Saturday, October 31

A struggle

My childhood was NOT hard, but the kids at school (myself included) were verbally cruel and sarcastic.

I have little empathy for children, I don't communicate well with them, and I don't care for their vulnerability.

So .... Halloween is an absolute nightmare.

It's 6.20pm and we just turned on the outside lights, propped open the gate, and schlepped the pumpkins out. I've poured a glass of wine, to lighten my mood.

And now the countdown begins. I'm sure some kid will make me smile (bee costumes usually do the trick), and some will be self-entitled little twats.

UPDATE: A kid dressed as Freddy Kruger turned down candy and asked for a glass of water instead. Then tried to drink using his claw hand. Excellent.

Thursday, October 29

Hit the Juice!

The vaguely homoerotic adventures of the gym continued today.

Between sets I usually chit chat with my trainer, and today I mentioned an article I'd read in which LeBron James muses that there won't be any steroid scandals in basketball.

I casually mentioned this, and it lead to a pregnant pause, and then an inquisitive statement about steroids.

I was only trying to make conversation, not suggest I start on the juice.

So there it was. 2 men alone in a gym talking about vitamin b12 shots in the ass.

Wednesday, October 28

Fade to Black

I was merrily catching up on Mad Men last night, when the TV screen went dead. I could still hear the soothing voice of Don Draper ... just couldn't see him.

A few frantic on and offs of the TV, DVR, Apple TV etc. All to no avail. My wonderful 50" TV is to quote Monty Python. "Deceased."

A quick check on Amazon where I bought the TV revealed I bought it one month and 3 days ago. Only 72 hours outside their return window.

I did call and I must report that their Customer Service is fantastic. Hopefully I should have a replacement sorted out today.

Cannot say I ever saw a mountain bike on my TV. Perhaps it's a photo, and I should just attach it to the screen. A 50" picture frame no less!

Tuesday, October 27

Things that make me go "Yay"

My Pencil Sharpener desk tidy arrived yesterday from the UK. It's pretty damned cool if I say so myself. Over the years I've collected a bunch of different containers that I've put to use, but this is my favorite ... just beating out the ethnically inappropriate 'match the outfit with the face' hot chocolate spinning tin I used to keep my paperclips in.

Hung with the contractors this morning when I hit Home Depot before 7am. It feels like you get a bit more respect at that time in the morning, as if your craft project is a little more hardcore. Never mind that I was buying a $3 pot of brown tester paint, for the mirror frame that I'm slowly killing.

On my drive in I listened to the new Pink Martini record. Gotta love the lazy mariachi rhythms, and totally overboard showboat piano. Splendor in the Grass with help from Tchaikovsky, and Bitty Boppy Betty a song about a cross-dressing DA are my early favorites.

Finally, I'm proud to say I managed to curtail the potential embarrassment of wearing hot pink boxer shorts at the gym. They are Bjorn Borg boxers and they are usually kept under wraps, but I switched to shorts instead of track pants today, and big surprise I ended up doing a bunch of floor exercises with my trainer. It takes a big man to admit he likes a pink boxer short. I might even wear the yellow ones next week.

Saturday, October 24

Sweeping the Nation

I'm a fan of both, so Cheese or Font is the perfect time waster on a cold autumn day.

Click here to play.

No explanation necessary

Friday, October 23

hint hint

Around this time of the year, people ask me to drop subtle hints about what I might want for Christmas.

OK, so I don't wear a watch. But if I did.

And with the dollar being relatively weak against the European currencies, now is the time (see what I did there?) to get this beauty for under a $1,000!

Come on. It's better to give after all ...

Thursday, October 22

Garfunkel & Oates

I'm loving all of their songs, but this is easily my favorite


Despite DNA evidence to the contrary. I love this show!

I don't give a shit how damned fruity it is, what bugs me is that it is so damned American.

When self-entitled people from the suburbs of middle America say, "Why do they hate us?" THIS IS WHY.

It's so fucking uplifting. And staged. And homogenized. And show-offy (yes that's a word).

And yet I cannot take my eyes off of it.

We got tons of US shows when I lived in the UK. Some good, some not so good. I can usually disseminate what will transfer well to Europe and why*.

I swear that Glee will fuel hatred throughout the world. "Look at those nerdy kids, taking average pop songs and adding a gloss of show tune pizzazz".

My fruitiness surely reached it's zenith this week. Rachel the lead female singer had the same bedroom dresser as me. Aaaaghhh, my brain is throbbing with how toolish I feel for spotting that.

I have to stop now, before I break out into choreographed song and dance.

* Regarding TV shows that came to the UK. At work the other day I referenced Champion the Wonder Horse, a show I watched in the 80's. It was a US show that was made between 1955-56. It was called The Adventures of Champion in the US. Was my childhood TV so bad that we had to import a 25 year old show about a horse themed sub-par Lassie rip-off?

OK one more thing. In the UK they changed Top Cat to 'Boss Cat' (some copyright issue). It made no sense at all, and they couldn't be bothered to change the theme tune.

Sunday, October 18

Snow Joke + Jesus + Pigeon

It's snowing! The Patriots are playing in snow. Like real men.

Elsewhere, week 6 of football has brought it's usual collection of double six-shooters to the guy upstairs. I think God would be a fan of the running game ... there seems to be more work involved.

Wide Receivers should be atheists ... or called for blasphemy every time they point to the heavens after a 3 yard screen-pass reception.

