Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Fifteen Credits!?! What was I thinking?

Well, good people. The Zuker returns. I’ve been busy! This is not to say that I’m not still busy, but I have made it through the worst of it relatively unscathed. What’s “the worst of it” you ask? The worst of it is the following, all of which was accomplished between Thanksgiving and today:

  • 36 pages worth of papers (one of which counted as the final exam)
  • 10 pages worth of written final exam.
  • 3 oral exams (we’re not talking dentistry here, though at times it felt like getting my teeth pulled)

I’ll be honest, my procrastinatory nature contributed to an elevated stress level during this period. Thank God I took my professor’s advice and got a paper (not listed above) finished before Thanksgiving.

Consequently, of the papers I turned in, one was crap, one was okay, two were good, and the last (turned it in today) is rather good, but we’ll see if the professor agrees. Come to think of it, I’ve only received one back so far – one of the “good” ones (B+). I thought it was better than that, and it would have been if I had proofread… d’oh! I should go check my mailbox and see if I’ve got any back!

… nope.

The oral exams… hm. One was iffy – which is weird ‘cause I really enjoyed his class. But his questions caught me flat-footed and tongue-tied. This is not usual for me. The other two went wonderfully (I spied my grade on the last one – A)!

The 10-page written final felt like crap when I was done, but maybe I just felt like crap. I spent the whole day in the library working on it. And when I finished, I had to cut about a page off it ‘cause it was too long. But I’m pretty sure my answers were right – they just weren’t as thick as I like.

Ah, but now a break…


I will be doing research over the break! I’ll be reading and re-reading some of the more important stuff from this and past semesters in order to put together some sort of coherent line of thought for a thesis project. Not only that, but I’ll also be researching doctoral programs and figuring out how the heck I’m going to support myself! Fun, fun, fun.

Huge love goes out to Chimera (mah darlin’) for helping me calm down when I was freaking out and distracting me when I needed a break and focusing me when I was feeling lazy. The lady can do it all and is beautiful too! How can one guy get so lucky?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Return of the Zuke

So it appears as though I have negelcted to inform anyone aof how things have been going for me. I will attempt to answer that question as short and sweet as possible.

The Good:
  • I am in love in a big way.
  • I'm eating well.
  • I'm getting paid to sing on Sundays.
  • I pray more than I used to.
  • God makes more sense to me every day.
The Bad:
  • I see her once every two or three weeks.
  • The food varies in quality, but I eat it anyway.
  • Sundays wear me out.
  • Prayer helps less than it used to.
  • The Magisterium makes less sense to me every day.
The Ugly:
  • The stinging realization that I probably won't finish my MA until December 2006.
  • I still don't know German, but apparently there is a chance I could pass the test anyway.
  • I'm not exercising at all.
  • "the Dark Night of the Soul"
  • 40 pages due between now and December 3
So there you have it. Hmmm... I hoped to be more positive. Too bad. Maybe I'm a little down 'cause I won't see Chimera until next Tuesday. Maybe I'm just bummed that Termite will have an XBOX 360 before me. Or maybe I just realized that the next home-cooked meal I'll have will be on Thanksgiving. Maybe I'm irritated that the blog spammers will just keep spamming your last available post no matter how long it's been there. Maybe I'm pissed 'cause Amazon sent two books I ordered to Chantilly instead of delivering them here. Or maybe I'm hungry.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

"The good things in life are not only for rascals." - Karl Rahner

I have been good for the past month. I have been dutifully eating my cereal every morning for breakfast and ignoring the fact that the shop a mere 93 seconds away serves up possibly the best breakfast sandwiches in human history. I have ignored the questionable quality and origins of the coffee here in the residence and the lack of half-n-half. I drink that swill with whole milk every morning. It's on the meal plan after all. I write it all off as "building character" or "living simply."


I broke down today. Directly after my morning class, I walked directly out the front door and was in my shop 93 seconds later.

Guy behind the counter: "Hey! How're you doing? We haven't seen you in a while."
Me: "I know. I've been living at the school up the road. Breakfast is on the mealplan there, but I'm in dire need of the usual."
GbtC: "Egg and cheddar on a butter croissant?"
Me: "Yup."
GbtC: "And a large coffee?"
Me: "Absolutley!"

Satisfaction. Bliss. All is right with the world. The Divine Mystery opens up before me, expressed in God's good creation of this holy sandwich and this sacred coffee. Grace is expressed to me by the good stuff in life. In God's good creation, there is nothing profane. Everything is Grace.


That was awesome.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Didn't see this coming... I smell some sort of vast psyche-wing conspiracy

You are a

Social Liberal
(71% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(21% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Strong Democrat

Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Hate it or love it the Zunderdog’s on top

The theory was that living here at school would facilitate a much easier process of learning and study than having to commute in every day. And to a large extent that has proven true. I’m actually keeping up with the work of five classes better than I kept up with that of the one or two I would take while commuting. However, I also have the unstable feeling of one whose feet are not quite planted firmly under the large load he is carrying. There are certain situations which seem to be trying to knock my feet right out from under me, and if I am not careful, I will come crashing down.

  • I question the wisdom of singing at three celebrations of the Eucharist every Sunday. It really wipes me out to the point that I have neither the desire nor the ability to get any school work done on Sundays at all. I wake up at 5:30, drive for an hour, sing for 5 hours, head to Mom’s house, and crash like a ton of bricks. Thank God for home cooking.
  • Part of the financial arrangement I have with the school requires me to compile and edit the weekly newsletter. This is not a big job, but in recent weeks, there have been some technical difficulties that have caused it to take far longer than it should have. On any given week, it seems, the newsletter could take between 3 and 7 hours. What kills me is that, not only do they want me to email the newsletter to all students, faculty and staff, but they also ask that I make about 35 hard copies of it first thing Monday morning. I have class Monday morning. So I end up doing this Sunday night at about 11:00 PM.
  • I have also managed to get roped in to one of the less formal choirs here at school. Not big deal – I only have to sing with them about twice a month. However, this past week, I sang with them on Wednesday evening, and all day (literally I am not exaggerating at all!) on Saturday. As Chimera pointed out to me – was it really a retreat if I came away from it completely wiped out? Shouldn’t retreats rejuvenate? Not to mention that it was a whole day during which I wore out my money-maker (my voice) and didn’t earn a dime. Oh well. “Treasure in heaven” and all that…
  • Oh – did I mention I have a LIFE. That’s right folks! For some reason, Zuke has people to see and places to go! I’m holding on to my life as best I can in my present situation. And I’m not willing to give that up just to get some reading done! Of course, perhaps I could cool it with the constant IM’ing, and confine my life to weekends and holidays like normal people. I had just gotten used to the idea that I could go out on any day of the week if I wanted, but that is not wise when you have approximately 150 pages to read by the next day.
  • Reading. It seems I am a slow reader. Since I don’t like making copies of the readings unless I absolutely have to, I read what I can in the library and take notes on it. I want something that I can use later in place of the article I didn’t want to spend $1.30 copying. Taking notes on the ol’ ‘puter don’t go so fast though (some of you know how “fast” I type). But it doesn’t help that these friggin’ theologians don’t know how to put together a sentence that makes any sense to anyone but them!

There you have it. A few reasons I feel a little off balance. I’m keeping it all together so far, but we haven’t even started with writing papers or exams or re-learning German… On the other hand, this little post took me about 20 minutes to write, and if I were to double space it and add some footnotes, it could be about 2 ½ pages long… Hopefully I will be as efficient when I write my thesis!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Roscoe on the teeter-totter. Yes, that large pink thing on his face is his tongue. But look at him! All up off the ground and stuff!

Nancy tells me he's a "rock star" and these "agility" pics are during his second day of training. HA! I am impressed. He had me convinced he was irrevocably afraid of heights!

Roscoe after a hard day at play...

Monday, August 29, 2005

Not enough chairs for all the butts...

Well, this Sunday we had to set up our chairs for church as we normally do. But when it came time to take them down after the service, we were asked by the school administration to stack them up outside the classrooms down the hallways on the other side of the building. Normally we merely stack them in the nearby smaller hall, and this little request added approximately 30 minutes to our take-down time.

So I asked the school staffer on duty what the deal was. The answer boggled the mind.

This particular school is expecting an increased enrollment this year of about 400 students more than last year. 400 more students are 400 more than this school can fit in its current situation. So, they ordered modular classrooms to put in the bus circle, but they decided to wait until July to order them, so they will not be up and running until November. Now, for some reason, it appears as though they did not order any chairs to put in the modular classrooms. Or did they? Friendly staffer guy at the school on Sunday said there were chairs for the new classrooms in boxes in the gym. Okay… so why do our chairs have to go in the regular classrooms down the hall? No idea. As usual, the parishioners get screwed. According to one school administrator, there are plenty of chairs, according to another, there are not enough. No one seems to know what’s going on, but somewhere in the midst of all this confusion, there seem to be nearly 400 chairs less than they need to take care of all their students and the 900 happy church people who pay to use the cafeteria every week.

