Life on the Imaginary Axis

The wonderful world of scientific research has suffered some seriously crunched financial cherries this year.  As is always the case, one of the first things that gets cut is the travel budget.

This has had made planning and organizing productive and useful technical conferences virtually impossible, as even the rock stars of the scientific community are grounded.

Trying to recruit an alternate for a tech session i’m organizing, i snagged one of our brilliant junior geniuses, AU*, in the hallway this afternoon.

daisyfae:  Hey, i know it’s a long shot that we’ll have a travel budget anytime soon, but would you be willing to be an alternate for my session at the “Nerdliness is Next to Godliness” Symposium next November?

AU:  I would LOVE to do that, but there’s no way I can commit.  I’ve had to back out of the last two Plenary talks I was invited to present.  I’ve finally had to start telling people “No!” before they ask!  I’m tired of letting people down!

daisyfae:  Yeah.  i know the feeling.  i’ve got to do the same thing when the supermodels come knockin’ at my door…

He wants me...

image found here

* i’ve written about AU before – here and here.  He is a million kinds of awesome…

The Sad Tale of Lasagna Boy

Last Thursday and Friday, i hosted a meeting.  Continuous presentations, for an audience composed primarily of scientists and engineers.  Most of these folks are “knowns”, but we’d opened up the meeting to a broader audience, and as a result, there were a few folks there i’d not met before.

Logistics for these events can be a bit tough.  You need to feed people, but underwriting the cost of breakfast, lunch, and snacks for over fifty people is not something i choose to do.  So we have people do a “pay-as-you-eat” thing.  We charged $15/day for attendees, providing continental breakfast, buffet lunch and afternoon snacks. 

Reasonable.  Especially when you consider that most folks attending are being paid a travel stipend for food which is substantially higher than that.

Amongst the attendees was an “unknown”.  i watched him, trying to figure out his affiliation.  Finally determined that he was from our western office.  Oddly, not sitting with the other three guys attending from the same shop.  Hmmm.  i also noticed him disappear at lunch Thursday.  He returned after we re-started meetings with a full roast chicken, bag of carrot sticks, and a few packs of cheese crackers.

This meant he’d chosen not to pay for the meal.  No worries.  Perhaps food allergies, issues with diet, and not wanting to leave it to chance.

We wrapped things up a little early on Friday, and i worked with my junior engineers to clean things up so we could call it a week.  Tons of food left over, we decided to haul it up to the break room, and send out an e-mail saying “FREE FOOD”.  This generally causes a stampede, but incurs the goodwill of the troops.

During my meeting wrap-up, i mentioned the massive piles of leftover cookies – suggesting folks take some home, or take them to the airport for sustenance.  The unknown gent had taken me up on the offer, and loaded a napkin with cookies.  Even though this guy hadn’t paid, it wasn’t a big deal to send him on his way with some cookies.

We were packing things up and he asked “What about the lasagna?”, eyeing the full pan of vegetarian lasagna left over from lunch. 

daisyfae:  Ummm… sure, i guess you can grab a plate for the road.

My junior folks and i were very busy at this point, packing up coolers, throwing out trash, clearing the giant coffee urns.  But i noticed this guy grab the entire tray and head for the door…

daisyfae:  Excuse me, but i thought you were going to take a plate.  Not the full pan.

He explained that there were no plates.  i pointed out the plates, suggested he fill one, and went back to breaking down empty soda boxes.  Unable to find something to scoop the lasagna, he tapped me on the shoulder as i was stuffing cardboard into a trashcan.  “Do you have a spoon or something?”

daisyfae [with increasing annoyance]: Look, just use one of the other plates!  We’re trying to get this area cleared so we can get out of here…

Lasagna Boy filled a small plastic plate.  We were hauling stuff from the table to a cart, schlepping coolers, dragging unused bags of ice outside, and generally ignored him.  Seeing that the rest of the lasagna on the cart, i asked my junior folks if they need any more help – and they assured me they had it.

i headed to the elevator, but Lasagna Boy was not quite done with me, and asked about the garlic bread.  i glare at him and say “It’s already been packed up!  Have a nice weekend!” and headed to my office.

Catching my breath for the first time in two days at my desk, i cleared a couple e-mails, accept my meeting request from my new Div Chief (4:00pm on a Friday?  suckmydick, fella).  Nagging thoughts popped into my brain – “that asshole is still down there, bugging my folks for free food…”.  So i headed to the lobby one more time…

Yep.  He was still there.  Annoying the visitor control people, he asked about getting access to our IT department for some piece of hardware needed for the weekend.  They were not amused, but trapped.  My folks were done packing, and hauling the carts to the elevator.

i went back upstairs.  A few minutes later, i hear my young ‘un, AE, outside my office.  Poking my head out, i ask “Is the free-loader gone?”

