Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Wurst Is Yet To Come

I’m sure we all have our little moments of existential crisis … you know, those times on the ride in to work where you start wondering just what in the hell you’re there for, what’s the point, anyway, is this really all there is to life, blah blah blah …

If you don’t - if your life is so fulfilling and complete that it’s just happy-happy-joy-joy all the time, if your glass is overflowing at every moment - well, fuck you congratulations. You probably needn’t continue reading.

I suspect both of my readers are still here, because even the most content among us must have doubts as to what it’s all about. Even a gangsta is filled with angst, after all.


That’s what it’s all about – bratwursts. The sausage of the Gods.

I certainly won't deny that there are many other wonderful things in life: 2-for-1 beer night at a single-A ballgame, the full moon rising behind the foothills, seeing a kitten putting the smack-down on some big-ass dog, mimosas, 2-for-1 beer night at a single-A ballgame … all of these are beautiful parts of life’s rich pageantry.

But mostly, it’s bratwursts.

I have a number of friends from the upper Midwestern United States, and to them, I apologize for even attempting to author an accolade such as this. It is most certainly not my place, and I imagine that upon reading this, they feel something akin to how Stephen Hawking feels while talking to a Physics 101 student.

Nevertheless, I must voice what’s in my heart, and I will measure my love for bratwursts not against that of others, nor should anyone, for the bratwurst is truly something that each knows only in his or her own way. Further, adoration for the bratwurst is not a static, unchanging thing … in fact, I didn’t enjoy my first wurst (an occurrence known as menwurste) until adulthood. I was not fully appreciative of the difference a bun could make until just a few years ago. I do not grieve for lost time, however; rather, I relish the thought of the delicious discoveries yet to come.

So on that ride to work tomorrow, think not of the mundane repetition and pointlessness of it all. Ponder instead the pot of simmering sauerkraut, the brats basting in beer … and know that even though it may not be today, nor tomorrow, nor even weeks until the next one, that long-awaited bratwurst will eventually be at your lips, and that it will be the best you’ve ever had, and that the one after it will be even better, and that all the time spent waiting will have been worth it.

And that is what it's all about.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Got Nothin' ...

We can’t accept its death, and so when it grows silent and colorless, we lie to ourselves and pretend that it’s just asleep.

And we carry on.

And time passes, and we push it into the corner, where it collects dust; still, never moving, but not dead. Never dead.

And we carry on.

And after long enough, it may even slip from our conscious thoughts, but in the dark recesses, it lingers, showing no signs of life, but still we refuse to call it dead.

And we carry on.

And sometimes we swear we see it stir, but it’s just a trick of the light, or a wishful dream in the darkest hours of night, and realizing that, we sigh and lay our heads back down and find our way back into sleep.

And we carry on.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Nary A Cross Word Between Lovers

I have a strong affection for the daily crossword puzzle that’s printed in the local newspaper. There’s definitely a risk/reward aspect to doing them; as the week progresses, so does the difficulty of the puzzle. So while completing a Sunday puzzle feels as good as finally slipping into that narcotic-induced numbness that brings sweet respite from the brutal reality of one's workaday life, failure on a Monday brings a shame no less than that of crawling back, once again, to Monique, the cross-dressing dominatrix who always seems to “forget” one's safeword.

I particularly enjoy the ones with a theme. In these, a number of the longer clues have to do with a similar topic, or make up a famous quotation, or are exemplars of a bad, but admirably formulaic, play on words … something along those lines.

Today’s was such a puzzle, and the theme was so brilliant that I feel I have to mention it here:

(spoiler alert for those who haven’t done the puzzle yet …)

Songs Of Love.

Yep, all of the thematically-related answers were song titles that contained the word love. ZOMG HOW SWEET AND ROMANTIC! Now, as you may have noticed, I’ve written a few angsty and emo posts in my time, and I certainly can’t deny having gone over the top once or twice when the moon was full and I had left the door to the freezer that I keep my heart in wide open. On the other hand, I wrote that crap* on an obscure blog, not in a crossword that millions of people are going to see.

The answers:

  • She Loves You

  • Love Stinks

  • No More I Love Yous

  • Bye Bye Love

  • I’m Not In Love

I really, really want to know the story behind the crossword author and the object of his/her affections completely rational response to whatever the monster did to break his/her heart complex emotions. At the very least, I'm hoping that we see this turn a little more aggressive and that the paper has to print some type of "Certain Answers Are Not Suitable For Children Or Faint-Hearted Crossworders" warning over the next few days. You know, clues like "Female Dog In The Act Of Making Love" ... that sort of thing.

