Search This Blog

10.29.2006

Close Only Counts in Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

I almost hit a handicapped person today. It was so close. Too close. Does that make me a bad person? I was pulling out of Publix, and he was on his motorized wheelchair, slouched over a bit and cruising down the sidewalk about to scoot through the crosswalk. Except that I DIDN'T see him. Until he was almost an after-thought. He was in the blindspot by your front windshield where it ends and the passenger window begins. That metal bar that ISN"T see-thru. I think this means I suck. Either as a person or as a driver or both. As if it evens us out, he didn't see me either...

UPDATE:
I almost hit ANOTHER handicapped person. No lie. As of 430pm I very nearly crushed TWO handicapped people like lovebugs in the grill of my car. I've seen one person who wheeled around town in his wheelchair in all 5 months I've been here, and today I very nearly creamed TWO. What do you suppose the sentence is for that? Vehicular manslaughter, TWICE in one day. Oh and by the way, Your Honor, they're handicapped. This most recent near incident happened as I'm pulling off the main highway into a little strip mall plaza area. Stupidity built this, as it placed a sidewalk directly intersecting the driveway into this business plaza. Not a crosswalk. A sidewalk. Very awkward. And might I add dangerous. As I'm pulling in, there is a family strolling along the sidewalk assuming they have the right of way, which no doubt they do, but that doesn't make them suddenly invincible. Well what do you know, the front of the group is none other than a little 10 year old girl pushing her disabled relative in her wheelchair. I'm slamming on breaks, half the butt of my car still sticking out in the middle of the highway, and they're galivanting across the BUSY driveway entrance to this plaza like they're guest starring in The Sound of Music. Well their eyes bug out as I roll mine. This really didn't just happen AGAIN! But mark the progress: at least we both saw each other this time...

10.23.2006

On the Road Again...

Vol. 1.3

3 1/2 Inches

So I just got back from Jackson. It made me think of the Dave Barnes song "Jackson." I went to Mississippi 3 times this summer. Choir Tour, Nathan's Wedding, and then Lake Forest Ranch. So this was number 4 since I moved. Anyway, the trip registered 1700 miles total. So, I had lots of alone time, which led me to some odd thoughts. Even odder is that I always have alone time, seeing that I'm retired, but for some reason my thoughts aren't as thought-provoking. ? I don't know what I'm trying to say. Except that tedious dotted white lines can lead your mind to wander.

First.

Rain is frustrating. I love playing in it, hate walking in it, loathe driving in it. Driving in the rain bothers me for two reasons. Well at least two: I have to slow down and I have to pay attention. You know, be a safe driver. I have to watch the lines, turn on my squeaky wipers, stress about my shaky brakes, wipe the fog off my windows. It's just a big ordeal.

A little background for those unfamiliar with my pimped out ride. It blows. Barely. I mean, air. I don't have AC so I go with the windows down--well the back two windows down. The passenger window is temperamental; it goes down in spurts, in intervals. It needs to rest awhile before completing its mission. I don't know if it's laying out a game plan before it gets going or what. My driver's side window goes down 3 1/2 inches. That's not very far for those of you who aren't too good with measurements. Try paying a toll with just 3 1/2 inches. It's tricky. And the toll people think you're just being a jerk and making them reach out of their little cubby hole. Boy they can give some looks for that. But it's not like you're in a position to explain yourself, you have to get going. Try ordering and getting your food in a drive thru with 3 1/2 inches. I know a small fry isn't very big, but it's a lot bigger when you can't get it through your window. And those kiddie Frosties are gigantic! 3 1/2 inches is like the size of a pencil, except you have to BREAK IT IN HALF first. Not a lot of air makes it through 3 1/2 inches. This summer I maintained my weight WITHOUT exercise. I simply drove. In my portable sauna. Sometimes people will pull up next to me to say something, and they'll naturally want me to roll my window down to hear them. It's interesting when I don't. Because I can't. But they don't know that. They just think I'm not even HALF interested in what they're saying. Not even a half a roll down. Just a crack. Who has a conversation without even a HALF a roll down?

A neat little factoid about one of my car's successes: the heater works. At least in the summer. I'm sure when winter rolls around the AC will take over and the heater will hibernate.

Anyway. So my car's defrost doesn't work effectively either. Something to do with the AC I'm sure. So when it rains...NOT FUN. My windshield starts fogging inside. I have to wipe it down. Soon all the windows start fogging. Even my MIRROR starts fogging. I have to roll the windows down to get fresh air inside. So now I'm soaking wet.

