31.7.06

Murphy's (In-)Law

Fletchmonster was singing with his grandmother the other day. I tend to teach the boys classics like Cash's "Ring of Fire" or Van Halen's "Jamie's Crying." She, on the other hand, opts for the standards. The Fletchmonster, ever the pragmatist, stood his ground and made me proud.

Grandma: It's raining, it's pouring. The old man is....
Fletchmonster: Wet.
Grandma: Nooo. Snoring! It's raining, it's pouring. The old man is...
Fletchmonster: Wet!

Now I could have just chalked this one up as one of those "cute things kids say" kind of thing that would yield mindless guffaws from Bill Cosby's fan base, except I think the boy was trying to tell me something... Kind of like in a f*cked up "The Shining" vein, with the "Red rum... Red rum" mantra.

Me: You're darned right, Fletchmonster. The old man was wet!

I make my way upstairs to take a quick shower and wash the thin layer of grime that's coated my skin. As I step out of the tub, I grab the first and only towel in the bathroom. Laundry's a little backed up so the only towel left was the decorative one that nobody uses - only it was a little damp.

It was at this point that I recalled that my father-in-law had just taken a shower and realized that I had contingently just buried my face in his wrinkled, wet ass.

I got back in the shower and scrubbed. Vigorously.

"Red rump. Red rump."

29.7.06

Saturday Night Four Play - Volume 2

When most people are asked what kind of music they like a typical response is, "I pretty much like everything, except country." On the whole, I'd usually agree, though it's difficult and somewhat ignorant to dismiss an entire genre of music.

Yeah, most backwater country sucks ass. You won't get too much of an argument from me, but as they say, there are exceptions to every rule.

This week's four-play features an artist most music snobs are familiar with, but the general public may not recognize. Maybe it's because of his early demise (somewhat unceremoniously with an ice cube jammed up his ass). Here's the story of a rich Florida kid with big dreams of stardom. He got a little, but unfortunately along with it came a somewhat fatal drug habit. Dumb ass...

Gram Parsons (1946-1973), country-rock legend, rode the wrong kind of horse. Before his smack addled corpse dropped dead somewhere in Yucca Valley, California, he left a few good sh*t-kickin' country rock albums behind - in collaboration with The Byrds, in the Flying Burrito Brothers and a couple of solo efforts.

Peel open a can of Pabst, kick the dog, beat the wife and gas up the truck. Most of all, enjoy.

Flying Burrito Brothers Christine's Tune
Flying Burrito Brothers Sin City

Gram Parsons A Song For You
Gram Parsons Ooh Las Vegas

Greener Than Kermit's D*ck

A couple of weeks ago, Mrs. Prego and I went to see An Inconvenient Truth, the Al Gore documentary about global warming. Over the years, I have read my fair share of articles and research on the matter, so I cringed whenever I saw industrial smokestacks billowing and b*tches, (both male and female) driving their Hummers to the local supermarket. I tried to do my small part, by recycling everything possible -- including those cardboard cylinders you find in sh*t tickets and paper towels. Watching Mr. Gore spell it out for the slow folks, with neat little graphics really drove the point home. Enough so that I was glad we enrolled the O-Dog into swimming lessons at an early age.

Mrs. P has gotten a bit more enviro-conscious since watching the film, if our browser history is any indication (I see a lot more searches for "Prius", "Hybrid" and "mileage" than "Lands End Overstock"). I suppose I should follow suit. The first thing I plan on doing is ridding myself of my hockey mobile - a gas quaffing 95 Jeep Cherokee. I suppose I can cart a couple of Sherwoods around in a Mini Cooper. I just have to duck my head and keep the window open. Below is a list of additional measures I will take in order to be a little more enviro-friendly and thwart the thawing of the ice caps.

1. I'll cut down the visits to the in-laws, all of whom live in the suburbs. "I know it's your cousin's nephew's uncle's third birthday - but is it really worth burning all that fuel just to have supermarket cake and generic potato chips? Think of the planet."

2. If I am stuck at one of the aforementioned birthdays, I'll refrain from singing the optional three additional (and insipid) verses of the "Happy Birthday to You" song. They single-handedly melt a glacier and a half with the "girlfriend's first name" verse.

3. While on the singing topic, I suppose I should no longer sing 'Freebird' in the shower (including all the lengthy guitar solo parts). The hot water tank does double duty on that one. Maybe I'll just do In a 'Gadda Da Vida' instead. "Wonk-Wonk wah-da da wonk WONK wonk wonk..."

