I consolidated the stories about Fred.


...long live, Hill Blocks View. I miss writing. But the thought of one more round of "welcome backs", or obsessing over stats, or thinking of the clever response to a comment, or the obligation to read everyone else's blog... not so much. So I'll try and write. No pressure. If you feel the need to respond, you can email me. I like email. flipaul@yahoo.com

Sunday, October 30, 2011

That Is The Crappiest Costume Ever!

You stink.
I generally support my children's desire to be individuals. And I encourage them to express themselves creatively. Halloween is always an interesting time around my house, with my boys changing their minds about what costume they are going to wear, at least 15 or 20 times... a day.
     But this morning when the two and a half year old came down the stairs dressed as one of the kids from William Golding's Lord Of The Flies, I had to put my foot down.
     First of all those kids were murderous little examples of ignorance and hate. Secondly, being nude in public is not acceptable in this day and age. And third, using fecal matter as body paint is simply going to far. I mean, I admire his effort to get into character, but it's just not sanitary. He'll just have to pick another costume.
     After he showers.
Are you sure this is safe to wear on our faces?

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Black Eye For My Anniversary.

Today was my 16 year anniversary. There isn't a list of what to get someone when you've been married for 16 years. My wife has always told me I need to be more romantic, like she is. For instance on my 40th birthday she gave me 40 tickets to the local baseball team. Now my wife doesn't like sports, but she does like shopping. I know, I'll give her a $16 gift card to Wal-Mart. But that's not enough, what else can I get her?
     Beer. This Budweiser I'm drinking is in a 16oz. can. I'll save one for her. That's a good start. Oooh, and we could have dinner at McDonald's. If we both got a Double Quarter-Pounder that would add up to 16oz's of hot tasty beef. Genius. I'm on to something with this pound theme. Now what else comes in 1 lb. increments?
     Chocolate. Only, they don't have 1lb. boxes of chocolates except on Valentines Day. But chocolate chips come in 16oz. bags. That's awesome. I just need some flowers, to complete the whole romantic vibe. Wait, my wife doesn't really like flowers. Flower, flour. I could buy her a pound of flour and combine it with her chocolate chips and make her some cookies. I am great at this!

UPDATE: Well, things didn't go so well. Apparently McDonald's is not a good anniversary restaurant. To top it off, I accidentally drank the beer that I was going to give my wife, and remembered that I can't bake. In the end, I learned that giving your wife a $16 Gift card to Wal-Mart and asking her to make her own cookies will earn you a romantic night... for one, at the local emergency room.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Home Improvement, Sometimes, Involves Loss.

Lately my friends and family, (and friends of friends, come to think of it) have been clamoring for my services as a home remodeler/handy-man. I don't mind, I always help out if I am able. The odd thing is the timing of the requests. My home repairs have had some less than desirable outcomes lately.
     It started off in the spring, when I went to shut down the furnace at my Aunt Hazel's house. I'm not sure what happened, I mean it's an old rundown house and all, but the next thing I knew it was engulfed in flames. The house was totally destroyed. She was pretty mad, but when she got her check from the insurance company her mood improved considerably.
     The next mishap involved her daughter, my cousin Liza. She lives in a pretty new house that doesn't really need much work. Her and her ex-husband are underwater on their loan. She asked if I could come over and work on her furnace. It seemed weird seeing as how it was in the middle of summer and all, but she said something about getting it ready to be repossessed, so I said OK. Wouldn't you know it? Her house burned down also. Good news is she had just upped her coverage, so she got a pretty good check.
     I accidentally burned down four more houses (nobody really seemed that upset) before I swore off trying to work on any more furnaces. That did seem to upset some people, but they all said they needed water heaters installed, instead.
     There was a rash of house leveling water heater explosions.
     I don't let it get me down too much. My friends and family are very forgiving. Encouraging even. One of the things I don't understand is why they are even putting money into their houses. Most of the ones that I am working on are houses that they don't even want. They are ones that they can't sell, that they are upside down on the loans with, or sometimes it's somebody that is completely desperate for cash. It just doesn't make sense, but I always get paid.
     Last week I even had to turn down some work. Some guy named Fat Vinnie Vincenzo wanted me to look at the stoves in the kitchen of a restaurant a friend of his owns. I told him I couldn't because my Cousin Amy had already bought me a ticket to fly out to San Antonio and help her get her house ready to sell. The trip went OK, I couldn't take my torch with me so there weren't any explosions. I did learn however that there are things called "load bearing walls", and that if you cut out sections of "load bearing walls" to put in a door for instance, that the whole house could possibly fall down. Probably fall down. Definitely fall down.
     Again she seemed pretty OK with the whole experience. Surprisingly, she had already bought a new house and moved out her personal effects, except for several expensive flat screen TV's she said she had in the living room, (I must have missed those).
     I boarded my plane tired from a weekend of hard work, and learned one final thing on the flight home. According to the nice federal officer that was waiting for me when I got off the plane, the air sick bags are only for emergencies. And more importantly, he informs me, you can't use them just because the bathroom line was too long. After talking for awhile, he seemed touched by my plight and said he thinks he can help me out. Nice guy. In return, he has this rental house, and just he wants me to swing by and look at his furnace.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dad Of The Year, Ten Years And Counting.

My wife occasionally reads my blog, and sometimes she will have constructive criticism, such as "I can't believe I married you", or "you're a complete moron", or the ever popular "put your beer down and put your pants back on, my scrapbooking group was here first", but last night she had a brilliant suggestion that I decided I really could use. She suggested that instead of making up some stupid crap, I could just write about the funny things that happen in my real life as a dad to three boys.

