Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Three Word Wednesday XXI

Welcome to Three Word Wednesday.

Each week, I will post three (or more) random words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything. This is a writing exercise. It doesn't have to be perfect. The idea is to let your mind wander and write what it will. I'll also attempt to write something using the same three words.

Be sure to leave a comment if you participate.

This week's words are:

"What're you doing over the break?" Professor Russell asked, his back turned as he erased the board.

"Aww, nothing. Just work... watching lots of football. You?" I spoke as if he were a friend rather than my college professor.

"I think I might head down to New Orleans this weekend. Take in some blues. Drink a beer or two."

He wore jeans and a leather jacket. I surmised that he was probably in his mid-to-late twenties. I sat on the corner of the desk and we continued to talk for a few minutes as the class emptied.

"See ya next quarter," I said as I opened the door. I was often the last student to leave.

"Take care. You have my number if you need anything."

Russell was my favorite Professor. He had that rare ability to make each student feel important. Class was laid back and fun, yet it never got out of control. He took an interest in each student's life outside the classroom.

When he found out I was interested in comedy, he asked me to let him read some of my material. And even offered to call some guy he knew at a club to help me out. His door was always open. He was the only professor I ever called at home.

Walking down the hallway of the computer building, I had that feeling of free that only comes with the last day of school. Opening the doors to a three-week winter break, a bitter wind smacked me in the face and literally made me take a step back. I pulled my coat tighter around me and scuttled down the stairs.

Crossing the parking lot, a car stopped in front of me.

Looking up, I saw it was Valerie Hunter. She was also in Russell's class. At some point during the quarter, we both realized I had hit on her a couple of years earlier at the mall. I got her number, called a couple of times, and that was it. It was a not uncommon cycle. She rolled down the window.


"Hey, Val."

"You all done?"

"Yeah. That was my last one. You?"

"I have one more final tomorrow. Psych 101."

"Who do you have?" I asked.


"Ugh. Hitler." I'd had him freshman year.

"He's not that bad."

"Nah, he's fun. Crazy old German guy who may or may not believe in time travel."

She laughed as I continued, "You got Russell for anything next quarter?"

"Uhh, I'm actually not gonna be here next quarter. I'm transferring."

"Oh. Where to?"

"I'm moving to Birmingham to live with my grandmother. I'm gonna go to school and finish my degree there. But I wouldn't take Russell again anyway."

"Why not? He's my favorite teacher."

She scoffed.

"You don't like him? I thought everybody liked him," I continued, not believing any student could possibly dislike Russell.

"Yeah, well that figures. Guys usually love him."

"What does that mean?"

"He--," she hesitated. "He hit on me. Did some things that were inappropriate. And then told me if I said anything, it would affect my grade."

"Oh," I was stunned and had no idea what to say.

"And I'm not the first female he's done that to."

"Wow," I raised my eyebrows and tried to sound like I believed her, though I wasn't sure if I did or not. "I had no idea."

"Well, just keep that in mind."

That's the last time I ever saw Val. I went back and forth in my mind over what she had said. I thought it highly unlikely that Russell would ever do something like that. Surely she was making it up. She was probably just bitter about a bad grade or something. But what if she's wasn't?

I thought about it often over winter break and after. I never asked Russell about it. Never said a word to anyone about it. But from then on, whenever Russell would be kidding around with a female student, or when some female would be staying after class, I would think back to what Val told me.

Never knowing whether or not it was true, I still let it affect my view of him. And that is what I hate more than anything.

But to this day, I still consider him my favorite professor.

"Valerie, call on me. Call on me, Valerie. Come and see me. I'm the same boy I used to be..."

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

24 Recap: 1/29/07

Well, this wasn't my favorite episode. It's what I like to refer to as a bridging episode. Sort of getting us from the shocking twist of last week and building towards what looks to be a drama-filled episode next week.

Recapping 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM...
Graem (corrected spelling, according to the show opening tonight) pretends to confess all to keep Jack from ripping out his fingernails and toenails and making a necklace out of them. He says they got involved unknowingly with the nukes, and now are just trying to cover their tracks. He tells Jack their father went to see some guy named Darren McCarthy. Jack unties Graem (that's gonna be trouble) and they head for McCarthy's office.

At CTU, Nadia has been "flagged" because she is of middle eastern descent, and she complains to Bill. He says he's doing what he can and makes a call to Karen asking her to talk to the President.

Morris and Milo want to know what's going on, because it's taking Nadia so long to complete her tasks. (Apparently, if you're thought to have terrorist connections, they give you a really crappy computer with like a 1GHz Intel Celeron processor and very little RAM.) Bill finally tells Milo what's going on, and Milo logs Nadia in under his ID.

Out at Detainee Central, Walid steals a cell phone from one of the detainees. The FBI agent then has Chloe track all calls that have been made from the phone. She says there doesn't appear to be any connection with Fayed. Meanwhile, the detainee discovers his cell phone missing, and they beat Walid to a pulp, playground-style. I still don't think Walid lives to see suppertime.

Meanwhile, back in DC, Tom asks for Karen's resignation, "within the hour." (I love how everything on this show is "within the hour.") His smug little sidekick gets enough people to agree to testify against Karen, and say that she mishandled a case involving Bill Buchanan, who apparently sometime between last season and this season became her husband. When confronted with this, Karen resigns.

At first, I thought she might be leaving the show. Then I remembered, no one resigns from 24. There's only one way off this show. It's like the Hotel California, babee! So Karen asks the President to be reassigned to CTU.

Once they reach McCarthy's office, Jack chains Graem to a pole and goes to look for McCarthy. (At some point, we learn McCarthy is the guy driving around in the Maserati who Fayed keeps calling.) Someone attacks Jack from behind and puts a gun to his head. Jack's father shows up and tells one of the other men to go get Graem.

Just as Jack is about to call CTU, Graem turns on his father and commands the men to take Jack and his father into custody and "take care of them." And by take care, I don't think he means set up a nice 401K plan for them.

They're led outside where they see that Graem's men have killed a CTU field team Jack had called in for backup. Jack's father is stunned, and says, "My God, Graem, what have you done?"

The good:
Any and all scenes involving Jack, his brother, and his father. And Jack's father not knowing the depth of Graem's involvement in everything.

Milo sticking up for Nadia. And everyone at CTU pulling together. I hope there's no "mole" at CTU this year. Been there, done that.

