Piss off...

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Picking up the mental detritus

I can't take any more of the news, but I can't turn away. And it's strange how much this one hits home. How many hundred thousand dead in southeast Asia? Too large and abstract a number to digest. Katrina happened here, in places that I was desperate to visit. Now it will never be the same. And since I'm in my house enjoying an ice cold Bud and about to take a bath, I don't really have to much to bitch about, now do I? I could go on, but I can't.

I was asked which would be preferable: a night spent here, or a night spent at La Guardia. Not even a contest. I would rather sleep in a dumpster on the tarmac at La Guardia. I might have to worry about flying luggage, hearing loss and Teamsters, but I wouldn't have to worry about exposed and frayed wiring at LGA. I have yet to see spackling chunks ready to give way at LGA. And I'm sure the tarmac would be far more comfortable than the beds at the HoJo Penn Plaza. And unless the chain has really expanded, La Guardia might just be one of the last places in New York without a Duane Reade ("New York's Number One Drugstore...we've got what you neeeeedatDuaneReade!" Bullshit: I don't need terrible service and dingy stores). For that bit of escapism alone, La Guardia wins by a country mile.

I forgot about Manchester (NH) on my list of favorite airports. It's our official home airport, even if it is a three hour drive. Drastically cheaper to fly out of than Portland (see below), easily accessible, clean, new, fresh and home to major carriers inclding United, Northwest and USAir, MHT is a major sleeper. It's worth the drive.

Average: Portland (ME) International Jetport. It's an "INTERNATIONAL JETPORT" because there's maybe one flight to Montreal daily. I practically grew up in this airport, but it's lost a lot of stature. Now it's just...podunk. PWM happens to be the favorite starting point for terrorists, but as a real grown-up airport, it ain't much.

Poor: Logan, Boston. The layout is perplexing, it's dingy and ancient, and your ears are fucked gently with "lite jazz." My last flight out, I was stuck by a hot dog stand with spits of 7-11 dogs rotating with no hope. The smell of hog anus lingered until I was well over Green Bay. Logan? You're no O'Hare.

The work week is almost over, but not soon enough. On to Cooperstown Saturday. Motel: $75.00. Two tanks at $3.00+ per gallon: I'll tell you after I pull my pants up.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Something about airports

My favorite airports, in no particular order.

O'Hare, Chicago. The great American airport, and the hoped-for midway point of a journey. The terminals are a pastiche of white, checkerboard gray and lattice windows, and the effect is to make the airport seem intimate in spite of it's massive size. Ammenities run from the mundane (Starbucks, shock) to the faux singular (an airport version of the famed-by-Belushi Billy Goat Tavern?), but the view of the lake and skyline upon landing and departing is worth all.

Wayne County, Detroit. A gem. Sure, DTW feels like any moderately upscale mall, with a Chili's, Bud Beer Garden and Sunglass Hut. But it's clean, modern and efficient, and that's a lot more than I can say for Newark or Cleveland. Besides, it's a fully enclosed spot miles away from Detroit itself. Take the moving sidewalk, set up at the Tailpipe Tap and enjoy the layover.

Sea-Tac, Seattle. Partly because it's my "home" airport (as in home destination and a five minute ride from the in-laws); partly because of the stunning views of Mt. Rainier when the mountain is out and poking above the Alaska Air hanger; partly because I can't pass by a Cinnabon without being transported to the terminal.

Hartsfield, Atlanta. Purely sentimental: haven't flown through here since I was a pre-teen living in Florida. But I remember those early CNN/TBS days, when Dale Murphy and Bob Horner played every night on Braves Baseball and there was a guy that demonstrated his styro boomerang plane in the terminal every trip.

LaGuardia, New York. Again, mostly sentimental. Recent jaunts to the Apple have taken us to LGA in just over an hour, so it's kind of our airport. And I haven't flown into or out of Kennedy in decades. No matter: LaGuardia is fine enough. Bright, relatively clean, and an easy ride into midtown on the BQE. It's nice to have an airport bar where I can turn my head left to watch a Mets game on the tube and then turn my head right to see the light towers at Shea. And the "Welcome to New York" landscaping never gets old. Besides, my mommie used to fly out of LGA as a flight attendent. So there.

My average airports, in no particular order.

Minneapolis-St. Paul. Eh, nothing to write home about, you betcha. Fine and functional, and not much more. The view of the MPLS skyline is more than worth it, though.

Newark Liberty. View of the Apple is good (on the other side of the view of Elizabeth, that is), and there's a Nathan's Famous and a Samuel Adams Brewpub. Unfortunately, there's only one true Nathan's (in Coney, duh), and the only true Samuel Adams Brewpub was in Copley Square Boston. THAT Sam was my second home when I lived four blocks away. You're telling me that it closed only to move to Newark? Huh? Terminal is fairly dingy, and you're dead in the heart of Newark, a.k.a. carjack city. Fuckin' great! Most people wouldn't say it, but I'll take LaGuardia.

