Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Sweet Fancy Moses



Wow, have I got blogging for you!

Big, incredible, unbelievable stories that'll make your toenails fall off and your hair turn white. Say 'Goodbye' to your computer monitor cuz it's gonna take one look at you and self destruct out of sheer pity of your pathetic existence!

Shield your eyes!

Yes, my friends, my life is that amazing!

I mean it! Whoo-eeee!

Such tales of adventure and glory!

Dragons slayed!

Princesses saved!

Coupons redeemed!

And that's not even the good parts! That's what I did before breakfast!

But you know what? I'm going to have to save the juicey details for another day (Sorry!) because it's well past my normal bedtime and I still haven't had any dinner! I just got home! And it's midnight! There's no time for appetite when you're livin' the vida loco!

SHAZAAM!

Man, my week has been exciting. I can hardly believe it! It's amazing that I ever find time to leave the office. I'm too busy having fun!

WHOO-HOOO!

See ya, wouldn't want to be ya!

(Note to self: Nobody believes a fucking word you say. Now go to bed.)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Hunter or Gathererer..ererer...

In these modern times it's easy to forget that by nature each of us, genetically and socially speaking, once belonged to a specific tribe. Some of our ancestors were Hunters while others were Gatherers. I have no idea which tribe I would have belonged to--probably the Thieving tribe.

I say this because I have no real skill set. I would starve to death almost immediately were I left to my own devices--even if one of those devices were a machine gun. As for gathering? Just look at the pile of dirty laundry that sits in the spare bedroom. I can't even bring myself to compile it and bring it the whole 20 feet into the kitchen where the washing machine is. Therefore, my entire existence is based on my ability to steal shit and this weekend was a perfect example.

Witness our Entertainment Center:

There's nothing fancy about this. It's just a wide screen TV with a DVD player, Freeview Box and Surround Sound speakers connected together. The problem is, we had a shitty Bush brand DVD Player that was supposedly "Region Free" out of the box, which meant (in theory) that we could play the movies we bought in the States (Region 1 NTSC versions) as well as the flicks we purchased over here (Region 2 PAL versions).

Well, in theory that did work in respect to our American DVD's which played fine. However, when we put in the Region 2 DVD's, which should have played perfectly on a system bought in this country, there was a screen focus issue that made me want to vomit about 10 minutes into the movie.

To make a long story short, I ditched the Bush DVD player and bought a new Sony DVP-Ns29. I thought of buying this player a couple of weeks ago but was put off by the salesman at the Sony Centre:

HIM: This DVD player is region free... for a price.

ME: I assume that price is the one marked on the tag... 39.99.

HIM: No, what I mean is, that's the price you'll pay to the store.

ME: I know.

HIM: The price you'll pay on record.

ME: DUH.

HIM: But you'll pay ME another 20 pounds to make it work. See where I'm going with this?

ME: Yes. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have an internet connection at home that will solve this problem for me. Without you. See where I'm going with this? That's right. Home.

So I bought the DVD player at Argos then I looked up the hack on the web, went and bought the necessary remote--again from Argos-- which looks like this:

You'll notice that this thing is huge. It weighs approximately 3 pounds and actually has a built in modem--for what, I have no idea but that's what the instruction books say and I never argue with instruction books.

For once, the Internet didn't lie to me. It took a little screwing around but I managed to set up the codes and hack the DVD player so that everything works just hunky-dory.

I now have a totally Region Free DVD player which would mean a LOT more to me if I was into importing lots of weirdo foreign films, but I'm not. I'm just happy that my copy of "This is Spinal Tap" works without me going into epileptic fits.

And I'm pretty damn proud of myself. The remote only cost me 19.99 which means I saved an entire penny from what the jerk at the Sony Centre was going to charge me.

It's the principle of the thing.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Time stands still for no man

This week has been absolutely insane.

First the gardeners sliced the tires of the moving van and then went on a rampage amongst the alzaleas...alzeloaus...umm, fuck it--the flowers. Elfish or not (the gardeners), they're a huge pain in my ass and I've been chasing them around the grounds for the past week. They're a full time job I tell you.

