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I Don’t Think So

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006


Quote of the Day: “The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how much I play, I’ll never be as good as a wall. I played a wall once. They’re fucking relentless.”

- Mitch Hedburg

Remember when I talked about living in the bachelor quarters when I moved to San Diego? Well, I checked and sure enough, I can use 10 days of something called TLE. Basically, they reimburse me up to $128 per day to stay in a hotel for 10 whole days.

So it seems like a good idea to use those 10 days when I get there, thus knocking off 10 days I will have to stay in the barracks.

So I called up the Holiday Inn that I normally stay at when I go to San Diego and the conversation went something like this:

Me: What are your rates?
Them: Our regular rooms are $120 per night.
Me: Do they have a microwave and fridge?
Them: No. But our suites have those amenities.

(Since when is a microwave and fridge extra?)

Me: How much are those?
Them: $140
Me: SHIT! (in my head).

Then it occurred to me that I could stay in the BOQ for those 10 days and get nowhere NEAR the max charge. Of course this thought hit me when I was on the phone with Holiday Inn guy who was trying desperately to get me to commit, even trying to check around for other Holiday Inns in the area that had the extraordinary extravagance of a microwave and fridge.

I called the BOQ and they had a two-room suite with a queen bed, microwave and fridge for $25. Or I could slum it with a studio for $20.

I quickly made reservations but then remembered that I would not have high speed internet even for the ten days.

Hmmmm, I had a choice. I could go without a fridge and microwave but have high speed for ten days OR I could pay $14 out of pocket per day for everything. Or I could get a nice room on the base mere minutes walking distance from work but give up high speed internet.

Looks like I will be doing all my internetting in my office. How depressing.

I also talked to the bachelor quarters manager and Houston, we might have a problem.

It seems they don’t have Officer geo-bachelor quarters so they put us in the senior enlisted geo-bachelor quarters. Now I used to be enlisted and still have a healthy respect for enlisted, especially senior enlisted. Furthermore, I can understand that they don’t have separate geo-bachelor quarters for Officers because there are so few that would use it (currently NONE on MCRD).

I then asked THE question. I asked if they ran out of rooms and started doubling up people in a room, would they put a senior enlisted in with an officer. They said they would if it came to that.

OK, stop.

Like I said, I’m a big fan of the senior enlisted but this is where I draw the line. I know a lot, and I mean A LOT, of officers who would have a big case of the ass about officers being thrown in the senior enlisted barracks but I don’t know any officer who would let this room cohabitation happen. Even in war when Marines are the closest in proximity and brotherhood, officers and enlisted have separate tents. If there are no tents, there are different areas.

In my nearly decade as an officer, I can’t think of many instances that I’ve felt the need to claim the privileges historically afforded an officer, probably because of my enlisted background. But this is one situation that I would go to the mat over and not just because it benefits me. To me, it infringes on the necessary and accepted separation of enlisted and officers. I believed that as enlisted and still do as an officer.

All I know is that there better be 6 to a room before they come knocking at my door. Even then, it’ll take the CG to tell me to shut the f#%^# up before I drop it.

Check it out, I’m making waves before I even show up.

Free Advice for Today: “Carry your own alarm clock when traveling. Hotel wake-up calls are sometimes unreliable.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


Did I Ever State I Hate This Place?

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006


Quote of the Day: “I never joined the army because at ease was never that easy to me. Seemed rather uptight still. I don’t relax by parting my legs slightly and putting my hands behind my back. That does not equal ease. At ease was not being in the military. I am at ease, bro, because I am not in the military.”

- Mitch Hedburg

OK, this morning starts the serious two-a-days.

But since it was a half day for me, I only worked out once. So much for starting two-a-days today. OK, tomorrow, definitely.

I ran to OCS and back. The good thing was that I saw the new candidates still without uniforms so they had slacks, tee-shirts, and shaved heads. They were parked outside of supply on their stools waiting to get their issue. They looked scared. Or more like shell-shocked. No, that wasn’t it. It was scared anticipation.

See, the first day or two, you don’t get yelled at. You are being processed in and unlike bootcamp, they don’t lay on the pressure until the 2nd or 3rd day so these guys were just stumbling around hot, tired, and wondering when the hammer was going to come down.

The reason this was the good news was that no matter how bad my day might get, I knew it would be better than theirs.

The bad news was that Virginia was now under a big wet blanket. Picture the upper 90s and high humidity.

Running out to OCS and back normally takes about 45 minutes. It took 50 today AND it hurt. Bad. By the first mile, I was as wet as I could ever get.

God I hate summers here. Two more weeks….

