Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lube Job

In early dark hours of the morning, I stopped for some gas on my way home; and lo and behold, the sight that greeted me! I just about slipped and fell when I saw it:

(Click on pic or Right Click then open in new tab to enlarge)

That there is an 18 wheeler carrying lubricants! Quite possibly, it was a Pride Week float. I don't know if it was coming or going. But good gawd, that's a lot of lube!


Friday, June 27, 2008

Blooming Onion

I was hungry today, and imagine my surprise at finding a blooming onion!

No, not that blooming onion, but this blooming onion!

(Click on pic or Right Click then open in new tab to enlarge)

Yes, ladies and gentleman, that there is a blossoming blooming onion! From my fridge! I was putting away some groceries. When I reached down to put the lettuce in the crisper bin, I found a living, blossoming, blooming onion!

I usually put my onions in the door compartments of the fridge. The last time I bought onions was two weeks ago; I had no room in the fridge door, so I put some in the bottom crisper bin. I totally thought the bin was empty, as I thought I had used all my onions last weekend; hence, the grocery shopping trip today. Looks like one escaped and survived! I am stunned to find a plant living and my fridge of all places! How is this even possible?

Well, this little miracle of an onion is going to be planted out front so it'll get some sunlight. It's made it this far in the cold fridge; time to give it a chance to grow in the sun, out in nature, the way onions were meant to live!

I think I'm going to cry...oh, wait, that's just from cutting one the of onions that I bought today.

Related Links
The Experimental Gardner

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Suck it!

I've got a Dirt Devil light bagless vacuum. It's powerful, reliable, and it does a fairly good job. The only thing that really sucks is emptying the container when I'm done using it. Every time I empty the damn thing, a cloud of dust rises, and I end up cleaning the dust off the trash can and the floor.

I can't decide which is better though, bare floors or carpet. Sure, the vacuum is loud, and sometimes it's hard to maneuver into those tight corners. But the payoff is that the carpet gets cleaned. On the other hand, bare floors need only a sweep and some mopping action to keep them clean. Of course there's the wait time for drying, but there's also a nice buzz if you underdilute the Pine Sol just right.

A clean carpet is soft and warm when you caress them with your fingers. And a clean floor feels so smooth and silky on the skin. Either one feels good on your cheeks.

I've actually been fantasizing about getting a Dyson ball vacuum; it never loses suction and it swivels! But the $500 price tag keeps it a fantasy.

Speaking of fantasy, remember that movie Cruel Intentions,

when Blaine describes Greg to Sebastian as, "The man's got a mouth like a Hoover".

I thought that was a terrible thing to say. How offensive! Hoovers are crappy vacuum cleaners--they break easily, don't last long anymore, and the suction action is weak to nonexistent.

Now if he had said, 'The man's got a mouth like a Dyson,' I'd've been impressed!


Sunday, June 22, 2008


I was driving in a neighborhood when I saw this sign:

I didn't see any slow children playing; but I got to thinking, where do the fast children play? And isn't it dangerous to let slow children play in the streets?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hulk Mad!

And why is the Hulk mad?! Because someone gave him the Mega Clap!

(Probably that whore, the Human Torch, whose mouth earned him the title "Hothead").

Let's hope the Hulk gets some Mega Azithromycin.

Maybe now, he'll learn to use a rubber next time...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The thing about fathers

The thing about fathers is that everyone has one. (The same goes for the immaculately conceived.) Some dads are great; others, not so; most of us just want a good one. Some of us never knew ours; others, well, wish they didn't know their dads quite so well.

Father's Day is one of my top three worst holidays. I didn't always hate Father's Day; the truth is, I think over the past few years, my hate has dulled to just a generalized discomfort. Now, don't get me wrong, I luved my dad; I really did, or at least I believe I did. The problem isn't my father, though, in a way, he is the reason why I have this dislike for Father's Day; unintentionally, of course.

When I was eight, my mother took me and we went to stay with her cousin. My mother's cousin had become a widow, and that week, they were doing a one year anniversary memorial of my uncle's death. I remember being so excited to go, because it was out of town, and I luved hanging out with my older cousin--she was only 3 years older, but to me, she was cool, and she luved having me around; I think it was because she was the youngest, and she wanted younger siblings. She was always cool to me and my brothers; too cool, in fact. When I was 6, she taught me and my brothers how to smoke; when I was 7, it was how to drink alcohol. The first time I tasted beer, it was horrible. Yeck; I was sure that one of my brothers had pissed into the can as a joke and I was drinking it; let's just say young boys sometimes do stupid things to each other and their friends.

