Oct 31, 2006

Are You Ready For Horror?

What is:

More terrifying that a Hugo Chavez speech at the UN?

More disturbing than a 400 pound woman in spandex reaching down to pick up a dropped ice-cream sandwich?

More horrific than an email from former Congressman Mark Foley?


That's right! Irrephant Hisself has been featured in a blog entry SOMEWHERE ELSE! Check me out at the Triumphant Return of The Blog Formerly Known As Masculinity And It's Discontents, now known as The Man-Ifesto! Great reading, and hey, I'M there! You don't need another reason to go, do you?

Holy holy gold-plated rocket-powered baby jeebus on crutches!

What The Sam Hain?

That's one of those jokes that only works written out, since "Samhain," the Gaelic feast day that brought us Hallo'een is pronounced "sow-WANE."

Boy, I'm already reaching.

Don't expect a glowing All Hallow's Eve post from me, I'm a big fan of the season but this month has been a stretch for me, and honestly there's none better for Hallo'een creepy than Ray Bradbury. Read about The Family, or maybe just Something Wicked, that's a good one.

Still here looking for a literary, clever post? Sorry. No, instead you get:

The Horrific Top Six Tales Of Corporate Offices In Small Towns! BWAH-HAH-HAH!


6) The Strange-Smelling Fake Ficus Tree In The Men's Room That Wouldn't Die!
The spine-tingling story of a plastic shrub wot lurks in the Men's, ready at a moment's notice to be the place that all the stray droplets of urine and soapy water splashed out of the sink end up on.

5) Vulgar Wizard From The Corner Office
Why did VW come in this morning dressed as her husband? Why doesn't her camoflage match? Why does she know the difference between RealTree and MossyOak? And where are her piles of beercans coming from? Can you stand the horror?

4) The Sean P-Diddy That Would Not Disconnect
Thrill! As Sean P-Diddy rises from his uneasy grave! Gasp! In unbridled terror as he arises with his Cingular plan intact! Shiver! As he continues to use his cellular phone, EVEN IN DEATH'S COLD GRASP!

3) The Unfortunate Incident In The Ladies Lieu
It won't be flushed, it won't budge under the weight of all that tp, and nobody in the office is willing to face the madness, the mind-boggling fear that is produced by The Butter Troll II's Cleveland Steamer!

2) Right Hand Woman Takes One For The Team
She got the memo about dressing up for Halloween, but did anyone think that she'd dress up as a ketchup bottle so that everyone could turn her upside down and smack her on the bottom?

1) Is My Mileage Chargable?
The Silver Screen will never be the same again after Irrelephant. Weak-hearted people please don't attend this showing, as Irrelephant takes on hoardes of mouth-breathing, zombie-like RNs and LPNs who can't remember what colour ink to use on their visit notes and have never learned how to properly charge for medical supplies! THE TERROR IS PALATABLE!!!

Oct 30, 2006

Talkies Tuesday - Tripping With Rich Old Uncle Pennybags










In this episode: The importance of being prompt ~ capital gains ~ get a Clue? ~ French grandparents ~ cheaters never prosper ~ a cruise ship? ~ a little light music

Transylvania Station 6-500

I lost most of my lunch today while trying to catch a train.

I love how words can be used, misused, and abused. What I've just told you can easily be construed as "I vomited today while waiting to board a passenger locomotive." What actually happened was THIS:

My office faces the interstate, which parallels a set of train tracks, so I get to see up to six different camels, er, trains, a day. And since I'm a train buff, I like to watch the engines go by, and when the rare opportunity presents, I like to photograph them.

Seems this morning, 'round about 11:30, I see a pair of rare-coloured locomotives stop just before the intersection right up the road, so I leapt to my feet, sat down again and clocked out, then hopped back up, raced to my (nearby) house and grabbed cameras and came flying back. My hope was that the train was going to STAY there for the fifteen minute round trip. My hopes were dashed.

I get back to the intersection to see the slow passing of cars up the track, engines nowhere in sight. Undaunted, I wheeled my steed to intercept and went tearing up the highway to cut them off at the next nice intersection, which serendipitously is more picturesque. Upon arriving I unpacked my gear, feverishly worked my way up to the vantage point I wanted, prepped my cameras, climbed the embankment, and looked up the eternity-straight tracks to see.....

nothing.

Absolutely. Freaking. Nothing.

No engines bearing down on me, no bright running light perched high above a locomotive cabin. Not even one of those little two-man hand-carts. Nothing but empty tracks and falling leaves.

Then, ghostly enough, I heard it. Nowhere to be seen, I was standing in the middle of the tracks and sure didn't notice it, but I heard it. I could even feel it's rumbling wheels through the soles of my boots. It seems that unbeknownst to me there exists a spur line, a turnoff if you will, somewhere in that five or six mile stretch that leads over to the oxbow of the Red River and several construction sites. Obviously my train had taken a detour.

So, beaten, I loaded my gear back up and headed to McD's for lunch, and from there back to the office for my last 15 or so minutes of lunchtime freedom.

To see, blocking the intersection as effectively as only a parked train can block an intersection, a parked train. MY parked train. Blocking the intersection.

Seems the train I heard was ANOTHER train on the spur line that was moving out of the way, and my train was waiting to get in there, so the engineer decided to be a complete and utter barstard by blocking the intersection. And since I don't have the liberty nor the wallet to just ignore work in favor of a really choice photo I went back to the office and, eating my double fish fillet sandwich hold the cheese and small fries I blog about it, instead.

Maybe I'll vomit later.

