August 30, 2004

Parking’s no problem

I was at Starbucks today when a group of four fire fighters walked in and sat down at a table. They were obviously on a lunch break. As I left, I noticed their bright red fire engine in the parking lot.

It was parked in the fire zone.

August 27, 2004

Most Popular

Last week I had my first Homeowners Association meeting. I am one of two homeowners on the board of this newly created Association. The other members are representatives of the builders who are building our lovely community. Most of the meeting consisted of us reviewing the list of homeowners who haven’t submitted plans for the landscaping of their front yard. Many were months overdue. The liaison to the organization that is running our community suggested we implement fines. We agreed this was prudent and decided $50 was sufficient to get the homeowners attention. There were probably 30 names on the list, each listed separately. The chair asked for a motion to fine each homeowner not in compliance $50. I responded by saying, “So moved.”

I got the minutes of that meeting in the mail the other day. In the minutes it says the following for each of the thirty homeowners…

First it lists the name and address of the offending homeowner. Then it reads…

Member was requested to appear before the board for non-submittal of plans.
The homeowner did not appear before the board as requested. A motion was made by Matthew, seconded by John Norman and carried, for a $50.00 fine to be levied for non-compliance. The homeowner will be allowed 15 days to submit plans or the fine will be applied to their account.

It says my name on EVERY SINGLE ONE.

I will now be introducing myself to my fellow neighbors as “Chuck.”

Give Jesus Pants

I found this cool website where people can submit misunderstood music lyrics. My favorite so far…

Real Lyrics: All we are saying, is give peace a chance.

Heard as: All we are saying, is give Jesus Pants.

Well, he did wear those long flowing robes.

August 26, 2004

Jail Break

The prisoners ran all over their rookie warden today.

As I mentioned before, I’m taking care of friend’s pets while they are on vacation. There are two cats (Pancho and Tex) and a dog (Jake). Today, as I stepped out onto the front patio of their third story condo, I kept the door slightly cracked as I watered the plants. Before I knew it, the three amigos had conspired to open the door. In a flash all three were making a break for it.

Jake was the fastest and he took off for the stairs like a dog on a mission. The younger, smaller cat Pancho was second and heading the same way. Tex, looking a bit bewildered, froze midway between the door and the stairway to freedom.

I had to act fast. I knew Jake wouldn’t get far because the downstairs gate was closed. So I quickly passed up Tex, who still didn’t have a clue, and went after Pancho. I grabbed him just as he reached the stairs. I then spun around, cat in hand, to go after Tex. Tex knew he didn’t want to get caught, but unable to get by me he went the other way. I grabbed him in one quick swoop and quickly dumped them inside and closed the door.

Meanwhile, Jake had been reveling in his new-found freedom. He was racing around the courtyard trying to find a way out onto the streets. It’s as if he suddenly yearned for the open road and couldn’t wait another minute. I finally collared him (literally) as he danced around me, thinking this was some fun new game. I ushered him upstairs and made my second rookie mistake of the day. I relaxed.

As he felt my fingers slip off his collar, off went Jake again. Down the stairs to start the game all over again. I raced down and, now wise to his ways, quickly cornered him. This time I didn’t let go of him until we were in the condo with the door shut.

The three amigos all stared at me as I closed the door. I swear they were laughing.

August 25, 2004

My life as a dog

I have been taking care of a friend’s dog the past week or so. I have looked after Jake a few times in the past year and a half and I have grown quite fond of him. And while he’s a pretty quirky dog, I started to notice that the way Jake approaches life would be a good way for many of us. Here’s some lessons I’ve learned from Jake…

1) Don’t respond to the barking of other dogs – stay focused on what you’re doing and mark your territory. Jake never barks back at dogs we encounter on our walks. He doesn’t even ackowledge them. He just keeps sniffin’ and peein’. I imagine that he doesn’t feel he needs to respond, since he’s peeing in their front yard.

2) Be kind to the elderly. There is a woman in the neighborhood that has to be near 100 years old. We see her being walked by her young attendant sometimes. Jake always approaches carefully and then lets the old lady pet him.

3) Always show appreciation for others. I sometimes sit with Jake after our walk and watch t.v. so he has someone to hang out with before I leave. Jake always curls up next to me on the couch. And he always seems to end up licking my face.

4) Keep a sunny disposition and everyone will like you. Jake knows everybody in the neighborhood. Jake gets more waves than a beauty queen in a parade.

5) Even when there’s a pressing need, make time to say hello. Jake always has to pee really bad by the time I get there in the morning. However, he jumps around and lets me pet him before we head outside.

6) We all have our weaknesses. Alas, Jake is a loveable wimp. Jake lives with two cats and one of the cats torments Jake. Jake is afraid of this cat. It’s a sad sight but we overlook it because he’s got so much personality.

And finally,

7) Exercise keeps you regular. I have learned a trick to make Jake poop so I don’t have to worry about him doing it in the house. After he’s peed and we’ve walked about half a block, I run him for one block. We run down the street at a high speed. He usually goes within 40 feet of our stopping.

August 20, 2004

Olympic Spirit

The Olympics are a weird thing for me. I cannot watch women’s (come on, it’s girls and we all know it) gymnastics without feeling a huge amount of anxiety. I blame the announcers and NBC’s need to paint the bleakest picture of how this young girl/woman from some former eastern bloc country had to overcome the death of her parents, the ending of her country and abject poverty to arrive at this moment. A gold medal will promise her a lifetime of security that she could never have otherwise.

And it never fails. The girl falls.

And I spend the rest of the night wondering how this young girl will ever live a normal life.

On the other hand, I find myself rooting for American’s in sports I didn’t even know existed (did you know that trampoline is a sport). I also find great pleasure watching the Chinese fail. I’m not sure why.

Although the words “commie scum” comes out of my mouth quite often.

Somewhere Ronald Reagan is smiling.

August 16, 2004

Don’t Pray and Drive

To the lady in the small compact car next to me in rush hour traffic today:

Counting your rosary while driving doesn’t inspire confidence in those driving around you.

Besides, whatever you were praying about, I was praying that you wouldn’t hit me.

And the job market continues to decline…

While washing my hands in a public restroom, a framed piece of paper caught my eye. It was a list for the janitor to check off after cleaning the bathroom. The janitor’s initials were M.A. and his or her initials were scrawled multiple times on the sheet. At the bottom of the sheet there was a section for comments. There was one line printed in, by now, familiar penmanship. It read:

Must find new job. -M.A.

August 12, 2004

Thanks for the clarification

A strung out looking woman came into my Y today and started talking to me and a colleague about a membership. She started the conversation as if we knew her and she proceeded to provide us with way too much information. First, she told us she’s had 13 pregnancies and, on the last pregnancy, one of her “tubes exploded.” Second, she told us, as if we needed to really understand that “I’m not a model or a hooker.”

My response to the second comment would be it’s pretty obvious on the first part. Perhaps she needs to work on the second part.

August 11, 2004

…And the Joker Got Away, Hey!

I followed a guy home today who was driving a white Pontiac Trans-Am with Washington State license plates and the Bat Man logo on his door. He kept wanting to go really fast but there were too many cars on the road.

Listen, tough guy. While I’m sure, where you come from, there aren’t other cars around for miles and you can race around in your glorified Hot Wheel, we Californians prefer our fellow drivers not be crazy when we’re trying to negotiate rush hour traffic. And furthermore, maybe in Washington chicks think you’re cool if you drive around pretending to be a comic book hero, but around here you’re just plain weird.

In fact, girls aren’t thinking “Wow, what a cool guy.” They’re thinking “Small Penis.” Okay, maybe it’s just me who’s thinking that.

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