The Nitty Gritty

But more than all of those I am an entertainer. I carry around a ukulele with me for the same reason a gangster carries a gun; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stage or sidewalk, Your Pal Pete shows are just where they happen.
Currently, I'm working on a musical, RagnaPOP(or she's got the bomb), set to premiere at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I'm also working on music, comedy, and musical comedy; for kids and/or adults.
The fruit of these projects will be available on this site, so check back regularly!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fun Facts about Pirates!

Pirates are not just the subject of shitty movies. They are known as bloodthirsty amoral scoundrels, and they've certainly done a lot to warrant that opinion, but did you know:

1.They pioneered workman's compensation.
Pirates operated under a general code that varied from Captain to Captain, but most allowed for monetary compensation for lost limbs and some guaranteed continued employment after some injuries. This was the agreement for the pirate Henry Morgan(inspiration for Captain Morgan Rum): "Thus they order for the loss of a right arm six hundred pieces of eight, or six slaves ; for the loss of a left arm five hundred pieces of eight, or five slaves ; for a right leg five hundred pieces of eight, or five slaves ; for the left leg four hundred pieces of eight, or four slaves ; for an eye one hundred pieces of eight, or one slave ; for a finger of the hand the same reward as for the eye."
2.There were a few famous female pirates.
Anne Bonny dressed as a man to serve on her lover's ("Calico Jack" Rackham) ship The Revenge since the pirate rules forbid women on the ship. Mary Reade also hid her sex and served on the Revenge. The women had a reputation as such fierce fighters that it didn't make a difference when their sex was finally found out.
When Pirate hunters captured the Revenge, Anne and Mary were the only members of the crew to fight back, since most of the others were drunk on rum at the time. While the rest of the crew was sentenced to hang, Anne and Mary got a pass since both were pregnant at the time of sentencing.
3. Blackbeard knew how to work it.
He was one of the most feared pirates of all time. He stuck lit fuses in his beard to make himself look like a demon. Rumor had it that he would kill a crew member now and again because, "if he didn’t shoot one or two [crewmen] now and then, they’d forget who he was." still and all, there are no verified conformations that he killed any one.
4. Kids love pirates.
At the toy store every Halloween that I worked there, kids wanted to be pirates. Kids just dig 'em. After 9/11 parent said, "I bet kids want to be fireman and policeman", to which I would say, "Their parents do, they wanna be pirates." When a Star Wars or Spiderman movie came out there would be a shift towards those, but more kids wanted to still be pirates.
5. September 19th is "National Talk Like A Pirate Day".
You could freely say "Argh!" with out the fear of retribution.
6. Pirates still exist.
Check this out.

Friday, May 25, 2007

In A Capitalist Society, You Vote With A Dollar.

I will never buy Doc Martens, I was given a pair several years ago that did me very well, but I will not buy any myself. It isn't just because I don't spend a hundred bucks on shoes, it's driven by my disgust by their new ad campaign featuring dead rock and roll icons like Kurt Cobain and Joe Strummer wearing them in Heaven(I'll say I'm not linking to the story because I don't want to encourage it, but it's really because I'm lazy).
I beat this point over the head time and time again: if you don't have to face real consequences for your actions, you don't have any reason to believe you've done anything wrong and you can't learn from your mistakes if you don't think you've made any. When so much corporate type activity is focused on the bottom line (read:money-type profits) and they do things that are objectionable, but people still lay out the long green, why should they do anything differently?
It's difficult to follow the corporate practices of every company you may patronize, nay it's impossible. So the ads can play a valuable role, but this is where it's difficult because if it was just about having good ads, I would drink nothing but Tanqueray Gin, since those ads are awesome featuring the least convincing heterosexual character since Chris Tucker's character Ruby Rhod in "The Fifth Element", Tony Sinclair.

But unfortunately, most of the embarrassing drunken moments I have had in the past ten years have had gin as an accomplice. By the way if the ads are to be believed, "Do you have a little captain in you" is shorthand for,"Are you an asshole?"

