Sunday, January 29, 2006

Robbers Part Deux

While we’re on the topic of robbery, here are two others I particularly enjoyed, both involved robberies of adult book / video stores.

1. A man tried to rob an adult video store early one morning. This being the third time in several months that this particular clerk had been robbed in the last three months, the clerk reached under the counter and then lunged upward, smacking the would-be robber with a ginormous prosthetic masculine appendage, at which point the robber fled (likely in shame).

2. A man successfully robbed an adult bookstore early one morning. Instead of much about with just taking the money or the cash drawer, he decides to take the whole cash register. While there was a canine en route the scene, the first responding officers were able to follow (and I am not making this up) the unspooling cash register receipt that trailed him all the way from the store to the apartment buildings across the street. They found him inside very quickly.

Friday, January 27, 2006

James Frey: Big Fat Liar or Big Fat Liar like a Fox?

You know the story: James Frey wrote a "memoir" A Million Little Pieces about his fantastic transformation from alcoholic, drug addict, and criminal into a relatively normal person in recovery. It turns out most of his most harrowing adventures were either gross exaggerations or just plain made up.

Worse still, he pissed off Oprah Winfrey who had picked his book as an Oprah Club selection and defended him several times until it he finally confessed to the lies.

What did we all learn: don't piss off Oprah.

The following is a portion of the transcript of the Oprah show where Oprah Winfrey interviewed James Frey's publisher Nan Talese about the falsehoods in his memoir, A Million Little Pieces.

Oprah: We asked if you, your company, stood behind James's book as a work of non-fiction at the time [it was selected as an Oprah Book Club pick.] And they said, absolutely. And they were also asked if their legal department had checked out the book. And they said yes. So in a press release sent out for the book in 2004, by your company, the book was described as "brutally honest and an altering look at addiction." So how can you say that if you haven't checked it to be sure?

Nan: You know, Oprah, I mean, I think this whole experience is very sad. It's very sad for you. It's very sad for us.

Oprah: It's not sad for me. It's embarrassing and disappointing for me.

Nan: I do not know how you get inside another person's mind.

Oprah: Well, this is my point, Nan. Otherwise then anybody can just walk in off the street with whatever story they have and say this is my story.

Nan: This is absolutely true…

Oprah: That needs to change.

Nan: No, you cannot stop people from making up stories. We learn by stories.

Oprah: You can if you call it a memoir. You can make up stories and call them novels. People have done it for years.

Nan: A novel is something different than a memoir. And a memoir is different from an autobiography. A memoir is an author's remembrance of a certain period in his life. Now, the responsibility, as far as I am concerned, is does it strike me as valid? Does it strike me as authentic? I mean, I'm sent things all the time and I think they're not real. I don't think they're authentic. I don't think they're good. I don't believe them. In this instance, I absolutely believed what I read.

Oprah: So did I.

A lot of bloggers have mentioned this story because a lot of bloggers dream of selling a memoir of their own one day. I am actually one of those dreamers. I don't think I will be writing a "memoir" or an "autobiography" because, frankly, I haven't lived through the kind of surreal existence that would make for interesting reading.

Neither, apparently, did James Frey.

Jocelyn of The Smussyolay, however, seems to have that very type of story to tell. Okay, maybe not the over-the-top "root canal without Novocain" way, but I'm sure it will have parts which will be exceptional – which is why I want to read it!

I would hate to think that publishers would scurry away from the "moving, inspirational memoir" genre (such that it is) based on this one literary confidence man.

Memoir or autobiography or "based on a sorta made up story," James Frey is a putz but he doesn't strike me as a sociopath or a criminal genius. He lied and he had to keep telling lies to cover his first series of lies and, as always happens, the truth came out. I feel a little sorry for the guy but he deserves a heaping helping of ridicule.

I will tip my hat to him for going back on Oprah's show and taking his beating. I was going to type "like a man" and then I felt a twinge of political correctness creep into my brief editing process and removed it. Then I remembered that his publisher, who is a chick, looks like the worst kind or corporate weasel. I don't think that the reaction is gender based; it's probably liability based (and while he is a freelancer, she probably wants to keep her job so I guess I'm not going to blame her either).

