If you're like me, and I know I am...

Monday, December 26, 2005

My Politcal Leanings ... no surprises here

You are a

Social Liberal
(66% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(11% permissive)

You are best described as a ...

Socialist










Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid Free Online Dating
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Monday, December 19, 2005

Smile you son of a ...

I work with a few people who remind me of sharks. Not that they have lifeless eyes like a dolls eyes or that they are cold blooded killers. No, they remind me of sharks because at least part of them never stops moving: their jaws. Just as a shark will let anything past its jaws, these great white talkers will say anything just so long as they never stop spewing what is in their mind out through their many rows of sharp crooked teeth.


"My boyfriend won't give me a list for Christmas, I gave him one ... you should just talk to your girlfriend and let her know how you feel ... oh that sounds neat ... I feel like Chinese ... I'm a soul-less harpie with no life whose least insecurities bleed out into the atmosphere like noxious gas into the earholes of anyone unfortunate enough to have normal hearing ..."

Uhhh. I just want to toss an oxygen tank into their gaping yaws and take potshots at it with a flare gun.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Excess and plenty of it

There is a good deal of debate at this time of year over what is the perfect entree for Christmas feast. Turkey is always a forerunner in the U.S., but since everyone eats turkey on Thanksgiving just one month prior, many opt for some other meat.
Ham is the obvious second choice but most Americans eat the processed ham often enough and couldn't a afford a good one (ie Virginia, Black Forest) to liven things up.

Roast beef is an obvious choice, but let's be honest, beef is what's for dinner in America all the damn time so having it for Christmas just makes the day seem ordinary.

Goose is practically a mythological creature in the United State. We see them fly over our heads, but I don't think I've ever eaten one. Frankly, I can't honestly say I know anyone who has. They certainly don't sell them at McDonald's. This normal absence would make goose a natural for Christmas except that most Americans like three things for the holidays: something they know they like, excess and plenty of it.

So in the name of all that makes our Lord Jesus weep, I recommend a new entree. An entree that even the Romans could not have anticipated for its gluttony. It is the turducken. The turducken is a turkey deboned coated inside with a layer of stuffing then covered with a deboned duck layered with stuffing then covered with a deboned chicken covered with stuffing then rolled up and tied to resemble a turkey. Baked and then sliced crosswise so that one gets turkey, duck, chicken and stuffing in nearly every bite.

It could only be made more perfect if it had a goose on the outside, more stuffing, then a suckling pig more stuffing and then a cow. In the center a cheese stuffed ham.

But that would be TOO too much, you know. Turduckens run about $90 when you can find a butcher who does them so the extravagance is certainly there. When you consider it's three birds in one, it's really not too pricey.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

PC my ass

People (read: right-wing idiots) overuse the term politically correct. They've been doing it since the mid-90s to label anything remotely liberal as a kind of groupthink not worthy of debate. But the literal meaning of politically correct is really terminology agreed upon by the largest number of people.

Some guy just told me he thought Star Trek got a little too PC. That's BS. Star Trek out and out preaches. It is a morality play that tells us what we right and wrong are and how we should all strive to be. If Star Trek really were PC, Kirk and Uhura would never have kissed, that's for damn sure. The Enterprise would have been segregated. There would have been a Vulcans only drinking fountain. Starfleet would have helped all the blonde aliens detroy all the brunette aliens.

It's '06, I think it's time to stop accusing things of being PC.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

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Geeks again

Why is it that people who are clearly borderline autistic think they are good judges of human nature? All the geeks I know don't show much interest in humanity until it comes to one subject: How could you create a virus that would work on a Mac. In order to get a virus to work on a Mac, apparently one would need to send an e-mail or create a pop-up that would look like a Mac message giving detailed instructions on how to open a Super User terminal window and enter the command to get the virus rolling. This is problematic since the user would have to be smart enough to follow the instructions, but not smart enough to realize that something hinky was going on. The painful part for me is listening to the psuedo-rational ramblings of people who don't know people going on about people. If you have nothing to go on, then why go on about it? Is there some scientific or even instinctive way to approach this? It isn't impossible for someone to be just smart enough to accomplish one thing without catching on to the greater threat. But who gives a shit, it isn't worth debating.

As a side note, I did learn a little something about the Internet today.

Everybody uses the Internet, but nobody knows how it works. This is true. We think we know. We get on our computer and go to web sites .. it works, that's it. But since the invention of the ARPANet in 1969, the entity known as the Internet has been around and you better believe it's the property of the U.S., we control it and nobody knows how it really works. It's a mystery. At least it's classified.

Crimbo is here

For millions of people the world 'round, Christmas can be a very lonely and depressing time of year. Many without family and friends, the elderly and homeless are faced seasonally with the reminder that they are alone.

For the rest of us, it's brilliant! Prezzies, grub, drunkenness ... maybe a day off work even. Not me though. I'm scheduled to work that day and man am I pissed. I also have to work Christmas Eve so it isn't like I can do ANYTHING to enjoy Christmas this year without quitting or calling in sick, which will no doubt become a firing offense. We'll see.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The validity of all opinions

Way the hell too many Americans think that just because they are entitled to an opinion that they are also entitled to have that opinion respected as though it were the word of a true expert. Here's the thing about your opinion: You ARE entitled to it, but it doesn't make you right. Lots of people like crap. I like crap. Just because you like something, just because billions of people like it doesn't make it good. Millions of people smoke, do crank, crack, coke and sniff glue. They love it, but it isn't GOOD by any reasonable definition. Not all opinions are equally valid. Some people are experts on food, technology, engineering, literature, TV shows, film, music and everything else. You might know what you like, but liking it doesn't make it art or gourmet or good. Get over it.

Posting the obvious

The place I work at has a sign on the door that says "Handguns and oher weapons are not allowed." Exactly who is this for? Anyone crazy enough to bring weapons to work isn't going to be deterred by a sign ... matter how big and official-looking the font is. Might as well put up a sign that says "Unicorn parking in the rear" or "No fat chicks." I guess someone is just covering their ass legally. I'd had to see the lawsuit that would ensue if someone came to work with a machete, a potato gun and a LAWS rocket. "No one told me I COULDN'T!"

My kung fu IS better than yours

The vicious little idiot struck again tonight. There is this dude I work with who had an absolute hissy fit about 6 months ago when confronted with the fact, offered by me, that maybe the recent round of Star Wars movies weren't quite as good as they could have been. It was like watching my old grandmother get really irrational about black people, the seething hatred that comes from what seems like no where. How in the hell can anyone get this pissed off about Star Wars, man? I mean, come on. There isn't anyone with one God damn brain cell in their head who thinks the last three flicks were as good as the first three. So why argue about it. I even told this dickhead not to get into it because he'd just get himself all worked up again.

Well he really tore it. I can't stand people who can't accept that they might like crap, that their opinion might be inferior to other more qualified people. I can admit this. I like Night of the COmet. It's a shitty movie, but it tickles me so I watch it. McDonald's is shit, but I eat it. Emeril Lagasse knows more about food than I do.

Suffice it to say, you get into an argument with an asshole and a bystander can't tell the difference. Frankly, I lost better friends than this guy the last time I took a dump. Why is it that potheads who like "debate" think that people with some genuine education want to chat with them about the vulgarian horseshit that interests them. I can admit that this guy has superior technical knowledge than I possess and it doesn't rankle me. So why is it that if I suggest I might know a bit more about writing than this guy he has to get offended like I'm calling him a moron. He is one, but I didn't call him that. It's an insult to me if you want to know the truth, that with my experience in the writing arts that every jerk-off on the planet seems to think their opinion on writing matters is equal to my own. It isn't. Just as others outstip me, I pass him by on this subject like he's standing still. Let him get pissed.

