Friday, August 19, 2005

Extremely quick update

No, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. Not yet anyhow. My grandmother had a fairly severe heart attack. She is now stabilized, but the problem is that her brain went without blood for a bit, and now she is fairly nutty. It is pretty sad to see. Sometimes she knows who I am, sometimes she thinks I am someone else she knows, and sometimes she has no clue who I am. So I have been driving up to Phoenix almost every night after work to check on her, and to give my mom a sanity break. By the time I get home, I am beat, and don't feel like posting.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The new "hobbit" policy

Yet another new policy has been implemented at work. From now on, if anyone has not shown up by 10:00, they will be asked to just go home, and be forced to use a vacation day. I can't wait to see how this plays out, for two reasons. One, the hobbit WILL show up after 10:00 at some point this week. Two, my boss, who made this decision, is a big pussy, and I can't see him actually telling the hobbit to beat feet. We have a little bet going at work on what will actually happen. My bet is that the hobbit will be late sometime this week, and will get off with just a warning. I have $10 on each part of that, so I'm pretty sure I will make $20 before the week is over.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Can you hear me now? Hell no!

My cell phone sucks. There is no way to sugar coat this, it flat out sucks. I can't use it in my house, and I can't use it in my office. So about 95% of the time, I have problems. Otherwise, it is pretty good. It has become a running joke with my friends and family at this point. At work, everyone laughs when I am racing to the door to get outside before my call drops.

The reason I bring this up is because I spent a good portion of yesterday on my cell phone. Because it is such a piece of shit, that means I spent a good portion of yesterday outside. This is a problem, because it is about a million degrees out there, with high humidity, and I got sunburned to shit, along with smelling like a pig farm when I was done because of all the sweat. Then, for good measure, I split my pants. This may have been karmic retribution, but that is another story for another time.

I come back into the office, drenched, red, and leaving no doubt as to the color of my boxers. I was immediately met by the hobbit, and another coworker. Let's tune in on the conversation...

Hobbit: Jeez, did you go for a jog or something?
Umbrella: It is a fucking sauna out there.
Hobbit: What were you doing out there?
Umbrella (still holding phone in hand, and showing it to him): My phone sucks.
Co-worker: Two words for you, conference room.
Umbrella: I've got two words for you, my phone sucks ass, and I need to get a new one.
Hobbit: That isn't two words.
Umbrella and Co-worker: Shut the fuck up, Bilbo.

(For maximum effect, make sure you read that last line like John Goodman's character in "The Big Lewbowski".)

I would normally use the conference room phone, but the hobbit has even ruined that. We work in a cubicle farm, so there isn't any phone privacy. So whenever the hobbit is talking to his wife, which is about 40 times a day, he goes in there. Unfortunately, they are one of those couples that cannot have a conversation for more than 30 seconds without getting into a fight. So now the whole office has to listen to him screaming at her over some bullshit. Not good times.

Now I am going to be a redneck, literally, for a couple of days. Good thing I have a semi-dark complexion anyhow. If I were one of those pasty white guys, life would not be too good right now.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Vince Vaughn is back to his roots

I am not much of a movie person. I would much rather go to a ball game than a movie. That being said, I saw "Wedding Crashers" this weekend. It was pretty funny, although I don't know if it lived up to all of the hype.

The thing I noticed right away is that Vince Vaughn is playing almost the same character he played in "Swingers". I mentioned that to my lady friend after the movie, to which she surprised me by saying that she had never seen "Swingers". So we went and rented it, and watched it after the movie.

My favorite scene in "Swingers" is when they are all playing the hockey video game. I have played this version of the game, and my friends and I acted exactly like those guys, even to the point where threats were made to do physically impossible insertions to each other. I was cracking up during that scene, while my lady friend looked at me like I was some kind of idiot. Oh well, must be a guy thing.

Anyhow, I am glad Vince Vaughn is back to doing comedies. He is much better suited for that. Besides, an Academy Award is overrated.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Jam session

Tonight, I am starting a new adventure. I am playing in a new band. Yes, this old geeky guy plays in a band. And no, I don't play accordion. I used to play in a band a couple of years back. Unfortunately, one of the guys in the band had a kid, and since we practiced at his pad, the band kind of fell apart.

Even though I haven't been playing regularly, I still write music. I like writing the music more than the lyrics, so most of the songs have catchy tunes, with bizarre words. For example, one of my songs is about my theory that you can't run very fast with a hard on. Paul Simon, watch out.

So tonight, we are going to have a little jam session. Both of the guys are guys I have played with before, so we know each other. But the three of us have never played together all at once. It should be interesting. If nothing else, my bass skills should start getting better once I start playing regularly.

