Tuesday, July 29, 2008

No, I don't want your money...

My in-laws and I are very, very different.

I guess I was just brought up with different values. Then again, maybe I'm just a freak--but I don't worship money. Seriously...I don't.

Sure, I wish I had more...

Sure, I like buying stuff (TOYS!!!)...

But for the most part, I'm not real into money. Or should I say, I don't put it above everything else. Which is why my father-in-law (to be) is having such a hard time understanding why I won't take a $1.00 pay raise.

I know, I know...I'm an idiot for turning down more money. But hear me out: Firstly, I got this raise because he wanted me to make (one penny) more than Leah (who recently got a raise) because he's old fashioned (or something). Secondly, he's laid more than a couple of people off recently because he couldn't afford to keep them on payroll (how can I accept a raise when some people are losing their jobs?). Lastly, I feel over-paid as it is...another dollar would just make me THAT MUCH MORE over-paid.

So there it is.

I'm crazy, but I'm sticking to my guns. I told him he can give me a raise (like a normal person) when I've been employed for 90 days.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A "Day of Beauty"


The "Wedding" is starting to cramp my style. I'm having to do things like cut my hair, and learn to dance (Leah ordered a dancing DVD, thank GOD I'm not having to go to an actual class). And then there was today.

Today, I got my very first facial. I know.

Leah dragged me to this fancy Day Spa--I mean FANCY (we spent nearly $200--paid for by my boss, her Daddy). They kept asking me if I wanted anything to drink. It was crazy. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning.

See, I have decent skin (in Junior College--my early 20s, it was really bad). But one thing I've always had was blackheads (mainly on my nose). One chick I dated even told me I had a strawberry for a nose (this was after I broke up with her). Anyway, Leah decided we should both get facials before the wedding. However, we'd heard that facials can actually make you break out sometimes (one of those "it gets worse before it gets better" sort of things). So we did it this weekend. I didn't really want to go, but I recognized that I could use a little attention in this area.

The spa was fancy. We got there, and everyone was super-hot...I was the only dude there. I had hoped that me and Leah wouldn't be separated, however this was not to be. I was shuffled into a small little room. It looked like a cross between a room at the dentist and the barbershop. The lady (super hot, in a traditional (i.e. does nothing for me) sort of way) sat me down and proceeded to ask me some pseudo-medical questions. Most made sense (allergies, conditions, that sort of thing) but some where strange (what sort of moisturizer do I use?). Everything was going fine until she asked me what kind of soap I used on my face.

"Plain, yellow dial soap," I told her. From the horrified expression on her face, I could tell I'd given the wrong answer. Once the interview portion was over it was time to get down to business.

"You can either put on these pants or you can just stay in your shorts," she told me, handing me a pair of crossbred scrubs/sweat pants. I was flabbergasted--wait a second...I have to get undressed for this??? No one had told me this. I was just getting a facial!

Now, I have a problem with doctors and other medical professionals. I don't like getting man-handled by total strangers. I am a very touchy-huggy person, but I have to FRICKIN' KNOW YOU FIRST. This woman came back into the room once I'd taken off my shirt and climbed onto the bed. She had me sit up so she could put on a hair-net thingy.

"You're sweating," she told me.

Duh, lady. I'm freaking out. I have no idea what you're about to do to me. This room is dimly lit and there are strange Martha Stewart-like instruments of torture.

"You can close your eyes," she told me.
"Okay," I said staring at her.
She stood there, blinking: "You can close your eyes if you want to."
"Are you telling me to close my eyes?" I asked her.
"Most people do."

So I closed my eyes.

She started rubbing my face with this mineral-oil solution. At first, she was just rubbing my Then she smothered me with a hot towel. All of that was nothing compared to what was next...

My face was blasted for EIGHT MINUTES by a super-hot stream gun. Then the "extraction" process began. I don't know exactly what this thing looked like, because my eyes were covered with gauze (guess that was in case I decided to not close my eyes)...but it felt like she was dragging a vegetable peeler across my skin. This lasted for ten minutes. Then I got a gel mask that was ice cold.

Finally, she washed all this shit off my face, and I was free to get dressed. Leah took a little longer (apparently her lady gave her a hand massage--which I'm glad I didn't get). All told we spent $180. Yikes. I got the hell out of there as fast as I could.

As God as my witness, I'm never going back.

Thus was, my day of beauty.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Toy/Annoying Thing--Compliments of Murph

I've wanted to add a music player for ages...but could never find one. Then today, I hop onto Murph's blog and WAH-LA.

