` Oh yes, there's been many of those. Nociceptor's had a bit more Unpredictability in her life. (...Or should I say, his life?)
` In fact, just tonight I was in Seattle with Lou Ryan while he underwent a three-hour photo session. It was so cool it deserves its own post, so that'll be up soon!
` Shooting back to several days ago, I had been working on a new blog post when the neighbor's microwave shorted out the circuit hooked up to both of our computers. (That kind of thing has been happening a lot since then.) We both shot out of our doors to trip the breaker, wound up talking up a storm, and then I totally forgot what the post had been about!
` For the life of me, all I can remember about it was that it had something to do with some interesting sciencey-thingy... and so I shall have to stoop to creating another humungous picture post, complete with several odds and a few ends:
` First up, I have several pieces of good news scattered around here, starting with this one: There will be no more junkies, meth-heads, crack-heads, or alcoholics in our apartment house, and we shall no longer have to hear people threatening each other with guns (much less ruining both of Lou's trucks' windows while escaping from guns).
` Just think! Never again will any more sprawled-out alcoholics who are too drunk to get into their own apartments be impeding our passage underfoot in the lobby! Nor do I expect to again witness a cracked-out girl wearing only a translucent garment, visibly underwearless, come to our door looking for someone to have sex with.
` And best of all: No more damn thieves stealing everybody's stuff and selling it for drug money! Not only that, but there'll be no more huge crack parties where said partiers cause trouble as well as fill up the entire parking lot so that we have to park next door where we can get towed! (Nor will we have to worry about junkie-hating security guards from the kidney clinic using us for target practice because they mistook us for them!)
` No, my friends! Today, this apartment house has a definite sense of 'everyone's cool with each other'-ness. The only drunk people here are friendly (the ones Lou and B-Dizzle were throwing snowballs at), and I expect that we might wind up throwing 'house parties' in the future.
` ...And we promise not to take Termitean's parking space! Honest! 'Cause he's the only one who still adheres to the parking space numbers (though the rest of us cannot because two cars do not fit in one space)!
` And now, for some picturey fun! My placement test at Everett Community College was on Tuesday, November 28. I was about forty-five minutes early, so it was lucky I had brought along my Crappy Digital Camera to distract myself.
` Here's a view of the brilliant, black sun as I trudged through the neighborhood on the way there from my car:
` It's odd that something so utterly dark could shine so bright, ya know? As I approached the school, I noticed that the front parking lot was only about 20% full, but I kept going on toward the Jackson Center. At about this point, I started to think; "Hey, where is everybody?"
` Well, I got to the Jackson Center, but there was nobody around. I looked over into the side parking lot, but there were hardly any cars in it. "Gee, I wonder why no one's here?" I thought.
` Then I saw a guy unlock the door to one of the buildings and go in, so I figured maybe some things were still going on - such as, maybe, the test? So I stuck around and took more pictures.
` This is actually the pointy hell sculpture (this very one, which isn't far from the orca) with the black sun shining down on it all.
` "Hmmm, I wonder if anyone else is going to be showing up today?" I thought, as I cleared the snow away from the front of the library fire tragedy memorial.
` Then, I realized: "OH! SNOW!! It's a snow day! What a fool I have been, standing out here for half an hour, freezing my ass off!"
` You have to understand; the reason for my beng so slow to comprehend this is because I'm from Ohio, where snow is normal weather for about three months. In fact, this much snow is no big deal at all. Everyone goes to work just the same. But no, all kinds of things were closed that day - even the YMCA!
` Lemme tell ya, if they pulled this kind of 'snow day' crap in Ohio, nothing would get done in the winter. Pssssh! Just look how hard it is just to drive down the road!
` And, probably because the atmosphere above had been robbed of all its moisture via cold temperatures, the sky was just as clear....
` Perhaps, though, it was debilitatingly snowy for out-of-towners: At about sunset (which now takes place before 4 P.M. or 16:oo), I finally noticed that the mountains were rather snowy - though since my CDC sucks, it's hard to tell from the picture.
` Also about that time, Lou came home with another construction-ripped pair of pants and managed to lift my spirits by setting his crotch on fire.
` The next day, which was not so sunny, was at least not a 'snow day'. (More like a 'slush day....)
