Monday, October 31, 2005

New Tattoo

So, I’ve decided on a new tattoo. It’s an original piece, done by an artist I met online, who goes by the name sickntwisted. If you are a fan of movies like Corpse Bride or The Nightmare Before Christmas than you will likely enjoy her art. You can visit her website here: sickntwisted’s website.

This is the piece I will have tattooed onto my right inside forearm (yes, I have the artist’s permission). I’m going this because I need a reminder of Heather. Well, not so much Heather herself, but of the mistakes I made in my relationship with her. Yes, she is my ex. We used to live with each other, but she left me some time ago. I’m not too sure how long ago it was. A year and a half, or two and a half years, something like that. I don’t remember for sure the month, just that it was vaguely late winter/early spring.

I’m not one of these people who likes to celebrate “black” anniversaries. After all, I figure if something hurt me that badly once, why on earth would I go out of my way to relive the pain every year. The first pain you can’t avoid; it’s caused by someone else, and is beyond your control. The repeated annual wallowing in the misery is self-inflicted.

However, I feel it is important to learn from your mistakes – otherwise, what’s the point. I have learned from my relationship with Heather, and have made adjustments in my life. My first mistake was willful blindness. There were signs when she and I first started to connect. There were warnings, issues that came up that led me to believe that she was not the right match for me. But I deliberately shelved and ignored my concerns. I guess I was too afraid of being alone, and too afraid of never finding someone to permit myself the level of inspection that was required.

When Heather and I first met, she was dating someone else. He lived up north, about 2 hours drive from the city, and they saw each other only sporadically. At the time, I had no romantic inclinations towards her. Oh sure, I wanted to have sex with her, but those feelings were hardly sporadic. I also wanted to have sex with her best friend, with her mother, and with her brother’s girlfriend. I’m a guy. We want to have sex with pretty much every woman we meet.

We started to hang out together, saw a lot of movies, went for walks, etc. We were seeing each other more and more often, and I found myself thinking about her a lot. I knew I was running the risk of falling in love with her, but two things were holding me back. First off, she was seeing someone, and at the time I would not allow myself to break up a relationship by being an accessory to infidelity. Secondly, I was 15 years older than her (well, 14 years, three weeks and 21 days), and I wasn’t about to be the seedy old guy who went after the young girls.

After a while, Heather and her boyfriend broke up. She told me about it afterwards, as we were going for a walk up her street. She told me that he was broken up, and extremely sad. She told me that, before they broke up, she would hate how he always wanted to hold hands, and that she found that unattractive. He was the kind that wanted to cuddle and hug, and she thought he was weak. This bothered me, because I knew that I am the kind who likes to cuddle and hug, and hold hands as I walk with someone I care about. I knew that this was a fundamental difference in our personalities, and yet still I pushed that aside, and ignored those thoughts.

The second realization did not come until after we had broken up. I made the mistake of require too much from Heather. When we were apart, and we came together, I always showed Heather that I was pleased to see her, and make sure she knew that I missed her. She was not like this with me. We would be apart, pursuing different interests, and when I came to see her, she would continue what she was doing, talk with others, etc. for five or so minutes before coming to see me.

This bothered me a lot, and I tried to explain things to her. I told her that I needed her to be as happy to see me as I was to see her. When she did not do this, I would become sullen and upset, because my needs were not being met. I did not feel like I was important to her anymore. Now, bear in mind that at this time, I did not see what affect my needs were having on her.

We broke up on a Sunday evening. She had been out all day with her friends from the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronisms). While I was interested in joining myself, I could not at the time because improv was on Sundays, and I wanted to improvise more than I wanted to be in the SCA. I had gone home after my class, and was waiting for Heather to come home after the SCA meeting.

She called, and told me she was going out for dinner with her friends. We had been having a rough patch of the past few days, and I told her that I thought it was important that she come home so that we could talk. I wanted to get things out in the open, explain myself to her, and hear what she had to say, and try to come to an understanding. I felt that she did not understand how I felt, and I felt that I did not really understand how she felt.

She told me no, she did not want to come home yet, and that she was going out with her friends. I emphasized how important I felt our conversation was, but she was adamant. I capitulated, and said fine. I would come out for dinner with her, have a night out, and then we could talk at home later. She told me that frankly, she didn’t want me there, and hung up.

I was shocked, surprised, hurt, and very angry with Heather. I felt we had a real huge argument brewing, and I was stewing in my juices, waiting for her to come home so we could have it out. Bear in mind, I loved her as strongly as ever, and thought we were going to have a huge blowout, but the thought of leaving her – or of her leaving me – had never even entered my head. I’m like that. Once my love and loyalty have been given, they’re given forever.

She came back later that evening. Before I could even start, she told me she was leaving me. She was angry, and wasn’t going to listen to me. She told me that we were over, and she was going, and that was that. I was devastated, and her words broke me. Utterly. I wish I had been a stronger person, someone who could have stood up to that kind of pain, but I folded immediately. That much pain was too much for me. Needless to say, I didn’t exactly sleep that night.

The next day, after work, she came back to see me. She apologized, and told me that she didn’t want our relationship to be over. She cried, I cried, we kissed, and we made up. She told me that living away from home was too much on her. She didn’t like the stress of having to pay bills (the childish side of me has to point out that I not only provided the lions share of our incoming income, I was also the one who actually made sure the bills got paid), and having to worry about money. She told me she was going to move back home, but wanted to continue to see me, to date me.

She said she just wanted things to go back to the way they were before we moved in together. And I believed her.

Over the next few weeks, we walked together, we talked together, and we went out to see movies together. But she was distant. I was so afraid of losing her altogether that I didn’t dare question her, probe, and force her to give me solid answers. The frequency of her visits dropped off, and she didn’t stay as long as before. One day, she told me she did not want me to hold her hand anymore.

That’s when I knew it was over. But there was still one more hope. A foolish and vain hope, I admit. Before the breakup, we had planned on going on holiday together to the Chicago Improv Festival. We were going to go with Gary and Laura and some other friends. She didn’t want to come along, but I talked her into it.

In Chicago, I proved once again that I still had not learned my second lesson. The group of us were taking the El together, off down to see some shows. I told Heather that I wanted for the two of us to go together, and split off from the group, so that we could talk. She refused to go, and ran up ahead to catch up to them. The feeling of dark and black depression I felt at that moment was the worst moment of my life. I cannot express the depths of that emotion, the horrific bleakness and churning feelings of emptiness.

I guess that was pretty much it at that point. After a long, long while, the pain had faded enough for me to start to examine our lives together, and to figure out what I did wrong. That’s when I did learn my second lesson. My mistake was that I gave too much of myself to her, that I relied too much on her validation, her attention, and her love. In doing so, I was needy, and that neediness and perceived weakness is what drove her away.

In the long run, I came to see that we were not right together. I’m not getting all macho bullshitty and saying like I don’t miss her or that I’m better off without her. Not that. I am saying that our relationship could never have lasted, because I made mistakes, and she was not capable of dealing with my mistakes.

And like I said before, I don’t like to repeat my mistakes. So the tattoo goes on as a reminder, and as a memorial.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Three Men

Three Men stood on the corner, unsure as to their direction.
I call them Men, although there were but Boys, finding themselves suddenly in possession of Men’s bodies. They were tall and strong, and their voices had changed. They were much more than those a year younger than them, for they were still just Boys. Despite the October cold, they seemed comfortable in nothing but jeans and a simple t-shirt. That is how two of the Boys were dressed. The third, seeing as it was almost Hallowe’en, was dressed in a bear suit. Just the body. The hands and head had been discarded earlier in the evening, when it had become too warm at the party. He didn’t want his hands to sweat, or his hair to get too messy.
Three Men Stood on the Corner, Unsure as to their Direction.
To their right lay the all-night Indian food restaurant. The one who’s name I can never remember. I went there, once, years ago with a woman I once loved, who – like the food – had turned out not to be good for me. I don’t remember much about the food. It was average, mediocre, if slightly over-priced. The restaurant itself was rather inelegantly decorated, and reminded me of what it might be like to be invited to a Wedding Reception for an East Indian couple, who had been married in her parent’s rec room. Except there was no pool table.
To their left lay the late-night Adult video store. The place where some Men went to purchase videos and magazines that each Boy pretended to already be jaded by, but were in fact secretly fascinated with. Such plunder represented both an ascent into Manhood and a fall into perversion. Deep inside each Boy/Man, no matter how pure or chaste, is the secret feeling that even if it did grow hair on your palms, they'd still fucking do it. They’d just have to put up with the jokes. That, or buy more razors.
To turn to the left meant one might be labeled a pervert … or worse, a Pervert. To turn the right meant one might be labeled a Pussy. Was it better to be considered a Pervert or a Pussy? It was the kind of decision that might set the course for the next five years of your life. Of course, as somebody – I think it was my high school biology teacher – once said, there is a certain inevitable futility in indecision.
Three Men Stood On The Corner, Unsure As to Their Direction.
The One in the Bear Suit stood forward, taking bold steps towards the Adult Video Store. It was better to be hung as a lion than hung as a lamb. Thank you, High School Biology.
“You pussies coming?” he looked back with commingled pity and contempt.
The Two in T-Shirts looked at one another hesitantly, then stepped towards the Adult Video Store in unison. As a trio they marched, The One in the Bear Suit at the head. The store beckoned, offering an inviting warm neon flash, like an illicit kiss from the ruby red lips of your best friend’s mom, a stolen moment in the kitchen: “I’m a little drunk, honey. Don’t tell Daniel I did that”. The Adult Video Store offered frosted glass windows, that made one feel simultaneously like this was a bright and friendly place, while at the same time offering the gentle aegis of anonymity.
The soft electronic bell rang happily, announcing the arrival of three guests. The One in the Bear Suit stepped inside, sliding his glance off of the young man behind the register, only marginally aware of his feelings of tender contempt for this man; for while he was a customer interested in patronizing such an establishment, he was not in the same category as someone who must pull his wages from what was, when the chips were down, a Den of Inequity.
His gaze travels to the right, over magazines and oils guaranteed to heat up to a hundred-and-sex degrees upon vigorous stimulation (do not use if pregnant or suffering from an established heart condition). His eyes come to rest on a Behemoth, an oiled and gnarled Monstrosity that was the 14-inch rubber dildo, with real raised veins. Suddenly, six inches didn’t seem like such a big deal anymore. He stepped back involuntarily, stepping on the toe of One of the Two.
“Hey, guys, let’s go,” said the One in the Bear Suit. He turned, and stepped outside, the Two in T-Shirts much closer on his trail than when they had entered.
They walked away, back towards the All-Night Indian Food Restaurant.
“That place was weird,” said One of the Two.
“I saw you looking at that big purple Cock,” the One in the Bear Suit punched the One of the Two in the arm, playfully. “I saw you lick your lips!”
“Fuck you, you fag,” said the One of the Two as he shoved the One in the Bear Suit back.
Three Boys walked around Corner, Assured of their Direction.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Crystal Update

