Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mr. Zoom Shoots Nature's Peen

There's a river-ish thing that runs along some of the road we take to get to the office. I was always confused as to how California could justify calling these sometimes filled water ways "rivers" when in New Mexico they called them Arroyos.

Because, see, I thought as a kid that arroyo was THE name for nature's man-made cement sewer system for rain water. Not bothering to realize it was another word for small river. Just one of the many ways I've stumbled ever so gracefully into the concept of regional dialect.

Anyway, one morning over trying not to spill my coffee, I spied a giant rock phallus in the river bed. It is not unusual for there to be some kind of shape there, as the frats and sorrorities of the college right next to this place have been placing a rock version of their Greek pride on that very spot for years.

But this was the very first Greek symbol I understood immediately and without so much as a stutter. Mr. Zoom went back one evening to record this creature in its native environment before civilization could cover it up. It has since gone back into hiding.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This is my Boom Stick

While the rest of my idol bloggers are out there becoming grand parents, dealing with real world issues, writing inspiring posts - I'm over here inventing a way to keep birds out of my hair.

Yes, birds. out of. my hair.

Spring brought some particularly aggressive birds to the Zoom Yard. Aside from just being annoyingly loud and consistent with the loud, they have taken to flying at our heads when we walk outside. This is not unlike the situation I have dealt with at the coffee shop every year at this time - for the past 4 years or so.

But if you can't be safe in your own yard, then it's time to find a weapon. At least that's my view on it.

Behold the Bird Booty Boom Stick. Never before has there been a better use for the cardboard part of a dryclean hanger. My own pythagorean theorem: The as the length of the cardboardus - tubus of the hangarus increses, so increases the number of failed avian landings on the Zoomus Headus.

I find that my particular hairstyle - lazius maximus - is particularly threatening to birds. I roll it all up and clip it on the back of my head, and the fringe apparently looks so much like another bird that even if they didn't want to attack me - the obligation by nature is so strong that they do it anyway. I'm not waking up earlier to avoid bird bombings when I can simply wield my new weapon AND have my lazy too.

Mr. Zoom christened the stick with phrases I can't recall the exact wording of. One side says Bird Booty Boom Stick (I think) and the other says "Behold Zoom Beater of Bird Ass" or something similar. These are obviously nods to both the Evil Dead and Sealab. And before I get hate mail, please know I'd never actually hit any bird. I just twirl the thing up over my head as I walk to and from my vehicle. Mr. Zoom actually called this one for what it was: "Oh, that's fantastic. Wait until you actually hit one and it falls in front of you. You are going to be devastated."

I had read on the internet that the birds wait until you turn around, they figure if they can't see your eyes, you can't see them and that's when they attack. The solution, prescribed by the net, was to make a giant set of eyes out of paper and stick them to the top of one's head. This won't be happening. For one thing, I'd have to keep track of both fake eyes, and that is a recipe for disaster. What if I can only find one eye? I'm fairly certain that a cycloptic bird looking hair style is going to get me in more bird trouble than walking around with my stick. And if they hit me, they will steal my paper for their nests.

Or we can look at it this way - I am one to two paper eyeballs away from being reported to the police as it is - I know for a fact that the patrons of the coffee shop are very much on edge when I come in holding my stick. They can not figure out what I plan on doing with it, until they see me walking away and dodging birds. Sticking paper eyes on myself is pretty much asking for a dog pile of citizens' arrests.

So that's what I've been up to lately. Staying out of jail and clinging to my laziness, no matter what the cost.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

For My Mom

Dear Formerly Amish Mom,

First of all, let me just say thank you for getting the hell off the farm and fleeing to evil civilization when you did. Because even though I wasn't even in utero pre-production yet, had I been born into that world I know I'd have become the kind of eccentric loon that I adore researching today. However, Mom, you managed to bring some of that Amish charm with you and nail it into my subconscious with the kind of zeal you Ams reserved for barn raisings. All well intentioned love, I know.

You were always so worried that I'd end up looking like a trollop. Not an unrealistic fear, considering the women in our family have all been granted size D or larger racks. And apparently nothing screams whore like an oversized rack. Even after I grew up and out of the house, you let me know every single time I saw you just how disappointed you were in my cleavage to clothing ratio.

I spent so much time focusing on the TOP of the girls that I completely overlooked the other side of the mountains. I still don't understand how cracker crumbs can adhere up under there so stubbornly and in such great numbers. Doesn't gravity work anymore? Any surface that contains anything transferable, food, dust, colorforms - I merely have to think about walking by and an hour later I find those items attached to the upunder side of my girls.

