Thursday, June 28, 2007

Chuck E. Vlog

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Does anyone else bank with Wells Fargo? I do. And they have this new thing at their ATM’s wherein you are no longer allowed to use envelopes when making your deposit. You simply insert your checks or cash right into the ATM. It’s weird. It feels weird.

You put the checks into the “In” slot and then a few seconds later the ATM tells you the amount of the check. This is weird. It can read handwriting?

Today at the ATM I looked over to the woman at the ATM next to me. She was perplexed. I said, “Do you suppose there are little people inside of here reading our checks?”

“All I want to do is use an envelope. I’m standing here inserting these checks one at a time, it’s taking forever.”

“I think you can insert them all at the same time.”

“I don’t trust this machine to do it that way.”

“I think there are midgets inside, and on the whole they can be trusted.”

“Weird look”

I printed out my receipt. It had a scan of the check I deposited printed right on the receipt.

“Look! The midgets can draw!”

“Unamused glare.”

“Alrighty then, good luck to ya.”

Technology sometimes advances a little too fast for our simple human brains...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Nola Eye View

I’m thinking that dogs must be born with the tremendous ability to withstand terror on a daily basis. My poor little dog must have nerves of steal to make it through his days. The dog weighs 5.5 pounds. And I insist on taking him to dog parks pretty regularly where he is pretty regularly chased by dogs about 10 times his size. And yet he doesn’t keel over.

Could you imagine if a bus just started gunning for you? And there was more than one bus? And your mom thought this was a funtime activity for you?

Today I was walking Nola around my condo grounds and I noticed a bigger dog up ahead. Nola noticed him too, but didn’t really pay much attention to him. Then the big dog stopped to poop, which gave us a little time to catch up. And gave the big dog time to spot Nola and decide that he would make a perfect midday snack.

So the dog comes sprinting towards us with all his might. He rips his leash right out of his walker’s hand and then has nothing between him and his snack. I am walking Nola with one of those harness leashes, the ones that snap around his body, instead of just hooking onto his little neck. The point of these leashes is to avoid choking your dog. And, as it turns out, to be able to very quickly save your dog from his demise.

I had to laugh because I can only imagine what this all must have looked like to the poor puppy. First he looks up and sees a huge ass dog bearing his teeth and running full speed towards him. He thinks his end must be near. Then all of a sudden he is flying and spinning through the air. Then he is being held above my head as the dog jumps and tries to get to him.

Twenty seconds later, after the owner apologized profusely, we moved down the road a bit and I put him back on the ground. Without missing a beat, he went back to chasing flying bugs.

Nerves of steal this dog.

These Kinds of Things Are the Reason I Live

This weekend a glorious event took place. It took place painfully close to my home and yet I was unaware of it until it hit the news media. Next year I will be reporting from the scene of this glorious event, because it’s really crap like this that makes life worth living.

This weekend at the Sonoma County Fair they crowned “The World’s Ugliest Dog”. Have you seen this before? I see it every year and every year I just can’t get enough of it.

This is Sam:

According to Wikipedia, “Sam, a blind Chinese Crested dog, was voted the world’s ugliest dog three times in a row, from 2003 through 2005. He died in November 2005 causing an end to his three-year reign. Sam is considered by some to be the ugliest dog ever.”

I don’t think anyone is trying to argue with whoever considers Sam to be the ugliest dog ever. He can have that trophy. Even though the poor thing couldn’t even see his trophy, because he was blind. Which is ironic, considering what he does to other people's eyes.

Wiki goes on to tell the tale of a “voting scandal” that rocked the Ugliest Dog in the World Contest in 2006. There was some sort of online voting fraud or something. Apparently there are people who take this contest very seriously. What with the whole organizing an Ocean’s Eleven type plot to control the voting. Do you suppose one of the contestants was a member of the Bush family? I will stop there, because the rest of the jokes I could make along those lines are just too easy.

Instead, let’s look at this year’s winner:

He too is a Chinese Crested dog. I’m thinking it might be a good idea to stay away from this breed, on the whole. Besides the off chance that they will win a grand in Sonoma once a year, they really don’t seem to have much going for them. Although I’m sure they have wonderful personalities.

