Fire, Fire on the Water

Sunday, May 30, 2010 | 9 Comment(s)

This oil spill has really got me upset. I know when i start avoiding the internet news on a subject that its worked its way into my consciousness. Between all the elaborate silly names of the possible solutions for stopping the leak ("the top hat", "the top kill", the golf balls and old tire plug) and the unbelievable destruction continuing to pour into the gulf, i think we can all agree on one thing. . . if there is a god, he/she hates Louisiana. (now I don't hate Louisiana--don't get confused). This is a state that has flooded, burned, been looted, and then, the one industry still hanging on by a thread, fishing, gets decimated by the biggest friggin oil spill of all time. All kidding aside, it really is a gruesome scene and my heart goes out to the people just trying to live through the constant shit-storm unleashed upon them.
Is it better or worse that we have a free video feed of the oil gushing out into our ocean?

And then there is BP. The "oh, did we forget to perfect the ol "kill switch" that could have kept this from happening until after the fact. Oopsie. We thought those were "suggested regulations." The BP that hired contractors to do their work for them, and then tried to use that as an excuse for not having culpability for the negative affects of the drilling. Jigga-what? So wait, so if everything had gone according to plan and the oil had gone into barrels, that would have been the contractors' oil first and foremost? Oh, i don't think so. It's your oil. and therefore, its your responsibility.

But on a slightly deeper level, I wonder how the BP execs can live with themselves. I mean its easy to think of CEO's of big companies (especially oil companies) as larger than life super-villain types with a cane, lap-pet, and weird accent--but in truth, they are still human. So here's the question: You, as the BP execs, know that you just led to the destruction and killing of pretty much the entire gulf of mexico. That's a good portion of the earth to destroy. And since these are not, one hopes, super-villains at heart, and therefore world destruction is not (officially) their motivation, how does it feel to be responsible for that much death. Personally, I'm not sure I could handle it. I'm pretty sure I would have a breakdown and get committed or something. I bet when their those exec's moms and dads were raising them, they didn't say, "i sure hope our kid grows up to rape nature and kill wildlife." (Tangential sidenote: female ducks get raped so much [by male ducks not oil execs] that they have a fake vagina that they direct offending duck penises into, to avoid getting pregnant. Cool huh.)

I wonder if, as those CEO's lay their heads down on their down pillows, if they think about how many birds (et al.) they killed in order that they my rest so peacefully. Most of all, i wonder if all of this makes them sad. Not for the money lost, or the PR nightmare--but because of how much destruction they've directly contributed to. Or is the world, to them, collateral damage.
It IS this bad.
and it's still gushing. . .


Friday, May 28, 2010 | 1 Comment(s)

It's been 8 days since my last confession. Oh life, how you sometimes get in the way of my life.

I'm back to swimming. I took a break from the pool because I got a tattoo over spring break (im waiting to write about it later) and they said you should wait 3 weeks before exposing the tattoo to chlorine et al. And since I am pretty overwhelmingly neurotic about things that will be around forever, I decided to wait twice the allotted time before jumping back into doing laps. Unfortunately, not swimming for a month and a half had my stress at "need to punch people" level. After two days of swimming i can already feel the emotional difference.

As I was getting into the pool today, all the lanes had a 1 person in them, so I chose the lane with the "quietest" swimmer, and asked him if he minded if I split the lane with him (this is both standard and common procedure). The man was about 80 years only, and he took off his goggles and squinted at me and said, "Well, yes I do mind, but I don't really have a choice."

An unbelievably rude response to a totally reasonable request. But thankfully, I have less and less patience for people lacking in basic social skills, and I also have no problem reflecting their lack of social skills right back at them. So my response, immediately following his remark, was, "You are absolutely right," and jumped in.

Later in the day I went to the coffee shop to work and saw this at the intersection:
Yup, that IS an accident between a city bus and an armored truck. Pretty epic. I think this might have to be the blog's first ever caption contest!!! In the comments write your favorite caption to the picture and ill choose a winner for an undisclosed future prize.

I think ill end this post with some advice. Some time during this long weekend (if you're in america reading this) try to find an activity or lack of activity that makes you feel like this:

Pills, Pills, & a Platypus

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 | 1 Comment(s)

Odds and Ends.

1.  As long as I got started on steroids, I feel i should give some closure to the subject.  Steroids taste like acidic shit.  Really bad.  Like, just using water to swallow them isn't enough to mask the horribleness, gross.  I've been chugging OJ with the pills just to avoid the gray death of the taste.  I can kinda see why people would inject em instead of taking them orally. (yes readers, I fully understand that these and HGH are a different kind of steroids.) 

