Friday, May 25, 2007

Pants Emergency down at the Traction Line Trail

Today, I quadlined, all according to a late-breaking plan. Quadlining is not rollerskating. The 100mm jumbo wheels and rear shock absorber constitute a different sport. The Pants Emergency came as a surprise.

The Pants Emergency

Despite my lack of gym bag, I could not be detered. I saddled up in a pair of chinos. And smooth sailing until my belt malfunctioned. Then the dire portion of this segment commenced.

Andrew-Star : Not as Customer-Service Oriented as Tracie-Star

I dialed Tracie-Star, but the line was busy. Tracie-Star had successfully come to the rescue during a recent ill-fated attempt to get to Chatham vis a vis back roads. So I tried Andrew-Star on the cell. Originally, I had three requests:
  1. Headphones
  2. Water
  3. Pants (that stay up)
My priorities straightened themselves out by the time Andrew-Star picked up and I forgot about requests 1 & 2. Andrew-Star refused to come over and skate with me, claiming that he was "packing for Mexico" but this was after he already told me he was "playing games" on his pink fuzzy computer. I quickly realized a veritable chocolate fondue fountain of shenanigans was afoot.

Because I still harbored hope of capturing a pair of pants in my golden lasso of persuasion, I remained silent about the double-dealing. Then my cell phone went dead and all hope was lost so I tied my belt in a knot and hit the trail.


The Mayor of the Traction Line Trail

David is the Mayor of the Traction Line Trail. He skates in the briefest black shorts and not much else. Last year, a chocolate lab bit him in the ass. David and I skated 7.5 miles and he introduced me to his constituency of walkers, runners and bikers.

The Mayor was kind enough to overlook my pants problem. He knows a thing or two about revealing one's beduncadunk.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

This Mysterious Universe

My car registered the outside temperature at -46° F yesterday morning. Thankfully, it warmed up to -34° by the afternoon.

I had not anticipated the freakish thermometer plunge. On the other hand, you have different fingers.

No, on the other hand, the cold snap curiously taxed my new non-aluminum deodorant. Using deductive logic, I concluded I must be suffering from freezerburn. I'm quick like this. Generally, I leave the house with both feet inside my shoes.


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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Hazards of Projectile Splooge in the Garden

As if bird flu and ticks weren't enough, along comes even riskier business.

Danger, Will Robinson

Our backyard is perilous. Everyone recognizes the need for caution. The next door neighbor helpfully informed Tom that if we needed the name of a good landscaping service, he would be happy to step up with a recommendation. He concerns himself with our safety. Warm fuzzies all around.

The Scene of the Incident


The mulch heap is hairy. Three years ago, we bought a lot of mulch. We still have it piled up in the driveway. I was trying to get rid of it. Actually mulch something.

That's when it happened. Whilst shoveling, I ran across a large white larvae with a red head.

Special Squashing Technique


I employ a sophisticated strategy for eradicating pestilents. I pick up them up and throw them onto a hard surface. Then I smash them with a shovel.

It has always worked well. Except this time, not so lucky.

Like a Powdered Chocolate Munchkin

Mucilaginous larvae juice squirted out all over my shirt and neck area. Oddly, you'd expect the splooge of a white larvae to be white. It is not. It is grody brown.

On the internet, I learned that this species of red-headed larvae metamorphesizes into this monkey:

Monday, May 21, 2007

Tom "the Cat Whisperer" Speaks on Behalf of Alex "the Wild-Ass Cat."


"I'll tell you what I'm good at. I'm good at giving Alex a voice. This is what he is saying now:

'Yeah who needs to sit on your lap. You with the computer. Type type type. Even though the computer is nice and toasty. Here I am stepping on your track pad on my way to sit on Tom's leg. Cuddle up with his knee cap.'"

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Socratic Irony : Not Just for Ancient Greek Philosophers

Socratic Irony happens on the most garden-variety days:

"I have photographic memory."
"Huh?"
  • "Eidetic memory."
"Photographic memory. That's what I have."
  • "'Photographic memory' is slang. The official name for it is 'eidetic memory.'"
"Ohhhh. Yeah. Right. I forgot that."

