Monday, October 31, 2005

Yes, another Halloween story

When I was 10 I was invited to go to a Harvest Party by some family friends. A Harvest party is code for a Halloween Party and usually takes place at a church. This naming convention doesn't offend the fragile sensibilities of Evangelical Christians...but anyway.

I took a dress that belonged to my sister and a long dark brown wig and went as a girl. I thought this was a great costume and had lots of fun at school with it earlier in the day. That evening when we got to the church we all were rounded up to go to a nursing home to hand out treats to old folks. When we were done there we'd come back to the church and raise hell at the party. I didn't mind this because I like older people and always have.

When we got to the nursing home we went from room to room or person to person and handed out treats to them and brightened their day. This is when I discovered that my costume was becoming far less fun.

Most of the old folks didn't recognize me as a boy dressed as a girl...but rather just a young girl. I got plenty of "thanks sweetheart" and "what an adorable cutey pie" comments that made me realize this:

If no one gets the joke, then you're basically just cross-dressing.

That was the worst Halloween ever.

A wonderful Halloween story

I used to manage a technical support group for a major software company that manufactured games. This was before they laid us all off and removed the distinction of 'major' from their description. I count myself as fortunate to have worked with everyone who was in my group and I keep in touch with many of them to this day.

I felt inclined one year to participate in our departments halloween decorating contest in the office. The two year's previous my group was the only one that didn't participate as I generally thought it a waste of time. But this group was up to the task and we started brainstorming a theme. After some wrangling and hemming and hawing we settled on one we all liked:

John Glenn is returning from space and he's hungry for brains

John Glenn was up in space during this time and our idea was that he would come back as a space monster and eat everyone's brains. As a tribute to John Glenn we hung glow in the dark stars from the ceiling and had an Astronaut Pinata (complete with John Glenn's face taped to the head). We also hung adult diapers from the ceiling in a salute to the geratric state of this great space pioneer. Everyone in my group used spray-on hair coloring to color all of our hair (including facial hair) grey. We won 1st prize. And just like that trashy neighbor you have down the street that leaves up their Christmas lights year 'round, our decorations (including adult diapers) stayed up well into the next summer.

The next Halloween is one I'll never forget. Our group got together to think of a new theme for our Halloween decorating. John Glenn eating brains was difficult to top and I think we did take a step backward in our sophomore attempt. The theme we decided upon was:

Ass Pirates of the Caribbean

We turned our collective cubicles into a large pirate ship complete with a center mast and crows nest. A sign on the mast read:

Seamen wanted. Inquire with the Rear Admiral on the poop deck.

Now many of you are probably thinking about the homo erotic elements of what the sign read but do not be confused. This had nothing to do with it at all as you'll notice in a few paragraphs.

On halloween we all dressed as the cheesiest pirates you could imagine. One of our guys brought a pair of shorts with fake buttocks on them. Whoever would wear this would be the Captain and Ass Pirate Extraordinaire.

In the afternoon our department always shut down and we had a party at the end of the day. Basically it was punch and pie with musical chairs. It was corny but I always enjoyed it. At one point of the party we would announce who would win the decorating contest and then have an individual costume contest. As could easily be predicted, Ass Pirates prevailed as a winning combination with the judges and now it came to the individual contest. As everyone in costume stood up at the front of the room each was selected and their ranking would be determined by corresponding applause. Each person got what ranked between polite clapping to thunderous approval. The next 15 seconds went in slow motion.

The last one to enter the room was the quietest guy in our group. Not shy but not personally dynamic either. He was wearing the 'Ass Pirate Captain' outfit (complete with a cool pirate hat, hook on hand, and eye patch) and he entered the room hunched over......he then starts to turn around and the room goes into an uproar as you can begin to see he's wearing the fake buttocks. As he got totally turned around the room went silent. Enough people had surrounded him that I wasn't able to really see but there wasn't so much as a whisper. Then after a few seconds sounds began to emerge in the room to groans and disbelief.

When I finally reached a decent vantage point I saw that our 'Captain' with fake buttocks had affixed a fake turd that was dangling strategically from center. The brown mass quivered with every movement causing more groans and disgusted noises.

The party was over about a minute later.

Knowing this magical moment would never be topped, we never participated in Halloween after that.

Happy Halloween everyone!

HEY! I'd love to hear from this old gang of pirates. Let's get the old band back together sometime.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Monday, October 24, 2005

Rosa Parks

I've spent the last few evenings listening to Martin Luther King Jr's 'I have a dream' speech in its entirety. I've now listened to it about three times and although it is known as a great speech, it's truly greater than I ever gave it credit for.

At the height of my appreciation for the heroes of the civil rights movement I just learned that Rosa Parks died. This all reminds me of a story my mom has told me several times.

My mom (like me) grew up in Seattle and went to school in what was possibly the most diverse high school in the history of our dumb state. She took for granted that people could get along or hate each other without the benefit of race entering into the equation. While traveling in the south she got on a bus and took a seat. She noticed a black man reach up into her seat and take something off of it. She looked back and it was a sign that read: These seats are reserved for our colored patrons." She had accidentally sat in "their section" without knowing it and as a result was embarrassed to the point of tears. She begged their pardon and they thought she was crazy.

