Part of the danger of having access to a forum like this is the ease with which foul invective can come streaming out of my fingertips to reach an unknown and largely anonymous audience. It's never a good idea to do anything right away when you've suffered a hurt, but putting Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up" on one's stereo and going right to post is a particularly bad idea.
Though BW just told me not to be so down, I'm feeling particularly unloved and hopeless, and so I did the petty thing and lashed out at J, the immediate cause of my pain. That made me feel a lot better for a few minutes, but now I just feel small and sour (think unripe grape here). In J I saw the reflection of SL, someone who caused me incredible amounts of pain many years ago. I wasn't the only one to note the similarities - the old friends who met J, though they liked her, all accused me of the same thing - chasing SL (apologies to Kevin Smith). I was defenseless back then, and so heartbroken that I couldn't bear to reach out and let SL know exactly how much I hated her. So I unloaded the bile which I'd been saving up for so many years on J, even though she did little to earn it.
So I did something which I am loathe to do - I deleted my own post. That kind of "scream into the pillow" moment should be left in the pillow, not held high for the world to see. I guess I'm not a very big person after all, but I'm big enough to apologize in public for insult given in public.
He called me a liar and a rapist. I'm not a liar. -Mike Tyson, responding to a reporter's column about him
Last night Tyson got folded by a British nobody in the 4th round. The Brit landed sixteen straight shots and put a final coda on Tyson's sad yet storied saga. Having squandered $400 million on cheap talk and wine, he now finds himself untold millions in debt to hundreds of creditors, none of whom will ever see a dime. Lacking any other skills and with his name forever sullied, Iron Mike is destined to live out his life in a miserable, destitute state.
Let's not dwell too much on the (trumped-up???) rape charge that sent him to prison in the prime of his career. Let's not even bring up him gnawing off Evander Holyfield's earlobe or breaking some other guy's arm in the ring. Ditto for his fake suicide driving his Bentley into a tree, attacking an elderly gent after a fender bender or throwing a TV out the window after prison guards refused him his Zoloft dosage.
Forget the way that every time he's faced a semi-worthy opponent in recent memory he's been bitch-slapped silly. Forget his oddly timid, high-pitched voice and that time he was caught on tape promising to make some other man his girlfriend. Same goes for that time he went off on a reporter, unleashing a stream of obscenities that seemed funny at the time but now seems ironic and pitiful. "I'll fuck you till you love me," he told the guy.
Mike Tyson used to be my hero. Despite the fact I'm no boxing fan, I like many other was simply captivated by this guy. He came out of nowhere to rise to the pinnacle of his chosen vocation. But the thing for me was how he did it. He'd show up at a fight with little or no fanfare or entourage (this was in his early days.) No fancy embroidered robe, no hotty on either arm, not even socks. He'd just have unadorned gym trunks and tennis shoes on.
With an icy glare, he'd jump up and down in his corner as the endless announcements droned on. He seemed on edge, anxious to get on with the business at hand; as if he had a pressing engagement afterwards. He paid no mind to the leggy, barely clad girls who tote those signs around perched upon suicide heels. Nor did he care what the ref had to say. His strategy was pure offense, no defense. (I've patterned my chess style after that. Unfortunately at 14, Ian is starting to figure it out.)
To see his overmatched opponents prior to the 1-3 rounds of intense punishment they were about to absorb was to behold primal, unmitigated horror. It's great to garner a decent payday, I suppose, but it does no good if you're no longer alive to collect it. And given the quickness, singular sense of purpose and utter ferocity of Tyson in his prime, sudden death always seemed a very real possibility. Morbidly curious, millions tuned in for pay-per-view, forking over exorbidant fees for what usually amounted to no more than a few minutes of one-sided brutality. You got the feeling that unlike Boom-Boom Mancini, it wouldn't bother him if he beat some guy to death.
Then he got knocked out by a flabby tomato can in Japan. Thus began a horrifying descent into madness, misery and increasingly bizarre antics designed to avert attention from the fact that A) He sucks as a boxer. B) He is dumb as a rock. and C) He's broke.
I don't think there is a sadder saga than his in recent American history. Here's to you, Iron Mike. Thanks for nothing.
Thereís a bible verse that runs something like ĒBut when childhood ended it was time to put away childish things.Ē Okay, I donít know exactly what it is or what it refers to, but itís been running through my head lately due to my imminent departure from my home since summer 1998.
A lot of things have changed over the past six years. Iím (almost) a college graduate (minus a couple papers that need to be finished); the world itself has changed, both from my perspective and from everyone elseís (thank you, 9/11.) Perhaps more importantly, I have changed. Older, wiser (?), more focused, more dedicated, more stable, more understanding. And I think most importantly, a lot of me is the same. Iím still fiercely idealistic, not jaded, ready to tackle the world and whatever it has to throw in my path.
Moving has always been a depressing time for me, but this time, as I prepare to move not just apartments within Ames but move away from this college town forever, Iím doing what I should have done quite a while ago: sort through everything I own. The past five or six times Iíve moved itís been a very last-minute affair, filled with throwing things temporarily in boxes, unpacking what I can with what time I have, and then living my life with some things still in boxes, unlooked-at. This time, before I pack anything away, Iím giving everything one long, hard look and asking myself ďDo I need this? Will I want it when I arrive finally at my destination in LA?Ē So far Iíve already eliminated eight trashbags-full of random accoutrements of, honestly, not just the past six years but much longer than that. For the first time, I went through my closet with a fine-toothed comb and separated the wheat from the chaff. (Indeed, most of the chaff was not even couture at the time of its purchase and why its remained in its place in my closet is a testament only to laziness. I would beg the immigrant childís practice of retaining things for the purpose of exhibiting the possession of things, but as Iíve never really lacked for anything I canít defer to that cultural phenomenon. Instead, itís only Exhibit A for a lack of desire and determination on my part to face my own past. Itís the fact that everything, every piece of paper I throw out, every ticket stub, every credit card receipt, carries its own story. I remember where I was when I last wore that shirt, how that pair of pants made me feel, who I was with at that movie, why I paid $30 for that meal.
But this time itís a little different. Usually I donít sift through every last molecule, separating the useful from the useless: its always been a frantic piling-into-boxes. So at the end of that process, I am left with the incredible weight of my material possessions and, worse than seeing your life reduced to your rťsumť, I see years distilled into boxes and I think ďIs this me? Is this what I own? Is this what I am?Ē
I expected this time to be worse. But instead, I sort through the random papers: the art history notes from the course-from-hell, which I proceeded to earn an A; the unintelligible, half-asleep notes from the boring-as-hell course that I proceeded to drop when I realized that Computer Science was not my future; I laugh at a random flyer from Rome, remembering the slightly drunken time we were wandering the streets and it was handed to me; I smile at the infantile drawings I produced during my first drawing classes and smile more broadly seeing the changes that have progressed as my training continued.
This time, instead of being depressed by my past, Iíve faced it and Iíve realized that Iíve come through it okay. Iíve come through my rough times, my seclusion periods, my insecure times, the tail end of teenage angst, my hospital stay, and, though I may have more than a few battle wounds, I realize this:
I did it.
When I travel the country these days I'm struck by the crushing sameness of the towns. There's always the exact same strip mall on the same main drag with the same stores and restaurants: McDonald's, Wendy's, WalMart, CVS, Lowe's, Home Depot etc. Now that banks have gone national those are all the same too. Increasingly we live in a generic world.
I think the measure of a quality resort is the degree to which they've resisted the perfidious encroachment of bland corporate chains. I had heard that the Outer Banks wasn't overly commercialized, but that isn't what I saw. They had Lowe's, Food Lion, even a Next Day Blinds for those who simply must have blinds ASAP. Blinds!! I saw a sad, local mom n, pop grocery stored being shuttered. When my wife wanted to get me a new Kodak dig-cam and this handy-dandy printer she shuttled between WalMart and K-Mart. She got ripped off cuz neither sold the stuff as a set. One day I will try to figure out how it works.
It's not just the stores either. Every burg has its own zany Morning Zoo on the radio. Every so often the prerecorded traffic message comes on, featuring someone with a silly name like Vera Bruptly. She recites the rubbernecking delays in the exact same bottlenecks as the day before. The DJs and traffic reporters all sound the same, with nary a trace of regional accent like they're all from LA or something.
