Friday, September 29, 2006

Potpourri of shit...

Yesterday was a real mixed bag for me, so I will try and tackle it chronologically. Usually there is one funny thing that happens and I can focus on that, but yesterday was so strange I am going to try and hit the whole thing.

I went to my Fitness Spa yesterday to catch a workout before I headed into work. I have to wear a sport coat to work, and a tie, so going from the gym to work is tough because it is still just a little too hot midday to be walking around in a sport coat. But I went to the gym, with a garment bag packed with my work stuffs and did my thing. It was a nice workout, I started at the "other end" of my circuit, so where I normally start on legs yesterday I started on shoulders and back. It was a good work out. Then I did my cardio, 20 minutes of a combination of high paced jogging. I feel buff. The Shit bag sales man gave me a thumbs up and a wink today. This guy is so creepy. I really wish I could put it into words, but he just comes across as the most insincere human in the world. I imagine when I am running sometimes that he is the type of person to tell his female employees to "wear something tighter" that makes me dislike him a little bit more and it makes me run faster. Apparently, I have learned, there is a class that I missed in high school. That class is the How-to-Walk-Around-Naked-in-a-Gym Class. I have never been comfortable doing it and I get nervous and shaky. I try to find the area of the gym where there will be no nekkid dudes walking around. And yesterday I picked EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE. I was down nekkid dude lane apparently and the worst part is that they were the chatty nekkid dudes - the guys that have a full on twenty-minute conversation with their junks hanging out. It. Really. Creeps. Me. Out. One guy was discussing the TO overdose while fully naked. There should be laws against it. If they can ban me from taking toothpaste on an airplane can't Homeland Security say that you can only be naked in a gym for the minimum amount of time required to shower and put on underwear. Seriously I am writing my congressman.

I left my gym and got into work, did some initial run around stuff, checked voicemail, returned calls, answered email. That kind of shit. Then I decided that I was going to run out and grab some Chinese food.

As I was walking into the store this guy... hold on... I am going to back up. The street that the Chinese place is on is a street I have mentioned before. It is filled up with people who constantly panhandle for money. I think some of them are generally needy and some of them take advantage, as a result up until yesterday I felt kind of immune to it. So let me continue. So, I was walking into the store and this guy, who looked kind of strung out, asked me for money to get something to eat. In my head, he hadn't even finished the sentence and I was already thinking, "Yeah right, buddy, eat. Sure, more like something to put up your nose, or shoot, or drink. Don't lie to me, I wasn't born yesterday." So I blew the guy off and marched into the Chinese place. I placed my order with the girl behind the counter and while they were making my food I happened to look out the window. That guy who had asked me for money for food was now rooting through the trash and eating a half a sandwich and some leftover french fries. It honestly broke my heart and I felt fucking horrible for not giving this guy some change. So I ended up buying him some wonton soup. It wasn't much but it was fresh and not thrown in a trashcan. It made me feel a little better. But there is something very raw, and very disturbing about watching a human being sifting through garbage for a bite to eat. It really threw me off my beam for the rest of the night.

While I was at the gym, I was juggling back and forth my TV watching, from videos on one TV to one of the 24-hour news channels on the other. I think it might have been Fox, or CNN but I couldn't tell you for sure. They were talking about this guy out in Colorado who took those kids hostage. I didn't have a headset on so I was half reading the subtitles. Anyway I had a second at work and I looked at and there was a new story about this little girl (little, she was 16 or so I guess) whose last message to her family was via text message that said, "I love u guys." Again, with the broken heart. I just don't know what to do or how to feel, this morning I was reading a news story that said the asshole had also sexually molested and abused the girls. You know something. I hope that there is a special room in hell for this guy when he gets down there. And I hope that it is horrible and that he has a good long time to suffer, that is fucked up beyond my ability to put down in words what I really feel about. And believe me I am not a prayer, I am not even a Christian technically speaking, but I will pray for this girl who died, and the others that were held captive in the hopes that they find some peace in this life or the next.

When I got back to work I somehow managed to trip up a flight of stairs. I was near the bottom, my shoe caught the edge of the step and I was thrust forward, in the effort to catch myself I found that I had been magically propelled to the landing. The woman in the finance department, whose office I had been going to, came rushing out and we had a good chuckle (my first one of the day, funny that falling up a flight of stairs was funny) and I continued the rest of my day with little to no event.

But it was just such a shocking day, not in terms of what happened to me, but in terms of things that I saw going on around me. Very very weird day. Today I am going to be off in the day. This weekend a little work (and working out, which will hopefully lead to more funny stories for my new friend Hippieange83.

But for today that is all.

Tomorrow I will hopefully be in a better mood to find some blog of the days.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


So the salesman at my gym was up to his crazy furniture salesman antics again. This guy came in to look at the gym and take a tour and G (that is the initial I will use for the salesman) was pointing at apparatuses (apparati?) and giving the usual talk up he gives to guys. "You know what all this stuff does, machines over here, free weights over there. I don't have to sell you, this stuff sells itself." It is a shitty thing to do, and car salesman and G famous for it. What it does, in case you are wondering, is puffs up the ego of the buyer and puts them in a position where they are unwilling to admit they don't know something, so they don't ask a lot of questions, because questions are a sign of ignorance. When I sold cars I used to talk about the engine and say things like, "it has a four port fuel injection system, but you probably know," that or, "the difference between the Altima and the Maxima, in terms of suspension, is that the Maxima has blah blah blah, but you have done your home work and I am sure you know all about it." It kills the buyer’s questions, it basically makes them zombies and if you can do it well you will make money. I happened to be very good at it. Because I never said it boisterously and because when I talked about the other stuff I tried to not sound like an expert, so I was trying to make it sound like I didn't know what I do, but surely you do.

But I am losing my focus, so G is walking around and doing his thing, and as it turns out I know the guy that he is walking around. So G says to me, hey Vince, how are you liking the gym? Then he gives me this finger point move and a raised eyebrow, that either said, "Aren't you impressed I remembered your name." Or, "God, I look good today." I couldn't figure out which one and since I don't really like G I didn't really ask. But the best part about this is that my name is not Vince. And the guy that was taking the tour knows that. So I will be interested to see if he joins. Mike, the guy on the tour knows his way around a gym and he is pretty serious about his fitness and it is a nice gym so maybe he will, but it doesn't really matter to me one way or the other.

Completely separate thought stream. On my walks into work in the morning there is this older man probably in his 60's or so that sits outside this little breakfast cafe and listens to his portable CD player -- I swear to god it is the cutest thing in the world. So yesterday when I was walking past him he was listening to the Beach Boys All Summer Long album. Last week he was listening to Surfin Safari. It was funny to see.

Another completely separate thought. There is this Chinese food place around the corner from my office; it is pretty decent by shitty Chinese food standards. But you walk to through panhandle lane to get there. It is a little off putting to be in the midst of the "Down City Renaissance" and be constantly asked for money. But yesterday... Oh man... I had somebody ask for paper money. Here is how it all went down (in a one scene play):

A dingy street that is attempting to look nice. A young man walks down the street with a paper bag filled with Chinese food. There are four people sitting on the street in various places.
Panhandler: Hey there Big Guy. Can you help me out, I need some money for food.
BG: Let me see. (Fishes around in pocket for a hand full of change, on finding some he scoops the change out with his free hand and hands it to the panhandler)
PH: Is that it?
Don't you have any paper?
What the hell am I supposed to get with this?
BG: (stunned) What? Sorry. That is all I got.

