mg

you're tongue can get sharp, but it's soft in my mouth

by mg at 06:08 PM on December 31, 2001

As another year draws to a close, I feel this overwhelming urge to look back; to recap the year that was. The only problem, however, is that I couldn’t have a better record of the year that was than this website itself. If I want to remember what happened to MG and the world (aren’t the two one and the same?) in two thousand and one, I’ve got 331 posts and approximately 250,000 words to remind me.

Now, one could hardly sit down and read all 331 posts in a sitting (though I’d be love to know if anyone’s tried), but why bother condensing 365 days into a couple of pithy paragraphs? I could go back and do a quick summary of all the major events of the year, but frankly, that’d be depressing. To tell the truth, much of the year is best forgotten; there are more than a few things I’d rather not think about right now, or pretty much ever.

It’s not that I want to forget the past, but if we are constantly looking back on the bad, life will always be bad. I’m not even going to look to the future. Tonight, all I’m going to think about is tonight.

All my Zen books preach living in the moment. I try to live my life that way, but it is tough. If I were going to make any New Year’s (something which I’m loathe to do, this or any other year), it’d be to live in the moment. Don’t dwell in the past or worry about the future. I’m certainly not saying forget the past or don’t plan for the future. But life is now. Here. Everything else is just the price of beans.

And if I were making New Year’s resolutions, this would be another one: be a better friend.

I’ve never been the kind of guy to pick up a phone and call someone. I’m better about keeping tabs with email, but if you’ve ever tried to send me something, you know its sort of hit and miss about whether I’ll ever get back to you. Now, imagine that indifference to responding, but in real life. Plus, I really hate using the phone.

If you’re a friend of mine in real life, and you are reading this now, I can’t apologize enough about how bad I am with returning phone calls. It isn’t that I don’t like you, and don’t want to spend time with you; it’s just that I’m an awful person who deserves to burn eternally, in whichever circle of hell is reserved for people who are bad friends.

I’ve always been bad with responding to people, but this year has been the worst. As the months went on, I’ve been harder to get hold of than Dick Cheney after September 11th. I think it’s just that I’ve been dealing with my own things, and as time wore on with less and less change in my monotonous life, I’ve wanted less and less to talk to people. Every conversation I’ve had in the past couple months has gone like this:

Friend: Michael, I haven’t seen you in a while.

MG: Yes, that’s true.

Friend: So, what’s new with you?

MG: Not much. Same old same old.

Friend: Oh. Nice talking to you.

MG: Bye.

And there is only so much you can bear of that. But, like I said, if I were making resolutions, that’d be one of them; to be a better friend.

Speaking of friends, I was going to take this opportunity to thank all the Internet people who’ve made 2001 bearable for me, but that’d take too long, I’d most likely forget someone, and really, if you don’t know I love you by now, you never will.

Besides, I hate making gushy spectacles, and I have trouble talking about anybody but myself for more than a paragraph, and it’d take at least that long to mention everyone I’d want to thank. And, of course, I’d feel it necessary to write volumes of commentary to explain each and every person on the list.

Just know that I love you, both real life and Internet friends, and thank you. And I promise to be better about checking my voice and e-mail, and you know, actually responding to it once in awhile. At any rate, Happy New Year, see you in ought two.

comments (6)

miss b

my sugar walls

by miss b at 05:11 PM on December 31, 2001

i used to date the guy whose father wrote the jingle for juicy fruit gum.

"stick it in, pull it out

the taste is gonna move ya

when you pop it in your mouth.

juicy fruit

is gonna move ya

the taste so good, it gets right to ya

juicy fruit

the taste-the taste-the taste

is gonna move ya."

yeah. that one.

comments (8)

d

Deep beneath the rocks and stones...

by d at 03:44 PM on December 30, 2001

The temperature may have been just above freezing but the sun was out and the skies were clear. From the 13th century town of Provins we could see for miles in every direction. The town had been built on the large stone shelf specifically for the inherent natural defensive properties of the surroundings. Added to that three rings of defensive walls, portculises, towers and moats and it was easy to understand why the Knights Templar had made Provins one of their central bases of operation in France.

Provins was on the trade route to Paris and all merchants and travellers had to pass through their gates to reach the French capital. This was one assured way for the Knights to always have a good idea of what might be going on in Paris. The Knights Templar had been entrusted with preserving the Holy Grail, which, depending on your choice of mythology was either the cup that caught the blood of Christ on the cross, the sacred blood lineage of the jewish king that inspired the stories of Jesus, or they were just a bunch of British comedians starring in their first film wearing woolen chainmail and saying "Ni" every so often.

We wandered the cobbled streets for most of the afternoon, with the intention of later going down into the vaulted catacombs that had been carved into the stone base of the rock shelf through a sedimentary layer of chalk. All of a sudden a cry went up, in the ancient tradition of alerting the local citizenry and raising the alarm. The cry had been all but forgotten to those few who remembered it and to whom it still held any meaning, but was bellowed from the highest point in the surrounding lands, the tower; "whasssssuuuuuuuup!"

A few moments later the reply echoed back from the second highest point. The top of the church tower; "whassssssss-uuuuuuuuuup!!!!" I shook my head in dismay and dodged to one side as a BMW 3 series with loud rap music blasting out the open windows tried to turn me into a smear on the cobbled stone road.

We got down into the cavernous rooms that had been tunneled into the rocks as natural defensive hiding places and storage bins for the long winters and hardy sieges the city endured as the bastion of the Knights Templar. Etched into the corridor walls, illuminated by flickering candle light, were the names of many of the visitors, Guillaume Le Grand, Comte Thibaut IV, George '99 (some were obviously more recent than others), and I began a rough translation of the tour guide's monotonous explanation of the labyrinthine passageways...

"Dating back to before the year 1000, the corridors were initially dug out with bare hands and small pick axes, the walls were then finished with fine-toothed comb like instruments... the church would exploit the workers and the masons formed the first unions, with three classes of masons, this then became the basis for stone-masonry and as such the Knights Templar took an affinity to the town of Provins and it became steeped in their lore until the 15th century when the Pope at the time ordered them burned at the stake and the passages blocked up. This is why there is no written history of their presence in the city and the only remaining evidence are the carvings on these walls..."

But then I got bored and started making stuff up when I noticed that another English-speaking couple were listening in on my pro bono translation services.

"Through there small children would be sacrificed to a large goat-headed diety, young virgins would be lead along this passageway to the room at the end there with the tiny doorway, only the most holy of the monks were allowed to enter the sanctity of the virgin's chambers and more besides... The morlocks and mole people would occasionally appear through there and the cries of lost children can still be heard after nightfall."

My father is a mason, either that or he really didn't like the knuckle between my index and middle fingers.

comments (3)

mg

if I stand one little chance, here comes the jackpot question in advance

by mg at 02:06 PM on December 30, 2001

I apologize. Again. For those of you waiting to hear details about the mini-blog convention, youíll have to wait a little bit longer. Make that a lot longer. It looks like it isnít going to happen. No, wait, it doesnít look like it isnít going to happen, it just plain isnít going to happen; at least not over these holidays.

I think the problem was that I tried to plan this thing for 2001. If Iíd been planning on making the get together for January 2nd, or later, Iím sure everything would have gone off without a hitch. But no, I wanted to do this in December 2001, so of course everything got majorly fubared.

Actually, it wasnít through lack of trying, or something as painless as another relationship blow-up with Amanda. No, what something completely out of my control permanently put the kibosh on the mini-con.

Remember how Iíd mentioned my Grandmother being in the hospital a few weeks back? Well, she has been in the hospital since then, and they still havenít figured out what is wrong. While I was in Illinois, my mum kept me updated on how things were going. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse. There were failures in several organ systems, and for a while it looked like she wasnít going to make it.

Though I was having a great time with my adopted family in Illinois, my real mom guilted me into coming back to New York. No, she didnít guilt me, she just said that I should come back, and when your mom says you should come home because you grandmother is sick, there is nothing else to do but go home. Itís not as if Iíve been working hard and really needed the vacation, but my life kinda blows right now, and I really needed a vacation. Iíd much rather spend time with my friends, away from my crappy life in New York.

Okay, Iím trying to sound like a badass, but the truth is that I love my Nana. Though they are all alive, she is the only grandparent I even talk to. If she is in trouble, Iíll come running. She was in trouble; I came running.

I got tickets for as soon as I could, and I made it back into New York Friday night. She has gotten a lot better, even since Iíd reserved my tickets. I spent all yesterday with her, and though she looked weak, she was eating and talking and being her old ornery self. I guess Iím glad to be here for her and the rest of my fam. But, I almost feel bad for coming back since everything seems to be working out.

I know, I know. It is very selfish of me, but Iíve never claimed not to be selfish. Instead of being with Amanda, Julia, Shar, Snaggle, and everyone else whoíd Iíd get to see over the next week Iíd planned on spending in Illinois, Iím all alone in New York, with nary a design for New Yearís Eve.

To paraphrase Colonel John ďHannibalĒ Smith, ďI hate it when a plan falls apart.Ē Iíll probably stay at home New Yearís Eve, watch Dick Clark, drink some cheap beer, masturbate, and fall asleep on the couch before midnight even rolls around. Oh, donít cry for me, it isnít all as bad as it sounds. Itíll be the same thing I did last year. This will become my new holiday tradition.

Okay. I donít really want to stay home on New Yearís Eve. If you are in the New York Metro area, and are throwing some sort of New Yearís eve gathering, and would like to save a poor disheveled (but cute) webmaster crashing your party, let me know. Itís okay if you donít want to invite me though; this year has already sucked for 364 days, what is one more day of suckage?

comments (5)

effenheimer

I'm walking on sunshine or am I?

by effenheimer at 04:57 PM on December 28, 2001

After cutting my sister off last summer for dissing me for the last fucking time ever, I swear to God, I knew the holidays were gonna suck. it's like being divorced without having been married first. I get to see my nephew only when she says it is OK, which puts me in the difficult spot of playing bitch to my little sister if I go begging to see my own flesh and blood. So i don't. I don't call, I don't make an effort, I don't go to the christmas pageants, nada. I do not do this because I do not care but rather because i do. i love my nephew and insist on being able to see him when I want on my own terms. That means with my personality in tact, my opinions freely voiced on any subject including what a giant redneck dickhead my sister's fiance is.

If I give in, i will never be able to say what I want, when I want, even after the divorce. If I hold out of an unconditional surrender, then I can set the terms. Things may not be normal for a couple of years, but the only alternative would mean they would never be normal again ever. I cannot allow that.

In other news, I am a finalist in the Iowa Newspaper Association's Master Columnist category, which means that no matter what happens, I am at LEAST the third best columnist in Iowa for 2001 and that ain't too shabby, Butch!

There is a big party in Des Moines and NOBODY gets drunk like journalists. If I don't knock one out at this thing, I'm switching to not having sex with dudes.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

comments (11)

d

So when do I get an apology?

by d at 04:06 PM on December 27, 2001

The last thing I ever played on a piano was "Suicide Is Painless". Some of you may remember it as the opening credits to M*A*S*H, some of you may know the actual lyrics to the tune. I'd love to claim that this declaration was to continue in the vein of "and as I played the notes and brought life to the tune, reading the lyrics as my fingers danced across the ivories a tear came to my eyes" I'd be lying. It was the last thing I ever played because it was too much work.

There are few things in this world that will get me to stop and reevaluate my approach to any given situation, I have had the French arrogance of always being convinced that, from the outset, I am doing the right thing and everyone else is wrong. Must have been doing something right to be where I am at this young age, and yet, the words "I'm disappointed in you" coming from one of maybe five people on the planet will halt me in my tracks. Don't worry, you're not one of them.

My mother hasn't said it yet, but I know that ever since she lost the feeling in some of her fingers on her left hand, she's been disappointed that I gave up the piano in favor of another kind of keyboard.

Tonight on French television, since I'm sitting writing this in my parent's Paris/country abode, the channels are full of yearly retrospectives on the events of the year. In the UK they do a similar program on the last day of the year, rounding up everything that happened. A lot of the times you watch it and realise just how long a year is, just how much can be acheived in one year, and how much time might have been wasted.

I certainly wasted a lot of time this year and I know that without the need for anyone to shake their head and utter their disappointment at me. But I've also found myself disappointed at the world in return on a number of points.

Dubya has been an incredible disappointment, when faced with the alternative, I think everyone should have voted for Jed Bartlet.

Where was the large cartwheel space station? Moonbase Alpha? Space food in little tubes and pills?

Where, goddammit, were the aliens? This year if ever there was to be a year to announce your presence, would have been the perfect year to announce it. "Greetings Earthlings, having now survived until the year 2001 we bring you a cure to all known diseases and poverty and hunger shall be made things of the past. Utopia awaits you all. Klaatu barada nikto. No Gort, not on the White House lawn!"

This was their golden chance, and they wasted it. ET, I'm disappointed in you, arriving in 2002 just isn't going to look right "2002: The year they made contact" sounds like a bad sequel.

Hollywood disappointed this year without any truely outstanding films, unlike last years bumper crop.

Closer to home (for me at least) the peace process in Northern Ireland was let down by the terrorising of schoolgirls on their way to a Catholic school through a Protestant neighborhood. Religion, eh, the thorn in everyone's side. Nevermind that the girls are still too young to really know the difference.

I realise I haven't posted too much on Bad Sam since joining, there have been lots of other things that got in the way and some of them were really petty and pathetic really and not worth wasting my time on. Reports of my death have been greatly exagerated. I'll try not to disappoint in the year to come.

comments (4)

mg

haji was a punk just like any other boy

by mg at 01:03 AM on December 26, 2001

It is Christmas day eve here in Illinois, and Iíd just like to take the opportunity to wish you and yours a happy holiday. Actually, it is officially the day after Christmas, but, donít hold it against me, itís been kind of a long week.

Julia, Amanda and I took off from New York last Friday morning. We hoppedÖ no, hopped is to lively a verb, letís say we ambled to the car about 6:30 am. After packing up, checking the oil and filling her with gas, we hit the road shortly before 7am, the sun hadnít risen yet, but, by god, we were on our way.

Considering Iíve not been awake at 7am in a number of months, it was remarkable I was able to dress myself properly, much less take the first leg driving. Unfortunately, as the only one of the three sojourners to have driven in New York City, I had no choice but to take the first leg, and really, how could I turn down the impassioned pleas of two lovely ladies whoíd only days before made me the meat in a boob sandwich.

Iíd been expecting a great deal of traffic. Not one to have ever made the morning commute by auto, Iíd always assumed such a trip would be painfully slow. Since our mode of transport was a í90 Ford Escort, with manual transmission, a lousy heater and no stereo, the thought of sitting in hours of bumper to bumper traffic before even leaving Manhattan made me sick with worry.

