Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bad daddy

I was in the rocket in Mini-Q with theBoy. Mini-Q is the exhibit for zero-to-six-year-olds at Questacon in Canberra—a permanent Science-is-kewl facility on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin (1). It has a blast-off sequence. It's basically a lever-button-(delay)-series-of-lights-(delay)-button-(blast/off/noise/and/lights) effort. It was theBoy's job to do that. Only ... I kept beating him to it.

He got cross with me. Then at the top of his voice pointed, yelled, and told me to go to time out.

So I sat in the back and impersonated a passenger-being-compressed-by-acceleration when the blast/off/noise/and/lights kicked in.

The other day at work, as I rode down in the glass-backed lift, I remembered that the contents of the lift could be seen by people outside the glass doors that lead into our foyer. I imagined what I'd look like from outside. It occurred to me I would very much look like a Go-go dancer in a cage in a '60s nightclub ... were I actually doing a Go-go dance.

So I did.

Quoth Mrs Krabappel.

Can't ... stop ... doing ... the Monkey!

(1) The artificial lake that is the liquidy heart of Canberra. You can't swim in it most of the time. A had a colleague that lived in Canberra as a student in the '60s. She remembered it filling up. It took like a year or something. Since the land was wooded she said there were still trees that poked through the water and were slowly claimed by the rising waters, one after the other.

Like an unshuffled shuffle

I was putting a new slab of Costco-sourced 330 ml cans of Diet Coke in the fridge when recalled to mind was when our cat O--- (1) caused me strife with the Diet Coke people. You see ten years back I'd purchased a box of Diet Coke cans and noticed puncture marks in some of the cans with the cans being lighter due to liquid loss. I suspected it was a packing / handling issue where nails or something pointy had poked their container in their long journey from the factory to my hand (2). Anyway, I told the Diet Coke people about it in case there was an OH&S at stake deep within their supply chain ... or even something more sinister. They very kindly sent me a money order for $5.95 by way of compensation. I'm not sure if they thanked me for my civil service though.

It was about a week later I caught O--- cradling the box like it was captured-and-being-toyed-with-prey and gnawing on the corner.

I did not update the Diet Coke people. Also ... I spent the money order.

As I recalled this memory a karmic re-alignment occurred. I had been sawing the plastic wrap of the slab away for future access ease when the knife sliced a cut on a diet coke can and a great spray of the ebony fluid cast forth across the floor. I then spent five minutes dabbing up the affected surfaces with kitchen towel.

Touché, Diet Coke people. Touché.

(1) Not O--- . The --- stands for the rest of the characters in his name. Yes, that's right, I am blanking the name of my cat. But here's the thing. I cannot recall if O--- exists as O(actual name) on this blog somewhere. The only way to know for sure is to search by O(actual name) pops up.
(2) Did that imply it was a dildo and not a Diet Coke? I can't be sure.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Words in the workplace

We were talking about musical instruments. I used to play the trombone in early high school. I complained that the mouthpiece of the trombone left my lips tasting of metal (1).

B----, who plays the clarinet, offered her opinion.

'Try putting wood in your mouth and see what that tastes like!'

I couldn't help it. I laughed and laughed and laughed.

B---- got cross with me.


Ah yes ... but as noted ... perception is my reality...

(1) My mother was the sort of parent that inflicted musical instruments on her children. Some took to them, my older brother for example (now a music teacher). Others did not ... like me. Of the instruments I tentatively played for a short while before giving them up I give you ... the violin (1a), piano, the flugelhorn, the trombone, the guitar (1b), the piano, the piano and the piano. Why then did I do this? Well I liked the idea of playing music, and I sang in school choirs most of my schooling. But I was lazy, I preferred to read, and, like Lisa Simpson, I suffered from stumpy fingers. So it was never actually a tactile-fun experience in manipulating instruments (1c). Plus short arms are a hindrance when playing the trombone. Musical instruments, like sport and being athletic, are for other people. Not me.
(1a) I can remember ever so clearly my enraged mother standing over me and screaming at me to practice the violin. I was I think five. Maybe six. I didn't like it. I didn't like how the violin felt. My body didn't like holding it or the bow. I didn't like playing it. I do remember the practice song, though. Ice-cream and [fucking] jelly.
(1b) Only sort of ... in music class we were taught some basic chords. And forced to join a mass-guitar playing of Rock my soul to the bosom of Abraham in a school concert. It had just two chords.
(1c) Pun intended.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Oddly muscled

I have a mostly-failed body ('... mostly').

I say mostly because there's bits of my bod that are nice (1). Well ... not nice. Maybe, instead, not shit.

So my not shit bits. My calf muscles. I have freakishly large calf muscles that actually have reasonable definition. They're the sort of calf muscles you'd see on someone who got implants (2). Well ... when they were swollen two days after the operation and the skin was pasty-white and sort of off-looking.

