Thursday, November 30, 2006

Click-shit-Click-shit-Click... shit

So I couldn't post last night because my internecks was broke. I spent the entire fucking day, and night, and this morning trying to wrap my puny brainlet around the cause of the no-workiness. I spent a good million hours on the phone with some mildly Canadian Comcast lady trying to figure shit out. She was aboot no help, eh? I knew it was bad when she asked me, "So, what do YOU think's the problem?" I replied, "Hmmm... well, I'm no expert but I think the biggest problem is that YOU'RE A FUCKING CHUNDERHEAD!" Actually, I think I said something like, "Wish I knew... wish I knew. Well, thanks for the help, Laverne. You have a nice holidays, okay? Okay... great." Ya fucking long-foreheaded hoser.

Luckily, I figured it all out late this morning, and by "I," I mean the tech guy at work figured it out. We (he) surmised that one of my routers was busted, kaput, deed. I dragged the spawn over to the Best Buy after school to pick up a fency-schmency new Linksys Wireless hub. With antennae and everything! I promised to get them "a treat" there, mistake, so I ended up buying a "dance music" CD, per a request by Miss O. We went home and had a dance party in the family room. I was so pissed about the broken internecks, but I figured, fuck it -- I'm gonna have a goddamn dance party in the family room with some shitty "uhn-tiss-uhn-tiss" music and I'm going to like it, by gum. I don't know which song I liked/despised most -- the dance version of Bryan Adams' "Heaven" or the dance version of Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer." Of course, tomorrow I'm going to have to erase all memories of said tunes from the spawns' memory -- I'm thinkin' a little Captain Beefheart will do the trick.

Now THIS I can dance to:

And no, I'm not going to start putting youtube shit on every post. I just thought it was hilarious that I could just go grab a fucking Beefheart video in 5 seconds and post it. This internecks, I tells ya. Crazy shit.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Only one thing has enabled me to purge the "music" of Laurie Berknerd from my cranium. Mr. Z and Miss O literally spent HOURS fucking around with this keyboard in my parent's basement while we were visiting over the weekend. They would play the demo song over and over and pretended to "jam" along with it. I practically shit myself with laughter every time I watch this...

Fucking brilliant.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ew... Who Berknered?!

Dear Laurie Berkner,

This is not a song:

"I was sitting in my garden
When I saw a bumblebeeeeeee
He said his name was Oscar

And he went
buzz buzz buzz
ba-buzz buzz ba-buzz buzz
buzz buzz buzz ba-buuuuzzz
ohh Ohh Bumblebeeeee, can't you seeeee

It's just you and me
Ohhh One-two, ahh 1-2-3 GO!

buzz buzz buzz
ba-buzz buzz ba-buzz buzz
buzz buzz buzz ba-buuuuzzz


Now, I'm sure you think it's a song, and you're probably making shitloads of money on the CD on which it resides, and CDs usually have songs ON them, but "Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz)" is not a song. You can maybe call it a "tune," or a "musing," or maybe even a "refrain," as in "PLEASE REFRAIN FROM EVER PLAYING THIS GODDAMN FEEBLEMINDED NON-SONG AGAIN!"

One thing it is, along with the other non-songs on "We are... The Laurie Berkner Band," is a GIANT MUSICAL SPIKE THAT WAS DRIVEN INTO THE LEFT HEMISPHERE OF MY BRAIN, MORE SPECIFICALLY BROCA'S AREA, FOR A GOOD PORTION OF THE 4 1/2 HOUR DRIVE FROM CHICAGO TO MICHIGAN! Holy shit, woman, you make Raffi sound like Pink Fucking Floyd.

And find a fucking second rhythm, will you?! Booma-chicka-booma-chicka-booma-chicka is not the only goddamn rhythm on the planet! Put down the acoustic guitar... PLEASE! Get an accordion or a dulcimer or a pair of fucking spoons. Mix it up a little for fuck's sake. Yes, "D" and "G" are very pleasing, full chords to play. But there are other letters. How about an F# minor?!

"But I'll bet your kids liked listening to it," you might say. Sure, they enjoyed it -- they were stuck in a fucking car for five hours. They would've enjoyed listening to Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music." Dogs like eating shit -- that doesn't mean you should feed it to them.

Now, I'm not saying you don't have a right to make music. I think it's great that you're out there entertaining kids and I hope you're raking in the cash. (I don't blame you, really. I actually blame the friend of yours who one day said, "Oh, Laurie, you're SO talented, what with all those clever tunes you write! Hey, you know what? You should make a children's album!") All I'm saying is, smoke a big ol' bong and listen to some Robin Trower, or something... preferably "Bridge of Sighs." Listen to "Day of the Eagle" about 47 times.

THEN write a song. And don't put any fucking insects or dinosaurs or farm animals in it. And NO fucking onomatopoeia!

[And I know my kids write little songs about animals and shit, too, but you know what?! They're five and eight. It's still cute when they do it.]


Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Nastiest Tea-Baggin' You'll Ever Have...