Oh god, I just found the website where the voting took place this year: . Please. This is awesome.

Sweet Jesus, I’m so going to this thing next year. I'm looking around the website and in addition to Latino Wrestling they also have great concerts. One of the bands performing at the fair concert? Abbacadabra. An Abba cover band. And a band called Bowling for Soup. You know what is sad? There are two other bands that I’ve actually heard of - SheDaisy and Cheap Trick. Do you think it might be time to start reevaluating the whole music career when you are getting booked alongside Abbacadabra and the World’s Ugliest Dog is getting more media coverage than you? Maybe.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I Am Still Alive

It has been several days since the new roommate moved in and so far he has not tried to chop me up into bits. I take this as a very good sign. I told my mother that she had nothing to worry about because he is black. And statistically black men are not serial killers. They just aren’t. It’s the shifty white guys you have to worry about. They’ll hack you up before the second course. You’ve seen the movies, you know what I am talking about.

So without a mass murderer moving in things have been pretty uneventful around these here parts. The biggest thing I’ve done lately is download the whole season of ‘Ugly Betty’. That’s like 24 hours of TV I have to watch. How cute is this show? I mean really? How did I miss it this last year? I don’t know. I just get way too over-committed to TV shows and sometimes I have to cut some loose. Thank god for websites that allow me to download the entire seasons of shows that I’ve missed.

I’m not really sure how these websites work. All I know for sure is that they probably are totally illegal and are definitely accessed primarily by people looking for porn. Because no matter what you search for there is always something porn-y you can download as well. God love the internet.

Besides ‘Ugly Betty’ I haven’t been watching much TV this summer, nothing really strikes my interest. A friend of mine invited me over to a ‘So You Think You Can Dance?’ viewing party tonight. And by viewing party I mean 5 of us sitting around playing ‘So You Think You Have The Right To Critique Dancing Just Because You’ve Watched Every Season of Dancing With The Stars?’ It’s a fun game, you should try it.

Tonight one couple was supposed to do a samba dance. After the dance I said, “Well, that was good, but it wasn’t a samba.” My friend said, “How do you know?” I said, “Excuse me, I watch ‘Dancing with the Stars’, I know me a samba when I see it.” And then like three seconds later one of the judges said, “That was a good performance, but that wasn’t a samba.” Ha! I am so informed. I know my ballroom dances.

‘So You Think You Can Play Off Of Dancing With The Stars’ Popularity?’ is okay, but it’s hardly as good as my ‘Dancing with the Stars’. However, I must say that my friends’ commentary does boost ‘SYTYCD’s’ watchability exponentially. Their commentary is almost as entertaining as the random ass celebrities that sit in the audience for every taping of Dancing with the Stars. Why are Florence Henderson and Lisa Loeb sitting next to each other, cheering on Layla Ali? Why not?! And have you been wondering what Jane Seymour has been up to lately? Well, wonder no more, she is sitting in the audience at Dancing with the Stars tapings. Her agent is awesome.

Another thing that is awesome? Apparently tomorrow night there is another edition of ‘So You Wanna Dance With Somebody?’ It’s the elimination show. And you know what they do on the elimination show? Wait for it. A Dance-Off. Yeah. And! And! The name of the Dance-Off is Dance for Your Life. My god. Hollywood. A town of geniuses. And a lot of out of work actors.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I Like Talking Better Than Writing

I know I’m supposed to be a writer, and that you are supposed to write on blogs. But damn if it isn’t easier to just hold up the camera and ramble on.

Tonight, mom rambled with me.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Party Vlog

We are party animals.

Friday, June 15, 2007

This May Be My Last Post

My friend e-mailed me the other day and said that a friend of hers knew of someone looking to rent a room for a few months this summer. She knows that I’m currently very broke, so she thought I might be interested in the extra cash. I said sure.

