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Seething Cakes of Hatred

Making pancakes, as I learned at AP's birthday bash at the beach this weekend, is an unbelievably tedious chore. I don't know why I...

Saturday, April 29, 2006


Note: This is one of those posts that scare me. I have thought about taking it down, because I am afraid it will make me look pathetic. I am afraid people will say, "Oh, here we go again. Why can't he get over it and just go back to being funny!?" I really am doing well. I'm learning about the Buddhist philosophy of acceptance and detachment. I'M meeting some great people at softball. I'm losing weight and getting tan and enjoying my friends. But I'm posting this dream anyway, because sometimes I still cry. Sometimes I still have dreams that make me wonder when (not IF) the pain will go away...

The comments I've seen so far make me so glad I posted this. HTTO readers are the best!

Last night I had a dream that I owned a very good, sweet and loving dog. My little dog had a favorite toy - a puffy cloth toy covered in fake wool. My dog and I were best friends - inseparable - and his disposition was loyal and gentle. For reasons I couldn't' figure out, my father decided to make the dog turn mean. He tied my dog in the backyard. Then he took my dog's beloved toy and put it on the other side of a big fence in full view of my little dog. His plan was to frustrate the dog so much it would turn wild and attack me.

I came into the backyard and immediately sensed something different. My dog was looking at me with a crazed look. He actually seemed to be fighting the urge to attack me. When I saw what my father had done, I began to mourn the loss of my dog. I knew that my pet was ruined and would no longer love me. Suddenly, it occurred to me that if I wanted to help my dog I could try climbing over the fence to get his toy. I managed to get over the fence and take hold of the toy, but I suddenly became very distracted. I had the urge to stay on that side of the fence and take care of other seemingly urgent, but unidentified, issues that needed my attention. I almost forgot about my little dog waiting on the other side of the fence.

"Be relevant," I told myself. I said it out loud, and that helped me focus on the task at hand. "Be relevant," I said again as I climbed over the fence. My dog was so very happy to have his toy back, and he was instantly soothed back into sweetness and love.

I am trying to figure out what this means. I know it is about obsession. I know it is about loss of love.

I know that I am the dog, but I am also the owner. Once I had a person in my life that I loved so much my every happiness seemed tied to this person and our relationship. When I lost it, I lost my happiness. I became like a wild animal, wanting to lash out at myself. Like that little dog, I couldn't take my eyes off of what I loved. I was so close to having what I wanted, but it was held out of my reach. Every day for so long, I've stood at that fence wishing for something I can't have. And maybe I was never supposed to have it anyway.

The only person who can save me from becoming hateful and angry is myself. I understand why I climbed over the fence in the dream. I needed to take charge and realize that the obstacles to what I want are not insurmountable.

But in the dream, why did I get lost for a moment? And how did I regain my focus by ordering myself to be relevant?

In technology, relevance can be defined as the ability to retrieve material that satisfies the needs of the user. To be relevant means to be related to the matter at hand. Maybe I have been focused on something that is irrelevant. The other day a friend said to me, "Toddy, what if Thor was the one? What if you were meant to be with him?" Although my friend meant well, that thought was so devastating and has continued to haunt me. What if Thor was my destiny? I can't accept that my dreams were all tied up with one person and if I don't have that person, I will not have happiness again.

I can't believe that over four months have passed since our relationship ended. My progress is slow and painful. It is exhausting. I want it to just stop. But I can't give in, and I can't give up. I must focus on what is relevant right now. If only I knew what that were.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Go Ahead! Bring Your Kid to Work!!

As soon as I found out that today my office would be overrun with miniature versions of the people who drive me nuts on a daily basis, I scheduled a vacation day.

It is almost nine a.m. and, instead of listening to parents yelling at their kids to stop crawling under the cubicles, I'm sitting here at home in my polka dot flannel pajama bottoms and a green thermal underwear shirt. (No, I don't subscribe to GQ)

This morning I had time to read a couple articles in the latest issue of Poets & Writers. There is a man on the cover of the current issue, and he looks just like a Q-tip. (Meanwhile, at the office, kids across America are being handed reams of paper recycling and being sent to the shredder. I'm sure they can't wait to grow up and work in an office like Mommy does.)

