•September 20, 2013 • Leave a Comment

AJ PicI lost my dear friend AJ yesterday.  She was my cranky and regal feline companion that I have had the great fortune to share my home with over the past 13 years.  When she was younger, she looked like she was a descendent from the great cats of Egypt…dark gray…full of pride and royal beauty.  I inherited her from a two year relationship that ended back in 2002.  While the relationship ended, the friendship with the previous parent did not…and she was also very saddened to hear of her passing.  AJ was very loved.

Our best guess is that AJ was around 18 to 19 years old.  The entire time she was with me she was full of spunk and attitude.  She would sleep under the covers with me and poke her head out of the blankets like any person would…and walk around the house like she owned the place.  She was moody…but so was I…and it worked for us…we were a great fit together.  About 5 months ago she stopped sleeping with me because she could no longer lay on her side…and she would only let me pet her for a few seconds before she would walk away and start to cough.  I took her to the vet and they said its a growth in her lungs and since she is so old, there is not much they can do…but she was otherwise still healthy.  So, both her and I adjusted.  She would sleep by my legs and I would pet her for a few seconds on her head and under her neck several times a day.

Then, on Wednesday night when I got home, she was coughing non stop and could not lay down to fall asleep.  I stayed up and talked with her all night as she would doze off here and there while sitting on her belly by my legs. I started to cry a little several times throughout the night…sensing what was coming. I sent an email to work saying I would not be in…and she finally fell asleep around 4:30am…and I shortly after.  I woke up around 8, which is when she usually wakes me up to feed her breakfast and she was sitting in her usual spot.  When I fed her…she only took a few bites and then walked away.  I knew something was up…so I called the vet and explained the situation.  They told me to spend time with her and bring her in later that day…so I did.  We walked around the house…laid in her favorite places…and we sat outside on the deck in the sun (something she loved to do) in what was likely the last really nice day of the summer.  When I went to give her more wet food…she again, didn’t eat very much…and then it was time to go to the vet.

On the ride over she didn’t meow at all (and she always meowed in car rides)…but again she could not stop coughing…so I talked with her the whole time and put my fingers in the cat carrier holes to comfort her all the while starting to cry a little more along the way.  The vet examined her and said the growth has gotten bigger and causing her to have a very hard time breathing and that the end was very close.  Faced with her suffocating to death in the next few days, I chose to have her go in a more peaceful and painless manner to her final resting place….which the Vet and the Vet assistant completely agreed with.  They asked if I wanted to stay in the room and I said yes…after 13 years of companionship, I was not going to let her go through this alone.  As the vet was giving her the shot, I kept saying “you are ok sweetie…it’s almost over” as I would pet the top of her head…now full on weeping.  The Vet was very stoic and deliberate, a true professional…making the process as peaceful as he could for AJ and me.  The vet assistant was doing her very best not cry…her eyes were big and she was looking at the wall.  And then it was over…AJ had taken her final breath and she was gone.  They left me alone with her for several minutes…and I kept petting her, talking to her…telling her I loved her.  I put a towel over her so only her head was exposed and closed her eyes…all the while still talking to her…and sobbing…much like I am now as I type this.  The vet sent me flowers today with a personalized note about AJ…which was nice of them.  I suspect it’s standard practice for them when they put down a pet…but it was still very thoughtful.

I have never lost a family member, friend, or pet before…I didn’t know my grandparents, or my father…I have not lost any friends or other family that I am close too…and all the pets I had as a kid were given away before I ever had to deal with their death.  AJ was my first pet as an adult…and she is the first being I have ever loved that I have lost to death.  This is all new and very painful to me. I am a 38 year old man and for the first time in my life…experiencing real grief.  Funny the things you never learn how to deal with when you don’t let anyone get close to you.

I know it will get better and time will help me think of all the many good memories we have shared over the last 13 years…but that does not stop me from picturing her as I walk by her favorite spots in this large and now empty house.  It didn’t stop me from waking up this morning at 8am thinking she would be waiting for me by the kitchen to provide her breakfast.  It didn’t stop me from crying when I walked in the door today and she was not there to greet me and meow hello like she has done for so many years.  I took the day off of work to collect her things and vacuum up all the cat hair around the house…and at each of her favorite spots…I would start to cry and think of her.

I don’t know how to process this loss…I have never had to before.  She was just here…such a big and important part of my life.  Always checking on me in whatever room of the house I was in…making sure that if I was up to no good, she would be a part of it.  And just like that…she is gone.  I can’t go back to yesterday when she was here…I can’t pretend this is a bad dream and wake up to find her sleeping next to me as she has for the past 13 years.  She is gone…forever…and I don’t know how to deal with that.  I have to get on a plane tomorrow for a 14 hour flight to the Philippines for work…and I don’t know how I am going to do it without periodically bursting into tears as I think of her.  I just keep telling myself that she was loved and lived a long and good life…and remember that someday, the memories of her will make me smile…instead of cry.

