Thursday, December 22, 2005

Jesus Is Loud.

Well, the "real" penitent Santa has not made it out yet. In fact, the family could be dead in their house and no one has noticed. However, I did find secondary penitent Santa at a house on the edge of town (maybe they moved?) and I have also beheld "new" penitent Santa.

New penitent Santa is actually more like "upgraded" penitent Santa, in a way. While the almost exact facial expression remains on the kindly gentleman's visage (maybe little baby Jesus is a tad larger, too?), the words "EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW" have been added.

I live on a cul-de-sac. There are several escape routes out of my neighborhood. On one of the lesser travelled routes (the street directly behind mine, actually) I found "new/upgraded" penitent Santa this past weekend. Once I got on the "main drag" through my subdivision, I found ANOTHER "new/upgraded" penitent Santa. But actually, I think that this could be the proverbial font of penitent Santas. Either that, or the person living there has the most fucked-up sense of decoration EVER!

In the yard surrounding said Santa were wise men, angels blowing horns, elves, reindeer and some other exotic stuff I didn't have time to register. But there was also a sign that said "art for sale". I wanted to stop and ask if I could purchase a Picasso.

About 2 blocks into our subdivision, there is an ugly house on the corner that has a sign in front positioned so that you see each side depending on if you are entering or exiting the neighborhood. When I come home, I get some religious message that I can't remember because just beyond this sign is a yard filled with many lights and inflatable christmas icons. But when I leave the neighborhood, the flip-side of this sign tells me that "Jesus Is Loud". Is that because he's coming? (Insert sound of rim-shot here)

Okay, so it's a very scripty font that actually says "Jesus Is Lord". But I swear when you first see it, you will think it says "loud". If I can remember, I will try to quit taking pictures of fuckers long enough to snap some shots of penitent Santa and loud Jesus.

Who says Christmas can't be fun?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The new secret weapon.

Okay, not a good blog today, but there's some pressure to produce, now!!!

So I don't know what my problem is, but I have a couple of really screwed up pet peeves. One is coffee. The other is driving. Vague? Yes. Don't worry... I'll explain. (Oh thank you!)

The coffee pot at work is a metaphor for America. It holds so much promise, and yet is taken for granted by so many. God damn! I'm a genius!

Anyway, I get to work in the morning and make a pot. I drink a cup. I go back for more and there's about 1/4" of rancid tar in the bottom of the pot where some asshole decided his (or her) time was way too fucking important to hook some up for the next guy (or girl). I think that rude assholes should be gut-shot on the steps of the courthouse and then spat upon. I'm pretty sure that anyone that would be so rude is probably the same guy that has to strangle a puppy just to get an erection. Sorry - I had to surpress a laugh on that one...

Driving? Well... It would take much longer than either one of us have for me to go over all the things that piss me off on the road. But suffice it to say that if you are reading this, you are literate and probably have at least some education, ergo you are probably pissed off by the same things that piss me off. No turn signals, changing lanes and then hitting the brakes, teenage girls, makeup artists... The list is huge.

Now, after all that digression, maybe I can get to the point. (Did I just hear a thank you?) While never having been a trendy type guy, I did just buy a new RAZR. My old phone (without a color screen or camera or internet capability) finally gave up the ghost. Well, I just learned that a camera in a phone can do two things for me.

First, when some fucker pulls some shit in a car and draws my ire, I have found that merely taking a picture of either the stupid act, or the car tag, or the fucker that is driving has effect of calming me instantly. When I do this, I am always thinking how great this photo will look on my blog. Along with an explanation of their deed. And hopefully maybe even an address if they can keep from ditching me before they get home.

I have now learned (after a couple of weeks and about 5 or 6 pictures) that when someone realizes what you have done, you are bound to get some good reactions. I had one guy try to get me to pull over to the shoulder. I guess he wanted to kick my ass and take my phone. Another flipped me off. Unfortunately I wasn't ready with the camera. One lady who pulled in front of me in a slot just big enough for her car without using her signal got a tag and facial - which was witnessed by her young son (unencumbered by his seat belt, I might add) who then started to cry to mommy causing her to speed up to get away from me. Like that would drag the photons with her, or something?

