Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Gay or European? VOTE NOW!!!

One of the greatest games ever to be posted on the internet is Gay or European.
Basically, you look at a picture of someone and guess if they are Gay or European. Sounds simple, right? Well, we’re gonna play a ninja version of that game on my blog today. This started with a dispute between Velvet and I over whether a particular, now infamous, sweater is gay or European.

Now before we start, I should mention that I’ve dated my share of European girls. Before the ToolBelt Diva and I dated (and broke up) the three previous girlfriends I had were a French girl, a Serbian girl (who used to model) and an American girl (who used to model) who lived in Italy for the past 8 years. I also not-so-seriously dated a German girl, a Brit and a Belgian girl. The reason I got to date hot euro chicks is because I (now) don’t mind wearing clothes that make me look European. It differentiates me from the fratty types and their Abercrombie gear and baseball caps, and the girls like it. I’m also an incredible salsa dancer (and mediocre swing dancer) so these things make up for my shortcomings, like my personality, the fact that I’m in love with Judy Greer, and my inexplicable aversion to eating olives.

The infamous sweater was picked out by the French girl I dated, who I’m still friends with. At first, I didn’t want to wear it because, let’s face it, it’s orange. So I waited ‘till Halloween to wear it, and when I did I had people telling me all day how good it looked. I felt like the girl who comes back from summer vacation after going through puberty and getting all kinds of new attention because of her new perky breasts. So that sweater was like my first real bra…a C cup from Victoria’s Secret.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I want to look like an American who dresses like a European, not an actual European, because they are small and wussy-like. The French girl once brought me back a sweater from Paris. I’m a medium and this sweater was an extra large. The sweater was tight on me. I think I could be a bouncer in France. How do you say “I think you’ve had enough to drink, Pierre…do you want to leave the easy way or the hard way” in French?

Anyway, today’s Gay or European game will feature the (in)famous Orange Sweater.

Random facts about the sweater:

Place of Purchase: Benetton
Price $110
Picked out by: French ex-girlfriend
Number of times girls have complimented me on it: 50+
Number of times that Velvet told me (loudly) that it looks gay: 50+
Number of times I’ve gotten laid on a first date while wearing it: 2
Odds that I would get laid at Blogger Happy Hour after Velvet yelled that it was a gay sweater: 1,000,000 to 1

Anyway, there was a reaaaaally cute girl there, who would’ve totally been my type if she weren’t already engaged. In addition to being (painfully) good looking, she likes the same type of things I do. Including kung fu movies! She actually said Kung Fu Hustle was one of her favorite movies. (one day a girl will tell me that her favorite movie is The 5 Deadly Venoms or The 36th Chamber of Shaolin and I’ll ask her to marry me, right then and there). But the whole dating-someone-else thing is a deal breaker for me. Some guys won’t date heavy girls, some won’t date republicans and some won’t date tranny hookers (but Porter Goss is okay with that). I can overlook minor stuff like if she thinks Fight Club is a good movie, but if she’s letting some other guy play hide the salami with her, that’s where I draw the line. Since she was taken, but realized how awesome I am, she tried to set me up with her friend.

Hottie: you should totally go for my friend. You’re cute, funny, and
you dress really nice.

Ninja: Well, I'm kinda seeing someone...plus, I don’t think she’s interested.

Hottie: That’s because she thinks your gay.

Ninja: Huh? She thinks I’m a gay?

Hottie: Yeah, we spotted you before and thought you were cute but my friends hought you were totally gay?

Ninja: Totally Gay!!! I’m not even partially gay.

Hottie: Well you’re dressed really nice, but your outfit looks—

Ninja: -- METROSEXUAL! The word you’re looking for is metro-sexual.

Hottie: Are you sure? What if you are and don’t know it? You know…a fagnostic.

Ninja: If that was the case, then I spent a small fortune acquiring the wrong kind of p0rn library.

Hottie: You’ve got an actual library…that’s impressive.

Ninja: Well, I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I didn’t get these callouses on my hands from swinging a hammer, baby!

Hottie: wow...I was being sarcastic. But seriously, wow!



