Thursday, February 26, 2004
From God to Pseudo-Italian Cuisine . . . and Beyond!
First of all, thanks to the outpouring of feedback about my religious quandary. Your comments were very witty and insightful. You’re all going to Hell.
Okay, fine, The Passion of the Christ IS just a movie. But haven’t you ever seen a movie that changed the way you thought about something? No? Well, you obviously haven’t seen Snoopy, Come Home.*
And you’re going to Hell.
I can’t tell you enough how much I love pizza. I wish I had the gastrointestinal fortitude to eat it every day. Seriously, I had it for lunch today . . . two slices “as big as [my] head.” I’m stuffed.
Really, why are we attracted to the things that cause us such distress? Like a woman that can’t stop seeing her abusive boyfriend, I can’t stop going to Taco Bell or eating shitloads of pizza. My new favorite
Mia had her 18-month appointment today. Everything checked out normal (well, relatively . . . that kid’s gonna be tall when she’s done growing up). But, apparently, she’s a little behind on her vocabulary. The minimum requirement for 18-month-olds is “daddy” and “mama” (or equivalents), plus five other words. So, I’m there in the examination room trying to think of what other words she can say. (I don’t think “uh-oh” counts. Nor does pointing to her nose and/or bellybutton on command.) And now, as bad parents who don’t read to their daughter enough, we get to take her to be “evaluated.”
(insert sinister music)
For the record, we’ve read her George W.’s favorite book quite a bit. And now when I try and read to her, she takes the book away after a minute or two and wants to play with it. I guess I’m supposed to discourage this sort of disruptive expression, huh?
* Or is it Come Home, Snoopy? Look, I’m tearing up already.
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
The Drink of God
If you believe my mother, she had wanted to be a minister when she was younger. And she sang in her church’s choir which, considering how tone deaf she’s been for my entire life, seems impossible. I don’t know where her faith lies today; none of our conversations touch on God or Jesus, except as they relate to politics.
I don’t know much about my father’s religious background, other than he was seemingly raised in a pagan world where worship included rolling around in the hay (literally) with the looser girls of rural New Hampshire. This continued into his early years with my mother (I’m, of course, referring to his screwing of loose women). But somewhere along the line, perhaps a decade or so ago, he found religion . . . kind-of. His brother found it first, and tried to spread the Word to my father, likely through his new wife, who was (and still is) a hardcore, 100% conservative Christian. But, lately, I sense he may have strayed from the Path. Again.
I was steered toward God early on. My first memory of church is when my parents sent me (at age five) in a van-load of strangers to one of the largest churches in Tallahassee. I distinctly remember freaking out and crying after the service. The church was huge, and I was afraid of getting lost. Soon after, I started attending Sunday school at a smaller church closer to our house.
In conjunction with this non-parental-participation religious upbringing, I was sent to summer camp. The first year (after fifth grade) was at a standard camp. But the next three summers, I went to camp at the First Baptist Church complex in downtown. Most of the time, it was just an ordinary summer camp with the expected activities. During the group functions, there would occasionally be a group sing-a-long of reverential standards, but it was mostly innocuous. Until the week they had Vacation Bible School. I think that might have killed any enthusiasm I ever had for organized religion.
For those five days, there was no swimming, no game room, no roller hockey, no racquetball, no field trips. It was all God, all the time. Now, I had excelled at Sunday school because, at my particular church, the Scriptures were taught in fun and interactive ways. Vacation Bible School was the antithesis of fun.
Maybe I wasn’t giving it a chance. I was, after all, in middle school. But deep down, I don’t think I was getting it. At about the same time, I’d moved on from only going to Sunday school to also attending the general church service. The pastor at the time was very charismatic, also serving as chaplain to the FSU football team. And as engaging as that was, I was slipping into apathy and agnosticism.
One Saturday when I was 12, I told my mom I wanted to stop going to church. She asked why, to which I replied, “I don’t think I believe in God anymore.”
It’s sad to think that this is all there is and that, as one of my friends once said, “we live, we die, and we rot in the ground.” I’ve always thought there was something more, but I’m not sure what that is, exactly. For a while, much of my beliefs centered around reincarnation and the Thousand Points of Light. Maybe they still do. In high school, I had a short-lived relapse after reading a book based on the predictions of Revelations.
