Monday, September 29, 2008

Stop! Thief!

This weekend I completed what I hope was one of the final big days of yardwork before fall comes. I ended up with two bags full of trash and a sunburned neck.

As I pulled into the driveway Sunday afternoon after running some errands, I noticed something was different somehow. Yes, something was definately off, but what was it? Hey! Somebody took one of the garbage bags.

Now, I've seen dudes driving their trucks around the night before garbage day picking up appliances, furniture, or anything else that might be able to be resold (At least I guess that's what they do with all that crap). But what the hell would anyone do with a garbage bag full of yard waste? And why did they take just one bag? If you're going to take my trash, take all that crap. The whole thing sort of freaks me out, sort of like those stories you hear about freakazoids breaking into houses just to make a sandwich or make the bed and leave.

I hope my garbage thief is happy with his bag full of branches, weeds and cat crap.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Work Party

I love a work party. Well, at least I used to love work parties in our old department. Pretty much the whole department took that stuff seriously. No bags of plain potato chips or store-bought cookies. We had homemade bean dip, these awesome little ham sandwiches, deviled eggs, a pork loin one time, this awesome pie made up of chocolate pudding, candy bars and something else; man, those days were awesome. Not only would I not have to bring a lunch, I could step outside my office periodically and grab some treats throughout the day.

Work parties are different at the new library. Sure, my department always does it up right, but the building-wide parties are a bit disappointing. First of all, the whole, "Hey, you guys are awesome, you deserve a party. Now sign up to bring food" thing is sort of weird, but whatever. Hell, we're getting rid of bottled water, you can't really expect a fully paid for spread.

Then there's the fact that most of my department never goes to the things, which is just sort of weird. I mean, free food!

So we had a party a couple weeks ago. I made a cake. I gotta say, my cake is pretty bad-ass. The actual cake is nothing special, but the frosting has enough sugar and bad stuff to make you join Weight Watchers just looking at the thing. The actual ingredients include a stick of butter and a pound of sugar.

So I bring my cake in a little after 12. Now that's another thing. You don't want to get there too early or the good stuff isn't laid out yet and you're just sort of standing around trying to make conversation with the people from other departments you try to avoid. But if you get there too late, everything is gone.

I was also waiting on a co-worker. He had made this Thanksgiving casserole, which combined everything awesome about that holiday into one wonderful tray.

So, I made the mistake of setting my cake down on the wrong table. You would have thought I came up with a dead rat on a plate for all the screaming that was going on. I had a good mind to take my cake down to my desk and have my own cubicle party congratulating myself on all my hard work, but I carried on.

Then there wasn't any place to sit, so I took my plate out on the patio. This was also a major faux pas for some reason.

I made two trips - I didn't have completely loaded plates, either. I could have stuffed some more treats on my plates, but figured I didn't want to deprive others. My co-worker's Thanksgiving Surprise hadn't arrived yet, but I figured I'd be able to sneak up after my next desk shift.

Well at 2:00 I sneak up there and all the food is being cleared away. I see one little piece of my cake left which I was going to snatch, but someone else wanted it, and I figured I wouldn't have to clean up the pan that way, so it was theirs. The true tragedy, however, is that all the Thanksgiving Surprise was eaten.

The two people from my department that went to the thing were dreamily talking about it all day.

This is not how a work party is supposed to end. You are supposed to have food hanging around the breakroom for the rest of the day. I actually felt hungry at the end of the day. This should never, never happen at the end of a work party. With no Thanksgiving Surprise to warm my heart, my ride home was sad and lonely.

Edited Version

I read a lot of books. I generally have one book at work I read on lunch breaks so I don't have to talk to people if I don't want to, and another one at home to read before I fall asleep. And hell, after 10 years of marriage, it's not like there's anything else going on in that bed anyway.

I'm not one to make a big deal about it or anything, like wearing READ buttons or sighing when people talk about "American Idol" and reprimanding them for not reading Plato or "The Federalist Papers" or something.

Lately, however, my reading has only served to make me angry. I was reading this book called "Heavy Metal Islam" at work. Basically the premise of the book is that young people in repressive, war-torn countries in the Middle East are increasingly turning to extreme forms of music, which could possibly incite a Velvet Revolution-type situation. Pretty interesting, huh?

So I'm going along fine, until the author mentions Iron Maiden's mascot, Freddy. Freddy? Jesus, who with a passing knowledge of metal doesn't know his name is Eddie? He also confuses a couple album titles for band names.

I still finished the book, although that Freddy thing still bugged me.

Then I was reading this book called "In Heaven, Everything is Fine," about this flamboyant dude who wrote the song that the lady in the radiator sings in "Eraserhead," and who starred in "New Wave Theater," which was apparently a nexus for National Lampoon/early Saturday Night Live people and Los Angeles punk.

Although opening with a fight between Fear and Chevy Chase will pretty much guarantee that I'm going to read it, the thing hurt my head with all the fact errors and generalizations. Black Flag and the Circle Jerks had their heyday in the early '80s, not the mid '70s. Full body tattoos were more likely to be seen in the circus in 1984, rather than a punk show. Nobody was "moshing" in 1981, they were "skanking" or "slamming." You'd pick "New York's Alright if You Like Saxophones" as an offensive Fear song? Really? Over "Beef Bologna?" "I Love Livin' in the City?" "We Destroy the Family?" A Boston band was splitting their set between reggae and jazz in the late '60s? Reggae was barely born in the late '60s, would a band in Boston really be playing it and expecting people to care? Doesn't the abbreviation LA mean Lousiana instead of Los Angeles? Was Eddie Murphy even a cast member of SNL in 1981 when Fear appeared? Well, OK, that one seems to check out, but I shouldn't have to be fact checking for a book unless I'm getting paid for it.

Every time I catch something like that, not only does it take me out of the narrative, but I wonder how much other stuff the author got wrong. I mean, if you can't get Eddie's name right, why would I trust you when you tell me about death metal in Iraq?

Don't publishing companies hire editors anymore? Why can't I just relax and fall asleep reading a book instead of getting upset that nobody bothered to tell this dude that Iron Maiden's mummy guy is not named Freddy?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Husband of the Decade

Threw a little surprise party for my wife last weekend for our 10 year anniversary. It was pretty awesome. Here's her being surprised.

Here's us dancing:

Food was awesome, the gin and tonics were strong, and we had about 70 or so good friends there, some of whom we hadn't seen in close to ten years. Cool thing about the anniversary as opposed to the wedding is that I didn't have to invite anyone I didn't really want to just to be polite. Soundtrack was awesome, too - mostly new wave with a bunch of old ska and soul thrown in there.

Ten years is a damn long time when you think about it, especially since last month I had to sacrifice my man room in the ever-increasing wave of beads and fabric and I wasn't sure we would even make it to the party. Occasionally I'd feel a pang of regret for what I was doing to the dudes there, knowing their wives would be silently measuring them against me, but fellas, I had to do it.

So yeah, I figure we'll try another 10 years and see how it goes.