Oct 27, 2006

Friday Afternoon Blues

I hate Friday afternoons. When I'm working, that is, which is most every Friday. I can't stand 'em. Friday afternoons have come to represent everything that I have tried to purge from my mind.

Yeah, that whole priest-altarboy thing...no...wait, not that.

The Zen thing. Yeah, that's where I had intended to go with that. Sorry, my bum's been bothering me of late. You understand.

Friday afternoons. The musty smell of the rectory...no, sorry, that's not it.

Friday afternoons. The work week is winding down, the hospitals are busy dumping all their leftover stuff on us for the weekend, and the routine of visit notes and supply ordering are tossed up in the air in favor of extra work; the Emergency Call Lists, and activity reports, and nurses who come stumbling in with their entire week's worth of paperwork to toss on my desk at the last minute.

And it's not just that, of course. It's people bailing out early, or sneaking off. It's the entire week's worth of sleeping bad finally weighing it's purple cloak on my shoulders, making me long for my bed. It's the frayed tempers and the last-minute changes.

And all of that makes me long for the weekend, when I will be so busy doing the week's worth of chores and odds and ends projects that the weekend will be over before I realise it. And that desperate living for the weekend, sharpened to a razor's blue edge is what irks me most about Fridays.

Zen. Zen teaches us (me) to live in the Eternal Now. Obviously this is not in tune with that thing that REO Speedwagon sang about way back in the halcyon 80's. I can't override it, though--my entire being focuses desperately on that moment when I get to roll the phone to the answering service and settle my bum on Betty's saddle and point her at home.

And this last hour? The worst. Even wasting time blogging doesn't help.

So tell me your means for dealing with the Friday Afternoon Blues. Feel free to include drugs, alcohol, and rock-n-roll related methods.

Oct 26, 2006

Pathetic Excuse

Yeah, I don't want to blog about it raining for 24+ hours now, and I'm up way past my bedtime, so here's a poem I stole from Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate. No permission granted or anything, but hey, this is the Internets, right? And information wants to be free, right?

Right?

Whatever. Here's the cool poem.


The Country


I wondered about you
when you told me never to leave
a box of wooden, strike-anywhere matches
lying around the house because the mice

might get into them and start a fire.
But your face was absolutely straight
when you twisted the lid down on the round tin
where the matches, you said, are always stowed.

Who could sleep that night?
Who could whisk away the thought
of the one unlikely mouse
padding along a cold water pipe

behind the floral wallpaper
gripping a single wooden match
between the needles of his teeth?
Who could not see him rounding a corner,

the blue tip scratching against a rough-hewn beam,
the sudden flare, and the creature
for one bright, shining moment
suddenly thrust ahead of his time—

now a fire-starter, now a torch-bearer
in a forgotten ritual, little brown druid
illuminating some ancient night.
Who could fail to notice,

lit up in the blazing insulation,
the tiny looks of wonderment on the faces
of his fellow mice, one-time inhabitants
of what once was your house in the country?

—Billy Collins

Oct 25, 2006

Talkies Tuesday - Enjoy Your Trip? Have A Nice Fall!










In this episode:

A very tired Irrelephant casts a long glance back - pecans ~ Sears And Roebuck ~ What colour did you get? ~ tromping? ~ back to pecans

Oh Brave New World

Just a brief diversion.

I sometimes feel like we're all on a very steep slope, in the middle of an avalanche. We're all running as fast as we possibly can, and we're just barely keeping our places in the avalanche as giant boulders tumble and spin alongside us, or before or behind us, ready to crush us into nonexistance in a moment. And we keep running.

As we run, we're all grinning like idiots, pleased at our own cleverness. We're patting each other on the backs and shouting congratulations over the roar and crash of the avalanche. We're pumping our fists in the air and shouting "woot!" a lot. And we're all desperately pleased with ourselves and our accomplishments. We shout into our cellular phones to other people all the way across the slope, and we drown out the noise of the rocks by turning our iPods all the way up. And if someone beind us or in front of us gets turned into red and grey paste smeared on a boulder, well, that's just incentive to the rest of us to run even harder.

Because, you see, it's far too late to stop now. We're committed.

And me? I've got no choice now but to put my own head down and run as if my very life depends on it, because it does, and hope beyond hope that one day I'll find myself near the edge of the avalanche, and will be able to take a painful leap sideways, onto a ledge.

But I doubt it.



Talkies Tuesday will, with luck, be posted this evening; a story about my childhood, and how things have changed since then.

Oct 23, 2006

Moustache Monday: A Tale Of Two Tales, or,

Going To The Dogs.



Okay, I'll be honest. I had been napping on the dog. I figured that she's so big she doesn't even notice my presence on the couch anymore, so why not sleep on her? SHE never notices, and she's awfully warm. You'll notice that the sort of half-slump I'm in is because my arm is trapped under her neck. This is the equivalent to having a twenty-foot long anaconda decide that your arm is the perfect place to take a nap on. There's more muscles in that neck that there are in any Gold's World Gym you care to point out. That is the face that pulled a pair of Levis 560s through a 2" x 3" opening in her kennel, where she proceeded to rip gaping holes in the denim like it was felt.

So, Penny and I just decided to relax and go with the flow.

Ah--for those of you curious, or just up for a giggle, here's a foot size comparison:



All that long silky white stuff? That's what's left of Penny. I think she's underneath Belle at this point. That tee-tiny little black spade there is Penny's little foot, attached to her little stick legs. The two giant monstrous pink behemouths? Yup. Now bear in mind the relative age difference, too: Penny, age 5 years. Belle, age 6 and a little bit months.

