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Happy birthday to me…

Happy birthday to me!

Happy birthday, Dark Damiaaaaaaaaaan…

Happy birthday to me!

(Incidentally, this is the song that greeted me via voicemail this morning from none other than Elle the Pirate. Scurvy knave.)

That’s right, it’s a national holiday – the date of my arrival unto this world. And even though I’ve sucked quite a bit lately at posting with regularity, I figured I’d at least offer something to chew on for today, this 37th year of my living. And since I’m clean out of material (that’s not true – I’ve got a post I’m writing about meeting and hanging with Jali last Saturday night, but I’m lazy and haven’t completed it), I’ll give you something out of the Way Back Machine to read and remember. Enjoy this nugget until I’ve gotten off my ass long enough to tell you about playing music again (no band, just me and my good friend Sarah) and 9YO getting kicked out of daycare…again. Yeah, it’s busy times in the Damian household. Trust.

Here’s one of my all-time favorite posts, from July of 2005. It involves a very good friend of mine who will now be able to fully appreciate the writing. She’s divorced now.

The Wedding

[Warning: This is a LONG post. I have no intention of splitting or shortening it, so either settle in or go read something else. Maybe get some work done. Either way, you’ve been warned.]

A friend of mine (we’ll call her Cage) got married a few weeks ago. Ordinarily, this type of event is a wonderful thing. Weddings are blessed events; they are times of joy and jubilation, and a celebration of the union of two souls. This was not one of those types of weddings.

The Setup
You see, there were issues about this wedding, well before the actual event took place. The bride met the groom very shortly after her divorce was finalized from her previous marriage. This was the epitome of a rebound relationship, by normal standards, but Cage seemed pretty into him, and as her friend, I was supportive. At first. Things began proceeding faster than normal, and within two months they were discussing marriage. I protested; she had just gotten out of a really rocky marriage, and the last thing she needed was another marriage to a man she barely knew. But she was in love; no amount of advice would change her mind.

They began planning an elaborate wedding with an interesting, unusual theme: eastern Indian/medieval. To this day, I’m not sure how these two disparate ideas go together. It’s like chicken and ice cream, you know? This theme was not restricted to the decorations – the bride and groom were designing custom-made costumes to wear at the ceremony. My friend was wearing an Elizabethan gown, with all the accessories and trimmings. Her fiance was wearing an authentic medieval man-dress (I’m sure it has a real name, but “man-dress” is far funnier to say). But it didn’t end there: the guests were also required to be dressed in authentic period costumes. At this point, I laughed my ass off while saying “Ain’t no way in hell I’m wearing a costume to a wedding.” (I did go, and I did wear a borrowed costume from a man apparently the size of a small trash truck. I looked like Shrek’s second cousin. Shut up. )

By now I was thinking that this wedding was a result of a fevered dream or some really good weed, but nevertheless, it proceeded with all the strength and fury of a runaway subway. The grand event was to take place at the First Monday Canton Trade Days site in Canton, TX, about an hour’s drive from Dallas (where I am). The significance of this place, you ask? It’s also the location of this area’s SCA events. The SCA is the Society for Creative Anachronisms, an organization that is “dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe.” In other words, it’s a bunch of people who dress up in costumes and armor and pretend to be in the Middle Ages. Her fiance is a high-ranking member of this area’s SCA group, hence the location and dress code. And the SCA was scheduled to have an event that very day. Hoo, boy. Oh, and there was supposed to be an elephant on site. An elephant. Not a pretend-elephant, not an artist’s rendition of an elephant, but a live, breathing-and-shitting elephant. So here’s a quick summary, before I launch into the particulars of the wedding itself: Cage was marrying a guy she barely knew, and fresh off her divorce. The wedding was taking place an hour away at an SCA event where the participants and guests were expected to be in full costume. Oh yeah, and the elephant. Genius.

