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.