Awesome. And annoying. Sorry it's at the bottom, but I couldn't get it to fit right/look good at the top.

Bet this'll really keep the folks away...

Monday, July 21, 2008

I *hate* big arena-shows

I hate big arena shows.

I know, I know...nothing says rock 'n roll like a giant arena rock show--but I hate them. The only good arena rock show I ever saw was back in 2001 (U2). What specifically do I hate about them? The sheer size of them, I guess. They are so impersonal. Maybe I'd have felt better if I hadn't had the WORST seats in house last night (upper balcony, backs-against-the-wall last row). My mother and I had similarly crappy seats at an Elvis Costello concert, and yet that wasn't a bad show. Why?

Maybe because we weren't in a 50,000 seat arena.

Having bad seats is one thing...but having the worst in a giant arena means you basically get to watch the show on a TV (hey! can't I do that at home?). Last night I saw the Foo Fighters...and yet, I feel as though I haven't seen them. After all, Dave Grohl was nothing but a little speck. A sweaty, long haired speck.

I think me and big arena rock shows fell out when I started going to smaller club shows. Once you stand in the front row, and get your favorite band's sweat (literally) all over you--the big arena show (where the closest person has a security detail and a riot-boundary between them and the band) seems lame. And they are. They cost too much (meaning many "true" fans can't get in, but the rich-snobs can), the sound is bad, and you can't see the band.

Unless AC/DC or Led Zeppelin go on tour--I am forsaking the big arena show. No more, never again.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Casino Secret Shop and FOO FIGHTERS

Ugh. It's nearly 1:00PM, and me and Leah just woke up.

After the tux fitting (which turned out to be not that big of a deal), we headed over to Jimu's house where we did what we always do--hang out and shoot the shit for waaaaay too long. Jimu has a talent of making time appear to slow, when in fact it's moving at regular speed. If Allie hadn't gone to bed because "it's 2:00AM." We'd probably still be sitting over there (laughing our asses off).

So we didn't get a fresh start on the day. Which is probably a good thing, because tonight is jam-packed. At 4:00PM we have to head over to Harrah's for a secret shop of the casino AND the hotel (yes, they're comping a hotel room). Then at 7:00PM we've got to head downtown for the awesomeness of the FOO FIGHTERS and SUPERGRASS (can't WAIT to see SUPERGRASS).

I'm not sure what happened to me, I really am a sit at home in my underwear kind of guy, but lately...lately I've been having to "go out." Whatever.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Believe the hype: THE DARK KNIGHT is the summer's best movie. The perfect blend of popcorn-spectacle and complex human drama. Oh yeah, and it's also the greatest Batman movie ever committed to film.

Director/writer Christopher Nolan's gritty and realistic take on Batman blew me away in 2005's BATMAN BEGINS--the sequel ups the ante by not only giving us an interesting (and flawed) hero...but unlike BEGINS, we also get not one but two incredible villains. (there are two in BEGINS, but only one has any menace).

Much has been said about Heath Ledger's take on the Joker. I was skeptical, but believe me when I say that for me, Heath IS the Joker. For get Romero, forget Nicholson. Ledger's sadistic clown has been updated for the post 9/11 world as an psychopathic-anarchist who's crimes have nothing to do with "loot" and everything to do with undermining society. In short, the Joker is a terrorist. But he's more than that, he's also a metaphor for all the evils that try to chip away at world we live in. From the first scene you can't take your eyes off him.

The story (no spoilers) is all about how much it sucks to be the good guy (and how hard it is to do the right thing). Like another famous sequel, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, this movie is all about the good guys losing. Over and over again. It's a dark and gloomy world, and until the final few scenes--one without a single ray of hope. It's easy to do nothing, to sit back and let the world crumble...it's very difficult to stand up and fight for what you believe in.

And the costs are high.

Whereas Marvel's IRON MAN (the summers other great superhero flick) is the world we wish we had--THE DARK KNIGHT is world we're stuck with. Fear and corruption rule, and the only people that can do anything about it is you and me.

THE DARK KNIGHT is an amazing achievement of populist entertainment, one that demands to be seen on the big screen. Ledger will be nominated come award season. Nolan will be nominated come award season. Ten years from now, critics will look back and cite this as THE watershed film that turn comic book films to art.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

DARK Tonight

It's going to be a late-night comic book double feature for me and Leah. We're going to see the new HELLBOY movie (based on the Dark Horse Comic book about a demon who was raised by humans to be good) and the new Batman flick THE DARK KNIGHT.

