I swear this is the last you'll hear from me until I return from my sojurn to sunny FLA. It's snowed here and it's a mess, so the trip south is seeming more and more palatable. What isn't is the impending deluge of false hype, speculation, overblown hyperbole and everything else that is disgusting about...
The goddamn Oscars. Does anyone alive care about the lesser categories? Like, best cinematography? What is that? How do you judge it? And while I realize why a few lifeless souls might care a smidgen about best Actor or Actress, first-time host Chris Rock hit the nail on the head: If two actors play the same role we can make judgments about who did it better. But comparing one actor's take on one role against another actor's performance in another is simply ludicrous.
But you will hear about it. And hear about it. How long did it drag on? Who gave the most embarassingly gushing acceptance speech? Who dressed well? Who didn't? Who cares? Did anyone even see one nominated movie? I know I didn't. Let me know when they come out on DVD.
Just once I'd love to hear an actress give this terse acceptance speech (feel free to plagiarize, whoever's nominated.):
"I'd like to thank the academy for recognizing my performance in ____. We had a great script and _____ did a bang-up job executive producing, whatever it is that they do. But what I am happiest about tonight is this little statuette. *holds up Oscar with deft Hollywood finger-rolling wave* I think I am going to rig it up with batteries and use it as a dildo. *demonstrates in ass* Good night everyone."
This entry is inspired by my friend Joe.
During an MSN messenger conversation he commented on what a "cop-out" he thought using "lol" by itself was. Essentially he pointed out how with those three simple letters he was essential avoiding the end of a converstaion, but at the same time adding nothing to it.
I have heard others complain of the way prople shorten certain words, the most notable I can think of is prolly for probably. I've heard arguements that it is the degradation of the English language. (really I still balme spell check) It wasn't until i took a sociology class last semester that I realized it is not necessarily so.
Couldn't it just be the evolution of a new language to come? Will somebody look back years from now and think typing laugh out loud is an abomination to the language we are creating present day.
Another example is ebonics. A few years back they tried to get ebonics taught in some schools. The end result was "NO WAY!" I think it is valid though. Ebonics has become the base language used in rap music, a genre that has taken and passed the time test and will be around longer than any of us. So then these lyrics, many of which when manipulated by the proper artists, are said to be very poetic and may be one day studied by our children and their children, could be seen as classic works, the way we see Shakespeare now.
Now I'm not gonna say MSN lingo is the most intelligent evolution of human kind, but it does have value. It is becoming a way of communicating more effectively and faster than we used to. It is bringing back the need for people to understand and use words properly, as it is a written medium. Many people my age do not communicate effectively with only words, they are used to phones, and video, and communicate more thorugh nonverbal cues and inflection of the voice. Maybe MSN is really saving the written word.
This little ditty was inspired by Nathan and Chris's recent post. If you easily offended, read no further.
You're still here? As vile as it may be, in one form or another, many people believe the following generalities: 1) Black men have big penises. They do not like to go down on girls. 2) Asian kids are smart. 3) Italians and Latino men make for passionate lovers. 4) English people have bad teeth. 5) Mexicans are lazy. 6) Men are better than woman at science and math. 7) Asian girls do this thing with their tongue. 8) Jews are miserly. 9) The French are promiscuous and often smell bad. 10) Americans are arrogant. 11) Blonde woman are stupid ditzes. 12) Inbreeding is common in the Deep South and among hillbillies. And so forth.
Many of these stereotypes are probably demonstrably false. They could be refuted once and for all. And some of them might be demonstrably accurate to one extent or another. Many of these traits can be measured empirically. With a tape measure applied to 100 randomly chosen black and 100 white men, we could determine who has the bigger dicks on average. At the same time you could question them about their proclivity for giving head. You can do IQ tests on subject groups of Asian and other kids. Ditto for blondes versus brunettes versus redheads. You could survey women who've had affairs with Italians and Latinos and other ethnic groups. Dentists could rate the teeth of Englishpersons versus other nationalities. And so on.
But the problem is that most of these things are touchy, almost verboten topics of polite (i.e. PC---"Englishpersons??") conversation let alone rigorous, scientific research. So the stereotypes persist due to the very forces that would seek to either dispel them or deny their existence (i.e. the silly concept of "colorblindness.")
I once saw a black comic riffing on this concept. He used the example of a white man running down the street hefting a TV, when bystanders figure it's some new exercise fad. While a black man running down the street with a TV is usually pursued by a gaggle of gun-wielding police. Maybe it was funnier in person.
Judging by the tepid response to some of my recent entries I won't be missed much, but for the record I'll be leaving for a while soon. My dreaded plane flight to Tampa awaits. I'm figuring maybe I'll depart now for my Sunday flight. Security delays, you know.
It's not all bad. Sure there's the unpaid overtime, fear of flying and general discomfort about being someplace without my wife. We've been together so long it's just weird to be on my own. But I may take this opportunity to look up my old friend Whore Hey. In the past I've been pretty cryptic about this guy.
We're lifelong friends. Growing up he was so reticent and soft-spoken he earned the nickname Mumbles. His penchant for stashing certain things for long periods of time and then breaking them out also led us to dub him Secret Squirrel.
His dad and another drycleaning mogul merged their chains and he became friends with the new partner's son, who had certain connections in Florida. They opened a recording studio and some kind of import-export deal down there. He found a house with a fireplace, which wasn't easy in Tampa. He'd crank the AC so that he could have a fire. Snarling Dobermans prowled the perimeter. Oh no, this didn't attract attention at all.
With us, he grew ever more secretive. We knew what he was up to and to some extent assisted him in the mid-80s. But he was involved in a major wholesale operation and the police soon took note of the smoke in his chimney, the prowling dogs, privacy fence, his frequent flyer miles and the fact that this was the least productive studio ever. He and his partner were charged with CCE, or continuing criminal enterprise. They assembled a team of crack lawyers but it's hard when technically, you have been running a CCE all your adult life.
Whore Hey laid it all on his partner, who got life at age 27. No parole. He got like 7 years in min-sec. When his mom died they let him out to go to the funeral. He got clean in there, bulked up in the weightroom and spent time in the tanning booth. He came out looking better than ever (he'd always been quite the ladies' man.) We're talking tanned, ripped and sober for the first time in his life. He brimmed with self-confidence. We'd long been tennis rivals but no more. He'd won the prison championship two years running and defeated me in straight sets 6-0 6-0. And I can play.
He moved back down there and is really in the import-export business. He gets sent to Cuba. He lives the good life, having buried large sums years before and making pleny now. He's played it smart, and the authorities leave him alone. He's never remarried, preferring to play the field. Or else maybe he's gay like some suspected when we were young. No matter, I look forward to seeing an old friend.
The other day a I had a completely random thought. Some of the talk about women's rights make me think this may be valid.
I am an advocate of equality in every way shape and form, but our legal system, among other aspects of Western society, make me wonder how equal we really are.