After I finished reading articles about writing and publishing, I spent a couple minutes beating myself up for not writing more and for not yet publishing anything. Then, I updated all my podcasts in iTunes.

Next, I checked the latest World of Warcraft census, and I'll soon be playing WoW for hours. Right after I get my big mug of coffee and finish listening to The Instance podcast.

Later I'll go to softball practice and get some exercise and fresh air.

I am sorry for thinking "Bring Your Kid to Work Day" was a dumb idea; I take it back.

As a public service, the Jive translation of today's post can be found here.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Crying Hooker

One of my hobbies is coming up with good names for a bar. The Handsome Prince and I came up with "Fat Linda Rondstadt's Bar & Grill" back in May of 2004. I also like "Pretentious Faggots Bar & Grill".

Last night I had a crazy dream that I made out with a hooker, and she started crying because she was so touched that I wanted nothing more from her than a kiss.

It all started when I was talking to Heather Locklear and she suddenly asked me to kiss her. I asked if she was serious, and she was like, "Of course! Kiss me! I've been wondering how long you'd make me wait!!"

So we made out until I got annoyed because Heather Locklear's hair kept falling in her face and getting in my mouth. After Heather Locklear and I stopped kissing, she asked me to kiss her hooker friend that was hanging out with us. So I very obediently kissed the hooker. That is when the hooker cried. From happiness. These were not tears of sorrow, trust me. It made me happy to know I had touched the hooker so deeply and in a very different way from the way most people touch hookers deeply.

I believe this dream is telling me to open a bar called The Crying Hooker. But if you are an expert at dream analysis and see a deeper meaning, please feel free to share it with me lest I make a terrible mistake.

Monday, April 24, 2006


I'm so sunburned, and pretty worn out after two games yesterday. I had a great time, and I only got weepy one time. It happened when I saw the banner at the concession stand that said, "Welcome Back Rose City Softball!"

I mean, I am part of Rose City Softball. How could you not get weepy about that?

We lost both games. Now, let me repeat. I had a great time. And I share this loss with you so that when I write about winning, it will be that much sweeter.

Anyway, during the second game, after two strikes and three balls, I was at the plate hoping to get a hit. The pitcher had walked several of our players, so odds were sort of in my favor to get to first base. My team, The Cubs, was yelling from the dugout, "Make him pitch to you, Toddy! A ball is as good as a hit!"

So, I didn't swing at the pitch. And the umpire shouted, "Huuiah!"

I stood there, not knowing what to do. I tried to read the body language of the other players. What does Huuiah mean?

"What just happened?" I asked.

Many people from my team, and some of the guys in the outfield, responded, "You're out."

So, I guess Huuiah is another way of saying "strike!" I have so much to learn about this game.

Oh, and we lost to the Gay Men's Chorus. No offense to those of you into that sort of thing, but I thought we'd win for sure. For one thing, we have four lesbians on our team.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Thing in My Ear

Verdi, I am sorry I haven't called you back, and Katehopeeden, I still owe you a call, and OH MY GOD, Jodi, forgive me for not returning your call. I don't think we've spoken since you moved! If you've e-mailed me lately, I assure you your response is coming. Your message has been marked with a little gold gMail star telling me not to forget you.

It's just that I can't tear myself away from a new toy I got. No, not my computer or the truck or even World of Warcraft. The thing is, my cell phone went kaput, so I upgraded. Now that I have my SLVR, three parts of my day have changed dramatically.

The mornings are better, because I listen to the Kidd Kraddick Warm-up Show podcasts on the way to work. This show, produced in Dallas, TX, is the only morning radio show that regularly causes me to laugh out loud. When I was a waiter in McKinney, Texas, I didn't have to get to work until about 11 a.m. on most days, but I still woke up and listened to Kidd's show every morning at 8 a.m. while I sat by the pool with my morning coffee. Now I drive my truck to work and listen to my favorite Texans and feel like I'm back in Big D, only without the stifling heat!

