Tuesday, January 31, 2006


For the past 4.5 years, I have been throwing all of my change into a large can on my desk at the end of each day. For the first two of those years, I lived in a building where laundry was free. For the first three of those years, my department at Hyperglobalmegacorp offered free canned beverages.

The need to do laundry has since drained my can of change of all quarters. The need for Diet Pepsi has significantly lowered the amount of change that goes in the can each night. However, from this 4.5 year period, I still had a significant dime, nickel and penny supply.

Six months ago I decided to buy some coin rolls from the OfficeMax, roll my change, and exchange it for bills. Rolling change is a pain in the ass. However, "I'm not paying 12% for that stupid CoinStar thing at the grocery store," I thought.

In a related thought, remember that commercial for a dumb coin bank that you could put the paper rolls in, and when you threw your change in it the coins would fall into the correct roll? One of the selling points was: "This dumb coin bank quickly pays for itself." HOW? Are the quarters procreating in there or something? But I digress.

My change totaled $118.50.

The coin rolls sat in a box for about five months. A few weeks ago I decided to play poker again. "I need some poker money. I know! I'll use the $90 I won from fantasy football, and take $110 in change and I will have a $200 bankroll."

The change then sat on my desk, waiting to be taken to the bank, while the money had long since been removed from my bank account to play poker with. Taking 15 pounds of change to the bank is one of those things that you do tomorrow.

Today, I decided that I needed to get that money in my bank account, so I just took the 14 rolls of dimes I had and shoved them in my coat pockets. My plan was to just do it in chunks. Dimes one day, nickels the next, and pennies spread out over a few (because I have forty rolls of them).

I went to the bank this morning, dimes in hand...

Me: "Can I deposit these?"
Teller: "You need to dump them in the machine up front. You don't need to roll them."
Me: "Why don't you just punch me in the face?"

When did this happen? Am I the last to know about this? Was Ms. Brick laughing her ass off behind my back when I was rolling all that change? I thought magic machines that counted your coins for you were reserved for the land of fairies and make believe, and of course, the grocery store where you have to pay 12%.

This begs raises the question...who are these suckers using the CoinStar machine at the grocery store? Is the CoinStar corporation preparing for the day when all citizens are made aware that the service they provide is provided free at banks? Seeing as most of us never need to step into a bank except for twice in our lives, once to open a checking account and once to ask for a mortgage, I think it's going to be a long time before the ignorant masses see the light. This is assuming that since I didn't know about the magic coin-counting machine at the bank, no one else did.

Who knows, maybe I was the last sucker left putting his change into rolls.

But now I know, and that's half the battle.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Trip report.

Sorry for the unplanned hiatus. My small circle of readers has probably long since dissolved. I didn't get any e-mails asking me why I haven't been posting, though, so I guess no one cares.

I have been in North Carolina for a few days visiting Ms. Brick's sister's family. This consists of her sister, her sister's husband, and her sister's two kids, aged 3.7 and 1.5.

During this visit, one thing became clear:

If you have two children, and place both of them in a stroller like this one:

There is a 98.3% chance of the kid in the front seat getting kicked in the head, followed by the kid in the front seat crying, followed by the designated adult yelling "No!" and holding down the legs of the kid in the back seat, followed by the the kid in the back seat crying, followed by the designated adult letting go of the kid in the back seat's legs, followed by the kid in the front seat getting kicked in the head.

The first thing we did when we got there was go shopping. Yay. They didn't give me any other options. They could have at least said: "Okay, you can either come with us shopping or stay here, slit your wrists and do push-ups in alcohol." Nope, they just took me to a mall where I proceeded to chase after a 3.7 year-old while Ms. Brick and her sister shopped. Good times.

"Go play with your aunt, she wants to play with you," I would suggest. "No, you're more fun," he would say. And so it went, and Ms. Brick was free to look at shoes. I cannot disagree with or blame him for this attitude, for I have received several calls from Merriam-Webster over the years requesting the use of my picture for the definition of "fun."

Long ago I was established as the "cool uncle." There are certain advantages to this, chief among them being that you know you are the "cool uncle." Another plus to being the "cool uncle" is that the "uncool aunt" becomes jealous of you because of your high level of coolness and you're not even the kids' real uncle, while she is their real aunt.

