Tuesday, August 31, 2004


So I walk to the vending machines at lunch today to get a crunchy side-item to go with my PB and J and can of C2. The selection in these vending machines is limited, and rarely changes. Cheetos are always dependable. The Hooters hot-wing flavored chips have an odd citrus taste. Andy Capp's Hot Fries are spicy styrofoam, but pretty good.

Today I decided to try Onion-Os. Funyuns are good, right? I figured Onion-Os were like that. I put my fifty cents in the machine, watched the bag of snacks drop and opened the door.

Hoorah! Inside was not only my bag of Onion-Os, but a bag of tiny assorted cookies. Dessert with my lunch! I felt like a mill-yo-naire!

But it was all too good to be true. The Onion-Os were nothing like Funyuns. I opened the bag and was overwhelmed by the smell of the bucket my grandfather kept minnows in when he went fishing. I tried a couple, and they had a vaguely onion-y taste, true, but they also had the styrofoam texture of Andy Capp's Hot Fries without the spiciness. I couldn't eat them.

And the aftertaste is horrid, like I've eaten a lot of old potatoes fried in rancid oil. Yack.

[Other gross things I've eaten lately: we went to brunch with some friends on Sunday. It's not oyster season, really, and the oysters looked small and they'd been sitting on the buffet (on ice, though) for God knows how long but I decided I had to have one anyway. Awful. It was like licking the floor at the fish market.]

The free bag of tiny cookies saved the day. True, some of them had been splattered with frosting in a way that was unpleasantly reminiscent of birdshit, but they were all tasty. I'm almost certain it wasn't actual feces, 'cause those were the best ones!

Saturday, August 28, 2004


Early this morning, still dark, I stagger down the hall to get the crying boy a bottle. The babygate that we have on the door to the kitchen is not permanently attached; this morning it was leaning against the wall in the hallway.

I stubbed the three middle toes of my left foot into that gate so hard that the phone immediately rang.

Jumping on one foot and cursing, I went to answer the phone.

"What?" I snapped.

"Dude," said 1989 Harold, mullet rustling in the breeze, Motley Crue blasting in the background, "what the fuck did you do? My fuckin' foot hurts!"

Teenagers. I hung up.

The phone rang again.

"Listen, you..." I began.

"No, you listen," 2032 Harold barked over the firing of laser rifles and the unearthly screams of dying aliens, "we've got an invasion going on here. What the fuck did you do? I can't walk anymore!"

So, you know, when a toe-stubbing travels through time and affects your past and future, you know it's a pretty good stubbin'.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Car salesman in a zipper mask

Seen on Airline Drive on the trip to work this morning:


Oh my. You know what their slogan should be, right?

"Our prices can't be beat!"

Gen-X Work Ethic

Interesting. Apparently my generation - male and female - spends less time at work than the baby boomers do and value family time much, much more. This doesn't surprise me. Everyone I know my age that has a kid (or kids!) does the bare minimum required for work and spends as much time as possible with the family.

Why is this? It might just be that I hang out with slackers, but I don't think that's it. What was it Tyler Durden said?

"We're a generation raised by women."

Maybe that explains why gen-x dads are more involved. Seriously, every dad my age that I know can do anything with the kids that the momma can - feed, bathe, change diapers, take to school, convince to sleep...everything. The parents are pretty much interchangeable. Things were not like that when I was growing up, for sure.

And gen-x women are more likely to take a long maternity leave and then come back part-time than the boomers. Feminist backlash? Rebelling against the Enjoli-mom of seventies advertising? I don't know.

In conclusion: we are different, special and better.

Truck, Ticket

Sonya's truck is broke. Have I mentioned that?

We went to get in it Sunday afternoon to go to the movies. We were meeting some friends at the movies. They're a couple, and while the guy wanted to see the movie the girl didn't. So the girl watched John while we watched the film with the guy. (We saw Alien vs. Predator. The aliens fight with the predators! Awesome!) The truck wouldn't start. So we had to do the whole-family switch from Sonya's car to my car to make it in time. But we did.

So Sunday evening I try to jumpstart the truck. Nothing. I try to get the battery out. It was the original, though, and one of the battery terminals was corroded through - not that I didn't strip it good trying to get it out! (I'll need to get the mechanic to look at that, too.) So Monday I try to jump it again. Still nothing. I call my buddy Mark, a former co-worker, and hold the phone up to the engine while I try to start it.

"It's your starter," he concluded quickly.

(Once before I described the problem with my car to Mark and he diagnosed it over the phone. Let's see if he can go two-for-two!)

So Mr. Tow-Truck Man is coming tomorrow morning to get the truck. Thrilling!

Also, I got (another) speeding ticket in a school zone this morning. Dammit. For a few seconds I was sitting in the car, nervous as hell, afraid he would call in my license and realize I'd already gotten one of those ticket this year. Then it would be off to Orleans Parish Prison where the crips and bloods would trade me back and forth like a succulent poker chip.

