Saturday, December 26, 2009

One of My Favorite Work Stories (No, Really)

Couple years ago I'm walking through the stacks when this old guy asks me for the "DVD tapes."

"Aw, crap," I think. "Guess I've got my work cut out for me with this guy."

"Well, the DVDs are all in this area," I said. "Is there anything in particular you're looking for?"

"I've been looking for tapes of the Judy Garland Show for years, but I doubt you'd have any of them."

"Yeah, we've got the Christmas show right over here," I say, walking him over to the musicals.

The guy starts going into a spiel about how this DVD is actually a bootleg copy and and I tell him that it came from a reputable distributor, and blah, blah, blah. Then he starts telling me about his days in early television.

Now we get a lot of cranks, crazies and straight-up delusional people in the library. We used to have a regular phone customer who woman who claimed to be Axl Rose's daughter, so I wasn't sure how much to really believe this guy, but he went on to tell me this story.

The old guy was a producer for the Judy Garland show back in the '50s and '60s. Her show was shot live, which was risky, since Garland wasn't the most punctual or dependable performer due to her addictions. So the day after President Kennedy's assassination, the crew was wondering right up to the shoot if they were going to have to find a guest star at the last moment. Garland was friends with the Kennedys, and was very distraught. At least that's what they assumed; they hadn't heard anything from her since the day before.

Minutes before the show aired, a visibly shaken Judy Garland walks on stage. She makes a short speech to the studio audience and then sings a song dedicated to the late President. I can't remember what he said the song was, I think it might have been "Over the Rainbow." It was one of her big ones. After she finished, the whole place, crew, audience, everyone just starts bawling, and the show goes on.

So the crazy part? This is before the actual show and nobody thought to turn on a camera and point it at her. Nowadays, we'd have blurry phone camera footage within seconds after she stopped singing. Now, there's still a chance that the whole thing is made up, but I love the fact that this simple, heartfelt tribute was shared by a few people, then forgotten forever. Until the old guy told me. Hell, I didn't believe the Bob Hope Gator Growl story, but enough people have come out of the woodwork to make me believe that one.

The guy left, but not before almost crushing my hand with a handshake, I guess to show me that he worked on musicals, but he was all man. Again, I have no idea if the story is true or just the product of an old guy with too much time on his hands, but like the guy from the X Files, I want to believe.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Have You Heard About This New Trend, "Periodicals?" I Do Not Care For It

So I'm in line waiting to check out at the grocery store today. This guy behind me is whistling. Like, totally going to town on the whistling, like the Coltrane of the whistle or something. That's already somewhat annoying, but I let it slide, because of the holidays and all.

As I'm waiting I'm sort of absent-mindedly gazing over at the magazines by the counter. These aren't the Star and Weekly World News or anything, just normal people magazines, like Time and Martha Stewart and what have you. Whistlin' Slim behind me notices me looking at the magazines and says, "I don't know what's crazier, that people actually put this stuff out or that other people buy it."

Thursday, December 3, 2009


So I finally got cable back after a year and a half or so. Sadly, this means that progress on my two-volume history on the Balkan War has ground to a halt, but that is the price the world must pay to keep me in entertainment.

And what entertainment!

Did you know that there are several television shows devoted to parents with 8 kids or more? And at least three shows dealing with cakes? And about a gazillion shows where attractive people solve gross murders with forensic science?

Now that I have hundreds of channels at my fingertips and a DVR to tape them all, I have no use for the outside world at all. Plus, local and cable news keeps telling me how scary the world is anyway. So if I don't see you for a while, don't worry, I'm OK.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Festival Seating

So there's this Gainesville Fest thing. A bunch of bands play all weekend long. I've usually heard of like three of them. But I made it down this year. Sort of. Due to employee emergencies, I couldn't take the weekend off, so I could only make it down for the Thursday before to see Panthro UK United 13 play. They were awesome.

So anyway, this Fest is a pretty big deal; people fluff their beards and buff their star tattoos for months in anticipation. I gotta say, I was a bit apprehensive. My girlfriend (yes, girlfriend. You don't know her, she's from Canada.) drove down there, and I was sort of worried that seeing me around a bunch of my old, drunk friends might make her reconsider the whole thing. But I guess I passed. One of her observations: "Guys sure hug here a lot."

So the whole night/morning was pretty fun, but you know how I know I'm getting old? No, I was right up front for the band, I might be old, but I'm not a wuss. I know I'm getting old because here are some of the conversations I remember:

A pretty boss sale at J.C. Penney - two for one Dockers!

Different ways to write up/discipline problem employees

Astonishment that it was after 11 on a Thursday and we were all awake and out of our houses.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


This old woman is trying to find a book on CD about one of the first Americans to climb Mt. Everest. She can't remember the title, but remembers the main character.

"He was always a weird little kid. He was always climbing and was never afraid of anything. I love weird little kids. I have a weird grandson and I just love him to death. I have a normal one, and he's OK, but I love that little weird one."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Too Much Horror Business

If you've read any of my stuff before, it is apparent that I have no taste or discrimination at all when it comes to media. Hell, I'll watch just about anything. And if that thing is Halloween-themed, I'll watch it even quicker. So after going home sick today I popped in my latest Netflix treat, "Paul Lynde's Halloween Special." I figured the cold medicine would enhance it.

Now, I knew going in that it wasn't going to be good. But I figured that it couldn't be that bad.

Holy crap, was I wrong.

Bad musical numbers and jokes you can see coming from a mile away make you wonder, "Was this for kids?" "Slow people?"

I suppose it can be instructional in showing the kids today how shitty TV could be back in the '70s, and Kiss does a couple songs, but other than that, stay far, far away.

You'd really think Paul Lynde would be much more discriminating in his choices of roles.

In happier media news, I finally got volume 5 of the 42nd Street Forever exploitation film trailer DVDs. Man, I could watch those things constantly. The best thing about this volume is the crazy juxtapositions between cheap-ass kid shows like "Pinocchio's Birthday Party" up next to the barbarians and boobs epic "Sorcerers" next to kung fu and science fiction trailers.

You should totally get that from Netflix. Hell, you should actually pay for it. Just stay far, far away from Paul Lynde.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Q: How Can You Tell I'm in Control of the Party Stereo?