Heaven forfend!

Q: When a Borzoi walks by, are you supposed to genuflect?
A: Yes, but not if you're the incense bearer.
(special thanx to Nancy Dancehall for that joke)

Oct 21, 2006

The Last Dance

Okay, so The First Dance isn't as poetic, but it's more accurate. My daughter, a proud 6th grader, went to her first dance Friday night. My little girl is a big girl now.

This is freaking me out.

She dressed up in a pretty dress, had her hair in a discreet bun, we packed into the car, I drove to her school, and what was the first thing I saw? Two little girls her age, dressed like they were going to work the corner of 10th and Sepulveda. Three inch heels, low-cut backs, and more makeup than Little Richard.

Okay, so now, to be fair, I never attended a single dance when I was in school. Nevermind why, I just never went. But I DO recall girls from back then, and NONE of them dressed, spoke, or flaunted it like that. And it went on. I almost turned around and dragged her back to the car, but braced myself and went on.

See, I was chaparoning. I had no intention of being turned into a door guard/bouncer, but I guess they figured that my no-nonsense approach ("The dancefloor is THAT way, fella") would serve to keep teens from roaming into and out of the dance. Which it did. There ARE benefits to being able to fill an entire door frame by yourself.

What I'm still pondering is the things I saw:


  • Boys dressed in tuxedos, including gloves and cane. I thought this was a dance, not the Oscar Awards.
  • Girls dressed in prom dresses, or less. Uhm...kid? This is a dance, not a wedding, and you're 12 years old. Concentrate on hanging on to that virginity just a FEW more years, 'kay?
  • Girls acting like Flea. Leaping around, slamming themselves into walls, screeching. I kept looking for the mosh pit.
  • Skimpy dressed. Uhm...see above. You're KIDS, why aren't you acting like it? And parents? Girls that age don't need to be showing cleavage. Most of them don't even HAVE enough to fill that dress, so why are you letting them flaunt it?
  • Language. If my daughter used some of the words I heard those kids utter in front of me I would have slapped her lips clean off her face. And these kids were saying it front of TEACHERS. Who ignored it.
  • Flava Flav. I swear, one kid dressed like he was going to be Public Enemy's new frontman, version 2.0.
  • Tribal behaviour. Now I know this might push the edge of not being racist, but there were several songs that had the effect of turning a loose group of kids into a leaping, chanting, aboriginal knot. This kind of scared me. All they neeed was less clothing, more body paint, a few spears and zebra-hide shields and a National Geographic photographer and they'd have been pure Watusi.


So anyway, it's over now, my daughter had her heart broken by some punk-ass 6th grader who asked her to dance and, after she accepted, turned to another girl and left with HER, so I've already got my Shit List started. Just let me find out this kid's name.

My daughter is the only thing in life that I'll go back to jail for.

Oct 19, 2006

A Group Of Crows Is Called A Murder

Written during lunch today, polished this evening.


There's about a dozen crows directly across the road from me, up in the bare top branches of an old pecan tree.

It stands a good one hundred and fifty or so yards from my front glass doors, and the end of the season has stripped it to bare, pale branches. The crows keep flying upwind, moving a short distance as a very loose group, then landing in the top branches of another tree, then moving along again. It makes me think of a bunch of old Hasidic Jews, somber looking in their black coats and hats, walking up a street somewhere as a group. The slow ones keep yelling to the few in front who are moving faster and are obviously deaf; they go on a ways then settle down to rest on a park bench to wait until the slow ones in the group catch up.

They all sit there on the bench and bicker in loud voices for a few minutes, about the weather, about the pace, about the destination, then a few move on ahead again and stop, to win one more small battle in the war of walking several blocks.

Zen And The Art Of....

Pfui. Not gonna rape THAT dead horse again.

I was thinking today. I know, dangerous as all get out. I've been warned before. Last time I dared think for too long I permanently damaged important bits of my thinking apparatus as well as blowing out the power grid of Trout, LA for a week straight.

I was thinking (gingerly,) as I wrapped up inventory for the quarter, pocketing a pack of benzoine swabs and a pair of purple nitryl surgical gloves (no longer sterile but they did fit) that came out of a damaged Tracheostomy Care Kit, that I was doing pretty well at building and maintaining my Motorcycle Roadside Emergency And Accidental Ouchie Kit.

You see, I realised a long time ago, back when I started riding bikes, that I did not have recourse anymore to a handy glovebox, under-seat storage, or back seat dumping grounds. If I wanted a tissue I couldn't just root under the passenger seat until I found one, and if I had to stop for a roadside...er...potty break, well then there'd be some of that tissue left, right?

Not so on a bike. Unless you're driving a BMW touring bike or a Goldwing or a Harley Fergusson with more luggage than Paris Hilton then storage is not extensive. And since I've rarely owned saddlebags and the pair I want for Betty will set me back $1600) I decided way back at that first bike to build myself an Extra Necessary Items For Emergencies Or Unforseen Circumstances Kit. Nothing big, nothing serious, and nothing expensive; small enough to fit in the under-seat storage compartment of my ride. And The Kit has come in handy more than a few times, and has been used in five different bikes and several four wheel vehicles (cages)in various and sundry (read: larger) forms.

The Basic Roadside Ouchie and Narsty Bang-Up Emergency 911 Kit starts with your bike's standard tool set, the fast-and-nasties that come with your machine. Keep that little vinyl bag of stamped tin tools because if you ever have to use it you'll be glad you've got it--plus, everything is fit to your bike, so smile. I always added a Gerber or Leatherman multi-tool, because they're compact and super nice and have a knife in there, too, in case you ever have to chop down a full-grown tree or stab a guy in Memphis.