And when I haven't been stalking the little bastards, I've been sampling the leaves of the protective maze which Phil from Playaz Ball sagely pointed out was constructed of 100% marijuana. I'd re-post a picture but that would make you even lazier than me (scroll down for god's sake!).

Throw in a couple of major pitches and 17 hour days at the ad agency and that's my week in a nutshell. It's been a learning experience to say the least. I really don't need sleep. It's just wasted time after all. and that's why aim asil oimmind tisht taskct red adn yellwo basket. stop.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Thank You W.O.W.!

Due to the overwhelming response to my new frangrance line, "W.O.W." ("Weird Old Woman") Perfume my wife and I decided to invest a small portion of the profits in a new house. Normally, we're quite conservative when it comes to spending cash because our reasoning is: you can't spend what you don't have. But with the money suddenly rolling in we felt we should put it somewhere safer than tucked into the sweat sock hidden inside the cookie jar.

Unlike most couples our age we have yet to invest in real estate for two reasons:

1. We are some of the most unsettled and unsettling people I know. We either freak out after living two whole consecutive years in one place and run to a new town/city/state/country or we're chased out because of my propensity to answer the door to missionaries whilst nude.

2. I've unwisely been investing in "reality estate" and the market has taken a very nasty downturn in the last couple of months.

Hopefully, our new home will allow us to feel like we finally belong in a community worthy of our humble stature:

I felt that our new house should be conservative yet large enough for us to "grow into". I have no desire to pull up stakes and move anytime soon and I think we've finally found the perfect place. (Special thanks to all five original members of Guns 'n' Roses for helping us move. I'm sure you'll get that chocolate mousse off the curtains of the tour bus. Sorry about that!)

These are the Rampaging Murderous Elfish Gardeners unique to the region and left by the previous owner.

The special protective garments ensure that they spend the winter months in relative comfort and safety. When they emerge in early spring (as they were today) it's kind of scary--especially the gasping for air and the swinging of hedge clippers. (I promised my wife we would get rid of them (the hedge clippers) as soon as the rhodedendrons are trimmed and the tulips are transplanted. (I'm keeping the gardeners.)


This hideous garden will be the first to be leveled to make way for the BBQ pit.

This is the view from the balcony of the master bedroom. The protective maze was originally constructed to trap and confuse trespassers and provide much needed sport for gentleman archers. I will be releasing the murderous gardeners in here shortly.

Stop by and say "Hi!"

Friday, March 17, 2006

Random Thoughts on St. Patrick's Day

Song That Fools Most People Into Thinking They Can Harmonize: Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)

Most Thinly Veiled Song About Slipping the Big One: Longfellow Serenade (Neil Diamond)

Job I Would NEVER Want to Have: Cleaning the toilets of Belfast's Great Victoria Street on St. Patrick's Day (Oh, man! You sooooo don't want that job!)

Car Most Likely to Explode on Impact: Fiat Punto

Scariest Place to be on St. Patrick's Day: Belfast City Hall

Average Age of Drunk Belfast People on St. Patrick's Day: 17

Time That I'll Most Likely Be Going to Bed Tonight: 10:00 p.m.

Chance of Hangover Tomorrow Morning: 30%

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A Star is Born


Yesterday, as I was standing on the platform waiting for my train to work, I had an odd experience.

A young man, maybe 18--maybe 20 years old-- kept staring at me. In itself, that's not so unusual. I'm a decent looking guy and I'd never be one to hold that against anyone (except my wife...buh-dum-dum-duh!). What I mean is, I realize that I look different from your normal Northern Ireland chap. I'm 6 foot 2 for one thing. I'm blond (or was blond at one time). I wear a baseball cap properly (note to the chavs and spides: you guys couldn't wear a cap to save your lives. You look like 60 year old fishermen (bend the goddamn brim you fucknuts!!!) But since you're constantly drunk on cider and glue fumes, I suppose that doesn't really matter to you one way or the other.)

