Sunday, March 30, 2008

Oh shit. I'm losing my mind.
How do I know?

1. I made something cute. Sickeningly so. See photo. I am not a "cute" sort of guy, but spring is not coming fast enough. Must have bright sun and flowers. And apparently birdhouses. Send help.

2. Speaking of birdhouses, I bought two little unpainted birdhouses with the intent to paint them. If they end up looking like the little quilt I made, please come shoot me.

3. I am almost physically sick that we might get 6-9" of new snow tomorrow. Perhaps tomorrow would be a great sick day. Damn. I don't do that

4. I didn't slap a woman at a party last night that was bragging to me that while in Paris with her husband, the French were coming up to her and asking for directions, because, she said, "We just don't look like Americans." You're right. You look like a pretentious asshole with a nice scarf and good frames. Stop it already.

5. I didn't slap the host of the party when I found out that he "keeps" his boyfriend, who lives in Greece, so he will be able to come to the U.S. at a moment's notice or meet him at his condo in Mexico. The host is not some crusty old troll with money. No. He is a very handsome, smart, friendly man in his late 30's with money. Huh? I guess when you pair no self esteem with no ambition and throw in old family money, you get couples like this. Without the money, they would be living in a trailer court and throwing chairs around on Dr. Phil.

6. I didn't slap our friend, whose birthday party it was, for hanging out with these people. I did slap myself for going to the party when I got home.

7. I bought olive loaf at the deli counter the other day. There was something nostalgic about it at the time. It really is just bologna with some nasty green, pimento stuffed olives extruded into a loaf shape.

8. I am in a serious mid-life crisis as it relates to my career. I cannot imagine doing what I'm doing for the next 20 some years. Curt is there with me too. Why can't I get paid for petting dogs or overeating?

9. I am humorless and crabby in a bad way. I'll get over it. Until then, I'm unbearable. Poor Curt.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Sure Sign

I have been waiting for this for months. Tulips. Hooray!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

America's Next Top Model Week 5

Ho ho ho. I got a big kick out of this week.

Again this week, Dominique, who looks like a 40 year old soccer mom, proved herself to be a complete dumbass. She missed her phone time with her family and decided to blame the fat girl Whitney for her troubles, even though the phone schedule is posted. Dominique would not let this one go and ended up calling Whitney a racist. (Dominique is black I think. Whitney is a robust southern white girl.) Thus far there has been nothing that would lead the audience to believe that Whitney is, in fact, racist. So, naturally, Whitney is ready to fly across the room and take Dominique out. Oh, but wait. Dominique opens her fool mouth again saying things that indicate that she doesn't understand the difference between simply being disrespectful and being racist. Even the other black girls in the house were as drop jawed as I was. Dumbass. If you're going to accuse someone of being racist, you best know what it means. Dominique also was referring to herself as the next Tyra Banks, which lead me to believe that she was going home. Sadly it was not to be.

So, poor Marvita. This girl has been through it all- rape, living on the streets, etc.- and naturally has some low self esteem. Up until this point, she's been kicking ass. But last week, the judges told her she needs to deliver something more than the serious face she's been putting on for her photos and to soften it up a bit. Poor dear. She doesn't believe she's pretty, so she's completely lost in trying to make sense of softening up her look. Very sad. Marvita has really grown on me, but her photo looked like a sad clown and was so bad I can't bring myself to post it here. Sadly, Marvita was sent home this week, but had a great "can do" attitude to take back home with her.

So, out of respect for Marvita, I didn't post her picture. But, I WILL post Fatmia's picture. Hee hee hee. She did nothing to help poor Marvita this week and persisted in telling her she was ghetto. Skank. I hate this girl. There is no denying that Fatima has potential to be really pretty. However, she ALWAYS manages to ugly up an otherwise good picture. This week, she uglied it up with poor hygiene choices, for which the judges NAILED her. Check this out:

Girl, you are trying to be a model and you don't shave your pits? What the hell are you thinking? She told the judges she assumed they would airbrush it out. Now, don't get all mad at me and say that she's from another country. She's lived here since she was 10. Hairy armpits might be all the rage in ads for co-ops or the Michigan Women's Music Festival, but not in high fashion. Get some Nair, Fatima.

