A Tale of Several Roommates

by lizard at 11:45 PM on August 31, 2001

For the past ten years, more or less, I've lived with Chris, but there were times I simply could not live with him. During these times I could not afford a place of my own, so I rented my way into a few really rotten situations. I have a long history of bad taste in men, but I'm saving that for my novel. I also, apparently, have really bad taste in roommates:

Roommate #1. I don't remember her name. She was in AA when I met her, and her husband was in prison so she needed the money. (In retrospect, that was probably a bad sign. But I was desperate.) I was basically renting a couch and a closet from her. I was also thrity, single, and horny. I had very little privacy, and she decreed that I have no male guests past ten PM and no making out on the couch. Ok, fine. She then proceeded to fall off the wagon in a big way. There were mornings I'd wake to her hollering: ĎKaren! Karen!!í. I'd go upstairs to find her in bed, apparently naked with the sheets up under her armpits, room littered with beer cans, asking me plaintively to please find her clothes, she wasn't sure which room they were in. Oh, and could I please find her aspirin, and did I have any idea who she'd been screwing? Fine. I handled it. Here's your clothes and pills, I think it was that neighbor guy. Then, I made the mistake of mentioning once, to a mutual friend, without giving details, that I was unhappy with my living situation. That's *all* I said. This little tidbit beat me home, so when I got there, I was informed that if I didn't like it, I should go. I went.

Roommate #2. Immediately after roommate number one, I found a perfect place with my own room and bathroom, a nice big roomy room, in a nice apartment complex. My roommates were effusive about how happy they were to have someone sharing the rent - until one of their friends, by which I mean, one of the friends they liked better than me, needed a place. So, I was out.

Roommate #3. Years had passed, in which I was living with Chris, most of the time fairly unhappily. This ended abruptly the day after I started my current job, leaving me an underpaid part-time intern in school with an apartment I couldn't afford. My landlord had serious doubts in my ability to pay the rent, and gave me notice. At that time, Chris's ex-girlfriend happened by, needed a place, had adequate credit and took over my lease. I continued to pay most of the rent, while she obsessive-compulsively cleaned and bitched and bitched and finally blew up. It was five days after I'd paid my lion's share of that month's rent and had conveniently, as a condition of staying there, signed away my rights. She gave me three days to move out. Note: never, ever, decide to live with your ex's ex, thinking that by virtue of having broken up with the same guy, you have something in common.

Roommate #4. Seemed like a nice guy. Had a place in a bad neighborhood but utterly spotless. Spotless as in, Ďwhat are these drops of water on the counterí spotless. Anal retentive as in, Ďone of my forks is missingí. Suffice to say I had no need of any of his raggedy, mismatched, sorry-ass excuses for forks. This happened twice. I swear on all that may or may not be holy that I had nothing to do with the mysterious fork disappearances. Then, there was the matter of the internet - we were supposed to share his DSL, but every damn time I came home my lan-wire would be unplugged, he did not like wires running through the house. So, it was either barge in his room and plug myself back in, or sit and sulk. First, I moved my computer to friendlier territory, then made a kind of last minute, I-spent-the-money-anyway-I-can't-pay-rent-I'm-moving move, which he countered with some ugliness and borderline extortion, which I caved in to and paid the money. He then changed the locks, failed to pay the landlord, informed me I had to be out in two weeks, and kept my deposit. I still run into him here and there, he wants me to continue working on his website, and does not understand why I won't.

Roommate #5. This is too long a story and probably I shouldn't discuss it (for legal reasons) while cases are still pending. There was my initial lawsuit, his countersuit, his subsequent, different suit, and now my appeal of that judgement, which has graduated from small claims to the Superior Court.

I have bad taste in roommates. Or maybe it's me? No, not really. It's them. It's always them.

comments (9)


sex machines : the condom apron

by mg at 01:39 PM on August 31, 2001

As the immortal Stuart Davis sings in a song I like to call Immanence, ďSex is proof the Holy Ghost crawls around in stuff thatís gross.Ē Unfortunately, the sexy ďgross stuffĒ that the Holy Ghost crawls around in is also teeming with all sorts of diseases.

Which is why Mark Grubman, of Rego Park, New York (hey, thatís only a couple blocks from here), invented the condom apron. As Grubman explained in his patent application, ďThe use of condoms, while better than nothing, leaves open the considerable risk of infection Ö as a result of sloppy, careless, and/or accidental smearing and/or spilling of copulation fluids from one or more of the sex partners.Ē

Personally, I enjoy the sloppy, careless and/or accidental smearing and/or spilling of fluids during copulation, but I guess I can see the point Grubmanís invention, which is a plastic apron that is tied around the waist and stretched down to the thighs. At penis level, it has a condom contiguously attached. The lower edge of the apron has a special open cuff to catch fluids that run down the front of the garment - kinda like the storm drain your parentís made you clean out every fall. Hopefully, youíd clean up the condom cuff more than once a year. And, equally as hopefully, youíd get to have sex more than once a year, but itís hard for me to imagine anyone could possibly have sex that often.

And, when you bought one of Grubmanís devices, not only do you get the condom apron, but it also came with a bonus plastic face shield that could be tied around the head and ďworn Ö during sex and/or copulation, in order to avoid the touching of lips and/or saliva of the opposite mouths of the copulating partners.Ē Romantic, huh?

The device obviously never gained popularity, as you canít head out to the pharmacy at 2 in the morning and by a Trojan brand Condom Apron. I just donít understand though. I can imagine what a great help one of these would be for all those times Iím at home, multitasking and have to quickly switch from copulation to frying eggs. Iíd never have to worry about hot grease splattering on my genitals again!

comments (14)


special guest post : she moves in mysterious ways

by guest at 07:49 PM on August 30, 2001

Hey, look! Itís a hopelessly late entry in the Bad Samaritan casting call! Even though the call is officially closed, I havenít mentioned it in over a month, so I suppose this is my fault. The decision has, in fact, been made, and I guess I need to inform those chosen, and get them ready and posting. But, unofficially, the casting call is always open, so if you are still interested in applying to be an author here, or would just like to write a guest entry and get some traffic to your own site, you should send me an email.

This entry is by someone who asked I didnít reveal their name, or the URL for their site. So there. At any rate, please comment, rate, and judge him, because your feedback is one of the ways Iíll decide who gets lifted from obscurity to Internet Rock-Stardom © as the next Bad Samaritan.


I can't help but stare. She sits a few meters adjacent from me in Math and owns the most entrancing eyes. Her hair is in shades of ebony and gold, disheveled in a ponytail. Her face possesses fine lines and has a seisin of sharp features. Her lips are dark, luscious, not wet, but not dry either. Her curvaceous body and her mysterious smile occur only in fantasies. The skin that so tightly is hers is a shade of olive, no freckles nor pigments, perfect - as if airbrushed. She speaks with a calm voice, exuding confidence. Her movements are graceful, but not too feminine. She walks with a bounce, turns with her hips and seduces when she blinks. Her legs too, are well toned and muscular, strong and graceful.

She looks up, now lying on her side, almost erotic. Her beautiful eyes firmly focused on her work, no smile. Serious...but sexy. She bites her lower lip and thinks, looking upwards, but not looking. Thinking. She shuffles her position, changing from a left side lay to a forward leaning position. Her movements, graceful and seductive. She sweeps her loose hair behind her ear, which, by the way, is adorned with a metal stud. She returns to her work. My eyes firmly fixed on hers. Looking down, her eyes firmly fixed on her work. She frowns, her chiseled eyebrow raises. The class is over. Itís time to go.

She slowly, lazily, she gathers her books, papers and pencils and forces them into her bag. She gets up, slowly. Her hips sway to one side, then another as she reaches an upright posture. She carefully pushes her chair in. As she turns away, I notice her sling bag is a CK, just like mine.

comments (12)


merrily merrily merrily merrily, life is but a dream

by mg at 11:28 AM on August 30, 2001

I hardly ever remember my dreams. Which is strange, considering most of my best friends are able to vividly remember their dreams on a daily basis. Iíve tried lots of things to help myself remember them better, but nothing has worked. Iíve either got to wake up so suddenly that Iím pulled right the hell out of REM sleep, or be sick (or drugged) and slipping in and out of consciousness.

As Iíve spent the last couple days doped up on painkillers and sleeping fitfully, as every unconscious move causes intense bodily pain, Iíve been remembering a lot more of my dreams. Since listening to other peopleís dreams can turn out to be pretty boring and/or just plain confusing, I wonít go into too many details.

I do, however, want to ask about one aspect of my dreams, which I find to be really weird, but may, in fact, turn out to be completely commonplace. Like already mentioned, I donít remember my dreams very often, but when I do remember them, it is always because they are recurring dreams.

Well, it isnít exactly like my dreams have recurring plots, or even recurring themes within them. No, it isnít anything like that. All of my dreams use the same locations.

Think about how a cheaply made cartoon will use the same backdrop for every scene, no matter what is going on. Ren and Stimpy or the old Bugs Bunny episodes are good examples. Or for a more modern example, think about how the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers always use the same footage to show them transforming and always battle the monster of the day at the same place.

That is exactly how my dreams work. I think the set designers of my unconscious movie are a bunch of cheap bastards. All my dreams donít take place with me standing in front of the same tree. It isnít like that, exactly. There are several locations that are reused consistently, or changed slightly from their prior configuration to be repurposed, as appropriate, for the plot of the new dream.

Last night, I dreamt that I was back in college, out in Iowa, at the same place that Snaggle, Shar, Space and I all went. Except, none of them or any of my other friends was there. I was at a party thrown by someone I donít know in real life, but is one of my best friends in dreams. I didnít like the party, so I left, and then walked around a bit before going home. (I told you my dreams are pretty boring).

As I was walking around, I felt like that was home, even though this town is nothing like the Ames of real life. I recognized that fact while in the dream, but I still believed that it was real, because the campus was the same campus I had been attending school at in a dream I had a couple weeks ago.

In that dream, I was hopelessly late for class, and couldnít even find the building I was supposed to be in. The campus was this beautiful, sprawling place that was completely deserted, so I couldnít even ask anyone for help. I eventually gave up trying to find the right building and just went home. The house I went home to was never a place I had been in real life, but it felt right to be there because I had dreamt about living there before.

It was just a normal house, but when I first dreamt about it, just a couple nights before, it was a combination of a couple different places Iíve lived while in college and Hogwarts Academy (from the Harry Potter books). There were ghosts, secret passages, and doors that would open into the living room one day and into the kitchen the next.

So, the question is, is my unconscious terribly underfunded, or are other peopleís dreams as repetitive as mine?

comments (5)


back in the saddle again

by mg at 11:51 AM on August 29, 2001

The world looks very different from where I am. That is to say, the floor.

Yep, five days after I did whatever it was I did to hurt my back, and Iím still spending the majority of my time flat on my back.

Iíve spent several other long periods of time lying on my back before, but mostly, those times involved being naked and sweaty and having someone naked and sweaty lying on top of me while rhythmically grinding their hips into mine. At those times, looking up at the world around me wasnít the thing running foremost through mind.

But, when youíre lying on the floor for five straight days, with pain shooting through your back with even the slightest motion, you begin looking for things to do to occupy your time. You begin to think about important things, and you start to ask yourself important questions about your life. Like staring at your living room ceiling and wondering whether it is time to repaint.

There are, however, other, more amazing changes to the way you look at the world from the floor. There are so many things youíd never notice when your eye level is the same as everyone elseís ankle level.

Like, if youíve got a hardwood floor no matter how often you sweep, it still looks dirty. And then noticing how chunky a hardwood floor gets after a couple days, imagining how disgusting a carpeted floor gets if you donít vacuum constantly. If my apartment was carpeted Iíd be using my Hoover and sucking so much my friends would call me Big Brother 2.