Then comes the other stuff, the things you don't think about until you need them:

A plastic zip-lock bag. A) to dry store your registration papers and insurance card, but also it's B) a nice place to put your watch, your wallet, and any other water-perishable items when that unexpected rainfall comes. It's nice to stop at home and pull out the old billfold nice and dry, even if it IS empty as a whore's promise.

A few asprin in those foil packets. Got a headache and you're in the middle of freaking nowhere, as you're wont to do on a bike? Well then.

Two Sting Kill vials. Super small, and I can guarantee that if not already you soon will hit a wasp, bee, hornet or pterydactyl which won't die but will in fact fall deep into the recesses of your shirt, whereupon it will begin stinging you violently and repeatedly. A sting-kil vial is your friend. And if you're allergic? You might wanna consider that handy-dandy anaphylactic shock pen thing, too.

Band-Aids. The big kind, not those silly round ones that look like they're made to cover up moles. You never know when a spill or an errant tree branch or an off-course duck will leave you bleeding but not ready to stop. See next item--

Neosporin. Another foil-pack item, or you can get the super-tiny tube if you've got room to spare. Nice for a myriad of things, including duck-bill inflicted injuries.

Burn creme. Again, a tiny packet, easily lifted from your workplace's First Aid kit. Burns are one of the most likely things you'll get from a bike if you're working on it, and a big burn blister under your glove is really gonna cramp your throttling.

Twenty bucks. In the form of a ten, a fiver, four ones and four quarters. Twenty bucks should get you anywhere, including some gasoline and a can to carry it in. Also, the singles will fit in a vending machine and the quarters in a payphone while a twenty-dollar bill won't work in either, so keep it broken down.

One of those travel packs of Kleenex. And no, not for roadside colds, either. They compact down very small, and if you're very conservative can make it through several pitstops. If you've ever had to forage for a handful of leaves on the side of the road then you'll appreciate that tiny pack of heaven.

The rest of the items I adapt as the situitation calls for. When single, I carried condoms. Hey, don't laugh, they make great fanbelts. When married, I've been known to carry feminine hygeine products during certain phases of the moon. And during long treks into the redneck hinterlands I always carry a can of wintergreen dip, so that if I'm being pursued by hicks I can always toss it out behind me. I figure by the time they've all gotten a pinch between cheek and gums I'll be long gone.

So, your turn. Tell me what's in your glovebox.

Oct 18, 2006

Musically Inclined

As stolen from Nancy Dancehall, who stole it from Poppy Z. Brite.

IF YOUR LIFE WAS A MOVIE, WHAT WOULD THE SOUNDTRACK BE?
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool

Okay, so honestly, this little meme took me a good half hour to complete, as I kept stopping to listen to the songs. *lol* There's a few here that are awfully damned creepy, too, or maybe it's saying something about my musical tastes.

I went ahead and left in any Old Time Radio shows that came up, so you get a good cross-section of that, too, which says...oh heavens, I don't want to even think about it.

Without further ado: The Musical Meme

Opening Credits
"Paranoimia (The Paranoid Mix)" Art Of Noise

Oh yeah, that's perfect. *lmao*

Waking Up
"The Adventure Of The Dying Detective (Sherlock Holmes Old Time Radio)"

HEH! I often feel like I've contracted some sort of terrible malaise from the most remote jungles of The Dark Continent.

First Day at School
"Eeny Meeny Murder (Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe Old Time Radio)"

Whoa. That's a bit odd. Anyway, they never found the bodies.

Falling in Love
"Crash Into Me" Dave Matthews Band

Mmmmm...I'll stand mute, yer Honour.

Fight Song
"The Ball of Kerrymuir" Oscar Brand

A dirty drinking song for a fight song? *shrug* Must be the Scots in me.

Breaking Up
"It Was A Dark And Stormy Night” Mercedes Lackey and husband

My syster is to blame solely and entirely for that one. I forgot it was in there.

Prom
"Air On The G-String" J. S. Bach

Ah. Must be that I waltzed a great deal. Never attended a school dance, though.

Life is Good
"Rhapsody In Blue" George Gershwin

Heh! Lattice of Concidence--I was listening to this at work today on NPR, thinking of how much a certain piano trill sounded like pigeons pecking at crumbs on a sidewalk. And yes, at this point I'm officially freaked straight the hell out.

Mental Breakdown
"Shanghaied (X Minus One OTR)"

*lmao* I feel like I've been shanghaied often enough these past few months.

Driving
"What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor?" Oscar Brand

Honest officer, the light was pink.

Flashback
"Canon In D Minor" Pachelbel

Hmmmm...not sure what I'm flashing back to, but it must have been classy. Or involved a five-piece string ensemble.

Getting Back Together
"Zoot Suit Riot" The Brian Setzer Orchestra

I don't even know what to think of that one.

Wedding
"Werewolves of London" Warren Zevon

*LMAO* Oh yeah, boy. I can just see it now--the bride wore white, long fangs, and furry ears.

Paying the Dues
"I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago" Oscar Brand

And if I don't pay my dues soon I'm going to feel like I'm ten thousand years old. "Ooooooh lawd, how long can this go ON?"

The Night Before the War
"Batman Theme" Original Movie Soundtrack/Danny Elfman

Nice. Moody, dark, and heroic. If only I had his wonderful toys to help out.

Final Battle
"Under Pressure" Queen

*lmao* Strangely appropriate, seeing as I loathe conflict.