AE:  We came up, but he cornered JT in the lobby, asking her about borrowing computer parts for the weekend.  And he was talking to her, while taking bites of lasagna directly from the plate!  He’s really weird…

JT is my boss.  And she is a saint.  And i knew she was trapped.  Another run to the lobby to rescue her was in order.

Arriving at the front desk, i asked “Hey, has that freaky lasagna dude left?”  The attendant said “Yep.  He just left with JT.  I think she was taking him to the computer support desk.”

They proceeded to tell me all of the obnoxious things he’d been doing to them for the past two days.  A lengthy tale that ended with “I never knew how loud someone could chew gum!” 

We saw JT and Lasagna Boy coming across the lawn to the front doors.  i looked at the clock and said “Watch this!  i’m going to extract her, and ditch him…”  Racing out to the doors i said urgently “JT!  We’ve got to move!  DivChief has moved the 4:00 meeting to 3:30.” as i shepherded her inside. 

The guys at the desk laughed out loud, smiled and gave me “thumbs up” as we walked by, leaving Lasagna Boy standing outside.  JT, however, was a bit confused “Huh?  What the hell is DivChief’s problem now?”  Explained it all to her in the elevator.

JT:  I tell you what, I don’t know what they’re feeding those boys out in the Western office, but I think we need to send ’em some cash.  What a freak…

image from here.  and no, i haven’t seen it.  would only stress me out…

Multi-Task Hero

One of my favorite people at work is KM.  She is the Organizational Development (OD) specialist for a >1,000 person organization that consists primarily of scientists and engineers.  She should get combat pay for dealing with introverted, communicationally-challenged and surprisingly emotionally needy humans on a daily basis.

We bonded fairly early after my arrival in the new shop about two years ago.  Every now and then she would stop by my office just to say “Fuck” because it was a safe place for her to say it.  We have provided mutual respite care for each other when the corporate “You’ve Got To Be Shitting Me?” factor reaches alert levels…

One of the reasons she’s my hero is that she is not only a professional management consultant, but she’s an engaged wife/mother and citizen of the community around her.  Oh, and she decided to start pursuing her PhD this year on top of everything else she takes on… 

We agreed a few months ago that i would be her “Boot In The Ass, B.I.T.A”, checking in with her periodically to watch the stress levels, provide a source of non-judgmental “how’s that working for you?” reflection, and gossip about the nerd-force assess other environmental factors affecting her ability to juggle all of it.

Today was B.I.T.A. Session Number One.

i got to her office around 3:00pm.  She apologized up front…

OD Goddess:   Between the time I pinged you, and the time you got here, I got sucked into an interactive chat session.  A woman at the front office needs to unload some back story about this website development activity we’ve both worked…

daisyfae:  Hey, i can come back later if you need to focus on it… no worries…

OD Goddess:  Oh, no.  I just need to give her a virtual “head nod” every now and then.

She then turned to the computer screen, and typed “Gotcha!” in the chat window.  From there?  She started to give me the status update of her coursework. 

We continued our conversation, and she would periodically disengage for a microsecond, catch up on the chat history, and type “Wow!” or “Oh, Lordy!  Not again!” and then without missing a beat, go on to re-address her current playing field – at work, school and home.  As she laid out her circumstances, we talked about what she really needed from me as “B.I.T.A. Counselor”.  And she continued to provide encouragement to the stressed-out colleague uploading a painful bureaucratic experience.

By the end of the conversation, she needed to re-engage her virtual colleague, and we’d covered the turf necessary.  She laughed as she said “And the next time we’re on chat, you’re going to wonder who the hell is in my office, and what I’m REALLY doing!”

With her ability to multi-task? i suggested there could be a second career for her working sex-chat rooms.  And we could sit together, yak, drink beer and eat chocolate while it was all going down…

Tales from the road, part 865

Flight from Chicago to Denver yesterday morning.  Shoehorned into row 32 of a 767 Cattleliner – one of the WORST for legroom.

In front of me is a short woman of some sort.  All i can see are nicely manicured nails on a feminine hand against the window before take off, and wisps of a few strands of dark hair peeking above the headrest in front of me.

Yay.  Short chicks rarely recline the seatback so no need for me to fish out my Knee Defender set from my backpack.