A Funny Blog

MNMom just turned me on to a very funny blog called Stuff White People Like. This is funny stuff if you can laugh at yourself. But here's a twist. I can't tell if the blog is written by "white people" poking fun at themselves, or neo-cons making fun of liberals. Hmmmmmm. Not so funny then.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Day Off

Hooray! A day off! Working for Lutherans, I get Good Friday off. The best religious holiday is one that I don't have to celebrate. Yippee! Did you know yesterday was a religious holiday too? Yes, it was Maundy Thursday. Who knew? Here is a conversation I had at the end of the day yesterday:

Co-worker: I've got to run. My parents drove to town and are waiting for me at my house.

Me: Are they up for the whole weekend?

Co-worker: Yup.

Me: Do you have any thing fun planned? Shopping? Dining?

Co-worker: Well, we're going to church for the Easter weekend, starting tonight.

Me: Why on earth would you go to church tonight?

Co-worker: Maundy Thursday.

Me: Oh. Yeah. Sorry, I'm a poor excuse for a Lutheran. You know, even worse than a Christmas-Easter Lutheran. I'm a wedding-funeral Lutheran. (ha ha ha)

Co-worker: Oh.

Me: So what exciting stuff happens on Maundy Thursday?

Co-worker: Well, they've started washing of feet at my church.

Me: Gross. Do parishioners wash each other's feet?

Co-worker: No, the pastor does it.

Me: What a crappy job.

Co-worker: (silence- as I have forgotten that his father is a retired Lutheran minister)

Me: I wonder if anyone ever comes in with, you know, nasty feet, or intentionally gets them good and funky just so the pastor has a really humbling experience, since that is kind of the purpose of it.

Co-worker: Yeah. Now that I think about it, that is a crappy job. (Laughs) Would you mind shaving off that callous while you're down there, pastor?

Thank god he had a sense of humor. Sometimes, I just don't know when to shut up though. I'm such a heel.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Take Note

Fast forward to 24 seconds and take note of how to really enter a room. (The rest is boring.) I've started entering meeting rooms like this at work, and it really seems to get the Lutherans' attention.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pork Is Love, at least in some parts

Had a great little trip to Decorah this past weekend. Got to spend two evenings visiting with gassy RJ- who didn't share her gift with us, but her 6 year old son did and found himself to be quite amusing- and SJ. I fear I came off a little conservative during a debate on defining the family farm. I turn into a cranky devil's advocate when I'm tired. I really do believe in not subsidizing coporate farms. I do.

Speaking of cranky, my visit with my dad went better than expected. We didn't end up disagreeing with each other very much, unlike recent visits. It helped that he had his hearing aids on. This is good. My father, who has a lot of difficulty showing affection of any kind, shows his love for us in other ways. This trip it was with pork. He announced to me upon my arrival that he had purchased a hog for each of us six kids and that I needed to call the locker to let them know how I wanted it cut. So, sometime in April, I will get about 200 lbs of pork. Thanks, dad. Barbecue, anyone?

The Perfect Snow

3 inches of snow overnight. Gone by 5 p.m.. The perfect snow.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Middle Name Tagged

MNMom has tagged me to describe myself using the first letters of my middle name. Here goes:

W: Wan. Minnesota winters leave me pale, very nearly translucent.

A: Asshole averse. That's two words starting with A. Ha. Even though I'm occasionally cynical, I remain, at my core, a bit of an idealist. I'm still surprised when people treat others like shit.

Y: Yard dweller. If I don't answer the door in the spring, summer or fall, I'm usually out puttering around in the back yard. Come around the side of the house, through the gate and yell for me.

N: Nervous-ish. I'm a bit jumpy, perhaps overly concerned about how I might be perceived especially at work, and have profound stage fright.

