Monday, January 30, 2006
Now for the nursery. I nearly finished it this weekend, but I had some material and equipment problems. First, I bought three sections of baseboard, but only two of them were the same. I found that out when I miter cut a second board and went to nail it into place, only to realize that it didn't match. Second problem was the crown molding. It was too large for my miter box, so now I need to get a new one. I should finish it this weekend, but here is a progress pic. This room used to have pecan-stained paneling, and old single-paned wood-framed windows. Two weeks ago, it was all bare studs.
Now for the gifts. It took my wife and hour and half to open all of them, and when the dust settled, the registry was nearly bare. All of the furniture, travel accessories, playsets and every other "big ticket" item were given to us. We have enough clothes to last three months before needing to do any laundry. The picture at the right shows just what we could fit in the armoire (yes the drawers are full). The one on the left shows what we are yet to unpack. Also not pictured are the crib, changing table and car seat. I am confident that many rainforests were destroyed in the wrapping of the all these gifts, and we now have enough baby shower gift bags to last us for the next hundred years.
Man, it sure is nice to get back to work where I can get a little rest!
Thursday, January 26, 2006
As a results, I have been working my ass off to prepare the house for visitors, even if they are hillbillies. My wife gave me a list of things that absolutely had to be done before any visitors could walk through the front door, and even though this is a surprise shower and visit from family, I still need to be prepared. Most of the items were simple and have already been completed, but the big one is still out there, lurking and waiting to take me out!
It is, of course, completing construction of the nursery. I have lamented here about the work that I am doing in there, and it is now time for an update.
The drywall is complete and looks great. Too bad I am about to cover half of it with the wainscoting that I bought at Lowe's yesterday. I completed priming the walls and will paint this morning. Once it's dry, I will start putting in the door and window trim, wainscoting, baseboard, chair rail and crown molding. Then, I will fill the nail holes with putty, sand, paint all of the wainscoting, trim and the ceiling, and install the ceiling fan. Did I mention that I was doing this by myself and it needs to be complete by Saturday morning? Ugggh!
I foresee many trips to the home improvement store over the next 48 hours , and many beers Saturday night if I actually pull this off. Anyway, I think that my primer is dry and I have to start painting. My next post should be a picture of the completed nursery, or a link to my obituary.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Reason # 1 Why I Hate Cheerleaders
Well, apparently she's not.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Where are they now?
I was eating a cheeseburger at McDonald’s this weekend, and I started thinking about the magical place of my youth known as McDonaldland. It's residents included my friends; the peace officer Big Mac, the milkshake-loving Grimace and his green Uncle O'Grimacey, the honorable Mayor McCheese, and, of course, Ronald. There were villains there too like the thieving Hamburglar, the freakish Fry Guys and the swashbuckling Captain Crook. Unfortunately most of these guys have inexplicably disappeared from the planet. Hmmmmm….
Ronald McDonald: Became "enlightened" by the teachings of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin shortly after opening their first store in Russia in 1990. Overthrew the existing government in McDonaldland, and established Communism as the new ruling power.
Grimace and Uncle O'Grimacey: Deemed a liability in the new government because fellow citizens repeatedly used their fat asses as examples of the effects of continuous dining at McDonalds in lawsuits against the regime. They were hauled off to the gulag in 1993 and haven't been heard from since.
Mayor McCheese: The first victim of Ronald McDonald's coup d'etat. He was beheaded in Filet O'Fish Square in front of dozens of McDonaldland citizens as an example of Ronald's intention to rule with an iron fist.
Big Mac: The leader of the rebellion, and most wanted man in McDonaldland, Big Mac works in the shadows to avenge the murder of his cousin, Mayor McCheese. His whereabouts are presently unknown.
Hamburglar: Was pardoned for past transgressions and surprisingly appointed a high seat in the new government. It is believed that the coup would have failed without the help of his henchmen.
Fry Guys: Defected to France in 1991 while touring as back-up singers with the Milli Vanilli because they incorrectly assumed that it would be the place to get all of the french fries that they would ever want. They run a small café on the Champs-Elysées, though no one ever knew for sure exactly how they could steal french fries without actually having arms.
Captain Crook: Was being prosecuted for treason at the time of the coup. He struck a deal with the new government and presently serves as Undersecretary of McDonaldland Royal Navy.