Free Advice for Today: “When traveling, leave the good jewelry at home.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


Not Exactly A Memorable Day

Monday, May 29th, 2006


Quote of the Day: “Foosball fucked up my perception of soccer. I though you had to kick the ball and then spin ’round and round. I can’t do a backflip, much less several simultaneously with two other guys, who look exactly like me.”

- Mitch Hedburg

Is shopping an acceptable form of celebration for Memorial Day? Any better than picnicking? Getting drunk and sunburnt?

Well, we had to forego the latter because here in Virginia, summer has just splopped over the entire area like a big wet blanket. The temperature and the humidity went from “Gee Spring is nice” to “take that you bastards. Fry in the greasepit of Hell itself” in a matter of days.

So naturally we went to Potomac Mills to wander around a shopping mall with 10,000 of our closest friends.

The weirdest thing I saw was a big white bald muscle dude in a tank top walking with a Nubian slut. Without her nine inch heels she had to be 6 foot. I know what you’re thinking but I’m pretty sure she started off a woman and the reason I called her a Nubian slut was because she was generally attractive, almost regal, except that she was wearing short short-shorts that were only appropriate… nowhere. And she had a tight wrap around top that barely covered her ample bosom. In fact, it didn’t because to go with her “look what I got” cleavage, the bottom of her breasts were poking out the bottom. So picture a very tall, very dark, woman in monstrous heels and clothes that belonged on a Barbie doll or in a Mariah Carey video and you get the general spectacle. I was actually embarrassed to be with my daughter while we pretended not to see this.

Stephanie made out on this trip, scoring a bunch of clothes, a hat I told her looked good on her, and lunch at McVomits. My poor wife left empty-handed except for her lunch and I came away with a bookmark that cost $1.49. Killjoy managed to get a sunhat but left the tag on so I called her Minnie Pearle for the rest of the day. We also came across a Lindh Chocolate Store and Killjoy had the same reaction of the American Idol Wannabe I wrote about a couple of days ago. She just freaked.

My wife explained to me that it was “woman’s chocolate” which I quickly redubbed “chick chocolate.” This, it was explained to me, was different than the “ghetto chocolate” you get with Kit Kats and such.

I determined that my wife and Killjoy are chocolate snobs.

Anyway, Killjoy bought a huge bagful of the damn things and for the rest of the day walked around with chocolate smeared all over her mouth singing “Do You Like Pena Coladas?!”

It was embarrassing.

So with that, we spent Memorial Day relaxing. So you don’t think I’m a total loser, I did take moments during the day and remembered the true meaning of this day. I looked up last year’s post and laughed (this is a common occurance) because I talked about people feeling the need to thank me on this day. But the day is for the fallen and the last time I checked, I wasn’t dead.

I’ll check again.

Nope, still here.

(P.S. NEVER look up “Nubian slut” on Google images because unlike me, you realize what you are going to get. Here comes the spam.)

Free Advice for Today: “Take a course in public speaking.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


I’m Not A China Marine

Sunday, May 28th, 2006


Quote of the Day: “I think foosball is a combination of soccer and shishkabobs.”

- Mitch Hedburg

Funny how things come full circle.

Today we had lunch at a Mexican restaurant with friends who are going to China. What makes this weird is that a few years ago, we had a Mexican dinner with these same people the night before they left…. for China.

Back then, they were going for a year. Now they are going 3-4 years.

I couldn’t imagine that. Taking my family to China and living there for that long.

With three blondish boys, they get mobbed everywhere they go because light hair is so uncommon over there and the fact that Chad and his wife have three sons is insane to them. The Chinese are still only allowed one kid, especially if they have a boy. So THREE BOYS is way out there.

Here is what would happen if the Grose family did this:

1. I would lose about half my body weight because they don’t have American food over there and I’m not a fish kinda guy.

2. I would cause an international incident because I can be an ass, especially in a foreign country. Just asked Spotsyltucky.

3. My head would get freakishly big because they don’t have American TV over there and I would be reading a lot of books.

4. I would somehow put off seeing all the incredible sights I assume China has because on my days off, I “just wouldn’t feel like it.”

5. I would mispronounce many words because I wouldn’t put all that much work into learning the language. See #2.

So yeah, me in China wouldn’t be the smartest move.

Free Advice for Today: “Remember that a grateful heart is almost always a happy one.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


Albinos Are Scary

Saturday, May 27th, 2006


Quote of the Day: “I opened up a container of yogurt, and under the lid it said ‘Please Try Again’ because they were having a contest I was unaware of. But I though I might have opened the yogurt wrong…or maybe Yoplait was trying to inspire me, ‘c’mon, Mitchell, don’t give up. Please try again. A message of inspiration from your friends at Yoplait. Fruit on the bottom, hope on top.”