So in a couple days a random boy will be showing up to my house and will be moving in for a few months. Is that weird? My mother seems to think it is. Well, weird might not be the right word for it. Scaryashell might be a better word for it. Mom is pretty sure that I’m going to be chopped up into bits. But I’m pretty sure I could use the extra cash each month, so I’m willing to risk it. Also, just think of the great book I could get out of it if the dude turns out to be a psycho? It would make a great movie too! Lifetime, I’m gunnin’ for ya. “Mother, May I Rent to Danger?” Ha.

I will have you know that I asked the dude if he was a mass murderer and he said no, he is an engineer. So, as you can see, everything is going to be fine. I did, however, want to write this blog, just in case this engineer is a quick worker and decides to kill me on Sunday, before I get the chance to blog. I wouldn’t want you all to wonder where I had gone.

In other news, Rafael and I are going to a fancy party for a mutual friend tomorrow night and we will be doing a short vlog while we are there. We will look very stupid at this party with my camera in front of our faces - but that is the price we pay for the vlog. If I don’t get killed this weekend then our party-going will be up to welcome you on Monday morning. If there is no party vlog, call the cops. And someone take care of the dog, he will probably miss me the most.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I Heart the Nineties

I have just discovered the joy that is the radio stations on Itunes. Bored with the million songs on my computer I recently decided to venture over to the radio button. And there I found the best thing ever: The 90's Station.

I heart 90's music.

Right now I’m listening to Color Me Badd’s “I Wanna Sex You Up”. God, this is art with a hip hop beat. It never fails to amaze me that I can remember every word to every song recorded in the 90's, yet I can’t begin to tell you anything about say, chemistry or American history. All of this stuff went into my brain in the 90's. Only “I Wanna Sex You Up” remains. Maybe if chemistry had a hip hop beat.

See, the 90's were really the first decade that I listened to current music. I grew up during the 80's, but tragically the only music I listened to during that decade was my parents’ music. Which is why the 50's Station is just about as exciting to me as the 90's station. When I saw the musical "Jersey Boys" earlier this year it was me and a theater full of retired people cheering the songs of our youth. It appears that cool left me before I even hit puberty. I never had a chance.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Whole Lotta Video Blogging

Good news: A friend of mine is smarter than my camera and helped me get the video on my computer.

Not really that bad of news: The camera records in widescreen (like a movie) but my computer program wants it to be tv dimensions. So it just made it tv dimensions. Which means that we are very squeezed in the shot. This isn’t that bad of news because it makes us look about 20 pounds skinnier. As well as about a foot taller than normal. Oh well. I will remedy that for the next vlog, but right now I’m very happy to have any video at all.

And did I mention how much video we have actually? Quite a bit.

This is our first one, so we just set up the camera and rambled. As we both have the ability to do. An hour later we hadn’t really said much at all. We didn’t really have any topics to discuss and we were constantly interrupted by the dog and the kids. Not that the dog and the kids are to blame for why we don’t have anything of interest to say, but why not blame them anyways? They are young and defenseless.

I tried to edit it down to 10 minutes, but then I thought, what the hell, let’s just have two parts for the first one. Neither part is very interesting, but they do sorta give an introduction to us and our rambling. I promise that upcoming editions will be more concise and might even have a point. Although that might be shooting a bit high.

These clips are long, so I recommend pushing play, then pushing pause and letting them load all the way to the end. That way the video won’t stall at all. And you won’t miss any of the 20 minutes of nothing that we have to offer you.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Video Blog

My friend Rafael and I have been trying to put together this video blog thing. I haven’t had much to write about these past few weeks so I thought I’d enlist his help to liven up the blog. He is my ChrisKwanziKah partner and he cracks me up. So I thought it would be fun to do a regular video blog with him to make things a little more exciting here on the blog for you, the home viewer.

I had this idea quite some time ago.

I went over to his house one time and we set up the camera and turned it on, only to find that we only had about 10 minutes of battery time left. With our rambling asses we barely get our names out in 10 minutes. So that one didn’t go so well. Then this weekend we tried another one. I recently got my fancy camera back and I figured why not shoot with it. It’s a ridiculously expensive camera to be using on a video blog, but currently the camera isn’t being used, so why not. But now I can’t get the video from the camera onto my computer. Who even knows if the footage is decent, we shot it out by Rafael’s apartment’s pool. His two girls and one of their friends and my dog were coming in and out of the shot the entire time. The only really entertaining part is when I dive towards the camera anytime a kid or the dog comes near it.

