Dad



I lived with my parents at my aunt Marcia & Duke’s house. This happened for one month in real life right before 3rd grade, when my parents had to sell their 2nd house one month before they could move into their 3rd house. I was, however, my current age, and quite annoyed at living with them.

We were watching South Park, and there was an episode with a giant destructive monster, and every time it would destroy something, a joke display on South Park would score another point, as if it was a videogame. It was part of the humor of the episode. I was playing it with my computer of course, and I wanted to show them how if you went into the properties for the video player, the joke-score would be listed as an attribute along with resolution, length, video codec, and all the other video attributes. Someone had actually tagged each point that was scored in the episode content with a timed-tag that would increment a counter that would be displayed in the actual episode tags.

I basically went into file->properties, then clicked over to the next tab, then there were 3 or so attributes, and if I clicked on one, the score would appear in the right column, matching the South Park episode’s current score.

I wanted to show them this, but they wouldn’t pay attention. When it came up all easily, my parents were immediately talking to each other and not paying attention. The display timed out. I bitched and moaned at them about how lame it was that they couldn’t pay attention for 5 seconds… Especially Mom, who I thought wouldn’t understand it as much without seeing it, because she’s somewhat technically challenged in real life.

So anyway, they finally agreed to give me their undivided attention, and of course THAT time, it took me forever to find the attribute. It wouldn’t come up as easily. Something had changed in the program, and I had to click through and go through 100+ attributes to find it. It was a one-shot thing. A bug in the video player software that made it 20X harder to find a user-tagged attribute if you had already open and closed the attributes list once during the episode. And I didn’t want to close and restart the video player again (as I had recently done in real life 30+ times in order to re-optimize my Media Player Classic video playback after trying to tweak my video player into handling SBS 3-D anaglyph video).

So finally I stormed off and left in anger, not even finishing act 3 of the South Park episode. “Fuck those guys!” … I go back to my downstairs room — complete with the bunk bed I used to have in MY downstairs room in their 3rd house (which we weren’t in — we were in Aunt Marcia & Duke’s house)…

And there’s a DEAD BODY in the room!

Now at the time, I had decided to masturbate, and I really didn’t want to call 911 to report the dead body, because I knew they would totally encroach on my jerkoff time, being in my room, snooping around for evidence, generally not giving me any jerkoff privacy (Hmm–no Carolyn in this dream!). So I started, but then I started to get paranoid that if a masturbatory-length’s worth of time passed, the police would begin to grow suspoicious that my delay in reporting the dead body implied my complicity in a murder I did not actually commit.

So finally, I decided to call 911. But the phone at their house was not working for 911 called! 0 for operator wouldn’t work either! It was some stupid VOIP (voice over IP) phone that had stupid problems. Maybe someone was downloading torrents, sucking up all the bandwidth? But no, I believe the situation was that other numbers would work, but not 911 or 0. I had tried to look up some non-emergency or other numbers in a phone book, but I still had no luck. What the hell is wrong with this phone?

Finally — still in my underwear for some reason — I go to houses across the street asking if I can use the phone. People are hesitant to let a random crazed 38-year-old man in his underwear in to call 911. It just doesn’t sound like something people want to do.

Eventually, someone finally let me call the cops, who came.

''Dreams... They're the hurricanes that wash the soulfilth from the superdome of our nightminds.'' --Xavier:Renegade Angel

“Dreams… They’re the hurricanes that wash the soulfilth from the superdome of our nightminds.”
Xavier:Renegade Angel (more…)

Crazy crazy crazy shit not at all like real life! I don’t even know where to begin describing it.

We were at some hotel with my parents. I want to say it was a bit more to the west, like Centerville, but it may have also been a bit south as well. Point is, I’d been there before. Years before. Me & Carolyn had gotten a hotel room with some younger, slightly trashy, slightly rednecky brunette girl named Kate, and had had some times together in the hotel room years before. But then we’d just left, abandoning our stuff and forgetting it was ever there in the first place.

