Thursday, April 25, 2013

Life at up to 30 Mbps

It's been tough again for me to write.  First, Boston, and then West, Texas, just took my heart.  And yet, the days keep coming.  The world keeps spinning.  Somehow.

The human spirit again proves irrepressible.  Still I wonder how much more we can take.

Some have said the thing to do is to live your life.  Go out.  Run another marathon.  Hop on a plane.  Blog.  And so, here am I.

The spring has found me busier than usual, which let's face it, wasn't very busy at all.  I've taken on some freelance work on the side, and have also started a lawn care business.  At present I have precisely two clients.  That may not sound like much to you, but it's about fourteen steps further than most of my ideas ever get, which in case you're wondering, is usually about the point where I think, "Hmm, that's a good idea, I should really look into that.  Woo, I'm sleepy.  Nappy time." 

It's all in the name of not only making ends meet, but perhaps even having them overlap a bit.  My apologies to those of you whose image of me was that of a kind of southern Kardashian, independently wealthy and making millions more from this blog.

Today, that image has been shattered.

The freelance job forced me to finally do something about my internet.  My AT&T DSL, which for years was decent, had in recent months been doing a dead-eye impersonation of dial-up.  Dead being the operative word there.  So as of this past Tuesday (martes, for my Hispanic readers), I'm on cable internet.

Oh. Em. Gee!

It's like I hopped in the DeLorean un martes tarde to go for a drive, hit 88 miles per hour, and boom!  Instantly I have been transported from 1997 to 2006.  And while I do kind of miss Hanson and Mark Morrison -- I mean, I think we all thought they were here to stay -- now my Netflix doesn't freeze five times during a half-hour show!  I never said anything before because it was so embarrassing.

I feel like I just got indoor plumbing for the first time.

To celebrate -- the internet, not the plumbing -- I watched two episodes of The Hills on Netflix.  Ugh, that Heidi.  Even in reruns, she just... ugh!  Don't get me started.  Oh, oh, OH!


They brought me out a cable box.  See, I'd been getting my cable straight from the wall all these years, which evidently was robbing me of HD and limiting my number of channels.


The only thing you really need to get from all this is:  I've got SoapNet back!  So now I can watch my stories every night!

I haven't been this excited since... have I ever been this excited?

Probably not.  Especially when you consider there is a channel that shows WKRP In Cincinnati at night, AND there was an ABBA movie on last night!!!  I didn't even know there WAS an ABBA movie!!!  (Also, if I ever learn how to make that backwards B, I may just retire from the internets.)

Anyhow.  Naturally, I watched General Hospital the past couple of nights, and began to catch up with Luke, Laura, Scott, Dante, Lulu, Patrick, Brenda, Sonny, Nikolas, Michael, and unfortunately, Carly.  However, I'm still not sure how Stavros managed to escape the bottomless pit Luke pushed him into all those years ago?  That's seems a tad unrealistic, GH.

After that, The Young & The Restless came on.  Now I've never watched the show (honest!) but I left it there, just to see if I could catch a glimpse of Jason Morgan.  At first there were two old guys on there I didn't recognize.  Personally, they didn't look all that young or restless to me. 

And then...

There he was.  The gangster/coffee importer/main-reason-I-own-a-black-leather-jacket formerly known as Jason Morgan.  In all his perfect-hair glory.

I'll admit, it was tough.  I mean, this is a guy I modeled much of my life after.  At least, my stoic facade and my cool manner with the ladies.

It was like seeing an ex-girlfriend you dated for years, but now she's married to someone else, and he's a nice enough guy and she acts happy, but you know they'll never have what you and she had, and sure you made mistakes but who doesn't, your story wasn't over yet and how could she give up on that and settle for him when the two of you had so much left to do!  And why?  Because it's convenient???  Well love's not always convenient!!!!!!

So... uh, yeah.. it was a lot like that... 

Here's a fact you may find amusing.  This actually started out to be a Music Monday post.  I know, normally I post those on Tuesdays.  But anyway, that just goes to show you how much I procrastinate, er, like to plan things out in my head for a few days before actually getting around to doing them.

It's one of my endearing qualities. I like to pretend I have several.

Monday was Glen Campbell's birthday.  As I was googling and listening to some of his music, I hadn't realized how many songs he'd done with a positive, upbeat message.  Sure some of them were a bit hokey.  But after the previous week the world had seen, I was in the mood for some hokey.