E: Eater. I love food- good food, really good food and just plain crap. While I am thrilled with great restaurants, throw me some pizza, a diet coke and some sour patch kids and I'm just as happy.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

America's Next Top Model Week 4

This is getting ridiculous. This week the ladies were give some runway coaching in a firehouse, while being judged by the firemen. Do firemen know what a good runway walk is? Hmmm. I think they know what a nice ass is, which might be why they were all smiles when Dominique did a hoochie MILF stroll up and down in front of them. Had the fire pole been within 10 feet, she would have been riding it like a pony. Ewww.

So, here's a dumbass thing for a designer to do: have a runway challenge in which the girls have 3 minutes to dress and accessorize themselves in his clothes then take the catwalk before an audience. What could be wrong with that, you ask? I'll tell you. Fatima, buttoned her sweater all cattywumpass, Lauren couldn't get her dress zipped up at all in the back (and can't walk in heels yet) and many outfits lacked the assigned accessories. The girl who had the easiest outfit to put on won the challenge. Duh.

It is clear to me that after 10 seasons of this competition, there are monkeys or rednecks generating ideas for the challenges. This week's photo challenge was to look like a high fashion model while posing with meat. Yes, meat. Big slabs of dead beef in a meat packing plant. Oh, but they also had to wear meat outfits- yup meat bra and panties in some cases. Oh baby, let me strip you down and eat your panties tar tare. Yes! Afterwards, I'm sure all the ladies sat on a grill and rolled around in barbecue sauce. Hot.

Anyway, Fatima, above, (who probably mentioned her circumcision several times but the editors chose to remove it) got into her meat- thank god it was beef not pork (got to show at least some respect for her being Muslim and all)- and took on the appearance of a little dog with an under bite. She was thinking she looked fierce (like a Shitzu, perhaps). Even when Mr. Jay was yelling at her to give a different face, she continued to display her lower teeth. Weird.
Lauren who is a prettied up punker chick with some low self esteem in terms of how pretty she really is, got into the meat theme. She grabbed a meat hook and cranked out some great pictures. See below:

Marvita, who I harshly criticized in my first update, is really growing on me. She hasn't threatened to throw anyone down after the first week. This is good. But I think her self esteem is growing as the competition progresses and you can just see her sort of opening up and taking it all in. I like a story like that. And, she is taking some hot pictures and can walk a runway with the best of them.

When it came time for judging, Amis, the spaz, and Fatima were in the bottom two. Hooray, Fatima! Sadly though, Amis went home. It was her time though. Maybe we can get rid of Fatima next week.

Friday, March 14, 2008

In Decorah

After a difficult last two days at work (menacing man with the longest face I've ever seen was really nasty and threatening to me- his undeniable paranoia caught me off guard, but I'm handling this bully ass bitch), I took the very familiar drive to glorious Decorah. I'm planning to see my dad tomorrow all day, which can be a little challenging occasionally, but I'm optimistic. But tonight, I need some Mabe's Pizza. I put a call in to my gassy friend RJ and need to connect with SJ to help me put away a large regular with extra cheese well done. I've ordered the same thing for years and start salivating the moment I reach to city limits. Mmmmm. Bubbly cheese and meat on crust. Mmmmmm.
Tonight I'm staying at the very charming B&B on Broadway. They're running a March Madness special where the rooms are only $70/night. Typically, I don't stay at B&Bs because I'm not the most social person with strangers and don't enjoy the quaintness of sitting down to breakfast with people who I don't know who ask me questions they often don't want me to answer like "So, do you have a wife and kids?" "Nope. I have a partner of 9 years. He and I have two dogs and live in the suburbs." Even this innocuous answer often leaves them speechless and we spend the rest of the meal with them avoiding eye contact with me. So, where other people pay an extra $100 per night for the company at breakfast, I'm a rent the bed kind of guy and short of staying at the horrifying Bluffs Inn, these are the cheapest digs in town tonight.
I hate to do it, but I need to go to Walmart to pick up the hygiene equipment I forgot as I was rushing out of the house this afternoon trying to avoid rush hour. Tooth brush, tooth paste, Tylenol PM (forgot the trazodone), BOdorant. I know I'll forget most of this when I'm there. What did I remember? Skin care products and hair products. Could I be a bigger queen? Yes, Virginia, there are stereotypes and with good reason.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


This pathetic hate speech was delivered by Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern ( regarding the homosexual agenda. There are days when my skin is thicker than others. Today, not so thick. When I hear this stuff, I vacillate quickly and wildly between being completely infuriated and utterly in despair. After listening, I fired off an e-mail to the hag, pointing out that Muslim extremists and Christian extremists are basically the same people. Both spread intolerance and violence, and both are distant from the teachings of their prophets. Hag. Ugly hag.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sunshine!! Above 30!!

