The World in My Head

I've often wondered what a purely Todd World would look like. You know, the fantasy world that is in my head. My office gives us hint. As does PTOIT and my pre-cleaned condo. But last week, The Intended found perhaps the closest glimpse we will ever get to a world that is purely and wonderfully Todd.

At our new favorite Used Bookstore, she found a kids' book about a wacky kid named Todd who lives in a bizarre and fun world. Save for the startling absence of monkeys and robots, it's much like the world inside my head. It's called Welcome to Todd World.

Todd is the blue little guy above with spikey hair and mismatched shoes (both are attributes that he usually shares with me. However, my hair is not currently spikey. And I've never been blue. In color. )

There's no plot to the book (like my world) and it's full of colorful and bizarre friends (also like my life). There's "friendly aliens and plants [that] eat ice cream." Both also exist in my imaginary world--but in mine, the plants also eat raw meat--and communists.

Because it's a sticker book, I've added items here and there on some of the pages--like the pizza on a stick below. (Of course my Todd World would feature all food being eaten on a stick!)

And now, my favorite part of the book. Todd's fascination with underwear...

The pages' instructions tell you to put the stickers of underwear on Todd and his dogs' head. So I did.

In a surprisingly true way, the sweet but bizarre attitude of Todd World is much like my life. (Except I don't have a Giant Milkshaker to ride in.) And the most striking thing is perhaps that the book's closing page is a perfect epilogue for PTOIT readers:


Mouth Spacle and Other Life Moments

I realized this morning that my blog entries lately haven't really been about what I'm up to or anything. I mean, sure, Red Fez Monkey's smoking habit is a big deal and all--but that's not all that's up with me. So here's some nuggets of Todd Life:

For lunch today I had a chicken breast. I ate it with a plastic fork.

When I had just one bite left, I noticed that one tong was broken off a about a third of the way up. The fork wasn't broken when I began to eat. I looked around the plate and on my desk. No broken prong anywhere. So apparently, I ate it.


My right leg is really painful. I haven't done anything resembling working out in about 7 years, so I know it's not sore. But it feels just like how I recall both of my legs feeling during my early teen years when I was growing an inch a week (give or take). It's just a dull pain that emanates from the bone. I've had this issue on and off for weeks. I'd like to think I am in another growth spurt.

Then again, it's probably this whole turning 30 thing. I swear that my back has ached, my legs have hurt and my memory has diminished every day since Feb 7. The dementia sets in next Thursday I think.


I had a short dentist appointment at noon today. By that, I mean the appointment was short. My dentist is normal height.

I had to stop in and get some whitening trays. The cool thing is that in addition to getting the little plastic sleeves that slide onto my teeth, the dentist gave me the actual cement molds of my mouth that she made in order to fabricate the trays.

So now, I have this perfect replica of my mouth. Man, I am giddy with possibilities of fun things I can do with this. Not everyone has a life sized-replica of their own mouth!


I realize that I never talked about that dentist appointment where they made the molds. Basically, the dental hygienist fills a tray with this goop and then sticks your upper or lower row of teeth into it. As you sit there, it hardens. Then, she wiggles it off.

Well, we had problems getting mine to work. My wisdom teeth are very far back and so, time after time, my back teeth would be sticking out of the back of the mold. So in order to get a workable mold of ALL the top and bottom teeth, we actually did this routine 6 times.

Each time, she'd try a bigger tray full of this little pink cement-goop that she had to keep mixing up. Finally, she said, "Well, that was my biggest tray. I don't know what to do."

I suggested that we stick my jaw in a bucket. She said that wouldn't work.

On try 5, I said, "I feel really bad that I'm wasting all your mouth Spackle."

She didn't smile and just said, "It's not Spackle."


I am still cleaning my condo every morning before coming to work in case someone may come view it for purchase. It's frustrating because it feels for naught. Not one person has viewed the house yet.

And you know, the one time I say "screw it" and don't pick up my underwear, someone will come for a showing.


