Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Looking to the sky...

Let me start off by saying, I was a gypsy child. My parents moved me around. A lot. Until the 3rd grade, I went to a small church owned christian school in pleasant grove. For those of you not in the know, Pleasant Grove is sort of a suburb of Dallas, but still part of Dallas itself. Its a weird place man. Over the years it has gotten rougher, but until 3rd grade, it was just a place to live. That all changed one night when someone decided to break into our house. You see, we had window unit air conditioners around the house. Someone started pulling the duct tape from the sides of the A/C unit in order to either A) steal it, or B) steal me. Anyway, we decided to move to Caddo Mills, Texas. Yes that is right, Caddo Mills. We almost moved to Fate, Texas, and that sounds rather off in itself. So here we are moving for the first time in my short lifetime.

My parents were not rich by any means. In fact, they were kind of poor. I did not know it, but apparently they were. I thought all families had beans and rice for nearly every meal. I dunno, maybe mom was a horrible cook, and since dad was a vegetarian, it...aww we were poor. So when it came time to move, dad borrowed a truck from his work, and we started loading everything into white trash luggage (black hefty bags). I remember it seemed to take forever to my impatient young mind, and knowing the miles now, yeah, it would have taken forever.

It was a cold and dreary night that we were moving our stuff out to a much larger, if not much more in disrepair, home in Caddo. I remember thinking that there would be cattle running through the streets, which would be made of dirt and dust. I could see something out of Gunsmoke. I was so wrong, there was not a saloon to be found. Anywho, we were moving our stuff in this single cab Silverado truck, driving into the darkness, when something shifted in the truckbed. I remember seeing things falling from the sides of the trucks, like someone had shoved it all out. There were chairs, and boxes and plastic bins going overboard like rats on a sinking ship. So here I am, 7 years old about to get my first adult task assigned to me.

I was running along the side of the two lane blacktop "highway" looking for displaced cargo. A box here, a bag there. It started to rain, a heavy drizzle that only made the situation more pathetic. I remember carrying a bag of somthing that sounded like kitchen ware back to the truck, and handing it to dad to load. Running back down the pavement, there he was.

I had a 9 inch Han Solo figure, we had found in a garage sale. He was missing the belt, the blaster, and whatever else he was packaged with, but I still loved the hell out of that toy. He used to stomp through my room, stepping on the smaller action figures. He terrorized many a village of snoopy, GI Joe, and whoever else was around.

So there was Han, laying near the center stripe of the "highway" looking skyward. The rain was starting to fall a lot harder, and I remember seeing poor Hans eyes staring into the heavens, water pooling into the unblinking eyes. It was as if he was asking an unseen force how he managed to be in this position after so many victories, pirate runs, and shootouts, only to be fallen by a lopsided cargo hold.

I grew up a lot that day. It might have had something to do with knowing I was mature enough to sprint down the highway, chasing a house full of dreams and fallen memories. It might have been because a new stage of my life was starting, and I was going to have to figure out who I was. Or maybe it is because Han Solo showed me that its ok to look skyward, but that I need to remember to blink, or I might drown.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


I was about 6, maybe 7. I had walked home from school, about half a mile. (see back in those days, I could walk to and from school, and not have to worry about perverts. But then again, it was a small town, and any perverts would have been run out of town by a local mob, had there been a need for it) I got home, unlocked the door, and went inside. I knew I had at least an hour but more like 2 before mom got home from work. Dad would not be home for another 4 hours or so, so I had plenty of time to get into trouble. I pushed the wicker seated dining chair across the brown linolium tiled floor. I still have no clue as to why the predominant decorating fad of the mid 80's was dark brown, dark brown with white checkerboard, dark brown with light brown, and country blue. Ick. Almost as bad as alvocado green and burnt orange of the 70's and early 80's, but when you had a transitional kitchen with the burnt orange fridge, alvocado green counter tops, except for that section of butchers block formica, and then the dark brown doors, frames and paneled walls, well obviously I came from a family of sightless, home improvement challenged procrastinators. But I digress.

