Monday, May 28, 2007

Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire

I like to think that I avoid lying, even little white ones. Personally, I hate being accused of lying when it may be that the accuser just doesn't have the brain capacity to understand what I'm saying. Worse still is being silently accused of lying without the possibility of explanation.

People can jump to some pretty extraordinary conclusions, I've found.

Now it may seem that with all the forms I've described above that I have extensive experience as a liar. No, that's not it. What's the matter with you?

People lie. They lie all the time. "Hey, how are you?" "Oh, fine, good!" C'mon! Your son is cheating on his wife and she's pregnant, your boss keeps hinting that your division might see big cuts this year, your spouse suddenly treats you to flowers, candy and lots of oral, especially after those weekend-long fishing trips with "the guys from work" whom "you don't really know them" and "you know the cell phone doesn't work out on the lake." So: fine, good?

No, of course not. But you know that the first lie, the proffer of care through polite questions such as these, have a social expectation of the answer as a lie. Imagine you answer, "My world is falling apart, Bill, and I haven't gotten laid in six months." Yeah, you're probably not going to get more than a confused half-chuckle and "Sorry to hear that" which is also a lie because it really means, "Oh, God, I always suspected you were troubled and insane but please don't unload your mental shotgun in my cubicle. Please?"

Love lies are my favorite as I have studied them with great vigor. I only have sort of half a girlfriend at the moment because I ain't gonna lie. To her. If she asks me whether her ass is too round, I intend to answer honestly (by the way, it is definitely fi-yi-yi-yi-ine, so, no worries there, mate) and probably get kicked to the proverbial curb.

When is a lie not a lie but a compromise?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

As If It Wasn't Enough

You think your life is tough? Imagine you are a pig, ripe for the slaughter. Your ancestors, cousins, sisters and brothers have already met their fate and are serving man in the form of a component of an Egg McMuffin with Sausage. Some guy says to himself, "Y'know, getting the assholes outta these critters sure is a pain in the rectum. Oh, I know, let me invent an asshole removal device." He sets pen to paper and lo and behold, comes up with just the thing. The United States Patent Office agrees that it is in fact wondrous and unique and grants him this here patent:,M1

So, the next time you think you're having a bad day, just imagine that someone, somewhere is cooking up a better way to make you anus-less. Harumph, Jenkins, looks like we have 'em at both ends.

Since we're doing some technical reading, let's check this out:

This describes the case and resulting surgery to remove a rather large vibrator from the rectum of a 29 year-old female who was using it for "anal eroticism" God, I love doctors and their accepting ways. I also found the X-Rays rather stimulating - enjoy!

Background This, Beyotch

By the way, I just got a call from (the company that is wildly enthusiastic about hiring me) investigative arm (rhymes with: yeah, right.) The woman on the other end of the line informed me that she was unable to verify my high school graduation, so she was going to have to return the hire to HR as a negative. I asked her whether she contacted Albany or the City of New York and she said, no, only the school and she's getting voice mail and no call back, I suggested that she understand that such records were likely held by the Board of Education of the City of New York or the Board of Regents in Albany since I was a Regent's Scholar. She said she couldn't make any inquiries beyond what was reported in the application. Why not? Isn't she an investigator?

I was losing my cool, inside, but I asked her what the solution was. She said that typically, this would mean that there would be no hire since she couldn't verify my information. I asked her if she was able to verify my college enrollment, etc. She said yes, that wasn't a problem. I asked her whether she thought it was logical that a person enrolled in college and having graduated and subsequently gainfully employed for 30 years might in fact have a High School Diploma? She said that unless I could produce the actual diploma and FedEx it to her by tomorrow that she would have to return a no-hire in her investigation. I told her that it was thirty years ago and that I wasn't even disposed to locating by car registration this morning, let alone an arcane document dating back nearly to the dawn of Man. She said there was nothing she could do but that I had plenty of time to "look around, maybe in a desk drawer or something" as it was only around noon. I wanted to scream "I'm in New Jersey, you cum-swilling paper jockey. It's 3 here, for fuck's sake." Instead, I said that it seemed very unlikely that I would be able to accommodate the request. She said, "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Well, good luck on your job search." And then she hung up. Major WTF moment. Californians are fucked in the head. By the way, her last name, she said, if Wall. So, that's what I was talking to, literally, a Wall.