My brakes lock up sometimes; other times they kind of give out. I'll put my brakes on and there are three distinct possibilities: a. they'll work. b. they'll lock up. c. they'll give out. Not a particularly safe gamble. I have a 1 in 3 chance of safely arriving wherever I'm trying to. So, when it rains, it's a two-ton game of Russian Roulette. But I pray a lot.

Back to the story. I'm driving into Jackson, and it's pouring. One of the worst rains I've been in. I can think of a handful worse. But I think I had AC and defrost then. So this is on a totally different level. I wish I could explain this effectively. My windows are fogging, but it's not a wipeable fog. It's smeary. I wipe my windshield and it doesn't make the fog go away, it smears it on my windshield. It's condensation, so the water doesn't just evaporate. It just got here. It just moves around on the inside of my windshield. I could invent the double wipers--wipers for the outside; wipers for the inside. Except that NO ONE ELSE IN THE WORLD would need them. So, the humidity and wetness just wasn't working. I can literally BARELY see. Going 35 on the interstate. Hitting puddles that I had no clue were coming. Windows down, soaking wet, in Mississippi's first cold front of the Fall Season. It was like Jackson said, "Welcome back, Brent. You suck. You freegin', cheating son of..." I don't know, I just felt like Jackson was beating me up, and the only reason I could come up with for a city I lived in to try to kill me, was because I left it.

Well I finally get to Downtown. I have to go vote. So no umbrella, no jacket, just t-shirt and cargo shorts, and FLIP FLOPS. In COLD rain. I hike around Downtown Jackson until I find the courthouse so I can vote early. I go in, get my ballot, listen to the instructions, and drip all over the nice lady and the ballot. I trot back to my car, and on the way it's as if The City said, "What? You're still standing? Well take this." So the faucet in the sky turned on even stronger and the deluge ensued. So much rain that by the time I got to my car, literally 2 or more inches of rain were on the ground. That's ALMOST as much as my driver's side window goes down...

Second.

It was a great time seeing my mom, and CARRIE CUTRER! (back from Africa, that's why the caps) and my other friends. Last thought on my trip, at least right now: my storage unit.

It was so weird. I was home at my mom's house, and it was home in its way. I lived there, but I don't really have stuff there anymore. She's there, so that coupled with it being somewhere I'd lived makes it home. Merritt Island is home insomuch that I live here right now. But it wasn't until I walked up to my storage unit and took the lock off that I realized it. I remember locking it up back in May and thinking to myself, "I wonder when the next time I'll be here will be? (you don't always use good grammar in your wonderings...) I wonder what will be going on with me then." Anyway, it was as if I never left. It felt like a movie when you have a flashback. It was weird. Weirder still was how sad and happy I felt opening up the door to all my stuff. Stuff I'd sworn off as needless crap, left me sentimental. Found me at home. I just felt so at ease right there. It was home. Very weird. So, I rolled out one of my chairs, plopped down and propped up for a bit. Like it was my front porch or something. It felt good. Just to sit and think. To reminisce and to dream. To remember and to long for stability again. I love being in a new place with gracious friends. But I really want to be home. Stupid trip made me homesick for a day or two.

A utility man kept walking around the Storage Supercenter and passed by me a couple of times. Finally he said, "It ain't gonna go nowhere sittin' like that."

I don't think he got it.

10.20.2006

ADHD Remedy of the Week

Vol. 1.3
Mom Spanked the Gay Out of Me

I'm a little off on my updates, being out of town and stuff. Retirement is a time to travel after all. But let's get right to it.

Four ideas for you to cure your boredom, depression, distractibility, or fidgetiousness:

First. Watch Heroes.
Second. Watch Jericho.
Third. Watch Prison Break.
Fourth. Surf Irish Salsa.

Heroes is unreal. Seriously. Get caught up. It's super. I love that there are bad guys with superpowers too. The dude that put the lady detective's gun to her head with just his mind? Rock on.

Jericho, I'm still catching up, but wow. Denver. Philly. Chicago. Atlanta. Where else?

Prison Break is back baby. Literally and figuratively. It starts back Monday at 8pm Eastern. But maybe more importantly, it's back to it's greatness. Warning: Don't read the rest of this paragraph if you plan on watching from the beginning...Prison Break is back after a slump the last few episodes since Abruzzi died. Not cool. I was ready to write it off. I think my patience will be rewarded. It's now the Fox River 6.

And now for a little Irish Salsa...

The first vid is from a friend of mine. We're in a rap/video battle (we write rap and look for crazy videos) that I think I'm winning, but no doubt this round went to him.

HA. HA. HA. Can I watch it again please?


Next vid is some guys shooting full beer cans at objects with a potato launcher. Not sure why I like it. It's just neat.