As the night wears on, Velvet finds out what happened and sends the following text message to one of the girls: “[Ninja] is not gay. He was just remiss is choosing that turtleneck.” I’m not really sure what “remiss” means, but I’m embarrassed nonetheless. This is worse than when my parents whip out the pics they took of me crying on the potty or eating from the garbage. And no, those pictures weren’t taken recently, they were when I was in diapers, so I was probably in my late teens or early twenties.

This quickly begins turning from mildly awkward to extremely uncomfortable. It feels like when you’re a teenager watching a movie at a family get-together with your parents and a sex scene comes on. You have nowhere to hide until it’s over and you know that any attempt to lessen the embarrassment will only make things worse. You’re just waiting for something like your grandma walking in from the kitchen and telling your mom to tell you about how one uses “those condom things” to keep a girl from getting in trouble. You just know that by the time you’re finished with your eventual therapy sessions, you’ll be out some serious bucks. After numerous drinks and discussing my turtleneck with anyone who’ll listen, she gets up from the table and shouts as loudly as possible to me from across the room.

Velvet: Don’t wear any more turtlenecks…people think you look gay!

Ninja: Please say that louder. These walls are brick and I don’t think the neighbors heard you.

Velvet: Don’t yell at me! First of all, I was only trying to help and second of all, You’re the one with the sweater that makes you look like a—

Ninja: --metrosexual? You were about to say I look like a metrosexual, right?

Velvet: no, a Fruity Pebble.


As we were leaving, I accosted 3 girls in the doorway and let them vote on it. Gay or European? Girl 1 liked the sweater (European). Girl two liked the sweater, but not the color (color=gay, sweater = European). Girl three liked the sweater and the color (or maybe she was jus’ sayin’ that ‘cuz she wants me). (European). In the car, the conversation continued. At the risk of mixing my metaphors, she wanted to beat this dead horse until the cows came home.

Velvet: Look, some people dig the metro look and other people don’t, they
think it looks gay.

Ninja: Can we drop this, please?

Velvet: Don’t get mad, I like the metro look.. If I didn’t know you and I saw you
in that sweater, I would probably fcuk you.

Ninja: Really?

Velvet: Yeah…if I didn’t know you. There’s no way I would fcuk you now.

Ninja: How come?

Velvet: Because my friends think you’re gay.




So anyways, I’ll leave it up to you people to vote on it. I don’t have a pic from the party, but here’s one of me at a friends’ party a couple of months ago. What say you???
GAY OR EUROPEAN.




Click Here to VOTE NOW!!!

----------

UPDATE:

I'm outta' town for a few days. I'll end the contest when I get back. Then I'll post some pics of where I was and we can play "where the hell is Home Improvement Ninja, and doesn't it suck that It's been snowing here while he was on the beach." The winner will get some old junk , err, I mean some vintage items.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Kamikaze Vehicle Attacks Increase

Many of you probably think that I’m paranoid about SUVs crashing into the Ninja Fortress. Well, if you think I’m overstating the risk of vehicle attacks, you’re wrong. Just this past week, there have been 3 attacks on buildings in the DC area. One was by an SUV, which destroyed a building and left 7 families homeless:

In a surprise move, this SUV struck the gas meter in order to amplify the power of it’s assault. Very crafty, my friend. I would almost say Ninja-esque, but a Ninja would never drive a BMW SUV. It’s too pretentious. The proper Ninja Lite-Armoured Assault Vehicle is a Honda CRV.





Anyway, in addition to the top-secret fortifications at the ninja fortress, I have taken to parking my NLAAV RIGHT behind a similar vehicle on my block. It makes my house look like a gathering place for the shadow warriors. Maybe some kind of Ninja headquarters. Anyway, just the idea that there may be several ninjas at home at any time is probably enough to deter most attackers.


In other news: A sports car crashed into a Dry Cleaner Store. Doubtless that word of my increased fortifications has gotten out and since they had no idea which townhouse was mine, they attacked a dry cleaners instead. The choice of a sports car was interesting too. Not as heavily armoured as an SUV, but quicker and more mobile. We’ll think on that one.

Or this: A Car in Fairfax crashes into building’s gas meter.
This was actually a good strategy. They seized on the SUV’s gas meter strategy. Since the car is not as strong as an SUV, he stuck the gas line, hoping to maximize the damage to make up for the fact that he’s driving a chick car.

