Westward Ho – Part 2: General Custard

<— Part 1 —-<

Instead of driving west into Utah, then up to Idaho, we drove north to Montana in a spontaneous change of plans wholly inspired by a coloring book, Bucky Thompson and the Redskins. As my dad now saw it, we were somehow bound to honor the unspecified deeds of a few or maybe several unnamed individuals of vague and generalized historical significance. When asked where we were driving or to whom we were supposed to feel indebted, my dad would only answer with, “You’ll see,” and a smile that anticipated what was no doubt going to be a big payoff.

Minutes turned into hours and hours turned into…well, more hours. Entertainment was desirable and necessary, but seemed perpetually elusive, like the face of an adult in a Charlie Brown cartoon. 20 Questions, Slug Bug and a game of I Spy that ended with my sister, Michele, hitting me (she got mad because the only things I would ‘spy’ were things inside the car. “Stop picking ‘headrest’. Idiot.”) Eventually, we took to humming the theme songs of television shows.

On some highways, even starting a game of Slug Bug can take several hours

On some highways, even starting a game of Slug Bug can take several hours

By the time my dad and I started in on what my sister termed to be the ‘kajillionth stupid’ rendition in a row of the Bonanza theme, my dad suddenly announced, “Here we are!”

Continue reading

Categories: Childhood = 100 Years Ago | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

Westward Ho – Part 1: Crappy Souveniers

PREFACE: Much of my childhood was spent on the road, but not in a Beatified, romantic sort of way. Instead, it was simply that we were forced to. Whether transferred, offered a better job or just simply fired, my dad’s job(s) kept the family moving from town to town and state to state, the only constant in our lives being each other and boxes marked Bekins.

When I was in the third grade, my sister and I attended three different schools in three different states thanks to three different moves. The following takes place during move #3 from Colorado to Washington.

***

It seemed as though my dad had become delusional, that he believed he could enact an honest to goodness miracle. How? By attempting to make a 1400-mile drive less oppressive and monotonous–daresay fun–to a 9-year old boy and 14-year old girl.

“Honey, look! We can fit my clubs, your dresses, the dog and still have plenty of room for the children’s many, many tears!”

The suggestion was that my sister, Michele, and I begin collecting knickknacks from any points of interest we passed. We were assured that not only would we “get a kick out of” doing so, but that we would probably end up thanking my dad for helping us begin what could very well become a lifelong hobby. (SPOILER: We never had to thank him.)

Continue reading

Categories: Childhood = 100 Years Ago | Tags: , , , , | 22 Comments

This Birthday Memory Brought To You By Coors

For my 11th birthday, I hosted a sleepover for eight of my friends at our home in Tacoma, WA.

In case any of you don’t know, sleepovers are different than slumber parties. Like, inherently different. Sleepovers were for boys and, therefore, awesome. Slumber parties were for stupid ol’ girls and, therefore, stupid. Slumber parties, I assumed, had tea and sandwiches, had stuffed animals included on the guest list, incessant talks about ponies and ended at 9:00 when everyone went to sleep and dreamt of stupid girl stuff like princes and weddings and rainbows. Sleepovers revolved around junk food, a slasher movie on Showtime and staying up as late as possible.

With sleeping bags strewn about the living room, my friends and I laughed, burped and whispered “dirty words” well into the night, fueled by cheap pizza and gallons of brand name sugar water (the brand name being ‘Soda’.) My sister opted to spend that night at a friend’s house, my dad had been out since 7, so the only person in danger of being kept up was my mother. Either a heavy sleeper or the definition of lenient, my mother never complained or asked us to quiet down.

Around 1:30 or so, my friend Tim was entertaining us with a secondhand Cheech and Chong routine he had heard from his brother-in-law. The bit had something to do with bodily functions, which was the height of comedy at 11, so we laughed like hyenas on nitrous oxide.

“Bodily functions! hahahahaha! Bathroom reference! hahahahaha!”

It was then that we heard my dad’s car pull into the driveway. At the first sign of an adult, standard sleepover protocol dictated everyone pretend to be asleep. And so, as what sounded like 200 keys rattled to unlock the front door and the first sounds of cowboy boots clomped on the entryway linoleum, none of us knew that our sleepover was to be front row to what happened next. Continue reading

Categories: Childhood = 100 Years Ago | Tags: , , , | 29 Comments

Tips For Phone Interviews

In the past, I’ve provided tips for in-person interviews. From small business to high-profile companies, these tips have resulted in several readers’ successful interviews. In other cases, these tips provided employers with the insight to which of the candidates were on top of their game. In one case, these tips were said to have resulted in a long-term stay at the Smiley Flowers Sanitarium, but since conjecture is not the same as proof, I intend to continue dodging such subpoenas.

As technology continues to evolve, so does our navigation of business culture. Gone are the days of pneumatic tubes and teletype machines. Today, video conferencing and telecommuting are common components in the business world, especially in a growing global economy. To compensate for the fast-paced, zoom zoom, bing bang, pow pow, vroom vroom of today’s corporate world, recruiters have found modern short-cuts for the interview process. Phone and video interviews are just two of the ways the business world has kept up with the technological advances.

6a00d83451cfe069e2011570cd8204970c-800wi

At the party celebrating his promotion, Gary joked that his preferred title was Pneumatic Pneumanager. Later, Gary confidently claimed, “It’s a job I’ll have forever. The future is now!”

