Thursday, January 26, 2006

St. Timothy of Borborygmus

According to my new
calendar, (Jeffery Kacirk’s
Forgotten English) today is the Feast Day of St. Timothy. St. Timothy is “a protector of those with intestinal ailments.” In order to figure out what kind of sacrifice St. Tim prefers, I went to
this site to do a bit of research. Oh my Holy Saints, Batman! There are hundreds, if not thousands of saints listed! The “X” page has only one listing, though. Kind of like an express lane for saints. St. Tim, of the intestinal ailments, according to one record hung out with St. Paul. Pretty high up there in the saint seniority, it would seem. And he got to be saint of intestinal disorders.

It got me thinking, (Surprise, surprise.) with so many saints, you really had to get in there early, or be connected in order to get to be the saint of something good. If you become a saint today, you are probably going to wind up with something like “Patron Saint of Lost Keys” or “Patron Saint of Lint Screens.”

Imagine being martyred, dying some gruesome, horrible death for your God, and having to wait around in heaven for your sainthood certificate to arrive. With the golden ink still wet, you make your way over to the Saint’s Services Desk in heaven and ring the bell. (And an angel gets his wings.)

Me: “Hello, anybody here?”

Patron Saint of Saints: “Yes, can I help you?”

Me: “I’ve just received my sainthood, you see, and came to register and see what you have available.”

PSOS: “Well, let’s have a look at that parchment. First of all, you’ll need a fixative for your certificate, keeps the ink nice and prevents smudges and fingerprints. I recommend the Saints Preservus™ it’s acid free and archive quality. Now let me get the registration book and forms. What is your first preference for patroncy?”

Me: Nothing too outrageous or glamorous, what occupations do you have available?

PSOS: “Let me have a look…there is whale washers.

Me: Umm…What else?

PSOS: Canker Sores?

Me: Yeah, no.

PSOS: Lost Causes? Never mind, sorry, that one is taken. How about Lost Keys?

Me: I knew it! How about Patron Saint of Those Aggravated by People Who Talk On Their Cell Phones When They Should Be Paying Attention to The Road?

PSOS: *With a stunned look* I’ll need more ink.

You get the idea. Anyway, I’m off to sacrifice a bucket of hot wings to St. Tim of the Intestinal Disorders.


Random Fact: The guy on the donkey is just a guy on a donkey.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Vampires, Werewolves and the Laws of Physics

Okay, if you have not seen "Underworld Evolution" but plan to, don't read this.

So, as you may surmise, I went and saw "Underworld Evolution" Friday night. And I was enjoying it just fine until the final ten minutes or so.

And Marcus goes and pulls a helicopter out of the sky by a piece of rope.

This was the point that my brain said "Oh come ON!" and from there on, I was too fed up to really enjoy the film anymore. Now you may ask why it was this particular bit of film fantasy that I had a problem with. We are talking about a movie where a guy is bitten by a vampire AND a werewolf and becomes a mix of both. We are talking about a movie where they only reload for about a third of the bullets they shoot. A movie that has vampire who flies with bat wings. A movie where a guy is a medical intern in an un-named European country, but doesn't speak the language. A movie where four policemen get their asses handed to them by bogeymen and they come back the next day without any more men. And that's not to mention a movie with vampires and werewolves.

So, as you can see, my sense of reality was already suspended going into the whole affair. But it seems that my brain expected the basic laws of physics to still apply. It boils down to this; It doesn't matter how strong you are, you can't pull a helicopter down.

Before you get too loud in your protests, I propose a simple test. The next time you go to the gym (If you are that kind of person, if not go watch someone who does.) go to one of the pull down machines, put on your body weight plus 50 pounds, then pull down. You know what happens? You pull yourself up! Unless you brace yourself to something that weighs more than the total weight, you will move, not the weights.

Now that you see where I am headed, back to Marcus and the helicopter. First of all, helicopters weigh a LOT more than your average vampire. So, if Marcus were trying to lift one on a teeter totter, he'd have a problem. A helicopter has to produce enough lift to keep itself in the air, plus passengers. (Which, in this case, was at least 6 who disembarked. Selene and the four Red Shirt commandos, then the revived Michael.) So, to counteract that weight, Marcus has to weigh at least as much as those six individuals.

