by mg at 03:48 AM on June 30, 2002
Another drunkenish post. Tonight, the whole day in fact, was a depressing affair in an otherwise happy period of my life. Iíve a new job and a new attitude, both of which Iíve really been meaning to discuss. Like most writer types, I find it much harder to put pen to paper when Iím in a good mood and/or not suffering the effects of alcohol. Iíll get around to that eventually, itís a good and heart-worming sort of a story.
But, why was today depressing?
Well, it sort of begins last night. Iíd ended my second week of work, and went out with the crew for some happy hour drinks at the VIP room, which is in fact nothing more than a dingy back room of a dingy Irish bar in Gramercy. There is, inexplicably, a miniature (but person sized) Statue of Liberty with painted-on green stripes, a bucket and some mops, a Tee-Time Golf Video Game, one of those porn slash gambling video games you find in only the finest drinking establishments, and some random musical equipment for the rare occasions the place sponsors a live act.
Still, all in all, I was having a good time. The people I work with are great and funny, and an interesting mix of personalities. But, I decided to leave after only a little bit, in an attempt to rest up and save up after a couple weeks where of spending my entire salary on booze and women. Unfortunately, I havenít been paid yet, so money is still tight and I really was plenty tired.
The day started off early; Iíd forgotten to turn my alarm off, so woke up at 7:30. And, unlike weekdays, when Iíd have hit the snooze for another hour, having to rush breakfast and grooming rituals to make it to work on time, I actually woke up. Strange, but true.
I watched the directorís commentary track on Three Kings, and then the Mets game (go Mets!). And then, Amanda came over. Now, I never really talked about the break up this time. As far you blog types knew, we were going out and then I was talking about going dates with other people.
Now, I donít want to get into all that. I mean, I was crushed. Seriously crushed, even in ways that last time didnít crush me, and last time crushed me bad. But, I got over it. I moved on, started seeing other people. Amanda and I developed a friendly relationship, and I know how wrong and bad and so very wrong and so very bad itíd be if were back together. But, she came over to hang out today and I damn if didnít want her. Really want her. Really fucking want her.
What was even worse about it is I had invited her to go out to a show with me tonight, and she already had plans. Itíd be one thing if sheíd had plans with a fella. I could almost accept that, sort of have it be a punctuation mark at the end of our relationship. But no, she had to be going out tonight with the girl, a mutual friend, who Iíd made a couple vague allusions to the past week or so about being my next future ex-girlfriend.
My ex-girlfriend, now my friend, but who I suddenly desired to be my girlfriend again, is going out with my friend, who Iíd suddenly desired to be my girlfriend.
God, why do you hate me so?
If youíve read this far, expecting notes from the big gay party (or a shout out to all the new bloggers I met), Iím about to disappoint. It is late, very late, and Iím tired, and depressed, and the alcohol is wearing off. It is time to go pass out now, and maybe get around to finishing the story tomorrow.
The flap over the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance has been a source of endless amusement for me. Politicians of all stripes have been beating their breasts in consternation, railing at the "stupidity" and "arrogance" of the judge who ruled that the phrase "under God" constitutes an endorsement of religion. Now, y'all can debate this under the cows come home, but here's the thing: the judge is right. If you view the question of the phrase in purely constitutional terms, the words "under God" do represent an endorsement of religion.
Now some of y'all will counter with the argument that "God" should be taken as a generic concept, and as such is not an endorsement of a particular religion. Come on; surely you don't think I was born yesterday. This country was founded by Christians fleeing religious persecution in England. The words "in God we trust" appears on our paper currency. We sing "God Bless America". Surely you're not going to tell me that "God" can just as easily be a Muslim deity?
The problem here is that while our country was founded by rich, well-heeled White Christian males, things look different now. Walk down almost any street and you will encounter Jews, Copts, Muslims, Zoroastrians, Buddhists- a veritable religious smorgasbord, and every bit as American as you or I. In the interests of self-disclosure, I should mention that I am a Buddhist, and while I appreciate and value all religions, I don't enjoy being marginalized by the majority religion. I do not recognize the existence of a Supreme Being in the sense that Christians do, and yet I am as American as anyone.
I propose the following solution: return the wording of the Pledge of Allegiance back to it's pre-1954 standing, minus "under God". That worked just fine before the Knights of Columbus raised a fuss and Congress capitulated. If people insist on using "under God" they can do it silently, in the same way that moments of silence have been substituted for public prayer in many venues. Not everyone will be happy, but it should go a long ways towards recognizing that we are not all Christians.
And then can we get back to worrying about something that really matters???
by mg at 12:12 AM on June 28, 2002
*editors note: this is a rare mg drunken posting. now, back to our regularly scheduled blog*
Iíve this awful tendency of reading or hearing about really cool things, making a point to make a mental note to remember said really cool things, and subsequently instantly and unavoidably forgetting said really cool things.
This is a habit in my life that Iíd sorely like to break.
But, I havenít been able to yet.
Invariably, Iíll have forgotten said really cool thing, in this particular case, a bar, occasionally remember it long enough only to kick myself for having forgotten it, and then, finally, when I do go, kick myself even harder for having forgotten it for so long.
So, finally on to specifics. Last year, Iíd read an article about this really cool bar in nearby Astoria, Queens that is a genuine, bona fide Bohemian Beer Garden. Czechoslovakian immigrants opened the place shortly before prohibition, the dreaded 18th amendment, and somehow managed to keep it open through those lean years. The place is still in existence now, serving pilsner, and schnitzel in one of the coolest locations in New York City.
Now, Iíd read about the place more than a year ago, had planned on going then, but never did. Itíd occasionally drift back into my consciousness whenever I ordered a Pilsner Urquel, but would just as soon drift back into my unconscious, usually coinciding with drinking of several more Pilsner Urquels.
Well, last week several people from work started the working of a group trip out to the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, and I was positively ecstatic. Not only would I be going to the Garden, but Iíd also have constant reminders about it until the day of the trip, making it impossible for me to forget long enough to forget.
Now, the big draw of the Beer Garden, besides the draw of cheap draws, is the actual Beer Garden, a big open space behind the bar where you could chill under the sun and drink to your hearts content without worries of getting arrested for public intox.
So, being outdoors is the draw, but it was 90 something degrees today, and humid as all get out. Normally, it doesnít get this humid in New York City until August. Itís been hot as hell this week. Walking out the buildingís comforting air conditioning, it is like getting in the dryer with your cat, hot and spiny.
But then it rained. A torrential, Little House on the Prairie rain. Do you remember the rain on Little House? Itíd be sunny and beautiful, and then all of a sudden, buckets.
Still, we went to the beer garden, sat outside in the rain, drank beer, ate schnitzel, and it was good. Iím just getting home now, more than a bit drunk. Iím not sure Iíll make it into work on time tomorrow, but neither will the rest of my department.