But still ... that's something. I like to think that should someone see me naked from behind they'd focus on those delicious marble-like lower gams and not the side-flab of gut overhang and my knee-to-scalp sheen of rear-facing body hair (3).

Lately, since I've started using the semi-dreaded The Purgatory Cart—an exercise bike on-loan from the wickedly delightful Casso who dwells to the north of my abode in her stately castle high atop the hill—I've noticed my musculature for the rest of my legs, and indeed my butt, has improved a little. A little. Like you'd be struggling with the before and after photo (4) to actually discern a visible difference. But I can feel it. Well I can perceive that I can feel it.

And, after-all, ... isn't my perception of this my reality?

Anyway, with all the crap that's landed on me health-wise, this weird occurrence of vague musculature has been an odd silver lining in the no-longer-being-able-to-walk-and-having-to-ride-an-exercise-bike-instead. Since I've been doing more intense exercise, for longer, and I am actually perceiving an actual improvement result out of it.

Importantly—and I must confess I usually ingest some form pain-killers before I hop on—while I find it a chore, and at times hateful, it is bearable. And made more bearable by twinning the experience with something joyful—like watching half an episode of HBO produced goodness (currently Boardwalk Empire), or a whole ep of The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. There's less over-all pain from using the bike over walking, though it does hurt the muscles around the ole exit-only point (5) to such an extent I have to gingerly lower myself when I sit down between sessions. This problem will be resolved shortly.

As luck would have it The Purgatory Cart—located in our shed of shame (6)—faces the only window to the outside. If theBoy is outside when I am in the shed he will run over to the window, stand on his step stool, and watch me, grinning like Nicholson in The Shining, and demand my attention ('What you doing? Why are you laughing? Tell me stories!'). It's dreadfully cute but incredibly interrupting so I am often having to yell to theWife to rescue me. She then coaxes him away with promises of Playdoh-play or rapid pink biscuit consumption.

How lucky am I as a dad that my child wants to spend time with me? Even when I am sweating, grunting, face flecked with discomfort and mirth like a flipbook of tragicomic masks flitting back and forth between modes, and mounted on a bike that looks at a glance to be a form of torture device to the uninitiated.

I'll need to remember this when I am dropping him a block away from the astro-school social in the distant Jestons-esq future we're tumbling towards so I don't embarrass him in front of his friends and fancies with my actual physical presence before them...

(1) And yes I am aware I sound like the purpose bred sentient dish from Milliways when I say this.
(2) Yes ... calf implants exist. It should be noted the size of my calf muscles is really down to my odd gait—a shuffling-like affair—and the unnatural stress and strains placed on my legs as a result. The gait likely influenced by my boneitus, which, in turn, helped my hip—which does not lie—to end up degenerated and now bone-on-bone in the socket and thus now needs replacement. Stay classy, world.
(3) In the voice of the Scotty Dog from the Chum commercials ... hair so thick ye could plait it.
(4) We once tried Jenny Craig. It was in the early noughties. Our sponsor—for want of a better word, the person who you weighed in (4a) with each week—was an adorable woman named Jo. Older than us with a generous mouth and laugh, she was warm and considerate and didn't try and foist product on us or deride us for missing our goals (4b).
When you join Jenny Craig you get the before photo. It's to motivate you to join their gallery of heroes, a bunch of pinned-up Polaroids (yes, they were Polaroids) of other before photos ... before photos now twinned with the later-taken after photos showing that person after they'd dropped some weight. We eventually, like I suspect ninety-five percent of the clientele, dropped out of the program. Did it work? Well, it did. When we stuck to it. But it was a soul-draining effort. All it did was remind me I was fat. And it reminded me of the shit hung on me in school when the incessant ads would run on TV and any heavyset kid would be joyfully reminded of the existence of that service and offered the hearty suggestion that they should sign up. Stay classy, world.
(4a) I would not eat or drink anything before the weigh to maximum, pun intended, my chance for a good result ... except all I did of course was establish my base-line as weighing myself with an empty stomach. A couple of times, even though I was touching cloth, I'd wait to lay cable just as I got there, borrow the key, and dash out of the office and along the concrete upstairs walkway to the communal toilet the office shared with the other denizens of the centre they were located in. That way I'd return for the weigh, utterly empty. Cunning eh?
(4b) A couple of years later we ran into Jo. She told us she no longer worked there. There'd been a management change—the new manager much younger than her—and Jo had been let go (or not renewed in her contract—at any rate she terminated). She was told she was too nice to clients, didn't ride them hard enough, and didn't push the food hard enough, either. Stay classy, world.
(5) Geez ... I just totally realised how much anal-subtext is in the kill the death star section of the original Star Wars.
(6) Oh god, that makes it sound like the site of a pederastic grooming attempt. No, it's the Shed of Shame because technically a previous owner did not get approval when they built it and, as such, when we purchased the property we were informed of its illegality and advised it was up to us to seek it's after-approval ... or not. If no-one hurt themselves within it then it should be okay. If they did ... insurance might not cover us. It has dodgy electricity—the light switch flashes and makes a crackling noise on occasion which leads me to use caution when switching it on and using a non-conductive item to flick it—and it has lots and lots of racks for additional lighting. We suspect a previous owner at some time used it for hydro growing ... hence the lack of approval-seeking.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Intimidation fail

theWife—If you don't come here right now you will only get two stories!

