snaggle

i get a little warm in my heart when i think of winter

by snaggle at 11:50 AM on January 31, 2002

Itís the last day of January and weíre now just finally having the first real snowfall of the year. Weíve had a couple dustings before, but no snowman-creation weather. Now, however, itís been snowing lightly (but nonstop) since yesterday afternoon. Accumulation, however, is still expected to be only four to eight inches. For those of you whoíve never faced an Iowan winter (or an Iowan anything,) my surprise at this wonít mean much. Iowa is the land of variable weather; the old adage goes something like Ďif you donít like the weather, just wait a few minutes.í And this really has been true. Just a week ago it was 65°F; two weeks before that, 35°F, and now: 27°F and snowing.

I usually hate winter and the snow, but the other day, in the middle of my trek home, I stopped for a moment. It was twilight, with the sky a hazy purple and fat, excited snowflakes drifting to cover everything. I stood in the middle of the quadrangle with university buildings surrounding a large rectangular lawn and looked towards the main library, where the fluorescent overhead lighting in the expansive glass windows suddenly looked as toasty and cheery as a roaring fire. I was tempted to stop in there even though I had nothing to do. Snow is a marvelous thing... it blankets the earth and covers everything in a brilliant gesso of eggshell white that covers any trace of unsightliness. If only we humans could do the same thing for ourselves. If we could only wrap painful memories and thoughts in a fluffy white blanket and set them aside, not to be seen again until a spring thaw when everyone is more prepared to deal with issues.

Itís hard to get used to sleeping alone again. My room isnít very well insulated, so it was always comforting to have a human heater with me in my full-size bed. (Plus Iím just a cuddlemonkey.) I can still smell his cologne on my sheets: Angel by Thierry Mugler. If youíve never smelled it, itís amazing. It has a slight caramel-chocolate scent to it that changes as the day goes on. It smells great on Ben.

I still havenít seen him since Saturday night. I wanted to go have coffee or a drink last night, but he was otherwise occupied; we rescheduled for tonight. It was hard for me to suffer the double loss of boyfriend as well as friend, but at least the latter can return. Iím sure you all have gone through breakups as well, so I donít need to talk about how strange it is when a person is a daily part of your life and then suddenly isnít.

I suppose the upshot of this all is... well, there isnít really one, but I thought Iíd try to make one up so I didnít sound too incredibly depressed. Um, letís see. I suppose this can give me artistic fuel (the great artists were never happy) and room to pay attention to myself (winter is always my introspective season) and a reason to mind my manners and appearance.

Then all we have to do is trudge along through the snow, try to see the beauty of it, and hope that we donít die of exposure before the spring thaw comes.

comments (5)

effenheimer

Free will is not for the weak-minded

by effenheimer at 01:29 PM on January 30, 2002

Marilyn Walker, nurturing mother of American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh told the world last Thursday, ďMy love for him is unconditional ... I am grateful to God that heís been brought back to his family and his home.Ē

I pray to God that if I ever take up with vicious extremists either in this country or in a dirty little backwater like Afghanistan that my mother WILL stop loving me. There have to be some limits.

Love is not made more precious by being unconditional, quite the opposite. The mentally ill love people unconditiaonlly. Dogs love unconditionally. Your love should not be unconditional unless you are a mentally-disturbed dog and even then some might argue that what dogs feel is not so much unconditional love as it is gratitude for giving them food and the sincere hope that you will give them more food in the near future.

The case of John Walker Lindh has given pundits fuel for their bipartisan arguments. Raised in ďliberalĒ Marin County in ďliberalĒ northern California, Lindhís Hollywood bullshit tale of awakening from curious high school boy to Taliban soldier and potential terrorist could only have happened under the auspices of insufficiently strict ďliberalĒ parenting.

What that says about Timothy McVeighís good conservative Christian upbringing, however, is usually considered off-point in response.

Lindh is not the poster boy for failed ďliberalĒ parenting practices any more than he is the poster boy for the shortcomings of the CCC.

I find the middle ground is where the most compeling truths reside. Not that wishy-washy, "let's agree to disagree" middle-of-the-road crap, but the sane center that acknoledges that our weaknesses tend to be universal human weaknesses and not just weaknesses of one political party or perspective vs. another.

The truth is usually there amidst the briars and brambles of worthless public opinion and the wildly spun half truths of the politically ambitious. It is tricky ground. Weak men are crushed and crippled and even the strong come away with a bad rash sometimes.

If John Walker Lindh should be used for anything, it is as an example of how regardless a parentís personal political, religious or moral beliefs, they should be teaching them to their children. The one thing Lindh seems to have been lacking was direction of any kind. His parents encouraged him to do whatever he wanted and even when they started to wonder about his choices, they said nothing.

Parents from all ends of the spectrum want to be their kid's friends these days and do for them what they believe their parents failed to do which was give them all the love and understanding they could handle. Love is one thing, free reign is another. Most kids don't need more freedom, leeway, money, stuff or toys.

Kids want all sorts of crap, what they need is discipline and direction lest they grow up to be complete losers.

Let them figure out what direction they want to take in life AFTER they turn 18 and move out of your house. Provide structure and strength because free will is not for the weak-minded.

The average person can only handle so much freedom before they figure out their parents just don't give a damn.

Kids need boundaries so they have something to rebel against anyway.

Encouraging children to get out and explore their world and figure out their place in it is one thing, taking off their training wheels before they even get out of the gate is another.

We all need a sounding board to bounce ideas off of. But most of us are just sheep who must be herded unerringly toward the right goals because unattended we would likely walk around in circles doing stupid stuff until bad men come to use us for their own ends.

When it comes to religion, it is too hard to distinguish between an established philosophy with good street cred and your average fly-by-night scam. The lines really blur when you get to such nutty schemes as offshoots of Islam, the Church of Mormon, Unitarianism and certain hyper-letigious self-help programs we should all fear to mention. Thatís how cults make their money off of people looking for answers.

When your children have questions, have answers. Even the wrong ones are better than nothing because in the teen-age wasteland we call America, Baba OíReilly, kids find answers somewhere and if it isnít with you, it will be with the scum of the earth like super models, MTV VJs, religious/political extremists or Enron execs. The pitfalls are many and treacherous.

comments (11)

mg

although i laugh and i act like a clown

by mg at 02:29 AM on January 29, 2002

Okay, Iíll admit it; I wanted to win a Bloggie Award. Not just be nominated. I.wanted.to.win.

But I didnít get either of those things.

Short of winning, Iíd at least like to have been nominated. Maybe it's just me, but as far as things go, I think Bad Samaritan is a kick ass site. Itís well written. If you can spur reactions ranging from You people make me sick to How sweet in the same day, you've got to be doing something right.

And donít get me started with the design. There may be prettier sites out there, but as far as design goes, you canít get more adequate than Bad Samaritan.

All in all, we should have been nominated for something. Best Group blog? Best Tagline? Most Humorous? Best blog by a former Star Trek cast member *? Something. Anything, you know?

But nothing. And for a while, I was pissed.

But then I thought a couple things. Being included in the nominations would have put me in some great company. But not being nominated for anything puts me in some pretty good company too. Michele didnít get a nod. Antwon didnít get a nod. As surely as Bad Sam did, they deserved some kind of award too.

Antwon even wrote a great little article about it. At the time, I was feeling exactly what he was feeling. He did a little conjecturing about why he didnít get a nomination, and if heíd replaced Antwon.com with BadSamaritan.com, he might as well have had a Being John Malkovich like portal into my mind.

He thought he didnít get a nomination because his website actually sucks royal donkey balls. I know that isnít the case. We may personally suck royal donkey balls, but his site is too good and BadSam is too good. What else could it have been? Well, quite possibly it is because no one took the time to actually go out and vote for us. That could be it. While weíve both got legions upon legions of loyal fans, waiting only for the word to sacrifice their lives for us (and believe me, Iíve got my Timex and video camera ready). Yet, they are a lazy bunch, Iím guessing. Since lazy is as lazy reads.

No, there has to be a third reason, and this was the one Iíd like to believe since it makes me not want to quietly sob in my Oatmeal. We didnít get a nod because we are not a weblog. And I guess that is true. Fairvue defined a weblog as a site being for the purpose of linking to other sites. If you look through the archives, there is probably only a link in every other entry, and most of those are just back to other entries. Very incestuous, but like a Grapes of Wrath era Kentuckian, it serves our purposes.

If what it takes to earn the approval of my peers is sublimating my general tendency against being my non-link loving self, than I guess Iíll always struggle in obscurity. I may not have happiness or a shiny award donated by Jish (no link, see?), but at least Iíve got my principles.

And that counts for something. It has to. Doesnít it?

But, the thing that really made me feel okay about not being nominated is one simple fact, which Iím about to confusedly relay. Of the 16 current Bad Sam authors, 11 run their own websites. Of those 11, 5 were nominated for Bloggies. I think thatís a pretty good ratio, and a sure sign of the quality of this site. *

So, while Iíd much rather have been encouraging you today (with just a mere 20 hours till voting closes) to vote for Bad Samaritan, I am happy to take this opportunity to encourage you to vote for Surreally, SpaceCheese, Bazima, BulletproofPunk, and Daily Sardonicism. Go vote now!

Iíd also like to encourage people to vote for some of the members of the extended Bad Samaritan family, Six Different Ways, Feral Living, and Little Green Footballs.

* I bet you didnít know this, but my zygote played a tribal.

* Though, as Ocean's 11, Pay it Forward and Michael Jackson's latest album goes to show, past success doesn't guard against current suckitude. Damn.

comments (22)

snaggle

so you bury all your loverís clothes and burn the letters lover wrote

by snaggle at 02:23 AM on January 28, 2002

Well itís over. After only three months, he broke up with me.

It was fairly amiable, at least as far as one-sided breakups can be. Iím not angry or calling for his blood, but Iím still kind of shocked. I suppose I could have seen it coming, though. Weíre too different in ways that are difficult to reconcile. Difference is usually a good thing Ė itís how we share with people and learn new things. However, when differences extend to how you express affection, itís difficult to learn how to speak a foreign language without any kind of primer.

A lot of it boiled down to the fact that I couldnít really be what he needed. We had the same conversation a couple times and I thought that I was being better and that he was understanding our differences, but in the end he wasnít happy and I canít say that I blame him. We water our relationships with others just as we water plants, but everyone is a little different. Some need more shade, less water, and some need Miracle-Gro and full sunlight. If only we had little instruction cards: ďPlant with warm affection, plenty of gifts, and water daily.Ē He needed to be watered more than I did. Maybe Iím still at a point where Iím watering myself, still trying to revive the yellowed leaves and wilted stems from high school and the past fifteen years of hating myself. Iím getting better, but as anyone whoís dealt with depression can tell you, itís not easy to counteract more than a decade of the pejoratives we use on ourselves.