That was it, in truth that is exactly how it happened.

Five minutes later when I had stopped steaming this is what I wanted to say

A dingy street that is attempting to look nice. A young man walks down the street with a paper bag filled with Chinese food. There are four people sitting on the street in various places.
Panhandler: Hey there Big Guy. Can you help me out, I need some money for food.
BG: Let me see. (Fishes around in pocket for a hand full of change, on finding some he scoops the change out with his free hand and hands it to the panhandler)
PH: Is that it?
Don't you have any paper?
What the hell am I supposed to get with this?
BG: (stunned) What? Sorry. I don't think I heard you right. (beat) Did you just have the gall, the audacity to specify the type of money for which you are begging? So let me get this straight? Aside from the fact that you are begging for money I work my ass off for every week; you have the gumption to sit on this stoop in pressed clothing, and yes I recognize that you are a panhandler wearing clean ironed clothes, and designate the proper denominations? Shame on you, Sir. Shame on YOU!

Why I would choose to say Shame on you is really quite beyond me, but I also find it funny that when I am really fired up I use words like whom and I never, ever, end a sentence with a preposition. So basically something I learned about myself just know is that when I get angry or frustrated I turn into the grammar police. That is weird?

For those of you have been frequent readers of my obsession for food (and it pornographic qualities) today's blog o' the day is:
What the hell do I do with kale?
I like the writing first and foremost. It is a funny idea: A blog about food - recipes, restaurants the whole nine. But, and this is important, have you ever read a blog where you feel like you are reading a cardboard cut out, with out getting to look at the person underneath. Me too? I don't get that from this site. If I were going to have dinner with four perfect strangers tomorrow, Rachel would be on my short list. Whereas:

Today's winner of my dubious blog o' the day:
Girl With an Attitude
Honestly, I haven't the foggiest. I went to this mother of a webpage by using the Next blog button, which might be my favorite feature on a website, and I was stuck and new we had a winner. And no, not because there is a girl in a bikini on the front of it. Because what the person has typed down... It looks like English, but I don't understand a word of it. It makes me fell old and scared and yucky!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Sweetie, age ain't nuthin but a number....

I have been a dog owner for most of my life. The years that I have been out of college are really the only years where I haven't actively owned a dog, and I have to admit I miss it a little bit. I was at a mall recently and there was this really adorable little puppy and I think that if I had the time or space I would love to get a dog; one with which I could really do stuff, like jogs or playing catch or whatever.

But as a dog owner I have a respect for them. Dogs are animals. End of story. I happen to think that dogs have no places in people-y places like... oh... restaurants. And I also think it takes a certain type of real shit-bag person to think that I am willing to forgive the mange and general doggedness of dogs at a public eatery. But I am digressing and worst of all ranting.

What I wanted to talk about was that I also respect dogs for being animals, and not people, and recognize that often times dogs will do things that make sense to them and not always to humans. So today I was out playing frisbee with a friend of mine. We were in this park here in Providence and this woman walks through with a dog that was on a leash and an old Short-Haired Pointer. Beautiful old dog, had some damage to the legs and was limping a little bit, but generally a dog that can be off a leash and not menace people. So this woman passes in front of me and the dog comes in front of me and stops directly between me and her. Which is a protective stance for a dog. The dog is saying, "hey there buck-o, I got my eye on you, so no funny business."

But the dog wasn't snarling and the woman was telling me that he used to be a great frisbee dog. And so I asked, "Is he friendly?" You know before I go and shove my hand in the dogs face.

The woman's response made me realize that she knew positively nothing about dogs, except maybe that they like to eat and shit. She said, "a fifteen year old dog, what makes you think he has a mean bone in his body." Gosh, I really don't know. But I have seen more pitbulls and Mastiffs that are perfectly sensible beasties on the leash or under no threat, but would just as soon take your hand off if you give them an opportunity. See a lot of times a dog doesn't necessarily recognize the difference between an attacker and a well-intentioned stranger; not to mention there are well documented cases of dogs not liking particular groups of people. I knew a dog that couldn't stand people in work boots. I swear to god if you were wearing Timberland or Wolverine boots this dog would flip out. But you take the boots off and it was lovey o'lovihan. So I figure error on the side of caution and ask.

But this woman was genuinely offended that I asked if her dog was friendly towards people it didn't know and she wandered off to her car muttering under her breath and generally giving me the fucking stink-eye.

Todays Blog o' the day:
Dear Life...
Jesus, this one has it all and has made my book marks, it is funny, poignant (without being pompous), well thought out and really really fun to read (not the same as funny, I assure you), and it has some neat formatting feature that I would like to learn how to do, so that I can incorporate them into site, but it reads easily. Damn. This is one of those blogs that I hope I can start a relationship with, is it possible to have a romantic relationship with a blog? Not the writer but the blog itself. Hmmm????

Honorable mention goes to (I feel a little dirty leaving a note on a website when mine is so riddled with cursing):
Miss Kelly's Notice Board
Read the introduction. This is a teacher who has started a blog to keep parent's aprised of their children's homework obligations. What a great idea, I hope it works. There isn't anything necessarily funny about it, but it is a great use of technology. I hope that Miss Kelly finds it useful and I hope that she wins an award for being thoughtful and industrious.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I am. That Guy.

I am, today, going to be applying to go back to college. I will be attempting to acquire another bachelor's degree - why is it called a bachelor's degree?

But I am honestly terrified of going back to school, because I am going to be relating to the people that I thought were the creepiest. The "returning student". Now usually they weren't that daunting. Most of the time they were women my mother's age, whose family had grown up and moved out, or on, and they had time to complete something they had not previously completed. I understood that to a point, because they were, in fact, my mother. Usually I would make myself available for study groups or what-not because I thought that by helping them to acheive their goal I was somehow fulfilling a promise to my mother. (Weird and I hate Freud)

But I am now going to be the guy that was my nemisis, if you will. The 30 year old, returning, male, student. They were a pain in the ass. Becuase, unless they were military vets, I couldn't understand what the fuck they were doing back in college. I was certain that it was to check out the girls, because as Wooderson said, "You get older, but they stay the same age." But now I am going to be that guy, and I am wondering if the people in my classes will all look at me and wonder, "What is that OLD guy doing in our classes?"

Will I be older than my professors? Will my jokes about the 80's (or christ, the early 90's) go over like lead balloons. "I think you're going to hear crickets." I am positively terrified right now. This isn't grad school type stuff, this is like 101, Introduction to squibble-dee-doo. And I am going to be surrounded by 18 and 19 year olds. And I will be gut-wrenchingly honest. I. Don't. Understand. Them.

So between the gym (which is going swimmingly, more posts on the way) and school I will be filling you will fun loving posts for a while I think.

Today's winner of the blog o' the day award:
London Underground Life
1.) I honestly thought I was the only person to use phrases like Stupid o'clock to denote an inhumanly early time.
2.) If I worked in a London Underground station this would be blog, I am certain of it.
3.) I relate.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Jargon... continued.

