Wednesday, August 31, 2005
1. Cats in Sinks vs. Cats in Creep's Fashion Line
2. Is it wrong to find news items like this kind of adorable? Like, awww: mass devastation in the Crescent City and you know, this war thing that won't go away, but HI ART GARFUNKEL!!!! It was just kind of a nice to read to start the morning. Daily Freeman of Kingston, I am proud of your hard-hitting journalistic steez.
3. Re: last night's Bluestate conversations:
- Sodoku I
- Sodoku II
- Sodoku III
okay more later bye.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Maybe the Target loathes itself as well.
We sense Fate is being tempted. This is the Target that is a few hundred yards from the end of the National runways. But it seems pretty common.
Before 9/11 it was painted a nice bright red but that was whitewashed over shortly afterwards. No sign on of it on Google maps/Earth but the cover up paint job is starting to fade.
In related news, tying everything musical in life in a nice, neat, fuschia be-ribboned package: The Hold Steady, who apparently hate me, are playing Washington & Lee (but refusing to stop in the nation's capital). They'll be in Lexington on 10/1 with The Thunderbirds are Now! and Earlimart. Anyone up for a roadtrip through the Valley? The leaves might not be changing yet, but I promise a good time and cheap beer.
Second and even better news: some of you rat bastards are moving to Chicago.
Logan Square Auditorium
Thunderbirds are Now! w/ The Constantines & The Hold Steady
And the Constantines! I hate you people.
* * *
Chicago Tales: My friend TR moves to Chicago. TR meets a new neighbor, a cute girl. TR gets manic/nervous, probably starts OCDly picking at his skin or fluttering his fingers in the air like "Nell" or something. TR proceeds to talk too much/too rapidly to new girl, who is idly lying across the steps of her porch, smoking and probably being much cooler than TR. She asks him how he's enjoying the city and what he's been up to, general nice neighborly I'm-acting-interested-because-I'm-polite-chit-chat, and he tells her that he took a few hours to walk around and do some jogging that morning, to explore his new city. The girl asks if TR ran down near the lake.
TR says: "There's a lake?"
Bah dum dum. Friends, please let me know if I did not get this story right, because the last form of communication I actually received first-hand from TR was a text message that said "HAVE YOU SEEN 'SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE?' Because RAD." Nothing about a lake. Either way, everytime someone mentions Chicago nowadays, the first thing I think is: "there's a lake?"
Monday, August 29, 2005
A few years ago I stumbled upon Stephanie Klein's blog, and then never read it again. Forgettable at best, and, uh... forgettable at worst. And, I always kind of thought it was satire. (Apparently not, by the way - that's her actual life. Ooookay. This is where things get totes meta- I thought it was satire, and then someone came along and satired the satire, but then it turns out is wasn't satire afterall. The first satire, I mean. Oy.)
Just because I am a weasel, when Tale of Two Sisters came out, a little piece of my ornery heart did a tiny jig of glee. I like gumption; and it's well known: I like fake blogs even more. And besides, why take yourself so seriously? It leads to early death (scientifically proven! I esp. like how your "health plan should include a comedy show"), and I'm sure their audience won't hurt your book sales. The demogs, kitten, have got to be quite different.
NOTE/What I Was Getting At: I crush on the TMFTML. Even more hilarious than the real sordid affair. And by sordid, I mean... not really sordid at all, because it's about BLOGS, homies.
The day after a snowstorm I was walking through the parking lot when I was hit in the back by a snowball. I turned around to see our “friend” laughing as if he had thrown it. I tossed aside my backpack, ran across the lot and tackled him into a snowdrift. I pinned his arms and rubbed snow in his face until it was red and shiny. Then I put some down his pants and shirt.
It was the most bully-ish thing I have ever done. But it felt so right.
Years later, his older brother admitted that he had actually thrown the snowball before ducking behind a car. Though, I would have probably whitewashed this kid anyways.
So Tom at UN, next time you deal with him, just picture him crying in a snowdrift.
Lessons learned from a masochistic Sunday marathon of 'Laguna Beach,' the most embarrassing television programming I have ever witnessed in my life:
A.) Being a teenager is boring
B.) To this day, I don't go to restaurants that have wine glasses on the table, and I'm a pseudo-adult. How do these muffins go out to eat every night? My posse hung at Friendly's, yo.
C.) Ugly shoes cost $700, and a year's worth of pride
D.) No, seriously: really boring
E.) None of these kids should consider acting careers
F.) These girls! Have the skin! of 35 year olds!
G.) Look into Netflix
H.) Note: refill birth control
Defense: 1.) I have the worst cold I've had in years, and therefore couldn't move from the couch. 2.) Unconfirmed that the dog has eaten the remote. I couldn't find it, so it's automatically his fault 3.) 'The Barefoot Contessa' was on Food Network, and is she ever horribly tedious, or what? Drone, drone, drone, chocolate, drone.
Who would have guessed I'd ever watch so much TV that I would have SERIOUS OPINIONS regarding a show about Hef's girlfriends (Serious Opinion: better than 'Laguna Beach.')
I kind of hate myself.
Shameful Secret #12, or something like it:
Saturday night, I thought it would be nice to bring champagne to A Party In Honor of A Certain Someone Who Is Moving Out Of Town. In the mad panic to leave the house without the dog noticing and wailing and breaking my heart into tiny easily digestable pieces (a little dance that involved me throwing a bone covered with peanut butter down the basement stairs, and then running for my life), I forgot the champagne.
When I got to the D's house, I realized she had a bottle or two of champagne sitting on her counter. Okay, so it's definitely re-gifting, sure, it might be flat, but it's champagne. Champagne is meant to be drunken (drinken? drunk? why can't I remember this?) immediately. I don't consider champagne a gift. No sweats on the champagne/dog/heartbreak debachle from earlier in the evening. Also, vodka helped ease my upsettedness at forgetting the champagne. (PS, I'm going to see how many times I can type "champagne" in one entry.) We grab one of the bottles on her counter, hop in the rHonda, and head off into the city night. The champagne, I might note, does not belong to the D., either, but to her roommate. We shall replace with previously mentioned champagne from my residence.
We park, we proceed to walk to the most adorable apartment in all of the galaxy (exposed brick envy, etc.) Just as I was crossing the street, I take a look at the bottle in my hands.
And the giant sticker on it that reads "MERRY CHRISTMAS RICK!!!!! FROM THE JOHNSONS." That was too much, even for yrs truly, unabashed cheapo party grranimal.
So, the champagne ended up in a flower bed and we ended up at the soiree empty-handed. If you happen to live in Shaw and a were awoken by the stifled snorts from a really uncoordinated girl, laughing laughing laughing as she was digging through your flower bed, like a hobo, 1:30 AM, looking for her ditched bottle of Cristal*- my sincerest apologies. Things like this happen to me fairly often.
Misc. update, category: dog:
The first 2 words the animal has learned: "Naptime" and "chillax." No, he doesn't know his name yet. Or how to sit.