We're back and, while there are many things to discuss, I have to start with a comment on my new lover, Trader Joe's. Don't get me wrong, I've been partaking of her peanut buttery, pretzel-y goodness and sipping her ruby red inebriants, but I have, unfortunately, found m'lady's fatal flaw.

It is known as "Trader Joe's Jasmine Green Tea," and I must say, I am flummoxed. We got home from our trip to Chicago late this afternoon, and I rifled through the packed Joe's bag to find the flowery green box of leafy nectar, eagerly awaiting a cupful of this ancient unguent to salve my roadtrip woes. I boiled a pot of water and poured the steamy liquid over the fragrant satchel, waiting until the brew was properly steeped.

When it was time, I raised the mug to my quivering lips, and sipped the fragrant fluid, ready to be transported to 14th century China, or India, or wherever the fuck tea came from.

What I got was a mouthful of soap.

I swear to fuck it's a bag of soap, man. And it's not like Dial of Dove, it's like old lady soap -- like those purple heart soaps in the porcelain dishes next to the fancy paper hand towels that you were afraid to use at Granny McGillicuddy's house.

I took another sip, just to make sure and... soap. Now this is the company I read about that flies all over the world to find the best peanuts, the best breads, the best cheeses, and the best they can come up with tea-wise is purple granny soap? It tasted like I sucked up a mouthful of some 18th-century old maid's underwear drawer. It was like a mug full of boiled bloomers.

So I took the liberty of amending the text a bit on the side of the box:

So, yeah, still open a store in East Lansing, Trader Joe's, but move the goddamn Jasmine Green Tea over to the "Soaps 'n' Sundries" aisle.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Traitor Joes...

Now, I know I have it pretty shitty living in the middle of "The Mitten," when it comes to food/shopping/having a life. But I don't really realize just HOW shitty I have it until I come back to Chicago. No, not even Chicago -- 40 minutes north in the suburbs of Chicago. The old lady and I popped out to pick up a few food items for our stay at my folks' house -- mainly because, apparently, my parents no longer eat food of any kind. Correction, they only eat butter, olives, stale crackers and a variety of bland unwrapped cheeses. There was a day when I'd come home to find their kitchen bursting with chicken salads, loaves of bread, a variety of lunchmeats, briskets, and cakes, but now I'm welcomed with graham crackers in the pantry that are so stale they can be bent into a Mobius strip without breaking.

So, we went to this deli called "Max and Benny's" to get some bagels. We pull into the mall parking lot and what do we see right next to the deli? Trader fucking Joe's. Goddamn. The rich get richer, the fuckers. So we make a stop at Joe's and it's like a goddamn religious experience in there. You've got your racks and racks of fresh loaves of bread, practically spilling onto the floor. We got an asiago/pepper loaf for like $1.99. A DOLLAR NINETY-NINE! If that were a Zingerman's loaf that we were to purchase from the half-assed co-op back home, it would have been 9 bucks.

So we just started throwing shit into the cart. A couple bags of the Thai Lime peanuts here, a shitload of the peanut butter filled pretzels there, a couple bottles of six dollar Barbera, some boxes of exotic teas, licorice Altoids, honey-sesame-coated almonds -- I mean, what the shit are those? I didn't even know honey-sesame almonds were a thing. Fuck, we just loaded up on all kinds of weird didn't-know-they-were-things items. And all the shit's cheap, too. It's not like Whole Foods, where you have to take out a home equity line of credit to purchase three shrimps. And don't get me wrong, I'd take a fucking Whole Foods in Michigan in a second. I'd take a Half Foods, even. It's like a sick fucking joke.

Of course, they've opened up a Trader Joe's in Ann Arbor... right next to the H&M, most likely, and down the street from the area where all the hip, alternative dads live who are looking for a drummer to jam with for their kick-ass band, and near the giant wood shop where they teach people how to make furniture for free. Fucking Ann Arbor. They need a Trader Joe's like I need Radon supplement tablets. Shitheads.

Maybe if I mention the right combination of words often enough in this blog, the folks at Trader Joe's will hear my pleas as they sit on their giant piles of money googling themselves and consider opening up a branch in my nape of the neck. Let's see... TRADER JOE'S... EAST LANSING... FILLING A GIANT FOOD VOID... um... MAKING MONEY HAND OVER FIST... uh... WHO DOES ONE HAVE TO SCHTUP TO FIND A THAI LIME PEANUT IN THIS TOWN... 45,000 HUNGRY COLLEGE STUDENTS... I WISH I HAD SOMEONE TO HAND ALL THIS EXTRA MONEY TO...

Now, I'll just sit back with my bowl of "Savory Thin Mini Rice Crackers" and my mug of Pomegranate Green Tea and wait...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Here's What You Can Do with Your Spoonful of Sugar...

Hey, remember how, last night, I said, "if I can just sit there in bed before getting up in the morning, and say, 'Okay, I'm going to be patient today and I'm not going to yell, and I'm going to focus on the good shit and not the annoying shit, and I'm not going to let work get me all tense and shit, and I'm going to be in the moment and not worry about all the shit I've gotta do tomorrow, and man, I wish I had a bong right now 'cuz that would REALLY help a LOT," then, nine times out of ten, it will be a pretty fucking good day'"?