When you are living life below the belt, you notice other things as well, like how Amanda needs to do a better job shaving her legs. Sure, it is shallow of me to care that my roommate (not ready to call her girlfriend yet) has hairy legs. I mean, I know body hair is a natural thing. Itís just that if you are going to shave, you should do a good job. There shouldnít be alternating patches of hair and bare skin, unless youíre Dennis Rodman and are getting ready for another run in the NBA.

You know how all those medical companies say you shouldnít take more than X pills in N hours? The Advil people, for example, say that you shouldnít take more than six in a period of twenty-four hours. Well, Iíve always paid attention to those rules, because I thought Iíd turn purple or something if I didnít. But, Iíve discovered that they are a bunch of bald-faced liars. Iím not sure why the Advil bottle says that, since nothing bad happened to me since Iíve been taking two or three (or nine) extra ones for the past couple days.

And, since we are on the topic of pharmaceuticals, Iíve discovered that in some cases, Icy Hot is neither icy enough nor hot enough for some kinds of pain.

Iíve also learned some money saving tips. For example, if you sleep on an ice pack, itíll keep you cool enough so that you donít have to turn on the air conditioning, even if the heat index has swelled up to three digits. Unfortunately, you begin to lose all feeling in your back, which would be a good thing, unless you happen to accidentally lie on top of something pointy, which you wonít even notice for three hours after youíve woken up when all the tiny blood vessels in your back unfreeze.

Ugh. I need to go lie down again. All this sitting has sure tired me out.

comments (4)


i must be all these things

by mg at 02:14 PM on August 28, 2001

Nothing else in my life might be going the way I hoped it would, but yesterday marked a highlight in my online life; Bad Samaritan received itís 100,000th hit. I was going to throw some kind of celebration to commemorate the event, but instead I just layed on my living room floor and got high off painkillers and muscle relaxants.

However, I was thinking that I'd have some sort of big celebration to mark Bad Samaritan's 1-year anniversary, which is October 3rd. This celebration would, hopefully, involve me leaving the house and getting high on alcohol rather than painkillers and muscle relaxants. And I definitely wouldn't end up on my back, unless some of my female readers decide to congratulate me by ravishing my supple young body.

At any rate, if anyone is interested in heading out to New York in early October, let me know, and Iíll see what kinda party I can throw together.

comments (11)


i'm so tall, can't get over me

by mg at 11:27 AM on August 27, 2001

I really must confess something to you all; I am at the lowest point Iíve ever been in my entire life. You see, I am in pain. Iíve never felt this hurt in my entire life, yet I feel numb all over. Iím lying on the floor, and canít get up. Iíve taken way too many (illegally obtained) painkillers and muscle relaxants. I need help.

Doesnít that sound so terribly dramatic?

If I had known youíd all react the way you did, I probably would have spilled the whole story Saturday. But a) I kind of like being mysterious sometimes and b) I was so doped up on pain-killers that if I had tried to tell the story, Iím sure it would have made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

So, to all of you who sent well wishes and love, thanks. It helped, even though the thing that you all thought happened wasnít really what did happen, knowing you cared helped me through it. Whenever I sort of get sick of running this site, you guys pull through and make me fall in love all over again.

Well, I might as well just to end the suspense as quickly as possible now; KD was dead on when she commented, ďthe whole thing sounds more like a back injury than a broken heart.Ē And, now that thatís out of the way, the rest of the story:

At some point in the past, I hurt my back. For the life of me, I donít remember what I did or when that was, but hurt it, and since then Iíve had periodic bouts of back pain. It is nothing ever really serious, but maybe a little bit of tightness and the occasional spell of spasms. Usually a bit of stretching, some Advil and maybe a nice warm bath will do the trick, and Iíll be feeling a hundred percent again in no time.

Well, a couple days ago, I was going through a stint of tightness in my lower back. I had been over at my momís place, helping her clean up a bit, so that Amanda could move out of my place, and into the spare bedroom over there. I was over there for an afternoon, doing some bending over, lifting, pushing and pulling. That evening, the pain started, but it wasnít too bad, just the usual, and nothing more than Iíve experienced before.

Fast forward to Friday. I was still in a little bit of pain, but, again, nothing outrageous. It was Amandaís first day off after starting her new job, so we decided to take a little day trip. We drove up to the Cloisters, this sort of Gothic museum located on Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan.

Growing up in New York, I had heard of the Cloisters, but I never really knew what it was. I always thought it was this sort of Yuppie thing to do, and I guess I was probably right. Iíve mentioned before that I hope I never become the kind of New Yorker who always dresses in black, reads the Sunday New York Times, and goes to place like the Cloisters. So, I should have known that this would be a bad trip.

We got up there, with a picnic basket full of wine, cheese, bread, and fruit, and decided weíd walk around the park, and eat lunch before going into the museum. We walked around a bit; the park is really nice. It overlooks the Hudson River, and New Jersey, which from a distance, doesnít look like half bad a place. We eventually found a nice patch of grass, had lunch and lied down in the sun a bit.

But, when it was time to get up, I couldnít. I felt this shooting, stabbing pain throughout my back every time I tried to stand up. I eventually shambled up and hobbled over to a nearby park bench, where I spent the next fifteen seconds debating whether or not we should still try to go into the museum (the answer was a quick, ďnoĒ) and then another fifteen minutes debating whether or not I would be able to make it back to the car (the answer was a slow, ďhopefully, otherwise Iím spending the night in the parkĒ).

We decided that we were going to have to head back eventually, and now was as good a time as any. I shuffled back to the car. When we got there, it was decided that I would drive; see, itís Amandaís car and all, but she is scared to drive in NYC, and my back didnít really hurt as long as I remained completely motionless. Unfortunately, the car has a manual transmission, which, while much more fun to drive than an automatic (driving it makes me feel like Dale Jarrett), requires a significant amount of shifting, especially through rush-hour traffic.

By the time I got home and out of the car, well, I couldnít get out of the car. My back had tightened up so much that I couldnít move at all without causing my back to go into spasms. Weíd parked maybe fifty feet from the front door to my apartment building, and it is maybe another fifty feet from the front door to my apartment. It took a good (actually, quite awful) 20 minutes to make that walk. Every step was pure torture, and by the time we got inside, I was practically in tears from the pain.

I fell flat on the living room floor, and didnít move for the next 20 hours. Luckily, Iíve got a very big bladder (and you know what they say about guys with big bladders) because I wouldnít have been able to move enough to put my winky in a bottle (to pee in it), much less get up and walk (or even crawl) to the bathroom.

Also, very luckily, my mom is a walking pharmacy, and always has lots of groovy painkillers and muscle relaxants on hand. She gladly gave some up for me, seeing as how much pain I was in, and Iíve been pretty doped up ever since.

comments (11)


I am not Malay!

by zia at 05:38 PM on August 26, 2001

Its either this is a withdrawal symptom from my posting hiatus here or I'm just scared to approach my mounting case books. Another essay to be handed in in a jiffy.

* screams hysterically *

I did try though. I even attempted to flip the books open with my pencil. But ended up poking the book all the way into the gap between my bed and the wall. ( I study better in bed, erm, with exception of this case...). Truman Show was on the tube. I watched. But couldn't find joy in the shoes of a couch potato. When I think of my essay. I hide under my pillow. When I think of my essay again. I crawl under the duvet. When I think of my essay for the third time. I banged my head madly against Jim Carey's. Imagine my disappointment finding that I still live to do my homework.

Instead of screwing erratically and aimlessly around the net, I reckon it would do me and my time justice to post here. At least Iím rearranging my brain cells. Not towards the essay, unfortunately. But to desperately unburden the site of the want of reading material for all the lonely people out there. However meager.

Wata fak? I can spare some mental vomit for the site and not for my own marks accountable essay?

Before I launched WORD to cook this up, I was blogging furiously. After I shut WORD to post this up. Iíll resume my blogging frenzy. In Malay.

Yes, this is denial. This is my fugitive brain on the run.

To make things worse, my ulcers are still fakking my mouth and I couldnít eat proper meals to save my life.

Fak. Desperation in my own words. Lately.

Iíve been yakking in Malay all morning. Much to my siblings' bewilderment. Thatís weird. I distinctly remembered how the language had disowned me after years of abandonment, neglect and incompetency.

Wow. Hunger sure does wonders.

Check out a Malay chocolate candy jingle Iíve been humming all morning:

ď Gembira rasanya hati. Coklat cair dinikmati. Choki Choki. Enak sekali. Choki Choki, adik gemari! ď

Beats me.

A clip of my best rendition of a celebrated Malay song to those who are willing to fork out some cells to help me with my Law essay. And I will also promise to keep my croaking to its lowest minimum.

Yes. Desperation calls.

Or alternatively:

Mg, move your ass a bit and make some space for me. You got company.

comments (6)


i'm so low, can't get underneath

by mg at 05:04 PM on August 25, 2001

I really must confess something to you all; I am at the lowest point Iíve ever been in my entire life. You see, I am in pain. Iíve never felt this hurt in my entire life, yet I feel numb all over. Iím lying on the floor, and canít get up. Iíve taken way too many (illegally obtained) painkillers and muscle relaxants. I need help.

comments (9)


How To: Treat Your Woman

by lizard at 11:25 PM on August 22, 2001

I've figured it out. The reason my sex life sucks (and not well) is the availability. It's always there, always willing and ever eager, forever the nice guy. How the hell am I supposed to want that? Who wants a nice guy? Not a sick chick, I assure you. So I've developed these guidelines to help men understand the ways to a sick chick's heart:

Be a jerk. Be standoffish, be aloof, make it clear your true interests lie elsewhere, and that she must work for your affection. Only compliment her in a backhanded way, as in, ĎYou did a pretty good job on the kitchen, for a slobí. Keep a stack of porno mags by the bed and start flipping through them whenever she makes any efforts to seduce you, implying she's inadequate to the task of exciting you.

Do not, for cryin' out loud, act like you're happy to see her when she gets home. The one thing that will put her off the whole concept of sex is you greeting her like a big, goofy, crotch-sniffing Irish Setter. Don't give her that unconditional love and lust, telling her how hot she is in spite of the fact that she's gained five pounds, or even ten. Don't tell her how much you appreciate her body for the temple of pleasure it is. Don't nuzzle her neck and offer her endless cunnilingus. Instead, try this approach: ĎGimme head, beeyotchí.

Other key phrases to keep her coming back for more: ĎWhere's my dinner?í (especially useful if she's just come home from a hard day's work). ĎGot any money? I lost mine at the track.í ĎAre you going to wear *that*? It makes your butt look huge!í Don't forget to leave the toilet seat up, especially at night when you've got her trained to go in the dark, lest the bathroom fan disturb your sleep. Leave your dirty clothes wherever you drop them, and avoid working for a living if at all possible - it uses up the energy you'll need to keep your woman in line.

Sure, you could go for a healthy relationship with one of those empowered, independent women, but why? Just follow these simple guidelines and you will achieve levels of dysfunction beyond your wildest dreams.

comments (34)


i think i'm dumb, or maybe just happy

by mg at 10:49 AM on August 22, 2001

I know none of you can really relate, as you are a talented and successful lot, but unemployment sucks.

Harry Potter has gone a long way in keeping my mind occupied, and little projects around the house have kept my hands from becoming idle (though my pants are still the devilís playground), yet, Iím still beginning to get terribly and irreversibly bored.

At this point, the thought of waking up every morning, going into a crappy where Iíd spend the entire day in front of a computer doing mind-numbing working, for a soulless corporation doesnít sound so bad. It certainly sounds better than the waking up at noon, and spending the entire day in front of a computer, mindlessly looking for work and soul-numbingly never finding anything. The only thing redeeming unemployment is that Iím able to spend the entire day in my pajamas, but as the threat looms that Iíll soon have to sell all my belongings (besides my pajamas) just to have enough cash to pay the rent.

