to tell the joke that the only way the song would be better, is if the child left with the shoes, went out into the snow, slipped in some mud, broke his ankle and watched in horror as the shoes he dropped into the street were run over by a gasoline tanker, which then ran over him.
I have been trumped. Damn it. I hate being trumped. Kim said, the song would be better if the child realized he wasn't going to have enough money, so grabbed the shoes and ran, then gave them to his mother, who dies, and goes to see Jesus, who turns her away for having stolen shoes on. I think that Kim has some serious issues, which I must say as her joke is more gruesome and funnier than mine.
The gym is one of my few resources of news, because it happens to be on all the time. I either get my news from the gym, Howard Stern or Opie and Anthony. I am a worldly guy.
I see some words, in between punches to my own face, which read, "... Spears... expecting... baby..."
"Ha, ha.", I laugh to myself. "Brit is going to have ANOTHER baby!? Who would want to even have sex with her at this point? Oh MyLANTA!!"
Then my mind taps me on the shoulder and suggests I take a closer look at the screen. But no. The rest of my conscious self doesn't really want to see what is really on the screen.
Slowly, I turn, to look at the full sentence.

Jamie Lynn Spears is expecting her first baby.


My daughter watches her stupid show, Zoey 101, on Nickelodeon, and looks up to her as someone who is cool and knows what is going on. You know, like kids do with television people. Now I gotta talk to her about Zoey being frigging preggers.

What is with the Spears clan? Are they all nymphomaniac psychopaths out to destroy whatever good fortune has been bestowed upon them? She's 16 for GOD's SAKE.

If I find out Logan is the father, that is just it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

oh come on...

A new MySpace friend request:

Bernice would like to be added to your MySpace friends list.

By accepting Bernice as your friend, you will be able to send Bernice personal messages, view Bernice's photos and blog, and interact with each other's friends and network!

Bernice!? Am I on some list somewhere that describes me as wanting the companionship of elderly ladies?

I've had Florence and now Bernice. Where are Gertrude and Trudy and Pearl and Mabel...? Maybe a Clara or a Midge, Madge or Maude.

I guess I gotta cancel my subscription to

Saturday, December 15, 2007

i saw I Am Legend last night...

So here is my review of Beowulf.

The movie was created using an amped up version of the same softwares and technology used to make The Polar Express. The animation style of The Polar Express managed to impress but creep the hell out of most people.
I read an interesting article in Wired magazine that explained why. It stated that research has been done showing the nearer human animation gets to photo realistic, without being 100% precise, the more disturbing it is.
In other words, when Pixar animates a toy, and presents it as an animated toy, our minds pick up the behavior and nuances in the animation that is like us. We connect with the toy on an emotional level, because we recognize the similarities only. A little roll of the eyes or a subtle shoulder shrug and there is a click in our brains that make human-y feelings of love and joy and understanding.
When someone attempts to animate a human form, and does not do it in a cartoonish style, like The Incredibles, for instance, our minds stop seeing that which is right and which connects us to the character, and starts seeing what is wrong.
We're seeing what our mind perceives as an actual human, but one which is broken in some way. Our subconscious view says, this guy has an illness of some kind, or, this guy is insane, or, this is an animated corpse I'm looking at.
I had the animated corpse reaction to The Polar Express. All these guys flailing about with no change to their facial expressions at all. Just creeeeepy.
I'd love to credit the damned article, or the research. I'd love to read it all again, cause they had a neat bell curve that showed emotional connection response as it related to photorealism.
We connect more with a well handled sock-puppet than we do with the guys serving hot chocolate on The Polar Express.
Problem is I can't find either the article or the research. If you stumble across it, let me know.
They got it closer on Beowulf. It's less creeepy as long as you look at the primary characters only, who must have had banks and banks of computers dedicated to them. I still see what's wrong a lot of the time, because I have an illness that does not allow me to just look at something and enjoy it. I have to pull details out that no one cares about.
Here was a weird detail. In order to make a human face look real, you have to pay close attention to facial hair. I'm not talking about beards or mustaches. I'm talking about fine, almost invisible hairs. They guys making Beowulf went crazy with the fine almost invisible hairs. There are a lot of them.
I know back in the times when the film's story took place, there was much less effort put into self-maintenance, but, two of the main characters had all kinds of little hairs growing out the tips of their noses. This is especially apparent in the 3D version, I guess, 'cause it was really bothering me. Who has a crop of little hairs growing on the tip of their nose?
Anyway, for the primary characters, the animation is appallingly good. It's so close to film, you almost wonder why they bother.

Here's a pic of the character of Beowulf:

Here's a pic of the guy who supplied the voice, Ray Winstone:

CG trumps going to the gym, any day.
However, Angelina looks better in real life, in my opinion.

Let's see. Grendel was scary. And he was played by Crispin Glover, who is scary.

The screenplay was co-written by Neil Gaiman, who is one of my favorite writer-y guys. If you haven't read American Gods, go do it right now. Great book.
How could such an accomplished writer allow not one, not two, but THREE slowly building, single-person, sarcastic clap instances into one movie.
You really shouldn't used this hack thing even one time, really. But three?

This isn't exactly what I'm talking about, but I thought it was cool someone put it together. Horrible.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

fake myspace friend requests...

There are spam MySpace friend requests. I guess some of them might work.
This one isn't going to work:

Florence would like to be added to your MySpace friends list.

By accepting Florence as your friend, you will be able to send Florence personal messages, view Florence's photos and blog, and interact with each other's friends and network!

Florence? How did that get added as an enticing name? I've gotten them from Jill and Olga and Linda and Jenna, names that could possibly be associated with a hot chick and would maybe want me to go check the link out. Not really as I am not an idiot and understand spam, but still, the names were good.
But all I see when I hear Florance is this:

I know this woman's name was Florida, not Florence, but her image was the first thing that popped into my head. I felt no enticement to click her link.

Maybe I'm wrong, though. I'm going to do a Google image search for Florence and see what we comes up in the results. If a nice young lady comes up in the first 5 results pages, I'll pay each of you reading right now 10,00.00,0.0.

This came up on the first page:

I don't think this was what they had in mind. This statue does make me feel good about myself in some undefined way, though. Go David!

What else...

GAH! And might I also add, yikes! If there was a link I could click that could take me farther away from her creepy, I-am-going-to-eat-your-face stare, I might click that.

Brrrrr!! Let me shake that off and move on...

Aww. Ms. Nightingale. Nice lady, but not my type. Maybe in a wet t-shirt...
We're three pages in.

(comments removed as they are offensive to every single living human being ever to exist)

On the fifth result page, as there was nothing of interest on the fourth, there are two results that are hidden from me as they come from or something. They are pictures of Florence Geanty, apparently. I don't recignize the name.
Hmm. She looks like:

Kinda cute, but her image did not show up in my results page as the rules state. Ooh. So close. You almost had your 10,00.00,0.0.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

you know what...?

I've discovered that that is the sound of my manhood dying. "You know what...?"
Let me expound.
My daughter and I have discovered the fun of Sculpey clay. It's pretty cool stuff. It stays moist for like, ever, until you bake it, then it turns into a ceramic kind of deal. It's neat. You can make beads or little dudes that you could glue magnets onto to stick on the refrigerator.
(I need a quick aside. Indulge me, will you? Have I ever told you about the weird dude I lived with for a period of time in the very early 90's? He used to frost his hair and his mustache. He was a gay fellow who had not come to the realization yet. But that's not what made him weird.
He used to wear color coordinated shorts and t-shirt combinations. Pastels. And he used to pull his socks up really high. But that's not what made him weird.
What made him weird, mostly, was that he insisted on referring to refrigerators as, not "the 'fridge", but "the refridge".
Next time you're talking to someone about an ice box, call it "the refridge" and take note of how they look at you.
Thank you.)
My daughter and I were having a lovely time making ornaments for the tree. Jenn looked at my handiwork and stated, "You know what...?"
And my manhood died.
She quite liked the little Christmas-y things I had made and at first I was quite complimented. Then she gave me the follow up to the "You know what...?"
She was going to a party with all the nurses she works with and thought it would be just grand if I would grind out a bunch of the little things for her to make pins out of. Like fifty or ninety, surely no more than four hundred and eleven.
"Sure.", I said. I love her like crazy and want to help her have a fine Christmas in any way I can.
Then she came home last night to find me watching Mythbusters and not doing much of anything else and said, "Hey. What's going on? I don't see you making many pins for me."
Suddenly I'm like a Guatemalan in a shoe factory. Crank out those pins or your mother might not get the penicillin she needs.
Tonight I made a bunch. I hope when she delivers my productivity report, my numbers are good.

I'm actually mostly kidding. I know she will read this and I am giving her a hard time.

