He ran through the jungle like a man possessed. Like a man possessed, he ran through the jungle. In the jungle the man ran, as if he were possessed. The man, who ran as if possessed, was in the jungle. The jungle was where the man was running like he was possessed. He, feeling and acting very much possessed, trotted through the jungle. In the jungle he possessedly ran, through it, like a man.
He was most certainly not a man. He was a boy. The tears were streaming down his face and that wasn't even the worst part. His left arm, twisted and broken, hung limply from his shoulder while he bumped into trees and fell on the ground. Each time he landed on his face he would have to wiggle around and free his right arm, prop himself up (always as if possessed) and sort of jump from a sitting position into a full run. Once into his full run he would once again bump into a tree trunk.
The forest was green and bright in that living way and moisture lay like a thick down blanket over everything. He flailed his one good arm at the haze as if windmilling through cobwebs in a basement (the foliage hung low enough to suggest a dimly lit basement rec room) and the haze, like a cobweb, relented with only the slightest hint of hesitation. The green, everywhere, offended his taste and he ran even faster. He just wanted to get home.
Home, for this boy, was a large ranch house deep in the Brazillian forest where he had lived for almost his whole life. It was big and wide and stood out in the middle of clearing with a circular driveway curving around in front. It was painted an off-cream colour that, while not entirely offensive, was clearly man-made. Amongst all the green it almost felt wrong.
The blood near his temple kept dripping down his face and into his mouth; off his nose and onto his shirt. He could taste the redness on his tongue but that wasn't what bothered him so much, it was the sweat that really irritated him. Every once in awhile he would, while still running, reach up and swip at his face with his sleeve in a jerky way someone swatting at a fly might. The shirt was soaked around the collar and faded to dry down by the waist, wet also on the one arm.
Breaking into the clearing he fell again, this time sliding across the gravel driveway and ending up splayed out with little around him to aid in getting up. He rolled over and sat up, looking back at the jungle behind him and then down at his arm. The bone, cracked and sharp, stuck out of the skin just below the elbow. He picked at it, cleaning off the sand and dirt and tried to wipe the blood off but it just smeared around.
After he got back on his feet he jogged over to the front steps and eased himself down onto them. He looked around at the house and placed his hand on the smooth wood of the steps. His breathing had already slowed a bit and he allowed himself to relax. For the first time in over a day the man closed his eyes. His eyes closed for the first time in over a day. The man, for the first time in over a day, closed his eyes. He closed his eyes for the first time, the man, in over a day. For the first time in over a day he closed his eyes, the man.
The Way Life Should Be
You people want pictures.
I know it. You know it. This place knows it.
What's the internet without multimedia? What is life without colour?
I try sometimes but then I get lazy and I try for pertinence and I try for some good fun ones but most of the time I just don't because it's like a novel with pictures - it just doesn't make sense. The format doesn't allow for it. Well, the format - as a blog - sure - fine - pictures. I mean, look at Tony
and the Pony sisters
.. pictures.. everywhere. But I mean mine, here, the way I talk and babble on. Sure I could post random pictures that mean nothing and have no bearing but it's not my shtick, yah see?
So what I'm saying is okay okay - I get it. Worth a thousand words and all that bullshit. Pictures tell stories and suggest things that words will never be able to.
But you see.. sometimes people realize that cigarettes aren't good for them and they keep on puffing anyway.
Words, sometimes, aren't good for me. Aren't good to me. Aren't what I want them to be - like a bad girlfriend trying to quit the crank - but I still come back cause I'm addicted.
(not the the crank, mind you.. the words)
But in the interest of growth and experience and experimentation
(not with the crank, mind you.. the pictures)
I'm going to start posting some more images up here for you and for me to gander upon. Specific and pertinent and meaningful ones. Just cause.
If it works out, it works out. If not, you'll just come back to this post a few months from now and say
The problem with the Montreal Weblog
run by Kate is that she is always posting links to interesting articles... in french.
You see, I don't speak french. Oui, it is true. I read it much better than I speak it, that is for sure, but even still it's a struggle to get through a newspaper article and get much more out of it than the basic idea.. and aren't the newspapers supposed to be at a 3rd grade or 5th grade reading level? Or is that only American papers so that all the idiots in this country can pretend to have political opinions too? Are they dumbing down their stories in Russia? Are the Italians slowing things up for the illiterate? Are the Taiwanese trimming their syllables?
Probably not. I hear they can read.
So I'm stuck trying to power through french and I have to cringe cause I hate the stuff. Hate.
Hate is a strong word but back in time when my mother was a child she ran amongst eight brothers and sisters and when they played, when they screamed and chased eachother around the house, they did it in french.
It's funny how even screaming is different in different languages.
She grew up french and it wasn't till grade school that they got slapped on the knuckles for using it. Even up until a few years ago she still spoke the language, albeit in some bastardized frenglish form, to my grandmother but never to us. When I was tiny, a little small child running around in the woods and falling in open wells and getting stung by bees and watching my maine coon cat get run over by farm equipment (what kind of a cat sleeps in the middle of the road, I asked) she spoke english. When I was a little older and we moved to the big city (tm)
of Bangor, Maine, I rode around on my bike and bought penny candy and made a few permenant scars on my knees and learned how to swear and play soccer, still, she spoke english.
When I met my mother she was already grown up. She wasn't the little kid that got her knuckles slapped in grade school for saying Oui, so I didn't know she could speak french. I knew, because I would hear her on the phone talking in strange tongues to my grandmother on the other end, but I didn't really know. She sounded english enough to me.
When I got to high school I was bitter that they cancelled the latin program right as I showed up. If french and spanish were the languages of love then latin was the language of knowledge and academics and I had enough of love when I was entering high school so give me some knowledge, please. It took them a year to re-instate it so I had to take french for a year instead.
Parla vous francais?
It was awful. The entire class was full of second and third year struggles repeating the class for the second or third time. They could have cared less. So could I. I spent the time, instead, flirting mercilessly with the girl who sat behind me and wore professional looking business suits to school on occasion (cripes.. pinstripes.. what was she trying to do to me?!) and flirting mercilessly back. We both got 104s on our report cards and the school had to actually change it's policy, putting down in writing that The maximum grade possible on a quarterly report card for a given class is 100. A grade is a reflection of a percent - the percent of understanding and completion of a set of study material and therefore it is not possible to score more than 100%
etc etc ad naseum.
I would go on to take latin for the next three years and on that third year I would date that girl that sat behind me in class - for three and a half long and painful years - and we would break up during the fourth year. She would come over to my house one breezy sunny summer day and announce that we should end it and I said okay and she yelled at me because I didn't cry. We lived in the same small town and knew all the same small people but to this day I never once saw her again after that day. She would go on to tell everyone - complete strangers even - that I, her ex-boyfriend of three years, was gay. Clearly. Because she said so. I was gay and there wasn't anything anyone could do about it.
She was french.
Alright, no more french than I was but my mother - my own mother - having forsaken her heritage, spoke english and only english to me. The language of the great white evil. The language of the uncouth british with their bad dental hygiene and their baked beans for breakfast.
When college came I went to school in a different country in a different province - a french one. I went to a place where french had to be higher, bigger, more prominent on all store fronts and businesses. I went to a place where professors were required to allow french essays and reports regardless. I went and I still bucked against the push of the language and in four years in a french speaking province I was able to avoid the language all together.
What I loved about the french my mother spoke was the regionality of it. People spoke it because that was what everyone else spoke. They were no less true-blue American than the hispanic in New Mexico but they spoke french and that was so they could buy milk and bread and work in the factory. French was their language. Somewhere along the line it stopped being about borders and countries and laws and it was just what it was - a language - for communication.
Part of language is it's natural and constant process of evolution. To keep the old for sake of it's years - it's a sin to try and save that which has a natural life span and is ready to die out. Rememberance is one thing. Prolonging a death is another.
There is a difference between "Keeping Alive" and "Prolonging Death" and our baby boomers should take a lesson in humility and acceptance and let things go - like their parents, when it is time.
Harsh perhaps but Nature herself is a harsh mother. She, ultimately, is the most compassionate of all - taking those when it is their time.
When I was born - was that the time for the french in my blood to die? Does a ruler on the knuckles constitute the natural death of a language or the oppressive stamping out of a culture? Am I no less of a person now for being a great white monolingual American? Should I be speaking french?
Hate is a strong word but it's sometimes the most appropriate word to use when describing the hard process of elimination. Hate is what I have for the whole issue before me. Hate for the language I don't have. Hating not having it. Hating that it's pressed into me against me on me from those who do have it but never being good enough if I wanted it. Hate for the self-righteous indignation of a tribe poised on the brink of extinction - propped up, supported, kept alive by the artificial drip of laws and policies. Hate for the pompous and pushy and snub-nosed. Hate not for the french but what it came to represent to me - a part of me that always pushed away because I, of it's own ilk, was tainted and scarred and a threadbare example of what it wanted me to be. Not fresh and new with the energy of spring and the youthfulness of the future.
That's the french language to me and why I cringe so much when I click on a french language article on the Montreal weblog.