Basically, the moral of the story is that you should remember the things you think you should remember. Or, maybe the moral is that even if you forget those things, if you lead an honorable life, eventually those things will come around and find you. Or maybe the moral is just that beer and good friends overpower even torrential rain.
by mg at 09:00 PM on June 26, 2002
I don't normally hop on the memeonic bandwagon, but this little one I heard of (via uffish) just couldn't be passed up. It encompasses two of my favorite pastimes, talking about myself, and messing with Google.
Basically, the idea is to take your name, in my case "MG" and then follow it by the word "is" and then type them into Google surrounded by quotes. Then you get a bunch of sites that say just exactly what MG is. But, you know, I can never leave well enough alone, so instead of just relaying the list of "MG isÖ"s from Google's search result page, I'm going to add a bunch pf pithy comments to each "is." Depending on your point of view, that will make the following more or less appealing, but, you've been warned, proceed at your own risk.
Mg Is Superior To Ranitidine in Short-term Treatment of Ulcerative Reflux Esophagitis
If you've got acid reflux, a loving spoonful of MG is better than Maalox.
MG is spread among finches
Apparently, I am like the ghonorea of small bird populations.
MG is a Golden Jubilee special in celebration of the Queen's Golden Jubilee
I guess I don't have anything to say about this, other than the fact that the words "Golden Jubilee" can't be included enough times in a single sentence. Every time I hear the words "Golden Jubilee" it is like a Golden Jubilee in my pants. Also, I thought the Queen died recently, how is she still celebrating Golden Jubilees, with the specialness of MG or otherwise?
MG is right for you?
You still have to ask? Okay, let me make this clear just one more time: MG is right for you, no matter who you are, where you come from, and what you need me for, I'm always right. You could even call me Mg Right. If you ignore the fact I make spelling jokes.
MG is covered by a GNU public license
I am so open source, baby. You can download me, take me for a free spin, use me up, and if I'm not meeting your needs, just take a look at my code, and make me better, honey! Unfortunately, I'm written in basic, so unless you have a Tandy Coco3, I won't run.
Mg is principal alloying element in the range 0.8% to just over 5% strength
That is totally a typo. Only 0.8%? No, I always give 100%, but only because anything more would be impossible, no matter what my little league coach used to say.
MG is a relatively young business
I was looking at myself naked in the mirror this morning, and found myself thinking, "That isn't my body. It's pudgy and there are wrinkles everywhere. That body is old!" It's getting so pretty soon I'm going to have to start dying the gray out my hair. So, it's good to know that at least my business is young.
MG is an autoimmune neurological disease that results when the thymus, a normally dormant gland in the chest, begins producing antibodies that interfere with the muscle's ability to contract.
MG, is 11 years old and in the seventh grade.
Not exactly, I just act like an 11 year old. Did I mention I started skateboarding?
mg is used to Increase Testosterone Blood Levels
A place for another loving spoonful joke. I'll let you come up with your own here.
MG is excellent!
MG is NOT contagious
Only to finches. I actually booked marked this site to show to my next girlfriend (if ever a person were to exist. I've begun to highly doubt the possibility more than I doubt the existence of God), to convince her I don't have to wear a prophylactic.
MG is published for non-commercial reasons
That is true and it isn't. This is never going to make me a millionaire. Or a thousandaire. Or even a hundredaire. But I did get a check for $76 from Lover's Caught On Tape last week. If they call Mob money "Blood Money," what body fluid do they use to dub Porn Money?
MG is also rational and incommensurable in length with ML, that is, with DE, therefore each of the straight lines DM and MG is rational and incommensurable in length with DE
Hey ladies, you here that? My DE line is incommensurable. I don't know what that means, but it sounds big, doesn't it?
MG is treatable with a high degree of success
Except in finches. Poor finches.
MG is a perfect example
If you ignore the fact I'm wrinkly and pudgy, I am, indeed, the perfect example of masculinity. My D is incommensurable!
MG is launching a new range of performance 'supermini' cars
Nothing about me is mini (possibly my ego), much less "supermini."
MG is doing, coming
MG is a 58-year-old white male with clinical T3 prostate cancer
So, not only does Google help you find Britney Spears porn (and other stuff too, I guess), but it also predicts the future now? Luckily, this couldn't be true; I haven't had to worry about prostate cancer since I left the Boy's Choir.
In continuation of my last post, I was about to talk about my case of mistake identity. Now, it's not what you thinkÖ
The internet is great in many ways. It allows anonymous communication between people on the other side of the globe. However, internet identity fraud is a common event because of it. What is less common is accidental identity fraud. "Unanon," I hear you say, "How is that possible?" Well, let me explain.
Like many people, I subscribe to a number of email groups on yahoo groups, all of which are music-related in some way, using my hotmail account. It was of some shock, however, when I started getting messages from people on MSN messenger asking if I was a female "ab/dl". For those who do not know what an ab/dl is, "ab" means "adult baby", and "dl" mean diaper lover, at least according to the 7 people who thought I was an ab/dl when the messaged me. Now, I have nothing against incontinent lesbians, but it is simply impossible for me to be one, owing to the fact that I am straight, male, and have no need for nappies.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that, on occasions, I have taken advantage of the free porn available on yahoogroups. However, I have never used my real address to subscribe to any of these groups, and I usually prefer to view standard, ordinary porn . So, it came as a shock when the people who messaged me said that they got my email address from a group dedicated to lesbian ab/dl's. I didn't even know such a specialised club existed before this, so I had no idea how my email address ended up on the group's subscriber list.
It turns out that somebody, while registering their email address, incorrectly mistyped their address, and the verification email when to my address, which I must have verified without really reading the verification email. I figured that there must have been a fubar with either hotmail (what's with that thing that won't let you send email if you go over your limit?) or yahoo, resulting in the need for my address to be re-verified. Who knew that a misread email would result in me being mistaken for an incontinent lesbian? So, for the last couple of weeks, in addition to disappointing the many real women who want to get into my pants, I've had to disappoint the many virtual women who have wanted to get into my (non-existent, unless you are willing to dig-up landfill in search of 20-year-old nappies. In theory they should still be in existence because I don't think they make nappies with bio-degradable plastic. Plastics take thousands of years to break down in the environment, but I digress.) nappies.
As you now know, my life is far from boring.
to be continued
by mg at 09:12 PM on June 24, 2002
Several weeks ago I was watching Charlie Rose. IF youíve never seen it, and chances are high, since Charlie is on PBS, it is an interview show with no commercials, idle chitchat or make-believe bits. It is just Charlie and his guest talking all serious-like.
As many times as you see your typical guests, the movie star, singer or author, there are serious guests, a politician, scientist, or serious artist. Charlie can ask some really annoying pseudo-intellectual questions, and the guests can respond back with some doubly annoying pseudo-intellectual answers, but, generally speaking, there are meaningful and engaging conversations between intelligent and creative individuals.