The Pre-Wedding Pomp
I was told by my friend to arrive at the site at 7:30pm on the day of the wedding. I was told this even though the wedding wasn’t really due to start until 8, because I’m chronically late. It’s a character trait. Or flaw. True to form, I showed up around 7:45, and immediately ran into a problem: the site was HUGE. The ceremony was supposed to take place in a tent – and there were dozens of tents. And forget just looking for people in crazy costumes, because there was an actual SCA event taking place that day, meaning that everyone there was in a crazy costume. I drove around and around, looking for anyone who even faintly resembled a person I knew, failing miserably. By now I was pissed; I had driven an hour away, to a wedding I protested, dressed in a borrowed, four-sizes-too-big medieval costume, and now I couldn’t find anyone even approaching normal to ask about this cockamamie thing! I didn’t even see the elephant, which I had planned to use as a visual marker for the location of the ceremony. After making a few passes around the place, I finally parked at the largest structure I could find, and started walking in a randomly-chosen direction. Well, the Atypical Wedding Gods must’ve taken pity on me, because within 3 minutes I spotted the groom, making his way toward me. We linked up, and he explained that the wedding had been relocated to the large structure where I had parked, due to excessive rain.

When we entered the building, he left me to go get ready, and I was left to my own devices. In the area where the wedding was to take place, there was…no one I knew. At the same time, directly in front of me, court was in session. As in royal court. Up on a stage sat the king and queen (I learned later that they were actually a baron and a baroness, a fact that mattered to me about as much as Whitney Houston’s shoe size), a princess, several other people in charge, and no elephant. The audience consisted completely of people in different period garb, carrying weapons and flasks and whatnot. One guy looked EXACTLY like Peter Pan, except for the 5 foot long bow and the quiver full of arrows on his back, and the fact that he was no younger than 45. The women were all dressed like wenches or courtesans or some other female-appropriate role from the Middle Ages. Even the children present were costumed up. I felt sad for them all, and then that passed, and I laughed. I wandered over to the wedding area, lacking anything better to do at the moment, and I spotted one of Cage’s children, who I did recognize. She was with a woman who looked sorta like Cage, and when she spotted me, she walked over and said “You must be Damian.” Seeing as I was Cage’s token black friend, I’m sure it wasn’t too terribly hard to figure me out. She was Cage’s sister, and she did NOT want to be there. Our exchange:

CageSis: “What do you think about all this?”
Me: “It’s not my cup of tea, but hey, whatever finds your lost remote. I’m still looking for the elephant.”
CageSis: “The what?”
Me: “Nevermind.”
CageSis: “Yeah, this is stupid. So, is Cage’s fiance an asshole, or what?”
Me: [stunned silence, looking for the angle]
Me: “Uh, why do you say that?”

I was looking for the angle because, although I had heard he was an asshole, he’d never been anything but nice to me, and I wasn’t about to throw him under the bus to someone I didn’t know. She goes on to tell me about all the assholish things he did since she arrived, which I won’t even bother detailing here. The guy is an asshole, something he’ll tell you himself. Eventually she wandered off, leaving me alone again. As I stood around, Cage’s cousin from out west approached me. I had met him before on a previous visit, and I was happy to see him again. Our exchange:

Me: “Fran! So good to see you again!
Fran: “Damian, glad you made it out! So, what do you think?”
Me: “I’m reserving judgment until I’ve seen all of it. This will be in my blog, no doubt.”
Fran: “Yeah, I’ve already got several pages written. Wow, Cage’s fiance is an asshole, isn’t he?”
Me: [not-so-stunned silence, wondering what the hell happened]
Me: “Uh, yeah, he’s an interesting guy. Why do you say that?”

Fran launched into a monologue about all the assholian things perpetrated by the fiance of the past few days leading up to the wedding. Again, not worthy of description. Fran found something more interesting to do, and thus left me to my own devices. About five minutes later, Cage’s best friend and maid of honor Retro came over, and brightened noticeably when she saw me. Our exchange:

Me: “Retro! You look great in your costume.”
Retro: “Ugh. Thanks, Damian. It’s so good to see you. Is this not a clusterfuck?”
Me: “If it’s not, it’s in Clusterfuck Academy, awaiting graduation. How’s Cage?”
Retro: “On the verge of a nervous breakdown. My God, is Fiance an asshole or what?”
Me: [completely un-stunned silence, trying not to laugh]
Me: “That seems to be the consensus. Why do you say that?”