As I expected, I had a great time. My cousin and I spent the whole afternoon roaming around her neighborhood, hanging out with her friends. We played lots of games, watched some t.v. , and climbed the hills behind her house. Later, we even walked along the beach, checking out the tide pools and the little creatures that lived there. I had a hard time sleeping that night; I even thought about faking an illness so I wouldn't have to go to school. But my mom had made sure I had my school uniform and books packed and had all ready made arrangements to drop me off at school.

The next day, I woke up, not sure I had slept at all; I felt like I was in a haze that morning. I can't remember what I had for breakfast or who drove me to school; only, I remember that I met my friends and bragged about how I had spent the night out of town, retelling stories of my adventures the day before. My friends were captivated, but in the back of my head, something just felt different. Before lunch period, we were working on some writing exercises when I felt this need to look at the door. I turned to the door to see these two fellas, probably just out of high school, standing at the entrance. I recognized them as the guys who were helping out my aunt with the my uncle's memorial.

As the teacher walked over to them, I felt as if my heart had stopped. I tuned out my friends talking about the strangers at the door. I just started packing my books into my bag. I turned to see the teacher and the fellas; I can't remember their faces, only I knew I was leaving. I thought, perhaps my mom wanted me to spend the day with her at my uncle's memorial. But when the car pulled out of the school, we were heading in the opposite direction. Maybe, I thought, we were going home. The guys were really nice to me; well, they were polite, asking me if I wanted something to eat or drink and how my day at school was.

I started talking, excited perhaps to share my day with the older guys--maybe to ignore this growing dread in my heart. When we turned into the road towards the hospital, my heart got heavier; but we didn't park in the front like I was used to when going to the hospital. Rather, we drove out back to a totally different part of the hospital I've never even seen before. As the car slowed down to park by a brown building, I saw a crowd gathering there, people crying; some I even recognized as my aunt's friends and neighbors. I thought, perhaps, something had happened to my aunt. I was starting to get alarmed. As I got out of the car, my heart started beating faster, and somehow, it was starting to drown out all the noise.

Then I saw my mother emerge from the crowd; only, I wasn't sure if it was my mother. She was crying; I've never seen my mother cry before; ever. Her eyes were red and puffy and tears flowing freely. I was in a panic. She hugged me; I didn't quite hear what she was saying. I couldn't. The sight of my mother crying was an utter shock to my system. My mind had shut down. I was on automatic pilot. I remember being led inside the building to a room with cold air conditioning, and more people crying.

There on the table was the center of everyone's attention. I could see someone there, sleeping, I hoped, desperately. I wasn't sure if I could recognize the features. Maybe I was futilely fighting against recognizing those somewhat familiar features. But that was just it; I didn't recognize the features. I looked at this face; it was so eerie, so still; but somewhere in the deep haze of my mind, there was something significant about those features. My mother said something; I still couldn't understand her underneath all the sobs. I looked at those features, I knew that there was something important in them. I stared for what seemed like a long time, unsure. And in the silence of my mind, it came, like a single ray of sunlight had broken through the stormy skies. This was my father.

I didn't recognize him at first. How could I? The life was gone from his face. There was nothing of my father left, save for the lifeless body that laid on the table before me. Perhaps because I was all ready in shock from seeing my mother cry, but I remember being very silent. I looked elsewhere in the room. The lights in the room were bright; the floors shiny, clean; no windows; just a hint of disinfectant in the air. I looked back at the table. He was still there, my father, still unmoving; so quiet; so unlike the man I knew.

I remember being led back to the car; the fellas that drove me there gave me some candy and a soda. Then they drove me back home. The rest of the week was a rush of activity. I remember bits and pieces. My house was in chaos; my older siblings and relatives were crying. Me and my brothers , the ones I was close to in age, just stayed together most of the time. We always did. I remember praying to God every night that week, asking him to please bring me back my Dad. I begged him; I hoped it was all a dream. For months afterwards, I would wake up and sometimes go looking for my father, only to realize after a few minutes of looking that he was gone.