I checked my email and this just came hot of the email pony express.

"Here are some notes from our meeting today. I hope you found the time informative and useful. I enjoyed our meeting and I know we can help you reach your fitness goals.

Establish routines
Supportive eating behavior – eat 5-6 times/day, High fiber, fresh whole foods, avoid processed high sugar foods, eat whole grains, eat less food than present amts.
Cardio – do @ 180 to 220 minutes/ week at moderate intensity build up to the volume.
Strength – circuit train at high intensity 2 to 3 times per week. Start out at low levels and allow the muscle and connective tissue to adapt.
Good luck. Let me know if you need any help.

Rethinking Fitness,"

This is the email that I got from the guy that conducted my interview. Everything we talked about is in here. But my big question is on the closing. What does "Rethinking Fitness" mean and why are they both capitalized?

I would have gone with:
Fitfully yours,
Stay fit,
Fit this,
Having fit,

But the way it is worded, makes me think that he is subtly trying to tell me that he made the wrong choices during my interview. Is he rethinking my fitness, or just fitness in general? I am confused now.

“Incomprehensible jargon is the hallmark of a profession.”

The quote is courtesy of Kingman Brewster via

I joined a gym, or a fitness spa if you prefer. I had my complimentary "30 minute fitness evaluation," I put it in quotes because they didn't really evaluate anything, it was more of a selling pitch for a line of supplements that they sell in the gym. Something called APEX; they make protein mix, and meal bars and all manner of disgusting things that I can ingest to make me look and feel good about myself.

While I was sitting in this little evaluation though, I was hit with a thought. The guy that was talking to me spoke entirely in jargon. Incomprehensible jargon. The kind of jargon, that contextually you think you know what it means, you fool yourself into believing you know what it means, and you slowly nod along and say, "hmmm," and, "ahhh," at all the right times so that the guy doesn't think you are a moron - because I know the last place I want to feel like a moron is in a fitness club. So when I left I didn't know anything more about my fitness goals than I do know. I eat like shit. I don't really exercise as well as I should, and I am effectively a lazy person (point in case I am using this posting as an excuse to NOT go to the gym I joined three days ago. Very dubious start.)

But my favorite part of the interview, jargon aside, was this question, "So how serious are you about your fitness goals?"

What kind of an answer is that supposed to solicit? I wanted to look that guy square in the mug and say, "Not very, I just feel like plunking down $700 bucks on a gym, excuse me fitness spa, is something I had to do today. But in all reality, if my past is any indicator of my future, you will see me in here for about three weeks, get to know my name and then I will become a fucking phantom and be too embarrassed to come in and then I will just stop showing up all together."

I would have loved to see the look on his face when I gave him that response. What I actually said though wasn't too far off my reply was more like this, "I don't know, I just signed a one-year contract at your gym, so as I am sitting here at your desk on Wednesday I would say that I am pretty serious, but ask me again in three weeks."

I don't think he had ever encountered a smart-ass of my caliber before. In fact I am sure of it, the rest of the interview was pretty terse. I asked him some rudimentary questions, my favorite being, "Do you advocate cardio before strength or the other way around?" He said it was better to do strength training first because it takes muscle coordination that might be exhausted if I did my cardio training first. I don't know why I asked the question, I think because I am a tool and wanted him to think I was smart or something.

While I was at the gy... fitness spa (I shit you not that is what they call it, they also call their personal trainers Fitpros) I realized I was in blog posting heaven. The absurdity of this place was awesome. The best part was the music video station they have playing. It played a power 80's set of Howard Johnson, Dexy's Midnight Runner, Oingo Boingo, Duran Duran. It was a great way to round out my workout. The funniest video was the HoJo video because the video, Everlasting Love, featured two mummies wandering around London (I think) and doing everyday things: buying ice cream, playing racquetball, going to office meetings, HAILING A TAXI CAB?! It was brilliant. The infancy of videos and nobody, NOBODY knew what they had on their hands. But I can tell what I thought. If any of those bands had tried to come out and release a hit single today they would all be fucked. FUCKED! Nobody would listen to them, because they are all ugly white dudes.

I am going to start reading other people's blogs more frequently and leaving messages, because apparently (my special lady friend tells me) that doing that will make this blog feel less futile. So to that end I am going to start a shameless plug footer at the end of every posting with a blog and why I like them.

Today’s winner is:
Sarah and the Goon Squad
Why I like it?
This is a person who is funny and honest about parenting. One of her postings involves vomit and raisins; I will let you read all about it, short but well worth it. But the reason I relate to it is because I grew up with twin sisters and I remember what it was like and it was fun and I love my sisters, but holy jeebus.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A glutton for punishment, I guess...

I went to the mall today, which is the third or forth time I have been to a mall in as many days. Which may lead some of the readers to think me a liar since I have espoused my hatred for malls, but the fact is I have to buy clothes for work and malls are a necessity.

But I got to the mall before the bulk of the stores opened up and so I had some time to toodle around and look at some of the stuff in the windows. Victoria's Secret had this apalling display that was a baby doll t-shirt that said, "My Dog Ate My Homework"

(see there it is, in all its radiance, on a total side note I feel like I am really getting the hang of this HTML thing.)

Anyway the way it was set up up in the window display, with a thong and some butt shorts, made me kind of cringe because the thing that it instantly made me think of was a bunch of male ad execs sitting around a table and discussing the new line of "hip clothes" that they would be putting out. Anyway the scenario involved some debate and then finally one of them came up with the campaign and they all loved it and now they are advertising Victoria's Secret as, "Why be smart when you skate through life on your looks and sex appeal."

It kind of made me wretch, and I think Susan B. Anthony and the entire Seneca Falls convention attendees flipped in their graves.

The other thing that happened was as I was leaving Men's Wearhouse this salesman accosted me with the strangest selling technique I have ever encountered. As I was coming out of the store, he looked at me and said, "Sir, Sir, I was wondering if I could talk to you about..." I kind of cut him off because he works for this spa products line called Dead Sea Spa and these guys are like fucking jackals. If you give them a little leeway they will gouge you and put all this shit on you and if you don't make a purchase, they put some weird voodoo/gypsy curse on you and your crotch will burn like you had habanero underwear on. Anyway so I try to blow the guy off politely by saying, something to the effect of no thanks, I am running late, or I am really not interested in your shit, but thanks anyway, have a nice day. Then this son-of-a-bitch says, "well I think you could really use it, if you would just let me show you because I was looking at your feet..."


I stopped dead in my tracks, and turned around. I have never really come close to throttling a retail salesman before but this guy came pretty close. Why was this guy looking at my feet? It creeped me out. And what did he think was going to happen when he said he had been looking at my feet? If you know me, you would now that I spend exactly zero minutes a day looking at my feet, or at least looking at them as a fashion accessory; in fact, I usually try to cover them up. But did he think that I was going become ashamed and finally open up the disgrace and self loathing I feel because of my feet and ask him to sell me methylethylalcohol products so that I might become proud of them? I think I told the guy, "I am really not interested," and walked out.