My sister recently brought up the idea of creating a Women's only group for an organization in which she is participating. She asked my opinion on if I was offended. I wasn't, but my point is that they are creating a group to discuss men, men should have a right to be present. And ultimately if equality is the ideal, how will segregating yourself from half the population bring that about?
I said to reverse the situation. If equaity is true then she should be able to consider whether or not men having a "men's only" meeting, to which no women could attend but would be discussed, would be offensive and insulting. But she repetedly stated that is different. And why is it different? Because women help contribute to the ideal that they are allowed do things men cannot.
So getting back to my random thought, I belive that men should be able to just clock a woman when need be. I know that many people out there are against violence in form, and it is assault no matter what. Consider the reaction of so society though. If a 200 lb man hits a 150 lb man while drunk at the bar, he might get thrown in the drunk tank, and get a slap on the wrist.
If that same man hits a 150 lb woman, it is a whole new ball game. He is a social outcast, a woman beater. Yet that woman slaps the man, and rarely will anything come from it.
Women that constantly fight for women's rights are the same ones that say a woman can do anything as well as a man. If this is true, defending themselves should also be an option these women have.
So basically if all things are equal, and I am in a situation where I feel I would hit a guy for something he did, I should be able to punch a girl for the same thing.
Al-K Duh has finally made good on its threats to top their prior triumph. Osama’s minions have assassinated President Bush and Dick Cheney. Condi Rice briefly asserts that she is in control but she has her throat slit for being a woman with a job. Swarms of swarthy snipers are fanning out across New York, shooting random infidels at traffic lights. The Capitol is in flames. Planes are falling from the sky like clay pigeons at a skeet shooting match, victims of readily available shoulder-mounted surface to air missiles. Wall Street and Hollywood and Vine lay in ruins after dirty bombs were detonated there. Anthrax, plague and other bio-toxins waft through the air. Similar conflagrations rage across Britain, Canada and Australia. The terrorists have won.
So now what? President bin Laden and Vice President “Doc” Zawahiri hastily call a news conference with Bush’s bloodied noggin on a pike by the podium. They seem oddly cordial as they announce the immediate implementation of the strict Wahhibi interpretation of sharia, or Islamic law.
There will be no more democracy. We will live and die by the laws of Allah. But of course some mortal must implement His will. That would be Osama, his sons and Doc Zawahiri. They’ll impose their will on us like a lifer does his bitches.
Things will change most drastically for the fairer sex. No longer will you work or go to school. Your sole purpose in life is to serve and satisfy men. If you know what's good for you, you won’t leave your homes unaccompanied by a male member of your family. You will be covered head to toe in drab burqas. Young hotties will be forcibly inducted into harems. They’ll be forced to have sex with bearded, smelly perverts dressed in robes and turbans. If you stray from this marital covenant, they’ll bury you up to your neck and then crazed Arabs will stone you to death. Their only solace being that one day they’ll be the old sow who’s relegated to household drudgery instead of sex. As of today, all your driver’s licenses are revoked. Butchery will ensure that you’ve enjoyed your last orgasm.
Ever Saturday we’ll gather at the local football stadium for a fun-filled afternoon of watching amputations of thieves’ limbs, stonings and beheadings. There will be no beer, wine or liquor served. Violators will be put to death. If you absolutely must be intoxicated, hash and opium will be provided. Books and magazines will be replaced by dreary religious tomes. Ditto for racy movies and TV shows. There will no music. There will be no kite-flying, sports or caged songbirds. Ditto for pork chops, bacon and country style ribs. As with communism, everyone but the ruling elite will live in abject poverty and despair.
Islam will be the only religion. They’ll try to convert Christians and atheists, but all Jews, Hindus and Sikhs must die. Shiite Muslims will be blown to bits in their mosques.
You know how, when something’s rank and vile, like anchovies on pizza or squid, they’ll say it’s an acquired taste? Well, it’s like that, only far worse.
What, isn’t this what you had in mind, mealy-mouthed Professor Churchill? How about you, knee-jerk anti-Western values "leading intellectual" Norm Choate? Whatsa matter, cat got your tongue? Or could it be that you lack the courage of true convictions, as demonstrated by your curious silence whenever your lunacy is extrapolated to its only logical conclusion? Could it?
It's been raining a lot here in Los Angeles. On behalf of Southern California, I'd like to apologize to Snaggle. Snaggle, if it's not like this again next year, then it shouldn't rain like this again for several years.
It's been raining so much here that I'm really tempted to buy a raincoat, but if I get one, it's very possible that it wouldn't get used more than 20 times in the next four years. I have a beautiful and expensive umbrella that my little sister gave me for my birthday five years ago, and it's gotten more use this season than it has in all the years I've owned it-- combined. I'm not kidding. Just a few years ago, Los Angeles went more than 300 days without rain. I repeat: this season is quite unusual.
Well, the season is unusual unless it's an El Nino season. Which it may be. It's strange; local news reports usually obsess every year about whether there will be an El Nino, but this year, when there has been enough rain for an El Nino, I haven't heard a peep about it. As they say, El Nino events bring "torrential rains". The name means "The Child," as in Jesus Christ. I don't remember why that is. They come something like once every seven or nine years, and I've lived through two so far. The rains really are torrential. They pour and pour until the ground saturates and water doesn't run off anywhere... it just pools where it falls. My last year at college there was El Nino, and by March there were two inches of running water on the north end of campus, several buildings had their basements and ground floors flooded, and school had to be shut down for a few days. Kids were getting so wet walking to class that most finally just put on shorts and Teva sandals, and toweled themselves off once they got into the lecture halls. Ah, memories.
I don't really have a point here. I'm just saying that it's rained a ton. The ABC station here recently installed one of the world's most expensive Doppler weather observation systems, and everyone knew that it would almost never be used. I used to watch the live results on ABC's spare television feed (I think you get it if you have a high-definition TV receiver) and laugh because there was nothing there. But now, it's a tie-dyed colorfest of storm activity. I love it!
I've always thought that small was beautiful. For 3 years my only computer was about the size of a small hardcover book. I've replaced cellphones, PDAs, and even cars because I was attracted to things small. Now my girlfriend has gotten into the act with this purchase. Well, since seeing this post on MeFi, I've been captivated by the idea of small-footprint living. You see, we're moving to the Bay Area in July, and we'll be out there for at least five years. We need a place to live, but five years of rent will be quite a hefty chunk of change. I looked at my current apartment, which I share, and asked myself if I could live in a 500 square-foot house, about the same size as my current digs. The answer, I believe, is "yes," and now we're thinking about buying one of these little things as an alternative to either paying rent, which we don't want, or an expensive 1500 square-foot house which we, strictly speaking, don't need.
Common sense tells me that: first, you can't have a small house; second, you should never buy property if you're not sure you'll be able to sell it. But if we spend the money that we'd otherwise spend on five years of rent buying our little B-52 Bungalo, who cares if we never sell it? We could rent it, use it as a vacation house, or whatever, and still be ahead because the money that would otherwise go to a faceless property management company or an absentee landlord would still be ours. This isn't a big act of rebellion, and I'm not even sure if the Public Planning people will let us build one of these, but if they do we'll be able to have our own place, pay off our debts, and start saving before we ever thought we could. And that, I think, is a pretty good thing.