Anyway, I am really impressed at how that simple act can have such a lasting impression. I'm sure that one day I will get shot, but I'm having way too much funto worry about that. Maybe oneday I will also have a show of all my latest work.

I would also like to add that in the space between the 2 previous paragraphs, I went to the breakroom to get a cup of coffee. There was indeed a quarter inch of coffee sitting on the burner. But this time I saw the fucker that did it. He is so fat that he can't walk up a flight of stairs without stopping and collecting himself. (I can mock him because I lost 90 lbs.) He also thinks that women should make coffee and bring it to him. (I'm not making this up!) His supervisor (a woman) told me this. I'd love to read his review!

Well, I don't know if I will be posting any more before next year as I am taking the first vacation I have had in four years. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy (and safe) New Year. And if you pull in front of me or drink all the coffee, go fuck yourself!


Friday, December 16, 2005

If you're happy and you know it... go to hell??

Boy. I have learned that if you had 2 people reading your blog when you are bitching, you will have zero readers if you are happy. What is that all about?

I sure do hope that something really sucky happens to me soon so that I can write about it. Until then I promise to keep the gooey comments to a minimum. Unfortunately I am in too good of a mood and nothing bad has happened to me this week. And no one wants to hear about my love life.

I promise - I will try to get in a shitty mood over the weekend!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The new best night of my life!

Last night at 10:57PM, the girl that I am devoting my life to (the object of my affection, my "crossing-my-fingers-and-hoping-she-becomes-my-significant-other", the girl that my one reader knows as the girl I am smitten with) were standing at the top of her stairs as I gave her a good night kiss (or two or so...). She wrapped her arms around me, leaned in and whispered "I love you" in my right ear.

I am smiling.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Sartorial nightmare...

I cannot tie a bowtie. I have been trying for 3 days. I've got a big date tonight and I finally get to wear my new tux. My date is extremely stylish, hip and beautiful, and she is going to be a vision tonight in a black dress and long gloves! I really wanted to go the extra mile and get a real bowtie. Then I could be the only guy at the end of the evening with the untied tie hanging around my neck. How cool would that be?

But, unfortunately, it is not meant to be. Perhaps my neck is too big? Perhaps I'm just retarded?

I can write excellent computer code.
I can fly a plane.
I can play many instruments, some of them pretty well.
I can write songs.
I can take photographs and process them in a darkroom.
I can build things out of wood.
I can figure out electronic equipment.
I can shoot pretty well.
I can make people feel happy or stupid.

But I can't tie a bowtie. And for some reason that makes me feel incomplete.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Penitent Santa

Where I live, people take religion seriously. Except for one middle eastern family (that I know of) that lives in the more upscale section of my subdivision, I am the lone holdout from Christianity. In fact, I don't even know that we have any jewish families around us. I'm sure we do. I think. And then my "crossing-my-fingers-and-hoping-she-becomes-my-significant-other" lives just outside my subdivision. (I can't wait until I can call her my girlfriend!) Anyway, she is from a country that is 99% Shinto or Buddhist. She's not a Christian.

I have no problems with Christians. I really was one when I was younger. But when I was 8, the uber-Baptist preacher commented that "the reason hippies (this was in 1969) wear turtlenecks is to hide their flea collars." Even at that tender age, I was able to smell the taint of hypocrisy and never attended another service. Not that my integrity was so advanced, but more because "The Bullwinkle Show" aired on Sunday mornings. Anyway, I don't throw Christians to lions or persecute them in any way. In fact, I persecute no one for any religious beliefs. Hey - do what you gotta do. That's my motto. Hmm... That's not really a good motto, I guess. My point is I don't go around trying to get Christians to switch teams. However, they are all the time telling me that I'm going to hell because I don't go to church. I keep wondering why being a good person is not enough to keep me out of the pit. Maybe they just want me in church so they can keep an eye on me? Perhaps there is a signing bonus?

