Thursday, November 30, 2006

Dear Charlie:

Well, well, well. I'm snowed in.

Now, technically, I could have claimed to be snowed in this morning. There were only a couple of inches of snow, but there was a good, solid, inch-thick layer of ice under that, and another crust of ice over the top.

But, good little soldier that I am, I even got up early to get to work early to call clients and tell them that they shouldn't risk being out in this weather. Like the captain of the ship -- which much less clout and pay, of course -- I was the first to arrive and the last to leave today. No biggie.

However...by the time I got home, there were more like four or five inches of accumulation -- snow and sleet, those little pellets that just stack up and freeze into clumps --and it was just getting going. Now...at about 10:30 at night...it's more like 8 inches. Mostly snow, that last bit, but just enough ice that I'm sure going anywhere would be lots of fun.

Not that I can even see the street.

So, while I had planned to make an attempt to go to work tomorrow, I think I will put aside my trooper's hat and join the ranks of those who called in today. I will unplug my phone and sleep in while the snow piles up and looks pretty before the neighborhood strays come and yellow it up.

Yup. I'm taking a snow day. I may just have to run out tomorrow and throw some snowballs at the neighbors or build an ice fortress. The thought of a snow day makes me feel like a kid again. Weird, ain't it?

Oh, yeah. And snow days make me want to bake cookies. Good thing I stopped off by the grocery store tonight and walked through the buckshot sleet to buy some chocolate chips on the way home, ne?

Friday, November 24, 2006

My Dearest Charles:

There are many things for which I am grateful that I didn't get to blog about yesterday, mainly because they hadn't happened yet. Heh. So here is my mega-thankful list as of this ungodly hour of the morning (I've been up since 7:00, if you believe it!):

1. Sudden Chiefs tickets. Those rule.

2. Having a Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving when I hadn't expected anything until the weekend and had already had one Thanksgiving dinner last weekend.

3. Arrowhead. 'Nuff said.

4. Chiefs fans. We rule, folks. Hands down.

5. Asshats. I will explain. Gimme time.

6. Seeing John Fogerty live in concert for the halftime show. Wow. I mean, wow. Fortunate Son alone was worth driving all the way to KC for.

7. Rooting and laughing with total strangers in a strangely homey, family-like environment while our boys scramble for a 19-10 win against division rivals to put us above the Flaming-Maned Ass Ponies in the division for the first time in a long time. We might...might...still nab a wild-card slot folks. No lie.

8. Screaming for 3 ½ hours straight with only one beer and one Coke to soften the blow and still having enough voice left to woot a few times through the parking lot.

9. Telling everyone you come across that you're squeaky-hoarse because you screamed for 3 ½ hours straight at the Chiefs game on Thanksgiving and watching their expressions.

10. Nose-bleed section seats. Seriously. Those are where the dedicated few/many sit.

11. The long drive home during which you get to laugh about the heckling and the jokes and the good plays and the bad calls.

Yes. I had a good time. Not only is Arrowhead Stadium one of my favorite places to be, but we also sat in the fun section. Who knew?

Seriously. So this couple is sitting a few rows down in Broncos gear. I'm not talking just a jersey and a ball cap. The woman's wearing the fake dreads in Broncos colors. The guy...is wearing a foam horse-head on his head. Both painted their faces.

I think you can probably see where this is going, but I'll tell you anyway because it cracks me up.

So, various Chiefs afficionados have dubbed our stalwart opponents The Donkeys, right? They're horses. It's not that big a jump. And an even shorter jump is from Donkeys to Asses, of course.

Now, if you were a Chiefs fan at Denver, you can expect to get beat up for a whole lot less than rooting for your boys. However, at Arrowhead, you're more likely to get heckled a lot and maybe get a beer "accidentally" spilled on you. Why not? I mean, you're pretty likely to get a beer acciddentally spilled on you even as a Chiefs fan.

So, the Horse Head is a few rows down, and some good-naturedly rowdy boys (probably 25-ish in age) are sitting right behind him and his nag...errrr..girl. Needless to say, the heckling started before the game even did. It took about 3 minutes of playing time to hit the Ass epithet.

It took until halftime for Horse Head to threaten to call Security. All over a few heckles. Not even particularly damaging heckling. At St. Louis, one of those 25-something hecklers was called a child molester, for God's sake.

This guy was just called an Ass. And by the way he was acting, he deserved it.

Anyway, so it didn't take long for the whole section to find out about Horse Head's threat. It took even less time for the entire section to come to the boys' aid and heckle hard-core. Cries of "Mama! Save me, Mama!" and "Uh-oh, he's biting his lip! Better shut up or he'll call Security!" were almost as frequent as the screams for DEFENSE! and SACK THAT SUMBITCH!

At some point, I pointed out that Ass is a technical term, even Biblical if you wanted to go that far. The boys agreed whole-heartedly. After all, we were dealing with one hell of a Jackass.

It was beautiful.

And about halfway through the third quarter, it hit me. The Horse Head. I leaned over, whacked Dad on the arm, and hollered over the crowd noise, "Hey! I just thought of something! Wouldn't the technical term for that particular headgear be Ass Hat?"