Karen transferring to CTU. The Karen & Tom faceoffs were getting old.

The bad:
Sandra Palmer. Seriously, she's so irritating. She's like the Paula Abdul of 24. She'll be a permanent fixture in this section until she meets an unfortunate demise.

Very little Chloe. We need more Chloe. I need more Chloe!

Not letting us see Graem's men shoot the CTU field team. All we see is the aftermath, SUV's with bullet holes in the windows. What, is 24 going G-rated on us?

Best scene:
After Jack is jumped in McCarthy's office and some guy has a gun to his head:
"You know him?"
"Yeah. He's my son."

But this scene would have been so much better had they not shown it in the previews at the end of last week's episode!

Did you know:
Apparently, being a registered Republican is not enough to keep you from being "flagged" for possible terrorist activity.

Did you know II:
Rena Sofer, who plays Graem's wife, Marilyn, has also been on Seinfeld, General Hospital, and Saved By The Bell. That means she's been on four of my favorite shows of all-time. That's gotta mean something. But what?

Where is Audrey? According to information I found when I googled her, she will first appear in the 6:00 PM hour. And now that I've posted that, she'll probably turn up next week.

Do we even have a Vice President?

Where is the guard who helped the prisoner escape from the bus a couple of weeks ago?

Chloe finds the detainee had pulled up a terrorist website on his cell phone and somehow that leads her to think he's not involved with Fayed?

I miss:
Former first lady Martha Logan.

"Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide. No escape from reality. Open your eyes. Look up to the skies and see..."

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A hat for all seasons

AI played with the colors on my template tonight. The white text on black background was sometimes hard on my eyes. I think this is easier to read. Let me know what you think.

After escorting my aunt to the Loretta Lynn concert last weekend, it was time to return to the pseudo bachelor paradise that is my life this weekend. Which pretty much wholly consisted of Axl and I heading to Tuscaloosa Saturday for the Alabama basketball game.

Upon arriving, I found a parking spot and got out of the car. Axl opened the back door and was getting something out of the back seat. Then he did it.

He replaced the completely normal Crimson Bama cap he had been wearing with a black cowboy hat. This turn of events prompted the following exchange:

"What are you doing?"

"I think I might wear a cowboy hat."

"Uhh, why?"

I don't remember his response. And it doesn't really matter, as no possible valid reason even exists.

Now some of you may be thinking, well it is Alabama, this is probably normal. Let me assure you, no, it is not. I don't recall ever seeing anyone wearing a cowboy hat at any of the of seventy or so university sporting events I've attended over the years. We wear Bama caps and houndstooth hats.

Besides that, I've never seen Axl wear a cowboy hat in the twenty-plus years I've known him. Not to mention, I don't want to be seen walking into the game with and sitting beside a guy wearing a cowboy hat. But, that's what happened.

After watching our beloved Tide lose the game, Buffalo Bill and I began the trek back to the car. It had begun to rain. Just as we got outside the coliseum (I was walking several yards ahead of him, for obvious reasons), he called to me from behind:

"Hey, Bone. After all that has happened to me today..."

Did I mention he got a speeding ticket on the way to meet me? Well, he did. I stopped to see what he was talking about. He was holding something in his hand. It took me a couple of seconds to realize what it was: the heel from one of his boots.

I couldn't help but laugh. And I also couldn't resist a couple of sly witticisms. Slapping him on the back, I held out my hand and said, "Here, have a Mentos."

That was followed a few seconds later by, "Dude, you're supposed to just break the heel off the other shoe when that happens. Come on, be a woman!"

There's nothing quite like strolling across a college campus in the rain, with your guy friend in tow, who happens to be donning a cowboy hat and limping along on a boot with no heel. These are the memories that last.

The drive home was rather uneventful. Axl wasn't talking much. It's amazing how losing a heel can ruin a guy's whole day. When we got back to where we'd met, I let him out at his car--well, his girlfriend's car actually, but that's another story. I turned around as he opened the back door to get his things.

I had noticed he threw several things in the back seat when he got in the car that morning. What I hadn't noticed was, included among those things were no less than four hats--two Alabama caps and two cowboy hats.


I struggled to grasp this and tried to think of some possible explanation. But there was none. I mean, why? What guy takes four hats to a ballgame? Who brings four hats anywhere? Finally, I managed to speak.

"You brought four hats?"

"Yeah," he replied as if this was completely normal human behavior and as if it were odd that I would even ask such a thing.

"Why would you bring four hats?"

"Well, I wasn't sure what I was gonna wear."

It was then, just before he closed the door, that I formed and unleashed my last witticism of the day:

"Too bad you didn't pack an extra pair of shoes."

Sometimes the blog entries write themselves.

"Stealing a young girl's heart, just like Gene and Roy. Singing those campfire songs. Oh, I should've been a cowboy..."

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Primary colors

A few weeks ago, I was in a restaurant with several people. In the course of the evening, two of my guy friends, whom we'll refer to as Friend A and Friend B, shared this exchange:
Friend A: "Hey, Friend B, don't we know that girl over there in the blue?"
Friend B: "What girl? You mean the one in the turquoise top?"

At this point, I am convinced time did indeed stand still for two to three seconds. When the rotation of the Earth resumed, Friend A and I gave Friend B a confused look, then looked at each other with a did-he-really-just-say-turquoise look.

No man, unless he aspires to be an interior designer, hairdresser, or personal assistant, should ever use any color other than those in the original Crayola 8 pack to describe an article of clothing. It's just... wrong.

As a matter of fact, I propose we make that a rule. A man rule. Some allowance will be made for the colors tan and gray, and of course, camouflage. Also, one may insert the words "light" or "dark" preceding said accepted colors, without facing repercussions or further questions.

To recap. It's blue, purple, and white. Not turquoise, lavendar, and eggshell. On this issue, there can be no further debate. Now, let's look at a couple of other man rule proposals...

I was at a football game last year with another guy friend. During a break in the action, when he should have been watching the cheerleaders, he nudged me and said, "Nice kicks." I looked over and he was looking down at my shoes.

Man rule proposal #2: No man should ever compliment another man's attire. Especially another man's shoes. Especially using the phrase "nice kicks." And most especially, in public.

