It's happened to all of us. We wake up, unsure of what to say, how to act. Do I comment on last night? Do I make lewd comments? Do I assume I'm oblivious to everything?
I'm not, actually, talking about waking up after hooking up with someone. I'm talking about what to say to your friend's hookup.
It seems to happen a lot to me: I get stuck being the driver, and I end up carting home not only intoxicated friends but their intoxicated one-night-stands. Or maybe a future potential ex, but in any case, more than once I've gone out on the town with a friend and ended the night driving him home as he sits in the back seat playing tonsil hockey with some stranger. And since usually when the positions are reversed, I'm not getting it on in the back seat but rather going to go to bed alone, I tend to get a little bitter when such things happen.
I really shouldn't be bitter about such things; after all, I can at least tell myself I'm going for quality, not quantity (no matter how much of a flat-out lie that may be.) The worst part is really the morning after, when the two of them have that post-coital glow that makes you want to projectile vomit as a testament to your loneliness. My friends have a habit of doing the morning-after brunch, as we rehash the nights (s)exploits, nurse our hangovers with coffee, and wolf down greasy food it an attempt to quell the strange mutterings of our internal organs. When the hookup goes to the bathroom, there are inevitabely the questions: how was it? are you going to see him again? how big was he? do you remember his name? Or else possibly: um, sorry to tell you, but I think you were wearing beer goggles last night... or perhaps vodka goggles.
The most fun are perhaps when you had already made plans to crash at a friend's place instead of driving his ass home and then your ass home to finally crawl in bed at 3 or 4 am. This can lead to a most interesting situation; that night, I'm usually tired enough from the night out that I'll fall right asleep, no matter how uncomfortable the couch is. In the morning, however, there's always the risk of waking up to two voices in the shower, or, worse, the rhythmic creaking of mattress springs from the next room. In these cases I always say that it's perfectly acceptable to greet the guilty parties with a comment such as “Good morning boys! I'll guess by the creaky mattress that you two had a good time? Or times, to be more precise?”
However, the worst are those instances where by your friend's behavior the next day, the future between them is in serious question but you, however, silently curse your friend for getting to him first since you would be all over that shit. Now, it's out of the question: tainted goods.
New Year's Resolution #1: Get more ass. You can't hope to fill the boyfriend-shaped hole in your life without at least trying on a few for size (no pun intended.) And I'll make my friends drive more often. Let them be jealous. For once in my life.
Ah, New Year's Eve. And you know what that means: Police fanning out everywhere to set up their sobriety checkpoints. Which, like everything in this Orwellian nightmare we live in, is a misnomer. They aren't after people who are sober, they are after drunk drivers. And drunk drivers are a constituency, like smokers, with no effective lobby to stand up for their rights. Hence their position erodes by the day as their rights are snatched away.
The US Constitution, or whatever shred is left of it, prevents search and seizure of citizens without probable cause that a crime has been committed by that citizen. When cops set up a roadblock and check out the condition and aroma of every driver along a given stretch of roadway, they are violating that very provision of the Constitution. Now the mad mothers can shimmy and do biddy do wah all they want, but this isn't legal. Yet for some reason, probably strained and convoluted legal arguments, it continues unabated. I
'll be staying home, cowering. Happy new year.
No entry found for womyn. Did you mean woman? -response you get on Dictionary.com
Like "postmodern," this is one of those terms rarely seen or heard outside the hallowed halls of academia. It's usually seen in connection with studies as in womyn's studies. Someone devised it so that the perfectly serviceable word "woman" won't seem derived from "womb" and "man," even though it was. This is hooey spouted by women who've either had no experiences or bad experiences at the hands of brutish men.
I don't know that women need their own field of study any more than African-Americans, redneck southerners or trisexuals do. At best it's a waste of time. At worst it is divisive and liable to create acrimony and mistrust where none existed before.
Womyn's studies like to promote tenets such as this: All "inter-gender relations" are tantamount to rape or sexual subjugation. This notion is so alien to the common man's thinking that it's hard to believe anyone would even conceive it let alone buy into that crap. Meanwhile its proponents tout Islam, a religion that routinely subjugates chicks when it isn't stoning them to death. (Wanna see? Google "woman getting stoned to death in Iran." Hold onto your seat for this streaming vid.)
Hence this gaping divide between the intelligentsia and us dolts grows wider by the day. Whereas they're concerned with nuanced theory we're concerned with facts. They wear their frumpishness like a badge of honor. We at least try to look sharp. They fear global warming/cooling while we fear heating/cooling bills. They're into analysis, we're into anal. They mull over the arcane, we go to the arcade. They sip herbal tea, we guzzle beer. They appreciate modern art and densely impenetrable books. We like porn and penetrating others. They loath the commonplace while we yearn for any trace of the familiar.
Join them if you want. But I see it this way: Do you ever want to check someone's oil with your dipstick? Do you want to engage in inter-gender relations while bent over the hood of a car? That and elbow-patched tweed jackets/beards and shrew-like miens are mutually exclusive. Endless seminars or endless sex scenes, those are your choices.
My boss is a devout Mormon. He likes to seek out a secluded spot to read his spiritual books. There is just such a spot on a dead-end road near the office. Nestled in the woods there, he read. He then noticed he wasn't alone. A couple was madly going at it just as described above. He came back all breathless to tell us about it. You should have seen his beet-red face when we told him it's a popular gathering place for gays looking for a nooner. Heh-heh.
Merry Christmas all of you guys. Sorry I have been nonexistent on Bad Sam, for a while. The bustle of the holidays and this freaking project I have been working on are killing me. Christmas passed off without a hitch and we finished our shopping without even having to stab anyone. Thatís almost a Christmas miracle itself living in the D.C. area. Itís funny how Christmas can bring out the best and worst in people all at the same time. The frenzied, frantic pace of all of the last minute shoppers is something to behold. I actually saw a lady in such a hurry that she knocked over a little girl, who couldnít have been more than five, without even a look back. I wanted to throw something at her but she disappeared around an isle before I could find something non-lethal but attention grabbing. Well, itís the thought that counts, right?
