Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Quick Check

My MLS predicts back in March were not too bad.

I did correctly guess the Eastern Conference spots 2-5 in the right order. But I blew the top spot and the dead last spot (Columbus, who were the best in the entire league).

I got top in the West right, but nothing else, besides Gullitt being out of LA before December.

Interesting note:
Back then, I picked a Houston-Chicago MLS Cup as I did tonight, but guessed Houston would win.

We'll see.

Be Seeing You.

The Five Women I'd Bang in Heaven

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: Absolutely in love with Jesse Sykes' "Reckless Burning". What a great song. Also rocking out to some great covers of "Bastards of Young" and "Common People" (by the inimitable William Shatner; my man Shat).

WHAT I'M READING: With the release of the fourth book in his Bush series, I have decided to re-read the entire series by Bob Woodward. Great, unbiased journalism.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Still the X-Files. Still soccer (playoffs start tomorrow!). Also watching the 34 films I've picked as the best of the last 34 years; up to 1977's Star Wars.

OKAY, so my beautiful wife Barefoot Adult and I had this challenge back in January to name our list of five possible sexual conquests. Now we have decided to review and renew our lists. So here goes mine.

If the opportunity ever arises, these are the five women I am allowed to sleep with by my wife.

In no real order:

5. Rachel Ray.
I think she was an alternate on last year's list. Yes, she is an attractive woman. But when I see Ray in her kitchen, cooking up some edibles, I get the image that this is a woman who knows what to do not just in the kitchen, but in bed also. She could work a man's tool like a spatula working an omelet. I just believe this woman could make my legs buckle with some sexual adventures.

4. Leighton Meester
My wife enjoys the Gossip Girl. I enjoy Miss Meester. Again, she is pretty. But I can also imagine her enjoying playtime in bed. Maybe it's just the headbands. I dunno. But she'd be fun, me thinks.

3. Kate Winslet
She always makes the list. Again, I just enjoy Kate. She's attractive, funny, smart, has the accent, and doesn't diet herself to death. Kate would take charge and lead me into an eternal sunshine.

2. Olivia Wilde
She of "House". Attractive with a hint of danger to her. Me likey Thirteen. My wife says she's a bi-sexual character. Interesting.

1. Jewel
I believe she was on here last year too. Just gorgeous, with a spunky persona about her. She's a wild poet from Alaska. Plus, if you saw her second album, there is a photo where she appears to be wiping her chin, like she just blew a guy before the photo was snapped. And she looks like she likes what it looks like she did (?).

These are women that I am allowed to sleep with. Now, a list of women I'd want to date long-term might be different (such as a Zoey Deschannel), but this is the sex list.

Start tomorrow. Should be good, though my beloved DC United are not involved. No more on that. Eight teams will compete for the right to play four more games and lift the gorgeous new MLS Cup trophy (named after Phil Anschultz, soccer's savior in America). Here are my predicts.

#1 Columbus Crew over #4 Kansas City Wizards
Will be tight, and a very good series me thinks. But the Crew should win.
#2 Chicago Fire over #3 New England Revolution
Three straight years the Revs have knocked the Fire out of the playoffs. Three straight years the Revs have been in MLS Cup. Six straight years the Revs have been in the Eastern Conference final. This year it should end. The Fire are dangerous and the Revs have a slew of injuries.

#2 Chicago Fire over #1 Columbus Crew
Though the Crew won the Supporters Shield and 17 games out of 30, I can't see them getting to the MLS Cup. The Fire are tough and the Crew are very young. Should be a great game, but I think Blanco, McBride & Co. will win it.

#1 Houston Dynamo over #4 New York Red Bulls
I see no way that New York wins this series. Houston are tough, have won the MLS title two straight years, and the Red Bulls are inconsistent at best.
#2 Club Deportivo Chivas USA over #3 Real Salt Lake
I'm going with Chivas here, but RSL could pull it out. There is always one upset in the opening round, and this has the best shot at it. Should be a fun one. May even need extra-time in the second leg to decide it.

#1 Houston Dynamo over #2 Club Deportivo Chivas USA
The Dynamo are just too tough. Depth, talent, and a consistent lineup for about four years now. Should be an easy win here.

MLS CUP 2008
Chicago Fire over Houston Dynamo
I'm hoping here, because nobody has ever won three straight titles. DC United came close, winning the first two MLS Cups before losing to the Fire in 1998's final. DC would win title three the following year. But I digress. It's time for new blood up top. Chicago has a solid team with an attacking mindset. This would be one helluva good final, but I just don't think Houston can threepeat.

I hope not.

That's all I got. I'll have to look back at my pre-season picks to see how close I was (probably not very).

One last note, don't forget to vote next week. And if you do vote, vote Obama. We need him.

Be Seeing You.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

TV's Best

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: A bunch of different things, but today I was really enjoying Martha Wainwright's "Bloody Motherfucking Asshole".

WHAT I'M READING: Trying to finish "The Wrecking Crew" by Thomas Franks. Interesting.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: We finally got to watch the season premiere of "The Office" tonight, which was funny. Still working through the James Bond collection.

SO I made the challenge to my wife, Barefoot Adult, to blog about her five favorite TV shows currently on TV. I mean shows that are still producing new material. My friend Adam started the thought in my head when he blurted out his five favorite shows one day when I was working his store. My wife and I enjoy the tube. She has many more programs she watches then I (I tend to go in more for TV on DVD myself), so I knew it would be hard for her to narrow it down. For me, it's almost tough to find five shows still running that I enjoy enough to make the list.

But here it goes:

5. Robot Chicken. It's very short, but rarely fails to deliver mucho laughs. Sick humor at times, immature at others, but funny is funny. If you've never seen what they do with the manger scene, hunt it down. Easy to sit through since it's quick, and it makes me laugh hard.

4. How I Met Your Mother. I don't watch it often on my own, usually just catching it while my wife watches it. But I do like it. The characters are endearing but also make me laugh. I especially enjoy Neil Patrick Harris as Barney. Again, another show that rarely fails to make me laugh.

3. The Ultimate Fighter. Spike TV's reality show done in conjunction with the UFC entertains. I get a strange kick out of these grown men behaving like idiots once they are put in this house. You are given a shot of a lifetime in the career you've chosen, and they still, season after season, drink too much and destroy the house. I like that I can never call the winner ahead of time. Keeps me guessing. I get a big kick out of UFC President Dana White. Here's the head of the company in one of the world's fastest growing sports, and the guy cannot, if his life depended on it, got three sentences without dropping the F-bomb. Even in tender moments, such as having to tell a fighter that his dream is over and he's off the show due to an injury, Dana sits there in "comforting father-figure mode", and still can't help but drop a few F-bombs. It's hilarious. Imagine if your company's boss constantly cursed in a meeting. One of the few shows I can never miss.

2. The Office. Yes, I still like the British version better (same as with the Brit version of football), but this is the finest show on network TV today. I'm not such a big fan of Steve Carrell's work here. He's very good at what he's trying to do, but I just find the Scott character so over the top bad as a boss that I cannot see how he wouldn't get axed. That's why the Brit version wins for me. Six episodes in season one, another six in season two, and Gervais's boss did get let go for his incompetence. Scott still having a job kinda takes me out of the show at times. But the supporting cast is great. We love Jim and Pam, but all the others are top shelf too. Barefoot Adult loves her some Creed. It's that office staff that keeps me coming back and loving the show. I just wonder when this documentary they're filming will ever be shown.

1. Football Matters. I left my soccer off the list here because the games are not technically TV shows for me. Yes, soccer would be my entire top five if I just chose games, but this is a list of TV programs. In that case, this is the best show on the planet for me. It's on Setanta Sports every Monday night for 90 minutes. It's a simple show. James Richardson and Rebecca Lowe host in front of a studio audience of footie fans representing each team in the English Premier League. Every week, they are joined by three "experts". The experts range from former refs to retired players to current or former managers. They simply discuss the past weekend's footie action from England's top flight, with some side jaunts here and there onto other football topics. It originates in England. I just love this show. I get a kick out of Richardson's slight humor and toss-off puns. This past week one of the guests was marveling at how once in a scrabble game, he had the right letters to spell out "Tottenham", the name of a club. Without a seconds pause, Richardson added "Of course you only got two points for that". Now, if you don't know your English footie, it's meaningless. But if you know that right now Tottenham are bottom of the league with only two points out of the first seven games, it's hilarious. Even more so because they always cut to the fans in the studio of whatever club he's just jabbed at. Add in Rebecca Lowe, who at first glance isn't much to look at. But week after week, she's gained hotness in my eyes. A large part is due to her accent and her knowledge (and love) of football. Now she's like a English Sex Goddess to me. Plus they always have her scrambling into the studio audience to ask the fans questions. I enjoy that she never just lets them answer, but always challenges what they've stated.

Add to that the fact that every now and then she tosses out a "blimey", and I'm in TV studio hostess love.

Most people would probably not care much for the show. My wife only likes it because she too has a thing for the accents. But I absolutely love this program. It's my favorite, and Monday's would not be the same without it.

Football Matters. Mondays at 9:30 pm on Setanta Sports. Check it out.

So there's my list. Ball's in your court, Barefoot Adult.


Be Seeing You.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

End of a Saga, Beginning of a Dynasty

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: Some "Willy Wonka" soundtrack that the boy picked out at the library.

WHAT I'M READING: Just finished a multitude of soccer magazines. Plus still working through some Frank books.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Well, soccer. Duh. Plus more, which is hinted at in the above title and will be explained below in the body of the post.

SO after many weeks and billions of questions, the boy and I finished the Star Wars SAGA. He enjoyed it, though he missed 95% of the dialogue because he was peppering me with questions along the lines of "Why doesn't the Emperor have a child?" (which in Jude speak tends to come out as "Empirate") or "Where's Han Solo's daddy?" or "Why's Yoda a bad guy?" (because Yoda looks angry when talking to Mace Windu) or "Who's that?" (which was asked roughly ten times about Luke Skywalker IN RETURN OF THE JEDI!)

It was fun though. Cool to sit with my boy and see him experience these films for the first time. After some time, I'm sure I'll look forward to watching them with Sully when he's old enough.

