Archive for the Oldies But Baddies Category

팀 선생님 시가 괴수입니다

Posted in Hogwan Hijinks!, Oldies But Baddies, Tales From the Hogwan with tags , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2017 by shenanitim

Translation: Tim Teacher is a kaiju.

File this classic under: First year teaching ESL in Korea (October 2nd, 2015).

It’s not often that I don’t have an answer in class. Today was one such day.

“Tim Teacher is tall.”

While that statement is grammatically correct, and also correct within the confines of said class, in any other situation it is completely wrong.

How do you break it to a 9 year old that while I am taller than him, I’m still not actually “tall?”


Things I Find…

Posted in Free-Range Tampa, Hobo-licious, Oldies But Baddies with tags , , on November 15, 2016 by shenanitim

When traveling around the city:


The Future (Still) Sucks

Posted in Free-Range Tampa, Oldies But Baddies with tags , , , , on April 26, 2016 by shenanitim


So approximately one billion years ago, or May 7th, 2014, whichever is closer, the Venture Compound had an art show called “the Future Sucks.” Clearly confused, they then asked Armzka Productions to participate. After all, Armzka is, at its core, one-half talented art guy and one-half loudmouth blowhard. Case in point – we agreed, and then had to work on an idea. I had none naturally, besides an overriding desire for the past 6 months to create and use a working greenscreen.

After a number of trips to Home Depot, tons of PVC bought, PVC cutters also bought, and a lazy Sunday afternoon spent waiting in line at some linen store packed with geriatrics, we had a workable frame and sufficient green cloth. I think we also bought some floodlights to augment what Leigh already had. And we were set!

For failure. It turns out while you technically can make a greenscreen for around $40 using a limited base of construction knowledge and a lot of trial and error, it’s not going to look that good. Not even good enough for Armzka’s level of “professionalism.” So Leigh ordered a real kit off of Amazon.


While we may not be proud of the process (or, at least,  I’m not), we are stoked with the results! So there it is in all its glory. We also had a television streaming the footage set up in the gallary so that your friends could stand around and laugh while you acted the fool in front of video footage (ripped and stitched together from that you couldn’t see. Great times were had by all.

So here the night is, as chronicled by one of our friends as we were too busy running back and forth making sure all the pieces didn’t fall apart.

Raccoon Is What’s For Dinner (Rubonia’s 2014 Mardi Gras)

Posted in Free-Range Tampa, Oldies But Baddies with tags , , , , on November 21, 2015 by shenanitim

Learning How Not to Sink

Posted in Free-Range Tampa, Live from the C.O., Oldies But Baddies with tags , , on January 26, 2014 by shenanitim

[I’m so glad I’ve left retail behind me…]

“Sir, do you carry baby coffins?”

“I’m sorry, we do not.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’ve worked here a long time and have never seen baby coffins here.”

[Indignant] “Well, do you know where I could get one?”

Guests always get angry when you don’t have whatever they’re trying to buy. They become even angrier when they find out that you’re not, in fact, a walking retail encyclopedia.

No ma’am, I don’t know where you could buy what you’re looking for. Last time I checked, that part of our marketplace was your area. Having cash isn’t enough anymore, we expect you to know what you want to buy and where to buy it too!

Sometimes it’s fun to play along with them awhile, so as to make their eventual disappointment that much more poignant.

“Excuse me, where do you keep the baby coffins?”

“Oh those? Let me think… Yeah, I think we have a few left. What size did you need? I believe I have a couple newborn ones in back, plus a few 2-3 months… Are you looking for any in particular? I know the newborn ones are honey oak, and we might have one of the 2-3’s in expresso.”

“What about black?”

“Please ma’am, let’s keep this civil!”

