The Road Less Able to be Travelled

Monday, May 30, 2011 | 0 Comment(s)

Dear Amherst Roads and Recreation Department,

First off, i don't know if this is your department's actual name.  It sounded good, with the word "roads" in it, and i went with it.  If you are actually the Amherst Town Hall or even the somewhat popularized Park and Recreation Department, i apologize.  Public Works?  These town politic things have always confused me, no offense meant.

Second.  I know what you're thinking.  "this is the guy who is complaining?!? the guy who has gotten like 428 parking tickets."  Yup, its me.  and in my defense, i paid all those friggin parking tickets, even the bullshit ones that resulted from your constantly malfunctioning meters.  I paid those tickets despite the vigilance and number of parking meter attendants you rotate which i feel may boarder on exploiting your own community.  I paid.  And, considering that you've gladly accepted those $4,280 in fees, i think my voice should be of particular importance, though i am firmly aware that it is not.

Here's the thing.  As you know, with the winter being as brutal as it was, followed by wet wet wet wet wetness, the roads have gotten bad.  They got real bad.  Especially those roads that are not exactly considered main roads, but are still integral semi-shortcuts either to the university or to, say, my house.  Potholes that look like they are designed to swallow other potholes.  Potholes that have popped so many of my tires that i keep a spare spare (not a typo) in my trunk for when, not if, the next one pops.  Potholes so large that if Falcor were to come flying out, it wouldn't be that surprising. 

And you know its true.  That's why you guys in Roads and Services slllooooowwwwwwwllllyyy began to patch and then repair some of the worst roads.  Thankfully, you smartly desided to repave the roadways and intersection near my house.  roads that had gotten so bad that the drunk drivers were the only ones who would go straight across the swiss cheese grater of a road, while us sober folks were left veering wildly from the left lane to the right, trying to save our cars an extra season without a cracked muffler.  I'm not exaggerating.  I spent a good amount of time in the left lane on the way home.  I think an oncoming car probably would have hurt my car less than staying in my lane. 

And so you paved.  And sure, you took your time, tearing the blacktop off the gravel below it for a few days (the gravel was MUCH easier to drive on).  And then, like hot fudge coating atop a sundae, you poured that smooth hot black tar evenly across the injured surface -- from the STOP sign to the undamaged portion of the street.  You even were conscientious enough to build a curb to protect the houses from erratic drivers.   And for all this, i say, "thank you. thank you so very much."

But now, unfortunately, we must get to the complaint portion of our program.  And here it is.  You poured that black money-shot of a infrastructure reconstruction about a month and a half ago.  And yet, the seams where the previously intact roads meets the, significantly lower in profile, newly paved roads -- remain (insert where the rubber meets the road joke here).  These seams aren't really a problem if you are driving the direction where you drop from the higher road to the lower, but going the other way, those plateaus essentially become long straight-line potholes, similar to those "Don't Reverse" spikey one-way teeth grates that you see at the entrance to parking lots.  And if you don't slow down from the listed 35 mph to 15 or so, you essentially ruin your car in the very same way that you would have had the potholes just been left in the first place. 

So my question is, "what's the fucking deal people!!!!"  There are 3 such seams on my drive home.  I generally remember 2 of them.  If the point is to get people to slow down, just put in a friggin speed bump.  a bump, not the lazy-persons version of a jagged right angle.  Mmf thinks that you may have run out of money.  If this is the case, i have to think that the blacktop that was used to create the curbs may have better served the community if they were instead allocated to connecting the roads. 

I tend to believe that the tardiness in completing this job revolves around the idea that, if left as is, the repeated weight of cars repeatedly slamming into and over the seam will eventually even it out.  If this is the case, than i must send you all the most genuinely and vigorous, "fuck you so much." And, I only say it that way because it is truly how i feel. 

And so, as we transition into June, i will attempt to be the change i see in the world.  How's this.  From now on, take the money that you get from all of my friggin parking tickets and finish fixing the god damn roads people.  Roads are not like bike tires, where a patch makes it good as new.  a not completely repaired road is still a damaged and dangerous road.

