Friday, February 26, 2010

The Puck Stops Here

There seems to be something of a brou-ha-ha in the sports world over the behavior of the Canadian women’s hockey team after their victory over Team USA in the gold medal game – apparently, they had the audacity to return to the ice an hour after the ceremony and drink beer and champagne and smoke cigars in celebration. One of them even RODE THE ZAMBONI!* The IOC has stated that they will conduct an investigation into the whole affair (seriously).

Some evidence of the shocking shenanigans:

Above: "These are American? Really? They make cigars better than they skate, eh? That's good shit."

Above: The IOC should investigate that choice of "beer."

Above: Overheard in the stands: "They are SO gonna make out later."

I, for one, wholeheartedly agree that such actions were entirely inappropriate, and would suggest that our neighbors to the north look to another USA sports team for an example of what type of behavior constitutes healthy and sportswomenlike celebratory conduct:

Above: Tearing off a hockey sweater and pads might take a little more time, but we'll wait.

Marie-Philip Poulin is 18**, by the way, so I think that makes me simply lecherous, not felonious.

I certainly hope that all the prissy males with sticks up their asses who are so upset about this had fainting couches nearby, and pearls to clutch. Lighten up, douchebags.

* hehehehe

** The legal drinking age in Canada is 19, but I started drinking 6 years before I could do so legally, so in the grand scheme, aren't we really making progress? [Update]: The legal age in British Columbia is 19; in Alberta, where they train, it's 18. It's all a murky grey area ... why do people have to judge our love based on age?***

*** Love of beer, not each other. Though if Marie-Philip wants to email me, that's fine, too.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Thought Dogs Were Colorblind

As I’ve mentioned probably far too often, I’m in the midst of some home projects, and by “in the midst,” I mean I’ll be working on this goddamned house for the rest of my goddamned life. And by “goddamned life,” I refer to the dog that whatever invisible sky fairy you happen to buy into sent me what seems like forever ago.

Actually, the dog is very sweet and lovable, and bites only me, and that’s only when I get to playing rough with her (she likes the rough stuff, doncha know). The sad thing is that she suffers from Black Dog Syndrome, which in general is a problem with humans’ perception, but in her case, is exacerbated by the fact that she was adopted and returned multiple times before she finally found someone stupid enough to stick with her. Her self-esteem issues are considerable, to say the least.

Imagine how sad it was, then, when, as I rolled the white primer coats in the laundry room, she continuously walked in and out, rubbing up against the walls, in an obvious effort to Michael Jacksonize herself.

It was heartbreaking.

I took her out to the front porch and tried to explain a bit about the world (I’ve taken the liberty of translating what she said, as she still struggles with the King’s English a bit):

Dead Acorn: Indy, you need to realize that while there are certainly people in this world who actually give a rat’s ass about someone’s color, they’re just that … rats asses. You have to ignore them.

Indy: But the farthest thing from my mind is to frighten anyone, and what’s worse, the most frightened of all are the small children, to whom I simply want to bring joy with my puppy-like innocence.

Dead Acorn: I think you mean “furthest.”

Indy: I will so fucking bite you right now.

Dead Acorn: I apologize … that was uncalled for. My point is, is that I know what you’re going through. I happen to be something of a doofus, and there are plenty of people who make fun of me for that, and in fact, I have something of a history of being bitten in the face by dogs for no reason whatsoever, other than they sensed my doofiosity.

Indy (chuckling slightly): Yeah, I remember that.


Dead Acorn: You really should remember who feeds you. But the thing is, I've learned to ignore them, for the most part. So you gonna be cool?

Indy: Yeah … yeah, I'll try. I think so. Thanks, doofus.

Dead Acorn: You know, I’ll cut out that subcutaneous ID chip and drive you out to the desert in a heartbeat.

I gave her a big rough hug, at which point she bit me. Bitch. A bitch slightly more at ease in her own skin, though.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Another Corny Post

Pitchers and catchers are allowed to report today (for Major League Baseball; I’m not familiar with the calendars for any other activities that involve “pitchers” and “catchers”), and Opening Day is only 47 days away. While I’m not optimistic about the Cleveland Indians' chances this year (let’s just say that I think Kansas City has an excellent shot at not finishing last), baseball season is always welcome.

