Archives 'Holidays'

5 April

Since Easter is coming up, I was thinking of how much fun we had as kids, searching for Easter eggs that the Easter Bunny (whose connection to Christianity is tenuous at best) had hid around the backyard.  Fun, that is, until the year that the Wester Chicken visited us.

We awoke early that crisp spring day, the sun cresting over the horizon, rays of warm light beaming through the Piney Woods of East Texas.  Mom and Dad were up already, cooking us a breakfast of pancakes and Owen’s Country Sausage.  We’d be getting dressed in an hour or so for Easter Mass at the Catholic church, but we had just enough time to scarf down our breakfast and go outside to hunt Easter eggs.

Except there were no eggs to be found.  Instead, our backyard had dog shit hidden around it.  Big piles, like those left by a Labrador Retriever or Doberman.  Not the kind left by our toy poodle.  We cried and cried, unable to comprehend why there was excrement rather than just eggs left to be found.

But we moved on.  The Easter Bunny had still left us Easter baskets, filled with sugary treats that made us forget our predicament.

The Easter Bunny came through the next couple of years, before declaring us to be too old for such things.  And, most importantly, we forgot about the misfortune of the dog shit.

Until a few years ago, that is.  I was lying in bed, unable to sleep on a hot summer night, when it popped into my head.  The dog shit.  What did it mean?  Where did it come from?  What happened to the eggs that we had diligently applied PAAS and Dudley’s dyes to the night before Easter morning?

I started asking around, “Did you, as s kid, ever wake up on Easter morning only to find that the eggs you meticulously dyed had been replaced with dog shit?”.  Surprisingly, several people replied in the affirmative.  I was on to something.

Further research, involving trips to the library and Google-fu, led to me discovering the secret of the Wester Chicken.

“What?” you ask.

By the middle of the Twentieth Century, the world’s chickens had come to discover that their eggs were being misappropriated by both people and the Easter Bunny as some sort of game during the Paschal season.  To combat this, in 1972, the chickens convened the The International Congress of Concerned Chickens on The Easter Problem (Le Congrès international des poulets concernés sur le problème de Pâques) in Montreal.  After much deliberation, they nominated Antoine van der Cluck to be the first Wester Chicken.

The Wester Chicken would travel the world, following the movements of the Easter Bunny, replacing the hidden eggs in people’s yards with dog shit.  The only problem was, where does one acquire so much dog shit?

The Congress hit upon the idea of creating dog parks…places where unsuspecting people could take their dogs to play.  They would provide bags with which people could clean up their dog’s shit and deposit into special containers that were ostensibly trash cans but were actually collection points for dog shit.  Periodically, chicken agents would collect these bags of dog shit and forward it to the Wester Chicken’s Headquarters in Ossining, New York, where it would be carefully preserved in a 7,500 square meter facility for distribution.  Since the chickens lacked the technology used by the Easter Bunny to make it to every household during the night before Easter (technology licensed from ClausCo, Inc.), only a subset of houses would be visited each year.  Eventually, both humans and the Easter Bunny would get the message.

Alas, it hasn’t happened yet.  The chickens haven’t been victorious in their quest to end the misuse of their precious eggs.  Dudley’s and PAAS are still making dye.  Kids everywhere still get up on Easter morning to hunt eggs (though, one supposes, some are disappointed to find feces instead).  But maybe, just maybe, this will finally be the year.

A typical, yet overloaded, dog shit collection station, ready for harvesting:


4 July

This is our country

1 July

Go check out our “Canada” category here or go to the search box and search for Canada for some uncategorized posts.

27 June

Apparently, and not being gay, I didn’t know this, but this week has been Gay Pride Week.  Which, based on my limited experience involving vaguely-recalled news stories, is pretty much an excuse for gay people to have parades that just serve to reinforce stereotypes.  It’s like if black people had a parade every February (Black History Month) featuring floats shaped like watermelons while they threw menthol cigarettes and fried chicken into the crowds lining the parade route.  Incidentally, this parade would be sponsored by some maker of “Orange Drank”.

But, reinforcement of age-old stereotypes or not (leather chaps, flaming demeanors and cocksucking), California did recently make gay marriage legal.  And now you can get an appropriate wedding cake:

29 December

When I was growing up, my hometown paper printed letters to Santa that kids had sent in. I loved reading the atrocious spelling and bad grammar of these letters, so imagine my delight when the Dallas Morning News recently featured a smattering of letters to Santa. Most were asking for Wiis or Webkins (I have no fucking idea what these are) or American Girl dolls (ugh). One letter, however, caught my eye, and I scanned it to share with everyone:

21 December

4 September

I drank too much this weekend. Of course, that pretty much describes every weekend, but there was something about this weekend that screamed “whoa, you’ve had waaaay toooo much there, cap”.

I’m not sure why my inner-monologue would call me “cap”, but it did. Just like that coon-ass Coach Ramsey from high school called everyone “cap”. Which, I guess, in the big scheme of things, is better than being called “Hoss”.