` Finally!! I got to see the curiously fishbowl-like interior of the Jackson Building to take my freaking test:
` After lunch/medical term guessing, I found that I had scored a 54 in writing, a 53 in reading (both above average) and a 33 in math (way below average). Well, I suppose that's not bad for someone with a 4th Grade education....
` Up next was a very long orientation speech by a guy who had a projected computer screen shining on him as other people tried to change the settings and passcodes in order to get the slideshow to work. Unfortunately, they were unsuccessful, and when it was over I realized that the distraction was so great that I couldn't remember a thing he had said.
` Then, it was on with speaking to advisors, where I learned that I couldn't take any science classes at all until I reach Math 101! Unfortunately, I have to start out with Math 14, and I'm throwing in a study skills class for good measure. 'Cause I'm one distracted miscreant.
` Later on, Lou and proceeded with the exciting task of cleaning up the apartment. After I had shower-washed all the dishes (which can be seen in this picture), I cheered him on as he held his breath for two minutes in order to avoid the fungal funk from the unwashed rice cooker!
` We opened the windows and turned on the fans - our window fan now has three broken blades! - and eventually we could breathe easy again. ....And lemme tellya, getting rid of the contents of the rice cooker was just one extra thing to make the morning taste like cotton candy over the Verizon building.
` I think the reason I'd taken that picture was because that was Truck Day. See, Lou's truck has broken down a bunch recently, one tire got slashed and then another went flat a couple days later. So, on that day Lou drove Rob and I to the Marysville job site in my car so that they could use the work truck, after which I drove back home.
` I wished I had brought my CDC... from the shore I had a good view the sea and the islands and they were so brillig! I also saw a bunch of children standing by the side of the road, waiting for the school bus, because for some reason buses don't like snow even when cars have no problem!
` Two hours later, I saw those poor kids still standing there in the snow when I had to come and bail Lou and Rob out again. God, that must suck!! Anyway, the truck had run out of battery on the way to the Tulalip Tribal garbage dump, so Lou was ordered to go to Schuck's and buy a new battery for about ninety dollars or something instead of fixing it the free way with jumper cables.
` The Boss Man was not happy to hear this.
` After it was good and replaced, I got to go with them to the dump, get in the back of the truck, and throw a bunch of garbage in a giant dumpster that Rob (I think it was) had once fallen into. And this is funny; Lou and Rob said that I was better and faster at it than Kenny! (Not a huge, gigantic compliment, but still, it shows the amount of incompitence they sometimes have to put up with.)
` At some later point in time, Lou and I wound up going to a slashed-in-half BIG K-mart, which we personally call MEDIUM K-mart. Yes... we went to MEDIUM K!! And we... bought stuff.
` Why, do you ask, did we do such a crazy thing as buy from such a large and evil company that has recently consumed Sears in an amoeba-like fashion? To buy excessively cheap Christmas decorations, of course! (Yes, Gareth, you were correct.) Martha... Stewart... Everywhere!!!
` Right after that, evidently, Mount Baker turned pink. I don't know why else this picture would have been on my CDC.
` A bit further on, we went by this most puzzling billboard. Clicky for larger:
` Beer ape commercial? Never heard of it. But thanks to the graces of YouTube.... Okay, I guess that creating a false controversy with an exceedingly dumb commercial is an excellent way to sell beer. (See? I even mentioned it on my blog. ...Though I think I'll also mention that I don't like Rolling Rock!)
` Anyway, after the puzzling billboard, I almost witnessed a car accident when a truck was stopped far enough into the intersection that the cross-traffic was having to dodge it!
` Some people! ...And by the way, can you believe that it's only about 3:30 in the afternoon (15:30) in these pictures?
` When's that darn solstice supposed to be? I'm tired of nightfall at 4 pm! Anyway, then we went to a very non-evil store (the Co-Op), where Lou demonstrated his 'tongue skills'. 'Cause he's just so yummy!
` ...He threatened to punish me for taking that picture. ...With his tongue!
` Oh yeah... we bought some raw cookie dough while we were there. Over the next several days we had only made two cookies from it before eating the rest of it uncooked. ...I guess that evens out my primarily carrot stick-and-hummus diet.