Itís always easier when you can blame the other person. But sometimes thereís no one to blame. You can talk and discuss and try to explain to them that sometimes you have to be the social butterfly and canít water them all the time, but sometimes itís just not enough. His language of presents and roses was too different from mine, and while I didnít expect much from him, he needed more than I could give, I think.

I still havenít cried. Iíve tried not to dwell on it. I canít afford to break down right now with everything I have to do for class. That night I proceeded to have about eight shots of Absolut Mandarin and a Guinness over the course of the night (which led to some tragic episodes of puking, drunk dialing, and memory loss, but oh well. I try not to do that often, but sometimes you need to get your mind off things.)

It had been two years since Iíd seen anyone, and now after a three-month pause, Iím back to it. Unfortunately, this feels more natural than not being single.

comments (12)

mg

baby why's who's who, who know you too?

by mg at 09:18 PM on January 27, 2002

Considering the week I was having and the two previous failed attempts at a get together with the Bloggie Award nominated Miss B, I was sure last nightís meeting would somehow come to disaster. It almost did.

We were to meet at 8 pm at Madame X, a small West Village bar which has every surface painted red, red bulbs in all the lights, and red velvet couches in the back. As I was sitting there waiting, I kept having flashbacks to the womb.

When 8:30 rolled around, I was beginning to think B would never show and Iíd be the guy who went to a bar alone, left the bar alone, and had all the pretty couples watching and whispering about him. I donít like being that guy; I like being one of the pretty couples making fun of that guy.

Considering Iím usually the late one, as my real world friends can attest, Iíd made an extra special effort to be on time, considering this was such an important occasion. I put more effort into being on time than I had my last job interview (a possible reason I didnít get the job). Not only was I punctual, I was clean, well groomed, bespectacled and (hopefully) sufficiently disheveled.

As 8:45 dawned on the world, so did Miss B, finally, dawn on my life. Or something. Considering my usual overabundance in this area, Iím sort of at a loss for words to describe the evening. Iím not really sure what I was expecting, but I know the night wasnít anything like anything that I could have expected.

Based solely on her online persona, I expected her to mount me right there in the bar, and ride me like a mechanical bull on a six-pack of Red Bull. That wouldnít have been so bad, really, but probably a little inappropriate for an introductory get together.

Based solely on my online persona, most people think Iím mean, not to mention some sort of sex-addled porn freak. Thatís only partly true. In real life, Iím really quite shy and kind of the quiet type (but not in that Joel Rifkin sort of way). Unless I know someone well, Iím usually not very talkative; I was expecting the night to be a long drawn out affair full of many awkward silences.

Now, I donít know whether it was Bís charm, the liquid courage, or alien involvement, but we talked the whole night, about everything from our childhood, to music, figure skating, cheese, adulthood, and, of course, blogging. There may have been the occasional silence, but it was never awkward or uncomfortable. It felt like Iíd known her for days, possibly even several weeks.

And let me just say this: beautiful, charismatic, intelligent and every bit as funny in real life. Miss B ainít so bad herself. Seriously though (try the veal, Iím here all week), B is fantastic, if I hadnít already promised my heart to science, I would have pledged my love to her right then and there. Now that the dread inducing thought of our first meeting is out of the way, Iím looking forward for the chance to spend more time with B, and one day fathering her children. Or at least babysitting them.

comments (10)

mg

you come on with a come on, you don't fight fair

by mg at 04:15 PM on January 26, 2002

Based on the general disgust displayed on presentation of the proposed BadSam v6.0 design, I sent my robot minions back to their drafting tables and to work on a new concept. Theyíve slaved continuously for the past 97 hours, with nary a break for fresh motor oil or to watch an episode of Battle Bots, and I think theyíve come up with a winner. This is basically one design, with two (one | two ) variations.

I already know that people will think this better than the previous concept and which of the two variations everyone is going to like, so Iím not sure why Iím bothering to ask. Oh, I know why, I thought people would like the other one too. Shows how much I know.

I think this design solves many of the problems expressed about the first, and is basically just all around gooder. Speaking for myself, I know I like it better, and I am unanimous in that. But Iím not sure about the rest of you. Now, I hardly have to ask since yaíll are all such opinionated folk, but, just to be polite, Iím officially requesting that you opine your little hearts away.

comments (14)

mg

this new diet's liquid and dulling to the senses

by mg at 05:58 PM on January 25, 2002

Hi again. Didnít think youíd see me so soon, huh? My self-imposed exile lasted what, 40 hours?

Well, Iím not really back, so donít be rolling those eyes at me lil' missy. The only reason I am posting is to make sure Iíve made something perfectly clear: No matter what my future role might be, I will not be shutting Bad Samaritan down. I wound never close it down, short of being nominated to a cabinet position and needing to get rid of the evidence quickly before my senate confirmation hearings.

This site will remain open whether I post every day or not. The rest of the staff is able (when nudged to action), talented (all the damn time), and beautiful (after theyíve put their face on). Despite that fact, they are quite a lazy bunch, so in anticipation of a new design, and you know, just because, I am officially announcing an open casting call for new authors.

Bad Samaritan gets some pretty decent traffic (about 1,500 unique visits per day); potential authors would gain more than a little exposure for their own personal sites. But maybe you donít have a personal site. If not, you can still use the opportunity to exhibit whatever perversion of my dream you can imagine to take advantage of this stage Iím providing. (that sentence was awkward as hell, but I have no intention of changing it)

Maybe your site gets more hits than Bad Samaritan. That shouldnít discourage you from joining up. In fact, that is even better. Iíd love to leech off someone elseís popularity for once. And youíd be doing a good deed for a poor struggling Webmaster. Itís all about karma people.

And, as the present crop can testify, Iím hardly the strictest boss in the world. Aside from the occasional guilt trip, Iím not too demanding. Post when you can, about whatever you want, in whatever manner you want. Itís all about having fun people.

So, here is the fine print. If you want join up, send an email letting me know, include a link to any place I can get a good idea of your personality. Your personal site, any sites you may have written for in the past. If there isnít anything out there floating in the either, you can send me something. A lover letter, a book report, or grocery list, anything you think will help me make my decision. Okay? Okay.

Iím expecting a lot of submissions, and will be very upset if I donít get them. And you donít want to see me get upset. I get all weepy, start sobbing uncontrollably, and hit myself with sticks; itís really kind of pathetic.

---

PS: Iíve still got a couple slots open for hostees. If you run a site currently residing on Blogspot, Geocities, or anywhere else you might want to be fleeing faster than Afghan across the Pakistan border, let me know, Iíll be your Amnesty International.

PPS: Have you all forgotten the January Song Lyric Contest thing? No one posited a guess for Wednesday or Thursdayís post.

comments (2)

muaddib

I like biscuits.

by muaddib at 12:44 AM on January 25, 2002

Let's see if this works.... I always tell my buddy - who only seems to post when the moon changes phase - that just starting to write something is how to get posts written.

"Just type something - anything!" I say. "Even 'I like biscuits.' Just see where it goes from there," I implore. "You can always go back and take out the part about biscuits." So far, it's not going too far, I must say. Contrary to my frequently made assertion, it's not really working.

Well, since this piece isn't shaping up to be about anything else, I guess I'd best figure out something to say about biscuits, huh?

Biscuits are warm and flaky - like my ex. But they rarely snore as loudly as she did. Nor do they steal the covers.

Biscuits are also great to put honey on (no comments about my ex here, please) and make excellent butter delivery devices (because one needs every excuse to eat butter one can find).

Biscuits can be eaten all by themselves, but are really best as a compliment to a larger meal - especially chicken. Fortunately for me, I work for the company that owns the company that makes the best fast food biscuits around, so I can have biscuity goodness any time I want.

What I can't do, apparently, is write my way away from biscuits. Oh, well.

comments (30)

skits

Shame: The Great Motivator

by skits at 03:31 PM on January 24, 2002

Itís been awhile. Too long, I know. I start posts for Bad Samaritan almost every day. They never get finished, or the end up in my Recycle Bin. Itís very sad. I have been probably the most unmotivated person on the planet for the past few months. (My website is STILL October is Breast-Cancer Awareness Month pinkóthat should tell you something right there)

Oh, I take little steps here and thereóIíve finally solved the mystery of Moveable Type, which is my new favorite thing on the internet, and I actually updated my links page the other day (and already itís obsolete), but beyond that, Iím just not motivated to do anything beyond bullshitting my way through my own blog (and if Iím not up to any bullshit, but still donít want to writeóIíll take an online test, which always makes nice filler).

The really bad thing isóBad Samaritan is one of my favorite websites. I am here every day, because I really like the people who post here, and I always enjoy reading what theyíve written. The talent shared by the staff here at Bad Sam is just beyond wordsÖand I think that Iíve probably thrown out several posts that were perfectly adequate, but in my mindónot nearly good enough to put on Bad Samaritan, because this website--while always entertainingóalways seems to have a little glimmer of brilliance in each post. So, instead of reaching for that glimmer of brilliance myself, I just sat back and wished that someone else would post something.

Well, no more, damnit. I hate seeing all of mgís posts sad and lonely in here, so Iím back, and I shall subject all of you to my ramblings quite often in the future.

Now, if only I could get someone to make me feel this badly about my own oh-so-pink websiteÖ.

comments (3)

mg

don't wait for me, i'll wait for you

by mg at 11:29 AM on January 24, 2002

I give up.

No, that isn't true. I'm just sort of bored with this whole "Bad Samaritan" thing, nothing seems to be going right here recently, and I'm generally not happy with the way things are going.

None of the staff is really participating, I'm don't enjoy posting any more and sort of feel like I'm forcing myself to write when I don't really have anything to say. I've always said I'll quit (or at least take a break) if this stopped being fun, and this has stopped being fun.

I know, I know. Everybody says that, and even I've said it before.

But see, the thing is this isn't just a spur of the moment thing, an emotional reaction to an isolated event. No, I've been feeling this way for a long while: weeks, if not months. Yet, all that time I've been plugging along, with the occasional moments of brightness, but mostly just boredom and malaise. I've been hoping all that time that the joy would return.

It hasn't.

I donÔŅĹt know what I'll do now. Maybe I just need a break. Maybe I need to scrap the whole Bad Samaritan thing and start new somewhere. Maybe I'm done for good.

Probably not, since blogging has become an important part of my life. Besides, I wouldn't know what to do with all that free time. But the spark is gone (for now). They should make Viagra for bloggers to help us all get over these slumps. But until they do, I just donÔŅĹt have the energy for this.

comments (20)

mg

and you remember the jingles used to go

by mg at 09:47 PM on January 23, 2002

I never thought Iíd say this, but TV lies.

I donít know how many of you might have seen this, or would even remember it if you did, but when I was but a wee lad the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority (the bus and train people) ran these ads about being a good transportation patron.

There might have been several ads, but the one I really remember was about this guy eating a candy bar on the subway. When he was finished with it, he licked his fingers and dropped the wrapper on the ground. Everyone else in the car started staring at him, one by one, until he got all self-conscious and picked up his trash.