For some reason, my mother thought it was important that we all spent some time with my father's remains. I was there when he was bathed and put into his funeral suit. That night, at the wake, many people came; the church, the neighbors, the business associates, family, and friends. My dad had a lot of friends. All night, it was prayers and hymns and stories of my father. And food; and alcohol; and more crying.

The next day, at the church service, my mother got up and gave the eulogy. I wasn't paying attention to what she was saying. In my head, I was eagerly praying to God to please make my dad come back. Surely, in his house, he would hear me. Then I heard my mother start to sing God Be With You (til we meet again); she started breaking down in the middle of the second line; she couldn't finish as she completely broke down on the pulpit. The rest of the congregation picked up where she had left off as my mother was helped back to her seat.

Then my vision became blurry. I did not like seeing my mother cry; I did not like seeing her suffer so much; the tears started to fall from my eyes. For the first time since I found out my father had died, I cried. Something inside me finally broke, and I wept for the rest of that song. By the time the service was over, I had it my head to pull it together. By sheer will power, I forced myself to stop crying and walk out the chapel.

When they lowered my father's casket down, I knew that it was too late; there was no hope of my father ever waking up. I recall the pastor coming up to us, and he said to me that it was God's will, and that my father was in a better place. Better place?! God's will?! Those words didn't comfort me. They just made me mad! It took all my strength to keep my mouth shut and walk away. I was mad at God. That night, I didn't pray, and for years afterwards, I refused to talk to God. Clearly, he hated me. He took away my father when I needed him the most. What kind of God would be so cruel like that? I would be furious at God for a long, long time.

My younger brothers and I reacted differently to my father's passing. I became withdrawn, quiet, and no longer sought the company of others. My brother, who was a year older, became rebellious and started a street gang, getting into lots of fights. My younger brother became obsessed with taking things apart, even the things that didn't belong to him, like the toaster, the iron, and hair dryer. Somehow, we knew we were broken, and we were no longer like other children who still had both parents. We became closer to each other, closer than we were to our older brothers and sisters. It still holds true to this day.

I became more aware of things somehow. There's a certain maturity that comes with losing a loved one, and my father's death had certainly made me grow up fast. I noticed people were starting to treat us differently. Not unkindly, but whispers of sympathy whenever they caught sight of us. I hated that. That first Father's Day after my Dad's passing, was the worst. Every year, the Sunday school children put on a show for the dads on Father's Day--and for moms on Mother's Day. After we sing and dance and put on plays or recite passages from the Bible, we go and greet our Dads, wishing them a Happy Father's Day. Only that day, my brothers and I were the only ones left on the stage while all the other kids went to greet their dads.

And I felt the congregation's eyes on me, that damned look of sympathy. In the corners of my eyes, I could make out the ladies, bending over to whisper in each other's ears and I could hear their murmurs of how sad it was for my family. I walked off the stage; my brothers followed me and we sat down. God, I wanted so badly to leave, but my mother was there, and I knew we'd get into so much trouble for leaving the church before the service was over. So I sat there, under the scrutiny of those many eyes, determined not to cry and give those bastards something else to talk about. It was a blatant reminder that we were now fatherless, that God had taken away my dad. It was a painful experience to sit there and watch those kids get hugs from their dads; I hated it; I hated being forced to participate. I thought it was extremely ignorant and thoughtless.

For the next Father's Days afterward, I would endure the awful and cruel experience of having to participate in the Father's Day pageant and feel those eyes on me for the rest of the service. It was such a relief when I started high school and I had a falling out with the pastor. He was mad that I had been talking to someone of a different faith. I tuned him out and told my mom that I was never going back to that church; and I haven't been back since.

By this time in high school, I came to the realization that I never really mourned my father. If anything, I had only cried at the funeral because I saw that my mother was suffering. It took me years to finally realize what my father's death meant. I never got to really know my father. I wish that I was able to have an adult conversation with him, find out about his life in his own words. What were his dreams and hopes? What did he like to do for fun? What life lessons would he have shared? The sad truth is, I can barely remember my father's face now. I've an idea, but there are days when I have to sit and think really hard about what his face looked like. Of the few precious memories that I have of my father, they seemed happy, and safe, and content, I suppose. I still feel very strongly about him, though, and what I feel is love.

