A Housewarming Event

Last night, I was rather apprehensive. It was the first time I officially brought company over to my new digs. The place still isn’t clean; it looks like my storage boxes threw up in random piles around the carpet. The gang came over to watch the telly, but I hadn’t even set it up yet, so it nearly turned into a disaster when the station came in static-y. (You wouldn’t believe the monster Amelia turns into when she can’t get her “Big Brother” fix.)

We played with the antenna for a long time, attaching enough wire hangers to abort an entire maternity ward, before accidentally discovering that the channel came in best while resting against my crotch. While my genitals played a prime role in getting reception, it was truly a team effort, because if anybody moved, it would start to fuzz out, thus we instituted a policy of sitting absolutely still except during commercial breaks.

Throughout the show, people complained of being cold. I took these gripes as a good sign, because last night was the first occasion the air conditioning actually worked. It wasn’t until everyone left that I realized that, for whatever reason, the thermostat was set for 50 degrees.

I don’t anticipate having company again anytime soon.


Shaq Attack

I’m wearing my Shaquille O’Neal backpack. It’s the first day of classes, so I have to look my best. Stacy told me that she saw a Shaq notebook at the store yesterday and almost bought it for me, but decided against it because it was $5. Five dollars?! That’s, like, five Enrique Iglesias mousepads at the 99 Cent store!

Besides, more Shaq paraphernalia might be overkill. It’s not like I legitimately like the guy. But it might be funny if I bought Shaq-related clothing, listened to Shaq’s rap CDs, and brought up Shaq in conversation all the time. “Lunch looks great! Almost as great as that time Shaq scored 61 points against the Clippers in 2000.” “That was an interesting point about Affirmative Action. Did you know Shaq wears a size 22EEE shoe?” Soon enough, everyone on campus would refer to me as “that weird, short kid who really likes Shaq.” Finally, I’d have an identity. And no friends.


Trashy Behavior

While signing the lease agreement for my new apartment, the management pointed out my apartment’s recycling bin, not-so-conveniently-located recycling across the complex, adding, “If you’re into that kind of thing.”

Since when did recycling become a deviant activity? They might as well have said, “We screen foot fetish pornography by the pool Wednesday nights… if you’re into that kind of thing.” Oh, you like to conserve natural resources? Bet you like bestiality, too, eh? “In my day, we threw paper out with everything else and we liked it! None of this newfangled recycling and MTV.”

So it looks like I’ll be taking quite a trek with my recyclables. I’ll do my best not to be deterred by the neighbors peeking from behind their curtains and whispering, “You’ll never guess what he’s doing with those aluminum cans!”


Wash Your Troubles Away

While moving in today, Mike finds that his shampoo has completely leaked out of the bottle and covered his suitcase in a soapy residue. In this situation, what does one do? I can’t tell you what most would do, but I can tell you what Mike does: puts his suitcase in the shower in an attempt to rinse it out.

Jealous of the suitcase, Mike is ready to shower himself. But there are two problems – there’s a suitcase filled with water hogging the space in the bathtub, and he has no more shampoo. In this situation, what does one do? I can’t tell you what most would do, but I can tell you what Mike does: dunks his head in the suitcase and lathers until his hair is washed.

He might be the smartest person I know. He might also be a monkey.


The First Lady

Today, Student Senate met with the freshmen to get them involved in their community and give them Sno-Cones -- guess what the selling point was. On her name tag, Jessica failed to indicate her position on the aesthetics committee, instead noting her role as "First Lady" given that she dates the President. Or as she eloquently explained, "gets with the President." Personally, I think she highlighted the correct thing, as First Lady is a far more important position. Any dolt can win power with a hard-fought election, but someone who's truly intelligent just marries straight into the power. And power it is: we'd probably still be in Vietnam if Pat Nixon hadn't started her "I won't put out until American troops get out" campaign.

A first lady's number one priority is fashion. She should dress sexy, yet classy, and during wartime, maintain a beautiful haircut. She is to promote uncontroversial topics like literacy, mammograms, and random acts of puppies. She must make appearances on "Oprah" and pretend not to be frightened by black people.

Someone asked what the Vice President's spouse is called. Vice First Lady? Second Lady, perhaps? I have no answer for this, as typically I just hear her referred to as "bitch." Regardless, I'm not happy to know that in the case of an assassination of her husband, the First Lady will be replaced by this Second Lady figure. I think it's time to amend the Constitution: let the First Lady stay out her term! The Vice President can upgrade to a more powerful and, let's face it, pretty wife, and his former wife can start a relationship with the Secretary of Transportation or something.


