What's In A Word?

I was listening to the grand shuffle of my preferred digital media container, and this song ("Loving, Self Loathing" by Smoke or Fire) came on. Play it while you read, perhaps.

You ever listen to that Violent Femmes song "Blister in the Sun" (here) and think to yourself, "kite is a funny word"? Because it is. Kite and white.

Season Of Busy Pants

It's Christmas time. In case you hadn't noticed. We've noticed, because we've been busy. In fact, everyone is busier during the holidays. And the thing is, for all we tell everyone how busy we are (and hear how busy they are as well) doing the million and one little things necessary for a "nice" holiday season, preparing for what is to come, all that shit - we probably spend more time with our friends and families during the month of December than any other time of the year. Because if being busy is a sort of barometer for how loved someone is, then we are a fucking loved society. So strictly speaking, when someone says "I haven't had time to catch up with this or that," if it's December, chances are what they are really saying is, "this or that is pretty low on my list of priorities. Far below the happy hour with coworkers or the movie night with girlfriends - annual tradition!"

Considerations Before The Holiday

Public schools and their political correctness make for silly bedfellows at times. The word "Thanksgiving" doesn't seem to be tied into anything overtly religious; the title says thanks, not "praise the Lord." So I found it interesting when the Child came home from school insisting it was called "Turkey Day," because that is what the teacher was telling all the kids to call it. Since the inoffensive Thanksgiving Day moniker is, obviously, too offensive. Hence why she didn't check spelling...

Hoppy Thonksgiving

The Ish Report, 11-whatevertodayis-2010

So I was driving to work this morning when the damnedest thing happened: this older gentleman in a Chevrolet midsize pickup decided to declare his angst for pedal-depression with a more active form of protest in hitting my car. He was very enthusiastic about it -- and I'm definitely quoting what I presumed my make-believe telepathy would have uncovered -- thinking often that he was "sticking it to the Man." Somehow.

I'm fine. I smell like shit and piss, because the older gentleman had some issues controlling himself while we were exchanging information. Otherwise I'm fine. Except for the blood.

Ella's Still Entertaining But That Depends On What You Find Entertaining (Plus A Few Other Things)

First of all, forget what you thought you knew. Ella Fitzgerald is not dead. She is alive and well, and she is on Facebook. And apparently, there are people in this world who like what she has to say, dammit.

I Know What New Yorkers Are Complaining About

Last week Wired magazine posted an infographic that visualizes a week's worth of calls to New York City's 311 complaint line and segments them by time of day.  They made use of Lee Byron's streamgraph method to create a visually arresting image, but the results were a letdown (if you ask me). Take a look for yourself here; these complaints are a borefest. I'm not judging, I'm just saying I thought New Yorkers would come up with some more interesting things to complain about. I mean, they're in NEW YORK for crying out loud. Chlorofluorocarbon recovery? Puh-leeeze. You can do better than that, guys.

This is not real.

Here There Be Coda

No matter which way you look at it, this is gratuitous hot action.

Who wants to change oil now?
Now then.

The People Want More Neon

It was a few magical nights ago, there were fireflies flitting about the living room crooning about the wonders of airborne life and the dustiness of the Great Lamp that is their shrine, and Sassy and I were sitting together on the sofa. We were watching television. I believe it was a program about food. I want to point out here, even in the midst of this special moment I'm describing, to make sure we're clear: Sassy likes programming about food and watching it with her makes me hungry, so I go along with minimal protest (unless hockey is on). But I digress. We were being sang to by fireflies somehow. Candles were burning. Neighbors were gathering beneath our balcony holding up lighters and sighing (no mistake, friend: they were sighing loudly and in time) little contented sighs to each other because of how peaceful that spot of sidewalk was.

The Best Post In The World

It has been a time since I have posted anything. It was a difficult time for most of you, I know. But it was tough for me as well because of all my readers, who missed me. I felt their collective agonized yearning for the Ish as waves of astral energy, and it invigorated me during my deadlines, but it also set upon me a terrible burden: the desire to ease the thirst for Ish.