2.  On the subject of pills . . . One of my friends (who i promised anonymity to in exchange for getting to retell this story) offhandedly mentioned to me that, as a teenager, his friends had convinced him to take ruffies.  Yes, those ruffies--the date rape drug.  He clarified that it wasn't that his friends all ganged together to get him to take the drug, but rather, they all convinced each other that they should try ruffies.  And here is when i started laughing pretty uncontrollably.  Because, to me, the idea of a bunch of 16 year olds all splayed out unconscious in one of their basements--just unconscious for the thrill of being unconscious--is hilarious.  They ruffied themselves!  Oh what will the kids think of next--no more getting drunk and getting laid, now they take drugs and lie motionless together across the floor. Great tableau.

3. On the subject of lying motionless . . . do other people out there have set "sleeping positions."  Body positions that you have pre-set in your mind, that you know you can fall asleep in?  I have a whole bunch, and i even have pre-final-sleeping-position-sleeping positions.  One of my favorite of these i call "the platypus."  This position is often utilized just after entering bed and its power is in its ability to seem immediately comfortable--as if i could lay that way all night--even though i know i can't.  It's called the platypus, because like the animal (a mammal that lays eggs, has webbed feet, a duck bill, a venomous claw, etc.) it has a little bit of everything and is altogether a bit strange.  For your consideration:

The Platypus:

Laying on my front, my left leg is stretched straight down to the end of the bed.  My right leg is bent at a just greater than 90 degree angle at the hip, and the knee is bent.  There is a 2nd pillow that rests under my right hip joint and right torso and helps align my spine in the position.  (quick side note:  if you have a bad back, and you sleep on your side, sleep with a pillow between your knees.  This ain't a health blog, but that'll make your life better).   My left arm is tucked underneath my chin in a way that (looks like i have myself in, ironically, the sleeper hold) lifts my left shoulder blade to help support my head on the pillow. My right arm and hand join my left hand underneath my pillow and my head.  

Yes.  This is crazy.  But something about the torque it creates feels good.  Like a twisted Gumby toy person after a 5 year-old has had his way with it.  And I relax in that position until either my arm falls asleep or my back realizes that this is not actually good for it.  And then I move into my 1st-sleeping position (prior to the 2nd position--which is the first REAL attempt at sleeping).  But that, is a story for another time. 

It's amazing i get any sleep at all.

Teach Your Children Well

Saturday, May 15, 2010 | 5 Comment(s)

Today is graduation day in Amherst, MA, and you can tell because the only people more entitled than some of these college kids, are their parents.

Example: As I was sitting in the coffee shop working, a couple, woman mid 40's, man early 50's, swept into the shop. The man, beige linen suit, white shirt, cloth tie which ends in a horizontal square cut off (not the traditional diamond tip *douche* cough cough *douche* [ps. im not really coughing]), is holding a take-away cup from a different chain coffee shop. The woman, skirt suit a la Lady Kennedy, takes her seat. The man, meanders a bit near the counter, then decides to leave his empty coffee cup garbage from another establishment exactly where the barristers here put up orders. And walks away. The look on my GF (who was working at the time) was stunned disbelief. And i think she hit it right on the head.

These "adults" are in town to celebrate their children graduating to the next phase of their life. I'm just glad they sent their kids away for college . . . gave them a fighting chance.

Oh, and I took a picture of them, and I'm posting it, cause I'm that mad at their behavior:

Pump Me Up

Thursday, May 13, 2010 | 3 Comment(s)

I am currently on steroids to clear the mucus out of my lungs (you're welcome). I think this is the perfect time to start hitting the gym in order to getting some definition in my lungs. Big muscle-y Schwarzenegger lungs. But then I worry about the side effects. Will my alveoli (they're not nipples sickos) shrivel up like tiny dehydrated wasabi peas? (you're welcome). Cause man o man. not worth it.

The Monster in My Pantry

As I have said before on this blog, my gf is one of the all-time best sneaks in the entire world. I say this in admiration. But, I also have to live with it. So tonight, when I got hungry for something not-so-good-for-me, I had to start looking in the pantry behind some of the more mundane items like flour and garlic cloves (i still love you garlic). She intentionally hides yummy special adult-type mutli grain sea-salted crackers and pretty much anything chocolate chip behind the items she thinks i'm least likely to go near. If there is an eggplant in our house, there is most likely a snickers bar wedged between it and the pantry wall. I'm not kidding folks, she's an evil genius.

So as I was reaching somewhat blindly behind items in the pantry, I recoiled when i felt something that I could only mentally describe in that moment as, "organ-y." Pretty much like the peeled grapes in a bowl as eyeballs trick except I wasn't at I haunted house and it was more "stomach-y" than eye-ball-y.
He's not scary, but he's my FAVORITE monster,if one were to be in my pantry!