It's the little things

You know what's good? Toast. Toast is one of those things you forget just how good it is until one day you don't have anything else to eat in the house but a loaf of bread and stick of butter ... real butter. You slather on some of that butter, let it melt just a tad and wolf down that slice of electricly crispified goodness and wonder at how you could forget.

Of course, not all toast is created equal. Nothing is quite so disapointing as store brand sandwich bread that's been allowed to get a bit long in the tooth, toasted and covered with that fake butter shit made from vegetable oil. Makes me wanna retch. I like a nice multi-grain bread. I got a line on a sweet 9-grain bread that is so crunchy when toasted even Jesus Christ himself would say, "God ... DAMN that's a crunchy piece of toast!"

Real butter is aces. Cream cheese is nice. Marmalade's cool. Strawberry preserves rock. Peanut butter can't be beat. The only way I don't like my toast is dry. Never could see how anyone could eat dry toast.

Do your own time

Why is it some people's pain has to be everybody's? They have a saying in the joint, "DO your own time." It means prison is hard enough doing time for your own crime without having to bear up under everyone else's complaints.

You don't have to be in prison to get the full treatment though. I work with a guy who acts like every break and lunch is some sort of entitlement. All we have to do is ask and we usually get to go when we want. Just don't ask to go two hours after your shift starts or during a major shift change. Instant message the supe and wait for his repy, if it takes him a few seconds, don't start bugging about it.

Every freakin' day I have to listen to this guy piss and moan about his lunch, he's hungry, he's fiendin' for this or needs that. God forbid he bring a lunch or eat out of the machine. No, everyday he has to whine about how if he doesn't go to lunch now, Wendy's will be closed and he's fiendin' for a classic triple and a loaded baked potatuh, you know what I'm sayin'? Jesus, I'm a diabetic and I don't make that much of a fuss about when I eat. People who are that controlled by their glutty really piss me off.

Monday, December 12, 2005

What we contribute

Countries around the world have added to the human legacy in a variety of ways. The French have added their cuisine, their wine, their philosophers. The Germans have added their science, engineering and philosphies. Italy and Greece spread civilization to all corners of Europe. America's contribution is mostly in the realm of fizzy drinks, snack foods and sitcoms. And that's OK, too. Anyone whose ever chased down a Zinger with a diet Wild Cherry Pepsi while watching "Family Guy" knows just how true this is.

Let the good times roll

I think if there is one phrase I'd like to learn in every language on the earth, it is the one above. If the human race should ever want to adopt a motto, it should be "Let the Good Times Roll." Right now, it seems to be "Die, Motherfucker, Die!"

The Sleeper Must Awaken

Ever find yourself standing in front of the urinal (or sitting on the toilet for that matter) late at night or early in the morning to take a piss? If you are tired or just getting up to do your business, there can be this moment when you are waiting for the flow to start when you start to drift off. Then just when the flow begins you gt a start because you're not quite sure you should be doing this. It's the same automatic brain function that keeps you from wetting the bed. I don't know, I just find that kind of stuff fascinating. In order to take a proper slash, you have to be fully conscious which is more than most people can manage in their daily lives.

A Very Jerrett Christmas

Working on Christmas is bullshit. Even most gas stations should be closed on Christmas so far as I'm concerned. But every year movies open on Christmas because theaters are open on Christmas. Grocery stores are open. Chinese restaurants being open, that I can dig. I had a very good Christmas indeed one year when my mother and sister came to visit me at college on Christmas day. We went to the King Buffet and had a nice long lunch with a few other families who for whatever reason had opted out of the traditional Christmas fare. I suppose it was nice because I hadn't really planned on going home because Christmas is just another excuse for getting seriously depressed. It so rarely meets my incredibly stunted expectations. I'm not looking for a Dickensian experience. I'm not even looking for a Chevy Chase Christmas or a Very Brady Christmas. I just want to have a Very Jerrett Christmas.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The marketplace of ideas?

Why is everything in America reduced to a pitiful capitalist metaphor? Why does every square peg get shoved into the round hole of this paradigm? I had a dickhead former publisher who used to love saying that a newspaper is a for profit business and that was something to be proud of. Granted, among other things, a newspaper is a business and even one that, hopefully, makes a profit, but there is a difference between a business that makes a profit and a business that only exists to generate profit for another company. Money needs to be reinvenested after all in order to be effective.

This is the same dickhead who got cancer even though there was no tumor or cancer cell to be found. Apparently, his doctor said he had "cancer-like" symptoms and this was good enough for him. What he failed to realize is that medicine is a for profit business too these days.

I'm not saying he didn't or doesn't have cancer. I hope he does, you know, for the sake of the truth. But does it serve anyone that doctors should be as interested in generating profit as any other businessman? Glorifying profit is about as righteous and selling your soul to Satan for a few guitar lessons and a 30-pack of Stroh's. Money might be a necessary evil but not everyone needs to chase it and not every human endeavor is enriched by it either.

Florence Nightengreg

I failed to mention recently that I saved the life of a co-worker. It's funny really since that's the kind of thing that even the most humble of men would brag about. I am not a humble man as such, but this incident happened quickly. I reacted quickly and, I can honestly say, a minimum of ego involvement. I wouldn't have thought it possible either.

I came into work and Terry, a fellow diabetic, looked like he was having a bad day. His brow was furrowed and when I said hey he shook his head. Someone else noticed that he wasn't responding and that he was out of it. I then realized he was having a low blood sugar event i.e. his blood sugar was so low that he couldn't speak or move. He was dazed and unaware of his surroundings.

I got him a pop and fed it to him for nearly 30 minutes while feeding him my glucose tablets until he began to slowly come around. I could tell it was working because he kept thanking me and saying "I appreciate it." He was pretty helpless and I played nursemaid without thinking of how it looked or what it meant for me. I didn't do it for credit or kudos, I did it because it was necessary. Terry is a real sweetheart who is prone to these episodes which are almost like seizures. It's not likely that anyone else would have even known what to do. I was glad I was there so he didn't die or suffer the humiliation of having the boss call 911 prematurely.

Monday, December 05, 2005

FoxNews is foreign-controlled propaganda

My buddy Mike B just emailed me. He watches FoxNews every morning. I told him I find it sadlly ironic that the network conservative Americans turn to to get the truth about what's going on in America is owned by an Australian media mogul with a reputation for muck-racking, biased yellow journalism.

Mike's a good guy and I think with a little bit of encouragement from some decent, hard-nosed lefties like and those in Chicago, he will soon turn to the side of righteousness.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Turkeys

Well if I had any doubts about wanting to kill myself, Thanksgiving removed them. This isn't going to be one of those rants about how effed up my family is. Frankly, everything was pretty nice. My sister made a nice turkey with all the trimmin's as they say. It was a generous spread and a nice time. My brother-in-law smoked a turkey to death. The guy needs to stop.

But the deal with social gatherings is that I just cannot tolerate being around people any more. Social situations just fuck me up. 99% of the human race annoys the shit out of me. They are banal, pointless wastes of space whose only contribution to conversation is usually "did you see that show last night" or "the only good beer is Busch Light." I've gotten to the point where I can really enjoy being around my family and then the rules change and I have to hang around my brother-in-law's family.

They are nice enough people, but I've got crushing depression and feel worse around other human beings. But the rest of the race could at least try to be interesting. The only question anyone has to ask me is "where are you working now?" Like that says anything about me. Ask me something revealing like "if you could kill someone and get away with it, would you?" "What's the wierdest thing you ever ate?" "Have you ever jerked off while driving?" Something original or at least probing. All these people have to say in their own subtle way is that life is not worth living.