theBoy—Two stories! Woo hoo! Yay, woo!

theBoy's on fire!

It was a Christmas-themed Humpty and Stumpty. theBoy, with Humpty and Stumpty, had decorated his tree and wanted to invite Santa to see it.

So theBoy called Santa—‘You want to come see our tree?’ he asked, earnestly.

‘Hello theBoy!’ said Santa. ‘I haven’t talked to you in ages. Have you been naughty or nice? Let’s check the naughty book.' (flip, flip). ‘Oh dear, you are in here. That means you won’t get any presents and we can no longer talk.’

I made a click noise to indicate hang-up.

theBoy was rightly aghast.

‘I call Santa back up and tell him to put me in the nice book!’ he yelled.

‘Sorry, Chooky,’ says I. ‘You just get a BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP when you call.’

theBoy thought about it. Then he came up with his solution.

‘I beep me into the nice book!’ he declared.

Yes, he had in fact effectively hacked into Santa’s system to change his grades.

He’s WarGames in the making!

Later, as we were sitting on the reading chair, he banged his head against a hardcover book, the cover's edge poking into the side of his head.

‘Ow,’ he whimpered. He started to wriggle off me so he could go to theWife, his theMum, and get it kissed better.

I was having none of that.

‘No, Chooky, I can kiss you better!’ I said. We frantically wrestled for a moment as I manuvered his live-wire little body into position so I could give the side of his head a peck.

‘I did it!’ I shouted with triumph. ‘I gave you a kiss it better!’

‘NO!’ yelled theBoy. I’d let him go in my victory so he slid off my lap and onto the floor. Then he very carefully turned his head to the side and cracked it against the wooden seat of the little red chair. There was an audible thud.

Whimpering anew he went to theWife to get kissed better.

Touché, theBoy. Touché.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I saw God ... then accidentally attempted a carjacking

I was blissed out on super meds and waiting for a lift from a friend. It was night but the moon was bright and I could see the clouds drift overhead. I Idly looked above and saw a blanket of white cloud moving across the starlit sky. The formation that advanced before this blanket took on a shape that to me looked a lot like God ... as depicted in the 'pull my finger' pic on the Sistine Chapel's ceiling. You know, the bearded sky father visage. At one point as the 'face' drifted above me some stars fell into position where God's eyes should have been. I have to admit ... it looked pretty cool.

Shortly after that a four-wheel-drive turned up. It pulled into my cul-de-sac entrance. As it was apparently my friend, who drives this exact type of car, I strode from the grass onto the road and put my hand on the passenger door handle. The driver within the vehicle went into a flurry of activity. They spun the steering wheel and threw the car into reverse. Pealing backward with a loud squeal of tires they then spat the gears back into first (or drive) and then roared forward and up the street that runs perpendicular to the cul-de-sac.

Now I admit that in the initial moment of this series of unfortunate events I thought 'Oh he's playing silly buggers. He wants me to chase him and he will speed up the moment I get next to him and so on.' That opinion rapidly left my med-fuddled head when I saw the car roar off along the road.

I was not sure what was happening, but I was a little worried. I saw the car then turn back around at the corner where the street bends then pause, two hundred feet away, the engine idling and lights blaring. I retreated up the verge that bordered the cul-de-sac's entry road just in case they were barking mad and going to run me down. Then they sped back in my direction but zoomed past and around the corner and out of sight.

So no ... it was not my friend. It was someone in a near-identical vehicle who happened to turn into my cul-de-sac only to have a large blob-like-man-figure loom out of the dark and try and rip open their passenger door. To make matters worse ... as I was still waiting for my friend ... a four-wheel-drive appeared back from the direction where the last one was last seen headed and then pulled into the cul-de-sac. The car drove past me ... and parked at the first house on the left. I'm pretty sure it was the same vehicle.

So ... not only did I scare the shit out of someone in the dark ... there's a good chance it was my across-the-road-neighbour.

I'm not sure I should say anything on the off chance it wasn't them. But, just in case it was them, maybe I could change my WiFi name to 'Sorry I scared you when I tried to get into your car...'

Still ... when it all happened at least all they did was drive away. It could have been so much worse...