I don't know why this bothers me so. I mean, let's face it, the familiar is also convenient and it is a known quantity. You know what you're getting at Wendy's: inexplicably square, greasy burgers with way too much fixings and cheese that isn't fully melted.
But it does. And that's why it was so uplifting to hear an extended edition of Fishing Today as we made the trek north from the beach. Men's men from bait and tackle shops would come on and talk about fishing. They'd discuss lures, bait and the best fishing spots and techniques without a trace of irony or self-consciousness. More amazing still, they sounded like people who were actually from that area. Their patter, unfortunately, was punctuated by the generic song list in use on every station in the nation. Nothing like a discussion about squid vs. chicken necks as bait followed by the whiny stylings of millionaire Alanis Morisette. Bah!
The one place I've been to that seems to have retained its unique regional flair is NYC. There you still have mom n' pop operations and distinct ethnic neighborhoods. They pour like a pound of sugar in your coffee without you even having to ask. When you protest, they look at you like you're crazy. You wave for pedestrians to cross and they eye you with suspicion, as if it's some kind of trick.
Yet everyone seems to be in a mad rush to flee out to Long Eye Land, with its strip malls a-growing and manicured lawns boring everyone to tears. Go figure.
Well I gotta get on up to Lowe's. There's a fake Tiffany lamp I've been eying that's just gone on sale.
by ab at 09:10 PM on July 27, 2004
I need to pay more attention. Here I sit at my husband and my collective computer. A computer thatís foreign to me. We have no relationship, this computer and me. Thereís no love. And Nothing fricking (yes, I just said ďfrickingĒ) works. Or at least nothing is working for me.
No music. No internet, just Word. And I know later that heíll probably have to post this for me. Not that he doesnít show me how. In fact, just last night I got a slow and very patient tutorial. Itís just that I wasnít really paying attention. And learning all those steps is so boring. Plus, I know heíll just post it for me if I canít figure it out. And thatís why Iím sitting here all annoyed and touchy as a boil.
And then Iíll have to admit I wasnít paying attention. Thereíll be reprisals. Iíll vow to him and to myself that I need to pay more attention to things that I care nothing about. Like computer stuff, dates and numbers.
I ordered some glassine bags the other day to put wedding favors in. Very shabby chic. I thought of the idea and I took the initiative. Grabbed the bull by the horns got on the Internet and ordered them. Then when the damned things arrived (next day I might add) they were completely the wrong size.
Eyebrows were raised. Questions were asked, ďDidnít you take the trouble to measure?Ē then the obligatory ďOf course, I did. Iím not stupid.Ē
I totally didnít measure. Didnít even really dawn on me to do so. The picture looked about right, I reasoned. I need to pay more attention to those things. Now I have a case of 1,000 glassine bags on my kitchen table that are the perfect size to hold a tampon. Or 5 or 6 pixie stix. Definitely not wedding favors our guests will understand or enjoy.
Iíll admit that while Iím easily impressed with technology, it does make me somewhat uncomfortable. I guess I feel really out of control because, well, Iím not good at using it. I canít be assed to learn how. Then it becomes a pain, and then is this whole computer thing really a help or a hassle? Iím not a total Luddite, I do occasionally enjoy a good on-line foray, but becoming competent would force me to actually have to pay attention and now weíre back to paragraph one.
I was reading a Time magazine in the Dentistís office today. There was an interview with David Sedaris. In it, he basically said technology-wise he canít be assed either, and heís not afraid to say it. Heís not giving himself harsh rebuffs. In fact, he was just recently persuaded to give up his typewriter for a computer. He says when someone tells him to go to their website, he asks, ďWhy? What do you do there?Ē I liked that. I said to him (in my head) ďmiddle-aged gay male, I relate. Letís be friends.Ē
Chris Rock used to have a wickedly funny routine wherein he riffed on the silly notion that Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls were assassinated. "Those niggaz was shot," he'd exclaim.
I caught a little of Bill Clinton addressing the Democratic convention. I was reminded of what it's like to hear a masterfully delivered speech again. But I couldn't help but think that there were those in attendance who wouldn't mind too terribly if W got assassinated, or shot ,or whatever. And hey, it can happen. Just ask Abe Lincoln, William McKinley or JFK.
Then it occured to me that that would mean Dick Cheney would assume the position of Leader of the Free World. You internationalists think the so-called "international community" holds the US of A in utter disdain now? What if we were led by this arrogant, taciturn, Jabba the Hutt-looking recluse holding forth from his undisclosedd hideout as is his wont? Perish that thought. (Though the fat cats of Halbutrin who're cleaning up competition-free in the Iraqi rebuilding effort would like nothing better. In fact, they'd be the prime suspects.)
By contrast, the equally bland John Kerry has tapped a dynamic, good-looking trial lawyer with an endearing southern accent and charm galore as his running mate. So if Kerry got assassinated, shot, or whatever, we'd still be in good shape. God knows what John Edwards' policies are, but She also knows it would have to be a far cry better than Mr. Go Fuck Yourself.
Vladamir Putin: You really need to rethink this ongoing occupation of a sovereign nation. It's a disaster and everyone knows it.
Jabba the Hut: Go fuck yourself.
You know you've arrived when the editor of The Poop Report (yes, Virginia, there is an entire website devoted to all matters fecal. There's a joke or six in there, but in the name of good taste, I'll spare everyone.) emails you to ask for your help. Hmm, I wondered...what could I POSSIBLY have done to catch the attention of the often-imitated, never-duplicated Poop Report?
Then it hit me: Troy Musil. A few days ago, I bestowed a DUMB@$$ AWARD on the hapless Mr. Musil, who truly demonstrated his DUMB@$$ AWARD-worthiness:
ERIE, Pa. (AP) - A man who shut down the city's largest reservoir after he tossed a bag containing dirty underwear over its fence was ordered to pay $5,000.
The city bomb squad and hazardous materials crew responded after an Erie Water Works employee became suspicious after he saw the black bag near the 33-million gallon Sigsbee Reservoir on May 27.
The reservoir and surrounding neighborhood was shut down for several hours while the Erie Bomb Squad X-rayed the bag and the Erie County Hazardous Materials Response Team waited to test it.
Police tracked down Troy Musil, 18, of Erie. He told police he'd been ill and soiled his underwear. He changed at a friend's house, then climbed over two barbed-wire-topped fences to ditch the underwear.
Musil pleaded guilty Thursday to defiant trespass. District Justice Dominick DiPaolo gave Musil a 90-day suspended jail sentence and ordered him to pay $500 a month for 10 months to the emergency agencies that responded.
Silly me; I'd thought that was the end of it. Imagine my surprise when Dave, the editor of The Poop Report, emailed me with this plea for help:
You recently posted something about Troy Musil -- the guy who crapped his pants and, in disposing of the evidence, got mistaken for a terrorist. It's a pretty funny story, except for what the AP didn't print: Troy got fired because of this. Troy lost his apartment because of this. And now, if Troy can't come up with $5000 to pay his fine, he's going to jail because of this.
It's really sad and scary to think that pooped pants could lead someone
directly to prison. But even though he's the world's most famous incontinent, Troy can't find another job, so he has no way to pay the fine.
PoopReport.com, the web's source for the intellectual appreciation of poop
humor, has taken up Troy's cause. We're trying to get him donations, or a job, or legal advice, or anything that can help him. Please help us raise awareness of this poor kid's plight!
Well, I must admit that this is the first time I can recall ever seeing "intellectual appreciation" and "poop humor" used in the same sentence...but I digress....
Lost in Dave's plea for help is that our DUMB@$$, Mr. Musil, DID place the safety of Erie's water in some jeopardy. This is not to be minimized. In our post-9.11 paranoid world, city water supplies seem obvious and vulnerable targets. In light of that, Musil's sentence makes a bit more sense.
Of course, no one could reasonable argue that, because of one exceedinly poor decision, Troy Musil must now wear a Scarlet Diaper. Look, it may have been a DUMB@$$ thing to do, but does he deserve to be persecuted? How long will this poor kid be treated like a pariah? With no job and no prospect of one, he faces having to figure out how to come up with $500 by August 1st. If he falls short, he'll be going to jail.
If you want to help, or if you're just curious what all of the fuss is about, check out the Poop Report's take on Musil's plight. There is also a link so that you can email Musil if you are so inclined. You can also donate to the cause- let's hope that some of that money will go for a box of Depends....