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Advice from Mom : Alex v Cat Cage

Mom throws in her two cents on how to safely transport Alex, our agoraphobic maniacal freak of a cat, to the veterinarian.
You better concoct a wily plan. You're not as speedy as that cat, so you'll need to outsmart him.


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Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Vetrinarian Horror Show : This is not for the squeamish. Not for the faint of heart.

One year ago, Alex had an appointment with the vet at 9am. Tom and I were naive. We did not anticipate Trouble.
  • 8:00 am : We chase Alex around the sofa. Tom grabs Alex and tries to jam him into the cat cage. Alex is a blood-thirsty razor-clawed scrapper in the face of adversity. He spread-eagles his legs, giving himself the circumference of a manhole cover.
  • 8:15 am : I put on my blacksmith gloves along with a full-face shatter-resistant helmet. We wrestle the cat into the cat cage. Alex has puffed himself up so his fur stands on end. He is a dragon in a catsuit.
  • 8:30am : We haul Alex, incarcerated in his cat cage, out to the car. Alex howls a rock-anthem length compilation of ten decibel caterwauls that unroll into wails and finish on notes of pathetic desperation.
  • 8:35am : Alex flings himself against the sides of his mobile jail cell. He is a wildman. The whole cage skids around on the backseat under the force of his body blows.
  • 8:40am : Tom breaks out in a rash. He is allergic to cat splooge and Alex snotted all over him.
  • 8:45am : Alex manages to wrench open the top of the cat cage. He hurls himself around our moving vehicle. He sheds wide swaths of fur. The fur floats in the air and sticks to the seats.
  • 8:50am : We park. We cannot open up the car doors lest Alex escape. People walk by and stare at us through our steamed up car windows. Tom and I crawl over the seats and each other in frenzy to recapture our crazed slobbery balding animal.
  • 9:05 am : We enter the veterinarian building. We are both sweaty, bloody and covered with clumps of fur. Tom has a blotchy rash and a torn shirt. I am wearing one blacksmith glove. Alex is limp in his cat cage. The receptionist glares at us. She knows we are Not. Good. Pet. Owners.
  • 9:06 am :"How did it go with cute little Alex getting here this morning?" the receptionist asks pertly, her animal-rights-activist eyebrows lost in her hairline.
    "How did it go with the Bay of Pigs, Fuckface. Thanks for asking." I reply. Quietly though. I'm pretty sure she didn't hear.
Tomorrow is Alex's annual exam. Tom is currently in Montreal, so I'm flying solo on this one. I'm preparing right now for the morning. Carb-loading, meditation and working on devising a little scheme. Plus making sure my last will and testament is in order.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Alice in Wonderland Has Carrabeaners attached to her Pants

Alice has it going on when it comes to being lowered from the rafters in a hula hoop dangling from a rope. No fear of heights, that one.

I'm talking about careening down a rabbit hole before jetting off on a daring, madcap, bouncy fandango based on Lewis Carroll's books, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. And it all looks very hard on the knees.

On Saturday, in Philadelphia, in celebration of my BIRTHDAY, Tom and I walked a sneaker-worthy distance, in the rain, to see the play Lookingglass Alice produced by the Lookingglass Theatre. The Lookingglass Theatre is not a Theater, but an actor troupe begun by David Schwimmer. David used his bar mitzvah money for the startup twenty years ago when he was in college. Then he left to pursue less dangerous avenues of income generation.

I read on the NPR web site that the actor troupe found an unemployed circus performer to ante up some tips on high altitude drama. I would assume this was after David Schwimmer left the act. I can't imagine Ross with the strength, flexibility and balance necessary for safe aerial work.

The performance doesn't get too far before We, the quick-witted audience, soon figure out that the entire theater is a chessboard and Alice, a pawn who encounters "curiouser and curiouser" characters on her journey to become a queen:
  • A discombobulated caterpillar consisting of three guys in striped shirts and skull caps leap-frogging around
  • Sprightly, fuzzy hedgehogs with drunken giggles and turrets syndrome
  • a White Knight and his faithful bicycle mount and a shiny helmet. He reminds me of Marvin the Martian. Except a black and white negative version. Covered in strange graffiti and able to do a full leg split.
  • The imposing Red Queen Drag Queen stands ten feet tall and glides around on a covert dolly hidden under her massive dress.
The highlight of the evening for me is the frenzied Mad Hatter's tea party scene. Revelers create a sort of fortlike runway out of chairs. They sprint over them, hop around on them, and hurl them into a big choreographed pile up.

