Monday, October 31, 2005

Trick or Sweep!

Shalom worthy pals. I have since calmed down after my fuming outburst from the previous blog in which I proclaimed my dissatisfaction with a certain unfortunate book of events in the form of a series. I am here to remind a'll ya'll of the wonders and funders of Halloween.

Yes my friends this year was a monumental Halloween of sorts because folks, this year I had a costume. And not just any old costume, no! Not just some shirt and thong I threw over my shoulder and said "my costume rocks," NO! Not just a drawing of a frownie face on my bare ass and a lone witch's wart in my belly button, HELL NO! (And never again, I might add). Yes folks, this year, I honest to goodness went out and purchased materials to create a costume that I WANTED TO BE! Hallelujah! Now before I let you scroll down to see my costume or even mention what it is I was, I have to tell you how I constructed it. But since I'm sure ya'll just skipped down to the picture in this blog after that previous sentence, I'll just flat out say that I was a freakin' Chimney Sweep. You impatient bastards. Yes friends, I was a Sweep ala Mary Poppins style.

So how did this costume come to be? It all began when I was five years old. Christmas Eve, there I was sitting next to the chimney with a fire ablaze waiting for Santa Claus and I had just laid a poop in my pants. The chimney looked so dirty and grimy and well, so was my poop chute. Flash forward to age seven. A walk in the park and an old english lad sits alone on a park bench pond-side. He tips his hat to me as I toddle by, but not without receiving a blow to the head by an unkindly park official. "No Soliciting" said the sign, I remember. The sun was still setting. Even faster flash to age who knows, my first viewing of Fantasmic at Disneyland. My family huddled at the edge of the Rivers of America speaking nothing but our native tongue. Our Skor candy bars passed around the circle of hands. One bite for each is all we could afford that week. The show begins! Lights fill my innocent eyes. Music wafts into my waxiful ears. And an ugly Disney freak sits next to us viewing his bible of the show; his wretched stench sings through my nostrils. But there on the big white steamboat! A boat that brings me back to that tumultuous day we sailed to this wonderful free nation. Yes, waving at the back of that ship! Baloo! But who are those dirty people above him? Holding their black brooms and donning tattered clothing. The sweeps. I knew from that point that that was my destiny. I was destined to wave.

True story. Flash forward to two weeks ago. "What the hell should I be for Halloween?" I ask myself. And I think back to my blessed childhood; back to the time when Santa never came through my damn chimney, back to when the cops drowned that bum in the old duck pond, back to when that tainted Skor bar gave us all food poisoning and we had dysentery for weeks, and my charmed eyes light up and I whisper... "Chimney Sweep."

No fooling. That there's a true to form story. But really, I've always wanted to be a Chimney Sweep for Halloween. I really love that Step in Time scene from Mary Poppins. So here's what I did to construct my costume. First and foremost was the hat. I searched online and found some old antique caps for sale, but the prices were ginormous. So I ran to my local mall and luckily found a newsboy cap on sale for $16 at Burlington Coat Factory. Then I went to American Eagle Outfitters to buy this wicked blazer I had been yearning for for weeks. It was a great way to justify my purchase ($60). Dual purpose! On a separate shopping day, I found red socks at Champs ($1.99), a handkerchief at Anchor Blue ($3), a checkered shirt from Mervyn's ($20) and pinstriped black pants that I can also use at work ($29). I also cut up my favorite white gloves from when I worked at Disneyland ($0). The biggest challenge was the broom. Nobody sells those round bristled chimney brooms anywhere (probably not in this century), so I was up to the task in making one. I went through Michael's the craft store and first thought about buying a round styrofoam ball and inserting some straw into it, but that seemed ridiculously complicated. So, while scoping out Home Depot, I found a very cheap $5 broom (made of basic hay/grass/wheat/straw). I bought it along with a can of black spray paint. At home, I cut out all the stitching that flattened out the broom so that it formed a round shape. Then I soaked it in some water and slammed it down on the ground so that the bristles became flat and in a circular fanned out shape. I left it overnight with a 45 pound bar bell sitting on it and then spray painted it for two days. The result was magnifique.