The other thing that happened to me when I was walking to work was that I was talking to my friend on the old cellular telephony device and as I was walking some old pan handler asked me for money. Normally I just say, "sorry man," and keep walking, but I was in a sour mood because of Salesy O'Saleshan from the Dip Shit Spa company and I pointed to my phone and said, "Hey man I am talking on the phone."

The pan-handlers response was mind-blowing. He said, " yeah, man I hear you that is a good excuse... help someone out." The ellipses are the point where my blood gushed into my brain and nearly made head explode. So I am not going to make something up but I think it was something about why I shouldn't have to help someone out. I wanted to turn around to that dude and explain to him that my being on the phone was not an excuse for not giving money, it was a reason. I actually was on the phone when he interrupted my conversation to give me some sad sack excuse why he needed a dollar.

I should have showed him my feet and said, "Sorry dude, I would give you money but I just bought this salt rub for my feet."

Why was he looking at my feet? Jeebus, what a creepy bastard.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Have a breath mint... Please.

Sunday I had a dream. Not that one day all men would be free and blah blah blah. No. This dream was weird because I couldn't figure out if it was reality or not. The dream went something like this.

I was in a class room and I was trying to make an oral presentation and every time I opened my mouth, people were passing out. I knew that I was having this demonically bad breath and it was strange because I couldn't figure out why.

In real life I had had a pan roasted omelette for breakfast with Chorizo, peppers and onions - actually it was a whole onion that had been drawn and quartered effectively. My breath was bad that even in my sleep I could acknowledge that my mouth was hot and dank and that my breath had to have been face meltingly bad.

It was strange because I had never had such bad breath that it effected every facet of my subconcious.

On a totally separate note. I saw two things today, one sad and one awesomely (or sad), that made me chuckle. The first, the saddest of the two, was a girl (presumably from the art school near my house) that had on this really weird outfit. She was wearing knee high stockings that were a patterned stocking (like a fishnet but not a fishnet) and some shorts that looked they were maybe running shorts from the 1970's or maybe like a beach cover short or something. Then she had on this weird hot pink denim jacket. The other awesome/sad thing was her friend had her pants pegged. If you don't know what a peg is, it is a way to role the pants that makes them really tight around the ankle and involves them being folded over themselves then rolled up the leg. It was a stange late 80's early 90's thing, I can't explain it.

Anyway. I have been so busy at work that I have had nothing funny happen to me lately. I am also reading this book called "The Historian" which I am still not finished with. It is about Dracula and when I finally finish it I am going to drive a stake through its heart. It is positively the most enthralling book, but most put downable, book I have ever read. I have never read a book this good, and well written that was easier to put down. It is written in three different styles and it just never really develops a flow. Also some of the chapters seem to go on for decades (my decades not the books). Which is funny being that it is about an undead Wallachian prince.

I joined a gym which I am sure will provide fodder for at least a month. The salesman at the gym reminded me of a car salesman, but worse, so like a shit bag furniture salesman. He is that guy who tries to play off indifference and as a result looks like a scumbag. His attitude tonight was, "I don't really care if you join this gym or not, but you would be a fool not to, look at all this gym equipment." It was weird, but I joined because it was small, well airconditioned, had the equipment that I like and am familiar with and had plenty of cardio equipment. All big time bonuses. Also it was within walking distance of my house, and fairly inexpensive given the gyms in my area.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I hate malls...

I went to the mall today, which is an event usually reserved for movie night because they have one of those enormous 16 theater cineplexes with the stadium seating and the hornery staff and I can walk to it which is honestly the big selling point, other wise the $10 movie ends up costing $15 with parking; and when you add in popcorn and soda a night at the movies will cost you about $39,862.99.

So I really detest the mall because by and large I am an odd body type and I can virtually never find clothes; that are reasonably priced; that fit; and that are something I would wear anyway.

While I was in Nordstrom's there was a pair of blue jeans, and they came in at a whopping $220.00. Maybe that doesn't shock you. But I was absolutely aghast. One of the things that they had as a feature - I guess you would call it a feature - was a pre-broken crease behind the knee. If you wear jeans to work you will know what I mean, when you sit down for a while you get that wrinkle that sits just behind the knee. Anyway they had that wrinkly in them. I don't know if that was made them cost $220 but I will tell say one thing. If you have.... No wait... if you are in a position where you look at these jeans (or any other jeans over $45.00) and think, I don't like the way they look, or fit, smell. But are not deterred by the price, I hope that you also donate your time to a soup kitchen or a shelter or the United Way or your local regional theater. Because that is a horrific display of excess.

Furthermore. JC Penney's, I found out, doesn't employee people in their stores anymore. I was on the second level of the JC Penney's store, featuring Men's and Women's clothing and I couldn't find one employee, not one. But just so I am not an unequal opportunity ranter, Macy's had three employees standing within ten feet of four customers who were completely lost and they were too busy stroking each other to realize that they had about $400 in sales waiting to be helped and when I approached them, the response I got was similar to the response you get from a cockroach when you turn on the lights.

The upside of my day thus far (as I write it is 1:51 Eastern) is that my first real night of work went off without a hitch last night, which was a gigantic, gigantic relief.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Brand New Car!....

Up here in Providence over the last couple of days their has been a real push by a marketing company called AMCI. They were doind some marketing for the Toyota Scion. Which I am only about 50/50 on, but I am about 75/25 now because of these guys.

First, they were young and fresh looking but without looking like dipshits as so many of the young kids that go to college around me do. Also they were very professional, but without being condescending. And last, they knew what they were talking about. The guy that I was talking to really knew about the different versions of the Scion, he knew the sticker prices, and the fully loaded options prices, it was neat. And it was nice to be able to talk to someone about a car that I might be interested in without the smoke-up-the-ass treatment that you sometimes get from the dealerships. Bravo AMCI.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

11 hours at work today.

I am starting to feel like I am in over my head, but drowning has never been a metaphor that I liked for work stuffs.

My favorite is one that I learned working in a restaurant: "In the weeds".

I like it for a couple reasons, but the big one is that it really clicks with that sense of helplessness that I get from being overwhelmed. That is how I feel right now.

So tonight you get, lame post. And I get a full nights sleep.

But I leave you with homework.

Somebody, for the love of god answer me these two questions.

1.) Why do restaurants allow their chefs to leave the tails on cooked shrimp?

2.) Why do drunk people always feel compelled to get into arguments on the side of the street in a corner or alley?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Economics, shoe shopping and me...

It might be a good idea to mention, for the purpose of a setup, that I was an economics major in college. I got my bachelors degree in economics with a concentration in finance. The difference between finance and economics at my college was whether you took International Banking and Corporate Finance or Intermediate Macro and International Trade. I took three of the four of them.

Sometimes I like to go shopping. Most of the time I hate it. But sometimes I turn into my sister and I obsess about something until an opportunity presents itself where the object of my obsession becomes a fiscally prudent decision.

That happened tonight.

I went and had dinner at this fun little Lebanese falafel joint that is kind of near my house that a friend of mine owns. It is a good place the people that work there have always been good to me and I enjoy the company as much as I enjoy the food. It needs to be said because I don't go to a ton of places that deliver the total package for me, but this one does.

