Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I Must Be Joking

I hate that people don’t ‘tell jokes’ any more.  I know I’ve written a lot about my Grandpa, who was the best storyteller and joke teller I ever knew.  When I used to watch him water the eyes of everyone in the room, I used to think, “That’s the guy I want to be!”  Unfortunately, times have changed considerably.

All our inter-personal humor seems to come via email or You-Tube clips.  Like this one I got today, called, How Bacon Cheeseburgers are Made:
Thanks for the email, Dad.

As much as I enjoy them, I miss the days when we used to sit around at parties and tell our favorite jokes.  This is what passes for humor at parties now. 

Hey, have you seen that app that turns your picture into a monkey?  Let’s bump phones…”

It’s either that or something from the “Jackass” or “Hey, watch this,” family.

The easiest jokes to tell are the short ones.  Remember back in the 80s and 90s when all those “What do you call people with no arms and no legs and blah blah blah…” jokes?

I was thinking of a couple of those this weekend, during the hurricane.  In fact, I meant to put it in my live-blog on the storm…

Q: What do you call a girl with one leg shorter than the other? 
A: Eileen.
Q: And what do you call an Asian girl with one leg shorter than the other? 
A: Irene.

You know, like the hurricane?  Yeah, it’s not high humor, but at least it’s topical.  I used to have a zillion of those.  Way back in the day, I used to collect jokes and enter them into a Word document.  (Actually, it started on a WordPerfect document until I re-did it.)  I called the whole thing, “Jokes to Offend Everyone.”  I kind of wish I would have kept it up; it would be pretty bodacious by now. 

But then again, who wants to see a bunch of jokes that were topical 15 years ago?

The best jokes are timeless.  The heck with the politics or cultural touchstones of the day… human nature remains constant.  This brings me to the reason I really wanted to do this post.

My dad sent me a video clip from an old Buddy Hackett stand-up comedy special.  Many people only know Buddy Hackett from doing ridiculous Disney movies and stuff, but he was a howlingly funny comedian, who just got up there and told jokes.

This one is one of my all time favorites.  I’ve told it myself, from time to time, but it doesn’t seem nearly as funny.  Any joke comes off much funnier, just being told by Buddy Hackett.  Check this out… it’s only a couple minutes long.  But not when you’re at work!  While it’s certainly timeless, it’s mildly NSFW.

That’s funny right there.  And I bet you’ll never look at a baby elephant the same way again.

Now, just because I’ve kicking this idea around ever since Pittsburgh Podcamp 5, this is me, performing MY all time favorite joke to tell. 

And now, ladies and gentlemen, The Comedy Cave presents: the Bluzdude…”


Damn.  I should know better than to try to follow Buddy Hackett.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Riding the Storm Out (The Morning After Update)

Yes, that’s two REO Speedwagon titles in a row.

This is my half-hearted attempt to live-blog Hurricane Irene.  Here’s how this will work.  I’ll put up intermittent posts under this title.  I’ll place the most recent ones on top, so if you’re getting here later throughout the weekend, it will make better sense if you read bottom to top, starting at the 3:30 update.  You’ll know when there’s an updated posting because I’ll note it in the title.

Should power go out here, I’ll tweet it from my phone and you’ll find that tweet on my right-side panel, directly under the About Me section.  Remember… I’m Planning Guy.

Morning After Update
Well, we’re all good.

The power went out some time overnight, but I don’t know for how long.  I knew by the time on my blinking alarm clock that it came back on around 3:30 AM.  When I got up to pee around 5:00, I checked the perimeter and saw that there were no signs of flooding.  It was still raining pretty hard and was windy.  Still, I went back to bed with piece of mind.

The rain stopped around 7 or so, I guess.  It’s still pretty windy out, but the standing water outside from yesterday is considerably diminished.  All in all, it’s the best result I could hope for.

Now, how everyone’s doing up in New York is another story.

This concludes my Hurricane Irene Saga.  I’d like to thank the several people that looked in to check on me during this crisis event.  So now you know the kind of high quality reporting that can be done, when one is besotted with spirits.

Like the Carpetbagger says, would that Wolf Blitzer gives it a shot…

Midnight Update
I took my own advice and watched Prisoner of Azkaban.  It still rocks.

The rain has been coming down hard for the last couple hours.  Finally getting some wind (no, it’s not me) but it’s not that bad thus far.  If this is as bad as it gets around Baltimore, I should be OK.

Pretty dog tired now… it’s probably the whiskey.  So I’m hitting the sack.  If I wasn’t good and drunk, I’d probably toss and turn, worrying about the storm.  But since I am, no worries.

See you on the other side.

9:15 Update
Just watched “Timeline,” mostly for the Scottish genius that is Billy Connolly.  It’s a story about a crew of archaeologists that go back to the 1300’s to rescue their professor that got trapped back then.  Turns out the guy that plays the Bill Gates-type character that owns the company that makes the time travel possible is the same guy that plays Professor Lupin in the Harry Potter series.  Perhaps that’s a sign for me to watch Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban next.

Still just a steady rain.  Nothing dramatic, just rain.  Usually around here, rain doesn’t last very long.  It just comes, rains hard, then goes.  It’s been raining steadily since this afternoon.  I worry about the power going out overnight and my place taking on water.  Of course, I worry about a lot of things.  In the end, what will be, will be.  Shit happens.

6:45 Update
Still a steady rain.  Starting to look pretty soupy out there.  Just as long as the soup stays out there!
I’m ready to bail on Dexter.  Time to select an old movie… Something with a lot of SFX!  Popcorn movie!  I’ll have to let you know what I decide, y’know, after I watch it n’at.