I knew that I needed to make myself look dirty, so I rubbed my handkerchief on my car tires to get it nice and blackened. I rubbed wet soil into my jacket, but it proved a waste because it wasn't noticeable the following day. And then there was the matter of black soot on my face and neck. So, I hobbled to my nearest Target and, gulp, cruised through the bright and cheerful as hell make-up aisle. I felt like such a tool being there that I called Angel Wing Jasmine to help me pick out some eye shadow that wasn't glittery and make it sound as if I were buying it for her. I ended up getting this cheap Maybelline color called Night Sky. The checkout clerk didn't think anything of a guy buying make up. She probably took more notice at the manly Playboys I was purchasing in addition to the make-up. I'm glad I got the eye shadow though, because the soot effect was perfect as witnessed by the picture below! Yes, you may look now.

So that's my costume tale. I wore the costume to work last Friday and everyone thought I was an adorable bum. Then at Erico Suave and MacArthur's Halloween bonanza, everyone liked my costume as well. It'll take a hell of a lot of thought to best this costume next year. Perhaps something with a tutu?

Still waiting for Santa to bring me a Sega Game Gear dammit,


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Penultimate and Still Penultifreakin Not Wrapping Up

The following blog contains some spoilers of sorts for the latest A Series of Unfortunate Events book, "The Penultimate Peril." In actuality, the blog title itself contains somewhat of a spoiler, but it's too late to erase that from your mind. Well let's just say that I won't talk about story spoilers directly; rather my feelings of the book may prove spoilerific if you or any of your compadres decide to read the book. So if you want to go into the book with a completely clean clear slate, by all means, please hit the close button on your web browser now. That is rather ironic in itself because those who would care to read such a blog are the ones who'd want to read the book and therefore wouldn't want it ruined for them. And those who have no interest in the book wouldn't care to read through this blog because it goes on and on about something they are fairly indifferent about and therefore would probably best spend their blog reading time lighting books on fire (as that is what I assume those who do not like to read these books would do). So here's a sort of compromise. Whether you like A Series of Unfortunate Events or not, close the browser at this very second. Then, come back after you have finished the book to get a thorough feel for what I feel about Book the Twelfth and see if your conclusions match mine. Another case of confusion: if you closed the browser when I told you to, you wouldn't have gotten my complete instructions. Therefore I conclude that you are incapable of obeying instructions in any sort of way and you should just go ahead and read on with the review. (Note that I fully expect you to not read on since that is exactly what I told you to do you disobeying villain you.)

Now, assuming you've read the book, I must immediately express my slight (if not grand) disappointment with the book. Throughout the book, I didn't really feel that the book grabbed me like the previous books did. In fact, it felt like a chore reading through some of it. I also felt that the narrative was a little off. This book didn't have quite the same clever bite as most of the previous books (save for a hilarious prose regarding being born yesterday). Yes, I sort of kind of felt like the book was trying too hard to be clever, which might just be me, but that's how I feel.

Now, one thing that anyone who's read any of the books knows is that everyone besides the Baudelaires, the Quagmires, and Count Olaf (arguably) is an idiot. This philosophy is upheld to the umpeenth degree in this book. It's sad too because people who are supposed to be "knowledgable" are as dumb as the "dumbasses." This really pissed me off during reading time. In fact, there are many moments in this book that will piss you off if you like our three main characters.

Somewhat of a lot happens in this book, but it feels like not a whole lot happens at all. Many things change and some things are revealed, but for the second-to-last book of the series, it seems like more should have been revealed and/or wrapped up. I suppose Lemony Snicket sets up the final book pretty well by narrowing down the character list in the story, but maybe I was just expecting more.

I found this book very infuriating, frustrating, and depressing. I still like the series and can't wait to see how it ends up, and maybe the last book will put this penultimate book into prospective, but I was nonetheless underwhelmed by the book. Rest assured, there are many shining spots in the book (that would give away some plot points if I told you) that will make you smile, but gosh, I just can't say I enjoyed the book that much.

But then again, Mr. Snicket did warn us of exactly that.

Saying goodbye with a sad smile,


Saturday, October 22, 2005

Mass Transit Story

Yo yo yo mah peeps of yohr. After only a few days of downtime with downrotten downsickness, I'm back to my old self. Yup, it's back to work and tha's pretty much it.