Fortunately for us, an unforeseen consequence of the tightened security surrounding post-September 11th New York City is that there arenít a great number of cars on the road at any given time. Both the Williamsburg Bridge and the Holland Tunnel were closed to but one lane of traffic, with armed guards manning their respective entrances, but the trip was otherwise the fastest such journey Iíve taken. From Jackson Heights, Queens to Newark New Jersey in 30 minutes, yet I canít find a Dominos thatíll deliver?

Anyway, disregarding a little unanticipated detour that took us an hour out of our way, and most of the distance to Philadelphia, we managed to make the trip Mapquest told us would take 14 hours in just 16 hours, even with the frequent stops my pea-size bladdered companions insisted we make. It wasnít more than half an hour on the road before they called for the first stop, and one or the other of them would request a stop nearly every half hour thereafter. I donít mind traveling with girls, and I donít mind stopping for bathroom breaks, but girls, couldnít you at least have gotten on the same pee schedule?

Well, we arrived Friday evening, and had our Christmas Saturday. Iím not sure why, there was some vague excuse about it being the only day when all the family could be in the same place at the same time. We had our big meal, and went straight for the presents, before the last napkin had even hit the table. I didnít get very many presents. Because of the whole break-up/friendship thing, most of Amandaís family didnít expect me to show, so didnít bother getting me anything. Which is fine, I guess, though, it would have been nice to get something.

I just donít know about Christmas. I wont be overstretching things by saying this was hardly the jolliest of Christmasí. Iíve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating again, Christmas is no fun without children involved. There is something about the holiday that requires at least one participant to be under the age of 10. Otherwise, any excuse for the presence of toys is flimsy, at best, and most grownups donít even believe in Santa anymore!

I imagine I wonít have an enjoyable Christmas until Iíve got a little tyke of my own to buy Tinker Toys and Weebles, which wobble but wonít fall down. Perhaps next year, Iíll ďborrowĒ a child for the day, just to lend the holiday that old sense of awe and innocence, though, I suppose a day with me would rob any child of its hymen.

Part Deux tomorrow, or very shortly thereafter. Perhaps by then, Iíll have lost this unusual affectation I seemed to have picked up.

comments (5)

bornfamous

blogradio: isn't it time?

by bornfamous at 05:55 PM on December 23, 2001

Hope you don't mind a cross-post, but I've got a big announcement. I can finally tell you about the big project that Adnan and I have been cooking up: BlogRadio.com. [We have the domain but no site yet, so don't bother going there.]

BlogRadio is [will soon be] an internet radio station for, by and about bloggers. It will feature talk shows, interviews, music, a message board and -- who knows?

All bloggers are invited to join in the planning and construction of this station - it belongs to you. Contributions in the form of ideas, programming, tech and design help, hosting, and money for program storage and bandwidth, are all welcome.

If you want to put on a show, or advertise your blog on Blogradio, let us know. There will be a small charge [we're not sure how much yet] but only enough to pay expenses and stay 'on the air'. This will be a public radio station for the benefit and enjoyment of the blogging community.

Launch date? That depends mainly on how quickly I can get set up with a phone line into the computer and make sure everything works - we're shooting for early January.

The BlogRadio Project Blog is where we're brewing our plans. We hope you'll join us!

comments (2)

lizard

holiday stress

by lizard at 05:47 PM on December 23, 2001

It is December 23rd at 2:22PM as I sit down to write this. Yes, I have been suffering from holiday stress, but that would have to be the internal sort, because so far, I have not actually done anything holiday-related except, maybe, a little partying.

What? Nothing? Yes. I have not addressed a card, or in truth even gotten them down from the shelf to pick through them, let alone signed, stamped, or mailed one. Hell, I have till tomorrow, as long as they're postmarked before Christmas, that's ok, right?

Presents? Ok, for that one I have excueses. I was very broke all month. I got paid on the twentieth, but I was tired, and it was raining, so I went birthday-shopping for my daughter (whose birthday was the twenty-first). After that, I came straight home, you know, how can you shop in the rain, when you're tired? Anyway, the twenty-first, I had to stay home with my son, and so I couldn't shop then. Chris got off early, and so we went to see Jimmy Neutron. After that, we were tired, and, I don't know, it was Friday night or something, and I had some beer, so no shopping. And speaking of tired, yesterday, I was supposed to shop but instead took lots of naps. Holiday stress, remember? So, no shopping.

Today is kind of a down-to-the-wire thing. The relatives are coming over around five-ish, bringing stuff, and at that point I will gladly, happily, gleefully, willingly bolt out the door for the mall. I'll take the mall at 6PM on the twenty-third of December over an evening with my sort-of in-laws, anyday. I'm figuring that the last minute panic and the desperate crowds and the picked-over merchandise will send my shopping creativity into overdrive, procrastination always inspires me this way. It's why I always put things off until the last minute, isn't it? No, that would be because I'm just plain lazy.

Which explains the stress - holidays are very trying times for the lazy. Just thinking about it, I'm feeling tired already. Maybe I should hang out with the family tonight, they're not that bad, and I'm sure I'll get off work a few hours early on the twenty-fourth. Think how inspiring that would be!

comments (3)

shar

Ah, what a *glorious* future!

by shar at 04:35 AM on December 23, 2001

I've spent the past 4.5 years of my life at the same infamous land-grant/land-locked university as mg, Snagggle, Space, Effenheimer, and Conor, studyin' and boozin' my way toward an engineering degree.

Today I graduated, effectively changing my title from "student" to "unemployed." Thanks, job market.

No, wait. Thanks, Shar's laziness and lack of motivation. You see, I couldn't possibly blame the job market, or terrible economy, or stupid terrorists that fuck up companies' 2002 outlooks. I could blame my insanely difficult classwork, devilishly tempting drinking buddies, frighteningly addictive video games, or even sweet, sweet beer (blasphemy!)

I choose movies. Specifically, I blame Office Space. It should come with a warning: Do not watch if you are about to enter the workforce. May harm drive and desire.

Motivation? Zero. I didn't want a job, so I didn't look for one. I didn't interview or send resumes. I slept through the Engineering Career Fair. My suit lay crumpled in a corner while I read Battle Pope comics. People have been asking me, "Hey, what are you planning on doing now?" Usually I reply with some crap about how I'm taking a break, looking at grad school, weighing my options, etc, but just once, I'd like to say, "I'll be sitting on my ass at my parents' house, eating their Cheetos stash while I try to finish Resident Evil 3. After that, I'll gank their car and take a roadtrip funded by my part-time prostitution gig. Or live as a hermit in the mountains. I haven't worked through those details yet. Bills, you say? I never liked paying those. I don't think I'll do that either."

The term "Sell Out" makes me cranky. I hate how my resume makes me seem less irresponsible/crazy and more marketable. It's Corporate Whore Shar, complete with yuppie cell phone and attache case! In a perfect world, this is what my ideal Help Wanted ad would read:

Progressive, eco-friendly company seeks lazy engineer for motion-efficiency studies, light typing duties, and watching anime. Must be passionate about being a sarcastic bastard. Arriving late or drunk to work is expected. Thrift store attire only. Music snobbery a plus. 10-15 hrs/wk, paid vacation, $70K/yr

Wish me luck.

comments (7)

zia

Definitely not the Forgotten One.

by zia at 01:05 AM on December 23, 2001

8 hours of frenzy shopping.

I'm stuffed. And have mercilessly wiped out the last quivering vigor of my bank account.

Who else but Cynthia who provides the best company when it comes to shopping. Actually I had a couple of friends asking me out but I turned them all down saying that I want to sleep at home and went to attack every store in Christchurch with my girl instead. Hiaks.

Forked out a staggering figure close to 300 bucks. I could have pack all my stuff in a single plastic bag and that be my only luggage and leave everyone nothing from me. But that would be so uncool. I just have to butcher my savings and leave myself so broke that I cannot get anymore broke than my 13 cents account balance now. Despite me crying my small eyes out over my newly found financial status, at least I can peek through my tears to see the happy glee in the eyes of the people I care with the overpriced stuff I got them.

I hope it is worth the 'sacrifice'. No, it IS worth the sacrifice. Especially to my parents. I'm accountable for 95% of their white hairs and I guess I should do the best I can afford trying to make it up to them. ( Although hair dyes can be a much more cheaper option. Heh. )

And oh yeah, my kid brother Ah B can slut himself to me for two full weeks. Those Christmas crackers are such a rip off but I got a couple boxes anyway so that he and his friends can pop their little hands off with these stupid toys.

Two weeks of slutting applies to Jiro too, another brother of mine, for the sacrifice of 4 handbags, a pair of ballet style platforms, two bracelets and a push up bra on my part in order to revamp 10% of his wardrobe. Just so that he can kill all the teeny boppers in Kuching with his spanking new coolness.

Oops. I've got almost nothing for my sister Yee and Howe, another (pfft) brother of mine. Hmm. Oh what the hell. They're not part of the gang anyway. Heh.

Now I can sit down and do some real packing. One plastic bag for my stuff and a couple boxes for other people's stuff. How exciting.

Thank pretty god that I did get myself some stuff. Two silver rings Ooooh! oooh! OOoh!! A pair of pants which is a size too big. The smaller ones donít sport a nice length so I had to get a slightly bigger one to compensate for the length. I like long stuff. And big stuff. Sometimes flat stuff.

It was never easy to buy stuff for dad. I did get 8 giant bottles of vitamins and minerals for him though. And a beautifully varnished wooden car model which was imported from Bali. Dad is in the car business now so I reckon that would sit nicely in his office desk. Itís a convertible car and I did contemplate to get some miniature toys to sit in it but that would turn my dad's desk into a playground so I opted against it. However tempting it may be. Heh.

No more work until I head home which is sometime this month. Already I'm yawning loudly whenever I thought what I can do to occupy my time with, which is like...virtually nothing productive. Oh maybe clean the bathrooms with cotton buds...or read my collection of expired Reader Digest for the 15th hundred times....or consume a handful of sesame seeds one by one....or engage in some voyeurism for 120 minutes....or just do some plain blogging.

Cyn bought quite a bit herself too. Some abstract sculpture for Phil and ha-ha a wrinkly wooden carving of a hideous surf-god. It was only 2 bucks and she bought it for a joke. It was a joke alright, we laughed our asses off looking at the pathetic looking carving. We laughed at the wooden dude at the shop. Made fun of him again in the car. And laughed at him again when Cyn took him out from the bag at her home.

Oops. Almost slipped my mind. Hello dear people. Hello Michael funky glasses. I'm home ~ :Ģ

comments (3)

mg

operators are standing by, smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee

by mg at 12:12 PM on December 20, 2001

Well, a couple weeks ago I was planning on spending Christmas in the Midwest, and tried to get a little mini-blogger convention going on. Well, the whole Amanda break up thing made it unlikely Iíd be spending the holidays in Illinois with her parents, so I had to put those plans away. Now, weíve got everything all worked out, and I will indeed be spending xmas/new yearís in the heartland of America.

Seeing how things are all rosy again, Iím going to try the mini-convention again, only this time with a dreadful lack of time to plan. Iím not sure we can put together a get together, but I figured Iíd try anyway.

If you are interested in attending this would be event, which will be around New Yearís Eve, let me know which days would work best for you, where youíd be coming from, and how far youíd be willing to travel. Iíll compare all the responses I get and try to figure a good place to meet. Also, if you live in the Midwest and would be willing to donate your couch and floor space for a bunch of (almost) complete strangers (and potential axe murderers) to sleep, let me know.

Also, also, if you know anyone who doesnít read BadSam (something I find hard to believe), but think should be invited, feel free to publicize this get together in any manner you deem appropriate (might I suggest sky writing?). You can have people email me with their vital info and Iíll do all the planning.

Hope to see as many of you as possible, if not, have a happy holiday all by your lonesome, losers.

comments (17)

mg

watch out sydney, i think that's a nipple

by mg at 06:08 PM on December 19, 2001

Several months ago I desperately wanted to get the Aiptek Pen Camera. I was in ďneedĒ of a web cam, and wanted something portable that I could also use as a digital camera. I was a little less cash strapped then than I am now, but still wanted to get something cheap, and the Aiptek Pen Cam retailed for less than $100.

Besides, it looked really cool.

Size may not matter in sex, but it sure does in electronic equipment. Iím constantly amazed by the miniaturization of todayís electronic goods. That I could pay less for a Compaq handheld with a faster processor and more RAM than I did for my last desktop (purchased only five years ago), really rocks my world. The Aiptek camera is only about the size of a highlighter and is supposed to take decent pictures once you get the damn thing figured out.

Cheap, small, cool. I had to have it. Even if the picture quality sucked, the James Bond factor would more than make up for grainy, dark and blurry pictures. Unfortunately, the Aiptek wasnít available anywhere in New York City. I must have hit every electronics store in the Tri-State area (I had nothing else to do). No one had even heard of it, much less had one in stock. I couldnít even find it online, so I figured Iíd get a similar camera, and hope for the best.

I ended up getting the Creative Video Blaster. Which is bigger than the Aiptek, and from what I can tell, takes a crappier picture. I havenít gotten around to taking too many portable pictures with it, but have used it as my webcam for the past couple months. Actually, Iíve hardly even had my webcam live recently, that is how disappointed with the Creative camera.

Sure, if I bothered to read the manual Iím sure I could get it to take better pictures, but why bother? My experience with the camera has been so very unsatisfying. That is, until last night.

I was fiddling around with the camera, trying to figure it out so as to finally get my moneyís worth, when my friend Julia, who is in New York this week, visiting from Germany, noticed me messing with the camera and decided to put on a show.

This is just the kind of thing that happens when Julia is in town. I wouldíve begged Amanda for weeks to get on cam and flash or do a sexy striptease, ala Libby Hoeler, but since Julia suggested it, Amanda didnít put up a fight.

Julia is just the best that way. Iíve known her for 6 years, but only get to see her once or twice a year when she comes over. Still, I love her. She is just so full of life, even if we only end up sitting and watching movies, something exciting happens. Besides, she has breasts the size of Australia.

When Amanda came into the room and saw Julia showing off, she wanted to get in on the action too; I may be a vegetarian, but I sure donít mind being the meat in a boob sandwich.

Not content at showing off their great racks, Julia wanted to see her ass on screen, and than Amanda did as well. I didnít think things could get any better, but when I asked them to flash for the camera, they actually did! Unfortunately (for you guys), Iím not allowed to show any of the other pictures, but let me assure you, that camera finally paid for itself.

comments (10)

mg

as cuddly as a cactus, as charming as an eel

by mg at 07:10 PM on December 18, 2001

Itís been a while since last we talked, old friend. In fact, it is only four days since last week spoke, though it seems like much longer. The four days since my last post has been the longest Iíve been away from you in three months. Did you miss my faithful companion?

Where was I? What have I been up to? What am I getting you for Christmas?

