Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Michael Vick and Other Assholes

At the gym today, I was trapped watching (through closed captioning) either an ESPN show featuring Kevin James and Jessica Biel debating something about Dwayne Wade, or a CNN loop which included a piece on dogfighting. They were kind enough to show an actual dogfight, but not the stand-up citizens in attendance. If they are sick enough to go to these things, why not broadcast their sick-fuck faces all over the world. They should be happy to get on tv for something other than a paternity test.

I don't know if Michael Vick is guilty. I don't care. His actual guilt or innocence is merely plus-one or minus-one piece of shit human who doesn't deserve the air they breathe. Anyone remotely involved in dog-fighting should be shot in the neck and left to die. Period. End of discussion.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I Can't Wait For Hairspray To Hit Theaters!

Because it will mean I'm one day closer to the end of those commercials with John Travolta in a fat suit. 'Twil be a glorious, joyous day.

I'd also like to salute the nascent genius who concocted the wildly original concept for "Who's Your Caddy". Slobs versus snobs at a country club? What a great idea (tagline), though it was better when Caddyshack came up with it twenty-odd years ago. And, checking plot outline from IMDB, I see the rap mogul main character is from Atlanta, but can't get into a conservative country club in the Carolinas. Why does it have to be in the Carolinas? Are there no ultra conservative, racist country clubs in Georgia? I'm looking at you, Augusta National.

Friday, July 06, 2007

In Today's Penis Enlargement Email...

It's hard to imagine the conversion rate for the hordes of penis enlargement emails coming from former soviet states and other eastern bloc IP's. If you're sending to millions at a time, how many click through to your site?

Well, there's one thing I'm sure of: you could be doing a lot better. Punch up the writing a bit and stop leaving money on the table.

Phrases like "Now your phallus will be in the center of all womens eyes, and you will fill yourself like a Real Man!" don't hit home. I like the use of phallus; it's a classy touch and classy guys, such as me, appreciate that. Being the center of all womens eyes may sound nice, but what does it really mean?

As for filling myself (like a Real Man), well, it's starting to sound like work, and I'm just not in the mood for that. I'm reading your email in search of a quick fix; if I was interested in doing work I might as well address the glaring personal flaws and emotional depth charges waiting to detonate. And why is Real Man capitalized like a proper noun -- is there a recognized group of Real Men I'm being compared to? If so, I'd consider trademarking the name as a show of legitimacy. But that's me.

However, lyrical majesty such as, "Be ready to any imagination!" is clearly perfect - don't mess with success.

I'm thinking, with my skills, I could find some really gainful employment over there. I would settle into some nice hovel and polish copy bound for millions upon millions of email users. I'd be famous. No, wait, I'd be infamous.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Bringing out the big guns.

Yes, this is a shamefully cute picture of my dog, Jersey. The little scamp stole into our lives this past December via the Durham APS. Early estimates pegged her as an Akita, then Corgi, and even Chow(?!). I guess we'll never know how she or her three sisters ended up in the shelter.

Since there was no interest in a bear-killing Akita, the pups didn't get much attention until their pen was re-labeled "Corgi". As a marketer, I can attest to the power of a label. After some basic google research, my best guess is Basenji mutt. She has the exact head and neck structure of the barkless East-African hunting dog, but she managed to retain a plenty loud bark. Her color does suggest some sort of shepherd influence.

She is decidedly smart, which is, to say, that she evaluates requests based on her potential benefit. Yes, she weighs the pros and cons of obeying my order before doing so or merely walking off. Her most powerful trick is those manipulative puppy dog eyes.

Well, she seems to have topped off at 36lbs and a healthy "medium sized" label. Her first couple weeks were marked by the violent sickness which followed eating our butterfly bush. The overdose of medication from the vet had an even worse effect, making a punch-drunk, stumbling puppy which nobody was sure would recover. Horrible holiday season, wondering will my puppy live to see the new year. Thankfully, she came out of her stupor the day after xmas and steadily improved into the energetic little shit she has become.

The house will never be the same.