So, now, with the new Mel Gibson flick out today, I’ve wondered if seeing that would be a life-altering experience. Would I reconsider my faith? Would I want to take a more active role in Mia’s religious life? Or would I just think it’s a gripping movie about the great man and prophet named Jesus?
Monday, February 23, 2004
Welcome to the Gas Chamber
The party was quite a hit. I want to thank all involved at Glory Hole Central for the planning and for inviting us. Sadly, though, there were no spectacular acts of depravity nor human trainwrecks.
We arrived early (i.e., pretty much first). This guy was there, along with his formerly estranged wife. (Score one for Love.) There were over 120 pieces of sushi, a godless amount of chicken wings in a variety of flavors, five coolers full of beer (again with the variety), a bar’s worth of liquor and mixers, tons o’ wine, and more Parrotheads than you could shake a knotty stick at. Seriously, 10 minutes after the party’s official starting time, the house was quickly filling up with bodies. We were shoveling food and beer into our pieholes so fast, I realized I needed to pace myself (as I was contemplating a fourth beer after an hour and a half).
I made a special mix CD for the event, featuring some Adam Green (his incomparable hits “Jessica” and “Bunnyranch”), nasty rap songs (“Work It” and “Back that Ass Up”), party hits (“Brass Monkey” and “Private Idaho”), 80s classics (“Your Love” and “Girls on Film”), and a track from Mr. Green's band, The Moldy Peaches ("Who's Got the Crack?"). Oh, and “Milkshake.” Maybe I’ll make some copies for a few of you. Or maybe I'll shiv myself in the eye.
Despite the lack of crises, every party has its dark underbelly. For instance, some delinquents took over the computer room and turned it into the "Gas Chamber" (for the nitrous). Can you imagine . . . going to a Jewish guy’s house and designating a “gas chamber?” How rude, right? So, yeah, these crazies were rolling around on the floor like kids at least a decade younger than themselves, huffing nitrous oxide out of balloons and/or straight out of the whipped-cream dispenser. It was sick and wrong, I tell ya. Sick and wrong.
I woke up Sunday morning relatively hangover-free. I even did some stuff around the house before Michelle woke up (two hours later). And like Wally Lamb, I know these things are true:
-- That South Park episode called “Raisins,” in which Stan gets dumped by Wendy and starts hanging out with all the none-more-black goth kids. Yeah, that was high school for me.
-- Ralph Nader doesn’t know when to quit. Maybe Bush promised to make him ambassador of something after the Coronation.
-- Girls don’t always want to have fun. No, sometimes, they want to get really nasty with one another and then make nice again on the front lawn.
-- The Paris Hilton video is really overrated. It just serves to show that billionaire heiresses can also be tweaked-out skanks who, although willing to go down on you, are too boring to fuck with the television turned off.
-- There aren’t many dignified ways for grown-ups to huff gas. Yeah, the balloons help for a while. But pretty soon, you’re frantically screwing chargers into the dispenser as fast as you can. Y’know, because, even when you have your eyes closed and you’re in a relaxed state, you can still hear people chirping for you to blow up a balloon for them. Geez, people. Pull it together.
Friday, February 20, 2004
All quiet on the Kamikaze front. Except for work, y’know. The usual. Man this “job” thing is really cutting into my ‘blog time.
So, I don’t really know what the weekend has in store. Tonight’s an open book, but that book will probably be How to Make Your Motherfucking Crack-Den of a House Sparkle Like Eurotrash’s Pampered Anus. Or something.
Tomorrow morning, we have an appointment to get Mia’s pictures done. It’s the big 18-month milestone. Mothers, hide your sons.
After lots of running around during the day on Saturday, there’s a months-in-the-making party over at Glory Hole Central. There will be booze, sushi, bad music, Parrotheads, booze, and more booze. I’m not going to make any predictions or pronouncements about my conduct at said party, because I usually miscalculate myself in very mundane and/or horrific ways. With the uncertainty of how / when Saturday night will end, we’re just gonna play Sunday by ear. Hopefully I’ll be sober and/or not-queasy enough to drive myself to band practice by 3:30 p.m. Is that okay with you?