Oh, and for the record, the hobbit showed up at 11:30 yesterday.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Hobbit Update

Remember the hobbit? I posted about him here, here, and here. So far my attempts to get him fired have been fruitless. I am convinced he has pictures of someone important in a compromising position.

He has been told constantly about his late arrivals. We now have a policy that everyone has to be in by 10:00. Why? Because he never comes in until the afternoon. This policy has been in effect for about a month. During that time, he has come in before 10:00 twice. Twice! That is it.

My director had a talk with him last week, telling him to get it together. So take a guess what time he shows up, the first day after being talked to? 10:42. My boss is the biggest pussy in the world. He won't fire him, and the hobbit knows this.

Consider the fact that the hobbit is also the most annoying fuck on the planet, asks questions about EVERYTHING, and is worthless, and you can understand why I want him fired. The questions thing has become a running joke around the office. He asks questions that don't need to be asked. He is the true antithesis of the statement, "There is no such thing as a stupid question."

Just yesterday, I overheard this conversation between him and one of our co-workers.
Hobbit: I am going to Office Max, does anyone need anything?
Co-Worker: Could you pick up a couple of rolls of tape?
H: Scotch tape or packing tape?
CW: Now when have you ever seen me use packing tape?
H: How many do you need?
CW: (getting frustrated) Let's see, last time I checked, a couple meant two.
H: Do you want the dispensers, or just the refills?
CW: Shut the fuck up Bilbo, and just get me the goddamned tape!

Multiply this conversation about 100 times per day, and you will understand why we have such a short fuse with him.

I am keeping a spreadsheet on what time he shows up since he had his talk. At this point, I don't care if it makes me a snitch. I want him gone.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Blogs I Hate

From time to time, I like to use the "NEXT BLOG" button on the upper right and just go surfing away. I am hoping to find blogs I will add to my esteemed "Other Blogs I Like" list, but I usually find just a bunch of crap. So for the truckloads of people out there who are dying to make this list, let me give you some hints on what irritates the shit out of me with certain blogs.

1. Changing the cursor. This shouldn't bother me so much, but it does. What is wrong with the little arrow?

2. Those stupid message boxes. This is just retarded. I remember a website someone sent me to once that you had to click the message box about a hundred times. Now, even once, and I am looking for a flamethrower. If the message is so important, make it the title of your blog.

3. Blogs that play music. This might not be so bad, except the type of people that do this are the type of people that use the theme song to the Smurfs, or a crappy MIDI of The Cure as their music.

4. Blogs that are just advertisements. Which is about 80% of the blogs on Blogger. Do these things work? I find that hard to believe.

5. blogz that think they rool This drives me nuts. No caps, purposefully misspelled words. Shut the fuck up you l33t motherfuckers. I know this makes me sound like an uncool old guy, but I AM an uncool old guy, so fuck you.

6. Dark text on a black background. I know, I know, you are just showing your uniqueness. Your individuality. Whatever. I could shit in the middle of my living room. That's unique, but it doesn't mean you should do it.

7. Blogs that are just link lists. Once again, this probably wouldn't be so bad, if the links were interesting. But no, the links are generally to Yahoo news stories. Try telling me something I don't know. Maybe a link to, I don't know, I site I never heard of. Hint: I know about Google as well.

8. Whiny, depressing, "the whole world hates me" blogs. You know the type. These are the ones usually written by 13 year old girls, moping about some guy who doesn't even know they exist. These usually go hand-in-hand with numbers 1, 2, 3, and 6.

I am sure there are many, many more, but these are the ones that popped into my head. And I am sure there are things about my blog that annoy the piss out of people. Heck, there are things about my blog that annoy the piss out of ME! If I knew how to change it, I would, but I am HTML illiterate.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Giveaway night at the ol' ballpark.

One of the conditions of my divorce is that my ex and I split which person has the girls on each of the holidays. In other words, she gets to have the girls this year for 4th of July. However, it was my normal weekend this weekend, so I had a plan. We have a local AAA baseball team here. They don't play tonight, but they played last night. Every year, they have a big 4th of July night (this year being on the 3rd), where they have a big fireworks show at the end of the game. It is one of the better places in town to watch fireworks. Every year for as long as I can remember, I have taken my daughters to the ballpark to watch the fireworks display. They love it, and so do I.

We went to the game last night. For whatever reason, I decided to buy a program. This was strange, because of the probably 50 times I have been to this ballpark, I never bought a program. There has been a lot of movement of players between the AAA club and the major league club, so I just wanted to see what the current roster was.