Yeah, I was full of shit, apparently. I tried just that, this morning. I was chip-chip-chipper at breakfast, and when I picked them up after school I was Mary-Fucking-Poppins, asking how their day was and being goofy and using funny voices and shit. The only thing I didn't do was make the goddamn car fly and, believe me, I tried. And then the rest of the afternoon was a fucking disaster. It was meltdown central at the Crabbydad Ranch, culminating when Mr. Z burst into tears after Miss O wouldn't let him look at the fucking Disney Princess sticker book some asshole mom let her daughter give to her for a birthday present. [Ow, that was a painfully worded sentence, but fuck it.]

Granted, it sounded like the boy had a shitty day at school. His best friend was out today with strep throat, he was "it" for for the entire game of tag during recess, and apparently no one sat with him at the lunch table today. That one made me feel really shitty. I guess there's this rule that once you take a bite of your lunch, you can't change your seat. There's my tax dollars at work -- Gestapo Lunchroom. So, Mr. Z was one of the first ones to sit down and didn't realize that everyone was sitting at a different table. But the boy will follow a fucking rule to the death and, having already taken a bite of his sammy, he was forced to sit solo for the entire lunch period. That just made my heart burst, picturing him sitting there, all alone, sipping on his little chocolate milk.

So, yeah, I can see why he lost his shit when he got home, but it sure as hell didn't make the afternoon go any easier. Sure, I cut him some serious slack, but he picked up said slack and then shat all over it. And Miss O was no fucking help, mind you. She's like a lioness sniffing out a lame gazelle. She knew he was on edge and sat there clutching onto that fucking sticker book, just waiting for him to crack. She waited, and waited until, wham, meltdown. Then she looks up at me like, "Gee, what did I do? Here Mr. Z, you want to look at it now?" She's a crafty one, that musky minx.

What's the best remedy for all this, you ask? Why, piling everyone into the car tomorrow night and driving to Chicago, that's what. Pawn 'em off on my 'rents for a couple of days. They'll get them all sugared up, let 'em stay up late for a few nights, then we'll load 'em on up again and drive back home. I can't WAIT for NEXT Monday afternoon. That should be a real fucking treat.

Who am I kidding? I'm going back to waking up in a shitty mood.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

And How Was Your Weekend?

What an ass-ripper of a weekend this has been. The kids decided to lose their shit on Saturday instead of Sunday for a change, so it kicked off very nicely. Mr. Z had four classic meltdown/lid-flippages over the course of the day. Don't know if I remember exactly what they were about. I do know that one of them had to do with this charming new habit of his where we basically tell him to do something and he says, "No." No pleading, no whining, just "No." It basically went like this:

[Mr. Z and Miss O basically screaming at each other after playing nicely for a couple of hours]

ME: You know, guys, you've spent a lot of the morning together -- I think maybe it's time for you to split up and do something on your own for a bit. Mr. Z, why don't you go read a book or something.

MR. Z: No.

ME: Okay, then why don't you work on one of your comics for awhile.

MR. Z: No.

ME: Excuse me? You know what, I think maybe you need to go hang out in your room for a bit until your mood changes to something more positive.

MR. Z: NO!

ME: All right, let's go, up to your room. You're not showing any respect for what I have to say, so get up there, dude.

Mr. Z: [SFX: him going apeshit and stomping upstairs]

ME: [calling after him] AND DON'T SLAM YOUR--

[SFX: SLAM!!!]

ME: ... DOOR.

MISS O: I told him he needed to share but he--

ME: You know what, Miss O? I don't want to hear it.

You get the idea. There was also a dual lid-flipper when we were eating pizza and watching a DVD we rented, "Lassie." It was the recent version, with that young lass I have a thing for from "Nanny McPhee" and a little boy who looked exactly like what I'd imagine Thom Yorke looked like at age five. So, yeah, we were watching and then Mr. Z knocked over a glass of water, which we really didn't give a shit about, but he lost his shit anyway, just for fun. He was convinced he was going to get in trouble, so he just started bawling and flippin'. I said, "Have you ever gotten in trouble for spilling something?" and he said, "No," and then I said the equivalent of "Well then, what the shit?!" and he kinda stopped. But then he and Miss O started bickering and arguing over who had more blanket and they were tugging at each other, and then finally the old lady and I let out the simultaneous, "All right, that's it. Movie's over, let's go up to bed."

Boom, tandem lid-flippage.

I think they were just both tired as shit because THEY NEVER SLEEP IN ON THE WEEKEND, and they were basically begging us to end the day. We happily obliged.

Today was much better. Miss O went and played at a friend's house and Mr. Z and I went to the library and the grocery store. I made a vow to myself this morning to not let anything piss me off and to try and enjoy the day and it really worked. Mr. Z and I had a blast and pretty much everything the spawn did today seemed cute/funny instead of grating/exasperating.

