Thursday, June 29, 2006

Poetry Corner

Hatred of haikus
vitriol stirs inside me
sonnets are better

Friday, June 23, 2006

Lightning Crashes

"The clouds prepare for battle
In the dark and brooding silence
Bruised and sullen stormclouds
Have the light of day obscured
Looming low and ominous
In twilight premature
Thunderheads are rumbling
In a distant overture"

-- Neil Peart, "Jacob's Ladder"

In reading some of the recent posts of bloggers whose writings I deeply envy, it called to mind an event of my own past. We have Annoyed's hilariously funny traumatic past events and the Sage's musing on nature's battle for atmospheric superiority: the thunderstorm.

It got me thinking and what I came up with was a sort of dysfuctional and traumatic emotional Reese's Peanut Butter Cup of my youth. Instead of putting chocolate in my peanut butter, which is like manna, I put thunderstorms in my traumatic past events. Not as tasty, not as good with milk, but easier to blog about.

I used to be petrified of thunderstorms as a kid. I'm sure this was a direct result of my mother being petrified of them, or more specifically, tornadoes. Despite the fact we did not live in America's heartland and have to run to a hole in the ground to shield ourselves from a ferocious wind that seemingly has serious unresolved issues with trailer parks and livestock, my mom and I were petrified of twisters. My area did have a bad one a long time ago, but certainly nothing that would cause our hysteria.

I literally would monitor the weather forecasts for days on end. I would race home from playing on my Huffy bike just to catch the local weather dude drawing on whiteboard maps with magic markers. There was a phone number that you could call and get the latest weather info. If there was such a thing as speed dial back then, it would have held the esteemed #1 entry.

At the first sight of dark clouds, or a rumble of distant thunder, I would feel a tremendous amount of anxiety that I have only felt under extreme circumstances as an adult.

I would actually force myself to fall asleep ahead of an approaching storm in the hopes that I would dream my way past it and wouldn't have to worry about a pitch black whirlwind carrying my house away to a Technicolor land inhabited by little people, witches, and flying monkeys. O, we owe indeed.

Then, there was one night that my parents went out and left me with a babysitter. Right around my bedtime, the outside lit up with glorious and menacing light. Thunder rumbled all around. I was scared. I remember pacing around the living room as I am wont to do when I am nervous.

And then...


The house lit up and shook with furious anger. I nearly lost control of multiple bodily functions. Embarrassing when you're 14-years-old and you have a hot female babysitter.

I kid! I kid! I wasn't 14.

I was 13.

Anyway, we immediately deduced that the house was struck by lightning. We carefully inspected the place, expecting to find embers and smoke in every room. Nothing.

Then we went into the bathroom.

The rug in front of the toilet was damp. The water level in the bowl was low and it was then that I noticed the crack in the tank that was slowly, but methodically leaking water that I was told never to go near.

Then it dawned on me. Lightning hit the friggin can!!!

And then, my imagination got the best of me. What if I was on the throne when it got struck? That would be my final moment. The everlasting image of Dim's death throe would be me, floppy haired, keeled over and face-planted on the tile floor. Plaid pants and Aquaman underoos around my ankles. A fresh issue of Crack'd magazine rigor mortised in my kung-fu grip. My pre-pubescent ass pointing heavenward, defiantly mooning the heavens for levying such an unflattering demise upon me. All while my left ass cheek was branded, emblazoned with the calling card of Death From Above. Upon my butt, a Zorro-like TS, which would look suspiciously like the logo for Twisted Sister, but would represent something infinitely more menacing than Dee Snider: Thunder Storm. "I Wanna Rock".

Since that day, I have grown out of my paralyzing fear of thunderstorms. In fact, I have come to dig them. I love walking in the rain, slowly. I don't even own an umbrella nor do I want one. I love the smell of the rain, how it feels.

Even when there is a distant rumble of thunder, I enjoy the stroll nestled safely in Mother Nature's bosom while madness begins to swirl around.

