Wishes and buts

September 30, 2006 at 12:20 am (Uncategorized)

jeannie.jpgIt happens every spring. The birds are out and the grass is turning green. Scantily clad women are washing cars and the last of the snowbanks have died screaming wet deaths. I’ve got the fever. I know what I want and nothing can stop me from getting it. Yet year after year, in spite of the craving that consumes me like fever, decades of springtimes have passed and I still don’t have a goddamn motorcycle.

I mean it. Every year when the mud dries and the pot holes have been fixed, I start looking around at the gleaming bikes and their deliriously happy riders. And every year, spring fades to summer and summer to fall and I’m still driving a machine with a roof, four wheels and doors.

For many years, I was just way, way too reckless to have a bike. I had the fever, but I was also smart enough to know that it was laced with immaturity and a tendancy to do the wrong thing. Who wants to get scraped off a curb and be forever known as the guy whose leg took three hours to find?

After that it was just not finanically practical. Then it wasn’t practical for other reasons. Now in the spring, I just go to the department stores and sit on the little toy motorcycles out front. A quarter buys me a minute of back and forth action and when I make vroom noises, I can almost feel the wind in my hair. Then the security guy comes and he’s a real dink about it. That bastard probably never got a puppy when he was a kid and that’s why he’s so mean.

So, I dedicate this space to all the things we’ve desired but never obtained. A pony, a model airplane, a real airplane. A ventriloquist puppet, a treehouse, a unicycle. A hot tub, a trophy wife, a bottle of Chateux Lafite. There’s always next year, my friends. Keep rubbing the genie bottle and maybe Barbara Eden will appear.

And while I’m at it, wasn’t Major Nelson an absolute moron?

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Detox/Daycare

September 29, 2006 at 1:03 am (Uncategorized)

kid_20and_20beer_small.jpgThere’s a story that goes around my tiny and demented family about my first drinking experience. Apparently I was around three years old and some yahoo had me drink scotch for sheer entertainment. As the story goes, I immediately went out and crashed my Big Wheel and then tried to get three bigger boys to fight me. Ah, is there anything so adorable as a toddler with a buzz?

The following story was sent in by AO. It reminded me of the various things my brother subjected me to when we were kids. He never got me liquored up, anyway. Drunken bastard was too cheap with his stolen hootch to share with his younger sibling. I’m still bitter about it.

Three-Year-Old Found Passed Out Drunk

Girl’s 14-Year-Old’s Brother Arrested After Incident
AP MINNEAPOLIS (Sept. 27) –
The girl was unconscious when she was taken to a hospital after her
sister called police Monday night, police spokesman Lt. Greg Reinhardt said. “The child could have easily died,” he said.
She was recovering and had been released to a children’s home by Wednesday morning. The girl’s teenage brother was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of child endangerment, Reinhardt said. He said neglect or abuse appeared to have caused the girl’s condition, rather than accidental alcohol poisoning. Police would not release further details on the boy and any court proceedings because he is a juvenile.
The girl’s blood alcohol level was 0.12 percent, authorities said. Minnesota law considers drivers drunk when their blood alcohol level Is 0.08 percent.
About one ounce of 40-proof liquor would cause that blood-alcohol level in a 3-year-old child of average weight, about 28 pounds. Kirk Hughes of the Minnesota Poison Control System said one ounce would
be about two mouthfuls for such a child. Reinhardt said police don’t know what kind of hard liquor the girl drank. Reinhardt said the girl’s mother was not home at the time.

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While you were sleeping

September 28, 2006 at 1:28 am (Uncategorized)

bedbugs_heritage_marina_hot.jpgFrankly, I don’t know how you live with yourself. Night after night, you lay in the dark with millions of mites, 20 gallons of old sweat, and a zoo of fungus beneath your drool dripping mouth. The fungi you sleep with dine on the dead skin you leave behind on the pillows, blankets and mattress. The mites eat the fungus and then they deposit feces all over the place. You wake with mashed critters and their stools all over your body. So extensive is this menagerie of flora, fauna and excrement, it can add two pounds to the weight of your mattress.