Novel: 11,865 words

Ok, I know its been awhile, but here are some more pictures of Crystal. Of course, I have to throw some of Ayla in there too, as she is just so darned cute!

Yes, I know, cats and dogs, living togther in sin. It's unholy.
God, that dog is cute.
Crystal loves to sleep on my computer monitor.
Crystal also loves to bite.

Paternal Grandparents

Continuing on with the grandparent theme, I am going to talk about my paternal grandparents. Robert and Ellen were, I believe, evil. I know that many people don't actually believe in evil, and instead point to upbringing or genetics. Whatever the reasons, I believe that some people are just plain evil.

The evil that was my grandfather was named Robert. I'm not going to go into pages and pages of examples of his evil, but I will summarize one here. When my father and his brothers were children, Robert would beat them. I have heard some horror stories in my life, but this man stands alone. He would come into their rooms while they slept, pick one of them up, and punch them in the face while he held them by the hair. He did not pull these punches. He did this to my father on more than one occasion, starting when he was seven.

Imagine, at the age of seven being sound asleep, then waking in pain, suspended by your own hair, as your father - the man who is supposed to cherish and protect you - punched you in the face as hard as he could. How could this be anything other than evil?

Ellen, my grandmother, was much more subtle. She practiced her evil ways by creating family wars. It wasn't until I was about 15 that I realized that she was deliberately causing fights in her family, whispering lies in her children's and grandchildren's ears, telling just enough of the truth to gain credulity.

In every generation, she would choose a favourite. She would treat her favourite like gold and all others like garbage. In my generation, the favourite was my cousin Rodney. When it came time for gifts, such as Christmas, she would by very different presents. I recall my 7th Christmas: the big thing at the time was Lone Ranger Action figures. She bought Rodney the entire set - everything. Lone Ranger, Silver, Tonto, his horse, all the extra weapons. Literally, everything. At the time, the value was over $200.00. Not bad for 1972.

I watched Rodney unwrap his presents with a mixture of envy and delight. Then Ellen handed me my present. It was small - about the size of a hardcover book (but thin). I unwrapped it, and it was the gun set for the Lone Ranger. Retail value: about 5 bucks. It might not sound like much, but that moment tore my heart out. While money should not be used to express love, in this case it obviously had been, and I was being told in no uncertain terms that I was not loved.

When my dad left us (I was 8), that was it for my contact with Ellen and Robert. They never - and I mean literally never - attempted to contact me or my sister again. Years later, after I had found my father again and was trying to build a relationship with him, I ran into her again. Apparently my stepmother was upset because Ellen (my cousin) had received a brand new ten speed bicycle for her birthday, while Lisa (my half-sister) had been given a card and $5.00.

When my father informed me that Robert had died, I just shrugged. My father got very angry at me, and told me that I was a cold-hearted person. I asked him how he expected me to feel. The man ignored my entire existence, and every story my father ever told about him contained horrific beatings. I told my sister Niki in private later that, as far as I was concerned, Robert had been an evil man, and the world was a better place with him out of it. Niki was young, and did not understand at the time.

Years later, when Ellen died, Niki took me aside at her funeral, and told me that as far as she was concerned, Ellen had been evil, and that the world was a better place with her out of it. She was old enough now to understand what I had meant earlier.

Robert and Ellen gave me one gift, for which I am incredibly thankful. They did not like me, and therefore they did not pay attention to me, and therefore they did not infect me with their particular brand of evil.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Grandpa's Poyton and O'Meara

Well, I find myself in the (un)enviable position of having too many different things I want to talk about. So, I will try to be as brief as possible. First off, for those of you who have been dying to find out (a number which I estimate to be in the area of zero), my official name in the Knights of the Round Bottom is to be: Sir Lee Padthaiserver, which has won with 45.5% of the popular vote (the popular vote consisting of 11 votes).

Diet Update: Lost .6 pounds last week. Apparently, eating pad thai once a week is perfectly ok. Eating pad thai 5 times in a week … not so good.

Novel Update: I'm at 8,500 words.

The Gay Narnia Prequel

Ok, so Laura asked (i.e. pimped) me to into telling the prequel to the Gay Narnia story. A few years ago, my friend Gary and I decided to drive down to Chicago during the summer. We go every year around May for the Chicago Improv Festival, and have an awesome time. We had a few spare days in the summer, and decided to head down again. We wanted to check out some improv shows, maybe see a ball game, and just soak up the

When we arrived, we dropped off our bags and decided to go for a walk. We noticed that people were dressed rather ... strangely. Way more leather, feathers, and ass-less shorts than usual. Turns out, we had come to the city during Gay Pride. The parade was over, but we walked around and soaked up the atmosphere. It was my first Gay Pride celebration, and everyone seemed to be having ... well, a gay old time. I enjoyed the sites for sure, a lot in the way of flamboyant dress and originality.

At one point, two young men dressed in feathered boots and white short shorts walked by carrying super soakers. One of them shot me in the butt with the super soaker, so Gary went around for the next 2 years telling everyone I took it up the ass at Gay Pride.

We stopped for lunch a the Mongolian Barbecue, where I got hit on by a gay man. There was a guy dressed all in black leather (yes, even his shirt) who always seemed to be in line ahead of me (you had to get up for refills), every time I went up. Eventually, I said to him that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't seem to get ahead of him. He replied "Oh, if you asked, you wouldn't have any problem getting head". Now, my saloon doors don't swing both ways, but it was still flattering.

Now, to the main topic I wanted to cover today (geez, long winded or what?). Seeing as I wrote a piece about my maternal grandmother, I thought I’d take a few days and do a spread on my other grandparents (how often do you see the words “spread” and “grandparent” in the same sentence?). Today, I’ll be talking about my maternal grandfather.

First off, I have two maternal grandfathers. The first, William Poyton, died years before I was born, so I never got to meet him. He was an accomplished musician who could play numerous instruments. He was also a very good artist, and painted a number of murals on the walls and ceilings of businesses and private homes (all of which, as far as I know, have long since be destroyed). I only have one picture of him, which I have posted here. Note, he did not paint the lady in the picture. That’s my grandma. Originally, he was painting a landscape, but I took a photo of my grandma, and added it to the photo to make it look like he was painting her.

My grandmother was later remarried (again, before I was born) to a man named Victor, who was my grandpa as I grew up. Victor was never really a pleasant man. He rarely laughed, and often times yelled and bellowed. He had a form of epilepsy that resulted in violent bursts of temper, and even at the best of times had difficulty keeping his cool.

Growing up, there were numerous times that he blew up, lost his temper, and chewed me out. He said very hurtful things during these times and often made my cry as a kid. When I was in college, I was going to school during the day, and working nights as a security job. At the time, I was living with my mother, who owned a restaurant, and I had a room upstairs. I had been up very late the night before, and as I had an exams that day, I didn’t have to be at school until 3:00 pm.

Now my grandparents worked in the restaurant with my mother. Apparently, it had been an insanely busy day, and my grandfather was pissed that I had slept until 2:00 pm (never mind that I had good reason). When I came into the restaurant, he exploded. Even though there were about 8 customers in the restaurant, he screamed at me (yelling as loud as you can imagine … no, louder), telling me I was a lazy bastard who didn’t care about the suffering that my mother and grandmother had to do through, etc., etc.