Misc. update, category: other
- Black Keys, Nov. 12th.
- I have no idea who spoke at my commencement. I do, however, remmeber it was 750 degrees. Wearing all black in that environment = grad-punk, but not ideal. Oh! And my friend Jim had ice pops. That Jim, always prepared.
* Not really.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Ty Cobb wanted to play, but none of us could stand the son-of-a-bitch when we were alive, so we told him to stick it!
It also means it was 16 years ago that my dad took me to the Merrifield Multiplex (now the National Amusement Arlington Blvd/Lee Highway Mulitplex Cinemas) to see it. That theatre may be ho-hum now, but back in 1989 , it was the shizznit. Sure, there were other movie houses, but if you wanted the full Hollywood experience, Merrifield was it. By Hollywood experience, I of course mean play arcade video games. Where else could you go play all the newest bitchin' games and then go see a movie about a kid playing all the newest bitchin' games?
I love the Merrifield Multiplex. It's so bad.
Back then, at least as far as I knew, there were movie theatres and video arcades, not movie theatres/aracades. Ballston Commons had Tilt, but it didn't have a theatre. (plus those Tilt jerks wouldn't let anyone under 18 play during school hours. What good was skipping school if you couldn't go to the mall and play Altered Beast?) Tyson's had a theatre but no arcade. (Now they don't even have a theatre. They built the lame-o Rain Forest Cafe in its place. One day I'll be drunk enough to get in there and wrestle that magniloquent alligator, I swear.)
But Merrifield had both. I would even forfeit coming attractions to spend a few more minutes to stand in the lobby and play After Burner. (My god! It has a joystick just like a real plane! I'm like that guy in that fighter jet movie! You know, he's real famous, what's his name, Jason Gedrick.)
This all ended with Field of Dreams. About 90 minutes in, I excused myself to go to the "bathroom". I made sure my Dad didn't hear the quarters jingle in my pocket as I left the theatre and headed for the lobby. He found me 15 minutes later in front of BAD DUDES and he was pissed. Plus he had to drag my kid sister out to find me. We missed the whole Moonlight Graham saves the daughter scene. He was so angry that I doubt the father-son-playing catch scene made much of an impact.
It was a long time before we went back to the Merrifield Multiplex. I had to settle for Courthouse or crappy ol' Skyline.
"Oh The Glory of it All" - Sean Wilsey
"My Friend Leonard" - James Frey
"Specimen Days" - Michael Cunningham
"Collapse" - Jared Diamond
"Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green" - Joshua Braff
"War Trash" - Ha Jin
"How We Are Hungry" - Dave Eggers
"Nice Big American Baby" - Judy Budnitz
I'm obviously very heavy on the young-hip-max obnoxious-Eggerish crowd, so help me. Any others to suggest or add? Any to suggest I delete, immediately? I think I have at least two or threee memoirs on this list too (ugh), and 2 short story compilations, so I'm in need of some serious fiction. "The Historian" isn't high up on my list really, but something similar to that could do.
* * *
- Blur made the list.
- Unhealthy obsession with color? Try here and here.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Go listen. How much do I love the term "Concept Album?" So much. You have no idea. If I had a superpower, it would be soundtracking every minute of my entire life; if I had a dream, it would be to later produce that soundtrack into a 657,375 hour Concept Album.
Something I ate has just triggered my loopy heart to kick in with its extra beats. It’s like a quick muscle spasm, which I wouldn’t mind except it’s not in my back or leg but IN MY FUCKING HEART! AAAARGGHH! STOP IT!
I took Monday off to have it checked out again, because the first test didn't show anything, and the doctors wanted to make sure there was nothing to worry about. The tests included a fun stress test and the funner echocardiogram.
The preparations for having the suction cup monitors attached included the delightful experience of having my chest hair shaved by a burly-bear male nurse. I had been forewarned and was hoping for some sort of humorous Steve Carell scene. Instead, I got some dude with a plastic razor and no prep. Just straight metal to skin, no cream, lotion or water. I'm not Justin Bateman is a boxing werewolf-Teen Wolf Too hairy, but it was still uncomfortable. (By the way, is there a protocol about eye contact as you lie on your back and silent man scrapes Bic across your chest.? His distracted tuneless humming was an added gratuity.) The monitors were the standard suction cup variety, but I found it odd that the nurse licked my skin before attaching each one, instead of the wetting the cup itself. But I'm a doctor of Nordic mythology, not medicine.
Next came the heart sonogram.
Turns out my heart is pregnant with love and high cholesterol.
I'm sure watching you baby in utero is a joyous event, but watching the operations of your heart in real-time is disturbing. It's incredibly small and fragile. After being diagnosed with extra or "ectopic" heartbeats, I figured I would rather have too many than not enough. But I started to gloom over the idea that my heart was allotted only a finite number of beats over its lifetime and I was using them up by drinking caffeine or taking cold medicine. This anatomical/philosophical dread returned as I watched it tick away on the screen.
But the stress test did not reveal any problems. They had me run the treadmill, all wired up, until my heart rate went up beyond 190 per minute. The man-nurse taunted me by regaling stories of other people who had run faster and at higher inclines. Screw you. But the real doctor was nice enough and it turns out we experienced a unique event; both of us saw the Cessna crash at Bishop O'Connell High School back in the 80's. (I got $10 for being part of the WJLA News Team, which was the going rate for tips at Channel 7, after I ran to a pay phone and called them. They didn't believe me at first but I think they were first on the scene.) When my heart rate hit its peak, I jumped off and got sonogrammed again as the beats subside.
The docs say there is nothing structurally wrong, but every once in a while I could get a little flub. It can be brought on by any number of things. I just have an ancillary lub in my lub-dub. They say it's not common but still not uncommon and I shouldn't worry. Lots of people have them. They were ever so comforting
I've pulled, sprained, strained and broken just about every part of my body and know over time it's going to wear down and things won't heal. But before this started, I had never worried about my heart. It just hung there, pumping away. The best of
"What ten songs are rocking my world right now?" meme-thing.
This was hard, given the following:
- I am too lazy to bring out any new CDs to my car, so there is only two I am currently listening to
- The Nabob has a firm grasp on our only vehicle-worthy XM faceplate
- I've become a total luddite with re: to the computer. Every time I log on the machine, this overwhelming wave of extreme rocking cuteness puts his head in my lap and I'm all "AWWWWWW" and five seconds later I'm on the floor wrestling over a tennis ball on a rope. I don't know, you tell me. All semblance of rock is gone from my pitiful little lifestyle. Next up, Lifetime movie marathons sans alcohol consumption.
"Like a hear it, like a hear it go": (Note: not all of these qualify as "rock." I mean, #5, SS? Totes pussy music.)