Next. Ever lost money to a vending machine? It's a true test of character isn't it? Well here's another test of character. This video lays out a way for you to make back some of the money you lost. I don't recommend you doing it, but if you can't help yourself, try to keep to only as many times as you've been messed over...



Finally, this last one has sparked a lot of discussion on youtube.com over whether it's real or a spoof. You decide.


Someone commented on Youtube.com that they saw the ep live. They added this, "Notice the man handling the snake is actually controlling it with the "clamp". Notice the lights on the ambulance never go on. If you don't believe it...after the commercial break, Kimmel interviewed members of the show Grey's Anatomy from the hospital bed SET of Grey's Anatomy. Then...after another commercial break we see the snake talking...it was a close-up and some guy was doing the voice and controlling the opening and closing of it's mouth."

I didn't see it live, and maybe this person is right. Or maybe since these episodes are taped anyway, Kimmel went back and made fun of himself and the incident after he was released from the hospital, by going to the Grey's Anatomy set and making a fake snake spoof. Or maybe we'll never know.

Alright I'm out. Hope the week finds you a little less stressed and your distractibility finds itself at home.

10.16.2006

Myspace Rehab

So I've been battling internet connections and network administrators. It's becoming increasingly more tricky to "borrow" the wireless internet from who I once thought was an "unsuspecting" neighbor. Now they're on to me, and the connection I once had, is no more. Now I'm "borrowing" from a different source, a VERY NICE PERSON (if you're reading this) but I'm lucky to get a wavering signal, between 1 bar and NO bars of coverage. That's not great. I went to the library at one point because I was tired of waiting on the temperamental connection. The network administrator who stopped lending me internet must be a Democrat. I do read lots of Conservative-leaning websites. He/she must be a racist too. I AM A MINORITY (in case the new network administrator is still reading this), and I hate being discriminated against. That always blows.

The library was very enlightening though...

First, it was like I had reverted 10 years into my past and was back in that place where I liked to learn new things. Ok maybe 15 or more years ago. Nonetheless, it was very fun. I was about to pick up an encyclopedia about Russian Forefathers or something when they called my name to get on the computer. It was really neat though.

Second, people are ferocious. Strip people down to their nature, their cravings, and woah, you better step back. Or "best step back!" depending on which library. People hate to wait. HATE it. Not too surprising really. What with all our commercials and Easy Mac. But this isn't the Grocery Line Impatience, it's a "Where's My Morphine?! Get Out of My Way Lest I Eat You" Impatience. Not my favorite brand, I must say. People came in on lunch breaks trying to sneak on computers, trying to cut in line for computers, even re-entering lines to ensure they can get BACK on the computers. It was threatening and intriguing all in the same moment. Like staring at the charging bear. You're enamored, yet paralyzed with fear. One man was on the computer next to mine when I sat down. His time expired, and he proceeded to take 5 more minutes to sign off of things. I started to get nervous for his safety; the hovering BBW's glare did not convey amusement. He then walked right over to the counter and re-enlisted for another hour. He's a very sick man.

People would walk in expecting a computer. Frustrated at a 10 minute wait, people started becoming instinctive. Some looked lost, like their puppy ran away. But most, and by most I mean the 10 or 15 people who came in during my 50 minute session, would pace. Hover. Fidget. Prowl. They'd huddle at the table closest the computers and within eyeshot and earshot of the "Media Assistant" calling out names like the numbers in a bakery line. They'd make contrived, manipulative, small talk about their "lunch break" being almost over, or about "how long" people had been on the computers. Like a lion hunting a gazelle, they appeared fully capable and equally eager to make their move.

My question is who is so important, or so addicted, that they can't wait to check their email or myspace until AFTER work? The library closes at 9PM! Oh, the MADHOUSE it must be during rush hour. I bet they'll put in a new streetlight with a turn arrow just for the hyenas. And how many are repeat visitors? Twice-a-days. On lunch break, AND after work. Some of the people were known by name. As in they come so much the "Media Assistant" knows who they are. That's not great. They need help. Or rehab. Myspace Rehab. 120 million clients; it would be a lucrative business, except that no one thinks they have a problem. Guys, the first step to fixing the problem, is admitting there is one.

It's interesting science really. Allow me to be serious for one paragraph. In alcoholism, there is the alcohol and the addictive conditioned behavior associated with it. And there is often an enabler, a person who never leaves. Like the woman who is beaten but won't leave her husband. It's interesting. The internet is fast becoming the object, the surfing and checking and rechecking of emails and myspace accounts is the addictive behavior commonly associated with the internet, and the enabler is a cyber-social, pseudo-reality. People far away, distant and impersonal. And they won't leave. They're always there. Enabling. It's textbook. And for another day, it's not surprising so many are addicted. It's easily accessible, aside from authoritarian network administrators, and who wouldn't want friends who won't "cut them out?"