In the meantime, they got to touch my balls, by proxy, since one of the other bizarre requirements is a complete physical exam, and I mean complete. In fact, the doctor might have looked more at home at a Mexican abortion clinic. In addition, I went to a lab to pee in a cup to see whether I'm a major abuser of drugs and/or alcohol. What's next? Testing positive for Marsala Sauce?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Garden of Nay-Nay

I, too, like gardening, though I think I can't manage to kill enough pansies to suit the garden gods since they always demand more. I keep intending to have a professional landscaper come in and do what is better done by a professional, but I just get started on a planting project and can't seem to stop. Maybe next year . . . I do have lots of strawberries, tomatoes and peppers, some cauliflower and cantaloupe, beans, peas, zucchini and basil, lemon thyme, oregano, dill, and scallions. The herbs grow so well that I can't ever give enough away to make a difference, it seems. I imagine my friends tossing my new supplies to them out the window once they hit the highway.

I have enough property to be self-sufficient, food-wise, if I knew how to can and preserve and if I wanted to destroy the lawn in my backyard to make way for crops. Today, I bought ten ears of corn for 18 cents (!) each. So, what would be the point of growing corn? Or potatoes? It seems to be cheaper to but than grow on a small scale. The one benefit is this - whatever one grows does absolutely, I gorantees it, taste better. One season, I grew cucumbers that tasted exactly like their watermelon relatives. Yum. My peas and string beans are sweet as all get out. The eggplant are succulent and the zuchinni would make a fruit insertionist cry with delight. And, back to the herbs - yes, I have more than I could use in ten lifetimes, but I bet you'd love my pasta sauce. Bam!

Saturday, May 19, 2007


No matter how I try to thoroughly explain things, it seems I always fail at getting to the heart of the matter. I misunderstand others, apparently and others misunderstand me. The only explanation that seems sensible is that I'm making poor choices in my modes of communication. I think I actually reveal too much and that either frightens the people I've chosen with whom to communicate, they simply don't understand the entire tableau of what I'm trying to say or they hear what they want to hear.

Now I understand why women idealize the strong, silent type. This way, they can apply their own fantasy of what's real and what's being said to the relationship. I guess that's one way of going about it, but it doesn't seem honest to me, on either part. But, maybe that's the game with rules I don't understand and, if I don't get it by now, maybe I never will.

Poor pitiful me, eh?

Time Is Mine Enemy

So, here's the deal: as much as I strive for balance in the Yin and Yang of busy/unbusy, I have not yet managed to strike a balance. Like a back-sliding twelve-stepper, I seem to make some progress and then hope that the fates don't throw me a curve I can't handle.

What's going on here? In the bigger scheme of things, there has been an insipid ramp-up to total time booking. I recently told a friend that it was importantly to write every day, even if it's nonesense or if it totally sucks. My personal experience is that if the muse is really not present, the process at least gets the crap out of the way. It's linear and has to be purged in order to get to the good stuff. This seems to be somewhat applicable to every other event, major and minor, in the trivial travails of daily living.