That and the fact that everytime I get the babelfish translation it sucks ass.
Who ended up at my site after searching for "try to stick my finger"..
I am sorry.
Problem, as I've said before folks, is that you can't read my mind as well as I can. Heck, I don't even have to read it. My mind is like books on tape - only it's real time and streaming and I never have to get up to flip sides - Ha! It just keeps going and going and I never really have to stop and think about how I'm thinking about thinking about it. I think you know what I mean, so I'll digress.
If I could just plug a live feed from my brain into this damn thing I'd never have to worry about letting you down. I could go on, oblivious, and all things great and small coming from my thick little brain would be presented to you here. Heck, with shit like XML and CSS and whatnot I'm sure we could whip up a nice little site that would auto-format itself and even take out the dishes..
How sweet would that be?
But alas it is not to be. I'm like toiling tony always trying to make the grade and never quite happy with myself for it. Didn't you know?
Maybe if I made some photo essays I'd feel better.
Maybe if I made some online cartoons and an interactive resume I'd feel more productive.
Heck, maybe I should just drop this drivel and get to work.
I might have written more today but I've been too busy being enthralled in the as-yet-unfinished jail story of one Alison Headley. Alison Headley publishes one of the first 'blogs' I ever came across and she calls her little spot on the internet bluishorange
.. She is an odd duck and a weird fiddle but as I have been told many oh many a time lately -
you think is a weirdo?
And they are all right. I think everyone is strange and weird and off normal and misweird.
So without further ado go check out this story. It would appear Alison had a run in with the law and has been slowly documenting it in backwards chronological order over the last few months... As I said, the end (or rather the beginning) is not there yet, but it seems iminent.. The first reference I can find is here
, May 20th 2003, a few weeks after her 25th birthday.. a few weeks before mine.
Last night I stumbled home - having made it not one but two whole days drink free but tripping on the third - to the warmth of my bed and the glow of my iBook and what did I discover?
Well, firstly - I had some email. This alone was enough to make me wonder. The cosmos, I figured, must be mis-aligned. To make matters more curious the email was even personal.. surprise surprise.
Secondly, as if my world was not discombobulated enough, the email involved proposals and wedding announcements and requests for best man applications.
One of my bestest buddies from school is tying the knot.
I tie an awful lotta knots myself.. shoelace knots. sailing knots. Can knots. Enough knots to know that if you pull hard enoough then they are awfully hard to get undone later on.
Which is why I say that if you are going to tie a knot then you best be sure you want that knot. Knots are for holding. Sticking. Securing. Best to be secure in your securing before you do any tying..
People are tying knots all over
. Sometimes is scares the bejeesus out of me because it's such a large and hairy life choice. It's more final than a car payment, more final than a 30-yr mortgage, sometimes even more final than a murder sentence depending on how your lawyer swings it.
But that's just how I look at it. I'm not religious by any means but marriage strikes me as a final decision regardless and if you're going to do it then do it right and no messing around. Marriage, you see, is like killing someone. Killing two people, really, so if you're going to do it you best be prepared to accept the consequences.
Okay.. so two people get killed, sure, but two people are born from the same event and a third - the incarnation of the marriage itself - makes it's way into the world and joy and happiness and all that... It's great and grand.
Then they get divorced.
The thing with divorce is it's all death and killing and murder.. ain't no one getting born from that and if you think there is then you are certified. If you married someone you now want to divorce than you were dead to begin with, in my eyes.
I hate having to ask people if their parents are divorced or not.
I hate having to wonder if they're fucked up because of it.
Everyone is all fucked up but it's easier to just figure they just ate too much lead paint as a kid. The physicality of the paint makes for less psychological trauma... there isn't any blaming going on.
Sometimes the easiest way to deal with a problem is to have absolutely no one to blame.
So if you're going to tie the knot than make sure you've practiced it. Make sure you're comfortable with it and that it's the right kind for your application. Don't go securing that yacht with a slip knot because you'll be crying tomorrow when it's in the rocks.. And I don't want to be there to see it.
The last thing I have sympathy for is a broken knot.
It's one thing to have the rope itself break - but to have the knot slip out - that's poor workmanship. That speaks mounds about the lack of quality one puts into their efforts. Poor form, really.. poor form.
So having said it all.. I believe I'm in the running for Best Man. Sounds like a lot of work and a lot of expectation.. and I can't honestly imagine what that would be like.. a new experience for sure but I'm willing to stand up and give it a shot because I've sized it all up..
and this particular knot looks pretty strong.
: today i work
: for a week straight.
: how can you work a week straight in one day?
: and you need to shut the fuck up!
And people wonder why I make no sense. Perhaps, I sometimes think, because my friends are right out lunatics?
Alex, relating his time in Switzerland with the family:
I walk in with my troupe to rather shishi club, young and beautiful swiss folk everywhere. I have ingested intoxicants, and so when I get to the dance floor, I feel unmistakably that I am in cheers. It kind of looks a little like cheers. But really it's this whole other place. And it is impossible to dance given the throng. Pushed, as I am against the elevated shelf (a la cheers) I waste no time, and free myself from the crowd, and dance happily four feet above everyone else. So perhaps as could be expected, people look at me. And then, suddenly it is as if everyone is looking at me. When I look at some people I see them thinking "Who is that asshole? What a jerkoff." When I look at other people, especially hot chicks, I see them thinking "What a babe! I want that guy." My brain reels in it's intoxicated delirium, and I throw myself from off the shelf and take out a lot of them, breaking my nose in the process, and am carted off to jail. No. That would have been a better story, but really what happens is, I realize I must let these thoughts go, and just enjoy dancing. And thats what I do, and am enlightened. And I am joined by young beautiful Swiss folk. And then I hook up with the south african, and rap like ghandi in ryhming couplets on the bus on the way home.
Yes yes. Definitely crazy. Alas, I must take credit. I taught him everything he puports to know.
Saw a commercial for Hilary Duff.
Thought it was Hairy Muff.
I need me some glasses.
Comments seem busted again. Busted stuff. Always busted stuff. Always almost working but not fully and completely the way they were intended stuff. I'm workin on it.
: I've moved to Squawkbox comments, for better or worse. Get your comment on, Yo.
Constantly trying to change myself and I'm not sure it ever works. G.u.n.g.e or E.r.p or britcoal or iMike, as I've now been referenced (my own fault, admittedly) all because I just like to mix things up a bit and for what? Variety? Spice?
Some people are pretty damn obsessed with things like popularity, money, power. Secret: yah, me too.. but apparently not enough to sit still because I can't.
Maybe I'd have a more cohesive presence on the web if I didn't change the heading or the name of this place every other day. Maybe I'd have more hits if I hit all the big blogs with witty comments all the time. Maybe I'd be more popular if I talked about current events, people places and things, politics.
But I don't want to sound like a bad Jeopardy round.. and I don't think I talk about any of those things very well. And I'm pretty sure no one cares too much anyway.
At least not about my politics.
My politics involve who is going to clean the bathroom next.. and I'll give you a little clue: I'm a conscientious objector.
So iMike, britcoal, g.u.n.g.e, E.r.p.. which account for probably 1/3 of all hits I get to this site (because apparently g.u.n.g.e is a gooey substance people like to pour on other people ala you-can't-do-that-on-television-slime and E.r.p is some sort of acronym for a business process or something).. well, they don't mean crap.. And that's a good thing. The last thing I'd want is an outlet limited by design. Thus no design here.
None. No design.
See I didn't come out here and say "Goddamnit, this place will be formatted. This will have content and context and episodes and issues and articles and .."
So I can do whatever I want. Spew forth about whatever I want. Or not. I can wax on, wax off, spread any filth I want and since I don't really have much of a presence I don't have to worry about anyone caring, either. Except maybe the doktor.. Who apparently takes offense at someone suggesting an outting with her should in involve triple-bagging it
.. well. So be it. I didn't say it.
Discovered a flaw in the Ducati today. The pipes, slip-ons, what-have you.. they are attached at the rear pegs with a very large bolt. The bolt passes through a hole in the rear peg assembly and then through a hole in the slip-on hanger. The hanger has a circular mark as if to suggest that once there was a washer used to make sure everything stayed together.. makes sense. What doesn't is the lack of a washer now. Also, there is rubber inbetween the hanger and the rear peg as well as rubber around the large bolt head. The left side slip-on is secured quite tightly but the rubber around the bolt head is just a round o-ring sort of thing which does not appear to accomplish much at all. The bolt is snug against the metal of the rear peg. The right side has rubber that appears to pass through the rear peg assembly as one unit - presenting a o-ring deal on both sides. This is obviously different from the left side and the right side bolt is not secure by any means. Since there are no washers, there isn't any simple way to secure it either. I'd call it a design flaw but I think it's more what you could call a DEALER FLAW.. which is to say something awfully fishy is going on. These two attachments should look identical, as far as I am concerned.. I mean, I don't design motorcycles for a living and I haven't been trained in industrial engineering.. but for christsake people.. is it too much to ask to get consistent and thorough service from a company?