I only bring this up to preface a question Charlie asked a couple weeks ago, a question I am about to pose to myself, and to all of you. Now, I can neither remember the name of the guest, an author, or why he was on the show, some book of note, but I remember the question.
The book most have been vaguely autobiographical because Charlie asked the author what he hoped someone, after having read the book, would know about him, the author. I sat there for a second and said out loud, to no one in particular since I was home alone on a Saturday night, ďThat is a great question Charlie.Ē
And the author said, before his blah blah answer, ďThat is a great question Charlie.Ē
Iíve obviously forgotten what the author answered, but that question has stuck with me for weeks. Since I havenít written a book, yet, Iíve only got this site on which to base my answer. So, what do I hope someone reading Bad Samaritan (for a reasonably significant period of time) would know about me, Michael?
Iíve got an answer, an answer I will tell you, but I want you to answer it first. For those of you who have been reading this site for a while, or even if this is your first time, what do you ďknowĒ about me? Iím curious.
Now, this sort of question has the potential for a budding meme. Iím not very good at starting memes. The Three Minute Blog did reasonably well. But I think this has the legs to really catch on, and, more importantly, this should be an interesting question and answer for all the consumers and producers of blogs and journals.
I encourage you all to write up a similar preamble (long winded as mine, or not), and pose the questions to your readers: ďWhat do you know about me?Ē And then I encourage you to answer the question yourself, ďWhat do I hope you know about me?Ē or, even more interestingly ďWhat do I think you do know about me?Ē
So, go on now, answer the question here, ask it over there (and let me know if you are asking it), and Iíll answer it here myself in a couple days once the answers have (hopefully) poured in.
by mg at 08:07 PM on June 24, 2002
by mg at 12:56 AM on June 21, 2002
So, Melly had this kind of a sort of a rant about blogging. She said, “Let me tell you, blogging is as necessary to you as a hole in the head.” And she is right. I think many people feel that way. I know I do.
Still, I do it every day. I can’t get away from it. I’ve quit numerous times, threatened to quit many more, and just disappeared for days on end without an explanation. But I always come back.
Sometimes I think this is about self-expression, a way to get all of the things that rattle around in my brain out. To let those things loose, and like a fart in the wind, to diffuse all the pain and confusion inside me with all the rest of the emotions in the world, the joy and happiness, so that the bad doesn’t hurt me so much anymore. If you’ve ever kept a journal, and I’m guessing a lot of you do, I’m sure you found things don’t work that way at all.
So, then I’ll think I do this because I want to share something of myself, the good parts, with the world. I know I’ve got something to say, something big inside me that needs to be let out, that the world will be better for knowing. And if I keep at this long enough, it will come out, will make the world a better place. Or, at least a more amusing, and entertaining place. I honestly believe I do that sometimes, that you are amused and entertained. But sometimes, I still yearn for that big world altering word to stream from me, through my fingers, into the keyboard, through the modem lines, and to your eyes, your brain, your soul.
That, obviously, hasn’t happened yet. It may never happen, so, I think of other reasons why I do this. And more often that not recently, my answer to that question is because I’ve started something here. It isn’t just me anymore, if I leave, I take down nearly 30 other authors (as infrequently as some of them contribute), and thousands of readers.
So then, I do this to be part of a community.
Is that right?
That can’t be right.
And I think Melly agrees. I say think, because I don’t want to put words in her mouth. This is merely my interpretation of what she said. What she actually says is, “It comes down to, do you want to express yourself, or do you want to make everything cheap and meaningless by forging false friendships in order to think what you write is meaningful?”
My answer is no. Resoundingly, no. I want to express myself. This isn’t about making friends. None of you (with a few rare exceptions) are my friend. I read a number of journals myself. Those people, as much as I may know about their lives, maybe even more than I know about some of my dearest, oldest friend’s lives, you people are still strangers.
I may wish we were friends, and we may eventually become friends. We might start with an email, then spend hours chatting online, maybe get together for drinks, and finally crash on each other’s couch for a night on our way across country.
But when it comes down to it, me reading you and you reading me is about as close to a real conversation as flipping through the October 1997 issue of Reader’s Digest while waiting for a dentist’s appointment. You are as much my friend as Ross, Chandler and Rachel are my friends.
Now, maybe I’m doing this blogging thing all wrong. Maybe some of you have made lasting relationships solely based on reading and commenting each other’s site. I say that’s total bullshit. But I also say God is bullshit, celebrity is bullshit, and money is bullshit. Love is bullshit, too. So, maybe I’m just a cynical fuck. I doubt it, though.
Some of you will likely hate me for what I’m saying, and the point is that I don’t care. I don’t care if you love me, hate me, or stop by 20 times a day. Unless… unless, maybe you could drop me an email. Or catch me on aim. Best still, you can invite me for drinks at the local pub in your town during my drive to New Mexico in July. We aren’t friends now, but we could be.
by mg at 12:29 AM on June 20, 2002
Way back in the day, in the halcyon summer of 2001, Snaggle suggested the idea of a Summer of Sin. He lived his summer of sin, filled with drugs, innumerable alcoholic stupors, and plenty of hot man on man sex.
I spent that summer unemployed, unhappy and unloved. And then I spent the fall, winter and spring much the same way.
So, when the weather started warming up a couple weeks ago I started thinking about making 2002 my summer of sin.
But then I remembered I donít do drugs (a condition of parole agreement), I donít have the kind of cash you need to be an alcoholic in New York City, and I lost the use of my wiener in a strange and tragic change machine accident.
So then I started thing about what other sorts of summer I could be having. It could be the Summer of Trying to Decide Which Met is Gay. Going to every home game, sitting on the first base side and throwing my underwear into the Mets dugout to see who takes a sniff instead of just signing it and handing it back.
And, Iíd really love to do that, but I donít have money for season tickets. Iíve also got a feeling this season will end in heartbreak and cries of ďJust wait Ďtill next year.Ē I just donít want to put myself through that; Iíve got a delicate heart. Besides, I already know itís Alomar. Hi Bobby!
I could make this the Summer of American Idol. I could walk around singing really badly, wearing obnoxious clothing, and then make fun of myself in a British accent. And then I could run into another room crying, only to be consoled by an ambiguously gendered Chilean karaoke champion.
Alternatively I could have been a Laker girl, than a star for a brief shining moment before, dancing with a cartoon cat and now be at such a low point in my career I canít even get a gig on Hollywood Squares.
But Iíd never do that because Iíve got more than an ounce of self-respect.
I ran through dozens of ideas, none of which really struck a chord. Finally, I decided to declare this to be the Summer of Not Being Afraid to Make a Fool of Myself. Sure, it doesnít quite have the ring of the Summer of Sin, but it is something I could probably pull off. In fact, making a fool of myself is something Iím actually quite good at.