Well, my last post was in October and contained quite a bit of revealing information into my marriage and the problems Amy and I have been facing. Since then we have both sworn off alcohol, are on medication, and are seeing therapists. This seems to be working well and weíre closer than we have ever been. We have survived the adversity that was plaguing our relationship and it has brought us together in a way Iím not sure too many other things could. I figured out that the problems I had werenít with Amy or her past but with my own issues I have masked for years through alcohol, drugs and meaningless relationships with meaningless people. It feels like I have had blinders on for years and someone just removed them. This shit isnít easy though. I still have moments of self doubt, self loathing, and insecurities but I feel in control of myself for a change. I can reason through what is in my head without projecting it at Amy. For us to have stuck by each other during this time tells me everything I will ever need to know about the strength of our relationship. The point where most people say ďfuck itĒ and walk away we decided to take a chance and really rely on each other to prove ourselves to one another. We still have work to do on ourselves but our marriage is stronger than anything I have ever even allowed myself to believe possible. Go us.
For Christmas we went to visit my Dad and people from my home town. The place is as slow as ever but was a welcome pace to the rat race that is Northern Virginia. I really didnít want to leave but there are no jobs there for me so we had to return to reality. My nephews both received guns for Christmas. One is eight and the other six. The eight year old got a paint ball gun he really wanted and repeatedly threatened to shoot me when I wasnít looking. I just let him know that I could stuff him in the trunk of my car, drive well into the mountains, let him out and see if he got home before the bears got to him. Evidently he believed this enough; I didnít get shot. The six year old got a BB gun and promptly pointed it right at me. We had a little class outside on gun safety along with some threats to take it away so Iím sure he listened. Other than that life is quiet and very good. Amy and I are planning on visiting Linz sometime in February, if she ever calls me back (hint, hint), so we can hopefully catch a show. We also might be in NYC in April, for a wedding, so we might be able to see some of you peeps up there, time permitting. Until then, Happy New Year. Peace.
Imagine such cinematic classics as Gone with the Wind or Casablanca resissued on DVD with a cheesy laugh track. Imagine Beethoven's 9th Symphony accompanied by a kazoo and armpit farts.
It's that time of year when reviewers start looking back on the best and worst of 2004. Except this year, there's nothing to review. It was all so unmemorable, fair to middling, and irrevelant that it just isn't worth the time. I challenge anyone to produce even one exception this year. Or for that matter, this century.
Dude, where's my car? I'm outta here.
I'll now hurl this blurb into the yawning abyss that is the Christmas break lull. In the spirit of the season, should it draw no commentary, I'll view it as comment-free.
You might have noticed we've had some new commenting visitors of late. To wit: Fernando down in Argentina and Ex Chrimson NCO from god knows where. We welcome you both. You also may have noticed that at any given time there are 20-30 people on the site. Of those perhaps half a dozen comment frequently. Those same people are often the writers as well. So you could conclude that we have 25 mostly mute lurkers.
I used to lurk here. Like a perverted Aqualung peering through the gates at saucy schoolgirls, I watched without so much as a word. Eventually MG suggested some fresh blood. I emailed him and here I am.
My point is this: It must be odd for the web-surfer to run across this site. It's a truly functional group blog. It is apolitical. Like Seinfeld, it really isn't about anything in particular. And yet, it endures like those endless Friends reruns. You know, in retrospect, that show sucked.
Also, consider this: Assuming MG doesn't let his domain fees lapse, it will always be here; albeit tucked away in some archive that nobody looks at. Your kids might happen across your twenty-something musings and chuckle aloud. Fortunately all they would see is your duly recorded entries. They would not see you buns-up kneeling with somebody's root up your ass. Which is a helluva lot more than we can say for Pam Anderson or Paris Hilton. Their videos exist in cyberspace and they always will. Once it is out there, there's no way to eradicate it. It's like trying to stuff a busty Barbara Eden back into her genie bottle once you've summoned her forth.
Can you imagine trying to explain such a thing to your offspring? I know my kid sneaks a peak here every now and then. I've had trouble explaining some of the indiscretions I've confided to him. And those are just words, not vivid erotic imagery floating around for all to see.
The horror of it all.
I don't mean to complain. Really, I don't. I don't mind the sales clerks' listless "Happy Holidays." I don't mind that they keep malls so hot it feels like visiting an old folks' home in a down parka. I don't mind being bowled over by single-minded shopping moms' double strollers. I mean, look at the towering achievement they've wrought: managing to get pregnant, gestate a baby or two and then enduring the torturous C-section labor. They have every right to treat me like road kill.
The only thing about the shopping experience that is slowly, inexoraby driving me insane is the goddamn music. Incessant, everywhere-you-venture holiday music. Even pumping gas we're subjected to the inane torture. It wasn't half as bad when they would pipe in traditional Christmas ditties like Silent Night or The First Noel or Away in a Manger or something. But those numbers have religious overtones and that is a major no-no. So we're inundated with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer , Jingle Bell Rock or my absolute non-favorite, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree. These types of songs must have been cranked out with some general objective in mind, but for the life of me I can't fathom what it might be. Maybe just to piss me off.
I really do hope that grandma gets run over by a reindeer.
The fighting in Iraq wonít end until the U.S. leaves. The U.S. canít leave Iraq until a stable, democraticish government is in place. They canít have elections to establish a stable, democraticish government because there is still too much fighting.
It is a never-ending cycle.
The only thing that could possible fix the problem is to make John Kerry the president.
This makes sense for so many reasons Iím shocked no one has thought of this before. To begin with:
1) Will they even be able to hold elections over there next month? With each no car bombing, it is looking less and less like, despite our presidentís assurances.
2) So, since elections are so tough (hell, we canít even do it right here) letís just screw the elections. No matter what happens in the January elections in Iraq, everyone is just going to assume the U.S. installed the government, so why not just install a government?
3) Our big concern about leaving Iraq too early is that some wacky religious fundamentalist leader will take control of that country. Kerry was the alternative to the wacky religious fundamentalist leader in this country, so he already knows how to play that role.
4) John Kerry is a bona-fide war hero. He has got like 19 purple hearts, 23 bronze stars, 57 silver stars, and 103 Medals of Honor. The U.S. has been unable to train the Iraq military sufficiently, but if anyone could do it John Kerry could.
5) Over and over throughout the campaign Kerry said that he would do a better job in Iraq and create international coalitions. Well, here is your chance, big boy!
Am I brilliant, or what? Maybe I can take over as Secretary of Homeland Security Ė Iíve probably got fewer skeletons in my closet than Bernie Kerik (but that ainít saying much).
Once a girl told me she didn't perform a certain act on men. It wasn't that she was prudish, she explained, as she went in for all manner of other stuff with reckless abandon. Nor was it a taste issue.
