Friday, October 29, 2010


By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes. --Second Witch, Act IV, scene I - Macbeth.

That’s one of my favorite Shakespeare quotes; it’s so ominous and filled with dread. However I’ve always been a little vague on the whole, pricking of the thumbs bit. I mean, I’ve heard of pricking your finger, meaning a small puncture to the finger, but of the thumb? That’s just crazy. Shakespeare was a nut!

I digress; this quote though has served me well in a lot of situations. For instance, when I’m at the bar and some person who has a reputation for causing trouble comes in, I’ll quote the above. Then everyone looks at me and is like, “What?”, and then I have to explain to them that it’s from Macbeth and they say, “Who?”, and then I stare in disbelief and start talking about something else, “So….how about that local sports squadron?”

But this phrase has always been cool for its obscurity and dark foreboding. Not only is there the hint of bloodletting but also the lure of malicious intent on the horizon. That just gives me chills.

I first heard the phrase, not in Macbeth, but in a pseudo-scary movie Disney made in the early ‘80’s called Something Wicked This Way Comes.  
Jason Robards and Jonathan Price give splendid performances in this forgotten movie. Jason Robards character quotes Macbeth and I remember thinking, “Wow. That is cool”.  (Apparently it was a Ray Bradbury story as well, but I never read that.)

I also feel the quote is Halloween appropriate. There is a true sense of something wicked coming. Maybe it’s the high winds or the crackling of leaves underfoot or that on moonless October nights, shadows seem to linger and the new coolness to the air makes your hair stand up on the back of your neck. It always seems like there’s someone following you, spirits and ghouls at your back, ready to snatch your soul and drag it to hell.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Coffee Angel

Coffee Angel

The vending machines in my office building are located on the fifth and top floor in a wide open area called The Solarium. On occasion the various tenants of the building will use this wide open space to hold meetings and larger presentations. Today happens to be one of those days.

I was fiercely hungry this morning, having only a hot dog with a little salsa on it for dinner last night. By the way, if you haven’t had a hot dog with salsa on it you do not know what you are missing. It is divine. I mean, think about it. It’s has all the fixing’s already in there, onions, tomato, even some green peppers, a little spicy kick to it, how can that be wrong? Regardless, however flavorful the Salsa Dog™ is, it doesn’t exactly sate ones appetite. Thus my trek to the fifth floor vending machines.

My stomach was already grumbling when I arrived at work and I already knew what I needed. I had my heart set on those sweet Chocolate Hostess Donettes. Six mini doughnuts carefully and lovingly placed on thin white cardboard and wrapped in a plastic sleeve. They are a bakery classic, or at least that’s what the packaging tells me. I knew that was the only cure for my rumbling.

I took the stairs up to the fifth floor and opened the door. (I know, it seems I eat crap and yet I take the stairs) I stepped through the doorway and was confronted with some sort of presentation going on for one of the other tenants in the building. I sheepishly turned the corner to get to the vending machines and that’s when I saw her, The Coffee Angel.

The Coffee Angel was a dark haired girl dressed all in white wearing angel wings. She was setting up a large coffee maker all by herself, and struggling with it. I looked around the room and noticed all the men in suits, watching the Coffee Angel but not offering to help her. Now I’m no expert, but I’m not sure how familiar Angels are with the mortal world’s coffee makers. I’m sure in heaven coffee is available just by thinking about it, or at least 75 Heavenly Starbucks locations. (Rumor has it they got in the market early and made a killing. It’s sinful really).

 I went to the vending machine and bought my morning snack and yet, it seemed lacking and for some reason I just wasn’t as excited by it anymore. I stepped back around the corner toward the staircase entrance and some of the suited men were now helping the Coffee Angel with her set up. Obviously they were good Christian men who thought this good act might get them out of Purgatory. I’m sure it pays to help an angel.

I took another long look at the Coffee Angel, the fullness of her wings and look of bewilderment on her face and headed back downstairs. I took comfort in the fact that no matter how bad my day is; there’s a girl upstairs wearing a white gown and angel wings, serving coffee to a bunch of suits.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Halloween is rapidly approaching and I still do not have a costume. A small part of me is starting to feel “over” Halloween and getting a costume seems pointless. In fact, over the last few years, I have put less and less effort in creating a costume. I was the same thing the last two years with minor variations.

I’m supremely impressed by my friends who go all out for their costumes. I have a friend who takes Halloween with the seriousness some take their Christmas dinner presentation.  And another friend where price is no object to achieve the authenticity the holiday deserves.