For the life of me, I honestly think they ordered 400 kids worth of temporary classrooms, but didn’t bother to order the chairs to go along with them. They just figured that the good ol’ Catholics would be more than happy to move chairs from one end of the building to the other every Sunday at 7:00 AM and afterwards until about 1:00 PM.

I’m sure the principle is probably thinking something like, “well, once they open up the next middle school, we can take down the modular classrooms and have our nice neat stack of chairs for the churches to use like it was last year.”

Foolish mortal.

At the rate the area is growing, those temporary classrooms are here to stay. The next school will get built too late and will be overcrowded in 3 years just like this one. Just buy some more chairs so everyone can be happy. I mean, use the money you get from the fact that the church rents the place for 6 hours every week. Shoot man, I happen to know that there were schools in the same county giving away chairs last spring!!! Hundreds of them!

On a related note – I’m sure glad I’m not a middle school principle in northern Virginia right now. That’s got to be the worst job ever.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Continuity dispite discontinuity -or - "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

I am beginning to wonder what kind of sense of humor the Almighty has. I feel as though I am moving forward and my life is progressing nicely. But no matter where I look, I find examples which seem to point out that I am in a place / time / situation remarkably similar to places / times / situations in which I have been in the past. Let's take a look, shall we?
  1. I am currently living in a dorm with a bunch of other people living in a dorm. As is required for the first week of dorm life, I am being amazingly accessible and easy to talk to. I want to make friends, mingle, and get to know people without judgement. We had an ice cream social. They are planning a "game night." Prior to this I was living with my parents, so of course I left stuff that I need at my parents' house. I have no way of getting there to get it for at least another 9 days. First week of college. I've been here before.
  2. As a requirement of my need-based financial aid, I am working for the "Student Life Office." The Dean has given me a job: i am responsible for writing / editing the weekly newsletter to be posted online every Monday. That's right folks: I am writing the bulletin. As most of you are aware, I have done this in the past as well. I was actually pretty happy to be rid of it at my last post (right before I "resigned"), but here I am again. Stretching deadlines and checking for typos.
  3. I began seeing a beautiful woman immediately before she moved away to attend school in another state way too far away. Hence, not only am I about to begin a rigorous class schedule, but my thoughts are preoccupied with my own current state of self-denial. I have been here before. It sucked then, but it sucks worse now. (I'm 28 friggin' years old - this ain't supposed to be happening...) Thank God for the internet. Online chatting has come a long way in ten years, but it still can't compare with actually seeing the person with whom I am conversing.
  4. I am occupying the rather inactive period of time between moving in to the dorm and the beginning of classes by drawing super-heroes of my own invention. The current masterpiece is a tough-as-nails female anti-hero. She is more than the law can handle, but there is good underneath the ultra-violent exterior. Hmmm... similar to the last time I was doing this, I am drawing on sub-standard paper with sub-standard pencils because I left all my good stuff at home.
  5. I am in a genuinely open state. This is the kind of thing that only happens after you've had the opportunity to question yourself just enough to be sure that you are unsure. I am here in my dorm room waiting to learn; waiting to be challenged. I want my current understandings of the truths I have held to be dashed upon the ground and give way to understndings that open up riches as yet untold. I have been here before too. It turned out poorly. Instead of opening my mind, I closed it. Instead of expanding my world, I restricted it. I am glad to have another shot. Will the outcome be different this time? Or will I simply fall into a different form of closed-mindedness? We shall see.
  6. The possibilities at this point are endless. The mind boggles. All sorts of new and exciting frontiers are opening before me. I felt this way 10 years ago - almost to the day. They say 30 is the new 20. That makes 28 the new 18. I'm happy I'm not 18 again, and I'm happy that 28 is giving me another, wiser, more capable run at something great.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A good reason to buy a color printer and some photo paper... the picture directly below.

Here are my godsons. I think Evan is on the right and Jacob is on the left, but we can't see Evan's birthmark (which is behind his knee on his left leg) so I'm not 100% sure. They're identical, but I think Jacob takes after his mom and Evan takes after his dad. That makes no sense, but still...

Monday, August 22, 2005

List Mania!

In case none of you has noticed, I enjoy making lists. It is a convenient way of organizing thoughts on the page and a great way to give yourself the impression that your life is under control.

The most famous list is, of course, the shopping list. Long before I had ever heard of a “to do” list, I knew the importance of the shopping list. I mean, who are these people who venture into a grocery store or a shopping mall without a clear list of easily identifiable objectives? Make a list dang it! You can amend it at any time!

That’s the great thing about lists; you can add to them. You can cross things off of them. They change as you change. As objectives are achieved, they are removed. That leads me to my favorite list: the “to do” list. This list has many variations. It can simply be a list of tasks that you want to get done within a certain time frame, or it can be something more expressive. Take, for example, the following list:
  • Italy
  • Israel
  • Ireland
  • India

At first glance, it appears that I have listed four countries that just happen to all begin with the letter “I.” But this list says more about me than that. This is a popular variation of the “to do” list. This is a list of places I want to see and enjoy before I die. My actual list is longer, but you get the picture. This list says something about me. At some point, I may actually make it to all of these countries, but maybe Italy or India strikes me in such a way that I wish to return and deepen my experience there. That country would remain on the list, while the others might get crossed off. The new list would say something about me as well; it would reveal in some way that my experience has changed, and therefore so have I. The “to do” list is like that. It has many levels. Within each “to do” list are the multiple lists of other things to do in order to bring those goals to fruition. Two years ago, I decided that “Own a house” was high on my list of things to do. This created a whole new list of things “to do.”

I have all kinds of lists. Places I want to see, people I want to talk to, dreams I want to come true. My favorite smells, tastes, sights, textures and sounds. Lists of what I did, what I will do, and what I might do. Some of them are in my head, others are written down. They are all dynamic.

I give you, therefore, a short list of my favorite lists:

  • My “Church Music of the Week” list
  • Any of my “to do” lists
  • My “turning points” list
  • My “favorite people” list
  • My “dreams” list

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Got to get back to basics

I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon here on Your Daily Zuke. Recently, this has become somewhat of a diary page. This is distressing to your Zuke. Keeping the world appraised of my comings and goings was not my intention when I decided to keep this blog. What ever happened to all the “Zuked up observations” that I promised?

Well, to put it simply, it can be hard to Zuke something up. It takes time, effort and some creativity. Sometimes I am up to it, and other times not. Let me put it another way: it is easier to simply tell what the heck I’ve been up to than it is to give you a true daily Zuke.

Please keep this in mind when checking out my posts. If you see me slip into “diary” mode, give me a heads up so I can reinvigorate ye olde Zuke. Your Daily Zuke is supposed to be mildly entertaining. I plan to work better to achieve the appropriately mild level of entertainment that characterized this blog at its inception.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A day that surpassed every expectation.

I woke early. I had an appointment with the Financial Aid office at school. Yes. It was a little last minute, but good things are always better when you prolong the anticipation. The appointment was at 9:00 AM so I left at 7:00.

I arrived at my destination at 8:30 as planned. This gave me ample time to get my "usual" at the "Everyday Gourmet" in Takoma Park. I highly recommend. Get the coffee and an egg and cheddar sandwich. This was the day's first victory.

At the appropriate time, I meandered to the school and walked up to the Financial Aid office, it just so happens that the registrar is also the Financial Aid contact. He's a shorter man, probably 5'6" or so. grey hair lingers about his temples and the back of his head, but other than that, bald. We sat down and discussed my options. He treated me like I didn't know what the hell I was doing, which was true. So that was a good thing. Bottom line: I should get 90% of my tuition paid by need-based financial aid. The rest I can cover with a small-ish loan from Sallie Mae. I am set. Loving life. The day's second victory secured.

On the way back home, I called Chimera and we arranged to meet for lunch. I happened to know that she, being unemployed and preparing to depart for school, had nothing else to do that day. Lunch = victory # 3.

Lunch wasn't good enough for two unemployed students with nothing to do, so we went bowling. Yes bowling. Now, I was handilly defeated in both of our games. But overall, it was fun and certainly counts as a victory. The Fourth victory.

Bowling was over and still the better part of the day to go. Hmmm... Ice Cream. Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. Cherry Garcia on a Waffle Cone. VICTORY IS MINE! Number five.