Airport Romance

While sitting at an airport terminal today, a mother and her four-year-old daughter sit beside me. Reading, I don't pay them any attention until I feel something on my leg. The girl is inexplicably rubbing her hair against me. I pretend to ignore it until her mother notices and snips, "Come over here!" The daughter is occupied with stickers until she returns to me and starts playing with my leg hair. Again, the mother tells her daughter to stop and has her sit closer to her. A few moments pass, then she's back, hugging my legging and rubbing against it. I refuse to call it humping, because that might imply that this girl, most likely my future spouse, is a bit of a hussy, but it came pretty close.

Upon seeing this action, the mother grabs the daughter and brings her to another section. The girl waves to me as she is dragged off, but I do not wave back: partly because I don't want the mother to think I encouraged her daughter's hormonal behavior, and partly because it hurts too much. Just think, if I were a couple years younger, and she was... well... I guess I wouldn't change her age, this relationship could work out. If only her mother could understand.

Sigh. Just another case of Forbidden Love.



Tonight my parents took me to a business dinner; most of the people attending were nasty, self-absorbed, and elitist. Perhaps it shouldn't have come as such a surprise to me that several of the executives were closet "Laguna Beach" fans: they love pointless drama and opulence.

The way people spoke to and about each other made it evident that no one there really liked each other, it was all for apperances. It came to a head when Paul, who had his birthday the day before, specifically asked that they do nothing about it. Later, he got sick, and while he excused himself to the bathroom, some of the lousiest people I've seen took it upon themselves to make it happen anyway. Lydia, who had a birthday a while back and also didn't want recognition, was thrown into the mix as well. So when Paul returned, flushed, the waitstaff serenaded them with some strange rendition of "Happy Birthday." Everytime the waitstaff said "Happy Birthday" we were supposed to shout out Paul and Lydia's names, which someone combined into "Paulydia." I refused to sing, partly because they clearly did not appreciate the gesture, and partly because the "Paulydia" hybrid sounded a little too much chlamydia for my taste.

Neither Paul nor Lydia looked happy. Silence. "'Paulydia' sounds bad," Lydia finally said. When asked why, she said, "Like an STD." More silence.

No one felt like cake. Good night, it was so nice to see you, we should do this again real soon.


Macaroni, Arizona 73251

I'm on a family vacation to Arizona. For my Connecticut-born sibling, Alison, being in another state is like traveling to another country the way she marvels at things. But it's not what's different that impresses her, it's what's the same.

"A CVS!" she exclaims as we drive through Scottsdale. "I didn't know they had California Pizza Kitchens across the country."

"Yeah," I interject. "Who would have thought they'd have California Pizza Kitchens on the west coast?"

That shuts her up. But it's Alison, so the silence lasts for ten seconds tops.

"They have Macaroni Grills out here!" she starts in again.

The car laughs at her, and I don't mean the people in the car: the rental car itself emits a chuckle.

Defending herself, Alison says, "It's not like there's a place called Macaroni... right?"


Mint Chocolate Chimp

My friend Jenna has the most amazing summer job ever, working with chimps. Here's a piece from one of her emails.
Yesterday the painters were at the Institute to paint one of the chimp night cages, so they didn't get all the room they usually get. To make up for it, they got Dairy Queen for dinner. OOo they wen't CRAZY. They each got a burger, fries, soda, and ice cream. You should see them sign for ice cream. Its just kinda a mimic of eating ice cream, but they do it rapidly. Its great. And when they see us serving them, they want it faster, so they sign "hurry, hurry, gimme, hurry gimme hurry hurry." Meals with them are great.
Lately the chimps Loulis and Tatu have been grooming each other a lot. its ammmaaazing to watch. That IS how they bathe, so they do it with so much loving care. They sit around and just groom all parts of each other all day, and sometimes when they get bored they throw blankets over each others heads.
Washoe, the big dominant female of the 4 chimps here has the best sense of humor, and the loudest laugh. She likes to put things over her head and then run into others. She also has a crush on one of the guys who works here, so whenever he's doing something she interrupts him to get his attention. For instance, tonight while they were eating dinner he was washing the toys with a hose, and Washoe asked for a drink of water from the hose. what a girl.... Tomorrow, another day of researching chimpanzee sense of humor. I'll be watching hours of video tapes of chimps wrestling and playing around. What a job. jeeez.
Chimps going ape for Dairy Queen might be one of my all-time favorite mental images.