For some reason that has always stuck in my head. Iíve never littered, as far as I can remember. Whether a stupid flyer some discount suit or nudie joint is handing out to get you to spend money in their first rate establishment (hereís a hint, spell all the words right your flier, and donít get homeless people to do the handing out), or an empty bottle of soda, Iíll always stick the trash in my pocket until I find the proper receptacle.

I usually end up forget about it, and walk around all day with my jacket pockets looking like a squirrelís cheeks just a few weeks before the start of winter. I sometimes forget to empty my pockets for days, with no idea how I ended up with half of what comes out. True story, I once found the Ark of the Covenant in there.

Sure, Iíll throw my cig butts out in the street, but wouldnít you? If I happened to stick butt with even the slightest ember of a flame left, my pocket would burst into flames, what with all the detritus most likely present. But, other than that, Iíve never littered.

Well, as much as I hate litter, the rest of New Yorkís citizenry doesnít seem to mind. People drop trash everywhere, and unless your hanging in one the neighborhoods touristy enough to afford itís own street sweepers, that trash stays there.

Which is why Iíve decided itís time to start doing my part.

You are sorely mistaken if you think Iím not going to go around picking up peopleís trash, what do I look like, your mother? No, Iíve decided to fight litter, old skool style. I had my first opportunity this morning.

I was standing, packed into a rush hour E train heading into Manhattan. A little to my left and across the car, I guy was sitting, eating breakfast. First, he ate a pudding snack pack. Then he dug into a Table Top pie. He finished it off with a mini-can of V8 Splash. The train began to clear out, more proles heading to their roles got off with each stop. By the time the break faster finished, the train was cleared out enough for him to, not throw his trash on the ground, but to lean over and gently place his empty snack pack, Table Top pie box, and mini-can on the subway floor.

Now, I was watching this guy the whole train ride already. It isnít everyday you see someone eat a three course breakfast on your morning commute. But once he put his trash on the floor, I decided he would be my first attempt at a stare-down. I assumed my fellow commuters, some of whom had also been watching this guy chow down, would join me in my silent condemnation of his actions.

So I stared.

And I stared.

If this guy were a girl, anyone seeing me seeing him would say I was leering like the 41st President at the new crop of interns. But all that staring didnít seem to make a difference. The litterer continued reading his ďBoxingĒ Magazine. The rest of the folks sharing the subway car didnít seem to care about his transgression; they went on minding their own collective businesses.

So, all I can say is that TV lied. Quietly judging someone will not make them change their behavior. Still, Iíll give it one more chance. If it doesnít work next time, Iíll have to clean up subway litter Bernie Goetz style.

comments (3)

mg

and this is the room one afternoon i knew i could love you

by mg at 08:47 PM on January 22, 2002

I may not be able to run a contest without a hitch, but I certainly know how to design a website. Actually, Iím not sure how well Iím even able to do that sometimes. How about you decide? You see, Iím currently working on Bad Sam version 6.0, and Iím at the point when feedback would be nice. So, you know, provide a little feedback, por favor.

The new design is full of all the Cascading Style Sheety goodness youíve come to expect, but itís also got a fair amount of tabley goodness, so it shouldnít look like total shite to you folks too lazy to upgrade your damn browsers. This new design should also solve the problems you poor unfortunate souls using Netscape 4.0x have with random sporadic crashing (maybe).

Please keep in mind this design is not what one would call ďfinished.Ē It's got what the doctors call "a little bit of a weight problem." Iíd probably be done with it by now if a) I wasnít suffering from the onset of severe Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (too much time at the DOS Game Archive) and b) Iím feeling a little bad because I canít get the idea in my head to make it onto the screen. My conceptualization abilities are firmly outside the box, but my pixel pushing abilities are still in the box, shrinkwrapped, tied with a ribbon, and inside one of those little gift bags.

So, anyway, please provide criticism, but donít ream me too bad, my fragile little design ego probably couldnít take it right now.

comments (22)

antwon

watch me do my evil bidding

by antwon at 11:31 PM on January 21, 2002

Plink! My corporate inbox blinks to life with the prospect of a new message. "We're having a company-wide auction!" it happily burbles with exclamation point-sodden glee. "All variety of goodies available! Laptop computers! Filing supplies! Kitchen appliances! Everything must go! Auction ends Thursday at 5PM SHARP!"

The goods are indeed of a quality nature; as Thursday evening draws ever-nearer, the consequent bidding is fast and furious. Folks troll for pity, sniffing audibly about not affording such-and-such geegaw for Dear Old Dad if the bidding continues much further. Email is shuttled to and fro, playfully suggesting brutal combat to the death in order to decide who "deserves" which items more. Clocks are watched nervously and fingernails are bitten, curses are mumbled amidst the clattering of keystrokes - and all the while, prices edge slowly higher.

But I am immune to such auction frenzy. Battle-hardened by years of weathering the storms of eBay, I am annealed to such frenetic senselessness... though, I admit, the events do awaken the cheapskate within. Thus tempted, I succumb, smurfing in my lowball bids at the eleventh hour, clutching onto cents-on-the-dollar household wares with white-knuckled conviction. The moment of truth is drawing nigh... the auction is in its final waning moments...

Plink! The inbox again harkens. "Wow - there's so much bidding activity on here, we can't let it stop now! We're going to wrap things up tomorrow morning in person at 9am!"

Curses! Oh, what devious entities the sprites of auction combat are! They know full well that they cannot defeat me in head-to-head action - my reflexes, too speedy; my wherewithal to make last-second offers, too great. But to show up at a revised end-time of 9am? Nine in the morning?!? That is not the engineer's way! That goes against every fiber in the computer scientist's constitution! I cannot show up at such an unearthly hour - my body shall not will it!

This is unjust! This is immoral! Their actions lack honor! My superior bidding nature is being triumphed by nefarious means - and I will have no part of it! Revolt, I say! Revolt, my comrades! We cannot allow the evil forces of marketing to steal away that which an engineer has rightfully acquired! We cannot permit these dishonorable knaves to sully our virtuous auctioning integrity! The line must be drawn! Blood must be spilled! We shall not—

Huh? Oh, nobody outbid me on any of my stuff anyway? I got a $2 toaster and a $3 blender?!? Oh, cooooool.

Um, sorry 'bout that. But hey, compensatory bagels and margaritas are on me.

comments (4)

mg

and the joke is that the stereo just ate the mix tape that you made

by mg at 01:18 PM on January 20, 2002

People have remarked about my clever post titles. Well, one person has, and since no one has remarked about how unclever they are (possibly only because unclever isnít a real word), Iíll take that to mean all of you agree that I come up with the best post titles in the long and varied history of weblogging.

(If you are one of those people who hate watching ďBehind the ScenesĒ features on how movies are made, thinking such shows spoil the illusion and make your cinema experience less enjoyable, I suggest you stop reading this post, Iím about to reveal some of the magic behind Bad Samaritan, and Iíd hate to spoil anyoneís delusions about the man behind the curtain. You can skip down to the paragraph beginning with ďthis whole rigamoroleĒ)

I hate to break it to you all, I donít actually write the post titles myself. Sure, Iím the one who types them into Greymatter, and that has got to count for something, but Iím not the one who actually comes up with them. I steal them from movies, song lyrics, and stuff I hear on the news, or from snippets of overheard conversation walking around New York.

I hope you all donít think less of me now, but there you go. Maybe this will renew your awe in me, I sometimes spend as much time finding a good post title as I do actually writing the post. They may seem pretty random, but they usually have some sort of weird leap in brain function from one thought to the next, and always relate to the content of the post.

For example, the title of the of my December 31st post, ďyouíre tongue can get sharp, but itís soft in my mouthĒ is from a song called Donít be afraid of your anger, by Clem Snide. The song is sung by one lover to another, letting her know that no matter, what, sheíll still be loved. That ideal so thoroughly fit my view of life at that moment. Life may suck, get angry at me for no reason, saying mean and bitter things, but I still want to make out with it on a bench in the park. Or something.

I could probably try to explain several other post/titles, but doing so would, in most cases, require almost as many words to explain the randomly sparking neurons it took to make the connection as it did to write the original post in the first place. All Iím saying is that the seemingly random headlines are not random at all.

This whole rigamorole is really just to announce another Bad Samaritan Contest, (and something, if this goes well, which will become a regular monthly feature). Iím going to use a quote from a song for every post title for the month of January, and you, my loyal readers, have to figure out what song it comes from.

There will be some obscure point scoring system, which I haven't figure out yet, but will certainly require me to do some serious math (if anyone actually participates, that is). The person with the most points at the end of the month gets a genuine Bad Samaritan Mix CD, crafted lovingly by mg hiself, and of course, bragging rights as the biggest music nerd in the world (Ďsides for me myself).

Since we are more than a half way through the month, it might seem silly to start this contest now. But Iíve never claimed I wasnít the sillies mofo on the Ďnet, so, there you go. You can submit your guesses for my previous January posts via email, or as a comment on those posts (which might be better since my email is a little unreliable). All future submissions should be submitted as a comment on the post.

And, no, this is not just a transparent ploy to garner more comments. Okay, maybe it is. At any rate, good luck, have fun, and drink Pepsi!

comments (13)

effenheimer

More about people I hate with all my might

by effenheimer at 05:35 PM on January 18, 2002

In keeping with my stated mission to block out the sun and force all the peoples of the world to wear my mark, I will state up front that I am not easily impressed, swayed or amused. Life can be a grind. Frivolity and joviality are for children. So is hell according to Pat Benatar, but that is another story.

For grown-ups like us, melancholy and depression are the rule and forced politeness is about the best we can offer our fellow man.

Moments of joy are too special to have all the time anyway, try as we might. Keep your eyes on the prize!

It pays off in the long run to believe in the power of positive self-realization. Notice I did not say ďit pays to be positive.Ē I hate that sentiment. It means nothing and is the mantra of shiny, happy people who are worthless, cliche-ridden drones.

Not to go all Tony Robbins or Friedrich Nietzsche on you here, but it is possible to will yourself into prosperity, happiness, success, love or just about anything else you want to get into by believing that all things are possible. Because the truth is, ultimately, they are.

Ever see ďA&Eís Biography?Ē How many Americans were born poverty-stricken, disease-ridden to child-beating parents, suffered several false starts, a handful of failures, a bankruptcy or two and still managed to leave a lasting legacy or at least a legacy worthy of A&E. Colonel Sanders, comes to mind.

When I came home for the first time in three years over Christmas 2000, I found the ďCouncil Bluffs ó Iowaís Leading EdgeĒ commercials on TV to be a slick, appropriate and, dare I say, inspiring effort.

The slogan rocks harder than Cheap Trick live at the Budokan and shows what is possible for a town like mine when we shoot for a higher level. Kudos to the Chamber of Commerce, people I normally avoid, for realizing that if you want to hit somebody in the kisser, aim for the back of their head.