The Slow Healing Process

The road back to normal can be long and windy--full of bumps and detours. It's never as easy as we hope to climb back to how things used to be. That's the lesson all of us here in my office are learning. We all celebrated when Red Fez came home after his sudden departure. We welcomed him back with open arms. We were happy our prodigal monkey was back.

But it hasn't all been that easy. Red Fez has come back with some new ideas, painful experiences and bad habits to work through. For instance, one of the other fez monkeys (Blue? Yellow?) caught this on film this week:

While in New York, living the fancy high fashion life, Red Fez picked up a smoking habit. And while there's little funnier than a smoking monkey, I'm trying not to encourage it. There are worse vices than somking for a monkey, but I guess things were at a dangerous level. Frankly, Red Fez just couldn't quite get the hang of the whole process of lighting the cigarette.

Here's the picture that most frightened all of us:

Poor guy's gonna lose his eyebrows.

The other Fez Monkeys have staged an intervention and I think we're all making progress on this slow road to recovery.


I Love My Job

Last week, our magazine had a staff retreat to choose articles we will use next year. My boss Chris always brings toys and candy for us during this day-long meeting. Tough job I have, I know. Well, he bought these new Tic-Tacs called "Tic-Tac BOLD! Fruit."

I like Tic-Tacs, so I tried one. I wasn't very happy about it.

There's several waves of taste in this Tic-Tac:

Wave 1: "Oh, Tic Tac flavor."

Wave 2: "Fruity. Kinda Fruit Punch."

Wave 3: "Here comes the BOLD! Sour."

Wave 4: "Rotten bold fruit."

Wave 4: "Butt."

Seriously, the final wave and resulting aftertaste were horrible. Nasty. It's biting and pungent.

And so yesterday, I walk into Chris' office and he's eating some Tic-Tac BOLD! He offers me some.

"No thanks," I said. "I thought they were kinda gross."

Chris eats another. And then replies, "Yah, they are horrible."

Me: "But why do you keep eating them?"

Chris: "I don't know."

Me: "If you don't like them..."

Chris: "You know what they taste like? Kitty Litter."

Me: "I've never eaten Kitty Litter."

Chris: "They taste like how Kitty Litter smells."

Me: "Huh."

Chris: "Try it."

I did. And the man is right. The 5th Wave is exactly the flavor of Kitty Litter Smell.

Chris: "It's fascinating. I keep eating them because I think that the next one will taste better. But they never do."

Oddly, this wasn't the strangest interaction that occurred on our staff yesterday.

Designer Doug stopped by my office. As he was talking, he winced. And placed his hand on his stomach. I asked him if he was OK. He said he was but was feeling "Irritable."

And then, about 1.5 seconds later, I had a sharp pain in the side of my stomach. I winced and placed my hand on my stomach.

Doug said, "Are you OK? It's contagious!"

I think it may have been sympathy pains.


Turkey Watch

This was a good weekend. I got to relax, I got to eat Salt Creek BBQ, The Intended had her first Wedding Shower (one down, 14 to go), I got to see my mom and grandma, and I fit in some bowling with the youth group.

Here's my favorite story of the weekend:

I was driving from the bowling alley to the church with one youth group kid, Colin. We were following another leader, my friend Laura (hi, Laura!). On a small residential street, she slowed down and stuck her head out the window and pointed off to the left. I didn't see anything. A little bit later, she did the same again--and seemed to be yelling at two older people standing on the sidewalk.

If she was trying to tell me something, I wasn't getting it. So I called her. She said, "Didn't you see the wild turkey walking down the street?"

I admitted I did not. Colin didn't either. We are boys and not very observant. But a wild turkey in dowtown Hinsdale would be an odd sight. (And I'm betting that if he's in Hinsdale, even that turkey makes more money than I do.)

Anyway, Laura continued: "And then those two people seemed like they were looking for something so I yelled to them, 'Are you looking for the turkey? It's down that way!'

