Saturday, December 30, 2006

One more trip around the sun

It's the time of year when we all take a deep breath and appraise our accomplishments of the past year.

Dammit, I promised myself I wouldn't begin this blog entry with the words "It's the time of year..." but it's all I could think of. How ridiculously cliche' of me. Forgive?

I was talking to my friend Dave today, and I told him that this is the year I am going to make some major changes, advances, updates and reorganization. I am going to revise my website, my demos, and I'm going to become more agressive about landing commercial business.

The words sounded strangely familiar... because I said them EXACTLY one year ago. None of those things happened in the past year. I had the best of intentions, I really did.

I would like to say it's because I didn't have time, but that's not exactly right. I would like to say it's because I don't know what I want to do, but that's also inaccurate.

It's because I just didn't DO it.

That's not like me. I'm a self-starter (but I suppose we ALL think we are, don't we?) who built a voice over career one client at a time, through hard work and long hours. I generally know how to start and finish projects. But this year, I lost my drive and self-motivation.

If I didn't get it done last year, it'll probably get done this year... but pressure won't help. My resolution this year is to never make another one. I will do what I must. Beyond that is all optional.

A few "musts:"

Stay alive, nourished and healthy.

Keep my belongings safe and dry.

Be content with what I have provided for myself.

Cultivate and nurture friendships.

Make sure the people I love know it.

The rest is completely optional.

No resolutions, I'll just do what I can. Anything more than "must" is gravy.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Among the very cool gifts I received this Christmas were these items from my mom:

One is an electronic wine chiller, the other is a cocoa maker. Get drunk, sober up... get drunk, sober up... repeat.

Also this Christmas, Violet has replaced the bulky tri-fold wallet I had with a thin card/money clip device to be carried in the front pocket. I still occasionally freak out when I reach for my wallet and it isn't there, but those are my demons, goddam it, and I'll deal with them.

Other gifts received, in no particular order, include: a cool iPod boom box, two sweaters, two shirts, a laser level, Trivial Pursuit DVD game, a set of poker chips, a Family Guy fridge mag, a travel cigar humidor, gloves, and a partridge in a pear tree. Which was the strangest thing I got this year really, because who even knew what a partridge was? (And don't tell me David Cassidy because I don't need that shit in my life right now)

I didn't mention them all, but thanks to everyone for the fine giftage! More important than that, thanks to Emily and her family, my daughter, my mom and friends for spending some quality time.


I love Christmas. I really do. Would it be too negative for me to say that I'm really glad it's over?

But it isn't over. The "Garage Crew," a circle of friends who hang out at least weekly, are having our Christmas party on January 6th.


That is almost two full weeks past Christmas! By that time, I will have already begun drinking for St. Patrick's day, not to mention my tree will be down and the Santa-print speedo will be laundered and stored for the season.

I don't understand why people have Christmas parties after the season has ended. I know a guy who's company had their party January 17! Really, is there no way we can all squeeze in just a few hours of time DURING the holiday season?

I'll tell you why not... we're too busy shopping. Fighting crowds, maxxing out cards, buying things that people don't need, hoping it will show how much we care. We stress out, and really... what does it get us? Sometimes oral sex if the gift is REALLY good, but anyway...

Is this truly what Santa wants on his birthday?*

You know what I care about? Spending time. Talking. Being together. Slowing down. Toasting our good fortune, lamenting our bad, laughing, crying. For me, the season is all about just being in the presence of friends. That is ALL I care about. Gifts are fine, but when can we slow down and just... talk?

Just kiddin'. Only 11 days 'til Christmas II! Bring on the LOOT, people. Who's your daddy??**


So James Brown is dead.

He was a strange fellow, to say the least. Balls the size of melons. Truly. One of his redeeming qualities was how he made sure all the chicks realize "This is a Man's World." Ya know? Politically incorrect to the Nth degree.

Sex Machine, Papa's Got a Brand New Bag, I Feel Good... I tell you, a little bit of fabulous funk died today.

*for emphasis only, I know what Christmas really is wise guy.
**actually I really do think the holidays have become an overcommercialized cesspool of greed and ego, and I meant everything I said about just "being together." But if you can't beat 'em...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Carl's legacy

In my frenzy to finish Christmas shopping, wrap up 2006 and get my life organized, I missed the 10th anniversary of the death of Carl Sagan.

On a couple of occasions I've written of the impact Mr. Sagan had on my life... and even now, a little over 10 years after his death, via his legacy he continues to lead science down the treacherous but inviting, necessary and unavoidable road that is scientific discovery.