Attitude is so fucking crucial. I mean, a lot of times, it's just plain impossible to not get wrapped up in all their shit and lose your mind, but when you get that 'tude going just right, it's golden. I've gotta work on my crabbitude. It's something you have to be conscious of at all times. Like if I can just sit there in bed before getting up in the morning, and say, "Okay, I'm going to be patient today and I'm not going to yell, and I'm going to focus on the good shit and not the annoying shit, and I'm not going to let work get me all tense and shit, and I'm going to be 'in the moment' and not worry about all the shit I've gotta do tomorrow, and man, I wish I had a bong right now 'cuz that would REALLY help a LOT," then, nine times out of ten, it will be a pretty fucking good day.

Unfortunately, most days I just wake up and say, "Goddammit, I'm awake."

Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday Nite Flashback-ack-ack-ack...

Blogger was all broke and shit last night, so I couldn't post anything. I had a post ready, though. It was an excerpt from a "journal" I tried to keep back in October of 1990, when I was in my old band and living in Los Angeles. I was totally depressed living out there, hated the whole music scene bullshit, and was ready to murder the other three guys in the band, who I was living with in a one-room apartment. The bedroom had two sets of bunk-beds, for shit's sake.
Anyway, this entry was from 10/17/90, and it was apparently written at 1:38 a.m., after a "showcase gig" in LA.:

"The Coconut Teaszer gig was tonight. I'm probably more pissed and frustrated right now than I've ever been in my life. Fucking D [our lead singer]! We started the set and I made a fairly sizeable blunder by counting off the wrong song -- I caught myself, obviously, when no one joined in, but fucking D fumed onstage like a shitass over the mistake for the whole show. What an inconsiderate asshole. I'm sorry, but the days of putting up with his bullshit are over. He's fucking inconsiderate, has zero compassion, and is one of the most selfish fuckers I've ever known. And to top it off, after the show, he storms by me saying nothing and proceeds to inform everyone we know there of my blunder, just in case they missed it themselves. Overheard to J.W., 'I was so fucking pissed, he starts the wrong song, I couldn't believe it!' That's the way to build great PR for the band, ya dick -- and it really draws us together as a unit, doesn't it. Fuck, I've never felt like I've ever wanted to leave the band, but tonight I could easily pack up and go. I think he's completely lost sight of what we're here to do. I'm here first and foremost to have fun -- to enjoy my fucking life. He's become Mr. Network-Schmooze-money-buzz-business-put you in your place asswipe. What a dick."

Hm. Guess I was a little angry. Of course, I stayed with the band for another three years, almost quitting another 237 times. What a fucking shitty time I had out there. I remember one meal I used to make back then -- I'd boil a whole bag of generic tri-color rotini and then mix in about a cup of mayonnaise and then eat the whole thing in one sitting... actually, standing. Then I'd wash it all down with generic beer (the bottle caps had little rebus puzzles underneath them, which helped take your mind off the fact that you were eating pasta and mayo and drinking GENERIC BEER).

Interestingly, that was the last post in the journal. Either I resolved all my problems with the guys in the band after that night, or I passed out from mayo poisoning.

Yep... good times.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Crabapple Doesn't Fall Far from the Crabtree...

This morning, Miss O complained that her bowl of Cinnamon Life tasted like "roasted hotdogs."

This afternoon, she grabbed my shirt pocket and pulled it until it ripped.

Tonight, she was crying at bedtime because none of her teeth are loose yet.

Methinks she's going through "the change" again.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Counter Attack: The Denouement...

The kitchen -- she is feeneesh! Well, sorta. The moron twins ("We're not twins") still need to hook up the garbage disposal and finish this little shelf thing above the sink, but the rest of it is pretty much finito. Holy fucking shitballs, I never thought I'd live to see it. Witness the transformation...




I know it might not seem that dramatic to you, gentle blogee, but this is what we used to prepare our food on:

[I'll wait for you to stop yacking...]

And this is what we have now:

The counter alone was worth the whole ordeal. You know that Walt Whitman poem where he was practically talking about fucking that tree? That's kinda how I feel about our new counters. I'd like to see Walt Whitman fuck our counters. They're that incredible. And the stove is highly boinkable, as well. The smooth top, the sleek knobbage, the gaping, cavernous oven. The old lady and I prepared our first meal on "Jenny," our new Jenn-Air. It was simple yet delumptious -- Linguine with cauliflower in a red cream sauce:

Sure, I'll be floating some serious cauliflatus under the sheets tonight, but I'll revel in the warmth of its home-cookedness. It feels fantastic to ingest something that wasn't toasted, microwaved or spread between two slices of bread for a change. I can't wait to bake me some shit this weekend. A pie, perhaps? Cookies? A loaf or two? Maybe some bagelage? The baking world is my oyster. Hell, maybe I'll bake some oysters. Wait, does one bake oysters? I think they're usually steamed, actually. Doesn't matter -- the point is that I CAN bake oysters if I so choose. Look, forget the oysters! I don't know how I even got on the topic of shellfish. No one's gonna be cooking oysters this weekend, okay?!

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a new faucet to buff.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Off My Rocker...

