Yearly Archive: 2005

What, no San Diego Chronicles?

I’ve been in San Diego all week, but haven’t really been inspired to write anything about it. I have been writing like crazy – don’t get me wrong… Just not about this fair city. Or its glorious sleek-bodied women with their midriffs showing and their ample bosoms bouncing as they walk, cell phones attached to their ears, ponytails streaming behind them like banners in a sex mag. I’ve been writing, instead, on my third novel. In the last four days I’ve written almost twenty pages, which – doing the quick math – translates to about twelve thousand words. Good wow.

I’m really liking where it’s going, and though I never get too much in the way of comments from my fantastic readers on my excerpts, I’ve decided to post a bit of this one. This isn’t a terribly important part of the book, it’s just the last few paragraphs I’ve written tonight. So here it is, an official excerpt from Shedding Sadness, my third novel:

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All I want for Christmas…

Christmas is the season for giving. It’s better to give than to receive. Giving is the king’s – – you know what? That’s BS. All of these quips have one thing in common. They all involve giving stuff away. Well they have two things in common. They all involve someone receiving something. You can’t very well give something away without someone receiving it, right? Well I’m ready to be on the receiving end! That doesn’t sound good. But I’ve already made the joke, so I expect no comments containing jokes about me being “the receiver” and all that nonsense. It’s Christmas, people.

So I wasn’t going to complain, but now I think I am. Just a little. All of this giving is going on. And I’m doing quite a bit of it myself. SpaceBrew did really well this year, so I’ve been able to afford a few thousand dollars worth of stuff to give to family and friends. That doesn’t mean I want a seven-thousand dollar gift coming to me. (Well actually I wouldn’t complain…) But I would like a couple of little somethings to open. Yeah? Yeah. Is that so wrong?

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A Nice Christmas Dinner

It was this time – Christmas – of 1997, and the whole world was happy. I had just gotten back from Panama, and with my hazardous duty pay and my Christmas bonus, I bought a brand new shiny black Dodge 4×4 pickup. It had the works. Everything from leather seats to CD player, heated mirrors and one of those bitchin’ built-in cell phones that looks like a pocket calculator embedded in the visor. It was Wednesday, December 24, and I had spent the better part of three hours negotiating this buy at the dealership. I finally fiinished and tore off across I-20 for Dallas to go pick up my family for dinner. We would head to Three Forks for steak and brandy, followed by lavish dessert and maybe the men would venture outside for a cigar. Well, my Pops and I at least. My grandpa wasn’t much into that.

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Minnesota Chronicles, Vol. 2

It’s Monday now; I’m heading back home tomorrow. I’ve taken quite a few pictures, but I don’t think I need to share them with you. How many pictures do you really need to see of a snowy hillside with snow-covered trees? There’s really just not a whole lot else to see here. It’s pretty, but it’s like some certain races of people. It just all looks the same.

I went to Guitar Center the other night just to get some play time in. Being out of town without one of my guitars is deafeningly shitty. I can’t stand not being able to pick one up and play it whenever I want to. I long for it. Like a junkie needs his heroin, or a nymphomaniac needs good hard sex – I need my guitars. I have to feel those hard metal frets and tight copper and steel strings beneath my fingertips. So I went to GC to play for a while. To get my fix.

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Minnesota Chronicles, Vol. 1

What’s there to say about the fine state of Minnesota? Uh, well we’ll see if we can find anything worth saying. I flew in this morning to visit a friend, and – having never been here before – wanted to see the sites. Or is that sights… Either way, there were some things rhyming with “ites” that I had come to see. Let me back up a little though.

I’ll start with the plane flight. We were delayed in taking off by almost an hour. Sigh. Okay, I don’t mind sitting in the terminal. I started a paperback my friend Jim had given me. Called Jupiter. By Ben Bova. Have you read it? Well it may be the kind of book you only read in airport terminals, I’ll have to wait and see. Anyway, I had my iPod playing and was making eyes with a couple of honeys, so I wasn’t terribly upset. Fifty minutes late, we finally boreded. (Boarded. Yeah, I’m full of it today.)

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Copperwound Chronicles Vol. 2

So we had our first gig Saturday. Since no one else wants to write anything, I’ll write about that. It went well, thanks for asking! We began our set at about 8:00, and kicked it off with a bang, playing Soulhat’s Prayin’ for Rain. Everything was going just dandily until our fourth song, where all of a sudden, the door flew open and someone waved, and half the bar cleared out in less than twenty seconds.