Anyway, Pavlov's Drooling Dogs rendered my first trip to a library in 3 or 4 years as surprising, to say the least. And my library innocence was taken from me rather abruptly. But like Rosa Parks, I stuck to my guns and didn't give up my seat. I finished my business amidst the howls and pants of the onlookers.

You know, I wouldn't be surprised if "Security Officer, Merritt Island Library," is listed on Careerbuilder.com in the near future. Hey, I could come out of retirement for it. No, I wouldn't (or maybe would) be caught dead trying to herd those sick beasts.

10.04.2006

Wet 'n Wild: Speedos and Foot Herpes

Quite the day yesterday. I have family in town. My dad and one bro, and my sis and her kids and a zillion other relatives. We went to Wet 'n Wild and had a good time. And well, I just want to run through my day and the parts that are significantly seared into my memory.

a. For all who were wondering what the limit is, I've found it. I have exceeded the maximum allowable limit for "Speedo Exposure." I have met my lifetime max, and anymore sightings could possibly cause my head to explode. Or at least blindness accompanied by temporary paralysis. When did form fitting swim suits ever become acceptable for men? Michelangelo's "David" leaves more to the imagination than some of the male swimsuits I've seen.

b. While on the subject, I was in the wave pool, I happened to look toward the shallow end. The bright white light was none other than a naked butt. Yes, a naked butt. It was a child, but there's no disclaimer that says shirt and shoes and bottoms required EXCEPT for children who are 4-6 years old. That's how old this kid was I imagine. No clue really, it was all quite bright and naked, but quite unright and awkward for sure. Must've been a cultural barrier. Stupid French.

c. When getting out of that same wave pool, I walked over to the chair to start drying off to head home. I'm doing the usual: drying the hair to the arms to the chest to the back to the shorts to the legs to the feet...so I look up and an old man, easily in his 70s is staring at me with a crooked grin. I still feel violated. Shivers. Yeck. I'm just praying he's almost blind and thought I was a hot chick. No, that still feels gross.

d. I saw some neat body art. From a family of belly piercings to the age limit and weight limit for back tats. But the grossest body part, granted it wasn't "body art," was in the Lazy River. I'm on our little inner tube and we're stuck in traffic. I hate traffic. I can't even get away from it in a Lazy River. So I'm stuck in this logjam of beached walruses on innertubes, and I'm semi-content. Just relaxing until I realize I'm spinning with little control. I'm being spun by the mass of tubes. There's no room to paddle, and my feet are dangling over the side in mid air. So are everyone else's. And therein lies the trauma. I find I'm spinning uncontrollably closer to a neighbor's feet. My face. His feet. I'm not a feet guy. Not many are, and virtually no one likes them in their face. But this is the torment I befell. So I'm getting closer and closer and realize that the feet aren't just regular feet, but the feet of a dirty englishman. A college aged dirty englishman's feet. With peeling skin on the bottom. And foot fungus on the toes. Orange and brown funk. And to top it off, the top side of the foot had what one could only assume was a renegade form of Foot Herpes. Fever blisters. Cold sores. On the feet. In my face. I think I must've blacked out. No, I WISH I would've blacked out. Ignorance is bliss. I wouldn't have known if I contracted the foot herp or not. Anyway, I dodged and ducked, dipped, dived and dodged my way from The Herpe. Like dodging a ball. Or a wrench. Or an STD. How does one exactly get Foot Herpes? The STD, I can use my imagination. Oral Herpes as well. But FOOT HERPES? I DON'T WANT to use my imagination. The Herpe probably contracted his Foot Herpes as some unsuspecting dirty englishman in a dirty lazy river with another dirty englishman's fever blister-infested feet. Neat. Good thing I'm Mexican. And Irish. And...English. Great. Maybe I'll try to legally change my ethnicity this week. That might head off the Foot Herpe.

Final thought. We ate at Emeril's restaurant Tchoup Chop. Party of 8. $600. What? I'm retired. I should eat well while I can. I store it away like a chipmunk. Or a camel. Or a boa. I ate it all-save the man-sized broccoli on my plate. I'm storing up for winter when I'll be trying the next phase of retirement: hibernation.

I'll leave you with this Asian wine from the wine menu: (warning: PG-13)

Phuket.

See you Friday with the ADHD Remedy of the Week.