What was it? A dead half-eel? A cow tongue? No sillies, it was a half eaten bag of marshmallows!!! And I know what you're thinking, cause I thought it too: She got me AGAIN!!! But to be quite honest, I don't think that's the case in this instance (and ONLY in this instance). Because here is the funny thing about marshmallows; While they will never actually go bad, after a few weeks they just kinda end up all squished into one big marshmallow cloud, and the whole sugary blob just seems so . . . well . . . dusty. And not really appealing. Oh, you better BELIEVE i rocked the shit out of those mallows a few weeks ago when we made smores (they're amazing, in the microwave, like 3 seconds. Do it. Do it now.). But now the whole bag is more . . ."ehh." And I think my gf feels the same way.

this time . . .

Sick Again: Alex Trebek is a Douche

Monday, May 10, 2010 | 6 Comment(s)

So, after being sick just a few weeks ago, my gf and I managed to catch hideous colds on our romantic anniversary weekend in Boston.  Boo-face.  Watching the Red Sox get decimated in the rain surely didn't help our situation either.  So now it's 10pm on Monday and I am delirious from a combination of meds, over-hydration, and frustration.  I'm gonna vent a little.  I need this people. 

I think Alex Trebek is a super huge douchebag.  I have never met the man (nor do i plan on attempting to meet him), but from what I can tell I'd like to jam a champagne-flute right up through his upturned chin.  I mean, all those lame ass accents he puts on when he reads the questions (answers really)--you're not fooling anyone Trebek.  No one thinks you know 35 different languages fluently.  And the way you correct someone when they get a question wrong,  "Oh no no no no, it was the other Pope who gave communion to Napoleon, you silly thing." Fuck off Alex.  You don't know this stuff.  The answers are right on the screen in front of you. 

Here's what I want to see. For one of those celebrity Jeopardy's, have Alex be a contestant instead of the host.  We'll see how many accents he rolls out when the correct pronunciation of the answer isn't piped into his ear-piece (i don't think that happens--apparently he is at least fairly literate). And I would love it if when Trebek gets a daily double and wagers $2000 or whatever strategic amount seems best, the host (let's pretend it's Sarah Silverman--since she was on a recent episode and her comedy fits this fictional situation) just looks at him with disdain and disappointment when saying, "Oh, not going to go for a true daily double???  Too bad.  If you had any amount of gonads you would make it a TRUE daily double.  Oh, what?  You are saying that you are afraid to wager all of your money without being given the answers ahead of time.  DOUCHE"

If I really think about it, perhaps it's not totally his fault.  Like celebrities who grow up constantly pampered until they become sex addicts, cocaine whores, or Tiger Woods, perhaps Alex had no real change of not becoming a douche.  I mean, if you were given all the answers to everything for long enough, you too might believe that you actually knew some of them (or all of them).  But at the same time, isn't Trebek just the quintessential guy at the bar who interrupts conversations he's not a part of just to tell them how they're wrong.  Fuck Trebek.  He's almost as bad as onions.

How do I assuage my hatred for this TV game show disaster you ask?  It's simple.  Every single time I play hangman (and I'm not saying I play it that often these days--but you'd be surprised how consistently this game pops up throughout my life) with every passing letter I picture the guy being drawn with salt and pepper hair, a condescending attitude, and all the answers in the world.  Hang well Alex.  Hang well.

Living the College Lifestyle

Thursday, May 6, 2010 | 8 Comment(s)

Back when i was living in Boston, I dated a girl (let's call her Kristie) whose hotness was only exceeded by her craziness.  This brief affair didn't last too long before she decided to move back to LA, where she came from (oh yah she did).  But, as hot crazy girls have a place in everyone's life, we decided to  keep in touch and see how things went.  About a week in a got from Kristie what has remained to this day the most epic and unbelievable 3 minute voice-mail of all time.  It was shortly after this phone call that i added the "(DNC)" suffix to her name in my phone (The "Kristie DNC" stands for do not call--aka. no matter how drunk you may be, and how good an idea it might seem, DO NOT call this girl--editors note: One should not just replace the person's name with "do not call," because then you don't know which of your "DNCs" is calling--though that may be a good thing--i digress).