Public Grief

Posted in Free-Range Tampa, Oldies But Baddies with tags , on August 16, 2012 by shenanitim

Maybe I’m just being picky, but is it really a “dream wedding” if the bride dies during the reception?  Now I know receptions happen after the wedding proper, but still.  You could be married for two years and still make it on “The Newly Wed Game.”  So I think your wedding counts as the whole day, and not just the ceremony.  Which means this editor has quite a bizarre idea of what a “dream wedding” is. 

Not to mention the poor husband!  Not only does his wife die within an hour of marrying him, but then he makes the front page of the local paper!  How’s he ever going to live this down?

“Well I managed not to step on her toes like you warned me about Dad.  But I did accidentally force the life out of her body. Did that happen with Mom?”
What can he possibly do now? Marry again?  No girl is going to date him! I wouldn’t even talk to this guy, and neither of us are gay!  He’s got some bad hoodoo following him around.  

Speaking of hoodoo, just imagine the curse he put on said editor for running this story.

Goodbye Corneas

Posted in Free-Range Tampa, Oldies But Baddies with tags , , on August 9, 2012 by shenanitim

Now I know the idea of owning music is currently being challenged by the internet, with the record companies having lost any ground they could’ve ever dreamed of having.  But just imagine how friggin’ awesome it would be for Berry Gordy to knock on my (your?) door and demand the return of this, his record.  (According to the bit of legalese in the upper corner.)

“Son, I was driving through one of Tampa’s countless ghettos and had the urge to listen to “Smokin’ Smokey Robinson” again.  I hereby demand you return the promo to me, posthaste!  It is, after all, in your possession illegally!”

It would be the best two dollars ever spent.  (Making no judgements about Smokey’s claims that if “You Say It, We Play It,” yet not even touching the classic “Light’s Out.”)

Yesterday’s Most Uncomfortable Conversation, Overheard at Work (the Abridged Version)

Posted in Free-Range Tampa, Live from the C.O., Oldies But Baddies with tags , , on July 1, 2012 by shenanitim

“Would you buy used underwear?”

“No… unless it was from a young, Asian girl.”

Not the words I want to hear coming from my boss’ mouth.  Ever.  Please keep your pedestrian fetishes between you and your wife.

Unless you’re talking about autoerotic asphyxiation involving automobiles, I don’t want to hear about it.  At home or at work.  If it is, on the other hand, about autoerotic asphyxiation, then I have books about it and thus would have something to add.

[Photos from Stuart Swezey’s totally awesome Amok Journal: Sensurround Edition.]  

152 Czech Waitresses

Posted in Free-Range Tampa, Oldies But Baddies with tags , , on May 7, 2012 by shenanitim

I think I might have finally recovered from last week. Though this wondrous tale of woe technically starts a week and a half ago. So after spending Wednesday night fighting off the hordes of ex-cons number munchers (i.e. inventory), I discovered that it was my co-“workers” that were the bigger threat to my health and sanity. They had dicked over my schedule, then had the nerve to play Joey-Bag-of-Doughnuts when I arrived.

Boss-Man: “Where’s your team!?!”

ShenaniMe: “Fucking right here dumbass, Did you think I was joking when I warned you about this on Monday? Shut the fuck up.”

Instead of wandering around for hours sneaking photos of poorly tattooed wanna-be carnies, I was stuck at a table in the front of the store, with a printer, piles of UPC-less merchandise, and a (larger) pile of papers sporting numbers for said mystery items. That’s how I spent a good five hours Wednesday night to Thursday morning (10-3).

Thursday brought my sick sounding car sounding like it didn’t have long for this world. Each start-up was weaker, with more gurgles audible. The fates were kind, they waited until after I made it from work on Friday to give up the ghost. Made all the worse ‘cuz I passed the mechanic’s shop on the way home, and debated whether or not to stop then and there. You know, take all the blows in one day, leaving myself free to heal over the weekend.

It’s funny how you never really want to leave your home until you can’t, at which point your inability causes horrendous frustration. Most days I hope I don’t have to leave. Here I was pulling my hair out ‘cuz I couldn’t. Damn sick friends and those who love them…

I can’t complain though, since the stuttering tow truck driver was awfully nice.

