Sorry. but you won't be.

Monday, June 27, 2011 | 0 Comment(s)

'Brady Bunch' mom got crabs in affair with NY mayor : Politician sent Florence Henderson flowers to apologize

(i had to link to that article) that said.  I could have gone my entire human life--no matter how long or short that may end up being--without ever knowing that information.  And now you know it too.  like i said at the outset, Sorry.

This is not news.  this is something that happened.  its unfortunate, scummy, too much information, and does not deserve a headline.  we have too much news.  we have our too much information.  constantly.  we are bombarded.  i am bombarded.  i am bombarding.  i post this blog on facebook, twitter, and sometimes on my gmail status update.  i am not an innocent.  i currently have a movie on in the background, my iphone at my side, and the baseball box score running in the background.  my screens have multiple screens.  baby screens people. im a little scared of this.  and the less im scared of this i am, the more i think maybe thats what the screens want me to think.  stay tuned (ack. robot takeover pun!)

another thing that i find strange.  we are still finding new species of animals on our planet.  and yes, most of them ARE a long way down in the ocean, and getting down there is difficult.  but.  in my defense.  we've been to the moon.  so come on.  don't give me that.  and its not only ocean creatures (and wowwie are they ever creatures), an expedition to some place in south asia recently came back with photos of some crazy new tree frogs and a few other new species.  i mean, i am a fan of conservation.  a big fan. and a part of me is incredibly happy that there are still uncharted places on our planet.  but at the same time.  isn't it kinda nutso that we haven't been everywhere on the earth's surface.  i mean, we loooooooooove taking over new places.  almost as much as we love spreading diseases. this jungle must be some pretty dank friggin crack to be still unexplored.  otherwise we'd have tree houses and bungalows with glass floors and facial peels and swimming with south asia's version of dolphins (maybe dolphins?) and we'd get to watch the former natives dance a watered down version of their previously happy culture's ritual hunting preparation dance.  this is all conjecture, of course. but it probably rings some bells at the same time. 

back to the ocean.  lets get down there.  i was promised way back during SeaQuest (oh yah i did) that we would have dolphins full on communicating with us.  Lets have a friggin space race to talking with dolphins (seriously though; monkeys, chimps, and the like have had their chance to be the people's champion.  i make an exception for orangutans, however.  we had a talk, and we're cool.).  If douglas adams had faith in them, then i do too.  They are probably all down in the ocean, swimming around, babbling about how easy it would be to cure cancer for us if only they had a way to tell us.  Somehow hitting the square block and jumping through the hoops haven't exactly transmitted to subtleties of how to correctly apply beta-blockers.  You get the point.

it turns out i am almost militantly pro-dolphin.  go figure.  and now that i've learned something about myself, i'm stopping.

happy birthday brother.

Greatest Comment Ever: Could anyone tell me how to do?

Friday, June 24, 2011 | 1 Comment(s)

I'm not feeling great today.

I don't expect you to care about this per say, but my original enthusiasm for the forthcoming post has been slightly muffled by my incessant wheezing and rock-a-bily headache.  i will try to do it justice nonetheless.

Not all comments on the blog are created equal.  All are encouraged and make my heart sing, of course, but some just rise above.  There was the cardiac haiku, for instance.  And there are John's blog length comments which i know i have to set time aside to read ;).

But recently, i got what i think might be the very best one yet.  I comes from an anonymous follower and was left on my "I just can't quit you newsweek" blog post.  (Note: i received my latest free issue yesterday!).  It is pretty self explanatory:

I want to cancel my subscription, but is very hard, please could anyone tell me how to do? My resident is spoted in south America.  -anon

Um.  Awesome.

Is it awesome enough to make a list of all the things that are awesome about it.  Yes, i think it is.

1.  Someone in south America (my kind of capitalization btw) read my blog.
    (I can only hope that we are talking about South America and not some semi-literate Alabamian.)
2.  Someone in south America was routed to my blog by search how to cancel their Newsweek subscription.
3.  I love the term "spotted" in south America.  It makes me want to pop over to google maps and look for their house.  Oh, there is Cesar working on his roof!!! And i spotted his dog by the front door as well!
4.  Even someone who obviously is still in the process of learning English seems to know that Newsweek has fallen to shit and wants to cancel their subscription.  What a Catch-22.  Knows too much English to appreciate Newsweek, and not enough English to figure out how to cancel their subscription. 