Here's another possible solution. I will start resolving my parking tickets in the same way that you resolve the town potholes.  You send me the ticket.  I pay about 75% ($7.50) of that ticket.  I then break into city hall and rob it of $7.50.  I then wait until you get super duper angry . . . . and then wait some more.

I swear though, the check's in the mail.

14 Years Bad Luck

Friday, May 27, 2011 | 0 Comment(s)

today was a weird day. 

not a bad day, certainly.  but not a particularly great day either (though the bruins are still playing, so we'll see).

And example:

About a month ago i mentioned to mmf that my car's right side mirror was shaking when i got up to speed.  About a week ago, she noticed it was super loose, and pulled it off.  Not the whole side mirror mind you, just the thin slice of mirror that is glued onto the side-mirror console.  And so everything looks normal, except there is no reflection. 

Today on the way to work, i stop at a stop sign and hear a crash like someone had broken a bottle on the pavement off in the distance.  "Someone else's problem," i thought to myself.  I pulled out onto the main road and i am proud to say it was not too long til i glanced at my left side mirror and discovered that it too, and jumped ship. 

That is weird.  right?  So now i can only look behind me with my inside rear view (here's hoping they used better glue on that one) or the ol' head turn. 

Is this the product of 5 year super glue or something.  I mean, whats going on.  I didn't even know those rear-view mirrors had real mirrors on them until a week ago.  Now they are para-trouping off my car like the view outside Gadhafi's compound (oops, are we supposed to wait until after . . . my bad.)

Anyway.  That's the kinda weird its been.  Least it's not boring.

I Just Cant Quit You Newsweek

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 | 3 Comment(s)

about a week ago i wrote about how cancelling my subscription to Newsweek was the best thing i have ever done, in that i both cancelled before it fell to crap and that they continue to send me Newsweek at 100% off the cover price. 

I thought i was done with it.  but then, on friday i get this picture text from mmf.

(im available if you need a Photoshop tutorial)

That's correct.  Another issue of there magazine concurrent with a letter recognizing how long it has been since i last paid for their magazine.  Now you know the letter is from Newsweek because its addressed to "Maltitiyahu".  It's their little pet name for me. 

i absolutely love the text.  its almost a poem onto itself:

it's late.
But not too late.
for the "comeback of the year"!

i can almost hear Shatner reading it.

i assume that in this case the comeback refers to my return to paying for their magazine.  I think i'm a better candidate for best sportsmanship.

Amidst all this poking fun at Newsweek, i looked at the past few issues and saw a strange similarity between their May 16 and May 23 issues.  See if you can pick it out:

you don't even want to know "why the flashlight"

is Newsweek trying to assassinate Cindy McCain?  Maria Shriver?  Todd Palin!?! 

is Newsweek the blindfold pulling the wool over our eyes?

is Newsweek implying that wives are domestic terrorists?

Was Seal Team 6 comprised of politico wives?  (can i even write "Seal Team 6" now that Disney owns it?)

is Newsweek pointing out how the republican's wives hairdos resemble Osama's mustache?

i hope these stories start trending.
i could do this all night. 

One quick thing

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 | 3 Comment(s)

that is all.

Adventures in Wedding Planning: Part One

Monday, May 16, 2011 | 7 Comment(s)

So, by nature of the nickname ('my m'f'n fiance'), mmf and i have begun planning for our nuptials.  But, said nuptuals are still over a year away, so we are still trying to enjoy the process and toss around any wedding ideas that may pop into our heads.  Which is a perfect transition into todays blog topic which is:

"Worst Wedding Idea Possible Suggested by members of the Wedding Couple." Somehow, i am fairly certain that in the coming year, the award will be expanded to include a "by a non-Wedding Couple member" and perhaps a "by Total Strangers" category.  We can only wait and hope.

But lets not get ahead of ourselves.  Yesterday, both mmf and myself got on the board of "worst ideas ever."  Mmf even bested herself in just the first day of play.