Not done yet. That killed all of about 23 seconds. (I like my ice cream. I'm all over that stuff. A little too much though. The flavor stayed in my beard till the next morning - victory!) I hadn't seen Wedding Crashers, but now I have! Damn funny movie. I might have to see it again. Vince Vaughn's machine-gun improv is too quick to catch all at once. Victory!

Still hours left in the day. What to do. Drive around in the rain. Check. Ahh... an unknown pool hall in Annandale. Let's try this place out. They have wings. They have good beer on tap. I'm told they make a good Cosmo. They have a special deal: rack up a food and drink bill of $25 or more and you get three free hours on a pool table. VICTORY! Sweet victory. Well not at pool. I'm better at pool than bowling, but not much. I claim victory nonetheless.

By this point (11:24 PM), a certain contented and pleasant exhaustion has set in; not unlike after the dinner on Saturday following the trip to Sandy Point.

Totally spent, the day ends with the secure knowledge that Chimera's last day here in the D.C. area was full to overflowing. And that was the point. My main rule is to never turn down an invitation to go out. I've added a second: never go home before the day is done. How many victories was that? I lost count.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Don’t save anything for the swim back to shore - or - "LEAVE IT ALL OUT ON THE FIELD!"

Time for an update. I've had a hell of a week, and it just keeps getting better. I keep telling people that, if I seem a little out of it, it might be because I've been going non-stop for five days now. Ich bin todmüde! I'll give you a brief (and not too detailed) synopsis.

Friday - Let's start by heading out to the ol' townhouse and powerwashing the deck and porch in preparation for sanding, staining, and painting. Follow that up with a raucus gathering of friends old and new that went late into the night (or early into the morning, whatever).

Saturday - Barely awake, five of us (all of whom were going on less than 5 hours sleep) head out about noon-ish to hit the beach at Sandy Point. Overall it was a blast. We could have done without the jellyfish, though. Everyone got stung at least once. Some of us twice. H got hit bad. Unwilling to end the day without some grub, we came back and had dinner. All of us were tired as hell, but unwilling to leave early. I got home around midnight.

Sunday - 6:00 AM rolls around and I have to get up to go sing at three Masses. The air conditioning was out at the school where they celebrate Eucharist - so I was hot. Oh, and Joe was there to celebrate Eucharist with the community. The new boss is friends with him. That was an excellent surprise.
My mother's birthday is this week, so the fam and R - my sis's man - went to dinner at ye olde Chinese Restaurant - the House of Chou.
I was all settled in for the night, when someone suggested getting together for coffee or something. I never turn down an invitation to go out - so at 9:30 PM on Sunday night - out I went. It was a blast, and I got home about... hmmm I don't entirely remember, but it was late. At least 2:00. There are benefits to being unemployed.

Monday - Promised Mom I'd clean the kitchen cabinets and replace all the old hardware. Not a big job. I had some good help so it went fast. Actually, Monday shaped up to be kind of a chill day. Video games, dinner, TV, sleep. Good to go. But Tuesday made up for it. How much can you pack into one day? Tuesday was a personal best for me.

More on that later.

HA! Leave 'em wanting more.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Something Snappy

I admit it. I’ve been avoiding discussing the party-thing that happened a couple Saturdays ago. To be honest – it was fun watching all the rumors, explanations, innuendos, etc. unfold without my input. The credit goes to Termite and Chimera for most of that. Though House’s tenacious search for details is certainly amusing.

So. Let me paint the picture… (insert cheesy flashback music here – probably a harp or something…)

That afternoon, the two young ladies who have taken up residence in my basement had just begun to move in their stuff. Consequently, boxes were strewn about the basement and that was about it. I did leave them my television and xbox (which I plan to reclaim as soon as I graduate), so that was available for the use of the guests.

I need to thank H and V for their suggestions for the food. While it may appear to some that I did not take them to heart, you two were instrumental in redirecting my thought processes in a more productive direction – namely, frozen prepared food that you just need to heat up and eat. Hence, the choice of a nice big frozen lasagna – yum. I began working on it just an hour or two before dinner-time.

When I say “working,” what I really mean is, “I put the lasagna in the oven and started drinking.” For some reason, our God in Heaven saw fit to reveal to me a largely unused bottle of Absolut Vanilla Vodka which I had previously hidden (and forgot about) under the frozen broccoli. By the time Termite, Chimera, H & J arrived, I was feeling fine.

From there, eating and drinking ensued. We were outside, we were inside. We listened to bawdy music that Chimera brought over. We played Uno with “Family Guy” Uno cards which inspired tons of Stewie, Quagmire, and Peter impersonations. All of them were dead on! (Or was I drunk?) We ate lasagna and I grossed everyone out by sharing some of mine with my bulldog (okay – so maybe I shoulda used a different fork at least). I then took the whole bunch downstairs to show them what I referred to as, “my new favorite thing.” You see, apparently, one of the renter ladies is something of an artist. For one of her projects, she did a plaster cast of her own nude chest. This was one of the things she decided to move into the basement earlier that day and place (no joke) on the MANTLE of the FIREPLACE. Yes – I would call that a conversation piece.

Well, since we were there, and all of us were of the same persuasion, we commenced to playing video games. Well, actually, we only played one game. It is one of those fighting games where even the novice can feel the thrill of victory by pushing all the buttons really fast. We had a blast. We were loud, apparently. [This is where H showed up and apparently rang the doorbell. None of us heard it and she left. We suck just a little bit for that.] Almost of one mind, we all got up and decided we were finished playing games – video games that is.

Here’s where things start to get fuzzy for me. That is some things are fuzzy. Others stand out with remarkable clarity. We all head back upstairs. We turn the music on again (the same song) and went outside to converse and drink. At some point, H & J departed and Chimera, Termite and me continued our conversation on the back porch. Deep talk of course: this means I was talking out of my ass. This happens much more easily when I’m inebriated. Fortunately, Chimera is equally adept at calling me on it no matter what her current level of impairment might be. (Apparently she was pretty well impaired – as evidenced by her multiple failing attempts to walk a straight line.)

To close, I will merely state that Termite headed home, while Chimera (just a little too drunk to drive) decided to remain and sleep at my house. This, when coupled with comments made by my bloggin’ buddies, has given rise to all sorts of speculation. None of which I want to address right now. HA!

This mirror is broken! It is reflecting poorly...

I have been slacking off in more ways than one. I have not been posting nearly as often as I am able. I have not made much headway as regards the financing of my education, I have not repainted the rails on the front porch of my townhouse, nor have I cleaned out my parents’ basement as promised.

On the other hand, I have been occupying my time with rather mundane and useless tasks that nonetheless allow me to pretend I’ve accomplished something. Examples of this include:
  • Moving furniture around the house randomly and without planning much. I learned the intricacies of this most useless of tasks working for my first boss at the church. He loved to move stuff around, then put it back. More accurately – he loved telling me to move stuff around, then put it back.
  • Preparing for the eventual move to school by shifting my possessions from one box to another. Corollary to this task is the reduction of my possessions by careful analysis of the contents of each and every box. In my defense, I do need to reduce my level of “stuff” by about 50% in order to fit it all in my room at school. However, if I don’t have my discounts, grants, and loans sorted out – the point will be moot.
  • Busting my younger brother’s chops. My parents have pretty much exhausted themselves over the past decade in this task. So I figure I can help them out by stepping in and giving them a break. Does he listen to me any better than to them? Nope. It is irritating to watch your younger brother shoot himself in the foot. You can try to warn him, but that only works if he listens. Still, I tell Mom I berated him for his inaction, and she says, “Good job!” Ahhh… the glow of false accomplishment.
  • Cleaning stuff that has no business getting cleaned. It does not make any sense to clean the underside of the trashcan lid. It is going to be skuzzy and germ ridden approximately 2.7 seconds later. But I didn’t let that stop me! Imagine – this is what I choose to do instead of locking down my financial aid! Hmmm… it occurs to me that my brother may not be the only one shooting himself in the foot.
It’s no fun when my own posts warp themselves before my very eyes and focus in on my shortcomings.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Deja Vu... Why do I get the feeling I've been here before?

I've been flying below the radar for few days. After Saturday night, I needed a day to recover, and that happened to be the same day I had to move the rest of my crap to my parents' house for the month.

Since I've been here, I have done the following:
  • I arranged one room to resemble the way my living room was set up at my house.
  • I have set up another room almost exactly as it was when I lived here in high school.
  • I've come to realize that both my younger brothers have a lot of growing up left to do. As awesome as they can be at times, they can be really dumb an instant later. I guess that goes for most people, but if A raises his voice to my parents in a tone that can only be defined as "adolescent" one more time...