I was leafing through the program, when I noticed this...

There was a player's autograph on the ad. I got excited, because about three times per game, they announce "Turn to page so-and-so in your program. If you have so-and-so's autograph on the whatever ad, you win!" However, it being a Rooter King ad, I was a little wary about what the prize would be. I figured it would be some sort of a gift certificate to get work done. While maybe not the ideal prize, I suppose I could use some work. One of my toilets has been a little sluggish lately, so it wouldn't be a total waste.

Sure enough, in the fifth inning, they called out my ad. My youngest daughter and I excitedly went to guest relations to claim our prize. I felt like the dad in The Christmas Story, waiting to see what the fantastic prize was. Then, the lady gave me my prize. Here it is, in all its glory...

That's right, I was the proud winner of a plunger. Not just any plunger, a Rooter King plunger. I walked back disappointed to my seat. I finally win something, and it was a freakin' plunger. (Side note: The blogger spell checker wanted to replace freakin' with foreskin. I found the thought of a foreskin plunger very funny. Yes, I have the sense of humor of a 12 year old. Sue me). The people around me thought this was the funniest thing ever. It did, however, have that nice new plunger smell. Which I can assure you is MUCH better than used plunger smell.

Fast forward to late in the game. The home team was losing by three. They weren't hitting the ball at all. Desperate times call for desperate measures. It was at that point that I had a stroke of genius. Yes, it was time to bring out...


I grabbed the plunger, and began to wave it around, cheering loudly. Everyone around me thought that I had lost my mind. My oldest daughter was predictably mortified, while my youngest thought it was kind of funny.

But strange things started happening. The first batter walked. Then the second batter got a hit, advancing the runner to third. I started making more noise, and waving my plunger around. Then, the next batter hit a pop up a mile high. I was jumping around, waving my plunger at the second baseman, making what can best be described as plunging sounds.

He dropped it!

Now everyone in my section was taking notice of the rally plunger. That ball never gets dropped. Never. Bases were loaded with no outs. Others around me were telling me to keeping plunging. The next batter gets a hit. Two runs score. We are now down by one, with runners on first and third, and nobody out. The other team changes pitchers. At this point, I have made my entire section believers in the power of the rally plunger. The stadium organ would play the CHARGE song, only we would all shout PLUNGE! And no, I wasn't drinking. I can't speak for the rest of the section, though.

The next batter hit into a double play, which wasn't good, but the runner on third scored, tying the game. Two outs, nobody on base. The crowd was going wild, at the nice comeback. Our section was going even wilder, due to the absurdity of the rally plunger.

At this point, I had an interesting conversation. A guy walking by sees my waving the plunger, generally going nuts. The conversation went like this...

Guy: What is that?
Me: It's a plunger.
Guy: You brought a plunger to a baseball game?
Me: No, I won it.
(longer pause)
Guy (incredulously): You WON a plunger at a baseball game?
Me: Hey, I don't pick the prizes, I just win 'em!

The next batter comes up, and cranks it over the left field wall. Game over, comeback complete. The fans in my section all wanted to touch the magical rally plunger, but I kept it safe. Like King Arthur and Excaliber, only I could harness the powers within the rally plunger. In the wrong hands, it could be used for the powers of evil. However, unlike Excaliber, it doesn't have a catchy name. I might have to work on that one.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Umpires don't have a sense of humor

Nothing much new to post. We had the all-star tournament last weekend. Unfortunately, our team got smoked. Even more unfortunately, it wasn't a surprise. However, I did almost get tossed out of the game. We were down to our last batter, and losing 6-0. We had runners on 1st and 3rd. The other team had their closer in, and she was throwing harder than I can. Remember, these are eight year olds.

The pitcher threw a bullet inside, and my girl jumped back to get away. No such luck, she got absolutely drilled. The runner on first started trotting to second, and the batter starts trying to walk it off. Then the ump calls time, and sends the runner back to first. I go out there to find out what is going on, and he tells me she didn't make an effort to get out of the way.

I had a few issues earlier in the game with this ump's calls, but nothing major. This time, I blew a gasket. I was all over him. I won't go into great detail, but he just kept saying "She didn't make an effort to get out of the way" to everything I said. Which was bullshit, but he was sticking to his story.

Finally, one of the other coaches came out and told me to let it go. So I went back in the dugout, and was still steaming. The very next pitch, she cranked it down the left field line. A big puff of chalk went up when the ball hit the ground, and we avoided the shutout. Or so I thought.