One quick observation. The new "trilogy" is not nearly as bad as so many make it sound. In some ways, I like it as much as the original "trilogy". I mean, as bad as Jar-Jar is, the Ewoks are just as annoying to me. The acting in Jedi is lacking in parts, which you don't notice when you're nine years old. Natalie Portman is way too hot to be Carrie Fisher's mom. Okay, Fisher in Star Wars IV is pretty attractive, minus the cinnabons on her head. But in Star Wars VI, just six years later? The woman is shoe leather rough looking. Even the skimpy sex slave outfit (which is nice) only covers up a face that has been ravaged by what looks like six straight years of coke binges.

I love the political stuff in the new trilogy. Looking back on it, the Emperor's plan is brilliant. A brilliant set up of the Jedi and grab for power.

Call me an idiot, but the first three stand up well with the second three in my book.

To finish the title, after finishing the saga, I've moved on to a DYNASTY. That is, the twenty-one films in the James Bond ouevre (I probably misspelled the hell out of that). Thus far, I'm three films in. Good stuff. Yes, yes, Sean Connery is the best Bond. But I've always thought Lazenby had tremendous potential if he stuck around past one film. He was damn good. Moore is good too, but a little lighter. Dalton was okay, but for me the worst. Brosnan was the best choice at the time. So far, one film in, I've no problem with Craig. I would like to see him lighten up, and he needs a Q and a Moneypenny to play off. But Casino Royale was good. It'll take a long time to finish all the films, but I'm trying.

After that, I'll probably move on to the Living Dead films of Mr. Romero. Once through that, I might be ready for the films of Andrei Tarkovsky. The legendary Russian filmmaker who made films that moved slightly slower than molasses running down a tar hill.

But Solaris is brilliant. And I can't die until I understand at least three minutes of his sci-fi film "Stalker".

I picked my winners for the best in cinema 2007. You can check the link on the last blog, as it has been updated.


You can just read this.

MAKE-UP: La Vie En Rose
COSTUME DESIGN: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
VISUAL EFFECTS: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
ART DIRECTION: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
SOUND: There Will Be Blood
FILM EDITING: Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
ORIGINAL MUSIC SCORE: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Paul Thomas Anderson "There Will Be Blood"
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Cristian Mungiu "4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days"
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Amy Ryan "Gone Baby Gone"
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Casey Affleck "The Assassination of Jesse James..."
ACTRESS: Marina Hands "Lady Chatterley"
ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis "There Will Be Blood"
DIRECTOR: Andrew Dominik "The Assassination of Jesse James..."
BEST PICTURE 2007: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

That's how I see it. I recommend any of them for viewing. Enjoy.

And if you hate it, don't blame me. Blame yourself for trusting an idiot who writes a blog called "Dung 2: Electric Poopaloo".

Be Seeing You.

Monday, September 1, 2008

And the Nominees are...(plus random thoughts)

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: Some "Yankee Foxtrot Hotel" by Wilco.

WHAT I'M READING: A hilarious book about youth soccer written by a Scotsman living in America coaching an inept team. It's called "Kick the Ball". Even if you hate soccer, this book is hilarious.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Well, some MLS action, some Football Matters (probably my favorite show in TV), and some movies...see below for more. Oh, and we did finally see The Dark Knight (helluva movie!)

AND THE NOMINEES ARE....Some may know, few may care, but I have another blog that is dedicated to my own version of the Academy Awards called The Jeff Awards (nice name, huh?). Every year I watch movies and decide on what I think are the best of the best. The last three years, that list was 100 films long. But time is short. This year, the list was 100 films long, but I set myself a time limit. Well, the time limit is up now. I only made it through 80 films released in 2007, but here is a link to the blog detailing the nominees for the uberprestigious Jeff Awards. Enjoy, complain, ignore, or use the list as a resource when you wish to see a good or great movie.

It's always fun to do. Now that the movies have been watched and the nominations announced, the only thing left to do is watch those five Best Picture nominees again, to see which is truly the best. I force my wife, Barefoot Adult, to watch any that she hasn't already seen. Thus far, she's sat through "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" and "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly", and thought both were excellent.

Of course, she doesn't get a vote :)

Some things floating around in my head on a fine Labor Day morning.

1. Still loving my time at the gym. I recently moved all my weights up. Results are starting to come in. I'm down to 209 (or 211 depending on the day). I'm able to run on the treadmill, at ever increasing rates of speed, without dying, so that's good. All around, I'm loving my Cardinal Fitness membership.

2. Well, the Democratic convention is over. I actually watched the speeches of both Biden and Obama. Good stuff there. Obama's speech was the kind that makes you think that things can really change for the better for all Americans. And I do like Biden as a VP.

With the GOP and McCain not really offering any change, and actually arguing that things are good right now in America, there's no way I can vote for him. Obama's speech made me proud that I'll be voting for him in November.

As for McCain's running mate choice, it's too early to tell. Maybe she is as great as some conservatives are saying, but I'll wait and see there. Even if she is that awesome, she's still just the VP choice, and McCain is still the candidate.

3. I never did make my annual English Premiership predictions this year. Well, as much as I love Manchester United, I'm thinking they might not be able to threepeat as champions. Chelsea are looking very strong right now, and have an excellent coach in Scolari. If I had to pick, I'd say Chelsea to win it all, with Man U finishing second. As far as the relegation battle, I see Hull and Stoke going right back down, joined by another club that I haven't decided on yet.

World Cup qualifiers have kicked off for the USA, and with a big win on the road. Got games coming up Saturday in Cuba, and next week in Bridgeview, IL versus Trinidad & Tobago. For Europe, the long qualifying process begins this weekend.

4. If you aren't part of the $500 million worth of viewers who've seen The Dark Knight, go do it. It's an excellent film. Not the best ever, and Ledger does not give the greatest performance ever, but it is a damn good piece of film.

5. Enjoy the holiday, get outside, and relax. Hard to believe it's already Labor Day. Summertime flew by. Seems like just yesterday that the pool was first put up, and the water didn't get warm fast enough, so that the swimming was ice cold. Now, the night's get cooler, and the water doesn't warm fast enough, so that the swimming is ice cold.

That's all I got.

Be Seeing You.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

For Mojo

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: Right now, the keys being typed.

WHAT I'M READING: Right now, this blog as I type it.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Right now, the computer screen as I...okay, lame joke is old already. Actually, I've got the Superclassico betwixt LA Galaxy and Chivas USA ready to go on the DVR.

But first...

PER Mojo's request, since we like to keep the people happy (and Mojo is good people), here is the listing, in order, of the mix CD I burned to facilitate better writing on my little project.

1. World at Large by Modest Mouse
2. Banana Puddin' by Southern Culture on the Skids
3. Comfort Eagle by Cake
4. Tenderness by General Public
5. Country Funk by Southern Culture on the Skids
6. Apple Candy by Ben Lee
7. Cheated Hearts by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
8. Engine Driver by The Decembrists
9. Girls Just Want To Have Fun by Greg Laswell
10. All the Way Down by Glen Hansard
11. Title & Registration by Death Cab for Cutie
12. You Are Loved (Don't Give Up) by Josh Groban
13. Karma Police by Radiohead
14. Swans by Unkle Bob
15. Trouble by Lindsey Buckingham
16. Alone With You by The Outfield (pure 80's trash)
17. Marching Bands of Manhattan by Death Cab for Cutie
18. Talking Shit About a Pretty Sunset by Modest Mouse

If you know the tunes, you might be able to piece the story together.

And I'll have to kill you.

Except for Mojo.

(Mojo is good people).

ONE quick thought for the night:
1. Why the hell do smokers think the littering laws do not apply to them? They toss the butts out the windows as they drive, or drop them on the ground mere inches from an ashtray, with wanton disregard for the laws of the land. What the hell is up with that? If I were to toss a receipt out my window, people would have a conniption. So why do we all turn a blind eye when Johnny Tracheotomy decides he's done with his life-shortener and figures he can't be bothered to actually dispose of it properly?

If I was a cop, I'd pull their asses over, then stick my nightstick up their asses until they were spitting splinters out, and write a ticket for littering splinters too.

After that, I figure I'd lose my job and/or get sent to prison.

But sometimes you gots to stand up for things you believe in!

Be Seeing You.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Writer's Block

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: Enjoying some "These Things That I've Done" by The Killers. Awesome tune. Plus, I got soul, but I'm no soldier either.

WHAT I'M READING: A book on Buddhism, called "The Big Questions" by Lama Surya Das. It's supposed to help me find my own damn answers to life's essential mysteries, or so the cover tells me.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: STILL working my way through 2007 films. More on that soon. Today it was Rescue Dawn, which is dawn good. Plus, X-Files and English football. So the usual.

THIS past week I finished an outline for a new original screenplay. This is a big deal, because I haven't written a completely new original screenplay since 2004, and before that it was 2001. Sure, I've done some rewrites. But nothing entirely new. And now I've got a outline.

And it's good.

See, I always have ideas kicking around in my head. Always. Right now, if I had no fear of a reader (there is really only one, isn't there) stealing an idea and making it not only better but actually getting it sold, I could toss out four or five original new ideas for scripts that I've got stored in there, always working and reworking them in preparation for writing them.

But that has been my problem. I'm always reworking, but not writing. Recently, the reality of it all hit me in the face like a slimy salami (or sweaty spaghetti if you like the alliteration). Without even realizing it, I had given up (this being the malaise I foreshadowed last blog out). In my head, I gave up the dream of writing a screenplay and actually seeing it make it into a movie on a big screen somewhere (even if it was only somebody's 32 TV). I settled for the fact that I wasn't a writer. That I wasn't any good. That it was all just a...well, a dream. A dream I'd never bring into reality.

It hit me hard. See, I've always had sucky retail jobs because in my mind, I was a writer (a writer of fiction, for you Decembrist fans). So these jobs were just temporary. Something to pay the bills until daddy sold his baby for cold hard sheckles.

Tangent, but could a sheckle be anything else but cold and hard? I can't picture a soft sheckle for the life of me.

But at some point recently, those temporary jobs became my (and I hate to even type the word) career. And writing? That was just a fantasy that would never happen.

It really tore me up. Close to depression. To give up something I've always dreamed about. Well, not always. But since fourth grade when I "wrote" my first book, a fifteen page illustrated tome called "Attack of the Sludge Monster", in which my friends and I defeated (take a guess)...the Sludge Monster.

Throughout school, and even into college, whenever I was asked what I wanted to be, the answer was a writer. Coupled with my love of film, and screenwriting was the goal. I even wasted four years studying to be a secondary education teacher because I thought having all the time off would allow me to write. I didn't love teaching, but that wouldn't matter because very soon I would be a professional writer.

