Alert readers may have glimpsed this piece earlier. It was since removed due to, er, technical difficulties. As for the rest of you, as they used on say on NBC rerun promos, if you haven't seen it then it's new to you.
I'll proceed with utmost caution so as not to risk incurring the wrath o' Trixie, who lambasted MG in the comments section at 3:16 AM on 11/28/02.
Another day, anothe celebrity breakup . More recently, Lisa Marie and Nicholas Cage called it quits after 108 days in wedded bliss.
Stars seemingly cultivate longer term relationships with their stalkers than their chosen mates. In fact, I couldn't name a single sucessful, long-term marriage among the Tinseltown A-list. Some would cite Paul Newman/Joanne Woodward as the paragon of fidelity, but according to this database, she played the homewrecker role in his first foray into matrimony. Alec/Kim---history. Tom/Nicole---over with. Billy Bob/Anglina---splitsville. Robert Blake/---uh, never mind.
I've read that, contrary to popular lore that has one in two US marriages ending in divorce or murder-suicide, the actual divorce rate hovers around 20%; whereas in Hollywood, it's closer to 100%. Why the disparity? Do thespians have some innate aversion to monogamy or do environmental factors come into play?
Well, this here's your chance to sound off. Can you provide answers to these questions? Am I way off base? Could you name a successful marriage among the feted rich & famous?
Clearly, I'm not above groveling for comments. EvilTom, bring on the needling. Trixie, castigate me for my lack of sensitivity to celebs' plight. Say anything.
Did someone mention cocaine?
Amid all the hand-wringing commotion over crystal meth, Ecstasy and sundry date rape drugs, this pernicious menace seems to have been put on the back burner. Such was not always the case. Back in the 80s, coke was everywhere. Coke spoons were considered chic jewelry, like piercings today. In bars, strangers would offer you a "jolt." Then some fool discovered how to purify it into freebase and it was all downhill from there. Stars from David Crosby to Rick James squandered their fortunes and wound up doing hard time due to freebase' seductive allure. Prison is not a pleasant place.
Myself I never got caught up in all that, and I'll tell you young whippersnappers why. One morning I called on my friend Tom. He looked tense, paranoid and haggard. He proceeded to inform me that he'd been up all night plowing through gram after gram. Then he volunteered, "I blew my nose and it looked just like a baby abortion." Rooting around in his trash can he produced the bloodied tissue for my examination. Sure enough, Tom's was an apt if disgusting analogy. Ugh.
So it's Thanksgiving, time to eat like gluttons, drink like fish and watch football. Bon appetit.
One of my greatest fears in life regards my children.
Now, Iím pretty sure I donít actually have a kid yet, nor do I have plans on acquiring one any time soon. It isnít so much an impending fear about my children, so much as this general sort of dread pointing back at me from the future.
And, it isnít even that Iím afraid something bad will happen to my kids. I was pretty much left unsupervised during the entirety of my rearing, and not only did I manage not to burn anything down, break any limbs, or shoot an eye out, but I think I turned out pretty good.
Iím not worried that something might happen to them, Iím worried theyíll come out of the chute bad. Like, that they will be unattractive, or not very smart, or with the charisma of Dick Cheney. Iím not sure where I stand on the whole nature versus nurture thing, but I know that no matter how good a parent I will be (and I will be a damn good parent, ladies), that some things canít be overcome.
What if they are born with a big hairy mole on their face, or an annoying laugh, or the inability to ever alphabetizing things without sing the ďNow I know my ABCsĒ song Ė out loud? A kid like that might as well just be left out in the woods to die, because theyíll never make anything of themselves. And I am going to need my kids to take care of me, and well, when I get old, fat, and Marlon Brandon crazy.
But most of all, I fear that Iím not going to like my kids. I suppose that comes from not actually having progeny, because if I were to hold one of my very own (rather than one of the ones I occasionally rent from that Russian mail order company), Iíd probably be overwhelmed by so much love Iíd start bawling like Halle Berry after winning an Oscar.
Itís just something I was thinking about because yesterday I was on the train heading up to New Hampshire for Thanksgiving, and among the many seating mistakes I made (sitting on the side with sun in my eyes all day, facing backwards and getting motion sick after only a couple minutes), I sat in seats directly in front of a young child.
The kid was cute enough, and I liked her at first. I was really glad she wasnít a boy, or Iíd probably have had to deal with the little brat kicking the back of my chair for seven straight hours. No, the torture I suffered at the hands of this kid was purely psychological.
The kid kept yelling at and generally treating her mom like crap. Anytime the mom stopped showering the little tot with enough love to make Bukake look like a light drizzle, the kid would start screaming at the top of her lungs. ďMom! Mom!! MOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Ē
Second, she insisted on repeatedly asking how much longer itíd take before they got to their destination. It wasnít even the potential hilarity of an endless repetition of ďAre we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?Ē No, the kid would ask, mom would say, ďOh, three more hours dear.Ē And then the kid would start crying and say that was too long. Fifteen minutes later, again. Again. Again.
Itíd have been one thing if they were making her propel the train herself, Flintstones style, but she was just sitting there playing games and eating candy. How is that different than any other day for a spoiled little brat? No vestal virgins fanning her with peacock tails and feeding her grapes? Come on.