Doesn't this guy know that some of the best sex is post wedding sex?
I am too dependent on my natural manly musk to slather on any deodorant, but if I did I'd use Old Spice because they have been responsible for the best commercial this year, featuring the always godlike Bruce Campbell.

Ahoy, indeed! Just because I ask the questions doesn't mean I can answer them.
Hail to the king, Baby!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Childrearing Tips From A Childless Bachelor

You should realize that I am directing this toward people that don't already have them. The fact that I'm a childless bachelor will make most people with kids instantly stop reading regardless of the quality of my advice. If they stuck around they might say, "That's easy for you to say with your disposable income and lazy sleep-filled mornings!" (and trust me, that exactly what they would say).

But the fact is, I spent 7 years at the toy store pointing an objective eye towards parent and child interactions under the tutelage for one of the greatest non-professional child development experts in the country, my boss Steven.

Before I started working there, I wasn't sure if I wanted to have kids, in fact it's driven a couple of my co-workers to contemplate surgical sterilization. But now, I'm looking forward to the day when I have my own litter of human puppies. I used to say I can't wait to have kids, but, oh, I can wait!

I've been having a bit of a writer's and blog topic blog lately, but then me friend Lonnie posted on his blog that he wants to have kids. I'm happy for him and I know that he and his wife will make great parents, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. You'll never be REALLY ready for them.
When my friend Pat and his wife where trying to have their first child, he kept saying, "Well, after the baby, that might be different." I had been working at the toy store only about a year and a half, but I knew then that there is no "that might" when you have kids, there is only "everything will". Becoming a parent is the biggest life-changing event you will probably ever have. Not even knowing friends or relatives that have kids can prepare you for what is is going to do happen with your life. Not that that's a bad thing, in fact you will never hear a parent say that having their children was a bad thing. Maybe the circumstances (or the other parent) could have been better, but the child, his or herself, is always a gift.
Children represent the biggest break from what I refer as the "circle of selfishness" that occurs when we are born as needy and selfish babies and we learn(hopefully) to give these habits up by the time we become parents. There is now a person that depends on you for everything they'll need and will until they decide they don't need you. Which doesn't mean they'll be right.

2. Make sure you're having YOUR kids.
I remember my Mom pressuring me for grand kids before my brother took the bullet for me(and how!).I had to break it down for her," Mom, I've gotta have a DATE first!" I could tell at the store that so many people had kids from succumbing to those kinds of pressure or just because they thought they were "suppose" to. You should ignore these naggings unless these people are willing to raise your kids for you. A lot of women I know are worried about having kids before they turn 35 because of the risks that are involved, but we're living in a world where 60 year old women are having kids. Not that I'm saying that's a good idea.

3. Consistency is key.
This rule is as important for raising kids as it is for training dogs. As my boss used to say,"The parent's job is to set the limits and the kid's job is to test them." I used to see a lot of moms and dads acquiesce to things that they had previously forbidden in the same toy store visit. I feel for the parents, they want to make their kids happy (and quit nagging), but this kind of thing will only get harder when they're too big to put in "time out".

4. They will learn as much from what you do than from what you say (if not more).
You may have heard about the teaching of sign language to babies as a way to facilitate early communication. This makes a lot of sense considering how we as humans of any age rely on body language (I wrote a post about it in fact here). This is why kids pick up on their parents bullshitting them (and them being able to bullshit mom and dad) much earlier than the parents EVER recognize.
The best example I can think of was a scenario that happened many times at the toy store:I rang up a parent and child, taking the child first as they were learning the capitalistic ballet. The parent would suggest steps, “Say please, say please! Give him your money. Say thank you, look him in the eye and say thank you! Use your words!” Then when it’s the parents turn to interact with me, they give their items and grunt,”Wrap”. The lesson learned? Say please and thank you, but not to people like him. I wouldn't be surprised if the parent hadn't learn the lesson the same way.