I'll remind you that the bike had a major service at the beginning of this year. Valves adjusted, filters replaced, fluids changed.. the works. You would think they would have noticed there was something fishy going on with the muffler hangers. Or maybe they fucked it up in the first place?.. They managed to fuck up replacing a screw that was missing (I specifically mentioned a screw was missing when I dropped the bike off and the service tech specifically wrote on the service order "replace missing screw on chain guard" yet the screw, upon return of the bike, was still mysteriously missing) They managed to take the entire tank pump and filter assembly off - replace the fuel filter - and reassemble the parts before telling me the tank needed to be treated for rust - and soon. God forbid they tell me this while the tank was off the bike. God forbid if they allowed me a chance to get it fixed while things were rip for fixing. God forbid they do a good and thorough job.
I did eventually get the tank off myself and get it treated for rust by a reputable radiator shop... a shop that somehow managed to FUCK THINGS UP again. I'm sure I've mentioned here before the elusive fuel tank breather valve and the sealed holes and oh god it's so painful I don't even want to get into it again.
Bottom line is that the world is full of struggling struggling people.
Bottom line is that the companies of this country are always trying to save a buck and screw over the little guy.
Bottom line is that idiots like me are so dumb they will let it happen.
Bottom line is that if you ever want something done right you have to do it yourself. When you fuck up you know who to blame and when you get it right you know who to go to to get it done right the next time.
Even if you'll do it different every time. Even if you aren't consistent. Even if you can't remember how to do it.
Even if it means a long disjointed post that makes very little sense.
I wish I was a little bit taller.
I wish I had the sort of spastic abandon that makes anti
what they are - not completely, of course, but just some of it. I wish I had more faith in the human race and I wish, oh how I wish.. I wish I had just a little more creative motivation.
I think the writing on here has been flat lately. I think I haven't really said much or made much sense or even made one single person ponder. At least not in the last few weeks. I think I've been coming here and posting like an old tired exercise - like a child practicing their scales. It's music - but calculated exercise music. It doesn't flow. It's about the fingers, not the eyes.
I want to write about the eyes. I want to write about the greens and the blues and the browns - all the eyes, really. I want to write about the ones looking at me and the ones averting themselves to my gaze. I want to write what they are saying - record the conversations between one pupil and the next. So much to say. They talk so fast.
If I could type that fast I would but as you can see from this place I have a hard enough time with spelling. I used whereing
instead of wearing
the other day. How lazily backwards and unacceptable is that?
Hooked on Phonics my ass.
Lotta good that did me, huh?
I wish I had a girl in the hood I would call her.
Girls make for amazingly great subject matter. They're like the enemy camped out on the other side of the river. They stomp around in the cold and feed their horses and mill about by the mess tents. They clean their weapons and even look back across the river occasionally to look back at you. Except everything you see - the whole scene - is in miniature. The details are fuzzy and you can't quite tell who is in charge all the time. It's obvious that things are happening over there - the troops seem restless and there is some whooping and hollering - but what exactly is happening you have no idea.
At some point you meet them face to face in a fiery battle.. or, on occasion, you retreat. Having faced the enemy and looked into her eyes you can sometimes tell when they have you beat. Best to cut your loses... Cause the last thing you want to be doing - the last thing - is to be sitting at that little desk in that one room school house or that grange hall or that church while they stand about in clean dress uniform and you sign the surrender of your one man army.
See you forgot that while you were staring over there across the river with your telescope looking at all the little movements of a division of cavalry and troops that behind you, on your side of the river, there is nothing - just you. Only. A one man army fighting for a unclear and questionable cause. Always. Fighting. Retreating. Executing failed ambushes and sneak attacks. Always. Fighting. Dying.
At some point it's not worth writing anymore if there isn't anything to say.. and some times it's not worth writing because there is so much to say that it's pretty damn impossible to get it all down in an understandable and linear fashion. See, that is the failing of human language - sequential linearity. Extremely limiting.
The only concurrence we can hope for is a little reading between the lines but even that is limited and ultimately the written word is a medium falling horribly short in this day and age of multimedia submersion.
Yet this is why, I think, I choose to write.
It's more challenge than a hollywood movie. It's harder than a sights&sound display. It's more intense, even, than a laser rock show. And all while being simple characters emitting forth in the form of little tiny phosphors from a very simple Cathode Ray Tube screen. It's so artless you'd think even Einstein would be offended.. but it's not.
I wish I had a rabbit in a hat with a bat and a six four Impala
See writing is like a little magic show in front of you. It's a matter of illusions of grandeur. Get it? It's about painting someone's mind with a brain-tickle brush and getting them out of the space they are in and out into the world - onto that river bank with the opposing army right across the water staring back looking scared feeling victory wanting truce. Somewhere, there is a general writing his daughter, a soldier writing his wife, a bugle boy writing his mother.
Ahhhh, yes, ain't that fresh?
Everybody wants to get down like dat
Everybody writes every day - maybe not in a physical way, but they do - on paper, and in their mind too.
If Albert was around today he would have a blog. He'd work for the government and they'd try to stop him from writing anything for the public since they'd be scared for their secrets but Einstein would have a secret of his own - a secret blog. He'd post under a pseudoname and the whole site would probably be a collection of bad playboy jokes.
I wish, I wish, I wish...
See..? This is why I feel a little bad about the slowdown here lately. This language of ours - it's our one true communicative tool and I don't want to waste it or abuse it. I want to give everything I got but sometimes I just don't have much. Stick through it and maybe come back in a week or a month and I'll be back to my old self, I hope. Go read some of the truly good sites out there
and when you come back you'll be able to recognize right away if I'm back on my game or not.
Her boyfriend's tall and he plays ball
So how am I gonna compete with that
And if I'm not back on my game - if I can't even hit an inside layup - than you'll know enough to go back out there and read some more of the truly good stuff out there
and then, if you're feeling generous, you can come back one more time... eventually... until three strikes... and I'm out..
How is it people manage to shop for clothing online? How do you know if you like it till you've tried it on?! Weird. Just weird.
It's Monday again and I'm not sure what I think about that. Mondays, you see, have a curious way of coming around every week - once a week - like clockwork. Every time I'm not sure what to think.
Birth of a new week?
Birth of a new era?
Brave new time?
Or just another goddamn Monday?
Thing is, way back when in the Bronze age someone made a hot fire.. hotter than before even, and they managed to heat some iron up enough to make it malleable.. and thus the Iron Age was born..
It was probably a Monday.
But then again.. I think Einstein had his great theory of relativity break through on a Tuesday cause he was hung-over on Monday.
It's all relative.
So Monday is really a false start. A false positive. It _could_ be.. and it could _not_ be. It's what you make of it.
: I'm just an impatient bastard
: yeah well.. you know it doesn't make it any less exciting.. this is like the best time
: yes, it is
: bittersweet though
: like smelling the bacon while it's cooking
: bahh. dont be a pessimist.
Everyone is always worrying that I'm some great pessimist come to reign terror on their parade.. People get in a huff because I don't see the bright side of life, apparently.
Some people are just plain wrong. Really. I've been over this before. I'm a realistically satisfied.. really.. I am.
Monday and all..
I couldn't be happier.
So I know I said I'd be writing more when I was drunk.. I talked about how easy they've made it for me - bookmarked a link and made posting free and gave me archives and everything. Technology, what can I say?
Unfortunately, I just can't do it. For tonight, I'm just not drunk. I tried.. I did. Beer and then Jim and some Corona and good company but it just wasn't happening because I had an early bedtime and places to be and that's just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.
Luckily I'm not above picking up the crumbs so here I am writing to you, barely 10 minutes after last call. I wasn't at last call myself, since I was wandering up the hill at the time, but that's alright because.. well.. just because. Thing about last call is that if you're still around then you're getting drunk or you're certainly silly but it's that 20-minutes-before-last-call sort that you really have to worry about. The sort wandering up the hill at 12:45 looking sideways and wondering aloud and not so pleased all the time that they're workin their way home alone. The only thing that sets these folks apart is that they managed to get skunk drunk about 20 minutes before everyone else.. Which doesn't bode well for us poor saps just walking home sober.
But I'll manage, I figured at the time, cause it'll make for a good post - a post I promised I'd try to start keeping. I figured I could talk about the drunks walking up the hill and the dynamics of walking alone versus walking with a group. I thought I'd talk about being with someone and knowing they're there for you - with you - versus being just by yourself. I figured on a lot of things, planning them as I walked, but now that I'm here I got very little for you. I got nothing.
So maybe it didn't all make sense but I can smell a lie when I see one. I'm a little drunk. So what.
Blogger has been nice enough to come up with a BlogThis for my web browser here at home - Mac's Safari. Lucky me. And lucky you because I'm that much more likely to post drunken sillyness late at night or early morning gripes or, who knows, mid-afternoon ramblings.
Like I said.. aren't you lucky?
Sometimes drinking is just what I need to clean out the writer's block and just get things rolling. I shed those dumb worries I normally have - like correct spelling and you know, making sense - and just write and write and write. The danger is not being drunk enough because then I'll read it over, realize it's tripe, and delete it before it has a chance to make an appearance. True drunk - silly and hard to see the keys drunk - is the best because it's honesty in the purest form. It's honesty so honest as to not even be self aware of it's honesty. Isn't that why everyone gets drunk?