The main disadvantage to being the "cool uncle" would be constantly being sought out to provide more fun. That gets tiring. Do you know how kick-ass sleeping kids are? Yeah, sleeping kids kick just about the most ass I can imagine. Then they wake up and want more fun. I didn't ask to be born with this superior ability to harness the power of fun, but I guess I have to live with it.

That was pretty much the trip. Running around and being fun while others' shopped. During this I learned that the person who invented the "put the kid on your shoulders" move didn't do so to do something fun for the kid. He did so to easily keep the kid in one place, while telling the kid: "Yeah! Won't it be fun to ride around on my shoulders? Woo-hoo! Isn't this fun? Look how tall you are! Wow! What? You want to get down? You can't get down, it's too fun up there! If you want to get down that means you don't like fun. You do like fun, don't you? Yeah, that's what I thought. Now stay up there and be happy."

Ms. Brick and her sister gave me a reprieve on Sunday. They went shopping and left me at home with the kids and their dad. He is cool. He bought me pizza. He is also way better at keeping the kids under control than their mom. She just gets flustered, yells at them, and makes things worse.

I just looked up the word "reprieve" to see if I used it correctly. I sure did.

We watched TV and saw the Broncos not get into the Super Bowl. The Colts didn't get into the Super Bowl first, though, so I still have bragging rights over Scott. Also, it's not like the Broncos haven't won the Super Bowl before so it's no big deal.

Monday we went shopping some more. I love shopping. Tuesday we went to the North Carolina version of Chipotle and got burritos. I must say that white teenagers from North Carolina really suck at wrapping burritos. They really need to hire Mexicans for that, but North Carolina doesn't have Mexicans.

Then we came home.

The trip was fun.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Lack of bloggage.

I'm sorry for the delay in posting. I have put up exactly one post in the past ten days. It's not that there hasn't been any blogworthy material, it's just that I have been lazy and playing poker (that's right, poker). I wrote one post on Thursday that was posted for about three seconds before I decided it sucked. Maybe it will be included on the "Brick Discarded Posts Extended Remix Edition." Also, I didn't want to bump down the "gay cowboys" post because it was damn good. But it's time to move on.

Baldo and Mrs. Baldo came to visit last week. We went out for tapas. I stupidly set my glass of sangria next to the edge of the table. I reached over (right hand across to left side of table) to grab some goat cheese. On the way back to my plate, my right elbow caught my glass (my full glass) of purple beverage, sending it shattering and splattering to the ground below. I felt like a dumbass and dudes had to come out and clean it up. Luckily none of it sprayed on other patrons and my jacket took the bulk of the damage.

Baldo and I split the bill 50/50. He is the one friend I have that when we go out we have to fight over who pays.

Me: "I'm paying!"
Him: "No, I'm paying!"
Me: "Fuck you dude, I'm paying!"

The first time we went to that tapas place, Baldo tried to hand the waiter his credit card, and I had to rip the leather thing with the bill inside out of his hand and I paid. Baldo tells me he is writing up rules for splitting the bill. I have yet to see a draft, but he tells me he is sick of all this fighting.

It's kind of a nice fight to have I guess, because with my normal in-town crew we always have to argue about who didn't pay tax or tip. And in Otto's case, the $6 beer he ordered. With him it's always:

"Let's see, Ms. Otto and I split this thing that cost 9.95. Here's a Hamilton."

Gee, thanks. I guess your food was tax-free and that beer was on the house and you weren't satisfied with the service.

Even when we manage to not invite Otto, it's still a splittage nightmare because everyone only carries Jacksons.

I think the main reason behind Baldo's bill splitting desires is the "well you took us out so now we have to take you out" syndrome. Now we can avoid that, I guess. It makes it less fun, though.

We had a poker game on Thursday. We play .10-.25 no-limit, $10 buy-in. Me, Matt, Scott, Alex, and our older gay companion, Cilarus. I don't get what the deal is with Cilarus. He is a single, good-looking, 40-something, gay male. Somehow his Fridays and Saturdays (and Thursdays) seem to always be available. Call him on Saturday afternoon: "Hey, wanna go ice skating tonight?" "Sure!"