For instance, here's the routine "template" that I would normally find confronting me:
  • Three mammals wake me up at daybreak - they hunger, thirst and need to pee
  • So do I, so I do.
  • Coffee, coffee, coffee.
  • Feed the mammals. Empty them.
  • Clean up the inevitable accidents.
  • Wake up child.
  • Eat a waffle.
  • Chase the child to get ready for school. Sometimes this involve laundry(!!!)
  • Charge the cell phone.
  • Chase the child some more.
  • Drink the coffee, check the e-mails.
  • NEW! Check for new jobs, send out appropriate resume.
  • Do computer maintenance.
  • Check the weather.
  • Water the plants - see if compulsory gardening is needed.
  • Chase child, remind her she's going to be late, again.
  • Child appears, checklist to see if she has homework, permission slips, musical instrument.
  • Drive child to school, late, of course.
  • Watch child scramble to avoid late bell.
  • Smoke n' choke on the way home.
  • Avoid being pummeled to death by pet dog.
  • Pick up poo, wash spot.
  • Vacuum.
  • Make cup of coffee.
  • Check e-mails again.
  • Think about blog topic.
  • Take drugs - don't worry, it's prescription only.
  • Coordinate appointment-wearing clothes. Note that I need new pants as the cat has clawed my best Geofrey Beene power casual slacks.
  • Shave, take shower. Blow-dry hair.
  • Have more coffee.
  • Allow dog to empty herself yet again.
  • Check phone for messages since someone may have called after I passed out from sheer exhaustion last night at nine.
  • Field a "feel-bad" Hallmark moment from the ex.
  • Drink MORE coffee.
  • Note that it's only eight A.M.

And then, the train rolls on from then. To me, this constitutes an unending mad rush. I know that you may have it all under control and so do I, to the degree that I feel comfortable and not guilty, but, really, c'mon.

In olden times, that is, in the ideal of Beaver Cleaver, this was not the way. Like Canadian Geese, spouses mated for life and shared these travails. Wah, wah, poor pitiful me: I'm doing it on my own. So, all you single moms are saying, what's the big deal? Well, it's not a big deal, per se, but ask yourself when the last date you had wasn't a time-coordinating nightmare. Be honest. Are you being honest?

So, I took some time to apologize to my "friends" this morning by e-mail, so that I could get a comprehensive thought out in one breath. Why? Two things happened this week. I bumped into one very nice friend while shopping (doesn't that sound leisurely) at ShopRite and he was very pleasant and I realized that he might be a little pissed that I have been otherwise occupied. We had dinner a month ago, I called, left an e-mail, and he's been crazy-busy, too. Another friend invited me to an event this weekend, I wanted to go and then canceled because it's my brother's birthday. The response was, "I knew you weren't going." Yup, quite a rep I'm building at this point. Makes me look like an unreliable, uncaring, disorganized fool. So, what's the solution?

For once, I actually don't know if there's one single thing that will "work." I think part of the answer is to realize that people are way busier today that our parents were and that a bit of straight-talking assertiveness doesn't hurt in keeping the connection going. Carve out whatever time by actively coordinating dead spots? I'm not sure, but man does not live by the internet alone.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Things To Do While Shopping

I was shopping with my daughter, after my stint as a wetback landscaper for much of the usable day, and I found a "to do" note lying on a box at Marshall's, apparently mislaid by a harried shopper. It was written on a 3x4 Post-It with the imprint "HALDOL Decanoate 100 HALOPERIDOL INJECTION 100mg/ml" That is an anti-psycotic drug, so, go figure. Here's what the list said:


and in the upper right-hand corner

20 MOFEINS (not sure due to the hand - ed.)

Busy girl - or guy? You be the judge.

Just so you know, the Marshall's in my area not only has a HUGE selection of top-end shoes, like Merril, Nike, New Balance and so forth, but has unbelievable bargains on name brand clothes and even non-clothing stuff like decorative and kitchen goods. I saw, but didn't buy today, Levi 501's (my favorite) in my size (36-30) for $19 bucks. A Nautica long-sleeve dress shirt for $12. It's ridiculous.

Condoms Are Good For You

Like I wuz sayin . . . it could happen to anyone at any time. It's not a matter of fault but of responsibility. You are responsible for yourself, for protecting yourself, not against your significant other or random encounter, but against risk.