Moment of Triumph
"Asshole" Denis Leary

So I'm a sore winner?

Death Scene
"Bolero" Maurice Ravel

I guess it's gonna take me 16 minutes and a solo from the first chair of each instrument in the orchestra for me to die.

Funeral Song
"Steppin' Out" Joe Jackson

I flipped out over this one, laughed so hard I almost peed myself.

End Credits
"Case Of The Burning Skull (The Shadow OTR)"

Wow. So I'm gonna be stuck on someone's mantlepiece in a vase, eh? Whatta way to go.

Nurses Say The Darndest Things

Overheard this morning:

New Lady Nurse: Did you hear they took out Mr. X by boat yesterday? His road flooded out real bad, ten feet by twenty or so, a whole section. I hate that.
P-Diddy: Yeah, that's way out in the country, isn't it, back there past Ytown?
NLN: Yeah. That was a good place to pee, too. There used to be a rest area out there.
P-D: *thinking for just a moment* You know, I used that place a lot, but I can imagine it's a lot tougher for you than for us men.
NLN: You just learn to deal with it.

You gotta admire field nurses. They may at times be thick as a block of lead and as sharp as a marble but they sure know how to take care of business.

Oct 17, 2006

Is It My Breath?

Wow. I suck. Out loud. (pun intended)

Twenty-nine visits to the blog Monday. Four of you listened to the audio post.

Twenty visits thus far tonight, aka Talkies Tuesday. One listener.

What an eye-opener.

Talkies Tuesday - Microwaves Fried My Brains




Caution: Contains products that have been proven to cause cancer in Californians



In this episode:

Irrelephant shows a glimmer of A Dark Past ~ oak trees are brought up ~ station identification ~ lame public radio self-promotion ~ a catchy closing line?

Oct 16, 2006

Talkies Monday - Testing, Testing, Sibilance, Sssssibilancccccce







Moustache Monday: Lucky Seven

And a tribute to Mythbuster's Jamie Hyneman:



See, with handlebars, I get comparisons to Hyneman, and I can't figure it. Jamie wears the walrus-whiskers, all in his mouth and etc., which while they might add to his overall dour outlook it certainly can't be comfortable or, for that matter, very sanitary. Me, I can't stand my whiskers in my mouth; to me, it feels like, well, like having hair in my mouth.

But, post-shower (or after being caught in a heavy downpour, suddenly a viable option this week) my moustache wants to relax, catch a little nap, and hang straight down. Hence, today's comparo to Mr. H.



And yes, for those of you with a vouyeristic bent, I am quite naked under the edge of that picture. Freshly-showered, scented, ready for bed, and nude as a jaybird except for the reversed faux-Kangol, since I don't own any sort of a beret. Thank heavens. Think of my sudden display of very white skin as a tribute to Mythbusters' Adam Savage, arguably the palest man in America, myself taking a close second.

Hot tamales!

Oct 15, 2006

Poop.

You know, almost nothing in the world is funnier than potty humour. Except maybe a bus-full of HIV-positive Evangelical Christians going over a jagged precipice into an active volcano. THAT'S comedy.

But second to that is potty humour, and since I'm too tired and sick in the bowels to sit here for more than five minutes at a stretch, I offer you this little delight, compliments of (well, okay, I seriously doubt he knows I just cut-and-pasted it, because I didn't exactly tell him, or ask for permission or anything, but hey, this IS the Information Age, right, and this IS information, albeit of questionable value...now where the hell was I? Oh yes, the credit where credit is due.)

Uhm...oh. This guy, the Anonymous Coworker, recently posted a list of terms for someone who is ready to move their bowels immediately:

  • There was a turtle-head poking out.
  • The brown bear was coming out of his cave.
  • I was prairie-dogging it.
  • I was poking cotton.
  • The torpedoes were armed.
  • The Tootsie Roll factory was in production.
  • Mr. Hanky was early for Christmas.
  • Logs were coming out of the lumber mill.
  • I was learning what Brown could do for me.
  • The space shuttle was leaving orbit.
  • The dog was jumping out of the bathtub.
  • Old Faithful was ready to erupt.
  • It was moments before a California mudslide.
  • I really had to take a Frank Stallone.
  • Mighty Count Chocula was about to emerge from his slumber.
  • I was going to start a new band entitled Shitpile! in my Pants.
  • My body prepared to do an emergency core ejection.
  • I was about to Jackson Pollack the back of my slacks.

and from his comments, these gems appear...

  • Taking the Browns to the Superbowl
  • ...ready to drop a chocolate potatoe
  • My Columbia is coming out of orbit with a small piece hanging off.
  • Dropping the kids off at the pool
  • Releasing a chocolate hostage
  • There’s one in the waiting room


and my own beloved (and oft-used) term,

  • I'm going to drown some mud hens.


And you thought I was just telling you about my own Green Apple Squirts just because I wanted to. Sheesh, you people...it was a legitimate tie-in, right?

My challenge, therefore, with full intent to let each and every one of you be childish and potty-humour oriented (Sigmund, eat your heart out) I ask for your own contributions to the I Gotta Go Right NOW list.

Brother Can You Spare A Dime?

Guns Along The Whiskychitto. I'm thinking about renaming the blog...whatcha think?

In the meantime, I'm listening to the Fall Pledge Drive from public radio. Have been for a few days, and not to honk my own horn too loudly, I've already made my pledge.

Rifles Along The Missouri

Twice a year the folks at public radio come on for a week or slightly less and ask for your support in keeping them on the air. And for the past, oh, five or so years, I've ponied up my dime and smiled while I did it. It's worth it.

