1 Nov
   Okay, here it is, but only because everyone else is doing it:
A is for age: 43
B is for booze: Can't stand the stuff
C is for career: Don't get me started
D is for dad's name: Ken
E is for essential item to bring to a party: Pen (my wife, not the writing instrument) She goes with all my outfits.
F is for favorite song at the moment: I rarely have a favorite anything--I love variety
G is for girlfriend: no girlfriend, no boyfriend--closest at the moment I guess would be Dave, but that's a stretch too
H is for hometown: Trenton, Ontario
I is for instruments you play: Drums, keyboard, guitar, saxophone. Although I only play the drums well.
J is for jam or jelly you like: strawberry
K is for kids: Ryan, Chantel--although their both in their 20's now
L is for living arrangements: military housing--sucks big time
M is for mom's name: Ella
N is for name of your best friend: Pen, Ryan, Chantel, my brother, basically the family--again, no real friends anymore. 
O is for overnight hospital stays: hahahahahah!!!!
P is for phobia[s]: I have a fear of phobias. Other than that, nothing. (I'm not paranoid, they really are out to get me!)
Q is for quote you like: "It's only premarital sex if you marry them" Celia's mom.
R is for relationship that lasted the longest: my wife, Pen
S is for sexual position: For
T is for time you wake up: I get up at 6:30; I wake up around 10:00
U is for unique trait: strange sense of humor even in the face of adversity.
V is for vegetable you love: I love most veggies, but usually only after you add stuff that makes them unhealthy--go figure
W is for worst trait: procrastination--I think--let me get back to you on that one.
X is for x-rays you've had: teeth, chest, arms, ankle, cat scan, mri…
Y is for yummy food you make: pasta, pot roast, chicken fajitas, pancakes for the brats
Z is for zodiac sign: cusp of Aries-Taurus--probably a Taurus by the narrowest of margins

3 Nov
   We didn't get any Trick or Treaters for Halloween. Not one. We didn't even see any. Which was bad for Pen because she just loves seeing the wee ones dressed up in their costumes, but great for me because now I have hoards of chocolate. Yeah me! 
          Let's see, Oct 31 is Halloween, where the spirits of the dead walk the earth (as opposed to the rest of the year, where I suppose they float, or jog, or do that silly-looking power walking thing). Nov 1 is All Saints Day. (What do you hand out for All Saints Day? Chocolate covered communion wafers?) I guess the rest of the year is for us run-of-the-mill sinners.
          As for you Americans and your presidential election--well, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. This is me, being silent.

5 Nov
          Someone spent 85 minutes on my website. I'd like to think that they're actually reading the crap….er….posts I leave, but the paranoid schizo….er….wary person that I am wonders if maybe someone is hacking my computer. Of course, it's not like there's anything valuable on it--maybe a few hundred songs--and my writing, either of which they can have for the asking. 
         Hmmm….maybe they're just using my 'puter as a way station, routing through it to perform some nefarious plan that will end in world domination. But they're probably just surfing porn (and looking for domination of a different sort).
          Whatever the reason, they obviously need a life.  They're welcome to mine, which is, I guess, why I write this in the first place.

7 Nov
          So I'm going on a Basic Physical Fitness Instructor's Assistant course starting tomorrow for 2 weeks. What the heck does a Fitness Instructor's Assistant do? It better not have anything to do with collecting dirty towels and washing other people's jock straps, because if it does there's gonna be a coup. 
          I figure it's more along the lines of: "All right everybody, next we're going to do 200 pushups. I'll count them out while my assistant demonstrates." I tell you, somebody's gonna wind up locked in their locker with an atomic wedgie and no lunch money, and it won't be me.

9 Nov
          They opened a brand new Mega Mall in Vaughn Mills (just slightly north of Toronto). I have to say, it's impressive. It opened last Thursday, and my wife--the masochist--decided we should take a gander at it on Sunday. (Actually, she dragged me along, so I guess that makes her a Sadist. She multitalented.) 
          It's huge, has just about every franchise imaginable in it, comes complete with a bowling alley and an indoor go-kart track. And get this: the Bass Pro Shop's Outdoor World contains a live trout pond, natural waterfall and in-store fishing demonstrations. There's also parking for over 6,000 cars--and they were all taken. They even started parking cars over at Canada's Wonderland (think bargain-basement Disney Land) and offered a shuttle bus to the mall. 
          We managed to luck in and pull up just as someone was pulling out, and got a prime parking space about 100 feet from the entrance. If only I had that kind of luck with the lottery, I might actually be able to afford something at this new mall. With all the people that showed up, you'd think they were giving away free stuff. No such luck, though.

11 Nov
          I was only supposed to be a spectator on the Remembrance Day Parade today because I'm on the BFTA Course, but Dave from work showed up at my house last night at around eight o'clock and says, "Do you know your supposed to be on the parade tomorrow?" It would have been nice if the Sgt or someone in authority had called to tell me, rather than just a buddy from work showing up to fill me in--but that's the way the CF works. What would they have done if Dave hadn't told me and I hadn't shown up--charged me with AWOL?  Anyway, apparently they ran out of people that can stand still for hours at a time. Damn Ritalin. 
          It turns out that I'm not actually on the parade, but I'm an usher. I had to show up to ush for nine o'clock, even though none of the people I would actually be doing the ushing for would arrive before 10:15. So I got to stand outside and freeze for an extra hour and a half before the parade even started. I almost froze some of my favorite body parts off. 
          Of course the dignitaries all arrived in a gaggle. I suggested telling them that instead of seating them individually we tell them that we were going to play some music, and when the music stops the one left standing without a chair would have to go sit in the bleachers. The Base Chief's Assistant wouldn't go for it though.
          The only good thing is that after the parade we had the rest of the day off, so I went home and tried to thaw out some of those body parts. Luckily they were still fresh.