Runners up were ďCouncil Bluffs ...Ē

ď... weíre meth-ariffic!Ē

ď... not Omaha ó yet.Ē

ď... you gotta problem with that?Ē

ď... we donít smell like Lake Manawa.Ē

ď... ainít nothiní wrong with that!Ē

ď... take what you want, but eat what you take.Ē

ď... city of dreams.Ē

ď... home of wicked satire.Ē

ď... the truck stop at the crossroads of the world.Ē

ď... thereís no place like home. Thereís no place like home. Címon, work already!Ē

It takes a special kind of person to write really good propaganda. Anybody can just make stuff up, but making up stuff that works, that changes the way people think and feel about the exact same thing they hated or ignored moments before? Pure skill.

I canít help but giggle when _I_ lie.

comments (3)

mg

it's a sesquipedalian thing

by mg at 06:33 AM on January 18, 2002

Iím not a religious person, unless you consider checking you site stats a dogma. Itís probably the only thing I do every day and Iím usually facing east when I do it. Even if there isnít anything particularly spiritual about it, itís as close to religion as Iím likely to get, until Jesus comes back, in which case Iím jumping on that bandwagon, right quick.

Well, over the past couple days Iíve noticed a fair number of referrals coming via the various emails systems. You know, like yahoo, hotmail and all the rest. Iíve been wondering what the hell is going on, and then it hit me.

Yesterday, the letter to the Bloggie nominating committee was sent out. That means there are hundreds, if not dozens of people out there visiting the lucky (and talented, not to mention beautiful) nominated sites, judging, rating, and potentially validating our collective existences.

Itís just a theory, but a good one. If Iím right, well, welcome to you Bloggie nominating committee members. Iíd just like to say that everyone one of you who casts a vote for Bad Samaritan (in whatever the heck category (s) we got nominated in) will get a new car. You know, not from me personally, but I imagine at some point in your life, you will, in fact, get a new car. If not a new car, probably a really nice used car, with not too many miles on it, a really comfy interior and, at the very least, an AM/FM radio. Iíve got the probabilities on my side for that prediction.

Iím really looking forward to seeing how Bad Samaritan, not to mention the rest of our friends, fared in this thing. Iíd be shocked if any of us won, not because we donít deserve it (especially me), but because none of us really have the right connections. I mean, Iíve never even met Kotke.

So, if we donít win. Itís okay. Iíve already won something much more important. Bad Samaritan was the recipient of the coveted Antwon Site of the Year Award. The award was presented at a simple ceremony in Antwonís basement. Joan Riverís even had nice things to say about my gown. So, Iíve got a nice award on my mantel, and who needs the respect of my peers when youíve got the respect of Antwon?

Bad Samaritan has even won some awards through non-technological trickery. We were the proud recipient of the Chunshek Group Weblog of the Year Award. Pretty spiffy, huh?

Since Iím on the topic, might as well mention some older accolades; Brutal Honesty declared Bad Samaritan ďf'n hilarious.Ē We are at that. They go on to say that weíve got ďan awesome layout of the site.Ē Thanks. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), itís about time for a Bad Samaritan redesign, hopefully the next revision will get such high marks.

While we aspire for awesomeness, youíí have to wait a bit for news on BS version 6.0 soon, so on to more rave reviews. Ages ago, Captain Bloglog praised BadSam. He thinks weíve got a ďsuperb navigational setup.Ē We damn well should, considering thatís what I do for a living. He also said wrote that we are ďvery sick, disgusting, and opinionated,Ē and Iíve got nothing to say to refute that. The Capín awarded us 9 Freddie Prinzeís out of 10, which I imagine must be pretty good.

So, you see, Iíll be fine without a Bloggie. But vote for me anyway.

comments (3)

effenheimer

Isn't that nice

by effenheimer at 12:26 PM on January 17, 2002

Sorry I've been absent. Busy writing professionally and winning awards for said writing. Here is a little opus I tossed off casually.

Since Council Bluffs, my hometown, was just ranked no. 5 on St. Martinís Pressís Most Polite Cities List, I would like to take this opportunity, if you please, to talk about politeness, good manners and the tyranny of nice people.

I am not a nice man. I have never claimed to be nice nor have I aspired to ďnicenessĒ at any time in my life. I come from a long line of frontiersmen and not nice outdoor types and should I ever get the chance to breed, I am sure my offspring will not be nice either.

I do not lament this fact. I see ďnicenessĒ as a plastic veneer of false pleasantry that can just as easily be covering something truly dark or truly vacant.

Some of the most horrible people I have ever met in my life were quite nice. ďNothing personal,Ē they would say and ďhave a nice dayĒ as you gasped for your last breath. You never saw it coming due to all that niceness.

Nice people can screw you over just as fast as anyone and being nice is just evolutionary camoflage they use to fool you long enough to get in under your radar and sink a knife between your ribs.

I worked with one of the nicest racists I have ever met in my life while at college. She was so sweet you just wanted to dip her in your coffee like a candy cane. She sang in her church choir and didnít engage in naughty banter. She had a smile for everyone and truly believe in niceness as a way of life. She could laugh right when she was expected to whether she got a joke or not.

She was terribly nice one day when I was ordering Chinese for the office and asked her if she might like some crab rangoon or anything.

No thanks, I donít eat Chinese, she said.

Why, I queried, too sweet?

No, I just think those people are dirty, she countered sweetly like Donna Reed goosestepping in jackboots. They donít have the same standards of cleanliness as us.

Wow, I thought quietly to myself, this chick is seriously messed up as I backed away slowly smiling nicely so as not to draw attention from the demon that was obviously living inside of her.

Not one of the greatest people I have ever known personally or admired from far off were nice. Mark Twain, in spite of the Disneyfied version most Americans get of him and his work, was not a nice man. He smoked and drank and made frightfully witty putdowns of people he felt were worthy of ridicule. He was fond of making off color jokes and remarks in polite society just for fun, but he wrote against slavery and hated true evil. He just knew the difference between what is truly wicked and what is just a wicked good time.

My grandmother is not a nice person, but she could kill chickens all day long and give half of them away. With a bloody knife in her right hand and a bloody Camel in her mouth ó kill, kill, kill, give, give give. And she never got salmonella. Why? Because salmonella was too scared of her.

Itís like Batman. He shows us it is quite possible to be good without being nice or polite. The mistake many of us make is to assume nice and good are the same thing.

Truth is, the easiest thing to fake is being nice and polite. They say even the devil can quote Scripture to suit his needs, well I say he can act polite without bursting into flames too.

Iíve said my piece in defense of Council Bluffs. But Iíve been around a bit and we rank as one of the top most polite cities in the United States is baffling to me. Weíre OK, but no. 5?

These lists are so arbitrary that their results are meaningless, but somehow, it just isn't NICE to say so. Well, at least it is honest.

The cities on this list were chosen by travelers who, for some reason, just felt like calling and nominating a city for being polite? Thatís nice, but what is the standard? How dow we know where they come from isnít just so much worse than us that we look good in comparison.

Every time I have traveled, I fully expected the cities I was visiting to be rude and they all surprised me. I thought Washington, D.C. was more polite than any other because a convenience store clerk got all chatty with me about being from Iowa and a woman in a restaurant asked me to open her bottled water for her and then thanked me. Thatís it. Thatís all I have to go on and I am still impressed. If I lived there, perhaps I would see the real D.C.

Common decency is necessary for any society to move along smoothly, but niceness and politeness are not. Decency is doing the right thing and politeness is just being nice when you do whatever it is you were going to do anyway.

Nothing wrong with saying ďplease,Ē ďthank youĒ and ďdo you mind if I donít?Ē once in a while, but letís not pretend thatís all we need to make a decent society because the truth is, it is a lot harder than that.

Read more Greg Jerrett columns at nonpareilonline.com. Sometimes you find a good'un in the most unexpected places.

comments (10)

mg

doesn't it suck to beat a guy who isn't trying?

by mg at 05:52 PM on January 16, 2002

Iím the best Webmaster ever.

Now that Iíve got a job, Iíve actually got money to do things, like eat and buy electricity. Hmmm, electricity.

Iíve also got money for other things, like finally giving something back to the legion of loyal Bad Samaritan readers. And so that means Iíve got money for a great prize for the winner of the Big Bad Samaritan Tag Line Slogan Motto Contest Challenge (BBSTLSMCC for short).

More amazing than the fact that Iíve got a prize for the winner, is that Iíve actually got a winner. This stupid contest started more than a month ago, and I was beginning to think the damn thing would never end. But it has ended, thank god.

So, with only slightly further ado, Iíll announce the winner. First, though, letís announce the fantastic prize the lucky winner will get. This is really exciting. The winner of the Big Bad Samaritan Tag Line Slogan Motto Contest Challenge wins and all expense paid trip to New York City, for a dinner and a night out on the town with none other than me, mg.

Isnít that an amazing prize? Arenít you all drooling in anticipation? Who is the lucky winner?

With 15% of the 168 votes cast (what the hell, there should have been way more votes, you lazy bastards!), the winning slogan is "We put the -Hotter Than Texan Poontang- in HTTP."

Sexy.

The winning slogan was submitted by none other than Eviltom, of frequent comment and chat room fame. Tom wins an all expenses paid trip to New York, from his home, coincidentally enough, in New York, for dinner and a night on the town with me. Your Metrocard is in the mail Tom; give me a call whenever you want to claim your meal.

The first runner up slogan, which would take the place of the winning slogan if, for any reason, it was unable to perform itís duties, is ďNot with a bang, but with sort of a coughing, sputtering sound,Ē submitted by MuadíDib.

In a three-way are Snaggle, Wendy and Chuck. Respectively (though not at all respectfully) their submissions were ďDon't hate us because we're beautiful, hate us because we spit in your salad,Ē ďThis hurts us a lot more than it amuses you,Ē and ďWe did it for Jodie.Ē

My personal favorite, ďKeeping to a strict regimen of Oreos and internet pornĒ (submitted by Bambi), came in a close 4th, which, unfortunately, doesnít even get her up on the medal stand along with the rest of the winners. Poor Bambi is back in the locker room, taking an early shower. Hey Bambi, need help washing your back?

The Mrs. Congeniality award goes to ďHelp Yourself,Ē (submitted by D.), which, through some error in the Ballot Box script didnít receive any votes. Sorry D. You, the rest of you losers, and the never-rans, have always got next year (or the next contest, to be announced later this week) to look forward to.

comments (12)

snaggle

Of Roses and Resolutions

by snaggle at 01:35 AM on January 16, 2002

I wasn’t going to make New Year’s this year. It’s always seemed like something clichť, kind of like red roses, that didn’t really mean anything and were more tradition that anything else (especially since no one ever keeps their for the whole year. If we did, we’d probably all be saints by now.) The more I got to thinking about it, however, the more I realized that hey, I’m a sucker for clichťs – I love red roses! I melt every time I get one (which is not often: Ben is actually the only boy who’s ever given me roses) and I get all mushy inside. (Side note: I’m not fishing for roses from the boy with this statement because he promised me he wouldn’t read the site so I could have a place to talk about him.)

