Archives for February 2011

Toilets, Time and To Do Lists

There are days where I feel like I should have The Pep Boys watching my back but instead of Manny, Moe and Jack I have Larry, Moe and Curly. Granted I find Curly and company to be far more fun to hang out with and given the choice I’d opt for them or Groucho, Chico and Harpo. That is just how I roll, kind of goofy and off the wall. I might like the idea of being cool but that jacket doesn’t fit me as well as it could. I don’t pull it off very well so I don’t try. It is one of the joys of being older, I am comfortable with myself. Ah hell, truth is that I have been comfortable for years.

Won’t lie and say that I don’t sometimes think about being cool because it would be kind of fun, but I am not. I am who I am and that works just fine for me. I am a love him or hate him kind of guy. You get me or you don’t and I am ok with that too.

I am rambling along trying to clear my head and reset my brain, ya know, reboot the old hard drive. I had a list of things that I intended to do today but it got blown out of the water. I had a plumbing emergency that I couldn’t deal with and I had to call the plumber. It is irritating because in this case I knew what to do, but I didn’t have the equipment to fix the problem. I needed a bigger snake than the one in the garage and in my pants. Hah, juvenile humor isn’t that funny. But we are talking about toilets and damn if the blog isn’t filled with bathroom tales and scatological humor. If you are still reading you must like it, which means that you are really smart. Not to mention that you have excellent taste.

The plumber didn’t show up when expected and then was here longer than I had anticipated. So even though I began the day with a 7 AM conference  call and had knocked off three items off of my to-do list before 9 am it didn’t matter. Didn’t matter because the time I lost due to the plumbing issue created an issue and of course it was exacerbated by finding out that I need to take the van in for a service call. Never mind that I just had the front brakes done two weeks ago. If the car were human I would have to kick its ass but since it is not I’ll have to write a silly blog post about it.

Since I had the plumber at the house I had him take a look at one of the toilets. Said toilet has been rocking around a bit and creating a new fear for me. This will sound ridiculous, but my overactive imagination pictures me in the middle of doing my business when the toilet makes like a mechanical bull and throws me off of it. Yes that is ridiculous and unlikely to happen, but I am a writer and we have active imaginations. Incidentally if I ever write a script for a James Bond movie I am going to have Q set Bond up with the Bucking Bronco Toilet. It is the perfect way for Bond to knock the shit out of the supervillain he faces.

This reminds me of a time once when I was driving on the westside and some dude in a Mercedes cut me off…twice. It just so happened that I noticed that the other driver had conveniently left their sunroof open. Why was it convenient? Because it just so happened that I had a dirty diaper in the front seat so I was able to pull alongside of his vehicle and nail him with a diaper bomb. Just kidding, that never happened. Although I must admit that I have wished that I could a bag of shit on top of some of these other drivers.

Anyway let’s go back to the rocking toilet that doesn’t play music. I was fairly certain that I knew why it was rocking and what to do about it but decided to confirm with my pal Pete Da Plumber. He confirmed that the Johnny bolt on the right hand side was busted and that I would need to replace it.  I have done it before, replaced a toilet that is. You merely turn off the water, unscrew, lift, clean up the old wax seal, put the toilet back down, screw and turn the water back on. It is not that hard, but it is a bit of a pain in the ass so I haven’t done it.

I didn’t want to pay the plumber a $100 for something that I can do but at the same time I sort of wonder if I should have. Time is of the essence now and I am busting my balls trying to get some things done. The only reason that I had time to write this is because I am in between conference calls and had ten minutes. That is too long to do nothing with and not enough time to start a new project. If I doubted that today was Monday the events of the morning have proven otherwise. All I have to say is feh on this.

What’s In A Name

Father and son learning to ride a bike!
“I’d like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay
Awake when I’m asleep
‘Cause everything is never as it seems”

Fireflies– Owl City

That song brings joy to my ears because my son sings it. That song brings joy to my ears because he listens to it and engages me in philosophical discussions about how things aren’t always what they seem to be. At ten years-old he is a thinking, feeling person who examines the world around him. He looks at me and asks me about what I see and why, wants to know if I ever feel like I am alone or uncertain and I smile. I grab him in a giant bear hug and tell him that I have spent my entire life feeling like I am on the outside looking in.