Anyway, I was standing on the platform and this guy kept staring at me. Finally, just as the train was approaching, he said, "Aren't you Wayne Ordinary American?"

Well! That was a surprise! I can't remember the last time my morning train showed up on schedule! Also, some strange person recognized me from a podcast.

I turned to him and admitted that, yes, that was me.

"Your show rocks!" he smiled.

I thanked him but before I had a chance to explain that my primary role on Letter to America is to basically show up on time and try not to talk when Jett is talking, the train came to a stop and my iPod buds shot instictively into my ear canals and I couldn't hear another word he might have said.

I told this story to a couple of people at work and they were totally psyched for me. "Wow," they said, "you're like a celebrity or something! You're actually a celebrity!"

By nature I'm a humble guy and I really don't know what to think about my current situation but I do think it's kinda cool in a "I'm a minor geek celebrity in Northern Ireland" kind of way.

So I'll take my glory where I can find it. Beside, unless this celebrity thing starts paying some beans, I still have to show up for my day job.

(Stardom really is over-rated.)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sick Days


I'm very disappointed in myself.

I've gone and gotten sick.

Again.

This is like the third time this year that I've been caught out with a bad cough/sneeze, headache, runny nose, and general poor disposition. I blame it on being a stranger in a strange land. In America, I hardly ever got sick. Maybe once every couple of years I'd get a small sniffle or two but nothing like the crap I've been suffering over here. In fact, the last time I had a fever was when I was in the fourth grade which was....um....carry the one, divide by eight... Holy shit! About 30 years ago! (Mrs. Mooney sent me home because I started hallucinating in the middle of Bible class. I said Moses was a pussy and if he had any guts at all he would've smashed the first set of Commandments into Noah's face and burned the ark on his way back to Vegas because you need Jesus for that shit.)

Where was I? Oh, yeah. I'm not feeling too great and I'm really tired of posting that I'm not feeling too great. For entertainment I've been searching the YouTube site and stumbled across this. If you love the Spice Girls (and who doesn't?) and you love wierd still photography set to the Spice Girls you're in for a real treat!

And, whatever you do, don't watch the Allan Ray's Gruesome Eye Injury clip.

It'll make YOU sick.

Also, never forget that I love you.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Everyone Loves a Slideshow

For pics of the Irish Blog Awards click here.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

LTA All the WAY!

This was how my Saturday began:

I woke shaking with laughter from a joke I had created in my sleep. In my dream it was the world's cleverest joke and it made me instantly famous. I was invited on the Conan O'Brien Show where I sat next to Katie Holmes (who was promoting a new line of Kellogg's wholegrain jockstraps). My task was to wait for her to inevitably start blabbing about Scientology and then interrupt with this gut buster:

ME: You know, Conan. Driving out Thetans reminds me of an old joke. How do you get rid of a Breath-Kebab?

CONAN: I don't know Wayne. How do you get rid of a Breath-Kebab?

(LONG, IMPECCABLY TIMED COMEDIC PAUSE)

ME
: It lingers!

STUDIO AUDIENCE (Throwing underwear onstage and laughing hysterically): We love you, Wayne!

See, it's "jokes" like this (no, I don't know what it means either) that keep me humble and poor as a simple blogger while the real movers and shakers like Jett from Letter to America dress in fancy duds and go to award shows.


I picked Jett up around noon to drive him down to Dublin for the Irish Blogger Awards. (He was nominated in three different categories--Arts and Culture, Best Photography, and Best Blog).

I was surprised to see him looking this way.

Suddenly, the blue jeans, Reeboks, baseball cap and denim shirt I was wearing when I picked him up in my Fiat Punto seemed a little out of place. I felt I should go out and rent a Mercedes or Land Rover-- anything that would better suit such a sharp dressed man. But there simply wasn't time to worry about myself. This was Jett's night.

Anyway, here's a short photo journey of our day.

Enjoy:

We drove straight into the city center to this parking lot with no map. I instructed Jett to photograph our spot--just in case we got lost later on and had to bribe someone to guide us back.