This is something a lot of parents don't understand when they won't let them play with certain toys(most commonly guns and such) because of a ideological objection. This is certainly a parent's right to do this if they want, but it may be many years before they truly understand why you're doing it, until then all they'll remember is you said "no".

5. You're not going to raise a little version of you.
I can't tell you how many times a kid will be excited about something (Elmo, princesses, whatever) and a parent will say to me, "I don't why he/she is so fixated on that, I've never exposed he/she to that." Do you lock he/she up in their room all day with an endless loop of "Free To Be You and Me"? No? Then they're little sponges soaking up everything around them, forming their own personalities almsot as soon as they sit up.

6. They will get hurt, physically and emotionally.
A lot of parents at the toy store would go to, in my opinion, ridiculous length to avoid any sort of emotional or physical pain without realizing to long term effects this has. It's a bit like the anti-bacterial everything that I couldn't avoid not buying a little while ago. Over protective parents used these not realizing that they weren't letting the body doing it's job of dealing with bacteria naturally and making their kids more resistant to the anti-biotics they truly need when they really get sick. (tip- use regular soap and water and Purell- it uses an inactive ingredient, alcohol, to work).
Sometimes the most important lessons we learn through pain(at all ages). Some of the most reckless kids I've known have been the ones who play on padded playgrounds. As much as it sucked for me to go through the teasing and general childhood bullshit, I recognize the character building aspect of it now. Do you want your 15 year old going to you to call the parents of the mean girl that won't go out with him?

I hope this helps.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Most Annoying Customer That Wasn't Mine

For some reason I feel compelled to post something today, But I've been gripped with a bit of writer's block, so here is another excerpt from the book I've been working on:"Surviving Retail".

I used the first half of my lunch hour one early January at the mall when I worked at the gadget store in the to-remain-nameless gigantic book seller and grabbed a couple of magazines. The line was long with post holiday shoppers taking advantage of sales. The store was on top of things and being as efficient as they could possibly be but the line was quite formitable.

Perhaps it was my easy-going way or sympathy for fellow retail soldiers, but I didn't have a problem waiting in line, unfortunately the family behind me didn't have the same amount of patience.

The mother was stoic but the husband had some observations he made about our queue.

In the most unbelievably annoying whine I've ever heard in a adult male, proclaimed,"I don' t know why they even bother selling exercise books here, you could go to a gym and get all big and strong before you'd get through this line."

His 14 year old son started moaning a long, oscillating, "ooohhhhhh" as he shuffled in a small circle, slump- shouldered looking and sounding like a broken down motorboat. His circleing was becoming uncomfortably close to my right arm. I was praying under my breath, stay away from me, please God, don't let him touch me.

The Dad wasn't done. In the same whine he continued, "I don't know why they even bother having travel books here, you could fly to Paris and back and still not be through this line."

I felt my brain swelling, I rubbed my temples for relief and patiently waited my turn. I paid in exact change and was off to the rest of my lunch hour. The last thing I saw as I walked out was the family behind me still in line as my cashier said to them, loud and clear, "Could I get the next customer, please? Sir, I can get you here. Sir, are you ready? Sir?"

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Time Jagermeister Saved My Life(or at least my face)

A long time ago, my friend, roommate and band mate, Joe started a relationship with someone he worked with, a woman named Valerie. Val was a bit different than most of the other semi-hipster women Joe had dated, not only did she have have Tasmanian Devil mud-flaps and fringed boots, but also a husband and two kids. Her and her husband were going through a fairly contentious divorce and it had made it's way to him that Val was dating someone, but he didn't know who it was.

One of the first things I did with the new couple was go with my then-girlfriend out to a bar near where we lived in Montgomery County, Maryland. Just our luck, out of all the sud parlors in all of MoCo we happened to pick the one where Val's soon to be ex was drinking with his friends. We took a table on the other side of the bar from where he was sitting and hung out with no problems.

Until Val ordered the Jager shots.