So, the show went surprisingly well on Saturday night. It was a surprise party for a woman who, back in the day, was a big fan of our 70s cover band, early to mid to late 90s era. The party was at a fency-schmency country club down on Chicago's Sout Side, over-by-dere. Apparently, she was out at a baby shower and her dad, who was supposed to be baby-sitting her son, called and said the kid was in hysterics and refused to stop crying until he saw his mom. She raced over and, well, there was the old surprise.

The first set was typical -- people just kind of standing around, not really sure why four middle aged dudes, dressed in ill-fitting 70s garb and playing half-assed versions of bad 70s tunes, were invited to the party. But, after a well-timed break, allowing said spectators to "drink heavily," they came back rarin' to go by set two. Here's a shot from my perspective during our version of REO's "Time for Me To Fly":

I really do miss playing in a band. Shit, I've been playing with these dudes for over 15 years and there's something instinctual and comfortable and freeing about performing with them. I don't even have to think about what to play, or when to stop or when to just improvise and wank around a bit. I can't imagine starting over with a new band now, though. I'm too fucking old and I wouldn't have any patience trying to find the right musicians. I hate musicians.

Nope, I'm just gonna have to get the family band going. Mr. Z is doing the piano thing, so he's well on his way. I'm pretty sure Miss O is going to follow in the drumming footsteps -- she's a natural. As long as I don't teach her how to play, she'll be fine. The old lady's got a great voice, but she doesn't like singing in front of people. One year, I got her voice lessons for her birthday. She went to like one or two lessons and then just blew it off. Thinking back on it, that was a pretty shitty present. But her voice is great, so I'll just have to work on her confidence.

I've gotta get back to recording the kiddlies. They've been bugging me to get my shit together and record some new stuff. I've got probably four or five songs that I've partially recorded already. That does it. I need a fucking deadline... let's say, spring. New CD from the Crabbykids by the thaw. There it is.

Note to self: call Mr. Kincaid to set up some gigs.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

So That's Why They Call Them The Golden Years...

I guess I've become that kind of person who, the minute they get in the car to go anywhere kinda far away, has to piss like an elephant who REALLY has to fucking piss. And I've completely given up on that whole, "Well, there's a rest stop here but I think I can hold it for another 40 miles until the next one" bullshit, because I've learned that I pretty much can't hold it for another 40 miles. Or even "a" mile. And I think one of the main reasons I've become "Yuri Nation" is that, like a moron, I tend to drink about a gallon of green tea right before I hit the road. Green tea may have high levels of anti-oxidants, but drinking a shitload before a road-trip can lead to a high level of "panty-accidents."

Going to Chicago, I made sure to hit pretty much every rest area, whether I had to go or not. It worked out pretty well until I got on the Skyway. Once you get on that fucker, you better be wearing some hip-waders, 'cuz there's pretty much nowhere to stop. I was doing pretty well until I got past the last toll booth and traffic basically stopped. That's where it narrows down to one lane as it feeds into the Dan Ryan. I sat there for a good 40 minutes, while my ureter filled up like a goddamn balloon-animal weinerdog. I tried not to think too much about the pain, as I frantically scanned the car for any receptacle options. CD case? Nope. Altoid box? Curiously small. Aquafina bottle? No way -- the opening was too small and bad aim could end up spraying the inside of the car a la a thumb over a garden hose.

Why did I stop drinking those Sobe drinks?! Sure, they were pricey, but they had that nice, wide opening at the top. Those things are practically hand-held urinals. Damn!

Eventually, traffic started up again and I was able to zip over to the office before I completely blew out an O-ring. No time for any cordial "Hellos," as I dashed into the bathroom and let loose with a stream that probably raised the level of the Chicago River about 3 inches.

Coming back today wasn't as bad -- I had a couple of beers at the show last night and woke up painfully dehydrated. I made sure not to introduce a single drop of liquid into my parched system and, while I felt like I was basically freeze-dried, I zipped past the rest stops with anhydrous abandon.

It really is fantastic turning into an old man. I can't wait until I go blind and my craps stop coming out. Oh well... gotta go do some kegels -- and HOLD - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Book-ing a Later Flight...

Well, I'm supposed to be on the road to Chicago right now but, GUESS WHAT?!, I'm not. Tomorrow night is my company's "wrap party" for this project we busted our nuts (and, I don't know... ovaries? Ovaries are basically women's nuts, right? Sure. Ovaries.) on for the last year, and Saturday is yet another "last" gig for my old band. So, I was getting ready to leave when Mr. Z mentioned that tonight was "Reading Night" at his school. What is reading night, you ask? Fuck if I know -- apparently you go back to the school you just left a few hours earlier and hang out in the gym, making bookmarks, listening to stories, eating shitty baked goods and getting a migraine.

So he brings this up, and I mention that I'm not going to be around for it because I'm going to Chicago and that I'm betting his mom probably won't want to lug the two of them around the gym by herself for a couple of hours. Well, you'd think I shivved him in the leg or something because he had a classic Mr. Z lid-flippage. Miss O soon followed. They were both bawling their asses off, the Moron Twins ("We're not twins") were in the kitchen working on the stove, and I just stood there like a giant shithead.

