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FRIEND (permalink) 12.20.2017
best email of the year
the below email was waiting for me in my inbox when i woke on my 49th birthday.

FROM: bookguy
SUBJECT : Happy Bettering Day
MESSAGE:

Welcome to the 49'er club -

I will spend less than two weeks of my entire 49th year sleeping in my own bed. May you have the exact opposite experience.

Cheers,
Matthew

i'm one of the few people that are giddy about getting older. given how simple and directionless i was when young, knowing more who you are and having a few experiences in the tank makes a huge difference in one's contentment and trajectory in life.

and fold in the fact that i'm in far better health today than when i was twenty-nine, well, now you're talking about that rich, creamy frosting slathered on top of an already sweet treat.

and as if all that wasn't enough, while knowing yourself is surely one of life's many lotteries, having friends who know you nearly as well, as evidenced by bookguy's knowing comment about my home-body-ness, well, that is just another one of life's windfalls.




FRIEND, FILM (permalink) 04.05.2017
son, you got a panty on your head.
i have a friend who is a work addict. how addicted? he lives in colorado. i live in the mid-west. he lives a few hours from some of the best skiing in the world. i live a twelve hours from that same skiing. yet, i ski more every year than he does. that's how addicted he is to work. (and yes, he does like skiiing).

now i am not faulting him for being addicted to something. we all have our proclivities. i only faulted him for what he was addicted to—a corporate job. and every time we would get together, this would inevitably become part of the conversation, as uncomfortable and futile as we all knew it was.

but after better than twenty years, my friend recently broke his bonds of addiction and left the company that transfixed him all of these years. he was a different man overnight. and not only did he go skiing with bookguy and i last winter, he also took us to a college football game last fall.

while on my spring break vacation this year, he left me a voice mail. he said he need to talk with me. his voice was serious and he didn't give any additional details. i feared that something happened to one of his parents. i excused myself from our company, went outside and returned his call. the family was fine but his addiction was being tested. a new company had approached him with a very appealing executive job offer. the downside would be he would surely fall into his old ways of seventy hour work weeks and no off days. he confessed to seeing the peril at hand but explained that it was a very good job offer, one that lots of people would want and even more people would question his turning down.

we talked it through and found a position that showed how passing on it would in the end prove to be better career capital than taking it AND that it would allow him to continue enjoying his current life that offered more balance and leisure. we ended the call but just as you might worry about a more conventional addiction problem, i worried for my friend.

he was to deliver his decision the next day. i wrote him the following night and asked him how it went.

DISCLAIMER:
admittedly, this following exchange will only mean something for people who are RABID fans of the cohen brothers' film Raising Arizona. if you are not a huge fan of that movie, this may not mean much to you but if you revered it like me and many of mine did, you will find the close of this email exchange to be a great homage to the film and mighty clever response to the situation.
On Mar 20, 2017, at 8:47 PM, Troy DeArmitt wrote:
hey snake,
just checking in to see how things went today.

hopefully you navigated the chop without issue.

t

On Mar 20, 2017, at  10:26 PM, snake wrote:
I was actually just thinking of emailing you.  I told the company that I was going to decline their offer.  They did say they would hold it open another day if I change my mind, so I have had some anxiety tonight.  Thanks for the time yesterday.

On Mar 20, 2017, at 10:15 PM, Troy DeArmitt wrote:
stay the course.

put it behind you. it was the right decision today. it will be the right decision tomorrow.

and it will be the right decision if they call you tomorrow and offer you 30% more and a signing bonus.

but i get that it is hard.

good luck with it.

t

On Mar 21, 2017, at 12:03 AM, snake wrote:
Thanks man.  At ----- my job became my life.  I am still working on changing that mindset.  But as H.I. McDunough said to the Maricopa County parole board about his recidivist past "that ain't me no more."  

and marty mocked me and my friends who could and would perform whole swaths of that movie back and forth during long drives in the car ("nobody sleeps naked in this house!") or even over dinner ("what now little brother?"). she said that memorizing the lines from that movie would never come in handy. with such a bad eye for future value, it is lucky for marty that "she's a flower ... just a little desert flower."




GAMES, FRIENDS (permalink) 02.14.2017
butter-spectacular
i have a friend who makes video games.

i have mentioned him twice before (way back in 2013 and again in 2014).

for the last few years, st. louis has spooled up a bit of an indie game thing. enough so that folks around the country were noticing it. enough so that a film studio in california sent a crew out here to make a documentary about it. as the film team began their work interviewing the known studios they ended each interview by asking the dev shops if there is anyone in particular they should talk with. all of them unanimously said "the coster boys over at butterscotch". after repeated recommendations, the movie men reached out and scheduled a twenty minute informational session. that meeting lasted three hours.

the next day the film crew re-contacted the coster boys and (1) thanked them for their time and (2) asked if they might be interested in having a feature length film done about their story. they said yes. well, technically they said, "heck yes" turning the typically two syllable phrase, somehow, into a five syllable verbal roller coaster because that is just what they do in life.

the documentary just came out. here are some related matters:

GAME TRAILER


EPISODE ONE (of the six part documentary)
full series may be viewed via amazon


COFFEE WITH PODCAST EPISODE (sam talks briefly about the start of our relationship)





LIFE, FRIENDS (permalink) 01.19.2016
the ultimate re-gift/thank you/karma
speaking of random acts of kindness.

we have some new neighbors. they moved in about a year ago and have a young girl who just turned two. the little girl is quite awesome, in part because she thinks i'm about the coolest cat on the block and lights up a big smile every time she sees me. being a young family just getting on their feet, marty and i usually offer them kid-related things we have outgrown and are giving away. one thing we gave them shortly after they moved in was the changing table we used for all three of our kids as our humans had finally (thankfully!!!) outgrown the need for it.

a few days after christmas, marty answered a knock on the door. she opened it to find neighbor jeff there holding a cutting board. after exchanging the usual pleasantries, jeff held the cutting board forward, offering it to marty. before she could say anything he said he would like to return the changing table we gave them. taking the cutting board, marty asked what he meant. he said the drawers in the cabinet broke and while he was breaking it down he noticed the top board was a really nice block of maple, so he cut it down and made an end-grain cutting board for us using the wood from the piece of furniture all three of our children came up on.

i'm not willing to say bella's act of kindness spurred this karma on but i would be comfortable asserting that my neighbor is probably way cooler and more awesome than your neighbor.










FOOD, FRIEND (permalink) 04.07.2015
warning, do not view while hungry
speaking of food (yesterday), the fiancé of a good friend of mine just started documenting her nurturing her newfound love of food and food-making. and, it doesn't take long to see that her style of 'documentation' is a bit richer and deeper than most folks form of documentation.
I think the relationship between food and our bodies is magical. One moment you can be looking at the apple in your hand, and the very next it is inside of you, becoming part of you - your cells, your bones, your heart, your brain.
the above quote comes from her newly established blog. http://www.kindred-eats.com

and her instagram page should come with a full-on warning as i first looked in on it before bed and can tell you that that is a wicked kind of mistake. https://instagram.com/diana.zeng

and a few days after seeing this alex caught her fiance, and my friend, super-sam, slipping something into our mail slot. upon opening the door and surprising him he confessed that he was dropping off a chocolate bar he just made for us to try out. later, when opening it up for the family to try, i found a personalized note on the wrapper's backside (you're not going to get that with hershey!!!) part of which said:
I recently began making chocolate from scratch. It's a 3 ingredient recipe. This has a tiny bit of cayenne pepper and is a bit melty to the touch. I'm working on the latter issue.

There's also a mustache emblazoned on the back. Because what not!?









FRIEND (permalink) 12.16.2014
my favorite birthday correspondence from last week
this comes from a friend and former neighbor who is now living in germany.
Peter and I were reminiscing about you and Marty a couple of weeks ago. We were at an International Fair at Drew and Meredith's school. Parents from each country represented in the school (about 50 countries) had booths with typical foods from their home country. It was a feast! The American tent had chili, rice crispy treats, candy, chips and soda. Yes, as sad as that sounds, that's what we're known for. Peter and I might hijack the booth next year and do pulled pork, slaw and baked beans, layered in a large cup like a trifle dessert .... but I digress.

The booth next to the American booth was Korean. There, high above the table, hung the sign Korean Bulgogi. I remember Troy describing one of his favorite dishes that you were preparing that night and the favorite restaurant that served it. He asked if I was familiar. No, I wasn't, but gosh it sounded good. A few hours later, one of your offspring rang the doorbell and handed me a plastic container of bulgogi and rice. "Here. My dad wanted you to try this. Bye." Mmmm, it IS good!

Troy, I hope you have a wonderful birthday today.


LIFE, FRIENDS (permalink) 03.05.2014
caffeine, way optional
my young friend that recently shouldered a cancer diagnosis goes in for his final treatment this afternoon. after that, all involved expect to place him in the 'in full remission' category. but as they say, once a survivor, always a survivor which means the big C knows where you live and you'll never again live without the fear of opening the door and seeing its grim face staring back at you.

in our most recent coffee outing, which was our first to come in under four hours, he spoke of the positive impacts this experience has had on his life. the first thing he said, in example, is he could sit in this chair, stare out this window and see the wonder and beauty of the slush-filled road and its surroundings, and he could do so for hours without getting bored of it. i asked him if he thought the feeling would ever go away. he said he could see it subsiding in time but doubted it would ever leave fully.

he then spoke of a new ritual he has adopted. he now greets mornings with a new respect and gratitude. the first thing he does after waking is not go back to sleep as he would in the past (i mean the guy is 23 and fresh out of college). the second thing he does is walk through his apartment and slide each sun-blocking curtain open wide, letting the sunlight flood each room. third he does some sort of full-body stretch. lastly, he makes his bed. once that is done he begins his day with an appreciation few hold.

i think i've discussed how in recent years i've converted to being a morning guy. my only personal sadness is i didn't do it decades earlier. already, i have my own set of rituals i partake in the morning, rituals meant to prepare for and give thanks to the day ahead but in hearing sam describe his morning routine, i see my own practice lacks the reverence i feel in sam's approach. i'm left wondering if the only way to enter our days with like gratitude is to have been part of a medical guessing game of how likely it is you will be around for the planet's sunrise this time next year.




FRIEND (permalink) 02.27.2014
beaten to the punch
i had lunch with a friend. we talked about many things. family, both immediate and extended. the generational divide in belief and approach. he talked about how disengaged his parents were with his children. he went on to add that he shouldn't be all that surprised because they weren't all that engaged with him when he was young. now rolling in his deconstruction of the relationships he said the following, and i'm paraphrasing here:
my girls are the only two people i will know for every minute of their lives. i mean i saw them enter this world. i held them moments after. i cleaned maggie off minutes later. and i've seen every moment since. i get to witness them experience the world for the first time and am watching them turn into adults before my eyes, and get to help mold and direct that. i mean how f'ing amazing is that. how could you not want to be part of that if you're fortunate enough to have the chance?
when he paused i complimented his beautiful verbalizing of the experience, confessing i had never thought of it in just that way—that as a parent you get to experience nearly every facet of a child's experience in this world and how that isn't going to happen anywhere else, like ever again, except for maybe as a grandparent if you're lucky enough to have grandkids and live long enough to see it but even then you will spend much of the time in the next room, thus making your parental run all the more special. then, selfishly, i expressed my dismay at not verbalizing that sentiment before he just did (and me over-thinking just about anything kid related that can be ruminated on).

sometimes i hate being so predictable.




LIFE, FRIEND (permalink) 02.21.2014
raising the bar
this recent post by dan martin stands as one of my favorite-ever facebook posts. granted, i've only ever read seventeen facebook post. still, it's one of the best i've seen. beautiful and thoughtful work dan. kudos.






LIFE, FRIEND (permalink) 02.20.2014
the talking artist
so this friend i've written about the last two days (tue, wed) would be the same friend i recently celebrated reconnecting with (told here) after a multi-year hiatus. as noted when i first brought him up, he is one of my all-time favorite people to converse with as partially evidenced by the last two days postings, both of which came from our most recent outing together (i could probably bleed two weeks of content from that single lunch). that said i fear i may not have properly represented him in those two examples.

one problem in sharing our conversations is i'm not a good enough writer to accurately convey the spirit of our talks and because of this, his inquiries might come off as insensitive or fumbling but this is very much not the case. what makes this fellow so good at discourse is he is able to ask the perfect questions, questions that are way obvious and way probing all at the same time. the special part is he can do so without coming across as aggressive or judgmental—no small feat. this is his art. truly. i've never met a person who can engage another as intensely and innocently (simultaneously) as this guy. and frankly, i don't know how he does it but would quickly trade a skill or two of my own to possess the rare ability. after much thought though, i believe it to be, simply, his natural gift.

the big thing he is able to do that most can't is pose his questions, and he has many, in a way that is not menacing. he is not looking to challenge your ways but instead understand them, possessing a genuine interest to know why you do what you do. it's fundamental curiosity at its basest form. the only time i've seen a like level of interest elsewhere is in small children. the significant difference though is his questions are curated and presented with the grace and clarity of a professional conversationalist, if there is such a thing. and this is not a one-way affair. i share a like curiosity and wonder at his life, past and present, and he is every bit as giving as he might ask you to be. the culmination of this mutual interest in each other's lives makes for twisting, unpredictable, and meaningful conversational journeys that, when we really fall into the stream, could best be described as 'heady'.

i cherish my time with this friend because he routinely gets me to re-contemplate my choices. for me this is big because my choices, our choices, are what will go on to make us who we are three months and three decades from now. when looked at like that, i'd challenge you to name a more critical service or use of your time. in our talks, there are times his curiosity affirms my position and other times it prompts me to adjust or abandon my notions. either way it gets cut up, i'm the better for our vivisection of ideas. in many regards it is the relationship bookguy pined for many years back (documented here).

i reckon it's clear by now that i could easily devote six months worth of posts to my interactions with this friend, known by all simply as luby, as our time has been most interesting pretty much from the moment we first met. i hope to enjoy his magical, elegant way for many decades to come.