We're not exactly sure the couple had indeed seen the turkey, but in a way I hope they hadn't--just because I think it'd be funny if they were just on a walk when someone in a car started yelling at them about a turkey.


The PTOIT Poster Awards Continued!

Funniest Random Comment
"Oh, I like the Belgians! They make good Waffles!" by The Intended (then known as The LadyFriend.)

The Charles Barkley Award
The Winner is The Gat for this gem: "We used to tackle people in mascot costumes in malls. we found out that most people who put on those costumes are college kids or old retired guys. I am not a role model."

The Most Literal Commenter Award
When I wrote, "While I'm wearing my Reviewing Shoes, I thought I'd point out a few things," DoubleM responded with, "You have a pair of shoes you wear just when going to review a movie? Man, you journalists are weird."

Best Logic Award
When I discussed some people's problem with keeping cookies in a drawer next to office supplies, The Gat made this astute call: "By LT's reasoning, shouldn't the cookie inherit the flavor of the material it is wrapped in? So, what about tin foil? Or plastic wrap? The only way to get around this is to wrap the cookies in... cookies. You should line the inside of the Cookie Drawer with cookies. I am wrapping things in bacon as we speak. Mmmm."

Best Use of Bacon in a Comment
See above.

Most Inappropriate Comment Award...
Goes to the Derfman. You know why.

Best Witty Retort to Another Commenter Award
This was easily won by the Dreamer who saw one of the Derfman's inappropriate comments about my sister and reponded with, "I'm thinking 'the derfman watch' has taken on a whole new meaning."

Best Witty Retort to The Todd Award
Sweeping the "Best Witty Retort" category is The Dreamer. When I discussed the difficulties of drafting fantasy football players, The Dreamer repeated my line of "If there's studs on the table I am going to go with them" and added dryly, "Me too, Todd. Me too."

The "Doug No Talking" Award
This award can only be given to one man. And he earned it. When I innocently asked what I should do with my giant R2 pepsi cooler after I'm married, Doug suggested this: "Only because everybody is expecting me to say it . . . . Todd you could "pop" out of R2 on your first night together."

The Most Sweet and Innocent Award
In stark contrast, Lil Sis responded to a blog about Missy Elliot by saying, "Hmm, this is a lot of booty talk for my lil' ears."

The Most Serious-Sounding Argument About Why Monkeys Are Neat
When I proposed that monkeys were cool because they wear people clothes, fight stuff and hit things with sticks, The Intended made an argument to the contrary. "I'd argue monkeys are at their BEST when they show their humane sides...research has proven that time and time again! Look at Jane Goodall, Koko the Gorilla, etc. Entertaining as they can be when they fight dinosaurs they are BEST when they are tender and nuturing and remind us of our more humane, loving instincts...not our savage ones!"

The Social Watchdog Award
HopefulSW did a great community service by warning us all of a dangerous conspiracy: "McDonalds has always been into kid trickery. The majority of people I know are afraid of clowns. I think Ronald McDonald was a massive campaign to trick people into liking a clown."

And now...

My Favorite Comment Post of the Year
Coming from Chadaddy, this comment post about marriage still makes me laugh aloud every time I read it. Enjoy:

"Here is a little 'What I learned in the first year of marriage' advice from someone who had to learn the hard way:

1) Never forget your first anniversary.
2) Flowers are still required even after you are married.
3) Never ask her on January 13th, when her birthday is because you think it is coming up (oh, yeah it was the 12th of January).
4) It is not called "Baby Sitting" when it is your child.
5) Never say "Just pick out your own present for your birthday dear," it will cost you much more.

Wow... Reading thru this list I am amazed I am still married. Honey if you are reading this, I love you."

And with that, here's to another year of fun reader interaction!

The PTOIT Poster Awards!

Well, today actually marks one year since I started Putting the Odd in Todd (or PTOIT). We've seen a lot happen in a year. I conquered an addiction to Chai Tea, my Red Fez Monkey disappeared and then returned, I got engaged and I've killed off about 4 regular features like Fun with Google.