As the semester starts and I get back into the daily grind of everything, I thought that maybe belated New Year’s were in order, especially since I have a lot of small changes I’d like to make to my life. Nothing earth-shattering, but still there are always a few things about oneself to change for the better. However, it seemed logical to also designate a few vices or “allowed slides” to balance out all the good. I’ve always been a “ten steps forward, one step back” kind of guy. So without further ado, here are my and my slides.

Resolution: to keep on top of my schoolwork so it doesn’t come back and bite me in the ass the day before things are due.
Resolution: to take care of my body by eating well. Last semester I was so busy I almost always ate out and I could really feel the impact on my body. Now I’ll get back to cooking, something that I love.
Resolution: to consume (in general) no more than five alcoholic beverages at any given social situation. I really don’t need to be tragically drunk and making an ass of myself.
Resolution: to work out. I’ve always wanted to be buff and look good, and for a short period of time I actually was doing it. Even though I could see and feel the difference, I got busy and let it go. This time I won’t.
Slide: I’ll accept the fact that I’m becoming an occasional smoker. What with going out to the bars, spending a lot of time with my friend Chris who smokes occasionally, and dating a smoker, it’s just becoming more and more available and something that I’m doing. But a couple cigarettes a week won’t kill me (yet) and I can always keep it under control.
Resolution: to pay attention to how I look. I’ve been accused of being a girly-girl sometimes and spending more time on my clothes and hair than most people, but the fact is that those of us with low self-esteem need small things to boost our self-image, and dressing nicely is one way to do that. I used to always wear a “uniform” of jeans and t-shirt or sweatshirt, but I started feeling better about myself when I actually paid attention to what I look like.
Slide: Often one of the costs of looking nice is having to spend more money on clothes and haircuts and such. However, at this point in my life, I can afford it. I’ll always try to hit the sales racks and thrift stores, but sometimes you just have to splurge.
Resolution: I’ll post more on BadSam!

So. There’s my list. You all have to help me keep them now. How about all of you? Have any of you made any interesting resolutions?

Oh, and one last one. Resolution: I will not always complain about school!

comments (5)

muaddib

I Know, I'm A Sucker - But I Don't Care

by muaddib at 01:02 PM on January 15, 2002

It's mid-January and I have a job, which can mean only one thing: People are hitting me up left and right to buy Girl Scout Cookies™ from their daughters. I've been asked by two different people today alone. And that's not counting the sales sheets simply hanging about all over the building, hoping to guilt someone into buying. And, of course, I've already agreed to buy some from my boss' daughter because she asked me herself when I was over there this weekend.

I pretty much always buy stuff from kids regardless of where or how they ask. I like to encourage the entreprenuerial spirit. I also remember running 'round my own neighbourhood as a kid peddling everything from raffle tickets to silly little Junior Acheivement wooden ducks with clothespin beaks to hold notes. So, if some kid comes to my door, or stops me on the street, or even sends her mom into my office to ask, odds are I'll fork over some cash.

I also remember the charge I got every time I got a sale. And I remember almost never winning whatever competition was being held for selling the most because some other kid's grandfather bought 100 or so and no amount of effort on my behalf was ever going to make up the difference when the best I could squeeze my skinflint of a grandfather for was ten. So if I see some kid actually trying to do the work for some legitimate purpose, I feel an obligation to help him out.

Which brings me, sort of, to the point. I buy stuff from kids, but it really seems like the Girl Scouts really rely on parents - and their co-workers - to actually make Girl Scout cookies a money-maker. It would be interesting to know what percentage of Girl Scout Cookies™ are in fact sold by actual Girl Scouts.

I don't necessarily have a problem with any of this - one thing I know for certain is that three bucks for a box of Girl Scout Cookies™ is a helluva lot better deal than the wooden ducks I was hawking for Junior Achievement back in the day. I suppose it really depends on what the real purpose of selling cookies is: Is it to raise money for the organization or is it to help girls learn self-reliance and entrepreneurship? If the former, I'd say they're certainly pulling it off. If the latter, well....

comments (5)

lizard

freedom

by lizard at 12:00 PM on January 15, 2002

I started to type this entry in a Notepad window. I think it went a little like this:

I often daydream about winning the lotto, gaining financial freedom. In these fantasies, I generally theorize that I would keep my day job, because it would keep me out of trouble, and, well, they need me. Hey, they're my dreams, humor me.

An article I read in the Sunday LA Times magazine changed this. I don't know if it's nobility or hubris that drives this, but I have found a cause. It would be easy to write this off to paranoia, or the natural animosity a person with a felony or four in their past feels towards authority, but the cause I would devote my free time to, if I had any, is freedom. If I had the freedom to pursue whatever I wished, I would give my time to this cause, even if my relatively uninformed and untrained support would be more of an annoyance than assistance. So, I'd be the person hanging around the Electronic Frontier Foundation office listening to scholarly debates about applying the Constitution in a digital age, and all I'd be able to contribute would be, ďhey, I'll go for coffee! I'm buying!Ē

So, if I'm going to have a cause, at least I should know more about it. At that point, I fired up IE and typed ĎElectronic Frontier Foundationí into the IE explorer bar to do a perfunctory MSN search for this group, so I could do a little more research, hit enter, and (I am not making this up) instant Blue Screen of Death. Computer crashed, hard. Lost the entry up until that point, and I must say, it was better the first time around. This time I'll try Google, maybe Big Brother isn't so strict there.

The first issue I wanted to research is the Patriot Act. Ironically, item 1a of the EFF's chief concerns begins ďBe careful what you put in that Google search. The government may now spy on web surfing of innocent Americans, including terms entered into search engines, by merely telling a judge anywhere in the U.S. that the spying could lead to information that is Ďrelevantí to an ongoing criminal investigation. The person spied on does not have to be the target of the investigation. This application must be granted and the government is not obligated to report to the court or tell the person spied up what it has done. Ē

A columnist in the Times wrote, last November, ďPeople with something to hide are the ones who need Ďprivacyí the most.Ē This is a pretty typical anti-freedom line, assuming that if we want privacy, that we are guilty of something. This is wrong in so many ways, especially when you consider this broad new power we are granting law enforcement agencies, who can now conduct electronic surveillance on all of your internet activities, just because. You don't have to be the target of the investigation. No evidence against you is required. The judge can't deny a request, no matter how spurious it may seem. I'm pretty sure we could all safely be afraid of that. As the article asks, ďHave you ever received an email from a terror suspect? Ever been on the same list-serv or in the same chat room? Book the same flight, frequent the same website?Ē While you're asking, it might be interesting to ponder, who are these 500 people who have been rounded up in the terrorist investigation so far? There is so little media coverage, and we the people seem quite willing to just overlook this issue.

I wanted to write an insightful analysis of this issue, and believe me, I was off to a good start before old Microsoft rejected my search query so spectacularly. No, I don't really suspect a conspiracy, but I won't rule one out either. In light of my failure to get back on track with this, I'm hoping a lively discussion ensues in the comments here. Especially since we no longer have any Karma votes.

comments (9)

mg

dinner, you ate it, there is none left It was salty, with butter and it was def

by mg at 10:00 PM on January 14, 2002

Well, as if it makes any sort of difference in the grand scheme of things, Bad Samaritan is back. Did you miss us?

I think this site went down as some sort of revenge on me for posting so frequently and freverently the last couple weeks. I wrote 9 posts in the first 11 days of the year. My poor web-host couldnít take the abuse.

Actually, maybe the site was sad. I wrote 9 posts in 11 days, while the 15 other Bad Samaritans only wrote 6 posts in the same amount of time. The site misses you guys. Like me tonight, it is just sitting in a corner of the server room with all the lights turned off, sobbing quietly, while gently rocking back and forth. See what youíve done!?

Actually, the problem had something to do with the gods of karma. You see, I used to think karma voting was worthwhile. When I first moved to Greymatter, about a year ago, I didnít get very many hits and I got hardly any comments. Karma was a good way of judging how I was doing.

Now, I get enough hits so I donít care what people think of me, and while people comment far less than Iíd like, you all comment enough to keep me satisfied. Iíd been thinking for a while of just getting rid of karma. Instead, in recognition of the meaninglessness of karma, I switched over to the Surreally Karma system.

Now, if you donít know about Surreallyís karma system, a good vote is good, and a bad vote is good. It isnít very functional, but it sure is a nice ego boost. In honor of the switch, I also removed the restriction of only one vote per post per IP address. That probably means nothing to most of you, but I basically changed things to allow people to vote as many times as they wanted, since ever vote would end up being positive, whether the voter knew it or not.

Now, that apparently angered the Karma god. Either that, or the fact life has been going pretty well for me the past week or two. One or the other of those things severely pissed the gods of karma off so much, they decided to knock me down a peg or two.

First, I lose a lot of money playing poker Friday night. Then I fell asleep (okay, pass out. Quit yer bitching, Mr. Semantics) on the way home Saturday night and end up in Jamaica, Queens, at 3:30 am. Sometime very early Sunday the site goes down. I woke up late this morning and had a tummy ache all day (probably from the stress of worry about the site going down. Also maybe the cigarettes and excessive volume of coffee Iím drinking recently). On the way home, the subway ate my Metrocard without letting me through the turnstile, forcing me to stand around for 15 minutes until it refreshed.

Worst of all, I have an early morning meeting tomorrow, necessitating my cancellation of the long awaited meeting with a certain someone tonight.

Well, whatever grievance I caused to the karma gods appears to have been repaid because things here are back to normal. However, hits are way down. I mean, way down. Like, Iím ready to jump out of my bedroom window down. Itís sort of depressing. You know what would make me feel better, though? Itíd make me feel better if everyone mentioned Bad Samaritan on their site over the next couple days, you know, just to let everyone know Iím back, and maybe not make me cry so much.

comments (9)

snaggle

Home, Sweet Hell

by snaggle at 01:20 AM on January 12, 2002

Okay, six straight posts from mg warrants a resurrection of Samaritans in hiding. Not that we all donít enjoy mgís writings, of course, but címon, really Ė six straight posts? I should spank all the rest of the Samaritans for neglecting their posting duties, but I have a feeling too many of them would enjoy that far, far too much.

Instead, Iíll just whine for a bit about being home Ė or rather, being at my mom and dadís house. Though I havenít spent more than one consecutive week here in the past four years, I still sometimes slip and refer to my parentís place as ďmy home.Ē Now some people retain close ties with the place where they grew up and though they may be attending college somewhere else and probably arenít going to ever live in their hometown again, they still sometimes say theyíre ďfrom such-and-such.Ē

However, this house that Iím sitting in now really holds very little for me. I donít get along well with my parents. I try to visit them now and then, but really I canít stand them for more than a day or two at a time. Most of the occasions I come here coincide with the times when my brother, sister-in-law, and sister are here as well (that way the parental craziness gets spread out rather than concentrated in one huge psychotic parenting surge on one unsuspecting offspring.) With all my friends almost as removed from their progenitors as I am, my hometown provides little in the way of anything. My mother always wants me to ďcome home and relax for a few weeksĒ without taking into account that just dealing with her raises my blood pressure more than those dreams where itís Finals Week and you realize that you havenít gone to one of your major classes since the first day of class and the final is in three hours (youíve all had that dream, right? Iím not insane, right?)

