October 2011 Archives

the really? lie

I fancy myself adept at spotting lies and omissions. Some statements simply have a whiff of bullshit about them, and I am a person attuned to that whiff.

But sometimes it's more of a gagging stench, complete with teeming maggots and a blinking phosphorescent sign. "LIES BE HERE!"

I was expected not to notice just such a sign this weekend. A friend was applying for a job in another state, and for some reason she spun an intricate tale about it being local. Wanting help with something an hour later, she stupidly showed me her Inbox. LIES BE HERE!

"Why lie?" I asked her. "I don't care about the job." She said nothing. I dropped the subject, mostly because I don't care enough about the friendship to fix it.

Now, I understand why girlfriends lie about fucking their physical therapist. That's an eminently practical lie. I'd understand a friend not volunteering that they were looking to move; why bother until there's news to report? I'll never wrap my head around the needless lie, however. She has forever altered how I view her. She is beyond the merely dishonest; she is moronic. And she vastly overestimates her cleverness relative to others.'

Would I give her a job? Introduce her to friends? Trust her to watch house? Lend her 20 bucks? Make soup when she's sick? Think well, or even non-warily, of her ever again?

Decidedly no on all counts. And for what? What was the potential the upside for her?

What it must be like to go through life surrounded by stunted trust. That's some hard work.

chewing my own leg off

"Oh my God, I found a restaurant I want to take you to," said Darcy. "I think you'd really love it."

She then proceeded to tell me about a restaurant that sounds great indeed. Rather, it did before she uttered the sentence "All the seating is family-style."

farm_table.jpgI felt my face prune.

"Well," I sighed, "Congratulations. Welcome to the long list of women to whom I've had to say don't make me meet people."

Historically, it hasn't gone well. At best, I spend the evening glancing at my watch and calculating the absolute earliest time I can exit without seeming rude. In the meantime, oh strangers thrust into my ear by the cruel spasms of fate, tell me more about your jobs. And can I see those photos of your kids again? One so rarely sees homo sapiens these days. I'm riveted.

And attention bed-and-breakfast owners: sharing my breakfast with Bob and Jackie, office-drone parents of four from Redmond, is not a romantic getaway. It's hard time.

"Oh, we already had that talk," Darcy replied. "Teatro Zinzanni, remember?" I thought you were going to stab that marketer with your salad fork."

"Then why..?"

"I'd hoped you'd grown."

Kids today.

ode on a grecian bean

After a long period of indulging my every craving for poppers and pop tarts, I've lately been eating healthier stuffs. Lean, flavorless meats. Flavorless vegetables. That sort of thing. The closest I come to culinary joy is when I savor the irony of downing a multivitamin with Diet Coke.

One peculiar thing never fails: when I start eating healthy foods, my body goes into anaphylactic shock. Would that I could go back in time and tell my mother that vegetables are literally making me sick.

unemployment vs. nonemployment

One of the great ironies of my life is that I spend my work days trying in vain to fill well-paying positions, then my evenings trying in vain to talk unemployed men into doing odd jobs for pay, and then I turn on the evening news and hear how there are no jobs. I know that unemployment is at 10%. Sometimes I just can't feel it.

Let's set aside the $70/hour jobs I can't give away. Let us assume that the skills required are so niche that these professions are utterly recession-proof.

Let's talk about the $25/hour job tearing up my bedroom floor, winterizing my house, etc. No particular skills are required—only time that I do not possess. And so I've offered this work to three unemployed men. No response. Bupkis. Crickets.

I'm just waiting for one of them to bemoan how rough it is out there. Please, God, let that happen.

Part of my problem is that I live on a peninsula where not working is the local culture, nay, art form. I truly know more adults without jobs than with. And even if I hire a plumber to, say, fix a drain on Tuesday, I have zero expectation that I will ever hear from him again. Fixing drains is work, after all. And in on the Metamuville peninsula, locals treat work arrangements like the rest of us treat the statement "let's do lunch."

"Oh, your drain? You didn't think I was really going to fix that, did you? I was just being polite."

death to tyrants

Anyone else disturbed by how much they enjoy the grisly demise of murderous dictators?

Schadenfreude. Because karma so rarely actually works.

of teabaggers and mebaggers

The Tea Party and 99%ers certainly would not self-identify as similar, but to me there's barely a difference.

I'm in favor of small, fiscally responsible government. Yet I couldn't be less allied with the Tea Party.

I'm in favor of progressive tax rates and, especially, of punishing those who profited from wrecking our economy. Yet the 99%ers repel me.

Why? Because in the name of acquiring numbers, both movements have provided quarter to society's worst dregs. The Tea Party's appeal is utterly nullified by their silent inclusion of bigots and militant nutjobs. The 99%ers' allure is moot because they offer unlimited shrink-wrapped excuses to spoiled, irresponsible whiners.

What's the difference to me? Mere semantics. If you want me to take up your cause, stop legitimizing—and start repudiating—the scum who would use you.

One of the unique pleasures of sleeping with a smart phone is waking up and finding out what I groggy-bought the previous night.

It was cold.

miltonaire

I've written recently about the perils of living in an environment I completely control. Namely, that when I venture into the real world now, my coping capacity is stunted.

With that thought still reverberating on this page, I came across a quote from actor Stephen Root. He played the stapler-gripping office eccentric in Office Space. Looking back on his iconic role, he now observes: "These are guys who live in their space and don't like to come out."

So yeah. Now I'm this guy.

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cognitive disconnect

I'm not a "zero population growth" fascist, hucking batteries at couples who have more than two kids. On the other hand, as an ethic it makes perfect sense to me.

And if you can't afford kids, it starts to become a moral imperative.

And if we're all reeling economically because uneducated, unemployable bumblefucks like you defaulted on your subprime mortgage, I humbly submit that perhaps you should stop crapping out kids.

A 55 year old friend just excitedly wrote me that said bumblefuck, her son, just provided her with her eighth grandchild. She has two sons. That's how many kids have produced eight grandchildren by 55.

My friend is delighted, and she clearly expects me to be delighted too, but somehow I just can't muster it. I instead find myself hoping that the parents misplace the child at the grocery store. Give him a chance in life.

And thus do words fail me. Is this why emoticons were invented? ZOMG! <l:0

whines hard

I was going to write more about my fellow 99%ers, but a group of pointlessly whiny bitches caught my attention.

Longtime Steeler and likely Hall of Famer Hines Ward wears #86. He noticed that the Powerball reached $86 million, so he couldn't resist buying a lottery ticket. He posted the news online...where fans have vivisected him for depriving others of lottery tickets.

Over and over, he's scolded that he has enough money, that he's greedy, that he should "let" others have it.

I swear I'm not talking about the 99%ers.

It's a good thing they're taking the time to express their hostility, 'cause at 1-in-146,107,962 odds, Hines is a mortal lock to win.

That's 1/244th the odds of his being struck by lightening in his lifetime. Whew. Thank god they got the chance to malign his character. He almost got away with it.

i am the 99%

Ever have someone purport to speak for you? Someone who made you itch all over?

I too am the 99%. I vote for elected officials to represent me. I most assuredly did not vote for guys who rack up nearly six figures in student loans to kick off a career that requires a GED, if that. I have a word for them to explore. That word is "foresight." "Causality" was a close second, followed by "whatthefuckdoesthathavetodowithgreedybankers?"

wall-street-protester.jpg

I am an employed technical writer with $00,000.00 in student loans.

I make ends meet by having a boring degree that allowed me to get a boring job that allowed me to pay off my student loans, not to mention buy a meal at Ryan's Steak House.

I do not have to use passive voice to disguise the fact that my life is the direct consequences of my decisions. (I'm actually rather proud of having built something from nothing. How come you're not ashamed to have built nothing from something?) And I do not have pets I cannot afford to feed, again because of that whole "planning ahead" thing.

I am the 99%.

And I speak for only myself.

all his rowdy friends should bet me

Two astounding follow-ups to the Hank Williams post:

Shortly after asserting that he wasn't fired but instead quit, he's now talking about suing ESPN for violating his first amendment rights. As I'm fairly certain that ESPN is not Congress making a law that abridges freedom of speech, I will bet 20 bucks that Williams' idiocy comes to nothing. Any takers? Anyone?

When I looked up the total casualties for World War II, most sources cited "30-50 million people." How stunning is it that the margin for error is 20 million dead people? That's like the entire population of Florida being killed and our not being certain it occurred. Worse, in fact.

victim of the week: hank williams

Rewarding achievements in claiming victimization

Hank Williams was given a chance, by Fox News no less, to back off his comparison of a golfing Obama to a man who ordered the gassing of an entire people and who caused the deaths of 30 million. Questioned about his analogy, Williams entrenched as only the vomitously stupid can.

"Every time the media brings up the tea party it's painted as racist and extremists – but there's never a backlash – no outrage to those comparisons."
His employer, ESPN, subsequently stopped using him in their high-profile Monday Night Football intros. You know what's coming, don't you?
"ESPN stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech!"
This will be hard for my international readers to understand, so allow me to explain: some Americans are so moronic, so drunk on their sense of entitlement, they've actually convinced themselves that their employer is legally compelled to pay said moronic, entitled American to damage their brand.

My yesterday starred two of the worst companies ever in the invention of man: Home Depot and U-Haul. When I embarked on my folly, an anecdote seemed inevitable. You tell me.

Home Depot advertises free returns on washing machines but threatened me with a 15% restocking fee, but this isn't about that.

The transmission in the U-Haul literally flew apart on me, but this isn't about that. Nor is it about how you never discover that windshield wipers don't work when you don't need urgently 'em.

uhaul-moving-truck-by-kenn-kiser.jpg

I was wearing my work uniform, which turns out is also an ideal moving-a-washing-machine uniform: t-shirt and gym shorts. It started to rain on my way to Home Depot, and by the time I extended its long, corrugated metal ramp, the rain was coming down at a good clip.

"Huh," I thought. "I rather wish the ramp weren't wet while I unload the washer. Eh, what's the worst that could happen? The ramp is corrugated!"

I felt my feet start to slip at the halfway point, and I was faced with a split-second decision: drop the $1000 behemoth pulling me slowly into ignominy and injury, or what I actually decided.

And so, now holding only the top of the appliance dolly, I fell. Physics being the relentless bitch that she is, I continued down the ramp, the corrugated ramp, on my ass, my flimsy gym shorts riding up my ass as though wedged there by 500 pounds of force.

I'll say one thing for my superatomic wedgie for the ages: my backside is nicely exfoliated this morning.

there's yer problem

I've been staring at this space for a while now, trying in vain to think of something to write. Then it hit me: I have nothing to complain about because I haven't left the house since last week.

Oh wait. I forgot my new washing machine. It's a state-of-the-art energy saver that automatically controls water level and temperature. Those of us combating mysterious allergens really don't want said allergens misted in comfortably lukewarm water, but that's exactly the treatment they get from this $1000 dust mite spa. So I am now embarking to Home Depot to replace it with a 1970s-style washing machine that, god willing, actually immerses fabric in hot soapy water.

And surely, a trip to Home Depot will give me at least a week's worth of posts. Look what I do for you people.

unarrested

The three of you who watched the late, great Arrested Development should celebrate with me this morning. The news is better than we ever dared imagine.

jessica-walter-2.jpg

Her?

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