To celebrate, I thought I'd post some of my favorite entries from the comment boards. Not everyone looks at them, and there's been some fun stuff. So, I give out the First Annual PTOIT POSTER AWARDS.

The Champion of the Free Press Award
In reaction to my UPS blog, DoubleM wrote, "Look at that - you can't even last 2 weeks and you're already trying to sell out. Long live the independent press...er blogs!"

The Glass-Is-Half-Full Award
In reaction to my entry about holing up in the nearby IKEA after the eventual apocalypse, The Gat wrote, "That IKEA is only 30 min away. sweet. you could come sleep over."

The Realism Award
In reaction to the IKEA blog, "Steve" wrote, "The key to survive a post-Apocalyptic future is to have 'real' skills like farming or carpentry. Wordsmiths, lawyers, economists, directors of research at executive recruiting firms, and radio news broadcasters need not apply.The other useful thing to have is a gun, not a spoon."

The Glass-Is-Half-Full Award II
When I worried that robots would soon take over, The Derfman wrote, "I, for one, welcome our new Robot overlords. Did I say 'overlords'? I meant 'protectors.'"

The Mr. Rogers Award
This one goes to "Steve" for helping us realize an important life lesson. "Moral to the missing monkey story: Cherish every moment you have with your monkey. You never know when it will be gone."

The Full Disclosure Award
When I wrote about my history of illness, RJCraig stole this award with a brilliant entry:

"Having once employed the author of this blog, I can confirm that the man's hypochondria is long-standing. The following is a list of ailments he complained about in 1999.
* Nausea and dizziness (3/7 approx 2:30)
* Hurt toe - Run over by chair, weird bump (3/23 2:49 p.m.)
*Headache, ankles ache (3/27 1:51 p.m.)
* “My eyeballs itch.”...later spreads to entire body (3/29 3:05 p.m.)
* Suddenly lost hearing in right ear (4/5 11:46 a.m.)
* Nose bleed (4/7 2:10 p.m.)
* A general malaise, “mushy” head (4/10)
* Face feels red, warm (5/16 3:54 p.m.)
* Chest pains...but only in heart (5/30 12:41 p.m.)
* Intense ringing in ears...deafness except for buzzing (6/27 10:30 a.m.)
* Right eye socket hurts upon blinking: “...a shooting kind of numb pain.”
* Sudden, crippling pain in kneecap (8/9 afternoon)
* Same as 5/30 but on other side (9/7 10:49 a.m.)
* Seems like left temple is generating “a lot of heat.” (11/1 11:10 a.m.)
* A sharp poking right in the kneecap. (11/14 4 p.m.)
* Bad shock and pain in one tooth from a piece of cheese (11/29 11:49 a.m.) The cheese “chilled my tooth to a painful point...To the point where there was a shock.” Cheese may have created "electricity."
* Throbbing pain in kneecap (12/4 2 p.m.)
* Hip just went out (3/8 2:35 p.m.)
* Legs very weak; gets exhausted just thinking about standing (4/20 10:02 a.m.)

You know, I am enjoying these awards so much that I will continue them tomorrow...when I will award several more including My Favorite Comment Post of the Year.


Fear Not! The Juice is Back!

I know there was a lot of panic, tears and protest recently when I warned that Aldi may have stopped carrying THE BEST JUICE IN THE WORLD. But I am happy to announce that it was a false alarm. I went back last night, and the juice was back. Apparently, they were just sold out that night. Whew.

To avoid any crisis like that happening again, I stocked up. I bought 9 tubes of the concentrated delight.

On the way home, I realized that people may soon be visiting my home to purchase it. I think it will be funny when they find 4 Tupperware jugs of cereal in one cabinet, 3 giant 32 oz bags of unopened cereal in another cabinet and then 9 cans of the same juice in the freezer. With all that horded cereal and juice, they will assume an Obsessive Compulsive lives there.

Or a third grader.