The reason was that she'd heard the derisive way guys would say things like "suck my dick" to each other. She felt that to do it would thus be degrading to her as a person. She said boyfriends had tried to persuade her to do it in that inimitably subtle guy way of grabbing the back of her head and shoving it downward.
This had to be one of the oddest things anyone has ever uttered to me. It's one of those pieces of information to which you just don't have a ready response.
And it was all the more strange because I didn't know her all that well and I wasn't asking her to do anything let alone... that.
Iím really looking forward to the holidays, if only for a chance to sleep in late.
Work has been especially stressful the past couple weeks, as one project launches and another enters development, and everyone is trying to pass the buck before everybody else leaves the office for the rest of the year.
My home life has been stressful as well, as we are trying to Furber-ize Frances. No, it isnít anything mean, at least not intentionally. In the early months of a childís life, you canít really spoil them enough. Not enough love, not enough food, not enough holding. If they start crying, for whatever the reason, you satisfy that need.
But at some point, around 6 months, you have to start letting let them comfort themselves when they are upset. If they start crying, unless it is a dire need, then you have to just let them cry.
One of the myriad ways people suggest to do that is the Furber Method. Using this method, when your baby cries, instead of picking her up, you comfort her in her crib until she calms down, and then you leave. Invariably, your kid will immediately start to cry again. When they do, and they always do, you have to wait five minutes before going in to comfort her again. And then you have to wait ten minutes. And then fifteen.
The next night you wait six or seven minutes, and then 12 or 14, etc. Until eventually your kid starts being able to get herself back to sleep without your help, or her head spins around 360 degrees and she shoots pea soup out of her mouth.
Now, nature has made it impossible to hear a baby crying without compelling the hearer to want to take action, so it is difficult to sit there and listen to any child cry, but especially so your own. What makes it doubly difficult (or would that be triply now) is that we live in a one-bedroom apartment, and the kid sleeps about 3 feet away from us.
So, suffice it to say that the Furberizing isnít going great, and Iím going on no sleep people. No sleep.
Between parenthood and work, Iíve really been running on fumes, and when that happens, I start to lose brainpower. Iím a reasonably intelligent person with an above-average (at worse) vocabulary, but when Iím tired I start to forget even the simplest of words. I either have to stand there with a dumb look on my face as a search for the right word, or just give the definition of the word and hope people know what the hell I'm talking about. For example:
Yesterday was the first snow of the season and it really bummed me out to wake up in the morning and have to scrape snow off the windshield of myÖ wheeled transportation machine.
The other thing that happens when I lose sleep is I lose all fine motor function. For example, I got a cup of soup for lunch today. Apparently I filled the cup a little too full, because as I fumbled to open the top of it back at my desk, a fair amount of Southern Style Sausage and Rice squirted out on my shirt and pants, like if youíd stepped on a tube of toothpaste.
And that is why Iím happy for the holidays, so I can get some sleep and get back to my normal verbose and dexterous self.
You'll be happy to note that the long-idle French military juggernaut is back in action. In order to avoid the negative connotations associated with the word "troops," the troops are calling themselves "peacekeepers." But they are troops and by all accounts they have acquitted themselves nicely on the battlefield.
Alas, as we've seen in Iraq, even a force with an overwhelming advantage can face difficutly in quelling a persistent insurgency that resorts to underhanded tactics. This could happen in the Ivory Coast, where anti-French sentiment has been brewing for years. Then what? Well, among the French options is dropping a nuclear bomb on the Ivory Coast to preserve its peace.
Yes! The French are in possession of powerful atomic weapons. As are the Americans, Russians, English, Israelis, Pakististanis, Indians, North Koreans and for all we know, Al Qaeda. Until recently South Africa had nukes too. There are loose nukes floating around in the black market.
Could somebody please tell me who, precisely, these countries plan to use these weapons on? And isn't it a tad hypocritical for a nation like the US to decry nuclear programs in places like Iran when they are not only the leaders in nuclear stockpiles but also the only nation to ever use them on a foe?
Let's not even get into the fact that when the second A-bomb decimated Nagasaki, the Japanese were desperately trying to surrender.
Blank's rant about how silly it is for people to get together and celebrate their absence of belief in dieties got me to thinking about something that's bothered me for a long time: the (non?) existence of antimatter and negative numbers.
You know antimatter, it's that non-stuff that physicists insist non-exists in its vacuum of a non-parallel universe. I suppose they base this on one of their cherished Laws of Thermodynamics, possibly the one about every action causing an equal and proportionate reaction. I don't like ironclad Laws like that. I'd much prefer the Suggested Guidelines of Thermodynamics.
Negative numbers are the same way. You can't count anything with them. You assume they exist because math teachers told you they did. But you haven't seen one and the whole concept is just so...alien.
The fact that I can't grasp such notions is particularly odd since I am supposed to be some kind of brainiac. At least that is what I've been told since like the third grade. They administered an IQ test and I scored off the charts, like 165 or something. Years later this got reaffirmed when the freaking Governor himself sent my parents a letter congratulating them on my having the highest SAT score up to that point. (Since then several kids have aced it. Probably those over-achieving Asians.)
Being smart is somewhat of a burden. Smart people run the risk of being viewed as condescending or worse, dweebs or geeks. This isn't good if you ever aspire to getting laid or even enjoying any semblance of a social life. You learn early on to play dumb or at least play down your supposed intelligence. I even do it writing here. (See paragraph above for example: "...or something." Of course I know what the score was, 162.)
I bet gorgeous women learn to do the same thing. They want to be attractive, but not too attractive. That runs the risk of having guys and lesbians hitting on you 24-7, which can be a bit of a drag. It also runs the risk of drawing the catty ire of other jealous women. So you go without makeup, wear baggy sweats and tie your hair into a pony tail. The one exception being New York City beauties. Those gals really seem to work at it. They sport the expensive makeup and clothes and teeter around on tortuous-looking footwear. I don't know why. No guy has ever been attracted to a girl over the length of her eyelashes, her fancy purse or the luster and body of her hair.
I swear, on the name of all that is Good, Right, and Holy, that I WILL NEVER, EVER, EVER PURCHASE ANOTHER TIME MAGAZINE AS LONG AS I SHALL LIVE- and I plan on being ornery while I'm still drawing breath for a good, long time.
