Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Janet's Nice and Dry Now

Mr. Rogers was a hell of a lot bigger than I thought he was. I saw his sweater at the Smithsonian last night. It was a big sweater. I was standing next to a guy and I said, "You know, his mother made all of his sweaters." The guy just looked at me as if to say, "I no longer want to stand next to you."

The coolest part about the Smithsonian was an exact reproduction of Julia Child's kitchen. They brought in all of her pots, pans, blenders, wisks, rolling pins, etc. and completely recreated her kitchen. Most of you know how much Deb and I enjoy cooking shows and there I was, just a foot away from the sauce pan of the matriarch of all cooking shows. The half-inch of plexi between me and the sauce pan didn't diminish the experience.

We ventured into the musical instruments collection on display. My co-worker, Dennis, and I stopped to look at a set of Stradivarious violins and cellos. We were alone in the room with these priceless instruments that are housed in a wooden armoire. I leaned against the armoire and Dennis suddenly looked alarmed. I was puzzled by his reaction. Then I looked at the violins and cellos. They were shaking and moving inside the armoire. In fact, I promise you, if I had used that armoire to brace myself against a sneeze I would knocked those suckers right off their pedestals.

On the walk back I asked Dennis, "Would I be exaggerating if I said I almost knocked over a bunch of Stradivarious violins?" Dennis said I wouldn't be exaggerating. So I thought about what I would tell my cellmate after I went to prison if I had sneezed. "What're you in for?," he'd ask. "I scratched up a violin," I'd tell him. Then he'd sell me for a pack of Camels.

It hasn't all been tourism. I have been working. My job means I spend most of my day talking with strangers. Some of them are strange strangers. One guy told me he has every window and door in his house wired to a security system. He has steel framed security doors at every entrance. He has a trained dog that barks at every little, odd sound. Then he told me he sleeps with a .357 under his pillow and his wife has a shotgun under the bed.

I'm not exaggerations his description. In fact, I think I left some stuff out. So I had to ask him if he had a lot of break ins.

He said his car was stolen once.

Now I'm watching Janet Reno in the audience at the Democratic National Convention. Looks like she's having a lot of fun. She just happy she lives in Florida now instead of Washington. I'm sure she'd tell you it's too freakin' humid in D.C.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


Washington D.C. is not only our nation's capital but it is a giant sauna of a city. The humidity here is oppressive to say the least, life-threatening to say just a little bit more.

Okay, it's not that bad. But I spent the afternoon walking around in the hot sun. My shirt was clinging to me uncomfortably and anything clinging to my form is a bad thing.

I got into the city a little before noon. My co-worker and I hopped in the cab of a disgruntled criminilogist from Afghanistan. He was telling us about how corrupt the poorly educated D.C. policemen are. "State troopers. Now they're alright. They are educated men. But city cops only have a ninth grade education." The driver went on to tell us about a ten dollar bribe a local copy took from him to tear up a parking ticket. When he wasn't getting the reaction he wanted from us he shifted his tone.

"I know it's a hard job. I know. I'm a ciminologist. I was trained in Germany and was an instructor in my home, Afghanistan. But these sonsabitches. . ."

He went on to tell us that because congress isn't in session all the lobbyists aren't in town and he's basically starving. "Congress leaves and nobody eats," he said. He also told us about how most foreign cab drivers buy their licenses for about $10,000 from a corrupt company run by Hindus.


Okay, just get me to my hotel. Not enough singles? Fine. Fine. Just keep the change. It's freakin' humid I haven't eaten today and the clock is ticking on how much time I have to get to my job.

After work we wandered around the sauna trying to get a sense of the city.

I stopped by the White House. They wouldn't let me in. Turns out you need to write your congressman to get permission before you can get inside and that's if you pass the background check.

Now I'm in my hotel room watching the Democratic convention. The air conditioning has taken a lot of the moisture out of the air and that means I'm feeling a little better.

A little.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

The Uniform

This is an asshole shirt.

I call this an asshole shirt because whenever I see a guy wearing this shirt I think to myself, There's a guy wearing an asshole shirt. That guy is an asshole.

It's not a matter of style. These men aren't assholes because they have poor taste. The shirt is merely a uniform that assholes subconsciously issue to themselves as soon as they've established themselves as assholes.

I'm certainly guilty of judging books by their covers but for me there has never been an exception to the rule. I've met these men. I've worked with them. I've overheard their conversations at restaurants (they're usually pretty loud when they boast about sleeping around).

You don't see too many of these shirts around these days. Although I did see one on the beltline the other day. The shirt was on a guy with slicked backed hair driving a Porsche talking on a cell phone. There were even leather suspenders to complete the ensemble. I thought I'd pulled up next to Gordon Gecko.

Do I own one of these shirts?

Back when I was forced to wear a tie everyday I thought about buying one of the shirts. Being an asshole myself I was instinctively drawn to the shirt. But I fought the urge.

I am an undercover asshole.

Many of us have gone undercover and we're not so easy to spot in a crowd. These days you'll need to speak to us one-on-one. However it doesn't take much time for us to reveal our asshole stripes. It's just a matter of classification after that.

I see myself as the David Brent type asshole these days. Only I'm not anyone's boss and I can't really pull off the goatee.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Now it Can be Told

Dave and Marcia don't have a computer. Their crappy old Dell was fried during a thunderstorm and now they're trying to get it fixed.

They need to buy a new one (a new Mac, it should be) but they're extremely tight.

See, I can say things like that because they don't have a computer and won't be reading this.

In fact, I'm free to talk about a number of things now that I know they won't be reading this.

They were horrible parents.