So here I was, with the dark brown bentwood and wicker dining chair, pushing it up the the top level of the kitchen cabinet. This was where the goodies were kept. The candy, cookies, Little Debbie snack cakes, all of the things my parents ate after the kids were in bed. But today, I would have mine, thankyouverymuch! So I reach high on the shelf, and grabbed the first thing I found. Actually that is not true, there were probably 20 or 30 of them, and I figured they would not have a true count. I climbed back down the chair, making sure there were no finger prints.

As I ran to my room with my pirated booty, I knew the sheer joy that a jewel thief felt after a good run. I felt the adreneline rush that I am sure most race car drivers felt. It was such a sweet victory to that 6 year old. I unwrapped the little blue square, carefully, making sure not the shred the paper. I knew that if one sliver of paper were left behind, my victory would be short lived.

I took the little brown square from its former home, and carefully popped it into my mouth, and prepared myself for the chocolate explosion I was about to have. Indeed there was an explosion. At first it was salty. Then it burned my tongue, as it began to melt and fill my mouth with whatever god aweful things they had put in the piece of candy. It was gritty, like I had eaten sand. I tried to spit it out, but it was melted already, and only a brown paste came out.

I ran to the bathroom and tried in vain to wash my mouth out with the toothbrush holder full of water. That only made it worse, and seemed like I had just invited several cans of oil into my mouth. I began using the tissue to wipe my mouth out, but the tissue was cheap, and began to fall apart in my mouth. Now I had a brown burning oil soaked tissue paste in my mouth. I ran in circles trying to find a solution that would make the bad taste stop. Nothing worked. I brushed my teeth. Then I tried to drink some milk. Then I had a milky, Crest tasting brown stained mouth.

It was not until much later in life, as I prepared my first Thanksgiving dinner, that what I had actually eaten that day was a chicken boullion cube. I related this story to Mrs. Ninjamunkey last night, and I have never seen her laugh so hard. Hell, I have not laughed that hard in a long time. And as a geek in a new revoultion would say "That is totally going in my blog!"

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


So I sit here, trying to calm down after a near violence inducing fit thrown by yours truly. You see, here at the ninjamunkey home away from home (work) we have these little scanners, much like what most retailers use, in order to catalog parts for shipment. I was not involved in the team that configured them, was only the original assignee to set them up in the first place. Today, the team that did the actual programming is on thier 2nd day of vacation. And I have found a major flaw. I wont bore you all with the details, but suffice it to say, they effed it up royally. Imagine having 2 units named the same, trying to do different things. So I am trying to get things working, and get a bit fustrated. I call my "boss" and ask him what I should do. He has the approach that since we were not really trained, there is not much we can do but bandaid the situation. Here is where i get annoyed.

You see, anywhere I have ever worked, we had the "hit by a bus" program. Say person A does something, and is pretty much the subject expert. If he were to be hit by a bus, then no one would know anything about his job. So he trained another person, and then created documentation on what he did. That way, it was a covered subject. Here, not so much.

So while I know that it is not my fault that I am stuck supporting software and pieces of hardware I do not know anything about, I still feel responsible when I cannot get them to work. Makes me feel like I have no idea as to what is going on, and when I get to feeling like that, the stress, fustration, and irritation boil over. I feel like I am expendable at that point. I mean why pay someone to be here if they dont know what is going on?

So my boss just called me after I sent him an email titled "seriously screwed up" telling me that it would be ok, and to calm down and dont have a panic attack. Sure, good advice, but shouldnt he be the one to panic one in a while? Shouldn't he have a sense of urgency that I cannot find anywhere else in this company?

Monday, September 19, 2005

up, up, and away...