It really is one of those thing you should really only have one of a night, but she ordered two. I demurred at first, but then Val impugned my manhood. That usually doesn't work for me, but the first shot made me predictably susceptible to peer pressure. I downed the second shot and the liqueur started fighting with the beer and soft tacos in my stomach like it was the Gaza Strip.

Before we left, Val said she had to go to the bathroom, which would take her past her husband, who at that point had no idea we were there. Before we could stop her, she was gone.

Sure enough, he had seen her, and us. As we left, my girlfriend drove Joe's car, she was sober at that point. Joe got in the front with her and I got into the back seat with Val, making it look like I was the new boyfriend. I couldn't rub enough brain cells together to figure that out, though; I left the bar holding my stomach like I would actually be able to stop the inevitable.

I made it to the parking lot, then I let loose with a green tinged torrent of nastiness that my stomach tried to keep down. Getting my bearings, I noticed a pair of feet on the shore of my toxic lake. I apologized, thinking that this was some dude just getting to the bar and that I might have gotten some on him. It was Val's ex coming to kick my ass with a friend he was drinking with. I was in too much of a nauseous daze to realize what was going on, I heard later that the ex shouted to Val,"You've got enough problems tonight!" and backed off.

The next morning in my sobriety I turned to my girlfriend and asked,"I got real close to getting my ass kicked last night, didn't I?"
She answered," Uh, Yea you did!"

Hey! I'm 37!

As it sometimes happens, I can't sleep on my birthday. Something in my body makes me stay awake for as much of it as possible. It's not a gigantic deal, but I wanted to acknowledge it in some way.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I was on Scrubs(in a dream)

I occasionally have dreams where I'm acting in movies that are basically improvised on my end, but there are no cameras. One of the first ones I had like this was when I played a old friend to a rich rock star that came to visit him at his swanky new digs and when I got to met a female friend played by Clea Duvall.

And I thought to myself, "Yea! Clea Duvall is playing my love interest!" I woke up before that came to be, though
Any woo, I had one the other night where I was a new doctor on "Scrubs". I was trying to bond with J.D. (Zach Braff's character) because we had so much in common: riding scooters,telling dumb jokes, loving songs from the 80's(not me, mind you,the character I was playing).
J.D. however was suspicious of me because I seemed to be better at being him than he was; the janitor liked me and people actually laughed at my dumb jokes.
There's a "oh" moment on almost every episode of Scrubs where it's shown that things are not as they appear and I suppose my character would have one of those as well, but I woke up.
It was a lot better than getting chased by zombies, though.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Awesome things(in my opinion)

This picture of Prince from back in the day(before I had pubic hair, that far back)

This is a link to an awesome performance of Ted Leo solo. If you don't know, Ted is one of my all time favorite songwriters. I put this link because he does a great save when his guitar goes out that just cements his awesomeness.
Ted fuckin' Leo!
This is from the upcoming HBO series "Flight of The Conchords" I've loved the Conchords since I saw their HBO special last year. It's a lot like the old Tenacious D series, very informed by their type of humor. If you like this song, you should check out their pilot episode.
http://www.mtv.com/overdrive/?id=1559995&vid=149707
Flight of the Conchords - Prettiest Girl








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Kristen Schaal, who is the sole Flight of the Conchords fan in the pilot, is awesome herself has a series called Penelope, princess of pets it is hilarious!
Penelope!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Well, I liked it at least

I just saw Spiderman 3 and honestly I don't see what the fuss is about. I mean the "oh my god, it sucks" fuss. It wasn't perfect, but neither were the first two. A lot of people equated this one to the last X-Men movie in terms of drop in quality, but that is unfair; The Last Stand sucked more than a platoon of vacuum cleaners. The Spidey trilogy was more like the original Star Wars one; it goes good,better,pretty decent and all are worth watching. The parts that got the most criticism were the parts I liked the most, but I've always been a big fan to inappropriate dance/musical numbers for a straight guy. It made me think a lot about the other things I've liked more than other people. I was going to use a title with the word "underrated" but it didn't seem like a strong enough word for the difference in opinion I've had with most people about these things.