Somewhere along the line someone checked themselves. Someone decided not to say something, or maybe to sugar coat it a little instead. They thought better of just saying exactly what they thought because things had gotten more complicated than just simple truth. They were a caveman, perhaps, or heck.. maybe they hadn't even come down from the trees yet. But it was enough to start a revolution. From then on out it was down hill.. or up hill. or sideways - but certainly different. People started lying and working in half-truths and protecting eachothers feelings and generally complicated everything until here we are now in a most complex of worlds indeed.
And so we drink.
In an attempt to get back to our roots, we drink.
As a way to live for the moment and not for tomorrow or yesterday, we drink.
And sometimes, cause it's a hot summer day and the breeze is blowing and we're just thirsty, we drink.
The reason I mentioned Americans For War
is because Tony over at the busblog has sold a link on his site to them for one whole year. You see, every year he sets up an ebay auction and sells one link for one year on his blog. He sells it under the guise of "making money to pay for blogger pro", or as I like to call it "give me free money". Anyhow, like a true respectable upstanding American, nevermind that he's a Los Angelene, he stands by his auction and now AmericansForWar.com sits atop his site for all to see, right under the "Powered By Blogger Pro" label. Even though he is antiwar. Even though he thinks bush is pretty sappy. Even though he thought the Lakers were gonna take everything this year and even though he thought the cubs have a chance this year.
Of course, by now he is claiming AmericansForWar.com is a joke
. He says it's satire. He says that because a dude from Phish is listed under "Enemies of America" that it must be a Ha-Ha. Okay.. point taken..
But have you seen trey lately? he is sort of, i dunno.. subversive.. in that Al Quaeiuaida sorta way. And that beard.. So muslim. Creeeepy. And hey.. didn't he just play in Limestone Maine? That's.. like... far away, man.. far from the public mind, yet a closed military base. Hmmm. A hippy concert disguising trey's real plot: casing the joint for a future Cobra mission drop-zone where hundreds - nay thousands - of troops will land and attempt to take the Northeast away from the ever ernest and faithful G.I.Joes.
1. When was the last time you laughed?
Just now. At myself. Always.
2. Who was the last person you had an argument with?
I like to argue about pretty much anything with pretty much anyone. If there are opposing views, let me at them and I can choose sides and work with what I got. But I have a feeling this question is more about _real_ arguments than anything else.. and I can't honestly remember the last real argument I had. Real arguments are best left for serious matters with a rival of equal footing - afterall, what fun is the game if there is no competition?
3. Who was the last person you emailed?
The same person who made me laugh.
4. When was the last time you bathed?
As in a bath tub? Way too long.
5. What was the last thing you ate?
I was only at this site
long enough to question if it was a joke or not.. but not long enough to find the answer.
Almost as bad as bonsai kitten, which I don't even feel right posting a link for.
I got fired and burnt for writing something on the internet.
Nothing illegal or misleading or overly offensive, mind you. (okay, maybe a little offensive) But regardless, I got the boot. The thing about the boot is that it was the perfect catalyst for me at the time - opening my eyes up and seeing what a miserable place I was in. A catalyst for me to get out of the place I was in.
I finished the summer painting my friend's parent's house that sat on the banks of the Kennebec river. Making my own hours. Paid under the table. Working outdoors. Alone. High up on a 40 foot ladder in the August heat sweating bullets with paint flecks all over me and a bad ass tan to boot.
That's the thing about some jobs - there isn't any confusion as to how much or little work to do. You got yourself a house. Paint it. No one was ever there during the day and I'd drive up in my truck and park under the pine trees and stroll up the driveway. I'd look at the ancient dog in lying on the cold cement in the garage and, sometimes, he'd look up at me. We'd talk.
"Trim today, old buddy? Or maybe I should finish scraping on the back side?"
The house was had an open wood theme with big wide wooden slates that needed copious amounts of varnish/weather proofing and the trim was a combination of light robins-egg blue and a peachy-pink. I'd mix up the paint and pour it into a can - folgers or half & half - and I'd make my way up the ladder; always precariously settled against the side of the house.
I'd scrape for maybe an hour, or paint for an hour and a half. At some point I'd stop and get some water, sitting in the cool air of the kitchen, and maybe watch five or ten minutes of tv. But it wasn't like a desk job with multiple projects going at once. I wasn't a salesman working a gazillion prospects. There was never any question what to do. I was there to paint a house.
Sometimes I'd get a friend down to help me move the scaffolding around. Sometimes someone would stop by and stand in the driveway, craning their neck upwards and sheilding their eyes from the sun, talking or listening to my chatter. It was good to talk to someone besides the dog - frankly he wasn't a very good listener. But I wouldn't necessarily stop what I was doing. I wouldn't wander off to get a cup of coffee and wax philosophical about market share and product direction. There was never much confusion. There was a house. I was painting it.
Every job has it's virtues - every job
- and it's those virtues that make it worthwhile. If you don't see the virtue than you probably aren't looking. Maybe it's the free time to blog. Maybe it's the free coffee. Maybe it's the I'm-my-own-boss aspect. Maybe it's the cash.
And sometimes.. well.. sometimes the virtues just don't add up.
I watched part of a movie last night. I don't know what it's called but it was a bit of a mob flick. This big mob boss tells a young kid how he could tell if a girl was "one of the greats":
"Use the door test," the boss said.
"The door test?"
"Yeah, the door test.. First date, you take her out. You go to her house and pick her up in your car. When you get there, make sure to lock both doors. Bring her up to the car and use the key to unlock her side and let her in.. Then walk around the back end of the car. Pause at the back and look through the rear window. If she reaches across and unlocks your side for you, she's a keeper. If she doesn't, she's too self-absorbed and you need to dump her right away.. if she doesn't unlock your side you're just seeing the tip of the iceberg and you need to get rid of her ASAP."
It's a shame we all have automatic door locks now because it strikes me as a pretty good point.. hollywood mush-mash or not. But as with girls - as with jobs. A good job is like a good woman, and you can test a job too.
I test my job every day when I write here in this blog. I test my job every day when I miss company meetings and come in late. But it tests me with deadlines and quality control.. so it's all good.
We have a give and take relationship.
But this blog.. this is a job sometimes, too.. and I give and I give and I give.. and it takes and takes and takes and sometimes.. sometimes it just doesn't give back. Sometimes it beats me down and takes advantage of me. Punishes me for being so honest and up front with it. Takes me to the cleaners and washes me out.
But some jobs, as with women, are just labours of love. Sometimes it beats you down but you keep coming back because it's not about the reciprocation but the pure unadultered commitment.
And so.. two weeks ago on this day the birthday of this blog was celebrated. One full year and two weeks ago to the day I sat here, in this very same spot, and hammered out the very first post:
Well, welcome to a new day.
Thus begins the reign of terror.
And to you, my readers, my employers, of sorts (for if not for you this would not still be here in it's present incarnation) - thank you very much, thanks for stopping by, thank you for suffering my horrendous spelling and over-use of the ellipsis... the hypen - and the comma, which I know I overuse like crazy, no, really - I do...
Thank you for stopping by once, or twice, or every day, or once in awhile. In celebration I ask but one simple request. I'm not a comment monger, but why not - for just one time - leave a note and just say hi. Anonymous or not. Just for fun. It's not like I'm leaving or anything. You don't have to give me a gold watch. Just say hi to the blog.
Oh, and despite all the perhaps offensive and rude and obnoxious things I've managed to pack into a years worth of posts, thank you for not firing me,...- yet.
I just realized it's Thursday. Practically 2/3rds of the way through the day and here I didn't even know I was living it. I guess Wednesday has a way of sneaking by without notice.. kind of like Tony's photo essays.. sometimes..
threats from the first black president
the best thing i would do is give every kid in america guitar lessons.
it would be the jimi hendrix amendment.
it would say congress
shalt not keep the rock
from the children of america.
and the doors would be broken open
and out would come the guitars
and every school would teach guitar
and theory and music history
starting at chuck berry
and in twenty years
fm radio will stand for
See, I respect Bunnie
alot. Not because she is a raving sexpot, or because she is a stoner speedster, or because she goes through guys like I go through socks.. I respect her because she checks her messages when she gets home.
That, my friends, is respectable.
When she is spending time with someone then she is committed to that outing and she isn't peaking at her voicemail log every other minute.
That, my friends, is respectable.
Sometimes when she is out on the town and she returns to her car she finds a message waiting for her. Yet, if she is with someone, well, the message can wait.
That, my friends, is respectable.
Some people I know check their email more times a day than they blink.. I suppose I do, too, sometimes.. if I've had too much coffee.. but generally I know there isn't anyone writing anyway, so what's the point? But these people - these cronic e-mail checkers - they're the first wave of the new age. These cell phone texters, these GPS enhanced PDA holders, these OnStar folk. These are the people at the front of the wave, in the foamy bubble at the head.
But that doesn't make them any less crazy. The front of the wave, if you'll remember, always gets crushed in the surf.