I heard a sad story this week about a friend of a friend who discovered, quite by chance, that they've been infected with a disease that will likely kill. It was probably preventable, though nothing is certain when it comes to disease transmission. It could happen to you, or it may already have. It may be your mum, your sis, your boss or your doctor. There is NO WAY TO KNOW just by looking, so, you have to use what resources there are to reduce your risk.

Now, I say reduce rather than eliminate risk because, as any actuarial will tell you, there isn't a way to completely eliminate risk of death or injury as an organism, which is what you are, unless you are actually dead or injured. Then, all bets are off - cash in your chips and you're out of the game, statistically speaking.

So, why does this keep happening to people? Why does the safe fall onto the hapless cartoon character? He (or it) was in the wrong place at the wrong time and just didn't look up - didn't occur to him.

The same thing seems to be true of the whole gamut of people encountering HIV infection first-hand. Gee, she didn't look sick. He works out five times a week! We're not even sixteen. I'm getting ready to retire, how could this happen to me? HIV and any infectious disease could care less what your age, race, orientation, religion, income status or salad dressing preference is. All infectious diseases are opportunistic - they are built to propagate, just like you and me. And they're gonna do whatever they have to to get the job done, even if, ironically, it means killing the host, that is, you or me.

Well, they have drugs don't they? Yeah, well, you can either floss and not get a cavity resulting in a nasty and painful root canal, that is, you can take a simple precaution, or not. The myth of medicine is that if you get sick, the doctor can help. Well, not all the time and only in a very narrow range of circumstances. That's actually a topic for another day, but suffice it to say that prevention IS the cure, nine times out of ten.

For (insert Entity name choice here) sake, please dress appropriately for the weather. Your mother told me to tell you to bring a raincoat - you never now when it's going to pour out of a clear blue sky.

Found Photos

I don't know if I recommended this site before but here it is:

This webmaster has collected images found on the web through peer-to-peer sharing and other sharing methods. His sense of editing is superb and each image tells a story, to me, anyway. At the time of this writing, there are 129 one-page archives with the images simply strung together on one page.

Maybe it's because these collections are randomly ordered or completely candid, both without context or caption, that makes them captivating . Very good for those aspiring writer-types, because, well, a picture is really worth a thousand words, even taking inflation into account. Excellent with coffee or tea, too.

Okay, This Is Pretty Good

Here's the deal: I have a girlfriend. Okay, at our ages, maybe she's not really a girl in the strictest sense, but I see her that way. And, because of our grup responsibilities, we hardly ever see each other, unlike the sociosexual mating ritual that would be typical for young adults of mating age. But, still, she is, I now officially declare to the world, my girlfriend.

She likes to write, she's patient and forthright and positive. She takes the world as it comes and swallows it whole. I really admire her and I can and do talk to her for hours and hours and it's never enough. Today, I missed the living shit out of her. Now, I really feel like a boy. Wow.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Some People

Some people are simply impossible for me to fathom. I know I'm not the master of social interaction, but c'mon. What exactly is the cost of simply saying what one means?

The argument is that it's a private affair and the interactee, if that's a word, will just have to take it at that. I have a better idea. Extend the basic courtesy of conversation, consider me your intellectual inferior if that's what it takes, and speak your mind. No point compounding attitude with cryptic omission and, by extension, dishonesty. It's emotional laziness, too.

Well, that's my gripe, I guess. Pah.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Food For Thought

To me, a tortellini is highly suggestive of that most ubiquitous of human anatomical accoutrement, the anus. That's not to say that I don't like it very much - tortellini, that is. But, here, look:

Above: Colonoscopic view of anus.

Above: Photographic view of female human anus surrounded by buttocks and peritoneum.

Surely you can see the resemblance? Or is it just me?

Now, I'm not sure that I would indulge in a big bowl of Torino-style human anuses (or is it anusi?) unless I didn't in fact know that they were anu - okay - buttholes. It could happen. Here's a story.