As he was yelling at me, I felt something inside me click. I don’t know how to describe it any other way. In one second, I loved him, and the next second, I did not. I could not continue to love him, because he used that love, over and over again, to hurt me. It wasn’t a conscious decision, it was just something I felt happen.

Now, in his defense, he did have a medical condition. Also, his parents were brutal with him as he grew up, and there were definite issues in his childhood. He would also, after he calmed down, feel bad about his tirades. However, he was pathologically incapable of apologizing, due to the fact that growing up, his father would beat him if he ever admitted to being wrong.

About 15 years later, he died of cancer. He chose to die at home, in my mother’s house (where he and my grandmother lived), rather than waste away in a hospital. I respect that decision. He died at home, in comfort, with his family surrounding him. When the nurse told us he was dead, I surprised myself by crying. I realized that I wasn’t crying so much for the loss of the man he was, but for the wasted potential of the good man I know he could have been.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Gay Narnia

First of all, in the category of “What the Hell Was That Symbolic Of”, I offer the following nomination. Today, at my one year anniversary at Circles (the company I work for), I was awarded a very nice fleece top. It has a little embroidered “Circles” logo thingy over the right breast. Very comfortable; I’ve been wearing it all day.

I came home at 2:15 am, sat down in front of my computer. My cat jumped onto my desk, walked in front of me, and bit the Circles logo. Twice. She then walked to the end of the table and jumped off.

Ok, glad that’s out of my system. Now, off to what I sat down to talk about: My Adventures in Gay Narnia (*PLEASE NOTE* No homosexuals of any gender were harmed during the creation of this post). Last year, I found myself in the improv Mecca of Chicago, as is my wont, for the yearly Chicago Improv Festival (hereafter referred to as CIF [patent pending]). I was attending said festival with Gary and Andy (2 of my partners from Slurred Vision – Gary is still with me, Andy now prefers his big city friends [oooooh, did that sound bitter?]). We are also there with Andy’s girlfriend Alison, and Gary’s big’n’beefy boyfriend, Pat (I’m kidding, Pat is great, an awesome guy. Who is like this huge dangerous wrestler dude who could eat the top of your head off, but is still super cool and nice.)

So, the five of us are together at a party. (I hear by officially apologize for abusing the parenthetical comment system). As we were in a foreign city in a strange and exotic land, we had not packed certain …. Supplies of an … aromatic nature that, while only a minor misdemeanor in our fair land, in this strange new world would for some reason land us in an icky and scary prison for like 2 years.

We had spent several days in this new world trying to locate said substance, but had been unsuccessful. Apparently, we kept getting the only cab drivers in the world who do not know where to score weed. On the particular evening in question, we had finally had some luck. Pat had managed to hook up with a crazy Hispanic lady who was willing to sell us some of that substance.

But we had no papers. Without papers, we could not roll (sorry for the parenthetical intrusion from the previous theme, but the cat is biting my Circles shirt again). If we could not roll, we could not rock. We broke up, and started mingling separately, each trying to subtly find out if anyone had any papers. Apparently, no one had any freaking papers.

We had finally decided that we were going to have to McGyver a bong when Andy came running up. “Come with me, fellows, come with me,” Andy called, jumping up and down in his excitement, “for I have found a most magical world, hidden beyond a big scary iron door.”

We followed Andy behind the iron door, and found ourselves in Gay Narnia. A magical, wondrous land which consisted of a large apartment in a converted warehouse space, at least 3,000 square feet. It was very tastefully decorated, and clean. The apartment had no fewer than six separate bedrooms, a gigantic living area, a disgustingly huge kitchen, and a second media room.

The occupants of Gay Narnia had papers, and were willing to trade those papers for a little lungful of fun themselves. We set about sharing our bounty with our new friends, much like our forefathers did with our little Native friends (before giving them blankets deliberately infected with smallpox and destroying their culture. Whoops).

As I took in my wonderful new surroundings, certain … facts came to my attention. The first was the fact that the entire apartment was filled by attractive young men, aged 19-24, who, for reasons I could not immediately understand, had chosen not to attend a wild party with drunk and easy women in attendance. This seemed a tad … odd to me. Then I noticed that not one of the guys at this apartment had paid the slightest bit of attention to Alison, the only female in the room (and Alison is an attractive girl).

However, it was the following conversation that filled me in (Please bear in mind, Andy was and is an innocent young pup, unwise in the ways of the world. During this conversation, I am seated between Andy and Paul. Paul is a denizen of Gay Narnia.):

So, Andy, how do you like the place?

Huh? Nice. It’s cool.

What you drinkin’?

A beer.

Great. You know what’s good? When you grind up a valium into powder and add it to your beer. You want to come to my room and try some?

Gorsh. Ok.

(Putting his hand on Andy’s shoulder, and pushing
him back into your seat.)
No, you don’t.

But I want to go with him.

(Widening his eyes.)
No, Andy, you don’t.

Now, I’m not claiming that, had Paul taken Andy back to his room, that he would have locked the door, gave Andy ground-up valium, knocked him unconscious, and penetrated him anally. I am not saying that this is exactly what would have happened. But its probably more or less what would have happened. Face it, you do not offer someone, say, roofies, just because you think they’ll find it fun.

So, there was a moral in that story. As beautiful and magical as Gay Narnia was, even it had its hidden perils. Ok, not precisely hidden, it was pretty obvious. Andy was pretty dim-witted for having missed the signs. But that’s why God made me: to protect the dumbasses I love.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Grandma Caught the Writing Bug

So, how exciting is this? It turns out, my 82 year old grandmother has written her autobiography, and she wants me to type it out for her. I am thrilled about this, and am really looking forward to a chance to get to know more about her. This is such an awesome idea, I honestly think everyone should do something similar. It’s a great way for your family and friends to learn about you, and to have a chance to see life through your eyes.

I just got the manuscript, and haven’t had a chance to read it yet. However, I’ve already had a chuckle: on the cover of the notebook is written “Hilroy Notebook – 300 pages”. My grandmother has scribbled out the “300 pages” and wrote in “Only 150 pages – they lied” on the cover. I think she was thinking separate individual sheets, while pages usually refer to both sides of the sheet. Still, its indicative of how cantankerous she can be, but in a very good and fun way.

When it comes down to brass tacks, I love my grandmother a lot. I don’t really communicate that properly to her, which I regret. As shitty as my paternal grandparents were, she more than makes up for that. As I go through her autobiography, I will – with her permission – put some excerpts up here in my blog as well as some of my memories and commentaries.

I started working on a novel of my own last night, and got 2,660 words done. I’ve been working the details out in my head for months, and I finally have the framework that I want. The metaplot is worked out, but I need to run over details and start smoothing up the rough edges. If I can do 2,000 words a day on it, I’ll be pretty happy. However, I am going to be realistic, and shoot for 5,000 words a week.

Today marks my 1 year anniversary at Circles (the company I work for). The day comes with a $1.00 an hour raise, a bonus check for $100.00, a fleece shirt, and a little party. When I finish here, I’m going to head into work to catch the party. Next week is when I find out what my quarterly productivity bonus is, so I’m looking forward to that. While I don’t know how much it will be, I have been unofficially told that I would be “very happy” with the amount.

Monday, October 24, 2005

It's time to Knight Me

So, the time has come to start the poll, so that you can help choose my new name for the Knights of the Round Bottoms. I've put together a list of my suggestions as well as the suggestions put forward by my readers, so be sure and cast your vote. Remember, like they tell rich Republicans in Florida, vote early and vote often!

Knight Me!

The story behind some of the names:

Sir Wantawing: Wings are my kryptonite. I know they are bad for me. I love them anyway. Its utterly dysfunctional I know, but like a battered white trash trailer park wife, I can't help love that wing o' mine.

Sir Arthur "Two Chins" Jackson: I like this one. Its a Monty Python reference, from a sketch featuring a character named Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson.

Sir Lee Padthaiserver: This one cracked me up. I'm not sure who suggested it, but I think its either Gary or Craig. It ties back into a post I made awhile ago, about the Surly Asian Man. If you read that post, you'll understand this particularly clever reference.

I made some particularly silly dieting mistakes this week. Nothing major, but I was punishing myself for no reason. You see, on Saturday I was craving pad thai. Really, really jonesing for it. I wanted pad thai like Bush wants oil money. But I told myself no! I am on a diet, and I am not going to be weak. And I didn't have pad thai.

The next day, I came very, very close to driving into a McDonalds. Then I realized, why was I being an idiot and depriving myself of pad thai? Its not that bad, and with my bonus points on the Weight Watchers diet, I can actually have it without too much trouble.

So on Sunday night, I had pad thai. And it was glorious. Yum. Pad thai is the one thing that I believe will keep me safe from the temptation of chicken wings. The best part of the deal was that I actually managed to have it while still only using my points from the day - I didn't have to use any of my bonus points at all.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

A Clockwork Orange

I just finished reading Anthony Burgess' "A Clockwork Orange", a book I have read numerous times throughout my life. I find that a good book is one you can revisit time and again, and gain something new from each reading. I am a different person now, at 40, than I was at 30, 20, or 12 (the first time I read the book), and I take away something new and wonderful each time I read it. There are other books that are the same for me - "Animal Farm" and "1984" being two such examples.

