Thursday, January 25, 2007

Lo, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil because I have Spiderman on my shoulders

With the first civilized weather in over six weeks stripping ice from the streets and melting the small glacier at the end of my driveway, Zeke and I tromped a bit up the side of our favorite mountain, slick trails and rivulets of snowmelt be damned. It was not an easy task pulling him away from his place on the floor, enthralled by Spongebob Squarepants as he was, but once he realized we’d soon be stomping in puddles and running beneath pines, he was more than motivated to put the toons behind him.

For those of you who have never taken a 4-year old for a walk up a 20-40% grade, there’s only so far you can go before that 4-year old’s little legs lose its seemingly infinite store of energy. Legs that can’t seem to go anywhere without running as fast as they can, sizzle out quickly when faced with a steep trail; this is my third 4-year old and I can assure you that a 4-year old’s legs are only good for about 1/10th of a mile (give or take, depending on the trail) and then “carry me, Daddy” signals the start of those last wisps of steam on the uphill trek. As I’ve traveled this road of daddyhood, I’ve tried to capture moments in my memory of developmental milestones, excited as each of my children has moved from one stage to the next with a bittersweet realization that there’s no going back – who they were is no more. However, the encumbered hike is not anything that I’ll miss.

I picked Zeke up piggyback and continued up the mountain. There was a cave I wanted to show him, a place where boulders had tumbled down the mountain to create a huge room that would have been the pride of the Flintstones. We walked another quarter-mile or so with him sitting on my shoulders until we arrived at our destination. We’d been up that trail a couple dozen times, he and the girls, but never stopped in the cave where I did mushrooms years ago and saw electric butterflies leap from a fire made of scrub oak twigs and pine branches.

Zeke stomped around in the cave, crawled up on rocks, stuck a bent stick into the eye of a raccoon skull as I caught my breath. The cool air relieved the sweaty spots where he’d sat on our way up to this place, craning my neck back and forth in the dark, musty air, checking out the graffiti and the smoke streaks up prominent bulges of granite poking out like bellies in their ninth month. I sat down in the dirt and crossed my legs, listened to my son’s voice amplified among the rocks, “daddy, this is soooooo cool, it’s a Batman cave, I have a skeleton,” balancing the animal skull on the tip of his stick. Once I found an arrowhead just outside this cave and I think that would be cooler than his find but I don’t tell him that – let him have his moment.

The seat soon turned back to cold and I returned to the sun, stepping out to listen to the water rushing beneath us, snowmelt cleaving the mountain, an inexorable folding and spilling more boulders. Zeke came out, too, still holding his stick and the skull that bobbed at the end of it, his blue jeans almost completely brown with mud. “Daddy, it’s scary in there,” he declared, “I don’t like it in there without you.”

“I don’t like it in there without you,” I thought, said, looked at him and smiled. “I don’t like going anywhere without you, mister.”

It was worth carrying him up here, seeing this place again. I’d been in here once seeking answers and though I’d had a good time, the answers I thought I’d found disappeared as soon as I walked down the mountain, dew on the windshield scraped away the moment I turned the key. There would be no carrying him down and in fact, he ran and slid, ran and slid, kicked pine cones, called me slow-poke. He was anxious to get home. When I asked what really scared him, he said without hesitation, “I was afraid the rocks would fall down.”

The creek told me he was right but I assured him that the rocks wouldn’t fall on us. Not that I’d heard that from the creek below but because my son walks away from everything, good or bad, smiling, completely enthused with the world. My lucky charm, my leprechaun, leading me down the mountain and back into the warmth of the first nice day in weeks.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I could never succeed in intelligibly defining stupidity but I know it when I see it

The concept of the deadbeat dad is no bogeyman, no chimerical construct invented by bitter ex-wives looking to milk some poor bastard for every dime. Unfortunately, the world is full of worthless pricks too busy looking for holes to poke and bottles to empty rather than doing the hard work of being a dad, much less shouldering the financial responsibility of raising kids. If a so-called man is willing to walk away from his children, I think he’s an idiot; if he’s willing to leave those children high and dry, he’s scum. If to get that scum to be a tenth of the man he needs to be and pay his fair share takes the state threatening jail and garnishing checks, I’m all for it. The only good deadbeat dad is a dead deadbeat dad or at least, a deadbeat dad doing a nice long stretch in county jail.