I was working late one night trying to get some audio editing done and some artwork finished in my studio space in the City (that's Manhattan for you foreigners.) I was starving, having gotten there at seven in the A of M and worked without breakfast or lunch for nearly twelve hours. I went down to the local deli and rather than get a cold sandwich, I decided it would be best to stoke up on some tasty pasta. I pointed to the penne in the showcase, and the non-English-speaking food worker behind the counter said, "Yes?" I said, "Is that Penne Parmigiana?" He said, "Yes?" I said, "Could I get some?" He said, "Yes?" I waited for him to start a-scoopin', but nothing happened. I figured he needed an amount to scoop. I said "A plate full?" He said, "Yes?" I motioned, he pointed and finally he started to scoop with what, I swear, looked like a cat-box scooper into a Styrofoam container. He weighed it, wrote some numbers on the top of the closed box with a Sharpie and handed it to me. I said, "Thanks! Fork?" He said, "Yes?" and pointed to the register.

There I met a blond, obviously Latino girl, dressed for clubbing, on her cell phone, apparently afraid of breaking a nail. She didn't actually look at me. In fact, she seemed perturbed that I wanted to pay for the food. She was speaking what I thought might have been Spanish or Portuguese at a rapid clip, must have said "Hold on" or something similar, put the phone on her shoulder and shouted to the hapless food worker something like, "What the hell is in this goddamn box, you moron?" At least, that was the tone she exuded. My testes retracted instinctively. He replied in a mumble, so I guess she made an executive decision and punched in $7.99 in her oriental plastic register and said, "$8.80." I said, "It says $7.79." She said one word only and held out her hand, hinging her elbow on her minuscule hip, "Tax." I gave her nine bucks and beat it the hell out of there.

Butt wait: there's more!

I soloed my way back to the fourth floor and into the reception area. I whipped out a six-month old copy of Pro Sound News, popped the top of the Styrofoam container and settled into what I expected would be a worthy reward for a long day's work. I never did get the required and should-have-been-included plastic fork, so I took a plastic knife from the kitchen area as this was the only extant utensil and went back to my comfy seat. I'm looking at a Mackie ad (not Bob Mackie!) and I'm finding the penne a bit on the al dente side every so often. I look down and something catches my eye. Penne shouldn't have suction cups, should they? Here is roughly what I saw:

I felt a sinking feeling so sudden it was as if the floor had been removed from beneath my feet and I was falling thirty stories to my death. That passed and I felt my face flush. That passed. I suddenly felt like expelling every bit of organic matter, digested or not, from my body. I repeated, aloud, "You will not throw up, you will not throw up" which, of course, had the words "throw up" and so, I desperately wanted to hurl. So, I started to reason with myself. "It's seafood. It's small. It's cooked." was met with a rising gorge. "Think of evergreen trees and mountain tops." That worked. I visualized the Rocky Mountains of my youth, the soft meadow flowers, the tall yellow and green grass and, with my eyes closed, put the knife, slowly, every so slowly, into the Styrofoam container, brought the lid down on its hinges, tucked in the little Styrofoam lip, picked up the container by the very edges, rose up and shuffled to the furthest trash container I could find WITHOUT opening my eyes. When that was done, I took a deep breath and waited for time to pass, to make this horror a memory. One thing, though, the little suckers (no need to excuse the pun here) were chili-hot and would not be repressed easily. So, I went down to Two Boots Pizza, where I should had gone in the first place except that they have the worst-tasting pizza on the planet despite what trendy NOHO-ers might have you believe and ordered up two slices of something-or-other with some Dr. Browns Cel-Ray soda and sat there. And ate. And the heartbreak of no longer being an octopus virgin slowly passed, as did the gagging.

By the way, here's a Wikipedia entry on Octopuses or octopi - whatever, you get the idea.

And if you want to make your own tortellini in mass quantites, here's an English-language explanation of the factory-model pasta machines from Dominioni. Cool!

