by mg at 08:10 AM on July 30, 2002
I woke up this morning, early, for the first time since the first week I started working, and I feel hurty.
Considering that there were roving power outages last night across Queens and New York City, it's a wonder I'm awake at all. The power went out on my entire block twice last night, just while I was awake. Apparently it happened a couple more times over the evening as well.
So I woke up this morning, for some reason, the first time my alarm clock sounded, rather than an hour later, after hitting the snooze seven times. I woke up and looked out my window at the empty world. It was like an episode of Twilight Zone; I felt like the only person alive, and luckily I've got perfect vision.
But maybe I'm not the only person in the world alive, but the only one to actually put a back-up battery in my plug-in alarm clock. While everyone else will wake up about two hours from now, late for work, blinking and uncaffeinated at the blinking "12:00" on their digital alarm clocks.
Me? I'm awake on time because I was prepared. And it's all because, as much as I hated the institution, I'm a real boy scout at heart. "Always be prepared", "On my honor I will do my best to do my duty," "let's go beat up some fags," and other assorted slogans.
But, anyway, back to me feeling hurty.
I was feeling a bit crappy last night, sneezing, sore throat, and feeling really hot. I thought it was an allergy thing, combined with, well, the heat. But, I woke up this morning sweaty and gasping for breath, but without a hottie lying underneath me, and a tingly feeling in my nether region.
My throat had completely closed up overnight, and I am surely running a fever.
Just my luck that the one day I wake up early and might actually make it into work on time, that I feel so bad I probably wont even be going to work. Seriously, isn't that just my luck? I've medicated up - took some cold/flu medicine, some Tylenol, a mega dose of Vitamin C (the singer, not the actual Vitamin, hubba hubba).
Now I am sucking down glass after glass of tea in the hopes that I might actually be able to relax my throat enough that I can stand up without getting completely out of breathe. I'm a simple man with simple needs; a constant supply of oxygen is one of them.
Another one of my needs is shitloads and shitloads of money, so I'll probably be heading in to work after all. And, even though I woke up early I'll still push my luck by making the decision at the last possible moment so I'll have to rush to get ready and leave the house with just enough time to be 15 minutes late to work.
Did I mention I feel hurty?
by mg at 08:50 AM on July 29, 2002
Okay, okay, Iím back.
Now, Iím sure yíall are thinking, ďThat MG. Up to his old tricks again. He never really intended on leaving us, it was just another pathetic attempt to toy with our emotions. Or, worse yet, just an excuse to get out of having to post anything for another whole week.Ē
And, I can understand exactly why pessimistic bastards might be thinking that.
Iíve pulled this sort of stunt a number of times. But, while all those really were stunts this, this is real. I fully intended to shut down this stupid little site. Unlike all the other times Iíve made that same threat, this wasnít a momentary decision, or an attempt to trick folks into commenting and sending emails begging me to stay. I really was going to shut down the site this time.
If you don't believe me, I'd even downloaded the Hulkís sad, walking away music to embed on the page I was going to put up with the official announcement that I was sadly walking away, hulksters.
Iíll save the ďwhysĒ of my decision for another post, but it comes down to this: my Problem, both with this site and in my real life, is that I take things far too seriously. As a kid, I was called mature. As a teen I brooded. And as an adult, Iím almost paralyzed by my excessive overanalyzing of every thought bouncing around my head, every casual flirtation, and every fork in the road.
I strive constantly to make myself a better, healthier person, and I think each day when the sun has set and my head finally hits the pillow, that I am a better person. But this stupid brain of mine, I just want it to shut off sometimes and let the rest of my body enjoy itself.
I fully intended to shut down the site, if only to end my constant second-guessing about what I was trying to do here. But, something happened between the decision to quit, and the posting of the actual, unambiguous (and surely long-winded) announcement. Youíve all got Dan to blame/thank.
I was fully expecting people to ask me to stay, even though Bad Samaritan has seen better days, there is still a nice little following of old friends and new fans not yet put off by my constant whining and trickery. So when the pleas started rolling in (though, not nearly as many as Iíd hoped), I wasnít much swayed from my opinion. But Dan really took the wind out of my sails in a way everyone needs to have the wind taken out of their sails once in a while. He wrote:
Man, if BadSam ever went under, I'd have to read, like, other blogs or something.
Those 15 mostly one-syllable words, well, they hit me hard. Bad Samaritan isnít The Great fucking Gatsby. It isnít even The Pelican fucking Brief. Itís fine and good and all, and, when everything is clicking, an admirably written site that exists proudly among the upper echelon of weblogs. But it is just a stupid weblog.
There are dozens more weblogs just like it (and thousands more that wish they were). I can have a day (or week) when everything I write just sucks gerbil balls. I donít have to feel bad about not being Fitzgerald, because Iím not. This is not A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Itís a stupid weblog. Iím not getting paid from this (not much, anyway).
While I donít want Bad Samaritan to be as far as I get as a writer, if this is all I ever do, itís been hell of a lot more than most people. And if I can accept that this siteís purpose is merely to get me in the habit of writing on a daily basis, figuring out my own writing style, and maybe amusing a couple people in the process, I can start having fun here again. Over the past two years, Bad Samaritan has served it purpose well, and there were many moments of great fun. Even though I desperately need to branch out and try something new, Bad Samaritan still has a purpose. I can still use this outlet.
So, thanks Dan, and all the other people whoíve stuck around. Because of you all, Iíll stick around too. Iíll continue to give this piece of myself to you, and have fun doing it. Itís the least I can do, for you, and myself.
