No, not The Notebook. That's a chick flick, and you know I wouldn't be talking about that. This note is just a single piece of paper. Normally I'm not freaked out by paper products. On any given day I handle, look at, and write on many, many pieces of paper with little or no trauma. With the exception of the occasional paper cut, most of the pieces of paper I see are harmless. This note was not harmless
On Wednesdays I work until 7 p.m. Yesterday after finishing up work at my usual time I walked out to the parking lot behind my building. This story would undoubtedly be more dramatic if the parking lot were dark and empty except for my car, but it wasn't like that. There were several other cars around and the lights in the parking lot were working just fine. Nothing appeared unusual and I didn't expect anything more than my normal drive home. I got in my car, and as I prepared to back out I turned to look out the rear window only to see that my vision was blocked by a piece of newspaper blown onto the window. Or so I thought. I put my car in park, walked around to the rear of the car and pulled the paper off. I walked back to my open door, and on the seat was a small neatly folded piece of pink paper. It's the kind of paper that comes in one of those little stationary sets with matching envelopes. I opened it up and in what appeared to be female handwriting was written, "You look even cuter in person. Love, Me." I calmly closed my car door, locked it, and drove straight to the police station nearest my home. I figured that if my stalker was going to kill me it would likely be at home. Needless to say, the officer on duty was completely underwhelmed by my little note and my story of e-mails from an internet admirer. He not so subtly told me that the police were too busy pursuing criminals with guns to pursue criminals with keyboards. His advice was to keep the note and the e-mails, which while annoying have yet to be actually threatening, and to allow Yahoo to trace them to their source and notify the culprits I.S.P. Apparently, throwing a complimentary note in someone's car is not considered a crime.
Understandably, I did not agree with the officer's finite wisdom and let him know that in far less tactful ways than I am expressing here. I have notified the Yahoo investigator of the recent development. Yahoo was kind enough to provide with a phone number that reaches an actual person. It seems they don't want any headlines about their e-mail system allowing people to harass by internet anonymously. The investigator has assured me that the culprit has been identified, her internet service suspended, and that Yahoo will press charges on my behalf. I wholeheartedly requested that they pursue that option. If I come home tomorrow to find a bunny boiling on my stove I'm going to be pissed. Not as much as my neighbor of course. I don't own a rabbit, but he does.
Congratulations Lonely1. By reading virtually every post I've ever written you figured out my cell phone number from an old post in which I actually posted it but later deleted a digit. I didn't figure anyone would read the old posts, or bother to go to the trouble of several wrong number combinations until they actually hit upon my number. That's my fault. I shouldn't have posted it in the first place. No one was reading me at the time, so I figured it might be funny to see what kind of nutjobs would call me up and leave a message. For those of you who haven't read me from the beginning, I had a fairly regular rant about annoying cell phone people. Then I received a really nice cell phone as a gift. The fact that my stalker has my cell phone number is no big deal. Cell phones are so cheap as to be disposable. I'm just going to get a new number. More disturbing is that recently one of my friends innocently enough mentioned the city I live in in one of their comments here. At the time I thought nothing of it. Unfortunately stalker took note. That's a little more disturbing. I am not responding to any of your e-mails and will only resort to mocking you here so you realize what I and others think about people like you. I'll get you eventually. I am currently going through yahoo where your e-mail is and they will trace it back to your ISP and then you. Then let the legal charges begin!
For most people static electricity is annoying. You reach to turn on the television and get a little shock. You walk around your home in socks and accidentally shock the next person you touch. For me it's more than that. For some reason that I don't understand, my body conducts electricity extremely well. It may have to do with the fact that I've sustained two serious electrical shocks in my life. Shocks that had the potential to kill me. Or perhaps I survived those shocks because of my innate ability to conduct electricity. I don't know. I seem to pick up electricity from just about anything. I've become conditioned to closing my car door with my elbow. At night if I reach for my car I can literally see a spark jump from my finger to the door before I even touch it. I can walk up to my television, run my hand over the screen, absorbing the static there, and then discharge it on the victim of my choice. My poor dog does not find this as funny as I do. I considered using this ability to become a crime fighting super-hero,(Static Man would have been my name), but I didn't want to wear tights and work nights. It's not that I don't have the body to pull off the tights look, you know I do. I thought the whole secret identity thing would have been too much trouble too. I mean really, who wants to work a day job as a peon and then spend your nights traveling the rooftops of your city grappling with the forces of evil? There's no money in that.