How sad is it when the face of the forces of hatred, ignorance, and oppression is celebrated by one of the (formerly, at least) most respected media outlets that this country has to offer. Are the maroons who make these decisions completely BLIND to the reality of the world that has been created by Bush and his neo-Conservative fellow travellers? Have we become so undemanding of our leaders that we are willing to lionize the inept, the venal, and the thoroughly corrupt who lead us? And then people wonder why some of us want to relocate to Canada....
I cannot believe that any thinking, rational, lucid human being could possibly think that our Prevaricator-in-Chief would be worthy of ANYTHING resembling this sort of recognition. Hmm...let's review his qualifications, shall we?
- He stole Florida, and with it the 2000 Presidential election right out from under the nose of Democrats. His minions (including his Daddy's friends on the US Supreme Court) used their power and influence to block the counting of legimately-cast votes from Dade County, among others.
- On 9.11, his deer-in-headlight reaction to the terrorist attacks typified his Daddy-what-do-I-do-now? leadership style. Leaders lead...they do not fly aimlessly around the country trying to find a safe rabbit hole while all hell breaks loose around them.
- He used 9.11 as a pretext for his long-desired war on Iraq. By fabricating intelligence on Iraq's alleged possession of WMDs, and by ignoring dissenting (and decidedly more reasoned and intelligent) voices in his own Administration, he is responsible for the deaths of 1300+ American soldiers...and for what? Good Morning, Vietnam....
- He has helped to create an atmosphere in which hatred is once again fashionable. Gays, Democrats, Muslims, France...we no longer lack for scapegoats. Besides, it certainly is easier than taking personal responsibility for our own siutation, eh??
- He has given life to Josef Goebbel's "Big Lie". Given that something like 70% of those who voted for Bush feel that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9.11 attacks, it hasn't been much of a challenge to indoctrinate the American voting public. Apparently, we are an exceedingly undemanding lot. Critical thinking? Nah, I'll take "Let me bend over and grab my ankles- you can drive" for 500, Alex. Americans will believe ANYTHING if it is fed to them often enough.
If I seem angry, it's because I am. I'm so tired of being surrounded by the ignorant, the undemanding, and the intellectually inflexible. By and large, Americans make up their minds based on an absolute minimum of information. You can almost hear minds slamming shut, steeling themselves against anything that might shake the certainty of their faith. I am baffled by the collective American refusal to face the reality of what they have voted into office.
- Have any of y'all bothered to pay attention to what is happening in Iraq? Do you realize that over 1300 American soldiers have died, and thousands more have been wounded?
- Can someone PLEASE explain to me how the war in Iraq is protecting our freedoms here at home? HOW in the world was Iraq a threat to the Homeland? And spare me the tired Republican chant about how you would rather fight the terrorists in the streets of Baghdad than the streets of New York. Before the invasion of Iraq, there WAS no insurgency. That is purely a result of George W. Bush's war.
- Bush lied about WMDs in Iraq, 1300 Americans have died in a pointless war of aggression, and yet he is being lionized as a hero? Bill Clinton lied about getting his helmet polished by an intern, and he was impeached...so who's the criminal now?
I am so tired of hearing Americans proudly saying "My Billy in is Iraq protecting our freedoms here at home!" Protecting us from what threat? The one that we created when we invaded Iraq? How, exactly, had Iraq threatened our freedom previously? Therein, perhaps, lies Bush's greatest crime. Instead of leading, he has told Americans exactly what they want to hear. He has become a hero by convincing Americans of what they were predisposed to believe to begin with.
Instead of leading, instead of being honest with the American people, George W. Bush and his minions have hammered on a consistent, if untrue, message that resonates with the electorate. Given that we are an exceedingly stupid and undemanded aggregate, it probably wasn't much of a challenge...not when you have timid media like TIME to do the heavy lifting for you.
TIME will never see another dime of my money...not that they will actually care or notice. I simply cannot in good conscience support the bottom line of a media organization that so willingly and easily glosses over the true record of George W. Bush.
WE DESERVE BETTER.
Every day they arrive. Swarms of Mexicans flounce across the Rio Grande in search of landscaping and bellhop jobs. Their wives promptly spew out automatic American citizens on the northern shore. Boatloads of Chinese crowd our harbors, some alive some dead some in between. Arab terrorists arrive by plane with bogus visas in one hand and box cutters in the other. They take flight classes but play hookey on the days when they go over takeoff and landing. None of them are ever deported.
You see, the government is too busy trying to deport one John Demjanjuk (pronounced: your guess is as mine.) He came to the US in 1952 and worked at Ford Motor Co. Little did anyone know that he was really Ivan the Terrible of Holocaust infamy. Ah, but his ruse was discovered and he was sent to Israel to face justice. A kangaroo court sentenced him to hang. Ultimately his conviction got overturned by the Israeli Supreme Court. John convinced the judges that some other body was in fact Ivan the Terrible. His US citizenship was restored.
Look. This guy is 84 and in failing health. His life expectancy is measured in minutes not years. If he is Ivan the Terrible, he was probably compelled to do whatever he did by higher-ups. He'd have likely been killed himself had he disobeyed orders. Ivan toiled at a prison camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.
There must come a time when we should let bygones be bygones. So, in the generic Holiday Season spirit, I call upon the INS to lay off John Demjanujuk and go hunt down some terrorists or something. Ho ho ho.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among those are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. -Tom Jefferson
It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you might live as you wish. -Mother Teresa (emphasis added)
These two assertions reflect diametrically opposed worldviews. Tom felt that the pursuit of individual happiness was a prime directive. This is in keeping with what we know about him. He was, after all, a bit of a hedonist. He banged his slave Sally Hennings. He designed Monticello, an elaborate architectural wonder. A dandy, he wore wigs and dressed in finery. Like most hedonists he looked askance at organized religion.
Mama Terry valued hard work, self-sacrifice, discipline and kids. She lived in austere poverty by choice, toiling away on the mean streets of New Delhi. She had the misfortune to die the same week as Princess Di did, so hardly anyone even noticed. It's safe to say she didn't put the pursuit of happiness real high on her priority list.
And these differences are what ails our polarized red-blue society. Blue coastal denizens believe their pursuit of happiness is a given. Red heartland residents are leery of happiness unless it comes cloaked in spirituality. Blues are secular and deny the existence of immutable truths. Reds disagree, as their core beliefs are rooted in religion. Blues embrace alternate lifestyles and points of view, reds do not. Neither is right or wrong.
