Monday, October 29, 2007

Hi, I'm [Condoblogger]...

For all of his wonderfulness, there is one area in which "P" does not do very well in. He's a bad introducer. I'll be standing next to him for long periods of time without being introduced while he talks to someone. It's not something that bothers me... we've talked about it and I know it's not a comment on me or anything like that, it's just one of his foibles.

Ultimately I introduce myself and we move on.

SOMETIMES this is a carefully crafted tactic on "P's" part. On occasion he will not REMEMBER someone's name and so my JOB is to introduce myself, thus forcing the other person to introduce his or herself as well. Then "P" can just apologize for not introducing us AND pretend that he knew the other person's name all along.

Last night we were at a party (not a Halloween one, just a regular one) and "P" was having a conversation with a guy who is looking for work in "P's" line of business. As usual I was not introduced. Also as usual (at a party) I had been drinking. So at a lull in their conversation I stuck my hand out and said, "Hi, I'm [Condoblogger]," and the guy replied in kind with a greeting and his name, and their conversation moved on.

About 5 minutes later, I realize that I have not yet been introduced to this guy, so at a lull in their conversation I stick my hand out and say, "Hi, I'm [Condoblogger]." Both the guy and "P" look at me as if I were from Mars, and "P" says, "We know. You just introduced yourself a couple minutes ago." I was so embarrassed. Still am. I am terrible at parties. I try too hard, drink too much and interrupt too often.

Is this early Alzheimer's or a Pavlovian response to certain party stimuli or was I just drunk? At least I won't forget that guy's name now... "Good to meet you, Chris."

Friday, October 26, 2007

Off Target


Guess they don't need my holiday help. Hmph.

Needless to say, I'm shocked. If I go in there and see one of these people working I may loose what is left of my self esteem.

Actually, there is a whole 'nuther component to this story now. My REAL job has changed yet again and my new hours would not be compatible with a shift at my favorite retailer... so it all worked out sort of.

Even so, I'm still pissed I didn't get an offer.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Uncontrolled Fire Sucks

So tough to watch all the tragedy in California right now.

I've been there... in both senses of the word "there."

I've been "there" in Southern California during fire season. I grew up in the San Fernando Valley just outside L.A. I went to a private school west of my 'hood down the 101 for my Elementary/Jr. High school years. It was evacuated a couple times due to fires that raced from Agoura to the sea following Kanan Dume Road. The school never burned (much to me and my classmates chagrin) but it came close. Hopping over 12 lanes of freeway to get to us.

A lifetime later... Superbowl Sunday 2001, here in Atlanta, the house I shared with my first "living together" boyfriend burned badly.



That's our bedroom on top and an adjacent study in the pic below that.

We'd had friends over to watch the game earlier in the day and had been making good use of the fireplace. I think we must have had it running (gas flame, gas logs) all day. It wasn't until late that night that the house caught fire though.

I used to joke that "Queer as Folk" saved my ex's life. After our friends had left and I'd gone to work he stayed up late to watch it. If he'd gone to bed at his normal time, the smoke probably would have lulled him into unconsciousness before the fire really got going.

The investigator's best guess is that there was a structural defect that developed in the chimney slowly over the 70 years the house stood there. Somehow the wood framing adjacent to the fireplace (you can see the chimney coming up through the second floor in the lower pic) became superheated and just combusted. There's also a good chance that whoever converted the attic space into living space had improperly built the staircase framing too close to the chimney but most of that evidence was lost in the blaze.

The fire probably smoldered in the wall for hours before really lighting up and breaking through a light switch at the top of the steps. When my ex tells the story, the house "burned down" but in reality it was just very badly damaged. The pics above are of the upstairs, water and smoke caused most of the damage downstairs. That was really the worst of it. In a way I wish the house had burned completely to the ground. That way everything would have been gone... clean slate. Instead we had to go in and try and decide which of the memories that survived the flames were salvageable, and which were just too far gone. Seeing the stuff that I loved damaged was much harder than just never seeing it again.

It was traumatic, but our neighbors and friends came together and helped us out... I am trying to imagine what the atmosphere in Lake Arrowhead must be like... or Castaic Lake where whole NEIGHBORHOODS are trying to deal and cope. Over 1500 homes burned to the ground. Amazing.

click --->here<--- to find out some ways to help

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

OK, How Butch am I?