One of the classic cans-of-worms in philosophy is the so-called "mind-body problem." Dating back to the Greeks, it deals with a metaphysical separation of the mind or soul and the body. Proponents of the separation talk of the differences between the mental and the flesh, and some, like Descartes, constructed entire belief systems soley upon the fact that mind existed and could not be doubted (while corporeal existence they decided could not be taken for granted, somehow.)
Later philosophers haven't been as close of followers of this Cartesian separation as Descartes's contemporaries. However, there is definitely one area in which the flesh is distinct from the mind: sex.
As if you couldn't tell from that long-winded introduction, I'm feeling rather pensive tonight. I can't put my finger on exactly why I'm feeling this way (though I rarely have a reason and pensiveness isn't a stranger to me.) For the past month or so I've been in heat. Yes, I think humans go through heat just as some animals. Tell me that you don't feel more horny, sexy, powerful in spring. Thought so. There are times of year when everything just looks much more attractive and spreading your seed seems to be on your mind every 1.3 seconds instead of every 3.4 seconds. Other guys I've talked to have noticed this phenomenon as well, and, like all of them, I measure it in the frequency I need to release the demon.
There's a problem with this, however. While my body's in heat, it's no difficult feat to beat the meat. And that's fine heat is all about sex. But after that feeling passes, after the season of rampant hormones, there's something else. There's the emotional side of everything.
Hence the separation of mind and body. Sure, you can wank off twice, thrice... Christ, however many times a day you want/can. But there's no way to masturbate your emotions. A little porn can be a solution for the need to release sperm, but there's no way to masturbate away your need for snuggling, kissing, waking up next to someone, human touch, or the need to feel cared for. There's just no substitute. Some turn to rampant sleeping around for relief. While that works for a while, it's still no solution.
Sigh. Yeah, I'm in a "pining for a boyfriend" mood again tonight. Sorry I had to drag you all into it.
by mg at 10:09 PM on July 21, 2002
Is this the end of Bad Samaritan? It very well may be. Bigger and better my friends, bigger and better.
OK, so Iíve been incommunicado for awhile. These things happen when your company sends you off to the hinterlands- Cleveland, in this case- for two weeks of training. I didnít particularly enjoy being away from home for two weeks, but hey, someone's got to do it. Sure, the hotel was nice, but hotels anywhere generally have a few things in common- the rooms are always too cold, the pillows are always too hard, and itís not home. Of course, it IS nice having someone pick up after you every day. I still havenít managed to convince my wife of that, and frankly, the prospects arenít looking good.
In between the work, which there was a lot of, and the stress, of which there was also no shortage, I did manage to have some fun. Last Saturday, I drove 3Ĺ hours from Cleveland to Niagara Falls, and explored both the American and Canadian sides. Niagara Falls is one of those places Iíve always wanted to see, but never thought Iíd have the opportunity to go to. Now I can cross another destination off my list.
On Sunday, I went to a AA baseball game in Akron. Iíd forgotten how much I love, and miss, watching minor league baseball. Itís wonderful to be able to walk up to the ticket window, tell them you want the best, most expensive seat they have, and then pay $9.00 to sit six rows behind the first base dugout. Try doing THAT in Yankee Stadium.
On Wednesday, I went to Jacobs Field in downtown Cleveland to watch my beloved Minnesota Twins beat the Cleveland Indians 8-5. Of course, this being Major League Baseball, I paid $20 for a seat in section 541. I donít think that the supplemental oxygen was necessary, but I was definitely NOT in the front row.
It was rather sad to watch the Indians fans, who clearly have resigned themselves to the fact that their team is mailing in the rest of the season. After the Twins took the lead early, the crowd took on the sort of mien you'd normally see at a wake. I suppose you could make the argument that was exactly what we were witnessing.
So, all in all, it was a good trip. Since I grew up in Minnesota, it was nice to be someplace where I spoke the language. I could walk into a restaurant and order a ďpopĒ without getting the blank stares I do here in Texas. Cleveland may be a nice place in some respects, but I couldn't wait to get the hell out of town. It may not be the dump it was 15 years ago, but Cleveland still doesn't have much to offer.
Three weeks from now, I get to do this all over again, this time in Phoenix. Woohoo!! Phoenix in the middle of August. Another hotel. More fast food and hard pillows. Well, no one ever said it was going to be easy being meÖ.
So, you (ok, MG) may be wondering why I haven't been posting of late, and left my last series of posts on a pathetic cliffhanger [the unposted post is about Pentiums]. Well, the simple answer is that I have been busy. In the last 5 weeks, I have managed to cram and sit for three exams (which I actually did very well in, despite the fact that I now have a fair chunk of my time taken up with playing shows and whoring myself to the world media), release a zine, and generally tie up some loose ends.
In addition, I have been preparing to move [not 'out', but rather to stay at home while my parents relocate to new habitats], doing pre-production work on a film clip, and develop a mystery allergy to dust. Most people have allergies to cool things, like peanuts, or latex. There are latex-free condoms out there as a substitute for those who wanna have sex and not develop a rash because of it. What substitutes are there for dust? Somebody out there could make heaps developing a dust substitute. Anyway, the point is that I have been busy enjoying my holidays by completing long overdue projects, sleeping in, and generally drinking myself into a 'I don't really give a shit; getting over a hangover is the most productive thing I've done recently' state of mind.
