Thursday, April 30, 2009

If God Said Boris Had To Turn Gay

Boris O'Dan is a good friend all of the time but he's at his entertaining best on no sleep and too much Little Debbie and cold caffeine:

"Now, I'm a straight guy," he said Thursday. "But if God came down and said, 'Boris, I've decided you've got to have a homosexual relationship,' I'd have to choose Hugh Jackman for that."

"Don't blame you," I said.

"Or maybe Patrick Stewart" - already I was starting recoil - "But that would be just to hear him talk dirty in that English accent" - His next words were done in a dead on impression of the Next Generation captain: "Who's a dirty boy? Who's going to make it so?"

It took me until lunch to recover from both the horror and the giggle factor on that one. What made it extra funny is that Boris is usually a very polite, slightly introverted fanboy type. But he was up all night on Wednesday working to meet a deadline for a freelance writing gig, and he kept himself fueled with Little Debbie Swiss Rolls and Mountain Dew to stay awake. Then he had to go to work Thursday morning, and when I saw him during break, he was still at it with the Swiss Rolls and Dew. I said I'd read that critics are ripping up the new Wolverine movie. He concurred, but said he still wants to see it anyway, adding that he's excited about positive reviews for the new Trek film. I said I'd heard good things about Trek too, but that I'll probably wind up going to see Wolverine because it's got Hugh Jackman in it. Imagine hearts floating around that last clause in the previous sentence.

That's when the conversation took the weird ass turn it did. It made me wonder, what would Boris be like on Jaegermeister and Red Bull?

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Last Tuesday the guy who sits next to me at my temp job backed over his cat. Totally ran over it, so that it made his car lurch. The cat, a beloved pet of nine years, then ran down a storm drain and refused to come out so he could take it to the vet, and he assumed it would die in there. He was a wreck. On Wednesday I saw him with his head in his hands a lot, but I just assumed his eyes were bothering him, because I didn't know the whole story yet. On Thursday he was absent. On Friday he told me all about what happened and said the day before, he'd been too much of a weepy mess to come work. He said at one point he was standing in his kitchen crying, glanced out the door, and his cat was on the front stoop looking in at him. The vet told him the cat was going to be fine with a little medical care.

When he started telling me this story, the flashing yellow light and the obnoxious alarm went off in the original Star Trek bridge located in the emotional center of my brain. Kirk yelled at Scotty for maximum power to shields. I feared this confession was going to make me have to go home a weepy mess. About a year ago, I lost Lyle, my pet of 16 years, and I could relate a little too well. If I'd lost Lyle by backing over him with my own car, I'd probably need electroshock therapy. My relief when I heard the happy ending was akin to a hit of nitrous oxide.

As it turns out, last week was also a cat-based high-drama week around here. There's a lot of demolition going on in the unit upstairs, which sat empty with trash in it for several months last year. Now that new owners are tearing out walls and plaster, some mice have found themselves displaced and been scoping our unit as potential new real estate. Niall, our newest cat, snagged one of them while we were out Thursday evening. In the past we've been home when this happened, and Niall allowed us take the mice from him, put them in a jar, and take them to the park down the street for release. But since we were gone, he pulled a Lenny from Of Mice and Men on this one. When we got home I was taking my jacket off when I heard Wyatt yell "Baby, don't come back here" from the office. He disposed of the mouse carcass but I walked in before he finished cleaning up and saw Niall lapping at a small pool of blood left on the floor. I say small, but I tell you it's amazing how much blood is in a tiny little mouse. Later we were loving Niall up on the couch and I recoiled when I saw he still had traces of red on his white paws.

I thought: What if the mouse had been my beloved pet, and Niall had been an unwelcome intruder living in the walls? One who emerged in our absence to dine on a creature we consider a family member? Chills. I also wondered if mice experience grief when family/friends disappear on their way to the cat food bowl. What a downer of a perspective.

Friday, April 10, 2009

If Only We Could Have Musicals At Work

Once again I've found myself at a temp job where mental focus is imperitive, and my mind becomes nomadic in response.

Today I was dying for a musical to break out. The room was dead silent with about 70 people in it working. I scanned the scene, looking for the person who I thought most likely to jump onto a table and start singing this song:

I never came to a sure conclusion about who that should be, but felt that I should be part of the dance troupe performing around him. Then I spent a few minutes thinking about Breakfast on Pluto, a movie which has this song on its soundtrack. I decided that in this film, Cillian Murphy does drag better than anybody since Tim Curry in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Much of the time at work I have mental music playing in the background. I confess this in hopes it's not a symptom of severe mental illness. Surely it's just the earworm syndrome. I don't generally hear the whole song, maybe just the hook and a few other of the lines I remember, but I hear it over and over. A few minutes later I notice some other old song will be in the rotation.

Here's a sampling of songs from today:

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How these could be related, why one leads into another, is beyond me.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My Dad The Republican Communist

Called home last night and got my Dad on the phone, something which often leads to a surreal conversation like the one I had. He's a devout Democrat-hating Republican; a man in a bi-party marriage who scornfully refers to Democrats as "Your Mama's people." Somehow though, his political sympathies have morphed until he's more an admirer of Che Guevara than Rush Limbaugh. He seems to have no clue how weird this is.

Comrade Botsford on the Iraq War and the current financial crisis: "Instead of sending the Marines to Iraq, we should have sent them to Wall Street." I laughed at the image of camo-clad warriors raiding Starbucks coffee shops, putting cuffed and suited white guys in the backs of trucks, and interrogating them at Guantanamo Bay .

"Ain't no Arab ever hurt me," he went on to say. "We don't have no business over there. Now this, all this financial stuff, this has hurt us more than 9/11 ever did." He said nobody's going to keep a body count for how many die as a result of not having jobs and health insurance, but that number could rival our casualties of war.

His views on immigration are more typical of Republicans. He lamented that the hometown school is awash in Spanish-speaking immigrants, or "Mexicans" as he calls them, and he believes it's too expensive to educate them like our own. I sidestepped arguing with him on that point because I've wasted so much time on it in the past. But I noted that there's been recent speculation the Mexican government could fall sometime soon, and if that happens there's going to be a lot more people wanting to come over the border. "I don't doubt it," he said of the potential uprising. "They need to take over and redistribute the wealth. So few people down there have all the resources." He sighed. "I guess we should do that here."

Breathe easy, folks, please don't send jack-booted thugs to the homeplace to arrest my old man. He's not talking bloody insurrection. He's just convinced that the sleeping horde of "good folks" in this nation will rise up and put a stop to all this foolishness in some kind of peacefull, sensible manner.

I wish I was.