Let's Table this Break-Up

I have a coworker who's having trouble with her boyfriend. She doesn’t tell me about these problems, but she does have a penchant for printing out all of her personal emails and leaving them lying in the printer tray. If you’re going to do that, you might as well forward these emails to the whole company, because of course I’m going to read them. Consequently, I learn a lot about her without ever having had more than a 30 second conversation with her. Each day, I search the pile of paper for new installments of the saga, my own personal workplace soap opera. For the record, he drinks too much, got laid off, and “isn’t the greatest” at sex.

Anyway, she was apparently “this close” to leaving him, but decided against it because they just bought new furniture for their apartment. With barstools and a booth, her place now has a “cool retro diner” feel, which she wants to experience for at least six months before giving it up. Some couples stay together for the kids, others for the d├ęcor.


The Wedding Crashers

This post has nothing to do with the movie The Wedding Crashers, rather it is a real-life story. Generally, real life is better than the movies, unless we're talking Kindergarten Cop. There's no topping Kindergarten Cop.

Last night, Preston sent out the bat signal. He was working at a wedding and the bride's sister was looking for outside help to finish the keg. I used to be a cub scout, so I know the importance of being helpful. If this were an old person needing assistance crossing the street, I would have rushed over just as quickly as I did to the keg, I swear.

I went about aiding in the wedding party's minor dilemma, and soon found myself very friendly. Friendly to the point that I invited a wedding full of drunk strangers to bring the keg back to my house and keep the party going after the reception got shut down. I realized that wasn't a good idea almost immediately, but I figured that when things eventually went horribly wrong, as it certainly would, at least it'd be a night to remember.

Fortunately, we solved the problem of the keg coming back to my house by helping to finish it as quickly as possible, which, unsurprisingly, kept the party fun. Often, my friends and I were the only ones holding up the dance floor, a generous move by us considering most of the music wasn't in English (I hope that Hispanic family asks for a refund!) and consequently are featured in a lot of the wedding's video footage. I don't know who the bride and groom were, but they'll surely love seeing me, donning my not-too-formal Women of Virtue Conference 2001 t-shirt, as a prominent part of their special day.

I don't know what I liked best about the night: listening to some guest ramble about her irregular period then saying she wished I hadn't told her my name so that she could make out with me, hearing the Ying Yang Twins's "Wait (The Whisper Song)" (which if you ask me, has become a cliche at weddings), seeing Andrew drink beer out of a coffee pot after the cups were gone, having RJ get me to dance with a bridesmaid only to have her point out her wife standing on the side, or the keg. Who am I kidding? It was the keg. And being the helpful person that I am, if you know of any other weddings with a similar problem, particularly those with an open bar, give me a call. I'm always willing to lend a hand -- or a mouth, as the case may be.



Per Laura's request in yesterday's comment section to have a blog entry written about her, I'll share a story. Normally at this point I would call her an attention whore, but since you're probably inferring as much anyway, I won't bother.

When Laura was a wee child, her family took her on an excursion to a pond. At this point, Laura was pretty inexperienced, a mere tadpole before blossoming into the big, beautiful frog she is today. Anyway, everything at this pond was new to Laura and when she started wandering, she came upon a group of cattails. Immediately, Laura became frightened, bursting into tears at the sight of the cattails. Running to her parents, she reported to them, while wailing, what she had just found: "POOP ON A STICK!"

Ah, kids can be stupid - particularly Laura. To her credit, though, I still use the phrase "poop on a stick" to this day. If only her misperception were a reality, why I'd be able to snack all day in fields of cattails. Mmm, poop on a stick.


Five Yards for Fashion Faux Paus

It’s casual Friday, so I’m wearing my referee shirt at work today. Truthfully, every day is casual day at work, so that just means I have to go out of my way to look extra trashy on Friday, hence the referee attire. Black and white stripes have a bad rap due to their associations. If you wear them vertically, you’re an umpire, and if you wear them horizontally, you’re a prisoner. What if I wore them diagonally? You wouldn’t be able to tell whether I was making or breaking the rules.

In my first encounter, someone jokingly asked, “Are you gonna leave early today to officiate?” I panicked and froze; “Yes,” was all I could think to say. “Oh,” he said and walked away. Apparently he really thought I was a ref, which seems ludicrous until I remember that I’m judgmental and have poor eyesight.

The next awkward moment came when someone looked me up and down and asked, “Footlocker?” I nodded, bored. “You’re… you’re special,” she offered as she patted me on the shoulder and walked away. Great, why not just call me retarded; I knew that’s what she was thinking.

That guy I hate saw me and yelled, “FOUL!” I gave him a blank stare, because that’s how you should treat people who are socially stunted. He felt compelled to add, “You know, because of your shirt.” Ah, yes. Thanks, dipshit.