It's true. Here's a partial list:

•They used to dress me up like a mime to collect change from people at the mall. When I couldn't do the trapped in an invisible box routine well enough they made me practice in a dryer at the laundromat for hours.
•Up to the time I left for school, I was in charge of bikini waxing each of them twice a month.
•At age six, I was the youngest Amway representative in the history of the organization. All of my earnings were used to finance my parents' brief but expensive descent into the world of Hummel collectibles.
•I was sent to camp when I was ten. It was a logging camp.
•I shared my room with borders my parents would take in from time-to-time. This is where I learned the term hobo was preferred over bum and how to relieve syphilis symptoms with a poultice of turpentine and coffee grounds.
•Instead of new school clothes each year we'd go shopping for a new respirator filter to wear down in the mine. The only reason I got a respirator was because the other miners grew tired of me hacking up great balls of black phlegm. They threatened my parents because of all the noise I was making.
•I survived on diet of equal parts Lipton Cup-a-Soup and potting soil until I was 17.
•When I was little they're favorite game to play with me was Hide and go find enough change to take the bus to get yourself back home in time to make your own damn dinner.

There's more. Much more. But I just looked up and saw one of Allie's dolls staring at me from a pile of her toys. This thing is really creeping me out.

Jesus! I think it just blinked!

I'm getting out of this basement.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

The Beginning of the End

A few moments ago Julia started climing stairs.

Yesterday she'd brace her hands against the next-to-the-last stair and look up at all the other stairs as if they were some sort of Gordian knot.

Today she zips up them like a Sherpa up a bunny slope.

Deb said, "As soon as she starts walking we won't have our baby anymore."

I bet if you come back in about fifteen minutes I will have posted again with that news.

Talk about your bittersweet wagers. . .

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

My Gradual Vasectomy

Allie and I have been doing some bike riding lately. A friend sold me a Trek trainer that attaches to the seat post of my bike effectively creating a tandem.

We have a lot of fun tooling around the neighborhood. However I'm having a problem with my balls.

I sit down and they immediately squirt into whatever free space they can find between my shorts and the bicycle seat. It's akin to having two greased mice trying to escape from beneath a quickly filled water bed mattress. . . only in your pants.

"What's wrong? Why aren't we going, Daddy?" Allie asks when I stop to make sure my nuts are still intact. I tell her, "Daddy needs to make a few adjustments."

Usually I can shift the boys around and allow them to find a safe spot on their own. They're good at that. It's all about self-preservation and I know they have a strong will to live. That doesn't mean I'm probably not slowly killing them.

See, there's this whole Bicycle Seat Neuropathy thing to worry about. A 2003 study showed that wider bicycle seats that support the ischial tuberosities (your ass bones) decrease pressure on the perineal area. Other studies have also demonstrated the negative effects bicycle seat design has on penile blood flow and penile oxygen pressure.

In other words the standard bicycle seat is your wedding tackle's worst enemy.

I suppose I could find some kind of ergonomic, gel-padded, Kevlar covered, developed by NASA bicycle seat. But I'm not willing to invest any money into my circa 1989 Huffy mountain bike.

I know, my huevos are worth it. But I've seen Lance Armstrong's bike seat. It's a skinny, ball bustin' nightmare and he seems to be okay. Of course he may have a crotch that makes a sound like rail cars connecting everytime he sits down. But that's not going to happen to me during my half-hour cruises around our fair neighborhood.

At least I hope it doesn't.

Every article I read on Bicycle Seat Neuropathy mentions erectile dysfunction as a symptom. That's the part that concerns me. And, like most things mentioned in this post, I have two considerations: buy a wider seat or pay more attention to those Levitra commercials.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Greg vs Weed Wacker

Weed Wacker wins.

I've let a lot of what usually makes its way into the blog slip by over the past few weeks.

Most of it seemed too obvious to write about.

Like Allie vomiting in the car.

It was just a matter of time before it happened. In fact, it really wouldn't be our car until she emptied her stomach on to the back seat.

I was driving Allie to spend the week with her grandparents. We left our house at 10:00 a.m. and the drive went smoothly until around 11:00. That's when Allie spewed her breakfast all over herself and the back of the seat in front of her. I use the word spew because I turned around just as she issued forth her second salvo of vomit. She had become an oversized Wagner Power Painter with a slight sputter in the nozzle.

Allie's breakfast had been chocolate milk and pancakes. Milk puke stinks. The big problem I had was the new car. The napkins, bags and wipes that usually collect in our cars hadn't gathered yet. That meant the only thing I had was a pair of Allie's socks I found in her Winnie the Pooh suitcase.

The poor girl wound up standing naked on the side of a very busy four lane highway. I squatted in front of her as I dabbed my kid with a puke encrusted sock. How we avoided providing explanations to the authorities isn't clear.

Then there was my first spa experience.

Because Allie was gone for the week Deb and I decided to take a day off from work and spend some time together. We went to a day spa and had various treatments.

I had my first professional massage.

She rubbed my eyebrows.

I liked it.

The only problem was Deb and I left the place coated in just about every variety of scented emollient known to man. It didn't feel bad. In fact it felt decadent.

A lot of decadence got smeared on the windows and interior of our car as we drove to get something to eat.

Lunch was at the Ocean Grill. We each had a martini.

Deb got drunk.

The woman must have blood like spring water. For a good five to ten minutes she giggled with very little provocation while I looked at her slightly amazed and completely in love.

There's more. But I'm not too keen on the blog thing these days. Read this and you'll discover I'm not the only one. That doesn't mean I'm going to stop blogging. My overinflated notion that you are dying to read about Deb and I scrubbing the linoleum won't allow me to stop.

You should see our kitchen floor, by the way. It looks brand new.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

The Next Generation

Check out the password gallery to see Julia in her little Star Trek uniform.

Four pips.

She's a captain.

Her daddy's a geek. . .