1. Swearing at Motorists: This Flag Signals Goodbye
2. New Pr0nographers: Three or Four
3. Mooney Suzuki: Alive & Amplified
4. Ike Reilly: I Don't Want What You Got (Goin on)
5. Sufjan Stevens: John Wayne Gacy, Jr.
6. The Exploding Hearts: I'm a Pretender
7. Robot Ate Me: They Ate Themselves
8. Fog: Under an Anvil Tree
9. Self: Paint by Number
10.Van Halen: Why Can't This Be Love
There are only so many times I can tell people I'm listening to Okkervil River or the Hold Steady, pretty much the only albums I've given decent love and attention to this year. SO!!!!! I tag..... Um.... This guy. And this guy! Once he's back from Zurich. Hop on it, lads.
In other news, Internet: What ever happened to Rick Astley?
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
The commercial for the new Terry Gilliam moving picture has a tagline referring to it as either the epic or final or ultimate "battle of good versus evil." Guh. Let us hope that Gilliam had some control over the marketing and the phrase was used ironically, it being the most played out of all
However, it probs played out like this: Terry, a few weeks back, is busy working his next project but he's being nettled by the studio to come up with a tagline. Having wrapped production on Grimm and dismantled the malfunctioning MattDamonbot, he had moved on to Tideland. There's not the time to worry about taglines. But, bloody hell, they don't stop calling. Alright! How about "an epic battle between good and evil" he suggests out of vagary with his best mock moviefone voice and hangs up. They love it.
A quick groooogle search shows that these other movies have recently been tagged an ultimate BBGAE,
The Exorcist II
Lord of the Rings
Oooh, and my favorite...
Mary Reilly - "The
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Most recent annoyance: After getting a new ATM card in the mail, I was about to cut up the old one when I noticed it still had three years until in expired. And then I remembered I had just gotten the old one in March. Fearing some manner of fraud, I took it to the bank and found a manager who told me it was policy to send out new cards when the bank has changed it's logo.
I've gotten 3 new ATM cards in 4 years because this dumb bank has changed it's logo.
2. I just finished reading Crackpot: The Obsessions of John Waters, and I highly reccommend it to anyone with a soul. It will take you an hour or two to read, so it's perfect for a lazy afternoon at the beach getting the top layer of your epidermis sizzled while drinking a warm n sandy PBR. The first chapter is one of the more accurate descriptions of Los Angeles I've ever read, and it made me miss Hollywood- seedy, dirty, foggy, and in terrific bad taste. What it did not make me miss was Burbank, because Burbank is a hard place to miss. Anyways, read this book, it's been rereleased with a few new additions since it's original publication in the '80s. The best part of this: I put down "Kavalier & Clay" to read this instead. I'm hopeless, people.
3. I read somewhere else, at my secret favorite blog, about what said person's mom almost named her. It was pretty rad. Did you know my parents almost named me Whitney Meg? For REAL though. Wow. If my mom had married a guy named Jeff Cross 35 or so years ago, my name would be Whitney M. Cross, and I'd probably be REALLY angry at the world, and have a death-threat list written in bubble script inside my pink diary, instead of just slightly miffed just being me.
4. The next person to send me a real life email gets a prize, like maybe a painting of abraham lincoln or something. Every email I've gotten in the past 48 hours has been neutral/bad news. Also, I'm bored. Why is August so damn slow, internets? You can send me anything - new music I need to listen to? (no math rock or fusion jazz.) New movies I need to see?
5. I'm sending out an Evite in FIVE MINUTES to whoever is interested in playing hooky with me tomorrow. Seriously, I'm calling in sick. So, those of you interested in playing with me and my dog all morning in an Arlington dog park, and then getting coffee, and then maybe watching "The Office" dvds in my basement or seeing "Grizzly Man," OOOOORRRR just laying out in my backyard drinking rum and getting tan**, start fake coughing now. Okay TEN MINUTES.
* The dog, not the Nabob.
** Most likely scenario. Also, I have brie.
Monday, August 22, 2005
Newsflash: very very near my house is an assload of West Nile, hidden in the drainage pipes and swampy areas of a Civil War fort/park that we walk Santa's Little Helper in. Sweeeeet.
In keeping with PIAB tradition, where we use cartoon characters to accurately illustrate our innermost thoughts and feelings, I present to you: Me, as represented by an adorable Japanese icon adopted by socially retarded twenty somethings world-wide (apologies if that's you. I'm sure your Hello Kitty collection is different.) The red circles highlight my current West Nile hotspots:
Her legs have that all-one-size look like mine do! From the swelling!
Anyways, I itch, and now one thigh is bigger than the other.
* * *
They need to put these in airports. FOR REAL THOUGH.
The Pixies and getting back together.
Idaho: getting popular
Congrats. We here at PIAB don't even know how to spell Fullbrite. See?
References upon request.
2. As my father-in-law pointed out, my dog looks like the real-life Santa's Little Helper.
UPDATE: I forgot. Santa's Little Helper? Until last night was afraid of hardwood floors. I find this kind of charming, actually.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Friday, August 19, 2005
It's my last day of dog-free independence, people. After the movie, I'm planning on going home to do laundry, so you'll have plenty of time to booze it up post-cinema without me, if you so desire.
(PS. Attention all you DINKS out there: I know you probably own this chair. Admit it, we all do. Anyone ever tried to wash the the cover? It says it's machine washable, but I am not thoroughly convinced.)
* * *
Completely unrelated, but I just found out that Mike Mahaffey (brother of Matt) of Self passed away in late May. He played bass on "Paint by Numbers" my favorite off of "Breakfast with Girls." It wasn't really reported anywhere, that's my excuse for lack of knowledge. Very sad.
However, apparently the administration is attempting to lure students to the 90s version of said school: the photos portray an oversized-sweatshirts-n-jorts convention was being held on the grassy lawns. I cannot believe my mug has been up there for this long. Why are they not updating this resource? I don't understand.
At least I'm not dressed too wacky, I'm in all black as was de rigeur for the Governess. In the photo, I am talking to an older man on the quad, and I look righteously pissed (read: hungover.) He has a lot of keys, so it looks like I am in some sort of lover's quarrel with a gray-haired janitor. (I smell a branding campaign! "Send your daughters to us and we will make sure they have inappropriate relations with the elderly!") In reality, this man was a professor of mine my junior year, so I'm sure I was mad because he was being completely unreasonable, like asking I attend his class once in a while, or comb my hair for the first time since freshman orientation because it's scaring other students. That being said, my arms look skinny-fab.
Anyways, look for me on the front of your younger bros and sister's recruiting pamphlets soon!
(PS. Why didn't any of my friends just say: listen, it's time to put down the highlighting kit. We love you too much to let you do this to yourself. Step away.)
Thursday, August 18, 2005
So, I need help. I made the mistake of buying a 99-cent (99 cents!) bag of sunflower seeds* at the office-park deli next door, and now I am completely on salt overload, but I can't stop. My lips are all shriveled and puckered. Can you die from too much sodium? Can I ever stop eating these? How annoying is it to sit next to a girl spitting in the trash can every few minutes? (my guess: pretty annoying.) I'm fearing for my health, seriously.