Retro begins a tirade about all the assholery committed by our antagonist, El Fiance . Suffice it to say, he wasn’t a popular character. After she left, I decided to be proactive and meet the others there. Of note were Fiance’s mother and grandmother, both of whom were very Texas and very nice. By now it was 9pm, and the wedding still hadn’t begun. I didn’t really want to be there in the first place, I looked like Shrek, and I was looking an an hour’s drive home again. I decided that I was leaving no later than when they walked down the aisle, because there’s only so much tomfoolery one sane person can stand. Retro grabbed me and took to where Cage was, which was a sweet relief to all that had happened before. She looked lovely, and was serene, even through the craziness of the situation. I knew that would be the only chance I had to talk to her, so I explained that I wouldn’t be staying after the ceremony. She understood; she knew how I felt. There’s a fine line between “support” and “condone”, and I wanted to make sure I walked that line carefully. As I headed back over to the ceremony area, I happened to pass behind Fiance’s grandmother, the charming woman from before. And I’m not saying this to be mean; I’m not making this up, and I don’t think it was intentional, but as I passed behind her, the unthinkable happened: She farted. Loudly. Like a frat boy on beer night.

Well. That was the capper on a fine evening, or so I thought.

The Ceremony
I won’t bore you with endless details about the ceremony – hell, I’ve already bored you enough as it is. I’ll give you some highlights.

  • The “priest” was a long-haired, one-legged biker dressed in period garb.
  • The guests were given small vials of bubble liquid to blow bubbles as the couple passed. No bubbles were blown.
  • Slices of apple, a horn of mead, and pieces of bread were passed among the crowd to eat as a way to share in the ceremony. Mead is disgusting.
  • The priest sliced off a chunk of his thumb while slicing the apple, and bled profusely.
  • The king and queen (oops, baron and baroness) attended the wedding, bringing the total number of black people in the building from 1 to 3.
  • Bride and groom both are vegetarians, meaning my meat-eating ass had no food to eat, except for rabbit feed.
  • There was no elephant. I was duped.

The Denouement
As promised, no sooner had the happy couple walked down the aisle than I slipped out quietly into the night. I was tired, confused, and mad. I was promised an elephant. I did hear there was some bellydancing after I left, though. Among the dancers was the groom’s mother and grandmother. I think I left at just the right time.

The Postscript

We all found out that the couple had flown to Vegas and eloped about 2 months prior to the actual ceremony.

Peace.


Time for some random bullet points! Let’s rock this funky joint.

Some news about Nonetheless – good news, for once. Firstly, you can now purchase our CD on iTunes! If you have an account, just sign in and search for Nonetheless or Despite the Stereotype (the CD title), and feel free to purchase 2049854 copies for you and the nation of Uruguay. You can also purchase individual songs for $0.99, which is equally awesome in nature. If you don’t have an iTunes account, you are living in the past and should be set aside like hand-crank phonographs and VHS copies of Highlander 2.

We have a gig! We got tired of waiting around for a great singer to show up, and decided that we are strong, we are powerful, we are woman (two of us are, at least), so we went ahead and booked a show at Skillman Street Pub in Dallas on September 13th. Since we’re without a lead singer, we’re gonna have our guitarist Trip singing, I’m singing, we’re having some guest appearances, and we’re even gonna let the crowd hop up there and belt out a song or two. And did I mention that it’s a FREE show? Free as in free? Bring your asses out if you’re in town. We’re doing an 18 song setlist, which is kinda like doing distance running with asthma for a band that hasn’t gigged since February. Come see us.