Anyway, if any of you Kamikaze hipsters are reading this and thinking of crashing into my house, don't do it. I'm a mean drunk and am usually drinking the entire time I'm home, so if you crash into my house, I will kill you. I'll beat you to death with some beer bottles, or throw the nearest small object (probably a porn DVD) like a ninja star and decapitate you.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Mouse Commandos vs. The Home Improvement Ninja

I killed all the mouse commandos that invaded the ninja fortress. It’s been a couple of months since I’ve seen the last of them, so now I can write calmly about the story. I mentioned previously about my mouse problem at the ninja fortress, but never got around to finishing the story. To understand why I hate the mouse intruder (Sho Kosugi) and his band of mouse commandos so much, you’ll need a little background me. So I need to explain a little bit of my love affair with bacon, and my hatred of germs, and why I don’t sleep with hookers in Amsterdam.

First the bacon:
100 years from now, when historians, literature professors, or hausfraus who read romance novels will discuss the greatest loves of all time, they will throw out names like “sir Lancelot and Gweneviere”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Tristan and Isolde”, and “Home Improvement Ninja and Bacon”. As a ninja, I respect bacon’s deadliness. But as a mortal, I can’t help but love her. If there was no such thing as cholesterol, I would eat bacon at every meal. I would put it on my cereal in the mornings, I would have it for lunch in a BLB sandwich (that’s bacon, lettuce and bacon), then I would have it at dinner in a bacon and mozzarella casserole (a dish that I would’ve invented if cholesterol didn’t exist). This is why I could never convert to Judaism or Islam. Any religion that forbids me from being with the love of my life is not one that I can practice. Nothing can separate us!!!

Now the Germs:

I have a “thing” about germs. I keep hand sanitizer in my desk drawer and use it every time I shake hands with someone. I can’t do it at meetings, so when I shake hands at a meeting with several people, for the rest of the meeting I’ll keep my right hand as far away from the rest of me as I can without attracting attention to myself until I can get back to my office and use the sanitizer to get the germs of the great unwashed offa’ me. During the entire meeting, all I can think about is how much germs these people must have. Well, I think about that and bacon, of course. .

My germ phobia is the source of jokes sometimes by those that are close to me and pretend to be my friends. (real friends don’t make fun of your weaknesses. Lois Lane never teased Superman about Kryptonite). One incident which is relevant to the story, is when I went to Amsterdam with Dirty Dave (real nickname) and [Redacted] (name changed because he’s married and his wife might find this blog). [Redacted] was going to Amsterdam on business so he had a niiiiice hotel room that was paid for, and Dirty Dave and I decided to go because all we had to do was buy the plane tickets.

Since [redacted] was on business most of the day, Dave wanted me to go so that we can do cool stuff in Amsterdam. And since I don’t smoke pot (as far as you know), by “cool stuff” I mean going to museums and looking at canals and shit (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).

Dirty Dave is a unique individual. Sui generis. Dirty Dave’s theory on cheating on your girlfriend: “hey man, if you’re wearing a condom, then, technically, you’re not even touching her”

Dirty Dave’s theory on hookers. “with a regular girl, if you use the wrong fork at dinner, she might not fcuk you, but with a hooker, you could show up with your balls smelling like balsmamic vinegar and she’ll do you.” (for the record, Dave is currently going through a divorce).

Dirty Dave is fun to hang out with, because there is nothing he won’t do in the name of comedy, no matter how disgusting. For instance, if we’re at a party and someone leave’s their drink unattended, Dave will say something like “stand in front of me, I’m gonna teabag that guy’s drink”, then, without anyone noticing, will grab the drink, unzip his pants and dip his testicles into the drink. Dave’s (now)ex-girlfriend saw him do it at a party once. Rather than be embarrassed about it, like a normal person, he laughed and said “forget about roofies, THAT’s why you should always keep an eye on your drink.” In Dave’s view he was performing a public service by forcing people to guard their drinks. Anyway, I could go on, but the rest of my Dirty Dave stories aren’t fit for mixed company.