From my blog entry of September 28, 2005:

We used to sit on the porch, my Grandpa and me, talking about the stars. Guessing how far they are, whether there are people out there and wishing we could afford a telescope. We had some binoculars and used them, but they didn't do much.

Our favorite television show was Carl Sagan's COSMOS. Every week, we'd
make popcorn and sit down on Sunday night and watch PBS. It was fascinating to learn how small we, our species and planet, really were... and how relatively little we understand about the universe. For the time, 1980, the show's special effects and production value were absolutely impressive. Even by today's standards, it ranks up there with some of the finest work.

COSMOS is back on and I am a little embarrassed at my excitement. It brings back great old feelings and fascination, and renews my interest in science and nature. I own most of Sagan's books, and his research and work puts him on equal footing with the likes of Copernicus and Einstein.

Through history, man has become more, then less, tolerant of science. During more progressive periods, people were hungry for facts and information, and free to ask questions. Then, during the darker epochs of history, they became intolerant of science and scorned those who embrace research and study. Why this warble happens is anybody's guess, but cycles, waves, circles... seem to be how everything works.

With the court battles again raging over teaching of evolution vs. creationism ("intelligent design") it seems we may be entering another cycle of change, and a darker epoch of intolerance.

Shame, really. I rather enjoy the light.

"Genius" (with HUGE quotes) travels in packs

Lightning Bug's Butt tagged me for a MEME. I NEVER do these things, but for LBB, I will. First, it's rare that he ever does them... so when he does, he means business. Second, after reading his, I am amazed at one thing:

We are the freakin' SAME PERSON.

I will tell you six things about me. Then, click over and read the six things about him. You'll see how close they are.

1 - I own a SONICARE toothbrush. I obsess with the timer on it, but not to quite the extent LBB does. The Sonicare has a cool little feature, a timer that lets it run for a 2 minute cycle, then it shuts itself off. It also beeps every 30 seconds, which is handy because you can split your mouth into 4 sections and carefully brush each section, knowing that you will end right at 2 minutes. The game I play with my Sonicare is, I try to finish each section just a second or two early, so I have an EXTRA few seconds to go over the front teeth again at the end because I am a vain sonofabitch. Then, I always try to turn the brush OFF before it turns ITSELF off. I really need to find something else to obsess about.

Such as...

2 - How I look in the mirror. This might be more common than I think, but I actually don't mind how I look in the mirror. I freakin' HATE how I look in pictures, I am one of the most unphotogenic people on earth. (Come to think of it, any other planet too) I have a theory that we look better in the mirror because it's 'real time.' We can change our unsavory expression quickly, suck in our gut, adjust our smile and uncross our eyes until we think we look pretty good. Photos do not afford us the same quick-change capability.

3 - I am scared shitless of scorpions. Anything with a mouth, pinchers, a stinger/tail and 8 freakin' legs scares the shit out of me. Fortunately, I don't live in a hot, arid location such as Arizona because I would be a basket case. Once, my friend Ken and I were touring a house I was about to move into, in an area that is fairly prone to scorpions. As we were walking through the house, I made a comment about the possibility of a scorpion encounter. I continued touring the living room area while he walked upstairs to a balcony to look around. Seconds later, I felt a small "thing" drop on my head from above, and my arms became like a weed-eater, thrashing about wildly, slapping/brushing at the thing on my head, thinking surely it was a scorpion! That bastard Ken had dropped a little piece of wood onto my head, knowing I would FREAK. I haven't forgiven him yet. That event sealed my hatred and fear of scorpions to the point that I can barely pick up one of those gift shop scorpion paperweights without breaking a sweat.

4 - I have no fear of dying. In fact, every day at bedtime I think back over the day and wonder if I did everything to make the most of it. Good cup of coffee? Check. Click on Check. At least 30 seconds with my dog on my lap? Check. Click on* Check. Good dinner, glass of wine, some television or a good book, falling asleep thinking about a tall, beautiful blonde? Check, check, check, check. I figure that today I did all I can to enjoy life so if it ends, I'm okay with that.

5 - I have a thing about a clean sink. When the kitchen sink is dirty, I have to clean it and put away dishes. I can't tell you WHERE this tendency came from, but dirty sinks irk me. I use a bottle of Soft Scrub with bleach every few weeks because it makes the sink nice and white. This borders on a perversion, I know. Screw you for judging me.