My worst airport, in no particluar order.

Hopkins International, Cleveland. Worst airport ever! Dingy, dark, and open on all sides to views of industrial Cleveland. I should say up front that I have experienced downtown Cleveland, specifically in 1992, long before the revival brought about in part by Jacob's Field and a few good Jim Thome/Albert Belle Indians squads (I saw the lot of rubble that became The Jake on the way to the old Cleveland Stadium, now the world's largest man-made reef in Lake Erie). Never been more shit-scared in my life. Not much of anything works in Cleveland, and they have an airport to prove the fact. Hope for MSP instead.

Work has been a helacous skull-fucking ordeal this week, but recompense will follow this weekend and next week. I shall opine further after sleep befalls and the catatonia fades...

Friday, August 26, 2005

Groovy enui


Didn't get the job. No minimum 12K raise on the spot. Ramen, anyone?
It's cool. I made a real good showing and left a real good impression. Still, it's fru$$trating as hell. Especially with our current $$ituation to consider.

Little things help. Listening to this achingly beautiful masterpiece as the evening sun over the turnpike begins to whisper autumn. Finding a New Yorker nearly a week after it's street date. Contemplating plans for our return to Seattle two weeks hence. Perhaps I'm utterly fucking insane, but I still hold on to the romance of (air) travel and movement. My heart still beats a little faster at the thought of a long drive, a layover, a new airport bar, foreign anchors on foreign American newscasts, alien cities in view beyond the terminal and tarmac. Two weeks to go (Seattle, of course, is hardly an alien city, and O'Hare is one of my favorite airports). And in one week, a six-hour drive to Cooperstown. Rural Maine, through the Berkshires into the Catskills. Baseball and beer in a setting that I can only imagine must be beautiful beyond words. Can. Not. Wait.


Thursday morning we drove into the cubes thoroughly grooving to the next-to-most-recent Pernice Brothers. I had occasion (a trim) that night to walk a block or two of our old Portland stomping grounds for the second time since moving. Guess who played PTLND the night before with me totally unaware? Yeah, I'm a bit removed from my hipster days.

I'm going nowhere with this, but I'm really okay. Really. Still...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


This week and next week at work (I'm covering two vacations in a four-man department) promise to turn me into

A: (even more of) a raging drunk
B: a violent looney

I would lean toward the former, if I weren't a temporarily destitute new homeowner with no hint of beer money. The latter would be better for my liver, but frankly, I'm too pretty to be thrown into the clink with an offensive-lineman-sized bohunk who has likely seen the horse fucking video. You can see the bind I'm in, right?

Still no sign of our seats via Orbitz or otherwise. Gulp...

Monday, August 22, 2005

A quiet seeth

As of right now, we no longer have our chosen seats to or fro Seattle. I got an e-mail from Orbitz: subject heading "A Change in your Itinerary" or some such. Great. The last time I got one of those, Northwest (www.nwa.com, I shit you not. Our pilot tonight will be Eazy Mothafuckin' E, with galley service from MC Ren!) informed us that they had decided to add an extra layover on our return from Seattle, plunking us down in MPLS for fourty-five minutes before continuing on to our original connection in Detroit on the way to Manchester NH and a two hour drive home. Ja, that sucked, you betcha. This time, the change looks good. All our flights are departing five minutes earlier now. Fine.

But we no longer have our chosen seats. I called Orbitz, and was told that apparently, since our carrier decided to alter their flight times, it is, for all intents and purposes, a new flight with a clean slate of booked passengers. I was told I could get our (choice) seats back online. I told my darling little Customer Convenience Agent that this option was not currently available online. Darling little Customer Convenience Agent basically told me to keep trying. I will do so. Goddammit, I want our good seats. Give me the dignity to survive six hours each way in steerage and get out first. If this falls through, I'm going ripshit, and it will be less than pretty.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

It's done

Friday, August 19, 2005

How to be misquoted during a live interview...

Jeysus, this is great. Thug G wide receiver Randy Moss, in an interview for HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, said (and I'm picking up the AP report here) "'I have used, you know, marijuana ... since I've been in the league. But as far as abusing it, you know, letting it take control over me, I don't do that, now.'

"Later in the interview, Moss again seemed to indicate he uses the drug.

"'I might (still smoke marijuana). I might have fun. And you know, hopefully ... I won't get into any trouble with the NFL for saying that, you know? I have had fun throughout my years, and you know, predominantly in the off-season.'"

Quote, unquote.

Moss' agent, Dante DiTrapano, then said (again, direct from the AP wire) "'In an attempt to promote their dying network, they have maliciously couched his remarks in a manner that is confusing and leaves room for negative interpretation.' He said Moss was talking about past use in the interview."

"I might (still smoke marijuana)."

"Past tense."

"I might have fun."

"Past tense."

"...predominantly in the off-season."

"Past tense."

Yes, no hint of actionable intelligence there...