How he came to be our companion is another story. Actually, it's not. He met Alex through Alex's job and now he hangs out us. He chooses to hang out with non-gay guys that are 17 years younger than he is. That's so gay.

Yeah, so we played poker. $10 buy-in, so $50 on the table, right? No. Cilarus sucks and usually manages to burn through 3 or 4 buy-ins. This time he only lost $7. I followed my policy of playing like shit and getting crappy cards, but I managed to make my $10 last a good four hours, losing my last $3 on the last hand.

So how did Scott manage to walk away with $63, and Alex walk away with $54?

Matt. He lost $90. I know losing $90 in a poker game is no big deal. I myself have lost much more than that on a single hand. However, when you are talking about a game with a big blind of a quarter, it is. That's like losing $900 in a 1-2, $100 buy-in game.

It went something like this:

"All-in. Damn. $10 in chips, please."
"All-in. Damn. $10 in chips, please."
"All-in. Damn. $10 in chips, please."
"All-in. Damn. $10 in chips, please."
"All-in. Damn. $10 in chips, please."

Etc. Etc. Etc.

I should mention that Matt was downing beers like prohibition was going into effect the next day. Luckily he didn't bite any of us or try to fight us. He was just hugging us forcefully, and getting incredibly stupid with his money.

He has this peculiar habit where he shoves all-in when he misses his draw. And he did it about nine times that night.

It was a fun time. Matt managed to not get too upset and went outside to smoke a lot.

We played a little while longer and Scott nearly flipped when he saw the clock said "11:45PM" because that's way too late to be awake and he left.

We played a little bit longer and at 2AM, we called it a night. Good ol' Matt.

The Ms. and I went back to the dreaded Sam's Club on Saturday. I managed to spend $165 and I have nothing to show for it except a 36-pack of Diet Pepsi. I know the $165 is not too bad for a Sam's Club trip, but when you spend it like this:

200 garbage bags: $10
5 gallons of laundry detergent: $15
24 rolls of paper towels: $13
56 rolls of toilet paper: $17
36 Diet Pepsis: $8

That's all I remember getting. There's $100 more in there somewhere. I remember a simpler time when toilet paper and paper towels were provided free of charge by the birth-givers.

It sure sucks to spend $165 and not remember what you spent more than half of it on.

I did discover one thing about Sam's Club, though. They have really good pizza. There is a food counter up front and they have a special: 1 big piece of pizza and a big Coke for $2.48. And the pizza is good. Way better than expected. Seeing as a large pizza is only $8, I think I will be going back just for the pizza some day.

That's all for now. I still need to write about the Colts losing yesterday. Sorry, Scott.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Gay cowboys eating pudding.

So Ms. Brick calls me at work the other day...

(ring, ring)


Me: "WHAT?"
Her: "Wanna see a movie tonight?"
Me: "Yeah, let's see the gay cowboy movie."

**WARNING, possible spoilers.**

Let me tell you, this was a beautifully acted, directed, and filmed cinematic masterpiece. Also, when two gay guys that don't think they're gay get together, and the moment is right, they just cut right to the butt sex. They don't fuck around. Actually, that's precisely what they do. They don't fuck around when it comes to fucking around.

No talking, no kissing, no romance. I think they have a two-step manual:

1. Drop pants.
2. Insert.

Jake just rolled over and Heath went from flaccid to erect to insertion in 2.37 seconds. I timed it. It was kind of like the prison rape scene in America History X, except it took place in a tent. And they were cowboys instead of neo-Nazi skinheads. And also the neo-Nazi skinheads didn't become lovers.

That was the one scene I just didn't get. They were just lying there in the tent, and all of a sudden...POW! Jake didn't even lube up. There was no time. He would have had to do it the night before. There is no way a butthole can just take a cock without some preparation. And in this case the only possible methods of preparation were:

1. Jake pre-lubing the night before.
2. Jake progressively sticking larger and larger objects into his butt over a period of time, thus stretching out his asshole to be more able to effortlessly accept a large cock (and while you don't see it, judging from his manly hotness, Heath Ledger has to have a giant cock). This would include (but is not limited to) fingers and penises/dildos of progressing sizes.
3. Both.