Speaking of not having a lead singer…we still don’t. But we’ve auditioned a guy who seems promising. He’s coming back out tonight for a second look. We’ve learned to make people sing for us at least twice if we like them, because even a blind squirrel can find a nut SOME days, and that initial audition can often be misleading. We had a guy come out last week who sounded decent, but when he returned on Tuesday, he couldn’t replicate that performance. It’s worth the extra effort, and if the person really wants to join the band, they’ll willingly come sing again. We had a singer once who was positively awesome in his audition, and we hired him on the spot, only to discover that he sounded like a bag of weasels being pulled over gravel by a 4-wheeler. Don’t worry, it’s a sturdy bag, and no weasels were harmed in the making of that analogy. Wish us luck on that front.


5YO starts kindergarten on Monday. My baby is growing up. It’s a really emotional moment for me, but not for the reason you might suspect. Sure, DWW is all misty-eyed about her baby going to Big Kid School, but I get choked up over the fact that our daycare costs will decrease by nearly $100 per WEEK now! Yes, per week. And that doesn’t count the additional costs (such as field trips and other activities) or the additional additional costs (such as 9YO and 5YO sticking their hands out for spending money when they go on the aforementioned field trips). Kids are expensive as all hell. We’re gonna save about $400 per month just by having him go to public school now. Damn, I’m tearing up right now thinking about it. Do you even know how much bacon that represents?

Here’s some pictures from my boy Bryan’s wedding I attended in June. I don’t have any crazy stories to tell about the trip, really, because all in all it was a good time with very little drama. That’s a good thing, but it makes for boring storytelling. Hence no separate blog post.

This is the van we rented for the trip. And yes – we rented. You may recall that my vehicle, the Jeep, has no air conditioning. Well, it DOES – but it conditions the air to be hot as hell, so that’s a no-go. DWW’s car is practically a Model-T, so that was not a viable option either. We went with this big brown box instead. Ignore the weeds growing in my driveway.

This is one of the things I really love and miss about old-school diner-type restaurants. What you see there up on the wall is the biggest menu known to man. This little place makes damn-near EVERYTHING! I think I could go in and ask for a bowl of unicorn horn soup, and the most they’d say is “We’ll bring it to your table”.

5YO and 9YO with their cousins, DWW’s brother’s kids. Adorable.

Bryan, the groom, mugging over the groom’s cake at the rehearsal dinner. See that bald head? Yeah, I’ve slapped it a time or two. Had to put him in his place. Bryan and I met at work11 years ago, and decided to start a band. We’ve been thick as thieves ever since. His poor, poor wife…she knows not what she has bought into.

The wedding rehearsal. Bryan’s up there with the faux-bride. As you know, it’s bad luck for the real bride to walk down the aisle before the actual wedding. I think the fear is that she’d think about what she’s actually doing, and run for the hills. Note that we’re outside at this point. The wedding took place at the home of the bride’s parents, which sat on a lovely piece of land out in the woods so deep that sunlight has to be faxed in. And was it hot, in South Carolina, in June, outside? Why yes, it was.

This is Chris. Chris is the epitome of awesome. Sure, he looks like Noel Gallagher from Oasis, but don’t let that deter you from his awesomeness. He’s the guitarist in Bryan’s band (my old band), and you see him here practicing “Canon in D”, a very traditional wedding piece. (And as an aside, check this YouTube video out for the most incredible anti-Canon in D rant ever. It’s worth it.) But Chris is a rocker. I very innocently asked him how hard it would be to slip in some hard rock tunes while he played that lovely music. You know, not all heavy and shit – after all, he’s only got an acoustic guitar – but just to play something that’s obviously hard rock, but play it sweetly. He resisted, but my generous offer of $5 swayed him to sneakin some classics such as “Stairway to Heaven”, “One” by Metallica,  and “Dream On” by Aerosmith into the playlist. It was funny as hell, trust.

Me, in my fly groomsman gear. Note the teal tie, set off by the teal vest and the long-sleeve white shirt. Note the sunglasses I wore, due to the sun beating down on me like prison guard during a riot. Note the lack of sweat, due to the fact that I had just wiped my head when I took this pic. The sweat returned instantaneously. It was a hot one, people.

