Archive for July, 2003

Jul 31 2003

No more Ms. Nice Jas

Published by under Rants

Dear Ants:

All right you little bastards. I tried to give you an out. I left out the traps to let you know you weren’t welcome. If you were dumb enough to actually eat the stuff, I figured it was your problem. I don’t know any more nice ways to say this: You. Must. Get. Out.

My discovery last night was the last straw. Hiding in my potted English Ivy? What’s that about? You will never understand the disappointment and dismay I felt when I saw you all swarming out of the bottom of the pot after I watered that plant. I felt that a trust had been violated. I trusted you to confine your marauding to the dirty dishes and bits of crumbs that don’t always get cleaned up, and you trusted me to smush you whenever I happened to lay eyes on you.

I thought that you would have gotten the message about my plants being verboten after what happened to your relatives outside. Did any of them survive the Sevin fallout? I didn’t think so. And I no longer feel sorry for them, either. I thought that you were better than them, but I guess the old adage is true: You can’t trust ants, whether indoors or outdoors.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that there is now pesticide dusted all over the entrances and exits to the windows? Well, you know who that’s for, don’t you? It’s for YOU. And there’s no use in trying to escape. Some of your dumber friends probably already tracked it in to your home, beginning the cycle of destruction. Likewise with the extra traps sitting around. I bet you thought that idiot Vinnie Ant was harmless, didn’t you? Well, Vinnie just fed your kids some grade A poison, so how do you like that?

You have until next week to remove yourself from my home. After that, the “shock and awe” campaign begins — the furry demons go away for the day and the house gets bombed. I’ll use that illegal shit if I have to. Whatever it takes to get you out of my house.

Tell your Queen Bitch I said “Have a nice day.”

Sincerely,
Jas

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Jul 30 2003

AWOL real estate agent

Published by under Moving/Real Estate,Outdoors

Yesterday, I put a real estate agent on the case. Her mission: Find me and The Man a place to live. I even gave her a jumping off point by providing her with the listing number of a house were are interested in. She was driving in her car at the time, on her way home from up north, and promised that she would check it out when she got home.

She called me at 9:45 PM telling me that she couldn’t find the listing. I pointed her to the web site where I had found it, told her how to navigate to the listing. She said she would call me back today to set up a time.

I still haven’t heard from her. Which is kind of disturbing because I gave her three phone numbers for me: Work, Home, and Cell. I’m trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, but I’ve never been involved in buying a house before and am a little skittish. Little things like the realtor not calling when she says she will kind of throw me off.

Last night the War Against the Ants began in earnest. I dusted my garden with Sevin, which is quite possibly the most dangerous substance on the face of the earth, according to their warning labels. I didn’t even want to touch the canister. I expected my flowers to shriek in agony from having the acidic, marauding dust fall onto their delicate blooms. But, I managed not to get any in my eyes, rub any vigorously into my skin, and I also managed to quell the urge to dine sumptuously on pesticide, so I survived the encounter. I just hope the ants won’t.

I also put ant traps in the kitchen. Because I have two small, furry demons (cats) living in the house, I have to be kind of stealthy when hiding ant traps. One lives under the kitchen sink, where I think they are coming in. And one lives under the microwave. That’s it. I could find no other place to put an ant trap that would be safe from feline intervention.

I fed the birds last night too. I haven’t had bird food for awhile, so the birds have all moved on to better places. I thought they might at least leave a note, but they didn’t. But, I filled up their feeders and the bird bath. Tonight I’ll fill the thistle and the suet, and see if anyone comes back to eat.

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Jul 28 2003

Jas’s eye for the midwestern guy

Published by under Rants

This weekend I parked on the couch and watched an episode of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”. For those of you living under a rock, the premise of the show is that five gay men makeover a straight guy — hair, clothes, dwelling, etiquette, food, etc. Complete makeover. And within an hour of television, where a mulleted man once stood is now a well-dressed, polite man with a clean house.