Now the hookers in Amsterdam

So the three of us are in Amsterdam and I see him talking to a hooker in the redlight district. His arms are gesticulating wildly, so I can tell he is negotiating. Dave is an incurable bargain hunter and haggles about the price of everything, even deviant sex. I bet that his greatest regret in the afterlife will be that death deprived him of the opportunity to haggle with the funeral parlor over the price of his own casket. After a while he comes back and announces that he’s got us a great group discount for the hooker and wants to know who wants to go first.

Ninja: You two do it, I don’t want to.

Dave: What the fuck, dude! She’s hot! She looks like Britney Spears. (actually, she looked like Britney’s older, skankier sister, if Britney had a sister in Amsterdam who turned tricks and gave group discounts).

Ninja: Dude, I don’t even like to use a public toilet, I definitely don’t want to use a public va-jay-jay.

Dave: Look man, this is Amsterdam, that mean’s she’s been tested. It’s perfectly safe…I’ll prove to you it’s okay. I’ll go first.

Ninja: why does you going first make it LESS disgusting? Public toilet…remember?

Dave: Okay, you go first!

Ninja: How about I don’t go at all.

Dave: Look asshole, I worked out a group rate for the three of us, and if you don’t want to go then she’s gonna either raise the price on me and [redacted] or one of us will have to go twice.

[Redacted]: okay…I’ll go twice. First and last. But don’t do anything too disgusting to her in between, because I’m going after you.

Ninja: Don’t do anything too disgusting? You realize that you’re going after Dirty Dave, right? You’ve seen what he does to unattended drinks, what do you think he does with hookers?



Back to the Bacon:
So one day, I made bacon in the usual manner (meaning that I cook an entire packet of bacon and eat it all in one sitting). The pan was full of bacon grease and bacon bits, so I left it on the stove and overnight, the grease gelled and solidified.

The next morning I saw the most disgusting thing in the world in the solidified bacon grease: footprints. Little tiny footprints. I almost threw up. I cleaned the skillet and left rubbing alcohol in it, but I still can’t bring myself to use it, even thought it’s been a couple of months. I would throw it away if I hadn’t payed a meelyun dollars for it at Williams and Sonoma. Maybe if I stick it in ground zero of a thermo nuclear reactor, I’ll be able to eventually bring myself to eat off it….probably not. Maybe I’ll give it away to someone that I dislike.

So knowing how I feel about germs and my bacon, you KNOW I had to kill this mouse in the most disgusting way possible. I thought about some of those sonic things that people recommended. They supposedly emit a sound that humans can’t hear, but drive mice away. It sounded like a good idea, but I didn’t want the mouse commandos to get away with what they did. I wanted to make an example of them. When other mice think of invading the impenetrable fortress, I don’t want them to say “Yeah, the food’s good in there, but it’s the noise will drive you crazy. It’s like going to a rave or a Celine Dion concert. “ I want them to say “don’t even think about it. No one’s ever gone in there and lived to tell about it. I don’t know how they died, but I know it involved horrible screams and pleas for mercy which went unheeded.”

So I went to the Hardware store on 17th. And I found out all there was to know about mouse traps. I liked the snap traps because the glue traps suck and won’t can’t anything, except for the most na├»ve mice, who will fall for anything (including a large plastic tray of glue). But this mouse had penetrated the ninja fortress with a crack squad of highly trained mice commandos, so I needed some heavy artillery.


They had the plastic snap traps, which allow you to dispose of the mouse without getting anywhere near touching it, but when I stuck my finger in it, it didn’t feel strong enough to kill a mouse commando. So I opted for something stronger, the old-fashioned snap traps. The wood ones with the metal bars. As I was seeing how to set it, I accidentally caught myself and it hurt like a mo-fo so I knew that it’s the one I wanted. I figured if I can hurt myself with it by accident, think about the damage I could do when I use it on purpose!!!

I was doing fine until some moron hipster animal lover wanted to stick her patchouli smelling two cents in.

Crazy: You should try one of those no-kill mouse traps.

Ninja: why would I want to do that?

Crazy: So the mouse doesn’t suffer. You can catch him and release him alive.

Ninja: What if I want him to suffer. Not just die, but actually suffer. What if I don’t want to release him alive, what if I want to drink a glass of beer over his mutilated corpse.

Crazy: that’s just sick, why would you want it to suffer.

Ninja: Because I love bacon and I don’t fcuk hookers in Amsterdam!!! THAT’S WHY!!!



