Have You Considered Jesus?

May 20th, 2008

One of the joys of a flexible schedule and working from home is the late-morning doorbell.

It could be a neighbor asking for a jump because her car's headlights turn on by themselves, randomly.

I could open the door on a disadvantaged kid trying to guilt me into buying candy or magazines or pest extermination.

Recently, I've been met by older, semi-professional men who are bursting at the seams to tell me about how much money I'll be saving with the new fiber-optic HD TV, phone, and Internet services. I tell them we're not interested. They ask leading questions along the line of "Don't you think that only a total dipshit doesn't want to save money?" I explain that we don't have cable. It's kind of fun to watch the sales-pitch flowchart peter out in their heads. Their eyes go blank. Their chins wag a little in silence.

Yesterday, the doorbell summoned a clean-cut Aryan boy in a dress shirt and bright yellow tie. His eyes gleamed either from religious zeal or intravenous meth. Then I saw the Bible clutched to his chest.

Yes. We do go to church. In Los Altos. We're Catholic, really bad Catholics. No, no one's ever shown me in the Bible why I'm going to heaven. Thanks anyway, young man whose eyes are about to pop out of your head, but, though I'm standing here in grungy shorts and tattered T-shirt, I'm actually working, not drowning my mid-morning sorrows with Miller Lite and shouting at Judge Judy. Yeah, thanks for the mini-pamphlet. Next time I smoke some crank or decide to go Baptist, I'll look you folks up.

Pot → Kettle, Albedo = Zero

May 6th, 2008

The First Lady decides to blow our minds with a stunning display of hypocrisy:

"The response to the cyclone is the most recent failure of the [Myanmarese*] regime to meet its people's basic needs," Bush told reporters.


Anything the Bush regime does is good or at least not bad enough to recall. Anything those bad guy foreigners do is bad, bad, bad.

Yes, the cyclone has killed tens of thousands of people in an agrarian flatland while Katrina merely inconvenienced a major city. Yes, the Myanmarese junta is a pack of nasty thugs while we have the Supreme Court and Democrats to make a show of reigning in Bush.

Still, I'd like to be able to drink my morning tea without choking on the irony.


*My college roommate's family was from Burma and always referred to the country as "Myanmar". I picked it up.


April 10th, 2008

The Ting Tings - "Great DJ"

From Satan's Asshole

April 10th, 2008

My family now drives to Washington State to visit with my parents.

Sure, it's a 16- to 18-hour drive, but it:

  • Saves money, both in airline tickets and rental cars.
  • Gives us a chance to visit with friends on the way.
  • Allows us the flexibility to, say, drive back home with a Kiwi relative.
  • Enriches our lives with experiences beyond the airport gate.

I have to share one such experience with you all.

We hit the road by 5:30 in the morning. Sometimes the kids are awake, sometimes not.

When we reach Williams on I-5, it's time for breakfast at the Denny's just on the west side of the highway, down the street from the ARCO.

We pile into a booth and order ridiculous amounts of sausages and bacon and eggs and toast and whatever catches our fancy. We are on vacation and sitting on your ass in a car all day is mighty hungry work.

An older gentleman sat in the booth behind my wife. The deep wrinkles in his face accentuated the bullish blockiness of his head. His frosty, curly hair perched awkwardly in a high and tight that had gone to seed. He smiled at the waitress and engaged her in friendly banter, but his voice rumbled and scratched like it was torn by sleepless, screaming nights, tormented by memories of Red Chinese hoards and dead buddies and blood and guts.

He asked for two servings of butter with his pancakes.

When his breakfast arrived, he received it with a grateful grunt, and spread each of his two pancakes with a full cup of butter.

I was intrigued.

Then he lifted the top pancake with a fork and shook the salt shaker over the bottom pancake. I was so stunned I didn't think to count how many seconds he showered salt onto his breakfast.

Overly salted food is not nearly as disgusting as balut, or hákarl, or shiokara, but the thought of salt-encrusted, butter-drenched pancakes makes my toes curl.

Clicks and Bricks

April 9th, 2008

I floss.

If that's too much information, suck it up.

I floss and I'm a curmudgeon.

I don't want mint floss or cinnamon floss or waxed floss or dental tape or flossing wands.

The flavors are just nasty.

The wax sticks to my hands and makes the floss so slick it doesn't feel like it's doing anything.

The goddamned dental tape is priced like it's hand-woven from the polymerized tears of caged faeries.

The goddamned flossing wands are just another piece of toiletry detritus to manage, they cost money, and they need to be strung with floss anyways or require you to pay piles of cash for inserts (floss snipped into convenient lengths).

Shockingly, I'm in the minority of dental floss consumers.

I prefer to check floss availability and pricing when shopping for other things, but who keeps floss on their mind?

I've wasted too much time and fuel over the years shopping for floss, like recently.

I tried Rite-Aid, Safeway, Lucky (née Albertsons née Lucky... morons), Walgreens, and Wal-Mart. If they had any unflavored, unwaxed floss in stock, they were asking 3.6 cents a yard, a bargain compared to enslaved faerie tape at 6 to 9 cents.

I found a website offering old-fashioned curmudgeon floss for 2.7 cents a yard, delivered.

Of course, I've now got 1200 yards of floss in convenient 100-yard packs.

I'll be set for a while.