- Mitch Hedburg

Other than being a complete ass today, as Killjoy will attest to (in fact, ask her, she’s practically frothing at the mouth to explain my assedness), we all went to the movies and saw The DaVinci Code.


Why do theaters feel the need to keep the temperature inside somewhere just above absolute zero? Why don’t they hand out parkas? Why do I have to crack off the ice formations from my eyelashes so I can see the movie?

I read The DaVinci Code a long time ago and I really liked it. It was interesting FICTION and I had no problem with it. I don’t THINK I’m going to Hell because I read it or now that I’ve seen the movie. I don’t know the exact rules. Maybe that will be the one little thing that pushes me over. I hope not. That place sucks, so I hear.

The thing is, I don’t remember the details from the book so during the entire movie, I was trying to piece it together with only half-formed memories of what the hell was going on. It kind of ruined the movie for me. That and the sneaking suspicion that they tried to cram too much into a movie resulting in a too-fast-paced movie that was missing key details you needed to know.

Just like Dune. I saw that movie a dozen times against my will (thanks to my step-dad) but never understood what the hell was going on until I read the book. Then I was like “Ohhhhh!”

Anyway, I couldn’t get past Tom Hanks looking like, well, Tom Hanks. And not the Forrest Gump Tom but rather a creepier, older Tom who was too famous to be in this movie. When you are an icon like that, I can’t see the character anymore. I either see Tom Hanks or Forrest Gump.

The one part I thought was cool in the book and the movie was imagining dealing with the moment you realize you are a direct blood descendant of Jesus Christ. Man, wouldn’t that be a triple shot mocha macchiato moment?

Free Advice for Today: “Make your money before spending it.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


Everyone Loves A Parade

Friday, May 26th, 2006


Quote of the Day: “My friend said to me ‘Man, this weather is trippy.’ I said to him, ‘No man, perhaps it is not the weather that is trippy, it is the way we perceive it that is indeed trippy…’ then I thought, man, I should have just said, ‘yeah…’.”

- Mitch Hedburg

Tonight we all went to see the Evening Parade at the Marine Barracks Eighth and I, which happens to be the oldest post still in use in the entire Marine Corps in case you’re interested.

Who is “we” you ask? That would be my wife, my son, my daughter, me, and oh yeah, Killjoy. OK, she is actually kind of the reason we went but don’t praise her about it or her head will swell up and we’ll never hear the end of it.

It was threatening rain all day and we were supposed to get a few showers in the evening which would make the parade go away. When I called the barracks, the recording told me that they don’t make the “go or no go” call until 7:45 PM which is about the time we would be showing up so we had to set out on faith that the parade would happen.

We made it to the barracks and the sky was touch and go. It sprinkled here and there but so far, the showers were holding back.

Standing in line with our “average joe” tickets at gate 10, we watched the huge crowd of excited people waiting to get in. I knew exactly one person stationed there and kept my eye out for him but there were a lot of tall Marines in Dress Blues everywhere. It’s constantly amazing how good those uniforms look on a young, slim Marine. It’s no wonder just about everyone is impressed.

Walking along, I caught site of the Major I knew directing traffic. What luck, the one guy I know and I caught his attention. He recognized me instantly and he was very gracious as I introduced my family and Killjoy. He told me that he was getting orders to Hawaii, getting back to his regular job; flying.

The job he currently holds is one that I kind of wanted. We both were going through the same IT graduate program at the Naval Postgraduate School and when it came time to get our assignments, he beat me out by virtue of rank and the fact that he was over 6 feet tall and I’m a mere 5‘11”. The job he holds is the 8th and I CIO but it also carries with it ceremonial duties which was the main reason I wanted the job. But they want tall Officers for the ceremony so that’s how it washed out.

He was busy and I didn’t want to keep him so after a brief catch-up session, we got back in line.

A few minutes later, I hear my name and it’s him peeking over the gate we are trying to get into.

“Go to gate 4!”

“I got 5 with me.”

“No problem.”

He met us at the gate and explained that he could get us Center House seats but I couldn’t go to the reception afterwards because I didn’t have a coat and tie. What he meant is that after the ceremony, there is a reception in the barracks for invited guests but the dress code is a coat and tie. I had slacks and a button down collar shirt but I kicked myself for not going all the way dressed up.

What he COULD do for us is get us in and get us prime seats. And that’s exactly what he did. As we came toward an empty gate, he simply told the Gunny guarding it “they’re with me. All five.” The Gunny snapped to and let us pass without the normal search and pat down that everyone was getting.

I felt almost Presidential.

The Major handed us off to a Master Sergeant with instructions to seat us in the Center House seats. The Top obliged and we were led to a row in a section that straddled the center of the parade ground. I was on the end in an individual seat butted up next to the railing. To my left was the sidewalk that went dead center through the parade ground.

