Friday, June 30, 2006

Letter from Norway

My dear friend Michele and her adorable husband Ian have moved to Norway. Why, you may ask... hell if I know. I guess they thought it would be fun to live where the winters are very, very dark and bitterly cold. Sounds like paradise to me.

Anyway, Michele and I have been corresponding and below is a bit of her response to an email I sent last week. She's a fricken crack-up and it's obvioius from the letter why I love her so: she's sweet and funny--a combo you don't find too often.

Hi Chris!!!!

Oh my god, thank you for your note. It is really nice to hear from you! I don't mean that in a "Why don't you ever write kind of way," but in a "I-don'-t-keep-in-touch-thank-you-for-remembering-me" kind of way. And I am so sorry I have not written! I have not had regular access to a computer or a consistent internet connection for the last six weeks and it's been driving right around the bend! Any feelings of isolation and loneliness I have felt since I got here have been compounded, in a terrible way, by not being able to say "howdy" to my friends via email. Anyway, we now have internet installed and, on Monday, our cargo container arrived (YEAH!!!), so I even have my PC now, so should be able to start writing and responding to email more regularly. Wow! So amazing!

Chris, I have so much to tell you about all of the things that I have experienced since I got here! Unfortunately, it's, like, 10:30pm now and I have had a couple of glasses of wine and am finding it difficult to type.... The Draconian Norwegian alcohol laws may have contributed to my sadly decreasing level of tolerance, which is an occurrence of tragic proportions, but, whatever the reason, I am unable to communicate coherently at this moment. It's okay, though---my pent-up mumblings about life in Norway can wait another day or two, for sure. :-)

I'm sorry as well that I have not forwarded to you pictures of any Norwegians hot hunks of burning love. There are a couple of reasons: 1) the sightings of such HHBL are sadly rare (!!??); and, 2) when I do see one, I don't have my camera with me. I'll try to be more diligent in the future. Would you believe me if I said that, when I see a stone-cold babe, I totally think of you? It's true, it really is.

I miss you very much, and miss communicating with you on a semi-regular basis. I am really hoping that, now that I have my machine back, I'll be boring you with Nordic news ASAP. Aren't you the lucky one? :-)

Ian and I are okay, although currently too busy for our own comfort. The container arriving is a good thing, a marvelous thing, but the unpacking, moving, and organizing of all of our stuff is exhausting at best. And, sadly, my "honeymoon-I-love-Noway" phase is over, as the fun, shiny newness of the experience has worn off. The annoying, "different" things that were interesting four weeks ago are now just irritating. Isn't that sad? It's kind of like dating, isn't it? The first month can be quite excellent, and, then, oh god, the snoring, the farting, the nose noises, the bizarre sexual demands, the emotional know what I'm talking about. Okay, so Norway hasn't made any strange sexual demands of me yet, but she is snoring and farting and emptying my pockets at an alarming rate that is ebbing away at my initial lust for her. Taxing, tea-totaling, expensive bitch!!! I tire of you!

Anyway, more details later, I promise. Ian and I are going to Britain this weekend for family stuff, but will be back on Monday and I will write more then.

So, please, write again soon! :-) I love you, and hope you are well. And, again, that is so awesome that you are starting school next week. Good on you for following your passions. If only the California courts said that same thing....

I'll send pictures soon, too! Thank you for writing! I'll write again soon!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

It's All About Keeping Perspective...

Hmmm, let’s scan the headlines and see what’s going on in the world, shall we?

“Israel and Palestine…” Like that isn’t new… “Guantanamo…” Blah, blah, blah
“Gains on terrorists…” Whatever. “Not enough National Guardsman to patrol borders…” At least the price of fruit won’t be going up. “Flooding in the East?” It’s just water, come on—what’s the big deal? “Corporate corruption?” Like that’s new. “Kid dies at DisneyWorld…” Didn’t that just happen last month…?

Come on! Where’s the real news. Wait. Did I miss something? Was there something important in the headlines? Yes, I did! Rob Schneider is okay? He collapsed on a movie set? My God! Call Entertainment Tonight! Get that alcoholic guy from Access Hollywood! Call Larry King! Wait! Better get Anderson Cooper for this breaking story, because this… this is important!

Yes, that is the actual headline section from Comcast.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Breakfast of Champions

Far be it from me to judge someone else’s habits… but since you probably know me by now, you know I am going to do it anyhow.

My co-worker and friend Scooter has this thing he likes to call “The Process.”* Every morning he buys an English Muffin at our cafeteria and toasts it. (That’s not the weird part… keep reading.) While it is toasting, he takes three—not one, not two, but three!—pats of foil-wrapped butter and holds them between his palms to warm them. (still not the weird part… keep going).