So yeah, I been away at the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Tobacco is the lifeblood of that state. It seems like everybody smokes. Signs in restaurants boast of a newly formed non-smoking area. You can smoke while pumping gas. And at least in the resort itself, one sees no people of color. It prompted me to muse aloud whether these southern yahoos restrict them to the Inner Banks. The utter whiteness of the place was downright eerie.
We stayed in a house owned by a friend's parents. The friend is mainly a friend of my wife's, as I have no friends. She warned me that there were certain issues, mostly stemming from a tragic car accident that killed our host's friend in these very same Outer Banks six years ago. For instance, there will be no driving at night which pretty much precluded eating out.
This house was located in a small enclave in Kill Devil Hills. As a matter of fact, it is located in the very same enclave as the one where one Melissa Marvin got totally toasted and ran a red light and killed four teenagers. Her trial was on Court TV. In an emotionally-tinged verdict the jury heaved the book at her. She'll get out when Hell freezes over.
So due to this confluence of factors we mostly drank Margaritas from a blender in this fine home. But I had a hankering to go out to dinner on our anniversary, which was 7/23/04. That day it rained, so we fished off the dock and sipped beers. The friend had a daughter the same age as my son and the budding/awkward thing with them is worthy of a whole nother post. But the whole time I was fishing/drinking I was acutely aware of all the above facts, in addition to the fact that the police we constantly pulling people over for no apparent reason on the only road out of that enclave. Consulting a chart, I calculated that I'd be okay with four beers in a 3 hour period. But I also took a big swill of a Margarita just before we left. Bad move?
No. As my wife and I departed for our anniversary dinner, we soon approached an all-too familiar checkpoint. Every driver in either direction was being stopped and asked to show ID etc. If the officer detected any odor of alcohol or pot, problems ensued. That's what happened with us. He asked if I'd had anything to drink and I told the truth. He administered the pre-lim breath test, with which I am very familiar from prior arrests.
He looked at it and seemed quite disappointed at the paltry .005 result. Not to be deterred from his vital citizen harrassment mission, he said there was a strong odor of alcohol emanating from our vehicle. Did I mention that my wife, knowing she wasn't driving, had downed several drinks while on VA-K? He asked to search our vehicle and we consented, glad to oblige and end our contact with his corn-fed ass. This inbred, cheap sunglasses-wearing yahoo then tore our spotless car to pieces, warned me that one more drink "prior to reaching your final destination, si-ir" could result in DI-AAARE CONSEQUENCES."
Yay! I had passed my first Breathalyzer test with flying colors, after failing several in my (much) younger n' wilder days (nowadays I don't drink n' drive, I just trip n' drive, there's no test for LSD-25.)
Oh, I felt so proud of my self-restraint and foresight. But then I started brooding about the trivial fact that my Constitutional rights had seemingly been stripped away from me in the name of those four teenage victims. Specifically my absolute protection from ANY cops doing search and seizure operations, which fecklessly examining the contents of my bloodstream and personal property most certainly are, in the absence of probably or for that matter any cause to believe that a crime had been committed. By my very presence in that benighted, trailer-park, saloon-infested area I was presumed guilty. I presumed that the constant parade of people on motorized scooters and mopeds to/from said trailer parks and bars were too.
What do you think? Should the cops be allowed to do this or not? Why?
by ab at 03:04 PM on July 20, 2004
Theyíre huge. Iím talkiní really, really big. This is no joke. When they say ďknockersĒ theyíre right. They actually do knock around when unfettered. Jugs you say? Yes, I say. Jugs full of milk. Iím making milk. MILK for god-sakes. ďYes, youíre so clever, I could come in handy at the breakfast table. I actually have offered to soak MGís Americaís Choice Toasted Rice and to top off his coffee with my very own 2%. Itís milk. And it comes from my nips.
The pictures of a breastfeeding woman they show: Her resplendent in her rocking chair, sunlight bringing out the highlights in her perfect hair. Pink child suckling contentedly. They are symbiotic and working perfectly in concert together. You can practically hear the birds chirping from the window behind her. What could be more natural? What could be more self-explanatory?
Algorithms. Long Division. Football rules. All of these things make more sense than breastfeeding (which, is to say feeding my daughter from my boob is much more complicated.)
The doctors and the books always play up the ďnaturalĒ aspect of this whole thing. ďWomen have done it for thousands of years,Ē they say. Have you ever seen a mama sow? They have at least twenty piggies sucking their mammoth mams. And theyíre not complaining.
What the doctors and the books donít tell you about is the fact that babies have wicked sharp gums. Letís not be mistaken, people. Babies are hungry all of the time. And they eat for about 45 minutes at a stretch. And then you burp them and then theyíre hungry again. At this point, Iím not sure which is more sore, my ass from sitting all day nursing or my nips from sitting all day nursing.
And what if I want a break from flopping my boob out on demand? Let daddy feed her. Meanwhile, Iím the milk fountain statue from Clockwork Orange. Iím only telling you this so that all of you out there think twice before taking up recreational breastfeeding.
They say it gets easier. Honestly, it already has become a little easier. Itís just that nothing can really prepare you for this relationship. Iím my daughterís sole source of food. Iím the center of her universe right now. And right now sheís the center of mine. Maybe this is some sort of symbiosis.
by mg at 10:44 AM on July 20, 2004
Last night I actually had a dream about Bad Samaritan. I can safely say this is the first time I’ve ever had a dream about a website, because, technically, that first time was a dream about Bea Arthur herself, and not that collection of nude photographs I found of her online.
Way the hell back when I first got to college, and had 24-hour computer labs at my disposal, I got sucked into the whole Doom thing. My friends would sit in a lab all night, chasing each other through mazes, and fragging each other, and occasionally demon-alien things. There were many nights (rather, early mornings between when I finally left the lab and had to wake up for classes) when I’d fall asleep still running through mazes and killing demon-alien things.
But, never a dream about a website.
I never remember my dreams. The only reason I remember this dream last night was because I was woken up in the middle of it by a fussy baby. Franny has yet to wake us up crying, knock on particleboard, but she can get noisy. There is absolutely something hard-wired into us humans to be extra vigilant and responsive to baby noises. Besides, so Franny is so damn cute , I don’t mind waking up.
So, in this dream some hax0r had hacked Bad Samaritan, and dumped all the past four years of stories, discussions, and pictures. Now, you might ask why anyone would want to hack a little blog. Who knows, but it has happened before; just ask Adam, who is a refugee from Surreally.
I woke up with Franny in the middle of the night, but then went back to bed. When I woke up for real, the idea of BadSam having been hacked was deep in the back of my head, so much so that I couldn’t remember whether it was real or whether it was a dream. As soon as I was conscious enough to think straight, much less type, I logged on, and there she was, BadSamaritan.com, in all her glory, and I cried out “I love you, I love you, I love you. Don’t ever leave me again, even if it is only a dream.” The wife thought I was talking about her. If it wasn't in the six-week postpartum period, I think I might have even gotten lucky.
You might say morality was lax when I was growing up. You'd go to a party and notice that you'd slept with everyone there. But it wasn't like today with the hooking up and all. You had to date first, by which I mean driving around aimlessly, swilling beers with a person. The other difference is that special favors were reserved for long-term relationships rather than the other way around.
There was one notable exception to this rule, whom I'll call Celeste. For four years this shy bookworm lurked on the periphery, observing our mating habits with the cool detachment of a sociologist. Her very virginal existence irked many of us. Lots of guys had tried to rectify the situation but all had failed. She might as well have been wearing a chastity belt.
After graduation we all flocked to the beach. To my surprise Celeste was staying at the same flophouse we were, rather than at a respectable motel in the low numbers where all her future sorority sisters were staying.
Someone suggested we go bayside and rent Catamarans. Now I knew nothing about boats. Nonetheless I was psyched.
The wind was gusting fiercely out to sea as we launched five boats. As the two unattached persons in our party Celeste and I were sailing partners by default. Seldom had I endured a more awkward moment. Both of us where painfully shy, came from different circles and backgrounds and we had nothing in common. At last she asked, "Do you know how to sail one of these things?" I assured her that I did and at first it seemed that were true. With the wind at our backs we skimmed along with the greatest of ease.