A: "Troglodyte" by Jimmy Castor is gonna come up. I don't care if it's a Halloween party, Christmas shindig, Christening or Bar Mitzvah, that jam's coming on. And I've been doing it even before I discovered this awesome video.

Seriously, is that not the greatest thing you've ever seen?

Once I turn up the Cheap Trick, Van Halen and Thin Lizzy, however, it's probably time for someone to either drive me home or put me in bed.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Welcome to Scare the Children Theatre

I loved horror movies as a kid. Loved 'em. When I was a kid and we lived in the dorms at Mississippi State, every summer Friday night I'd walk down the hall to the communal TV and catch "Friday Night Frights." I'd spend my Scholastic book ordering money on monster books, so I knew all the monster's backstories.

Consequently, while I was scared of a lot of things in life (little yappy dogs, teenagers, lightning, etc.), horror movies didn't really scare me too much, mostly because I knew that they were made up, and that the chances of me running into a vampire or Frankenstein in Starkeville, Mississippi were pretty rare. My parents did take some archaeology classes, though, which freaked me out; everyone knows archaeology is all full of vengeful mummies and curses that can turn your kid into an orphan.

However, there were a few movies/TV shows that scared the crap out of me.

Sesame Street
The Count always sort of freaked me out. No, not because he was a little plush Bela Lugosi, but the fact that he had to count everything really rubbed me the wrong way. "Why? I know he's a Dracula, and they do weird stuff, but why can't he just stop counting?"

The Swarm
Saw this when I was about 8 with a friend in the theater. It's about killer bees coming up from Mexico and biting the hell out of people. The thing that really got me is the shot of a schoolyard (I think, I haven't watched it in years) where they show a dead little kid's hand clutching one of those big lollipops while bees walked over the sweet, sweet candy. That night my friend and I lost a lot of sleep due to the air conditioner's bee-like buzzing. I think we might have sealed up the windows and doors with towels just as a precaution.

So in this movie, Face from "The A Team" gets turned into a snake by a mad scientist. I'm not really sure why the scientist wanted to turn people into snakes, that's just the sort of thing you do, I suppose. The most horrifying part is the rejected man/snake hybrid:

I recently re-watched this, and yeah, it's still pretty creepy. But what was even more terriying than the creepy snake-man was the fact that my friend's mom was chain smoking while we were watching the movie. My mom had drummed into me the horrors of second-hand smoke and I was sure I was slowly dying of lung cancer as I watched a man turn into a snake.

The Legend of Lizzie Borden
So I watched this when I was probably 13 or so, much too old to be scared by anything on TV. It started the woman from "Bewitched" as the parent killing Lizzie Borden, and was a made for TV movie. How bad could it be?
Well, there's all this stuff about how the dad had a funeral home in the basement and it was sort of implied there was some bad touching going on down there among the corpses. I seem to remember that Lizzie knocks out a blood tube from one of the bodies as well that goes all over the place squirting blood. Later in the movie, Lizzie strips down so she won't get blood on her clothes while hacking up her parents. "Wow! Naked Bewitched lady," I think. "Now we're talking. Ahhhh! She's chopping up her parents!" The whole arousal/fear thing overloaded my teenage brain and freaked me out for days afterwards.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dr. Livingston, I Presume?

Say I commissioned you to create a portrait of a creepy guy. Give him a scraggly beard, greasy hair, a weirdly rumpled assortment of clothing and a knack for ignoring personal boundries. Then you'd have an idea of the guy that came up to the desk last week. He was looking for some sort of information I can't recall right now, something about middle school locations, where to buy used vans and Miley Cyrus tour dates. After a while he stops and says, "Yeah. Yeah! That's it!"

I'm used to exclamations like this from the public, so I let it slide.

"That's who you look like! Did you ever see Sex in the City? You look like that one guy," he shouts.

"No, never really watched it," I said.

"Oh you know, he was in the movie The Office, what's his name?"

"Uh...heh...sorry, don't know."

"Yeah, see, you do that same smirk! Just like that guy!"

Guy wanders off somewhere and comes back with the IMDB profile of Ron Livingston, along with a handsome head shot.

"There, see! Looks just like you!"

I don't really get it, but at least it's not John Candy or something. I've also gotten Bill Murray and that guy who played Mr. Bean before. Nope, don't see any of them.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Sting

I decided to take Thursday off. I had some errands to run and hadn't been able to get out on the trail in a long time, and besides, I just needed a little time off. Hey, get off my back, it was a long week. Jeez, what are you, my boss?

Say, you don't suppose my boss is reading this and realizes that I didn't have extra deadly swine flu Thursday, do you?

So I must have had my mouth open when I was riding down the trail. I've been perfecting my mouthbreather Halloween costume. All of a sudden I feel a bug fly into my mouth.

"Hey," I think to myself. "That was a really big bug." The thing is all tangled up in my mouth between my lower lip and teeth and I'm trying to spit it out while trying not to veer off the road. I'm also noticing my lip feels like I got slapped, but I figure that was just the impact.

The bug doesn't want to leave my inviting mouth. After a couple spits I finally get him out of there, but not before I start feeling sort of funny. "Must have been where he hit me," I'm thinking. "I mean, right there in the inner lip, of course that's gonna sting for a while."

So I've got about 6-7 miles to go and I can feel my lip swelling up. Again, I'm thinking that it's just the impact, since we were both going pretty fast and that's a sort of sensitve area.

By the time I get off the trail my lower lip has swollen to Popeye proportions. I get home and call the doctor for an appointment and sound like a stroke victim over the phone. Never one to let a gross medical condition go to waste (maybe I can squeeze some sympathy out of it, or at least post gross pictures of it on the internet) I try to take some photos of my swollen lip but nothing comes out.

Of course by the time the doctor can finally see me most of the swelling has gone down and he can't find any stinger or anything in me. He writes me a prescription for some steroid pills and sends me out into the world, wondering why I came into his office with such a made-up story. Later on I notice that doc's steroids haven't made my arms any bigger either so I'm thinking of just buying them from that dude that hangs out at the gym from now on.