Goodbye AJ.  You lived a very long and comfortable life…with a warm bed to sleep in, a full belly of food, and spent your life with someone who cared very much for you and gave you love every day.  You have been a great and dear friend to me for the last 13 years…and I hope I was half as good a friend to you.  You are loved and missed.

The wisdom of hippies…

•July 24, 2010 • 2 Comments

So I hired a guy named Max to do some work around my house, install a ceiling fan, do some light electrical, that sort of thing.  Turns out…Max is a flaming hippy!  I don’t have much experience with hippies other than knowing Cartman from South Park does not like them because they hug trees.  But Max here seems pretty cool…he has lots of stories to tell about concerts he has seen, women his has been with, and drugs he has tried.  He even drives a cool van with curtains in the windows…how awesome is that?  He is old…probably around mid 50’s, says “man” and “dude” a lot…and likes to work with his shirt off…which was awkward at first but I have adjusted and learned to keep my distance.

I was just outside watering my lawn when he stepped outside to “take a quick break” and headed to the back of his van…at which point he promptly closed the windows and doors only to pop out about 10 minutes later smelling a little funny and seeming much more chipper and friendly.  I feel I have a lot to learn from this relic of the past.  There is something to be admired about a man who knows what he likes and the time frame he likes to live…even if that time frame was 40 years ago (yes…that is right…1971 was 40 years ago).  I was born in 1974….so I pretty much spent the 70’s burping up on myself and dropping dukies in my disposable diapers.  But, after some reflection, I’m thinking me effectively missing the 70’s  was a good thing.  I mean, if I was a teen in, or even in my twenty’s  in the 70’s…I just don’t think I would have made it.  To many drugs, to many political fights to fight…to many girls to fall in love with…and then lose as they move on to the next guy…which from my understanding and what Max is telling me, happened a lot.  As Max is installing a ceiling fan in my bedroom…he is reminiscing about how the 70’s were a simpler time..no one worried about getting an STD that killed you, everyone he knew was always willing to share weed, and he had no trouble finding a place to sleep when he needed one.  He said he still tries to live that way of life as much as posible…but everyone today is so focused on money and their jobs that more and more he is feeling isolated and alone.  I have nothing to offer him except money for working on my house…and an ear to listen to the stories that he tells. 

This is the first of many days to come where Max will be doing work for me…and I sense that I’m going to get an education in a lifestyle that I know very little about and a time that I can only reference through movies and Hunter S Thompson books.     After all, I’m a 90’s child…a generation Xer.  Give me a micro brew (which I don’t really like), a rerun of saved by the bell, and music that makes me want to kill myself and I’m a happy boy.  I’m off to inspect Max’s work (from a distance) and see if I can glean anymore insight to the life and times of a hippy who misses the 70’s.  At $20 an hour…this is a lot cheaper…and truly educational…then most of what I learned in college!

“If it feels good…do it!”


Corey’s not dead…well…not yet anyway…

•July 10, 2010 • 3 Comments

…hmmm…Corey’s not dead…that is a fantastic band name.  Over the last several months, I have received many emails and text messages, even a hand full of phone calls  inquiring as to my health, well-being, and current state of living.  I can assure you…I’m alive and in moderately good health.  I have just had a lot on my mind and really didn’t have it in me to put in all into words.  First of all, it would have been a whole lot to write, and second of all, I’m not a good enough writer to do it.  Thanks to everyone for checking on me though…it’s nice to know I have people in the world who care about me and want to make sure I have not thrown myself off any large buildings.   I have missed writing…and it feels good to just sit down and type out my unedited thoughts again. 

A lot has happened since my last post…I don’t even know where to begin.  Lets see…I got a new job…Operations Manager for a technology consulting firm in Kirkland (it’s not near as cool as it sounds…and come to think of it, it doesn’t sound all that cool).  I got dumped…a girlfriend with whom I reconnected said she met someone new…which was very da ja vu for me because she said the same thing 5 years ago.  This time she ended it with compassion and respect…a stark difference from the last time.   As far as dumpings go…this one was definitely in my top 3…if we had goodbye sex, it might have even been #1…but, sadly, we did not.  I had a really good time with her…sitting in her living room debating about love, sex, food and music.  Reading out loud to one another from various books we found enjoyable.  Unfortunaltely…she found the proverbial Mr. Right…and it wasn’t me.  She was quite pretty to look at…and I could listen to her passionately talk for hours about how to properly prepare a steak and how John Mayer is the prophet of our generation.  Red wine and ambien make for great conversations!  I will miss that…and her.