The Child Support Enforcement Agency of El Paso County, Colorado is therefore there, in their shiny clothes and neatly wrapped sandwiches, rapping ink stamps on papers, having a margarita in the afternoon, doing lots of sudoku, checking out YouTube. CSEU of El Paso County, Colorado is that lout in the office who eats alot and never does any work, loses your shit and claims it was your fault. That thing that was there before you and will remain well after you're gone, its girth oozing out into the aisles like a malignant sac of pus reeking of its self-perpetuating putrescence.

It (CSEU) knows these things, the court knows them:
  1. X and I share custody of the kids 50/50
  2. The "X-McQ v. Me-McQ" is a lie (it needs to be "CSEU v. Me-McQ" on the court papers);
  3. X makes about 10 grand a year more than I do;

and yet insists that I provide documents for everything - everything it already has indisputable proof for - and then whatever else it thinks it needs (phone bills from the last three years or papers on how to sex pre-pubescent game birds).

This is Kafkaesque and I think you’ll agree. The state wants $100 a month from me. I make 9.50 an hour; $100 a month may not matter much to you but it’s a fortune to my family, the decision between camping this month or change the oil on the car and replace a tire. Yet, of that $100 a month, X gets $57 (which she applies towards daycare). The state is keeping $43 for fees and such. A tax on poor people, I guess, for not being able to afford the time it takes to get T’s crossed and such. Yet, the most absurd aspect of this situation is that the state must be ultimately losing in this case - surely the cost of maintenance on this case costs the state more than $43 a month.

To get my $100, the state is willing to pull both my driver's license and my counseling license. Take my way to get around, get to work, pick up my kids, make me pay $60 for the reinstatement and the day's wages it takes to sit and wait in the DMV. Take away my license to make a decent wage and - well, you see the infinite regress in this.

The state loses money in this; so do X and me-McQ. So who benefits? You'd think the state would ask itself that but instead there's an inexorable slog through knee-deep stupidity that sucks, sucks, sucks with every step. The whole thing about doing what's best for families gets lost in the day to day drudge of bill collecting. The forest is a blur because the trees are more goddamn paperwork. Fucking trees.

If you're pissed off enough about what I just wrote, you can leave these people a quick message:
Sallie Clark (County Commisioner)
Michael Merrifield (State Rep)
John Morse (State Senator)
Doug Lamborn (US House Rep)
Ken Salazar (Senator)
Bill Ritter (Governor)

Please - tell em' what's really stupid. They don't seem to know....

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Prometheus, yeah, roll like dat', up, down, and whatnot

It was a day off for me and instead of laying around watching ST:TNG reruns while eating baloney out of the package, I decided it was time for my monthly deep-cleaning of the girl’s room. Not that there’s a circled date on my calendar for this sort of thing but it’s something that just happens with the precision of moon phases or DAV robo-calls. If it’s mid-ish month, mounds of trash have been cascading from their room for the past week or so like a cartoon closet full of tennis rackets and bowling balls, the floor is shin deep in shredded coloring books, stray bears, computer games tossed for sucking, socks doomed to eternal loneliness, and anything else children can find, endow with momentary fascination, then disregard immediately as the next new thing grabs a nascent thought. As my fascicule month nears its reckoning, there is almost nothing I can’t find on that floor; two Barbies bathing nude in one of my best sauce pots and three fingers of root beer, a de-ionizing air-cleaner rendered impotent with oreos shoved into every intake slat. I could trip over the corpse of a cop and instead of asking how he got there, I’d probably be screaming about why his mouth was stuffed with chess pieces. My monthly task is not just a matter of hedging against the collapse of my house: it’s public safety.

I tell you this - your way of life is assured only because I spent my day off picking the numbers of the beast out of shoes and reapplying them to the refrigerator.

A week or so after I’ve shoveled crayon remnants and doll parts from beneath beds, dredged puzzle pieces from underwear drawers, scrubbed spilled juice from various surfaces, dusted, vacuumed and arranged everything just so, a localized apocalyptic event will hit again, most likely while I’m trying to read or pull a chicken out of the oven. Not a blink of an eye or even a shrug of a shoulder but damn it hits quick, savagely, Katrina times ten in an eight-by-twelve with me as George Bush, saying, “What the… I play a little guitar and THIS happens,” while the girls look around, look at me, and then say to one another, “we better get the hell out of here!”