If you are currently looking for work, you may be asked to participate in a phone or even video interview with an HR rep, recruiter or government employee assigned to verify your unemployment status. Whatever the reason, you may feel ill-prepared for such an informal and impersonal interview style. Below you will find tips that will prove successful in turning your interview into a job offer.

Continue reading

Categories: Lazy Lists | Tags: , , , | 22 Comments

Come, Meet The Family

As with every holiday, there are some events that have themselves gone on to become traditions. Things that, if they ceased to exist, would devastate the hearts of families around the globe. These traditions include:

* The lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center

* The Nutcracker being performed to the delight of children of all ages

* Taking pictures with Santa

* Staring patiently at a motionless Nativity scene

Of course, no holiday would be complete without the elaborate Christmas party here at Calahan Manor. Millions of people wishing they were invited, scrambling for Paparazzi pics or insightful Tweets from staff, anything to feel that much closer to all of the glamor and sophistication that is a Calahan Family Christmas.

ba85bb72e35c91a9_landing

The closest most of you will ever get to my front door.

Perhaps it is the season and the spirit of giving. Perhaps it is the eight seasoned spirits I consumed moments ago. Either way, I am feeling generous. How generous, you ask? Generous enough to allow you, a lowly reader, into the Calahan Family Christmas extravaganza.

You’re welcome.  Continue reading

Categories: Smartass | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

Halloween Costumes Of Old – When Less Was More… More or Less

“Trick or treat!”

“Boo!”

“That’s scary!”

“I got a rock.”

Such phrases have become synonymous with Halloween. Halloween itself has become a billion dollar industry with super stores popping up in recently abandoned retail locations. From scary masks and fake blood to unlicensed likenesses of trending pop culture characters, you can get just about anything in these stores. Almost. Due to licensing reasons, you can’t get a Captain Jack Sparrow costume, but they will have Captain Dreadlock Pirate Guy. Does your child want to become Groot, the lovable giant from Guardians of the Galaxy? How about, instead, your child goes about the neighborhood as Rooty-G, the talking stickman? $35 well spent, I say!

“No, I’m not Baggy the Bag Monster. I’m Rooty-G!”

Maybe we, as a culture, have become spoiled with so many creative options so readily available. Whether we’re going downtown for an all-night party or just staying home and having drinks with a few friends, elaborate costumes are easy to come by and, frankly, somewhat expected.

There was a time, though, when people had to rely more on their own creativity and resourcefulness. Below are old-time costumes that were quaint in their simplicity.

Continue reading

Categories: Fiction Fiasco | Tags: , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Summertime Captions For Awful People

Today is the first day of Autumn.

This means it is time to say goodbye to Summer. It is time to realize that we can do better than Summer. For some of us, perhaps it’s time to pretend we never even met Summer. That’s right, Summer. We’ve moved on.

Need more proof, Summer? Look at my new relationship status on Facebook:

post share empty facebook status vector clipart icon ztuts

Now, some folks (mostly friends and co-workers of Summer’s) might say that I Continue reading

Categories: Smartass | Tags: , , , , | 50 Comments

Placeholder

Put away your black armbands, everyone. I am not dead. In fact, I have been relatively alive this entire time… just not online. As it turns out, real life has been/is far more interesting and fun than its virtual counterpart. That’s not to say that I have forsaken my online life, just that I have been busy with other things. It’s not personal, internet.*

That said, I fully intend to post with more regularity than Haley’s Comet sightings by a Yeti. That’s a promise!

See you soon.

cf4a8cb9a2fb7b57_landing

Her life devoid of any joy or human interaction, Helen settles in with a cup of coffee to wait until Mike’s next blog post. That extra flavor in her coffee, you ask? Oh, those are tears.

*For a few of you, it’s actually incredibly personal.

Categories: Shameless Plug | 18 Comments

Hip To Be … –.- ..- .- .-. .

Originally posted on Long Awkward Pause:

Sometimes ironic, sometimes retro-chic, hipsters are the compass that points our culture toward cool.

The horn rimmed glasses and skinny jeans have almost become the uniform of the mainstream, wanna-be hipster. Anyone wearing these is usually a poseur to the Nth degree or a model in a J. Crew ad. To keep themselves one step ahead of what society holds in high regard, hipsters often look towards the past to determine what is ironically fashionable.

6a9b571207cf4b05_landing This is how a hipster hitches a ride to Boston.

Today’s hipsters have traded in their iPods for old school cassette players. 52″ flat screen televisions are disdained in exchange for a 1972 Zenith Chromacolor. The Blu-Ray movies so sought after by others take a backseat to a thrift store-rescued VCR. The Wii? That’s been tossed aside for an Atari 2600. At a certain point, though, even these items become cool again to the mainstream. As a result, hipsters must find something else…

View original 576 more words

Categories: Uncategorized

New Post at Tipsy Lit

Ericka and the rest of the staff over at Tipsy Lit were kind enough to publish another piece of mine.

The great thing about posting on someone else’s blog is that the lawsuits regarding plagiarism (and, oh, there will be many) inevitably are brought against them. So, again, a BIG thanks to Tipsy Lit for that one.

 

CLICK HERE

 

Yet another Tipsy Lit author tricked into bathing with the help of booze.

Yet another Tipsy Lit author tricked into bathing with the help of booze.

Categories: Shameless Plug

Blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,790 other followers