Click HERE to see more pics of Jersey and the rest of my gallery.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Brilliant Drivel?

Check out the wicked bad corporate speak I came up with for our networking referral push:

The network is an important commodity these days; seemingly ubiquitous telecom commercials extol the power of their network and social networking websites are more popular than ever. Whether you manufacture routers or sell widgets, leveraging the potential in your network makes smart business sense.

Pretty slick for a film major...hopefully it won't spill over into my script.

Wedding Season

Those older, and potentially wiser, than I will snicker in delight to hear how wedding season has descended upon me. I agree, I should have seen this coming. Apparently one's mid to late twenties are reserved for painful career realizations and an expensive string of wedding invites.

This year's slate includes two good friends and one cousin. I already had to pass on another cousin's nuptials back in April due to work conflicts (and the fact it was being held in Orlando on Easter weekend).

Wedding #1
Mike and Mary. Early August. The wedding is in Buffalo, which means I'll spend every waking second before and after the ceremony/reception driving around the city at top speed to visit the various relatives I've not seen since xmas.
Upside: great friends, happy to be there for them
Downside: whirlwind weekend with no rest

Wedding #2
Lou (Chris) and fiance. Early October. Detroit. DETROIT?!? WTF? I've never been to Detroit - had this wedding not come up, I would probably never go to Detroit. Cousin Lou, who goes by Chris (note to self: resist urge to call him Ludacris), is marrying a girl from Michigan. Before telling me how awful I am for not knowing her name, consider the facts: Lou/Chris is only a year or two older than me, grew up less than five miles away from my house, yet I never met him until I was in my mid twenties because of a family grudge. How's that for dysfunction?
Upside: participating in a family event
Downside: Detroit in October, participating in a family event

Wedding #3
Kyle and Erin. Late October. This lovely couple takes me to Canton, Ohio, for their special day. Umm, yeah.
Upside: wonderful couple, all the friends staying in one hotel will mean trouble (read: fun)
Downside: it's in Canton, Ohio, and all the friends staying in one hotel will mean trouble (read: trouble)

We'll see if the checkbook and/or mental fortitude will be there to propel me through the upcoming schedule. I'm sure I'll take some nice pictures which I can then sell to my friends for intensely marked up "materials" fees. So it's not a total loss.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Jeep Grand Cherokee vs Toyota 4Runner

I've recently had the experience of taking several road trips in rental vehicles and thought it was time I share my feelings with the world. I have not looked at the specs for either; I don't know the horsepower or cubic feet of storage. This is based on feel over stats.

The Jeep was used for a 12 hour NC to NY drive, while the Toyota made the shorter 9 hour voyage to NJ - both trips gave me plenty of wheel time to evaluate the SUV's. I suppose I should add a disclaimer acknowledging that these were rentals, and perhaps mistreated. Onward!

Engine - Slight edge to the Jeep. The 4Runner seemed to work a lot harder getting up to freeway speed. The Jeep was also had a bit more grunt leaving the stoplights.

Handling - Jeep wins decisively. The Grand Cherokee showed far less lean and provided far greater road feel through the steering. I felt much more in control, hence, safer. The Toyota felt far more top heavy than the Jeep, and steering was pretty uncommunicative. Both drove like trucks, but one (Jeep) felt far safer.

Style - This is purely subjective, but I'd take the Jeep any day of the week. The slanted rear window may have cut into carrying capacity but the outward lines were very pleasing. The 4Runner was a little boxier, a lot more bland.

Interior Comfort - Hard to pick a winner in this category. Both had decently supportive seats and a nice driving position. The 4Runner did, however, have annoying orange gauges.

Cargo - This might be an unfair comparison as I seriously loaded up the 4Runner. It did seem to have more room, probably due to the vertical rear gate rather than Jeep's previously mentioned slanted window, but I had to remove the third row seat to take advantage of it. Because I'm an overgrown 9 year old, I jumped in the third row seat to see how it felt. I would feel terrible strapping a stuffed animal into these things, let alone a child. This is not a seat. They were also a pain in the ass to put back in. Granted, it was my first time attempting to do so. So, 4Runner bigger, but took more work to exploit the size.