Add up those three items with the fact that I'm living with my parents again (I never thought I would be in that situation ever again) and I'm feeling like I've stepped into the past. In this house there are things which have litterally not moved in 10 years or more. I'm not talking about furniture here. I'm talking about the torn up cover of The Stand (Stephen King) which I just found in the drawer where I left it about 13 years ago. Now - the dresser has changed rooms a couple times, but the torn cover remains in the drawer. Weird. I found a picture from my senior prom (May 1995) buried at the bottom of a drawer in my old desk. It was in better shape than the pics I have in my photo albums! The past few days have been like that.

As I clean and move things around for my 'rents, I am unearthing various bits and pieces of the past which foment nostalgic reminisces. I hope I don’t regress to my teenage self; unhelpful, argumentative, lazy, etc. etc.

Anyway, I'll give ya'll a few hours to chew on this, then I'll come back with something snappy from the party my "friend" threw on Saturday. S/he and everyone apparently had a blast! ;^)

Friday, July 29, 2005


This morning I had Taquitos and coffee for breakfast. It was a much more enjoyable experience.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Breakfast Madness!

There's nothing better than a good breakfast. You know what I mean: a couple eggs, some toast, oragnge juice and coffee. Good stuff all the way. As long as someone else is making it.

Here's what I mean. I decided this morning that, since I had all the fixin's, I would make myself the above specified breakfast. So the coffee goes on first. No problem there - I make coffee every morning - it's the easiest thing about breakfast. You just have to get it going and then forget about it. Then the eggs. The eggs can make or break your breakfast. Unfortunately, they are not as user-friendly as the coffee. You can't just put on the eggs and forget about them and pick them up when you're ready. So, while the eggs are just getting started, I make the orange juice and throw a piece of bread in the toaster. All the while, the sizzling of the eggs is getting more and more (how can I put this) urgent. I'm stirring the OJ trying to get it done and then...


The toast pops! The eggs are all like, "OVER MEDIUM YOU IDIOT!" The coffee is done! I flip the eggs in a desperate attempt to save that "just right-ness" of the yoke I love so much. The toast is getting cold! I get those eggs out of the pan and onto the plate as fast as I can - breaking the yoke in the process. (CENSORED!) By now (it's been about 7 seconds) the toast is cold and has not the heat to melt the friggin' margerine! I pour my glass of orange juice and sit down at the table with my broken eggs (the yoke was too hard for my taste) and my cold toast. By now I'm so jacked up that I eat my entire breakfast in (wait for it...) 13 seconds FLAT!

DANG IT! I can't even rememeber what eggs TASTE like any more! I can't wait to live at home with my parents next month so I can actually enjoy my breakfast. Dad can do the eggs, mom can handle the toast, and I'll take care of the coffee and the orange juice.

As for this morning... well, thank God the coffee was good.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

S/he needs your help!

Here is the hypothetical situation:

Let's say a friend of mine needs to figure out what to serve her/his guests after s/he invites them to an informal gathering that will probably revolve around eating, drinking, and shooting the bull. S/he wishes s/he had a grill because BBQ'ing would be ideal, but her/his grill is one of those tiny table-top versions that can only cook about 2 burgers at a time. Her/his first inclination is to order pizza because s/he always eats pizza on the weekends. S/he also thought s/he might be able to dodge a bullet and ask everybody to bring some ( Hor' finger food to share. Other than that s/he might just make PB&J samiches for everybody and provide everyone with a nice glass of chocolate milk in which to dunk them. (Yum.)

So my friend needs your help. If you think any of the above ideas are good, s/he would like to know. If you have any better ideas, s/he would like to know. S/he would like to know soon. Like... TODAY! S/he cannot stress enough the urgent need for help in this situation. Many of you may benefit directly from whatever input you can offer to her/him in this her/his time of need.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Back from TN – an update

Woah… brain atrophy in a major way. There is a lot to be said for traveling 700 miles into the Bible belt to a log cabin on a lake. Not the traveling itself mind you (11 hours in the car through rain and traffic is never all that fun), but once we arrived, it took me less than an hour to chill out and forget how stressed out I had been just a day earlier. Significant volumes of Scotch helped a great deal!

So let me give you the blow-by blow; a typical day in Winchester, TN.

Wake up about 7:30 AM. Once anyone starts drinking coffee and chatting, I find it impossible to remain sleeping on my cot in the garage. I feel an overwhelming urge to go to the kitchen, pour out the “coffee” (3 tbs’s of grinds for a whole pot of coffee?!?), make a new pot and join the conversation.

Somewhere between 11:00 and 1:00, I join the swimmers down at the lake. I then spend about 20 minutes playing “who can make the bigger waves” with my cousin’s kid.

Approximately 30 minutes into swimming – a thunderstorm rolls in.

We all then spend the next few hours watching the weather channel, playing board games, and reading.

4:00 PM – Happy Hour! Everyone stops whatever they were doing and starts eating and drinking. Nice. Mom’s Long Island Ice Tea flows like water.

2-three hours later – Dinner.

Stay up playing games and chatting till about 11.

Go to bed on a cot in the garage.

Other highlights from the vacation:
My sister and I defended our championship in Trivial Pursuit. Two years ago, we went undefeated and they wanted to bring us down. It was a futile effort however, and we won easily. The entire game had a feeling of inevitability. My sister thought that it was the combination that was the key; our areas of expertise were complementary. Unfortunately for that theory, the next game we played, we were on opposing teams. I was paired with my 18-year-old cousin. My cousin and I won in spectacular fashion. Apparently, I am the all-time BEST!

Over the course of the week, three copies of the new Harry Potter book made their way to the cabin. I got my hands on it mostly on Wednesday. I finished the story in one day. Awesome stuff.

Chatting religion with my mom’s side of the family. Wow. Not the most fun I’ve ever had, but pretty close. Heh.

I drew a couple pretty decent pencil-drawings while I was there. I wish I had access to a scanner – I would totally post them up here.

Friday, July 15, 2005

So I'll see you all when I get back

I'm packing up for a week in Tennessee with Mom's side of the fam'. I'm leaving my 'puter behind on purpose. I'll not be posting or reading posts while I'm gone. Not that I've been very good at keeping up this blog like I used to. I've been busy. No, really! I have! Don't worry though, when I return I will be unencumbered by any kind of employment. I'll have more than enough time to ramble on incoherently for pages at a time.

Laters ya'll!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

News and a question

First the news: there is a new post on "Digging Deep."

Now the question: Do you need to be informed here about new posts on "Digging Deep?" Or do you go there every day just hoping for a few more insights into the mind of Zuke? Let me know because the results of this poll will be considered the next time I post on my other blog.

Friday, July 08, 2005

This almost never happens

I can't sleep. I woke up for no apparent reason at about four this morning and couldn't fall back to sleep. I heard on Oprah once that if you get insomnia, the worst thing you can do is just lie there and try to fall asleep. Get up! Do something productive! That's what Oprah says. So I sit here typing away (simultaneously realizing that this is not the most productive use of my waking hours) and wondering why I couldn't fall back to sleep. Here are my theories:
  1. The dang birds woke up at four just like me. Nothing more irritating than the happy singing of those blasted early birds and all their worm-getting.
  2. My brain got all metaphysical on me while I was lying there. Nothing like thinking about the meaning of life, symbolic expression as the proper mode of communication for an enfleshed spirit, and the meaning of"reality" to keep one up at night.
  3. It seems as though it is the time of year when, no matter what I do, the temperature of my bed is no good. It is either too hot (gah! Get this blanket offa me!) or too cold (Where's that effing blanket?) The same goes for my pillow.
  4. I just can't stop laughing at that episode of "The Family Guy" that was on Cartoon Network last night! Absolutely hilarious stuff! Dang! That is an awesome show!
  5. I ate about half a can of Easy-Cheese on those awesome Club crackers as a snack, and forgot to eat a real dinner. I don't know what that has to do with insomnia, but it can't be a good thing, can it?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Disinfect THIS!

I despise cleaning my bathroom. It is an awful job. And not because I only do it once every three months or so (though I’m sure that doesn’t help). I figure, if I clean that sommamabitch once a week or once a year, it’ll be the exact same amount of work. (Think about it: I still have to scrub the shower, the toilet, the sink, the floor, the mirror, etc.) No I hate it for a number of more realistic reasons. You know what this means folks; it’s time for a list.

