May 25, 2007

I've Seen The Future, And It Will Be

I was watching a special about how after the shuttle program is finally scuttled (yes, I was also watching Pirates of the Caribbean.) that we will again begin our journey back to the moon. Part of me is happy that finally, we will once again take that baby step towards exploring the planets and their satellites. Then we can form alliances with the multitudes of races we encounter. And if need be, rebel against the imperial forces. Maybe get into a few spaceship dogfights, using lasers. (Yes, I was also watching Star Wars. 30th anniversary and all.)

Another part of me wonders why it has taken us thirty years to get back there, or to even want to go back. Our technology today is so far ahead of where we were in the fifties and sixties. Yet those scientists and pioneers of the time dreamed of not only getting to the moon, but to Jupiter and Pluto and Beyond! They theorized about all the alien lifeforms we would encounter. They even gave us glimpses as to what the future would hold. And what devices we would need in these brave new worlds.

I guess a big part of me is disappointed. And mad. Actually furious. I mean, why were we not able to devise and build any of these technological marvels? Why are we not living in the "space age"? What has happened, or not happened, that we do not have any of the following:

1. Where is my pet monkey? They told us all about how there would come a horrific disease that would wipe out cats and dogs. I'm looking around, and I still see cats and dogs! Sure they are great companions and all, but monkeys would be way cooler. They could do tasks for us. Ask your dog or cat to do the dishes. Nothing. If you were to ask the pet monkey you should have right now, I know he would do them! I think if given enough training, monkeys could become advanced enough to be almost human! Maybe even learn to talk! Alas, it is still a dream. If I did have a pet monkey, I'd call him Cornelius. Or maybe Caesar.

2. I want a flying car. With escalating gas prices, we should be looking at alternatives to the internal combustion engine. Clearly, this is the fault of car makers and gas companies. They are sitting on these plans. Anti-gravity devices were always talked about until the seventies. Then we had our first oil crisis. And no one has talked about them since. Conspiracy I tell you.

3. Lightsabers. I want a blue one. Enough said.

4. Time machines. How will we ever know what color dinosaurs were if we cannot go back and see them. And we need to fix things in our past. Like embarrassing moments. Like when I asked Michelle Walker to marry me. And she laughed at me. Loudly. And then told all her friends. And they all laughed at me. Loudly. That was tough on a seven year-old's ego. Worst week of my life.

5. Space Age Clothing. This should have been the easy one. We kept coming out with all these synthetic fabrics. Even came out with some futuristic designs. Will men ever embrace the one-piece silver jumpsuit? And how nice would it be to see ladies in outfits like those worn in Barbarella?

I could go on, but I'm sure you get it. It's getting close to dinner time. Before I eat, I wanted to look over this book some tall, weird-looking guy handed me. It must be some kind of religious thing. It's called "To Serve Man". Plus, my wife is cooking up my favorite, a nice hot bowl of soylent blue. I do think it's much more tastier than soylent green was.

May 18, 2007

Ten Foot Tall and Bulletproof

I am sitting at home, watching Chase today. His school said he has pink eye. His eye has been watering the past two days, but the doctor said he's actually fighting an ear infection. And the eye drainage is an early indicator of that. Whatever.

I've always tried to be there for Chase. I don't need a lot of sleep. Or at least not in large hour blocks. I know that I can always nap when he naps. When he has been sick in the past, I've been there for him. I've done this because at first Kat had really bad post-partum depression. I knew that I could always be the strong one. As I tell her, I am Ten Foot Tall and Bulletproof.

Until today. Today, I am fighting a bug. I am running a fever. A high fever. It's 85 degrees today, and I have the chills. I ache all over. And my throat feels about the size of a pencil. I want to crawl under the covers and sleep the world away. I want ice cream. Cookies and cream, or maybe chocolate caramel ribbon. And I want a pony.

But I am taking care of Chase. He acts/feels fine. He's playing. He's singing. (E-I-E-I. Then when I sing E-I-E-I-O, he sings it that way.) He wants to take his little push-car, the one he can hang onto and walk around, all through the house. He wants to clean off the bookshelves and sit in the newly empty space. He's having a blast. He doesn't want ice cream. He shook his head "no" vigorously when I asked him. He does want a pony.

Anyway, he's taking a nap right now. And I stopped to check my email before I join him in the land of dream. I'm still ten foot tall right now. I'll just have to dodge the bullets today.

One other thing; my kryptonite is poopy diapers.