Tactical error.  As you have certainly guessed by now, Shorty McFuckyou slammed her seat back before we had leveled off out of O’Hare, pushing my seatback tray into my gut.  This led to a rather angry closing of my tray, along with a few shoves to push her seat up enough for me to stow the SkyMall catalog back into the pocket.

Rather than do the professional, adult thing, and ask her to straighten her seat a little to allow me breathing room, i proceeded to tuck in for a nap – with one of my knees wedged against the back of her seat.  With every shift or adjustment i made, she got a nice jolt from behind.

Mature?  You betcha.  But this is life on the road.  And it’s sometimes a full contact sport.  We do what we need to do to balance the need for public order and civility, and the need to keep our aggravation from leaking out of our bodies in the form of aggressive acts delivered onto the faces of fellow travelers.

This is not a “fun” trip.  This is work.  i’m along for the ride as the “management like object”.  Show we care, learn what our folks are up to, meet their collaborators.  Literally, i am “meat in a seat”. 

My travelmates?  Two “nice” colleagues.  One older and seasoned.  One younger and enthusiastic about life, the universe and everything i used to care about.  The elder gent has done a nice job of logistics – i don’t need to worry about driving, logistics, maps, meeting locations, etc.

Meat in a seat.  Getting paid.  While i was playing the “I’ve Got The Armrest, Motherfucker” game with a large, odorous gentleman on my flight this evening, i calculated the amount of time i’ve spent on my ass so far on this trip.

Day 1 – total time on ass: 8 1/2 hours (4 hour meeting)

Day 2 – total time on ass:  11 1/2 hours (3 hour meeting)

Projected Day 3 – total time on ass 20 hours (8 hour meeting plus transcontinental red-eye flight to get me home early on Day 4)

So the next time i get a cushy, “fun” business trip – somewhere lush, exotic and populated with my Dawg Boy posse, i am going to remember this one.  And check my guilt at the first airport gate…


Poof.  My Outlook Inbox was empty.  So was the “Sent” folder.
Just. Like. That.
Given that i’d changed jobs over a year ago, it was time to turn in my old laptop back at the prior shop.  Well, that laptop and the two ancient, fossilized laptops that i’d checked out over the previous decade.
On the bright side?  i had kept close track of the business equipment that had been loaned to me – and had no trouble locating all three bricks.  The downside?  Needed to crank them up and clear off my “Stuff”.  From photos to documents to all the e-mail that had been downloaded onto the desktops. 
Always a good plan to purge* prior to returning your equipment.
The first mistake i made on Thursday night was letting the laptop connect to my home wireless network.  That assured that my current outlook inbox was happily downloaded to the laptop.  The other fatal mistake?  Forgetting to re-set the ‘over-rides’.  This assured that any changes i made on the laptop would trump whatever was on the desktop system back at the office.
When i arrived at work Friday morning, and realized my boo-boo, it was a blip.  Nothing.  Instead of rage and frustration at my own stupidity, it was “Well, huh.  How about that?” 
Granted, anything of size or substance had been downloaded to my desktop.  i can find it if i have to.  There are archives, too.  But the last time I’d archived was around April, i think.  So the ‘current events’ message traffic was all vaporized.
Now, here’s the funny thing.  Ten years ago?  i’d have been a salivating, ranting, hot, screaming mess.  It would have been debilitating, and i’d have been down at the IT help desk, asking them to pull the most recent weekly ‘back up’ files to restore what i’d dumped.  “Veins popping on my forehead” rage. 
Now?  i can hardly muster the energy to give a shit.  It’s sheer magic, i tell you…  
This is a milestone of note.  i have achieved irrelevance! 

* i’ve been a supervisor.  i know first-hand that the IT folks LOVE to root around on the returned equipment and see what folks have been up to.  i didn’t have anything on my equipment that would get me fired.  Not by a long shot.  But there were some personal e-mails buried in the mix – scheduling a booty call,  post-game analysis of a booty call, making fun of other people i work with, horrific foul language – that had to go.

F-Troop Rides Again

Having served in management for over a decade, it strikes me as somewhat odd that i am only now being hit with my first official “grievance”.  Strangely enough, it’s in the form of an “Equal Employment Opportunity” (EEO) complaint, leveled against not only me, but my boss, who is a unicorn*.

Despite the fact that the informal grievance process is well underway, and we’ve all had to give depositions to a mediator, we still have to work with the complainant** – let’s call him “Scientist X” – on a daily basis. 