My best friend moved to Texas….thats right…fucking Texas!  A god damn red state for Christs sake.  We still talk via IM and send one another drunk texts (we are not gay I swear)…but it’s not the same.  He moved to Texas for an awesome girl…now before you say “what the fuck!…you should know she REALLY is an awesome girl…and totally worth it…but it’s still Texas…and I still miss him.  No more late nights of drinking and talking about girls…or what super power we would pick and why (note to self…future post about what super power I would pick and why)…and knowing he was around when I needed him…which was quite a lot.  There is no way in hell I’m visiting him in texas until winter though….way to damn hot..and I’m not sure how I will fare in a red state…thought getting my ass kicked in Texas would make a great blog post!  I’m going to be best man at his wedding in the Bahamas in September though…which is going to be sweet.  4 days at a luxury resort with all the top shelf liquor you can drink included in the price.  Oh yeah…this has international incident written all over it.  One last adventure with my best friend as he transitions from one life to another…I can’t wait!

I’m open to exploring new and old options in love…taking things one day at a time…but feeling good about it…no expecations, no presure…just enjoying the thought of being with someone I care about.  If it works out… great…if it doesn’t…that is ok too.  I feel like I’m finally at a point where I can leave my many many demons in the past and think only about today…and maybe even tomorrow.  It’s early..and maybe I’m way to optimistic…but at least I can go into something with my eyes wide open..and know I’m not going to sabotage things like all my other relationships over last 10 years.  Well…that is my hope anyway…wish me luck!

If I have any readers left…thank you for staying with me.  I needed some time to sort through changes in my life and prepare for changes in the future (complete career change…more to come on that).  I feel like I’m ready to start writing again and putting my thoughts into words I can share with those who care to listen.  I make no promises on how much I will be able to post…but I can honestly tell you that it’s really great to be typing into WordPress again.  Thanks for reading…

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

– Maria Robinson

The High Road – Favorite Song On The Radio Right Now…

•April 23, 2010 • 2 Comments

The Shins are a fantastic band.  I was first introduced to them via the Garden State soundtrack when I heard and instantly loved New Slang.  It has a melancholy sound with lyrics and a melody that were simple but very appealing and I could not get enough of it.  A little later I heard Australia and Saint Simon, both of which I liked but not as much as New Slang as they were more upbeat and fun.  Then, one night about 2 years ago, I was driving home from work and heard Phantom Limb on the radio for the first time…once again I was enamored with the Shins.  Phantom Limb had a sound and feel that spoke to me and it was one of, if not, my favorite song of 2008.

Why am I sharing all this with you?  Because my favorite song on the radio this month is by the band Broken Bells…which consists of producer Danger Mouse (produced albums for Beck, Gorillaz, and formed the band Gnarls Barkley) and James Mercer, the lead singer and song writer for the Shins.  The song is called the High Road and it could very well be a Shins song except it’s a little more advanced then their earlier stuff.  I’m sure the other members of the Shins are great musicians…but it’s really nice to see what James Mercer is capable of when working with someone who is more experimental and creative with sounds.  The collaboration between James Mercer and Danger Mouse (fantastic name by the way) has worked out brilliantly…at least on this one song  I have heard…the video is pretty cool too.  Once again James Mercer has created something that really appeals to me…even if it’s not with the Shins. 

My favorite song on the radio for the month of April…The High Road by Broken Bells.  Enjoy.

Squat The Parking (and now speeding ticket) God…

•April 16, 2010 • 2 Comments

The West Seattle bridge sucks.  Well, actually, I have nothing against the bridge,  I just hate the 45 MPH speed limit.  In the immortal words of Sammy Haggar…I can’t drive 55…or 45 for that matter (the speed limit on the West Seattle bridge)…my car, Kate Winslet, will get mad at me if I do.  Also it’s ridiculous to have a speed limit that no one but grandparents and nervous, pimple faced, kids who are taking driving tests follow…but I digress.  The point of this story to highlight how sometimes believing in a God, Squat The Parking God in particular, allows for divine intervention, even though this intervention had nothing to do with parking. 

Before I dive into the story, a little background on Squat The Parking God is needed.  Many years ago, my wise and wonderful sister educated me as to the ways of Squat.  She informed me that Squat provides true believers with excellent parking spaces.  But, like relationships with most Gods, it comes at a price.  If you are blessed with a good parking space, it’s important to thank him right away, otherwise, it could be months before you find another good parking spot.  Squat is nothing if not a vengeful god.  For those of you who think I’m making this up, google “Squat The Parking God” and you find many links detailing the wonders of his power.  Now, it should be noted that in most of those pages, Squat is refered to as a “she”…and while this may be correct, in my 15 years of worship, I have always refered to Squat as a he, and this has never offended the proprietor of good parking.  Giving praise to Squat as a “he” or a “she” is not as important is just believing.  So there you have it, some background on Squat The Parking God…though I’m going to start referring to him as Squat The Parking & Speeding Ticket God from here on out…and for good reason. 