Apparently, Burgess was quite upset by the fact that this was his most famous book. Despite this, there is a great deal going on in the novel, and the story speaks on several different levels. It not only examines life in a violent world, but also speaks to issues of governmental interference; i.e. when does a government cross the line between democratic and totalitarian?

If you haven't read "A Clockwork Orange" then I highly encourage you to do so. At less than 150 pages, it’s a pretty short read, but still very entertaining and thought provoking. The book is written from the point of view of Alex, the protagonist, a violent and nasty individual if ever there was one. It can take a bit of time to get into the story, as the story is heavily peppered with Nadsat (a slang language invented by Burgess).

Alex narrates the book throughout, and there is no real attempt on Alex's part to explain what his slang terms mean. At the beginning, there are a few translations, but that doesn't last long. It is up to the reader to translate Nadsat into English by inferring through context. Don't worry though; it’s not too difficult to get the hang of things.

"...Dim had a very hound and horny one
of a clown's listo (face, that is)."

Alex's list of crimes is long: shoplifting, assault, theft, assault and battery, breaking and entering, rape and murder. Despite this, I find him a likeable character, and I truly felt for him. Despite his bestial nature, Alex is not unintelligent. He also has a more pure side, which includes a love - bordering on adoration and worship - of classical music. After an evening's violence, he would invariably return to his flat and drift away to Ludwig von or Mozart.

The novel also deals heavily with issues of free will. Is it better to have free will and choose to do violence and evil, or to have your free will removed and then be forced to do good? No matter which side of that debate you find yourself on, the book makes some valid points on both sides of the issue.

When Alex is finally captured by the police, he is sentenced to 14 years in the Staja (State Jail). He serves several years of his sentence when he is given a chance at early release. All he has to do is spend two weeks submitting to Ludivico's Technique; a new procedure designed to completely rehabilitate even the most hardened criminal.

Alex leaps at the chance, and is moved from the crowded and uncomfortable Staja to a private room in a clean, nice hospital. He is outwardly calm and innocent, but inside he has a good smeck (laugh) at the naiveté of the hospital staff. Alex's plan is simple: say the right things, put up with the hospital, and then head back out into the real world for a bit of the ultra-violence.

As it turns out, the procedure Alex goes through combines drugs and visual stimulation to actually condition the body to become violently ill at even the mere thought of violent. In a fortnight, he is transformed from a brutal and compassionless killer into a meek, mild and frightened young man. Any time Alex even contemplates violence, he becomes violently ill. Not only is he incapable of attacking someone, he cannot even lift his own rooks to defend himself.

There is also, to Alex, a horrific side effect. Because classical music was played during his conditioning, his love for Ludwig von, Bach and the others has been replaced by nausea and sickness. He can no longer stand to listen to the music that fed his soul. The one part of his psyche that was pure and good has been excised along with the violence.

From a lordly lion of the streets, Alex is reduced to a mewling kitten, a pathetic pawn of the government, the penal system, and those who would bring the government down.

I definitely don't want to spoil anything more for you if you haven't read the book, so I won't say anything more about the plot. However, I would like to say a bit about the movie version. Kubrick's version of the book is quite good; however, he definitely dropped the ball when he made certain changes to the plot. These changes were not necessary, and alter the overall message of the story. IMO, Kubrick was a good director, but not as good as everyone makes him out to be.

There is a fundamental difference between the American and British versions of this novel. In the US version, the last chapter is omitted. This has been widely regarded as a mistake, and has made a lot of people very angry. First off, the novel itself, as it was originally written, is brilliantly structured. There are 21 chapters (21 generally being considered the age in which a child becomes an adult), divided into 3 sections, each with 7 chapters (mirroring the Roman concept of the 7 year cycle). When you take away the last chapter, all that careful planning and structure goes down the bog.

In the original work, we see a chance at redemption, and we see how Alex grows and changes. It is, perhaps somewhat ironically, odd that the Americans chose to cut out the optimistic part of the novel and keep the pessimism. What that says about the US psyche of the 1960's, I will not bother to speculate about here. It wasn't until 1988 that a complete version of the novel was published in the US.

Naturally, Kubrick based his movie on the American version of the novel. He was aware of the British version, as Burgess himself made sure that he was informed. In fact, Burgess wrote a screenplay version of the book on his own, and submitted it to Kubrick. Why Kubrick chose to disgregard and reject the screenplay, we don't really know.

I just feel sorry for Kubrick for having "Eyes Wide Shut" known as his last work. To me, this is the film equivalent of Elvis' dying on the toilet.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Of Mice and Dumbasses

If our society has a motto, it is this: The needs of the stupid outweigh the needs of the many.

Our society is designed to favour stupid people. Sad, but true. Apparently, stupid people have had a horrible time trying to deal with things like toothpicks, cash registers, ladders and other potentially harmful and difficult to operate tools. So, something had to be done. The solution: change everything to suit the stupid people, and to hell with the rest of society.

Take, for example, toothpicks. On many packages of toothpicks, you will find, should you care to search, instructions. The instructions read "Moisten blunt end of toothpick. Use blunt end to clean gently between teeth. Use narrow end to clean carefully between teeth. Do not force narrow end between teeth or into gums". Yup.

Why stop there? Why not add "Do not place tip of toothpick against your eye and shove" or "Do not stick 350 toothpicks into your penis, soak them in lighter fluid, and then set them on fire"?

For God's sake people, it’s a toothpick. Arguably the single simplest tool ever devised by mankind. It has one moving part, and two operating ends. The only way we could make the toothpick simpler is if we made a toothlump. And yet still, we require instructions on the package. Why? Because some stunned fuck one day shoved a toothpick into his tongue, then successfully sued the toothpick company because the box did not contain operating instructions.

Another favourite example of mine is cash registers. Lets look at the concept of the simple cash register. A cash register has a series of buttons on it with numbers. You press the numbers to represent the digits in the price of an item. So, for example, if an item costs five dollars, you press the 5-button, followed by two 0-buttons. There are some additional buttons, for things like sales tax and stuff. Basically, nothing too complex. Any reasonably intelligent human being should be able to figure out the basic skills required to operate the average cash register in about 20 minutes. After a few days of use, they should pretty much have mastered the register.

Apparently, this is not the case. The cash register has proved to be too complex and difficult a machine for the average user to cope with. So, many companies have replaced this outmoded and complex machine with a new design. This design has a plethora of buttons, all assigned to individual menu items.

Take Tim Horton’s for example. A Tim Horton’s employee does not have to struggle with the onerous task of pressing numeric buttons. If someone orders an extra large coffee, they are spared the ordeal of pressing the 1-button, followed by then pressing the 5-button, not once, but twice! Imagine the suffering! Instead, the server merely has to press the button labeled "XL Cof". Provided they can find it amid the 63 small buttons on the register.

Some places, such as McDonalds, take this concept even farther. Instead of silly, out-dated words on the buttons, they put pictures of the menu items. So instead of ringing in $2.49 for a Big Mac, the server can merely press the button with the teeny tiny picture of a Big Mac on it. Oh, glory be to Man and his genius.

You know those little picture books for kids, which have electronic music built in? Along the side or bottom of the book are buttons that the child can press to enhance the story. Want to hear the cow moo? Press the button with a picture of a cow on it. Want to hear the guitar play? Press the button with a picture of a guitar on it.

Some people think that these enhanced picture books are designed to help children learn to read. I think they are designed to prepare children for a career at McDonalds.

Next, we take a look at ladders. Check an aluminum ladder; if it still has the stickers on it, chances are there are instructions on the ladder. You see, about 20 years ago, some genius decided to paint his barn. He got up before dawn, set his ladder against the side of the barn, and started painting. Now, it was a cold morning, but that was ok, he didn't mind.

As it turns out, the farmer had put the ladder down on top of a large pile of manure. This manure, having frozen overnight, was quite firm when the ladder was placed. The sun came up, and warmed up the world (as is its wont), including that pile of manure. As the manure warmed, it softened, thus reducing its effectiveness as a ladder base. The softened manure shifted, and the ladder shifted, and the farmer fell down and went boom.

The farmer sued the company that manufactured the ladder, as the company had failed to warn him that a pile of frozen manure would not make a suitable support for his ladder. Seriously. He won. Seriously. And so, once again, society is forced to reduce its collective intelligence level and go out of its way to protect the idiotic.

By catering to the stupid, we accomplish two things. First, we allow them to remain stupid. They don't have to think for themselves, and continue to do stupid things without considering the consequences. They can be blissfully ignorant, protected by the fact knowledge that, if what they are about to do is in any conceivable way dangerous, there will be a warning label on it. This really puts a damper on evolution. If someone is stupid enough to accidentally kill themselves with a toothpick, is this the kind of person we want spreading their DNA around?

Secondly, by coddling the stupid, they no longer have to exercise what little brains they have. They stay stupid, and often times even get more stupid through complacency. And then normal people, who aren't stupid, get lulled into the stupid mindset, by using the same stupid-enhanced equipment that the stupid people are using. In turn, making them stupid.