I think it’s cool these friends of mine take such pride in their embrace of this pagan holiday. I long for the days when I actually wanted to dress up, but I am really feeling quite past that age. I don’t have any children of my own to entertain with a costume and since I live in an apartment building, no children ever come to ring the doorbell. (And refried children is so tasty) So I don’t even buy candy. Halloween really used to be a children’s holiday didn’t it? Now it’s all grown up parties and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages till Dracula is throwing up in Betty-Boop’s lap.

Maybe part of it is because of how slutty Halloween has become? I mean, I love to see woman let their inner slut out just like the next guy, put it’s gotten to the point of ridiculousness. Slutty bee, Slutty Nurse, Slutty Interior Designer; I mean, how much further can we push it. Naked Halloween? Wait…, I might be on to something there.

I also miss scary Halloween. There’s nothing very scary about a Slutty Stewardess; unless she’s got herpes.  I miss the moonlit, fog covered cemeteries of Edgar Allen Poe poetry or the blood curdling terror of being chased through the streets of London by a machete wielding maniac. I miss Victorian terror and horror.  I’m just not scared by Halloween anymore, too many boobs and short skirts. Although I’m terribly, “excited”, by Halloween costumes.

So for this year, I think I will be a werewolf, before he changes into a werewolf. So I can just wear normal clothes. Howl (cough) Ahhh-houuuulllll!!!

More Halloween to come.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Elite American Military apologizes for dangerous Midwest weather

Elite American Military apologizes for dangerous Midwest weather.

Chicago, IL. – G.I. Joe, America’s Premiere Anti-Terrorist Special Forces, engaged in a prolonged fire fight against the eccentric terrorist organization, COBRA.   COBRA scientists had recently completed a Weather Dominator Machine and were set to bring it on-line until G.I. Joe interceded.

As a result of this intense battle, severe weather rushed across the U.S. Midwest last night and into the early morning. High winds and pelting rain caused inconveniences for commuters and vacationers.

A spokesman for the elite fighting force, G.I. Joe, codename: Dialtone, was quoted, “COBRA’s obsession with world domination was once again thwarted thanks to the brave actions of my fellow Joe’s. Yo Joe!”.  When pressed for details regarding the battle, which apparently occurred somewhere in the Arctic Circle, Mr. Dialtone was reluctant to provide any more information. Initial reports amazingly show there were zero casualties for both combatants. However property damages are estimated in the millions.

Destro, the COBRA arms dealer was quoted as well, “It was a good plan. The weather dominator would have brought amazing technological and financial success for COBRA and our magnificent leader Cobra Commander. It’s too bad those Joe’s had to ruin it all with their Christian values and morality. Oh, and lasers”.

When asked about G.I. Joe’s recent comments regarding, ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’, in the American Military, Cobra Commander had this to say, “Sssssomthing issss ssseverely ssssad witttth thosssse Soldierssss. In the COBRA Organizzzation, all our troopssss are encouraged to follow their passssionsss, be it genetic engineering or night-time maneuverssss”.

G.I. Joe has assured the American public that the Weather Dominator has been dismantled and its components will be hidden around the world for safety. Unless that country is gay.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Alarm Clocks

Alarm Clocks

I have two alarm clocks in my bedroom. One is directly next to my head and the other is across the room. They are set to go off between five and ten minutes apart. The alarm next to my head starts wailing away at 6:33 am and I won’t hear it until the second alarm goes off ten minutes later. I reach over and press the snooze button on the first alarm then get out of bed, hit snooze on the second alarm and get back into bed. I tell myself every morning that I should just get up at the first alarm; that I’ll regret it if I lay back down. But I know myself too well.

I’ve never been a morning person. Ever. When I was a child my mother would have to pound on my bedroom door and scream at me to get out of bed for school or work. Being late in the mornings has been something I have done my entire life. I’ll likely be late for my own funeral.  I have no internal alarm clock, or if I do, it’s set to 10:00 am.  

Every morning those two alarm clocks scream away, for ten to fifteen minutes before I ever hear them. I think my neighbor across the hall uses my alarms to get herself up. I bet she doesn’t even bother to set her own. I’ve apologized to her on several occasions for the loudness and longevity of my alarm clocks persistent attempts to wake me. I explained I sleep like a corpse under a rock, on the moon. She only smiles politely and runs into her apartment and slams the door. And locks it; twice. 

At some point the alarms eventually do their job and I struggle to drag myself up, get into the shower, organize something to wear for work and haul my late butt to work. All the while I curse myself for being unable to rise and shine. Every night I tell myself as I go to bed that I have to wake up on time. And every morning my arm is reaching out for the snooze convinced that another five minutes of sleep while not turn into 25 minutes.

I need that Three Stooges alarm that lifts the bed up 90 degrees and dumps me onto the floor. (Who am I kidding, I’d probably just start sleeping on the floor.)