The other day, I was walking back to the apartment from the laundry room of my complex and it was raining. You know those raindrops the size of frying pans. The ones that hurt when they land on your head. I knew it was coming. I was happily excited to get back to the apartment, throw open the blinds to the sliding door and angle the chair away from the television and toward the courtyard outside.

But it pre-empted my enjoyment just a tad. A few steps out of the laundry room (which locks behind me) and a tremendous and immediate crack of spontaneous thunder and lightning struck nearby.

My casual stroll turned into a frantic run of questionable masculinity. My arms flailed as I hauled ass back to the sanctity of my door stoop. I stood there, breathless, until the next crack of thunder and then fumbled with the metal keys til I found the one to put into the metal doorknob while my metal pocket watch chain hung invitingly from my belt loop. I ran into the apartment and tried to force myself to go to sleep until the storm passed. Hey, fuck off, there are a lot of trees nearby and it tried to get me once already. For all I know, it's trying to finish the job!

So, here I sit today. The windows all around the office look tinted grey. Well, actually they really ARE tinted grey, but they are greyer than usual. Storm's coming. You walk outside and you are met with this earthy scent. The sky is churning, angry and conflicted. It's preparing for battle.

I'm safe inside and can enjoy watching its Shakespearean duel. I can observe this wonder and appreciate it for the beauty it truly is. But there is one thing I can assure you that I will not do.

Use the crapper.

Holding it,

- Dim.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

On Aging

This post by the Sage really got me thinking. Since I just turned 35 (and it hit me pretty hard), I started to think how I would act when I am old. I mean, older.

I used to be quite the poet in my days of youth, but have since given it up for smarmy, sarcastic blog entries. But the thought of aging inspired me to write my first poem in ages. It's completely original and not at all satirical. Really.

When I Am An Old Man, I Shall Not Wear Purple; I Shall Wear As Little Clothing As Possible

When I am an old man, I shall not wear purple; I shall wear as little clothing as possible.
I will scour the mall clad only in a Spagetti-O stained t-shirt, Vote For Pedro boxer shorts, and black motorcycle boots.
I shall spend an unhealthy amount of time staring into the windows of Victoria Secret, Frederick's of Hollywood, and Hot Topic (hey, some goth chicks are smokin' too).
And I shall spend my time ogling women 1/4 my age in their electric blue halter tops (they'll be back in style by 2048) and spend my pension on Southern Comfort, hair weaves, classic movies starring Kate Beckinsale, and steak knives and say we've no money for Metamucil and "the little blue pill".
I shall sit down wherever I want when I am tired
and scratch myself wherever I am itchy
and drive my car at speeds that suit only me
and yell at the youth that they have no idea how hard it was back in the computer age
and make up for stupidity of my youth by knowing more than anyone else.
I shall go out nigh-naked in the rain
and pick the flowers for the wife in other people's gardens
and care not to control my bladder whilst trodding on their shrubbery.

You can wear terrible light blue plaid shirts with Bermuda shorts and dark dress socks hiked up to your wrinkly and knobby knees
and eat dinner at 3:30 in the afternoon and incessantly watch episodes of Matlock before you drift off to sleep before the 6 0'clock news.
You can hoard old newspapers and magazines "because they will be worth money someday" and savor your three squares consisting of Cream of Wheat, prune juice, and Geritol and pray for "regularity".

But now I must have as few clothes as possible
and mooch off of my kids and swear in the street if I fucking want to.
I'll only have friends to dinner if they bring the booze and read only Maxim.
(OK, maybe the occasional Cosmo so I'll know what the wife is thinking)
I'll continue to eat baby back ribs with my original teeth and emerge, triumphant, from any bathroom, with the Maxim (or Cosmo) under my arm as a waft of Lysol emerges in my wake.
Occasionally, I will feign senility and go without the Vote for Pedro boxer shorts
and will grin mischievously as the young women with the electric blue halter tops scurry in fear (while still looking back in amazement)
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear as little clothing as possible.