I came across this test on Mike's blog (he is Mr. Smith Goes to Washington). The first time I took it I was Platoon but I forgot to cut and paste the code. So I took it again, surprisingly similar films! I did the 45 question survey (doesn't take as long as you would imagine). Which one are you?

Lots of movie posts in my little blogosphere right now... the post that started it all on Mike's page, then there's Jason's post about Kubrick, Paul's post about Into the Wild, even cerebral Joe posted about the cinema on the beach this week. What's up with that?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Weather, Wishes and the Weekend


It's RAINING!!! YAY!!! Holy CRAP do we need the rain in Georgia! Depending on who you believe the city of Atlanta may have a less than 90 supply of water. It's a little weird to think about. They've already banned outdoor watering and waiters bringing glasses of water to your table... hopefully this weather will last a while. It's not a drought butster but it's nice to see rain again for sure!

Could this wet weather be some sort of meteorlogical omen to alert Georgians of a certain Seattle blogger's 40th birthday?


Happy B-Day Matt!


Over the weekend "P" and I were very community service oriented.

Saturday morning we helped out at the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Here's me in the Product Rescue Center warehouse being VERY GRUMPY about agreeing to volunteer:


Of course, just like with any good deed, I felt great once we were done.

Later on Saturday we saw "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" which was not as bad as I thought it would be. Clive Owen is hot. That's pretty much what I got out of it.

Sunday we were back in charitable mode. We walked with my company in Aids Walk Atlanta.



Always an interesting crowd at the Aids Walk. BEAUTIFUL weather for the event.

Then Sunday night we saw SLEUTH at the Tony Award Winning Alliance Theater. I was confused. I'm just gonna leave it there... no review.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I have got to win this


TV Land is giving away a weekend trip to NYC to see Young Frankenstein on Broadway!

Click --->HERE<--- to enter for yourself!

Friday, October 19, 2007

The short version of the post below

I get very wordy sometimes... here's the short version:

I applied again. It was very frustrating. Leave your family at home when you are applying for a job. Only had to fill out a short version of the application. Met with another manager. I haven't heard anything from my first application because they don't START hiring seasonal workers till next week.

I think my lack of brevity on this blog is predicated on the fact that in my real life job I am restricted to writing about only the most sensational things in the fewest possible words and the lack of that filter on my blog allows...

I'm doing it again. Sorry.

Holiday Help - Part 2

My theory on the Red Phone at the employment kiosk may be wrong... I'm not certain that it's as high tech as I thought it was.

I did go back and fill out another electronic application. This time I had to wait much longer for one of the two stations at the kiosk to open up.

The first station was taken up by a really big guy wearing that "all jeans" look. Jacket, pants, slightly sideways baseball cap (with gold dollar signs imprinted on it) all made of very new looking denim. Remember when Levi's used to come all hard from the store and you'd have to wash them like 5 times before they were soft enough even to put on? That kind of denim. He was with his wife or girlfriend and a baby. She kept getting calls on her cell phone and then handing the phone to him. I was 4 feet away and I have no idea what they were talking about. I could not understand a word. Not because I wasn't close enough to hear, not because they spoke in a foreign language, but because I could NOT UNDERSTAND a word. I could see the screens he was working on and I felt bad for the guy because he clearly was not good with computers... he kept getting hung up in fields because he didn't know how to tab or click out of them. It reminded me how lucky I am to have had a computer in my home since I was in Jr. High.

At one point the guy's wife/girlfriend/partner pinched his cheek with her nails, as if to pop a small zit or something... he was completely cool with that. Didn't even really register that she was doing it. He just stared on at the machine, not typing, just looking at the screen waiting for something to happen. When she was done popping whatever she popped she looked at her nail and then wiped whatever came out of his cheek onto the blanket that was tucked between her and the baby she was holding. I don't know if I think that was sweet, or totally disgusting.

About 30 minutes in, they get into a heated discussion about something... and he snatches the cellphone from her hand. He hits a speed dial and says something that I, again, could not understand. She is pointing at the screen and saying something I can't understand. The baby is making some kind of like "chucking" noise every couple minutes. The guy puts the phone down on the desk kind of hard, frustrated. Finally the woman moves away and I can see what screen he is on. Mind you... this is an employment application, he has been working on it for over half an hour... "Enter your 8 digit social security number in the fields below."

I give up hope that I will be able to use that station today.