Somehow, I gained access to the room. I have no idea how that worked. There’s no logical explanation. My stuff was still in the room. This was approximately THREE YEARS later.

I think I had also tried to buy drugs from this girl, then didn’t want any afterward, so I didn’t bother staying in touch with her. So weird that I had a past history of drug use in the dream.

So yeah… Was it sex with her? Drugs with her? Just good times? If there was a past-threesome in the dream, it would have been nice to have a specific memory of that ;)

That was the thing — we had a history with this girl. I’d hang out with her and some of her friends. She had a specific friend that would smoke K2 with me in the dream, then be kinda upset that I’d always bring it around because he knew he’d smoke it.

We’d both left a lot of stuff in the hotel room, including the key that we’d never returned. This created some issues. I went to turn in the key, and was given a bill for $97,300 or so. I explained that just because I forgot to check out, doesn’t mean they should just hold a room for me for THREE YEARS and expect to bill me for it. This would ruin me!

The lady behind the desk (which was 2-3 floors below the main lobby/entrance, where hotel desks usually are) would have none of it. I decided to go over her head, which involved going one floor up (so now we are 1-2 floors below the main lobby/entrance). The person behind THAT desk was Eli, who basically crumped my bill, saying fugghedaboutit.

Even still, I had access to the room! I went back and realized there was a LOT of stuff I had forgotten there. It was like Christmas, getting my own stuff back. Kate had left an extensive cassette collection there, with tapes strewn about. They tended to be glamier metal. I don’t remember specifically, but I would expct Motley Crue and Def Leppard and Scorpions and the like. I spent some time putting them away. I took a few loads of trash out and dumped them into the maid’s cart when I realized there was not a trashcan to be found anywhere. I remember thinking, “How could she possibly have never come in here and cleaned the room IN THREE YEARS? She must have enjoyed having one less room to clean.”

I told my parents about it… And how Kate was probably only 20-23 years old. They kinda shook their head at the prospect of me & Carolyn getting hotel rooms with 20-year-olds. I asked them to take some of my unexpected stuff, as I now had more stuff than I could carry, and we had not planned to spontaneously find all this stuff of mine. They left with my stuff.

They were my ride, yet I went back to continue cleaning the room for 30-60 minutes, so I don’t know what they were doing. Waiting patiently in their car for me to come back? I doubt that would ever happen in real life. I should have known this was a dream… for so many reasons.

I remember thinking that me & Carolyn would have to go back to this hotel for the hotel bar, in hopes of running into someone who knew Kate, so we could give her back her cassette collection, and possibly buy drugs.

So yeah — a lot of the dream was about this girl Kate, who was never actually IN the dream. Very twisted.

REAL LIFE COMMENTS: The weird part was not the dream as much as having a DETAILED back story that went back YEARS. I had memories of parties and such we’d gone to with Kate, extensive memories lasting years. When I woke up in real life, I was positive that some of those memories were references to OTHER dreams I’d had in real life in the past. After (again, in real life) pouring through years’ of past dream journals, I could not find any of these other dreams that I thought were referenced in tonite’s dream, so I guess they didn’t exist. Or perhaps I never wrote them down. I don’t think I’ve had a dream with a years-long timeline since 20090611. From wake to finishing typing this up, it was 45 minutes.

''Dreams... They're the hurricanes that wash the soulfilth from the superdome of our nightminds.'' --Xavier:Renegade Angel

“Dreams… They’re the hurricanes that wash the soulfilth from the superdome of our nightminds.”
Xavier:Renegade Angel (more…)

I was born 38 years and 1 day ago, on January 13th, 1974, at 8:56PM, during the Superbowl.

The next day, my paternal grandfather (the one who stormed Normandy on D-Day and taught computers in WW2) wrote me a note — which I did not receive until 36 years later, in 2010. Technically I never received it, since this note is an unsigned draft. I don’t think the signed version, if it even ever existed, ever made it to me.