This could only happen between two men. If it was a cowboy and cowgirl, then there would definitely have to be some backrubbing/neck-kissing initiated by the man prior to butt-insertion. Also, the cowgirl would have to be really slutty. With two men, it's a given that they are both sluts. It's a well-known fact that every single human male is a slut. That's why it's really easy for gay men to get ass. I just didn't know how easy.

That wasn't even the most disturbing scene.

Let me rate the following scenes in order of disturbance:

4. Heath mounting Jake.

3. Heath and Jake making out with each other after not seeing each other for four years and then Heath's wife accidentally seeing them.

2. Heath and Jake frolicking shirtless in a meadow.

1. Heath and Jake eating pudding.

Okay, so they didn't eat pudding. I was severely disappointed. I think director Ang Lee should have just put a scene in there with them eating pudding to appease us South Park fans. Like they could have done it like this:

Heath: "Man, I'm sick of eating beans."
Jake: "Well, I've got these Hunt's® Snack Packs®."
Heath: "Oh, hell yeah! Crack open those Hunt's® Snack Packs®!"

And then some comedy might ensue where they can't find a spoon, and you know what that means! They have to just dump the pudding directly into each others' mouths and they make a big mess. Ang Lee could have turned the pudding-eating scene into a light-hearted musical montage where Heath and Jake get into a pudding fight and proceed to frolic in the meadow.

I mean, how else can you eat a Snack Pack if you don't have a spoon?

That's all they had to do to make the movie 27 times better. And it was pretty damn good, anyway.

The performances were brilliant, especially Heath Ledger's. You felt as though you could feel the pain of the characters, and the difficulties of being homosexuals in small, conservative, rural America in the 60s and 70s. Having to succumb to the societal pressures of getting married/starting a family while fulfilling their wants and desires must have truly sucked ass.

I kept thinking Jake and Heath were being selfish pricks by getting married to non-homosexual women and having kids, and then repeatedly cheating on their wives with each other, but what the hell were they supposed to do? Move to Manhattan, open a trendy boutique and sip cosmos with their girlfriends?

Ms. Brick (along with the rest of the theater) was bawling like a little girl at the end. I was in the extreme minority of non-cryers. I must have ice-veins. I don't cry in movies. I went to see "Joy Luck Club" with my mom and sister when I was 15 and was the only male, and the only non-cryer in the audience. Someday I may share with you the story of the only time I cried during a movie.

To sum up: I highly recommend "Brokeback Mountain" starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger. It was a heart-wrenching tale of two men, torn between what they wanted and what society told them they were supposed to want.

Pros: Brilliant acting, excellent directing, beautiful story-telling.
Cons: Random sex that ranked quite high on the WTF? scale, and a complete lack of pudding consumption.

Oh yeah, they weren't cowboys. They were shepherds. I don't know why everyone (including myself) refers to this as "the gay cowboy movie" when it is clearly a gay shepherd movie.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

WARNING: Poker content.

This is a poker blog, is it not? I guess at this point it is not, seeing as I quit writing about poker and none of my readers play poker. But never forget that without poker, this blog wouldn't be here.

I'm sitting here naked at 12:25AM. I just had an insatiable urge to blog and didn't feel it was necessary to put on pants. I also didn't feel it was unnecessary to tell you about my lack of pants. That's the cool thing about computers and the internet poker. You can checkraise some douchebags * while tugging one off and they are none the wiser. Unless of course you write: "I just came" in the chatbox.

I played poker for the first time in about three weeks last night. I didn't go on hiatus on purpose. A while ago I cashed out a large chunk of my bankroll and left a few hundred in there. I built that up to a decent amount by online-casino bonus-whoring and playing 10-20 on Party. Then I cashed out most of it and left a few hundred. I lost that few hundred by playing 10-20. My thoughts were: "My bankroll is empty, so I can't play." I didn't plan on stopping, I just did.