They use helicopters to move heavy cargo. Without doing too much research I found a company that you can use to have helicopters lift things. They lift 6,000 pound air conditioning units. So now Marcus has to weigh at least 6,000 pounds to even begin to think about pulling down a helicopter. And he'd have to be considerably heavier to just YANK it down the way he did.

Now, if this had been "The Matrix" I could accept this, since the suspension of the laws of physics was established as a ground rule. But it wasn't "The Matrix" it's "Underworld Evolution" and this JUST SHOULDN'T BE.

Maybe Marcus has strong toes and gripped the Earth for leverage...


Random Fact: The Hessian soldiers hired by the British to fight the colonists during the Revolutionary War were paid about 25 cents a day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

You Hang Your Hat Where Your Heart Is.

I was reviewing my notes and jotted ideas for blogs to come, as well as things that I have begun writing, but have not completed for whatever reason and I was reflecting on my preparations to go to visit my parents for Christmas.

When I was telling people about my plans for the holidays I kept saying I was going “home” for Christmas. I’ve been to my parents’ current home once. They moved from the Phoenix somewhere around ten years ago and have been to three places in Oregon, intermixed with time in Texas and Tucson.

I have lived on my own since college which was…well, it was a while ago. In the late part of the 80’s. There have been several apartments, moves and even a room mate or two which lead to my current living situation. I have lived in the same apartment complex since 1997, just moving from a one bedroom to a two bedroom a few years back.

And yet, as stable as my residence has been, home is still where my parents live.

Obviously, when I say I am going home after work, I am heading to my apartment. But when I talk about “home” in the embroidered saying sense, I always think of wherever my parents are.

I know that whatever happens I will always be welcome there. I know that any time I want to get away from things I can call them and I will have a place to visit. A place that is as comfortable as where all of my belongings and clothing reside.

It has been like this since I first moved out. I would go back home for dinner and movies or to help out if needed. I spent holidays there and brought girlfriends over, when there were girlfriends to take. I don’t know if it is the cultural background from my father’s side that makes this so easy. I am not really too concerned where it comes from, I am happy that things are the way they are.

This isn’t to say that everything is an idyllic Norman Rockwell picture. We all have our quirks in my family and there have been times that there was tension. But, over all, I know I have a place that I can always return to. I can always go “home.”

Even if I have never been there.


Random Fact: The current bathroom, maybe not so much.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Eric and the Furry Menagerie

I realize that I have written about my cats several times. I have two dogs, too, they just aren’t as much trouble drama effort of a novelty to write about. I do love all my furries, though, and will be writing more about the dogs, I am sure. Here is how we came to be a family. (You can hum the “Brady Bunch” theme, if you wish.)

It all started innocently enough, I was living in a small town in northern Arizona at the time, working at the local ski resort. I went to the grocery store, because that’s where they kept the food that you could take home and cook to not starve. There was a farmer there with two of the cutest little Border Collie puppies. His dogs had these and he couldn’t keep them all, so he was selling them. He had already found a home for all of them but these two. A family took one and I came home with Tadji. The first dog I had ever owned since moving out on my own. We lived a happy bachelor life for about three years.

Then came Annie, my Border Collie/Corgi mix. She had been rescued from a shelter by a co-worker of mine, but in the short time she was with my co-worker, she was assaulted by the co-worker’s obnoxious Jack Russell Terrier, chewed him a new face hole and was evicted. (In Annie’s defense, she is obnoxious, but my co-worker’s dog was worse. The dog used to bite her husband whenever he tried to get into bed with my co-worker. She always defended the dog. They are divorced now. Anyone surprised?) Anyway, Annie was faced with having to go back to the pound. Luckily, I know dog people. I told my co-worker I would find Annie a good home, rather than risk her going back to the pound. That was almost seven years ago.

Again, life was mostly good. Annie was…a challenge. I had gotten spoiled with how easily trained Tadji was. Annie was…a challenge. This should have been my first clue.

A few months ago, (More than it seems.) I had another co-worker who had kittens she had to get rid of find homes for before she moved out of state. (I need to quit working with people.) So she brought this box of teeny, tiny cute little baby kitteners to work. I took one. My boss took one, another co-worker took one, and so on until the box was empty. By the end of the weekend my boss discovered that she was allergic to cats. (You see where this is going, don’t you?) So now I have two cats.