FRIENDS, LIFE (permalink) 10.16.2013
it may be harder to move, but it's easier to act.
in partial regard to the book i posted about yesterday, i remember when my former boss and mentor turned fifty i asked her if there was a best part of hitting this lofty milestone. she had an answer ready and looked happy to share it. with more than a small hint of excitement in her voice she said it was the realization, finally, that everyone is not talking or thinking about you and that in the rare moments that they actually might be, knowing that it doesn't matter, that it doesn't matter one iota.

for her, this epiphany proved one of the most liberating and meaningful parcels of wisdom ever set before her. the fact that my boss and mentor was an african american, female executive in a wildly conservative banking environment should add some weight to this discovery. while not yet fully there, i can sense myself trending in this direction. i can also sense the saliva building around my mental jowls at the thought of biting into the philosophy whole.




WEB, FRIEND (permalink) 06.26.2013
if personality equalled stock portfolio, these two would be in the fortune 500
i have a friend (and former student) who makes iphone games. he works with his brother and they are a most colorful duo. every week they send a mailer out to their followers about what they've been up to. there's always loads of kookiness in their sendings but then again, who'd expect anything less from a group that calls themselves butterschotch shenanigans. at the base of a recent update mailer was the following.

and before you start, and if you're like me, i'll save you the trouble of looking up the fact the TL;DR stands for "too long, didn't read".
TL;DR
  • We're delaying the iOS launch until we get some engine-sourced bugs DESTROYED.
  • Our Android users are lovely people who are putting up with our crashing bugfest quite splendidly.
  • If an Android QR player and an iOS QR player meet on the street in some distant utopian future, the iOS user should say "Hey, thanks for making this game better for the first time I booted it up, even though I hate you for having it way earlier." And then they should high-five and bro-fist pound.
  • Towelfight 2 is still free on iOS!
TTLDRWTLSIDRI ("The tl:dr was too long so I didn?t read it")
  • READ IT. LITERACY IS A GIFT.
and if you're into mobile gaming, their ever-curious wares may be found at butterscotch-shenanigans.com




FRIENDS (permalink) 06.21.2013
i don't think this was in my job description
the director of my office sent an email to our young, female center coordinator. in the message he meant to request the following.
i need you to please contact the editors of the following journals.
instead his email read
i need you to please the editors of the following journals.
when i arrived at the office, because of the dropped 'contact', the recipient of the message read the sentence to me, asking what she should do. before i had time to respond a graduate student in our space who overheard the question said, "the only proper response is to write back and ask if you can please them one at a time or have to please them all at once."

this was far more entertaining than anything i had planned.




FRIENDS (permalink) 06.04.2013
time, she's a-tickin'
marty heard of a woman who flew a professional photographer to puerto rico to take a family photo while they were on vacation.

marty laughed saying we didn't manage a proper family photo until troy got a groupon to make it happen.

while that may seem bad, the other lady confessed that they'd need more than a groupon's worth of help to get such a shot of their crew.




FRIENDS, TRAVEL, PHOTO (permalink) 04.18.2013
mancation 2013 debrief
this year's ski boondoggle had a few remember-worthy facets and given how remember-challenged my mind seems to be getting (dang checklist!) i thought it prudent to capture the highlights here and now before they fall to the ether.

i've already mentioned the first striking part of the trip is that it restored a lapsed ritual. the situation brought to mind the words of some great writer about the power of ritual. he also supported stepping away from them, rituals, when life demanded but he did so with the solitary caution of making sure you return to the program as soon as humanly possible. done.

usually the weather-personality of a ski trip has some sort of common thread. you're looking at winter-skiing, spring-skiing, freezing north-east skiing, powder-skiing, or something of the like. this year proved one of the most schizophrenic condition-wise weeks i can recall.

the first day was pretty normal spring skiing for colorado which is to say the skies were blue, the sun was out, the morning was solid and you exited the mountain on a bed of grey slush.

the second day saw a storm move in the minute, literally, we arrived to the backside. the lifts were closed due to winds and we were advised to seek shelter until they could see what the storm was likely to do. by the time we worked our way back to the top of the gondola, winds were hitting 90mph and visibility was less than 10 feet for a period of time. within the hour they closed the mountain for the day, largely because of falling trees, and advised us that snow cats were en route to evacuate the staff and skiers still up-mountain. this would be my first mountain evacuation and ride in the back basket of a snow cat. the first time you head downhill and feel your weight press against the metal grating of the cage given the steep pitch is a most unique sensation.



the next day treated us to fresh snow, clear skies, and about twenty degree weather which kept the afternoon slush at bay.



our fourth day began with more fresh snow. then the day saw an additional seven inches dropped on the higher mountain. we were spared the winds but the visibility was quite low (around 10 feet) at times. by this point though we knew the trails well enough to not have to worry about skiing off a cliff or dropping into a mogul-rich, double black diamond. for a number of reasons, i think this last day provided the best skiing. surely the way you want to end a ski week.



another memorable part of this trip dealt with the absence of virtually all people on the mountain given we arrived so late in the season, the mountain proved to be nearly all ours. in fact, when we drove in town sunday night it seemed like we were pulling into a deserted movie set or as if an apocalypse had occurred while we wended through the mountains or that plague-infested zombies cleaned the place of all living flesh and bone. obviously, the upside here is the zero-wait lift lines and the pristine and un-crowded runs.



that last bit leads into the added benefit of the empty runs since i was nursing a severe case of damaged confidence at the start of the week given my separated shoulder i suffered two week earlier at deer valley in park city, utah.

and a surprising first for matt and i, largely due to a banned-mountain, were movies. in all the times we've travelled and spent sitting in mountain lodges i don't think we'd ever taken in a film. this time, we took in several: zero-dark thirty, red dawn (new one), flight, and an espn 30 on 30 documentary about allen iverson. we also tried to watch the tom cruise movie the last samurai but only made it about seven minutes in.




FRIENDS (permalink) 04.16.2013
accidental
i accidentally missed an email with more penis rhymes from big ed.
Adonis, poisonous, gangrenous, generous, happiness, disingenuous, Uncle Remus, Seamus, remiss and populace.
one thing is clear, this is going to be one rollicking and meandering children's poem.




SPORTS, TRAVEL, FRIEND (permalink) 04.11.2013
update
last week i visited my orthopedist about my shoulder. this would be the same man who laid his healing hands on my knee a few years back and took me from a guy known for a trick knee for the last twenty years to a guy known to run-down every ball on the tennis court. after some x-rays and range of motion checks it was declared that i had a separated shoulder. thankfully, it is a non-surgical condition and he gave me prescriptions for anti-inflamatories, pain-killers and rehabilitation.

three days later i flew out for my annual ski mancation with bookguy. although it hasn't been so annual the last few years because of an aggravated knee one year (me) and a torn muscle another year (him). this proved quite sad to both of us as we had a nice ten year run on our ski trips (and there hasn't been one of them where we haven't been overtly mistaken for a gay couple multiple times. this is good medicine for bookguy). even before the shoulder diagnosis (and while i could still barely raise my arm) i declared the trip to be on and that if i couldn't ski, i'd just hang out in the condo and we'd hang out at night and while traveling which for sure accounts for a large part of the enjoyment every year. additionally, a moment that further solidified my decision to go is when i was letting bookguy know about my shoulder injury, he deflatedly expressed his dissapointment saying our ski trip is one of the few traditions he has in his life and feared it was slipping away. i'm someone who feels traditions have been taking a serious beating in our country and our lives in recent decades and should be protected similar to an endangered species, so if there was any doubt for me earlier, there was no doubt now.

thankfully the meds made my pain and discomfort disappear like a fart in a theater seat. granted i knew this was a facade but i also knew from prior rehabs that part of the battle is continuing the use of your injured limb and working it out (granted, there is the other side of me that believes a body sending signals of pain to your brain is telling you to take things easy for awhile). but, after much deliberation on my part, upon arriving on the mountain and continuing to have my arm "feel" ok, i decided to get some skis and try things out. curiously, physically i felt fine but mentally, my crash was still fresh in my head and proved paralyzing, so much so that bookguy and i joked it looked like i didn't come here to engage in the sport of skiing but instead simply in the act of stopping. in thinking about it, in thirty years of skiing i've never been injured in a fall (keeping in mind, twenty of those years i had no acl in my right knee.). now that i have been cut, i couldn't shake the fear of it happening again.

finally, after a few days patiently working myself back into the game, i started looking more like i once had. and in a shared effort, a tradition and a life-long sports love are salvaged to be enjoyed another day.




KIDS, FRIEND, QUOTE (permalink) 02.20.2013
the ultimate diversity
an excerpt from a bookguy email about a comment made by his seven year old daughter.
we had company over the weekend and logan was trying to tell a story about you and she said - "you know, your friend with the multi-colored children"





FRIEND, PERSONAL (permalink) 06.19.2012
memorable.
bookguy passed through town on his way from north carolina to new mexico. he called a week before the trip to ask if i'd like to keep him company on the trek's second and third days. those that have been hangin' around here for awhile may remember the time bookguy had to drive from cleveland to st. louis and i flew to cleveland the morning he left, he picked me up at the airport, and we pulled onto the highway and drove straight back to saint louis. in that i still had strong and fond memories of the cleveland excursion, and with marty's blessing, i quickly signed on the dotted line.

bookguy arrived friday night. he and marty caught up some (while i snuck off to bed). we woke saturday morn, hopped in his just purchased Subaru outback and headed west. in that we missed our last two ski trips, one due to a biking accident he had and the next due to my re-injuring my knee playing tennis, we were down some focused quality time. additionally, we've each had some heavy life events in the last few years so the need to talk went beyond simple guy time goofiness. the two day drive, free of email and phones and chores (and wives and children) proved magical. then, similar to the last outing, one leg of the trip involved an airport. this time i got dropped at the airport in albuquerque, new mexico (after an extraordinary meal at the frontier inn) to catch my return flight home.

after i got back home i had an email waiting for me. bookguy reported the last few hours of his trip ran smoothly and the kids (and surely the wife) were thankful to have him back. lastly he thanked me for sacrificing a weekend to keep him company. i replied that the time was both enjoyable and memorable and it's hard to ask more than that from a couple of days.

p.s. the cleveland trip happened almost ten years ago to the day. life is awesome.




FAMILY, FRIENDS (permalink) 05.25.2012
if only we could go to the pool after the smores party instead of before.
bella handed these out to her friends. so did alex. even anthony handed some out. and i'm sure marty slid one or two to her friends. i figured if they can invite folks so can i. so if your people know where my people stay, you're invited to our humble and sometimes excitingly dangerous (via little flaming balls of fire -- very game of thrones) smores fest.

and if you do come, you'll note i never touch the things. regardless of your math skills, i promise you can't compute how far out of bounds something that sticky is for me.






FRIEND (permalink) 01.31.2012
if only all email was this thoughtful
best email exchange from last week came after i botched an online chess move with bookguy. i wrote:
i have made some of the most obtuse moves possible in the latter half of this game. it's almost like i forgot the rules of the game.
and his reply:
i do appreciate all your generosity and maybe if you get your head out of your wife's skirts in the morning before school you could better recall the rules of chess.
obviously in reference to the recent troyscript, thursday morning.




KIDS, FRIEND (permalink) 10.27.2011
i'm having an OMG moment!
in response to aleo's card yesterday, a friend sent me a note their kid wrote, saying she wished she could claim aleo's instead of her daughters. while i wouldn't trade aleo's note for the world, i can confess to being crazy jealous that one of my kids isn't responsible for the following: please come see me.




FRIENDS (permalink) 09.21.2011
"oh surprise-surprise, troy has a question."
i've had my present job for five years.

i've been a parent for ten years.

i've had my current car for twelve years.

i've been married for thirteen years.

i've ridden the same bike for fifteen years.

and as of this past summer, i've been pals with bookpimp for twenty years.

the only troy-things older than my chum-status with bookpimp michael are:
  • my original gameboy,
  • a bottle of paco rabanne cologne on my bathroom shelf,
  • a smithereens concert tee,
  • and a faint scar across my right nipple obtained before i stopped hitting the bottle, and by bottle i mean festive-toned, wine-coolers.

here's to twenty more years of saying funny shit just as the other takes a large pull from their laggard-size sweet tea in hopes of making them spit up on themselves.




FRIENDS, QUOTES (permalink) 09.07.2011
friendly-ish nudge
my favorite get-off-your-ass email when i didn't return promptly on september 1st (or 2nd or 5th).

Hey jerkface, August is over.

Ed

Sent from my Chinese imitation Iphone

http://www.eddiemcdonald.com





FRIENDS (permalink) 06.24.2011
the downside of nicknames is you don't get to pick your own.
yesterday while remembering erik, i recalled another memory. it dealt with his nickname, skip. all of the guys in the band had nicknames. there was scarecrow and two-beer, and bee-keeper and eventually nick the new guy among others. it certainly seemed to be a simple and expected part of the terrain which they all accepted, all but erik. he was the one guy who seemed to dislike his nickname. after observing this distaste, one day when the group was sitting around, i asked about his reluctant moniker. erik's countenance winced at the question but all the other guys chuckled and looked at one another as if deciding who would be the lucky one to get to share the story. miguel, the guitarist, got tapped. he explained that erik was always a very good and conscientious student and son. one day his high school friends had talked him into skipping soccer practice to go screw around with them. erik was against the choice but his friends chided him into doing it through the usual adolescent tactics. so erik relented and didn't go to his practice and hung out, reluctantly, with the guys instead, where they did something completely inconsequential and unmemorable. as it turned out, on this day, the first day ever erik skipped his soccer practice and was not where he was supposed to be, his father, also for the first time ever, left work early to come see his son's soccer practice. ever since that day, erik was, to his obvious chagrin, forever known as skip.