HOWEVER... She is going to this party. At this party will be a woman she works with. The woman she works with has a husband. The husband is a cop, either in Providence or Pawtucket, doesn't matter, he's still a cop.
Jenn is talking about us going to some nurse conference in the future and how we might be going with this woman and her cophusband.
I really, REALLY, don't want to be in a conversation with a cop where he says, "I saw that pin you made last Christmas. That was nice. Hope you didn't get clay on your skirt when you made it." Or something like that.

D'oh. I was going to say that my manhood isn't really dead, it's just on hiatus. Like there's a manhood writers strike or something, but that last thought really shot my manhood in the guts.
Ouch. My manhood hurts.

In other news...
There was a dude at the gym with a fancy new iPod Touch strapped into a clear strap thing on his arm. Some things occur to me.
First. One of the features that make the Touch so appealing is it's large glossy glass screen.
Glass. Glass screen. You're wearing a large glass screen face out while lifting metal weights around a bunch of other dorks swinging other metal weights around. The 1/16 of an inch of plastic shield you have on your screen might protect it from scratches, but it won't protect it from Gothor haphazardly thrashing his quads.
Second. You have no album art. Why in the hell would you wear your Touch exposed on your arm in a very showy fashion, when the big glossy screen, which you apparently have not figured out doesn't really need to be ON all the time, is only showing the music note of stupidness?
Hide your shame, dude. Hide your shame.

to the fellow on the elevator...

You and I walked up the hallway at the same time. I'm the guy with the tattoo on his head. Maybe you remember?
Anyway, I am concerned about you.
If you walk up a hallway, then get on an elevator and experience sleep apnea while standing up in that elevator, it might be time to re-evaluate your lifestyle.

Monday, December 10, 2007

oh, about that last post...

Jenn says that I need to find things to frustrate me, like trying to get voice over work, looking for the perfect MP3 player, dealing with album art and so on, because my life is too good.
I kinda thrive on stress and I have very little of consequence to actually cause me stress, so I need to create circumstances that bring stress.

I would love to counter this concept with something brilliant, but so far, have come up with buckets of nuttin'.
It's stressing me out.

why less blogging...

There are a couple of reasons why posting has gone down. I was cranky about not being able to capture video, that's true. Another reason is also related to video though in a different way.
I think you all have heard about the Zune. I don't know. Have I mentioned mp3 players recently? I'll have to check the archives.
In any case, I'm now carrying 80gig around on my person. I have half that in music. So I have about 40gig in free space. It makes me nuts. I was going to back up all the music to another section on the drive, but a storage tech specialist told me that was a bad idea.
I figured I'd fill it up with some of my DVD collection. Get my top 10 movies on it or something. I decided I really liked that idea. Jenn said it would be handy on "the plane", like we shuttle to the left coast all the time. With Diddy. Or some other pop culture reference guy who might be on planes a lot.
I just thought it would be cool.
Turns out, me thinking something would be cool is the surest way to find a new pain for my ass.
Getting a movie image off a DVD causes massive ass pain. Its not easy.
I know this is by design. Trying to avoid pirating.
There are two thought groups on this.
One says, if you have to break any encryption, which you do in order to get images off your DVD, you're breaking the law and are pirating.
I am in the other group which says, I already own it and I'm not giving it to anyone. How can I pirate that which I already own. (You can just shove all the copyright crap. Albums and tape. Think about it and screw you.)
As proof of my tenuous argument, I give you a conversation between two pirates.

P1: Yar! Yo ho ho!

P2: Yar.

P1: I be plannin' to plunder some booty from yonder room, yar.

P2: What? What kind of booty?

P1: I hear tell there be a fine pair of Nike shoes just waiting to be a'plundered in yar room, yar.

P2: But that's your room. Aren't those your shoes? How are you going to plunder your own shoes?

P1: Don't you try to confuse me with your "logic" you, yar!

And pirate 1 keel hauls pirate 2 or something therefore proving my point in an unassailable fashion.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

4 days with no posts...

Huh. This is the longest stretch I've gone without posting I think.
There was gonna be a really cool post a couple of days ago. It was going to have video and everything and I would have looked so just wicked brilliant.

Here's the story. When I came home from work the other night, I heard this whining, slamming, croaking noise coming from somewhere under the floor in the lobby of my building. It was coming, say, every eight seconds or so. Loud. (Heh. I had to go back and edit that last bit. Where it says, "It was coming...", I had left the t off the It.)
We live in what used to be a mill building. I guess it still is a mill building, but now people live in it. It doesn't mill anything.
However, I thought, as it once was a mill building that actually milled stuff, maybe, in some low bowel-y level, there was still machinery chugging away in the dark.
Stephen King fans can think of The Mangler. The rest of you can think of, I don't know, big can openers or something. Use your imagination for God's sake.
I could not find the source of the sound. It was one of those weird, behind a wall, confusing acoustic attributes kind of sound. I couldn't pinpoint it. When I thought I was walking near it, it seemed to be behind me all of a sudden.
Since I couldn't find it, I assumed it was no big deal. I continued on about my day.
I went upstairs to change for the gym and to play some Pain on the PS3 as Jenn was not home yet. La, la, oh la. My easily distracted mind forgot all about the sound.
I went back down stairs about 1/2 hour later, and the frequency of the sound had increased to about once every 5 or 6 seconds. Huh. Mildly concerning.
By the time I got back from the gym, it was once every 3 or 4 seconds. Slamming, whining and groaning. Something was actively failing.
After speaking to Jenn about the noise, I decided it would be cool to get it on video. I hadn't used my camera with the nice video capture on it since the honeymoon, so the battery was dead. I charged it up for a while but was chagrined to find it was not accepting a charge. I could not get the camera to turn on.
Damn it, I said.
I was bummed, but something shiny caught my eye and I forgot about the noise again.

We had a pleasant, uneventful evening.
We went to bed.

At 12:30AM, the fire alarm went off. Now, for those of you who do not live in a large building, this is not a 9volt powered fire alarm. The alarm system uses the same klaxons you will hear when the pale rider comes at the end of days.
It's loud.
The alarm system is screwed up, though. It goes off at random times and causes adrenaline spikes and impotent rage. You just try sleeping through an impotent adrenaline rage spike. It's not a warm cup of milk and a cuddly blanket.
So, it goes off and you lie there in a puddle of your own body chemistry, waiting for it to stop.
That's what I was doing. But it didn't stop. And I got concerned.
Then the sound of the machinery failing earlier in the evening slammed into my memory. I got significantly more concerned.
I looked at Jenn and said, "We should get out of the building."

It is interesting, to me anyway, and really that's the point of this whole not blogging thing, that I was attempting to rip my DVD of Die Hard earlier in the evening, because I ran out of the apartment with no shoes on.

I grabbed the dog while Jenn was grabbing the cat. It was cold outside and we have the absolute best combination of animals to have to deal with the cold with.
A chihuahua and a sphinx, which is a hairless cat.
I guess if we had an alligator it would be worse, but it still wasn't very good.
Lulu, my dog, began shivering while we were in the stairway.

My plan was to run downstairs and see if something was in the process of blowing up, before Jenn came downstairs. As it is a large building, we would then have time to go back and get the most important stuff. This was my plan. I was shoe less and mostly asleep carrying a shivering chihuahua. Perhaps my thinking was off a little.
In any case, nothing was blowing up, but it still sounded like it could.
The noise had become a steady, growling rumble that could be heard between the klaxon blasts.
It was definitely under the lobby somewhere, but I still could not target it.
I thought the best idea would be to not be standing in the lobby. So we stood in the front foyer.

Eventually, every fireman in the world showed up. They ran around with axes and big metal things to poke through burning walls with. They ran around for a while, until they eventually just started walking around, looking kind of bored.
This, I thought, was a good sign.
If the firemen come strolling out of your building, you're probably okay.
If they're running out, pushing each other out of the way with their axes and wall pokers, it might be time to split.

While I was sitting there, I became more and more upset that my camera wasn't working, because it would have been a very interesting little piece to show the seemingly innocuous sound early in the evening, then the aftermath of that sound late in the night. I'm still bummed by the opportunity missed and I've been cranky about not blogging because of it.
I know it doesn't make any sense. Leave me alone.

Some things that occurred to me while we were waiting for the okay to go back into the building.

1. The klaxon went on for a long, long, long time. The firemen had to wait for the maintenance man to come open the door to the room where the failed thing was. Don't worry, I'm gonna tell you what the failed thing was. The klaxon sounded like the worlds worst techno rave song. I would have put a kickdrum pattern to it if I had had a drum machine and we could have waved glow sticks around.

2. People kept asking if my feet were cold. I desperately wanted to say "I guess it's better than getting caught with your pants down, eh?", but I knew no one would get it and that would piss me off.