There I was, minding my own business, driving east bound on the west seattle bridge, trying to pass a very plan looking gray car going 45 (the speed limit).  When I tried to pass on the right, another car cut me off, so I was stuck behind this 45 MPH speed racer grandpa in front of me (which I was tailgating a little close too…I’m not proud of it, but he was going really slow).  Once the car on the right turned off, I made my move and started to pass the slow gray car at a very quick clip.   Suddenly,  I heard a short burst of police sirens…confused, I look around and see no sign of a police car anywhere in my area…so I continue my acceleration and leave said plan looking gray car in the dust (yeah…I really am that dumb).   

Awww…sweet freedom.  With no cars in front of me…I speed up to 60 MPH and sing along  to Forgot About Dre blasting from my stereo.  Out of nowhere, I hear the police sirens again and look in the mirror to see where the lights and sirens are coming from.  Sure enough, the plan gray UNMARKED COP car that suddenly found his gas pedal quickly catches up to me.  Frustrated at being so stupid (he gave me a warning for Christs sake) I start swearing like a porn star and look for a place to pull over.  Since we are on the West Seattle bridge, there is no place to pull over…so I continue to drive until an exit comes up…him tailgating me the whole time.  Now, to be fair to me…this slow ass gray car did not look anything like a cop car…if it did, I would not have acted like such a jackass.  It’s “unmarked” status was very effective.

Coming up to the north and south i5 off ramps, I resign myself to my fate of getting my first speeding ticket in over 10 years. Given how I was just tailgating him for a solid 3 minutes until I passed him at a speed well outside the accepted speed limit…I figured my chances of getting out of a ticket were slim.    As I start to take the i5 south exit (the first to come up) I look in my rearview mirror and see the police officer, still tailgating me,  lights and sirens going full blast, looking down at something (maybe running my license plate)…and drive right past the exit I had just taken.  My eyes are now the size of dinner plates and I  look out my side window (because we are now driving parallel and see him look up, look at me to his right, and notice the big cement blocks now separating us.  Merging on to i5…not really sure what just happened or how I could possibly be so lucky, I do what seemed the only logical thing to do…I thanked Squat The Parking God for this most fortuitous turn of events.                   

I was already a big believer in Squats powers…but now I’m a full-fledged, card caring disciple.  So just remember, the next time you get a great parking spot, or get out of a speeding ticket that you clearly and most righteously deserve…be sure to thank Squat The Parking & Speeding Ticket God…for he (or she depending on how you roll) is a good God to have on your side.

“I can believe anything…provided it’s incredible.”

– Oscar Wilde   

I Think Someone Is Shrinking My Pants…

•April 11, 2010 • 1 Comment

I refuse to believe there could be any other reason as to why my pants are feeling a bit snug lately other than my pants are getting smaller.  I’m quite sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I have been eating ice-cream for breakfast the last several days.  It’s hard work being as out of shape as I am…I mean, how else am I going to be able to keep my professional bowlers figure? 

Most of the food I bought to help me make it through my 3 weeks of unemployment was not of the “healthy” variety.   I purchased enough pasta to feed a moderately sized, non dieting, mob family for a week (that includes Tony Soprano…and he is a big boy).  Enough beans, tortillas, cheese, and sour cream to feed the entire mexican national soccer team during a two-hour siesta lunch.  AND Safeway had Kraft Mac & Cheese on sale for $.60 a box…so I bought 10.  They also had Crunch Berry Capt’ Crunch on sale for $2.50 a box so I bought like 4 of those…but I always do that so it’s not outside the norm.  Note to self…write post about my love for kids morning cereal.

I still have two weeks to go before I start working again…so the way I see it, I have one of three options to make sure my pant shrinking problem stays under control.  1, I stop eating so many peanut butter M&M’s…which I’m pretty sure would require me to go to some inpatient dependency program…because they are like crack…well, crack laced with peanut butter.  2, I start buying bigger pants, which I fear will only be a short-term solution as the pants shrinking will likely continue.  Or 3, I stay up late and scope out just who the hell is shrinking my pants in the middle of the night and then spray them with mace.  I think option 3 is the most likely…you hear that you pant shrinking bastards…I’m on to you!

I’m hungry…guess I will go eat some peanut butter M&M’s…my pants better not shrink while I’m gone.

“SKINNY PEOPLE TICK ME OFF!!! Especially when they say things like, “You know sometimes I forget to eat.” Now I’ve forgotten my address, my mother’s maiden name, and my car keys, but I have never forgotten to eat. You have to be a special kind of stupid to forget to eat.”


Good Friday & Steak, It’s What’s For Breakfast (and lunch)…

•April 2, 2010 • 1 Comment

I learned something new today.   A lovely lady friend of mine, whom I’m going to refer to as Beatrice, informed me that if you are a good practicing Catholic…steak, or meat of any kind for that matter, is not to be on the menu on Good Friday.  Lucky for me, I’m not a good practicing Catholic…because I didn’t get that memo.     