With the purchase of a dog comes the distinct possibility that I will be spending a lot more time at home, instead of boozing constantly/irresponsibly and hanging out with scratchy meth addicts in abandoned corner buildings**, as is my current modus operandi. (I actually feel like: hey, I pretty much hate what I do. Maybe I should quit my job in order to spend more time with the dog! Who's with me? Bill collectors, I'm looking at you!) So, besides taking another living thing out for walks and picking up poop, I need TV to watch as we play exciting mind games like "let's tear up the couch and bark." It is August, have you seen the kind of crap that is on television right now? The Nabob just bought the sixth season of the Simpsons, but I'm thinking about buying "Undeclared", as well. Anything else out there I can watch?
I went to dinner last night with someone who smoked a CLOVE CIGARETTE, unironically.
Tonight marks my first volleyball game in several weeks. So far, my *regimented **training schedule (see above: also add in copious grilled cheese) probably hasn't helped me to achieve athletic greatness for the Fall season. Also, with the sunflower seed thing going on this morning, my chances of dying from dehydration are pretty high. It was fun while it lasted, people. Mom gets my giraffe figurine collection from 5th grade, I know she'd want it. Anyways, at least I'll die tan.
- The number one cause of death amongst redwood trees is toppling.
- The state dog of North Carolina is a Plott Hound.
- My friend Matt once had a next-door neighbor named Darren who did the following things within a two-hour time frame: 1. laid in front of his girlfriends truck and she ran over him 2. stole three bottle of prescription meds from Matt's bathroom 3. Set fire to the awning over the front door of his townhouse.
- Cement is a powder mixed with water that hardens into a smoothish, stony consistency. Concrete contains cement, along with broken stone or gravel, sand, and water.
- Ironically, I worked for the park service on a lava field a few short years after almost flunking geology 101. (wait. is that irony? Like most of America, I always misuse "ironic")
- A ruck in rugby is when the ball is on the ground and one or more players from each team are on their feet and in physical contact, closing around the ball between them. A player joining a ruck must have his head and shoulders no lower than his hips. He must bind with at least one arm around the body of a player of his team in the ruck.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
BUT TWO ARTICLES, LIBBY? Complete with puns?!?!?!
Oh No, II
(Insert:: comment here about the absurdity of of spending this much money for cotton/comment on absurdity of clothing labels and costs in general/comment on Swavorski crystals? on my ass?/comment on sigh, i just don't have the same interests as other people and why should I care if this is how people choose to spend their money? I'm sure denim makes some people very happy/comment on personal belief that "Sex and the City" is responsible for many evils esp. pertaining to a certain age range/gender in the U.S./comment-tangent on sigh, what's with my hating on SITC; I mean, I like my television more than anyone in the world, so who am I to judge/comment on BRAIN IMPLODING INTO A BLACK HOLE, BLACK LIKE RAW DENIM.
But seriously- I also cannot fathom patronizing a shop that admittedly doesn't cater to women over a certain size. Fuck that shit.)
I had planned on writing a huge entry about the Lutheran church today, but nevermind.
P.S. It's really nice outside today, I'm drinking on the porch of Galaxy Hut, like, 2 hrs! (See you there, short people will probably be DJing!) But if I had a bike, I'd totally go ride bikes with someone.
What has four wheels and no trunk?.
Fortunately, he had buckled up. But the whole front seat came apart on impact and he and it ended up in the back seat. They also found his glasses in the trunk. And even though his shoes were tied, they remained at the pedals when he flew out of them.
As my old football coach liked to point out, nothing says "solid hit" like getting knocked out of your cleats. A collision like that would cause him to yell, "Welcome to the NBA!" which was a rather confusing thing to yell at a football practice. But he was so often confused.
He would also emphasize his points by spelling his words. Incorrectly.
"That was a good lower body workout. I bet your legs are dead. D-A-D, dead." or "
And every year, at the end of two-a-days, he would have give an anti-drug speech, though it were usually better suited as an instructional session on how to get high off of cleaning products and where to score pot.
I'll paraphrase my favorite. "Alright guys, there are these parties where people steal there parents prescription drugs and then pour all of them in a big bowl. Every hour or so, you swallow a big handful. It's kinda like a Quaaludes trail mix. These parties are always really fun, especially if your parents are out of town and have a pool. But don't do this. Even though it's fun."
Back to the car accident. Here's some advice from a fourth generation farmer.* As you urban bloggers plan your August road trips (or drive to
*Dead cilantro plant in window sill.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Oh, humanity at large.
(PS, what with all the pants wetting lately?)
EDIT: Oh my god, have these computers possibly been used by Henrico County HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS!!!!!????!!!! (Thanks for pointing this out, S.) Can you imagine the depths of angsty lit-mag poetry on these bad boys??? Here's hoping for not-so-thoroughly-scrubbed hard drives. I mean, raise your hand if you didn't set fire to everything you wrote in high school. If you didn't, you probably should have.
Happenstance has provided me with a rather odd acquaintance. He has repeatedly invited me to his home to watch A New Hope on his ever-improving sound and video system. But just not any viewing, for we will watch the first half on the original Laser Disc and then switch to the most recent DVD version in an attempt to compare the media. (Oh, and Governess, that VHS you used to tape the last episode of Lost on? That was a gift from him of the John Williams score in the latest digital Dolby you tape over. And you still have to wait until Septemebr 21st to see what’s in that hatch.) Something, anything has tragically come up and I haven’t been able to make it. But he is persistent. And odd.
He found me today, in order to tell an odd story. Here’s a rough rundown of what he regaled:
There’s this guy that I know who lives in
. He’s a party DJ who once exclusively DJed at nudist colonies and he was naked too. Though, now he does other events like church dances. But that doesn’t matter to this story. You see, there’s this woman who walks her Rottweiler in front of his house and the dog always goes to the bathroom in his yard. He asked the lady to stop but everyday it’s the same thing. So he said that next time that it happened, he was going to run out and go to the bathroom right next to the dog at the same time. And you know what? Yesterday he did! Pulled his pants down and pooped in his own lawn. And, boy, was the lady angry! And did I mention that he once bedded her and it didn’t go very well in the bed? Well, he did and it didn’t go well at all. Arlington
I gave him the “Wow, that’s some story” nod/eyebrow raise but said nothing. He stood there expectantly for a few seconds before realizing that he left something out.
“Oh yeah, and he went to prom with your mother.”
Right. It turns out he’s friends with an old classmate of my mom’s. I checked this story out with my father, who confirmed the dance part. "Indeed, your mother went to her prom with a man who DJ's at nudist parties. "
I have three or four entries I'm working on for pygblog, but can't complete. I've started seven or 8 books recently, have not finished a single one. I am in desperate need of work clothes/new tank tops, and have less interest in shopping than I usually do, which is a mighty low. I refuse to iron. I did manage to go to the grocery store last night; and then came home and laid on the basement floor (all wrapped in a blue-n-green afghan that I always thought was made by Nabob's gramma, instead: thrift store! Eww!) and watched "Remember the Titans." I cannot remember the last time I A) vacuumed or B) cooked a meal. I'm not really sleeping well.