A little tribute to the lovely sunshine and balmy temperature that reached the above 30 mark! Woo hoo!

Who In Their RIght Mind Pays for Sex?

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer does. Here he is doing an imitation of the toothless hag he paid $4300 for in February and his wife who is thinking "Which cutlery will most swifly emasculate this pathetic bastard?"
I've always wondered why people pay for sex when they could get it for free? Perhaps that is the cheap child of Lutheran depression-era parents talking. I just don't get it. And, with a hooker, aren't the odds just a bit worse that you might get crabs, syphillis, genital warts or HIV? I would think so.
This particular arrest stings a bit because Mr. Spitzer is a Democrat. I love it when Republicans get caught with their pants down. I will dance in the streets the day Ann Coulter is caught chewing on Dick Cheney's wrinkly old unit. There's a visual that might stick with you for a day or so. Sorry about that.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Adventures in Personal Hygiene

Yesterday, I went to get my hair cut and get my somewhat unmanageable eyebrows waxed. I had barely looked at myself in the mirror that morning except to make my hair pretty enough to go to Pilates. Anyway, after a great shampoo and scalp massage, it was time for the wax. The esthetician did a really good job, after which she handed me the mirror. Horror of horrors there was a medium sized zit in full bloom just northwest of the my left eyebrow. Eeek and nasty. I apologized to her for having to get so close to it. She smiled. I know she probably deals with some revolting stuff every day, but I hate that it had to be me.

America's Next Top Model Week 3

Clearly winter has sucked the life out of me when I have no enthusiasm for talking about ANTM. What is wrong with me?

This past week's show was interesting. It has become abundantly clear that Fatima, the circumcised (she only mentioned it twice this week, which is pretty good for her), is a clueless beeyotch. Last week she "accidentally" whacked Marvita in the face and refused to apologize. This week she told recovering anorexic Allison that her ass looked big. Nice, that's like telling me I have fine lines and wrinkles or scars. Allison, who is junior in her beeyotch-ness to Fatima, said some pretty shitty things in return, not just about Fatima, but about black women in general. She's a class act this one. Allison, also went on and on about her experience as a model and how this gives her such a great advantage over the other girls in the competition. Uh oh. Can you smell it coming?

Anyway, it was makeover week. Fatima got rid of her hideous hair in exchange for a lovely dark weave. She moaned and cried all the way through the weave. Tough up, beeyotch. Marvita, got a horse mane looking weave. My emerging favorite Claire, who shares her name with our dog, got a short bleach blond boy cut that looked marvelous.

The photo shoot was on a yacht that looked suspicously like a garbage barge with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background. None of the shots caught anyone jumping from the bridge or terrorists planting bombs, so the bulk of them were a little boring. Allison, the forementioned stupid beeyotch with all the experience, took a really dull picture, resembling Crack Ho Barbie- plastic looking body with a dazed, vacant stare. Fatima, for all her bitchiness took a nice picture, too. Now, Marvita I owe an apology to. She still looks manly, but took a mean ass picture as you shall see below.