On the other side of the kiosk there is a woman with two kids. A little girl in a stroller and a little boy. The little boy is using his finger to poke the little girl in the eye. Repeatedly. The woman's application screen is turned away from me and is hidden by a partition so I can't see where she is in the process but I CAN tell that she has to keep stopping to discipline the little boy who despite his best efforts has been unable to succeed in making the little girl cry. Which I am glad about, but kind of concerned about too. I mean, if I was being poked in the eye, IN THE EYE, repeatedly I would probably cry out about it. Why didn't she fuss?

The woman did finally finish, but took her TIME packing up her children and moving away from the kiosk. It was TORTURE! Like when you have to piss but you are not near a bathroom. You have to go, but it's not a crisis... but the closer you get to the toilet the more the urgency increases... it was like that waiting for her.

FINALLY 45 minutes (at least) since arriving at the store, I sit down and do the application again. This time I was not asked the "feeling" questions... just the name, rank and serial number stuff. I again got the "pick up the red phone" message, which I did. This time though, while I was ON the red phone an announcement came over the store's PA system and I heard it ON THE PHONE too! So the red phone does not go to some super secret underground employment screening bat cave deep beneath Minneapolis, it just connects to some office in the store.

The voice on the phone says someone will be with me soon. So I get up and make my way out from behind the kiosk, past the guy and his ladyfriend and the baby who are still hard at work on his app.

"Done already?" the zit popper asks as I move out from my station.

"Fast typer," I reply.

Same drill, they sent a manager over to talk to me. If you have seen "My Name is Earl" then this will make sense to you. He looked like "Crabman," but with smaller hair. I explain to him that I'd already filled out an application a week earlier and that one of his counterparts had suggested I fill it out again if I hadn't heard anything. He said that that was probably a good idea, but the reason I hadn't heard anything was because they are not hiring seasonal staff till next week. He also used his cordless phone to call someone, but he wasn't as glowing as my previous screener. He stopped way short of suggesting I be a team leader, "You got [Condoblogger]? Yeah, mark him as a potential."

So next week is the real test. Will I get the call? Do I WANT to get the call? What is my real motivation for doing this? Am I too old for two jobs? Am I taking a job from someone else who really needs it? How will I feel if I run into someone I know at the store while I'm working? Who is the REAL father of my baby?

Tune in next week for SOME of those answers and more...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Holiday Help

Tis the season when major retailers go looking for "Seasonal Employees." Now, I am well compensated for my primary job, but who can't use a little extra walkin' around money, right? I was also inspired to consider taking on a second gig by MADDOG who's experience with the two job thing has been a very interesting read. I don't think I'm up for restaurant work though... too demanding! Plus after seeing "Kitchen Nightmares" I don't think I want to know what really goes on behind the scenes in a busy restaurant.

With the holidays coming and A trip to China planned for February... every lil bit will help though. So I trotted over to my favorite retailer and filled out an application at a kiosk they have set up there. Which retailer? If you said Wal*Mart or KMart you'd be close, but not quite on target.

The experience itself was kind of odd. I had to wait for one of two stations at a kiosk to open up before I could begin filling out an app. Both people in front of me finished about the same time and got up and left. Just got up and walked away. I sat down at the most private one and began to answer the questions as I was prompted by the machine. All my stats and some work history... plus some unexpected questions about how I "feel" about things and how I would deal with certain interpersonal situations concerning fellow employees were I to be hired. I finally finished the last page and was getting ready to get up and leave when a final screen came up and told me to pick up the red phone next to the computer. I did not see the people before me use the red phone. I picked it up and a lady came on to ask me a couple more questions about why I was looking for work and when I could start... "Start?" Then she told me that a manager would be coming over to speak with me. A little woman appeared a couple minutes later and introduced herself as a manager.

The manager and I walked over to ladies wear and she basically interviewed me right then and there! I told her exactly why I was looking and how long I expected to work... she was cool with it all. When I told her I thought I'd be best in electronics or music she got a big ol grin on her face and asked if I had any "managerial experience." I said no.

When it was all over she unclipped a cordless phone from her waistband, dialed a number and when the person on the other end answered she just said, "Yes. I think he's good for a team leader, but he just wants seasonal. OK."

Mind you, I was not expecting to be interviewed. I was wearing jeans, a t-shirt, baseball cap... not my interview clothes.

Then she told me that I had "presented" very well and that I should be getting a call in a week or so. If I didn't get a call to come back and go through the kiosk interview process again. I didn't get a call. Not sure how badly I want this job, but I have all my mornings free... and I like this store... I shop there... the employee discount alone could be worth it. It's only till February.