R2D2 Got Out Of His Dreams And Into His Car

Sassy and Kid went to Comic Con in Long Beach this past weekend! It was Sassy's first, and she was pleased. Kid was relieved to finally find his dream car.

In space, nobody cares what your hubcaps look like.

Community Helpers Are Your Friends

Today we helped out in Kindergarten for Community Helper Day, impressing all 65 of them with our verbose humor and musical prowess. They came to our station in sets of five, for five minutes at a time. You don't understand how much time that really is until you try to keep a bunch of five year olds focused for that long. They were fascinated by us for 30 seconds before wanting "crazy music" or to touch the guitar/mandolin or to inform us of what their Halloween costumes were. With the four and half minutes eternity we had left we quickly started a game of musical chairs each time, while vowing to respect the hell out of Kindergarten teachers for the rest of our lives. 

To Live And Die on LI

Oh, how I love my little Sassy.

To make this little post worthwhile to peoples other than the aforementioned loved one, here is a song, and you will like it.

To Live and Die on LI by The Goodwill

What Is Love? Let's Ask The 90s

What is love? If you ask me, love comes down to trust and respect, which are earned and given, choices we make daily. Most importantly, trust doesn’t mean never having questions, it means knowing that there’s an answer and it’s only a question away.

On the other hand, if you watched this video you'd think it has something to do with mandarin collars, capes, and leopard print leotards. Egads, I couldn't watch the whole thing.  Can you?

Sassy Is Mad At Ingrid For No Real Good Reason

You might have noticed we've been listening to Ingrid Michaelson lately. (By which I mostly mean "I've been listening" far more.) It was accidental, she popped up on my Pandora one day. I noticed her song You and I and liked it because it had a great line about wanting to do what bunnies do (with you-know-who). Awwww.


Sassy and I caught Chuck Ragan playing some tunes in Fullerton before his London tour this past weekend. Even though I'd seen him play plenty of times in Hot Water Music, I had never seen his solo act live before. We enjoyed ourselves greatly, and Sass took a real good picture.
Aren't you glad everybody uses Dial?

Quick Shots

Blog posts are going to be a bit rarer around here until at least November. There are some reasons for this, and they are as follows:

#1. My book deadline is November 4th, I think. I should know this, but all I know right now is good, and ball, and...

There Will Be Grease

McDonald's is not an eatery that anyone other than my dad would say "tastes good." It serves its purpose in its own special way: it is hot, it is fast, it is greasy, it is [relatively] inexpensive. The only thing this place has going for it is the Monopoly game. I friggin' love the Monopoly game. I have no idea why, because I hate playing Monopoly itself -- although again, my dad thinks it is the best game ever. But I love McDonald's Monopoly, and I already won a medium fries.

Proceed to get fat

A Prologue

I wrote this in a span of a few hours last night and this morning. I used a Univers font, which may or may not transfer -- and if it does, you may not be able to see it anyway, since it isn't a standard font. (Fonts are important to writers. Unless Sassy brings them up, then fonts are just what dorky design folks geek-out to, which is ideal for me making fun of her.)

Without further ado, except for this picture:
So, so right

Writing...Possibly...One Day

I've been entertaining a notion of writing some fiction and posting it on here. It isn't any of my planned fiction -- by which I should admit to not working on very frequently -- but more of a spontaneous, episodic, I write whatever I want kind of thing, but within the boundaries of what I've created already. That's a cumbersome way of saying I'm going to write short stories set within a world I made up for other stories but will now shamelessly exploit. 

Hey, It's Friday

It is the one day of the week where stating repeatedly what day of the week it is serves as a sufficient response to pretty much everything. You can tell people the day of the week in a revelationary and excited tone, like as a response to a greeting or even just a reminder to other people about how retarded you're going to act later tonight. I shall give you illuminous examples now:
  • Walking in to work, as a general announcement: "WHOO IT'S FRIDAY!" (but don't smack your coworkers' ass, that's going too far)
  • On everyone's Facebook: "yay it's Friday, can't wait to get my party on." (or some such "cool" synonymous term, as clearly I don't "get my party on" much)
  • When asked how you are: "dude, it's Friday."
  • When asked how you feel, as it looks like your body is stiff and sore: "f*ck you, it's Friday."
  • Getting home from work: "where's my brewsky, it's Friday!" 
  • When asked why the hell you seriously just said that: "well you do look like you stepped into a wind tunnel. But...it's Friday?"
  • On being arrested after all those brewskys: "BUT IT'S FRIDAY!"

