Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Imminent Return Of My Soul

I’ve been without my Soul for too long.

It’s been three weeks since my car was hit. Nearly two weeks since Scam Artist Insurance gave preliminary, but not complete, approval to get it fixed. I was hoping to have it last Friday. Then Monday. Today is Wednesday. Scam Artist Insurance dragged their heels throughout the process, slowly approving each stage of work. I don’t get it. They’re paying for (an admittedly crappy and, I’m sure, very inexpensive) rental car for me. The longer they take to approve, the more rental days they’re paying for. I want my car back. I like my car. It’s a black 2010 Kia Soul. You know, the hip-hop hamster car. I’m sick of the POS rental I’ve been driving for nigh on two weeks.

I hope I get my Soul back today. I really do.

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It’s Not Rocket Science

I’m not asking someone to design a webpage. I don’t need them to program a database. I need someone to receive an email (at the email address they provided to me–I copied and pasted it) from the online training system used by the industry I work in. Click. Enter the username and password provided in the email you received, and login. Read the information that comes up, take the 30-question (multiple answer and true-false) test, and boom, done.

This is apparently far too much to ask of most people. From what I can tell, just getting logged in (no, I’m not even talking about getting to the test, oh hell, no!) is far more complicated than a Rubik’s Cube to a monkey and more painful than splinters under the fingernails. Because no one seems to figure it out. Seriously? I mean, SERIOUSLY? These are BASIC SKILLS, people. Basic. Skills. If you are going to function in modern Western society you need to know how to receive an email. You need to know what I mean when I say “check your junk folder.” (The proper response, by the way, is not “huh?”) In fact, you should know to check your damn junk mail folder before you call and say you haven’t received the email. You’re not a baboon. You are a human being living in the second decade of the 21st century. Pull yourself out of the 1980s or get a job mopping floors. But DO NOT WASTE MY TIME IF YOU CAN’T FIGURE OUT HOW TO CLICK ON A FRIGGIN’ LINK!

An Impromptu Jam

Just before the weekend, my long-time friend Greg asked if I was going to be at “Birdstock”, the street fair in Bird Rock. I hadn’t even known about it, but it looked like fun. So, Sunday afternoon I cruised into my old neighborhood. Met up with Greg (who is an excellent guitar and keyboard player), his kids, and another long-time friend, Jeff. Jeff was actually the very first drummer I knew. We–Bart, Jeff, and I–had a few jams in our early teens.

It turns out they had some sort of performance lined up around the time the street fair was scheduled to close down, and they asked me to come over and play a few songs. Years ago, Jeff had bought me a really thoughtful gift: a Union Jack pickguard . . . for a guitar I no longer owned. Naturally, I insisted he keep it. On Sunday I got to play the guitar he put it on. It felt, played, and sounded great as I cranked Smoke On The Water through his Marshall JCM800 half-stack. No mic was set up yet, so I just sang at the top of my lungs. It’s such a fun song to belt out.

I had a great time, whether it was playing, singing, or simply hanging out listening to the other musicians having fun.

Turns out Greg is putting something together band-wise for next week’s high school reunion. I’ll be playing and singing a song or three there, now, too.

Time to get the lungs going for a little Who, methinks.

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Mom vs. Def Leppard

My mom talks about me a lot and to pretty much anyone who will listen. It can be nice at times, embarrassing at others. She almost always mentions that I’m a musician. Her hairdresser, the woman at the dry cleaners, the clerk at 7-11 where she buys her lottery tickets, the mailman, bank tellers, and clergy are among the many who know I’m in a band due to the fact that my mom tends to go on about it. As things go, that’s actually good. Promotion!

On one of her trips back home to London, she was telling the flight attendant on her Virgin Atlantic flight about me. Here’s where it gets interesting. Now, my mom would fly business class on the old company’s dime. She had legitimate business to do and as the president of that company always flew first class, he did not balk at a business class ticket for her. Virgin Atlantic, however, does not have first class. They have Upper Class. Business Class pricing with better-than-first-class amenities. Go mom!

So on this one particular flight, she noticed several guys who looked a bit . . . ragged. Torn jeans, etc.. Just not the normal Upper Class attire she was accustomed to, whatever that may have been. Back then (early 1990s), Virgin used to pass around a guest book for all the Upper Class passengers to sign on each flight. When the book got to her, the raggedy guys had already signed. Next to his signature, one of them had written “We Are Def Leppard!” This was totally lost on my mom. No idea. Clueless. But she decided to go talk to them.

“Are you guys in a band?” Yes. “Oh, do you have any records out?” Yes. You can probably find one at HMV. Well, she felt so bad for them, in their raggedy clothes, that she was certainly going to go buy one of their records to help them out. Which she eventually did. (And which is when things dawned on her… but I’m getting ahead of myself.)

What she did not do, however, is mention that her son is in a band. That’s right. Tell your hairdresser, tell the bank teller, let the flight attendant know, because all of these people would be so incredibly helpful in furthering my musical career, but do not tell DEF FUCKING LEPPARD! Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

I learned of all this via a phone call from her hotel room after she had been to HMV and figured out they MIGHT be slightly famous. (Apparently, the fact that they were flying in UPPER CLASS did not impact her assessment of things.)

She did ask me one thing. “Now, dear, I know that it was the fashion several years ago to wear an eye patch even if your eye is good, but that one boy, well . . . is it the fashion to pretend you only have one arm?”

