August 2014 Archives

i am haunted by waters

The Missoula of my imagination, before tonight:

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The Missoula of my imagination, after tonight:

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the negotiation

Lynn has long wanted me to perform the eulogy at her funeral. It comes up in our every conversation.

"So do you have any ideas for my eulogy?" she asked, stabbing at her chow mein.

"Mmmph," I replied.

"All I ask, John, is this: no profanity."

I swallowed my food. "None?"

"Not in the church I grew up in, no!"

I thought about this. "What about hell?"

"Now how is that word going to come up in my eulogy?"

I thought some more. "Well then what about Jesus Christ?"

"It depends on the context."

I chuckled. "Ya know, this is a good eulogy right here. Recalling this conversation."

She eyed me warily as she mentally went down her list of other potential eulogists. "JUST SAY SOMETHING NICE FOR SIXTY GODDAMNED SECONDS AND SIT DOWN!"

housesitter

One would think that arranging a long-term housesitter would afford some peace of mind. But I find the opposite true.

Step One: make the liquor closet impenetrably secure.
When you find yourself moving hinges to the inside of a closet door, you ask yourself, "Do I maybe have some trust issues with my friends?"

Step Two: liberalize your definition of "liquor"
I'm compromising the integrity of that door, what with all the knives, pans, photos etc. that I don't want ruined that I'm cramming into that closet.

stat of the day

11% of the search hits on this site come from Bing. Of those, 94% originated within 20 miles of Microsoft's corporate campus.

They know something you don't, you know. You just don't understand.

compost

Remember that time your neighbor left a pile of dungeness crab corpses to rot in their back yard, and a week later when they were good and ripe, your EX-dogs found them and rolled in them gleefully, all of which you deconstructed after the ecstatic dogs fouled your entire house with the stench of diapers found on a New Jersey beach?

No? It's just me?

deserve's got everything to do with it

Over lunch, I was telling Elizabeth the Anna story, and about how, last week, Anna bizarrely sent me a photo of herself filling out her divorce paperwork.

"Huh? Why?" Elizabeth asked, much like I did.

"My theory is that she thinks this is why I won't go out with her. Because she's still married."

Elizabeth could barely restrain her amusement at the thought of my possessing this particular ethic. Her mouth disappeared as she sucked in her lips to suppress a guffaw.

chorus

"That's not a costume, John. Those are what people call normal clothes." —Katrina

"You dress like you took the clothes off a hobo's corpse." —d'Andre

• • •

I accidentally grabbed a long-sleeved, synthetic black shirt when I shot out the door on my way to Spokane. This was significant in that 1) I was taking Lynn to a dinner and a show and 2) it was 104 degrees there.

And so, for the first time since maybe the 90s, I walked into Nordstrom to buy a dress shirt. And then I drew a blank and came to a stop.

I could not remember the name "men's department."

• • •

I also took Elizabeth out to lunch while there. I arrived first. When she arrived, I watched her look right past me. Granted, it's been five or six years, but still. So I called her name, and we hugged, and she pointed to my khakis and dress shirt and said "I totally didn't recognize you in that."

resistible link of the week

"Elderly sex slaves want solace"

I spent this week in Spokane, visiting friends and cranking my hotel room's air conditioner so that I could comfortably take baths in the 100 degree heat. Oh, and I paid $40 to to overnight five pink cookies to grad school pal Mariko. I never said I'm not an eco-terrorist.

I love Spokane. It'll always be home to me. Another grad school friend described it best thusly: "Spokane is a backward 1950s retro town that doesn't know it's retro." It wasn't meant as a compliment so much as an indictment of when the place was last cleaned.

It's more modern now, and even I, who shake my fist angrily at pretty much all change, have to admit that it's for the best. One demographic, however, holds firm.

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rocky iii

Rocky III may be a spectacular piece of crap, but man, is it ever a great movie ever to work out to. Especially if you fast-forward past the "character" "development" scenes straight to one of the three (!) training montages.

During the obligatory Adrian Puts Rocky's Head Right scene on the beach, I began to wonder what, exactly, is the most embarrassing thing in this movie. Is it the homoerotic overtones of the Apollo/Rocky training scenes, complete with slo-mo groin closeups and bro-hug amidst crashing surf? A worthy candidate, but no. Is it the horrific racial stereotyping, from Apollo's slum roots to perhaps the single greatest living embodiment of every horrific racial stereotype, Mr. T? Yeah, that part makes me cringe, but it doesn't make me cringe the most.