Anyway, readers of my old site may remember two people who were mentioned quite a bit: the chick I dig, and the lesbian brownie (who, it turns out, is not a lesbian, just Catholic). Anyway, since I ended my old site, a number of things have happened to those two. The chick I digged finished her degree and took up a job before I could pluck up enough courage to tell her how I felt about her. Meanwhile, the lesbian brownie spent the last 6 months finishing off her degree and planning a 4 month long trip to Europe. Last week was her going away party. The chick I dig was there. So was her new boyfriend.
Readers of my old site would know that, despite the fact that me and the then-single chick I dig never went out, we were pretty close, and we are still good friends. One thing I didn't know was that she had a thing for middle-eastern men. She's Greek, her new boyfriend is middle-eastern. Then again, given the fact that I tend to miss 'signals', I probably should have known.
If there's one thing harder that walking in a straight line, it has to be sitting through a dinner with the person who you at one stage had so many feelings for while they do 'couple thing' with their new squeeze, but sat through it I did. The fact that there was a large number of people sitting between us that I had not met before, but had the task of impressing [mission: successful], certainly helped, but eating pizza and not looking like your heart has just been broken turned out to be easier than I thought it would be.
Now, I'm an outwardly calm person normally (it comes from being the first person the rednecks I share a city with suspected whenever there was an explosion of some kind), so I'm good at keeping my emotions in check. As dinner ended and the group headed for the many Irish pubs springing up everywhere, I took the chance to talk to the new squeeze, who turns out to be a really nice, if awkward in the nerdy way, guy.
If there's one thing that really gets my goat, it's attractive women who date morons or assholes. I couldn't really be pissed off at the chick I dig for dating a nice guy. I'm not even jealous. A little disappointed that I didn't date the only woman in Queensland who is willing to go out with men of middle-eastern origin, yes, but not bitter by any measure. It's not like I was rueing opportunity lost, because the ship had passed months ago. We are still friends, so I'm happy that she's happy.
Anyway, speaking of tying up loose ends, when I came home from the lesbian brownie's going away party, I used the increased alertness from the shock of seeing the chick I dig with another man (as possibly the Guarana-infused schnapps I had been drinking) to finish off my tax return. [Yes I know how silly that sounds. But if anything I am an opportunist. And it's very rare indeed that the woman you have been pining after for the last 3 years introduces you to her boyfriend at the same time your taxes are due.]
It turns out that I earned $6016, $16 more than the tax-free threshold, meaning I owe the government more than $3 in unpaid taxes, despite the fact that I have been technically unemployed since the end of last year, and not received a cent in student welfare benefits since the start of this year. Then again, I guess having that $3 spent on essential services such as keeping the files ASIO have on me up to date is pretty good value for money.
by mg at 12:10 AM on July 17, 2002
Iím still suffering from post-vacation traumatic work disorder, so Iím still not quite in the swing of things. But, I feel guilty not posting anything, even though most of you havenít noticed Iím back yet. So, here is a reenactment of a scene that took place earlier tonight:
Fade in on MG, alone in his swank New York bachelor pad. Enter the ineffable Gordon, biggest cheese in space.
MG: Hey, I never got to ask how your trips with Shar and MRH went
Gordon: They went well
Gordon: I've really had a lot of good weekends lately
MG: Well, thatís good.
MG: Me too, actually
MG: Maybe our lives are turning around?
Gordon: It's possible...
Gordon: But maybe we shouldn't get our hopes up
MG: Good idea. Iíd rather be consistently miserable than hopeful and then miserable
Gordon: Actually, I haven't really been miserable lately...
Gordon: Itís... weird
MG: Well, right. Me too. But I didn't want to say that in case whoever's in charge of keeping me miserable heard
Gordon: Oh shit. I hope I haven't blown it
MG: For both of us
Gordon: Gah. What a jerk
MG: If I get hit by a bus tomorrow and die, Iím totally going to haunt you
Gordon: Really? I'm sure there's a way I'll be able to work that to my financial advantage
MG: But if I get hit by a bus tomorrow and don't die, Iíll probably just lie there in pain for a couple months
Gordon: I'll send flowers. Unless I forget
MG: To your financial advantage? You'd use my pain for your gain?
Gordon: Not your pain. Your death. You don't like it, go haunt somebody else, I don't care
MG: Oh, thatís fine then
MG: Well, if a bus does hit me tomorrow, Iíll make sure itís a big bus, so I actually die and not just linger in a hospital for months
MG: Especially since I don't have health insurance
Gordon: You want me to help make sure you're good and dead?
MG: Do you have some hints for getting into bus accidents?
Gordon: Well, I'd make sure to stay away from crosswalks, where they might expect you. Also, Don't try to step out just as they're leaving a stop. Let them get up to speed.
MG: Or are you threatening to smother my crippled by with a pillow?
Gordon: Or I can do that.
End scene. Fade out.
by mg at 12:44 AM on July 16, 2002
I will start with the end of the story, because though it will spoil the narrative qualities of this tale, the end is what is freshest in my mind. I spent nine days in a car with my ex-girlfriend, traversing across states, centuries, and countless emotions. But all that matters now is that I stepped off a plane at LaGuardia Airport last night, I went to work today, and my life is now firmly entrenched back into its routine.
We made it to Albuquerque International Airport (Isn't every airport international these days? You have one flight to Mexico and suddenly your international. I was on the evening news once that makes me a TV star, right?) Sunday morning, a good two hours before my flight was to take off. I've only flown once since September 11th and I'd shown up an hour and a half early then, but still nearly missed my flight because I was "randomly" searched three different times. Must be the beard.