Of Smoking Clowns and Green Beverages

I was driving on Route 20 Saturday afternoon behind a black pickup truck. All over the truck were advertisements for a special events company: "Clowns! Animals! Table Magic! Balloon Tricks!" As I drove behind him, I wondered if maybe there would indeed be a clown driving. So, I passed him to see.

Sure enough, there was a clown driving--with full make-up, the big red nose and a ball cap on instead of his wig. I chuckled.

And then the best part--I noticed he was smoking. There's just something funny about a clown who smokes. It was like seeing a real-life Krusty the Clown going to work.


I finally had that Shamrock Shake on Saturday. Oh, sweet joy. One of my youth group kids competes with a friend every year to see who can drink more. Last year, I kept pace with him. This year, I didn't even try because I want to keep my girlish figure. Turns out he had 13 in 10 days before giving up because the other kid was so far ahead.

While the Shamrock was wonderful, I noted as I drank it that it really just made me crave an Arctic Orange Shake.

I'm not a big beer drinker. But My Intended and I went to see my high school friend Eric play at a bar on Saturday and got a pitcher of Miller Lite. It was colored bright green. The funny thing? I swear it tasted better green.


Speaking of all these things I drank this weekend, I also bought a new combined fruit juice at Aldi to make up for the lack of The Best Juice in the World. This one was White Grape and Peach. As I drank it for the first time Saturday, I literally did a double-take because I thought I was drinking wine. It tastes just like a sweet, white wine.

It's good. But with cereal in the morning, it's a little weird.


At youth group, we played Broomball for the first time in over a year.

The game (think floor hockey with a kickball and brooms) used to be a staple of our group. We played all the time. The kids even had their own custom brooms. But when the church renovated, we lost our good Broomball room. We gained a big new basement that the pastor told us we good play in, but there have been problems with it. First of all, it is way to0 big. So when you mark out boundaries, you end up chasing the ball way too much when it goes out of bounds. Secondly, the one time we tried to play down there, we kicked up so much dust that one kid left with an asthma attack. Thirdly, once the room got cleaned up, it kept being used for weddings and resales. So we had nowhere to go.

Last night, a few of us discovered that the new basement is now largely empty and unused again. There were also about 20 lightweight folding tables just sitting there from the resale. So, we used them to build a nice Broomball rink. The tables were used as the sides of the playing field all the way around. It was awesome.

We really had fun and bonded over our blood, sweat and tears. It was pretty hardcore and aggressive. Many of us left with several bruises. By the end, I was so exhausted, I could barely swing my broom.

Dream Log:
(March 18, 2007)
I was in a Jeep with Designer Doug. He was in the passenger seat. I was in the backseat. I think we were waiting for the driver because we were sitting in the parking lot of a bank. As we sit, we see another Jeep pull in. There's is red. 5 big, burly guys get out. They talk and then four go into the bank.

The fifth, a weaselly, Gary Sinese-looking guy, gets back into the Jeep, pulls out of his parking space near ours and moves to the far side of the parking lot from the bank doors. He gets out again, opens the back hatch and starts to arrange a bunch of blankets and plastic tubs. I watch him and see he has a gun tucked into his pants and a large knife hanging from his leg. I tell Doug that I think something's up.

We look into the glass doors of the bank and can't really tell if anything's going on. It seems calm. There's still a security cop standing his post.

Then the dream turns into a movie or show I am watching. Specifically, it's LOST. Inside the bank, the four burly guys go upstairs to a big exquisite lobby. As they walk in, Sawyer jumps them. They easily over power him. They beat him to the ground and tell him to stay. The guys search the lobby and finally find Kate in a corner. She says that she won't tell them where Jack is and that their plan to rob the bank won't work.

A lot of other stuff happens, but the rest is a blur.


Where Are You, Juice? Where Are You?

I am not prone to easily panic, but I want to let everyone know that there's a troubling situation brewing that could build into an outright catastrophe.

Aldi may be no longer carrying THE BEST JUICE IN THE WORLD.