I think the broken-hearted have a new patron saint.

* "crap" is a descriptor of my writings, not of the crossword puzzle.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blood On The Tracks

I’m a big fan of computers. After all, it’s computer technology that allows me to post these incoherent ramblings, and you, dear reader, to get paid to read them as you ask “is this idiot drunk again?” while at work. One thing that does worry me a bit, though, is the way that more and more of our personal lives are being captured in a big database kept by the Illuminati and used to, for example, tailor the ads we see in our browsers specifically for us, based on our amassed history.

I’ve grown accustomed to the ads for “barely 18 hot pygmy goat action” and whatnot … I wasn’t really planning on running for office, anyway, so no big deal. Today, though, I was quite taken aback when I went down to my local Red Cross to give some blood*.

It had been a while, as I only donate in years that are evenly divisible by 10, but it became painfully obvious that they’ve updated the software on their computers and have full access to those Trilateral Commission data. Here’s a sample of the script questions I had to answer in the screening:

Computer: Have you ever had sex, even once, with an intravenous drug user?

Dead Acorn: No.

Computer: Have you ever had sex, since 1977, with another male?

Dead Acorn: No.

Computer: Have you ever been paid for sex, or have you ever paid for sex, even once?

Dead Acorn: No.

Computer: Have you had sex with anyone in the last 12 months who has had a tattoo or body piercings within the previous 12 months?

Dead Acorn: No.

Computer: Have you had sex with anyone in the last 12 months?

Dead Acorn: No … wait, what?

Computer: Have you spoken with a member of the opposite sex in the last 6 months?

Dead Acorn: What the fuck?

Computer: Dude, do you even KNOW any girls?

Dead Acorn: This is bullshit!

Computer: You know we don’t pay for blood,right? You’ll have to get your hooker money somewhere else, loser. Try the plasma center.

They ended up taking my blood anyway, which didn’t go all so well. At first, it was flowing really fast, then it stopped altogether and the nurse had to jiggle the needle around in my arm to get it going again, then I got all light-headed and started sweating**, so then everyone was staring at me, thinking “wow, so that’s what happens when you don’t even know any girls,” and finally they got done, and I stormed out saying “see you in 2020, assholes.”

*Obligitory blood donation joke: As the nurse was getting ready to stick the needle in, she says “ok … little prick …” so I said “yeah, well, your tits ain’t so big either!”

**That part is true. It was a bit of a rough go there.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

But Officer, He MADE Me!

I’m generally not all that much of a risk taker. I enjoy the sports pools and the occasional small wager, of course, but when it comes to exposing life and limb to potential harm, well, my body’s broken down enough as it is. I try not to invite trouble in to my living room, if you know what I mean.

Sunday, though, was a whopper of an exception. The Live Acorn is coming up on that age at which she is legally eligible to obtain a driver’s license. She seems to focus mainly on that aspect of it, and downplay the veto power held by the EMDAMOTLA and me. It’s highly unlikely that the veto power will be wielded, however, as the phrase “ARE YOU CRAZY? SHE CAN DRIVE HERSELF AROUND!” is used quite often, and with no lack of vigor or excitement, I might add, by one of her parents*.

As I was resigned to the inevitable, and also knowing that showing up to driver’s training without at least 1,000 miles under your belt is just embarrassing, for both parent and child, off we went on Sunday to toodle around a parking lot for a bit. In an awesome display of my brilliance and forethought, I chose the parking lot outside of where I work, which is a government agency that deals with felons, and occasionally has incidents of vandalism during off-business hours, and which consequently is frequently visited by various law enforcement agencies driving through.

I’m a sharpie, alright.

Luckily, nothing came of that. We did have the following conversation, however:

Dead Acorn: Are you planning on doing some traveling abroad sometime soon after you get your license?

Live Acorn: Umm … no … what are you talking about?

Dead Acorn: Well, from the lane you’re currently in, I would assume you’re practicing for driving in Jolly Olde England.

Live Acorn: Shut up.