The worst of all was her singing. Itís cute when kids sing, Iíll admit. But, little kids donít really sing so much as yell. At that kind of volume the high-pitched wail of a pre-pubescent girl is enough is enough to shatter glass.
Certainly itís enough to really get on your nerves. And after the fifth straight rendition of Puff the Magic Dragon I wanted to Susan Smith her myself.
Benjamin Franklin quipped, "Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead." And while one could doubt the wisdom of a clown known to fly kites in raging thunderstorms, certainly there's some truthto this nugget.
My question is why? How come people feel such an irresistible compulsion to blab anything they catch wind of, eve if it's told to them in strictest of confidence? What satisfaction might one derive from betraying another's trust? And why all this verbal and physical exhibitionism? Whatever became of modesty?
My pet theory is that deep in our hearts, many feel unworthy of interest per se. Ah but throw in the juicy secret you'll gleefully reveal at the drop of Bill Clinton's pants or undo a button or two and---presto---you've increased your conversational value tenfold. You figure whoever you regale with such tales or flash a nip at will automatically rise to the bait. You figure wrong. Life ain't the Jerry Springer Show in case you hadn't noticed.
I can conceive of nothing less appealing than the sleazy details of someone's sexual derring-do, financial chicanery or health problems. Paticularly when they emanate from the yaps of folks I scarcely know. Now I'm sure they figure this is one way to break the ice or perhaps lay groundwork for a future friendship. They no doubt mean well but they're sadly mistaken. Indeed, this skeptic can't help but question their ulterior motives.
Folks, mystery, not openness, is the key to popularity and success. Exhume Greta Garbo and ask her. Or call on former Mouseketeer Christina Aguilera. Back when she was a coy coquette, or at least strove to cultivate that personna, guys and lesbians alike swooned @ her feet. Now that she's bared every inch of her form on the cover of Rolling Stone & elsewhere, it's anything but sexy. On that point,I'm with Effenheimer or whoever it was that called this wanton pop tart to the carpet here recently. Keep your clothes on. Leave something to the imagination. Quit with the PDAs already. Spring for a room, for crying out loud.
To paraphrase the Go-Gos, our lips are sealed.
Bobo got a wart on one of his fingers. Which one is not important but it probably had something to do with a stripper... but that's another story.
Anyway, you know how you have that favorite glass that only you drink out of? It's YOUR freaking glass and everybody knows it. Mine was a Sam's Hamburgers cup. A cheap ass plastic cup from the fast food joint I worked at in high school. It was a limited edition because the place didn't exist any more. I could have taken as many as I wanted, but I was young and only stole one. So I had my reasons for thinking it special.
Normally, roommates wouldn't touch a cup like this if it belonged to someone else. They wouldn't even think of drinking out of it in front of you let alone doing anything as disgusting as SOAKING A FUCKING WART IN IT!
I swear to god that bastard was sitting there soaking his baseball glove sized hand in my personal glass. I cussed that bitch out good.
The thing that really churns my butter is the fucker acted like I was the one who was fucking mental. Am I like the only person in the world that thinks warts are fucking disgusting? My god, if you have to soak a wart there are ways to do it without using any kind of dish used for the consumption of food or beverages.
How about standing over the sink for five fucking minutes? Is that too much to ask? How about using one of your own fucking glasses? How about a disposable cup?
And you know the really funny thing about Bobo was that he was an honor's student with a 4.0 in high school.
There are some points in your life when everything is going right.
Youíve got a hit single running up the charts and MTV. You are engaged to the sexiest man alive. You are the star of a new movie that doesnít stereotype Latinas at all. And, of course, youíve got an ass that just wont quit.
And then sometimes it seems as if youíre life is spinning violently out of control.
You havenít had a hit single in nearly a decade, and your new record probably wonít change that. You get videotaped in court mumbling to yourself and generally acting inappropriate. Your husband is a bald crack addict. You weigh about seventy pounds.
Neither of those situations is really where Iím at right now. I feel like Iím in a period of my life where things arenít spiraling hopelessly out of control, but nothing is going particularly hunky dory.
Which is okay.
You canít spend all your time worrying about things, and you canít spend all your time with your head so far out of touch with reality that you still really believe you are from Ďround the block, when you are spending all your time getting your butt rubbed by Ben Affleck.
I guess the point is, I am happy.
No job, no prospects, no girlfriend around. Still happy. Itís weird, but Iím not going to look this mood enhancing gift horse in the mouth. Iím just sitting here watching the pretty colors and getting by.
you want a good job? sell drugs. or better yet, sell shit that LOOKS like drugs to teenagers. That is profitable AND ... not illegal. a handful of ephedrine, the little white ones with crosses on the top, looks just like speed. Sell them two pills for $20, 10 for $100. Make enough in an hour to last all week.
Kids are stupid. You would be doing them a favor.
This is a sophomoric tale of college roommates. It is a written version of your USA Up All Night B Movie tales of college boys doing gross stuff. This is not a short story of heroism. This is juvenile BS. So, no surprises and no complaining. I don't want to hear it. I spend my time in "the real world" writing with constraints and when I come here, it's to exercise some portion of the brain that rarely sees the light. This story comes from a whole host of stories I have about the waste of time I call my college years. Yes, its vulgar. Yes, it is disgusting. That is half the point. I like to think of it as stercoraceous. ENJOY! or not.
