I’ve moved. Again.

13 10 2008

In my never-ending quest to find the best (and best-looking) blogging site out there, I’ve moved on to tumblr.com. The name’s staying the same, so just hit up creativepetrol.tumblr.com to find me. See you there. Or not. Whatever you wanna do, really.


OutFEAST!: Outback Steakhouse

11 10 2008

My steak was dry (which is most obviously a cardinal sin in this beef-lovin’town), yet undercooked. How do you pull off both of those at the same time? I don’t know either. Point is, just spend the cash and go to Plaza III.

Or, if you’re a true cowmeatophile like me, just grill your own worcestershire-covered cuts of Bessie over a blazing-hot (oh jeez, I can almost smell the carmelization) grill. Because after all, if you want something done right, you may as well do it your god-damned self.

Peace, love and red meat,


Comics FTW: Diesel Sweeties

8 10 2008

Oh Diesel Sweeties, why doth I love thee? Is it because you’re illustrated in 8-bit? Partly, but it runs much deeper than that. You seem, so often, to capture my feelings with such precision and frequency that I am beginning to feel as if you and I are somehow fated to be together, basking in electronic glory forever and ever.

That was weird. Let’s just move on to an example. This one is my absolute favorite:

More at DieselSweeties.com.

That was unexpected.

8 10 2008

As many of you know, I love sports, and particularly the Royals. What I didn’t realize was why. And after 23 years of rooting on the Boys in Blue, all it took was an innocent question from a Dodger fan on a message board to help me figure it out. Read below for her question and my answer.

Q: The Royals is a team that I know absolutely nothing about, as you never really hear anything form them in the rest of the baseball world. I would just like to hear from some Royals fans and hear what they love about their home team? Cheers.

Seems innocent enough, right? I thought so too. Then Mr. Sentimentality came out, as he’s so apt to do during the late-night hours.

A: To answer your question, I love the Royals because I grew up in Kansas City to a family of baseball fans. Needless to say, I learned very early on about Amos Otis, Frank White, Willie Wilson, U.L. Washington and the rest. My first really vivid memory is watching my dad watch fireworks beyond the outfield walls at a Friday night game. My old high-school coaches will even tell you my swing used to resemble Mr. Brett’s, all the way down to the finger tape.

It’s true that the Boys in Blue have been hard to watch in my lifetime, but that doesn’t really matter much to me anymore. They still usher in the warm, sunny summer months every year, and going to a game still allows me to enjoy a few simple pleasures, no matter what the outcome. You probably know what I’m talking about. Looking down upon grass that’s greener than my lawn will ever be, feeling the relief of a cool breeze on a hot July night and most importantly, just enjoying an few hours with the ones I love.

I know I could do those things at any old ballpark, but it just doesn’t feel right anywhere else but home.

I hope you’ve been treated better on other boards that you were here — and watch out for those Royals next year. I think they finally might be a fun team to root for.

The Steakhouse Incident

6 10 2008

This story is both way old, way long and way gross. Fortunately, it’s also way funny. Take 10 minutes and soak it all up. Make sure you’re near a bathroom, though, because this one might make you pee a little bit.

A couple of weeks ago we decided to cruise out to Ryan’s Steakhouse for dinner. It was a Wednesday night which means that macaroni and beef was on the hot bar, indeed the only night of the week that it is served. Wednesday night is also kid’s night at Ryan’s, complete with Dizzy the Clown wandering from table to table entertaining the little bastards. It may seem that the events about to be told have little connection to those two circumstances, but all will be clear in a moment.

We went through the line and placed our orders for the all-you-can-eat hot bar then sat down as far away from the front of the restaurant as possible in order to keep the density of kids down a bit. Then I started my move to the hot bar. Plate after plate of macaroni and beef were consumed that evening, I tell you — in all, four heaping plates of the pseudo-Italian ambrosia were shoved into my belly. I was sated. Perhaps a bit too much, however.

I had not really been feeling well all day, what with a bit of gas and such. By the time I had eaten four overwhelmed plates of food, I was in real trouble. There was so much pressure on my diaphragm that I was having trouble breathing. At the same time, the downward pressure was building. At first, I thought it was only gas which could have been passed in batches right at the table without to much concern. Unfortunately, that was not to be. After a minute or so it was clear that I was dealing with explosive diarrhea. It’s amazing how grease can make its way through your intestines far faster than the food which spawned the grease to begin with, but I digress…

I got up from the table and made my way to the bathroom. Upon entering, I saw two sinks immediately inside the door, two urinals just to the right of the sinks, and two toilet stalls against the back wall. One of them was a handicapped bathroom. Now, normally I would have gone to the handicapped stall since I like to stretch out a bit when I take a good shit, but in this case, the door lock was broken and the only thing I hate worse than my wife telling me to stop cutting my toenails with a pair of diagonal wire cutters is having someone walk in on me while I am taking a shit. I went to the normal stall.