If one feels compelled to be complimentary of a fellow Y-chromosomer's attire, one should save such remarks until they can be uttered in private. Perhaps in the car or something. Although even then, this blogger doesn't see how that could be anything but an awkward moment:

"Well, Ed, you wanna get something to eat?"
"Sure, Jimbo. By the way, I meant to ask you earlier. Is that a new shirt?"
"Uhhhh... yeah?"
"I thought so! Excellent choice. That cut is fantastic. It doesn't just hang there. And the color! The aquamarine tint with contrasting midnight stripes flatters your figure while bringing out the blue in your eyes."


For our final example, I am reminded of a story concerning yet another guy friend. Several years ago, this particular friend had a flat tire. And despite having a spare and a jack on hand, he had to call someone to come get him because he had no idea how to change a tire.

I am not overly proud of the fact that I do indeed have a couple of guy friends who I'm not sure know the difference between a plug wire and a heater hose.

Proposed man rule #3: If something is wrong with your car or hers, at least pretend you know a little something about it. Go out and pop the hood, poke around, unscrew some caps, get your hands dirty. And for the love of Pete, learn to change a flat.

Be looking for my new Oxygen series, Armchair Quarterback For The Queer Guy.

OK, that's all for today. I gotta get ready to watch General Hospital.

"So don't be afraid to let them show. Your true colors, true colors, are beautiful,
like a rainbow..."

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

3 Word Wednesday #20

Welcome to Three Word Wednesday.

Each week, I will post three (or more) random words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything. This is a writing exercise. It doesn't have to be perfect. The idea is to let your mind wander and write what it will. I'll also attempt to write something using the same three words.

Be sure to leave a comment if you participate.

This week's words are:

Out here on the sea, my vessel a float. Beneath a painted sky with friendly clouds white as fleece. The sound of waves crashing more than enough to spark memories of you.

Knowing I should swim against the current. Closing my eyes, I begin to drift. Feeling every undulation of the ocean beneath me. Not caring where it takes me. Not wanting to wake up from this dream.

After awhile--a moment, an hour, a day or three--my vessel comes to rest. Opening my eyes, I find myself far downshore from where I started. The progress I had made, lost. And I begin to swim back out to sea, against the current. The salt in the water burning my eyes.

Water washes over footprints in the sand so no one knows I was ever there.

Too many days, I let the waves carry me where they will.

"The storms are raging on the rolling sea, down the highway of regret..."

Monday, January 22, 2007

24 Recap: 1/22/07

Don't anyone try to tell me you saw that coming. The bald guy, Doctor Romano from ER, is Jack's brother?!?!

I admit I was beginning to have doubts about this season. Not for any particular reason, other than the thought that it can't possibly continue to surprise and entertain. And then, it does.

So quickly recapping tonight's show, also known as 10:00-11:00 AM...
People are in the streets, running around like a nuclear bomb just went off. Jack calls Bill. Bill says, "I thought you were out."
Jack replies, "Not after this."

FBI agents are using Walid, Sandra Palmer's boyfriend(?), to try and get information from the other detainees. Personally, I'm not sure Walid is going to live to see the afternoon.

Asaad, the "good" terrorist who reminds me a little bit of that teacher Gil Myers from 90210, is brought to CTU, where he gives Buchanan the name of a Russian who might be involved. Jack's father turns up on a list of contacts for the Russian.

Jack tries to contact his father (who we'll refer to from hereon as "Jack's father"). Some guy named Sam, who apparently lives with Jack's father, answers the phone and says he doesn't know where Jack's father is.

Jack then calls his brother, Graham, who turns out to be the bald guy with the high-tech cell phone earpiece from past seasons. He then shows up at Graham's house, sends the wife and kid upstairs, locks himself and Graham in a room, and begins to interrogate him.

President Wayne Palmer is taken down into the "bunker," which I thought (hoped) might look something like the bridge of the Enterprise. But wound up looking more like the lounge of a luxury hotel. He makes a speech to the American people at the end of the hour.

The good:
Jack's brother and father being brought into the fray. (Is it just me, or does Jack have some minor family issues?)

Jack interrogating his brother by, among other things, suffocating him by pulling a plastic bag over his head. (You kids don't try that at home.)

Bill Buchanan snubbing Asaad's handshake. Or as we might say, Asaad "overgreeted" in this situation.

Wayne Palmer showing a bit more leadership and integrity. (Although I still don't buy him as the President.)

The bad:
Sandra Palmer. Puhleeeze. As the FBI guy said to her, "Let's be honest. The only reason you're here is because you're the President's sister." Booyah!

The helicopter crash. It seemed out of place. It's almost like they felt they needed to blow something up. So they just threw in a random helicopter. 12,000 people just died and Jack goes to rescue some random guy? It just didn't fit.

We still need another personality in the field. As it is, there's Jack and a bunch of random guys. Someone needs to emerge or be written in.

Scenes from next week. I'm almost beginning to not like these. Am I alone here? I mean, I didn't necessarily want to know Jack's brother gets away. And also, they make me wish I didn't have to wait a whole week to see what happens. Which I guess is the point.

Best scene:
The whole scene with Jack interrogating Graham. Especially this:
Jack: "I need some information. Are you gonna give it to me, or do I have to hurt you?"
Jack's brother: "You're already hurting me."
Jack: "Trust me, I'm not."

Times you wish reality would emulate television:
President Palmer to the Admiral, also known as Dick Cheney: "We will retaliate, Admiral. But we will do so carefully and with our sights locked on our enemy, and only our enemy."

Did you know?
Jack's brother is the same guy who played Monty on Fame.

Where is Audrey? Love her or hate her, something is up. Is she alive? Did they trade her to China for Jack?

Why is Asaad going to Washington? Couldn't he better assist in the field, or at least from CTU? Or is there a 90210 reunion no one told me about?

Could Jack's "nephew" turn out to be Jack's son?

What if Curtis comes back like Bruce Willis in Sixth Sense, and he's dead but doesn't know it, and tells Jack, "I see terrorists." Or what if he comes back like Patrick Swayze in Ghost, and channels himself thru Milo, and him and Jack make pottery together?

OK, clearly, I need to get to bed. Besides, I can't read the rest of the handwritten notes I took.

I miss...
Audrey. I'm sorry, but she's hot.

"Fame! I'm gonna live forever. I'm gonna learn how to fly..."