Friday, January 20, 2006
This week, I was fortunate enough to spend three nights in New York City, all on the company dime. My boss was in town from Baton Rouge because he had to give us our 2005 Year End Evaluations in person. As a surprise, I registered to win tickets to see a taping of The Late Show with David Letterman, and to my surprise, I actually got them.
Kim from the show called me last Tuesday, and told me that I had to call Bethany to arrange for the tickets. I called Bethany and had to answer a trivia question to get the tickets. The question was, where does Rupert Jee work? If you don't know the answer, then you have obviously never seen the show.
I was told to show up at the Ed Sullivan Theater between 3-4pm on Tuesday with my guest and our IDs, and tell them that we were on Bethany's gold list. We would get further instructions from there.
We got there around 3:10 after a couple of slices at Famous Original Ray's Pizza on Broadway. (Damn, real NY pizza kicks ass!) We were 16th & 17th in line, and were handed an information sheet to fill out. We had to put our contact info, and anything that we had that could be used for show and tell, including the story behind the item (I listed an NHL All Star game program that was autographed by Wayne Gretzky while we were playing Blackjack at Caesars in Atlantic City. A story for another time…). We handed in the sheets, waited in the line until 3:30, and were led in to pick up the tickets. We were instructed to come back at 4:30 and get in the red rope line in order of our ticket numbers.
So to kill the hour, we went over and met Rupert Jee at the Hello Deli. Then we went to the bar Gallagher's Steak House and knocked back a couple of Black and Tans and ate homemade potato chips. When we got back at 4:30, we waited outside for another 20 minutes, then waited in the hall for another 20 minutes before we were finally let in to the theater. I thought that we were assured good seats by virtue of our low ticket numbers.
I was wrong. When we went in, the first five rows were already filled with people who were apparently more important than me. We were seated in the sixth row, all the way at the far right side of the stage. It looked like we had a great angle at Dave's desk, but then the camera crew started moving things around, and we got to stare at their backs for nearly the entire show. We were so far over that when they "panned" the audience at the opening, the camera didn't even pick us up. We were, however, about 10 feet from Alan Kalter, which was pretty cool.
You often hear Dave's guests talk about how cold it is in the studio, and they are not joking. It was probably colder in there than it was outside. One camera operator was wearing a full length down coat during the whole show. Anyway, a hack comedian came out to "fluff" the crowd, then the band came out, sans Paul Shaffer. They played a couple of tunes and sounded exceptional, then Paul came out and joined them for one last song. A couple of minutes later, Biff popped out to say hello. Finally, Dave came out and lamented about his beloved Indy Colts and their "Little Dutch boy" kicker. Classic Dave!
Now the show began with the classic monologue. Pretty funny stuff, but you could see that Dave was a little annoyed. When he got back to his desk, he started a gag with Rupert, but they had the shot set up wrong, so they did a second take. Dave told them what was wrong, but when they did the second take, the same problem was there. He was so pissed that he started shaking his desk back and forth really hard. He spilled his coffee all over the place, and they had to stop and shoot it again. The rest of the show went pretty well the way it was on TV. There was no Top Ten List and Tatum O'Neal was a pretty lame guest, but what would you expect from someone who hasn't made a decent movie since The Bad News Bears?
Overall, it was something worth experiencing just to see the behind the scenes stuff. My boss liked it, which is great considering that layoffs are starting in two weeks, and he might have a say in who goes. Besides, a trip to NYC is a lot like sex; Even if it's bad, it's still pretty good. (Especially when it's free!)
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Hit the Showers...
I've once heard registering for a baby shower described as looting for white people, which is exactly what it is. The couple goes into a store like Babies-R-Us and picks out all their wants and needs, puts them on a list, and expects someone else to pick up the tab.
Note that I said wants. As in desires and dreams. It is a wish list, but still a valuable guide for shoppers. If someone else doesn't buy that $200 car seat for us, chances are that we will buy one on our own, probably even one that is less expensive. But that is our decision, right?
I've never told anyone this, but Mrs. Flounder has some 'neck DNA running through her veins. I think that it is very latent, but it is there nonetheless. Her family in South Carolina took a look at our registry and has had some very interesting comments for me. That's right, for me. See, this is a surprise shower thrown by my wife's best friend, and I have been tasked to coordinate the out-of-towners. I like to think of myself as the hillbilly liaison, or the Ambassador to Neckville.