A couple years ago, I discovered a frozen concentrate juice at Aldi called "Pineapple-Orange-Apple." I gave it a try because I like juice. In fact, I love juice. And to me, the best juices are those that combine fruits. I mean, God gave every fruit it's own juice and they are lovely in their own gifts. I love apple juice. And grape juice. But when fruit juices truly shine--like the body of the church--is when they combine their gifts. When cranberry or apple or lime or orange lend their talents to other fruits, that's when we see special, magical things happen in juice.

And the culmination of this was Aldi's Pineapple-Orange-Juice. It was less of a juice and more of a taste explosion. An event.

And last night, Aldi didn't have any of it. Totally gone. Now, I do maintain hope that they were just sold out. Could be. But Aldi does have a habit of cycling product in and out. It could be gone forever. We can only hope
that THE BEST JUICE IN THE WORLD is still out there.

If not, my mouth will be in mourning for a long, long time.


Hair Crisis Avoided

I have to say it: I like my hair today. I liked it yesterday too. The new style has taken some time for me to get used to, but it's going well now.

And that says a lot given the despair of Hair Crisis 2007. How'd I go from those dark days to now being happy with longer hair?

It all started with young Becca. She's a student at the local Tricoci University. I went there (as part of the disaster reaction plan) to get my first styling ever. I normally clip it myself or go to a barber. But I tried Tricoci U (Are they in the Final Four? What's their mascot?) because I figgered I wanted someone young and hip to do something new--and not the old man barber who charged me $13 two years ago to box my ears and taper the back of my hairline.

Tricoci U was hip. In fact, I'm not cool enough to be there really. All the workers wore black, with New York hair and most of the girls looked like they hang around with Paris Hilton. Or like they were in that Devil Wears Prada movie.

But I liked the way Becca cut my hairs, gave me layers and shaped it all a bit. All for just $8. A few things that were interesting:

1) I've never had a woman shampoo my hair before (or a man actually) since my mom probably did when I was but a todd-ler. That was kinda weird. I'm not creeped out easily by touch or anything (though the thought of anyone but The Intended giving me a back massage really freaks me out) but it was odd having this young girl lathering up my scalp. And yet, oddly calming.

2) During the cut, Becca parted my hair down the middle. She joked that she didn't understand why guys would do that and how silly it looked. When she was done cutting my hair, she styled it with the part down the middle. Wha? That didn't stay long.

3) In styling my hair, Becca used this stuff called Fiber. The application of it required her to -- literally -- clap her hands above my head and let these little strings of goop flutter onto my head. When I told Camerin about it, she said that it may have been some strange marriage ceremony or witchcraft.

So anyway, my hair is now different than I've ever done it. It's just all messy and down over my forehead. I like it. I won't keep this style for too long. But for now, it's cool.

And the best part is that I get no rashes from the hair product I'm using. Whew.


Kiss My Blarney Stone

For weeks I've heard radio commercials declaring, "Shamrock Shakes are back!" And so the familiar urges returned from my past addiction to Shamrock Shakes. I kept waiting until the perfect time to have my first one of the season....

And I decided Sunday afternoon was the time. It was warm out. I was going to youth group. It was time to Shamrock.

So, I stopped at this real fancy-dancy McDonald's near my church. And when I say "fancy-dancy," I ain't kidding. It's Hinsdale after all. This place has nice woodwork, paintings and looks like an old two-story brick house from the outside.

But you know what happened?

They had NO SHAMROCK SHAKES! How can this be? They have 7-foot murals of countrysides but not a cup of green shakiness? This McDonald's has it's priorities all mixed up.

When I asked for one, the kid said, "We don't have those." I said, "You don't have Shamrock Shakes?" He answered, "No. We don't have the mix yet."

"But St. Patrick's Day is next week."

"I know. But we don't carry it."

I was dismayed. And shakeless.



Well, the De-Toddifying of my home is over. After a few weeks of packing, moving, sanding, painting and cleaning, the condo is now ready to go on the market this week. It feels very bright, very big and ... well, not me. But that's the point. Thanks to everyone who helped with all the painting and cleaning.

