Monday, October 31, 2005

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...

Tonight is the second annual "Sit on the Neighbors' Porch and Drink Beer Whilst Dispensing Halloween Candy to the Kiddies" party. It was great fun last year, and it looks like the weather will be nice again this year. Come on by and join us at the yellow house next to the orange house.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Fun with security guards

I almost got arrested for this pic.
Originally uploaded by Mr. Gomez.

Mr. Pants had a showdown at the Target corral today over taking pix on their property. He correctly answered "no" when they told him he would have to delete the photos he had taken. They threatend to call the cops and he called their bluff and said "Go ahead. I'll see you in court over Spongebob." I'm sure the last thing they wanted was a bunch of cop cars showing up in their parking lot over a guy who was photographing Spongebob Squarepants.

He said they were stunned when he said "no way" to their demand to delete the photos. I think security guards just assume that everyone will respect their authority--even when they are dead wrong and have no legal basis for that "authority." The truth is, they cannot confiscate your film or make you delete photos. They can tell you to stop (and Mr. Pants agreed to stop when they told him to) and they can make you leave their property (they never asked him to leave) and that's it. Here's a handy little guide to one's rights as a photographer, in case anyone's interested.

Sorry you asked ...

Originally uploaded by bunchofpants.

I had to miss THE Halloween party last night because I had what appears to have been a recurrence of my bubonic plague. I was feeling really cruddy on Friday night, and then just as cruddy Saturday morning. I stayed on the couch all day.

I also had a very strange episode in which I became convinced that I was either having a bona-fide panic attack or a heart attack. It went thusly: One of my symptoms is body aches, usually in my legs but Saturday morning it was my arms--a bit more in the left than the right. I didn't think much about it until later, when I started feeling an unbearable restlessness and anxiety, which was really disturbing in its intensity, especially in light of the fact that I was too fatigued to move around much, but I couldn't sit still. The scariest thing was that I literally felt crazy--it was such an abnormal feeling that I though I must be going off the rails. Then I started focusing on my left arm pain and I though "Oh my god, I'm having a heart attack!" I knew a guy who dropped dead of a heart attack at age 19, so nothing is out of the question. I went online and googled something like "symptoms of heart attack" and came up with a list. No, I wasn't having chest pains or shortness of breath ... but the symptom that stuck out the most was "Feeling of Impending Doom." Well, having been convinced that I was going crazy, sure I felt some impending doom ...

But after a few minutes of not dropping dead but still feeling fatigued, I thought "Yeah, so maybe I'm having a heart attack. Fuck it, I'm really tired and I want to lie down." So I curled up on the couch and fell asleep. After I woke up and thought clearly fo a moment, I realized what probably had happened. I had an extra cup of coffee that morning and then, feeling very sinusy, had taken two pseudoephedrine tablets (I usually only take one). I think that in combination, the caffeine and pseudoephedrine made me a little nuts.

Or maybe I had a heart attack. It happens.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Violence is funniest ...

... when perpetrated by little old ladies. Mr Pants e-mailed me this hilarious link--It's apparently been around for about a year but I had never heard it: A Guy Witnesses an Accident.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

We return you to your regularly scheduled programming

Way to go White Sox. I need a nap.

My car battery doesn't want to hold a charge. I haven't replaced it since 1999, so I suppose I'm due.

I need a web cam so I can do this. Fool is the new cool.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

So many innings, so little sleep

Sorry White Sox, I couldn't do it. Fourteen innings ... I had to give up on you at 1:15 am and go to bed. When I got up this morning, Mr Pants murmured from under the covers that the Sox had won. I asked who hit in the winning run, and he said "some guy off the bench I'd never heard of." That would be Geoff Blum ... if you're interested here's a brief rundown of the game.

But more importantly: I was stunned to see that some of the more hirsute Houston Astros--most notably Lance Berkman, who was the most lumberjack-like of the bunch--followed my advice and trimmed their beards before this game. I was feeling very influential in the baseball world until I found out that the beard-trimming had been an attempt by the Astros to change their luck (baseball players are notoriously superstitious). But at least I wasn't imagining their facial-hair fixation--a quick search revealed that indeed, the Astros may be more beard-obsessed that the average team.

Extra-inning games can be grueling, but let me tell you the absolute worst thing about watching baseball on TV: The mind-meltingly horrible truck ads, which come one after another, over and over again during sports programming. I find them terribly culturally embarrassing, both because they highlight this country's love affair with conspicuous petroleum profligacy and because they take so much glee in the image of American men as hyper-aggressive meatheads who love nothing more than to get into pissing contests over who has the biggest equipment. Never mind that the image is, in some cases, very accurate--it's just the last thing I want representing the country where fate happens to have placed me--the one I have to tell people I am from when I go abroad (of course I could always lie and say I'm Canadian). One truck commercial (I think it may be for the Dodge Ram) proudly describes the truck in question as "intimidating" and shows it menacing a rival truck into peeing submissivly like a puppy. I'd me much happier if the ads just came out and said "Hey, you know you're a big dumb fuck with an inferiority complex, and you need to drive a big fucking truck to feel secure in your masculinity. Dodge Ram. Get it? RAM! RAM! RAM!"