So Mrs. Ninjamunkey decided this past weekend would be a good time to take the baby munkey to the Balloon Festival. You see, imagine 40-50 hot air balloons taking off from a central point and flying over the city. It was a pretty cool site. However, seeing as this is Texas, the tempature hovered around the "bursting into flames" point. It was a bad sign, when the cheapo parking (5$) was already stacked up 12 hours after the event opened. There was supposed to be pony rides, face painting, and other cool kiddo activities. Not sure where the pony was, but after the mile hike into the festival area from the parking area, I was looking for that little bastard to ride back to the car. We never saw a face painting area, but we did see balloons take off. Its a good thing they were rising into the air, because the 150,000 estimated people in attendace would have blocked the view if they had not. We did get several glasses of lemonaide, and a couple of bottles of water. That was the extent of that paycheck. I think baby munkey did in fact enjoy himself, waving at the balloons and wanting to hold them. I did have a cool dad moment though. We passed a booth peddling everything from bubble makers to jewelry, where they had blow up hot air balloons. He saw them and threw a fit. The funny part was I had already made my way around the other side of the booth and was getting him one of the balloons. I came around the corner to see mom telling him to calm down, and his eyes saw me, rather saw the inflated ballon in my hand, and he lit up like a christmas tree. He was quite pleased with it, and I felt like a cool dad for picking one up for him.

All in all, it was a fairly good time, rather hot, humid, and a hell of a lot of walking, but I think he had fun, and sometimes, that is the most important part.

Friday, September 16, 2005

I remember...

I remember when I could fill up the gas tank for less than a days wages…

I remember when time clocks were punched, not swiped…

I remember when getting to third base was not, as sports guy of page 2 said, a threesome that was not filmed…

I remember when the conversation was “Oh I taped that last night, I will make you a copy” not “Its on my DVR, I will email you the file”…

I remember when porn was either found in discarded magazines, national geographic, or a seedy video store back room, behind beaded curtains…

I remember when 2 women having sex was taboo…

I remember when TV guide was a book of TV shows, not a website…

I remember when a website was where spiders hung out…

I remember when college students looked like adults, not kids…

I remember when girls hung out at the mall, dressed like girls, not hookers…

I remember when going to the mall was a good way to spend a Friday night…

I remember when talking on the phone required you to lean against the wall in the kitchen, trying to keep your voice down, and being tethered by a cord.

I remember when entertainment was a bottle of Boon’s Strawberry Hill and a Nintendo

I remember text messages being on a piece of paper, folded like origami…

I remember when a druggie was someone that smoked pot…

I remember when the funniest word ever being “fart”…

I remember when going out to dinner meant McDonalds…

I remember when I thought these I remember things were written by old farts.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The fool on the hill....

Stolen from Ali, who copied and pasted several tests together to make this one, which I would like to see make the rounds....

First and middle names: Nathan Ray

Do you like your name? Do you wish you could change it?: You know, I used to hate it, because it sounds like such a redneck name, then I realized that my family is a bunch of rednecks, and knew no better

Nicknames: Nate, Ninjamunkey, Daddy Munkey

Favorite color: Gray

Super Powers: Computer fixer, that is about it. I am so lame.

Previous Jobs: Oh boy, in no particular order: marine, porn editor, photographer for insurance company, bar manager, waiter, bar tender, bodyguard, Radio Host, Car sales, grocery clerk, accounting guru, house cleaner, security guard, gas station attendant, fast food

Current Occupation: IT specialist for GM subdivision

Do you like it?: usually, but it has its moments that suck

Brothers and Sisters: One sister that makes me look like the good child

Birthdate: September 7

Zodiac sign: Virgo

Birthplace: Langdon, North Dakota (air force base)

City where you were raised: All over Texas, Oklahoma

Elementary school: Caddo Mills Elementary, Caddo Mills Texas

High School: Caddo Mills, North Mesquite, JJ Pearce, Berkner

College: some time at Eastfield Junior

Majors in College. Wasting money on classes, not attending classes

Favorite subjects in school: Math (no really) English, and creative writing

Motto: Live each day like its your last, cause one day you will be right

I wanted to grow up to be: taller. Instead I am a tubby bitch

Morning person or evening person? Right now, neither. I work varying shifts with my job, so I hate mornings and late nights

Introvert or outgoing? Introverted outgoing person

Life of the party or shy? I have no idea

Prefer to veg out or stay busy?: I love to be busy, get busy

Last time I wet the bed: Making a wet spot count?

Two liittle known skills of mine: Picking up things with my feet

Favorite hobby: Photography

Hobby you're most skilled at: I have no idea how to answer that

Favorite Game where you get to shoot people? Rush hour traffic.