Bar fight! Except that it wasn’t actually in the bar. It was outside. A full-on biker fight though, it was! Exciting stuff. Except that it was the lead singer of the headlining band who had gotten jumped. These two guys had been sitting at the end of the bar for a couple of hours waiting for him to show up. And my friend Brandy had been talking to them.

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Dirty, Dirty People

I was using the great room of rest today, playing with my phone, minding my own business, when suddenly a suit walks into the bathroom. First of all, he turd burgaled me. He pulled on the stall door several times before he finally caught the hint that someone was actually in the stall pinching a loaf. Then he goes into the next stall and drops trou, sits down, and proceeds to take the nastiest ass piss I’ve ever heard. It smelled like someone had just dumped a 30-gallon barrell of fetid porpoise shit right in the middle of the room.

I instinctively looked over and saw his shoes, bright shiny brown penny loafers with laces. Ahem. And his visitor badge, dangling on the floor by his trousers. After a couple of minutes I finished up and got ready to pull the door open. I heard the bathroom door open and someone popped his head in. “You all right in there, Kenny?” he said. Kenny said yeah, he’d be just a minute. So I go wash my hands, and as I’m looking in the mirror, I hear the ole swoosh of the toilet flushing.

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Happy Halloween. Yawn.

The building where I’m working this week had a ‘fall festival’ today. Everyone was supposed to dress up in costumes (aren’t we getting a little old for that shit?) and each team carved a pumpkin. Yawn. Well, I’m not really a part of this company. I’m sort of stationed in the building using their resources while away from my home office. I’m out here building servers. But anyway, one of the organizer ladies likes me, so she invited me to the what-have-you for some free pizza and soda pops. Who can resist?

Let me start by saying I’m not totally against parties and festivities based around holidays by default. I’m just kind of against the idiocy that typically arrives at such events.

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F Bugs

I’m not a paranoid by any means. Never have been. But a man can only find so many bugs in his corn flakes before he finally decides he’s going to have to call an exterminator. Let me explain.

When I was in the military, I worked in a secure office, secure area, razor wire, etc. My work details were classified. They’re not really now. I could safely tell you what I did – it’s no big secret anymore – but meh, no point. Anyway, there were those who wanted to know more of what I did. Not me personally, but my position. People were always trying to find out what we knew. Not because we were so smart, but rather, because they wanted to get to those we protected. The point being, we had to have bug scans every several weeks in our office, as well as our dorms. We lived in the normal dorms, not separated from the rest of the troops, because they didn’t want us to stand out. But we kind of stood out when the guy would come by once a month with a fat metal briefcase full of equipment. Anyway, I digress. They never found a bug in my room with the sweep. But I did.

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There are no women in football.

Friday night my better half spent the evening (well into Saturday morning) at her sister’s house watching girly movies with their legs curled up on the sofa. What this meant to me was that I should immediately round up the fellas for a Friday-night barbecue and beer fest. So I called Stout and Trip and Boogie (yes that’s what we call him) and Minnesota Steve, and Stout called David The Great, Trip called Showboat and Arnie and Boogie called Tina. So they all came over and – wait… Who the hell invited the broad?

Have you ever had this happen on guys’ night out? Isn’t this more than just a simple party foul? When I made the initial phone call, I said the special code sentence that alerts the individual that he is to immediately report to drinking duty. I said, “Hey Name, tonight the beer flows like wine. SpacePlace at twenty hundred hours.” And that means (to you lay folk out there) that we’re drinking tonight, and to be at my place at eight o’clock. So since when are chicks invited to guys’ night out? Since when do the women drink like men? We have shit to talk about, you see. Namely women. And you can’t well do that when there are women present. Even women as neato as Tina.

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Elevator Etiquette Refresher

I know I’ve spoken about Elevator Etiquette before, but it’s time to bring it up again. People still haven’t caught on, and some of this stuff is worth repeating. There should be some formal set of rules one must follow before he intends to board an elevator. It pisses me off when people misuse the power and authority that comes with being the only one inside the car.

For instance, when I’m rushing up to catch the closing car (because in my building there are five cars that go to my floor, and if you miss one, you’ll be waiting at least three or four minutes for the next one…) and some woman sees me coming but just stands there looking down, chewing her lip and clutching her purse because she doesn’t want to reach out and push the door open button, she should lose her privileges. For the next three months, she’s forced to use nothing but escalators and stairs. Selfish bitch.