I was nervous, but not so much about safety as just making sure I made it to the gate on time. God knows why I was so concerned about punctuality since I really wanted to miss my flight. Nothing could have pleased me more than the necessity of sticking around New Mexico for even a couple hours longer.
Unfortunately, though security was tight, we were able to breeze into the airport with no trouble at all. It was Christine, with whom I'd spent the last 216 hours with no more than 10 minutes apart during the entire time, our friend Tracy, who we stayed with in Santa Fe and me, looking no more menacing than a gaggle of Mormons. We reached the point where the security guards wont let anyone through unless they've got a ticket in hand, but since neither Christine nor Tracy have the cash to purchase a ticket, nor the inclination to hop on a plane, so we bid each other a nearly tearful adieu.
I appreciate all the security measures are taking these days, really I do. There haven't been any more hijackings, so something must be going right. But, there was a clear sign that read "No knives, of any kind, beyond this point." Being ever the rebel, I anxiously awaited my bags turn through the X-Ray machine to see what they'd do to me when they saw my Swiss Army knife. The watchful attendant scanned my bag, stopped for a moment, and let it through.
He let it through?
Where is all this heightened security? Is it all just a show to placate the teeming masses?
At any rate, my bag went through without a hitch, and I didn't even have to turn on my cell phone. I probably could have smuggled a kilo of coke, a giant cartoon bomb with a lit fuse, and three small Nepalese children onto the plane with me without anyone batting an eye.
I made my flight, and the rest of the story isn't terribly interesting. The flight from Albuquerque to Denver was the most turbulent I'd ever had. I'd have tossed my lunch. Lucky for my neighbors in seats 16D and 16F, I hadn't eaten lunch. The ride was so bumpy, I almost felt like I was on I64 in West Virginia again. If only I'd heard the faint strains of the Deliverance Theme the resemblance would have been uncanny.
I finally made it to Denver, shaken, not stirred. I transferred to my New York bound flight, which was entirely uneventful. I hit good ole NYC, an hour later than expected - some miscommunication about the difference between Mountain and Eastern Time. Standards, my ass. I walked out into the warm and muggy New York night, home again. As previously mentioned, I experienced so much on the road, and all it took to get back to my life was sitting in a cramped seat for a couple hours.
To truly reinforce the fact I was home again, and back to my old life, I walked out of the airport and stood at the bus stand for about ten minutes. Now, you might think I'm cheap for taking a bus, but I live only a five-minute drive from the airport. Taxi drivers wait as long as an hour to get into the airport, and I don't want to cheat them out of a rich 30-40 dollar Manhattan fare for my measly couple dollar ride. I'm not being cheap, I'm being nice.
Well, I'm waiting at the bus stop, and two busses come and go, neither the one I need. I start thinking something feels wrong, so I look around. I immediately spot a sign that should have been readily apparent earlier. "The Bus Drivers are on strike. The Q47 is not running. Blah blah blah." Taxi time it is.
Made it home all right. Got sucked into the Internet, catching up on emails. Get to sleep too late. Woke up, headed to work, and now, again awake too late, having spent all night AIMing, New Mexico seems really far away. It's not just the physical miles that make it so. My memory is already fading, like the remnants of dream remembered only before the morning's first cup of coffee. And like with a dream I fear that, try as I might, even if I manage to fall asleep again I wont be able to get back there again.
by mg at 11:48 PM on July 14, 2002
Just got back from vacation. I'm suffering from excessive sensory overload sleep depravation. I thought being at a lower altitude would invigorate me, after a couple of breathless nights at 7000 feet, but itís so damn hot in New York now, even at 11:30 at night. I just feel like something big and hair has sat on my shoulders and something small and furry has landed on my eyelids, and Iím having trouble moving around my apartment without bumping into things.
The truly amazing thing about this trip, and if you all wait until tomorrow when Iíve decompressed and put all my thoughts into some sort of literate and fancy phrasing I'll tell you about all the other amazing and not so amazing things about it, is that it took us 9 days to drive from New York to New Mexico, and it took me only 5 hours to fly back. It took 9 days to amass all these experiences and emotions, to travel most of the way around the country, and in just 5 hours I'm back into the routine of my life.
At any rate, Iím back. Love me. Cover me with kisses and whispered adorations.
Hmm. I dunno maybe I should think about getting one of those "job" things that seem to be all the rage with the kids nowadays. Don't get me wrong, now: I truly have enjoyed the last few months I've spent basking in the warm and nurturing rays of unemployment. It's been kind of liberating, really staying up 'til right around dawn each and every evening, attempting to read every halfway-worthwhile 'blog in all of digital creation, building up a a robust immunity to most daytime television programming. (Did you know that some people still use the expression "you gots to drop that zero and gets you a hero, girlfriend" in a purely non-ironic context? It's true!)
But still, a man has to know his limits... and I think I've reached the tasteful lower bound on my personal productivity. I mean, it's Friday already, and the most noteworthy accomplishment of my entire week has been pirating MP3s from bands I hate for the sole purpose of spiting both those artists and the RIAA. Sure, it provides me with a vague sense of personal satisfaction, I guess, but hardly classifies as "productivity" in the classical sense of the word.
So what the hell I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna do it! I'm ready now, world! I've made peace with myself, and am willing to become a soulless worker drone once again! To step across that Field of Dreams-style line at the archway of your corporate headquarters, trading in my "All Your Base" T-shirt for a tastefully-patterned polo shirt and swapping out my blue jeans for... uh, blue jeans with fewer garlic butter stains, joining the ranks of the commuting masses once again! All righty, then: let's fire up those job listings and see what damage we can do!