Can you say blastocyst? (pronounced: BLAST-o-sist) Good. Next time you hear someone talk about embryonic stem cell research you should correct them and mention that the term "embryonic stem cell" is something of a misnomer. Early stem cells are harvested from blastocysts, not embryos. Why does it matter? It matters because the meaning people attach to something is often directly related to the accuracy of the words used to describe it. When people think of embryos, they think of little partially formed beings with tiny beating hearts and limb buds. They see something of themselves, and that's meaningful. Scientifically speaking a mammalian embryo can have a fairly broad definition but is usually considered to be post-implantation, once the long axis forms, and tissues begin to form and differentiate. A blastocyst, on the other hand, is a soccer-ball like clump of approximately 150 cells. There is very little that is recognizable about it at all, except that it is round.
No one knows the fate of any particular blastocyst. The majority of these tiny cell clumps are lost to nature and pass through the womb without implanting. Somehow I don't envision Bush staying up at night wondering why most of humanity never had a chance to exist. Rather, we don't worry about them just like we don't worry about the countless other cells we lose every day - despite the fact, that like the blastocyst, each one of them may have the potential to become a human being. We all dump our skin cells, hair, stomach linings, blood cells, sperm, eggs, unimplanted blastocysts, etc. into society at every moment of every day with very little thought. We don't worry about the cellular trash of life, even though it has potential.
IVF clinics create blastocysts everyday. Like the guy on the Krispy Kreme donut line using his little straw to pick up the irregular donuts and toss them into the trash, as a consequence of production some blastocysts get thrown away and some are chosen for implantation. However, unlike the majority of Krispy Kreme donuts which hopefully find a mouth somewhere, the majority of blastocysts from IVF clinics will never survive. Yet we accept IVF without Bush's rhetoric of, "Life must not be destroyed for the purpose of saving lives."
A blastocyst can be formed from sperm and egg, or from one of your own somatic cells. By placing the nucleus of one of your skin cells (for example) into an enucleated oocyte, it is possible to re-program your somatic cell so that it re-starts development and begins to form a blastocyst. The process is called Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer, or SCNT for short.
What's so special about a blastocyst is that within the clump is a special group of cells called stem cells. These cells are pluripotent, meaning that with the right kind of stimulation they can form into any of a number of disparate cell types. They are much more flexible and diverse than adult stem cells. They can be taken from the blastocyst and then cultured continuously in a petri dish like any other cell line, where they can be studied for their differentiation properties.
So then what's the difference between one of your skin cells, versus one of your skin cells having been exposed to some factors in an oocyte?
Both cells have the same information content, however one of them has been re-programmed. Just like changing your mind, you might have been a lawyer all your life and then one day you come home and decide to become a gardner. You're the same person, you just make different choices. Both cells are the same, they have the same genes. However in one of the cells, the genes take on a different on/off pattern, which changes the behavior of the cell. Similar to getting cancer, a certain on/off gene pattern occurs, causing a cell to change it's behavior and grow without paying attention to the cells around it.
A blastocyst, whether formed through IVF or SCNT, assumes a dormant state. It needs certain factors in conjunction with the uterine wall to become activated and continue development. If left in a petri dish, it becomes nothing and stops dividing. Yet this tiny dormant clump of cells holds promise for curing many diseases - much moreso than adult stem cells.
Should it be against the law to re-program one of your own cells? The state in which I live is trying to pass just such a law. Despite the acceptance of the low road of IVF, certain Presidents and Senators want us to take the high road and not to do research that could cure people and alleviate lifetimes of human suffering, because they want to equate a dormant clump of 150 cells that will never be implanted in any uterus, with a human being.
While every sperm is sacred, so is every person suffering from Parkinsons disease. Just as I can see the difference between a sperm and a zygote (fertilized egg), so too can I see the difference between a blastocyst and an embryo, or a blastocyst and a person.
I don't see why it's better, or more moral, to stop research and let people continue to suffer and die from curable diseases and ailments than to allow the study of a few cells that come from the re-programming of one of one's own cells.
If I have to reprogram a cell to help save someone's life, you can call me a Bad Samaritan, but there shouldn't be a law against it.
Dan succeeded the icon Walter Cronkite. He looked kind of boyish back then. You remembered him in cognito, sneaking into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. Over the years he aged and became the same kind of grandfatherly figure as his predecessor. For a while he was paired with Connie Chung and looked majorly miffed at sharing the spotlight with her. Now he's gone, retired in shame. Boyish Brian Williams has taken his place. This is my requiem for the old fool.
I am probably the only person on Earth who doesn't know the connection between Dan and REM's What's the Frequency Kenneth? But just in case anyone else is as clueless, here it is.
I'm reading this and going, WTF? I mean, this guy is world famous, rich as god and he's strolling the mean streets of Manhattan sans a security detail? What is this guy, nuts? Or more specifically, doesn't he know that those streets are teeming with nuts? I once rode the subway from Jackson Heights in Queens to Ground Zero. On the way there was this crazy guy strumming and out-of-key guitar that was missing strings. He'd howl these patriotic songs in this hideous voice like Cher with a mouthful of Gregg Allman's dick. His scam was that all the riders had to chip in to shut him up. I'm sure someone has killed him by now.
Let me just stop and say now that that imagery of the nut and Rather is priceless. Evidently Michael Stipe thought so too.
The other question I have is about how the assailant got nabbed. The article just says that cops got a tip from his psychiatrist. Aren't such sessions protected by doctor-patient confidentiality? I could see it if the patient intimated that he'd been on a serial murder spree and had no intention of stopping. But a rather minor and long ago, albeit song-worthily surreal, mugging incident in which a celebrity got kicked in the face repeatedly by some loon who yells, "What's the frequency Kenneth?" I don't think so.
So all of you out there in therapy, beware. You beloved doctor might rat you out at any given moment. Priests too. Don't confess to anyone. Keep all your sins and transgressions bottled up inside until they drive you slowly insane, like me. And keep your mouth away from Gregg Allman's johnson.
When we moved to this house we noticed a cat hanging around the carport. It obviously belonged to someone as it looked well-fed and was declawed. We kind of ignored it at first, because we've already got a cat. To have more than one makes you a Cat Person, and you don't want that.
It kept hanging around and my wife started feeding it. Big mistake. Before long it was lurking near the doorway and lunging inside. We'd throw it out but it would come back. Then my son named him Ghost. Bigger mistake. Now we're Cat People.
Like many cats, this one is aloof, self-absorbed, lazy and struggles with her clumsy attempts to garner affection from her forcefully adopted family. We grudgingly feed her but God knows what we'll do if she needs to visit the vet. The damn thing lives here but it doesn't belong to us. Or at least that's my story, and I'm sticking to it. No vet bills.