It could be so easily misconstrued...

It was new-block-of-cheese-day. When the house is once again home to a mint-fresh block of fuck-off delicious yummy cheese, having temporarily been cheeseless.

I pulled it out with a flourish.

'Nah na na na na na!' I sang.

A round of butt-cheese was on!

I chased him down to the end room. As custom he went under the computer desk. I kept going to the window. There, on a table, I spotted our nylon-afro-wig (1). I grabbed it and hid the cheese block in it.

'Noodles, I lost the cheese!' I shouted. He came out to look for it. As he crossed my path ... I cheesed him—poking his butt with the still-unwrapped-cheese.

'Ha!' I shouted. 'I just won butt-cheese!'.

Triumphant, I hobble-ran to the kitchen.

'I totally just butt-cheesed his brains out,' I smugly said to theWife.

After a short while it dawned on me exactly how that sounded.

' ... oh that's not right,' I added.

UPDATE—A Humpty and Stumpty story just finished with the words 'and the worm would have to rub off against a grass stalk'.

UPDATE2—Another story happened. Now in context it makes total sense but I did actually say '... and the boys were lodged deep within the bananas' crack'. This is because theBoy made a "moon" out of play-doh that's about the size of a tennis ball and is riven with a multitude of colours. The play-doh moon didn't quite fully dry and great cracks have split across the surface. theBoy decided this moon was the planet the Bananas in Pyjamas lived on, with the Bananas' house deep within one of the cracks. Later the Bananas and their friends Humpty and Stumpty and theBoy were flying in a rocket out from within the crack when the crack started to close. theBoy decided their rocket got caught in the crack and the ship got crushed. But what happened to the passengers and crew?

'And I staggered out from the wreckage!
' he shouted. 'Then the Bananas and Humpty and Stumpty staggered from the wreckage too.'

That's story time gold.

(1) Yes, it's that sort of house where we have the occasional wig lying about. You never know when you need one.

Yes, it is brilliant

Slate has an article on renaming your WiFi as a means of giving your neighbours a hint.

I totally voted Brilliant for the voter response. That is genius.

Dem bones, dem bones, dem ... sh_tty bones...

My hip degradation has advanced somewhat. It’s really quite painful now. A single misstep can cause pain to lance up my left leg. Even getting in and out of the car, or up off the couch, requires careful manuvering on my part.

We’ve also advanced the acquisition of assisting devices. One such device is a shower chair. I had a small plastic chair for sitting-in-the-shower purposes because sometimes I like to do that. But that's no good post-operation. We went for a proper bench thing of solid plastic and robust rubber-tipped legs. It works okay—but you have to heat the seat with optimum-temperature shower water otherwise it’s somewhat unpleasant to sit on (1).

Another assisting device is a reach-assisting device. Basically it’s a pole with a grip on one end and a rubber-tipped pincer claw on the other. Squeeze the grip and the claw closers. It gives me an additional reach of about four feet. I’ve already used it to enhance my parenting since, if theBoy dives under the futon and away from me, I can prod him with the device from a slight-crouch position. I’m not ashamed to admit it but when I first used it in that manner I shouted SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEN’ ala Tony Montana from Scarface as I did it (jab, jab, poke, jab).

I’ve yet to get a cane, but I may need one. The specialist recommended a walking stick from Kathmandu—the store, I presume, not the region.

This accumulation of disability tat is depressing. It reminds me of my mother’s grappling with MS. She had a shower chair—only showering every three days as she had to be hoisted on and off. She had a series of tongs she stuck in her scooter basket to reach and grab items that had fallen to the floor or were out of reach from her position. When she was still walking she had a cane—numerous ones in fact. But she gave those up after her third fractured ankle put her on a scooter for good.

But … unlike my mother … I will get better. My hip hurts now, sure. But after the operation and recovery, presuming I am one of the 95 per cent of people that suffer no complications, I will be back to near normal. I won’t need shower chairs. I may no longer even need a reaching device to grab stuff from the floor or ground. However the comedic power of the reaching device is such that I think it will still have a long and healthy life in my house, if only because I can get theBoy when he dives under the futon.

‘Daddy wants a cuddle!’ (jab, jab, poke, jab).

You get the idea.

(1) Yes, ladies, the junk be shrunk when it's exposed to cold. It is also an unpleasant sensation. I don't know what temperature sensitivity of the outer parts of lady-land is but I suspect it's probably far less than that of our boys' (1a) business.
(1a) Is that possessive s correct? That right? Let me know grammar-peeps.

Friday, September 09, 2011

If I was a superhero I'd have the power of ...

We've all played this game. What power you would have. I always chose invisibility ... so I could sneak into the girls' locker room. Oh yeah (1).