But don’t worry about all those things that skitter and crap along your skin while you sleep the sleep of the unconcerned. The bed bugs are probably worse. These creatures — there may be thousands of them in there with you — are a quarter inch long. They are oval-shaped, wingless and light brown. Only they turn a deeper rust color after slurping your blood while you sleep. The bed bugs have six legs, a squat head and large antennae. They have massive mandibles so that they might better clamp down on your sleeping flesh.

tick01.jpgThe soup of your bed is heated to a beautifully habitable 98.6 degrees. It’s a virtual jungle there in your sheets where you spend your most intimate and vulnerable moments. It’s amazing you don’t hear it squish when you lay down. Try not to think too much tonight about all the cracking and oozing and buzzing beneath your tired skin.

You really are quite nasty. Get the hell out of bed and take a shower, you disgusting thing, you. And don’t forget to brush your teeth. That’s it, get those molars way back there and don’t forget to brush your tongue. Just remember one thing while you’re at it: every time you flush your toilet, millions of germs from the bowl are sprayed across the room. You wouldn’t believe how many of them land on that toothbrush you put in your mouth every day. You really are kind of vile.

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Glug vs. Brr

September 27, 2006 at 1:03 am (Uncategorized)

I’ve always been kind of interested in scuba diving, but ya know? There’s a lot of freaky stuff under that water. Things with tentacles and teeth. Big ass stuff, too. I mean, imagine going nose-to-nose with even a docile tuna? Those suckers go five tons. And sharks? Forget about it.
drown.jpgTurns out this guy bartended with my brother at a club in Charlotte, NC. A nice guy, from what I hear. And a two dollar pocket knife could have saved his ass. But I don’t really have a point here. What thinks you? Would drowning or freezing to death be the better way to go?

Gary Cagle, an avid free diver, made two mistakes on a Key West fishing trip last Saturday: He speared a goliath grouper, a fish that is illegal to kill in the Florida Keys. He also forgot to bring along his knife. That error cost him his life.
Cagle, spearfishing a half-mile off Smathers Beach, shot a 40-inch goliath grouper. The fish bolted under a coral head, entangling the diver in the line and, acting like an anchor, held him underwater until he drowned. On Sunday, Key West police divers found Cagle’s body pinned to the coral 17 feet down, his mask still on but the snorkel out of his mouth. The spear line was wrapped three times around his wrist, with the spear shaft still in the carcass of the dead fish — shot right through the gills.
Goliath groupers, which can grow up to eight feet and weigh more than 600 pounds, are not known as aggressive — but many of them show little fear of divers or snorkelers.

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Poor me, poor me, pour me a drink

September 26, 2006 at 12:17 am (Uncategorized)

The young mother probably had a tough life. Exposed to shoddy parenting in her own childhood, she grew up without any of the skills necessary to care for a baby. She probably had emotional needs that led her to become pregnant in the first place. Sex in the place of love, perhaps. And this emotional void no doubt led her to drugs and alcohol. The poor thing. We should sympathize and rally around her.

Of course, it could also be that this is one selfish bitch who should not have been allowed custody of a houseplant, let alone a child. The “horrible background” defense wears thin very quickly, doesn’t it? A lot of people had horrible backgrounds and never drowned their children in puke and Lestoil.

I have a friend who endured a nasty, nasty childhood. An invalid mother, a stepfather who raped her, poverty, bad breaks… She works two jobs and just got her degree in criminology but still spends every free moment with the kid. This girl is among the best mothers on the planet.

It’s all about perspective. This is a case that merits following through the court system to see how loud the “poor me” defense becomes and how a jury reacts.