3. Everyone in all the apartments of the building was standing in or around the foyer. It was very cold in the foyer. One guy said, to lighten the mood, "If we all freeze to death, you can eat me." This statement is very much like a riddle and I wanted to have an exchange with him about how dumb what he just said was, but decided to let it go.

4. The same guy, later, said, to lighten the mood, "Wow. Everyone sure has cute pants on." Because most of the women were wearing pajama pants. I don't like people who try to be funny, because, I'm the funny one. People laughed at the "joke" and I didn't like that they had. I shot them all eye-rolling dirty looks, but they didn't seem to notice.

5. I really aggravated myself by using the worldly, knowing nod. What a jerk. A firemen eventually explained to some of us who were curious, what had happened. He said the pump for the water based sprinkler system had failed and that it had kicked off the dry system that then bled itself out. Those two systems failing and kicking off set off every alarm in the building, all at the same time. There are sensors throughout the entire building so if a fire is somewhere, the firemen have some idea where to look. I mean, if they can't see the fire through the windows.
The sensors tell them which part of the building the fire is in.
When the sprinkler systems failed the way they had, they tripped every sensor at the same time. I guess to someone looking at the alarm data, it appeared as though the building had exploded. Hence, every fireman in the world.
I was using the worldly, knowing nod when the fireman was explaining the inner workings of various types of fire deterring systems, including the plumbing needs of fire hydrants in New England as opposed to California.
I kept nodding and saying, "Oh yeah." like I was well versed in international fireplug technology. Stupid ass.

We eventually got the okay to go upstairs. Er... so we did.

We went back to sleep and the alarm went off again. Just for a moment this time, but, it was plenty enough to just totally destroy the rest of the nights sleep for me.

In the morning, I found the maintenance man sitting in the lobby, on a milk crate. I don't know where the hell he found a milk crate, but there it was.
I asked if he had been there all night and he said that he had. It seemed as though that was enough for him to share.
"Have you been here all night?"

I prodded.

"Why, have you been here all night?"
He explained that the fire sensing system was now not working at all. Thus, he had been tasked with walking the halls, every 20 minutes or so, to look for signs of fire. He said that he was there for another 1/2 hour until a fireman came to relieve him.
I assumed, when he said, relieve, he meant take over for him, not something else.

I went to work very confident that the building would still be standing when I got home. Very confident indeed.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

a good run of music...

I keep my MP3 player on random shuffle of every song I own, almost all the time. I occasionally feel like listening to a specific song, or even a whole album, but it doesn't happen very often.
I like to collect a bunch of music and play it on random so I am pleasantly surprised by the song that comes up next. It's like a radio station that has been programmed for me specifically.
Except, the programmer for my station has made some bad choices and is currently on review. I mean, the guy is kind of an ass. I have to hit Next Song much more often than you would think would be the case.
Why am I carrying everything Meat Loaf ever recorded around with me everywhere I go? After Bat Out of Hell, and maybe, Bat Out of Hell 2- Back Into Hell(Electric Boogaloo), what is there?
I have to admit to owning a significant portion of crap. I guess that's going to happen when you have 7000+ songs. They can't all be hits.

So, when a good string of music comes up and I don't have to hit Next Song for an extended period of time, it's a treat.
Yesterday, I got a good string.

Go Big- Bosstones
Summerwind- Sinatra
Love Unchained- Billy Idol
Night On Earth- Bouncing Souls
Underclass Hero- Sum 41
That's What You Get- Paramore
We Close Our Eyes- Oingo Boingo

Nice string. Then another song I quite like came up, and I think I only really listened to it for the first time. Like, really listened to the lyrics.
It's kind of a cruel bummer of a song.

I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man- Prince

At first pass, it sounds like just a bummer of a song, not a cruel bummer. Woman, pregnant with a baby to go with the other child she already has, turning 35, at a club, looking for someone to be with, because her man bailed on her.

When Prince walks up to her, because she's looking so good standing by the fire. Never could quite understand why there was fire in the club. In any case, Prince asks her if she wants to dance and she gets all ultra-clingy on him. She says, "No, I don't wanna dance. I want a good man. Are you qualified?"
Prince then tells her to not waste her time. Basically, he's looking for a one night stand and she probably wouldn't be happy with that.
She then says, "Well. Can we just be friends?"
And he says, "No. That's okay. Thanks, anyway."
Then she tells him some stuff about how horrible her life is.
And again, he says, "Look. I'm just trying to get me a booty call. You're not going to want that so leave me alone, clingy bitch."
As a justification he says, "I could never take the place of your man, anyway."
To solidify his point, he breaks into an echoed guitar solo, similar to the sax solo on the Hall and Oats classic Maneater.

Is it just me or were there a lot of songs in the 80's that featured echoed sax solos?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

and now...

The "Why Bother?" award for the day goes to...
Big fat blond lady at the gym! I would ask her to come up and receive her award, but it would probably be too much trouble.
As I was cardio-ing this morning, she was seating on a recumbant stationary bike right in front of me.
She wins the award for two reasons.
1. She had the stationary bike set to such a low level of difficulty, she was actually accunmilating calories.
Ferns get more exercise.
Beyond the fact that the bike was sweating more than she was, she had brought a stack of magazines from the rack with her. Nothing wrong with that at all, but she slammed through every one of them. She spent approximately five seconds, on average, on each page. I had a stopwatch and a calculator. Shut up.

In other news...

I know I recently said that I was now at a point in my life where "interesting" things had sort of stopped happening to me. Because my life has settled down, I don't as often put myself in weird places and situations where oddball happenings are more likely to transpire.
Still, I seem to have a bubble of freak around me. Occasional wackyness still takes place.
Some wackyness took place today at the Burger King in Wakefield.
I had just placed me and Hay's order down on the table. I wanted to relieve myself right quick before we ate, so I excused myself for the bathroom.
I entered the bathroom. It is a small room, with one urinal and one enclosed stall. My mind immediately closed its psychological blast shied upon entering, becuase something just wasn't right and my brain really didn't want to see what it was.
At second one, I noted someone standing at the urinal, fumbling with their clothes, and someone else completing their transaction and leaving the stall.
At second two, I changed trajectory from the urinal to the stall as it was clear this would be the first repository available.
Second three found my mind casting itself back to second one, as the fellow in the stall came out and I passed him. I saw that he looked like a disheveled Howard Hessman in a long tweed coat and the same second I realized the man at the urinal was standing the wrong way.
My physical inertia brought me all the way into the stall and habit inertia caused me to begin using the facility.
However, I now could not not realize what was happening.
An old man had come into the bathroom in a poop-panic. Howard Hessman was using the only stall. Poop-panic man improvised and began the duke dropping process in the urinal.
To clench this, Howard Hessman said, from outside the stall, "Sir? If you need to sit down, this guy will be done in a second."
"This guy" being me, of course.
Poop-panic man replied, in a very conversational tone of voice, "That's okay. It's too late. "
I completed my requirements,washed my hands, thoughrly, and left. I then watched the bathroom from the table.
Poop-panic man was in there for a loooong time.
A short while after he left, the workstaff of the BK, went into a bit of a tizzy. I can only assume the BK guy who went into the bathroom with a large bucket of cleaning supplies while wearing GIANT black, rubber gloves was low man on the King's totem pole.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

i've gone back and forth on this...

There is a guy who was laid off at my company. We're not in a money crunch or anything right now, but they use periodic lay-offs as a way to trim fat and dead weight, and the weight doesn't get any deader than this guy.
He spent a great deal of time on his cell phone with his, either wife or mother, or wife-mother. There was a lot of yelling, "But, I LOVE you!" and loud conversations that revealed relationship parts that really ought to be kept at home.
When I say he spent a lot of time on the phone, that really doesn't paint an appropriate picture. With no hyperbole at all, he spent every second he wasn't directly occupied by work, on the phone. In the hallway, in the stairway, in the elevator, the cafeteria, the coffee room, the smoking area outside, his car driving in, the bathroom stall... Seriously.
After I worked with him for a period of time, he moved into a customer facing position. I'm sure he was not able to stop the phone talking.
Beyond the phone talking, he was a dope-dork. It was clear that it wasn't going to work out. The only question was, how long was he going to last?

Well he didn't last long. On his last day, he wrote a farewell missive to his compatriots... Sorry for the language. I'm getting into the feeling of the letter he wrote. It is the most overwrought mess of trying too hard I have ever read.
He was not the type to burn his bridges. Sometimes, when you write a good bye letter, you end up burning them, but this dude was trying miserably to create bridges where ones had never been.
Obviously I am not dumb enough to use his name, but I am going to share with you most of his letter. Remember, I didn't write this crap.
Check it out:

To a great team of guys,

It is with a somewhat somber heart that I write this letter. I want
to thank each and everyone of you for the friendship, learning,
laughing, and teamwork. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with ya'll
getting to know some of you. I know that if (manager) could have kept us he
would have. He truly is one of the best managers I have ever had the
distinction of working with. I thank you from the bottom of my heart
(manager), you truly were a guiding example of an in tune, involved, and
shining manager.
(Holy crap what an opening! Is your dinner coming up yet?)

Manager: You are a man amongst men. (He really SAID THAT!) I have had in my lifetime, as short as it may be, a few occasions to find a boss with whom I not only
worked for but enjoyed working for, and who took an interest, truly,
in what I desired as well. I know it is not something you would have
chosen. I understand that these things happen in the course of life
and companies. Thank you for the bits of knowledge and insight you
passed on in the time I was with you. Know that you are an incredible
person and boss. Also know that I thank you for the opportunity and
taking me into a team that is so deep and letting me make my
contributions. (Good CHRIST! I hope he rented some scuba gear for his trip up that guy's ass.)

Some other guy: I definitely will miss you as you are a great person I have
enjoyed learning from you, working alongside you. Keep up the killer
work your efforts are definitely making waves. Keep working on the
classes outside of (company). And know that you made a tremendous impact on
me whether you know it or not. (Please know it whether you know it or not. Also please know that I know not the mysteries of this thing they call "the comma".)

Some other, other guy: I will always enjoy the time spent with you talking and learning the (business aspect) side of things. Especially lunches or
just chatting about work or not. (What?)

In closing please do not be strangers. Just as (manager) had an open door
policy. I have an open door policy as well. (See? The comma thing throws him off. Also, I am sure the rest of the team is infinitely comforted by your open door policy. As long as it isn't the door to the stall you are in while you are talking to your wife-mother.) I really hope ya'll
continue to do well as I know you can and do strive to do. My
personal email will be enclosed. Many, many thanks for your time.
Even more thank you for your camaraderie, friendship,(companionship, acquaintance, buddy-ness...) and help.

He's a poor thing and I really shouldn't be making fun of him, but come on, I mean, what was I gonna do?

here's some more crap for y'all...

First off, it gives me great personal pleasure to welcome Stove into the open, flappy-triceps-ed arms of the Oprah Book Club!
Stove has taken a soul-searing walk down The Road.
You go, boy. You go.

I wrote the above because he bitched at me about already knowing some of the stories I've presented. Who am I? Asimov?

In other news, I was walking into Dunkin' Donuts the other day. It was raining and everything was gray. Perhaps due to the weather, I was already in less than cheerful spirits.
I passed a pick up truck. I looked into its bed and the contents struck me with a profound sadness. There was an old computer monitor lying on it's screen, a yellow blanket, rolls of Christmas wrapping paper in a large bundle, and a beat up pair of crutches. All soaked with rain.
I thought, "This must be modern day Bob Cratchit's truck, only it looks like Scrooge didn't listen to the ghosts."
It was sad in a despondent way, not in an outrageous way. Like, if there was a puppy or something in the bed, I could have gotten pissed off at the guy. This was much more pitiful.
It reminded me of something I had seen earlier in the week, though I won't say where I saw it. Some guy bought some woman flowers, roses, to attempt to make up for what he had done wrong. The roses were sitting on a counter, completely disregarded.
I was sad for the woman because I knew that flowers were so much not nearly enough to fix what was broken and I was sad for the man who did not seem to realize or know what to do about it.
Here's the deal. If you buy your wife or whatever flowers and she says, "Screw you!" and throws them in the garbage or stomps up and down on them, then there's still something there. If she cares enough to get that mad, you're not done yet. You're drowning, but you might find a branch.
If, however, she calmly places the flowers aside on a counter and doesn't even blink at them, you're under the ice. Don't fight it. Suck the water into your lungs and get gone.

I'm actually in a pretty good mood.

Monday, November 26, 2007

another bar story...

This one starts in a bar, anyway.
Last week I made reference to "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" which I consider to be the only real Thanksgiving movie. Now, I will share with you the only real Thanksgiving story I have to share.

A number of years ago, before my life was better, I spent a quiet Thanksgiving evening with my sister. We had a nice enough time, but when the festivities were done, there was nothing else to do. I think she was going out with friends or something.
Also, everyone else I knew at the time was out of town or otherwise engaged in some way. I had a lot of nothing to do and was looking to kill some time while I made myself tired enough to go to sleep.
Having time and nothing to do often got me in trouble back then.

I went to find a bar in Providence to watch some football with a crazy crowd of people watching football which there was not at all. All the bars were very quiet and very nearly empty. For some reason, I was surprised by this.
I found one with similarly sad, life-lacking people. There was football on the television, so it was good enough.
I bellied up to the bar. At least I think I bellied up. I don't do much upping of any kind toward bars so my bellying technique might have needed some polish. No one seemed to mind.
At the time, my hair was dyed white-blond.
I was drinking soda water and lime while watching a game that nearly held my attention. I felt, more than saw, someone standing next to me and looked over to see a 40-ish woman with hair a similar color to mine own.
She sat at the stool next to me and ordered a white wine. She then made a big show of how she couldn't open her purse to pay for it.
I was feeling the good Thanksgiving vibes we all fall prey to now and again. I said I would pay for her drink and she was very grateful. She sat down and we started to talk.
The first thing we talked about was how we had the same color hair. It was very deep. The conversation, not the color.
She was the kind of person who looked good unless you really looked. When I say good, I mean both in appearance and in value to society.
She had the disturbing habit of looking at Lord Sloth, Overlord of the Seventh Dimension of Hell, who apparently always stood just behind my left shoulder, when she was talking to me.
When I was talking to her, she could hold eye contact for approximately 4 seconds, then she would look at Lord Sloth again.
The conversation quickly lead to deaths in her family, her poor health and the fact that her daughter had not spoken to her in several years.
At one point, I believe she made reference to being Marilyn Monroe's either make-up artist or Doppelgänger.
With my years of experience in mental health, I quickly deduced that she was slightly wonky.
Although she was slightly wonky, and her story doubled back and frequently contradicted itself, there was clearly a deep level of sadness in her and it was clearer that she was very lonely.
Who wants to be wonky AND very lonely on Thanksgiving? I thought it would be good to do something nice for her.
I asked if she had eaten and she said that she had not. I took her to Via Via, which is right off Thayer Street in Providence. This is a great place for pizza. They have lovely, fresh toppings, including nice, whole slices of tomato, which I enjoy.
We ordered us up a pie, with nice, whole slices of tomato, and a couple of Diet Cokes, then sat down.
We continued to speak about her horrible life, until the pizza was complete. As I was being all gallant, I went and fetched the pizza while she sat and continued to placidly sip Diet Coke.
I put the pizza down and she lost her mind. She looked at the pizza and freaked the freak out.
"TOMATOES!!? TOMATOES!!? TOMATOES!!?", she said in a way that caused me to gawk.
She began to grab tomato slices and frisbee them around the room. Slices stuck to the walls and the windows and narrowly missed other patrons.
"Tomatoes.", she said to me in a very reasonable tone.
She then picked up the pizza, walked to the counter and heaved it over at the scared looking fellows behind, while screaming, "My BOYFRIEND does not like TOMATOES on his PIZZA!!"
I was frantically pantomiming the fact that I was not her boyfriend to who ever might care, though no one seemed to.
I somehow corralled her back into my car. Why I did this is a mystery. I could have just bailed, but I felt responsible for her. Bleagh.
We drove away and I asked her where she was staying and that I would bring her there. She said, "Aren't I staying at your house?"

When I stopped silently screaming/laughing, I said, "No. No. No you're not going to my house."
She noticed my daughter's child seat in the backseat and her toys that were thrown around. She asked me if I was a f***ing pedophile and suggested I ignite and visit Lord Sloth in the Seventh Dimension of Hell.
And that was about all the loony I could take for one Thanksgiving. I pulled up to a curb, reached past her, opened her door and said, "Get out."
She started crying again and apologized, but the gallant meter was on E. I stared at her until she got out of the car.
I pulled away and the acceleration of the car slammed the door shut in a way that I thought would be quite dramatic, then immediately felt like a heel.

The moral of this story? Don't ever try be compassionate, ever.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

a story came up at lunch yesterday...

I'm not sure what conversation brought this story to the front of my mind. I guess it doesn't matter. But as it came up yesterday and is still fresh in my mind, I will share it with you.
I don't know if you've picked up on this or not, but I tend to share certain embarrassing things I've done, or am thinking of doing, or said, or thought or whatever, fairly readily. I love it. I think I'm mostly a dork-o and have endless fun pointing out the silliness of me.
I love pointing out silliness in general, true, but I don't avoid myself as a target I imagine is my point.
This story, while quite funny, is very embarrassing to me. Much more so, as I have matured or something, than it was before. I used to be able to tell it with no problem. Yesterday, at lunch, I actually considered not telling it. I almost never shy away from sharing a humorous story, but yesterday I almost did.

Those of you who don't like to read long stories might wanna bail now. Those of you who do, hunker down.

I don't drink. I believe I've made it clear before, but maybe you missed it. I've been drunk I think 3 times. I've never had a hangover. I've never been told the following day after a night of craziness about some exploit with a lampshade while exposing myself that I just don't remember. I've never had that thing from "comedy" movies where you wake up next to some scary chick you can't recall getting into bed and doing LORD KNOWS what with.
I've had years long relationships with scary chicks... Never mind. Not now.
I am always the sober one. I'm always the one who is going to make the more informed decisions and drive and tell you what an ass you were last night. That's my job and I'm quite happy with it.
What I am not happy with, is the fact that I cannot ever use, "I was drunk." as an excuse for stupidly dopeass behavior.
I have to take responsibility for every decision I make. My only excuse is "I am not that smart." It kinda sucks. I sure could use the drunk-y card to pull once in a while.
This situation is one where I would like to have been able to use it.
The end of the summer after 9-11, so five years ago... Is that right? Was it really only five years ago? My life has taken some MASSIVE steps towards improvement in a short time. Yikes.
My friend's parents had a summer home in one of the Carolinas. North or South, I can't remember. Probably North. Let's say North.
They were selling their summer home in North Carolina as they didn't use it enough. My friend asked me and a couple of other guys to head down with him to close the house up to fully prepare it for sale.
As I was not working at the time, and had not been for some time, I was looking for ANYTHING to do, so I quickly agreed.
We went down and had a most excellent couple of days. While down there, someone made a massive batch of chili. Pounds and pounds of it. One night we all ate until we were sick, but there was still an enormous bowl of it left over.
In the morning, this friend said that he was going to eat all of the leftover chili. I bet him that he could not possibly. He made a counter bet. Not only would he eat all the chili in the bowl, but he would enjoy a lovely Twinkie immediately after.
I took the bet. He ate all the chili. But he did not eat the Twinkie. He didn't eat much of anything for a long time, in fact, and was frequently vacant from our sight and ,thankfully, sense of smell.
This was a trip of bets. A trip of gambling. We played a lot of poker. I was on one of those tears that make you think you should hop a plane to Vegas, right now.
Every card I needed came to me. I was pulling insane hands out of the air and was destroying everyone.
I took all the money they were willing to give me. No one wanted to play with me anymore, but I still wanted to play. Duh.
I offered this. Instead of playing for money, why don't we play for immunity? The person who won the next hand would have the ability to do ANYTHING they wanted, be as STUPID as they could, sleep with WHOEVER they wanted (who would sleep with them) and no one could say anything, EVER. No one could tell on them. No one could give them a hard time. Everything they did from the moment after the game until the time we got home, would be, forever, secret.
I'm sure I didn't use language with as much gravity as the above, but that was the point.
We all agreed and sacrificed a goat to seal the pact. The goat was made out of the Twinkies chili-boy couldn't eat.
Ooh. The tension.
I won the hand with something just impossible like I had a royal flush and everyone else was playing with CVS coupons.
Everyone laughed when I won because it would be wasted on me. I didn't drink and rarely did anything I would want to keep a secret. Oh, ho, ho. What a ridiculous turn of events!
Ah well, we said, let's continue our trip knowing Swarvey will never need what he just won! HA! HA, HAHAH!!
Our plan was to finish with the house and drive back up the coast to spend some time in NYC. It was still kind of a weird place to go, even a year after 9-11.
As we were driving into the city, another friend of mine looked at the lights they had once had in place commemorating the spots where the towers had stood. He looked out the window with childlike awe and amazement, followed the path of the massive beams of light into the sky and said, "Did they make those beams of light so they would be as high as the towers were?"
I told him, yes. Didn't he know the towers were 10,000 stories tall?
We went to Hogs and Heifers. This is a kind of famous dive bar in the meat packing district. It's the bar the movie and subsequent chain of knock-off bars Coyote Ugly was based on. (There is actually some question on which bar really opened first. I don't care at all.) Chick bartenders dancing on the bar and yelling stuff. It's quite the spectacle. It gets insanely crowded. There is a small pool table in the back, but unless it's noon on a Tuesday, don't try to really play.
We were there at peak time on a Friday or Saturday night and were of course trying to play, when all of a sudden... We caught the attention of some LADIES. Oh yeah.

Disclaimer- This next bit involves some level of physical intimacy betwixt me and someone who is not Jenn.

I was speaking to someone who proclaimed themselves to be a "hardcore" lesbian. She said she had not been with a man in seven years and was interested only in the company of other female types. She said she had been drinking a bit. She said that even though she was a "hardcore" lesbian, she was attracted to me.
Up until I just wrote that, I always saw it as a massive compliment. Now that I read it, I wonder if I should.
In any case, she was a slightly (perhaps more than) drunk, mostly (in my memory) attractive "hardcore" lesbian (she said) who had taken up the hobby of chewing enthusiastically on my neck for a long period of time.
She asked me if I wanted to go into the bathroom with her as she was looking to expand the focus of this hobby.

Okay. So. Here's a picture of the door to the only bathroom in the place:

At the top of the door you see, strategically placed to be about eye-level with average height men, a sign. A yellow sign. It's hard to miss.
I know you can't read it from the picture, but the sign reads:

For future reference, here is a picture with a man standing next to one of Hogs and Heifers bouncers:

She lead me into the bathroom and as I was not at all drunk, that sign, and the signs immediate implications to me, hit me in the face. But I still went into the bathroom.
There was enough time for some more neck chewing and frantic grasping at my fly (I'll let you decide for yourself who the grasper was) when the bouncer from the above picture began pounding on the bathroom door with enough force to change the molecular composition of the iron hinges so that they began to look like a bowl of petunias who said, "Oh no. Not again."
After I shook the Beeblebrox out of my eyes, I timidly opened the door and was instantly grabbed by a hand the size of ten or fifteen hands and thrown out the back door of the establishment where I sat waiting for my friends to run to my rescue immediately which they just totally did not do at all.
They figured if I was dumb enough to get thrown out, I deserved to sit outside by myself for a while. I had no good argument to counter with and I hate that.
When the finally came out, they squinted into the sunshine to allow their eyes to adjust, then looked at me and said, "HOLY EXPLETIVES!!"
With all the enthusiastic neck chewing, I ended up with two rather massive hickeys on either side of my neck. Like, they went from my shoulders to my ears massive. They were instantly recognizable, by anyone within 50 feet of me, as being big, giant, hickeys on both sides of my neck.
So, while I had won total immunity to do whatever stupid thing I wanted to with no fear of interpersonal consequences, I had done a thing with immediately recognizable physical evidence that I could not hide.

I would like to have been able to use the "I was drunk." card.

and I can't get voice over work...

Was listening to the radio this morning when a commercial came on for a new SUPER station in Boston. This voice over guy was talking about the SUPER station's SUPER new line up and, in particular, how they now have Chappelle's Show which they would be showing paired up with Reno 911.
Except he pronounced the word Chappelle, when saying both Chappelle's Show and Dave Chappelle, with a hard CH sound. He did it five times in the spot.

There are two ending jokes to this post. Pick your favorite.

1. At a diner later, voice over guy was heard asking for a bag of ships with his sandwish. Apparently all of the CH concepts baffle him.

2. The call letters for the new station are WGED.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

undisputable proof of global warming...

Al Gore called me last night and asked me if I was watching the same DVD he was. I said, "Those aren't PILLOWS!!", and we both shared a good laugh.
Of course we were watching the only real Thanksgiving movie in existence, "Planes, Trains and Automobiles".
We kept the line open and made interesting and funny comments to each other at appropriate times and were generally having a good time.
Then, when Neal and Del are on the back of Owen's truck, riding to Stu-Stubbville from Witchita, Neal asks Del what he thinks the temperature is. Del, responds... "One."


Think about it.

Tomorrow is the day before Thanksgiving. The weather forecast for Kansas tomorrow says that it will be, prepare yourself for this as it is quite shocking, 33 degrees. TODAY, RIGHT NOW, it is 48 degrees.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles was released in 1987. 20 years ago. In those twenty years, the temperature in Kansas has risen more than 30 degrees!!
By the time the movie reaches it's 50th anniversary, it will be 315 degrees in Kansas for Thanksgiving!
I hope you've all got good air conditioning because 315 degrees is way, wicked, hot.

Undisputable. Go ahead. Try to un-undispute it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

oh people...

I was doing some shopping this weekend with Jenn and Hayley and ran across a couple of interesting fellows.
The first fellow was at the back of the Home Goods store with his lady, looking at furniture. This was one of those couples who appear to have gone out of their way to look almost exactly alike. They were both slightly chubby, with houndstooth, knee-length jackets, skateboarder sneakers and frayed jeans. I think they were kinda upper-middle-class, like someone from a John Hughes movie, but they were pretending to be disadvantaged. Their jeans, while frayed, were very specifically and evenly frayed. They both looked like they were wearing poor-thing costumes.
Also, they both had the same Peter Brady 1976 haircut. Weird.
Why do I think they were pretending to be disadvantaged? The fellow saw himself as a writer, and everyone knows writers have hard lives. Why do I think the fellow saw himself as a writer? Because he was looking at random pieces of furniture with his lady and proclaiming, into a hand held tape recorder, seriously, "There is a story here! This bureau , imagine if when you opened the drawers, you saw the answers to the questions you had in your mind. Like, you want to find your keys, and you open the drawer and there is a map to your keys..."
"Why wouldn't your keys just be in the drawer?", his lady offered helpfully.
"Where is that drama in that?", he countered.
Again I was fascinated about what some strangers who are none of my business were talking about, and I followed them as long as I could, to get more of this wacko conversation, because I see myself as a writer and they were a mighty fine chest of drawers.

Later in the day, I was in Walgreen's. I grabbed whatever stuff I needed and made my way to the cash register with a quarter of a million other people. The dude in front of me in line had on the most excellent hat in the Universe.
It was one of these:

But, it's width was that of a large pizza box. I cannot find an image anywhere that even comes close. It was massive and hilarious and neither the guy nor his wife seemed to have any idea about either it's massiveness or it's hilariousness.
He was asking the cashier lady about some item or other that was supposed to be on sale, but of which there were no more. I didn't catch the item, but I bet it had something to do with either leather hat care, or headaches.
The cashier lady told him that the manager had only put so many of the item out, and that she didn't know why and didn't know where he was to ask him if he was going to put any more out.
He responded, "Erroneous.", in a tone of voice that said, "Ah. What are you gonna do, right?"
This made my eyes cross slightly, but the cashier took little notice, she only said, "Yeah."

I can't think of what word he might have been thinking he was using when he used that word totally wrongly with the wronglyest inflection and subtext of meaning he could put on it.
If you have an idea what word he was thinking of, let me know.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

stuff and things...

I saw a commercial this evening where a guy in cool sunglasses stands at the top of the Empire State Building, squinting coolly into the setting, or rising, sun. He suddenly leaps off the top of the building and plummets, head first and flaming, into the concrete below, to explode on impact into thousands of little quicksilver spheres.
The spheres come together in the street and coalesce into the form of a Hummer with the guy in cool sunglasses behind the wheel.
The guy drops the Hummer into gear and drives up the face of the Empire State Building to continue squinting coolly into the either setting or rising sun.
I was about to hop on a bus to New York because it looked like a good time, when I noticed small print at the bottom of the screen telling me that this was only a "Dramatization" and informing me "Do Not Attempt".
Thank God for the small print at the bottom of commercials.

In other news...

China today recalled the toy reproduction of Marvin the Martian's Uranium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator, because it is actually not a reproduction at all.
A spokesperson for China stated, "Don't play with that toy! No!! Whole world go BOOM!"

In other news...

It was confirmed today that I am the "most buff" of all the men on staff with me at my job. This is very similar to being told that you are the "most attractive" of all the Ernest Borgnine look-alikes.

Those are the things I am telling you today.

That's my sign-off. You like it? I say it to myself in my Walter Conkite voice.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

my promise

I went around to various places looking for the second generation Zune. Mach 2 takes all the good things and makes them better and fixes all the bad things, of Mach 1.
Last night I dropped off my first gen at the Best Buy, who was still very cool about the return. I asked the Best Buy dude if they were getting the 2nd gens in tomorrow (today). He said, yes, they were. They even had a demo unit to play with, but it wasn't charged quite yet.
I said, no prob. I'll come back tomorrow.
He said, "Yes. Do so. You will be able to buy your new thing then! Yay!"
Today, at the Best Buy, the other people who are not the dude from yesterday, told me they didn't know what I was talking about, that they had no such thing as an 80Gig 2nd generation Zune and had in fact never heard of a 80Gig 2nd generation Zune. They asked if, perhaps, I was referring to the 8Gig 2nd generation flash Zune. Hmm? Was that what I meant? Hmm? Perhaps?
I may be deranged and obviously have a bit of a obsession issue, but I know when a thing exists and when it does not.
But then they looked on their computer and still didn't find it, so I was like, oh, well then, if you looked on your COMPUTER... I wasn't expecting that. I'll go away ashamed now.
I won't go into the details, but I will tell you that I went to many places and that none of them had them. One guy in another Best Buy told me he had a whole box of them, but that he was not able to sell them. They were being sent back...
I asked where they were being sent back to, but I think he must have Normalized me, because I don't recall to where he said.
I got one. That's all you need to know.

Here's the promise. I am done writing about MP3 players. That's not the promise, though it's the truth. The promise is this:
If I am displeased in any way with this new Zune, if I am tempted to bring it back, I will construct a pendulum type device to which I will attach my Doc Marten. I will set it up so when I pull on a rope, the shoe swings towards me and connects with my shnutts.
I promise, I will kick myself in the shnutts.
Not only will I kick myself in the shnutts, I will record the video and share it with you all.

There is no EQ on the Zune...

Where's my hammer?

Just in case.

Monday, November 12, 2007

fred claus

Fred Claus only made 19 million dollars this weekend. Analysts can't figure out why it made so little, as so much went into the budget for writing and the obviously impressive cast.
Maybe you should allow a little more distance from Halloween before you release your Christmas movie, ya friggin' dorks.

Friday, November 9, 2007

i'm looking to kick you swarvey...

I would like, very much, to get in the ol' Delorian and go back in time just a couple of weeks. I would like to go back in time just long enough to stop myself before going into the Best Buy to buy the iPod touch.
As I spoke on with Steve last night, I've entered into an ever expanding reverb loop of suck.
The suck is coupling upon itself. It is like an giant onion of suck with many layers of suck beneath each one which I expose. Like and onion, it makes me cry.
I gave up on the touch. Okay. But, I really, really liked the album art. I wanted to have album art on my Creative Zen. The version of firmware I was running did not allow for changes to album art. I needed to update the firmware and also, because Creative Media Manager runs it in the background, Windows Media Player. No problem. I update both and begin to make updates to album art.
As I mentioned previously, the Zen can only display this art at the size of a small postage stamp or perhaps a single piece of Life cereal. It's underwhelming.
I thought, it was not worth taking the time to do it and put off the continuation of the massive project of updating the art.
Yesterday was the first time I was going to listen to it in the car since the update. As I'm driving along I notice that the sound is not exactly what I was accustomed to. It always had excellent sound. No distortion. Nice warmth. Good volume and fairly deep EQ settings.
Now, not so much. But I can't figure out why.
I blow it off, get home, change, then take it to the gym. I always used it at the gym. I had discovered the sweet spot for volume. The Zen's volume goes from 1 to 25. I thought it should go to 26, just so it was a little louder. In any case, I had found that volume level 19 was perfect. Loud enough so I didn't have to hear the dopey things people say to each other at the gym. "This weight it heavy." But not so loud as to cause bleeding. Very nice.
Gone. 19 is gone. I had the volume all the way to 25 and it was not as loud as 19 had been before.
Not only that, but it had a bad habit of freezing if I scrolled through music too fast. The fix for this had always been, allow any song to play for 4 seconds before switching to the next song. It is not a reasonable fix and Mark said he would have smashed it for not allowing him to switch, switch, switch, switch. The update to the software was supposed to stabilize this issue.
It did not. Not only was the volumed ganked, but it froze when I switched too fast anyway.
When I got home I looked up issues with the version of code and found that Creative, being mindful of my inability to be able to care for myself, enacted the European Volume Cap. Apparently, everyone in Europe is blowing their heads up, so they have laws in place allowing iPods and such to not be any louder than a kitten purring.
I can't roll the code back and I cannot find a hack for it and it keeps freezing and it does not display album art in the way I want.
If I had never bought the touch, I never would have realized how much I liked album art and never would have messed with the Zen. It still froze, but I had come to terms with that.