Since I’m not working for the next two weeks, I procured a whole lot of food in an attempt to hone my cooking skills (you know, to complement my developing Ninja skills).  One of the items I purchased was a rib eye steak (which is the best kind of steak, don’t listen to those “new york” or “prime rib” sissies).  So when I woke up this morning and went downstairs wondering what I wanted for breakfast…the rib eye was staring me down, daring me to eat it.  People eat rib eye steaks for breakfast all the time right?  Totally normal!  The steak was the size of a toilet seat so I cut it in half, 1 a test steak…or “breakfast” and the other the real deal…or “lunch”.  What?  It is my personal philosophy that you can never have too much steak.

The breakfast steak was ok…but I was a little disappointed with it.  I read online that you should tenderize the meat before cooking…and I don’t have a tenderizer.  Being the resourceful man that I am, I used the next best thing…my hammer.  After giving my hammer a good washing, I preceded to pound the hell out of the poor steak…it was a lot of fun.   I used a dry rub of fresh ground pepper, garlic salt, garlic powder, and Johnny’s seasoning salt…then coated it with some melted butter.  I then broiled the steak on high for about 4 minutes each side, then seared it in my frying pan before eating.  Steak, like sex, can never really be bad…sometimes it’s just not as good as others…as was the case with my breakfast steak.  I think I cooked it wrong…but I have always been someone who learns from his mistakes…and cooking a rib eye steak was no exception.     

In going in for round two, I decided not to use my hammer and skip the butter.  I was disappointed in not being able to hammer the crap our the lunch steak (it really was fun)…but I was quite confident in my choice to bypass the butter.  Instead I just used my fingers to tenderize the meat as I pushed in the dry rub.  Then, I skipped the broiler and just seared it in my frying pan on mid high for two minutes on each side.  It was fantastic.  The searing locked in the juice and flavor and the dry rub mix I used tasted wonderful as it caramelized on the outside of the steak.  I was really happy with it.

Steak for breakfast and lunch…mmmm.  Now I need to go downstairs and figure out what I want for dinner.  Last night I had a mac & cheese and sour cream sandwich.  Yeah…it was as awesome as it sounds…sooooo good.  I think, in honor of Good Friday, and since I already ate a whole cow today, I will have a salad…a TACO salad – extra beef.  Yup…it’s a good thing I’m not Catholic…pretty sure I would burn in hell for all the crap I’m eating today.  Beatrice, however, is a good practicing Catholic and she is celebrating Good Friday by eating a big tasty burger while on a date in West Seattle.  I hope that burger was worth eternal damnation Beatrice…because you are going to burn!  Man…I do love a good steak.

“My favorite animal is steak.”

Fran Lebowitz 

Best Of…March – And the Winner Is…

•April 1, 2010 • 1 Comment

Don’t call it a comeback…I’ve been here for years (sorry…thought I was LL Cool J there for a second…it happens a lot because we look so much a like).  In a come from behind victory, “Now Hiring – Ninja Assassins!”, my brilliant idea for a professional Ninja job placement service pulls out the win with 50% of the vote.   “Love At 20 MPH”, the sweet tale of an old man (me) flirting with a pretty 20 something (sunglass girl) while stuck in traffic on my way home from work, comes in second place with 38%.  “Love At 20 MPH” was in the lead…but I should have known that nothing beats a Ninja…that is why Ninjas are so awesome…they don’t lose.  Thanks to everyone who voted.

So I’m finding myself with a lot of time on my hands the last couple of days (and the next two weeks for that matter) and I have been thinking about ways to occupy my time.  Writing this post, something has come to me.  No it’s not brilliant, but most things on TV aren’t.  I could write a sitcom about a Ninja who goes to a job placement company looking for work.  Just think of all the crazy shenanigans Carl – The “Consultant” could get into.  Every week he would be placed with a different company by his hot recruiter (love interest) who likes him but has trouble finding him jobs…because he’s a Ninja.  Different guest stars every week…the only recurring characters would be Carl, the recruiter, and the crazy boss of the agency (a Craig Ferguson type…because he is funny).  I take it back, this really is brilliant! 

It’s not any crazier then putting a young David Hasselhoff with a talking car.  Or having David Spade in…well…anything.  You can keep laughing…but this is a good idea.  I’m going to bang out a pilot script in two weeks…just you wait…and it’s going to be awesome.  How do I know?  Because it will be about a Ninja…and anything with a Ninja is automatically all different kinds of awesome. 

“A sitcom about a Ninja in a job placement program is the best idea ever in the history of mankind!”

– Unknown (ok…it was me…but it really is an awesome idea) 

Best Of…March

•March 27, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I really didn’t do a lot of posting in March…only 5 posts…that is just lazy.  I wrote 3 drafts that I never got around to finishing…so I will make a concerted effort to complete those in April.  To be fair to me…I have had a lot going on this month…I resigned from my job up in Northgate, I’m doing a lot of work on my house, and I have been drinking copious amounts of booze…so you know, I have been busy.