(I'd like to proudly point out that when Mr. Pants isn't biking to work he drives a little Hyundai Elantra. He's a professional tree-hugger, by the way)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Yet another entry about the ChiSox ...

So last night's game was a the most perfect example of why people watch baseball (read this if you have no idea what I'm talking about).

But enough boy talk, I want to take a moment to dwell upon the type of thing girls are likely to notice when watching sports: What the hell is up with all that Astros facial hair? What, are they all lumberjacks in the off-season? Do the Astros just attract hirsute men or do they start becoming barbate in order to fit in after they get there? I think most of them would look better with much more abbreviated facial hair, and you can tell them I said so if they ask.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sweet soul sounds are stirring my soul ...

I love the way the words "White sox win game 1 ofthe World Series" roll off my tongue.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Today I ran away and joined the circus ...

sarah shoots me
Originally uploaded by bunchofpants.

When my life is eventful, i.e. more blogworthy, I don't have time to blog it. It's when I've got nothing to say that I have time to go on and on about noisy babies in movie theaters and whatnot ...

The radio show went well the other night--I even remembered my password to the online playlister thingie, which means you can see what I played here. I will be back on the air for Mondo Mundo tomorrow from 13 pm eastern US (88.7 FM locals, everyone else).

But before the show on Wednesday I went to the state fair. I took lots of photos, rode the ferris wheel, watched the "Dogs of the Wild West" show and the racing pigs, and then ran into Georg and Sarah at the mini doughnut stand. We hung out for a while and there was much rejoicing.

I think I'm more interesting when I don't actually have anything to write about ...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Beware of the radio ...

I'm on the air tonight, 8-10 pm eastern US. 88.7 FM for the locals, for the rest of the universe.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

OK, I take it back ...

art school
Originally uploaded by bunchofpants.

... what I said in my previous entry. It's nice and warm out today. I broke a sweat when I was out at lunchtime, which is a good thing. I could have gone sockless if I were wearing the proper shoes.

Everybody else loves it

So everyone's all happy that autumn is here, with its pretty colored leaves and crisp days. Not me. I'm bummed that now I have to wear socks every day now. Plus my hands are already starting to feel dry and stingy, my lips are chapped and before long my nose will be running like a faucet all day every day. I fully expect to be miserable until sometime in March. Autumn sucks.

Monday, October 17, 2005

I like to watch

peeking over the table in disguise
Originally uploaded by bunchofpants.

How 'bout them White Sox? I like baseball even though I don't watch that much in the regular season. But this has been the most exciting post-season evah, what with the chisox playing really good ball and finally making it to the big one. Now I don't know when I'm going to sleep. We stayed up until midnight last night (my bedtime is usually 10 pm because I'm a very early riser), and this morning I couldn't get up on time. I may need to schedule some strategic naps for the games that are on work nights. Maybe the Sox will win it in four ...

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Mini-movie review: Kingdom of Heaven

Kingdom of Boredom

Not even the lovely Orlando Bloom could entice me into finishing it.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Me so tired.

This week I've been hard at work to bring you that big annual event that starts with an "F." Sometimes we precede it with another word that starts with an "F" ...

Anyway, I'm feeling a bit exhausted. And misanthropic. But at least this year no evangelicals have offered me any toiletries from God.

If you're local and you go to that big event that starts with an "F," please remember to wash your hands.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

This one goes up to eleven ...

Just for fun, I fed my previous blog entry into Babel Fish, translated it into Spanish, and then translated the translation back into English. I think it greatly improved the piece:
Drink for above, the cabritos that I have had many opportunities empirical to verify that its capacity to recover of combats of the excessive consumiciĆ³n of the alcohol diminishes whereas one obtains older. The last such experiment was yesterday, the occasion that was wedding of my neighbors of the following-door. Well, the reception, really. The wedding itself did not offer any consumiciĆ³n of the alcohol, but there was a lady of honor with two broken arms, in addition to several children pre-verbals that added their commentary to the procedures. The reception of also open-sweeps presented/displayed an occasion to return to even discover that one does not have to discuss to policy and the religion with the foreigners, if the several beers one have consumed the opinion is ACCEPTABLE blurt outside its atheistic opinions of the left-handed person. The beers neglect generally to notice one that the individual with that one is to seem of conversation much a preservative republican Baptist of Roofing tiles. In fact, the only really safe thing to do in such occasions is to demonstrate the appropriate way to sacudarir its healthy end to stylings healthy of sir Mezclar-Uno-Mix-A-Lot. The several or plus the beers are helpful in such effort.

Drink up, kids

I have had many opportunities to empirically verify that one's ability to recover from bouts of excessive alcohol consumption decreases as one gets older. The latest such experiment was yesterday, the occasion being my next-door neighbors' wedding. Well, the reception, actually. The wedding itself featured no alcohol consumption, but there was a bridesmaid with two broken arms, in addition to several pre-verbal toddlers who added their commentary to the proceedings.