White people doing the Cupid Shuffle. The two closest people in the picture were damned good, though. They obviously dance a lot, because they were putting in dips and spins and all kinds of Soul Train maneuvers out there, while the others were still trying to figure out which way to go when the song says “To the right, to the right, to the right, to the right!” And yes, the dance floor – such as it was – was also outside. When Bryan and his new bride nearly stumbled on the uneven floor during the couples’ dance, we groomsmen only laughed a little. Ok, I’m lying. We laughed a lot.

9YO with my mom and my grandma. We had an early birthday party for him while we were in town with family, and my peeps made the cross-state journey. If you count me, since I took the picture and all, that’s four generations of my family all in one spot. That’s pretty damn cool to me.

See than man, way in the back, bending over? Can you make out what his outfit looks like? You may need to click the picture to make it bigger. I’ll wait.

This man is no relation to me. I do not know him, I’ve never met him. But I barely suppressed the urge to tell him to stop dressing up in Osk Kosh B’Gosh for Men, because this ensemble looked like a Tim Burton crack-induced nightmare. Just…no. I actually circled him twice before finding a good spot to get this Secret Squirrel photograph. He literally looks like he fell asleep in the Crayola factory and fell into a vat of What The Hell.

Whew! All that blogging winded me. I’m out. I’ll let you know how the 2nd audition goes tonight. Cross your fingers, folks.

Peace.

Let me preface this post by saying one thing:

I love these women.

Fyrchk, Elle, and HotDrWife….these are my peoples. My homies. We’ve known each other online for years – literally years now – And when the opportunity presented itself to hang out with them (as well as other people I’ll mention), I couldn’t pass it up. That opportunity was this past weekend, and this is my story.

——–

I hate flying. I mean, I’m not afraid of it or anything…I’m just not big on it. When I fly, I take a solemn oath to (a) hold the plane aloft by gripping the armrests and pulling up on them until we get to 20,000 feet, and (b) kick the pilot squarely in the face if he tries to land us like our name is Goose and the airport is an aircraft carrier in a tsunami. So when I boarded my flight Friday evening, I was less than enthused when Mr. Flydaplane got on the intercom and said something like “Blah blah blah, torn liner in the luggage compartment, blah blah blah, 45 minute delay.” This annoyed me, because if I HAVE to fly, I damn well better be prompt about the shit. Eventually they told us that we’d have to change planes, and then terminals, and that meant a 2 hour delay getting to Denver. Damian = unhappy camper. Thankfully, Mr. Pilot put us down in one piece, and I went to find my greeting party.

Now, the other two out-of-towners had arrived hours earlier. Elle got in around 10:30, and I think roosters were still crowing when Fyrchk landed her ass in Denver. Due to my lateness in arrival, the 3 womenfolk decided to have some drinks while waiting for me to drag my ass in that night, so what greeted me was something that sounded like a cross between banshees singing “I Will Always Love You” and the tire squeal of a ’78 Monte Carlo on a high-speed chase in downtown San Francisco. After recovering my hearing, I hugged my people: HotDrWife, cool and relaxed, wisecracking and playing hostess; Elle, funny as always, moving and talking like a recording played just a hair too fast; and Fyrchk, laid back and drunk as hell, asking if every single black man walking through the airport was me. Even the janitor. Fyrchk also claimed that every piece of raggedy, non-matching, floral patterned, uncool luggage was mine. She even charged me with packing my shit in a “Hefty bag with duct tape wrapped around it”, which made us all laugh our asses off. Elle had to step to this bitty hen who evidently didn’t care for our unique brand of humor, and the bitty backed down faster than J.J. Evans did to Florida on “Good Times”. Did we get some looks, a large black man cackling with 3 white women? Uh, yeah. But fuck them – the amigos were together at last.

After leaving the airport, I had to hear “THAT’S OUR SONG” for every…single…song that came on the radio. I swear, the Emergency Broadcast System alert could’ve come on, and someone would’ve screamed “THAT’S OUR SONG!” and started doing the cabbage patch or the wop to it. These women were out of control. Me? Shock and awe. We stopped at a bar near HDW’s house, where HotDrHusband caught up with us. He’s taaaaaaaaall. At first, he had the look of someone who got tricked into jury duty with the promise of lottery tickets and free tire rotations, but once we started talking sports, it was all good. After knocking back a few, we retired to the Chateau HDW, which….defies words. I’m not gonna go into details about how nice their wonderful home is, but I’ll say this – I’d live in their basement ANY TIME. I mean that – I could make a home out of that basement. All I need is a mail slot, a stove, and subscription to Basement Monthly so I can keep abreast of all the latest trends and styles in basement dwelling. Call me, double HD’s. We’ll make it happen.