Needless to say, we won't be plunking down $32,000 to these guys. But hey, that's a bargain compared to last year when several cat lovers shelled out $50,000 for a clone of their beloved tabby. $50,000! That's like the median annual family income in the US.
Here's the best part: Fur color isn't necessarily determined by genetics. Things can happen during gestation that cause a clone to have a different fur color and pattern. So for all you know (short of expensive DNA tests,) Savings and Clone takes your $32,000, goes down to the shelter and picks a similar looking kitty out for free. What a deal!
And now they're moving into the dicier dog-cloning realm. This isn't good. Suppose there's a certain kind of dog that those Korean bistros that piss off Brigitte Bardot by cooking live dogs at the table with blowtorches find is a customer favorite. Are they going to flood Savings and Clone with requests for this tasty variety? (Assuming the price comes down as it surely will.) Mmm, tender three month old Labrador chops.
D'oh. Bah. Arrgghh!
I began a new job as a cook just the other day. So far it has been going ok. More recently, last night in fact, I feel I may have jeopardized how I am and will be perceived by the managers.
I am not easily embarassed. I have no qualms with dropping my pants on a whim, saying anything random just to illicit a response, or even referring and telling stories about the stupid things I have done while drunk. This time its different.
Now it may not seem significant to many people out there in cyberville, but I lost my hat. Still in the first week, and tonight I have to go let my managers know what a dufus I have been. Chances are they will not care that much, as we pay for the hats ourselves, but I still feel bad about it. I don't like the idea of having to confront them, admit my incompetance, and possibly create an impression that will be hard to undo. Whats done is done though, and some measure must be taken.
Now I must make the decision of how to handle this with the most tact, so that my peers will still respect me. There are numerous paths to take, living in such a free world. I could lie. I could laugh while explaining it. I could be extremely serious. All of these will have a different effect, and it is up to me to decide which manner to implement, attempting to leave a lasting and positive impression on them.
Truth is, I will probably just show up and rummage around the back looking for an old hat so I don't even have to bring it up. I really just dread the idea of having to undo any negative perceptions this may cause.
As a kid I had a tiger-stripe bathrobe that I wore and dragged around like Linus with his security blanket for years. It never got washed. Every so often my mom would chuck it in the trash but I'd always fish it out. Eventually she burned it. I bawled like a little baby.
In more recent years I've been sporting a plush, multi-colored robe by Bill Blass. For some reason this thing makes me feel like that Bible dude (Jacob?) with the multi-hued robe, when I pad down the driveway to retrieve the paper---either that or Hugh Hefner with his harem. It too rarely gets washed. I figure I'm usually clean when I'm wearing it so there isn't much funk to rub off on it. It hangs on a decorative accent hook in our bedroom. The hook came from Bad Breath and Beyond. Next to it hangs my wife's Victoria's Secret robe I got her one Christmas. She thinks straight guys have no business in either of those stores.
The problem is that its growing a little threadbare. Don't get me wrong, I could afford to replace it. But there probably isn't one exactly like it. And I've grown accustomed to this one, like when you break in a baseball mitt or a girl/boyfriend. A new one simply isn't the same. So I keep on wearing it, even though I look like some shabby homeless guy picking up the paper.
It's the same way with my business casual slacks. I have a 31 inch waist, which is hard to find. Now if I wear a belt I can get away with a 32 waist/30 length. But my legs are 29 inches long. There are no 32/29s. Since I wear loafers to work, the bottom of my pants hangs below my heel and gets all tattered and frayed. This is a specific violation of my company's dress code. I could be sent home in shame! So I take scissors and try to trim the frayed part and wind up with this irregular shaped pants bottom. Fortunately I spend most of my time at a desk with my carved-up pants tucked underneath. People consult with me and I seem like a consummate professional. Little do they know...
There is a solution short of stretching my stubby legs an extra inch on one of those torture racks. I could wear shoes with higher heels. But I am a product of the 70s. Platform shoes were all the rage then, among ashen, disco-going, British and not in the good way, glam-rock T. Rex types. Them and New Jersey guidos. To this day I can't bring myself to wear high shoes. And I am barely 5'6" so I probably should.
The funny thing is that I've kind of resigned myself to living with these vaguely nightmarish aspects of my life. Hey, it beats shopping for clothes.
As with Chuck, here is my post which was promised to Anna. I'm sorry if I'm a little incoherent, as I have the flu.
I applied to a few graduate schools this year.
Right now I'm in applications no-man's land, where my applications are already in, but where it will be several weeks before I know the results. This waiting has really convinced me that school has no place in a normal person's life. When you're working, you know that you're tied in. If you're working this week, you'll be working next week and you'll be working eight weeks from now, too. But when you're working and have applied for school, you don't know what might be happening eight weeks from now, and you can't really plan beyond that. I would like to take a camping trip this summer and a trip to Massachusetts this fall, but I can't make any plans about either until I hear from the schools. I don't know where I might be living by September. I feel like my address is about to be decided by lottery. The uncertainty is killing me. I've been out of school for eight years, and I've gotten used to the rhythm of the business world.
What is that rhythm? It's one where days are generally just like each other, and life is about what chores you're going to do this weekend and where you're going to take your next vacation. It's not about whether you might be able to do chores at all if a deadline is near. I know that a lot of people have jobs which chew up all their personal time around a deadline, but there are a lot of jobs where you'd be pretty justified if you set your foot down and told your boss that work does not get to consume personal time, and if the company can't figure out how to operate with their full-time employees on 40- or 50-hour work weeks, they can shove it. I am just now remembering that you can't do that with school. Maybe I'm wrong. But as I understand it, you do what you have to in order to make the A. Period. Or... the high B-plus. I don't think that there is anyone to complain to if it takes you 100 hours of work each week to get straight A's. It's not like you can quit, and tell the dean "You know, at perfectly-respectable School X the students learn exactly the same amount with just 40 hours of work each week." There is no efficiency in the teaching biz. That's my revelation of the moment. The other revelation is that, sometime over the last eight years, work in the business world has made efficiency my professional reason for being. Uh-oh.
Anyways, those are my (woozy) thoughts. Your thoughts are, as always, welcome.
Greetings. As will probably be apparent to you, I’m new. MG tells me that he doesn’t think his infamous posting guides, being myself and telling a story, will be a problem for me. I’m not sure whether that’s a compliment or a well disguised insult, but I’ll take it as the former so as to get off to the right start around here.
As my picture may well have alerted you to by now, I’m possibly a little younger than the rest of you. But that’s a good thing; you get to mould and shape my future. Be pedantic about my grammar, attempt to prod my life into the direction you wish it to go, gaze in awe and help me misspend my youth. You have responsibility. You also have a teenager to put up with. Be afraid, be very afraid. However, I most definitely don’t intend to spill my youth or angst all over BadSam, so if I start then don’t be afraid to kick me. Expect a kick back, but it’ll probably work.