And lest anyone say that i am all talk and no walk.  Here, my anonymous reader, is the support page for newsweek.  In the top left, there is a menu for "espanol."  That might also help:

Good Luck Cesar!  I hope to spot you later.

The Second Little Piggy

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 | 0 Comment(s)

Outside of our little house on our little side street, kitty corner from our little community cemetery (if a cemetery can look quaint, this one does), we have a very large tree.  For this post, lets call the tree Wanda, because A) it’s fun to give plants names. B) Wanda is a particularly fun name C) I was going to call this post “A Tree Called Wanda” before deciding that it was too much of a stretch, but still I grew (pun) attached to the name.  You will too.

So Wanda is a significantly large tree that provides shade to both our car space on the left (while also providing a perch for the birds to lay down a nice base coat of bird shit on my windshield) and our front porch behind.   On the opposite side of Wanda there is an old fashioned Lincoln-log style wooden fence made by two horizontal beams (about 8 feet long) and stubbier vertical beams about every 6 or 7 feet.  On the opposite side of the fence, is our road.  

hello Wanda
Wanda’s diameter is like an average sized coffee table and it branches into a number of telephone pole sized mini-trunk branches.  (with all of this size and shape talk, I’m scared im gonna give Wanda body issues).  I promise that I tell you all of this for a reason. 

About a week ago, while mmf and I were eating dinner and watching some television on the couch, we heard what sounded like 1.5 seconds of a noise I would describe as “crackling” and then a sound I would describe as “bad news.” The sound was accompanied by a physical vibration.  There was an impact accompaniment.    With the blinds closed, mmf and my first reaction was to look at each other.  Like I said, the sound after the crackle, the “snap” or “pop” if you will, was definitely not a sign that our night was about to get better and more relaxing. 
We run to the front door, we are on the porch. 

First reaction?  My car is safe!

Second reaction?  Holy shit, the tree branch/mini-trunk just broke off, crashing through the wood fence like butter and completely stopping traffic from being able to pass in either direction.  It was essentially a big branchy leafy telephone pole stretching from 4 feet onto our rental property to 4 feet into the ditch on the opposite side of the road.  Not good. 

We called the police.  It’s one of those times when you just dial 911 and don’t even think of trying to figure out what the “local number” for the police is. 

Third Reaction: How the hell did that branch not hit any power lines?  Pure dumb luck folks.  There is no other reason.  There are plenty of lines to choose from, this tree missed them all.   Thank goodness.

All and all, as huge potentially house or car crushing tree branch falls go, this was a pretty good one.  Just one little problem of a blocked road in the darkness.

Minutes later, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men had come and lit up our avenue with blue and white flashers.  Cones were put up and chain saws sawed.  The speed with which the whole process took place made me wish these were the same people working on paving our roads.  They were efficient and as quiet as one can be under the circumstances.  An hour later the flashers were gone and the road was silent once more. 

Grover examines the damage.  That's his favorite pee spot that got destroyed.
It all seemed to happen so fast.  Boom. A branch falls in the night.  Boom.  You worry your car is crushed.  Boom. Crisis averted.  Light Camera Action.  And scene.  It all might have seemed like it had been a dream had  . . . well . . .

Had the road crew not only removed the part of the branch that was physically laying across the road.  The moment a millimeter of that branch was on grass (our grass), they stopped cutting.  Which means that we still have a huge length of tree branch lying across our demolished wooden fence.  Our yard kind of has the look of country bumpkins who drunkenly decided to build a cross in their from yard, got the wood, then passed out and forgot about it.  

"hey man, its not on the road"
You know, classy.