When the mail guy asked if I ref, I said no, and he went into a nine minute story about how umpiring for youth hockey is the most rewarding experience of his life. If I actually had a whistle around my neck, I would have pretended to choke on it to get out of the conversation. Nine minutes! Come on, you only get five minutes in the penalty box for fighting! When he finally stopped rambling he said, “So I guess you’re just wearing that ‘cause you think it’s cool or something?”

Most recently, this woman who I swear comes to work via broom and always has some kind of lecture for someone, said, “Are you twelve? You wear that and I think you’re twelve. Usually, I assume thirteen.”

What’s black and white and red all over? Me, after I murder the bitch. Have no fear, I’ll rule it “incidental contact.”


Ashlee Simpson Drives a Pick-Up

My office can be pretty funny.

J: Nobody likes my taste in music.
B: Come on, you can't play Ashlee Simpson in a truck store. Have you ever been in a truck store?
J: No.
B: It's a manly place.
J: I'm manly.
B: It's a very manly place.
J: So no Ashlee Simpson?
B: No.
J: Probably no Jessica Simpson either?
B: No!
J: This is why people don't go to truck stores.


I Remember When I Was in College

I have an annoying coworker who's so clueless, he puts the "aloof" in "a loofah." (All right, that doesn't make complete sense, but don't act like you won't be repeating that one.) When two people were discussing a film they'd seen the previous weekend, he interrupted to declare, "I... love... movies! They're so good." I wonder if he was surprised to find that his pointless approval of the entirety of cinema immediately killed the conversation. He also randomly says things like "catch you on the flip side" and "fo' shizzle" with sincerity, which just stand to waste my time, because then I have to take a few seconds to turn my head so that I may roll my eyes undetected.

At least once a week, I hear the sad story of how he had to grow up quickly, having recently graduated from college, started a full-time job, moved into his first apartment, and got married all in the span of a month. Well who told him to do all that at once? What's worse is that he always says to single coworkers things like "When you're married..." as if he's some kind of expert after mere weeks of marriage. And shouldn't people wait until at least the half-year anniversary before referring to their spouse as "the old ball-and-chain?"

Today, he sent me an unsolicited email with a link to MonsterTrak saying, "I remember how hard it was to find a job when I was in college. I'm sure you'll figure it all out." First of all, leave me alone. Second of all, he's not allowed to say "I remember... when I was in college" when he was in college just three months ago. Third of all, he got his job here immediately after completing an internship with us, so it's not like it was even "hard" for him to find this job. Fourth of all, why is he presuming I'm looking to figure something out? Thanks for the vote of confidence, anyway, asshat!

I made it my goal a while back not to be this guy when I grow up, but I just learned that he'll be celebrating his twenty-second birthday next week, which means I'm actually older than him by a couple of months. This discovery has thrown me all out of whack. I've always been afraid of becoming a tool of his magnitude when I get older, but I never realized it was possible to achieve that status already by my age. He's actually very accomplished... at sucking.


A Hot Ride

I've never understood people's obsessions with their cars. While some treat vehicles better than they would a child, I've twice told AAA that I drive a Corolla instead of a Camry, because all I could remember was that it started with a "C." It's a good thing I don't care, because my car is in sad shape. First, it's covered in enough sand to be mistaken for a desert -- a desert with cupholders. Second, the front two hubcaps are missing, thanks to Mexicans with sticky fingers, presumably from enchilada sauce. (Not to stereotype, but people in Mexico eat a lot of Mexican food! And steal things.) Third, the right side of my car desperately needs a paint job because of the dumbbell that hit-and-ran me.

For these reasons, I'm now the ugliest one on the road, which is really no different than the other times when I'm the ugliest one on the couch. It stands out as crap, especially in the parking lot I share with legitimate business types. On my lunch break, I stop to get a book from my car, when a coworker pulls up beside me. Getting out of the car, he wipes his brow with his sleeve and says, "I gotta remember not to drive the black Mercedes in this heat." Oh, isn't he a fancy bigshot? Subtly bragging about his expensive ride while implying he has others to the intern making minimum wage with the scratched-up auto. Take that black Mercedes and drive off a cliff!

After he walks away, I do the only thing I can do: urinate on his car. No, just kidding. I do key it, though. No, just kidding again. But I should after the way he so callously keyed my heart.


At Least It's Not a Jehova's Witness

At work, I noticed a sign hanging on the front desk: "When Satan knocks on your door, simply say, 'Jesus, can you get that for me?'"