Well, itís probably important to recap everything thatís been going on the last couple weeks, because otherwise, things wont make a terrible amount of sense. When last we spoke, I was just recovering from a tough weekend; Amanda and I broke up, I didnít get the job Iíd felt good about (and accounted for the only interview Iíd been on in months), and my grandmother went into the hospital. All those things occurred in the matter of a couple days, and by themselves would be awful, but taking the rest of my fantastic year into account, they made up the topper on one sucktastic three-six-five.

Nothing much better has happened since then, but certainly nothing worse has happened, and right off, that makes the past week much better than any to have come before it in a long while.

When Amanda moved out to New York in August, the idea was that weíd take things slow and figure out if we really did want to get back together. That idea quickly went out the window like someone wanting to see butter fly, and we fell into the old routine quickly. Things werenít bad, but they werenít great. AS time wore on, however, we both came to realize things werenít working out. We were both comfortable, but also both looking for something more than comfort, I canít really explain it any more than that.

So, since Amanda finally found her own apartment and would be moving out of mine, she wanted to sit down, and have one of those state of the relationship type conversations. The state of the relationship is that there really wasnít one.

Things were tense for a bit, especially considering she had a week between when we had the conversation and when she was actually going to move out, and though I knew things werenít working out between us, and have expressed that to a lot of people, I had a hard time admitting that to her, especially considering Iím not sure if I can be just a ďfriendĒ and not a ďboyfriend.Ē

I finally was able to admit that to myself, and to her, and things have been really good for the last couple days. Amanda is still living here until she gets back from vacation and moves into her new place, and it isnít weird at all. We are friends, but there is also a bit of spark that wasnít there before. Once thing settle down a bit, perhaps we can deal with the promise weíd made when she moved out here that weíd try being friends, and whatever happened would or wouldnít. I think Iíll be fine either way.

My grandmother is still in the hospital, which sucks. A week ago, they had no idea what it was; anything from lupus, to TB (?!) to god knows what. Now, they have an idea what it is, and it isnít that bad. Iíve visited her in the hospital a couple times and she is as ornery as ever. She may be sick, but she is a fighter, and thatís all Iím going to say about that.

Work. Work. Work. Work is a whole other stupid thing. I felt really down about that not getting that stupid job, which I didnít want anyway. I think that was the worst thing; its like the bar right before closing time and going up to a girl because she is the only single female left and she turns you down even though she has split ends, a hump and a patch over one eye.

It was a sucky job that I didnít want, but would have taken because I need it bad, and I still didnít get it and it fucking pissed me off. I was really hoping to get this job, not even for the money (though I could use the money), but because having it would make this year not seem a total waste. Like my mule every time I see Rosie OíDonnell, all my problems would shrivel up and disappear if I could just find a job. Or at least that is the way Iím feeling right now.

But, I didnít get it. Instead of being upset though, I decided to be happy about it. I didnít really want it, and Iíd probably have been miserable there, the same way I was with the Israelis. Not only decided to be happy about not getting the job, but decided to be happy with not having a job at all. Things would pick up whenever they picked up and Iíd find the perfect job, be gloriously happy, make tons of money, and do something I love doing.

The wonderful thing about life is that it is full of more twists and turns than a room full of drunken lesbian belly dancers. Not more than several hours after making coming to terms with my employment situation, and only several minutes after coming to terms with Amanda, I get an email with a great opportunity in it. The next day, I get another email with another opportunity.

Nothing is finalized yet, so I donít want to talk about it and jinx things, or get my hopes all up for nothing, but Iím feeling really positive. The minute I stopped being so depressed about not having a job, something falls in my lap. The minute I stop worrying about my ďrelationshipĒ the minute things get all copasetic. If that isnít a clue about the right way to live I donít know what is.

Iím still waiting for 2001 to finally end; this has been the worst year ever. But if the past couple days are any indication, 2002 already looks to kick some serious ass. Only 13 days left in 2001, and Iím ready. Bring it on, bitch.

comments (9)

effenheimer

'scuse me, while I kiss THIS sky... vanilla sky

by effenheimer at 11:25 AM on December 17, 2001

A friend of mine recently asked why the new Tom Cruise movie was called "Vanilla Sky" because it sounded like a comic strip.

I thought "Vanilla Sky" sounded like a Jimi Hendrix/Pat Boone Christmas album, you know? Like Jimi didnt die and a few years after Montrose (sp), his popularity starts to wane among white males and he needs some kind of boost with the 30-50 demographic.

He doesn't want to do it, but his record company insists that what he needs to change his image and be more accessible to white Americans is an album with Pat Boone. Boone is all up for it, of course, having been a big fan of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, but Jimi is reluctant until they give him final say on the title of the album.

after months in the studio and a near fatal overdose of metamucil and milk of magnesia that nearly ended Boone's life, the two crank out one of the greatest crossover Christmas albums of all time.

Tracks include: Let this be Christmas/who are you, who am I (santa claus)/overnight sleigh ride through my mind/the ballad of Frozen Underpants/i can see the taste of cinnamon/taste of cinnamon pt. II/rudolph the red-nosed reindeer

the album goes triple platinum and is in print to this day. if you play the album in time with the film version of Pink Floyd's THE WALL, it matches up kind of.

comments (3)

lizard

how to: economize

by lizard at 03:12 AM on December 17, 2001

There's been all this talk of spending money to boost the economy, so I'm concerned that many of you may be feeling a bit strapped for cash (I know I am). Since I'm rather skilled at being broke, I've come up with some handy suggestions for stretching that buck.

First of all, there are things that should not be subject to budget cuts. Toilet paper, for instance -- unless you want to sandpaper your bum clean, you must spring for the good stuff. Same goes for other personal hygeine products: razors, for instance, can really hurt you if you don't have quality metal scraping across your tender skin. Other grooming products can be purchased at discount stores, if you know how to read labels and compare, but if you don't, well, my advice is, don't scrimp on those either. It takes a skilled bargain shopper to discern between a shampoo that will make your hair smell bad and possibly even fall out, and one that will give you a luxuriant mane. Can't be too careful with products that are used while you are naked and vulnerable in the shower.

So, there's technology -- surely we can cut back on our geeky expenditures. Let's start with the internet. How much are you paying for that crappy dial-up connection? Too much! For only about twice as much, you can have DSL. Remember, time is money. Think of all that time you waste waiting for things to load, or download. That's money, swirling down the virtual drain. Dump that dial-up and get a real connection right away. And while we're on the subject, remember, as mg mentioned in a previous post, computer memory is really inexpensive right now. Just think of all the money you'll save if you buy yourself a nice 256MB module right now, or even a 512! Hurry while it's still cheap.

Some of you may remember that I was cutting way back on my beer budget (it may have appeared that I was actually giving up beer, but what I meant was, giving up some beer). Not all beer. The important thing here is, quality over quantity. Do NOT for cryin' out loud go and get yourself a twelve pack of Natural Ice, just because it will get you drunk twice for five bucks. Good beer is worth the sacrifice, so make sure you buy something really delicious. I prefer the Guinness/Bass black and tan combination; while it may be a bit pricey, it's so worth it.

So, you may be wondering, if you can't cut back on hygeine, technology, or alcohol, (rent and utilities are more or less a given, we can't cut back there) how can you scale back your budgetary extravagances? My suggestion is, food. Top Ramen comes in many exciting flavors, and can be purchased for a couple bucks a case. Make sure and pick up some vitamins in the clearance bin, so you won't get scurvy or rickets, because Top Ramen is not big on nutritional value, however, you'll definitely get your maximum daily requirement of sodium and MSG, two very important nutrient groups. ďBut I'm sick of Top Ramen!Ē you say. Well, it is the holidays, so my advice is, go to people's houses around dinnertime and look hungry. It's the holidays! They have to feed you.

To sum it up, economizing is easy: just make sure you buy what you want, only quality stuff here, mind you, and when you run out of food, freeload! It works for me.

comments (7)

d

The other end of the spectrum

by d at 10:51 AM on December 16, 2001

When I was younger I could form a circle with my hands, my thumb tips and index fingertips touching... around my waist. My mother and sister would joke that I was too skinny, my step-mother constantly encouraged me to eat more. Lots more. I didn't see the problem. I always reasoned with myself that it was because I ate three regular meals, cereal in the mornings, a sandwich at lunchtime and a well balanced dinner in the evenings. My occasional snack binges included ginger biscuits and milk while watching NYPD Blue and the occasional packet of chips.

To say I was anorexic would be unfair to the people truly suffering from anorexia, I simply wasn't hungry, I didn't feel the compulsion to eat and I had, what I considered to be, more important issues to deal with, like excelling in school. Turns out this is archtypical behavior of anorexics, I just wasn't a very good one. The need for control, when you feel that you don't control anything. The pursuit of excellence to the detriment of your own physical and occasionally mental health. The logic behind it goes something like "I'm forced to be the best at school, I have to be the best at everything, my teachers control what I do, my parents control what I do, but by God I can control what I eat."

Eventually a sense of loathing sets in where you can't stand to put food into your mouth, you feel repulsed by the taste and texture of anything, you want it out of your mouth as fast as possible, be it by swallowing or regurgitating. Again, thankfully I never reached that stage. So, what is my point here? Control, the ultimate goal is to maintain control over the single most important aspect of your own survival.

Dubya Bush is a metaphorical anorexic. At the expense of a growing restriction of civil liberties and tolerances the United States government is slowly starving America. Isolation from the outside world, the desire to show short bouts of control over things like the environment with the Kyoto Treaty renegation and world peace with the ABM treaty at the expense of global respect, but hey, what do we care, huh? We're making the world a safer place.

No, you're making America a scarier place. When some fool can demand that a pledge of allegiance from every schoolkid in the States should be mandatory, when ID cards and questions of "how much of a citizen are you genuinely?" are bandied about, when your own President starts classifying documents under Executive Priviledge, well my friends, it was nice knowing you, we'll try and sneak some chocolate in over the Canadian border for the lucky few.

When your own Emperor... sorry, President, decides that the country can only be protected by withdrawing in upon itself, and that the very governing body supposedly in place to keep him under control can't be allowed to see certain evidence deemed too sensitive to national security to be open for debate, you've got to ask yourself, how long before the Stormtrooper armor gets handed out to the "true patriots".

Got a passport? No, probably not, statistic are against you there. Assuming that every passport issued between 1981 and 2001 lasted for ten years (instead of five for kids) there were 87,357,179 passports issued to US citizens, with the trend heading towards 6.5 million a year so we'll add a further 13 million, makes 100,357,179 passports in circulation, minus however many of those expired beforehand because they were kids, also minus the 3.5 million that expired this year. As of July 2001, the US population was 278,058,881, not including illegal immigrants. Based on estimations that would be less than 30% of American's own passports, with some sources saying that of that 30% only 5% actually ever use them to travel outside of the country. All that freedom and you just don't use it. So guess what's likely to be the first freedom they take away from you? That's right, the ones you don't even make use of.

Again, what's my point? Your anorexic President is starving the country slowly with executive decisions you have no influence over because your appointed State officials aren't allowed to determine if your elected President is saying and doing the right things. He has control, he just doesn't realise what he's doing with it.

I demand a recount and you can send the Secret Service whenever you feel like it, I'm right here.

comments (8)

skits

2 Orgasms, a 24 oz cup of coffee, and a 4 Minute Commute

by skits at 11:49 AM on December 14, 2001

What can I say? It was a GOOD morning. Ha! The irony that I moved from a small town in Alabama to Los Angeles and wound up with a shorter commute is not lost on me. Most of the people I meet out here hate me the minute they find out how long it takes me to get to work-if they knew about the orgasms, well, Iíd probably never make any friends, would I? Bwah hahaa!

Itís getting to be the Christmas season, (wait-it IS the Christmas season) but I just canít seem to get into it this year. Itís frustrating, because Iím normally one of those annoying Martha Stewart clones who decorates the entire house and puts cloves in oranges as a centerpiece and just generally bugs the shit out of anyone unlucky enough to become entangled in the web of my Christmas cheer...

However this year, Iím feeling decidedly Grinchy, damnit. My job sucks, Iím a little homesick, and a little cranky since Snorland bit the dust, and Iíve once again lost my comments on my blog. I know that has nothing to do with Christmas, but it does have a lot to do with my mood.

SoÖI am planning to spend my weekend delving into the mysteries of Moveable Type, because MY GOD, I miss feedback. Feedback equals Love as far as I am concerned. I am a needy person and lack of feedback is probably the only thing that could get me off my ass (well, technically ON my ass) and working on my site again. Iím quite sure my husband will try to lure me away from my pc this weekend with promises of Christmas parties and Electric Light Parades, but I plan to stay holed up in my own little areaÖftp-ing files and playing with the new layout of my blog. (And cussing at my computer when I screw it up-because I know I will screw up many, many times before I finally get it right) God, if I still smoked, this weekend would be perfect. Maybe Iíll put on some Christmas tunes while I work, because Iím going to have a Merry Christmas this year if it kills me, damnit. I hope everyone else does, too.

comments (12)

mg

i like it when my hair is pooffy, i like it when you slip me a roofie

by mg at 11:21 PM on December 13, 2001

My computer got hit by the Nimda virus a month or so ago. There are no outward signs that youíve got the virus, no open sores on your mouse pad or anything like that. Other than the fact my computer ran out of memory faster than an Alzheimerís patient taking the SATs. I wasnít able to save word documents, print, or have more than a couple windows open at any one time without my computer screaming ďdisguto!Ē

I got rid of the virus, and reinstalled Windows. Things seemed to work fine for a bit, but then I kept getting this weird thing where Iíd open up a new window, and all the fonts and graphics would be fucked up. Not the fonts and images in the window, but the fonts and images in the program. Like, the ďfile edit viewĒ menus would be in Courier and bolded, and all the little buttons would be monochrome. That description doesnít quite convey the sense of torture of the problem, but, needless, I was terribly bothered by it.

I thought Iíd been hit by another virus, but then I realized, maybe my computer really was just simply out of memory, not that it was being sucked off by a virus like an college guy dating a high school girl.

I mean, when Iíve got 8 Internet Explorer windows, a Winamp playlist with 500+ songs, Adobe Photoshop editing large files, Microsoft Word chugging away on my latest masterpiece, and Morpheus downloading more songs Iíd never actually bug. With all that happening at the same time I should have expected my poor little laptop to get a little confused, much like an Alzheimerís patient taking the SATs.

So, when Mr. Blank mentioned a couple weeks ago about how cheap ram is at CrucialI went over and took a look.

My laptop has 128 RAM, but could max out at 512. Iíd gone to the official Dell site, and they were charging $79.95 for each 256mb module. I went to Crucial and they were charging jus $44.95 per module. Though I needed it badly, I didnít buy the memory at the time, because, you know, if the choice is between food and RAM, Iím not quite big enough a nerd to the choose RAM (maybe if it were a porn subscription, yeah, but not RAM).