And for some reason, instead of calmly explaining why they couldn't go and promising that they could go "next time," I said, "Okay guys, you know... I guess I can leave early tomorrow morning and we can go." Where the shit did that come from?! I'm telling you, you get to this point where you just don't want to deal with the goddamn conflict anymore and you just end up saying and doing moronic shit. I mean, I guess it's not a big deal to leave in the morning, but it'll just make the whole trip more hectic and shorter and I'll have even less of that feeling of "Ahhh, I'm away." And it made them happy, I think, so why the fuck not. They just owe me big time, and I'll lord it over them for many months to come. "What? You have the gall to stand there and whine at me about playing Monopoly with you when I postponed my trip to Chicago for a WHOLE DAY?! Frankly, I am shocked!"

So, we went to fucking Reading Night and it wasn't horrible. They both made a bookmark, both ate shitty cookies and Mr. Z won a "Captain Underpants" book that he's already read by playing some weird version of a cake walk, but with shitty books. We skipped the story reading by, I shit you not, "Sir Read-a-lot," ("Baby got BOOKS!") and I managed to get out of there with nary a headache. Bonus.

So I guess I'm leaving in the morning. Oh well, at least I can go to sleep tonight knowing that deep down, my kids don't really appreciate it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Counter Attack II...

Well, the moron twins ("We're not twins") showed up today with the kitchen counters and, guess what? SURPRISE! They fucked them up. They put in the top for the kitchen island and for the desk area, no problem. Then they brought in the big one with the sink attached to it, and it didn't fit. It came up a little short... like their DNA strands. So they put it back on the truck and said, "Hmm... they must've cut it wrong or something. We'll have to order a new one... probably gonna take a little while." That's okay, guys. Counters and sinks are overrated. I love washing all the dishes in the pedestal sink right next to the place where my whole family sits to void their respective colons.

Oh, and they also fucked up the countertop in the family room. There was this little wet-bar area there, very "Bewitched," and we had them remove the sink so we could make it a nice solid surface for wine and shit. They installed the top... unfortunately it was the wrong solid surface. They put in the same top as the kitchen, which doesn't match the completely different color scheme in the family room. I mean, I don't want to sound like a dick but dudes, there were like four counters to install. Would it kill you to check the work order before drilling and cutting and gluing shit all over the inside of my house.

You know, I made a conscious effort not to stand there and watch them install everything because I thought it would be disrespectful, like I was surveying their every move to make sure they wouldn't fuck up. Good idea. It really pays to be conscientious, doesn't it?

So it's back to plywood boards for counters and washing dishes next to the crapper for who knows how many more fucking weeks. You know, I'm actually starting to like the simplicity of it all. I'm thinking of breaking out the windows and covering the openings up with clear plastic tarps and wheeling in a coupla yards of dirt for the floors. Build us a nice firepit near the microwave, maybe get a mini-bike to ride around in there... a three-legged dog with a rheumy eye.

Why do I have a sudden craving for a pickled egg?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Nerdily Ever After...

You hear these stories about people who think they know their spouses, and then suddenly some shocking secret is revealed -- like they find a stash of diapers in their husband's sock drawer, or they discover their wife has been storing every one of her B.M.s in pickle jars in her closet since the late 90s, or they read in the paper that their husband is a meth head and likes to get his pulpit pulled by some male body-builder in Denver.

Well, I have become one of those people. Today, the old lady came back from a Target shopping spree with Mr. Z, and I discovered a little something she had purchased for herself. Brace yourself -- it was... a SUDOKU BOOK. You could've blown me over with... some sort of blowing device that really doesn't blow very hard. I mean, she might as well have walked into the house and declared, "I'm a gazelle trapped in a woman's body and I'm moving to Chad to marry a rhinoceros. Fuck you." Of all the things in the world she could've purchased, that has to be one of the last... right before "The Complete Works of The Three Stooges DVD Boxset."

I asked her where the shit that purchase came from, and she just said, "What? I like puzzles. I just wanted something mindless to do while I watched TV at night." She likes puzzles... HA! I say! I don't know what she's really up to, but something's not kosher in Denmark. Except maybe this:

And what's next? Today it's Sudoku, tomorrow what? Sangaku? Sokoban? Soma cube? JUNIOR JUMBLE?!?!?! I'm telling you, it feels like the last 20 years have been a lie. Up is down, left is right... it's like I'm trapped in some sort of 9 x9 grid and every column, every row and every 3 x3 box contains the digits 1 to 9!

You know, we're thinking of getting some tiles to do the backsplash in our kitchen. I have a sinking feeling I know the pattern that the old lady's going to pick out:

Monday, November 06, 2006

I Vote for More Sleep...

Erection day tomorrow and, of course, no school once again for the spawnage. That's a sure way to get people out to the polls -- send the kids home for the day to make the already difficult task of getting to the right polling place even more cumbersome by making people take their kids along. And if the kiddies thought the laundromat was fun, LOOKOUT FOR A HOOTIN'AND A-HOLLERIN' GOOD TIME IN THE VOTING BOOTH! I'll probably be bending over, tying Miss O's shoe or something, and Mr. Z will be fucking around in there and accidentally vote a straight republican ticket for me. "Well, the final results are in and, OOOH, Governor Granholm was defeated by a mere single vote! Looks like the head of Amway is now Michigan's next governor."