Thursday, February 19, 2004
Questionable Practice I
The recent purchase of Girl Scout cookies (six boxes) will be classified as "groceries" in the budget reconciliation.
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Girls, imagine the romance of getting engaged on Valentine's Day. The elation. And then tomorrow's your birthday. It can't get any better, right?
But what if you came home that night to find your apartment on fire? And everything that remains is either burned, melted, or covered in soot?
Yeah, some of you have been there. One of our friends is there right now . . . along with a certain Indian guy I know (from the last post; her fiance). It's gotta be the most suck-acious thing on the planet to be salvaging your life and belongings from a charred apartment . . . on your birthday, no less. Fuck.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
Stats That Shape a Valentine’s Weekend
Floors Peed On: 1
Movies Watched: 2
Win-Loss Record in Varied Competitions Against a Certain Indian Guy I Know: 2-1
When discussing my plans for the weekend (both here and in the Real World™), I totally forgot that my band was playing. Friday, someone at work asked me when my band was playing again, and I was, like, “Um, I think we’re playing this weekend . . . oh shit, wait, tonight!” What is that a sign of?
By the time I arrived to help load up equipment (and just after realizing a song I’d been digging on corporate radio for the past few weeks was Liz Phair, who I’d been dissing for being a huge fuckin’ sellout), everything was done so we had to kill time before heading to the venue. I visited the storage-center men’s room. It was pretty dark outside, and the light inside wasn't working. Rather than pee with the door open, I estimated where I thought the toilet was in the pitch-dark bathroom. And started peeing. On the floor. Without going into too much floor-pissing detail, I eventually found the toilet . . . right about the time I was just finishing up. Ah . . . yes, I’m am just that classy.
Oh, the show we played was opening for a performance / showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show. Not being a fan myself, I only stayed to see the “virgin” initiations. There was a suck-and-blow game (with spanking as punishment), putting a condom on a plantain (using one's mouth and with one's partner holding the plantain between her legs . . . the guy in this competition made a noble effort), “pin the maxi-pad on the pussy,” and simulating a farmer-provoked sheep orgasm. Really, the fun never stops here.
Saturday was, of course, the Big Day. After the decidedly lopsided candy exchange, I can safely share my card for Michelle. On the front, it reads (paraphrased): “If you’re going to be my Valentine, there is one small thing I need you to do,” and on the inside, it reads, “ME!” When I saw that in the store, I laughed and put it in my basket. And I continued to chuckle to myself as I finished my shopping.
We actually went to the movies to see Lost in Translation, even though we could have bought it for what we paid to see it. (Some of this might have something to do with the remaining gift-card dollars I had at AMC.) After that, it was time to get ready for dinner. To summarize that experience, it was very good. I went with a Seafood and Lemon Linguini ($18), while the missus chose the center-cut filet ($25). The appetizers, drinks, and desserts made it the Most Expensive Meal Ever Eaten™ (incidentally, it was served by the Most Talkative Waitress on Duty™ . . . Mr. Glory Hole said that our dinners would seem cheaper if you thought of it as paying by the word).
The Girls were playing later that evening, and a group of us went to a local dive bar to drink and shoot pool. I won two games of pool against my Indian friend (somewhat competently, but he returned the favor by beating me at disc golf on Sunday). After the Girls’ show, most of us went to another club for Mira’s show (their drummer, Mr. ADD, is sitting in with us). All in all, a long night.
On Sunday, we had a pretentious-eatery brunch, which was surprisingly filling. Lots of running around that day. And then, that evening, we brought all the good feelings to a screeching halt with our viewing of Sylvia; considering the subject matter, we shouldn’t have been shocked that it’d be such a mood-dimmer. But still. (And two movies in one weekend? Yeah, that’s a record.)
This would have been posted yesterday, had our heating oil not run out in our furnace, prompting a very long lunch to assess the situation, call a heating technician, and then call the oil-delivery people when it’s determined that we’d run out of oil. That, and the mean-spirited chess game I was having with some guy who called me a “cunt” (on IM) when I stole his rook away from him; I was going to delight in beating him, as I was ahead, but I ultimately lost. He gloated, and I told him to “eat my ass.” The End.