But, things have kind of sucked for me recently. In the matter of a couple days, I broke up with my girlfriend and found out I didnít get a crappy job that I didnít really want but would have taken because of the above mentioned lack of food problem. Not being a complete nerd, but being a nerd all the same, I decided to splurge a little and buy the memory. Sure, some people buy new shoes or a fine bottle of scotch (or a cheap bottle of tequila) to make themselves better, I buy electronics. Besides, whatís going a little further in debt matter when you are already a third world country living off of US humanitarian aid?

So, I went back to Crucial yesterday. Theyíve got free 2-day delivery, and guarantee your order will go out the same day, if you order by noon. I didnít know that before hand, and diddled around all morning, looking at porn or something equally as pointless (but, Iíll tell you, I wasnít pointless, if you know what I mean) before finally placing my order at around 1 pm.

I didnít expect to get my order to get processed until today, and then get it Saturday, but probably not until Monday, considering I donít know if FedEx delivers on the weekend, and most of those online stores take much longer to actually deliver than they promise anyway.

So, when my bell rang at about 11am this morning, I wasnít sure what was going on. I answer the intercom, and the guy says FedEx. I assume he must have just rung my bell because whoever he was really delivering to wasnít home and he wanted in the building. Well, what do my wondering eyes appear, but a sleigh and eight tiny reindeerÖ no, wait, it was just the FedEx guy with a package for ME from none other than Crucial.

My package got here in 22 hours! That is amazing! Well, I quickly installed the new RAM, and now my computer is speeding along at heretofore unheard of speeds. Unfortunately, Iím still on dialup, so my porn and pirated music habits will continue to struggle, but everything else is moving faster than Winona Ryder through rock stars.

Now, Iím happy.

comments (8)

effenheimer

waiting around until god kills us

by effenheimer at 12:58 PM on December 13, 2001

Just a little update for those interested in my fascinating fucking life. It isn't like i should be working or anything...

my friend Courtney is back at work today because she was so bored sitting at home her doctor let her come back part time. she still does more work in four hours than I do all day... unless you count emails and blogs. then my words per day beat the shit out of most people. Turns out she aspirated some vomit and got septic shock, it got into the kidney's but she is fine now ... might have to have her kidney's looked at later, but she should live... for now. and isn't that all any of us are doing is just living for the time being until God kills us?

I went to the eye doctor today for my stinkin' diabetic eye exam. I am not going blind, no sign of retinopathy (a weakening of the blood vessels in the eyes that leads to bleeding requiring laser surgery that causes blind spots to form and can lead to major vision loss if not total blindness)

THANK GOD!

being able to see is kind of my bread and butter and i suppose it is that way for most people but words are what i do and i need to be able to see to write and read and if i couldnt do that i have no doubt i would kill myself. I don't care if it IS the chicken shit way out, I could not live like that.

I went to the doctor yesterday for bronchitis. why the fuck is it you can get bronchitis every year on the same day for a decade and every time your doctor makes you come in so he can say, yup, you sure do have bronchitis. no, really? thanks for confirming MY diagnosis, DOC! maybe next year you can just prescribe the fucking antibiotics over the fucking phone like i asked so i can go to work and not waste an hour and half in here.

lost another 11 pounds since my last visit, conor won't recognize me the next time he sees my scrawny ass. i think the diabetes was making me fat or at least contributing to it, i had no energy and was depressed, exercise was about as realistic as my flying to the moon under my own power. now I ride my bike like a freak even giving it that sprint for the last minute, I am dropping pounds almost TOO fast without going overboard on the diet or working out because my blood sugar is under control and my metabolism is falling in line which supports what i thought was going on before, i am not lazy, i'm hardcore. i had undiagnosed diabetes for god knows how long and it didnt kill me. I am the Nietzchean(sp) ideal!

comments (2)

lizard

i love you, man

by lizard at 01:36 AM on December 13, 2001

I am in love with the world right now. I had the most exquisite day, so unexpectedly wonderful, I hope I can do it justice for you.

It really started yesterday, when a brilliant plot to wish me a happy birthday was launched on this internet of ours, by my friends who endeavored, by mass emailing & meme-ing, to make wishing kd a happy birthday a major linkable event. My friends, who know that there is no finer gift to a hitwhore than many hundred hits over the norm, gave me that and a brilliant animated gif commemorating the event. Love abounded in my comments today, and I am anticipating an excellent blogdex ranking by the next crawl. Sweetest thing ever. Also, I received in the mail a check from the parents that means we won't be keeping warm burning overdraft notices this Christmas.

Then there was this morning. I was tipsy in chat till all hours last night, fell asleep at two-thirty something, slept straight through the night for the first time in ages. Woke up eight-ish, to a gentle world that handled the morning four year old for me and allowed me a leisurly shower. A significant other that gave me, freely, fifty dollars of our much needed money to spend as I wished (I put it in the bank, for an excellent feeling of security). I arrived at work and found, serendipitously, several dozen Krispy Kremes, which were an excellent appetizer considering the amazing Christmas potluck at work. Food in epic proportions. I took some time off this afternoon at the DMV, which was amazingly, incredibly, almost empty -- renewed my DL and got that lingering problem with plate-switching taken care of, all within an hour. A miracle, and miracles did not stop there.

On my way home I stopped at Ross and procured a wonderful bra that actually fits, does not hurt, is pretty, and cost far less than the twenty bucks my boss slipped me. Got out of there with bank deposit still intact, headed home, changed, got ready for dinner.

My daughter and her wonderful boyfriend Francois picked me up in his new Lincoln LS. We went to the restaurant where she works part-time, had the most amazingly delicious dinner and many margaritas. She had gift bags, lovingly prepared... an assortment of Calvin Klein perfumes... a beautiful frame with a picture of her and I at the beach, drunk and having so much fun... a bag full of handmade chocolate treats from Atelier du Chocolat, in downtown Ventura, the most decadent goodies ever. And, in another bag, a 24oz bottle of "Sale Batard Grand Cru" ale, handmade by my wonderful daughter's wonderful boyfriend. He makes his own 8% Scottish ale, with his own brilliantly designed labeling. Oh, he's a network engineer/web designer - so, dinner conversation included much enthusiastic geekiness, and our evening ended after closing time, sipping free Sauza Hornitos margaritas.

I sit here now, glowing, writing this, drinking the most amazing homemade ale, very much in love with the entire world, and you in particular -- whoever you are, reading this -- i do love you.

comments (11)

effenheimer

The Revenge of Lenny Feebletwerp (blue version)

by effenheimer at 11:15 AM on December 12, 2001

While covering the 60th reunion of Abraham Lincoln High Schoolís class of í41 last week, I met a man celebrating with his classmates who told me he was still holding a grudge after 60 years.

An underclassman counterpranked him months before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor by erasing a ďClass of í41Ē sign he and his buddies had painted in the street in the dead of night.

This ďkid,Ē who must be nearly 80 by now, waited in the weeds until they were done and, using gasoline, undid their hard work.

Wow, I thought, a 60-year grudge, what a petty fucker.

Now, I hold grudges like nobody I know, but Iím working on it. And I figure as long as you donít let your life be controlled by hate, you arenít doing too bad.

But this whole thing got me to thinking about the persistence of memory and what slips through the net.

My 10-year reunion was in í96. I was not planning to go because I kept in touch with most of the people I really liked, but a lawyer friend of mine could not wait to go.

He planned on wearing his finest suit just to tell everyone who could not remember who the fuck he was to begin with that he was now an attorney.

His closure apparently would not be complete if I was not there to witness it so, long story short, I ended up going to wing man for the anal retentive dipshit.

That night, I ran into my good friend Jim Beam in the parking lot of the Manawa Country Club. We had a short conversation about courage.

ďGlug, glug, glug,Ē I said to Jim.

ďGlug, glug, indeed,Ē said Jim to me.

Then we went in sharing a warm social glow ready to mingle and be happy.

I have to say that in spite of my earlier reluctance, I had a great time. I saw people I had not seen in 10 years - people I genuinely liked like Laurel and Cheryl Martin.

They were, and still are, twins. I vaguely remember going to a movie with one of them once kind of like it was a date but not really. To this day, I cannot remember which one I went with because I liked both of them at different times in high school for entirely different reasons. Women are shocked by this admission. Most men are amused.

Michelle Aiko Ross was just as cute and quiet as she was 10 years ago and duly impressed that I remembered her middle name.

My good friend Dave, a kid Iíd known since I was 6, came out - literally and figuratively - and was visibly relieved to know I was not about to recoil in horror.

A guy named Steve did not come out, and that was almost as surprising as anything that happened that night.

The girls who thought the world revolved around them stood in the center of the room for us to snipe about while the guys who drank a lot in high school drank a lot.

The music was a little TOO 1980s K-Telís greatest hits, but occasionally the disc jockey hit the mark and we all felt like we did when we were 18. But if I hear "She Blinded Me With Science" one more time, some fucker is gonna have to die, especially if the song is played by some 20-something DJ who thinks he is totally down with the 80s like it was his decade... BULLSHIT!

I donít know if it was the bourbon, but I had fun that night and felt good about how I had turned out. The ret of these fucks were just older version of what they were in high school whereas I felt I had actually become a genuinely interesting and funny person. Again, this could have been the Beam.

Then something strange happened.

This guy, letís call him Lenny Feebletwerp, comes up to me and springs a ďclosure rapĒ on me like he had just seen "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion" for the umpteenth time and couldn't wait to "nail" me for my crimes against his blighted sanity.

Lenny had actually been one of my best friends from the time we were 12 right through high school. He was a little fella with an artistic bent (read: repressed homosexual) and no visible means of self-defense (read: gargantuan pussy). We used to play D&D, read comics and listen to U2 and INXS back when nobody knew who they were.

I gave this guy rides to and from school daily and kept him from getting his ass beat by grace of being a big guy and the friend who always had his back.

The problem with Lenny, besides his loosening grip on reality, was he was hyperactive, and a caffeine high would make him intolerable. We called him Spaz at such moments and took to not inviting him places.

When he ďspazzed,Ē I became his favorite target. He would pick and poke at me like a chicken hawk - bastard drove me nuts and deserved whatever he was about to get.

I grew weary of this behavior once at a firend's house after playing "Marvel Superheroes" (I told you we were geeks). This all happened while we were sitting on a deck some 20 feet off the ground... this is an important detail.

I gave Lenny fair warning that day.

ďIf you do not settle down and stop touching me, I am going to hang you off this deck,Ē I said.

Lenny did not believe me. A big mistake.

Lenny then gave me a wet willie to show me who was boss, so I grabbed him by the ankles and hung him off that deck some 20 feet off the ground to show this little pischer of will what a will really was. Suddenly joviality was the last thing on Lennyís mind and all the Coke in the world couldn't save his ass from the wrath of Greg.

ďLet me up, you asshole,Ē Lenny shrieked.

ďIím an asshole?Ē Youíre an asshole,Ē I countered. ďNow settle down, you spaz, and Iíll let you back up.Ē

The whole thing lasted maybe 10 seconds, and Lenny deserved every moment of it for being such an absolute fuckhead and I felt quite comfortable with my actions. Evolution exists for a reason and while I have always acted to protect the weak and defenseless in my own minor way, I won't take any shit from them.

This was self-defense, pure and simple, and as far as what guys do to one another it was pretty harmless.

I guess Lenny had years to stew over this, because at our reunion he comes up to me and I donít know if he had a pre-reunion meeting with Jim Beam or if his boyfriend put him up to it, but he pulls this completely unexpected movie cliche out of nowhere.

ďYou remember that time you hung me off of that deck? I never forgot about that.Ē

I was taken aback. I couldn't believe Lenny did not have my appreciation for that incident or at least the common fucking decency to admit when he has had his ass kicked fair and square. I guess it would be like expecting the Japanese to appreciate the bombing of Hiroshima with the same perspective as Americans.

My only regret was that the country club we had our reunion at had no balconies.

It helps to remember that the best revenge - besides hanging a jerk off a deck - is just to let things slide. Very few people care as much about your demons as you do, and ďgetting closureĒ just tips most people off that you have been simmering in your own juices for years.

Let it go and get on with your life.

See you in 2006, Lenny, until then, try to think good thoughts.

comments (6)

mg

now she's a little boy in spain, playing pianos filled with flames

by mg at 02:48 AM on December 12, 2001

When you lose things, things you thought were vital parts of existence, you begin to ask questions about yourself, about your life, and about your place in the world. Over the past year, Iíve lost a lot. I lost the same girl, twice. I lost two jobs (technically, I only lost the first one, I gave the other up willingly, and I guess the same could be said about the girl).

Iíll be honest with you: Iím not really sure what the hell Iím doing. My life is seriously fucked up. My chosen career is in a lifeless industry. For the last six years, Iíve wanted to do nothing else besides mess around with the Internet. For the past eight years, Iíve wanted nothing else besides to marry Amanda and have lots of babies.

The way things are going, Iíll not likely have either of those things for any foreseeable future. Without those things, Iím not really sure who I am, or what reason I have to wake up in the morning. Which is why itís frustrating to read something like this.

It is an article about Johnny Walker, not the fine scotch, served best on the rocks, but the Californian kid who joined the Taliban and lived in a cave for six months. If you havenít heard about this kid, go read the article, because I donít want to get too much in to it. Even if you have heard about this, go read the article; it is as complete a story as Iíve read about Walker.

This kid may have made some awful choices in his life, but he made choices. He made a decision, and followed through. He used the Internet to shop for religions like most people shop for cars. He decided on Islam, not Americaís most popular of religions, even pre-September 11th. He moved to Yemen to get closer to the true word of Allah, and then to Pakistan, and finally to Afghanistan, where he was recruited into the Al Qaeda.

Not only does Walker have the convictions of his own beliefs, but also the support of his family. When Walker decided to move to Yemen, his parents, were in the midst of a divorce and severely cash-strapped; somehow that scraped together the money to pay for the trip. When the U.S.S. Cole was bombed in 2000, Walker told his parents the United States deserved it; they sent him $1,200. When Walker was captured, along with hundreds of other Taliban soldiers, his father went on Larry King Live and defended him; ďI donít think John was doing anything wrong,Ē said Frank Walker.

This kid, as stupid as he was, had purpose. He had people who supported and were loyal to him, no matter what stupid decisions he made. He went against convention (he was raised traditionally Catholic), race (an American living in Afghanistan had to be hard, even for one sympathetic to the Taliban), family, and all common sense for his beliefs. I canít even get out of bed for mine.

(ps: If you are at all interested in Walker, or online identity, you should check out this collection of Walkerís Usenet postings; it is a fascinating look inside this kidís mind, and you can actually see the transformation from typical suburban teen to raving lunatic. Well, not quite, but itís interesting to see what kind of trail we Ďnet types leave.