She got a little excited when I told her to pull out of the parking lot and on to the street for about 100 yards, and pull back in at another entrance, but all went swimmingly with that maneuver. A little confidence can be detrimental, though, as we all know, and in retrospect, my subsequent decision to just have her drive all the way back to the EMDAMOTLA’s house (a couple of miles on city streets) was probably a bit irresponsible. Despite arriving home with damage to neither car nor passengers, I'll probably leave that off of my application for Father Of The Year.

On the other hand, SHE CAN DRIVE HERSELF AROUND! is something of a persuasive argument.

* It's already been pointed out that I will soon have a permanent designated driver, by many, MANY people, so just save it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mere Words Can't Describe How I Feel, But That Won't Stop Me From Trying

corndogs, o corndogs

i tremble with delight, longing to devour you
i fear sleepless fits as dusk draws nigh
i am restless in my anticipation
of your glistening and stick-perched beauty

from your bath of hot oil
to my awaiting lips

your composition

is not
can not
will not

be known

various parts of exotic animals
a whole far greater than the sum
the mystery of your origin
only intensifies your allure

corndogs, o corndogs
be you ten, or twenty, dare I dream fifty

tomorrow we shall be as one

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just A Wee Post

On this day in 423 C.E., St. “The Saint” Padraig, leading a battalion of snakes, though vastly outnumbered and brandishing only crude weapons carved from potatoes, defeated the occupying French army and drove them out of Ireland and back across the channel. Over 1500 years later, in 1952, John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara starred in “The Quiet Man,” set in Inisfree, Ireland. These two occurances set in motion the events that, just 12 years hence, would result in the invention of Lucky Charms.

Or something like that.*

Above: I'm not sure of the Gaelic translation of "hubba hubba," but that Miss O'Hara is one fetching Archie.

Erin Go Bragh!

Q: What did St. Patrick say as he was driving the snakes out of Ireland?

A: "Are ye alright in the back there, lads?"

* The Dead Acorn is a product of the Idaho public school system. Believe it or not, with the recent textbook selection by the Texas school board, which essentially drives the selection for the entire United States, knowledge of history by our youth will soon be even worse.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I've Been Deflowered

I’ve written a few times here about the bloodlust that the barking Beelzebub with whom I share a house has acquired. I’m sure that my reader in the Boise area will attest to her vicious brutality, if evidenced only by my scarred flesh and the bloodstains on my floors (she cunningly acts all lovey-dovey when anyone besides me is actually present – she’s a sly one, this canine C'thulu). I can only hope that my sub-Saharan readers have some sense of her savagery, though obviously the full extent of her demonic demeanor can truly be known only by me.

To this point, I’ve really only described the physical aspects of her aggression. While this alone is certainly enough to cause me to live in constant fear, it’s far from the complete story. Allow me to relate an example of her darker side, and her particular brand of psychological warfare.

Winter is on the wane here in the lowlands of western Idaho, and though we still generally have cold, crisp days, we’ve already had beers sitting on the porch of the pub wearing shorts (my apologies to those patrons not wearing sunglasses … my legs are a bit … well, caucasian, let’s say). Those days have been the exception, however, and we’re not quite to the point where birds are singing and flowers are blooming.

Except for this plucky fella.

Above: No, I still haven’t read the manual to learn how to override the auto-focus thingy on my new camera.

We had a little snow fall on Friday night, and I walked out Saturday morning in my normal Saturday morning depression, only to find this little guy basically flipping off the elements. He was not, by god, going to let a little snow get in the way of him doing what he damn well pleased. I immediately felt uplifted, and as I often perceive the world in terms of really bad metaphors for my own life, I identified with it, and pledged to myself to not let adversity get me down, to shake off the snows of the winter (still in metaphor mode here), and to burst through and live life to the fullest, to see new opportunity where before I saw only gloom, and to start anew!

That’s where the dog comes in. Sensing my mood swing, she quickly acted to squelch my new-found hope, and with one mighty paw, showed just how cruel she really can be:

Above: Broken stem for plucky flower, broken dreams for The Dead Acorn. My god, those dead eyes ... that horrific grin ...

And that, my friends, is the reality of my existence - I live with a torturous beast hellbent on extinguishing every last ember of hope that my soul still holds.

[UPDATE]: Holy crap! He bloomed anyway! This flower is my goddamned HERO!

Above: I can’t believe I was able to take this shot, what with my eyes filled with tears of joy and admiration and all.