The boys heard it. Horse Head was Ass Hat for the rest of the game.

*bows*

Needless to say, Security wasn't called, though Event Staff did walk by. The heckling never came even close to a fight -- mostly because the boys were just goofing around with no truly mean intent and because Ass Hat was a total wuss who couldn't put up with a little jackassery in return. We all had a good time...except perhaps for Ass Hat.

Happy Thanksgiving, indeed. Good times, folks. Good times.

Oh, and a quote from an NFL.com recap article that just makes me happy:

Making the night even more festive was an in-house standing-room-only crowd of 80,866, the largest since 1972, the year the Chiefs opened the facility that many call the loudest outdoor stadium in the league.

"Our fans were awesome," Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen said. "We took energy from them all night."

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

My Dearest Charles:

The Evil Editor called for "I'm thankful for..." blurbs on his site. I said something goofy and hopefully amusing. But here, I'm gonna say what I'm truly thankful for.

CHIEFS TICKETS, BABY! WOOT!

Ahem. That's right, campers. My beloved sister -- for whom I'm truly thankful because I love her dearly and because she is the best sister money can buy, heh -- called me just moments ago to tell me that That Man had won Chiefs tickets off the radio and they couldn't go.

"Can you go, Sis?"

"Does a bear shit in the timber, Sis?"

Okay, I didn't use the S word, but you get the idea. So, me and Dad are saddling up to go to the big game tomorrow night. Arrowhead for Thanksgiving!

There are no words!

So have a lovely and fun-filled Thanksgiving, all ye who enter here. I'm going where hope abounds! Woot!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Dear Charlie:

*silently points to sidebar scoreboard and determinedly does not caper with glee*

In other news, my beloved Chiefs need to step it up if they're gonna take the Broncos, even at Arrowhead. Seriously. If they play like that against Denver, they're gonna do a lot worse than losing by only scoring field goals.

I believe in you, guys! Just...DO it!

So, I'm sitting here eating Carcass Soup. Perhaps the best stuff in the world. It's like Thanksgiving Dinner in a bowl.

Mom, bless her heart, boils what's left of the turkey after she cuts off most of the meat. Then, she drains it and picks out anything that might be nasty or floating and cuts in some turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Then, she makes homemade egg noodles and dumps those in, too.

The result? The. Best. Soup. EVER.

And I got the leftovers. Woot! *slurps*

Plus, it sounds like I'm going to my beloved sister's Thursday evening for the Chiefs game. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to see it without invading a friend's house (who may or may not care if the Chiefs are playing) and I hate to do that on a holiday. Plus, I haven't seen Sis's new house, and that's just wrong!

Football, here I come!

And thank GOD for a short week. Man, I can SO use it!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dear Charlie:

Why do you want to live?

If you would learn just a little from me, you would not beg to live. I am rumor. It is a blessed condition, believe me. To be whispered about on street corners, to live in other people's dreams, but not to have to be.

Do you understand?


I think that quote is the reason I love Clive Barker's 1992 movie, The Candyman. That, and the Candyman's voice, of course. Man, that guy has a resonant, deep, throbbing voice. Shivers me every time.

But it's that explanation, that seduction....

Candyman is trying to seduce Helen into immortality with him. Time immemorial as living fiction, as solidified dream. To exist without being.

But he is also trying to seduce her to his side. No one wants to be immortal alone. He had his love in life, which damned him to his brutal, blood-soaked immortality. Now, he wants that love in death.

As he says, "It was always you, Helen."

He is not your average haunt. He is not your average monster. He is noble, desperately sad, heroic in his devotion to building his immortality on others' fears. When people forget him, he will truly be dead. Thus, he ensures that no one will ever forget him.

In a way, Freddy Krueger's dream-reign is based on the same idea -- that such monstrous power comes from belief, from imagination, from that well of primal fear that we so rarely have to face in the Real World and that so often freezes us when a truly terrifying situation does arise. It's fight or flight, the natural, animal response to dangerous stimuli, but skewed in perception because we can't tell if the danger is real or imagined.

Thus, the freeze. Thus, the death.

But Freddy, bless his wicked heart, was king of the slashing one-liners. Candyman...there lies honor and sophistication.

A much more terrifying horror. A much more fascinating legacy.

Oh, yeah. Also, bees. *nods to the Evil Editor*

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Dear Charlie:

One of the things with which I have a love/hate relationship in the great game of football is momentum.

It can make or break a team. If you're ahead, it can keep you there. If you're behind, a single break can give you the momentum to take the lead. If you're 7-0, it can make you 8-0. If you're 0-7, it can make you 0-8.

Momentum. Blessing of the football gods, and curse.

Thus, the Miami Dolphins, who sat at an unenviable 1-7 before last week's game, managed to topple the surprisingly 7-0 Chicago Bears from their unbeaten pinnacle. Dunno how it happened. My guess is a turnover or two, or maybe just an early break in a previously impenetrable defense. However it happened, the Dolphins snatched the momentum and ran with it.

Enter my beloved Chiefs this week. We just never could get the momentum. The Dolphins shut us down on all sides, though our defense did an admirable job holding them to two field goals and a single touchdown. Our offense, though....