The open-bar reception also presented an occasion to rediscover that one shouldn't discuss politics and religion with strangers, even if the several beers one has consumed say it's OK to blurt out one's lefty atheistic opinions. The beers usually neglect to warn one that the guy with which one is conversing looks a lot like a conservative Republican Baptist from Texas.

Indeed, the only really safe thing to do on such occasions is to demonstrate the proper way to shake one's healthy butt to the sound stylings of Sir Mix-A-Lot. The several or more beers are of great assistance in such an endeavor.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

It went ok, I guess

So last night's radio show went from being the "Mid-Life Crisis Mix" to being the "Real-Time Crisis Mix" when I had my first experience with WXDU's spiffy on-line playlisting system. As instructed, I logged in, changed my password and set up my preferences. But the thing didn't like my preferences, and kept giving me a "fatal error" when I tried to start a playlist. So I did what anyone would do when trying to keep a radio show going whilst dealing with unccoperative computer software: I swore like a sailor. Fortunately the microphone was off at the time. I think. Anyway, helpful fellow DJ Santa Salsera helped me figure out that the software didn't like the subtitle I gave my show. It didn't like my syntax. Nobody likes my syntax. After I deleted the offending subtitle, the software was extremely cooperative, and you can see the results of my efforts here.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

You are a bore, and a very dull one at that

Oh, what fun these internets are. Looking for something else entirely, I stumbled across a Random Insult Generator, apparently designed for message board denizens not bright enough to craft their own insults. But much more interesting is the "Swearsaurus," with which you can learn to say really horrible things to people in many, many languages. Most of them are not very imaginative, involving the body parts and procreative activities of the recipient, his mother or his father. But there are a few fun ones: "Che bi bili mozhgani dinamit, tebi she nosu ne bi razneslo" is Slovenian for "If brains were dynamite, even your nose wouldn't explode" or "Yer bum's oot a windae," (Your bottom is protruding from an open casement), which is apparently a lowland Scots way of saying someone is making a fool of himself.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ch-ch-ch cha cha ...

I'll be on the radio, or on your streaming internets, tomorrow night (that would be Wednesday) at the usual time (8-10 pm US Eastern). Playlist will be "Lisa's Mid-Life Crisis Mix." Unfortunately I have no idea what that really entails because the symptoms of a mid-life crisis appear to be similar to those of Lyme Disease (i.e. plenty of lethargy). Anyway, you know what this means: stay away from 88.7 FM if you're local, refrain from visiting if you reside elsewhere en el mundo.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Spam jamming

I turned on the "word verification" feature of the commenting tool in an attempt to dissuade the bots from attacking. I had a flurry of spam comments awaiting me this morning, and it was a pain in the ass to delete them all. Sorry. If you are a human being I still welcome your comments unless they are merely thinly disguised attempts to steer traffic to your "Dog Clothes Blog." (I'm not making that one up.)

Saturday, October 01, 2005

"May Offend"

I really do try to curb my misanthropic tendencies, I swear ...

Our flyball club did a demonstration today at the NC State Vet School's "Dog Olympics." I always get annoyed by someone's behavior at these things, and today the grand prize for "Most Irritating Asshole" goes to a cameraman from WRAL. He decided, without asking us, that the best place for him to get a good shot was exactly where we and our dogs would be running: right smack in the middle of the "runback" area about 20 feet from the last jump. He was, if I may swear like a sailor and I may because it's my blog, right in our fucking way, and dangerously so, at least as far as the safety of our dogs was concerned (which is really all we care about.) We asked him to move and he refused. So we told him to move, several times (My exact words: "YOU HAVE TO MOVE!") and he snarled "I'm just trying to do my job." Dude, as far as we are concerned, your job involves staying the fuck out of our way so that we can safely do a flyball demonstration. Fortunately, a more diplomatic teammate explained to him that his presence there was a danger to our dogs, and he finally moved. It's a good thing, too, because I have been dying to try out my new catch phrase, which in this case would have been "Get out of our way NOW or you're going to get a face full of fuck you!"

Also annoying at these events are the people who think that after the demo they can just rush right in with their dogs and start trying to make them go over the jumps. Do they ask permission? No, of course not. So then we have to tell them they can't. It's not that we don't want them to learn flyball, but they can take a class and learn the correct way, at the correct pace, and with positive reward-based methods just like the rest of us. You don't turn your overweight couch potato dog into an an athlete by dragging it by the leash until it has no choice but to jump a jump. (In addition, our club has to carry liability insurance but we don't want to actually need it.) One guy went up to our outrageously expensive flyball box and started banging on it--I have no idea why. When I told him and his fat-ass family as nicely as I could that we do not allow people on our equipment, he said "I just wanted to see if my dog will do it." So I started to explain that we offer classes, and he said "That's OK, we're not interested, not if you're going to be that way about it." So I replied "Good, because we're not interested in you either." It was a nicer alternative than "We don't allow assholes in our club anyway. And by the way, your dog is too fat," which is what I was thinking.

I don't think I should volunteer for any more flyball demos ...