I see the ump waving his hands, and yelling "Foul Ball!!" I was already upset, and this pushed me over the edge. I didn't cuss, and I didn't get physical, but for the first time in my life, I questioned an ump's integrity to his face. I was absolutely furious. At this point, I was trying to get tossed. I told him real loud so everyone in the crowd could hear, "Let me guess, the ball hit the line, but since the line didn't make an effort to get out of the way, it doesn't count." Everyone in the crowd started laughing, and our side of the crowd started cheering. This must have embarrassed him, because then he told me, "One more word, and I will toss you." Since I was trying to get the boot, I had to reply to that. I asked, "What, you are going to toss me because of your own incompetence?" He was gutless, and wouldn't toss me out. She ended up striking out on the next pitch.

On brighter news, I got a new tattoo on Monday. It turned out pretty good. It is Chinese characters, and I am not saying what it means. If I wanted everyone to know, I would have printed it in English.

Monday, June 13, 2005

I've got Pabst Blue Ribbon on my mind

OK, I am hoping someone out there in blogland can help me out. Here is the story.

My lady friend and I went to see Whiskey Bitch on Saturday night. By the way, they are playing their last show ever in Phoenix this weekend before they break up. If you like old fashioned ass kicking punk/metal, I would go check them out. Anyhow, at the bar, it was pretty crowded. I looked over, and noticed some guy was drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon.

I was drinking Bass, which is my normal beer of choice. Yes, I am a bit of a beer snob. Sue me. It wasn't always that way though. I was poor, and used to drink the poor man's beer. You know, Milwaukee's Best, and that sort of stuff. However, even when I was poor, or desparate, or both, nobody I knew would be caught dead with PBR. It was the old man, white trash, redneck beer.

I was chuckling to myself that someone was drinking it. Then, as I was looking around, I saw more people had it. And as the place filled up, more and more people were drinking it. I am guessing close to half the bar was drinking that crap. I was absolutely stunned.

Either one of two things happened. It was on sale for about a dime a can, or everyone is in on the joke but me. When did Pabst become popular? Am I missing something here? I was telling one of the guys I hang with about it, and he is telling me that white trash is in right now. Is this true?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

I have discovered what Hell will be like

I don't worry about cold and flu season. I never get sick during that time. However, beautiful sunny weather, no sickness in sight, and I am in trouble. Somehow I managed to get the flu. Combine fluids coming out of both ends with a stuffed up head, and misery ensues. Then, for good measure, I managed to fuck up my back again. Puking with a bad back is definitely what Hell is all about.

After the debacle to see Troy's Bucket last week, my lady friend and I were going to go see Tucson's farewell performance of Whiskey Bitch this weekend. But I better get well quick for that to happen. I am hoping I turned the corner today.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The whole damn world is against me

Last night had the makings of an epic night. I was going out to dinner with my lady friend, then we were going to head over to a club to catch Troy's Bucket, then to her place, and whatever happens, happens. I mentioned Troy's Bucket in an earlier post, and this was going to be my first chance to see them since then, and I was really looking forward to it.

We get to the restaurant, which is pretty close to the club. I saw a whole slew of police cars up the street, so there was obviously an accident. However, it was still a little ways before the show, so I didn't think too much of it. How wrong I was. We came out of the restaurant, and the road was still blocked off. She knew a back way to get to the club, so off we went.

The back way was blocked as well. So was the side way, the up way, and I am sure if there was an underground tunnel, it would have been blocked as well. I went to find a number for the club, to see what was going on. It turns out that there was an accident, and some guy crashed into a power line, and took out power to the area. The club was part of that area, and so there would be no show.

I was pretty bummed out by that, but we decided to try and make the best out of a bad situation. We decided to go to her place and fool around a bit. However, about two minutes after we get there, her son comes home. He was supposed to be at work all night, so this was a pleasant surprise. Of course, he decides he is just going to hang out there all night instead. Now I am starting to get pissed.

We decided to grab a Tucson Weekly to see if any other places had any good bands playing. Saturday, there were tons. Friday, pretty much just the show we wanted to go to. As an added bonus, there was a little article about one of the other local bands I really like, Whiskey Bitch, who is breaking up and playing their last show in Tucson next weekend.

Plan D involves renting a movie. We go to get one, and now we can't agree on anything. I want to get some goofy comedy, she wants a chick flick, and things are spiraling out of control. Finally, she recommends getting "Without A Paddle", which looks like a comedy, and I am tired of being there, so I agree to it.

