Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Crash Dummy

Tragically, none of these officers responded to the scene.

You guys, I saw a wreck yesterday afternoon. It was so cool! And yet, I didn’t actually see it after all. It was so lame! I had nipped over to a fancy new salad bar and was bringing my tasteful box of greens and goodies back to my desk for lunch. As I was standing on the sidewalk, waiting to jaywalk safely across the street, I was thinking (if you want to call it that) about something or the other, string theory, or porn, or how very delicious my salad was going to be, when BLAMMO, a truck pulled into the path of a bus and was rewarded by getting its front fender well and truly crunched.

It was pretty apparent no one was hurt and the truck was one of those fancy Escalades, so all of us standing on the sidelines were able to be thrilled without being concerned; everyone seemed to agree a Cadillac pickup just deserves whatever traffic mishap it encounters. The whole thing was directly in front of me, right where I would have been looking if I had actually been looking at anything instead of standing there with my eyes glazed and unfocused and I only snapped to when the ka-blam noise jarred me awake.

That’s what I always look at as the main drawback to any time travel I might stumble upon. I know that were I to go back in time to witness Lindbergh landing in Paris, or that sailor kissing the nurse in Times Square on VE day, or the Kennedy assassination, or whatever, at the crucial moment, instead of paying attention, I would be looking around thinking “I wonder where I can get some tacos?”

Mmmm, tacos.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cracker Talk

Growing up in the South, I was exposed to the wonderfully lurid dialect of a world that I’m afraid has disappeared without much more trace than my inability to say the word “oyster” (as dear Diane von Austinberg points out, I inevitably pronounce it OISH-chuh.)

My grandmother was able to announce “that boy is just not right” and have her inflection specify anything from mental disability to criminal tendencies (plenty of that in my family. Or “Fambly,” as we would say) to homosexuality (that would be me.) When my other granny would glare at you and growl “I am fixin’ to straighten you out boyuh,” it was time to run. I was a grown man before I realized the words “ball” and “boil” were not homonyms. And it has only been R Man’s patient tutelage that has taught me to move the accent from the first syllable in “insurance” to the second one. Who knew?

But I have now lived in California so long that my accent has been scrubbed clean. At least, it seems like it to me, so I’m always surprised when people I meet claim to be able to hear it in my voice. I assure them that this is nothing since I originally sounded like a road show version of Tennessee Williams’ greatest hits. Still, sometimes I hear “dollar” roll out of my mouth in the form of “dollah.” And I have been met with blank stares when I use the simile “Running around like a monkey with its ass on fire” to describe how busy I am. At least I pronounce it as “fire” and not “fahr” so that has to count as progress, right?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Stinking Rose

Oh, mein little poodles, I am so glad we communicate through the internet; even that may not protect you. I whipped up a batch of hummus tonight - tasty, tasty, tasty, but I'm afraid I might have gone a wee bit long on the garlics. I ate a tangerine and brushed my teeth twice, I am a very small step from using Clorox as a mouthwash, and yet the paint on the wall in front of me as I type this is cracking and peeling. When I exhale, people on the far side of Oakland probably faint. If I expire tonight in my sleep, I'm sure it will be from Extreme Stinkiness. All I ask is that I be buried at sea and not in some hazardous waste dump.

If only my Breath of Death had been with me this afternoon. I had to speak to a group of students from a very down market vocational school about starting one's own business. Ugh. Even by the most charitable standards these kids were unimpressive; that's why I could have used my super wall o' garlic, maybe I wouldn't have had to smell them. As they were leaving, one of them assured the teacher he'd see him on Monday "If I'm not sentenced tomorrow." Hold on to that dream, sweetie, that's what I say.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Amazingly, all my inshights come from eavesdropping. After lunch, I was waiting for the elevator back to work, hanging on the cusp between being irritated the elevators were running so slowly and not really being in a hurry to get back to my desk, when I was surrounded by a gaggle (three actually. Is that a gaggle?) of the computer nerds who work on the floor below us. As are so very many computer nerds, these looked to be Indian or Pakistani.

One of them was talking about his girlfriend. I inferred from what I overheard that she was pretty and sexually active. Inference was necessary since he talked about her in this junior high kind of giggly way that relied on innuendo and ellipses when what he really needed was the phrase “blow job.” Never the less, his fellow nerds seemed very impressed.

This continued even when the elevator finally showed up and we all got on. He wrapped up by abruptly assuring them that wedding plans were not a consideration since she was “just a Mexican.” I was so astonished I almost broke the sacred social rule of Never Look at Someone in the Elevator. Partly it was because I was immediately embarrassed , as if I committed a faux pas just be being there. It was also because the guy was so dumpy, I was amazed to think any chick would allow him to sniff her panties, let alone a hot one bang her. And he’s going to dump her? What a schmoe.