FRIENDS, MUSIC (permalink) 06.23.2011
always my answer to what kind of music do you like.
in the early 90's a former high-school classmate of marty's invited marty and i to a concert. the friend's name was ligaya and her brother's band was performing in a local venue. as for me, i never met this ligaya NOR did i know anything about this band AND i had recently sworn off loud and smoky bar scenes so was highly unenthused about event. marty wanted to see her friend but didn't want to go alone so asked, kindly, if i would take one for the team and go with her. i relented.

upon seeing us arrive, ligaya waved us to some seats she had near the stage of an intimate local venue (the duck room of blueberry hill). ligaya proved to be a charismatic and engaging young woman. she and i quickly discovered a shared fondness for latin american literature and began exchanging thoughts on books and authors. while ligaya and i lost ourselves in our impromptu book chat, marty caught up with other old friends also at the table. so compelling was the ligaya time, (coupled with the fact i was facing away from the stage) i lost track of time and my surroundings for while ligaya and i were deep into borges, the band had taken their places on the stage, donned their equipment and were primed to play. so it was without warning that the sentence i was in the middle of was interrupted by the distinct clap of drumsticks as the drummer called out one-two-three-four in unison with the clicks. hearing this call, i turned towards the stage. i found i was sitting less than three feet in front of the horn section of a six-piece band. before i could blink twice to adjust my eyes to the stage lights, the horns let me have it. if my hair was the kind of hair that moved, it would have moved. before the first song was over, i had become the most ardent fan this group would ever know.

their name was the secret cajun band and they were a lively ska band comprised of young men that were every bit as lively and interesting as the songs they wrote and performed. their act was indescribable. it was a constant sea of unpredictable motion and antics. you'd constantly marvel at their ability to play an instrument while skipping merrily across the stage or balancing one-footed on a speaker or running, vigorously, in place. halfway through the show they were soaked through with sweat but the fans were even moreso as they were also driven to motion and excitement through the raw energy that emanated from the stage.

after that first night where those horns transformed me, i never missed a local show. their cassette (it was in the early nineties, mind you) was the only tape my car stereo played for more than two years. i, and at times marty, became a mainstay at a scb concerts. i'd help them carry equipment in or out, i'd watch the merchandise table, i even once was called up on stage to help sing big house with skip and skank with miguel. through my constant and doting presence, i came to know the band members. as for them, they grew up together and had a camaraderie and comfort i'd think all young men, lacking such pals, covet and i was surely no exception. they were such a colorful and quirky lot my relationship with each proved unique. some were easy and light, a few strained and awkward, a couple grew mature in time.

one of the relationships, the one i want to speak of today, was with the lead singer, erik, referred to as Skip by his bandmates. erik was a charming and handsome young man with lots of quiet charisma. add to this a soulful ability on the sax and top it all off with a distinct and strong singing voice. to an awkward musically incompetent fanboy like me, erik was just about everything a young introvert could hope for. in time, erik, marty and i became friendly. after shows we would sometimes sit for twenty minutes and after praising the night's production would talk about any and all topics. on a few occasions we went out to eat after a show. these would inevitably be at some all night diner where we'd continue our talks over soggy burgers and even soggier pancakes. on these more involved outings a common conversation point was relationships. in hindsight i got the sense that erik admired the straight and simple relationship marty and i shared just like i admired the exotic and famous lifestyle i imagined he lived. i still remember those late night conversations in those overly bright diners (extra-accented given where we just came from) like they happened five days ago and not fifteen years back.

the reason i bring this up is that erik rogers died yesterday. those of you who knew him, or his family, may have been keeping up on this, but a few weeks ago erik fell off a ladder while working in his backyard and was gravely injured in the fall. at the time of this accident, he was long past the music scene and was a working man and the father of two young girls. while it's obviously hard to see any young person unexpectedly pass, especially a father of young children, it is extra hard to loose those that were so bright with life and promise. completely heartbreaking.

i leave you with some of my favorite erik-sung cajun band songs from their big house album:






FAMILY, FRIENDS (permalink) 04.15.2011
like a halfway-house with regulars
snake, my oldest friend in life, passed through town yesterday and stopped to have dinner with us. i remember when i was younger, before kids, and knew company was coming, i'd clean my place up, putting things away, cleaning the toilets and dusting. now the extent of my civility is when they arrive saying, "if you have anything you care about, you might want to leave it in your car."

another thing i noticed is that when i walked him through the house, instead of saying this is alex's bedroom or this is where mary and i sleep, i was saying things like, "uhhm yeah, some people sleep in here, and uh, this over here is another sleeping room that people sleep in most nights."

and as if all that wasn't enough, the night before we announced my friend's visit at the dinner table, we also said that we were having an unexpected steak night. bella asked if she could put the bacon shield (a metal, three-sided structure put around a pan cooking bacon to contain the splattering) around her plate so our guest didn't have to watch her eat steak. marty said that she'd prefer bella used it as a learning opportunity and try to eat like a proper young lady, even using silverware. conversely, i supported bella's bacon-shield idea and suggested she use it wether we had a guest at our table or not.




FRIENDS, SOCIETY (permalink) 07.15.2010
it's my "that's what she said"
i was talking with neighbor on the sidewalk in front of my house. she was walking her dog. a woman approached on the other side of the street. she was also walking a dog. when the dogs saw one another they started whimpering and making lunges against their leashes towards the other dog. the other-side-of-the-street woman seeing the dog near me, crossed the street directly for us. when she arrived the dogs began twisting and sniffing and jumbling up together mixing and crossing the two leashes crazily. no one said anything. then the woman extricated her leash from the mix, said good day, and continued on her walk.

the woman i was talking to me looked at me and asked if i knew the woman. i said i did not and that i assumed she must have. the woman scrunched her face, turned to look at the departing woman, turned back to me and derisively said, "who does that?"

the phrase "who does that?" and the intonation it was delivered with at that moment became my favorite quip and i've used in no less than five times since hearing it.




WEB, FRIENDS, SOCIETY (permalink) 04.08.2010
and then this woman just walked up to me and punched me in the face.
i forgot that i had one more facebook morsel to share, which i do realize takes me further from my seven sentences goal. a friend forwarded a message they received from another facebookian they didn't know. here's a name-protected version of the message:

Subject: Hello from another [smith]
Hello! I enjoyed checking out your facebook page. I read a few of your entries. Is your son, [john], special needs per chance? A couple of your entries referred to his developmental milestones which is exactly the type of thing we say about our son, [ted], who is special needs.

Again, enjoyed checking-out the site.

i fear i'm unable to share the exact wording of my friend's message to me because i don't think i'm able to sanitize it enough for this public space without it losing all meaning or coherence. the gist of his message was simply asking how one should respond to an inquiry of this nature.

as far as conversational mis-steps go i put this right up there with asking a woman who is not pregnant what trimester she's in or when the child is due. i've been lucky enough to witness one of those first hand and for however uncomfortable the next few minutes were, i gotta say i'd rather be dealt that (says the man) than asked if my child, who is not mentally disabled, is mentally disabled.

after pondering my friend's fix for a moment i suggested he say no, his child is not special needs and that after receiving her inquiry he looked at her page and wondered if she is expecting again or is merely struggling with the baby weight from her last child.

and yes, my mother did raise me better than that (she would have asked me to share this point with you).

and yes, these sage advice services are also available to you. and get this, they're completely free of charge. i know, thoroughly unbelievable.




WEB, GEEK, FRIENDS (permalink) 04.07.2010
6 friends, 15 enemies, and 23 haters.
i need to make a clarification about yesterday's post. while i did receive an email about it, the email i received was sent from facebook because grammar-dave posted the message on something called "my wall". i'm not entirely certain what my wall is. i've been told by more than one person that if i'm going to have a wall, i should at least know what it is. i told them that having or not having a wall was never a choice i was asked to make and it was only emails like this one that even made me aware of my wall-ownership.

and speaking of facebook, i bet you cash-money i can summarize my facebook thoughts and experiences in seven sentences or less:
  1. in april of 2006 i created a facebook account after i was hired by a university because i was told that everyone at the university had a one and it was the proper thing to do.
  2. in 2008 i used my facebook account for the first time to look up 40 students i was teaching and then told them in class there were five of them i wouldn't hire for a job based solely upon what i found on their facebook pages.
  3. i've never seen more blood leave more faces more quickly, like ever.
  4. i log onto face book every three to four months and accept every friend request that has been made of me whether i know the person or not.
  5. when asked by someone why i friended everyone, i said because it just didn't matter enough not to.
  6. a female student at my school had a job with facebook where she received the questionable material reports and had to make decisions about if the material was questionable enough to be stricken from the record.
  7. it's very possible the questionable material job is the only job i might enjoy more than the job i presently have.
  8. the last time i looked in on my page a woman i know asked a question about my photo contest and when i didn't answer after a few weeks, another friend, who knew me but not the woman, answered the question for me after saying he was pretty sure i never looked at the page.
  9. when i saw that that exchange had occurred, i experienced my first ever warm feeling towards facebook.
ok. so i couldn't swing it in less than seven sentences. de-friend me. and if you're wondering what this might have looked like for myspace, i'm reasonably confident i could have wrapped that up in one sentence.




QUOTES, FRIENDS (permalink) 04.06.2010
no smoking food or drink!
most guys obsess about fried food, hollywood starlets, first-person shooter games, fast cars and/or fantasy football. i used to work with a guy who obsessed about grammar, or more accurately, broken grammar. for this guy my site and its quickly penned material was like porn of the highest caliber. most correspondence i receive from him contains a bulleted list of errors he's found in my ramblings. that said, the latest message i received from him surprisingly did not contain a litany of my blunders.

I saw something that, for reasons I can't figure out, reminded me of you... or at least struck me as something you'd have liked. It was a SUPERB example of the importance of punctuation, particularly commas (the prime example is "Let's eat Grandma!" vs "Let's eat, Grandma!". It was on a blog (a technical forum, not that it matters). There had been some good-natured back and forth banter and one person had thought the level of ribbing was not up to par, so he posted "C'mon! We can do better guys". And not two minutes later someone else posted "What's wrong with the guys you're doing now?"

first off, he's going to have a hard time convincing me he didn't pen that retort. and secondly, i for the life of me can't imagine why that banter would lead him to me.




PHOTO, FRIENDS (permalink) 02.18.2010
i cannot tell you how much i wish i took this picture.
i know not one but two of the fellas in this picture which makes me one acquaintance shy of knowing all three people in one of the best-ever photos chronicling american society.






GEEK, FRIENDS, COMPUTER, QUOTES (permalink) 01.29.2010
iMaxiPad
there's a large contingent of folks who have me pegged as this apple zealot when in actuality among my circle of folks there are many more ravenous mac consumers than myself. fact is, i'm probably one of the most technology skeptical people around, although given my profession, it is a detail about myself i'm reasonable good at chesting. but this skepticism, ironically, also makes me reasonably good at what i do.

still, every time apple releases a new morsel, all sorts of folks i've known come out of the woodwork to pick fights, debate nuances, compare thoughts, and consider implications. this is a role i typically don't mind, even enjoy to a degree, but for some reason this last round about the iPad got me gassy by day's end. i think my angst comes from the fact that many people act like we've been wallowing in our own urine for centuries waiting for such groundbreaking technologies so we as a people can advance to some higher plane when in fact this iPad device and others like it will actually do much to undermine the act and art of reading.

my cumulative sentiment can probably be satisfactorily gleaned through this email excerpt from an exchange i had with bookguy yesterday (and in the name of full disclosure, i contacted him given a surprising post made on his web site)

our office was immensely non-plussed by the announcement. for andrew to not be first in line for a new apple technology is wholly unprecedented and says quite a lot about the offering.

i find it to be a totally uninspired and non-compelling bauble. but i also feel it is an absolutely necessary step to get these eReaders and tablet devices to a place where like technologies need to be. you could liken it to the mac cube which was commercially a flop but instrumental to subsequent innovations.

the kindle is a way more thoughtful and practical eReader device, and even it is still not where it needs to be and has many game-ending shortcomings. the touted 10 hours of battery on the iPad is laughable. first off, you probably only get that 10 hours if you have all functions and features turned off, the screen dimmed out and are just looking at it. if you're actually using it (with its features in play) i reckon you get less than half that advertised duration and this in something designed to be a mobile/portable object.

and people talk about it being smaller and a more compact technology solution. this would be true if you could dump all of your other machines and devices but you can't and since you can't you're actually broadening your tech footprint and adding exponential complexity to your tech dependencies and cost.

for that same money you could fund a close friend to travel to your city, play a round or two of tennis, and treat him to a fine steak dinner which i feel would, in the end, be a more enriching and satisfying use of your finances. especially when that friend is me.

why i haven't been invited to do technology reviews for numerous publications yet is well beyond me.




FRIENDS (permalink) 10.29.2009
i don't want to say i was first, but ... uhhmm ... i was first
last month i talked about my friend e-love and what a special teacher he is. yesterday the Milken Family Foundation was talking about him when they recognized him with a national educator award and a check for $25,000.

i don't want to call the milken folks a johnny come lately but me and my people have already been there. sure they came with an extra 25 large but to me that kinda smells like someone trying to assuage their guilt for not being the first to applaud my man's gifts.

and as if the national award, the check, and the troy shout out weren't enough, the dude also welcomed his second child into his family last sunday.

kudos on all your successes my friend. there isn't a soul who knows you who would say you didn't earn or deserve this recognition eric. although, if i may make a suggestion, you might want to spread the props out a little more evenly. you're creating a pretty high stick for your next twenty years in the classroom.

From the pressline:
"the Milken award is so prestigious it's been called the oscars of teaching." love it!



An A+ achievement: Webster Groves teacher wins Milken teaching award

Webster Groves High School Teacher Wins 2009 Milken National Educator Award

Webster Groves High teacher wins national award




FRIENDS (permalink) 07.16.2009
i myself would have said 'tingling' instead of 'tickling', but that's just me.
two guys i used to work with ten years ago were recently exchanging emails.

after one guy typed:
... i got a tickling feeling in my colon each time i ran the command that was a bit disconcerting but now that you've explained it ...

the other guy responded to the comment by saying:
I see you stay in touch with Troy!

if you're going to be known for something, i guess there's worse things to be remembered for than colon-centric conversations.

and yes, sure, there are better things one could be known for and my mother would be the first to point this out, but there are also worse things to be remembered for. that's all i'm saying.




QUOTES, FRIENDS (permalink) 02.06.2009
the single biggest perk to working in the IT industry ... the people
there's these two guys. they work together. one day while standing around talking, these two guys make a bet. the bet is for one dollar. the following day after the results of the bet are known the guy who won the bet went by the desk of the guy who lost the bet.

WINNING GUY
hey.

LOSING GUY
oh, hey.

WINNING GUY
so you got my dollar?

LOSING GUY (patting pockets)
uhh. i don't have a dollar on me right now.

WINNING GUY
what? what do you mean you don't have my dollar?

LOSING GUY
yeah. i'm tapped. sorry. i'll get change at lunch.

WINNING GUY
if a man makes a bet, that man should be able to cover his bet. if he can't, maybe he shouldn't have made that bet.

LOSING GUY
dude. what are you talking about? i've got a dollar. i just don't happen to have one on me right this second.

WINNING GUY
and forget the fact that i had to come find you. i sorta thought you would have been at my desk this morning waiting to pay me.