Too sexy for my walker,

- Dim.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Soccer Fever - I Don't Got It

This is sure to rile up all of my international reader, but I have been trying to follow this World Cup of Soccer thing and I honestly don't get it. I've tried, believe me. But there are a number of things about this game I just don't understand.
  • First of all, if, as a fan, all you want to do is drink to the point of incontinence and destroy the venue you are in regardless of whether things go your way or not, why don't you just petition the powers that be for another Woodsock festival. I think even for me, seeing Limp Bizkit would be more optimal than watching Moldovia and Trinidad and Tobago wrestle to a "nil-nil" draw.
  • Which reminds me. It's a "zero", or "nothing". It's not "nil". Call it the same as all the other sports. The only one that gets a pass is tennis. They can still call it "love", because it was derived from the French word for "egg" and I like eggs. And I like love. See? I'm not a total bastard. So there.
  • Why the hell can't anyone score?! Let's look at this more. The field is approximately 8 miles long and 4 miles wide. The goal is the size of the Great Wall of China which looks like it is being guarded by one of the Lollipop Guild. It takes a team about 45 minutes to get the ball into the area where the goal area is actually in the TV shot and then they shoot it wide and out of bounds. This happens about twice in the span of an entire match. If the ball actually reaches the goalie, the crowd goes fucking bananas. Sounds riveting.
  • Any sport where a two goal lead is "insurmountable" and when the headlines read some team was "crushed" 3-0 is just flat out dumb. These teams score even less than me in high school. It's not fun to experience and it's sure as shit not fun to watch.
  • And in the rare, once in a Hale-Bopp comet visit occasion that someone does score, their methods of celebration are completely lame. In hockey, you raise your stick and your teammates skate up to you and pat you on the head. In football, you spike the ball, do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight. In baseball, you get grab-assed, high five your teammates, or do the congratulatory hand jesture du jour, the fist tap. In soccer, you put your arms out to the side and run around like a mentally disturbed airplane, trying to avoid your teammates who, like fucking idiots, are frantically trying to chase you down like you are on fire.
  • Sorry, I have been kicked in the shin before and I didn't go down like I was shot with a bazooka.
  • And after they have been shot with heavy artillery, there is no motorized cart that takes them away once they smarten up and realize that there's no friggin way they want to run around like a chicken with its head cut off anymore. Instead, the Three Stooges (wooo...aaahhaaa....ahhheeee...ahhooo) scurry out to the field, throw you on a stretcher, and carry you off, ne'er to be seen again. I actually think they take the injured player behind the stadium and shoot them. Which is the same fate suffered by those players who regrettably score on their own goal. For real.
  • The penalties are called by referrees who produce different colored cards in the face of the offender. Lame. If I need a decoder ring to figure out who's in trouble, you need a different system. REVERSE! SKIP! UNO!!!
  • The hair styles. Apparently, the eastern hemisphere didn't get the memo that mullets are no longer "da bomb".

There are probably a bunch of others. I'll update the post as I think of them. In the meantime, I think I'll go watch a tape of this. At least you can use your friggin hands.

Viva Italia!

- D.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

2:45 AM

I'm Italian, so I get weirded out easily. Like I tend to look at the clock a lot when it hits 11:11 and 9:11 and think there is some strange significance to it. Maybe it's ingrained in me to make note when it happens and it actually happens no more often than when I look at the clock and it is 10:24. But it feels like it does. Who knows.

Yesterday, a friend of mine sent me a link about one of my favorite musical artists ever, Elliott Smith. It was pretty sad to read the guy that the article is about lament the fact that he never got a chance to talk to Elliott because he would really want to tell Elliott that "it's going to be OK". Xteen echoed that this would be something that she would want to say too. I think everyone who knew Elliott through his music would want to say that.

