Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Write the Blogs that Make the Whole World Sing

Ah, man. I went through a bit of Winter Madness, but I've likely already bitched about all that by now. I'm getting it out of my system.

For one thing, we got rid of the dog. He's adjusted quite well to my mother's house, where he is adored and not terrorized by Harley. I was sad he was gone for all of an hour...until it dawned on me that nothing was barking or trying to lick my face. Then a whole night went by without something jumping off the bed every hour, only to demand that you pick it back up or endure the skritching sounds of tiny paws on the edge of the mattress. Peace and quiet, welcome back.

I took a look at myself in the mirror today and discovered that I am a man in need of a haircut. I'm starting to look like my grandpa Leon, only with brown hair instead of white. He didn't go grey, his hair is as white as Elric's. I hope that happens to me, but my dad seems to be going I'll either look like a sorcerer or a supervillian...or just be bald. I did notice today while I was taking a shower that the shampoo Tracy buys for me (if left to my own devices I just use bar soap on my hair, 'cause I don't give a crap, but I digress) ...the shampoo Tracy buys for me says it's a "thickening formula". Nice. Look for a summer buzzcut. On a side note the last time I got a haircut in the summer I asked for a flat-top buzz cut, and the lady said I didn't have enough hair. Bitch.

It's almost the end of the month and we're still waiting on Tracy's W-2. Everyone keeps telling me this is going to be a banner year when it comes to tax returns, as we just bought a house last year. I feel like Ed McMahon (sorry if I misspelled that, Ed) sent me a letter saying he's gonna bring me one of those gigantic over sized checks but didn't tell me how much it would be made out for.

Yeah, I just ended a sentence with "for". Wanna take it outside?

Anyway, it's almost the end of the month..taxes...blah blah blah. The upshoot is that some back bills are gonna get brought back up to date, credit card debt will be wiped out (it isn't that much to begin with, but it irks me to be charged interest) AND (drumroll...) we're gonna get Tracy a computer. She's leaning toward the netbook variety, but it's up to her and laptop is definitely on the list. It is going to make me an Internet widower, but with a happy ghost wife, so it's cool.

Yesterday at a junk store I found a book about how Satan was seducing our youth. It was one of those awesome 80's Satanic Hysteria books, so naturally I stood there and read the section on Dungeons and Dragons before skipping to the back to look at what it said about all my favorite bands. I should have bought it, but my collection of doomsday pamphlets from various religious groups is scattered in random places throughout the house and getting out of hand. I ought to make a file for them, because I love those things. I pick them up every time I see them, no matter what, so I have many copies of the same ones. Modern ones aren't as good as the good old fashioned Chick Tracts; the Cadillacs of fringe Christianity fliers. I do like the "Coming Plagues" one though, which is the most frequent one I find at Aldi's. Apparently there's an Aldi's shopper who thinks God is giving people HIV for pissing Him off. Thus far no amount of half-assed detective work has helped me catch the Distributor (of the pamphlets, not the HIV) in the act.

Here's the topper on today's Crazy Cake. I call him "Bible Guy". He sits in the mall food court, seemingly every day, with a tremendous amount of gear. He has his giant Bible, boxes of crayons and markers, file folders, envelopes...his mall food court table is more organized than my office at work. He knows where his tape and White Out are, that's for damn sure. Anyway, this dude is hard at work every single day making what I suspect are religious pamphlets. I desperately want copies of his work, because I'm sure they're chock full of crazy. He's bound of have hundreds of them by now; he works nonstop...that guy works so fast he has to cut the sleeves off his T-shirts lest they slow him down. I don't want to just go up and talk to him though, because he is (1) gigantic, (2) obviously crazy as a shithose rat and (3) smells bad. One of these days I'm going to have to go to the mall by myself and wait him out. Eventually he'll have to go pee; he drinks shitloads of iced tea from the Chik-Fil-A. I'll bring a camera and take a few quick shots of his table when he goes. This makes it spying, not stealing. There isn't a commandment to the effect of "Thou Shalt Not Spy", so I think I'm on steady moral ground here. I may also leave a card requesting literature to be mailed to me, but that's iffy. Just in case though (talkin' to you, Tracy) if we get mail addressed to "Steinhammer Gurtz", it's totally for me.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Weathering the Winter

Motivation is hard to come by when it's so cold that there is no temperature. My kitchen sink abuts an exterior wall, and dishwater won't even stay hot enough to do more than one batch at a time. The recycling is piling up. Yesterday when I went to work my bosses had a stack of boot and glove warmers on the conference table for everyone who had to go out into the wilds and distribute magazines.

It's freaking cold.

Winter is, as they say, a bitch. I've been looking at this computer devil box for an hour or so now, drinking coffee and waiting for a magical blast of sun and heat to rain down from upon high and motivate me to clean my kitchen, but so far nothing. My finger still hurts from when I lost my temper two weeks ago and pounded it emphatically on the table while I was telling people to please not antagonize me while I was dangling on the precipice of madness. I think maybe I broke it.