Why I hate cleaning my bathroom.
  • Latex gloves. I know some of you sickos out there have various fantasies involving latex gloves, but for me there are few things worse than getting my hands all sweaty and gnarly inside those bright yellow mittens. And invariably, I seem to get toilet water in there anyway. Thank God for anti-bacterial soap.
  • Sweat. I barely sweat when I mow the lawn. Push-ups, sit-ups, walking the dog in 90 degree heat – nothing more than a little sweat around the back and shoulders. Why is it that whenever I clean the bathroom, I start busting out in sweatiness that can only be compared to what might happen when Martin Lawrence does his standup routine in Biloxi, Mississippi? I have even tried cleaning the bathroom in varying levels of clothedness. Nothing (and I mean NOTHING) helps at all!
  • Imperfection. No matter how hard I scrub and no matter what various cleaners I use, I can never get the blasted shower as pristine as they do on the frickin’ TV commercials! GAH!
  • Algae. You know that black stuff growing in the corners of the shower? Do you see it there looking at you? That’s living plant matter! Algae are growing in your tub! I spent my youth in blissful ignorance thinking that it was just dirt or some non-threatening scum. But then I grew up and became a lifeguard. I learned that black stuff is ALIVE! Now, I consider that by allowing it to live, I may improve the air quality in my home (Algae are one of this planet’s leading producers of breathable oxygen), but I know it’ll be back eventually, so down the drain it goes.
  • Wimpy sponges. It is hard to find a good sponge these days. They just don’t hold up. How can they? Bathrooms are made out of the hardest and most indestructible materials known. Porcelain, stainless steel, fiberglass, stone, etc. Now, normally, a sponge might do just fine, but then they have to go up against the floor of the shower. Somehow, humanity has invented a texture that a) offers algae and bacteria a perfect place to hide and grow, and 2) is absolutely devastating to the common sponge! Drat all this modern technology!

Monday, July 04, 2005

You can set your clock by it!

Ha! It’s Independence Day and AMC has an Elvis movie marathon going! While others are having cookouts and going shopping (?), I am watching Elvis as a singing race-car driver, Elvis as a singing, um… singer, and Elvis as a singing photographer.

Hmmm… I think I feel a song coming on! Yup. Every 15 minutes. It’s how I know my watch is keeping good time! Parties break out at random and are always full of important plot points! Elvis is always the consummate bachelor! Two, three, even four women at a time are trying to marry him. He manages to elude them all! Either that or he ends up marrying the one who wasn’t trying to lure him in the first place. It is interesting that he never turns down a kiss. In this one, he hooks up with his girl in the first 3 minutes of the movie, and he’s not happy about it! These movies are so well scripted that you never see the twists and turns coming! And I’ve never seen hair as perfectly sculpted in all my life! Never a lock out of place! Elvis is the man.

God-son Goodness

Those of you who know me know that I’m not all that comfortable with infants. I mean, I like ‘em and all, but I don’t know – I’m afraid I’m going to break them or something. I’m making steps though. Thanks to my twin godsons, I’ve now extended my comfort level to babies of four months old. My previous limit was about 8 months. I consider that a victory!
My previous limit has always been defined by the toss-able factor (T). The more toss-able a baby, the more comfortable I am with her/him. T is inversely proportional to the kid’s cry-factor (defined as the likelihood that child will start crying for no definable reason = C). The lower the cry-factor the better for me.

However, Jacob and Evan are decidedly not toss-able (T = 0) and logically, this should equate to an infinite C. However, I have discovered a few more variables that seem to be derivatives of toss-ability and hence also have an influence on the cry-factor. First is the bounce-factor (B). Evan and Jacob have similar bounce factors. Low-level bouncing, roughly equivalent to merely walking around rather aimlessly and slowly seems to keep them both as happy as clams; barring, of course, elevated hunger (H) and/or diaper (D) variables.

Then there is S or “suck factor.” This is a tricky one. Jacob has a low S – that is sucking on anything seems to lower his C, but Evan has a high S. He requires very specific sucking to lower his C. Let’s get specific: Jacob sucked the heck out of my middle finger for about 15 minutes and then went to sleep. The kid has quite a grip – my sympathy for his mother has greatly increased. Evan, however, would not accept anything less than something that also decreased his H.

But enough of this technical talk. Suffice to say that I bonded a little with my godsons. I was extremely happy that they were no more likely to start crying with me than with anyone else. This was not the case at their baptism, at which time it was guaranteed that whichever kid I was holding was the one that was crying. I was also happy that they are still “one-handers,” that is, you can comfortably hold one baby in each hand if you wanted to. I find it more helpful to hold one in my right hand and a cold beverage in the other. Those little guys give off a lot of heat!

My new goal is to maintain and increase my strength in my arms and back so that those little Buddha’s are one-hander’s as long as possible.

Regroup! Counter-attack!

Well, it looks like they were merely biding their time. After successfully weathering my initial strike, they have returned with greater numbers. Columns of their troops were observed marching under cover of darkness. Apparently they are numerous enough to sustain the heavy casualties they initially suffered from my use of strategic chemical weapons. It also appears that they have established new barracks in strategic locations around my perimeter. I’m now fighting a war on two fronts. Their goal remains the same however. They are obviously interested in my food reserves. I’ll have to reevaluate my strategy. I know this though: now that I’ve discovered the locations of their newly-established barracks, their casualties will be enormous. I rest secure in the knowledge that, despite their superior numbers, I can hold them off until I am ordered to abandon this location.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

I'd hate to stand out in a negative way...

I’m a little pissed off right now. And I struggle again with self-censorship as I am angry with an individual. The person with whom I am currently angry is someone who finds her/himself unable to be nice. S/he is unable to write an email expressing concern with one thing or another without simultaneously being threatening and rude. S/he will remain unnamed. And in a supreme effort to remain charitable and thereby avoid going to confession this weekend, I am going to delete most of what I just wrote and rant about something – anything – unrelated to the gut-wrenching situation in which I now find myself.

And so:

An interesting thing happened when I went to set up the Post Office today to show a friend around the little town of Centreville. There were names attached to the doors of each room. This struck me as curious. Now, I don’t know whose idea this was, and I assume it was the postmaster or his associate. I will send each of them a separate email.

You know, I’m all for people taking initiative but this is something that steps outside of their roles. Other than facilitating the orderly delivery of the nation’s mail, everything else can and should wait. I ask that they please remove all these signs immediately. My impression was that my guest – their new customer whom they should be bending over backwards to cater to – was not impressed.

Just for their benefit, I ask that they please remember that my friend and I are different people. I have told the Post Office a few times that they need to wait, listen, and follow my friend’s lead. They need to give him a chance to get a handle on things around here. This is an overwhelming situation to walk into, so trust me, the Post Office does not want to stand out in a negative way.

If they have questions, my advice to them is to just make a list and wait for him to meet with them.

The preceding makes little sense to just about everybody. But it makes perfect sense to at least one person. If you have any questions about the preceding, please feel free to IM me or email me and I will explain in all clarity.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Stream of... something.

Okay, I really can’t think of anything to say right now, so I’m going to go all stream o’ consciousness on ya’ll. These last few days have been busy. I’ve had a lot to do and have actually gotten a lot done. I’m in a bit of a scramble ‘cause I got a bit behind over the past month. Oh well, at least the parish will be getting a lot of good people on staff who won’t allow a little thing like getting asked to resign to throw them off for a month. Geez – has it been a month? Yes it has!

Here’s to over a month of (more or less) regular posts on Your Daily Zuke! Wow! It feels like just yesterday I was ranting and raving about my good friend’s wedding and the fact that Sam Fisher would kick the snot out of Jack Bauer. Remember those days? Simpler times. We were so young then.

I’d like to thank all of you for helping to make Your Daily Zuke the smashing success it has become! You have given me stuff to rant and rave about. You have humored my unimpressive attempts at comedy and commentary. You have kept me smiling with your insightful and witty comments. So I dedicate this “BLOG of the MILENNIUM” award to you, my loyal fans! I am thrilled to receive this award so early in the millennium and I thank the academy for their completely unfounded confidence in the longevity of Your Daily Zuke.

Back to reality (or is it celebreality? I can’t remember…)… Hey is it okay to put six periods in a row separated by nothing but a close parenthesis? Let’s try it again and find out …)… Nope. That’s just not right. Anyway, I had to go to the new office today because the phone guys who showed up yesterday were the wrong ones and the correct phone guy came by today and was all like, “I gotta get in there and fix your phones up right!” So I was all like, “Crap! I totally had stuff to do that didn’t involve leaving the house! I had emails to write and fundraising to coordinate and a bulldog to walk!” Now I gotta get off my butt and go all the way out to Bull Run and open the Center for the phone guy so he can work for 3 ½ minutes!!! Okay. Fine. I’ll go out to the main office and meet the new boss. Nope he’s not there. Then he arrives, and never comes over to say hello to anyone on staff! So I left and came home and finished work.

Now here I am rambling on randomly. At some point there is no point. And… scene.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Change of scenery

This is the life.