Pistols Along The Mississippi.

You see, money talks. Never heard that, have you? Money talks loudly, and I always let mine talk about what I like to listen to--Performance Today, classical music throughout the day, and Prairie Home Companion, among other things. It's one of the few times that I know that my vote, my little quiet single voice in the monstrous crowd will be heard. Unlike any year's elections, even though I vote in those too. Hope springs eternal, doesn't it?

Cannons Along The Okefenogee

I'm quite proud of my collection of pledge premium T-shirts, too, including my new Dusty and Lefty shirt, still en route, and most especially my first venture into public broadcasting donation premium collecting, my Dissapearing Tardis Doctor Who coffee mug.

Grenades Along The Colorado

So get off your bum and pledge to support your public radio station, because they're the last bastion of taste and un-corrupted news reporting. And if nothing else, and you're lucky, they've got Garrison Keillor.

Oct 14, 2006

South Side Story

This morning, the crisp, cold air, the glowering morning clouds, the trees changing colours, it all makes me think of my glory days, my heyday in Chicago's Lower South Side, when I was a gang banger.

Yeah, it's a part of my history I don't talk about a whole lot, but it's there, back in my history. It started out pretty innocently, playing marbles and Cops and Robbers on the playground, and it lead to falling in with a rough crowd, boys who would rather shoot things with slingshots than play kickball.

From there it lead to our own little gang, with our own little block of turf, mostly covered in derelict buildings and a sand pile left over from some construction two blocks over, but it was ours, and we tagged it and we guarded it, and we represented; we wore our colours and we flashed our signs and we were kings of our own little mountain. The Terrebon Street Thugs, that was us.

And of course after a few years of that we discovered what the real gangs were about, and we joined the Crips. And of course we did all the usual Crip things--drugs, money laundering, prostitues, drive-bys, the works. And then I got approached by a serious gang, a gang that made the Crips look like our first little gang, made us look like boys playing Fort in the sand. And they made me an offer that I could not, dared not, refuse.

And that evening, after I had joined, after the initiation, I sat in my tiny, dirty apartment and let the enormity of what I had just done sink in, and I shook. I trembled in utter terror at what I had just done. I had just joined up with the most powerful group of people in existence. They exercised their might in the same way that a cat swats a mosquito. They moved in places of control and leadership with effortless grace, and they were, to a man, utterly coldly ruthless. Bloodshed was simply another tool in their copious arsenal. They held ultimate power.

They were the Toastmasters.

And somehow I had fallen in with them.

They run everything. Waitress fighting, brandy-running, even accounting, they're in it all.

I don't know if I am gonna get out alive.

Oct 11, 2006

Some Things I've Learned

In lieu of a full entry, I'm going to share a few little things I've learned:

When they call it a "Fair," it's not going to be fair.

The light at the end of the tunnel? Sometimes it's a moose with a lamp tied to it's forehead.

In a new job, the first people to get in tight with is Housekeeping. They're the ones that will keep your trashcan spotless or make sure that the vacuum explodes right beside your brand new cloth chair.

Wearing a handlebar moustache as I do, I find that now I see everything through what appears to be a pair of curled gunsights. Makes people-watching much more interesting, I must say.

Chicks really don't dig being stalked.

Always look at the little things. You never know what you're going to see there.

Life is a journey, not a rush, a boston, or an electric light orchestra. Wait, that's not right...

Oct 10, 2006

Talkies Tuesday - Special Unplugged Edition





this is an audio post - click to play




Craziness! Last night was nuts, a lovely storm came in from nowhere, dumping rain and cold and wind, and naturally knocking out the cable, so while I was able to do Talkies Tuesday last night on the driveway in the super nice cold weather I was unable to add the headers or anything.

And, let me make a recorrection: I corrected myself last night on the whole iPod thing, but then still missed it by blaming Super Nerd Bill Gates for the iPod/iTunes, when in fact I should have blamed Stephen Jobs.

Mea maxima culpa.

Moustache Monday - LATE!

Stucco said...
So, is the 'stache now considered "finished" and no longer deserving updates?

Actually Stucco, the 'stache is, like my tattoo, a work in progress. You know this as well as anyone, being a confirmed 'stache guy. No, the truth is thus:

I got home from work last night rather late and rather tired, and instead of taking Belle out for a walk after supper I found myself on the couch, dozing off. And so tired was I that I didn't wake up for 147 years. When I did finally come to (refreshed and bushy-tailed, and in proud possession of a truly magnificent set of handlebars) I found that I had woke in a cruel totalitarian dictatorship, wherein the Common Man was held in thrall by a cruel-faced, heavy-eyebrowed black-moustachioed figurehead called "Big Stepbrother."

This malignant dictator, other than ruling the entire country under a cruel and irascable hand, further demoralised the Common Man by preventing people from wearing any sort of facial hair at all. All forms of shaving and depillitation were completely government controlled and enforced, and clean-faces were mandatory, enforced by five times a day state-overseen shaving, so I found that I was not only a rapscallion and a scoff-law, I was also in possession of a trophy-level handlebar moustache in a land of clean cheeks. I knew what I had to do.

I became a Liberator. I donned a cool black cape, leather pants, a black T-shirt, and a black domino mask which allowed my truly monumental handlebars to flow freely, thereby allowing them to dispense justice and equality amongst these downtrodden, shaving-chapped peoples. I learned to quote various inspirational passages from John Donne, William Shakespeare and Karl Marx. I invested my 147 year old stock market fortune into a baffling variety of weapons, vehicles and a really cool studio apartment with great backlighting and plenty of pacing room, where I could brood and pose dramatically.