Elementary Schools

Kid writes words in green and captions in black and believes most people can't remember to turn off the lights when they leave a room because it is part of the Human Condition. Sassy writes in blue and believes in defending the people who forget to turn off the lights when they leave a room on the premise that they are returning in just a second (and after a show on the Food Network) to get and/or do something.

You Don't Get "It"

To start: click play and listen to the tunes while reading. Then you will be in the appropriate "special place" for this post.

I Before E Except After C, And Sometimes...Why?

What do you do when you have too many small ideas to blog about, not many big ones, and even less time? I'll tell you: it's LIST MAKING TIME. Whoot. I love lists, and I have 20 minutes before my next call. Go time. 

Angry Irishman

It is catch-up with the Ishes* today! I have no anger in me, not even the type supplied by the title: two parts Irish Whiskey (thanks, Slick), two parts Irish Cream, and some ice cubes. The last time I even made said drink of anger was for guests, some time ago.

But I'm kind of starting in the middle here, as first I want to share some random lyrics to set the tone. 

Free Things Are Good Things

Most of you probably know this, but for those of you who don't, let me give you some straight knowledge-bombs here. You'll thank me forever, you'll see. Ok, here it goes: the glue on envelops tastes awful. I'm not such a big fan of that glue, nor is my tongue. Avoid it at all costs.

Dangit, Relapse

There's a few things I've done or been a part of in life that I really could have lived just fine without experiencing. One of those things I mentioned a bit ago, in the post Where I've Been. I speak of alcoholism or, in broader terms, addiction. I myself am not an addict.

The Obnoxiously Emotional Art Hour With Sassy

Hello! This post is a fun one. Well. Rather, it plans to be. Eventually. You see, I will digress obnoxiously for the next paragraph (or three), then it'll get good. Just bear with me a sec...I'm awkward. It's been awhile since I've posted, but (I think) I'm back in the game now. 

This Heat Makes Me Grumpy

I get grumpy. Ask Sassy. I'm already an old man in some ways, and getting grumpy is one of them. I wish I felt bad about it, because then I'd be compelled to want to improve. But I don't feel bad about it. I know I get grumpy. It isn't personal. 

Where I've Been

It's been pretty quiet (another word for it is "weird") around here since August 3rd. There is a reason for that. August 3rd marks the day someone who was prominent once in my life ended hers.

A w k w a r d  s i l e n c e. I know, believe me, I know.

Variations On Brilliance (Or Kid Is Bored)

It's August already. I'm all like, "yo it's August already," and everyone else is like, "yeah, you looked at a calender then, we take it," and I follow up with a, "damn straight, let's do this." (And "this" is user-defined by experience.)

To commemorate the passing of time, which I have way too much of currently (and don't worry, I'm more distressed about it than you are, dear...you, whoever you are), I have put together this greatest of music posts. Ever.

Hindsight Is My Co-Author

Hindsight is my co-author; she tells a better story (and is a bit more humorous about it too). I don't mind. I like her point of view.

Truth be told, I've never considered myself a writer. Sure, I can do it - I learned the rules, paid attention in school. I knew I'd need it; it's a foundational necessity, like math. (Math didn't come as naturally, but I suppose I considered them equally exciting.) Writing is not the same as storytelling - it's much harder.

Why I Am So Colorful

I am re-posting an entry I just wrote for KT Fabulous, a blog started by someone with K-T about K-T. Most of you don't know it, but I was born with K-T -- and most of you don't know it because I didn't want you to know. So it is my honor to write a bit of my story to share with Arianna and her readers, as she and others have shared before, and finally let some of you know another side of me as well.