My nephew has turned into a typical 13-year-old asshole to boot. For my birthday he got me nothing, not even a card or a "happy birthday." For Thanksgiving he topped that by not saying one word to me the whole day. It wasn't deliberate either, I'm sure of that. He just wasn't interested.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Whogivesashit.com

Santa, Idaho voted this week to change its name to SecretSanta.com, Idaho in exchange for cash, according to a Reuters article. I was very briefly thinking about ranting out a little screed on the evils of corporatism and how businesses rob us of our individuality, but then I figured fuck it. Towns have always been labeled by whoever had the cash to name them. Ames, Dodge, Springfield, Polk, and on and on. If you have a railroad running through your state, you've got towns, counties, roads and parks bearing these names because some rich asshole that nobody remembers wanted his name on everything at the height of the rail boom. If a bunch of hicks in the sticks want to change their town's name to just the latest fad for some money, I'm not gonna moan about it any more than I do the fact that Hershey, PA is named after the guy who set his chocolate factory in the middle of a cornfield. Maybe some other day I'd give a damn, but right now, nothing surprises me.

Monday, November 21, 2005

What IS the point?

I've been contemplating suicide a lot lately. Not in the deep funk of years past, which was as deep and as funky as a George Clinton groove, but in the inevitable light of reason. Our Japanese brothers, our Roman predecessors took a rational view to suicide. They'd kill themselves because they had to for political reasons, issues of honor and to protect their families. A Japanese author in the 80s wrote a how to book on the subject. Guns aren't as common in Japan so a good way to commit suicide with a minimum of pain is always a bestseller. He included a good rationalization at the front of his book, too, claiming that there was really no good reason to stay alive. Life is boring, cruel and ultimately a waste of time if you arent digging it. This raised a few eyebrows in the West, but only because we expect people who would be better off dead to stay alive and dig ditches for us. If eveyone in the West who was miserable or just unhappy with their lots in life killed themselves, more middle management types would actually have to work for a living.

Rationally speaking, I've made MY contribution already. I'm not happy, probably won't be happy any time soon. I'm chronically depressed, fat, diabetic and getting worse in every possible way. Most people I know would feel better about having known me than they do knowing me. I'm a good person to remember, but not a good person to live with. So why not?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Isn't that nice?

I gotta mean hard-on for a certain kind of person
in this world. Nicey-niceys. People whose experiences
in life as well as their personalities are so mellow and
sweet that they view niceness as a meaningful character
trait, a virtue, something of substance to which good
and decent people should aspire.

I hate their guts.

I admire self-sacrifice and decency. I think everyone
should strive to be good. But no one of any intelligence
should ever confuse niceness with any of this. Nice, as a
term, is practically meaningless. Be nice, act nice, Oh, he's
nice! What does any of it mean? Does nice mean that someone
is good or just meek? It's so non-descript. The only thing I can
really say for certain about the use of the term nice is that
it seems to be a good word to use when you don't know what
the hell else to say. Play nice means don't beat the shit out
of each other but keep quiet. Children could play nice until
you found one of them turning blue in a dry cleaning bag.
People who are nice usually are also quite stupid, vacuous,
uncommitted and not worth talking to. It is entirely possible to
be a very nice person who just doesn't happen to see all the
evil in the world. I bet there were a lot of very nice people living
in the shadow of Dachau and Belsen, Auschwitz and Buchenwald.
"Oh I'm sure their just having a big barbecue, those German boys
do love a good cookout." After all, only a bad person assumes
the worst.

Nice people have always been my bane. It was always very nice
people who stood by and watched while I was abused or on the run.
I had a very nice teacher who kept me locked up in newspaper
class working on a story because she knew I was skipping school
in order to find a place to stay because I had run away from home.
Some very nice people didn't seem to notice, though they were a
few feet away, that my fifth grade gym teacher was abusing the shit
out of the kids in my school. They were probably torn though since
he was black, they wouldn't want to be called racists after all by stopping
child abuse.

Nice people can go fuck themselves.

Consumer goods ... as far as the eye can see


I went to the new Mall of the Bluffs Hy-Vee
this morning at 6:30. It was a trip. For one
thing, everything in the store was completely
perfectly lined up. The cans, the produce, the
toilet paper, the magazines ... everything was
facing front, evenly spaced and numbered.
Even in the produce section you had six green
peppers next to six each of yellow and red.
Walking down the aisles, the colors of
consumerism were blinding. Normally,
all those cans and bags and bottles are
just askew enough to create a sort of
nondescript melange. The way this store's
laid out it looks like a store in a movie
making fun of consumerism. It was funny,
but it actually hurt the eyes to look at it.

Then I had the salad bar for breakfast.

I went back around 6:30 that night because
this is a really good salad bar, especially for
around five bucks. After one whole day of
shopping, the pop aisle had been all mussed
up but the soup and canned goods aisle was
still perfect. The produce wasn't fucked up either.
I don't think this was because they had realigned
everything all day long, I think it was because no
one had been in to buy those things.

Then I had the soup and salad bar for dinner.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Like pulling teeth

I was just reminded tonight of something
that happened to me long, long ago in a
county far, far away. My buddy Danny
is getting his wisdom teeth pulled Tuesday
and he was wondering how hard it is to pull
teeth out of someone's head.

During the end of my baby teeth days, I was
spending the night at my grandma's house in
scenic, rural Harrison County somewhere
between Logan and Neola. I had this tooth
that was "just dangling by a thread." It drove
my grandmother nuts. She was not one of those
bake a batch of cookies and tell you a story about
the good old days grandmothers. She was one of
those tell there are ghosts upstairs so stay out of
the attic and make fun of you because you were
fat type grandmothers. Oddly enough, this is one
of my more fond memories of her.

Anywho, Francis gets tired of watching me play
with this tooth and decides she's gonna yank it.
"It's just hanging there, you won't even feel it,
you big baby." I didn't want her to do it but she
pretty much insisted. Maybe she was afraid I'd
choke on it in my sleep, but I doubt it. She never
said as much any way. She sits me in one of her
canary yellow kitchen chairs, the vinyl kind with
the metal tube legs. She leans my head back, grabs
my tooth with a solid grip, fingers wrapped in a red
handkerchief. This grip was hardcore. She was
mostly right. One good solid extremely painful
yank and that tooth came out of my head
accompanied by a blood flow that seemed kind of
excessive considering my tooth had been just
hanging there by a thread.

I was a bit in shock, the experience hurt more
than I expected and my mouth was full of that
salty irony blood taste. I tongued where the missing
tooth was supposed to be and was more than a bit
surprised to find that not only was it not gone it was
just as dangly as it had been previously.

I started screaming what is known in my family as
"bloody murder." Francis had a chagrined look on her
face. I think she knew she wasn't going to live this one
down for a few years. She wasn't even sure if that tooth
was a baby tooth or not so the damage might have been
permanent. She felt kind of bad and did that sort of half-
assed apologize while trying not to laugh sort of thing
while I swished salt water around in my mouth sticking
my tongue in the freshly made hole in my gums. This
was just about the only time I ever had the upper hand
on Francis so I was pretty glad to make all of it that I could.

So these days when people ask about funny grandma
stories or painful childhood injury stories, I pull out this
little gem and sigh thinking about the good old days.

Turning conservative

I'm a big lefty. I believe in peace, love and
understaning ... all that shit. But even so
there is something inside of me that is
attracted to fascism. I am intellectually
opposed to the death penalty but deep
down in the primitive part of my brain
where the ape man lives and dreams of
tearing apart spider monkeys for fun, I
love it when someone who deserves it fries.
Some piece of crap of kidnaps and violates a
child isn't someone I want to keep alive deep
down in my heart. The Tarzan in me'd like
beat them to death with the thin end of a pool
cue. Take my time, really enjoy it over the
course of a couple days.

