November 2009 Archives

what i'm really, really stankful for

I received an email from Dirt Glazowski. "Can we watch this on your TV?" he asked. It seems that his old football teammate (who had himself gone on to be an all-pro in the NFL) had sent him a link. The link was to the teammate's son's high school championship game. Thus did I make ribs, and Dirt and I sat and remembered how quick and boring high school football games are.

That, I'm not stankful for. Well, maybe for the "quick" part.

No, what I'm stankful for is that email Dirt forwarded me. His buddy had sent it to a lot of people. I recognized a few players' names. "I wonder...?"

And there it was. Mike Tomczak's email address.

Life, I love you. I shall use my powers only for evil.

what i'm stankful for

Even the breakups that I took hardest had their silver linings. No matter how much I was going to miss her, she undoubtedly brought someone into my life whom I wasn't going to miss in the least. On this Thanksgiving, it is for these latter assholes that I am stankful. Specifically, I'm stankful for their absence.

Iris (Celeste's mother)
My first in-law type was an unrepentant bitch. The first and only woman who ever predicted that I would be a wife-beater. She was a WWII British war bride whose husband upgraded, and she subsequently hated all men. When Celeste was a child, Iris told her sweet things like "Men are so revolting. They want to urinate inside you." Buh-bye.

Ken (Maddie's father)
He hated me for making him superfluous to his daughter. I hated him for being a racist piece of yak shit. One day, to Maddie's abject horror, this uneducated trailer-dweller was holding forth about the intellectual inferiority of minorities. Maddie tried to correct him, but he got angry. So I pointed out that my black best friend was (and remains) the smartest person I've ever met, with an IQ well above Einstein's. "She has some white in her. They all do," he declared effortlessly. Jesus H. Buh-bye, Cooter.

Donna (Fucking Amy's mother)

When I have to put a face to evil, hers is the one I conjure. She was my first experience with born-again Christianity as a despotic, anti-intellectual means of control, and it was a defining one. I will never forget her satisfied smirk as she destroyed my relationship and, for quite a while, my life. I don't miss her self-serving proselytizing, how what she wanted always happened to be what Jesus wanted, too. If there's ever an open season on ex-in-laws, she will be the first one I bag.

Christy (Phil's wife)
This list isn't restricted to romantic relationships. Christy was my first Yoko. The gang was me, Lynn, Sue, and Phil. Then she invited herself along. Despite the fact that she had nothing of remotest interest to say (truly, her only hobby was watching home shopping networks, which were always on), we grudgingly made our happy quartet an awkward quintet. Until they disappeared without comment and we became a trio. We all miss Phil, but it's never without a twinge of happiness about the silver lining. Christy was a social control rod, lowered into a nuclear reaction to stop it cold.

Khristi's monkey
Different Khristi. I dated this one. When your new, wildly erratic girlfriend speaks cautiously about how she "used to" be addicted to meth, just save yourself some time and bail.

Anyone Bubba 1 ever boinked
From his shrewish ex-wife to the proud loser for whom he left her, he never, ever dated anyone I could stand. The latter loser, especially, was indulgently moronic. She concocted preposterous narratives in which she was the master of the known universe, and he bought into them. As I watched her chip IQ points off him, I couldn't stand to be around him, either. Hence the invention of Bubba 2 for football weekend purposes. So much more enjoyable without a Yoko calling every twenty minutes to be sure my buddy was thinking of her. And Bubba 2 and his cell phone don't disappear for entire halves at a time. Bonus.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good riddance.

Emphasis mine.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (USATODAY.com) — The American Civil Liberties Union has sued a north Florida school district, claiming that the Alachua County School District violated students' rights by not allowing them to wear T-shirts with an anti-Islamic message.

The civil rights organization says that while it doesn't agree with the "Islam is of the Devil" message printed on T-shirts distributed by the Dove World Outreach Center, it does support the students' constitutional right to freedom of speech.

mr. charm, part deux

Once again, the hot young girl was working at the Metamuville Grocery. We chatted, and she referenced the time when she used to be a bartender.

Huh. So she's at least 23.

Then she added "this was back when they allowed smoking in bars."

What?! That was like 10 years ago!

I was visibly startled and asked her how old she could possibly be. "35," she replied.

No. Freaking. Way.