It takes a couple weeks of trauma before I can motivate, the destruction is just too dispiriting. Kid clothes pile up in the laundry basket (because there’s no access to the dressers) and the detritus begins to infect the rest of the house, plastic tea sets in the silverware drawer, Bratz camped out behind the toilet paper roll. At that point, I know my month has ended. Garbage bags, shovel, vacuum in hand, I enter their room, heroically, intent on putting the universe back to tilt and ignoring the whisper in my ear, “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi chi’intrate.” There are several levels I need to pass through before I’ll fully realize exactly how wretched things will be and what I will need to do. Shovel shit, scrape my knuckles, and deal with a thousand stuffed toys. There’s no glory in any of it other than I know that the world will be safe for another week or so.

I try to put it all back (the toys, books, and such) but in that, I’m the villain, the tyrant, the anti-Solomon. The girl’s silent negotiations of stuffed animals, pacts I’m not privy to and for which I’ll be chastised for getting wrong, will come back to bite me. The lecture I’d give interrupted by the inevitable trading of animals and incessant whispering of “wait till next week, heh heh.” Not in Italian (I’ll have to wait a few more weeks for that) but in the language of sisters - something I will never know.

My girls might not believe that a dirty room breeds rats and cockroaches (come to think of it, Lilly might think that’s cool, she’s been pleading for a hamster) but they do believe that big star is the North Star, that the difference between E.L.O. and Mozart is lifelong listenability, that chicken cooked in olive oil and bits of garlic is far superior to nuggets. They believe in so many correct and incredible things, it’s hard for me to fault them for not believing that a dirty room will drive them as insane as its driven me, that it won’t be the end of the world. Let them do what they do well and not nurture nitwits.

Still, I want them to have no problem insisting, it’s your goddamn mess, you clean it up. If there’s anything they believe, their wrecked room isn’t Daddy’s fault and Daddy isn’t happy about it. He’ll smash things, set Christmas presents on fire, stick kittens through with a big fork and shake them in the air, quoting Slayer lyrics. Or so they’d believe if they saw Daddy doing those things but of course, all they get to see that Daddy keeps a clean house. Obviously, example is not enough.

It was a good day, a Zen day, just doing that one thing that needed to be done. Right now they’re doing their homework, learning how to be them, doing those things that need to be done. They have their own Zen, I have to earn mine.

Cleaning a room is nothing, really.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Mixmania! is upon us again with the twist in your twinkling eye

Two weeks and a day into 2007 and I decided to get tricky with this round of our funky little game. In the past, I've determined what the theme of what your mix will be. This time, it's all on you, something I call


Hee hee... it's all up to you this time. YOU choose your own theme and make it your little secret. You'll mix your disk, send it to your match and not only let them guess what the songs are but what the theme is as well. Then, you'll post your theme and a short explanation of what it means. A week later, you'll post your list and explain how it fits in with the songs you've mixed.

The general rules are HERE; go there and read if this is your first time or you're thinking about playing. After you read that:

  1. You have until Valentine's Day to sign up;

  2. I'll email your match the next day;

  3. Send out your mix the day after "President's Day";

  4. Post your theme February 24;

  5. Post the rest March 3.

If you need to email your questions, feel free. Otherwise, get your imaginations fired up dually - your theme and your mix!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Snowflakes were twinkling like little Christmas lights as they hit my rear window then turned to steam and fed the clouds

Three freakin’ degrees is what they said as I woke up, snuggled up under blankets and insisting not to move at all. Thirteen degrees – if we’re lucky – chuckling announcer asshat bastard douchebag cunt tee-heeing about today’s misery, cheeks scraped raw by the wind, chunks of solid ice in the road, batteries struck dead by a chill that shakes the life out of marrow. Barely breaking ten the next few days is the forecast, that and more snow, more snow, more snow everyday, blankets and the determination to stay still but the imperative to move, to go somewhere despite the ever increasing layers of cold, wet suck.