Right now, I am sitting at home where I have been since the end of our weekly staff meeting this afternoon around 3:30. Since we have moved our offices, it just seemed smart to set up a fully functioning office here in my home. There won’t be any phones in the new office until “sometime between 8 and 5 tomorrow.” And it could be a while before we get any appreciable connection to the Internet. I’m going to work from home until the office is fully operational. Which means it is possible I’ll be here until my last day as a full-time employee of the parish (July 14th – actually the 15th, but I don’t work Fridays). For those of you who have missed my bullet points, here is a list of the best things about working from home.

  • I can do laundry and work at the same time.
  • My dog hangs out with me while I work.
  • I can play whatever music I want as loud as I want. (“Hate it or love it the underdog’s on top, and I’ma shine homey until my heart stops. Go ‘head envy me. I’m rap’s MVP, and I ain’t goin’ no where so you can get to know me.”)
  • I’m not wearing any… shoes.
  • As soon as the work day is over at 6:00, I have a beer in my hand.
  • There’s a lot more sunlight in my house than in my office, and sunlight makes me happy.
  • I am not even tempted to go get McDonalds. After all, I have PB&J right here!
  • The coffee maker here actually works.

We’ll see how long this works. I can probably only get away with it as long as there’s no Internet at the new place. I am definitely going to enjoy it for the time being. Except for tomorrow. I have to be there when the phone guy shows up. Phooey. That’s right. I said phooey.

Breaking my own rule

Why is it that I seem to be working harder on the weekends now than when I thought I was going to be employed here for the indefinite future? Friday night, I actually had to break my own rule twice! TWICE! The rule is, “never turn down an invitation to go out with a friend,” and I turned down Meegs and House because a) I had to finish packing my office for the move, and 2) I had to wake up early to actually help with the move at 8:00 AM Saturday morning. That stinks. I hate weekends where I don’t get a day off. And for those of you who are all like, “Zuke! You’re short-timing! We know you’re not doing anything during the week, so it is only fitting that you work yer butt off on the weekends!” I say this: I actually had to do stuff last week! I had to help pack up the office; I had to make like three phone calls and answer a bunch of emails; I had to write two long and hard thinkin’ blogs!!! But really, just because my workload is a little light right now, does not mean I deserve to lose my weekend! I only showed up to help move on Saturday ‘cause every person I talked to about the move was all like, “You’re going to be there right?” Which means, “you better be there because even though we are all adults with a lot of responsibilities who can take care of our own lives competently, there is a good chance we are going to muck up MOVING FURNITURE AND BOXES FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER...” In other words, I got Catholic guilted into it.

Of course, Sundays are rough, but you all knew that. Oh. And for all you volunteers in my parish who are reading this, I have a question: Why don’t you show up? Please call someone… anyone… if it is your turn and you can’t make it!!! We had to “delegate” two extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion at the 9:30 Mass ‘cause only ONE EMHC showed up!

Oh well, like that hasn’t been happening every once in a while for the past two years. It just means I have to deal. Good thing I improvise well.

On the upside, the Responsorial Psalm I got to sing was fantastic. You never know how good a piece of music is until you sing it well. I’m keeping that one in the “go to” file.

Fell asleep last night about 10:00. Dog-tired.

I can’t wait to take a little bit of time off.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Looks like our new German shepherd is making a few changes. Did barley and hops grow in ancient Palestine?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

10 things every guy should own

Before you begin - realize that this is an attempt at being funny written in response to the article which has ticked everyone off. Check out Digging Deep for a serious commentary.

Please do not take any of the following seriously!

Well, boys. We all need to be prepared for all those women that are trying to "get all up ons." Here are 10 "must have" items for every occasion.
  1. A few dozen awesome photos of yourself. We all have those pictures. The ones where your hair, smile, and (let's be honest) all the lovely ladies hanging all over you come together in a bunch of sexy packages. Post them strategically all over your pad so that no matter where your lady guest is, she can't help but see and realize how desirable you must be. Keep them on your computer so you can have a narcissistic screen saver for all to see. And never, ever throw them away-- when you're 80-something it (and a few viagra) will be sure to help you recall your glory days!
  2. A rubber body suit. Admit it, you feel like Batman (who-what are you!?) when you slip on a nice rubber body suit. The good news is that these days, you can transform any evening into a night of adventure by wearing your rubber suit underneath your shirt, jeans, slacks, whatever. And no, it doesn't have to come with a cowel and pointy ears, even a simple rubber suit will make you stand out in the crowd for all the chicks to see. (Added bonus: grease it up for low-friction fun!)
  3. An acoustic guitar. What's one of the first places a girl peruses when she walks into a man's pad? The bedroom. But if all she sees is Rancid posters or classic KISS t-shirts, she's going to panic. Balance out the room with an acoustic guitar (maybe just a guitar case) and tell her its from your time when you tried to be a socially conscious folk singer until you realized that corporate greed and the male power structure would never allow your unique male-feminist vision to come to light. Crushed, you vowed never to play again. It'll show you have a "sensitive side" and can "understand" her. That's music to any woman's ears.
  4. A great pick-up line... and a way to blow 'em off. In this post-feminist era, we can't always depend on the chicks to just get all up ons like they used to. So prepare yo'self with the most outrageous and memorable one-liner to lay on any "do-able" chick that happens to stroll into the sports bar. Our favorite: "You look thirsty. Would you like to CENSORED?" And in case some non-do-able hag is hanging around, the more you humiliate her the better. Hold nothin' back brother.
  5. A few bottles of Boones. A prepared player is ready with the cheap booze any time. If you wanna make your "Tuesday night special" relax a little and loosen up, skip the expensive stuff and stick to the quick-drunk sweetness that is Boones.
  6. Bathroom "essentials." What lady doesn't appreciate finding a few extra sanitary napkins in the bathroom cabinets for whenever she needs them. So instead of tossing her out the door when her Aunt Flow is visiting, toss a few tampons in a basket by the toilet.
  7. A little black book. These days, the traditional little black book can take all kinds of different shapes. From the PDA to the cell phone, you can store the names and numbers of all your booty-calls almost anywhere. Make sure you've got it passworded and locked, though. You don't want Sheila calling up Bebe and causing any trouble. With all these chicks passing out business cards these days (what does a friggin' waitress need a business card for anyway) you are going to need someplace convenient and organized to keep them all straight.
  8. Earplugs. Women talk. A lot. 'nuff said.
  9. As many straight women on your speed dial as possible. Every guy knows a few ladies he can go to for "comfort" whenever him and his lady are on the outs. While you may be able to crash on your boy's couch, if you really want a good night's sleep in a warm bed that doesn't smell like beer and Cheetos, call a girl who is too compassionate to turn you down.
  10. A box of condoms. Hey guys, you know the drill by now. If you want to be able to have a night of spontaneous fun of the bodily kind, you have to be prepared. You know that in the two or three hours you are going to be there, you're going to misfire about 4 times, lose your "power" at least twice, and break at least one condom. With a whole box in your coat pocket, you're sure to have at least one good go at it.

Zuke would like to thank about thirty of the dirtiest, most shameful low-life scrub players for advising him of some of the essentials he was missing.

Geez - that one went in an unexpected direction didn't it?

Saturday, June 18, 2005

A Lazy Day at Last

Woke up at 9:00 to the sound of - nothing. I woke up when I was finished sleeping and not before. I love that.

Got a shower, walked the dog, and ate the last two eggs in my fridge and made a nice pot of coffee. The half-n-half had gone bad so i three in a few scoops of hot chocholate mix. Yum. Drank my coffee while watching Pokemon and The Batman on WB.

Slacked off online and in front of the TV until about 3:30. Then I went grocery shopping. Got the basics (see yesterday's post) as well as some TP, paper towels, and Milk Bones. Picked up an extra 22 oz. Yeungling as a treat for me.

Back online, checking the blogs and email. Drinking my beer. Post a lengthy and completely unsubstantiated essay on Digging Deep. I need to start citing sources rather than writing off the top of my head. Maybe once I have two theological libraries at my immediate disposal...

Ha! Convinced Termite to come over and play video games. That's really all I can do on a Saturday night. Gotta get up tomorrow at 5:00.

Oops! Gotta walk the dog!