The trouble develops when you have to come back against the wind. The more I tried the further out to sea we drifted. Beachfront hotels grew smaller and smaller. Seagulls became fewer and fewer. Celeste goes, "Don't you know how to tack?" To me a tack was something you used to slap a Farrah Fawcett poster on your bedroom wall. I knew nothing of the sailing term for zigzagging back and forth to cheat the wind. As it turned out she did from sailing with her dad. But she was far too demure to volunteer that information. So we foundered in the briny waves, watching a brewing storm, until the Coast Guard came motoring up. Despite my assurances that I had everything under control they insisted on towing the craft back to shore, where my pals stood jeering. The look on Celeste's face could only be described as mortified.
Needless to say the week's central mission went unfulfilled. And while nothing even remotely romantic ensued out there, I must say our excursion proved an apt metaphor for many failed relationships to come. When smooth sailing was at hand, all was well with the world. But when difficulties arose, forget it.
Years later I ran across this girl and her lawyer husband. Like most mousy types time had been pretty kind to her. The Sailboat Incident naturally came up. She told me she wasn't so much mortified at my sailing ineptitude but my friends' cruelty. That and she said she was miffed that I never tried to lay a hand on her the entire time we were adrift at sea. "I just assumed you were gay," she said.
There isn't much you can say to that.
by ezy at 10:05 AM on July 14, 2004
Man, as completely amazing as my marriage to Amy is, itís freaking work.
I have figured out what my parents must have known to stay married for forty-two years; you might not agree, have a fight, and say things unintentionally to hurt one another but when you wake up in the morning and see that other person there, that joy is what you hold on to. I have been going through a rough time of late with things that shouldnít matter about Amy but do for some reason. I am actually in therapy to pinpoint and deal with them so we can get on with the good stuff. I am a possessive, protective, overbearing prick sometimes and I donít mean to be but canít turn off the shit in my head. I will learn though. I am committed to that with every fiber of my being. I can logically look at something and question myself why it matters but it seems as if the devil on my shoulders has tripled in size since we got married. I donít understand why. Is it because itís been so long since I allowed myself to care that itís freaking me out? Maybe, I donít know. I have also learned another thing about myself, during my marriage, that I never knew; I am insecure about myself. You would think that someone who has been with all of the women I have, jumped out of perfectly good airplanes and survived, served his country distinctly, moved somewhere where he knew no one and made good would have all of the confidence in the world but that isnít the case. I think most of those things I did trying to prove my own self worth. Again, I donít know why I feel the need to prove myself to myself. I doubt myself on a daily basis. Amy tells me all the time that I am the best man she has ever been with, in every category, and deep inside myself I doubt it. She would never lie to me so I know that if she says it itís true but I donít know why I canít allow myself to believe it. I guess that is what therapy will help me to understand about myself. I do know that I will put in any amount of work needed to make life with Amy as good as it should be. I just wish I could understand myself better right now so she wouldnít have to deal with my shit. I hate feeling ashamed at a thing I said or did but that is what I have been feeling for a majority of the time lately. You see, there is this wonderful, loving, loyal woman who pledged to stand by my side until death and I hurt her with things I say sometimes. What kind of shit is that? This has to end and I have to change this somehow but for the life of me I donít know how just yet. I just thank God that Amy loves me as much as she does and doesnít run even when that would be the easiest thing to do.
by mg at 09:11 AM on July 14, 2004
Even though “This time it counts,” the All-Star Game is tough to care about. And if it is tough for me to care about, it is damn impossible to get the wife to care enough, or believe I care enough, to let me watch it. In the short time we’ve been married, though, I have already discovered the trick to getting her to let me watch sports. And I didn’t even have to reinvent the wheel.
All I have to do is impart on her the kind of behind the scenes stories that sports journalists use to keep people who don’t care about sports interested enough to not flip the channel to see if they are doing weather yet on the other local news broadcast. Things like telling her that Brett Favre’s dad just died so if the Packers make it to the Super Bowl that must surely be a sign of an afterlife, and that Favre Sr. is using his afterlife to help his son cheat at football.
Or that Lance Armstrong only has one nut. You know, stuff like that.
The Olympics is the king of this move. Who among us can claim to actually care, or even know one single thing about shot putting? But do a fluff piece about America’s best hope for gold in the sport and his tough life as a coal miner’s daughter in Ohio, where there aren’t any natural shots to put so he had to drive seventy hours a day (each way) to train in California, while also going to school, working for Proctor and Gamble (who, by the way, paid for his trip to Athens *plug* *plug*), and taking care of his three young siblings. If you use a bunch of slow-mo shots, and have Bob Costas narrate, people will actually tune in and root, despite not even knowing the difference between a good shot put and a shit shot put.
That last couple sentences were as unwieldy as, I imagine, an actual shot put, but you get the point, which is that I get to watch sports if I constantly feed her little tidbits of back-story about the players or situation. That or convince her she thinks one of the players is cute.
One of the big stories for last night’s All-Star game was the battery of Roger Clemens and Mike Piazza. In 2000 Clemens plunked Piazza in the noggin with a fastball, giving him a concussion, and forcing him to miss that year’s All-Star Game. When they met again in the 2000 World Series, Clemens threw the head of a broken bat at Piazza, and the benches cleared. So, for Clemens and Piazza to be forced to work together during this year’s All-Star Game is just the kind of story I could use to momentarily distract the wife into forgetting she is watching a sports program.
And it worked, that little story momentarily distracted her from the fact she was watching sports. That, and that she likes baseball player’s butts. With the animosity between Clemens and Piazza, there could be an explosion any moment. Except, of course, that nothing would explode. The most that happened were several long pauses between pitches and Clemens shaking off a number of Piazza’s calls all helped add to the intensity of the moment.
But, conspiracy nut I can sometimes be, I started thinking about four runs into Clemens’ six run first inning, especially considering how hard he was getting hit, that Piazza was giving the AL batters the pitchers. What better revenge could Piazza take against Clemens, a competitor so fierce he could only stay retired for 78 days, then to ensure he’d get rocked? I tried to explain this to the wife, but by this time her interest had waned, I’d run out of anything even remotely interesting to say about the All-Star Game, and she was encouraging me to flip over and check out what was going on over on The Gilmore Girls. Apparently Rory struck out Hank Blalock in the eighth.
Okay MG, but this doesn't come natural to me. I'm just a dour guy.
According to this pie chart, 39% of accidents involved alcohol five years ago. By '02 it was down to 31%. But that still seems a suspectly high number. Especially when you consider all the strident anti-drunk driving rhetoric and stepped-up law enforcement.
As usual the common sense perspective is correct. To see why we need to deconstruct all the overblown, self-serving, alarmist stats propogated by MADD (Mean Angry Dried-up Dames.) First, they count all accidents, even minor fender benders. Plus when they list it as "alcohol related," that only means that one or more of the injured parties had traces of booze in their systems. These would include pedestrians and passengers. So if a drunk is staggering around a bus stop and gets pancaked by a sober driver who ran a red light, it's "alcohol related." Same goes for the designated driver who's driving a carload of drunks home from a party and wraps the car around a utility pole.
When the offending driver has been drinking, authorities presume that to be the sole cause. But of course all accidents are by definition multi-factorial. And in cases involving low BACs it is physiologically unlikely to have even been a contributing factor.
What about people tooling around on mind-bending quantities of legal prescription drugs? They're usually far more impaired than those on booze, pot or coke. Why then is there no witch hunt against them? For that matter, what about those wanton killers who drive while talking on cell phones, giving or receiving oral, strumming guitar or turning around to yell at their kids? Or worse, those guilty of DWO?
We also need to consider issues of dependance and tolerance. Who're the people driving around drunk these days? Drunks---that's who---people with years of experience doing it. Of necessity they've learned not to weave. To avoid being pulled over they keep their lights working, inspections up to date etc. They drink coffee to at least be an alert drunk. They've learned to close one eye when seeing double. A seasoned drunk driver is thus far less likely to cause an accident. That's why so many of us stay home on New Year's Eve, cowering in fear of being killed by amateur drunk drivers.
I bring all this up because my state has just enacted the most Draconian drunk driving laws in the world. A .008 (4 beers in 2 hours) will get your licence revoked for a year, first timer or not. Blow a .02 and you'll land in jail for 5 days, have your car seized and have to pay $500 to install a Breathalyzer ignition kit. Habitual offenders will be rounded up and shot en masse. They'll then be pushed into Serb-style mass graves. (BTW, isn't it time we stopped wasting valuable suburban real estate on individualized graves?)