Also, there was the weird sensation of hearing racist comments so causally unloaded. Did the fact the he was a minority make it OK? I can imagine how three dumpy white guys sharing that in a crowded elevator would be received.

So, hot chica, if you’re reading this, run girl, run. He’s a jerk, you can do better, his stubby little dick is never going to get bigger and his mother hates you. You can thank me later.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

This Just In:

Who knew marmots could incite such passion? Comments in the previous post revealed sordid vaudeville acts, bizarre publications and the fact that MJ was preparing to give birth to a Canadian marmot (which she’s looking to unload, if you’re interested.) My, my, the things a simple blog brings to light.

But you guys, wait, there’s a better way to discover the dirty little secrets of possible psychotics. The Magic Nine ball answers all. Sure, the skeptics can jeer, but just this evening, I asked it “Did that muscley Thai rent boy/masseur give me the clap?”

and it answered “Bet everything on it.” OHMYGOSH, isn’t that eerie? It’s obviously in touch with the Higher Plane; insights like that don’t just roll off a marmot’s back you know.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Baroque News

I was jamming with the Baroque Choral music station on Pandora radio earlier cause that's the kind of wild dog I am, when I ran across this description:

“Georg Philipp Telemann was born in Magdeburg, the son of a Lutheran deacon who died in 1685, leaving the mother to raise their three children alone. The youth showed remarkable talent in music, but was temporarily discouraged in his chosen pursuit by Puritan Lutherans, who told Telemann's mother that he would turn out no better than ‘a clown, a tightrope walker or a marmot-trainer.’”

It seems like they’re saying that as a bad thing. A tightrope walker? Who wouldn’t want their fatherless kid to turn out as an aerialist? That’s so cool. You know if he was around now he'd have a dynamite little number featuring a soundtrack by Erasure and be the hit of Cirque du Whatever. And don’t get me started about them hating on marmot trainers. When I consider the danger untrained marmots present to our community, why I just have to say “Forget you, Puritan Lutherans.”

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We Fail an Energy Audit

The energy audit came delivered by not one, but two cute, cute guys. Having your life veer into the set-up for a porn video is just part of living in San Francisco. They were here for two hours, shooting laser tape measures and climbing into the attic and furnace room and other places into which I have never set foot in twelve years of living here. The big finale was a large vinyl tent thing athwart the front door with a huge fan in it to suck all the air out of the house so they could measure where the air leaks are. The verdict: we have lots of leaks. Leaks in the furnace return, leaks in the walls, leaks in the vents. Ryan, the earnest, cuter one did compliment us on our fireplace damper. Oh boy. There is no insulation and the furnace is working four times as hard as it needs to, but we have a dynamite damper.

I'm glad Ryan was so cute, his boyish charm gave me something to think about at the very end of the review when we got to chat about the asbestos in the ductwork. Ay. So our options are to hold our breath the entire time we're in the house or replace all the ducts, in addition to a new furnace and lots and lots of insulation. When I lined this audit up, I already knew we were going to be in for a chunk of change, I just hadn't thought the words "environmental hazard" were gong to play a part. At least the guys were cute.

Monday, November 9, 2009

No Thanks

My boss Mike announced today that he is leaving the agency to take a job with a United Nations agency in Switzerland. I explained to him that was impossible, that only the heroes of Barbara Cartland novels have jobs for the United Nations in Switzerland, but he seemed unconvinced. So now I need to start planning his farewell luncheon.

I need also to stave off my co-workers’ merry assumptions that I will be taking up his role. These are understandable assumptions, we haven’t had a new hire in our office since 1995. That’s fourteen years for the mathematically challenged among us. In that time we have shrunk from about 60 employees to 22, almost all of whom are deadwood waiting for retirement to sweep them away. To say I’m the best suited is not necessarily flattering; it’s more like recognizing that I'm the last one standing.

Here’s the sticking point: I Don’t Want the Fucking Job. I do not want to take on 250 per cent more work for 15 percent more pay. I do not want to supervise the dolts I already resent working next to. Mostly, I love my current job and do not want any more responsibility, which would only serve to expose my lack of business acumen.

Have I mentioned that when I meet people they frequently assume I am a big shot business whiz? I have a title, I have business cards and I’m tall. Apparently that’s all you need. I figure it’s like some kind of test. If you can finish a conversation with me without deducing that I am just a schmoe wearing a tie, than you should not be in business for yourself. God help you.

What am I good at? I’m very capable at organizing our training program and I’m wonderful at going to parties. I know everyone in town and have a talent for connecting people. “You need to talk to Gwen,” I say, knowing Gwen will straighten your ass out and save me from doing so. I know who will give you free legal advice and who you should stay away from when you want to get some marketing tips. I am the yenta of the entrepreneurial community. It is a talent I never expected and would hate to waste.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Home Front

Before I expose yet another degree of my dorkiness, let us revel in some boy booty, shall we?There. Don't we all feel better now? I thought so.