In retrospect, I probably should have gone to the large, handicapped stall even though the door would not lock because that bit of time lost in making the stall switch proved to be a bit too long under the circumstances. By the time I had walked into the regular stall, the pressure on my ass was reaching Biblical proportions.

I began “The Move.”

For those women who may be reading this, let me take a moment to explain “The Move.” Men know exactly what their bowels are up to at any given second. And when the time comes to empty the cache, a sequence of physiological events occur that can not be stopped under any circumstances. There is a move men make that involves simultaneously approaching the toilet, beginning the body turn to position ones ass toward said toilet, hooking ones fingers into ones waistline, and pulling down the pants while beginning the squat at the same time. It is a very fluid motion that, when performed properly, results in the flawless expulsion of shit at the exact same second that ones ass is properly placed on the toilet seat. Done properly, it even assures that the choad is properly inserted into the front rim of the toilet in the event that the piss stream lets loose at the same time; it is truly a picture of coordination rivaling that of a skilled ballet dancer.

I was about half-way into “The Move” when I looked down at the floor and saw a pile of vomit that had been previously expelled by one of those little bastards attending kids night; it was mounded up in the corner so I did not notice it when I had first walked into the stall. Normally, I would not have been bothered by such a thing, but I had eaten so much and the pressure upward was so intense, that I hit a rarely experienced gag reflex. And once that reflex started, combined with the intense pressure upward caused by the bloated stomach, four plates of macaroni and beef started coming up for a rematch. What happened next was so quick that the exact sequence of events are a bit fuzzy, but I will try to reconstruct them as best I can.

In that moment of impending projectile vomiting, my attention was diverted from the goings-on at the other end. To put a freeze frame on the situation, I was half crotched down to the toilet, pants pulled down to my knees, with a load of vomit coming up my esophagus. Now, most of you know that vomiting takes precedence over shit no matter what is about to come slamming out of your ass. It is apparently an evolutionary thing since shitting will not kill you, but vomiting takes a presence of mind to accomplish so that you do not aspirate any food into the bronchial tubes and perhaps choke to death. My attention was thus diverted.

At that very split second, my ass exploded in what can only be described as a wake…you know, as in a newspaper headline along the lines of “30,000 Killed In Wake of Typhoon Fifi” or something similar. In what seemed to be most suitably measured in cubic feet, an enormous plug of shit the consistency of thick mud with embedded pockets of greasy liquid came flying out of my ass. But remember, I was only half-way down on the toilet at that moment. The shit wave was of such force and of just such an angle in relation to the back curve of the toilet seat that it ricocheted off the back of the seat and slammed into the wall at an angle of incidence equal to the angle at which it initially hit the toilet seat. Then I sat down.

Recall that when that event occurred, I was already half-way to sitting anyway and had actually reached the point of no return. I have always considered myself as relatively stable gravitationally, but when you get beyond a certain point, you’re going down no matter how limber you may be. Needless to say, the shit wave, though of considerable force, was not so sufficient so as to completely glance off the toilet seat and deposit itself on the walls, like what you would see when hitting a puddle with a high-pressure water hose; even though you throw water at the puddle, the puddle gets moved and no water is left to re-form a puddle. There was a significant amount of shit remaining on about one-third of the seat rim which I had now just collapsed upon.

Now, back to the vomit…

While all the shitting was going on, the vomit was still on its way up. By the time I had actually collapsed on the toilet, my mouth had filled up with a goodly portion of the macaroni and beef I had just consumed. OK, so what does the human body instinctively do when vomiting? One bends over. So I bent over. I was still sitting on the toilet, though. Therefore, bending over resulted in me placing my head above my now slightly-opened legs, positioned in between my knees and waist. Also directly above my pants which were now pulled down to a point just midway between my knees and my ankles. Oh, did I mention that I was wearing not just pants, but sweat pants with elastic on the ankles.

In one mighty push, some three pounds of macaroni and beef, two or three Cokes, and a couple of Big, Fat Yeast Rolls were deposited in my pants…on the inside…with no ready exit at the bottom down by my feet.

In the next several seconds, there were a handful of farts, a couple of turds, and the event ended, yet I was now sitting there with my pants full of vomit, my back covered in shit that had bounced off the toilet, spattered on three ceramic-tiled walls to a height of about five feet, and still had enough force to come back at me, covering the back of my shirt with droplets of liquid shit. All while thick shit was spread all over my ass in a ring curiously in the shape of a toilet seat.

And there was no fucking toilet paper.