Friday, January 19, 2007

24 Hours of Bone

Someone (Zeus, to be specific) left a comment on my 24 recap the other day asking a question that I will now attempt to answer.

The question was: "I'm curious, but I just never understood how someone would make a television series based on twenty-four hours. How exciting could each hour be?"

The answer, if you're Jack Bauer, is: exciting beyond your wildest imagination. However, if you're Bone, the answer is... well, I'll let you judge for yourself.

The following takes place in my life between the hours of 3 PM Thursday and 3 PM Friday.

3:01 PM: Leave work. Drive to bank. Check to see if I'm being followed. All clear.

3:05 PM: Arrive at bank. Cute teller is working.

3:07 PM: She seems to be taking too long. What's going on? I look inside. She appears to be eyeing me suspiciously. In my rear-view mirror, I see a van approaching from behind.

(Cut to commercial...)

3:09 PM: And we're back! Turns out she was just helping another customer. I drive away, failing to get her digits, or her MySpace address.

3:15 PM: Go to get haircut. Make sure to sit with my legs together and my arms inside the armrests, thus ensuring there are no awkward moments.

3:37 PM: Arrive home to find a cat lingering outside the door. Check the cat for a tracking device. It's clean.

3:38 PM: Look in the fridge and find some leftover chicken to feed the cat.

3:39 PM: Cat won't eat chicken at first. So I go upstairs to get my camera to snap some pics of 'Nan.

3:41 PM: When I get back outside, the chicken is completely gone. Good kitty.

3:55 PM: Photo shoot done. I upload pic to my blog. Then decide to go running.

4:05 PM: Arrive at park. Nan and I run 2 miles. The only song I can remember her playing is "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough."

4:40 PM: Back home, I hop in the shower. While singing "I don't want no scrubs..." the thought crosses my mind that this is an apartment. And I wonder if my neighbors can hear me singing.

4:40:12 PM: I decide to stop singing until I check with CTU. And by check with CTU, I mean, make a further determination as to whether or not my neighbors can hear me.

5:22 PM: While going thru old bank envelopes I had cleaned out of my car earlier, I happen upon something unexpected. My eyes get huge...

(Cut to commercial.)

5:23 PM: And we're back! (Had to add some drama.) I found $50, which has apparently been in my console since September. Well, my day is getting more exciting all the time.

5:24 PM: I ponder what to do with this "found" money. Decide to put it all on Captain Nemo in the third at the track.

5:25 PM: I remember we don't have a track.

(WARNING: Things are about to become slightly less exciting...)

6:31 PM: Drive to my sister's. She is having computer problems. (OK, here's where Jack has one small advantage over me. One call to Chloe and his computer problems are solved. I did know a girl named Chloe one time, but she changed her number... unrelated to me.)

9:32 PM: Get home in time to see the last half of Nashville Star. Wow, that last girl (Meg Allison) sucks!

10:57 PM: I laugh out loud at #6 on Letterman's Top Ten Messages Left On Fidel Castro's Answering Machine: "Mel Gibson here. I think we both know who's responsible for this."

12:52 AM: Do my "nightly" exercises... What? Sit-ups, crunches, and push-ups!

1:08 AM: Go to bed.

7:45 AM: Alarm goes off.

7:45:01 AM: Hit snooze.

7:54 AM: Alarm goes off.

7:54:01 AM: Hit snooze.

8:03 AM: Alarm goes off.

8:03:01 AM: Hit snooze.

8:12 AM: Alarm goes off.

8:12:01 AM: Hit snooze. (Hmm, I wonder if Jack ever hits snooze. Come to think of it, I wonder if Jack ever sleeps.)

8:21:00 AM: Alarm goes off.

8:21:01 AM: Wake up.

8:21:02 AM: Wish I could go back to sleep for about four more hours.

8:48 AM: Get to work. (I'm a guy.)

9:14 AM: Dad calls and asks if I want to meet him for lunch.

11:57 AM: Have lunch with Dad.

2:29 PM: Leave work early. Get home in time to see General Hospital go off just as someone is about to shoot Sonny Corinthos.


And there you have it. A day in the life. I think we can all agree I should have my own TV show. Sure, maybe my life's not quite as exciting as Jack Bauer's. But I think there's an audience for it. I would format it something like The Amanda Show. Because let's face it, there's been a huge void on TV since it went off the air.

"For another nine minutes, let the world stop. Steal a few moments from this old clock..."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Gimme Three Steps

Nan's new toy came via UPS Tuesday evening. Well, it's really for both of us.

I've been pleased with the reception thusfar. And it's nice to have a case for Nan, a carseat if you will. So that she's not sliding around and everything. I am a little concerned with having to continually plug and unplug things from her inputs thought. I hope they don't get worn out. But so far, so good.

I was, however, none too thrilled with the nine step instruction sheet that came with it. As men, if the instructions for something have more than three steps, we pretty much ignore them and (try to) figure it out for ourselves. Sure there may be parts left over after all is said and done. But in the end, the product usually works. At least for awhile. I'm sure some of you ladies may have noticed this by now.

Think about things men do. They're all fairly simple. Watching TV? Find remote, change channel, adjust volume. Using the bathroom? Pull down pants, go, flush. See, putting the seat down would make it one step too many.

That's why in weddings, men all wear the same thing and don't walk down the aisle. In order for us to show up and agree to go thru with it, things had to be simplified to a few basic steps. Wear a tux, stand at the front, say I do.

Men like things simple. We are, after all, cavemen and hunters from way back in the day. Cro-Magnon! Represent!

I'll close today with this little anecdote. A slice of life if you will. I had dinner at Applebee's Monday night. The server came around and asked what we wanted to drink. I ordered lemonade. She informed me they were out of lemonade. As I was trying to decide on an alternate beverage, she kept mentioning their root beer, telling me how delicious it was and suggesting I order it. So I did.

Five minutes later, she returned and informed me that they were now also out of root beer. I decided just to have a Coke. (That's capital C, for Coca-Cola, not small c for soft drink, for you northerners who may be reading.)

When she returned to take our order, I ordered a house salad with ranch dressing. That is when she uttered a phrase I had never heard before, and hope to never hear again:

"I'm sorry. We're out of ranch dressing."


Are you joking me?! What in the name of Hidden Valley is going on around here? This is America. Land of the free and home of the ranch. I thought they just piped in the ranch dressing these days. You know, hot, cold, ranch.