But, I spent about 5 hours thinking about things this morning (rather than using the time to actually look for gainful employment), and I have to say that things are looking up on the old job front.

Look at these numbers and tell me if the future isnít getting brighter for me: I spent the first six weeks of 2001 employed. I was then laid off and spent the next seven weeks unemployed. I found another job, and spent another eight weeks as a productive member of society. That is, until I couldnít take it any more and quit. Iíve now spent the last nine weeks unemployed.

See what Iím getting at? If the pattern continues (6, 7, 8, 9Ö), Iíll find a job by the end of the week, and spend the next ten weeks (at the very least) selling my soul for a paycheck. I donít care what Alan Greenspan say about the interest rates or what the analysts are prognosticating about projected Third Quarter earnings, my figures are the only ones that matter. Numerology has definitively ordained that I will find a job this week, and numerology doesnít lie.

Iím bound to find a job by weeks end, and that makes me very happy.

So, for the rest of the week, Iím not going to worry, even though things look bleak. And just to give you a clue as to how the job hunt is going, check out this email I got from a company Iíd applied to just a few days ago:

Thank you for your recent resume submission, however with much sadness, ********** will be closing its doors this week. Unfortunately, 2001 has been a tough year for us, and despite our greatest efforts, we just don't see enough opportunity for new business through the end of the year. We wish you the best of luck on your job search and only regret we couldn't be more helpful.

Sucks for them, but itís been nine weeks so I am destined to find something.

comments (6)


The Bad Daughter

by lizard at 05:58 PM on August 21, 2001

I love my parents. They are in Oregon, I am in California, we miss each other. I was up there for three weeks, earlier this year, to help out while my Dad had attempted cancer surgery. Since I left, I both anticipate and dread their phone calls, because I want news but don't want it to be bad. Some has been bad, some good, some just more information than I wanted... for instance, when my Dad told me about the side effects of the chemo, which apparently left him bald, well, everywhere. Didn't need to know that, Dad. Excuse me while I go put out my mind's eye.

So, they call. My Dad calls, because my Mom is deaf as a post and had a stroke years ago that impeded her speech, so nobody understands anything in those conversations. My Dad, technically my stepfather but really the only father I know, is a great guy, salt of the earth and other related clichés, but sadly not the sharpest tack in the package. The latter part of last year, he got sold a computer. I would like to say, bought a computer, but since he got so much more than he needed, I would have to say that it was an act of (questionably ethical) salesmanship rather than consumerism. So he has this fancy laptop loaded up with tons of software he has no clue how to use, and he continues to install more things, whether or not he has any idea what the things are or how they work.

The conversation went well, the chemo is over and the radiation is beginning, a 60% chance is mentioned which to me is a sock in the gut but he's taking it well, and I believe he'll beat this, and then things got bad. ďI have a problemĒ, he says. Oh no. He's installed Zone Alarm and now he can't sign on to anything on the internet. Hey, I have Zone Alarm! There's hope I can help - the most important part of providing parental tech support is the ability to look at something similar to what he's looking at, otherwise his descriptions make no sense. I try to explain to him how to find the Ďprogramsí screen, so that he can unblock some of the things he needs. From his description of the install process, he pretty much told the firewall software to block everything, probably thinking this was necessary. However, the screen he's describing is nothing like mine - his is the pro version, with many, many more features. I try to tell him how to get to the ZoneLabs website to get some tech support, and he keeps telling me something about Ďprogram filesí... ahh, you're still in your own computer, I tell him. You have to get on the internet. Anyway after a number of attempts to spell out (let me tell you, this was no easy task), finally I told him to take it back to Best Buy. He told me he hasn't had the comptuer back there since I was up there (and explained to him that computers aren't *expected* to work all the time). Up to that point they saw it as another appliance, and if your new washer kept crashing, why, you'd take it back, wouldn't you? So he took that puppy back about every other day at first. He theorized that perhaps the service guys had forgotten him by now (unlikely) but anyway...

This conversation lasted over one hour. The medical part took less than ten minutes, the rest of the time was spent trying and failing to explain one or two relatively simple computer tasks. In the course of this conversation, I had to resist the urge to bash my phone repeatedly against the nearest available hard surface, my head for instance, because i am a bad daughter. I should have more patience, but sadly, I don't. I should call them more often, but it's difficult. I should call them back right now, and try to be more helpful. But I won't. I once spent twenty-five minutes trying to describe to them over the phone how to click the drop down menu in a Save dialog box to get a listing of different folders in which to save a file - without success. I want to be a good daughter, really I do, I just... I can't.

comments (8)


i'm going down on you, even if it kills me

by mg at 11:03 AM on August 21, 2001

Bad Samaritan experienced some downtime last evening into this morning. All in all, the site was down for about 15 hours. Man I hate that, as I am positive you do as well. Sure, I probably wouldnít have actually posted at all within that period of 15 hours, most of it occurring whilst I was asleep, but it is certainly nice to know that if I had wanted to post, I would have been able to.

It is sort of like with cigarettes, which I only bring up as I am currently attempting to quit. When Iíve got a pack of cigarettes around, I may not want to smoke them, but it is nice to know that I could if I really wanted to. That in and of itself, becomes a comfort, and almost addictive in a way. When I donít have a pack of cigarettes around and I begin craving one, all I can think about is going out and buying a pack, but when there is one lying there before me, its creamy nicotiney goodness waiting to sparked up, then I can usually hold on those primal urges.

Itís also the same with sex. Like, having someone around who you can do a little full body hugging with (not that me and Amanda would, we are, after all, trying to be good Christians), the urge for sex dries up a bit. Before she came out here, I was dialing my modem at least once a day. But having her around means I donít have to, not because we are doing anything together, but because I know now, (whereas I didnít believe it before) that there is someone out there who finds me sexually attractive and might, one day, consent to having me penetrate her.

At any rate, the site is back up now, and will hopefully not go down again for a long time, or if it does, at least getting some jewelry out of the deal. Bad Sam was on a pace to hit 100,000 total hits by the end of the week, but at this point, itíll probably be some point after that. Unless of, course, you all click on this button:

Not only will clicking on that button make me very happy (by brining new people to the site), but youíve got the chance to win all sorts of crap. You love crap, donít you? You love making me happy, don't you?

comments (4)


dream a little dream

by mg at 03:49 PM on August 20, 2001

Iíve been away for a long time. Not just physically away, but mentally away. And not just from this weblog, but from life in general. There are so many things and people that Iíve detached from and so many daily activities that I havenít done in months (like leaving the house).

I almost feel like I donít really know how to properly live life any more. What is the right time to wake up? Do I have to change out of my pajamas at any point in the day? Do I need to leave the house more than once a week? I just donít know anymore.

And, after all this time looking, I really feel like I will never, ever find a job. I will spend the rest of my life as a transient derelict, living on the street, with all my possessions in shopping cart with one broken wheel. Iíll have to eat cat food, when Iím able to scrape up enough money that is. The rest of the time Iíll have to hunt pigeons and subway rats, which Iíll eat cook over a fire Iíve started in one of those big metal garbage cans.

I havenít even been able to hang out with my friends. I mean, Iíve been able to, because Iíve got nothing but time to hang out with my friends. Just, for whatever reason, I havenít felt like it. I know if I did go out, Iíd probably feel better, because the few times Iíve made it out, I have felt better, but, I donít know.

The worst of it all is I feel like I donít know how to write anymore. At my most prolific, I was coming up with two or three long posts a day that I always thought were pretty clever. In the last two weeks, Iíve been lucky to post once every other day, and what I have written has been mostly crap.

It just seems as if very few things in my life are going the way Iíd planned them to. And sure, life rarely turns out the way we plan it to, but I donít have big plans. All I want to do is wake up every morning, go to some job (no matter how crappy) for eight hours a day, have enough cash to pay my bills (I donít really need any more than that), go out with my friends on the weekend and use my free time to do things I enjoy (like writing for bad sam). My dream isnít that far fetched and I deserve to have it come true, goddamn it!

Ah well, its 4:30 in the afternoon, isnít it time Iíve gotten out of bed?

comments (5)


Soy sauce to go with the frogs, Sir?

by zia at 05:40 AM on August 19, 2001

My response to the comments of my last post commands a length deserving the rank of a post so here it is:

Well, DJ Deception, if I post my webcam...oooh...aahh..oooh..* lost in self voyeurism..*

Darn, *blinks *, snap out of it Zia.

Charles, we've got SPAM here too but Porkie's nothing like that. Its more of...wait, let me grab a can and check out the ingredients...

Erm, guess not.. I've eaten the last can of Porkie. Bugger. Hmm.. If my memory serves me right, the paste is made from fermented black beans, animal oil (pig’s?), pork chunks and of course, the grease gobs. Porkie may look as ugly as it sounded but the taste...Ummpphh!!! Minus the oily nuggets! I wish I could put some up for you guys to sample here but that's...haha..out of the question.

Coming from a cultural background that eats whatever that moves ( No, I've never eaten cats, dogs or anything offensive and never will! ), I should be conditioned to food that's both repulsive to the mind and eyes by now but I just don't see the point stabbing my fork into a dog’s liver or cat’s intestine ( eww eww eww! ) when you can feast on less domesticated meat like chicken or beef for that matter. But I must say that to the uninformed, traditional cuisine can prove to be a pretty gratifying meal indeed than our celebrated Big Mac. Educated application of spices are critical, naturally, and your skills need to go beyond the clockwise and anti-clockwise routine with your ladle and wok. People don’t eat cat/dog meat, lizards etc or Menudo, which Charles described as the innards of some animals or a tripe, like kd said, for the sake of eating them. There must be something about the meal that made those people kept coming back for more. What that ‘something’ is, however gratifying it may be, I have no intention to get wise to although I reckon it has more to do with the ‘medicinal ‘ value of the dish than the yummy factor. To the informed that is. Anyway, my loss, their gain.

Lucky for me ( phew! ), being a Malaysian Chinese, I’m irreverently spared from those ‘indulgences’ that many Chinese in Mainland China cherished. I suspect that some maybe not be so 'lucky' though. Being a Malaysian Chinese, I cannot liberate myself entirely from my culture where crushed lizards, or powdered deer testicles ( deer testicles in capsule form are available even in Christchurch! Eeek! ) along with a host of other weird concoctions were once used to cure ailments and such ( however minor ). My grandparents originate from China. Dad was born in Malaysia. I’m born in Malaysia. Does that makes me a China Chinese that is born in Malaysia or a China Chinese that is not born in China? Which culture are we obliged to practice? The authentic China Chinese culture or the Malaysian Chinese ones that holds less esteem than the former? Aaaaah…confusing confusing. Scratch that. I would like to think that the consumption of domestic animals, pets in particular, are not widely practiced in Malaysia. I’m sure more than a handful of my country folks will retch rather than dribble at the thought of masticating our pets ( or somebody's pet ). No offence to those who were offended though.

And yet we are comfortable enough when it comes to frogs.

Not the green garden frog or the slimy old toad. I’m not familiar with its scientific name, ah sorry. We call it “ Tien Ci” in Mandarin which literally means native chicken but its actually a frog. I haven't got a clue as to why they call it a chicken when it is a frog and looks exactly like a frog except that it sports a brownish jacket as opposed to its green counterparts and is approximately the size of a tabby cat. Not, a wee bit bigger. Geez, come to think of it...giant frogs!!! They are reared commercially to support demand.

Eeeee. Frog eaters. Eeeee. Did I say I ate one? Eeeee. Zia the frog eater. Eeeeee. I didn’t know it was a ‘frog’ dish since they were chopped into unrecognizable parts when they reached the table. It tasted very much like chicken ( eh, maybe that’s why they call it a chicken? ) but is much tender to the bite. Did I say the meat was juicy as well? Eeee. Frog eater. Eeeeee.