To all my regular readers, I'm sorry that this isn't as entertaining as my usual stuff. I'm just not in the mood this week.
When you started sending the anonymous, complimentary e-mails indicating that you liked my blog but wouldn't comment that was fine. I was flattered. When you visited my fantasy football website and signed up to use our forums as Lonely1, I was again flattered to have such a big fan. Who am I to turn away another reader anywhere? As your writings on the message board there became too personally directed I asked you to stop because the football website is where I write sort of professionally. The e-mails continued, increasing in volume. It began to be a nuisance and I worried about the intensity. I stopped responding with polite thank you's. Then I stopped responding at all. Now you've gone too far. No, I know you haven't made any threats, but your implication that you intend to find out more about me sounds like a threat and your recent e-mails could be viewed as harassment at the least. This is your warning. If you continue, I will shut down this blog and write elsewhere. I will also leave my football website as well. Your e-mails are collecting in my inbox and can all be forwarded to authorities if need be. You need to stop. Keep in mind that since I wrote about the President and Hillary Clinton the F.B.I. is probably monitoring this blog. I'm sure they'd be glad to respond to your e-mails.
These little town blues, are melting away I’m gonna make a brand new start of it - in old New York And if i can make it there, i’m gonna make it anywhere It's up to you - New York, New York Frank Sinatra
I live in New York, but I don't live in New York City. I realize that for many of you it's news that New York City isn't the entirety of New York. For those of you not familiar with our geography, New York is a fairly big state with several other medium sized cities. . Perhaps it's because of New York City that the other cities in the state have an inferiority complex. My city wants to be big and wants to have big, important things happen here. We grasp desperately to any straw of fame that one of our natives achieves. Nowhere is this inferiority complex more evident than on the local news.
Male Local News Anchor: Good evening. I'm Dirk Hairpiece and this is Eyewitness News! Female Local News Anchor: And I'm Buffy Sleptmywayhere. What are tonight's top stories Dirk? Dirk: In New York City today a subway train went off the tracks and careened wildly down Wall St. before coming to rest on top of the Statue of Liberty. 147 people were killed. Let's go to field reporter Skippy Trenchcoat for a live interview. Skippy? Skippy: I'm here in town, about a block away from the studio in the home of Dolores Hairnet who says that her cousin's friend's brother's high school classmate once rode the very same subway train responsible for today's tragedy. Dolores, can you tell us about your experience? Dolores: Well, Eddie, that's my cousin's friend's brother's high school classmate, said it was like a train, but it goes underground in them there tunnel things. Skippy: Did Eddie notice anything suspicious about the train? Dolores: He said it smelled funny. Kinda like how your garbage can smells on a hot summer day when you left meat in it and the maggots start to grow. Skippy: Well there you have it Dirk and Buffy. The train ride stunk from the beginning. Dirk in studio: Thank you Skippy. Speaking of something that stinks, let's go to weather girl Sunny Implants broadcasting live from the elephant cage at the zoo.
Is there anything that makes you feel dumber than failing the word verification test when you're trying to leave a comment? All you have to do is copy 5 or 6 random letters. How hard could that possibly be right? Apparently plenty hard judging by how often I screw it up. It's not my fault! The letters look all wavy and you can't tell if it's a lower case j or i. It's virtually impossible to tell the difference between two V's or a W. That just isn't fair! And nothing is as embarrassing as failing the word verification test when you're trying to leave a comment on your own blog. That's like having trouble trying to unlock your own front door. You realize you've hit rock bottom when the Blogger word verification system takes pity on you and gives you a no-brainer like "dog" for your word verification. At that point you are literally being mocked by a machine. They say that computers can't think, but I believe that heard mine laugh at me once. If this keeps up I'm afraid that my high speed internet connection will be revoked and I'll have to go back to dial-up. That's like riding the short bus to the internet. Go ahead, leave comments at your own peril. My computer and I will be laughing our asses off.