But I am losing focus here...

So anyway, with Christmas now arriving, everyone is putting out the decorations. I, myself, prefer fun and secular. But this being Brandon, Mississippi, most decorations tend to be religious in nature. I feel that you should stick to one or the other. If you are going fun and secular, it should be big, loud, garish and bright enough to give Entergy a hard-on. The bigger the house, the more area you have to attach lights! It should destroy the night vision of passing motorists. On the other hand, if you want the religious tone, I feel like that is best served with "simple and subdued". Colorful enough to invoke passion, yet plain enough to keep the message from being lost. Yep. Secular or religious. Go right ahead! (I am getting sick of the wire-grid deer, though. And as for the inflatable decorations? Of course the kids will shoot them with pellet guns, you idiots! You might as well pour gasoline to put out a fire!)

So I have a couple of beefs with the Christians.

First of all, Christmas is representative of the birth of the little baby Jesus. It's been a while since I read a bible, but I don't recall anything saying that the three wise men came to Bethlehem and nailed LBJ (not the president) to a cross. That's what the Easter is all about - the Easter bunny nailing big, adult Jesus to a cross! So why do you insist on putting crosses out in your front yard? And hanging a purple cloth from it? Easter! And if you insist on having a cross, do you really have to have it completely wrapped in lights so that it comes very close to looking almost like a KKK rally? A few years ago the people that lived in the house on the diagonal corner from the middle-eastern family I spoke of had a large, light-wrapped, pupil-constricting cross on the streetlight pole at the corner of their lot, pointing directly at the MEF's house. I thought they were trying to incite jihad. But I digress... Cross=Easter=dead Jesus. Christmas=manger=baby Jesus. Oh - and MEF=middle eastern family. But you knew that!

Now we get to Penitent Santa.

The other beef I have with the Christians is the habit of mixing the stories. Not too far from my house is what I like to call Penitent Santa. I just found out that more than one exists - I have seen the second one! Maybe you have, too. So it's a wooden cutout of a regulation Santa, but he has removed his jaunty hat and is holding it, clenched between his hands. His brow is lined not with the lines of jolliness and laughter, but with a serious, eyebrows raised look that can only truly be described as the look of a peptic ulcer kicking in, but is actually trying to represent humble respect, and the awe of a miracle being witnessed. He is on one knee (I think - maybe both?), kneeling, hat in hand, respectfully humble, in front of a manger in which the little baby Jesus is laying in swaddling clothes. If you were to see one of these, you would understand why the term "Penitent Santa" is so apropos. In fact, you would no doubt applaud my sheer genius! "Mr. B!" you would say. "I have to applaud your genius!" And I would be gracious and modest and tell you that I was merely doing my job.

So my beef is that Santa Claus kneeling in front of the little baby Jesus is just... Not right! (Okay - so I'm not a genius!) I'm pretty sure that there was indeed some person that the stories of Kris Kringle/Santa Claus were vaguely modeled after. I'm pretty sure he was not alive on Jesus' birthday. So not only are we unravelling the fabric of time with this display (why not have a picture of ME handing Joseph a cigar in the stable, while congratulating Mary?) but we are also crossing the commercialism/religion boundary as well. Not that I really care, because I think anyone that builds a church the size of an office buidling instead of feeding and clothing the homeless pretty much is in it for the dough anyway. But the Christians don't see it that way. They go to church, so they're going to heaven. Yes, I'm generalizing.

Now - this comes under the heading of "anything worth doing is worth doing right!" Yep, if you're going to have a Christmas display that crosses all of these boundaries, then you really should have a Santa nailed to a cross. With presents at his feet! That's an idea I wish I had come up with! Also, I did see on the news this morning that the residents of a neighborhood in Florida are trying to get the city to make a resident remove his display. He has a Santa hanging from a noose in a tree, with a blindfold on, and his hands and feet bound together. My goal now is to have a Santa in a shower with his hands cuffed over the curtain rod, and a reindeer slicing him up with a chainsaw and spraying blood everywhere, ala "Scarface". I'll bet that would make quite the impression in my neighborhood.