A co-worker who I don't usually talk to just came by my desk and hissed I hate this place with such venom I actually got the chills.
I don't really dig astrology but I read somewhere that Mercury's been in retrograde, so that seems as good an excuse as any.
Better news: I get a pet in 96 hours or so.
Monday, August 15, 2005
According to my high school transcripts, I took sociology as an elective at some point. It may have been the only year it was offered too, because no one in the classes above or below me seems to have taken it. The teacher, a Kenny G looking hippie, was a first year when I took it and quit the next to be the spokesman for a non-profit. It may have been a trial course that was abandoned when he left.
My memories of the class are few. The classroom was banished to sit cramped in the art wing, between the giant driver's ed room and the small engine repair garage. (Our driver's ed classroom was the largest in the school, for it held a normal seating arrangement plus the 20 "cars" we practiced driving as we watched the Khrushchev-approved training reel-to-reel film.) Overall, I obviously wasn't too impressed with the class, but I do remember a few things.
1. Through an odd assortment of connections, I think I was responsible for bringing a pre-Drug Czar Barry McAffrey to discuss
2. White North Arlington teenagers have a woeful understanding of the minority family dynamics outside the 90210 zip code.
3. There is some sort of ladder or pyramid or scale of things humans require to survive and develop properly. Food-shelter- water then physical contact, social interaction, something-something. The examples Kenny G used were those feral kids who were locked in attics or lost in the jungle and raised by a bush pilot bear on Disney Afternoons. I believe he used the rumored Skinner Box. Or the Monroe Box in an honor to Season Six coming out tomorrow...
Grampa: Uh huh. Sounds interesting. How much will it cost to build?
Monroe: Oh, that's the beauty part! It's already built! I need the money to buy a baby to raise in the box until the age of thirty.
I was thinking about these things when the HA! network was showing their roast of PamAndLee. First, Pam needs to make sure to send a googlie-eyedVermont Teddy Bear to whoever suggested she drag Courtney Love up there on stage and lace the horse tranquilizer she's taking with a bull tranquilizer. Beautiful head fake that was. Secondly, can we, as a music listening public, make some sort of arrangement with BMI or ASCAP so that after every Nirvana radio spin, a penny goes to a fund that will eventually purchase Frances Bean* from her mother? We can't have her living in her own peroxided Skinner box. She's too precious to lose.
*I get the sense that the last paragraph in the link was written by Franny herself.
Why don’t large corporations, lets take McDonalds and the Gap, build a partnership based on smells? McDonalds will have their employees uniformed in only Gap brand polo shirts, and in turn the Gap will release the manufactured smell of cheeseburgers in their store every once in a while, not enough to be overpowering, but just enough so that people are singing the special sauce song and immediately hit the drive-thru after buying a pair of flat-front khakis!
Do companies do this yet? Was I as stupid then as I am now, or are/were we untapped captains of industry?
Internets, I need to know.
I'm also 1000% more stupid then when I left, because someone brought a trash bag full of People and Us magazines. Also, the Vanity Fair where Angelina Jolie talks about "taking many lovers."
God. I promise it will wear off soon, just give me a day to recuperate.
Overheard Best-ofs, 8-12 through 8-14.
Re: a confederate flag raft in the distance:
It's not hate, it's flotation.
Re: juvy drinking games, where one category topic was "types of birth control": condom, Pill, rhythm, IUD, abstinence, collecting comic books.
Re: names of pornos that are alterations of real movie titles:
"Saving Ryan's Privates," "Sperms of Endearment," uh.... "Mr. and Mrs. Smith...Fuck?"
EDIT: Also, we spent a significant amount of times eating popsicles and watching an Animal Planet program called "World's Craftiest Animals." It was about squirrels and how they can master difficult obstacles courses just to get one peanut.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
My father loves puns, but I think most dads like puns.
Q: What time should you go to the dentist?
A: 2:30 (tooth-hurty)
That sleeper cell is now awakening in my head, but in a much more unfortunate way. There were several plays on words that he'd use or that I've overheard which are becoming part of my vocabulary. Whenever I've tried to say the real word, I've said the pun instead. It used to just happen when I was tired, but recently I've gotten all Zummi.
1. Ociffer instead of officer: the punch line of a drunk driving joke
2. R-kansas instead of
3. Illinoise: a recent addition, Sufjan
4. Turn on your cocklight: the result of seeing someone wearing one of these as a thong, a tribute to last night's Neil Diamond concert.
Their latest project dropped August 10 and early reviews are proclaiming it's going to be big. 9+ lbs. big. I don't know much about parturition, but I have to imagine that being a week late in the middle of August was a blast.
While the arrival of Meghan Riley is wonderful news for most, it's horrible news for the flag football team. If you can throw an accurate spiral at least 50 yards and like getting up early on the weekends, drop a dime, because we need a new gunslinger.
Division III level or higher required.
1. On my way to work (late, wet hair) I passed a Camry with a Wyoming license plate, which happens – oh, like, never times a week in the DC area. Even more perplexing was the giant license plate holder proclaiming said car to be associated with Alpha Kappa Alpha. When I passed by and peeked in the windows, I saw 3 or 4 sisters grooving out/raising roof to some sort of emotionally charged music. It’s pretty much been the best thing to happen all morning, a sedan full of happy, dancing African American women from Wyoming, passing me on 395.
2. My entire forehead is peeling off in big sheets. Face dandruff. The only remedy for this, I feel, is more time in the sun. My Danish mother is screeching from the beyond (the beyond = NoVa) to wear 50 SPF or I’ll GET WRINKLES AND BTW THE LAST TIME SHE SAW ME I HAD DETECTABLE CROWS FEET, MAYBE? We’ll see who has the last word on all this. Anyways, I leave for the beach, again, tonight. I’m missing a staff meeting tomorrow, which might make me happier then actually going to the beach.
3. How fucked up do you think you really have to be to get on the show "Renovate My Family?" Because there are two things I’m kind of jonesing for right now: A Jacuzzi on the roof of my house, and a chance to kick ole’ Dr. Asshat’s son in the teeth. Two birds, meet stone in yr head.
4. Story I just remembered: I went to this "communications professionals/networking" conference in the Arizona desert last winter. It was on a ranch, with cowboys. It involved mostly crazy group therapy sessions with smatterings of communications planning and business management skills. It was bizonkers. Anyways, in between passing boxes of Kleenex around as the mostly middle-aged women attendees talked about their fears ("employees retaining incorrect corporate messages due to faulty ladder-system communication", "death") we had to meditate in the desert and ADOPT A CACTUS to TALK TO EVERY MORNING so we could become one with nature and feel our own power to change corporate thought processes. Whatever.
(I have to stop briefly here and collect my thoughts. I have so many blog worthy stories from that week in my life, it’s like: where do I even begin????)
Okay, so anyways, we also met with some sort of Native ranch-hand who used a type of tarot card system to determine our animal spirit. I shit you not. Everyone was kind of jealous and pissed (in that group-of-only-women-together-every-waking-moment-for-a-full-week kind of way) that I was a Raven. * Especially the woman who got Frog. Anyways, I’m one tricksy fucker, apparently, so watch out! Additionally, I'm mysterious.
(Also that week, I rode a pony named Chino and learned how to move cattle. Just like the rich and famous, but with less cocaine and wearing of babydoll dresses.)
5. Never tell anyone that their last hookup kind of looks like the son Chris from "Family Guy." ** Especially if the person you’re referring to is a woman.
6. PARK OVERALL!!!
7. Dog comes home T-minus a week, or so. I'm sure he'll have a presence on this blog. Because nothing's funnier than crazy women who write blog entries from their dogs in the first person! (Also in the works: I'm going to start wearing puffy-painted Disney sweatshirts, collecting Care Bear figurines, and having framed portraits of the dog on my desk. Also also, referring to dog as my child.)
* I love websites that use "wipes." It reminds me of college, geocities, and PINE email systems.
** "Ha! I got your hat! Take that, hatless! Now go back to the quad and resume your hackey sac tourney! I'm not gonna lay down for some frat boy bastard with his damn Teva sandals and his Skoal Bandits and his Abercrombie and Fitch long sleeved, open stitched, crew neck Henley smoking his sticky buds out of a soda can while watching his favorite downloaded Simpsons episodes every night! Yes, we all love "Mr. Plow"! Oh, you've got the song memorized, do you? SO DOES EVERYONE ELSE! That is exactly the kind of idiot you see at Taco Bell at 1 in the morning! The guy who just whiffed his way down the bar skank ladder!"
Oh god, he quotes Bryan Adams lyrics on his blog as if they are poetry. Help me. HELP ME.
The G. Says:
Random Bryan Adams Memory (RBAM): One time I was in a fight with my HS BF at a dance? Maybe Homecoming? And he asked the DJ to dedicate "Please Forgive Me" by Bryan Adams to me.
The S. says:
The G. Says:
wait for it... it gets better.
The S. says:
How???? How does it get better than that?
The G. Says:
Okay, and instead the DJ played "I'll Make Love to You" by Boyz II Men.
The S. says:
The G. Says:
The S. says:
The S. says:
The G. Says:
true story. i'm laughing, oh my god, so funny...Deep breath. Okay. Whew.
The S. says:
that was a great moment of nostalgia
The G. Says:
brought to you by the Senior Slide Show and Homecoming 1993.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
...Then, Chris Paul Richards. late of the late Q and Not U, now of his solo gong Ris Paul Ric. I think no one does transitional band quite like DC PUNX -- Cupid Car Club, Egg Hunt, Happy Go Licky, Monorchid... member that summer when the Embassy Tape(s) with Las Mordidas was my only jam.( I saw them in a basement on Bryant Avenue in Mnpls with this dude and Jeff Speigel, the day I graduated from 11th grade.
After Las Mordidas, we got in Jeff's PURPLE JEEP and drove to see Trenchmouth play in Mankato ). Chris' shiz is no exception. It was kind of unformed, but it made it good-er, pedals, rhythm gtr loops, some octaver pedal taking his voice to new heights, the Black Eyes kiddo playing bells and crock pot lids (I checked). The MP3 linked above is much more indie folk than it was, it was more of Constellation Records house funk band, more Sung Tongs for "Starfish and Coffee" virgins.
I got the demo, which is bedroom jams produced by Tim Hecker, and it is "of the moment" cos Ris P Ric is dying a quick death as Chris is putting together a band he only described with an exploding whoosh sound and arm motions and the words: "Like... Loud."
-- J. Hopper
Monday, August 08, 2005
Although no one in my family was directly involved, when I read it I got a strange feeling that they were lurking somewhere on the fringes. Just a little bit off screen and the director panned to fast to see them. Not any direct relative, though, but a third cousin-once-removed. Someone who I could still marry.
It also reminds me that we, Pygmalions, are unfortunately not going to make it to the Clay County Fair this year. Too little vacation time, previous planned trips, demands from immediate family all seem to be working against us.
Which is too bad, for it's a fabulous show. It’s so good that a description won't fit into one post. The fair is an entire week of tours, pulls, dips, dupes, fried meats, livestock, robots, giveaways, dopes, rubes and Grand Funk Railroad. Here's a soupçon:
There's a man selling knives. Not just any knives, but miracle knives. And not just miracle knives, but Miracle Knives III. The kind that can be used to redo your whole bathroom. From cutting drywall and copper pipes to picking out matching candles and hand towels.
It's hot in the
There are two key Miracle Blade knives that you must be able to handle if you're going to be the best blademan in the Iowa/South Dakota/Nebraska county fair circuit. There's the Rock 'n Chop - serated and mean. And then there's it's thinner cousin - the Chop 'n Scoop.
For today's ten fingered housewife, the old CnS is perfect for quickly cutting those delicious veggies and getting them in the stew pot without having to reach for an extra utensil. Chop scoop dump. Chop scoop dump. It's firm, yet bendy. Cutty, but not stabby.
And as our man was reaching the zenith of his routine - the vegetables were diced into culinary minim and he turned the blade to scoop - he could feel these Iowans following his hands with their eyes. He could feel the crowd reaching for their wallets. He could feel the gentle massage of success. He could feel... he could feel the blade snap from its cheap plastic handle and whistle out of the booth.
The crowd stood motionless as the metal shard flicked past them into the summertime dust. It happened too quickly for any sort of defensive reaction. If it had hit someone, instead of sailing through a gap in the spectators, it easily could have nicked a carotid artery. We all looked at each other and then back at the man. He stood there buffaloed, holding his jagged handle. We turned and left.
There were no Miracle Blade III sales that day.
One ancient Rolling Rock in a can made me sleepy, the babies in our presence repeatedly sang "UH-OH, UH-OH" about everything: seashells, big waves, the dogs eating animal crackers right out of their grimy little hands. Lots of fat smokers in bikinis. We read shitty books, we drew pictures of bunny rabbits in the sand. We wrote our names. And dug huge holes.
I came back reluctantly yesterday, my nose hot and the truck smelled like feet and barbeque. So reluctantly came back did I that, screw it, we're headed down next weekend. Sing it loud, sing it proud: the city got nothin' to offer. The thought of snowflakes makes me a little mopey.
Friday, August 05, 2005
- Pygmalion blog-thing
- Paradise Hotel, jokes about*
- Poltergeist, how I used to look like the girl from **
- Pest control services
- Portia de Rossi
- Pancake Mountain
OMGWTF n stuff, can you tell how insanely dull my day was? Verily. I'm barely conscious.
I'm leaving for the beach now, I promise.
* so we were in Belize a year or two ago and were staying next to the place where they filmed the original Temptation Island, (the one with the insane looking red-head named mandy?) And so, one of us had to explain to the other one what Temptation Island even was. Because one of us watches shit like that sometimes. This has very little to do with Paradise Hotel, and yet everything to do with programming like Paradise Hotel.
** true story
So, in honor of you little Italian man, I am letting my inner child out this weekend. CAUSE I WANNA!
How I love thee, 'Bastian.
Of course, I've always thought my regular attendance and propensity for high-profile shenanigans was somehow magically invisible to other people. So you can imagine my surprise when, at the bar last night, my bartender friend was DUMBFOUNDED that I wanted a Coke instead of an infanticider (The G will explain). That's right, people, a COKE. STOP THE PRESSES.
For the rest of the evening, in between reading about Jude Law's total sluttiness in People (seriously! he is a sex addict!) and Savage Love in CP (quite a hoot this week - a gross hoot) I was pestered by the bartender. Some excerpts: "Dude, are you pregnant??" and "No, seriously, are you pregnant? Is that why you're not drinking?" and "Tell me. Tell me what is wrong with you." Finally: "This is weird. I just spiked your coke because I can't take it anymore."
Who knew sobriety could lend one such an air of mystery. Also, sobriety can make you pregnant. I'm thinking of running with the rumor just so I can coyly order a beer 'cause, "I'm drinkin' for two."
Still having breathing difficulties today. Stupid ganglia.
So through my mother, who's still in ye ole hometown, I tend to know whats happened to the co-op children- even twentyish years later. The parents have stayed, if not best of friends, at least social; they send Christmas cards, that sort of thing.
One family in the co-op had three sons and lived down the street- one son was my age and another was my brother's age, so I recall spending a lot of time at their house. Then there was the oldest- a really quiet kid who was into skateboarding. I think I had a crush on him when I was seven.
The last time I saw him was 10+ years ago, when he came to my HS art class to talk about being a graphic designer. I don't think I talked to him, (What do you say? "hi, uh, remember that time we built a tree fort behind your house? no? oh.") but I remember his visit. To this day, I partially blame him for a career choice that didn't seem to work out. I also partially blame him for a short fascination in college with Transworld. Everyone has someone like him. He never knew some 8-year old kid in pigtails thought about him years later, as an angsty 21 year old art major.
He was a pretty incredible designer, I'm sure a good son, and an odd little flash-in-the-pan influence on my life. For anyone who read DC Pulse, or who took the time to look at club flyers thrust in your hand on Adams-Morgan corners, you probably knew his work.
Sidenote: I have answered my sweet share of phone calls this year that start "I have some bad news..." I'm done, okay? 2005, you have a little time left to redeem yourself. Get on it.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
It's only 2:16.
Today is the hottest and un-bloggest day of the summer.
And because WMATA didn't bother telling anyone that its 8:20 bus was no longer running, I had to wait around an extra 25 minutes in the hot, hot heat. (Bandages on my arms and on my legs from sun poisoning) I missed out on the only shade too, because of all the extra riders. The only protection is from the one telephone pole that everyone tries to squeeze into.
Here is a graphical representation via Google Earth from behind the sun. I'm the unhappy yellow Snork with the frown/mustache who can't get the Sudoku.
Lame, I know. See what I mean about un-bloggy.
LJG: Nice. I myself have a great image of me as the character WINO WOMAN! She's all like mild-mannered and librarian like during the day. Then, when a building is on fire in Metropolis, she super-powers up and puts on her purple cape and gets wasted and goes and wanders around the scene of the disaster babbling nonsensically and falling and drunk-dialing ex boyfriends. All while never actually saving anyone or doing anything good. ever.
LJG: the worst part is, i'm so lazy and such a bad employee that i'm now drawing a picture of: The adventures of HateMonger and WinoWoman. In MS Paint. Holla!
The G: I'm in 1000%. The building? Would probably burn to the ground. My eyes would shoot lasers of pity and sarcasm, laced with bitterness and regret. And then I'd probably get drunk too, cause what's more fun than an angry drunk? Sigh. Wino Woman, after a lifetime of friendship and
The G: Can my costume be flannel pajama pants and a teeshirt? I don't do vinyl bustiers. I don't think.
* * *
PEE ESS: If you ain't reading (see last link on right menu 4 pony love) then you is stupido. I was laughing like, I don't even know what, last night. In the very beginning of the 00s, when I had a job with oodles of time and software, my own office, and a soul; I used to collage Hello Kitty characters drinking and doing bad things with other HK characters and then email them to people like La Bella Mafia for cheap laughs. I bow to the master. Princess Sparkle Pony is all that and a bag of chips and just, beats my ass to the ground in an unholy battle of skillz. Crap, dude. So funny.
PEE ESS ESS: How many google searches will I now get for "pony love?" We're taking estimates here at HQ.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
One of the commercials now back in heavy rotation is the Missy/Goth Dell spot. It shows two girls on their first day moving into the dorm together.
It first aired last year but Dell busted their advert budget on Cheryl Crow this year, so they had to recycle.
In it you've got Goth...
Hi. I represent any number of the 20 years of a punk subculture spanning from Joy Division to Evanescence.
And you've got prep...
Hi. I represent 20 years of Langley High School.
The spot shows that no matter how different we are we can still forge a bond over our similar laptops. The ad is obviosuly aimed at adults who can identify wide cultural trends without having to really understand what they represent. Actually, most commercials do that. I guess I don't know what it's aimed at.
But here's my question. Am I betraying generations of of Danish/German heritage by finding the goth girl way more attractive than the blonde? Am I wrong finding her alluring? I mean, the commercial seems to indicate that she has a boyfriend, but I bet that won't last now that she's gone off to school and he has to stay home and work at his dad's lamp store. I doubt she'll even go to the freshman orientation party so maybe I can catch Gothie back in her room. I know if I got the chance she'd fall for me and dump that black fingernailed, Cradle of Filth-listening toolbox.
I watched a ton of CNN trying to catch this stupid commercial for the screen captures, during which I saw this gem...
Thanks JB for the capture.
18 times the speed of light, eh? Someone better tell Zefram Cochrane.
- Eyeball Skeleton
- Friends Forever
Honorable mention: Milemarker.
EDIT: Lyrics example: Carnisaur, by friends forever
fists like lightning
teeth like steel
run for cover
or be his next meal
One horned power.
He will make you cower
EDIT:Kanishka adds Hatebeak to the list. I can't believe I forgot about Hatebeak.
[weird tangent/Posies-related memory- Associating certain music w/ certain places in life's personal warpy space-time continuum: Oldie-disappeared-friend Greg, now a Musician cavorting around Switzerland (last i heard?), was one of those aforementioned kids. I had known him for years, somehow we ended up at the same college. Him and a I and a girl named Lauren (always wore a vintage leather coat, angry at the world, classical guitar major), piled into a 4th person's car on Tuesday night, and ended up in the basement of Tokyo Rose where Greg had gotten us on the "guest list." (?) Greg spent the entire night performing odd little duets with Ken Stringfellow, and I pet Juliana Hatfield's dog. Then we hung out with Greg's sister, and drove home at 3 AM. The friend driving got a speeding ticket on Rt. 64. That is the memory I have of the Posies: cops on a dark, dark night; "Solar Sister." The end.]