In other words, the best seat in the house. If I was any lower, I wouldn’t have been able to see as much as I could in the seat I was in. My son was next to me and I was feeding him all the information I could about what he was seeing.

The funny thing was that no matter how much I had explained what we were going to see, he still resisted getting dressed up for the occasion. I had to force him to put slacks on which were a little snug in the waist. He had no belt in his room. His dress shoes were too small. It seems we had not dressed up the boy in a long time and everything was either outgrown or discarded. Looks like we need to go shopping for the kid.

As I explained what everything meant, he started to understand what we were seeing and why he needed to dress up. He saw the importance and the majesty of the parade. When I talked to him later, he told me he had thought it was a parade like you see coming down the street so why all the dressing up? But he understood once he saw it.

Shortly after the show started, my wife told us all to look up at the sky. The same sky that had threatened rain moments earlier had cleared and you could see the stars. It was like the clouds were paying respect for the solemnity of the parade.

I was so proud to bring my family and being there when they saw the spectacular performance of the Band, the Drum and Bugle Corps, and the silent drill Team. Although I was nervous as a cat when they started throwing around rifles (I can’t relax, waiting for them to drop one), I was in awe of the performance. It went off without a hitch and we saw everything up close. It was such a wonderful night.

Here is what I wrote to the Major:


I wanted to take a moment and thank you for upgrading our seats Friday night. I mentioned it but the young lady we had with us is the wife of a deployed Captain in Fallujah and they have not been married that long. The meaning of the Evening Parade enhanced her ability to cope with the separation, enforcing the reason he’s over there.

Also, it was the first time my kids had been to the Parade. It meant a lot to me for them to see what the Marine Corps embodies and I think it really hit home for them what kind of organization their father belongs too.

The Parade was exquisite and even though it was my third time seeing it (Once in 1990 right before the Gulf War and once at OCS), I was blown away. Never in a million years would I have ever thought I would be THAT close to the action. I was so excited and felt so proud that I could get my family that close to the Parade. Of course, that was your doing and I wanted you to know that your simple thoughtfulness really had a huge impact on our experience. It’s things like that that remind me what Semper Fidelis really means.

I’m sorry we couldn’t thank you in person after the ceremony. You were to the left of the Center Seats and they were guiding the crowd to the right. Please accept all of our heartfelt appreciation and the offer stands: if you get to San Diego in the next two years, you have a guide and a place to stay.

Free Advice for Today: “After going to bed, refuse to worry about problems until the morning.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


Idol Americans

Thursday, May 25th, 2006


Quote of the Day: “I saw a six pack of soda-pop for $1.20. That price fucks with your head, man. Because then I though that I would start selling soda-pop. Suddenly I got things of pop with me. ‘What’s going on, Mitch.’ ‘Not much, looking to buy some pop? Fifty cents a can. It’s not refridgerated because this is a half assed commitment.’”

- Mitch Hedburg

I watched American Idol tonight.

Yes, folks, I did. Every other year, I’ve just watched the first few shows to witness the sadness and comedy but this year, I was sucked into the vortex and you frequent readers are aware that I’ve handed over my manhood and admitted to getting into the hype.

So if we can get past the fact that I watched it, let me convey my thoughts.

Starting with the final two, I liked Taylor since the first time he came on. I have proof in the form of my wife who will attest under only minimal duress that I identified Taylor as someone I would listen to sing Happy Birthday.

But I was not immune to McPheever. Have you seen this woman? Absolutely gorgeous and very likable. I wanted to see her go to the finals and was glad to see her there. Last week, I told my daughter that if Taylor and Katherine made it to the final, I would not vote because I didn’t want to vote against either one. If Elliott Yamin would have made it, I would have broken my voting silence and voted for the other. It’s not that I didn’t like him, it’s just that I wouldn’t have voted AGAINST Taylor or Katherine.

So that’s where I stood so let’s get to the show.

I watched the pre-show and I wanted to throw a hammer at my bigscreen TV. The Three Stooges they had on the “red carpet” hit every single stereotype of why Hollywood and the press in general are complete buffoons. I won’t even give them the credit of naming them but there were two women and a man.

Here was what happened. Both Randy and Simon come walking up and they stop them. Then they ask the dumbest of dumbass questions, clearly showing these three know about as much about the show as I do about knitting. Then they would interrupt their answers with other stupid questions that made little sense and phrased in a way that basically boiled down to “I like to hear myself talk and be seen with stars.”

Then, these three morons would rush off the stars, actually being rude to them. Pretty much like a shuffling along “… off you go…” It was amazing. The guy actually said “I hate to be the ugly cop but we have to keep things moving along.” Then he pushed along the judges and smiled at the camera as he introduced the next disastrous session.