Being at the Ďrentís house always involves a lot of concern over my future and whatnot. Being good Indian parents, they canít understand my chosen fields of graphic design and philosophy. Though Iíve removed myself as far as possible from the scientific studies over the past four years, my father continues to try and convince me to go into medicine. My mother constantly nags me about pretty much anything that comes to mind Ė mostly whether or not Iím eating well enough (yay, Asian parenting!)

Pretty much the only thing that keeps me coming to visit the parents (other than impending guilt when they die) is my motherís cooking. Now I know that almost every kid will swear up and down that his/her motherís cooking was the best, but Iím serious Ė I know people that will forfeit their own motherís claim to the Cooking Throne after trying my motherís food. Itís the only thing that really keeps me coming back. Every now and then Iíll get an itching for some good Indian cooking, but there really isnít anywhere around where I live to get a good Indian meal. There is a small Indian restaurant that just opened up in my town, but Iíve only tried it once and it didnít hold a candle to my motherís. Alas, thatís what I get for growing up with the best.

My parents also lack some of the essentials of my life. My mother drinks coffee, but only the instant kind (which Ė call me a snob if you wish Ė I canít stand.) My dadís a big tea drinker, but he pretty much only drinks Darjeeling. He started me out on tea (after Iíd already acquired a taste for coffee.) I love tea, but I love all sorts of teas. I approach my tea much like I approach my espresso beverages Ė some days I feel more like a chamomile rather than Earl Grey, just like some days I need a double tall latte rather than a single brevť. Knowing this, I was rooting around in the kitchen for something warm and comforting, but without the caffeine. Itís a little chilly in the basement, where the second phone line hookup is, so I was looking for something Ė anything Ė to drink. First I found some twelve-year-old cocoa mix that, though promising at first, resulting in something that did not smell like the hot chocolate that I wanted. After some further searching, I sighed and resigned myself to the only warm caffeine-free beverage I could find: a nice, warm cup of caffeine-free instant coffee Ė almost as redundant as diet caffeine-free Jolt.

Four hours down, twenty more to go. Wish me luck.

comments (5)

mg

new car, caviar, four star daydream, think i'll buy me a football team

by mg at 01:21 PM on January 11, 2002

As I was coming into work this morning, I stopped for a coffee and some sort of delectable pastry. The total wrung up to $3.09 Ė fairly reasonable New York City prices. I looked in my wallet, only to find nothing but three dollar bills and 1000 Italian lire.

ďOh no,Ē I thought, ďthis is going to be one of those Ďnine-cents-too-shortí kind of days.Ē

A measly 9Ę isnít a lot of money. Out in Iowa, most places have a change jar at the cash register. You come up a few cents short, all you have to do is stick your hand in and grab a couple pennies. Another day, your order rings up to $4.98, and rather than carry around some worthless hunks of copper, you just drop them in the change jar for the next person who needs it.

Say what you will about Iowa, and the Midwest in general, but people are decent out there. Back here in New York, Iíve had cashiers hassle me for far less than 9Ę. I was expecting that this morning.

I smiled at the cashier and said, as sheepishly as Iíve said anything in a long while, ďI appear to be 9Ę too short.Ē

ďItís okay,Ē she said smiling back and waving me through the line.

ďAh,Ē I thought, walking out the door with a large coffee and sticky bun, ďthis is going to be one of those Ďsmiles-are-pricelessí kind of days.Ē

comments (8)

mg

when the question is posed I'll have this meager defense

by mg at 08:49 PM on January 10, 2002

So, the whole reason behind that whole OCD post was because my friend had something stolen from him. I was planning on just writing a short introduction to his account. Of course, being the narcissistic, ego maniacal blabber mouth that I am, I ended up off on a tangent of my own creation, and writing 600 words about me me me.

So, anyway, without further ado, here is the story, as originally planned.

---

This was a good holiday. Really, it was. This was my first Christmas/New Year's holiday away from home in 25 years. And I enjoyed it. I spent my time in Ohio, reading, sleeping, eating, cooking, and shooting. But I also spent a lot of time worrying.

Nervous about the apartment, that there wouldn't be anyone around for a whole 12 days. Someone could break in and carry away all of my worldly possessions. So I got someone to housesit and I got to relax. The holiday went by, and I returned home. I went to the bank to deposit my Christmas money. The deposit went through just fine. And then I saw my balance.

Holy ****. Where's my money? Itís all gone! Where's all my hard earned, supposedly safely stored away in the checking account money? Where's my rent? What am I going to do? Panic ensues.

It turns out I seem to be the victim of some type of electronic fraud. Some joker managed to get my account number and PIN off of a third party ATM that they hacked. You know, the grocery store/bodega/deli convenience ATMs. All this time I was worried about someone swiping the stuff from my apartment. I should have been worried about someone swiping my identity over the Internet. The card was a direct copy of my own, and I am sure I had never lost mine.

I'm calmer now. Cooler heads do prevail. Iíll, hopefully, be credited the full amount stolen. They will pursue the crafty individual who managed to disrupt my life. If he is caught, I will express no remorse or empathy when they prosecute him on federal charges for felony grand larceny. I hope he burns. He walked off to a happy holiday with about $6000 of my earnings.

To anyone reading this: Please do not subject yourself to the same circumstances. Avoid using third-party ATMs, which seem to be unsecure. Adapt to the circumstances surrounding you, and you will survive. I was the 68th complaint registered at the Police Precinct this year. They are diligently working on my case, and my hat goes off to them. I am not the first victim of this, and most likely not the loudest. But I am saying something. I hope someone listens.

comments (2)

mg

you've got to learn to live with what you can't rise above

by mg at 09:08 PM on January 09, 2002

I can honestly say that the first 9 days of 2002 already far surpass the last 9 days of 2001. They far surpass the last 9 months of 2001, really. Plus the first 3 months of it, too.

Except for the whole job thing (which is temporary), nothing especially great has happened. I didnít meet a great girl and future wife. I didnít even hook up with a meaningless one-night stand. I didnít win the lottery. I didnít even find a lost $20 bill in an old pair of pants.

Really, it has been my perception of events that has made them good. I am feeling better about life, so, therefore, life is better. Itís strange really. Iíve got a positive attitude. Things that are good are great. Things that would otherwise leave me feeling blasť leave me feeling good. And things that are awful arenít so bad.

Even if everything isnít positive, Iím better able to handle it. It strange, this feeling. If Iíd realized that a year ago (or, better yet, twenty 25 years ago), Iíd never have had a care in my life. Iíd probably be President by now; maybe not of the United States (though, with a can-do attitude, Iíd bet they would have waived that over 34 rule for me. And the no felons rule), but at least of the Clara Peller Fan Club. Nothing can get me down, and nothing doesnít go my way.

However, there is something that is creeping into my consciousness; something Iím having trouble parsing in a positive way. There is one thing that has happened this year which even my ought two induced euphoric state can picture in a rosy light.

After years of pushing around a mouse (not to mention other things) I seem have the beginnings of carpal tunnel syndrome. Now, this is just my own diagnosis. My knowledge of medicine mainly comes from Saint Elsewhere and E.R, but my fingers are numb and tingly, Iím having trouble holding things, and I have pain in my wrist and sometimes shooting up into my arm.

Iím only a layman (and man all too infrequently laid) but what else could it be, especially considering how much time I spend sitting in front of a keyboard, tapping keys and pushing mice. Since Iíve gotten my laptop, Iíve certainly set myself up in some weird configurations: lying on the couch with the laptop on the floor, sitting in the bathtub with the computer on the toilet, hanging from the ceiling with moon boots with the laptop strapped to the back of a small Malaysian girl.

The list goes on and on, but letís just say Iíve not maintained proper posture. Iím trying to sit up straight, take frequent breaks, and use the computer as infrequently as possible (holding up Bad Samaritan Version 6 Redesign, as well as a few other things). But considering Iíve got no skills besides sitting in front of a computer and typing stuff, I canít exactly do something else. Iím just going to suck it up and take the pain like a man; that is to say, cry excessively and whine to anyone who will listen.

Besides for the crying and whining, Iím doing what I can to bear this. I have to. I still donít have health insurance, so I canít afford going to the doctor. And even if I did see a physician, if my only hope lies in scary looking guys like him, Iíd rather suffer through the pain. I can learn to be left-handed.

comments (8)

mg

i'll steal your pop-tarts like i stole your socks

by mg at 12:03 AM on January 09, 2002

Though I hate to admit it, I think Iíve got some sort of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I donít need to turn lights on and off, wash my hands till they bleed, bleach my skin or get obsessive amounts of plastic surgery.

But I do have problems.

There are lots of little things that I do. I donít abide drawers that arenít pushed in all the way. I canít walk past an open cupboard or closet door without shutting it. Even if Iíve got a mess of festering garbage on my apartment floor, if it is in a neat pile, Iíll be okay. All the books on my shelf need to be pulled out so their spines are all in a straight line.

I just think that there is a place for everything and that everything has its place. Thatís perfectly normal, right?

The only thing I do that Iíll admit to being a real manifestation of a disorder is the way I worry about locked doors. I get freaked out about whether Iíve locked my apartment door when I leave my house.

As Iíve mentioned before, we got robbed a lot when I was a kid. I have a reason for being freaked about my door being ajar. I worry about doors being locked because itís engrained in me that people are evil and they take things from your apartment when you arenít there to protect your stuff.

Locking your door doesnít offer complete security, I understand, but leaving your door wide open is surely asking cat burglars to burgle all your worldly goods. In fact, an unlocked door, in my book, is like asking to be robbed. Iíve had enough stuff stolen from me in my lifetime; I never want to be accused of asking to get robbed.

Iíve walked back to my apartment, from as many as three blocks away, just to check if Iíd actually locked the door. Iíve done that on occasions too numerous to mention unembarrassedly. I used to do it all the time. Iíve gotten much better. Now, Iíll only go back to check the locks if Iím within sight distance of the front door of my apartment building. If I get that far, Iím safe. If not, Iíll almost always walk back and check.

I canít help myself.

If someone else is in the hallway, or I think someone might be looking out their peephole into our respective hallway, Iíll not only check to make sure the door is locked, but actually go back inside my apartment under the pretense that Iíve forgotten something, just so that I donít look like a freak to my neighbors.