The CD was released into the North America in 1983 by Phillips & Sony and players initially cost around $1,500.
Yah gotta pay the cost
To be the boss.
But I don't wanna be the boss, I don't wanna pay the cost, and I won't.
Until cell phones work.
Until the FCC pulls it's giant head out of it's ass.
Until some of the fine technology in other parts of the world make it's way here - yes, it's true, the US of grand old A isn't top notch in every bedpost.
Until I decide I want
to be found when I'm taking a nap..
in the woods..
on my vacation..
Which may in fact be
The great thing about all this technology we have these days is that it allows me freedom to avoid all the dumbasses in this world - like Verizon customer support folk. I can log onto the Verizon website and check my bill, add features like caller ID, and even request a new number. This is the greatest thing in the world..
When it works.
Which apparently it doesn't. I'm guessing they felt rushed, over at Verizon, to keep up with the technological grind of the 21st century. I'm guessing someone akin to dilbert's pointy-haired boss came up with the grand idea of mocking up a customer support website in as short a time as possible. I'm guessing they forgot to actually implement it.
When I sign up for automatic bill payment, I don't want to get a bill. I don't want to get a late payment - even if it's only 35 cents - for money that I already pro-offered in a timely fashion. I don't want to get charged for services I've already removed, as per instruction, on your ever helpful website.
Screw you Verizon. Screw you.
If I could get away without having a phone, I would. Phones are what started this whole evil communication mess. Before, people were happy enough to wait for ponies to ride across America.. Now, jeeessus, they can't wait for the third ring. Text Me! they say.
No. I am _not_ going to text you. Come to my house, or visit me at work. Interact with me in real life. Then maybe we can talk.
and Stuart's Vinyl Cafe
doesn't have a single US tour date. For shame, Stuart, for shame.
I wrote him a letter.
Prairie Home Companion
is perhaps some of the best radio you can find these days. No wonder the Canadians are jealous.
In a recent letter to the host, Garrison Keillor, a Canadian asks why he doesn't have any Canadian locales on the tour dates schedule and good 'ol Gary responds,
I am fond of Canada in principle, admire your health care system and so forth, and my father's family came from there, but ... the last time we did a show there, in Vancouver, getting through Canadian customs was exquisite torture.
and he continues,
And then a few months ago, we submitted an hour-long version of A Prairie Home Companion to the CBC, which they declined. Not because they didn't like it, not because they had no room for it, nor because they couldn't afford it, but because it was too American. That really burned my toast. That is stupidity on a scale I'm not used to dealing with.
And it gets my goat, too. See, this is the problem with the Canadian/US relations package - sour milk. They'd like very much to be like us, but not too much so they can still poke fun and laugh.
Well let me tell you something: Stuart McLean has nothing on Garrison. He talks in inflectives. It's really quite irritating.
At the same time we're so worried sitting atop our worldly pedestal that perhaps they'll claw their way up some day that we poke right back.
Which is not to say he is bad, but I'll take Gary over him any day.
Some people are always needing more out of life.
Get over it folks.. It's not coming.
Sometimes, they want that new car, that new house, or that new job. Sometimes they want new friends and new significant others. Sometimes they just want.
But it doesn't make them any happier. They need to sit down and accept life and work with what comes down the pipe normally.. don't force things with anxious anticipation. Rain gutters don't work under pressure, so why should you? And if you've ever taken the time to check a rain gutter out.. well.. then you know they work pretty well, in general. Which is probably why they're still around. Which probably means there are a few pointers we can all get from our friendly neighbourhood rain gutter. Pointers like:
take it slow, man
just let it happen, dude
whatever will be will be
Apparently my rain gutter is a stoner.. and likes the beatles.. but that's besides the point. The point is that we should all chill out just a little bit - everyone down one notch - and the world would probably be a lot better off.
If Bush took it down one notch before this war bullshit, he'd probably have just crushed a beer can on his head and let the thing slide.. but no, he had to get all up and righteous on our asses and now what?
I wouldn't want to be in the desert away from my little kids and my wife and family for a year eating MREs either.
But then again they don't have it too bad either. At least they're eating.
What people need to do is go outside for a second. Turn the A/C off and stretch out on the lawn. Look around at their shithole apartment, look around at the trash on the street and smell the smog on the air, and realize that even with all that - even with their ghetto charcoal grill rusted out on the back steps - life is pretty fucking not-so-bad.
I bet you thought I was going to say pretty fucking grand.
I keep trying to tell you I'm not an optimist.
But optimist or realist or pessimist.. I figure What we all need to do in life is to just work with what we got and the rest will follow.
You could say we should be kneading more out of life.
A Subtle difference perhaps, one only notable in the written word, but a good motto to live your life by nonetheless.
There are some people in this world who are just miserable people. These people can get depressed or anxious or grumpy or bitter and I'm not so worried about it.. until they bring it.
Nothing worse than outsourcing your bitterness and bringing it down on everyone else. Or, more specifically, someone specific...
Yet people looovveee to bring down the house. They love to make everyone else around them feel as horrible and shitty as they do because, well, they're small people.
Small people suck.
Small minded. Small attitudes. Small tiny teeny weeny thought processes.
And forever unaware of anything but their own misery and how they can blanket the earth with their bitter bitter attitudes to make everything better.. or at least make everyone just as bad off.
Come on people. Go get a beagle or something. Beagle's love to be mopey. Take it out on them. We've got enough of our own problems to have to worry about you coming and bittering the situation till it's almost unbearable.
Can't we all just get along?
Ha. I'm not that optimistic. I'm no pacifist and I'm no hippy, either. I mean, I'm from Maine which makes me a heck of a lot more like a hippy than most people simply by association, but I've got secret republican fiscal tendancies bubbling just below the surface. I like capitalism because it's a natural system and natural systems have a way of working themselves out - cycles or not - so all you whining traders out there: calm down, the market is on it's way back. You can't exactly take it on the chin like 'ol Uncle Sam did on 9/11 and expect to not get knocked down. Doesn't mean you won't be getting back up though, so chill out.. take a breather... Wait till the nice man in the uniform counts to 6 or 7 and then get up. Brush yourself.. Stay on your toes this time.
See, that's the problem. People don't stay on their toes and then - *bam* - they get knocked on their ass and spend all their time crying and wondering why it happened instead of picking themselves up and carrying on.
No wonder everyone TKOs.
And a TKO, folks, isn't a true knock-out. A TKO is tantamount to a problem presenting itself and a solution being ignored. A TKO is someone choosing not to solve their own issues. A TKO is giving up.
So unless you're right out flattened.. unless you're truly down for the count... don't come whining to me when you're record is 0-10 and you're manager is thinking of dropping you. Don't whine to me when it's too late..
You shoulda stopped being bitter just a little bit sooner.
My friend keeps asking for her story. "how is it coming?" she'll ask, and I'll stop and pretend to think about it, like I don't already know that it is coming horrifically slow. "But you can't rush creativity!" I insist to her - a false excuse.
Truly, you can't rush creativity.. but truly, I have been too drunk to notice. Summer has a way of doing that to a boy - picking him up out of his reverie, slapping him around a bunch and plopping him down in a bar somewhere. Most likely it's out on a patio or porch somewhere with drink in hand and eyes heavy from cigarette smoke and sleep.
Creativity, in these times, is like a pestering mother.
"clean your room"
"pick up your clothes"
"when are you going to finish.."
Yah yah yah, mom. I get it. Bugger off. It's summer and it's hot and the birds are flying around way up above the buildings and the sea and the sand are calling. Coronas on the beach are calling.
And I feel oddly drawn. I don't even like Corona.
But the book, the story, the drawing, the sculpture.. they're put away, packed up, stuffed in a closet somewhere because summer is for action and effect.. not the slow grind, not the mundane, not the blaisse.
Summer is for writing quickly, and hurriedly, because you don't have time between lunch and cocktails and dinner and cocktails. Summer is for typing fast and skipping spellcheck and saying screw you grammar, screw you. They'll get the point anyway.
Summer is for slacking off at the office and slacking off at the gym and slacking off slacking off slacking off. If you know what I mean.
I think I write too much about the summer sometimes, but it's a good and just beast, so why not? Are you tired of it yet?
Summer is for laying in the sailboat and pointing the tiller away from land and just soaking in the fat of life. Summer is for BBQs and fireworks and red hot dogs at the country store. Summer is for seafood.. lots and lots of seafood. And big music festivals and taking sick days.
Lots and lots of sick days.
Summer is for driving around and saying "how about this heat" and not worrying too much about where you go or when you'll be back because it'll all work out in the end - why sweat it?
Summer is for stopping at the side of the road and talking to the old man sitting on the tailgate of his pickup and buying the cheapest corn on the cob you've ever imagined and going home to cook that corn on the grill, watching the kernels slightly brown and having the butter and salt and kernels munch in your mouth in such a way that you feel you might just die and wisp away.
Summer is for really really long run on sentences.
Beer was consumed last night.
And not just any beer - Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.
The amount of pitchers that were purchased would require two hands full of fingers and then some toes to count.