Human Roadkill

Thursday, June 16, 2011 | 0 Comment(s)

Today I had to pretend to ignore a discarded band-aid cotton ball combo that was lying on the changing room bench in the locker room.   I would say that there is a 94% chance it was from a blood draw at the health center, because it was a shimmery reflective kaleidoscope of a band-aid, the kind that a grown up would only wear if someone else put it on them.  I have had such band-aids put on me.  At the health center.  That’s the other way I know.  And so, here I am, sitting on an already pretty gross bench between a used blood clotter and someone’s dirty bathing suit hanging outside their locker.   And I wonder.  Is this really worth it?  Do I care about swimming that much? 

I do.  I really do.  Even when I hate swimming, I love it.  I hate it as one hates laying the foundation of one’s own success.   

Another disturbing trend I’ve been noticing is that people have begun attempting suicide by running or walking into my moving car.  Now animals having been doing this for years, but it seems that we humans needed smart phones to get us moving toward vehicular self-manslaughter (lady-slaughter?). 

Example one, I am making a left turn off a busy road onto a side road, and I am stopped, waiting, with my turn signal on.  I see a woman, surfing her phone, starting to walk across the side road in the cross walk.  I wait until she has a good head start across the street and then I begin my turn.  As I get closer, she full stops in the middle of the street!!!! to typiddy type type on her phone.  In the middle of the street!  My dog knows better than that.  I swerved left (the side street didn’t have oncoming traffic so I could swerve where oncoming traffic would have been coming from).  As I passed, I certainly took the time to project out the window, “really, RIGHT in the middle of the street?”  Suicide.   It’s the only explanation.  She was trying to make it look like an accident.

Today, I watched 4 people waiting patiently at a crosswalk for a walk signal.  Unfortunately, instead of the “Walk” sign popping up next, the other green light came on, giving my lane of cars the left hand turn green light.  But those pedestrians had been waiting at least 20 full seconds, and they decided that “damn, it feels like its our turn to walk.”   So they did.  They walked straight toward the lit red words saying "DON'T WALK"  Perhaps that thought that sign was only referring to the little people.  They walked right to where we, the oncoming cars, desired to drive.  In this case, since we couldn’t just bowl them over (well, I couldn’t because the car in front of me wouldn’t go), I decided to sing a nice loud audible song out my window to the walkers that went approximately like this, “look at that beautiful ‘don’t walk’ sign, all red and asking you to not walk.  Boy do I wish you could read it, because that way you would know not to walk . . . “

I should make it clear that those were not the exact words to the song that I sung, both because I can’t remember now, and because it went on for some time.  The general feeling and tone, however, remain the same.   Which is to say that they both heard me, and looked, and one even gave me a semi-dirty/confused look.  I felt fine about it. 

We aren’t done.  I’ve had to swerve around at least 2 other downward facing dingbats who think they can simultaneously pass that last level of angry birds while navigating through town.  It’s as if the invention of the smart phone has deprogrammed the “moving cars > pedestrians” equation out of our own internal hard-drives.  Which can mean only one thing . . .

Road kill ain’t just for squirrels anymore. 

YOU are the weakest wedding link . . . GOODBYE

Saturday, June 11, 2011 | 2 Comment(s)

The time has come.  We are now less than a year out from Weddinganza 2012, and one of the next steps in the process is compiling the guest list.  And before i can start to make this list, i really needed to get down how much i am going to loathe this process.  loathe.  compiling the wedding guest list is, by far, the part of wedding planning i am looking forward to the least.

It's downright unamerican.  ok, maybe that's taking it a bit far.  But, honestly, making a finite list of one's friends is the antithesis of how i actually approach friendship.  Let me spell it out.

Friendship is not a zero-sum equation.  I really love people (sometimes even undergrads!).  I enjoy forming connections, trying to understand where other people are coming from, and feeling a connection to a larger community.  If i were to meet someone new, and befriend them (or be befriended), this doesn't lesson the amount of friendship i have left for my already established friends.   This "you can't be friends with me if you are already friends with them" attitude that we are introduced to in middle school is pervasive and influential and often can abuse our relationships well into adulthood.  And its a farce.

Except when it comes to a wedding guest list.  In that case there are literally only so many spots at the table.  And so, factually speaking, invitations are a zero-sum equation.  One person coming means another person can't.  Barf.