My workouts are better because of the great songs I am listening to, but, in particular, I've deemed Venus Hum's "Soul Sloshing" possibly the best elliptical machine music ever made. Apparently 116 beats per minute is the best tempo for a mid-work out stride. Not too fast and not too slow.

Finally, work is better because I can drown out The Man in The Next Row Who Makes Me Want to Claw My Skin Off as He Drones on His Phone All Day Long Without Ever Hanging Up and/or Taking a Breath. Instead, I listen to World of Warcraft podcasts. Some of them are good, and some are horrendous, but none of them are "cool". I mean, it's not like I live with my mom or anything. I just have nerdish tendencies. And I am trying to counteract the podcast listening and World of Warcraft playing with copious bone-crushing and muscle aching bouts of softball practice and weight training. So, the next time you hear "Soul Sloshing," and you get to the "drumline" part of the song (when the snare drums fire up for the final chorus), maybe you will feel happy inside like I do, and you'll forgive me for spending more time with iTunes than I do with you.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Little League

I knew that I should go with The Toddtender on my first trip to the batting cages. But, after being home sick for a couple days, I decided last night to go practice batting by myself. And, no, that is not a euphemism.

Several of the batting cages were being used, so I went down to the one at the end, set the machine for "Slow Pitch Softball" and positioned myself over the plate the way I was taught at practice.

The first ball came in low, but I swung anyway. Missed.
The second ball seemed low too, so I let it go by.
The third, fourth and fifth balls were, like, knee level, but I figured I'd try to hit them. God, that hurt my arms to swing at such a low angle.

After ten or fifteen pitches, I was mad. Yes, I'm pretty new to softball, but I was relatively successful a couple of weeks ago at batting practice. I knew I couldn't be that bad.

I stomped out of the batting cage and, still holding my bat in case I needed to make a point, went to the front desk.

"Is there any way to adjust the height on those machines?"

The guy at the front desk told me that there wasn't. "Wrigley Field batting cage has a higher arc, if you want to try that one. And the one at the end, Fenway Park, is the kids' batting cage."

Wha? The kids cage? I was practicing in the kids' cage. How very Will Ferrell of me.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Hot Toddy: Model Citizen

Yesterday I sent in my juror response for jury duty.

However, before mailing the form to the courthouse, I accidentally spilled a vodka tonic on it. I soaked up as much as possible before mailing it, but I imagine the smell will still be pretty strong when some poor county clerk opens the envelope.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Nightmarish Weekend

Most people have heard of the actor's nightmare. You find yourself on stage with no knowledge of what show you are performing or what your lines are supposed to be. I've had this nightmare many times.

Saturday night I'll experience a waking nightmare known as "The Writer's Nightmare". This event is like jumping without a parachute from an airplane. Then you land on a train headed straight for a painted canvas that looks like a tunnel but is really just covering a wall so you jump off and roll off an embankment into a canyon and land in a river inhabited by crocodiles. It should be very enjoyable.

I participated in the first nightmare a couple years ago and (somehow) created a scene based on the lyrics to a very strange song. My favorite surprise that night was that a Greek chorus found its way into my scene. That Greek chorus saved me.

What if I am not so blessed this year? What if the muse does not whisper helpful hints in my ear ("Use a Greek chorus, Toddy") this time?

My own personal writer's nightmare is that I will produce a script that goes something like this:

Two ladies and two men are standing on stage.

LADY ONE: Hi Joan. That is a nice dress.
LADY TWO: Do you want it?
LADY ONE: No thanks.

The ladies and men are silent for a few minutes. Suddenly, MAN ONE speaks.

MAN ONE: I want that dress.
MAN TWO: I want it too.

LADY ONE: Why would you want her dress?
LADY TWO: That is crazy!

Everyone laughs. They are silent for a few more minutes.

The End

If you're in the area and want to see me sweat, come on out. There will definitely be drinking afterwards.