Amazingly, we found the car with no problem after the ceremony but it doesn't change the fact that my legs look short and stumpy.


Here's Jett being escorted through the streets of Dublin on his way to the ceremony.

I stayed behind and swept the celebrity rose petals off the sidewalk. It was a great opportunity to capture Jett in his element.

Jett comparing something or the other with his friend Markus Valentine.

Jett and I waiting for the awards to start.

This was the one and only part of the evening that I wasn't answering the question that was on EVERYONE'S lips. YES, Jett is really like this ALL the time.


The gang from Fustar.

I really enjoyed meeting them but for some reason I can't remember their individual names (I'm bad that way. Sorry guys! I'm gonna link to you to make up for this.)

They are some of the nicest, most laid back bloggers I have ever met-- and I've met at least 15 bloggers in my lifetime--most of them on Saturday night.

I look forward to working with them on our quest to find Aine in Sligo.

(No, Fustar. We weren't joking. You'll hear from us. I promise!!!

Bwahahahahahahahaha!)

And how did our day end? Did Letter to America win any awards? Well, you'll just have to tune in and find out. It's not like me to ruin the surprise.

Authors note: Thanks to everyone at the Irish Blogger Awards for making the night so much fun. You've inspired me to pull my finger out and work a little harder. There's a lot of good work out there and, hopefully, I'll be a nominee myself in 2007.)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Hopefully, Jett gets lucky

I'm writing this Friday night at 7:30 p.m. GMT.

Tomorrow morning Jett and I are heading down to Dublin for the Irish Blogger awards.

As you all know Letter to America is Jett's site so, basically, I'm just going along for moral support (and, more importantly, because Jett doesn't have a car of his own and I do.). It should be a very exciting day.

Wish him luck. (And send the poor guy a wee note of support. He's such a Nervous Nelly!)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Wish I Woulda Thunk It...


As a Simpson's fan this is something that never occurred to me.

Click here

UPDATE: Unfortunately, this was too good to be true. I thought somebody was trying to be creative but, in fact, it turns out that UTV is behind this and it was intended to be a viral campaign.

Fuck.

Maybe there ain't nothin' new under the sun after all... Sorry about this.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Don't Kill the Messenger

The following is a transcript of a recent MSN Instant Messenger conversation I had with a family member (who will remain anonymous).

This was my attempt to gather more information about a semi-serious fall my grandma took last week without ponying up for a long distance phone call.


In the end it wasn't worth it.

This conversation took almost an hour. About 10 minutes in I realized it was easier for me to walk away from my keyboard and get a drink, go to the bathroom, replace my car’s transmission, etc. than to try to interrupt the agonizing key-pecking I knew was occurring on the other end.

(Whenever you see "cut off..." in parenthesis this is where my attempts to interject any questions/comments were abandoned and I just sat back and enjoyed the ride.)

TRANSMISSION BEGINS:


Never give out your password or credit card number in an instant message conversation.

Wayne says:
hello?
XXXX says:
good morning!
Wayne says:
how're things?
XXXX says:
going quite well i think
really nice weather and how about there
Wayne says:
cold and crappy and snowy. so anyway, how's grand...(cut off)
XXXX says:

and we need that how is work?
Wayne says:
good. busy.
XXXX says:
and it is still looking good here as well even with the drought lurking about
XXXX says:
we are and looking for work in other places
XXXX says:
tourism is looking like it may grow with the train running out of Alamosa and the sand dunes
XXXX says:
did you read about the train going over to La Veta?
Wayne says:
Um… (cut off)
XXXX says:
we are hoping that will be a draw for some

(Hi, Wayne here. At this point “Mr. X” really begins to lose focus. His intense staring at the keyboard might have brought on a migraine.)