Company: GloboTransTechnoCore Industries
Position: Senior Software Engineer
Qualifications: MSCS from top-notch university required, PhD preferred. Minimum 5-7yrs experience with C, C++, C#, Java, Perl, PHP, Python, FORTRAN, assembly language, applying voltage pulses directly to CPUs. Ideal candidate can also manually communicate with modems (28kbps+), smelt tin, manufacture motherboards from junkyard scrap. Ability to make coffee and ass that just won't quit a big plus.
Company: Chipwich MetaSystems, Inc.
Position: Chief Systems Architect
Qualifications: Our ideal candidate MUST be well-versed in RDS, PJP, QVM, TYZ(3), RRK, with preference given to those who have real-world experience with writing HKI and EWCD low-level protocol application handler interfaces for TCM4 packet layer switches. First-round pre-screening by phone, may contain pop quiz on real vs fake acronyms à la "You Don't Know Jack". Ability to quickly pick up mind-numbingly esoteric information that no one in their right mind would find engaging a big plus.
Company: PrimCoSoft Networks
Position: Compiler Designer
Qualifications: We need a compiler design guru! Must have attended university with Compiler Design major, acquired BS or MS in Compiler Design. Full certification required from Compiler Fundamentals Institute and American Association of Compiler Designers (A1-Gold minimum). Recommendation regarding compiler design skills required from omnipotent deity (burning bushes preferred, will accept stone tablets with proper documentation.) Ideal candidate will mumble about compilers in his sleep, be able to name designers of famous compilers, have plans to create coffee table book of compiler designers in seductive poses.
Company: Meepzorp Computing
Position: Software Engineer
Qualifications: BS in Computer Science or equivalent field, plus 2+ years of hands-on industry experience. Solid competency in nice, non-threatening languages like C++ and Java; Perl and a working knowledge of SQL a strong plus. Strong written and verbal communication skills required. People named "Antwon" and/or with weaknesses for nubile vixens preferred. Sound interested? Please contact our main offices located in the beautiful Crab Nebula regarding an interview!
Uh... huh. Hrmm. Yeah. That's... uh, not nearly as encouraging as I was hoping for.
OK, time for Plan B: live off of more-than-ample reserves of credit cards until the age of 30, committing myself to a Logan's Run-themed sort of self-imposed termination right around then. Not only will I not have to worry about job-hunting anymore, but just like that, "unemployment" will magically transform into "retirement" bitchin'! I feel much better now. Now, we resume our record-industry-spiting antics, already in progress....
How do you call a Bad Samaritan who only posts sporadically? A bad Bad Samaritan?
Well, this Bad Samaritan went off for his nomadic training for two months in a distant planet. On this planet, one rarely found chicken. Everyone would be looking all over the place for chicken all the time, because, after all, everything else tasted like it. But no, for the poor people who live on this planet, if they ever found chicken more than twice in a year, they considered themselves lucky. They had to settle for hot dogs. They looked just like regular stray dogs, but would burn your fingers if you touched them. So the people on this planet poured relish on the dogs and drown them with it first.
The people on this planet were very sincere people, but sometimes, their work pattern could be quite different from that with which we are currently familiar. You see, these people abided by the unwritten rule that nobody works if the sun is up. Okay, that is not a big problem, you say, they could just work at night. But no -- you see, on this planet, the sun was up all the time. It just swung around in the sky like a dog chasing its tail. In fact, for one whole month I didn't see any darkness at all, because the sun never got tired chasing its own tail. So, on a sunny day, everybody would decide that they stopped working, and went paddle around in a puddle of steamy blue water.
One day, some little people with dark hair in yellow shirts came to the planet. A few big people with blond hair then kicked their tiny backsides out, because the other little people from halfway across the planet (the enemies of the little people in yellow shirts) paid those few big people to bully them. Once people learnt about it, some other big people with blond hair started wearing yellow shirts as well and danced on the street corner. Every street corner, there was a big person with blond hair dancing in his crazy yellow shirt.
It was funny to see the big people with blond hair dancing on the street corner, because, frankly, they weren't quite as authentic as the little people. To start with, they were much bigger than the little people with dark hair! So I was watching the big people at the street corners when a guy with brown hair ran into me like a speeding car into a cliff. He is not very big, but not very little either. I told him, "look where you're going!" Then he said, "oh, I'm sorry. I was just trying to see if I can find a street corner without those big people pretending to be little." I said, "well, you're not going to find it here. Let's go somewhere else." So my new friend and I strolled along, and tried to look for a street corner that was not already occupied by a big blond person in yellow shirt dancing like the little people did...
by mg at 06:58 PM on July 10, 2002
It's about 5:30 Pacific Standard time and I'm standing at a public terminal at the Denver Public Library. A sentence I'd never thought i'd type, for sure.
At any rate, it's true. I'm here in Denver, after a long and torturous drive through Kansas. Everything you've heard about Kansas (flat, dry, windy, boring) is true. But that nightmare is over now. I'm in love Denver, which happens to look a little scary today, what with the ominous rain clouds and/or ash from the (continuing?) forest fires. I'm so out of loop with the news and the world that I have no idea what is going on anywhere.
I do know that no one (but the lovely Snaggle) has posted anything here since I left. What's the deal with that?
Anyway. This is day five of the road trip, we are here in Denver tonight, and then on to Taos tomorrow, where I will certain enjoy much time in a nice, hot spring. Just wanted to let every(digital)one know I'm alright, alive, well, and very happy. Full details to follow when I get back Sunday. Later folks.