NEW YORK (AP) – Savarin DeJesus spent her Friday night downing gin and smoking cigarettes before returning to the homeless shelter where she and her 4-month old baby girl were staying. The 18-year-old started vomiting into a bucket next to her bed filled with cleaning solution and water, then passed out with the baby at her side, officials said. When she came to, she found the baby’s head inside the bucket that contained about six inches of liquid, skin already cold. The baby was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
DeJesus was charged with criminally negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of a child. “I loved my baby. I want you to know that,” a weeping and trembling DeJesus told the judge during a brief hearing Friday.
The criminal complaint filed against DeJesus revealed more details about the case, and what DeJesus was doing in the hours leading up to Niah’s death. DeJesus told an NYPD detective that she had a date on Sept. 15 and left the infant late that night in the care of a person living at the East Harlem homeless shelter. During the course of the evening, DeJesus drank a 20-ounce soda bottle that was filled half with soda and half with gin, according to the complaint.
She returned to the shelter at nearly 4 a.m. stinking of booze and retrieved her baby. A few minutes later, after chatting with some residents of the shelter and smoking cigarettes, she took Niah back to her room and changed her clothing and diaper. That is when she told police she felt sick and vomited into the bucket next to the bed. She then passed out, clutching Niah’s legs. When she awoke between 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., DeJesus found the baby’s head inside the bucket. The cause of death was either asphyxiation or drowning, according to the medical examiner’s office. The complaint said the baby smelled strongly of alcohol.
On Friday, DeJesus’ lawyer told the judge that Niah’s death was unintentional. She loved her baby and would never hurt her,” Kenneth Gilbert said. Gilbert said DeJesus had no criminal record and was taking antidepressants in the wake of Niah’s death. He said his client, from Staten Island, was staying at the shelter to be closer to the baby’s father, who lived in the area.
The DHS has posted warnings at the shelter of the dangers of sleeping in bed with children. Cribs are distributed to mothers with children under the age of 2, the DHS said. It’s not clear if DeJesus had a crib in her room.

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The web

September 25, 2006 at 2:52 am (Uncategorized)

worldweb.jpgIt absolutely bewilders me sometimes. The night’s writing is finished. I’ve done everything I need to do and now have obligation free time on my hands. There isn’t squat on the tube but that’s okay. I’m sitting at a computer connected to the World Wide Web. Almost literally, the history of human knowledge is at my fingertips. I could explore the farthest reaches of the known universe, investigate my own biology down to the quantum level, or just watch naked people doing remarkable things to each other in streaming video. But I don’t do any of it. I sit with my fingers frozen over the keyboard and I can’t think of a single place to go.

I love the Internet. If I need to know what day the solstice falls on or what kind of vegetation is found in the Nevada desert, I can find it in about six seconds. If I need a photo of a clown eating a human arm, my search might expand to half a minute. I can write you and ask to borrow a red and white shirt, or look up an old friend in Zimbabwe and confess that I once slept with his sister. What’s he going to do? He can respond with his rage at the speed of light, but he’s still in Zimbabwe, for chrissakes.

I hated the idea of interconnected computers when I first heard of it. It would ultimately destroy our ability for the real world interaction which had allowed us to evolve and thrive over the past four million years. It would make quasi-experts out of loudmouth barflies and sooner or later, the intelligence of the entire race would plateau. We would settle for quick hit knowledge rather than long studies in the things that fascinate us. This World Wide Web, I reasoned, would bring about the dumbing down of society.

Mostly I was just bitter because I couldn’t afford a PC. I heard of men and women having real time conversations over instant messaging technology. Free to converse without the inhibitions of a face-to-face meeting, these people were hooking up with the help of microchips and processors. Sure, they were lying about their age, social status and appearance, but they were hooking up nonetheless. Of course I was envious. I still had to make cold calls and prowl the bars.

My first experience on the Internet was in a chatroom. I had heard there were ways to converse with complete strangers from around the world, but didn’t believe it. I stumbled into a place called the Ant Farm and got hooked. I stayed hooked for about a year. Then I discovered that chatrooms are filled with the same blustery assholes you find in the real world, only louder and bolder with the anonymity.

I still love the Internet. E-Mail alone saves me hours in phone time and allows me to forumalate my thoughts before I deliver them. For research at 3 in the morning, the web cannot be beat. If something extraordinary happens anywhere in the world, I will know about it very quickly through Google news. If I want to see a nude shot of Tina Louse (oh yes, there is one), I could find it in no time.