We might have to shoot again, this time on a crappy little minidv cam, because at least I know that will work. Meanwhile I’m trying to figure out if this fancy camera is worth holding onto at all or if it might be time to try to sell it and make some of my money back. It’s a great camera, but I just know it’s going to end up sitting here unused while my bank account screams out for replenishment. It’s either the camera or my kidney. But if I went with the kidney then I could use the camera to document that and I’d end up with a hell of a movie...

So in short, I have no video blog to offer you. I’m hoping tomorrow someone smarter than me will tell me how to get the video from the camera to the computer. Or maybe we’ll just have to shoot a third edition of the vlog. You know what they say about the third time its charms...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sleeping Schedule

My sleeping schedule is once again officially messed the hell up. It’s 3:49 am right now. I’m awake. And not even sorta tired.

The culprit in the complete destruction of any sleep normalcy is a book titled “The Kite Runner”. Never in my life have so many people recommended a book to me. So I made a point to buy it at one of the many bookstores I visited on my cross-country adventure. (We won’t go into detail about how many books I bought in total on the adventure. Suffice to say that I really shouldn’t be left to roam with an “author’s discount” in bookstores. Sad part is that most of the time I actually bought more books than I sold...oh the joy of book tours.) Anywho, I’ve been reading this book forever, I never have longer than 15 minutes or so to sit down and read it. But this last week I started to get towards the end of the book. The amount of pages left was less than the amount that I’d read. I was in the homestretch.

So I sacrificed my precious sleep in an effort to finish this book. Last night/morning I still had about 50 pages left when I saw the sun come up outside my window. I went ahead and finished it.

Now it’s quarter to 4 in the morning and I’m not even sorta tired. And I don’t have a new book picked out to read. Even the dog is asleep, so I can’t play with him. (He has refused to succumb to my ridiculous sleep patterns. He will be going to bed at 10 pm, thank you very much. Oh, and he’ll be waking up at 7 am, so you better be ready for that too.

As for the book? Totally worth my messed up sleep. I’m sure I’m the only person left on the planet who hadn’t read it, but if you haven’t read it you should check it out. It’s a great story about forgiveness and guilt and blame and friendship. I’m sure it will be a movie at some point, so read the book now and look intelligent later when it comes out on the big screen.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Kid and The Dog

Today I am going to be the person who writes about a kid and a dog. I’m sorry. I don’t know when I became that person, but here I am. I think I left hip by the wayside many a year ago.

So first, the kid. The kid had a recital tonight. “The Musical History of Early America” it was called.

When I got the program I was hoping they were talking about early America circa the 1950's or so. That’s the kind of music I’d like to hear. But noooo. They went back a bit farther than that to the constitution and Washington and other boring stuff. Not one Elvis or Frankie Valli song. Damnit.

But I must say, these recitals are getting a little bit better every year. That’s because the kids are able to memorize better things every year. When you start out, in the preschool and the kindergarten, you get a lot of hand clapping and jumping around and the occasional 4 line song. It takes everything in your power to clap for something so unamazing. But as the kids get older they are able to take on bigger and better things. Tonight, for instance, these kids took on the whole history of America. AND they even remembered to add in some clapping for old times sake.

These kids sang for like 45 minutes straight, song after song, after history after clapping. I was somewhat amazed that they could fit all these songs into their heads, who do these teachers think these kids are? U2? How the hell are they supposed to remember all this stuff? But they did.

Except when they didn’t. Which was awesome. They’d all kinda start humming at the same point, then look to each other and hope, hope, hope that at least someone could get them back on track. I realized at that point that the only real hope of these recitals being entertaining to adults is if something goes wrong. Someone falls down, the whole set falls over, the kids start lifting their skirts over their heads and running around in chaos. This is what we are all waiting for. Something to send in to America’s Funniest Home Videos.

But unfortunately nothing that bad usually happens. Do the kids realize that you can win 10 GRAND on Funniest Home Videos? Work with us here.