(She is running my post on her page now, or over here. Even though you can read my words below, I urge you to visit the blog. K-T is an ugly, painful little syndrome that isn't "glamorous." Nonetheless, Arianna started the blog to discuss it in her life, which is far braver than I was at her age.)

Corporate Ramblings And Photoshop Phun

I learned the more involved facets of graphic design, print prep and typography in mid-2005, just after the kiddo was born. In mid-2006, I needed to find a new job because life was moving in a divorced direction, and my graphic design job with the soon-to-be-ex-in-laws was getting a little awkward for us all. 

Shoulder Cat Or More Than You Cared To Know About Ocicats

Truth be told, Coda was a bit of an accident. Wait, let me start at the beginning: I have two Ocicats.* Ender is older by three days, male, and colored cinnamon. Coda is younger, female, and colored tawny. 

Graphic Design(er) Of The Future(r) (Err...?)

I'm bored and Sassy isn't at the computer (say, like, working or something). I don't even think she's in the building; I could call out, but that sort of ruins the mystery now doesn't it?

Kid Vampire (For Anne-Marie)

Someone thought this was a good idea. Sassy encouraged the idea. 
I was then forced to bust out my 
This is uncaptionable

I'm Cuckoo For Cuckoo Clocks.

I've been a little bored. Not much, because I've been too busy to actually think about it. And now that I DO take a moment to think about it, that's probably not the right word for it. I believe I'm feeling boring, not bored. It's that familiar plateau -- the thing you feel when you need to shake up your inspiration, push your boundaries, challenge your abilities and make something new. In order to stay interested, stay interesting. (Or maybe it's the other way around?) Either way, I need to search out some sort of spark.  

It's Been Slow

Before I get into anything else, here's a picture of my neck in its present condition. It looks good, the doctor says the scar shouldn't show too much. Now, it actually hurt a bit to tilt my neck back like this, but the scar wouldn't be visible if I didn't get a little light on it, and I did this to show all of you.

My Normal Is Her Small

We're not simple folks. We can't have butter on our toast, because chances are Sassy wants to put garlic in that butter, and Kid wants to punch garlic in the schnozzle. We also can't have one browser on this computer; we are a family of multiple browsers.

So, Is It Dingle Balls Or Dingleballs?

What's inspiring me today? Fabric arts and Mexican dingle-ball things. Go figure. If you Google image search "Mexican dingle balls", you get the image below. I think that's really great. Sometime in the future, I plan to make a chair cover for one of our papasan getups.  I'll get the blankets from Mexico because I love the plaid, wool ones (so soft), and I can't resist adding dingle ball (dingleball?) trim: it's *just* my kind of obnoxious.

My Soul Is Screwed (In)

This is the handiwork of science and surgeons (not sturgeons, which taste terribly fishy, and fish is not something that will be going down the gullet you see here). There's some screws, a metal plate, and a cadaver bone betwixt them.

I Can't Decide, Please Help Me.

In my "free" time I'm setting up my long-overdue portfolio website. It's a process I've been spreading out over the past year, building the site, deleting the site when I thought it was stupid, rebuilding it again, and creating/collecting content in the meantime.  

It's a lot of work. I'm constantly surprised by this, but I'm attempting to create a portfolio site that's not going to be a pain in the ass to maintain. Let me be super clear about this: I. HATE. ADMIN-WORK. I've just realized this recently, in fact; I always thought I liked it because I'm fairly good at it. It turns out:

 Not having admin-work to do  >  Having admin-work to do

Partial Redemption In Full Color

Before I spilled the black paint on the carpet, I managed to finish this piece. 

Thankfully, it distracts from the stained floors below. 

Here's The Thing

#1. My shoulders aren't tight because my "core" needs tightening, and I'd appreciate you not rubbing my belly when you make that proclamation either. Well, no, to be fair, I liked it when you rubbed my belly, I just didn't like the words coming out of your mouth while my belly was being rubbed (I think you patted it once too, for posterity). I think we can safely assume that my shoulders are tight because I have a hole in my neck. See the post The Answer to Everything is My Throat Got Cut.