You could say I'm your average teenage girl. I very much hope you'd be wrong, but you could say it anyway. According to most of my classmates, I "speak Shakespearian". For those of you not well versed in teenage "insults", a rough translation of that is that I happen to be able to speak [and fortunately, type] coherently. I have a basic grasp of grammar and sentence structure, and my vocabulary extends a little further than "yeah", "no", "innit" and "safe mate!". Believe me, I know people for whom that stereotypical lack of vocabulary is only very slightly exaggerated. If you're worried about the state of youth today, then you’re right, have a sticker. If you’re not, then you probably should be – we do seem to be going down hill. I, however, am hopelessly egotistical and like to believe I’m a little above the rest. It’s a nice thought to delude myself with at least. I’ll let you decide for yourselves whether or not I fit into a stereotypical bracket – let me know when you’ve made your decision.
Welcome to my life - hold on tight, I'm younger than you so in theory I ought to move faster.
In honour of my pledge to Anna (and the site at large I suppose) I decided to compose a post for today. Then I couldn’t think of anything to write. I suppose that could partially explain why I haven’t posted more here in the time that I have been an author… Anyway.
I then hit on a unlikely source of inspiration, my job. Of course a few of my posts have been about my work, but this is a little different. I found inspiration in the police statement of a fellow who is accused of 1st degree murder (that’s the most serious class of Murder in Canada, planned and deliberate, cold calculated etc.)
The fellow is accused of luring a fellow criminal to a mutual acquaintance’s apartment, and then shooting him and the friend he brought with him. He believes that the victim had broke into and cleaned out his house. So he set it up, lied in wait, and then plugged him, dropping the pistol off a couple blocks away (scenario intentionally vague for obvious reasons).
During his interrogation by the police, a couple of interesting things came out.
First, he doesn’t feel bad that the guy is dead. They hurt a lot of people, therefore I don’t feel sorry.
Second, he doesn’t feel bad that he plugged the guy in front of a young child, therefore almost certainly messing the kid up for life.
Third, he would feel bad giving the police the location of the gun because it might get the person whose property he dumped if off at in trouble.
Fourth he doesn’t want to “rat” out anyone else that might be involved, and would risk going to jail for life, no chance of parole for 25 years. (of course that’s probably just a lie… I don’t think anyone else is involved, these guys invent accomplices when they don’t want to admit they did something personally)
All in all, this fellow seems to have the criminal mindset about honour (Canadian spelling , not misspelt). It’s ok to hurt people (and kill), as long as the people are bad and did something to you to deserve it, You don’t think about the consequences to 3rd parties (ie innocent children) and whatever else happens, you don’t get people in trouble with the police if you can help it. In light of the last one he also said he’d rather be dead than be a rat.
All of this also reminded me of conversation's I've had with one of my oldest and best friends. He used to joke that if I killed someone that he wouldn't tell anyone, once I became I lawyer he gave me a dollar as a retainer so that if he ever killed anyone I couldn't tell on him (solicitor client privilege and all). All in all just joking around, he's not really the type to kill anyone anyways (although he has stalked some girl's that he's dated, after they dumped him.)
What would it take for the general BS population? Who in you life would you not turn in for killing someone? Who would you? Would it make a difference why they killed the person, or who (or what type) the person was?
Food for thought...
People will warn you about the dangers of not using spell check before sending out emails at work. Well, I’m here to warn you about the dangers of using spell check at work.
Earlier today I was composing an email and completely mangled the spelling of the word "analyzing." My abuse of the English language looked something like this:
Before hitting "send" I hit "spell check," which has admittedly saved my ass more than one occasion. However, this time it conspired to cause me embarrassment and personal and professional shame. The suggested re-spelling for my distortion of "analyze" was:
I decided to hit send anyway.
Several years ago the Sports Junkies debuted on a local radio station. I was instantly way cised for them. You could tell they’d known each other a long time by the way they were always finishing each other’s sentences and sharing inside jokes and anecdotes, like an old married couple does. They had nicknames for one another. They also shared a lingo that at first proved difficult to follow, but you kind of picked it up from the context.
Don’t get me wrong. It could get butt-trifling when they’d prattle on and on about some hurting sport like baseball or hockey or golf. But the banter seemed to flow so naturally, so unforced, that you could tolerate it even when the subject matter got shady. In a word, the show was money. It was… a show. So when doo-doo brown Bill O’Reilly came along and caused a shifting in time slots that left the Junkies the odd men out, I grew way bitter. For me it was a debacle. They did hook up with another station but it was far away and had a hurting signal. I promptly forgot all about them.
Now they are back and syndicated to boot. You might have even heard them in your town. They’ve moved away from the sports emphasis and in fact have shortened their name to simply The Junkies. They play games like a variation on the Newlywed Game where they ask questions like, “Which of your girlfriends would your husband be most sised to pummel?” Contestants reply in the same sly, inside slang: “It makes me bitter to say it but I’d have to go with Jamie. She’s such a silly. And I know she’d let him do the Emeril to her.”
I grew up with this guy who also had a salty language all his own. If you hung around Rog long enough you’d find yourself lapsing into his jargon. For example, the term “quee,” which means uncomfortable. As in, “I felt so quee standing in line with a box of Tampons.” Or “zooter,” which means a sudden and unexpected exhilaration. As in, “She slid her tongue up my bunghole and I’m like, zooter!” In Rogerese, the term “skullduggery” connotes oral sex. Or “fleecy,” another actual word used to describe someone who is ill-at-ease or inept in social situations. Or “cramp,” which means to interfere. As in, “I was trying to glom onto this chick but her boyfriend kept cramping me. It was so gee.” (Pronounced with a hard G, a derivative of “gay,” to mean “annoying” or “vexing.”) Of course the fact that he’d ask them if they still had that picture of his dick and balls on their nightstand and then punch said boyfriend in the face didn’t help matters either. Lastly there was “ain’t mine,” as in that is not my problem. “Man, I’ve got no place to stay and its cold outside. Think I could sleep on your couch just for tonight?” “Ain’t mine.”
In our increasingly multilingual society it is important to learn how to discern what foreign terms mean solely from the context. For example, when a clerk says, “Woo-je lie-ak at inabeg?” it prompts me to say, “Si senor. Muchos gracias, por favor.”
Maybe I botched that one. I guess I was grasping. I’ll zip it now.
Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!
Though I’ve lived in New York City for most of my life, I can count on two fingers the number of art openings I’ve been to. It isn’t that I’m not interested in art, I’m just not interested in the pomp and circumstance that surrounds these kinds of events. Still, I couldn’t keep away from an opening here in the city this weekend. It was for Christo: The Gates.
Christo is famous for his landscape art like the umbrellas in Japan, the running wall in California, and covering the Reichstag in Germany. This new project, The Gates, includes, uhm, gates with billowy fabric placed along the 26 miles of pathways through Central Park. As news report after news report has mentioned, Christo has wanted to put up these gates for more than 20 years, but the city thought spending millions of dollars for a temporary, and potentially landscape scarring project was just silly. Well, with mayor Mike Bloomberg gearing up for a re-election campaign and looking to boost his popularity, and Christo agreeing to foot the 20 million dollar cost of the project, the wheels were sufficiently greased, and this weekend marked the first of just three weekends that the exhibit will be open.