Sooner or later as a reading-liking child you come across Superhero comics. Superhero comics are cool. Because you can totally imagine having an awesome power, like the ability to look at girls unseen, or fuck-off martial arts prowess where you get to run around and Take-Me-On-Do some bullies (2).

Tonight, during Humpty and Stumpty, theBoy unilaterally declared himself a superhero by giving himself a superpower.

It was a giant hand ... that grew out of his butt.

So naturally the giant hand grabbed me and I was forced to trot along behind theBoy as he ran up and down the spine of the house (3) as I was trapped in said hand. Eventually I had to call thePolice and thePolice came and tickled theBoy thus forcing him to let me go as his giant hand spasmed with the tickling. I would then run and hide somewhere in the house but he always found me. Always. And then he'd grab me again ('I got you with my giant arse hand!') and once again I was forced to my feet to trot alone.

Anyway ... the giant hand growing out of his arse. That's gold.

(1) Remembering this was when I was a tween and girls became incredibly interesting, intriguing, and utterly complex to my boy brain. Mature Mikey would probably say something else that's less creepy. Like, I dunno, super charm where I could charm the ladies and the ladies would want to kiss me and ... oh never mind...
(2) I went to school with someone who did Tae Kwon Do. This dude did not really like me for some reason. Possibly because I kept calling his chosen passion Take-Me-On-Do. I used to play AD&D with him and other high school friends. It was a lot of fun. So there you go. A complicated high school sort-of-friendship. Years later, when we'd been some five or six years from high school, I ran into him. He had a CD in his hand; Ravel's Bolero. 'Why did you get that?' I asked. At the time he was going out with a young pretty thing. He held up the CD. 'It's music ... to make love by,' he said, absolutely serious. Wow.
(3) We have one corridor that connects all the rooms. With the doors closed it's near dark. So occasionally we fire up glowing toys and roll them back and forth. If it's a car then it can careen off the skirting boards in quite a dramatic fashion. Toys are kewl!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Oh dear

It was a Humpty and Stumpty and Mister Maker crossover episode. Mister Maker was doing craft and finally revealed why he always wanted a 'live goat' as one of the ingredients that he counts off with giving his verbal needs analysis.

Why for fresh goat's milk of course.

Mister Maker ran over, milked the goat, the liquid squirting neatly into a large glass. He then picked up the glass and downed its contents.

'Oh look,' he said, excitedly. 'I have a milk moustache!'

He pointed the the milky residue above his lip.

'Mmmmmm,' came a gravely voice. In strode a cowboy, looking like Ivan Milat guest starring in Deadwood.

'You look mighty cute in that moustache (1),' said the cowboy. He drew his gun and waved the barrel in the direction of an office chair. 'Sit down.'

Mister Maker, fear etched on his face, quickly sat.

At that point theBoy leaped into action.

'I shoot the cowboy!' he shouted.

theBoy to the rescue, as ever.

(1) This scenario clearly ripped off Eddie Murphy from either Delirious or Raw, two of the best live comedy albums I have ever seen.
Endlessly quotable.

Overheard Cuteness

theWife attending to theBoy's post-bath wrangle ... singing 'I am brushing your hair and I love brushing you' to the tune of Yummy yummy yummy I've got love in my tummy...

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Friend of the Earth

I didn't realise the dishes in the dishwasher were clean. I added tonight's soiled dinnerware to their ranks. Cutlery as well ... manky now mingled with clean.

So ... I'm now going to authorise running the full load through the dishwasher, even though ninety per cent of it is clean.

What can I say?

I'm a (dis)abled (1),(2).

(1) Mikey, proud outed member of the (dis)abled community since mid-2011. I say (dis)abled because I may have a slew of mild discomforts but that's nothing to people who are profoundly afflicted by a major piece of their body being fucked up. Lost sight, lost hearing, missing limbs. I am clearly lesser as I am not in threat of life-loss, I have my brain, and I have good quality of life. Even if I do piss and moan about my 'boneitus'.
(2) Seriously though I cannot bend now for extended periods to pick stuff out of the dishwasher. It would actually be very painful. I get sharp lancing pain jarring through my bones at the moment. I shudder to think it really was the tail-end of my fucking inbetween-bone-stuff and this is as it will be until the fucking Catilina Wine Mixer kicks off. And it's an unfair affliction on theWife to do it as it was my mistake. I will make up for it somehow. Forgive me oh planet.

Prop comedy gold

I have an old blue chair that's been in my near constant possession since I was about six. It's a wooden chair, painted blue. It once had a backing but that's long since gone—like Mater's bonnet from Cars. It's quite a robust chair, with the legs connected together and buttressed by four struts.

It was Humpty and Stumpty time. theBoy was in a race for some treasure with the lads—who have now been retconned by me as being brothers (1)—and he'd reached the treasure chest. He opened it just as the brothers made it to the hole. As is typical with theBoy, the treasure in the chest was in fact a movie—a DVD.

