Thursday, April 29, 2004

If I go to a Health Fair, am I Healthy?

Today at work we are having a health fair. It's kind of interesting, actually, seeing all the stuff they have there. I went and spoke with a Chiropractic doctor who has agreed to look at my spine, which is nice. They used to run away screaming when I told them I had a rod in my back.

They also had some martial arts instruction flyers, including one from the Tukong Warrior School. Yes, I said, ahem, the Tukong Warrior School. Be afraid, be very afraid, my dear readership, for I am embarking upon a journey during which I will learn to kick some serious ass. At this dojo (I'm not making this up) you can take classes in Sword Combat Warriorship. That sounds a lot different from most schools where you study things like "French." Now, I'm not knocking "French" study, things French, or French people but, somehow, hearing a class called "Sword Combat Warriorship" sounds a lot more intense than "French." Just a hunch, mind you.

So, I wonder, if Fidel got to make a crank call, who do you think he would call? Would he call a doctor if he were sick? (Or would he just visit a health fair like me?) Makes for an interesting topic of conversation, doesn't it?

I'm seriously thinking about purchasing one of those Total Gyms, because I'm wanting to work out at home and I've no access to weights. I just really don't care for the Gym membership I have (it's always too crowded and dirty) so I'm seriously considering buying some equipment for home use. Sure, I have the bike, but I want some weights and possibly Pilates to go along with it.

He's a mental picture for you. Try to imagine, if you will, Fidel doing Pilates. Somehow, I think he'd be much more suited to the "Sword Combat Warriorship" classes, don't you? Maybe it's me but, I just can't picture him in a tu-tu.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Is Your Refrigerator Running?

This link from has an article about two disc jockeys from Miami who made the mother of all prank calls. It seems, as part of a morning talk show, they pretended to be aides to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and somehow managed to piece together recorded snippets from a recent speech of his to foil none other than Fidel Castro himself. Dang! I bet every college kid is jealous. I mean, how can you even get a line other there? I thought it was so backwoods they didn't even have telephones. Even so, I bet the wires are stapled to the outside of the buildings (much like Mexico.)

To make matters worse (or, perhaps better?) the FCC is now contemplating a fine of $4,000 to the morning show which hosts the DJs. The DJs have, in true capitalist fashion, set off on a course to aggravate the government by collecting pennies. Yes, you read it right, they plan to pay the fine by transferring 400,000 pennies to Washington DC and paying the fine in person, to lend creedence to their cause. One has to wonder, can prank callers really be considered to have a cause? The hosts are asking listeners to donate old pennies from desk drawers, couch bottoms, and the like, in a somewhat backhanded attempt at foiling the fine. Although, I guess it can be said too that, if you pay the fine, you've paid your dues. So now the true question becomes, do the residents of Miami have 400,000 pennies at the bottom of their collective couches? That's a lot of little Lincoln profiles, isn't it? Sigh. The mind boggles.

It's just a shame that Mijo Vending couln't contribute a few pennies for the cause. Still, somehow, it wouldn't sit right with me. I mean, I could actually see Ted getting along with Castro on some level. I mean, they both like Mexican food, they both have boats, they both avoid Nashville, and they are both bs artists right? Sounds like a match made in Heaven.

Ken, catch this. I think this is my new plan. We can try to send Ted to Old Havanna with pennies in his pocket and the hopes that his newfound friend Fidel will buy him a cadillac (sure it'd be a caddy from like '50s but still, I could see Ted digging the fins.)

Ted, if you are reading this, I've one word for you, buddy: DEFECTION (it's not just for breakfast anymore, ok?)

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Ted's Not-so Excellent New Adventure

Ken has IMed me again to inform me that Ted now has a corporate name for his vending machine franchise. Mijo Vending, which gets it's name from Tex-Mex slang ("mi hijo" is Spanish for "my son" in case you did not know) is now a fully-operational vending machine conglomerate, if such a beast even exists. Ted, it seems, has gone into business with an overweight man named Bob, who once sat on a plastic patio chair and broke it.

Sorry if it sounds cruel, but I've just been getting these visions. Strippers dancing on the ceiling, Ted and a fat man driving down the Texas coast, eating too much Mexican food and making frequent stops in bathrooms all along the way, an apartment in South Austin with too many exotic dancers per square foot dancing on the ceiling, the Dalton highway at first light (which roughly corresponds to 1 am). It's just driving me batty. It's like I know there's blogger material in here, but I just can't seem to find it. (Yeah right.)