This does not create the psychic disconnect
in me that it once did. I have come to realize
that liberalism is at least partially a romantic
notion and romantics are often disappointed.
We'll never get the utopia were fighting for
and we get tired of fighting. We're like a bunch
of jilted lovers who turn from love to hate quickly
because both are rooted in passion.

This is what makes neo-cons possible. After
years of pragmatically insisting on setting the
standard for the world, these disappointed
romantics want the world to either be a better
place or else as though we can bomb Baghdad
and all of Iraq into loving democracy and The
American Way.

I've got a low frustration threshold to start with
so it really wont surprise me if one day I go over
the fence. Most of my friends are already leaning
that way because they've got money, kids and
everything to lose.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Chicken and Rice Mama Jerrett style


one cup rice, uncooked
one can Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup
one emptied can Campbell's Cream of Chicken
soup full of water
one packet Lipton Onion soup
various chicken pieces (fat makes this better)

mix it all except the chicken then place the chicken
on top, bake at around 350 for an hour and a half
and enjoy

variations: Mama Jerrett never varied this, but
mushroom soup works well, chopped onions are
good, fresh mushrooms don't suck and in a pinch
one doesn't have to add the chicken

Bless this

I can't stand people who say God Bless You!
when other people sneeze. I dislike even more
people who insist that you say it to them. I was
raised to believe that if I had a disgusting semi-
voluntary biological event occur (burping, farting,
coughing, pissing my pants and, yes, sneezing)
that the proper thing for me to do was say excuse
me, not turn it into a sad attempt to get other
people to pity me and say hosannahs over me.

I had this girlfriend once about about three years
ago. She was a sad, desperate spinster-in-the-
making with about five married sisters. Her clock
was ticking so loud I almost couldn't hear the crazy
in everything she said. Almost. One night, she tells
me she has a "deal-breaker." You know, one of
those little things that if a man doesn't have or do
make him an unsuitable partner for a woman. I'm
thinking criminal record, B.O., yellow toenails,
homosexual tendencies, communist sympathies,
a tail or something really outrageous.

No, this chick's "deal-breaker" was when the person
you're going out with doesn't voluntarily say "excuse
me" after you sneeze. She didn't even want to tell me
because if she told me then I couldn't do it spontaneously.
She was in luck , of a sort.

"What a coincindence," I said, "mine, too!"
"Really?"
"Yeah, except I can't stand it when a woman I go out
with insists that I say it. People should really excuse
themselves after they sneeze, I mean, it isn't like you
are dying or just got done confessing your sins ... come
on."

I meant it too. All the women my age got that stupid
"deal-breaker" from the movie "Singles" anyway. It
isn't even original. If you are such a need freak that
you have to have people acknowledge you with sympathy
just because you blew snot and germs into the air in a
fine mist, then fuck off. I don't need sex that bad, frankly.
No one does.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Moral Absolutes

Killing a homeless person in a van by the river
just to achieve an erection is wrong.

Having group sex in your parents living room
while they sleep upsstairs just to check off
two activities on your "Purity List" is wrong.

Masturbating to a borrowed copy of Elric is wrong,
especiallly if the guy who lent it to you catches
you in the act.

Telling someone who asks you to watch your language
at the grocery store "Fuck you and your kid, lady"
is wrong. Sorry about that.

Getting high and making an ass out of yourself at a
play is wrong, but it feels so right.

Soaking a wart in your roommate's drinking glass
is wrong.

Littering is wrong.

Not washing your hands after going to the bathroom (1 or 2)
is wrong.

Prefering Taco Bell to Taco John's or any other kind of
Mexican food is wrong.

Individually-wrapped cheese slices ... wrong.

Decaf. Wrong.

Neo-cons are wrong.

Sackless dems are wrong.

Intelligent design taught in school very wrong.

More about geeks

The average computer geek, much like the average
sci fi geek, likes to consider himself to be a
person of above average intelligence. Computer
geeks think tht because they can find shit on the
Internet and talk endlessly about shit that only
they find of interest that they must, of necessity,
be smarter than the average bear.

Meanwhile, there are thousands of autistics in this
country and indeed the world over who are are actually
quite gifted at tasks one might otherwise assume required
great intelligence. Playing the piano, counting ceiling
tiles (many and instantly), memorizing sports stats,
summarizing soap opera plots, telling jokes and on and on.

Chimpanzees can be trained to ride bikes. Parrots can talk.
Dogs can fetch sticks. Cats can poop in a box. No one tries
to make us doff our hats to them. Most geeks I know have the
interpersonal skills of a cardboard cutout. Dogs have better
manners, chimps are more personable, parrots are more interesting
conversationalists and cats are more genuinely interested in
other creatures ... and cleaner.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Texas Funeral

Burying someone alive after getting them drunk or
otherwise sedating them is known as a Texas Funeral. A
Comombian Necktie is when someone cuts your throat and
pulls your tonguen through the hole. Most of the
terrible ways to kill someone do not have really cool
names. Burning someone's house down while they are
still inside, for example, isn't known as Hotboxing,
though it could be. Sticking an axe in someone's head
isn't called Giving them the Paul Bunyan Treatment.

Love Kills



Robot

In the future, robots like this one from
Fritz Lang's "Metropolis," will replace all
human contact in your life. From rising to
resting, from work to love and play, "automatic
for the people" will be be the new way.

Get used to it.

What I'm listening to tonight: Promises in the Dark

cs-PatBenatar1-Atlanta72701.JPG (36455 bytes)

Pat Benatar

Probably the best part about being a girl in the 1980s was Pat Benatar. It was widelly known

at the time that she was a classically-trained singer. That means she could do opera as well as

rock out. In fact, it was the opera that allowed her to rock out. Here are the lylrics to one of my
favs, "Promises in the Dark." Buy it or something.

Never again, isn’t that what you said?
You’ve been through this before
An’ you swore this time you’d think with your head
No one, would ever have you again
And if takin’ was gonna get done
You’d decide where and when
Just when you think you got it down
Your heart securely tied and bound
They whisper, promises in the dark

Armed and ready, you fought love battles in the night
But too many opponents made you weary of the fight
Blinded by passion, you foolishly let someone in
All the warnings went off in your head
Still you had to give in

Just when you think you got it down
Resistance nowhere to be found
They whisper, promises in the dark

But promises, you know what they’re for
It sounds so convincing, but you heard it before
Cause talk is cheap and you gotta be sure
And so you put up your guard
And you try to be hard
But your heart says try again

You desperately search for a way to conquer the fear
No line of attack has been planned to fight back the tears
Where brave and restless dreams are both won and lost
On the edge is where it seems it’s well worth the cost
Just when you think you got it down
Your heart in pieces on the ground
They whisper, promises in the -- dark

Sunday, November 06, 2005

JABBERWOCKY by Lewis Carroll

(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.


"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.


`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

McRib is back, bitch!

I hate McDonald's on philosophical grounds. I know they've
got something in their food most people wouldn't eat if they
knew those ingredients were there in the first place. They
make it so you can taste a 1/10 of a pound beef patty
underneath all that bun, ketchup, mustard, pickle and
rehydrated onion. Something is rotten in Denmark.

But I nearly wet 'em the other day when I was driving
down the street. I saw the sign (and it opened up my eyes):

McRib is back!

I nearly careened into oncoming traffic. For as much as I
despise corporatism, greed, bad food, I cannot deny that
the McRib is a helluva good sammich. As far as a cultural
event, it is right up there with St. Patty's Day, Guy Faulkes
Day and the Second Coming.

That might be overstating things a bit ... unless you're Jewish.
Then you would have no problem comparing the McRib to Jesus.
For any number of reasons.