Anyway, I killed every mouse commando, but here was their leader. Lieutenant Colonel Sho Kosugi. You were good, man…but I was better.


______________


COMING SOON: I was finally able to upload the pic of my orange turtleneck sweater, so next week I will post it and you can vote on whether it's gay or european.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

On Topic Post: Look Before you Leap.

There's a relevant post HERE in the Washington Post about past home improvement ideas that were once very popular, but ended up causing lots of problems (like Asbestos materials and aluminum wiring).

Part of the reason that I'm reluctant to accept new innovations is that I fear being an experiment. Asbestos sounds great, but years later they find out it causes incurable cancer...no thanks. So whenever some new invention comes along (like expanding foam insulation or structural insulated panels) I think to myself "wow, that's a great idea...if it's still around in 20 years and no one's got incurable cancer, I'll probably try it, but until then, no thank you."


I know that probably makes me a dinosaur, but I don't care. I was the last person on earth to buy a cordless power tool (last year) becuase I didn't trust them. I was also the guy who told my friend, who was computer shopping, that CD Roms were just a fad. Note, I said the same thing about MP3s, TiVO, and Grey's Anatomy...I really wish I was right about the last one.(does anyone that doesn't have a uterus watch this show, if they are not being forced to do so by their girlfriend or wife? has anyone ever filed for divorce and listed being forced to watch this show as evidence of spousal cruelty? why did they put a show with so many unnattracive people in prime time...this isn't american idol)

Anyway, check out the article to see if you live in a deathtrap, or to give you food for thought wehn you are considereing being the first on your block to buy some new-fangled technical advancement (like Apple's cool iPhone).

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I'm In Love

I'm in love with DayQuil. THere, I said it. The past week I've been sicker than Dick Cheney's mind, and DayQuil is the only friend that hasn't abandoned me. I've been leaking bodily fluids from every orifice, coughing, sneezing, fever, you name it. But I still had to go to work, and go to my salsa class and breathe on people, so DayQuil was my wingman. I tired other things too this week. Theraflu, which sux. It's about as much help as a placebo or an evangelical faith healer. Threaflu? Therefraud is more like it.

But Dayquil is the ish in my book. It's not just the poor man's Nyquil. I mean, sure, if you're some teenager looking to get high, but too scared to ride your bike into the bad neighborhood to score some mescaline, than Nyquil is a good choice. But can you drive on Nyquil (without killing someone) operate power tools? WHat if a small commando squad of assassins broke into your home to kill you. Do you think you could effectively fight them off if you're hopped up on NyQUil. Even if you studied northern eagle claw kung fu for a year and a half when you were 15 years old, that might not be enought to save you. ANd what about sex? If I was on NyQuil my perforance would suffer greatly. I would move from mediocre to pathetic in the sack (but honestly, as long as one of us (me) is satisfied, then what's the difference?).

Anyway, I got prescious little done during this long weekend becasue I was so sick (and lazy). But I did use my compressor and nail gun to install some moulding and trim. I didn't do a lot, because I was lazy, errr, sick, but it's more than I could've don on Nyquil. Plus, I managed like 2 posts this week on Dayquil. That's not my best work, but if I was on Nyquil, I 'd probably not even have gotten out of bed except to go to the bathroom...maybe.

Anyway, I know that some of are thinking that it's kind of pathetic that my most successful relationship in the past couple of years has been with an over-the-counter flu medicine, and to that I say that you're just jealous.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Boy Who Cried 'Cracka'

Happy MLK Day! Or is it Merry MLK Day? In the spirit of racial healing, I should apologize for calling the people in my last post "cracka' ass crackers". I assumed they were rich white folks who got the city to tear down their neighbor's house because, in addition to being assholes, they were also predjudiced. Well, it turns out that they weren't rich white folks, they were rich black folks. So they were motivated solely by assholishness, not bigotry. So I apologize. There, I said it.