This post won't have the satisfying "wrapped up like a bow" ending for which I strive. I don't really know how to feel about the million little lies.

My wife Kelli's response was "what's the big deal? If it was a good book, then isn't it still a good book?" And in that, she is correct. Time Magazine staff writer Joel Stein said much the same thing:

"It's wrong and immoral to pass off a piece of fiction as a memoir, and I wouldn't do it.

"You know, I felt like he was a liar and a weasel. But the more I thought about it, I still loved the book. When I found out a lot of it had been made up, it didn't really change how I felt about the text. But it certainly changed how I felt about the author."

So, kind reader, do me a favor. If you haven't bought A Million Little Pieces, please don't. Instead buy a book by David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs or John Cowart or even Danielle Steel.

Or tuck those couple bucks away for when the Smussyolay book comes out. You'll want to buy that one, I'm certain.

Tenant of the Week !!

Here is how she describes her blog:

This is the weblog of the website Mystickal Incense & More. It not only features occasional site news and product announcements, but a look into the personal life of the owner, Stephanie Davies. Stephanie hand-makes all of the incense, candles, bath & body products, and other items sold at Mystickal Incense. For this purpose, this is both a personal and business blog. Welcome!

It's good stuff. Click on the link below my profile.

C'mon. I know you're curious to see…

Innocent Until Proven Icky

Once upon a time there was a man who ran a small local tour company who contracted with a Gigantic Global Cruise Ship Company to give the cruise ship passengers excursion tours throughout Alaska.

One day this man's picture appeared on the cover of the local newspaper with a story about how he was arrested for exposing himself to children in his neighborhood. This man's business immediately imploded. Gigantic Global Cruise Ship Company dropped him like a dog might shake its rear end to jettison a persistent dangling turd.

Here's the trick. He was found not guilty.

For the sake of the story let's call the man "John Smith. The caption under his photo in the newspaper might as well have read: John "Cap'n Creepy" Smith.

Here's the whole story (which might satisfy both Jeff and The Catapillar).

John Smith lived in Anchorage across the street from an apparently unoccupied apartment building. This building had been entirely vacant for months.

Being a hardworking businessman, Mr. Smith needed a period of relaxation late at night after a long stressful workday. He found this Zen relaxation by standing naked by his living room window, smoking cigarettes, and masturbating.

Clearly Mr. Smith was concentrating too much on his lower Chakras.

Unbeknownst to Mr. Smith a family moved into an apartment in the previously vacant building. Unfortunately for him, the family's 14 year old daughter's room had a clear view of his living room window.

Late one night the adolescent girl saw Mr. Smith playing with his own Mr. Johnson and she alerted her parents. The parents, clearly appalled, immediately decided to take the most appropriate action: they got their video camera and did a stake out in their daughter's room in order to take video of the evil sicko neighbor-man.

Did I mention that the lights in the girl's room had not been on at any time during any of Mr. Smith's dastardly deeds? Well, the newspaper didn't mention it either. What came out in trial was that Mr. Smith never knew he had an audience. The first he knew of any occupants in the building across the street from him was when a policeman slapped the cuffs on him.

When all the facts came out in the trial, he was found not guilty. For there to be a crime of this type there has to be intent. If you don't know you are exposing yourself to children and if you in fact have the reasonable right to believe that you are not exposing yourself to anyone, then you cannot be held responsible.

The parents could have solved the problem by flipping on the light switch in their daughter's room.

Now you may be thinking, Jeez Eric, Mr. Smith is a weirdo and I wouldn't want him living across the street from my family. Sure, makes sense. But the trick is: who knows what goes on in the houses or apartment buildings across your street right now?

Mr. Smith could have avoided his whole problem with a nice window treatment.

But this guy had his business ruined and his name smeared through the mud in a very public way for what? A wank without the drapes drawn.