It's taken me a while to appreciate my father's passing. Though it was a heartbreaking experience, it did make me a better person in a way. For one thing, it made me stronger. I had to grow up faster; and I learned that life is too short. If anything, the whole experience has made me appreciate life even more and learn to live life to the fullest.

These days, I don't really hate Father's Day because it reminds me that my dad is gone. Rather, it was the whole experience of being forced to take part in the church pageants that make me feel mad and upset. I guess I just hated feeling powerless more than I hated feeling sad. And for me, Father's Day reminds me of being helpless, at the mercy of those stronger than I was. But as the years have gone by, I find myself feeling less and less bitter about Father's Day. I survived; so did my brothers; as did our bond.

I do confess though that sometimes, I envy my friends who still have their dads. They don't know how lucky they are to be able to have an opportunity to talk with their fathers, to learn more about them, to just be with them. The thing about fathers is that when we're young, they were our first heroes. They were strong, and they made us feel safe. As we grew older, they became more human, and we learned that even they made mistakes. And for some of us, we're one of those mistakes ;)

There are many stories about the love of a good mother; too few tell the stories of a good father. One of my favorite things to do is read stories or watch movies about fathers and sons. Maybe a way to catch a glimpse of what it is I lost in this life. I enjoy reading about the joys (and pains) of being a father. And I wonder sometimes what it would be like to be one. I'm an uncle, and I've helped raise a fair number of my nieces and nephews, but I don't think it's quite the same when it's an around the clock responsibility.

If you're one of the lucky few who has a good father, go wish him a great Father's Day; and don't let today be the only day to tell your father that you love him. You never know what's going to happen. Talk to him while you still have the chance. The thing about fathers is that no one is perfect; but that's okay. When it comes to being a good dad, it's not about success or strength. It's about raising your children the best way that you can. The thing about fathers is that a good father is a loving father.

So, to all you loving dads out there, Happy Father's Day. Your children need you (and luv you) more than you'll ever know.
 Related Links:
Hope is a yellow dump truck
Holiday Dismay
Are you there, Santa? It's me
It's the Most Stressful Time of the Year
Best Laid Plans
Veterans Day Reflection
The Boys of Summer
Brothers and Sisters

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A whale of a tale

One of the things that I like to do is walk along the beach at night. It's very relaxing. I like feeling the soft sand between my toes as the water washes over them repeatedly. Unfortunately, when I got to one of my favorite spots tonight, I noticed a crowd.

I parked the car and walked over to see what the commotion was all about. It didn't look like a party crowd. I saw a news crew and a cop car. Did somebody die?, I thought uncomfortably, but I was curious nonetheless. I didn't see any ambulances, but some people in the crowd seemed to be crying. When I reached them, I came upon a long line of yellow tape and some people telling the crowd to stand back. I looked further out and saw some other people with flashlights moving around in the water.

Did somebody drown, perhaps? A floater? I wondered. I turned to the lady standing next to me and asked her, "What's going on?"

"You didn't see the news?", she asked.

"Not today," I replied.

"Oh, well," she said, "a whale beached itself. They didn't have the equipment to take care of it. It's too big; 8 tons they said. There's no tank big enough for it. They couldn't tow it out because it was too big and too sick. Poor creature."

"Oh," I said. What else could I say?

"They killed it," said another voice that surprised me.

I turned to see the owner of that voice, a middle aged man in shorts and a tie dyed shirt.

"I'm sorry?," I asked, not quite sure if I had heard him right.

"They killed it," he repeated, "The wildlife folks said it was in a lot a lot of pain, too sick to be forced back out into the open ocean. So they gave the whale some sort of lethal injection."

Only in Texas, I thought. Not only is poison used to execute criminals but apparently, it's also used to euthanize beached whales. I looked back out towards the small group in the water. I could barely make out a large shape in the darkness. What I could see was that it was big, about the size of a city bus.

I returned to my car and drove another twenty minutes til I arrived at the pier, another favorite beach hangout spot. I parked the car and then sat down at a nearby bench to take off my shoes. I heard another car parking behind me. I turned to see the driver, an older man who waved at me. I nodded my head and took off my shoes. The driver got out and stood next to me, saying, "Nice night."