So Ken and I have been speculating that we could make one Hell of a movie. It could be kind of like Jackass, the TV series, only without the stunts. We could have our Alaskan drilling for oil along the Dalton highway summertime special, our natural gas expedition along the Texas coast and let's not forget our "stripper-rama" which would be the ceiling dance off. I would finally get the recognition I deserve as a director. Hey, you laugh but, it could happen.

And in the "I would sincerely like to thank the academy..." department, much credit goes to all the other folks from Ci2i to have been keeping more than arm's length away from this fiasco. It's not easy being green, I suppose. At least that's what Kermit once said.

Now, if only I could figure out how to work a frog or some barnyard animals (besides the caribou) into the movie. There's blockbuster material if I ever saw it. Ted, a frog, a stripper, a fat man sitting on a plastic patio chair, a cloud of methane gas, a herd of caribou, and an endless sunset along the Dalton Highway.


Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Nothing Spectacular Around These Parts

There's been nothing spectacular happening around these parts. At least, nothing I have been finding worthy enough of a weblog entry.

Ken has written to inform me that Ted did not imbark upon his journey down the Texas coast in an attempt at capitalizing on the lucrative vending machine market in Corpus. At least, that was the last info that I had heard. Who knows where Ted is? I mean, for all we know, he might have run off with some strippers and he's now passing his time on this planet by dancing on their ceilings for a change.

Speaking of ceiling dancing, I do not believe I have ever explained fully the concept of Ted, the strippers, and the ceiling dance. At least not to the satisfaction of the small but vocal web community who actually spends time reading my weblog. Ted it seems has rented an apartment in South Austin since his dubious return from Nashville (or parts unknown in Tennessee.) He lives in a three story apartment building somewhere on the first or second floor. Ahem, to say, "Ted has people above him" would be quite an understatement but, in this regard anyway, it's quite literally true. Renting the suite above is a bevy of strippers (or, ahem, "exotic dancers" if you wish to be polite) who routinely arrive and depart at odd hours of the evening, wearing high-heeled shoes (hence the "dancing on his ceiling" reference.) So now you know. Poor Ted's always complaining that he has strippers dancing on his ceiling and he isn't getting any from upstairs. Some folks just can't get lucky, even if luck itself were to fall into their laps. Heh. I'm sure one of the babes in named "Bubbles" and probably one of them is named "Lucky" or something. So, maybe if Ted drills a big enough hole in the ceiling, luck will fall into his lap, literally.

This just in from the Java Pod department. I'm told by a co-worker that they have new flavors of Java Pods for our coffee maker at work. Oh now, this should be good. I can hardly wait to get to Target and try out some of the new stuff. Although, I'm sure nothing will beat the current favorite: French Kisses, unless we find out that one of Ted's, ahem, "neighbors" shares the same name and then we'll all have to switch to decaf.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

It's Happy Hour, Go Pout

Lately I've been feeling like I'm in a rut. I started to think about ways I could improve my situation, about what I really want to do, about the meaning of life, etc. Then it dawned upon me. What I really want, what I really, really want, is to have some fun. I'm kind of like that old Cyndi Lauper song, I just want to have some fun. So I've decided I want to have a happy hour, go to a happy hour, or just go out and have a good time. Something to take my mind off of my troubles. A little like Saturday Night Fever, I want to have a weekend blow out to take my mind off of my problems. I'll have to go to happy hour soon, before Ted comes back to town.

I found this neat link, which I enjoyed a bit. (Try to tell the chicken to run around in circles, stand on his head, or lay an egg, it's pretty funny.) Was a fun time for a while anyway. It's the simple things in life that give me pleasure, I know.

I was pricing razors on the web yesterday and I'm not really sure I even want to spend any hard-earned cash on anything right now. Lately, I've been on this anti-shopping kick. I guess you could call it being cheap but recently I'm finding that I don't want to spend any money and I don't want to incrue any charges on my charge cards. I've been wishing I could live off the land, get off the grid, or something like this. Maybe it's a general "lightening my load" for the impending summertime months and all.

There are two things in life I really want. I know what they are and yet I still can't seem to get them. I want to clean-up my house, get it organized and unpacked, and I also want to get into better physical shape (loose weight.) I don't know how I've become such a fat horse but lately it has me feeling really down. I think part of my "rut lining" can be traced to the fact that I feel quite powerless over these two events. I mean, I've gone off and identified what it is I want in life, what would make me happy, and I just can't have it. Maybe that's why I'm bummed. Come to think of it, I'm almost afraid to go to a happy hour, for fear that I may pout all night long. Well, maybe not if i go to baby A's and have a 'rita and some migas.