I'm sure some deep-thinker will come up with ramblings about how the brio of this vigorous performance serves the story and its themes. For instance, Humpty Dumpty's shocking fall could be interpreted as Alice's coming to terms with loss and grief. Yeah, ok, whatever. It was a crazy stunt.

Larry DiStasi, one of the actors, says:

"I think there's a big message about holding on to your childhood and not being so eager to go in a straight line forward to maturity, because there's so much that is wonderful and magical about childhood."

He is clearly a deep thinker. And also very entertaining.

Lookingglass Alice is currently playing in Philadelphia's Arden Theatre thru June 10, 2007. I highly recommend it for a lively evening out.

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

My Mother's Shit List

My mother has had a Shit List for as long as I can remember. She worries over it. Polishes it to au courant. Keeps it lock-tight and ready in the holster.

As of 5/10/07 : 5pm :
My Mother's Shit List
  1. Paris Hilton. (What an idiot. She should go to jail. Could've killed someone. Driving drunk for Pete's sake.)
  2. Karl Rove. (That Machiavellian puppeteer. He's got his hand up George Bush's ass.)
  3. Tom Cruise. (Leprechaun. Know-it-all Leprechaun.)
  4. The President of Giant Foodstores. (Not carrying Kashi cereal is the last straw.)
  5. Noel Ballentine 'Scheister Doctor.' (And most doctors, for that matter. All the same. White-Coat-God Complex. Doctors.)

Happy Mother's Day, Ma!!!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lip-Syncho De Mayo

Competition smacked fierce at the recent Lip Syncho De Mayo throwdown held at Heezie o' Tracie/Andrew. From corruption of minors to headfur, lacy pants and faggamuffinry, the silent singers busted moves of many colors.

Based on the fanatical audience response to their rendition of "Polka Your Eyes Out" by Weird Al Jancovic, Andrew and Marc have decided to take the act on the asphalt.

Inevitably, they will be interviewed by the local media across the nation. Because I am full-on charitable, I have agreed to be their press agent.

In this capacity, I have prepared a list of crib note responses to the questions the two Boy Wonders may be asked by disk jockeys and other broadcasters. This way, the dialogue will stay on track:
  1. Thanks so much for having us on your show. What was your favorite part of our performance and why?
  2. That's an interesting question, but I'm sure your audience is more curious about whether you think we are more talented than The Henry Rollins Band.
  3. Yes of course. We'll stop by when we're in town again. Hey, so we love tuna tar-tar, velvet garments, hickory planks, and Dem Bones Black Bones yo-yo gear. What are your favorite things?
  4. I know you have to break for commercial, but before we go... which of my haircuts do you prefer-- the hairy one or the ivory dome look?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A Spectator's Observations : NJ Devilman Triathalon


New Jersey Devilman Half and Sprint Triathlon, Cedarville, NJ.
My brother did the Half Iron: 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run. I spectated. And took a few notes because the day was ripe with possibility. Before I detected the nefarious goings-on.

THE POSSIBILITIES
  • Opportunities for Bookies promoting Games of Chance. I'm going to make a fortune next year. On occasions when the Sprint route diverged from the Half Iron route, high stakes wagering could add some auxiliary excitement to the event.

    Given the absence of signs or obvious directional assistance of any kind, athletes less skilled in orienteering had equal odds of picking the correct route. Additional game tables could be set up near most of the unmarked and unmanned turns on the course.

  • A Chance to hone my Math Skills. 500 racers. 6 porta-potties. Probably plenty but I was never good with fractions. I was surpised to find the toilets filled to the brim. In the spirit of adventure, they had been set up on a slight hill so when the wind blew you suddenly became very anxious.

  • Freedom for my Uplifted Spirit. Coming out of a confusing intersection, runners would whip down the wrong road and wind up in a parking lot. In the parking lot was a truckload of Police Department Explorers in yellow T-Shirts with VOLUNTEER written in bold black type across the backs.