First comment from the Susan Powter-haircut-having, toothless Carol, the stepmom: "Your cribset is ugly. Why don't you get a cute one?" My reply: "We're planning on having a really adorable baby, so we thought that an ugly cribset would kinda neutralize all that cuteness."
Second comment from Amway-hawking, chain-smoking, multi-tattooed Aunt Eleanor (This comment has been cut and paste from her actual e-mail. These are her words and grammar, and she is an elementary school teacher in SC): I been on the Toysrus and I'm not sure she would like that car seat,also it is too overpriced. It would be $205, for this. I got my granddaughter one at the Walmart for $80 and it is very sturdy. My reply: "Whatever you want to get would be greatly appreciated by both of us." I really hope that she puts a receipt with it!
Final comment from the slack-jawed, Mary Kay-hawking, skoal-dipping cousin Crystal: "The high chair that we want to get for you guys has Pooh on it, but when the baby is sitting in it, I'm sure you would not see it." Now Mrs. Flounder and I specifically put on the registry, "Please, no Winnie the Pooh" not because we don't like Pooh, but because he doesn't go with our theme. We are decorating the nursery with Vintage cowboy stuff, and Pooh just doesn't fit in.
For this one, I have no reply. That is where you come in. What would you do in this situation? I really need your help, so try to be at least somewhat serious, ok....
Friday, January 13, 2006
The Wheels On The Bus Go Round and Round
That is unless they are the wheels on a school bus, in which case they go round and stop, round and stop, round and stop. Now I have nothing against kids or school or even busses, but things have changed quite a bit since I was a kid. I don't want to sound like the "When I was a kid, we had to walk barefoot for three miles to school, in the snow, up hill, both ways" guy, but I remember the trek to school being a little different than this.
The school bus in front of me this morning stopped at seven out of nine houses in a row to pick up kids. Door to door service. Why don't they just use limousines? I remember having to walk three blocks to the "Bus Stop" where I waited with all of the other neighborhood kids for the pick-up. Apparently this whole concept has been abandoned in my town.
Worse yet, these kids waited in their houses for the bus, so the driver had to wait for the little bastards to come walking, not running, out to catch the bus. We froze our asses off waiting on the corner for the bus, and if you missed it, you missed it. There was none of this "let's wait for little Billy to come out" bullshit!
Then, after each kid got on, a woman got off the bus and checked in front of and behind the bus, got back on, and went to the next house where the process started all over again. Now I can understand checking in front of the bus because you don't want to run little Sally over when she is just trying to get to school, but why check behind the bus? Don't they trust me to not hit little Johnny if he is straggling behind? I have no doubt that this practice is the result of litigation somewhere.
Ten Minutes! That is how long it took me to go one freaking block!! Then, when I could finally pass this orange, time-wasting, Blue Bird bus, I got pulled over for speeding. I was so pissed that I just ranted at one of Rhode Island's finest, and he had mercy on me and let me go with a warning. I think I might have scared him a little.
What a way to start a Friday! Friday the thirteenth nonetheless! Ugggh!
Side Note: (This is the second time this week that the ghost of Chris Farley has visited my blog. I wonder what he wants...)
Thursday, January 12, 2006
What's Your Porn Star Name?
It's a question that has baffled man for ages. Well, apparently there is a scientific method to finding an answer. Won't you see what your name will be...
|Your Porn Star Name Is...|
Baseball Hall of Shame
OK, it's not bad enough that Jim Rice got screwed again, but now they are inducting Bill Murray look-alikes into the Hall of Fame? Will Bruce Sutter be representing Team Zissou?
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Check Out My Boobs!
Well, it worked for Mackenzie!
This is such an ass whipping...
As you know, Mrs. Flounder and I are expecting our first child in March. In preparation for the blessed event, I am converting a non-used room in our house into his nursery. Now I'm no Bob Villa, but I can handle and hammer and drill as well as any other guy that I know.
Anyway, this room has become the freaking Money Pit. I replaced the 40+ year-old windows which was surprisingly easy, and found that the room had no insulation so I had to take the room down to the studs and start from scratch.
