Monday, June 30, 2003

I should also note, on the subject of gardening, that our long national nightmare is over: the dark tyranny of the apricots no longer holds sway. They have come and gone through our lives, leaving only a sticky residue that gathers flies.

And pies. We have some pies.
The Kafka Family Garden Menagerie Running Tally:

Gnomes, Plastic: 1
Frogs, Plastic and Marginally Realistic: 1
Frogs, Plastic, Wearing Overalls and Holding a Shovel: 1

You will be updated of further developments.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Apparently, the National Do Not Call List sign up is flooded. Somewhere over half a million people have signed up today.

But not me.

I will be the only person receiving telemarketing calls left in the country. I will sit by my phone 18 hours a day, with only a break for a sensible lunch of maybe tuna salad, and then back at it. I will have banks of phones set up to field every offer I possibly can. I will be the savior of telemarketers. They will have pictures of me up there next to the clock, where the picture of the president used to be when the land was simple and men wore hats more.

It will, of course, get a little complicated being the only telemarketing demographic left. Everything will have to be tailored to me. And if I get annoyed with the telemarketers, I'll say "you know, I'm thinking of signing up for the Do Not Call List."

I bet they'll cry.

And then, after they've cried some, I'll sign up anyway.
For many years, I thought the word "solder" was pronounced "SOUL-DUR" instead of "SAW-TER". I still hold that this makes no sense whatsoever, but there you go.

This mispronunciation really came to haunt me when one day I was walking down the street, lost in thought about the marginalization of Man-At-Arms on the old He-Man series and the loss of meaning inherent in the double-name paradigm, when suddenly a man leapt from the shadows.

"Pronounce this word!" he demanded, and pulled out a tattered piece of brown bag on which he had inscribed the letters S-O-L-D-E-R.

I, of course, said "SOUL-DUR", marking myself as a feeb.

Luckily, though, my assailant was so shocked by my stupidity that he had a brain aneurysm and died almost instantly.

Let that be a lesson to you.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Tindersticks are planning their first American Tour in over 7 years!

Tour Dates

You should go. That's all I'm saying.

I'm also saying "marsupial" a lot too, so that's not really true, the part about "you should go" being all that I'm saying.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Crafty evil-doers have apparently pilfered them pesky WMDs.

[via norm, who is basically a big troublemaker]

Monday, June 23, 2003

Apricots. Dear god, there are so many apricots.

Our new house has a giant apricot tree in the front yard, which so far has yielded about 50 lbs. of fruit. That, my friends, is a whole lot of apricots. Imagine a pie that weighed 50 lbs. But instead of that pie, there would be only apricots. Apricots that stubbornly refuse to be a pie, unless you make with the crust preparation and all that baking stuff. That is what 50 lbs. of apricots is like.

Not easy on the bowels, either. Just a heads-up there for your bowels.This is not to suggest that I ate 50 lbs. of apricots in a sitting or anything. But I did ingest about 25 apricots one rakish Saturday, which ensured a good cumulative hour of quality time later that day. That is, of course, not something you should want to know about.

One exciting feature of having a big apricot tree in your front yard, and living in a neighborhood where there is a lot of walking of an evening, is that people steal your apricots. Frankly, I am more than happy for my neighbors to take a few sweet little morsels from the tree. Hell, they can invite some friends from out of state to drive over and grab a basket full. But the fun thing about it is that our computer room is right next to the tree, so we can see people getting all sneaky with the fruit.

One woman, who for some reason seemed oblivious to the fact that we were mere feet from her, glanced around as if she was planning a diamond heist, and then dove to the ground gathering up the fallen apricot warriors who no longer had a place on the tree. Of course, if she had asked us to pick some fruit, I could have told her not to take the apricots from the lawn, where an exterminator had just liberally sprinkled pesticide granules.

But hey, karma. right?

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Just a couple of things:

Firstly, I am grinding gears like a mofo. The kind of mofo that grinds gears, that is. Not the Oedipus kind.