LOSING GUY
i said i'd pay you. i don't have a dollar on me right now. i'll get one at lunch.

WINNING GUY
i'm just saying a man who can't pay his bets in a timely manner should perhaps not make bets.

LOSING GUY (standing up)
are you saying i'm not good for a dollar? that you don't trust me to pay you a dollar?

WINNING GUY
from where i'm standing right now, i'd say that's how it looks

LOSING GUY (steps closer)
you keep this up you run the risk of offending me.

WINNING GUY
yeah, you're going to want to take a step back. at least until you have the dollar you owe me.

the losing guy did not get the dollar at lunch. or if he did, he didn't settle the bet that day. for the next few weeks every time the two would pass each other in the halls, one would ask 'where's my dollar?' and the other would walk on, eyes forward and jaw clenched.

one morning the winning guy arrived at his desk to find sitting in front of his keyboard a shiny susan b. anthony coin. he held it up in the light, spinning it from front to back, studying the pictures on each side. he then lowered his hand, dropped it into his pocket and walked away. a moment later he was leaning against the cube wall of the losing guy's desk. he begins speaking before the cube's occupant has turned around or knows he's there.

WINNING GUY
so you got my buck?

LOSING GUY (shoots from chair and turns to face the speaker)
i put a dollar on your desk this morning!

WINNING GUY (pulling coin from pocket)
oh this. yeah i found this on my desk this morning. but it didn't have a note or say who it was from. how am i to know it came from you?

in life, you get to choose how to paddle your canoe through the daily waters. since you have to paddle, i suggest moving with the current. you're just going to wear out too soon otherwise.




TRAVEL, FRIENDS (permalink) 08.15.2007
you can skip the couch, this will be quick.
driving a non-air-conditioned sixteen-year old bmw by yourself, cross-country in august heat, windows down, sunroof open, shirt off, music distortedly loud, and shoeless on a day you'd typically be in the office is the closest glimpse of the fountain of youth i've ever spied. this was my day yesterday and it was exquisite. very, very exquisite.

it was two years ago to the weekend that i last made this pilgrimage south to visit my two best friends. this makes it also two years ago to the weekend that my colleague and friend, joe, died suddenly during a routine mountain-biking outing. joe floats in and out of my thoughts with whimsical unpredictability and did so with heightened frequency yesterday. sample: one day joe asked me to do lunch. when we sat down at a mediterranean eatery he expressed dissatisfaction with his work situation. actually, it was the very first thing he said which made the first thing i said this ...

you're a whore joe. a slut. a simple and replaceable piece of meat. every day you come to work there's a hundred dollar bill sitting on the corner of your desk and every day you sit down you're putting that hundred dollars in your pocket and the moment your ass hits that cushion you belong to them. what do you expect them to do? send you some frilly and giggly coed? ain't how it works. they're going to send you the most vile and abject human you can imagine and that person is going to walk up, climb on and do some really nasty and unforgettable things to you. when they're done, they're going to get up and they're going to walk away without as much as a word. as long as you keep picking up that money joe this is your life. accept it or stop picking up the f'ing money. now can we eat? being a whore makes a man hungry.

through my monologue, joe wordlessly stared at me like a university student taking in an advanced physics problem. when i finished he burst out laughing. after calming down he shook his still smiling head thoughtfully, picked up the menu in front of him and said, 'yes, we can eat'. he seemed better through the rest of lunch and work matters didn't come up again. after that initial session joe would appear at my desk once or twice a year saying "i need a pep talk' (what we came to call my dissertation) or sometimes it would be 'i really need a pep talk today troy' to which i'd say "you driving?".

i may not be the most conventional life coach out there, but unlike some, i don't get paid by the hour. things are what they are. if you like them, fight to keep them. if you hate them, fight to change them. life isn't forever, feel free to be picky.




FRIENDS (permalink) 06.21.2007
a man with a better bs-meter than most
troy-tistic (noun)
a number with no scientific value or qualified source used by troy in debates to support his arguments.

e-love was 37% justified in coining this term about my style of argumentation during last summer's beach trip.




FRIENDS (permalink) 04.18.2007
better late than never
family-v,
two years ago i entered your home with trepidation. the only person i knew i hadn't seen in over fifteen years. the other four people i hadn't seen ever. by the end of our five day stay, i felt as though i were visiting my very own relatives. this year, from the moment i walked through the newly renovated entryway, i felt as though i was holidaying with family-proper. my only regret is that we aren't closer and cannot celebrate and survive life together more often.

i especially appreciate how you endure bookguy's company just so i get to spend time with you. since i've known him for ten years i recognize this is no minor sacrifice and just wanted you to know i'm thankful it's one you're willing to make.

and don't forget, you have an open-ended invitation to my home. it doesn't have to be this year or even next. it can be in five or ten. just know whenever you need it or want it, our door is open to you.

i miss sitting at your kitchen table, lazing on your super couch (watching the boys catapulting themselves into a concrete wall) and fumbling my way down your ski slopes. basically, i miss it all.

do good, love life and laugh hard.

your biggest fan,
troy (and bookguy)




FRIENDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 03.20.2007
whatever the trespass, i capitulate. i capitulate fully.
do you remember me talking about juju?
it began when i came into work with a zit, bookguy promptly and expectedly said something along the lines of 'nice zit'. two days later he had a festering carbuncle on the tip of his nose four times the size and three shades darker than my own. this trend oddly continued, meaning anytime one of us would harangue the other over something we knew they would be insecure about, mother wrath would deliver a much worse malady upon the offender. we termed this phenomenon as juju, bad juju specifically. the juju proved so reliable we actually reached a point of maturity, if even maturity through fear of consequence. if you had a blemish you could see the other staring at it, the rolodex of insults spinning in their brain but knowing they wouldn't pluck a card out lest they suffer a retort from the juju god.
i thought i was on my best behavior in utah. i swear. but by the looks of the blemish that has taken over the region above my left eyebrow it appears the ju-ju gods believe i took an aluminum bat to bookguy while he slept.

it began in the form of a small bump shortly after our return. then it started to show its teeth, growing in diameter, height AND darkness. saturday night i eyed it in the mirror, turning my head from left to right seeing how it looked from various angles. all told it remained quite innocuous but i let the fact that people were coming for brunch in the morning cloud my judgement and i threw down. two minutes in i knew the right move was to cut my losses but i had made some ground. eight minutes later i was waving the white flag, in this case a balled-up kleenex. i not only lost the war but took quite a thumping in the battle as well.

the next morning i studied the zone. there was no way to call it anything other than bleak. but i shook it off, i'm a grown man. what do i care if it looks like someone spot-welded a red bouncy ball to my forehead? i'm bigger than all that mess. in the midst of my self-pep-talk, i heard a knock at the front door and responded. it was a close friend of marty's. as she stepped into the foyer she made big, wild eyes and brightly said "ohhhh! what happened there?" and waggled a finger around the bouncy ball. i bashfully lowered my eyes and said i think i beat my friend with a bat while he slept.




FRIENDS, PHOTO, WEB (permalink) 09.26.2006
honesty is a pre-requisite to knowing me
excerpt from the website of friend of mine who is, professionally, a historical archivist.

I've been pretty obsessed with taking pictures of my toy collection and posting them to Flickr. My girlfriend's nerd alarm went off yesterday, I'm suprised I haven't worn it out.

but were he not setting off such alarms, wherever would we get great photography the likes of this ...


and, before you answer, consider that without people who enjoy the above, you may never benefit from the likes of these ...



and, i super-love this sort of stuff, which he seems to have tons of ...



i hope to see chavez at the pending everyman. which as i just consulted the website, and then my desktop calendar i see deadlines this monday. not exactly a good sign when the host gets caught by surprise. so, if you got 'em, bring 'em. time is rapidly dwindling away.



and, given the everyman's approach, our house is about to enter the time of year marty's nerd alarm gets chucked against every wall of our house, viciously.




FRIENDS, FOOD (permalink) 08.16.2006
could you please pass the white poupon
walt and i went to a bbq last summer. while surveying the food spread, i saw a stack of plates, quartered heads of iceberg lettuce, a small bowl of white dressing and a large plate of ribs and chicken. it all looked great and i was anxious to get started but was stymied in that there wasn't a sign of any silverware.

the male host walked up behind me and invited me to dig in. i said i was looking for the silverware and he gaped at me like i was mad. "SiLvErWaRe? SILVERWARE!?! THIS IS A BBQ AND I'M FROM TEXAS AND WE DON'T ALLOW NO STINKIN' SILVERWARE!!!" so i did what any scolded and denied adult would do. when he turned away, i walked into his house, uninvited, and went through his kitchen looking for cutlery. no silverware my ass, there were piles of it inside. so i helped myself to a place setting and for my trouble, also took a wacky straw i happened upon (that was just to make a point).

now appropriately equipped, i returned to the food table and prepared my plate. i neatly cut my lettuce, dripped some of the white stuff on it and took my seat. i looked across the table as the sticky-fingered heathen held his iceberg wedge like a football, raked it through the chunky white sauce and raised the full dripping mass to his already smeared mouth. he made an exuberant-scrunched face as his mouth bore down on the roughage. i quietly shook my head at the scene, stabbed a small piece of the lettuce on my plate, dabbed it in the dressing and carefully placed it in my mouth. two minutes later the fork was in the grass and i was cramming the lettuce/sauce mixture into my mouth as rapidly as my two hands could scoop it from the plate. and when the concoction was done i licked the residuals from the folds and crevices of my fingers and palms contorting my wrist and hand as needed to access it all.

texas blue cheese dressing is pretty dang good.




QUOTES, FRIENDS (permalink) 08.02.2006
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
remedial self-help




FRIENDS (permalink) 08.01.2006
our most appreciative (and competent) service provider is a 10 year-old neighbor girl




FRIENDS (permalink) 06.21.2006
casting-call
bookguy calls it noun-challenged. to be noun-challenged is to be someone who can't remember people's proper names. between he and i, it's unclear who is more severely afflicted. as per usual, he would claim the title and i would claim he is wrong. either way, it is a fierce race.

as evidence to my condition allow me to turn to my proclivity for nicknames. i give people such monikers for three reasons; (1) to insulate them from embarrassing things i may say about them online, (2) because i can't remember their name at all, or (3) because i can't remember the version of their name (mike, michael, mikey, m-bag) they prefer or more importantly, they greatly dislike. and on that last item, i've argued many a time that mike, michael, mikey and m-bag are entirely synonymous and should be freely interchangeable.

to recap, some of the past characters, several of which you've heard of countless times ...
  • bookguy
  • bookpimp
  • e-love
  • man who screams like woman
  • doctor j
  • the way with words girl
  • chavez
  • smart ryan
  • buddy james
  • thin when tan girl
  • the why the hell wouldn't ya guy
  • the doctor of diss
  • guy with mussed hair
  • and of course, girl who dates guy with mussed hair
here's a few i've never shared online and use mostly when talking with walt (or rather marty) ...

THE FAKE MOMS
a group of highly augmented ladies who hang out at our pool.

NEWSPAPER DAD
a guy who sits at the park with his four young children reading the ny times and shooing his kids away anytime they near him.

HOLD MY BABY
actually bookguy-coined this gem but it is a fast staple in our home and i'm not really in a position to speak to its origin.

SMILING LADY
i see this lady all over the place and she makes the joker look morose.

BAD, DRUNK MOM
she's not just bad and she's not just drunk, she's both and therefore gets the double-bill.

YELLING MOM
the yelling mom scares me and is not too surprisingly married to ...

THE QUIET GUY
i got ten bucks that says this fella comes out soon.




FRIENDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 06.12.2006
is it my fault i'm mystified by normal hair?
the family went camping this last weekend. one of the mornings i passed another fella in our party and commented on how impressed i was that he'd already showered. he said he hadn't and asked what made me think he had. my eyes drifted to his hair in that it looked wet and shiny. he noticed my gaze and ran his hand through it telling me that it was just oily and he needed to go wash it.

sorry dude. my bad.

this mis-speak seemed to make its way back to the camp because later his wife engaged me:

HER
so troy, how long does it take for your hair to look un-showered?

ME
as long as it takes for mcdonalds fries to start looking as if they're rotting.

HER
and, how long is that?

ME
i don't know, they're still watching them.




FRIENDS (permalink) 06.06.2006
the davinci load
i have a friend who hides his porn on video tapes labeled MATH COUNTS. his theory: nobody likes math enough to pop in a video dedicated to the subject and if they do, they could use a good dose of porn so either way, it's all good.

i have another friend who hides his porn related materials in a box labeled SHITTY HE-MAN TOYS. his theory, in his words, "who the hell wants to look at a bunch of shitty he-man stuff?"

i am so rich in friends.




WEB, FRIENDS (permalink) 04.12.2006
it's kinda like a secret society, only way more nerdy
i share in a small professional consortium of sorts. there's just three of us and i am for certain the pup of the litter. one of the two taught me everything i know about web design and the other everything i know about web development. we all used to work together. now we don't even live in the same state and in one case not even the same country.

several years back in a ski lodge atop the canadian rockies, the three of us made five-year projections about our professional lives. one of us nailed it, one surpassed it and one, well, one keeps meandering towards the light but hasn't yet held a straight line to its source.

chris wanted to create a jackpot product. a sophisticated and enticing utility that would allow him to support his home while investing his energy in something he believed in. four years later he is performing enterprise-level implementations of a wiki-fashioned, microsoft-centric, intranet manager he calls thoughtFarmer.

bookguy privately covets the notion of hopping industries. i won't get into the specifics of his aspiration but the venture would offer him new sorts of mental exercises using his very impressive technology chops as well as his gift for oration and unavoidably, leadership. he is unconsciously adrift towards such a change, he just hasn't noticed the oar in his hand yet. i predict he will soon look down and see it though and when he does decide to lower it into the water it's better than a done deal.

and i, i managed to stay diligent and patient about things until i secured a position with the one institution in my city that i hoped to secure a position with. and time has aged it well.

i'm glad to see the three of us trending in such positive directions and i wish my cohorts much success. i wish myself an ounce more, or as bella would say, a worm's bite more, than them because as the runt of the litter, i need to be that much better to hold my own on our next ski boondoggle.