1.The Last "Seinfeld" episode.
It was often referred to as a "show about nothing" but that's not true. It was a show (that I loved, by the way) about selfish, neurotic people and sitcom-type antics that their selfish neuroses create. There was a karmic debt for both characters and viewers to pay for all the humor created from the ruining(and ending)of so many lives during the series run. All the old characters came back to deliver their vengeance on Jerry and company and I loved it.

2. The Matrix sequels.
Like Spidey 3, the main criticism I had with the Matrix sequels was they both could have used quite a bit of editing but also they all made me wonder what kind of movie people were expecting. They seemed like a logical extension to the story the originals started. But trust me, I wish they had cut out the rave scene from Reloaded too.

3. Shudder To Think, Pony Express Record.
I didn't live in D.C. when this came out, so I don't know what the reaction was in the band's hometown, but in Salisbury no one liked this record. Shudder first major label release came out in the midst of a ridiculous amount of record company generated hype that there was no way a record this aggressively arty could deliver on. Some latent homophobia was brought to the forefront with my friend's reactions to Craig Wedren's trilling falsetto singing, but I couldn't stop listening. It was liked the musical equivalent of a Reuben sandwich; ingredients that I normally hate(sauerkraut, rye bread:odd time signatures, willfully obscure lyrics) into something awesome.

4. Law and Order:Criminal Intent (not the Chris Noth ones)
People don't necessarily hate CI, but it is the lowest rated of the L&O series. I know people who are put off by Vincent D'Onofrio twitchy detective Robert Goren, but he is easily my favorite non-animated TV character. Relentless and knowledgeable to a suspicious degree, he is a force of nature in a gray suit and he is hypnotic to watch. The last ten minutes of the show are always the best, with Goren dissecting both the crime and the criminal in his inimitable manner, pulling out emotional confessions with cock-eyed stares and laser-beam insight.
The show has focused on his abnormal family that got possibly exponentially weirder with the revelation on the most recent episode that a serial rapist and killer might be Goren's real father(with a truly amazing performance from Vincent).
All that being said, the last line of dialogue on almost every episode is LAME.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Problem with Conspiracy Theories

"A person is smart, PEOPLE are dumb."-Tommy Lee Jones, Men In Black
The conspiracy theorist best friend is the Internet. Where else can information in all degrees of accuracy disseminate freely through out the world? If one looks hard enough you can find a website finding hidden meaning and shadowy figures lurking behind every historical event in this nation's history. This has especially been true with the events surrounding 9/11, but I'll get to that later.

I once played a game with my good friend Lonnie and some of his friends when his wife asked around the table, "What conspiracy do you believe is true?". When it got to me I said,"None", at least not as they're believed to have happened. I don't have enough faith in humanity, at least not to make a viable conspiracy work.

If you ask anyone, ANYONE, whose ever had to coordinate large groups of people, most would agree that the more people are involved, the more likely things are to get fucked-up. You can call it the "Stacks" factor after Samuel L. Jackson's character in Goodfellas; a carefully laid plan starts to unravel because one guy gets high instead of destroying the getaway van(I know it's a movie, but this really happened). So many theories require the absolute discretion, immorality and, most importantly, competence of everyone involved in it's planning, execution, and fallout. I might know a person like that, but people?

This is what gets me about the "9/11 Truth" movement, we've seen for six years how woefully incompetent the Bush Administration is at planning, execution and fallout; this is the one plan they got RIGHT?

A lot of people are under the impression that the Freemasons are the secret puppetmasters of politicians, but I think those people have never seen Masons leaving a meeting. These are gentlemen who can barely control their bowels, much less the world.