Saturday had been planned as an excursionary day, with the group talking about driving up to Red Rocks or to other areas native to Denver and Colorado, but after dragging ass a bit, all we could muster was brunch and a trip to the mall. The most notable thing about the mall was the children’s play area, where the different items for climbing and sliding were all breakfast items: sausages, bacon (mmm, bacon), eggs…it was a bit disturbing. HDW referred to it as the “germ breakfast”, and after watching the kids slide around on giant plastic pieces of toast, I had to concur. After leaving the mall, I rode with HDH through a high-end area of town, where we visited a store called Bang and Olufsen:

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And listen, people…I’m not gonna tell you your biz. But I couldn’t even afford a sales brochure in here. Bang and Olufsen is German for “I think you’re looking for Best Buy, which is down there“. But they have some very, very nice equipment. I think I left a little drool on the floor in front of the plasma TV. But I digress. Oh, and there was plenty of this, despite the warmish weather:

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Do you SEE this? This, people, is something the locals call snow. I am unfamiliar with this naturally occurring phenomenon. I had to investigate.

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What? The three feet? Don’t judge me. Like you don’t have something unusual about you. Don’t make me talk about your hooves. And look, there was even some African-American snow. It’s Black History Month, you know.

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That “rock” is a pile of dirty black snow, pushed to the side of the road. Since the most snow I had ever seen before only amounted to maybe 2″, this was like seeing how a clock works to me. Black snow? What’s next, black eggs? Amazing.

That night was the actual event – the party and roast of the illustrious HotDrWife. Around 6pm, a cast of characters started arriving:

  • ClizBiz – Cool and calm and funny as hell. ClizBiz was the Queen of the Questions, asking things like what our most embarrassing moments were. Mine involved a bus trip, some bad Chinese food, and an assplosion. Hey, I wasn’t always a rock star.
  • Howard – Oh my God. Howard and I hit it off on several points, from both having lived in South Carolina AND attending Clemson, to our mutual love and fascination with the show “Naruto“. We’re not nerds; we’re geeks. Get it right, get it tight.
  • Shmeder – Quiet, friendly, and seemingly reserved, but once she started talking, there were a few moments of “say WHAT?” from the chorus around the table.
  • Larry – Oh, Larry. Larry, you’re great. A fantastic sport. Great conversationalist, dark wit, and a sparkling personality. Perhaps TOO sparkling, Larry. See, when you come in with a gay man, and hang with aforementioned gay man the majority of the time, and display certain mannerisms (nothing major, mind you) that one could associate with a gay man (particularly if you’re standing beside one for most of the evening), then it stands to reason that, not having ANY other evidence to the contrary, some of us (coughEllecough) might come right out and OUT LOUD assume you are said gay man’s partner, rather than being the straight, married man that you are. I’m just sayin’, man. Wear some aviator glasses or something.
  • Kath – Bubbly and smiling, she came in after getting off work. I won’t say where she works, but I thought she was wearing an iPhone around her neck, and if it wasn’t for the fact that Verizon (in their infinite wisdom) doesn’t support it, I might’ve tried to sweet-talk that bad boy off of her. But I was wrong, and I blame the beer and the shots of vodka on my mistake.
  • Amy and Tom – Friends of HDW’s from the “real world”. They are fun folks, and they have the CUTEST KIDS. Yeah. I said it. TheBoy was tow-headed and full of fun, and 1MonthOld was adorable. Oh, and TheBoy? He had a li’l something that Elle was openly coveting:

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Focus on the cup, people. I’m not even sure whose cleavage that is. Just focus on the cup, because at one point I swear I saw Elle trying to slip this into her purse. Stealing from a child. For shame, pirate.