Other - I give the Toyota big points for the powered window in the tailgate. I subtract even more points for having an archaic footbrake rather than a handbrake. Might seem trivial to you, but I hate those fucking things. The Jeep offered a direct input for the iPod, which obviously scored well with me. The 4Runner did not, but played mp3 cd's, which meant I had to specifically burn a few mp3 discs for the trip. Not a big deal, but plugging in the iPod is so much easier.

Verdict - I'm obviously picking the Jeep. Not even a close comparison. I was expecting the Japanese half of this comparison to do so much better...yet I was wrong. Toyota is becoming rather bland. GM kind of bland. And I should give credit to the team at Jeep - this is a truck I would definitely consider buying.

Keep an eye out for my luxury rental showdown: Cadillac vs Lincoln.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I Made a YouTube video, how 2.0 of me!

Holy crap. I've made a video on youtube. We got our new Big Bronto and held some sort of pagan inflation ritual. Pretty typical Tuesday.

Monday, June 04, 2007

In Search of Greatness

A life of import, of value - giving more to the world than I take. This is what I want. Is this what everyone wants?

I wonder if most wish for a simple life of family and comfort, an enjoyable string of moments with friends and loved ones, only rarely punctuated by the tragic and harsh realities of being a modern being. What do they, "the most", really want?

And what of the others, those who will be known far and wide as having donated a piece of their being to the rest. Is it real, genuine, sincere? Or are the great contributors nothing more than a collection of insecure ego-maniacs desperate to defeat death, their own mortality, by creating an indefatigable legacy? Was Ghandi unsure of himself, lacking the paternal love and affection he needed? Am I a great contributor to-be, or merely a delusional everyman bearing dreams of greater weight than my motivation and talent can carry?

The seeking of fortune is hardly unique; it is the hunger for prestige which eats my brain.

Rant inspired by this recent post.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Duke, Why I Hate Thee So...

February 7th was a personal holiday, as is Marth 4th. Carolina vs Duke, right vs wrong, good vs evil. At least that's the way it feels.

As I paced my living room and hurled obscenities at Carolina's inability to deny wide open 3's, I realized how much I hate Duke. Where does this come from?

It started, in part, alongside my contempt for Notre Dame. The children of my Buffalo (NY) suburb bought up all the Notre Dame hats and Starter jackets they could get their grubby little digits on. Why? Why support a bunch of catholics in Indiana? You're not going there for school, you'll probably never even visit South Bend. Why? Because they latched onto a winner (this was before ND's decline).

Duke went through a similar process. After a few Final Fours and national titles, everyone in Buffalo was a Duke fan, or seemed to be at least. I wasn't; I could sense the evil that seeped from the pores of Coach Kryzssessdkwiervnmc,asasd##$ski. This was before I knew where Duke was, or who went to Duke, or why I logically shouldn't like them. I just knew. The stench of Satan was upon them.

Later I would move to North Carolina, go to school at UNCW, and live in Chapel Hill. I fell into the Tar Heel fan base, and I fell hard. There was something special about that team in 2002-03. The 19-16 squad showed flashes of the brilliance that would cut down the nets in 2005. And with this new UNC obsession fandom, it would be easy to hate Duke as the rival, as the spoiler. That's probably why many UNC fans can't stand them.

Let's get to the meat of my Blue Devil disdain. It's not the players; they are probably the ones I like the most over at Duke. They are, for the most part, less talented players (than UNC) who play very well as a team. Their intensity is typically quite high and, perhaps most importantly, they believe they can win. I don't hate them for that.

Mike Krzzzcwer,cnnbwerou::nnmski, while looking like a Blue Devil, is a very talented coach. Can't deny that. I may not like his constant bitching to the refs (you already get the majority of calls), but he always constructs a formidable, confident team out of players who probably won't do well in the NBA.