She tells me there is no soda in the house. For the record, I am a Dr. Pepper fiend. This stuff is liquid crack to me. I can't get enough of it. So we hit the convinience store on the way home to get some. Can you believe that they were out of Dr. Pepper? I was speechless.

To cap off my wonderful evening, "Without a Paddle" sucked so much ass, I think there was bits of colon stuck in its teeth. We didn't even make it through the movie.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

New blog name, at last!

Add a couple of words, shift the order around a bit, and presto! A new blog name. As many times as life pisses on you, this kinda makes sense. Or not, I'm not sure. If I ever learn anything at all about HTML, hopefully this blog can be a little less generic.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The story behind the umbrella

I just realized, I promised a long time ago to tell the story of Umbrella. Keep in mind that it is pretty retarded, and I think it is a "you had to be there" moment.

Waaaaay back in the day, when I was a young and somewhat wild and rebellious lad, my ex-wife had a fairly important party she had to attend for work. All of the bigwigs from her work were there. I hate bigwigs. A bunch of dorks standing around thinking they are God's gift to women because they are rich, telling stupid jokes, and generally getting on my nerves. I tried like hell to get out of it, but trying to give all of the potential babysitters polio didn't work. Damn vaccines.

Plan B involved getting drunk to the gills to dull the pain. However, when I am drunk, I tend to get... well let's call it brutally honest. In other words, I would be asking her boss if he ever used that tooth of his that stuck out sideways as a can opener. She quickly informed me that my alcohol intake was going to be monitored closely. Great, so I was going to be bored and sober.

We went to this party, and it turned out I knew very few people there. I am generally pretty quiet when around people I don't know. Combine this with the fact that when I do talk, I am pretty blunt and crass, and I was told to be on my best behavior. A recipe for a miserable evening. I basically just leaned up against a wall and didn't say anything all night.

My ex was drinking, so pretty soon I was being scolded for not mingling enough. Damned if I do, damned if I don't. So I started hanging on the outside of conversations. I soon found out that I was the only one there who was probably legal to drive, which was pissing me off even more.

There was one small group of people talking that didn't look like they were total losers, so I wandered over and began listening in. Turns out, they were fairly drunk, and were talking about sex. More specifically, the wierdest stuff they had done. I think the question was what was the kinkiest thing you ever did. Now this was something I could probably get into.

Unfortunately, most of this stuff was lame. They were talking about doing it in a car, doing it in their parents bed, stuff like that. One girl mentioned that she once had sex in a closet. I must have been making faces that showed how weak I thought this was, because she looked at me and asked, "Don't you think having sex in a closet is kinky?" I answered, "I suppose it depends on whether or not you keep your umbrella in there." She got kind of flustered, and everyone else started laughing. From that point on, much to my ex's chagrin, I was always known as the umbrella guy to all of her work.

So no groundbreaking stuff, like I invented the self-drying umbrella, or anything like that. And in the early days where most people used screen names like BobR123, Umbrella was a little different. So that has been my internet identity ever since.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The dumbest waitress ever

Sorry for the lack of posts. My boss has been on vacation, and I have had to run the show. Plus, I have been working overtime trying to get the hobbit fired. So far, no luck. Add to that the fact that my daughter made all-stars in softball, and I was named a coach, and there is absolutely no free time in my life right now. I know, cry me a fucking river.

Today, I had an experience that I just had to share. I do believe I may have found one of the dumbest waitresses in America. This is one of those restaurants where you pay at the counter, then they bring your food out. My total was $8.06. I had a ten dollar bill, and didn't want all that change. Unfortunately, I didn't have a nickel, so I gave her a dime and a penny. She was absolutely lost. I finally told her the change just to get the line moving.

My two buddies and I go sit down and wait for our food. After a few minutes, she comes out with a tray with our sandwiches. There were only about 6 tables with people at it, and we were the only ones without food. That didn't prevent the confusion. She ended up going to some other table where two guys were sitting. I couldn't hear the conversation, but obviously they were trying to tell her that it wasn't their order. I think the fact that there were three sandwiches on the tray for two people might have clued her in. Either that, or maybe the fact that the two guys were already eating might have helped.

The best was yet to come. My friend finally yelled out to her to come over. She sees us, and heads over. My buddy and I both got a French dip, while the other guy got something else. She gives us the sandwiches, and tells us the turkey club is on its way. We all had sandwiches, and tried to tell her we didn't order a turkey club. She gets confused, and then asks if these are our coffees. Now it was our turn to be confused, until I realized she was talking about the little bowls of au jus for the French dips. I told her that wasn't coffee, it was for the French dips. At this point, she gets all indignant, and says "Well, I think I would know coffee if I saw it." I said, "Yeah, you would think," and just told her they were ours.

