Archive for August, 2004

Hot Flashes

I just got back from a vacation filled with rainy and cool days to a week of work filled with 90-degree weather and sunshine.  I went with a group of friends, and one startling realization of the week was that when it’s rainy and cool outside, people tend to stay inside, eating and drinking.  This led to some fairly wild and crazy good times, but also to gigantic food and alcohol bills for the week.  Anyway, since I’m in recovery mode this week, my best bet will be to churn out a nice, easy, disjointed dot, dot, dot column.

 …I might as well start off by being controversial:  Why has Rudy Giuliani been lavished with accolades and praise for the past year?  I understand that he managed to stay calm during the aftermath of 9/11 and gave good press conferences, but other than that, he is being seriously over-hyped.  I admit that this could simply be a matter of ignorance on my part regarding the great and wonderful things Giuliani did, but it seems to me that all he does these days is an extreme amount of self-promotion.

 Every time I’ve turned on the television in the past year, it seems like Rudy has been showing up on some show or at some event to accept praise and acclaim and standing ovations (is there a show that he has missed?).  “Yes, I’m wonderful, thank you.  I gave press conferences and appeared calm.”  WHAT DID HE DO?  They should have shown me survivors, family members, and rescue workers, not this walking ego with Liberace’s teeth…

 …The Boston Red Sox have performed their annual August/September swan dive.  Wait till next year…

 …I watched the movie Chinatown last night.  I enjoy the movie, Jack Nicholson is great in it, but as the Megger says, every time I see Faye Dunaway I think, “NO MORE WIRE HANGERS EVER!!”…

 …While I was on vacation on rainy Cape Cod, I unfortunately spent quite a bit of time watching MTV.  This lasted until, at one point, I realized that I was listening to various pop celebrities tell me how the country was doing in the year since the 9/11 attacks.  I got up, shook the lactic acid out of my brain, and went off to read a book…

 …Before I came to my senses, I had the misfortune of seeing Axl Rose and Guns N’ Roses (featuring all new members, one of whom had a KFC bucket on his head, really) perform on the MTV Video Music Awards.  I remember how much I enjoyed Guns N’ Roses when I was in high school; their music was edgy and new and I couldn’t get enough of it. Seeing Axl sing live reminded me that he only has the ability to sing about 1 line of a song before his voice turns into weak white noise.  He is easily the worst live singer I have ever heard, even worse than Dickie Barrett of the Mighty, Mighty Bosstones.  In Axl’s favor, however, I must point out that he was probably the ONLY person to actually sing at the MTV Video Music Awards…. 

 …A friend of mine has the ability to wake up at any time she wants.  She hasn’t used an alarm clock for years; she just thinks of a time and that’s the time she wakes up in the morning.  I think this is really cool, but I’m also jealous, because I’m sure that waking up to a loud radio station or that annoying buzzer every morning is taking years off of my life.  I wonder if she has a mental snooze button…

 …I have a fish tank, inhabited by a 3-year-old goldfish named Stan, on my desk at work.  One of my coworkers, who obviously has nothing better to talk to me about, continued to ask me how Stan was doing, over and over and over (and over and over).  It was nice of him, but it slowly began to drive me insane.  Finally, I had to put an end to it by telling him that Stan has only two states of being, “Good” or “Dead”, and until further notice, Stan is “Good”…

…And finally, you must know that the Evil Plankton is, without question, my favorite character from Sponge Bob Square Pants (I can do a good impression of his voice).

The Day to Day Grind Tim 20 Aug 2004 No Comments

Comfy Callie

I noticed that the gate was open just as Callie, my dog, was sneaking through it.  Once in the open, she put on an outrageous burst of speed toward a busy road.  I called for her to stop, but she merely paused to look back at me before continuing on her journey.

I could only stand and watch as she turned the corner onto the busy road and took off after a speeding Toyota.  I thought back to that day at the shelter, and remembered that my wife and I had chosen Callie because while the other dogs were freaking out, Callie sat quietly in her cage and licked my wife’s hand.

In the two months since that day, our 4-year-old collie/shepherd mix figured out that she wasn’t going back to the shelter.  She then promptly dropped the “adopt me” persona and began to allow her true personality to surface.  Here are a few examples of what I mean:

·        Callie always comes when she is called, unless she is not restrained by the walls of a house or by a fence.  She is so good about it that I get lulled into a false sense of security.  The truth is, once she gets into the great wide open, Callie has no owner.