A report from the field that I'm sure you're all eagerly awaiting: MG is alive and well, still enjoying his Kerouac-esque journey across the country. Actually, his journey has nothing in common with On The Road, but I thought I'd use the opportunity to make a pretentious-sounding literary reference. Columbia is a bit of a drive from Ames, but since I was too busy partying and getting drunk to meet up with mg the last time I was in NYC, I figured I should wander down there. Plus it gave me a good excuse to harass Jamila as well.
I hopped in my car at 4 pm yesterday and flew like a bat out of hell (or a Snaggle out of Ames, same difference) towards Columbia, MO where I was to meet up with Jamila and mg, mg's travelling companion, Christine, and Mr. Blank. After five and half hours, I at last arrived in Columbia and wandered my way to Teller's Gallery and Bar, where I proceeded to lift mg into the air in a genuine Iowan bearhug. (Not that we have many bears in Iowa, but still.)
As Mr. Blank's summary of the night will tell you, the conversation turned from what I'm sure was normal, polite dinner conversation to raucous, drunk inappropriateness. For example, I believe we really frightened our poor waiter when I exclaimed at the top of my lungs, in response to one of Christine's comments: "How can porn make you sad??"
As you could probably guess from thereon out, the whole night consisted of off-the-wall conversation, alternating between talking about typography and sex. (Christine, apparently, is afraid of giving head at night for fear of cavities.) Though there were times when I used my amazing skill at perversion to combine the two ("Hey baby, I like your x-height. Can I put my ascender in your bowl?")
The shining moment of the night involved a Fight Club party that Christine had apparently thrown at some point (where was my invitation?) where the guests were polled on which famous figure they'd like to fight. Until last night, the winner was Helen Keller until I suggested Stephen Hawking (to which all died laughing when mg yelled, "How 'bout a brief history of this pummeling??") Which only further reinforces the fact of how geeky all gathered were. ("Take a look at the kerning on that babe!")
In the end, it was mostly Christine and I talking earnestly about triple-x rated topics, though we'd just met, and the other three displaying the entire gamut of red that the human face can exhibit. (Hey, you gotta have someone who's comfortable enough talking about ropy jets of jism flying across the room.) Since we were in an establishment that was serving fine barley and hops beverages out of plastic pitchers and glasses, we figured it would be an optimal place for me to discuss my homosexual experiences at the top of my lungs. Fortunately, no tragedy ensued (though I hope we managed to shock a few people.)
After a trek of two blocks back to the car (which just about killed the city-dwellers, believe you me) and a loaf of Jimmy John's bread, we parted ways with Mr. Blank and retired to Jamila's for a tad more inappropriate conversation (Christine: "Gotta go brush my teeth... cavities, you know.") whereupon we all crashed, still chortling at the events of the night. We awoke this morning and after a warning that certain comments would find their way to the Internet (yes, Mr. Blank, that's an en dash just for you) we hit our respective cars and headed off into the wild blue yonder.
by mg at 11:15 AM on July 06, 2002
I'd write something witty and exciting, especially since I'll be gone for more than a week, most likely without access to a computer, but I'm tired. And nervous about the trip. And I haven't packed a thing yet. And, despite all your wonderful help, I haven't put together a single Road Music Mix.
So, the point is, I'll be gone until next Monday. I'm hitting the road with my friend Christine (a former ex-girlfriend, for those of you interested in that sort of information). She is moving to New Mexico. Just because. Very impressive; I admire her spontaneity.
Me? I'm about as spontaneous as a kidney stone.
We'll be hitting Washington D.C. tomorrow night. Then on to see the winsome and charming Dodd in Louisville, Kentucky. Then on to see my girl Jamila in Columbia, Missouri, where I'll also meet the talented and enigmatic Mr. Blank.
Then on to Denver where I'll be staying with my pal John on a rocky mountain, high. Finally, on get to Taos, New Mexico, where men are men and dinosaurs roam. Iíll get to spend about a night there, enjoying the city that DH Lawrence said was really pretty (though, he said it much more eloquently than I), before I have to head to Albuquerque to catch my flight.
Six days on the road, two days in Taos and my vacation is over.
Maybe, Iíll even work four weeks this time before I take another vacation.
I asked MG to give me a topic. He said,"penguins". I reminded him that I'm a dumb blonde and he said,"The best time you had in a car front seat or back". And I said,"A-ha! I did it to a Christian boy!"
Names have been changed to protect myself from someone recognizing names and finding out that I did it with this guy.
His name was Biff and he was hot. Actually his name wasn't Biff and he was scrawny and had pimples. But I was sixteen so he was hot. My first everything. Well ... almost.
I had spent my Christmas in misery. This was every year for me and probably why I stopped believing that God had love or a purpose for me. The year it was that I had had my wisdom teeth pulled. I spent a week in bed being a baby. Taking as many of the painkillers as I could before my mom started counting them. I flushed out my gum wounds. Flushed turkey and gravy and stuffing and cranberry sauce. Unfortunately it wasn't as good coming out as it was going in. And sex with Biff was much the same way.
I had been in a self-imposed exile for so long that when I decided to throw myself back into that wild assortment of people I knew at my Christian church, I went all out in my fashion. Clunky heels. White stockings with adidas stripes at the top. Short black skirt. White t. And green panties. Yeah, I don't know what that was about either.