Best movie you saw in the last two years? Charlie and the Choclate Factory/Batman Begins

Who is your favorite Saturday Night Live star of All-time? Farley/Hartman

Where was the worst bathroom you were ever FORCED to use? I have never been forced to use a bathroom. I am a guy, if the bathroom is grody, I go outside.

On a man, do you prefer boxers, briefs, or none? I really don’t prefer men, thanks. I do wear boxer briefs usually though

What kind of underwear, if any, do you wear?: Yeah, just covered that

What is your favorite CURRENT TV show? Rescue Me
What is your favorite SHOT? toradal

What is your favorite mixed drink? Crown and coke, or maybe a vodka tonic with lime

What is your favorite "fruity" drink?: Mai Tai

What is your favorite beer? Don’t really have one, as long as its cold and cheap

What is your dream car? Not good to dream about cars. But I would like to have a jeep wrangler soft top to run around in on the weekends

What is your favorite way to spend a weekend>: Oddly, working on the house, or shopping with my family
What is your favorite ice cream? Strawberry

What is your favorite gambling activity? Sex without birth control

What is your favorite Broadway play? Rent

Favorite Restaurant (Not a Chain)? Windy City Grill

Favorite Chain restaurant? Satlgrass

Last song you downloaded? Prince-Darling Nikki

What was your first car? A 1972 Chevy Nova

If you were an animal, what would you be? A monkey

What's your favorite animal? monkey

Do you have any pets? yes

If so, what are they? a Golden Retriever, a black Lab, and a tank full of fish

Have you ever been bitten by a dog? And if so, what kind? A pit bull, and a doberman

Have you ever had a perm? No

What color is your hair? What style is it? What cut is it? Brown, short

What color are your eyes? Brown

Favorite bottled water? Deja Blue or AquaFina

Favorite soda: Diet Coke

Favorite candy bar? Butterfinger Crisp

Favorite frozen novelty? Fudge bomb

Favorite kind of chips? Cool Ranch Doritos

Favorite Asian food: Fried Rice

Favorite "American" food: Barbecue

Favorite Italian food: Stromboli

Favorite Mexican food: Fajitas

Favorite breakfast cereal? Life

Favorite cookie: Ali’s Homemade Cookies

What was the name of your first boyfriend? Cant say as I have had one

How old were you? 30 when I took this quiz

Did you kiss him on the mouth? Hee, doubtful

Have you ever had a thing for a friend's dad? What sort of guy do you think I am?

Favorite PULP FICTION quote? Feel that sting? That’s pride fuckin with you

Shot at the doctor ASS or ARM? Arm

Do you ever want to sky dive? I have

What about bungee jumping? I have

What about Scuba diving? I have

What is your favorite Game Show? Survivor

Favorite all-time city: Chicago

At least 5:
Bands I Love:
Bowling for Soup
Blues Traveler
Maroon 5
Ben Harper and the fun loving Criminals

Books I would recommend:
Kevin Smith Speaks
The DaVinci Code
Skipping Christmas
Memory of Running

Favorite T.V. Shows:
CSI (any of them)
Rescue Me
Family Guy

Favorite movies:
Pulp Fiction
Reservoir Dogs
Kill Bill 1 and 2

Friday, September 09, 2005

Musically inspired blogging on a Friday night. Very much a direct theft of Ali's blog, and since she is hot, and a genius, I think its a great idea.

Playing: Everybody Knows-Leonard Cohen

By now, the world has become aware that as a nation, we cannot take care of our own, but will go to the ends of the earth for another country. Everyone has a reason to think this is wrong, but really, it’s a typical situation. We feed the hungry in Africa, write and sing songs about them, and forget that our streets are lined with people trying to find work. We liberate countries for democracy, pushing out regimes that are wrong, only to have our servicemen get killed trying to keep democracy in check. Is it really democratic if someone else sets it up?

Who needs Shelter-Jason Mraz

I still cannot understand what the hell went wrong in NOLA. By most accounts, it was insanity. Even more so, is that Dallas is working hard to get the displaced into apartments for free here in the metroplex. I am all for helping people that need it, but at the same time, wouldn’t that lead to the same insane effers shooting at rescue workers to live next door to me? Can I veto this yet? Dallas needs no real help in keeping the crime rates up. Seriously.