Tow Truck Driver: “Do you mind if I stop for a soda?

S/M: “Uh, we’re just going three miles down the road. Buy your (fucking) soda afterwards. I’m paying for your time right now.”

He pointed out that I was REAL lucky; as his boss didn’t usually accept checks. Politeness strangled the laugh trying to leap from my throat. There’s a recession/depression going on, and literally three pages of tow truck companies listed in the phone book.

I’m the lucky one? Hey, tell your boss, he’s welcome.

It turns out my car’s engine had taken the time, over the years, to tie itself into a Gordian knot. The starter was dead, which was great, ‘cuz I had just replaced it last August, meaning it was still under warranty. Dead from drowning from all the oil my leaky valve covers were spewing.

Returning on Monday to finish the valve cover work, it was discovered that the timing belt had about as long as it takes you to read this sentence to last. (And they couldn’t find the valve covers anywhere in Tampa; doubling that cost.) So Wednesday was also spent at the mechanics too.

“Wow, you’re just going to be here every day aren’t you?,” is not something you want to be greeted with when entering a shop.

The silver lining to all this depressiveness is I found twenty bucks in the ATM at the gas station next to the shop. Meaning, naturally, after the car was running again I ran across the street to Sound Exchange! Finding this piece of epic-ness:

Seasons One and Two of Super Sweet 16! Just what every grown adult needs, *psuedo”-documentarian proof of others’ leasurely lives. Spending half a million dollars on a birthday party? No problem!

Some of my friends have the nerve to question my taste in viewing materials, some even going so far as to use that always trite comment, “I liked MTV better when they actually played videos.”

Clearly they don’t remember those videos. Which were (and still are on a more limited scale) as bad as the songs they were advertising. The Tim Version have a song (the Natural Light Theory) where they sing, “I don’t want to see everything that I listen to.” It’s good advice.

It’s practically our job as the mythical “less fortunate” to watch what the rich do from afar. Not to judge them, for who are we to condemn what they do? We have no frame of reference by which to judge them. We live in a world were a organization that refuses to pay taxes on the grounds that it uses its profits to “help” people, curtail said profits into funds to keep child molesters above the law. And these are (your) God’s representatives!

So how can I pass judgement on some rich kid who couldn’t possibly know any better?

Not to mention the priceless episode where the father takes his son down to New York City to audition strippers (called “dancers” here) for his party! It’s brilliant! Especially when this boy receives his just comeuppance; having scheduled his birthday party at the same time as the school dance, everyone shows up after the dance is over! Totally, and literally, “schooled!” Really, you have to be quite unpopular for your $200,000 private party (with strippers!) to come second to a school dance. It wasn’t even homecoming or prom!

I think I just fell in love all over again…

“Listen, I’d Like to Live to See the End of the World!” (Part II)

Posted in Free-Range Tampa, Oldies But Baddies with tags , , , on September 12, 2011 by shenanitim

[Part II of my long-winded attempt at coming to terms with living with a chronic, incurable disease. There’s psuedo-drunkenness, cursing at paramedics, and lots of junk-talk. Also, fundraising.]

I ended up standing dazed in the kitchen, three-quarters naked,furiously drinking those little boxes of apple juice in a crazed attempt to ward off a coma.  Ignoring the situation’s own severity; it was really funny.  I could barely stand, let alone place, or throw, my spent apple juice boxes into the trash.  Off into a separate heap the trash would inevitably bounce.

Naturally my roommate took this time to come home.  Staring at me with eyes that grew as large as a sunfish’s, ‘Tim, are you okay?’

[Slurring words like the drunk I wish I could be] ‘Kwalll…the…para…medddicks…’

The land speed record for sprinting up a flight of stairs was set that afternoon. 

Two teams of paramedics showed up at our door almost as quickly; paramedics who quickly began to ransack our apartment.