The fuel behind a lot of these theorists is that their elements that don't "seem right" even though they aren't experts on the subject involved; the "controlled demolition" of the World Trade Center springs to mind. To a layman it looked like a one, but to experts it didn't. I'll give a little background material:
These are from Penn and Teller's "Bullshit" there are too many to embed.
This
is a Popular Mechanics article debunking some of the most popular 9/11 "myths"
One of the things that I keep coming back to again and again with these things is how easy it is to think the absolute worst of people you don't know. You know in some sci-fi movies where there is one general whose a little too eager to use nukes on the enemy? For most of these plans to work the entire military-industrial complex has to be populated with people like that. People who have gone along with nefarious plots have had their silence bought or forced(or have they gotten to you too?)This was especially clear to me when I would get into arguments with people over the Kurt Cobain "murder". Courtney Love became like the CIA; the answer that theorists would use that they thought settled their argument.
"If he was murdered, how come none of his family and friends have ever said anything about it?"
"Courtney. She used her power and money." Is that still true?
"If the Pentagon was hit by a missile, what happened to the plane?"
"The CIA took care of it."

This should, by no means, suggest that I believe that the government hasn't done evil things, but those things (like but not limited to:staging coups, drug trafficking, and assassinations)aren't theories, they're a matter of public record. A "Stacks"(or group of them) has brought them into the light with their loose lips or incompetence. Mark Feld got passed for a promotion and became "Deep Throat", bringing down a presidency in the process.

But I did use the qualifier earlier that I don't I don't buy conspiracies "as they're believed". 9/11 was a conspiracy of terrorists who plotted to drive passenger planes into American landmarks. Men who maximised their limited resources to strike fear into the heart of America. This makes much more sense with the evidence in front of us than the other convoluted conspiracies that have been floating about. Have you ever heard of the term, "Ockham's Razor"?
I do believe that the Bush Administration has used the fear of it in a most opportunistic fashion, but that's in plain sight. If there is a governmental cover-up having to do with 9/11 (or JFK, for that matter), I believe they don't want us to know how much they knew before it happened, because they would look incompetent.
Screwing up, then awkwardly covering up? That's a theory I can get behind.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I (unironically) Love The Bee Gees!

I don't love American Idol, though. Tonight is Bee Gees night on Idol, but I won't watch. American Idol has a bunch of people singing in a way I don't care for to add one more(at least) person to the landscape of people making shitty music.
But, as the title illustrates, I love the Bee Gees! As songwriters and performers, they are utter originals.

I was about 7 when "Saturday Night Fever" came out and I jumped on the "Disco Sucks" bandwagon, which they were the face for the movement. Their shameful evisceration of the Beatles songs in the movie "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" guaranteed my hatred of them for years to come.
When I got older some of their older songs crept into my conscience, then into my CD collection. It's telling that they released 2 greatest hits collections before they morphed into the R&B/Disco juggernaut they became, they were the masters of melancholy pop and have two solid discs of proof. Their vocal arrangements and the vocals themselves let them get away with things that would make other bands sound silly and cloying but fit the Brothers Gibb like a freakin' glove. I mean their first hit was called "New York Mining Disaster 1941" fer Christsakes!
Exhibit One:"I Started a Joke"

The hardest part of writing this was picking videos, they have so many great songs from that era:"Massachusetts", "I Got to Get A Message To You","Words", "How Do You Mend A Broken Heart" and of course the often covered(and mangled) "To Love Somebody"

That's not to say that their dance stuff wasn't great as well; in time, I softened up to that along with Disco in general. This transformation began with their "Main Course" album containing the unforgettable "Jive Talkin'" (The rhythm of which was inspired by the sound their car made as it went over a bridge they took on the way to the studio every day)

But the sweet still had the sour. Check out the sorrow weaving it's way through "Nights on Broadway."

They still brought the slow jams, "Too Much Heaven", "How Deep Is Your Love". It's the rare millionaire pop star that can still deliver a love song with true emotion. "Cause we're living in a world of fools/ breaking us down/ when they all should let us be/ we belong to you and me" Genius!

American Idol contestants have sung their songs and will sing their songs again, but I'll stick with the originals.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Zombies, Zombies, Zombies!