Well, by this time I was at the point of saying just bring me whatever you do have. I wound up with a salad, with blue cheese dressing, and like half a dang quesadilla.

After that, I overheard one of the guys behind us trying to order one of the appetizer/entree/dessert three course combos. She informed him that they were out of the two kinds of desserts that normally come with the combos.

I guess this is what one might call "eating moderately well in the neighborhood..."

"Won't you gimme three steps, gimme three steps, mister? Gimme three steps toward the door..."

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Welcome to Three Word Wednesday.

Each week, I will post three (or more) random words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything. This is a writing exercise. It doesn't have to be perfect. The idea is to let your mind wander and write what it will. I'll also attempt to write something using the same three words.

Be sure to leave a comment if you participate.

This week's words are:

Colin eased his car off the pavement and onto the familiar red dirt road. Without warning, the smell of freshly fallen rain and honeysuckle combined to bring back a familiar feeling. No specific memory. Just a general, wistful feeling of home--a place he hadn't been in eighteen months.

It had been what people who lived on dirt roads considered a perfect rain. Just enough to stifle the dust, but not enough to make it muddy. It was the same kind of rain he used to hate when he drove a convertible.

Driving past cotton fields, corn fields, and pastures that he'd driven past thousdands of times before, Colin should have been comfortable. But he wasn't. He was nervous.

Rounding the last curve, the house came into view. Looking lonesome and so much older than he ever remembered. And it seemsed so tiny now. He recalled how it used to seem so much bigger.

Then he saw her.

She was almost running off the porch and into the yard to meet him. It immediately brought to mind the last time they had talked. The call had seemed more like a telegram, as he thought about it now. "Your father is getting worse. I don't know how much longer I can handle him without some help."

Colin knew his father had been slipping for sometime now. If he was honest, it was one of the reasons he hadn't come home this past Christmas. He was afraid. Afraid to see his Dad. Afraid of how he might find him.

But now, as he pulled into the gravel driveway and saw his mother thru the windshield, looking older than she should have, he felt selfish and ashamed. For not being there when she needed him. When they needed him.

He tried to smile as he got out of the car and approached her. Her arms were open.

"Welcome home, son. We've missed you." They embraced.

And this was home, Colin thought, as tears began to well in his eyes. No matter how far away he wandered. He put his arm around his mother and they walked up the porch steps.

"I took this walk you're walking now, boy, I've been in your shoes. No, you can't hold back the hands of time. It's just something you've got to do..."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

24: Season 6 Premiere

Sitting at Applebee's eating a house salad and chicken quesadillas last night, I wondered to myself, would Jack Bauer be eating a salad?

The most intense, suspenseful drama in television history is back for its sixth season. 24 premiered in its customary two-night, four-hour fashion Sunday and Monday nights.

Jack Bauer is back, after spending twenty months in a Chinese prison. Upon his return to U.S. soil, he receives a call from President Wayne Palmer, asking (telling) him to sacrifice himself for the good of the country.

Basically, they're buying Jack from the Chinese in order to sell him to a terrorist who plans to kill him. It's sort of like finding out you've been traded from the Lions to the Raiders, multiplied by about a hundred.

Originally, we think the bad guy is someone named Asaad, a known terrorist. Then we find out it is another guy, named Fayed. Once Jack finds out the government has the wrong guy, he escapes, and then it's on like Donkey Kong!

We welcome Nadia to the CTU team this season. She's a hottie who reminds me a bit of Karen on The Office. Bill Buchanan is still around. Karen Hayes is now working in the White House, alongside some guy no one likes yet named Tom.

Chloe's ex, Morris, is now apparently Chloe's current again. And he's at CTU, clashing hourly with Milo, who Chloe evidently went out with a time or two.

The shock value has been high in the first four hours this season, highlighted by Jack killing one of his captors by taking several bites out of the guy's neck. That's gotta have a bit of an aftertaste, I don't care how many bad guys you've killed. Anyhow, that was both gross and incredibly cool.

Still, last night's fourth hour was probably the most shocking thusfar. It featured Jack shooting good guy Curtis. (I'm still not sure how I feel about that.) Then, a "suitcase nuke" was detonated near the end of the hour.

Also, they seem to be writing in a much higher number of "civilian" deaths this season. And I'm still not sure how I feel about Wayne Palmer as President. I liked his character in previous seasons. But I'm not buying him as President. At least not yet.

The good:
Chloe, although she hasn't gotten many chances to be "Chloe" yet.

Nadia. Or as I refer to her, Nadia Hottie-uh. Go ahead. Say it. It rolls right off the tongue.

Jack rescuing Asaad just before the house is bombed.

The government being forced to work with Asaad, a known terrorist. A nice twist.

The suspicion of Muslims and the debate over detaining them. Very real.

The bad:
The childish Milo/Morris arguing.

Sandra Palmer, the President's sister.

The White House staff. They're lame. We need someone besides Karen Hayes and Tom whatever-his-name-is.

Something's missing at CTU. No Tony. No Michelle. And now maybe no Curtis? There needs to be someone else.

Best scene:
The light from the nuclear explosion reflected across Jack's face.

Worst line:
"You're not my friend. You don't even say my name right. It's Ach-med." Whatever, Kumar. You're not fooling anyone.

Did you know:
Mispronounced names are now the #1 cause of terrorist acts by disillusioned militant youths.

Where is Audrey? We're four hours in and she hasn't made an appearance.

Is Curtis dead? I never really heard them say. He went down and appeared to pass out. But is he dead, or do we know?

Will Bierko come back?

What did the government have to give the Chinese in order to get Jack back? Will that come into play later?

I miss:
Aaron Pierce

The non-stop season continues next Monday night at 9/8 Central.

"Love bites. Love bleeds. It's bringing me to my knees..."

Friday, January 12, 2007

Shaking hands & hugging uncles

"But remember, while today it is me, we all shall fall..... In other words, I'm quitting." - D. Schrute, 1/11/07

Please tell me Dwight is not leaving The Office! Surely he will come back. If not, I may begin

24 starts Sunday night!!!

Since I was old enough to remember, at holidays and other family gatherings, Bone family tradition has called for the men to hug the women and shake hands with the other men.

