October 28, 2008

Our Little Friend

I remember the moment he came inside our place. It was about two weeks ago, I was out on the patio grilling dinner and left the screen door open for just a few seconds while I flipped the burgers.

I distinctively remember seeing him go through the door. I didn't think much about it at the time. After finishing my burger flipping, I closed the cover of the grill, turned around and walked inside.

Then I shut the screen door.

You know when you watch those shows about prison, or even some movie like Dead Man Walking or Shawshank Redemption, inevitably, somewhere in the beginning there is a big metal gate that slams shut. As you hear the slam and the locks jam into place you realize that there is no turning back; we're all stuck in here together. That was kind of what it was like when I shut the screen door. I didn't hear the big rolling sound of a metal gate and there were no locks jamming into place, just the sizzling of a couple burgers and the zipping of an old screen door on it's frame, but still, by closing that door I created our own little prison.

Me, Catherine and the fly.

Had I just kept the screen door open for a few more seconds, one of two things would've happened. Either the fly would've flown inside, looked around, realized there was nothing around that struck his fancy, then promptly flown back outside and went home to spend a nice Sunday evening with his wife and larvae. OR, the fly would've gone inside, tired from a tough day of buzzing, and gone to sleep on the couch. All his little insectial friends, feeling a bit jealous of their buddy's new habitat, would've all flown in and joined him and had themselves a fly mitzvah right here in our home.

On the one hand you could say I did the right thing closing the door. But I don't think so. When it comes right down to it, I don't think he would've stayed. Unfortunately, even testing the theory is not a possibility here at Cat's place. You see, we're not allowed to keep the doors open for more than 10 seconds for fear that the cat (the four-legged pet, not the two-legged girlfriend) would get out and run away and never come back to the safety and sanctity of being able to get a free plate of milk whenever he rubs against my leg and looks up at me with those big green cute eyes and utters a small little "meeeoow."

But back to the fly...

At first the fly didn't bother me. I barely noticed him. Sure every once in awhile I'd be sitting and reading on the couch when a sudden "zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" would zip by my right ear as if I were suddenly transported to some jungle environment. And maybe when I'm brushing my teeth at night I'd see a little black dot zigging and zagging in the bathroom light. But it's not like the little feller was stalking me. Dare I say, but it was almost comforting having somebody else around.

After a couple of days, though, it seemed he got a little lonely and started trying to hang out with me and Catherine a bit more. I'd be laying in bed late at night, the bedside light shining upon the book I was reading, when all of the sudden I'd see the fly buzzing around my bedside. As if he wanted to just climb in and cuddle up to us. Suddenly a family of three had turned into a family of four. Unfortunately, we didn't want to adopt.

I did some research to see if the Safe Haven Law also applied to insects. No such luck.

A few days later, sensing that the fly wasn't going anywhere, that he had indeed become part of the family, I decided to give him a name. I dubbed him Hector. More precisely: Hect-orr. He's latino, you have to roll the R's at the end.

We soon realized that Hect-orr was what you would call "a problem child." Every once in a while I'd be in another room minding my own beeswax when I'd suddenly hear Catherine scream in frustration "HECT-ORR!!! GO AWAY!!"

I'd shake my head in frustration as father's do when their sons are going through puberty and have gotten to be a royal pain in the ass.

Sometimes we'd be sitting on the couch watching TV, me and Catherine, when Hect-orr would just constantly fly in front of our faces, demanding attention. HECT-ORR!!! I'd scream while trying to swat a spanking at him. WE'RE TRYING TO WATCH TV!

But Hect-orr didn't seem to listen. I think he has childhood ADD, or whatever you call it.

After much debate, Catherine and I decided we needed to get rid of him. Adoption was one scenario, but we thought it better if we just let him go off into the wild and fend for himself. We opened doors and tried to encourage him to leave (while simultaneously keeping the cat inside, which is another story in itself). But apparently Hect-orr didn't want to go. We tried catching him in our hands or with a pair of chopsticks like they did in Karate Kid, but the little bugger was too fast - or we were too slow, I'm not sure.

Then one evening, as I was cleaning up from dinner, I opened the trash can and threw away some food remains. As I closed the lid of the trash can again, I distinctively heard some buzzing getting muffled inside. Is that Hect-orr? I thought to myself. Is he hiding in the trash can? I knew right then that I could simply take the trash bag outside and he'd be gone and this phase in our lives would be all done with. It was so simple. But, alas, I am not a simple man. What if that wasn't Hect-orr? I wondered. What if it was someone else? Maybe I'll just give it a little peak.

So I raised the roof of the trash bin ever so slightly, at which point Hect-orr yelled out a big SURPRISE! and flew away. Of course.