So, when it came to judging. Most of the girls did okay. Allison approached the judges, who told her she looked so soft and pretty. Allsion replied "I know." Nigel said that "thank you" might also be in order, but Allison just stood there and sort of posed. The final two were, you guessed it, Allision and Dominique, who I swear is 40. Allison, clueless conceieted junior beeyotch was sent packing. Hee hee hee.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Another Early Saturday

I think my 8:00 a.m. Pilates class is screwing up my sleep, similar to the way that worrying about making an early flight can mess up my sleep. Missing my class would obviously have fewer financial consequences, but I'm a bit of a worrier. Last week, I had a small victory in Pilates. There is a move on the reformer machine where we have our knees on the moving carriage and our hands on the foot bar in sort of a table top position. Then we have to balance a little blue ball on the end of our tailbones and keep it there while we extend into a sort of plank position. When we first learned this move several weeks ago, the ball kept rolling down my butt crack and thudding on to the carriage. Last week, I was able to balance the ball with no butt crack involvement. I really should train my butt cheeks to have lightning reflexes so they could grab the falling ball if needed. That's probably more dexterity than I need though at this point. Unrelated, but funny to me, was the time in college when during a racquetball match I smashed a ball into my friend Adele's butt cheeks and it stuck there. She wasn't nearly as amused as I was.

So, this week was a mixed little emotional bag for me. My beloved poodle Louis who is 11 went in for his dental cleaning and ended up needing three teeth removed, one of which was his lower left canine that has been troubled for years. Removing a canine tooth in a dog is no small feat. So, in addition to the cleaning, he required a 45 minute oral surgery to get that darn tooth out. I hate to see my little guy in pain, so it was a rough 36 hours after surgery. He has pain meds, but as the dosage was wearing off he was very uncomfortable.
A good thing that happened this week was that my boss gave me some completely unnecessary but appreciated recognition for my work on the leadership meeting last week- a visa gift card loaded with a nice amount of cash. My boss points out to me sometimes that I have the shortest lived victories of anyone he knows- meaning I completely forget my successes when I move on to the next thing. It makes writing my performance appraisal a little challenging, but I suppose it also keeps me humble.

This week, I was almost taken out by four different drivers- three were talking on their cell phones and didn't look when they changed lanes; one had been doing her makeup and talking on her cell phone- impressive. I always keep an eye out for idiot drivers as there seems to be an abundance of them in Minnesota. So, I was able to identify the potential for it in three of the cases. I have been working on not flipping the bird to idiot drivers and no fingers were displayed this week. I'm so proud to be evolving.

Well, I'm off to Pilates, followed by a haircut, some shopping and some cleaning. Fun.

Friday, March 7, 2008


I am so very tired of the cold weather and snow. It was -6 degrees this morning and reached a tropical high of 9 degrees. *sigh* This end of winter blah business is getting worse as I get older. Being a snowbird in retirement is looking pretty attractive. Fire up the RV! I'm coming!

Lil' smokies in barbecue sauce seems to be the perfect man food. I love them lil' smokies. Just thought you should know.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Question I've pondered for some time: Why is it that on weekdays I can sleep until 7 a.m., but on weekends I'm fully awake at 6 a.m. or before? Today, I was lucky because I got to see this great sunrise out the office window.

I'm so glad this week at work is over. We had interviewed a new executive assistant for my boss last Friday who was amazing. We made her an offer, but on Monday it fell apart. It seems she wasn't completely truthful in the interview about when and why she left some jobs. So, I had HR reopen the requisition and I think we're back to the beginning. Meanwhile we're stuck with someone who can't find her ass with her own two hands and is a little psycho, if you ask me.

Tuesday, was the big leadership off-site for which I had been preparing for about three weeks. Somehow, I've become the guy that can take loads of raw information, simplify it, create speaker scripts, make a day out of it with various large and small group activities, and time box every element down to the half minute. I don't think this is exactly what I was hired to do, but its a nice break from my more common consulting and analytical activities. Anyway, the day was a really great success and I felt pretty good about it.

The rest of the week I spent working on analytics for a small IT project and preparing communications for the roll out of a project governance related tool set. I always write things so that an above average monkey can complete them. However, it is a source of constant amazement to me that people can take the smallest, least important portion of the instructions (like where to store their completed tools) and be dumbfounded by them. By Friday, I was ready to decree that, in fact, there are stupid questions.

This morning, I'm off to Pilates at 8:00 with no plans for the rest of the day until this evening when we're going the Home and Garden show where we will get to smell the displays of hyacinth, dogwood and daffodils. Spring IS around the corner now that its March. Hooray!