So my relaxing no work day ended up full of bee venom and doctor tedium. To make matters worse, there was a retirement party that day so I missed deviled eggs. I have learned my lesson and will never play hooky again.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Horrors of the Antique Store, Part Two

What better way to kick off a month of horror than with a trip to the antique store? As everyone knows, while placid on the outside, these places contain dolls that will wake up in the middle of the night to steal your soul, cursed Native American relics and artifacts that will hypnotize your family into committing unspeakable acts of horror. It was only at great personal risk to my very soul that I was able to take the following crappy phone pictures to share with you, the reading public:

Wow. that lobster/Georgia O'Keefe flower ashtray is making me feel a little funny. Is it hot in here?

I think Tricky Dick's eyes are following me.

Nothing bad can happen to us in here if we just concentrate on the beautiful, delicious ham.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Turning an Epic into a Short Subject

I've been re-watching Lord of the Rings lately. While it's as awesome as ever, the whole Gandalf summoning the birds at the end always seemed like a huge cheat, especially after I found the following early draft of the script. I don't want to say that your life will be in danger after reading this top-secret leaked script, but I have heard that Peter Jackson's people can be quite ruthless. Enjoy, but don't tell anyone where you read it.

Scene One. interior, Frodo's house
Gandalf: "Frodo, this cursed ring's power is mighty and horrible. You must destroy it. You have a choice. You can either walk for months, facing terrible monsters and going up against great odds. You will lose friends and the comforts of home, but you will also learn about friendship and have the satisfaction of doing the right thing. Or I can use my wizard stick to summon these huge eagles, we can hop on their backs, drop the ring in the lava and be back in like an hour or so. Your choice, really."

Frodo: "I think I'll take that second one. The one without the monsters."

Gandalf: "Good Choice."

Scene Two. Their task done, Gandalf and Frodo are eating magical ice cream from a constantly refilling bowl back at Frodo's house.

Frodo: "This ice cream is great. Magic is the best thing ever!"

Gandalf: "It sure is, my little friend. It sure is."


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Scenes from the Class Struggle on the R5

You wait around a lot when you're poor.

I used to have to ride the bus home from work. It sucked. Although the schedule clearly said that a bus would arrive each half hour, it was not uncommon to wait an hour and a half for a bus if I happened to leave work late. So I'd wait there in the heat or the cold, listening to my MP3 player and trying to avoid eye contact with the other people waiting, because that would then be an invitation to talk or get stabbed.

Actually, the worst were two co-workers who shall not be named. Several times both of them would gang up on me, one on each side, talking to me while I turned my MP3 player up louder and brought my book up close enough to my face that Helen Keller could tell I wasn't listening. You'd think that they'd take the hint or realize that they could talk to each other without me standing there in the middle of their monologues like a totem pole, but they never seemed to catch on.

So after a while, the R5 might show up, and I'd get to sit down for the 30 minute ride home. Usually.

Sometimes the bus driver would stop in front of Publix, get off the still running bus and walk into the store. He'd be gone about 10 minutes while he bought his smokes and messed with my TV watching schedule.

I'd look around at the defeated bus riders. Didn't they realize that this guy just tacked another 10 minutes on to our ride? Were they just going to sit there and take it? Shouldn't we all be rising up? We were people, working people, not cattle. Was I going to have the balls to walk to the front of the bus and put it in drive? I'd get us all home in record time, and I wouldn't have to stop for my filthy habit.

Then the driver would trudge back on the bus, put it in gear and slowly drive away. My revolutionary fantasies would be put on hold. This time.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Monster Mash-Up

There's this little old lady who comes into the fiction department fairly regularly. She's about 4 feet tall and has to be 100 years old. She loves supernatural romances and will go through piles of them in a week. She's exhuasted our collection and has had to use the interlibrary loan system to get her fix from outside the area.

I didn't even know there was such a thing as supernatural romances, but they all seem to involve some sort of vampire/werewolf/ghost hunter woman who ends up falling in love with a monster. And I have inferred from the back cover descriptions that they have a lot of sex.

Now, I'm a fan of both monsters and the erotic arts, but I don't really think the two should be mixed. Plus, when did werewolves become sexy? Werewolves are the lamest of all the classic monsters, spending most of their time as humans whining about their curse. You don't see vampires or Frankensteins doing that, do you? Hell no, they embrace their monsterness. And why can't a Frankenstein monster get some love? Nobody ever makes movies or books about getting poor Frankenstein some action. Hell, even his own bride rejected him. If you ask me, there should be more erotic fiction concerning poor, unloved Frankenstein. Somebody needs to get on that.

Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, the little old lady. So she says, "You know the books I'm looking for. Anything with ghosts, werewolves, vampires, anything like that."

"Well, let's see what we've got. Any thing in particular you're looking for?"

"No, just as long as it's kinky."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I Saw Me a Music Festival

In what will probably be my final stop in the Divorced Guy 2009 North American Tour (unless anyone wants to write me a grant), I went up to Chicago to the Pitchfork Music Fest.

I've been to exactly one big outdoor festival before. I had a great time, probably because the line-up looked like a mix tape I would have made in 1995, but still don't really get the whole seeing music outside in the daytime. In fact, the quote I apparently used was, "I don't want my rock'n'roll mixing with sunshine and picnics and bumblebees and shit."

Some call me a prophet.

But I had an amazing time last weekend. First of all, there were 20 plus Gainesvillians up for the thing, so there were tons of cookouts and hanging out. Seeing about half a bar singing along to Radon songs while the rest of the bar looked on in boredom and bewilderment was pretty awesome. Here, check it out.

I discovered that Mexican food scientists have made giant leaps forward in their beverage division. Sure, they could have stopped with the cinnamon goodness of the horchata, but they felt that they needed something in the alcohol catagory, something sweet, yet potent. For the good of all mankind, they engineered The Bull, a mixture of rum, beer, sugarcane and something from Mexican Heaven. Look how happy it makes people.

Oh, and they also show Bruce Lee and Godzilla movies in the bars up there. Did I design this city?

To be honest, I didn't care too much about the actual music fest, about 90 percent of the emails sent between participants focused on eating and drinking rather than the music. But man, I gotta tell you, it was pretty great. First band I saw was a reunited Jesus Lizard (if they come anywhere near you, drop what you're doing and go), and I caught a fair amount of other bands throughout the weekend before finishing it up with an absolutely amazing performance by the Flaming Lips, who were all full of balloons, good times and confetti. I still get happy just thinking about it.