But he didn't call it in. I just got a ticket. Again: dammit.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004


We don't let John go in the kitchen. Certainly not by himself. In our kitchen there are hot stoves, dog food bowls (full of delicious kibble and fun-to-splash water), open flames, broken glass and rusty razor blades. It's no place for a baby.

So what does he do when we don't have the gate up in the kitchen door?

He crawls as fast as he can (about as fast as one of the facehuggers in Aliens - that is, spooky-fast) into the kitchen, cackling the whole way because he knows what he is doing is deliciously, wonderfully forbidden! Shall he eat some kibble? Touch the glowing hot stove? Pull over the teetering garbage can? Who knows? Life is a splendid adventure in the kitchen!

Saturday, August 21, 2004

John - The Latest

John, in loungewear, pre-bed.At left is John, sporting some loungewear, hanging out in his bedroom after dinner. All I have to do to get smiles like that out of him is talk like Lil Jon.




And he smiles. Parenting is easy!

Also, John has a buddy at school. We'll call him Mikey. Apparently, John and Mikey often have to be separated from the other, smaller babies lest they go on a spree of hair-pulling and down-pushing.

"He's so strong!" says John's daycare teacher.

And! And, yesterday Sonya was going out the door to go to work.

"Bye-bye, John!" she said.

"Buh-beh," John replied.

First word? Or coincidental string of syllables? I dont' know.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Phone, Country Song

I got a cell phone!

Isn't that exciting? I've never actually had one of my own before; Sonya was always willing to share.

Not that she's not willing to share now, but it seemed like a good idea. It's an LG 4015 and it is so very tiny. Reducto on Harvey Birdman would love it.

And it plays I Believe in a Thing Called Love when I get a call. I had to add that feature but hell, for $1.99 I couldn't afford not to.

So yes, you can call me now.

And wouldn't Arkansas Highway be a great name for a country song? It could be about driving all night from Memphis to Dallas to see your baby.

My friend Christie said I should put up a picture of John, 'cause I haven't lately. I'll do that tonight.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

As you may know...

...I have little use for the contemporary country music played on the radio. And when I say little I mean none at all.


But Whiskey Lullaby - a duet by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss - has totally got me. Call me old fashioned, but I love country songs that have unhappy endings. This one has an ending as unhappy as it gets - lovers break up, drink themselves to death and are united only in the grave. Excellent. And Alison Krauss' ghostly vocals work perfectly with the spare arrangement. If country music wore black clothes and too much eyeliner this is what it would sound like.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004


From an article on CNN.com about a 1,000 pound man who has lost 300 pounds:

"A group known as the League of Human Dignity helped arrange for Deuel to be driven to a local livestock scale, where he could be weighed."

An exercise for the reader: find the irony in the above sentence.

Can't Wait

I was driving to White Linen Night on Saturday with Siobhan and C-Diggity, her woman. Siobhan was eager to take advantage of Louisiana's liberal open-container-in-vehicle laws.

"Are you sure it's okay?" she asked, "because I can wait 'til we get there."

"Drink," I told her.

"Good," she said, opening a beer, "because I really can't wait."

The Cockroach Story

We've had some cockroaches lately.

It's a different infestation - and, indeed, a different apartment - than last fall, when dozens of the big outside cockroaches kept invading our house. I finally went mad with the Raid and the traps and we never saw another one.

The ones we have now, though, are all different sizes and colors. Little ones. Big ones. Black ones. Brown ones. And the cool ones with black and brown stripes. Not a lot of them, but lots of variety.

And I don't know why, unless late summer is just the season for cockroaches to take a vacation from the omnipresent heat and humidity and move indoors for a while. This apartment is even cleaner than our last one. What with the boy crawling all over the place and a constant need for clean bottles the amount of filth is usually very small.

So I say all that to say this: it was Saturday morning. I'm sitting in the living room. Across the room I see a cockroach, crawling. Also crawling in the same area is John. John and the cockroach were on a collision course! I jumped towards them, but it was too late; John had the cockroach in his hand, and he was bringing it towards his mouth.

I got there in time to stop the unspeakable from happening, though. I grabbed John's hand and stopped it before he could feed himself the horrid bug.

"A roach a roach!" I gibbered, "oh my God he's got a cockroach! In his hand!"

So Sonya ran to us and she and I attempted to simultaneously stop the kid from eating the cockroach while trying to knock the insect out of his tight little fist. John thought this was the height of comedy and giggled gleefully...though he might also have been laughing because the bug was tickling the inside of his hand as it tried to wiggle free.

Finally I managed to pry his fingers open (and feel the lashing antennae and spiny legs) and the roach fell out. I killed it. And then I washed John's hand.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Oh. Ugh. Oh.

Go read this. You will be upset.

Update: Sonya read the story last night.

She laughed.

"Stupid kid," she said.

That's my girl!