The show inspired me. But since I don’t have the budget that these five men do, and I also don’t have access to all the great stores, I must make do with some advice, targeted at my local male population. Read and learn, fellas. Read and learn:

  1. Drinking is not an endurance sport. Especially when you insist on drinking things like “Milwaukee’s Best” in large quantities. I too have moments where I want to indulge my inner redneck, but this should be a RARE thing, not an every night thing. Believe it or not, you are not more charming and attractive when you are hammered.
  2. The whole “ratty t-shirt and cut off shorts with white socks and work boots” look is fine when you are A) Working in the fields B) Working on your car or C) Trying to repel every last human on the planet, but it is not an appropriate ensemble to wear in public. There are whole stores out there that sell clothing. Try going into some of them one day. Bring a woman with you if you are not fashion-aware. Or a gay man, if you haven’t beaten them all up already.
  3. If your idea of a “good date” is feeling up a bar whore who has had too much to drink, check your driver’s license. If you are over the age of 19, it is time to re-evaluate your life, and possibly get some therapy to deal with your commitment issues.
  4. If you are married, you should not be hitting on anyone. Yes, that includes bar whores and prostitutes. (sadly, most Mid-Michigan men don’t seem to know this).
  5. The current year is 2003. Time to lose your mullet. It is not making you look young or “wild”. People are laughing at you. I’m serious. No, really. THEY ALL THINK YOU LOOK LIKE A MORON.
  6. Wash your face and hands before going out in public. Unless you have just come off your shift at GM and must stop to the store on your way home to pick something up for dinner. But otherwise, there is no excuse for inflicting your grubbiness on the rest of the world. Soap and water are available for free in most restrooms.
  7. You should never wear sandals with socks. You have just negated the purpose of wearing sandals, and you look like an idiot. On a related note, sandals should never be worn after summer is over. That means, once the calendar reads “Fall Equinox” (or earlier, if the weather turns early) the sandals get put away and the real shoes come out.
  8. Stop calling people “Faggot” or “Fag” if they are more sophisticated than you. You are showing your ignorance. Believe it or not, this is a real turn off to the women.
  9. If you have to leave your wife/girlfriend for weeks on end every year to go kill things with your friends, you should at least do something nice for her, such as get her a gift certificate for a day spa to use while you’re gone, or treat her to a nice dinner when you get back. Yes, I said nice dinner. Yes, nice dinner means that you sit down and your food is brought to you. Nice dinner does not equal KFC.
  10. Read a book every now and then. Besides opening your mind to new ideas, this will give you something to talk about on a date if the conversation drags.
  11. Find a nice way to compliment women, and, if your advances are rejected, take it in stride. Telling a girl “Nice tits!” and then sneering “Lesbo” when she tells your that your attention is unwanted shows bad form, and will not get you any further with the woman or her friends. If you’re at a bar, send a drink over. If you’re somewhere else, try complimenting her SMILE or her EYES or some other part of her anatomy that is not going to get you smacked. And don’t try to be all poetic. A very simple “Excuse me, but I just wanted to tell you that you have a beautiful smile” sounds sincere and most women will beam that smile at you even more. However, “Your smile is brighter than the early-morning sunlight” sounds fake and hokey and like you’re trying too hard to score. Keep it simple.
  12. Baseball caps should be worn at a baseball game or while working/fishing/hunting to keep the sun out of your eyes. If you are going out, take the time to do your hair (or wash your head, if you’re bald). Nothing screams “Asshole!” louder than a polo shirt/baseball cap combo.
  13. Before you leave the house, your clothing should be wrinkle-free. Tossing things in the dryer for 15 minutes can do a lot for removing wrinkles from most clothing. Or, you may want to invest in an archaic thing called “an iron”.

I ran out of steam! I’m sure some of you have some more suggestions. Maybe we can get a list going. If you have pet peeves, leave it as a comment.

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Jul 26 2003

Here in my car, I feel safest of all

Published by under Moving/Real Estate,The Man

Today was a nice lazy day. I slept and slept and SLEPT until about 11 AM until The Man rolled out of bed and the cats determined that he was not going to feed them and so converged on me. I spent most of the day re-reading a whole lotta Richard Bach books — Jonathon, Illusions, Biplane, Bridge. . . Wow four books in a day, not too shabby.