The party was a blast. HDH showed a slideshow of HDW’s life and times, which was funny and touching. We had cake and beer, screamed and laughed, and made pics like this:

Me and Howard, performing a Naruto jutsu. I think it’s called “Geek Style: Goober Clone Jutsu” or something. Either way, we were still geeks afterwards, so the shit either worked really well, or not at all. You be the judge.

Me and HDW, the birthday girl.

Me and some random chick who wandered in. I think she was a Girl Scout or a Jehovah’s Witness, or maybe an escaped felon. I thought it best to just go along. Aw, y’all know that’s Elle. The mouth and all.

The Bug, mad that I stopped reading a book about pigeons driving buses. Honestly, pigeons shouldn’t be driving motor vehicles, and I said so, but Bug wasn’t having it. He’s adorable, and I have the sore ribs from him jumping on me to prove it. Also he kicked me in the balls. But we won’t talk about that. Boys will be boys.

I was looking for a pic of me and Fyrchk, but every time I tried, she growled and called me “bitch” and threatened my life. Maybe some will surface in the future…if so, I will post them and then blame it on someone else so she doesn’t kick my ass. I have a healthy fear respect for my homegirl.

Sunday was a bummer day, spent playing Playstation 3 and chillin’ while we each shuffled off to the airport, one by one. I want to thank HDW and HDH for everything they did. You are truly wonderful people. Thank you for this t-shirt, HDW:

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You know my love for bacon. The TSA guard at the airport stared my ass down, looking on this bad-ass shirt. I thought he was gonna arrest me!  Thank you for everything. And thank you for opening your basement. Just let me know when I can ship my shit there.

Peace.

Oh sweet baby Jesus, what hath God wrought?

After countless sparring matches, insults, threats, blackmail attempts, psychotic episodes, existential moments, and outright lies, Laurie and I decided to make the leap from written to verbal. That’s right. We are on the radio.

Sort of.

We (meaning her) started an internet radio show! It’s called Badger The Witness, and it debuted today. And I didn’t tell you. Don’t get mad, there was a reason: I wanted to make sure we were good. And we were.

It was so much fun! Even though we had initial technical difficulties, including neither of us knowing exactly how to operate the website, not knowing how to answer calls (including calls from the co-host trying to actually get on the air), and basically just dropping the ball a few times, we felt that our first 30 minutes were a success, especially considering neither of us has done this before. So good, in fact, that we did it again.

When we were having our post-show wrap-up call, Laurie noticed that the site we use was alerting us that our show was due to start in 15 minutes, even though we’d just FINISHED it. We checked the archives, and sure enough, those 30 minutes of hard work basically got flushed down the toilet. No show. So we did 30 MORE minutes, building off what we had going at the end of Segment 1A. That segment may have been even funnier than the first, since we got rid of all our nervousness and jitters and technical issues that Laurie caused. It was fun. And the best part is that if you missed it live, don’t even sweat that noise, gente. We got you covered. The sessions were both recorded, and the site somehow combined them into one mega recording that lasts an hour, meaning you get even more show than you bargained for.  Wanna hear the masterpiece that is Damian and Laurie arguing, fighting, and disagreeing?

You know you do.

Give us some feedback.

Next Sunday, live at 6pm Central. Be there.

Peace.

Happy Friday, sports fans! Before I dive into this weekend’s picks, I’d like to share a funny story. You know I’m full of ’em.

A couple months ago, I was sitting at my desk at work when my cell rang. I’m a popular guy, and my cell rings all the damn time, so this wasn’t unusual. The ensuing conversation, however, was very different. It was my good friend Hail, according to caller ID. I hadn’t heard from her in a while, so I was kinda excited to answer the phone.