Huh? In itself, it's a weird message. The kicker, however, is that it's taped right next to the button used to buzz in people who knock on the door. When does Satan show up at my office? Does the devil don business attire? Perhaps it's some kind of insinuation about the heathen employees here that are buzzed in daily. I'm friendly, I say hello each morning, so that sign better have nothing to do with me. I'd be more offended, though, if it turned out Jesus really were buzzing me in. The front desk person gets paid, more than me, mind you, just to answer the phone and buzz people in. It's downright lazy to make Jesus share in that workload!

I googled "when Satan knocks" to see if this slogan was a common phrase (though no less crazy) or unique to my office. That's when I met Mz. Buttascotch, who also uses Jesus as a doorman, but more importantly Crunks for Christ, has made one righteously bitchin' website, and makes me swoon. All my life, I've been searching for a W.O.G. (woman of God) and not just one of those "trendy Christians," but I must agree with her that though I'm cute, I'm not cute enuff to cost her her salvation. Though I know it can never be, nothing will stop me from holla-ing at her. Ever.


We'll Have a Gay Old Time

Yesterday afternoon, we made a trip to the liberry and checked out the book Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity, which had been mentioned in one of the gay bird articles. At the rate animals are apparently engaging in homosexual activity, I don't understand why Bob Barker should always have to plead with us to help control the pet population. Let's take giraffes for example; throughout school I did no less than five projects on giraffes, often recycling the same research and even handmade paper-mache replica, but not once did I ever learn that nearly 90% of sexual activity between giraffes was same-sex. No wonder they're endangered! You know how giraffes wrap their necks around each other? I used to understand this behavior to be "play fighting," but what gets left out of Zoobooks and Encyclopedia Britannica is that this "game" is accompanied by erections, and is generally culminated in one male giraffe mounting the other and ejaculating.

As we do every night, last night Desiree, Amelia, Raumene, and I cooked dinner. According to our frozen lasagna box, the four of us constitute a "large family," which might be the cutest thing ever. Roy, the neighborhood's 83-year-old with Alzheimer's, stopped by to ask if he could join us, and since no large family is complete without the doting grandparent, we said sure.

The problem with Roy, aside from the incontinence he's surprisingly open about, is that he, without fail, tells the same five stories each time we share a meal. Therefore, I decided to strategically leave Biological Exuberance on the table in hopes of inspiring new conversation, a move my friends questioned since Roy was once a minister, a story I've now heard six times.

As it turns out, Roy loves gay animals! He flipped through the 700+ pages, enjoying the, uhh, enlightening photos. He even whipped out his notepad, which he uses to jot down our names which he forgets over the course of dinner, to write down the name of the book so he could obtain a copy for himself. We had to shovel lasagna into our mouths to hide the laughter as we discussed the book with him, but it was an interesting experience nonetheless.

But bi-curious harbor seals aren't the only thing to have captured Roy's heart: he also confessed a love for the comic strip Peanuts. Even that's a dangerous topic of conversation, though, because Amelia informed me recently that I say the word peanuts as "peanits," which of course sounds like "penis," and severely changes the tone of conversation with an octogenarian. I tried to correct the situation by earnestly asking Roy, "Do you also enjoy The Family Circus?" Yeah, try asking that question with a straight face -- I sure couldn't. I'd feel worse if I thought he'd remember the incident, but Roy has been known to drop by, leave, then come back again ten minutes later having forgotten he was just here. I can only imagine what went through his mind as his night ended, having no recollection of what happened during the day, wondering why he scribbled a note to himself about homosexual animals.



I have a new favorite simile.

"India hangs like a wet washcloth from the towel rack of Asia." - Ken Aclin

I aspire to write that well one day.


Gay Birds

In Boston, the latest controversy involves the famous pair of swans named Romeo and Juliet. Well, turns out they're both female, and now that it's known they're lesbians, some people are upset that the great romantic symbol for the city is tainted. Anti-gay groups are already in full force, blaming this coupling on Massachusetts's decision to allow same-sex marriage. Who would have guessed that legislation passed for humans would have such a drastic effect on animals' sexual orientations? Nevermind that the swans have been a pair long before those laws were passed. Everyone thought they were cute until their genders, which are only discernible through thorough scientific testing, showed them to be an abomination.

In the past couple of years, penguins have also been gaying it up. Zoos across the world have found that countless couples once thought to be infertile are actually homosexual. When a German aquarium attempted to bring in opposite-sexed birds to get some breeding going, gay activists protested. Seems that humans on all sides of the issue enjoy meddling in birds' sex lives.

I also once read a scholarly article about an incident of homosexual necrophilia between mallards.
It's actually an interesting read, as is every article that comes up when you search for "homosexual necrophilia."