The dream died. But now it's back. One day I woke up and realized that my plight would fit perfectly into the antagonist of one idea floating in my head. Because he was already a writer (in his head), why not give him my problems. They say you should write what you know. This is what I know, so why not write it?

Now, I've got a completed outline. I've burned a CD of music to inspire me. Most importantly, I'm not only ready to write the damn thing, but confident that it is good enough to make some agent's job easy.

I've even got an opening line. "They say you should write what you know. This is what I know." (is there an echo on this blog? Actually, with so few readers, there might be).

It's good stuff, and I'm excited. The dream is back. So now I just have to write this cinematic masterpiece and sell it. But that's the easy part. Getting here was the hard part.

The title? "Writer, blocked".

Wish me luck.

Be seeing you.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Notes from the Thousand Acre Woods

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: A mix CD I burned to help facilitate writing, plus I'm working my way through our Tori Amos collection. When she's on, she's on. When she's not, I have to suffer through five horrible minutes.

WHAT I'M READING: Nothing really, outside of Entertainment Weekly. Need to hit the library soon.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Last film was, I believe Southland Tales, which is one fucked up film; it's a love-it-or-hate-it picture which I think I enjoyed. Definitely out there; curious how it ever got made. Not for the mainstream. Oh, and MLS action of course.

ONCE again I've been gone too long. Seems like every day I tell myself "Today is the day I blog", and then I never get around too it.

But here I am, forcing my hand as it is almost midnight. Some quick tidbits:

1. I discovered it long ago, and have it confirmed at least once or twice weekly. I've married Winnie the Pooh. My wife is Winnie, there can be no doubt. She use to shrug off the comparison at first, but now she accepts the facts. Hard to describe on a blog without spending half the night in the details. To crib a line from the excellent "All the Real Girls" film: "When you see her, you'll know."

She gets into Pooh-like predicaments. No matter how careful she is, somehow something always ends up on her shirts. I can't buy extra large jars o' honey because I'm certain it would wind up stuck on her head. I say it all out of love for her, but she's definitely a Pooh.

2. Anybody watching the travesty that is "America's Got Talent"? We occassionally forget to change the channel at night when it's on. Last week, some old lady and her daughter got up there and whistled a tune. The snide British judge (is there any other kind?) remarked how he couldn't fathom having to listen to people whistle for another minute, much less a whole hour. This is where it got my attention. The old lady proceeded to tell him that she has whistled for up to three hours for people, and they loved it. These people told the old hag they couldn't believe it.

Nor can I.

THREE FRIGGIN' HOURS of whistling! Who the hell could do that? Why would you? Why would you force that bullshit onto other living human beings? Who sits there for three damn hours listening to an old lady pass wind through her lips rather than her asscheeks? Either the old bint is lying, or she has put guests through the misery. But what level of moron would sit there for three hours? After thirty minutes I'd be raising my hand and asking "Is that all there is?" Another five minutes after that, I'd be rushing out the door with some excuse. And even if you could sit there for 180 minutes of whistling (dixie), would you really be happy at the end? I'd be strangling the bitch with the nearest blunt object. I'd put a steel-toed boot between those lips and tell her to whistle some blood. There's no way in hell anybody who just sat through three hours of whistling could be happy about it. I'd rather lose a testicle to an overzealous, underfed gerbil. No way they could have seriously complimented that bullshit.

"Nice whistling, grandma. Now hand me that gun so I can put a bullet in both our heads."

Let us not assume politeness to mean a respect for your talent, old raggedy bitch. Two minutes of that Guns & Roses song with whistling and I'm ready to drive off a cliff. There is nobody, not one single person, who honestly wants more than fifteen good solid minutes of whistling.

3. Went to the fair last week, and had us some fun. But aren't carnies the most miserable looking folks on the planet? Have you ever seen a carnie with a smile on his face? Or even faking a half-hearted grin? The guys taking our tickets last week for the rides appeared to have cattle rods up the keister. I haven't seen faces that grim at funerals. I know it probably gets tiresome after awhile, but at least fake like you are enjoying some aspect of your job once in a great while.

4. This should make any baseball fan out there want to punch me in the throat. This coming Wednesday, my company is taking us to a Cubs game as a reward for a lot of hard work this past month. Not just to a Cubs game, mind you, but to a Cubs game on the famed rooftop.

Now, I couldn't care less for baseball unless an old woman wasted three hours during the seventh inning stretch whistling "Take Me Out to the Ballgame", but I've agreed to go. For one simple reason.

The food.

I'm told by others that the rooftop is the only place to watch a game because the food is magnificent. Now, even if it's merely good, I'm okay with it. Because it's free. I never complain about free food. I may not partake of it, but I won't complain about it. You could serve me raw roadkill with a turd halfway squeezed out and I wouldn't utter a word of complaint.

So I'm wasting my day off to see the Cubs play, just for the food.

5. My wife hurt her back somehow this weekend. We're not sure yet. Might be that she dreamed her grandmother was serenading her with THREE FUCKING HOURS of whistling and tried to strangle the demon of her dreams. Anywho, the back is in pain. So yesterday I took her to the local place of healing to see what is the problem (much better than the date we had lined up of seeing The Dark Knight). Now, the most important thing after her getting some pills to help with the pain is that her doctor's name was, and this is 100% true, Dr. Doctor.

If your last name is Doctor, do you feel obligated to go into the field? Would you be a bit embarrassed if you turned out to be a janitor at the local porn shop? "Hey, Jizzmopper Doctor, get over here and clean out booth three. Can't you see the line forming?"

"My name is Doctor, and I'll be your waiter tonight."

"Hey Doctor! Throw some more fries in the vat. The dinner rush is on."

You name a character in a book that, and every reviewer in America will mock you for the childish humor.

6. Speaking of The Dark Knight, we still want to see it. I'm a big Batman fan, and love what Nolan did with Batman Begins. But I fear the hype is in overdrive now, too much so. What follows are actual comments I've been told, word for bloody word, from people who've seen it.

"It's the greatest movie ever." (Really? The Dark Knight? Everybody gets an opinion, but if this is the greatest movie ever, cinema is in trouble)

"Heath Ledger gives the greatest acting performance ever." (Again, really? I'm not doubting he's good, but greatest ever? Better than Denzel in Malcolm X? Kinglsey in Gandhi? Welles in Citizen Kane? Peck in "Mockingbird"?)

"If Ledger doesn't win the Oscar, I'll hurt somebody." (He may, he may not. But does somebody deserve to be hurt over that? And who exactly will you hurt?)

"If he (Ledger) doesn't get the Academy Award, it'll be the biggest ripoff ever."(Maybe so,maybe history will show that Heath not getting the award is a bigger ripoff than those scams targeted at the elderly, or the whole Amway pyramid scheme-but I got doubts)

"It's the most intense experience of my life." (Try driving on the highways outside of Atlanta, when you've got to cross five lanes of morning rush hour traffic in less than a quarter mile to hit your exit as my Pooh-esque wife did)

"I'd let two dudes have a dick swordfight in my mouth to see it again." (Nice, Uncle Ron, real nice. Okay, I made this one up)

"I saw it twice already. Probably see it another four times on the big screen." (If you like it, whatever, but surely there is some other movie you can invest it and whittle it down to just four or five viewings on the big screen; this quote was told to me THREE DAYS after it opened)

It does look awesome, and I have high hopes. But there is part of me thinking that people would not be all that quick to label Ledger's performance the best of all time had he not died.

Personally, I can't imagine he's better here than in Brokeback Mountain (which I saw with Uncle Ron, oddly enough), but anything is possible.

I'll let you know my own thoughts when we see it.

7. That's all I got for now. But I plan to be back sooner next time. I hope to blog on my recent period of writing malaise. Plus, the English football season is about to kick off. The lower leagues start this coming weekend, than next weekend the Premiership begins.

I don't know about y'all, but that's got my balls a-sweating.

Be Seeing You.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hard Wood Floors and Baby Heads: A War of Attrition

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: "Tunnels" by Arcade Fire is one hell of an awesome song.

WHAT I'M READING: Same damn book. It's good, but it's also over 400 pages. And I do all of my reading these days on the toilet, so it takes awhile.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Tonight, it will be a documentary called "Crazy Love".

SO back in late April my mother-in-law talked us into tearing our carpet out and sticking with the loverly hardwood floors. They are beautiful.

The only problem is we have a nine month old baby. And this baby is reckless, like his older brother. He's also just learning to crawl. And his sitting is still in the rookie stages.

A dangerous combo.

Last week, he was trying to crawl. Head just two or three inches off the floor. And he dipped his head down, colliding with the hardwood floor.

It wasn't the first time, but it was the worst. Because while his mother held him for comfort, I could see his little face over her shoulder. It was one of the scariest moments ever. Because he was out of it for three seconds. Punch drunk. I've watched enough boxing and MMA to see fighters who take that hard blow to the head and are out of it. My little boy was out of it. For that brief moment in time, I knew he was going to pass out. I was fearing concussion, or worse. That was the look in his little eyes.

I quickly swooped in, afraid for my boy but also not wanting his mother to see that look. She can't handle her boys in pain. Well, not in pain like that. He snapped back into it shortly after, and finally cried. I was glad to hear those tears.

Since then, he's bopped his head again, in the same spot. So you have a nasty bruise and a nasty bump on top of it. But he keeps plugging along, smiling, and finally yesterday crawling for the first time.

SO here's the big gym schedule I proudly crowed about in my last blog.

1. Treadmill-15 minutes (upping the speed every two minutes)
2. V-Crunches-2 sets of 20 each.
3. Torso Rotation-2 sets 20 each at 70 pounds.
4. Abdominal Isolator-2 sets of 10. First is 70 pounds, second is 80.
5. Abdominal Crunch-2 sets of 10 each. First is 50 pounds, second is 60.
6. Seated Dip-2 sets 10 each. First is 70, second is 80.
7. Bicep Curls-2 sets 10 each. First is 80 pounds, second is 95.
8. Shoulder Press-2 sets 10 each. First is 60, second is 70.
9. Pec Fly/Rear Delt-2 sets 10 each. First is 80 pounds, second is 90.
10. Vertical Chest Press-2 sets 10 each. First is 80 pounds, second is 90.
11. Pulldown-2 sets 10 each. First is 70 pounds, second is 80.
12. Vertical Row-2 sets 10 each. First is 60, second is 70.
All twelve of my Monday duties, plus
13. Tricep Extension-2 sets 10 each. First is 70 pounds, second is 85.
14. Lateral Raise-2 sets 10 each. First is 50, second is 60.
15. Chest Press-2 sets 10 each. First is 40 pounds each bar, second is 50 pounds each bar. This one you have to adjust weights for both bars.
16. MTS Row-2 sets 10 each. First is 40 on each bar. Second is 50 on each bar.
17. Leg Lift-2 sets 10 each. First is 100 pounds, second is 120.
18. Another turn on treadmill for ten minutes.
I do the first five from Monday to get the gut down. Then I do #13, #6,#7,#14,#15,#10 and #16.