Friday, June 17, 2005

My last beer and other disasters

Ahhh… That was tasty. And now I’m out of beer. I’ll have to make my way to the grocery store. I hate that place. Every time I go there I am reminded how boring I can be. I get the same thing every time. Beer, orange juice, milk, bread, cereal, half-and-half, eggs, and whatever soda has the best deal. Geez. Now I am reminded that I am a person of very simple needs. I don’t know how to interpret that. Does that mean I am comfortable with my routine and don’t need spontaneity to fulfill my life. Or does it just make me boring. Hm. Probably both. Maybe this time, just for the heck of it, I’ll use House’s grocery list instead!
  • Chocolate Milk
  • Double Stuff Oreo's
  • Chicken Fingers
  • Smirnoff
  • Fruit Mix

Oh. This week it was announced that our parish will be divided into a parish and two missions. I get a new boss at the end of the month. The weird thing is, if I wanted to, I could call my first boss, have him put in a good word for me, and get my job back. But I don’t want my job back. I want to go to school full time to get edumacated! How else will I ever get to be a theologian…? Anyway, the practical implication of having a new boss is that they will probably pay me to show up every Sunday and lead Masses. More than just singing though. My title would be something like Liturgy Coordinator. At least, that’s the title I’ll give myself. It just means I’ll be working Sundays the same as I have been for two years now. I’ll also get paid more than I would if I were just singing.

I finished my class this morning. I got an A just like I figured. What a great class. Yesterday we took a field trip to the Jefferson Memorial (which is basically a temple of Enlightenment thought) and then to the National Cathedral (representative of medieval philosophy). Then we had lunch. I probably learned more by doing less than I have in any class so far. Goes to show how effective a learned and experienced Carmelite can be as a teacher. Too bad he has to leave the states and go be a pastor in Canada.

Oh, after talking to my siblings, I come to find out that there is a good chance that none of them will be around on Sunday to celebrate Father’s Day with dad. I have to come up with something all by myself. Planning and plotting (as many of you know) has never been my specialty. Fortunately, he’s playing a round of golf with mom that morning, so he should be good and tired. I’m thinking I’ll just get him drunk so he’ll fall asleep happy. What do you think?

Geez. I need to invite a few people over so they can see the house and decide if they want to live here when I’m gone. Bulldog slobber on the walls is definitely not a selling point. Get me a bucket and a sponge – I’m gonna be here a while.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Hi Mom!

I just learned something disturbing. My mom is reading this. She said something like, “How else am I going to find out what’s going on in your life?” Now, some of you know my mom and some of you don’t. I just want to warn you, that if I have linked you to this page, then there is a chance, however slight, that she’s reading your posts too. Some of you have made passing comments about whether or not to self-censor your posts knowing who is reading them. I now know what you mean.

Now on to the recap of Wednesday evening.

None of you CENSORED’s showed up. Only House was there. Perhaps I gave the wrong impression and some of you interpreted my invitation to mean we would go to Red Rocks every Wednesday. That is not the case. Basically, House and I pick a different place every week. Last week was at Hard Times Café in Springfield (Cincinnati chili the way mom used to make… mmMMMmm…). The week before that was at Kate’s Irish Pub, also in Springfield. Who knows where the CENSORED we’ll go next! A willingness to actually go someplace may be required.

I arrived a bit before eight o’clock. House was no where to be seen. So I got a beer and sat at a table to watch Atlanta lose to Texas while I waited. Almost immediately, this CENSORED with an awesome CENSORED in her CENSORED sat down across the table from me and we began to CENSORED. She was really into my CENSORED (she said it made me look CENSORED), and enjoyed CENSORED, so I indulged her. She said she had to go ‘cause she was catching an CENSORED to CENSORED for an extra long weekend. She wrote her number on my CENSORED with a Sharpie she magically pulled out of her CENSORED and left me there holding my CENSORED.

As she left, House arrived, and we BS’d about his job and my class until about 10:30. The Braves lost. And I was pleased.

You all missed it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Life keeps getting better! Plus an Unintelligible Rant.

I just found out that the $4000/semester cost of housing at school includes free local phone, free high speed 'net and a potential 17 meals/week! Sweet. Though, if I work it out on paper... (this is the part where I exercise my feeble math skills) Dang. It still costs more to live at school than at my house.

Waitasec. Maybe not.

I didn't take into account the savings in gasoline and auto maintenance. I might just be breaking even. Oh well, that’s okay. If I was living at home, I wouldn’t get to participate in all the “student life” activities I just found out about.

That’s right folks. Catholics like to party. According to the Student Life Office, we like to party once a month, and then only according to the Dogmatic Constitution on Holy-Hellraising and its interpretive document The General Instruction on the Roman Kegger. Of course both documents are open to vast interpretations based on their historical context. Holy-Hellraising was written in a time of greater partiological freedom and innovation, but the GIRK was written more recently to counter what some considered to be “abuses” in partiological practice. Hence, many of the seemingly obvious provisions in Holy-Hellraising for culturally significant and relevant food, drink, and music have been reduced in the GIRK to exclude everything except flat-bread (with hummus), red wine and Journey. We hope that with the election of a German pope, some of the restrictions (on stout and bratwurst for example) will be removed.

The historical archetypes for the monthly Catholic parties can be found in Scripture, but recent historical criticism has discovered that Jesus and the disciples in fact partied far more often. Not only that, but the more we learn about the historical Jesus, the more likely it becomes that women actually threw parties which Jesus attended. It also appears that anyone who knew how to throw a good party was good enough for Jesus. Given these findings, scriptural scholars are in a position to challenge, ever so gently, the Catholic doctrines of the monthly party and the requirement that all party hosts be men specifically designated to party. However, in the current climate in the Church, it may not be prudent to push these issues.

In conclusion, all Catholic intellectual party-goers can do is get together once in a while, outside the auspices of the monthly Catholic party, and continue to develop their informed criticism of the reactionary GIRK, placing it in its proper historical context. They must never cease to study the history of partying in the Church from its origins, and test the doctrine against history rather than to interpret scripture to uphold a doctrine with no basis in history.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Wednesday Nights

There was a time when I would not think of missing a Wednesday night at Brittney's Sports Bar in Lake Ridge for Wing Night. For a couple weeks in a row now, House, Stone Cold, and I have got together to hang out and drink a bit on Wednesday evenings. The location changes every week, and tomorrow the place is Red Rocks in Centreville.

I am hereby throwing out an invitation to any and all who have a free evening on Wednesday to come on out.

We arrive around eight and stay until we get tired. So if you don't want to stay out late, there is no need to. I don't usually stay any later than 11. I'll start posting the location every week. You should come! If for no other reason than to supplement all this electronic communication with actual human interaction.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Going Fishing

Du meine gute! This whole going to class every morning and working every evening would be a lot easier if I had a break on the weekends. Unlike some people, I did not have the luxury this weekend of having nothing to do. Quite the opposite. I had the unique pleasure of setting up the church parking lot for the parish’s 30th anniversary picnic. This involved arriving in Middleburg at noon and setting up two 20 x 10 canopies, 15 tables and 90 chairs. Not to mention the sound system. I had planned to go home and rest a few hours between set-up and the actual picnic, but I ended up out in the sun all afternoon working until the picnic at 5:00. Of course, since I work for the church, the parish picnic itself is work. I have to be “on.” So I hung out ‘till 7:00, came home and crashed like a tree falling in the forest (without making a sound).

On weekends like this, I really feel the fact that I have to wake up at 5:00 AM on Sundays. Now, I don’t want to sound like a big baby (this is a hint that I am about to whine like a little baby), but normally, I have a couple days off before Sunday hits. I’m rested and ready to roll. This Sunday was different. Not only was I still busted (and a bit sunburned) from working on Saturday, but it was also an emotional day. We announced my impending resignation from the parish (July 15). In addition, so many announcements came down the pipe regarding our parish communities this week that the whole parish was reeling. On any normal Sunday, I would finish up with morning Masses around 1:00 PM, go home and play video games. This Sunday, I went directly to a choir workshop from 2:00-5:00. It was good, but I was beat. I still am.

What’s the point? I’m fishing for sympathy here! My life is soooOOOooo hard! What? No love? Everybody else has hard days and works hard at their jobs too? Say it ain’t so! I was sure I was the only one.

Point taken. I’m shutting up now.

Friday, June 10, 2005

18 Again

I have come to the conclusion that I wish I were eighteen again. I base my findings on the following evidence. Yesterday, after returning home from class and work, I sat down to find prices for some of my old comic books. I plan on selling them on eBay or something. Well, I ended up reading comic books for about 6 hours!!! WTF!? I checked the dates. The last time I actually bought a comic book was in 1995! I was a baby first year at UVA. And yet, here I was, happy as a clam, reading comic books instead of reading for my class, or checking my email, or anything else? Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that I harbor a subconscious desire to be 18 again.

Given this desire, I am forced to extrapolate some meaning from the situation. I have decided to compare my life 10 years ago to my life today. If it turns out that life was better back then, I will embark on a quest to retrieve my youth. If it turns out that life today is better than it was back in the day, then I will have proven my subconscious mind FALSE, and can continue my life without its irrational prattling.