5:30 Update
Naturally, the very moment I post that it's not coming down too heavily, it starts raining buckets.


5:15 Update
It’s still just raining very steadily.  No dramatics… no sheets of rain, no whipping trees.  Just a rainstorm, so far.

After the prior update, I poured myself a nice stiff drink, using the Bluz Family proportions.  We never measure our drinks.  When we want Jack on the rocks, we fill a glass with ice, and then pour in the Jack.  I measured it out once, just to see how many shots were in one of my usual drinks.

Answer: 5 shots.
No wonder bar drinks taste so weak to me.

Anyway, after starting my drink, I realized 2 things:

First, these updates may not be up to my usual standards.  I’ve never drunk-blogged before.  Please forgive me if typos and mushy platitudes run rampant.  I promise I’ll go back and fix them in the morning.  (If we still have power.)

The second thing is, why on earth am I starting a new DVD series when I’m drinking.  I’ll have to watch all of them again because I know I’ll have forgotten the details by tomorrow?  Idiot…  I really ought to be watching old movies I’ve seen a hundred times before.  Maybe it’s time to watch Forrest Gump again.

3:30 Update
It’s raining in my corner of Baltimore right now.  It’s been raining on and off since around 1:00.  So far, it’s just an average rainstorm, but the outer bands are only beginning to affect us.

I’m mostly concerned with flooding.  For hurricanes Floyd and Isabel, both of which ran up the east coast, I had water rise up through my floor and saturate portions of my apartment’s carpeting.  The landlord replaced it, but it’s up to me to stuff all my furniture into the kitchen and bathroom.  It’s a bloody pain in the ass.  I’ll be looking for that this evening, but I worry that it will happen overnight.  I may go to sleep in the bedroom, but wake up having floated into the dining room.

Up until this May, my job involved “COB,” or Continuity of Business.  Parts of that job entailed tracking the path of hurricanes and making sure our branches that were in the storm path, were prepared.  We’d conduct conference calls every day to make plans beforehand, and assess the damage afterwards. 

Unfortunately, my department hasn’t yet hired a new “me,” so with my old boss on vacation this week, it fell to me to handle the entire hurricane prep myself.  Lucky me.  But that’s been the running joke… anytime he takes a vacation; it’s guaranteed that we’ll have a hurricane.  Or in the case of this week, we have an earthquake AND a hurricane.  Gah!  It’s been a rough week.

But I heard the line of the week on Thursday.  Right after we sent out our building-wide hurricane personal prep email, I heard someone on my floor take it to heart, saying “I’m gonna get my preparedness ready.”  She meant that shit.

I got my preparedness ready too.  Check out my power outage supplies:
I’m about 4 candles short of a Sting video. 

My parents live on the Florida panhandle so while they are not affected by this storm, they have a hurricane survival bin filled with supplies at all times.
I wanna ride the storm out at Dad’s place.

In the meantime, this is what our current conditions look like, off my back porch.
My apartment is about 3 feet below the ground.

So I’ve got beer laid in for the weekend, and in case of emergency where the power goes out and I don’t want to deal with warm beer, I have a small bottle of whiskey.  Not exactly up to my Dad’s stock level, but it will do for a long weekend.

Even though I should probably be working on cleaning up all the perishable food in the house, I nevertheless ordered some Chinese takeout.  That’s dinner for today and lunch tomorrow.  I also got my shower in, in case we have a problem with clean water.  I have several jugs, pitchers and 2-liter plastic bottles filled with water.  Cell phone is charged, MP3 player is charged… hey, I could have music after all… not only do I have a stash of batteries, I can cannibalize more from my various remotes.

The mailman delivered my Season 5 DVD of Dexter this morning, so I know I’ll have something to do tonight… unless, of course, I lose power.  I hate that.  No TV, no PC, no music, too hard to read by candlelight.  There’s nothing left for me to do but drunk-dial people from my land line.

But I am saving an activity or two for a power outage.  I still have to do my PT exercises.  Don't need any juice for that... Just me and my Jillian Michaels hand weights.

If I had a smarter phone, I could entertain myself with that, but I’m still rocking the dumb-phone.  Such is the price I pay for remaining in 2006.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wish You Were There

This is a supplementary post to the previous one about my college girlfriend, “V” and me.  Aside from describing our First Time, I mentioned we had a number of dustups and skirmishes.

Besides her mother hating me, we had two major problems.

The first is that between school and both of our jobs, it was very hard to carve out time for each other.  And I could understand that.  But she also had a habit of agreeing to take on extra shifts, when asked, at times when we had something to do.

There were so many parties and events that I had to go to alone when I really wanted to be there with my girlfriend.  I remember one time in particular when I was throwing a big party in The Barn.  I was eager for the chance for her to get to know my best friends and especially my buddy, Billy G, who was coming in all the way from his home in Georgia.  Billy was a legend in our group and I really wanted V to meet him and vice versa.  This was the perfect opportunity.  Lord knows we spent most of our time with her friends; this was my chance.

On the phone, more than a week ahead of time, I told her about it and how important to me it was.  At one point, knowing how things always seemed to ‘come up’ with her, I said, “You WILL be there…”

I didn’t really mean it like an ‘order,’ I was just being dramatic.  Anyway, as I feared, she picked up another shift at the same time as my party.  I was seriously pissed.  I was even more pissed when I learned it was because of that statement.  I mean, even if it did tick her off, why not just say something or call me on it?  I’d have apologized immediately… I didn’t mean anything by it.  But instead, she just bailed on the one chance to meet my best friend from out of town.  She never did meet him

The second big problem is an indirect effect of the first problem, in that I kind of cheated on her. 