As requested by Debbi, here is the link to the script I wrote two years ago when I participated in the event.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Dreams Do Come True

Yesterday I was last to work because I was having a dream that I was late to work, so I overslept. True story.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Bandit

Juju is over at her desk laughing so hard right now because she just met "The Bandit". I nicknamed this guy at work "The Bandit" because he dressed as a burglar one Halloween, and I wrote a blog post about him during my very first month of blogging.

When I realized Juju had never read the post about The Bandit, I immediately sent it to her, and now I have the privilege of hearing her giggling at her desk. I especially love when she tries to stifle her laughter.

I don't think I have ever once reprinted a blog entry, but hearing Juju's laughter makes me think I should make an exception today.

After she read this, Juju said, "It's funny because I can picture you doing this..."

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Am I in a Movie?

Sometimes I do things that you would only see in a very bad romantic comedy or a sit-com. A few minutes ago I was sitting at my desk, and a cute guy from an office upstairs was standing nearby waiting to talk to a coworker who was on the phone. The cute guy dressed up as a burglar for Halloween this year, and he looked really sexy in his mask and stocking cap. He has aroused passions in me as only a criminal can.

I was about to pour myself some coffee from my sleek little stainless steel thermos as he approached my desk and started talking to me. We were discussing the view out my window and I was looking up at him smiling. Suddenly my leg felt very warm, and I looked down to see that I had been pouring coffee from my thermos directly onto my desk. Nowhere. Near. My. Mug.

He didn't notice.

Of course, I am neither quick or clever when a cute guy is around, so I promptly pointed out to him what I had done and commented that I was, indeed, the dumbest person to ever walk the earth. Yeah, way to flirt. Good tactic. Isn't that the first rule of sexual attraction? Always Draw Attention to Socially Retarded Behavior.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Cottage Cheese and Me

I gag when I eat cantaloupe. It disgusts me. There is only one thing as bad as cantaloupe, and that is cottage cheese.

I am sitting at my desk with about six ounces of cottage cheese, and I am going to try to eat it for lunch without crying. God as my witness, I will get this crap down my throat even if I have to grimace and whine as I chew.

Why am I torturing myself? Is it not enough that I stayed at softball practice for 4 hours on Sunday when some people left after 2 hours? Don't I already deserve a medal for taking the stairs yesterday all day when my muscles were so sore I could barely walk? Am I that much of a masochist?

Well, yes, actually, I kind of enjoy pain, but that is another story for another daddy.

The fact is, I decided to do a "duathlon" at the office gym. I was sort of chuckling to myself when I signed up, because it wasn't even a triathlon. I mean, it's only two thlons. Big whoop.

I tried it today, and oh my god. Now I'm thinking, "Wow! That was only two thlons!?! What if I tried to do three?!?!" It was surprisingly tiring. I can't be the slowest duathlon participant. I just can't. I have much to prove here.

And that is why I am eating cottage cheese. Here is me eating my third bite of cottage cheese just now, and I am not trying to be funny in this picture.

This is my natural reaction to cottage cheese.

The things I do in the name of physical fitness.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

This is Me

I doubt you would even recognize me tonight. This is Hot Toddy writing, but I am almost unrecognizable even to myself. The following sentiments are so foreign, so unfamiliar to me.

I just want to say that the best feeling I have experienced in a long, long time is the amazing vibration through my hands and arms as the bat hits the ball, and I watch it sail far into the distance - much further than I ever imagined I could hit a softball. I'm not joking. My hands were tingling and stinging after softball practice today, because, apparently, I am a decent hitter. The catcher, who has played on the league for a few years now, actually said, "I wish I could hit like that," after I hit the ball today.

That can't possibly be as much of a shock to you as it is to me. When I step up to the plate I can hear the derisive voices of my junior high and high school peers telling me I suck. The echoes of juvenile laughter ring through my ears, and I have lost the game before I even grab the bat.

