Random stuff, most of which is just a big list of things that’ve irritated me this week…

Every now and again, a guy’s just gotta get some stuff off his chest.  And that’s why God invented the Internet.  (Well…God and Al Gore…and Pete Townshend…)  So let’s go.

  1. There have been a variety of traffic/parking occurences that’ve ticked me off lately.
    1. My neighbors have blocked my driveway fairly consistently for 20 years…but tonight, they actually PARKED IN MY DRIVEWAY.  They moved it when confronted (with no real apology)…but this was their only warning.  Next time, I’m not even knocking on their door.  I’m just having it towed.  And something tells me there will be a next-time.
    2. At work, a guy parked his new luxury car in a way that took up two spaces.  Someone left him a note under his windshield wiper, and he moved it.  So I moved my car into the lot, where his vehicle was…only to then have my driver’s side door blocked by a van, which ALSO parked over the line…  I considered waiting until the guy came out then asking him how he thinks his parking job was in any way acceptable…but it was cold.  I’ll find him later.  Or her, I guess…but if it’s a her, she’d better not be pretty, or I’m screwed.
    3. I very literally came within a couple of inches of dying one day on my way in to work.  I was sitting at a stop light and the light changed.  I was going through the intersection when someone else apparently didn’t notice (or possibly didn’t care) that his light was red.  I didn’t even see them coming, I just heard a squeal of breaks and looked over in time to see them spinning out, coming to a rest sideways RIGHT NEXT to my driver’s side.  So…another couple of inches and that almost definitely would’ve killed me…but as it was, there wasn’t even contact.  I briefly thought, “From now on, each day is a gift!”  Then I went in to work, and since then, pretty much every day has been less of a gift, and more of a routine.
    4. And there were a couple more…but this is starting to bum me out…so let’s move on…
  2. I’m officially tired of Batman.  The guy in charge of the comic these days is apparently in love with how comic books were in the 60s…so he’s turning Batman back into a weakling and referencing old villains better left buried.  (I mean seriously…right now we’re dealing with “Lord Death Man,” which has to be the worst villain name I’ve ever heard in my life.)  I think I’m done with Batman until this guy’s removed from the helm.  It breaks my heart to say it, because alongside American Splendor and Bone, Batman was one of the only comics I read for about 10 years…but I can only take so much crap…and Grant Morrison’s exceeded my limit.
  3. St. Louis got some snow.  It wasn’t a lot…but the roads were worse than they’ve been in a long time.  Why?  Because MoDot cut their budget this year and decided that they are no longer going to CLEAR the roads, but are instead shooting to “make them passable.”  I heard somewhere that a representative for MoDot said, “We hope the average driver won’t even notice a difference.”  Which not only sounds like he’s backhandedly insulting us…but is also just terrible reasoning.  So I’m thinking that if I get into an accident caused by MoDot’s incompetence, I’m sending them the bill.
  4. Add Best Buy to the list of places I can’t shop anymore.  There wasn’t a scene or anything like that…I’ve just discovered that they no longer carry anything I’m interested in buying.  They’ve BUTCHERED their CD section, and made it uncomfortable to even go through the aisles.  They’ve also greatly reduced their number of available DVDs, slowly trying to kill the format in favor of BluRay…but more than that, they don’t even have a much more expansive selection of BluRay stuff either.  They’re killing the one format, and not stocking enough of the other to make the transition effective.  Ugh.
  5. On the plus side, I’ve got a Feldman gig coming up.  Mike needed a bass player for a night, and he thought of me.  Nice of him.  He does that a lot.  Always good to see him and the gigs are usually fun, especially when I’m just “one-nighting” it and I’m under no real commitment to do things “just so.”  (Not that Mike’s a tough taskmaster or anything like that.)  Only downside is that it’s in Warrenton, which means no one I know will probably come out to it, since it’s a LONG way off.  But, a gig’s a gig and money’s money.  And, more importantly, it’ll be fun.
  6. I was going through my Zappa collection and I’ve found that my copy of “Tinsel Town Rebellion” is scratched beyond use.  (I accredit this to the fact that I used to drive around with CDs in my car and that’s one that ended up buried in the back seat.  It got pretty knocked around.  It happens.)  So I’ll need a new copy of that…but I think it’s between printings, because I’ve only been finding it online for ridiculously high prices.  So that’s a bummer.
  7. I’m a little tired of Tuesdays.  Can’t we just go straight from Monday to Wednesday?  Just pretend it’s not there?  I mean…I like the band practices…but outside of that, I don’t think I’ve had a GOOD Tuesday in like 6 years.
  8. Regarding Christmas:
    1. I am almost ruined financially from shopping for Christmas.  I have 13 people to buy for, and I am only one man who makes under $11/hour.
    2. Next person who says “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” to me is getting punched right in the neck.  I hate that.  (1) I already know that.  (2) Does it really have to rhyme?  (3) Technically, it’s not true.  The Pagans celebrated a festival designed to chase away cold weather at this time of year, and the Christians came along and decided to retro-fit the birth of Christ into the same time of year, in order to have their OWN festival during the time the Pagans were similarly—uhh—festing.  (December 25 is nowhere NEAR Christ’s actual birthday.)  So–-technically—the Pagans are the Reason for the Season.
    3. At least Christmas Eve is the one day of the year that I allow myself to get ridiculously, irresponsibly drunk.  There’s always good wine and good Christmas Punch at the family gathering.  And I rarely have an empty cup, once dinner begins.  I know that not everyone approves of that kind of thing…but it’s the only time of year I do that with any forethought…and I NEVER drive myself home.  So it’s all in fun.  Plus…come on…wine!
    4. I think I’ve said it before, but in case I haven’t…  I’ve come around on saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”  I’ve got a bunch of friends who aren’t Christians, and I am sure I regularly encounter people who aren’t as well…so it’s a small sacrifice for me to word my seasonal-wishes in a way that’s all-inclusive.  (Except on Christmas DAY…then I say “Merry Christmas,” because it actually IS Christmas.  I also tend to say “Merry Christmas” to people that I am sure ARE Christians.)  I had a long argument about it with someone recently (or at least they thought it was an argument…I thought we were chatting, until they got loud-voiced).  They said something like, “Well, I mean well when I say it to someone, and they should know that even if they don’t celebrate Christmas I meant it nicely.  And if they get offended, it’s their fault!”  And I replied with, “That’s very easy to say when you’ve been on the winning side for 2000 years.”  And I think that’s where it actually became an “argument.”  Apparently, they think the Church is being “oppressed” (sic) in America right now.  Personally, I think I still hear “O Holy Night!” regularly in commercials, on the radio, on TV, and walking around in stores…so maybe the Church should be counting its blessings instead of whining about saying “Happy Holidays.”

And that’ll do…just had to vent a little.  Thanks for listening.  I’m going to go to the bathroom now.

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