OK, [ducking] stop throwing things… let me explain…

There was another big party… I wasn’t hosting it, but it was a big off-campus party for us Commuter Center people.  There was nothing I wanted more than to have her there with me.  And this wasn’t just a party for my people… all her friends were there too.  Naturally, she couldn’t come.  I don’t remember if it was scheduled that way, or if she took an extra shift again.  Either way, there was plenty of advanced notice to switch shifts or ask for the night off.

So I went to yet another party alone.  But this time, there was this tall blond girl there… I don’t remember if she was a fellow Commuter or just there.  But we seemed to get along.  Obviously, I was pounding beers, because that’s what you do at a college party.  At one point, I do remember her sitting forward in an easy chair and I was sitting at her feet, leaning back against her.  I figured, through my beery haze… “So what if I’m talking to this girl?  V should have been here.”

Next thing I knew, I was sitting out in a car with Blondie.  But long story short, nothing much happened.  We kissed a few times and that was it.  More might have happened but she kept talking about her boyfriend, who was in jail.

Man, if that doesn’t throw the proverbial ice in the old lap, nothing does.  Like I need some pissed off ex-con with a teardrop tattoo on his face, out looking for me.  So we went back in the house.  I figured, no harm, no foul.

Oh, BIG foul.  I underestimated just how quickly word would get back to V that I had been canoodling with some other girl.  In retrospect, I must have been a freakin’ moron.  The party was packed with V’s friends.  There was no way I was not going to get busted.

By noon on Monday, V was standing in the Commuter Center staring holes through my chest.  Even though I really didn’t do much of anything, it sure did look bad.  There must have been a dozen different people that ratted me out so there was no way I could just deny everything.  Lucky for me, there was no one else in the car.

So I apologized profusely for the public cuddling and going outside with the Blondie, but I insisted that nothing else happened.  But the damage had been done.  I’d lost her trust.

I knew I screwed up.  Even if we didn’t really do anything physically, I knew that I cheated emotionally.  I couldn’t take the guilt.  Looking into the hurt in her eyes was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.  I felt lower than whale shit for being the cause of that kind of pain and vowed I’d never do anything like that again.  (And I never have.)

Slowly but surely, we worked our way back together again.  In this instance, I have to give a thank you to her friends.  They forgave me pretty quickly and helped convince V to take me back.  So we trundled on together, until I eventually came to the realization I mentioned in the last post, about how I didn’t think she would ever be able to stand up to her mother.  It was a hard idea for me to accept, but back then, getting married and settling down was the only thing that really mattered to me.  And it wasn’t like we had all that much in common.  I mean, she was very sweet and I thought she was sexy, but are fizzing hormones alone enough to sustain a relationship?  Once I realized that a long-term thing was off the table, it was clear that continuing the relationship would just be wasting our time.

So one night in May I steeled up my resolve, called her up and dropped the bomb.  Naturally, she was upset.  I caught her totally off guard.  I hated doing it on the phone but I felt I couldn’t wait for however long it would take to get the both of us together somewhere to talk.  I needed to rip the band-aid off.  Still, we decided we needed to talk face-to-face and decided to meet a day or two later, out in The Barn.  (Oh, NOWWW she can come out…)

It was really tough.  All I wanted to do was hug her and tell her everything would be all right.  I still loved her and really wished that circumstances were different.  But I knew if we got back together, it would just postpone the inevitable.  She still had to sneak around to see me and I didn’t want to live like that.  No future in it.

As it was, that weekend I was throwing a big Barn Party for our Commuter Center crew.  It would be the first time most of them had ventured out to the sticks and see the legendary Barn I’d been going on about for so long.  It had been shaping up to be an incredible event.  But now this…

Knowing that we had so many common friends that were going to be there, I told her that she was still free to come out to the party.  (After work, of course.)  She said she’d try to make it.

We hugged goodbye and she went on her way.  I’m quite sure we both felt like shit.  But I had a sense of excitement at what the future might bring.  I was back on the market now.  If only I had somewhere to focus my attentions…

Saturday night rolled around and this Barn Party was a doozy.  We had a keg of beer, wine, munchies, great tunes and a big turnout.  That, I expected.

What I didn’t expect that a friend of mine told me that now that I was single again, there was someone that was interested in me.  It was N, this drop-dead gorgeous blond girl that was a year or two behind me.  I was stunned.  I had no idea she thought of me that way.  We’d always talked and been friendly, and I no doubt thought she was smokin’ hot, but I thought she was out of my league.  Who knew?

Next thing you know, we’re slow dancing to “Wonderful Tonight,” (it’s good to know the DJ; it’s better to be the DJ) and murmuring sweet nothings to each other.  I could not believe my good fortune.  Naturally, it didn’t last.

Later that night, we were sitting beside each other on one of the couches, just talking, when V walked in.  Shit, I forgot about her.  Why the hell did I ever tell her to come to the party?

She saw us and her eyes flashed all steely.  I hopped up to kind of head her off but she turned on her heel and bolted out the door.  If I had any sense at all, I would have just let her be.  But I knew that she was thinking that I only broke up with her so that I could be with N.  She probably thought we’d already been seeing each other.  It was important to me that she know it was not the case.

I followed her out to her car and we both got in.  And then we argued for the next 2 goddamned hours.  I couldn’t convince her that the thing with N only developed that night.  Obviously she was thinking about that one previous time and that was coloring everything else.  Only this time, I really hadn’t done anything!  We hadn’t even kissed yet.

Bit by bit, I saw people walking past the car to leave the party.  By the time I got out of the car, the show was pretty much over and there was only one or two people left in The Barn.  Some host, huh?  I hate freakin’ drama.

But hey, at least I had a new hot prospect, right?