Demolition is always easy, but putting this thing back together has been a small nightmare. Hanging drywall is absolutely the most frustrating thing that I have ever done in my life. In fact, here are some things that I would rather do than hang drywall...
- Eat lint
- Set myself on fire
- Get in the ring with Mike Tyson
- Drop a bowling ball on my tongue
- Have sex with Camryn Manheim, twice
- Walk barefoot on broken glass and rock salt
- Own and drive a MINI Cooper
- Get a prostate exam from this guy ---------->
- Watch "Brokeback Mountain"
- Do my taxes without a computer
- Go to a WNBA game
- Get a tattoo on my scrotum
- Wear a Yankees jersey to Fenway Park (Yankees Suck!!)
- Swim in the Hudson River
- Sit next to a screaming baby in "coach" on a non-stop flight from NY to Beijing with no booze or drugs
- Cut off my right foot with a butter knife
- Wear a suit to work every day
- Have dinner and a scintillating conversation with a Jehova's Witness
- Vote for a Democrat
Thank God that I am paying someone to do the taping, mudding and sanding!
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Some People Just Don't Get It!
So I had to run to the market last night to pick up some ice cream for the very-pregnant Mrs. Flounder. Though we had two pints of Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer, she was craving Bryer’s Chocolate Overload, and I have taken enough beating to know not to argue with a pregnant woman when it comes to food.
I pulled into the Stop & Shop parking lot around 8:30pm and looked for a good spot. There were only about 15 cars in the whole lot, so I easily found one about six spaces out, in line with the entrance. I noticed that the car next to me had its lights on, so, being the Good Samaritan that I am, I figured I would right down the model and tag number and tell the person at the courtesy desk. When I opened the door to my truck, I heard that not only were the lights on, but the engine was running. I looked inside the car and saw no adults present, but, you guessed it, there was a little girl sleeping, strapped into a car seat in the back.
I looked around, assuming that the child’s parent was talking to a friend in a running vehicle nearby and was diligently watching over their child, but there was no one in the passenger seat of that nearby car.
Now I’m no narc, but my first instinct was to call the police. On the news, I’ve seen way too many bad things happen to children whose parents actually watch out for them. Of course, my completely unreliable Nextel had no signal. Instead, I waited for the parent to return which would serve two purposes. First, I could watch out for the little girl myself. Second, I could berate the incompetent parent.
About four minutes after I first got out of my truck, a woman walked up to the driver’s door of the running car. Our exchange went like this:
Flounder: Excuse me, is this your car?
Dumb Ass Woman: Yeah, why?
F: Do you realize that you left your little girl in the car while you were in the store?
D.A.W: I was only in there a few minutes.
F: A few minutes are all it takes for something bad to happen.
D.A.W: Well, you obviously don’t have children, do you?
F: We’re expecting our first now, and I can assure you that they will never be left alone in a car at night while I go grocery shopping.
D.A.W: Well, I left the car running to keep her warm. And the door was locked.
F: Lady, I could have broken your driver’s window out in about three seconds and took your car and your kid. You would have been on the news tonight crying for her safe return. (As a vein in my temple began to throb.)
D.A.W: Oh, give me a break. You don’t understand how hard it is being a single parent. It would take more time for me to get her out of the car seat than the whole time that I was in the store.
F: But at least you would be sure that she was safe. If my cell phone had worked here, you’d be talking to a cop right now lady, and not me. Just be more careful, and be thankful that I pulled up next to your car tonight and not some psycho pedophile.
D.A.W: Don’t you tell me how to take care of my baby! (As she was shutting her car door.)
The little girl continued to sleep, blissfully unaware of what had just happened, and what could have happened. I took a minute and prayed for God’s protection over that child, and for her mother to get a clue. Man I hope I don't see her on the news.
Monday, January 09, 2006
My First MEME
Well, since I couldn't control my carnal urges and just had to jump in on the orgy at Brooke's place, I have been tagged to do my first meme. I think that I might alter this a little in the future, but for now, here it goes…
[A is for age:]
[B is for booze of choice]
Heineken. Green bottles rule, baby!
[C is for career]
Telecom maintenance and construction supervisor.
[D is for your dog's name:]
I have two Pekingese, Spike & Gizmo. Both white-hot balls of canine terror!
[E is for essential items you use everyday:]
Coffee to resurrect, remote to control TV, Prilosec to control reflux, and baby powder to combat rectum itch.