Since I have only posted 5 posts, they all will be represented in the poll…though only 1 or 2 probably deserve to be listed.  I guess that is the price you pay for being a lazy writer.  It is my goal to post at least 10 posts in April…even if they are just small rants about much I hate fizzy water…or how intimate and sexy it can be when a beautiful woman makes you dinner and tells you her theories on the back story of  Shakespeare.  I mean, I have things to write about, I just need to find the time.  Clearly my yard work is going to have to suffer in April… because it sure isn’t going to be the drinking.

Here are the posts up for “Best Of” (even if they sucked ass) for March…

Love at 20 MPH…

•March 22, 2010 • 2 Comments

No, I didn’t get lucky while driving my car over the weekend…though that would have been pretty sweet.  Tonight, while sitting in i5 traffic on my way home from work…I enganged in a very meaningful 30 minute driving affair… and it was everything I hoped it would be.

I work in the north gate area and live in Tacoma…so my commute home from work is always 1 to 2 hours long, depending on traffic.  I usually kill time by singing along to Lady Gaga songs…but tonight was different.  I had Kate Winslet cruising at at 75 MPH (yes, I named my silver BMW Kate Winslet because she is pretty and sophisticated…just like Kate…don’t judge!) and as I was passing Renton I noticed a white late-model Toyota behind me…it’s driver, a mid 20’s, attractive brunette wearing oversized white sun glasses.  Thinking to myself… ‘she is pretty’…I think nothing more of it and continue on my merry way.            

As I start passing Federal Way, traffic starts slowing to a crawl and I open my sun roof to enjoy a cool breeze.  Looking in my rearview mirror, I noticed sunglass girl smile and do the same thing.  After continuing on, at an incredibly slow pace, the lane to the right of me starts to go a little faster and sunglass girl changes lanes.  “Nice car” she mouths as she passes…”thanks” I reply.  After sunglass girl fully passes,  I pat Kate Winselt on the dash and promise a very expensive car wash as reward for being so girl friendly.

A couple of minutes later, traffic had come to a complete stop…and there we were, side by side once again.  We give each other a “can you believe this traffic” look and she does the classic, gun to the head, pull trigger, suicide gesture to put herself out of her misery.  I got a little creative and made a noose, wrapped it around my neck, and then promptly hung myself…it was quite dramatic.  Laughing, she mouths “well done” and I do a slight head bow before my lane starts to speed up. 

We passed one another a couple more times over the next 20 minutes.  I learned she was driving to Portland, she learned I was 35 and promptly mouthed “old man” and laughed.  I do my fake righteous indignation and she tries to cover by mouthing “older is better” (at least I think that is what she mouthed)….and we both laugh.  As I was changing lanes to take my exit, she passed me one last time and as I waved, she blew me a kiss.  It was the best blown kiss I have ever had the pleasure of receiving.           

I don’t know if it was Kate Winslet, the sexy black dress shirt I was wearing, or if I was having a particularly good hair day (hey…it still happens…but I suspect it was Kate Winslet).  Either way, it was fleeting, fantastic, and sunglass girl totally wanted me…well, that is how I’m going to remember it anyway.

“Flirting is the art of making a man feel pleased with himself.”

– Unknown

My Kingdom For A Good Joke…

•March 18, 2010 • 1 Comment

Many years ago…I had a crazy girlfriend who would always want me to tell her a joke.  Every time we hung out, inevitably, she would say the words “tell me a joke” and god help me if I didn’t have one at the ready.  “How do you expect to keep me around if you can’t make me laugh” she would say with just enough of an edge that I couldn’t tell if she was the one telling me the joke.   So, to play it safe because she was really pretty, the 9 months we were together I was always fishing for new jokes or one liners to share with her because however funny she deemed my jokes to be would be directly proportional to how much action I could expect to get that night. Yeah, we had a very strange relationship. 

I can only remember two of the jokes I used to try to advance my “Corey Needs Some Love” cause (which was a very important cause to me at the time…circa 1995).  One joke was so bad it made her say “that sucked Corey, you need to try harder…and you can keep your hands to yourself tonight”.  So, that evening, I was stuck in barren desert devoid of any loving thanks to a lame joke that I will share another time.  The other joke I remember made her laugh enough to let me pick the movie we would be watching that night, which was a pretty big deal because I never got to pick the movie, and it allowed me to reach the proverbial promise land.  At the time, I was thinking…’this is the best joke ever!’  In case you were wondering, I picked the classic film, The Usual Suspects staring Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, and Chazz Palminteri.  It was and still is an awesome movie…she hated it.  I should have known then it was never going to work. 