But that's not the worst part. Drunk driving Gestapo storm troopers have set up random checkpoints on every corner. They will force all drivers to submit to time-consuming testing. Thanks to a Supreme Court ruling, they can now bypass your Constitutional presumption of innocence just for taking the wheel. By virtue of simply being on the road you're presumed guilty. No longer do universally corrupt police need probably cause to, in effect, perform a full body cavity search on all citizens at will.
It won't work any more than murderous efforts to persuade Afghan farmers to stop growing poppies or Columbians to stop farming coca. These are immutable issues that will never go away. But it appeases the Dried-up Dames for a while and that is all that matters in the end.
I'm hoping to get some input on a situation, and I can't post about it openly on my site; at least, I'm too chicken to do it. Ezy commented on it over there, but I figure it's about time to explain this a bit better.
As always, Linz is a trend-setter. :)
Two years ago, a friend of mine set me up with a (semi-)mutual friend (I'd met the guy once, years ago, but since he's not huge into group gatherings, I'd not met him since then). We went out for about two months, and then he broke up with me the day I got back from vacation.
Now, while we were together, the relationship -- for the first week or two -- was amazing. He was super-sweet, attentive, kind, funny, intelligent, fun, and even the sex was great (which rarely happens for me). We spent tonnes of time together, and within a week he'd told me he was falling for me and he gave me a key to his place.
The reason I say that it was for the first week or so that it was great was because during that time, it was just the two of us, plus some socializing. See, he has this ex-girlfriend...
She treated him like shit for the three or four years they were together. She was pregnant when they started dating, and he stuck by her side, raising the baby with her and so on. They got engaged, and eventually broke up because it seemed she was cheating on him (everyone accepts this as fact, including him) and they were horrendously incompatible and so on. This child loves my ex- and knows that he's not Dad, but loves him as who he is.
Now, the ex-gf played my ex- with various games, telling him first that he could see the child, then that he couldn't, then that he could again. She continued to take advantage of my ex-, making him pick the child up and drop it off at odd hours simply because she knew my ex- would jump through her hoops to be able to continue seeing the child.
My ex- did not have the ability to walk away from the situation. He loves this child too much and can't do that to any of them. He told me that he knew he should, but that he never could. When we broke up, he said that he'd be perfectly happy going to work, coming home, hanging out with the child when he could, and going to bed.
Anyhow, sometime after we broke up, his ex- got pregnant again and has since had another child (I'm not even sure the gender of this one, to be honest). Even before she had the child, the two of them were starting to get along better, which seemed to be good for everyone all around.
When he and I were together, he played her games to be able to keep seeing the child. Whenever he had to deal with her, he'd get frustrated and distance himself from me, and I became a friend rather than a girlfriend. He told me that he'd rather end things between us relatively early on, before we got really involved and I got really hurt. He reportedly also told a few people that he thought things were moving too quickly, which annoyed me to hear, since he was the one moving things faster, but whatever.
I'm not sure how we'll I've explained this or even if people will read this far, but I'll carry on. Basically, this guy is still on my mind, two years later. Years ago, I was in a similar situation, at least as far as having feelings for someone long after we'd broken up. I got in touch with that guy, and we wound up dating again for two years -- three years after we'd originally broken up. So I do know that it can happen, and all this... But of course, I'm scared and uncertain.
Oh yeah, one thing that most of my friends (especially our mutual ones) don't know -- about a year after we'd originally broken up, we slept together. Just a one-night thing, but it goes to show that he still finds me attractive and so on. This guy isn't one to just sleep with anyone, either. I was only the second girl he'd ever been with.
So... yeah. I guess I'm looking to see if many people (beyond Ezy :)), think that I should maybe go for this. That, and I just wanted to get all of this off my chest, 'cause I know a few of my friends who are sick of hearing about it. :)
by mg at 10:04 AM on July 13, 2004
What in the hell has happened around here? Everyone, self included, seems so damn serious, and so frickin’ humorless. We should all be happy. It seems as if everyone is in such a bad mood and is ready to snap faster than the girl picked by producers of a reality TV show to be "the bitch" character. We shouldn't be fighting, we should be loving each other, like a barrel of gay monkeys.
I mean, in the past couple months Anna has bought a new house. After nearly a decade, Snaggle has graduated from college. Linz is moving in with her man. Ezy has married his woman. I’ve had a kid! (*please insert your good news here, I haven’t forgotten you, but my carpal tunnel is hurting, and I can’t type for long stretches. You know who I’m talking about now.)
So why all the bad vibes recently? Oh, sure, it’d be pretty easy to point fingers and cast blame, some of us have been pretty good at that recently. But who cares? I don’t. I’d rather just move on with this ugly period of BS history. I'm ready to get started on the next era, what several months from now I hope we’ll all look back fondly on as the time of "Good Times" times.
Speaking of Good Times, Isabel Sanford died last week. Sanford was best know for her role as Louise 'Weezy' Jefferson, on the 70s TV show The Jeffersons. Hell, lets be honest, she is known exclusively for her role as Weezie from The Jeffersons, though some of you younger folk probably just know her as the old lady in those Old Navy commercials. No, not the old lady with the big glasses, the fat, black old lady with a voice like a two for one special on cartons of cigarettes.
Speaking of Jack Klugman’s gravel throat, Sanford’s death completes the second piece of a dead celebrity trinity, with Klugman’s Odd Couple co-star Tony Randal being the first. If we ignore the deaths of actual celebrities Ray Charles, Marlon Brando, and that Regan guy, then we should expect one more washed-up 70s TV star to perish before the moon is once again new. Or something.
Who do you think will be take the bronze metal in this trio of dead B-celebrities? I know it is morbid, and potentially cruel to speculate on such matters, but maybe that is exactly the sort of meaningless task we need to break the tension around here. So, who is your pick?
This is a full-fledged, unapologetic plea for help and milking of all types of contacts. At long last, I have finished my graphic design degree and I'm now looking for jobs in the wonderful Los Angeles area (don't ask why LA that's too much to go in to right now.) So if you have any contacts in the design field out there or you yourself are in the field, please check out my portfolio: http://www.public.iastate.edu/~snaggle.
Wish me luck.
by ezy at 01:30 PM on July 12, 2004
Since the current theme seems to be writing the letter never sent, I thought I would jump right in.
Iím not sure how to begin this or where it will go once started but I need to tell you how much pain and anguish you have caused. The last time we were together when you told me you wanted to move to D.C., so we could try to have a relationship, then reneged hurt me more than you can possibly know. I now have a hard time trusting women. I sometimes let my lack of trust and feelings of inadequacy influence my relationship with my wife. She doesnít deserve any of this and I want you to know that you are the cause of that. You canít just play with peopleís emotions like that. It is cruel and very hurtful. I had totally put my trust in you and you abused it not once but twice in the span of a year. And to think, I felt bad for being angry because I always bowed to you. You were always an extremely self centered person and it looks like some things never change. I know that I wasnít always the best and most trustworthy boyfriend but I was a kid when I was acting that way. The last two times we tried to make things work I treated you with the utmost respect and was completely and totally committed to you. You threw all of that away as easily as a piece of trash. I never understood, and probably never will, how you could do that to someone who had been as good a friend to you as I had. When you called out of the blue and told me you needed a friend to try to help you get over Ryan leaving you at the alter, what did I do? I helped you. Do you think any of that was easy for me to hear and try to give you sound advice on? No, it sucked. Having to hear how he was everything that I could never be to you and how perfect he was, that is until he left your ass at the alter, made me want to throw up. I did it though because you needed me. The moment I needed you, you left. All of the times I would wake up in the morning and e-mail you first thing only to get nothing back for a week also sucked. I gave you 110% and you gave nothing. I did understand that the school you were attending was hard and you were short on time but how much time does it take to call someone? Five minutes? You could have given me the minimum and I wouldíve stuck around. I will not stick around for nothing. I donít have the time or energy for that. Luckily fate has seen fit to send me the most wonderful woman I have ever met. She loves me for who I am. I donít have to change myself or put up a front that I am something I am not. I was never enough for you but for that I thank you. If I had stuck it out with you we would probably be in an unhappy marriage and I wouldíve never met my soul mate. Thank you for giving me nothing. I am in therapy currently working to erase the lack of trust and feelings of inadequacy so there will be nothing of you left with me. I am committed to erasing every single part of you so my wife doesnít have to pay for your mistakes. It will happen soon. I would tell you to have a good life but I so completely donít care if you do or donít that Iíll just say goodbye.