I took Elliott's death terribly hard because of the immense respect I had for him as a songwriter and as a really humble person. Hearing someone talk in depth about the interpretations of his music was quite melancholy. When I met him, he was painfully shy...really hating the people who pushed up to him and pulled him away. It was only when I sheepishly approached him that I felt like I was different from the people who just wanted a piece of him. I asked if it would be OK for him to sign a poster and he asked what my name was so he could personalize it. I thanked him for playing one of my favorite songs that night and he barely knew what to say. And when I asked for one last favor, a picture with him, his frail voice said "OK" and I managed to get a little smile out of him. I thanked him and went on my way.

So last night, I'm watching a horrible Red Sox game and a fantastic hockey game all while to unsuccessfully stay awake to watch Neko Case on Letterman. I crash on the couch around 11 and wake up, still in work clothes around 1:30.

Zombie-like, I stumble into the bedroom, get out of the work clothes and collapse on the bed. I know this isn't going to be good.

This isn't going to be good, because I have some sort of sleeping disorder. In addition to having untreated sleep apnea (I am NOT wearing one of those Frank Booth masks...I tried, believe me), whenever I wake up from a sleep on the couch only to go to bed, I go immediately into the Shiny Happy People stage and start having very wacked out, disturbing dreams. These dreams usually consist of me dreaming that I am asleep and in that sleep, I am also dreaming. I have this weird sensation that I am aware of where I am and it usually feels like I am in whatever room I am actually asleep in. Sort of a waking dream. In this dream within a dream, I know that I am sleeping and am desperately trying to wake up for some reason. I am holding my breath, terrified, silently screaming for Xteen to wake me up. I have to "wake up" in my dreams before I wake up in "real life". I know this doesn't make any sense, but it happens a lot when I am asleep before going to bed and it really fucks me up. What's worse is that it happens with such regularity in this situation, that I totally psych myself into knowing it's going to be a rough ride as soon as my head hits the pillow.

The dream that bothered me last night had to do with Elliott. I dreamt that we were friends, good friends, but that I knew his fate. I remember being emotionally drained...crying in the dream, trying to save him from what was destined to happen. I remember screaming to Xteen to wake me up, but nothing would come out of my mouth. Finally, I wrestled myself out of sleep's clutch, gasping, sweating, exhaused. I look at the clock and it reads 2:45.

Even in that haze, I made the connection. On Elliott's Either/Or disc, there is a song titled 2:45 AM:

i’m going out sleepwalking
where mute memories start talking
the boss that couldn’t help but hurt you
and the pretty thing he made desert you
i’m going out now like a baby
a naïve unsatisfiable baby
grabbing onto whatever’s around
for the soaring high or the crushing down
with hidden cracks that don’t show
but that constantly just grow
i’m looking for the man that attacked me
while everybody was laughing at me
you beat it in me that part of you
but i’m gonna split us back in two
tired of living in a cloud
if you’re gonna say shit now you’ll do it out loud
it’s 2:45 in the morning
and i’m putting myself on warning
for waking up in an unknown place
with a recollection you’ve half erased
looking for somebody’s arms to
wave away past harms
i’m walking out on center circle
the both of you can just fade to black
i’m walking out on center circle
been pushed away and i’ll never go back

Not sure what this all means. Like I said, I'm Italian. I get weirded out by shit like this. All I know is that I'm really not looking forward to going to sleep tonight.

- Dim.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A Craptastic Day

"I woke up in a great mood...I don't know what the hell happened."

- Mike Damone, Fast Times at Ridgemont High

I did wake up in a pretty good mood, primarily because I didn't feel like a metal spike was being shoved in my ear for a change.

Let me back up. My craptastic day actually started last night. Wait...last week. Wait...a few weeks ago.

My left ear is all frigged up. It's been blocked up for some time now and, when it started leaking ectoplasm, I figured it was time to call Egon and the rest of the Ghostbusters and get the damn thing exorcised.

I went to the doctor a few weeks ago and she confirmed my ear infection and waxy buildup. She gave me an antibiotic and said that when I was done with the dosage, to go and get one of those over-the-counter earwax removal kits and go to town.