Otherwise, Jesus must have one hell (sic) of a fantasy team.

Pigeon running interference!

Saturday, October 17

Check out this douchebag

Each time I travel on Continental I see an ad in their in-flight magazine for a Carpal tunnel procedure.

Fair enough, but the founder of the treatment center has a picture of his family in the ad. He looks mid-40's, with a trophy wife (although I don't think it is the winning trophy), plus a bazillion kids.

Why put the family portrait in there?

Then as you read the text you see that he is retired. Great! Come to our treatment center where our prices are so high that the founder managed to retire in his mid-40s! Weirdo.

Friday, October 16

Leisure Time

As usual we headed down to the Acapulco WalMart. I think I've spent more time in Mexican WalMart than the US counterpart. Loaded up the cart with cheese, chips, beer, snacks, and healthy guacamole! Always nice to see the place patrolled by armed guards with automatic weapons, and as an added bonus this year the bakery staff wore masks to protect from Swine Flu.

Our taxi driver that day was Valentin. Lovely guy. Wanted to know if we needed a tour guide for the next 2 days, then remembered he took those 2 days off.

My darling wife, bought a straw hat (not pictured) that made her look like a beautiful Mexican cowgirl, and we also purchased a ball for the pool. The plastic soccer ball had a caterpillar on it that looked like the TiVo character, and we spent an awesome 15 minutes playing in the pool until I talked Anne into throwing me the ball football style. I missed it (shocking). It bounced over the railing. It was gone. Kind of like the Wilson moment in Castaway, but with WAY more gravitas.

One night we visited an internet recommended restaurant. Not the greatest location, but Gustavo the Venezuelan/Chicago/Italian food expert owner who has semi-retired to Acapulco was a delight. It's a special place that has more staff than customers, and as the only customers all night we were guaranteed special attention. The food was so-so, but they lit one of those mosquito/incense devices, and doubled down on the Sangria strength. Afterwards we walked through the streets of Acapulco. The sense of being in another country is always exciting to me. Until we found ourselves outside an Office Max. Blah.

Thursday, October 15

Las Brisas

Back for our 4th trip to Las Brisas, and another chance to practice my flawless Spanish.

On Day 1, the maid asked me how long we were staying. Only I had her say it 3 times before I could interpret. After finally breaking through I held up 5 fingers ... and said the Spanish word for 4. The maid smiled and said in perfect English, "4 or 5 days Senor?" Pah! Or as they say in Spanish ¡Pah!

On Day 2, we noticed they were installing a sound system in the next casita. Mindful of our total privacy I asked reception what was going on. Oh there's a wedding from 6pm to 9pm. Slightly dickish of me, but I expressed surprise that they chose the villa next to ours. Slightly less dickish was my prediction that they would finish well after 9pm. Midnight to be exact. Happy they are getting married, but could you keep the noise down?

Day 3 (I think), we watched The Sentinel. Awful flick. We'll never get those 2 hours back. More promising was the English speaking Hallmark channel. Usually I stay clear of anything 'Hallmarked' but this version of the TV channel seemed to have no problem airing movies with gratuitously bad language.

By Day 4, Anne and I had re-christened ourselves, Lupe and Tito. We were so absorbed into Hispanic culture that we had that Mexican staple; a Turkey Sandwich with Mayo (and cheeps) in 'Los Deli Shop'.

Wednesday, October 14

Mexican wildlife

As I swam in our pool, I would catch the palm tree on the hillside below flapping like crazy. It made me jump each day.

As did the dragon fly, that hit me in the face. Get a fucking radar you idiot insect.

At night, the lizards came out to eat the bugs. Not so good. As usual I had more than 20 mosquito bites.

We squished one and blood flowed freely. Probably my blood.

But it's not all bad. The majestic hawks swooped around the hillside. Sometimes we could see as many as 15 in the sky.

Each morning, beautifully plumed birds would land on our balcony, singing to each other as they looked around.

A ballsy squirrel kept returning to our villa, probably trying to get at the coconuts that would fall from the palm tree in our yard each day.

No sign of the Deli Shop cat, but we did see one creeping around the beauty salon!

Sunday, October 11

Traveling to Mexico

So I decided to break up our Acapulco trip into smaller chunks.

First up, I don't understand the whole "Please get to your seats quickly so we can take off on time" spiel they give as you board the plane. How about you help people with their bags instead of standing there with the loudspeaker you mini-fascist?

Actually we were in First Class, Row 1, so we got to our seats reasonably fast. Then half way through boarding a woman said to Anne "You look so sad". Christ, we're in First Class on our way to Mexico, how fucking sad can you look?

Next up, a woman who was clearly not blind, claimed her seat in Row 2, with Dooli, a service dog. Cute dog. The bitch (non-canine) who had earlier asked everyone to hustle as they boarded the plane looked like she was tasting a lemon each time she looked at the dog. I was kind of happy when the dog started to puke.

Halfway through the flight a lady threw up, which meant she was wheel-chaired into the First Class toilet. This must have sucked for the woman who was on crutches who had earlier been rejected access to our bathroom.

An insanely fast connection in Houston ensued, before we sat down in Row 1 again! Flying to Mexico means one thing to me. The Mexican Customs form. Fuck I always bring 2 telescopes, and have one confiscated.

Saturday, October 10

What's Going On?

We've been inundated with parental visits. First Anne's, then mine.

Thanks to both sets for doing so much stuff that we did not know how to do.

Good times.