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I Hate It When I’m Forced To Be An Asshole

Some people have no problem turning on that asshole switch, gettin’ their bitch on, or whatever. It always leaves me twitchy. I absolutely HATE doing it. I prefer to be respectful and, in turn, I expect to be treated in a respectful manner. But Fred Loya Insurance (see previous post) just forced me into that mode. So now, I’m not only angry at their handling of the situation, I’m even more angry that they forced me into behavior that makes me squirm. It’s also a fine line between getting highly assertive in a vocally upset manner, and Hulking-out. For me, at least. I do my very best to keep him in check, but there are times when that beast within wants to break out and rampage. Hulk smash. I wasn’t in the best mood already, and having them jerk me around was pushing me to a bad place. Interestingly, I got my point across using none of my typical, every-day foul language. But I still had no choice but to act like a total jerk. They wanted me to drive my car somewhere so they could photograph it and blah blah blah. Then they would approve certain repairs, blah blah blah. Seventy two hours blah blah blah. Four words:

FIX.

MY.

DAMN.

CAR!

It’s NOT rocket science. I take my car to the collision repair facility, they fix it, the insurance company pays. Done. It’s been over a week since I was hit. This waiting, dragging heels, and stalling crap from Loya is a farce. Call me, say go, and nothing more. I will not respond to their “jump through this hoop, now go do that” runaround garbage as anything but the asshole they are forcing me to be. And I despise them for it.

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Let me state, for the record, in my opinion Fred Loya Insurance (a.k.a. Loya Casualty) is a fraud. In my book, this so-called insurance company is just a pack of ripoff artists. My car was hit last week by someone insured with Loya Casualty. She pulled away from the curb without signaling or looking, straight into my car, just as I passed by where she was parked. There’s no way this can be anything but her fault. Luckily, I was going around 15 mph at the time. No injuries, just some pretty bad dents in the front passenger-side door. I keep getting told that they are “investigating” or “researching”. They tell me they need to reach the woman who hit me, but will not answer or return her calls. I think what they’re researching is a way to avoid paying for the damages. I’m really pissed off. Next stop, California Department of Insurance to file a claim. Then I’ll probably take it up with a lawyer, as well. These slimeballs are pissing me off. My car should be FIXED by now.

Loya Casualty (Fred Loya Insurance) is a fraud

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I Love My Gay Cat

So, cat # 3 in the household is Neo. Wait, did I not tell you we have cats? We have cats. Seven. Cats. Three is a good number of cats. The dynamic works quite well. Seven is . . . on the way to crazy town. This is only partly my doing. But I digress. I’m here to discuss Neo.

He chose his own name. How, you ask? The Spousal Unit had picked out a couple of names for him and I did the same. The names she had picked out were Angel and Xander. She may or may not have been a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer at the time. (Hint: she was.) Mine were Mr. Potato Head and Neo. I’m going to guess you don’t need help figuring out where those names came from. I also thought that Neo was an apt name as Neo means “new” and he was, at the time, the newest cat in the growing brood. Anyway, what we did is this: we put him across the room and took turns calling him by each name. “Angel! Angel!” caused him to look around, absent-mindedly. (We were unaware at the time that this would be his normal mode of operation.) “Mr. Potato Head” produced much the same result, as did the diminutive “Spud.” “Xander!” got more of the same. Just . . . vacant. But, ah, calling “Neo!” produced a perk up of the ears, a “chrrrup?” and, yes, a kitten standing up and hurrying over to us.

This may have been the most intelligent thing he’s ever done. Don’t get me wrong, I love this cat. He’s quite probably the sweetest living creature I’ve ever met. He loves attention and will run ahead of you, flop on the floor, and chrrrup for rubs and attention. If you walk over or past him he will repeat this same cute act until you actually do pay attention. But he’s about as smart as a cotton ball. On top of that, he is incredibly orally fixated. Hands, faces, the box fan, counter tops, plastic bags, table legs, CD cases, shoes, door jambs, and chairs are but the tip of the iceberg. The chair, though . . . he licked the faux finish off the chair at the Spousal Unit’s vanity in the master bathroom. All of this, however, pales in comparison to his ongoing affair with the alligator from Fantasia. Yes, you read that right.

Amongst other Disney items in the house, we happened to have a Disney Beanie (like a Beanie Baby, but a Disney character) of the alligator from Fantasia, the ostensibly male alligator that dances with the tutu-wearing hippo. The first cat to discover the alligator was cat #2, Spice. She would “catch” it almost daily and present it as a gift to the Mommy Cat. This is a pretty normal cat behavior. But Neo . . . Neo is different.

Before I go any further it should be noted that Neo is neutered. This probably only adds to his sexual frustration.

The first thing we noticed was that he would hook his lower jaw into his collar, almost as though he needed a ball gag or something. He would jump up on the bed, hook his jaw, knead a blanket, make very strange noises, and, well, slowly hump. We wondered if it was that auto-asphyxiation thing, and warned him about Michael Hutchence. As teenagers are wont to do, he paid us no attention. However, after a few years of this, he suddenly discovered the alligator.

It was basically the same move: chin down, kneading, slowly humping, but with the alligator in his mouth. While he’s never actually gotten it quite right, it’s fairly obvious he is attempting to mount the alligator. This is not a daily occurrence, though. Oh, no. Daily is far too infrequent. My horny little cat does this perhaps three or four times a day, every single day.

I love that stupid gay cat.

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Hello world!

So, here it is. My blog. I’ve started others (and–quite obviously–abandoned them). We’ll see how this one goes. I am at a time in my life where I think I need to start writing out all the things that are going through my head. Well, no. Actually, it would be far more honest and accurate to say a very select few things that are going through my head. While some people may not think so, I do have a filter. Less so when speaking. Or when alcohol is involved. But a filter nonetheless. Also, I do understand that there are some things that would be . . . unwise to put in writing.

This may end up being a rather boring blog if I keep that filter on a high setting.

Sure, if this were an anonymous blog I could just say what I want. Change the names (and probably a locale, date, and time) to protect the guilty, and everyone is off the hook, right? Okay, maybe not. And so here I am.