Friday, April 29, 2005


I decided to call this post "Larry" because it spans a number of days, and contains so many random events that I could not come up with a clever title to catch your attention. Without further ado I give you..."Larry!"

Last week was incredibly busy for me, it all began on Thursday with a huge job fair in Boston. Colleen and I both went down there to get teaching jobs. We drove to her parents house after I got out of work at Midnight the night before the conference. The next morning we were up with the sun and dressed to the nines ready to impress potential employers with our expensive suits and 20 bond resume paper.

Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

So far neither one of us has gotten a job. But we were successful in "getting our names out there." I suppose that we also managed to put a little face time in with potential employers, which is never a bad idea. We left the job fair around noon and spent the rest of the day in Boston. This is where we had our first adventure of the day.

Upon exiting my car I noticed that the brake lights were still lit. The car was in park, the keys were in my hand, and there were no disembodied feet resting on the brake pedal. Clearly something was wrong. I tried moving the car, moving the pedals, swearing, calling my Dad...eventually it became apparent that the only way that I was going to be able to keep my battery from dying was to climb under my dashboard and use my trusty leatherman tool to yank the fuse out of the fuse panel.

Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

If I was going to attempt this dangerous maneuver steeped in Macgyverosity, I had to change out of my suit first. Luckily I had a change of clothes in the car, so I quickly stripped in the garage and slipped in to my jeans and tee shirt. Using my Leatherman I successfully defused the car. Colleen and I spent the rest of that gorgeous afternoon in Boston walking from one end of the city to the other, we also had dinner with one of Colleen's friends.

Suffice it to say that we were both dog tired the next morning. But that didn't stop us from having an amazing time at Colleen's College Formal. For those of you who do not know a College Formal is essentially the same thing as the High School Prom. Just think College Prom its easier. We both had a blast but the DJ was pretty lame...and dangerous.

Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

At one point in the evening as Colleen and I a talking to friends I see this great big fire ball shoot into the air. It originated from the area of the DJ booth and I instantly had a Great White flashback. There were roughly four hundred people on the dance floor and this lame DJ is tempting fate by lighting things on fire. Personally I feel that the least he could have done was queue up Once Bitten Twice Shy. That way if something goes wrong and I should perish in a fiery holocaust at least my friends will be able to appreciate the irony of the situation at my funeral.

The other day I had to go all the way out to East Windsor to buy a lawn mower blade from the John Deer hayseeds. I felt like Hank Hill surrounded by lawnmowers and John Deer merchandise, and I freely admit that I said "YEP" a lot. I also bought a lawnmower blade that did not fit my lawnmower, so I had to use the old crummy blade to cut the lawn. I could mow two strips and then I had to stop and empty the bag.

Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

This entire process was made unbearable by the fact that iTunes had failed me miserably. You see the night before I was at work and I was listening to a sample track from one of Henry Rollins' spoken word albums entitled "Eric the Pilot." I thought that the material was funny and I decided to log onto iTunes and purchase the CD so that I could listen to it while mowing the lawn.

Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

Sadly I was unable to listen to Henry's awesome aviation adventure in a single engine Cessna with a pilot named Eric because iTunes offers a very limited selection of Mr. Rollins work. Instead I listened to Black Flag...which was not quite what I wanted but it helped a little bit.

My day ended with a phone call from my friend Meghan who had apparently contracted some kind of flesh eating virus on her hand. That means a virus was eating her flesh. She was able to get the appropriate medicine to stop the virus and save her hand. I have decided to immortalize her near tragedy by placing a drawing of the wound on my blog.

Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

Take that posterity.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Coming Attractions!!!!

For those of you who stop by this page regularly you may have noticed a lack of updates. I apologize I have been execptionally busy lately, which is bad for the blog but good for me.