We've only just started.

Also, back in my high school and college days, who my "best friend" was used to be very important to me.  But, as the world grew around me and i found my place in it, i realized that having a best friend meant that you had tons of not best friends.  This idea seemed so limiting to me, but i liked having a best friend.  So i expanded the definition.  Now i have a bunch of best friends.  Best friend from growing up.  Best friend from Boston, Japan, Israel.  Best friend from the coffee shop.  Best friend from vacation. Best friend best friend best friend.  Let me tell you folks, you can do much worse than having a logjam at the position of best friend.  And why this works, . . . why having all these people holding the same esteemed place in my life doesn't create conflict, is because friendship is not hierarchical.

Just as having one friendship doesn't lessen another friendship, there really is nothing to gain from ranking your friends on any merit scale.  Sure, people all contribute different amounts of time and energy to friendship.  And there are times when people who care about you simply don't have the resources (financial or emotional) to help you.  But to me, none of these traits are central in awarding the best label.  The best comes from a level of commitment.  A commitment that says "i am for you, and to the best of my particular abilities, i would like to foster that commitment."

And then, shazam, you're a bestie.

But not in the wedding invite world.  In the wedding invite world there are first lists and second lists and maybes and significant others and on and on and on.  it makes me nauseous.  i pretty much either love you or i don't, very little distinctions there between "love love" and "little love."  I mean, how can such distinctions ever serve me well in any other life domain.  cept fucking wedding invitations.

And i don't want to tell anyone they can't come.  because i want all of my friends to come.  i mean right?  duhsville.  And while i know that we are all adults on the outside and that people understand that i can't invite 500 people to our wedding (if i want have someone to wed!).  But i also know that we are all middle schoolers on the inside and that there is a part of us that feels that tinge of rejection and feels un-special to whomever didn't invite us to their wedding, no matter how much we try to intellectualize it.  and i, most of anything in the world, wouldn't and don't want my friends to be made to feel un-special to me.  cause holy shitballs batmans, that's my thesis.  making my friends feel special is what i'm all about.  My friends are everything to me.  Feeling connected to my friends is how i stay connected to life, the universe, and everything.

so how am i supposed to make a list?  how am i supposed to find a cut off point?  how do i say, "no?"

So far, the only solution i've come up with is to call the "No" list:  "People Invited to Crash Our Wedding."

now that sounds like me.

Point. Counter Point.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 | 0 Comment(s)

(editors note: for those who appreciate perpetuating temporal continuity in blog entries, i wrote the "Point" last night and the "Counter Point" today.  thus making the timing of the news referenced consistent with the space time continuum.  


I see an ironic twist slowly happening.

Twenty years ago we had the weather girl.  She was good looking, and preferably very smart good looking.  And she was fetishized, and underhandedly mocked, and 'less than.'

Today the weather is tossed to the quirky meteorologist.  He or she has thick glasses, a strange voice and/or a not ready for t.v. stage act that is incorporated into their broadcast.  And they are mocked for their misplaced self-importance and for being weirdos and for being less than. 

But their day is coming.  Soon, the weather will be the news.  Hell, the news is the weather today!  Mmf and i briefly turned to the news and it proceeds . . . cut

to Arizona/New Mexico.  fires traveling through the desert eating the dry landscape like it was gasoline.  The smoke plume from the fire is making the air unbreathable and evacuations are ongoing . . . cut

to flooding of both the mississippi (still fun to write, even in tragedy) and missouri rivers.  they showed a damn opening and the town with sandbags braced for impact below.  a town in iowa may soon be underwater . . . cut

to record high temperatures across most of the middle and southeast of the country.  Easily hitting 100 degrees many places.  The wave is headed east tomorrow.  "Can't wait!," says Sarcastic Sam.

there were more cuts.  I think two more.  I can't remember exactly.  I do remember that it was enough cuts that mmf asked, "is this for real?"  This comes after driving through springfield, MA twice this weekend, passed the mangled trees lining the river.  scary stuff folks.

we need to quickly get past the conversation about if global warning is a real thing, and we need to begin solving the problem of how we will be dealing with it's repercussions while we try to reverse the damage we've done.  because they are not "coming," future tense, they are here, present tense.