But, this summer isnít about making a fool of myself, though Iím sure that will be a residual result. No, this summer is about not being afraid to make a fool of myself. As Yoda said, before we knew how bad he really was, ďFear is the mind killer.Ē
There are so many things I face on a daily basis, from little crisis to big opportunities, that I freak out about, donít do, because Iím afraid of what will happen. Now, that is a very safe way to go through life, never getting hurt, never facing the consequences. But, it isnít fun way to live.
In gambling circles, they say you need to bet big to win big. Iím guessing. But, even if that isnít a real saying, the moral is valid. To really experience life, you need to experience the failures with the successes.
That is why this will be my Summer of Not Being Afraid to Make a Fool of Myself. Whenever Iím faced with a situation that causes that pesky little voice in my head to start in with the ďMichael, buddy, maybe you shouldnítÖĒ Iíll punch myself in the gut and say, ďShut the fuck up motherfucker.Ē Then Iíll go right ahead and do whatever silly or stupid thing Iíd never have done otherwise.
Iím not exactly sure what this summer will have in store for me, what opportunities and disasters await, but I do know that whatever comes up my one and only response will be ďHell Yeah.Ē This may end up being my worst summer over, ending with broken limbs, shattered dreams, empty bank accounts and venereal diseases, but one thing is for sure, I damn well wont be bored.
So, bring on the summer.
by mg at 12:08 AM on June 17, 2002
Well, hello there.
Last night was the first ever Bad Sam Bash. To tell the truth, Iíd hardly call it a Bad Sam Bash, considering there were only two people there who knew me solely through the site. Still, it was a Bash.
Leading up to it, I was more than a little bit worried that no one would show up. Rannie, one of the main reasons I was throwing the party, ended up not making the trip from Toronto. The rest of the blog type people invited had other plans. The majority of the real life people I invited had other plans. More than half the people I invited couldnít show up, and as the day wore on, I was wondering exactly how pathetic it would be to throw a party and have no one show up.
Luckily, people did show up. It ended up being a really nice mix of people from different social groups. Normally, when that happens, people get all cliquey and donít really talk to each other. At least with me. I hardly talk to strangers at parties. Which is probably why I have no friends.
But, everyone seemed to be mixing and mingling, which made me very happy. I got to fliter around the party, talking to various people, being the sort of social butterfly I wouldnít ever be at some elseís party. The alcohol sure helped.
I think I must have been one of the only people drinking, though, since I know I had a bunch (The Worst Hangover Ever was a sure sign of that), and Iím still left with about a third of what I bought. Itíll make for a nice couple weeks of solo drinking, or an easy way to get girls drunk when I bring them over to my apartment. ďHey,Ē Iíll say, ďIíve got all this alcohol left over from my party, you have to help me finish it.Ē If that doesnít work, I can revert to the trusty bottle of chloroform and dirty rag I keep under the sink.
So, I want to make a point of mentioning that two wonderful Ďnet people who showed up were Chris, from Uffish (who does a better part recap than I could, plus she has pictures), who Iíve met twice now and is infinitely cool. I hope someone doesnít have to throw a party before I get to see her again.
The other person was Antwon, who came all the way from California (his recap). Itíd be kind of sad if he came all the way from Cali to go to my party, and so it is a good thing he didnít. He was actually passing through town as part of a cross-country drive. So far, he has driven nearly 600 miles, and hit 24 states in just 8 days.
Iíve read Antwon for two years now. He is an amazingly talented and funny writer and one of the reasonís I started Bad Samaritan. One of the things about meeting folk youíve only ever read is how expectations compare to reality. We didnít get to talk much, I was already pretty far gone by time he arrived (fine, I was pretty far gone before any of the guest had arrived Ė what, like if you had a house full of alcohol you wouldnít start drinking at noon either) and terribly hung over when we went to breakfast the next morning. But, Iím pretty sure that he is an all around good guy. Heís also got this quality in his voice like Dennis Hopper or Christopher Walken; you know, this uber cool but maybe also a little crazy thing you canít quite put your finger on.
I woke up around noon today, a girl in my bed, a couple guests still hanging out, the worst hangover of my life, and every surface in my apartment sticky. So, yeah, Iíd say the party went well.
My never-ending quest for world domination took something of a wrong turn recently. I mentioned the word "pictures" within a week of the name Oxana Federova. My site has been taken over ever since by drooling googlers.
Since I know mg isn't all that picky about where his hits come from, I'm hoping to divert some of the deluge over this way by intentionally repeating my error here. And, because I bon't feel like being especially helpful to people who can't figure out what google's image search is for, I'm not actually going to link to any photos of the lovely Ms. Federova, even though I know where some are.
I will await the results of this experiment with avid anticipation - until something else distracts me.
Anyway, in continuation of my last post, I did receive some scary news. I'm sure the more sane of you readers would have been shocked to read this. Basically, people from "certain countries" who arrive in the US will be given a prison-style welcome to the land of the free, before going through the whole experience again every time they get near some landmark or tourist trap.
Now, my first reaction to the news was "will they use lube?" Those of you who read my old site would know that my family and I had planned to spend last January in Mexico and Texas, where a small but sizable chunk of my extended family live. I personally was going to see whether the tequila in Mexico really does come with the worm in the bottle. While I usually tend to avoid eating worms, I figure that the worm can't taste any worse than beer, and has more alcohol to boot, and I'd be more willing to down the worm than drunk can after can of beer in a vain attempt to get drunk, and just end up needing to pee a lot instead. Sure, I'd be under the legal drinking age in the states, but if Jenna Bush can do it and get little more than a slap on the wrist, I'm sure the worst that would happen to me is a one-way ticket to camp tropical justice, where I can work on my tan all day long, or worse still, being made to star in an infomercial for nude pictures of Linda Tripp. But I digress.
After some long nights and longer phone calls, we decided against it, because, being of middle-eastern appearance, we fears that such a thing would happen. The fact that the very same thing happened to my dad 23 years ago, at the time of the revolution in Iran made the possibility if being detained at airports for "security reasons" all the more salient. This happened as he was taking a post-college 'round the world' trip with friends. Every time he stepped off a plane, he'd be detained while the customs services of various countries took days to discover that he has a beard because he is simply a tubby, lazy bastard. The fact that middle eastern-looking people were already being denied onboard flights for no reason other than their appearance since September 11 helped make the decision for us. For the record, we ended up driving to Melbourne, and Adelaide, which has a really good rave scene.
Of course, the obvious discomfort of accommodating somebody's hand in my rectum must pale in comparison to what my relatives over in the US must be experiencing. Many of them are more American than most Americans. If you ever wanted to see mindless patriotism at it's nuttiest, look no further than my cousins. They all waited many years and jumped through hoops to get their green cards, and did so patiently. A number of them are artists, and one is even a co-ordinator of security at an airport. (The US apparently has a shortage of artists and security guards. Who knew?) They now face the prospect of being treated like potential criminals, all because of accident of birth.