Fuck, I'm tired. This kitchen thing is killing me. The doors are finally on all the cabinets, but whoopty-fucking-doo, 'cuz there's still no sink, stove, dishwasher or... what was that other thing? Oh yeah, COUNTERS! I was priming the newly plastered walls yesterday and I've gotta fucking paint them tomorrow night. Between the fumes from the "Killz" yesterday and the fucking adhesive the cabinet guy was using today, I think I've killed off a good chunk of my brain stem. All I want to do is sleep... like right here, on the floor. All that good money I wasted on weed all those years, when I could've just been huffin' primer. Oh well... live and... wait... what was I talking about?


Sunday, November 05, 2006

More Fun in The Lurkerroom...

I encountered a whole new kind of creep in YMCA showers today. Instead of being from the "ancient-man-lathering-his-ballsack-at-me" camp, this guy was from the "middle-aged-demented-creep-who-talks-to-himself-and-
wanders-from-shower-head-to-showerhead" camp.

I had finished my laps and was looking forward to a nice relaxing shower -- the parking lot was pretty empty today, so I figured I might actually have the place to myself. When I got there, there was one other guy in the corner -- looked fairly normal: middle-aged, a bit hairier than most and he was somewhat pear-shaped... maybe more of an eggplant, actually. At least that's what I was able to glean from my periphery -- it's not like I was checking the dude out, okay? So, I chose the showerhead furthest from him, following proper showerroom etiquette. At first I thought he was talking to me, because I heard him say something. Well, he kinda said something... actually, he was just making this low vocalization that sounded kind of like "Nyarrrrm, nyarrrrm, nyarrrrm...." Okay, maybe he was singing to himself, I figured. Then he picks up one of the plastic chair/benches that are in there for the handi-capable showerers and starts looking at it and turning it upside-down and shit.

All right. At this point, my "creep-o-meter" was starting to register some strong creepitudinous vibrations. So he keeps on "Nyarrm"-ing and studying the bench and I'm trying to rinse off as quickly as possible to make my escape. I turned my back to rinse my face and when I turned back around, he was kind of strolling behind me, much like an eggplant-shaped cheetah might stroll by a lame wildebeast, stuck in a mudpit.

That was my cue. I turned off the shower and scurried around the corner to dry off and get the fuck outta there. As I was drying my hair, ol' Nyarrrmy actually peeks around the corner at me, kinda like this:

I'm pretty sure my eyes bugged out of my head, making a loud "AHOOOOGA!" noise, as I bolted to my locker and started throwing on my clothes. As I was tying my shoe I heard the dude turn on a couple more shower heads and his "Nyarrrm"-ing grew to a fevered pitch. I left him to Nyarrrm in peace.

Once safe in the cool air of the parking lot, I realized there's a good chance the dude probably suffers from some sort of psychosis/mental disorder. Then again, there's always the chance that he's just a creepy dude. Either way, if I had to choose, I think I'd take the grandpas lathering their balls at me to ol' Nyarrrmy. With the ball-latherers, you know what you're getting -- lathered balls. That's as far is it ever goes. With Nyarrrmy? Who the fuck knows?!

I'm thinking I might just start showering at home.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Ah, Shut Yer [Lint] Trap...

Got the old hairs cut today. I just went for it and asked for an appointment with "Faith," and wouldn't you know it, I was right. It wasn't "Hope" after all. She did a respectable job. Again, I felt awkward while she was massaging my scalp and then washing my hair. Didn't close my eyes... just stared up at the ceiling, so she wouldn't think I was fantasizing about her. It's surprising hard to do, keeping your eyes open while someone is washing your hair. Try it some time. So, of course, instead of thinking that I was a horny shithead for closing my eyes, she probably just thought I was an insane shithead for keeping them open. You can't win with these hair-ladies.

The Sears guy came out to look at our broken washing machine today. He was a roly-poly sort of man, very friendly with some serious roly-poliage. He said there was an oil leak and the timing thing on the transmission was fucked up. Apparently, the agitator was trying to spin and agitate at the same time. Apparently, that's bad. The great thing is, though, that he actually said, "It was really smart of you guys to buy that extended warranty plan, 'cuz this is like the most expensive repair that could happen." So, for once in our goddamn lives, we did the right thing. Of course, now both cars will probably break down.

But we have to wait for the parts to be shipped out, so the Crabbyfamily had a field trip today to... THE LAUNDROMAT!! You can imagine that Mr. Z and Miss O were THRILLED to spend their Saturday doing laundry, but it was surprisingly not shitty. I think the "actually getting out of the house for a fucking change" part had something to do with it. We got there, and carried in our four overloaded laundry baskets of stanky nappies. I guess we didn't look like the average laundromat customers, 'cuz the smelly but very friendly Judd Nelson dude running the joint said, "I can help you guys out 'cuz I'm assuming your washing machine broke or something at home. That's usually the case with families that come in here." Look Judd, I've spent more time in laundromats than... your fucking dad who gave you a carton of smokes for christmas has, so enough with the patronizing toneage. But we gladly accepted his help -- fucking laundromats have changed since back in the day. They had these little debit key things, and these fancy drawers where the detergent went and shit. So, Judd set us up with his own, personal debit key, and then we bolted to go get some eats.

