In the wake of the bombing attempts in England and Scotland, something unsurprising has happened. Across the Middle East, people are rising up to say, "The Israelis did it! Or perhaps the CIA!" This isn't much of a surprise. I remember in New York, whenever someone's teenage son would knock over a liquor store, the screaming parent would always appear on the evening news declaring that her son would never do such a thing, and that it must have been the cops who framed her son. Or the Israelis.
It's hard to come to terms with the possibility that your relatives (or co-religionists) have committed heinous crimes. I suppose it's worse when they claim that they did it because God told them to. The truth hurts. But if there's ever going to be progress in the Middle East, Muslims have to come to terms with the idea that some religiously committed Muslims think it's OK to blow stuff (and people) up. Alas, the CIA isn't to blame for everything.
Dear denizens of the interwebs,
When you create an account on facebook, myspace, orkut, friendster, or any other of the ego-stroking 'look at all of my totally zomg awesome friends!' websites (and I can't judge too harshly, I have some too), the world does not need the big pronouncement of how low you've fallen, how you've totally caved now and bought into the hype and look at all the same crap you're now hosting on yet another website, obnoxious forwarded messages included, and quite honestly, we don't care, because if we really wanted to find you on one of those sites, we'd either email you asking if you had a profile or do a very simple, very easy search on your name/username/email accounts and check for ourselves.
You're not the first person to have a presence on the internet, you won't be the last, and you know what? There's no bloody prize for joining or abstaining. I don't care if you're there or not, I don't care what your reasons are or aren't, and I don't need to hear all about how awesome you find it, how exciting it is to suddenly find all of these old high school, elementary school, or fellow hooker-ass-cocaine-snorting friends you've suddenly gotten back in touch with after all these years.
I don't care. I seriously doubt the rest of us do either, and if you're so stupid as to put so much of your information online already, then I don't know what to tell you aside from asking for your bank account information so I can share the wealth this Nigerian prince wants me to hide off-shore for him.
jen x (and yes, that so totally is my real last name, how'd you know?!)
I've learned that in Paris they are going to make thousands of bicycles available basically for free, so long as you return them within 1/2 hour. Based upon a similar venture in Lyon,the idea being to reduce pollution and noise and give residents a chance to work off some of that high-caloric food and wine they guzzle. Win-win as it were. Now if they could just figure out a way to make women shave their armpits and wear deodorant.
Behind all this is of course that damned global warming or as it is presently called "global climate change." (In case we enter a new "mini-Ice Age as my son predicts will happen any day now, bets are sufficiently hedged.) People just love to gab about the weather and how it is changing, some would say for the better. They see polar bears falling through the ice to a watery death and say, "See there! It's getting warmer alright. We're all gonna die."
Others say no. These changes are cyclical and blah blah blah the debate drags on. Much hand-wringing ensues. Nobody ever says, "Look, let's just stipulate that egghead scientists are right. Let's start taking some concrete steps to slow global warming, er, global climate change."
Like what? Well, there are millions and millions of gas-slurping, high-pollution SUVs in the USA. Not only that but they help keep us beholden to Arab radicals with their oil. Why does the average suburbanite need to drive one of these monstrosities every day? The answer is they don't. Every once in a while they will pack the family in there for a vacation with every household item they own. Other times it is their turn to haul the soccer team around. On even rarer occasions they might figure out how to activate the 4 wheel drive and actually take the goddamn thing off-road. Most of the time they are alone in there, stuck in trafffic, burning fuel and belching toxins into our air. They could be just as comfortable in a Cooper Mini.
So the government needs to buy up all the existing SUVs and ban future manufacture. If a citizen has a legit need for one as cited above, they can rent one at a subsidized low price. The rest of the time they can scoot around in their Cooper Minis. And if they really need to drive one on a daily basis they can apply for an exemption, wait ten years and be happy.
By then we'll all be dead anyway.
At our annual New Year's party this year, I declared to my friends that 2007 was going to be the year of lesbian Jen (that's lesbian Jen X to those of you from the interwebs). I also said that I was going to be working up to it slowly -- I started out the evening winking at my girlfriends, and the joke is that the year of lesbian Jen (X) will culminate in a massive, multi-woman orgy on December 31, 2007, and at the stroke of 12, I'll stand up, say something akin to, "Thanks, this was fun!" and return to my previous heterosexual-but-flexible ways.
Now, I like men, I really do, and anyone who's been to my 'other' site can attest to this fact. Hell, anyone who's spent any time in person with me for any length of time can also attest to this, and probably wishes I would stop.
However, every now and then I meet guys who make me long for what my mind assumes would be sapphic bliss.