This all makes me wonder about the new guy they have caught. This guy, apparently, was raised in New York, and was Hispanic, or something of that nature. He appears to be detained because he went to Pakistan, which is not something too many Hispanic people do apparently. Does this mean that every Hispanic person in New York now becomes a potential terrorist? How about every Hispanic person in the USA? How about people returning from Pakistan? Hell, even people in Karachi airport on transit would have to be detained. It'd probably be a lot easier to divert all flights to the US from Pakistan to Cuba. All I hope is that some paranoid security guard doesn't decide my mum could be a potential terrorist when she goes to board her flight to Melbourne this Sunday. I don't want to see the look on the guard's face when he or she realises that the thing that showed up as a deadly pair of nail clippers on the x-ray machine is just the metal thingies holding her girdle together.
The other day I was perusing Jessica's e-bay items. It was all women's clothing and accessories and I tried to think of some joke I could make about that being the perfect purse for me. Then, without warning, I started imagining myself dressed as I was, carrying a purse down the street, confident, secure...
And above all, convenienced. Listen: I have to carry a lot of shit around, and in summer, when I don't wear a coat, it's awkward. I've got the cell phone, the wallet, the keys, a notebook, a pen or two, quarters for tolls, the faceplate for the car stereo, sunglasses, a flask, and assorted other junk. All that shit ain't fitting in three pants pockets, folks. Yes three. You can't put anything in your left rear pants pocket. Just isn't done. Unless you're left handed, and then you've got your own problems to deal with. And the front pockets aren't so great either, especially if you plan on sitting down ever. Those are some pokey things shifting around down there in a place you don't want to get poked.
So, enter the purse. While Jessica's purse may not be the right one for me (maybe I need something more like this, or this), it seems like a pretty nice thing to have around. Think of all the stuff I could carry! Think of the fashion statements I could make!
Sure, I'd get some looks, especially here in the Midwest, and probably some homophobic comments, but I could deal with that. That isn't the reason that my dream will go unsatisfied. That's not the reason that I'm not carrying the purse.
It all boils down to this: I live in fear of being That Guy. The Guy that everyone identifies by one characteristic. The Guy who keeps bragging about his golf score. The Guy who flirts with your girlfriend/wife. The Guy who ogles 13 year olds. The Guy who ends up at the end of every party buck naked and wearing a six-can beer holster around his waist. Forget, for a moment, that I do all of those things. I want to be complicated, difficult to describe; I'm an individual, not a caricature! And while I'd have to respect any girl brave enough to date a guy who carries a purse, her reward shouldn't be frequently having to endure this conversation:
Friend: So, who are you seeing again?
Girlfriend: Gordon. You've met him.
Girlfriend: Tall, slender guy? Dark hair, dark brown eyes? Well-dressed? Incredibly good looking? Totally brilliant? Funny as all hell? Gentle and sensitive, yet devilish? Confident, secure, sexy, but not conceited? Makes women swoon just by walking past them?
Friend: No, doesn't ring a bell...
Girlfriend: *sigh* Carries a purse?
Friend: Oh, THAT GUY.
So there it is, folks. While I'd love the convenience, and I'd love to be the kind of person who subverts dominant gender roles even in such small way, it just ain't gonna happen. Lladies, if you see me craning my neck when you sashay past, your cute little handbags swinging from your shoulder, and you're wondering is he checking me out?, remember, it's just my purse envy getting the better of me. I'll sigh, shake my head, and go on my way, my pants pockets bulging like I've shoplifted two 15 lb. turkeys.
Usually it just looks like I've shoplifted a 13"... nevermind.
You know, if I became a purse snatcher, it would suddenly be perfectly normally for me to carry one, albeit for only a few hundred yards, and at a full sprint. Still...
by mg at 12:06 AM on June 14, 2002
Rannie is participating in blogwhores. And even though he isnít coming to New York this weekend, pretty much ruining my party on Saturday night, and Iíve quit blogging, Iíll come out of retirement to help him out with this weekís immunity challenge. Or whatever the H E double hockey sticks they are calling those things.
Rannie wants people to share their experience of Pride. Rainbow Pride. Man on man, woman on woman, it on it pride. Apparently June is Gay Pride month. Who knew? I guess he did. And me too. See, my neighborhood has got one of the highest homosexual populations in New York City, and plays host each year to the Queens Pride Parade. They paint a pink stripe down 37th avenue and people come from all over the borough to march their little gay hearts out.
Now, Iíve lived in basically this same neighborhood for nearly 20 years and I didnít know about my Ďhoods steamy backside until just a couple years ago. Iíve still managed to not see the parade, so Iím just guessing about the marching their little gay hearts out thing since that seems like the kind of thing people do at parades.
Still, since finding that out, Iíve hardly noticed any homosexual couples around. Considering my neighborhood is also the most ethnically diverse in the city, no one tends to stand out more than anyone else.
There was this one night I got home late (or early, the sun was up, and theyíd already delivered the Sunday times), and had a few drinks in me. The magnetic lock on the front door was broken and there were a crowd of people in the lobby, buzzing the supperís apartment to get him to put some pants on and open the door for us. As we were waiting, I took a look around at my neighbors, most of whom Iíd never seen before, much less knew their names. Way in the corner, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible was a fella dressed as a woman standing rather embarrassedly. Maybe it was the glow of the rising sun, or the large amount of alcohol Iíd consumed, but s/he was kind of cute.
I also remember the day I moved in here, going back and forth from the buildings back door, where my truck was parked, up in the elevator and into my apartment. My cousin was helping out, and during our trips back and forth, over the course of an hour or so, we kept running into this couple of guys, who were roommates with flying quotes. On one of the trips going down in the elevator they looked at my cousin and I, sweaty and panting from bending over to lift all those heavy boxes, and said, ďYou two will be very happy living here.Ē And we are very happy.
Anyway, the point of this was to tell Pride stories. Except, I donít really have any. I never walked in a parade, or had a friend come out to me. When she came to lecture on campus I didnít even recognize Mathew Shepardís mom until I was introduced (and even then it took me until after I walked away to realize who she was (hi Judy!). And then there was that one year I wore a bisexual rainbow sticker around, thinking it would help me score chicks, but all it ended up doing was scoring me a job (hi Jeff!).
Now that I think of it, even without rainbow stickers, Iíve more than once been mistaken for a gentleman of the homosexual persuasion. It really makes me question things. No, not that, Iím all man, baby. What it makes me question is the validity of gaydar. Actually, it doesnít make me question anything at all; it just makes me realize that Iím so damn attractive that people of every gender canít help themselves around me. So, yeah, Gay Pride and stuff.