1989-1990 senior year part I
Bobo was a mutant. He consumed enormous quantities of food every day. A couple pounds of hamburger for lunch with chips and two liters of pop. For dinner, several live chickens, a village full of potatoes and a Yugo.
Now that's a lot of food. Newton tells us that for every action there is an equal and opposite RE-action. If ya know what I mean.
Bobo apparently only took a dump once ever two days, but when he did, man ... watch out! Alert the media, sound the alarms, evacuate Tokyo.
Now, you might wonder how I would come to know something so disgusting. Well, it wasn't from some deep, "Breakfast Club" style conversation, believe me.
Pete1, Pete2 and I were sitting around the living room of our college apartment one afternoon when Bobo disappeared for an hour to complete this rare ritual of expungement. Suddenly Bobo came out of the john, grabbed his coat and left the apartment without saying anything to anyone. This was pretty fucked up since Bobo never left the apartment for anything except strippers and groceries and it wasnt dark enough for him to be leaving the apartment any way.
So the Petes and I were intrigued. We surmised that something terrible must have happened in the bathroom. Slowly we crept, inch by inch, toward the bathroom. The door was closed. Not a good sign.
Now the average person can guess what is coming. This is not an attempt at high art OR originality. But I spend the better part of my week writing quality features and columns for the good people of Council Bluffs and Southwest Iowa and if I don't get to do a 180ļ once in a while ... I bust. So if you are eating bean burritos stop eating or reading, one or the other.
We opened the door and what we saw was like a scene from "2001: A Space Odyssey."
My god ... it's full of shit! said Pete2.
Now I don't mean the toilet was reasonably full of shit like when even the heartiest of eaters leaves a big one behind. I used to work on a dairy farm when I was a kid and even cattle don't drop a load like the one that lay before us in the violated bowl of 49C Schilletter Village.
It looked like a Dairy Queen sundae straight from hell. The bowel was so full, we couldn't have shut the lid without it hitting a little curly-q that was perched on top like it had been laid there professionally. Now that I think about it, I don't remember there being any toilet paper in that bowel. That was probably because there wasn't enough room for any paper.
Bobo had clearly plugged the toilet. Hell, he almost plugged the lid. There wasn't even any water to be seen in there for the love of God! He ran out of the house to buy a plunger but the Petes and I didn't think a plunger was gonna cut it. Dynamite might have put a dent in the curly-q but it would have taken a team of 19th century Chinese railroad workers with drilling equipment to break it up properly. Bruce Willis in "Armageddon" had an easier job.
What puzzles me most is this: A man doesn't just shit like that by surprise. This had to have been a regular thing for Bobo since he was old enough to consume mass quantities of animal flesh. It isn't like one day you wake up and drop a fucking load the size of a midget and it takes you by surprise. You don't excrete something that would embarrass a water buffalo after a life of mild consumption. No, you build to this after a lifetime of gluttony.
For the love of god, after you've been on the toilet for, oh ... say 20 minutes or so ... you would think a little voice inside of your head would say "why not flush now?" You know? Half way through, why not give it a little flush, just in case? If only to keep the stink from peeling the paint off the walls, just a little flush. Just to give the single-celled organisms who never did nothin' to nobody a break, jiggle the handle.
Disgusting mother fucker.
I'm fairly certain my stepdaughter has moved back into our humble hovel. My basis for this sneaking suspicion being threefold: 1) I've spotted her car parked in our driveway on four recent morns. 2) Copious quantities of food have disappeared overnight. 3) Last night I fell asleep on the sofa. Only to be rousted by the bustle of several vampires hastening to turn in before the dreaded dawn did break.
To say she's a stranger to sunlight would be an understatement. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark spends more time outdoors in the daytime.
Having grown out of that petulant 12-15 phase, she's always welcome here. Although it does present somewhat of an inconvenience when I have to vacuum around her prostrate form. I've often wondered whether she'd awaken were her locks to be violently sucked into the contraption.
It's a top-of-the-line Panasonic MCV-7358 purchased when the frightfully intense proprietor of a local vacuum store told me that parts for my ailing Phantom had grown scarcer than a dollar coin. This guy, who speaks with a clipped Israeli accent and has amassed an encyclopedic body of knowledge in regard to vacuum cleaners, informed me that the Panasonic boasts two 12-amp motors, all metal parts and a hypo-allergenic hepa filter. He invited me to place my hand on the nozzle and switched it on. At once he flashed a maniacal smile as it wrenched my arm from its socket. "Anyone in your household got asthma," he asked. "No, except for maybe my vampire stepdaughter," came my wary reply. "Well, if they did your hypo-allergenic hepa filter would be indispensable. Removes 30% more airborne dust particles and mites than any comparable model," did he confide. Thus did I acquire a $275 "cleaning machine" (his term.)
So we've got sparkling clean carpets, less mites and a mystery boarder. All is well. Now if I could just figure out how to insert my Elvira hyperlink.
Iíve been back on the dole for a couple a little over two weeks now. Which isnít exactly true, since, again, Iím not getting unemployment. How do those welfare mothers pull this no working thing for years, and a working stiff like me canít even manage to collect money Iím owed? Maybe I should go and get myself knocked up. Unfortunately, I donít think I could get fucked hard enough to make my college and high school diplomas turn into a GED and a couple months of trade school.
Iíve pretty much decided that I donít want to go back to work. I know I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.
No, that isnít me. Thatís John Cusack.