Iíll do a lot of huffing and puffing, like Iím upset with myself for having forgotten my whatever. Iíll have to pick something when I get in my apartment, even a little piece of paper that presumably has an address of the place Iím heading out to, and hold it in my hand, obvious to the world that I had just now picked it up, so any nosy neighbors wonít think Iím a lunatic.

Because Iím not lunatic.

Now, this I where I think I might be seriously mentally disturbed. There is one thing that seems to work, one thing that stops me from worrying. I turn the door handle three times to the right. Then I turn it three times to the left. Then I switch hands. Three times right. Three times left.

Once Iím done with that, I know for sure that Iíve locked the door, and all my stuff is safe.

comments (13)

mg

it ain't no trick to get rich quick if you dig dig dig with a shovel or a pick

by mg at 07:47 AM on January 08, 2002

Don't have much time to talk, it's 7:30 am, and I'm on my way to work. I woke up at 6 am this morning. A week ago, I would have just been getting to bed about that time, having spent the majority of the night in the chat room, reading my favorite blogs and looking at kitty porn.

Now, I'm on my way to work, for a full day of work. And then sometime around 6 or 7 pm, when Iím done with work, I'll come home from work. I'll have to make dinner after work, but most likely just crash on the couch because Iím too tired to do any other work after a long day's work.

How do people do this everyday?

comments (12)

mg

who loves the rain, who cares that it makes flowers

by mg at 02:32 PM on January 06, 2002

Iím about to say something I never thought Iíd say.

Iím gay.

No, wait, thatís my revelation for next week, this week, Iíve got a totally different kind of news to make public. Most of you never thought itíd happen, but, after months of sitting around on my ass doing nothing, Iím finally gainfully employed.

Yes, thatís right, MG has left the ranks of the lazy ass, sit on the couch all day, eating Pringles, watching DVDs and messing around on the Internet looking for porn masses, to become a Prole.

Itís only a temporary thing, 4-5 months of temporary, full time work, but hey, itís much more than Iím doing now. And of course, there is the chance for continuing work after that. I donít know if they say that to all the guys, just to make us feel better about getting fewer bills for more work, and still having to worry about getting sick since I donít have any insurance, or whether there really is a chance for more work, but that is what Iím hoping for the latter.

Here is the weird thing, if you go back and check the Bad Samaritan archives last year at this time, Iím sure I was bitching about the fact that my former (then current) employers were about to fire a huge chunk of their staff, and I thought Iíd be one of them. They did lay of employees, and I was among the headless.

Now, its 2002. Just short of a year later. Iíve gone through one crummy job, and some crummy freelance work, and now, guess who Iíll be working for but my former employers, Razorfish. Life takes some strange turns, and this is certainly doozie.

Like me, Razorfish has taken a beaten over the last year. If I still had my stock options, theyíd be worth just 112 dollars. If theyíd stayed at the price when I started, theyíd be worth 16,500. Now, some might say that I was their bad luck charm, but Iíd like to think my leaving was officially the beginning of their downturn.

Now theyíve finally realized the error of their ways; they want me back and are sweating me hard. I was thinking of playing hard to get, but Iíve never been very good at playing hard to get. Iím easy, and Iíll admit it.

I would have made them suffer, wait agonizingly as I made my decision, but, of course, I accepted on the spot. I wanted it, as bad as they wanted me. I didnít just want it; I needed it. So, I took it. I start Monday. Alleluia.

Strangely, on the same day I heard back from another place Iíd applied, asking to call in an interview. When it rains it pours. I knew 2002 would be a much better year. And it already has been. New Yearís Eve with Adam (westernexposure) is indeed a good luck charm. Thanks Adam, have fun in Hawaii.

comments (21)

d

Punk, Bulletproof Punk

by d at 02:16 PM on January 06, 2002

In regards to the upcoming Bloggies and their current nomination process...

foryoureyesonly

Needless to say everyone should be voting for Bad Sam in Best Group. (And Surreally...)

"I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time."

-From the James Bond Obituary sent to The Times

comments (18)

bornfamous

Do you want fries with that?

by bornfamous at 03:44 AM on January 04, 2002

I'm sweating a potential total loss of income but I can't talk about it on my own blog because someone might read it, if you know what I mean, so I came here to wallow.

I deserve to be fired. I screwed up. And I'm coming to think that I screwed up on purpose so that I would be forced out of this job that I can barely force myself to do any more. The thought of doing something else that fits my skills and interests makes me all wistful inside, but I have a kid to raise with no child support and I'm feeling pretty panicky at the moment. We could literally be homeless in a month.

I won't whine about my chemical sensitivities any more except to say that they prevent me from working in the modern office, what with all the fragrances people wear. That's fine with me. I've had enough of offices; I never felt comfortable in corporate America.

Maybe I could get a job as a forest ranger. That would be cool, except that I've never been in a forest. I dream of building our own cabin in the mountains and growing all our own organic food, but it ain't gonna happen. We're city folks; we wouldn't have a clue.

I think of the days when people could go off into the wilderness and carve out a life for themselves, and then I remember how hard they worked and how young they died. And how that's just not possible any more anyway.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans, including our kind host, are out of work as a result of all the terrible things that happened in the past year... and things that happened before that. What are they doing to survive?

In my case, because I'm an independent contractor, there's no severance or unemployment. I know I have to start thinking of myself as a business person who just needs more clients, but I can't even figure out what my business is. What the hell do I do, anyway? More important, what do I want to do?

Wait -- most important, what can I do that will solve this problem? It's not about what I want to do at this point. If I really wanted to do what I want to do, I would have started saving and planning wisely a long time ago. No, I am reaping what I have sown. Time to pay the piper, and at my age, a woman's easy way out isn't among the options.

Do you want fries with that?

comments (8)

effenheimer

No matter what a stripper tells you, she is just a timid whore

by effenheimer at 04:39 PM on January 03, 2002

strippers are dead inside. believe me, I've known plenty and you do not want to get involved with them. It's all daddy did this to me or their last boyfriend made them fuck his dog, the list is endless for these professional victims.

every stripper i have ever met was just like all the others. only the ages and body types vary. oh sure, you get variations on the theme. you get the divorcee stripper and the one who is lying about her age, but they are all basically abused females with crappy lives who have convinced themselves that the only way they can escape being a victim is to take power over men by jiggling in front of them for a dollar a throw. 90 percent of them are on something. the really stupid ones think they need a manager/pimp to be dancers. these are guys who talk them into letting him "manage their money" for them because the know that if they start making a $1000 a week, they would just blow it on clothes and shoes and baby food.

"let me handle your money baby, i'll make sure you get everything you need. I'll start a savings account for you, you won't have to worry about nothing."

I am actually trying to get me one of these sweet gigs right now.

I have never met more two or three strippers who graduated from high school and that includes one who was a ballerina and only stripped in the off season.

the "college girl" is largely a myth, even in college towns and I am convinced that the two or three I met who SAID they were doing it to pay their way through college were fucking lieing. I have spent my fair share of decades in college, I can usually tell who is and is not really in school. people (or strippers) have this bullshit idealized vision of college, like that is where all the peole they would like to be are living the good life. as though anyone out there is truly living large and isn't bitching about their lives. that's how you tell they arent in school, if they were in school, they would be bitching about it and not acting like it was the culmination of their every dream.

the only strippers i ever respected were the ones who recognized that what they did was soft prostitution but safer than the real thing.

whatever you do, don't let them tell you about their kids. I hate "dancers" who talk about their damn kids. When you talk about your kids, it reminds me of MY mother and I can't have that. if i wanted to talk to a mommy, I would hang out at the library where all the mommies aren't a bunch of drug-addled skanks trying to hustle 20s by sitting on strange men's laps.

I don't mean to sound judgemental but let's be honest, some people have jobs that clearly put them on a certain level to which most of us do not want to descend. I don't want to scrub toilets, its all i can do to clean mine once a month. I don't want to flip burgers, ive done that and it makes you smell like fried grease plus people are freaking mean to you because they assume you are a retard. I dont want to be a grabage man, though I am absolutely certain they make more money than I do and I believe they perform a great public service, they still have to pick up and dump other people's crap. strippers are definitely on the bottom of the list, the fact that the ONLY thing they have to cling to is how much money they make is a prime indicator that what they do sucks.

still, once in a while you find that freaky wench who does things for $20 that just make your day.

comments (88)

mg

cooked it in a crock pot but it came out microwaved

by mg at 03:21 AM on January 03, 2002

I am the worst Webmaster ever.

Looking back in preparation for the New Year, and a potential retrospective I scrapped in favor of, you know, going out and living my life, I discovered some interesting things about myself, as Webmaster. Namely, I’ve got lots of ideas, and hardly any of them ever come to fruition. Now, this is hardly a unique trait, everyone has ideas, but it is the rare person that ever does anything with them.

And yes, a lot of people go shooting their mouths off about their ideas, and have to suffer from years of deridement from their friends and family for being huge failures in every thing they ever tried.

But, if you’ve got a website that thousands of people see each day, when you shoot your mouth off it is a little more obvious. Luckily, I’ve got the good sense to only have mentioned a couple of my wacked out ideas in this public forum. The majority I’ve only mentioned to my Internet friends, or kept in my silly little head. Luckily I never revealed my idea for an electric powered, scooter, using gyroscopes; that was my stupidest idea yet.

One of the ideas I did let out of the bag was the Big Bad Samaritan Tag Line Slogan Motto Contest Challenge (BBSTLSMCC for short). The idea was to allow you, my army of loyal soldiers, to come up with taglines for the site. All I had to do was pick the best and give a prize.

It was actually supposed to be the first in a continuing series of contests, but I couldn’t even pull that off. I mentioned it nearly a month ago, and you all did your part by supplying many mottos, but I’ve been so very lax in fulfilling my duties as Webmaster.

I’m sorry.

It wasn’t included in my New Year’s (only because I didn’t think of it at the time), but I’m going to resolve to actually do all the things I said I’m going to do here, and I’ll even try do the things I just thought of doing, but never actually said anything about. And, knowing myself, I'll even do some stuff that I haven't even thought about at all.

As a good a first step on my new journey toward responsible Webmastering, I’m finally going to finish the BBSTLSMCC. So, here goes: Of the nearly 50 entries I received, I’ve added 29 to the list of randomly generated taglines (you’ll have to take my word on that, or site hitting the refresh button until you’ve seen them all).

Now, in order to choose the grand prizewinner, who will win a grand prize (once I decide what it is), I need you again to pick your favorites. From those 29 I’ve added, I choose the 15 I was most enamored by. They may not be the best, but they made me chuckle, chortle, and a couple even made me titter.

They may or may not cause you to titter, but you’ve got the voice. Pick your favorites (you can pick more than one), and whichever slogan gets the most votes, gets it’s writer a brand new (or possibly slightly used) something or other. Isn’t that exciting?