Geekin'

I previously reported that one of the dildos I work
with left early one night because "his chemo was
making him sick." I said I felt a little bad for thinking
him a dildo. Well, it has come to light he was lying
about taking chemo. It stands to reason, really. He
would have to be the fattest, hairiest cancer patient
in the history of fat, hairy cancer patients. He is, in
fact, one of those soul sucking vampire bitches I've
mentioned in other posts. A two-balled bitch as my
old friend Randy Noreen would have called him. He
is a gamer and an attention seeker who will talk any
amount of shit just to be talking. Other lies he's told
include having a daughter at Harvard, being in the
same Odin-worshipping clan as some skinhead who
used to work here, having a girlfriend and that his
dad was killed in "the war" ... and that just to win
an argument about how powerful satellites are. I.E.
"Oh yeah, well if the government has satellites that
powerful then why did my dad have to die in the
war."

People like this could make any right- to- lifer favor
abortion on demand and euthanasia by popular vote.

Bigmouth Strikes Again

The older I get, the less willing I am to tolerate
the rudeness and thoughtlessness of those younger
than me. Even a 27-year-old who talks twice as
loud and twice as fast as his words require gets
under my skin faster than an earwhig on meth.

"Fuck, dude, you know what I'm sayin'? It was like
'shiiit,' right, dude? Fuck."

ALL RIGHT ALREADY! God ... DAMN IT!

People talk too much any way. No one has anything
worth saying and the more they talk and spew their
pitiful little minds out into the atmosphere where I'm
just trying to sit in a bit of silence, the more I want to
just shut their God damn mouths permanently. I try
not to say anything, but it's funny that if I accidentallly
drop my pop on my desk while some endlessly drawn
out blabfest is going on, I get, "I'm not bothering you,
am I GREG?" No, not at all, but funny that you think
you might have.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Idiot Savant

This guy I work with is going on about how he doesn't
eat glucose or chloroplasts. That's rabbit food. "I've
never eaten a tomato to my recollection." I swear to
God some of these geeks couldn't stop talking if you
kidnapped their mommies and threated to keep her for
ever and ever. What find of fucking moron is proud of
not eating vegetables ever? Who takes a stand against
glucose?

People are people... it's too bad really











Anyone who knows me knows two things: One, I like
cheese... a lot. It's the food that makes everything
else taste better. Two, I am down with the rainbow
revolution. They're here, they're queer, get used to
it already.

But I am a bit of a throwback when I have phone
contact with people named Jenny or Victoria who are
clearly men, at least they were when they were born. I
don't know if they are pre-operative transexuals or
what, but when I'm talking to them in the course of my
job, calling them ma'am (which is what they are really
getting off on making the call last about twice as long as
necessary when they don't really have anything to complain
about) it's effin' annoying, buddy. Should I start calling them
sir just to put them off a bit? I think so. Perhaps a
little "accident" now and again will make them feels
they aren't pulling off the whole "live as a woman for
a year then get the operation" thing.

I know this tranvestite in my home town named Cindy.
Cindy is probably 6'4" and a 60-year-old grandfather
with hands the size of a first-baseman's mitt. Cindy
looks not a little bit like J.R.R. Tolkien with a
blonde wig. Pant suit, skirt, sweater or jogging suit,
Cindy looks like a dude in a wig, she isn't fooling
anybody. And that's OK, but what surprises me is just
how delusional she is. If you are introduced to Cindy,
she tries to shake your hand like a lady, you know,
mostly with the ends of her massive, hotdog
sized-fingers.

Of her inner circle, Cindy asks, "do you think anyone
suspects I'm a man?" Hell yes they do, if by anyone
you mean EVERYone. It's like me asking my friends to
constantly tell me how thin I look. Forget about it,
it ain't happening. I would only ask to make them
uncomfortable.

People are a curious lot. And of course, by curious
(pun intended) I mean needy deluded fucking idiots.

Crazy shit

It occurred to me the other day, probably during some
commercial or other, that no sense is more intimate and
mysterious than smell. When you smell someone, you are
actually taking a part of them inside yourself invisibly
through the air. NO color, no sound, just smell. And the
way each smell affects you is unique. There is no third-party
confirmation, it's totally subjective.

You actually take a part of someone inside yourself when
you taste them, too, but that's called cannibalism and doesn't
have the same mystique.

Smell evokes memory more completely than any other
sense as well. You could be 40 years old and catch a
whiff of Bubble Yum mixed with Chanel and instantly
think about the moment you entered puberty thanks to
your fifth grade teacher's way of writing on the
chalkboard ... even if you haven't thought about Ms.
Buttonschon in decades. Madre de Dios, but that woman
could erase fast.

In my 13th summer, I used to slather my pits with Old
Spice and read Conan novels every day for three
months. So imagine my surprise when, at 18, my college
roommate decided to forego his shower and OD'd on the
OS. I ran into him in the hall and was suddenly
transported to a realm of high adventure. I didn't
recall my smelly little room or myself lying on my bed
reading. I had this instant, compressed recollection
of months of Cimmerian thrills. My roommate was lucky
I didn't take his damn head off like that guy in "The
Tower of the Elephant." I'm serious, it was a rush of
adrenaline I hadn't felt since I was an adolescent.

When I was a little kid and I'd get sick, I'd lay in
my parents dirty clothes pile. My father worked as a
welder for a living and has always hade a pretty
unique, if not pungent, bouqet. Laying there in what
most people would have defined as a pretty heady
stank, I would feel as comforted as if my mother was
rubbing my tummy. Maybe even more so. Of course, my
mother would usually try to roust me out of the
clothes. She knew what sins were in that pile, but
when you're four and your stomach hurts and you take a
nap in a big stinky pile of cloths and feel better,
you don't care about poo poo undies and sweaty
t-shirts.

I'll tell you something else for naught, to this day
I'm not bothered by my dad's BO. I guess I'm like a
dog that way. Just because the odor is "not good" by
all known social standards, doesn't make it bad. I
can't imagine that Kate Moss's pits reek so bad I
wouldn't want to give them a whiff. A dog's nose is so
sensitive it will take great pleasure from smelling
your nether regions just to see where you've been and
what you've been up to.

To a dog, smell is powerful way to of sensing someone
else. Shit isn't a bad smell, it's just another way of
figuring somemone out. This guy eats a lot of meat,
I'm sticking with him. This guy is sick, be cautious.
Dogs can probably even tell if you' crazy from the way
your crap smells. Why not? We can tell by looking at
someone or listening to them rant. Why not because
their shit is crazy smelling?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Old School Onion Soup

For about three months in the Fall of 1987 I was
on a starvation diet. Actually, it was more of a stupidity
diet. I was at Iowa State and my student loans were
late. Every time I went in to check to see if they were in,
I was told next week. So instead of getting a job, I figured
I'd wait just one more week, then another, then another.
Finally, a couple months had gone by. I was living off popcorn
for a while. For less than a buck, you can eat pretty good for
few days. At one point, I was down to a bag of onions. I
figured if I ate one onion a day, I could make it another week.
I would boil the onion lightlly in a bit of salty water. I would
then eat the onion and drink the onion flavored water. Of course,
this sounds pretty nasty. Truth be told, it was pretty nasty. But
when you are hungry enough by 6 p.m. every night, that onion
sounds pretty good.

One night, I got home all eager to eat my last onion, when I
discovered, much to my horror, that my roommate, Dan, had
taken my last onion and sliced it up for his ham sandwiches. I was
pissed. At least, I was pissed until I decided it was fair dinkum for me
to dig into his ham. You start eating ham after you haven't had any
meat for a month or two and nothing... NOTHING tastes quite so good.

By the time my student loan had come in, I was having visions. It was
truly religious. Things began to occur to me, enlightenment felt as though
it were in my reach. That evaporated about the time I took the first bite
of the first pizza I ordered. Hot cheese and sausage will do that.