Sadly, I Am No Longer Awesome.

I spilled half a pint of high-gloss black enamel paint on the carpet yesterday evening.  It was tragic. My mind cringes because the recollection itself is bitter, like the taste of burnt garlic.  Which is much better than the smell of black enamel paint soaking into your apartment carpet, when what you really wanted to do was go get some cheap pizza and sing in the car the whole way there.

The pizza and the rockin' car ride never happened because it takes hours to unpaint the carpet.  I'm starting to think this was a really complicated way to get Kid to buy us new bath towels.  

I Am Awesome.

I can't help it.
I just am.

Oh It Didn't Bruise That Bad

This should serve as a lesson to our readers: when someone has been trained formally in defending oneself via counterviolent methods, regardless of that someone's present apparent limitations, don't attack said person.

No Robotic Parts

Here's a shot of my neck from this morning. It is a little reddish around the area because I just patted it down with a warm rag to get the dried blood off. I'm not sure what caused that vicious bruise on my chest other than something that must have happened in surgery. Same with the number on my left bicep. (They really kicked my ass in there. And took a disc. Bastards.)

Can't take this tape off yet

The Answer to Everything is "My Throat Got Cut"

I think being in pain makes my brain slightly lazy, because I'm finding that saying "my throat got cut" is a perfectly valid answer for pretty much everything. 

Puzzle Peace

I love my boys. 

Action shot

Dramatic monologue

One Day Later

Or is it two days later? I had surgery Tuesday. What's today? Today is Thursday, isn't it. Dang. I didn't sleep any Tuesday night, and when I can cohesively tell stories again, I will share the fun of that one. I slept last night, after four pain pills and two muscle relaxers. For some reason there are socks behind the headboard to keep it from making noise. I'm in a neck brace, don't look at me for explanations.


...it is generally not calming to tell someone going into surgery the following day, "my, you're an odd duck!" just because that someone has had more surgeries than fingers and a preexisting non-genetic medical disorder of unknown causation. Where's my lollypop, nurselady?

Today is Monday; Tomorrow is Apocalypse.

This is a very personal sort of post, one I will contemplate even "publishing" online because of its very private nature. It is a journal entry in the purest form. So bare with me as I expose my vulnerability. 

Tomorrow I have surgery. It really sort of pisses me the fuck off, because I can't have a drink of water after midnight, and I don't check in the next day until like 10:10, and that's a whole lot of water and Denny's I could be enjoying, but oh no don't have a drink of water because we're going to stick tubes down your throat later.

See, this is really personal shit here.

Super Cheesy Parked Car Photo Booth Action Time

Kid treated himself to a final cigar last night - which I congratulate him for doing, since he's basically quit cold-turkey, amidst extreme pain, during the past week. While he chose his prize, the kiddo and I goofed off in the car (as we are known to do at times).

Something shady's going on here...

I have a sunny disposition

I Paint Everything

The apartment manager didn't think I'd do it...
...but of course, I did.  (I never get my deposit back anyway).

Time elapse magic!!!

We Rock Out...

...all the way to preschool.  The kiddo (not to be confused with Kid, kiddo is an actual child-person) is on air-drums, I rock the air-bass.  People look at us funny, but it's because they wish they were in our band.

Pre-Op Date Night

Dearest Kid,

I understand it's important not to get sick before surgery, but if you wear a face-bandana to the bookstore, then I'm going to wear a ski mask.

Sincerely yours,

Pacing Postscripts

I quit smoking last night. Smoked those little cigars until they were gone. Since I really ought to not smoke after the surgery -- to avoid fusion failure, so I hear -- why buy more? So yes, I quit. Fuck you, I hate you all. But I say that with love and grumpiness.

It's Quiet Time.