Finally, here it is, I hate the Duke students. I can't stand them. Living in Durham and Chapel Hill in the last few years has given me many chances to deal with these people on a regular basis. Duke is referred to as the University of New Jersey at Durham, and that is accurate. Many, possibly most of the student population hails from NY, NJ, and other Northeastern states. I have nothing against the Northeast, I did grow up there, but these aren't middle class kids. No, a quick peek at student parking proves what you already thought: these are the progeny of the wealthy. They are elitist, arrogant, rich little bastards. Many will acquire jobs purely through family connections, others will massage the alumni network for an entry into their field of choice. The lone upside is that Duke graduates are far less likely to remain in the area, thank god.

What do I hate about Duke? I hate seeing their student base going insane in Cameron Indoor. I see unity there, I see cooperation. I see exclusivity. It's a representation of the way they will continue to maintain the barriers; to gobble up the lion's share of the pie, not that they earn it, but because they feel entitled to life's spoils through fortunate birth. The basketball becomes part of the background, all I see is thousands of brats celebrating the genetic lottery. Duke is the epitome of "who you know" counting for more than "who you are". As a middle class kid raised on the idea of meritocracy, Duke is the dispelling of the myth. The proof. And I hate Duke.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Somewhere Only We Know?

This guy on American Idol just sang a Keane song. Another sign of the end days? That was actually entertaining...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Paleontologist is also a Creationist

The science world is all a titter with the outing of this apparent heretic, a phd candidate who studies paleontology and also takes a literal belief in scripture. And why shouldn't they be?

I feel bad for the guy...because he's an idiot. The Earth is 10k years old? And you wrote a 200 page paper on the abundance and spread of mosasaurs? One of these is clearly a work of fiction. Does either feature wizards or magical beings? Yep. Would either make for a blockbuster movie? Yep.

Now he teaches at Liberty University (Jerry Falwell's bastion of higher learning), where the Liberty University Locusts will take on the University of Phoenix Online Predators in the annual Fraudulent Degree Bowl. Isn't Liberty where the women aren't allowed to make eye contact with males (of any species)? Perhaps I'm thinking of Bob Jones University. Well, in any case, both institutions restrict women from thinking, wearing tight fitting undergarments, or menstruating.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Fox Business Channel will be pro-corporation?

The NYT reports that Fox's new business channel will be friendlier to corporations, according to big cheese Rupert Murdoch. Seriously? Friendlier to corporations?

Murdoch went so far as to say they'll be “more business friendly than CNBC” who apparently likes to “leap on every scandal." Finally the consumer of business media will have an alternative to the bra-burning radicals over at CNBC.

Fox is so clearly pro-government, pro-republican (the anti-govt party, btw), anti civil liberties, and pro-business, that this announcement only makes me wonder how much friendlier they can get.

Perhaps Neil Cavuto will be dispensing handjobs to the all those corporate troopers suffering under CNBC's tyrannical outing of financial impropriety.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Un-fucking-believable. We lost to the bottom of the barrel, the scum of the conference. We (not me, I just watched) lost to fucking State. Classic look-ahead game; UNC was thinking about Duke, not the under-estimated Wolfpack.
So, State fans, we'll see you in March. Oh wait, you won't be there. Have fun in the NIT, if you get in. It's a long road up from where you are.
Yes, I'm really bitter about this.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Favorite Movies?

I was thinking about it over the weekend. How do I rank? By story,
craft, acting, all the above? Or just in my enjoyment? What about
watchability--will I watch it repeatedly? That might not be fair. The
Usual Suspects was great to watch the first time, but not nearly as good
again. Should I be ranking the first watch? Because Tenenbaums got
significantly better over time. I'm going to say it's a combination of
all of these. Maybe five isn't enough.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Dr. Strangelove
The Royal Tenenbaums
Requiem for a Dream
Fight Club

Friday, December 01, 2006

The World is Spinning Too Fast

Today's harbinger of the apocalypse: the senior citizens collected around a table at the mall...most wearing a Bluetooth headset.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Thieving Bastards

Email from me to my coworkers. Company wide broadcast. I think it speaks for itself.