So. What to do? I know! I run back to Best Buy, whip out my Best Buy gift card again and buy a Zune! Nice screen, good sound quality. Got good reviews. Just aggravated people because it was marketed as a social, let's all share our music all the time, device, but it really wasn't.
I don't care about that. I don't want it for WiFi music sharing with some hippy. I want my music presented with good quality at a reasonable volume and a nice screen that shows album art at a decent size. For those things, the Zune looked like the way to go.
I bought it. Not expensive. 199 for 30gig. Pretty good. It looks a little clunky and it slightly bigger than my Zen, but album art is presented nicely and the whole screen looks nice and good. Not as good as the touch, but very few things are.
It seemed like a good compromise and I felt myself pulling out of the suck spiral.

But no. This particular suck spiral is quite strong.
Allow me to explain. The Zune is a Microsoft device. My PC is running Windows XP. A logical person would think you could just slap a USB cable on the Zune and onto the PC and POOF! connection. Apparently there were no logical people around when they designed the software.
My PC will not recognize the device. The driver WILL NOT INSTALL. I've been through the FAQs and troubleshooting guides on Microsoft and have not been able to get my PC to see the frigging thing.
Manual install of driver.
Uninstall and reinstall of device.
Uninstall and reinstall of the Zune software.
Install on another login.
Different USB ports.
Total uninstall with removal of all temp files.
More time on the internet, more FAQs.
Nothing. Device manager sees it as a generic USB device and Zune software does not see one connected at all.
The various FAQs have suggested returning it or getting a new cable for it. I will return it first and see what happens.

If I happen into a wormhole at the Best Buy and stumble across myself from two weeks ago, I am going to give myself such a kick in the shnutts.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

to the food cookery guy...

You will notice, food cookery guy, that I did not refer to you as a "chef". I did not refer to you as a "short order cook", either. I was going to use these terms, but representatives from both the "chef" and the "short order cook" unions happened to be looking over my shoulder when I wrote this. It's an amazing, almost unbelievable coincidence, I know, but there it is.
They told me that if I were to refer to you in any way that could be associated with their groups, they would sic Gordon Ramsey on me and I just don't have the energy for another round with him.
Grant me an aside... Gordon Ramsey is 38 years old. Ask him. He says it all the time. The show has been on in both America and the UK for some time, but he's still saying he's 38.
I'm 38. 38 does not look like this:

Look at the crags and valleys in this guys face. He might be 38 if he spent every second of his 38 years in the Gobi desert being trampled by yaks.


Food cookery guy, I ordered 5 egg whites. 5 egg whites. Tasteless and bland sources of protein. Why would I do that? Hmm? Why just the whites? Why not the whole tasty egg? Hmm? Did you wonder about that at all?
Maybe, and I'm going way out on a limb here, maybe it's because I'm somewhat concerned about my cholesterol. Maybe.
If I am concerned enough about my cholesterol to order only the WHITES of some EGGS, why in the blue, fancy F***, would you deliver to me THIS???

You can see I scooped out a little divot in my, once innocent, egg whites. I scooped out this divot to allow a pooling space for the seven pounds of butter you cooked my egg whites in.
Did it not occur to you at all that cooking egg whites in seven pounds of butter then pouring melted butter on them negates the effect of consuming egg whites? If I ordered a nice grilled chicken breast, would you serve it in a bowl of mayonnaise? How about some lean turkey meat grilled up and served with the entire contents of a pig chopped up and blended into a greasy jam? Mmmm. Sounds good, doesn't it?
McFly? Hello, McFly??

Speaking of McFly. Biff Tannen was on House the other night. Whew. He looked better dressed as Griff's grandfather.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

i renounced the iFlock last night...

Hmm... That title sounds like a euphemism of some kind. Or maybe my brain is wired to hear euphemisms where there are none.
Some nameless stand-up comic back in the day had a bit that sort of talked about this tendency. He said that men could make anything sound sexual, even if it made no sense.
One guy says to the other, "Hey. I had to change a tire last night." The other guys says, "Oh! Lookit her! I'd like to change HER tire! Oh yeah!" Or something like that. I'd love to give the guy credit, but I don't know who he is. You'd think, with writing like that, he'd be a household name.
In any case. I brought the iPod touch back to Best Buy last night. I had had enough. It is pretty and shiny and nifty and neat-o, but ultimately disappointing. WiFi was touch and go under the best circumstances. The best circumstances being standing in front of an unlocked wireless router with two other wireless computers showing solid signal. It kind of ebbed and flowed. Like the internal radio was responding to the random flapping of a butterfly's wing somewhere in Nebraska.
I had jailbreak-ed it, because I wanted to be able to play cool games on it. Even jailbrake-ed, there are no nifty games. There are a lot of applications out there, but what I saw was sub-craptastic.
Finally, and I've discovered this is an issue with iPods, at least in my experience, the headphone jack output to headphone jack input on my car stereo presented inconsistant sound quality. Listening to it with headphones was fine, listening to it in the above config was not. Sound was all over the place. Even with the volume leveling feature engaged, I was constantly adjusting the volume on either the stereo or the iPod, frequently both.
So while it was pretty and shiny and nifty and neat-o, it was not 400 dollars worth of any of those adjectives.
I guess there is a pretty rampant market for them though, because when I brought it back, one of the customer service girls said, "Really!? You want to return it!? Is it broken? Should I run and get you another one right away so you're not without it for too long?"
I said, "No. It's not broken. It works fine. I just don't like it."
She said, "Really!?!"
I have to say, even though Best Buy can annoy me like a shark tooth in my sneaker, they were very cool about it.
While the return was in process, one of the other girls behind the counter was playing with it. She looked at it for a little while because she said she hadn't seen one or played with one before. Er... Euphemism sense tingling... Sorry. After she had fondled it (heh) for a little while, she said, "Wow. It's pretty and neat, but it looks like it would kind of be a pain in the ass."
I was amazed at how true the sentiment was, but couldn't help wondering how much longer she would be employed by the Best Buy.
One thing I learned from my brief jaunt into the iWorld is that I really like album art. More that anything, I dug seeing the album displayed on that big screen in nice lovely color. That is very cool and I will miss it. My next MP3 player, when I actually HAVE to buy one, will have the ability to display album art nicely.
I say nicely, because my Creative Zen Vision:M displays album art.
However, at the size of a postage stamp. A smallish postage stamp. It's not the same.

In other news, Dog the Bounty Hunter is insane. On Sean Hannity last night, he stated that until a couple of days ago, he didn't know the N-Word offended anyone and that he equated himself with a black woman.
Tyra Banks he is not.
A&E Television is probably going to take his show off the air. I think Dog has a workman's comp suit he can bring against them, though. I think the black vapor that Dog appears in at the beginning of every show is toxic and is deteriorating his brains.
I always said I wished I could appear in a black cloud of smoke like Dog does, but not at the expense of all common sense and intelligence and ability to say anything anyone is ever going to believe EVER.

Monday, November 5, 2007

things from this morning...

There was a lot of 5-0 on the road this morning. It looked like a heavy-drinking holiday, or the end of the month, get up to date on quotas situation.
It isn't either, so I don't know why there were so many police out, but there they were.
I was driving at the perfectly legal ten miles over the speeding limit. Everyone knows this is a legal surpassing of the legal limit.
I was driving my daughter to school when we passed a somewhat hidden law officer car. We went another 1/4 of a mile, and the car pulled out onto the road.
My daughter has never been with me getting a ticket, she's never experienced it before, so I wanted to give her a heads up.
I said, "I think we're going to get a ticket..."
She immediately launched up to her knees in her seat and started peering out the back window of our car in a way that I can only assume, were I the policeman behind me, looked highly suspicious. It would certainly get me looking at the car if I wasn't already.
Turns out, the officer was pulling someone else over.
I said, "Well, that's good. We really weren't speeding much at all. I would have been surprised if..."
"What do you mean WE?", she said. "I'M not driving. Only YOU are driving. I'm just the passenger."
I kinda got the feeling she would have turned me over to the gestapo if our life situation was different.

In other news, again bathroom related, I was at the urinal in an empty bathroom earlier. This is a bathroom with a lone urinal, and two stalls.
As I said, the bathroom was empty. I was using the urinal.
Another bloke entered the bathroom and apparently almost didn't notice me at the urinal. He was behind me, so I couldn't see, but it sounded like he was walking towards me and had to suddenly jerk to a stop when he saw someone in front of him.
That, by itself, is odd because I was using the necessary sniffs and coughs we use to let someone coming into the bathroom know they are not alone.
But the odd doesn't end there. Clearly he wanted to use the urinal a lot because, even though there were two perfectly empty stalls available to him, he stood behind me and waited for me to finish.
He wasn't directly behind me, like, rubbing my shoulder or anything, but still...
Go use the other facility type, please?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

keep gelflings out of america...