I have nothing pithy, witty, or thought-provoking to say. Should I say anything at all? Or should I just let my blog sit silent for another day? Random ridiculous ideas, notions and whatnot usually pop into my head on a fairly regular basis, but I've had nothing of the sort for the last 96 hours. As you can see, my last post was just a few scraps left from the feast of absurdity that usually is happening in my mind. (I hereby copyright the phrase "feast of absurdity in my mind." That was a great turn of phrase, wasn't it?) Today, nothing. Is this it? Am I tapped out? Has what I once thought to be a bottomless well of silliness run dry? Do I have a tumor that has slowly been eating the part of my brain responsible for idiocy? That could be both a blessing and a curse for me. I don't have writer's block. I'm writing other things elsewhere, I just can't think of anything funny here today. I have humor block. So, I decided I would write anyway. It's like driving at night with my headlights off hoping I find the road. Please don't leave my blog for good though. I may become inspired once again soon. And besides, if you don't come back, the rest of us will make fun of you in the comments.
1. If Big Bird were to catch the bird flu, he could wipe out all of Sesame Street.
2. Does a York Peppermint Patty or a Junior Mint qualify as a breath mint?
3. Why do women curl their eyelashes? Not once have I ever looked at a woman and thought, "She'd be really pretty if her eyelashes weren't so straight." Ladies, believe me, you can give up eyelash curling and no one will ever notice. Throw away those stupid little tools. Like shaving your legs, I'm betting a man working for a cosmetics company came up with that stupid idea.
4. What should I do with my hair and my face? I look pretty much like my picture there, but I think the haircut and goatee are getting a bit old. Any suggestions?
5. On some of your blogs some of you ladies wonder why you're still single. If you acted as happy to see us as our dogs do you'd be married in a New York minute. We love all that jumping up and down, panting and licking our faces.
6. Just this morning I noticed that my hair conditioner has "sea algae extract" as an ingredient. How do they know that sea algae is good for your hair? I've never seen a hairy fish. They're all bald. Maybe it's because of the sea algae!
“Another working day has ended Only the rush hour hell to face Packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes Contestants in a suicidal race”
The Police- Synchronicity
I am a commuter. I commute to and from my job each day. I’m not sure what qualifies one as a commuter. Does your drive have to be a certain distance or length of time? Why did someone bother to come up with a name for people who drive to work? Doesn’t that pretty much encompass almost everyone? You know who came up with it? I’m betting it was a bored commuter stuck in traffic on his way to work. Why not come up with name for the odd minority who walk, ride their bikes, or take a bus to work? Oh, that’s right, we already have a name for them. Losers! I’m just kidding of course. I resent the wasted time I spend in my car and I would love a 5-minute bike ride to work with the wind blowing through my flowing locks and the bugs and car exhaust blowing through my teeth. Memo to cyclists: Having wheels does not mean you belong on the road. If there’s a sidewalk get your lycra shorts ass up on it before we hit you.
The speed limit also poses a special challenge for commuters. Well, it’s not the limit itself that is challenging. In fact I find it quite easy to surpass. That’s not much of a challenge at all. The challenge is coping with the commuters who obey the speed limit as if some deity carved it in stone on the hoods of their cars. (Don’t try to understand that last sentence. It just sounded good in my head) My philosophy is this: We only have so much time to live, and I don’t want to waste any more than I have to trapped inside a mobile tin can. I want to get where I’m going so I can enjoy what I plan to do when I get there, whether it be watching a sunset, talking to a friend, or feeling the sweet release of sending my morning coffee back out into that great big world. I fiercely resent anyone who steals precious moments of my life by impeding my ability to get where I want to go as quickly as possible. If you speed limit compulsives enjoy time in your car so much, then park it at home and sit in it. Preferably with the engine running and garden hose going from the exhaust to the driver’s side window.
The great philosopher called “They” say that you shouldn’t be so focused on your destination and “you should stop and smell the roses.” Here’s a newsflash for “they”: There are no roses by the side of I-90 heading into the city! If I stop to smell the roses a homeless person will probably run up and try to clean my windshield. Then again, if he can pry that cyclist off my bumper I’ll be glad to give him a dollar.