Then three weeks ago it was brought to my attention that I had about $10 sitting in Empire and $30 sitting in Noble that I didn't know about, as well as a $20 rakeback payment sitting in Carribean Sun that I had forgotten about.

(Notice how I didn't link all the names of the poker sites to stupid affiliate accounts? Did you know that no one ever signs up through those? I could be Stu Ungar risen from the dead sharing my poker insights and crack smoking tips with the world, and no one would click on my affiliate links. The Brick: Affiliate link free since 2005.)

I logged on to all three sites and promptly lost the balances in a short period. I should have consolidated, withdrawn and purchased Family Guy, Vol. 1-3, but I didn't. I wasted it on poker. Then I stopped playing poker until last night.

I was talking to Alex yesterday and he was asking about his rakeback. You see, I got him to sign up on Eurobet through my rakeback guy right before the Party de-skinning. He started playing there as soon as everyone else stopped. (Come to think of it, the Party de-skinning had a lot to do with my bankroll cashing out and severe poker cutback) He has been playing there a lot and told me the site has changed quite a bit. "When do I get paid? I've been playing a lot."

I told him that I hadn't played there in a long time and didn't know if we would be getting anymore rakeback due to circumstances beyond my control.

Him: "But how will I get paid if and when I do get paid?"
Me: "It will just show up in your account."
Him: "Oh. $31 did show up there randomly one day."
Me: "There you go."

I was curious about the changes to Eurobet so I logged on and...$18.80 in my account! Yippee! I must have had an old rakeback payment due to me. They had new software so I set it up. It looked way different. I did some googling and learned that Eurobet is now part of the Pokerroom network. Good for them.

I was pretty excited. I was starting to get an urge to play again, but Neteller was empty and I didn't have a bankroll, and I am now a firm believer in: no bankroll, no poker.

So I sat down at a .50-1 6-max table, hoping the $18 would last at least a little while. It sure did. A maniac sat down and was donating to everyone. If you raised him, he would 3-bet every time. If he caught any piece of the flop, he would go nuts at it, regardless of the action. I watched him burn through $80 in an hour. 80 big bets in an hour. That guy ruled until he ran out of money.

I made about $75 in two hours playing .50-1 and 1-2. Now I have an awesome $93 poker bankroll. That's big enough to play .15-.30, which, coincidentally, is the lowest limit at Pokerroom. I might start playing again. There seem to be lots of games going at the lower limits up to 5-10; way more games than the last time I played at Pokerroom. I know they added some skins. Also, Eurobet was fairly popular, so maybe all that traffic put together built a decent selection of low-limit games. They also have a lot of 3-max and 4-max tables, which I haven't seen before. Higher limits were pretty dead, though, and the 500-1000 table was, sadly, quite empty.

I just now fired it up and flopped broadway after getting dealt A-K. I lost to a runner-runner flush. Hell, yeah. It's good to be playing poker and using stupid poker terms like "broadway" again.

Sorry, honey.

*The phrase "checkraise some douchebags" is the sole property of Bobby Bracelet and one2many.blogspot.com. Used without permission.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Gifting and such.

I got back home early, early Thursday morning and went back to work on Friday.

Yay, work.

Friday night we had roommate present gift exchange at Ms. Scott's. This consists of me, Scott, Alex, and Matt. You see, back when Scott and Alex and I were roommates, we did present exchanges around Christmastime (that's a word, right?), and Alex won't let it die. This was the third roommate Christmas we have had without actually being roommates. Matt was never a roommate, but he got sucked into the friend circle. It's fun though, we have a good time and it's an excuse to get together.

The first year I didn't think they were serious, but Alex started placing boxes wrapped in newspapers with our names on them under the makeshift Christmas tree he had set up. It was this potted tree/plant that he had brought when we moved in together with ornaments hanging off it. Scott then started putting presents there too.

When Alex announced present unwrapping, I was like: "Wait, what? You were serious about that?" So I had to run out to Target and buy people stuff. My presents sucked and I felt like a douche. I was more prepared in subsequent years. I think.

This year I was surprised we were doing it again, but, like I said, Alex won't let it die. That means each year I have to get people presents. Guys aren't supposed to get each other presents (at least not on Christmas and birthdays).