What the guy needed a girlfriend and a package of Nicorette.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

SouthPark Self Portrait

check it out HERE

Giving and Taking

I thought I would have to think long and hard to come up with JT's request for a crime story but it was easier than I thought. Sorry JT but this post won't be funny.

I remember being called by my best friend Terri on the early morning of September 11, 2001. She woke me from only a few hours sleep to tell me to turn on my television. I saw the World Trade Center towers burning. She watching from Michigan and was as stunned as I would be, as we all would be. She and I didn't talk long but I appreciated her call; I still do.

I watched the television until they called me to come into work early. I knew they would. We ended up stuck in a room for days on end with the TV broadcasting a steady stream of horror. At first everyone jockeyed for the closest position to the TV. The news was horrifying but fascinating.

By day two I started staying as far away from the TV as possible. I think the tipping point was when the Ken and Barbie anchors talked about rescuers writing their social security numbers on their limbs. That was too much. It was too real. I did not want to watch loved ones putting up "missing" posters on the fences outside the site forever after known as Ground Zero.

Sometimes I watched anyway.

I flipped between feeling numb and feeling sad and feeling angry. Luckily I had a job to do and I talked to a lot of frightened people, both citizens and coworkers.

Eight or ten days later a member of our department came back from an aid trip to New York City. He had been lending support and now he was returning with news and with items given to him to present to our department from the NYPD and the NY Transit Police.
Among the items he presented to the department were two melted twisted hunks of metal: pieces of the fallen towers.

I knew why he brought them back. I know why we still display them. They are physical, tangible, undeniable proof that terror comes in many forms and people like us, folks who just do our jobs, sometimes pay the ultimate price for our liberty.

I'm proud to live in America. I'm proud of the men and women of the NYC PD and NYC FD, both the fallen and the survivors. I have listened to the first 150 minutes of unedited fire dispatch tapes with chilled grief. I cannot know what it was like to be in the towers but I can imagine how it would feel to be on the other end of that radio, to block out all personal feelings because there was a job to be done. I have felt real fear for my friends and colleagues when the sierra hits the foxtrot and the best I can do, the only thing I can do, is to send them as much help as I can.

I did not want to touch the pieces of metal. I did not want them near me. I know that they would have likely been dragged off to a garbage heap and that their current place is one of reverence.

I know this.

But the first thought that leapt to my brain when I saw them still holds sway; it still seems like grave robbery.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Bank Robbers: Not the Sharpest Cheese In the Chandelier

Here’s one of my favorite bank robbery stories, requested by Kelli.

In the late afternoon of a summer Saturday afternoon, a man walked into a small branch of a local credit union located just inside the entrance of a Fred Meyer department store. If you are not familiar with Fred Meyer, think Kohls or Target.

The man approached one of the two clerks, indicated he had a weapon in his pocket, although no weapon was seen, and asked for money. The clerk gave him some money and the bad guy walked out of the bank past the line of folks waiting for either clerk. And he walked past the people coming into the Fred Meyer to shop for “what’s on their list that day.” And he walked to his beater van and climbed in.

At this point not only had the silent alarm inside the bank been triggered but there were about a dozen citizens who recognized what had happened and scrambled to their own vehicles to give chase and call 911 on their cell phones.

I was on the radio giving the dozen or so officers updated information on the description and location of the bad guy’s crappy van all the way until the bad guy drove into the parking lot of his condominium. He then walked up to his condo unit.

Moments later officers arrived and surrounded the building. The bad guy hid in his ceiling crawl-space until an officer gave a traditional canine warning (something like “If you don’t come out right now, we’re sending the dog up there and he WILL bite you”) while another officer made loud barking noises (because the actual canine unit was still a long way out) and the bad guy gave up.

It was a thrill to dispatch because stuff like that is always fun but I found “the rest of the story” was worthy as a life lesson for all of you kind readers and your children.

The bad guy in question had a significant substance abuse problem. The night before he had pawned his television for money to buy crack cocaine. His girlfriend had returned home from her night-shift job to find the TV gone. After some argument, she advised her boyfriend that if he did not get her TV back, he was going to be on the receiving end of some domestic violence and would be looking for a place to live.