I told Catherine. Of course, she said.

Two days later, I got home from work and could see it in Catherine's eyes, Hect-orr was in one of his moods. I can't stand him anymore, she said to me in frustration. You need to do something. You need to get rid of him.

Then she proceeded to tell me a story of how she was cleaning up and noticed him stuck between the glass door and the screen door.

Really? I brightened up realizing this could solve everything. Then did you open the screen door and close the glass door so he would have no choice but to go outside?!

No, I got all flustered, Catherine said. I didn't know what to do, I couldn't think straight. So I didn't do anything.

And just as she said that, Hect-orr buzzed through the room. I wanted to smack him.

* * * *

I'm laying here on Tuesday morning suddenly realizing that I haven't seen Hect-orr in a few days. Maybe he sensed our dissatisfaction with his attitude. Maybe he realized that we were going to get rid of him. Maybe he ran away from home. I'm wondering if I should call the police, put out an APB or something. Missing child, looks like fly.

But no. There's a point in every child's life when he needs to fly out on his own and live his own life.

Adieu, Hect-orr. Vaya con Dios.

October 21, 2008

The Pink Shade Of Conspiracy

First things first, let's lay down the facts:

Number 1: I trust Catherine with my life as well as everything else of similar importance
Number 2: Though she has her own brand of crazy, it's no worse than yours
Number 3: I have no real reason to believe she's consciously part of a conspiracy

Understanding all that, there's something funny going on and I haven't quite been able to put my finger on it. It appears to be some sort of hidden secret society. And, as we all have seen in Ocean's 11, 12 and 13, hidden secret societies quickly lead to conspiracies.

I'm not sure if this is a conspiracy yet, but it sure is starting to smell like one. The only information I've really been able to gather is that it involves blogging and triathlon. I know, it's a funny premise for a conspiracy, but trust me, those communists back there in the Cold War did many things much more peculiar than that, and we know how conspiratorial they were.

This secret triathlon/blogging society, which appears to meet constantly, all day every day, also appears to be discussing many things of grave import. I know this, because Catherine has changed. Here's what I've managed to observe...

Catherine used to be a rather normal person. Meaning, she'd come home and check her personal email once, then yet again right before bed. Maybe she'd even slip in a quick blog read or two somewhere in there. She'd talk to me about being on my blackberry all the time (I'm in a bberry recovery group) or being on my computer way too much (I'm in a laptop recovery group too. It's a disease. I was born this way.)

Then, just recently, I began to notice that Catherine was spending more and more time on her computer. It happened slowly, but it grew. Most of the time she'd be sitting there in silence, no sound coming from her but the occasional pitter-patter of her fingers typing on a keyboard. Perhaps it was an attempt to keep the happenings a secret from me - the modern version of leaving nuclear codes in a paper bag in the forest.

Then one night, not too long ago, it began to change.

Catherine was sitting there silently watching her computer screen, as had become de rigueur (which is not the proper usage of that term, but it sounds good), when, all of the sudden, she burst out laughing. I don't mean a chuckle, I mean a crazy loud hearty laugh where dribble starts coming out of the corner of your mouth. She fluttered about on the keyboard for another 15 seconds...waited.... and then burst into even more laughter. Tear-inducing gut-hurting laughter.

This went on for many minutes, the typing followed by the laughing. I like hearing Catherine laugh, it makes me happy inside. And this was the type of voluminous laughing that at first is infectious. Naturally, I smiled and chuckled too, though I had no clue what I was laughing about.

But you know that point when somebody is so immersed in their own personal laugh attack that it turns from infectious to just plain creepy? You know when all of the sudden the people that were laughing with you are suddenly looking at you like, for instance, you're part of some conspiracy? That's what happened here.

The more she laughed, the more uncomfortable I became.

It was when she almost fell off her swiss ball (which she uses as a chair instead of a chair) that I knew things were getting out of hand.

What's so funny? I asked.

BA-HA-HA-HA, she replied.

I smiled, uncomfortably.

She tried to speak. BA-HA-HA-HA... I.... BA-HA-HA... Ivan.....BA-HA-HA... BJ.... BA-HA-HA-HA. Clearly the talking wasn't really working for her. She just laughed and pointed to her computer screen as if that were supposed to mean something to me. Which, by the way, it didn't.

It soon came to my attention that Catherine had joined this group that is apparently known as the "Tri Blogger Women" or "Tri Chick Bloggers" or "Girl Bloggers Tri" or "Women Who Tri Blogging" or something that has to do with females, triathlon and blogging.