"It sure is," I answered and I stood up, shoes in hand and started walking away from the lighted pier. The soft sand pushed between my toes. The water was little chilly at first when it touched my feet. But as the waves continued to wash over my feet, the water became warm and pleasant. The farther I walked away from the pier, the darker it got. But that was fine, as the partly cloudy skies let in enough moonlight and starlight to illuminate my path.

Now, Texas beaches aren't like Hawaii; there're no coral reefs and the water isn't as blue, but it's clean--well, with the exception of the newly decomposing whale. Still, it's some of the cleanest beaches I've seen compared to the East or West Coast. Even better, no sharks like the ones in Florida beaches.

After walking for half an hour, I made it to the wave breakers, where I proceeded to sit myself and set my shoes down. A light breeze was blowing. I leaned back and looked toward parts of the heavens visible in the cloud break. Lulled by the sweet, hypnotic sounds of the waves softly breaking on the shore, I became lost in my thoughts. Daydreaming, reminiscing, and wondering about everything and nothing at all. I thought about my life, my experiences and dreams; about the people I know; and even that whale, wondering if it lived a great life and what incredible things it has seen in it's journey in the vast mysteries of the seas.

After a while, the hard rocks were starting to make my back sore, prompting me to stand up, stretch, and take some deep breaths. The magic of the night was dispelled by the headlights of an approaching vehicle. The car parked, and out stepped the same driver I had seen by the pier. Probably trying to get to a quiet place like me, I thought. He smiled and waved. I waved back, then bent down to pick up my shoes and continued my walk past the wave breakers, heading towards solitude.

A short while later, I was lost in my thoughts once more when headlights appeared from behind. I stopped and turned towards the approaching vehicle, making sure it wasn't going to hit me. The car slowed down, then stopped by me. Guess who was driving? The same fella from the pier and wave breakers. He asked, "Are you lost?"

"No," I replied.

"Did you need a ride somewhere?, " he asked.

"No, thanks," I answered. I was about to continue walking when he said,

"Have you ever done any modeling before?"

I said, "Excuse me?"

He repeated, "Have you ever done any modeling before?" I wasn't sure what to say, except this guy was starting to give me the creeps. But he continued, "I'm a talent scout for a modeling agency." My bullsh*t sensor started to alarm. The guy continued, "You've got a great look", this was true enough, I thought to myself. Still, I had my doubts about this guy.

He said, "I've got a card here," he reached into his pocket,"With your looks, you can make $50 a foto session," he paused, holding out his card, "and up to $300 a session if you don't mind doing nudes."

I looked at him, disbelieving what he had just said before I replied shortly, "No thanks. Not interested," and I turned and walked back towards the pier. I was disgusted! I was absolutely furious!

When I got home, I took a shower, but I was still fuming afterwards. How dare he! Who did he think I was? some cheap, crack whore trolling the beaches, turning tricks? I was deeply offended!

....Only $300?!!! The industry standard is $1000 a session; $4000, for new models! The nerve of this bastard trying to shortchange me!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Five Things

A few weeks ago, I was double tagged by alluring Aussie T-Bird and chic Dane CyberPete to blog about 5 things. Well, I've been a little busy but as fortune would have it, I had some unexpected free time today to get this done.

5 things in my bag:

Well, I don't have a bag per se, but I do have a backpack that I take to work and places sometimes. And in that backpack, I've got my:

1. Gray hoodie--for those cold days and nights, or when trying to go incognito from fans, fanatics, or the fuzz (cops).

2. Pens, tablets, and a planner--to write down important things, like directions to a party, or phone numbers when you want to reach out and touch someone, or if they want to reach out and touch you, and notes, of course.

3. Solar calculator--in case I have to do lots and lots of math.

(Click on pic to enlarge or right click on pic, then open in new tab)

4. My flashlight tool, or should I say weapon, a means of protection.

That tool has a working light at one end and a blade at the other. It was a gift from an outfit I used to work with a long time ago. While most companies gave their employees coffee mugs or pens, my boss gave us weapons. Of course, given the hazardous working environment and some backstabbing coworkers, it was an appropriate holiday gift.

