Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mustache Rides!

I had a little puddin' ring goatee for about a month. One morning I looked in the mirror and saw a redneck Burger King assistant manager looking back at me, and realized it had to go. But not before some mustache sculpting!

Look One:

Yeah, I got some drugs. How bad you want 'em?

As you can see in this first photo, I tried to keep up what my idea of a sexy face throughout. Jesus, that seems to look better in my imagination than in real life. I'm sorry, ladies.

Look Two:

This was supposed to be my Tom Selleck/Burt Reynolds look. By this point my wife had stopped taking pictures.

Look Three:

The Shemp-like hairstyle really adds to this one. Although the "I've just had a stroke" sexy face is what keeps 'em coming back.

Look Four:

I've always wanted the Prince/Little Richard/Vincent Price/John Waters little bitty mustache, but I don't think this really works. As stated earlier, my wife stopped taking pictures after look one. I could tell that she was getting jealous of all the ladies that were going to throw themselves at me. As an understanding husband, I realize it is better to shave it off completely than to have to put up with all the affairs I'd have to undertake. So I let her win this one.

Overheard Walking to Lunch

Crazy guy to bored looking mailman:
"You ain't the only goddamn fish in the sea!"

This was only a few hours after I saw a guy dressed as a banana walking out of city hall:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Health and Happiness

There was a health fair at work this weekend. I decided to brave my needle phobia and get my cholesterol tested.

About a month ago I was told my cholesterol was high. Not super-high, but I still figured I needed to get that stuff under control. When I went to my regular doctor to see how to lower it, I got to wait in a freezing room for an hour and a half flipping through golf magazines from 1998 under a poster of dissected lungs so he could give the following advice:

"Just don't eat food with a lot of cholesterol in it."

Thanks, doc. Glad that cost me twenty bucks. I hope Obama socialized medicines your ass.

So for the past month I've been watching what I eat, taking these terrible fish pills, and generally avoiding dairy and cutting way down on the sweet, sweet meat.

I was supposed to see my real doctor in January, but since they were stabbing people with needles on a floor below me for free, I figured I could at least see if any of this crap had made any difference. And if it didn't, I was gonna be pissed. You know how much fun stuff I've had to pass up this month?

Anyway, it takes forever to get there in front of the lunch lady-looking nurses sharpening their needles when one of them says, "Are you OK? You look kind of pale."

I assure her I'm going to be alright and get stabbed without passing out or feeling dizzy, which might be a personal record. I should mention that this is a diabetes health fair so they're also testing for that, and I am terrified that I either have or am going to catch diabetes.

I'm not really sure where this fear comes from, possibly just the idea of getting poked with needles daily and giving up on the sweet, sweet treats is such a horrible idea of Hell that it terrifies me.

I wait around another 15 minutes or so and another lunch lady gives me my results.

"Are you taking medicine for diabetes?"

"No, I ...what?"

Somehow this was her lead-in to tell me that my glucose levels are great and I don't have anything to worry about. What the hell? Is this some sort of nurse bad news first thing they're supposed to do?

"Do you have any final words prepared for your mother?"

"Yes, I need to see her and..."

"Well, that's good, because you won't be needing them for a long time. She's perfectly healthy."

After toying with me the nurse points out that I am now the proud owner of some new and improved low cholesterol blood. Only problem is that in my zeal I've also lowered my good cholesterol.

"So what can I do to raise the good?"

"Do you eat fish?"

"My stomach is like the briny sea."


"Every morning."

"Olive Oil?"


"What about exercise?"

"I'm riding my bike 10 miles a day and going to the gym three nights a week. I don't think I can squeeze anything else in there. And come on," I said, ripping off my shirt. "Does this torso look like it needs any more exercise?"

Then the nurse let down her hair and took her glasses off. It was kind of like a Van Halen video.

"Well...there is moderate alcohol use."

"Well, OK! I think we're done here."