6 - I hate loud noises. Especially when they are associated with a surprise of some kind... like a shout of "surprise!!!" at my birthday party, or when someone does something rude/loud to get my attention. I guess the root of this comes from my teenage years when science teacher, Mr. Breshears, would sneak up behind someone who was talking... and BANG his yardstick on the desk in front of them. I shit myself numerous times at the coaxing of that goddamn yardstick and I still haven't forgiven Mr. Breshears. (may he rest in peace) That is why I can't stand firecrackers... it just seems like an irritant instead of a thrill. Don't get me wrong, if a Boston song or Yanni comes on the stereo I crank that mother up. But that's by choice. Loud, when it's MY hand on the volume knob, is good. All other loud is bad.

So it seems Lightning Bug's Butt and I have many similarities. I'm not sure if, deep down, we're ALL pretty similar... or if it's Bug and Dave's similarities that drew us together in the blog world. I suppose maybe we'll never know.

*you KNOW you clicked that link! HA, there's nothing there you PERV.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Word Jumble: Satan

That Santa can be a real bastard, no?

Here are some letters to Santa, followed by his responses. These are actual letters. Personally, I think he's lost a little of his edge.


Dear Santa,

I wud like a kool toy space ranjur fer Xmas. Iv bend a guy boy all yare.

yew Fiend,

Dear Billy,

Nice spelling. You're on your way to a career in lawn care. How about I send you a friggin' book so you can learn to read and write? I'm giving your older brother the space ranger! At least HE can spell!



Dear Santa,

I have been a good girl all year, and the only thing I ask for is peace and joy in the world for everybody!


Dear Sarah,

Your parents smoked pot when they had you, didn't they?



Dear Santa,

I don't know if you can do this, but for Christmas, I'd like for my mommy and daddy to get back together. Please see what you can do?


Dear Teddy,

Look, your dad's banging the babysitter like a screen door in a hurricane. Do you think he's gonna give that up to come back to your frigid mom, who rides his ass constantly? It's time to give up that dream. Let me get you some nice Legos instead.



Dear Santa,

I want a new bike, a Playstation, a train, some G.I. Joes, a dog, a drum kit, a pony and a tuba.


Dear Francis,

Who names their kid "Francis" nowadays? I bet you're gay, I'll set you up with a Barbie.



Dear Santa,

I left milk and cookies for you under the tree, and I left carrots for your reindeer outside the back door.


Dear Susan,

Milk gives me the runs and carrots make the deer fart in my face when riding in the sleigh. You want to do me a favor? Leave me a bottle of scotch.



Dear Santa,

What do you do the other 364 days of the year? Are you busy making toys?

Your friend,

Dear Thomas,

All the toys are made in China. I have a condo in Vegas, where I spend most of my time making low-budget porno films. I unwind by drinking myself silly and squeezing the asses of cocktail waitresses while losing money at the craps table. Hey, you wanted to know.



Dear Santa,

Do you see us when we're sleeping, do you really know when we're awake, like in the song?


Dear Jessica,

Are you really that gullible or are you just a blonde? Good luck in whatever you do. I'm skipping your house.



Dear Santa,

I really really want a puppy this year. Please please please PLEASE PLEASE could I have one?


Dear Timmy,

That whiney begging shit may work with your folks, but that crap doesn't work with me. You're getting a sweater again.



Dearest Santa,

We don't have a chimney in our house, how do you get into our home?



First, stop calling yourself "Marky", that's why you're getting your ass whipped at school. Second, you don't live in a house, you live in a low-rent apartment complex. Third, I get inside your pad just like the boogeyman does, through your bedroom window.

Sweet Dreams,

Stacking steel

I'm proud of the USA, but it's pretty embarrassing that it took so long to get started on the replacement buildings for the World Trade Center.

Good ol' American politics and infighting brought the entire process to a dead stop. If thawing our resolve, miring us in political gridlock and causing us to question the need to rebuild after 9/11 means the terrorists won, I'll bet they declared victory 4 years ago.

Then, when the first beam WAS finally raised into position, it had to be removed and the flag decal replaced because it "faced the wrong direction."

It's a wonder we get anything done.

Beauty is only skin-flick deep

I ask you - how many beauty queen scandals can this country stand?

Tara Conner, Miss USA, has been nailed doing drugs and chicks. I have a problem with ONE of these things.

Then, Miss Teen USA Katie Blair was seen drinking alcohol with Tara Conner. I'm sad to report that she's been dropped as the spokesperson for MADD as a result.