Why am I telling sharing this information?  Well, a friend of mine recently asked me to tell her a joke.  I immediately flashed back to my ex and all the good things that happened for me using the joke that made her laugh.  So, me being the smart man that I am, I chose to recycle said ‘best joke ever’ to see if it would get me anywhere with my pretty new friend.  The joke is as follows: 

How can you tell Ronald McDonald on a nude beach?  He is the one with the sesame seed buns.  

Yeah…my pretty new friend didn’t laugh either.  I had to keep my hands to myself that night AND I didn’t get to pick the movie.  Clearly humor is subjective…and clearly I need new material.

” A difference of taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections.” 

– T.S. Eliot

Now Hiring – Ninja Assassins!

•March 12, 2010 • 1 Comment

There it was…looking all awesome in its black hardback cover and silver writing that simply said “Ninja – The Shadow Warrior” on the front.  Thinking to myself…’I have always wanted to be a ninja’, I look around to make sure no one is watching and start to thumb through the tomb of deadly ninja secrets.  Intrigued by the cool pictures and thoughts of being able to show off sweet Ninja moves to my friends, I quickly made my way to the counter to make the purchase.  I was shocked when the price rang up at only $9…”what a steal” I say out loud to the clerk who was helping me.  Looking down at the book, then at me, she agreed with my assessment and replied, “oh there is some theft going on here for sure”.  I gave her a knowing smile as I walked out…clearly she was as big a fan of the Ninja arts as I was.

The book is really quite informative.  It talks about the history of the Ninja and how they started by exiled Chinese generals cohabitating with spiritual japanese monks in the mountains of Japan.  It also gives details to all the cool Ninja weapons that were used.  I remembered being about 12 years old when I begged my mom to buy me a Ninja throwing star.  I loved that Ninja star – for the whole day and a half that I had it.  One poorly aimed toss that may or may not have hit the side of my mom’s car and I’m grounded for two weeks –  the Ninja star never to be seen again.  The book also talks about Ninja training and how it takes 10+ years of endless practice and dedication to reach the ranks of Ninja.  Clearly the author was not aware of the Ninja training program offered at the YMCA…where in just 6 months (two-hour class every Monday and Wednesday) and a low price of $200 (cost of Ninja outfit not included), you too could be a Ninja.  Note to self – look into YMCA membership for potential Ninja class discount.         

One thing the book does not cover, however, is the limited career options for a Ninja.  It’s a tough economy right now…I bet even Ninjas are looking for work.  Yet, I never see the job title “Ninja Assassin” listed on Monster…or Criagslist for that matter.  I know because I have looked.  And how, exactly, does a Ninja network? Are there Ninja conferences you can attend at the local Hilton to learn about the latest and greatest Ninja techniques and weapons?  Do they carry around cards that says “Ninja Assassin”?  What if a Ninja is sitting next to some hot chick on an airplane and she asks “what you do for a living?”  Does he look at her with cool, steely eyes and say “I’m a Ninja, here is my card…cell number is on the back”.  Damn…that would be so cool – a Ninja would make the best single serving airplane friend ever!  

Maybe I’ve just stumbled onto a brilliant business idea – Corporate Ninja Job Placement.  I could offer Ninja’s to corporate clients for 1 or 2 day contract work, or even full-time direct hire positions.  I can totally see Microsoft or Starbucks needing a group of Ninja’s on staff to take care of business when someone gets out of line. Of course, the Ninja’s official title would be “Consultent”…but everyone would know.  Just one incident where Carl, the “consultant”, witnesses little Billy the intern drink the last of the coffee and NOT make a new pot, and word would get around.  Next thing you know, little Billy’s gone missing, and Carl, the “consultant”, gets a fresh cup of coffee delivered to his office every morning by upper management.     

Just think of the possibilities!  You have a Starbucks store not bringing in the revenue for which it was budgeted?  Guess what store manager is going to get a visit by Carl, the “consultant”, in the near future!  I bet performance would turn around real quick if a store manager recieved the following e-mail: 

“Dear Slacker,  

The revenue for your store has been down 15% this quarter.  Corporate has asked me to handle this situation – quietly.  Please note – if an increase in revenue is not demonstrated within 5 business days, I will be arriving on the 6th business day between the hours of midnight and 5am to “take a look at your numbers”.   

I know where you live…

Yours truly,

Carl – The “Consultant”  

I really think I’m onto something here.  Now I just need to find some Ninja’s who are looking for work.  I wonder if the YMCA would let me put up a “Now Hiring – Ninja Assassins” sign in their lobby.  I also wonder how long you have to be in the class before you can score a Ninja outfit…I would look pretty rad in a Ninja outfit.

“Money can’t buy you happiness but it can buy you a Ninja.”