` Then again, I weigh 150 lbs nowadays - that's 20-25 lbs overweight for me! Hopefully most of that weight gain is just muscle - after all, I can benchpress 80 lbs now!
` That noncanonical bit aside, when we finally got home we set up our Christmas junk, which included stockings. Mine's the tasteful fake silver snowflake one, and Lou's is the gay airplane propellor-nose Santa one.
` He also picked out a Christmas tree that fits on top of the furnace, which - because it is not hooked up to the gas line - makes a wonderful little non-flammable table. Lou draped my old curtain (i.e. bedsheet) over it and strung up the blue lights....
` Too bad my CDC sucked for that picture. But, it was absolutely excellent for the following one: FINALLY! A discernable picture of the snow on the mountains behind the Verizon building! I am surprised it actually came out!
` ...And so, I shall stop trying to take so many snowy mountain pictures from our window. I promise.
` Oh, and I forgot to mention that while we were at the MEDIUM K, we decided to add a new addition to the household... his name is Flopsy.
` He makes good tea - why, it doesn't even taste like soup! And he even tells us when the water is boiling! Isn't that nice?
` ...So then what? Oh yes, I was randomly telephoned by X-Dan, who had been at the Seattle Men's Chorus, and he wanted to go to Castle to see the after-Men's Chorus shindig. So I agreed to take him. (Unfortunately, we had apparently missed it, but c'est la vie....) When we got there, this is all we could see for a while over the heads of the people in line - that's how crowded it was!
` So, we stood around for a few minutes, staring at the scary animatronic cartoon characters dressed as Santa, as well as some quite large balls.... (Reminds me of this, actually!)
` After tiring of standing in one place, we went into the other room where this really, really creepy guy walked up to X-Dan and started flirting with him and showed him his rainbow belt clip, saying; "I guess this explains it all, huh?" X-Dan tried acting like he wasn't freaked out... well... here, the poor boy has already written about it in his LJ:
...but it turned out to be a relatively typical night, with the excepting of being PACKED with people, causing us to wait in line for maybe half an hour. In the first ten minutes or so of that time frame, I got hit on by a creepy 41 year old who thought that we "were the same age" because we apparently look so similar.` Not knowing what to do, I began shooting pool for a moment to both think and keep an eye on X-Dan. Luckily, we managed to escape somehow and while we were doing so, X-Dan wrapped his arms around me, hanging on tight as if he'd be snatched away by the creepy guy on our way back to the line.
` Either he is oblivious to his graying hair, wrinkly skin and other physical signs of aging, or I am a whole hell of a lot uglier and older looking than I thought. Upon learning that I am 20 years his junior, he found it "amazing that someone so young could be gay" despite the fact that supposedly he himself had had gay feelings when he was "12 or 13".
` Plus, his name is Tracey. I don't think I've ever met a man named Tracey. Oh well, his name doesn't really matter that much....
` I was so disturbed by the whole thing I kept looking around furtively in case I should see... O'm'God! Look! There he is!!
` Aaaaaaggggghhh! Well, luckily, we managed to get inside before he did (but only by a few minutes). Thankfully, it was so dark and full of confusing, flashing lights that we were able to evade him. I mean, really, could you find anyone in this place?
` We ordered some alcohol and stayed as far as we could away from him - though we did see one of X-Dan's friends from the Chorus, who was still hanging around.
` God, doesn't it look like Close Encounters of the Gay Kind in here? (Wait, that's probably a porno, isn't it? ...Never mind.)
` And I should probably mention that the stage was decorated with a fake fireplace, a Christmas tree, presents and other things:
` Plus, there was 'a shitload of cake' as Chorus guy David said, left over from the shindig - which of course we had missed. I have never seen so much gay cake! And an entire shitload at that!! It was free of course, so I think I almost gave myself sugar diabetes....
` After the festivities, I had to gas up my car really fast so we went to Chevron in hopes of saying 'hi' to Bradley (a.k.a. B-Dizzle). He wasn't there, but Blint was. (Yes, we really do call him 'Blint' - and I started it!!) Just as B-Dizzle had said, instead of doing various jobs while there were no customers, his fat ass was napping in the corner.
` Doesn't he look like a friggin' bean-bag chair? Well, at least he's good at that - he doesn't mop the floor or make an attempt to empty the ice in the drinks cooler, and once he was so irresponsible as to let two guys come in and crowbar pry up the bathroom door (including the frame) because the cracked-out girl in there couldn't figure out how to work the door handle to get out!