Considering our winged friends are all about it, homosexuality must be natural. What's not natural, however, is my newfound obsession with gay birds. After reading about Romeo & Juliet, Cass & Wendall (penguins in NYC), and the mallards, I can't resist finding these couples to be cute. All right, so maybe that one case of the duck fucking the dead duck is hardly romantic, but the other ones seem nice. I'm thinking about setting up Daffy and Tucan Sam on a blind date.


Why I'd Consider Smoking

Smokers get all the breaks, and I don't just mean lung cancer. I'm talking about literal breaks - hourly cigarette breaks, a special treat granted to those with a need for nicotine. I'd like to take regular five-minute breaks to just sit outside, too, but I lack the built-in excuse.

Instead, I try to take back the time I feel owed to me as a non-smoker in the form of another break: the bathroom break. I already go to the bathroom more than anyone I know, but at work, I drink water literally all day long so that I'm practically leaking out my bottom half. Who's going to yell at me for using the bathroom too much?

There's one problem with my plan: it's a bathroom and there's not much to do. Once, out of boredom, I spun myself in circles until I collapsed to the dirty tile floor from dizziness, laying there until I didn't feel like puking anymore. I doubt that was a healthier activity than smoking, but at least it was fun! Actually, it was a miserable experience, but I say it's fun so that I don't feel like such a dumbass for doing that to myself.

Still, cigarette breaks offer the allure of the outdoors, so I'm tempted. I would never actually do it, however, as those of you that know me know I say it's gross. Those of you who know me even better know it has nothing to do with it being gross, and everything to do with me being too cheap to start the habit. Hell, I refuse to wipe unless I have access to free toilet paper. At least bathroom breaks at work have that going for them.


Why We Fall for Bad-Boy Bikers

Today, the "top story" at MSN.com is called "Why We Fall for Bad-Boy Bikers." This article is very pertinent to my life, as just the other day I was trying to figure out why I'm constantly finding myself in dead-end relationships with rogue motorcyclists. Then I remembered their tattoos, stench, and bug-carcass-encrusted leather jackets, and I had trouble determining why anyone wouldn't fall for the lugs.

The article asserts that "motorcycle" is the second most searched term by women at Match.com. That's really what they're looking for? I can think of dozen of terms, like "employed," "literate," and "not a child molester," that I would try first.

One of the reasons MSN cites to justify this phenomenon is now that society allows women equal status and empowerment, they secretly desire to be dominated and treated like a "li'l lady" rather than a comparable human. Hear, hear! What sane woman would prefer to be treated with respect when she could be slapped and forced to ride bitch? After the ride, she should bake her man a pie. And make him some babies. Preferably at the same time.


I Need a Dog

Yesterday, I got home from work and the house was empty. Not empty in the oh-my-gosh-we've-been-robbed! sense, rather no one was there. Every other day this past month, I've been warmly greeted by housemates Desiree and Raumene, the latter humping my leg. Yesterday, however, nothing. I whistled, called their names, even ran the can-opener to see if they'd come running, to no avail. With no playthings, I sat around bored. I wondered how long I should wait before hanging LOST flyers. Finally, they came through the door, offering some lame excuse about having been exercising. So much for my big plans to take them for a W-A-L-K later that evening.

Obviously, my friends aren't dependable enough, so I'm thinking about getting a dog, something to show me the unconditional affection I deserve. I figure if I lock it in a cage, not only will it be guaranteed to be there when I get home, it'll be all the more excited to see me. Also, it could bring me the paper in the morning, something I'm having difficulty training Desiree to do, even though we all know her mouth is plenty big enough. Best of all, I'll always have something to blame my gas on. Well, it's settled: I'm in the market for a dog. I've been meaning to go to the hardware store, anyway.


When You Know the Note to Sing

Last week, I made up a new game. It's quite difficult, so only the fiercest individuals up for a real challenge should attempt it. The game involves the song "Do-Re-Mi." I love the Sound of Music. I dare you to find another depiction of the epic battle between nuns and Nazis, fought through song and dance. Perhaps if other shows borrowed a similar plot, fewer people would dump on musical theatre.

As for the game, your challenge is to sing all of "Do-Re-Mi" to the tune of just one note. You're allowed to choose do, re, mi, or any of their two-lettered friends to perform the song, but only experts can master them all. Oh sure, it sounds easier than Paris Hilton, but you'll find the accurate notes to the song are so ingrained that you'll frequently err. Sometimes I'll get a good streak going, only to mess up on "la." I think it's because I pity "la." Why does every other note get its own identification, but la is just "a note to follow so?" That's like referring to Jeb Bush as "sibling to the President," even though he's a governor in his own right.