Friday, February 13, 2004
The Great Weekend Eat-Out
Michelle was going into “sushi withdrawal,” so we participated in Thursday Night Sushi™ with the Glory Holes, thus kicking off the Great Weekend Eat-Out (or, the Great Weekend of Eating Out . . . wait that doesn’t sound any better, does it? What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?). Anyway, tomorrow is the big day, which will climax in a big dinner out. (Actually, it will climax in an appearance by Girls on Film, which is why we have dinner reservations at 5:30.) And then, we’re tentatively planning on having brunch on Sunday.
We’re not gonna let anything like a lack of money or big, scary debt stand in our way of having a fun-filled Valentine’s Day!
Not much else to tell ya. More ‘blogroll updates. I’ll keep combing my referrer logs to see if there are any other dedicated* readers that I’m missing out there. I’m just adding two people (long overdue) this time. Then I’m fixing some changed links. And deleting. And then rearranging.
Have a great weekend, everyone. Monday, I want to be basking in your post-coital glow, so now you have something to work toward.
* all five or six of you
Thursday, February 12, 2004
Saving the World . . . One Whore at a Time
Band practice isn’t usually the source of ‘blog-post gold, but it’s not every practice that we sit around and talk about making this country better. Last night, however, we did just that. In our post-rockin’ roundtable, we discussed a flurry of issues, most notably the great triumvirate of balanced, across-the-board changes: legalized prostitution, legalized marijuana, and public corporal / capital punishment.
Legalized prostitution and marijuana have long been discussed as ways to regulate what people are doing anyway, and create a new (and sizable) tax base. Now, these may be morally questionable practices, but there are ways of making people accountable. For instance, legalized prostitution could be set up so that “johns” had to be registered in such a way that notices and reminders are occasionally sent to the “john’s” house, y’know, to make sure that he’s had his mandatory health screening. And, of course, there’d be a handy swipe card with a photograph, so each “john” is easily tracked after he enters the brothel / sex-worker complex. (And there’d be “janes,” too, because at the Kamikaze Sex Palace, we cater to all genders, races, and most non-bestial fetishes.) You could have peep-show rooms with private booths for the low-rent customers. There could be areas for foot fetishists, fans of the “hand release,” and strippers / lap dances. And then, of course, a whole smorgasbord of whores of varying shape, size, specialty, and price range. Can you imagine how much money the Government could make regulating those places? Man, the Mob had better get some lobbyists to keep that shit from happening!
As for pot, well, what’s the big deal? Gateway drug? Yeah, whatever. More dangerous than alcohol? You’re out of your fuckin’ mind. Sure, it’s damaging, but no more than several legal substances. Package it, sell it, and tax it. Over and out.
It seems that I’ve already covered the public-humiliation aspect of public caning as an added deterrent to crime. What if we had a channel, like Crime and Punishment T.V.? It could run brief summaries and highlights of trials as a context for showing the punishments. If we must kill people as capital punishment, then it should be televised, so the world can see what a horror it is . . . or a great benefit, depending on your view. But during the day, it’d be lighter fare. “Be sure to tune in at 10 a.m. on Saturday for the public canings . . . live from downtown Tallahassee!” Because, in my heart of hearts, I think caning should be the chief form of punishment in this country. Caught shoplifting? Ouch, that’s gonna leave a scar! Beat up your girlfriend again? You’d better close your eyes, clench your teeth, and hold on tight, buddy.
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
Sorry it’s been strangely quiet around here, but it’s been strangely quiet in my life. Unless, of course, you want to be bored with more political ranting or whining about how busy I am at work.
I think the biggest development of late has been our meeting with an insurance salesman—an old friend of Michelle’s family. We hadn’t gotten Mia insured yet, and the only insurance I had was a $5,000 policy my parents bought when I was born and whatever term-life insurance I have through my job. So, yeah . . . we’re gonna be getting some more insurance now. After all of yesterday’s negativity, I was feeling very positive about the whole experience. Especially considering that you don’t meet a lot of nice, seemingly honest, salespeople in life.