So there you have it. The weights are not much right now, because I'm just starting out. But they'll be moving up every two weeks. And one day, I'll be in shape again.


Be Seeing You.

Friday, July 11, 2008

This is Amazing

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: Have you heard "Cheated Hearts" by Yeah Yeah Yeah's? I have.

WHAT I'M READING: Still plowing through that book on the 9/11 Commission. Good shit.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: More 2007 films, such as Superbad and Diving Bell & the Butterfly. Good stuff. Plus the Superclassico betwixt Los Angeles Galaxy and CD Chivas USA.

SO it's been a week since the holiday. Hope everybody enjoyed their Fourth. Did get to hear a pretty big firework display late that night, so all is well.

A better week this week. Got back into the gym. Finally worked out a weekly schedule for myself, which I will be posting next time. Right now it's in my gym bag, which is in the bedroom, in which the lovely Barefoot Adult is snoozing. But I'm happy with it, and very glad to get back into my gym routine after a week off. Went all three times, which is good.

Things are starting to heat up in the Summer of 2008. We've been getting into the pool quite frequently lately. Jude is loving it, and Sullivan appears to like the water too. He smiles as he kicks his legs and splashes his hands. Daddy enjoys keeping it clean.

See, the ole Dungmaster is a clean freak. Anal about it, even. I can't just let a dirty situation go. Dirty clothes must be washed now. Tonight. Not tomorrow, or next time. Dirty dishes cannot sit in the sink overnight. I don't care if I have to wash dishes at eleven in the P.M. and am folding a load of laundry while starting another load at midnight thirty. Same goes with picking up the house. No toy can be out of its designated spot after the kid's are in bed.

It's a sickness really. Good for my family because the house is usually clean. But I can be too picky about it sometimes. It's just in my blood. And it's no different in the pool. I see a leaf or a drowned bug float by, and I'm going for the net before you can see "Anal Asshole".

Cleaning is something I'm very good at. Upward mobility in my job is not. I've been doing the same job since I started with Edy's. It's a good job, but not something that brings me great pride. But last week I was shopping with the boys at the local SuperTarget and pointing out to Jude which sections of the ice cream I had filled just two days before. I pointed out the Haagen Dasz door. Jude stared for a moment, than looked at me with his big wide eyes.

"Daddy, this is amazing."

I've rarely in my entire life felt as good as I did right then. It's not a prestige job, and any old fool could do it with minimal effort. But to hear my special boy say that to me was incredible.

IT'S question time, kiddies. Every now and then I just have questions about things in this world. Things that truly stump me. I plan to share some with you, my faithful reader, when I can remember them.

1. How does one get a circle jerk going amongst friends? I can believe two guys hanging out and talking each other into a jerk-off session. It's just two guys who could keep a secret. But how a group of five or more guys can talk themselves into whipping out the cocks and stroking for glory is beyond my comprehension.

2. Why do twenty-year old kids working the frozen department think they know more about running an ice cream business than people who've been doing it globally for decades? I can't believe the amount of times some young punk will gladly reveal to me what my company needs to do different to be better.

3. Speaking of ice cream, it's pronounced E-Dees, people. I am now officially offended by the people who come up and refer to me and my company as "Eddies". There's one friggin' "D", people. "Edy's". I've never met an "Eddy" who spelled his name with one friggin' "D".

4. Why do so many people go bonkers over the Mexican immigrants who don't speak English fluently, yet have no problem with the Amish. I love the Amish myself. But they live here without paying taxes and almost always speak in Dutch, and nobody cares.

That's all I got right now, but more will come to me. This world just confuses me sometimes.

A major event is coming next week. On Friday, in one location will be the internet blogging phenoms from Dung!2, Barefoot Adult, AND Parenthetical. We should all get together and have a blog jerk.

It's late, I'm tired, and the bed is calling my name. Time to get some rest. But I will return soon.

Be Seeing You.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday America!

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: A different version of "All Along the Watchtower" by Yul Anderson that I think I like more than either famous version.

WHAT I'M READING: The Commission, about the 9/11 commission.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Movies, the last of which was the not-so-good "The Kingdom". Also some soccer on the TV.

BUSY week at work. Too damn busy. Got off just before or after five every day. That means I didn't get to the gym one day this week. Also that I had to do my laundry overnight. I hate working way too much. It ruins my schedule.

Nice Fourth of July this year. No fireworks, again. But that's okay. With two small children, we can't stay up that late. My wife's hometown in Southwest Michigan has a great display every year, but it doesn't start until 10:30 or 11 pm. So we haven't seen any major firework displays since 2002. But for me, it's more about spending a nice day off in summer weather with family. We go to my father-in-law's every year and today was no exception. A fun day.

With working so much this week, not much time to organize my thoughts in blog form. So I'll cut it off here and hope to rejoin you next week, buff and ready to go, with clean clothes.

Hope you all had a great Independence Day. Happy Birthday USA.

Be Seeing You.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No Pain, No Gain

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: A CD from the library called Tune Toons. I spoke of it before, with the horrid Popeye theme song. A recent trip to the library has brought it back into my life.

WHAT I'M READING: Alan Alda's first memoir "Never Have Your Dog Stuffed", because I've always liked Alda. A huge MASH fan.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Viewed No Country for Old Men today. Awesome film. I've seen all five Oscar nominees now, and three (this, Juno, There Will Be Blood) were excellent films. Kudos to the Academy. I watched I'm Not There last night. Pretty good, but it took me awhile to come to that conclusion. A love it/hate it type film with enough smoking to kill your grandma.

THREE weeks back I broke down and joined a local gym. I'd had enough of being out of shape. Back in 1998, a friend conned me into going to his gym, and I joined up. I got into it after awhile, and enjoyed my thrice weekly visits. But about mid-2000 it became easier to not go. I had just gotten engaged and was spending mucho time with my now-wife. Plus with work and other things, I seemed to always find an excuse to not go. So I quit.

Usually I hover between 185-200. I got up to 210 in early 2004, but after a very stressful time on third shift and several illnesses, I dropped thirty pounds quickly. So quickly I didn't even notice until somebody told me. I was happy at 180.

Then I got a job at Edy's Ice Cream. Most of the time is spent in my car. I wound up eating my lunches as I drove. The weight came back, big time.

I topped out, about a month ago, at 222. A gut that scared and insulted me whenever I looked at it.

So I finally broke down and joined a local gym. It's only about six minutes from home, and costs under twenty bucks per month. Plus there's no membership; it's month-by-month. So little excuse not to go. The first two weeks, I worked exclusively on cardio. Running on the treadmill for fifteen minutes (usually got over two miles in), then doing some crunches, then hitting the bike for another fifteen to twenty minutes (usually got over five miles, I rule on the bike). Some more crunches, and I went home.

This week, I broke that routine. I started hitting the weight machines. Unlike some, I really enjoy lifting weights. I had forgotten just how much until Monday, when I started. I still warm up for ten on the treadmill, but then hit the machines. I work my way down one row, hitting every machine, before working back on the other (skipping some machines, as I don't work my legs too much).

I feel great. Sore, but great. Of course I overdo it. But I get into the work-out and forget to pace myself. Right now I can barely lift my right arm to my ear, as I've somehow bruised the back of my bicep. But I'm loving my time in the gym. It gives me a high like no other.

If you're thinking about joining a gym, just do it (don't sue, Nike). You'll feel great.

ONE quick observation. How low has TV sunk that we now have a reality show where young couples are given the BABIES of other couples to raise for a few weeks, in order to prepare them. Those babies must feel loved to be handed off by their parents. And what is the point? You treat your own kids much better than others. You tolerate more. You sacrifice more.

It just seems, to me, to be the dumbest reality show yet. Even worse than swapping wives.

Be Seeing You.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Scully Size Me!

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: Track number six on The Fountain soundtrack is getting a lot of play lately. It's a gorgeous little piece called Xabulba (I know I misspelled that to all-hell) that puts me in a reflective mood as I drive.

WHAT I'M READING: Finally got that dull-ass McCain book out of my life. It was like steroids, in that it made me very angry and shriveled by penis. Now on to the June/July issue of MajorLeagueSoccer magazine (glad to see it still going strong, as the last major U.S. soccer magazine-Striker-only lasted three issues). Next book up is something called "A Nation of Wimps: the high cost of invasive parenting" by Hara Estroff Marano. I'm reading it to hone yet another way to scar my children forever before age five.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Enjoyed the UFC Ultimate Finale last night LIVE on Spike TV. Pretty damn good fight card and I actually like the fella who won the Ultimate Fighter 7 (Amir Sadallah if you care). Plus, Evan Tanner was sporting the Hobo Beard (tm). And, of course, season four of the X-Files. Not to mention Euro 2008.

OKAY, let me put this down for the record right now. Season Four of the X-Files is the height of Scully hotness. She looked damn good before, and she'll continue making me tingle for five more seasons (and two movies). But she never looked more attractive, nor ever seemed more intelligent than in Season Four. I'd punch my mother in the throat to have just a few seconds alone with Scully. Hell, she could sit naked next to my bed reading Shakespearian sonnets whilst I jingle-jangle-jingle for all I care.

It is definitely the combination of heart stopping attractive looks, intelligence, medical knowledge, an allegiance to doing what is right, and her command of her weapon that wrap itself up into one awesome, eye-popping Scully in a blanket.

I don't know if Gillian Anderson is smart or not, nor do I wish to find out. My attraction is to Agent Scully. Definitely in the top three hottest TV characters of all-time pantheon.

Mulder's not so bad either (that's for you, honey).