It’s happening again. For the second time in less than a year the President is showing up in my area. Why is he doing this? I don’t know. I think he’s stalking me. I’m considering taking out a restraining order. Same thing with Hillary Clinton. Being our state Senator I can see that she has a little more reason to show up here than George Bush does, but damn, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting Hillary Clinton here every other day. Maybe those two are having a secret affair. Wouldn’t that be ironic, don’tcha think? Oh, and as long as I’m talking about the President and Hillary Clinton I’d like to say a big hello to the F.B.I. and anyone from the Homeland Security agency. I know any mention of the President online gets reviewed in the event that I’m from an evil cult or something. It’s kind of cool knowing that because I mentioned the President and Hillary Clinton that people in Washington D.C. are reading this. Yes, F.B.I., I know your I.P. address is the one out of Herndon, Virginia. As long as you’re reading this, leave a comment and tell your friends about the phil factor.
what-not (n) 1. a minor or unspecified article or object. 2. a set of light, open shelves for ornaments.
Apparently "whatnot" is a real word. It's also one of my pet peeves. I had a "whatnot" day on Friday. I am not exaggerating when I say that I heard the word "whatnot" used at least 6 times in conversation Friday. Not one of them was by me. Each and every time I heard it I had to grit my teeth to keep from shouting at the guilty party. As evidenced by the dictionary definition above, I didn't believe that "whatnot" was a real word until I looked it up. My assumption was that it's one of those words used when one is too lazy to come up with a real word to express their thoughts. Remember the Seinfeld episode when everyone started saying "Yada, yada, yada," as in "I ran into my old girlfriend at the coffee shop, we had a few drinks, yada, yada, yada, and here we are." To me whatnot is the same thing. "Oh yeah, I had to go to the store to pick up some printer paper and whatnot." What is the whatnot?!!? I want to know! Finish the freakin' sentence before I kill you please! If you picked up whatnot, does it mean that you actually purchased a set of light, open shelves for ornaments? Apparently there was a sale on them Friday and nobody told me. I'd rant a little longer today, but I have to go pay some bills and whatnot. When I get back I look forward to all your comments cleverly incorporating the word whatnot.
In the past I've used this space to point out the differences between men and women. How we communicate, what's important to us, and the inequities of societal grooming expectations are all ways men and women differ. Another great divide between the sexes is our views on presents. Anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine's Day, and Christmas all can make or break a relationship from a woman's perspective. Before everyone paints me as a misogynist for that last statement, let's look at two examples:
Example 1: Guy: Happy Anniversary honey! Here's a card, a dozen roses, and I've taken out a second mortgage so I can fly you to Paris for a candlelight dinner on top of the Eiffel Tower! Woman: You are so sweet! With all my work this week I didn't have time to get you a present. I'm sorry. How about if I make it up to you (wink, wink) back at the hotel after dinner? (sly smile) Guy: YAHTZEE! (fist pump)
Example 2: Woman: Happy Anniversary honey! Here's a card and a present! Guy: An Ipod! Thanks baby, this is great! With all my work this week I didn't have time to get you a present. I'm sorry. How about if I make it up to you (wink, wink) in the bedroom tonight? (sly smile) Woman: You forgot! How could you be so thoughtless?!!? You can sleep on the couch tonight! (storms out, door slams)
Sometimes even the presents themselves can mean different things to men and women. Here are some examples of presents men might give, how we mean them, and what they mean to women.
1. A romantic card with breakfast in bed, flowers sent to your work, and a nice dinner out. What men are trying to say: "Will you sleep with me?" What women think: "He's a sweet, thoughtful guy."
2. A safety kit for your car with road flares, tools, and a shovel. What men are trying to say: "I love you and I want you to be safe." What women think: "What a thoughtless, un-romantic oaf."
3. Lingerie What men are trying to say: "I think you are a beautiful, sexy woman." What women think: "That selfish bastard is thinking with his little head instead of his big head."
4. Any kind of home appliance What men are trying to say: "I've noticed how hard you work. I want to make your life easier." What women think: "If this isn't grounds for justifiable homicide, I don't know what is!"