But things teetered over the "barely interesting" meter this morning enough to warrant blog coverage. Father and Mother Routes, Timotei, and I, along with Uncle J and Auntie C took the Metrolink train to Union Station in Downtown... and from there, took the Metro Red Line subway to Universal CityWalk for a day of fun! And when I say fun, I mean "walking around looking for something fun to do." The uncle and aunt had never been to CityWalk, so we thought we'd treat Uncle J downyonder to lunch for his birthleaƱos.

So that's exactly what we did. After an hour and fifteen minute public transit commute, we arrived at CityWalk. We decided upon Gladstones because the food was decent and there was really no other place we cared to eat. I'd really prefer to forget we ever ate at that sh**fest, but if I must retell our tale, then I must. We sat there. Our food took forever. Our waiter forgot about us. We left unsatisfied. Never again. And with that, I have now forgotten that entire experience. Poof. It's gone.

But onward to the rest of CityWalk! Well... there sure isn't much in CityWalk. There are a sh**load of places to eat. A lot of snacking stations. Interesting that CityWalk is basically a fatman's paradise. You want crepes? Three feet to your left. You want churro-flavored popcorn? Three feet behind you. You want a family-portion of sausages and fries from the Sausage Kingdom? Four bounces to your right. There are indeed stores; stores that most likely don't interest any body. There's just a whole lot of nothing downat CityWalk. You make the big loop around the block to the beat of the overly loud soundtrack and you're back at the tram. How the hell did I spend an entire day and night at CItyWalk when I was younger?

So, needing something else to occupy our time, we went to Hollywood & Highland and browsed a few stores. After being approached by many-ah costumed crazies, we got bored and simply went back home.

Well, at least the food was good. Or was it? I can't remember.

In other stuff, I'm close to completing my costume, but the coat I got maybe too big. I'm gonna try and shrink it before Halloween. If that fails, I'll just gain 50 pounds. Hello McDonald's, my old friend!

By the way, it just occurred to me that I haven't posted a picture in a while. So here. This should hold ya'll over till who knows when...

Craving Gladstones,


Saturday, October 15, 2005

I'm Illin'

I'm aching for some drugs. Don't worry. The legal OTC variety. My nose is running, my head is pounding, and my throat is rasping. Ah, thine joys of sicknessness. What ever am I to do?

Get some sleep; that's what I'll do.

Get outta he're before I pummel you!

Gotta get my sickness off,


Friday, October 14, 2005

Where oh Where has the Routes Meister Gone?

No, I did not get hit by a car while looking the RENT soundtrack. In fact, I'm not even getting it anymore. If the record company distributing it doesn't distribute it near me and is for whatever reason preventing me from obtaining a copy, F them. I'll just wait till someone else gets it. That should show them.

Sorry. I got sidetracked. So yes, where the hell have I been indeed. I have been silently working. Like a fart tiptoeing passed its padded cell walls and into the nose of an unsuspecting passerby. I've been quietly minding my own mindful business engulfed in the business of life insurance. Did you know that the cash value of a variable life insurance policy is subject to US taxation if the value of the premiums in the first seven years exceeds the TAMRA premium purple monkey dishwasher? Think about it.

No you won't.

But yes, I've been working and that's about it. I can't think of anything productive I've done in the past few. Rest assured though, I will have more stories to tell. I have not yet jumped shark. For instance, I am in the process of collecting more spiders for my Ultimate Fighting Arachnid tournament. We'll see what happens when rollie pollies are thrown into the mix! Anyone who's anyone would be crazy to miss that!

I'm also in the process of thinking of doing a Halloween costume. What the hell should I be? Well whatever the case may be, I'll have some sort of picture up here. Last year I dressed up as David from Lilo & Stitch and when I went to Erico Suave's and MacArthur's Halloween party, the first thing I heard was "Oh. Another boring non-costume." Who was I to argue? It was easier just to admit to not dressing up than answer what the hell I was dressed as (as the costume was unconvincing itself). Have I told ya'll this already?

Also at work, I'm entering a pumpkin carving contest. This will be the first time I actually try to carve a pumpkin creatively. And what better way than just getting some pumpkin pattern stencils from the net? I've got my carving kit all oiled and ready. Of course I was forced into this at work being the youngest in my department, but it should be fun nonetheless. We also have to dress up our floor for some second graders stopping by to trick-or-treat around the cubicles. I am told that I must wear a costume that day. Will it be weird wearing my Scream killer costume on the train? Maybe I should put the knife away.