I got to Biff's house. He lived with his parents. His dad was assistant pastor of our church. His mom was a ninny. His sister was a dork who spat at you when she talked. His dog smelled bad.
He was surprised to see me and he was even more surprised to see my outfit. When his dad left the room he grabbed my ass under my skirt and said,"Oh, these aren't pantyhose."
His mom came out and started pressuring us to play poker with the rest of the fam. But he was having nothing of it. In his bedroom he pulled my skirt up,"Green?"
We drove out to the middle of nowhere (which is precisely located between his parents' house and the church). He slammed the driver's seat forward and I crawled in back. Take those off. "Okay" as we religious girls say. He fumbled with the condom because he fumbled with most things that are wet.
He lifted my legs and gave me the Almighty.
I went on with my moaning and moaning when inside I was thinking, this seatbelt hurts, my leg is cramping, I hope he finishes soon.
But he'd never get the chance to, because he fucked up.
His parents' were bored and since he hadn't the patience to play some poker with them before he played poke her with me, they decided to meet up with another couple at the church.
And there we were, two Sodoms at Gommorah in the backseat of a black 89 Mustang and Mr. and Mrs. Ninny could do nothing but throw it in reverse and pray that Melly Magdalene didn't get pregnant with Damian.
addendum: before editing I typed out "White House stockings" which I personally dub the best Freudian slip ever.
I got some curious mail yesterday: Two separate bills from my credit card company. I pay my bill online, so (regrettably) I have not made much of a habit of actually opening the paper bills they mail me. There are, I suppose, potential downsides to my Internet dependence. For instance, I haven't actually opened a statement from my bank in, oh, five years. This kind of thing can cause problems, it seems. Who knew?
Anyway, two bills on the same day was odd enough that I went ahead and opened both. The one was, as I expected, my Gold card (remind me sometime to go on a rant about how utterly stupid Gold cards are when they hand them out to everyone - even me!). Yes, there's the payment I made (online) three weeks ago. I see that the finance charge put me right at the limit again. Best make sure I make another when I get paid on Friday so they don't
rape me assess an overlimit fee.
So, that settled, I really wondered what the other one was. It was a bill for my Platinum card. It listed a US$59 previous balance and one charge: A late fee. Just one problem: I don't have a Platinum card (side note for abovementioned future rant: Platinum cards only exist because everyone and his dog has a Gold card now so they needed to create something else vaguely more exclusive sounding to justify charging a $59 "membership fee" for a friggin' charge card).
So I call them up. I punch in the number off the bill and am told the card has not yet been activated. Huge Internet-induced Fear Number One is now more or less ameliorated: I have not been the object of identity theft (actually, I pity the poor slob who does decide to steal my identity - with my crushing student loan debt, my credit rating isn't worth the time and trouble it would take to pull off the heist).
So, it turns out that even though I don't remember applying for it and never actually received it, I do have a Platinum card. Now what? I certainly wasn't suffering any feelings of inadequacy when I didn't know I had one. What to do? Well (within limits, learned the hard way) more credit is better than less. Hey! I can use it to get my ticket and hotel room for BlogCon. "Ok," I tell the nice young woman who desperately wants to
rip me off sell me credit insurance, "I'll keep the account. But I've never received the card and I certainly don't want to pay a late fee for a card I didn't even know I had."
They're only too happy to credit the fee back to me. I'm a sucker, see? I have just agreed to pay their "membership fee" so I can have a piece of silver plastic in my pocket. In the end, she cancelled that account and opened a new one, promising I'd receive a new card in a week or so.
Now I can't help but wonder if it would be fun to use the one to pay the bill for the other, and then back the other way, for a few months just for the joy of using their money to pay them. But they'd win in the end, so I guess I'll just use it for the trip to Vegas and spend the next 500 years paying it off (like the other one).
by mg at 01:05 PM on July 03, 2002
Getting ready for my cross-country adventure and just beginning to think about all the little things I should bring along. Iíve come to realize something very important, though. Forget about maps, forget about snacks, and forget about the spare tire, the only thing really vital to a successful road trip is good music.
So, I am now taking suggestions for the best songs to put on a road trip compilation tape. Iíve come up with a couple, but give me
by mg at 12:53 PM on July 03, 2002
Added a number of new sites to the Friends and Favorites list (denoted by ď&&Ē). If your name is on that list, good for you. If it isnít, and youíd like it to be, you should link us up, and then drop me a line. If I like what I see (And I usually do, Iíll add you). So very easy, and fun, the link love.
Also, Iíll be driving from New York to New Mexico. If you happen to live anywhere in between the two and would like a visit from MG (plus friend), please let me know. Iím looking for cool places to visit, and cool people to sleep with.
Take that as you will.
A few days ago, I was reading an article that posed the question: "What did we do before e-mail??" An interesting question, I thought, as I began to ponder the changes that technology has brought to my life over the past few years. I have to admit that I was staggered when the totality of the way my life has changed became evident.
For example, when was the last time I wrote a letter and mailed it? I'm not talking about composing a letter in MS Word, printing it on a laser printer, and sending into the black hole that is the US Postal Service. I'm talking about good old pen and stationery, writing it out longhand in all its illegible glory.
Hmmm...I'm honestly not sure I can remember the last time I did that. Like most of us, the vast majority of my correspondence now is done via e-mail. It's quick, easy, and I never have to find a stamp. Best of all, it doesn't cost 34 cents to send an e-mail. I did write a letter to my parents in MS Word last month, and I mailed it to them, but that doesn't count. They want nothing to do with the Internet. Since they're in their mid-60s, I've decided not to push the issue. I suppose their entitled to the neo-Luddite leanings.