There's something that should have made the top 10 list, but didn't. Migas. Talk about those almost as much as I talk of Doritos (and I talk about those a lot.) Yum. Here's hoping I get me some happy hour soon, before some sad hour anyway.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

When Greenie Talks People Listen

I was watching Alan Greenspan on TV this morning. Talking about interest rates, the economy, inflation, deflation, and a few other big words to which I am not really privy. I guess it's safe to say, when Greenie talks, people listen. But it's also true that they get out their dictionaries in a futile attempt at following along with the esteemed Fed Chairman. I wish I could grow up to be like him, but I have too limited a vocabulary and I could never spell. I was talking to a friend today about Greenie's talk and I said that, I believe, he also speaks Spanish. I wonder if he uses big words in Spanish too. Just an interesting but passing thought.

Ken has written to inform me that Ted has been let lose on the Texas coast. Apparently, he has embarked upon a road trip to Corpus and points south east, in an attempt at capitalizing on the lucrative vending machine market which exists on the Gulf Coast. That or, he's bored and can't think of a better way to make money. Either way, according to Ken, "I can't wait to hear the stories he'll tell when he returns...and yes, he will probably return, so your prayers won't be answered :)" Rats! Foiled again.

So, what he have here is a state of inflation coupled with a lack of Ted. Hmm. Perhaps I should blow off work this afternoon and go shopping. Now, that's macro-economics for you. Let my people go! Leave us free of your shackels and chains and let me loose in Target. I need a new razor.

Speaking of razors, my has recently blown up. I know this sounds rather odd, and I know there's more of a blog enry in this one but, I have an epilator which has recently shorted out and now I need to replace it. Several of my friends have commented, upon viewing my razor, that it appears to mirror the shape of a dildo. I'm not making this up. Has me kind of bummed that it's shorted out. I mean, how in the world am I supposed to find another epilator in the shape of a dildo? Now there's something I bet even the Super Target doesn't carry. Um, often.

Still, all of this talk of Greenie, macro-economics, Ted, and my razor has me wondering. What, exactly, is a dildo shapped like? Please don't write and tell me because, frankly, I just don't want to know and, despite my proclaimations of being innocent, I've enough of an imagination to venture a guess without any help.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The Chihuahua and the Large Screen TV

So poor Ted is now sans large screen TV. So the poor dog had to take a wizz and managed to short out an entire 45 inch boob tube. So I had, just had to blog about this. I just can't learn to leave well enough alone, can I? Sigh. You know I'll never listen and you know I'll never learn. I've heard it all before. Three hundred years ago, they'd have burnt me at the stake. Yada yada to you too.

I've had some interesting discussions as of late about redemption. What it means, who is eligible, how I can get me some of it. It's made for interesting talk about the water cooler (at least more intersting than the other topic as of late, which seems to be layoffs, or "RIFs" as we call them now.) Redemption to me is something, some way, some mechanism for redeming one's self. If you look it up in the dictionary, it refers to the definition as "to buy back" but also references "to free from the consequences of sin." Interesting thoughts and conversations I've had about this as of late.

There's lots of takes on this. To the Catholics, it seems to me like you say ten hail Mary's and be done with it. To the Buddhists, you just accept as a matter of course that your path to enlightenment includes several steps which increase suffering for others. It's just a part of being on earth, I suppose, rather than being in Nirvana. I'm not quite sure what the Protestants think, although I'm willing to bet they don't agree. Still though, it begs the question, what is the cost for redemption? How do you decide who is elgible? Are there some sins from which you cannot redeem? I suppose it could be said that, if you don't pay the cost for redemption, you bear the guilt for your sins. I guess this is true in as much as you either have to pay the piper or learn to live with the mistakes you made. It's part of life, I suppose. Learning to deal with things and moving on.

If you think in terms of emotional baggage, you can realize that redemption can be a form of learning to live with life's adventures and maladies. You can approach the entire situation by just looking at that emotional bellhop and thinking of ways to try and lighten his load. He never goes away, no, you shouldn't make him. He's a part of you for which you should be grateful. But, you could, if you were so inclined, try to take some of the rocks out of the suitcases he's carrying. Go ahead, make it easy for him to hop around by your side. Best case scenario? He won't wizz on your large screen TV, like a certain chihuahua I know.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Attack of the Killer Chihuahua

This just in from the Now I've Heard Everything Department...the award for the man with the crappiest luck goes to: Tedemundo. Ken has IMed me today to inform me that Ted is the unlucky one because his chihuaha wizzed on his big screen TVand shorted it out. Now, he has to go over to Ken's house to watch movies he's rented. And, if that weren't enough, Ted said some stripper called his cell phone the other day and asked him if he saw her dance somewhere, so he replies, kind of leading her on, "Nope, haven't seen you dance, but would like to." and hangs up the phone on her.