My treatment ended a few days ago and I went to the store to get some Spic and Span, uh, I mean Murine Ear Drops. Come to appreciate the disembodied ear in the ad, because what it really means is that, when you use these, you'll wish you had lopped your own ear off with the edge of a manila folder.

I read the box and noticed some useful warnings:

"Never use instruments like cotton swabs, toothpicks, or hairpins to remove wax from ear canal.

"Toothpicks? Hairpins? Why stop there? They should have continued the list: meat thermometers, nail files, sharpened pencils, hardcover Harry Potter books, a mustard yellow LeCar...

Then, it continued..."Remove hearing aids while using this product."

Okey doke.

Then, I hit the jackpot:

"Do not use if you have ear drainage or discharge, ear pain, irritation, or rash in the ear or are dizzy".

We have bingo! I still had some leftover ectoplasmic residue, so I held off on the Roto-Rooter for a couple of days until that dried up. Gross, I know. Sorry. But hey. What can I do?

So, I give the ear a few days of ecto-free drainage before I decide to try to unblock it with the evil Murine.

The ingredients say this:

"Alcohol (6.3%), anhydrous glycerin, citric acid, polysorbate 20, sodium citrate, tartaric acid."

This is a lie.

The ingredients are actually: sulfuric acid, a million microscopic razor blades, and tabasco sauce.

I put a few drops in my ear and, in about 10 seconds, am met with the most excruciating pain I have ever felt. This was accompanied by being serenaded by the Rice Krispies and pressure that would even make Chuck Yeager weak-kneed.

This went on, unabated, for 15 minutes, while I sweated profusely and paced around the apartment, cradling my exploding head, praying for death. Actually, a little less heroically, I was praying for numbness. Oh, and my ear was now even more blocked.

Step 2 of the process is to fill this curiously shaped rubber bulb with lukewarm water and shoot a stream of water, at absurd speeds, directly into your ear canal. Not sure, but I think that getting water in my ear was the problem in the first place. But I follow the directions and now, after my ear enema, my ear is killing me, the entire left side of my body is soaking wet, and I'm hearing the sound that you hear when you hold a big sea shell to your ear at the beach. Only ALL the time. That's a tad annoying.

The pain finally subsided and I went to bed. I decided I would visit Dr. Mengele again and see, if she couldn't unblock the ear, at least Van Gogh me so I wouldn't have to deal with it anymore.I call for an appointment and they can see me at 9:30. That's pretty much where the good news stopped.I get in the car and proceed to the doctor's office. Long story, but they are pretty far usually a 45-minute drive. Don't ask. I hop on the highway before the highway before the highway I need to take and it is beyond gridlock. 45 minutes after I left, I was 4 miles down the road and was already late for my appointment. I called to tell them I would be late and they rescheduled me for 11:30. I then said the stupidest thing I have ever said:

"If I get there early, will I be seen early?"

I should have known that I would not be getting there early. In fact, I wouldn't be getting there at all.I get on the second highway and I am making up some time. It's weird weather in New's a little cold and drizzly. You know, the kind of weather that always fucks up you car's inside temperature, resulting in it being virtually impossible to get rid of the annoying, yet not debilitating fog that coats the windshield.

I'm going about 65 in the fast lane when...BLAMMO. My windshield and all windows in the car instantaneously fog up so I can't see a thing. Literally NOTHING. Instead of being bright and wiping off the windshield with my hand and rolling down the windows, I am dim and frantically turning and pulling every knob on the dashboard. I think I even pushed in the cigarette lighter. No luck...I can't see in front of me, behind me, or to my side.

