Monday, December 18, 2006

Ultra-Lounge Volume Eleven 'Organs In Orbit'

It is done!

My Christmas shopping is taken care of and Roxy is sporting a new inspection sticker. I couldn’t be happier with my productive day. And I still may have a little time to watch an episode of Heroes from 11/27/06 before going in to work this evening.

For some reason, old folks like my mother, like to start things as early as possible. Christmas shopping with her was no exception. She was kind enough to go along and help me out with the purchases that needed to be made. And when doing anything with my mother, just step aside and let her take over. She’s going to do it anyway and I have no problems letting her take the reigns when shopping.

Let me be honest here…

With every day contact and interaction amongst friends and family, I tend to not retain little tidbits of information during the course of the year. I’ve been told that if you just listen, it can be extremely easy when it comes to purchasing gifts. I listen. I just don’t retain. You can call it laziness or you can call it what you will, I don’t care. Every year I try harder, but things get lost in the execution.

Mom and I started up at 9 am and we knocked just about everyone off my list within 6 blocks. We also managed to get Roxy inspected at the Citgo in front of Rice Toyota during the excursion.

Last year, I started a little tradition at the Buffalo’s that is just two doors down from that Citgo. I drop off Roxy and then head for a Chicken on the Ranch sandwich (on a croissant), a couple of Red Oaks, and some NTN Trivia.

Since my mother agreed to help me out with my shopping list, I treated her to lunch. Of course she protested my beer consumption.

If I hadn’t mentioned it before, my mother is into teetotalism and a Baptist to boot. As soon as I ordered the Red Oak, instead of doing the Christian thing where you turn the other cheek, she said, “I thought you weren’t going to drink beer with your mother.”

The little tone of guilt doesn’t work on me. I wouldn’t think twice about downing a 6-pack in front of Billy Graham. I’m legal and beer is legal. But let me give mom a little credit, she did take a sip of my Red Oak and made a face as if she had just sampled a frothy-brown glass of Montezuma’s Revenge. She said, “I don’t know how people can drink this stuff! It tastes like soured apple juice!”

It was all I could do to keep from reaching across the table and slapping some sense into her. How dare she put down one of my favorite beers?

I remembered a time in Sunday School (I was forced to go until the age of 18) where our teacher didn’t want us going to a certain pizza joint because they serve beer. So being the little jackass that I was and still am, I piped up with a question… “Where do you buy groceries?”

With a slightly confused look on her face, she said, “Food Lion.”

“Really?” I said with a smile. “I’ve been in Food Lions before and they have a whole section filled with beers that practically takes up an entire wall.”

As you can probably tell, not a whole lot of people volunteered to teach the class that I was in. I didn’t win the argument because she didn’t want to go anywhere folks could easily pour alcohol down their throats. Food Lion could sell it, but they didn’t allow you to consume on the premises.

It was that kind of condescending attitudes and narrow-mindedness that totally soured me on Christianity. Once I reached the age of 18 I had done my time in church and I haven’t looked back since.

Mom joined me in a couple of games of Appeteasers on the NTN Trivia game. She didn’t seem to grasp the scoring concept and I had to constantly tell her that she still had time to change her answer.

“Bring me another Red Oak, will ya Ashley?”

During one game, I’m proud to say that I placed 6th across the nation of NTN players. That is my personal best! And with that game, I also topped the list of that location’s recent high scores.

Although that really means nothing in the overall scheme of things, it has become something that I strive for every time I sit down for some NTN Trivia.

I may never be a productive citizen with a wife and two and a half children, but if I top out at number one in the country during an NTN Trivia game… I will have done it all. And there will be no regrets.


  1. Anonymous2:18 AM

    The following story comment will be totally unrelated:

    So, Saturday I dropped my wallet out of these stinkin' new pants I bought that have, as a special feature, the shallowest pockets in creation. They hold nothing! And, whoever located said wallet... instead of returning it to the front desk, as any normal person would do, took my ATM card to Great Stops #7 (Nothing good ever comes from East Market St. I've known that for decades.) and spent $75 that I did not even have. The bank wants to charge me 5 bucks for a new card. To me, that is paying for nothing. I could just as well cancel my account, withdraw my money, start a new account and get a card for free. More hassle, yes. But also, less money. So now, to restore the natural balance of the universe, I will take up the mantle of non-plastic shopping. I am going back to the good ol' days of paying with cash or holding up the line breaking out the mighty checkbook. My charging days are done.

  2. Wow! That's a bummer. Don't give up so soon, just get better pants.

  3. Anonymous3:43 PM

    You ought to try working at a place where everyone else, including 99% of the clients are Korean. Yesterday, we had a Japanese client come in...while she was here she got on the phone (Nextel) with her brother. They were speaking Japanese, two girls in the office were speaking Korean and I was sitting at my desk thinking, the client doesn't know what the co-workers are saying and the co-workers don't know what the client is saying...and I don't have a clue what anybody is saying.