The amount of empty cans decorating my apartment is astounding.
When you're measuring beer consumption in gallons, you know you've made it.. made it where, I'm not exactly sure.. but you've made it.
Last night was an exercise in practicality:
We drank till we were practically passed out. We drank till we were practically broke. We drank till we practically couldn't walk straight, the bouncer started looking cute with all that facial hair, and that light.. that light.. is that the sun on it's way? We drank till it was practically light out.
I'm not sure why I glorify drinking as much as I do, but there is something grand about good food, good drink, and good friends. They go together like coffee and cream. They mix. They make for a good time.
Friends, though, are what truly make the meal.
I can be anywhere, in almost any situation, and if a friend is by my side, I can be happy enough to keep my head up with my smile on as I take it on the chin.
Life has a way of getting you right on the chin and friends have a way of picking you up and dusting you off and stitching your cuts. Friends, in your darkest hour, will listen to your horrible ideas and nod their head when you need to talk and talk about the dumbest shit to ever cross your mind and then some.
A lot of dumb shit comes across my mind. A lot.
Friends will put up with your sizely asshole face, because they know you well enough to be able to side-step the shit you fling in their direction. Friends will let you know when you're out of line, knock you down, and still be there when you get back up.
In a world where everyone is so alone, so isolated inside their heads, the world is a very warm place...
When you have some friends.
Is this here innernector. It's a beast of many colours. Information, sure. Smut? Oh, plenty. Weird encounters of the oddest kind? Definitely.
The problem with writing things down is that eventually someone is going to pick it up and read it. That's the problem, yah see? That's the dange..
Wait a minute. What am I talking about? That isn't the _problem_ people, it's the solution. Writing is communicating. Writing for people is communal. Writing at people is expressive. These are not bad things, folks.. not so bad at all. Perhaps it's true, what the world needs now, is love sweet love.. but how do you suppose anyone is going to know if you don't communicate?
Sometimes, writing, it gets you in trouble. Certain people, the "wrong" people, can some day pick up something and read it and gosh if they aren't shocked at what they see. Golly if they don't react and sccccarrrrry things happen.
Or maybe people will just get a better idea of who you are? Maybe people will understand you more. Think more or less of you. Re-adjust their opinions of you.. and if so, to what loss? If you wrote it, you felt it, and maybe it's emotions on the sleeve but it's honest and up front at least. Even if it means a shitty wake up call when you drop a little trash talk and someone calls you on it.
But if you were trash talking in the first place, maybe you should have got caught? The only legitimate trash is openly aired in a forum of debate and communication. The only worthwhile and productive arguements happen out front, on the steps.. Socrates can tell yah that. So, If you gots to say it, say it to the face - it's the only way to fly.
Unless you're just blowing off a little steam and don't actually mean so much that you say.. in which case you just look a little silly when you're found out.
But that's life.
Roll with the punches.
Normally here on the blogspot Haat
is reserved for the use of referring to a particularly attractive lady friend.. but today, considering the weather and the fact that I'm feeling a little under it (*hack* *cough*) in a took-a-sick-day sorta way, today Haat
is going to be used to refer to the heat, the hot sun, the blue blue water, and everything inbetween.
And speaking of haat, here I am sitting in jeans and a long t-shirt on what is probably one of the nicest sunny days in the middle of a summer full of nice sunny days and I'm haat. I probably should be wearing shorts and maybe not much more and I should probably be laying in some sand somewhere with a beer floating towards me ala bad Corona commercial.
But I digress. Sunday was the MS Regatta here in Portland to raise money for MS, of course, and the sailboats were out in force. I spent an entire afternoon sleeping on the lawn and watching the canvas flap in the wind and the tiny voices come sailing off of the water.
watch your head..
I spent my morning at the diner eating greasy spoon and talking with good friends. I spent my evening showing some of my bestest college pals around my town. I spent my night watching bad karoke and drinking way too much beer and then going home and drinking a little bit more beer.
..Which is probably why I'm feeling a little under the weather.. (*cough* *sniffle*)
But it's all good because it's nice and Haat out. It's one of those great summer days that make you sit out front, no matter if you have 5 sq feet of lawn or 5,000. It's one of those days you see in the Country Time Lemonade commercials where the kids are running down the dirt road and out into the field and the dog is laying, listless, beneath the porch. It's a one in a million in a summer of one in a million sunny gorgeous days and I think I just talk way too much about the weather.
I'm started to sound like Tony.
I'll stop now.
Yep, I'm stranded in toronto, one-fifth of the way to Vancouver.
I shall regale you with the details of my aborted westward journey. It is long but the experience was infinitely longer, I promise:
2am. Montreal. Go to sleep good n drunk so I will look and feel my best when I wake up at 5am.
5am. Wake up, looking and feeling my best.
5:55am. Get to Dorval airport. I had naively assumed it would be deserted, given that it was not yet 6am, but of course due to the blackout there were very long lineups at every check-in desk. My flight leaves at 6:45; I'm never going to make it.
6am. Decide to express check-in myself at a kiosk in hopes of bypassing the line. Unfortunately I forget that I have luggage to check. Boarding
pass in hand, I return to line.
6:02. Decide to skip the line. Approach Air Canada agent directing traffic at the front of the line.
me: I'm going to miss my flight.
her: [examines my boarding pass] Yes, you are.
me: I don't want to miss it.
her: when did you get here?
me: just now.
her: these people have been waiting here for hours.
me: I don't want to miss my flight.
her: why were you late?
me: [Obviously lying] sure... traffic.
her: [sighs] okay, come with me.
So I scramble back through the line to where I've left my luggage, then scramble through again WITH my luggage, knocking over a post in the process. I carry on regardless. I check in, head to special services to deal with my strappy backpack, and proceed to my gate. En route I realize that I have not been made to pay a 10 airport improvement fee; perhaps the improvements are finished? Yet another good omen. Things are looking up.
6:55am. My flight takes off. This will be a short flight to Toronto; from there I will catch a flight to Vancouver. (Nobody said $99 fares would be convinient...)
8:05am. Land in Toronto. Our plane taxis to.... the de-icing zone.
The captain informs us that there are no gates available due to the "recent events" in Toronto. We wait.
8:20am. The captain informs us that all departures prior to 10am have been cancelled due to "recent events". This includes my flight, which was set to take off at 9:45. Crappity.
8:30am. A gate is made available for us. We disembark.
Pearson airport is ridiculous. I just need to make two phone calls: one to the airline to rebook my flight, one to my folks to tell them I need to come home. I would say there are 100 pay phones in the arrivals lounge. Each of them has a lineup of at least 10 people. The phone with the direct line to Air Canada's reservations has a lineup of at least eighty people.
I am not in any of these lines.
It's going to be a long morning.
After spending ten minutes in a paralysed line for a phone, listening to a woman behind me rail at the incompetence of the people ahead of her in line, I hatch a new plan to book my flight over the internet via one of those kiosks they've got scattered about. These have much smaller lines. I leave the line for the phone and wait for the nearest kiosk to become available. While waiting I watch the girl using the kiosk attempt to rebook her flight online. She has no success; first of all the site is excruciatingly slow and second of all it is clearly not going to work, for her or for me. I need a login id and an aeroplan number, neither of which I have, and even then the site fails on every second page. I abandon this new approach and eat one of my four montreal bagels with cream cheese. I wander to a different phone kiosk; on the way I pass an LCBO and seriously consider buying a bottle of whiskey at 9:15am. I'm sure I could find someone to share it with me, but looking and feeling my best, as I mentioned, the thought is less than appealing. I don't go in.
At last I get to a phone. Relatively grumpy and completely exhausted, I call home first. A typically aggravating conversation with family members ("I need to call your mother, she's on her cell phone on her way downtown", etc.) ensues. It doesn't help that I have no idea how long it will take me to rebook my flight and find my luggage. No consensus is reached re coming to pick me up. I decide I will take a cab.
I call Air Canada. the line, of course, is busy.
I notice that the person on the phone next to me is talking to an agent at Air Canada, and that people are handing off this phone to each other as they finish making their changes. I jump into the next exchange and am finally talking to an agent. She informs me that the best she can do is a flight leaving at 1pm tomorrow to Calgary; from there I can catch a flight an hour later to Vancouver. This is turning into a tour of Canadian airports, but I have no choice but to accept. I hand the phone off to the next person and go off in search of my luggage. The baggage claim area is also a mess. There are hundreds of people milling about a carousel with luggage from cancelled flights to US destinations, and at least two hundred more waiting in line to talk to the information desk. I am obviously not going to wait in line so I approach a guy on the floor to whom questions are being addressed. I ask him where my luggage would be if it was supposed to be on a flight to Vancouver that was cancelled. He informs me that all luggage to Canadian desinations is being held, and that when people rebook their flights their luggage will be rerouted. This strikes me as a disaster waiting to happen. He smiles and reassures me that everything will work out. I am not reassured especially since Air Canada fired however many thousands of employees just last week. I resolve to do everything in my power to ensure my luggage finds me when I go to the airport tomorrow, although obviously this will amount to some polite inquiry and perhaps a thump of the desk or two. Everybody in the airport is as screwed as me. For now, though, there's really nothing I can do.