[UPDATE x 2]: When I say things like “I swear, that fucking dog spins a web in which to ensnare me,” I’m not speaking figuratively.

Above: Thank god she doesn’t have opposable thumbs.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Put A Sock In It

I bought some new socks last week … nothing fancy, just a 3-pack of nondescript dress socks from the discount clothing store (I am neither well-to-do nor keenly aware of my lack of fashion sense, two aspects of my existence that complement each other remarkably well). Usually, I’ve got somewhere around 5 pair … enough to get me through a week of “work.” But as all things do, socks wear out, and there’s not a darn thing that can be done about it. I was down to about 3 wearable pairs, and it was time replenish the drawer.

Well, I got home yesterday afternoon after work, and began what has lately become something of a ritual: doffing my big-boy clothes, getting jammied up, and shuffling around the house in lonesome despair, lights dimmed, curtains drawn, beer in hand, wondering just what in the hell went so wrong that I would wind up so far down this road with nary a clue as to how I got here, nor even, at this late date, from whence I came.

Yesterday, though, as I peeled the socks from my feet (I prefer to do my shuffling bare-footed, thankyewverymuch … the transition from the warm wood of the dining room to the cool tile of the kitchen can be quite invigorating), I thought to myself “Sweet pickled Polly! This being Wednesday, I’ve exhausted my supply of new socks!” (My inner dialogue adheres, as does my writing on this blog, to the dictum stating “Never use one word when you can use one hundred.”)

I had actually gotten to the laundry room when I was struck by the realization of what I was doing. I was about to do a half-load of laundry, mid-week, just because the remaining clean, perfectly fine socks in the drawer just weren’t new enough. These were socks that had warmed my feet on cold morning rides … socks that knew I practiced scales with my little piggies during boring meetings … socks that had soaked up the blood of countless badly stubbed toes … socks that never complained when I wore one of them inside out. But they weren’t new. “My god,” I thought. “Am I really this shallow? Does my superficiality ironically run so deep that I can throw away our storied past with such disregard, simply because there's something new?”

As often happens during such moments of disheartening self-reflection, I slouched to the floor and sat for hours, unmoving (I don’t count trips to the fridge for more beer), and wondered how I could possibly go on. If I could discard something so trusted and trusting, loved and loving, throwing it away like … well, like an old sock, I guess … then what kind of person had I become?

I’m afraid to look in the mirror, for fear that I won’t recognize the monster looking back, or worse yet ... that I will.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Odds 'N' Ends

There are a couple of new links over to the right in a new category called “People I Don’t Know But Who Seem Quite Nice” – go check out the literary stylings of Domestic Oub (Domestic Oublette) and Niamh B (Various). They write poetry and hilarious posts, and live in a mystical and exciting far-off land called Ireland. A quote from a friend on Saturday, having clicked over to their blogs:
That’s some fuckin’ funny shit.
High praise indeed.

I "played" some "music" on Saturday, along with some friends, down at the pub, and it seemed to go fairly well (speaking for my performance only … the others rocked without question). That same day, the EMDAMOTLA* jumped out of an airplane for the first time, which prompted The Live Acorn to utter this mournful lamentation:
Great … my mom’s going skydiving and my dad’s a rock star. God, my life is so boring.
Ah, the trials and tribulations of being 14.

Spring Training is well underway, and while Cleveland is the only remaining undefeated team (and we all know that Spring Training record is faultlessly predictive of regular season performance), I still can’t seem to work up a bunch of hope for the year ... seeing one’s favorite player go play for the other team tends to take the wind out of one’s sails.**

* Ex Mrs. Dead Acorn, Mother Of The Live Acorn (who, inexplicably, is not totally enamored of her acronym).
** HAHAHAHAHahaha I kill me.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Free At Last, Free At Last

I’ve mentioned before that I have a clinically diagnosable addiction to fondness for craigslist. I usually check the “bikes” section just to see if there’s anything that I’ll never use to further clutter up my garage, and the “sporting” section, as I’m currently looking for one of those roof-top carrier thingies (so I can carry around all the bike junk I'll never use). But by far my favorite section is the “free” stuff … sweet jeebus, you see some good loot on there. (Click on the images to enlarge.)

Exhibit A: Sofa for bonfire.

The burning doesn’t sound optional … I suppose you could just tell them you were going to burn it, even though you really wanted it just to sit on. I couldn’t, though, because I have some semblance of a moral code, you lying bastard.