KIDS, FRIENDS, QUOTES (permalink) 03.29.2006
what, little ole me?
this is an excerpt from an email i received yesterday from a lady i worked for many years ago. i love her dearly. my convictions and peccadilloes baffle her madly though.
I thought of you today when a young man started telling me about why children had to wait. Part of the reason had to do with money, which made some sense, although no one will ever have enough money to have kids. Then, he told me that a little girl "tossed her cookies" in church, yesterday. It was "nasty", he said. I sent him the link to your site, and told him to come talk to me after he'd taken a look at the babies of an avowed .... What? .... Perfectionist? .... Wild-eyed crazy? .... Idealist of the first order?
i prefer to think of it joann as someone with a keen sense for the annoying.

and, like there's something in the annals of this site that would deter a sensible human from choosing to sire and raise other humans. i mean it's not like they are going to eat feces off the bottom of their shoes or something, now is it?




FRIENDS (permalink) 03.28.2006
turning the screws
guy A recently told guy B about how his wife was having twins. guy B excitedly asked when they were expected and guy A said two weeks from friday. guy B, shocked, said he just saw guy A's wife and she didn't look pregnant. this is when guy A said, not those kinds of twins, did a head-nodding wink and with his hands made the universal sign for heaving, cleaving bosoms. guy B said 'ooooohhhhh!, THOSE kinds of twins.'

i've decided the next time i see guy A i'm going to say i heard about their procedure and congratulate him on pulling off this spousal boon to fix what they must have collectively felt was a shortcoming in their relationship. as he beams with pride and before he can reply, i'm then going to ask if it hurt when he got the penis enlargement and however did his wife convince him to go to such drastic measures for something entirely out of his control.

guy A never liked me much to begin with.




QUOTES, FRIENDS (permalink) 03.01.2006
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
missing keri




SPORTS, FRIENDS (permalink) 02.06.2006
in the end, you just have to suck less than your opponent
late saturday i received an email with the simple and concise subject 'STEELERS SUCK'. the following thread ensued.

 
TO:   troy
FROM:   a girl who looks like my nyc sister-in-law
MESSAGE:   um,

Steelers suck.

GO SEAHAWKS!!

Steph

 
TO:   a girl who looks like my nyc sister-in-law
FROM:   troy
MESSAGE:   now how could you be so mean to such a mop-headed and cute young lad?

care to make it interesting? loser makes sunday brunch for the others family.

t

(see, that's a smart bet on my part cuz i got more family for you to feed should i win, and more family to wipe dna on your food should i lose.)

 
TO:   troy
FROM:   a girl who looks like my nyc sister-in-law
MESSAGE:   Game on.

I work in a hospital, DNA doesn't scare me.

Steph

 
TO:   a girl who looks like my nyc sister-in-law
FROM:   troy
MESSAGE:   i don't even know what to say to that, not being afraid of dna.

and, now i don't know if i want to win or lose.

t

 
um.

so my people like pancakes. and marty and bella like droopy bacon while alex and myself prefer it crispy. although alex has been known to eat droopy bacon if that's all there is on the plate and bella has been known to eat bacon raw if you leave the kitchen while it's out on the counter.

and truth told, i haven't seen such a confident position on foreign dna since frequenting drive-throughs with big dog back in the day. i pay homage to your ability to disregard the horrifying.

cautionary note: we have sunday breakfast in our pajamas. and i don't really have any pajamas so i may need someone to warm my chair before taking my seat.




FRIENDS, TRAVEL (permalink) 01.31.2006
it seems so apparent that both of us are the greatest
it is bookguy's turn to pick our ski destination. he chose utah. one of my favorite humans lives in salt lake city so i called her to tell her i was coming and see if one night we might dine together. she readily raised my offer to a full invitation into her family's home during our nearly week-long visit.

in trying to make sure she was ok with the arrangement, i sent an email offering her an out. in it i explained that my travel-mate could sometimes be a little difficult, especially when away from home for extended periods. she reiterated her original offer saying she would have it no other way but did caution that their home did only have one bathroom. she will be pleased to know that i am approaching forty years in age and have never lived in a home with more than one bathroom. [1] [2]

in trying to make sure bookguy was ok with the arrangement, since he didn't go to high school with this girl, i sent an email offering him an out. his response ...

although i can already tell the "no, you're the greatest" banter will get tough to stomach it should be good humor...

i love how open he is to new experiences. i also love how he so gingerly tip-toed between the sleeping ju-ju gods in his well-crafted retort (at some point during our annual boondoggle, one of us is sure to accidentally nudge one, if not all, of them awake).

[1] i did spend a summer with a family who actually had three toilets but i slept on a punctured air mattress in their basement so am inclined to categorize that more as camping than living.

[2] my current home has one bathroom but two toilets. the second toilet is in a wainscotted hut in our blairwitch-basement and to date bella has been the only one brave enough to lower her naked rear to its seat. and i will say, she has been brave enough an startling number of times.




FRIENDS (permalink) 11.18.2005
look at the posture on that reading kid
first, buddy james took to the needle.

next, bookguy went under the scalpel.

to keep up in this attention-competitive community, i fear i may need to bifurcate my own penis. disappointed there's no link on my future condition? don't be. accept my every assurance, i'm doing you a super-huge favor.




FRIENDS, QUOTES (permalink) 09.22.2005
if you don't know me that well you may need an interpreter
i have a friend who moved recently. i wrote asking him how he was liking his new digs. he wrote:
last night was a troy commemorative evening. stopped at the asian market 2 miles away to pick up a tin of cafe du monde. warmed up the barbecue while brewing a tall glass of the delicious liquid crack. tossed a couple of porterhouse steaks on the grill for just the right amount of time and plowed through the whole thing. one hour later, an appetite refreshing no-wiper followed up with a bowl of ice cream on the deck.

now i feel like i'm at home.
cafe du monde, liquid crack, porterhouse, ice cream and no wipers. i only wonder if he's ready for me to move in.




FRIENDS (permalink) 09.02.2005
i takes care of my kids!
i get asked to write referrals for this or that every now and again. i reckon we all do. recently i was asked to do a new sort of one though. these guys were trying to be a host family for a child coming from another country to receive a medical procedure. the child would stay with them through the operation and recovery which would last almost two months. the reference, obviously, was going to the agency placing the child. i found this an extra-challenging item to write because it was not about some dude i went to college with or used to work with nor was it whether they would make a good programmer or college student, it was an assessment of a whole family and at stake was the well-being of a young and ill child.

fortunately i like this family. i like them a lot. this is what i wrote:

jack and jill were my first example of a true family-first lifestyle. Fact is, to date, jack and jill are my only example of parents who make virtually every decision with the good of their children/family in mind. Most parents preach it. A very scant few live it. An observable measure of this philosophy can be felt by simply meeting their children. mark and john are two of the most gentle, courteous and vibrant young boys I know and I'm confident that their rich approach to life is a direct result of the stable and warm environment found within the walls of jack and jill's home.

while thinking about what to write i had a memory of a moment i shared with jack many years ago. some of his college buddies invited him to a week in a cabin on a lake. when jack asked about accommodations for his family the friend laughed at him stating that the whole point of the vacation was so everyone could get away from their families.

i didn't have kids yet so didn't think too much about the implications of the classmate's remark. i do remember though being totally transfixed on jack's disgust towards the comment. his emotion was so visceral that i knew there was a great amount i didn't understand about being a parent or even husband for that matter (a good one at least). he and his wife have totally given themselves to the life they have chosen. now that i have kids, i understand how hard this is to do. and now that i do understand this, my respect for how they live their life is ten-fold what it was.

and for those who know me well enough to ask about jack and jill's true identity, don't bother. i'm not sharing my alpha-family with any of you wannabes because i need all the help and one-on-one attention i can get.




SCIENCE, FRIENDS, STORYTIME (permalink) 08.26.2005
one hit i won't be taking for the team
anyone who tells me they've had a vasectomy can be assured of my undivided attention for as long as they will answer my questions. i'm entirely unable to explain my quenchless need to know more about this topic, i just know to call it anything short of insatiable would be a mistaken way to describe my mood. last night i received my best account yet from a man who i will call, for the sake of this telling, the beef-eater.

first, and this i did not know, there is a pre-screening. the extent of this pre-flight check seems mostly concerned with making sure you don't have three testicles and that the two you do have are sitting in the appropriate left-right configuration. although, i imagine they would be truly interested in any number above two. and as for non-left/right options you have the very rare front/back or even more rare top/bottom alignments, either of which would certainly earn a note in the metal binder. and, there is little doubt that any of these unique scenarios would generate extra fees (esp bonus gonads) so this reality check works to prepare the subject for any special handling fees that may arise. the day the beef-eater had his pre-screening was coincidentally bring your kid to work day which means he got to answer these questions with a backpack-wearing eight year old staring up at him.

the big day has you laid out on an exam table naked from the waist down. they drape a towel over your groin area only there is a big whole cut out framing the part of you the towel is usually there to conceal (nobody better look at the naked side of my hip while my johnson is laying there lifeless, bloodless and frankly scared quite shitless). the nurse then partially knocks you out so you're awake but mostly unable to put up much of a fight or think too straight. it was at this point in the procedure that the super-attractive lady who lived two doors down from the beef-eater and was a nurse in this office, unbeknownst to him, entered the room. the best he could muster was to raise a hand and mumble the single word 'foul'. the doctor came in moments later and began. after the incisions were made he took a tool that resembled a crochet needle and pulled one of the vas deferens out of the hole, exposing it to be severed. i'm told that having your gamete superhighway lifted from its tracks in this manner produces an extremely unnatural sensation. i theorize this is the anti-erection part of the procedure, just in case all the random fumblings elicited any sort of positive feedback. it is now that they snip, burn and return the helpless tube back to its home. my mind envisions the ends whipping around like a dropped firehose or more appropriately, a writhing and injured worm.

they then sent him home telling him to lay on the couch with frozen corn on his affected part(s) for the next 24 hours. these were the last words of our conversation:

TROY
wow. is it hard to clean up all of that corn when you get up.

THE BEEF-EATER
you leave it in the bag, idiot!

TROY
oh. but, when you were done do you put the bag back in the freezer or throw it away?

THE BEEF-EATER
i don't know what other people do, but i threw mine away.

TROY
hmmm. i don't think marty would let me throw it out, groin-ridden or not.

and i can now check another fixation from my list. i found the account of this man's journey to be quite satisfying. thanks beef-eater for doing successfully what many before you could not.




FRIENDS (permalink) 08.12.2005
perhaps i could earn an honorary title
i have a friend who once or twice a year sends me a surprise in the mail. these parcels always come neatly wrapped in brown shipping paper, the address written in his typewriter perfect handwriting. bella would sooner guess what her reward for pooping in the toilet was before i would come even ball-park close to the contents of one of these never-announced deliveries. and, for sure, no two have ever been remotely similar.

yesterday i received such a parcel. i can't tell you how this renovates looking through the mail. it's very exciting. i momentarily held the box in my hands, surprised by its heft, before setting it to the side to save it for last. i shot through the other mail occasionally letting my eyes drift to the magic box. as i said, i know i will never guess what's in it, but the childlike stir created in me is as pleasing as caffeine. after parsing the other mail i slide the box in front of me and begin opening it with the same care as used when it was sealed. once exposed i see the box inside is shiny silver with the year 1831 written in big fancy white script. i open this gilded box and find a handwritten note placed on top of the contents. it reads:

from the briefcase of every successful mormon. in case you ever want to read the inspiring text that fuels your newest hobby ...

inside the box was my very own book of mormon! this used to be his very own book of mormon because this friend, you see, is an ex-mormon which makes him a jack-mormon. most don't know that this descriptor for a fallen latter day saint is my most coveted title. jack-mormon. sounds rough. sound randy. sounds like a fella who would help you get your car out of a snowbank.

hello. i'm troy dearmitt. jack-mormon extraordinaire! it's so nice to make your acquaintance.

sounds cool doesn't it? while i'm on secret wishes, let me share one of my friend who sends the great baubles through the mail. he wishes privately that he was a minority. i don't think he has a specific one in mind. just any ole minority. i haven't really delved too deep into this ambition. i think i'm afraid of opening a wound that may stop my surprises in the mail and there are few things i enjoy more than those so i think i'll let him keep his secret all to himself (as well as anyone reading this).

thank you for the latest brown-paper man. i appreciate you and it.




FRIENDS (permalink) 08.10.2005
in memory of
i spent last weekend in north carolina visiting friends. the night before i was to return home, my office contacted me to tell me a colleague, and friend, had passed away. joe was a young guy, younger than me. to describe joe to someone who didn't know him i'd tell them he had an easy affability you could liken to alan alda's character on MASH, hawkey pierce, and also that his most noticeable and endearing feature was his youthful and mischievous grin which he flashed often.

joe lived life with a vigor seen in few people. one of his greatest passions was music. a year ago, joe asked if i would help him with the lyrics of an album he was planning. i was flattered and intrigued by his invitation. we would lunch or meet at his house to discuss all sorts of topics. it's the closest i've been to those infinitely awesome dorm-room philosophy sessions which without fail spun into the morning hours. life on other planets. the meaning of existence. what makes a good song. an endearing story. the power of language. the mood of sound. basically, these were conversations that would have been endless in subject and enjoyment.

i don't have a lot of experience with death. and by a lot i mean any. joe is the first person i've known who has died. while i'm fortunate to have been spared all of these years, i feel entirely ill-prepared for the emotions i'm experiencing. the only absolute i know is i will miss seeing joe sitting across from me flashing the smile i came to know him by.




MUSIC, FRIENDS (permalink) 08.04.2005
just some woman's hunk of eye candy
these days, as we all know, i live in saint louis, which in the month of august means i live on the face of the sun. in saint louis, we have an outdoor theatre called the muny. Thin When Tan Girl and her man treated marty and i to West Side Story last night. at the show's intermission when the lights came up i looked around and thought to myself how stinking uncomfortably hot all these people looked. when i turned to my theater-mates, they looked quite startled and exclaimed 'wow. troy. you look ... awfully ... shiny.'

is it my fault i have rich, moist skin?

speaking of rich, moist skin, West Side Story is my all-time favorite musical. it holds this esteemed position for two reasons. firstly, one of the two mormon girls i was hopelessly in love with in high school played a pivotal part in my school's senior year production of it. and secondly, this same girl would sing the musical's songs to me after school when we drove around in her family's car that smelled like vomit. (this mixture of sensory input caused a real schism in some of my brain's memory pathways later in life. fortunately for me, i have rich, moist skin so i'm not expected to be all that together, mentally at least.)