My Ballot Box
which of these make you titter, snigger, and/or guffaw? (check all that apply)

don't hate us because we're beautiful, hate us because we spit in your salad
not with a bang, but with sort of a coughing, sputtering sound
we put the "hotter than texas poontang" in http
enabling procrastinators in more than 116 countries
keeping to a strict regimen of oreos and porn
this hurts us a lot more than it amuses you
9 out of 10 bloggers agree - you're dumb
helping you cover up your apron fetish
genuine, inventive, driven, whatever
neonates do our spell checking
Oh hell, this is hard, damnit!
an exercise in fertility
are you my mother?
we did it for jodie
help yourself


View Results

comments (3)

effenheimer

This chick could have killed Prince

by effenheimer at 05:27 PM on January 02, 2002

i used to date a stripper. well, not date so much as have sex with when I had plenty of weed to share. this is not directly relevant to anything, i just like to let people know. her stage name was Creamy, she was half Chinese and half German and that's a lethal combination in case you are curious. she liked to dance to "Cream" by Prince. She could do things on the pole that would make most men pass out. She could hold herself 8 feet off the ground using only her legs to grip the pole. she almost crushed my head once between her thighs and I have a head like a cement watermelon.

Of course I could not satisfy her, she was a sex addict with more experience than the whore of babylon and I am a simple farmboy. There is no shame in this, not for me anyway. I was lucky i could touch the sides of that thing. She was in it for her, I was in it for me. I did things with her I have only ever seen in Dante illustrations since. There is no absolution for some of the things we did. I needed intense psychological and physical therapy as well as spiritual cleansing after we stopped seeing each other. Thank God for penicillan, too.

comments (60)

effenheimer

Rock me Roderick Serling

by effenheimer at 03:58 PM on January 02, 2002

Submitted for your perusal. An introduction to Greg Jerrett, a small pathetic, dickless shell of a man with no life whose only plans for New Year's Eve were to record a 44 hour "Twilight Zone" marathon on the Sci Fi Channel. With invitations to drink and common merriment, he decided to spend his night, not living it up with friends and co-workers, but quietly, by himself, in his underwear... in the Twilight Zone.

I did learn one very important lesson though, never fall asleep in a bank vault on your lunch break, if you suspect you are a ghost, you probably are and if you go into outer space, your chances of ending up in a zoo increase by nearly 500 percent.

I also learned that in the early 1960s, Cliff Robertson was considered a talented, young actor, gays were always respresented by fastidious bachelors and no one ever talked about their own genitalia ... EVER! What a repressive time that was.

It's a good thing you wrote that column, Greg, yes, it's a real good thing.

comments (2)

mg

and so we're told this is the golden age

by mg at 11:57 PM on January 01, 2002

Iíve got this awful problem of not sitting down to write when I should. Iíd wanted to recap my New Yearís Eve festivities while they were still top of my mind. I should have done it last night (this morning, more accurately), but I was still a little tipsy, and plenty tired.

Looking back at what I did write last night, my drunken post is remarkably coherent. I should have gone ahead, especially knowing thatíd Iíd never sit down and write about it once the morning light and a couple hours sleep knocked the creativity right the hell out of my head.

But, hey, here I am, actually writing and, given a few filler paragraphs (see above) to get warmed up, Iím feeling all sparked with creative energy and remembered utterances. So, here goes.

New Yearís Eve didnít start off well. Not the day itself, but rather the events leading up to the day. To quote Dante, ďI'm not even supposed to be here today!Ē Iíd been planning on spending the night with Amanda, Julia, Kitty and Tony, plus Snaggle, Shar, and whoever else showed up in Illinois. Instead, I was back in New York City, not a bad thing, except I was here because my Grandmother is in the hospital, and I didnít have any plans for the night, other than sitting at home alone, crying softly into my Schlitz.

So, things werenít going as planned, but in early recognition of both my ďbe a better friendĒ (aka call people back) and ďlet life happenĒ New Yearís resolutions, I let life happen, and then called Adam (better known as Westernexposure to you surrealists) back about some parties heíd heard about.

Thinking back about the past couple New Yearís Eves, things are always better with Adam around. For the big Millennium Celebration in 1999 (yes, yes, shut the hell up about 2000/1 being the real Millennium, no one cares, nerd), he had a party at his Brooklyn apartment. I was there early, watching an ďIron ChefĒ marathon, and getting drunk before the first real guest even arrived. The rest of the night is a blur, except for the stroke of midnight (when I had no one to kiss), the drive home, with my friend Brion puking out the window, and an early breakfast at IHOP.

The night was great, and so was the rest of the year. In fact, 2000 was just about the best year in the history of the universe.

Last year, I spent the night with my family. I love my family, but nothing could be worse than spending New Yearís Eve with them. Amanda was in New York for the holidays, and we were together at the time, so I had someone to kiss, which was good, but little did I know sheíd be accepting some other guyís wedding proposal a few short weeks later.

The night wasnít awful, but it wasnít great, but the rest of 2001 sure sucked. In fact, it was just about the worst year in the history of the universe.

Iím not going to put too much pressure on young 2002, as Gordon advised, but I think Adam is my good luck charm. Spending the night with him seems to guarantee a good year. If 2002 is anywhere near as good as 2000 was, Iíll be making out with him on the stroke of midnight on New Yearís Eve next year, just to assure 2003 is another great year. (I hope you donít mind Adam.)

Wow. The year may have changed, but I sure havenít; 600 words into this post and I havenít actually mentioned a word about anything that actually went on last night. I could serialize the events, and knowing me, probably have enough material to make it halfway through 2005, but I know how much you all hate that. Instead, Iíll try to keep it short.

I headed out to meet up with Adam and his crew in Brooklyn, heading to a party he heard a bout from a friend. I was never quite sure about Adamís relationship to the person who was throwing the party, all I know is that none of the 10 other people he brought with him knew a single person who lived in that apartment. Iím not sure how Iíd feel if an almost complete stranger crashed my party with nearly a dozen complete strangers. Iíd imagine they were happy, considering the party was pretty lame before we got there.

Seeing the party was pretty lame, we didnít end up staying long, not much more than an hour, actually. Just long enough for us to drink the majority of the truly awful Chinese rice wine (it tasted like almonds and feet sweat), and for me to have a couple really good eye contact moments with this one really cute girl who reminded me of this one girl I was in love with for a year in college, but was too shy to ever ask out.

I wasnít brave enough to talk to the girl at the party, thinking I had nothing to talk to her about, and that it probably wouldnít be a good idea to mention the whole year long crush on her doppelganger (unless, ladies, youíd find such a line a panty-peeler, in which case Iíll be sure to use it more often). Iíd actually thought about using that line, but, unfortunately, the rest of Adamís party wanted to leave, considering that besides for my yearlong crush doppelganger girl, the party was kind of lame, I begrudgingly agreed.

Some of the maniacs we came with wanted to head to Prospect Park, a couple blocks away, to watch some laser light show they were having at midnight. Iím sorry, but I can head out to Hayden Planetarium any night of the week and see a laser light show (not to mention score a bag of weed at the nearby Sheepís Meadow in Central Park), Iím not standing outside for 20 minutes in freezing whether on New Yearís Eve when I could be drinking heavily and sulking in a corner because Iím to shy to talk to girls.

Speaking of sulking in the corner about girls, when we made it to the second party, which was much more happening, it was full of lesbians, a sign of a good party. Now, Iíve got nothing against lesbians. I personally love lesbians. I full support a woman making out with another woman at any time and at any place. Iíd even pay to watch them. Except on New Yearís Eve, when I want women making out with me, not each other.

Okay, now youíre saying that isnít possible that every girl there was a lesbian. And youíd be right, every woman wasnít. There were a couple straight girls too; unfortunately, they were all being groped by gross guys.

Damn, Iím going to break the narrative here, but I just remember that there was girl at the new party who was a dead ringer for another former (mini) crush (and roommate), Sarah of Troy (three people will know who that is, but important to add, for honestyís sake). Only, the doppelganger Sarah of Troy wasnít nearly as cute, and was, of course, a huge dyke. Now, back to the story:

Actually, there isnít much more to the story. I had a great time, met some great people (one of whom, Iíd like to tap as a new Samaritan, and another of whom Iíd just like to tap). I drank a lot, got plenty drunk, but happily landed just south of the puking all over and being terribly hung over the next morning line. I didnít kiss anyone at midnight and went home alone. All in all, a great New Yearís Eve, and a wonderful start to the new year, hope you all had as good a time, if not, there is always next year!

comments (9)

d

Flamingoes and chickens and Guinea pigs, oh my.

by d at 10:53 AM on January 01, 2002

I am reading a pretty fantastic book at the moment, it includes charaters who change the shade of their skins with pigments, a lot of you know the author and read him occasionally.

When I was in Florida years ago, I went to Busch Gardens, one of the best amusement parks in the world. At the time it was home to the fastest and largest rollercoaster ride in the northern hemisphere. It was pretty damned good. The Bud breweries were within the boundaries of the park however and the smell of yeast, like freshly kneaded pasta permeated the air and could leave you feeling quite ill if you were dry-heaving at the exit of the largest and fastest rollercoaster in the northern hemisphere.

Another feature of the park were the large flocks of flamingoes. Pink flamingoes. They're not naturally pink, they should be a muted light grey color, but they become pink when they are fed large quantities of shrimp, the crustacean carapaces tint the birds their trademarked Floridian pink shade.

Canaries should be fed carrots to retain their vivid plummage, caucasians will occasionally take on a slight orange color to their pale white skin if they eat too many carrots, or drink too much Sunny D. If you feed Guinea Pigs beetroot their white patches become a soft purple shade.

My mother kept chickens until all four hens and the three cockerels were stolen just over two weeks ago by the local kids. She revealed something over lunch today as everyone acclimatised to being in 2002 and we saw our first Euro notes instead of the familiar French franc notes; if you feed your laying hens alfalfa grass then over time the yokes of their eggs will become greener and greener until you eventually have green eggs to go with your ham. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the secret Dr. Seuss never told us. Happy New Year to all.

comments (6)

mg

i'm the only painter joe van gogh knows

by mg at 05:46 AM on January 01, 2002

I don't normally post drunk, nor do I normally sit down in front of the computer without something specific I wanted to get across, but heck, it's 2002, why stick to any silly conventions?

Merry New Year!

2001 is finally over, and not a moment too soon. No, 2002 is a good three months too late, but I'll take what I can get. Karmiclly speaking ought two ought to be the best year ever, but I'm not holding my breathe. What I've known of it so far has been both exhilirating and frustrating, much like my previous 25 years, but I've still go hope, despite the unholding breathe remark of the previous sentence.

Oh crap. This was a mistake.

I think it is time to use my drunkeness to actually get to sleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, since that isn't likely to happen for another year. Sometime tomorrow morning (who am I kidding, afternoon) I will commence with a full report on the evenings festivities, which included lots of lesbians and lots of alcohol, but only one transexual and no Miss Bs. Till then, I'll leave you with my most oft repeated phrase of the night "I can't do another shot, I'll die! Don't you understand, I'll die!"

comments (6)