I don't hate onions though. You'd think I might, but they are one of my
favorite ingredients when it comes to adding flavor to omelettes, grits,
pizza, tacos, soups, sauces. I buy them by the bag and use them all. Maybe
it's the French in me.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Sense Impressions

It occurred to me the other day that no sense is more
intimate and mystical than smell. When you smell
someone, you are actually taking a part of them inside
yourself invisibly through the air. You actually take
a part of someone inside yourself when you taste them,
too, but that's called cannibalism and doesn't have
the same mystique.

Smell evokes memory more completely than any other
sense as well. You could be 40 years old and catch a
whiff of Bubble Yum mixed with Chanel and instantly
think about the moment you entered puberty thanks to
your fifth grade teacher's way of writing on the
chalkboard ... even if you haven't thought about Ms.
Buttonschon in decades. Madre de Dios.

In my 13th summer, I used to slather my pits with Old
Spice and read Conan novels every day for three
months. So imagine my surprise when, at 18, my college
roommate decided to forego his shower and OD'd on the
OS. I ran into him in the hall and was suddenly
transported to a realm of high adventure. He's lucky
I didn't take his damn head off like that guy in the
Tower of the Elephant.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Everybody dies alone ...

...unless they die in a plane crash.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

French fries with gravy

I am a bit of a foody. Which is too bad for me really since America is a vast wasteland of fast food, convenience products and God awful restaurants. Go into a diner or a cafe where the food SHOULD be good and reasonably fresh and you'll find yourself dining on canned veggies and watered down soups, pre-packaged fried chicken and sauce from a can. Why do people pay good money to eat this crap? Either you want to eat vegetables or you don't. He who wants to eat those veggies soggy and salty as hell from a can does not truly love veggies.

I'm not a snob about these things, mind you. I just know that Papa John's Pizza isn't the best pizza regardless of how fresh they say their toppings are. I've yet to see a tomato garden atop the strip mall where Papa John's makes these miracle pies that are supposed to put Pizza Hut and Dominoes to shame, so I'm just gonna assume their sauce is canned or frozen in a bag as well, OK? Unlike most Americans, I know when I'm getting something that "tastes funny" because it's fresh. Most Americans can't eat anything unless it's got high quality packaging and then they think it tastes good. Taco Bell is a great example. NOTHING at Taco Bell tastes better than the food at my local taco shack/burrito barn Alvarado's, yet I hear people with pedestrian palates shit on them all the time in favor of their usual run for the border. Fuck all that shit.

Most Americans eat fast food a hell of a lot more often than they admit. I see people who eat it daily, but if you asked them, they'd probably only admit to once or twice a week. Some of them are so used to eating the dead, stale crap fast food restaurants prepare that they get sick eating fresh food, which only reinforces their misguided interpretation that the fresh stuff is actually not "good food."

I don't anybody who doesn't know what a Big Mac is, but talk about the American classic fries with gravy, even to a waitress at a diner these days, and you get this look like you're a fucking foreigner who doesn't know any better. Time was, one could count on some local specialties, too, now you get the same jalapeƱo poppers and bloomin' onions from Maine to New Mexico. I'm from Iowa and I've never had a stuffed porkchop nor have I met anyone who even knows that that is supposed to be one of our signature dishes. We also make one of the finest bleu cheeses in the world, Maytag. But I can't get it in my local corporate mega store or catch a glimpse of recognition on the face of the dairy case manager when I ask about it.

Where are the hot beef sandwiches? The meatloaf dinners? The Texas toast? Where are the crab cakes? Where is the hand-cut, hand-breaded, pan-fried pork tenderloin of my youth? Biscuits and gravy? Hoe cakes? Natural casing wieners? Hand-pressed hamburger patties? How about a loaf of bread made from scratch, huh? When was the last time you saw one of those?

There's just no love in our grub any more and we should all consider that the next time we think about what dive restaurant we want to help keep open.

Objections are opportunites, but are opportunities objections?

Who comes up with these freaking sales aphorisms? They're all like some serious Zen for retards shit, man.""When a customer says 'no,' think 'know' as in 'I'd like to know more about what I just fucking told you I don't want to buy, asshole!'"

Anything that has to do with the making of money for the sake of profit is a sin. At least that's what the Bible says, so don't take it out on me if you disagree. Take it up with Jesus. Starving to death sucks, of course, as does going without cable TV and diet Mountain Dew. But the pursuit of profit just to accumulate ... that's a one-way ticket to Hell, my friend.

Upselling and other bullshit ways to make a living

Back in training today to get the corporate bung-holing on how to sell, sell, sell!

I hate selling. The only thing I hate more than selling are the people who love to sell. It takes a certain kind of genetic deviant to get off on hammering people who call in for tech support with "upsells."

Upselling is one of those bastardized corporate terms for getting someone who is already on the hook a little more on the hook. If they were already stupid enough to buy a cheeseburger from you, push the fries and drink. Every God damn time I go to get an oil change at Jiffy Lube now, they try to upsell me an air filter though my current one is barely dusty. I called them on it though. I told the kid if he honestly thought I needed a new air filter for $12, I would leave it entirely up to his conscience as to whether or not I got one. I turned the table a bit. He could have just taken the sale and been done with it, but I took away his ability to close me by imbuing him with the moral responsibility for the decision. He wasn't salesman enough to take it. But to be honest, had he actually tried to sell it to me, I probably would have told him to fuck off.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A boy's first three-way or "The Gyro Incident"

I thought the time had come for me to tell the tale
that every man wants to be able to share with his
fellow men at some point in his life, but rarely gets
to. I'm talking about the Threesome Story, of course.
It's a dream as old as Adam and Eve likely.

For most, it's just a dream that never comes close to
reality. For me, the dream was frighteningly real. I
was working at a cruddy telemarketing job with this
chick (whose name I cannot remember) who was also
working as a stripper. She was a former call girl and
a recovering crack addict to boot. She was not one of
those really hot strippers (or recovering crack
addicts for that matter) you see at the gentleman's
club. She was more like a daytime stripper with a few
miles on her. She seemed comfortable in her body,
which was, by most accounts, a bit chubby but
certainly not unattractive. Having someone like her
working with all those straight types though caused a
bit of a stir. I didn't blink though. I'd been hanging
out in a strip club for some time and didn't think of
strippers as weird and alien. I actually found her to
be an admirable and upright citizen. After all, how
many strippers hold down a day job as well?

One Friday, I had planned to pick up some train
tickets for a ride I was taking across Iowa the next
day. The station was in downtown Omaha and not far
from the strippers apartment. She took the bus to and
from work, an ordeal that lasted anywhere from 45
minutes to an hour. I thought she might like a 20
minute ride in my Chevy station wagon instead. We got
along well enough at work. We went to lunch one day
and she told me she was pregnant, so believe me when I
tell you I was being polite when I offered the ride. I
wasn't looking for a piece of the action.

The ride went smooth enough. I got my tickets, we
chatted politely about what it's like to smoke crack,
ride on a train, fuck strangers for money and how good
gyros are. When we got to her apartment, I had planned
on dropping her off then hitting my local game store,
grabbing a gyro and watching "The X-Files." The
stripper asked me if I'd like to come up and burn some
very good weed she had. I said sure.

So I go up to her apartment for the purpose. Her
roommate -- also a stripper -- was getting ready for
work. This meant putting on underwear I guess. My
co-worker said she had to get ready for work also so
it wasn't much of a surprise when she got a teddy on.
I did think that was a bit low rent for stripper gear,
but she was a low rent stripper. Her club was kind of
a piece of shit and the strippers mostly just waddled
around on stage, then waited tables between sets.