But today was like living a dream. Some of the guys gave me some advice about where to place my hands on the bat. They warned me not to swing too early. They showed me how far away from the plate I am supposed to stand. And because they cared enough to teach me how to be better, I stepped into each pitch with a power I didn't know I had. They yelled at me to stop watching the ball and run to first base, but they didn't understand that I had to watch the ball fly through the air after I hit it. I could simply not believe I was the one who had hit the ball over everyone's heads, so I had to watch the ball fly through the air. I will have to work on that. Just hit the ball and then look away. I'm still trying to get used to the idea that maybe I won't be a big joke on the field this summer. Traditionally, I have not been that guy. I'm always the one who strikes out or just barely hits the ball with the tip of my bat.

If there is anything more exciting than hearing the crack of the bat as it smacks into the ball, I don't know what it is. Sometimes we tell ourselves who we are, and we draw lines in the sand and declare boundaries for ourselves. But those limitations are our own inventions. That is not who we are.

You only know who you are when you go outside the boundaries you have established for yourself. Can you believe I just said that? Who is this guy who plays softball and is a decent hitter? Who is this guy who catches a pop fly and then cheers for himself and does a little happy dance because he can't believe the ball stayed in his glove? This is me. Believe it or not, this is me.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Miracle on Davis Street


What I am about to tell you may cause you to question your reality. Your spiritual foundation may feel a bit shaky after you read this account of last night's miracle at CC Slaughters. This is an eerie tale - a tale of the supernatural. I have never witnessed anything like what I saw last night. And, to validate this unbelievable tale, I have photographic evidence, which I will share with everyone in the toaster oven today.

Ms. Karma and I were sitting casually at the bar (sometimes we sit at the bar very formally, and we ask for finger bowls, but not this time) when some condensation from my gin and tonic was absorbed by the cocktail napkin under my drink. I do not know what prompted me to do what I did next, but now I can see that a force beyond my understanding prodded me into action.

As Ms. Karma blathered on and on about some nonsense that had little or nothing to do with me (boring!), I unfolded the napkin. I guess needed something to do to keep me awake, because her stories were really bad last night. One of them went like this:

"Oh my gosh, Toddy, this morning I was coming into work and then I got into some traffic and at one point I was, like, 'where did all this traffic come from' - and then I was cut off by somebody!" I nodded and waited for the punch line. Ms. Karma noticed my anxious expression and realized I was anticipating some sort of point. "That's all," she said.

So, you can see why I was preoccupied with a cocktail napkin. That napkin turned out to be a powerful conductor of profound symbolic manifestations. When I opened the napkin and laid it out on the bar, I noticed the light from underneath highlighted the wet spots of the open napkin. I began to pick at these spots so that the surface of the bar was visible through these "portals" I was creating. Once I opened the portals, I stared at the napkin as Ms. Karma told a story about ironing a shirt or something. "Then I just pushed the iron across the fabric and all the wrinkles went away!! That's all."

Suddenly, I saw it. My personal message. I gazed into the light emanating through the napkin. I felt an energy shift within the bar, and I reached out and grabbed Ms. Karma's arm.

"Oh my god, you are not going to believe this, Ms. Karma. Look at my napkin."

"But I was about to tell you how I refilled a salt shaker one time!"

"Just look, Ms. Karma!" She stared at the napkin and I helped her see the vision. "Look, it is the Cingular wireless logo."

The Cingular wireless logo was made manifest in my lowly cocktail napkin. I always knew I was special in a Joan of Arc kind of way. People heard Joan's words and thought she was insane. People read my words and feel really confused and sort of thankful they are not me. Joan and I are the same. We are messengers.

People, heed my words. Make the switch to Cingular wireless if they are not already your wireless provider. You and I will be bound, not only by the force of my cocktail napkin, but by free mobile to mobile calling.

Look upon the amazing Cingular wireless napkin. Remember the glory of what you are about to witness. Tell everyone you know. If you can make a pilgrimage, come see for yourself the napkin that I have in my coat or at home or in the truck. (I know I have it somewhere.)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Infatuation Overload

I have so many crushes going on right now, I can't even handle it. Maybe it is because spring is coming. (You're not supposed to capitalize spring, are you? Unless that is someone's name - like "Spring Phoenix" or something, right?)