My state is a microsm of this gaping divide. Here in Northern Virginia we all feed at the Federal trough. The government acts like a super powerful magnet, attracting trillions of tax dollars and swarms of people who seek power and fortune. Like the old Sam Kinnison dictum "go where the food is," they come here because your money has been diverted here. We all make great livings off it. We believe pursuit of happiness is an inalienable right. We think it's a poverty to let the birth of some troublesome rug rat get in the way of our fun. Downstate it's different.
We enjoy the National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian and Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. They have an international speedway and peep shows. We thank you for not smoking within a mile of any person living or dead. There they all smoke when they aren't chewing tobacco or both. We eat bran muffins for breakfast. They drink beer for breakfast. We drive Lexuses and Beamers. They drive pickups with NASCAR insiginia all over it. As Don Henley once put it, the old world shadows hang heavy in the air there. No one holds slaves, but you jsut know they used to. We hire illegal nannies and fail to report their earnings.
So here's how it works: The Federal government saps y'all for 25% of your income. Most of it winds up in our accounts cuz we live here. But a goodly portion of that winds up being syphoned off by the downstaters, who want to ride on spiffy new highways and send their kids to state of the art schools. Meanwhile, we choke on exhaust fumes stuck in traffic 24-7. Our kids attend dilapidated schoolhouses where lead paint flakes and asbestosis fibers rain down like confetti. Naturally this is a source of much friction and animosity. They view us as greedy for balking whenever they ransack our fat bank accounts for more downstate projects. The way they see it we have unlimited easy money thanks to your tax dollars continually pouring into this area. We see them as shiftless, undereducated moochers, cuz that is what they is.
Tom Jefferson, meet Ma Teresa. Ma, meet Tom. It's a match made in heaven.
One of my stepdaughters is warm and congenial to me. The other is a tad distant though friendly. I don't know why. Then again, I've never been a stepchild so why would I? My parents were one of those rare couple that stuck together till death did them part. Fun fact: Perhaps the most widely repeated falsehood is that 50% of marriages end in divorce. That misleading stat was derived by comparing the raw numbers of divorces with the raw number of marriages in a given year. That kind of analysis is full of holes.
I do, however, have experience with half-siblings. I first met my 1/2 brother when he was 17 and I was 6. He darkened our doorway with suitcase in hand. Just imagine my mom's surprise to learn of her hubby's prior family and his having neglected to formally end that union; thereby nullifying her own nuptials.
He wasted no time in setting up shop, alienating everyone but my sister in the process. Four years older than me, she worshiped the ground he walked on. You see, this was the 60s and he'd come from sunny California. He was thus the very embodiment of detached cool. Even when he evicted her from her bedroom and forced her to live in the attic she didn't complain. Years later when he got so wasted and forgot their blood relationship and tried to hit on her. Still her opinion didn't change.
He then resurfaced with his stunning bride and infant son in tow. Seems he'd had yet another run-in with the law. They took up residence in our country home. They had the run of the house, relegating the rest of the family to the former slaves' quarters in the musty basement. He left just as he came, with the sherriff hot on his tail. Hick cops don't take too kindly to pot farmers in their midst.
Cucumber cool Californians can have a profound effect on their awestruck East Coast counterparts. One moved in on my block when I was a teenager. Dave got an Chevy Nova. The first thing he did was remove the hands from the dashboard clock. He'd point at it and go, "See what time it is? It's no time. Be here now." When you're all of 16 and impressionable, such gibberish can seem so deep.
Before he got shoved overboard on a shrimping boat, Dave imparted some valuable advice to me. When I'd suggest we quit hanging around and go hit on chicks, he'd say that would be the worst thing we could do. He'd point out that girls want it too. Specifically they want to play hide the salami with guys who don't appear over-eager. Better yet, they prefer someone else's boyfriend. As he explained it, there's no worse turnoff than the stench of desperation. So we hung out. And waited. Nothing ever happened.
Those looky Californians sure know how to live in the now. So here's to Dave in his watery grave. And to Lenny, festering in his dingy Monterrey apartment. And tending to the stars' vacation cottages in Carmel. And doing his laundry in they spiffy washer/dryers. And helping himself to they fancy imported beer.
I have a new (relatively) distraction. Dog tracking. That is teaching your dog (really just giving him the environment and structured stimulus to hone his innate skills) to track people. Itís great fun, and lots of exercise.
My girlfriend found this great trainer in the nearby mountain town of Canmore (www.onthetrail.ca). Frans is a Dutch fellow (Hollish is the term I prefer) who has trained in the Art of dog tracking in Europe. He and his wife / life partner Tara run the business out of their home in Canmore, and mostly use public spaces to run tracks for their clients. My girlfriendís dog Hogan has been tracking for a little over a year now and Otto (remember him?) has now started up. Since that post regarding him he has grown significantly. Heís now just over 70 lbs at approximately 9-10 months of age. Heís still a big, largely uncoordinated goober, with lots of puppy playfulness left in him.
Frans and Tara have also been had the effect of broadening my horizons a bit. If you take a gander through their website you will come across the various herbal products and raw food they sell. Not stuff I buy myself, or are likely to buy anytime soon. They have a somewhat different philosophical perception of the world than mine. Somewhat in the vein of the Kevin from Linzís recent post.
For the most part the differences in worldview donít impact on the activity that I partake with them. Dog tracking is a drug free sport (no performance enhancing drugs for sniffing I guess), and their methodology doesnít require adherence to their worldview to participate. For the most part they are open about their views of the world, and dogs etc, but they donít actively try to covert the people around them to the same views. When they offer an opinion that clearly departs from my view of the world (ie they donít believe in vaccinations) I just listen and disregard. The relationship is casual enough and infrequent enough (3 to 4 hours once per week or so) so as to not really impact on my life in general.
Anyway, how do the people of Bad Sam community view this type of worldview? How do you deal with people that have it when they are more insistent or further into your life?
If you are fortunate to be able to lead a life of any length at all, eventually you are going to have to say goodbye to a friend or loved one. Death is part of the cycle of life; it's a reality as unchanging, harsh, and immutable as anything one will face in this world. Unfortunately, being cognizant of that reality hardly serves to soften the blow.
Yesterday, we said goodbye to Tabby. She was 13 years old, and had clearly been on the back side of the bell curve for some time now. We all knew that she was not long for this world, but finding oneself at the moment of decision is never something that can be planned for, nor can it's impact be minimized.