This can lead to the occasional awkward moment.

Today’s moment?  It happened during a round of frustrating budget discussions, where The Unicorn, the Deputy Chief, and i were trying to extract something – in fact, ANYTHING – vaguely representing a financial plan*** for the on-going research project of “Scientist X”. 

Now, The Unicorn and i have been up to our ovaries with the idiosyncrasies of Scientist X, and have gotten used to his sudden temperament swings, often leading to spittle flying, arms flailing and inanities spewing from his mouth at warpspeed.  But Deputy Chief?  He hadn’t really seen it yet…

After Scientist X finally stormed out of the room, leaving a trail of bad cologne and saliva globules settling onto the carpet, Deputy Chief was speechless.  He was impressed with our composure and patience.  We explained to him that we are now hardened to the tantrums. 

When Deputy Chief asked about the potential for violent retaliation?  We assured him that we’d considered that… and that we’re both pretty sure we could kick his ass if he decides to start swinging.

Deputy Chief is my favorite “Personnel Success Story” during my time in F-Troop.  He was sort of a castaway when i got there because he’s not aggressive, and sometimes needs a few rounds of explanation before he finally “gets it”.  But i found him to be pleasant to work with – and over the past few months, i’ve discovered a dry, snarky and occasionally twisted sense of humor buried in there…

It took about an hour after the meeting, but Deputy Chief wandered by my office and whispered “Ya know, if Scientist X comes in sporting a big bulge in his pants?  It’s probably not because he’s glad to see you…”

Hand Cannon photo found here

* Term coined by a friend of mine.  She is a black female engineer.  Just a teensy-tiny bit rare in my world.  But she’s damn good at what she does…

** It’s not this guy.  We have a few more special folks, who keep us on a first name basis with the human resources department, the security office and even the people who manage the facility.

*** For a guy with a PhD in Physics?  He REALLY sux at the maths…

How to “Go Away” your own way

Is there anyone – ANYONE ON THE PLANET – who actually enjoys going away luncheons for departing colleagues?  Didn’t think so…

In my world, they are expected, and generally horrific, events whenever someone is promoted, moves to another group, or retires.  A low turnout is considered a “lack of love”, so if few respond to the announcement, management is out beating bushes to drum up attendance.

Having had to preside of many of these awful things when i was in management, i grew to hate them with the acrid fire of hydrofluoric acid.  And then some…

When i snuck away in the night changed jobs last year, i refused all attempts for a luncheon.  Organizational blasphemy!   i’d been there 27 years, and how could i dare deprive people the opportunity to wish me well? 

Fuck that.  Not my style.  These dinosaurs, they are tenacious, and i’ve fought it for over a year.  But pressure was on again – they played the “It’s bad for morale if you don’t let us do something” card, and i’d let them set up an informal event for later this month in the conference room.  i was even considering showing up for it…

Then my good friend, The Ninjaneer, sent out a party invitation.  He is changing jobs soon, and rather than leave the festivities up to a few well-intentioned suits, he is throwing his own party!  Deciding that this was a great way to take the monkey off my neck, back, shoulders and ass, he and i agreed to ‘tag-team’ it…


From: Ninjaneer
Subject: Ninjaneer – Going Away Party

Well folks, after 24 years here – “working” in one branch or the other – it’s time for me to pursue other opportunities in my Golden Years.  To that end, I have taken a position with our Southern Group, located on the sunny (or oily) shores of the Gulf of Mexico. 

With sincerest apologies to J.R.R Tolkien (and somewhat less sincere apologies to everybody else), I paraphrase Bilbo Baggins at his “Long Expected Party”, and I offer that, “I like more than half of you twice as well as I ever thought I would and hope less than half of you like me less than I think I deserve”. 

Now I realize at this point, as you ponder whether that was a compliment or not (it was), I’m supposed to slip on a magic ring and immediately disappear, but that’s unlikely to happen given that 5 different Directors and a host of Branch and Division Management folks  have been trying to make me disappear for 24 years now with no luck either….

Most of you are aware that I have little use for “going away” lunches, but like hobbits, I DO have a particular fondness for parties.  And in keeping with that fondness for food, drink and merriment – I want to throw MY “Long Expected Party” for you folks.

Both the food and the drink are on me.  Here are the details:

Date: 11 Aug 10

Time: 1530 –  until my budget runs out

Location: The Bar Up The Street

I’ve arranged for food, and they will provide more wings as we need them until we’ve “filled out the corners” as a good hobbit would say….. 