So after dinner, the wife and I walk up the street, we had to buy a sympathy card for a family member and we passed by this sports store. Outside they had an assortment of rain jackets, you know the ones that are made from flimsy tent material, that were on sale for thirty dollars. Hell of a bargain. So I take one of the jackets, try it on and... PRESTO! It fits like shit. I hated it, didn't like the color, or the fit or the way the zipper felt, nothing, not one redeeming quality to this jacket and even at thirty dollars I was bored to tears with it and couldn't have cared less.

So know you are probably asking yourself, what does that have to do with fiscal prudence or economics and justification, you saw the jacket, it was a bargain by all conventional valuation methods and you hated it so you didn't buy it? Why are stringing us along? Or maybe you are thinking, "huh... I guess I forget, through all his rambling what I am reading about, I'm thirsty, I want some chocolate milk."

But as I was taking the coat off, something caught my better half's eye and she says, "Oh. Great, bandanas, I need some for work." I am now thinking, "this is great, while she is looking at the bandanas, I will saunter over to the wall where they have the shoes and see if they have anything that is interesting looking."

One hundred and ten dollars later I am the proud owner of two pairs of shoes. Here is how it all went down. As Joe Friday would say, just the facts.

Fact: I walk to work, and have been doing so in either a combination of running shoes and a Dr. Marten's boot or just a ruddy pair of Dr. Marten's black classics.

Fact: My round trip to work is about 2 miles, possibly a little under, but I take a route that is not the most direct so that I can get coffee in the morning.

Fact: My feet have been hurting horrifically after work lately.

Fact: I typically wear chinos or a chino style pant to work. On Friday's I wear jeans.

Fact: I "needed" a new pair of shoes that would be comfortable, fashionable and reliable (I might be editorializing a little bit).

Here are the Shoes:
The instigator:

The accomplice:

I am standing there, at this sports store, looking at the shoe wall and being pissed off because Merrill (a company whose shoes I love dearly) has jacked up the price on all of their shoes. A hiking moccasin that used to cost 45-55 dollars is now 85-95 dollars. I am not fuming, but I am also not willing to spend the money on the shoes. (I know what you are thinking but wait for it, it gets better). So I ask the shit of a store employee if they have the shoe in a 13, he grimaces, says he will see if they have one and then disappears. Now at this point I am convinced that regardless of the fit of the shoe, I am not going to buy it. In fact, I am going to try the shoe on and try to find something wrong with it. Something that will make me not want to buy it. This little plans blows up in my face, they have the shoe, I try it on, and I am in love with them all over again. Now at this point, the kid is talking about the corporation Merrell and their beginnings... in England.

At this point I stop because this is me being me. The kid was a kind-hearted dipshit and if you are reading this and you know me, you are probably saying, "I bet that he tore that kid up and down." And, you know, I wanted to; but I didn't. I sat there walked around, content in my knowledge that Merrell was a thoroughly American company, founded somewhere out west - I had Utah in my head and on further examination I was right - and that this kid didn't know boogie monster from a gila monster. (Normally I try to not push the links but they are too cute not too.)

Sorry to stray so far off the path here. So as I am trying the shoes on, and doing my slow burn at the clerks stupidity I notice that they have a special going on, buy one get one for 25 dollars. So now the old econ brain gets going. I am willing to spend 50 bucks on these shoes, and if I buy another pair and spend 100 bucks on two pairs of shoes, my per unit cost comes down in line with a price I am comfortable paying. And I get a second pair of shoes to kick around in. Brilliant! So I went over the numbers in my head again. 75+25 divided by 2, yep unit cost of 50 bucks per shoe. I am sold. Sign me up. Can I wear them out? So lets recap, I am unwilling to spend 75 bucks. The solution: SPEND 100.

Jeebus Christ.

Bad news on the iPod front, Day 3 and it is crapping out again.

I'll have the half a sandwich, a cup of the split soup and a cookie...

If you live in Providence and you have been to the Meeting Street Cafe, you know what is wrong with that sentence.

If you do not live in Providence, or have not been to the Meeting Street Cafe, that is what I had for dinner.

I ordered it, because I didn't want to fill up. I was going to "take it easy". So I ordered a half a sandwich (the New Yorker, which is corn beef on rye with mustard), a cup of soup (split pea with ham) and a cookie (for dessert).

Now let me tell you, unknowing people what is wrong with this and I will start from the cookie and work my backwards in the style of Memento. The cookies at MSC are delicious. THEY ARE ALSO THE SIZE OF A THREE-YEAR-OLD'S HEAD. They are not a little sweet either, THEY ARE SINGLE HANDEDLY KEEPING DENTISTS CHILDREN IN POSH PRIVATE SCHOOL. Seriously, if you are a human being, you have no business what-so-ever eating a whole cookie by yourself. NONE. Don't argue with me; trust me it is for your own good.

The "cup of soup". A picture is worth a thousand words. So here is a picture of the line cooks preparing my cup of soup.
Meeting Street Cafe Split Pea Soup with Ham

And the half a sandwich I had, well look I don't think I have to regale you with the details but here is another picture... (Scratch that. I just went looking for a funny picture of a sandwich that was larger than life. Do a google image search; use the key words huge sandwich or gigantic sandwich. Did you do it? Eww... Right? It took me to the ninth page to find a picture of Dagwood, seriously something is wrong with the world.) I am not going to post a picture but I will tell you that it is easily a sandwich and a half, with full 2/3rds of a pound of meat in it.

But here is the sickening part of it. I have eaten there before, many times as a matter of fact. I happen to really like it; I always order the split pea soup. It is wonderful. I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THE PORTIONS ARE LIKE, I KNOW THAT I AM GOING TO MAKE MYSELF SICK! AND I DO IT ANYWAY! (but the cookies are delicious and well worth it.)

On a totally separate note, I walked out of my house this morning (today was trash day) and I saw this wrapper laying on the street and I thought it was for a sex toy like a dildo or a vibrator or some kind of weird ... well never mind. But it was in fact the packaging for a Royal Blunts wrapper. Georgia Peach to be specific. Personally I think it is funny that they make tobacco wrappers you can buy loose to roll your wacky tobacky in these days. But the packaging for the wrappers alone is worth the $4.50.

The good news for the day is that my iPod seems to be not acting up as much right now. Fingers are crossed. Pray for it.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Why Me G-d?? (on my knees with clenched fists raised to the sky)...

This is a sad day indeed. I think my iPod crapped out on me.

I have had it for two and a half years at this point. I think I got it back in the Spring of 2004 or 2005 I don't remember exactly but I have it in my head that I have had it for a while and these bastards that make consumer products make them with the expectation that they will last only as long as the warrantee and then you will have to buy another one. But I am dismayed none-the-less because I am afraid that iPod servicing will be expensive and that I won't be able to afford it, but hey what are you going to do? I could freak out and buy another iPod (I will fess up, I did already look at the website) but I am convinced that whatever is wrong is a passing thing and that I will let the battery die and it will work itself out.

But I have been thinking about how dependant I have become on this little turd of an apparatus because I am having trouble imaging my walks to and from work without it. It makes it just a little more tolerable really, drowns out the honking cars, drowns out the pan handlers and if you couple it with my "sporty" sunglasses, and a scowl it makes me look like I am not one to be trifled with -- and I am not, I think. And I am really bummed about it.