Yes--I'm too old for this midnight movie shit. Yes--I have to be at work tomorrow at 8:30AM. But what the hell, right? As a kid I couldn't wait to grow up so I could do shit just like this...and now that I'm old enough I find myself wary of "staying out too late."

My inner child razzed me, and now I'm staying up...

My New Second Job

Earlier this week I had a man with a fourth (maybe it was a sixth?) grade education tell me I should go back to college. I have a friend considering the same thing. I used to think that was a good idea, but I've tasted the bitter-real world...I've learned that more schooling is NOT what I need. School is all well and good, but it's a damn expensive way to impress people.

I realized I need to work on getting my career off the ground, so I started editing. I trimmed the fat off a recent short story, and I cracked open the Writer's Market Guide. While I'm not exactly enamored with the short fiction market place (where they want "literary, no sci-fi or romance" or they want "sci-fi no horror or romance--seriously, if you write romance you are fucked) I think that for the time being it's the best place to start. As hard as novel writing is, I think that's the best place for what I do...that said, I'd really like some credits to my name other than Brain Stew and Shorelines.

So, every night this week I've come home and worked. I've edited, read aloud, written cover letters, bought and addressed envelopes. I'm nearly ready to send off some manuscripts. I have no illusions that this will be a long, painful process...but I need to do this (or else give up on this crazy dream of mine). So far, I only have one rejection letter to my name--anyone calling themselves a writer must have a small-pony sized stack by my estimation.

I'm working to get that stack.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Here are a few photo's from Tampa, for more photos go check out my Photostream.

At Tampa Bay

And you can view some pictures from the trip at my Flickr PhotoStream.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Well it's Monday out here in STL-land (like I'm sure it's Monday where you are, too). Boy, what a weird couple of days I've had. Yesterday I woke up in Florida...now I'm here...man, Missouri is humid. Seriously.

I have to get going (gotta a week to start, don't 'cha know?) but I wanted to post my pictures before I left...except that I have too many (as usual). I'll have to add it to the list of stuff to do tonight.

Anyway, the "Reunion" was alright. The beach, well...it was better:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tampa, Florida

Tomorrow I'm getting off work early and flying to Florida (going with Leah and her Dad to a family reunion). I'm going to be out of the office this weekend, but I'll be back on Sunday.

Expect a full report (with pictures).


“Oh I get it! Very Cute. Whatever we think of- if we think of J Edgar Hoover, J Edgar Hoover will appear and destroy us.”

For some reason, I woke up this morning thinking about GHOSTBUSTERS. Specifically the part at the end, where Gozer the Gozerian has them "choose" what is going to come down from *???* and kill everyone. Bill Murry tries to take an intellectual approach to this, asking all the Ghostbusters to clear their heads (so they can sit there and decided something easy, I guess). I've always been a bit peeved at the logic in the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.

I mean, technically...shouldn't J Edgar Hoover have come down???

Anyway, in the shower I was thinking: "If you had to choose the Destructor, what would you pick?" I thought about this longer than anyone probably ever should--and what I came up with is: Texas toast. Warm, buttery, crispy Texas toast. Perhaps Ray's choice of the giant Marshmallow has tainted my choice to yet another food item (and maybe not).

All I know is, when the end comes, I'd rather it come from a piece of Texas toast (giant or regular sized). How about you? If you were a Ghostbuster, what would you choose as the Destructor?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Where I work...as seen from space

Thanks to the miracle of GOOGLE Earth, everyone can see how big a mess I'm in...literally:

View Larger Map

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

"I am Jack's seething jealousy"


Have you seen THERE WILL BE BLOOD? No??? Well there is a scene where the protagonist, Daniel Plainview, says something like: "I have a problem, I don't like it when others succeed." Okay, that's a bit of a paraphrase...but you get the drift.

Well that's me. I am such a stupid petty/jealous boy. Have you done more with your life? I fucking hate you. Is it your fault I'm such a loser? Hell no, but FUCK you anyway.

I bet you're wondering why I'm on such a jealous kick right now. No? Too bad, I'm going to tell you anyway. I know someone (very distant in the circle of people whom I know) who recently sold a script for $400,000. A normal, "good" person would be happy. I am a self-obsessed little-fuck who can't take it when other people (with more drive and talent) get the things I want.

Gee I'm petty. This has been eating me up inside for the past four days or so...I hope that once this is posted, all my evil-venom will have been sucked out of me. I really hate that I feel this way--but it's a vicious cycle because I feel bad that I feel bad...which makes me feel bad...ugh...I need to go lie down.

Someone cheer me up.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Dude, Wii Fit is AMAZING!!!