I was gleefully chewing at what looked like a bony chicken wing to me when my cousin ( who ordered the dish ) asked how I was enjoying the 'chicken'. I commented how tender the meat was and oh boy, I should have kept my mouth shut.

" Oh, they're reared in the ponds, feeding on shrimps and stuff. That's why they are so juicy and tender'

Excuse me, chicken in ponds? Shrimps? Wtf?

Further details were promptly proffered.

That's where the choking started. Trying to yank that damn hind leg out of my throat.

Eeee. Zia the frog eater. Eeee. But I must admit, it tasted pretty good. No Zia, you must not eat another frog! But its not as offensive as eating your pet dog or the family cat is it?

A frog is a frog is a frog! Damn, my conscience are wrestling with my growling stomach.

I could have share more ‘delicious’ tales on bats, turtles and even iguanas that my relatives has provided me over the years but I can feel my stomach rearranging themselves in alphabetical order and I think I better leave the subject as it is.

For now. Hehe.

Do you know that unhatched chickens and ox’s penises are considered delicacies in certain countries?

Erm…must be….yu….*erk*..mmy…

My point is….err, didn’t start with one ...Okay, let's see..what may appear offensive to one culture may seemed otherwise for the other. It is part of their culture, their tradition as much as what is part of yours. There might be some tricky issues here but I won’t go there now. Had been over three years since the ‘hind legs’ episode and I have yet to get over it. The last thing I need is to undo the bulk of self theraphy I've managed all these years.

But I won't mind a second helping though. *wipes an errant dribble * Oops.

Eeee. Frog eater. Eeee.

comments (5)


you can't take that away from me

by mg at 09:56 AM on August 18, 2001

Okay, okay okay. So, it is pretty obvious at this point that I went away for a while. And unless Iím making this post through some sort of supernatural means (ďthe e in email stands for ectoplasmĒ), it is pretty obvious that I must be alive and back in New York City, sitting in front of my computer.

Iíve actually been back for a couple days now, but Iíve sort of been enjoying the fact that everyone thinks Iím dead. And that they think Amanda did it. Thoroughly amusing, considering that I fall asleep each night fearing for my life, and that Iíve set up several traps and early warning systems around my bed, so that if someone tries to sneak up on me, they trip a line that makes a bunch of pots and pans rattle so as to wake me up.

Actually, that isnít amusing at all; it is kind of disturbing.

Okay, okay, to tell the truth, none of that is true; things have been pretty blissful around the olí homestead. Which has been one of the main reasons I havenít posted since I got back on Wednesday. As far as Bad Samaritan is concerned, a happy person does not make for an amusing author.

Iíve also refrained from posting because I donít really think people cared that I was gone. Judging from the stats for this week, apparently people donít like me very much, or at the very least, they didnít really miss me. I havenít posted since last Thursday. Yet, this week has somehow become the best in Bad Samaritan history. The site has averaged more than 1,100 hits a day since I last posted and things came to a head on Thursday, with an inexplicable one-day total of 2,357 hits.

But the biggest reason I havenít posted at all since I've been back is because I didnít really have a very interesting explanation for my absence, which is where you come in, my (un) faithful readers. Since the explanation of my disappearance is likely to bore the pants off of you (and not in the good way), and Iím still feeling quite lazy about posting here, Iíll let you try to come up with a good back story for my gone-ness.

Just add a comment to this post with your explanation for my disappearance, and after a couple days, the best story will win a signed copy of my autobiography, The Way You Wear Your Hat. Good luck, and I promise, Iíll be back to my old self starting on Monday.

comments (9)


Has MG Left the Building?

by lizard at 11:44 PM on August 16, 2001

So I sit here wondering wtf, where's MG? Not that I correspond with him frequently, I think I creeped him out early on with some of my drunken emails, (hey, some people like that! I do!). However, I cannot help but think it strange no one's heard from him (that I know of). Since he's the alpha-blogger here at BS, without him things get pretty sparse. I feel like I should contribute, you know, help out with the cause, viva la revolucion and all, but sometimes I'm just tapped. Like now.

So I went in search of inspiration. As far as the back porch. I have had this thing for days, rolled it myself, been kinda looking askance at it, thinking, eh. It's been a mentally taxing week, work-wise, so I am not firing on all eight this evening. MG's words: ĎYou should have something in mind when you sit down to write for BSí or something to that effect. *ahem*. I confess at this point that I sat down with nothing to write about, and to my credit (or debit, or whatever) it's two paragraphs in and I still don't have a point.

ĎSo what's the brain-drain, Karen?í, you're not really asking yourselves, because I am boring the snot out of you. ĎWellí, I'll say, ĎI am an imposter. I have a job where I not only have to do what I'm supposed to do, but I have to figure out how to do it, by myself usually, using only the internet and a book or two and the immersion-in-geeks method. So far it's gone pretty well, actually, and so far it's been two years this month. I've always learned stuff by getting a job doing it. Usually I allude to having done what I'm looking for a job doing, but it's always a bit of a creative interpretation of my actual experience. Just because I haven't done a thing does not mean I can't.í

So obviously this takes a toll on my available brain capacity. For perspective: I'm working on the Ďweb implementationí of the work of a couple of skilled PR people who dress *way* better than I do (among other things - these people are career professionals, which i am not). For a major name brand health club now being built in the largest commercial real estate development in the world. Oooh that sounds pretentious - sorry, however I needed to express the sheer terror I'm experiencing, and use that as an excuse for this babbling. I'm in way over my head - and I love it - but that's beside the point.

I'm pretty sure one of the reasons MG added me to BS without much fanfare is one of the reasons I gave: that I am prolific, that I have more to say than what I'm already saying elsewhere, so I feel obligated to pitch in here. Hence this post.

comments (3)


Look before you eat.

by zia at 03:21 AM on August 16, 2001

Maybe Michael is dead. And Amanda, his ex-girl may have something to do with it...

Or if his thumb falls out and not being capable of posting at the speed of a snail, we'll know who to blame.

Feeling extremely undecided at the moment over nothing that is worth everything..

You see, I made myself a kick ass dinner this evening. Usually, me having cereal for dinner is like a grateful Somalian famine kid being offered a Big Mac. With fries on top.

Yeah, its kinda pitiful sometimes. For me that is. But hey, you guys may had worse.

I called it ' Porkie'. Not very ingenious but sure makes an adorable sentence when paired up with my doll's name. Porkie Chow Chow.

Meaning? Yet to be ascertained. But anyway, thatís an irrelevant matterÖ

Plain curly egg noodles interblended with salty chunky pork paste ( tastes a heck lot better than it sound ) with playful dashes of white and black pepper and delightful squeezes of lemon juice.

Oops, a dribble just escaped my mouth. *slurps*

The only tricky bit is to eke out the sporadic pea size nuggets of fat in the chunky pork paste.

I hate doing that. My appetite takes a bungy dive whenever I set my eyes on those disgusting gobs.

And shoot skyrocket as I divert my attention back to the chunky pork paste.

But I need to marry the chunky pork paste with my frizzy noodles to produce yummy culinary offspring.


I am checking out some articles that was sent to me at the moment so my dinner joined me online today.

Yum. Another mouthful. YUM.

I was strongly impelled to heap those flimsy greasies carefully aside as I dredged my spoon ( noodles with spoon? Yeah, bad habitÖ) through my meal with much relish.

Digesting them is equivalent of me pigging out on pure lard. Gross grossÖ

How can I forget that the grub actually tasted even better than I thought when complemented with prime reading material.

Everything comes with a price.

As I chomped down my last bite, my conscience took a red alert out of nowhere and I immediately look right down at my bowl.

I screamed like a lame ass.

The bowl was as clean as a whistle.

I think Iíve just pigged out on lard.

comments (6)


the benefits of boredom

by lizard at 11:32 PM on August 15, 2001

I've been wondering where everyone is myself. Well, my life has been delightfully uneventful, so all I have to offer is the local story that has me so pleased about my boring existence:

Yesterday, there was a horrible accident on the 101 Freeway near where I live. A road maintenance truck with three propane tanks, unattended on a closed offramp, slipped out of gear and rolled across three lanes of traffic. A semi truck, driven by a husband and wife over-the-road team, struck the maintenance truck, which exploded on impact. The husband was thrown out of the sleeping compartment; he and his wife scrambled out of the truck and hot-footed it away (literally - there wasn't time to put shoes on) as their livelihood went up in flames thirty feet high. A pickup struck the truck, and its driver also escaped major injury, though for some reason he had all his suits in the truck, and he lost those (either that or he wanted his insurance company to think that's what he had in there - damn, am I cynical or what?). Aside from these traumatic losses, though, they all felt pretty lucky.

My boyfriend picked the couple up in his taxi, and took them to Target to get some clothes, then dropped them off at a hotel. He came home and told me about all this, including how amazing it was that there were no major injuries in such a terrible accident, and I clicked over here and told him he was wrong, someone was dead. He said, no, there were two simultaneous accidents on different freeways, I'm sure they just got the stories crossed. And that is indeed what he and the truckers believed had happened. However, as the debris was cleared, a compact car containing a charred body was found under the truck's trailer. So the lady trucker found out she'd killed someone on the news.

The story seems to have lost something in the telling, now that I've written it down here, but it's all I've got and for some reason it bothers me to see Bad Samaritan with only one post in four days. Maybe my life will get more interesting tomorrow. I just hope it doesn't get *too* interesting.


Where is everbuddy??

by snaggle at 10:03 PM on August 14, 2001

Wowzers — itís been four whole days since anyoneís posted. I wonder where everyone else is? I have no freaking clue. Mg hasnít even logged in for six whole days. If any of you are in the New York City area, you may want to drop by and make sure heís not dead or anything. I gave him a call earlier tonight but no one was there. Did the ex-girlfriend kill him? Was it the jealous ex-boyfriend? Or perhaps mgís roving eye finally has done him in! Find out on the next episode of... Bad Samaritan Theatre!!

Oh, wait. Wrong. No matter how much our lives may feel like one, this isnít a soap opera. Shit.

So I have a question for all of you. We give you Bad Advice (well, I suppose we havenít given you any in a while... oops) and, often, you give us good advice. (Just goes to show who should actually be writing for this site. I have a scenario for all of you.

Letís say youíre a twenty-one year old student in the middle of Iowa, studying an odd combination of graphic design, philosophy, and computer science. Youíve just recently decided not to be a moron and attempt to triple-major in all of those and decide to instead pursue graphic design whole-heartedly with philosophy for fun. Letís add to the equation that youíre beginning a three-year program during your fourth year of school, adding up to a minimum of six years for an undergraduate degree. These six years will all be spent in Ames, Iowa — not the most happening of all places. In fact, it rather chafes. If you do anything out of the ordinary, attention is called directly to it. Just about everyone here who tries to be different ends up being a caricature of a stereotype, just because itís so difficult to be not-typical without classifying yourself as something else. As much as you can say ďJust be an individualĒ the fact is, thatís kind of hard to do. Iowa forces you to focus on who you are and what youíre doing and why youíre there. Itís difficult to just ďgo with the flow.Ē

My best friend is from Iowa and moved to New York City a few years ago and we were talking a few days ago about how much different the City is from Ames. Iíve been to NYC numerous times and visited enough big cities to know that Iím a city kid at heart; as much as the Midwestern mentality and safety and such are pleasant, the black void of anything cultural or exciting is enough to make me gnaw my own leg off so I can escape to a real town. We were talking about how I should be in the City, something I very much want to do, at least for a while once Iím out of school. The problem is, I just got accepted to the graphic design program here and thatís another three years. The program here is, actually, pretty decent. You wouldnít think so, being a líil Iowa town, but it is rather good. Thereís a good emphasis on fundamentals and not being dependant upon your computer. However, there are much better schools out there; Iíll be the first to admit this. So... we were talking about the possibility of me transferring to the School of Visual Arts in New York City. How great would that be? Of course, thereís the whole getting admitted part to everything... but letís not dwell on technicalities. I know a couple of people who go there, but I havenít gotten a chance to talk to them (three degrees of separation is sometimes hard to cross to talk to people youíve met once or twice) and Ralph over at Lacking in Emotional Content had a few not-so-kind things to say about the administration there. So, theoretically: how should this scenario play out? Should the kid stay in Iowa and be miserable for three more years, ending up with a solid education from a school in Iowa or go to New York City (provided heís admitted to the school) and go to one of the top graphic design programs in the country, while facing the possibility of being distracted by the Big City life? Or, the third option: drop out and go to Paris and open up a cheesecake shop? Whatcha all think?

comments (10)


I Am *So* Stupid

by lizard at 01:44 AM on August 10, 2001

(subtitle: possibly the most expensive pack of smokes in history)

I should start by noting that I quit smoking in the end of '99, stayed that way for oh, a good year or so, then I was downtown, drinking, and I bought a pack of these delicious vanilla flavored cigarettes. For awhile I smoked only when drinking (that is, frequently but not all the time), then I got to where it's pretty regular. I don't take smoke breaks at work or smoke in my car. But I smoke.