I mailed a Father’s Day card to my Dad yesterday. Now, I realize that to most of you that probably sounds like a ridiculously mundane thing to celebrate, or even mention. Let me say that I envy you. My relationship with my parents has not been a smooth road over the years. During my trip to Minnesota last month, I saw my parents for the first time since Christmas Day, 1991. There has been an overabundance of anger and alienation in my family, but I’ve finally arrived at a place where I can set that aside. I haven't forgotten, but I think I've finally found it within myself to forgive them.
You may remember that a couple of months ago, I posted a column asking whether or not I should see my parents during my trip. I had already made up my mind, but I wanted to find out what other people had to say. It was refreshing that all who responded said that I should see my parents. Y’all should be proud of yourselves. It was sound advice.
What I found were two people who were glad to see their oldest son. We’re all a bit older, and hopefully wiser for it, and I think we all realized that what happened in the past needs and deserves to be left there. Speaking for myself, I know that the things I was angry about were legitimate. I also know that they no longer matter. My parents are not going to be around forever. Who knows what sort of relationship we’re going to be able to have? I’m just glad that we’re going to be able to have one.
On Sunday, I’ll call Dad to wish him a happy Father’s Day. He won’t be able to talk for long because of his stroke, but I know that he'll be glad I called. And I'll be glad that we can finally talk to one another. It's been a long time coming.
by mg at 11:04 PM on June 11, 2002
Only three days till the Bad Samaritan Bash. Are you coming?
by mg at 06:42 PM on June 10, 2002
Last night I had dinner with a couple of old friends, one of whom I hadnít seen in at least five years. When she asked how I was doing my other friend, who I see quiet frequently, answered before me and said I was, to paraphrase, unhappy with my life.
Now, I can certainly see how that might seem to be the case. On this site I tend to write only about the bad, never about the good. This constant bitching has led one person to ask, and, Iím sure, several more to think, that I should quit said bitching. I've taken that to heart, and if youíve noticed over the past couple weeks my presence here has become rather sporadic.
It isnít because nothing is happening. No, life is fuller and more complex than I ever imagined.There is plenty that I could share. Sure, life isnít going exactly as Iíd wish, but whose does?
So, let me set things straight right now: I stopped writing here to cease boring you with the painful minutia of my life, to end more than a year of bitching, the last several months of which have become increasingly uninteresting to read. But, while I may have put down the proverbial pen to end my list of grievances with the world and the parade of excuses for not living my life Iíve continued to stay away because, quite frankly, Iím enjoying myself much more without you.
Many (ok, two people) may have been wondering where exactly I have been for the last two weeks. "Unanon," I hear you say, "Where have you been for the last two weeks?" (Unfortunately, those who did miss me are not the most creative minds around.) Well, for those who do wanna know, I have been doing a massive assignment, received some scary news, suffered from a case of mistaken identity, and made fun of my cousin.
The assignment, really, was pretty simple. Basically, we were writing a manuscript for a study that we had conducted. The study, for those who want to know, is the conditions under which racist attitudes are expressed. And no, I did not choose the topic. The actual experiment itself was fairly bland. For those who know the psychology jargon, we were manipulating the salience of in-group and social norms. For those who have no clue what I just said, it will suffice for me to say that we were fucking with people's minds, and seeing what happened. The struggle came with actually researching the thing.
Now, I'll be the first person to admit that I struggle to read any publication that does not have the word mad in the title, which really should be a serious stumbling block in my studies. In fact, it's a surprise to many people that, despite this fact, and the fact that I travel 4 hours to campus and back home everyday, I am just 6 short months from completing two degrees in 4 years, all while I release an EP on the record label I am starting up. The point is that I hate doing research (unless said research involves sitting in front of the computer looking at websites), which is why I put off doing a major (30% of final mark) assignment to the last week. That may sound bad, but I think everybody else, with the exception of the half-American chick who likes to show off her cleavage in winter, decided to do the same.
So, the scene was set: 30-odd psych students, an assignment, and 4 days of continuous work in the 24-hour computer labs. Now, I do have a computer at home, but I can't actually work at home for various reasons (basically distractionsÖ electronic musical nerd toys, and my sister, who you don't wanna know about), so I chose to work at uni with other from who I could get
to do my assignment for me help from. What really sux about that is that, after 7pm all the food outlets at uni close, so you have to eat overpriced and out-of-date vending machine food after that, which is not so great when you are there after midnight. The funny thing is that, because IT students put in all-nighters all the time, their computer labs, which also have swipe card access, have vending machines that dispense hot foods, and who doesn't like hot soup dispensed in the can. At home, I can have hot soup all the time.
The one plus is the camaraderie that develops when a group of people realise that they are seriously screwed unless they get their heads together to write their assignment, and buy jolt in bulk. This is further built when public transport stops at 11 pm, and you (or your old new friend) are the only person who has a car, and are nice enough to give everybody lifts to their homes. The point of all this is that a) Scandinavian students get large government subsidies to study in Australia, and can afford to rent nice apartments in top-notch inner city suburbs, and b) friendships can be really superficial, especially when they are based on something like completing a task and purchasing artificially caffinated beverages (which have to be imported because Australian food regulations prevent artificial caffination of foods and beverages produced in Australia. It has something to do with poor kids being hooked on caffinated orange juice by those evil juice companies, but this law may change because the idiot in charge of the country thinks that there is no problem with abolishing laws that make sure that meat pies have actual meat in them, but I digress).
to be continued.
After two months of being unemployed/laid off/on ďtemporary furloughĒ (my status depends on who you talk to), I was offered a job this week, and I accepted the offer (Yippie!! The crowd goes wild!!!). It was a nice feeling to know that, beginning a week from tomorrow, I will once again be collecting a paycheck. Itís been a tough time emotionally, but I have to remember to keep things in perspective. There are people in this town who have been unemployed for much longer than Iíve been, and likely will be for some time to come.
For the past five years, Iíve been commuting, on average, about 70 miles per day to work and back. Now my commute will be less than 20 miles. Iíve grown to hate driving in the Houston area, so it will be nice to not have to deal with rush-hour traffic nearly as much as I previously have been forced to. Of course, Iíll be driving as part of my new job, but it will be in a company vehicle, thereby saving wear and tear on my beloved 1996 Ford F-150.
I feel as if Iíve done my time on the roads in this town. Iím looking forward to driving to work without having to get onto a freeway. Sure, Iíll have to deal with a bunch of stop lights, but it will take me 20 minutes- tops- to get to work or back. After driving an hour each way for the past five years, Iím due for relief.
Iím grateful to have the opportunity to be able to work for a good company. I have a very low threshold for boredom, and my biggest concern has always been whether or not Iíd be challenged intellectually. In this case, it doesnít appear that Iíll have to worry about that.
More than anything, though, Iím grateful to be able to feel as if Iím making a financial contribution again. For the past two months, Iíve been playing ďhouse husbandĒ- picking up the kid, painting, fixing toilets, etc. Those are all important things, but they donít pay at all. Iíve watched my wife go off to work for the past 2+ months, and Iíve felt as if Iím not holding up my end of the bargain. Sheís been amazing, though. While it would have been easy for her to be frustrated and angry, she has managed to look on the bright side of our situation- much more so, in fact, than Iíve been able to. Iím glad that I was finally able to reward her faith in me.