Tabby had been blind for the better part of the last two years. Because of this, she rarely left the front yard, and in fact her world could be traced within a three-yard radius of the tree in front of our house. She would come in twice a day to be fed, and then she would go back out to her patch of Earth near the tree. Over the past two years, we've essentially become a feeding trough for Tabby. The routine was nearly identical every day, twice a day- come in, eat, and leave. Every now and then, she would curl up and fall asleep on the kitchen counter where we fed her, but it was clear that our role was primarily to feed her and let her be.
On occasion, Tabby would surprise me by curling up in my lap and going to sleep. Just when I'd begun to give up on her acting like a "normal" cat, she'd show me her sweet and loving side. Because of her blindness, maneuvering in the house must have felt like tapdancing through a minefield, but when she wanted some affection, there was little that was going to stop her. Though she will never be remembered for her sweet disposition (I didn't call her "Crabitha" for nothing...), she did have her moments when she could be astonishingly sweet and loving.
Over the past week or so, I'd noticed that her vision seemed even worse than usual. She would run into walls at full speed, which she had not done previously. She'd always managed to avoid serious collisions by employing something close to radar, and though she ran into things, it was usually in her hurry to rush out of the house and back to her front yard.
Yesterday, I brought her in to feed her as I normally do in the morning. She polished off the usual can of bad cat food, jumped off the counter onto the floor and made a beeline for the front door. As she was doing so, her front legs went out from under her in a way I hadn't seen before. I was leaving with Salem the Wonderdog to go to the groomer, so I didn't really notice anything terribly amiss in the way that Tabby laid down in the driveway after her pratfall. She seemed tired and listless, but I passed that off to her age. In retrospect, I recognize now that something was terribly wrong.
When I came back from the groomer, Tabby was laying in the same position as when I'd left. While Tabby had always been known for economy of motion and conservation of energy, I knew immediately that she was in bad shape. I kneeled in front of her, and while I could see her moving her eyes as if she was trying to look at me, nothing else moved. She did not seem to be in any sort of pain, but she was clearly unable to move. Suddenly, it dawned on me what was happening. Tabby had reached the end of her road.
I went into the house and told Susan that something was very wrong with Tabby, and when she looked at her there was no disagreement about what needed to be done. With Tabby clearly unable to move, the only other option available to us was to let her die of starvation and/or dehydration. Neither of us wanted to see her suffer, so we made the only decision we could.
I found a wicker basket, put a towel in the bottom to make certain Tabby would be something resembling comfortable, and then put her in the basket for her last ride. In picking her up, Tabby offered none of the whining and/or growling that was so typical of her. It was almost as if the only thing that remained in working order was her brain. I could see her eyes trying to follow me, but beyond that and a heartbeat, there was no response. I arranged her in the basket as best I could, set the basket gently in the front seat of my truck, and began the two-mile drive to the vet's office.
Thankfully, once I arrived at the vet, they didn't keep us waiting. I was ushered into one of the exam rooms, and after a cursory exam, the vet determined that my assessment was correct. Tabby had simply reached the end of her journey, and it was time to say goodbye.
After giving me a few minutes alone with Tabby, it was time to do what needed to be done. As I cradled Tabby's head, the vet pushed the viscous pink sedative into Tabby's vein as I wondered to myself if I was doing the right thing. Within a few seconds, Tabby stopped breathing and I felt her go limp. Just like that, she was gone.
The vet left me alone with Tabby, and once I finished a few minutes of crying, I wrapped her in the towel and placed her in the basket for the trip home. The trip home was short, though I was too numb to really remember anything about it. I couldn't decide if I had done the right thing, or if perhaps there might have been something- anything- I could I have to keep Tabby with us. On an intellectual level, I knew that there was nothing else that could have been done. Emotionally, though, I was a wreck, and I found myself feeling responsible for killing our cat. Now I had to go home and bury her.
Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day...in fact, it was an absolutely perfect day to bury Tabby next to Makis on the lakeshore in our back yard. Once I had finished, I sat next to Makis' grave and Tabby's final resting place and just listened- to the ducks trolling for food, to the cheers of the football game at Seabrook Intermediate School, but mostly to my own thoughts. I sat there for perhaps 30-45 minutes before yielding to the ducks. They were hungry, and my presence was clearly impeding their search for food.
When I looked outside later this afternoon, Boo was curled up asleep on the chair I'd left next to Tabby's grave. Paying his last respects? Who knows? Somehow, it seemed as if that might just be the case.
Tabby will never be remembered as Miss Congeniality. While she did have moments when she could be sweet and affectionate, she more often than not could be prickly, crabby, and just downright ornery. Still, she was a member of our family, and she was Eric's first pet. Saying goodbye is never easy.
Living with pets means outliving them. It's the natural course of events. They brighten our lives, enrich our experience, and make a home feel...well, like home. They create memories and leave us with smiles as we look for our lint rollers and/or paper towels to clean up the hairballs. The price to be paid for this is having to say goodbye far sooner than we would choose if left to our own devices. Having to make the decision to have a pet put down is a terrible, gut-wrenching decision that can feel somewhat akin to playing God. It's a final, irreversible decision that never feels good. Today is the fourth time I've had to make this decision with one of my cats, and it NEVER gets any easier. It is always an emotionally wrenching and draining experience. I still feel empty and very, very sad. I know that we did the right thing, but it's hard to feel that way. A heavy heart becomes lighter with the passage of time; that's how these things work. Life goes on, as it must...after all, what's the other option?
I will miss Tabby. She had this annoying habit of sitting in the driveway as I was trying to park my truck. She would sit in the glare of the headlights, regally refusing to move as if she was asserting her dominance, which I suppose in a way she was. "You want to park that thing? Sure, but I'm going to make you get out of that damn truck first." And, yes, she usually won that battle. I'll miss our test of wills.
Shalom, Tabby. You may not have always recognized this, but you were loved, and you will be missed. I miss you already....
I am so sick of Lindsey Lohan. Everywhere you look, she's there with that knowing smirk plastered across her face. Overexposure isn't the word. We're literally being Lindsey Lohaned to death, and it's like Chinese water torture.
I don't care why her dad is in/out of jail or why she was hospitalized. I don't care whether she has fake boobs. I don't care if she gets shit-faced in clubs. I just wish she'd go away, along with the rest of her Hollywood pals. No I couldn't care less about them either. I don't care if Julia had Siamese twins or what asinine names she might have chosen for them. I don't care if Jen and Brad's marriage is kaput like all Hollywood unions.