So I was running out of smokes, and the only place they carry them is downtown. I leave the house, thinking, ok, I'll get gas on the way. I get to Main Street and traffic is horribly backed up, and the light is flashing red. Oh yeah, this must be all that detour traffic from that idiot having a standoff on the freeway (one of those typical, Southern California chases we have all the time). So, I'm slick - I know this town, I used to drive a taxi here. I zip up the alley behind the Falafel Hut and zag down a couple quiet little streets and there I am on a nice, clear street that runs straight downtown, along the edge of the foothills. I'm cruising, I'm cranking the tunes, I'm singing. I'm *stupid*.

Car starts to choke about ten, twelve blocks from my destination. I nurse it, coax it, pump the pedal, scream at the slow bastard who's gotten in front of me on the theory that *ten bloody miles per hour* is not the optimum speed for good mileage out of that last tablespoon of fuel. Three blocks away, I make my left turn and coast down the hill - whee! - and hit the red light, losing my momentum. The car chugs along two more blocks, dies at a red light. One block from the gas station. One. Lousy. Block.

There are many cops downtown, it's the County Fair. Two of them are parked right across the street, standing around talking. I have my blinkers on and I am standing by the open door of my car. I hesitate, thinking maybe they will offer a little assistance - after all, the car's a Buick, and I am a girl, and well...they don't. But I discover I can push a Buick! It's not even very difficult! Yay me! I pull the car into a red zone and leave it, flashing, thinking, bastards better not give me a ticket. Yes, I am starting to get a little pissy at this point.

I acquire a gas can (one gallon) and fill it ineptly. I pour some of it on myself, some on the side of the car, but most in the tank. I try to start it. Shit. Maybe that's not enough gas? I go back for one more gallon. This time the can is much heavier, I am getting better at this. Must be enough gas now. I try to remember all the advice I've ever heard about starting cars that have been out of gas. I pump it, I floor it, I hold it halfway down (this was suggested to me last time I was out of gas by the tow truck driver). It worked then, but it's not working now. I try and try, and finally the car starts to protest, having had most of its battery juice drained. I call Triple A. I go to the liquor store and buy my precious cigarettes, a large energy drink, and three cans of Fosters, because I feel stress coming on and beer is a coping skill.

The tow truck driver shows up, tries to start it, looks under the hood, looks at the gas tank, says maybe it wasn't enough gas for the fuel pump. He puts five more gallons in and tells me, worst case scenario, I burned up the fuel pump trying to start it while it was dry. He attaches jumper cables to provide power and tries to start it some more, and yes you guessed it, the fuel pump is toast. The fuel pump is in the gas tank, and the gas tank must be dropped in order to replace the fuel pump. Most expensive of the possible outcomes.

We drop the car at my regular mechanic's, tow truck driver asks do I have anyone picking me up? I put on my brave little trooper face and say, ĎI'll walk, it's not farí. Usually, at this point, truck driving male-type persons say, oh I can take you. Not this one. Maybe the face I made was too brave. So I pick up my bag containing some one hundred ounces of liquid in four large containers (and the cigarettes - let's not forget those damn cigarettes) and head home. It's about a mile, the distance you can walk in the time it takes to wait for a taxi. Did I mention it's a paper bag? The condensation on the cold contents of the bag cause it to pretty much disintegrate on the way home, and the effort of holding them all tight to my chest puts all the strain on my lower back, so that by the time I get home, my back muscles are screaming at me.

I am *so stupid*.

comments (16)


Alcohol + Drawing on People = A Good Time

by snaggle at 10:25 AM on August 09, 2001

At long last, I have for you a story that actually occurred approximately one month ago and to which I have alluded several times. Finally, youíre all going to hear the story.

Here in the middle of Iowa, thereís really nothing to do; anyone who has been here can attest to that. In order to amuse ourselves, we tend to throw parties frequently. Not the wild, crazy, house-destroying parties you see in 80s movies, mind you, but wonderful, only slightly out-of-hand parties where everyone is fairly blitzed and where alcohol and good vibes are flowing likeÖ well, alcohol at a drunken party. These are not your typical college keggers, however; oh no. Weíre much more high class. My friends and I are masters of the theme party. Past themes from our parties have included luau, pajama, white trash/rich bitch, elements of nature, rock star, the standard Halloween, and the Canadian party (donít ask about that one. I wasnít involved in planning it; I just knew the people and showed up and drank.)

Keeping in the spirit of parties, we decided this next one should be creative. My current roommate, Brad, and I are both involved in the fine arts, and my best friend Jeffery is in the performing arts. Our friends and we sport multiple piercings and tattoos. What happens when you get people with a penchant for bodily decoration together with a bunch of artistic geeks? A Body Art party.

Originally, we had two reasons for this party.

  1. To have fun while drawing on each other and getting all prettied up.

  2. To get boys in wifebeaters or less. (Have I mentioned that sexual tension is often an overarching theme as well at our parties?)

Plans commenced and soon we had many markers, highlighters and blacklights, and stickers for drawing pleasure. We put on white wifebeaters and glammed up, preparing to be made pretty. Usually our guests get pretty into it; while we unfortunately didnít have anyone show up in a grass skirt and coconut bra at the luau (though Shar did sport a grass skirt) most of our friends are silly enough that they go all out for a theme party. The crowd here in Ames over the summer is comprised of somewhat different people than during the year, however, and the sundry crew that we attracted that night for the most part wasnít big into being drawn upon. That didnít stop us, however; we kept on with the markers. (I actually waited to post this until I had pictures developed even though some people have been getting very cranky about my lack of posting and for teasing you. Here are some examples of our beautiful artwork:)

Group Shot 1: this is the main body art crew. From left to right we have Snaggle, Dani, Jeffy, Brad, and Becky. No, I'm not all sweaty; I'm glittery.

Group Shot 2: same people, a little less sultry.

Shar & Jeffy: imitating a multi-armed Hindu god.

The party was great. There was a minimum of drama, trauma, and tragedy, which always makes a hostís life easier. There was some forceful expungance of alcohol from a few peoplesí stomachs, which is to be expected, but no major damage or cleaning up was required the next day. We just went to town with our markers and such.

And in tonightís performance, the role of the Typical Gay Man will be played by Snaggle. Hereís the part of the story where it gets juicy and for which I am going to Hell. At this party there was a boy. Weíll call him Alex because, well, thatís his name. Alex is a friend of Allen, my sometimes roommate, when heís not off in a foreign country or a few hours away on an internship. Allen and Alex work together this summer and Allen brought Alex up to Ames to party a bit. Around 4 am or so, the party wound down completely. I had four out-of-town guests staying in my place that night and so as everyone settled down to bed I, like the good hostess that I am, was making the rounds to make sure everyone was tucked into bed and such. As I was checking on Alex, he asked I would mind giving him a backrub.

Interesting. I barely know this boy. Ah well, Allen and I have traded a good amount of massaging over the years; perhaps Allen has mentioned this.

He removes his shirt.

Even more interesting.

(Note: this story becomes somewhat graphic at this point. If you are too innocent to know what oIo is supposed to be, you may not what to continue reading. Also, if the thought of two oIo s together disturbs you, you also may not want to continue reading.)

I massage his back and then flip him over to massage his front. This is pretty standard procedure for me; I like to give at least full-torso massages, if not full-body. When I flipped him over, I kind of straddled him so I was in a good massage position.

He was holding onto my thighs as I was doing this. No, I didnít need help balancing. Even more interesting. Up until this point, I had no idea Alex batted for my team. Within a short amount of time we were making out on the couch. I was still quite drunk, and so within a short amount of time we were more than making out on the couch.

Hereís a piece of advice to everyone: if youíre groping and 69ing and the person youíre with isnít groping back or doing anything, thereís something wrong.

I stop.

ďUm. Are you okay?Ē

ďYeah, this is just kind of weird.Ē

I blink audibly. ďYouíre straight, arenít you.Ē


A pause. Then I say, ďDo you want to stop?Ē

Another pause. ďNo.Ē

So the next day, I told my friends the shocking story of how Iíd sucked off a straight boy. But the more we talked, the more we came to the conclusion that none of us really thought Alex is actually straight, just not out and that heís never acted on his feelings. Which is fine. Maybe this little encounter will help him to deal and come out.

Then Allen said to me, ďYou know heís 17, right?Ē

My jaw hit the floor. 17??? Statutory rape is the first thing that crosses my mind. But no, age of consent for males in Iowa is 14. 21 to 17 isnít that large of an age gap, but still... he got more at his age than I did, and that tends to make me cranky. So hopefully, Iíve just enticed another closeted boy to come and bat for my team. As for Alex, we didnít discuss any of the events of that night. I asked Jeffery what I should do and he said that pretending like you were too drunk to remember usually works well. And so I did.

After almost two years, my streak of not getting any action has finally been broken. There was a laundry room incident a while ago, but *ahem* that didnít involve any completion of acts, so it doesnít count. It wasnít incredibly satisfying, but sometimes you just need to give head. Know what I mean?

Now, a month later, Iím left with one thought: wow, I need more.

comments (14)


For Love or Money

by lizard at 10:15 PM on August 08, 2001

If you are in a relationship, you will fight. If you do not fight, then there is something horribly wrong, some awful unspoken thing that no one dares arouse from its silent rest. No matter how compatible you are, no matter how many wonderful things you have in common, no matter how crazy in love you are, there will, from time to time, be differing opinions. Whether you handle them constructively or otherwise, you get them out in the open, wrestle around with them, then when you're done, wrestle around with each other to make up.

There are many things to fight about. Sex, in-laws, friends, annoying bad habits, movies, books, politics, religion... the list goes on ad infinitum. Statistically, however, the thing you are most likely to fight about is money. I imagine you could fight about having too *much* money, which i theorize might go something like this: ďHoney, let's get a BMW.Ē ďAre you insane, woman? The Mercedes is the far superior automobile.Ē ďAww, honey, let's just get one of each!Ē ďOh, I do love you.Ē (fade to black as they fall into one another's arms.) Hey, this could happen, right?

It's far more likely that the source of discord is the *lack* of enough money. Add to this, different views on the distribution of this paucity of funds, and you have the fuel for some really heated and only partially rational discourses on the relative importance of each other's needs and wants, and even whether these things are truly needs, or merely wants. Nothing will ever seem fair. Take this conversation (please): ďHere, can you pay these?Ē (hands her the light bill, the cable bill, the phone bill, and the gas bill). ďI'll be flat broke! I just spent a hundred bucks on groceries!Ē ďI'll get you some money. But these things need to be paidĒ. (She grudgingly accepts the small handful of remittance envelopes and he goes off to work while she sulks, because she is too tired to argue this time.)