Interesting, I thought. Particularly because, 1. Catherine doesn't have a blog and 2. What do a bunch of bloggers need a group for? I mean, doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of blogging?

But I didn't say anything. I just listened. With a bunch of female bloggers all yammering back and forth, I'm smart enough to realize that the best thing I can do is shut my yapper before I get into a big ditch of trouble with no shovel big enough to dig myself out. (Of course, you can't really dig yourself OUT of a hole, but that's kind of my point.)

The group, as I came to learn, is a closed group, only available by invitation. Which made me even more suspicious. Apparently it was "opened up" to everybody for a few days, though I suspect it was about as "opened up" as those certain Bible Belt country clubs are "opened up" to blacks, gays, Jews and people who wear brown dress socks with topsiders. Either way, it didn't stay "opened up" for long, because apparently it got closed up again before I could figure out what the heck was going on.

A couple of days later I was sitting on the couch calmly reading my book. Catherine sat silently in front of her computer checking her email. Or at least that's what I thought she was doing. Suddenly, out of nowhere, she started laughing again. I looked over at her, she looked back at me, turned away and typed furiously into the computer again. No doubt she was typing something like "I think he might be on to us." Regardless, in the next few minutes she burst out laughing again, said something about peeing in the pool, waited, then laughed hysterically some more. I tried not to look concerned.

As I said, I'm happy to see Catherine smiling and laughing so much, it warms my heart. But, honestly, there's a wee piece inside of me that is a little concerned. Maybe concerned isn't the right word. Scared. That's better. I'm scared because I don't know what's being talked about. I'm scared because I don't WANT to know what's being talked about. I'm scared because I got a message today that her "group of people" decided that it's my job, as boyfriend, to massage her back and cook her dinner and I'm not sure what the consequences are if I don't. I'm scared because there's nothing more threatening to a guy than a bunch of women talking freely all day without proper male supervision. How did this group get approved by the male population anyway?

In the meantime, beware. I don't know about you, but I'll be sleeping with one eye open.

I'll let you know if I find out more information. Now I've gotta go, my girlfriend is hungry and needs a massage.

October 17, 2008

Don't Mess With Me

Editor's Note: I did not stumble upon this myself, I saw the poster on Catherine's desk at work. Catherine was my inspiration for this post. Then again, Catherine is always my inspiration.

October 15, 2008

Hypothetical Question

How come cash registers in 99 cent stores don't just have a big 9 on them?

October 04, 2008

Interesting Fact To Note

The men's restroom in the Denver airport is a certified tornado shelter.

I call dibs on the third urinal.

October 02, 2008

How To Improve Your Swimming And Look Like A Moron In The Process

So you want to be a triathlete, huh? What's that? You say you want to improve your swimming?

Well, let me tell you...you've come to the right place. Yessirree Bobble-dee-boo, this right here is the epicenter of How To Improve Your Swimming-iness.

Be forewarned, though, becoming an accomplished swimmer is not an easy task. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. It takes early mornings and cold pools. And, all too often, it takes a fair heaping of public humiliation.

Are you ready to be humiliated for the better good of your triathlon performance? Yes, you say? Well that's the answer we're looking for, soldier. So step right up and let me give you a couple of workout tips. Or, rather, a couple of activities you can start looking forward to.

In fact, let me share with you a few of the things that Catherine and I have done in a pool over the years to improve our swimming.... Don't laugh too hard - it might happen to you.

+ Swim a normal workout, then halfway through, get out of the pool, put on a t-shirt, get back in the pool and finish your workout fully clothed. It's kind of like a Saturday Night Live skit, but instead it's your life.

+ Swim 500 yards easy. Oh wait, after every 25 yards, stop and do a push-up on the pool gutter before continuing. Don't hit your head on the diving board, it hurts.

+ Swim 50 repeats with your legs crossed (trust me on this one, it's the closest you'll feel to being a sea monkey)

+ Do your swim workout with a wetsuit on (remember, we're talking about the pool here)

+ Swim with your running shoes on (again... pool. As if swimming with your running shoes on in the ocean is any better.)

+ 50 meter sprints. But after every 50, instead of resting, pull yourself out of the pool, do ten push-ups on the deck, get back in the pool, sprint another 50 and keep repeating until your arms give out or you throw-up and they have to close the pool. Whichever comes first.

+ Vertical kicking. Don't drown, it defeats the purpose. Though I'm not quite sure I know what the purpose is.

+ Attach a parachute to your waist, swim. Again, don't drown. Just in case, though, you might want to notice the next of kin before your workout.

Alright, now go get 'em. Good luck.

By the way, we are not held liable for any injuries, death or dismemberment received as a result of our training techniques.