In case you lost count, I am beginning to gather animals two by two. If it ever rains in AZ again, I may build an ark.

I realize, in retrospect, that I am a sucker for tiny, cute fur balls in need of care. But it is proof of my belief that puppies, kittens and babies are cute so that they aren’t killed when they chew your favorite shoes or barf on your rug.


Random Fact: A fly got into the house yesterday. Cats went absolutely batshit.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Potty At My Parents' House!

I am convinced that the guest bathroom in my parents’ house is there specifically to make sure guests don’t overstay their welcome.

It is nothing glaringly obvious, at first. My mother is a very good decorator and the room seems inviting enough from the door way. There are nice towels in matching, coordinated colors. Nice, framed cross-stitch works and shadow boxes with dried flowers. Very inviting.

Until you try to use it.

First, there is the lighting. There is no light over the toilet and it sits in a semi-shadowed corner. Not that big a deal, but men like to read in the john and good light helps. Luckily, there is a fan. (It doesn't help for reading, but it is helpful to those who follow after.)

The wall of the tub comes up to just above my knee. I am 5’11” so this is not a short wall. It makes a deep enough tub that one could take a bath, should one choose. But, the tub floor sits at floor level, so having to lift a leg that high to enter the tub can be a bit precarious. Then there is the problem of exiting the tub. The floor of the tub is wet and treacherous, there is nothing to grab onto, and the walls are slippery with steam. (At least, the way I shower they are.)

If you make it out of the tub without falling, the next thing you notice is that the light over the sink id glaringly harsh. Coupled with a mirror which, from the outside of the tub, reflects from mid thigh and up. The mirror is so unflattering, that Callista Flockhart would think from her reflection, that she needs to lose a few pounds.

Now, granted I wear glasses, but not in the shower, so my vision might be a bit distorted, but, seeing my washed out, gelatinous reflection was a bit horrifying. It’s enough to make you wish you had slipped in the shower.

But if the reflection is accurate, the paramedics don’t need to be seeing that! This is why I am convinced that sex should be done by candlelight. But that is a whole different topic. The bottom line is, as much as I enjoyed visiting my family, I was glad to get home to the lighting and mirrors that understand me and make me feel wanted.

Plus, I don’t have to sleep on the floor at home.


Random Chuck Norris Fact: Chuck Norris can touch MC Hammer.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year, Average Old One

First of all, Happy New Year to everyone out there! I hope that your celebrations were fun and that everyone got home safe and without incurring a DUI. (You people know who you are.)

I hadn't been prepared to be blatantly reminded of how single I currently am until at least February. Or at least for a few weeks, when the jewelry, flower and card companies start their push for Valentine's Day revenue.

Then I went to a New Year's party last night.

It started out okay. A group of my friends and I met at a pub to see a sort of Irish band that I liked, The Clare Voyants. The reason I say it that way is that the band changed configuration from how I had come to know it. The drummer, who I had known for years, is no longer with the group and, to me, this makes it not the band I used to love.

So I had no particular desire to see the rest of the band without Paul, however, my friends and I were meeting at O'Connor's prior to going to a house party. Now, last year, we spent the New Year's at this pub, closing it down, then retired to hotel rooms to continue the festivities. It was a blast.

Anyway, we met at the pub, and then headed over to another friend's house for a very comfortable and low key evening. They had a fire going in one of those above ground fireplaces (Similar to this.) and were relating all the high points of the year, month by month. I had nothing to contribute. Other than not dying for 36 years in a row, there were no real outstanding high points that I could recall.

Then came midnight. A few seconds of yelling "Happy New Year!" then all the couples broke down for prolonged kissing. Except for myself, my friend, Billie there were no single females. So she and I were basically watching everyone else make out as we tried to make small talk. Whee what fun. I left for home shortly thereafter, as couples began to cuddle in groups to chat.

As I said, I am fully expecting to be faced with the deluge of ads for all those in relationships within the nest few weeks, and am used to tolerating that with cynicism towards those that try to get romanticism to revolve around one day a year. I was caught by surprise last night, though. Smacked in the face by Baby New Year. The little bastard. I hope no one changes his diaper.


Random Fact: Regardless of what Cyndi Lauper says, girls don't just want to have fun. Some want to have babies.