One paramedic searched our cupboards; hollering in disgust at our lack of food.  I know, I know, but perhaps she wasn’t used to visiting college kids’ apartments.  I didn’t know anyone at that time that had money for food.  She soon stopped screaming at the air and soon focused her revulsion by chastising me for not taking better care of myself.  Had I been less preoccupied with preventing my junk from sliding out of my ill-fitting shorts I might have pointed out to her that all my emergency foods had already been devoured prior to her arrival.

Another paramedic handed me some glucagon and told me to eat it.  His patience would turn out to be shorter than this paragraph.

A third paramedic, a budding optometrist, started quizzing me on what time it was.  This is the part, ignoring the whole ‘sliding junk’ problem previously mentioned, that allows this story to live on in infamy.

‘What time is it?’

[Having just taken the glucagon handed to me by the other paramedic] ‘How the fuck am I supposed to know?’  [Looking at my hands.]  ‘I don’t have my fucking watch on, or my fucking glasses!’ 

Soon my roommate returned to the interrogation still in progress with said spectacles. 

‘Six-thirty!’  [Looking at the time on the cable box.]  ‘Fucking six-thirty!  Goddamn…it’s six-fucking-thirty!  Jesus Christ!  Six-thirty!’

‘Hey, I thought I told you to eat this’ said the angry, now ignored paramedic as he pointed to my now forgotten glucagon.

‘You did, but he [wildly pointing at paramedic] asked me what fucking time it was!’

(This might be difficult to believe but my obsessive compulsion to be as literal as possible is actually heightened when I become hypoglycemic.)

Seriously, this was the least competent team of paramedics that I’ve ever encountered.  The two of them would simultaneously ask (i.e. command) you to do contradictory things.  If they spent just a bit of time listening to each other rather than scrutinizing my food stores maybe this confusion would’ve been avoided.

I had slept all day.  All I had to show for it was a now schooled roommate who once thought he had the filthiest mouth in our complex.  His mouth may have been filthier, but my tongue is wholly unintimidated by titles or professional status.  It’ll curse in front of anyone. 

To this day I don’t know what shocked my roommate more, my tirade or the sight of my unhinged junk.  He’s repeatedly talked about both in his rants about the incident.

This is where the ‘no guilt’ aspect of hypoglycemia comes in handy.  I explain that when the entire right side of of your body is out of commission, working the elastic band of your boxers is next to impossible.  So you just pull your shorts on and hope for the best. 

‘The best’ in this case being not inadvertently flashing the poor Indian girl throwing her trash into the dumpster across the way who happened to look your way.

For a wanna-be sailor my roommate can sure act like a prude sometimes.

Another ‘bonus’ hypoglycemia brings is a wondrous single-mindedness.  I can be so productive at work when my blood sugar is lower than safety dictates it should be.  I’ll tear through my projects.  Many of these long winded blogs owe their existence to this condition.  Not their endings though, since I usually start having too many ideas and get stuck sitting somewhere thinking intensely instead of writing.  ‘Cuz, at that point, I’m unable to write as fast as the words are screaming out of my mind.  This will continue until I either notice that I’m working way too much or I collapse. 

Whichever comes first.

I’m not too prone to collapsing at home since I’m always looking for an excuse to eat.  At work, on the other hand, is where all the problems seem to arise.  The boss folk enjoy my strange burst of productive energy so much that they’re willing to ignore that it contradicts everything they know about my character.  That’s okay though, ‘cuz I usually end up seated in one of their offices after being picked up off the floor and revived.  At which point most of them will be on eggshells about asking me to do anything. 

So I guess collapsing also has its own (painful) silver lining.

Frankly I don’t know what I’d do if I was normal.  (Or as ‘normal’ as I would be without the diabetes.  I’m sure it doesn’t account for all of me.)  A friend was recently amazed when she realized that I always have to be ‘on.’  Cognizant of how I’m feeling at every moment. 