SPEAKING of the Hobo Beard (tm), every time I see a man with one, I get jealous. I also get the strong desire to grow a beard and let it go all funky and hobo-style. A Soup Saver I call it. You know, when the guy lets his beard grow long and mangy, like a street bum or a mountain man, or a MMA fighter (thanks to Kimbo Slice and Evan Tanner).

The only thing stopping me is a wife who hates beards. I can probably talk her into letting me grow a beard, but could never get her support on letting it get all bushy and such.

But I swear to all you faithful readers (both of you) that if I ever go off on my own to finish my great screenplay or novel, that I shall grow a Hobo Beard (tm) whilst writing, and come out of my cabin-in-the-woods seclusion with some fresh pages and a beard that made Tom Berenger's fake beard in Gettysburg look like a bikini-waxed pubic region.

Think Scully would find that hot?

Be Seeing You.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Interview with a Jackass

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: The soundtrack to "There's Something About Mary", especially Danny Wilson's "Mary's Prayer" which is a nice little tune.

WHAT I'M READING: The dull McCain book still holds me captive, but luckily it's due back tomorrow so I'll be rid of it. It's like a spell, really.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: X-Files with no lights on. Euro 2008 as it heads to the quarter-finals. Plus, I got "No Country for Old Men" for Father's Day so I want to watch it soon. Way too late to be seeing last year' s Best Picture.

HOPE everybody had a great Father's Day. Mine was excellent. Morning with the boys and wife, afternoon with the in-laws up North. A wonderful dinner, some time at a brand new park, and gorgeous weather. It was good.

Today, not as such.

Had my second interview. I touched on it briefly last time, thinking it might be exciting news. But as the good book says "We may be through with the past, but the past is not through with us." See, it's with this company. First interview went well. Not great, but I'm never a great interview. But good. This time, I was more prepared than ever before. I had notes written down, questions written out. My wife did internet research on the company. I was prepared to rock this bitch.

It went downhill quickly. The lady I interviewed with last time was there, but so was some guy. Maybe her boss. Not sure. They sat me down across from both of them. He smiled and said it wasn't an interrogation. Then he spent the next forty-five minutes interrogating me. Short of the waterboarding, it was as close to Gitmo as I'll get in this lifetime.

See, somebody who once was the assistant manager at a store I worked for long ago apparently also works at this company. And apparently he didn't speak highly of me. I can only think of one real reason why, since we were always on good terms. He had been fired from that old company shortly after I left for stealing money from the cash drawers. I think maybe he didn't want me there to rat him out, as I can't believe they would have hired him if he told them what he did.

I'll break it down. At that job, I was the third shift manager. I was okay. Not great. I didn't love the job, but I did it. Unfortunately, I was caught between two bosses. One was the grocery manager, who was my direct boss. The other was the store manager, boss of all. They didn't like each other. They also constantly gave me conflicting orders. The grocery manager would tell me one thing. I'd have my guys and I do it. The store manager would get mad and tell me off. So I'd do it his way next time. The grocery manager would get mad and tell me off. I'd explain "Well, the Store Manager told me to do it this way." That would just get me chewed out, because it was his grocery department. I'd tell the store manager "Well, the Grocery Manager told me to do this" and I'd get yelled at that it was his store. No win.

After a few lies from the store manager (various, some about pay, some about shifts), I got fed up. Around Thanksgiving, I got so sick I couldn't leave the bathroom for hours. When I called off, both told me I showed a lack of commitment and was nothing but a disappointment to the company for letting my team down. That my team didn't care was beside the point. I was told to get the holiday backstock out of the backroom in two days or I'd be fired. My crew and I did it. I was proud of them. But behind my back, my assistant was being told that he'd have my job soon anyway, because they were going to find some reason to get rid of me. Nice way to run a business, huh?

So in December I put in for a job with a certain ice cream company. I got interviewed. I got the job, pending a drug test. Now, I don't do drugs. Ever. Not so much as even smoking once in my life. So I knew I would pass it. But the ice cream company told me not to put in my notice until they had an official negative drug test. So I didn't. I told my crew, but nobody else. Being the holiday season, it took an abnormally long time to get that drug test result back.

During that long wait, the store manager decided to demote me. Now, they gave me a few different reasons, all of which were not quite accurate. For example, in order to shut up the whining one night, I told my crew that possibly if we did job A, we wouldn't have to do job B. I planned to do both, but at four in the morning you say a lot of things to shut up whining and get guys working. We did job A. It was close to the end of the shift. We were told we could leave before finishing job B.

Now, in the demotion meeting, it became a little less positive. They claimed I had told my crew that we would do job A and leave job B for the day crew. Not what I said. Especially when you consider we actually started job B and were told to leave before finishing it. But they didn't let those facts get in the way. With a little spin, they had an excuse.

So, I was demoted before I could turn in my two weeks notice for the job I already had lined up. And it pissed me off that I couldn't just tell them I'm leaving, but the ice cream company told me not to. Not four days after my demotion, the result came back and I was allowed to put in my notice. Remember all that, because it's important.

I bored you with that to finish this:

Apparently the assistant who had been fired told them about my demotion. But he told them I was demoted, and only after that did I apply for and get the ice cream job. Basically, he told them I only left that company due to my demotion.

So right off the bat during my interview (with a Jackass), the Jackass begins questioning me. Not outright calling me a liar, but slyly alluding to it. He starts like this: "Did you know Assistant Manager now works here? Okay, this interview is not an interrogation, we just want to make sure we hire the right person. Somebody who turned in a accurate resume and application."

So they ask me about my work history. What I did before, what I do now. Usual stuff. But quickly, Jackass starts asking why I left the last company for the ice cream crew. At first, I don't want to sound negative, or like I'm bashing. So I allude to conflicts in personality with management. But he pushes. So I tell him a few things that happened to explain why I left, but tried to candy coat it as more wanting to explore a new opportunity (which was true-I was leaving for more money, better hours, and more chances to grow professionally). But it wasn't good enough. Jackass kept coming back with "Well, I can understand that, kind of. But even that isn't enough to convince me that you left a company after fourteen years just for that. What I want to know is what's the real reason."

I was frustrated internally. It kept coming back to the reason. I wanted an opportunity and the conflict of personality. It was the truth. But Jackass wasn't buying it because they were told different. So finally I said it plainly: "Look, I applied for and got the job with the ice cream company in early December. I couldn't put in my two weeks until the drug test came back. I knew it would come back negative, but couldn't put in my two weeks until it came back. Days before it came back, I was demoted as I said. Once it came back, I put in my two weeks."

Jackass started to tell me that I must have left because of the demotion. It wasn't about the opportunity, but the demotion. "So you get demoted, then find this new job."

"No. I had the job before I was demoted."

"Did they know this?"

"No, Ice Cream asked me to say nothing until the drug test came back."

"Was there concern about the drug test result?"

"No. I've never done any drugs. But until it officially came back, I couldn't say anything."

"So what I'm hearing is you get demoted, than there's this other job and you leave."

"I had the ice cream job lined up weeks before the demotion."

"But they didn't know that. So you got demoted and left. That's why you left the company after fourteen years."

"Let me explain it. I wanted a new opportunity. I applied with the ice cream company early in December. I got that job by mid-December. I had to wait on my drug..."

"I heard you about the test. But what I'm looking at here is you didn't mention that you left the company because of the demotion on your application with us. You put down you wanted a new opportunity, but there's nothing about the demotion causing you to leave."

"Because I left for the opportunity. The demotion came after I had the job."

"But you didn't put in a two weeks notice. Did you even give them two weeks?"

"Yes, of course. I left on very good terms."

"Did you? After the demotion?"

"I would have been leaving anyway."

"But you didn't have this drug test back. So why not just tell them before they demote you?"

"Until the ice cream company had the official report back, they asked me to remain silent about leaving."

"I don't understand that. If I'm leaving for a better opportunity, I would tell somebody. To leave after a demotion and say that wasn't the reason doesn't really make sense to me."

At which point, I knew it wasn't looking good. So I laid it out (calmly). "It would have been great to just say here's my two weeks before they demoted me, but I was asked not to by the ice cream company."

"Okay, all right. So there's that discrepancy on the application. That's what we'd heard." After a second of shuffling papers. "Any questions for us?"

Now, I had come in with over fifteen questions. I had major doubts about getting the job after the whole reason for leaving debacle. But I thought this might be a chance to redeem myself. Maybe nudge open the door again.

So I asked two questions. Jackass quickly answers them in the most generic way possible. Then he says "One last question. Give me your best one."

So I ask my grand finale question. And he takes roughly three seconds to answer before jumping up and giving me the "We'll be in touch next week if we want to have a final interview".

So I leave pissed off. Because I didn't lie on the resume. I didn't lie during the interview. I stuck with the facts about the whole thing, but Jackass didn't care. He had been told something by the Assistant who stole money and believed it no matter what.

Pissed at myself for sitting there letting them interrogate me like that. Well, letting him. The lady who did the first interview never spoke and rarely even looked at me. Not sure if she felt bad that I was put through this or thought I was such a lying pig that I didn't deserve to be looked at. But I've got a good job now, so I wouldn't have been doing any more damage than had already been done, so I should have told them that nobody calls me a liar and walked out. But I sat there and took it for forty minutes.

Pissed that a excellent job opportunity was gone over a bullshit lie. Besides a step up the ladder with a growing company (different from my current employer), the pay is almost double what I make now. I could do the job described to me in the first interview with my eyes closed. And I would be damn good at it.

But that's all gone now, because somebody I haven't even spoken to in three years decided to trash me, and his word is apparently better than mine.

So it wasn't a great day.

It usually takes a lot to piss me off, but today it happened. And what was a good shot at a great job just eight days ago is now a bad memory to share with people who ask "How'd that interview go?"

Be seeing you.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Do-Over

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: A whole bunch of a mix-CD I made, trying to work up the energy to start writing a new script. Also, still hooked on the soundtrack to The Fountain. And, with my boy, a CD containing a whole mess of theme songs from past cartoons, including the immortal "Gigantor" theme song (imagine off-key druids pounding out Gigantor to a completely separate score in really deep voices) and a version of Popeye that will make you want to punch an old lady in the gut it's so god-awful bad. Picture the already talentless Sailor Man himself belching out (and holding for maximum effect) the words "Sailor Man" so that it lasts well north of two minutes. Next time I hear it, I'm driving my car into the nearest lake and putting my ears out of their misery.