4. I'm going to have to put the kibosh on that drunk pissing game, where I try to void the entire contents of my bladder into the basin befor the flush cycle is complete. I usually end up having to flush thrice more before it's completely empty. Quite wasteful, ecologically speaking, but actually entertaining when I'm half in the bag. Dang....

5. Adieu lawnmower. Au revoir, snow blower. The former is one of those rusty little push reel jibbers, but I figure growing the lawn up to knee length is only good for the planet. Once it's taller than the kids, I might take a machete to it. As for the latter, yes, it's gas powered. Our parking pad is about 100 sq. feet and our sidewalk is rather manageable.

How do you turn your dishwasher into a snow thrower?
Give her a shovel.

6. I like to wear the same ratty t-shirt and jeans all weekend. I suppose I'll cut down on laundry production and the use of polluting detergent if I wear the same shirt and pants to work. If I just swap ties each day - the kids at school aren't likely to care or notice. The other teachers in the building might avoid me, but that's actually a bonus.

7. I'll actually walk to the corner to pick up the take-out food. They seem to be testy about delivering it lately anyway. I think they're calling me 'lazy spick' in Chinese.

8. Cancel my wife's magazine subscriptions. Those parenting magazines are a waste of forests. Hell, I'm doing fine winging it. Excuse me...

"Fletchmonster, don't take that sh*t. Kick his *ss."

9. More bong use... less rolling paper. Excuse me...
"Fletchmonster, want a hit? Wonk-Wonk wah-da da wonk WONK wonk wonk..."

10. Giving any a**hole on eBay negative feedback if they use three bags of packing peanuts to ship my Hummel figurines.

If any of those measures don't work, I'll have to take the swimming lessons with the O-Dog. Enjoy the heat, my fossil fuel-burning brethren.

27.7.06

Forever Young




Motor City's Atul, pictured here, hosts this week's roundtable on his Things I've Noticed blog. He came across an article or two about scientists' quest to prolong this agony we call life. Would it be worthwhile to live forever?

Personally, I says (sic) "F*ck no." These organs were designed to conk out after seventy or so years, if not sooner. Think about it... Your anus would be redder than China's flag after 140-plus years of defecation. Your teeth would be down to the nub after (a) grinding them in your sleep, thinking about the fact that you have to go in to the same f*cking job you've hated for going on 112 years and (b) all that corn on the cob you have to gnaw on to keep yourself regular.

Not to mention the worn cartilage in your knees, your brittle toenails, erectile dysfunction and/or Saharan-esque love canal...

As my brother and I like to say, "If I see the Grim Reaper approaching, I'll cross the street." I'd like to stick around at least until O-Dog and Fletchmonster have to wipe my ass... but all good things come to an end. Unless you're a rock star, in which case you are not only entitled to live forever, but must continue to rock eternally to satisfy the cravings of a loyal and supportive audience.

"Look, baby... Mick Jagger's still got it at 136. Wooo! Sing 'Brown Sugar!' Show him your tits, honey."

(Thump)

"Aaack... Get 'em off the floor! Get 'em off the FLOOR!"

26.7.06

Game Face

Nothing is aging me more than having a kid who plays sports. These arrived in the mail yesterday. The O-Dog looks like he's ready to headbutt anyone who looks at him cross-eyed.

























My wife frets about the toothy grin. Personally, I like it... at least until I have to pay for braces.

25.7.06

My Apologies

Well, that idea took a proverbial crap. Sorry about the bad links.

22.7.06

Saturday Night Four Play - Volume 1

I've been toying with this idea for a while now, but I couldn't find a free place to host .mp3 files (since I'm a cheap bastard). I think I just have.

Anyway, once a week I might just load up some music tracks -- personal favourites, old chestnuts, hidden gems... one sh*t blunders... just for sh*ts and giggles. This week features a couple of hometown rock bands from back in the day.

The Ramrods are old friends of mine who started this band in their teens. They developed quite a local following before they disbanded in the early 90s. The tracks are from an album they recorded a dozen or so years ago that finally saw the light of day.



The Wrench (formerly Monkey Wrench) are also old friends. I met the drunk bastards in college. Their sense of humor and rambunctious shows landed them the opening slot for the Goo Goo Dolls in the pre-pussified days. One track is all Wrench... the other is a unique take on a one-sh*t blunder.

Enjoy.

The Ramrods While the City Sleeps.mp3
The Ramrods Rock Rouge.mp3

The Wrench Stay.mp3
The Wrench Pop Music.mp3

21.7.06

Out of Sight...