WEB, FRIENDS, QUOTES (permalink) 07.07.2005
a binary ziggurat
there's a lot of words floating around this here internet. of the loads added daily, the ones this guy is stringing together make me smile more often than most.

and i quote, haphazardly ...



somewhere outside of hillsborough, i realized that i was in a really good mood. it was that same kind of clarity, that surprised self-awareness, that babies and hippies get when they discover their hands.



the last few frames of FISH! flickered across the screen and the consultant, hired for the day to talk to us about how we could incorporate fun into the workplace, felt his way across the back wall in the darkness, his meaty paw pat-patting for a light switch.



i met a boy named fate yesterday. as so often happens when i think of something to write about in the middle of a workday, i scribble the idea down on a slip of paper and stuff it into my pocket.

for the rest of the day, i thought about how interesting it would be, if i were in a car accident or run over while crossing the street, for the medics to arrive and, while searching my pockets for identification, they would find a single piece of paper that just had the word FATE written on it in block letters.




and i know this guy.

i've sat on his bed.

i've used his bathroom.

i've made sweet music with the dude.

he once even said nice things about me

hell, my daughter's even broken bread with him ...

as my old friend big dog would say, i thank you for the humor buddy james.




FRIENDS, SOCIETY (permalink) 06.15.2005
i have no friends and rarely call my family
it is my personal goal to be the last information technology guy in america who doesn't own a cell phone. as it stands, it's between me and 18 other folks.

i still haven't even seen titantic. i cannot be beaten. this is a fact.




FRIENDS, SOCIETY (permalink) 03.25.2005
and i got ridiculed for playing hacky sack
on wednesday i had lunch with some people i just recently met. one of the girls at the table was complaining about the state of her dating life. i gave her the typical 'just got to keep swinging' propoganda speech, you know the one that ends with a hearty, yet assuring, clap on the back.

she responded to my spirited pep talk by sharing a moment from her last outing where her date left her sitting alone at a table while he stepped out to engage in some medieval combat using a weapon made from pvc tubing.

on the good side, at least his mom was letting him stay out late, and this in addition to borrowing the car for the night.

afterthought : if i had to guess where the traditional clap on the back business comes from, i'd attribute it to homophobes who were unable to give hugs to their other phobe friends. if this is true, giving a clap on the back is almost like throwing hail hitler salutes around the workplace. no more claps on the back from me. you are either getting a full-body contact hug or you'll have to lick your wounds all on your own.




FRIENDS (permalink) 03.24.2005
is it my fault i have soft features?
i know a guy who's pretty effeminate. i mentioned him in passing to some people, noting his daintiness and marty chimes in and says:

"he's no more girlish than you."

i thought she was joking or not speaking to me. she wasn't joking and she was speaking to me. problem is, to me this guy seems really, super effeminate. looking for some manly support i turned to luby who was present. not only did luby not step up on my behalf, by the time he was done talking he had me thinking that the guy in question was a real-life rambo or extreme fighting aficionado compared to me.

i gotta say, i don't know what's up with these folks or why i hang out with any of them cuz they obviously aren't too bright. and now if you'll excuse me, i've got to go dust off my asian teapot collection.




QUOTES, FRIENDS (permalink) 02.11.2005
i'm still sleeping, aren't i?
these were the first words said to me after waking up yesterday morning ...

my high school was doing a production of the little mermaid. i was the mermaid but was replaced when i became too difficult to work with.

and, here is the second thing said to me after waking up yesterday morning ...

ivana from the apprentice was there but i couldn't remember her name so i kept calling her maggie.

and, this was my first thought yesterday morning ...

i would pay some serious jack to have marty and ivana in the same room getting haughty with one another.

you just don't know how a day that begins with such beautiful randomness is going to turn out. life excites me.




QUOTES, WEB, FRIENDS (permalink) 12.07.2004
the dutch has always had a way with words
With my pride in one hand, I walked balls first, brains last, into over extending myself.
dutch engelbrecht

(what with my brain's workers still on a full work-stoppage given their mistreatment over the last few months, i thought i'd share the words of someone whose cerebral employees have not left him in a lurch.)




FRIENDS (permalink) 10.19.2004
truth told, we're both slow learners
on the last day of everyman submissions i received over 150 emails between my mailboxes. over the next three days my 'you've got mail' wave file sounded off just three times.

concerned that something had gone south with my mail or isp i emailed dear friend bookguy asking him to send a message to a couple of my mail accounts. he hooked me up but took liberties in doing so. his message read:

i'm sure your still as popular as you've always been... everyone is just wrestling with getting back to school.

bookguy, i have a second favor to ask of you; please give the juju gods my regards when they stop by.




PERSONAL, WEB, HYGIENE, FRIENDS (permalink) 10.05.2004
purposefully narcoleptic
to say i have a few things on my plate this month would be like saying my high school chum big dog was just kinda mean to people he dealt with at drive-through windows.

if you don't know big dog you'll just have to take my word for it when i tell you he has, without question, consumed more human dna through fast food products than any other person ever has or ever will. while the thought of this may horrify you, it should not. what should wake you in the night though is the comfort-level he had in knowing he was consuming just about anything the 16 year-old working that night could eject, pull or scrape from his body and then conceal within big dog's order. forever stamped in my brain is a vision of big dog in the driver's seat of a car working on a too-large bite of burger while shrugging his shoulders at me.

but, back to me. in october, i'm trying to build two complete web sites AS WELL AS preparing for the everyman unveiling. now this is not to say i won't post, it's just to say what i do post my be less coherent than usual. and for the dozen or so people who don't think my writing is understandable to begin with, sadly, you're just extra-screwed this month.

but before giving up on me completely, let me share an odd detail about myself. did you ever see the episode of WKRP in Cincinnati where dr fever and venus had to drink ridiculous amounts of alcohol for a state trooper? the police official was attempting to demonstrate the ill effects liquor had on the human mind and more importantly, human response time. in the show, the more johnny fever drank, the quicker he'd become, leaving the trooper quite dour. this is how i am with sleep. the less i get the better i perform which leaves my wife quite dour because she is very much not like this. although i guess my deal is the opposite of the johnny fever example because the more he had the better he got so it's kind of backwards because for me it's the less i get the better i become, but you get the meaning.

ok. i just reread this post and i may be wrong about this whole improving while fatigued thing.

but, as i always tell my children, lucidity is overrated.




PERSONAL, FRIENDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 10.01.2004
i'm telling you, you HAVE to use garden shears, it's the only way
larry evilsizor's barbershop : march, 1991 - september, 2004

he will be greatly missed.




QUOTES, FRIENDS (permalink) 09.02.2004
will you please repeat what you just said, i just want to hear it again.
he stopped to return some unused clay pigeons from the bear gap pig roast.
the new guy's wife

(this definitely qualifies as a string of words i never expected to be said to me in conversation. it also qualifies as one of the most amazing string of words ever said to me in conversation.)




COMPUTER, MUSIC, FRIENDS (permalink) 07.28.2004
hate the eLove and his sucky ePod
so not even 10 minutes after making yesterday's post about how i'm sick and it's because i haven't got my iPod yet, my FORMER friend e-love sends me the following email and picture.

So when Carrie's in town and buys an iBook, guess what $200 off promotion she decided to let her brother-in-law participate in? I'm so happy. :)



i was clear on the FORMER friend bit, right? and the sister-in-law ain't so high in my book either. granted, i'm five months delinquent in responding to an email from her, but still!




TRAVEL, PHOTO, WEB, FRIENDS (permalink) 04.02.2004
for those wondering where i was last week


click here to begin





FRIENDS, SCIENCE (permalink) 03.18.2004
we are bound to repeat history
i'm not sure who started it. since i'm writing the tale, we'll let the benefit of the doubt go to the historian which means bookguy began this mess.

the first time it happened we didn't think much of it. the second time, we eyed one another suspiciously. by the seventh time we knew there was a greater force guiding events. it began when i came into work with a zit, bookguy promptly and expectedly said something along the lines of 'nice zit'. two days later he had a festering carbuncle on the tip of his nose four times the size and three shades darker than my own.

as i alluded to, this trend oddly continued, meaning anytime one of us would harangue the other over something we knew they would be insecure about, mother wrath would deliver a much worse malady upon the offender. we termed this phenomenon as juju, bad juju specifically. the juju proved so reliable we actually reached a point of maturity, if even maturity through fear of consequence (is there really any other kind?). if you had a blemish you could see the other staring at it, the rolodex of insults spinning in their brain but knowing they wouldn't pluck a card out lest they suffer a retort from the juju god.

bookguy now lives in another state and we've missed many opportunities and facial imperfections. i think this distance gave me a false sense of security because i recently acted foolishly. he posted a picture of himself on his web site wearing a new pair of glasses. knowing him well enough to know that he'd be uncertain of his ability to pull off such a contemporary style (surely picked out by his wife) i sent him an email regarding a boondoggle we'd soon be taking; 'you're not planning on wearing your new spectacles on our trip, are you?'

i woke up wednesday morning to discover someone had relocated mount krakatoa from whatever continent it resided on to just below my right eye. this is classic juju at work. and it will not be lost on my travel mate.

fricken juju.




SCIENCE, FRIENDS (permalink) 01.30.2004
i mean truck stops sell them for goodness sake
e-love and dr. j are expecting their first child. congratulations e-love and dr. j.

with that out of the way, let us now move to the interesting part of the news.

e-love describes the vaginal sonogram instrument as highly phallic. i'm not sure what he or i expected from such a tool but we agree it seems like they'd try to do something to make it, well, less obviously phallic. we surmise they feel they're dealing with childbearing age adults and should be free to let such a detail slip by. e-love and i further surmise, they assume wrong.

now in the application of the sonogram, at least they use protection. i mean of course they use protection. this is america, you know, the styrofoam country. but the question is ... if you were a medical professional working with reproductive systems and had to sheath an item that was the shape, of say, a banana, what do you think you might use?

and before you answer, let me assert that these folks are on the baby birthing side of the fence and not tooting the prevention horn as much but i gotta think they're hip to the fact that a condom just might fit this tubular rod like a glove.

can we agree on this?

well, we may, but they do not. instead of getting something to fit the instrument like a glove, they instead use A GLOVE. and when does a glove not fit something like a glove you ask? when that something is shaped like a penis.

and for those who are as inquisitive as me, they use the pinky finger of the glove. and like me, that poor vaginal sonogram device just can't catch a damn break.




FRIENDS, PERSONAL (permalink) 01.23.2004
you know who you are
five or six years ago i walked into a j crew store. during the visit, a certain sweater caught my eye and i tried it on. it was super soft lambs wool and had a thick, heavy feel. being a little pricey i only picked up two, a dark blue and a hunter green. at the time i didn't realize the relationship about to be forged between me and these two wintertime garments. you see, since that day, these would be the only two articles of clothing i would wear whenever the temperature dipped below 45 degrees, except for the occasional college sweatshirt i may don on less formal situations. one day i would wear the green, the next the blue, then the green, then back to blue, green, blue, green. it was a whole thing. tragically though, another thing i didn't know the day i purchased these two items is that i would never again see them on a j crew shelf.

somewhere between years four and five my bony arm joint punched through one of the elbows. shortly thereafter another, and then another until only one of the four elbows was still in tact. what was i to do? i checked back with the crew religiously only to find tube-sockish, wafer-thin or fuzzy wannabe sweaters lining their walls. marty told me my alpha wear was out of style, has been for years, she'd add hesitantly. but, my hands were tied. i had no other contenders and therefore no other options so i continued to wear them, gaping holes in the back of the sleeves and all.

a day could not pass where i wouldn't be stopped by someone tapping me on the shoulder and saying "it appears your elbow gave away" or "i think your sweater has about had it". i would convincingly reply "oh suck, that must have just happened, well i guess this one goes to the back of the closet". but in my mind i spat on them in disgust for their petty pickiness about the completeness of garments and their irrational need for structurally sound apparel. every new day would renew this dance between the public at large and myself with no end in sight.

and then she entered. a heavenly spirit who did not look at my injured lambswool with abjectness but instead pity. her eyes sympathetic to its hurt, her hand gently touching the wound. i can fix this she said. it is here i don't feel capable of putting my inner thoughts out there to be read. they are too singsongy, too personal. suffice it to say the maimed fellows were delivered to her in the spring and returned to me before the next season's first frost. mended and healed with gray (for blue) and black (for green) gauze (elbow patches), ready to drape my awkward frame again. she has delivered me from despair and for this i'm forever thankful.

sadly, i've discovered a whole new world of patch haters living among us.

fricken wretches.




FRIENDS, QUOTES, SOCIETY (permalink) 01.21.2004
i'd say more but i'd just wreck it
marty and i know a young man. i find him to be quite spectacular because he is unlike most people his age. perhaps my affinity to him comes from sharing a proclivity for never fitting into the peg we're told we're supposed to fit in, by the society around us at least. but he ... he is one of the most introspective and beautiful people i know from and because of it. below is an excerpt from an email he sent to marty. and, for once, i am posting it with his permission, albeit anonymously.
as life goes on, things happen that we don't expect and that we can't control. all we can do is learn from it all and try to understand ourselves better.

i think a lot about life and relationships these days. reflecting on the way we all relate to one another, i come to this conclusion: please try to see your kids for something more than their pretty faces or their hungry stomachs. please try to see them for something more than their minds or collection of thoughts.

when i look back to the way i was raised, i feel abused and neglected. i feel cheated. my parents gave me everything in this world - money, food, clothing, car, school, kisses and hugs. but they never saw me for that person within it all. i was never seen for what i truly am.

looking back, i don't think i was ever loved. and because of it i don't know how to love today. i'll probably never marry and have kids because of the fear i would do it to them. it's sad.

please do more for them then put clothes on their backs. with whatever time you have in this life, please try to see them as something more. my life has been damaged because my parents didn't have the strength to try - somehow.

please don't do that to your kids. please just try somehow. i'm not trying to tell you to be religious or spiritual or whatever. i'm not. i'm just saying, i lost about 20 years of my life because i was never shown anything else. they just raised me to eat, sleep, drink and defend my property. and expected me to find it all out on my own.

maybe i'm coming closer to my answers, but i lost a lot of time and i shed a lot of blood trying.