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

See a little light

Had my interview today for my dream job (as jobs in lieu of self-employment go): copywriter for my current company. It went fucking well, and I would be looking at a minimum 12K raise on the spot. I find this quite acceptable.

Cooperstown in seventeen days, and ten days in Seattle in twenty-six days. I'm in favor.

We have uncovered a stunning hardwood floor in the dining room, and we will uncover a stunning hardwood floor in the living room on Saturday. Righteous.

Beer is plentiful, I have a great wife and my daily crossword, and a boy with a grill is unstoppable. I guess, what I'm saying, is that life right now is good.

Remind me to go off on the war, the administration, gas prices and the FOX network after the glow fades...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

My Favorite Things

My favorite current possesion
My favorite current possesion,
originally uploaded by Westbye.
I'm FINALLY going to Cooperstown. Remind me to pack a supply of hankies.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


originally uploaded by Westbye.
It's a work in progress. But fucking hell...


originally uploaded by Westbye.
THIS heinous mistake of previous ownership will be fixed today. Drapes? You're next.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

It takes a village idiot: Part II

Ok, let me make sure I've got this.

Two scenarios present themselves at the olde ball game (actually three, but sitting peacefully and watching the game apparently doesn't get you laid).

Scenario I: You jump, the net DOESN'T hold you, and you plummet an extra twenty feet and you DIE. This leads nicely to Scenario Ia: You jump, you plummet an extra twenty feet and you DIE and you take out many more people on landing. These don't even enter your feeble little mind, so you jump, so to speak, immediately to

Scenario II: You jump, the net holds, and...

This is where I'm a bit perplexed. The net holds and...you're viewed as a hero? So much so that the cops will part the crowd as you crawl back up and give you a ticker-tape shower back to your seat? Oh, and then the game is halted while the team insists you come on down and give a speach at home plate? "Today...I consider myself...the most hard-core mad-whack G on the face of the earth, yo!" Help me out here, as I'm a bit confused as to how this one was to turn out.

I think somebody's Abercrombie card is about to be cut off...

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Reflections before the cycle begins all over again

Hamering Man
Hamering Man,
originally uploaded by Westbye.
Things are moving incredibly fast. We return to Seattle in 31 days. Summer is begining to give ground, and plans are falling away. Other plans rapidly approach. Plan to accomplish the plans? None in place. I love nothing more than sitting on our stoop and discussing the minutae of it all: planting flowers in front, putting up shutters, how to decorate for the holidays, when to do what. Actually doing it, and in time, is something different. I'm not complaining in the least. It's amazing to actually have options. We're three years removed from having roomates, fachrissakes, and I'm four years removed from sleeping on the floor and hoping to roll enough change to afford a burrito. That said, we're paying at least $700 more per month now than we were four months ago as renters, and I'm slightly less than comfortable with this. Still...
Life is hurtling. I'm trying to keep up. Business as usual.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

End of the day

End of the day
End of the day,
originally uploaded by Westbye.

Neurosis behind the wall of sleep

Discombobulated....jolted from unexpected sleep...sat down to watch an inning or two before getting to the lawn...now it's...later. Perfect. Whenever I want to get shit done, I shoot my own foot off. The lawn needs to be mowed, the driveway and sidewalk swept, insect killer to be sprayed, floors and windows to be washed. So far today I've ran to the library and store and downed a few cold ones on the sun porch while listening to Ryan Adams and Charlie Parker and reading the paper. Fun and relaxing? Sure. Productive? Hardly, and I can't stand not getting shit done so I can fuck off with impunity after the fact. So now I'm all keyed up and restless, and I really can't do much, since the missus is also crashing right now. Thus I'm pissing my pants here. Good times...

Monday, August 01, 2005

It takes a village idiot

Did you catch Abrams tonight? As of 10:00 PM EST Monday their sight hasn't been updated, but according to a 6:00 PM EST segment, everybody's favorite celebrity wife-murder since OJ, Scott Peterson, is now talking. Scotty now has, we're told by a San Quentin warden, a gaggle of condemned yard friends, including one that stabbed and burned a 4-year-old girl after raping her. Yay! He's adapting to death row! I bet all his newfound bitches love calling him by his self-styled nickname "Scotty Too Hotty." I'm sure there's lot's of playful frolic in the yard and in the shower with a nickname from the heart like that. Scott the Scamp, I say! And he's now changed the picture in his (death row, what-a-what-a-what-a-brother know!) cell from he and Lacy on their wedding day to he and Lacy on the beach (no word if it's the same beach he killed her off of, but it was a short segment of the show). That old honeydripper! Oh, it warms the heart to see such a nice young lad getting along so well. But don't take my word for it, silly geese! Here, from the wife-murder himself...


(after the afterglow of this lovelyness fades, remind me to smack down these fuckin' canuck bongo-manglers who are allowing the scum piece-of-shit wife-murder Scott Peterson a public platform)