In a way, I miss writing letters. The act of writing a letter in longhand did provide me a way to creativity that simply banging out an e-mail doesn't afford. When I was in college, I once wrote a letter on a roll of paper hand towels to a girlfriend who was in Costa Rica for a semester. By the time I was finished, the letter was 12 1/2 feet long. She told me that when she received the letter, the children in the small village gathered around, since mail was infrequent and always a cause for curiosity. She said that as she began unrolling the letter, the children's eyes became wide with fascination. Apparently, they'd never seen anything like that before. Try doing THAT with an e-mail....
I have no desire to re-visit "the good old days". It does leave me a bit wistful, though. Things happen so quickly now that it's easy to lose sight of the reality that it didn't use to be this way- and not so very long ago, either.
Still, most of y'all should be grateful that I don't write letters anymore. The most notable side-effect of technology is that my handwriting, which was illegible to begin with, has deteriorated noticeably. If I were still writing letters longhand, I'd have to supply a translator. At least my e-mails are readable....
Fire is an odd thing. I've never seen a fire before, the kind that brings big red (or chartreuse, if your city is so unlucky) engines screaming down the block and screeching to a halt inches away from the car you just parked on the street (Watch it! I just paid that off!). Today my father's van caught on fire while it was sitting in the family garage. The neighbors across the street were the first ones to start yelling: "Fire! Fire! There's a fire in your garage!" And now that it's all over, I'm appreciating our relationship to such a potentially destructive force. Today fire was no longer just a pet, a friendly blue flame on the stove or the fireplace, but an orange stranger dancing inside the darkness of your garage-- an intruder, flaunting its presence before your eyes. When firemen had put the fire out and pulled my father's van (which was a rustbucket anyways) out of the garage, fire seemed like an animal, a gluttonous beast who'd come and eaten the insides of the van, eaten away seat covers, carpeting, and foam. When we were waiting for the engines to arrive, fire seemed like the hand of Fate itself, spreading slowly and pitilessly as we watched. How big would it get? How much would it damage? Would it cause the gas tank to explode? It was like being stuck in the path of a hurtling semi-- knowing a terrible fate was coming and not being able to avert it. And, oddly enough, fire seemed to be a unifier, bringing together neighbors that were well-known and not-so-well-known, along with some that had never been seen before. Up and down our short block, families stood on their front lawns, and the braver ones came over to ask questions or offer sympathy. The neighborhood lost some of its anonymity. I renewed my appreciation for the civic services to which we have access. An immigrant neighbor remarked, "That's one of the advantages of America. Emergency services work quickly."
Of course this is a tiny incident in a month where monster fires are making headlines night after night on the evening news. But today I have definitely learned something new.
by mg at 12:23 AM on July 01, 2002
You probably should go back and read last nightís post.
When last we left out anti-hero, he was a little depressed because his ex-girlfriend was going out (but not Going Out) with a girl he could conceivably get into in a big way. And so, since most of my friends are Top 40 types and I couldnít roust anyone else to go, I went to this concert alone.
It was the Gerbils and Elf Power at the Mercury Lounge. If youíve never heard of either of those bands it is perfectly acceptable. It was an excellent show, even if I was there alone. Iíd probably not have noticed it otherwise, but there were a couple other lonely souls in the bar as well. Like that very cute girl standing in front of the sound booth, the one with the short, dark hair and wearing one of those Goodwill T-shirts with the name of some little league soccer team from Cleveland or somewhere.
And, speaking of girls, hey, you, girl with the white-froíed boyfriend, Iím talking to you now. Donít you know you are much too pretty to have a boyfriend with a white-fro? You deserve to go out with a boy who doesnít have a white-fro. Did you happen to notice my neatly trimmed locks? Did you saw me looking at you? I know you did, in fact, because our eyes met for a long while, and you even started walking towards me before your stupid white-froíed boyfriend came back from the bar. If you are ready to ditch the white-froíed boyfriend, you should drop me an email. I was the guy who looks like the little picture in the upper left hand corner of this post, only life-sized.
So, yes, the show was excellent, probably one of the best Iíd seen in a while. Unfortunately, I had no one else to share it with. I did, however, have people to share the rest of my night with. I walked from the Mercury Lounge up to Dickís Bar for Baz and Choireís Big Gay Party.
There, I met up with Chris, who is fast becoming a real friend, and Andy and Scott, whoíd I met at Choireís last bash. I also met another large chunk of the NYC blogging community (what, no straight women?), including Glen, Dan, Sam, and, Iím sure, several other folks I canít remember right now.
Dickís apparently, is a big gay bar, a perfect kind of a place for a big gay party, but despite how cute and sensitive I might be, Iím pretty much straight. Pretty much. Eventually, the intelligent and engaging gay-boy-bloggers left the place and all that was left were creepy middle-aged homos, all sitting by themselves, and leering at every piece of meat that walked into the place. Sure, itís been a long time since Iíve had anyone stare out me lovingly, but these blokes hardly had love in their eyes, and it made me a tiny bit uncomfortable.
I retreated into the corner, where I finally got to talk to Baz for a bit. She was sitting with her gay boyfriend, who is so gay. He is so gay he almost makes Choire look het. Almost. The end.
I left Dickís and went home. I woke up at 2:30 today, feeling great, but a little bit like a bum. Saturday was depressing, but today was okay. Tomorrow will be better, and by Friday Iíll be off to New Mexico and feeling great. Seriously, then end now.