The best part was when Paula showed up, drunk as ten monkeys of course. She was smashed and when they tried to stop her, she almost walked on by. They started in with their idiotic questions and she slurred out some generic answer and then said “I gotta get to work” and stumbled off. The three idiots were left there with egg on their face and I laughed heartily.

That line has to contend with one other for the best of the pre-show.

When they were interviewing someone in their rude way, they asked “Who do you think will win?” The star escapes me but they turned the question around and asked the idiots who THEY thought were going to win. One of the women obviously didn’t possess the common brain and said “Oh, I don’t know. I don’t watch the show.”

I about choked on my popcorn.

I actually enjoyed the program and the music was great. I had to explain to my daughter who Al Jarreau was and many of the other stars. But the very best moment of the show by far was when they were handing out the awards to the best reaction, best male vocal, etc. For those that didn’t see it, allow me to explain.

They basically gave awards to the most memorable contestants, defining “memorable” as the ones who made the biggest asses of themselves and let me tell you people, it was stiff competition. It naturally follows that few of them wanted to come back and be made fun of more than they already were, but there was one guy.

He won the best “look-alike” by showing up at the original auditions looking like his own personal idol, Clay Aiken. And it wasn’t the polished Clay that resulted after the stylists did the best they could. It was the uber-gay, goofy, I’m-Such-A-Dork-That-I-Almost-Blew-It Clay Aiken. Some of you might not see the distinction seeing how it sliver-like.

But this imitator showed up at the original audition sounding like a cat in a meat grinder, looking ten ways wrong till Sunday. He claimed he was “off” because he was really nervous and had to pee so the judges let him run (and I use the term loosely here) to the bathroom and come back to try again. It didn’t help and Simon dismissed his summarily with a verbal bullet to the head.

So now they bring this guy back and the first in a line of funnier-than-shit moments, he actually comes on stage to get his “award.” Ryan Seacrest asks him if he wants to sing a song for the audience of what, 55 million, and he thinks this is a great idea.

The music starts for, appropriately, Elton John’s “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” (I normally, mentally, replace the “The Sun” with “My Son” because it makes me laugh) and Aiken wannabe starts belting out the lyrics like his moment in life has arrived. Still sounding like said cat in said meat grinder, he really thinks he’s wowing the crowd and I’m starting to wonder what could have possibly possessed the producers to let this farce continue. It was really embarrassing.

The thought hit me that this little episode highlighted the fact that normal people CAN stick up this stage. You get so used to hearing the big league voices that you tend to forget that “normal” people sound like dogshit if they don’t have the talent. And as far as Wannabe… woof.

As Wannabe continued to butcher the song, the back of the stage opened up.

And out walked Clay Aiken with a microphone. The REAL Clay Aiken.

But the thing was, Wannabe didn’t see him and obviously didn’t know this was going to happen.

Of course, the crowd goes berserk and you can see it in his eyes that Wannabe ACTUALLY BELIEVES the tidal wave of adoration is for him. He looks at the crowd with a smile and a look of surprise. “Wow, I’m killin’ here!!”

You have to picture this. I’ve never been a huge Clay Aiken fan but he was looking better than before. The stylists had worked some issues out and at least he looked a bit nearer to the way he sounded and next to Wannabe, his star absolutely blazed.

Clay (can I call him Clay?) walks through the opening and as I said, the audience goes apeshit and Wannabe is convinced they’re going to crown HIM any minute. Clay is walking toward the front of the stage with an incredulous look on his face that says “Oh dear, this guy is eatin’ donkey.”

Just as Clay decided he’s going to take over, the moment is pregnant. Everyone on Earth knows what is happening except Wannabe and I didn’t think it could get any better than that one shining instant.

I was wrong.

In his peripheral vision, Wannabe sees movement and his head turns. At first it doesn’t register but a nanosecond later with a double take, Wannabe realizes that Clay “Oh My God” Aiken is on stage with him.

Only in really bad acting moments have I ever seen a reaction like Wannabe the next moment. It was a study in caricature surprise to a level that looked extremely exaggerated. It wasn’t and that is precisely what made it so funny.

Wannabe’s eyes almost popped out of his head. His hands went up to his open mouth and he backed away almost in horror with his head jack hammering up and down yelling “Oh My God!” over and over at whiplash speed. He was a bit hunched over as he retreated, not wanting to get singed by Clay’s cornea of awesomeness.

The only other time I had ever seen anything close to this was a show I was forced to watch (I’m sticking with this line of explanation). OK, it was Oprah. She would find insane fans and get the stars to show up unexpected to see the fans’ reaction. The one that comes to mind were two women who thought Barry Manilo was omnipotent. They were getting their hair done and Barry walks in. The reaction from these two was one of the funniest things I had ever seen.