May 15, 2007

Reinventing Me

Maybe it's a mid-life crisis. Of sorts. Maybe it's because I want more of a 9 to 5 type schedule. Maybe it's because I want to get paid for walking on the beach. The time has come to reinvent me.

I pretend that I am a good writer. Hell, great blog so far! My creativity is the only thing bigger than my ego. I did receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. (Don't tell me they only gave it to me to get rid of me.) And I did nothing with it. But the problem here is, it doesn't pay the bills. So far, I've lost money in this racket.

I have been trying to come up with a "cool career". One that satisfies my brain and still satisfies my stomach. I don't want to spend the next ten years getting a degree, even though I might actually use that one.
So far the best that I have come up with is appraisals. With everyone thinking they have a treasure trove stashed in the closet, there seems to be a fair amount of work to keep me busy. Plus, as an "info-career", I can do this until senility kicks in.

But before I jump blindly and boldly into anything, I thought I would ask the world (at least the two that have commented here. I appreciate you, John and Kelley!) what other types of careers are there that I might be overlooking?

Some careers I wouldn't do:
Teacher - at least not in a public school setting. In this day and age, a male teacher seems to have a target on his chest.
Anything involving heavy lifting, lots of physical exertion, etc. I want something I can do even when I'm 70.
Cooking. No one would eat it.
Prostitution or Phone sex. That would be like selling my soul.
Lawyer. (see prostitution reason) :p (I'm gonna get at least one response now!)

May 14, 2007

Poor Unfortunate Souls

There are three types of people in the world:
1. Those that see the glass as half full.
2. Those that see the glass as half empty.
3. Those that see the glass and say "Who the hell's been drinking out of my glass!?!"

I fall into the last group. Somehow, someway, it seems life always throws me a curve ball. And I swing at it like I've a chance to hit it. Like when Kat was accepted to the University of New Orleans masters program in drama. I didn't think that finding a job would be difficult. In actuality, it was over 10 months before I was gainfully employed. We spent 8 months living in two cities before I finally moved from Dallas to be with her. After 2 months, and not even able to land a simple retail job, I was delivering pizzas just to keep some money coming in.
Now I am not complaining. I ended up with a job that got me to where I wanted to move. It simply was not the way I envisioned getting to Florida. I still do not see living in NOLA as a positive or negative experience. It did have some great moments. The Mardi Gras that is portrayed in pop culture and the media is the exact opposite of the actual celebrations. It is a time for families, with kids coming out the winners. But all in all, I could have dealt with getting to Florida without the 3 year pit stop.

What started these ruminations was going out for Chinese food. I love Chinese food. I can see why it is eaten everyday in China. And I am never hungry later. I don't know how that got started. The only thing that I could do without is the fortune cookie. I cannot stand them. To me they taste like sugar coated cardboard. My wife looks forward to it. I don't know why. She has these little rituals to go with it, too. First, you do not take the closest one to you. I don't know why. Next, you break it in half and eat the half that does not have the fortune still in it, but you do not read the fortune yet. I know why you eat the half - you do not want to eat the paper. I do not know why you cannot read the fortune yet. Then and only then, you can take the fortune out and read it. Again, I don't know why. Really, why am I reading it? These fortunes almost always are inane. They range from the duh - "You will obtain your goal if you maintain your course.", to the huh? - "It is better to lose a lover that to love a loser."
Now the trouble always starts when you get one that seems to give you a glimmer of hope. Sort of the glass half full kind of hope. Like once I had a fortune that said, "You will soon come into a sum of money." This is always good news. Who doesn't want to come into money. Then, about a day and a half later it happened. I found 38 cents. A quarter, a dime and three pennies. Yeah. It didn't say a large sum of money. Big whoop. I couldn't even buy a stamp with it.

That has all changed. I have found the glass half empty type of fortunes. No more do I put up with the "Your ability to juggle many tasks will take you far." load of crap. Now after a plate of spicy General Tso's Chicken or flavorful Mongolian Beef, I stomp on my fortune cookie. Then I go to Bad Cookie. There I find the kind of life-repudiating saying I need. Now I take glee in "Simplicity and boredom are your themes in dress." or "Save now for future calamity."
Still the best fortune I have received - "You will have difficulty finding new outlets for you own minor creative abilities." How can this be a good thing? It confirms that I have more than one creative ability! Life is good.