    It was so uplifting to see young men with such empathy and concern for others. They clatched and chatted and blithely looked on while two spectators stepped up and directed runner traffic at the intersection.

  • The Inspiration of a Well-Coiffed Mentor. Probably the role model for the Police Department Explorers was from the local fire department. Runners spilling out of a side street pretty much got clipped by oncoming motor vehicles whizzing down a major local artery.

    The Role Model was supposed to be directing traffic but got into his car when it started raining. Probably didn't want to muss his hairdo. Completely understandable.
NEFARIOUS GOINGS-ON
  • My Conspiracy Theory. At first, I merely found the lack of signage inconvenient. We couldn't figure out how to navigate to the race start or where to park. Then I took note of the aforementioned token attempts to guide or assure the safety of triathletes on the course. I got to thinking.

    The chances seem good that contenders who had not memorized the race route would wander around lost for many hours. Or even better, get hit by a car. And because their fans couldn't figure out how to drive in, no one would notice. Conspirators would have ample time to pilfer all the racers abandoned gear in the transition area. Those cunning bastards!
To be fair, the water stops were well-organized and the traffic cops did a great job at the intersections they manned.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

The Pluckemin Inn : Scoop Central


Tom and I got awesome with our peeps at the Pluckemin Inn this evening.

Christine has fabulous molars. I know this on account of her Super-Sized Perma-Grin of Love. She introduced us to Dan, "The Flame." They move in together June 1.

Melissa confessed that she dislikes orange beverages. She enjoys a pellucid refreshment.

Kerry heard about an afterparty and suggested we grab a couple of forties and head over. I found this surprising since she gets up at five in the morning.

Yeah, ok I made this up. Except the 5am part. I'm saving the Kerry News for later.

Leah was impressed by my Pleatherberry. She mentioned her boyfriend Greg has a Burberry so he can check his email on the fly. All the chavs are jealous.

Greg blew in from Manhattan, taking a detour off his whirlwind Burger Tour. He logs his Burger Ratings in an official Burger Spreadsheet and plans to write a humorous but yet serious article for a food magazine revealing his Burger Analyses. Everyone can hardly wait.

Renee has a new pocketbook perfect for summer. Two side pockets, a roomy interior, a little bling and a fresh, flowerful look about it.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Suddenly, The Audi Runs Out of Gas

Today I ran out of gas.

Luckily, I have honed some pretty substantial skills in the art of rolling. My practice began after I realized my car could get at least forty miles per gallon vis-á-vis minor alterations to my driving practices. For example, coasting up to stoplights and careening down hills without braking to achieve maximum distance on the green power of momentum. Save the Earth!

Since the commencement of my conservation campaign, I have noticed an increase in proximate incidents of road rage. Probably coincidental but worth mention for the purposes of statistical transparency and accurate reporting. Which I am well known for.

Admittedly, I grew cocky. The little low-gas warning light showed up while I was driving through a cow pasture in Titusville, NJ this morning. I have always considered the low-gas warning light somewhat of an alarmist. So I drove the whole way back up here and then took a tour of East Hanover.

I only made it half way home. At first, I thought the sputtering engine sound was an iPod malfunction. But suddenly my power steering turned off. I battled the wheel, channeling my superior strength to turn off the road into some guy's driveway.

The number of mosquitoes this early in the season surprised me. This was not the perfect day to be wearing pantyhose and standing by the side of the road. It took Tom half an hour to show up with a gas can.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tom Talks : An Exposé : First Quarter 2007

Three is a lucky number, so here's the third in my triptych on Tom in 2007.


Tom does not like the nickname "Flatty."

Tom would be upset if mistaken for a woman, but not if mistaken for a Sherpa.

Tom is not confident he could pull off a credible British accent.

Tom is a proponent of naming his soon-to-be born nephew "Richter Richter" in the Welsh tradition of the double name. Although he feels the first name should be pronounced "Rich-ter" while the last name should remain "Rick-ter."

Tom may possess a token amount of Spidey Sense.

Tom gets annoyed if he wants to look at race results on your computer and you refuse, even if you're trying to do something else at the time.