Is this thing on?

by anna at 08:51 AM on October 30, 2004

Y'all know how I feel about Muslim fanatics in general and Al K Duh members in particular. When Osama popped up just days before our election I prayed that a bullet would sear through his skull and lodge in his brain. He's the most depraved, defective person ever to walk the planet. But he's cagy smart, I'll grant him that. And his timing is impeccable.

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Where have you gone Joe Dimaggio?

by anna at 08:57 PM on October 27, 2004

I am just a writer here. I started 11/20/02. Since then I've posted 267 times. This is less than half what MG has put forth. But I know sometimes it seems like more than that.

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What an asshole

by anna at 06:59 PM on October 26, 2004

We've all got assholes in our lives. Usually they are in-laws, spouses of friends or coworkers. We do our best to weed them out but sometimes there's just no way around it. Today I will address this matter.

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can't write a letter, can't send a postcard, i can't write nothing at all

by mg at 07:38 AM on October 26, 2004

Have you heard the latest radio ads featuring Howard Dean? Instead of his infamous Yeeha! he is now hawking Yahoo! It is brilliant, having Dean be the pitchman for Yahooís new ďLocalĒ search. Looking for bookstores in IOWA? Want to relax in CALIFORNIA? Explore museums in OHIO? If Dean had been able to handle the screaming incident with this much humor eight months ago, maybe heíd be the one running against Bush instead of that talking head Kerry.

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When logic and proportion have fallen

by anna at 06:40 PM on October 25, 2004

We have a traditional coffee table in our living room. When we replaced the sofa and loveseat it seemed a tad low. You have to lean down to put your cup on the coaster. It's a bit of a hassle but not so much so that we'd shell out for a new one. Downstairs it's the opposite problem, in that the tables are too high for the couches. This causes us to spill many glasses of wine. It's all about proportion.

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If I had the chance I'd ask the world to dance

by anna at 06:44 PM on October 20, 2004

"Parents should realize that the Internet contains dark corners. It's like letting their children walk unsupervised through Amsterdam or New York." - Dan Klinker, purveyor of fine online beheadings

The Net showed such great promise early on. We were all going to e-commerce. All our day to day dealings would be done online. Then the dot-com bubble burst and we're left to drown in the swirling cesspool infested with spyware, information highwaymen, viruses, pop-ups, porn mazes and error messages.

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How long must we sing this song?

by anna at 06:25 PM on October 18, 2004

Growing up there were some hot bands. Or at least they seemed that way at the time. I'm thinking about the likes of the Police, Steely Dan and Starship (itself a bastardization of Jefferson Starship, an outgrowth of the hippie outfit Jefferson Airplane.) But when you hear their stuff on classic rock stations, it seems really dated. It hasn't stood the test of time.

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Well this might take a while to figure out

by ezy at 11:44 AM on October 18, 2004

Well, here I am, four months of marriage and one and a half years into my relationship with Amy. There have been numerous bumps in the road, heated arguments over things that shouldnít really matter, and more love than either of us have ever known given and withheld from one another. All things considered, with both of our considerable baggage, I donít think weíve done that badly. There are a thousand things I have said, in anger, that I wish I could take back but there have also been millions of compliments and professions of love that I have said and will continue to say until the day I die that Iím very proud of. You see, Amy and I are classic runners. In past relationships, as soon as things got a little rocky, weíd cut ties and get the hell out of dodge. The fact that weíre both willing to stay, when running would be much easier in the short term, speaks volumes, in my opinion. There is still baggage, from our pasts, to work through but seeing this wonderful woman trying so hard and putting herself aside at times for me makes me love her that much more. I wish there was some magic wand out there to completely erase the past but there isnít. Well, hypnotism might be that wand but it scares the bejesus out of me. What if you get a hypnotist who learned his craft from some mail order correspondence course? Every time someone says taco you might fall to your hands and knees while barking incessantly at everyone nearby. That wouldnít be cool at all but I digress.

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An improvement, or just my way of scaring the hell out of kids on Halloween?

by northstar at 03:21 PM on October 17, 2004

For some time now, I've had a growing bald spot on the top my head. It hasn't really been a big deal for me until recently, when I began to notice that was once a spot of thinning hair had become completely devoid of hair.