I'm fine with this. Never had a problem with it. This plan works for me. It's just how it's always been. Unwritten protocol, if you will.

Until this year.

The fun started Christmas Eve when I was approached by Cousin #1. Expecting a handshake, I was completely caught off guard when he lunged in quickly and extended his arm out to the side. Before I knew what was happening, we were locked in a one-armed full-frontal man hug.

As I pulled away (thinking to myself, what was that?), I made the decision that Cousin #1 was just overzealous, or not familiar with the family protocol, or something. And that this incident was an exception to the rule.

So I made the rounds, hugged a couple of aunts, played with the kids. Then I was approached by Cousin #2. Now, I don't think I've ever hugged Cousin #2 in my entire life. Ever. And saw no reason for this time to be any different.

I stepped in slightly and began to extend my right arm for the manshake. At the same time, he took a deep step and began to extend his arm out to the side for the one-arm embrace. By that time, this was becoming an all too familiar scene for me.

Seeing that I was going for the shake, he stopped his hug mid-lunge, adjusted his route, and shook my hand. "Uhh... Merry Christmas," I managed. Talk about awkward.

Although if I'm going to find myself in the middle of a mis-greet, I'd much rather be the undergreeter than the overgreeter. To me, it's better to be considered standoffish or aloof than to be lunging in for a hug with a guy who only wants a shake.

The other thing about this is, as humans, it's difficult to turn down a greeting. Whether it's a handshake, a hug, or a kiss. When someone offers, it takes a bold person to pull away and refuse that greeting altogether.

Back to our story. Finally, I encountered Uncle #1. Much like Cousin #2, I don't think I've ever hugged Uncle #1. At least not since I was like four. Still, by that time, I figured everyone must be hugging each other this year.

As Uncle #1 approached, I stepped in deep and extended my right arm out to the side, preparing for the one-arm full-frontal embrace. Well, as you probably guessed, this appeared to catch Uncle #1 by surprise. So we ended up in an awkward hug where one shoulder is touching but the hips are four feet apart.

By that time, I had no idea what was going on. So I planted myself on the couch for the rest of the night where I wouldn't be forced to make anymore greeting decisions.

In closing, I am not opposed to hugs. Hugs are, after all, a handshake from the heart. Besides, it beats that most primitive of all rituals of punching each other in the arm that guys do between the ages of 13 and, um, indeterminate.

Most of the time, I would even rather have a hug than a kiss. Especially if it's from a hot girl who I like, and think I might be able to gently coerce into kissing me later.

So see? I'm pro-hug. Heck, we can even greet each other with an holy kiss for all I care.

I'd just prefer a little warning, that's all.

"I see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do. They're really saying, I... love... you..."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A 3 minute tour & Nan shuffles for you

This is National Delurking Week, I've learned from a couple of other blogs. Most every blog has its lurkers, those who read but rarely if ever comment. Well, this is your week to be seen, or read.

I chose this nice button from the National Delurking Week website, because, well I think it's fairly obvious...

With not much going on mid-week, I thought I'd do a little tour around the blogosphere. I got this idea from Sage a few weeks ago. The same Sage who has been invited to join an elite group for just a nominal fee. I guess I'll have to settle for continuing to receive mailouts offering me a Rascal that may be completely covered by Medicare.

Pia, my unwitting mentor, displays an outstanding talent for fiction writing each week on the 3WW.

Elsewhere, Buffy had sort of an open blog confessional recently, which turned into quite a success. Traveling Chica caught up with an old (guy) friend from high school over the holidays. And Blondie has been having strange dreams again. (Which I promptly interpreted for her.)

Renee is doing another meme. And may or may not be regifting a label maker. Ms. Sizzle posted snow pics, which you probably know I love. And Lass has been receiving love letters from someone who isn't her husband.

Last but not least, please stop by and send prayers, thoughts, and good wishes to Miss Shayna, who is expecting a baby boy.

Finally, I've asked 'Nan to participate in today's blog entry. I thought this would really explain a lot about her, about myself, and about our relationship. She's going to pick ten random songs that she knows I like. And I'll add my comments below each. (She loves it when I push her buttons. She always responds.)

Here we go...
1. The Boys of Summer - Don Henley
This song always makes me miss the beach. And may or may not make me think of a girl.

2. Little Miss Can't Be Wrong - Spin Doctors
It's probably best none of you have ever caught me in my car singing along to this one. Yep, probably best.

3. I Just Can't Stop Loving You - Michael Jackson and that girl no one had ever heard of, before or since
Oh, shut it! I'm sure if you were all subjected to random iPod confiscations, there would be some very interesting things on yours as well. Maybe even some king of pop. Or NKOTB.

4. R.O.C.K. In The USA - John Cougar
Entertaining and educational. Spelling was only ever more fun with the Village People. And maybe the Wiggles.

5. Semi-Charmed Life - Third Eye Blind
Doing crystal meth will lift you up until you break... You can say that again. What?

6. You Had Me From Hello - Kenny Chesney
Reciting this line in combination with copious amounts of alcohol may or may not convince Renee Zellweger to marry you.

7. The Day That She Left Tulsa - Wade Hayes
I had a dream the other night which included Nick Saban and Wade Hayes. And I scored a touchdown.

8. Hard Habit To Break - Chicago
Because all girls like to be referred to as habits. Am I right ladies... Ladies?

9. My Baby No Esta Aqui - Garth
She left me here with nada, broke my heart like a pinata... 'Nuff said. Instant classic.

10. I Want You Back - J-5
Odd that neither Tim McGraw nor Matchbox Twenty made the list. Since I have 53 of one and 27 of the other on here.

"I can see you, your brown skin shining in the sun. I see you walking real slow, and you're smiling at everyone..."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

3 Word Wednesday #18

Each week, I will post three (or more) random words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything. This is a writing exercise. It doesn't have to be perfect. The idea is to let your mind wander and write what it will. I'll also attempt to write something using the same three words.

Be sure to leave a comment if you participate.

This week's words are:

Brandon sat looking at the lighted Budweiser clock which hung behind the bar. In his current state, he was really wishing for a digital clock, as he wasn't quite able to make out whether it was ten after eleven, or nearly two AM.

He had ducked into one of the local bars off the plaza at some point in the evening, just like he'd done for the past six nights in a row. To drink for awhile. To try and drown the regret. Even though it didn't seem to be working. At least not for very long.