Freedom- Blues Traveler

Getting away from the deep and heavy, I have to say, aside from not being with my family, having my sleep patterns all kinds of screwed up, I kinda like working at night. I mean look, I am sitting here blogging and listening to Ipod music, and get away with it with no issues. Hell the shift manager just offered me his 2 inch TV to watch while I am here. I can work on projects, or like most nights, claim there were lots of service calls that were user error, and not have to do any work at all. I get paid for this!

Bittersweet-Big Head Todd and the Monsters

So tomorrow night, we are having my 30th birthday shindig at the casa. Most of my friends will be there, and their friends bud, jack, the captain, gin and whiskey will be making the rounds. I am hoping to have some blackjack or poker going too. I wish all of my friends could be there together, but many live in California, have lives outside of my little circle, or otherwise occupied. I will have a drink for them anyway, and one for them, and those guys over there, and him, and you.

Thanks A lot- Third Eye Blind

So question for the masses, and by masses I mean the 2 or 3 people that read this. Say you have an acquaintance, someone you don’t know super well, but she comes around. Say this person will come to your house, and decide to help themselves to food in the pantry, whatever is in the fridge. She might go into your medicine cabinet and grab some pain relievers, all the while never asking permission. Would you stop her, call her out on it, or just chalk it up to someone being comfortable in your home?

Evenflow-Pearl Jam

I walked outside tonight at dinner, and could hear a football game in the distance. You see, Friday night in Texas during the late summer and fall is football season. I could faintly hear the announcer, the quads of the marching band, the crowd yelling. It brought to mind a simpler time. Back in the late 80’s early 90’s I was a football player man for the various schools my family would move me to. Knowing that as long as there was no homework, I would be on a bus, traveling to an away game, rocking out to my discount store knockoff walkman, with the orange headphones, getting amped up for a game in which I was told to destroy the quarterback. Wondering if I played well enough, would I get a kiss from that hot cheerleader or drill team girl I had been chatting up in World History, but knowing more than likely I would wind up with the rest of the team, pretending we were getting some later. Knowing that in the hallways we were heros, and that soon, the world would know who we were. Dealing with that one teacher that did not care we were stars of the gridiron, and tried to flunk us anyway. The huge zits on my chin from the chinstrap I wore 5 days a week, hours at a time. Come to think of it, those times were not easy or simple. There was much more stress, politics, bullies, assholes and the lot. What was I thinking?

Call and Answer- Barenaked Ladies

So my sister has written us off apparently. Not that she had much to do with us in the first place. I would hear from her only when she was in trouble, or needed money, or wanted to convince me that my parents were in the Manson family and were telling horrible lies about her. She has been logged into Yahoo mobile for the past week, but will not answer when I text her. Her screen name is libertyanne2003, so feel free to try and get her to talk. Course she might offer you drugs. Never know with her. Damn, that was mean. Charlie told me to say it.

Well I am going to keep listening, you keep reading, and feel free to let me know what you think. I read all comments, and only delete the critical ones.


One of my new favorite activities to do at work when I am bored, is to go into blogger, and hit "Next Blog" button on the top right of the page. I can find every flavor of blog out there, some that I bookmark to follow up with, cause they are either amusing, funny, or just plain odd. Mind you I have to get through a lot of international blogs, which I dont read, only because I dont know that many foreign languages. Bus boy is not a language.

I am supposed to sing tomorrow night at the fiesta. Not sure how that came about, but its a good song, and one that has become one of my favorites the past few weeks. Should be a nice train wreck

So I just filled up the tank on the jeep, and it was 50 bucks. How in the hell are minimum wage workers making it to work and back? Hell, at this rate, how am I?

I watched part of the concert benifit for the Gulf Coast, and it ended abruptly. The message was the live video has ended, but in the background I could hear who i assume are IT guys walking around, talking. One hour? That is all they are going to be on? Seriously? Who decided that one?

Greatest quote I have found recently is from Steve Jobs, Apple Inc, "Live each day like its your last, cause one day, your going to be right" How true it is.

I thought I had more, but I got a rock

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Dark as a dungeon...

