This message is being forwarded for Ray Manning with some censorship added.
All of the activities from the week of 4/24/2000 through 5/1/2000 are being censored except for:
I have to get up at 4am to drive to the racetrack, but I am drinking tonight because I am bored. [activities deleted]
After getting up at 4am, driving to the racetrack near Bakersfield, and working a 15 hour day because the car was handling like crap and the gearbox was making noise, I head for my hotel room. But there is a power failure and the hotel cannot get my reservations out of the computer. After a few threats, they give me a room facing the I-5 freeway. I don't care because I am ready to collapse. There is no air conditioning (because the power is out, dummy) but I fall asleep quickly. About two hours later the power comes on with a screech of the air conditioning unit and I am briefly awakened but quickly fall asleep. Except that the hotel front desk wakes me up at 11pm with a call saying that I am in the wrong room. I say that I will move in the morning and hang up. (I want to use a dirty word during the conversation, but I do not.)
The rest of the weekend is also difficult because weather conditions keep changing, the car breaks down occasionally, and we are way off the pace.
I go to the Long Beach Ice Dogs ice hockey game with a ChiChi and a friend. The Ice Dogs play poorly. Down 3-0 in the series, it is obvious that they have their minds on the summer and their golf games. I remark to the ChiChi "And I gave up the 8pm Wednesday night NA meeting in downtown Long Beach with the hardcore junkies for this." The Ice Dogs lose and are eliminated from the playoffs. [activities deleted]
Cinco de mayo at the Frat House. I turn down a couple of offers to go next door to the hotel "...to watch TV because I am from Riverside and didn't want to drive back home tonight". A little bit of an...um... misunderstanding...er...fight breaks out tonight. I steer clear of the fight and mind my own business. I arrive at home at 2am with [activities deleted]
I ask, beseech, press, plead, pray, and beg on my knees for Sweetie to take me back. Or at least to help me with my notebook computer bought on auction from Egghead. Sweetie is up for the challenge, so says to bring the notebook over.
Sweetie's dog almost kills me, but finally gets to know me and accepts me. We load an updated operating system on the notebook computer (That's one favor that I owe Sweeetie now!), load Office 2000 (There's another!), and set up the notebook for networking with my desktop at home (That makes three favors.). I remark that no date of mine can load software on my computer without me having to put out. (That makes two favors that I owe Sweetie even though Sweetie's mother is present.) We share a potato-based lunch entry for which I pay and I am now down to one favor that I owe Sweetie. We wander around the Cerritos mall.
We go into the Learning Center store - a store with toys/gifts geared towards learning and hands-on activities. We look at the robotics toys and the Star Wars toys (which Sweetie is in to). I tell Sweetie "We should grab these plastic ice hockey sticks and a rubber frog, and start shooting the frog back and forth between us for practice". We do this and cause a commotion in the store. We switch to using a purple Barney dinosaur as the puck - shooting it back and forth between us - from the front of the store to the middle of the store. When some kids see us hitting Barney with sticks, they get upset and the parents put a stop to our activity. Just before the store manager stops us.
We go next door to the KayBee toy store. And browse. Pretty soon we have looked through the entire store and are bored. We see that there are Barbie dolls, Britney Spears dolls, Brandy dolls (whoever she is), and dolls of actresses on daytime soap operas who Sweetie recognizes (but I haven't the faintest idea who they are). (Can I have days off now?) We decide to have a bit of fun. We take the Barbie "Working Woman" doll, dressed in conservative corporate attire, and start switching her clothes with a Xena doll, an android doll (who wears string leather clothing), and a female World Wrestling Federation women wrestler to make "Working Woman" Barbie look like a hooker. And roll up a small scrap of paper and put it in between Barbie's fingers to make it look like a cigarette. (Why couldn't we find a Doctor Ken outfit so that we could give hooker Barbie the syringe?) And put her back in the package. We also trade suits between a "Princess" Barbie and a Bobby Orr (An oldtime ice hockey player. A REAL man. He had 8 knee operations in 6 years. He does the Wang word processing commercials and you can still see a limp when he walks between workstations. A man's man!) doll and have Barbie wear the ice hockey clothes and Bobby Orr wear the "Princess" dress. Without the hockeystick, of course. We see the Barbie NASCAR outfit with Bill Elliot team uniform and decide to leave it alone. And we take a cabbage patch doll and a rubber horse from a farm animal set and put them in a Barbie box. And proceed to the checkout stand with the "Working Woman" (aka hooker) Barbie, the Bobby Orr (aka crossdresser) doll, and the Barbie (aka Cabbage Patch doll and rubber horse). There is a big hullabaloo at the checkout stand. We are causing a commotion. Sweetie is going along with the plan and is not laughing. I am not laughing. The checkout personnel are confused. The line is getting longer.
"There is a problem with the Working Woman Barbie's attire, sir", the checkout person is saying.
"But we just want to buy the Barbie and leave. I have cash."
"But that isn't the outfit that the Working Woman was meant to have."
"You mean that Barbie isn't a hooker?" I inquire in a loud voice so that most of the store can hear me. "Okay. Well, can I still have the crossdresser Ken doll?" I say as I hand her the Bobby Orr doll.
The checkout person says "That isn't Ken!" and calls over the microphone for the store manager. Sweetie grabs the microphone and says "Mr. Manager, can we have the crossdresser Bobby Orr doll?"
By this time, there is a huge line and crowd staring at us and becoming upset with us. I turn to the lady behind us and say "We just want to buy the hooker Barbie, the crossdresser Ken, and the regular Barbie and leave". She covers her daughters ears, looks away, and pretends that we don't exist.
The manager arrives at the checkout stand, pulls us aside, and tells us that we should leave immediately because there is "funny business" going on with the Barbie packaging and that "you could get into a lot of trouble". Sweetie and I, after staring at the manager in silence for about 3 minutes, turn and look at each other. I slowly turn back to the store manager and say "How come you never call me to go have lunch?". And Sweetie and I turn and walk out. Without the hooker Barbie, without the crossdresser Ken, and without the Cabbage Patch Barbie.
I drop Sweetie off at home and go drink heavily. I love Sweetie!
On Sunday, after doing some errands and relaxing prior to playing some ice hockey at night, I get bored. But I do not drink. Instead I work on my eulogy. I have a hard time getting started, but eventually I make progress.
The ice hockey - a practice scrimmage prior to our first real game next week - is interesting because a deaf guy comes out to play with us. And it makes you rethink your whole mode of communications both on the ice (yelling at someone to get their attention to pass you the puck) and off the ice ("Nice pass, Jason!"). I hope he plays with our team.