Of course, there are some times when life just gets oh-so-interesting that what one really needs is the simplicity of a brat and a beer at the ballpark. The Boise Hawks’ home opener isn’t until June 21st (dang, they need to get into Single A so they can play a full season), however, so unfortunately, the therapeutic respite afforded by a day in the sun is a long way off.

Luckily, there’s an event coming up in just over a month upon which I plan to focus with such intensity that all of life’s little annoyances* will be forgotten: National Corndog Day. Last year, the host pub committed the corndinal sin of running out (seriously, who the fuck runs out of corndogs on National Corndog Day?), which necessitated an impromptu rule change toward the end of the evening, so that one couldn't simply order the last dog to deny someone else the opportunity: If a contestant ordered a corndog, but couldn’t finish it, one was subtracted from their total. So with one corndog left in the place, and me about halfway through one that would have created a tie, N*88 pulled the trigger on it. “Drop it, Beaker …” he said, with all the cool of Sinatra on a Vegas stage. The crowd gasped, and several of the more delicate onlookers fainted straight away. I watched in awe (and some horror, to be honest) as he slowly devoured it, knowing that if he couldn’t finish it, I’d take the title. In retrospect, I’m glad he made it, as there’s no valor in a victory of that sort, and the honor of just being able to be a part of the competition was enough.

He’s had his reign, though, and on March 20, it’s time to crown a new corndog king.

I will not be deep fried denied.

Above: What heaven must be like.

* Current annoyances are mainly centered around why my stupid dog won’t die (at which point I can get a good one). I’m fairly scabbed ‘n’ scarred right now, as a result of trying to get the Live Acorn’s cat to be friends with her … you know, I try to make the world a more peaceful place by breaking down interspecial barriers, and what do I get? I get to clean up blood, that’s what. My god, it was like an explosion at the Red Cross donation center. Oh, the humanity …

Friday, February 12, 2010

Another Valentine's Day Massacre

I am approaching this weekend with no slight trepidation. As I’m sure you’re all aware, Sunday is the ironically abbreviated Valentine’s Day, which I will spend, as tradition dictates, sitting at the bar with my fellow All-Star Hyde Park Heartbreaks. (One of my favorite lines came a few years ago on VD, when Johnny Drunk And Gone walked in to the pub, looked down the bar, chock full of us lonely bastards, shook his head, and stated “Wow … a lot of lonely women in Boise tonight, huh?”. Tru dat, tru dat, as the kids say. Or used to … I don’t know. I’m old.)

It’s also the last three-day weekend before the longest holiday-less stretch of the year (at least for us gub’mint workers) … after this, I’m looking at 3 ½ months of brutal five-day work weeks. Sure, I’ve got furlough days I have to take, and there’s the occasional sick day I’ll throw in now and again, and maybe I’ll take a vacation day or four, so that in reality, there’s no way in hell I’ll work five days in a row, but still … the weight upon my shoulders is far greater than that of anyone else on the planet, right? Weep not for me, though, but consider the joys of your own life and let not another moment pass without telling a loved one of the happiness they bring.

Done? Good … I’m sure they asked if you were drunk again (hopefully you didn’t call your parole officer), and from what I know about the people who read this blog, you probably are, but don’t worry about that. That the words were spoken is what really matters.

On the plus side, I finally got rid of Jane F’Honda yesterday, and received a nice, crisp, one hundred dollar bill for her. That was a bit confusing, because a while back, I had the same folks haul away the Grey Ghost, and they only gave me fifty bucks for it. The Ghost was clearly the more valuable vehicle of the two (it’s a complicated formula, but all that’s important for this discussion is that there’s a “smoochosity” multiplier, and Jane F’Honda was pretty much a 0 on that factor, while the Grey Ghost was indisputably a chick magnet), so all I can really conclude is that if the automobile industry, a bellwether of the American economy, is that incompetent, it’s no wonder our financial system is so fucked.

I also found a $50 Home Depot gift card that I received for Christmas, which I will use to purchase those most romantic of Valentine’s Day autogifts: drywall mud and a 5 gallon bucket of Killz. With these in hand, I will continue to transform my laundry room into an idyllic nirvana where my whites will be whiter and my colors will never fade.