What could I do but laugh. I must have sounded like a complete maniac to the guy who then wandered into the bathroom. He actually asked if I was OK since I was laughing so hard I must have sounded like I was crying hysterically. I calmed down just enough to ask him if he would get the manager. And told him to have the manager bring some toilet paper. When the manager walked in, he brought the toilet paper with him, but in no way was prepared for what happened next. I simply told him that there was no way I was going to explain what was happening in the stall, but that I needed several wet towels and I needed him to go ask my wife to come help me. I told him where we were sitting and he left. At that point, I think he was probably assuming that I had pissed just a bit in my pants or something similarly benign.

About two minutes later, my wife came into the bathroom not knowing what was wrong and with a certain amount of worry in her voice. I explained to her (still laughing and having trouble getting out words) that I had a slight accident and needed her help. Knowing that I had experienced some close calls in the past, she probably assumed that I had laid down a small turd or something and just needed to bring the car around so we could bolt immediately. Until I asked her, I’m sure she had no idea that she was about to go across the street and purchase me new underwear, new socks, new pants, a new shirt, and (by that time due to considerable leakage around the elastic ankles thingies) new sneakers. And she then started to laugh herself since I was still laughing. She began to ask for an explanation as to what had happened when I promised her that I would tell her later, but that I just needed to handle damage control for the time being. She left.

The manager then came back in with a half-dozen wet towels and a few dry ones. I asked him to also bring a mop and bucket upon which he assured me that they would clean up anything that needed to be cleaned. Without giving him specific details, I explained that what was going on in that stall that night was far in excess of what I would expect anyone to deal with, what with most of the folks working at Ryan’s making minimum wage of just slightly above. At that moment, I think it dawned on him exactly the gravity of the situation. Then that manager went so far above the call of duty that I will be eternally grateful for his actions. He hooked up a hose.

Fortunately, commercial bathrooms are constructed with tile walls and tile floors and have a drain in the middle of the room in order to make clean up easy. Fortunately, I was in a commercial bathroom. He hooked up the hose to the spigot located under the sink as I began cleaning myself up with the wet towels. Just as I was finishing, my wife got back with the new clothes and passed them into the stall, whereupon I stuffed the previously worn clothing into the plastic bag that came from the store, handing the bag to my wife. I finished cleaning myself off and carefully put on my new clothes, still stuck in the stall since I figured that it would be in bad taste to go out of the stall to get redressed in the event I happened to be standing there naked and some little bastard kid walked in. At that point, I had only made a mess; I had not yet committed a felony and intended to keep it that way.

When I finished getting dressed, I picked up the hose and cleaned up the entire stall, washing down the remains toward the drain in the center of the room. I put down the hose and walked out of the bathroom. I had intended to go to the manager and thank him for all he had done, but when I walked out, three of the management staff were there to greet me with a standing ovation. I started laughing so hard that I thought I was going to throw up again, but managed to scurry out to the car where my wife was now waiting to pick me up by the front door.

The upshot of all this is that I strongly recommend eating dinner at Ryan’s Steak House. They have, by far, the nicest management staff of any restaurant in which I have eaten.

Does Natalie Dee read this blog?

30 09 2008

While the answer is undoubtedly no, she did read my mind and post up this comic today:

Damn you, Natalie Dee

OK, OK. I'll stop.

She’s right. I should be happy that while I don’t work near my home, I at least have one to return to every evening, and it’s not being foreclosed on any time soon.

Home is where the heart is, and the body should be.

29 09 2008

I’ve talked time and again about how, while I say I like my job, I dislike the monotony, boredom and general lack of satisfaction that sometimes come with it. Many times, I feel like I’m sleepwalking through the day, writing one thing after another that nobody outside of my office will ever read and be moved by. But I think the part that gets me most is the commute.

Sure, I only drive 45-55 minutes to what amounts to little more than a suburb of Kansas City, but it still doesn’t feel like home. It doesn’t feel like the community that, over the last 20 years, has embedded it’s self into my self and vice-versa. And that’s what makes me think, sometimes, that I want out. It’s what makes me know, all the time, that I’m only in this for the short term.

I want to go home. I want to make my place a better place. I want to pay taxes to my city and my state. I want to continue to soak up and reshape the old neighborhood. If I have to do sometimes unsatisfying work, fine. I understand not all writing can come from the inner depths of the soul. But if I have to write dreck, I’d like to do it in an environment that I am both comfortable in and affectionate towards. I’m tired of zipping down the interstate for what amounts to about two hours of my day just to do something I only mildly enjoy in a place that I am wholly indifferent towards.

William Wordsworth once wrote:

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn,
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

And all this in the 18th century. I wonder what he would think of me. Flying by the midwestern oaks and the streets and homes and people that I love at 75 mph in a car designed to shut out the outside world. All so I can go to a place where little in Nature is mine and invent new ways to keep the public “getting and spending.”

Yes, it does seem like I have given my heart away for now. Hopefully, one way or another and some day soon, it will soon return home.