– Unknown

Sweet Disposition – Favorite Song On The Radio Right Now…

•March 9, 2010 • 1 Comment

I was driving home late one night last week after visiting a friend and heard this song playing on 107.7 the end (Seattle’s alternative radio station).  It starts off with a cool repetitive guitar riff a la Where The Streets Have No Name by U2…and at fist I was thinking…’well this interesting’…but then the lead singers voice kicks in and I was like…’WTF…didn’t see that coming’ as it is quite high and seems a little out of place at first.  As the song starts to build…and the singer moves into the chores, you relize…this is a really catchy song…and the singers voice, while unique, is somehow comforting, and totally appropriate.   When it ended, I found myself immediately wanting to hear it again.  Thankfully, my car stereo informed me via the digital readout that the song is called Sweet Disposition, and the band is “The Temper Trap”.  Armed with the required information, I continue on my way home…looking forward to doing a little youtube research.

Thank god for youtube!  I mean, where else would I be able to watch full episodes of The Wonder Years at 2am when I can’t sleep?  Anyway, through the magical power of youtube, I was able to watch the trippy, really need to see this while under the influence, video for Sweet Disposition.  The protagonist is a pretty girl who apparently wants nothing more then to fulfill a suicide wish by roller skating into the sun.  How awesome is that!  Pretty damn awesome – that’s how awesome it is!  At first, however, she is not succesful and is pushed back by the suns powerful energy rays (I’m not making this shit up, I swear – watch the video).   But fear not, our roller skating hero does not give up – and with the band singing “don’t stop till it’s over” repeatedly to cheer her on, she finally breaks through the invisible wall and looks back at the camera with perfect mix of happiness and remorse as she drifts into the suns warm and loving embrace.  Fantastic! 

Any video of a pretty girl roller skating to her demise into a freaking sun gets two enthusiastic thumbs up by me.  Good for you roller skater girl…way to make your dreams come true!  Awesome song – awesome video.

“Without music life would be a mistake.”

– Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Corey is…going crazy…

•March 7, 2010 • 5 Comments

I have been a bad blogger – well…I don’t really know what constitutes a good or bad blogger…so it may be more accurate to say I have been a negligent blogger.  For this, I apologize, and I will try to do better in the future.  To get things back on track, I thought I would write about something near and dear to my heart…going crazy.  

I currently find myself completely unmotivated to do anything.  I can’t seem to find a single thing that interests me or brings meaning anymore.  All of my days really do seem to run together and blur into one big convoluted memory of a never-ending cycle of work, commute, sleep.  Maybe I’m in the beginning of a mid-life crisis – I have read about those, and I think I’m hitting that age.  So, I guess the next step is buying a ridiculous sports car and dating a big breasted 22 year old.  Even the thought of that does not interest me…let alone actually doing it.

At work, I manage a department of 30 people…constently making decisions that impact the lives of others.  Like a good leader should, I gather information and based on the information I have, make the choice I feel is best for the company, my department, and my staff…it’s automatic and I’m quite good at it.  Yet, in my personal life…I truly can’t decide if my favorite color is black or gray. Is my favorite type of food mexican or italian? Am I a democrat or republican?  I can’t seem take a position on anything.  In debates with friends I will take a passionate stance on a subject only to be reminded that the previous month I took the exact opposite position, just as passionately.  In looking back on the last 15 years of my life – I think I have somehow lost myself…and thus don’t know what is really important to me.  How can you take a position or proclaim to believe in anything without knowing who you really are, whats important to you, or what brings meaning to your life?   

I have always been a detached individual.  Never really allowing myself to get close or invested in anything or anyone (with a few exceptions).    So when something, or someone does come along that I truly care about, I don’t really know what to do.  I can’t find a way to show them who I really am, or what is truly important to me, because I don’t really know.  Maybe living a life of detachment is finally catching up to me.  I’m unmotivated because I live a life devoid of meaning.  What am I working for?  Who am I working for?  Why do I get out of bed in the morning?  What is important to me?  What am I passionate about?  These are questions I don’t have answers too.  How can you live a life that is worth anything without having answers to those questions?  Every day, I’m learning more and more, that you can’t.

I need to find a way to hold on to relationships that are meaningful to me.  I need to understand and recognize, who and what is important in my life.  And, most importantly, I need to understand why I have thus far been unable to do those very things.

“Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.”

– Angela Monet

Best Of…February – And The Winner Is…

•February 28, 2010 • 2 Comments

…”Turn Around Bright Eyes”…the tail of me sharing my love of Bonnie Tyler’s timeless classic Total Eclipse Of The Heart…and my lack of ability to properly use the mute button on my phone at work while on a conference call.  Second place went to “Gardening Is Good For the Soul”… chronicling my beginning adventures into gardening / landscaping…and the peaceful effect is has on my fragile psyche.  Thanks again to everyone who took the time to vote for your favorite post.

Speaking of gardening and landscaping; as I spend more and more time outside working in my yard, I find myself wondering if it’s ok to name your plants…or would that be crossing the line between being eccentric and just plan nuts.  I’m not saying I named the three I planted last weekend Huey, Dewey, and Louie, but if I had…would it make me crazy?

“I don’t suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.” 

– Anonymous