FRIENDS (permalink) 11.18.2003
are we taking votes here??? well, are we?!?!
i wasn't the first on the block to get tivo. i was the second. the first was darkman. darkman is the first to try a lot of things. darkman is like the older brother some of us didn't have. and when he's not that, he's the older brother some of us wish we had.

the number one question most have asked about darkman; why's he called darkman? as with many nicknames, the story is not half as sexy as the moniker itself. we must go back many movie releases to the opening night of a modest film i like to call spawn. it is here i first met the as-yet-un-nick-named fella. after the film, he commented on how that was the worst (or maybe he said best) movie he'd seen since darkman. little did he know that this simple comment would forever brand him darkman, to at least one person walking around that is.

in the early days of knowing him it was not uncommon to catch me saying "yeah, call up that guy, you know, that one guy, darkman." and, there were other times i'd call his home where his wife would answer and it would occur to me that i didn't even know his real name. by the fifth time i could no longer discern her mumblings. she'd just say "one second", set the phone on the counter and call out 'that guy who calls you darkman is on the phone.' i guess she didn't know my name either.

once darkman informed me that he didn't like being called darkman.

me: and ...
dm: and, so i want you to stop calling me that.
me: i'm sorry but that's not how it works.
dm: look i'm telling you i don't like it and i want you to stop!
me: in young guns do you think chavez got to pick chavez as his nickname or did they just call him chavez?
dm: but HIS name WAS chavez!
me: and, therein rests my point.

we all know you can't defend a young guns offensive. it's just not done.

the next nickname dissertation will dissect my accountant-looking, human resources manager friend dubbed snake.




FRIENDS (permalink) 10.16.2003
and from the awesome email file, i present ...
one of my earliest friends was a boy named chris andrews. chris was an incredibly quiet kid. on a true and non-artificial level, so was i and hence our early bond. kids weren't necessarily cruel to chris, they just weren't anything to him. my memories of him are, like the boy, quiet. but, i succinctly remember being drawn to his silent charisma. his most fetching talent was an ability to draw. even in elementary his skill at this was savant-like. as the years passed and chris became more unique compared to his peers we drifted but i always held a private admiration of him.

a few years back i saw him at my high school reunion. the two things most striking about him were his distinct presence and a palpable confidence. but just like when we were kids, it was a silent bravado. no speaking, no posturing just calm ease. this was especially drastic given all the loud and drunken showboating happening between the other ex-classmates in the crowd.

i spoke to him very much hoping his soft manner wasn't preventing him from making a way in the adult world. a few minutes in he recounted how he had just returned from a science expedition to borneo where he charted some previously unexplored caves in attempt to save it from ruin by the local government. six months later i see my man in national geographic.

the other day i sent him an email about the everyman thinking that a well-traveled fellow like himself might have a candidate or two. true to my recollection of him, his voluntary description of one of his photos was leagues better than the actual photo, and the photo is quite good. and, while it may be in poor taste for me to post, the guts of his email are simply too rousing to not share.

The Flatirons present a bewildering maze of rock above and to the south of Boulder. Many famous rocks and routes grace this area. The First and Third Flatirons reign over downtown Boulder. A couple miles to the south, the Slab's squat mass dominates. Just north of Eldorado Canyon, the Devil's Thumb dominates the skyline. However, the true ruler of this area is the Maiden, unique among the Flatirons.

Viewed from the east, this crag is a nearly invisible blade of rock tucked in between other seemingly more substantial flatirons. However, while driving to Eldorado Canyon, the careful eye will discern the true nature of the Maiden. From the south, the Maiden is shaped like a dolphin leaping up the wave of the foothills. Climbers will immediately notice the imposing overhang on its west side as well as the vertical nature of its east ridge. No other summit in the Boulder area appears more improbable.

Up close, the effect is amplified rather than diminished. The east ridge terminates in the trees with a disturbingly narrow girth. The north and south faces are sheer, and the low angle west ridge terminates at a narrow vertical west face that leads to the amazing west overhang and the summit. Like Wyoming's Devils Tower and Utah's Ancient Art, the Maiden appears to be of otherworldly construction.

One of the highlights of any ascent of the Maiden is actually the descent. The rappel off the summit and over the West overhang is simply unbelievable. After completing this rappel for the first time, I couldn't believe that kind of excitement was both free and legal.


he admittedly wished he could send more but he was off the next day on a desert trip to new mexico for a cave survey.




SOCIETY, FRIENDS (permalink) 07.11.2003
i think we may be onto something here
it started with a comment i made to marty a few months ago:

"it's just weird that 90% of the people in this neighborhood are doing the exact same thing right now (making dinner) and most of them hate it."

it was next passed onto a neighbor by marty at a picnic:

"i mean how hard would it be to double your recipe and walk half of it down to your neighbors so they wouldn't have to cook for an evening."

and, it culminated with an authentic indian dinner being hand delivered to our door one week later.

if things go right, there should be more on this later. but in the meantime, crazy mad props go to Anu.

and i also need throw a shout out to neighbor anne who brought to our kitchen a farm fresh chicken dinner the week before.

while down deep i know people don't mostly suck, it's nice to experience an occassional reminder illustrating this.

and i promise to stop saying things like 'mad props' and 'shout out' anymore. my temporary excuse; i'm high on people.




FRIENDS (permalink) 07.03.2003
i'd like you to meet ...
so i met this new guy. his name is luby. i'd give him a nickname but when everyone on the planet simply knows you as luby, there's no real point. things you should know about my new friend.

luby is pretty damn cool.

luby's wife is even cooler than luby.

luby was runner up in the 'you think you're man enough to own my powerbook' contest.

luby doesn't work. luby ebays.

luby drives the same kind of car the very first james bond did.

luby is what you'd get if you sent buddy holly and crispin glover through that wacky machine jeff goldblum used in the fly.

luby's brother is a christian rock star.

luby's certain that we could be christian rock stars ... 'it's so f'ing easy dude.'

luby's apartment looks like stephen king's toy chest exploded in it.

every time i say luby's name around marty, she starts singing some kid's lubidy-lubidy-loo song.




QUOTES, FRIENDS, COMPUTER (permalink) 06.05.2003
introducing a new member to the cast
apple computers are like sleek shiny sports cars w/ bubbly shapes and way too sensitive stick shifts. even if they rule the universe, i'm more of a stubborn, beat-up millenium falcon why-the-hell isn't the hyperdrive working-again? kinda computer lover.
email excerpt from the way-with-words-girl




FRIENDS, WEB (permalink) 04.16.2003
don't say anything, you'll only encourage him
for those who reached new levels of disgust by yesterday's admission of my occasional swollen-genitalia syndrome, you flatter me.

for those who requested a visual aid of my condition, you flatter me as well.

and for those who said your condition is worse than mine, you flatter yourself.




FRIENDS (permalink) 04.03.2003
yeah, i may have failed to mention that
as per usual buddy james takes what is already good and makes it better as seen in this email excerpt referring to yesterday's post.

just be thankful that you can't repeat that skin over your entire body, because then you'd have that terrible prison tattoo on every square inch of your person. and really isn't it enough that only marty can read the word 'sweetness' on your ass...we don't all have to see it.

we best not get into how buddy james has such carnal knowledge of this little known fact about myself.




FRIENDS (permalink) 03.31.2003
statistically you'd think it would happen one day
and the record remains unblemished; i've yet to meet a drunk guy i've liked.




MUSIC, WEB, FRIENDS (permalink) 03.14.2003
i wonder if it will be coming out on dvd
he's at it again.




FRIENDS, WEB (permalink) 03.12.2003
peeping into a window on the other side of the world
chris mcgrath is back to doing what he should be doing; entertaining and educating the planet en masse. several years ago when we each had bourgeoning home pages i remember saying to him, "i post every day and have nothing to say, you actually have an interesting life and never post." while he agreed, he didn't change his behavior. he said something about the fact that he had a life was why he didn't post or some such nonsense. silly logic that.

well, it may have taken two years for him to act on my suggestion but act he has. chris, who has just returned to bosnia for three months, has committed to update his web site every day during his stay. i'm absolutely giddy. i'm telling you, i can't get enough of this guy. sienfeld would term it a non-sexual crush. for those who have seen chris in a tank-top would know that it's not exactly that. but, i could say, without causing a hiccup in a lie detector that chris is one of the most vibrant and entertaining fellows on the planet and his wife one of the most charming and calming and his child, well i got my own kid and don't ask me to go against the family.

i know i'll enjoy the next few months of getting full-frontal descriptions of chris' days and insights. and while i'd love to keep him all to myself, his entries are just too entertaining. so i welcome you to swing by and catch up and then keep up at chrismcgrath.com because we're all going to be a little richer in the end. i know of what i speak.




FRIENDS, PERSONAL, TRAVEL (permalink) 02.26.2003
you should see my bikini lines
i plucked my eyebrows for the first time ever last thursday, the day before the taos ski bonanza. it began after i spotted a single rogue hair a bit above the rest. so i found marty's tweezers, leaned in close and yanked it. do you realize how much chaos you can see on your face when you lean in two inches from a well lit mirror. i didn't either. so twenty minutes later i'm done with the razing. nothing extreme. just addressing 34 years of unfettered growth.

when i was finished it occurred to me that i was seeing bookguy the next day. now he didn't cross my mind during the maintenance but primping and preening to such dire levels before meeting an old friend makes one take pause.

admittedly, there's something you got to know about bookguy. he's a little on the observant and opinion-friendly side. i mean until he started shaving his head he had this thin fang of hair charging over the top of his scalp. i called it hair's last stand. since eliminating that he's been a little harder to ding physically and he seems to harbor a keen memory for this distant poke at his fading coif.

in regard to my ablutions, he didn't say anything one way or another. and, i don't want to say i'm hurt, but it would have been nice for him to have noticed. that's all.

on a side thought, if i ever started a band i'd name it Marty's Tweezers. additionally i'd make certain we'd open for buddy james' band Amy's Flank Steak. a certain one-two punch for all ages.




FRIENDS (permalink) 02.11.2003
be very afraid
the other day i expressed my love for a close friend, michael (02.06.2003). today i must also divulge that i have an equal amount of concern for this very same fellow.

in example, you can see how a moment of inspiration moves michael and his cohort, buddy james.




FRIENDS (permalink) 02.06.2003
i hope he knows
i'd never be able to convey to you how much i love this guy.

never.




QUOTES, TELEVISION, FRIENDS (permalink) 01.15.2003
that's my girl
ok, now let's see some men cry.
marty while watching the bachlorette.




FRIENDS, SOCIETY (permalink) 11.19.2002
can you please tell me where your backyard is?
at a chili-fest over the weekend it was e-love and not me that got the conversational ball rolling when he first admitted to taking leaks in the back yard when walking the dog. it was also elove who when trying to tell a story about the breath freshener binaca, accidentally said Bianca, as in the p*rn star, and as in she is what he was occupied in the night before. and then he admitted that, yes, his mom had done time but he would only specifically speak to the incident involving a peace rally and left the drug and prostitution rumors to the listener's imagination.

elove was so busy entertaining the masses i was never called in to pitch. in some ways i felt unnecessary, useless, but in others i felt proud. i felt pride at seeing a comrade not only ignore but actually combat the typical small talk that looks to overwhelm such gatherings and to thwart the mindless prattle that can dig into your chest and remove your desire to continue in the facade. for me, elove has become the guy sitting in the missile silo through the night making sure the world stays a safe and enjoyable place so i don't have to.

although, in leaving the affair it's safe to say that dr j, elove's life partner, does not share my giddiness towards e's maturation. i guess he still has the ever conciliatory Bianca.




FRIENDS (permalink) 11.08.2002
but i thought you were that midget
i wish that i could just once get an email from buddy james that didn't make me smile, laugh and hate him for his unending wit and charm.

mike and i went to see jackass last week.

honestly, a midget kicking himself in the head equalling laughs really isn't news...it was only memorable on the big screen because it didn't happen at a kelly family reunion.

james

also, a post script you can appreciate
***dispatch from the reference desk***
some patron just sent a picture of crockett and tubbs to the color printer on my desk. now they'll have to pay $1 for this piece of magic.


hate the buddy james.




FRIENDS (permalink) 10.11.2002
they all do
the market may be down but marriage is booming. three of my finest friends have either gotten married or engaged this year. as you can imagine, with them being friends of mine and all, this is quite the thing.

as mentioned previously, doctor stevie, is to wed the marty-troy girl. while most would think this couldn't be beaten given her likeness to walt and i, you would be right.

then bookguy tied the knot in a hippie free love kind of ceremony in his backyard. don't believe me? e-love and i both wore shorts to the affair. granted we were the only ones not wearing dry-cleaned garments, but neither of us were willing to turn down an opportunity to wear our bermudas and daisy dukes to a wedding. i'll let you guess who wore which.

and now michaelcosm joins the ranks of the soon-to-be betrothed. when chavez reminded him that this means christine is the only girl he will ever know in that way again, michael reminded him that christine is the only girl who ever expressed an interest in knowing him at all. so in the end, i guess everyone's happy.

i wish them all great humor and hope that they don't wake sweating and screaming in the night at the realization of what a terrible and irreversible mistake they made years ago. oh, i don't mean i do that. i was thinking/talking about someone else. actually, i was speaking hypothetically. marty and i are very happy. marty is very supportive. and nice. she's pretty too.

can you tell she's standing behind me right now?




FRIENDS, WEB (permalink) 09.03.2002
mikey likes it, but do you?
someone had the nerve to make this ill-considered attempt of labeling me. what they don't know is i will not, no cannot be tossed into some clicky block of drones, try as you may.

Shabby Chic Social Darwinist (read troy)
This lifestyle is lead by those (read troy) that feel the need to fill their (read troy) lives with the best (read hell yeah). But not the best of everything. They will stop at nothing to acquire a high priced electronic item (i.e. ipod, bmw, powerbook, mp3 car stereo), while wearing the same shoddy clothing (read troy owns one pair of goodwill shorts) for days on end (read 23 days on end). They enjoy conversing with strangers (i.e. you) on uncomfortable topics (i.e. circumcision, sex, basically anything having to do with the penis) and are very free with expressing their (read troy's) opinions, which they (read troy) always (read and i mean always) have. They respect strength (read old spice deoderant) and have no use for the ignorant (read bookpimp) and lazy (read bookpimp again).


it is this kind of adolescent ranting on the internet that gives us all a bad name. it would seem our buddy and pal mr bookpimp has finally, finally hung his web shingle. yeah i know, i feared this day as well. feared the time that bookpimp would learn that it wasn't only people with comp sci degrees and born in odd-dated years on even-dated months who were allowed to have websites and blog incessantly about the inanities of their life. and for the record, whoever enlightened him has some splaining to do.

cosm_logo.gif

i'm certain it doesn't take a web designer to assess that you can certainly expect a lot more of this kind of thoughtless prattle each and every day and therefore i suggest you visit michaelcosm frequently and routinely. i know i will to see what kind of libelous things are being said about me and mine.