The city expects millions of people to view the exhibit, which spans the entirety of the park, and if the crowds out yesterday were any indication, those numbers aren’t an exaggeration.
The 7500 gates, spaced only feet from each other, create quite an imposing view and totally engulf you no matter where you move in the park. But, the color cloth used for the exhibit is a much more appropriate tone for an advertisement for Home Depot than the announced “saffron” and the biggest question seeing this inspired in me was how an artist can afford to bankroll this 20+ million dollar project. I’m not sure it’s art, but I will admit it is impressive.
If you are in the area, I’d definitely recommend making the trip, but if you can’t, here are some pictures I took:
Much later. There's nothing more tiresome than being a parent and seeing some B-list celeb urging you to talk to your kids about drugs. Except maybe being a non-parent and seeing it.
Although without any urging from us my son is adamantly, almost prudishly, opposed to drinking, smoking, drugs and sexual dalliance. He did not inherit this from me.
I do talk to him about it though. He's 14, a little older than I was when I got sucked down into the roiling vortex that has left me and almost all my associates emotionally stunted. Don't get me wrong. We're all successful adults with good jobs and loving families but still that legacy remains. We are like pretend adults, for our misspent youths were misspent because we were addicts who didn't know where to draw the line. That is the lesson I've tried to impart to my son.
Don't get involved but if you do, use some common sense and moderation.
There's drugs and then there's drugs. Dave got pushed overboard on the shrimping boat while high on mushrooms. Frank shot himself on meth. Diane got run over in a redlight district of New Orleans, trying to turn tricks for crack. The last time I saw her she was offering a handjob to anyone who'd give her one hit or what white drug snobs like to call freebase i.e. high-class crack.
Lore took a hit of that and had a grand mal seizure. She nearly died, and since has. I was there. When she awoke, she calmly went about preparing more. I saw Brian take what looked like a bottle of Visine and put a drop of pure LSD-25 in each eye. A demonic sneer immediately came over his face. Someone was stumbling across a McDonald's and fell, spilling their food all over a family. He had taken a caterpillar-sized pill known as Plastidyl, which has no known medical use. Drug companies used to crank out a lot of this stuff, like Quaaludes. Oh wait, that one was me at age 13.
I saw a roommate crawling around on a dust-warren-laden floor, picking little pieces of cocaine out of the dirt after some guys weighed some of it and divided it up into portions. He then took a rusty syrine, one of those huger fuckers that used to terrify me at the doctor's office, and plunge the mixture of dust, coke and whatever else was on that nasty floor into his veins. He's dead too.
In high school classes we'd smoke very potent hash out of these supposedly smokeless pipes. In retrospect everyone must of known what we were doing. So the biology teacher places this rodent skull on the table and we're all supposed to draw it. Billy stares at it for a while and then smashes it with his fist. Blood is spurting profusely from his hand. The teacher is like, "Mr. Haney, what happened here? After a long pause he's like, "I... don't... know. I was...just looking at it...and then it broke."
The chem lab never could keep its supply of triple beam scales.
Actually that band hailed from north Florida but I guess Sweet Home Jacksonville with its Smelly Coffee Factory didn't have as catchy a ring. And that is where I'm headed. Not Jacksonville per se, but Tampa FLA and really, what's the difference? If it's not Ft. Lauderdale or Daytona during Bike Week, I don't want to go.
Actually I don't want to go anywhere. I'm an old hermit and very comfortable in my humdrum routine. Going someplace disrupts things. As the Marlon Brando character in Wild Ones said, going places is for squares.
But there's more to it than than that. My job sending me there to spend a hellish week reviewing claims that exist here in DC and then bickering with bean-counters in Tampa is something I am opposed to on several grounds. My own work will pile up like garbage in a strike. I'll be away from my wife and kid and I'll miss them. And there are certain.... lifestyle issues that could present a problem as I trek 1,000 miles to spend a week holed up in a hotel with my straightlaced boss, his straightlaced boss and some other devoted management types. Oh, and the terminally depressed coworker/friend I told you about before.
Maybe she'll share some of her psycho-meds with me prior to the flight. Gimme a handful o' Ativan and Zoloft chased by those miniature bottles of liquor at 8 AM. That would go over real well (see above characters.) You see, I used to fly a lot. Out to California where my asshole brother lives, up to New York to see my in-laws blocks from where MG resides, skiiing in Steamboat, Lake Tahoe, whatever. I liked flying.
But I haven't set foot on a plane since 9/11 and had no intention of ever doing so again until this disaster befell me. My brother is dead for all I know or care. With all the security hassles you can drive to NYC in about the time it takes to hop the shuttle, rent a car and get to your destination. I don't ski anymore because of my wife's bad knees. We vacation in New Jersey and the Outer Banks, well within driving distance. Tahoe is about the only place I could imagine wanting to fly to. I raised this issue i.e. my fear of flying with my bosses but they pooh-poohed my concerns as irrational. Irrational perhaps but all too real in my mind. Unfortunately to refuse would be career suicide and I make a pretty nice living.
We flew from San Francisco to Tahoe on a puddle jumper that seated 17 people. Midway through the flight the pilots drew a curtain that separated the cockpit from the rest of the plane. I go up there to check it out. I ask them why they draw that curtain and with no hesitation they both reply, "We draw the curtain when we're dancing." Deadpan, like Stephen Wright. On the way back they were overbooked and trying to get people to take a different flight. As they went through the vetting process and got to me I told them I was a schizophrenic who'd run out of meds and needed to get back to DC to get my script renewed. Wild-eyed, like in my thumbnail. Works everytime.
Being an author on Bad Samaritan is probably the greatest job in the world. You get the adoration of millions (well, thousands). People fall all over themselves to buy you gifts. Women rip their tops off wherever you go. Animals hump your legs as soon as you walk in the room. It’s really great.
When I first started the site nearly 5 years ago it was just me for about six months. I quickly realized how selfish I was to keep all of the love to myself and over the next couple years I added more than 40 authors. But in the last year (maybe longer) I haven’t added a single new author. I’ve been keeping all the love for myself. How selfish of me!
What’s worse is that even with 40+ authors, I’ve been hogging the spotlight for myself. If you look at today’s front page 18 of the 20 posts were written by me (or Anna). How selfish of me!
I don’t like being selfish, so I pledge to work doubly hard to spread the wealth. If you want to join the Bad Samaritan staff, please let me know. I’d like to say I’ll only select the best of the best, but I’ll pretty much give anyone a shot. Why would I prevent anyone from sharing in the love heaped upon BadSam authors, even if they can’t write a coherent English sentence? I know I can’t and it hasn’t stoppeded me.
If you are interested, drop me a line and I’ll get back to you.
After a long season, the Superbowl will finally be starting in just a couple hours. The pre-game show has been on since roughly 3am last night. The Superbowl pre-game is probably the only time when 8 hours of drunken fans yelling “EAAAAGLESSSSSS” might be considered as national entertainment.