I will have an “open bar” until, again, my budget runs out…..

So all of you Boffins and Bolgers and Bracegirdles and the rest of you please join me for great party!  No wizards or fireworks please.

– The Ninjaneer

PS:  If I’ve forgotten anyone that doesn’t loathe me, please pass it on – but remember, the more people there, the less free food and booze for the rest of you…


Subject: RE: Ninjaneer – Going Away Party — NOW, WITH ADDED “FAREWELL FOR DAISYFAE”

Of the 27 years i worked there, The Ninjaneer served as “The Little Brother* i Never Wanted” for 24 of those…  When he suggested we combine parties, it seemed appropriate to join forces one last time, and see just how nervous we can make the management team! 

We have a rather amusing history – and if you show up, be sure to ask us for the story of how we tested out of “Sexual Harassment Training” by doing a skit.  If you wait til we’re plastered?  We might even provide an encore performance!

Maybe now he’ll stop looking at me and STAY ON HIS SIDE OF THE CAR!  AND STOP TOUCHING ME!  MOM!  He stole my blackberry! 

Oh, yeah.  The party… 

Granted, i’ve been gone for just over 13 months, so my departure event is a little overdue.  That is not due to lack of effort on the part of Management.  i’ve just been a little evasive**.

There will be food.  And drink.  And “equally attractive non-alcoholic beverages”….  We are requesting the omission of gifts.  Unless it’s a very fast motorcycle.  For me.  Or a speedboat.  Also for me.

Date: 11 Aug 10

Time: 1530  – until our budget runs out (Note:  We can drink longer.  i make more $$ than he does.)

Location:  The Bar Up The Street


* despite the fact that he is 1 year and 340 days OLDER than me…

** for those who have yet to notice, i left in June, 2009.  Like the Baltimore Colts, i went quietly in the night….

Tuesday afternoon with the Nerd Herd

We all work in different buildings, but my local collection of geeks often launch random e-mail discussions when bored, frustrated, or just feeling a bit punchy.  i’ve culled a few highlights here, here and here.

Today’s edition amused me.  But then again, i’ve reached a point of stress that i call ‘the giggle point’ – regardless of the gravity of a situation, i now find myself prone to fits of uncontrollable giggles.  Sometimes, it’s just that ridiculous…  This brightened my afternoon.


RN, brilliant physicist (who happens to be tall and gorgeous, with a dark twisted sense of humor) received an e-mail from the library police, informing him that if he didn’t immediately return, or replace, two overdue books, they’d have to take serious action.  The dreaded “elevate this matter to a higher level”.

RN: I’ve been turned over to the feared collections department of the technical library. I’ve gotta hit the road before they find me. You had better not tell anyone you know me, I hear these people go after friends and family too. My life is over, I’ll probably end up in the state pen with barbed wire tattoos, done with a safety pin and the ink from a stolen pen.
WDM:  I snitched on you to save my own hide from the librarians.  Sorry. However, the books I turned you in for are not the ones listed below.  You can only renew the Kama Sutra so many times.
RN:  Why you low dirty SOB, and to think I actually returned your dog-eared sticky copy of “penthouse letters”…I ain’t taking no kneecaping for you.
Ninjaneer:  I don’t know you two.  I don’t associate with known felons.  You hear that Mr Library Enforcer?!  I don’t know who these low life’s are….
WDM:  Look, it’s not that bad.  When they get you over to the “interrogation” room at the library ask to be left alone with “Marta.”  Tell her you have been a “very bad boy.”  Work the system my friend.  Then take me out to lunch and tell me all about it. 
Ninjaneer:  Seriously, quit e-mailing me.  Just admitting I know you violates my parole.  You should stop this….before we all end up in the Big House.
WDM:  There are perks to the Big House:

1. a meal plan
2. cable television and a library
3. someone to wash your back in the shower
4. diversity of culture
5. regular sex
6. take your pick of religions: Christian, Judaism, Islam, Satanism, Buddhism, Wicca …
7. opportunity to lead or follow
8. an avenue to demonstrate one’s entrepreneurial skills
9. free exercise equipment
10. transparent metrics to distinguish leadership – unlike here (no one is ever confused as to who is in charge)

daisyfae:  Only advice I got?  Beat the crap out of someone bigger than you on the first day.  From then on?  You get to be “big spoon” rather than “little spoon” at lights out…
Ninjaneer:  I suppose that beats getting forked on a regular basis.
RN:  I like you guys but now I’m a man with nothing to lose, so when ‘they’ come I would clear the area and identify your “safe place”.  My lights are out and I’m not answering….