So Mr. Crackhead looks at his options and decides ROBBING a bank is his only ticket to getting his girlfriend’s TV back. He actually was less afraid of the police and the FBI than he was his girlfriend.

I guess he wasn’t completely stupid.

If there’s a monkey on your back
and want to pawn your stuff for crack,
please make sure before you do
that the stuff belongs to you.

Picture found here

Friday, January 20, 2006

Hit me!

Since I'm working on a rather long post (well, at least in my head) I want some inspiration for shorter, snappy posts. Here is my proposal:

In the comment section name a crime and I will tell you a true and probably funny story about that crime. Sure the funny part might mean that the only person who is laughing is me. And maybe you'll inspire me to write something serious (it can happen).

Be creative, the only rule is this: no sex crimes. Nothing very funny about those. Also, if you are anonymous, add some initials or something. They don't even have to be yours.

And to add to the fun, or to torment you further, I'll attempt a bad poem on the topic of the crime your pick.

You name the crime, I'll make it rhyme
(or maybe it'll be a haiku so it won't rhyme, deal with it).

The gauntlet has been thrown!

photo found on:

New Tenant: Haunted House Dressing

First, I love the title of his blog. Second, he's a total weirdo, which I also like.

From his intro:

Hello, welcome to Haunted House Dressing. This is a place where toasters run free and hippos climb trees. Read what you want. Ignore what you don't. Laugh, cry, and tickle some nuns while you're at it. They won't mind.,,

Check out his blog if only to read the rest of the intro, it's great!. And make sure to scroll down for the photo comics.

Do it now!!

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Germany's Merkel says Guantanamo should be shut

By Karin Strohecker Sat Jan 7, 7:59 PM ET

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in an interview published days before her first visit to the United States, said Washington should close its Guantanamo Bay prison camp and find other ways of dealing with terror suspects.

"An institution like Guantanamo can and should not exist in the longer term," Merkel said in an interview with the weekly magazine Der Spiegel published on Saturday. "Different ways and means must be found for dealing with these prisoners."

Full Story

I wanted to point this out the very first time I heard it but I was still in my bereavement. Now that I'm back (although I still miss the old gray girl), I feel the urge to shout from the rooftops the following observation:

You know we're not doing the right thing when the German Chancellor tells our President, "Dude, your prison in Cuba is not cool. Really, you need to tone it down, buddy."

I'm just sayin'…

Story and photo courtesy of Reuters

** Quick Update: Yes, I am playing with history here but I'm not slamming on the current Germans. I try to be very careful about making comparisons to the Nazi Party (and George Bush, not my favorite president, is not a Nazi or anything close). I could equally be saying "When Americans call you fat and arrogant, you know you're in trouble."

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Random Acts of Kindness

One of the purely nicest coworkers I have told me a story about a situation she encountered last week. I asked her if I could post about it on the blog. After some hesitation she agreed, with the understanding that I would not use her real name.

Summer Patton lives with her husband and children in a small bedroom community north of Los Anchorage. She commutes about 100 miles a day and therefore proper vehicle maintenance is important to her.

Last week Summer had her local mechanic perform the usual 3000 mile oil change. While she was paying the office manager, a heavily bundled couple walked into the office. They had obviously walked through the 10 degree weather for a significant distance.

Summer collected her receipt and moved aside as she waited for her car to be done. The man and the woman approached the counter and the man asked if their van had been fixed as he pulled some crumpled bills from his pocket. The office manager said that it had been fixed and the total was $120.02. The man looked surprised and said he only had $80. The office manager gave him a snotty tone and said that the total was $120.02 and if he didn’t have the money he would have to come back when he did or he could take it up with Jimmy, the mechanic.

So the man walked into the shop area and spoke with Jimmy while Summer and the other woman waited in a tense silence and the office manager actively ignored them both.

The man came back and told the office manager that Jimmy told him he could pay the $80 cash and write a check for the rest. The man told the office manager that he would have to post-date the check for the balance.