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Copperwound Chronicles Vol. 1

People ask me quite frequently “how I come up with this stuff”, referring to my writing – be it music or fiction or otherwise. And the simple answer is, “I just don’t know.” But that’s sort of a copout too. Creative energy is like a good beer. The more you have, the more you want, and the more it keeps flowing. Right through you. At least if you have a small bladder like I do.

I wanted to journal some of the ways I’ve written music though, partly for those who wonder how it happens, and partly so that when they’re nickelbacking it on the radio, I’ll remember how it all came to be.

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No Such Addressee…

Kimbre’s column reminded me of something that happened during my time in the military. I worked in the Logistics Group, in the HQ building smack dab in the middle of the base. High profile, dress blues, etc. So there’s typically a lot of high-ranking traffic breezing through those hallways. Well our shop code was (I’m going to make one up so as not to divulge the actual code) 7LGCX. The base hospital’s was 7LGXC. We took a delivery for the hospital.

It’s not that they labeled it correctly and the mail carrier dropped it in the wrong building. They labeled it incorrectly, so it was actually addressed to us. This happened quite frequently too, like once every few weeks or so. Anyway, we got a large cold crate one time, sealed and insulated with dry ice cells. Not the kind of shipment we generally receive, but we opened it. After the fog cleared, I pulled the sheet of insulation plastic off the top of the contents pack and stared aghast at a crate full of human body parts.

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Trapped on Animal Planet

The weirdest damn thing happened today, and though I’m not certain these two events are holistically motivated, I can’t well explain their connection.

You all know me as an animal lover. My custom title on the awful forums is “Defender of the Dog”, based on my interactions with a certain person who’d brought harm to my loyal hound. (Someone else bought me the title, in case you were wondering.) But yeah, I love animals, and save them when I can. I don’t step on crickets. I go out out of my way to rescue the ladybugs.

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To Travel In Style

What’s up Rita. Welcome to Texas! We’re excited to have you. Though it’s beginning to look like it’s gonna change course and head for Louisiana. Thank God! I hear they need the rain there in New Orleans.

So I was standing there watching the news today, showing pictures of the traffic on I45, deadlocked from Houston to Dallas. Now that shit is whack! But it reminded me of a story from my early twenties that I thought I should share with you.

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My Run-in With a Pedophile

When I was in grade school there was this kid who was a friend of mine named Kerry. He had the same last name as several other kids in grades above ours. Obviously they were brothers. Well, not as such. This one guy, Bob Samelastname rented them. It was weird, but all through his adult life, I guess this creepy bastard has always adopted young boys, then when they grow up and move out, he gets more to replace them. Always boys. He wasn’t married or anything either. He just liked boys.

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Is there a woman who can drive?

I had to miss work yesterday because of an injury. Let me tell you what happened. I (once again) was the victim of a CWDOCP – a Careless Woman Driver On a Cell Phone. Not a big deal, but it did render my vehicle undrivable this time. I was sitting at the intersection of my street and the main street, waiting patiently to get out of my neighborhood when a woman comes barrelling into the entrance, aiming for the wrong side of the median! It was obvious she had been going too fast, and since she didn’t want to set the phone down, she couldn’t stop fast enough, and rather than keep going and u-turn to come back to the entrance of the neighborhood, she decided to turn into the wrong side of the median. While I was there.

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Finally, Hitchhiker’s Released on DVD

Today is a great day for mankind. And dolphins. Yes, my Earth friends, today was the release of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on DVD. Please notice I’ve made a convenient link to the movie at Amazon on that image, so you can order your own copy of the film.

Hitchhiker's Guide DVD!This film I think was underrated in a big way. I don’t think it was the best film ever made, by any means. And I think there were parts that could have been done a lot better, had they not sucked the humor right out of them like an Arcturan Mega Vacuum. But I do think it’s worthy of watching, and – well, for me, owning a copy or two.

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Time for a New Orleans

Yeah, I’d just like to give a quick shout out to all our neighboring countries who’ve jumped right in to help us in this time of crisis. What’s up, Canada? Hey Mexico – how you doing? Hey Germany, how’s it hangin? Remember all them boats full of supplies and food and medicine and doctors and clothes and toys and blankets we sent in the wake of the tsunami last Christmas? Yeah. What’s up?