Once again, I am amazed that I have such an awesome group of friends, and that people are still willing to put up with me. It's a pity the Divorced Guy 2009 North American Tour will have to end. But wait! Does it really? Surely if all five of you reading this site can dig deep and donate, you can fly me somewhere in this great country of ours. If you don't do it for yourself, do it for the children.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Graffiti Bridge

So I'm riding the Baldwin Trail and get stopped by the slowest moving train in the history of trains. It doesn't seem that long, so I figure I'll take a break and wait instead of doubling back and riding a bit more.

I stand there getting sort of hypnotized by the slow-moving train. I start wondering how hard it would be to ditch my bike and hop onto one of the cars, living my life as a hobo, wandering from town to town, stealing pies off windowsills and getting into adventures. True, it would be a radical change from my piles of library money and the respect one gets by being a city employee but I'm beginning to think the adventures might make up for it.

I'm also checking out the graffiti on the sides of the cars. A couple pretty cool looking big pieces, along with the usual smaller graffiti. Then, on one of the last cars, I notice a smaller piece, two words hastily spray painted on the side of a car.

"The Cuntz."

I'd like to imagine The Cuntz are a tough female hobo gang, dirtier riot grrrls who ride the rails, having the adventures I was dreaming of, only with a bit more smashing of the patriarchy and girl power.

Monday, July 6, 2009

My Favorite Song That I've Never Actually Heard

Charles Mingus, "The Shoes of the Fisherman's Wife Are Some Jive-Ass Slippers."

I don't even want to hear it. I just don't see how any music can live up to that title.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

In Olden Days

Have you ever thought, "You know what, things were a lot better in the old days. People had more manners and the kids weren't all LOLing their Ipods and the twitters all the time. Back then there were rules, and everyone respected the rules. We'd all come together as one to fight Nazis and plant victory gardens. Yeah, those really were the days."

You know what will cure you of those notions with a quickness? A trip to an antique store. I'm a veteran of those dusty old places. My parents dragged me to so many of them that driving up to North Carolina 20 years since they drove me up on vacation, I was able to remember perfectly each one on the way to their house, and could even remember the scale of boringness of each establishment. Between garage sales and antique stores, my parent's house was full of olde tyme relics.

Growing up these places represented nothing but boredom to me. I mean why spend $100 on some old fashioned radio when that money could be used as a down payment on a stand up Donkey Kong Jr. game to put in the garage?

However, now that I'm old I've been known to check around the odd antique mall, even though they contain creepy dolls that will steal your soul in the middle of the night. Part of the coolness about these places is that you never know exactly what you'll find. Perhaps that Husker Du boardgame your mom threw out. Maybe something haunted, or a bad-ass cane that turns into a sword. Or perhaps the most disturbing painting I've ever seen.

Seriously, what the fuck? At some point, someone was sitting around and thought, "I've got the perfect idea for a painting." Then he (and I'm assuming it was a he) had to actually take the time to paint it. At some point after that, someone else had to see it and say, "That painting really speaks to me. The way the angry golfer is pasting his wife in the chops for bringing him some drinks is just hilarious. I'll put it in the den."

Now it sits in an antique mall in Jacksonville, Florida, waiting for someone else to buy it. Perhaps you? Just don't invite me over.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Public Speaks

As part of a new promotion, the library has a batch of oversized blank tickets for our patrons to customize. The tickets say, "The library is my ticket to ____," and grateful customers fill out what the library has helped them with. Then they sign their name at the bottom, post them on a wall and inspire the world. This wall is not policed 24 hours a day. Many of us anticipated a problem with this. Here are 3 I pulled within two days of the display being up:

The library is my ticket to HAM

The library is my ticket to fagetism. By Gayfer

The library is my ticket to Arab money

Sadly, the wall is now gone, and these tickets are now but a memory.

Friday, May 8, 2009

What, no Grass Roots?

In the past couple months I've heard the following either in the grocery store or as bumper music on NPR:
Sonic Youth
The Flaming Lips
The Pixies
While it's nice to think that this means the greater world is getting hipper, it really just means I'm getting older.

Monday, April 27, 2009

New York was Cool; Hope I Didn't Cause an International Incident on My Birthday.

Went to New York this weekend. It was awesome. I ate and drank all sorts of treats (the Vietnamese just might have overtaken the Cubans in the great sandwich wars), saw this really cool lounge singer/comedian guy, hung out with some good friends, put an old French lady in the hospital, got some culture and learning at some museums, yeah, New York, that town really has its stuff together. If you get a chance, book a flight right now, because - what's that? Oh yeah, the French lady.

I rented a bike on my birthday and my friend Curt took me on this long tour through Brooklyn. It was awesome. We went through all these cool little neighborhoods and parks, went over that bridge from "Once Upon a Time in America," rode to Coney Island like in that Ramones song, and just had a great time. I got to see all sorts of cool stuff, like this:

And the opening shot of that old "Barney Miller" show.

We crossed over to Manhattan in the early afternoon. We were going pretty fast in the bike lane through all this crazy traffic, and Curt had been warning me all day to watch out for people opening car doors into the street, so I was being pretty safe and paying attention.

Then this old French lady materialized right in front of me in the bike lane.

I didn't have time to slam on the brakes or swerve or anything really and the next thing I know I'm on the ground. I ask the woman if she's alright and I go to put my bike on the sidewalk when some dudes say, "Where do you think you're going? You're not going anywhere."

"Yeah, I'm not going anywhere," I said a little more forcefully than usual. "I'm just putting the bike up on the curb. I thought New Yorkers were all blase about people getting stabbed and mugged and stuff, somehow my accident happens in front of Batman.

Now if professional wrestling and shennanigan-related incidents have taught us anything, it's that cuts to the head will produce a whole lot of blood. So she didn't look good. She also got a pretty good shiner. By the time I was up the paramedics had been called and some of the crowd had sort of patched her up with some napkins. She didn't speak any English, and her daughter didn't speak much more, so that didn't help, either.

The paramedics examine her and take one of the napkins off her head. I was sort of wondering how bad it really was when I see this massive patch of blood and flesh. Holy crap, I really hurt her, I thought. Then I realized that that was just a napkin underneath the other one that had soaked up all the blood. She had a small cut and seemed to be OK from what everyone could make out what with the language barrier and all, but she went off to the hospital for stitches or catscans or whatever anyway.