'Okay, Noodles,' I said. 'What is it about?'

'It's a man talking about an adventure ... for gold,' he said happily, his head peaking and eyes peeking out of the water of the big bath (2) like Willard emerging from the river at Kurtz's fortress in Apocalypse Now.

Dang, that's gold I thought. I scanned around the end-room—which connects by a sliding door to the bathroom—for something, anything that would work. Then I saw it. I saw the blue chair.

I put the chair sideways over the top of my head, the seat behind it. Front on there was a frame around my head, thanks to the struts of the chair that connected to the legs. Thus me appearing to be ... on TV.

'Hello,' I roared in my Massingbird-Massingbird VC, DFC and Bar (3) voice—which is basically an gravel-voiced British aristocrat of the shouting variety (4). 'I'm an adventurer. The gold is located under the Car-wash in (our suburb)'.

Off went theBoy, as did rivals Humpty and Stumpty, to get to the chest.

This happened again and again. They'd reach a chest. There would be a DVD. There would be me as Massingbird shouting from within the confines of a blue wooden chair and pretending I was on TV.

The story ended with the discovery of two chests—theBoy kindly including one for Humpty and Stumpty to open. theBoys chest was Massingbird telling them to open the second chest. In the second chest ... was gold.

'Hooray!' they all shouted. Then ... theBoy ate the gold. Because that's what he always does when Humpty and Stumpty find gold.

Which in itself ... is gold.

Anyway, the chair as an impromptu prop TV, that was most fine. Most fine indeed ... leans back on porch chair, inhaling a lungful of smoke from his pipe as he watches the sun set over a still sweltering field in Hogsnart, Alabama.

(1) They live in a tree down by the river. I think of it as a giant weeping willow. There's a stair curling up the outside and the boys live in a hollow in the middle section. I think of it as one big room with curtains for activity areas like sleeping pods. Below, at the base of the tree, live their mum and dad. In a hollow as well. They're semi-retired. In a basement hollow lives their granny—Granny Bugbear in fact—a cantankerous old woman that looks like the old guy from Up but in a dress and a bath chair. Her bathroom is infested with sentient mice who think they're pirates. They've sailed miniature mice-sailed galleons at her when she's been in there and hired theBoy and Humpty and Stumpty to get rid of them.
(2) We don't have a big bath. We have a smallish bath. In fact it's too small for a plus-sized adult which is what I am. But a big bath to theBoy is when the water level is almost to the lip. He "swims around", dog-paddle-style, grinning up at me, his smile part-submerged like a fun-loving shark just surfacing.
(3) 'Where are you, you bastard?'
(4) Massingbird having appeared in a Call of Cthulhu adventure set on a 1920s luxury liner traversing the Atlantic for New York, as a boorish retired World War One General now big-game hunter who met the party at a skeet-shooting contest on day three of the voyage (4a). He also used his own gun in the contest
a double-barrelled bolt-action elephant gun (4b). He later loaned it to the lads when they needed very urgently to shoot some cultists—illiterate Polynesian stokers who happened to worship an Old one—and the giant blob creature they'd summoned to eat the ship.
(4a) He was a completely off-the-cuff inserted NPC character because I liked the idea of one of the contestants being a retired shouty British general. I statted him out
—as in determined his stats / abilities skills / talents / flaws etc.before the next session in case he re-appeared and re-appear he did in fine super-shouty form. He even turned up in another adventure where he hired the lads to help shoot him a mythical were-bear in the Appalachians. I later pitched the scenario to Chaosium but I never heard back. Oh well.
(4b) I am aware that double-barrelled bolt-action heavy rifles probably don't exist...

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Go, Casso, go

... for getting yet one step closer to your goal. You're an inspiration ... and not in the normal Australian way of a spectacular self-Darwining or crass, internationally renowned, boganing.

A side-note (1). I wanted to fire up a label to congratulate Casso on a kewl milestone. Only ... I found I didn't actually have any. I have no labels for happy—and no yee-ha, smiley face, no congrats. Nothing. The only label that comes close is 'Joy Burst'—which implies a meaningless grey existence punctured by the occasional unicorn farting a rainbow (2). I really am a morose disability-self-labeling-loving young curmudgeon.

So in honour of Casso, and to quote an oft-quote of hers, I hereby launch the label of Yay.

(1) As opposed to a footnote. Because the side-note could not be linked to the above. This, however, is a footnote (1a).
(1a) As is this.
(2) Does that mean the Leprechaun would be holding a bucket under the unicorn's arse in the expectation gold will come forth? I think that little Irish sprite has been badly misinformed about the nature of the unicorn's digestive system.

theBoy receives a post-bath wrangle

theWife, on cuddling theBoy when he's wrapped in a towel after a fresh extraction from the bath.

theWife—Aw look at you, you little cutey!

theBoy (excited)—I eat your face off!