I go happily shifting into second and a pterodactyl-like shriek emanates from the transmission. And I always make the same shocked and sheepish expression, just to let all the other drivers who are busy guffawing at my obvious lack of mad driving skillz (or "differently abled motor vehicle skillset") that yes, I am a goober but that this is obviously not my fault and is indicative of a larger force, most likely entropy.

Secondly, I am seeing lots and lots of British Columbia license plates in the last few days. I'm not saying they're planning anything. But just be aware. I am officially placing the British Columbia Early Warning Color Code System at Yellow. This means you should avoid geese.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Results of the Harvard U.S. Dialect Survey

Find out how people say "pecan" and "humongous"

Really fascinating. Also, it made me realize that I'm just not saying "pecan" or "humongous" as much as I probably should be. I pledge from now on to say "Humongous pecan" at least once every day. If I forget one day, I will allow myself to double up on the "humongous pecan" phrase.

bonus: Humongous Pecan

incidentally, with the amount of times I said "humongous pecan" in this post alone, I can probably go a whole week without saying "humongous pecan".

Monday, June 16, 2003

Nippon Meat Packers: Fun with Meat!

Please, I beg you: Do not make with the erotic meat statues.

[liberated from Plurp!, which probably got it from somewhere else.]

Friday, June 13, 2003

If I was in a slasher movie (and that's not to say that I'm not), I would want to be the creepy old guy that lives down by the swamp. He does some disturbing gardening projects, hangs up dead rabbits outside his shack, and just waits around for the high-schoolers to show up. Then he gets to menace them with a pitchfork and give them the evil eye. He wants to warn the giggling tribe of teens that they should not even consider the humping.

Because he knows what'll happen.

He gets to be twitchy and affect a ridiculous accent that varies between Cajun, Canuck and sometimes Welsh. He doesn't have to spend time worrying about his wardrobe. Just punches the clock, smears a little mud on his chin, and he's ready to go.

The function of the creepy old guy down by the swamp is basically a red herring. But there's something deeper to the creepy old guy too: He's been involved in some way with the murderer. Maybe back in '55 he was there the night the football team pantsed him in front of the whole school, or he witnessed that terrible toaster accident that left the killer scarred and vengeful.

Oh yeah. That's the life for me. Creepy old guy down by the swamp.

I mean, being the killer would be, let's face it, a lot of work. Who has time to go around punishing smoochers. And you've got to have a gimmick, like the hockey mask or a limp. Then you have to remember which leg you're supposed to be limping on. And you always have to be thinking up new ways to rain judgment down on the unworthy. That's a lot of pressure.

Being the jock guy who carries a football or some other such prop around until he is skewered with a fence-post while having a feel-up session with one of the easier cheerleaders? Well, sure, you don't have to remember a lot of dialogue and you do get the feel-up session. But you can be pretty sure you're number is up either immediately before, during, or immediately after your "little death" (and if you're the girl, you get no "little death" at all. Believe me. I actually took film theory classes on this.)

Probably the worst fate of all would be the Survivor Girl. You get harrassed for about 87 minutes, you have to look pensive and troubled a lot, and all that ear-piercing screaming can't be easy on the throat. You know you're going to fall down, and maybe break a minor leg bone in the ultimate or penultimate chase. And then, just when the reassuring music comes up, the killer in whose eye socket you buried a curling iron is going to leap out from somewhere just to annoy you.

And your dog'll die.

Yep. I'll stick to creepy old guy down by the swamp, thanks very much.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

I should also add (and I don't know if anyone ever looks at the left hand side over there where I regale you with what I'm reading and viewing, and which I honestly don't update all that frequently, just in case you were worried about my slow reading) that I am thoroughly enjoying Travels with Charley.

I had this thing about Steinbeck for a long time, because he was my parents' favorite author. I thought "I just can't read Steinbeck." And then I'd make little snide comments about "Will there be bunnies?" or The Red Pony or something.