This is a song called "I Will Never Pass This Way Again."  It definitely has a bit of a gospel feel to it.  The time stamp is a little distracting, and the audio and video are a tad out of sync.  Hey, it was 1973. I'm sure it was a crazy time for us all.

I also came across Glen's version of "MacArthur Park," a song I've loved from the first time I heard it.  I really like Waylon Jennings' version of this, but it wasn't Waylon's birthday, so...

"I will taste the wine while it is warm / And never let you catch me lookin' in the sun..."

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Is "bitches" a derogatory term?

The boys of summer -- who actually show up in early spring and somewhat overstay their welcome through mid-fall -- have arrived.

Baseball is here.  Which means fantasy baseball is here.  Which means it's time for Bone to spend hours, yea, minutes, researching, surveying, and creaticizing, all in an effort to come up with the best, most clever team name in all the fantasy league.

Mission... accepted.

There has been a long-held conception that if I spent as much time and mental energy on drafting and managing my team (say, for the entire season rather than losing interest sometime in mid-June) as I do naming my team, then maybe their results would be better.

And I must admit, even I was starting to question whether that might be the case.

And then last year happened.  Dusty's Spring Field happened.  Possibly the most dominating season in the history of history happened.  

I won my league by 29 points!   While I'm sure most of you are familiar with fantasy baseball rules and scoring, there may be a couple of you (*cough* Renee *cough*) who have no idea what I'm talking about and who are, in fact, only "skimming" this post as we speak.

So to put that in some perspective, I finished 29 points ahead of the second place team.  Meanwhile, the difference between the second place team and the last place team was only 28 points.

A legend began to grow about my fantasy baseball adroitness.  I considered retiring.  I mean, from such great heights where else could I go but down?  Besides, if you recall, we were all pretty sure the world was going to end last year anyway.  

But then, I remembered a lesson learned from those athletic conquistadors of my youth -- Brett Favre, Michael Jordan, Brett Favre again.  And that is: never go out on top.

And so, I'm back, for one more run.  Or two.  Until no one wants me in their league anymore or they carry me away from the keyboard with a career-ending carpal tunnel injury.  That's how I wanna go out.

Now, without further adieu (because really, that was quite a bit of adieu, doncha think?), I present this year's finalists:

Dusty's Spring Field ~ Yes, I briefly considered keeping Dusty's Spring Field for a second year.  Why mess with a good thing, right?  Plus, as Michael Scott once said, I'm not superstitious, but I am a little stitious.  In the end, I decided Dusty's Spring Field would have to be retired into the Bone Hall Of Names, just like all the fantasy team names before it.  That's the rule.  And if I can't abide by these rules I've made up, well then I have no idea what any of this is for.

Son Of A Bleacher Fan ~ Meet Dusty's Spring Field's offspring: Son Of A Bleacher Fan.  This would probably be my new team name in 2013, if not for that little Yahoo! Sports rule that limits team names to 20 characters.  SOABF has 21.  Though I suppose I could eliminate spaces.  But then that'd just bug me the whole season, like someone sending me an email saying, "Your so funny."  I just. Can't. Let. It. Go.

Cafe Latos ~ Not horrible.  This is the contestant in the Final 12 on American Idol that isn't a bad singer, but that everybody knows isn't going to win.  Just doesn't have "it."

Cozart's Concerto ~ I liked this one a lot.  Actually I wanted Cozart's Cowhide Concerto, but again the 20-character limit.  However, after consulting with my IMAEIC (instant messaging & email inner circle), none of them seemed very thrilled. Cozart's Concerto is the American Idol contestant who finishes 4th but has a much longer career than Kris Allen... I mean, the winner... ever will.

The Fountain Squares ~ Getting away from the players names' theme, I decided to go in a city-of-Cincinnati direction.  Again, none of the IMAEIC seemed all that impressed, but don't be surprised if this one pops up again somewhere down the road.  It could be a possible name for my future band, should I ever learn to play an instrument.

And now, the moment you've all been skimming for.  Two of the three members of my IMAEIC immediately picked this name as soon as they heard it.  It must have been a lot like how Elvis's mom reacted when Vernon was calling out possible baby names... "Howard?  Vernon Jr.?  Elvis?"  There was no need to hear the other names.  Either that, or they were just trying to pacify me so I'd stop bugging them about it... Hmm, I may have to rethink my inner circle.