I’d also like to see some interior congregation of goods and services offering. I’d like to see a hotel chain like Hilton offer up ten thousand rooms all over the country – at cost – for some of the million families to stay in for a while. I’d like to see a Luby’s chain open up and say, “What’s up, New Orleansers, come in here and grab a hot cajun meal.” I’d like to see a Wal Mart or a Ross Dress For Less say, “Hey, chiefs, come in here and get some dry clothes.” I’d like to see gas prices hop up over four dollars a gallon so the oil industry doesn’t have to suffer.

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Backstage Pass

My dad was in the music distribution business for thirty-five years or so. To me this translated to many perks, because though he sold the hell out of all the popular artists, he scarcely liked any of it. I was therefore given boxes and boxes of albums, CDs, tapes, stickers, promo posters, album artwork, concert tickets and backstage passes. My room as a teenager was covered with shiny colorful posters of hundreds of bands – most of which I’d never even heard. By the time I was twenty I’d probably been to a hundred concerts.

I have a few stories of those encounters – some of which are forgettable – but others are pretty good, and good for punk rock points. I would work summers at the distribution plant, stacking CDs on shelves, pulling stock from boxes and other miscellaneous bullshit. I was thirteen, fourteen, fifteen at the time. And they paid me one CD per hour. That wasn’t bad considering. I had a free ride at home, so I didn’t really need money as much as I needed the music.

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SpaceBrew Movie Review: Closer

I’m not big on movie reviews. I think they give too much away. Well, so do previews. But I don’t like when people tell me what parts are excellent in the movies they just saw. Then you’re watching for that part, and it never lives up to what they said it was, and so you’re distracted and it makes the rest of the movie kind of just suck and – well, you get the point. I just want to say this about the movie “Closer”. God wow.

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Shit or Get Off

Did you know there’s a certain code you’re supposed to follow when shitting in a public restroom? I had no idea. For instance, if someone walks in while you’re taking a dump, you’re supposed to tap your foot to let them know the bathroom is in use. Forget that there’s another whole empty stall right next to you. This foot-tap is called the Fred Astaire.

Furthermore, if you are that unfortunate soul who has just walked unsuspectingly into an occupied restroom, you are supposed to turn around and leave as soon as you learn the stall is occupied. Otherwise you are a “Turd Burglar”. Rock on, turd burglars of America. I say screw ’em! If you can’t shit with someone else in the room you have a special kind of problem that needs some attention.

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Book Update

I’m halfway done with the final readthrough of Resurrecting Mars. My dad read through it and made some notes, some suggestions, and some comments. After a good long discussion, I made some pretty major plot changes that strengthen the tale and make the characters and – well, the plot – more solid.

My theory is that I should be done with the readthrough by Wednesday or so. I hope that’s not too optimistic. But hell, I had originally thought I’d be done by Saturday night with the reading, then I’d spend all day Sunday applying the changes, then Monday morning I’d submit the final copy for press.

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I’m getting too old for this shit.

Yesterday a friend and I were swimming at his house when we decided to go check out the house next door. It’s been vacant for several months now, having been a foreclosure. I thought it might be pretty cool to buy it so we could live next door to each other. I’d noticed when driving down the alley that the top panel of the garage door had been pushed in. So we took a wooden ladder over and I climbed up and over the door, dropping down on the inside.

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Cast of Characters

Stout and I sat on the balcony overlooking my pool for one or several hours last night. I don’t know why we didn’t get in the pool. Well, probably because we were drinking pretty heavily and it was dark. We came up with some pretty good character assignments for my books, should they ever be made into movies. For those of you who’ve read Midnight’s Park, check this list out and tell me what you think.

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The Burbank Chronicles, Vol. 1

I flew out to Burbank last night for an early morning appointment today. I’ve never been to Burbank, so the experience has been unique. I have been to California many times, but never this far south I guess. Anyway, a couple of things that have happened have been journalworthy, so I’ll write about them here.

I got to the counter at the Burbank Hilton and they gave me my room key – a 200-dollars-a-night king on the seventh floor. Yeah, that’s right. Two hundred dollars. Yawn. I’m not terribly impressed. The bed was nice, but the room was warm and smelled like fresh possum ass. It didn’t look all posh like I’d expected. I mean come on. It’s a Hilton. Anyway, when I got out of the elevator to go to my room, I didn’t pass Paris Hilton in the hallway.