Last year Janet Jackson felt it’d be entertaining to show her boob. And it was. But that fleshy mass caused a ripple effect (or is that nipple effect?) that started around on Janet Jackson’s areola and spread to every media outlet in the country.
The Christian right used their righteous indignation at the perceived depravity to spur their base and ride into a second term in the White House and solid majorities in both the House and Senate. Radio and TV stations around the country are self-censoring anything that might be considered remotely offensive, and everyone is looking for a reason to get disturbed, so even an old hag can’t drop her towel without causing an uproar.
This year’s half-time entertainment will be provided by Sir Paul McCartney. Looking at Fox’s decision to pick McCartney is probably the safe safest decision they could have made for a performer besides maybe Lawrence Welk. Paul has already promised there wouldn’t be any “wardrobe malfunctions,” and it would be as safe a bet there wont as picking the Pats and the spread.
And it is exactly the fact that McCartney is such a safe choice today that makes the whole hullabaloo over Jackson last year so ridiculous. There was a time, and I’ll admit it was a 40 years ago, that McCartney, the Beatles, and rock ‘n’ roll were seen as a threat to an entire way of life. Adults in the 1950s and 60s thought if their kids started listening to the Beatles they’d do drink, do drugs, and have sex. They were right, but kids have always been kids, and if chamber music was hip with the kids today, they’d still be doing drugs and having sex.
In 1965 Lennon, McCartney, and the Beatles were on government watch-lists. People decried their songs with lyrics as incendiary as “I want to hold your hand” as corrupting the minds of youth. Their ear-length hair was a sign of a coming anarchy to adults. That McCartney, in 2005, is now the safe choice, just goes to show how silly any push-back against music, culture, and youth is.
Parents, nothing you do, whether getting Howard Stern off the radio airwaves, or making sure Sipowicz never shows his ass again, will stop your children and the society they create for themselves. You can’t win. You have as much chance stopping your kids as the Eagles do of stopping New England tonight. So, just give up now. Show porn on CSPN, play Lil’ John at school assemblies, and lets just skip church altogether.
Adults and parents (and I say this as one of you now): give up. It may not be Janet Jackson’s nipple on the Superbowl tonight, but it’ll be someone else’s nipple eventually, and for the rest of our lives. And when nipples become as commonplace as long hair, get ready for full frontal. You can’t stop it, and I am as sure that this will come to pass as I am in the fact that somewhere a member of the Jackson family is showing some body part to someone right now. It may not be on TV now, but it will be. And some day soon.
All over the internet there are now references to a formerly obscure Colorado professor named Ward Churchill. He's the churl who likened Trade Center stockbrokers murdered on 9/11 to Nazis, opined that those innocent victims had it coming for all the oppressive US policies and all the other (blah,blah) left-wing academic blather we all routinely ignore. He called those deaths, "a penalty befitting their participation in... the might engine of profit." Ah but no mention of his participation in the mighty engine of profit for which he banks a $114,000 salary as a tenured professor. Who cares, right? But for what it's worth, here's his lame rebuttal to the boring right-wing firestorm the recent unearthing of his ill-advised diatribe provoked.
Now, I don't begrudge him his right to express his wild-eyed opinion. (Actually I do.) We have the right to free speech in the US, unlike some locales where "hate speech" (thought crimes?) can land you in the hoosegow. But I do wonder about this guy. Consider that he posted this within hours of the attacks. Do you remember how everyone else was positively reeling in the aftermath? Is the low oxygen level in high-altitude, smog-choked Boulder Colorado air such that it alters one's normal brain synapses? Or did someone surgically remove the chunk of his big intellectual brain that processes normal empathy? Is he one of those idiots who include Mohammed Atta and his sub-human thugs in the 9/11 death toll? They caused it, for crying out loud.
It's also interesting how he attempts to split hairs in defending his piece. Just read it. He didn't say the Trade Center workers were Nazis, they were "little Eichmans." Eichman didn't personally gas any Jews or Gypsies or gays, he was just an efficient administrator. So it's cool. Gotcha, Ward. It's all copacetic. FU.
Dude, stick to your guns. As Henry Ford put it, never apologize, never explain. Once you've said something, it is clearly what you thought at the time and it is likely what you will continue to believe until you die. There's way too much bogus contrition these days. "Mistakes were made." "Pain was caused." Deal with it.
Okay. I'll concede that the a-hole makes one (and only one) valid point that went judiciously unvoiced at the time. I'll preface it by saying that the plane that struck the Pentagon basically taxied down Columbia Pike, a road in the hood where I grew up. So yeah, it's more than a little personal. That said, even then I wondered about how that could ever happen. The Pentagon is teeming with stern-faced, buzz-cut wonks who attend meetings and briefings, all of which deals with the business of wholesale death. It's the world's largest military installation. And yes, it was a legitimate target in the ridiculous war on non-Muslim humanity that Osama publicly declared in 1998. How then could an unarmed private aircraft come plowing into it without so much as a pistol shot fired by the soldiers who work there? Why was it so helpless?
I drive by there sometimes and there are armed soldiers and anti-aircraft batteries all around the perimeter. They are ready in case terrorists decide to strike again. Talk about locking the barn door after the horses have long since bolted!
I am still dealing with some of the survivors of the senseless Pentagon attack. Many of whom understandably suffer from debilitating post-traumatic stress. They tell me about it in unflinching detail. The pictures you saw do scant justice to what actually went down inside. People were hurled about like rag dolls. You couldn't see your hand in front of your face. Carnage abounded. Fires raged. Helpless is indeed the word. Think the tornado scene at the start of The Wizard of Oz.
Unfortunately Churchill wasn't there. He was lazing about at his computer posting the hoity-toity invective that could very well prove his downfall. Man, let's all hope so.
Showtime movies are so lame I tend to watch ten of them at a time. I can follow the plots, though I do get confused about the characters. The other day I was doing this and I ran across something called Intent to Kill. It starred this chick.
The movie came out in 1992, long after her teen porn debacle. She's showing less skin that an Afghan woman under Taliban rule. This, I suppose, was her foray into legitimate acting. The transition didn't go well. She emotes with all the animation of a mannequin. Sure, she's still got that trademark bee sting pout but it just isn't working here.
I'm old enough to recall the furor over this girl. She broke into porn when she was all of 15 and according to the website shot 100 flicks. Presumably she did it all with men from 25-35. Then she got found out and bible-thumpers sounded the alarm. Of course these guys hail from locales where teen girls are often punished by being deprived of dad's woodshed lovin' for a weekend. Never mind that. Sensing that the tapes might soon be collector's items, guys with daughters her age snapped them up in bulk.
More recently Meryl Streep shot a scene in which she smooched in a bathtub with a ten year old boy. But she is An Artiste, so it's okay. She's not a filthy pedophile like those dudes who boo-fooed Lords silly. She doesn't get a gig, she Gives an Oscar-Worthy Performance. Still, where were the bible-thumpers on this one?