Anyway, your 2013 Bone Fantasy Baseball team name:

Queen City, Bitches!

(pause for confusion/consternation)

Well, except apparently Yahoo! doesn't allow commas in their team names.  So instead of calling my fellow competitors the b-word, it's like I'm calling my own team the b-word.  

Of course, I didn't really intend it in a derogatory manner.  More in a fun way, like "What up beyotches? We gonna hang at the hizzouse and get crazy up in here tonight?  What what?"  (Imagine me saying this as I'm throwin' gang signs. But like a nice gang, one that helps old people and does good deeds.  Actually, I guess that's the Cub Scouts, isn't it?  Do they have a sign?)

But assuming for a moment that it were a derogatory term, I've just gone from insulting the rest of the league to insulting myself.


"The only one who could ever reach me / Was the son of a preacher man..."

Sunday, April 07, 2013

"Last week, on The Bible..."

With the Bible ended and our brackets busted, our thoughts turn to the swelling spring -- flowers, showers, and the new season of Mad Men.  A nation takes solace in the fact that evil Duke has been defeated for another year.

For some reason, hearing the phrase, "Last week, on the Bible..." never failed to crack me up.  At the same time, the promo for the final installment that said, "The Bible ends tonight," kind of freaked me out a little.  Let's just say I was more thankful than usual to see the sun rise that next morning.

I wonder if the History Channel has considered the limitless possibilities for Biblical reality-show spinoffs.  Real Concubines Of Gomorrah.  Joshua & Caleb Take Canaan.  Pimp My Chariot.   So You Think You Can Prophesy?  Cash Camel.  Survivor: The Flood.  Lamech Is 147 & Single.  Mesopotamia's Got Talent.

Sticking with our odd Jewish/Christian religious theme, I went to see Jerry Seinfeld... on Good Friday.  I received the tickets as a birthday gift, and was pretty excited to see "An Evening With Jerry Seinfeld" printed on them.  However, that was a little misleading.  Turns out it's an evening with Jerry Seinfeld and like three thousand other people.

Our seats were in row Y of the balcony, which meant there was only one row in the entire arena farther from the stage than us.  So it was more like An Evening With Nosebleeds... and this mysterious Jerry Seinfeld voice booming from somewhere in the vast darkness below.

Nonetheless, it was good to relax for a solid ninety minutes and watch someone else trying to be funny for a change.  The opening act, Tom Papa, provided non-stop laughs.  I actually thought he upstaged Seinfeld a little.  Also disappointed that there was no "If anyone has any can't miss ideas for new sitcoms, please meet Jerry backstage at this time" announcement.  So I didn't get to pitch my brilliant show idea, which I cannot share with you at this time for nebulous reasons.

After the show, we ate at Chic-fil-A.  They were piping some religious-sounding music through the speakers.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Continuing with our new "joke" theme, I did have one April Fools' Joke (Is it fools, fools', or fool's?) played on me -- by Nephew Bone.  He called me Monday.

"Hey Uncle Bone, it's snowing!"

"It's snowing at your house?"

"It's snowing at everybody's house, Uncle Bone!"

"Oh no!  Are we gonna build a snowman?"

"Ha ha, April Fools!"

Can't believe I fell for that one.  (He says, knowing he'd fall for it a thousand times more.)  Plus, Nephew Bone has verbal apraxia, so the words are a struggle and a lot of them aren't clear, which increases the heart-melt a hundredfold.

I got him a toy golf set for Easter.  I figure it's never too early to gauge his interest/try to nudge him forcefully down the path I have chosen for him.  Work with me people, I'm trying to groom a future golf partner here.

He was way more interested in hiding the eggs this year than hunting them.  Of course, then he runs around the yard directing you and pointing to where he hid the next egg. Which actually wouldn't be a bad quality to have in a golf partner. "Hey, Uncle Bone.  Your ball's over here.  In this briar patch.  Behind this hundred-year-old oak tree.  Again."

Once in awhile you have an epiphanic moment where you realize life is not at all how and what you thought it might be. It's not necessarily worse or better, just different.  Far different.

I had such a moment when I found myself squatting and pretending to "lay" a turquoise-colored Easter egg in an attempt to make a 4-year-old laugh.  In all my forethought, scheming and dreaming, I somehow never saw that coming.

Life: The biggest April Fools' Joke of all.

"I'm April's fool / I play by her rules / She treats me any old way she wants to..."