Anyhow, Sunday night it was decided that ‘Shank and I would join my friend “Chloe” (we’re changing names here to protect the innocent) and her “boyfriend” (she doesn’t know what they are) Josh (real name, not innocent) for drinks to celebrate her 29th birthday. Now, ‘Shank has never liked Josh, whereas I’ve learned to tolerate him. For the most part. Even if he can be a tool.

But I guess we call can.

We started at the Flying Saucer in Addison, drink overpriced premium beers and sitting on sofas and high-backed chairs that were not conducive to conversation. Which is probably a good thing, because Josh has a tendency to say maddening things.

Like when, after we’d migrated to the louder, more intimate setting of Joe’s (me and ‘Shank’s watering hole, as it’s within walking distance of home, thus minimizing any chance of imperial entanglements), Josh decided to tell ‘Shank he was a horrible human being. Or maybe it was “miserable” or “useless”.

I don’t remember. The fog of $5 Coors pitchers and tequila shots won’t let me see that far into my memory.

At any rate, it was one of those things that you generally don’t tell people. But I guess some people never learned the lesson wherein “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”.

Because, you know, some people are totally useless assholes.

Oops…I just said something that wasn’t nice.

Oh well.

10 January

So, it’s the New Year. Or a New Year. 2005. With much depression, I must confess that I will be thirty years old this year. Thirty. That magic number signifying the beginning of that decade when I will have grown too old for playing around and should probably have settled into a career or something like that.

But it hasn’t happened. And it probably won’t happen this year. And that doesn’t bother me.

Everyone (by which I mean my mother) keeps asking me “Rifleman, when are you going to settle down and get married?” To which I always reply, “Dammit, mom, how many times have I told you that it’s weird when you call me ‘Rifleman’?” And the truth is, I always kind of thought that I’d be married by now, but, alas, I’m am still single.

Thankfully, there is one thing that I’ve learned these last few years; you can be thirty-something and happy, thank you Sex and the City. I just want to be sure that I don’t fall for someone named Mr. Big. Because, for the last time, I’m not gay. Despite my man-crushes.

So how did I welcome 2005? I went to Austin. Land of freaks and slackers. And I had a good time.

I had to work, along with the rest of my company’s IT department, on New Year’s Eve. While the rest of my non-IT co-workers were out doing whatever it is that people do on New Year’s Eve, I was stuck at the office rolling out the newest version of Microsoft’s Great Plains at our office. I finally wormed my way away from my evil overlord…er, boss…and made my way to the capital of the great state of Texas.

Linz and I were staying at her ex-boyfriend’s apartment. After a dinner of DoubleDave’s and a viewing of disc 3 of the fifth season of The Simpson’s, we made our way to a party.

A movie people party.

All these people at this party were in the film business. Production Assistants. Set Decorators. Stand-ins. Extras. People with their foot in the door of the movie business. People with IMDB credits. People much less-glamourous than they think they are.

All night long, people kept coming up to me, thinking I was one of their ilk, and asking me “What project are you working on now?” To which I honestly replied, “I have a real, steady-paying job that I can gladly go to everyday, nine-to-six.” Not mentioning that I am a writer who really, really wants to film my latest project, Moaner, while hanging out in Toronto for a couple of months.

That’s the problem with being a novelist–people don’t take you serious until you are published, even if you think that the last novel you wrote is the finest piece of literature to be created in God-knows how long. Of course, there’s a certain amount of hubris involved there, because in reality–where most of us live–Moaner might be crap.

During the course of the night at said party, I called Holly–one of the two women who inspired Moaner–to wish her a happy New Year and to wish her a wonderful trip to NYC. I got to talk to her brother’s girlfriend and the lovely Cara during the course of the conversation and–hopefully–I’ll get to hook up with them this weekend.

Holly’s one of those people that I’m always in awe of. She’s one of those people that seem to always look great. Gorgeous, really. And she’s always meeting the right people and, to paraphrase Radiohead, for her everything seem’s to be in its right place. She’s got her shit together, in other words. But I would expect nothing less from Jane.

So what have I done with myself since then? Nothing, really. Drink. Sleep. Work. All that crap. All those things that I suspect are slowly killing me. But everyday is a new day and I suppose I should face it with a sense of humor. Or at least some Jane-like confidence.

23 December

Have yourself a Michael Moore Christmas

I was recently digging around Michael Moore’s website and ran across this little ditty–perfect for the Holiday Season.