Ms. Scott volunteered her residence because she is nice. Scott said not to get her any presents but I got her some Twinkies and a laser pen. Laser pens are fun.

We usually just get each other weird crap we find at thrift stores and/or ebay. This year I decided to just go small and get everyone a CD/DVD from from my list of favorite comedians: S. Lynch, M. Hedberg, D. Cook, and some of their favorite beers.

I brought them a couple Fat Tires I got from back home, some Guinness Stout, and a 4-pack of Tetley's.

(I think I should clarify that the second picture is not a box of Tetley Tampons. It's picture of a box of Tetley tea bags. Ms. Scott was questioning if the beer was made by the same company that makes the tea. I don't think it is. I wonder if Tetley makes tampons too and decided to package their tea bags in the same box in order to cut costs.

I hope I'm not the only one that thinks that looks like a box of tampons.)

It was a good time. Scott got me a book of popular electronic gadgets from the past 30 years. It had big pictures and listed the street values of the electronic gadgets. That's good because I like electronic gadgets, big pictures, and street values.

Alex got stupid as usual. He got me:

-Amarillo Slim's 7-card-stud. This is a PC game from 1992 on 3.5" diskette. Sweet.
-The manual to the Atari Trak-ball. This is good because I haven't been able to figure out how to use my Atari Trak-ball:

(The first thing the manual said was: "Take the tape off the ball." Wow. That's much better.)

-And finally, he got me a Magnavox Odyssey 400 system. In the fucking box:

That's a pong variant from about 30 years ago. Jeezus. I wonder what the thrift store was asking for this. Some of the features that are highlighted on the box are: "Works with any TV: black-and-white or color!" and "Onscreen digital scoring!" Awesome.

Now I have a boxed game system from the Pong era to add to my collection. Seriously. I have a collection. I bet no one else you know has a boxed Bally Astrocade system.

Moving on...

Matt got gay and gave everyone expensive liquor. We each got to choose four bottles from a mystery box. They were all cool beers except for the three bottles of Diet Mountain Dew that he threw in there because I don't like beer.

He also got me a bottle of Grey Goose, Scott a bottle of Jameson 12-year, and Alex a bottle of expensive wine. That was unnecessary and made me feel weird.

It was a good time. We ate lots of cookies and sandwich rolls provided by the Scotts. Matt drank a 24 oz. bottle of Guinness, two cans of Guinness, 4 cans of Tetley's, and a year-old bottle of Red Dog that has spent it's life being avoided in Ms. Scott's fridge. Good ol' Matt.

We then played a four-hour, knock-down, drag-out fight of DVD Pop Culture Trivial Pursuit. I won't bore you with the details. The game ended at 2AM. Scott's team won. Mine lost. In sudden-death overtime.

The next day was New Year's Eve. I'll let Scott talk about it in the comments. It was gay.

Monday, January 02, 2006

overdue Xmas post.

Okay, so this post is way overdue and will probably suck. I started it on Friday and it is now Monday. I think I have what AlCantHang called "writer's apathy." I have a lot to write about but just don't care or feel like doing it. New Year's just happened (no one got drunk or raped in the butt) and I haven't even written about Christmas yet. So here we go...

Christmas was fun.

Ms. Brick and I got to The Parents' house at about 1AM on Friday, Dec. 23. I organized a lunch meeting at my favorite pizza place for that afternoon with:

Ms. Brick
Sister's husband
Sister's daughter

We got a large pepperoni and sausage, and a large deluxe. It was good.

"Wow, I don't usually like sausage on my pizza but this is really good," said Ms. Brick. That's right. I have no idea what it is about the sausage at Barro's Pizza.

I had to go to the bathroom at one point. Why is this important? Because to get to the bathroom at Barro's you have to walk past the video games.

They had a Lethal Enforcers machine so I just had to play.

I felt stupid though, seeing as I am probably more than twice as old now as I was the last time I stood in that corner playing video games. I remember riding my skateboard/bike there to play Street Fighter and Roadblasters when I was about 10. Notice the lack of a "II" after "Street Fighter." They rotated the games frequently though, and Street Fighter was gone by the time I was 11. Then Street Fighter II came along when I hit 13.