12 Nov
          The BFTA course is going fine. Think hardcore PT eight hours a day. To make matters worse there are fourteen of us on the course, and eight of them are twenty-something naval combat divers--basically elite underwater grunts. The other six are forty-something air force personnel, and of course, I'm the oldest.
          The problem is that whenever they divide the class up, I always end up with the combat divers. Here I am slogging my guts out, running, jumping, diving, rolling, taking cannon balls to the gut etc., and I look over at the other group and there doing, like….flower arranging, aroma therapy, origami, Buddhist meditation.…
          We spent an entire morning doing warm-up and cool down classes. Warm up, cool down, warm up, cool down, warm up, cool down. If I were a piece of metal I'd be brittle by now. The chief instructor asked if any of us took a nap at lunch yesterday after training. I asked him if waking up in the middle of the kitchen floor counted. 
          The good news is I only have another week and a half to go. I hope we end with a cool down.

16 Nov
          Here's a hint ladies: don't call and tell us something is wrong if you're unwilling or unable to tell us what is wrong until later. I mean, how sadistic is that? We only end up worrying for hours on end, wondering what it could be, when it could run the gamut from, "Betty at work got fired," to, "I have cancer." And while it may be upsetting to you that Betty got fired, it's certainly nothing that we had to fret and agonize over for the last three hours waiting for you to get home.

18 Nov
          Somewhere along the line I managed to cease to exist. Emails are ignored, my opinions no longer matter, the link to my webpage has been dropped, no one IM's me. It's a hard way to learn who your friends really are. Oh, well. At least I'm still getting paid.

20 Nov
          Well, I finished the Basic Fitness Trainer's Assistant Course, which means I guess I'm basically fit to train an assistant. Who'd a thought that you'd have to be in such good shape to teach people to fetch coffee and sharpen pencils? But if that's what it takes to succeed in today's corporate world, who am I to argue?
          On a writerly note, I'm just about done reading the third novel in E Bear's trilogy. (At least I think it's a trilogy--hopefully she's not as confused as Robert Jorden.) I've gone over it with a fine-tooth comb. (Oh, alright, the way my hairline's been receding I don't even own a fine tooth comb. A brush would do, and a lint brush at that--one of those sticky tape types, too.) Anyway, all I have to say to you suckers that have to wait until 2006 to read this is: na na nana na!!! 

23 Nov
          Why is it every time I spend hours researching just the right market to send a short story to, two days after send it off I read that they're closed to submissions. It's like everyone suddenly goes: "Holy Crap! Perry's submitted again. Quick, lock the doors, shut all the windows and turn out the lights. Maybe he'll think nobody's home." 
          Well, let me tell you something, Mister. You're not fooling me. Sooner or later you're going to have to go out for coffee, or chocolate, or Cheezie-Puffs--you know, survival food--and then I'll have you. So make sure you have that form letter rejection on you. 
          Maybe if you hold it up in front of you like a crucifix it might ward me off. But don't hold you're breath, because I'm developing an immunity to it. Not only that but you'll turn blue and pass out.
                                           (Hey, I'm not bi-polar, I just play one on TV.)

24 Nov
          I just love it when Pen leaves me little notes telling me how much she loves me and misses me--and how badly the garbage needs to go out. It's the little things.
          And on a related note (if you define related as: having absolutely nothing to do with the previous subject) I have band practice tonight, at my place, in the basement. I feel just like a kid again. We're trying out another singer. This one wants to do Janis Joplin's Piece of My Heart. I used to play the Sammy Hagar cover version of it ages ago, but I'm just not into the 60's retro feel of the original. Oh, well, the sacrifices we have to make. 
          Of course, we had to practice on the one night it's decided to snow like hell. Luckily Pen's working late tonight so we don't have to subject her to it, no matter how much she loves me. Hey, what do you know? It was related after all.
And just in case you missed it:

H A P P Y   B I R T H D A Y   K A T E   B A C H U S!!!!

28 Nov
          There's a marine supply store beside the theater we go to called Dock in a Box. That's right, it's just one letter away from being obscene. Anyway, Pen and I actually had some time together this weekend, so we partook in one of our favorite pastimes--going to the movies. 
          Saturday we saw National Treasure. We both enjoyed it, but of course we went to see it for what it was--certainly not an Oscar contender, but fun and entertaining none-the-less. If you liked the book The Da Vince Code, you should like this. As a matter of fact, when that book is made into a movie later this year, it's going to look like a copycat.
          We also went to see Alexander. Again, I thought it was all right. Certainly not the debacle the critics are making it out to be. I thought they spent too much time on his relationships with his mother, father and lovers (both male and female) and not enough time on those things that made him Great, but that's just me. I'm sure the red haze during his battle in India was meant to be symbolic or something, but I just found it annoying. Why spend all that money to stage a battle when you're going to obscure the action? 
          Still, in my opinion, those were it's only major drawbacks. I've read one critic's review where he panned it because Alexander's  general gives an impassioned plea to return home--in a thick Scott's brogue, no less. Yeah, there's a valid criticism. I mean, what was Oliver Stone thinking; everyone knows that all ancient cultures spoke with a British accent. (At least no one ever seems to complain when they do.)
          Honestly, I'm sick and tired of critics. As far as I'm concerned they rank right up there on the usefulness scale with lawyers. There just a bunch of snippy, pretentious blowhards, IMHO, and we'd all be much better off if we just made up our own minds about what we like and don't like. But of course, that'll never happen. I mean, if we all did that, how would we ever know who was popular, or cool? 
          And as for the movie, Alexander, the sight of the city of Babylon was almost worth the price of admission alone. But don't take my word for it.