There are times to talk and times to listen.  Times to watch and times to DO.  Now is a time in my life for me to watch (not do, not fix, not distract)...and time to listen (not sing, not speak, not relate, not even empathize...just listen).  This is quite difficult for me, as I rarely shut up or rarely stop doing anything.  But at the same time?  Extraordinary.  This multitasker doesn't know how to be still anymore, unless she's tied up in a yoga knot.

Shel Silverstein Gets Me

Some Photos To Share


Someone is goofy


Because I Want To

I have just finished going through my first pre-operation appointment as an adult. All of my other surgeries were before I was 18 years old, so naturally, I didn't have to do shit to get ready for them. My folks filled out all the paperwork, and while I'm sure I had to undergo the same stuff to be "cleared," I don't remember it very much. (Probably the saving grace of my childhood is how much I can or can't remember.)
I have many such bracelets

So yesterday was pretty strange to me -- here I am filling out my own paperwork; walking around this hospital to get all this stuff done; smelling that horrible, awful hospital smell. A bit surreal. But it made me think back on all those times I could remember, sitting at the desks with my folks bored out of my mind but too terrified to really act out because, unlike any other situation where kid-is-bored-wrecks-havoc, I knew I was about to have my head cut open and spliced back together.

Organ Donors

I'm just pleased as punch, folks: we're about to be gifted with a Thomas Transistor electric organ (by some incredibly generous and awesome pals from our college days).  I feel extremely lucky and smug about this, although I've done nothing special to deserve it.  With this addition to our small arsenal of odd (read: badass) instruments, I believe all hell will finally break loose, or at least I will stop knocking Kid's electric guitar out of tune while he's at work. (Maybe.)

This baby needs a name, so help us out in the comments.  If we use yours, we'll make fun of you for a whole day - for FREE.

Press my buttons, do it

And I So Hate Consequences

Song sticks in my head, so you guys get to hear it too. Plus I really wanted to post a video on here, see how that works out.

I may make some changes to the site today, if Sassy is in agreement. So the words will be prettier to read. Blah blah blah.

Here There Be Tygers

I have two cats.

your pets aren't them

My kitties are rather unique in that, to everyone else, they are the cutest, most adorable cats to grace the breath of creation. (This is true.) However, when I am inserted into the mix, things get strange.

Beer Flowers Are For Swooning

I got flowers last night; I love them!  ♥   I can't tell you what the card said, though. 
You can't get flowers cooler than these, so just don't try.  It's futile.
(Thank you, Kid!) 

Not Fully Realized

We say it a lot within the confines of a relationship: "I love you." We say it a lot, and for the most part, we mean it intently each time. But like any other repeated habit, verbal or otherwise, there are also times when it is said as a goodbye, or a hello, or a goodnight -- no less meaningful within the context of sharing, but not felt as intensely in those moments either.

Bureaucratic Athletics

I am readying myself for a surgery later this month. This is a difficult enough proposition, emotionally and otherwise, because these things typically hurt real good. Adding to the excitement, then, is the whole employment issue -- as in, keeping myself employed and my monies coming into my bank throughout it all.

See, you can't just get yourself all messed up and get some operational healing and come back to work when you damn well feel like it. That'd be too easy an explanation of what actually happens. In this "reality" of job-centric living, though, your employer believes it has to "approve" your time off.

Unicorns Make Everything Better.

But especially blog posts


This never gets old even though Sassy hates Journey. (She has no taste.)

Adult Education

I’ve learned a few things lately.

 1. Being a nice person does not make me a team player. 

Being a team player makes me a team player. 

 2. I’m no actress, but I sure know how to steal the show. 

Active listening does not mean crying: it’s his turn to talk. Note to self: Self, you can talk about how much you relate later. Stop getting all weepy and emotional because you felt like that one time too. That’s nice.  I’m sure he’ll appreciate it once you let him make his point. Now shut up. 

 3. Razorburn is acne for cheap people. 

I’m not that clever for getting the cheap razors. Yes, I saved $4. Congratulations. Now I'll go use that $4 to buy some lotion to repair my demolished skin. 

 4. It's 10am and NOW I know what that smell is. 

Note to self: try to run the sink disposal each night, but especially the nights you put steak fat in it.