And to complete our beauty queen scandal trifecta (or menage' a trois, if you will) it was discovered that Miss Nevada Katie Rees appeared in compromising photos and videos to promote a Las Vegas brothel. Nice.

And what is the worst PR move with a scandal like this? Toss in Donald Trump to speak to the issue.

Damn, good luck getting the Miss USA series of pageants back on track. Well, some call them pageants... I prefer Girls Gone Wild.

And did everyone name their daughters Katie in the 80's???

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tree up, spirit on

I've actually been in the Christmas spirit this year! Last year, it just wasn't happening for me. My friends know how bad last year sucked... I saw my Mom on Christmas Eve morning and spent the night at my friend Ron's, but Christmas day I pretty much sat at home, drank coffee and watched television. I'm not sure if I made it to the "Old Country Buffet" last year or not!

This year, new story. As you can see, the tree is up. Decorations are adorning the Morris shack, and carols have been heard drifting down the hall occasionally. What a difference a year makes!

My friends give me crap about my tree. I like the "formal" look, with a theme to the decorations, ribbons instead of an angel on top, streamers, matching lights that blink in order, even some scrappy looking glitter-covered greenery.

I guess it doesn't look as homey as some like it, but it's really beautiful. Probably the prettiest tree I've ever seen, even if I do say so myself. A couple of years ago, Dr. Mike pulled out a wad of dollar bills, bit holes in the middle, and poked them onto the branches to give it a more homey look. (actually it just made it look like Uncle Sam's tree) I still have the dollar bills and am careful to put them back on the tree whenever he and Paula are here.

The simpler trees with homemade ornaments, the big colorful bulbs, a star on top and strung popcorn are really appealing too. I love 'em both.

Em and I have come up with a compromise. Upstairs, we'll have a tree like this one. Downstairs, the homemade kind. Which kind do you like most?

I still have a lot of shopping to do, but I'm one of those you see in line at 5:59 pm on Christmas Eve with a basketful of stuff and a 12-roll pack of wrapping paper. Yep, that's me.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Ivory tickling

Everyone has at least one song they can play on the piano.

Even if you've never had lessons or can't read music, there is a song you can play on the piano. Nobody is exempt from this rule.

I've had one lesson, at the approximate age of 10... I learned to play the C-scale. Yet, I can play the SHIT out of Satin Doll.

Most people can play Heart and Soul. If you don't know what song I'm referring to, just go to the keyboard section of The Wal Marts. You'll hear it.

Which song can you play on the piano?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Random purdy pitchers

My brother/friend Ron and his beautiful wife Heather had a baby on Wednesday. He weighed 11 pounds, 12 ounces. I'll let that sink in a bit.

Yeah. That's probably what I thought too! Biggest baby the doctor had ever delivered. Here he is, held by his Uncle Dave, with Dad nearby. His name is Preston Burke Brown. He is going to be a football player.

Right before the recent snowstorm, when it was still 70 degrees, we cooked my favorite dinner - lobster, strip steak and asparagus on the grill.

I cannot convey to you how much pleasure I get from this simple meal. Meat, fish and vegetable, open-flame cooked, with a glass of red wine or a cold Bud Light.

How do you know when you love a guy? You let him try your Johnny Walker Blue scotch.

So I'm not real sure why I let Dr. Mike try my Johnny Walker Blue scotch...*

*Hahahaha just kiddin' you big jerk.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

May I touch your Litigious Majora?

This is hilarious! I must warn you, it's not for consumption in the vicinity of kids or the easily offended. (such as your boss)

If you think I'm ever having sex without one of these, you're nuts!

Sexual Consent

Article 20! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Wonder what THAT is! [via Steve Mays]


Because I got nothing today, I'm reposting something I wrote about a year ago. As I was reading a few old things, this struck me as important enough to share again.


Indulge my philosophical babble for a minute, if you will, because lately I have been thinking about "it." And not the it that eBay ads refer to, although I guess it could be. I'm talking about something bigger and deeper. Yet, simpler. I'm writing this as a reminder to myself, but also in hopes that my daughter Courtney will read it.

Did you ever look around and wonder if this... is really "it?" Is what you can see... all there is? Are there truly no invisible strings pulling at just the right moment, moving us in the right direction, helping us make the hard decisions, saving us from ourselves? Are we really responsible, independent... alone?