How many times have we said this? How many times have we thought to ourselves, "If only I could go back, I'd really have even more fun as a kid!"? How often have we also heard stories of youth sports league coaches and parents coming to blows over a kids game? Who are the ones who don't know how to have fun in those games? I think kids really do know a lot more about having fun than adults. We may think we do, but we really don't. Currently I'm a youth league basketball coach for 10 year olds. I work with two other coaches. Our team is actually quite good. After last weeks game I was contacted by a couple parents who reported that their kids weren't enjoying basketball because the focus was too much on winning. I realize the game is for the kids, so I e-mailed the other two coaches. Here are transcripts of our e-mail exchange: (the names have been changed to protect the innocent)
"Hi Coach X and Coach Y, I had to let you know that I was spoken to separately by parents of two of the kids on our team, and one parent indicated another parent felt as they did also. Essentially they both said that their sons had thoughts of quitting because the practices and games aren't fun and there is too much emphasis put on winning. I think we should lighten up a bit regardless of the outcome, and try to make the last 3 games fun for everyone. If kids are thinking of quitting the team it reflects on us, not them. Any thoughts?
Here were their responses:
Coach X said:
"First- I'd hate to see any kid wanting to quit. That said- I'd have to consider the source. (Which by the way I feel we've all got the right to know who feels this way.) If it's a parent of a child that consistently doesn't hustle and they don't like that we push them to play the game the right way- I say Bye Bye. We aren't doing that child or our team justice if we "lighten up" to appease a loafer. For that matter, I'd like to see what the other parents feel before we change anything. My guess is that they are fine with it. Bottom line is your never going to please everyone.
If you guys want to lighten up I will absolutely go along with it as I am a team player.
That's my immediate off the cuff reaction- I will however, sleep on it...
Here's what Coach Y had to say:
"I'm not happy."
I think these "Coaches" need to realize that it doesn't matter if we're happy, it matters if the kids are. I have a feeling I may have a fight on my hands all week. Sorry this wasn't very funny, but these a-holes are pissing me off. Last night neither of them was at practice, so I ran the practice by myself and last night I got an e-mail from a parent saying "Thanks for a great practice tonight! It was the most fun he has had this year." I totally rock.
The person most responsible for the existence of the phil factor is not me, but a friend of mine from work named Erin. Last Spring I was doing a sports blog and just starting to write for websites. As I usually am on any given day in the office, I was walking around saying exactly the same kind of inane things you read from me on this blog. My friend Erin said, "You ought to start a blog with that," and hence the birth of the phil factor. I think Erin is a very amusing person and have lobbied her for the last 6 months to start her own blog. She finally has. Please go visit and say hello to her at: kennychesneyrascalflatts.blogspot.com
“Her friends are so jealous you know how bad girls get. Sometimes it's not so easy to be the teacher's pet.”
In an effort to prevent unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, schools in the United States are teaching sexual education earlier and earlier. It’s not unusual for children 10 and 11 years old to be learning how their bodies work and where babies come from. I’m fine with the education; I just wish so many teachers wouldn’t take a “hands on” approach to the subject.
It happened again. In North Carolina last week a 36-year-old female teacher was arrested for having sex, on school grounds, with an 11-year-old male student. Judging from her picture on the news I can see why she may have been a little hard up for male companionship, but c’mon, an 11 year old?!!? Are you telling me that she couldn’t have skipped the PTA meeting, hit the local bar, found a guy with some serious beer goggles on and gotten jiggy with it? Then again, this did happen in North Carolina, a state where marrying your cousin is considered marrying outside the family.
Sadly though, this type of occurrence isn’t limited to backwoods towns in the deep South. There was Pamela Smart who convinced her teenage student lover to knock off her husband. She must have offered him serious extra credit for that. Then there was Mary Kay Litorno who had a child by her 12 year old student, went to jail for 5 years, and then promptly hooked up with him again upon her release, just in time for the prom! When I was 11 or 12 years old I couldn’t get a girl my age to talk to me. Apparently I was focusing on the wrong demographic.
I have no idea why these middle-aged women find pre-pubescent boys attractive, but what I do know is that all women need to stop complaining about the societal pressures to look young and beautiful. You think looking like a 22-year-old model is tough? Apparently if I want to attract women my age I’m going to have to get braces on my teeth, shave off my body hair, and buy a skateboard.