Wrong.  N was pretty pissed about the way I jumped up to follow V out the door.  I would have realized that much sooner if I’d had had the nerve to sit her down and talk to her myself.  But because I was still so very unsure of myself and convinced I was shooting too high with this girl, I chose to work through that mutual friend that got us together in at the party.  Three years into college and I’m still totally high school.

That Memorial Day weekend, we decided to go camping.  Me, N, the mutual friend, and another couple we knew.  My goal was to get with N that weekend.  I had Mutual Friend help talk me up to N on the ride down.  It ended up being a complete Head Games Weekend.  None of us knew what the other wanted and we were too stupid to just sit down and talk.  It wasn’t until the end of the weekend, (during which it rained the entire freakin’ time,) that I found out what was holding N back.  She thought I still had feelings for V.  I also make room for the fact that my interests may not have been best represented by Mutual Friend, because she actually wanted me for herself.  (I was not interested.)  Live and learn.  Nothing further ever materialized with N.

Shit.  Back to the drawing board.

It was weird, that summer.  Sometimes at work, on the floor at the record store, someone would walk behind me and I would catch the scent of Wendy’s French fry grease.  Instantly I knew it was V.  I’d whip around with my stomach in knots, but see that it was some other Wendy’s employee.  It’s funny how a scent can completely bypass all reason and rationality.  Stupid nose.

Later that fall, V left a note on the windshield of my car when I was at work, wishing me happy birthday.  I wrote her back too; I think I left it on her car.  Although I told her that I even though I still thought breaking up was for the best, I was really sorry about the circumstances surrounding it.  While I didn’t think we could make a go of it, I never ever meant to hurt her like that.  We made peace.

Usually with my stories, this is where we get to the part where I tell you she just Friend Requested me on Facebook.  But not this time.

The last time I saw her was 1986; she was working in a department store and I was shopping for a suitcase.  The next day I was moving to Cleveland to manage my own record store.  I secretly hoped she’d mention it to her mom that I got out of the gas station and made good.  But then I remembered that I didn’t really give a shit what she thought.

V ended up marrying this other guy from the Commuter Center… an Indy-car racing enthusiast that had been trying to steal her away from me all along.  Cracked me up… she always told me that she thought he was gross.  But I’m sure he knew how to fix cars. 

I bet that made her mom happy.

“I’ve got a place
Where you can go,
When you’re flyin’ high
Or layin’ low.
I’ve got the time,
I’ve got plenty to spare…
Yes I’ve got the time, and I’ve got the place.
I just wish you were there.”

“Wish You Were There” by REO Speedwagon, from “Hi-Infidelity.”

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

You Never Forget Your First

When I was posting that meme, this weekend, about things you have or have not done, it had a thing about if you lost your virginity before the age of 16.  I most certainly didn’t, and mentioned that I should do a post on that topic.  This is it.

Last year, I did a couple of posts about things you would change if you could go back in time.  In one of them, I mentioned my high school girlfriend.  She was a sweet girl and luckily for me, just as inexperienced at being a couple as I was.  But by our senior year, I was ready to move on to the ‘next step,’ while she was completely in the “nuh-uh” camp.  I was all “Let me sleep on it,” and she was all “Will you love me forever?

So bowing to the peer pressure from my poon-hound buddies, I ended up calling it quits with her.

I know… classy.  But I was lucky, because I wouldn’t have known what to do with the poon even if I’d have hounded it right up to the door.  But I was so sure that my next big romance was right around the corner…

Next thing you know, I’m a freakin’ junior in college and still no closer to home base.  I KNOW, right?  There I was, literally surrounded by an entire campus of potential poon, but still too shy to really seal the deal.

It’s funny when you go to a nearby college… sure, there are people attending from all over, but somehow you manage to find the people from your high school and hang out with them.  That’s how it worked with me.

I was a commuter student, so I didn’t have any kind of social apparatus to prop me up.  But I did have the Commuter Center.  This was a place where people that commute to school could use for a base of operations.  They had lockers, snack machines, a TV room and a big common room.  They also had their own kind of self-government, with officers and everything, which represented our interests to the campus Student Government.  The Commuter Center became my home away from home.

So, in such a relatively small pond like that, it was easy to find the others from my high school.  But the funny thing was, even though none of us really ran in the same circles in high school, we all became fast friends at college.

There was one girl, V, who I knew from a couple of high school classes.  (And no, it’s not this “V”.)  She was kind of mousy… really nice, played in the marching band, never said much… she was kind of unremarkable. 
No, there were no stories about Band Camp. (As far as I know.)

But then once we went to college, I don’t know; I think it was a new haircut, but suddenly, I was kinda like, “Yowza.”  I finally noticed how she was all tall and lean and seriously cute.

Still, you may be thinking… “Jeebus, Bluz… it took you til freakin’ JUNIOR YEAR to get a little sumpm-sumpm??  Dude!

It seems weird to me too that it took that long.  But, before sitting down to write this, I double-checked my dates.  All during college, I had these little Day-by-Day calendars, from which I ran my entire academic, professional and social life.  Everything was in there, including my classes, assignments, work schedule, parties, dates, where I went, how much I drank and (eventually) what kind of monkey business I was up to.  (If Excel spreadsheets had been invented then, I’d have used them too.)  So I’m sure of the time frame.

First off, I think that freshman year was pretty much of a wash.  I was taking honors courses, which were intense, but didn’t take up a lot of time.  So I tended to go to class, then go home, as opposed to hanging out more in the Commuter Center.  Once I started hanging out more and our little high school group intermingled more with the other commuters, we began get out of the corner a bit.