Jenn and I went to dinner the other night and we had a Gelfling as our waitress. I know I’m going to get labeled as a racist for saying this, but I hate it when it happens. I mean, for customer service of any kind, they don’t have the right tools or abilities.
Have you ever noticed in a face-to-face interaction with them that their lips don’t really match the words that are coming out of their heads. If you tune out the words you are hearing, the mouth movements they’re making should only form the sounds, “Muuh. Mah, muhmuh, muuh, muh, mah.” It’s unsettling. Couple that with their weird little faces and doll-ish body formality and live customer relations jobs should be discounted for them completely.
They should not do telephone support of any kind, either. That lilting, sing-song, and breathy way they speak? It goes through my head like a soft, rose-colored ice pick. I asked Jenn what that accent they had was. She said she believed it was the speech pattern of a benign and gentle race who promote kindness and tolerance.
To hell with that. This is America. You come to America you learn how to speak American. Damn it.
So, without the skills to successfully complete any of the above job types, why would you go into waitressing, for god’s sake? Those inadequacies alone should be enough to keep you from trying to wait tables, but that’s not nearly the end of their failings.
I made reference to the unsettling nature of their faces when they speak. If only that were the end of it. I know all of you reading are good people, and you probably try to not notice these things, but really take a look at the next Gelfling you’re around. Watch what they do.
We were on the second level of this restaurant. You had to go up a little flight of stairs to get to it. When our waitress would step onto the stairs to make her way up to us, invisible, almost invisible, strings would appear on all of her joints. These strings went up, up, up into the air… to what? I don’t know and I’m sure I don’t want to know.
When it was time for her to go down the stairs, she didn’t climb them down, no. Little pink wings sprouted from her back and she glided down them.
How have we, as a society, become so politically correct as to allow this to go on without saying anything? How do we allow it and pretend not to notice?
When she came back with our food, I knew what was coming next. They have no manual dexterity really at all, when you watch closely. They trick you. It looks like they’re accomplishing something, and somehow, if you lose focus, they do accomplish what they’re trying to do. But you can’t SEE them actually do it.
What am I talking about? This waitress is a perfect example. When she delivered our food, she put it all on the table with what appeared to be an almost random, not-quite-flailing of her arms. I never saw her actually pick anything up. She just kind of pushed it around with her floppy hands.
I blinked. When I looked down at the table, everything was where it was supposed to be. Creepy.
I decided to push the issue. I know they have no finger articulation. I know it. I don’t know how they get through the day or tie their shoes, but I know they can’t move their digits.
I asked the waitress, Kira, or something, to open the bottle of ketchup for me.
Yes! Her face took on what I like to call, Gelfling face number 3. The one where the eyes get wide, the eyebrows go way up, and the mouth opens like this, “Aahhhhh.”
Strings appear, she jumps up and runs away.
I have a good laugh, but Jenn looks at me disapprovingly.
Hey. Another thing you have to be able to do if you’re going to come to America is open a bottle of ketchup.
So dinner progresses and it’s fine. Then, I run out of Diet Coke. I need tasty beverage to wash down my burger... Wait, I’m crossing my movie references… Er…
I like soda.
She’s taking a really long time to come back, and when she finally does, she looks all haggard and drawn. Great. She’s selling her everlasting essence on the side. Filthy Gelfling! Naughty Gelfling! HATEFUL GELFLING!

We pay the bill, get on our Landstrider and head home.

Friday, November 2, 2007

halloween and stuff...

This post could have been titled with something that referenced that damned iPod touch, because its been taking up most of my free bandwidth and a great deal of my bandwidth which has already been assigned to a process.
But, if I start focusing all my non-blogging to it, it will have truly won.
So even though I am clearly talking about it right now, I'm gonna stop.
In a minute.
Album art. Kill me.
I've been spending all my time finding and assigning album art to my music. Why? Why am I doing it? I never cared before.
Because of the nifty flip through your albums interface of the touch. If you don't assign album art AND in a way iTunes likes, the flip through interface is not just worthless, it is angering.
Angering like if you were trying to have an important conversation with someone half in a coma. That blank stare of blankness you'd get. It feels like that. Like you wanna slap it for looking at you like that. Futile stare of incomprehention.
Its so bad that when I was talking to steve about it, I described the place holder useless graphic it uses when there is no or it doesn't recognize the album art as a dopey square with a frustrating question mark looking at you with frustrating, questioning stupidness.
My mind made that up, though. Its actually little happy stupid frustrating music notes of questioning stupidness. Much better.
But we are not talking about the iPod touch or the hours of time I have spent not having fun with it while updating album art.

This post is about Halloween and trick or treating.
I went with Hayley and some friends. Kids are lightweights now. They carry little plastic pumpkin heads to capture treats and are tired and done in just over an hour.
I used to carry a pillow case and didn't stop until I almost couldn't carry the damned thing.
The candy would be gone in two weeks.
Last year, Hayley still had some at Easter.
There were some kids being DRIVEN to houses. Gah. Shame on everyone in that minivan. Shame, shame indeed.
There was one kid in our group who will be suplicating on the floor of a casino pit boss's office some day. He clearly felt he should stop and kept saying so, but then he would say, "Just one more house. One more. Then I can get even. One more. Then I'm out."
As far as I know, he is still out there. I dig his dedication to candy, but I worry for hm.
He was almost the kid I would have labeled the Halloween king, until I saw the kid with the real pumpkin on his head. He had carved an upside-down jack-o-lanternb and was wearing it as a mask. I saw him a number of times and he always had it on. That's hard core. The inside of a pumpkin is moist and stinky.
You mean it if you're wearing one on your head.
You rock kid.

See? Not about the iPod at all.
I'm okay.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

acting class again...

It was decided that last night's acting class would not be a class at all. We were going to SEE a play. I guess the idea was to allow us to witness those doing what we'd like to be doing and to see the way what we would like to be doing was supposed to be done. Or something.
I say, or something, because that is what the play was. It was called Weightless.
I would describe for you the plot, if I knew what the plot was.
It appeared as though there was a well-off family living in a high rise apartment. They finally got their piece of the pie, if you will.
The mother of the family was a successful cosmetic surgeon with a hobbling case of agoraphobia. She did all her surgery over the INTRAweb, using tactile-feedback gloves. No one in the play ever used the terminology tactile-feedback, however. The writer could have used a quick tour around The mom just referred to some gloves she wore and how she could almost feel the skin of the patient.
Using some nice geek-speak would have been a pleasant addition.
The son of the family is on chemical probation. I don't know if such a thing exists, but it sounds like a good idea. Keep a maniac whacked up on goofballs.
In order to whack the maniac up on goofballs, you need a live-in nurse or caregiver. They had one. She appeared to have some ulterior motives that were hard to follow. She kept asking the father for money. She may have been after money. Tough to say.
The father... I'll get to the father.
The maniac son whacked up on goofballs loves that caregiver and likes to gently strangle her until she stabs him with a syringe that looked suspiciously like a Sharpie.
Whatever was in this Sharpie was really strong stuff as the maniac would immediately fall on the floor in, like, a coma deal.
The maid would clean up the coma. The maid was a man dressed as a woman with an undisclosed accent. The mother experimented on the maid with different procedures. At one point, she apparently attaches large pigeon wings to her back. But, don't be afraid, they're gone in the next scene.
The maid, it seems, has had to have her memories and her adherence to the law of gravity locked in a safe deposit box to make sure she is a good worker to the family. Of course, the safe deposit box is in the basement. As the maid no longer is affected by gravity, she can't get to the basement. Like we haven't seen this plot point a thousand times.
The care giver and the mother are having an affair, but only so the caregiver can get information to the father about what's wrong with his and the mother's marriage.
I'm getting to the father.
The apartment itself is a character in this play. There is a large crack down the center of the floor which sometimes opens. I am sure when this crack opens, it means something.
Uh.. the elevators don't work. There is an army contained riot going on below the family and the maid is having sex, sort of, with the father.
The father. The father has breasts. He is growing breasts to try to get the attention of the mother, who loves breasts. His breasts get slightly larger until, toward the end of the play, he turns into a chicken.
Yes. He turns into a chicken. Builds a nest and clucks a lot.
Then the building collapses and everyone dies.

This is one of those plays that I am not smart enough to understand. I know there is a lot of subtext and allegory and implications that are beyond my reach.

The other sentence I could have written here was:

This is one of those plays that doesn't make any sense and is written by someone who wants the viewers to think there is a lot of subtext and allegory and implications that are beyond their reach.

I think, mostly, no one knows what's going on in plays like this, but they can't admit it.
I have no problem admitting it. Unless I have to speak to the people who were in the play and/or who wrote it which was what my class was supposed to do right after the play was complete.
I decided to use the old adage, "If you don't have anything nice to say, run out of the theater before anyone notices and go home and watch Heroes."