Ronald Reagan once remarked that, "Facts are silly things." His comment met with much derision, especially among those who traffic in so-called facts within the bowels of academia and government. Yet, I agree with him. There, I said it.
Without getting too ponderous, what's a fact? Something real, verifiably or otherwise? Buxom women are often confronted with this question: Are those real? Thos with implants will often reply, "Oh no, they're fake. But I think Dr. So-and-So did such a great job. He's the best!" This is inaccurate. Both forms of boobs are equally real. One is comprised of flesh while the other is comprised of silicone gel. You can hold either one in your hands. You can assess their heft, though care must be exercised if they're attached to a stranger or coworker.
4 painters and a photographer set out to depict a scene of kids playing in Central Park. One's an impressionist, the other does figurative art while the other deals in abstract stuff. The other is this autistic kid who just throws his own shit on a canvass all day long. Whose depiction is real? You might say the photographer, but who's to say he didn't use special filters or lenses to distort "reality?" I'd go with the autistic kid as he doesn't even pretend to know what is real and what isn't.
Likewise, words can be twisted around and taken out of context. I remember OJ's lawyer Barry Scheck grilling that hapless pathologist Dennis Fung. He'd brandish a transcript and read carefully selected passages. "Were you asked these questions, did you give these answers," he'd demand to know. When Fung would attempt to clarify with a "yes, but" type response, Scheck would cut him off and insist on a yes or no answer. You all saw the disastrous result of that truth-finding mission. With any luck you won't get your head lopped off by OJ. Just to be on the safe side don't suck any dick in your living room unless the curtains are drawn.
Facts are the enemy of the truth, the perfume that masks the awful body odor that is the human condition. And it reminds me of one one of my favorite lyrics from Fleetwood Mac's Hypnotized: "They say there's a place down in Mexico where a man can fly over mountains and hills. He don't need no airplane or some kind of engine, and never will. Now you know it's a meaningless question to ask if those stories are right. Cuz what matters most is the feeling you get when you're hypnotized."
Soon after penning those immortal lines Bob Welch jetisonned his enviable rock star life to become some sort of vegan monk. Flying higher than those mythical Mexican shamans, he hit the eject button.
You show me a supposed universal fact and I will show you a demonstrably bald-faced lie. As Jim Carroll put it in song, nothing is true.
Note: inspired by Linzís recent letters to people, I am here writing one that Iím unable to actually send because I donít have an address for this person. Sorry if itís a little self-indulgent. Soundtrack for this post: Konstantine by Something Corporate.
This is attempt number three at this letter. I know thereís no real possibility that you will actually read this, but I thought about writing it enough times that I had to get these words out of my head and into some written form just to put my mind at ease.
There is a lot I could say, a few things I could ask. I wish I knew why you decided to stop talking to me. Intuition tells me that it was an attempt to heal things between me and Clint Ė but that quagmire is beyond repair. Heís written me off and thereís nothing I can do about it. Iíve tried, apologized several times, but heís locked into his idea of hating me, and you know what? If heís that fixated on holding a grudge though the other party wants badly to rectify the situation, then thatís not a friend I want to have. I would like to go up to him and say, ďHow could I have known Brady and I would have connected better than you two did? Plus, Brady didnít even really consider those two evenings with you Ďdates,í really, just a chance to make friends in a new place. Iím sorry that he and I had more in common than you did with him.Ē
So thatís my guess as to why you havenít returned my calls since you moved so suddenly back to Illinois. I could be wrong, but I suppose Iíll never really know.
I suppose next I just want to say Ďthank you.í You wrote me in your letter, which I read and re-read again the other day, against my better judgment, that I helped you to remember the possibility of love. I didnít realize until after youíd left town so unexpectedly that you did the same for me. We all have our melodramatic moments of thinking that thereís no such thing as love, that weíll forever be alone Ė but Iíd forgotten just how far those thoughts had actually permeated my being and lodged themselves in my world view, unseen termites, weakening my foundation. But you made me remember that at unexpected times, someone can come along and show you the path once again.
Maybe itís better that it happened this way. At least I know now that my eyes are open and my heart is ready; I donít think it had been for a long time. Sure, I dated a few guys in the past few years, but none of them I really opened my heart to. Looking inward, I think I really am ready now.
I still think about you too much. I remember the times we had together Ė a hug saying ďMine!Ē, dinner at my placeÖ Why do I listen to ĎKonstantineí every night before I go to bed? Why do I do that when the line ďYouíve gotta get out, you canít stand to see me shakingĒ makes me instantly think of the closest times we had when all I could do when I saw you tremble was to wrap you in my arms tighter, even though I knew that I was the reason for the trembling?
I was actually really worried about you. When you changed your voice mail greeting at least I knew you were okay. I still worry about you, though. You were so fragile, so needing, so deserving of someone to love you and care for you, someone for whom you opened their eyes again and made them remember what itís like to really connect with a person. I hope youíve found someone like that. I would be jealous, but you deserve it. Youíve been through too much.
I write this for me Ė for some closure. I think of you often Ė with a smile, always. Iím glad we had our (precious little) time together and I know it would be crazy to want anything else because hopefully Iíll be moving to the west coast before too long, with a real job and all. Even if our paths never cross again, Iíll remember you and I hope you think of me fondly. Thank you for being you and making me remember that there is good waiting for me.
Did you know I was falling in love with you?
Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king and the king ain't satisfied till he rules everything
Let us speak of the namby-pamby liberals who comprise the elite media. It is such great fun to skewer their left-leaning, commie pinko bias. Bill O'Reilly has forged an entire career out of it. All the while pretending that his isn't feeding at the very same trough as his adversaries.
Ah but why, why oh why, do they skew that way? It's famously said that people vote their pocketbooks. The rich want to maintain the status quo for purely selfish reasons. The poor want to become more like the rich. They want resources redistributed i.e. given to them for free. Or so it is said. But the fly in that ointment is that network news anchors, op-ed writers for the Washington Post and New York Times and the like all command six and sometimes seven figure salaries. They live in mansions and have servants to wipe their asses for them. Certainly supporting social programs for the indigent, higher taxes, justice for all and the rest of the so-called liberal agenda isn't in their best interest.
It's either one of two things: 1) These people are assuaging their own guilt for having it so easy all their lives. 2) They are truly admirable people, selfless to a tee. So which is it?
Fun fact: In 1996 the 447 richest people had amassed assets equal to that of the poorest 2.5 billion, 52% of the world's population. Hmmm. I have got to stop reading these crazy books.
And here's another question to ponder: Suppose you were one of those elitists with money to burn. Would you really pay someone to wipe your ass? Does Bill Gates stoop to wiping his shitty ass?
I broke up with my ex nearly four months ago, and at least partially on her advice I've started dating again, but I'm not happy about it. I feel like I've gone from watching Kurosawa movies on a 42" plasma screen TV to peering at reruns of Bewitched on a 9" B&W portable, and it ain't cool.
The worst part is that it doesn't just feel like crap to me, but it ends up going like crap for anyone that I go out with. Who can compete with such an intense relationship? Who should have to? Today I had to call someone to tell her that I wasn't feeling it anymore, but the truth of the matter is that I felt like I'd gone from curry to oatmeal, and no matter how good the oatmeal is, it can't compete with a murderous curry. I'm not one of those guys who's afraid to get too involved just in case someone better comes along, and I don't think that's what's going on here. I've just been spoiled. I got WOWed by someone on the first meeting; I had a deep emotional, physical, and intellectual connection, and now everything else feels like settling.
Thanks to our beloved leader mg, I may have finally found someone to get my beloved MG sorted out. I started tearing the thing apart, but the call of full-time employment lured me away from my parents' garage before I could finish it. I bring this up because when I got the email from mg about the MG I was watching MTV's Pimp My Ride, and I was wishing that I could've called the pros in to hook me up - except I'm about 6 years too old, and I don't live in SoCal.
Xzibit takes some poor schmo's busted, rusted auto and gives it a makeover of questionable taste. That's pretty cool. But there's an evil version of this show: Rides with Funkmaster Flex. Flex takes a busted, rusted car from one of his MULTIMILLIONAIRE FRIENDS, and makes it over for free. What's the target demographic here? Are there people in this world who would be happy if, let's say, Michael Eisner won the lottery? And would even Eisner be enough of a jerk to make a show about it?