So Wannabe is backing up, running into Ryan Seacrest and he is freaking out so bad that Clay misses the line he was supposed to jump in on. He recovers and the gulf between Wannabe’s talent and Clay’s becomes instantly clear to everyone. Everyone except Wannabe who thinks this is suddenly a duet. He’s belting out the lyrics with everything his little Wannabe heart has and Clay is looking at him like the guy just shit purple Twinkies.

Finally, Seacrest goes over and grabs the guy and offers him a seat on a stool, away from Clay who finishes up the song. It becomes apparent that they turned off Wannabe’s microphone (something Wannabe is last to realize) when Seacrest bends over and mouths “Are you OK?” to which Wannabe’s soundless reaction despite the microphone still plastered by his quivering lips answers “Oh my God!”

Folks, this is humorous TV at its best.

As the show went on, they edged closer and closer to announcing who won. I had a feeling the whole show that it was going to be Taylor but they had to keep the suspense up. Seacrest announced that they were done with the special guests and now was time for….

But wait….

The camera swings over, the stage opens, and out walks Prince.

My first reaction was “Wow, they got Prince. Holy SHIT, they got Prince! He normally doesn’t do things like this. Usually he’s a monstrous jackass who thinks he’s too good for this kind of show.”

I had to explain to my daughter who Prince was which made me feel about 100 years old.

My deep-seated hatred for this idiot was fading. I’ve always thought he represented the worst of celebrity, thinking he was too good for anyone and taking himself WAY too seriously. But I had to acknowledge that he really knows how to get a crowd going and no matter that I think he is a shithead, he was a pretty famous dude.

But then I started to remember why I always thought he was a dick. Other than the obvious “I’m so much better than all of you” attitude and petulant sexuality mixed with pouting, I realized that every other performer up to this point had sang their songs with one of the 12 finalists. But not Princess, he was too good to be sullied by the unwashed American Idol contestants.

At the end, he proved himself like I knew he would.

His song ended and Seacrest came walking out as the crowd cheered. And what did Princess do? Turned around and walked out like he owned the place. He strutted off into the fog and lights with his two dancers following like his slaves.

Too good to talk to the crowd. Too good to banter with Seacrest.

Go cram it in your pooper, Princess.

After that was over, I watched as they crowned the new American Idol and one last thing happened that heightened my respect for both of the finalists.

When they announced that Taylor won, Katherine’s instant reaction was a huge smile and a hug. I rewound it and watched it again and sure enough, her first reaction was not feeling sorry for herself, even for an instant. She did not “recover” and be gracious, she just was. Instantly.

My respect for her skyrocketed.

Taylor let out a hoot and hugged Katherine and was obviously and truly moved at the momentous reality of what had just happened. A grey-haired, pudgy soul singer from Alabama had just won the most coveted singing competition in the world.

I went to bed happy. Accuse me of falling hook, line, and sinker but I really enjoyed my first experience with American Idol. It was good TV in my mind because there were highs, there were lows, and most of all, I looked forward to Tuesdays and Wednesdays for months.

Thank you American Idol.

Free Advice for Today: “Let your children observe your being generous to those in need.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


Killjoy’s Big 50

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006


Quote of the Day: “That would be cool if you could eat a good food with a bad food and the good food would cover for the bad food when it got to your stomach. Like you could eat a carrot with an onion ring and they would travel down to your stomach, then they would get there, and the carrot would say, ‘It’s cool, he’s with me.’”

- Mitch Hedburg

Since Killjoy is gone with my wife to Rhode Island and she was damn fool enough to give me her password so I could guest-post, I think this might be some of my finest work.

I know she’ll get a bug in her bonnet over SOMETHING in the future and this will go away on her site so I’m recreating it here on my blog. That, and I’m too lazy to come up with something original today.

The Big 50

Things You Don’t Know About Me by Killjoy (Ghost-written by Viper).

1. I have 11 toes. All on my right foot.

2. Claire is missing a toe. It was delicious.

3. I’m the illegitimate love child of Ronald McDonald and Clifford.

4. Claire’s was actually fathered by Jerry Ryan. We were drinking and things got out of hand.

5. I know for a fact that Starbucks actually does enemas, but you have to ask.

6. Men used to give me business cards when I was a flight attendant. I papier-mâchéd the interior of my house with them and used the rest as house insulation.

7. For years, I sustained myself on the tears of my boyfriends. Tasty AND nutritious!

8. If you were to connect all my freckles with a pen, I would look like Wesley Snipes.

9. I secretly envy Viper’s running abilities. I keep a secret journal trying to capture my endless awe at his accomplishments.

10. I told people that my former job in St Louis was as a “researcher.” I was actually working for the CIA but when they sent me undercover, I took it way too literal.