18 years old
In the best shape of my life.
About to enter college
Job = lifeguard; coach a swim team during the summer
Had an awesome tan
Car = Mom’s 1984 Oldsmobile station wagon
Living accommodations = parents’ house
In the third month of an awesome and fun relationship

28 years old
NOT in the best shape, but I can still do pushups.
About to go to grad school full-time (weird)
Job = making good money in a parish.
Pale and a lot hairier
Car = My 2000 Honda Civic
Living = a house I own with my sister
Relationship = N/A
Batman Begins
Oh, and I’m a lot smarter than I used to be.


Looks to me like I’ve got it better now than I did back then. I should have known. It is never a productive enterprise to look backward to some kind of “golden age” that never really existed. Of course, looking forward to a utopian age that will never exist is no good either. It is always better to live in today. AWESOME! My subconscious has been thwarted! Comic books NUTHIN’! Where’s that Primer on Postmodernism? I’ve got some real reading to catch up on!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

GAH! Stupid Internet...

I had a nice little story all typed up and ready to go and then the dumb posting thing didn't work and I lost the whole post. It's out in the ether somewhere. Dang it.

Whatever the heck that means...

Due to my desire to finish up my employment with the Diocese of Arlington in such a manner that I am fully vested in the paltry retirement plan, I have extended my employment a few extra weeks until July 15th. MORE short time!!! Awesome.

I have to come to work, but I get a few more paychecks, so it's all worth it.

There. The Internet has completely removed any personality from this post. That's all I have for you right now. Except to remind everyone that...


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

And so it Begins...

Let me say up front that I have possibly the best little sister ever. Why would I make such a statement? Well, how else would you describe someone who took you to an AOL exclusive advanced screening of the biggest movie of the year... BATMAN BEGINS!

That's right folks. I have seen the future, and it is good. Spare no expense when it comes to a theater near you... next week. It is worth every penny (though... our tix were free). This is Batman the way Batman should be. And I'm not just talking about the special effects and action sequences. I'm talking about a tortured Bruce Wayne compelled to become an everlasting symbol that criminals would forever fear, while simultaneously forcing himself to maintain his identity as Bruce Wayne out of devotion to his dead father. I'm talking about a Batman that is brutal, terrifying, and unrelenting. Tim Burton's darkly fantastic Gotham is replaced by a city that is strikingly chlostrophobic, grimy, corrupt, and totally hopeless. While Keaton's Batman whispered in the dark, Christian Bale's Batman roars in the night.

All the characters are amazingly portrayed. Of special note are Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as a young James Gordon and Morgan Freeman as Lucious Fox.

Now, Batman Begins will probably not make as much cash at the box office as Star Wars, but in my humble opinion, Christopher Nolan has brought us Batman the way Sam Raimi brought us Spider-Man: as close to perfection as you can get. That makes this the movie of the summer for me. Go see it.

Summer Session - Day 2

Well, I have just finished my second day of class for the summer session at WTU. I really lucked out. The instructor is a Carmelite professor of philosophy who was just transferred to a parish in Canada, so he no longer has to answer to the Dean. What does this mean for me? Basically, there will be no written assignments, not too much reading (only one required text) and no exams. The four of us (three students and the professor) get together every morning for the next two weeks and talk about the development of Western Philosophy and its implications for theology. This is great stuff for me and my post-modern historically conscious self (I just learned that that's what I am). I have never taken philosophy of any kind, and in the next two weeks, I get to go through a bunch of it really fast. Ancient, medieval, modern, post-modern - awesome! My head is in the clouds where it belongs.

To top it all off, the course is not nearly as rigorous as I thought it would be. This means I will be able to occasionally show my face in public and not be chained to my books all week as I previously thought. I still gots to get to bed earlier than usual though, so I can't do any late night partying with you nut cases out there.

Oh, and the parish 30th anniversary picnic is on Saturday and I am in charge of setting up the tents and the sound system. This means that Saturday is shot for me. If you want to see me, come on out to St. Stephen's in Middleburg for confessions at 3:00 PM (for you sinners out there), Mass at 4:00 PM and/or the picnic directly following. There'll be BBQ and other good eats. Come on out and enjoy!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Spending Money Makes Me Sick

On Friday night, I caught a cold between 12:00 and 1:00 AM. I know this because when I fell asleep on my couch at 12-ish I was fine. When I woke around 1:00, I was sick. Wierd. I can only come to the conclusion that this mystery illness is the direct result of spending $1400 in a single day.

First of all, I had to pay for my class that begins tomorrow, and let me just say there is nothing worse than having a cold for the first day of class. Anyway, I paid for the class. $600. That's what happens when you are asked to resign and your employer no longer pays for your education. $600 shouldn't be a big deal, but for some reason the thought of it makes my head hurt.
Then I took my car in for scheduled maintenance. Okay, so I was a little behind (13,000 miles behind schedule). Consequently, the service guy at Hendrick Honda (on Jefferson Davis Highway in Woodbridge - ask for Dave Zurowski) suggested that, since I was sooOOoo late, I should get both the 105,000 and the 120,000 mile service all at once. That made sense. I was going to have to get it in a month or so anyway, might as well kill two birds with one stone. Oh, and by the way, I needed new brake pads too. Well add it all up = $813. Yikes. Why is my nose running?

So after spending a bunch of money, I came home for a quiet evening watching crap on TV and dozing. Only to wake up with a cold. A cold that is with me still. I can only come to the conclusion that I have some sort of physiological aversion to spending large amounts of money all at once. I have been taking care of myself: eating a good breakfast, taking vitamins, drinking water, and yet I still get sick. This isn't right.

Well, if spending money is the cause, then receiving money must be the cure. I'm currently accepting contributions of cold, hard cash to make me feel better. You all know my address. I accept personal checks. Thanks for your concern for my health and well being.

Oh, and the larger the contribution, the better I'll feel, so don't hold back. Show me some love.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

To Heck with it!

I was trying really hard to come up with something witty and topical to post today, and I came up with nothing. I guess honesty is the best policy. Here are the crappy topics I was thinking about posting:
  • Some of the unexpected consequences of blogging
  • What am I going to do this weekend since I'll pretty much be absent from the world for the next two weeks?
  • a list (ug.) of the rather mundane and unimportant tasks I need to get done before I am unemployed (including finding my local unemployment office)

So there you have it. I am so happy I came up with something better to write about. Wait. Dangit.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Predictions for June

I predict that this June is going to be very different than last June. There are a number of reasons for this.
  1. I become officially unemployed at the end of the month. There is nothing like the realization that you will have no income to put you in a "SAVE YO MONEY" mode. I do not expect to go out or do anything unless someone else is buying. There. I said it. I am going to be a cheap-skate, mooching scrub for the summer. You may ask, "How is that different from normal?" Ha ha. Very funny. But I never mooch.
  2. I am going to take a summer-session course up at WTU for the next two weeks (June 6-17). Every morning from 9:00-11:30, I will be in "Phiolosophy for Theology." Then I will work the rest of the day until about 7:00, then I'll be home buried in my books. I'm not sure how this will affect my psyche, but when it's all over, I'm going to need someone to buy me large quantities of Scotch in a very short period of time.
  3. There are a few birthdays in June. Normally, I forget birthdays. Unfortunately, I put them all on my computer so that won't happen again. Erg. And Father's Day. Geez - we just took my Dad to see Star Wars for his birthday. I guess it'll be Batman Begins for Father's Day. As long as Mom's buying (cheap-skate, mooching scrub that I am). Hey - if you've got a birthday, there is a good chance it's not on my computer. Tell me when it is so I can rectify the situation.

Other predictions for June:

  • Batman Begins will be awesome.
  • My posts will be shorter and less frequent.
  • Many of my friends will continue to feel "old."
  • The ant baits I bought will not work.
  • Roscoe will continue to be fugly and stanky.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Apartment for Rent

You should know that this fall, I will begin attending Washington Theological Union full-time. I intend to live in their student apartments there in DC. My sister has informed me that I need to find some way to pay my share of the bills at the house she and I own together while I am at school. The best way I can think of to do this it to rent out the rooms I currently call my own.

So, for a mere $735 a month, here’s some of what you get:

  • A bedroom, a living room, and full bathroom.
  • Access to and full use of the kitchen, upstairs living room, and deck.
  • Gas fireplace, expanded basic cable, wireless internet via cable, washer and dryer
  • Utilities
  • Reserved parking space
  • Excellent location in Centreville, VA (5-15 minutes from Farifax, Chantilly, Manassas, Gainesville, South Riding, GMU, Fair Lakes, and the Beltway)

I haven’t cleared this with my sister, but I’d be willing to knock off $100/month for anyone who is willing to take care of my dog while I’m at school. This is up in the air, though. Nancy practically begged me to let her take Roscoe home with her.

Anyone interested should email me at Feel free to send this around to everyone you know.