Ken informs me that Ted will shortly be starting a blogger related to receiving strange phone calls. Ha! Welcome to the club, Ted. Although, as I've pointed out in the past, Ted is no stranger to weirdness himself. I mean, he is Tedmundo, all American Whack-o, the man who makes Michael Jackson look normal. Still, somehow this would be poetic justice, to see Ted get a book deal from his blogger. I hear they are giving away multi-million dollar book deals from the blogger site and, well, I could just see Ted nailing one down. I mean, he's the man, the myth, the legend.

I could see Ted getting all jiggy and all with an agent and a big fat cigar, talking "first rights." Imagine him on the set of the movie talking to the director. "No man, I said the strippers dance OVER HERE on the roof. Having them come in stage left is ALL WRONG" he would say as he bites his cigar. And I don't even want to think about the Chihuahua.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.
It's Rosaria and Other Interesting Facts

Lately, I've been watching way too much television. I happened upon a commercial for a new Swiffer device, which is supposed to leave your home dustless. The device features a long, extending handle, so you can get into those hard to reach places. The commerical features a bevy of x-maids, butlers, and other assorted cleaning folks from famous TV shows. There's Alice, Benson, and the folks from the Jeffersons. There was one lady in the commerical I just could not identify. A gapped tooth Latina woman who, it turns out, is the cleaning person for the program Will and Grace. Rosaria, I believe her name is. All this has made me feel better about watching too much television, seeing as I didn't know who she was and all. I have never seen Will and Grace, nor have I viewed an episode of Friends from start to finish. Still I enjoy a good Law and Order rerun, especially when I get home from work.

I was using infopop over the weekend a bit, mostly to catch up with old friends. Some folks were talking about the move memento. I still have not seen this movie, and I suppose I really need to rent it. It's about a guy who keeps losing his memory and so he begins to tattoo things onto himself. It sounds like a movie I would enjoy, but one that would beg the question, "why didn't he just blog?" Yeah, I know, it would spoil the story. Bah on me.

This weekend I picked up an ornately tye-died shirt for little money at my local "big box" store. Interesting factoid about the shirt, the label says, among other things, it's 100% cotton and that I should wash with like colors. Ok, excuse me for being rude but how the $%^& am I supposed to wash a tye died shirt with like colors? What exactly is a color that's "like" tye die? WTF?

Today too I had a blow up at work. A few months ago, my group chipped in and purchased a 'fridge for my area. I bring cokes in so that I can drink them conveniently without going buildings away to the nearest vending machine and paying $1 for over-priced soda. The past few days though, somebody has been walking off with my coke. At first I thought it an honest mistake (there's some Cherry cola in there and I thought maybe somebody put a red can in and took a red can out w/o looking). So today I go over there and there's no coke at all. Again. And I'm really pissed off. I was thirsty. Still am. And no coke to drink. So now I'm ripping mad and I'm ready to chew out whomever will be unlucky enough to listen. I suppose I should be more adult about it and just give it up, but I get especially bitchy when I'm thirsty. So now you have the, ahem, "pleasure" of "hearing" my blogger bitch. Take that, Rosaria and clean the fricking windows already, would ya?

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Twelve Going On...

Lately, I've been thinking that my life has become rather dull, almost feeling like I'm in a rut, the depths of which I cannot pull myself out. Yesterday's top 10 list reminded me that, sometimes at the most peculiar of times, life presents you with, what's the right word? Not quite challenges, but more like "interesting events." The bowling night was one of those. Strange happenings kept going on, despite any attempts at any kind of normalcy.

We can't really wish or hope for interesting times to occur, and we don't always enjoy them when they do happen. But there's something about them that's almost magical sometimes. Sure, it can be difficult to learn to embrace the unexpected and trying to just "go with the flow" at times but, if you really stop to think about it, it's these interesting times that give us the most fun, sometimes in the most unexpected of ways. They say that folks who do software testing become preoccupied with "corner cases" and, I guess, you could say that's what Carol's Little World is about. Learning to love the strange happenings because, afterall, you can't predict them, can't make them go away, so you might as well enjoy them. Revel in the weird, let your freak flag fly, that sort of notion. Well, that and annoying Ken about Kanchan.

Another interesting observation happened last evening. I received an email from a friend, asking me, no more like prodding me, "what's your latest course in life?" I never thought of myself as one to give direction to others. I don't know why, I just don't seem the type to have any leadership skills or the type of person to which others tend to naturally follow course. But, in a small, controlled group of people, I can become that person. I can transform into somebody who will take charge and who's not afraid to chart a course for ports unknown. So, I guess you could say my leadership skills are "average," despite my best attempts at concealing them, even from myself.

