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Monday, January 31, 2005

Don't even try to agree

Between us my girlfriend and I have seen every movie ever made. It makes choosing videos to rent a serious process. Not so much because one or the other of us has always seen it. More because there are almost none that we have both seen. Mostly if I've seen it, she didn't want to, and still doesn't.

So, in preparation for the weekend we are scoping Blockbuster's website. As usual, agreement is out, but compromise is reached. On my way over I pick up two movies off my list (new ones which neither of us have seen), and two movies off her list (Tim you must see these). In all fairness I have to admit that the two from her list were movies that I would eventually have gotten around to seeing anyway, starring actors from my short list that I respect, but I digress. The amusing part of the weekend came from watching Van Helsing.

Her: We can put that in. I might go to sleep.
Me: It's a comic book movie. You liked Spiderman and Daredevil.
Her: It's weird.
Me: Yeah, comic book movies are weird...
Her: No, it's about vampires. That makes it weird.

So with much heavy sighing we settle in to watch 'my' movie.

Later, as the credits are rolling she is giving instructions for what scene to go back and watch over again. I'm looking at the credits, trying not to be too smug, when my addled brain finally clicks something into place.

Me: Oh! Hugh Jackman. He was the wolverine.
Her: Who?
Me: The wolverine. From the X-Men.
Her: Didn't see that.

10:30. Blockbuster. X-Men. X2. Three in the morning. I don't know if I'm happy to have my taste in movies vindicated or not.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Politics Free Zone

This is where I publish my own thoughts. Not all of my thoughts. That would take all day. Not really, sometimes I can spend hours on the same thought, and I would never want to subject any reader to that. On days like that I could condense a whole days thinking into a couple of lines I guess. Frequently days like that, where my mind staggers tiredly over the same repetitive ground, I am thinking about politics, government, or the state of the world. Usually it is pretty hard to find anything funny or interesting in that.

Anyway, I recently got myself so sidetracked with such thinking that I set up a place to ask a political question and invited numerous bloggers with political blogs to comment. Those who are interested can check it out. Those with no interest in things political can rest assured. You are safe here.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

No trade

I watched 'Wifeswap' last night. Right now, anyone reading this who knows me needs to take a minute to get back in their chairs. Television is pretty unusual for me, reality TV is beyond unusual. The company was good, so I found ways to be amused. True to form, trying to be amused I ended up rolling with laughter and gasping for air.

What got me was the ad for the next episode. Understand this. Last week they swapped a stay at home mom with this career first Nazi. I'm not saying all career first women are Nazis by the way, just this one in particular was. Last night they swapped this classic 'raised to clean and serve' woman with this California new ager. Next week, from the ad, it appears that one of the wives will find herself, surprise, swapped into a lesbian couple. As is apparently required in reality TV, they are committed to being more outrageous every week. So I started wondering, where does this get in a thirteen week television season?

Tune in next week, when Mrs. X gets swapped into the family of Charles, a practicing necrophiliac!

"Welcome to the family! Normally of course you have to spend the first week of the swap living by the 'rules' of our home, but in this case we have made some special provisions. I drilled some airholes in the box where we keep Betty! Kids say hi to your new mom. Sure is gonna be different when we live by her rules for a week, she can talk!"

Alright, so maybe I'm just twisted and they won't get quite that far, but I did crack myself up

I am getting the message of this show though. I wouldn't swap my girlfriend for the whole pack of 'em.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Only in Los Angeles

I woke to bad news this morning. The radio, turned on for some get up and going alternative rock, instead reported the latest in tragic calamity. I hate it when that happens. I said before, I'm not a news hound, if it's important it finds me. I guess this was important, but I could have waited until later in the day.

It's not always easy, being the guy who can make a smart remark in the face of death and destruction, but I do my best. As I stood in line at the gas station, caught by the slow process of the highly trained staff changing shifts, shaking off the grimness seemed a necessity. The woman in front of me in line went from placid to impatient to seething. Finally I said "it could be worse, we could have been on the metro-link." Obviously, she had heard about the train wreck, because she immediately lightened up about the wait. My mind finally in gear I kept going until she actually laughed.

Her sense of humor is obviously as twisted as mine. What made her laugh? My observation that in Chicago they run about a zillion commuter trains safely every day, but give Los Angeles a dozen trains they run them into each other. I'll have to be careful about saying that. One of the trains may well have had passengers from my far flung LA bedroom community. Someone who had a loved one on the train might not be as easily amused, and with my luck he'll be like six-six two-seventy.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The big night out

It is amazing how life changes. There's a line from a Jimmy Buffett song; "These days I'm up about the time I used to go to bed, Livin large was once the deal, now I watch the stars instead." Last night really brought that home to me.