Exhibit B: Concrete Sidewalk.

Sure, there’s a bit of the Tom Sawyer “white-washing this fence is great fun! Wanna try it?” thing going on here, but I found the line “Thank you for looking for broken concrete” very poignant and moving. The lack of a period gives a sense that the person has some fond memories of that sidewalk (childhood chalk drawing? 2 am tryst with drunken neighbor?), and can’t bring himself to face the finality of his decision to demolish it.

Exhibit C: Stripper Pole.

Okay, this wasn’t in the “free” section, but it’s still good to know that it’s available. I don’t know what I’d do with two, though.


ATTEMPT TO BURN THEM? YOU SICK BASTARD! I’m coming for you, my brothers … oh, the acornity …

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Bit Of Love

The rain fell pretty hard throughout last night, which, combined with the somewhat funky mood I’ve been in lately, kept me awake, save for a couple of all-too-short nod-offs. Well, after a few hours, I had to get up and do something … I know myself well enough to realize that no good can come from lying in bed with thoughts unimpeded by daytime distractions racing around. “Screw this,” I said to Indy, as I’m fairly certain she can’t read minds, even when they’re written at the 4th grade level, as mine is, and I wanted to convey to her my frustration over my sleeplessness.

I think she misunderstood, and thought I meant it literally and in reference to Plastic Polly, because she gave me that “dude, you seriously need help. Or a girlfriend … a LIVE one, maybe … just a thought, loser …” look and lumbered out of the bedroom. I got up and explained to her that it was just a phrase to express my exasperation over not being able to sleep, and was going to get up and do something rather than just lie there. She then gave me her oft-used “that doesn’t make you any less of a loser, loser …” look, bit me, and went back to her couch.

I decided to go clean up the workbench in my garage, as I’ve never really been one to put away tools after I use them, a trait that causes me no small amount of frustration, but that I can’t seem to change. Perhaps someday I’ll succeed, and my life will be an idealistic utopia in which the screwdrivers are always hanging on the pegboard according to size (largest on the left) and gummy bears and Swedish fish will never stick to my teeth. Until then, every few months, I’ll clean up the shop at 4 in the morning.

Unfortunately, things remain in disarray, because my attention was quickly captured by the Rusty Coffee Can Full Of Old Drill Bits (RCCFOODB). The RCCFOODB is a mish-mash of mostly smaller bits, but also holds a few countersinks, a couple of Phillips/flathead screwdriver bits, even an old 4mm allen wrench. These are the venerable warriors of my bit collection, and are cherished no less than my beloved biscuit joiner.

It’s not like I don’t appreciate the other bits. The Stanley 4 pack of lip-and-spurs are very useful when I need a clean cut using the drill press, but they reside in their original case, hanging on their own peg. I imagine that they yearn for the day that I drop the case, plastic shards exploding across the concrete floor, so that they too may join their envied brethren in the RCCFOODB.

And the fucking spade bits … they stand erect in their custom holder, all self-important, thinking they’re all-that-and-a-can-of-spam, sneering down their shafts at what they see as the riff-raff. Well, you know what, spade bits? You’re good for one thing … making flat recesses for the washers on lag screws. Fucking lag screws. That’s IT. Oh, and that custom holder? It’s a scrap of 2x4, with holes drilled in it … holes drilled using the bits from the RCCFOODB. So get over yourselves. Assholes.

Me, I’ll take the RCCFOODB over just about anything. They’re an undiscriminating, rag-tag bunch of castoffs thrown together by life’s fickle fate, having too much fun to care what anyone else thinks or what they look like. Masonry bit? “Come on in, you fat sunovabitch!” Two-foot-long bit used to drill lamps? “You da man, Stretch! Easy, big fella … don’t tip us over! Wooo!”

I suspect there will come a day when I’m at the hardware store, and I’ll buy a spade bit, unsure of whether I have that size at home, and when I discover that I do, I’ll slide the old one into the RCCFOODB, and I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that he’ll be welcomed just as warmly as any other.

Because that’s the kind of place that the Rusty Coffee Can Full Of Old Drill Bits is.

As I said, the shop remains remarkably similar in appearance to bombed-out Beirut, but I made my way back to the bedroom, and with the RCCFOODB next to me on the nightstand, finally slept like a baby.