Road Rash

It’s Tuesday night, and therefore, i’m somewhere other than my own bed, listening to the snores of the best dog on the planet…

– As the mini-human on the airplane fussed, whined and delivered random brain-piercing squeals as a result of signals from the Evil Baby Planet, it occurred to me that baby-cries are biologically orchestrated to keep us from sleeping.  Fuck evolution.  Fuck Darwin.  Fuck babies.

– There is nothing better for a broken human than a long, brisk walk in the sand, with the waves crashing at your feet.  It’s probably better, however, to hike up the ol’ yoga pants first.  The charm of crashing surf is lost when one is dragging about ten pounds of sand-laden polyester through frothy salt water.  Fuck polyester.  Fuck sand.

– Phycisists have no practical comprehension of “Time/Space”.  As in “giving a presentation within the prescribed time limits” and “staying out of my personal space”.  Fuck Physicists.  And the Bozons they rode in on…

– Making friends with the 22 year old barkeep is a good idea, as you sneak away from the geekfest to have dinner at the beachside bar.  He has a degree from a local university in Business/Marketing.  He’s going to work here for the summer, then think about starting to consider which jobs he might want to apply for… Fuck the economy.  Fuck the limitless possibilities of a 22 year-old tending bar at a beachside resort.  Fuck the 7 years, 15 days* standing between me and retirement, and my next career, which will be tending bar at a beachside resort. 

– Just as i finished explaining to the adorable barkeep that his hotel would be infested with an international nerdfest this week, a gentleman strolled up from the beach.  Wearing a shirt that said “I [heart] Nanophotonics”.  Point – daisyfae.  He poured me a complimentary double… (sigh)

* Ok.  7 years, 14 days.  i probably won’t do much on my last day…

Fly away, baby bird!

Technically, he’s not my son.  About ten years ago, however, The Boy Genius worked for me.  Brilliant young man, with a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Prestigious University.  Although he was in his early 30’s, he looked like he had just turned fourteen. 

At the time, my group was beginning the long, slow nosedive into scientific oblivion – but this kid was the “great white* hope” for technological resurrection.  When he confided in me that he saw nothing but frustration ahead within our hallowed labs, i became nervous, but certainly couldn’t argue with the logic of The Boy Genius.  He was annoyingly never wrong.

He was also pure as the driven snow, despite a penchant for twisted and dark humor.  He was a “good” boy.  In fact, part of my retention strategy was to try to find him a local honey to keep him in town**.  He didn’t care for fast cars and loose women, and went to church every Sunday.  Needless to say, none of my theater friends were going to meet his tough standards…

Despite – or perhaps because of – my feeble attempts at retention, he left our team and went to work for my close friend, Titan of Industry, ToI.  When ToI called me for the official “checking his references” call, i ended the conversation with “Oh, and by the way – if you don’t take care of him?  i keel you…”. 

To say i had maternal feelings toward the kid was perhaps an understatement.

So The Boy Genius left home for greener pastures.  It was comforting for me to know that he would be coached by a brilliant corporate master, ToI.  It was also comforting to know that i’d be running into him at technical meetings and conferences – a chance to keep tabs on him.

“Tabs”… Well something like that. Turns out, ToI and i are Co-Chairmen of the Board of “Dawg Boyz, Inc.”, the rowdy band of “drinkin’ and whorin'” reprobates that create mayhem and foment debauchery at nearly every conference we attend.  Invariably, there was an opportunity for the two of us to take The Boy Genius out to an adult entertainment establishment, about a year after his departure from my group… 

ToI and i passed ourselves off as his parents in Cheetah’s (Atlanta, GA).  We managed to convince several of the dancers that the fresh-faced lad was our son, and that Mom and Dad were taking him out to his first strip club to celebrate his 21st birthday.  Oh, yeah.  He got done that night.  He got done and then some.

i let loose a slight sniffle, and a bittersweet shake of my head, when the photo below came across my desktop in the wee hours of Sunday morning.  The Boy Genius is getting married next month.  Saturday night, my friend ToI led the charge of the Bachelor Party.  That’s my baby, surrounded by five topless performers… climbing the fucking stripper pole.

They grow up so fast…

* and when i say “white”, i mean that in the “bleached like a fishbelly in the sun” sense of the word…

** Although i never made it official, i betrothed my daughter to him.  This sort of creeped him out, given that she was about 16 years old at the time… She wasn’t particularly enthused about the idea either.