I'm going back today (in khakis and a red polo) to try again. :)

Monday, October 15, 2007

My (delayed) OCTOBER 12 of 12

Once again I NEARLY forgot! Thanx to an alarm I set on my Treo and a friendly email from MATT though I managed to snap my monthly quota:

It is finally cool enough (just COOL not COLD) to rock my favorite look now and then. It's the long sleeve T under the short sleeve T or Polo:




My day doesn't usually start till 10 or 11... meaning I do not get up before 10 or 11am. Today though I had to be up by 8:30 to attend an "optional" staff meeting that my supervisor was conducting. When your supervisor is conducting the meeting... it's not REALLY optional. Luckilly my workplace is also home to a dispensory of my favorite coffee:




This was kind of a wierd Friday. I took the evening off, in exchange for some hours early Sunday Morning. So after my meeting, I went home. I am embarrased to say that I drove to and from work. This pic shows why me and everyone else in Atlanta should have been on mass transit:




After lunch I went back to work (told you it was a wierd day), but this time it was back to our other campus in town for a presentation sponsored by my company's gay and lesbian business resource group:




The meeting was held in this authentic antibellum mansion:




This is a shot I took out of my window on the way home from that second meeting. I wanted to shoot the building which you can see just a sliver of over on the right, but instead I mostly got the street lamp. I don't know why, but I think it's kind of cool. Just a side note, that sliver of building (I just learned) is a piece of the tallest building in the US outside of New York or Chicago:




More reason to be on MARTA:




A stop for "supplies" on the way home:


By the way, what do they call liquor stores where you live? In GA they are called "Package" stores. There was a special name for them in ID as I recall too. I remember that in CA you can just buy your hooch in the supermarket. Love that! Only beer and wine in Supermarkets in GA.


I was not a winner:




Looking for a "Granny" cart. They didn't have one:




Finally home (rare on a Friday night) out on my balcony:




Later P came over and we walked to dinner and then came home for more balcony time:

Friday, October 12, 2007

So, What's with all the TV lately? Part 2

I mentioned a few days ago that I was doing all this TV related stuff as practice and partly as an "audition" for something. That something is a new pro-blog that centers around TV, more specifically about gay people and TV. After submitting some writing samples and then MORE samples, and then interviewing on the phone I was offered a spot as one of the featured writers. Very exciting for me. Very, VERY exciting. I'm still kind of shocked that the offer was made. I like to write. I'm still getting the hang of it, but I enjoy it, and the fact that someone liked what I wrote enough to offer the opportunity to write for a really big audience AND (ultimately) get paid for it was just very, very, very cool.

It turns out however that my current employer (a huge multinational mega media corporation) frowns upon it's employees giving away or selling their "creative content" to other huge multinational mega media corporations competing to attract the same eyeballs. In fact, I recently learned that as an employee of said multinational mega media corporation my "creative content" is not my own. The output of my imagination is a company asset and as such is owned by the corporation.

Just an aside here... have I mentioned my theory that George Orwell was/is/will be a time traveler? He moves around in spacetime and notices social injustices, then in a time frame decades prior to those injustices occurring he publishes a novel to warn his future ancestors of the dangerous road they are travelling. Clearly to no avail, but he's trying. Anyway...

I'm bummed I can't do it of course, but those are the rules, and I intend to follow them.

I WOULD like to say though that my employer's decision NOT to let me participate in this outside venture had NOTHING to do with the gayness of it all. In fact that never came up even ONCE during my negotiations. All along this was treated as any other legitimate business decision, and in the end it was business and the threat of competition that caused them to deny my request.

Once the site is officially up and running I'll post a link to it. I think it's going to be neat. I plan on being a frequent commenter there. :)

12 of 12 pics posted tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

not yo momma's outtakes

Are you watching "How I Met Your Mother" on CBS? I have to admit... it's taken me a long time to get into it... but the cast really seems to have a real life chemistry that kind of spills over into the script. I first noticed it when this YouTube clip of the cast on Megan Mullaly's short lived talk show came my way...

Neal Patric Harris and Patric Segal are clearly good friends and good sports.