This has been a good day. The best thing about MLK day (besides getting the day off, with pay!) is the parking. I was able to get a haircut, attempt to return a gift (up yours, L'occitane , ya cheap bastards) and run some other errands in parts of DC where I would never be able to get a parking spot without paying $20 for a parking lot. Anyway, Dr King left many legacies of which he could be proud. There's the whole affirmative thing, which made it possible for white people to play in the NBA; the voting rights thing, which made it a crime to do what republicans did to black people in the last 2 elections (okay no one was prosecuted or anything, and probablly won't be because Jeb Bush is governor, but it's nice to know that it's technically a crime);and the whole day-off-with-pay-and-great-parking thing. I know you had a dream, Dr, King, and I'm glad it included plenty of parking.

Friday, January 12, 2007

DC Housing Rant

People are always amazed at the stupidity and wastefulness of DC’s bureaucrats, unless you live here, then you get used to it. I saw this article in the Washington Post about how the city will have to pay $1.5 million to buy a house in a wealthy part of the city and demolish it. Yes, demolish it. It seems DC didn’t follow proper procedures when it approved the plans, so they ended up having to buy it and will destroy it. They’ll destroy the brand new kitchen with granite countertops, as well as the never used bathroom with Jacuzzi tubs and all those other high end hoo has.

That’s the problem with government. If you cost your employer $1.5 million because you didn’t do your job right, you would be fired. Whoever is responsible for this cockup will still get their step increase every year, and their grade increase every couple of years. I guarantee that it’s someone who’s been in government as long as I’ve been alive and who will be harder to fire than the President.

Anyway, I think this story is as much about stuck up rich people and their attitude toward uppity people of color as it is about incompetent bureaucrats. It seems that when the house was being built, the neighbors raised a big stink and sued, which is why, in addition to paying to demolish the house, the city has to pay their lawyer fees too, and will let them buy the land for cheap Now, I don’t know why the neighbors are complaining. The house looks nice enough to me. Maybe those uppity WASPy types didn’t like the fact that the house was owned by a Vietnamese woman and a latino man. The article says she’s a lawyer, but I’m sure the only Vietnamese the people in that area of DC come in contact with are the women who do their nails (to be fair, they do say “hola” to their latino gardeners when their neighbors aren’t looking).

Here’s what I found interesting about the whole thing:
Also in the settlement, residents of the three houses adjoining the property led by attorneys Deborah Royster and her husband, Robert A. Malson, purchased the land for $135,000. The city owns the house and its contents, some of which can be salvaged, and will be responsible for grading the property when it is razed, Royster said.


So the neighbors get their legal fees, they get to buy the land for next to nothing, AND the city has to landscape the property for them? Such a deal!!!
When they toured their newly plundered pirate booty, guess what they had to say:

In one bathroom, the fixtures were in a box on the vanity. In another, a contemporary bowl sink was sitting on the floor. A fireplace mantel was propped on one wall. A second-floor bathroom with marble floors and shower featured a whirlpool bathtub and two windows with a bird's-eye view of Royster's pool and kitchen. A white tea kettle on her counter top could be seen clearly. "Omigod," Royster said, "I didn't realize they could see me at my kitchen sink."


HOLY CRAP, Deborah! Those ethnics can see you at your kitchen sink! Call the police! They must be up to no good! After all, they’re darker than you, right? And their food smells funny! I bet you locked up your pets when they moved in because you heard that Vietnamese eat dogs and cats with sweet and sour sauce, right? In fact, your friend told you that he heard from a guy who heard from a guy who read in a paper that they raided a Vietnamese restaurant and found cats in the kitchen, right?
Now here’s the kicker:
Many of the house's windows allowed a view of the houses on the adjoining property lots, but it was built so that the dining room had unobstructed front and side views of Rock Creek Park…
When they complained about the house to the paper "They have a better view than we do," said Royster, who has lived in the neighborhood for eight years.


TRANSLATION: “WHAT??? How dare they have a better view than us? We’re white!!!” Is that what you meant to say? Ya cracka ass cracka!!!

Anyway, I have no proof that these people are racists, but I do have proof that they are assholes. What other kind of person takes their neighbor to court, has their neighbors house torn down and then gets to buy their land for a song by using the legal system as a weapon. Oh, I know…assholes.