I think the main reason that place is my favorite is because I am prejudiced against other pizza due to nostalgia. That's the way it goes.

Let's take a look at the cup from said pizza place:

There has got to be some kind of irony there.

Enough about pizza. Ms. Brick and spent the rest of our time there Christmas shopping, going to In-n-Out Burger, having Christmas, and enjoying the 70-degree weather from inside.

That's right, In-n-Out Burger. I took Ms. Brick there on Christmas Eve and was careful to warn her that there was no way the burgers could live up to the hype. Sure, they're really good, but not as good as the hype. I had a 3 X 3 with extra sauce and Ms. Brick went with the Double-Double.

"My favorite part was watching them make the burgers," she said.

I apologize, for I do not have any pictures of our burgers, so please enjoy this stock photo:

After the burgers, we finished our shopping and went back to my parents' house.

Christmas Eve happened. We had dinner and went to church.

Christmas happened. I need to accept the fact that the days of my dad dropping $1K+ on Christmas gifts are long gone. Like the time he got me that computer with a sweet 50Mhz 486 processor that was on sale at Best Buy for $1599. This development is fine with me. Like I said in an earlier post: I don't need more crap. It just means I'm old now.

I gave Ms. Brick the iPod I won in the blogger tournament. Even though two months ago she was taunting me with claims that it was her's, she quickly rejected it. "I don't want expensive gifts like that." Cool. I am officially off the hook. Next year when I get her a pair of socks and a spatula, I can just say: "What? You said you didn't want expensive gifts. I'm just trying to please you."

I also got her a cell phone and a flask with her name engraved on it.

I got her the cell phone because there have been a few times when I was annoyed that I couldn't call her because she was out, or we were both out but separated. She, apparently, thought I got her the cell phone so she could call me every six minutes for the next three days. Luckily, call frequency subsided when I quit answering.

She liked the flask, though, I think. Not because she can now transport her booze in style, but because having the name engraved on it meant I had to plan ahead and couldn't just run out and get it the day before like I usually do.

She left the day after Christmas and I stayed and hung out with my family for a couple days. I didn't do much except sit around. During this time I was able to determine a few things. Based on the picture below, taken at 3PM on a Monday, I determined that being retired kicks complete and total ass:

My dad finally achieved his lifelong dream of sleeping 19 hours a day, emerging only to feed and watch "Becker" reruns.

From hanging out with my sister's daughter, I determined that being 1 kicks complete and total ass:

And here I am stuck in the middle. Only 35 more years. Being retired probably kicks more ass than being 1 because you're smart enough to appreciate it. But then again you don't have that blissful ignorance anymore and you still have to pay bills and get up and go to another room to poop, so maybe it's a toss-up. Also, there is a point in retirement at which one does not need to go to another room to poop anymore. At first this may seem like a positive development. However, I would assume that this would cause the kick-assitude of the situation to cease immediately. Also you are way closer to dying.

Other unrelated observations:

My childhood bedroom is still painted purple and orange. I moved out 9 years ago. I took down my Kevin Johnson, Tom Chambers, Charles Barkley, and Kurt Rambis posters 5 years ago when I got back from college. But those walls are still purple and orange. That reminds me. I need to get this poster to hang in my living room:

I do not think I will follow my parents' example. My kids will not be allowed to paint their bedroom walls whatever the hell color(s) they please. I've been known to cave under pressure, though.

I had fun, though. I love my parents even though they are old and lame. I am just as lame, just not as old.

I went to In-n-Out Burger two more times. I had a 2X4 (ketchup and mustard style) and a 2X1 (animal style). I highly recommend doubling up on the cheese rather than halving it. Also, animal style is better than ketchup-and-mustard style. I hope I am in Las Vegas, California, or Phoenix sometime before next Christmas. I don't even think I will be in Phoenix next Christmas. Those stupid In-n-Out Burgers. They have to be all far away and crap.

Okay, that's all. I didn't proofread or edit or anything. Now I have to write about New Year's.

Charles Barkley is a fat douche.