     My oldest son is ten years old. The next one is younger, I think. I'm almost positive. I mean it would be really weird if he was the same age, right? And the youngest one is... younger still. A baby really. Babies are the ones that wear diapers? I mean other people can wear diapers, but that's just creepy and perverse. And the fact that my son wears diapers isn't perverse. It's often gross, but never perverse. That must mean he is a baby. So to recap, I have a son and another son who isn't quite as old and then one who is relatively tiny-ish.
     My wife and I are glad we have boys. All the teenage girls we met before we had kids were emotionally schizophrenic, foul mouthed, wanna-be-hookers. Of course we overlooked the fact that eventually our boys will date those same girls. Never-the-less, we wanted boys, and we got 'em. Threefold. We also didn't give our boys any of those weak trendy names that are so in vogue, like Ayden or Jayce or Peace Berry. We gave them strong manly names: Hercules Steroid, Zeus Testosterone and little Samson Kung-Fu.
     And, I've said things to those boys that I never imagined I would say aloud. Things like, "Please don't punch each other in the face", and "Oh my God! You can't drink paint thinner!" But lately, there have been some especially blog worthy moments. For instance, recently my oldest went back in time and prevented the murder of the mankind's last hope. What? That was a movie? The Terminator, you say? Hmmm.

     OK, I tell you some almost certainly true things. Yesterday, the baby walked out of the restaurant we were eating at and walked into the mall where he wandered around for several minutes before we noticed he was missing. The hilariousness of that situation was compounded by the fact that only two weeks earlier we lost the middle boy amongst 10,000 people for about an hour, at the International Balloon Fiesta. We're thinking about stapling them together next time. Or maybe one of those chain gang, chain thingies.
     The same week we lost the the boy, we had to take the baby to the emergency room to extract his finger from the plastic cap of a liquid soap bottle. He stuck his finger through the dispensing hole and couldn't pull it out again. I suggested a pair of bolt cutters, but my wife is of the opinion that medical experts are more qualified than I am to operate digit removing devices. It all worked out in the end, he still has all nine of his fingers. Ten. Ten fingers.
      Whatever. I started off with three boys and I still have three. That makes me a winner in my book. Child Protective Services be damned. All their stupid rules about feeding the children, and not punching the children, and allowing the children to sleep inside. Jeez.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I Have The Kiss Of Death. And I Will Use It.

I have the proverbial kiss of death.

Before you get all excited and try and get me to kiss your loathsome ex, it only appears to work on things that I am a fan of; not on actual people. Also, it is not 100% accurate, occasionally an entity will be able to withstand my bad juju and prosper, but it is extremely rare.

With the exception of The Simpson's, I have killed all of my favorite TV shows. The following shows have succumbed to my awful powers: Herman's Head, Arrested Development, Sliders, Firefly, Andy Richter Controls The Universe, Andy Barker, P.I., My Name Is Earl, Heroes (which I didn't kill off immediately, it became convoluted and painful to watch first), and Pushing Daisies. I'm sure there are hundreds more, but they died before their names were imprinted on my brain.

But sports is where my curse is the most painful. Not including the Red Sox winning in '04 and '07 (pretty sure somebody sold their soul to the devil for that one), my fandom guarantees that my favorite teams will suffer excruciating and inexplicable losses. The Red Sox had a NINE game lead this year with a month to go, and yet managed to gak it away. And that was just the start.

The local college football is the worst. No. Literally, the worst. Of all the Division I schools in the country, the Lobos are at the bottom. They have won two games in three years, and fired their coach mid-season, after losing to a much smaller school for homecoming. My favorite NFL team is equally cursed. The Miami Dolphins will also probably fire their coach during the year. And the Dolphins, who once went undefeated for an entire season, haven't won anything significant in 38 years.

Now, I am not just bitching, there is a point to all this. If you pay me a significant amount of money and let me know which TV show or team you hate the most, I will root for them and give them the dreaded flip's kiss of death. Fans of the New York Yankees, the New York Jets and the New Mexico State Aggies don't need to apply. I already curse their main rivals, pro bono.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

When A Good Artist Goes Bad. A Suicide Note From A (Formerly) Fine Artist.

Actual painting.  I am willing to bet the following note is scrawled on the back of this painting:
By the time you read this I will be dead.

Hopefully I will do it in a dramatic fashion. But, clutching an asp to your breast isn't as easy as one would think. Your smart phone doesn't have a deadly viper locator; there isn't an asp app.

The thing is, I had talent. I had big dreams, I was going to be the next Picasso. The next "it" artist. I was going to set the art world on fire.

My parents struggled to send me to an exclusive well regarded art school. I was the top of my class. My teachers praised me. I won juried contests. I was going to be a rock star.

And then it all went wrong, and this is what I am reduced to. Painting pictures of pomeranians in cowboy hats. My life is forfeit. As an artist, once you go to that dark place, there is no coming back.

As you see, I had no choice but to take my own life. Now if I can just find some hemlock.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Everybody Doesn't Have To Do Everything.

Dear Fat Guys,

Just because you get a Groupon for Pole Dancing exercise classes, doesn't mean you have to sign up. Even if there would have been cute girls at the class, I doubt they are looking for men of your, uh... heft. Just saying.
     I am tired of reinstalling the poles after every class and frankly I feel like carving my eyes every time I walk past. Just because you are in a "stripper" class doesn't mean you have to wear such revealing clothes.
     I hear there are some nice sumo classes at the Y downtown. Please go try that instead.

The Janitor