Normally, I wouldn't make fun of the stupid. OK, yes I would, but at least I would feel bad about it. However, when you get all bitchy about it, when you are an obvious dumbass, then all bets are off. At this point, we start asking for cream and sugar for the coffee, asking if we can get free refills, wondering where the handles on the coffee cups were, that sort of thing. I have a feeling she won't be lasting long at that place.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

No Internet!

The hobbit at work has cost us all internet access. He spent most of the day doing day trading, so now we all get to pay. My infrequent updates will be getting more infrequent. Why can't we just fire the choad?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Mothers and Daughters

Sorry for the lack of posting. It has been an interesting week, to say the least.

I got a call from my teenaged daughter the other day. She was asking if she could spend the night at my house. I told her sure, and asked what was up. She told me she was at a friend's house in my neighborhood, and just wanted to crash here. I told her it was OK with me, as long as it was OK with her mom. She assured me it was.

About 15 minutes later, I get a call from my ex. She was absolutely livid. She was carrying on about some tile or something, and how she gets no respect from her kids, and they walk all over her, and blah-de-dah. She had a weird relationship with her mother. They were best friends. Heck, her mom was the maid of honor at our wedding, if that gives you any idea. She always thought that was the norm, and would get mad at me when I told her that nobody else in the world is that way. Bottom line, she feels like she and her daughters should be buddies. Gee, I wonder why her kids don't respect her. She always does whatever the kids want, and then I was always the disciplinarian. Lucky me. So while she was going on and on with her rant, I just wanted to say "Maybe if you spent more time trying to be their parent then their best friend, they would respect you more," but I bit my tongue.

Whatever it is my daughter did not only got her KFMA ticket thrown away (KFMA day is a giant day-long concert), but it got her thrown out of the house. So she has been staying with me. From a selfish standpoint, it has been great. My oldest and I get along really well. She has been helping me around the house, and it is nice to have some company. However, I need to find out what is going on.

Last night, after dinner, I ask her what the deal is with her and her mom. She insists she doesn't know. All she knows is that her mom is furious with her, and she has no clue why. I was married to that woman for 13 years. There has been more than one occasion I was sleeping on the couch, and didn't have any idea why I was in trouble. So it is entirely feasible that my daughter doesn't know what she did wrong.

She has a dentist appointment today. Her mom is taking her. This will be the first time they have talked since the blowup. I told my daughter to find out why she is in trouble, and that it is her responsibility to correct the problem. And maybe, if she does, she might get to go to the concert after all, but don't count on it. We'll see what happens.

What is the deal with mothers and daughters? I grew up with all boys in my family, and I don't remember all this drama. Oh well, I only have about 4-5 more years of this, then I get to go through it with my younger daughter. Woohoo. Still, it feels good to know that she is still willing to come to me when she has problems. I hope that continues.

This concludes the Dr. Phil segment of my blog. We will now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

A Nation of Millions

I went to Zia's at lunch yesterday. For those that don't know, Zia's is a music store that trades albums, and you can find some obscure stuff pretty cheap. I decided to check out the bargain bin, and see if anything good was in there. I came across a new copy of Public Enemy's "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back".

As a white kid growing up in Phoenix, I didn't have a lot of exposure to rap. However, when I joined the navy, my company in boot camp had about 20 guys from New York City, the birthplace of hip hop. I immediately became enthralled with their rapping and beat boxing.

The first two rap albums I ever really listened to were "Paid in Full", and "It Takes a Nation of Millions". So to see it in the bargain bin in part was nostalgic, and in part really pissed me off. I mean, how is one of the most influencial albums of all time sitting on the same level as "Elmo's Christmas"?

I ended up buying it with damn near pocket change. I listened to it all night, and had forgotten how much I enjoyed that album. It reminds me of that angry young man who wanted to change the world in what seems like a different lifetime. I think tomorrow I am going to go look for "Paid in Full".

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Nothing new

There has been a lack of updates because life has been incredibly uninteresting. I know, that is nothing new. Although I did get my redneck on, and went to a demolition derby at the county fair this weekend. Oh, and Cheap Trick was there. I don't know which surprised me more, the fact that they are still touring, the fact that they have a new album coming out, or the fact that they still have all of their original members.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Water balloon warfare in the 21st century

I coach girls softball. I have done it for 9 years. Growing up as a jock, I always envisioned having the superstar son, and all that. Cut ahead, and two daughters later, that obviously didn't happen. However, I still have a huge love of sports, and both of my daughters enjoyed softball. So here I am.