Flash forward a year or so and I come across this at the CBS innertube website... let me set the scene. Ted is about to ride "the tricycle." He as two willing ladies in the living room... meanwhile his married roommates and horndog friend are trapped in the bedroom (they can't come out or the ladies will see them and the jig will be up). Ted starts to loose his nerve and retreats to the bedroom to get support from his friends. Ultimately "ladiesman" Barney (NPH) convinces Ted to go out there and face his fear. On TV the scene ends when Ted walks out the door, but in this clip we see that even though the scene was over the camera kept rolling and Doogie, Willow and the tall dude (Segal) start in with their OWN version of "the tricycle..." (you will need to sit through a commerical for Comcast and suffer with crappy video streaming... but the payoff is worth it).

Wish I could imbed it but here's the ---->LINK<----

If that doesn't work... go to the CBS.com/innertube website, hit ALL SHOWS, hit PRIMETIME, hit HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, hit BONUS, and hit HOW IT REALLY HAPPENED PT. 3. You know, maybe it isn't worth it... nah. It totally is.

This one is pretty funny too... another scene that didn't ALL make it into the show:


The "flying wombat," awesome!

Now that you've witnessed the camaraderie of the cast, check out the show. Tuesday nights at 8 on CBS. Stay for "The Big Bang Theory" too. But bail before "Two and a Half Men at 9"

Monday, October 8, 2007


Find out Why - Join the Cause

So, what's with all the TV lately?

I will hopefully be able to make a pretty cool announcement soon, about why I have been writing so much about TV lately. For now, suffice it to say that y'all are helping me to audition and practice for something I am really excited about. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Somewhere that's green

I refuse to use the Q word to describe Pushing Daisies on ABC. Oh, no not THAT Q word... it was PUH-lenty Queer.

There may not be a gay character in the show but they've woven some familiar gay themes into the hour. Lots of bed and breakfasty sets, idyllic small town settings, a man who has to restrain himself from touching the ones he loves, tragically romantic secrets. Heck, it even opened with a big Little Gay House on the Priary scene of a boy and his dog running in slo-mo through a field of bright yellow flowers.

The eye candy doesn't stop at the scenery though. Ned (Lee Pace), the Pie Maker who can bring dead things to life with just a touch, is just as eye popping as the special effects! IMO.

No, I'm going to avoid another Q word when talking about this show at all costs. The one people use to describe the town of Stars Hollow, or the dancing baby on Ally McBeal. The inevitable comparisons to Northern Exposure, Twin Peaks and Picket Fences will come, and all those shows are worthy of being labeled with the Q word. But Pushing Daisies relies less on our ability to accept kookie situations and more on our ability to suspend disbelief.

"P" says it was too "Dr. Seuss" for him, and I can see his point. The fatherly narrator does kind of "sweeten" the show a bit much. I have to admit though, if he hadn't said it I wouldn't even have noticed that. At least it doesn't all rhyme.

A bonus for me was getting to see my favorite TV High School Principal, Chi McBride back on TV as Ned's new "business partner." Some might be tempted to use the Q word to describe this new role when compared to the moody Steven Harper on Boston Public... but I will resist.

The BIGGEST BONUS though was the "twofer" of Swoosie Kurtz (remember her with Tony Randal in "Love Sidney?" One of my first ever gay television touchstones, even though Sidney was just "fussy" not necessarily gay in the series) AND Ellen Greene as the spinster Aunts who's niece becomes Ned's "untouchable" love interest. So GREAT to see Ellen Greene on TV! I almost didn't recognize the face but as soon as she spoke I knew it was her. I know EVERY word to EVERY song in Little Shop of Horrors and no matter how many Broadway revivals or movie remakes come along, she will always be Audrey to me ("Yes DAHKTAH!"). According to IMDB the Aunts will be around for a few more episodes which makes me happy... glad to know they weren't just really hip and cool stunt casting for the pilot (or "pie-lette" as the episode was officially titled).

By the way, Swoosie wears an eye patch in Pushing Daisies & K-Fed rocked an eye patch when he went to court for his custody hearing Wednesday... the same day as the premiere of the show! Coincidence or ingeniously subtle marketing?

Well, I've almost done it... almost made it through my whole post without using the Q word. Sure it fits, but it's TOO EASY! I mean, K-Fed in an eye patch... now THAT is QUIRKY. But Pushing Daisies is just cool looking and warm hearted with a touch of sexy pie maker biceps thrown in for good measure. I'll be back for more.

You can catch a special "encore presentation" of the show tonight on ABC.

More photoshop

Put your head on a model's body and be entered to win $500 to spend at Fossil.