Keep practicing. The first time I finally succeeded, I felt so inspired that I would have made clothing out of my curtains, if I had any. I suppose I could use my blinds instead, but I suspect they might chafe.


Movie Memorabilia

About a year ago, I bought that painting at a thrift store. It was part of a set of five, but being cheap, I only bought the one that had a dent in it and was consequently discounted. It was featured prominently in my suite because nothing is sexier than an androgynous child primping in its finest red pajamas. Except maybe Olivia Newton John. No, no, the androgynous child is definitely sexier.

This morning, Amelia and I watched Dead Poet’s Society, which proved interesting for two reasons. First, it was the first Robin Williams performance I’ve seen since Hook that hasn’t made me want to put a jack hammer to my head. Second, my painting made a cameo appearance in the film.

Obviously, I’ve uncovered a rare movie artifact. My art could probably go in a museum with other famous movie props like Dorothy’s ruby red slippers, the sled from Citizen Kane, and There’s Something About Mary semen. Anyway, I figure I’ll just end up hawking it on EBay for a couple hundred grand rather than going through the whole tedious process with Sotheby’s. I’d also be willing to make a trade, so let’s talk if you have an original Rembrandt. Or naked pictures of Olivia Newton John. Or a Fig Newton.


"Fiddler" on the Roof

Yesterday, I told Susan about this blog and we joked about how I should have weekly poop update. And then, appropriately, last night happened.

I was at a house party, and Preston and I went up on the roof. Preston said, "We should poop up here." Preston knew better than to say that, because of course I would. I don'’t really have to poop, though, so I don'’t produce much of anything, but I leave a little present nonetheless. Going to bed last night, I asked Preston if it smelled like poop. He didn't smell anything, so I chose to just pass out.

Waking this morning, I was greeted again by the smell of poop. Where is that coming from? I wondered. Finally, I spotted it. A poop stain on the front of my shirt. Another on the back of my shorts. I can'’t tell you when or how exactly that happened, but somehow last night karma caught up to me and I unwittingly got into my own droppings.

When Preston woke up, we had to give him a search, akin to checking a dog for ticks, because I had hugged him last night. Nothing was found, but soon enough, Preston was smelling poop on himself. Maybe it was paranoia on his part, or maybe it was indeed a hidden remnant from my Mr. Hanky-like tendencies. Either way, I'm terribly embarrassed.

Not enough to prevent me from sharing this story, however.


Heyyyyyyyy Macarena!

A large part of my job involves programming music for stores; essentially, corporations hire us to manufacture their soundtrack. Recently, a Major Corporate Diner that I cannot name, solicited our services. This Major Corporate Diner, which I suppose we can call McD's for simplicity's sake, requested a change in the music in its crew room. Some high-ranking McD's stiffs asked that we play more "energized" tunes to keep the employees "pumped" while on their breaks. The songs they suggested in order to achieve this were "The Macarena," "YMCA," and "The Electric Slide."

Wow. McD's hamburgers must have some really funky meat to get these executives hallucinating to the point where they think employees would like that kind of music. Can you imagine a bunch of fast food workers, finally having a rest from asking "Would you like fries with that?" eagerly pushing aside the breakroom table and chairs in order to clear space for an "Electric Slide" boogie down session? How about someone exclaiming, "'YMCA' again! Yes! I hope 'In The Navy' is next!"?

Well, we aim to please - the higher-ups, anyway - so it's all going in, as well as such gems as Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch's "Good Vibrations," "The Grease Mega-Mix," and every volume of Jock Jams. If you should read in the news about an increase of fast food employees throwing themselves on the grill, you'll know why.


New Couch

As of yesterday, I have a new couch. I picked it up from the side of the road. Before y'all tell me that's gross, let me tell you what would be grosser: paying hundreds of dollars for a new one. Perhaps you'd prefer to hear I won the couch on "The Price Is Right." But imagine all that could go wrong on that show: I could trip while "coming on down," get embarrassed when my $1 bid is trumped by some smartass' $2 bid, face the awkward dilemma of whether to kiss Bob Barker on the cheek or the lips, and get booed by the audience when I fail to spin the wheel all the way around. Is all that really worth it for a couch? Suddenly, the side of the road doesn't seem so bad.

So what if my new couch is dirty? I'll clean it. Maybe. And so what if my new couch is only "new" to me? A couch isn't the worst thing I could get from the street. It's not like I picked up a prostitute. Well, not yesterday, anyway.