What he doesn't realize is *this isn't fair*. He never feels the monthly pain of the car insurance bill or the semi-monthly agony of the car payment (moral: don't let your credit go to hell, you will end up owing your worthless life to the Ugly Duckling Credit Corporation to keep decent wheels under you). Yet, certainly he feels the comfort when his wide white behind slips into those sweet leather seats and he fires up that big Buick powerplant. She pays these things constantly, without complaint, without even a comment. When she traded in his wretched little broken-down micro-truck for this quality family-oriented automobile (for cryin' out loud, we didn't even all fit in the tiny wobbly truck-ette at once!), she was doing him a big favor, in spite of his objections. Couldn't he just enjoy the ride, and handle the annoying little utilities on his own?

Apparently, no.

(She apologizes for whining and thanks you for listening.)

comments (7)


Samaritan Stud de la Semana

by snaggle at 01:02 PM on August 08, 2001

Okay, okay, I know the first installment of Stud is late, but hey, give me a break — we didn't get even one single measly Stud entry. Thatís right. Not one. What were you all doing? Washing your hair for an entire week? (Yeah, right. Excuse Denied!) Finally we decided weíd have to face the fact that no one wanted to be a stud. So therefore, weíre declaring Snaggle Samaritan Stud de la Semana forever and ever!

Just kidding. In actuality, the first-ever Samaritan Stud is none other than the person weíve stolen — err, ďborrowedĒ this whole idea from:

Charles of SixDifferentWays.

Snaggle: For those of you whoíve never visited SixDifferentWays, what are you doing? Why not? Charles has given us kinky... err, linky love for just about as long as Bad Samaritan has been in existence, I believe. Charles blogs about many sundry and amusing topics, including his daily life, his girlfriend Denise, and his lunch. By the way, Charles, posting that picture made me very hungry. Do you know how cruel it is to taunt someone with sushi when the nearest place to get any (besides grocery store ďsushiĒ) is at least three hours away? How could you be so cruel?

kd: One of my biggest turnoffs is bad code. It's like this: oh, baby, yeah, blog me like that... *screeching halt* ... 'done, but with errors on page'? Umm, not tonight, I've just gotten a headache. Charles does my browser soooooooo good. He is also easy on the eyes, and has a way with words — irresistible combination.

Send us your nominations for Samaritan Stud de la Semana! We have one entry for next week (sorry, Tamara, but your email came after we already needed to make a decision for this week.) Remember, the millions of people who read Bad Samaritan will then get to ogle you, and who wouldnít want that? (What? You say you donít want that? Yeah, right — Excuse Denied!)

comments (6)


a v.g. book

by mg at 09:53 AM on August 08, 2001

Been reading Bridget Jonesís Diary (books one and two), and, though thoroughly enjoying them, I didnít want to mention it as feared would slip into Bridget Jones grammatically incorrect patois.

I donít know if Iíve ever mentioned this, but Iíve got this nasty habit of imitating other peopleís accents. There was this advisor on our college newspaper who was from Texas. Whenever I had to meet with him, I had to consciously stop myself from speaking with a southern accent. Iíd come out of meetings with him, and ask people, ďWhatís up yíall?Ē

The problem is that I donít mean to do it. It just happens unconsciously. Whenever I find myself slipping into it, I have to stop myself, and make sure the person Iím talking to doesnít think Iím making fun of them. Usually, they do, and then get all pissy with me.

It is actually a sort of compliment though, since I have absolutely no accent and donít use any idiosyncratic regional idioms. I used to have a very slight New York accent, but my time in Iowa stripped all remenants of that away. When Iíd come home for breaks, people would make fun of me for saying things like ďpopĒ (instead of soda), and referring to elevators as ďVators.Ē Then Iíd go back to school, and for about a week or so Iíd catch myself saying things like, ďYoĒ and ďSoderĒ (again, instead of soda).

Also, if youíve noticed, I usually write like Iím Canadian or British. I speak of attending University, hanging out with my mates, and getting pissed. I spell realize, like realise. And color, colour. Snaggle always makes fun of me for it, but there are so many non-American webloggers out there that I pick up their British English. And actually, I donít mind at all.

It is quite fun to pick up everyone elseís accents, even if I lose them as soon as they are out of the room.

Anyway, this is about Bridget Jonesís Diary, but I lost focus.

I thoroughly enjoyed Bridget Jones. If you havenít read either of these books yet, I suggest you go out and pick them up. It is perfect summer reading. It is also something kind of fun to be reading someone elseís private thoughts. The same thing that makes reading weblogs so much fun is what makes these books so good.

Sure, Bridget Jones isnít a real person, but even though Iím not even a woman, I found myself completely relating to the little foibles of her every day life. Which is a big reason why I love weblogging so much. We are people from all over the world, living disparate lives, but when it comes down to it, our day-to-day existences are pretty much the same, no matter who we are and where we live.

Anyway, Bridget Jonesís Diary is also a good way for guys to figure out what the hell is going on in a womanís mind. I borrowed the books from a female friend of mine, who didnít want to lend them to me because she feared I would learn all the ďsecretsĒ of womanhood.

To tell the truth, there really arenít that many secrets. As I was reading, I kept thinking that the kind of things running through Bridgetís disturbed little brain are the same kind of things that have run through my disturbed little brain many a time. Maybe I was supposed to be born a woman, I donít know. At the very least, I was a woman in a very recent past life.

Durh. Iíve gotten off topic again.

Bridget Jonesís Diary is pretty much a must read for everyone. Go out and get it now. Really.

I also went to see the movie a week or so ago. Having just read the book, I noticed how many liberties theyíd taken with the movie version. Luckily, this isnít a great piece of literature here, and the changes made to original story (the screenplay was written by Helen Fielding, the author of both books) worked so remarkably well.

Add to that Renťe Zellwegerís charming and masterful performance (her lip-sync to All by Myself by Eric Carmen is so painfully funny, I was cringing the entire song), and the movie is a must see as well.

comments (11)


How To: Decide if You Should Wear Shorts (or NOT)

by lizard at 06:25 PM on August 07, 2001

I was outside Kinkos, waiting for my daughter, sitting with my eyelevel about ass-high, watching the people walking in and out of the door, and I was inspired to write a public-service-minded column, aimed squarely at people who may be out there right now, wearing shorts, just because they don't know they shouldn't. Oh - not you! I meant those... other people, who aren't you. Or... well, anyway, I sat there thinking up a helpful list, which I tentatively titled ďTop Ten Signs You Should Not Wear ShortsĒ. I came up with these:

  1. If you have to go to the truck scales to get weighed.
  2. Cottage cheese thighs? You *wish* it was that simple.
  3. More than ten square inches of swollen, bulging veins.
  4. Twice as much skin as you need to cover your sagging flesh.

At that point, I was stuck for more list items, but luckily just then my daughter Amanda Jayne came out of Kinkos, and I turned to her for help. She used to hang out at the mall with her friends, giggling and pointing at every fashion or grooming error in sight; they called this Ďpeople watchingí but it was far more cruel than that. I figured she'd be a great source of material. The conversation:

AJ: Hmmm, yes, fat people shouldn't wear shorts...

AJ: ... But, what does it matter in the grand scheme of things if people have some dimples on their butts? What difference does this make in the universe? This is all going to end and begin again, who cares if people wear shorts? Why are we so obsessed with our appearance, that we spend all this money, of course I do it too, but what about living for the moment? Why not just...

[at this point we are stopped at an intersection while a rather large lady ambled across the crosswalk]

AJ: (under her breath) fatty fatty bumbalatty

Me: Uh, I thought it was ok to be fat. The universe...

AJ: Not if they walk slow in front of your car!

So, there you have it, from the expert, self-appointed chief of the Fashion Police herself: Go ahead and wear shorts. Hell, wear Daisy Dukes if the urge strikes you! Wear whatever you darn well please! Spandex! Thongs! Be free, live for the moment! Never mind that loose-fitting, lightweight cotton slacks or a skirt would be just as comfortable, and *so* much more attractive.

Just make sure you don't walk slow in front of my car.

comments (22)


and you say i only hear what i want to (part two)

by mg at 10:46 AM on August 07, 2001

The last bit Iíd left you with was that Amanda (my ex-girlfriend), had found a job in New York City, and decided not to take. Or rather, was leaning very heavily toward not taking it. Everything was perfect about the situation but because things were so uncertain between us, she didnít want to uproot her life to come out here.

Considering that she has always wanted to live in New York and always wanted to work at a place like sheíd be working, it seemed, at least from her perspective, that things between us werenít uncertain at all. I got the impression she was certain she didnít want to move out here and give our relationship another chance.

She had to make the decision about whether to accept the job or not, and we spent the entire day talking. And talking. And then doing some more talking. Iím not going to get into everything we talked about. I share a lot on this site, but I have to respect her privacy, and really, the conversation may have been emotionally draining but it is probably not all that interesting to anyone but her and I.

As mentioned, out talk was just emotionally draining. And it literally took the entire day. As soon as she woke up in the morning she called her parents, and a couple of her close friends to ask their advice, but after that, her and I just talked. We talked about things that went wrong the first time, about our fears, and about our expectations of whatever relationship we might have in the future.

It turns out her problem with the relationship is the same as mine. We are both stuck on this one little thing. Okay, I guess love isnít such a little thing. While I know we both still love each other, I donít know if either of us is really ďin love.Ē I guess if you donít know whether you are in love, then you arenít. But so much has happened, and so much time has passed, that any real electricity between us has pretty much disappeared. That isnít to say that there still isnít a spark, because there is.

Which was my argument for her to stay. She obviously feels something for me, and I know I feel something for her. And whatever that something is, it is something beyond just the comfort of an old friend or the reminiscing of old memories and feelings.

But Amanda didnít want to uproot her life for something she wasnít sure about. She did that with the asshole she originally dumped me for. She moved to a whole other country for him, and things turned out so remarkably badly. She claims that throughout all the time we were broken up, she always had the thought in the back of her mind that we would eventually get back together.

Now, faced with the reality of being together again, she was balking. She is afraid of moving out here and having things turn out badly. Afraid of hurting me again. She didnít want to come out here unless she was absolutely sure. We were both in this conundrum of wanting to be together and trying, whole heartedly, to make things work, and trying to keep our distance, not wanting to be hurt ourselves, or of taking the chance we might hurt each other.

But, life is about taking chances, isnít it?

The day came and went, and there was still no definitive decision about whether she would stay or go. By this point, about 10 hours had passed since we had started talking. We didn't leave the house the entire day and had just smoked the last of our communal pack of cigarettes.

Amanda took this opportunity to get out of the house. She needed to get some cigarettes. She wanted to take a walk. I let her go out alone. The short walk to the store and back would give us both some time to think things through alone, on our own. Weíd come back together and really have the answer that had alluded us all day and for the past couple years.

But I already knew the answer. Things may not have been the best between us when we broke up. And lots of horrible things happened in the time since then. But we are together, in some strange capacity, now; there is no denying that. If we do not have time together, we will never be able to get on with our lives. And, if things are going to work out, we actually have to be living in the same time zone. It seems pretty clear to me.

But Amanda needs a sign. She needs passion, electricity, fireworks, and fire. So, what do I do with my time? I run to the closet, grab my bag of tea-light candles, and set some up on the floor spelling out the word ďSTAY.Ē I light the candles as quickly as possible, knowing that she will be back at any second. When Amanda walks through the door, she sees about 30 candles, sitting on the living room floor, with the answer; "STAY."