·        My dog is dedicated to the sport of squirrel chasing, but she is not particularly skilled at catching the little buggers.  When I let Callie out into our backyard, she will sometimes spy a group of squirrels assaulting our bird feeder.  She will then fall over herself in her haste to get down the back stairs and across the yard.  By the time she arrives, however, the squirrels are safely in a tree, giggling at her.  Callie will then spend 10 minutes attempting to climb the tree, to the squirrels’ great amusement.  I think she’s waiting for the day when a squirrel laughs itself right off of a branch.

·        It has been said that Callie bears a strong resemblance to one Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius.  I never believed it until we started receiving catalogs in the mail from the ACME Company, addressed to Callie McCaffrey.  I think that she might like a pair of rocket-powered roller skates for Christmas.

·        The Super Genius still enjoys chasing cars.  When she is in the house, The Super Genius chases cars by barking and running back and forth in our enclosed front porch.

·        My wife insists that Callie no longer sleeps on our living room couch, but for some reason the couch is always covered in dog hair.  My theory is that Callie spends her days lounging on the couch, watching The Great Escape on AMC.

·        Food isn’t as important to Callie as it is to most dogs.  She refuses to eat anything that isn’t in the major food groups of Dog Food, Milk Bones, Meat, and Cheese.  As far as I know, she is the only McCaffrey in the world who doesn’t like ice cream.

·        If she thinks that there is even a chance that she might get her belly rubbed, Callie will immediately roll onto her back.  The funny thing is, she will consistently end up just out of the reach of the nearest person, forcing them to stretch out or move for the privilege of rubbing the belly.

·        When she escapes, Callie is FAST.  I think that her great grandfather must have been a greyhound, which would explain her affinity for buses.

·        To her credit, Callie is wonderful with children.  Yes, my wife made me write that.

Luckily, Callie didn’t catch the Toyota, and her escape was short-lived.  I found her about a half-mile down the street, barking at a squirrel and trying her best to claw her way up the trunk of a tree.  I grabbed her collar and led her towards home, but as we walked away, I swear I heard high-pitched laughter coming from the branches.

The Day to Day Grind Tim 13 Aug 2004 No Comments

Hot Flashes

Work has been insane; I’ve been busy as hell, blah, blah, blah. So, despite the fact that I have at least 3 articles that I’ve been meaning to write, I can’t wait until I have enough free time to write them. So, I hope you’ll excuse the quick hits format, and if not, how do you like the price of it?

…I’m having pains in my chest lately. I shouldn’t be surprised about it, though, because I get the same pains every August when the Red Sox choke their way out of the pennant race and essentially tear out my heart. Who? Me? Bitter? Naaaah…

…I went to a party in upstate New York recently and my friend The King showed a passing interest in one of the ladies at the gathering, and received “I’m interested” signals back from her (I’m fairly sure this wasn’t due to the fact that she was INCREDIBLY drunk). The problem was, the woman’s father (6’5, 290) was lurking protectively over his daughter at all times, preventing The King from making any headway. The funny thing was, the girl was in her mid-twenties and divorced, so you wouldn’t think that she would need such vigilant protection.

Our group began discussing plans to provide a diversion that would distract Big Daddy, allowing The King to get to know the woman a little better. It was agreed that this would need to happen, and we waited for The King to give us the sign.

A short while later, the group was sitting near the fire when we noticed that the woman in question was involved in a deep conversation with another guy with no sign of Big Daddy anywhere. We all turned around at the same time and saw The King, deep in a conversation about insurance with Big Daddy. In his effort to make nice with Big Daddy, The King was providing the exact diversion that he had been looking for!

When we looked back at the woman, she was giggling and whispering while she walked off into the darkness with her new friend. By trying to make nice with Big Daddy, The King proved that Leo Durocher was right; nice guys DO finish last…

…At the same party, there was an incredible fireworks display, featuring fireworks that, well, aren’t exactly legal to own, but which are incredible to watch when fired from a back yard. There were all kinds of fireworks, including the big boomers that you can really feel in your chest when you are directly below them.

We enjoyed the view for about 15 minutes, at which point the police scanner began squawking about people calling the police to complain about a “spectacular fireworks display”. I mean, who calls the police about this stuff? Fine, I know that some of you bed-wetters will say that illegal fireworks shows are fun until someone loses a hand, but we had experienced people firing them off.

When we heard the scanner, all firework activity ceased and we all sat sipping our beers in the tense, silent darkness until, miracle of miracles, the explosions of a legitimate fireworks display began in the distance. You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief from everyone at the party, as the police would no doubt believe that the cranky neighbors were calling about the legitimate display and not our little bandit show.

We waited a little while and then set off 3 or four more boomers, just to keep the neighbors on their toes.

Ok, that’s it for now. I promise more articles as soon as my work is finished moving to another building. Peace.

The Day to Day Grind Tim 06 Aug 2004 No Comments