He gives me a quizzical look and asks me to explain what that means and I tell him that sometimes I feel like people don’t understand me. You might think that this is too heavy for a ten year-old boy to absorb but I don’t. I don’t because I know my son and I know that he feels the same fire in his belly that I feel inside my own. And I see it as a teaching moment and I jump on it. When he tells me that he is not sure if he believes in G-d I don’t tell him that he must, I ask him what he thinks. The operative word in all this is thinks. I want my children to think.

This is critical to me. He will spend his entire life being told what to think and why. Trillions of dollars will be spent to convince him to think a certain way and to purchase certain products. The only way that I can protect him is to teach him to think for himself. So when I tell him about feeling like I am on the outside looking in I don’t see it as being damaging or wrong. Besides I tell him that sometimes I don’t feel that way. I tell him that one of the best parts of life is discovering others that get it. He smiles and nods his head.

We talk about labels and what they mean. We talk about what is in a name and how we define ourselves. I tell him that the most important definition/label is the one that we use for ourselves.

Within the blogosphere it seems that the mommy bloggers are always in an uproar about something. They don’t appreciate being told that they are a joke or that they don’t have value. I understand that. The moms work hard and they deserve recognition and appreciation for that. It doesn’t mean that I won’t criticize the angry mommy bloggers for acting foolishly. They can take it, or at least they should be able to. It is not like they don’t have organizations that look out for their interests and publications that focus on them.

I think that is great and I applaud their efforts. It would be nice to see more of them become successful and leave some of the drama behind but I don’t expect to see that happen. I don’t expect it to happen because I think that egos and a lack of understanding of how this business works will continue to create issues. Sometimes it is hard to look at other bloggers and understand why they are successful and you aren’t. Sometimes it can feel like they aren’t any better, just luckier. And the truth is that you are probably right about that.

Some of the “successful” bloggers aren’t particularly talented or smart. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than smart. Given the choice I would opt to have both luck and intelligence, and a dash of passion. Which reminds me of an interesting discussion about profit versus passion, but I digress.

Just before bedtime my son and I sat down to listen to some music. I told him to close his eyes and listen with his heart. I told him that I want him to find the things that make his heart dance. He nodded his head and we started laughing but I can’t tell you why. I just know that somewhere amidst the music we found silence and understanding. And when I kissed him good night I reminded him that the most important name we have is the one we call ourself.

Saturday Night Symphony of Sight and Sound

Your host Traveling Jack is on the move now and consequently may not post any new material until tomorrow. I know it is shocking and horrific. The good news is that in the interim you can read the posts listed below. Don’t forget to click on the headline of this post to reach the links for those below.

Or you can look back in time and ponder over these:

The Errand Boy
Teach Your Boy to Pee Like A Man

Going To War With Ma Bell

Dear Ma Bell,

You and I are old friends from way back when. We first met during a time when people were taught to let the phone ring at least six times before hanging up. Six times, can you imagine that. Sure you can, you may be a cranky old bitch but you can remember the days when no one had answering machines or voicemail. There weren’t any cellphones and our friend Al Gore hadn’t invented that crazy thing called the Internet. Back then I never conceived of writing you a letter on a computer. Letters were something that you wrote with a pen and paper.

Ah it makes me choke up, these misty water colored memories. Or maybe it is eating crackers without water that makes me choke up, not that it matters. But what does matter is that I want to back hand you write across your hairy lip you cranky old bitch. I know, it is not ever acceptable to hit a woman but since you are not really a woman I can take artistic license and say that I want to punch you in the throat.

You see the source of my frustration is your inability to service me in the way that I require. Wipe that stupid grin off of your face and look in my eyes. They aren’t smiling. If you were here I’d go Three Stooges on your incompetent ass and poke you in the eyes. I pay you good money for a high speed internet connection that keeps going out on me and no one can explain why.  The lack of explanation isn’t the sole source of my frustration either. I hate dealing with your customer service department. The last three times I called I was connected with people who don’t speak English very well.

That is not just unfair to me but to them. I called because I need help and am frustrated. When I can’t understand them I grow more frustrated and do my best not to heap abuse on them. They don’t need or deserve it, but at that moment they are the face of your company and the focus of my ire.