The question posed had me thinking though. What if, my entire lot in life, my entire purpose for existence, was simply to wonder where I was going? The writer Aldus Huxley once said, "what if this world is another world's Hell?" I keep trying to envision what I want to do "when I grow up" but, what if my purpose in life is to really not grow up and to show others how then can avoid it as well? I suppose, in some ways, I'm destined to become the world's oldest 12 year old. And love it to boot.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Livin' Large, A Retrospective

Yesterday, I started to think about the blogger, the improvements I wanted to make, and the state of the union, or at least the blogger. This got me to speculate about the most common topics and how, if I could, describe this weblog to somebody uninformed. Here's what I came up with, thanks to much help from Ken.

First off, an objective review of the blogger:

15:29:50) ken: your blogs are "interesting reading". I mean, I get tired of reading about...[typical blog content], yours is just plain fun
15:30:35) ken: I mean, you've covered everything from Doritoes to boogers in urinals to horny caribou

After which Ken said, "that should be your next topic. Top 10 topics covered in Carol's Little World." Ok, Ken, you got it. Here's my own personal top 10 list.
1. Doritoes
What can I say? I just can't get enough.

2. Horny Caribou
I don't know what came over me. Honestly.

3. Tedmundo, Ken, and other assorted riffraff
Sorry, Ken, if Ted makes the list, so too do you.

4. tie Affairs with rock stars/grilled cheese sandwiches
Food, sex and weather, the stuff everybody always talks about. I suppose, if I had to pick 2 out of 3...

5. Worshipping Eric Clapton
Ah, he's just a demi-God. But, yeah, he does seem to get my pie hole moving on occassion.

6. Boogers in Urinals
It was a strange but true bowling night. Besides, I didn't put them there, I was one of the unlucky few who happened upon them. What's your excuse?

7. Kanch-a-roni
I suppose I do aggravate Ken a little too much about Kanchan. But then, I guess that will stop after the wedding.

8. Bowling Nights
When we do have them, they do make for interesting "blogger fodder."

9. Brassieres on toilet paper holders
See #8. I suppose. Although, it was rather odd.

10. Other stuff, like art and photography
Yup. That too. And that's not all....for $19.99 you get....

With all this talk about all this stuff, maybe my site should be renamed to Carol's Very Large World or something. I guess you could say I'm "living large" these days, although I don't really feel like it.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

It's the Largest State
(So, naturally, it should get the biggest laugh)

Today my friend Ken has IM-ed me a link to a photolog about some guy who drives the Dalton Highway into the Artic Circle in Alaska. Ken tells me I should take this journey because I am "the adventurous type." Natrually, I respond by saying, "Ah ha! I was struggling for today's topic upon which to blog. You have provided me additional blogger fodder. Thank you, Ken." And so, the topic for today:road trip in Alaska with horny caribou.

The weblog talks about how it's almost impossible to rent a car to drive the Dalton Highway, as it's a rugged God-forsaken place of earth which carries many "liabilities" (at least according to the rental car dweebs.) Nevertheless, the author imparts upon this momentual journey and drives through the Alaskan tundra into the Artic Circle. Interesting read, especially seeing as I've been on this kick as of late to go explore the great white north. Not that this makes any sense, mind you, seeing as I spent four years in the hell we shall call "Potsdam" and, if that wasn't enough, I have been stranded several times in the tundra of upstate NY without a coat or mittens. (Gotta have mittens, man, you just got to have mittens. And don't try to live your sorry ass another day without ear muffs either.) But, as I've said many times before, there's just not logical accounting for wonderlust. And, I suppose, anyplace is better than here (especially at this point in time.)

The author of the weblog also talks about caribou. After reading this, I told Ken that, I've never actually seen a caribou. I don't know what they look like but have heard they get pretty pissed off. So, according to my logic, we can tell Ted it's just "a big deer" and he should go and pet it "up close and all." Then enjoy the inevitable horn butt that will ensue and, as the pissed off caribou butts Ted in the ass, we can enjoy our own private hysterics. Sounds like a dream vacation to me. Yes, Ken, I'm actually dreaming about going on a vacation with Ted. Ha ha! Jokes on me. Maybe, for an encore, we can make Ted sleep on the side of the hotel that faces the sun, and visit when there's like 23 fricking hours of daylight. Oh and, for good measure, we'll put a spotlight outside of his window (just to make sure he doesn't get any shut eye at all.) I'm sure he'll miss the prostitutes dancing on his ceiling, but he'll live.