Fact is, I don't know these people and I never will. Lest stalkers get within stalking distance of them, the glitterati surround themselves with a phallanx o' bodyguards and velvet ropes. They despise common people and would sooner eat a live asp than rub elbows with anyone who doesn't use the terms clubbing and wintering as verbs. That is, unless they want to steal your wife as Jerry Seinfeld did to some poor schlub on his honeymoon, no less.
Most of them aren't even all that attractive. If Brad is really the sexiest man alive, couldn't he have done better than the mannish looking Jen? Whose idea was it to cast Julia as Pretty Woman? She's got that bony, unsubstantial figure, too symmetrical features and of course that massive mouth full of landing strip teeth. What's pretty about that? And how come these actresses never have big tits? Jeez, Deborah Messing appears to have pencil erasers where her boobs belong. With all the plastic surgery they undergo, why doesn't anyone but Pam Anderson ever address that issue?
Don't Billy Bush and Nancy O'Dell ever tire of sucking up to these fuckups?
It is amazing how much of our resources are devoted to chronicling celebs' every move. People, In Touch, Us, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, E!, the list goes on and on. Each star has a slew of web shrines devoted to them. They spend their days giving interview upon interview. The subject is always the same: Themselves and the insular little world of actors they dwell in. And what a world it is: Flit from one backslapping award show to another. Flash that wiggly-finger wave to your legion of admirers on the red carpet, mummers. Squint as all the flashbulbs go off. Gush about how this peer or that is a creative genius. Tell us how grueling the shoot was. Tell us about the awful conditions you toil under for your all-important Craft. Smile.
And please, please deliver me from the B-list celebs reading PSAs on TV. Read to your kids. Talk to them about drugs and smoking. Don't be a bully. Be kind to others. Blah, blah, blah.
I'm also sick of athlete and coach interviews. Talk about all the same: 1) Our next opponent is going to be tough. 2) We're taking it one game at a time. 3) Coach _____ is great. He's got us prepared. 4) It's all about winning as a team. 5) Whoever scores the most points wins. And so forth. Couldn't we just stipulate to all that and bring back Charles Barkley to spout about how it isn't his goddamn job to be a role mode to kids? Raise your own damn kids. And don't hand them off to the nanny so you can hook up with your personal trainer and dietician to regain your girlish figure either. Raise them yourself.
I don't like euphemisms. Euphemisms are a form of lying. - George Carlin
George is right. All this politically correct euphemizing has gone too far. There's so much obfuscation that we can hardly communicate anymore. And while I realize that euphemisms can serve to blunt some awfully unpleasant realities, on balance, they've got to go. So with no further ado I'll open my hyper-realism (MG!) vault and bring you.... THE LIST:
Unhoused persons*/ Homeless
Sex Workers/ Whores
Sex Addicts/ Horn-dogs
Reproductive rights/ Abortions
Substance abusers/ Drunks and junkies
Martyrs, freedom fighters,
facilitators, civilian elimination
Coalition Forces/ US troops
Domestic Violence/ Intermittent
Explosive Disorder***/ Wife-beating
Exotic dancers/ Strippers
Sex offenders/ Rapists and child molesters
Team leaders and mentors/ Slave-drivers
Undocumented workers/ Criminals
Cohabitation/ Shacking up
The international community/ France
partners/ Fuck buddies
Attention Deficit Disorder/ Restless
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)/ Moody
War on Terror/ War on Islam
*Official government term.
** Actual terms suggested to Reuters after its ill-advised decision to label no one a terrorist.
***From Carlin's Euphemisms List #1.
Did I miss anything?
I never really understood the concept of 'dating services' or 'dating sites.' I'll admit I have a prejudice against such ways of meeting people, since the computer is involved in so many aspects of my professional and daily life that it seems somehow perverse to involve it in something so sacrosanct as one's love life. Plus, I was always surrounded by interesting people who, if they weren't themselves potentials, they certainly had friends who could be.
And then I graduated from college.
In the past three months in being in Los Angeles, I think I've met three people. I spend most every day encountering the same five people: my four coworkers and my roommate. After a while, I realized that I'd fallen into the professional rut: something would have to change or I'd die alone and unloved.
After that melodramatic moment, I did what any normal 24-year-old would do: I bought a hooker.
I did, however, allow my roommate to, in a moment when we had both been drinking a bit, put me on Friendster. I didn't think much of it, but it turns out those things have their uses after all: I had a date tonight.
Blind date from online in Los Angeles? You betcha. I joked with my coworkers that if I didn't show up for work tomorrow they should look inside every car's trunk within a 5 mile radius of every Coffee Bean in the city. I'd talked with this guy back-and-forth a few messages on Friendster and then we moved into the AIM realm, chat-flirting for a few days. We arranged to meet for coffee tonight and, well, I'm still alive.
It was nice and tame: we met at Coffee Bean, which was closing, so we relocated to Starbucks and chatted. We parted ways after a couple hours of good talk without any attempts at lewdness (non-verbal, at least.) I couldn't decide whether to kiss him or not but I'm a pussy and he didn't make a move, so there was no kiss.
So maybe meeting people online is okay. In the forced anonymity of a large city, sometimes it's easier to meet people if you at least know you have one thing in common: you're internet junkies.
Itís not that I donít like the current Bad Samaritan design, itís just that Iíve grown accustomed to its (type) face.
Iíve done full-on every-single-pixel-is-different design at least 7 times (that I can remember). Iíve done a number of 0.X revisions that is probably equal to or greater than that number. Iíve also probably done about 5 complete designs that were just waiting to be implemented, but for whatever reason (read: they sucked) I never got around to changing the live site.
Counting all the full designs and iterative steps that adds up to, if my math is correct, roughly the size of the national debt. Or 16 different designs, whichever is smaller. All that, over just four years. Now, I canít remember exactly when this current design went up. It seems like forever ago, but is probably a lot closer to one and a half or two years. Fifteen designs in the first two years; only one design in the last two. I like those figures about as much as I like Rosie OíDonnel and Dom Deluiseís figures. Which is to say, Iíd do Ďem, but only if I were really drunk.
Having a child is like having two full-time jobs. Add to that being back to work full-time, and it just doesnít seem like there are enough hours in the day to get anything done, much less everything that I feel like I should be doing. I get home between 6:30 and 7, eat dinner, spend a couple hours with the kid to give the wife a break, and then Iím basically ready for bed. This doesnít leave much time for writing snappy posts for Bad Sam, much less do a complete redesign.