Spring is coming (or if it comes at the beginning of a sentence) and I am getting pelted with Cupid's arrows left and right. If I were to make a list of crushes right now (as we thirteen year-old junior high school girls are prone to do) the names of boys (written in glitter pen) would cover an entire page of notebook paper from my Hello Kitty Trapper Keeper.

I am trying a new thing. I am not telling any of my crushes how I feel. It's an experiment of sorts. Instead of shoving my bleeding heart in people's faces, I will try to be mysterious. There will be lots of sexual chemistry and romantic undertones, but me and my crushes will act like we are just friends. Think Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis in Moonlighting.

I have a crush at work who literally makes my face red when he talks to me. He bends his knees and pretends to walk down stairs when he passes my cube. Do you know how incredibly adorable that is? He is pretending to walk down stairs. For me! To make me smile!! I'll bet his wife loves that.

All of my other crushes read Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven. I'm pretty sure they do anyway. But if you think YOU are the one I have a crush on, you're wrong. Besides, as I've already explained, I wouldn't tell you even if I did have a crush on you, because I think it would be better if we waited to confess our feelings until I am standing up in front of the congregation at my wedding, and then you can run in and shout, "I object!" or whatever you're supposed to say when you are about to watch the love of your life marry the wrong person.

Or, if you want, we can do the airport thing where I am about to get on an airplane bound for - I don't know - the Gay Games in Chicago - and you can buy a ticket at the last minute and come with me and we will stay together in the hotel and have amazing sex and then, at the opening ceremony for the games, you'll ask me to marry you. Or you can ask at the closing ceremony if you need extra time to think it over. We don't want to rush things.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Cause and Effect

I had to use bolt cutters to break the padlock on my locker at the gym.


Because I locked my keys inside my locker.


Because this hot naked guy was standing at the locker right next to mine, and I kept trying to sneak glances at him.


He was amazingly well-endowed, and I lost what little concentration I have.

I'm working out 4 or 5 days a week now, so there is a good chance I'll be seeing the guy and his appendage again. I better switch to a combination lock.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Losing My Demographic

Deep and profound apologies for Friday's post - I don't know what is happening to me.

Hanuman spoke for many of Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven readers when he indicated my post was incomprehensible to him.

To summarize for those not into gaming those of you with lives, I was reviewing my notes from a business meeting and found evidence that, instead of focusing on my own professional development, I was completely engrossed in the task of thinking about good names for dwarves in my game.

Further proof that something is amiss in Toddy Land:

This morning I drove the two Auburns, Pisces and Aries, to Union Station so they could board a train for Seattle to watch the Mariners season opener. Auburn Aries suddenly realized they had forgotten to bring a baseball glove. They were hoping to catch a foul ball. Without missing a beat I told the two disappointed ladies, "It's okay. You can use mine. I have it in the truck with me."

Six months ago, I would have never imagined I would utter that sentence. I can only imagine your confusion, dear reader. What happened to the Hot Toddy who wrote about The Rock and Little House on the Prairie in the very same post? Why are there no links to Margaret Cho or Megan Mullally on a regular basis?

Nobody knows how to label me anymore. Am I a nerd? A jock? A gay blogger? A gamer?

Gay people are disappearing in droves. Fag hags (or fruit flies, if you prefer) and Stag hags alike are heading for gayer pastures.

I have to do something fast, if I don't want to alienate my readers. This calls for drastic measures. So I will confess to something horribly embarrassing.

I watched The Facts of Life this weekend with Ren. Maybe I even hummed along with the theme song. (I said maybe!)

Given my current blogger identity confusion, I can understand this may be difficult for you. How do you know if you are even in the right place anymore? What if Hot Toddy never again writes anything gay? What if he never tells that story about how he dressed as his mother for Halloween when he was in third grade?

Here is a simple test for you. If you now you have the theme song for Facts of Life stuck in your head, or if you are making plans to go back and read Nellie Oleson's website, you're in the right place.