One funny thing. Years ago, I wrote a blogpost to appear on my 100th birthday. In it, I question whether SuperBowls will even exist in 2074. Coincidentally, my grandfather wonders if SuperBowls will exist in the future as well! Two of us, 2 generations apart, posting the same question 100 years apart. DNA is some crazy stuff…

So here is the note!

1995ish - James Bernard L. - Washington Post front page - article - reworked

Grandad on front page of Washington Post

(more…)

Oh man…. This is definitely on my “mean things I did” list. So this post is kind of a humorous story AND a confession of sorts.

The year was somewhere around 1990, and I was about a 10th grader in high school. I had dropped out of TJ and returned to my original school district, with a relatively clean social slate compared to before I left.

Clint on video in 1990 - OH!Z920

Me, around the same age, flicking off Dad as he camcorded me while picking me up from work at the now-defunct Weis Markets #125 of Lake Ridge, Woodbridge, VA.

So while walking around Woodbridge High School one day, I randomly found a lost object. It was this guy’s organizer. And it wasn’t just any organizer… It was SUPER-DUPER organized, and TOTALLY OCD beyond any levels I had seen.

Imagine this, but color-coded in every color visible to the human eye

Basically, this guy who I didn’t know (2,000 person school) had gone out of his way to REALLY organize his organizer. He had a key in the back, explaining his acronyms:

M. = Monday
T. = Tuesday
W. = Wednesday
Th. = Thursday
F. = Friday
S. = Saturday
S. = Sunday

Yes. He’d written this out by hand! He also had a box that he drew on the edge of EVERY page, where he inserted various meta information, such as “restriction ends in 45 days”, “restriction ends in 35 days”, “don’t lose organizer”.

He had a ridiculous amount of organizing. Me and my friend — I want to say Sam W, but I’m not positive — went through it, laughing at him a lot. He had put sooo much work into this organizer, but it was mostly pointless work, like color-code-highlighting his events. Orange=church, yellow=school, etc, etc.

The whole thing kind of offended me. Now don’t get me wrong — I hate people that are disorganized and can’t get their shit together — but as a 10th grader, there wasn’t a strong need for that. I didn’t become organized until the reward to effort ratio became much higher with the internet, and great tools such as Google Calendar. But the “organization” he was doing was more akin to Sisyphus pushing a boulder up a mountain just to have it fall down again. It was pointless work.

Hell, the proof was in his “don’t lose organizer” comment! You can write it down as much as you want, but it’s a waste of effort. If you don’t want to do something — take precautions against doing so. Thinking that writing something down repeatedly is something a poor teacher makes a bad student do. It doesn’t actually work as a deterrent, even when voluntary. Nor does singing hymns make you a better person; mindless repetition is meaningless. Critical thought is what counts.

1991ish - Clint's room - Shane the dog - 0445

My 'organizer' next to the phone - held my phone numbers prior to moving to computer file around 1988, a file that I still keep my numbers in today, 22 years later. I DON'T LOSE MY SHIT. I still have every number that was hand-written in this 'organizer'!

It was decided that we would use my phone (pictured above, actual room and phone) to call him. There was no caller id back then. You could *69, but all it did is give you the number. You had no way of doing a reverse lookup to find out who’s number it was. It was the wild west of prank call days; we prank called all the time. I’d even prank called the operator, and even called 911 (tho I did not prank them, only hung up on them. And yes, they called back.)

So we could probably call without impunity. But me and Sam played guitar together… a LOT:

1991ish - Clint's room - Sam, Clint - playing guitar - 0441

What?! This must be before I switched to the *blue* Dunlop (turtle) picks. Crazy. I always use blue now - just like Kim Deale of The Pixies. Green is simply too bendy for speedmetal chords. It's better suited to acoustic strumming.

We decided to use my a pitch-shifter pedal that I had bought for my guitar. It looked kinda like this, but it was blue:

It had echo, reverb, and pitch shift. I would pitch shift an octave lower, and play along with the bass for a song. Or pitch shift an octave up, and make “music box-sounding” guitar. It was great fun. But it was even more fun when plugged into a microphone! We pitch-shifted our voice at least an octave lower, and called the kid’s number from his lost organizer. It was an answering machine.