So I've beaten cholesterol and the doctors told me I've got to get drunk regularly to avoid a heart attack? Man, they're gonna love me at this year's Christmas parties. I'll be the guy with one of those Henry VIII hunks of meat in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Does This Sort of Thing Happen to Normal People?

So I'm riding home Monday at 6:00, just when it's starting to get dark. About a block away I see this little black dog running pretty fast. Then I see a boy of about 10 years old chasing after the dog.

"Mister, please help me," the kid pants. "Please help me catch my dog."

Well, I can't really refuse that. I park my bike and figure the dog will see a new person and come up to see me, then either me or the kid can catch her.

Nope. The dog runs at me, then takes off in the other direction.

"Come on, please get off your bike and help me catch her."

I get off and put my bag down on the sidewalk and start running for this dog. The dog is running on to porches and then running away at full speed. Every time I sort of start to half-ass it after the pooch, the kid seems like he's about to burst into tears and urges me to catch her.

Finally the dog goes into a back yard. The kid starts closing the gate and pleads with me to close the other one.

"Yeah, I don't know if we should mess with someone's gate like this."

"Please, please, please," the kid wails, so I close my part of the gate and figure with the kid and the dog in the yard, my work is done. Plus, I was sort of getting tired of the chase, what with little Vince Lombardi there telling me to keep hustling after the world's fastest dog.

Naturally, as soon as I close the gate an SUV pulls up.

"Hi, um...I'm sorry about this, there's a kid back there trying to catch his dog. He chased her back there and I'm really sorry about messing with your gate and..."

The woman was actually very understanding and thought the whole thing was funny. If I had pulled into my driveway and seen some helmeted guy coming towards me after closing my gate, one hand would have been on the final 1 in 911, the other hand would have been wrapped around a gun, and my foot would have been poised on the gas pedal ready to floor it.

I guess that's the sort of thing you get to miss driving to work.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Health and Healing Tour, November 2008

My dad had heart surgery last week. Actually more like artery surgery. I decided to take a week off and go up to North Carolina to help my parents out since he can't really do much of anything right now. Oh yeah, he's fine, thanks for asking.

I also planned to spend the night at my grandma's house, since it's on the way and I really need to get up there more. As I was loading all my crap up Sunday morning, I found out she passed out in church and broke her arm, but still wanted me to come up. I tried to get her not to cook or do anything, but she ended up using her one good arm to make me a feast of chicken and dumplings.

The picture doesn't really do it justice, trust me.

I love my grandma's cooking but felt bad that she had done all this and wouldn't let me do anything at all for her. Actually I got to set a clock back and open a jar, but that was it. Oh, and all that news the next day about Obama's grandma dying after she had done everything for him and made sure he got an education? I really didn't need to hear that all damn day.

I always thought I sort of hated driving, but what I forgot was how awesome it was driving alone at nightfall, watching the sun set behind me as I headed down to my grandma's, with the cotton on the ground looking like snow.

I also figured I had a license to speed since I was
A) visiting my sick grandmother who
B) passed out in church

I mean, what could the cops say?

I headed off to the parents the next morning. I suppose I should mention that I have a terrible sense of direction. Hell, I'm surprised I make it back home every day. To add to this, a good 90 percent of this trip was off the interstate, driving on little highways, usually stuck behind a tractor going 20 MPH.

Yep, I'm lost.

I was behind this tanker for like a million miles.

This is the front of the University of Georgia. I should not have been here. Oh yeah, WHOOOO! GO GATORS! WHOOOOO!

One of the advantages of driving alone was that I could do stuff like take pictures out the window while steering with my knee. Look, mountains!

Once I got into north Georgia the roads started going crazy. Remember in "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" when Pee Wee was driving at night and the signs get more and more ridiculous? Well, add a couple falling rocks signs and that's what I was dealing with. Oh yeah, add this every half hour or so:

"Holy shit! Is Jethro really trying to pass me on a blind curve? Doesn't he see that it's like a thousand foot drop with no guard rail? Why the hell did they have to make all these curves? Why didn't they make the Irish drill some tunnels or something?"