FRIENDS (permalink) 08.16.2002
you can go hard or you can go easy, but know this, you will go
for those sending money and thoughts in the name of the tv-cart family (08.07.02), here's a follow-up.

bastard,

my grown, lazy and fat ass has banished the devil box to the hinterland.

for the record, i stayed up until three last night watching it and am exhausted, gained five pounds, feel like shit and i'm not going to say anything to you about changes in the quality of my marriage or sex life.

you grown and portly friend will not be watching the super bowl from his own couch.

sierra


not tell me about the particulars of his marriage? perhaps not in an email and maybe not even today but unless he intends on severing all personal ties to me and never looking me in the eye again, this is a story that will be told.




FRIENDS (permalink) 08.06.2002
what? did he just say cat-fight?
for those who asked about girl fighting park (circa yesterday?s post). first, you should keep your freakish desires a little closer to your chest. second, i could explain, but i?m certain your depraved imagination can do better than my truth. so let those gelatinous cerebellums dance away divining whatever you wish to divine from a place known as girl fighting park.




FRIENDS (permalink) 08.05.2002
i'll wear them, but they don't have to be clean
after getting home from our nightly trek to girl fighting park, bella and i were met at the door by a sour-faced marty. e-love can't play tennis tonight, she told me. suck. do you want to know why? damn straight i want to know why his slacking ass is dogging at the last minute on a previously scheduled tennis night because i'm getting a little fed up with it. he's at the hospital. oh.

it seems that while at an outdoor event earlier in the day e passed out in the bleachers. while his wife was tending to this he started having seizures (allow me to add that he wasn't off the hook on tennis prior to this). it would also seem that a byproduct of said seizures is he made a little wee-wee in his shorts*. later at the hospital as the doctors were in e's room discussing the issue, they repeatedly used the phrase "urinary incontinence" in discussing his condition. every time the white coats referred to this love frustratedly proclaimed from his bed, "hey guys, it's called pissing my pants, you can just say 'he pissed his pants' or if you prefer, 'the subject then pissed his pants'."

man do i adore e-love.

* now something to understand about my friend is that he rarely wears underwear. i am a great proponent of this behavior and know few sound reasons to refute the practice, until now. had e been wearing an appropriate undergarment, it would have added some bounty-like absorption power to the equation, but with this missing apparel his shorts were forced to shoulder the full aquatic burden thus making the mishap appear a little more voluminous than may have been necessary. note to self, wear thick cotton boxers when going to an outdoor dog show in st louis during the summertime.

as a side-note and to add scientific validity to this story (b/c this site is all about scientific validity), it was explained to e that the seizure occurred because after he passed out he was in a sitting position and when blood could not get to his brain, his body freaked out in attempt to get him flat. furthermore, this particular doctor said that this is also why you don't see standing, enclosed phone booths anymore. because, people would pass out in them due to heat, stuffiness, whatever and then would go into seizures because they couldn't lie flat and would oftentimes hurt themselves by hitting their heads against the glass/metal. fact, fiction or urban legend. that's for you to decide.




FRIENDS (permalink) 07.23.2002
we pay extra for bookpimp coverage
bookpimp was in town for the weekend and as always is the case with any bookpimp visit, mayhem abounds. day one saw near catastrophe when he almost knocked a half-full thai coffee over while fluffing a pillow on the study futon. since the holy nectar did not fall we need not discuss that gravity of such a blunder. upon saving the teetering mason jar, we eyed one another wondering, hoping that this would be the trip to break the pimp's blooper-ridden nature he is known for.

our hopes were dashed early the next day when BP toppled a full glass of coke, conveniently in my direction, while eating at uncle bill's. the suck thing here is that a glass of coke is only completely full for about 42 seconds when you mix bookpimp and saint louis humidity and obviously this misfire occurred in those first precious ticks of the clock testing my dexterity in avoiding the amazon like deluge sent raging towards me.

tragedy two took place when pimp was getting a drink from the basement food stock and sent an amish churned jar of apple butter careening to it's explosive demise. upon climbing the steps marty was waiting with bucket and mop in hand for him.

other than a second close call with a dinner plate we all have come out of this visit relatively unscathed, physically at least. and upon his departure, i'm thankful for all the unbroken objects in my home and pining for the return of my bestus friend. be well and until next time.




FRIENDS (permalink) 06.21.2002
now that'd be something
the best voice-mail, conversation or correspondence whatsoever to come out of the cleveland boondoggle (06.07) was easily this email, received from Movie-Girl:

"... and, while i do think you're cool as shit from what i know of you, i have to add (and i'm not just saying this to be obnoxious) that i was browsing your site a while ago and i read that entry about how you flew to somewhere only to drive back to missouri the same day ... honestly, you'd have to do a little better to truly impress me ... like, let's say you and your friend hitch hiked back to missouri, fell asleep in the car en route and ended up in mississippi while you both were sleeping because the driver was a little slow and misunderstood the whole "missouri" "mississippi" distinction, and then you had to perform lap dances at a strip joint somewhere because before dropping you off in mississippi, the driver, who also happened to be an ex-criminal, ripped you and friend off for all you had on you...so, in order to get $ to rent a car to drive to the airport (you're in a very rural part of mississippi where there's not easy access to a phone to tell your wife you need $) you and your friend end up in glittery thong get-up w/ doin the whole lap dance routine so that you can make it to the airport, get a ticket and then fly back to missouri. something like that would have been impressive. but really, keep trying."

back to the drawing board, or perhaps ciphering board in this case.




FRIENDS (permalink) 06.19.2002
what does that say?
dearmitt.com's most eligible bachelor, the dr of diss, stevie williams himself, is no longer eligible and will shortly no longer be a bachelor, simply leaving the 'most' descriptor to describe him which i think he will retain with little issue. stephen and his bride-almost-to-be floated through town for dinner and stories after visiting his family in walnut grove a few months back. after leaving, and i never told steve this, marty and i compared notes and each voiced that we thought rachel was a bit of blend of marty and i thus allowing her to stroll about as an astoundingly bright and witty and wholly attractive and quintessentially pleasant young lady.

and this engagement holds special import for me because i occasionally feared the worst for stevie ever finding that one right lady given a horrible event which occurred in college. during a night of drunken tomfoolery in the dorms, steve found himself sleeping on an elevator, naked and adorning black permanent marker art on his rear quarters which included several inordinately large daisy's, a farm house in the distance and words defining who was here, and there, and basically just about anywhere an arrow could be drawn. and did i mention that he visited every floor of the tower in this comfortable state before regaining enough wit to return to his own.

at a later point in time i thought steve was drawn to medicine to divine a method of permanently removing the faint remnants of those indelible glyphs from his person. i gather he succeeded in that i don't know anyone would necessarily pursue a relationship with someone who's body logged a preverbal who's who of hudson hall in the 90-91 academic term.

good work steive-poo. (and that by the way is what i wrote in elongated cursive on his inner thigh ... although it was two full years after the naked elevator incident)




FRIENDS (permalink) 06.14.2002
suck
i send my thoughts to:

the englebrecht family who just lost their home and family dog, bacardi, in a fire.

the smart family of utah who are going through the most horrific experience i can conceive.

and, a.w. who is about to go through a very emotional and difficult time in her life.

and the cadres of humans i don't know who are facing and dealing with adversity and trial the likes of that many of us have never seen. take a moment to wish strength upon them and appreciate how little suck, actual life-defining suck, there is in your life.




FRIENDS (permalink) 06.11.2002
under the influence
while i'm going to respect his request for anonymity at this time, buddy james recently found a home on the web doing that whole bloggy thing. on a recent update he was kind enough to recognize your humble host. i'm sure glad michael's name was also in this short list else it would read: influenced by troy and a litany of girl weblogs.



while i personally do not take issue of the noted company in any negative vein and while i'm fine with the amount of grunting and scratching i do, buddy's choice of wording would not serve me well among some of my more testosterone ridden mates. case in point, the other day bookguy and i were going to play tennis and he was displeased with the amount of doddering (his word) i was doing before getting out the door. when i, finally, slid into the seat next to him he looked at me and said: i'd love to know who messed up on the human assembly line and gave you a penis.

what can i write ... reliable help is hard to find.




WEB, FRIENDS, MUSIC (permalink) 04.29.2002
coming to a town near you
ever wonder what happens when bookpimp and buddy james are left alone, bored and online over the weekend? allow them to put your whirling mind to rest with their recent creation.

after reviewing our touring schedule, i?m releived i didn?t throw my terry cloth thong out after all. especially since the stain is only visible when i?m not wearing it.




FRIENDS (permalink) 04.03.2002
a day in the life
below are three questions that were asked of buddy james last week. [preceeded by the type of person who asked]  
  1. [kind of slow teenaged boy] do you have "children of the corn" on video?
  2. [an oafish white girl in her twenties with a "transformers" hat on] do you have any books on may-hee-co?
  3. [a japanese guy in his thirties with 2 kids in tow] do you have any cookbooks on CD?
editor's note: the only thing i'd pay more for than my very own transformers hat is to see an oafish white girl in her twenties wearing a transformers hat. i wouldn't go as far as to call it a fetish, but i just want to make it clear i'd pay a lot to see the/a girl.




QUOTES, FRIENDS (permalink) 03.06.2002
there's a new unabomber in town, or more appropriately, outside of town
i'm about three paychecks away from packing it up and heading into the mountains for good.
bookguy
(and no one thought you would really do it. enjoy your faux retirement brother.)


and, oh yeah, happy birthday B.




QUOTES, FRIENDS (permalink) 01.30.2002
wonder what that specific zone is?
i think i only have one erogenous zone.
e-love on the complexities of his sexuality




FRIENDS (permalink) 01.23.2002
i'd really rather you didn't
i sent an email to a buddy, Intentionally Disheveled Guy, the other day thanking him for a favor he did for me. in part of my letter, i wrote:

thanks again and i owe you a solid.

his, unexpected, response read:

ugh. What's that? It doesn't sound too good.

the really sad and scary thing is, he?s right. sorry Disheveled Guy. i will keep my solids to myself.




FRIENDS (permalink) 08.21.2001
dating -101
Man Who Screams Like Woman was telling me about this friend of a friend who has this bevy of great pickup lines. I get the impression that he is a pretty fit fellow and likes to draw attention to his physique whenever able. It was explained that in the delivery of the below lines, before answering each question, the meatback flexes his arm muscles and strikes a Ferrigno/Schwarzenegger like pose while finishing the line. Granted, this story is much better when Man Who Screams Like Woman is in front of you imitating how the lines would be delivered, but you?ll get the gist.

Do you have a sewing machine? (strike pose and say?) cuz I'm pretty sure I'm ripped.

Do you have a dictionary? (strike pose and say ?) cuz i need to look up this definition.

Do you smell smoke? (strike pose and say?) Oh I'm sorry, it must be these guns.

Man, do I love people.




FRIENDS (permalink) 07.02.2001
the bosnia boondoggle continues
Well, Chris and Gina are at it again. Continuing to amaze me and garner my total and complete respect.




QUOTES, FRIENDS (permalink) 06.19.2001
You da man!
The only man keeping you down is the one you look at in the mirror every morning.
Matthew Feldt
(Matthew is credited for many quotes which are not his own. Here I?m glad to offer one he can actually claim.)





FRIENDS (permalink) 04.23.2001
This is the big one!
Mike and Buddy James stopped in over the weekend on their way to Charlotte, NC from Smallsville, KS. While sitting around re-hashing old tales and witticisms I thought Buddy and I were going to have to give Mike the hindlick maneuver when he started laughing uncontrollably at a story of a guy I went to high school with who had a horrific case of dandruff. The cause of his ailment came about because no one in his family bought shampoo for several months. This guy's interim solution was to wash his hair with a bar of Coast. While this innovation may seem sound, over time it resulted in drying his scalp out to the point of having white flakes falling out of his hair like snow and hanging all in his beard as if he just ate a loaf of Wonder bread without the use of his hands. I'm sure it was a "had to be there" kinda moment, but thanks for pulling through Mikey in that had you fallen, we would have been forced to reference the incident on your tombstone.




FRIENDS (permalink) 11.20.2000
and, he ran
i need to send huge props out to my good friend stevie williams. first, he got himself into the best shape of his life via a strong type-a discipline. second, he successfully conquered the chicago marathon. see the most eligible bachelor in action. way to go stephen.




FRIENDS (permalink) 08.15.2000
Ahhhhh, you're all wet!!!!
Colleague and friend Chris McGrath recently resigned his post as senior web devloper where I work and relocated to Sarajevo, Bosnia to do what he and his wife Gina do best, help others. Chris certainly goes down as one of the most unique and inspiring people I've run into in my not-so-short life. Doubt my word, visit his web site to see how he says so-long to corporate america and I think you'll be a believer.

Still not convinced. See how Chris holidays in British Columbia before jetting to Bosnia.




FRIENDS (permalink) 08.09.2000
Profile: Mike
In that this web site has been crafted greatly for my friends and family, I thought it prudent to introduce some of you to people who are not you (unless you are being profiled) but share a friend in common.

Batting first is Michael Engelbrecht. While many of you may have not personally met Michael...you all know him. Think back to a tale told around campfires and dinner tables of the adult male who was felled at the foot of the St. Louis Arch by a rather persistent maternal bird and I'll think you'll recall meeting, at least, the legend of Michael Engelbrecht.




FRIENDS (permalink) 06.06.2000
Props to Mr. Bookpimp
My best friend, Michael, can now call himself a college graduate. Way to go brother. Walt and I are very proud of you and the diligence and perseverance you showed over the last (radio edit) years. I'm sure you will kick some job-havin ass where ever you may find yourself and hopefully this accomplishment will help you to attain as much humor as one can have while working. We wish you every success, are glad to know you and love you like a slow-jumpin' bunny-rabbit. Kudos my friend.

p.s. you will shortly be receiving our graduation gift via cliff clavin. and, i'll give you a hint...it equals ten bucks for every year you were in school. For outsiders who don't know Mike that well...It's more jack than you think.




 
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