Or you can just use the model's real head, but what's the fun in that?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I am Jerry O'Connell's best friend...

...on TV.

Sort of.


You see, my real name is pretty uncommon. In fact I only know of two other instances of my first name being used. I'm sure there are hundreds of people with the same first name as me, but I only know two. One was a kid in a Hallmark store who's mother kept saying my name over and over, and I kept lookin over at her to see what she wanted but she was never facing me... So I started to move in her direction and as I rounded the display I spotted a little towheaded boy under the rack. 3 or 4 years old. I said hello to the woman and told her that the little boy's name was my name too. "It was his father's idea," she replied with just a hint of distain. Then she introduced me to the kid (the handshake got him to come out from under the rack) and I asked him if he liked his name. He kind of shrugged and looked at his shoes. I told him that he probably wouldn't like it now, but when he grows up he is really going to be glad he has a cool name. He kind of looked up at me sideways and smiled. Wonder if he remembers that.

My name was MY father's idea too. It comes from his youthful fascination with comic books... primarily one "dynamic duo." When/if I get a tattoo it will have my namesake's (copyrighted) symbol incorporated somehow.

The other instance is (or was) a cat named after me in a little Washington State town someplace. I used to be on a wacky morning radio show (have been on a couple actually) and one of our listeners named her tabby after me. Called in to let us know. I thought that was nice.

My first name IS a pretty common LAST name. In fact when I was in college, a member of our football team who's last name was the same as my first name was arrested for aggravated rape. The local paper's headline read: "'NAME' ARRESTED FOR RAPE" or something like that. I kept that page for a while, but have since realized that a headline like that just isn't ever going to be something I want framed.

So what does this all have to do Mr. Rebecca Romijn-Stamos (I know the Stamos is gone now, but it just rolls off the tongue so nicely that way)? Well. On Jerry's new ABC sitcom "Carpoolers," he plays Laird (the show is full of weird names) and Laird is best friends with a guy who has the same first name as me! It's spelled differently (WRONGLY in my opinion) but Jerry O'Connell must have said my name like a MILLION times last night during the show. It was so cool!


You have to understand that I'm the guy who can never find his name on those pre-printed souvenirs at the amusement park, who has to repeat his name 5 or 6 times to anyone who hasn't heard it before, who was mocked mercilessly (and prophetically as it turns out) because my name is easily twisted into a gay joke. My name is not a name that is heard in Prime Time on network television.

The show? I liked it. Last night's storyline revolved around Dentist Laird and his Mediator best friend who share office space near each other. I got a strong "Bob Newhart Show" vibe while watching. The one set in Chicago, not the one in Vermont. The office scenes were like "Bob Newhart 2.0" minus Marcia Wallace.

I've established an early crush on carpool newbie Dougie and am weirdly looking forward to more story lines with my namesake's son Marmaduke (yes Marmaduke) and his tighty whities. The fact that Bruce McCollough, the cute one from Kids in the Hall, is the creator, executive producer and writer (of this episode) makes Carpoolers all the better.

So yeah... me and Jerry (eat a sandwich Jer) are best buds now. At least for 22 minutes on Tuesday nights following Cavemen on ABC.

Monday, October 1, 2007

diagnosing my neck... the results show

The judges have voted and much like Josie Maran (whoever she is) on Dancing with the Stars, cancer is the first ailment eliminated from my possible neck issues.

It turns out I have something kind of like a kangaroo pouch in my neck. When I swallow it's pushed open just like the pouch of a kangaroo diving into a swimming pool. Sometimes food gets caught in this pouch. Most people with this problem report many many disgusting symptoms which include "coughing up" uneaten or undigested food, rancid breath, problems breathing, problems swallowing... None of which I have.

My kangaroo neck pouch is NOT in the usual place, or at least not in the place doctors find them most of the time. That means operating to shut the pouch and hose out any material it may have collected is not a simple process. Actually ANY surgury in the neckal region is not a simple process... there are a lot of tubes and wires in that little space. One of the nerves that controls my larynx is one of those wires. It looks like that nerve has become kind of intermingled with the kangaroo pouch (which has really become kind of a kangaroo tube). Severing or damaging that nerve could qualify me for a spot on the local boys choir. Remember the "High Talker" on Seinfeld?

How they can see all this is beyond me... I can't wait to have them show me what these tests look like.

So the good news: not cancer. The bad news: not easily fixable.