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Customer Freaking Service

I’ve something to say today about something that’s very near and dear to me. Well let’s not mince words here, I’m going to rant. I’m going to use very strong language. Language I never use on the site. But I’m so full of rage I can’t see straight, and I think to shave off the language would be to strip the column of its spirit. I’m madder than a mean bull in a – what are those bullfighting things called? In one of those things. This issue about which I want to write is Customer Freaking Service. And yes, those words should always be capitalized. I will attempt to outline the reasons why.

One: Because of the first word, Customer. If I’m a Customer, that means I’m either buying a service or a product from you. I’m not one who is automatically of the opinion that the Customer is always right, but I’m definitely one who believes that the service side of the counter should try to make the Customer happy.

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Shit on the Radio

We all know that the quality of music these days has suffered pretty drastically. And thus the standards have dropped, so we expect less of our musicians – if you can even call them that these days. And with lowered expectations, it’s easier for shitty bands like Mediocre Charlotte (See what I did there?) and Simple Plan to “break in” to the music scene where truly they don’t belong.

And of course instruments and pedals and effects processors and pre-amps and synthesizers and harmonizers and all this other gear makes it easier to make music without really having any talent. And who suffers for it? We do! All these singers who try to sound like Eddie Vedder are kind of phasing out, and we’re left instead with all these singers who try to sound like Tom DeLonge, who is altogether less desirable in the vocal department.

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SpaceBrew Review: Dido Concert DVD

You know, I think Dido is way underrated as an artist. For the last few years I’ve thought Dido was the name of the band, and that Florian Cloud Armstrong was just the singer of Dido, the band. I didn’t realize Dido was a solo artist. Anyway, the point is that I think Dido is underrated. And I’m talking about Dido the band here.

Oh holy shit you can see right down her shirt whoaDido herself is a good singer, but I think it’s the band that makes her great. My perception is that Florian’s voice isn’t quite as strong as she is, though she puts as much into it as she can, trying to make it more powerful. You can see her just giving it everything she has, and her voice just kind of comes out. It’s quite sad actually, though not at the expense of quality. She sounds pretty awesome. I’d liken it to a car with a governor on the carb.

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To Get To The Other Side

I spent most of the evening yesterday finishing up the decluttering of my house. This is the supplemental cleaning that compliments Sunday’s share of just over ten hours. I’ve been doing this while the family is out of town, you see. I had just turned off the light and – wait. Let me back up.

I’m not a sissy little pansy girl. I’m a man. A big, strong, mean mother cobbler. I’ve seen just about everything I need to see to qualify that statement, and have confronted every bit of it with a boldness I’d possibly not have considered I possessed. I’m not a bad ass, but there’s really just not anything that can scare me. Sure there’s stuff that will worry me or cause me to fret. Like the safety of my daughter, gas prices (good call, trumby) etc. But I’m scared of nothing. Well, until last night. Last night I became a sissy little pansy girl.

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Ye Ole Hot Dog Roll-Up

Yeah that was a good holiday. Though I spent entirely too much time in the sun. And uh, forgot to put on sunscreen. I’m redder than an angry Indian in a bloodbath. That’s all right, fun was had by all.

Shockingly, we didn’t get any pictures of the event because my camera battery charger is screwed up and doesn’t roast them long enough. I just ordered another on eBay though, so we’ll be set soon. Meanwhile, I guess I can tell you what happened. And theoretically, I could say anything I wanted and you’d have to believe me because I didn’t get pictures – so – wait. I have that backwards don’t I?

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Part-Time Badass

A friend of mine relayed a story the other day that I was quite fond of, as it sounds a lot like something that would happen to me. She was sitting in the right-turn lane at a stop light and saw that the person in front of her started pulling out. So Rebecca (SheBang) looks back to check the traffic, and steps on the gas. SLAM.

The person in the car ahead had started pulling out. But then stopped. So Rebecca gets out of the car and starts walking up to assess the damage and talk to the other driver. As she gets halfway to the driver’s window, the old coot takes off. She had no clue she’d just been rear-ended.

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Good Night, Hunter.

Back in the cry room. I can’t cry in the other room. I have to be by myself. I have to allow myself this grief. But it hurts so damn bad.

I’ve tried the lesser reasoning – “He’s just a dog.” But that doesn’t do anything for me. He was such a big part of my life for the last five years. He was the best dog I’ve ever had; so smart, so sweet, so protective, so entertaining. But tonight he had to go.