Raumene and I had one hell of a time getting it home. It was too big for my trunk, but we lodged it in as best we could, leaving it dangling precariously out the back. Traveling slowly, we seemed to have no problems, until we got to one of the busiest roads in town and heard the couch fall out. It had waited until the most inconvenient time to free itself and block traffic. We had to turn around to fetch it, and I can only imagine what the other drivers were thinking when they found themselves having to swerve to avoid a sofa in the road. After putting on the hazard lights, we did our best to shove it back in, but this time it wouldn't fit. Lots of people stopped to watch, some just to laugh at the idiots trying to cram a couch into a trunk far too small, others because we were in their way.

Eventually, we got it home, and I was overcome by a sense of accomplishment. Also, the scent of mold. Damn, this is going to be a great couch.


Lunch: Party of One

Each day on my break, I head across the street to Central Park to sit, read, and eat in the sun. What should be the most relaxing part of my day is often the most stressful. The park is pretty empty except for me, homeless people, and squirrels, all of whom are looking to eat my food. (Also, I once watched a couple engage in some not-too-discreet handjob activity. Well, not watched watched, but you know. Unlike everyone else, they didn't seem too interested in my food.) I'm constantly on my guard, making sure each bite of my sandwich winds up in my own mouth.

It's not that I don't like sharing. I'm a sharer; I share things: crayons, cell phone minutes, herpes, etc. I would share, but then I'd earn a reputation as the food provider. I might as well ring a dinner bell, wear an apron, and shout "Come and get it!" each time I arrive at the park. Actually, sometimes I do wear an apron, but that's just for fun.

Even at my most alert, the more intelligent of my foes, the squirrels, have managed to rob me. They slowly creep up, while their heads are turned in the opposite direction as if they're looking at something else and not interested in my food. Sometimes, multiple squirrels will circle me simultaneously, making it impossible to keep track of them all at once. The homeless are at a disadvantage: I can smell them coming when they try to sneak up behind me. Plus, they lack those endearingly bushy tales. As soon as I find a homeless person who looks cuddle-able, I'll gladly bestow a pretzel.

As many of you know, I have a strict policy: If you want to be able to eat, go out and get a job. That applies to the squirrels, as well. I'm not some charity... I'm not the Red Cross... though I do accept blood donations.


The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round

Stuck in traffic, I have the good fortune of being adjacent to a school bus full of first graders. Being young and presumably bored, the kids stare at me. Being mature and equally bored, I respond in the only appropriate manner: sticking my tongue out. In no time, dozens of youthful faces are smooshed against the bus' windows, their expressions playfully antagonistic. I do my best to keep up, alternating between acting annoyed and snarling. During this time, I decide that I love kids, especially when several feet and a couple sheets of glass stand between us. My opinion changes, however, when I notice one kid making an obscene gesture toward me. While I had been enjoying the innocent distraction, seeing a child of about seven make a jacking-off motion is disturbing. Fuck this kid for ruining our chaste fun with an explicit signal; at his age I didn't even know where to find my own penis. Upset, I turn my head back to the road.

That is, until it occurs to me that the kid was merely asking, furiously with a hand, for me to honk my horn. I played that game on the road at that age. And at my disillusioned, perverted age of twenty-two, I read it as something sexual. I want to be in first grade again.



Our microwave at work is broken. For some reason, the machine refuses to heat anything unless you select the "potato" setting. Popcorn? Nope. Reheat? Nuh-uh. 30 seconds on high? Not on your life. But potatoes... it's ready to warm the shit out of a potato. Better yet is the display on the screen which reads in large squared letters: "POTATOE." In fairness, I suspect it's trying to say, "POTATOES" but runs out of room, but I prefer to imagine that Dan Quayle followed up his vice-presidency with a job in manufacturing kitchen electronics.

Someone at work suggested trying to sell the microwave. Maybe if nineteenth century Irishmen frequented E-Bay, we'd be in business, but I can't imagine we'd get more than $10 for it otherwise. In the meantime, everyone continues using the machine, choosing the POTATOE option to cook whatever they want and manually stopping it once they deem it done. Well, everyone except for this one dolt, whose new motto seems to be "When life hands you POTATOE, make potatoes." Rather than learning how to adjust to the microwave's malfunction like everyone else, this coworker went out and bought a sack of potatoes and eats one every day as an afternoon snack. Now this habit wouldn't bother me if it weren't for the fact that said-individual is the first to gripe about the microwave and being sick of having to eat potatoes. How can a grown person be outsmarted by a machine that can't even spell? Technology has rendered us stupid.