So, to summarize: Stupid people are getting stupider. Normal people are getting stupid. Stupid people are not dying off as quickly as they used to. Conclusion: Our society is getting dumber. Don't worry though, as long as television keeps broadcasting, no one will really mind.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Knights of the Round Bottoms

So, like many a brave adventurer before me, I have joined the ranks of the Knights of the Round Bottoms. The Knights are a motley collection of brave souls engaged in an epic battle against flab (kinda a Knights Quest for the Holy Scale deal). You can find links to their websites off to the right, and visit them to help celebrate their victorys.

My experiences so far have been pretty good. I've rarely been plagued by hunger, and I usually enjoy what I eat. Except for salad. I have a word for salad, and that word is "fuck". As in "fuck salad", "fuck I hate salad", and "if I ever have to eat another salad again, I'm going to asphyxiate an Inuit".

For those of you who like salad, I mean no offense. I am sure that, in your world, salad makes for a wonderful meal, filled with delicious taste sensations. I am also sure that this world could accurately be described as a "warren".

Now, it has been mentioned that I need a knightly sounding name. I am open to suggestions, and feel free to comment and add some suggested names. When I have enough, I will take a poll and let you guys choose my new knightly name. Suggestions should be:

1. Clever, and somehow in keeping with the theme of weight loss (see the names in the Links section for ideas).
2. Reasonably Clean. I will not go around being known as Sir Poos-a-lot or anything like that.

So far, I am considering:

Sir Wantawing
Sir Messomass
Sir Salad Slayer
Sir Largebelt
Sir Arthur "Two Chins" Jackson

Growing up Male

Ok, as we all are aware of by now, there are definite differences between the sexes. If you are unaware of these differences, I suggest you either (a) start paying attention, or (b) consult a physician immediately.

In the interests of understanding and harmony, I would like to educate you ladies as to some of the odd little quirks and experiences which are particular to the male gender. I am not in any way claiming that men are superior to women, or that our trials and tribulations are more or less difficult than those of women. We'll just take that as read.

Condition: Bus Rod
Age Group: Suffered by young men, aged 13-19 (with possible relapses later in life)
Description: Bus rod is caused by the natural rocking motions of any type of large, motorized vehicle. These rocking motions cause an unfortunate simulation of the genitals, which in turn cause an egorgement of said tube steak. While seated, this is not a problem, but when the afflicted individual reaches his stop and has to stand, the tent he has created is quite noticeable. This condition has caused more than one young man to miss his stop.

Condition: Urinal Wall Mucus Art
Age Group: All (as soon as you can pee standing up)
Description: This condition is characterized by extreme nausea and discomfort during the usage of public urinals (you know, those stand-uppy-trough things that guys are forced to pee into). For some reason unknown to anyone with a reasonably functional brain, some men insist on picking their noses at the urinal, and wiping the resulting nose-litter on the wall (even though it would be just as easy, and way less disgusting, to flick the nostril cheese into the urinal). When a normal, non-idiotic male comes along later to use the urinal, he is forced to stare at a wall that contains anywhere from 0 to 27 dried nostril smears (like some kind of insanely disgusting Connect the Dots puzzle). Scientists have studied the phenomenon of UWMA, and have come to several possible conclusions about the individuals who smear their snot on the wall: (a) they are fucking cretinous toads; (b) they are mentally deficient (possibly due to the ravages of a disease such as siphilis; or (c) their brains stopped developing at the age of 4.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Secret Confessions of a Jesus Lover

Ok, so why is it that I feel I have to hide my Christianity? I'll tell you why. Because each and every time I read a website where someone publically states their Christianity (with statements such as "A friend of Jesus" or "Walking through life with God"), that person goes on to later make some horrific comment against homosexuality, or poverty, or racial issues, etc. Each time I hear the Republicans on TV talk about God, I cringe. God is about love and forgiveness, not about blaming the national deficit on the poor.

So every time I see God mentioned online, it seems like He is being used by some kind of radical, right-wing dipshit to prove some idiotic opinion or half-backed idea. One US senator (David Vitter, Republican), when talking about hurricanes, even said:

"Unfortunately, it’s the crossroadswhere Katrina meets Rita. I always knew I was against same-sex unions."

Ha, ha, ha. I'm in stitches here. Stitches that I required after trying to tear my own fucking spleen out of my body, rather than have to live in a world where intolerant bastards like Vitter can spout off like that.

They say that opinions are like assholes, in that everyone has one. Apparently, nowadays, those assholes are not constrained by clothing, and are free to travel around in public, farting their methane-enhanced idiocy around for all to enjoy. Senator Vitter is, in my opinion, no better than someone who farts on an elevator and then giggles.

So, because of bastards like Vitter (and other small groups, like the REPUBLICAN PARTY), the world tends to see Christians as intolerant, homophobic, insensitive and just plain stupid. Which makes the rest of us Christians (you know, the reasonably intelligent and tolerant ones) feel like idiots for being associated with these syphalitic twats.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Diet Update

Ok, so its been one week since I started the Weight Watchers diet. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous when it came time to weigh in. I lost 10.4 pounds! I now weigh 271.2 pounds, and I have to say I’m pretty happy with my results so far. Of course, I fully realize that you lose weight much faster in the beginning, and the weight loss tends to slow over time. So I am prepared for the fact that I probably won’t lose that much in one week again.

Overall, I’m finding the diet pretty easy. I can eat most of the foods I want, and those 35 free bonus points really help out. Just knowing that, if I want, I can go eat something bad for me, and still maintain the diet is a real help. Its one thing when you think “I can’t have those french fries”, but another when you think “I could have those fries if I really wanted them, but I won’t”.

There were a few tough times during the week. The first came when I went out one night to Boston Pizza. I have a huge weakness for chicken wings. I love the little bundles of deep-fried fat. Sure, I know they’re trying to kill me, but to me, eating chicken wings is like having the best sex of your life with an assassin who is trying to kill you. Sure, fine, I know she is trying to kill me, but the great sex is worth the risk.

I was standing there with Gary when I watched a waitress carrying a large bowl of chicken wings to a table. I started cussing a blue streak, and I believe I wished all sorts of horrible, disfiguring accidents on diseases on everyone in the world who was eating chicken wings. Hey, it made me feel better.

Friday night was another speed bump. Its become a bit of a tradition with us karaoke types to have everyone drink a  Dr. Pepper together (this drink, unlike the soft drink that inspired it, contains beer, cola, and a shot of amaretto). I was worried that a drink would be too many points, but the whole thing was only 5 points (I get 31 a day, plus a weekly allotment of 35 bonus points). So I could have my drink and still stay on the diet.

The last issue for me was on Tuesday. Craig and I go out to work on Backsliding once a week, and we usually go to Ben Pho Tahn (an amazing local Thai/Vietnamese place in Hamilton, famous for its surly waiter man) for lunch. I always – and I mean always – have the pad thai. I never pictured myself as the kind of person who would have the same meal every time he went to a restaurant, but God love me, I absolutely adore pad thai.

How much do I love pad thai? Here’s a for instance. I’m walking across a bridge, when I spy a plate of pad thai resting on the side of the bridge, a top a pile of coiled rope. Its steaming and tasty looking, and there is a set of chopsticks sticking out of it that say “Hey, look at me, I’m ready to eat!”. As I approach the plate, I look over the bridge, and I see a man drowning in the water. To save him, I will have to throw the rope into the water, spilling the pad thai all over the road.

Now the dilemma: do I eat the pad thai, or save the drowning man?

Naturally, I save the drowning man. I’m not an asshole. But for the rest of his natural life, I will contact him once a year, on the anniversary of my saving his life, and call him a dirty, non-swimming fuckwit for causing me to miss out on that plate of pad thai.

So, back to the restaurant. Craig and I went, and I was worried about the pad thai. I knew it was probably waaaaay expensive in points, and should be avoided. But I love it so much, I just said to hell with it. I had the pad thai, and I counted 20 points for it. As it turns out, it was only 18 points. So, even though it has a pretty high point cost, I can still have it once a week.

So, I lost 10 pounds, and I haven’t had to give up one single thing that I really like. Pretty freakin’ sweet.

Backsliding Update

Craig and I have made some real progress with the script we are working on. Things are coming along very nicely, the ideas are still flowing, and the process is still damned fun. Ok, I admit that I was tempted. I wanted to follow the siren-song that was “the new idea”. A few weeks ago, Backsliding was getting a little tiresome, and we have so many new and great ideas it just seemed like it would be a lot of fun to brainstorm with them. Just put the script aside for a few weeks, y’know?

Thank God Craig is a solid partner. He pointed out that the natural temptation is to go for something new, and put aside the stuff we’d be working on. The only way to actually get this done, he said, is to just keep doing it. And I am very glad he said that. Because we got past that lull, and the process is once again extremely exciting.

Much of this is thanks to Craig. I owe him so much on this, I don’t know if I could repay him. I have had so many ideas in my life, but have lacked the ability/know how/drive to turn those ideas into a concrete work. With his help, that has finally happened. Lets just say I appreciate the guy and move on, before I get all gushy.

After a few more weeks of revisions on the script, we will be ready to get some actors together and do a read-thru. I really can’t wait to hear people reading our words! I’ll be even more excited when we do some blocking, actually play the scenes out, and can start to visualize the work.

As a horror movie fan, I have to say this is a good script. It has intelligent ideas, new concepts, and deals with deep moral issues. There are definitely numerous levels of thought in this script, and its my hope it would appeal to the horror fans as well as those who are looking for some meat to the story. This is much more The Ring than it is Friday the 13th.