I don’t remember his name, so let’s just call him Dwight Schruite. Anyway, we left a message, in our pitch-shifted lower-than-humanly possible voices. “Dwwwwiiiight Shcruuiiiiiiiitte….. We have your organizerrrrrrrrr!!! We have your organizerrrr, and you’re never going to get it back! We’re going to burrrrn it! Ahhh HAHAH HAHHH HAHAHHH [demonic evil laughter goes on for awhile]”

CAG_Gossip - women/devil

Yeah... That was a little evil of me.

[SIDE TANGENT PARAGRAPH] We also called people on the last day before Christmas, yelling “Merry Fucking Christmas!” into the speaker-phone before hanging up. Dad actually figured that one out from upstairs, based on his supernatural ability to discern events happening in other floors. One time I bounced a rubber-band ball 1 foot on my bookshelf at 12:30AM, after going to bed, and dad came down… “It sounded like something hitting wood down here!” But I was expected to somehow not hear my parents doing their business above my bed.  This is why I sleep with music. Things like someone bouncing a rubber ball 12 inches on a different floor won’t bother me because it won’t be hearable over the sound of the music. If only Mark I would listen to that advice, he wouldn’t have to bring a goddamned white noise machine into his tent to sleep in a tent 100 ft away from ocean waves (which basicallymake white noise). [/TANGENT]

But I digress. It was a pretty mean thing to do. To “Dwight Shcruite”, whoever and whereever you are: I’m sorry about your organizer. I know the feeling of loss that must have caused, because I’ve lost things I’ve put a lot of work into more times than I want to remember. But it was just too laughable for me to care. So in a sense, I judged you, and punished you for being wanting. I suppose I have some negative karma from that, but fortunately for me I don’t believe in karma as a disembodied force.

It would be pretty funny to hear back from him via this blog, but I really doubt he’s going to be googling about an organizer he lost 20 years ago. And I would have trouble believing it to be him, even if a comment was left to that effect.

Sam? He eventually cut his hair:

1991ish - Clint's room - Sam - close-up - 0439
My friend Sam, who had super-long hair, then got it cut off in the EPIC HAIRCUT OF ALL TIME:

And that pitch-shifter pedal? It went on to Virginia Tech with me. When Dan C brought his PA to his dorm room, we hooked my pitch shifter pedal up to the microphone, and yelled into the Pritchard Hall pit. At one point, our RA was even talking to us about, “Yeah, some guy has a PA, and we’d really like to catch him”. Good times.

The pedal eventually broke, and I threw it away. Had I known about the restorative properties of contact cleaner, maybe I could have saved it. But hey, it was $80, used, from another kid at the school. It was a $270 pedal. I ran my computer’s sound through it, making the game Syndicate sound MUCH cooler with an echo. I used it for guitar, microphone, computer, and I’m sure I ran my television through it at some point for shits-n-giggles too. I miss that pedal.

“I like stories.” (more…)

Our 10 year marriage / 18 year dating anniversary actually happened 2 days ago, on the 10th. But our wedding reception happened on 2/12/2000 — 10 years ago. It was a pretty big reception, and was followed by an equally big party at our house that night. (There were a few hours in between the events for everyone to change, eat dinner, etc.)

A good hour of video was taken by our friend Tony T! I managed to get it converted to VHS, and later to AVI on the computer, and later to YouTube postings with YouTube’s stupid 10 minute limit requiring me to break it up into 20 parts of various sizes. Here are the videos — most of them peppered with youngest-cousin Todd being extremely annoying. Go past the jump to see the pics & vid! (more…)

I asked my parents about some of the crap that went down at the parties they used to host, and these were their responses:

From Mom:

“Well, I definitely commiserate with you. And yes–we stopped having big parties, at least partially because our “guests” didn’t seem to respect the fact that our home was not a playground. Which actually meant that they didn’t respect us. We sort of-kind of tolerated this for a while but, when we got a little older, we cut down and finally stopped having big, blow-out get-togethers.