Now, I want to share the results of the De-Toddification process:





What this "Before" photo of the bathroom fails to show is that I had a big purple stripe running at the top of each wall--like on the top of a monopoly card. But, no more...



Another Bedroom View


Unfortunately, I don't have "Before" photos for two rooms. And the first is the room that's seen the most dramatic change. If you've been to my house, you may remember the dining room with it's dark, dark blue walls. Well, no more...

My kitchen's defining characteristics were old metal advertising signs all over the walls. But now...

So, that's it.

Now, I just have to keep it clean and hope for buyers. Please pray that this thing sells in God's time--whatever that may be. I'd really like it to sell before June to not have two mortgages. But if it sells too soon, I may live in my truck. So, I need to just trust God that he'll time it right and use whatever happens.


Let Them Eat Cake! (And I'll have my cookie.)

After months of discussion, negotiations with bakeries and assorted trials, it looks like we will be having a cookie cake after all--in addition to a regular cake.

It didn't look good there for awhile because apparently my vision for a wedding cookie--looking like a wedding cake with layers of big cookies separated by cake pillars--is impossible. So, we decided to change our plan and have an actual, traditional wedding cake. That's great, but I still wanted cookies. I was intent on finding a way.

And it looks like it may just happen! A friend has discovered a neat free standing cake stand in storage at her family's bakery that will support three teirs of big cookie. Whoo! So, everyone at the reception can have their cake and eat it too... while I partake in my cookie.

In other reception news...

I'm not saying, I am just saying.

UPDATE: Marc dreamt of my wedding last night. And it's weird. Check it out here.


The Return of the Prodigal Monkey

Late last night, a ship sailing the oceans for the last several months arrived again in my office. And on that tiny wooden replica of the Santa Maria sat my own prodigal son, The Red Fez Monkey.

He has returned. Fill the streets with songs of joy.

There is much rejoicing here in the office. There's been so much excitement that I haven't quite gotten all the details yet. But let me fill you in with what I know.

As we last heard, Purple Fez monkey was in New York searching for his missing brother, who'd apparently left my office with no notice in order to become a model. Purple Fez never wrote to me after his first day in New York so I had no idea what had happened. But after about a week there, he met a fashion cross-stitcher who'd used Red Fez as a model. When asked about Red Fez's whereabouts, this man told Purple Fez, "He was not made for the concrete jungle. And so, he returned to his native land, The Fez Jungle, to be with all the other Fez Monkeys."

With the first great lead of his epic search, Purple Fez set sail for the Fez Jungle of South America.

One dark night, Purple Fez was tired of searching and set up camp. As he was searching for food, he heard a noise. A twig snapped. Thick jungle growth shook with movement. A predator was on the hunt. He did whatever monkeys do when threatened; I'm not sure what that is. It may have involved throwing feces. Anyway, out of the thick vegetation walked...RED FEZ MONKEY!

The brothers embraced. After such a long search, Purple Fez was triumphant--he'd found his brother.

"Why didn't you come home after you left New York and modeling behind you?" Purple Fez asked.

"Because I was afraid I'd brought shame on you in not having what it took to be a model," Red Fez admitted. "With the way I left, I didn't feel like I could just come back."

"But of course you can!" Exclaimed Purple Fez. "We are family. You should have never felt ashamed of your desire to be a model--or that you had to keep that ambition secret. You should have never felt ashamed to admit your failure. We've missed you and searched for you! You are always a part of Todd's office decor!"

They embraced more. They picked bugs from each other's back. But then, strange sounds came again from the trees. Purple Fez braced for an attack from an unseen jungle attacker.

"Don't be afraid," said Red Fez. "They are with me."

With that, three Fez Monkeys swung from vines and joined the reunited brothers.

"They have no real home or family," Red Fez said. "They are Fez Monkeys with no office to decorate. Perhaps they can come live with us."

And so, a ship full of 5 Fez Monkeys arrived to my office this morning. Indeed, I may have lost one for a brief time. But I now have gained 3 new Fez Monkeys.
And my dear sweet Red Fez is back!