But the sentiment is there. As much as I loved the people there, and my actual duties were a cakewalk, I didnít really like my job all that much. I know, I know. Anyone can say the same thing, but I really had no love for what I was doing. If Iíd stayed any longer, as much as my credit card providers would have appreciated it, I would have continued to slowly have any sort of ambition sucked out of me.
So, the only refuge is heading back to school. Today, I signed up to take the GRE today. My test date is Sunday at 8am. You should all think about me then and send me good mojo.
To tell the truth, now that Iím forced to do it, Iím totally scared. Not so much about taking the test, but about waking up in time on Sunday morning. Actually, this is all a good thing. I'm actually trying to get into classes this spring, and if I do, even though I have no conceivable way of paying for them, I'll be very happy. I'm actually pretty happy
This sucks, and no money sucks, but I didn't really like my job that much, and it was slowly killing me. I think pretty much any job would at this point, which is why school is the only option. That is, unless I can find a job that pays me enough so I don't care that my soul is slowly being extracted. I don't really use my soul all that much.
Greetings from the latest yapper on BS. By way of introduction, I am a reclusive would-be author residing outside your nation's capital, Sniperville. Yes, it wasn't so long ago that I pumped gas in mortal fear of being shot dead in my tracks. At one point I patronized a Sunoco station where a man was murdered. There was a suspicious-looking stain in the pavement that may or may not have resulted from an oil leak.
But that wasn't the scariest thing. An email from the BS pooh-ba MG urging me to "be myself" when posting was. I've written as a raving lunatic for my book, as a bland businesperson for my job as a claims adjustor and even adopted the tone of a 12 year old for my son's projects. But myself? That's nerve-wracking beyond words.
Equally disconcerting was the latest episode in our ongoing Remodeling Project From Hell. Seems someone planted the notion in my SO's head that our bathroom fixtures were hopelessly out-of-date. So out they came and thus did our nightmare commence. It culminated last night as we struggled to link the "hot" bathtub spray paint with the "cold" variety per the instruction booklet. Suffice it to say they connected about as well as Rosie O'Donnell and her magazine staff. As I struggled to force the issue, the "hot" began to spurt a creamy white liquid the viscosity of used motor oil all over my face, leather jacket and into my eyes. I felt like a porno star. Surely our neighbors enjoyed a hearty guffaw as I panicked and hurled the hissing can as if it were a grenade with its pin pulled across our lawn. Which, like our stoop and my jacket, is now colored partly white.
So, thus slathered in paint and with peepers ablaze as if embers, did I proceed to Lowe's to seek out a refund or an exchange for a less volatile product. I saunter up to the return counter with said cans in hand. "Can I help you," the clerk asked in that my-shift-ends-in-four-minutes tone that implies there's nothing further from her mind.
I explained the mishap and inquired about my alternatives to being attacked by a paint can run amok. Only to learn that other customers have suffered similar fates with this stuff. Why then would a reputable retailer continue to sell it? "It only happens about once a month," came the reply. And that's scary.
Should you find yourself dissatisified with your bathtub hue, CALL THE GUY.
Shhh!!! Don't tell anyone I'm here, I don't want to alert the other Bad Samis. No intro from me, I'm getting right down to it.
So the other night, my friends and I were going over to their place for drinks after watching "Harry Potter." On the way, we were approached by a scratchless, oh-so-pretty gay boy with a sob story, pleading for our financial assistance.
"Sorry to, like, bug you guys, but I've just had the worst night of my life. I'm visiting my boyfriend from out of town, and he got really drunk and started beating me up, and then I threw a plate at him and called the cops, who wouldn't do anything about it, and now I need a place to stay, but I don't have the money for a hotel room or a hostel bed, so could you please spare even some change to help me out???"
I laughed while one of my friends responded with, "Do you seriously expect me to keep a straight face during this?"
My other two friends, at least trying to be halfway helpful, offered the names of a few shelter locations. Pretty boy's trying to defend himself. I was still laughing. I'm tempted to ask him where his luggage is if he's really from out of town and whether the plate crashed over the boyfriend's head, but I couldn't stop myself from laughing long enough.
Now it would have been really unfortunate if the story really had been true. If I had seen blood from the beating, we would have helped immediately. If there were some bruises, a scratch, or even a zit, we may have entertained the possibility of its verity. If he didn't speak in run-on sentences, at the very least he would've sounded intelligent. If he had an outrageously entertaining bad and absolutely untrue story, I would've given him 10 bucks.
Welcome to New York Fucking City.
If you ask me about phobias, I'll truthfully tell you I don't have any. A phobia is what you convey to your psychoanalyst to get sympathy and a label with ten syllables. It's something stupid and fabricated, like Eurotophobia, the fear of female genitalia.
What I do have, however, is a blood curdling, will-kill-to-escape-from, hereditary terror of insects. Call it girly. I don't care. You go on Fear Factor, sample the cockroach cuisine, and I'll just keep eating Pringles and other foods with no exoskeleton.
I'm just going to keep on doing my Matrix-style backward bends to dodge any bees that might be flying on a beeline (oddly enough) towards me. Bees, and even those inconsiderate flies that look like bees, scare me exactly the same way bullets do. They're fast flying projectiles that hurt.
