Saturday, May 29


Anybody seen my sleep?

So we're working out the kinks on our weekday morning schedule. And this morning, despite 12 hours in bed, I'm still paying the price.

Two Wednesdays ago, we tried 6 A.M. sharp. This gave us plenty of time to do the routine, make a lunch, chat, read headlines, whatever, and get sweetie-pie to the job with time to spare. Then we bumped it to 6:20 or so. This gets us to what we need to do and where we need to be just fine. The problem I'm facing is on the post meridian side.

When I get home, I have some energy to work a few chores and whatnot. But, it seems right after dinner hour, I'm ready to put on my jammy-jams and grab my teddy for sleepy-time dreamland. Er, so to speak.

This brings me to yesterday. It was our usual mornng routine; up just after six, in the car by 7:15, Heather at work by eight. Got home after a hair appointment*, had dinner and then I was ready for a horizontal evening at an ungodly hour of 8:15.

8:15? Whatthe hell? I'm certain by now I've lost all my hipster priveleges. Not but five years ago I was just getting started for an evening by 9:30/10:00, and now I'm reduced to sawing wood before most bands are done with sound check? Oy! I should have my tattoos lasered-off for penalty!

Okay, there are some other contributing factors: I've been fighting a sinus-allergy thing for more than a week and we're out of the good coffee at the house, so I've gone without in the mornings until I get to work. But, I remember my sleep versus-waking-hours being a lot more elastic. I was able to snap back in one night, no problems.

By the way, I'm prepared for all you parent-type readers to counter with a "That ain't nothin', pal..." story I'm certain will put me in my place. I just hope I can - * Y-A-W-N* - stay awake for it.


*We look FAB-u-lous, dahling.

Thursday, May 27


Oh, grow up.

Yes, the cicadas are out and, yes, they're flying everywhere. And sometimes creating moments of comedy.

Today, in the Qdoba parking lot, three young co-eds were ready to get into a Jeep, when a mini-swarm flitted by. As if on cue, one landed on the leg of one young princess, causing her to wildly stamp across the lot, as if these things spit acid-venom, or something. Then her friend screeched like a banshee as she opened the door to her Wrangler.

Must've been one on the seat.

Tuesday, May 25


Fill-in-the-blank advice.

Complete the following phrase:

"You can lead a _____ to _____, but you can't make 'im _____."

Monday, May 24


No fistfights, no broken bones.

Although, it wasn't an Italian wedding. But it was Catholic, so, you should always be prepared.

Seriously, Bill and Jen had made a great day for themselves and their guests.

The ceremony took place in a very sweet little chapel. Their reception had delicious food and (very welcome) top-shelf drinks. Thanks to modern technology, there was no annoying deejay. As far as the weather, even though it was a bit sticky, at least there was no rain.

Got to meet some fellow bloggers,too. Later, over cigars, I got to meet a few MICA alumni. It was one of those conversations that starts with, "You look familiar..." As it turns out I had one to two degrees of separation with most of them. That was fun.

As the event was winding down, Bill and Jen took a little time to open our gift to them. We got them a travel candle by Henri Bendel, complete with its own traveling case. It was an impulse buy, and we hoped it would make their honeymoon a little sweeter. To return the favor, Bill insisted we take home some leftovers (filet mingnon, baby!) and Jen gave Heather some gorgeous peonies.

It was a fantastic start for the LockarDugans.

Friday, May 21



Even though I'm not on speaking terms with my father, I see more and more of him every day.

When I look at myself in the shower mirror, I might only catch a glance at my eyes. I see the deepening sockets, the growing unibrow and the deepening creases. Upon closer examination, hoping to find evidence of my comfortable self-image, I see the near permanent five o'clock shadow, and growing double chin I thought only belonged to him. If I look even closer, I also have the skin tags around the base of my neck.

Although these are recent changes, several other traits I think of as his have always been with me: the too-broad shoulders, the too-thick, dark hair, the ridiculously short temper. I have added a few surface characteristics to distinguish myself from my inevitable genealogy. But, look past the goatee and tattoos, and I'm still losing the battle.

In discovering these other traits, I wonder about the futiliy of ever escaping the cliche of one turning into his father, and reclaiming my own identity.

Wednesday, May 19


Fill-in-the-blank advice.

For a few weeks I'd been toying with this idea. Much like the Thursday Three from Miss Lis, I hope this could become a weekly feature.


"Real men ______________ ."


So it goes...