My first computer cost me about nine hundred bucks. I’m still paying for it, in fact. It had a 3MB hard drive, a 56K processor and 64 MB of ram. It was among the best machines on the market in 1997. Today, I couldn’t get $50 for it at a pawn shop.

Yep, I dig the web. What about you? Think it’s a portal to knowledge? Or the ultimate tool of doom. Also, what are you wearing?

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Splinters

September 23, 2006 at 11:20 pm (Uncategorized)

picture296.jpgSo today, I did the unthinkable. I voluntarily allowed myself to be dragged from one chick store to another. In fact, the whole excursion was my idea. I moved from rack to rack with unrestrained delight and thumbed shirts and blouses with glee. Not once did I complain loudly or try to burn the mall down. Have I gone meterosexual? Am I a blossoming young woman? Am I gay?

Settle down, pumpkin. None of the above. In fact, I’ll openly admit that I became sexually attracted to more than a few mannequins around the stores. Is it me? Or are mannequins hotter than ever these days? Especially the ones that dress all slutty. Those nasty, nasty whores.

But I digress. My flight into effeminacy stemmed not from some hormonal imbalance but from the nature of the season. Halloween is just down the road and around the corner and I find myself in need of a red and white striped shirt. Men don’t wear this particular style of shirt and so I took my chances in the lady stores.

The girly stores are fascinating places. In addition to all the slattern mannequins, there is techno music, spicey aromas and women pressing clothing against other women’s bodies. They spin and ogle each other with the help of five way mirrors. They caress each other and make comments about body lines and busts. These stores are orgies about to happen. So you see, I’m not a meterosexual or burgeoning chick. I’m a lesbian.

But I digress again. I guess what I’m here for is to ask is, shopping? Love it or hate it? And on a completely unrelated topic, do you think it would be a mark of derangement for a grown man to have sexual relations with a store mannequin? A quick response would be appreciated.

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Up in smoke

September 23, 2006 at 2:55 am (Uncategorized)

smokers.jpgSo, I’m pretty much one of those stubborn, grizzled smokers. You’ll find me out there with the other black lungers in driving rain, sleet, hurricane, bitter cold, locusts, etc. I will crawl across a mold-carpeted basement floor and climb through a nest of spiders and broken glass if it means getting a smoke where otherwise I’m denied.

Sick, all of it. Sick and deadly and expensive. And yet it’s never the warnings of premature death that get me. The Surgeon General can shake his death rattle all he wants. I’ll blow smoke rings around him and laugh. For me, it’s the maiming concept that makes me question the habit.

You know the commercials I’m talking about. A wrinkled guy sits in a wheel chair with an oxygen tank as close as his elbow. He holds a metallic object up to his throat and speaks through it in a voice that sounds like a special effect from a bad movie.

“I used to smoke two packs a day. Now I’m confined to this chair and my voice box is made by IBM. Chicks don’t dig me no more and I find it easier to just piss my pants rather than wheeze all the way over to the bathroom.”

Or they parade out some dude who had half his face removed because of cancer that grew around his best inhaling muscles. Nasty, man. That’s a lot to give up for a product that taste pretty much like used kitty litter.

Then there’s the convenience factor. Slipping out at 4 in the morning to drive in pouring rain to a convenience store that will charge you five bucks for something you really need but which tastes like ass once you light up. Searching for a ghetto six blocks from a hospital because smoking anywhere near the building will get you beaten. Or worse, sneered at by pink-lunged health nuts with no vices whatsoever.

Sooner or later, there will be a spot designated in each city and town where smokers must go to light up. It will be in the middle of a swamp and you non-smokers will wander by in hover craft just to mock us and we will try to hit you with frogs.

But anyway, I don’t defend the habit and in fact I hate the tobacco companies a little bit. I’ll probably try to quit soon and you’ll read about me shooting heroin directly into my eyeballs and weeping in gutters. Mostly, I just wanted to post the cool photo of the gravesite sent to me by Brenda. Subtle, woman. Very subtle.