I told the stripper that if she was leaving for work
soon, I could take her. She said she didn't have to be
there for several hours. OK, I thought, as I cashed a
bowl, watched "Highlander" on TNT and thought about
the gyro I was about to have that was going to taste
better than any gyro I'd ever had before. And how.

"You can come in here if you want," she called from
the bedroom.
"That's OK," I said. "I can wait."

My buzz was pretty strong, but not so strong that the
ladies didn't seem tempting. I had just gotten so used
to not being thought of in that way that I didn't even
bother getting worked up or thinking about it too
hard. I'd sneak a peek and feel a bit like a pervert.
Meanwhile, the stripper ran to the living room window
in her underwear to look out the window because a
siren went off.

"What's that," she asked?
"I dunno," I said. And I didn't.

Her roommate was half naked too. I thought they were
pretty immodest. Eventually, I got bored with just
sitting around waiting for this chick to come out of
her bedroom with some clothes on.

"I better head out," I said. "I gotta go to bed if I'm
gonna catch that train tomorrow and I still need to
get that gyro."

From the doorway of their apartment they stood next to
each other looking at me in disbelief. I waved, got in
the elevator and went down to my car. Later, as I sat
eating my gyro watching Mulder and Scully, it suddenly
occurred to me what I'd just passed up.

"Dammit,'" I thought. I wondered if it was too late to
go back. What would I say? Would it make a difference?
Probably not.

It's just as well, I suppose. I'm not an orgy kind of
guy and these two were pretty wild. I would have
gotten to know what it was like to disappoint two
women at once ... at best. I'm realistic. Still, I got
closer than most men.

Tools, cameras, artists and which is which

The problem with photographers. I've worked with a
buttload of photographers. There is not one who
doesn't think of himself as a freakin' artist. What
I've come to appreciate about most of them is
that, in addition to being full of shit, they are just
equipment operators.

Here's how I tell the difference between and artist
using a tool and a tool using a camera. An equipment
operator is a guy who can point and shoot at pretty
images and take pretty pictures. He knows how to
adjust his shutter speed and all that shite. Most of
them know how to shoot like a machine gun and then
sort out the random good shots from the assorted crap.
Any monkey can shoot 100 pics in five minutes and come
up with one or two good ones. That's just luck. Any sack
can shoot a pretty girl and come back with a pretty picture.
Any hack can crop and adjust the color in photoshop and
call it his opus.

The artists distinguish themselves by two major
abilities. The first is they can actually find
beauty where others cannot. They can take a picture of
even an ugly person and come away with something that
makes you think, I bet that person has a story. The
second is that they can shoot slow, pick their moment,
compose the shot and then capture a moment in time
when the light and the action and the composition were
perfect. They don't need blind luck because they have
timing and skill.

Anyone can shoot sports if they know how to adjust for
the action and light then take the Gatling gun
approach to their subject. Walk into a cattle car
accident or a three bus/one car pile up with no more
than 27 frames and walk out with 25 options ... now that's a gift.
Take a candid shot of a fat man in a cowboy hat sitting at his
desk talking to a coworker that positively shines ... that takes an aritst.

Two names spring to mind, Tony Miceli, the guy who
shot me in the hat on the right of this blog, and Greg
White
, my old buddy since junior high who once took a
picture of a chair in an alley in Italy with a black
and white disposable camera that just about made me
cry.

Everyone else can suck it.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Onan 360

The new XBOX 360 is due to come out soon. Every geek I
know is busy collecting orange Pepsi caps to sign up
for a chance to win on free. Frankly, I'm sick to
death of these God damn video games. When I was a kid,
a few quarters worth of Asteroids or Galaga was pretty
far out there. The home systems made it possible to
play video games at home whenever you wanted to, but
the quality was so low that you would've been pretty
hard pressed to spend hours and hours playing Robotron
or even Super Mario Bros.

I don't want to sound like an old fuck, but this new
generation of games and gamers is so intense, they're
frightening. I dig a good round of Soul Caliber II. I
even played Halo once. I've done Driver and some of
the Spiderman games. But any more, I'm bored in an
hour. What's more, I can't imagine being one of these
people who plays a game all night long, hour after
hour. My nephew's like that and it's just wrong. I
think his freewheelin' days of spacin' out in front of
the game console are over. He's had a PS1 and a PS2,
but if he thinks he's gettin' an XBOX or PSP from
anyone he knows, he better plan on disappointment. It
has become painfully obvious that no one wants to
encourage that behavior any more.

Personally, he should have never gotten a Gameboy or a
PS2. If I had had a say in it, he'd still be playing
PS1 games with the cavemen. As for me, I'll check out
the new systems and play a game or two, but I'll be
damned if I shell out the buck for them. Masturbation
just shouldn't cost that much, man.

Burn your game systems and pick up a freakin' book and
if you can't manage that, try sitting still and being quiet. That's
the video game system we played with before Pong and Atari 2600.

Of human bondage

I've always had a problem with authority. Not all
authority, just bullshit authority. You know the kind,
mall security guards, gym teachers, fast food
supervisors and pretty much anyone jumped up who
thinks their position exists to give them the
opportunity to take a great big shite down the neck of
everyone "beneath" them.

That's why I'm a big advocate of revolution. Not
necessarily on the scale of the American or French
Revolutions, but certainly of that genre. When in the
course of human events honest men find themselves
unable to pursue their interests honestly and without
fear, then dishonesty is their only option. Think
about it. Why should a man willing to work be punished
for his good intentions daily by the giants, and even
more often the worms, of corporatism?

The truth is we are all slaves, but we refuse to
believe it. A slave is someone who has no control over
their destiny. A slave is someone who has no choice
but to do what they are told no matter how
unreasonable. A slave comes and goes when he's told,
says what he's told to say, associates with those he's
told to associate with and punished, punished,
punished for his infractions.

Until we accept that we are slaves, stop kidding
ourselves that our Hondas, fast food choices and the
ability to quit if we don't like it make us free, we
always will be slaves.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Ain't that a bitch

That guy who sits next to me at work who worships Thor
went home early tonight. Apparently, his chemotherapy
is making him sick. Don't I feel like an asshole.
Don't get me wrong, Thor and and Odin are cool, but
that whole thing is still not a religion that any
modern man should practice with any kind of
seriousness. Still, I feel kind of bad that the dude
has cancer. If believing in Thor and Odin and that
whole bunch makes him feel better then why not? All I
know is that Jesus is never mad at us if we live with
him in our hearts.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Mmmmmm ... original thought

I hate people who try to pass off lines from movies as
original material. There really is a fine line between
incorporating a clever quote into your conversation
and just ripping off Kevin Smith gems, which, let's
face it, aren't nearly as clever as they were back in
'94.

I reserve my real bane for people who shout "D'D'oh
constantly because "The SiSimpsonsis the greatest boon
to American literary culture since "Sister Carrie."

Jesus, people, at least try to find something clever
to quote. Pick a good movie not everyone has heard of
or maybe a classic. Modify it gently. Here's an
example.

"The universe is a crazy place, it's all swirling dust
over here and there, good and bad luck in the middle
... that's chaos, man, and that's my beef."

You could drop that into conversation some time when
you're feeling philosophical, confused and maybe a
little pissed off. It's not directly from source
material airing on the WBWBn prime time, so the
average American will likely mistake it for original
thought.

Or here's an idea, actually try some original thought.
It's good for the environment, keeps kids off drugs
and, God willing, makes life just that much more
interesting ... for me at least.