Buono Appetito!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


So, being that I have some spare time in between scrambling together my awesome portfolio, I've been delving into some of the darker reaches of the Internet. It just so happens that I'm a steadfast defender of the written English word and I would much rather open an artery than tolerate blatantly incorrect grammar or spelling. Unfortunately, spelling quality across the 'net seems to be atrocious, even on some larger company websites and in some Internet-present news organizations, both of whom engage in the business of communication each and every single dad-blasted day. God.

SMS and text messaging, chat rooms and the need for speed doesn't help the matter much. I've received incomprehensible e-mail loaded with what seem to me to be hieroglyphics. Fortunately, there's a solution. This web site purports to be able to translate English into the lingo of those livin' the net life. So, I tried it out - this was the result I got:

I wnt 2 feck U ^ d (_!_).

My input was this:

I want to fuck you up the ass.

So, yes, it's crude and I don't really want to fuck you or anyone else up the poop porthole, but it just goes to show what technology is doing for us today. Right now. In the moment. I like the use of the brackets and other top-row characters to create the "ass" symbol - very creative. Someone had to envision that - I wish I had that kind of time on my hands. Oh, wait, I do! :|)

Thursday, May 3, 2007

That's What You Get For Being Snippy

I was going to give my lady-friend-writer-type a shout out and a link to her new blog, but she got all bitchy on me and up in my shit so, f*ck dat, you feel me? Shiite. She think she all dat. Then she say I ain't gonna get none tonight - none her words, that be what she talkin' 'bout: getch yo mind out da gudda, byotch! She think she bedda n me. F*ck dat shit. Yo. Motherf*cker. Shiite. I oughta pop a cap in my ass.

People In Glass Houses

have tours. The Philip Johnson Glass House is open for tours right now BUT they are sold out, as of this writing, through July. It's located in New Canaan, CT and the website is here.

For a gl-assload of information about the architect and the house, download this PDF (you'll need Acrobat Reader, which is a free download from Adobe) and actually read it. It may be a bit sanguine but it is chock full of relevant info.

There is a 90-minute tour where photography is NOT allowed - this costs $25 and is conducted in groups of ten. The End-of-Day tour is 2 hours, is $40 per person and does allow photography. Tickets should be purchased in advance, obviously, and there is a discount for National Trust for Historic Preservation members of a whopping fifty percent. Cool. Your can join the Trust for as little as twenty bucks for an individual membership AND receive a handsome canvas totebag. So, join and the first visit to the Johnson House is basically five buck, or fifteen if you want to take snapshots. Sounds good to me.

Pret a Parter - (Frog-Speakers Will Get This)

I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of lingerie. My great-uncle used to own Maidenform, though - useless fact, I guess. I know that women seem to like that stuff and I do appreciate well-made foundation garments - not to wear, silly, to look at. In fact, considering the materials and engineering, it's pretty amazing at what can be done. But, for whatever reason, a turn-on it's not. Sorry. Saran wrap can be interesting and it comes in colors. Wear too much of it, though, and you'll die. Whoops.

Stockings don't do anything for me, either, except when part of an ensemble. I always liked Dior's work with stockings - very innovative, but, I would hardly ever see them anywhere other than a Milan runway. Oddly, Dior doesn't seem to think stockings very fashionable anymore as there seems to be neither singles nor pairs available for viewing at

Crap - I may be gay after all.

Lycra is pretty interesting if passe at this point. Danskins used to be a pet fetish of mine in tween-hood. Oh, well.

Just in case you don't have enough junk in your trunk, you can try a pair (why are undies called a pair, anyway?) of so-called Brazilian Boom! padded panties. As seen on "Tyra." They're a whopping $58. Think of how many milkshakes that'll buy you. On the other hand, gravity has been extremely cruel to my gluteous maximus so much so that they are more de minimus. I'm afraid to wear shorts in a strong wind in case I should hear a passer-by say "What the hell is that flapping sound? Sounds like a wet phonebook slapping raw liver." Yeah - that wouldn't be too good.