O Krispy Kreme

To the tune of O Christmas Tree

O Krispy Kreme, O Krispy Kreme

Thy glaze is so tasty

O Krispy Kreme, O Krispy Kreme

You’re why I weigh three-eighty

Not only in the morning time

You’re good to eat most anytime

O Krispy Kreme, O Krispy Kreme

Thy glaze is so tasty

O Krispy Kreme, O Krispy Kreme

There’s never enough to go ’round

O Krispy Kreme, O Krispy Kreme

You’re the best mid-day snack I’ve found

O Krispy Kreme, O Krispy Kreme

I direct controversial flicks

O Krispy Kreme, O Krispy Kreme

Too bad I’m too annoying to pick up chicks

O Krispy Kreme, O Krispy Kreme

You’re my only friend

O Krispy Kreme, O Krispy Kreme

I won’t leave you ’till the bitter end

O Krispy Kreme, O Krispy Kreme

I hate red states like I should

O Krispy Kreme, O Krispy Kreme

Your crullers are so damn good

O Krispy Kreme, O Krispy Kreme

You make me forget I’m Michael Moore

O Krispy Kreme, O Krispy Kreme

Screwin’ your donut hole, not that of a whore

1 December

So, Nanowrimo ended last night. And I came nowhere near completing my entry. I’ve found that I have to be inspired to write, and in this case, I just wasn’t inspired. Instead, I found myself editing Moaner and rewriting my first, less well-written novel Waterloo. Which I guess is a good thing, because Moaner is infinitely more-publishable than anything I would’ve gotten out of writing a 50,000 word novel over the course of 30 days. That’s not to say that I didn’t have a great idea for Nanowrimo, it’s just that anything that would’ve been completed would’ve, by virtue of cramming a several month process into one month, been crap.

But Moaner is coming along nicely. I’m about halfway through the initial edit, and I’m correcting mistakes and typos and inconsistencies left and right. My next step is to retackle the last chapter (or second-to-last, if you want to be technical, but the last chapter is only one sentence long, so I don’t really count it). The “last” chapter is choppy and seems forced and hurried…I think I saw the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel and just tried to get to that end way too fast. So, I need to expand it, though the plotting is about how I want it. Plus, I’d like to rewrite a few other parts–try to squeeze another 8,000 words out of the story, which should present no major problem.

I took a different approach in writing Moaner…at least different for me. I wrote it entirely in longhand in those nifty Mead brand composition books before transcribing it to digital bits on my harddrive. I liked that approach as it automatically afforded another level of editing. Plus, it’s a lot easier to carry a Cross pen and a Mead brand composition book to my friendly neighbourhood Starbucks, home of LongerShank and Uncle Jesse, than my laptop. Especially when unimportant people are monopolizing the electrical outlets. Bastards. I don’t care if you have a thirty page paper due tomorrow on the transcendental aspects of Jello as applied to modern paranormal medical care that could determine whether or not you get your degree, I have a fucking novel that I need to write. Oh, and by “fucking novel”, I don’t mean a stroke book or anything like that, though by necessity, being that Moaner is a look at modern sexual mores, there is fucking involved.

Next step is to finish my editing and rewriting and whatnot and set it aside again for a couple of months, then do another round of editing. Then I need to find a literary agent. So if you know of any, let me know. Please. You’ll get a thank you or something in the final book. Or at least a friendly nod as I pass you in the hall. Or something like that.

As for Waterloo, it’s being totally rewritten in a style that better reflects where I am as a writer. Reading both books, you’d think that they were written by two different people, as my style has improved an incredible amount between Waterloo and Moaner. I’ve also decided to change the ending. It was a hard choice to make, as it instantly invalidates the 80,000 words of the sequel that I’ve already completed–a now ill-fated work entitled Feck. But that’s life. Or at least made-up life.

So what’s next? I haven’t decided what I want to write next. I guess I should just focus on what I’ve got done and work on that. Try to get published, I suppose. Someone mentioned that Moaner might make an interesting movie, which was always in the back of my mind as I wrote it. It already reads somewhat like a screenplay, with lots of dialogue. It takes place in Toronto, so it’d be a bit cheaper to make than your run-of-the-mill Hollywood flick. There are only a few locations and there isn’t a need for F/X. Anyone know where I can get a couple million to film it?

Nothing really wrong happening right now. My brother–former denizen of this site Minotaur–and his wife are supposed to come up this weekend and visit. I’m taking them out to the new Freebirds in Addison and to Rocky’s for drunkeness. We’re supposed to–hopefully–hook up with sexy-laugh Rachel and her sister Becky. I haven’t seen Rachel in over a year–sad considering that we live in the same metro area. And we have common enemies, like Nate Dogg and Martha Stewart (Which reminds me of a quip on last night’s Letterman about how Stewart’s prison nickname is “Good Thing”).

Thanksgiving was okay. Since Minotaur and his wife joined her family for Thanksgiving proper, I was stuck with my mom. And I use the term “stuck” in the best way possible. In lieu of having a proper dinner, we went out to the Cracker Barrel. Let me tell you, you haven’t seen quality people until you go to the Lindale Cracker Barrel on I-20 on Thanksgiving Day. It was mostly lonely truckers, getting some dinner before heading down to the truckstop for anonymous man sex and amphetamines. There was also a nice smattering of white trash. I lost my appetite, but that might have just been the cold medication I was on. Or maybe it was the five-hundred pound woman in the reinforced wheelchair gorging herself on turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. I got to see Holly and Cara and Jimmy and Chad and Peyton over the weekend, so that was cool. I hadn’t seen Cara since before I last went to Toronto a few months back and hadn’t seen Chad since Minotaur’s wedding. I think Chad secretly hates me. But that’s okay.

I think that about almost everyone.

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