MMF's Worst idea #1.   I suggested (half-jokingly) that we have the tables be signified by various power animals.  (this is not the bad part assholes--spirit animals are awesome.  period.).  Mmf then threw out the additional suggestion that guests could then just choose which table they wanted to sit at (presumably by power animal?).  this is a bad idea for a host of reasons.  here are the 2 most obvious to me.

1. This is essentially open seating for the wedding.  Um . . . trust me, if this were a good idea, nobody would spend hours stressing over seating charts.  Ever.

2.  On my own wedding day i would be stuck at the "Chickadee" table all alone, or maybe with an ornithologist who went with the only bird available.  Not cool.

This was her brunch suggestion.  At dinner, she let this one rip:

MMF's Worst idea #2 (and current champion): In a discussion over where we should go to maximize relaxation and pampering for our honeymoon, mmf suggests . . . and i am not making this up . . .  TIJUANA!  I have been to tijuana.  You have a much better shot of getting a great deal on some (perhaps only slightly used) Pampers than you do of actually getting pampered.  You have a better chance getting involved with a huge drug deal than you do of getting a huge deal on a hotel.  You have a better chance of sipping giardiasis than you do of sipping juice poolside. 

I think you get the idea.

My Worst idea #1:  On a car ride home recently, Nine Inch Nail's song Closer came on the radio.  (Note To Parents: Nine Inch Nails is a band name.)  This is a great song.  A really great song.  It's one of the few songs that i voluntarily tell people my *cough cough* college a capella group *cough cough* sang.  Suuuuuuuuure you could argue that some of the lyrics are explicit.  I would argue that almost all of them are.  "I want to fuck you like an animal.  I want to feel you from the inside.  I want to feel closer to goddddd" goes the refrain.  Sure, its not "good christian music," but the genius of the song is in its delivery.  The way they say the words combined with the driving instrumentals, conveys such a primal, human, sexual drive.  It is very "get-able."

Annnnyways.  Here comes the fun part.  I thought it would be hilarious and wonderful to have that be our wedding entrance song . . .

eh . . .

eh . . .

eh . . .

Yah.  Mmf didn't think so either.  And instead of laughing agreement, i received that "Matt, that idea is not as funny as you think and i can't even risk a courtesy laugh because of my fear that you might run with it."  You know the look.  The "that was your worst wedding idea yet" look. 

Message received. 

Barren Forever

Friday, May 13, 2011 | 3 Comment(s)

The best part about cancelling my subscription to Newsweek is continuing to get Newsweek.  Uninterrupted in fact.  Even after the "if you don't respond to this you will have interrupted service" letter.  The next day, boom, a Newsweek with the Olsen twins on the cover (touche Newsweek).

In other news.   I am beginning to annoy myself with the amount of love i have for this dog of mine.  I mean, i am that guy (as opposed to becoming that guy).  And here is what i take from this: I'm pretty sure that i can't have kids.

Hear me out.  At this point, i'm at least pretty sure that nobody wants to see more pics/vids/more pics that i continue to show my friends . . . ad nausea.  This fact hasn't stopped, or even slowed, me from continuing to whip out my phone and brandish pic after pic of puppy excellence.

From what i can tell, kids are like 10x as cute as pups.  or at least narcissisticly, they look like their parents, so they seem 10x cuter.  Same end result . . . picpicpicpicpicpicpicpicpicpicpicpicpicpicpicpic.  And i'm not sure i can do that to all of my loved ones.  I'm not sure i can, with the foresight i have now, subject all of you good people to the level of annoyance that is me with a kid (do you think i should mention any of this to my mmf?).  I owe the world to save them from myself.

Now, i leave open the possibility that one day i will awake with the primal urge to create a smaller version of myself (ahhhh . . . i mean . . . of
mmf).  And if that feeling emerges with a concurrent and similar feeling in my partner, i will have no qualms about trying to put a little parasitic copy of myself to incubate inside my loved one.

But until that point, if that point exists, i will try to hold steady at my current level of annoyingness.  Cause there is no way i'll ever be able to stop from showing you shit like this:

Anatomy of a Whirlyball

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 | 5 Comment(s)

While the title may seem dirty, i assure you that whirlyball is fun for the entire non-pregnant family.