5. Extra protection, Durex Gold,

keeping the world safe from the dangers of STDs or worse, having children! Actually, these are more like collectors items for me. I got them as a gift from a do buddy; I like the shiny packaging; reminds me of chocolate candy. I actually have other brands that I use, as these are just too pretty to use! But, hey, if I needed them and they were the only ones available, then pretty packaging be damned! I ain't planning to pee fire and the only person I want to bottle feed is me, with a beer after a long day at work!

5 favorite things in my room:

I chose the dining room because it's where I like to sit and write letters. In the dining room, the first thing that everyone comments on is my

1. Bruce Lee poster, proudly tacked on the wall

This posters was from a do buddy who had originally purchased it as a gift for another fella. In fact, that fella's name is written on the back in of the poster in one of the corners. Ah yes, Enter the Dragon!

2. The genie bottles or at least that's what I call these 7 red glass bottles I got from another do buddy. She was a glassmaker, and these were left overs from a project she had sold to some clients. She was going to throw these away, but I thought they looked fantastic, so she gave them to me. I keep 3 of these bottles on the dining room table.

3. The genie bottles complement the Old Cartography placemats and coasters that caught my eye when I was in a store years ago. They only cost me a buck.

Truthfully, I rarely use them. When I do have people over, they do use them, but I don't use coasters or placemats when I'm by myself. I just like looking at them.

4. The tea cannisters I received as a gift

I like the canister art; it's reminiscent of Art Nouveau...also, I like, iced, so long as it's sweet, I'll drink it!

5. Finally, on the top of those tea canisters, I keep my Fortunes Xmas Tin; it's actually a small snack tin that came in a Xmas snack gift. I like the tin, and I use it to keep all my favorite fortunes from fortune cookies! And everyone knows just how much more fun fortunes are when you add the words "in bed" at the end.

I like the dining room, because it's quiet. I'm far enough away from the tv that I won't be tempted to turn it on and distract me.

5 things I've always wanted to do:

Well, it could really be summed up in one word: Travel

1. I'd like to see the natural wonders of the world: The Grand Canyon; Niagara Falls; Victoria Falls; The Amazon; Angel Falls; Mauna Loa; Kilauea; Antarctica; etc...

2. I'd like to tour the Pacific Islands; Tahiti during Heiva; check out the Rapa Nui Moai; explore the exotic lands of New Zealand; etc...

3. I'd like to see Europe; check out the different countries that border the Mediterranean and the North Sea; see the castles; try the wines; enjoy the festivals; ride the trains; the Coliseum; the Eiffel Tower; Big Ben; the Greek archipelago; Vikings, biking, hiking, oh, my...maybe see a nun singing and twirling while the hills come alive; etc...

4. I'd like to see Australia; kangaroos; koalas; platypus; Ayers Rock; Sydney Opera House; black opals; blue penguins; the Outback; the Great Barrier Reef; performing drag queens in a crosscountry tour on a colorful bus; etc...

5. I'd like to see Asia; the Great Wall of China; Tibet; the lost cities of Angkor near Thailand and the Seven Pagodas in India; the Shaolin Temple; etc...

5 things I'm currently into:
1. Bob Marley, Legend,

This is the second CD I've had to buy; the first was lent out and never returned--bastards! Although some of my faves are One Love, Buffalo Soldier, No Woman No Cry, the one song that speaks to me has always been Could You Be Loved. The beat always gets to me.

2. I'm hooked on Battlestar Galactica, the current SciFi version. Those writers from Star Trek Deep Space 9 have done a fantastic job of reinventing the original! Even better, Xena returns in the next episodes!

3. Adult Swim; I'm recording episodes of Bleach along with the Saturday Nite lineup, so I can watch them when I'm home. Shin Chan in freakin hilarious!

4. Tropical Fruits: Mangoes, Pineapples, and Coconut. Since my recent trip to Hawaii, I've been enjoying eating these. Strange, as when I was younger, I didn't like pineapples; now, I eat the stuff and incorporate it into a lot of meals that I make.

5. Finally, I'm currently digging Polynesian Music, also a result of my recent vacation. There's a wide variety out there, and part of the fun is just discovering which ones I like, such as this one by Fenua "E Vahine Maohi E"

The fifth part of this exercise is to tag 5 other people to do the same; but I'll let you decide whether or not to let us into a very brief tour of your home (and your mind). Just let me know if you decide to share!