11. I’m not gonna tell you what my first job was in high school but it involved singing “Kiss” in a big bubble bath. Here’s proof.

12. When my hair talks, people listen. If not, people die.

13. I adhere to the Spock approach to parenting. If Claire gets out of line, Vulcan neck pinch, Baby!

14. A Ford Focus can go 164 miles per hour, not that I ever tried….

15. I have problems pronouncing words like “syrup” and “almonds”, partially due to a cleft palate and hairlip situation I cover with makeup.

16. I drunk-blog all the time. If that’s wrong, I don’t wanna be a banana.

17. In real life, I can’t get through a sentence without the filthiest, most vulgar words peppering my conversation which makes reading to Claire at night an eff’in’ education.

18. My daughter’s cat, Rudy, can do three somersaults with only one kick. Four if it’s before I get to Starbucks.

19. Viper’s dog, Buster is convinced I’m his momma because we have the same coat. And breath.

20. My code word for “HOT!” is “nerd.” Don’t tell Viper.

21. I steal a lot of music off the Internet. And I mean A LOT, mostly gangsta rap despite being the whitest person on the face of the globe.

22. I have a tattoo of Molly Ringwald over my entire body.


23. I pee standing up. Facing the toilet.

24. I throw horns like Elaine Benes dances. It’s painful for people to watch.

25. Viper once let Claire eat an Oreo milkshake off his spoon. I’m still convulsing over that only because I’m a maniacal germaphobe.

26. If you see me with a baseball cap on, that means I lost that morning’s session of “Hair War” but I managed to beat it back under the hat. It most likely involved a lot of snarling and the waving of a torch.

27. I’m good with kids, as long as they sit their annoying little asses down and shut the hell up.

28. I love sno-cones. Especially when no one’s watching.

29. As long as you are sensitive to my insensitivity, we will get along fine. If not, I will gouge out your eyes with scissors and fill the wounds with battery acid. Questions?

30. I bring really bad offerings to potlucks so they won’t ask me to bring anything ever again.

31. Brandy makes Claire very quiet on long road trips. Bourbon works too.

32. After Rudy peed on Claire’s bed, I returned the favor. Unfortunately, he sleeps with Claire so it seemed somewhat counterproductive.

33. I had to Photoshop washout lighting to my blog pic to hide a goiter on my neck. I call it “Rufus.”

34. If a state trooper pulls you over and says he’ll rip up the ticket if you make out with him, don’t believe him.

35. Powers-of-Attorney are really useful. So I’m told.

36. I don’t wear any undergarments because I was told it supports Operation Enduring Freedom.

37. I detest any form of manual labor. But I love Manuel labor. Tee hee.

38. I once went to a tanning salon and got fried from head to foot. It was the worst 4 seconds of my life.

39. I do laundry with giant metal tongs and dressed in a level 7 chemical suit.

40. I don’t do drugs. Unless you count crack, horse, marijuana, speed, PCP, cocaine, glue, heroin, methamphetamine, and the blood of puppies injected right into my veins.

(a negative of me)

41. My true role model is Kellie Pickler. I only wish I could aspire to her intellectual acumen.

42. I won’t watch Braveheart because its greatness might cause me to go blind.

43. I was once hypnotized in Vegas. Whenever I hear the word “Starbucks” I have a debilitating physiological reaction I can’t talk about.

44. Because of #43, I’m in a constant state of dehydration.

45. The only magazine I subscribe to is Redbook because they told me it was about redheads. Again, if I could only be more Pickleresque.

46. I think dental hygiene is a scam perpetrated by toothpaste manufacturers and therefore never brush my teeth. Ever.

47. If my cell phone disrupted the pacemakers of those around me, well, it’s been nice knowing ya. Whatever, with your “…can’t breath…” Get a better pacemaker, you’re causing static on my cell.

48. I only celebrate my birthday month because a birthday season seemed needy.

49. I could open my own weight loss business. People could just hire me to cook for them and in no time, they would look like Nicole Richie guest starring on Survivor.

50. My blog is much more interesting when Viper guest/ghost writes. I should have him do it more often. I hope he didn’t create a backdoor and add himself as a contributor.

Free Advice for Today: “Take your child on a tour of a local university.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


30 Days Barracks Restriction

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006


Quote of the Day: “I don’t wear a watch because I want my arms to weigh the same. So if somebody asks me what time it is, I have to tell them something that is going on. ‘What time is it, Mitch?’ ‘Uh, that guy is eating a hamburger.’ ‘Shit, I had to be somewhere.’”

- Mitch Hedburg

With the help of my friend in San Diego, I found out that I’m screwed.