The office manager loudly sighed then looked down her nose at the man and said “we have to run verification of funds of all checks. If there’s not enough money in the account you’ll need to leave and come back with the balance before we will release the van to you.”

The man just looked at her stunned and wide-eyed while he tried to figure out how to explain a third time that all he had was $80 and that he needed the van in order to make the money in order to pay the bill and that Jimmy seemed fine with the arrangement.

The office manager continued to look down her nose at him as if daring him to contradict her again.

Summer had watched all of this (including the part about check verification which had not been done to her own check) and then stepped forward to ask the office manager to confirm the amount of the remainder of the bill. The office manager glared at Summer then confirmed it was $40.02. Summer told the office manager she would write a check for that amount.

Both the heavily bundled man and woman were stunned but immediately thanked her and told her that she was exceptionally kind. Summer graciously minimized her generosity with “Oh it’s not a problem. It’s what most people would do.”

And that’s the part of the story which gets to me. I’m not sure most people would do what she did. I think most people (and maybe even me) would consider the whole situation simply none of their business, not their problem, and having nothing to do with them.

I’d LIKE to think I would have done the same thing Summer did but one never knows what they are made of until they are tested.

Summer is made of pure kindness.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Plural of Apocalypse, my new renter !!

BlogExplosion has this thing called "Rent My Blog" where one can promote another's blog on their own. It's fun.

With that, I introduce Black Eyed Gurl and her blog: The Plural of Apocalypse.

See that picture of her blog on the right? See it directly above "Recent Burials?" Now click it and you'll go directly there.

She has visited here and commented so she's not a complete stranger but you probably haven’t visited her site yet. It's okay to admit it. No one is required to click on any links in my catacombs.

But now is the time!

Her posts are funny and informative.

She's a latent print examiner so pepper her with CSI questions!

She's from Wisconsin so ask her about cheese or The Pack.

Go lurking just to see where all the cool kids hang out.

Just go!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

News: Young men with bats kill homeless man, injure 2 others in downtown, beachside Lauderdale

By Macollvie Jean-Francois
Posted January 12 2006, 12:00 PM EST

FORT LAUDERDALE – Young men armed with baseball bats or sticks attacked three homeless men, killing one and hospitalizing the two others early Thursday morning in the city's downtown and beachside areas, police said.

One of the homeless men died from his injuries around 8 a.m. at Broward General Medical Center. He was identified later as Norris Gaynor, 45. The two other homeless men were listed as serious at the hospital. They were not immediately identified….
read the rest of this story

If I was a better person, I would not have an ounce of hate in my heart. But since I am not a better person I will allow myself to focus hatred on these cowardly murderers.

If anyone wonders why a normally left-leaning guy such as myself is in favor of the death penalty, this is the reason. And I don't mean mandatory appeals with decades on death row. I mean heads on poles to warn the next bunch of jackals.

These guys are on tape beating people, in one case to death, with sticks.

This is also why I am pro-choice.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

What, I Can't Put Garbage In The GARBAGE Can?

I'm still in a bit of a bereavement funk but I need to write about something. Here's today's post. It's a stupid little rant. You have been warned.

Under the sink in the tiny kitchen in our cozy duplex is a small plastic kitchen garbage can.

In my mind the emphasis on this is: SMALL plastic kitchen garbage can.

In Kelli's mind the emphasis on this is: small plastic kitchen GARBAGE can.

Tiny difference, right?

It seems so, oh yes, until one takes into consideration the introduction of one factor into our little solid waste management system: the empty gallon milk jug.

Short Tangent: "Gallon Milk Jugs" would be a great title for specialty porn. I don’t judge people's taste in porn; I'm just sayin' it's a good name.

If one places an empty gallon milk jug into an empty small plastic kitchen garbage can, the can is now a mostly full small plastic garbage can.

If one places an empty gallon milk jug into a half-full small plastic kitchen garbage can, the can is now an overflowing small plastic garbage can.