No, that honor is reserved for Carl Weathers. This former professional football player had to pretend to lose a footrace to Sylvester Stallone. Stallone, who, while running in these scenes, could not possibly look more like a corpse that's undergoing stroke aftershocks. Weathers' performance here is perhaps the single greatest job of acting this side of Jennifer Aniston pretending to be attracted to David Schwimmer.

dear hotel owners

How much money do you save by using those flimsy, sheer shower curtains that cling to one's naked body like cold, clammy flypaper? I'd like to begin a Kickstarter for you.

burghese

"I already know what I love about being in Pittsburgh," I explain to people who didn't really ask. "Now I'm going to find out what I hate."

What's the opposite of "riveted?" Unriveted?

I already know the answer, of course. Driving in Pittsburgh makes prison rape look like The Notebook. I didn't actually make it farther than 10 minutes into the Notebook, but given the reverence 20-something women have for that movie, I'm supposing that it's a big, gooey, estrogen-besot, romantic mess.

Though not as big as Boston, Pittsburgh's even harder to navigate. Dead-ends, one-way streets, foothills and rivers cutting you off constantly, and nary a right angle to be found.

Worst of all, the town is GPS-proof. Google Maps, TomTom, Navigon, Apple Maps—all get hopelessly confused. "U-turn! U-turn! U-turn!" they scream as I'm trapped between two concrete barriers. While I was unleashing a withering blast of profanity on my last trip, the Google Maps chick was singing harmony. At any moment, I expected her to shred the little speaker with "THE FUCK IS WITH THIS FUCKING TOWN?!"

There's a redneck quotient in Pittsburgh that I expect to find less than charming. I hear them call into local radio shows, quite possibly already drunk at noon, to twang that some white guy no longer on the team will have a breakout year for the "Stillers."

Which brings us to the Pittsburgh dialect. I find it charming from afar, but the Stillers playing dawn-tawn even doe dey practiss on de souseside uh tawn? Nah, that won't get old.

When I pronounced the nearby town of "DuBois" as doo-bwah, I was corrected. It's doo-BOYZ, don't you know. And when I ordered gnocchi in a bar, everyone laughed. Silly boy, do you mean ga-NOTCH-ie?

Coming from Ahia by way of Wooshington, I will be a stranger in a strange land. I shall make a list of these things for your consumption.

unintentionally funny headline of the day

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In full makeup, evening gown, and heels, feeding her infant in front of fashion photographers in a diner. Just like our cave-dwelling ancestors did.

Allow me to translate her quote: "Look, everyone, I have boobs now. Discuss!"

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metamuville nooners

I complain a lot about the lack of places to eat here in the boondocks, so allow me to share the other side of that coin.

This is my DMV at noon.

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This is my Costco at noon Saturday.

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But the restaurants do suck. At all times.

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if you ain't white, you ain't quite right

My company occasionally has to fill out a diversity form. In the name of color-blindness, we vendors, never once seen by our employer, must declare what color we are.

I get it. The law is well-meaning. But isn't there a less condescending way of getting this information?

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drive-by momming

I ventured into the outside world yesterday, always a mistake.

Madam's parents are staying in the house next door this month, which typically means only one thing to me: no whizzing off the deck. But late last night, they drunkenly waved me over. For some reason, I accepted.

This is what I remember of our conversation.

Blah blah Microsoft

"What did you think when you found out it was two women moving in next door?" Mom asked, for some reason amused by her question.

Blah blah boats

"I always feel bad for you. The girls don't take very good care of the house," Mom said.

Blah blah Percy

"Percy took really good care of the place. You must miss that," Mom baited.

Blah blah big government

"I love Madam and Eve, but they sure are weird, you know?" Mom said, shaking her head with concern while she waited for me to give the slightest response that she could later quote.

Blah blah their daughter's partner

"Well, she's Chinese. They're a humorless people, don't you think?"

You get the idea. Mom spent the entire evening shaking me by my ankles, hoping that a weapon she could use would fall out.
And...time....just...flew....by.

"How often do you see your family, John?" Mom asked at one point.

I shrugged and stared at Puget Sound. "I don't much see the point."

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