This weekend i journeyed to chicago for a friend's bachelor party.  whirlyball was the main course on the menu of fun.

What is whirlyball you ask.  i am SO glad you asked.  Whirlyball combines . . . jai alai, basketball, lacrosse, and mf'n bumper-cars.  yup.  you heard me right. bumper-cars.

the sport takes place on a hockey rink sized floor with a basketball hoop backboard on either side.  The backboards have no basket or netting on them, and instead have a dodge-ball sized hole in the middle of them.  you pass and then fling (using those middle school plastic jai alai scoops) a whiffle-ball through the hole to hit a sensor which registers a score.  Scoring, i found, to be one of the least fun aspects to shoot (pun) for.  Because, you shouldn't forget, you're in bumper cars!!!!  And the speed is just fast enough to really be able to put a lick'n on your friends.  Especially if they dont see you coming.  And so, in teams of 5 or so, you try to get the ball into the hole.  No using your hands -- ever.

Oh, ps, there are no steering wheels on the cars.  Instead, there is a single crank which loosely guides your car through space (you actually do learn how to control it with some accuracy).  To reverse, rotate the crank one time fast, and you go backwards.  Crank it again to go forward.  this may sound annoying, but it become part of the fun, and allows for one handed steering.

So, you are asking yourself, how could this seemingly perfect sport get even more amazingface?

Another great question.  Well, directly next to said Whirlyball rink is a WhirlyBAR!!!! Whirlyball is where you can go to drink and drive.  Hell, being a drunk driver can actually make you BETTER at Whirlyball, where collisions and heckling are encouraged (note: i do not condone drinking in driving outside of licensed Whirlyball facilities).  I would love to tell you how i got super drunk and ran into everyone, but the truth is i was way too busy playing Whirlyball to have time to stop and drink.  I had one beer.  I'm telling you, this game is that fun.  But, my sobriety did not cut down on the amount of running into other people i did.  not at all.  I feel i was a bit of a defensive force (aka. i couldn't shoot for shit).  I was the Dennis Rodman of Whirlyball (minus Carmen and Madonna).   Lock-down defense combined with some pure aggression and crowd pleasing drive-by's and donuts. 

this is me during a combo donut / drive-by.  cant you *FEEL* the aggression?
By the end, i feel i got good enough to see how this could develop into a more organized team sport.  You could see how spreading the court and having people stay back on defense made you a more effective team.  I mean, we didn't do any of that . . . but i saw how it could have developed.

Instead i spent my time trying to pick up speed and then use that speed to ram someone looking the other way.  Kaboom!  If you hit someone hard enough, this white foamy/feathery stuff came flying out of the bumpers, making it look like you knocked the head off their Rock-Em Sock-Em robot.   And if s/he was on your team . . . ?   it happens.   if the hit is good enough, all is forgiven.  Guilt free aggression.  We all need it.

I, naively, thought that all this fun would come with no consequences at all.  Two days later, however, the top of my quads are stones of immobility from being all squished up and counteracting the impact of the cars smashing me.  I hobbled through the airport like a mannequin with my puppet-master gliding above me, gingerly tapping my feet against the linoleum as progressed past the terminal gates.

Upon my return to Massachusetts, spouting stories of this epic new sports craze, i simultaneously lamented its distance away from me, geographically (it is obviously already in my heart).  And then . . . with one quick search on the google . . . i find:  "Welcome to Whirlyball East Coast"!

Did you get the chills too?   and better yet . . . its in CT, only an hour from where i live.  So it guess the only question to ask now is . . . . Who's in?

Tick-tok and They Don't Stop Biting

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 | 0 Comment(s)

I feel like i must have been an indoors kid.  before the dog.

let me start by saying that i didn't know that my heart would sing when i saw my dog's head hanging out my car window.

i didn't know that when i come home after leaving grover in the crate for a few hours, instead of being resentful of my short lived abandonment, he would just want to press his wiggly little body up against mine for as long as possible in celebration of our reunion.

but i also didn't really know about ticks.