I've always promised myself that if I were to even begin seriously losing my hair that it was all coming off. I wasn't going to do the comb-over or hang on to what little hair was left until my last dying breath. Now that even people at work were noticing my thinning hair, I began to wonder if perhaps the time had come....

Saturday morning, I stood in front of the bathroom mirror, a pair of scissors in one hand, wondering if perhaps the time had come. Finally, after much trepidation, I began. Once I'd snipped the first clump of hair, I knew that I was the way to I-knew-not-where. I had no idea whether or not the finished product would be an improvement, but I'd set the process in motion, and there was no turning back. It was like the old parable about the ham-and-egg breakfast: the chicken may be involved, but the pig is committed...and I was definitely committed.

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And I went in seeking clarity

by anna at 11:57 AM on October 17, 2004

Our old home had mostly wood floors. This one has carpet. Carpets get dirty. You can vacuum them all you want but there's still a lot of grit and grime embedded in them. So when the price came down I bought a steam cleaner. It has four brushes that rotate and on-board tools. But as far as I can tell, it doesn't work.

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flex points

by ab at 07:46 AM on October 15, 2004

So, as many of you know, mg and I have given birth to a beautiful new life. Which is actually a misnomer. I know it’s politically correct nowadays to say “we gave birth,” and, “Yay! We’re pregnant!” I guess it’s supposed to make the guy feel more included and involved, etc. Well, I’m officially done with that. Let’s face it, it’s my body that’s actually housed, nourished and pushed out an 8 lb bundle of love, not my guy’s body. And I don’t see mg whipping out his mams in public when she’s hungry. (Although, I was surprised to see that when we’re together in public and she’s eating, he insists on “helping” by prudishly covering us both over in flannel and hovering lest some passerby get an errant glimpse of nip.)

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In the days we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream

by anna at 06:47 PM on October 14, 2004

If there's one common theme around here it may be a mistrust of formal religion. In his last entry MG championed science over blind faith. Adam describes himself as a secular guy. We know that being an agnostic is (or was) one criteria Linz uses to evaluate a potential suitor. Ezy even turned down sex with the voodoo chick based in part on her beliefs.

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everything that lives will someday die, but our love still grows

by mg at 06:43 AM on October 14, 2004

Nietzsche wrote that God was dead. He believed the next level of human attainment is the superman. Well, earlier this week Superman died, and many people blame it on god.

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He said, you are depressed I'm glad you came to see me and get this off your chest

by anna at 06:24 PM on October 13, 2004

The stalker couldn't be dealt with by the police because he had "diplomatic immunity." That is part of the reason the guy he'd stolen drugs and cash from killed him. The same was true of a guy who attacked me at knifepoint in high school. Diplomatic immunity is bad.

But I'm not here to talk about that. Here's the thing: The guy stole a huge cache of Quaaludes. This was a prescription drug that was wildly popular in the 70s. It has dubious medicinal properties but man did it knock you for a loop. Eventually the government forced it off the market. Black market knockoffs appeared but those were never quite the same as the original 714s.

The same thing is going to happen with OxyContin today. In many rural areas, it's the drug of choice. Rubes walk into the local pharmacy armed to the teeth, demanding Oxy. Thousands of people, including Rush Limbaugh, Jeb Bush's daughter and Winona Ryder are hooked on the opiate painkiller. Folks will crush the pills and snort, smoke or inject it. This gets around the drug's annoying time-release feature. As more and more Dr. Feelgoods get hauled off to jail, legitimate medicinal users are feeling the pinch. They've launched many web sites to complain about a lack of ready availability. To hear them tell it, none of the myriad painkillers on the market compare.

The morality pendulum swings back and forth when it comes to substances that give people artificial pleasure. From 1900-1913, just about every medicine and soda contained cocaine, heroin and bella donna. Moralists got wind of it and took steps to stamp out the fun. For a long time docs wouldn't even prescribe narcotics long-term, no matter how much pain and suffering the patient went through. In the late 90s that all changed. Got a backache or a boo-boo? Here's some Oxy. More recently, with an upswing in law enforcement and negative publicity, it's swung back the other way. Hence all the hand-wringing among the Oxy-head set.