Rosa Parks went to jail and paid a $14 fine because she felt she was entitled to sit in any seat she felt comfortable in. She could've moved and avoided a scene, or worse but there is a point for everyone where freedom is more important. Living free requires people in every generation to remind the rest of us what Thomas Jefferson knew in his heart, but wasn't able to fully understand in his time: All men are created equal.

God Bless Rosa Parks

Thursday, October 20, 2005

So I got my absentee ballot

In summary:

Weird local issues I'm unfamiliar with. (I recently moved and in new county)

Can only choose from two parties. (of which neither can call me a member)

Some other crap I can't remember.


Ripped it up and put it in the recycle bin.

Now what?


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Halloween Haikus

hai·ku n. pl. haiku, also hai·kus
A Japanese lyric verse form having three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, traditionally invoking an aspect of nature or the seasons.

These Haikus will exploit the form and construct, and will invoke the halloween season.

The Trick-or-Treaters
Knock on my door all night long
Crap candy for all!

Why did you slap me?
I'm cleverly dressed as a
Mammogram machine

That's a nice costume
You're dressed as a big brown turd
Oh, you are a bear?

Now you try.

I work in a serious place.

This post is back by popular demand as some had difficulty finding it on my other site. Enjoy!

I work in an office that is very professional. While people joke and are good natured, they are rarely off-color and don't come anywhere near stepping over boundaries. Most people I work with are adults and primarily middle-aged. At the age of 36, I'm one of the younger people who work here.

I just came out of the commercial software industry. Worse than that I came out of the gaming software industry. Everyday professional relationships resembled those I had with classmates in the eighth grade. Basically eight hours of fart jokes and calling each other names.

One day at my serious job, we were in a meeting. One of my colleagues got out of his chair to stand up to begin giving a presentation. Another of my colleagues immediately filled the chair he vacated. Noting that the chair was warm, the man now sitting said, "That man has a hot butt." He meant nothing funny by what he said.

I held my breath. I held it until I could hear my heart pound inside my head. This was so I wouldn't blurt out with laughter during this serious meeting.

Telling this to a friend of mine he suggested I should've said, "You should see him in a thong."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Supreme Court Nominees in the New Age

George W. Bush has been an awful president. I believe that to be a true statement. I have been hopeful when it has come to the subject of his supreme court nominees though. Most liberals think that all Republicans think about is abortion when it comes to the Supreme Court, but to think that is a fundamental misunderstanding of who Republicans are. I know this because my father and mother were both staunch Goldwater Republicans.

When Bush says that he will nominate a "constructionist" that means something. Seattle-area-liberals simply think it's code for "pro-life" but again, I could write volumes on the ignorance of West Coast liberals. I'm not saying that George W. Bush knows what it means, but it DOES mean something.

Being hopeful for a supreme court nominee these days is like being hopeful for a newborn baby. You hope for what they might be, but you have nothing to go on. You just hang on and endure the ride and hope that eventually everything turns out okay.

Bush has ushered in the age of the 21st Century "New Born Justice." Their history doesn't exist and no one knows who they are. We have no idea what their beliefs are when it comes to private property, abortion, medical marijuana, or anything.

The Senators who are tasked with the responsibility of confirming the qualifications of the nominee do not even expect to have answers to any of their questions. They just nibble here and there looking for a hot spot that may sway public opinion enough to justify some disqualification.

How does our president go about choosing a "stealth" nominee?

Here's my theory:

[Somewhere in a hallway in the White House]

President: Good morning, how are you?

Potential Nominee: Good morning Mr. President, I'm fine.

Pres: Great, great. Did you have a good weekend?

PM: Yes, it was alright.

Pres: Good, good...say you have any thoughts on state rights?

PM: I'm sorry?

Pres: Oh nevermind, did you catch the Redskins game?

PM: Um, no...I'm not a football fan really.

Pres: Are you a fan of the 2nd amendment?

PM: Excuse me sir?

Pres: Nevermind...look it was great talking to you.

Monday, October 03, 2005

I'm unprepared for Trick-or-Treaters

I've never lived in a traditional neighborhood before. I grew up in a rural area where we never had more than three trick or treaters throughout a Halloween evening.

The neighborhood I live in now is designed for trick or treating. My neighborhood features lots of houses in a small area, great sidewalks wide streets, limited traffic, and easy access. It's paydirt for every grubby little kid out there wearing a costume.

I don't want to be a total jackass on Halloween but I really don't want to answer the door all night. I also don't want a bag of burning crap on my porch either, which I'd deserve.

Tonight I'm heading out to buy two loads of candy. One will include "top shelf" candy and the other will be "crap candy."

Good Candy

Crap Candy

This is how I will decide who gets what:

1. Kids with clever costumes get the best candy. Everyone else will get crap candy.

2. Teenagers who are not even dressed up but are just out for easy candy will get good candy. I appreciate their complete laziness and will reward them. Teenagers who are wearing costumes trying to relive their childhood will get crap candy and my free and generously applied ridicule.

3. I will take photos of every parent who also dresses up and accompanies their children. Their ridiculous photo will appear on this blog under a post entitled, "Look at these idiots."

4. All "ghosts" with just a bedsheet over their head will be mocked mercilessly. They will also walk home crying with crap candy in their bags.

Maybe this will be a "Happy Halloween" after all.