Half-way through the toasting process, he pops the muffin up and rotates it 180 degrees to ensure it is properly toasted on both top and bottom. Everything he does with this process is specific and timed. God help you if you slow him down… (Yeah, yeah, ‘strange’ but not really weird. I’m telling you, keep reading).

Once his muffin has been properly toasted (which, much to my chagrin is not a euphemism for anything), he puts the muffin on a paper plate and tops it with another paper plate (to “seal in” the warmth) and then tops that with the pats of butter (to further soften the butter). Again, all significant and integral parts of “The Process.” (And yes, still odd, and even a bit strange… but it gets weirder).

We are now at a time-critical juncture as Scooter must get back to his office so that his muffin is still warm, where he can put on the 1 ½ pats of butter per slice and eat while it is still at “prime temperature.”

This morning, L-Man ran into a problem with his breakfast and had to walk over to the cashier. Scooter left us to rush his English muffin back to his office. Scooters reason being the time it took L-Man to return the (not vegetarian)vegetarian burrito**—less than two minutes—“The Process” would be interrupted. (That’s it! That’s where it zoomed into freaky-weird country! You leave your friends because you have to ‘rush’ your English muffin back to your office? Dude, that’s just freaky fucking bizarre--we're talking about a flimsy English muffin! A danish? I might understand. An actual muffin? Maybe. But you have got to get those little nooks and crannies back to your office? Totally fucking bizarre).

Contrast that to me: I stop by the “El Crapito” toaster oven in the break room on my way to the shower in the morning and toss in my English muffin for about 10 minutes. The oven sucks, so it is always a crap-shoot as to whether my muffin will come out slightly toasted or burned beyond recognition. Frankly, I like the burned bits—they are little bits of heaven if you ask me***—so I can deal with whatever L’il Toaster Oven From Hell gives me.

When I come by for it on my way back to my office I can tell by the smoke content in the air just how burnt my English muffin is. For me, the critical point in my “process” is whether or not to dunk. Actually, that is answered by the toaster oven: if said muffin is burnt to a crisp, I need to dunk; otherwise I don’t. Sometimes I reverse that just to keep myself alert.

I guess we all have our odd morning processes, so I really should not judge someone else’s process as weird. Then again, some processes are just bat-shit insane and I have got to say something.

And don't even get me started on what he does with Australian Toaster Biscuits...

* I like to call it “weird.”
** aka: Vegetarian Burrito with ham! Did I mention the caterers in our cafeteria are the worst? They are.
*** You didn’t but I’m telling you anyhow.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Girl, What You Done Now?

I haven't had a chance to read the article, but look at the little blub from Google: "Calif. Port Closed Amid Possible Threat" and then a picture of Miss Oprah Winfrey right next to it. Never under estimate the power of Miss Winfrey...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Back from New Orleans

I'm back from New Orleans! Did you miss me? Did you know I was gone?

I had an amazing time in Nawlins... the people were so incredibly friendly, and so appreciative that we were visiting.

There is much to tell about the weekend (especially about "Killer Eyes Brian" and "Hottie Jim")--but I've got to go through the 400 pictures I took on the trip and upload them to flickr.

I'll write more later, but have to say that New Orleans is such a wonderful city--despite the word you hear on the news, it is safe to travel there and the French Quarter is up and running full steam (speaking of steam: Good Lord, it is hot down there. Seriously, seriously hot. Tarzan kinda hot...).

In the meantime, dream of a Cafe au lait and declicious Beignets...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Enough with the Bitching...

I've complained enough for a while, so here's a little diversion for all you kids: You get to play Jackson Pollack (without the drinking and the car accident). Drag your cursor around and the paint will "drip." Click on the mouse and the color changes. Above is the amazing "painting" I "created" with my "talent."

Enjoy yourselves (feel free to email me your results, I'd like to see what kind of "talent" my reader(s?) have).
“Is it liberal commie feminist radical bullshit to expect the leader of our country to act with some degree of statesman-like decorum when speaking in public?”

I read this comment on an article about Dubya kidding a blind reporter about wearing sunglasses on a cloudy day… Could he be more of an ass? I shouldn’t ask that, because every time I think ‘he can’t do any more damage,’ he does.

If A Girl Isn’t Pretty…

This made me smile…

Monday, June 05, 2006

Give 'em Hell, Harry

I can't say I agree with everything Senator Harry Reid has to say in this speech, but he's right on one thing: the Marriage Amendment is nothing more than a diversion from all the problems of the Bush Administration.
“Thank You…”

When I was a child and some generous family friend or relative gave me a gift, I had to make the dreaded ‘thank you phone call.’ It was usually to some relative we did not see too often and I had little interest in talking to them when they were in the room, much less on the phone. As a kid, trying to talk to any adult on the phone was difficult, talking to an adult you had no interest in was absolute agony.