I mean, i knew what a tick was of course.  I knew they existed.  I knew they carried lyme disease (sure fire "you may be Jewish if . . ." you know the disease everything is linked to).  And i guess i kinda knew there was a tick season, though, if pressed i probably would just guess it was the summer (its the spring folks  [maybe summer too . . . gulp?]).

With a dog . . . ticks are prevalent.  And i guess that for people who . . .  ah  . . . do outside things in warm weather, they are always around.  But this is the first time, for me, that they are a solid part of my reality.

Last night, right before going to bed, i found two ticks, back to back, on my dog grover.  not cool ticks.  super not cool.  As i grabbed the first one, sandwiched between a small piece of paper-towel, i found myself with the apple sauce jar full of hydrogen peroxide that we use for tick execution/burial at sea (*osama reference!*) in one hand, and the paper-towel in the other.  And i'm trying to scrap the tick off the towel into the jar.  but those friggin ticks are built to grip.  I hope we use tick-leg technology in our car-tire technology.  cause im sitting there for like 30 seconds trying to scrap this impenetrably shelled sesame-seed-sized piece of turd off this fucking piece of paper towel.  And then, in a moment of 1am clarity, i just tossed the little piece of towel, tick and all, into the peroxide bath.  smart mattiti.  cant believe it took that long to make it to that mental outcome. 

Suffice it to say, i used the same technique when i discovered tick #2.  Buh-bye

And then, as i turned to go back to the couch, i looked down and saw the hugest fucking bug i've seen in awhile (i have seen bigger in Japan).  It looked like that huge lava-shooting horned bug from Starship Troopers

but just a tad bit smaller  
But i think it also may have had wings.  it was solid like one of those fat ol' bumble bees, but twice as big.  It was big enough that i didn't feel a magazine would be a definite one shot kill.  I ended up using a car battery sized box of "greenies" doggie treats on the queen bee.  (sorry insect lovers) but it died so dead. 

and right afterward.  i was shaken.  i was lying in bed, with phantom tick itches, worried that the insect giant was just the probe of some larger bug master race that was propagating in our vent system.  I had flashes of an insect version of Arachnophobia happening in my very own home. 

Sorry mmf.  i know you had to get up early to teach.  but i really needed that bug . . . i mean hug.

"I'mmmmm Mellllllttttttinnnngggggg"

Monday, May 2, 2011 | 0 Comment(s)

It's hard to write a post right now without discussing this whole "we killed Osama" thing going on.  And yet, i don't really feel like going too too deeply into it.   so ill say a few things and move on in my next post.

1. I'm glad he's done with.  I felt much more relieved and maybe even a version of happy to hear the news of his apprehension/assassination.  As i was living in NYC for 9-11, i saw the hurt and horror up close, and whether i like it or not, Osama is the figurehead of that attack and his killing represented our ability to hold a non-country terrorist accountable for their actions.

2. I was surprised by the whole "dancing in the streets" aspect of his killing.  As good as i felt about this "being over" (those are huge quotes), i just can't get to dancing over death.  i'm for closure, i'm for accountability, i have just seen and felt nauseous over too many broadcasts of Arab nations dancing in the streets over attacks (9-11, israel, etc) and killings to see it as an option.  Celebrating killing is like fighting for peace and fucking for virginity . . . in the end it just doesn't seem to turn out for the best.

3. I saw a headline, "Rumsfeld: Intelligence may have come from Gitmo" (i will NOT link to this video).  Here's my reaction to that.  Fuck you Rumsfeld.  Fuck you so fucking hard you fucking fuck.  You can not try to rationalize your torture of prisoners by going on tv and saying it may have helped the administration after yours do what you couldn't.  Fuck you.  Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.  You aren't allowed to try and re-write history anymore.  You're out.  Your 15 minutes are over and you made your country worse.  There is no excuse for torture.  Torture without due process is exactly what we are fighting against you tired bag of shit.  perhaps we need to water-board you until you can admit this to your own country who you feel so comfortable lying to.