The other day though, I just thought "What the hell am I doing avoiding one of the greatest authors of the last hundred years on some ridiculous notion of rebellion that doesn't even make sense?" After all, I had read Steinbeck's King Arthur tales and really enjoyed them. And Steinbeck was practically from my home town.

So I went out and bought Travels with Charley and it felt really good buying it. I just may move on to Cannery Row after that.

I guess after a while you learn how very foolish you are, denying the very things that made you. The slow becoming is maybe creeping into me as I think of my lawn needing a mow and ponder the upcoming symphony season.

And that's just fine.
When I was small, we had a set of encyclopedias cobbled together from some used classroom book sale my mom had attended.

It was pretty haphazard. There were some World Books, some Britannicas. And they were from many different years, kind of like the Johnny Cash song "One Piece at a Time". And, of course, we didn't have all of the volumes.

So I'd be doing a report on Rhodesia or something, and discover to my chagrin that we had no R. The excuse never seemed to work, though.

I'd like to try that excuse at work, sometimes.

"Kaf" my boss would thunder. "Where is that catalog you weere supposed to have finished in April?!"

"Sorry boss, got no R."

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

I know, I know...I've been lackadaisical in my posting habits.

It's this house thing. It turns out to be kind of a lot of work.

You've got boxes. You've got painting. You've got a roof that has to be scaled.

I did in fact spend about six hours on my roof on Sunday, liberating my atrium from the corrugated plastic ceiling the previous owners cruelly installed, turning our little atrium into some bizarre sweat lodge. It had to go.

So I bravely climbed to the roof, armed only with a power socket thingy and my mighty ratchet and entered into battle. Six hours later, scratched and bleeding, pecked by psychotic morning doves within an inch of my life, I had succeeded in freeing half of my atrium from the shackles of plastic suffocation.

OK, I wasn't really pecked by morning doves, but I could well have been. The little jerks have been circling our property, menacing us with their nestward intentions. We made the mistake of allowing morning doves to nest on our balcony a few apartments back and were rewarded by a vast sea of cute little bird feces all over our $39 IKEA patio furniture. And we don't want a repeat of that.

So I plan to spend my weekends shaking various garden tools at the birds, and if that fails, I will get a court order to stop their would-be tenancy.

Let's see how they like Johnny Law.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

I just saw the greatest Weekly World News headline of all time:


One can only hope that this won't lead to an outbreak of NASCAR Ghosts troubling the god-fearing populace of our great nation. Not to mention their elderly mothers who, in all likelihood, are not up to the kind of shock they would get should the ectoplasm-drenched spectre of beloved left-turner Dale Earnhardt come materializing in every time they cough.

I think I just like the way they put it: "Dale Earnhardt's Ghost". Like it was the end of a ghost story or something: "And when they finally went to the attic to investigate the noises, it was....DALE EARNHARDT'S GHOST!"


But at least Dale Earnhardt's Ghost has something to keep him occupied, what with looking after the mothers of our military fighting death-machines. So good for dead Dale Earnhardt.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

So I go into Home Depot and I'm all like "Hey! Who here can help me with whacking!?"

And this dude is like "That is like the most tiredest joke in Home Depot, my man. Get your lame self on out of my Garden Department before I spray on you with the Corry's Snail and Slug Death."

"But dude! I want to go into my front yard and whack and feel proud. I don't want a cord to be dragging around, getting in the way of my whacking!"

This post did not make a lot of sense. But the point is that, in one of the first essential steps to home ownership (way before having any sort of a clue about home repair or anything like that), I did get an EDGE HOG! Because I'm an EDGE HOG ACHIEVER! An EDGE HOG is like a weedwhacker except it has a little cartoon spokesperson which looks kind of like Knuckles the Echidna from the old Sonic games, and that's what I'm really looking for in a yard implement.

The other thing I'm looking for in a yard implement is to be able to brandish or possibly wield it in a menacing fashion.


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