We grilled dinner and afterwards I got a touch of cabin fever. So I petitioned The Man to take me driving. . . we drove for probably two hours, just talking about his D&D campaign and how he was going to get it to work and him explaining some new rules to me and me making suggestions for using them. It was a lot of fun and had the desired effect of giving me something to do other than sit on the couch and read. I like driving a lot, especially in the evenings. I don’t really like spending the whole day in a car, or driving in mid-afternoon when the sun tends to beat down on you rather mercilessly, but evening, about an hour before sunset is a rather pleasant and pretty time to take off into the countryside and see all manner of houses, fields, and people. I checked out a few bean fields, noting that they seemed to be growing well thanks to all the rain lately, looked at the newly cut wheat, looking at pretty and ugly houses, and listening to The Man talk about nobility and monsters and the peril of reviving gods.

Yesterday, we jaunted out to a couple of the neighboring towns. In one, we were looking at a house we are considering buying. Big, brick farmhouse on what is no longer a farm but rather a main state highway. Built in 1911 — it needs at the very least a new roof, new eaves, and a furnace (that’s right, it has no furnace. Bad news in Michigan) and quite possibly the ducts that go along with a furnace. It also backs up to a cemetery. Right now, the graves stop quite a distance from the back yard, but there is always the possibility that many people will die and soon we will have mourners in the back yard. The deciding factors will be where the property line actually is, and if we can put up a privacy fence. If not, this will not be the house for us. The outside brick is cracked in some spots (don’t know how that affects the structure), but the house is almost 100 years old — what can you expect, really? We need to see the inside and get a home inspector out there. I have an eerie feeling that the wiring and plumbing will also not be up to code. I don’t mind doing some work on a house, but replacing the wiring, plumbing, roof, and running a new ventilation system is a bit much — if we’re going to do all that we might as well build from scratch!

Then we jetted over to another town so that I could drool on some Pontiac Vibes for awhile. Those are such groovy little machines. I like them equally as well or better than the Celicas now. Of course, I may not get one (especially if we buy a house), and I will have to test drive. The consumer reviews online had a lot of comments about noise and rattles — apparently the Vibe is not soundproofed all that well and so gets rather noisy on the highway. We’ll have to see about that one. But, if I bought a Vibe, and we had a child at some point within the next five years, we would already have an acceptable family car. Whereas the Celica wouldn’t fit the bill. That’s kind of a nice perk. The Vibe has all kinds of neat-o features on it that I like, especially the fold down seats, two-prong standard house outlet, and cargo area. It’s a station wagon, but not hideously ugly. And *sigh* it’s only a four cylinder and the consumer reports say it takes about 9.2 sec to get from 0 to 60. . . but I won’t be drag racing anyways and I should be nicer to my vehicles on acceleration. I tend to PUNCH IT. Not so good for the engine, from what I hear.

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Jul 25 2003

Lame Friday Five

Published by under Survey/Friday Five

Wow I just don’t like the questions this week! But, in deference to Chris, I will answer them anyway, at least until I get fed up and start putting lies down for my answers.

1. If your life were a movie, what would the title be?

My life would make an awful movie! The title would be something like “Boring Movie”. Aw, crap. Okay. I’ll answer seriously. “Running From Tornadoes”. Why, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you: it’s both literal (I have been in one tornado and most of my nightmares focus on me running away from a tornado) and figurative (sometimes I feel like I’ve spent parts of my life running from one dangerous or bad situation after another).

2. What songs would be on the soundtrack?

Heh. Hehehehe. Er. . . lots of 80′s and early 90′s songs. Because when I think about my life, most of it was set to those songs, either because that’s what was popular, or that’s what is normally running through my head. Things like “Mama I’m Coming Home”. That’s a good song.

3. Would it be a live-action film or animated? Why?

Live action. Even though I really like animation, my life is not sufficiently wacky, strange, or dramatic to carry an animation through.

4. Casting: who would play you, members of your family, friends, etc?

My mom would be played by Susan Sarandon or Michelle Pfeifer. Probably Michelle Pfeifer because Susan Sarandon looks way older than my mom does. My dad would probably be Billy Bob Thornton. My sister. . . Ashley Judd, I think. Or Sandra Bullock. And me. . . Uh, Drew Barrymore?

None of these are based upon actual physical resemblance.

5. Describe the movie preview/trailer.

Oh good lord. Just big white letters on a black screen that says “RUN FOR THE BASEMENT!” And the sound of a heartbeat. There you go. I just reached my threshold with these questions.

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