You see and hear some pretty ghetto sh*t when you teach in the 'hood. Like the kid yesterday morning who had the stick of an eaten lollipop stuck in his hair when he walked to school at 9am... or the lady who asked her daughter, "Aren't you gonna give me a kiss good-bye?" as she exhaled her cigarette smoke. I'm sure her 7 year-old daughter was thinking, "Ew. You reek of f*cking Newports" or perhaps, "Sure mom... Let me have a drag first."

On the other hand, there is the lighter side of things... Like this picture I took of one of my students on his graduation day. He actually wore an air-brushed t-shirt of himself as a baby.

Why didn't I think of that first? Oh, wait. I should be completing another Masters Degree in December...

20.7.06

Kah-Ching...

There are several good discussions that ensue when talking about 'a million dollars.' Whether or not one would continue working, for starters... The more thought provoking "What would the first thing you buy?" invariably follows.

I don't aspire to be filthy rich. To quote the inimitable Del Griffith, "I'm still a million dollars short of being a millionaire." I've also thought the idle rich to be effete a**holes, so I'm comfortable with hovering a few grand over the poverty line. RW Spryszak of Chasing Vincenzo, this week's roundtabler, ponders a life of comfort on his way to 'the slave' (work). Me? I'm more concerned with unyielding power.

Regardless, take a detour and share your thoughts.

As for the answers to the 'millionaire' queries? I did tell my wife I'd continue working, though she suggested I'd work more on my writing and drawing fancies. You know how that goes, though: doodle for about a half hour and spend the afternoon fanning my nuts and watching Serie A soccer on the satellite. I doubt I'd be very industrious.

As for how I'd spend my first dollar (after which I'd officially cease to be a millionaire), I would spend it thusly:

Go down to Latina's Foodland, buy a couple cases of Milyucky's Beast, steal the rustiest shopping cart and spend the afternoon doling out the swill to every f*cking vagrant I meet...

...then go buy a fan for my nuts.

18.7.06

Putting On the Foil...

This Sunday morning at 5.12 a.m. the following conversation ensued between me and a 'crackhead-y looking couple' as I loaded my hockey gear into my sh*twagon:

Crackhead-y Guy: W'sup.
Me: 'Zup.
Crackhead-y Lady: Is you a hockey player?
Me: Yeah.
Crackhead-y Lady: You go, boy.

I grinned as I got in my car at having gotten my first bona fide "You go, boy" from an actual African-American, but was somewhat perplexed that such a sentiment was conveyed, given the fact that most brothers could give two sh*ts about hockey. Maybe she was just impressed that some dumb-f*ck would actually wake up at the un-godliest of hours to go play a f*cking sport. The only people awake that early on a Sunday morning are the drunk hussies walking home after getting their asses slapped by some sh*theel frat-boy, or the losers who waited around to see if the ugly 'last girl left at the bar' would throw them a bone... and of course, the aforementioned crackhead-y types and me with my gear.

I made it to the rink, wiping the Rice Krispies out of the corner of my eyes and wondering if I had answered Crackhead-y Lady honestly. I mean, I have all the (foul smelling) equipment and I actually participate in the activity at least twice a week, but skill-wise... I'm on the low end of mediocre. What makes me a hockey player?

As I skated that morning, going through what have become nearly rote motions I realized that, regardless of the bonehead plays, getting burnt by crafty forwards and missed passes to the point, I am a goddamned hockey player. Otherwise I'd still be asleep in the comfort of my own bed, farting as I roll over (to the chagrin of my wife) and avoiding the unpleasantries of hockey pucks to unprotected areas, sticks across my forearm and of course, my stinky hockey gear.

Thank you, Crackhead-y Lady, for pointing that out.

Schmoozing with Bella Rossa

Meet Bella Rossa , a Chicago area blogger who has an "Interview With Bloggers" series. She recently asked me if I'd like to participate, and I was more than happy to oblige. Pay her a visit. She's pretty goddamned cool, goddamnit.

14.7.06

I can see the red tail-lights heading to Spain


I spent a decent portion of my youth in airports, starting as a fetus, en route to Ah-meh-reeeeka. They used to have a certain flair of adventure and excitement for me. Either we were going somewhere cool or meeting a relative with presents and tales to tell.


Nowadays they make you take off your shoes, jam a rubber glove up your a** and give you the once over as you come in... Especially if your skin-tone is like mine. Either way, SK Waller, the Incurable Insomniac, still thinks it's a great place to hang and people watch. I, for one beg to differ. It's a horrible place to meet chicks. Firstly, they always seem to be going in the opposite direction as you. Also, my wife always seems to be with me. Oh well. Pay her a visit on the tarmac. Just don't taxi too much on her runway.