Ken has also suggested that we leave Ted in the Artic Ocean and see if he can swim back. I responded by saying we could possibly feed him to a polar bear, but then we both decided the horny caribou would be the best of the lot. At least, it would make us laugh the most. And you have to love that, right? I mean, it beats the bananas out of Belize anyday.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Monday, April 12, 2004

It's Driving Me Bananas

I finished my taxes this weekend. Sure, I'm getting a big refund, I know I should be happy but there's trouble afoot. When I told my Mom about my refund she was like, "Oh, I bet you're happy." Why? I shouldn't be. I mean, it's my money and all. I paid it in, and now I'm asking for it back. Give it up, Mr. Fed.

Every year, when I do my taxes, I start to look at how much I pay in and how much I'm getting back and it strikes me as incredibly annoying that my government takes so much from so many to do so little. I mean, what, just what, has the FDA done for you lately? And for this we pay them? Guess who's picking up the tab for those perky little 9/11 commission hearings? Get a mirror, my friend, it's our tax dollars at work. And what for? So some senators could preen on TV?

The press admitted this weekend that, during Dr. Rice's private (read non-television broadcast) testimony, only 4 people on the commission asked questions and only 7 were present. They all showed up to preen across the TV though when the cameras were there. Somehow, I doubt it was to grill her with questions concerning administration knowledge of 9/11 but rather everybody was looking out for their own self-interests and wanted to get their lovely, smiling faces on my glowing TV screen. Oh joy. And for this, I have to pay.

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll bitch about it again. You could finance a third world country with what I alone pay in taxes. And, no, I'm not "rich" by any stretch of the imagination.

I mean, picture it. Just picture it. Me sitting on a tropical beach, ripe in banana trade with a cool drink in one hand and a dead president in the other. And, for what my government does for me, they all but drive me bananas. I'm convinced that the entire GDP of a small-ish country (I'm thinking someplace like Belize here, folks. Maybe even someplace without quite a tourist trade) is smaller than my tax bill.

"They give tax cuts to the rich!" scream the democrats. The republicans drop bunker-busting 1500 pound multi-thousand dollar bombs onto tents in desolated Arab lands. It's insanity. We'd be better off if we all traded bananas. At least the chimps would be happy and that would make one of us, right? Then again, I've seen some of my congressmen and the word "chimp" isn't all too far off.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Too Much Television Man

Like a larger than life superhero, I burst onto the scene. Here I am to save the day! Or at least sleep on the couch. I'm Too Much Television Man Yes, it's true, I've been watching way too much television this week. Don't know why, I'm not that big a fan of the boob tube but, lately anyway, it's just been there and I keep turning it on.

I happened upon this commercial for Fantasy Football. Some guy is in an office, walking about introducing a new executive. "This is Bob," he says, "our new Vice President of," and there's a long pause. Bob then walks around looking at things and acting very Rain Man-ish. At one point he comments, "this is an Ecquadorial Palm tree. You have 11 of these in your office. The median temperature in Ecquador is 90.1 degrees."

The median temperature in Ecquador is 90.1 degrees F.

Gotta love that. Poor Bob goes onto to lead a life picking out players for the office fantasy football team (seeing as he has committed to memory all known statistics, I suppose he's rather a good player.) Meanwhile, I'm fantasyizing about Equador and all things tropical. 90.1 degrees is, afterall, a little on the hot side, wouldn't you say? Makes me think about a palm tree, a nice tropical breeze, a cool drink in my hand, my cabana boy, maybe some cool tunes on the satellite radio. Gosh, I'm so there it's not even funny. Give me beach front or give me death. Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking right about now ("drop dead") but it's worth half a fantasy. Still, you have to admit, it's beats the hail out of Cedar Park.

Today is Good Friday. One of the most holy days in the Christian calendar. It has been said that the Pope used to walk the stations of the cross to commerate this day but that now he has taken too ill to do so. It's also a day he takes communion from ordinary regular folks, like us, and not bishops and "church elite" folks who can only confess to a Pope. It must be kind of cool to live life knowing you could one day confess to the Pope himself. If I were Catholic, I'm sure there would be some great significance to this but, seeing as I'm not, I'll stick to my icon-less church and leave it at that. Makes me wonder though. If the Pope were to play fantasy football, who would bet against him?

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Don't Look at Me

I was watching an episode of Law & Order this week and I happened to hear one of the best quotes I believe I have heard from a movie or TV program in a long time. Picture this. The detectives are huddled in a room, attempting to solve a tough case. One of the detectives, played (rather well IMHO) by Ice T, comments that the suspect might be on "the down low." He goes on to describe how some black men don't like to admit they are gay and, therefore, maintain wives, children, and families while sleeping around on the side (or the "down low" I suppose.) At one point in his description, the detectives all glance at him and there's a long pause. "Don't look at me," he says, "I just know stuff."

Don't look at me, I just know stuff.

Think of all the trouble I could get out of with that line. Think of all the goings-on, the strange happenings, the peculiar concidences and whatnot that can be attributed to this line. This one little line has become my quote of the moment. Next time you are at a party where folks start talking "urban" and you chime in with some term that befuddles them, you can turn and resort to "don't look at me, I just know stuff." It's great. It has granted me freedom I never knew existed.

Imagine too if Condolizza Rice had used this line at the September 11th hearings. "Dr. Rice, did you willingly know of and ignore warnings for September 11?"

"Don't look at me, I just know stuff."

What if Saddam Hussain had used this line when the pulled him out of the imfamous spider hole. "Ok, Saddam, where exactly are the WMDs? Hand 'em over NOW or you die."

"Don't look at me, I just know stuff."

During the recent economic downturn and recovery, there has ben an accompanying shift towards assigning blame and finger pointing. Tyco, Martha Stewart, impending jail sentences, political rants, all finger pointing, blame games, and raising awareness of the inadequacies of the next guy. Everybody wants to be able to say, "hey, don't look at me, I don't know anything." It's so unexpected to hear the trailing "I just know stuff" and it kind of carries the implication that you know more than you are telling but that, much you their dismay and your liking, you don't actually know the specific point of fact to which everybody is referring. Kind of like a colloquial version of "needer needer needer: I know and I'm not telling." It's this great little line that shifts blame off of you, onto the next guy, without raising a finger to point and without admiting any inferiority. I wonder why we didn't think of this sooner and where this scarcastic slogan has been all of my life. The English language is so vast and cavernous and yet somehow the GoogleWhack! still exists and there are new words and phrases that can trigger a sentiment of "hey, why didn't I think of that?" from everybody within earshot.

Hey I'm smart, I know a lot of stuff, but I don't know that.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

I've got Rocks in My Head

On my head, actually, I've got rocks on my head. This morning, about 4:30 am CST, I was woken up by a loud thunderhead, bright lightening, and golf ball sized hail. Charlie slept through it all. I jolted up in bed, realizing that I sleep underneath a window, which is not a very safe and comfortable place to be when the inevitable twister hits. Meanwhile, Charlie was fast asleep, paying no mind to the approaching storm.

I put on the TV and found a weather channel, which reported that Cedar Park, the sleepy little bedroom community in which I live, was "purple" on the map. "This indicates the potential for 2 in hail," cited the man on the TV. They showed maps of my 'hood, with lots of surrounding purple and a plume of red thrown in for good measure. Harsh storms ripped through the night, waking me up and making me really glad I was inside. My neighbor's dog was outside and I could hear her howls of discontent. I felt truely sorry for her. It was not a good night to be left outside in the rain. Charlie remained comfortable on the bed, and didn't blink until well after the storms passed. How does he do that?

The storms left everything wet, as we got an accompanying (obligatory actually) four inches of rain. So, I guess the sum total of all my early morning adventure is that now I do not have to water for a few days. That and, if you really want to wake-up Charlie, you'd better get something louder than a thunderbolt. That dog can sleep through anything.

As an aside, I sent my folks a link to the Austin Cocker Rescue web site. They have available on the site what appears to be a Cocker-poo (possibly a cocker-poo, they don't know for sure.) My mother was sent into a tizzy of delight when she heard about this, as she bears fond memories of Sandy, my first dog. Sandy was a cocker-poo and was a loyal comanion of mine from the time I was four years old until about 16, when we had to put him down. I believe we will be going this Saturday to checkout the Cocker-poo, although I'm not sure. It's been a little soon after Max to really think about getting a new dog, I suppose. Although last week we did go to Petsmart to checkout the adoption day. They had nothing but larger dogs, which my folks cannot do. Even though there was a rather friendly black lab who took a liking to Charlie. I think she will fare better with the Cocker Rescue, as they specialize in smaller dogs and she's really needing a runt, if she gets a dog at all.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Monday, April 05, 2004

I Just HAD to say, "Taxes" didn't I

This weekend, I was feeling rather crummy (about as crummy as I tend to feel these days) and I couldn't sleep so, around 3:30 am on Saturday (actually Sunday morning) I woke up and started doing my taxes. I don't know what possessed me to do this but I was somehow in the mood, so I went with it.