Dear Thief,

You have defiled the sanctity of my workspace; I can no longer labor in unperturbed peace and tranquility. You have thrown a rock into a still pond; kicked a sleeping dog; whizzed on the electric fence.

You stole my trash can.

If returned promptly there will be no (or perhaps minimally hostile) questions asked. I appreciate your cooperation in this matter, and I hope your thieving heart keeps you awake with the tell-tale knock of the damned.

Thanks in advance-

Monday, October 09, 2006

Can You Smell It?

If there was a weekend, there was home improvement. Karen and I spent the two-day reprieve from work doing, well, more work. Unsatisfied with the pale blue color we initially chose, it was time to replace it with something more fun. After some deliberation we settled on a Ralph Lauren color called Loft. It's a gray that leans toward blue. It's not nearly as drab as it sounds. Coat 1 went on Saturday, coat 2 on Sunday. Looks great. And this brings us to the point of the story. Paint.
Paint smells. Cheap paint smells worse. But, after two days, the smell didn't even register....we even slept in there. After work today, I opened my bedroom door to be knocked down by the smell of fresh paint. The smell was no different, I was.
Has this happened with my family? My friends? Everyone I know is drastically different than they were five years ago; some own houses, have kids, bought fancy cars, got engaged. These gradual changes are noticed, yet not always absorbed. Parents get older, grandparents older than that. Wrinkles deepen and steps slow. The world goes on.
I stand on the precipice of a life changing event. It's going to be brutal, gut wrenching. I can do nothing but move forward with dread in my heart. And when it's over, I'll have no choice but to push on. Now I ask you to step back, smell the paint. Take stock of those in your life, and of those you've lost touch with. Think of them, connect, cherish. Today, do it today...tomorrow comes faster than we think.

Need something to listen to? Check out Half Acre, by Hem. It's the best track I've heard this year. Soulful, moving, touching. Beautifully orchestrated, and the voice of Sally Ellyson is a indelible. Unbelievable.

Monday, September 18, 2006

You spin me right round baby right round...

Some people spend their weekend relaxing, recovering from a hard fought week at work. Me? I spent my weekend on a ladder, hanging four ceiling fans in three bedrooms. That's right, four into three. Confused? I'll break it down for you.
Here is the light which previously graced all three bedrooms-

Step one, turn off master bedroom power via circuit breaker. Plain and simple, I don't mess around with electricity. I could picture myself being propelled through the upstairs window by an errant wire touch. A little paranoid, sure, but I saw One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at a young age and was deeply frightened by the shock therapy.
The first fan looked good:

On to the next bedroom. Same $10 light fixture in this room gets taken down. I put up a fan previously in the living room. I'm moderately surprised I was able to take the fan down, keep all the screws together, and re-mount it in a different room with no problems. It matches the guest room bed, which my wife assures me is a very good thing. What happens if they don't match? I shudder to think....but I bet it includes another trip to Home Depot. Here is the used fan in it's new location:

Onto the third bedroom. There was an initial period of concern as to the weight bearing ability of the electrical can in the ceiling. It seemed to flex more than the other rooms, leading to me to worry about a late night, potentially cat-crushing fan collapse. The existing light comes down with no fuss. Fan housing goes up:

I'm about to add the blades when Karen walks in...starts laughing.
"Is that a bit too low?"
"What do you mean?"
"Get down from the ladder and look."
Back on the ground, I look up and realize that our new fan hangs into the space my head usually occupies in the room. I think my homeowner's insurance could potentially be voided by any fans which operate at "scalping" height for people 6' or taller. Hmm. Problem. Fan comes down, goes back in the box.
Back in the master bedroom, it's now dark enough to see the light produced by the fan is very....yellow. It only takes the piddly candelabra bulbs and there are no "Reveal" or "true light" bulbs to help out. After a night's evaluation, the decision is easy. The fan comes down and goes back to the Depot.
The replacement fan is chosen more for its practical lighting capacity rather than pure style. We weren't crazy about having a white fan, but four 60w bulbs illuminate the room like the inside of a Xerox machine. It's almost too bright.