During the two minute drive home, my thoughts evolved from

Holy crap, she's totally a datable age. I had no idea. How could I have missed by 15, 16 years? Wow. And she said she loved me for thinking she was that young. And she volunteered that she's not married. That's hardly a neon 'Go away' sign...

to

What kind of a loser is making $7 an hour at that stupid store at 35?

I am nothing if not expedient about ruling women out.

motherhood ain't so beautiful

I returned to Hooters for yesterday's Steelers debacle. The place is still revolting, but at least I knew enough not to order the "great wings" this time.

Just when I thought the place couldn't get any more revolting, my waitress approached me in her 1) revealing, skin-tight baby-doll t-shirt and 2) third trimester.

getting fitted for my cemetery plot, now

Left 4 Dead 2 appeared on store shelves yesterday, which means that, among other friends, Dorkass and I were killing newly minted zombies last night. In every sense of that dangling modifier I just wrote.

We both bought our copies at GameStop. I was milling about the teenagers who dressed up as zombies for the occasion, reading my email on my phone, when I vaguely heard "I wanna know what that guy in black is buying. The guy in the black sweatshirt. Looking at his phone."

I looked up, and everyone was looking at me. "Um. Left 4 Dead 2?" I said, to the delight of the onlookers.

I didn't even get a chance to tell Dorkass about this experience before she was telling me about her own. Her GameStop clerk incredulously asked "Are you buying this for yourself?"

"Um. Yeah."

"Good for you!"

i'm just not that into you

I briefly considered getting Sarah Palin's new book, just for its doubtlessly staggering value to this page. I'm sure I could post for weeks about it. We could have contests to see who can find the dumbest passage in 60 seconds.

But one issue proved emotionally and intellectually insurmountable: to quote it, I would have to read it. And folks, you are simply not worth it.

melissa

I was surfing the Internet when Dex alerted me that the buyer had arrived. Her name was Melissa, and she'd responded to my craigslist ad for my old generator. It turns out Melissa is very cute indeed. And she's a vet. With a brown ponytail.

I was mentally telling our wedding guests the oh-so-charming manner in which we'd met—

"We heard you met in the Personals section on craigslist. Is that true?"

"No. It was Appliances."

—when she asked me a technical question to which I didn't know the answer. I impressively fumbled around in my mind for a while, then suggested we look online for the answer. Melissa followed me inside.

"Beautiful house!"

Score.

She followed me to my laptop.

I jiggled the mouse.

The screen saver disappeared.

A woman's genitals appeared, literally larger than life, or rather a popup ad featuring them did. What the hell? I was just reading someone's blog!

I hurriedly stabbed at the window with my mouse. I suddenly could not conjure the dexterity to get the little arrow over the little close box. In my panic, I maximized the window. Yeah, that helps. That's more or less when Melissa looked at my screen and physically leapt back.

Summary: don't buy us any place-settings anytime soon.

whizzinator

By complete coincidence, the following two things happened yesterday.

One. I discovered that Google Maps has photographed the end of my driveway. Considering that people who live in the remotest outskirts of Bumfuck think I live in the sticks, Google has officially driven everywhere.

street.jpg

Two. Pensive Stank troll James sent me this Google Maps link, another drive-by photo from our friends at Google. Don't bother clicking it. They took the image down. But I'm here for ya.

street.jpg

hamstrung

"Who do think has the best voice in rock?" Allie asked, in a welcome respite from her talking about her job.

I tried to get my head around it. "Well first, we need to define what you mean by ro—"

"No Motown." Crap. Marvin is out.

"Aretha Franklin was Atlantic. Can I say her?"

"No."

And so I stewed and named a whiney white guy whose recordings I own exactly zero (0) of. I mean, seriously. She might as well have asked me "Who's the best linebacker in the NFL?" and then added "No men."

are you smarter than an eighth grader....in 1957?

Check out this 8th grade civics test from 1957. This is a time capsule, it is. Most of the comments focus on how badly public education has degenerated since. Although test scores in math and science would doubtlessly back that up, I don't buy this particular test as further evidence of the slide.

One could certainly argue that a child's being able to rotely recite the Supreme Court justices served little purpose in 1954, but it would be positively bereft of purpose in the Age of Google. This was never more clear than when 23 year-old Darcy and I discussed the differences in our educations. Among other glorious details, I knew that Lake Superior is the largest great lake. She did not and never did.

