28 July 2008

Take a Knee

I took a sick day today, mainly because I was not confident I could make either the drive there or the run from my cube to the bathroom in the event I had to vomit. Corporate or no, nobody likes a puker.

A lot of people complain that on sick days, they never get to have fun. Yeah, well, you're sick, so get over it. This isn't grammar school when you pretended to have a headache so you could stay home and watch Bob Barker tell you to do horrifying if only vaguely understood things to your pets.

I hurled a couple of times today and it sucked exactly as much as hurling usually sucks. I approximated pretty well when I called in how much I'd be having today. If you're curious, my guess was "not too much."

The worst part about calling in sick and the reason I hate doing it is the feeling I get on the first day back when I'm feeling well enough to go in. For some reason, feeling better in the present alters my perception of how sick I was less than a day beforehand. As a result, I always feel like I wasted a sick day.

So today, blowing chunks; tomorrow, guilt and self-loathing. Being sick sucks.

24 July 2008

Summer Break! WOOO!!

In maintaining this blog, I've often struggled with balancing the quantity and quality of writing. While I understand it is good exercise for a writer to write everyday, I believe it also behooves the author not to drive away readers with effusive suckiness.

As such, no updates this week. I've got a few things brewing up in the ol' noggin' and given a little time away from writing, they'll be ready to mystify you next week. Maybe Wednesday.

17 July 2008

And Hello to You

I recently acquired a Panama hat. It was given to me by a friend of mine who is Dominican. He had been given the hat by a red-haired Canadian woman who thought it was something he might wear, which it isn't. It's possible that she assumed his Caribbean heritage was sufficiently Panamanian, even though Panama hats are traditionally made in Ecuador and only shipped through Panama.

The whole history of this particular hat is made of non sequiturs, which helps explain the next part of its story, which may or may not be entirely true. Recently, while walking into a Wegmans supermarket wearing the hat, a woman leaned out of a large silver limousine and yelled at me that she liked it. She was also pretty drunk. Neither of these facts bothered me. Her friend popped just as far out the window and showed her appreciation for my Panama hat by waving a large black dildo at it.

And actually, this didn't bother me all that much either. I barely noticed at all. Being so minimally impressed by the occurrence is the reason I say this story may or may not be true, because the details are a little fuzzy. And while some people might point to this as a case of the further desensitization of our culture to all things sexual, I don't think that's the case here.

I'm not arguing that a dildo is somehow not intended as a sex-related object. It's primary— and indeed, only— function is as a sex toy. But in this context, I hardly noticed, but only because it seems perfectly natural that a drunk girl shouting out of a limousine at a man wearing a Panama hat would wave whatever happened to be nearby.

It's not overtly offensive or overtly sexy, it's just what you'd expect that type of person to do in that particular situation, even though the entire situation is a complete non sequitur. It never makes sense to wave sex toys in admiration of someone's attire, except that in this story, it makes perfect sense.

And I tell this story because life is sort of like it pretty much of the time. Not much of it seems to make much sense. It's all non sequiturs, but in a weird way, it's completely reasonable. That said, I admit that the situation was awkward. Under normal circumstances, it's often expected to give a compliment in return, but in this case, all I could think to say was "thanks."

14 July 2008

Nothing Is a Coincidence if You Pretend It Has Meaning

I find it interesting that the two most common searches leading to this blog involve a) how to increase church membership and b) how to become a cult leader. That is all.

Happy Bastille Day

I like Bastille Day. Sure, way, way back, my family is more or less French. That's not why I like Bastille Day. It's not because I'm an unpatriotic American and I feel such resentment for my homeland that I prefer another nation's annual celebration of independence. It's because the reason for Bastille Day is the most awesome reason for any celebration of independence in existence.

I know, rockets red glare and all that, and fireworks and barbecues. But those aren't the reason for America's Fourth of July celebration. The reason is that a bunch of guys in wigs and stockings who were actually not drag queens (mostly) wrote a strongly worded letter stating that they were, in fact, free.

And the Canadians, in a bid to overshadow the US Independence Day by celebrating Canada Day on July 1st didn't overshadow a damn thing, namely because they asked for their independence very politely. And got it. Eventually.

But the French are different. First of all, there were no foreign powers involved. Bastille Day is about independence from internal oppression. Second of all, let me remind everyone how necessary it is in prison to shank someone with a shiv made out of a chicken bone in order to prove how much of a badass you are. Third, the French skipped the shivs and simply burned down the fucking prison.

For those of you keeping track at home, that's awesome. I'm not glamorizing violence and destruction, at least not any more than any movie adaptation of a Marvel comic in the last eight years already has. The point is, Bastille Day is a more perfect declaration of independence because the razing of the Bastille is both entirely historic and entirely symbolic.

If you intend to prove you are free, it's one thing to write a fancy Dear John letter to a king who wasn't even named John. It's another thing to symbolically declare your freedom by physically freeing yourself. I have a feeling this is part of the reason the French are viewed as being sort of spiky. It's not entirely unjustified. They're free, and they fucking know it.

09 July 2008

Back Next Week

My band, Violet Mary is playing a gig this Friday. Because of the rehearsal schedule, meatiocrity will return next week. Come to the show if you can!

02 July 2008

Do Not Ever Wonder Again How I Became as Weird as I Am

I grew up near enough the Adirondacks for this headline to be equal parts hilarity and horror. It's a beautiful country, but there are some weird ass people there. So, when a headline suggests that someone loves both the Adirondacks and murder, I think of some of my neighbors.

There were the ones who had a broken down school bus in their yard. For the North Country, that's not all that unusual. The school bus was a kind of barn for them, which is only slightly more unusual. They raised emus, which lived in the bus barn, which was entirely unusual. For a long time, I would explain that I couldn't imagine why they raised emus, but I stopped on the day they ceased raising emus and began selling homemade jerky.

There was also a family whose entire subsistence seemed to stem from a single piece of marketing, which was remarkable both for its concision and its frugality. It said, in simple black hand lettering and without punctuation, "DEER CUT UP."

Most disturbing was a family whose kids had rattails far too long after they had ceased to be fashionable (if indeed they ever were), whose babies played in the ditch by the road into which their sewage tank overflowed while chickens roamed as freely as the makeshift fence of disused bicycles and one inexplicable pristine 24 foot boat would allow.

They were the kind of people who epitomized what is completely wrong with the North Country. They weren't entirely inhospitable or unkind, but they were about as strange as the semantic range of the word allows. They were the kind of people who would want you to get over your tuberculosis, but only so you're considered fair game when they shoot you with a compound bow.

All Terrorists Are Now Complete Pansies

Why? Because comedian Ron White has both the balls and the cirrhosis no terrorist could ever claim.

Boxcutters? Forget it. White's willing to burst into the cockpit and demand to fight you for control of the plan. And when you land "for safety reasons," he'll turn around fire your sorry ass.

No terrorist has those kinds of cojones. And after finishing the liter of Jack, they might be tempted to use the bottle. Not White. He needs only his fists, alcohol-fueled rage, and an uncanny understanding of all things redneck.

And that's what America's all about.