I pretty much just guess that no one is around and miraculously get over 3 lanes and into the breakdown lane without hitting anything. Then, I notice the temp gauge is on hot and the oil light is flickering. I make it off the highway and into a parking lot. Wait an hour and a half for a tow and get to sit in the tow truck with a driver who isn't in the chatting mood, until we pass a local bar near my place which he loved. At this point, he became Mr. Personality-Plus for 5 seconds until reality set in and he realized that he is towing a 2000 Ford Taurus and in the passenger seat is an idiot who wanted to know if he should put the car in neutral after they hooked it up to the truck, completely oblivious that every car made after 1983 has front-wheel drive. I should have just asked him to drop me off there so I could get hammered.

I bring it to the dealer (who just replaced the water pump two weeks ago) and, when I told the guy there of my tale, he made a face like he just got an atomic wedgie from Vin Diesel at the very moment that the latest Nick Lachey song came on the radio. When the guy fixing your car and taking your money makes that're in deep shit now, Francis.

He says the two words that I hate more than "free syphilis"..."heating core".

Oh shit.

When a car mechanic says that phrase, it makes a man shudder to his very innards. Much like when, in high school, his girlfriend says "I think I'm pregnant". In both cases, your stomach sinks, you feel like you got kicked in the balls, and you know it is going to cost you dearly one way or another.

I left the shitbox at the dealer and walked home, about a mile and a half in the rain, and waited for "the call".

"Sir, sir, Mr. Sir Dim Sir, uh, sir, unfortunately..."When the mechanic starts off with "unfortunately", you're in even deeper shit than you were before, Francis."...sir, it is the heating core sir. It rusted."


"The parts, are like nothing...less than $100. But it's a 5-hour job. Do you know where the heating core is?"

I didn't even know my car had front-wheel drive.

"Of course, I know where the heating core is. It's next to the Johnson rod."

Apparently, the heating core is buried pretty far in the hood, behind an 8-foot thick steel plate, the entire hardcover Harry Potter novels, and, curiously, a mustard yellow LeCar.

Now, these guys get paid more per hour than Heidi Fleiss and I can't even get a handy out of the deal. He high-balls me a quote only to call back to "give me a deal" since I just dropped an ass-load on a new water pump.

So, here I sit. No car. No beer. Half deaf. Wet. And literally watching the money fly out of my wallet. Then again, that could be from all the LSD I just did.

Hello Rusty Jones, goodbye Dim's hard-earned money.

Hope your day isn't filled with rusted heating cores and torturous ear drops. Then again, it wouldn't be. You're not Dim.

- Dim.

P.S. Hey, blogger sucks. I can't do much with images other than left justifying them, so if anyone can help, hook me up. I've had a shitty enough day without being able to center my friggin images.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Kitchens, Etc.

My kitchen and I aren't really getting along anymore.

It's OK, because I think we have a mutual disrepect. It knows that I hate it. It knows that I swear at it under my breath and sometimes right to its face. I know that the second I leave the area, the kitchen and all the appliances and cookware talk about how much of a bastard I am and how they are going to "make me pay". But I'm a human. I'm superior in thought to cast iron pans and blenders. Well, most of the time.

My issues with the kitchen are various and sundry. And also in no order of importance.

Not one to harp on biological inadequacies for karmic reasons, but the kitchen is a little...small. For our needs anyway, since Xteen and I really like to cook. People come over and they call our kitchen "cute" and I hear the cabinets snicker at me. It's cute in the same way that the Problem Child was cute. When it's not your kitchen, it's just precious. When it's yours, it's a demon seed.

One of the problems is that the cabinets can't hold our wealth of cookware. And, for some reason, every pan that I use most often, ends up on the bottom of all the other pans, which results in a panalanche every time I try to get at them. And this is why I think my kitchen is out to get me.

Whenever I clean a pan I have used, I haphazardly, yet with purpose, throw it into the cabinet on top of all the other pans, with regard to only ease of access and balance on top of the other cookware. I scoff at ridiculously feng shui-ish concepts like "how they nest" and "are they with other members of their cooking family". Frig off.