Last night(or more accurately, this morning) I had some really fucked up dreams. I had an awesome one the night(morning) before where I was playing Wayne Kramer in a biopic about one of my favorite bands, The MC5! I had the afro wig and pasted on sideburns and I looked JUST like Brother Wayne. The greatest part was that I could do all of my singing and guitar playing(or easily fake what I couldn't). I hated waking up!
This morning was a different story. In the dream I had, I was at some sort of music playing practice type thing. I went to the bathroom and for some reason lifted up my shirt. In my chest I found some face trying to get out. I figured that this was a serious enough malady to leave "practice". The problem was that some of the people I were playing with had become mindless zombies intent on attacking me. I was able to escape(barely) and tried to get help, but all I got were more zombies. I went on the top of a large building/art installation to escape, but no use. I jumped in to the water to escape a young zombie child trying to attack me with all the ferocity of it's adult counterparts . I swam to the opposite side of the body of water to avoid the zombies and to try to hear the news or get on the internet to understand what was going on, but it was hard to avoid the undead. I hit up some strangers to get on their internet to figure out what was going on since the non-zombiefied didn't seem to have the slightest inkling what was happening. But my new friends seemed to turn against me too so I fled yet again. Just before I woke up I pulled up my shirt to find dozens of faces now trying to leave me.
I realized that I was what was turning these people into zombies, I was mindlessly stealing their souls and their bodies were trying to extract their souls back from me.
This was when when I woke up. I got up to take a piss and went back to sleep. Normally my "go back to sleep"dreams are different and far more weird than the others, but not this time.
My next dream was in a zombie fighting virtual reality game that I could walk around in, but also control with a playstation-like controler. I was trying to show Rashida Jones(from The Office) hold on, Her:

how the game worked, how sometimes I'd have to fight zombie spiders and different challenges and she said,"How about if I was a Zombie?" and started to come after my brains. I ran away and tried to stop her with shots from my controller, but no go. I still was pursued by a hot zombie through the halls of my subconscious. During my escape I passed by several non-undead people that would provide enough sustenance for her so that I could make my escape. I did, because I always escape from the monsters of my dreams.
PAGING DR. FREUD!

The Worst Best Man Speech EVER!

I was too busy writing the book (for once) to do any blog post, but looking through my hard drive I found this speech. This isn't for any real wedding, this was just a reaction to the over-the-top lovey dovey best man speeches I been hearing(sample "The closest I've ever been to a normal relationship is standing next to these two.")
By the by: How schadenfreude-ingly delicious that Paris Hilton is going to jail? I feel that most of the jailhouse antics I'm imagining will stay in my mind; in class war, you tend not to do any real time, just ask Ken Lay.

Oh, boy. I've been dreading this. I don't know what to say. I was hoping to have a few more drinks in me. You know, I guess the best thing I can say about the "Happy Couple" is that at least they're not ruining 2 other people's lives.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their behavior at the ceremony. I'm sure that the bride and groom and their family appreciate that when the minister asked if anyone had any reason that they shouldn't be wed, that everyone kept their input quick and to the point and that that they lined up very neatly.

Anyhow, the history, wow! The history! Their love was proven a mere two hours after they met, when they got each other's names enthusiastically tattooed on them. Well, kinda. I talked to the groom after it happened and I noticed that the bride's name had an extra "L". He said, "The extra L stands for Love."

You know, what they really are, are enthusiastic. They just dive into everything. They weren't crack addicts, they were crack enthusiasts! I've got to say I'm not too enthusiastic about having to buy a new TV after they stole mine, but that was oh so many days ago. They, and we, have been trying to move on.
And the passion! Their passion is legendary. Not just among family and friends, or several members of local, county and state law enforcement, but now to the nationwide audience of the Jerry Springer show. By the way, at the couple's request, their episode "Organ Stealing Sweeties" will be shown in about 10 minutes.

A lot of people have told me that they didn't envy my position as "best man", but I say it's about faith, faith in the transforming power of love. Even though they occasionally show it in painful and disfiguring ways, they do love each other.. Faith that their clouds of dysfunction will part for the bright light of uncomplicated happiness.
And if I'm wrong, I do have faith that the kick to the groin she gave him last New Year's Eve has rendered them unable to have children, or his kids anyway. But that's another Springer episode.
EVERYBODY ENJOY THE VEAL!