I dealt with the cops who were pretty cool about the whole thing. I got an incident report that I have to call about in case anything else happens. I really wanted to take some photos, but I figured that wouldn't be too cool, so I only snapped this one on the sly:

And that's how I spent my birthday. I hope she's feeling better and this didn't color her impressions on her American vacation.

So remember, always wear a helmet and look both ways before crossing the street.

By the way, uh...does anyone know anything about ribs? Mine still sort of hurt when I breath in deeply.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Shoe Business

I will hold on to some shit long after I should get rid of it. I wouldn't really say I'm a packrat, more cheap and lazy. Case in point, check out these shoes I've worn for the past two or three years.

They're my working in the yard/working on the house/riding my bike shoes. Of course, since they're usually right by the front door, I'll usually slip them on to go to the store or whatever. At least I used to. Now that I'm single, I have my manservant dress me to the nines before leaving the house. I can't be too careful, you know.
Since I wear them riding my bike, I also wear them to work, hiding them under my desk so nobody can see them and take up a collection for me to buy some decent footwear.

Now usually this would be a case of my cheapness controlling me, but I think in this case it's more laziness winning the day. I mean, I'd have to get in the car, drive somewhere, look at different shoes, wait for them to tell me if they have them in my size, Jesus, I don't have all day. And sure, I could order them online, but then I'd have to hunt around for my wallet, find my credit card, search around online trying to find the cheapest price, then waiting like 3 weeks for my shoes to finally show up.

But I finally took the plunge and threw them out. I think the fact that the one on the right there is about to turn into a sandal or flip-flop (two shoes that a grown man should never wear. And yes, I realize that taking fashion advice from the guy in the shoes from the Crimean War doesn't make a lot of sense).

My new footwear, made only of the rarest and most endangered of animals, should certainly make up for the years of flopping around in those things around town.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Neither a Mover or a Shaker

Waiting to leave work Monday night I see a couple co-workers passing around the newest "Library Journal."

"Did you know you're in this?"

"Who, me? Get out of here."

"No, seriously, look. See, honorable mention, 2008's Mover and Shaker."

"That can't be me. It's gotta be my nemesis, that Dilbert guy. Wait, Jacksonville, Florida. That's gotta be me."

I didn't know they gave out awards for playing on the internet at work, but I was certainly going to accept. And you know, after thinking about it, it's about time I got recognized for my work. Maybe it was for my kick-ass ordering. Maybe my programs. Possibly my firm, yet loving guidance over my staff. Whatever it was, I totally deserved it.

Oh, things are going to change from now on. Boring staff meeting? "I don't need this, I'm Library Journal's 2009 Mover and Shaker!" Transfer me to another branch? "Do you really want to transfer Library Journal's 2009 Mover and Shaker to a branch? Do you realize what my friends in the ALA are going to say?"

I wonder if I get any money with this award? Maybe a new car? Hell, even an amazon gift card would be nice.

And I'd be dropping that little nugget around women all the time. I mean, if that doesn't impress the ladies, I don't know what will.

The next morning I'm making a copy of the page to send to my parents and grandmas when I notice that I was being recognized for nominating someone else, not for any moving and shaking I did. Yeah, I was still up there at the top of the page, but that's a whole different thing.

So when did they stop teaching reading comprehension in library school?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

You Old Fish-Eyed Fool

Last week at the library I notice this skinny youngish black guy with prominent five o'clock shadow wearing a floral print dress, cardigan, a short black wig from 1963 or so and house slippers. The outfit was clean and I really gotta give the guy props for the thought that went into it.

But one thing was bugging me. Who did this guy look like? I chewed this over all day until it finally hit me. Aunt Esther!

This guy was such a fan of Fred Sanford's nemesis on "Sanford and Son" that he assembled a whole outfit in homage to carry out his craziness for the day. Crazy Aunt Esther guy, we need more crazy people like you. Anyone can be a crazy guy in sweatpants and a T-shirt, but to really kick it up a notch, you gotta coordinate and think ahead.

And you know you've seen a bunch of craziness at work when you see a guy dressed up like Aunt Esther and the first thing you think isn't "Holy crap! That dude's dressed like a 1972 grandma," but "Huh. I wonder who that guy reminds me of."

Monday, March 30, 2009

Let My People Go

Well, my possum friend has finally died or moved on and the bathroom doesn't smell like rotten marsupial. I'd be happy with this development except for the fact that in willing the poor wretched creature to die or disappear, I seem to have unleashed forces greater than that of mortal man.

I now have a flea infestation in the bathroom, I'm assuming from the decayed possum underneath the floor. I also assume that these fleas are carrying all sorts of exotic diseases and pestilence that will require lots of painful tests, probably involving the butt.

This is fairly puzzling since the bathroom is tiled and they don't have anywhere to hang out before attaching themselves to my legs when I walk into the bathroom.

Then I'm working in the yard Saturday and notice all these baby locusts. I guess they're locusts, they're bigger than a cricket and look like what I suppose a locust looks like. What am I, an entomologist? I just know they're hard to kill and travel in packs and they're going to destroy my crops.

Well, OK, they'll destroy my lawn.

So already I've been struck with two of the 10 Plagues of Egypt. I'd say boils are coming next, but if you've seen a picture of me from 15 to about 25, you'd realize that one is a little late.

But what I don't get is what did I do? How did I piss off Moses? I don't have any slaves building my pyramids, hell, everyone knows I'm a friend of the Jews. Why, some of my best friends are Jewish. Wait, that might be the wrong thing to say.

Is it possible that some sloppy celestial bookkeeping caused me to get some Egyptian pharoh's (they still have those, right?)bad juju while he's getting all my rewards? Who do I see about this? I don't want my water to turn to blood.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dad's Career Advice from the Army

"If you walk around fast holding a pile of papers or a clipboard and act annoyed, people will assume you're doing something important and stop bothering you."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Playing Possum

For the past couple weeks I've had a possum under the house. Oh, excuse me, Mr. Hahvahd La-De-Dah Fancy Pants, I've had an opossum under my house for a few weeks.

It hangs out in the area between the bathroom and the bedroom, so sometimes at night I can hear it gnawing on support beams or electrical wires or important plumbing. There's a small vinyl door in the back of the foundation that allows you to get under the house, and every morning I'll reinforce it with bricks and boards, then the next morning I'll see where the filthy beast has dug a hole or moved the bricks to get under the house once again.