And if one balances an empty gallon milk jug onto a completely full small plastic kitchen garbage can in such a way that when the next person opens the door beneath the sink the empty gallon milk jug springs out and bounces across the kitchen floor, well that's just mean.

Or maybe it's funny to watch your husband swear under his breath while you laugh like Hanna-Barbera's Muttley, you'd have to ask Kelli.

I know I will not win this argument: I am the husband and therefore I am wrong. I will let this particular battery fall.

Oh and I've got to go take the trash out now. There are three dirty paper towels and an empty pizza box in the small plastic kitchen garbage can.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Christmas At The Mental Hospital

Have you ever had an idea to volunteer for a small charitable cause and have it snowball into a huge endeavor such that halfway through you wanted to give up the whole thing?

Actually, while I felt those feelings several times during this adventure, I really wanted to figure out how to post about this without tooting my own horn*.

Warning: this is going to be a pretty long post so if you’re just drifting through, go read "Gigglewood Indeed" or "Red Hat Society = Women Gone Wild"

After attending a 40hr Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) academy in September, which trained me to more efficiently, effectively, and compassionately provide services for mental health consumers, I was all fired up to use my new techniques.

To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

I’d be talking on the phone to runaway juveniles and find out they were on a certain mental health drug and ask them how it was working for them, etc. It gave me a whole new bag of tricks and it’s amazing how a little actual knowledge, a little genuine sympathy, and some newfound compassion enabled me to connect with callers in a whole new positive way.

One in four people will either suffer themselves with a mental illness or will have a family member suffer from a mental illness. People don’t like to talk about it. Most people will not “out” themselves. It’s a situation full of fear and shame. (I will point out that bloggers are not normal people and that many of my favorite bloggers and visitors to my own little section of the bloggosphere know a lot about mental illness from many different vantage points, so this is probably not new information to anyone).

But it shocks and amazes consumers and families of consumers who call the police for help when I can pronounce "schizoaffective disorder," let alone know what it is. It opens so many doors. For this reason I have found that my CIT training and membership in the Crisis Intervention Team has greatly increased my ability to serve the public.

So then I had this idea in October: Dispatch usually “adopts” a Salvation Army family or two for the holidays. Why couldn’t the CIT Dispatchers sponsor a mental health consumer and their family?

In this effort I contacted the president of the local chapter of NAMI, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, who paid for a lot of our CIT training and is basically the AA of mental health – raising awareness, hosting support group meetings for consumers and parents of consumers, etc. She told me that she didn’t know of any specific families that needed Christmas gifts and that those families might very well fall under the Salvation Army’s program too.

She countered with another idea: Why don’t we together (NAMI and CIT) adopt the long-term unit of the local state mental hospital? Most of these folks have few or no family members who visit them and therefore get no gifts. The trick was that it meant providing gifts for 22 people.

Great! Fantastic! Super (thanks for asking)!

And then the work started. I began by shaking down my coworkers for donations. Unfortunately several competing charities were also doing shakedowns: One coworker was working hard to Adopt A Soldier; another was collecting donations for a police officer and his family in Metlakatla, Alaska, who had a woodstove blow up, injuring the officer and burning down their house. These were all very worthy causes. Shakedown number one drummed up $80.

This was not the response I wanted but was about as much as I should have expected. I was on the verge of just giving up and handing back the money to the donors. Then my contact at NAMI threw me a curve and came up with corporate sponsorship: a local mall had $250 worth of gift certificates waiting for us. Oh crap. Now I'm committed.

(Adopting a mental hospital. Committed. Get it? Oh I crack myself up sometimes.)

Then a very dear coworker completely reinvigorated me. It could be done, it should be done, and we could do it. Yay Team!

Then another dear coworker went shopping with me at Wal-Mart. She was a killer Wal-Mart shopper. It was amazing to find out how much really inexpensive but fairly good quality stuff there is out there for sale. Say what you will about how Wal-Mart has destroyed mom and pop businesses and how really inexpensive but fairly good quality stuff is probably made by near-slave labor overseas, but I can only handle on charitable cause at a time here folks.