Carolyn’s right about our toilet being broken. That happened when we lived in an apartment, but it was still our home. I don’t think anybody ever copped to having broken it. There was another incident when a college friend got drunk and fell through our glass coffee table, totally demolishing it. He paid for the replacement, but our enjoyment of these shindigs was already winding down.

I felt a little deja vu-irritation at those parties Britt and Chuck used to throw. People stamping cigarette butts out on their carpets, breaking furniture, spilling wine all over…there’s a point where having fun becomes disrespectful. And it’s even more unacceptable when the people are 30 plus years old…grow up, jerks.

Anyway, I was really sorry to hear about what happened to you guys. And I think you’re in the right to tell everybody how pissed off you are. They all need to know that destructive behavior is abusive and unacceptable–destroying a friend’s property is like slapping them in the face. Unfortunately, it’s not surprising that nobody has admitted blame. Besides not wanting to accept responsibility, they’re probably also humiliated and embarrassed. I just hope that your reaction makes them realize that they need to behave more courteously in the future. The unfortunate thing is that many of your friends are probably innocent people getting stuck in the middle of all this. But isn’t that always the way?”

From Dad:

“yeah, i think a toilet was broken once — cracked the tank part and I’m thinking it was in our rented apartment so it really cost us.

sometimes you know who did it, sometimes you don’t. its the price you pay for having parties….something will always get fucked up. when we had our Christmas party here in this house, someone left the water running in the sink in the master bath and flooded it —- how hard is it to turn off water????? No one was drunk or anything, and these were mostly our “adult” neighbors, so go figure (though a few of them brought their pre-teen kids (suspects!)). Don’t bother blaming people for the shit they do…if you know who did something, just dont invite them again. [Hard to do when I don’t know. -Clint] Chuck’s friends trashed Britt’s house every party and broke stuff, spilled and left stuff, etc. Chris & Britt haven’t had any problems with guests because they have more responsible friends.

It kinda goes with the territory and the “types” of people you associate with. Not putting you down, just some of your “friends”.

Ask yourself, “are they really friends, or just slobs looking for a place to party and trash?” We’ve been down that road too and simply stopped having large parties.”

I don’t want to be the last person in my family to stop having parties. So if shit does down at a party, guests need to expect to face an investigation without getting pissy about it. (more…)

Dear Babyboomers: The National Debt is a Grandchild Tax. Thanks for less than nothing!  Ryan Somma has captured exactly how I feel once again, with his sarcastic congratulatory letter to babyboomers are are about to retire. So long, and thanks for all the fish debt! My dad predictably quipped “Every generation thinks the last screwed up the world for him”. Of course, he grew up during the 1950s — the most prosperous generation in American history. And inherited ~$1M from his parents. So… It’s quite easy for anyone to cynically quip “every generation had it this bad” while sitting atop an ivory tower. As Ian so profoundly said: “Not caring — the privilege of the rich.”

    And: Remember when Iran’s president said they have no gays in Iran? Perhaps this explains why people get free sex changes in Iran. “in traditional societies there is more pressure to conform to standard gender roles”. Odd indeed. And in some ways, more progressive than America. In other ways, it’s ass-backwards, because you can’t be both gay and have a dick. But on the other hand, hey: Free surgery. (I’m thinking of “Deep Thoughts” where Jack Handy says “Hey, free dummy!”) And, they let people be who they want to be without standing in the way with such excuses as, say, money. In many ways, that is superior to how America handles it (only the rich get what they want). Of course, Iran is a sucky shithole of a country, but still.

    Heavy cell phone use tied to poorer sperm quality. Of course, correlation is not causation. However, it’s also good to be cautious. Me? I will now be buying a cellphone just to put it into my pants as birth control.

    Next Page »