I've been under the house exactly once. If you like the feeling of crawling on your stomach with about one inch of clearance between you and the floor above you waiting for some feral animal to bite you in the face, you'd have a ball under there.

I've been trying to ignore my new tenant, but he's really making my bathroom stink. It smells like a wet dog or something in there, although since I'm single once again, that's probably the least unpleasant smell in there, what with the absence of potpourri or whatever it is that the ladies use to make the place smell like less of a cave and more of a place where civilized people can attend to their bathroom needs with some modicum of taste and class.

However, the last few days I've caught a different odor. I'm thinking my little furry nemesis has finally died, because something is definitely rotten under there.

So basically I'm a newly single guy with a rotten smell coming from under his house. This can't look good to the neighbors.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Starting All Over Again

So I'm going through a divorce. Not what I wanted, not anything I really even saw coming, but there it is. Bottom line, nobody is really at fault, we've just sort of drifted apart the last few years, I guess more than I noticed.

The first week or so I would have given anything to stop this, but after thinking about it, I think we'll both be a lot happier after a while, we just have to go through some bad stuff right now.

In fact, sometimes I'm pretty happy and excited to start a new life, then I'll start freaking out. How the hell do I act now that I'm single? I wasn't that good at dating in my 20s, and mostly got lucky because everyone was drunk all the time. Do I even know any single people anymore? Am I going to have to buy a corvette? Am I going to be the creepy old guy hitting on girls and getting laughed at? Are there really women out there that will listen to my stories and learned opinions on stuff like Dolemite and Naked Raygun? Do you think they'd still want to do it with me? These are just a few of the questions that keep me up at night.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Luck of the Irish

I've been going through some pretty heavy emotional stuff lately. Don't really feel like getting into it right now, but let's just say it felt great to get out of town for a while.

Why was I going out of town? Well, Santa had the foresight to get me a ticket to see The Pogues on Monday night in Atlanta. He really does see all.

I was told by friends who had seen them previously to be prepared for a fun, if shambolic, event. I was told the band would be tight, but Shane MacGowan would pretty much just slur a bunch of garbled nonsense over it, relying on the crowd to, you know, actually remember the words.

But holy crap were they awesome last night.

Shane would do sort of mini-sets of 3 or 4 songs before shuffling back offstage for a couple minutes, and his opening remarks were completely incoherent. I loved seeing all these people doing the 'what the hell did he say' face to their shrugging friends. But as soon as he started singing, he sounded exactly like the recordings. And all those tin whistles and accordions and banjos and what not sounded great. The crowd was singing every word, I overheard the bartender mention they ran out of Guinness by 9:00 and a good time was had by all.

The last time I really listened to the Pogues a lot was when I actually lived in Atlanta, so I kept getting strange little flashes of deja vu or nostalgia or something, especially during "Thousands are Sailing," which is a song I didn't think they'd play.

The song is about Irish immigrants in America, how they still miss their homeland but are making lives here at the same time. Now I'm part Irish, I'm not exactly sure how much, and while I think that all that Irish history stuff is pretty cool, I also think that if my great-great-grandfather had wanted me to get all weepy about Ireland, he wouldn't have gotten on the boat.

Anyway, I can distinctly remember playing the song around Christmas after getting back from a shift delivering food. For whatever reason, the lyrics, "Did the old songs taunt or cheer you, and do they still make you cry," and "So we raised a glass to JFK and a dozen more besides/ when I got back to my lonely room, I suppose I must have cried" suddenly made things clear. I had to get out of here. I had to move back to Gainesville. I wasn't exactly unhappy, but I don't suppose I was that happy either, and I could feel myself getting comfortably trapped. After months of rejection, I had stopped sending out resumes, and could feel myself getting more and more comfortable working a couple hours a day and walking home with a wad of cash.

So I ended up going back to Gainesville with my tail between my legs. Sure, Gainesville was another comfortable trap, a way to stay in a holding pattern for another year or so before actually growing up and/or doing something responsible, but at least I was happier, I guess, and sort of working on a plan, which would eventually lead to the holy path of library science.

And yeah, I realize that delivering food in Atlanta was a far cry from digging out a railroad or whatever, but still.

So while I still have flashes of bad feelings, the Pogues (and my hosts) helped a lot, at least for a little while. I think they're only playing a couple more shows in the U.S., so if it isn't sold out, you should really, really go.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Dream Police

I've been taking melatonin for about a month now. Cool thing is, I get a deeper sleep, I don't wake up as many times throughout the night and I don't wake up feeling tired. Since I'm in a deeper sleep, I also get to have crazier dreams.

The first one I had this week had my wife telling me she thought it would be a good idea if we started swinging. "Cool," I thought. "I'll go pick up the stuff for our big coming out party."
So I'm at the grocery store at the chip isle.
"Let's see," I said. "I'm pretty sure these are the chips people eat at these sorts of things. I'd better get three or four bags."
I noticed a woman looking at me.
"You're really going to get those?"
"Well, yeah."
"All the beginners get those."
Then everyone in the store started laughing at me.
"Hey, I've never done this before," I protested. Then I woke up confused. What happened to all the sex in my sex dream?

Then last night I dreamt I was standing in my front yard when my friends Pat and Todd stopped by.
"Hey, you want to go to Miami with us?"
"Well, I would, but I should probably stay around here."
"Dude, all you've got to do is walk down this floating sidewalk with us. It'll take like 20 minutes."
"Huh. Yeah, sure, I'll go to Miami with you."
So we walk down the magic sidewalk. Pretty soon I notice that Debbie Harry, Blondie herself is next to me.
"I'm getting tired," Blondie said. "I want to go home."
"I'll walk you," I said, hoping my friends wouldn't hear and ruin my action.
So we walk a while until we find a little roadside stand.
"You want to go in there and make out?"
Well, alright.
So I go in there and there's all sorts of green and brown slime coming out of the floor. We should probably stay outside. Besides, I figure if I'm fooling around with Blondie, I want the whole world to see.
So we start making out, and I notice her hand is looking sort of manly. And her arms are sort of shriveled. Then she starts shrinking. She ends up looking sort of like this guy:

I set her down and wonder if I can either catch up with my friends or make my way back home. And did anyone see me making out with that little old guy?
I woke up angry and confused after that one.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Breakfast of Champions

I've been eating fairly healthy for about a month now. Nothing crazy, I just noticed that after two months of eating anything that couldn't run away from me, I was beginning to get a little fatter, so I cut out a bunch of the crap I was eating. Which wasn't too hard, considering that there was a day at my parents that I drank two milkshakes.