We like it, it works, it stays. I've also hung a nice track light, chandelier, two kitchen lights, and three hall lights. Got electrical questions? I honestly might be smart enough to help. And I damn sure know that hanging lights and fans is much more enjoyable than painting. Damn I hate painting.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Relocation, adulthood, childhood, cell phones, and music.

It's been a long time. Long, long time. I considered putting this blog out of its misery and moving forward with something entirely new. But I still like what's been done here...and I want it to be accessible to future readers (if any).
The quarterlife crisis which has plagued some of my friends, and missed others, has been visited upon my head for two years now. If, at 27, I'm still in quarterlife, I should live to be 108. Sounds like a good number to me. I haven't done much yet, and I'm going to need time to complete the things on my list. Do you want to see the list? Well you can't. Not yet. Perhaps on our second date, after you grab my ass but before you put your hand up my shirt, I'll let you see the fabulous goals on the list.
The wife and I have relocated to Durham, NC, after a two year stint in the Northeast. NJ was too expensive, Buffalo too economically depressed. Though I'll always have a very warm spot in my heart for the city of Buffalo, I can't start a life somewhere knowing full well that my house will never appreciate, and finding a new job could take half a year. Mix in the reality that my previous employer was outsourcing faster than we could spell "Philippines", and you can see why that didn't work out. I've taken up employment with a software company in downtown Durham, working as the Executive VP of Technical Support. Okay, the tech support team is brand new, and I'm the only one on the team, so I can give myself whichever title I choose. Although the CEO did bristle when I suggested Supreme Exalted Ruler and Strategic Commander of Technical Support. Apparently our business cards don't have room for all that blah blah blah. It's a good job, which I'll explain more about in future posts.

I'm a little lost on this one. I have a mortgage, two car payments, two cats, a wife, a big TV, and a new patio set...but I don't feel all that grown up. I like wearing suits, yet I still feel like a little boy playing in his dad's clothes. Much attention has been thrown at the rise in arrested development: a whole generation refusing to act its age. Isn't this an age old phenomenon? Every generation feels the one after it doesn't know how to behave? Feels like just yesterday I was 20 years old, driving around in my new Jeep without a care in the world.

I always pictured myself having children someday. Now I'm not so sure. I'm obviously not ready now; the wife and I are still enjoying each other, and spending our money on fun stuff together. My worry now is when I do feel ready, will it be cruel to the child? Think about your childhood. If you grew up in the suburbs, do you remember spending every warm day outside? Running through the woods? Playing hide and seek in the twilight? Today's kids are media saturated, watching DVD's and playing video games. I never see kids in my neighborhood out playing. They're there, I see them shuffling from minivans to front doors, but they are never out playing. Why not? Is the world so less safe for kids than it was in the 80's? I'm not sure where this rant is headed, and the further I go, the more I think I'm sounding like an old guy complaining about how things just aren't what they used to be (which doesn't mean I'm wrong).

Cell phones:
Damn, I hate these things. I've had one since I was 19, but I still hate it. I hate having to listen to someone else's conversation everywhere I go. I hate having to watch extra careful for people driving and talking...and inadvertently merging, swerving, braking, and otherwise being a fucking menace. I hate seeing young kids with their own phone. I hate cell phones.

Earth Wind & Fire, September. This is my song of the day. Great mood, great feeling. Good times.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

What'd You Call Me?

I've worked here for nearly two months and things have gotten comfortable. Routines established, people avoided, personality blemishes tolerated. Then someone has to undo the nettings and mix everything up.

The lunchlady referred to me as "this kid." That's right, we have two or three lunch ladies for our cafe(teria) who run the register and stock the styrofoam cups next to the soda fountain. They don't, however, have any jurisdiction over noise levels or leaving the cafe(teria) to use the bathroom. I've had no beef with any of them until now. Kid? You can't call me that. I'm a professional. The boundary between service industry and professional what-ever-it-is-that-I-do has just been violated. Defamed. Toed. Perhaps I'm too sensitive.