So once we got out and started to get our drink on, things loosened up and V and I started getting close.  Eventually, we started dating.  Things were definitely looking up.  She was as green as I was, but it wasn’t the same as with my first girlfriend.  V didn’t seem to really have a strong stance against doing the freak-nasty; it was more like she just hadn’t gotten around to it yet.  Or perhaps no one sufficiently compelling had asked.  She sure liked to kiss though.  She used to say, “A kiss without the tongue is like a sandwich without the meat.”  Maybe that’s what she learned at band camp.

But still, there were complications… namely, her mother.

For some reason, the parents of every girl I’ve ever dated have always hated me.  I think it’s because they have some kind of radar that tells them instantly that no matter how polite I act or how well mannered I am, they know that my only priority is boning their daughter.

OK, maybe they had a point.  V’s family had a nice pool table down in their finished basement, so naturally we spent a lot of time down there “playing pool.”  And by that I mean that we’d play one game and then make out like crazed weasels, while every so often, knocking some billiard balls together for sound effects.

But one day, V’s mom just totally went off on me about how I wasn’t good enough for her daughter because I didn’t know how to fix cars and because I worked at a gas station.  I was dumbfounded… it was clear out of left field.  I tried to explain that it was just a part time job to pay for college and hardly my chosen profession.  (Plus, V worked at freakin’ Wendys!)

Anyway, throughout that whole diatribe, V just sat quietly on the side, saying absolutely nothing.  That’s probably what pissed me off the most… that she didn’t even try to stick up for me.  So our relationship hit a bit of a chill period.  But eventually, we saw that we still cared for each other, so we started dating again, on the sly.

Since she “wasn’t allowed” to see me, she’d say she was going out with her friends, then she’d come to my house, then I’d take her out to where ever we were going.  And then one night, her parents were out of town and her brother was working, so she told me that I could come and see her at home.

(Yes, I’m finally getting to the good stuff…  But you wouldn’t respect me if I hadn’t set it all up first.)

I knew that this was going to be a big night when after she let me in and I hugged her, I could feel that she wasn’t wearing a bra.  V always wore a bra, probably even to sleep.  I don’t know where she thought they were going that she had to keep them tied down all the time.

Anyway, my antennae went up immediately.  We made out on the couch for a little while before she finally stood up and announced her intentions by saying, “I want to take you into the bedroom and use you up until there’s nothing left but a dried up husk.  Drive it home, Daddy-man!

OK, she didn’t say that.  I have no idea what she actually said, but she made it clear that It Was Time.  But it sounded like that to me…

We peeked in her bedroom, but seeing that she slept on a little twin bed, we decided that wouldn’t do.  So instead, we went into her parent’s bedroom.  (Oh man, was THAT sweet revenge!)

I’m really glad I had a condom with me, that’s for sure.  I don’t think there would have been enough blood in left in my brain to operate heavy machinery all the way down to the drugstore and back.  In fact, I had two… one that my buddy Rik gave me which I’d been carrying around since I graduated high school, and one of a much more recent vintage.  Not wanting to leave anything to chance, I used the new one.  This was a good move because a year later when I finally did have the chance to try the old one, I’d roll it down the old flag pole and it kept snapping back up like it was a faulty window blind.  It looked like my willie was wearing a yarmulke. 

But I digress…

So, condom applied, I proceeded to attempt every maneuver I’d ever read about in Penthouse Forum (where the readers write in their kinky letters), all in about 5 minutes.  I didn’t want to miss out on anything…   Somehow, we managed to complete the deed without breaking anything or poking anyone’s eye out. 

OK, seriously, it was a tender moment.  The fact that it was the first time for the both of us was a good thing.  No judgments or baggage; just a safe and non-stressed First Time to remember.  We figured it out together.

One of the other thing’s I’d always read back then was how girls liked to be cuddled afterwards and how it was a very emotional time.  So I was prepared to be the Best Boyfriend ever and cuddle her ass for the next 5 hours, if that’s what it took.  I was going to stroke her hair and whisper promises of eternal love.

Of course, plans don’t always work out the way you’d think.  V was so worried about her brother coming home from work and finding me there, never mind that he wasn’t due home for hours, she gave me the bum’s rush out the front door.  I barely had time to pull my pants up and I was hopping down the driveway.  The whole drive home I kept alternating between going “WTF?” and giggling hysterically because I’d finally earned my swordsman’s card.  But geez, would it have killed her to cuddle me a little?  Chicks

We didn't get to reprise our Big Night for another couple of months.  I don’t remember why; we were probably squabbling about something or another.  But then she found herself living short term with some friends off campus and we started hooking up again with more regularity.  Sometime after she got off work at Wendy’s, she’d come down to my little gas station (where I was the only one working at any given time) and we’d hide out in the office, making out like crazed weasels.

But that just made it worse when she moved back under “house arrest” at home.  Eventually I figured out that our relationship would just never work.  How can you seriously date someone when she has to hide you from her family?  There can’t be a future there.  And I knew that she would never, EVER stand up to her mother.  She just didn’t have that in her.  So late in our junior year, I ended it.

It occurs to me that this breakup (and some more peripheral stories) would make up another post so I may pick this thread up again on Thursday.  Suffice to say, it ended up being a real blowout.

But the real tragedy is that I never got to mix it up with her mother again, because I had the ultimate trump card I was dying to use…

OK, so I work at a gas station, but do you know what we did in YOUR bed last November?

“Game, set and match to the bluzdude…”

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I Never...

My blog friend Cristy had a cool meme going Friday and I’m totally stealing it.  Don’t worry, I asked permission. 

Well, maybe “permission” isn’t the right word... it was more like “notification.”