I promise all of you a post tomorrow which will include some of the following elements:

1. Boston

2. College-Prom

3. Great White (for insensitive comedic value)

4. Macguyver-esqe feats

6. Henry Rollins

7. John Deere Lawnmowers

8. A flesh eating virus

I invite all of you to reflect upon these elements and try to imagine something half as awesome as what I will post tomorrow...but you will ultimately fail.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Rob Zombie Owes Me!!!

To put it bluntly Rob Zombie owes me another nine-hundred and thirty four corpses. You see back in April of 2003 Mr. Zombie released a horror movie entitled House of 1000 Corpses. There was a fairly big buzz surrounding the film, it was supposed to be a departure from the slick ultra-polished Hollywood horror films of recent memory and a return to horror classics like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes. Suffice it to say I was sold on the movie…

But when your name is Rob Zombie and your film is called House of 1000 Corpses, and the tagline reads “The most shocking tale of carnage ever seen!” I expect a bit more of you. What exactly was I expecting to see in this movie? To be blunt I was expecting to see one thousand corpses. My friends were dubious, but I was adamant! If the film was titled House of 1000 Corpses then you can bet that that is exactly how many there will be, so I stopped by work to borrow a piece of scientific equipment.

Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

After I secured my chrome plated people counter I went and watched the movie. I thought that the film was ok, but it certainly did not live up to all of the hype. As I was watching I became aware of the fact that by one hour in either Rob was going to have to pick up the pace a bit or there was no way that he was going to meet his one thousand body quota.

Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

I tried to be as scientific as possible. I brought research equipment, and I only counted the bodies that were unquestionably dead, if the subject was mortally wounded I did not add them to my tally unless they expired onscreen. Despite my rigorous empirical guidelines I gave Mr. Zombie the benefit of the doubt in a few scenes. For example in the tunnel scene I was very generous with my tally. Despite this the body count never rose above a dismal 66 corpses.

So why am I bothering to mention this now? Well this year Rob Zombie is releasing another movie called The Devil's Rejects. The trailer looks like classic psychobilly type horror which would be cool. It looks like it might be park horror flick part road movie, and if he manages to capture the isolated atmosphere of a Midwestern highway I guarantee you that I will love the movie provided of course I see those missing corpses. Just so that no one reads this and gets the wrong idea, I don't enjoy looking at dead bodies. Personally they give me the creeps, but if you claim that there are one thousand bodies in your movie you had best deliver if you want to get my ten dollars.

Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Delta

Early spring always makes me think about the first car I ever bought, a nineteen eighty-six Oldsmobile Delta 88...slightly used. It was the spring of my senior year in high school and it was time to buy a car.

Drawing/Tracing By Mike Posted by Hello

I do not remember how I found this car it was probably through an advertisement placed in the local paper but I remember going with my Mom and Dad to go take it for a test drive. My Dad drove, actually he drove the hell out of it, testing the brakes, acceleration, turn radius and a bunch of other things utilizing a series of questionably legal maneuvers on a local side street.

I purchased the car with one thousand dollars of my own hard earned money, at that point the most money I had ever spent in my entire life. I did not have to be told what a big investment a car was, because my wallet already understood.

My Delta 88 was an awesome car, it could hold six people comfortably and legally. It was white and a little rusty in a few places but I qucikly learned the joys of bondo and spray paint and on special occasions I would dress it up nicely...until the next time that it rained and the rust would bleed through again. The interior of this car was like heaven on four wheels. In the late eighties if there was nothing else American auto workers could do, they could build an insanely comfortably luxury car. When you sat down in the Delta you would sink about an inch into royal blue crushed velvet upholstery. The dashboard went on forever a pure unbroken field of blue that I would faithfully Armor-All every chance that I got.

This car had a 3.8 liter Chevy V6 with the shift on the column and the thinnest steering wheel known to man. The steering wheel was made out of blue plastic, with no insulation, no cushioning of any kind just a metal band running through the center that would heat up to blast furnace temperatures during the summer and leave welts on my hand whenever I tried to drive it after parking it in the sun.

Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

I used to leave a towel in my car so that I could leave it on the steering wheel so that I could drive without burning my hands. This car had some idiosyncrasies, what used car doesn't? Sure the engine was a beast, fast and powerful but the speedometer only went up to 85mph, so driving on the highway was a bit of a gamble.

My Delta also came with a strange odor, which was not exactly disgusting...just constantly present. It didn't matter how long you remained in the car the odor never seemed to fade, it was always in your nostrils, and your nose never seemed to get used to it. Fortunately my Mother helped me finally exorcise those aroma demons.

Because my Delta was once a top of the line luxury car it had a lot of features that served to entice new buyers and only served to irratate me. For example in 1986 Oldsmobile felt that it would be a good idea to create a voice warning system and incorporate it into my car. When there is a problem in most cars a light will activate on the instrument cluster and occasionally a beep might activate as well. This is not the case in my car. In my Delta if the engine coolant dropped below a certain level a disembodied and totally unexpected female voice would warn me that the coolant levels in my car are "dangerously low."

Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

This can be a bit alarming not only for the driver of the vehicle, who had no clue that his car came with this feature, and any passengers who might be traveling with him. In addition to robot voices, my car had power everything. Locks, windows, steering, brakes, horn, mudflaps the works! Unfortunately my power windows were a bit dicey, they would always go down, it was somewhat questionable if they would ever go up again. But my airconditioner worked great, the only problem was that once you turned it on the fan would keep running and drain the battery, so I used to have to crawl underneath the car and disconnect the fan manually.

The most annoying characteristic about my Delta, at least for passengers, was the lock on the passenger side door was practically dead. In order to enter the car from the passenger side I would have to enter before you and from the drivers seat click the locks up and down up and down as fast as possible until the passenger door unlocked. Then the passenger would be able to board the vehicle. The problem with this procedure is that it is totally unreliable, you have to jockey the locks as fast as possible and then stop when the door unlocks but not accidentally lock the door again. Its a bit like Russian roulette.

Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

The other problem with this plan is that the vast majority of passengers will try to open a car door the moment they hear the locks cycle. Thus they constantly prevent the door from unlocking. While most of my passengers didn't mind this process in the summer the vast majority of them would complain when February rolled around.

There it is, in a nut shell that is what my first car was like. Sure it had its problems, and the car that I currently drive is vastly superior; but on certain days I would give anything to have that car back. It was fun to drive and I can say with total honesty that it never once let me down.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Another Goal Accomplished...(Realized?)

If you tried to locate me around noon on the last day of March you would have had a hard time finding me. I was walking through the woods behind, well actually kind of kiddie-corner to my house. There is a trail that runs through these woods and I began to follow it with no real purpose or destination in mind. But it was a beautiful spring morning and the sun was shining and I decided to see where my feet would lead me.

Today they led me into the woods, and straight to an OWL! Not just any owl a Great Horned Owl. Which is pretty cool; albeit not as cool as The Great Owl but I will take what I can get.

Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

Here is what happened: I was walking directly under a tall pine tree, exactly as pictured and I happened to look up. I have no idea why but I noticed this big thing on one of the branches. It was vaguely bird shaped but I did not know what kind of bird...until it opened its eyes. They were enormous and unbelievably yellow. He stared at me and I stared at him, my hand reached into my pocket for my cell phone. As my hand gripped my cell phone I remembered that I do not own a camera phone so I left it in my pocket and cursed myself for not bringing a real camera.

I stared at the owl for about five minutes and then he flew away. It was amazing, this has to be one of the biggest birds that I have ever seen, certainly it had the biggest eyes and claws. I have always wanted to see an owl up has been one of my goals. I guess that I can cross that one off of my list.

Most people would have given up at this point. What else could I possibly encounter in the woods that would top my owl sighting? I have two words for you: ICESKATING FROGS!

Drawing By Mike Posted by Hello

As I was walking I stumbled across a pond with all of these little frogs, but the frogs were not in the water. The frogs were sitting on top of the ice. I have no choice but to conclude that these frogs had been ice skating before I interrupted them.