I guess trepidation isn’t really the right word. Maybe it was, when I typed that first sentence, but now that I’ve given it a bit more thought, it’s more like giddy anticipation about how much I can get done this weekend, what with the skiing, the home projects, the commiserating down at Lucky's Lonely Losers Lounge celebrating not being all wound up in some stupid relationship*, etc. Either giddy anticipation, or I’m drunk at work again.

*Keep an eye out for a rambling post rife with misspellings and directionless longings on Sunday, with a 3 am time stamp, and links to really sad songs.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

For Lack Of A Car, The War Was Lost

Well, I climbed back in the saddle this morning, after a couple of weeks off, and rode in to work. I will freely admit that although the decision to drive yesterday was due to a physical ailment, it likely had more to do with Sunday’s festivities than with the actual illness I seem to have just gotten over.

For my hypothetical readers not familiar with where I live and work, the ride is only about 4.8 km (3 miles), and it’s downhill both ways, generally with a tailwind. Anything else, and riding would be out of the question – I am, after all, a lazy-ass ‘Merkin.

Incidentally, the page on which I found the km-mile converter (while I am a lazy-ass, I am certainly not without consideration for my European readers anyone outside the U.S., Liberia, or Myanmar) contained this ominous warning:


I guess if I should perchance meet my demise in a high-stakes game of Trivial Pursuit To The Death as a result of not knowing this, I’ll have no one to blame but myself. “Damn you, Dead Acorn!” my final thoughts will be. “Why did you not heed the warning? WHY?”

Though the physical demands of the ride aren’t enough to keep me from biking in, there is one demon temptress that I battle daily in the bike vs. car war:


I’m an addict. I can’t stop. I refresh the pages every 30 seconds or so, waiting for that once-in-a-lifetime deal on a 1980 Campagnolo Nuevo Record clamp front derailleur, or the 12” Delta planer being sold for $10 by a disgruntled and spurned lover. When these things appear, one needs to be able to Act Now!, and Acting Now! does not allow 20 minutes to change clothes, ride home, and get the car. And trust me, I’ve been burned … for example, I once had a shot at a free 60’ 18.28 m (sorry) single-wide trailer. I sent off a quick email marriage proposal, received a “yes-contingent-on-you-procuring-the-aforementioned-single-wide,” and rode home to get the car, and with it, secure a future filled with love and happiness.

Stupid goatheads. For lack of Slime in a tire, my dreams were dashed. By the time I finally got back to the house, the trailer was long gone, as were, alas, my hopes of winning my fair trailer-trash princess.

[Update:] Goal for 2010: Write a blog post that doesn’t somehow wind up on a “love gone wrong” note. Seriously ... WTF?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Is It That Time Already?

As evidenced by my lack of recent posting, I’m sure you’ve gathered that I have nothing much to say. Actually, even in my 5-posts-a-week meth-fueled blogging benders, it’s pretty clear that I have nothing much to say. As devoted (if somewhat comment-phobic) readers, however, I’m sure you understand that you get what you pay for. I can’t help it if my life provides nothing of interest other than the occasional amusing anecdote regarding a bike wreck or waking up in Horseshoe Bend wearing nothing but very large womens underwear.

Actually, I guess I probably can help that; that’s what all those books about changing directions in life are about, I suppose. I’ve got Gravity’s Rainbow lined up as soon as I finish Infinite Jest, though, both of which comprise 700+ pages of senseless blather so incomprehensible I can only read one page at a sitting before my head starts to a-splode, so I’ll, umm, get right on those other books, uh, soon.

I certainly hope that everyone is prepared and looking forward to the numerous important dates coming up in February. First, we’ve got Make Up Day on the 15th, which marks the end of Break Up season (1st Friday in Dec. – Valentine’s Day). Don’t rush the romantic reunification, now … if you mis-time things, you could end up having to buy something for V-Day, and avoiding spending money on your true love is the whole point of the season. Second, pitchers and catchers are allowed to report to spring training on the 18th.

As is my long standing tradition, I will not be participating in either of these events.

Another important date to mark on your calendar is International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day on the 23rd. Seriously.