` John, the owner - same Boss Man as the one over Lou's construction company - was a little more than ticked when he discovered that Blint had just cost him 7,000 dollars!
` But that's not the half of it: B-Dizzle's told us all kinds of crazy stories of weird things that have happened there, such as this one kid wanting to let him run off with some beer. He informed him that the police would find the kid beaten unconscious with the piece of rebar. And then there was the time when this woman drove off from the tanks with the hose still in her car....
` The most recent Chevron story is when the Coca-Cola guys came into the store at a peak hour, fought their ways past the line of customers and demanded to be paid in cash. Well, B-Dizzle didn't have access to that much moolah, so the guys take all the stuff back and one says as loud as he can; "All right, looks like Chevron doesn't get to enjoy Coca Cola products today on refusal to pay."
` What a dickweed!
` Well anyway, back to my little narrative, after I got the gas, I took X-Dan back to his grandparent's apartment where we stayed up until about three in the morning (and what we were doing, I won't tell!) At long last, we finally said goodbye. "Goodbye, X-Dan!"
` Yes, all was well. There are still traces of snow, plus a decorative plume of Red Christmas Steam coming from the Kimberly-Clark factory, so all was both well and festive.
` ...Until one day I went to the bank and discovered that my bank balance was negative. Sprint had double-charged me my hugest phone bill yet (of $254.35) and a few purchases later, a minus sign magically appeared in my bank balance! After only a few days, it had escalated to over minus three hundred dollars!
` Luckily, I've (hopefully) gotten that taken care of by now. And, as I was walking out of the bank, I discovered a nasty fruiting fungal growth sprouting out of a dead van....
` In my attempt to get this monetary trauma off my mind, I suffered a direct collision with TallGuy on the sidewalk, after which we went to the graveyard behind the Verizon building! Since I'd already been there with other people before (alas, no pictures), I knew right where Rucker's tomb was. Behold its pyramidness!
` And, because I'm me, I immediately decided that it would be a fun idea to do a little bit of Indiana Jonesing....
` After getting only a few steps higher, I began getting all vertigo-like and got myself the hell back down. ...What? It was wet! And cold! And those steps are very steep! O' course, TallGuy wasn't about to try any of that. He just sat down under a tree... which was growing out of the tomb itself!
` Then I went to show him the '2001 Black Monolith' and another tomb I had found on that time before - the one we had been joking would be good to put a Welcome mat in front of. It was also the one that I had learned makes a wonderful echoey sound when you knock on the door....
` Unfortunately, no zombies came out to play! Darn... And then, just to make the whole night even weirder, next up we went over to a buffet that served the most tasty-looking dishes, such as this little cephalopod-filled number....
` ...Whole-octopus stir fry!! But then, I took a picture of something even weirder and possibly more disturbing:
` Kimitachi no natsu mikan wa, subete CATS ga itadaita! (Translated into 'Engrish' as: All your mandarin orange are belong to us!!)
` And, what else...? Whoops - there's another snow picture... but this time taken before the morning mist and clouds had burned off!
` Later on, I took yet another snow-mountain picture, but lucky for you it wasn't from my window. And remember, you can always click on some of these to get a more detailed view!
` I think I should be stopping with the photos for now.... But before I wrap up my post, something really odd: Lou met an Oriental Herbologist at work who told him that his physical and mental problems were from eating too many 'hot foods' and not enough 'cold foods'.
` Know what that means? Nothing!! Let me break this down, here: Potatoes are a 'hot food' (because they grow underground) and so is chicken, while cucumbers are a 'cold' food, and so is duck. Meanwhile, dairy products are all 'hot' foods except for cheese, which is neutral.
` ...What is the frickin' difference? That's some pretty arbitrary assigning of imaginary properties, there! I was almost shocked at the uncritical manner in which Lou accepted all that, but I'm not going to say anything because it's not like he's wasting money. ...Unless you count bean sprouts and pumpkin seeds to be one.
` Well, as I'm tired as hell after Lou's photography session and being somewhat amused by a very drunken Rob who had another fight with his girlfriend, I think I'm gonna hit the hay.