If you’re wondering where this post is going, consider that my brain is frozen, a gray slushie shifting it’s way through a fat, long straw (for those of you into that kind of imagery), inevitably drawn to the suck. So, to fight the suck, I offer this:

There’s a word for word that is what it is, if you know what I mean. I mean, I’ve read about this word somewhere before but it’s killing me that I can’t remember what the word is. Anyway, it’s a word for words themselves (e.g. ‘palindrome’ being a word that can be spelled backwards as well as forwards) and means that those words are just what they are – if you know what I mean. When I gave ‘phlegm’ as an example to Mamacita, she pointed out that it was onomatopoeic but I mean it’s more than that – the word is just what it describes. ‘Ineffable’ is another example. ‘Melee’ and on and on… so what is that word? That word that describes a word that… grrrrrr. I’ll send a copy of my NYEUKAM disks (and a bonus) for the first person who can tell me what that word is.

~d asked me to do three things with the letter D

  1. daddy - Trumps everything - EVERYTHING - everywhere, all the time, there is no contingency, there is no second thought, it's just how it is and I'd have it no other way, ever.

  2. dooooood - A stoned person's reaction to #1 or my reaction to microwave burritos, right now.

  3. delicious - Microwave burritos aren't delicious. The moment they're scarfed is delicious.

  4. drunk - See above. Drink responsibly. Don't scarf and barf.

  5. deleterious - Self-referential humor is deleterious to the continued comedic value. Don't do it. Drink responsibly. And drive real slow.

  6. dylan - ...while listening to Bob Dylan.

  7. dork - The reason you're here, to see what I do given a lack of money, some time, and too much testicle (also, see ‘dweeb’).

  8. dick – A big one, usually stuck in places I regret later on, I am.

  9. dirt - I am not (I have to remind myself every morning in the mirror) but stuff I love to roll around in, bike in, hike in, psyche in, and with sufficient strong back, tyke in (god, i can't wait until Zeke is past this "I'm too tired to walk, carry me" phase!). I moved to Manitou Springs because I can go five minutes out my door and be on my way into oblivion and dirt - and everthing that grows from that.

  10. death - Oh, death, won't you spare me over til another year? Guess I could scramble around for a few hundred years like Smegal but I'd rather dump the ring and let what's supposed to happen, happen. I'm not betting on a damn thing happening after this so, if seeing them that matter at the end is all I get, I got everything. Even skepticism and in this weather I'm prepared to accept anything; "With ice cold hands taking hold of me, Well I am death none can excel, I'll open the door to heaven or hell."

New mixmania! fiasco announced tomorrow because, hey, I have access to the future. I got that gift after mixing a box of Lucky Charms, whiskey, and a quarter ounce of peyote.

That and I want Jim Weida to get googled.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

"The STUPID, it burns us, it burnsssssss..."

Just scraped this off my shoe after stepping in it over at DKos. Apparently another neocon nitwit, assured of Bush's "brilliance" has decided that the fault of the Iraq debacle lies with lazy, latte-sipping troops:
Note that an increase in embeds doesn’t necessarily require an increase in overall troop strength. We’ve got lots of soldiers sitting on megabases all over Iraq. They should be out and about, some of them embedded, others just moving around, tracking the terrorists, hunting them down. I don’t know how many guys and gals are sitting in air-conditioned quarters and drinking designer coffee, but it’s a substantial number. Enough of that.

When this whole fiasco started back in 2003, I recall the endless accusations against those of us who opposed war, primary among those epithets that we on the anti-war left "did not support the troops." That was utter shit then and remains so: I always maintained I felt I supported the troops more than the pro-war morons because I didn't want to see our sons, daughters, mothers and fathers going off to fight a war that was essentially nothing but a huge dose of viagra for George W. Bush.

I have several friends who are serving or have served in Iraq and all of them have told me of being stretched to the limits, physically and psychologically, patrolling the streets and boroughs of Iraq, up and alert and hungry for 48 hours, 72 hours - or more. Somehow, I doubt the heaping mound of dog shit that is Michael Ledeen knows anything about the kind of stress that comes from serving on the front lines. In fact, I'm positive that all he knows is the experience of "sitting in air-conditioned quarters and drinking designer coffee," pontificating about what do-nothings our brave women and men serving are and what an embarrassment they are to the service of Dear Leader.