So Leah woke up at the crack of dawn to try and secure a copy of Wii Fit. If you don't know what Wii Fit is, it's an amazing game that comes with this thing called a "balance board." It takes your weight, figures your BMI, teaches you yoga, you can do aerobics, improve your posture, build muscle, BURN calories.


All of this is either classy (and informative) tutorial--taught by a hot trainer (the sex of which is your choice...needless to say I chose the hot lady or the dude) OR (and this is key) you can play fun ass mini-games. There is skiing, there is hula hooping. There is soccer. All of this is highly competitive, too. Leah can jump further than me on the ski game...and every time I play it reminds me of this. Likewise, I can use my head to smack incoming soccer balls...AND I'm the "Super Hula Hoop" master. Everything you do is recorded and tracked. You can set weight loss/gain goals and the game will help you achieve them. Today I worked out for 30 minutes. I am so FUCKING SORE after playing this game.

My friends Becky and Jimu were with Leah today and they too picked up the game. I can't wait to hear what they think of it. I myself am amazed. By dressing up working out as a game, I think I might actually have a chance to lose some weight and feel better. I'm serious.

Let me put it this way: If I had to choose between sitting on a bike in a sweaty gym or dodging flying panda heads (yes, that's right FLYING PANDA HEADS) then I chose the flying panda heads. God bless Shigeru Miyamoto--he who made my ass fat by inventing Mario is now going to help shrink it. Yay Japan.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

This is what happened...

When I started this blog, way back when, it was supposed to be a place where I could over-come my writer's block. I wasn't sure what I would be "blogging" about, but I wasn't going to do much personal stuff. But of course, even though I'm boring...personal stuff is a topic of discussion. The more people that I know that read this blog, the more complicated it gets.

I found out that Leah's sister Brenda READS my blog. I found out this out a few hours after leaving Texas on Friday night. Turns out she was a little pissed about me including her in my online thought balloon. I have no regrets, let me make that clear. Even though I'm 89.8% candid here...I do self-edit. I've said un-flattering things on this blog about just about everyone I know (including myself).

However, I try to not drag people into THOUGHTS OF A LIMEMONKEY that don't want to be here. That said, I feel like I must explain what happened on Wednesday night...and how I ended up driving a thousand miles with Brenda (and two dogs) to New Mexico. You see, Brenda came for a visit because she was having a tough time in her marriage. She brought her dogs with her, and for a week the apartment was full of too many living things. But that wasn't her fault--it's ALWAYS full of too many living things (silverfish...yuk). Anyway, the night before she was supposed to go home (Wednesday) I was playing Guitar Hero: Areosmith (which is awesome by the way) and trying to figure out what I was going to do with my 3-day weekend.

Then the girls came home. It seemed that Leah's sister had made a BIG, life-altering decision (I won't say what, but use your imagination). This decision was hard for her to make and she was worried about driving home alone (it was that big of a decision). But who could go with her? Who could keep her company (and help maintain her resolve)? Leah was the obvious choice, but Leah couldn't go because she had to work. All of Brenda's friends are successful, job-oriented people...and as such cannot just up and leave work. That left one person, they asked (both Leah and Brenda, pretty much at the same time) and I was left with only one response: "I can't I have to work." But Leah's Dad is my boss now, so that meant things could be arranged. See, he himself would have gone but he's wasn't really in any shape to cram himself into a small SUV and drive to New Mexico. So I went in his place (and Leah's place).

The Hollywood version of our road-trip: Reese Witherspoon (or some such young actress) drives home to flee her failing marriage. She visits her sister (the 1990's version of Janeane Garofalo) and her dead-beat boyfriend, me, played by someone like Jack Black. Hilarity follows when Black must accompany the fragile Witherspoon back home because everyone else is too busy. They hate each other, they love each other...he's a pig...she's not. Funny shit. In the end they all grow as people and come to respect one another. Complete only with a kick-ass-soundtrack of 70's singer-songwriters.

Not quite what happened, but close enough for the movies. The truth is I always feel like I have to be on guard when I'm around Brenda. For some reason she and her mother do that to me. They're intimidating people, who are different than me...maybe that's all there is to it. I don't know. I do know that like Becky, I only really liked Brenda when Leah wasn't around. I'm a jealous fuck (see, I write badly about everyone) and I guess I don't like having to share her with other people. Maybe that's why there has been some tension between us. It's funny because we each want the other to like us...so maybe it's just a case of us both trying too hard. Either way, the trip was good for me because I feel like even though Brenda is really different from me, I like her.