WHAT I'M READING: Just finished the FourFourTwo preview of Euro 2008. Now back to a rather bland little piece called "Free Ride" detailing how the media gives McCain a...well, free ride. I'm almost putting myself to sleep talking about it. Not a great entertainment, but I haven't had the chance to get back to the library.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Euro 2008, it goes without saying. Though not every single game. Just too much on my paper plate to devote four hours every day for over two weeks to the beautiful game. I also just started X-Files Season Four before the tournament began. Not to mention (even though I am) that I'm still working through my list of 2007 films for the only awards that make the MTV Movie Awards seem prestigious...The Jeff Awards! We got HBO a few weeks back, so I just completed all seven parts of the John Adams miniseries. Very good, with wonderful acting. But parts seemed rushed. When you can boil our whole second presidency down to one 70-minute show, it hurts the overall production. Awesome theme song though.

WELL, I've finally made it back here to update. You may notice a few minor changes. Dung! is being rebooted, thus a new title up above (g'head, check it out). I'm keeping the one feature that people actually seem to enjoy (the details of my entertainment) and shucking the rest. Nobody really gives a rat's dick about the Direct Kick challenge. I can see all my faithful readers now, sprinting over to the computer, cursing themselves for not shilling out for the hi-speed service as they wait to log on, and gleefully sliding the mouse through their "Favorites" bar looking for the link to take them here to read how many soccer games I watched on which channel. People with no lives would call you a loser for that. So it's gone.

Also done is the Dung Challenge Cup. My wife was whuppin' my ass every single week. At the time of halting it, she had a near-insermountable 512 point lead. That's right. Even if I guessed every game right and she got them all wrong for the next half-century PLUS I doubled down on Final Jeopardy, I still couldn't catch up.

A wise man knows when he's beaten, and concedes. A quitter tosses in the towel two months into the contest. There may be no "i" in team, but there is one in "quit", so that's what I'm doing.

Congrats honey. You kicked my sorry pock-marked ass. Kudos to you, ma'am.

What the new Dung! will be is what it should have remained all along. Random thoughts and ideas springing from my head. A place to pretend people actually care what a moron on the other side of the internet thinks. A place to fool myself into thinking I actually matter on this great world wide web.

So here are some random thoughts buzzing through my head lately.

1. Father's Day is coming up. I look forward to spending it with my two boys. I originally typed my two sons, but the ghost of Fred MacMurray creeped up behind me and hit me with a steaming stack o' slapcakes.

To create more time for visiting fathers in Michigan this week, last Sunday we went to the cemetary to say hi to my dad. It's been over nine years now. I have trouble remembering what he sounded like sometimes. I'm ashamed to admit that I forgot his birthday this year until late that night. I still love him, but unfortunately life keeps moving on. My three-year-old is still too young to fully grasp it all. I explain that my daddy just got so sick that the doctor couldn't help him anymore, and he passed away. I tell him that my daddy is now buried under the ground by that headstone. I explain that it's kinda like he fell asleep and will never wake up. But it's tough for a young guy to understand. He wants to know why we can't see him.

Even worse, he got very scared to be near the grave. It took a lot to calm him down enough for a picture by the headstone. And that night, while tucking him in, he asked if I would keep people from breaking in. I told him not to worry, of course daddy wouldn't let people break in. Jude then told me he didn't want my dad to dig out of his grave and break into our house.

Sad that my father is nothing more than a ghoul from a horror film to his grandchild. I don't blame Jude for this. It's very confusing and I can see how it could be scary. But it does hurt a bit that he never got to meet his grandfather. My dad didn't live long enough to see my two boys, or even my wife.

So I'll celebrate being a daddy this week, because I've got two incredible kids. But I'm also going to feel the pain of not having my own dad to honor. I love him, and I miss him, very much. So make sure you spend some time with your dads.

2. Won't go into too many details, but there might be some very exciting news soon on the job front.

3. Joined a gym this week. Back in January 2005 I weighed in at 185, which was my normal weight. Never got much above or under that since high school. January 2008, I was up to 220. I dislike seeing myself in the mirror. I'm not super fat, but I'm bigger than I should be, or want to be. So I'm getting back into working out. I had a gym membership back in 1998-2000. I loved it actually. Working out gives me a natural high, and I don't even have to end up rolled up into a rug in front of a hospital (get that reference, bitches!)

Today I went for the second time. Hit the treadmill for 20 minutes, getting in a good three miles according to the machine. After that, I got onto the stationery bike. Another fifteen minutes, another five miles. I was sweating, breathing heavy, and pulling the bike seat out of my ass (in case you care, it took four minutes, three guys, and a crowbar). But I felt great. Plus, they have showers there just like high school. Well, almost. In high school it was a long corridor with shower heads spraying down from either side every two feet, and you walked single file behind your classmates, eyes glued to the ceiling like some freakish human car wash. This is a single person shower.

I love it. I'm sore right now, but feeling good. And even if I only drop down to 210, I'll be happy.

That's all I got for now. But I'm really going to try to keep updating the new Dung! version 2.0 far more often. Less inanity, more posts. Shorter posts, but more frequent.

Thanks for sticking around. And to steal a phrase from myself, that I stole from M9's John Drake (or #6 if you prefer):

Be Seeing You.

Friday, May 2, 2008

My Wife Is Whupping My Ass

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: Some Spongebob CD, and a lot of burned CD's.

WHAT I'M READING: I'm into a book by David Frost on the Nixon/Frost TV programs.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Soccer, of course, and a lot of movies this week. Just finished up There Will Be Blood, which is awesome.

SO for those keeping track, here are the latest Dung Challenge Cup standings as of today. Before you read and laugh, know that this is my weekend.

Barefoot Adult W D L Pts
17 7 12 58
DungMaster 9 7 20 34

A mere twenty-four points back early in the season. She's kicking my arse!

SUMMER MOVIE SEASON is upon us. The only films I'm really stoked about are The Dark Knight and the X-Files film, although I will be taking the wife to the Sex and the City movie, since she is a big fan. It should be good. There are many others I have a mild interest in, but those three are on the list of must-see.

Got to keep up with this for the 2008 season. Remember, I paid 79 bucks for the Direct Kick package, the greatest bargain in sports. All year long, we'll figure out just how much I'm spending per game.

Fox Soccer-5
Direct Kick-15
So that's 79 bucks for 15 games thus far, or $5.27 per game.

That's all for now, as I must go cry.

Be Seeing You.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dung Challenge Cup Week Two

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: A friend gave me some compilation CD's he burned of his "Best of..." for years 2005 and 2006 in music. Some good stuff.

WHAT I'M READING: Grand Theft Jesus. Damn Good Book.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Watched Sunshine the other day in my Jeff Award's List quest. Pretty darn good sci-fi film. Plus, MLS action!

SO the Dung Challenge Cup continues to roll on. Thus far, my pretty wife, Barefoot Adult, is whupping the ole Dungmaster's booty.

Here's the standings after the first two weeks of the MLS season.

Dungmaster----4W 3D 7L 15 points
Barefoot Adult----7W 3D 4L 24 points

It's still early, and we're working through this weekend's results so I will come back and claim glorious victory.

But right now, the expert is losing to the novice. And I can't deny that it hurts a bit in the ole pride.

Revenge will be mine! And as Khan taught me, revenge is a dish best served cold, and space is very, very cold my friend.

Be seeing you.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Introducing the Dung Challenge Cup!

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: A awesome Tom Waits tune called "Never Let Go" and some old school New Order, especially "Ceremony".

WHAT I'M READING: Newest issue of MajorLeagueSoccer magazine. Just finished up a book on the Fairtax.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Just finished the Honeymooners box set, and of course soccer. Manchester United chasing a repeat in England, and MLS just kicked off.

A QUICK POST to introduce a new feature to the blog this year, called the Dung Challenge Cup.

My beautiful wife (Barefoot Adult) and I will be predicting the MLS games all season long to see who's better at it, the diehard fan (me) or the layman (her).

The rules are simple. Each game, we must both pick a winner. If you choose correctly, you get three points. If you are incorrect, you get zero points. If the game ends in a draw, you get one point. Winner is the person with the most points at the end of the year, and thus the Dung Challenge Cup champion.

Here's the standings after the opening weekend.
Dungmaster W-1 D-2 L-5 5 points
Barefoot Adult W-4 D-2 L-2 14 points

She takes an early lead, but the season is just starting!

Be seeing you.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Annual MLS Predictions (and other stuff)

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: A bit o' Sinead O'Connor, because nothing compares 2 her. Also, a Spongebob Squarepants CD, with a surprisingly moving tune called "Gary's Song".

WHAT I'M READING: Predictably Irrational, which is interesting. You wanna cry, go read Where Does Your Money Go, which I just did. Scary stuff that government.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Working my way through the 39 episodes of The Honeymooners, and prepping for the start of MLS Season Thirteen!

Guess it has been awhile since I blogged. One of my last blogs was my annual Oscar predicts. Let's see how I did: I guessed fifteen correct out of the 24, so not all that great. What do I know?

On to more important matters!

Always fun to guess how the season will turn out. Never fun to look back and see how poorly I guessed. But here's how I see it shaping up this year.

1. DC United
2. Chicago Fire
3. New England Revolution
4. Kansas City Wizards
5. New York Red Bulls
6. Toronto FC
7. Columbus Crew

Hard to say really, as all teams have made changes. DC brought in a lot of South American talent, and I think they'll gel and turn up the heat come the summer months. I think those top five will make the playoffs.

1. Houston Dynamo
2. Los Angeles Galaxy
3. FC Dallas
4. Club Deportivo Chivas USA
5. Real Salt Lake
6. Colorado Rapids
7. San Jose Earthquakes

I see the Dynamo running away with this one, and most likely the Supporters Shield. L.A. will be a distant second, but I think Beckham's second year will be better. With Becks, Donovan, and Carlos Ruiz, there is no excuse to not make the playoffs. Though I will be shocked if Ruud Gullitt is still in LA come December as the coach. Chivas USA will just miss the playoffs, and I think RSL will push for a spot this year. I don't see much out of the expansion(returning) Quakes. Haven't been impressed with the players they've got so far. Colorado will be happy San Jose returned, or else they'd be propping up the league.

Top two in each conference make the playoffs, plus the next best four. So I see it:
WESTERN CONFERENCE: Houston Dynamo, Los Angeles Galaxy
NEXT BEST FIVE: New England Revolution, Kansas City Wizards, FC Dallas, and New York Red Bulls.