I have been reading this book called The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova recently, and it is a wonderful book very well written. Very complicatedly written, too. (And as someone who would very much like to progress in a writing career, I feel that rather than just "sitting down and doing it" I should do some homework first: and if Ralph Shock heard me say that he might actually shit himself) But the story is told as a woman retelling a story of her youth, through the letters of her father, so the story is constantly shifting 1st person narrative styles and it is interesting because the author has effectively created two personalities telling a story, one is the primary narrator a 60 something year old professor remembering her formative teenage years. The other, is a 60 something year old man, writing to his daughter going through her formative teenage years as he goes off to hunt and kill Dracula. So I have been reading with the intent to help me find a style that suits my "voice" I suppose. Because if I sat down "did it" right now my writings would sound like a horrific cross between Nick Hornby and Robert Ludlum with some insane Isaac Asimov thrown in. Which would be positively unreadable. But I have this other blog, Marlowe's Sketchpad, which is designed as a space for me to try some things out and see how things shake out. If you have a spare second, something strikes you and you want to comment on it please do I would appreciate the input. But remember, as Liz would say (in her southern belle voice), "If you don't have anything nice to say, keep your fucking mouth shut." Which, I assure you, sounds infinitely more funny coming out of Liz's mouth than it could possibly look on paper... err screen.

I also had a funny moment at the movie theater on Friday. I went to see The Illusionist and while I was standing in the line for the overpriced sugar water and stale-as-all-get-out popcorn, I noticed a sign for this movie called The Covenant and I thought, "Wow, that looks awesome!" (With an exclamation point, yes.)

And at this point I am going to pause for a sort of station identification. I am reading a book about Dracula, or the hunting of Dracula at any rate. I am also grossly intrigued with a movie about some kind of supernatural mumbo-jumbo. I am outing myself as a closet goth. Not a Goth, I don't wear make up, I happen to love colors, I could take or leave the Smith's and I still refuse to admit that Siouxsie and the Banshees are a Goth band. But I do love the occult, I do love the romanticism behind the vampire mythos and I have said that I wish I could be a vampire so that I could be rich. (Which for the record I would kill only bad people and take their money and save it because I wouldn't have to give Whole Foods all my money every week). But the point is that I do like Vampire-y, magic-y and romantically torn monster-y movies (not the transmuted, evil kind, but the hopeless you feel sorry for them as they are being shot/staked kind).

So anyway, I sort of lost interest in this movie when I read the poster for it. Here is the tagline, as it was printed on the poster:

In 1692, five families with untold power
formed a covenant of silence.
One family lusting for more, was banished,
their bloodline disappearing without a trace.
Until now.

And here is the bad news. If you thought I was a geek for being into vampires, just wait. Wait for it... okay here it comes. I have at best a passing interest in the movie because the sign has a grammatical error on it. If you can see the error, you are a friend and a brother or sister in arms. If you can't, never fear, I am going to tell you what it is and you can tell me you knew the entire time and nobody will be any wiser. (For the record I am not an editor nor do I claim to be a perfect writer, I know that my postings are probably rife with grammatical errors that make people cringe. But, I am just one man on blogspot with a spelling grammar checker. Sony Pictures on the other hand, is a gigantic corporation and some lazy shit should have caught this error.

The error is that the parenthetical phrase in the line beginning one family is wrong and as such the entire sentence doesn't make sense. The key with a parenthetical phrase is that it is a piece of information that is inserted into a sentence that isn't relevant, but maybe helpful or comedic, and can be removed. (Did you like how I snuck a parenthetical phrase into my definition, and yes I feel very clever.) So the parenthetical phrase, which is identified by the commas book-ending it (there I go again), is "was banished". So let's take it out and you have, "One family lusting for more their bloodline disappearing without a trace." As John Stewart would say, "A WHAAA." It makes absolutely no fucking sense. What they should have done - and for the record it is corrected on their website - is made the phrase "lusting for more" the parenthetical phrase and then put everything in the line about the bloodline after a dash. A dash is designed to give you the A-HA moment or if you are ghetto fabulous you might prefer SNAP or OHHHH SHITTT. So on the website it reads:

In 1692, five families with untold power
formed a covenant of silence.
One family, lusting for more, was banished -
their bloodline disappearing without a trace.
Until now.

Now that is a great freaking sentence. Look at it. It has everything. If that were the tagline I would have gone to see that on opening night. But alas because some hung-over intern didn't bother to proofread the poster art it has been relegated to my viewing it at the Patriot for a dollar. And yes I will suffer through the smell of urine. TAKE THAT SONY PICTURES!

For the record I am ashamed that I have been obsessing about that poster since last month.

I want my iPod back.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Well the gig is up...

I am no iron man, my run of continuous posts ended at 19 I think. What a shame. I had such lofty goals and it was all for pot. I couldn't even put together 30 days of continuous posting, oh well, life goes on.

So anyway, for my job I have these presentations that I have been doing. There were 5 of them in all and I generally had to stand up and give a non-rehearsed little speech (that was different every night) and all-in-all it went very well. I never had someone come up to me and say, "HEY DUDE, YOU SUCK" most of what I got was, "Your very funny, I can't wait to work with you."

But here is the funny thing. I have really bad stage fright. I don't enjoy talking in front of large groups of people where I am "presenting" or "performing." Put me a room with people and wind me up and let me go and I am brilliant, I will converse and walk and be jovial and bring people together and find out what interests people (usually themselves) and talk about that subject until they are blue in the face or they expose themselves for being whack jobbers, which happens quite often. But you get me up on a stage and ask me to recite the A, B, C's and I can almost promise you I will have pissed myself by the time I get to the letter K. I don't know why it is, but it is and I have sort of lived in my perpetual fear of being on stage. I was in a play in college, but my lines were pretty much limited to:

"Oh momma, don't go."
"Hey you kids get out of that tree"

There was also a really filthy line that I had to say about one of the main characters who I think was named Karl Heinz and his love for this woman, who is Jewish, I played a Nazi soldier and it was a filthy line, I can't say I forget it on purpose, but it is forgotten and I am better for it.

But that is pretty much my acting career in a nutshell, one play, three characters and a total of six lines. I was MESMERIZING. And absolutely scared shitless. I mean, what realistically would have happened if I had blown a line or botched a bit of my presentation? In the grand scheme of things, not a hell of a lot. So why do I start to shake uncontrollably when I have to recite Shakespearean Sonnets? Who knows. But if it keeps me away from the stage and ruins my acting career (sarcasm alert folks) I will live with it.

So anyway, I keep losing focus here, stage fright, presentations... Oh yes. So these presentations went off pretty well, I am pretty sure that some people didn't like them, but I am also fairly certain that some people don't like wild flowers, kittens and puppies, ice cream and quiet children -- we call them jerks. For the most part, however, they went well and I received accolades from my co-workers for my wry wit and my ability to make people laugh and it is kind of putting a damper on my pity party. Which is a drag. But in a good way. WHAT?!?!