My parents' country house used to belong to the only doctor in the county. He practiced in the early 1900s. Imagine my friends and my surprise to find that his medications were still there on the shelf. Every single one contained cocaine, heroin and/or bella donna. We tried them all. Most but not all had long since lost their punch.

At some point we're all going to need to come to grips with one very simple yet elusive truth: There is no way to legislate morality. There is no way to regulate what people choose to do in the privacy of their homes. Prostitution, drug abuse, gambling and various forms of perversity will always be with us. All of them will always flourish no matter what anyone does to stop them. Hell, you can now get all the prescriptions meds you want off websites without any prescription whatsoever. It's just a question of when our leaders will muster the courage to accept that which can never be changed.

And let us get back to smoking our OxyContin in peace.

Next patient please. Send in another victim of industrial disease.

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I Do (some) Weddings (illegally)

by adam at 12:00 AM on October 13, 2004

I thought I'd found a new side business: weddings. I just helped a friend do the welcoming and introductions at his wedding reception, and I'm scheduled to perform a wedding in the middle of next month. I recall when an acquaintance was trying to get married last year. Neither the prospective bride nor groom had any religious affiliation or inclination; all they wanted was someone to perform a secular wedding. Of course, this is New York, the City Where You Can't Get Anything Done, and there's no such thing as the justice of the peace here. If you want a civil service, your options are: go to City Hall (very romantic); know a judge or ship's captain. And ... that's about it. I could do weddings, and get rich, or at the very least slightly less poor! Well, not so fast chimpy.

I looked into what it takes to become a registered wedding officiant here, and I found out a couple of things. First, if you're not a judge or a clergy person, you're pretty much S.O.L. when it comes to conducting weddings in New York City. The other interesting thing I found was that the Universal Life Church is specifically disallowed, though I am not entirely sure why. I could open a storefront church and wave the Bible around like a magical amulet and I'd be all set wedding-wise, so what's the difference, really? Aside from the storefront and pew rental, of course.

I've been going along under the assumption that I was good to go to perform weddings in NYC, and I'm a little bit disappointed to discover otherwise. As a fairly secular guy I'm also MORE that a little bit curious about how any government decides what's a legit religion and what isn't (remember this?) In Canada, you can't be recognized as a religion unless your ceremony involves the worship of a deity, unless you've been doing whatever it is that you do instead of worshipping a deity for a long time (like most Buddhists) in which case you are, for some mysterious reason, fine. In this country we're a little bit more liberal (hah!) about such things, and so you can have a Humanist Celebrant do your wedding if you can find one riding his unicorn around town. But I still wonder: in such a huge city, with an actual MARRIAGE BUREAU that has an Internets site and everything, why do we not have a Justice of the Peace?

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Going down on the old man with a transistor radio

by anna at 06:23 PM on October 11, 2004

In college I had a roommate named Steve. He took a fancy to a comely, eyelash-batting southern belle named Robin. He asked her out. We were all sitting at a table at the only bar in town. He's trying to talk to her over the din of some country-ass band. She's gazing lovingly into his eyes as if enraptured by his rap. She's also doing this flirty thing with her hand under the table. With me!

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I dress like Buddy Holly and you're Mary Tyler Moore

by anna at 06:29 PM on October 06, 2004

The trainee's sitting at my desk. She peers at a framed Glamour Shot and asks if it is my wife. When I tell her it is, she goes, "She's hot!"

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Who's been telling you about perfection and how did he get in here now that's the question

by anna at 06:50 PM on October 04, 2004

In many parts of Africa, the practice of removing young girls' clitori and sometime their labia too is commonplace. It's an age-old tradition. Yet most reputable surgeons won't perform the procedure. This leaves it to barbers and butchers whose sole medical qualification consists of owning sharp tools. Sterile technique consists of wiping the blade off on your shirt.

Obviously this is reprehensible. But I'm not here to lament it. If you're into that there's lots of other places to go. Oddly enough, there's also many sites that defend female circumcision, as they so euphemistically call it. I'm not here to defend it either.

Whatever the rhetoric, this stems from a basic fundamentalist Islamic view of women as lustful sirens out to lure men into committing sinful acts. It's the same basis as that of the burqa. But that's so bogus. Studies have shown that while men think about sex every two seconds, many women go for minutes on end without a carnal thought.