You tried so hard. You really did. What you didn't know was that no matter what we women do, we look like a 2$ whore to somebody. I just look like one that's a tad more expensive - one that can be bought for an all you can eat buffet or admission to a very dusty place.

And even though that's exactly what you tried to avoid, I need you to know that it could have been worse. So much worse. I'm not easy to work with by any standards, and somehow you raised me well enough to find and land the Best Husband in the World. I only wish I knew exactly what cloaking device you activated for that to happen.

I love you Mom. Happy Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Too Long for Twitter

Actual conversation I (Zoom) had with ... let's just say ... someone who should know better (SNB).

SNB: "I haven't received any e-mail on my blackberry since 10 am. I think the office e-mail is down. Would you check?"

Zoom: "Ok."

Call to help desk reveals e-mail is functioning properly.

Zoom: "I called help desk and they say the e-mail systems are working fine. You need to call them so they can walk you through a couple of trouble shoots with your blackberry."

SNB: "Ok, I'll call them after I'm out of Best Buy. My battery in my blackberry is dead so I'm getting a new one."

Zoom: "How are we talking if your blackberry battery is dead?"

SNB: "It's not."

Zoom: "..."

SNB: "It was, but I have a new one."

Zoom: "You do realize that in order to receive e-mail, you need a functioning battery, right? It doesn't just fly through the air cloaked in invisibility and then embed itself into your device. The device still needs battery power to refresh your in-box."

SNB: "Yeah."

Zoom: "Are you going to walk in here with Ashton Kutcher?"

SNB: "Who?"

Zoom: "Nevermind. Check your e-mail now that you have a new battery. I think you'll find them in there now."

SNB: "Yup. There they are."

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Define "Adventure"...

Our local phone book arrived on our doorstep a few weeks ago. I swooped in and got it before Mr. Zoom could huck it into the recycle bin. Why? Because if you've ever read a phone book (I played with bricks as a child - what do you expect), you know there's all kinds of information in the front of it about local attractions.

I've been passive aggressively touring my local cities with my camera long enough now that I'm out of places to go that are obvious. And safe. Enough for me to go on my own and let Mr. Zoom have the t.v. for a few hours, anyway.

So I cracked the phone book and ran down the section that targets people visiting. To my surprise I found a listing for something I'd never heard of or seen before called "Adventure City." In Anaheim. So I grabbed the address, my camera and the Garmin and I set off.

And my Garmin sent me into STANTON. There was an adult book store and a strip club on my right, and 3 blocks later I saw Adventure City. I got into the parking lot and realized I was going to turn around and go home. Immediately. Why?

There were gang tags on most of the fences of AC, which doesn't really bother me very much on it's own. But combined with the hookers on the street and the man talking to the tires of cars while searching the trash bins, I thought this might be asking for a tad of trouble. Add to that the fact that this AC is indeed a teeny, tiny, ghetto fair designed specifically for children - and a very popular one from the packed parking lot - I wasn't going to tempt an ass kicking by being an adult with a camera and no child in tow. And for the record, I wouldn't really blame someone for doing so if they honestly believed me to be a threat to their child - or any child.

Because people have no way of knowing that I am harmless. That I specifically leave all children out of any photos I take. I specifically avoid adults, too. If I accidentally get an adult or child, it either gets deleted or if it is post worthy, gets modified so no identities are revealed. I would only ever take pictures of a person in public if they were practically wearing a sign that said "look at me." Otherwise, I leave people alone and out of it.

I gathered up a willing Mr. Zoom and we hit Adventure City.

Upon paying our entrance fee, a grandma working the turn style sized us up and said "Uh huh. Are you meeting someone inside?" Most of their business, I think, comes from the giant kid birthday parties they organize at this place. We had cameras akimbo and no child escort. "YES" I lied. And then I felt better for dragging Mr. Zoom on this surreal outing with me.

Inside it feels like miniature golf, only with roller coasters and fair-like rides instead of golf holes. And there are probably less than 18 "attractions" in the place. And it covers less land than your average mini golf course.

But it's big on crazy. And we love crazy. Unfortunately, most of that crazy was provided by the guests in the park so I don't have a lot of photographic evidence for you.

The Merry Go Round though, this will perhaps give you an idea what we were dealing with. It had the usual kitch on it, but...

And I don't know how well you can see it here, as when I saw them I was a little taken aback ... but painting a set of the angel's faces black? Isn't that supposed to be an insult? TO the very people who are attending this place?

We were through AC and back at our car in about an hour. And there was a crazy homeless guy circling the car. We didn't think he was after anything having to do with the car, we just parked too close to one of the trash cans. We let him do his thing in peace and then got in the car and went home.

It's funny, because every once in a while one of us Zooms will say "I don't know how that place still exists." And we always know without asking that we are talking about Adventure City.