I think this must have something to do with modern hip-hop culture, but I can't imagine what the deal is here. Lil Flip makes a hit song in which he talks about nothing but how rich he is, and poor people everywhere eat it up. If only he could've included a shot of himself hiring a crew to paint Mariah Carey's house gratis in his video, Flip might've equalled Flex's crassness. But let's not give up hope for next time!
It's as old as the American Dream...or maybe it IS the American Dream. Take your clothes off, make a bunch of money, and know that teen and pre-teen boys are sneaking your pictures into their bathrooms to do whatever it is that they do in there.
Does that outfit come with orange kneepads??
Not many people realize, though, how difficult it is for Playboy to find women willing to bare it all. Through a personal contact deep within the Playboy empire, I've obtained a memo that details the organizations that they at one time thought would have enough women willing to shed their threads for posterity. Here is a partial list of organizations that were considered and ultimately given the thumbs-down:
- Women of Kennedy Intermediate School Cafeteria
- Women of Sunnybrook Nursing Home
- Women of Fred's Truck Stop
- Women of Professional Sumo Wrestling
- Women of the Association of Jewish Mothers-in-Law
- Women That Once Were Men
- Women of the Greater Los Angeles Union of Babushkas
- Women of Our Lady of Perpetual Motion Convent
Hey, in a day and age when virtually everyone has their own porn site, it's not easy to get women to give it up for someone else. I can hardly wait until the issue featuring the linemen from the Women's Professional Football League comes out. Oh baby....
I wolf down my lunch at two places, a Vietnamese soup place or a BBQ joint. I eat alone, reading a series of tomes about the precipitous decline of western civilization. Death of the West, The Great Unraveling, Hollywood vs. American, I recommend 'em all. Right now I'm reading Morris Berman's ponderous Twilight of American Culture, which is like Homer Simpson boning up on the works of Homer. Berman argues that the constant barrage of hype and hoopla has got our society coming apart at the seams. He feels that "global corporate hegemony" is to to blame, whatever that means.
At the Vietnamese place the waiter speaks perfect English slang. "How you doin'," he'll chirp, adding, "sit anyplace." As I leave he goes, "Have a good one." All the other patrons are Asian but they too yak away in English as they slop their pho into their mouths. There is neither a dainty nor dignified way to eat this stuff. There's Oriental music piped in but it's drowned out by the low buzz of droning CNN anchors. They don't actually prepare the pho so much as toss the fixings on your table. The menu encourages you to "build your own pho." You'd think this might be an oasis in the desert that is plastic American McLife, but you'd be wrong.
At the barbecue place I usually order the medium (there is no small, of course) pulled pork sandwich. It consists of a bun and 3 ounces of meat. Precisely 3 ounces. The guy weighs it. If there be an extra 1/2 ounce, he'll snatch away a morsel and put it back in the pan. The large is precisely 4 ounces. One time I said, "Please stop weighing my food. Just estimate the portion. I come here all the time. It will all even out in the end." "The boss makes us weigh it," came his surly reply. Any irony was utterly lost on him.
My mom ran a restaurant and boy was she ever a big proponent of the Doctrine of Portion Controlled Servings. She'd count the number of shots that a bartender got out of a fifth of vodka. God forbid he'd come up short. Speaking of mom, she held out against pumping her own gas for years. She'd drive way out of her way and pay through the nose to avoid learning how to do it. But alas, full service stations have gone the way of all our basic conveniences. You have to trek to some backwater locale like New Jersey to get them to pump your gas. Forget checking the oil.
I'm so sick of corporations and companies shoving their singularly profit-driven agendas down my throat. But I'm not quite prepared to take Berman's suggestion that we all tune out and live a monastic existence to heart just yet. So I've done the next best thing, devising my own passive-aggressive protest. I leave my tray and trash for someone else to deal with at fast food joints. One time some twenty-something punk called me on it, saying they'd have to pay a person to clean up after me and that would drive costs up. Obviously he was too young to recall the day when this sick policy went into effect. Signs were posted at tables encouraging patrons to bus their own damn tables. At first people balked, but as with everything this McWorld shoves up our asses like an oversize dildo, we've come to accept it. We're such a dutiful, resigned lot. I think CNN has us hypnotized.
Know that what tastes like ambrosia nectar to the honchos of Microsoft, IBM, McDonald's and Exxon-Mobil-Chevron-Texaco is cyanide to you. For their interests are diametrically opposed to your own. And thus it shall remain until the twilight of American culture.
by mg at 03:30 PM on July 07, 2004
Since I’ve been able to vote, I have voted republican. But, with quite a while still to go until November, I’m actually considering casting my lot in with The Two Johns (and by that I mean Kerry and Edwards, not They Might Be Giants, though if they were president, we’d definitely regain the respect of the world back. Or at least the respect of the world’s nerds). But, I'm actually considering voting for the democratic ticket.
When thinking about the future, you have to look beyond just the next four years. If Cheney remains the vice-president, and if Bush wins in November, the republicans really have no one on the horizon to take over the reigns in 2008. Cheney, while only a couple years older than George W. has already had more heart attacks than marriages to gay men between Barbara Streisand and Liza Manelli combined. Also, he is pretty creepy, like a cross between Barbara Streisand and Liza Manelli, and would have no chance winning a general election.
A vote for Bush in 2004 is pretty much guaranteeing a win for the Dems in 2008. And considering the democrat in 2008 will most likely be Hillary Clinton and the if the people of my beloved New York voted for her despite the fact she doesn’t live in New York, the rest of American is certainly stupid enough to actually elect her president. By electing a democrat in 2004 I can help guarantee Hil won’t be running in 2008, or 2012. By 2016, she’ll be as worn out, creepy, and unelectable as Cheney is now, only with bigger cankles.
I will grudgingly acknowledge that Hillary has been a surprisingly capable legislator for the country and the state of New York, but come on now, I think even the most liberal among you has to admit that she is pure evil. If we are comparing politicians to cereal box characters, I’m perfectly willing to admit that Dick Cheney is like Count Chocula in a suit. And if I can admit that, then you have to admit that Hillary is that annoying girl who wont let the rabbit have its Trix.
But, since this isn’t an election to decide the president of the Carver High School student council, you can’t just vote on personalities. The issues are important. The War on Terror and Homeland Security initiatives are unstoppable. Even peace-niks like Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader realize the necessity of national defense. Pulling back from where George W. has gotten us is probably a good thing for the country, but pulling back too far would be political and national suicide. So, even if a democrat wins the White House in November, the national security trajectory we are currently on could only be altered so much, and it should be impossible, even for a Democrat, to put the country at serious risk. I dare you to find a difference between the democrat and republican policy for Iraq moving forward. Seriously, find a difference.
There are other issues as well. Just like Michael Jackson honestly believes a 40 year-old man sleeping in the same bed as 12 year-old boys is okay, George W. actually believes the greatest issues affecting the country are steroids in professional sports, the gay assault on marriages, and protecting the rights of illegal, foreign workers. Some of you might say he always has been out of touch, but now there is no doubt that George W. Bush is out of tune with the problems really affecting the “common” man.
And the real issue affecting the “common” man is the economy, more specifically the exodus of jobs out of the country. It was one thing, 20 years ago, when manufacturing jobs left, because there was something new on the horizon, the “information worker.” But, with information worker jobs headed to India, the Philippines, and any other country where corporations can get away with paying someone 1/10 of what they would have to in the States, there doesn’t seem to be anything new on the horizon.
Agriculture led to manufacturing, manufacturing led to information, but what is left after information? None of the candidates seem to have the answer to the question. To tell the truth, there doesn’t yet seem to be an answer. Terrorism can be averted through international diplomacy and security measures, but how in the hell do you legislate a new “age?” Through the primaries only John Edwards had consistently raised the question. I don’t think he has the answer, but I’d rather go with the ticket that is at least acknowledging the problem.
Besides, John Edwards can speak to the dead, and is way cuter.
And so, languishing in the grocery line desperate for any sensory input, we learn that Mary Kate Olsen doesn't suffer from bulimia after all. She's a crackhead, or so the tabloids scream. Her problem is Much, Much Worse!! It's the drugs. The horrors!
Now the only thought I've ever had about this girl is how it creeps me out when many radio guys drool about the day she and her sister become legal for sex. I think they should be forced to watch grainy reruns of Full House until they are disabused of such shameful notions once and for all.