1. DC United v. Kansas City Wizards
2. Chicago Fire v. New England Revolution
1. DC United v. Chicago Fire

1. Houston Dynamo v. New York Red Bulls
2. Los Angeles Galaxy v. FC Dallas
1. Houston Dynamo v. FC Dallas

MLS CUP 2008
Chicago Fire v. Houston Dynamo
MLS CHAMPIONS: Houston Dynamo

That's right. I'm calling for the three-peat. Never been done before, but Houston are a rock solid club. They will need to find scoring replacements for Nate Jaqua and Joseph Ngwenya, but I think the midfield will help out there.

Just for fun, US OPEN CUP CHAMPIONS: Kansas City Wizards

That's how I see it happening. And as you can see from my Oscar picks, you don't want to trust me too much here.

Season kicks off March 29th. I'll be there, having already renewed my Direct Kick sports package for the fourth year in a row, plus tossing Fox Soccer Channel back onto the satellite. I'll be keeping track of my Direct Kick viewings just to see what a bargain it is again.

Be seeing you.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

March 1st

Today is my wife's birthday.

So this entire blog, albeit a short one, is completely dedicated to her.

Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday, dear Kimbers.
Happy birthday to you.

One of my top three days of the year. She's simply my love. Everything I hold dear in this world is thanks to her. A beautiful soul, a hot wife, and a incredible mother. I can summarize it up best by quoting a Wilco tune:

I wanna be what you are to me.

Six great years of marriage, two wonderful boys, and a future together that makes my heart dance. Happy birthday, Kimbers.

I love you.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Annual Academy Award Predictions Blog

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: A bunch of Wilco, since a friend is trying to get me into the band. Plus I just burned a CD with a whole bunch of tunes from the wonderful film "Once" on it.

WHAT I'M READING: Found a new stash of Noam Chomsky at the downtown public library.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Finishing up season nine of Seinfeld, plus viewing some films from the last year. Speaking of which....

I won't go into as much depth as last year, because I spent an hour typing out my predictions and only got like half of them correct. So here it goes, for a year in which I've seen virtually nothing, my Oscar guesses for the big ceremony tomorrow night:

1. MAKE-UP: Well, it sure as hell won't be Norbit. Pirates was more visually stunning than make-up-esque, so I'm going with La Vie en Rose.

2. ORIGINAL SONG: I think the Enchanted three will cancel each other out, and I hope they do. The only real award I truly have a major rooting interest in, because Falling Slowly from the exceptional film Once is deserving. An awesome tune, and I'm hoping Irglova and Hansard perform it live. Really a beautiful tune.

3. ORIGINAL SCORE: No clue. Ain't heard any of them. But, I stick to my theory that the Academy likes to reward all Best Picture nominees with one actual win, so I'll guess Atonement.

4. SOUND EDITING: Who ever knows this one? I'll just guess The Transformers.

5. SOUND MIXING: Again, what's the real difference? I don't think any academy voters know either, so they'll just go with The Transformers again.

6. FILM EDITING: Well, it usually matches well with the top prize, so I'll go with No Country for Old Men, although There Will Be Blood could have a shot.

7. COSTUME DESIGN: Can they ignore Elizabeth: The Golden Age? Me thinks not, though Atonement and Sweeney Todd could be in the running.

8. ART DIRECTION: Sweeney Todd for no good reason.

9. LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: Always a guess, and I think I'm almost always wrong. Just for picking's sake, I'll say Il Supplente (The Substitute).

10. ANIMATED SHORT FILM: I Met the Walrus because I heard it's got something to do with John Lennon, whom everybody loves. Also, everybody has heard of him, so he's got a leg up with the voters.

11. VISUAL EFFECTS: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End was pretty darn cool looking, and I can't see them wanting to have "Three Time Oscar winner The Transformers" on their conscious.

12. ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Although PTA might have an outsiders shot, this is really Ethan & Joel Coen's award to lose at this point, for No Country for Old Men.

13. ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: As much as they love her, how could they not honor Diablo Cody for the Juno script? Plus, it keeps in line with my theory of every Best Picture nominee getting at least one award.

14. CINEMATOGRAPHY: I keep hearing great things about this tracking shot for Atonement, but I'm gonna take a gamble on There Will Be Blood, for no good reason.

15. FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Haven't really heard anything except that one is about the Holocaust, which the Academy loves to honor, so I'm going with the Austrian film The Counterfeiters.

16. ANIMATED FEATURE: Can't do grown up, and I've got to hope and pray that the penguin love affair is over, so me goes with Ratatouille.

17. DOCUMENTARY SHORT: No clue. Maybe Salim Baba.

18. DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Actually, I was incorrect. I'm rooting in this one also. No End in Sight is a helluva brilliant film, and deserving of this award.

19. SUPPORTING ACTRESS: This one is giving me trouble. On one hand, can they resist honoring the elderly Ruby Dee, who is in her eighties? On the other, Amy Ryan seems to be popular. It would be so much easier if Cate Blanchett hadn't just won it a few years back, as she would be a lock. But sticking to my theory of all Best Picture nominees winning something, I'm guessing Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton. My heart still says giving an award to an old person could happen though, even if she's only in the film for five minutes. Ask Alan Arkin last year.

20. SUPPORTING ACTOR: Seems an easy guess. Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men. If there is a big upset, this will be it though, with Holbrook getting the old vote.

21. ACTRESS: Julie Christie in Away from Her is the smart money bet, but the love of Juno could pull it out for Ellen Page.

22. ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood seems as close to certain as anything this year.

23. DIRECTOR: While I'm hoping for a PTA upset, you have to like the odds of Ethan & Joel Coen for No Country for Old Men being only the second pair to win the top directing prize.

24. BEST PICTURE: No Country for Old Men seems a shoe-in here. Maybe people get sick of it and vote for There Will Be Blood, but I don't see the upset this year. The last two major upsets in this category won't work this time, as the actors like No Country (ala Shakespeare in Love over Private Ryan) and it doesn't have the gay theme to scare off voters (ala Crash over Brokeback).

We'll find out tomorrow how right I am. Should be fun, as this will be my seventeenth year in a row of watching the Oscars.

Be Seeing You.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Back from the Dead

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: I made another CD to facilitate my next writing project. Features a variety of tunes from Southern Culture on the Skids, Death Cab for Cutie, Beth Orton, and others. Also, some Dave Matthews.

WHAT I'M READING: Just finished FourFourTwo. Up next is P.J. O'Rourke's "Peace Kills".

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Soccer, baby! Watched some English and Dutch league this weekend, got a game from the second tier of English football on today. Also, watched the Halloween remake and 2001 this past weekend.

HADN'T posted in awhile, so thought I'd put down a quick one. Some random thoughts as I spend the day recovering from a major illness on Sunday.

1. DC United starts training camp today with many new faces from South America joining the club this year. The biggest name is playmaker Marcello Gallardo. His arrival means 2006 MVP Christian Gomez is moving on. I like Gomez, but he's asking for an awful lot of money and two guaranteed years. He might be worth the bucks this season, but I doubt he'll be up to par next year. With the start of camp, the MLS season is just around the corner.

2. Number One Son has finally mastered the potty training. He now can poop and pee in the potty all the time. It was a challenge getting him here, but he's done it, and we're proud of him. He's a wonderful little guy.

3. The baby is starting to reach out and grab things, which is also very cool. He doesn't know what to do with them once he gets them, but he can get them. He's also smiling a lot now, which is beautiful to see.

4. My wife starts a new job next week. Proud of her too. She had an interview a few weeks back at around noon. By two o'clock, they had called her back and offered her the job. She smashed it out of the ballpark. More money, more benefits, and paid holidays. We're very excited here.

5. Bush and Congress want to send out money to us in May? Thanks, we'll take it. Probably put it towards some bills and the bank, but you want to give the Dung Heap money, that's cool with us. Coupled with what should be a very nice tax return this year, and we're happy.

6. Watched the Halloween remake Saturday night. I had very low expectations going in, because the original is a classic and Rob Zombie's other films suck. After fifteen minutes my fears were being confirmed. It was horrible. Than something happened. Zombie figured out how to make a good film, and the last ninety minutes were actually good. Nowhere near the original, but for a remake, this is one of the better ones. Plus, the Laurie Stroud in this one is actually better looking than Jamie Lee Curtis. I apologize to Mr. Zombie for doubting him. It's a good horror flick.

7. Also watched 2001, which we all know is the second best film ever made. Still brilliant. And to think that if Kubrick tried today, everybody would probably turn him down flat. Well, first they'd tell him he's dead, but then they'd turn him down flat. A true cinematic work of art. I love how Dave Bowman never lets anything get to him. He never panics, or gets too angry. He remains calm, with an even kelter, and just does what he must. A true badass.

8. Watched a Netflix film last week called "Forty Second Street Forever" which is a collection of trailers for exploitation flicks from the last forty years. Thanks to this film, I discovered that the worst trailer of all time is for a film called "I Dismember Mama". No matter how bad that movie is, the trailer is worse. Putrid, and doesn't really do anything to sell the flick.

9. Well, it's been six weeks since my vasectomy. That means it's time to jizz in the cup and take it in for analysis. I'm a little embarassed to do it. You have to take it in within two hours of ejaculation. So the nurse who takes it from me is going to know that I just played with myself. That's rather a private thing to be shared only with my wife and the people watching me jerk off in our front window.

10. It's an election year. Right now if I had to vote, I'd go with Obama. But we'll see who actually gets the nomination. I think McCain has got the GOP locked up, but it's a fight for the Dem slot. My only hope is that America doesn't resort to base instincts and make it "The rich white guy versus the woman" or "The rich white guy versus a black guy". We've suffered through the eight worst Presidential years ever. We need a new beginning and a better future.

That's all for now. Must go lie down and recover.

Be Seeing You.

Monday, January 7, 2008

My List

BEFORE I begin, let me point out the links on the right hand side of the screen. Check 'em out. Some good stuff out there, especially my wife's blog. I'm hoping she'll soon be posting a companion piece to this list here.

Also, check out my "Wish You Were Here" blog, as it is part of project 365, in which bloggers across America gather to post one picture a day from their lives, for all 365 days of a year.

Okay, now on to the Main Event!

The following is my List. You know, the list every human keeps of five people they would sleep with if they had the chance. Any good spouse would be willing to allow them this honor, knowing deep down they shall never meet any of those five people nor have a shot at bedding them.