3. Favorite thing: More in the Monitor
4. I just got an email from an address @ backstreetboysclub.com. It was offering me a job. I'd like to think this wasn't spam, but instead: a sign.
PS. How come no one's ever written "Beowulf: the Musical?"
Class action: $5 if you saw a movie plugged by Sony's fictional critic . Michael sez, "Following a class action suit, Sony Pictures is obliged to refund $5 to any cinemagoers who went to see Hollow Man, Vertical Limit, A Knight's Tale, The Animal or The Patriot at the cinema, as they might have been influenced by quotations on the poster attributed to the fictional film critic 'David Manning.'"
EDIT: Class action: $5 if you saw a movie plugged by Sony's fictional critic. Michael sez, "Following a class action suit, Sony Pictures is obliged to refund $5 to any cinemagoers who went to see Hollow Man, Vertical Limit, A Knight's Tale, The Animal or The Patriot at the cinema, as they
I am ashamed to admit I saw "Hollow Man," summer of 2000. I demand my money back. Plus time and suffering. I'm sure anyone who's little brother dragged them to see "The Animal" can claim the same.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Fun Fact #45623: Certain Italians pronounce the "C" like an "H," making it "Hoha Hola Light." Which still doesn't make the can any colder, o ye iceless civilizations.
I missed "8 Men Out" last night, which was okay, no prob - instead I took a walk and made rice salad and watched the scary parts of "The Sixth Sense" with my hands covering my face, peeking out through fingers, roughing it 5 yr old-preschool style. And, little yelps. (Note: Who remembers that the "OC" chicklet was poisoned throwup girl?????? Not me, that's for damn sure. I'm glad she practiced up on that little eating disorder age twelve, perfection for teen-queen vapid soap stardom. Yay!)
Anyhows, "Bull Durham," my favorite baseball movie and I LOVE BASEBALL MOVIES, is on Monday.
Who's in? Free! Free movie! About baseball!
I've got an idea. Let's take the most ridiculous exercise device ever to grace you grandparent’s rec- room and make it popular again. But we'll need to give it a new name so people won't remember what it is. Something the kids will identify with. You know, something illsnotic.
Um, those bikes that have giant fans for front wheels? No, they blow around too much cat hair.
How about those metal exercise coils that you stretch across your chest? No, your younger brother will use it tie you up right before he lets the air out of your new bike tires and steals a pirate ship.
I got it! Mini-trampoline!
I really want one. More than a go-cart.
PS I think we're getting that dog, so "freaking the everliving shit out of the dog" might be considered a reasonable reason to purchase.
* * *
In unrelated news: Ralph Macchio? 43 years old.
Monday, August 01, 2005
Even for those of us who can recite the Scout Law two decades later, we still find our time in the Scouts to be confusing in retrospect. And I don't mean in a "if you misbehave the scoutmaster makes you hold his hand" kind of confusing (although that did happen to another kid once). It was a giant social mudhole. It's a group that forces boys between the age of 12-18 - and wildly varying degrees of maturity - together into an attempt to breed trust and friendship. When successful, the experiment works wonders. But you often had situations of bullying, taunting and teasing at an age when social identities are at their most malleable. Though same thing happens in school, at least the education system splits middle and high school along the loose lines of puberty.
Also, scouting was never the "cool thing" and your involvement was never mentioned outside the troop meetings. Kids who spent rainy camping trips huddled under the same tarp laughing at boob jokes wouldn't even acknowledge each other's presence back at school. Revealing someone's membership was unforgivable, especially in front of the opposite sex. We had all the hand signs, rote memorization and male bonding of a frat without any of the Greek system's ostensible sense of pride. They could have played the Simple Minds at the end of every meeting with everyone getting a chance to tape Larry Lester's buns together.
That being said, I will defend the Boy Scouts against anyone who bad mouths it. Scouting is such a unique opportunity, especially for a white bread, cushioned, nancy-child like me. Unaware of their mission statement, it always seemed the troop was trying to build teamwork and other corporate weekend catchwords. But imagine trying to teach any sort of survival skills to 30 boys individually. It was either as a group or not at all. But looking back on their mission statement today, I realize they succeeded, at least when it came to me.
None of this is why I planning to write about the Boy Scouts, though. What I really wanted to do was to point out how dangerous it is to be teenage boy. And for me at least, the Boy Scouts offered the perfect perimeters for this destructive behavior. Scouting is an agglomerate of teenage bravado, perceived adolescent invulnerability and undiluted machismo immersed in a culture of fire, knives and axes. Perfect for a budding delinquent/fire bug like myself.
As proof, I've compiled a list of the most dangerous things I did as a child in the Boy Scouts. You get bruising on one end, several near deaths on the other.
- While trying to hang someone's sleeping bag in a tree, I grabbed a rotting branch and fell 20 feet onto an even pile of logs and sticks. That puncture would took a long time to heal.
- After missing our exit on the PA turnpike, our unheated van drove into a ditch during a snowstorm and got stuck for 3 hours. When finally reaching our cabin, A WWF-style wrestling match broke out among the scouts. One jumped off his bunk and smashed his face on a side table.
- While playing a game called torpedo, which involves a blindfolded player trying to tag another, a crawling scout was hit on the top of his head, knocked his mouth on the floor and spat out his front teeth like bloody Chiclets.
-Climbed Annapolis Rocks at night without a belay.
Somewhat related: Raccoon on acid.
-After being warned of 200lbs snapping turtles I panicked while flipping a kayak and became trapped under water for almost a minute. Again at night. And after not telling anyone I was going.
- Our camp fire grills consisted of two rebar reinforced concrete slabs topped with a grill. Like this...
- One year, a scout put an unopened can of corn in the fire. It exploded under pressure and sent shrapnel into people's shins.
- The next year someone put in a can of hairspray. Although we were smart enough to stand away from the open ends, under pressure it exploded with enough force to blow the sides off the grill, sending shrapnel, concrete and rebar into people's shins. Our scoutmaster was obviuosly furious. But he was such an passive and soft-spoken man that the worst threat he could think of was to never write any of us a job references. Not a horrible threat against a 13-year-old, bet memorable none-the-less. It's too bad, because that man is now THE VICE PESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!*
- Someone tossed a .22 rifle round into a campfire. Lord knows where that bullet ended up.
- While collecting firewood, a fellow scout swung a long-handled axe at an upright tree like a baseball bat. He missed and the axe head circled, not only somewhere near my face which would have frightning enough, but under the space between the end my chin and throat.
Plus, when we finally got the tree down, we carried it back on our shoulders ensuring a nice face-full of poison ivy.
All this and I was in the boy scouts for just over two years.