The idea is to “bold” the things you've never done or have never had happened to you.  It kind of reminds me of a drinking game I used to play, called “I Never.”  Obviously, I’m going to have to add comments as well.  Here goes:

(Remember: Unbold = You did it.  Bold = You never did it.

1. had sex.  (I am NOT starring in the sequel, "The Fifty-Year Old Virgin.")
2. bought condoms.  (Was so much more horrifying to do back in the early 80s.)
3. gotten pregnant. (Duh… I’m a dude.)
4. failed a class.  (I was not allowed to fail any classes.)
5. kissed a boy.  (Only my little nephews, and I don’t think that counts here.)
6. kissed a girl. (I have "Kissed The Girl.")

7. used a little paper bag for lunch. (That was ALL I had.  What’s a lunchbox?)
8. had a job.
9. slipped on ice. (All the time, and not including hockey.)
10. missed the school bus.  (You know, I don’t think I did.  The bus did, however, miss ME from time to time.)
11. left the house without my wallet.  (Yes, and not just to get out of paying the check.)
12. bullied someone on the internet.  (Bullied, no.  Jumped someone else’s shit for being an asshole to a friend?  Definitely.)
13. sexted. (I'm counting IM'ing here, from back in the chatroom days.  And I was GOOD!)
14. had sex in public.  (See “The Summer of Bow-Chicka-Wow-Wow.”)
15. played on a sports team. (Little league, peewee football, pickup hockey)
16. smoked weed.  (Maybe 5 times in my life.)
17. smoked cigarettes.  (One summer when I worked at a gas station and was surrounded by them. It was just out of shear boredom.  And I didn’t inhale, because I couldn’t do it without hacking for the next 10 minutes.)
18. smoked a cigar.  (Victory cigars rule!)
19. drank alcohol.  (Are you kidding me?)

20. watched "The Breakfast Club."  (“If I have to come back in here I’m gonna start crackin’ skulls!”)
21. been overweight.  (Like right now.)
22. been underweight.  (1988… I was down to 165.  Not a good look for a 6’3” dude.)
23. had an eating disorder. (not unless you count an obsession with bacon.)
24. been to a wedding.  (Dozens, including my own.)
25. made fun of someone for being fat.  (High school.  Not proud.)
26. been on the computer for 5 hours straight.  (Of course… like today, for example.  And every day at work.)
27. watched TV for 5 hours straight.  (Of course… it takes 3 hours just to watch 1 football game...) 
28. been late for work. 
29. been late for school.  (When I was in 3rd/4th grade in Catholic school, I had it down so that I was late enough to miss Mass, but not so late as to miss class.)
30. kissed in the rain.  (I have to say “probably.”  I can’t remember one, but it must have happened sometime…)
31. showered with someone else.  (Not nearly as much fun for the dude, who has to stand in the back and let her have all the hot water.)
32. failed my driver's test.  (No way.)
33. run a mile in less than 10 minutes.  (I don’t think I’ve ran a mile since grade school, and you needed a sun dial to time me.)
34. been outside my home country.  (Paris, London, Toronto.)
35. been on a road trip longer than 5 hours.  (Oh God yes.  Hellish trips strapped in the back seat of the family roadster with brother and sister.  No video games, no DVDs, no Walkmen, no I-pods… nothing to do but torture each other and try to avoid getting swatted from the front seat.  Best place was to sit behind Dad.  Too hard to reach around the seat and still keep the car on the road.  Pulling over lost valuable time.)
36. had lice.   (Just flied lice.)
37. gotten fired.  (From the boring gas station.  They were so cheap, they didn’t even have a cash register.  Had to make change from money in a cigar box and then they canned me for coming up short.  WTF did they expect?  They never even taught me how to give change.  I was trying to do the math in my head.)
38. had a credit card.  ($300 limit on my first card, right after college.  And over the next 27 years, there have only been 2 months where I didn’t pay off the whole balance.)
39. been to a professional sports game.  (Duh… Consulting the Sports Event Spreadsheet… Over 170 games or events.  66 football games, 92 baseball games, 9 hockey games, 3 misc.  These are low-ball numbers, too, because there have been many on which I don’t have dates or details, like several seasons of minor league hockey games in Albany NY, and quite a number of baseball games when I was a kid.)
PNC Park, from this May.