So, luggageless and delayed by a day, I share a cab downtown, arrive home at noon, and collapse into my bed for a three-hour nap.
Like I said,
But at least I don't have to sleep at the airport.
Those with extra-large coffee cups (say, large enough to fit a muffin in it) should be careful when handling muffins above it. Cause, you know..
As people who work in office buildings with free cranberry juice should always have an extra shirt in their car.
In London, my friend purchased a nice umbrella with a wooden handle and a plaid design on the top. He paid a pretty penny (or shilling, in this case) but he enjoy that umbrella like no other. During our stay in London he carried it around with him ala Charlie Chaplin, spinning it around, propping himself on it like a cane, and generally grinning from ear to ear.
Apparently he likes umbrellas.
Later, when we wandered into the wax museum there I commented on his apparel:
"You sort of look.. hmm.. waxy"
"Gee Thanks," he said and smiled, and propped himself on his cane umbrella in a corner by the stairs.
"More smile," I said.
I shook my head no, "A little less." I
He smirked, slightly.
"Yes yes.. good." I wandered over to the other side of the hallway and sat down, eating my apple. I watched people come through from the entrance and down the sloping hallway. He was situated away from any of the other wax statues, so he drew attention from almost everyone.
"Look at this honey"
"Who is it?"
"Hmm.. There is no plaque."
He'd sometimes smirk a little more.. or roll his eyes like a mad cow.. or just blink at them. At first they didn't always notice it. They were checking out his wax umbrella.
Eventually, though, even the slow ones picked up on something not being quite right.
They'd jump... Just slightly. They'd stagger backwards. They'd bounce on the balls of their feet.
"Ohh!" said one lady, softly and almost under her breath.
They'd bring their hand to their chest as if a sneeze were coming.
Then, as if a cat who wandered into water sprinkler territory, they'd shake off that bad feeling that they'd been had. They'd chuckle or nod their head as if to say "ahh, now I get it".
Then they'd walk away.
1. How much time do you spend online each day?
Well, number one - it really bothers me when people say things like "I was online at the grocery store".. umm.. hullo - in line
. So I'm presuming that's not the question being posed here. Secondly, I work in front of a damn computer ALL DAY
(said with the voice of cousin klopec in The Burbs - if you don't know what I mean - oh well).. therefore, it's a hard measure but I'm going to say 4 or 5 hours.
2. What is your browser homepage set to?
[warning: watch for dripping sarcasm ahead]
mail.yahoo.com... because *sooo* many people write me.. all the time.. I just can't keep up.. really. so many. you have no idea.
3. Do you use any instant messaging programs?
I used an instant massaging program once but it just gave me bruises .
4. Where was your first webpage located?
The m for michael, the batch short for my full last name. In college a lot of people took to calling me 'Batch' to avoid the usual many michaels problem. It was a Norm effect - come into a party and everyone yells "Batch!".. which was great and dandy and fun but now it's stuck and I will forever be a batch and sometimes I get it from the weirdest places. Like friend's parents. There is something disconcerting about friend's parents calling you by your nickname. I don't blame them, certainly, because I imagine they know me by no other.. but it's like Meat from Porky's being called 'Meat' by a friend's parent... man.. creepy.
5. How long have you had your current website?
Long enough to know it's passe.. (short enough to know I'm not going to bother to figure out how to get an accent on that e)
Footnotes:  I also hate it when people say "on accident".. It's "BY accident", people, "BY accident."  If you haven't seen Porky's you can probably guess where the nickname "Meat" came from anyway.  You know.. from Cheers.  That was just a really bad joke. I'm sorry.
The Montreal City Weblog
has a few bits and pieces this morning:
Expos Pres. says there is a 50% Chance that they play their entire 2004 season in Montreal.
It is official, The Montreal Grand Prix - the largest tourist-drawing single weekend event in Montreal - is done. Cancelled. No more.
Montreal, and Quebec in general, was unaffected by the blackouts of the North East.. and Kate uses an iBook.. go figure.
Power Outages abound in New York, Toronto, Cleveland, Boston, etc.
Various sources weigh in here
, and more recently, here
The curious thing is seeing all the little ones..
Squirrel causes power outtage here
Fire in Miami substation here
and last night,
Montreal Expo's game plunged into darkness
Not sure if anyone has been following the SCO copyright issues lately, but there is new stuff on slashdot today: here
Bottom line is that there is a "General Public License" (aka GPL) which many many open source software projects use. To be brief, it says "you can use this software/code, but it must remain open and if you use parts of it in other projects, that also must be open". It guarantees that if you give to the community, your intellectual property remains in the community.
Among the myriad points, the GPL allows a user to make unlimited copies
of the software (as opposed to normal commercial software that always allows consumers the right to make one
backup).. Copyright law pretty much forces commercial software to allow single-copying for backup, but in stating that, SCO is claiming that any contractual agreement that allows users to make more than one copy
[e.g. the GPL] violates the US copyright law and is thus null and void
: is kelly's friend hot?
: which one?
: is she hot?
: when did she come up in conversation?
: he said she was going out with kelly tonight
: she is apparently crazy.. she keeps a notebook of "all the things her boyfriend does wrong" and brings it out when they have fights
: but hot, yah
For some time now I have offered up a standing challenge to my friend Matt
. Since we've never really sat down and hammered out the rules, I'll jot them down here for all to see:
The Wendy's 99-Cent Chili Challenge
The rules are simple, the bowel movements, not so much:
1. You are allowed to eat Wendy's 99-Cent Chili and only Wendy's 99-Cent Chili for exactly 30 days, or the duration of one month's time (whichever comes first).
2. Wendy's 99-Cent Chili will from here on be referred to as 'Chili' and it will be understood that saltine crackers pro-offered by Wendy's as topping for said Chili falls within the nomination of 'Chili' for these purposes.
3. During the 30 days or one month period you are allowed to eat as much or as little chili as you want but you are limited to said chili and saltines, though saltines only count as 'Chili' when applied as topping, not when standing-alone.
4. Beverages allowed within the constraints of this contest will include water and, as yet to be decided, beer. We, the contest rule writers, understand that beer is part of a healthful diet and we do not desire to put the contestants at a significant health risk.
5. In a similar vein as rule #4, the rule committee is still considering multi-vitamin tablets as a valid consumption item for the same reasons as beer has been considered. However, the committee - after a thorough examination of the Chili (e.g. we had a cup) - feels that the Chili provides adequate nuritionment for a low to medium activity person since it provides vegetables, meat, and grain from the crackers. Therefore, at this time the committee sees it fit to offer beer and multi-vitamins as "options" to the contest, which, if choosen, will negatively effect the overall fiscal payout at the end of the contest.
6. All Chili consumed by the contestants will be paid for by the contest backers, though procurement of the Chili is left to the contestants themselves. In the event that the contestant wins the challenge, the contest backers forfeit all claims to the costs of the Chili. In the event that the contestant drops out or otherwise does not complete the contest, the contestant will be responsible for paying back to the contest backers a sum equal to that of half the amount of money paid for the Chili during said contest.
7. At this time the contest backers are looking for sponsors and are trying to increase the overall purse of the contest, but at the moment it stands at $300 (plus cost of Chili) in the case where beer and multi-vitamins are not
allowed. All other situations are per negotiation.
8. Have fun, and dig in! This contest is meant to be fun
You would think that, in this advanced day and age, we could put out a decent roll of scotch tape.
The phrase far be it from me
is pretty cool.
For nearly a quarter century I thought the phrase for all extents and purposes
was actually for all extensive purposes
[Ed. Note: I think it's actually "intents and purposes"?]
However, my good friend thought, through almost a quarter century, that the Redskins were from Washington state.
For those of you who know what Easy CD Creator is - I think it sounds really dirty, somehow.
Being mostly deaf has it's downfalls.
The number of socially inept and completely dumbass human beings - okay, perhaps I am going too far, Americans - on this earth is mind boggling and also makes me seethingly mad on occasion.
Being mostly deaf has it's good points.
The amount of solid information on the etymology of idioms such as
The whole nine yards
Mind your P's and Q's
is woefully lacking.
Sarcophagus comes from Greek sarx
- meaning "flesh" and phagein
- meaning "to eat".. yummm.
And ever useful in trivia - Sangria is derived from the latin sanguis
- meaning "blood".
an attractive man.
You know how in Escape From L.A. Kurt Russell is stuck on the island of Los Angeles, which had separated off of California due to a gigantic earth quake?... yah.. that's not the worst idea in the world.
Sometimes writing is cathartic for me and I write and spill and spew.. more than most people want to see, most likely.. and then, as quick as it comes it is gone and
Sometimes writing is just a cramp and I sit and ache and squeam.. and somehow I imagine most people don't want to see that - probably less than the spewing, but this doesn't always leave as quickly as it comes so I apologize ahead of time for any lull or lolligagging going on here.
I spend too much time worrying about politics and not enough time just living the good life like the man upstairs must have intended - catholics and muslims and jews be damned. I spend too much time working and too much time worrying about not working and too much energy thinking I'm probably not doing good enough most of the time.