For group gifts it was easier: mom would dial and one by one, my brothers, sister and I would take the phone and talk to our benefactor. I liked going last because I could glean the blest from their remarks and come up with something clever… until they asked a question.

If prepared, I can answer anything. Unprepared, I can not tell you what time it is with a digital clock in hand. I tend to go blank when any questions are asked. Even if I raise my hand, once called upon my brain locks up and I forget why I have my hand in the air.

After a couple of years it became a bit easier. I learned to wait for them to ask questions like “What have you been up to?” and the always classic “How is school?” I knew the answers to these and robotically would repeat the same answers each and every conversation.* I knew never to ask a question as that would only prolong the conversation.

I never felt free to tell them what I wanted to talk about: How my favorite summer activities were playing cars in the dirt, and sitting around in the big cherry tree in the back (but not the smaller ones), eating cherries and seeing how many pits I could keep in my mouth without swallowing (26… I believe it’s a neighborhood record). I wanted to talk about how Carol Burnett was the funniest show ever and that along with Mary Tyler Moore and Bob Newhart Saturday night was the best night for television. How lying on our side lawn in the dark, staring up at the stars in the night sky with my friends around me was the best feeling ever. No one ever asked and I never thought to bring it up. Besides, without knowing they were going to deviate from the standard questions ahead of time, I wouldn’t have known how to answer (why no one ever thought of submitting questions in advance was beyond me).

However, on rare and lucky occasions, I would call and get the answering machine! No stilted conversation. No awkward silences. Just pure “Thank you so much for the gift, I love it. I’m sorry you weren’t home, maybe I’ll try again another time.” Meaining: “Maybe I’ll try and miss you again next year!”

However, I think they were equally grateful they did not have to talk to me. Seriously, they knew the answers to the questions as much as I knew what questions were coming. Something tells me Uncle Frank was screening his calls…

Today I got home and there was a phone message from my niece and nephews thanking me for their birthday gifts. The phone was dutifully passed around from one to the next and the relief that they did not have to actually speak to me was evidently clear.

Even though they are teenagers the message they left varied only slightly from the messages they left when they were little kids. They still have not figured out the best way to say thank you and avoid any kind of awkward silences or painfully stilted voicemails. A lesson taught to me by my mother when I was ten and it is a brilliantly simple idea that continues to serve me well: get out a piece of paper and write a thank you note.

*Answer to Question #1: “Not much.”
Answer to Question #2: “Fine.”

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I’d like to thank The Academy…

I got a notice from Site Meter today that I have hit 15,000 unique hits to my website. Wow, 15,000 people stopped by, said “what the hell…?” and then promptly left. God bless you all.

Seriously, I must thank Brad Beckett’s Boys for Breakfast and my beloved Evil Gay Lawyer who bring in the most eyes from other sites. Of course, no thank you list would be complete without thanking Giada De Laurentiis and her ample bosom, and for those perverts who are constantly seeking them out.

Speaking of perverts, I guess I should thank you for searching for “Giada De Laurentiis farted,” “Slap Sex,” “Slap BOOBS,” “Chris Evans nude” (if only…), with special thanks for the various versions of “slap” and the weird combination therein: including: slap ponies, “slap onions,” “tickle sadist,” “tickle fight,” and “Elmo”—sans “tickle.”*

I can’t forget my gays! Yes, for those of you on “shirtless” Google hunts for Anderson Cooper, Chris Evans, Rob Marciano, Jake Gyllenhaal, Tyler Florence and Derek Cruise. Thank you for your perverted searches.

For my gay and fellow perverts, I’m including the above picture. However, I cropped off his ‘attributes’ for propriety’s sake.** However, if you really want the nudie pic, (and I think you do… wow) email me and I’ll send it to you. Although, I will probably note it in a future blog: “Hey, guess who wanted the naked pic of Men at Play’s Jason?” Yep, I’m a dick…

Again, thank you for stopping by and glancing at my blog—and if you have actually read an article—a big kiss. If you posted a comment, I owe you…***

Finally, in order to obtain 30,000 hits, I would just like to state the following: Anderson Cooper NAKED and shirtless. Giada De Laurentiis Boobs! Tyler Florence naked! (Oh, how I wish). Dishonest, but I’m a hit-whore… or is it a Slap whore? Who knows? I do know this: someone will probably search for “slap whore” and—God bless the little perv—he’ll stop on by…

*That really shouldn’t be in the “slap” group, but I’m giddy with my 15K, so fuck it.

**Why start now, you ask? Gotta start somewhere…

***Call me… we can work something out (if you know what I mean)^

^And I know you know what I mean…

Image ©2006 Men at Play