Of course, now I can tell my previous employer to kiss my ass. They avoided paying me a severance by placing me on what they so delicately referred to as a "temporary furlough". I suppose that's what I get for believing in those liars to begin with....
This week, then, is my last week as a ďhouse husbandĒ. I wonder how much golf a man can play in a week???
I'm a lucky bastard to have a job now, I know it, we all know it. Even if the jobless rate is decreasing again, we all felt the hurt, the sting, the pain, of being out of work or knowing people out of work over the last couple of years as the bubble burst.
Since I've got a job, and I know I'm lucky and I'm superstitious as hell about losing it due to absolutely no fault of my own, well, I don't complain. I literally will not do it -- even though I've had cause on more than one occasion over the last few months, it's not worth it for even the stupidest little item to make me splurge venom from my craw about anything regarding my employer.
Still... this week, I'm going to be returning for the first time in two years to the role of "business traveler." That means getting on a plane, carrying a laptop, doing a lot of schmoozing and talking and trying to remember people's names, and still being expected to do work while I'm at it. None of which bothers me as much as the nights.
I'm not a bar hopper, or a club goer, nor do I seek out houses of worship or crude tourist traps when I'm alone in a city. So what do I do for four nights by myself in Philadelphia? I'll probably work, I'll call my wife and have very long conversations where she'll tell me what our dogs did all day and how much she hates her current work assignment. Maybe I'll check the hotel pay-per-view and get an over-priced room service hamburger.
It's all so damn lonely. I dread this trip. I already want to go home.
Two weeks ago, as I sat in a coffee shop in St. Paul, MN, on a lovely Saturday morning, I had one of those revelations that can seem both earth-shatteringly profound and mind-numbingly obvious. Still, it did give me some things to come to grips with.
I looked up from my newspaper and my second cup of coffee, and noticed that on one side of the room was a group of young 20-something college kids. On the other side was a group of people who were, shall we say, more on the elderly side. I was sitting between them, when I was struck by the realization that this was a metaphor for where I find myself in life.
Iím 42 now; old enough to have two teenage stepsons, but young enough to still remember my dissolute college days. College was 20 years ago, but it many ways it feels much longer. I am grateful that I am not the person I was in college- immature, undisciplined, unfocused. I like what the experience of the past 20 years has done to lend me perspective. Still, Iím not so sure Iíve been able to shake all of the ďimmature, undisciplined, unfocusedĒ part. It gets better with time, but there are still occasions when I feel at least as clueless as I did 20 years ago, but I have the aches and pains to remind me of where I am now.
In a sense, I still feel that I have one foot in both worlds- that of the ďyoungĒ and that of the, well, if not ďoldĒ, then certainly ďolderĒ. Thatís why itís called ďmiddle ageĒ, eh?? Iíve been fortunate in many respects, but Iíve also been battered by the storms one inevitably navigates during the normal course of living a life. Iíve discovered that experience and perspective are truly treasures to be cherished. Though there are times when I miss the challenges and opportunities and heartaches that await those innocent 20-somethings, but I donít miss the ďflying blind and hoping to land safelyĒ feeling. Now I feel a greater kinship with the more senior folks on the other side of the coffee shop. It is time now for me to sit back and watch my stepsons have their time. Iím eager to see where life takes them, and though I wish I could spare them the pain and heartaches they will inevitably encounter, I know that is part and parcel of life.
In the meantime, if youíll excuse me, there is still much of today left, and this really is the first day of the rest of my life. Now, if I could just figure out what I'm going to do when I grow up....
by mg at 06:19 PM on June 05, 2002
I took an IQ test at a website coincidentally named IQ Test.com and I scored a 152. That places me only 9 points below Albert Einstein.
I am so smart, I am so smart, I am so smart, I am so smart, S-M-R-T. How about you?
by mg at 05:33 PM on June 05, 2002
Wow. AmerBLOGs, my webring, officially tops 200 member sites. Maybe I'll finally get around to finally updating that page to the new design. Those colors kind of work better though. Anyway, 200 sites, pretty cool. Likely, a number of them are dead, but still, pretty cool. Go visit a random AmeriBLOG right now.
by zia at 01:42 AM on June 05, 2002
The deadly touch of daily grinds reduced my cerebral capacities into a collective case of rigor mortis.
Ahnert is so nasty that i want to hurt her like hell at the first shoot of madness.
I see my future going backwards.
My faulty timing of my universe.
The quest for perfect access to the reasons of your feelings is a never ending one.
repeated introspection may not result in a more liberal ingress to the ingredients of your head.
If only a lesser more compromising alternative could be demonstrated empirically for optimum comprehension.
You like what you smell or do your liking stem from the norm of the emotion. Sorry, that's expired. You can quit figuring that out now.
Perhaps there might be something as feasible as counterfeiting one's brain for constructive contemplation.
Of course, that's not the end of the intention.
Oops, I'm losing the exact root of the post. Bye bye.
Conk your head sideways after me to get rid of the confused look on your face. Okies.
Alternatively, do the thing Budweiser style. ( Automatically lick my hiny if you think I'm not fluent in that line of the trend. Aaaahhh...good dog )
Obviously, my posting priviledge here is still intact despite my scary lack of post. MG, you're mad. In Malay, we call people like MG orang gila. MG, you orang gila. People, help yourself to the term and somebody might even find you cool?! Ahaks.
Oops, ahaks' not even a word but an erratic cross between indecisiveness and pointless stiffle of laughter.
New Zealand dollars skyrocketed like crazy. Another wrinkle found its way at the opposite curve of my laughter lines. Omit the 'orang' in 'orang gila' and you'll get 'gila-gila' which sounds suspiciuosly like maniac in English. Repeat after me if you're smart.
Haha, you guys sound so cute with all that American accent. haha.
Oh a brick just dropped on my head. Remember gila monster which is actually an aesthetically challenged four legged lizard ( or do they have 4 legs anyway hah? anyway anyway! stop confusing me! ). So if you apply the malay definition of the word 'gila' on the name, what will you get?
Hahahahahahahaha. Poor sod.
Hey, are you guys laughing with me or not. >: (
LAAaaaaa~ Oops, need to clear my throat a bit.
So! I'm still in New Zealand because I still can't get out of here..yet. Juggling two part time jobs on top of my full time tertiary studies to make ends meet. I do come home exhausted to the bone with naughty headaches poking the back of my head. And also, to keep on reminding myself with half ass effort, not to buckle down and stick out my hand into my dad's pocket for money ( hopefully not 'anything' else. ahem ).
Shit. The last phrase sounded sick. I am such a disgusting oinker. Just like Eminem.
Now you know what I mean? Melancholy but content.