Clearly men thought this up. I don't think they thought it through though. Face it: a huge part of the pleasure of sex stems from gratifying your partner. (And God knows it isn't an easy thing sometimes.) Plus, the more gratified she is the more receptive to suggestion she becomes. Conversely, it's not a whole lot of fun to have sex with a woman who is obviously bored and painting her fingernails or clicking the remote.

It's probably different among gay guys. Physiologically, barring Bob Dole Disease or heavy drinking, enough friction for enough time exerted on the penis will result in orgasm. There's not this whole big deal about techniques and finding this spot or that.

In high school I knew a guy named Dean. Although average looking, he always walked around with this shit-eating grin, like he was getting all he could handle. He was like the proverbial guy who walks into a bar licking his eyebrows with his Michael Jordan-like tongue and is immediately mobbed by foxy girls. You'd hear girls giggling about him. "Let's just say Dean knows what he's doing," they'd confide. Or, "I thought Dean was going to split me in two but it turned out fine. We're going to do it again after school." Even his exes spoke glowingly of their encounters.

I asked him for his secret. He told me all about the old "man in the boat." He also added that she doesn't like to be launched until her sails are fully hoisted. I guess it was good advise, though back then women didn't even have G-spots. All we had was the wet-spot and no one wanted to sleep on it.

It's funny how the most important information gets left out of parents' birds and the bees talks. Aside from knowing how menstrual cycles impact sexual availability and desire levels, I'd say the most important omission is the improbable location of the boatman and his pal the G-spot (which I don't know to this day.) For girls it would have to be how to sense when things are getting ready to get messy and what your options are at that point.

As Jeff Foxworthy once said about husbands' imminent arrivals, that's information you need.

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two million one hundred two thousand four hundred minutes

by mg at 01:10 PM on October 03, 2004

Today marks Bad Samaritanís fourth anniversary. This site was started way the hell back in October of 2000. It probably doesnít need to be explained that a lot of things have changed, both in the world and in my life, over these past four years.

In the last four years Iíve contributed nearly 700 posts and too many comments to count. But, for all the stuff that has made it on to the site, there is more that never made the cut. It may not be evident by the quality or grammatical correctness of my posts, but a certain amount of editorial oversight goes into decisions about what makes it onto the site and what doesnít.

There are about 50 or so Word files on my computer with posts in various stages of completion. So, in honor of todayís truly momentous occasion, Iím going to sit on my couch all day and watch football. No, wait, in honor of Bad Samaritanís fourth anniversary, I thought it might be interesting to go through all these old files and pull out the best of the worst.

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And Wash This West Coast Dreaming From My Eyes

by snaggle at 12:22 AM on October 02, 2004

One month ago today I arrived in Los Angeles, fresh-faced and eager. Now, I'm still fresh-faced and eager, and employed! The past three weeks of work have been good — so far, I've done a lot of web work, but I hope to be able to do some print & identity work soon.

Adjusting to being in Los Angeles has been interesting. I'm quite a traveler, so I expected the difference between Iowa and California. When I lived in Rome for a semester, there was quite the culture shock experience... generally, culture shock progresses in 4 stages: 1. honeymoon, 2. adjustment, 3. depression, 4. acceptance.

This week has been stage 3. The first few days of this week, I was overcome by the fact that I have very few friends in this city. Apart from my 4 coworkers, I know 3 people. I can barely make it from my house to the supermarket. And going out requires quite a bit of effort, not to mention the fact that there's nowhere within walking distance - nothing like home in Ames.

The thing is, is that in Ames I very much had a 'big fish in little pond' mentality – I knew everyone, everyone knew me, I got free drinks, free food, and everyone loved me. Here, while everyone is more friendly in general than New York City, it's still more of an anonymous place. I could be anything, anyone...

I have an opportunity to reinvent myself. Yet you know what? It's not that I need to reinvent myself. It's only that I need to open myself up to the possibilities of life here. I'm told that this city will eat alive those that don't know themselves, so I must learn myself well enough to be here.

A toast, to myself and everyone in my situation: to the journey.

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They've really got to be some kind of nut

by anna at 07:28 PM on October 01, 2004

Encouraged by Jean's comment I hurl this into the weekend abyss.

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