After four or eleven beers, he fidgeted around until he found his credit card and tossed it onto the bar. One of the local bands was on stage, and playing way too loudly. The lead singer, who looked to be nearing fifty, was dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and shorts, singing nineties songs that he seemed way too old for.

Brandon needed to get outside. His head was pounding. As was his heart. Finally, the bartender laid a pen on the counter along with his receipt. Brandon quickly scribbled some numbers that all seemed to look alike. Then got up to leave.

Once outside, the street was alive. He stumbled down the sidewalk trying to avoid bumping into anyone. When he finally got to his car, he missed the ignition the first two times he tried to put the key in.

Despite the alcohol, Steph wasn't leaving his thoughts. She hated him, he thought. She had to. They hadn't spoken in a week. She kept calling at first, but when he never answered, she finally stopped.

Why had she left it up to him? He was the least decisive person he knew. But she had. Amidst a flood of tears late one night at his apartment. He hated decisions. Especially ones you couldn't undo.

He'd always told himself he would never do that. But you never truly know until you find yourself in that situation.

"A man on the corner told me that Jesus is coming soon. But I was lost in the music and the crowd and the smell of cheap perfume..."

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Resolutionists

My widely publicized month-long unintentional exercise hiatus ended last afternoon. I decided to hit the track. (That's runner-lingo for "go running.") I carried Nan along. It was her first time to go running with me. And she performed very well.

I was a bit surprised to see quite a few fellow exercisers out braving the bitter 45-degree afternoon. Then it hit me.

These were the New Year's Resolutionists. Perhaps you've seen them as well. You can find them at tracks and parks and gyms all across this great nation. And suddenly, I was inspired...

(Cue the pseudo-serious beer commercial voice over guy)

"Today we salute you, Mister New Year's Resolution Gym Guy."

(80's rock singer: "Mister New Year's Resolution Gym Guyyyyyy..."

"The first week of January finds you hanging out at your local gym. And proudly donning your form-fitting spandex, we do mean, hanging out."

(singing: "Fits so tiiiight...")

"Nevermind that up until last week, you thought elliptical was only a geometric term."

(singing: "What's your sine...")

"Seeing you sweating profusely the first two weeks of each year reminds us why we come to the gym all year long."

(singing: "He motivates us alllll...")

"So crack open a cold one, O Master of Self-Motivation. After point-seven-five miles on the incline treadmill, you've more than earned it."

(singing: "Mister New Year's Resoultion Gym Guy...")

"Let's get physical, physical. I wanna get physical. Let me hear your body talk, your body talk..."

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Sometimes January

Sometimes January wraps its chilly arms around you and leaves you not wanting to do anything or go anywhere. I experienced that epiphany sometime between 1 and 4 PM this afternoon. Sometime between a breakfast of Count Chocula and a lunch of chips and queso. While staring at raindrops on my bedroom window against the backdrop of the gray sky.

Sometimes January makes me feel alone. Even if I'm not. I'm not sure what it is. The post-holiday blahs maybe? But why? It can't be the cold, because there is no cold. Not temperature-wise anyway. Maybe I miss the winter we don't have anymore.

Sometimes January grabs my arm like a Ghost of Something Past. Begs me to think about all the mistakes I've made over the past year, or fifteen. And the decisions I would change if only I had the chance. So I sit down and try to write. In a lyricy mood, I pen a few lines...

a song for january
in case of loneliness
in case the phone doesn't ring
and you never even got a new year's kiss

in case it feels exactly like
there's somewhere else you should be

But nothing seems to come out right. Nothing ever seems to in January. So I go back to bed. Waste more time watching TV. And wait for this feeling to pass. Cos it always does. Usually it only takes a day or two. Sometimes a week.

But sometimes January lasts all year.

"Inside, there's no rainbows. And inside, I try, I try, I try. And outside, the rain is drying. And inside, I'm dying..."

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Coming out

I'm sorry I haven't been around to blogs as much lately. But there are things in life that take precedence. Things more important than a blog.

I almost never talk about my current relationships on this blog. As much of my life as I put on here, I keep a small part of it private. Partly out of respect for the privacy of the other person. And also, I figure relationships are difficult enough without broadcasting every little detail to the world.

But recently, I met someone. (Sorry, ladies, but it's true.) And we have developed the kind of relationship that makes me want to stand up in the middle of a crowded street and yell, "I love this woman!" You know, like in that jewelry commercial.

I've only known "her" for a couple of weeks. I know, I know what you're saying. That's way too soon. But please, give me a little credit. I think I've reached the point in my life where I've been in enough relationships to know when something is it.

And besides, I'm happy. So please be happy for me. She's the most beautiful thing I've ever laid eyes on. Sleek and slender. Like a sports car. But I assure you it's much more than looks.

We never argue. Never. She lets me choose what I want to do most of the time. But sometimes, I leave it up to her. And she surprises me. Again and again. It's like she knows what I want, even when I don't know myself. It's almost as if I whispered into her soul all my likes and interests. And they magically became hers.

We're nearly inseparable now. I just want to stick her in my pocket and carry her with me everywhere I go so that we never have to be apart for even a single second. She keeps me up late at night. I don't want to miss a moment with her for something as trivial as sleep.

Yes, blogosphere, I'm in love. Me! Bone! The False Messiah! And I have a feeling this time it's forever. Or at least, until her battery dies.

We have pet names for each other. She's my little Nan. And I'm her Administrator. How cute is that!

I love you, my dearest Nan. Now, why don't you "shuffle" over here and pick out a lyric for these nice people.

"City girls just seem to find out early, how to open doors with just a smile..."

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

3 Word Wednesday XVII

Each week, I will post three (or more) random words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything. This is a writing exercise. It doesn't have to be perfect. The idea is to let your mind wander and write what it will. I'll also attempt to write something using the same three words.

Be sure to leave a comment if you participate.

This week's words are:

Paul awakened to the sound of his girlfriend's voice and a not so gentle nudge in the back.

"Get out of bed! We're gonna be late."

"Stop kicking me," he said, irritated and sleepy. Then he pulled the covers completely over his head, hoping it would go away.

It didn't.

"You promised me we'd go to the bridal fair today."

It's so easy to say yes to things that are a month or more away, never thinking about the consequences of one's words.

"It doesn't start until Noon."

"I want to be there early."