Among my other functions I am my mom's driver, lug and toter, and all around aide-de-camp. For her part she is the neighborhood Costco card wielder. We needed a couple things for dad and the next door neighbors needed to make one of their occasional stock up trips. We waited for them to get home from work and off we went. I was well prepared with a blonde joke that I thought was hilarious, courtesy of my girlfriend (who incidentally has the most beautiful blonde hair). I tried the joke on mom in the car. Mom's are great, you can kinda get a feel for the timing of the joke and you know they'll laugh. While we ate I ran it for the neighbor couple (she's also blonde). A good joke, a good meal, good folks; what more could a man ask of a Monday night?

So here I am. Who could ever have predicted back in the day that my idea of a big night out would be dinner at Costco with mom?

PS: I hate to do this, since I have no idea who this joke really belongs to, but like so many funny things it arrived anonymously twenty-seventh hand in my e-mail, but here is the joke of note:

Wayne and his blonde wife live in southern Wisconsin. One winter morning while listening to the radio, they hear the announcer say, "We are going to get 8 to 10 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the even numbered side of the street, so the snowplow can get through."

Wayne's wife moves her car to the even numbered side of the street.

A week later while they are eating breakfast, the radio announcer says, "We are expecting 10 to 12 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the odd numbered side of the street, so the snowplow can get through."

Wayne's wife moves her car again, this time to the odd numbered side of the street.

The next week they are having breakfast again, when the radio announcer says......We are expecting 12 to 14 inches of snow today. You must park your car......................"......THEN all of the electric power goes out !!!

Wayne's wife is very upset, and with a worried look on her face she says to her husband................."Honey, I don't know what to do..... Which side of the street do I need to park the car on so the snow plow can get through?"

With the love and understanding in his voice like all men who are married to Blondes exhibit.... Wayne says..................

"Why don't you just leave it in the garage this time?"

Monday, January 24, 2005

Surfin' safari

I avoid getting caught up in the news headlines on my home page. I don't like filling my head with the sensationalized views of journalism. I figure if it's really worth knowing I'll certainly hear about it. My mom reads three newspapers every day, and my girlfriend is a news surfer.

So I discovered blog surfing. Innocently thinking this would be something she would like I introduced it to my girlfriend. I thought it would distract her from the news surfing she regularly does. I saw her again, hours later. I expect to see her again eventually. California is notorious for power outages in the summertime, she will have to come up for air then.

Of course I expect I'll be in trouble when that happens. When she took a breather to come visit me on the couch where I was watching the football game her outlook on blog surfing was "How could you do this to me?"

Saturday, January 22, 2005

And they apologized?

Yesterday the weathermen of Raleigh took a beating. The city had been brought to a standstill. Thousands of schoolchildren spent the night trapped with their teachers at their schools. Businessmen spent the night in their offices, trapped with their secretaries. The mayor raved about how the weather service had left them unprepared for events.

The weathermen fell all over themselves. A guy who had predicted a dusting of snow was quoted in my paper. He was so sorry. The woes of an entire city were piling up on his martyred head. I fear he may be suicidal.

I don't think I could have apologized. I don't know the technical measure of 'a dusting', but I figure it can't be too far from the almighty INCH of snow that crushed the good people of Raleigh.

Friday, January 21, 2005

How not to get to heaven

This morning a good friend nearly drowned. It was not the harrowing experience you might expect, she was drinking a Sprite. I couldn't help but picture the conversation at the reception desk in heaven.

"Welcome. We just have a few questions to forward your classification here. How did you die?"
"Drowning. Okay. Where did this occur?"
"Got it. Palmdale." A pause. "Isn't that in the desert?"
"Yeah. Yeah, it is."
"Was there a flash flood or something?"
"Well, no. I was drinking Sprite. From a can."
Long pause. "I see." Rustling through papers. "Right this way miss. We have a special place in heaven for you."

It was before dawn, and this is how my brain goes. People wonder why I always seem to be having a good day. Actually, people wonder about my sanity since I do seem to be laughing at nothing quite a bit. Ah well, hopefully they have a special place in heaven for people like me too.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

What? This is reality?

It's inauguration day. Last night I watched a clip of Jay Leno's Jaywalking. People who didn't know what was happening on January 20th. Obviously my fellow Californians. Had Jay been on the streets of D.C. he would undoubtedly have heard "I get the day off" in answer to his question about what happens today. Would they have known why, these fine government employees? Who can say. I'm with the malopropism spewer from Jaywalking, I think we should all be 'inaugulated'. Come to think of it, maybe that guy should be President, he is clearly qualified.

I have been writing the fictional thoughts of a fictional character for a month and a half. I've been fighting to get those thoughts read for almost three weeks. Why? To say I'm a writer I suppose. I guess the distinguishing characteristic of a writer is to have readers. So do I want people to read this? Of course. I'm a writer. Now I am confronted by what thoughts to write. Face it, Arvil Bren leads a much more exciting life, though as a character in a video game he is somewhat shallow without me. My life has no plot and few battles, but I like to think the characters are much deeper, at least in most cases.

Will I fight to share these thoughts as well? I don't know. I can't say if I'll even be willing to have them read.