Found via

Leave it to Uncle Kurt to eloquently express my feelings about the state of humanity.

Tuesday, May 18


Ah, bliss.

This Saturday afternoon will have us at the nuptials of young lovers Bill Dugan and Jen Lockard of Catonsville.

While I'm certain the wedding and reception will be legendary, I pray it won't become urban legendary.

Monday, May 17


Letting the cat out of the bag Dept.

Heather starts a new job on Wednesday.

The place is located just about two miles south of Breakaway. With us essentially being a one-car family, that makes the commute a lot easier than her former job. The Arcadia-to-Canton-to-Hunt Valley trip was about 40 miles one-way. The real fun was the return trip. This usually had me dodging and weaving around Fells Point rush hour gridlock. Wheeee!

Anyway, as far as her day-to-day tasks, um, well, I'm kind of sketchy.

Let me get back to you on that.

Sunday, May 16


Hats off to Dugan

Last night found me at a small get-together in honor of Bill. Next Saturday, he and Jen are tying the proverbial knot. Forgoing the usual chicanery of titty bars and bad porn of most bachelor parties, Bill wanted a few of his friends to join him for dinner at Louisiana in Fells Point. It was a small party; just five of us. I'd met most of the other fellas at Bill's last Canton party to break-in the patio or during the joy of moving day to his current home in Catonsville.

The food was decadent in a Creole-fusion fashion. There were plenty of crustaceans encrusted, blackened and served with a variety of creamy accompaniments. The cocktails were good and strong, too. Overall, a pleasant dining experience.

We jumped across Aliceanna Street to Lulu's for another drink and to enjoy some cigars I brought from Fader's. Turns out I knew the bartender from when I used to clock some time at Miss Irene's. It seems Dwight ,and co-incidentally, a couple Bill knows, partnered-up and bought the joint around Halloween.
After about an hour, we had a nightcap up on Robbie's rooftop deck at his new home in Canton with a spectacular view of Mobtown.

Saturday, May 15


Rejected Martha Stewart colors, Spring 2004

Cicada-eye red

Prisoner hood green

Michael Jackson skintone beige


Hack. Slash. Repeat as necessary.

There was a company outing to the movie Troy yesterday. Here are my impressions.

Brad Pitt can walk the walk, but not quite talk the talk. Actually, he kinda mumbles. And because most of the other cast is Brit or Aussie, I suppose he felt he needed to appropriate an accent. So, that was ridiculous. And as far as his acting, well he portrayed Achilles as a pompous, arrogant celebrated hero. Hmmmmm. Yeah, Brad, big stretch.

Eric Bana played Hector, warrior Prince of Troy. On the hammy scale, he was about med-rare. He played it up enough to make it fun, but didn't turn the bend into Shatner-proportioned scenery chewing. That was left to Brian Cox's King Agamemnon. It was like he was channeling both Vultan from Flash Gordon and Victor Buono's King Tut villain from the old Batman T.V. show.

Peter O'Toole was cast as Priam, King of Troy. Most of the time he just kinda acted regal and superstitious, bulging out his blue eyes at the proper moment. Until he needed to grieve. Watch out! This guy is a trained professional. After his soliloquy, believe me, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

All the other supporting characters are mostly window dressing, particularly the young, pretty ones. Sorry, Orlando, but it seems your resume needs a project not involving a sword.

So, why bother to see this flick? Really good, non-chaotic-camera battle scenes, for one.* Plus, a couple of really slick tactical things I'd like to hope are historically accurate, 'cause they were cool to watch. Also, production design. Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm a total geek for mentioning this, but, since the LOTR movies**, the reality bar is raised higher. This film looks ancient to me, so, good job.

* Got that, Jackson?
** Thanks, Jackson!

Friday, May 14


Today's petty annoyance list:

In no particular order.
- Chronic shoulder pain. I've somehow hurt my left shoulder this week... when I'm sleeping.

- Bamboo. Okay, half of it is hacked away and strewn on the back lawn. Then there's another half still growing and spreading like a virus.

- The ongoing arrogance of Rumsfeld. I don't care if it's a reactionary,liberal political issue, but, dammit, Rummy should take the hit and resign over the Abu Ghraib scandal.

-The weather. Upper 80's? In May?

- Preakness. Was this ever fun? For anybody?

- Jackhammering at 7:45 A.M. Jeezus! Can't I get my cuppa joe down before ya start with the racket?

Tuesday, May 11


Are you happy now, W?

One of my biggest fears has come true in the wake of the Abu Ghraib fiasco.