No momentum. No forward motion.

Beautiful passes batted down. Nifty running lanes plugged by howling defensive linemen. Momentum.

So, my boys dropped a heartbreaker at 10-13, but I can't complain too much. I can regret and remorse, but I won't complain. After all, while we lost the first two games, we won 5 of 6 since then. So what if that's now 5 of 7? Them's still pretty good odds for a team I was praying would break even this year.

Bless their hearts, they've played like troopers this season, and I won't complain about them losing to a 2-7 team that just beat a previously unbeaten team. It's momentum, is all.

Maybe next week, that fickle mistress will be on our side, ne?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Dear Charlie:

Teh Evol Migraine of Doom seems to have receeded for the nonce. I went to work Wednesday and Thursday, though I had to leave early Thursday because it exploded again with a vengeance, but Friday was much better and I stayed at work all day again. Today, just a wee bit of regular headache and still a bit sensitive to bright light.

MUUUUUCH better.

Last night, one of my best friends in the world graduated from electronics school. Yes, he was actually done with his classes months ago, but the graduation for everyone was last night. We, his friends, made a united front in support of a man who finally decided that he wanted to try the head of the class.

And he succeeded. Dave graduated with honors, bless his heart. Good man.

Then, our group all went to Olive Garden to celebrate. BIG MISTAKE. See, there were six of us, and three of us smoked, so we asked for the smoking section. Used to be, you'd be seated in an instant if you asked for the smoking section.

Not so anymore. Over an hour later, the servers hadn't even asked us if we wanted a drink, for God's sake. Last time I EVER go to Olive Garden.

Why did we stay? The never-ending pasta bowl. Yes, we're all on a budget, and I personally like a little variety in my meal. So, we stayed in the frequently empty lobby, waiting for a table in the smoking section so we could order six never-ending pasta bowls and gab about how proud we were of Dave's accomplishment.

When we were FINALLY seated...no pasta bowl. It ran out last week. Figures.

So, we did what any self-respecting and long-neglected patrons would do: LEFT. Even though we were starving, we stood and walked out. Pitiful service and no food at a reasonable price? Yeah, we left.

We ended up at Johnny Carino's, another (better) Italian joint, where we were seated almost instantly (seriously, within five minutes), offered bread and beverages, and treated like customers instead of red-headed step-children.

Lemme break it down for you in concrete numbers:

Fettucini Alfredo at Olive Garden: $10.50 ($12.50 with chicken)
Fettucini Alfredo at Carino's: $7.99 ($8.99 with chicken)

Yeah. And the alfredo sauce at Carino's doesn't curdle when you nuke it the next day. It stays nice and creamy. Although I had the cheese tortellini with creamy meat sauce. *drools*

Anyway, a good time was eventually had by all, and it was good to sit with friends and laugh our asses off in a public place with food and Coke and little loaves of bread. Lots of fun. And Dave? We couldn't be more proud.

Oh, and here are my picks for the week:

Indianapolis over Buffalo
San Fran over Detroit [who cares?]
San Diego over Cincinnati [but go bengals!]
Baltimore over Tennessee [God only knows with these two]
Atlanta over Cleveland
Philly over Washington [is this a week full of "God only knows" games, or what?]
Green Bay over Minnesota [yeah, I know]
New England over Jets
Kansas City over Miami [go chiefs!]
Jacksonville over Houston
Denver over Oakland [I feel a disturbance in The Force]
Seattle over St. Louis
Dallas over Arizona [who cares?]
New Orleans over Pittsburgh [go NO!]
Chicago over Giants [might be an awesome game, though]
Carolina over Tampa Bay [who cares?]

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Dear Charlie:

Guh. Day 3 of Teh Evol Migraine. I think my brain is bleeding. It hurts so bad it ought to be, anyway.

And I can't sleep it off because the friggin entire City Public Works Department is less than a block behind my house making an atrocious amount of noise. They have this machine that's like a slo-mo jackhammer. And at least ten times as loud. I can't tell what they're beating/pounding on, but it resonates. Each hit feels like it imprints on my poor, abused brain.

Not. Cool.

I had to adjust down the contrast on my screen to even bear turning on the ol' laptop. I haven't had a light on in my house since Sunday afternoon. Yeah, I felt it coming on then and took precautions, but it was already too late, I guess. And while I have aspirin, I no longer have Coke in the house, so there goes that "remedy".

Plus, I don't dare drive anywhere. It hurts so bad my vision is honest to God blurred and I wince at any unexpected noise, no matter how soft.

So, I'm home for the second day in a row -- and after I just bragged about rarely missing work and usually having to be sent home, dammit -- trying to get rid of this thing, and it's not working. If I could just take a handful of ibuprofen and go to sleep for a while, I could probably outsleep it.

But the frickin CONSTRUCTION!! God, I am so tempted to stumble out there with ketchup dripping from my ears to convince them that their "work" is killing me! Dear God in Heaven, do they have to keep using that thing???

*goes to die now*

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Dear Charlie:

Woot!

*dances and points at sidebar scoreboard*

Okay, carry on.