Craig and I also talked a bit more about Coming and Going, another project that we are working on with Laura, Kim, Peter and Wayne. There is a very strong base to our idea, and we have had two very productive brainstorming sessions. The ideas are there and the characters, now we just need to sketch out our first season. Something tells me we won’t have any trouble coming up with great ideas.    

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Cat in the House

Life Changes with a Cat in the House

Now that I have a cute and cuddly kitten (who, at random times, seems to want to try and cause the living creatures around her as much physical pain as possible), life has become slightly different. Here are a few ways that my life has changed.

  • At any given moment in my life, there is a 37% chance that I am being stalked.

  • My dog now surprises me on occasion by yipping loudly and jumping into the air. This is invariably because my cat has just bitten her on the ass.

  • Apparently, this kitten violates the laws of physics, because she shits out more than she eats.

  • Last night, my kitten curled up with me in bed. She slept in the crook of my arm, snuggled up against my chest. For some reason, she decided to bite my arm. Hard. I thought to myself “Oh well, at least she didn’t bite my nipple”. Then she bit my nipple. The right one.

  • I am woken up at least 3 times a night because my cat has just attacked my face.

Arche-typical Bullshit

Ok, I have been reading a lot of blogs. I have read some great stuff. I have read funny blogs. Serious blogs detailing a huge event in someone’s lives. I have read innermost thoughts, public cries for help, and scathingly witty examinations of modern day life.

I have also read a lot of shit. Piles of it. Shit that sucked so badly, it collapsed under its overwhelming strength of its own suck and became a black shithole. Enough suck power to potentially affect nearby blogs, infecting them with irradiated suckshit, and pulling them into its evil orbit. Evil, horrible, shitsuck power of such an insanely high degree, that we as mortal men are incapable of even beginning to understand an iota of the smallest smidgen of their advanced suckshitology. I may have gone a little far at the end there.

I would like, in my own way, to provide you with examples. Note, these are not actual blog entries but are, in fact, my own personal rendition of some archetypical blog styles.

* * * * *

The Airhead’s Blog
(Self-titled: My Princess Diaries, Pink Fluffy Bear, or Pretty in the City)
RATING: SOFW (Self-Obsessed Fucking Whiner)

Ok, like Lyndsey’s mom, right, is a fucking biaaatch, u no? Fuck. Like when I go ovr thr, I don’t want hr like being all “Hey, Danielle, got enuf piercings?” like, fuck you mrs. Layerton. Fuck! Like she nvr sucked some cock during break.

The Obscure Family Blog
(Self-titled: Keeping up with the Joneses, Family Matters or Everything Henderson)
RATING: NOCPUWGOWKTF (No One Could Possibly Understand What’s Going On Without Knowing The Family)

Karen finally admitted that you-know shouldn’t have borrowed those tapes without asking. Rob got another 54, so we’re all pretty happy. Remember the 17th! Sammy and Pete promised to replace the vase, so Pastor says its all in the past now. Aunt Roma died.

The Sports Blog
(Self titled: The Buck Stops Here, Reid: The Sports Section or The Sports Payges)
RATING: NOATBWLTMO (No One At The Bar Will Listen To My Opinions)

Ratig blew his chances for a second season with that boneheaded play. Whatever Thompson was smoking during practice must’ve been pretty strong. Watch out defense, because Richardson is Back. The Man has Returned, his sprain is healed and he is itching to chew up the defense. Ouch! I wouldn’t want to be Oklahoma come Thursday.

The Mommy Blog
(Self titled: The Mommy Files, Bringing up Baby or Buckets o’ Babies)
RATING: MBISTYB (My Baby Is Better Than Your Baby)
Randall Christopher Gandalf made his first poopy today. I couldn’t help myself, it was so cute I put it in a little zip lock baggy and put it in the freezer. When Ted came home I showed him, but he thought the idea was “Weird”. Men! They don’t get the whole thing, the whole idea, of how the baby, even though it is separate from me, it really is me. Or rather, the baby and I together are someone knew. A bigger person, a larger entity. But as Randy-Gan gets older, he becomes more of his own person, and we drift farther apart, until eventually that new unit that was Mommy/Randy-Gan dies, and gives birth to Amanda and her son Randall. And because he can never understand that, I now refuse to give my husband blowjobs.

* * * * *

Now, having visited these sites, I started to see their successors – earlier generations of the same archetype that, like an older version of our sun, shows us what the original may evolve into. In a way, I could traverse an entire lifetime of one person by reading archetypical blogs of a similar nature, telling the life story of an archetype.

Visiting in with the archetypes later in life, we find…

* * * * *

The Advanced Airhead’s Blog
(Self titled: I’m Gonna Make It!, Sandra Strikes Out! or Alone in the City)
RATING: AHLSAGAJ (Air Head Leaves School And Gets A Job)

I m so fuckin sick of Mr. Whilps. I me like, fuck off alrdy, I know you wanna fuck me, so y r u prtndign like i cant opr8 the registr? the fucking keys are sticky, right? Lke his fuckin dick when he’s jackin off to my picshur in the employee handbk. fuckin pervo

The Advanced Obscure Family Blog
(Self-titled: Keeping up with the Joneses, Family Matters or Everything Henderson)
RATING: DFSB (Different Families, Same Bullshit

Sammy and Pete won’t talk anymore now that Lucy went to live with her momma. Rob won’t be home at Christmas because he punched a guard during Yard Time. Karen is dating again, so we’re all looking forward to meeting Walter at the next cookout. Speaking of which, Dad says if you want more potato salad, bring some yourself the next time. Dad always was zany! He makes us laugh so much when he pretends to be an old Jewish man buying Kleenex (Whaddaya mean I can’t use a sheet twice!) ROTLFMAO!

The Advanced Sports Blog
(Self-titled: Buck Yourself, Reid Rage or Payges Rayges)
RATING: WWOASASOHNBAMPD (What Was Once A Slightly Amusing Sports Obsession Has Now Become A Major Personality Disorder)

What the FUCK is Sorredson THINKING? CHRIST! I’ve been calling FUCKING better plays since I was FIVE FUCKING YEARS OLD! What the FUCK! I keep sending FUCKING letters to the FUCKING NF-FUCKING-L with BRILLIANT fucking plays, and the STUPID fucking CUNTS don’t have the fucking courtesy to even send me a FUCKING rejection letter. FUUUCKK! Don’t FUCKING ignore me, NFL, don’t FUCKING IGNORE ME!!!!!

The Advanced Mommy Blog
(Self-titled: Just Mom, Toddler Tales or The Messy Years)
RATING: IHSRTMKSDS (I’ve Have Suddenly Realized That My Kid’s Shit Does Stink)

Randy-Gan cried for like six hours after I put him to bed last night. Pardon my French, but fuck kid, how can you not be tired after six hours at the zoo! He’s like his dad I guess. Toilet training is so gross. I threw out that disgusting bag of shit from the freezer. What the hell was I thinking? Hey, lets put some poo where the food is kept? I don’t know. God he’s still crying, I have to cut this short. Wish his fucking grandmother would baby-sit as much as she promised she would.

* * * * *

And, of course, eventually I would come across the endpoints of archetypal blog evolution.

* * * * *

The Evolved Airhead’s Blog
(Self-titled: Rainbow Connection, Bunny Boiler or BitterCity News)
RATING: MGLAGANIRIHNP (My Good Looks Are Gone And Now I Realize I Have No Personality)

Ted from O’Malleys said he’d call me after, but he nvr did. He said I culd trst him, because he was a good guy. Shit box. Fucking steve still has sthat shitbox car on mfy fucking lawn, the douche bag. He won’t help me like has to, and Raven needs a pair of black fucking sneakers because Mom, Goths don’t wear fucking yelow sneakers. Fuck.

The Evolved Obscure Family Blog
(Self-titled: Uppdyke Report, Monthly Minutes or The Peterman Files)
RATING: HTFWTTTOHA (Half The Family Won’t Talk To The Other Half Anymore)

Pastor said anyone can come to his church if he wants, but you can paint me yellow and call me a banana if I’m going to worship anywhere that takes Sam. His wife still says grandma never had a pearl necklace, but we all know there was a pearl necklace, that grandma used to wear on Thanksgiving and her birthday. Did it suddenly disappear? I guess that’s a question only Betty can answer. Pete still won’t come back from the army, even though they say he has 3 weeks of furlough saved up (that’s like army vacation time). Walter gets out on parole next week, so keep an eye out to make sure he’s not going to start stalking Karen again.

The Evolved Sports Blog
(Self-titled: Get it RIGHT Assholes, What do I Hafta Do, BEAT a good play into your head or Number One with a Bullet)
RATING: WASFTSK (Weird Assed Sports Freak Turned Serial Killer)

My name is Lisa. Randy went to a game and, he brought a gun, and now he’s in prison. They won’t let him use the Internet any more because they said he used it as an “instrument of terror”. So I guess his blog is closed now. I don’t know how to delete this, so just stop coming here, please.