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Stacked: more confessions from the obit girl

September 22, 2006 at 1:25 am (Uncategorized)

By Mandy Malone

robert_stack.jpgIt has been a little over a month now since my television viewing habits were irrevocably altered. On Aug. 14, “Unsolved Mysteries,” the documentary style true crime program narrated by the late Robert Stack, officially came to the end of its long run on Lifetime Television.

I became a fan of the show way back when it first aired on NBC. I stumbled upon the show quite by accident and it quickly stuck with me. It’s hard pinpoint exactly what initially interested me in the show but as I grew older I tended to regard the show as a faithful old friend. No matter what was going on in my life, whether I was graduating from high school, finishing college, or starting a new job, it was always there.

My favorite segments were those that dealt with crime, particularly the unsolved murders and disappearances. It was always interesting to watch cases then, if the cases were resolved, see if the resolution matched the theory of the crime posited in the segment.

This is not to say the show didn’t have its problems. The quality started to erode a bit in the mid-90s when the show was overhauled and everything from the opening credits to the theme music was given a makeover. The original episodes filmed for Lifetime weren’t quite as good as the earlier episodes, but they were still a respectable attempt to keep the show going.

I always knew that someday Lifetime would stop airing the show, but I was a bit surprised that the ending came as abruptly as it did. Now all I’m left with are memories and scores of videotapes to commemorate the existence of the show. Oh well, at least Food TV is still showing re-runs of the original Japanese version of “Iron Chef,” even if it is at 4 a.m. on Tuesdays.

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Hear no evil

September 21, 2006 at 1:57 am (Uncategorized)

250px-huckfinncover.jpgI know that many of you are parents and you look after your children with the zeal of a mama bear mauling an encroaching tourist. At the risk of causing shrieks of protest, I would like to ask this: have some mothers and fathers out there lost their friggin minds? Have they grown up so far into the clouds that they have forgotten how many daily influences there are on a child’s life and how few of those influences can be controlled?

I rant, of course, about the belly aching over the book of schoolyard rhymes introduced recently to Maine schools. Some of those rhymes are so insidious (“pull down your pants and slide on the ice,”) that the children exposed to them will surely grown into a generation of flesh-eating, puppy-killing, drug-abusing bank-robbing psychos.

How we made it to our advanced ages without turning into consummate criminals is a marvel. After all, we had childhood ditties too, and many of them depicted violence.

“Glory, glory hallelujah. Teacher hit me with a ruler. Hid behind the door with a loaded .44, and the teacher don’t hit me no more.”

I mean, not only does the jingle promote murder, it’s a grammatical mess.

Ironically, this loud wailing over the awful language the kiddies are being subjected to comes during National Book Banning week. The parents who tell you it’s not okay to recite rhymes about sliding bear bottom on the ice will also assert that novels like “Huckleberry Finn” and “The Catcher in the Rye” are guidebooks to hell. What you have to wonder is whether this constant monitoring of a child’s day-to-day experiences will instill a healthy ignorance of all things vile? Or fear and naiveté about the things they missed while their parents covered their eyes?

BANGOR, Maine (AP) – A book of rhymes handed out to kindergarten classes across Maine is being criticized by some parents as inappropriate.

“Schoolyard Rhymes” is a compilation of 50 verses included in bags given to 18,000 pupils through the Read With ME literacy project supported by Gov. John Baldacci and his wife Karen. Karen Baldacci, who is a former kindergarten teacher, spearheads Maine Reads, the nonprofit umbrella organization for Read With ME that is funded by Verizon, the Bangor Daily News reported. The group receives no state money.

A few of the rhymes have raised some eyebrows. For example, one says, “Ladies and gentlemen, Take my advice, Pull down your pants And slide on the ice.” Another one says, “Girls go to Mars to get candy bars. Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider.”

Erica Smith of Hampden, mother of a 5-year-old son who goes to the McGraw School, said the book is “completely inappropriate.”
“It’s rude. There are words in there that I don’t allow in my house,” said Smith, who complained to her son’s teacher as well as the school principal. She also called the governor’s office to voice her displeasure.

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