Which is an aspect I don’t consider cool enough to dub a ‘bonus,’ though it does amuse me from time to time.  Knowing just how much your daily attitude is derived by how much sugar you have in your blood is really staggering when you get to experience it firsthand everyday.  You might think you’re in charge of how you feel, but really what you ate, how much you ate, and when you ate it plays a huge role.  (Conspiracy theorists fear not, for said food consumption is still an area within your control.)
This is (one of) the reason(s) I laugh when someone tells me God has to exist ‘cuz life is too grand and complex to sustain itself without him.  Is life that complex when how much glucose I have in me (largely) dictates how I feel?  How I react to what you tell me?  Let alone whether I can stand or not?

If God is responsible for this beast called life, he took the easy way out when designing it.  Maybe I’m just picky, but I expect more from my omniscient deities.  Instead of hooking up a battery to my meter, let alone a nuclear reactor, he chose to make everything run off of a few linked hamster wheels.

I wasn’t joking when I said I’m bitter.  I’m even angry at a figment of your imagination, an anthropomorphized portion of your morality system.

This is literally the crap running through my head as we [the Tampa Bay Derby Darlins A(DA)-Team] stood on one of Adventure Island’s artificial hills.  Eating the free breakfast consisting of bagels and bananas, two things loaded with carbs and/or sugar, i.e. not something to be feeding diabetics.  They (the derby girls) had stories of drunken cruises.  My tales also included slurred words, but for very different reasons.  It’s hard to articulate when half your mouth won’t work.

Please don’t mistake the day as a horrible one; there were definite benefits to my attending.  While the packets containing medical representatives’ doodads also held depressing facts (such as how depression runs rampant amongst us diabetics.  Also I’m at my target weight!  Hooray!) it also had some useful tools.

At work there’s a young girl who was recently diagnosed as a Type II diabetic.  She’s been frequently frustrated with her and her doctor’s inability to find a perfect dosage to control her blood sugar.  I had been consoling her by pointing out that I’ve had the worst of the disease (Type I) for twenty-odd years and I’m still struggling to find that sweet dose.

Your body builds tolerances to insulin just like any drug, and eventually everything you fought so hard for disappears.  Leaving you with no choice but to start fighting/searching again.

(This realization, while medically sound, didn’t do much to boost her spirits.)

So at Adventure Island I came across some resources that she’ll be able to use.  The time (and place) of a ‘Living with Diabetes’ seminar that’ll hopefully explain away some of the questions she’s been asking me and saving for her doctor.  I’ve found in my life that cultivating information from a variety of sources is usually best; if not fool-proof, when dealing with doctors.  The sheer immorality of making your money off of someone who’s generally in no position to say, ‘No’ (in this case the patient) is something I’m always looking to rectify.

I also received this totally awesome whistle!  You blow it and it makes shrill noises, just like a real whistle!  ‘Cuz it is a real whistle!  As if my neighbors didn’t hate me enough, now their dogs can get in on the action!

Aiding in my self-proclaimed (and fought) war against the medical establishment is the discovery of a Tampa-based Diabetes Support Group.  By relying on me, she’s looking for tips from the wrong place since I’m not all that familiar with her brand of the illness.  They (Type II’ers) have a watered-down version of my illness; even with diseases I go for the gusto! 

The best-case scenario would have me actually gaining some support from this community.  (Plus it’ll give me a chance to continue testing my budding social skills!) 

At worst it’ll turn out to be one of those support groups where you have to praise a higher power to get started.  (Apparently for me illness and addiction are synonymous.)  Imagine the looks on their faces as I thank Satan for everything he’s done for me!  (Hey, theologically speaking, even fallen angels rank higher than mere mortals.  They say ‘higher power,’ not necessarily the ‘highest power.’) 

Not to mention the uncomfortable fun I’d get from having to track down all the doctors and paramedics I’ve ‘wronged’ over the years.

At the very least I’ll be able to get a few blogs out of it.