As I mentioned, pitchers and catchers are allowed to report on the 18th, but aren’t required to, of course. In fact, several teams are reporting a day or two later. Only one team, however, has pushed it all the way back to the 23rd. A conversation inside the Cleveland Indians boardroom:

General Manager Mark Shapiro: Well, Larry, whaddya think? We get ‘em there right on the 18th, get to know the new guys? We got a lot of fresh faces.

Owner Larry Dolan: Yeah, Mark. Yeah. We have a new manager whose lifetime record at the helm is 158-252. Our opening day pitcher hasn’t pitched in the bigs since before the 2008 All Star break. Our best player just had nearly-nude pictures splattered all over the internet. Yeah, I think those extra days could potentially keep us within 10 games of Kansas City.

General Manager Mark Shapiro: Jesus, you can be a sarcastic sunovabitch when you want to be.

Owner Larry Dolan: Give ‘em ‘til Tuesday. They’ll just be hungover Monday. Christ, I wish I owned the Twins.

There’s a sort of peaceful tranquility that comes from knowing that you’ve lost the race before it even starts. Happy International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day, everybody.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Death Becomes Me

This has been something of a nasty week.

I’ve been sick since about last Wednesday, and I can’t seem to shake it, despite generous intake of germ-killing alcohol throughout that period. I’m almost starting to doubt the advice my friend the doctor gave me … it’s almost as if a Ph.D in Mathematics does not a physician make. A couple of times, I was so near death that I saw my life pass before my eyes, which just depressed me, as it was as boring as a Merchant-Ivory film, but lacking Emma Thompson.

I did have an actual brush with death on Saturday, when I decided to try to go skiing. I had stopped at the beer store pharmacy at the bottom of the hill for frosty road colas medicinal purposes, and noticed someone across the street trying to catch a lift up the hill. While this is not uncommon, for some reason or another, I had never offered anyone a ride, but Saturday, I thought “Jesus Tap-dancing Catdaddy Christ on a popsicle stick, Dead Acorn, are you really so selfish about having your little introspective ‘alone time’ on the drive up that you can’t help out someone who’s actually doing something to save the planet by not driving? Are you that much of an asshole?” While the answer to that question is quite often “yes,” I made the decision to enjoy some company on the way up.

As I pulled out of the parking lot, though, I watched with disappointment as someone else pulled over, loaded up the gear and their new passenger, and drove off. The feeling was remarkably similar to that of being rejected for volunteer work by the homeless shelter. Much to my delight, however, just over the rise was another ride-seeker! “Woo,” I thought to myself. (I was still a bit too sickly to summon up the enthusiasm for the normally accompanying “hoo.”)

Over I pulled, and almost immediately began to doubt the wisdom of my decision. The guy was dressed entirely in camouflage (I didn’t notice it prior to stopping, because, duh, it was camouflage … he actually appeared to be just a head floating at the side of the road, from a distance), and was wearing those old fashioned yellow aviator glasses. Even worse, he was a fucking snowboarder. I had obviously entered a world of pain.

Well, I knew that he had probably killed more people that morning than I’d had beers, so I tried to keep my mouth shut and wondered if I had a wide range of options as to what religion to join if god got me out of the situation alive (per the deal I had made just seconds prior). He turned out to be something of a chatty Cathy*, though, and told me he was spending the night in a tepee up on the mountain to check out the full moon.

“Sweet pickled Polly,” I thought to myself. “What next? He tells me he’s Irish?”

As you might have surmised, I made it through the day alive. I usually make a mix CD on ski days, and he seemed to like the choice of tunes. Music hath charms, to be sure. He gave me a little sideways glance during an Aimee Mann song, but then next came the Beat Farmers, and we were back to talking about snow camping and not killing strangers, and I felt just like Arlo Guthrie sitting on the Group W bench. Sure enough, he asked me to drop him off at a turnout just past the 6000 foot elevation sign, where I gave him a couple of cold ones and off he plodded up into the trees.

You know, after a week of not posting anything, I feel like I should apologize for this largely pathetic effort. Like I said, though, a brush with death or two can put you off your game. Not that I have any game, of course, but you know what I mean (ok, just stop, Dead Acorn. Seriously).

* My passenger, not god, though I'm sure god could talk your ear off, what with some of the stories s/he's got.