Friday, May 04, 2007

When the going gets weird, the normal get conservative.

That title doesn't have much to do with this post, it's just something I heard Henry Rollins say one that I thought was cool. I've been trying to work on the book, with varying degrees of success. I might (after watching "The Devil and Daniel Johnston") write a week's worth of posts on my relationship with music. We'll see how much of that I write this weekend.

I spent the last part of the summer of 2003 driving across the country, helping my then-girlfriend Kate move to California. We trucked across the unpopulated vastness of much of the western United States, all the while suppressing the urge to say things that could come back to bite us on the ass like: "Wow! We're in the middle of NOWHERE!",(after passing a broken down car) "Man, hate to be that guy!" and "Did you hear(smell) something?"

Eventually we made our way to Berkeley, which answered a question I've never asked:"How Liberal is TOO liberal?" Kate's cousin had told us that California in general was just weird, "It's almost it's own country, it has rules and regulations that no other place had, and the weirdos..."

I'm used to weirdos, some of my best friends have been weirdos. Even the less anti-social ones I've come across still fit into the established archetypes of crazy: the unkempt, the paranoid, the talking-to-selves.

The first trip I took into San Francisco on the BART I realized that the "status quo challenged" here were, to me, true innovators. As we waited in the park outside the station for Kate's friend to met us for lunch, I saw in my lazy periphery what I thought was a bird cleaning under it's wing. As I put it to the foreground, I realized it was actually a rail-thin woman ducking her head into her pink zip-up sweatshirt. I trained my eyes a bit more, trying to figure it out what she was doing. Turns out she was tweezing her armpits with her fingers then flicking the plucked hairs out into the afternoon breeze.

Upon looking around a little more I saw a majestic magenta gentleman. He was a bit over six feet tall with long magenta-dyed hair dressed in a magenta bathrobe and magenta sandals, pulling a grocery cart. The cart and everything in it were colored the same shade of dusty magenta that everything else was.

I have rarely seen someone, before or since, look as utterly content as this fellow. He walked slowly, face towards the sun as if his bliss was solar-powered. He was the benevolent Magenta King, oblivious to the gawkers in his wake, gracing his subjects on this late summer afternoon.

When Kate's friend finally arrived, Kate and I tried to explain the glory of the Magenta King to him but we seemed to fall short. Luckily, the King himself passed by the burrito place where we were eating.

The friend was disappointed, "I thought he would be dressed nicer."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

RIP, Herbert "H-Dog" Kornfeld

I got the news that regular Onion contributor Herbert "H-Dog" Kornfeld was found murdered, a victim of the accounting thug life that he chronicled so vividly in his op/eds. Pour some coffee on the sidewalk for H-Dog and all the other accountants and middle managers lost in this senseless violence.


The Article:
White-On-White Violence Claims Life Of Accounts Receivable Supervisor
May 1, 2007 | Issue 43•18

POYNETTE, WI—Foul play is suspected in the death of an accounts receivable supervisor for a regional office-supply company, sheriff's deputies reported Tuesday.

Herbert F. Kornfeld, 34, was an alleged accounting gang leader considered by law enforcement to be a key player in a series of ongoing office worker turf wars. He was found dead Monday morning in the third-floor copy room of Midstate Office Supply, his employer of 12 years.

"We believe the victim was assaulted after hours Friday by an unknown individual or individuals," a Columbia County sheriff's departmaent spokesman said. "Though autopsy results are still pending, we believe the victim suffered fatal head trauma after his face was immobilized against the glass of a photocopier and repeatedly struck with the machine's cover."

Midstate Office Supply vice-president Howard Dinwiddie is expected this week to name accounts receivable assistant Irving Weinbaum, 23, as Kornfeld's successor.

Notes from the underbelly of accounts receivable.