I've had a ton of stuff to do at work lately, so I figured I'd blast it all out over the weekend. I went upstairs and got a Mountain Dew and a package of vending machine donuts, which was pretty much my diet a year or two ago.

"Yeah," I thought. "That's the stuff."

I was having trouble concentrating, but I figured I'd level off after a while. Then, after like an hour or so, all the sweet sugar and caffeine seemed to leave my system at the same time and I was sleepy and depressed.

"What's the point of doing all these evaluations anyway," I thought. "I'll probably just get fired soon, or possibly die of some unknown medical condition."

Then the next day I had to come in an hour early to fix the schedule and figured I'd go ahead and take an early lunch. And since I had sacrificed an extra hour of my time to The Man, why bother with the crappy lunch I brought, all full of boring fruit and vegetables? It was Cuban time.

The Cuban sandwich I ate was possibly the worst one I've ever had in my life. Somehow they used too much grease or butter or whatever so it was all soggy and the meat was ...well, there was something definitely off about the meat.

So it looks like nature or fate or something is telling me to stick to my diet. It kind of sucks.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Overheard Coming Home

Dude rummaging through garbage can: "Because I do not eat off the ground like an animal. LIKE A DOG, MISTER BIKE DRIVING WORK MAN!"

I didn't even realize I was in the conversation.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Curious Case of King Frat

With my work, the internet and Netflix, I have access to a wide-ranging variety of movies with just a few simple keystrokes.

Pretty much the entire catalog of film is available between the three; a world of fantastic visions, astounding tales, and, in certain films, something approaching great art.

So two weeks ago I rented "King Frat" from Netflix.

"King Frat" is a low-budget "Animal House" ripoff, without that movie's boring stuff like plot, characterization and logical narrative structure to get in the way of a strange collection of gross-out vingettes.

Although I have to admit, the newspaper headline "Big Fart Contest Announced" in 40 point type was pretty funny, especially when lead character Gross Out exclaims, "Holy shit!" as if war had been announced. And yeah, the nerd frat guy who looked like a 40 year old Robert Crumb was good for a laugh.

But after a while the hijinx of Gross Out and the gang just weren't doing it for me and I decided to cut my losses and stop watching.

And then I saw Tigert Hall. Hey! This movie was filmed at the University of Florida! I used to work in that building. From then on I was fascinated. Every location, every set - did I know where that was? Perhaps one of my old apartments was even the setting for The Big Fart Contest!

Then the end credits thanked the University of Miami.

So I froze the image of the building that started my love affair with "King Frat" and compared it to an online image of Tigert Hall. Yep, same building. Would an architect design two identical buildings for two universities in the same state? That seemed unlikely.

So I contacted my former boss at the News and Public Affairs office. After some ribbing about my taste in movies, he watched the trailer on youtube and was positive that building in the opening scene was UF's Murphree Dorm, and I've got to agree - looking at it now, I recognize the area as the one I walked through to get to my friends Jenn and Julie's dorm.

So why was the University of Florida not credited in "King Frat?" Were they embarassed? Did the Big Fart Contest headline hit a little too close to home? Was there a crusty dean trying to stamp out campus shennanigans at the time? From what the movies have taught me, I'd wager quite a bit on the crusty dean theory.

If anyone has the answers to these questions, the American filmgoing public deserves to know.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I Got 96 Tears in 96 Eyes

Celebrity deaths have never bothered me that much. Sure, it's sad and all, but I always felt it was sort of presumptuous for me to grieve. That belongs to people who knew them personally. And yeah, a world without Ron Asheton, 3/4 of The Ramones, Joe Strummer or Rudy Ray Moore is a sadder place, but we still have their work, which was why we cared about them in the first place.

But Lux Interior of The Cramps? I just assumed that guy would live forever.

Mining "the old, weird America" for inspiration, The Cramps combined a love of B-movies, trash culture and early rock and roll to create their own unique sound. Fuzzed-out, simple and catchy, you just can't top those early albums, especially when considering that there was no precedent for their style of sped-up rockabilly back then. Even the later albums, while not as good, would still have at least a couple good songs. And they even got to appear on 90210!

You know how you felt a little funny when you found out that Alice Cooper played golf with Bob Hope or that dude from Metallica had a gazillion dollar art collection? Lux and his longtime wife, Poison Ivy were The Cramps 24/7, still getting inspiration from the overlooked flotsam of American pop culture, living in a house that was probably second only to Forrest Ackerman's mansion in terms of coolness.

I saw the Cramps in 1989 or so. As the band warmed up, Lux came onstage in a skintight black vinyl outfit, looked the crowd over and said, "I just talked to the sheriff of Tampa. He said you all need a goooood spankin,'" then launched into one of the best shows I've ever seen. After about an hour and half, he was stripped down to high heel shoes and vinyl pants and he climbed to the top of the speakers like King Kong. Watching him humping the top of the speakers while screaming gibberish through the microphone he kept clenched in his teeth, I realized I was in the presence of the force that possessed Elvis, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, that exciting, primal beat that so worried parents and authorities in the '50s.

It was pretty strange thinking Lux and Ivy were about the age of my parents.

So while I never met the guy, a world without Lux Interior is a world a little sadder and a little squarer. This week, before doing something lame and square, close your eyes and listen really hard. Hear that faint beat? That simple, driving, aboriginal beat? That's the beat of rock and roll. Do something crazy, something cramped with it.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Down, Down to Bradentown

Went down to Bradenton for a late Christmas. It was pretty cool. I got a GPS system, which anyone who has ever driven with me or asked me for directions will be eternally grateful for.

We were only there for a few days, but I found I slipped quite easily into the world of retirement. Waking up early, perhaps taking a nap at 2 or 3. And yeah, might as well pull the car up at 7 PM. I ain't going anywhere at night anyway. Whoa, is it 10:00 already? No wonder I'm so sleepy. What am I, Hugh Hefner staying up til the crack of dawn?

When I wasn't busy sleeping or being brought along on Bataan Death Marches through the gazillion antique/fabric/thrift stores the area has to offer, I found this cool little nature trail/park.