The voicemail itself began with how she could see that i obviously wasn't as committed to this "relationship" (3 weeks) as she was and that i was just "living the college lifestyle" (had a job and a nice place with 2 other guys).  She essentially spent about 2 and a half minutes trying to insinuate that i was a huge douche who was playing her, all based on absolutely no evidence (i was not, in fact, doing anything--she had left only 1 week prior--who has that kind of time).  The kicker was, that after this baseless onslaught she ended the message with, "ok, talk to yah later, miss you."  And it wasn't even that reflexive "miss you."  She paused, softened her voice, an lovingly told me she missed me. 

Full.  Blown.  Crazy.

I tell you this blast from my past because another friend of mine mentioned "the college lifestyle" to me today and it reminded me of that debacle (i should mention that you should NEVER EVER make a fool of yourself on someone's voicemail.  That's a recording device folks.  You can play that over and over and over again.  Everytime someone says, "she couldn't of been *that* crazy.  You just pull out your phone and show em.  It actually saved me a bunch of time in the end.  And for those of you saying that it's not nice that I shared it with people, I say A) it's not nice that she shared it with me and B) i don't blog cause i'm perfect.)

I believe the college lifestyle to represent being free from larger responsibility.  College is like life with training wheels, where the decisions you make exist only inside this larger bubble, shielding you from shit like taxes and the debt most people are simultaneously accruing.  And don't get me wrong, college is great.  Super fucking great.  I have my 10 year reunion in a few weeks and i'm super pumped.  I would go directly back to my college days in a heartbeat.  Fo Sho!

But here is my thing.  I'm 31, and while I am still, technically, in college, "the college lifestyle" no longer holds meaning in my life.  What I mean is that while the privilege of a meager stipend and intellectual freedom can be wonderful, when those real life responsibilities--or real life decisions (family? kids? buy a house? etc???--oh shit--i may have just created a panic attack, no, ok, i'm fine)-- are thrust into my reality, school can feel more like sandbags weighing me down, preventing me from reaching my goal (figuring out my goals?).  I've heard a bunch of stuff about "earning potential" and "likely income," and without sounding like an asshole, im ready for  some of my potential to potentiate.  Not the big bucks mind you, but any amount that makes "saving" a possibility. 

Oh, if only Kristie could see me now.

The Value of $2

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 | 0 Comment(s)

I live approx. 100 yards from the local pizza/sub joint. they make both very good pizzas and very good subs (were talking chicken parm). To say I frequent this place is like saying I have a mere acquaintance with my left leg. And here is the thing. The nights when I usually want pizza are the days when I am exhausted and beaten down. And while 100 yards is factually not a great distance, i have just gotten home and I REALLY don't want to go back out.

Is this a classic 1st world problem? Absolutely. But its a problem nonetheless. And the difference between delivery and pick-up is essentially $2.00 exactly (and the personal shame of knowing they just drove across the street to deliver us a pizza).

Which begs the question, what's the value of $2.

And here is my answer: the value of $2, is my sanity. And if spending those few dollars brings me any measure of joy, then its 2 dollars well spent.

Short Poem

you end up
in people.

Panic at the Disco

Saturday, May 1, 2010 | 2 Comment(s)

So last night i scratched off another line on my bucket list as I worked as a bouncer/doorman for a music show at the local coffee shop/bar. I am not one to power trip on such a small amount of authority, and all in all the night was wonderfully uneventful. With an exception.

A guy rolls up, looking about 25, and asks how long I think the band will be playing. I tell him probably til around midnight, and he decides he wants to come in. He pays his five dollars and I ask to see his ID.

When I ask for the ID his entire manner changes from "a guy in control" to "a guy whose just been pantsed." He says to me, "Um . . . ok . . . this is kinda funny but . . . as a joke I put this thing on my driver's license . . ." As he's saying this he pulls out a piece of paper, recognizable as a learner's permit or temporary license. Now, this is already a problem. The city of Amherst, MA is extremely strict in its underage drinking policy (seeing as there are 5 colleges in the area, this does make some practical sense) and they are not above sending undercover agents into bars to try and get alcohol. So, in general, a paper license is already on the "no" side of the spectrum, in term of getting into a bar.

Thankfully, I didn't have to make that call. The "thing" he put on his temporary license was a large-stamp sized sticker of the young Michael Jackson a la Thriller and Bad, which completely covered the space where his digitized picture would be.

That's hilarious

I told him that I obviously couldn't allow that as a valid ID. His response (my favorite part), was to peel back the sticker halfway in an attempt to show me that stuck to the adhesive side of the sticker was the remnants of his digitized face. Surely THAT would be sufficient to be considered photo ID. Um . . . no. He was not thrilled (hehe) to hear that there is no way that a piece of paper, even with the image of the deceased king of pop's black younger self, was getting him into the show.

I only wish we had taken a picture of it. Since I didn't, I'll leave you with this beauty: