August 2012 Archives

manhood 101

I was dropping off a package at the UPS store when I spotted a boy, perhaps 5, standing on the sidewalk and staring into space. He wore the look of unbearable suffering. This child clearly wished he had never been born. Twenty feet away, in front of the consignment store, a woman my age was flipping through a rack of clothes.

Oh.

"Your mom shopping for jeans?" I asked.

He directed his forlorn gaze at me. He nodded. "It's brutal."

"I know. But when you get older, you can refuse to go."

He sighed as though he couldn't imagine living that long.

"Don't go along for swimsuit- or bra-shopping, either," I said, climbing into my car. "Even with a girlfriend, it's not remotely as fun as it sounds."

He'll thank me later.

gun nuts

The police tape in Aurora hadn't yet cured before I'd seen this argument: if more people in that theatre had been carrying concealed weapons, as Colorado law permits, then perhaps this tragedy wouldn't have happened.

What a lovely mental image that shootout is, no? I have to admit to a bit of a thrill from the thought of society's dregs shooting at one another. It's only when I'm between them that the fantasy unravels.

Let's skip all the obvious arguments and cut to the chase: has this "arm everyone and good things will happen" strategy ever once, in all of human history, worked out?

ching chang for the rest of us

Super busy at work. No time subjects, verbs. Here funny video from Italy.

These are Italians speaking gibberish that sounds like American English to their ears.

What American English sounds like to non-English speakers

good thinkin'

I've never photographed a humpback whale, what with them being rare in these waters. A couple have been hanging around some 40 miles from my house, so I resolved to photograph them this weekend. Until the moment came to actually leave.

"It's too hot....and it's Seafair weekend so I'll be overwhelmed with stupid boaters...and I'll get boarded by the Coast Guard...plus my data is cold so there won't even be any whales...whine whine whine..." and so forth.
This happened exactly where I would have been exactly when

I would have been there. What was I doing? Watching TV.

marketing nuts

My employer recently saw fit to make me hire a marketer. This is approximately like making Prometheus adopt the eagle who pecked out his liver every day. Like making Bart Scott rub Hines Ward's feet. Or, if I'm trying to irritate Allie, like making Jesus hire Pontius Pilate.

I hate marketers. The feeling is mutual. My entire career is a tableau of me strangling talentless, sleazy marketers. Sometimes figuratively.

But I had my orders, so off I went to interview talentless sleazes who command $150-200 an hour to repeat back to you what you just told them, as though it were their own thought. I loathed them all. I eventually chose one in California, the thought being well, at least I won't have to meet her.

She has one particularly irritating trait. She's one of those people who block caller ID yet insist on calling you in response to your email. I say "those people" as if this were an established group of assholes.

Correction: it's just her.

• • •

Last week I was mooring my boat in a wicked cross-current. As soon as I killed the engines and raced outside, the boat flipped to face the current. I looked for my hook-pole. It was stolen. Helpless, I watched as my boat's engines ground into the neighboring boat. I grabbed the only tool available, a tiny oar, and paddled furiously. Sweating by the bucket, I slowly pivoted the boat. Stretching, I got a precious fingernail-hold on the slip. Bam. That's when the marketer called to tell me what I'd told her the previous day.

That's a gift.

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