So I sit here tonight, really not doing much. Night shift for my company is a lot of hand holding, and answering email related questions. Not very productive. Which means a 9 hour shift feels like it is 12-15 hours long. I requested days, since that is what i have hired on for, and was told today, "we might be able to get you 2 day shifts next week" I could go on on how crappy this is, but I am going to move on.

So yesterday was my 30th birthday, and after dropping not so subtle hints, my boss had a cake waiting for me when I got here for a 2:30 meeting. The Ninjamunkey family came up here for dinner break, and we sat around in my spacious room, eating waterburger and going on a tour of the plant. While that does not seem like much, it meant the world to me.

This weekend is the big fiesta, and should be a lot of fun. I even think I am going to sing a song. I know I am going to have some drinks, and laughs. Should be a fun time.

Of course the news is still Katrina. I am tired of hearing about it, especially when they keep blaming each other for everything, and the talking heads of news media want to fan the flames. Yeah yeah, enough already. Get the people help, however you can, and move on

with that I close, I have velcro to stick, and I am trying to decide who to stick it to.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Hairbands and Ballads

So its the last day of my 20's. This is my last day to be youthful, and silly. Or so you would think. How did I spend it?

I got up early, as seeing the baby munkey is not very easy lately, as he goes to "school" while I am sleeping, and is long gone nite nite when I get home from work. So up at 7, spent a little while with the little man, and took him to school with mom. We then went to the tanning salon, because at 30, I don't want to look like the underbelly of a beached whale any longer. So we joined a tanning shop, and have gone twice.

We then went home, and started working on cleaning the garage. This has been a 2 year project in the making. Our garage is not like a normal "park your car in here, and that is it" garage. Its a "what the hell do we need this extra blender for? Oh we better keep it incase there is an emergency". So we began cleaning, and hanging shelving, and stuff like that.

We then went to buffalo wild wings for lunch, where the service, the food and the sports on TV was so bad, I found myself reading the menu over and over.

I then came to work, where I have had the distinct pleasure of doing nothing for the past 2 hours. Its nice to be paid for this, but I would gladly give up the money to be at home hanging out with the family.

So anyway, to recap, my 20s are going out with a flutter, and the 30's look to have much of the same in them for me. But sometimes, calm and boring win out over drunken debauchery. Sometimes.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


I am sitting here, listening to Stairway to Heaven on the ipod, wishing I had a normal schedule this week, as I would be home watching Tivo, or *shock*talking to my hot wife. But no, I am trying to configure a dinner bell scheduler. What that has to do with break/fix desktop support is beyond my comprehension.

I have been reading a lot about katrina the last few days. I have yet to really voice my opinion, because everyone else does it so well. Its very odd for me, and I am going to try and express it.

As I begin to dwindle down the days of my 20's, I am reminded how fleeting life is. Watching the interviews pre levee break, how people were shaking thier fists at the storm, daring ma nature to come get them, I thought it was rather funny. I thought the media coverage was a bit heavy, but hey, I am in Texas, and Lousiana is down the road. It was big news.

Then BAM the whole city is flooded, getting worse, water rising to the tops of 3rd floor buildings, blues legends, like Fats Domino, are missing, and it is a crises. Then dumb asses start shooting at helicopters, jackasses are looting for beer and jewelry, and the world is suddenly paying attention. Tsunamis have nothing on this bitch Katrina.

At one point, it dawned on me that this is not something that should happen in America, the land of the free, and home of the 30 pack of beers. This is something you hear about in 3rd world countries. This is where the guys wade through the water, and steal camels (to ride not smoke)or dates or something. Not the french quarter.

I saw pictures of gun toting marshals, and all I could do was imagine the desert behind them, not the friggin superdome. How does this happen? If water washes away Fort Worth, will there be riots over cowboy hats?

My cousin James lives just north of New Orleans, and while I was talking to him on his cell phone yesterday, he was describing the people walking through his neighborhood, just walking north. Very little car traffic, just a steady stream of dirty, wet tired faces. I wanted to cry. He was having trouble dealing with it, because as he said "I cant blame anyone for anything, but New Orleans has gone the way of Atlantis"

Who do you blame at this point? No one. Everyone. The looters, the cops, the engineers, the guy that charges 2 cents more for gas than the other station around the corner. The weathermen. No one.