11.7.06

The boy's a wag...

Every once in a while my brother demonstrates an aptitude for drollery. It usually comes unexpectedly from left field.

On music:
"To me British music just sounds like a thousand variatons of 'Ring Around the Rosy."

On getting thrown out of a bar and going home with one shoe on:
"Well, it makes the sun shine a little brighter in the morning."


On me, drinking a colourful sake martini:
Bro: I ought to call you Don Cherry.
Me: Why?
Bro: Because you're the only two people I know who don't look like a fag drinking that.

In a journal of our cross-country trip twelve years ago, written after I nearly killed us driving somewhere in Minnesota or f*cking Wisconsin:
"I saw the face of Satan today..."

On finances & 'significant others':
"...She said, 'Oh no. I have a hair appointment and don't have any money.' I felt my wallet tighten in my pocket."

After stripping the head of a Phillips head screw:
"Well, that one looks like Versace's asshole."

On the drive home after a lap dance at a Canadian strip bar:
Me: You mean to tell me I'm driving you home with a blown load in your pants?
Bro: What do you care? It's not like I'm asking you to do my laundry.

Keats's epitath reads that his name was 'writ in water'. My brother's will be written in piss and vinegar. I love my bro.

8.7.06

Tag Nabbit!

Mary Tsao of Mom Writes tagged me. I guess proper etiquette dictates that I comply, ergo -

Five Things in My Closet
1. A small mountain of clean clothes that my wife keeps bugging me to put on hangers - she won't because she doesn't love me as much as my mother used to.
2. An oxygen tank to remember the aforementioned mother. She had some f*cked up disease that caused her to be on a respirator for the last two years of her life. I kept a tank at home for her visits. It's still there.
3. A couple of cool leather jackets awaiting September.
4. Running shoes, dying of neglect.
5. That dreaded iron.

Five Things in the Fridge
1. The essentials.
2. A couple of coagulated stains that need to be scraped off.
3. Some dried-up leftover raviolis
4. A bottle of vodka
5. (I just took a look and wish I hadn't) A forgotten bowl of soup that grew a nice grey wool coat in order to shield itself from the frigid temperature.

Five Things in My Sh*twagon
1. A large bag of malodorous hockey equipment that I was too f*cking lazy tired to take out last night.
2. A dented can of deck stain that I've been dreading to put to use.
3. A five-pack of paint brushes with which to use #2.
4. A few week to month old copies of the New York Times
5. The decapitated head of one of those jiggly, dashboard hula dancers.

Five Things in My Wallet
1. A Martini Madness menu from a sh*tty suburban bar (in order to steal ideas for a similarly themed party later this month).
2. To quote one of my favourite films, "Two Dollars."
3. A hockey card of some sh*theel defenceman named Rostislav Klesla, given to me by a student two years ago.
4. A library card... It's cheaper than the bookstores and Blockbuster video.



5. This picture of my favourite rock stars:









Five People I'm Tagging:
Zinedine Zidane
Luis Figo
David Beckham
Gianluigi Buffon
Fabien Barthez

7.7.06

"Herman's Head meets Slim Goodbody"

I have pinpointed the precise moment in which the seeds of road rage manifest themselves on my central nervous system. As a reasoning adult, I like to be conscious of the process, lest my primitive impulses attempt a coup d'├Ętat to topple the more rational neurons. Once that happens, all hell breaks loose and I'd have to humbly call my wife to bail me out of the hoosegow, which would in turn cause her primitive impulses to go haywire and begin throwing coffee mugs at me when we get home.

It's a rather simple chain of events that begins when the retina catches sight of an errant driver breaches etiquette. Though the entire process takes seconds, I have broken it down for perusal:

RETINA Whoah!
OPTIC NERVE Wha- wha-? Oh sh*t! Hey Brain...
FRONTAL LOBE Ah- Ah- Ah..... Booogie wonder-laaaaand.... Huh?
OPTIC NERVE Hey jackass, there's a car in the way!
FRONTAL LOBE Should I brace for impact?
OPTIC NERVE Naw, nigga! Tap the brakes!
FRONTAL LOBE (To Motor Cortex) D'you wanna field this?
MOTOR CORTEX All right. Yo, spinal cord... Tell the calf muscles to flex a bit. Apparently some a**hole just cut us off.
SPINAL CORD I'm on it. (zap)
MUSCLES What the f*ck...
SPINAL CORD Apply the brakes, quickly!
MUSCLES Where are they?
FRONTAL LOBE Next to the gas pedal! Next to the gas pedal!
MUSCLES Oh yeah.