Yet, having been up and down all these one-way streets, I took a passing interest in this tale. Back in the the mid-80s, my wife and I split due to a misunderstanding. Without my rudder, the Good Ship Anna began to list. I soon descended into a similar world of nightmarish misery. When I showed up on her doorstep all bedraggled, emaciated and haggard a year later she hardly recognized me. Maybe her motherly instincts caused her to invite my scary ass in. I don't know.
This sort of thing was an occupational hazard for many of us. In theory you don't sample the product but in the real world, it happens. To justify it we'd separate ourselves from the ghetto crackheads by saying that what we were doing was freebasing. (See David Crosby's racist tome Long Time Gone.) But in a pinch we'd find ourselves downtown at the 24-7 open air market, fidgeting and waiting for the brother to shout, "Whatchou need?"
So I look at at Mary Kate's plight in a slightly different light. Perhaps she'd be better off if all she had was an eating disorder, perhaps not. All I know is that she's found the world's best and worst diet all at once. Cocaine is a serious appetite suppressant, especially when cooked into crystalline form. And even if you did somehow experience a hunger pang, you have no money and the thought of going out in public to grab a bite is unthinkable.
Say a prayer for this bony little wench. She's been subjected to the white-hot, uncaring glare of celebrity since she was like, three years old. Just what would you expect?
by mg at 02:31 PM on July 06, 2004
Just a little while ago, the wife and I were sitting eating lunch, and watching Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, while little Franny lay asleep in her swing.
Now, the strangest part of this whole scene wasn’t the revelation that this was now our life. A mother and father, sitting in a room cluttered with children’s paraphernalia, and entertainment suitable for the pre-cognitive set.
No, the strangest part of this picture was that, exactly three weeks earlier, with baby still encased in her placenta, inside her mother’s belly, we were sitting, having lunch, and watching Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. As big a change as having Frances in our lives has already been, and believe me, there is a monumental fundamental difference. The change is not just in our sleeping patterns, our now even-more-crowded NYC apartment, or ability to get up and go for a walk without needing to make a half-an-hour’s worth of preparations.
Whenever I’ve heard people say that having children changes your life, I’ve always gotten the punctuation wrong. Having children doesn’t change your life, it changes your Life. The entrance of this little bundle of joy, sweet baby scents, funny faces, and full diapers has brought about many explicit, physical changes, but the really difference is something else. Something that I feel so deeply, yet have been unable to put any words to, no matter how hard I’ve tried.
To describe this as happiness would be putting it mildly. Simply saying “happy” leaves the ability to describe this all as a delirium brought on by three weeks of nightly sleep totals that I can count on just one hand. Yes, I am tired, possibly delirious, and yes I am happy, but I the two have nothing to do with each other, and hardly describe the overall feelings I’m having.
And the whole Mr. Rogers thing is what finally showed me what it was: we were already parents. For a long while now, even before we knew we were pregnant, we have had that place inside ourselves. We’ve had that room in our relationship and our lives. We just didn’t have the baby to fill that hole. And now that she is here, it just feels so perfect, and comfortable, and so very, very right.
I know it is totally cheesy to say this, but now I feel as perfectly comfortable, and good, and as whole as I have ever felt in my life. And all because of someone, lying in her crib now sleeping, who has no idea of her impact on our world, of the love she is constantly showered with, and of the part she has already played in making me the person I’ve always been meant to become. Amazing.
Jerry Hall said, "my mother told me it was simple to keep a man. You have to be a chef in the kitchen, a maid in the living room and a whore in the bedroom. I said I'd hire the other two and take care of the bedroom bit." Well, it isn't that simple. Her marriage to Mick Jagger got annulled in '99.
We need to understand how to agree on things, concede the small points. We had a case in point after we moved. We agreed that the tired old Monets that had graced our walls for so many years had to go. How to replace them proved a sticking point.
Although we agreed on some basic parameters (no abstract art, nothing overly familiar, no photoes) it still turned into a huge hassle. One site boasts 10,000 prints to choose from. 10,000 artistic atrocities is more like it. Every so often I'd find something but she'd make this non-commital "Ehh" sound that means it's ok but I don't Love It. Women must Love It. Guys are like, it'll do.
We learned that we don't like The Masters. We also don't care for Van Go's childish finger-painting. To me that style is to art as punk rock or grunge were to rock music. On the contrary, I fell in love with this artist. My wife found her work too cutesy.
Like many foolish art neophytes we thought it made sense to settle on one artist. That way the prints were sure to complement one another, right? Not necessarily. We learned that Robert Mapplethorpe, best known for wedging buggy whips up men's asses, could also weild a mean paint brush. This problem was compounded by the fact that we already had some pricey frames and we weren't eager to spring for more. You get all confused by "image size" vs. "paper size" vs. "framed size" and before long your eyes start to glaze over.
After weeks of this, we agreed on some art. She loved Plaza After the Rain. She grudgingly agreed to Kieffer's Evening Street Scene. But another one of Cornoyer's paintings came in the mail and looked all faded, like the printer was running out of ink. So we've got one blank space left. Any suggestions?
My friend bought a condo and stopped at one of those roadside art displays. He snapped up a dozen framed prints and slapped them on his walls. He measured the distance between them carefully, so it looked like a generic hotel room. He then purchased some portrait frames and left the smiling generic people's pictures in there. His home was the stylistic equivalent of a strip mall, complete with a Wendy's, WalMart and CVS. He is gay, belying an ill-founded stereotype. Where are those Queer Eye guys when you need them?
When it comes to art and beauty, there's no accounting for taste. Hence PissChrist, catwalk fashions and the Turner Prize-winning The Lights Going On and Off.
Once again a cultural icon has bitten the dust. The massive Marlon Brando is no more. I always thought he was one of the greatest actors of all time, albeit if a bit of a kook in real life. Look for a major circus when it comes time to divvy up his loot between a motley crew of acknowledged children, illegitimate (what an antiquated term!) kids, inmates and housekeepers.
You turn on the TV or open a newspaper and there are these meticulously researched and written bios of the latest luminary to die. (In Brando's case we learn that he took the coveted Don Corleone role only because he saw The Godfather as a screed against corporate greed. Huh? Or that he was paid $3.7 million for 12 days work on Superman.)
Most of them have long been out of the limelight. Their heyday came 'n went long before most of today's writers' memory span. So how do they come up with all these obscure life details and produce such quality product on such short notice?
Obviously these things were produced and canned well in advance. Somewhere there's a shelf that contains all the bios of old famous people who are likely to conk out at any given moment. Once, a news outlet broke out one of Bob Hope well before his actual demise. Others followed suit. He read it. Shades o' Monty Python: Uh, I'm not quite dead yet. Conk! Now you are.
All of this has that same creepily macabre feel to it as those morbid office and online death pools. Fortunately for me, I hit the trifecta with Reagan, Ray Charles and now Brando. At the same time I must say the world will miss all them sorely.
So, Johnny, what are you rebelling against? Uh, corporate greed. Not.
OK, so maybe this weekend I'll tote my laptop off to Minute Maid Park to sample the epic battles that are Astros-Rangers games. If the game gets boring, I can always peruse porn sites...er, news sites, eh? Consider the possiblities, though. What if Jimy Williams is sitting in the dugout with a laptop of his own? Why not e-mail him, and tell him to get off his @$$ and pull Tim Redding? Or, why not email Gerry Hunsicker and tell him to fire Jimy Williams? Lord knows the Astros are underachieving something fierce. At this point, it looks as if they may well waste the wonderful gift that is Rogers Clemens (sorry, Yankees fans...).
Why sit on the sidelines and waste your cell phone minutes calling Jim Rome to bitch about how poorly your Astros are playing? Why not take advantage of the awesome power that is the Internet and go directly to the source? No, Drayton McLane may not be taking your calls, but he may just get your e-mail. The possibilities are endless. What could be more empowering?
Of course, this is all well and good, but the first time someone spills beer or drips nacho cheese onto my keyboard, IT IS ON! I suppose even state-of-the-art technology has it's limitations....
Summer boredom got you and the kids down? Did you already work your way through the wonders of the CIA kids' page?
No, I'm not kidding!
Yes, it is just as
horrifying wonderful as you might expect!
Mix 'em, match 'em, trade 'em, cringe, and run far, far away!