For example, if I were to, say, kill the president or join the Aum Shinrikyo, reporters would be digging up old posts to my collegeís Usenet group looking for roommates and a used copy of the Math 165 textbook. Something interesting to think about. With a little digging, a Lois Lane-type might even be able to connect my real life identity with this website. So, even if I donít end up doing something to earn me my well-deserved 15 minutes of infamy, I can probably forget that career in politics.)

comments (6)

muaddib

Damned Right It Hurts!

by muaddib at 09:55 PM on December 11, 2001

The other day, I got a new tattoo. It's a fairly large piece and it took about five hours - and that was just to do the bulk of the outline. The piece still needs to have the last of the outlining done and then be shaded and filled in before it's complete. I expect that to take at least two more sessions.

Someone who doesn't have any tattoos asked me to describe what it's like getting one. Well, it's not the most enjoyable way to spend a Sunday, I can tell you that much. Turns out most of my back is pretty sensitive, so the vast majority of the time was pure agony. But that's not a terribly helpful description, is it?

Tattooing hurts - a lot! Don't believe anyone who says otherwise; they've either forgotten or are just showing off. Ten continuous minutes of it would drive just about anyone half insane. Thankfully, getting a tattoo is not a continuous process. It's a lot of fairly short, discreet instances of pain - much of searing, yes, but each one delightfully brief. Drawing a line an eighth of an inch long is all right because he's done almost as soon as the pain starts. Longer lines hurt progressively more the longer the needle does its work without a respite. And, as my artist pointed out, the parts between the lines don't hurt a bit.

Even broken up like that it just gets to be too much after a while. I was really looking forward to knocking off once we'd passed four hours. Once he'd finished enough that the picture made sense, I was only too happy to call it a day after yet another hour. A few hours after that, the adrenaline wore off and I crashed like I was coming down off a particularly potent drug.

However, no matter what it's like a few hours in, the first few minutes are still the worst. I hadn't been under the needle in almost seven years. Once I made the decision to get this one done, the process of ever-increasing dread started in earnest. As my artist was getting his equipment ready, I seriously considered bailing on the whole thing. But - just as with the first one I got - once he'd started, I was committed. Having one short little nothing of a line would be a whole lot worse than just enduring it.

And endure it I did, with the help of a lot of breathing exercises I learned watching women have babies on TV. That shit works! Almost every time he started in on me, I just did a long slow exhale until he stopped again. It still hurt like hell, but it was a lot more manageable that way.

Now I just have to give my back some time to heal properly and gear myself up for the next session.

comments (19)

melly

Every Sperm is Sacred

by melly at 02:32 PM on December 10, 2001

May 30th of this year, I finally quit putting off the EPT test I had bought a week before. For a few months I had been a real party girl. Every night, all night. Drink, Drink. Club, Club. I roamed San Antonio with my two best girlfriends, Amy and Claudia. I met him in late February and instantaneously became a glob of pathetic estrodribble. I was so in love with him, and on May 30th I stood in my bathroom, EPT in hand, alone. The directions that came with the test specifically stated to wait three minutes for your result. So I peed. I set the test on the floor below me. I waited, not three minutes but three seconds, to find out I was indeed a mombie. What am I going to do?

I dialed Amy's number from underneath my bed covers. It's okay mi hija. The world has not ended. I'm scared. I'm confused. I'm too humiliated to tell my parents. Melly, just tell, but first think. Make up your mind. What are you going to do?

I walked down the stairs to my mother's chair. Unable to verbalize my news, I could only hand her the EPT. She sighed one of her deep, motherly sighs. You are too young. You haven't finished college. I'm sorry, Mom. Well, I think you should wait to tell him until you know what you are going to do.

Two hours later I'm walking out of Planned Parenthood. I'm on my cell with Dad. He's disappointed in me. No, Melissa, I would never be disappointed in you. I had just hoped you'd be the first to make it through college. You had so much opportunity. What are you going to do now?

In San Antonio, I sit by the phone waiting for him to call me back.

In Costa Rica, he rides on the back of a boy's motorcycle into town. He doesn't know why I've called, only that it's an emergency. An old man who owns a small store finally has the heart to let him use his phone to call America.

In the background I hear a bit of a crowd. I stumble several times to break the news. What is it Mel? Did you call to tell me you don't love me anymore? No, but you may not love me. I know what guys do. Tell me. ... I'm pregnant. No pause, just excitement on the other end. He's yelling to everyone that I am pregnant. ŅQuť vas a hacer ... ŅQuť voy a hacer ... I am having your baby.

December 10th, early in the morning, I load my now 31-week pregnant ass into my now 1-year old Ford Contour and race downtown for my ultrasound. Debra comes in and preps my belly. Do you want to know the sex? Please. She works around the belly. Shows me the face. The baby has his cheeks, my mouth. I am in love. She runs down the spine. Looks good. Down to the rump and legs. There are the feet, and ... Woah! That's a boy! Look at those testicles! And if I weren't brimming with pride at that point, I certainly was ten minutes later when I, the doctor, and three nurses watched my unborn son scratch his ass on the television.

At home I pull out the birth certificate form. I fill out "Matthew Thomas". Matthew was what my sister Joanne wanted to name the son she never had the chance to have. Thomas is a family name, handed down more out of male comradery than lack of creativity.

ŅQuť voy a hacer ... I am going to love my son always.

comments (17)

mg

it takes a long time, but god dies too

by mg at 01:37 PM on December 10, 2001

Iíve already mentioned this to a couple of people, and have been meaning to make a post here, to get as many people on board as possible. Since I was going to be in the Midwest to visit Amandaís parents over the holidays, I figured itíd be the perfect opportunity to put together a little mini-blogger convention. Iíve been working to figure out where and when would be the best place to meet so that as many people could be involved as possible.

Iím sorry to say, though, that it doesnít look like the convention is going to happen, so put away the nametags and your Sunday best, and get used to the idea of having to deal with your own family for the whole holiday season. Iím sorry to have gotten everyoneís hopes up, but Iím not going to be spending the holidays in Illinois after all.

Why, you might ask? Well, this certainly wonít be a surprise to some of you as Iíve been alluding to it for a while now, but things arenít going so well with Amanda and I. Things are going so bad, in fact, that we broke up last night. And although she still wants me to go with her, and I really do love her family, it really wouldnít be the healthiest of decisions to spend a 20-hour car trip, not to mention two weeks in semi-seclusion, together.

So, the bad news is no get together, but there is something good to come out of all this for all the ladies out there. Iím free. Queue up now, the Great God of Unlameness is single again and looking for a soul mate, or at least a warm bed for the night. If youíd care to offer either of those things, let me know.

comments (9)

effenheimer

Give me liberty or... don't, who cares?

by effenheimer at 10:59 AM on December 10, 2001

H.L. Mencken, one of the greatest American literary journalists who ever lived, once wrote that the average person never thinks an original thought in his entire life. Rather, people string together cliches, bits and pieces theyíve heard or read elsewhere. We call these bits and pieces ďsound bitesĒ today because few people read any thing in Danielle Steel novels or TV Guide that are actually worth repeating.

We now know that space is curved, because this week, linear thought extended so far that it came back and bit its own ass.

In response to a Nonpareil editorial that suggested civil liberties might be important in America, a reader responded there is something more important than civil liberties and that is living.

Iím confused. Is it just me? I thought America was where we LIKED freedom. I remember when we used to say it was worth dying for. Roll over George Washington. Do a double take Tom Jefferson. I guess America is just another country where where surrender is an option and getting by is enough.

What are we France? Correct me if Iím wrong, but isnít America the country where we have occasionally gone to war to protect democracy in other countries?

Have we not, once in a while, expected our young men to fight and die for freedom in places like Germany, the Pacific, Korea, Vietnam and Kentucky?

Do we not often utter such sentiments as ďGive me liberty or give me death?Ē So what is happening in American?

Letís take a look at Mohammed Irshaid, one of these detainees who has been held because one or two factors made him suspicious, not because he was actually suspected of terrorist activities.

Irshaid is profiled in the Dec. 10 edition of Newsweek in an article called ďJustice kept in the dark.Ē For 22 years, Irshaid has been living in the United States working as a civil engineer. He went to college in Ohio, lives in New York and has three children who are all American.

Had he been an Irishman who came ashore near the end of the 19th Century, he would have been considered an American already, but immigration what it is today, it takes money, tests and renouncing all ties to oneís homeland.

On Nov. 6, he was arrested at his place of work by federal agents because his visa had expired and they said they had information that linked him to a terrorist plot..

He was tossed in jail in Passaic, N.J. with three dozen other Muslims and held for three weeks without being told what for. A small price to pay, right?

Hasnain Javed, a 20-year old Pakistani attending school at Queensborough College in New York was visiting his aunt in Houston. On the bus ride back, he was detained in Alabama by Border Patrol officers because he was carrying an expired visa.

In a county jail in Wiggins, Miss., he was beaten by inmates for 20 minutes while the guards pretended not to notice. When they stopped pretending not to notice, they watched while the cream of southern culture shouted racial epithets at the college student, called him Osama bin Laden and pummeled him without mercy. God bless America. Serves him right for being a foreigner, I guess.

Dr. Al-Badr Al-Hazmi, a San Antonio radiologist was arrested on Sept. 12 for three suspicious coincidences: 1) for having the same last name as one of the Sept. 11 terrorists, a name as common in Saudi Arabia as Smith is in the United States 2) for having donated money to an organization that builds health clinics in Palestinian territories and 3) for having once had contact with one of Osama bin Ladenís 50 siblings, an act our own president has committed since the bin Laden family is rich, prominent and huge and 4) he booked flights on Travelocity as did the terrorists and many thousands of Americans including me.

Al-Hazmi was held in custody for two weeks with only a mattress on the floor and a gown he was given to wear when his clothes and eye glasses were confiscated. He was denied medical treatment for his bronchitis which became worse in the cold cell, contact with his wife for 11 days and a blanket. He claims to have been routinely kicked by FBI agents, they deny this but not the rest.

Additionally, 60 Israelis are being held nationwide, detained as ďsuspects of special interest to the government.Ē Israel is an ally, right? Oh well, brown is brown.

And these are just a few of the people we know about.

Letís think about it pragmatically. Even if liberty is not important, finding terrorists is and we canít do that if we scare the hell out men who can tell us who they suspect the real terrorists might be.

I wouldnít risk a severe beating by hicks for this country and I was born here.

So here we are as Americans, throwing the baby out with the bathwater and other cliches because it feels so good to be bigots. I think we are all better than this. I know America is.

comments (6)

antwon

I am Jack's sense of bitter disappointment

by antwon at 06:59 AM on December 10, 2001

You know how cute and naïve and idealistic kids are when they're sixteen. "Dude, I don't care how much they pay me, they are never gonna get me to wear a button-up shirt, and sit around in a cubicle all day, and deal with office politics. That stuff is bullshit, man. Besides, I love my [impassionated artistic activity] too much. These dreams of mine will never die!" I can dimly recall being like that.

And for the last seven years or so, the dream never has died. Oh, sure, I wear button-up shirts and sit around in a cubicle five days a week, frittering away the daylight hours on behalf of The Man in exchange for vast sums of material wealth. But nights and weekends? Those belong to me. Those belong to constructive creativity and artistic expression.

When I step foot out of that office every evening, Anthony-the-software-engineer dies a painless death and Antwon-the-website-guy springs up from his ashes, ready to pour forth another eight hours' worth of energy into a wholly independent subject matter. This action has heavy personal costs, as measured by such objective metrics as "number of hours slept" and "quantity of passive entertainment consumed"... and yet I do it all the same. Hey, no one ever said that pulling off the whole Tyler Durden life-duality shtick was going to be easy.

This weekend, I spent seven hours - fully half my waking Saturday - tied up in the events in and around my employer's annual holiday party. Button-up shirt in tow, I dragged myself to the event, having vapid conversations I didn't much want to have, smiling and laughing at hijinks I had no real business smiling and laughing at, and generally feeling out of place beneath the veneer of an industrial-strength idyllic façade.

"I'm doing great, thank you! I've already got a drink, but thanks! Yes, traffic was terrible, wasn't it? Hey, someone has to show up really late to these functions - makes all the folks who showed up a little bit late feel better about themselves!" Haw haw haw. I'm so witty. Drift and mingle; find new people to smile and nod at; conversation repeats.

And all so I'm "a team player" and "one of the guys". All in a vague attempt to detach myself from the raging introvert / social outcast perception into which I've slowly been sliding. All to plant some random seed of positivity into the mind of a Power That Be, all to make sure that it won't be my neck against the chopping block if the specter of personnel cuts wafts into town. Not succumbing to office politics indeed.

Last I saw of it, my self-respect had bolted for parts unknown, heading roughly northeast at a blindingly fast rate of speed. If it should happen to pop up in your neighborhood, could you nab it and send it back to me? I'll recomp for postage and everything. Thanks.

comments (5)

bornfamous

sugar, baby

by bornfamous at 11:34 PM on December 09, 2001

I know, I know - I haven't been posting. Sorry! It's just that I've been so depressed about all the wonderful new writers here. No, really. And tired too. Too tired to write.

Next time you hear me whine about being depressed or tired, remind me to stop eating carbs, will you? Just tell me, "It's the sugar, baby!"

God, this happens over and over. Every time I finally wake up to what's happening, the internal conversation is like this: "Duh! Don't you remember? You have hypoglycemia! Both of your parents, two of your grandparents, an uncle, a cousin and your sister, all have - or have DIED - of diabetes. HELLO!!!"

I don't know why I have amnesia about sugar, but it's getting to be more like Alzheimer's. I should have "NO CARBS" tattooed on my forehead. Wait - I couldn't see it then. Ok, how about on my right [eating] hand? That sounds good. There's a tattoo parlor not far from here...

What I hate about a no- or lo-carb diet is the funny taste in my mouth. If you've ever tried it, you know what I mean. It's what you get when you're in a state of ketosis, which experts say is bad for normal folks but good for diabetics and hypoglycemics. The funny taste also translates to bad breath. Not that I have to worry about offending anyone other than my teenage son, who usually has bad breath himself until I nag him to brush.

The other thing I hate is the pee factor. I have to pee every half hour. I keep telling myself that's a good thing - it means I'm losing weight - but damn, it's annoying. And then there's the Big C - Constipation - but let's not go there.

Maybe Effenheimer and I can be sugar buddies - except he's far more entertaining about it than I am. Hell, he's far younger than I am. At least he still has hope of getting laid some day.

comments (3)

lizard

coming up for air

by lizard at 02:30 PM on December 09, 2001

I shouldn't even be posting this. I should be diligently working away on the things I received on Saturday to be ready by 3PM my time today, even though I don't have everything I need. I was working till 11:30 last night, in a haze of exhaustion, and I was back working on it around 8:30 this morning. I am also singlehandedly responsible for the care and feeding of a large, unruly four year old, and no doubt I should try to clean up some of this mess before Chris gets home from his long day of actual physical hard work.