Me: “Hey, Hail! What’s shakin’, mamacita?”
Hail: “Hi! May I speak to Jesse McCartney?”
Me (thinking I misheard her): “Do what, now?”
Hail (with urgency): “May I PLEASE speak to JESSE…MCCARTNEY?”
Me: “Are you high? This is Damian.”
Hail: “Yes, I understand. But I’m calling for JESSE MCCARTNEY, OK?”
Me: “You are certifiable. You called DAMIAN!”
Hail (to her son in the car): “Baby, they’re trying to get him on the phone right now, OK? Just hold on. (to me) Listen; it’s EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that I get JESSE on the phone. Do you UNDERSTAND what I’m SAYING?”
Me (understanding what she was saying): “Ooooooooooooooooh! I gotcha. Yes. Jesse’s right here.”
Hail (to her son): “Here he is, baby. Talk to him!”
Hailson: “Hello?”
Me (with my voice pitched 2 octaves higher): “Hi, Hailson! This is Jesse! How’re you doing today?”
Hailson (not buying it): “Ok. Is this REALLY Jesse McCartney?”

Now I was faced with a dilemma. Do I carry on with the charade, with a 4 year old who was CLEARLY not believing me, or do I drop it and totally disappoint him, and incur the wrath of Hail? I’ve felt the wrath of Hail before. It ain’t pleasant. I did the only thing I could do in that situation.

Me: “Hailson, do you know my songs?”
Hailson: “Yeah…I like ‘Right Where You Want Me’.”
Me (sighing and singing): “BA-BY, take me on a JOUR-NEY, I been thinking LATELY that I could use, a little more time with you…you got me. Right. Where. You. WANT. ME!”
Hailson: “YAY!!!”
Me (after muting and coughing): “I have to go now, Hailson. It was SO good to talk to you! You take care and listen to your momma, ok?”
Hailson: “OK! Bye!”
Hail: “Thank you.”
Me: “Oh, you owe my ass. You owe me BIG.”
Hail: “Bitch, please. I was Britney Spears last week.”

The things we do for our kids.

EDIT: Click here to find out who the hell Jesse McCartney is. Non-kid having folks.

Alright – let’s see who’s gonna win some games this weekend! And may I just say that I’m SO happy to have HDH as a new reader. You all know HDW. HDH is her other half. Make him feel welcome. Let’s do this!

—————–

#13 LSU (6-2) at #8 Tennessee (7-1)
Yards Per Game: LSU 422.4, TENN 411.3
Points Per Game: LSU 35.9, TENN 32.3
Yards Allowed: LSU 221.1, TENN 307.8
Points Allowed: LSU 8.3, TENN 19.1

Prediction: 28-21 Tennessee

————————–
#16 Boston College (7-1) at #22 Wake Forest (7-1)
Yards Per Game: BC 367.3, WAKE 311.6
Points Per Game: BC 27.4, WAKE 23.1
Yards Allowed: BC 336.3, WAKE 330.3
Points Allowed: BC 14.9, WAKE 15

Prediction: 24-20 BC

—————————
#18 Oklahoma (6-2) at #21 Texas A&M (8-1)
Yards Per Game: OKLA 389.1, TAMU 437.6
Points Per Game: OKLA 30.9, TAMU 33
Yards Allowed: OKLA 298.1, TAMU 325.3
Points Allowed: OKLA 15.1, TAMU 18.9

Prediction: 33-24 Oklahoma (Sorry, Metalchick. I don’t think TAMU can stop their new RB.)

————————-
Washington (4-5) at #24 Oregon (6-2)
Yards Per Game: WASH 369.7, ORE 470.9
Points Per Game: WASH 23.3, ORE 36.6
Yards Allowed: WASH 394.8, ORE 317.4
Points Allowed: WASH 25, ORE 23.9

Prediction: 42-14 Oregon

————————
Maryland (6-2) at #19 Clemson (7-2)
Yards Per Game: MD 310.5, CLEM 429.7
Points Per Game: MD 24.1, CLEM 38.3
Yards Allowed: MD 373.6, CLEM 257.7
Points Allowed: MD 22, CLEM 13.8

Prediction: 45-20 Clemson

Check back on Monday to see how I did. HDH, I only track games involving members of the Top 25, otherwise I’d be all over OSU this week. Tell ’em to hurry up and get ranked.

Peace.

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