Also, it’s nice to start making the important, grown-up decisions . . . even when you’re 32.
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Please note the Choppa hat. Yes, she still wears it. And you can't tell from the picture, but it's probably 55 degrees outside. (Mommy and the grandparents have thin blood, don't they Miss Mia?)
I'll be back in a bit. If you need me, in the meantime, I'll be over here spewing hate.
Friday, February 06, 2004
Kamikaze: World Traveler (or Is That "Traveller?" You Decide.)
Everyone's doin' it, right? (Go here if you haven't.) The red states are the ones that I've been to, in the most liberal, loose sense possible. Seems that I have the East Coast pretty well covered, wouldn't you say? (How'd I miss Rhode Island? I was born in Connecticut, for Christ's sake!)
Anyway, I counted Delaware because I paid the $5 toll to cross the bridge into and drive through the goddamn state. I think we may have stopped to eat there, too. So, if you leave money and/or bodily fluids there, it counts, right? I'm not sure about Utah, though. Those western states were "visited" during a work conference / retreat. We flew from Atlanta to Salt Lake City, and then to Reno, Nevada. We rented a car in Reno and drove up to Lake Tahoe. So, my time in Salt Lake City was basically a long layover. I don't know if I even peed there, but I probably did. Score one for Scott.
And "world traveler?" Yeah, this about covers my world travels, kids. My only foray out of the Lower 48 was a drive up to Canada. It was the most involved "crossing the border, driving around the countryside for 10 minutes, and then crossing back to the United States" trip every undertaken . . . or undertooken.
Thursday, February 05, 2004
The Debt Star
I’ve recently had an e-mail exchange with Mr. Glory Hole about us bailing on Thursday Night Sushi™. I mentioned in the e-mail that we’re trying to "save up any disposable income we can make ourselves believe we have for Valentine's Day." Which he knows all about because we’re having dinner on Valentine’s Day with the Glory Holes at one of Tallahassee’s more mysterious / overpriced / pretentious restaurants.
The whole thing makes me think about debt as the Death Star. Which, in turn, makes me sad, because that replaces the warm and happy thoughts I’ve had of the Death Star as a bong (that was conceived but never built back in college . . . I mean, can you imagine how fucking cool that would be to have a Death Star bong?).
Anyway, 2004 is supposed to be the year that I play Luke Skyyvodkawalker, rescuing the Princess from the clutches of Evil and destroying the Death Star. Until, of course, The Empire Strikes back, in which the forces of Evil come to find us and chase us away from our chilly comfort. And I get my fucking hand chopped off.
I guess I’ll just have to look forward to the next installment, when the forces of Evil will start construction of a new Death Star, and we join forces with a fish-head guy and a bunch of stuffed animals to whoop serious ass.
I need to unclutter my brain. Seriously. As my wife can certainly attest, my mind tends to wander. Sometimes, when she’s talking to me, I lose focus on what she’s saying and have to be “Rowdy” Roddy Piper’d back to reality. And when I’m at band practice, I’ll often go into “cruise control” and plan a grocery trip or a ‘blog entry . . . while I’m playing a song.
But the thing that really bothers me is when I’m not doing anything that requires heavy attention (like showering or driving) and I’m thinking about my CD collection or what I’m going to wear that day. These are the parts of the day that I need to be dwelling on more creative issues. And maybe this is my problem.
Isn’t there some kind of setting for that? Couldn’t I just switch my brain to the “three poems I’m currently writing” selection? Or the “photography project that I need to start in the next month” selection? How about the “hey, I’m writing a novel . . . should I have the heroine go shopping or continue blowing the minister?” selection?
Y’know, that last choice could really put an end to creative thoughts in the shower.
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
The “danger” in the title refers to my driving. And my lunch choices.