I should not complain, just because my work-style suddenly shifted from laid back to complete panic. I should be happy to be earning time and a half in my kitchen. I should be grateful I don't have to actually work for a living. That being said, I would rather not be the Ďbuck stops hereí person, the one who gets an email containing eight hours of work at 3PM on a Saturday, and a note that they'll call in a couple hours to check on my progress. Which they did, and I assured them it would be done by morning, and by golly it was. Have they answered an email since then? What, are you kidding? Hell, it's four hours till the deadline. If something is to be dumped in my lap, it will not get here for at least another three hours. I'm beginning to suspect those people I'm working with have those Ďlivesí I'm always hearing about. On Friday and Saturday nights, these folks are actually away from their computers! Offline! Maybe they're even outside!

You know, the more I think about the situation, the more I like it. Somehow, I have found a job in which I get to do something I enjoy, in which my lack of an actual social life (i.e., not a virtual one) is a major asset, and to top that off, my lifelong procrastination has trained me well to deal with all this last minute panic. If the buck must stop somewhere, it may as well stop here with me, I'm apparently the best woman for the job. So, really, I am not complaining (well, not anymore). I am grateful, and as happy as only a weekend-working geek can be.

Ok now I really have to get back to work.

comments (3)

d

Amidst the throes of passion

by d at 09:11 AM on December 09, 2001

The stereo wakes us up softly and as the music brings me slowly up to a conscious level I realise that at some point during the night we rolled apart from each other. Tentatively feeling under the covers I find her warm body and roll back towards her. She responds by turning in towards me and we wrap together in each other's arms, her skin is soft against mine.

On instinct our lips seek out and a short kiss is followed by a longer and more passionate one. The music has brought me to a level where I am able to string thoughts together; is this Saturday? Is it Sunday? I'm pretty sure I'm in bed with my girlfriend, I'd remember inviting a stranger in here. My eyes are still sealed shut from the sleepiness and I don't feel like opening them.

The fumbling gets more intense and nails are traced up my spine, fingers tickle along my neck and she slips her hand into my hair and holds my head tightly. Is this make-up sex? Is this break-up sex?! What did I do wrong? What did I do right? Should I stop analysing and just enjoy?

Bound together in the tangle of bed clothes and limbs there's a struggle for who gets to be on top. I decide I'll let her win and she pushes my shoulders flat onto the bed, throwing the covers back. I open my eyes and see her, hair tangled, a faint smile on her lips, the morning light an aura around her.

"I'm gonna go check for e-mail" she says.

Shit.

comments (1)

effenheimer

Onan the Conqueror, the power of honesty and a wild cherry POP!

by effenheimer at 11:58 PM on December 08, 2001

I love you too MG, this web log stuff actually give me a location where someone will read my uncensored ramblings. Believe it or not, the good people of Council Bluffs are not ready to hear all my really deep dark secrets. Oh sure, they think I'm all crazy and wild because I say things like "Hal Daub is to Omaha what Joseph Goebels was to the Third Reich" when I can get away with it.

I never tell them my drugs are making me spray orange oily shit when I stand up without clenching, they just wouldnt appreciate that level of honest. Honesty is truly the only thing that really turns me on besides having my scrotum pulled tight and shaved by a woman i love and trust.

Lies are just too damn common and I don't mean the big ones, oh they are out there too. No I mean the common boring lies, the fake laugh, the feigned interest, the "hi how are you?" when someone just obviously does not give a fuck even in the theoretical. People are boring liars anyway, we lie so regularly that the lies are more just a ritualistic farce we go through like stopping at a red light on a deserted street at 4 in the morning when not even the cops would give a shit if you ran it. Jesus, is there even any reason to ask how I'm doing on a daily basis? Ask me how my diet is going and I will tell you the details, ask me how my novel is coming along and I will give you a list but "hi how are you?" I have answered that question one million times and now I say things like "not too shitty" or "sweeeeeet!" or "oh my god you don't even want to know!" just to liven things up.

From now on, I am going to answer that god damn question just so people will get offended that I did and when they do get offended I am going to shout "why the fuck did you ask if you didnt want to know? just say hello next time and LEAVE IT AT THAT!"

fifteen minutes til quittin' time and home to watch Dr. Who. GOD that show takes me back to my youth. GOD BLESS YOU IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOR SHOWING DR. WHO NOW FOR WHAT 27 YEARS NON-STOP?!

normally, i would have stopped at the store for a can of Squeez-E Cheese and box of Wheat Thins, but tonight it is a case of Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi POP and mabye a can of black olives after i do my daily carb/calorie/fat calculations and see if there is any leeway for a few morsels. Three meals and one snack apple today, percectly normal, probably WAY under on calories. maybe I will hop on the stationary bike, that always takes the edge off my hunger, especially when i ride it naked so i can hear my belly slap against whatever the hell it is slapping against.

not for long though. did i mention my libido is coming back? jesus, the other day I beat little nazi johnny into submission and fell promptly to sleep. I woke up several hours later because of an intense erotic dream and I do mean INTENSE. It even featured a woman! what a stud! even hugh hefner probably never managed anything like that in his life.

just thought I would share this because we are all friends and you guys talk about your sex lives. Mine might be boring and onanistic but it is all i have for now.

comments (1)

effenheimer

POP goes the world!

by effenheimer at 06:52 PM on December 08, 2001

I am a disgusting fat fucker. For over a month now I have been doing pretty good with this new diet. Oh sure, i had the whole planned indiscretion of Hawaii thing but yesterday... fuck me. I had to work the weekend at the old Daily Nonpareil. I got up nice and early to write my column and then just stayed at work all day instead of getting out.

Well, I cannot eat breakfast, eat lunch, eat dinner on a schedule that suites my stinking diabetic lifestyle and then go from 6 until midnight without eating something more substantive than a fucking apple, OK? I've tried. So last night I stop in the Quarthouse, this between my paper and the real courthouse. I order a diet POP and chat with the hirsute locals.

"Grab yourself some beanie wienies they don't cost nothing!" says Pat the bartender

Don't mind if I do, I says to myself.

FUCK! Next thing you know I'm buying tacos on the way home because the beanie wienies set me off. I check my blood sugar and it's 147. The whole time I was in Hawaii it was never 147. I have to maintain and average closer to 90 in order to prevent myself from going blind or having my fucking feet amputated or developing heart disease. And I was doing it. But now my appetites are returning. The holidays are guaranteeing that the empty feeling inside I have is growing and threatening to consume me and make me consume all the things I have been craving. It is driving me mad. For some odd reason I cannot stop thinking about fries from Mickey Ds. I almost NEVER ate at Mickey Ds, certainly not since college. Now I must have those fries because I can't.

I don't want to die and I don't want to live without my vision or my feet and I am determined to make a go of this god damn affliction by exercising and eating right, but every once in a while it feels like my stomach is going to reach out and throttle me if I don't get a god damn cheeseburger. And don't tell me to tough it up. Any body can deny themselves anything so long as they know they can eventually have it. I could have gone a full year without a gyro on a bet, now it hasn't been two months and all i can think about is swimming in tzatziki and swallowing spitted lambs whole using pitas as oven mitts.

Other than that, my weight continues to drop and everything looks peachy. I keep thinking about getting laid and that straightens my ass out BUT GOOD. Time for more pop. Maybe a diet who gives a shit!

comments (3)

d

Go, stranger and to Lacedamon tell. That here, obeying her behests, we fell.

by d at 06:24 PM on December 08, 2001

Xerxes was a child God. He ruled the expansive Persian Empire with an iron grip and was diabolically inventive with his punishments. Some would have branded him a tyrant for the subjugation of over a hundred races; others worshipped him as the living God he proclaimed himself to be. When three hundred Spartan warriors, free men who had been taught to fear nothing, and seven thousand Athenians, mostly peasants and civilians, stood in his way as he tried to cross the narrow gap of water at Hellespont and proceed north to invade Greece, Xerxes laughed at them; King Leonidas and his rag-tag army, facing Xerxes' 180,000.

The God child crushed them, drowning the defenders almost in blood as wave after wave of Persian slaves and soldiers under his command and the lash of the whip charged forth onto the staunch Spartan's shields and spears. The Spartans made sure the Persians paid a heavy price, and died heroes.

Three years later, in a single day, the Greek navy destroyed Xerxes' fleet and his army was faced with ten thousand Spartans leading thirty thousand Athenians. Outnumbered three to one, the Spartans reminded Xerxes of his heavy loses at Hellespont by routing his army and demonstrating the power that fighting for your freedom has.

Centuries later, under the tyranny of Edward Longshanks, self proclaimed "Overlord of the land of Scotland", men came together who had fought amongst their separate tribes for decades and, under the leadership of William Wallace, rose up and fought back as free men. After Wallace's death and the defeat at Falkirk the insurgent army rallied and fought once more, this time under the command of Robert the Bruce, fighting for their homeland and their freedom they defeated an English army twice their size at Bannockburn.

Seven hundred years later, on the beaches of Normandy, free men ran forth onto the sand under a hail of bullets and mortars, under no obligation other than their conviction that freedom should win over the tyranny of Nazism that had overrun Europe like a cancer. Fighting against well dug in troops and defences that had been prepared years in advance they clawed their way over the dunes and onto the coastlines and into the hedgerows.

Normandy, Iwo Jima, Burma, just like Bannockburn and Hellespont before them, where free men fought back against the oppressors, against the tyrants who thought themselves better and ruled with the sword and the threat of death rather than the right to chose and be wrong.

Thomas Jefferson challenges us with his declaration: "What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." No tears for the tyrants, and no relent in the campaign against them.

Three years to defeat Xerxes. Decades to defeat Longshanks. Six years to defeat Nazi Germany. The process is long and hard, it can't be condensed into an hour and a half in a theatre, it can't be written down in a 50,000 word novel, it can't be explained in a single post on a website, you just have to remember that this is the way it has always been and this is the way it shall always be. Freedom lost in the name of preserving said freedom is no better than an outright denail of freedom from the start. In the current conflict who is oppressor and who is oppressed? One man's freedom fighter is another's terrorist.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

comments (5)

mg

i do not need you to tell me that i am not a cat

by mg at 01:41 PM on December 08, 2001

Hello and welcome to a very special Saturday edition of Bad Samaritan. What is so special about it? Nothing really, I just woke up early enough to watch cartoons this morning and am in a good mood.

Youíd think with 15 authors, thereíd plenty of new stuff here everyday, but me and Eff (I love you Eff) accounted for 8 of the 12 posts so far this month, where is everybody? Youíd also think with 15 authors, there wouldnít be room for anybody else. But when someone as talented as D (of bulletproofpunk fame) makes an off handed comment about wanting to write for Bad Samaritan, what else is an opportunistic webmaster to do but pester him until he actually agrees to join up.

D is a posting machine, in five months at his own blog, he has written 600+ posts. Youíd think we that kind of output, most of it wouldnít be very good, but Iíve found him consistently funny, literate, and some times down right scary. He is the prophet responsible for the Genesis Blog, and the evil genius behind bobthecorgiís new layout.

D is a very welcome addition to an already wonderful cast of characters here at Bad Samaritan, so, welcome him!

Speaking of our wonderful staff, one of our writers will be making a big announcement here next week. If you donít know Melly (of Daily Sardonicism fame) you are missing out, my friend. She is red-headed, beautiful, literate and funny. She is also pregnant.

Melly promised me sheíd blog this, but has, apparently, been much too busy scouring the Internet trying to find me boobies to write it up herself. Iíd complain, crack the whip and get her working, but, come one, boobies. Anyway, the big announcement will come on Monday (or shortly thereafter) when Melly finally learns the sex of the ďbeanzebub.Ē She will be revealing that information, right here on Bad Samaritan! Isnít that insane?

Since Iím in a positively write up the writer kind of mood, I should note that I forgot to mention in my last post that while my joining up with Enigmous is nothing short of a coup for them, they are actually still looking for more writers. Normally I wouldnít encourage people to join other sites but what we do here and what they do there are quite different. Besides, they are looking for a couple writers with a liberal slant, and Iíve already got enough icky liberals writing here at Bad Samaritan.

comments (5)

effenheimer

I believe in miracles, you sexy thang!

by effenheimer at 02:33 PM on December 07, 2001

I have just been ordered by the lord to be an exercise whore, I guess. For some time now, I have been operating under the delusion that I was just a fat, lazy piece of shit. I thought my lack of energy was a character flaw and that if only I were normal and in shape I could do all the little things I haven't even been able to admit to myself that I cannot do.

I got diagnosed with diabetes at the end of October, right before Halloween thank you very much, God. It was all a huge curse and I was oh-so depressed and to tell you the truth it is a bitch. When you have a whole inside of you that can only be filled with food because mommy and daddy never loved you and you don't really have any friends and no one would fuck you with a ten foot pole, a large combination pizza from Godfather's while watching Dr. Who is a close second. BOO HOO HOO! Fuck that shit.

I thought to myself, I am never going to have the things other people take for granted like some woman bitching at me to clean the gutters and rug rats to drive me fucking insane 24 hours a day and carry on my genetic legacy. I am going to die a horrible death because of this shit and all I really want is some skank to cuddle with, is that such a terrible thing? WAHHHH!

So I, an agnostic by trade, would get depressed and think about God and if I could ask him to help me help myself, what would it be like? And BAM, diabetes was the answer. God said, look you fat mother fucker, I am not going to miracle your ass into a pair of 34 inch narrow fit jeans, but I will give you a choice, you are gonna die one way or the other so you can lose the weight now and maybe add a decade to your miserable existence or you can have a major diabetes induced coronary oh say early next year.

Message received. AAAHHHHHHH-MEEEEEEEEENNNNNNN!

So i start taking these pills to lower my blood sugar and block some fat. I cut back on the food especially certain kinds and add gobs of apples and veggies and start exercising a bit because now I have a REALLY good reason. I'm on my exercise bike every night while watching TV and every night it just gets easier. I am kicking ass.

You understand, I have the exact same reasons to do all this I should have had before, but NOW I have some SERIOUS FUCKING motivation! Imminent death can do that to you. I have lost at least 20 pounds without trying and honestly feel that within a year's time, if I play my cards right and use my small C celebrity status to good effect or maybe join a church that I should be into some serious pun tang by this time next year.

Thank you, Jesus!

comments (7)

mg

don't hate me because this is part two, hate me because i'm beautiful

by mg at 03:16 PM on December 06, 2001

(This is part two of a two part series. I suppose it isnít necessary to read part one in order to get whatís going on. Actually, I can sum up part one in just ten words: ďIíve been blogwhoring; I joined three group blogs this week.Ē

The first site wont be hardcore, and I wont have to write anything in order to participate. Iíve already written every word that will ever get posted there; now, itís up to Google to do the rest. The site, Search Extract Poetry takes all the little bits of your page that Google chops up to create its rationale for returning your page at the top of a search query and makes poetry out of them. That isnít a very good explanation, but the site is very good and is very brand new.