So, when I go to bed, all the pans get together and decide to mess with me. They disorganize themselves in the cabinet overnight, so all the pans I use most regularly are now on the bottom and piled on top are various and useless cookware, like the "used once-every-five-years" colossal turkey roaster and that one mutant-sized pan that comes in every collection. You know, the one that says it sole use is for cooking smelts and fiddleheads, but not at the same time. That one. So, our non-stick, our skillets, our grill pan. All buried. The 86-gallon stock pot. That one's right in reach. Calphalon. Fine cookware by day. Conniving instruments of sabotage by night.

Next up on the list of complaints is our dishwasher. Somehow, we are able to fill this thing up in one meal. However, the son of a bitch takes about 30 minutes to unload. And it's not a big fan of brevity. It's entire wash/"dry" cycle lasts approximately seven and a half hours. There's a reason why "dry" is in quotation fingers. And I'll get to that later.

Actually, I'll get to that now instead. We have to run the dishwasher pretty much before we go to bed, or before we go on vacation because of the tremendous amount of time it takes and the fact that it's as loud and annoying as Sam Kinison. So, last night, we ran it when we go to bed. Xteen usually wakes up before me and she unloads it. I wake up to find 95% of the contents of the dishwasher load on about three towels that are spread out all over the kitchen counters. Every single item on the towels is soaking wet.

So, I say to Xteen, "Why's everything on towels?" And she, also recognizing that they are soaking wet, proclaims, "Because they are soaking wet." To which I incredulously gasp, "WHY??"

Silly me. I thought that a 6 hour dry cycle would, I don't know, DRY the fucking dishes!!! Apparently, all it does is cook whatever is in there, because if you try to empty it as soon as it shuts off, anything you touch will be three degrees less than the surface of the sun, yet still, miraculously, soaking wet. Everyone else's dishwasher dries their stuff. Mine mocks me.

Finally, yesterday, I got in an all and out brawl with two identical twin potholders. In the afternoon, I started to cook some lentil soup for lunch. I put the potholder down near the stove while stirring the soup, without realizing that, while the stove and the potholders usually have a simpatico regarding their disdain of me, that they must have had some kind of squabble among themselves, because, I smell something burning.

I look down and find the potholder engulfed in flames, like a tinder stick. Apparenly, the stove didn't like potholder so close because of their spat and flicked out a flame, which barely touched said potholder. Now, if I were designing potholders, I wouldn't soak them in jet fuel as part of their manufacturing process. But, as it turns out, I didn't buy the flame-retardant potholders. No. The ones I got were flame retarded. Bit difference.

I tried to salvage the potholder, but I could not resuscitate it. Xteen told me to "let it go". I threw it in the garbage.

Fast forward to dinner. I'm using the deceased potholder's twin brother and boy, is he harboring a grudge. Instead of saying, "Dear Dim. Please know that I appreciate you efforts to save my brother, yet his demise was not due to you. It was because of that asshole stove", it decides to lash out at me.

Unbeknownst to me, I spill exactly two molecules of hydrogen and one molecule of oxygen on this miserable thing. To put that in perspective, I think even the dishwasher would have been able to dry the amount of water that was on this thing.

I grab the broiler pan from the oven and immediately feel the thermal force of a thousand suns in my right middle finger. Apppropriate, since I throw the pan down and, while examining the already forming blister, extend only that finger to the stove, potholder, and the standing mixer (it was looking at me funny).

Considering how quickly and painfully I conducted that heat, you would have thought that I was soaking in a pool during a thunderstorm, licking a metal flagpole, just as someone tosses in a plugged in toaster.

Now, I'm splitting time between the laptop and the kitchen, getting a tomato sauce dinner going. I'm trying to play nice. We'll see how it goes...

- Dim.

Update (4:50pm): OK, I guess we're playing for keeps now. The gloves are off. The cookware has enlisted the aid of the actual food itself in its devious plot. I go to stir the sauce and it spits at me. Two scalding hot drops jump from the pot and onto my hand. That's it. We're throwing down.
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