And then I shaped my moustachios into the thirteenth letter of the alphabet and became The People's Hero:

M For Moustache.

I started out by planting a bomb in the state-owned razorblade factory. Little did I know that the resulting explosion would send razor-sharp shards of metal scything into the local workers dormitory. But with each succeeding bit of sabatoge I improved my skills and my forethought, and went on to burn to the ground the sprawling Nair plantation, destroyed the Bahaus-inspired factories wherein the labourers worked at back-breaking aftershave filtering machines, and as a finale' I engineered the crushing blow that destroyed Big Step-Brother's tyranous regime: I set in motion the collapse of the Gillette Shaving Creme mines of West Lompock, Nebraska, where thousands of labourers slaved day in and day out, painstakingly working the unyielding stone for it's rich, creamy, skin-conditioning and cheek-protecting treasure.

When it was all said and done, and I had ensured the complete and total collapse of this cruel and evil government I set myself up as the titular head of a new government, and made of myself a wise and benevolent dictator, freely giving with one side of my moustache while helping my people learn good personal hygiene and grooming techniques with the other. And, having brought peace and happiness to my people, after a sisty-year long reign of peace and prosperity and overall hirsuteness I died, my moustaches long and grey and wise, and was buried in a state ceremony that blocked the roads for five miles.

Thousands upon thousands were my mourners, and I had eighteen nubile virgins to carry the astounding length of my handlebars, nine to a side, each dressed in hair-care professional black silk smocks, and my magnificent namesakes trailed behind the funeral carriage for almost forty feet. The procession that carried my body brought me to my studio apartment, the center of government and all things beardy, where I lay in state for five days, so that My Peoples could come and touch the carefully waxed and cared-for tips of the moustaches that liberated them before they sealed me in a glass coffin, interred in the very center of town beneath the life-sized bronze statue of my upper lip.

Or maybe I was just too lazy to deal with the camera yesterday.

Oct 9, 2006

Happy Day Day!

So, here we are again! Happy Amerigo Vespucci Day!

Oh, and Happy International Infinity Day! Seems that today and today only, if you ask the Infinity Fairy for one wish involving an infinite number of Shakespeares and said same number of typewriters it'll come true, and you'll soon get a knock on your front door, and in will pour an infinite number of monkeys with a screenplay for a really knock-your-socks-off sit-com involving three men, a dumb blonde, and a theorbo, which is a sort of long-necked lute.

You've gotta read it to believe it. Trust me on this one.

Oct 8, 2006

Sturm Und Drang

Okay, so it wasn't all that bad. Actually it was a lot better than ever I expected it to be.

My daughter's birthday sleepover, that is.

She was allowed two friends (I wasn't going to bury myself right out of the gate, you see) and she chose two, we invited them, and we were off to the races. I had heard all the horror stories, all the nightmarish poodle-in-the-oven stories, and my own rather fecund imagination had already drawn up a few scenarios that it kept presenting to me at inopportune times, but I seized the bit between my teeth and went at it.

And it went marvelously. The girls were well-behaved, funny, bouncy, and stayed up until 3:30 this morning. I, you see, had to give up at 9, per my modus operandi, which is to go to bed at the work-week time and then sleep as long as is Irrelephantly possible the next morning. Which I did. 12 hours. Nice.

And the little ones only woke me up once, to ask me what was the PG-13/adult code for the PS2, which I had forgotten about, and then fortunately for my memory after they figured it out the girls wrote it on a scrap of paper and stuck it to the fridge.

Thoughtful.

This afternoon was a lot of fun. We've taken to Sunday afternoon trips to PetSmart, half to get Belle accustomed to a crowd of people and a lot of noise and interesting things to see and be petted by, without freaking straight out. Which she's getting a lot better at. The being accustomed part, not the freaking out part. She's been very well behaved, a little aloof, and she even found the gerbil houses, which included gerbils. THAT had her rapt attention for a while, until I had to get a dolly and sort of scoop her up and roll her off into the bones and treats aisle, to get her mind off small furry things that scamper fast.

Oh, and to get used to one other thing: people saying "Oh look, what a beautiful greyhound!"

I gritted my teeth so much I was afraid that I was going to have to go get a rawhide bone off the aisle to gnaw on. I mean, let's review the points:

  • She's long and lanky, at 56 pounds and about 28" at the shoulder. Yes, so are greyhounds. And Doberman Pinscers. And Italian Greyhounds and Min Pins. So are most runway models, but no one said "Oooh look, Tyra Banks!"

  • She's a sighthound, and so has that type's long face and thin profileas does the greyhound with their thin, elegant snouts. Anorexic people have that same thin look, but nobody wants to lure course Karen Carpenter.

  • She's young, so she doesn't have her full adult coat in, but she DOES have mounds and piles of curls all over, as well as three feet of tail that looks like a pipe cleaner. Greyhound, on the other hand, have hair so short and close-lying that it might as well just be fur-coloured skin. (Ask Rita, our mentor, about using Sharpie markers to hide unsightly hairs on her show greyhound, Aida.)


But my afternoon was saved from utter disaster by one nice lady and her two children. I was walking Belle down the aisle toward the back of the store so a certain Giant Schanuzer could simmer down, and she glanced up, saw us, and said in a loud, clear, proud voice "Oh my, what a beautiful Borzoi!" When she saw my smile break upon my face like sun through the rainclouds she turned to her two young children and said "See, I told you it was a Borzoi."

I could have hugged her right then and there.