So you're actually getting something out of all this hah?
Oooh, envy envy.
Because that is really sad man. there are nothing here but fatty doses of blabberoos ( it is a word now. No buts ).
All right all right. Wanted to slip past you but too fat for that so I'll go and do my homework now okies?
Babai babai babai.
Itís June in south Texas, and that means summer is upon us. Itís that time of year when newcomers learn that survival means spending your days moving from one air-conditioned environment to another. There are people, like my stepson, who actually look forward to summer. They love the heat, and never seem to sweat when theyíre out in it. I HATE people like that.
Air conditioning didnít come to Houston until around 1938 (I may be off by a year or so). This means that prior to that, people actually lived here (willingly, in most cases) without air conditioning. That concept boggles my mind. It can be so overwhelmingly, mind-numbingly hot here, that the idea of living 24/7 without air-conditioning is something I find almost beyond comprehension.
When I first moved to Houston, I struggled to describe to my friends back in Portland just how HOT it gets here during the summer. I finally told them that to best understand what it was like here, they should stick their head into a pizza oven. A few seconds of that, I figured, would give them a rough approximation of life during the summer in the Bayou City.
One of the first things visitors here notice is how blindingly hot and bright the sun is. Sunglasses are not optional equipment, particularly if youíre driving. The sun is so blindingly intense that it actually bleaches the color out of asphalt. This creates a sort of chicken-or-egg effect: the bright sun bleaches the pavement, which makes it even brighter, whichÖwell, you can probably see where Iím going. If you come to Houston during the summer, bring your Oakleys.
Those of us who are transplanted Yankees grew up with wind chill. Well, here in the Deep South, we have something called the heat index. Itís a factor of the combination of the heat and relative humidity. The short version is that any heat index over 100 is miserably uncomfortable. I (for reasons I still don't understand) played golf a couple years ago when the afternoon heat index was 120. The last few holes felt like the Bataan Death March.
Even with all of the discomfort that summer brings, I do have one thought that consoles me and brings me constant comfort: palm trees. One of the first things I learned once I moved here was that palm trees cannot survive in climates that support snow drifts, and vice-versa. That thought provides a great deal of comfort in December, when yíall are up to your butts in snow drifts and Iím playing golf in my shorts. So, go ahead, laugh at me now. Come talk to me again in January; weíll see whoís laughing thenÖ.
A Gathering Of Nerds. This will be the first reunion of the New York Hall of Science 'career ladder'. Short ladder. While the skills I learned at 'tha Hall' served me well, I never really went anywhere inside the organization. Chopping up cows eyes and shattering rubber balls and flowers with liquid nitrogen, and making sure kids don't kill themselves while they're hanging upside down in the playground, and saving my friend's younger brother from getting his head pounded in by an irate 20 year old father, and shooting laser beams from one side of the museum to the other and meeting all sorts of women, and being very very very naughty sometimes was a good way to spend my teen years. There are so many people that made quite an impression on me while I was there. Turned out I was a bit of a take-charge kind of guy. Found that out while I was there. Found out how not to faint while giving presentations. Found that out AFTER I dropped out (literally) of a science competition. Found out how to encourage people to listen to you, and then how to make them listen to you. Found out what kind of punishments work on what kind of people. Funny how I forgot a lot of that stuff. Its all coming back to me now. And there will be a flood of interesting memories and stories I don't remember on Thursday. Hooray for reunions. Hooray for AGON.
I always thought teen angst would fade after I was no longer a teenager, but it seems that it's been replaced by it's parter-in-crime, twenties-angst. I remember being in high school and talking with my friends about our hopes and dreams and how we'd always be idealistic and never sell out. I'm sure many of you had similar experiences (though we may have been unique in the fact that we weren't high when we had these conversations. God I was such a loser in high school...)
Now after four years of college I realize that yes, in many ways I am still just as idealistic and I haven't sold my beliefs for a paycheck... often. But I'm seeing that there's almost something wrong with this now. I was talking with my friend Nora about growing up and how we realized that we hadn't really done it yet. It seems that too often people trade their dreams in for a job. They concentrate on making a living, not life. If you think about it, the entire educational system is basically set up for that. The ones that make something of themselves are the true renegades, not the upper-middle-class kids from Iowa. Nora and I both realized that we had no desire for "the American Dream." Owning a house, a secure but unchallenging job, suburbs... the whole shebang. Not interested. My sister would say, "Sure, you can say that. But when you have to make a choice between food and your idealism, we'll see where you draw the line."
Is she right? I don't know. Sometimes I think I just need to escape my own mind and inhibitions. I suffer from delusions of grandeur and think that everyone should try to make one's life extraordinary. I'm sure everyone has that dream and grows out of it, so maybe I just saw Dead Poet's Society one too many times. I keep feeling like I'm stuck in some low-budget movie and I keep expecting to hear the soundtrack play and the credits to roll without a dťneument to the storyline. Maybe if I were on the path to great discovery and world renown I could handle it, but what great contributions to life can I make with my interests? Music perhaps could have done it but I lacked the dedication. Design shows no promise of that, what with most people not even knowing what graphic design is and with idiot clients who hire designers and then proceed to tell them what to do, completely disregarding their professional opinion. Just because you have eyes doesn't mean you can see. Just because you can take out red-eye in Photoshop doesn't make you a designer. I don't try to design a bridge or software or balance budgets, so what makes you think you can do my job?</rant>
Can we tell I'm frustrated by school and my job?
Two names before the president of the school board called my youngest brother across the stage, my mom noticed that her camera had only one picture left. She took a quick shot of the stage, but instead of rewinding the film, the camera emitted a terrible grinding noise. She opened the back, letting light in on all the pictures of the ceremony so far, as well as those of Baccalaureate and the Honors presentation. She pulled the unwound roll from the camera, put a new one in, and got the same terrible grinding noise. Everyone around us turned to see what was going on. She passed it to my dad, who took out a pocket knife and began prying at various parts of the camera's anatomy, trying to make it stop, as my mom told him repeatedly that she thought it was broken.
As my brother crossed the stage and received his high school diploma, I considered that while the students in robes on the gymnasium floor might be THE future, my parents are MY future; it's inevitable that I'll become some approximation of them. I'll grow to be thoughtless, inattentive, overweight, broke, and set in my ways. That's assuming, of course, that I'm not those things already. But I'll also be loving, gentle, considerate and generous. And I'll survive everything thrown at me, with something very much like grace.
I'll also be considerably shorter. And the number of children I have will be the exact number of times I have sex.
Grim place, the future.
by mg at 03:16 PM on June 01, 2002
Hear me! See me! Feel me! Touch me! Heal me!
No, seriously, touch me.
Fine then, be that way. At least you can hear me. Enjoy the beta test of the first ever experiment into Bad Samaritan Audio. It ain't Mono. It ain't Stereo. It's Bad Samaritan.