I spend too much time having the same conversations over and over again with the same people about the same things in the same mediums. Some people - patience is a virtue, folks, really - spend their life jumping at spoons... or however that utensil idiom goes.. I'm too patient right now to go look it up.
I spend too much time wondering if patience really is a virtue - if the man who waited two years ago for stock prices to go up is truly more virtuous now than he was with all that cash and I wonder if maybe sometimes you can't wait.
I spend too much time reading over what I wrote and worrying about hits and misses and counts and numbers. Always the numbers.
And, in the end...
I spend too much time repeating myself.
I spend too much time saying the same things over again.
I spend too much time reiterating that which I've said before.
But.. Today.. Here.. Lemme promise.
I will never ever here,
I won't spend too much time
(not too much, anyway)
Been listening to a lot of the Beatles' Three Cool Cats
and I can't help thinking,
"but hey, there were four of 'em?"
Makes me wonder who the shmoe was.. Who was the odd man out? Thing with groups is that three is certainly tough, always one against two.. but four is even worse because inevitably there are always 4 types of people in any given situation:
Type 1: The leader. Caustic, Loud, Smooth maybe.. Doesn't really matter.. They are just the one taking the bull by the horns.
Type 2: The Follower. Do I really need to explain this one?
Type 3: The Questioner. Follows the leader, but wonders why?
Type 4: The dissenter.
Sure, there are the who-cares, the huh-what's, and the just plain dumbasses.. but they don't really count anyway, do they?
And my point is.. Lennon.. He was the leader, right? Paul was to prissy. I don't know much about Ringo so I'll pigeon hole him into follower... so that leaves old George as the questioner, and that makes fine sense with me.. but Paul.. does that make him the dissenter?
And if that's how it plays out then who is the odd man out? Who is _not_ the cool cat?
I'd petition for Jojo the Monkey for California Governor.
I'd herald a new era in politics where - not only could the people of California not worry about politics - the people of California would not have
to worry about politics.
By electing a monkey to office they'd eliminate the many excrutiating decisions in their life like:
"Do I want to blow dry my hair, or watch tv? I can only do one cause I'm subject to a brown out if I abuse my electric company"
"Should I vote for Arnold, or.."
They'd eliminate these decisions because putting a monkey in office would almost guarantee the fall of any structure in their current power grid. It would guarantee the rise in Banana imports. It would, hopefully, finally eliminate the connections between Hollywood and the White House..
Why is it that, of all the liberal whoo-ha in Hollywood the only politicians to come out of it are block-headed Republicans? It's strange, I tell yah.. strange.
Okay. I got four hours of sleep. I'm going to go drown in my coffee. But before I go..
who's irish and stays out all nite?
Tony over on da bus
has a way of coming up with very nice charts
. They are always concise and easy to read and always, always, support his discussion. He likes to avoid politics, but hooey I say, dive right in
Actually, I'm pretty sure he just gets all those charts and graphs from the Onion.. but whose counting?
Nobody is counting, that's who.. because they're all deciding whether they're going to vote for Arnie, or Coleman, or Flynt, or Jojo the Monkey.
See I think it's great that Jojo the Monkey can run in a recall election in California. I think it's great that the self-purported greatest nation in the world
not only failed to properly elect a leader a few years ago (and then just put up with it.. which, in my mind, is tantamount to eating that nasty cheeseburger with onions and pickles at Wendy's when you ASKED for a bacon cheese with nothing on it.. for shame).. but now it's self-purported greatest state in the nation
has thrown it's leader into the street. The great land of Movie making has ground to a halt.. it has muddied itself in political debate and now, instead of questions like
Hmm.. should we get Arnold or Van Dam?
they are asking themselves questions like
Hmm.. should we get Arnold or Van Dam?
I, for one, see a problem with this. California is actually arguing about ballots and polling like it matters. They're actually bandying about the state-leading qualities of a very short ex-sitcom man-child who thinks letting it all out on hardcopy is "good publicity"! They are actually thinking - considering - appealing - denouncing... like this isn't a big farce.
And they're actually, seriously - no really guys - deciding that an Austrian half-man-half-accent of a muscle machine is the right
California Republican Dana Rohrbacher :
he's like Reagan in the sense that he's got some creative ideas
Right! Creative. What's next - trickle down power (lights for production companies.. _then_ the hospitals)? The stamping out of indie films like so many tiny communist nations? How about the Porn Industry-After School Program Scandal??
Money for Children - even if it means using them in snuff films!
And, to show how _everyone_ remains completely off their frickkin rockers:
Hey, look.. people still give a shit who does Marijuana
but hey, fellas, no sweat.. he probably didn't inhale.
Translated by Honda for the American Motorcycle Rider: The following rules for motorists are so successful in Japan, that American motorcycle riders might profitably paste them in their hats.
1. At the rise of the hand by Policeman, stop rapidly. Do not pass him by or otherwise disrespect him.
2. When a passenger of the foot, hooves in sight, tootel the horn trumpet melodiously at first. If he still obstacles your passage, tootel him with vigor and express by word of mouth, warning Hi, Hi.
3. Beware of the wandering horse that he shall not take fright as you pass him. Do not explode the exhaust box at him. Go soothingly by.
4. Give big space to the festive dog that makes sport in roadway. Avoid entanglement of dog with wheel spokes.
5. Go soothingly on the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon. Press the brake foot as you roll around the corners, and save the collapse and tie up.
... yeah, nothing worse than having to deal with the entanglement of a festive dog in my wheel spokes...
Half a kilogram, for those too lazy to do the math, is a LOTTA FUCKING HAIR.
Bunnie says, in response to the hanging sneakers:
White ones mean drugs, red ones mean sex, and black ones mean there is a hit man for hire.
So if colours demark the profession, does brand or model demark the quality? If I hang a pair of black walmart velcros does it mean I'm a bad shot? If I hang a pair of Rebook does it mean I may not be as flashy or pricey as Nike, but I'm probably just as good in bed? What if I hang the gel-souled kind..?
Questions that need answering.
Woman eats mother’s hair
An Indian woman who likes eating her mother’s hair is recovering in hospital after doctors removed a half kilogram bundle of it from her digestive system.
The Tribune of Chandigarh newspaper reports Sulochna was admitted to a hospital in the Punjab city of Ludhiana after she complained of acute abdominal pain. Doctors decided to operate immediately after an ultrasound scan and X-ray showed the presence of a wad of swallowed hair.
Dr Tarlochan Singh, who performed the operation on the 24-year-old, said: “After two hours of surgery, about half a kilogram of hair was removed from her abdomen.” He said an emotional disorder called Trichophagia leads young girls to eat hair. Since it cannot be digested, the hair gathers in the intestinal tract or stomach creating a blockage, which can prove fatal if not removed. The woman’s family said Sulochna routinely ate her mother’s hair, but refused to explain where she had got the hair from.
What the hell is a cheese bikini...?
I can only imagine.
Here is another link
to some flash mob stuff, this time over at cheesebikini.com. I swear I haven't been searching for this stuff, it just happens to be everywhere I look today. It's the in thing, the hipster swing. I don't really want any part of it because it's trying so hard it's hurty, but it's interesting to watch from the sidelines. Sometimes, people are just so bored they'll do anything. Sometimes, they are so unsure they'll follow anyone. And sometimes.. just sometimes.. they'll vote for anyone
So I really really want to clear up this confusion of mine. You know, the urban legend that says a pair of shoes hanging from a telephone line means you can by some drugs in the area. Now, all my life, in almost every town I've been in, there has been a pair of shoes hanging from a line somewhere. Almost always shitty old running sneaks, worn out with most of the rubber gone at the toe and sometimes with the plastic emblem half ripped off, but always hanging at uneven lengths and always, always, hanging in the drizzle.
I don't know what it is about drugs or about running shoes but every time I see them hanging from the line it's fornlornly, in the wet mist of afterrain and always, always, sadly. Or maybe there is a correlation between sad rainy places and drug use. Maybe.
When I was a kid walking home from school every day I used to walk by two particularly ratty sneakers hanging on a line that crossed perpendicularly over the street. The line sat essentially in front of a house on one side - occupied at the time by the parents of Eric Weinrich (the NHL hockey player.. yes, we had some semi-famous people come out of gardiner, me) - and a house on the other - a nice big yellow victorian occupied by the local grade school's music teacher. Next door down the street lived my high school biology teacher and his grade school wife and further down a nice old couple in their 70's who always held a neighbourhood block party every year. Up the street lived the local Police chief. On the other side of the road was a mostly woods, with a small stream running down through a gulley and more woods and more as far as you could see.
Now, I'm not one to speculate.. but if I were.. who the hell was peddlin' the smack, hmmm? I can't even begin to guess. All I know is that eventually, the sneakers fell down. I guess they got tired of selling drugs. The laces hung around for awhile after that, all brown and grungy and finally they, too, fell off.
I guess they just don't sell any more drugs in my old stomping grounds. When I got outta 4th grade, I guess they just ran out of customers.