The first guy I ever slept with is a prime candidate for the reject factory, but I won't go on at great length about him. Let's just say anyone who tells me that I should change the way I walk so I'll be sexier and lusts after the girl wearing next-to-nothing while simultaneously telling me that I can't wear a particular shirt because it 'outlines my breasts' (if you have 'em, they're automatically outlined, jackhole!) isn't staying around very long. I was much younger and much dumber then.
The coworker who told me that, if he had a problem with a behaviour of mine, it was my fault and I had to change, while also telling me that if I had a problem with a behaviour of his, it was just something I was going to have to learn to get used to, is another. Again, much younger, much dumber.
Now, I've dated lots of great guys, and I've had lots of first dates/coffee meetings with some other guys who, while perfectly nice and normal, just aren't my type -- and the fact that they never contacted me for a second date says they weren't into me, either (or they thought I was batshit insane, which would be hilarious if it were the case). But sometimes I meet a guy who makes me shake my head in confusion.
See, I meet people mostly through dating sites, with (as you can tell), varying degrees of success. I met one guy a few months ago who quizzed me throughout the evening: "Where do you see yourself in five years? What goals do you have for yourself? Do you make money from your sites? Why do you write your sites? What religion are you? Is it important to you?" and so on. He also told me that Jewish guys are best in bed (he was Jewish); I replied that I'd heard statistically, they had the biggest dicks, but that doesn't really make a major difference to me (that subject is for another post). I think he was disappointed by the fact that I didn't respond to his fumbling come-ons, and at the end of the evening told me that, while he felt we'd had a good time talking and it had been very easy and so on, we'd connected more on a 'professional' level than on a 'romantic' one.
Mentally I responded, "Maybe that's because you were interviewing me rather than chatting with me?" and shrugged my shoulders and laughed about it.
That was a minor amusing anecdote compared to the next guy, though.
This guy was a 30-year old tattoo artist (I bring the best guys home to Mom and Dad). Not overly covered in tattoos, seemed fairly intelligent, interesting and so on. During an MSN chat, I mentioned I had two cats; he asked me how old they were, and if they were going to die soon, as he's highly allergic.
Major strike one. But he said he was kidding, so I awkwardly laughed it off and agreed to meet later.
We met for a drink at a martini bar downtown, and the place was empty and gearing up for karaoke night. Oh, how that would have been an improvement over the evening.
Most of the night was spent talking about his work, and tattooing in general, and I was the one asking all of the questions because I was curious, so I didn't overly mind. We also talked about drinking, and I mentioned how I've never thrown up from drinking (true story), and partly it was from my upbringing, and partly it was hearing all the twits in my high school talking about their parties and waking up naked next to strangers, and how I didn't think that sounded like a lot of fun.
Long story short (too late for that), he basically told me he'd been out the night before with his coworkers, drinking to the point of throwing up. At 30. I judged a little, thought 'not so cool, even my 20-year old friends don't do this' and sort of let it pass.
The evening continues, and either he was just this dumb, or he decided he was going to make damn sure I wasn't interested in meeting again, 'cause out of the blue he starts singing -- yes, singing! -- about gonorrhea. He's singing and talking about blood and pus, and about how gonorrhea is his favourite STD because it has blood and pus coming out of your man- or lady-parts, and isn't that awesome? and so on. I'm trying to joke this off, but it's not working, he's still going with the jokes.
Somewhere in there, he also indirectly called me boring, and I was of course, crushed and hurt.
I was even more devastated when he deleted me from his MSN contact list the next day.
I have other tales, including my gruesome worst sex story ever, but I don't know what the locals are up for anymore. I'll share if there's interest, though.
Katie S might be onto something. She is commentator #36 or something on this post.
So here goes the guidance from your elders. You take an event in your life, or a tendency or something you've seen, like a strange Arab man loading sundry meats into the trunk of his car. Or even a wacky item plucked from the news. Whatever it is, you make a mockery of it. Adhere to the old Seinfeld mantra, no hugging, no learning. Do not get all political. Title it with a song lyric. Relevance optional. Hit save. Wait an hour while sites are pinged. For example:
A 46 year old man is headed to prison. He'll be a resident there for the next 18 months. It's a shame because he'd gotten his drunken life turned around. He'd joined AA and gotten up to the step where you're going around apologizing to everybody and their brother, most of whom don't even remember how you slighted them long ago. Or remember you period.
But some of them do, especially if you brutally raped and sodomized them back in like 1983. So he apologizes to her and sincerely too, not like with government types who conveniently remove themselves from the wrongdoing by saying, "mistakes were made." (AG Alberto Gonzalez recently used those exact words.) Naturally she forgives him, picks up her cell and calls the police.
Katie S et al, y'all complete the rest below. It's an audition for a defunct blog. And you'll love it LTL, it's a way of life.