The Evolved Mommy Blog
(Self-titled: Koo-Koo Kechoo Mrs. Raddison, MILF-tastic Mom or
RATING: LIAMTB (Life Is About More Than Babies)

I started horseback riding again today. I don’t know why I let it go so long, my thighs are killing me. Oh well, I’ll get my “saddle-seat” back again soon. I guess I just let Randy-Gan (Sorry son … I meant to say “Randy”) take up so much of my time I didn’t have any me time. This is better though, because I’m back out there with Stella (who’s older now and retired, so I mostly ride Lightning. But me and Stella still go around for a nice trail ride now and then). Sometimes, though, I just wish that Mommy/Randy-Gan was still with us.

* * * * *

Now, of course, I have omitted another classification of Blog Archetype, which I shall chronicle here.

* * * * *

The Thinks He’s Clever Blog
(Self-titled: Montegue EnCapulated, Lowell’s Observatory or Worst.Blog.Ever)
RATING: SDGWTHSAW (Self-Deprecating Guy Who Thinks He’s Smart And Witty)

I've never really thought of myself as the kind of person to keep a blog. Dunno why really, it just didn't seem interesting. Then I read a friend's blog (The Mommy Blog), and I admit, i got the bug. So, I will try it out, and see where things go. Having no real experience as a blogger (I don't even know if we're actually called bloggers), I'm not sure exactly what to write. But I hope I can keep you entertained, or at least make you smile. Hey, you never know, you might even, from time to time, come away with a new point of view. Enjoy, my friends.

The Advanced Thinks He’s Clever Blog
(Self-titled: This Mortal Coil, Entropy Contained or The Article Accelerator)
RATING: ABNOCANGMETAV (Annoyed Because No One Comments And Now Getting Mega Extreme To Attract Visitors)

Every time I pick up a newspaper I am shown once again that our government is completely and utterly owned by corporations. The government isn’t even a government anymore, it’s a fucking Board of Directors, and if the Shareholders (i.e. the rich bankers and insurance company presidents and those fuckers who own the 407 toll expressway) don’t like what’s going on then they fire the CEO (only well call him the Prime Minister and Americans call him Mr. President) and replace him with the VP of Finance. Even after he gets fired, the fucking CEO gets an insanely generous severance package and a Shah’s ransom every years in something laughingly called a “Pension” (which, by the way, if you actually fucking work for your entire life, like say in a fucking factory risking fucking lung cancer, your pension fund will disappear before you can retire because the fucking VP in Charge of Dispersements loaned all your fucking Pension fund to shell companies created by his buddies, which all went fucking bankrupt and your fucking Pension fund disappeared so that’s just fuck you, Mr. Poorman).

The Evolved Thinks He’s Clever Blog
(Self titled: A Time for Action, I – the People or Jamie’s Got a Gun)
RATING: OYASCTKACYSPSRYPIYB (Once You Actually Start Conspiring To Kill A Celebrity, You Should Probably Stop Recording Your Plans In Your Blog)

Reuters (Toronto): A local Etobicoke man was today taken into custody in the attempted assassination of television celebrity Mike Bullard. A Mr. Greg Sanders (or, as he referred to himself, Raven Archer), an avid “blogger” (an Internet slang term meaning “web log” or online diary), apparently kept a long and detailed public account of his plans to murder the avuncular television icon. He has been held without bail.

* * * * *

I’m Paddy Tanninger the Caddy Manager.

Yeah, I know, it rhymes.

So what, ya wanna fight about it?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Unexpected Visitor (or "The Nutty Transgressor")

There is nothing larger in the world than a visible testicle in polite company.

A few years ago, I was visiting a friend named John. Another friend of mine, Tom, was there. It was a hot day, and Tom was dressed in a t-shirt and a pair of cut off shorts. Shorts that would prove, in the long run, to be disastrously incapable of doing their job.

During the visit, John's parent's stopped by. John's dad works in the insurance industry (although I try not to hold that against him), and he and his wife are regular churchgoers. In fact, John Sr. is a deacon in his church. He's the type of man who wouldn't say feces if his oral estuary had been used as a port-a-potty by a herd of incontinent roadies. His wife is much the same, only stupid.

To complete their triumvirate, Mom and Dad had brought along Oma (which is a short Dutch word meaning grandmother, used by Dutch people and Canadians who are too lazy to say the word "grandmother"). Oma was a very, very nice lady, who also shared her son's aversion to articulating slang terms for excrement. Unlike her son and his wife, she was also very nice.

So, I sat on the couch with Mom and Dad, while John sat on the loveseat with Oma. (The last five words in that sentence, by the way, would be an excellent title for a good Dutch porno). Tom sat on a chair, facing us all. We sat, we chatted, and we had a wonderfully nice and polite conversation.

After a while, I turned my head, and noticed that Tom's left testicle had managed, like a clever convict, sick of being held in his dark and dank cell, to break free from its restraints. It was now airing itself happily, resting against his thigh, and free for all to see.

Naturally, my first impulse was to say something along the lines of "Hey, Nutty McLeg-meat, how about shoving the meatball back into the pot?" - or words to that effect. But then I thought about John's Dad, Mom, and Oma. If I spoke thus, I would certainly bring the errant, free range testicle to their attention.

So I was paralyzed by indecision. Nothing in my previous existence had prepared me for this eventuality. Oh, sure, I knew exactly what to do if I accidentally spilled sodium nitrate* (thank you, 12th Grade Chemistry!), but I did not know how to handle an exposed testicle. Surely, at some point in my life, someone should have taken me aside and prepared me for this possibility. But, alack and alas, society, school and church had failed me.

I checked out the faces of those around me. Was I the only one who knew about the de-trousered crotch nugget, or had the others seen the meat? One by one I carefully scanned each face, but failed to spot any signs of distress or shock. Seems I was the only one in the know.

Or was I? Suddenly it occurred to me: how could Tom's leg egg possibly be hanging out without his knowledge? Surely he would have to notice! The pressure of it squeezing between his leg and his shorts must be noticeable! If not that, then surely the feeling of the air conditioning blowing freely over his left sperm factory must be a dead giveaway.

You have to understand; I am not claiming that Tom would deliberately display his family jewel for all to see. However, if you knew Tom, you would know that this was not entirely out of the question. He was just that kind of guy. The kind of guy who would go to take a shit, leave the bathroom door open, and talk to you, while he ate a peanut butter sandwich. He was that kind of guy. The kind of guy who must might pop a gopher for his own amusement.

I sat there for about twenty minutes, making polite conversation with Mom, Dad, and Oma, while Tom's wrinkly pink change purse was in view. After the first glance, I did not look at it again. In fact, I did everything humanly possible to avoid it. But I was aware of it peripherally. It was in my field of view, and no matter where I looked, it was there, in the corner of my eye, pulsating evilly like one of the eggs from Alien.

At this time, there was nothing in the room that could distract me from that chunk o' butter. If you doubt me, try it sometime. Have someone pop out a testicle in polite company and see if you can ignore it. I'd be interested to hear the results of that experiment.

Eventually, it came time for the visitors to leave. Tom, like the rest of us, stood up to say goodbye, and the fuck puck slid back into its home. After the folks left, I couldn't even bring myself to mention the incident. To this day, I do not know whether Tom was aware of his indiscretion or not. I really wasn't sure how to ask.

All I know for sure is this: no man ever wants to be involved in a conversation with another man when the topic of that conversation is his testicles.

* What to do if you spill Sodium Nitrate: Remove all sources of ignition. Ventilate area of leak or spill. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment. Clean up spills in a manner that does not disperse dust into the air. Use non-sparking tools and equipment. Reduce airborne dust and prevent scattering by moistening with water. Pick up spill for recovery or disposal and place in a closed container. Small amounts of residue may be flushed to sewer with plenty of water

Saturday, October 15, 2005

A New Age for the Incompetent

Incompetence is no longer the horrible, debilitating condition it once was. No sir. Thanks to modern day attitudes and open-minded policies, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever that an incompetent person cannot be given a position of authority. Incompetent people are now free to be placed in positions where lives depend on their performance. Thousands. Tens of thousands. Heck, millions.

Lets take, just for example, Michael Brown. Michael was the Head of FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) in the US. Now FEMA is a great organization, and it's job is to make sure that, should an emergency occur, people are taken care of. In the case of some kind of disaster - say, a hurricane - thousands of lives could conceivably be at risk.

Now, President George W. Bush, being himself an incompetent, is a pioneer in the fight for Incompetent Rights. He realized that, if an incompetent individual such as himself could rise to the position of President of the USA (and be in charge of things like nuclear bombs), then there was absolutely no reason why any other incompetent could not rise to other positions of authority.

So, President Bush found himself owing a favour to Mr. Brown. Exactly why he owed him a favour, we won't go into, but rest assured it was for those kinds of things that rich people do for other rich people to make sure they get what they want. Once a rich person helps another rich person get what they want, that rich person then uses their acquisition to help other rich people get what they want.

Its called democracy.

So, back to the favour. Mr. Brown was owed one, and Mr. Bush is hardly one to shirk his responsibilities. Unless those responsibilities are to poor people, who, to be fair, are unable to help rich people achieve their goals, and therefore are relatively worthless.

Unless there is a war somewhere.