She certainly made up for the horrid redneck lady who bragged that she had a Puggle and a TerTer, which she confided to me was a Jack Russell + some other terrier breed mix, which, she told me with a gap-toothed guffaw, made it twice a terror.

I should have killed her with my bare hands, just to keep the gene pool clean, but I didn't want to expose Belle to that sort of violence too soon.

Oct 6, 2006

"Oh For Fucks Sake I'm Shagged" Quoth The Irrelephant

It's been a strange evening indeed.

And not even a good strange, like those days where you stop suddenly to pick up what you think is a solid gold Deutschmark and you realise that it's only a piece of that gold chocolate candy, but when you go to pull your arm back out of the sewer grate you realise that Rachel Hunter was right beside you, reaching for the same coin, and you offer to buy her a cup of chai at the local coffee house and she slaps you crosseyed, and you know for the rest of your natural life that you just got the best bitchslap that you'll ever receive. Ever.

No, nothing that cool.

Somewhere between leaving Target and arriving at Wal-To-Wal-Mart, I got the strange feeling that Life had come undone at it's Velcro'd together edges and I had fallen out of the comfortable jeans pocket of my regular world and fallen beneath the couch cushions of Some Other World, where the crusty old potatoe chips and the remote with the dead batteries have come to lead their own strange starch and plastic buttoned life.

I walked around the giant, mutant, milling crowd that naturally accumulates in a Wal-Mart on a Friday night after dark: the crazy people that mutter to themselves, the people with the cellular phones nailed to their ears, the teens who are too young to drink but too old and far too cool to hang out with the 'rents. And the people like me, looking for a last gift or two for my daughter's birthday, trying to wrap things up (so to speak. Yeah babe, this pun's for you.)

It was a strange evening indeed. Too dark to make much sense out of the shapes that kept coming up at me from the fog, and too windy to stack BBs. So, I sort of stumbled around, managed what I had to manage, and then was delivered into the relative safety of the grocery store. Or so I thought.

Grocery stores, like Wal-Marts, are strange places to begin with. You see every sort and kind of person, from the nice old white-haired gaffer in the pink button-down Oxford shirt and grey trousers (cuffed and pleated, like a lawyer from a film noir) all the way down to the person who obviously works construction but you can't tell if it's a man or a woman, and it's gender seems to switch back and forth with each item they pick up. They were all there, along with the usual assortment of toothless rednecks picking up that last suitcase of Natural Light and the Pentegoblins in their huge beehive hairdos and their ankle-length denim skirts, picking up that last case of Chateau de Lionsarse for the Bible Study Class and orgy.

And there I wandered, wishing all this would turn surreal so I could enjoy it, hoping that everyone's head would be replaced with perfectly ripe apples, or that LopLop The Bird Superior would join me in my shambling gaze and speak to me in Latin about la Lune, hanging over all our heads like the headlight on an oncoming diesel locomotive.

But no, such was not to be. Grocery shopping complete, the drive home was uneventful, and I found that Belle had, instead of sleeping the late evening after her hard exercise had instead opted to pull most of the rug underneath her kennel through the three-inch squares of her flooring INTO the kennel, where she could more easily gnaw on it.

Time for sleep is now.

Oct 5, 2006

The Death Of A Legend

Given our limited resources, we have to make tough decisions about what projects to focus on. And we've come to the difficult decision that Audioblogger demands too many resources, time, and money for us to continue its operation.


Yes, come November 1st, Talkies Tuesdayites everywhere (all four of us) are going to have to find some other way to talk to you. Audioblogger isn't making any bank off it's service, and like all good things, it's coming to an end at the hands of capitalism.

Audioblogger, it's been fun.

I guess I'm gonna have to find some other way to make my fun now.

Oct 4, 2006

Talkies Tuesday - Propriety In Ass Chewing





this is an audio post - click to play




And, as promised: Fifty odd pounds of Belle stuffed into a dog bed bought for the three and a half pound Penny.



Click to see her in all her rolled-up glory.

Oct 2, 2006

Moustache Monday: Week Five Is It Then?

Yes, even for the most die-hard moustache fans out there, and you know who you are, five weeks straight of just a guy growing a handlebar moustache can be, after a while, rather boring. I won't even humour the idea that it could be trite.

But, in the interest of keeping things lively and fresh around here, I've decided to take a different tack on the whole "Moustache Monday, Oh, Irrelephant waxed again." I decided this morning, while realising that I had let yet another Moustache Monday almost slip by without a photo, that this, the second month as it were of my Moustachehood, I needed to do something daring. Something different. Something, as the young kids say, "off the chain." So, I decided to forgoe the wax, which was easy to do since I showered earlier and it washes off readily and I was too lazy to put any back on, and I went with a sort of English Army major/free-form brushed-out style.

I took this idea a step further and tried to imagine what it would be like to have this moustache in a more conservative place, a land steeped in tradition, an ancient and powerful land which used to have an empire that girded the entire world. So, I chose Belgium.

I envisioned myself as a Belgian conservative, middle-aged on the young side, preparing for a day at work, still firmly in touch with his ancestral roots, hence the traditional-style beard, but willing to break just a tiny bit with the ancient ways by wearing a T-shirt with a drawing of a tribal raven on it (not shown.) And furthermore, wearing only boxer shorts instead of proper trousers (also not shown.) Then I let the surreal side of me take over and decided that my fictional conservative standing in his conservative den off-center by his back door with political leanings to the liberal van Dyke beard-wearing Belgian preparing for a hard day's accounting would also be a giant mutant preying mantis.



Voila.