Way to cruel the sentiment, Noodles.

Things you probably shouldn't say

I recently got ennobled as a workplace First Aid Officer. You get a small stipend which you're supposed to use to augment the kit you hold or maintain its supplies. Someone asked me if I'd bothered to do the kit check yet (I said no and commanded that no one should have a myocardial infarction until I checked it). Primarily the inquirer wanted to make sure the kit had one of the mouth-guards for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

'I hope so,' I said. 'Because the last thing you want is my fur-rimmed hole (1) descending on to yours (2).'

Cue crickets as a number of pod inhabitants perked their ears up and stopped what they were doing.

'Um ... I probably shouldn't have said that,' I finished lamely.

I then left down the stairwell I recently reported as having blown lights but in fact turned out to have a light switch I just hadn't noticed.

Tip your waitress.

(1) I have a beard. Since about 20 I have had a beard. Why? Well for one I was never in the ranks of fuckable so it didn't matter having a beard in the sex-stakes department. But the main reason is efficiency. Shaving is a pain. It takes time and it's annoying. With a beard I simply let it grow and when it gets a bit Ned Kelly (1a) I clipper it back to a 0, which is sexy-stubble. Alas my frame is such I have no benefit of having sexy-stubble. I basically look like a stubble-dashed Stay Puft Marshmallow man that's in damn good need of crossed proton beaming...
(1a) Ned Kelly, noted Ozzer bushranger (Ozzer bush rangers are largely analogous to the US outlaw of the Old West), was famed for having collar-length hair but a beard that went down to his chest. I don't actually let my beard get that long. I tend to clipper it back when it feels itchy. Kelly was also famed for converting plowshares into body armour, complete with a pot-helm with eye-slit, then taking on the plods in a fire-fight. They simply shot him in his un-armoured leg and took him into custody. Mick Jagger infamously played the bushranger in a '70s era film that was filmed near Canberra. One of the in-between towns—so called by me for those places you drive through on the way to other places—has a set of the armour from the movie. Looks cool! Looks heavy! Looks like if someone who needed to shoot you saw you wearing it they would simply shoot you in the leg and take you into custody.
(2) The yours implies they also have a fur-rimmed hole which is not the case. Of the lads in my building only two have beards (2a) and one has sexy-stubble.
(2a) P, the only other one armed with a beard however does have the proper Ned Kelly beard and it goes down to his chest. He also has a pony tail that goes down to his arse. But he's a skinny cool dude and the girls love him.

Mr. Wembley, it happened again!

Title from [2F01] Itchy and Scratchy Land, The Simpsons.

A while back I called in some electricians to effectively turn on a light switch. In most white-collar environs the lighting is automatic with switches only present for people to over-ride the automatic lights if they end up working outside normal hours. For example, after 8 pm or on the weekends.

In that case what had happened was about seven lights didn't come on during the automatic cycle. I called in the electricians only for them to patiently explain that sometimes lights didn't come on in the automatic cycle and if you turn the light over-ride switch on and off that should be enough to re-trigger the automatic cycle to get the lights to come on.

It was most embarrassing. But .... embarrassing with a thin patina of 'understandable' given the whole automatic lighting issue.

I'm in a new building. Two lights were out in a stairwell. I reported them. The electrician apparently turned up and replaced a bulb but it didn't work. He was muttering about this when a colleague of mine walked past. 'Did you try the light switch?' she asked.

He hadn't. I hadn't. Yes in a building filled with automatic timed lighting this one fucking stairwell had its own independent light switch above and below for use by punters using the stair. It was right on the wall where it should have been.

Area man taken incompetent reporting of failed lights to a whole new level.

But ... in accordance with my new philosophy of 'what's the positive' when encountering a FAIL I have decided it's a reinforced lesson of one I really should have learned earlier; before one reports blown lights ... look for a light switch first then test them.

I am worried this fail makes me look like the sort of man that would call Dial-A-Hubby at the first sign of any form of household maintenance beyond simple remedies. Which is a fair cop. If it wasn't for the fact I was partnered with a person who sees such activity as a challenge I probably would.

After-all, I was made for better things (1).

(1) Tries to look like a romantic poet in a big shirt; fails.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Suck it, bitches

I tend to arrive at work later than normal hours but stay later to make up for it. Which means on occasion I am the last one left on the floor.

Which also means I can crank out some tunes!

My poison? At this very moment ... the soundtrack (1) to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.


And ... I can sing along without fear of embarrassment!

Also, upstairs, there's a giant-roll of bubble-wrap. It's actually about three feet in diameter and nearly as tall as me.

When I found it ... I hugged it ... like I was a living Grandin machine...