I'll never eat seafood for the simple reason that crustaceans look like big alien bugs. Shrimp, contrary to their popcorn image, are just little alien bugs, and the way the public salivates for them makes it that much worse for me. The segregation of the meat department is what I hold most sacred. Lobsters had better keep their claws away from my cow meat, because four legs always wins.
To me, "hornet," "wasp," and especially "spider" are all strong synonyms for "death." Seen the new Harry Potter movie? If you're like me (but I doubt you are), plan on taking a five minute intermission near the middle.
So when I heard way back that scientists were building robot bugs, I shat a beetle. On my last count, there were over a million known insect species, and that was already two million too many. If we're going to be developing even more, I may have to consider becoming a Luddite.
Nuclear and chemical warfare don't bother me. But the instant I suspect Saddam Hussein has gotten hold of remote-controlled tarantulas, I'm getting a bunker of my own.
Okay, so itís obvious by now that I am a big fat liar.
But, come on now, the name of the site is Bad Samaritan, did you expect anything else?
I havenít written every day. I havenít even written once since last week. Itís just that Iíve got nothing to say besides being whiny. And Iím really sick of myself whining about being whiney. I also really wish I knew how to spell whiny.
Oh sure, I could go on and on about my exciting life. Waking up in time for the final minutes of Price is Right (ďremember to spade or neuter your petsĒ). Eating cereal for lunch, in my pajamas (which I wont take off all day). Learning about all the little intricacies of each and every one of the adjudicators on the one million Judge shows. Sitting in a darkened room sending out resumes that no one will ever read. Having dinner alone and the falling asleep to the sound of late night reruns, usually not having talked to (or seen) a single live person all day.
Really, why would I do that? You are all so jealous of me already, why would I rub your noses in my glory days?
Still, some of you having been yelling at me to get off my ass, and maybe it really would make me feel better to come here and spew a bit, I will be back. No bold promises about frequency, but I know I feel better just writing now, so guess I do really need this.
The United States and Britain warned their citizens Wednesday to avoid a camel bazaar in western India because of the risk of terrorist activity.
"That's right," one British spokesperson said to a group of sniggering reporters. "I said 'camel bazaar' -- yes, a real terrorist thre -- oh, honestly, you bloody... quit laughing!"
As near as the reporters were able to determine (what with the distraction from all the chuckling and head-shaking and asking themselves what else Britain and the U.S. would think up to add to the pile of directionless dread they seem hellbent on heaping on the general public to keep the war-fervor high), the centuries-old bazaar is held annually in the desert town of Pushkar, in Rajasthan state some 200 miles southwest of New Delhi, putting it about 1600 miles east-by-northeast of Friggin' Nowhere. Hundreds of thousands of camels, horses and cattle are sold during the fair, which has become a popular tourist event.
"Well it has," one U.S. spokesperson, nearly reduced to tears, shouted over the resurgent peals of helpless laughter from the pressbox. "It has so become a popular tourist event."
"While we have no indication of a specific threat to American citizens, we advise that they should avoid this event," the U.S. Embassy statement said of the Pushkar bazaar. "Not as though we need to say that, really. Seriously, there isn't any more chance that American tourists will be visiting a camel bazaar in Pushkar than there is of a salient thought pushing it's way to the front of GW's head... wait, is this mic still on?"
The British Embassy issued a similar advisory about the camel bazaar. "Pushkar fair which starts on Friday 15 November, is assessed as being a potential target of terrorist activity," the British statement said, calling upon all the famed British stiff upper lippedness in the entire genepool to keep a straight face.
Neither embassy said what terrorist group posed a threat at Pushkar -- as yet they've been unable to find a legitimate terrorist group even willing to admit they know where the bazaar is at.
"You can't be serious, Pushkar?" one alleged terrorist muttered. "Great Merciful Allah, they're really reaching now, y'know?"
Maybe youíve been wondering where Iíve been the past week.
Maybe you could care less.
Iím going to tell you anyone.
Last Wednesday, the last time Iíve shown my face around these parts, I was laid off. Iím not really upset about it. Really. The company hasnít been doing well the past couple months, just like most companies based in New York City arenít doing so well these days. It wasnít a surprise that people got fired; I think everyone had been expecting it. However, I was pretty darn surprised I was one of those to go.
Last Wednesday afternoon, my boss walks by my cube and asks if we could have a talk. I thought I was going to get a yelling at, since Iíd sort of been slacking off a bit recently. It wasnít that I wanted to slack off, but that there really wasnít that hell of a lot for me to do.
Which really should have been a clue about the whole impeding doom thing.
When, instead of heading back to his office, we headed upstairs, I began to get a little more worried. Swinging through the cube jungle, we ended up in the office of the head of Human Resources. At this point, I knew what was going down. But, instead of being upset about it, I smiled through her entire spiel. I hope it made her feel at least a tiny bit nervous that I might come back the next morning with my two best friends, Smith and Wesson.
But, so, Iím unemployed again. I was thinking, as I was writing this, that over the 26 months of Bad Samaritan, Iíve only been fully employed for about 15 of them. If that were a batting average, itíd be great, but unfortunately, my employment stratum relies on the pay for play model. I donít get the big bucks for sitting on the bench. And I don't get any bucks for lying on my couch watching bad movies.
So, that is where Iíve been the last couple days. Theyíve been a combination of excitement about the possibilities, moping about the lack of funds, watching bad movies, and drinking entirely too much. It was kind of tough to let you all know about this, but now that I have, Iíll be around, and writing at least daily, because, really, what the hell else have I go to do?