Screwed” is a relative term but to be more precise (and politically correct), let me change that to, “My housing situation is a bit on the wanting side.

I called Marisa and basically said, “Hey, I need a place to geo batch it for a month before my family comes down. What do you know?”

She did a little research and found out that the BOQ there on the base doesn’t have high speed internet so of course, I curled up in the fetal position. She then gave me some contact information about the other BOQs around San Diego (there are approximately 10,000) but after calling each one with the ever-important question concerning high speed internet, I discovered that NONE of them have it.


Prison shower time!

During our conversation, Marisa misinterpreted my information and thought I would only be there alone for 10 days and offered me her and her husband’s “West Wing” of their house but then after clarifying that I was going to be there a month, she quickly, and wisely, rescinded her offer. She has no idea what kind of bullet she dodged. Ask my wife or Killjoy, our houseguest this week.

Since I would be living without the life-giving blood of high speed internet for a month, I decided that I might as well stay on the base I worked on so I wouldn’t have to commute. I called the BOQ and after explaining my situation, they told me I needed to talk to the Geo Bachelor section.

I really wasn’t thrilled at the explanation. He actually used the term “substandard billeting.”

He REALLY did!!! That’s the name they really use!!!!

So what is this “substandard billeting,” you ask?

I get a room with a bed in it.

It has a desk.

It has a closet.

It has a lamp.

That pretty much does it.

Yes, folks, it’s a barracks room.

I know, the high and mighty Commanding Officer has to lower himself to living in a Spartan barracks room. This bothers me way too much than it should.

But wait, there’s more!

There is a common head. Lovely. And a common room with a couch and a TV which probably means there is not cable in the room even if you bring your own TV.

The BEST part was when he told me that if they got full, I might even get a roommate!!!

People, ask my wife. I’m insufferable to live with! I don’t know if I can hack living with another Officer. Two would go in, only one would emerge, soaked in blood and gore.

Then there was the topic of price for these deluxe accommodations. The grand total if you include tax and substandard room fee is a whopping $0.

You would think this would make it impossible for me to bitch about then, huh?

You would think.

In a last ditch effort, I called over to the BOQ and asked how much they charged for a regular room.

$25 a day.

“You got high speed internet?”



So here’s the plan. When you PCS, you get reimbursed for 10 days of hotel stays that you can use at either end in any combination, as long as it’s within 50 miles of either station. This is meant to be used when you move out and need a hotel before you actually leave or need a place to stay at your new station before you find a house.

We are only going to use 1 day here in Spotsyltucky and maybe not even that if we want to take advantage of Sir Phil one last time. The rest, I plan on using in San Diego so that will knock 1/3 of the time I will be geo-batching it there from having to stay in the flea-bag barracks.

AND, I get high-speed internet in the hotel!!!!

After that, my life will be up in the morning, PT, go to work, PT at lunch, stay at the office to do any internetty things I need to do, and then at some point, wander back to the barracks and crash.

It just kind of sucks to not have a real place to call home. All that room will be for is to sleep but maybe it’ll get me out and about to explore the city so I can show my family some great things to do when they get there.

And maybe I’ll learn to play the harmonica.

Free Advice for Today: “Learn the techniques of being a good interviewer.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


The Shape Of Things As It Stands Right Now

Monday, May 22nd, 2006


Quote of the Day: “I wrote a script for a guy, and he said he liked it but he thought that I need to rewrite it. I said, ‘Fuck that, I’ll just make a copy.’”

- Mitch Hedburg

I have 3 weeks before I escape Spotsyltucky, Home of the Virgidiots.

The house is not sold. This sucks and we have had practically no lookers. It appears we will be packing up our stuff, moving, and hoping for the best. This really blows.

Work is all but done. I have no pending projects I’m all that involved in and it wouldn’t make any sense to start any so I fill my days with PT and getting things ready for the move.

Truckasaurus needs a hitch but other than that, he is ready for the long trip. He’s been working out too and I think the oversized headband is a real dorky look but he thinks it makes him look studly around the other neighborhood cars.

The Pilot is ready. The Uranus is ready to be pulled. Buster is ready for anything as long as we are with him. Stupid mutt.

The lawnmower still needs to get on Craig’s List and I’ll be getting to this. I’m hoping that will sell better than the house or at least I can get it an escort. Craig’s List will be Craig’s List, you know.

Now all I have to do is get all the stuff I want to bring with me to live on for a month on the road and a month in San Diego alone. That should be a tricky one but it’ll come down to uniforms, books, and Delzilla. And clothes. Yeah, clothes would be good.

I should probably break out my Service A’s and make sure I don’t look like the proverbial 10 lbs in a 5 lb bag.

Free Advice for Today: “Until your children move out of your house, don’t buy anything suede.”

- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.