Such disrespect of our troops is unconscionable, appalling. It's clear how shabby this pro-war crowd considers our fine soldiers doing the work the chickenhawks are to cowardly to do. If anyone in Michael Ledeen's family is serving in Iraq (and I seriously doubt he has any), I sincerely hope they return home safe and strong - and intent on knocking out Ledeen's teeth. And for those of you pro-war folks who are of enlistment age, I suggest you put your money where your mouth is (and protect your own teeth) and enter the fray or STFU. Time to pony up you spineless sacks of crap, quit running your mouths and letting others do what you're too afraid to do on your own.

Not that I think my appeal will inspire any enlistment-age war supporters to step up and sign the oath. Indeed, I'd bet this month's pay that, faced with the reality of putting on a uniform and strapping on a gun (as opposed to the Pringle-breathed fantasy) would result in a load dropped in their underoos that resembles, um, Michael Ledeen.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fuck with Google, Flush The Brown down - UPS service sucks

A turd is a turd is a turd - or so I heard.
A rose is a rose is a rose
but not a bird.
If a turd arose and took wing,
It’d be no bird, it couldn’t sing.
But a bird is a rose, is arose, is a rose,
Can be anything.

Mamacita doesn’t want you to know this but she had her class send My Boys from my last fucked up job a bunch of presents, boxes and boxes of goodies, good love to kids who wouldn’t be getting that from anywhere else. Just one aspect from a multi-faceted heart: Mamacita sends her love everywhere. Not only did My Kids benefit from her generosity (again), but my kids did as well. And so did kids all over the internet. You have to trust me on this, the woman is amazing.

Unfortunately, she sent some of her love via UPS. Our intrepid USPS wouldn’t promise delivery before Christmas but UPS did, smiling broadly while a mute moved in and out of the mouth of a trumpet going “wa wa waaaaahhhhh…” Mamacita went for the music because that’s who she is (the real brains behind mixmania!).

Well over three weeks after their promised delivery date, 3 of the 4 packages have finally arrived. A fourth package (I suspect another Jasper Fforde novel) has been given up for lost, like some sailor hanging onto nothing but a post.

Step back, breathe, consider how badly UPS fucked this up:

Packages finally delivered three weeks after they promised they'd deliver them and

One out of the four they promised to deliver just simply "gone".

I thought I was a pro about statistics but I have to admit that I can't calculate how badly a huge corporation can lose 75% of its load, deliver the load 315% after the time it promised it would and then claim a job well done. OK, I lied - in a Chi Square (and factoring the diminsihed power of this one instance), Brown gets a 37% accuracy in delivering your package and on time.

Thirty-seven percent. I do better at Cripple Creek.

In case you haven’t noticed (cuz if you’re here, you’ve probably been huffing freon), there are lots of links around. For your benefit, I submit:
service sucks
equates UPS

Do it for Mamacita :-D

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Mixmania: a few of you have been waiting for this and here it is, black and crinkled off the grill

What mutant burned your masterpiece? I dunno, I sat this one out for a well-deserved rest, I just wanted to see how it'd go. For those of you who did play, here's where you go:
Mamacita, yo
tilde, then a 'd'
Got Cow?
Punchbuggy Blues
Soiled Dove Inn, suckaz'
Mixmaster Ster
Sam & Lena

As I always say, "Go for the list, stay for the lips."

No I don't, I've never said that. I don't even know what that means. What I mean to say is that you should read those people instead of just grabbing the goodies and running. Get enlightened.

Had I done a mix, I'd have done it like this, where you have to start the first disk at a specific time in order to hear Prince riffing from the opening bars of Purple Rain into Auld Lang Syne, just at midnight, dude. Dooooooood.

Gap Band - You Dropped a Bomb on Me
NYEUKAM, y'now?

Tom Tom Club - Genius of Love
Hopefully the people who aren't dancing are filling their face full of black eyed peas; they'll need the good luck.

MIA - Gulang
Into the secret cut, just because.

Busta' Rhymes - Fire 2000
Light the place up, dammit.

The Chips - Rubber Biscuit
There's a scene in Mean Streets where Harvey Keitel is stumbling drunken through the bar and the camera follows him, tripping along, looking at things for a moment and then bumping back forward, looking towards the jukebox. Not that it's New Year's Eve but, hey, just sayin'.