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The Pool Party That Sank

Yesterday we celebrated my hot cousin’s 20th birthday with a whole bunch of drinking, swimming, music and drinking, and a little sunburn on the side. The party was a wild success. We played water polo, pin the tail on the donkey, simon says, and a rousing game of marco / polo. A good time was had by all!

Space & Hot Cousin LaraSome friends of mine came over to assist in the partyship, and everything seemed dandy. Then suddenly, from out of nowhere, one of the pretty girls splashed a little too wildly and her top came down just a little bit. I’m not talking full boobal exposure – just a tad bit of nipple peeked out. And one of the other girls saw it and made a comment to some of the men who were sitting on the deck (and were not fortunate [as I was] to get to be part of the audience).

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Suit-Happy Bitches

I’m ready for a new law: one that calls for strict punishment to those who bring frivolous and insipid lawsuits into our courts. This shit is getting ridiculous in the most absurd way. We all know this is a suit-happy nation, from the woman suing over hot coffee (don’t you want your coffee hot, and if so why the hell did you put it between your legs you stupid gash) to the woman suing the city of New York for getting attacked on 9/11 (stupid city should have seen that shit coming and built a fence with a roof around the city) to the woman who is suing Ford because her dumb ass backed over her child (she claims that they didn’t tell her about the availability of cameras and backup sensors – okay, so you didn’t know you could get one, so you should drive like they don’t exist! LOOK BEHIND YOU!). Well all – wait… I see a pattern here… They’re all women! WTF?

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From Panama With Love

I guess I should talk about this. It’s still the source of bad dreams that wake me up during the night, even eight years after the fact. It happened when I was still in the military. Way in. I was sent to Panama on an MRT (a Maintenance Recovery Team) to repair a bird that went down out there. I had been there for about two and a half weeks when we finally got the parts in and made our repairs on the C-130. Typical procedure is that it flies home immediately and we as a crew hitch a ride on it. Well due to circumstances upon which I cannot comment, I had to stay behind for several more days, and would catch a bus to Costa Rica (ugh) and from there, fly into San Antonio. All good.

I was staying in a cheap shitty motel on the outskirts of Santiago, trying to dodge people wherever and whenever I could, lying low. I’d already had several run-ins with the locals and had almost been arrested for being white. I had sent my uniforms and all evidence of my involvement with the US military back on the plane with my team. All I’d been left with was a sidearm. Once my double-stack magazine was empty (and I hoped to God I wouldn’t have to empty it) I was out. Bare as a naked baby’s ass.

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SpaceBrew Review: Star Wars III

We saw the last Star Wars yesterday as a team. My boss took us all out and we saw it, then she took us to the bar afterwards and bought us a hilarious amount of drinks so we would be properly prepared to discuss it at great lengths. I have a few complaints, and a few praises I will share with you. If you’ve not yet seen Episode III, or don’t know the general storyline of Star Wars, then don’t read below here, because there will be spoilers.

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Oh, you mean that Pamela Anderson!

For years I’ve been looking at Pamela Anderson and wondering what the hell. I look at all the same pictures everyone else does, I suppose. I check the celebrity sites sometimes to see who’s showing their boobies in public. And I’ve seen just about all her pictures. I have actually even actively sought out her pictures on several occasions for research purposes. Seriously, she never did anything for me. I would look at them to see if I could see what the big deal was for everyone. And I never did.

Yeah she's all right I guess.Until I saw her new show on Fox, called Stacked. I don’t know what it is about seeing her in action, but obviously she became three-dimensional at that point. Of course I’ve seen “the video”. Again, it did nothing for me. But now that I’ve seen her acting and being more than a two-dimensional image in a picture, I’ve begun to find her attractive. She’s definitely got charisma. She’s remarkably charming, and I’d never have guessed it.

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Steroids in Professional Sports

There sure has been a lot of talk about steroid usage in the news lately. Namely pertaining to professional athletes. This bothers me only slightly. What bothers me surprisingly isn’t the fact that they are using steroids, but the fact that it is newsworthy at all. Of course we all get to hear the ‘news’ that Brad and Jennifer broke up, and the ‘news’ that woman got lost in a corn field. With no corn in it. (Isn’t that a dirt field?) So in these cases, we are shown that anything is indeed newsworthy.

Thus my complaint can’t really be that this is news so much as that it shouldn’t matter enough to ever make it into the news. Who the hell cares if they use steroids? If Jose Canseco wants to pump up so he can knock one over the fence, I say more power to him. So to speak. Why should this bother us?