May 10, 2007

Top 6 - 80's Songs I Sing With When in the Car Alone

1. You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) - Dead or Alive, 1985
2. Walk Like an Egyptian - The Bangles, 1986
3. Tainted Love - Soft Cell, 1981
4. You Give Love a Bad Name - Bon Jovi, 1986
5. Land of Confusion - Genesis, 1986
6. An Innocent Man - Billy Joel, 1983

It helped that Tainted Love and You Spin Me were used in Coneheads and Wedding Singer, respectively. This gave them more airtime.
Land of Confusion still has one of my favorite vidoes. It is fascinating to see that the anti-Republican playbook remains the same today: show the opposition as being incompetent, ignorant or an imbicile.

Why a Top 6? Because it's one better that 5, and not as cumbersome as 10.

May 04, 2007

Toe Crackers Anonymous Meeting - Friday, May 4th

Hi. My Name is Scott. I am a Toe Cracker.

Chorus: "Hi, Scott."

This is my first visit. I guess it all started about the same as the rest of you. I started popping my finger knuckles back in my teen years. Could have been earlier. Suffice to say, it's been a good long while. Other kids showed me how. One day, after school, some boys were hanging out by the 7-11. They were older than me. In hushed tones and with a couple of them as lookouts they practiced their habit. One of them called me over, "Have you tried this?" Then he cracked both of his index fingers. Shocked, I turned to go. One of the biggest said, "What's a matter? You afraid?" In my head I could hear my Mom's voice: "You'll get arthritis if you do that!" and "Your knuckles will swell up to the size of golf balls!" They circled me. I had nowhere to go. Another taunted, "I bet you can't even pop one. Go ahead. I dare you!" And with that I succumbed. I succumbed to the pressure of my so-called peers. I raised both hands, put my thumbs on the sides of my index fingers, and pressed with gentle even pressure. Pop! Both rang out! The right one just a fraction of a second behind my left. It was almost like an echo; like they were conversing.
I cannot tell you how good it felt. It was such sweet release. I knew I was hooked. Hooked for life. But it never quite felt as good as it did that first time. Even when I began crack other knuckles, it wasn't the same. I knew I needed more. And bigger pops! Soon it was my neck, then it was my back. But it never measured up.
And of course, I had to do this in private. I almost got caught a couple of times. My Dad would ask, "What was that sound?" I would either pretend I didn't hear anything or shrug in such a way to try and pop my neck. I knew if my Mom ever found out, it would break her heart.

As I grew older, I did find other addicts. We would crack fingers, necks and backs until we got the munchies or hurt too much. The bad part of it was getting my girlfriend hooked. Her thing was letting me pop her neck. Once, her Mom caught us. Aghast, she yelled and screamed at us. Then her father chased me out of the house with a shotgun. I never saw her again. I did hear she got help, though. I'm glad. I wouldn't want that on my conscience.

Then one day in my early twenties, I stumbled onto the hard stuff. All popped and cracked, I sat there staring at my feet. I thought, "Toes are a lot like fingers. Maybe I could pop them. I put my right foot sideways with my big toe on the carpet. With that same gentle constant pressure, I pushed my toe into the carpet. The pop was so loud I thought maybe the people in the next apartment heard it! The release was incredible! It was exactly like that first time cracking my index finger! I turned my left foot to a mirror image of the right and pressed down. POP! I was in ecstasy!
Now I craved more! This time in quantity. I was cracking my toes all the time. I would even make excuses, like going to the restroom, just so I could take off my shoes and start popping. Friends and coworkers thought I might have a prostate problem. Or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Or maybe colon cancer. I used this to my advantage. Bosses excused me whenever I asked. But truthfully, what I had was more disgusting. Sometimes sitting in the stall, how I wished I had IBS instead.
If I wasn't able to get away I found that I could subdue my craving by popping my ankles. A simple twisting movement would diminish the need, if only for a short time. I could even get away with it in a group setting. Like turning to walk somewhere, and it "accidentally" would happen. Still, I know I would turn red faced.

Now, at middle age, I realize that this cannot continue. I have a child. He'll soon be asking questions about knuckle cracking. How can I tell him it's wrong, but still enjoy my habit. Do I tell him how his knuckles will swell up? Mine haven't. Looking around the room, I don't see any deformed hands and feet. And arthritis? Anyone here suffering? ...No? ...Could... Could my Mom have been wrong? ...Did she lie to me? ...

Is the restroom nearby? I think my IBS is flaring up.