It was noice. However I made the mistake of telling everyone about the hugging (2).

But then would I be Mikey if I didn't? I don't think so.

Mikey gotta tell.

(1) Some fragmentary notes. I tend to skip Time Warp; I've just heard it a bit too much. I really love Riff Raff's solo in Over at the Frankenstein place; makes me a little teary. Floor show is playing now. Fuck I love Tim Curry's voice; it's so rich and expressive.
(2) I even actually said, in a Jon Stewart voice, '... and then I hugged it like a Grudin machine.' (thus getting its name wrong). I have a man-crush on Jon Stewart. You know 'the want to be like' crush as opposed to the desire to presumed-consent-granted-interfere with his anus. Which, as anuses go, I am sure is most fine. You can tell a lot about a man by the cut of his suit. An expensive suit means a clean man beneath. And that means a well-tended anus. My anus unfortunately is ringed, notice the pun (2a), by a luxurious thick forest of hair. Hair that's part of a neck-to-upper-thighs-carpet of body hair. I'm pretty sure I could be picked up my by rear-of-body hair ... or that this hair could be braided. Anyone want to give it a go? I'll do it ... for science!
(2a) That's a more honest way to put it when pointing out a pun, rather than 'excusing it'. I mean you're saying it so they'll know a pun went past. Just in case they didn't get it.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

And so it is

So I met with the specialist and the hip replacement—which theWife and I preemptively named the fucking Catalina Wine Mixer—is a go for the end of the year.

The specialist was awesome. He took me through what was wrong with my hip—a Femoral Acetabular Impingementthe ins-and-outs of the procedure and the device, the what-can-go-wrongs (infection being the main worry), the expected level of ability, post-op (no more jogging, yoga or acrobatics (ha!), but otherwise everything else is on the table) and the possible side-effect (rare) of a squeaky hip (1).

The specialist also happened to be my age … and a Simpsons fan. Indeed, when he told me about the rare side-effect of the squeaky hip he added ‘remember that episode with the man who kept hiccuping? It would sound like that’. To which naturally I replied ‘Hic! Kill me. Hic! Kill me. Hic! Kill me.’ He was more than excited to met a fellow fan and we waxed lyrical for a while about how awesome The Simpsons is, and Seinfeld, then I broke his Community cherry by telling him to check that Dan Harmon created goodness out (2).

Then it was off to be introduced to the lovely admin lady to work out the specs.

Mikey being Mikey couldn’t help himself with his risqué talk. Having been told of the option of a unit where the ball and joint would be lined with ceramic—it’s more robust and has less issues than a purely metal affair—I loudly announced ‘I’ve decided to go for the Rolls Royce ceramic-on-ceramic action. Wait, that sounds like a movie from Fyshwick! (3)’

Later, as the specialist was leaving me in the good care of the admin people, he asked if I’d be willing to donate the bone slivers removed to a donor bone-graft program. Never having anyone ever want anything in a body-perspective from myself, naturally I agreed.

‘Where were you when I had my circumcision?!’ I practically shouted as I shook his hand in farewell.

Try the veal.

That is all.

UPDATE: That is not all. I just remembered. On a giddy whim I asked 'So ... Diet Coke had nothing to do with my hip?' At which the specialist laughed merrily and long. So much for that causational hypothesis...

(1) Given I already click-clack when I walk from my dicky knees then that’s hardly a worry. I told the specialist that at age ten said audible knees basically put paid to a planned career of Ninjaring (1a), so I would not at all be concerned by having a light-squeak to go with said knees. If it happens I'll be like a one-man-band of muscular-skeletal instruments. Mikey walks off (clash, clash, clash, clash).
(1a) One night in year nine I practiced throwing my drawing compass at a cardboard box, imagining the compass was a throwing star (1b). I vowed I would practice without fail each night until I had mastered this ability. I gave up almost-instantly. In fact ... I never did it again after that night. Later, when a friend was sick, I vowed to stop masturbating, thinking that would impress God. She got better ... but I was pretty much still whacking it out even as she was still on the critical list. Sorry, God.
(1b) When I was first getting into 1st edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons I confused throwing stars with morning stars. So my fighter character started the game with five of them ... Also, clerics
priests who have middling combat ability and less offensive-orientated spells than wizardscould only use blunt weapons (the rule being in place for both because of some minor historical accuracy and for game balance). Not knowing what a crossbow was I assumed it was okay for a cleric to use ... as it fired 'bolts'... FAIL!
(2) Check out Marc Maron's interview with Dan Harmon.
(3) Fyshwick, a large light industrial and adult services precinct in Canberra, being, in pre-internet times, the place where Australians sourced their more-than-R adult entertainment. Indeed, so synonymous is Fyshwick and more broadly Canberra with the adult services industry, you can take a guided tour of the fun parts...