It was, for her, the sign she needed.

comments (11)


never thought i'd see you naked : Mariah Carey

by mg at 11:21 AM on August 06, 2001

Always there to kick someone when they’re down, Bad Samaritan presents Mariah Carey news from the rumor mill:

Mariah Carey's mother placed a frantic late-night call to police after the songbird threatened to kill herself because after being dumped by boyfriend Luis Miguel, supposedly for two-timing him with rapper Eminem!

That is the supposed untold story behind the 31-year-old diva's forced admission to the psychiatric ward of a hospital following a six-day meltdown that culminated with police taking Mariah from her mom's house on July 25.

Mariah's spokesperson initially said the singer was suffering from exhaustion due to overwork. But a friend revealed: "Mariah just fell apart. She was threatening to kill herself, saying she couldn't go on after Luis dumped her."

As for Carey's posts on her official Web site, which have since been removed, Carey's publicist Cindi Berger said, "Obviously she did that when she was very tied, working on no sleep."

"I'm trying to understand things in life right now and so I really don't feel that I should be doing music right now," Carey wrote on her site last week. "What I'd like to do is just take a little break or at least get one night of sleep… all I really want to do is just be me."

Apparently, for Carey, “just being me” includes doing strip teases on MTV’s Total Request Live and attempting to slit her wrists. She may be a complete psycho and a huge bitch, but she does have a great body.

comments (66)


it's all over but for the crying

by mg at 09:59 AM on August 06, 2001

Bad Sam just got reviewed by The Weblog Review. I canít say Iím entirely happy with the review. I guess they didnít say anything too bad, but a three out of five is hardly the rating this site deserves. Iíve always felt BS to be one of the best blogs going, but nothing I can do about it now. There is something you can do about it though, go there and give us a high user rating. You can do that for me, huh?

comments (12)


she's posting about that damn band again

by lizard at 08:55 PM on August 05, 2001

I am posting about the damn band again. Please excuse any drunkenness that may ensue. May? Who are we kidding here?

Anyway. This was the second to the last Sunday of the band at the Banana Belt Cantina. It was marred by the fact that the county fair is in town and all roads that lead downtown are all full of cops blocking things off. But, being the ex-taxi driving Ventura expert I am, I know all alternate routes & the best parking places. Yay me. So to tell of the band, and the Sunday afternoon thereof:

Fucking amazing. Defying description. But I seem to be trying. Hot. It gets so hot in there. Suffice to say the music is so good the guy who does freelance music reviews for three local papers goes there every week just to experience it (and drink lots of beer. Everybody drinks there. It's how it is. Yay me.) It actually ocurred to me to go up to him and say, ďBill Locey, I am a *huge* fan of your writing, but let's leave the size of my ass out of this for the moment... would you be in my weblog?Ē, but fortunately I was denied that opportunity to make a fool of myself by the fact he left before i got drunk enough to walk up to him and say that.

So. I have been drinking and would like to apologize in advance for how I'll feel tomorrow when I find out I've posted this. Especially considering I've posted about the band before, and therefore it's possible this is boring. However consider this: it is the second-to-last time in the universe (as far as I'm concerned) that this will happen. This scene. This music. These people drinking and dancing the dance that hippies dance, half-rhythm, half-hula-hand-poetry. This Sunday baptism by sweat, and let me try and fail to express what it smells like: sex. The pheromones on the dance floor could cause orgasms in succeptible subjects. Like me, but let's leave me out of this. Please.

I would like to promise I'll never post about this band again, that I'll quietly shut up about the whole thing and get on with my life. Fat chance. I'll be there next weekend, the last time, with my camera, and sure as hell those pictures and my babblings about them will end up on the internet somewhere. Maybe here, but only if I receive some encouragement on the subject. Otherwise, this is it...

The End

comments (5)


and you say i only hear what i want to

by mg at 01:02 PM on August 05, 2001

Well, I dropped Amanda, my ex-girlfriend, at the Newark, New Jersey airport yesterday afternoon. She had been staying with me for the past month, trying to figure out what the hell is up between us. She has also been looking for a job here in New York.

A couple weeks ago, she was offered a job, which she turned down. At the time, I took it as a sign, not of any dislike of her job situation, but of the fact she didnít want to give whatever sort of strange relationship weíve got going right now a chance. I was really pissed off for a while, but we talked, got through that, blah blah blah. It was just like an episode of Mad About You.

Last week, she was offered another job. This one was much better. Higher pay, more hours, and a more stable environment. Surely, if Amanda wanted to give this relationship a chance, she would take the job. Even is she didnít want to take the job, as someone whoís dream it is to teach English as a Second Language should jump at the chance to take this job. And did I mention that Amanda has always wanted to live in New York City? She has.

Amandaís move to New York was conditional upon a) finding a great job, b) living in a great city, and c) wanting to make things work with her ex-boyfriend, me.

She found a great job. And New York is still New York. So why, after she found out she got the job, was she still balking at taking it?

Itís me, isnít it? Itís all about me, right?

Now, I donít want you to get the wrong idea here. Iím not some put-upon man, completely innocent of sin, and still pining for a lost love. Iím not like those battered ladies who go on Oprah and Sally Jesse Raphael who always get asked by the audience why they still stay with their abusive man, and all they can say is because ďI love him.Ē

Amanda and I had our troubles when we were together. And while my transgressions were not quite on as grandiose a scale as hers, they were still transgressions. You all think Iím some perfect angel, incapable of error, but Iím just as human and fallible as the next guy.

So, I can see why, possibly, Amanda would be scared to come out here. Even at our best of times, there would still be the occasional little squabbles. That is pretty natural, but when you are getting ready to move half way Ďround the country to be near someone, you want some assurance of squabble-freeness, not to mention a certain passion that had been lacking.

Sure, it is possible that Amandaís trouble making the decision had nothing to do with me. Maybe she is scared to leave her family. Maybe she is scared of moving to New York, since New York can be one hell of a scary place for a girl from a small Midwestern town of 400 people. Maybe she is scared about starting a new job, because failure, or deciding this isnít really what she wants, throws a monkey wrench in her whole life plan.

There are a lot of reasons she may be feeling a little hinky about moving out here. But to me, Iím the only reason that matters.


comments (10)


the prisoner of azkaban

by mg at 04:26 PM on August 04, 2001

Charles is the nicest guy I've never met.

comments (7)


The Return of ...Him..

by zia at 07:49 AM on August 03, 2001

I just have to sit down and write this in attempt to pacify my frayed nerves. Something very disturbing just took place moments ago.

He is back.

I am really alarmed. Roughly three years ago, my parents had to dump me here in Christchurch to fend for myself as they couldnít afford to baby sit me. I shed my share of tears and threw some tantrums but eventually got tired of it. What use of pretty tantrums when there are no good audience?

Until one fine day somebody thought I must be pretty lonely and gave me a call. 3 in the morning. This better be good. The person on the other line said nothing, and I could hear faint breathing. It was so steady that it sounded like smooth flaps of the Chinese fan. I held on to the line until the person hung up on me. Which was about 5 minutes worth of hushed breathing, listening to each other's presence. How exciting.

I wasn't really bothered by it. It was my first and last year of high school and I've got much more interesting stuff to scare me shitless.

Or so I thought.

Two days later, the person called again. The person said nothing. Neither did I. We just listen to each other until the person hung up.

The next day, the person called once more. And the day after the next and the day after.

It began to gain frequency so rapidly that I just had to start keeping track of the number of empty calls I received from that person. I did and lo and behold! It came down to an inspiring average of 64 times per day!

Not to mention the person recognized no hours. The person woke me up every morning for school. The person listened as I chomped down my cereal. A few seconds of respiration exchange as I leave for school. The person was extend another courtesy call as I came home for lunch during my lunch break. Dinner. The person even watched TV with me. Heck, the person even disconnected my line to get through to me when I was surfing forÖah, irrelevant matter. Yes, the person also called just before I retire to bed and even when I am sleeping.

This is one sick person. Naturally, I started to freak out. Suddenly, the novelty of living alone began to fade as fast as a whiff of fart.

Capable of containing myself no more, I directed my whining to mom. As expected, she freaked out big time which freaked me out even more. I stopped filling her any further details because she got me worked up more than I were before I called her. So, I got myself a caller id as my endeavor to trace who the hell in Christchurch with such mincy balls/tits wasting their time and mine.

It turned out to be an international call.

Now this is like...ass shit creepy. Who the heck would call me shit ass times every butt ass day from overseas?

Let's say, if the call originated from Malaysia ( where else can it be? ), the person would have to spend approximately RM 140 EVERY DAY just to hear me breathing and vice versa. That person is getting nothing out of me for I aint yakking to no breathing stranger that couldn't even come with a tiny squeak.

I would appreciate it if that person does. Hell, I might even initiate a friendly conversation.

And this went on for two months. That is a lot of time and a lot of money.

Telecom couldn't do anything about it nor did they bother to trace the caller. Or must I say, couldn't be be arsed to weed the punk out. That's where the caller id came in. And all I could extract out of it is that the calls were not made in New Zealand. Stupid device that wouldnít even say where.

I squeezed and I squashed and I crushed every nerves in my brain trying to stimulate any suspect(s) from my history. Did came up with one though, my latest ex at that time but later turned out that he was clean. Oops.

Now my nerves are really all tangled up.

After two months of incessant empty exchanges, I decided I had it ( speaking of slowÖ). I changed my number. It was a difficult decision at first as informing everybody including my friends, relatives, my mother's friends, her relatives, dad's friends and relatives and people that they know and I don't of my new number.

Frustrating, oh yes. I only get like two calls in one whole week. In case youíre wondering, itís from the same person as in the person I gave my number to that week. A friend.

The person whom I didnít give my number to, well, obviously didnít call. I would move out of New Zealand instantly if he did. Prank calling is one thing and stalking is another. I found out that that person is a He. Caught him coughing at one time. And I was like...Gotcha! ( Insignificant shit ). He didn't hang up straight away, but I could feel that he was grinning, mouthing ' Yeah, Heh heh Heh...'.

Fcuk. I have goosebumps assailing me as I am typing this. And its half past midnight. What follows next is even more uncanny because 40 minutes ago, I received a call. Then another. And another. Its Him. I can sense it.

Again, he was very quiet. He must have being practicing on his breathing as I can hardly detect it anymore. It was scarcely imperceptible. Which elevated the tension even more. I thought I saw my goose bumps bulldozing their way out of my epidermis as I stared at my arm. While absorbing that familiar aura through my ears.

I was almost relieved when he decided to afford me the sound of his one single sharp intake of breath to dilute the silence. And the suspense.

I even heard myself said ' Phew'. It wasn't until 3 seconds later he hung up. And the phone rang. I got my sister to answer it. Same thing, no utterance. Then again, and again. And the phone stopped ringing.

I donít know what to think. Neither do I want to know. Iím typing this offline and....

Shhh, listen....

The phone just rang.

comments (9)


Samaritan Stud de la Semana (revisited)

by lizard at 10:47 PM on August 02, 2001

So I believe I speak for the rest of the Bad Samaritan ďStud de la SemanaĒ team when I say, wtf? I was going to go on and on about how many entries we'd received, in hopes that would make others want to join in the fray, but that would just be wrong. Truth is, studs are staying away in droves, dammit! So I've come up with a number of possible excuses, along with the reasons why those excuses aren't reasonable. To wit:

Excuse: I'm just too busy.

Answer: No you're not. Get off your cute little butt(s) and submit yourselves, you studs you! Excuse Denied!

Excuse: I'm too humble.

Answer: Nonsense! You are guilty of as much hubris as the rest of us. Plus, we know you want the attention and traffic that our recognition of your studliness could bring you. Excuse Denied!

Excuse: I don't have a camera/picture/scanner.

Answer: Weak! You have pictures, we know you do. And you have friends with cameras, and scanners, don't try to pretend you don't. Excuse Denied!

Excuse: I have a problem with the concept of Ďsubmittingí myself to you.