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A Dish Best Served Full of Ashes

I got to her house around seven. I’d come straight from work and was still in my slacks and loafers. Not those nice heavy loafers you get in the military. But the thin, soft leather loafers that feel so good on your feet. She’d called me at five or so, I guess it was, saying he was there. He had come to get his stuff. After a week’s delay he’d finally arrived to collect. I said so what. “Aren’t you glad he’s there?” She’d broken up with him the Friday before, and told him to come get his shit out. He got back from Houston today and seemingly made it top priority. So all should have been well. She said no though. She wasn’t happy he was there. Oh, he’d gotten his stuff all right. But he’d left her some things too. Some bruises.

So now I was on my way. Five o’clock I got the call, five-fifteen I ended the call, and five-seventeen I was tearing up Central Expressway like a burning chariot. There’d be no patient idling this time. She’d dumped him before and I’d stood there on her patio smoking a cigarette, watching them through the sliding door as I leaned against the rail. I’d worn my shades so he couldn’t see the true thoughts in my eyes. She had told me to stand by and make sure he didn’t hit her. I had wondered why this was even a logical threat. But I’d been there for her. And every second it took him to collect his things and throw them in the long red duffel was a second I grew less patient. I could feel anger burning my veins as it pumped through them in place of my already boiled blood.

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The Long Way to Aquaintance

I was sitting in a bar, watching the tiny television in the corner. This isn’t something I do very often. I stopped into this place to have a cold pint before meeting with a client of mine at the Internet Data Center right down the road. I was to be giving him a tour of the facilities and showing him where his equipment was racked.

Anyway, I’m sitting in there enjoying my pint when a girl comes in and walks up to the bar. As she was standing there at the bar, right next to my stool, I casually looked at her, noticing she wasn’t wearing much. She smelled like a cheap hooker – cigarettes and perfume, and perhaps a little sweaty. Her hair was greasy and matted and her tank top was stained and dirty. She leaned on her elbows against the bar, and I could see through the armhole of her shirt that she wasn’t wearing a bra.

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Run-in with Aria

I got the opportunity to attend a new release movie expo the other day with Kimbre, who is an exec at a company that handles the accounting for Blockbuster. I had to of course dress up, which I’m not terribly fond of these days, but I threw a shirt and tie on the iron board and ended up enjoying myself quite a bit. I didn’t know what to expect, having never been to one of these expos, but there were a lot celebrities there. I thought that was pretty cool, and realized this was probably a little bit bigger deal than I had originally thought. I saw Willem Dafoe and Carl Weathers, Colin Firth and Julia Stiles. Probably the biggest star there was Will Smith. That was pretty nifty – though I didn’t get to talk to him or anything. But the one thing that made this event really worth going to was the little run-in I had with a C-List celebrity. Actually, if it weren’t for her fisting videos on the Internet, I doubt anyone would ever have heard of her.

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The New Rules of Tipping

Seriously. Where did we get these rules of ettiquette for tipping anyway? It’s all a bunch of hogwash if you ask me. We’re told that fifteen percent of the total cost of the meal is a good standard. Twenty is better. Some people tip only the taxable amount, some people tip on the entire ticket, blah blah blah. All hogwash. Let me tell you my rules of tipping. Feel free to print this out and replace your tipping calculator with it. It will save you a lot of money.

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People are like birds.

I’ve noticed over the last however-long-I’ve-been-driving-now that birds are evolving to be less afraid of cars on the road. Slowly but surely, they and their children grow more and more daring and brave about sitting there in that damn puddle drinking shitwater – and not moving when I’m about to run over them. Sometimes they wait so long that I don’t see them fly away, and when I look back, there’s nothing there. So they’re obviously still getting away, but they just wait until the absolute last second to move now. What the hell is up with that? I know I’m going to hit one one of these times, and I’m not going to feel the least bit bad about it. You want to take your chances and play chicken with me, then don’t bitch when I squash you with my tire.

Similarly, I’ve noticed humans evolving the same way. Nothing is more annoying, in fact, than having to slow way the hell down to wait while some asshole struts across the street like he’s on a Sunday stroll, staring right at me to see if I’m going to react. These people know they’re holding up traffic, and they know they’re being arrogant selfish pricks, but they do it anyway. And that look they give you while they’re walking is like ‘yeah, what are you gonna do about it?’

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