As Tom Hanks can testify, coaching girls is quite a bit different than boys. For example, screaming "Grow a set of balls!" doesn't work as well. But I am getting off topic.

It has been really hot here, and we are at about the mid-season point, so I decided to shake things up at practice last night. I decided to make a bunch of water balloons, and have a giant water balloon fight. I figured it would be fun, and loosely could justify it by saying it was a throwing/running drill. On paper, it was a great idea.

I ended up leaving work early yesterday to go home and make the balloons. I haven't done this since I was a kid. Either my technique sucks now, or the balloons have gotten worse. After a half hour, I had a total of two balloons, and was completely soaked. I guess I was overfilling them, because they were exploding all over the place.

Being a reasonably intelligent person, I decided not to fill them as much. This seemed to work. After about an hour and a half or so, I had a couple of coolers filled with water balloons. At least 300 balloons, I am guessing. I was ready to rock.

What I hadn't counted on is how heavy a cooler full of water balloons is. I am not a weak man, but damn if those didn't weigh a ton! So I am grunting and groaning trying to carry them from the back yard out to the van. Then, when I got to the practice field, it was even a longer haul. By the time I carried both coolers out there, I was half dead.

The girls show up, and see the two coolers and are intrigued. Me, being the sneaky and somewhat evil type that I am, invited them to come over and see what was inside. When they came over, I completely ambushed them by firing about three balloons in rapid succession. However, in my attempts to not have the balloons explode while filling, I erred too far in the other direction, and didn't fill them enough.

Unfortunately, my accuracy is still pretty good, and all three balloons hit their intended targets. None of them exploded on impact though, and so I had knocked three girls over. One had the wind knocked out of her, and the other two were rubbing their heads. The initial excited looks on the girls were quickly replaced by a "This guy is fucking crazy" look. I decided I had better not throw any more balloons, and just let them have their fun.

For the record, between bending over for two hours filling balloons, and lugging those damn coolers around, my back has decided to check out for the day. I can barely move. Getting old really sucks.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A new kind of pain

I had to come in to work pretty early this morning for a meeting involving Italy. Damn time zones. I was half asleep, on cup of coffee #1, and generally an unhappy camper. I decided to get a good stretch in before getting down to business. However, one of my armpit hairs somehow got caught in my shirt. As I raised my arms for that cleansing stretch, a pain shot through me as the hair must have just been plucked right out. I gave out a little yelp, and jerked my arms down. Everyone in the conference room just stared at me like I was insane. I started to explain what happened, but decided it just wasn't worth it. How the hell do you get an armpit hair caught in a shirt? It's not like I have snaps in the pits, or anything like that.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Anniversaries are overrated

I went out to club crawl last night with my lady friend. (Side Note: If you get a chance to catch Troy's Bucket, do it! Those guys rocked!) Anyhow, she ended up staying the night at my place. So this morning, I was awoken by her, serving me champagne and chocolate covered strawberries in bed. Of course, I am thinking that I must have completely rocked her world last night. Like an idiot, I asked what the special occasion was. Big, big mistake.

It turns out today was the one year anniversary of the first time we ever went out. I can barely remember when my birthday is, much less this. Needless to say, she wasn't real thrilled that I didn't remember. So the question is, am I a schmuck for not knowing this? I mean seriously, how many people know the exact date of the first time they ever went out?

I couldn't think of a real graceful save from this one, but I went with "A year?!? That's not possible. It feels like we just met." I don't think that worked too well, so I went to plan B, and took her out to a fancy dinner tonight. She seemed pretty happy when I took her home, so I think I may be off the hook. So I guess I better remember today. What's the date again?

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Back from the abyss

I have survived my business trip, although my sleep schedule is completely screwed right now. Tonight, I am going out partying with my lady friend. Should be fun.

As for the blog name update, I am still deciding. Nothing jumps out as the one, although I have to admit "My umbrella, your vagina" made me laugh aloud.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

New blog name update

I am back from the cruise. It actually was pretty fun. My mom and I decided that we would each do our own thing, and so I barely saw her, except for dinners. No gin, but I had some really good tequila in Ensenada, and many many beers.

It turns out that I have a business trip to go on next week, so I have two days at home. Lucky me. So that means I will have another week to get blog name requests. The leading candidate right now is The Umbrella Corporation.

And Mike, when I get back from Northern California, I'll tell the story of Umbrella. It's not great, but then again, many nickname stories are pretty stupid.