Frightening as it may seem, yes. This is "it." What you did yesterday, what you will do today and tomorrow, will be your benchmark. Your signature. Your offering to posterity. Those who will remember you will likely do so because you accomplished something along the way that made a difference. We... without the benefit of imagined safeguards, conjured guidelines or invisible framework... are responsible for ourselves. There are no safety belts. There are no do-overs.

This life, right now, this instant... is the only one you'll ever have. What you see around you is all there is.

This... is it.

If you know what's good for you, you'll grab the reins. Live well. Do the deed. Take the leap.

Fearlessly leave your mark.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Snowball fight!

Blogarita found this nifty tool, and I know it's not very masculine for me to admit... but I spent a little time on this thing.

Mine is fairly simple and straightforward. If you look closely, you can probably see faces in there. Nothing phallic though. If Lightning Bug's Butt makes one, it will likely be covered with schlongs, balls and other assorted Freudian shit.

It's a snowflake generator. You can make your own too. Go there now, then post your flake on your own blog. We'll have a snowball fight later. The simpler ones pack better, just so you know.


Sunday mornings are great... relaxing, and I'm able to get a nice, slow start. Sunday afternoon/evening, not so much. For whatever reason, Sunday evening is depressing to me. Maybe because everything closes early, the streets are quiet, people are getting back into the "work" mode.

It's strange, I used to know the actual reason why Sunday depresses me. (there really WAS a reason) Now, I can only hypothesize. I suppose that's good progress, no?


As I sit here on my couch, I have a good view of my dog Regis, drinking from his automatic waterer thingy. It's hilarious because he's scared shitless of that thing! If it 'burbles' while he's drinking, he practically jumps out of his skin.

Poor dog has a drinking problem.

By the way, I understand these make great Christmas gifts.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Michael Richards is an idiot

His racial epithet toward customers at that comedy club in L-A is shameful. I'm not sure how he believes it could be funny, it was stupid and insulting.

But now, opportunistic attorney... um, I mean "defender of freedom" Gloria Alred is representing the two audience members involved, and is looking for a "settlement."

Who didn't see this coming? Time for a free paycheck.

Which is fine, because now I can collect some money too:

1 - Dr. Mike (you know what you did)
2 - Ronnie Metcalf (high school classmate who called me a skinny f*cker, among other things)
3 - An assortment of critical listeners through the years (so comedy isn't my strong suit - screw you and your complaints. Those words cut deep)
4 - Chris Rock, who constantly refers to me and others as "crackers."
I want my money, dammit. You people on my list... write a check now to avoid a call from my attorney.

There's no doubt Richards is an idiot, but it takes lame-asses like him to make me look good... so whatever.

Results of St. Louis winter storm

We were supposed to receive one inch of sleet and 8 inches of snow. We ened up getting 6 inches of sleet and no inches of snow. Sledding is no fun on sleet, WTF?! As I said, it's tough to predict weather here.

What was EASY to predict is that I would get out and play in it. With the Hummer, it wasn't difficult getting around... although, had I owned a towing rope or chain, I could have almost paid for the vehicle last night.

Ala "12 days of Christmas," here's a recap of our adventure:

Twelve - Stops made before finding an open restaurant.
Eleven - Stops made before finding an open bar.
(making the approximate ratio of closed restaurants to closed bars 12:11. Can I do math or what?)
Ten - Number of "liar's poker" dollars I won from some loser at the bar. (er, I mean Dr. Mike)
Nine - "Vehicle-in-a-ditch" count per mile on I-70.
Eight - Lords a-leaping. (No, really. We passed a mini van coming from a Leaping Lords convention. Those bastards REALLY know how to leap.)
Seven - Number of people involved in the accident that closed down I-70 minutes before we got on, lending creedence to the old adage "you should pee before you leave."
Six - Number of beers stewing in the bladder of a certain birthday girl.
Five - Number of minutes it took, at 30 degrees, for her to squeeze those six beers out onto the pavement of the interstate in front of the Hummer while her husband and I stood with our coats open on either side so nobody could see.
Four - Number of times since I got up this morning that I've laughed at the thought of someone squatting and peeing in the middle of an interstate traffic jam in a snowstorm.
Three - New roads we made in the Hummer. (because we by-god could)
Two - Approximate number of HUGE balls it takes to blog about any of this, especially when you know there are clients reading.
One - Snow day today, complete with hot chocolate, a fireplace and the television remote. The whole thing about never getting a snow day if you work from home - is bullshit.

Oh, and just for you McKay... a picture of the dirty, ice-covered Hummer. Yep... I have one, and I'm NOT afraid to use it.