The next site I joined isnít new, but you may not have ventured over there. KD over at Surreally and I have this sort of simpatico relationship. We run the two best group blogs out there (seriously). Our sites and our personalities complement each other. Everything that I am not, kd is, and vice versa. Hooking up with her (actually, being pestered until I finally allowed her to join Bad Samaritan just to get her off my back) was one of the best things to ever happen to this site.

When history looks back on the rise of Bad Samaritan (and many a book will be written about this phenomenon), it will note several events as turning points. One of those was the addition of Snaggle, the second Samaritan. It was his enthusiasm that kept me going through the hit lean beginnings of the site. Another turning point was hooking up with kd. She has created a community from amongst the jangle of people who have nothing in common but mutual admiration. The most important turning point for Bad Samaritan, however, will be our bloody coup of the U.S.M. (United States of Microsoft) in the year 2011, lord do I look forward to that day.

So, you should go over to Surreally now, to show thanks for everything kd has done. More importantly you should go read and comment on my post, which is so damned good that if I hadnít mentioned to kd what I was writing about before I posted it, I would have ended up using it as todayís post on Bad Samaritan.

Also so damn good is Enigmous. Iíve read this site for ages and it is one of my favorite sources for news and commentary. Iím kind of pissed at them, however, since they took advantage of me in a weakend state. They were looking for new authors, and I made an off-handed remark about how I should join up, and they swarmed about me until I had no choice but to write for them too.

Seriously, I like news and I like talking about news, and I especially like forcing people to listen to my crackpot opinions. Enigmous allows me to do all three of those things at once, plus theyíve got a beautifully designed site, and one kick as backend. My very first post managed to inspire such hatred, one of the regular visitors threatened to quit the site, which has to say something about my writing (though good or bad, Iím not sure). You should go there now and every day, for that matter. (Please note, comments are listed from newest to oldest at Enigmous, things will make much more sense to you armed with that information).

I have no good way to end this post.

comments (7)

skits

It Ain't Easy Being Green

by skits at 11:34 AM on December 06, 2001

Iím a little depressed right now. About a week ago, when we had one of our customers audit our quality system. (For those of you who donít know, in real life, I pretend to be the Manager of Quality Assurance for a plastics company here in Long Beach) Of course, we passed through the audit with the impressive amount of data and documentation I had prepared. The auditors were suitably impressed, and to my chagrin, a little sympathetic towards me. Because, wellÖreally-who has fun in an audit? Unfortunately, I do. The auditors, being normal people, had a little trouble understanding my enthusiasm when I proudly showed them Standard Operating Procedure #1101A-23 and when I explained to them really cool document control system I had just implemented.

The mysteries of documenting a quality control system are no mystery to me. When Iím at work, I am at my happiest when Iím typing away at a new work instruction manual, or a standard operating procedure. Nanowrimo? It was really difficult for me--characters and plots and emotions-they bewilder me. However, if you need someone to write a quick manual on how to set up your stereo, Iím the girl you want.

Technical writing is something I excel at, and it just pisses me off to no end. I want to be good at something EXCITING, damnit! I want to be an artist. I want to be a painter, a writer, a designer--a poet. My husband is a poet. Heís 25 now, and heís already published one book, and is currently setting up a new collection to be published. Thatís exciting. Not that Iím jealous or anything (yes I am), but I have no books to my credit. I do, however, have a great many technical manuals that make for wonderful bedtime reading. (Because theyíre so boring, they put you to sleep-get it? Hyuk. Hyuk.)

As much as I love to write, I finally have come to the realization that I am never going to write the Great American Novel. Ever. Itís just not in the cards for me. However, it may be my destiny to write the first ever easily understandable instructions for setting up a VCR. A girl can dream, canít she?

comments (7)

mg

don't hate me because this is a two parter, hate me because i'm beautiful

by mg at 05:34 AM on December 06, 2001

Over the months, Iíve had a number of online people tell me that I was intimidating. When they finally got up the gumption to talk to me, they realized I was really nothing more than a fwuffy bunny — the kind of person you can send emails or fan signs to and expect a lovingly hand-crafted response.

Iíve also had several members of the BadSam crack reporting team mention that theyíre sometimes are afraid to post because they feel they arenít up to par. Iíve always scoffed at them, pointing and laughing at them. Luckily, they canít hear me because the state of broadband hasnít quite reached the point where we can use our voices to talk to each other. So, while my voice was saying loser, my fingers were typing, ďdonít be afraid, I love your writing. Post what you want, itís all good.Ē

I never understood why someone would be intimidated to post here. Itís just a stupid little web site. Sure, the staff is outstanding - a finer group of individuals or writers have never been collected before, and more than likely never will again, but itís still just a stupid little website.

Iíve always told people to just be themselves and post anything without worrying so much because whatever they write will be certainly be excellent, while not understanding why they were scared. I never realized how much pressure this can be for some people, but, for whatever reason (worthy of a whole other post), Iím beginning to feel a little gun-shy myself. I think Iíve become afraid to post on my own website.

Isnít it always the case that when you make fun of someone, you somehow get afflicted with that problem. Like if you were to throw rocks at midgets, youíd end up having dwarf babies? That is exactly what Iím going through now. I've got dwarf babies! I never before understood the hesitation in posting, but now whenever Iíve got something to say, I question its post worthiness and always end up deciding ďNo, no it isnít.Ē

Yet, there are still all these ideas bouncing around my head, words waiting for me to let them out. Where should they all go? Iíve been debating for the longest time whether to use one of my 10 subdomains (get yours while they last!) for an mg.blog. You know, get back to my roots, have a little place of my own. On paper, it sounds like a good idea, but I know in ten minutes Iíd get annoyed that I wasnít getting as many hits on my own as I get as Bad Samaritan, and give it up in frustration.

So, of course, the answer was easy, go out and find other blogs that I can glom onto without having to worry about the headaches of design, browser compatibility, or hits. All I have to do is experience the pure joy of writing. So, yesterday I went out and joined not one, not two, but three new sites.

(I had to break this up, since it is really long and Iíve gotten several recent complaints about post length, besides, this will ensure you come back later today, wonít it?)

comments (5)

mg

The Big Bad Samaritan Tag Line Slogan Motto Contest Challenge

by mg at 01:37 PM on December 05, 2001

If youíve never noticed, the little tag line below the big bad Samaritan logo changes every single damn time you load a page (Go ahead, try it now if you don't believe me... see, I told you. You've got trust issues, don't you?). Thatís because Iíve got a little room full of elves chained to keyboards writing new taglines all the time (because what else are you supposed to do with a room full of slave-elves?) and you know, I want them to feel the fulfillment of knowing that someone, at some point, will see their stupid little pithy tagline.

The official tagline for the site is ďLast in line for the Nobel Peace Prize. First in line for pie.Ē Iím not really sure where I came up with that, but damn, I do like it. However, I also like having new ones popping up all the time, but I've lent most of my elf slaves (not to mention a few dwarves, and a spare ogre I keep around to open pickle jars) to Santa Claus since itís only 20 days Ďtill Christmas (crap!) and things are running a little slow up their in the North Pole (damn unions!).

So, basically, I need people to replace the elf-slaves, and I thought, who better than my loyal readers? That is why Iím holding the first ever Big Bad Samaritan Tag Line Slogan Motto Contest Challenge (BBSTLSMCC for short). For the next week or so, people should come up with new slogans and post them here. The best ones will go into the rotation of current tag lines. The person who comes up with the best of the best wins a prize. I donít know what that prize is yet, but it will most likely involve chaining you to a desk in a small room.

comments (31)

effenheimer

Cherry shake and other double entendres

by effenheimer at 05:19 PM on December 04, 2001

I took my friend Courtney a cherry shake last night since she is out of the woods and can now have visitors. It was touch and go for a while.

It is a mystery how someone comes out of surgery and suddenly and mysteriously develops a rapid heart rate when usually a low heart rate is the danger encountered after surgery and countered with drugs to make one's heart beat faster. Yes, it sure is a mystery how and why she sat in the hallway for four hours with a rapid heart rate. I say some fucker screwed up and lost her and when they figured out where she needed to go gave her the same shot again.

I don't even think the hospital is obligated to tell you why they almost killed you. I think when you go in there is a certain waiver you sign that says they have the right to work on you and they aren't responsible for screwing up if they make a good faith effort and you can't prove they didn't make a good faith effort if they don't tell you they accidentally gave the same shot twice and if it doesn't come up... cool for them!

They only gave her 50-50 odds at that point. Pretty fucking scary. Luckily, she is too damn stubborn to give up the ghost. Last night, we looked through the Victoria's Secret catalog together with her friend, Lynn or April or Daphne or some shit like that. Lynn is actually an employee of VS and so hot she makes me want to rip her head off and throw it out the window, I swear to god.

I became so horny, I lost all the feeling in my right leg and could not even move my foot while sitting down. The smell of rubbing alcohol and overcooked green beans could do nothing to deter my erection. At least I think I had an erection, because after my leg fell asleep, my crotch fell asleep too. You ever get that? I imagine it doesn't matter much if women lose that feeling because in a guy it just feels like I do not have any wedding tackle. This is very disconcerting for a man who comes to depend on that stuffed trousers feeling. It centers my perception of my place in the universe, plus it feels good when I rub my legs together like two twigs.

When I was in Hawaii, I went Indian as they say. Free ballin'. I was on vacation after all. As I got into my buddy's Volvo one day, I sat on my own nuts. You ever do that? They rolled right under my right leg and became trapped like two 3-year-olds in a well. A sticky, smelly well.

Sometimes, I think it would be better not to have balls. They get tacky in the summer and will crawl right back up into my abdomen when i get out of the bath in the winter AND i sit on them occasionally. Sure, they are fun to tie a rubber band around when I'm jerkin' the gerkin and there is NOTHING I would rather scratch when I have few free moments. But occasionally it would be nice to not have their input... or OUTput as the case might be.

I used to get the most painful and enormous blue balls in high school while making out with my girlfriend who was an expert on how to keep a man. She never gave me any more than she thought I deserved in direct relation to how much I loved her. I respect that. But her plan had one fatal flaw. She was preparing me for the Junior prom and I had NO INTENTION of going no matter what. I was a senior and went to two proms my junior year. She was a junior and had been waiting for this moment for a very long time and while I am absolutely sure she planned on letting me pop her cherry at some romantic Motel 6, I REALLY didn't want to go to another prom ever. It wasn't the money, i was flush, no it was the principle. Proms are for straights man and I was a rebel.

My friend Scott and I had been planning our prom night for months. We were gonna get drunk, go to Omaha and hook up with a couple of black chicks that went to Scott's high school. The only thing we didn't take into account was the ass beating black guys like to give to white boys who come into their club to pick up their women. Fucking racists.

We barely made it out with our lives and then we hit the prom after party "A Night in Vegas." What fun! And to think, I could have had all that fun AND gotten laid. Well, I always was a bit of a romantic.

comments (3)

mg

we sold our soul for rock and roll

by mg at 01:28 PM on December 04, 2001

Is it wrong that Iíve stopped posting about the daily events of my life and taken to merely post about the daily events of this website? I feel sort of dirty doing it (not that I mind feeling dirty), but itís just that the people Iíve added recently all live such interesting lives, that my monk-like existence pales in comparison.

Seriously, if I were to relate to you the daily meanderings of this so-called life I'm living Iíd bored you to tears. Bad Samaritan would become like every other lame ass blogger site out there, worthless and inconsequential. So, Iíve resigned myself, at least for now, to being the Charlie to my Angels (though, if Antwon, Effenheimer, or Conor start dancing around in their panties and doing high kicks, I think Iíd rather not have angels).

There are a lot things to be done and no one else but me to do them. Things like setting up my new hostees. Iíve accepted three people so far, with one more acceptance on the way. Iíll announce who they are (you know who you are) in a couple days, but I thought Iíd mention it now to, you know, build up suspense and stuff. Arenít you full of suspense right now? Iím like a modern day Agatha Christie, I am.

I also set about on the arduous task of setting up all the November Samaritans to become Permanent Samaritans. Actually, that didnít take any additional work at all since everyone was already set up, but I just told them it took a lot of work so it seemed like I was more important than I really am.

Iím also busy doing behind the scenes things like *gulp* implementing advertising on the Bad Samaritan. I know this might piss some people off. I know some people might call me a sell out and what not. But I donít care. Bad Samaritan made $52 last month. Sure, that covers the amount I spend on hosting (and then some), but it hardly covers the amount of time and effort me (and the rest of the kooky cast of characters here) put into this site.

Iíll never be able to live off Bad Samaritan (or at least such a thought is just so completely incomprehensible to me now considering November was the first month I ever broke even), but getting somewhat recompensed for the work Iíve put it isnít a lot to ask. Some people may do this for the love of writing, or for being able to connect to people all over the world, but my one goal, since way back in October 2000, has been to make money.

Okay, that isnít true at all. I do this for the love of writing, and for being able to connect to people from all over the world, but money is nice, it really is. And besides, no one ever emails me and no hot cam whores send me fan signs, so itís not like Iím getting that global love thing happening now, and if I canít have that, Iíll settle for cold hard cash.

But let me say this up front (which really should have been three paragraphs ago), the ads will not suck. There will be no flashing banners, no pop ups, and definitely no X10 cameras. The ads will be as amusing as the rest of the site (which is to say, hardly amusing at all), and will be as unobtrusive as humanly possible. Maybe, if I can figure out a way to do it, Iíll make ads invisible to people whoíve already clicked on them, or have used that PayPal link over on the right to donate money.

Speaking of PayPal, maybe if enough people donated money, I wouldnít have to put up advertising at all (not to mention that it might allow me to, you know, eat and stuff). Anyway, Iíve said enough, again, without having said anything at all. How very metaphysical. Just think of me as the Zen Weblog Master.

comments (8)

effenheimer

Life sucks and is, ironically, way too short

by effenheimer at 02:10 PM on December 03, 2001

As I may have mentioned, I work at a shitty third tier newspaper in southwest Iowa called the Daily Nonpareil. The turnover here is amazing. Apparently, before I was hired they had completely lost and rehired the entire staff three times in the previous year except for the editors and ONE reporter who has been here three years... we call him the veteran, to his face any way. Behind his back, we refer to him as the smelly psycho.

Newspapers are a fickle game, no one sticks around too long. To move up means to move on so unless you want to be one of these pathetic fuckers who takes home 20K at age 40, you better haul ass, mister.

Luckily, turnover is high almost everywhere, not because any one newspaper sucks any more than any either but because reporters are opportunists who like to move on, build their resumes, do different things. This means that once you have put in between one and two years, you should be able to get a job almost anywhere.