And lastly, back on September 15th, I wrote an angry ball of a rant on my blog which no one could possibly understand; partly because it never led anywhere. Well yes, contrary to popular propaganda, there was a basis behind that tantrum. Long story short... I got a letter rejecting a rebate I sent in, so I called them for a smackdown and they were entirely too nice to yell at, so I felt like an ass and they accommodated me and I won without breaking a pinky nail.

This thing's gotten too long. This is what happens when I don't write in for long lengths of time. See ya'll in the next life, yeah?

Running out of amusing stories,


Monday, October 03, 2005

The Ever Elusive Soundtrack

Today, for you I will discuss my freakin' frustration and impatience in finding the damn RENT movie soundtrack. The dang thing has been out in stores (supposedly) since last Tuesday and I still don't own it; hell I haven't even made contact with it. Of course, some people think that since the original cast is in the movie, that it's ridiculous buying the soundtrack since it's basically the same. Well it doesn't matter that what you own is from the same people. The important thing is that now the cast has grown better; and the music is more rockin'.

Anyway, on to my misadventures. The very first place I dropped by to pick it up was Best Buy. I didn't see it on the shelves, so I asked someone to look it up for me. They saw it in the computer and just denounced that if it wasn't on the shelf, then they don't have it. How's that for customer service. Now I should tell you that Best Buy has done this to me before. Every new CD I want to buy is NEVER on the floor. I have to ask them and most of the time I walk out empty handed; only to go right into a Circuit City where they always have it (except for this time).

Mind you, this Best Buy business was last Wednesday. So, I decided to let it all simmer and try back over the weekend. No rush right? Timotei would also like to hear it, but we're okay with just listening to the original cast recording in the mean time.

Flash forward to yesterday (Sunday) when I dragged Timotei along to the mall where I was certain I would finale get my hands on the CD. I pestered him to go continuously and he told me, "Fine, take me or leave." Me and my bro hit up another Best Buy with nothing to show for it. We did however see the worst ever roadkill on the street. But I won't trouble ya'll with even more depressing details.

We were headed to the mall at around lunchtime and I felt that I should treat Timotei to something. Although I was craving and drooling over the Moon Over My Hammy sandwich from Denny's, we settled for burritos at Baja Fresh. We had a big ass burrito con carnitas and nachos. Those burritos are way better than the Gordita Sante Fe's at Taco Bell. I was so stuffed that I felt like I needed to be put on life support. Seriously.

So then, the first stop at the mall was Tower Records where I had read had the CDs available for a cheap price. Bupkis. Then after a bit of quick spending at SportMart, we drove to a different Circuit City. I swear, with all the driving we were doing around town, we're gonna need a major tune up soon.

Anyway, the Circuit City trip proved useless. A quick stop at a nearby Target unearthed absolutely nothing either. Dismayed, I decided to just order it from Amazon. But with the free shipping, they said that it would be delivered around Halloween. That's way too long to wait! So I cancelled the order.

Later on Sunday, we went with our cousins to Borders where I had never considered. A quick browse on their computer inventory search revealed that the Borders I was in didn't have it, but the one closest to my house did! But I would have to wait for another day because it was getting too late.

Which brings us to earlier this evening. I called my nearest Borders and after being put on hold for 20 minutes as they searched their boxed inventory, the lady told me that they couldn't find it, but to check back later in the week. God, will I ever get this damn soundtrack??? I was about to go out tonight and pop that girl in the face and tell her to find it, but I kept my cool. After all, it is the season of love. Yeah right, my ass. I'll go to her tomorrow and say "Get me the damn CD or I'll jab you in your eyes!" You'll see. She won't however see it coming.

You can help me out. If you're at a store and you see the soundtrack, leave me a voice mail. But till then, I'll be trying back throughout the week till I get my grubby hands on it. Princess Karlita already has a copy and she just went to her local Best Buy. Damn her!

Oh well, so that was my story. By the way, I think I've already played this "incorporate as many song titles as you can within the blog" game before. Oh well. I found it entertaining.