So here's my list (in no order)
1. Kristen Bell (hottest lady on TV right now. Plus, seems to have a great sense of humor)

2. Kelly Dalglish (Setanta Sports babe. She's blonde, British, and knows her football/soccer! That accent detailing the latest footie news from across the pond during sex would be nice)

3. Zooey Deschannel (if you've ever seen her in "All the Real Girls", you know what I'm talking here; in that film she's nearly the perfect Dung girl-next to my loverly wife of course)

4. Kate Winslet (Eternal Sunshine blue hair or not, Kate has always been great in my book; a lovely, talented woman)

5. Abe Vigoda (who said it had to be all woman?)
Okay, seriously now

5. Jewel (the singer; great voice and gorgeous looks-plus she yodels!)

Honorable Mention: Gillian Anderson in the Scully years-smart with a good sense of humor, what's not to like about Scully? Also, Keira Knightley before she dropped ninety pounds and disappeared.

So there you have it. My List. I can guarantee not a one of them would give me the time of day, but a guy can always dream.

Rachel Ray. A bit gabby, but she can cook. Plus, she's hot and she looks like she knows what to do in the bedroom. Teach me everyday, Rachel Ray.

Be Seeing You.

Grindhouse? More Like Outhouse!

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: Some Dave Matthews "Crash into Me" to remind me of first meeting my Kimbers eight years ago. Plus, Greg Laswell's version of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun". If you haven't heard it, go search it out now. It's achingly beautiful.

WHAT I'M READING: Nothing right now. Just finished MajorLeagueSoccer issue three. Library time.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Well, Twin Peaks season two shall be finished this week. Some Spanish LaLiga football from the weekend, and more below.

OKAY, so I like cheesy films some times. Shoot me. The excellent 2007 film "Grindhouse" inspired me to look some up, and Netflix obliged by having something called "The Grindhouse Experience Volume Two". So I quied up the DVD and it came last week. Awesomely cheesy shit! There was two Italian made sword-and-sandal epics from the 1960's that I skipped. But the flip side had the goods (or bads, or bad goods): The 1983 stink bomb called "Stryker" and the 1983 turd named "Atlantis Interceptors".

Stryker is one of those truly horrendous movies that you can't help but smile through. Filmed in some desert, it's a post-apocalyptic tale of a world without water. In the beginning, this woman is being chased by the poorly attired villains. Immediately, it raises the question of why everybody dresses like rejects from Loverboy in the post-apocalyptic world. But I, like the script, digress. They capture the woman, who has some water on her. They are about to beat the location out of her when our hero Stryker shows up with expert marksmanship and a leather vest and cowboy hat with spandex pants. He's a man of few words, probably because that would require acting ability. He saves her, of course, before losing her back to the baddies. I wondered at first why he bothered wearing his cowboy hat. Later on, when I saw what the humid desert did to his big, bushy curly permed hair, I wondered no more. In his quest to save the girl, Stryker and his ally wind up with a group of survivors. It is here that the touching love story unfolds between one of the babes and Stryker's ally. I call him Stryker's ally, because until the last minute of the movie they never bother to give him a damn name. And when I type "love story" I really mean they stare at each other a few times before kissing, than he runs to hold her in the end when she's been shot. Right now, I can't recall him having any lines. Probably for good reason. My favorite character was the bad guy's evil henchman. Normally, these are badass, intimidating types. Not in "Stryker", kiddies. He's tall all right. He also has arms scrawnier than my three year old and a gut bigger than a pregnant woman. Couple that with spindly legs that couldn't hold up a card table, and you've got quite the sight. My next favorite characters were a group of midgets who followed Stryker for no real reason. Like some kind of post-apocalyptic Oompa Loompas. They spoke an odd language, but it didn't really seem to matter, because Stryker never seemed to acknowledge them.

Atlantis Interceptors made even less sense. These two heroes repeat inane dialogue for the first fifteen minutes before a group of scientists somehow raise Atlantis. It wipes out the population, save for our heroes. Than the Atlantans proceed to hunt them down. I couldn't figure out why the Atlantans had a variety of weapons, ranging from swords to arrows to shotguns. But who am I to question the historical accuracy of this cinematic masterpiece? I also couldn't figure out why the head villain was driven around in a classic car, but again, what do I know about Atlantis?

Both times through protracted and poorly acted battles featuring horrifically bad special effects, the heroes won the day.

I can't wait to get disc two in the mail!

WEATHER UPDATE: Last time, I mentioned the snow fall over New Years. Turned out the final tally for the three days was over fifteen inches. Have no fear faithful reader(s?), it was a gorgeous sixty-five degrees today, and all fifteen inches are gone. There is no truth to the rumor that I used the Manaconda to measure how deep the snow was.

That's all for now. Stay tuned for a short posting soon.

Be Seeing You.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Most Expensive Oil Change Ever (and other reasons 2007 kinda sucked)

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO: A mixture. Quite a bit of Pete Yorn's debut album (cos it already is). Also, some Barenaked Ladies, because ole Steve can scream more melodically in "Break Your Heart" than I can sing. And, a bit of the old Sarah McLachlan, because I loves me some Canadians.

WHAT I'M READING: Made it through the local library's batch of Noam Chomsky. Read the most recent issue of Champions Magazine (the official mag of the Champions League) thanks in large part to a gift card for Borders I got for Christmas (can't spend nine bucks of my own money on one magazine, but will gladly spend somebody elses). Currently reading "Bill of Wrongs" by the late Molly Ivins. Up next is issue three of MajorLeagueSoccer Magazine.

WHAT I'M WATCHING: Finally did it. Got to watch all ten English Premier League games from this past weekend. In the past, I've had a shot at watching all ten games but something happened. A result got ruined before viewing. A game didn't record. This time, I did it. And I'm a better man for it. Up next, keeping plugging through Twin Peaks Season Two. Also, Netflix is sending me something called "Grindhouse Experience Disc 2" with cheap b-movies from the 1970's & 1980's.

Well, 2007 is finally over. It wasn't a truly horrible year, as we did have our little Sullivan and I had my balls cut open without pain. But 2007 was not a good year here at the Dung Heap. Every time we got a bit ahead, something would bite us in the arse. The final week was no different.

Last Thursday I went to my local Firestone for a routine oil change. I drive a lot for work, so my car was roughly 22,000 miles overdue for it. Got the car in quickly, and by 9:30 in the A.M. I'm sitting in the waiting room reading my Champions Magazine without a care in the world. Get the oil change, head home, and steam clean me some carpet. I live on the edge, bitches!

A normal oil change would cost me about twenty bucks. By the time I drove my car home that day, I had forked over $1376.31.


See, my little car needed some additional work. Such as, you ask? Well, here's a little list.
1. Oil Change
2. Ball joints (both lower front)-this was over three hundred dollars, which is still cheaper than the last time somebody worked over my ball joints (entendre alert! entendre alert!)
3. Lifetime alignment at about $150. Now, I'm no expert. I could notice that my car's alignment was off simply because whenever I let go of the wheel whilst driving, I'd make a right turn. But a lifetime alignment is one of those things that the mechanic mentions and I just nod along with so I don't seem like a jerkass.
4. Struts at over six hundred bills. I can strut for the cost of one embarrassed look of my wife, but these bad boys hurt the wallet.
5. Two new tires for the back o' the car at a tad over $130. Good deal actually. A few weeks back whilst working in Goshen, I got a flat on my front driver tire. I had to have that replaced, seeing as I was sixty miles from home without a friend in the world. I got both front tires replaced that day, since the other one was flatter than a girl in kindergarten. I knew the back tires would need replacing soon, as there was more rubber in my gloves than on the tire.
6. Labor of almost $500. Can't complain about that, as the ten minute oil change turned into a six hour workday on my Mercury Tracer for the guy.

All told, not the best news to get two days after Christmas. We're by no means rich, so a $1376.31 oil change hurts the bank account a bit. Not to mention just having got two new front tires weeks ago, and having to replace both my headlights last week (as they both went out in the span of a day-driving to work before dawn with no lights is fun, kids!)

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL! 2007 wasn't done whuppin' my pasty white ass. Saturday night I suddenly, out of nowhere, got the shits. The runny shits. The squirty, runny shits. The "painting the toilet brown" squirty runny shits. I wasn't too concerned, as usually they last about a day before letting my buttocks rest. Four days later, I was still rushing to the toilet every ten to fifteen minutes hoping to get it in the bowl and not in my pants. Especially since we're working on potty training Jude, and Daddy is always bragging how big boys don't poop their pants.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S STILL MORE! 2007 wanted one last laugh. So on New Year's Eve we got hit with a winter storm that dumped at least eight inches of snow on the ground. January 1st I began the year by getting out the snow thrower. Unfortunately for me, my best little friend doesn't work if the snow is that high. It just keeps clogging up the throw chute, meaning that I get to stop every foot (literally) and push a massive cylinder of snow out before moving. Eventually, I gave in and shoveled for the first time since 2005. I quickly remembered why I bought the snow thrower, as the shoveling of my walks, the neighbors walk, and the two driveways hurt the old back. Luckily for me (sarcasm intended) we got another two to three inches during the day, so I was back out there before dinner throwing snow again. This time, the thrower worked and I was done in a matter of minutes. It took about 90 minutes the first time by hand. I was laughing maniacally and singing out loud the praises of snow throwers as the white shit flew out that chute (and into my face).

So 2007 is truly over now, and life will get better. In 2008 my wife and I will celebrate eight years of knowing each other, seven years of marriage, Jude's fourth birthday, Sullivan's first, and our thirty-fourth.

There will be some great footballing moments as Manchester United chase EPL title number ten and DC United chase MLS crown number five. Euro 2008 is on this summer, and all games are live on the ESPN channels. Plus the USA begins qualifying for World Cup 2010.

It should be a fun year.

CHRISTMAS was good here. A lot of traveling over the three days, but we spent quality time with family and got a lot of cool gifts. My faves include: 2007 Man United home jersey, Worldwide Soccer Manager 2008 PC game, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season One DVD set, Honeymooners Complete Series DVD set, Blade Runner: The Final Cut DVD, The Simpsons Movie DVD, some clothes, and gift cards. Happy was I.

So enough whining about last year, and Dung is looking forward to this year. I'll leave you with some words from Jude's mouth.

After I explained that Mommy and Daddy got married because we love each other, Jude looked up at me and asked, "Can I marry you Daddy? I love you."

Be Seeing You.