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.