We drove through four states: Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. Of these states, Oklahoma was the worst. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say that the OK state is anything but "OK." Try instead, "mind numbingly boring." The insult-to-injury part of Oklahoma is that you have to pay to get in AND to get out. Genius. Pure, fucking genius. I drove from Oklahoma City to Amarillo Texas. I was excited about Texas, because I'd never been before. Well, turns out I wasn't missing much. The lone star state is pretty boring at the pan-handle. There were wind farms! And a giant 50 foot cross (made out of silo parts). That was about it...oh, there was a tacky steakhouse where you could get a "Free 72 ounce steak!" That is, it's free if you can eat it in under an hour. Yeah, I know...

We made the trek in like 12 or 13 hours (or so, I really wasn't paying much attention). In reality, the trip seemed shorter than my runs to KC from St. Louis. Brenda hypothesized it only felt like this because we'd never done it before. I'm inclined to agree, but still--for as long as the trip was (in miles) it felt pretty damn short. I guess it's because we talked, and listened to so much angry girl music. We heard the new REM album twice (in a row) then it was time for Hole's CELEBRITY SKIN. It was better than JAGGED LITTLE PILL (which also would have been appropriate).

We talked about a lot of stuff (mostly her personal issues) and I feel like we are closer now...but it's not like my Hollywood version. I don't really feel like I grew any as a person. I just feel tired (and my back hurts from being cramped up in a car, then in a tiny plane for the trip home). I don't blame her, or me, for this (the not growing part, that is). I guess it's Hollywood's fault--not everything is an adventure that changes your life forever.

I guess I did learn something, and that's this: life is strange and things that you're pretty sure will never happen (like driving 1,000+ miles alone with your sister-in-law on your way to end her marriage) CAN and DO happen. People that only operate on the fringe of your life (like me) can sometimes be thrust to the forefront, even if it is for a little while.


Well I'm back home.

There. That's taken care of...now let me talk about WALL-E:

Pretty much every time I get home from a Pixar movie, I can't help but glow (and wish that I worked for them). As I've gotten older I find the magic of Disney has all but left me...but not when it comes to Pixar. There's just something about those movies (perhaps it's the perfect blend of story and cutting edge animation?). Anyway, even before I knew what it was about I wanted to see WALL-E. Pixar is just that good in my book.

When I was in junior college I took a "Film as Literature" class that totally changed my life. One of the many revelations I had while taking this class was: Charlie Chaplin was amazing. Most people today have written Chaplin off, which is a shame because I can't think of a modern "talkie" actor today who is funnier. I mean that. Seriously...if you don't believe me go rent MODERN TIMES. I defy you to watch without laughing (cocaine mistakenly but on food instead of salt...genius!). Anyway, there's something magical about Chaplin--and I think it's because of the medium he worked in. Chaplin had to convey everything with body language...which meant he had to be an above-average actor at all times.

Why do I bring up Chaplin? Well the first 2/3 of WALL-E is basically a Chaplin flick (with robots). That's how ballsy Pixar is--they actually put out a (nearly) silent kids flick in 2008. That they did this is a miracle, that it works so well is an even greater one. True, there is sound (and humans at the end that talk) but the bulk of the film is about two heroes that don't speak...just beep and whistle.

I won't spoil the plot, but I will say that it's the most lovingly-apocalyptic movie I've ever seen. It's about the end of the world...and love. Al Gore (and all his green people) will love it. And yet, even if you disagree with Global Warming, you can't help but shudder at the world it depicts. Our excess is alarming, but if the film's message is to be believed: love can save us (and there is still hope). It's pretty damn deep for a kids movie, but not super preachy or artificially didactic (like HAPPY FEET).

Wall-e himself is adorable, a delightful mix of R2-D2 and Chaplin's Tramp. Like the George Lucas robot, Wall-e is so likable because beneath his cold metal skin lies a beating heart. Sitting in the darkness I totally believed in Wall-e. No catchy pop songs, no inane pop culture references...just a lonely robot who likes "HELLO, DOLLY!" and dreams of getting to hold someone's hand. Besides IRON MAN, WALL-E is the only summer movie that's truly worth damn. Go see it.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Emergency Road Trip

Life sure is weird. A few hours ago, I was looking forward to a nice...quiet three day weekend here in STL-land.

Instead, though--I'm packing for a road trip to New Mexico (leaving first thing tomorrow morning). It's too much personal shit to get into it here.

I should be flying back home (alone) on Sunday. Until that time, please keep the Limemonkey in your thoughts/prayers.