My boss gave me a watch for a xmas gift. Pretty sweet, right? I thought so...until I realized it was a woman's watch. No, I'm serious. It's for a woman. I'm a man. Perhaps my boss doesn't know that. Perhaps slashing his tires and defecating on his laptop will clear things up. Perhaps seeing my coin purse swaying to-and-fro while I squeeze stool onto his Thinkpad will serve as suitable notice of my masculinity.

Then again, being fired (and potentially prosecuted) this close to xmas wouldn't play well to the wife. I can hold a grudge until January.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Daily Trials

Breaking our self imposed rule on not eating in restaurants, the wife and I met up for lunch at the Olive Garden near her office. We got a table within five minutes. Server came by, took the order, brought back salad and breadsticks. And then, nothing. We waited nearly 40 minutes without seeing hide nor hair of our server. With the lunch break draining into nothingness, I got the credit card ready and tried to flag down anyone I could find. A food runner arrived with our meal, which we asked to be immediately boxed. Our server magically appeared and asked if she could run the cedit card in my hand. No explanation. No apology. Nothing. She returned the card and receipt and simply walked off. I'm sorry, did I do something wrong? Is it taboo to get pissed about lunch taking 40 minutes? Perhaps an hour is the new industry standard. Oh well. Ugly service begets ugly tips, and for once I don't feel the slightest bit bad.

After lunch I had to hit the downtown post office to retrieve a package needing a signature. At the counter was an interesting specimen. Male. About 40 years old. Five foot five. Bleach blonde 80's metal mullet...with the back side having a triangle (yes, three sided polygon) of reddish brown hair in the middle. Grey pinstripe suit from Goodwill. Grey shoes from your grandfather's closet. Black gloves with the fingers cut off.

As I waited in line, this fine fellow spends 10 minutes reviewing every stamp for sale in the branch. After holding a few up at arms length, our philatelic friend finally opts for the biplanes. Thinking my time had come, I nearly started moving when the collector says "Now I've got to pick out something for Mother." What? Who goes out to the downtown post office at 3 o'clock in the afternoon on a fucking weekday to collect stamps for mother? This guy. That's who. This guy.

Please don't ask why I have time at 3pm on a weekday to go to the downtown post office. It is my local branch though. Whatever.

Today's must have track is Shadowlands by Bruce Hornsby. It can be found on the soundtrack for Spike Lee's Bamboozled. Shockingly beautiful song. The overall tone consistently makes me think of fall nights in the West Village of NY. I've never lived there, but the narrow tree lined streets always come to mind. Such is the power of music.

I suppose it has more to do with the power of art. The trailer for RENT came on the other night and I could feel the tears forming in my eyes. Why? I've seen the show several times and the movie will be a near exact production (as far as I can tell). Something about the music, the story, the overall feeling of hope always gets me in the soft spot. The story of Jonathan Larson is part of it. He devotes something like 8 years of his life to write this show and try to put it on. Finally successful in getting a major production, he dies less than 24 hours before opening night. An aneurysm hits while heating up some water on the stove. Dead on the kitchen floor. He never sees the critical and commercial smash hit that his show would become. I can't tell if that's the ultimate demonstration of the Buddhist belief that life is suffering, or if it's the perfect proof of fate and order in the universe. My head spins when trying to reason through that one. That's what I want though. To create something immortal; something that brings people to their knees with hope and appreciation for life. Jonathan Larson lives forever. On stage, every night.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Fell Off The Wagon

It's a damn good thing I'm not an alcoholic...because yesterday I wouldn't have fallen off the wagon, I would have flipped it over, burned it to the ground, and then shot the driver. It was that kind of day.

"You are not your job."

My new job, which will be another 'rat in the cubicle maze' kind of thing, was scheduled (please say this with a British accent: shed-eweled) to begin today 10/24. While I was not eager to get up before the sun and come home in the dark, I do need the money. And I'm ready to work hard for the money, so hard for it honey. Fate had other plans. Start date has been pushed off to the first of November. Looks like time to sell those DVD's after all.