Friday, April 01, 2005

My blog name needs work

Somehow, it slipped out at work that I was going on the cruise with my mom. Hoooo boy. Talk about throwing meat to the lions. At this point, I think I have heard every Oedipus and/or incest joke in the book.

So I am hiding in my cubicle, surfing. Screw it, it's Friday, and I have worked almost 60 hours this week. I decided to google "Under the Umbrella", just to see what I would find. The results were not very good.

First off, there is an actual site with a URL of Under the Umbrella. They sell vases that you put under those outdoor lawn table umbrellas. There were also a few blogs with that in their title. Most of these were the types of blogs that feature bad poetry written by depressed teenage girls. Between seeing this, and being harassed by my coworkers for the last half hour, I feel like my manhood is slipping away.

So here is my challenge. I need to come up with a new blog name. My nickname is Umbrella, and that isn't going to change. Maybe I'll tell that story on a later date. But I would like to keep the umbrella concept in there, with a more manly and/or humorous approach. Under the Umbrella was something I just came up with off the top of my head, and the more I think about it, the worse it sounds. So all of my loyal readers, who have been here the whole day of this blog's existence, submit any ideas!

Gin, beer, and other painkillers

I received my first comment (woo phraink!), and I was going to respond in the comment section, but decided to milk another post out of it. The comment offered advice to deal with my mom on the cruise by drinking heavily, preferably gin. Not bad advice, and honestly, that was my Plan B. Well, all except the gin part.

You see, I really hate gin. I never really liked the taste of it, but I don't think that is the big issue. Heck, I hated the taste of beer initially, and now I am in the running for a lifetime achievement award at a local brew pub. No, my problems with gin are more deep seeded than that. I joined the navy as a very young lad. During that time, we did the stereotype sailor thing, go drinking every weekend. One of my buddies was a gin and tonic man. But to use an old phrase, "He loved gin, but gin didn't love him".

Gin would mess with his gastro-intestinal system something fierce. I didn't have to go out with him to know what he was drinking the night before. Right around 10:00 the next morning, his bowels would trumpet with the announcement of the previous nights drink of choice. In other words, this guy had the worst gin farts in history. They were BAD! Clear the room bad. Noxious cloud of haze bad. Couldn't stand his own bad. Bad.

So I stay away from gin. Even someone suggesting playing a quick game of gin rummy send my thoughts back to that guy and his rancid gas. I would much rather stick with tequila. Mmmmm, now we're talking!

The bowl is washed

I forgot to bring my camera in to work. Just as well, because the bowl was washed. However, I think the coffee stained it, because there is a gross brown ring around the perimeter. I still need to get a picture of the hobbit hole, just to show how much food he has in there. I don't think people would believe it unless they saw it.

And just to show how much of a loser I am, I am going on a cruise next week. That's not the loser part. My lady friend was supposed to go with me, but her boss nixed that idea at the last minute. I tried to get the dates changed, but it was waaaaay too late in the game for that. So I had to use the 2nd ticket, or eat the cost. The only person I know that could go on short mom. Yep, I am taking a cruise with my mom. What a dork. Oh well, she thinks I am the greatest thing since sliced bread right now. But the thing is, if I spend more than about 3 hours straight with her, we end up fighting. I have a feeling I will be spending a lot of time in the shipboard casino.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

I think I found my purpose here!

This blog will be used to let me vent about the injustices of the world. You know, famine, acts of aggression, poverty. Just kidding, I want to bitch about my coworkers.

We have a guy here. He's pretty short, about 5'4", pretty hairy, and has a rather large protruding forehead. Naturally, we call him Bilbo or Frodo, depending on our mood. This guy could very well be the most annoying guy on the planet. Anyhow, he keeps more food in his cubicle than most restaurants. Seriously, this guy is ready for the apocalypse.

He usually eats a can of soup for lunch out of his stash. We have a small kitchen in our breakroom, and he always leaves his damn dishes in the sink!! This absolutely drives me, and most of my coworkers, insane. Monday night, as I was leaving, I was rinsing out the coffee pots, when I saw his bowl in there. I have asked him numerous times to please not leave his dirty dishes in there. So, acting like the 12 year old I can be sometimes, I dumped all the coffee in his bowl.

My coworkers thought this was pretty funny, as they can't stand him either. However, today (Thursday) I go in the break room to get some water, and his stupid coffee filled bowl is still in there! And trust me, it is looking nasty. I think I might bring my camera in to work tomorrow, and take a picture of it, as evidence.

First Post

On to create my blog. I will be using this to share the ramblings of a middle aged divorced father of two. I've never done this before, so this will be a bit of an experiment. I have no idea where I will go with this.