So anyway the stage fright thing struck again when my kickball team (Did he just say kickball? Yes, yes he did, here in Providence there is an organized kickball league. It is more about the pageantry than it is about the sport of it. But it kills a Saturday afternoon so what can I say.) was sitting on a tied score at the bottom of the last inning and we were in the field, and I think I was actually praying, "Please don't kick the ball to me." But they did and I caught it. I would love to say that was the third out and we won the game but it wasn't and we didn't. We ended up losing 3-2. But you know what? It's kickball and I will sleep the sleep of babies and small children even with this loss. The funny thing for me was the feeling that I was somehow going to screw the whole thing up. Anyway enough about that.

This post brought to you by the letter k.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Yo DJ Play that Music...

I want my own theme music. I have wanted my own theme music since I was about 14 when I first saw I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. I am not saying that this is the greatest movie of all time. I don't know that I remember much about it except a pimp in platform shoes with goldfish in them. But I remember at some point Keenan Ivory Wayans turns around and there is a guy with a "Boom Box" (or a Ghetto Blaster if you prefer) and he strikes up his theme music.

(There is also a great bit of music and -- God I can't believe I am putting this down -- dancing at the end of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai across the 8th Dimension. I think that planted the seed for it all because I can remember watching that movie, nearly a hundred times with a kid named Joel Puckett.)

So I was thinking about it and I just don't WANT my own theme music, I think that if I don't get some to carry around with me my head might pop. That is really why I carry an iPod. It allows me to change my personal theme music whenever I want. Sometimes, I like to fancy myself a member of the Chamillitary on my way to work. Other times I like to listen to a little Brendan Bensen. But ultimately I have music in my brain, and the way my mind works this seems to be the most fitting. I don't know what it says about me that ultimately my them music is from a Henrik Ibsen play, or moreover that about a dozen people will hear it and know that. But this is it, folks, for better or worse.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Psychic vampires strike again.

Man alive. I don't know how many times people can prove their stupidity to me, but I really ought to start counting.

I am doing these small presentations for work. I have started off by saying, if you have a problem with [this one thing] than email or call me after the presentation and we can figure something out. Please don't ask me about it know, my email address and what not is all listed on the squibledee-doo and just give me something after this and we will talk.

And I swear to the baby jeebus, that I got 10 questions about that thing. It is unbelievable.

Also, I have now tried a couple of the fruity flavored gums that are being made, like Trident's tropical blast and someone else's lemon lime. They aren't for me. I want to swallow them (does that make me a slut?). I am a cinnamon or mint varietal guy when it comes to my gum.

Also, I don't know about where you live, but this new movie The Illusionist is selling out and getting good, to great reviews. And the thing about it is that I haven't heard a damn thing about it. But it proves that my love of Edward Norton is not misplaced.

Last and I swear to god this is last. Sometimes I meet people and I can't help but think that those people are really nice and pleasant and they smile and you are disarmed. I love those people. If you are one of them, thank you. If you aren't and you wonder why people don't immediately take to you, let me tell you something. Smiles are your best friend. If you smile and mean it, you can get anything you want.

Oh yeah I ate, I think, 12 cookies today and four cups of coffee today. YIKES!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The elephant in the living room...

I was hanging out with some friends tonight and... Okay, let me back up a second.

Sorry to do this to you. I go back and forth on my feelings about children. Sometimes I think they are adorable and sometimes I think they are proof that we, as a species, will ultimately be judged as failures. Harsh I know but if you have waited tables and some kid snap at you over the top of his gameboy you know what I am talking about. Ill behaved children have the tendency to bring out the worst in me. I don't know why but they do. Let's move on.

So, I was hanging out with some friends and one of the people (not a friend of mine per se, but a friend of a friend) brought a baby with her. Cute kid too. Really happy, smiling, quiet, an exemplary baby; but at some point in the night the baby shit itself, it's a baby, they do that, I get it.

But the mother would not acknowledge it. She wouldn't say, oh gosh, little baby here just shit all over herself, excuse me will I change the diaper. She sat there, continued to chat and, hahaha, after about 20 minutes, or so, everybody in the room was sort of glancing around and exchanging looks with other people. As if to make sure we weren't crazy. If there were an unspoken dialogue it would have gone like this:

Scene I
A standard suburban living room, nothing too fancy. A Pier1 Shanghai Entertainment Center sits off to the corner of the room. 12 people are sitting around a Pier1 Hainen Coffee Table. The mood is jovial. But there is a newfound palpable discord in the room.

Person 2: Holy Crap, LITERALLY. That baby just shit itself, I can't be making this up am I the only one that is smelling this?
Person 3: (Looking at person 2) DUDE! You are not crazy, that baby totally dropped a deuce in its pants.
Person 4: Aren't babies wonderful, they are like literally reminders that life is happy when it is kept simple.
Person 5: I can't believe that baby gets to shit itself and nobody says anything. If I shit myself, they would tell me to go home, and then make fun of me.
Person 6: This is why I hate babies.
Person 7: Man, they weren't kidding this wine does taste like Hobo Balls.
Person 8: I wish I could shit myself right now. (Makes a grunting face)
Person 9: I have to go to the bathroom; I think I just shit myself.
Person 10: Why is Person 8 grunting, don't they know that the baby is the one that shit?
Person 11: (oblivious to the surrounding) I love my baby so much, she is adorable, and everything she does is perfect. Ahh look at that she has water in her eyes.
Person 12: (eyes watering) WOW! What is that lady feeding her kid?


Okay, not my finest work, but you get the point. It was really funny, there were Spock-like raised eyebrows and we were all sitting there in disbelief. One of the funniest things ever. Okay that is a horrible lie, but given the day I had it was mildly amusing at just the right time.

But the whole situation reminded me of two things, the first was a Jerry Springer episode where a guy was going to tell his girlfriend that he had a little kid fetish, liked to pee and poop himself, wore a diaper and had a pacifier. It was pretty disturbing; but then it was Jerry Springer, I was in college and there is a 90% chance that I was skipping Modern Political Theory because I had the Balanchine Dancers rehearsing The Nutcracker Suite after drinking a case and a half of Natty Light (speaking of hobo balls).

The other thing it made me think of was the SNL skit about the Adult diapers, "Oops I crapped my pants". The tagline for the ad was "Because I am, and I just did." And when I was 20 I thought it was brilliant.

A little explanation...

I have been thinking of a polite way to explain the name of this blog, and what the significance is to me. Since I am the person who named the thing I suppose you might be curious why it is called Like Pollution.

So here it is. First, I love astronomy. I really love it and I wish I knew more about it; I would love to be able to afford a really nice telescope and be able to get into photography and some serious stargazing. But I can't, it is an expensive hobby and currently it isn't feasible. But in astronomy there is this phenomenon called Light Pollution. Light Pollution is effectively the drowning out of the night sky by the ambient light that humans generate. Street lights, house lights, buildings cars. All these things kick up light and it creates a sort of "drowning" of the lights of the night sky. I grew up in New Mexico, southern New Mexico and one of the most amazing things I have ever seen is the sight of the Milky Way stretching across the sky. It is truly one of the most breath-taking experiences I have ever had; and the damnable misery of it that I didn't miss it until I lived in New York, which has this awful yellow haze of a night sky. So the really horrible part of light pollution is that it drowns out all of the minor stars and in some cities, New York for example, the only thing you see in the night sky is the Moon and Jupiter (which is the brightest night sky object outside of the moon). This is really sad.