40. broken a bone.   (Lucky, so far.)
41. been unhappy about my weight. 
42. won a trophy.  (Never!  Not a one!  When I was growing up, you didn’t get a trophy unless you actually won something, as opposed to now when you get one for just showing up.)
43. cut myself.  (Is there anyone in the world that can seriously say they’ve never cut themselves?  Oh wait… I’m thinking ‘by accident.’  Let me put it this way, I cut myself lots, but never on purpose.)
44. had an STD.  (These pipes are CLEAN…  There ARE advantages to not being a man-slut.)
45. got engaged.  (More times than I care to remember.  Getting engaged was the easy part.  Staying together long enough to get to the wedding was more problematic.)
46. been on a diet.  (Mr Atkins and I once spent a couple months together.)
47. tried out to be on a TV show.  (When MTV was new, they had Guest VJ auditions at the mall and I tried out.)
48. rode in a taxi.  (At age 4… we had to take a cab to kindergarten.  Should have seen my ass out on the street, whistling them down.)
49. been to prom.  (Just one… senior prom.  Hey, in Mexico, is it a senor prom?)
50. played a drinking game.  (My dad taught us all the best drinking games, during those Browns/Steelers games in Cleveland.  Sure they were all from the 1950s, but they were new to us…)
51. stayed up for 24 hours or more.  (Just once, on the trip to Paris in 8th grade.  Couldn’t sleep on the plane.  Got there just in time to start a day of sight-seeing.)
52. been to a concert.  (Over 100, according to the Concert Event Spreadsheet.)
53. had a three-some.  (See “Riding on the Three-Way of Love.”)
54. had a crush on someone of the same sex.  (I can only deal with one smelly, hairy guy and that’s me.)
55. been in a car accident.  (Several; none were too serious.  Worst was spinning out the family station wagon carrying a load of neighbor kids back from the movies.  Ended up in a water-filled ditch.  Dad had to tow us out.  I deserved kudos for fighting the skid for so long and avoiding all the telephone poles.  Got grounded instead.)
56. had braces.  (Had enough other problems with the broken tooth, thank you very much.)
57. learned another language.  (I wouldn’t say I completely “learned” it, but 4 years of high school and college Spanish ought to count for something…)
58. killed an animal. (Yeah, I hit a cat once, late at night.  Felt sick for the rest of the week.)
59. been at a yard sale.  (I never actually bought the yard, though.)
60. been to a Japanese steakhouse.  (I’d probably raise my hand to be excused and get it cut off by accident.  Probably would have tasted like bacon.)
61. worn make up.  (Halloween/SFX make up, yes.  Oh, and a soon-to-be girlfriend covered up a hickie for me, so her dad wouldn’t see.  And it wasn’t even from her.)
62. talked to someone via webcam. (I’ve never had a webcam, but I HAVE talked to someone that was on theirs.  They just couldn’t see me.)
63. lost my virginity before I was 16. (Not even close.  Come to think of it, that will have to be a future blog post.)
64. had my wisdom teeth taken out. (All 4 at once.)
65. kissed someone a different race than myself.  (An Island Girl I met online.  Brown Sugar!)
66. snuck out of the house.  (I never had to sneak.  Once I was old enough that I had anywhere to go, I really didn’t have any restrictions.)
67. bought porn.  (You know I have the Playboy subscription)
68. had a virus on my computer.  (Now I keep a condom over the monitor.)
69. had oral sex.  (I trust they’re not talking about over the phone…)
70. dyed my hair.  (I never had the chance… it fell out too soon.)
71. gone skinny dipping.  (Once or twice.  Not a fan.  Although I remember my brother diving into the water with a flashlight and watching the girls scatter.)
72. graduated from college.  (Failure was not an option.  Plus, I paid my own way… I could have bought a LOT of beer with that kind of dough.)
Yeah, that's a Batman pin on my robe... what of it?

73. worn someone else's clothes. (Who hasn’t had to borrow a shirt or sweatshirt from a buddy because your got messed up or soaked?)
74. voted in a presidential election.  (Every one since 1980)
75. ridden in an ambulance.  (Once, as part of a drill…never for an actual emergency.)
76. ridden in a helicopter.  (This, I would like to try.)
77. caught the stove on fire.  (Never.  That was Mom’s job.  It got to where I thought pot holders came with a blackened coil mark on them.)
78. got in a fight.  (Last time; 8th grade.  Unless you count getting cheap-shotted at a Ratbirds game.)
79. met someone famous.  (See the entire “Brushes With the Greats and Near Greats” series.)
80. been on vacation. 
81. been on an airplane.
82. been on a boat.  (Crossed the English Channel, fished walleye on Lake Erie, tooled around the Chesapeake Bay.)
83. broken something expensive.  (My front tooth.)

84. had surgery.  (Tonsils when I was 4, then the whole heart catheter ablation saga.)
85. kissed someone before I was 14.  (Yeah, I think I was under 14 when the Summer of Spin-the-Bottle broke out.)
86. beat a video game.  (Does Solitaire count?  I’m thinking ‘no.’)
87. found something valuable on the ground.  (I was with my dad’s friend Sam when we saw two club-level tickets on the ground to the Steelers/Buccaneers game we were attending.  He turned them in, though.)
88. made a survey.  (I probably did, for Audience Measurement class when I was studying Broadcasting in college.)
89. stalked someone on facebook/myspace. 
90. prank called someone.  (Nope… not to my recollection, did I ever make the call.  I may have been in the room a couple times…)
91. been to a library outside of school.
92. spent over $100 shopping in one day.  (How about 75% of my trips to Wal-Mart?)
93. cut my hair and hated it.   (I take this to mean, cut my OWN hair.)
94. peed outside. (Duh… I’m a dude.  Any dude that says he’s never peed outside is lying.)
95. gone fishing.   See #82. Also: this.  

96. helped with charity.
97. taken a pregnancy test.  (See #94)
98. been rejected by a crush.  (Almost all of them.)
99. been suspended from school.  (Never.  I wouldn't have been allowed to come home.)
100. broken a mirror.  (Only by looking at it.)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Backed Up

Q: Why is poop tapered on the ends?
A: So when you’re done, your ass doesn’t slam shut.

I learned that joke when I was a little kid.  I was thinking about it today, as I was perched on the can at work.  I hate having to play a deuce at work.  I’ve written before that I’m a very private pooper.  I don’t want anyone else in the same area code, let alone the same room.  And if someone does invade the sanctity of the men’s room while I’m nesting, I don’t make a sound.  Hell, I barely breathe.  I’m just glad for that taper, lest the slamming sound give me away.  I so much prefer playing on my home court.

But for some reason, my pipes are all messed up and my “schedule” is off.  It’s usually very easy for me to hold things in place until I get home.  But ever since I got back from vacation, by early afternoon I realize that despite all my squirming, I’m going to have to make a bombing run.

When I was back in Ohio, I think it was all the cheap beer I was putting away because I couldn’t even make it until noon before I had to offload.  Hell, I could barely make it through breakfast.  Have you ever gone so much your pants fit better afterwards?

Laxatives for dudes on the ‘go.’