Frankly, I'm getting a little bored with the strip club scene, man. All these chicks do is whine about how crappy their lives are. I have no doubt their lives suck, they're strippers for Christ sake! If they had any guts they'd be hookers. As it is all the do is dance around for money and they think guys throw money at them because they are pretty or good dancers.
Word to the wise... GUYS DON'T CARE HOW GOOD YOU DANCE! All they care about is that you're sexy and you have a good (read: slutty) attitude. It's a catch-22, the better a girl gets at dancing, the hotter she thinks she is, the less she thinks she needs to do her job, the less money she makes, the worse her dancing gets, the more tired of her customers get, the less it matters HOW GOOD her dancing gets until the next thing you know she is either turning tricks after work or finding nastier and nastier clubs to work at where dancing is the last thing anybody cares about.
BUT, at least I get free pop when I go. Which is nice.
This might fall under the rubric of "Be careful what you put under your pillows....", but I know Mama never told about this fairy when I was a kid. Of course, if she had, it probably would have fried my poor little circuits.
If you put a tooth under your pillow, and there is a quarter there when you wake up, what happens when you put a pair of panties under your pillow? Hmm?? Of course, this isn't the sort of fairy tale you'll want to be telling your children....
Along a similar vein, I don't know if anyone else has seen the cover of the November 14th issue of Rolling Stone yet. My office has a subscription, so when I walked into the lunch room a couple days ago, I happened to notice the issue, which features Christina Aguilera on the cover. The photo isn't particularly notable except for the fact the Ms. Aguilera is wearing nothing but a strategically placed guitar. Apparently, the photo shoot had a minimal clothing budget.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm no prude, and Ms. Aguilera is by all accounts a very attractive woman. That aside, is this what we want our children seeing on magazine racks? At what point is too much exactly that? Yes, sex sells, but do we need to be slapping our kids across the face with it?
I'm trying very hard not to come off as a Southern Baptist here, but I can't help wondering if we've not only crossed the line, but obliterated it along the way. When an attractive young woman is plastered on the cover of a magazine wearing nothing but a guitar, it leaves nothing to the imagination. In a craven attempt to sell magazines, Rolling Stone seems to have abdicated it's responsibility to it's readers. I'm all for pushing the edge of the envelope, but this issue belongs behind the counter in a plain brown wrapper.
Ever get that demonic eyelid twitch?
I'm just about ready to call an exorcist for this, as the Ghostbusters are sure have their schedules full. It certainly doesn't bother me that exorcists are all fakers. Iím always a sucker for the placebo effect, especially when it involves any amount of hand waving. Spinning heads are optional but encouraged in my book.
But my lid demons are genuine. They're trying to burst out of my skull through my eye socket but not quite making it. Stupid vibrating demons.
Stupid coffee. One way I judge my personal wellness is by the magnitude of my sleep-to-coffee ratio, and it's been steadily decreasing all this week. I discovered java only about a month ago, when some cool kids I know started doing it, and I just wanted to fit in. Up until then, I had adhered to a strict Just Say No to Coffee policy, especially for the abomination that is coffee ice cream. It tries to imitate chocolate but fails, and the other 30 flavors laugh and kick the shit out of it when the freezer is closed. That wasn't for me.
Twitch. Coffee just isn't an effective shut-eye substitute. Each cup doesn't equal one hour of regained slumber. Furthermore, mixing in some cream, sugar, and/or Red Bull isn't like adding dreams. In short, Juan Valdez ain't the Sandman.
Twitch twitch twitch. Everything goes up and down just a little bit. It's rather disturbing because I'm from Southern California and we have these things where the ground really does oscillate, and so I'm emotionally shaken.
But Iím fine now. I think it's stopped.
I have been called a piece of shit a few times in my life, usually by ignorant assholes with self-esteem issues looking for a dog to kick. Recently my boss called me a piece of shit. THAT I cannot tolerate. I do what few writers in my market do and that is single-handedly sell newspapers. When people call up and renew their subs and ask for more of you, man, you've got it. I don't know what "it" is exactly, but it's something better than nothing that's for damn sure.
And what was my infraction? What was the crime so heinous that I had to be put in my fucking place with such harshness? I interupted the man during a meeting in which I was being warned that a co-worker accused me of "inappropriate workplace conduct" because I supposedly took a piece of candy out of my mouth and offered it to someone else. What horseshit.
By defending myself too vigorously, I pissed the old man off. Suddenly he forgets it's 2002. He thinks it's 1902 and he can say whatever the hell he wants to. Fucking Republicans.
Now the irony of being called a piece of shit in the middle of a meeting where I was being warned about inappropriate conduct is not lost on me. Nor, do I think, was it lost on my boss.
Later on, we laughed and laughed and rolled in the surf, our naked flesh making the squeaky sounds of dry fingers on clean plates.
Oh wait, that was the delusion I had when I went completely fucking dissociative. Tip for the ignorant: Only ever call someone a piece of shit when you know damn good and well they aren't accustomed to that kind of shabby treatment. Me, I've had about 32 years of preparation for this kind of offense. When you respond (and damn you for a coward if you don't), frankly, less is more.