We got back, dumped the shit into the dryers and I played a game of "Sorry" with the spawnlets. Now, playing board games with Mr. Z is tough enough, 'cuz he completely flips his lid when he loses, but playing "Sorry" is probably the last board game he should ever play. "Hmm, what does this card say? Oh, I guess I get to move my piece all the way up to where your piece is, Mr. Z, and then I get to send you all the way back to the beginning. SOOOORRRRRRYYYYYY!" So that was a fucking blast, as you can imagine.

And that was pretty much it. I folded about 900 pairs of underwear, we bid adieu to Judd and we were outta there. Mr. Z and Miss O said they had a great time and want to do it again. Bizarre. Maybe next weekend I'll take them to get the oil changed on the car and blow their fucking minds.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Who's Schoolin' Who? Wait... whom. Right? Yeah, it's 'whom.'

Last week, the spawn had no school on Friday. This week, there was no school on Wednesday. Next week, on Election Day, no less, they're also off from school. Then it's fucking Thanksgiving. What the shit is up with the school districts in this state?! If I wanted them home this much I'd be home-schooling them. I'm telling you, I'm this close to running for the school board. If only I weren't so unbelievably disinterested in whatever that job might entail. I know it would mean wearing some fancy slacks and shaving, so fuck it.

I took Miss O to the dentist today for her six month checkup. That girl is amazing -- sat there, still as a... person who is still a lot... maybe a catatonic schizophrenic, say, and didn't even complain when she was getting her teeth cleaned. Our girl is gittin' all growed up, Ma. It was pretty cool, though, seeing her interact with the hygienist and the dentist, answering all their questions and joking around and shit. I like that they're getting older. Sure, I loved when they were little and cute and shit, but it's pretty cool now that they're becoming little people. They can still be pains in the ass, but it just seems so much more manageable. Of course I'll be singing a different tune in two weeks when I have to take Mr. Z to the dentist and he's squirming around in the chair and biting the hygienist's fingers and gagging while she's poking around in his mouth. But for now, I'll just bask in the delusion that they're growing up and life will soon be so much simpler.

I finally started swimming again, by the way. The fucking pool was closed for over two months while they "replaced the filtration system," code for "scraped the years of spum, scabs and fecal greaseballs out of the drain." I have to say, though, that the water seems a hell of a lot clearer and less "burn-y." It was like swimming in applesauce before. Now it's just like swimming in pee. I was able to do about half the laps I did before the shut-down, and I think I coughed up a few alveoli when I was done. (I made sure to hock them into the water, just for old times' sake.)

It snowed here today. Of course, yesterday we gave a bunch of our old winter coats to some sorority that was having some charity coat drive. Seemed like the right thing to do, but unfortunately, I gave them my only winter coat, thinking I'd have time before it snowed to get a new one. Boy is my face red -- except it's not from embarrassment, it's from goddamn frostbite. So I guess it's off to Old Navy for another crappy winter coat that I'll give away to another sorority next year because a) it's ugly, 2) it doesn't keep me warm, and b) it's ugly. Where does a guy, in the middle of Michigan, get a hip, warm winter coat that doesn't either make him look like "Hikey McOutdoorsman" or "Puffy VonDownerson"? I need the equivalent of a Chuck Taylor high top in a toasty winter coat. Something like this:

Perfect. Note to self: call Converse.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

When It Rains, I'm Poor...

Our goddamn washing machine broke. Fucking Sears. I knew it was stupid to go with Kenmore, but NO, Consumer Reports says the one we got is a "Best Buy!" so shit, you can't argue with those geniuses, right? The thing is two years old and, two days ago, it starts smelling like 'electric-burning' and then it starts making a noise like we're washing an elk. I called these local appliance guys because, well, I like to support local small businesses and because I'M A GIANT MORON. This wee, little troll of a man, complete with pungeant troll-B.O., waltzes in, turns it on and says, "Ah, you've got a burnt out tranny, right 'dere. S'gonna cost you about two-fitty. You should call Sears and see if it's still under warranty. Oh, and sorry, but I've gotta charge you 80 bucks for a service call."

Oh yeah?! Well, Stanky Troll, YOU'RE a burnt-out Tranny. Ya dick.

So I'm already out 80 beans and now we've got Sears coming out on Saturday to take the rest of our money. Of course, we didn't get the extended warranty because CONSUMER REPORTS TOLD ME NOT TO! Why do we get that fucking magazine? It gives me nothing but heartache.

And I need haircut, but I can't remember my haircutter's name. It's either "Faith" or "Hope." If I call up and ask for one, and it's really the other, I'll feel like a total douche. Wait... maybe her name is "Charity."

Shit. Maybe I'll just grow it out.