All week long I had to take the early-bird smash.  I figured when I got home and my schedule got back to normal, I’d return to my regular 6:00 appointments.  And all this office dumping has had an unexpected side effect.  I’m all backed up… on reading material.

I have a magazine subscription for the sole purpose of using it for bathroom reading material.  And now, I’m getting way behind.  I’ve just cracked the July issue and already have August on deck, with September about to show up any time.  And it’s not like you can just take a 45-minute sabbatical to catch up… your ass falls asleep.

I hate it when my ass falls asleep because then I know it’s going to be up all night… probably out partying with a bunch of other asses.  It’ll drag home about 5 AM, smelling of cheap beer and hookah fumes.  And I’ll think, “How am I going to get my ass to the train station on time, this time?

But I digress…

So my magazines are about to pile up.  If you know anything about me, you know how that would drive me crazy.  I like a consistent inflow and outflow without getting bound up in the middle.  And the material gets older and older… I hate it when I end up reading the college football preview edition the week after the Rose Bowl.

And what is this magazine, of which I’m so concerned?


Yep… Ol’ Bluz is a Playboy dude.  I know I just lost some feminist cred from my Blog Sisters with that revelation, but try not to be too hard on me. 

First of all, let me commence with the obligatory “I only read it for the articles.”  I say this because, in fact, I do.  If that were not the case, do you think I’d ever mention it here?  I’d have no reason to even bring up the subject, so why lie about it?

In fact, I wouldn’t even care if all the nudie pictures were removed before reading… giant-busted, airbrushed, Silicone Barbie dolls don’t impress me.  I’m not saying I cover my eyes or anything, but I just flip-flip-flip right through them.  I will, however, cop to checking out the occasional C-list star or Olympic athlete that pulls off her clothes in exchange for a nice payday and some publicity.  The longest I look at any one picture is probably on the cover, when I’m trying to find the hidden rabbit head.  And I love the “Grapevine” page that features celebrity nip slips and the like.  But if that’s all I was after, I could be through an entire issue in about 3 minutes.  As it is, it takes me at least a month, 5 to 15 minutes at a time.

I’ve always found Playboy to be a great source for liberal/libertarian news and features.  Their interviews are legendary, including everyone from rock stars to politicians to comedians to scientists to policy wonks…  They interviewed Ancient Journalist Helen Thomas just a few months ago, right after she got canned for making anti-Semitic remarks.  This month is Justin Timberlake.  How’s that for a pair of polar opposites.

They also provide solid articles on what’s going on behind the scenes in politics, music, sports, the drug wars, the entertainment industry and our culture as a whole.  Scores of high-profile writers have had their work published in Playboy.

Mind you, I’m not trying to sell anyone on Playboy… I’m just explaining why I read it.  I used to read Rolling Stone for that kind of thing, but they lost me in the early 2000’s.  They spent too much time on too many bands about whom I either never heard or just didn’t give a shit.  I didn’t have enough time (or poop) to carry both, so I ditched Rolling Stone.

My ex-wife got me my first Playboy subscription, back in the mid-90s.  (Perhaps I should have taken that as a hint.)  I’ve renewed it a year at a time, ever since.

I’ve also grown up with Playboy.  There was a time in the mid-70s when my dad had a subscription.  They didn’t even hide it; it was always right there on the living room coffee table.  Don’t believe me?  Look at this:

That’s me with my brother and sister on Christmas morning, probably 1972, with the December Playboy right there on the table.  And Dad had a stock of old issues in a closet in our basement that functioned as our playroom!  So it was never really much of a taboo. 

I would take a peek every so often but I never really thought it was a big deal.  I do remember one story though…

We had just seen “Blazing Saddles” (i.e. one of the funniest movies of all time, but also a movie so politically incorrect they probably couldn’t even get it made it today.)  Mom and Dad took the whole family to see it in the theater and I tell you, we weren’t more than a year or two older than we were in that picture up there.  They’d already seen it, so it wasn’t like they didn’t know about the content.  Regardless, I laughed my ass off (see, there it goes again) and I didn’t even get all the jokes.

Anyway, shortly after that, Mel Brooks was the feature interview in a February issue of Playboy, doing publicity for “Young Frankenstein.”  Mom and Dad had always talked about how funny he was in the 60s and after seeing “Blazing Saddles,” I was interested in reading the interview.  So one evening when they went out to dinner and I was babysitting, I got my brother and sister to bed, then sat down to read it. 

Now, I swear to you and the entire Internet, I never looked at a single solitary page of nudie girls or anything else.  I went to the table of contents, found the page the interview started on and went directly there.  It was very important to me that I remain trustworthy and in good standing with my parents.  Surely they wouldn’t object to my reading a Mel Brooks interview…

They got home just as I was finishing the article.  I didn’t even put it down when I heard them pull into the garage.  I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong.  Heck, I thought they’d be proud of me for taking it upon myself to read such a long article about someone they held in high esteem.  So what was the worst that could happen?

Next thing you know, I was into my 3rd week of grounding…

Nah, just kidding.  I didn’t get in trouble.  The folks didn’t believe a word I said about not looking at the pictures, but I didn’t get in trouble.  I was pissed!    Hell, I’m such a bad liar, if I HAD looked at the pictures; I sure as shit wouldn’t have let them find me still reading the damned thing.  I might have been na├»ve, but I wasn’t stupid.  I’d have been on the other side of the house, watching TV and they’d have never suspected any different.  They should have at least given me that much credit… 

Now YOU, on the other hand, I give you the same argument… If I weren’t telling the truth, I’d never have brought it up.  Right?

Then again, if I started getting something like the National Review, I bet that would really help me ‘move the mail.’  But the pages are too glossy to use to wipe.