The only thing worse than retribution befalling American prisoners is the opposition essentially not keeping any prisoners

Sunday, May 9


The other Eighties Nostalgia

Last month I caught a brief record review of Franz Ferdinand on a late afternoon broadcast of All Things Considered. From what little I heard, I knew I had to get their music.

Today I plonked down my 12 bucks for their self-titled release. I'm only about four songs in, but I hear a great homage to Eighties art bands (that actually started their sound in the late Seventies). There's more than enough influence from The Smiths, Gang of Four, Television, U2 and The Jam than you can shake a vintage t-shirt at.

Anybody out there down with the danceable (not techno) sound of Brit-pop should run out and score it.

Friday, May 7


Meanwhile, on Donald Rumsfeld's answering machine....

>You have 3 messages.<


Don? It's Dubya.

Lissen, pal, uh, It's not looking good. Look, I did what I could. I talked a bunch on that A-rab teevee and I said I was sorry and junk. But, y'know, folks is saying I was too slow on the draw. I've gotta make up my approval rating points somewheres.

So, um, good luck on those hearings and all. I gotta go. Mr. Cheney says I gotta go wash-up for dinner.


Hey, Rummy, you old so-and-so! It's Lucifer.

Just wanted you to know, me and the soulless minions are pulling for you down here in the center circle. However, if things don't work out today, you can have your old job back. Azazel is hounding me for a promotion, so you would get a ring to yourself this time. And we've remodelled since you've left; fresh brimstone.

Even if you get through this, don't be a stranger. Just give me an incantaion prayer at the dark altar sometime. B-bye!


Donald? It's your conscience.

I know we've had our differences in the past, but, I just can't take it anymore. It was the witholding the knowledge of the torture evidence that was the last straw. I'm going for good. Don't try to find me.

Just consider me another one your 'unknown knowns'. *sob!* Goodbye.... forever!


>End of messages.<

Thursday, May 6


A new link ----->

I've added a link to Rob Rogers, friend and editorial cartoonist. He and Dr. Sylvie were our hosts in Pittsburgh. Since then, I've dropped in on his site every few days.

Before we left that Monday, I had a chance to talk with him about his process in creating his cartoons. What's cool is he's basically left alone to create his visual statements; no meetings with editors, et. al. (Lucky bastard.)

Aside from the Post-Gazette cartoons, he draws a weekly strip , poking a stick in the eye of Pittsburgh politcs.

Wednesday, May 5



When I rolled down Tyndale Ave last night, I was confronted with a large orange traffic cone plopped dead in front of my driveway.

Two burly workmen, armed with chainsaws and a chipper-shredder, were making mincemeat out of the fallen tree. Too busy to move the cone in question for me, I helped myself, and pulled in next to the house.

Heather told me they'd been at it since one that afternoon. The stacatto buzz of the saws, followed by the sinister whirr of the Vermeer.

At about six, they called it a day, leaving the larger tree trunk sections for another crew. In their haste, most likely for 'beer o'clock', they left the cone.

Bonus for me.

Monday, May 3


Green with envy Dept.

Karl sent me an e-mail this weekend.

Pixies are still god. hit Coachella festival yesterday. i got all choked up several
times during their set, it was truly and actually trancendant. the dust, the
traffic, the hoardes...all worth it and then some. at least 30,000 watching
under the desert stars. Radiohead was a real nice bonus too.


Here on the East coast, I found out the tour stops at D.A.R. Constitution Hall this December. Hopefully I can scrape enough nickels together for the asslicking service charge that Ticketmaster will, no doubt, tack on.


A near miss.

During the final scene of The Sopranos last night, I heard the wind outside our bedroom window blowing faster and faster, and saw the rain pouring down in sheets. Looking back to the T.V. the lights flickered and then the screen went black.

I can't remember her exact words, but Heather exclaimed something like "Holy shit! Look at the tree across the street!" A tall oak uprooted from the gusting wind and fell over, hitting the front porch of our neighbor's house.

We immediately got dressed, grabbed a flashlight and trudged through the downpour. Walking in between large branches, we made our way down their driveway and to the back door. After a few minutes, Sandy found us near a window on the side of the house. She and her daughters were fine. However, she hadn't been outside yet, she asked if her daughter's car was okay.

Actually, it was. Usually, it's parked right where a tangle of branches now cross the driveway. Last night, through foresight, or just dumb luck, the silver GTI was nestled in the back parking pad, well out of reach from any harm.

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