The trail was in an area that I explored quite a bit when I lived in Bradenton. See, there was this crazy guy who lived out in the woods there named Crazy Nathan. There was a game in high school to see how far you could drive down his scary driveway in the deep, dark woods before he ran out of his house shooting at you.

Nathan was a source of endless fascination to a group of my friends. Why did he live out there? What did he do? Was his house all Texas Chain Saw Massacre looking on the inside?

We were fairly obsessed with the guy. We made up Team Nate stickers that we'd paste all over town, which were mistaken for a satanic cult. We spent time in the woods trying to find a back way to his house so we could...well, I don't really know. Spy on him, I guess. The woods had a sprawling network of trails, so you could spend a whole day out there walking around freaking yourself out, wondering what would happen if Nate or his murderous family caught you out there.

So when I found out that the scary-ass Nate Woods had been turned into a nature trail, I was all over that stuff.

The trail is actually to the south of Nate Woods, an area which wasn't as scary, but it was still pretty strange to be walking these once-impenetrable trails that are now paved and full of families and old people walking dogs.

This is sort of what the old trails looked like

Hernando DeSoto landed somewhere around here, looking for gold and Indians to torture.

This is a horseshoe crab, the most useless and ugly animal ever created.

Mangroves are awesome. Whenever I get a whiff of brackish salt water and see mangroves, two memories come rushing up.
A) I'm going fishing or
B) I'll bet somebody stashed some old Penthouse magazines around here somewhere.

Banyan trees are awesome, too. You know they're saying, "We are going to eat you."

So yeah, the trail was pretty awesome. I got there late so I didn't get to explore the whole thing, and it didn't really replicate the fear and terror I once felt in those woods since I wasn't constantly looking over my shoulder to see if a rampaging lunatic was after me, but maybe that's OK.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Freezing in Florida

Two observations:

1) Living in a house built before the invention of insulation is no fun when the temperatures get in the 20s.

2) Every time we get ice or frost in Florida somebody's got to say, "and of course nobody knows how to drive in that."

Well of course we fucking don't! We live in Florida! How the hell should we know how to drive through ice? Do we laugh at drivers in Wisconsin who can't dodge the revenuers while driving through alligator infested swamps?

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Wife Ain't Buyin' It

"Did that bathtub refinisher ever show up?"

"She just left. Actually, she looked sort of like Angelina Jolie."

"Really? So how long does that stuff have to set before we can take a shower?"

"Kind of strange - she wore a bikini. I thought it was a little unprofessional, but I guess you get a lot of water splashed on you and all."

"Uh-huh. So when can I take a -"

"She also had me take my shirt off to measure water displacement. Very scientific. She also said with my facial structure I should really think of growing a little mustache."

"Uh-huh. Did she happen to mention when can I take a shower?"

"Well, by that point there wasn't a lot of talking going on, if you know what I mean."

"Just tell me when we can use the shower."

"24 hours. But she did sort of look like Angelina Jolie."


"Well...she had dark hair."

"Yeah, I think this call is breaking up."

"What? I don't hear anything. Hello? Hello?"

Friday, January 16, 2009

Workin' Man

I've been working at the library for 10 years. This week I was honored in a rather over-the-top ceremony, pictures of which I am sure will surface on the web at some point.

Ten years. That beats my old work record by seven years. I started thinking about all the other jobs I had before my buddy Ira put me on the righteous path of librarianship. Let's see, excluding mowing yards and babysitting, I've been a ...

Stock Boy
Delivery Driver
Bag Boy
Prep Cook
Yard Maintenance Worker
Photo Technician (sounds a lot cooler than it really was)
Offset Copier Operator
Record Store Clerk
And probably a lot more that I can't remember

I actually had some semi-professional stuff in there. I was a staff writer for the University of Florida for 3 years, and edited/wrote for at least two failed magazines that I can recall.

One of the awesome parts about most of those jobs was how you could find a substitute to work your shift.

"Hey, where's Mike?"
"He took the day off - his friend Ed's washing dishes for him tonight."

You know you're pretty far down on the totem pole when you can just give another dude your job for a day and nobody even notices.

Another awesome thing was waking up in the morning knowing that was the day I was quitting. There's just something so liberating about taking that first step outside your now ex-job that's so satisfying that even the realization that you don't have any money can't quell.

I never had any real dramatic quitting scenes, but remembering telling some mustached assistant manager no while taking off my apron still makes me happy.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Ownership Society Can Suck It

Man, do I miss getting indignant about some apartment problem and bitching to the landlord.

"Oh, he's fixing that shit. I don't care if it is six in the morning, I'm calling that slumlord right goddamn now. Expecting us to live like this - I hope he's not expecting my rent check this month. I don't care if I have to call 8 On Your Side, the newspaper and the mayor, this shit's getting fixed. I know it's just the refrigerator light bulb, but that shit's dangerous!"

Now that I'm a homeowner who probably had something to do with that whole financial meltdown, I have to fix that stuff myself, which isn't as much fun.

For the past month or so I'd hear this weird popping sound when I stepped out of the bathtub. I also noticed that the caulk around the tub kept cracking.

When I notice something like that, my first response is to ignore it and hope it goes away while at the same time freaking out, thinking of the worst possible scenario then multiplying it by a factor of ten or so.

I became convinced that the subfloor was rotten. So much so that I could swear I could feel the bathtub moving under my feet, just knowing that soon I'd find myself crashing through the floor. It made me sort of dizzy.

So I finally got it checked it out. Turned out I was right. The subfloor had turned into a mushy paste. So we're redoing the bathroom.

Here's a picture of where the bathtub used to be. If you squint hard enough, you can see the radon, toxic mold and asbestos fumes creeping out, getting ready to kill us in our sleep.

Oh yeah, the plumbers also found a bone down there. They said it wasn't human, but I think they wanted to keep working without having to wait around for an exorcism.

I'm pretty sure these haunted bones have something to do with the cap gun and shirt I found stuffed up in the wall when replacing the floors. I also found a ton of oak leaves up in there, which I guess was an olde tyme insulation method if they couldn't find gasoline to douse our Thomas Edison wiring with.

The good news is that they're going to be finished ahead of schedule, so that soon I can take a shower in my own haunted bathroom without worrying about falling down that little gateway to hell the plumbers exposed.