He started to ask why, then realized it didn't matter. He uncovered his head and saw Holly, already dressed and made up, busily scurrying about the room. She tossed some clothes on the bed.

"Here, wear these." Usually, he secretly liked it when she picked out what he would wear. But not this time.

"Why can't I wear jeans?" Paul pleaded.

"Are you serious?"

"Yes. If I'm going, I'm wearing jeans."

"Fine!" Although she didn't throw her arms up in frustration, that was her tone as she left the room. Paul was secretly pleased at his minor triumph.

After he showered, he sat on the bed and began to put on his socks, just as Holly returned.

"You are not wearing those!" she proclaimed, emphasis on not.

"Why not?"

"Because of this!" She snatched the sock from Paul's grasp, and pointed to a rather large hole in the heel.

"So? No one's gonna see them. It's not like I'm trying on tuxes today... am I?"

"No! Unfortunately, that doesn't happen until after I get a ring."

Zing, he thought to himself.

Searching thru the drawer, he found a pair with a good heel and only a couple of small holes in the toes. His phone went off. A text message.

"Who's that?" Holly asked from across the room, before he could even check to see.

"Umm... it's Lisa." Lisa was Paul's secretary. And it just so happens that before they worked together, they had dated for a couple of months. Many years ago in a land far, far away. Still, it was a fact that wasn't lost on Holly.

"Oh what a surprise."

"You are the sarcasm queen, baby."

As Paul dressed, he pictured himself and hundreds of other boyfriends/fiances being led around like drones for six hours at the bridal fair.

As he picked up his belt, he wondered for a split second if one really could fashion a belt into a noose.

"Somebody told me, boy, everything she wants is everything she sees..."

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Yo Adrian, we did it (2006 in retrospect)

Composing a decent year-end post is difficult when you have trouble remembering what happened in November, much less January. I can, however, recall some of what happened this weekend. So let's start there.

I saw Rocky Balboa (aka Rocky VI) Friday night. I really liked it, not surprisingly. When he drank the glass of raw eggs, I immediately felt a bond between the movie and my blog.

Then at the end of the movie, a strange calm came over me. It was as if, for just a few fleeting seconds, there was harmony amongst all living things. And suddenly this crazy world made sense. There was nothing too shocking or different about it. But that's what made it nice.

Think of it as if it were a Coke. Rocky I was like the first time I ever tasted a delicious Coca-Cola. I wanted another. And so I had Rocky II. And by the time I had finished Rocky III, I couldn't get enough.

Rocky V, meanwhile, was like New Coke. Why change something that works? It didn't work. And left a bad taste in the mouths of Rocky fans everywhere for the past sixteen years. But in Rocky VI, they went back to the old formula. Classic Coke... or, Rocky. I feel it is a perfect ending to the sextrilogy, or six pack, whichever you prefer.

I spent New Year's Eve in Huntsville, eating Thai food for the first time in my life, at a place called Phuket.

And according to unconfirmed eyewitness reports, sometime in the wee hours of the morning on January 1st, a blogger resembling me was heard humming "Hail To The Victors" while marching back and forth in his friend's girlfriend's living room, shortly after pulling the answers "Ann Jillian" and "Beirut" out of his tail on consecutive questions, thus securing his come from behind victory in 80's Trivial Pursuit.

Since I can't seem to remember much of what happened this past year, here's a look back at the year in blog. This is purely for my benefit. For my posterity, should they ever exist. But I encourage you to browse at your leisure:

1. Word Verification (When Blogger, a moment of comic genius, and a beer commercial collided to create the perfect storm.)
2. That flash before your eyes thing (AKA The time I almost died.)
3. Bad week gone good? (Which includes my seemingly annual trip to a George Strait concert.)
4. When I grow up (My unwitting motivational post, originally intended for myself.)
5. My inner hairy man (Which became my outer hairy man, as I decided to grow facial hair for the first time since the Great Goatee Disaster of 1998.)
6. Be a sweetie... (Here I unveil one of the great secrets of male behavior: Why we sometimes pee on the toilet seat.)
7. The Ex-Files: Rachel (I began a fun, new feature on the blog, writing about ex-girlfriends.)
8. 59:59 (I ran my first 10K. AKA The time I almost died again.)
9. Betta Talk (My fish, Pablo, answered your questions, with help from me, of course. He has trouble pressing the spacebar.)
10. Back from the edge of the Earth (Recapping my mostly annual trip to the coast. Where I was once again reminded that my Age-dar is out of commission. And where I bungee jumped for the first time in my life. AKA The third time this year I almost died.)
11. I don't care if I never get back (Axl and I go to a Reds/Braves game.)
12. Day Two: Natchez Trace (My solo trip up the Natchez Trace, where I snapped the sweet bridge picture which adorns the top of my blog. This also included my overnight stay at the Belmont Hotel. I went to Graceland this year, too, but apparently didn't write about it.)
13. The hurt (As always, all was not sunshine and rainbows.)
14. Oh, Phalanx (I may or may not have broken my pinky toe.)
15. Capote (I write about reading my first Capote book. Later in the year, I watched the movie.)
16. Last remaining single cousin (I attended the wedding of my last remaining single cousin in Atlanta.)
17. Rope, sweet, dawn (Three Word Wednesday had its rather inconspicuous beginnings. On a Thursday, no less.)
18. The changing face of Bone (After many years of only wearing contacts, I got glasses.)
19. Micah's Lullaby (I found out about Baby "Micah." Who I'm most happy to say is out of the hospital and has found a loving home.)
20. Civic duty (I was chosen to keep a Nielsen TV Diary.)
21. The time I almost met John Stamos (My brush with fame was part of the first ever 80's Week on IYROOBTY. I also caught everyone up on the New Kids On The Block.)
22. Home is...where? (I found out Dad had sold the last house we had lived in before I moved out on my own.)
23. Festivus 2006 Recap (And of course, I held my 2nd Annual Festivus Party.)
24. Introduction (I gave her a name: Lily)
25. Sometimes (And this is all still true.)

I want to wish you all a happy, safe, and prosperous 2007. May the sunny days outnumber the rainy ones. And may we all cherish each and every precious moment.

"I guess it's been a good year for roses and aggressions. For flowers and freeways. And I guess I'll put a smile on, and get a new girlfriend. Yeah, put a new hat on..."