XXXX says:
the trai will be going to Antonito as well this summer and conect with the narrow goosee
Wayne says:
sounds painful
XXXX says:
they will be charging $40 for the round trip to La Veta and i have nto heard yet on the ant0nito run
XXXX says:
we go to mas transit then all fo that will have to change
XXXX says:
and there is talk of that starting here as well
Wayne says:
What… (cut off)
XXXX says:
there is a monumunt for commercail solar here and that may take off in the next year and is fart more excoting
Wayne says:
sounds like…(cut off)
XXXX says:
taht would employ seveeral engineers and many jobs moose
XXXX says:
us mens mandated to have something in place in the coming years that require renoowable energy
Wayne says:
oh
XXXX says:
and the valley is set for solar for curtain for solar
Wayne says:
that would…(cut off)
XXXX says:
they have only 2 more years to get it started that is the power company
XXXX says:
and biodiesel is in this mix as well
Wayne says:
I see.
XXXX says:
so maybe we will see something happen here for a change
XXXX says:
i have been asked to take a position as contractor to look for businesses to move to the valley and all of this will make it much easier
XXXX says:
we will see as this unfolds.
XXXX says:
there should be decision on this in a few weeks and we will go from there
Wayne says:
(Cutting in) mom said grandma fell. is she ok?

(Long Pause. “XXXX is typing a message.” Longer Pause.)

XXXX says:
she is doing much better. we need to impress on her that a cane will make her safer and that is now task at hand
XXXX says:
she is just getting weaker that is the porblem she stay inside during the winter
XXXX says:
and blowing she has hard time standing up.
XXXX says:
I need go. buhy

TRANSMISSION ENDS.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

You Know You Want It...

SEXY FEMALE VOICE OVER:

You want her, but how do you...

(SEXY PAUSE)

tell her?

(YUMMY, LIP-WETTING PAUSE)

You envy her...Secretly, you want to be her.

(BIG, BIG, BIG TIME SEXY PAUSE( IT MAKES YOU HOT JUST THINKING ABOUT IT!))

You want to touch her...

(OH, MAN! THIS IS DRIVING YOU CRAZY!!)

But would you ever?

Would you?

Would you DARE...?

This time...the answer is...YES... You can...and you will...


















AGGRESSIVE MALE VOICE OVER:
This week only (or for however long this financial rock hangs from my neck) you can have this beautiful 2000 Chevy Blazer for only $6,999!

That's right! Only $6,999!

It's the deal you've been waiting for at a price you can afford!

And it's right here at Choice Cars and Trucks Inc.! 6946 Guide Meridian, Lynden, Washington!

Stop in or call us at (360) 398-0209! That's (360) 398-0209!

Check us out!

(AND BUY WAYNE'S GODDAMN BLAZER, ALREADY!)

Friday, March 03, 2006

Dream a Little Dream for Me




For some reason I found this funny. (I wouldn't go so far as to say "hilarious" but funny, nonetheless.)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Forecast for today...? Meh...

To summarize the last 24 hours:

Last night I got a guilt infused phone call from my mom (as a jumping off point, let me explain that though I'm not necessarily estranged from my parents, we don't speak on a regular basis. Once every 5-6 months is about average for us. It is what it is.). Mom started off the conversation with this:

Mom: Before I forget, Grandma hurt herself today. She was walking out to the car and fell and hit her head against the garage door. She had to crawl back into her condo and then she called me and we took her to the hospital. She's OK though, so don't worry. I guess that's what we (meaning her and my dad) have to look forward to now that she's getting old.

Me: Jesus Christ.

Mom: So she told me that you guys weren't coming back for our 40th wedding anniversary in June...

Me: Jesus Christ.

Mom: Is it the money? We could help you. Is it the money?

Me: Jesus Christ. (etc...This conversation went on for an entire 6 minutes and 34 seconds. Yes. I timed it.)

Anyway, this picture pretty much sums up my attitude for the moment:


You'll notice the obvious pain and discomfort on my face normally associated with constipation or, perhaps, Scurvy. I feel the highlighted Colorado liscense plate in the background symbolizes so many, many things. What, I don't know. But I'm sure it's many, many things. (Also, I have incredibly large pores on my nose.)