Then I sent one more shakedown letter to my dispatch coworkers explaining what we had purchased and how much I had spent of my own money (about $180 at that point). I stated clearly that my family would not go hungry but if anyone had been sitting on the fence about donating, the time was at hand to make a decision.

My coworkers came through with an additional $225. Yay Team again!

So on December 23rd (Seinfeldian Festivus Observed) the reinvigorating coworker and I representing CIT** and two NAMI representatives delivered 23 gift bags (without the string handles) and got to present them personally to everyone in the long-term unit. We even had enough left over to give everyone in the "forensic unit" a gift bag. "Forensic Patient" means "criminally insane." These wouldn’t be my first choice of patients to support but, hey, they probably get even less gifts and visitors and it's Christmas darn it!

Each gift bag contained:

A winter hat
A pair of comfy socks with the gripper bumps on the bottom
A happy little calendar
A tube of chapstick
A deck of playing cards
A pack of washable felt tip markers
A pad of paper (glue bound, not spiral bound)
A small chocolate marshmallow santa
A larger hollow chocolate santa

Ladies also got: a cute sock coin purse
a Christmas beanie baby bear
a pair of stretchy knitted gloves

Men also got: a small LCD game
a puzzle
a pair of Old Navy winter gloves

Things I learned:

Santa does not drive a Hyundai. Cramming all that stuff in the PanicMobile proved that point.

Hats are a big thing in the mental hospital. Everyone immediately put their hat on.

While there was a wide range of levels of communication, everyone there was so pleased. There were hugs and tears and thumbs up signs all around. The staff was excited too.

This state mental hospital is prohibited by law from soliciting donations, yet they always need things like clothes for the patients (especially patients due to be discharged, often right onto the street). That's what makes NAMI so cool – they can, and do, solicit funds as a non-profit organization. Woo-hoo.

The fourth thing I learned was actually just a reminder: if we all do a little, we can accomplish a lot.

And that's worth remembering.


* and especially not tooting my own horn in a creepy way

** the expert Wal-Mart shopper wanted to be there but had to wait for a shipment of dog semen to arrive by UPS (United Pile of Shit with regard to delivering on time) and had to bail.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006


The Quarter Lifer has tagged me. So here it goes...

Four Jobs You've Had in Your Life:
1. Hotel Telephone Operator
2. Police Dispatcher / 911 Operator

Tha's all folks.

Four Movies You Could Watch Over and Over:
1. Apocalypse Now
2. Casablanca
3. Pulp Fiction
4. Best In Show (and the outtakes, all the outtakes!)

Four Places You've Lived:
1. Anchorage, Alaska
2. Federal Way, Washington

Cheese and rice I'm boring.

Four TV Show You Love to Watch:
1. Grey's Anatomy
2. Yes, Dear
3. City Confidential (the Paul Winfield narrated ones only)
4. ER

Four Websites You Visit Daily:

1. Blog Explosion
2. Google
3. IMDb
4. IWon (for my news headlines, don't expect to win anything)

…and so many blogs

Four of Your Favorite Foods:
1. Any form of chocolate
2. A properly cooked Medium Rare steak
3. Chocolate Pecan Pie!
4. King crab

Four Albums You Can't Live Without (at least for the moment):
(wow… whole albums? Hmmmm)

1. Never Mind the Bullocks, Here's the Sex Pistols
2. Nevermind, Nirvana
3. Human Butt – Henry Rollins (spoken word)
4. Kiss The Sky – Jimi Hendrix

Four Places You'd Rather Be:
1. Ireland
2. England
3. Paris, France
… actually I'd prefer to visit other places and live here in Los Anchorage.

Well that's wasn't all the illuminating, but I'm tagging folks in the form of folks who comment on my blog but don't yet have blogs of their own:

1. J-Bro

2. Hannibal

3. Puck

4. Pasta

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Years Resolutions

1) Talk Less, Listen More

2) Speak More Slowly, Enunciate

3) Eat for Quality and not for Quantity

4) Drink More Water

5) Juggle More

6) Curse for Quality and not for Quantity