The Remnants of a Weekend

I was 10 minutes late for work this morning. Now, I don't need an excuse because no one really cares (and I was still the 2nd person in my area to get here). But, being late is abnormal for me. And I think I have a decent excuse. I had no idea what time it really was. I was lucky I was here before sundown.

Because my family and friends came to paint the condo on Saturday, everything got unplugged. Clocks apparently either didn't get set or got set wrong. It was a different time in every room of my house this morning. When I left the house, it was 7:30 in my bedroom, 7:15 in the kitchen, 9:15 in the living room, and 6:30 in the dining room. Plus, my watch is missing again and my cell phone, the only real source of actual time in my life, wasn't recharged last night.

I do have some battery-run clocks. But, as The Intended would attest, they never tell the right time anyway--and they were the ones furthest off today. In fact, as she pointed out just last week, my house always seems to have different time zones per room. So, really Saturday's work may not be the cause at all. I just have a general time gap in my house. Maybe this condo is like a time machine and some rooms transport you into the past or the future. That'd be cool. And should help in the selling of the property. I wonder if my realtor will list "possible time-bending powers" as one of the attributes after "newly painted."

As a work update on the house, it is fully painted now. I only have some minor touch-ups and caulking before moving to Phase 3: The Heavy Cleaning. (Phase 1 was Extraneous Stuff Removal. Phase 2 was De-Toddifying the Walls with lots and lots of off-white. Phase 4 is apparently Synchronize Clocks.) The place looks a lot brighter and bigger now with the light paint. I don't like it. But it looks bigger and brighter. The kitchen is almost blinding.

We had a really really fun day Saturday. It's bad to gather all the Hertz's in a small confined space. And The Sister's Boyfriend may have gone away mortified. I'm really not sure what all happened, but I just remember at one point yelling, "I poop in a bag!" And that was before the giant Olive Garden bottle of wine. Things got worse from there.

Dream Log
My high school friend John and I were in college together. Or it may have been some camp. But we were in a large group of young people and staying in a dorm-like commune. John and I began to individually get visited by this strange guy who would just pop out of nowhere. He said he was time traveling and needed our help.

He'd only visit me for minutes at a time, but John told me the visitor popped into his closet for 2 hours one night. "Did you ask him what was going on?" I asked. John said no. "Did you ask him how we can help him or where he came from?" John said no.

Eventually, John and I learned that time travel didn't need a machine or any devices. It was a mental state. We learned to bend time and space with our minds. It was great.


My Disaster Reaction Plan

Since I last posted, my life has been defined by what I like to call Hair Crisis 2007. My hair is out of control and I can't do much with it. I've tried different things and this long hair thing is just not happening. The biggest problem is that darned Hair Putty I bought.

There are two problems with The Hair Putty:

1) It's not doing for my hair what I need it to. I bought it because my Crystal Wax ran out. And once I had it, I decided to do a more messy look. This Hair Putty is not made for the messy look. My hair just ended up being floofy. It also made my hair clumpy. Clumpy and floofy together is just weird.

2) I'm apparently allergic to The Hair Putty. It's made me all red, itchy and splotchy. I'm telling ya: Somebody tampered with it. It was poisoned with some sort of Splotchy Sauce.

So, not one to just suffer in silence, I am taking action to end Hair Crisis 2007. My Disaster Relief Plan has two prongs:

1) Get new product. This phase is completed. I bought something called "Out of Bed" last night. This product seems to be more along the lines of what I need--designed to make your hair "peicey and messy." And no one's fingerprint was in it.

2) Get styled. This is a major step for me. But desperate times mean desperate actions. Normally, I would just get out my clippers and go back to my default short, spiky hair. But I believe in the Todd Long Messy Hair Dream. So, I will lay aside my allegiance to self-haircuts and go to a stylist. I need some shaping. Some layering, perhaps.

With these two action steps, I believe, a new better haircut will rise out of the ashes.