Yesterday evening, Michelle suggested I go out to buy a copy of the Sunday paper. (Yesterday being Monday.) As it was my fault that our newspaper subscription ran out, I felt obliged to go. And I did. The first gas station / convenience store (the 76/Circle K we have not-so-affectionately dubbed “The Ghetto” because you can never get a receipt when you “pay-at-the-pump”) didn’t have any more Sunday papers. So, I drove down The Parkway to the second gas station . . . a Shell. As I was about to turn right into the station, I noticed they were doing construction and had the large orange cones blocking the entrance. “No, no, no . . . fuck!” But then I saw an opening and turned very quickly. At about 40 mph. I hit some mud and slid into one of the cones, dislodging it from its base and sending it flying. When I came to a stop, I took a deep breath, restarted the stalled car, and drove to a parking spot nearest the newspaper machines. I looked back at the car-struck cone, thanked Ms. Jackson’s right tit the cone wasn’t full of sand*, and went about my business.
Today, for lunch, I went on one of my weak-moment runs for the border. They didn’t have the cheddar-n-rice burritos, for some reason, so I went with my less-healthy standby (7-layer burrito and a double-decker supreme). The drive-thru was moving slower than old people fuck, so I wasted significant ‘blogging time in my car. But I was rewarded with nine packets of mild sauce . . . for two items. (It reminds me of a game** we used to play.) However, I was less-than-thrilled to have the entire bottom of my 7-layer burrito be guacamole. Aren’t the layers supposed to run the length of the burrito? I guess, on top of the shame and gastro-intestinal discomfort, that’s just another risk you run eating at Taco Bell.
* When I was 14, my parents and I drove to visit our family in New England (yeah, a long drive from Florida . . . trust me). My dad put a camper top on his pickup and bolted a car seat to the bed of the truck, facing backwards. Somewhere along the way, when I was just watching the cars behind us and we were passing through a construction zone, I saw a station wagon plow into two or three of those large construction cones at 60 mph. The cones were full (are partially full) of sand. Lemme tell ya . . . those motherfuckers were exploding. I was too stunned to speak. (As a side note, mere hours after that experience, my dad would suggest I piss in a bottle while we were stuck in traffic south of Washington D.C., waiting to get on the Beltway.)
** I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this here before but, back in the day (which is to say, between 1990 and 1995), we used to see how many packets of Taco Bell sauce we could scam in a legitimate lobby-counter food pickup. Y’know, being inebriated in some way, but without being totally conspicuous. I think the record was 19 which, in hindsight, seems pretty weak.
Monday, February 02, 2004
Stats that Shape a Weekend
Percentage of Wedding Guests Who Work at Target: I’d venture about 50%
Number of Times I Called My Cable Company to Find Out Why I Couldn’t Order the Pay-Per-View UFC Event on Our Digital Cable Box, but Was Rather Directed to Call the Office to Order It . . . at 7:30 p.m. on a Saturday, When the Office Was Closed: three
Number of Breasts Seen Live on Network Television During Halftime at the Super Bowl: one (sorry Ms. Jackson, indeed)
So, I went to the wedding, did not watch the Ultimate Fighting Championship (which Mr. ADD said was a huge letdown anyway), and I did watch the Super Bowl (which was not a letdown, despite the fact that I lost $10).
I learned a lot that I did not know when I went to bed Friday night. And because this is all about sharing, The Internet, let me share these things with you:
-- I did not know that if the bride’s best friend is gay, he can be the “man of honor.” In such a situation, it is acceptible to wear the same tux as the groomsmen, except with a bright pink tie and vest. (And, apparently, gay guys can become a girl’s best friend in less than two years.)
-- I did not know about the DJ-supported tradition of playing a song for the wedding party to dance to and then announcing that the couples split and venture into the crowd to pick new partners, thus doubling the dancefloor crowd. I made it through the first round without being picked, but got nabbed the second time around. By the bride’s grandmother. (She was a very nice woman from South Dakota.)
-- I did not know that when you’re behind in your cable payments, the cable company might rescind your pay-for-view ordering privileges. (For the record, I dispute cable company’s claim that I’m behind in my payments.)
-- I did not know that Jake Delhomme was gonna cost me $10. Or maybe I should blame the Patriots’ defense.
-- I did not know that people still did over-emotive, lip-synced, choreographed dances during halftime specials like it’s 1987 all over again. Seriously. I was really lost during Janet Jackson’s performance. However, that ending quickly put things in perspective. (I’d venture she won’t be performing at the Super Bowl next year.)