The muscles propel foot from the gas pedal to the brakes and lightly tap enough to slow the vehicle down enough to allow a**hole driver to merge in front. It is at this exact moment that the other anatomical systems become involved.





FRONTAL LOBE What would an appropriate remark be here? 'F*ck-wad' or 'Jerk?'
OCCIPITAL LOBE The kids are in the car. Ixnay on the uckwad-fay.
FRONTAL LOBE Sh*t. Use 'creep'.
LUNGS (inhale - exhale)
VOCAL FOLDS (Vibrating "muther fffff*******")
FRONTAL LOBE I said use 'creep', dumbass!
VOCAL FOLDS Bug off, man. I'm just doing what the neurotransmitters told me.
NEUROTRANSMITTER Tourette's.
FRONTAL LOBE Damn. Did the kids hear?
EAR CANAL (echoes "Daddy, mommy says only dummies swear.")
PRIMARY AUDITORY CORTEX They heard...
VOCAL FOLDS (Vibrating "Daddy said 'Mother fudge bucket")
FRONTAL LOBE Good thinking.
VOCAL FOLDS It's the best I could do. I don't see you doing any better.
FRONTAL LOBE F*ck you, man. I've got a lot on my plate here. You know what happens when I freak out... Is it clear?
OPTIC NERVES Yeah, but the bastard just gave us the finger.
FRONTAL LOBE Why did he do that?
MOTOR CORTEX I told the hand to lay on the horn.
FRONTAL LOBE I didn't authorize that!
MOTOR CORTEX You were too busy having a p*ssing contest with the vocal folds.
FRONTAL LOBE God DAMN it!
KIDNEY Oh-oh... Looks like trouble brewin'.
ADRENAL GLANDS Grrrrrrr. Grrrrrrrr... GRRRRRRNNNNNNT.
KIDNEY SHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT....
HEART (pump. pump. pump. pump.) Uh-oh. Tense situation. (pump. pump. pump. pump. pump. pump. pump. pump. pump.)
ARTERIES Gang-way!
RED BLOOD CELLS Wheeeeeeeee!
TISSUE Hey. Watch it, bro!
NERVE ENDINGS Yeah. You're making the face tingle.
CAPILLARIES Sorry dudes. Gotta get more oxygenized cells to the brain.
LUNG (excited) Did someone say more oxygen?
FRONTAL LOBE EVERYBODY CALM DOWN!
STOMACH Yeah. If I get an ulcer, heads are going to roll.
EPINEPHRINES Good idea. Let's kick some ass. Where's that driver? Let's run him off the road.
FRONTAL LOBE Are you crazy? The kids are in the car! (To Optic Nerve) What are they doing?
OPTIC NERVE They're playing with their PowerRangers....
FRONTAL LOBE Awwww... Look at that.... Adrenal, focus buddy... No more epinephrines! Those crazy bastards are going to make me do something rash!
ADRENAL GLAND GRRRRRRNnNNNnnnnnnn... GRrrrrrnnnnph... grrr
FRONTAL LOBE Nobody's going to hurt us or the kids! Good boy. Good Boy.
ADRENAL GLAND HRrrrnnrnrnrnrnrr.. grr.. gzzzzzzzzz. zzzzzzzzzz.
FRONTAL LOBE Everything's okay, every one. Resume normal functions.
ADRENAL GLAND zzzzzzzzz. zzzzzzzzzzzz.
HEART Phew.
LUNGS Gasp.
NOSE Thank god. If we were to tangle with that troglodyte in the other car, I'm usually the first target.
KNUCKLES I had yo' back, nigga.
FRONTAL LOBE Sure you did....
VOCAL CHORDS (Vibrating "Booogie wonder laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand")
EAR CANAL Change the station!

(Crackle... "You're beautiful... you're beautiful it's trueeeeeeee... I saw your face...")

ADRENAL GLAND GRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! GRRRRRRRR.....ooooooowwwwl
EPINEPHRINES James Blunt? Let's go kick his ass.
FRONTAL LOBE Come on, guys. Don't start that sh*t again. (to others) Guys, we need a diversion!
OPTICAL NERVES Whoa! Look at those knockers!
LIBIDO Where? Where?
TESTES Whoo-hooo!
FRONTAL LOBE (I hate this job.)

Pint-Sized shills


Wise-crackin'/cuddly pre-teens get a rough ride in this week's roundtable. Have a look.