December 2015 Archives


In the 90s, I stopped the sentence "Macintosh is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation" from being published on millions of boxes. That was certainly my most important save, but this weekend's is the one I find most amusing.


To someone from anywhere else, Seattle drivers are a bewildering combination of slow and aggressive.

First, they'll laze in front of you and make you brake to avoid hitting them, and then they'll drive below the speed limit. If you ever want me to shred my vocal chords, I highly recommend employing this technique. Bonus points if I'm in the freeway's fast lane and you drift into my path, make me brake, and then go no faster than the person you're presumably passing.

That happened to me twice last night, and the first offender was special. He went slower than the guy he was "passing," enabling some 20 cars to pass me on the right. Trapped and going 47 in the fast lane, I employed a custom used everywhere but Seattle. I flickered my brights at the guy, the international sign for "You're slow. There's a special lane for you special people, and this ain't it." I knew he wouldn't understand. No one here uses that convention, probably because no one here grazes the speed limit anyway. In a city where nearly everyone is sucking anti-depressants right out of the bottle, few drivers have anywhere they particularly want to be.

I flickered my brights twice. They were on for a total of an eighth of a second, but that was enough to homicidally enrage the guy. How dare I! He slammed on his brakes, which is amazingly less effective when you start at glacier speeds, leaned on his horn, and then blinded me with his brights for 10 miles, now going 70 in order to, oh, who knows. Avenge himself? Because after all, he's the victim.

And then 20 minutes later, it happened again. Another putz, another offense taken.

I'd say I miss Pittsburgh, but I pretty much miss everywhere else.

truth and consequence

The holidays always bring my lowest readership of the year. If I'm not an alternative to working, it seems, I'm out of your thoughts completely. I understand. Given the chance, I wouldn't think about me, either.

That's one reason I haven't posted much. Here's the other: I saw Darcy last week. I'm in Day 7 of the subsequent depression, as is my custom.

I can't bear to rant again about how painful it is to see her eager subjugation to a cheating fuckup, nor about how she's so enthusiastically morphed into the sort of pointless corporate-climber twinkie I despise. It's all I've thought about for a week, and I'm sick of thinking about it. I think about it all day. I think about it when I can't sleep. I think about it when I can.

I will now combat this by thinking about it.

Darcy has taught me about a heretofore unknown flavor of depression. Romantic devastation hurts more, but not by as wide a margin as one would think. This disappointment nonsense is shockingly severe. I am disgusted with her. I am embarrassed for myself. I mourn the person I thought she was, or the person she used to be, or wherever that confusing rat's nest of grief leads. I am angry about having wasted so much time, energy and money on helping someone who, in the end, did not need help becoming an utterly inconsequential person. I fret about opportunity cost; who didn't I help because I was helping her? Maybe someone who might have affected the world in some small way. Maybe someone who would have helped me pay forward my debt to those who helped me.

I feel all these things, all at once. It stings like a motherfucker. And nothing hurts more than the sentence my brain cannot shake: her inconsequentiality is my inconsequentiality.

three times a-lazy

Gosh, I hope in the next Star Wars movie, there's an even BIGGER Death Star for them to destroy!

Five writers in the writers' room. Five.

dark roots

I spent last week in Spokane, visiting friends and generally enjoying the people. Generally.

The dogs came along this time, which meant a few things:

  1. In the grade of hotel that allows dogs, they do not leave boxes of peanut brittle on your bed.
  2. Someone peed in my car on the way across the state.
  3. During the leash-up at my hotel room's door, Fredo slipped behind me into the hallway. He immediately discovered the pleasures of room-service. Specifically, he discovered my neighbors' trays of half-eaten food left on the hallway floor. He discovered the hell out of them.
I'm pretty sure that point #2 had to do with Fredo, as well, in that same way that I'm pretty sure that Adam Sandler's next movie will feature a fart joke. I can't prove it, but what possible counter-argument is there?

Laudromat-at-Night.jpgThus did I unexpectedly end up at a seedy Spokane laundromat at 7am. Although it's been several decades, this environment is still very much...well, not home. That would imply that I ever didn't hate every second of being there. But it's surely familiar.

The same folks were there, too. The bedraggled middle-aged clerk was holding forth about her religion, hating her job too much to care if anyone got her fired. There was a strung-out homeless guy doing a wash and generally making expert use of the bathroom. There was a guy who clearly had shattered his eye socket some years ago and who, equally clearly, had never had it treated. It healed badly, and that half of his face looked like it was melting. I wondered about his peripheral vision when he was driving. I wanted to slap him like Burgess Meredith in Rocky II.

Now you didn't even see that comin', did ya? And that's comin' from a broken down pug like me. What do ya think a Buick would do to ya?

Hurt me bad I guess...

It'd hoit ya poimanent!

And of course, there was the well-dressed professional guy who was completely out of place, unexpectedly at a laundromat, fidgeting nervously and not making eye contact with the plebeians surrounding him. I found his air of superiority offensive.