Answer: Worm! You will submit! Do we have to spank you? Yes we do! Spank! Spank! Excuse Denied!

Excuse: I'm just lazy.

Answer: Well, no one can argue with that... except us! See the first Excuse for instructions in this matter. Excuse Denied!

Well, there you have it. There's no excuse for continuing to fail to submit yourselves to Bad Samaritan's ďStud de la SemanaĒ.

The instructions, for those of you who have misplaced the originals (and may want to use *that* as an excuse — Excuse Denied!), can be found here.


comments (4)


we are family, get up everybody and sing, part two

by mg at 09:58 AM on August 02, 2001

As mentioned earlier, my family had a reunion last weekend. It wasnít exactly a family reunion, at least for my side of the family, since none of us had ever met any of the rest of the family before. It was more like a family union.

When my family hooked up with its long lost branches a year ago, I was never really excited about it. I just figured Iíve got enough family and friends already. Why do I need any more? I love my family, but I donít know if I met them now, as a stranger, I would necessarily choose to hang out with my mother. You know what I mean?

And my friendsÖ Iíve chosen them. I chose them. Which is why I love them so much. In the Urban Tribe, belonging isnít about blood relationships, but about shared experiences and making real connections to people. I consider my closest friends to be my family.

So, the idea that I had all this ďnewĒ family, who I would have to hang out with and spend time with and act like I cared about them, really didnít make as giddy as the adults were getting. In fact, I didnít really want anything to do with my newfound kin.

When it was announced that there would be an actual reunion this summer, I basically did everything I could to get out of it. Unfortunately, Iím unemployed, so I didnít have work to fall back on. I havenít been employed for a while, so I couldnít even seriptisously plan a vacation for the same weekend, since everyone knows I didnít have the money to take a mini-break. Iím not in any sort of stable relationship, so I couldnít blame not going on some luckily coincidental previous engagement with the significant other.

Basically, I had to go to this thing. I was forced to. And really, home now, looking back on everything that happened, I was glad I did.

The reunion took place up in Toronto, Canada. Iíd never been to Canada. The weekend started off badly, with a 7 am flight on Saturday morning. Me and my cousin, who was flying up with me (also forced by his parents to come), both got up on time, which is amazing, considering. We got to the airport, and just as we were stepping out of the cab, I realized I had forgotten my passport. Now, Canada is basically like the 51 state, so I figured, this is probably bad, but not awful. The flight went fine, and after waiting nearly an hour on line at customs, we got yelled at by not one, but two different officials for not having the appropriate identification. I was hoping for a full body cavity search (itíd have been the most action Iíve gotten in months), but they let us through.

Everything went fine after that. We met up with one of our cousins, who turned out to be a really nice, really fun person. Considering what the family I know is like, I was absolutely surprised to see someone so normal and friendly. Surely, the whole family canít be like this?

We met up with the rest of the cousins, the people in our generations, who range in age from 30 to about 6. On my side of the family, there are just 5 cousins, all boys. On just the side from Toronto (two of my grandmotherís sisters), there are 13 cousins. There are more than that, from the Florida and London branches but after a while, I began to lose tracks of names, and who belonged to whom. ďYou are my grandmotherís sisterís sonís wifeís cousinís neighbor. Okay. I got it. Who are you again?Ē

We all got lunch together, and walked around downtown. I always imagined that Canada was exactly like the States, only cleaner. Well, I got the exactly like the states part right, put it really wasnít much cleaner. Ah phooey, another of my illusions shattered. Next you are going to tell me that Pamela Andersonís boobs arenít real.

One cool thing about my family is that we are a bunch of alcoholics. I canít remember a single family function that has not involved alcohol. It just never happens. And the adults have always been open about alcohol, and allowed the kids to have wine if they wanted. I know my mom being cool about drinking has never made me feel that it was cooler to drink than to not. She used to put vodka in my bottles when I was a baby to help me fall asleep.

When I have kids, I am going to coat their teething rings with nicotine and allow them to mainline heroin, because I want them to never get messed up with smoking or drugs. I think itíll work.

Well, the branches on North side of my family tree are also big drinkers. Basically from the time we set down on Canadian soil to the time we lifted off, I constantly had a drink in my hand.

I wasnít sure what to expect before I went up there. I just imagined a picnic in some park somewhere with stupid games like a three-legged race, and t-shirts made up with a picture of the entire family on them. I imagined my family to be a bunch of annoying pricks, who I would see once, and never hear from again.

I was wrong. I donít feel like getting into everything, but needless, I had a great time, and really, it didnít have anything to do with the fact that I had a 48-hour buzz on. Or at least, it wasnít completely attributable to that.

With no exception, everyone I met this weekend was cool, in one way or another. All the cousins were fun, and took really good care of us. And as mentioned in the comments for the previous reunion post, all the cousins were really attractive. I was talking with my New York cousin, and we both agreed that if we had met them in a bar without knowing who they were, weíd have tried to pick them up. And the guys must have been really attractive as well, since all their girlfriends were amazing. Sigh. I want someone to lust after my girlfriend. I just want a girlfriend.

But anyway, I must have really had a good time if Iím already thinking about when I can get back up there. (And to my two favorite Canadian ladies, Lily and Lex, I will be going back, and I will make a point of seeing you both, not to mention anyone else in the area whoíd like to get together. Iím pretty easy that way.).

comments (4)


My Amanda

by lizard at 07:42 PM on August 01, 2001

My daughter Amanda: 18 years old. Gainfully employed, has worked for Kinko's nearly two years now. Is in charge of Business Printing at her store. Lived on her own since age 16. Independent since long before that. Beautiful, bright, a little scary. The sort of person you like to have on your side, because to have her as an opponent would be *such* a bad thing. Tough little cookie, too. At age 14 began demanding a tattoo, so got this from me for her fifteenth birthday. (Side note: I have come to suspect I am the only girl left in Ventura without a tattoo in the middle of the small of her back). I do however have some lizards (ok, the Sobe lizards, I love the yin/yang lizardiness of them) tattooed on my shoulder, because Amanda helped out a tattoo-artist friend of hers with a great deal of color copies there at Kinko's, and he gratefully offered a free tat, which she gave to me. My daughter is an amazing person, and a good friend, and in general, just delightful.

But, aside from the tattoo, (and the navel piercing, which she did herself with a safety pin for cryin' out loud, and the pierced nose, also self-pierced), and the fact that the girl drinks (runs in the family), she is just way too stuffy. On the edge of prudish (aren't we supposed to value that trait in our daughters?). Amanda is a serious girl. She was raised by me (read: wolves) and the only way to rebel was to be utterly conservative.

She is deeply offended by dirty humor. She is always more than mortified when we are out in public and I insist on playing my Bloodhound Gang CD, especially when I put my favorite song on repeat. The one that includes deft lyrical stylings such as ďLove, the kind you clean up with a mop and bucket, Like the lost catacombs of Egypt only God knows where we stuck it...You and me baby ain't nothin' but mammals, let's do it like they do on the Discovery ChannelĒ. Now, the first time I ever heard that song, I laughed so hard I nearly had an accident. (I was driving. A *car* accident, dammit. Just so we're clear on that.) For a tough cookie, she sure has some delicate sensibilities.

She has lived through my rocky relationships right along with me, (until age 16 when she could no longer stand it, and she left). So, she dumps boyfrinds the minute they show any sign of having a backbone. (She is highly sensitized against any sort of male control. My fault. Or maybe, it is credit I should get for that?) Have I mentioned she's an independent soul? She also, at age 14, witnessed her little brother Kurtwood's birth. I objected, somewhat self-consciously, but all the doctors and nurses insisted it would be a great experience for her. Apparently it was: she now does not want children, perhaps ever but at least not until she's thirty. She also said I should make birth control videos. She was a bit bothered by all the hollering and horrified when I kicked one of the nurses, who was trying to get my feet to behave in stirrups. Shouldn't delivery nurses know better? Anyway, all those medical professionals were absolutely right about the great experience part, I guess. Except I was sort of hoping I'd one day have grandchildren...

Last weekend, I drove her all around town on various banking errands, and it became very clear to me that my Amanda needs to relax. We were at one bank and Kurtwood was doing his usual, four year old boy stuff, and she stressed out heavily and finally prevailed upon me to wait in the car with him. Apparently she doesn't remember being four, or consider the fact that she's the major inspiration for my parenting philosophy of picking my battles, lest I end up doing almost nothing but losing. Later, as I waited outside Check Into Cash for her to re-up her loan (she's not financially conservative, so I guess I should be grateful for that, except for the expenses I incur as a result); I was blasting my stereo (not Bloodhound Gang, mind you, something entirely mainstream, Steve Miller's Take the Money and Run). I do go overboard with my car stereo, but what was that about, if it's too loud, you're too old? She came out of the cash advance place, noticed some senior citizens looking askance at me, and admonished me, ďMom, turn that *down*Ē.

So later, she wanted to stop and pick up a bottle of something comforting (Southern Comfort, actually), and what could I say? The girl needs to loosen up.

comments (4)


we are family, get up everybody and sing

by mg at 08:51 AM on August 01, 2001

Family is important. No kidding.

Growing up, I didnít have a very big family. I was an only child, and my mom was a single mother. She was close with her brothers and sister, so I was close to all my cousins. But compared to the large extended families I grew up watching on Brady Bunch, Eight is Enough, and Just the Ten of Us, my family wasnít so much a nuclear family as it was a quark family (ha ha, physics humour).

We also come from a weird cultural background. My grandparents are Portuguese by way of British Guyana. Guyana was a former British colony (hence the name), and was made up culturally of native South Americans, freed slaves from Jamaica and such, Indians (from India) whoíd come over from one British colony to another, and the Portuguese.

Guyana is most famous for being the place where the followers of Jim Jones built their compound. Jones eventually convinced his 900 followers to commit mass suicide by drinking cyanide-laced Kool-Aid. Guyana is the place where all those ďDonít drink the Kool-aidĒ jokes come from, but not much else does.

Except, of course, for my grandparents, who left Guyana right before the civil war sometime in the 50s. My grandmother was the youngest of seven children. All of the rest of her siblings were still in Guyana before the war broke out. For one reason or another (possibly the war, possibly some internal family arguments) they didnít keep in contact with each other after they left.

All growing up, any sort of family history was kept quiet. For the most part, that was a good thing, since my family has lots of secrets that Iíd really not like to know about; like the Aunt who got sick as a young child, and was kept in a home for the rest of her life. My mother and the rest of my aunts and uncles never talked about her, and didnít even know where she was or if she was even still alive. Or, how my grandfather, who had separated from my grandmother twenty years before I was born, never told the rest of the family that he remarried until last year when he had a heart attack and she showed up at the hospital.

There were lots of other family secrets that us kids, the younger generation, only heard about in overheard whispers and snippets of angry conversation, late in family functions when everyone had had too much to drink. But even with all the secrets I know about my family, whether told directly or discovered on my own, know one ever talked about where we came from or the rest of the family that was back in the old country.

That is, until about two years ago. My mom and my uncle got a call from someone in Florida claiming to be a relative. He knew all about our relatives down in Guyana. He was looking into his family history, and was trying to connect all the pieces. Following that, the families of all of my grandmotherís brother and sisters have been able to track each other down. There were two who ended up in Florida, another two in Toronto, one in England and one still in Guyana.

At that point, two years ago, three of my grandmotherís sisters were still alive. My grandmother was the youngest of the family, and her sisters were all in their 80s. Unfortunately, in the past two years, all three of the remaining sisters died. When one of the sisters in Florida died, the family kept it from the other, because they were very close. But, somehow she knew, and died within a week of her sister.

It was very hard on the family to lose so many people so quickly, but a ďreunionĒ was scheduled for this summer in Toronto, to get everyone, from every branch of the family tree together for the first time. That reunion was last weekend.

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