Say nothing for at least 10 seconds, it lets the offender know you are trying your best not to leap across the table, gouge out their eyes with a no. 2 pencil and play the pan pipes with their bloody fucking eye holes. Then, slowly, with great measure, weigh each word like it's a bucket of radioactive isotope. Strontium 90 is good. Avert your eyes for just a moment as though what you are about to say is coming from God, the Devil or maybe your dead Uncle Attila is talking to you from just behind the offender's left shoulder. This gives the impression that someone is standing behind him that he can't see right before you look him dead in the eyes with a flat, fierce, steadfast, unwavering, undeniable authority and say ó in falsetto ó "ah you da Japanese-a sandman? You rook-a-rike a Japanese-a sandman."
After that, no one will ever fuck with you again.
I see worlds and worlds of rooms and desks where men and women are gathered around in robes, coats, suits and dresses to say what I shall write speak talk and sing. And they tell me that I am locked and barred from singing the true feelings of my nakedest skin. You are gathered here this morning to burn my finest papers. You are here in this room, at this very hour, to tell me that there is something ugly, vile, vulgar about me somewhere, somehow, some way. I excuse your ignorance. I am not ashamed of me nor ashamed of myself. My body is naked now and it was born naked. óWoody Guthrie, singer/writer
The stench was overwhelming as I stood in the cesspool of my own bodily secretions pondering. The peculiar thing is that I didnít want to move. I just wanted to stay there all the time ... pondering. óMatt Mercado, singer/songwriter Mind Bomb
If the human bodyís obscene, complain to the manufacturer, not me. óLarry Flynt, pornographer/First Amendment advocate
Art is a lie that tells the truth. óPablo Picasso, artist
Take away the right to say ďfuckĒ and you take away the right to say ďfuck the government.Ē Iím sorry if Iím not very funny tonight, but Iím not a comedian, Iím Lenny Bruce.Ē óLenny Bruce, comedian/visionary
Writing is a struggle against silence. óCarlos Fuentes, writer
I am not a ďgoodĒ writer. Not that I wouldnít like to be. But when I try to write serious work, the audience laughs. I try to write something ďfunnyĒ and the audience doesnít react at all. I have to write vast amounts to come up with the nuggets of anything good at all. I feel like a prospector panning for gold who has to sift through tons of gravel just to find a few flecks. óEric Bogosian, writer
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. óGeorge Orwell, writer
What experience and history teach is that people and governments never have learned anything from history. óGeorge Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, philosopher
Iím just another task in Godís daily planner: The Renaissance penciled in for right after the Dark Ages. The Information Age is scheduled immediately after the Industrial Revolution. Then the Post-Modern Era, then The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Famine. Check. Pestilence. Check. War. Check. Death. Check. And between the big events, the earthquakes and tidal waves, Godís got me squeezed in for a cameo appearance. Then maybe in 30 years, or maybe next year, Godís daily planner has me finished ... all God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring. óChuck Palahniuk, writer
Never mistake legibility for communication. óDavid Carson, writer/designer
If someone betrays you once it is their fault, if someone betrays you twice it is your fault. óEleanor Roosevelt, former first lady
Most people live dejectedly in worldly joys or sorrows. They sit on the sidelines and do not join in the dance. The knights of infinity are dancers and possess elevation. They rise up and fall down again, and this is no mean pastime, nor unpleasant to behold. óSoren Kierkegaard, philosopher
Is it that they fear the pain of death or could it be they fear the joy of life? óGlen Phillips, singer/songwriter Toad The Wet Sprocket
Cautious, careful people always casting about to preserve their reputation or social standards never can bring about reform. Those who are really in earnest are willing to be anything or nothing in the worldís estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathies with despised ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences. óSusan B. Anthony, suffragette
I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. íTis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death. óThomas Paine
When choosing between two evils, always choose the one you havenít tried yet. óMae West
The ultimate measure of man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. óMartin Luther King Jr.
A warrior is a person who does things quickly with an intense, fresh and undelaying spirit. It is a matter of being determined to break right through to the other side. óHagakure, samurai/philosopher
If a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man. óAnthony Burgess, writer
The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls. óElizabeth Cady Stanton, womenís rights advocate
Iím not sure if this will reach you all. The Empire forces have bordered our vessel. I have placed information vital to the survival of Rebellion into the memory system of this R2 unitÖ This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope.
I mean, the internet has been down in the office all morning, and Iím not sure itíll make it up at all today (Obviously, it has).
As Iím writing this, Iíve just returned from my lunch time constitutional (a walk, not the other thing) While I was out, I saw one of the most bizarre things Iíve seen in the 20 odd years Iíve lived in New York. I stopped in the Post Office on my little sojourn, as much to kill time as to find some 34 cent stamps. Yes, I know mail now costs 37 cents, but I accidentally bought 50 3 cent stamps and I donít know what to do with them.
I was thinking Iíd use 13 of them on one letter, but a) I donít want to give the damned Postal Service 2 extra cents, and b) Iím afraid if I upset the Postal Service theyíll black list me. Iíll be forced to use <disgust>electronic mail</disgust> for all my correspondence.
Anyway, I walked into the Post Office on 23 and Lexington. As Iím coming up the stairs I hear what could only be Michigan J. Frog. I thought maybe the Post Office actually cared about customer satisfaction and was giving us a bit of entertainment to help endure the wait on the inexplicably long lunch-time line.