An oddity about TurboTax is that, apart from the fact that everybody uses it, it keeps this little running total in the upper-right hand corner of it's main window. You can see how much you owe or, if you are one of the fortunate few, it says something along the lines of, "Current Tax Refund:" and then presents you with an amount, which you've probably already spent on ju-ju birds and other delictables. The mind boggles. So, anyway, I set out doing my taxes, while watching the little number pop up and down, inflating itself with every deduction. And, no, in case you are wondering, I did not deduct condoms. The grand total stopped somewhere around $1900 or so, although I've still got 1099-DIV forms left. But only about 4 or so, some of which are very small and won't change my tax outlook all that much. Yes, you read it right. I'm getting a refund.

A few weeks ago, I was watching Squawk Box or some other money-related program on the TV, when I nicely dressed tax expert came on as a guest and started yapping. "Most people can hear about tax refunds and Repubs. lowering taxes until they are blue in the face," he pontificated, "but they don't give the 'oh wow!' and go out and spend the money until they actually do their taxes and get the refund checks in their grubby little hands."

"For some reason," he went onto say, "they hear a lot of hoopla about decreases in taxes but they just don't think it applies to them. That is, until they get the refund."

So true. I kept hearing about the lowering of the taxes, but thought it didn't apply to me because, afterall, I was unemployed for a spell and had some stocks sales, which altered my income. But somehow, through the magic of the tax cutes, I'm on the refund list. Woo hoo! The only thing that could make me happier would be if I thought that this time next year I'd be puzzled, wondering if I could deduct a cabana boy named Sven, implants, and condoms (do they even come with stripes?) Hmmm.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Death, Taxes, Music, and Condoms

All this talk of politics, taxes, government, and the like has made me forget to blog about something really important. It seems the former Van Halen frontman, David Lee Roth recently had a guest appearance on The Sopranos. While I don't watch this show, I'm told it was rather amusing. His "big line" came at one point, when they were playing poker and discussing taxes, and he turned to Tony Soprano and said, "I used to be able to deduct condoms" or some such thing. Rather amusing if you think about it.

I suppose it could be asserted that Mr. Lee Roth is in fact a "male bimbo" as much as one could potentially exist. And, in the strange but true category, he loves to rock climb (I'm not talking implants here, either, I'm taking "real" rocks like boulders.) I'm guessing he has a serious side but will never show it. It won't fit in with the spandex pants. He is a blonde though, so you never do know.

Ken has asked me to blog about the rock stars I would sleep with. David Lee is definately not on the list. He's too slimy. Besides, I doubt there are enough antibiotics in the world to ward off all the diseases he's probably carrying. No, I'm more "traditional" in that I would probably opt for the likes of Trent Reznor or somebody more pensive.

With rock starts or musicians, you never do know who is serious, pensive, musically inclined, or just a slacker who got lucky. Keith Richards is one of the hardest working people I've ever met. He gives the appearance of this easy going slacker who never does any "real" work but the reality couldn't be farther from the perception. The man works like a dog in the studio. When I was watching, he passed on the opportunity to eat lunch and was working on a passage to record. He was constantly asking advice, interacting with the sound engineers, producers, and other folks there, and highly engaged in what he was doing. If I were a famous rock star, worth millions with money to burn, I doubt I would work through lunch. But there he sat, on a little chair, deep in the studio, playing away while his sandwhich sat in open foil wrap on the amp next to him (uneaten for hours.) I'm guessing that most folks would not describe Keith as somebody who's "serious about his work" but then, if you stop and think about it, you don't get to become a famous musician without hours of practice, touring, playing, interviews, etc. All of that amounts to work.

We all have these little fantasies that music folks sleep all day and get up at 4 just in time for their sound checks (or they sleep through them and make it to the live show just in time.) The reality is that their schedules are full, they do talk radio in the morning (sometimes, while you are driving to work, they are in the station giving an interview) have to tour constantly, which involves making planes, trains, and automobiles, and practice a lot. When recording, it's not uncommon to spend 18+ hours in the studio "playing."

I suppose my profession is close to this. Folks have this preconceived notion that programmers walk around "hacking" into large government databases, saving the world from spies or that we live the high life with big houses, since we've all made millions as "dot com millionaires." The reality is we work a lot of hours, get a lot of grief, don't always get to play with the latest technology, and have to support buggy code that's been around for years and never did work right. Another myth gone the way of the do do bird.

My goal is to find a profession that has no myths or hype but that's fun "in real life." And I don't even really want to deduct condoms from my taxes.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.