"Why the hell would I ever need to know that?" she asked, incredulous that I still had that useless bit of 8th grade Social Studies memorized, lo these many years later. "And even if I did, I could find it in, like, two seconds."

To summarize: we might be dumber now, but we can afford to be.

web 2.0: the great asshole emboldener

I owe the Internet a lot. Just between 1) my being able to telecommute and 2) Amazon Prime, the Internet has made living where I live, well, livable. It has made my lifestyle of choice possible.

And yet I truly, deeply resent the Internet.

Part of that lifestyle, you see, is the near total elimination of assholes from my daily existence. I work only for friends. I see only who I want, which many days is just the UPS guy (see Amazon Prime, above). Oh sure, there's the occasional clod at the grocery store, the occasional cop who's King Shit with a Badge, the occasional drunk in a bar, the occasional Percy peeking in my window. But for the most part, if I don't want to know you exist, I don't know you exist.

Except for that 10 year-old kid on X-Box Live who's spewing bigotry at strangers.

Or the guy who commented on the YouTube clip of the moon landing "WHITE MEN PUT US ON THE MOON. Remember to thank a white man today!" (The Internet: the emboldening white hood of the 21st century.)

Or the great mass of morons on both the right and left, perpetually searching for someone to validate what they already believe, polluting my news with their intellectual glory-holing.

Or the hate groups at their fringes.

Or pretty much any attention-whoring illiterate on a discussion board, misspelling his insults of others' intelligence.

Yes, I love my anonymity. I just hate theirs.

adding another deadbolt to my door

So how do you guys handle it when some stranger (or even friend) says something bigoted around you? This can range from the n-word to gay-bashing to sexism.

Not that I'm above tweaking these groups myself, but it's always affectionately and to friends who are members. Do I call gays "prancing Nancies?" No. I just call Mike that. And then he rips me back. It's what we do. He is my pink d'Andre.

No, I'm not talking about un-PC banter amongst friends. I'm talking about sitting next to a white old fart on the plane who groans, with the gravity of a man in the same beleaguered foxhole as me, "I ain't ever had a lady pilot before."

"I have," I said, obviously mocking him. "It was horrific." He nodded as though I needn't have added that part. It was a given. "I'm, um, kidding," I felt compelled to add.

What do you do in this circumstance? Humor them in silence? Tell 'em to shut up? Treat it as a learning opportunity, the ultimate act of hubris with a man clearly determined to learn nothing in his 70 years on earth?

how sam kinison saved my life

It was my darkest hour. In one weekend, Fucking Amy had ended our relationship, a close friend had just tried to commit suicide, and another dear friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer. When I eventually got back to Seattle, I had no job, no friends here, no money, no home, no Amy, and I was burning through what little credit I had left in a manner likely to encourage a suicide attempt of my own: I was living at the Issaquah Motel 6. I was, in a word, depressed.

I don't mean sad. I don't mean lethargic. I mean I could feel the life ebbing from my body before I passed out from nervous exhaustion on the motel bed, and I figured it was probably for the best. It's not possible to overstate the bad way I was in. I was incapable of happiness, anger, empathy...anything but grief and despair, really.

I rummaged through my car and dug out my VCR, which I hooked up to the motel TV. I rented a tape of old Carson shows. I numbly sat there in my abyss, staring at good old Johnny. Even he couldn't cheer me up. Shit.

And then Johnny introduced Sam Kinison, saying "I think he's going to surprise you tonight." And that Sam did.

Imagine how it felt to hear him, of all people, croon a song of lost love. Okay, message received, God. You hate me. But then...that magical then. I may have laughed harder in my life, but I've never needed a laugh so hard, so much. Kinison punctured through my previously impenetrable layers of self-pity and let all the pressure out. It's hard to describe what seminal a moment in my life this goofy clip was. It struck the perfect note at the perfect time.

Barack Obama appoints Sarah Jessica Parker

That's the first headline I saw this morning. I went back to bed and hid under the covers.

clever, math-themed headline

If I'd only had a cool math teacher like this guy, maybe I would have been able...oh, who are we kidding. I still would have sucked bilgewater.

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