I've said it before, and i'll say it again, i look around me and all i see is the beginning of the premise of almost every disaster-porn movie we've ever made.  Cept for maybe The Core.  That shit is just silly.  We should be more worried about this.  Weather people, prepare to be serious people very soon.

Counter Point:

This past weekend i had the exhilarating pleasure of officiating my friends wedding.  I married em.  I married em good.

And part of my pleasure in marrying them, besides them being a wonderful example of love to be celebrated, was the task of writing a little wedding talk for them.  On this blog i have the constant luxury of writing about whatever the hell i feel like.  I can talk about my poop or killing osama.  i would say thats a pretty open landscape.  But writing a wedding speech is a much more directed assignment, and i enjoyed delving into both what is meaningful to me, and them, about marriage.

additionally, the whole experience of officiating was nerve-wracking.  In a good way.  I rarely get nervous, and when i do, it's usually because im doing something really worthwhile.  This was no exception,  i road that adrenaline well into the dance party.

And dance i did.  As a former dance major i can, to put it simple, can tear it up.  People throughout my adulthood have giggled at the prospect of my dance background, until they see me dance.  Then i get props.  Which is good and all, but for whatever reason, dance has never been about showing off for me.  As i told a friend recently, "dance is practically the only thing i do in life that i don't want attention for."  Perhaps because i learned it as an art, perhaps because i matured dancing alone on the dance floor of a kibbutz bar in Israel.  I'm not sure.  But, even though getting watched while i dance (socially, not in performance, obviously) makes me a little uncomfortable, it pales in comparison to the elation of dancing it out good every once in awhile.  and mmf and i cut up a mofo rug. 

also, we had a great ass time.  their friends are hilarious and this story happened.  to prove it, i provide pictures.  i have a loose consent to post them, and therefore im going for it.

The brides best friend and homosexual extraordinaire, we'll call him Rupert (hahaa. Yah, we're calling him Rupert).  Rupert is super excited and at least a little very intoxicated.  As mmf and i exit our hotel room into the hallway, Rupert pops out from his room, 2 rooms down on the same side, wearing nothing but bikini briefs, his yarmulke from the wedding, and a huge smile.  This is made all the funnier considering he is a red-headed non-jew who happily proclaims "i'm a goy!" when given the opportunity.

"HEY GUYS!!!!!!!!" *huge smiling wave*

click . . . click . . . bang

 Me:  "The door to your room just closed behind you huh?"

Rupert:  "Uh huh"

Me: "You don't have a key to your room, do you?"

Rupert: "Nope."

Me: "Amazing."

What transpired next mmf and i followed about 4 paces behind.  We were bent at the waist, laughing our faces off and bracing ourselves up with the walls, as we watched as Rupert marched his little bikini clad bottom up to the front desk to get a new key. 

Nice yamulka, right!

Now it gets funnier.  he goes to the front desk, in his underwear, and the woman at reception is on the phone and puts up her finger to him for him to wait until she is finished!?!?!  I can't friggin imagine what phone call is more pressing than a hotel guest, scantily clad, in your lobby.  But below you see proof of it happening.   You can see the receptionist in the background yapping it up.  Obviously, you can also see that Rupert is taking the blatant disrespect pretty well.

"just happy to be here"
When the woman finished her conversation, Rupert went over to get a new key (she didn't hassle him much for identification,which could have gotten amazingly hilarious).  And there i got the money shot:

"i'm supposed to meet someone from the JDate?"

 I should give Rupert his full credit. After retrieving a key to his room, he continued on with us to the after-party in his skivvies.  Much respect. 

Final tangent as a conclusion to the counter-point.  As we proceeded out from the wedding, i was the last one to exit.  As i was exiting, i had this moment of realization that everyone was just kinda staring at my back, since it was the only thing left happening.  So i leapt, and i clicked my heals, and it looked like this.

photo credit Steve L. Romero at SLRphotographer

These are the moments we remember forever.