The flip side is, the big boys have a lot of hiring freezes so while you can usually find work at the lower levels moving up is tad harder. Once you get a few years experience and prove you are not a complete tool and make some contacts, you are golden. You can be a tool, just not a COMPLETE tool. Fuck ups stay at the bottom, partial fuckups move up to the second tier and even the occasional fuck up can still work at fairly big papers.

As a newbie, I am trying to stay loose. Once you put down roots in a community, the less likely you are to move on and hence up. I want to be a rock star and that is not going to happen at the Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil. It is highly unlikely to happen at the Des Moines Register or a paper on the same level. No, the sweet-ass syndication deals usually go to wiriters at big papers with at least a moderate built in audience. My audience is only about 30K right now and that assuming the entire circulation reads the opinion page on Saturdays.

Frankly, I think I had a bigger audience at Iowa State.

My friend Courtney, our cops reporter, is barely out of college. While I was in Oahu, she took ill mysteriously. No one can figure out what is wrong with her. Personally, I suspect some one FUCKED up her medication because after she comes out of surgery, her heart rate mysteriously rose. Low heart rates are more common after surgery which is after all fairly traumatic.

I may not have a national audience, but when I find out who fucked up, I am going to demonize the mother fucker. Courtney was my first fan here in CB... literally. She read my first column before even an editor knew it was done and said, "I want to be your first fan, you're gonna be huge." And so I am. Frankly, she is about the only person here worth a damn. Oh sure, I am a coquettish good read, but a journalist? I don't know. I am a little too gonzo and nothing else. But this Courtney chick is just like Lois Lane, she is always on the case, hard-core, professional, driven and what a sweet ass. Big and round like an apple. The kind of ass you can hang on to when you hit her with a car antennae, you know?

I really hope she doesnt die.

comments (6)

snaggle

Oh boy, how do we handle this one?

by snaggle at 12:29 PM on December 03, 2001

The days are getting shorter now. Itís even harder to leave a warm bed at 7:00 am now, knowing a rush of cold air will greet me as soon as I slip out of the covers. Itís all I can do to drag myself, mentally kicking and screaming, out of bed and leave behind the warm body snuggling close against mine. Once I get out of bed and turn off my alarm clock, he groggily tosses and turns and eventually sprawls out across the entire bed. I sigh and pad to the bathroom to make a feeble attempt at making myself presentable and mentally awake. I stumble from my apartment down the two blocks to the Design building and every morning I notice the sun is lower and lower in the sky each day. The sun has just risen when I head to class and has just set by the time I start the trek home at 5. The cold air freezes the breath and makes smokers of us all and I notice the frost on the grass and flowers, outlining everything in white. I eventually make it to class, inevitably five or ten minutes late, and try to make the most of my time.

Winter is always a very introspective time for me. The near-perpetual darkness offers a haven from the rest of the world, when you feel as if youíre the only one in the world whoís still alive. I tend to put thoughts into words during the deep freeze this part of the country goes through; it helps me make sense of whatís going on between my ears. I can already feel that this seasonís going to be even more deeply involved for me than winters past.

The boy works the front desk of the Union at school, which is a cross between a hotel front desk and a coordination center for all the activities going on within the confines of the Union. Since the buildingís open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, that means someone has to be staffing the desk at all times. This Friday was the boyís lucky turn for the graveyard shift — 11 pm to 7 am.

The next day he turns to me and says, ďSo I was really bored at work last night...Ē I look up, deer-in-headlights, seeing the glint of something in his eye. ď... and I thought, ĎHmm... Bad Samaritan... that site that you write for...Ē

I knew this day was coming. I check the site often enough that heís noticed it before and I was cornered into explaining it to him. I skirted the ďblogĒ aspect of it, knowing that it would probably be too much for his technophobic mind to wrap itself around. I tend to be very confused when my daily-life friends know about developments in my life. ďSo the other night I...Ē Iíll always begin a story to Shar, and if itís a story thatís worth repeating, sheíll inevitably reply ďYeah, I read about itĒ and I give a funny twitch as my school and online worlds collide.

I held my breath and waited for the boy to continue.

ďWell, I got really bored and...Ē he paused for a moment. I filled in the blanks.

ďYou read everything I wrote, didnít you?Ē He nodded, blue eyes sparkling. For the first time, the archive becomes my enemy. ďYou get really personal in there...Ē Again he pauses. I see the confusion in his eyes. I formulate an explanation in my mind:

Well, you see, thatís the point of it. A weblog, or blog for short, is a place where you write about the periodic goings-on in your life. It can serve multiple purposes, from just being an online journal that other people happen to read to a whole community-type atmosphere where people you come to know offer you feedback on your life. Some say theyíre kind an outlet for narcissism and voyeurism, but I donít really believe that. Itís more like a way to update many people at a time on the events in your life. Kinda. Itís hard to explain...

We come from two different worlds, the two of us. One day we went out to eat and I paused outside while I finished a conversation on my phone before venturing inside. After we were seated, he muttered a comment under his breath about hating cellphones. I flipped into PhilosophyMajorMode™ and confronted him on it. ďWhy do you hate them? Do you have a valid reason?Ē He hemmed and hawed and after a few minutes I realized it all came down to a difference in the way we like to interact with people. It speaks volumes that I canít stand to have either my house phone or my mobile phone out of commission, whereas he tends to screen his calls with caller ID and the answering machine.

I thought back to that day as I tried to phrase my explanation of the seemingly-insane concept of blogging and eventually I realized that it would be a concept that would take some time to digest. ďYeah, itís personal, but thatís kind of the pointĒ is what I eventually say. I shudder a bit to think of what heís read of me and what he may read in the future. All I can really think of is the fact that I wouldnít be able to use BadSam as a means of asking for advice about him and that words are concrete — permanently there yet still open to misinterpretation. As I tried to make sense of it all in my mind, he speaks again. ďI wonít mention to you if I read it again...Ē he offers.

ďNo, thatís okay. I just wonít be able to bitch about you now.Ē We laugh, but I try to figure out in my mind exactly how this is going to work.

I eventually shrug it off. Weíre open enough with each other that his reading my words shouldnít matter. I stare into his eyes for a moment, break into a smile, and give him a bearhug. Maybe winter wonít be quite as bad this time.

comments (10)

antwon

the write stuff

by antwon at 06:34 AM on December 03, 2001

"Things look bleak for our aspiring novelist as the month of November creeps towards completion. NaNoWriMo has Antwon behind the 8-ball now, facing fourth-and-long from deep in his own territory with a scant two days remaining and a loooooong 30,000 words yet to conquer.

"But wait! It's the old Statue of Liberty play... and Antwon breaks into the clear! He nimbly avoids a leg-before-wicket and watches the ball squirt between the shortstop's legs, deftly switching metaphors as he scampers down the sidelines! There's a quick bounce pass to the top of the key as the shot clock ticks down... he needs a chip-in for eagle to stay alive... it's up... it glances off the upright...

"And it's good! IT'S GOOD! ¡Gooooool! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!"

...and that's pretty much how the waning days of my November wrapped up. It wasn't pretty. I took two days off of work, during which time I did nothing but mutter and stare at word processing software. I hid myself in the cold and dark, disavowing knowledge of any so-called "friends" who might want to impede my novel-writing exploits. But in the end, I did it. Thirty days, 53,018 words of semi-sensical dreck. Just like that: a novel!

Well, kind of. I had to cheat like a bitch modify the parameters of the task at hand in order to make quota. As the fateful arrival of December 1 drew nigh, it became blatantly obvious that I was not going to be able to churn out text quickly enough, no matter how many exciting chemical compounds I forced into my system, illicit or otherwise. But on the other hand, the only real requirement was that you created the material during the month of November... which left me with an awful lot of words on my website as fair game. As the deadline crept ever-nearer, I filched a little more from my online exploits... and then a little more still... until eventually, I just gave up entirely and welded my half-done novel onto the front-end of a month worth of website. Voila: a novel... of sorts.

Mind you, the resulting work wasn't a particularly good novel by just about any metric. My favorite metric of novel quality is seeing whether the author managed to avoid using a "wishing coin" and a magical talking goat in his or her segues; by this metric, my creation is a very poor novel indeed. Also, the novel was intended as sort of a melodramatic epic using in medias res and everything, but I kind of forgot to have the protagonist advance to the point where he did the actions depicted in the novel's beginning pages. Oops.

So no, I'm not totally proud of my efforts. Had I come up with an honest-to-gosh wholly-complete "real" novel in the month allotted, then I would be proud. Upon my novel's completion, I would've gone outside and run through the rain, screaming with joy, and a lightning bolt would have hit me square in the chest, and I would've transcended to a higher level of being. (You know, just like in Powder.) But I didn't end up doing any of that; I pretty much just sighed, shrugged, and ended up drinking Smirnoff Ice while watching ESPN SportsCenter.

Eh, what the hell - I'm gonna give the whole run-through-the-rain thing a try anyway, just in case. Wish me luck; I'll be back if the whole transcendental being shtik doesn't go as well as planned....

comments (4)

miss b

tales from the city: sunday and the single girl

by miss b at 06:47 PM on December 02, 2001

i'd been complaining a lot lately about having not had sex in three weeks and questioning what it is that i actually want. i was in a monogamous relationship for two years until last spring, after that was my short-lived affair with a boy in colorado, and since then i've been sort of revelling in the idea of being a single city woman, taking full advantage of my voluntary freedom by dating quite a bit. (recently i'd been seeing the nylon sex teacher - whom readers of the bazima chronicles may remember - and also j., a producer and independent filmmaker. things with the nylon sex teacher have i think run its course, and i was feeling ambivalent about j. thus, the three week dry spell.) recently, though, i've been vascillating between wanting a boyfriend and, well, not.

i made a date with j. for saturday because i hadn't seen him in a while and i felt like i hadn't given him enough of a chance. (and, um, because of that three week thing.) we went to see the new documentary "porn star: the legend of ron jeremy", which was great fun. the five minute trailer from an old porno starring john holmes and "the lollipop girls" called "hard candy" is hilarious, and the clips from some of ron jeremy's old movies, and interviews with the hedgehog himself were truly memorable. afterwards, j. and i went for sushi, had a couple of drinks and then went back to his place in the east village. he made me a chocolate martini and we lay on the couch watching some of the "mr. show" tapes he just bought off ebay before our affectionate behavior turned to fondling and fornicating in the comfort of his featherbed, with 5:00 in the morning light coming in through the bedroom windows.

in the morning, j. got up to make us coffee and toasted bialys with cream cheese and lox. i lay wrapped under the down comforter and listened to the sounds of national public radio coming from the kitchen and voices echoing up from the street outside; new yorkers starting off their sundays. we had breakfast in bed together and read the sunday times. we went out onto the terrace of his apartment and smoked cigarettes, talked about a painting he's working on, and ended up in bed again. later, we played a couple of songs from the new tenacious d. cd. loud and then j. put on george harrison. j. had a meeting with his co-producer this afternoon, so we left the apartment together - him with his bike and remainders of the newspaper, me with my metrocard for the subway and sunglasses at the ready - and we said goodbye outside of his apartment with a kiss and said we'd talk during the week.

i got off the subway at 7th avenue in brooklyn and started the walk down the avenue toward home. i felt nostalgic without knowing what for. i passed park slopers shopping for holiday presents in the neighborhood and others eating brunch at outdoor cafes on this strangely warm december day. at the corner of 7th avenue and 3rd street, an old-timer was selling christmas trees and wreaths. i walked by, my eyes watery from yawning, and took in the smell of the pines. i couldn't help thinking that if j. and i were in love, or if i was in love at all, it would have been the perfect sunday.

comments (17)

mg

and then one day my BLANK BLANKED my BLANK.

by mg at 03:24 PM on December 02, 2001

Iím still not feeling particularly ďwordyĒ but Iím learning more and more about PHP. Iím not sure why, considering coding is never something Iíve wanted to do professionally. Coding is all about getting your hands dirty (figuratively speaking, unless, like me, you havenít cleaned your keyboard in some time, and all the keys are stained Cheeto orange).

More than that, it is about not making any stupid mistakes. A missed colon (and let me tell you, I sure do miss my colon), and your whole damn program dies. That is hard work to pay that much attention to something, and while I donít mind working hard, my work should involve theories and postulates, and other scientific words like that, not actually doing anything. Iím more a thinker than a doer (a lover not a fighter). I need minions to do my bidding, not do the bidding myself.

But, Iím doing okay with the coding, and it offers a great sense of accomplishment. Writing these (somewhat) daily little bits is fun and all, and knowing there are people out there reading this is great, but there isnít any sort of instant feedback to know youíve done something and done it well. Sure, there are comments and karma, but hardly anybody but the regular crew comments, and I already know they love me.

So, all this computer stuff is much better for that triumphant feeling that accompanies the release of endorphins. Iím surely not going to be running any marathons in the near future (read: ever), or having much (read: any) sex, so Iíve got to take my endorphins where I can get them. If I get that from PHP, then PHP is my friend.

I write a couple cryptic commands that really make no sense to me, but sound to a computer like the lead singer of Bushís spiel to a 14 year-old groupie. Unlike in the Gavin Rossdale/groupie analogy, sometimes my words donít have the desired effect, and the groupie heads out to the parking lot and her momís waiting Suburban without having become another notch on my guitar case.

Eventually, I get it right and over the last couple weeks Iíve had some major successes. The rotating list of favorites links was a neato way to handle the 40+ sites now on that list; I didnít want to add new sites because the list was getting unmanageable. The recent commentís code was a huge addition; I canít imagine how I got by without it. The ď# users onlineĒ was a fun experiment, but is of debatable value. My latest experiment is completely worthless.

Iíve always been a big fan of Madlibs, or more accurately, words used in ways they werenít meant to be used. My mom is an elementary school teacher, when she brought home essays written by her fourth and fifth graders, I would always want to read them. Not because I was particularly interested in the life of Abraham Lincoln, or what some to-head thought of the latest Beverly Cleary masterpiece. No, I read their reports for the innovative uses of the English language.

Now, my mom is a great teacher, but these were kids who probably didnít speak English at home, and even if they spoke perfect English, they were still only 9 and 10 year-olds, and perfect English for them is only one step up Engrish. I would always get the biggest kick out of the stupidest things, like the improper usage of verb tenses. I donít have the best grammar, but I had those adolescents licked.

Now, Amanda teaches English as a second language to adults. In most cases, really smart adults. But they donít know English very well. They always bring in little gifts for her; the other day one of her students brought her a Jar of Planters Penis. I almost peed myself laughing when she told me the story.

Anyway, the whole point of this is that Madlibs are stupid, but I enjoy them anyway. My idea was to do something much grander than this, but, always one to jump the gun, I decided to put this up anyway, if only as a test. Itís an experiment, thatís what it is. Yeah, it may not be amusing, but it is completely lacking in entertainment value in the name of science. Without much further ado, the stupid current events madlib.


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comments (10)