Back to my dorkitude: my closet organizing spree led to a run to Goodwill this afternoon. Total whee. We packed so much crap in our car, Urban Street Pirate riding in the back seat barely fit; it looked like the Clampetts on the move. We unloaded all of it, busted lamps, unflattering jackets and personal electronics so old they belonged in museum instead of a thrift store. Everything except the collection of curtain rods in various sizes. The guy on the truck eyed them and announced, very firmly, he was obviously accustomed to donors not wanting the crap denied, "Are those curtain rods? We don't take curtain rods." I immediately considered denying they were curtain rods, except, you know it's hard to pass them off as anything else. Plus I thought about all the curtain rods I've seen in Goodwill Stores over the years. Barrels of them. Where do those come from? Is there some kind of drapery hardware genesis going on I don't know about?

I refused to argue and just dragged them back home to shove them in a corner of the garage. And having hauled off a gross ton of household goods and debris, shouldn't my garage look swept clean? Nope. It looks just the same as it did before I crippled my self digging all this stuff out. I think my neighbors are sneaking castoffs in here behind my back. Bastards.

So the point of digging through our garage is in preparation of our Energy Audit on Tuesday. That is the real level of what a dork I am. Not only are we getting our insulation checked, but I am looking forward to it. I love having someone who nominally knows what they're talking about examine my house and tell me what to do to keep it from falling down around my ears. If they're cute, even better, but as long as they have a clip board, I'm all on it.

The nice lady scheduling this warned that it's so thorough, it would take a couple of hours. Ooh, daddy. Talk to me about my dirty furnace, my clogged ducts, my shameless lack of insulation. And then fix it. No more drafty living room, no more chilly bathrooms, heaven.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Out of the Closet

How sobering it is to realize that, for me, the highlight of our recent redecorating spree was emptying and then tidying up the freshly painted linen closets. I truly am Martha Stewart in a gay man’s body. I make no excuses, I find it immensely gratifying to throw crap away; to haul off mounds of no longer wanted possession to the Goodwill thrills me. I took eight giant garbage bags of old sheets and blankets to Animal Care and Control, aka The Cat Jail. Even as I type this, homeless kitties are snuggling into high thread count flannel, thanks to me. I am a hero.

You know that home redecorating show Clean House, where they barge into homes that are awash in mountains of junk and then shovel all that junk into a yard sale and redecorate for the schmucks who were previously buried there? I am just the opposite of those schmucks: whereas they cannot let go of their stuff, I cannot get rid of it fast enough. Whatever their sickness is, I have none of it. Maybe I could sell a vaccine.

Just to prove I am not totally lost to sentimentality, though, part of this most recent round of closet and drawer ransacking turned up the remains of my favorite Mardi Gras costume. I made it by removing the arms from a baby doll and wiring them to wear as a kind of headpiece so they looked like devil horns. Some people were quire disturbed by them which thrilled me no end. Those will NEVER go to Goodwill. I think I’d like to be buried in them, please.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sex Cancels Good Sense. And Taste.

I had been vaguely aware of the scandale surrounding some guy named something or the other at some sports channel, also named something or the other (when I say “vaguely” I mean it in the most literal way.) The whole thing had only bumped into the dim outer reaches of my consciousness because the photos showed him to be such a silver haired hottie, even if he did look very much like someone who would come in your mouth and then loudly deny being gay. This just in: research reveals his name is Steve. Steve Something or the Other.

Anyway, the eagle-eyed TJB has discovered a photo of the little homewrecker Stevie boy threw over his career and life for. Here you go:

Let us not be coy here: this is not the face that launched a thousand anythings. Mr Something or the Other looks like he could snag some pretty hot pussy and this is the best he can scrape up?

It just goes to prove a truism, one that explains why the word “Necrophilia” had to be invented, why both sheep and watermelons are regarded as sex toys in various parts of the world and why Robin Rogers, one of the ugliest girls in my high school was able to get knocked up when we were 17. The truth is, men will fuck anything. Apparently the phrase “Oh, what the hell….” does not regularly enter the calculus of desire of women. I wouldn’t know. I am a guy and just as capable of launching myself into the throes of rut based on “How bad can it be?” as any of my brethren. Oh, like you've never woken with regret as your first emotion and the need to bleach the part of your brain holding memories of the previous night.

I gotta go. I'm certain there are nude photos of Steve somewhere on the web (isn't that what it's for?) and I am determined to find them.

In Which Credit Is Taken

Financial advice from mrpeene e So every year or two, some evil little troll manages to get their grubby paws on my credit card number.  The...