I stood there contemplating whether or not I wanted to wait on said line, wasting my entire lunch hour in order to save 2 cents, or just recognize that you canít fight city hall and give the bastards in Washington my 2 cents (literally). This is a really tough decision. I bet if Iíd voted yesterday, I wouldnít be having these problems.
Anyway, two or three minutes pass as I stand there contemplating. Did I mention Iím on a lot of drugs right now? That really made the decision much tougher. Iíve got some (stress related) pinched nerve thing and I canít really move my head or left arm without this searing sort pain. I took a muscle relaxant and a pain reliever (the leftovers from the stash my dealer (mom) gave me when I hurt my back last summer) this morning and am now processing information slower than a game of Trivial Pursuit between Anna Nicole Smith, Steve-O, and Chris Burke. Also, Iím still in tons of pain.
So, while Iím standing there contemplating two or three minutes pass, as Iíve already said, and the Warner Brothers frog voice finished a song, and a number of people in the Post Office start clapping. It occurred to me, slowly, that if people were clapping, this was probably a live performance.
I scan the Post Office lobby, slowly, and my eyes fall upon the body from whence the voice was emanating; it was indeed a giant singing frog. But I am on a lot of drugs.
I will not be voting this year.
No, that felony conviction hasnít finally caught up with me. I just donít want to vote.
Since I turned 18, Iíve only missed one general election, in 2000. I only missed that one because it was the first year since Iíd moved back to New York City and the Board of Elections never bothered to send me a confirmation letting me know that they were indeed allowing me to vote in their fine state, and if so, where.
Every other year, Iíve been out there, casting ballots like Rick Clunn casting for bass. But, I wonít be out there this year. Iíll be lying on my couch at home, wearing a dirty wife-beater and drinking Schlitz, like Rick Clunn the rest of the year.
So, this being a really important sort of year in the history of the world (but, really, what year isnít?), why am I abstaining? Quite simply, besides for the gubernatorial race (and at this point Pataki is as sure a bet as the Pam Anderson Kid Rock marriage lasting less time than Push, Nevada), I donít know a damn thing about any of the candidates.
Iíll admit, in the past Iíve voted without knowing anything about certain candidates, how else do you think we ended up with Kaiser Wilhelm? I sure learned my lesson from that mistake, and I vowed never to vote for anyone just because they had the same party affiliation or I liked their haircut.
If Iím going to vote, I want to be responsible about. I donít really take responsibility for much else in my lifeÖ
MG, answering phone: Hello!
MGís babiesí momma: Is that you Michael?
MG: Uh, Michael doesnít live here anymore.
MGís babiesí momma: That is you!
MG: No it isnít me. MG is dead. I moved.
MGís babiesí momma: When you gonna come around? Lilí MG needs diapers.
Öso the least I could do is vote responsibly. So, that is the reason I am not voting this year. That and I donít want to have to wait on line after work, Buffy is on tonight.
Iím the type of guy who can be miserable even when everything is going right.
Maybe itís a too much education. Studies have shown there is a direct proportional relationship between education/intelligence and incidence of mental illness. Iím of mediocre intelligence, so Iím blessed with mediocre insanities. Maybe itís a chemical imbalance. I should get over my ethical hang-ups and start self-medicating. Anyone know a good dealer in the New York City area? Maybe this is all punishment for some past life ill deeds; in a past life I was the Fox executive who decided to give Chevy Chase his own show.
Whatever the reason, it sucks.
Now, considering my frown in the face of rainbows, itís no wonder how paralyzed I get when things really arenít going well. And things arenít going well.
Some obvious signs are that I havenít written here in a week. That I aborted my NaNoWriMo plans before I even got started. And that I stayed in my pajamas all weekend, lying in bed watching and bad movies (Rambo? Home Alone? What was I thinking?).
I donít want to get into the why, but let me relay this little story: When I walked into work this morning one of coworkers immediately said, ďYou donít look so well.Ē I grunted acknowledgment. He responded ďItís woman problems, isnít it.Ē I grunted acknowledgment. He pulled out a quote by one of the greatest thinkers of our time: keep it money over bitches.
So yeah, anyone got any money?
Iím craving a concert. I would say I'm like a sugar junkie in need of a 200 decibel pack of Ho Hos, but I've never even once had a Ho Ho, and so Iím not qualified to make that analogy. Shit.
It's been an unprecedented seven weeks since my last eardrum shattering session, so my ears are starting to emerge from their shell shock, and I'm hearing things I shouldn't. Superman, I feel your pain.
I spent my entire childhood wishing for X-ray vision, and here I get super-hearing. The irony is deafening.
Beyond a limit, aural input is quite awkward. Twice today, I answered the phone when it rang, but both times no one was on the other end. I suspect my scheming roommate might have purchased a dog whistle, but he's not telling me. The bastard.
For the past week, I've been pillow-muffling my head snugly because of nocturnal squeaks and thumps from the ceiling. I was sure they were due to some very enthusiastic neighborly love, but as it turned out, the guy upstairs has merely taken up Tai Chi.
On Friday night, I was hearing people say things they didn't, but that's entirely unrelated.
Most of all, I'm growing bored with the ability to pinpoint the whereabouts of small insects in my apartment via echolocation. It's great to be able to save money on fast food like that, but I place more value in my metal shows. As the first step, I'm going to see an unknown little band called Tool later this month, and I plan to wear earplugs up until then.