"You are not your khakis."

I took my car for a state inspection. They promised it would be in the garage within 15 minutes. They lied. I stewed. The car finally goes in and I keep reading. Billy Service Advisor comes out to ask for the wheel lock key. Fuck me running. I don't have it--VW neglected to include it when selling the vehicle. I've known this for about 4k miles, and yes, I should have had it taken care of well before now but I'm lazy about things...even those things that could strand me on the side of the road with a flat tire right when some psychotic killer with a hook breaks out of a nearby mental hospital for the criminally insane. The inspection was nixed and I went outside while they pulled the car out of the garage. Five minutes. Ten minutes. Fifteen minutes. Finally the door opens and the car is produced. The tech gets out and starts to walk away. I noticed the 8 x 10 red plastic sign hanging from my ignition that says "Loose Lug Nuts". Here's the exchange:
Me: (pointing at the red sign) Is this yours?
Tech: It's your car.
Me: No, the Loose Lug Nuts sign.
Tech: What?
Me: This giant red thing that says Loose Lug Nuts.
Tech: That's not yours, we need that back.
Me: I know it's not mine. I don't want it. Are they loose?
Tech: Are what loose?
Me: The lug nuts.
Pause. Blank stare.
Tech: Nah.

Apparently deeming this to be a done deal, he turns and retreats to the garage. I gently pull away, calling information for a personal injury attorney nearby.

"You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake."

This blog will be moving over to its own site in the very near future. You might ask why I would put in that kind of effort since nobody actually reads this. And you'd be right. But I want a bigger space to showcase photography, finger paintings, film projects in the works, and other things that I haven't even imagined yet. It's going to be great.

Here's a new feature that I'll start here: track of day.
Today's track is "My Doorbell" by The White Stripes from their album Get Behind Me Satan. I'm not a huge fan of the stripes, but this song always lifts my mood. It's got some Jackson 5 flavor with the guitar traded in for piano. End result: check it out.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Another Waiter Thing

The movie Waiting has made me reflect on my experiences behind the apron. Here is an account of the typical white trash customer:

1.) Walk in with a lit cigarette. It's not like I didn't figure out who you were by the NASCAR hat and the shirt with the arms conveniently missing, but this leaves no room for doubt.
2.) Put all six kids on one side of the booth so you can see the TV in the bar. Brandine can sit on your side though.
3.) Try to be the waiter's new best friend. Be loud, obnoxious, and most importantly...promise to take care of me before I've even gotten your fucking drink order.
4.) Have me specify which drinks have free refills and which do not.
5.) Two kids meals for six kids. "Brandine don't want nuthin but I'll have that $1.99 side salad with what kind of dressin' you like baby? Right, ranch. Gimme extra ranch."
6.) Continue the gregarious behavior. Laugh when I bring you two refills this time so as not to wear out my shoes by the time you leave through constantly refilling your Coke.
7.) Optional. Order the biggest thing on the menu, eat half, send the rest back.
8.) Less friendly now.
9.) Berate the manager over how awful the 24oz steak was and why didn't it come with any shrimp even though those cute little tails on the plate came from somewhere.
10.) Eat 90% of the free dessert even though your five kids and the other kid whose daddy you ain't, but you don't know that, look on with hungry eyes. And no, I can't feel the distance between you and I.
11.) Drop the severely discounted check. All happiness gone. In fact, you look like you're ready to throw me over the bar. Angrily try to compute the bill on your own, convinced there is some mistake, and then remember that you can barely add. Brandine does the math and realizes that the computer is, in fact, not ripping you off. Get angry with Brandine for taking my side. Throw down a $100 bill and demand change.
12.) Drop off change. An unlit cigarette is dangling from your mouth. You quickly grab a single and happily pronounce that it's for me. I don't even smile anymore. You wrangle your kids and common law wife out of the booth and light up the cigarette just inside the front door, much to everyone's displeasure.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005