I didn't know these people, and yet I knew them intimately. Eye-socket guy and sink-bath guy got into a spirited debate. As near as I could tell, the core disagreement involved which of them loves weed more. Someone entered Jesus into evidence. I marveled as they fervently disagreed about who was more certain that Jesus' healing miracles were reliant upon weed.

I am witnessing a miracle, I thought. This is the stupidest argument ever conceived by stoners. Which means it is the stupidest argument that has ever been.

A twitchy guy in a baseball cap and comically baggy clothes walked into the laundromat, nervously surveying the room and walking to the other side. He brought no laundry. He was just pacing and unsubtly watching us.

Aaaand I'm out, I thought, gathering my things.

"This is some shady-ass shit going on over there," said eye-socket guy, gathering his things, his peripheral vision just fine, thanks.

There's no place like home.

tolerance, inc.

Last night I learned something during a conversation with a bunch of 20-somethings. Not from them, of course. Perish the thought.

They were discussing the assholes in their lives. Friends, family, neighbors. I listened as they compared how they handle them. And that's when I realized a central truth of my life.

"I don't deal with assholes unless I'm paid to do so," I said.

Friends? Family? Neighbors? Please. I'm like the Terminator, ripping off malfunctioning body parts, tossing them aside, and moving forward without so much as glancing at it twitching on the ground. But if these same assholes paid me? Sure, asshole, let's hang out. I already do that for a living.

cleaning our own homes

The mooching, cheating spore who has derailed Darcy's life is Muslim. Or at least he's an Arab who was raised Muslim. I don't think he's practicing anymore. Regardless, the morning of the Boston marathon bombing, Darcy and I had the following conversation.

She spoke with Grave Importance. "When Cheating Spore heard about it, his first thought was I hope they weren't Muslim."

"Wait. That was his first thought?"

My first thought had been Fuck. This is horrible. My second thought was of my friends in Boston who I knew were watching the marathon.

Noting my offense, Darcy explained. "You have to understand how rough 9/11 was on him in school. Kids were really rude," she said, actually mustering condescension.

"I'm sure, since it appears to have completely destroyed his sense of empathy."

She sighed, exasperated by my self-centeredness, and tried explaining again how Cheating Spore was the real victim of 9/11 and the Boston bombing. It was then that I realized she had become his brainless Apologist-in-Chief.

I let it go. And then I let her go from my life. I barely talk to her anymore. I can watch the intellectual self-mutilation no longer.

• • •

I've thought about that moment a lot lately. In the wake of an alarming amount of police violence toward minorities, the outrage of the nation's police is channeled at Quentin Tarantino for criticizing them. Sure, his comments overreached, but he's not exactly killin' folk. Looking at zeal with which they're attacking Tarantino, I question where that outrage has heretofore been. One would think it might be directed at, say, the fellow cops who are killing civilians.

When a straight white guy says something bigoted, I'm the first to smack him down. As a straight white guy, is that not my job? To keep my own house clean? Other communities cannot act against my own with the same morality authority I can. And I expect no less from them. I can't repudiate Islamic extremists as effectively as Muslims can. With regards to police shootings, my actions don't carry nearly the weight that would thoughtful cops.' On the flip side of the same issue, I can't really be the one to say that Michael Brown isn't the best martyr for that cause. And I can't denounce the bomb-chucking demagogues in the GOP as effectively as the Republicans can.

Perhaps the desire to bitch about other communities would abate if we all stopped bitching and picked up a broom.

the ugly indian

I visited friends on Seattle's eastside Saturday. The friend part was fun. The Seattle and eastside parts were typical, which is to say execrable. Visiting Seattle has become an exercise in grasping a reliably electrified wire.

The people are entitled douches, they can't drive, and there are way too many of 'em. I was at a dead stop on a suburban freeway on a Saturday afternoon, glaring at the two empty "Rich Folks Only" toll lanes and despising the fuckwit who thought of that jack. I crawled the two miles to their next entrance point and then paid the fuckwit.

I ended up clothes shopping at Macy's, in what used to be whitest Redmond, home of Microsoft. The influx of Indians the last ten years has been astonishing. I'm sure whites are still a majority, but sometimes it doesn't feel like it. As I entered my dressing room, Indian guys entered the adjacent rooms. I was undressing when one of the men kicked clothes hangers and wadded-up clothes from his room into mine. He has an "out of sight, out of mind" approach to disposing of trash, I suppose.

I violently kicked the stuff back into his dressing room.


how come i'm only hearing about this now?

A snake bit a porny model's breast and died of silicone poisoning.

I shall not even attempt to make this funnier than it naturally is.

so very sorry

Spotify, I don't know what I did to you to make you keep suggesting Kelly Clarkson, but I'm sorry.

moron taxonomy
stupid church signs
super bowl xl officiating
percy chronicles

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