Inner rumblings

I got sick on the way to work today. Well, not so much
on the way to work but just as I was pulling up. I
don't feel like going into too great of detail, but
let's just say I needed to go home and get sorted out
before I could come back. I don't know what I ate that
gave me such problems, but I find it hard to believe
that the eggs and toast I had for brekkers, which I've
HAD for brekkers on a regular basis since I was a kid,
could have turned my bowels into a gurgling fountain
of Hell-spawned squidginess. Maybe it was the half a
jar of mayo I slurped up with a straw with my lard
sandwich. Nah.

Now me guts feel like a brick. I took three Immodium
and I'll probably be bound up for the next three days.
Still, it's better than painting my cube an
interesting shade of toupe.

Life of the geek mind

Where I work, there are some characters, man. First
off, they are techies so it's like working full time
at a Star Trek convention without the satisfying
ethos. The guy next to me belongs to some religion
that probably only exists in a game. Another guy spent five
minutes trying to describe to me the events of a Champions
game one night when I was trying to go on my 15
minute break. Anothe guy gets all excited every night to tel me
at length that he just found this web site that will let you
host skank from your web site even if it's banned by
your ISP. And they are all so into tech, high tech, the latest
hacks.


I find technology fascinating to some extent. I love my DVD player
and my computer; I like to make playlists, burn CDs, drive, microwave stuff,
etc. But the inner workings of computers ... man, it's
like a tangled, convoluted mess that is constantly
changing. It isn't so much technology as it is an
amorphous experiment testing everyone's
patience. So the guys who really dig it, who spend the
majority of their life online, game online, email and
text each other all day long are, to me, like another
breed. They're like autistic children. High
functioning ones, but still, children who are in their
own little worlds. Short attention spans, pop culture
fantasy-prone minds where imagination is pre-fab,
overweight smelly bodies, dragon t-shirts. I see it
all here. Still, it beats working for wankers.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Oh how the untalented keep scraping the bottom of that barrel

Back when I used to work at the Nonpareil,
incontestably one of the shittiest newspapers
published in Southwestern Iowa since the Council
Bluffs Daily Pooper Scooper, we used to joke about
declining ethical standards frequently. You see,
journalism is one of those fields where you don't
actually have to go to college to get into the field.
Doctors, lawyers and dentists are professionals;
journalists would like to be professionals. Most of
them anyway. So they have an entire canon of ethics
guarding what they do. Most of these rules are there
to be followed most of the time unless there is a
really good reason not to. The most important area of
ethical concern for any real newspaper is conflict of
interest.

While I was working at the Nonpareil, renowned dumb
ass and so-called publisher Tom "God ... DAMN I'm a
sad sack" Schmitt introduced front page ads. They were
down at the bottom of the page and it was a sad day,
but of course there were other papers doing it so who
cares about standards when there is filthy lucre to
gathered up for our masters at the World Herald.

Some months later, post-it note ads were introduced as
a way to put ads on the very top of the paper in the
right hand corner. It was a great day for ad whores,
but a sad one in the annals of journalism history
which pretty much doesn't give a toss what the
Nonpareil does anyway and why should it?

Then they decided to dispose of half of the pretense
and introduce ads that LOOKED like post-it notes but
were actually printed on the paper partially covering
the name of the paper itself. The average Joe no doubt
doesn't give a damn but then ethics aren't about what
is socially acceptable and what people care about,
it's about what you do in the dark when no one is
looking even though you could get away with it.

There was only one place left to go and that place
they did go. Last weekend they ran in that fake little
post it a paid political ad for Mike Petry and not
only was this ad encouraging people to vote for Mr.
Petry (who might well be a very good candidate, that
is not the point) but that one of his opponents had
only lived in Council Bluffs for two years. A negative
political ad top of the page, covering the name of the
paper.

I used to joke that one day they'd be running paid
political ads on the opinion page, but more than
likely they will just skip the wussy crap and go for
paid political endorsements, after all, that's where
the real money is.

Shadows of our former selves

The older I get the less I have in common with my
friends. They seem to be turning into bizarre
caricatures of themselves. I'm sure the same is true
for me, I just notice it about them. All the little
things they used to do that might have once been
described as endearing characters traits because they
natural now seem forced, overblown, really obvious.
Even the way some of them laugh seems like they are
trying really hard to act like themselves when they
were 16, 18 or 21.

Most of them have kids who have taken all that was
good about them and squeezed it dry, I think. Those
little parasites. Don't get me wrong, I love the
little bastards as much as someone who is not legally
required to take care of their every need possibly
can, but I can see what they are doing to these
friends of mine who used to never get pissed off. Now,
they not only lose their tempers to the point it makes
me uncomfortable, they do it while their kids laugh at
them. I'm used to making people uncomfortable with MY
emotions; people don't make ME uncomfortable.

And these kids, man. Juni Schonberg sits on my
stomach, stares deep into my nose and asks me why I
have so many hairs in my nose. Like I have an answer
to that. Then he lifts up my shirt to look at my
stomach, then uses me for a slide all in the space of
about five minutes. How am I supposed to respond to
that stuff? Why isn't he scared of me? Do I want him
to be? No, but if he were I might get a moments peace.

But I do like being called Uncle Greg.

I guess that is the secret. Kids take and take and
take but in that moment when they give you a big hug
and make you feel really loved, it almost makes the
hell they put you through seem worth it.

Firefox ... and you thought the movie was cool

Attention geeks of the second order (geeks of the
first order already know this), Mozilla Firefox rocks!
Firefox is a web browser, like Internet Explorer or
Netscape Navigator, that has been tweaked by many
geeks in the Mozilla project to provide all the bells
and whistles you could want with all the simplicity
your busy life requires.

Best part? No pop-ups, beyotch! That alone is enough
reason to get on board, but you can also browse all
your regular web sites regularly by saving them all as
tabs on ONE BROWSER. I open up Firefox and all my
regular sites come up automatically. You switch from
one to the other much faster than browsing from site
to site allows AND it uses less memory.

It also has these live bookmarks like Latest
Headlines. Just click on it and see all the headlines
from BBC, CNN or God forbid FoxNews. Read what you
want or go about your day oblivious as usual.

It also has a search window that allows you to add any
and all search engines you want. No more adding Google
and Yahoo toolbars or web sites to your favorites list
just to look up a word in the dictionary.

Check it out!

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

My work situation has changed just enough to allow me
to send the occasional blog post. It is a great relief
since I get more satisfaction out of writing than I do
just about any other activity. ANY activity. I won't
name the one or two activities that most men use to
relax but find it sufficient to say... I'm not
talking about watching football.

So don't be surprised, trolls, if you find a good
reason to come back here every day.


Long Live the King, Baby!


Can a clown do this?


I love these new Burger King commercials. Have you
seen them? They feature the man himself, the crown
prince of ground mince, the overlord of the overloaded
bun, the Burger King. I've always preferred it, but I
admit that BK has always lagged behind McDonald's in a
number of important areas. Mascots are definitely one
area. Ronald McDonald is a freakin'' icon, kids love
him, adults remembers him fondly and at the very least
he comes off as friendly, recognizable and basically
everything a good corporate deathburger mascot should
be.

The Regent of Burger has never worked. It's just too
damn obvious. But the latest commercials featuring the
Burger King are incredible, perhaps unintentionally
so. The Burger King shows up rather frighteningly in
people's beds and atop unfinished skyscrapers to push
new products. The character itself is a bobblehead
looking thing with this maniacally beneficent look on
it's "face." This gargantuan representation of
friendliness peers around the corner of an I-beam in
one commercial promoting BK's new Turbo Joe. Even
though I knew I was watching a commercial of some
kind, I was noticeably freaked. It was a deep
psychological tweaking that I got straight from the
depths of the unconscious mind where I fear turning
around to find someone looking at me through an open
window or standing where they just shouldn't be. And
that smile, those unblinking eyes... It just makes me
shudder.

This new icon is either the worst idea any pr firm
ever had or the greatest post modern joke.