So keeping that in mind, I am sick of the word "like". I was involved in a conversation and I heard this person (my counterpart) use the word like no less than twenty-five times -- the conversation was about what their favorite part of Princess Bride was. When I was in middle school my teachers were very big on driving home that nice and good were lame words and that they should be avoided whenever possible. As a result, when someone asks me how I am doing, my first response is usually, "good," but then I start to dry heave and convulse so know I say well. I try to confine good and nice to the very smallest portion of my vocabulary, but to do it in a way that is not condescending. Which is easy to do, there are great words out there to substitute for them. But the word "like" has somehow managed to permeate the vernacular in a very pervasive way, and I have, quite frankly, had enough.

So the original name of this blog was going to be light pollution, but it didn't pan out, someone here on blogspot already has it. So I chose like pollution instead. I kind of enjoy it. (See I could have said I kind-of like it, but why enjoy is more fun). It reminds me of the beauty of the written word sometimes. It reminds me that when everything is said and done, the English language is a growing, evolving one and that there is always a better word than the one I want to use.

So that is sort of the history of the name of this blog.

There are two types of people in this world. People that use similes to illustrate their points, and people that learned to make a constructive argument properly.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

They're back....

I live near a pretentious, Ivy League college. It is a good one, the people whom I have met from the college that work there are all really great people. The curriculum seems challenging and I don't doubt that it is a great experience.

But I am going to show my age for a quick second.

The freshman this year. They look like babies. I just want to scoop them up and hug them and tell them, none of this matters, that the girl/boy you are sad about leaving home, she/he is already sleeping around; the best friend you left, is probably glad you are gone; and the girl/boy that you think you are in love with, that you are going to leave your girl/boyfriend back home for; when they break your heart around Thanksgiving don't say I didn't warn you.

I mean, I guess I just remember my freshman year too much, I thought I was Kublai Kahn, but in reality hindsight being what it is, I didn't know shit. I mean really. I DIDN'T KNOW SHIT. I was just looking at all of these children that were walking around and I was thinking, "Shit, how old could they really be?" So being the person that took Algebra twice I decided to try out a little test.

(This will be the first time I have used this in 12 or so years.)

The year is 2006. Most college freshman will be 18. So I am trying to find out what year they were born and how old I was at that time.


So Y=(2006-18)-1976

No so bad I guess. But I think this is sick, I was trying to get girls to kiss me when these kids were born. (I was always brutally unsuccessful at it.)

Anyway the freshman were born in 1988 so I am going to be right back and come up with a list of movies that came out in 1988. Be right back.

Jeebus Christ, 1988 was the year that Pan Am 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland. Two things are significant about this. One, the case was settled in the last 3 or so years and Libya made a pretty small settlement. Two, Pan Am doesn't exist as an airline anymore. Yikes.

Okay, here is a link to the list of the 1988 Oscars. It makes me sad that A Fish Called Wanda, one of my favorite movies of all time, came for that Oscars.

Now technically movies that were at the 1988 Oscars came out in 1987 but really what is a year and honestly who cares, you get the point. The point being that this sucks. I FEEL old. Yuck. Ewww.

The funniest part to me about the college kids being back is all the popped collars. There are a lot of them going around here. A LOT OF THEM! Which is really ironic to me, because the last time that fucking look was popular was the year they were all born ¬ woe is I.

Anyway, if you have a chance, find a college freshman and give them a big hug. Let them know that none of this (and when you say "this" make sure to gesticulate it indicating all of it, the whole world, the fact that they are freshman taking a 200 level class) matters. And that in ten years you will be lucky to remember the names of five people you hooked up with and you might remember 5 people you took classes with that weren't in your circle of friends. Hug them, because they are earnest and they really think they are on skipping the road to a brighter new beginning. Whatever you do don't tell them that that the light at the end of the tunnel is really....

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Oh sweet Jeebus, 182 minutes that I will never get back...

I don't own a television, and now I finally understand why. I will quite literally sit down and watch any piece of shit movie that comes on. Really I will, I love that shit that Sci-Fi Channel serves up on their movie weekends, the series of movies, if it hadn't been for my wife, I would have watched, They Crawl, Killer Swarm, Raptor Island, and Sabretooth without movie a muscle. There is a gene that most people have, it makes them turn off shitty television, my wife has it (but she does love 90210, which I will forgive her for) my best friends all have it. I. I am missing it. I don't know if it is a double recessive that I have, or that maybe that whole mess of genome is all screwed up but I will sit down and watch a movie staring Sam Neill that was a sequal to a movie that should never have been made anyway.

The movie was called Merlin's Apprentice. It was horrible and it featured on Hallmark Channel. In the detective business they would have called it a clue. But I didn't get it, I missed it. The worst part is that this clue isn't something that the folks on CSI would have to uncover, this would be the equivalent of me sitting at the scene of a horrible crime questioning a person holding the murder weapon, with blood caked on his/her hands, screaming, "I DID IT, I KILLED THE [SON OF A] BITCH," with Star Jones sitting in back of me saying, "Uh yeah, I saw the whole thing and he/she isn't lying, they killed that person." But somehow I would think that there was a deeper story there.

I guess the lesson is that sometimes as compelling a story as I think there might be, if it is on Hallmark, I can probably let it go on and play without me. But then again, you are reading the blog of a guy who saw Bloodrayne in the the theater, by himself, on a weekend. (I am ashamed that I outed myself.)

So the real lesson is that when I have a TV I am more inclined to sit on my ass and not do what is required of me but instead sit (and for the record I accidently wrote shit instead of sit) and watch shit-bag movies all day long.

God what a useless day.

3 things....

I own no television. It isn't a holier than thou thing, I am just to broke to afford the kind of cable that I want. So I don't have a TV. However, my in-laws have exactly that kind of cable I want. That is, they have Fox Soccer Channel, Sci Fi, and Food TV (aka Spice 9, now if they could only come up with a channel about office supplies). So when I go to visit their house I really veg out in front of the tube, to the detriment of everything else.

Anyway tonight on FSC after the show Dream Team there was this ad for a credit repair company, and from this ad I I can tell you that I will never use their service. Here is why. The camera work was THE worst I have ever seen. It was almost like they were getting ready for their ad shoot, grabbed a couple of employees figured out who was good on the demo of Apple's iMakeanAd software, borrowed a camera and than grabbed Drunky McDrugshakes to work the camera. Seriously holy shit. This camera operator was zooming in and zooming out, and moving right and moving left, zooming and moving and it was zooming and moving all over not just on people but on stationary objects too. I was laughing through the whole ad. Positively the worst ad ever.

One other thing I wanted to say is that there is definitely such a thing as too much meat, and folks, I am living it. I am not going to get into it with you but trust me, there are a lot of PETA people feeling a disturbance in the force. Like a billion souls all screaming out at once. Bad news if you are a chicken, good news if you are at a birthday party.

Last, I just got my very first piece of junk shit comment. It was a little daunting, but I deleted it with aplomb.

So over the next week or two, my posts are going to be pretty short because I am starting on a bender of playwriting and as a result my stuff here is going to short, crisp and too the point (it might be a dull point, but it should be a point of sorts). Stay tuned and I will let you know what is going on.

Words to your muthers.