And now the dog. Another possibility for 10 grand, if only he would sing or talk or bite someone in the balls. But no, all he wants to do is play with rocks that for some reason seems to have heads and legs.

Nola spent a good half hour trying to figure out why that rock was moving and hissing at him. The dog ain’t that bright, but we love him anyways. I fear he might be getting stupider by the day, because every day he does something that causes him to go tumbling down stairs, into a wall, onto his head or something equally as traumatizing to his poor little body. He just kind throws himself places. And usually he doesn’t realize until he is in midair that the place he is throwing himself is going to hurt an awful lot. Today alone he leapt off a porch, ran face first into a wooden step at full running speed, and jumped right into the kneecap of a running kid.

Maybe if I would have brought him to the recital things would have livened up a bit...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


I went over to my friends house tonight for dinner. What she made for dinner is unimportant. What is important is the fact that she made snickerdoodle cookies. I love me some snickerdoodle cookies. I have been friends with this girl for twenty some odd years and I think that the fact that she makes the best snickerdoodle cookies EVER is a very large reason that we’ve remained friends. I really can’t get enough of these things. I walked in for dinner, saw the cookies and just started eating them. I don’t think I’ve stopped since. Not only did I ruin my dinner I might have ruined ever meal for the rest of the week. And I’ve definitely ruined the hope of any other cookie ever living up to these cookies.

I was telling Cookie Friend about a horrible, horrible thing that happened while I was out on the road in the middle of god knows where. It must have been in one of the southern states, cause we were in the motorhome. While we were in the motorhome we ate a lot of meals in the motorhome, and we often stocked up on food whenever we stopped. The others bought real food and I bought junk food, because my system really doesn’t know what to do if it doesn’t have a certain amount of crap food on a regular basis.

Yet I digress.

So we are in someplace somewhere and I see a box with the word “Snickerdoodle” written on it. I get very happy and reach for the box. I become even happier when I see that the outside of the box has a picture of cookies that look just like Cookie Friend’s: nice and soft and snicker-tastic. So I buy the box and am so looking forward to scarfing it down as we bounce along the great highways of this land.

But then.

I go to open the box and what do I find? HARD cookies. What the? They were like little Nilla Wafers with a little sugar on them. Is that even legal? To put a picture on the outside of something, very clearly indicating that that is what is to be found in the box, and then instead putting in a completely different product?! What kind of crap is that?

Since that time I’ve been craving snickerdoodles, real snickerdoodles. Which is why I haven’t stopped eating them tonight since I got my little hands on them. I’m not quite sure what effect of 400 cookies will have on my intestines, but I’m sure whatever it is it will totally be worth it.

In other news I thought I’d make a little list of the movies I’ve seen lately, to give you an idea of how little I’ve been doing since I got home. Something about being on that road for so long (without cookies to keep me company) has made me very hesitant to ever leave my couch again.

Blood Diamond
Goal! The Dream Begins
When the Levees Broke
V for Vendetta
Rocky 85 (I actually tried to watch this two times and it just refused to get interesting, so I turned it off (by the way, what the hell is wrong with Sly Stallone’s face? People need to stop with the face surgery))
The Prestige
The Heart of the Game
Deliver Us From Evil
Who Killed the Electric Car?
Half Nelson
Stranger Than Fiction
Shut Up and Sing
Come Early Morning
The US vs. John Lennon
Jesus is Magic
The Last King of Scotland
Freedom Writers
For Your Consideration
Dexter (TV Series) (The entire series) (I need a hobby)
Shrek 3 (with the 11 year old)

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Dog Has Gender Issues

It’s June! (Can you friggin’ believe that? Good god time flies when you take off from your life for three months) It’s Dog Picture Time.

This one is a little difficult to photograph. So I had to take two pics.

See! Fido is a June Bride AND Groom. Which means that once again Fido is having some gender issues. And s/he is having trouble finding a mate. Maybe if s/he ever left the porch s/he’d have better luck.

Since I have a real dog now we decided to dress him up as well.

He didn’t enjoy that as much as Fido seems to.