Friday, December 02, 2005

I'm officially an adult, now?

In the Hebrew faith, you have the briss (ouch?) followed by (some time later) the bar mitzvah.

Some african tribes mark the start of a young man's adulthood when he kills his first lion.

The world is littered with various ways of signifying the commencement from childhood to adulthood.

I, however, bought a tux.

Now I feel like a goddamn grown-up fer sure!

Actually, I feel more like James Bond than anything else. The Sean Connery James Bond, that is. Not the pussy Roger Moore James Bond. (Yes - he was the first Bond to wear a leisure suit!) If I were tall and skinny, I could probably hang with feeling like the Pierce Brosnan Bond, too. But (as far as I'm concerned) Sean is the standard.

Anyway, I now own a tux.

All my life, I have pretty much been a slob. Comfort has been the watchword with me. When I was on the road all the time, it was either sweats or jeans during the day, and then other jeans or (during the metal band years) leathers on stage. FYI - I was never one of these "put-on-all-the-shit-you-wear-on-stage-and-go-to-the-mall" kind of guys. I have to establish a little credibility here... As we got older and advanced into the "not-getting-paid-shit-to-travel-everywhere-and-play-your-own-music-instead-of-covers" scene, I found that whatever I was wearing during the drive to the gig was what I was wearing that night. Convenience has a name, too...

Once I "retired" from the music biz and started working "real jobs", I became aware of an idea known as a "dress code" (or "duress code" as I called it). The code was that whatever was most uncomfortable wear became that which you would wear. But that also brought about the advent of "casual Friday". This meant that on Friday, you could be more "casual", relatively. So if everyday dress was slacks and tie, on Friday you could wear slacks and polo. If everyday were "business casual", Friday could even mean blue jeans.

What I learned over the years was how to squeeze every ounce of casual out of "casual Friday". At one job that I kept for 7 years, I was down to sweats and tanks on Friday. I have a knack for making myself very indespensable at a job, which helps lower the veil of blindness over the eyes of the bosses. This also helps me get away with growin the hair back out, etc...

You guessed it... I'm just a big, dumb kid! But not anymore! I. Have. A tux! Woohoo!

During the last 10-12 years, I really let myself go. I was hovering around 300 lbs. Then (long story short) I dropped down to 210 and found that my only good suit could not be altered enough to fit me. No big deal for the nonce, as I wasn't planning on going to any funerals or suit-requiring gigs.

That was also before I met a girl that has become the object of my affection. She is stylishly hip, but also doesn't care if I dress like a tramp cyclist or homeless guy. In some freaky, quirky twist, that has made me want to "clean up nice" somewhat as well. And while I will never be one of these GQ model guys, I have begun to make something somewhat akin to an effort to, on occasion, attempt to portray myself as someone that doesn't make the average passerby feel sorry for the girl walking next to me. It's an odd feeling to have.

So anyway, since I have finally come to a weight that is probably where I will be staying, I decided to go ahead and get a new suit (since even the magic tailor Al couldn't bring the old one in enough to not look like somone had autopsied me while wearing it). A blue one. I am also having to learn a little about things like "what goes with what". She is infinitely patient with me. And while those who know me think I may be selling out, I have found that I really enjoy the moments when I appear all shorn and natty and her eyes pop open and she makes comments on how good I look. It's amazing.

However, while dressing up in a suit is nice, I still prefer a tux. A good tux makes you feel like you will be having sex before the sun rises again! Plus, I have made 2 trips to the opera as of last month, and an outing to the ballet is next week. I could have saved myself a little dough if I had bought this in October. So it's really a fiscal statement more than a stylish statement, I guess.

But it's a really cool thing to own. I feel almost like I did when I bought my house! How strange is that? But the really good part is that now, when I go to any function and run into other people wearing tuxedos, I can glance down my nose at them, roll my eyes and murmer quietly - "rental".