It's such a murky gray area when you start talking about young teens. Mary Kay LeTourneau and her strapping lad who's now old enough to assert parental visitation rights. R. Kelly's young but nubile and all too willing lasses caught on tape. (When are people going to realize that no good ever comes from taping sexual encounters?) An 8th grader seeking to curry favor with a high school boy gives him a sloppy monica. Where do you draw the line? And I don't mean that phony outrage expressed about the LeTourneau case. Secretly almost everyone was going, you go boy. You nailed your 6th grade teacher, for crying out loud, the universal fantasy. No harm, no foul.
When I was in 9th grade my history teacher used to plop her mini-skirted ass on my desk and hold forth about Napolean or something with her nylon-clad legs crossed. I had no idea what the implication of that was. I guess kids grow up quicker these days.
It turns out the First Amendment is a second-rate issue to many teenagers and adolescents, according to a study of high school attitudes released Monday. The way many high school students see it, government censorship of newspapers may not be a bad thing, and flag burning is hardly protected free speech.
The study points to the continual decreasing budget for high school journalism and school media as causes for the apathy about the importance of the First Amendment. However, the indifference students show towards the First Amendment can also be seen in other areas that had also previously been taken for granted as staples of life and society.
When asked, high school students also thought the 13th amendment was “no big deal.” The 13th Amendment to the Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, and was the beginning of the equal rights movement that continues to strive for equality in the United States even today. “If my mom can make me wash the dishes and clean my own laundry,” asked one 17 year-old student in Birmingham, Alabama, “why can’t she by slaves and make them pick cotton? It sure make my life easier.”
This lack of interest doesn’t just apply to history and civics, but can also be seen in the sciences. “So this Fig Newton guy came up with this ‘Universal Law of Gravitation’” said a 16 year-old from Provo, Utah, “what does gravity have to do with my day-to-day life?” “And seriously,” added another student, “I hear there is almost no gravity on the moon. Why can’t we get that going on down here? How cool would it be to be able to lift up a car with one hand?”
The teenage ennui surrounding physics is also apparent in the biological sciences. “You can’t tell me I need oxygen to breath. From now on I’m breathing nothing but helium,” said one high-pitched 17 year-old. “I saw in a TV commercial that the body is 70% water,” said one 15 year-old, who claims his body is 30% water and 40% Mountain Dew. “Do the Dew!” he added.
Cross-posted from my site, 'cause I'm lame that way.
I don't understand Groundhog's Day. On the radio this morning, they said that Punxsutawney Phil and Shubenacadie Sam had seen their shadows, so that meant that we had another six weeks of winter.
But then they went on to say that our Ontario groundhog, Wiarton Willy, hadn't seen his shadow, so that meant that spring would be arriving in another six weeks.
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this just another way of saying, we'll flip a coin, and heads I win, tails you lose? We'll have six more weeks of winter, or in six weeks spring will arrive?! I'm confused.
Cuz I speak of the pompetus of love. What is pompetus?
But here in the vapors I'm known as Anna. In the brick 'n mortar realm they call me Russell. At home I have 2 email acounts. Each has its own screen name and password. My debit card requires a 4 digit PIN. Sometimes Movable Type makes me present a logon name and password. That's when I've got to email MG. I've got accounts all over the net, none of which I can access for lack of proper ID.
At work my voice mail has a password that must be 7 characters long with one number and two caps. Same goes for my logon password. Both of which must be updated monthly. Every time I go to change it the system locks me out like an unwanted dog. I've run out of six letter names of people I've known. And that's not the half of it. We have separate systems to pay lawyers, doctors and other vendors. Each has its own password and logon name rules. I've got so many logon names I feel like I am The Three Faces of Eve.
I struggle mightily to keep track of it all, but since I use these systems constantly and a lot of the things can be synchronized, it's okay. But there's also myriad company websites for everything from checking out your benefits to managing your 401k account. I seldom use these, so every time it's time to click "lost your password." And wait for that ding of the email. That is, assuming I remember which of my company IDs or logon names I'm supposed to use there. Otherwise, it's no dice.
The sites I access least have to do with big blocs of stock options the company gave me in lieu of pay years ago. They've proven quite lucrative the few times I've successfully run the website gauntlet and actually exercised them. I'm legendary at my office for having done this. Coworkers come to me when they've mustered the bravery to try it. Alas, they never know enough about their logon/trading names or passwords to exercise the paltry options the company gives to all employees. Maybe one day they will.
I use the option proceeds to finance my son's college. I purposefully didn't exercise any of the 900 I hold last year as I didn't want to hire another accountant to sort it all out come tax time. But I have watched the stock slowly inching up. With 4 years left till college starts, I figure I need to get cracking. Unfortunately the logon name, trading name, PIN and password I scrawled on a post-it appear to have expired. Access denied! Come back tomorrow with the wicked witch's broom. Oz has spoken.
Oh sure, I could call the broker and try to get new ones. But then I'd have to deal with the voice mail maze whose options have changed (please listen carefully!) and accept that my call will be recorded for quality assurance purposes and give the last 4 digits of my social and my mom's maiden name and firstborn son. The mere thought of which is so daunting it makes me cringe and crave hard liquor or crack.
Come to find out from TV that this account should be a deduction, not treated as income. I'm saving for muh boy's college and the government thinks that is admirable. Where do I turn to find out how to have the account I can't access changed to a education-savings account? I dunno. I've been listening to smooth jazz on hold for an hour as I wait to find out. On my other shoulder I've got my cell, trying to reach my mom to get her maiden name. She won't check her email as she lost her password. Arrrgghh!!!
This modern world is sucking the very life out of me. I want to go live the carefree beach life in Nicaragua like Leaffin. Mmmm, Margaritas.
I try to live my life always on the right side of history.
This is a hard thing to do because, while hindsight is always 20-20, foresight is slightly more astigmatic than Mr. Magoo. It is hard to know in the moment the things you will regret doing, saying, or never doing when looking back on your life. But you certainly have an idea.
One way it should be pretty easy to fall on right side of history is not supporting child molesters. Yet, hundreds of fanatics (and that truly is the right word here), have been camping outside the courthouse every time Michael Jackson shows up.
I’d find it difficult to find the time to take a day off work to go stand outside and cheer for astronauts returning from the first manned-landing on Mars, the U.S. military returning home because all violence everywhere on the world had ended, or if the Mets won the World Series, much less to show my support for an alleged child-molester.
Yet, there are people who have shown up outside the courthouse for every appearance. They’ve come from all over the world.
At worst, Michael Jackson is a repeated child-molester who drugs children, touches their naughty bits, and pays off their parents. At best, Jackson, with the appearance of an escapee from the island of Doctor Moreau, is a hideously self-disfigured man-child who has repeatedly put himself in the position to be accused of molesting children.
Forget if you are Jackson himself, let’s just imagine two years from now when this trial is finally over how you’ll be able to look at yourself in the mirror if (when) Jackson is convicted and you were one of the screaming fans outside the courthouse?
I’d think this would be an easy situation to fall on the right side of history.