Jimi Hendrix - Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)
Watch the roast; just sayin'.

Devo - Are You Experienced?
I love how tight this song is, how they throw the goof on this and still play like a fucking incredible band.

Girls Against Boys - Cowboy's Orbit
In case you didn't get the hint before you started stumbling towards the jukebox.

The Dwarves - Unrepetent
You might want to see what those guys are doing standing near the microwave.

Rock N' Roll Soldiers - Funny Little Feeling
Another shot and move, motherfucker.

The Hives - Walk, Idiot Walk
Jukebox, see? Steady yourself, catch your breath, refocus. Walk upright somewhere else. Don't puke on anybody.

Hot Hot Heat - Bandages
And for god's sake put that down, you'll poke someone's eye out. Hey, you lit your filter.

Elvis Costello - Accidents Will Happen
Don't worry about it, just hit the waste basket, please.

Apples In Stereo - Strawberrydesire
I can neither confirm nor deny that something was put in the punch. I stepped away from the punchbowl and there was a puppy, eating a candycane, wearing a santa hat and putting off this vibe that if you squeezed him, he'd squeek. He didn't squeek so I game him to the guys standing near the microwave.

Oasis - The Hindu Times
And I thought the Devo was tight. Holy shit.

Neko Case - Lady Pilot
Next best advice of New Year's Eve: don't look down.

Modest Mouse - Dance Hall
Because I can be; you're listening to this mix, right?

The Raconteurs - Intimate Secretary
Venerable of scarabs malarkey, but down with Locke you see ecclesiarchy, indeed. Say it three times in the mirror and some ghost nun comes to stab you with the pointy rodent she keeps in her pocket.

The Black Keys - The Desperate Man
MMMMmmm yes, right there.

Grateful Dead - China Cat Sunflower
Every party needs a blazed out hippie to spill wine on the carpet and drop a roach on their lap. Someone to keep the cat company in the utility closet.

Disk 2 - - - 7-some minutes to go

Little Feat - Fat Man in the Bathtub
Because, at the end of the night, all you have is your fat man, in the bathtub.

Prince - Purple Rain/Auld Lang Syne (Live New Year's Eve 1981)
I've seen Prince once and he made it feel like New Year's Eve.

Rare Earth - I Just Want to Celebrate
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss but meaner.

Dawn Penn - No, No, No
A lot meaner.

Toots & the Maytalls - Broadway Jungle
But everything will be all right, mon.

Ohio Players - Fire
Get out the hose, get ready to spray some people down.

Fergie - London Bridge
I don't care, it's well-produced and infinitely danceable (care of MIA) and anyway, someone's fucking on the coats on the bed.

Al Green - Take Me to the River
Won't you cleanse my soul, put my feet on the ground? No? Ok then, give me some of that.

Hound Dog Taylor & His Houserockers - Give Me Back My Wig
Wave your hands in the air like you just don't care. Jump up and down and pretend you have coconut breasts.

Rocky Horror - The Time Warp
Line dancing for nerds.

Depeche Mode - Just Can't Get Enough
huffa huffa huffa *cough, cough, wheeze* someone's feet stink like ASS

Irving - Death in the Garden, Blood on the Flowers
Shameless glam-pop to satisfy my shameless glam-pop.

Dandy Warhols - Solid
More glam, going day-glo and smiling with a grin that rips your face off.

Simian - La Breeze
Marc Bolan has that same grin somewhere in that same glam heaven that made this song necessary. Kneel down and then get back up so no one trips over you, K?

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Phenomena
I had to put this on here, just had to. Besides, it goes well into:

Edith Piaf - Something in french that means "no regrets", I think.
The start of the "time to go" part of this party.

Skinny Puppy - Pro-test
The hint gets less subtle.

Big Black - Cables (Live)
If there's anyone still left after this song, they're waiting for a cab, passed out, or the peeps you still want around.

Dead Kennedy's - Too Drunk to Fuck
OK, quit making fun and let's put on some John Fahey. There's a bottle of brandy beneath the sink, spark up another one.

That's how my Ney Year's Eve would have gone had I planned and hit the lotto. As it was, I was busy stealing waitress's tips and cigarettes, listening to a bunch of old guys cover the Neville Brothers. Thus, the nails in my head. My resolution is to have them removed before my birthday.