But it was really pretty when I wasn't almost getting killed.

I had a pretty good stay with the parents, even if I didn't get to do all the work I had planned to help them with. A lot of that had to do with the fact that the sun sets at like 5 PM.

Check it out, this is what it looked like while I was raking leaves.

The last day we lit our Pagan bonfire to ensure a bountiful harvest for the next year. Oh wait, that's one of those family-only things I'm not supposed to talk about.

Oh yeah, election day was that week. It was sort of like the Super Bowl and Christmas to my parents, as George Bush has turned them into hippies.

My parents have pretty much adopted Barack Obama as their Kenyan son. A couple times I wanted to point out that their real son was the one raking and cutting up trees, and maybe they should call their boyfriend Barack to help them out, but that would have been rude. Watching the republicans get their asses handed to them, the family came together as never before, although not before a few conversations like this:

Mom: "McCain 56 %? I thought you said this was going to be a landslide."
Dad: "It's 15 after 8. That's like 1 percent of one state. Just wait."

Both the speeches were good - if McCain had spoken like that throughout the campaign instead of all that "Joe the Plumber says the terrorists are going to spread your taxes" crap, maybe he wouldn't have gotten his ass beaten so bad. Oh, but what was that weird sad Darth Vader music they played when he walked off the stage?

And Obama paraphrasing Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come," which coincidentally was the song I was listening to as I pulled into my parent's driveway (Otis Redding version)? Awesome. My mom cried during it, and I gotta admit, I was getting that "It's a Wonderful Life" I'm-not-really-tearing-up-I'm-just-adjusting-over-here feeling as well, especially when he was talking about the old lady voting. Hey, grandmas and old ladies are a weakness of mine, alright?

Then it was on to Lawrenceville to stay with Todd and Leila and Baby Eloise, who actually isn't a baby anymore. You know how Lou Dobbs and all those other cable guys are always going on and on about immigration? Well, what they don't mention is that all those immigrants are bringing their treats to Georgia and turning it into Shangri-La. Holy crap, Lawrenceville is like an EPCOT full of food and treats and I vowed to eat my way through most of it.

Hey, you know what Jacksonville needs? A place that makes bubble tea. I was told this was a jackfruit, which I'm pretty sure is a made up fruit to fool white people. Anyway, it sort tastes like 40 percent pineapple, 40 percent coconut, 40 percent vanilla and 80 percent awesome. This is what angels drink in heaven when they run out of egg nog. And those little tapioca balls are chewey bits of heaven.

I took like 2 pictures of my dad, but ended up taking a gazillion in this Asian market, mostly because of signs like this.

Coming home I ended up in a traffic jam outside of Atlanta that lasted like an hour, but other than that I had no problems. Now I have a million work emails to catch up on and 3,000 miles to do on my bike to make up for the eating tour of Lawrenceville I undertook.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Lessons

For some reason my wife decided Halloween night was the perfect time to go to Target, leaving me all alone to hand out candy. Away from her supervision, I got to be the Halloween Judge.

We get carloads of kids with no costumes driven into the neighborhood who don't even say 'trick or treat,' they just knock on the door and stand there. Well tonight I wasn't having it. And seriously? Murray Hill? That's the neighborhood you're going to for the big candy payoff?

Knock Knock Knock.

"Who are you supposed to be?"


"Yeah, you can do better than that."


Actually in the beginning I was a bit more lenient and would just give them some of the crappier candy after my psyching them out but once the candy supplies started running low I had to administer some Halloween justice. Christie came home and said that some of the kids could have been poor and couldn't afford costumes, but hell, they can put a bag over their head or something.

And nobody did anything to the house, so looks like my rod of correction taught those kids a lesson, even though I swear some of them were like 19 years old.