You are a big company that plays in the grown up pool. You aren’t some rookie in the minor leagues, this is the goddamn show and they throw serious heat up here. You put that fastball across the plate anywhere close to waist high and I am going to send it screaming past your ear towards center field. If this were the NBA you would consider yourself posterized because I just jumped over a truck, did a 360, double clutched and tomahawked the rock down your throat. So now that I have throw down the testosterone laden gauntlet I ask you to cowboy up and help me fix this.

I am so sick of the connection dying in the middle of whatever I am doing. This is serious ma. This is business. This Internet connection helps me to put food on the table. I am not pissed off because the online skin flick keeps buffering. I am upset because in the middle of video conferences things get hung up and it negatively impacts my work.

So suck it up, figure out how to get some people who can speak English and are trained to deal with the issues we have. And don’t get slick and give me some high school kid who has a script and a technical flowchart for diagnosing difficulties. I am not Grandma Gertie who decided at the ripe old age of 96 to learn how to use a computer. Fix your damn system and take care of your business.

One Slightly Used Pump For Sale

Classified ads 2, , IDW, MAD Artist's Edition, the office, Hackney, London, UK

Someone once told me that “he who laughs last laughs best.” Well, I don’t know if that is true but I am about to find out. My dear roommate thought it would be funny to mess with me by posting questionable pictures of me online.

Sure Jimmy, millions of people are going to get off with those pictures. After all who doesn’t want to see a man reading a newspaper on the toilet. Ok, so it wasn’t the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times but who cares. Really, do you think that anyone is going to think less of me because I like to spend my time in the smallest room of the house reading The National Enquirer.

You never know when it might be useful to learn that the reason Brad Pitt left Jennifer Aniston is because he is really Angelina Jolie’s brother. How many people are cognizant of the fact that the reason why the Middle East is blowing up is because there is a war being fought between the Martians and the Venusians.

Don’t think that I haven’t noticed your passive-aggressive behavior. I may not respond to your little digs but I notice them. I don’t respond because by not doing so I piss you off more. Yes, I know that you hate the lack of reaction. You are like a freaking insecure woman who flips out because I don’t pay enough attention to you.

Has there ever been a man more in need of a blow job than you. I don’t think so.  Nor is it my fault that you got arrested for hiring a tranny to take care of that need. Did you ever hear of Hugh Grant? Dude, only an idiot parks their car in a strip mall at 6 PM. It wasn’t dark out and the dry cleaner was still open. What did you think was going to happen.

I wish I could have been there to here you fumble through an excuse. I can picture the little beads of sweat forming on your head and that nervous laugh. Did you try one of your stupid jokes on the cop. “Gee officer, I am not sure how that ended up in her mouth, I was trying to help her find a contact lens and somehow it sprung out.”

But you are a moron and I am guessing that what prompted your anger towards me is the telephone call you heard between Dave and I. Maybe you forgot but Dave and I are in the process of rebuilding a car. When we were talking about a tranny it wasn’t about your experience but the transmission we need to rebuild that ’67 Camaro in his garage.

Damn, if I wasn’t so strapped for cash I wouldn’t be sharing a place with a dolt like you. I only wish that you could read this because I am typing slowly so that you can keep up. You my dunder headed friend made a serious mistake when you came after me with your Cool Hand Luke quote about a “Failure to communicate.”

So let me communicate this. Your mother reads the Beverly Hills Newspaper Daily and she’ll see the following ad with a picture;

For Sale: One slightly used Penis Pump. Not sure when it was last cleaned, if ever. The soon to be former owner is a skinny blond man who was arrested for indecent exposure in a local strip mall. Of course I’ll use your cell phone and email address as contact information.

Who is laughing now…big boy.
This is a work of fiction for the Red Dress Club. Details of the prompt are found below.

We want you to imagine you’ve just had a fight with a friend, a co-worker, husband, significant other, child – you get the picture. You’re mad. It’s time for revenge.

What would you sell?
Write a humorous listing for eBay or Craig’s List. Talk about the history of the items, why they must go.
Word limit is 600.

Updated to play with the boys at Dude Write

Dude Write