President Bush, being a nice guy, wanted to repay Mr. Brown, and do a favour for him. So he decided to give him a cushy job. He took a look at the government, which has more cushy jobs than the walls of a monkey house have stains from flung feces. However, Mr. Brown wasn't really qualified for any of these cushy jobs.

But then, President Bush had an epiphany (I apologize for using words that will likely require President Bush to ask for help in understanding). If Mr. Brown was incompetent, he could still help out. All Mr. Brown would have to do is tell a little fib. Just a teensy one. All he would have to do is say that he had worked with emergency management services in the past. After all, that is only a teeny, tiny lie. After all, he did the filing for the man who did work with emergency services.

Think about it this way: pretend you once worked in a hospital, and your job was to load the vending machine with tasty treats, such as potato chips, chocolate bars, and gum (because a hospital would never, ever condone the sale of unhealthy foods!). Under President Bush's new Equality for Incompetents program, this would give you the experience you required to later become the National Director for Meals on Wheels.


One teeny lie, and Mr. Brown was in place as the director of FEMA. What harm could he cause? There really wasn't much of a chance of any kind of real disaster taking place. Unless you paid any attention to psychotic doomsday prophets, such as scientists. Or the people in the CIA and FBI, or the Department Of Homeland Security, who persist in the paranoid belief that some zany terrorists are still planning on blowing American things up.

President Bush can hardly be blamed when it turned out that a real natural disaster came along - namely, Hurricane Katrina. Who could have seen that coming? Apart from scientists, that is. No one really listens to scientists, because they are always prattling on about odd and boring topics like global warming. Pish and posh.

Besides, these scientists that were warning us about the hurricane weren't the cool scientists that figure out bigger and better way to kill people. Go science!

So the hurricane was coming. Now, before you get upset at Mr. Brown for doing nothing, remember, he was incompetent. Therefore, no one can really expect an incompetent person to do a competent job. To do so would be ... well, silly. So Mr. Brown was eventually removed from the Katrina situation. Eventually being measured in a small number of days and a large number of lives.

Lesson learned.


Apparently not. Now, President Bush needs a new Supreme Court Justice. Now, a Supreme Court Judge sits on the highest legal organization in the United States. Not only do they decide what is legal - thorny issues like abortion, the death penalty, etc. - but they also decide things like Constitutional Amendments.

For the non-Americans, the American Constitution is a piece of paper that says that people cannot do bad things. Now, it so happens that sometimes very rich people want to do bad things, but the Constitution won't let them. So they get their rich friends in positions of power to re-write the Constitution to allow them to do those bad things. The Supreme Court members are the ones who do that.

Of course, sometimes the Constitution is amended for good reasons, such as Emancipation and the Woman's Right to Vote. Sometimes.

As I said earlier, there is a seat open on the Supreme Court. In the past, these Supreme Court Judges have been selected from a list of judges - you know, people who have experience judging. Seems that the general consensus is that these people, having spent their entire lives studying the law, are best suited for the job of Supreme Court Justice. Now, sure, most people who study the law are there to figure out ways to allow rich people to do unpleasant things to poor people, but hey, c'est la vie, right?

President Bush, never a slave to convention, said, "Why does a Supreme Court Justice have to have any experience as a judge?" In fact, why should a Supreme Court Justice require any qualifications whatsoever? So, he recommended his friend Harriet Miers for the job. Apparently, she does not need to be a judge, or have any past job experiences that would indicate she could handle the job.

Because she is a Christian.

And Christians never do anything wrong. Some reactionaries like to point at events like the Crusades, but Christians can't really be blamed for that. After all, the Crusades were probably started by lawyers who worked for the Christians, and declared the Holy Wars without asking anyone's permission. Yet another reason why lawyers are over rated.

Ms. Miers really doesn't seem to have any experience that would indicate an understanding of constitutional issues. However, according to one senator, she is a truly gifted bowler.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Dieting Sucks Hairy Ass

So, today I start my diet. Hooray. I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting last night. The meeting was more or less what I expected. I arrived early, and had my weigh in. The weigh in was, shall I say, a surprise? I expected to weigh in at about 260 pounds. An embarrassing weight to be sure, but hell, thats why I'm going to Weight Watchers. As it turns out, I did not weigh 260 pounds. I weigh 281.6 pounds. Fuck me sideways.

This is an embarrassing weight, to say the least. I could try to blame outside forces. Like Satan. After all, he's the one that tempts me. I could blame my work - I have a desk job, which is very sedentary. I could blame fate - I have sleep apnea, which has left me physically drained and exhausted for the last year, and unable to exercise.

But when it comes down to the wire (or in this case, the donut), I am responsible. I am the one who likes to eat pizza and chicken wings, and finds excuses for not going for walks with my dog. These excuses include, but are not limited too:

It's raining
I'm tired
George W. Bush is up to something
It's too dark
If I go for a walk now, I won't be here when the pizza guy arrives

So, its time to stop making excuses. I've joined Weight Watchers, and I've spent the money. I'm committed to the weekly meetings. For me, the main advantage of the meetings is that I have a need to succeed. I won't say I need to be the best, but I need to feel that my efforts are good efforts. Ok, so I can tend to be competative, but the person I am always striving to beat is myself (please, no masturbatory jokes).

When I arrived at the meeting on Wednesday evening, the lady at the front desk was very nice. She informed me that most of the men come on Monday night ... just in case I might feel more comfortable coming with the rest of the men (no jokes about coming with men). I told her that I have never made it a habit of doing things just because other men were doing them.

If I did, I would have joined the hockey team as a teen, despite their habit of shaving the genitalia of new recruits (seriously, who does this? Why would you want to shave another man's privates?). Secretely, I'd rather sit in a room full of women anyway. Because I like women better than men. They rarely shave one another's genitals and apply Abosorbine Junior.

So, the diet is on. Tonight is my first test, because we usually go out for dinner after our improv class. We'll see how my resolve holds.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Surly Asian Man

There’s a Vietnamese/Thai restaurant in Hamilton called Ben Pho Than. It’s pretty much one of my favourite restaurants in the city (it’s a tie with Helen’s Kitchen). They have a wonderful menu, but I admit that I am addicted to their pad thai. I eat there at least once a week, and sometimes 2-3 times a week.

There is a waiter there who is, hands down, the worst and rudest waiter I have ever encountered. The very first time I ate there, he served me. When he brought me my meal, he dropped my plate onto the table from a height of 3 inches. 3 inches might not sound like a lot, but it is when you are dropping a plate. It hit the table, bounced, rattled, and spilled some of my food off onto the tabletop.

I was shocked. Literally. I couldn’t say a thing, and just froze as he walked away. Normally, my first response would have been anger. What he did was deliberately ignorant, and it should have pissed me off. However, I was so surprised that the anger did not have a chance to surge forward yet. This bought me a few seconds during which I could think.

I realized, as I sat their in my stupor, that I had a choice here. I could be pissed off, and never come back, or I could choose to be amused, and have a laugh. I decided to be amused. From there on in, I have just laughed off his rude behaviour, and have gotten a kick out of his surly attitude. I also realized that, if I returned his anger in kind, then I would just be giving him what he wanted.

From that day forward, he became known as Surly Asian Man (from the song “Secret Agent Man”). I am as polite to Surly as I can be, and get a good laugh out of his hi-jinks. I’m glad, because if I had stormed out, I would have allowed him to drive me out of one of my favourite places. And I am sure that would have made him happy.

He’s still Surly. When he removes plates from my table, he snatches them away quickly. He literally sneers at me. If he wants something off my table (say, the napkin dispenser so he can refill it), he just walks up, reaches across my plate, and takes it.

Because no one at the restaurant speaks English very well, I haven’t been able to ask anyone why he is so mean. So I have invented a back story for him. In my story, Surly was a rich and prosperous businessman back in Viet Nam. He was an intelligent and shrewd person, who realized that if he were ever to really get ahead, he would have to move to Canada.

His friends and family warned him of the difficulties of emigration. “Surly,” they would say, “Canada is a foreign land, with foreign ways. You will encounter many difficulties, such as racism, the new culture, and you will have to learn a new language!”

Surely scoffed at their warnings. After all, he was an intelligent man! How hard could it be for him to learn a new language? He soon found out. Upon moving to Canada, he opened up a restaurant. He enrolled in an ESL course, and found, to his chagrin, that he just could not master the language. Oh sure, he could learn individual words, but the grammatical structure was so alien he found it difficult to get by.

For the first time in his life, people were laughing at him. When he tried to communicate, what he said sounded ridiculous to people. Some were patient, but he could see in their eyes that he sounded strange. Others would laugh outright at him. Some of the white customers would laugh and call him names. Even with his imperfect English, he could recognize the insults.

Soon, he grew angry inside. Unable to reconcile  his pride and his failure, he declared that he did not want to learn English. It was an ugly language, and he didn’t need to learn it. From that day forward, he harboured a deep and abiding anger towards English speaking people.

Of course, my story is total bullshit. Maybe he’s just an asshole who gets his kicks out of being rude to people who speak English. But it’s possible – even if only just – that my story is true, or at least close to the truth. It’s enough to keep me from returning his hate. Besides, its way more fun to watch him annoy another table than it would be for me to let anger take over. It’s like dinner theatre.