I'm trying to be optimistic...only, what, sixty or so days until Spring? I keep thinking maybe we'll get to go sleighriding or something soon. Anything other than pacing around the house like three caged tigers. Being housebound is getting to me, though. Last night I wanted to recruit my friend Willy and go out for a beer or something, but it was actually below zero before you took wind into account. I ended up watching Phantasm again instead.

I can tell it's starting to get to me. I saw a preview for some movie where some people carjack this couple's daughter, only to have the car break down near their house. They put the couple up in their guesthouse, the daughter comes home, they figure out what happens....and then are all, "what are we gonna do? There are dangerous criminals in our guest house!" Ordinarily I'd think, "oh no; those poor people!" Due to winter I instead think, "that's what you get for living out in seclusion like Sharon Tate."

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I seem to have taken my sweet time getting back to the ol' blog here. Things have been all crazy go nuts in my head for the last ten days or so, which is not coincidentally the length of time I had to take the devil Prednisone. Today was the last one, but I'm not any saner yet. Maybe tomorrow.

When I take this crazy medicine I get what they call "flight of ideas". Sometimes it makes me forget what I jumped off the couch and ran upstairs for, but mainly it makes me think of the weirdest things. For instance, I dreamed about the building again.

There is an empty lot by Gene's here in Morgantown, and I have reoccurring dreams about a building on that lot. It's a long building, brick, three storeys. In my dream we live on the very top floor. It has interior brick walls and a staircase to the second level, where some other people live. It's the staircase to these other people's house that makes Dream Tracy hate it so much, that and the fact that in my dream I sold our house to buy it. It's worth buying, though; there are tunnels underneath it. Tunnels that connect all of downtown to my crazy dream building. They're weird, vaulted brick tunnels with people living in them, but the tunnel people never bother me when I'm walking around down there. I even know some of them, real people who only live in the tunnel in the dream. In real life they live in houses and apartments and such.

Dream building has a stereo built into the wall in the living room. It has a cassette deck, but no CD player. Delia and I like it there. There is a lake out in the back yard, and a shrine to the Virgin Mary. And we have a sun room. It's pretty awesome. I wish Dream Tracy liked it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Two Hour Delay!

So this morning I got up, brewed some coffee, then went and roused the D. I got her downstairs and eating breakfast only to find that we didn't have to be anywhere for a while. Two hour delay. I've got to start at least looking out the window before I wake this kid up before the sun rises.

I always hated the two hour delay when I was in school, especially junior and high school. I was a bus student, and often would be at the bus stop before the delay was even announced (I caught the bus at 6:30 AM. Score another one for school consolidation). Two hour delays meant two more hours to sit around drinking coffee, preparing a nervous kid for another nervous day.

I had a lot of anxiety in school. You may not know it to look at me now, but I was a nervous wreck for years and years. As I type this I can feel the current prescription of Prednisone coursing through my veins, giving me Hulk-like energy which I can hopefully harness to clean my house. When I was in school all my nervous energy went into the production of heartburn and a towering impatience. Compared to when I was 15 I'm practically a Zen monk today; I only rarely lean out a window to scream at other drivers, haven't followed anyone with ill intent...I haven't even spit on another car in ages and ages. I've mellowed.

Still, it's winter. Winter is tough on us here at Strother House. Not too long ago I saw asshole comedian Dennis Leary on TV saying something to the effect that Seasonal Affect Disorder is not real.

I will fight you, Leary. Oh yes, I will fight you.

The thing about winter (aside from the long stretches of darkness and bone crushing cold) is that we're housebound way more than we like to be. Incredibly, Tracy has turned me on to the outdoors. Usually it's just her that gnaws on the walls as the snow piles up, but I too am restless. I want to go running around in the woods. I want to go hiking, or camping...anything. I want exercise, more than just chin ups and crunches. Walking through the mall like someone is chasing me isn't doing it for me. I've put on a few pounds, I'm restless....winter sucks.

That's my disjointed bitching for the day. Blame the Prednisone. I do.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Dungeons and Dragons

I'm 33 years old, married, have a child and spend every other Saturday night pretending for hours on end to be a schizophrenic dwarf with a nervous tic. Needless to say, I get mocked for this quite a bit.

Yes, Dungeons & Dragons, the devil's role playing game. I started playing this during the 80s, back when Sally Jessie would have D&D players on her show to expose the demonic influence of the game, when pamphlets like Dark Dungeons (a Chick Tract; you can still find this online and it's AWESOME) came out to clearly illustrate how pretending to be an elf only leads to madness and suicide. I was banned from a few houses as a kid because of D&D, but it was mainly houses full of squares where I didn't like hanging out anyway.

Most of the mocking in my adult life comes from coworkers, particularly on Thursday mornings when all of us are sleep deprived.

"Hey Keith, how's your neutral chaotic elf paladin?"

"Paladins have to be lawful good, you dumb bastard." I'm eloquent that way. "Elves couldn't even BE paladins back in the old days. That's a third edition rule change."

Then they laugh.

I don't defend my nerd hobby to people anymore. I in fact like to give my coworkers updates on my dwarf (who died four weeks ago but is back, thank you very much for caring) every other week. They don't like it, but it's the price they pay to bask in my extra-special greatness during their office hours.

Secretly I think they're just jealous that I have five people willing to hang out with me every other Saturday night.