Besides, my job is somewhat creative, so by the time I get home, I feel completely drained of any new or fresh ideas. This must be exactly like what the creators of Law & Order are feeling.
I guess, what Iím trying to get at is that I really want to redesign this site, implement all these grandiose ideas I have in my head, and generally revitalize my little digital baby back to those halcyon days back when I was unemployed and had nothing but time to devote to letting Bad Sam suckle at my creative teat. But, that isnít likely to happen.
So, Iím putting out a call for anyone who might want to try their hand at a new design. Bueller? Bueller? Anybody?
Posting here as religously as I do, there are times I can't help but feel like the last kid on the playground who is still into Pokemon cards or Beanie Babies or whatever. It seems like hip people like Lajo or Jean or Pantera or that chick who looks like the My So-Called Life girl come, lose interest, and go. Yet here we are.
Could the time be past? And what ever became of Effenheimer?
We're looking for volunteers for a study of whether purely heterosexual persons could respond to the oral ministrations of a gay partner. Please answer the following, confidential questionaire.
1) Have you ever been exposed to gay porn? Did you feel so much as a twitch down there?
2) Have you ever had American Pie-like experiences with pies, pomegranettes or other tropical fruits?
3) Do you consider yourself a red or blue stater?
4) How do you feel about transsexuals? Specifically, how'd you feel if your SO switched genders?
5) Did you care when Ronald Reagan died?
6) What about Robert Blake?
7) Your thoughts on dental dams?
8) Are you certain that Richard Simmons is in fact gay?
9) What about Kiss?
10) Would you lick a toad if you were guaranteed a vivid hallucinogenic experience?
It's that time of year when I begin wracking my brain for an appropriate Kwanaa gift for my wife. I don't need to worry much about the other gifts. Lest I storm the mall on 12/10, waving my credit card in a wild gifts-per-hour frenzy, she does most of the shopping. But obviously that one gift must be self-purchased.
Hanging on a decorative white accent hook from Bed Bath and Beyond is her bathrobe. She thinks my purchase of the hooks is one of the most effeminate things I've ever done. In her mind guys have no business in BB&B. Any more than they belong in Victoria's Secret. Yet every December we're drawn to Vicky's, where the sales people must meet these criteria: 1) Be female. Two words: Hooters Guys. 2) Be reasonably attractive in an upscale way. 3) Have a British accent. 4) Be unable to operate the cash register. 5) Be able to say, "Would you like a gift receipt with that?"
She also has several other overpriced Vicky's robes in her closet. They are a bit more risque than functional. These were products of fanciful Kwanzaas gone by. As are the black leather miniskirt and a garish red teddy that never sees the light of day. These kinds of present are particularly thoughless because they are really for the man. Eventually he learns to steer clear of such risky items. You can't buy bras because that would entail knowing her cup size. You can't buy dresses as the sizes vary so wildly. A sixe 4 could be anywhere from the size of a cocktail napkin to a circus tent. Women's attire "runs" a certain way according to brand, whatever that means. Hence the multiple bathrobes.
I always feel vaguely dirty in Vicky's, like I shouldn't be looking at all this frilly, sexy stuff on busty mannequins. But the English salesgirls do reassure me that I've made an excellent choice and that she will adore it. Would you like a gift receipt with that?
Of course I know what she really wants: a butt plug. Not for her silly, for me. If only she could find a way to prevent me from farting in the bed it would make her day. I tell her it is involuntary cuz I'm asleep. She maintains that you cannot fart in your sleep. So far as I know this isn't an issue for women cuz they don't fart awake or alseep or anywhere in between.
Soldiers are dying in Iraq every day, and for what? Mainly, it seems, so Iraqis can enjoy the sour fruits of democracy. I can't think of a worse goal.
As a political system it's vastly overrated. It doesn't work because some parts of the population are more apt to vote than others. Power-hungry politicians are keenly aware of this. They kowtow to those who vote and blow off those who don't. Their paychecks and daily ego massages depend on it.
Old people have nothing better to do than fret about bowel movements and saggy jowels and vote. They live off a sizable slab of your income. The government syphons it off the top from those who earn it and gives it to those who don't. Why? Ostensibly because the elderly paid into the system all those years. Except they collect far more than they paid in.
I'm 45. I've worked since I was 14, except for those shady years. Every year Social Security sends me a printout showing my earnings over the years and projecting my imaginary benefit. I know for a fact that this is a lie. Per the government's own figures, Social Security will begin bouncing checks (or in their parlance "operating at a deficit") in 2018. Within six years or so it will collapse altogether, just in time for my outdoor retirement.
Yes, I will pour more money down the Social Security rathole than I'll pay in income taxes and I'll receive nothing in return. Neither will you. The math is straightforward. Money comes in the door one day and goes out to retirees the next. The soc-called "trust fund" is a chimera. It's comprised of IOUs from a scofflaw $3 trillion in debt.
On a more personal level it's important to realize that you must continue working until you drop dead. Or else you could sock away $400,000 or so to tide you over. Or else get used to the fact that you'll spend your golden years rooting around for grubs like a North Korean peasant. You'll live in an appliance box under a bridge.
Fact is there's too many baby boomers who failed to reproduce at adequate levels to support themselves during their dotage. Short of forcibly thinning out the aging population based on relative worth of persons, the shortfall is inevitable. You can't rely on politicians to address the issue as any solution would irk those voting seniors. As that bleak day draws near, with millions of hungry, homeless, walker-wielding savages roaming the countryside in search of sustenance, society will swiftly unravel. Of purely existential necesssity generations will turn on one another. Any morsel of food that you eat will be another meal I miss. Therefore we must battle to the death to see who gets to live another miserable day. You seen that movie Mad Max? That's your future. Warm up to it.
Besides the impotent/infertile, baby-aborting, contraceptive sponge-hoarding boomers, who else can we blame? 5 million disabled persons, that's who. Congress didn't have the gumption to create a new entitlement program for them so they just slipped 'em in with the oldsters while we weren't looking. The cripples (and drunks and addicts) have absconded with your nest egg. They're spending it as we speak. Is this a great country, or what? Ha!
The real question is this: Suppose the government gave you the chance to cut your losses. You don't have to squander another dime on this Ponzi scheme, but you forfeit all benefits. Do you take them up on their offer? I do, in a heartbeat.