[F is for favorite song(s) at the moment:]
Right now, it's "Good Ride, Cowboy" by Garth Brooks. This song has absolutely nothing to do with "Brokeback Mountain".
[G is for favorite games:]
Battleship, the game that teaches children how to lie.
[H is for hometown:]
Atlantic City, NJ: Home of the ACHS Vikings, White House subs, the boardwalk, Monopoly and the real home of Miss America.
[I is for instruments you play:]
Optical Time Domain Reflectometer. It's an instrument for measuring optical distances and splice loss, and I am the Jimi Hendrix of the OTDR. The only music I play is on the radio.
[J is for jam or jelly you like:]
Always Strawberry Preserves.
[K is for kids?]
One on the way. ETA 3/10/06
[L is for last kiss?:]
My wife, at the house before I left for work.
[M is for most admired trait:]
[N is for name of your crush:]
Mrs. Flounder is my true love, but I have a "voice crush" on Sara McLachlan.
[O is for overnight hospital stays:]
Last one was three years ago when I rolled my Ford Explorer on the Mass Pike. I spent a week in the hospital with head and shoulder injuries, "but the Lord had mercy".
[P is for phobias:]
Runny eggs and mayo.
[Q is for quotes you like:]
"A good plan violently executed right now is far better than a perfect plan executed next week". -- General George S. Patton
"Get your cotton-picking fingers off my gin." --Eli Whitney
"It's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care." --Peter Gibbons, from Office Space
[R is for biggest regret:]
I've had a few.
But then again,
Too few to mention.
[S is for sweets of your choice:]
It starts and ends with Key Lime Pie.
[T is for time you wake up:]
5:30 am, though I have a feeling that will be changing dramatically in a couple of months.
[U is for underwear:]
Boxers (flannel in winter).
[V is for vegetables you love:]
Jersey tomatoes, eggplant and white corn. But only Jerseys.
[W is for worst habit:]
Biting my fingernails.
[X is for x-rays you've had:]
Way to many too mention here. Years of football and hockey have made them add up.
[Y is for yummy food you make:]
Pulled Pork and all things BBQ.
[Z is for zodiac sign:]
Well, that was painless.
Friday, January 06, 2006
This is a joke, right?
So, I work for a communications company. When I say communications company, I mean we operate the premier next-generation fiber optic network in the United States. Tons and tons of bandwidth. We carry Yahoo, the NFL and the US Government on our network. We're talking state of the art here.
We have recently been bought by one of our competitors and we are now in an "integration period," which is a euphemism for "we're laying off an ass-load of you sorry bastards." So today, we are having a conference call which is supposed to be giving us an update of where things stand. We have a conference call bridge number that a few hundred people dialed into, and of course, we can't hear a damn thing. The speaker sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher talking to us through soup cans connected by a piece of dental floss. Now everybody is bitching on the conference call because no one can the speaker. One guy is playing .wav files from "Office Space" over the bridge for all to hear. A guy in my office is playing Tetris. I am sure that this call is much more amusing and far less informative than management intended.
TWO communications companies that can not pull off a conference call. Ugggh!!
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Take Those Lights Down!!
Ok, so it's January 4th, and my neighbor still has his obnoxious technicolor Christmas lightshow all over his house. Now I'm no Scrooge, but Christmas was 10 days ago! Shouldn't there be a limit on this Christmas joy? I think so, and that is why I have made a list of rules for decorating at Christmas...
- No Christmas decorations or music until December 1st. I am so sick WalMart selling Christmas decorations next to their Halloween candy and radio stations playing Christmas music starting in the middle of November. Patience grasshopper!
- All decorations must be taken down by January 2nd. Actually, I prefer January 1st, but I have taken into account the hangover factor and have been merciful here.
- No mixing large and small Christmas lights. Pick one or the other, don't be greedy!
- Put light colors together that match. Red, green and white lights look great together, but throw in some blue, and your house looks like a kaleidoscope!
- Leave your inflatable decorations inflated 24/7. Daytime in my neighborhood looks like someone did a drive-by, with all of the sagging Santas and snowmen. If you are worried about your electric bill, then don't try to recreate Storybook Land on your front lawn!
- Absolutely no Paris Hilton displays!
That's not so difficult now, is it?
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