.
In other news, I saw this article today about increasing the value of your home. Why do all these articles say the same thing? Let me summarize: Focus on your kitchen and bath because that’s what people look at most. And don’t overdo it because you won’t make that money back. EVERY article says the exact same thing. That’s like reading diet tips that say “eat right and exercise.” Anyway, have a nice weekend everybody…except for those assholes in rock creek park.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Christmas Part 2: Santa Becomes My Enemy

My hatred of Santa started when I was 6. I have always thought of him as mean and vengeful. I first met Santa when I was 4. He came to our house dressed in a red suit and handed out some gifts and quickly made his way out the door. I was too nervous to speak to him, but I appreciated the gift. Although he smelled like the same brand of whiskey that my uncle drank (Santa was a Chivas Regal man), and could barely walk a straight line, I didn’t tell him that he should let someone else drive the sled. Luckily he didn’t kill anyone that night, otherwise it would be partly my fault. The therapy bills for that would’ve been crushing.



Back to the story. When I was in second grade we had to write a letter to Santa and tell him what we wanted for Christmas. This was the easiest assignment I ever had in school (except for the time the teacher told me to fix my zipper). I already knew what I wanted: Mazinga. It was all I thought about.





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Mazinga was one of the robots in the Shogun Warriors animated series. This was 20 years before the invention of Voltron and Transformers and other giant fighting robots. Prior to Shogun Warriors, my favorite cartoon was StarBlazers. A Japanese cartoon about the earth being attacked by blue aliens. In Shogun Warriors (and Phoneix Five and most other Japanese cartoons) the villains were blue, which made it easy to identify them. But Shogun Warriors easily displaced them. How could it not? They were giant robots, sometimes piloted by kids like me when the adults were captured, and they could do really cool stuff—like blow things up. I was like a middle aged, bald fat guy who discovered his future trophy wife. She became my obsession.



Of all the Shogun Warriors, my favorite was Mazinga. He shot missles from his fingertips and had a airplane that launched from his head. I wanted to be in that airplane, controlling Mazinga. If I was Mazinga, no one (especially my brother) would be able to kick my ass, because I was freaking Mazinga, man. And NOBODY kicks Mazinga's ass!!!



Although Mazinga was only a cartoon, they sold 24 inch high replicas of Mazinga and THAT was what I wanted for Chistmas. If someone had offered to trade me a Mazinga toy for my pancreas, I probably would’ve done it. (actually, I probably would’ve said “what’s a pancreas? And why are you talking to me? I can’t talk to stangers…especially about my pancreas.”). I don’t know what a pancreas does, but I’m sure that it’s nothing compared to what Mazinga does. Can a pancreas repell alien hordes of blue creatures intent on destroying earth? I think not. Can a pancreas shoot missles out of its fingers? Well, actually, a pancreas is so pathetic that it doesn't even have fingers, so there you go.



Even today, I love Mazinga. If you asked me to list my top 10 favorite things ever, Mazinga would come in at number three. My list would look like this:



Home Improvement Ninja’s Top 10 Favorite Things Ever:

1) Vaginas
2) Beer
3) Mazinga
4) Northern Eagle Claw Kung Fu
5) Judy Greer (see also number 1)
6) Rachel McHottie (see also number 1)
7) Salsa dancing (see also number 1)
8) The Ninja Lite-Armoured Assault Vehicle (now with cool British spelling of “armour”)
9) My iMac
10) High Speed internet connections (see also numbers 9 and 1)



So, I wrote the letter, gave it to my teacher and a few weeks later Santa wrote back. He said “I will try to get you your toy” and “leave some carrots out for Rudolph”. My toy? Why didn’t he say "Mazinga"? Did he not know what it was? This didn’t sound good. It got worse when I discovered that my brother too had requested a Mazinga toy. Although he was my parent’s favorite, I was sure he wouldn’t be Santa’s favorite. Santa hates bad people and he sees everything. He HAD to have seen all the times that my brother beat me mercilessly—sometimes with his fists, sometimes with the nearest household object within reach, and sometimes by grabbing my wrists and beating me with my own fists. Asshole! Santa hates assholes, I was sure of it.



I told my mom to leave some carrots for Rudolph, but she forgot. When I woke up the next morning I was furious at her, but I hoped that Santa would forgive me. After all, it was only a couple of carrots, and they weren’t even for him; they were for Rudolph the Reindeer, and every one knows reindeer are like big dogs and they probably don’t even eat carrots, right? Then I opened the gift wrapping and I saw that I hadn’t gotten Mazinga. He gave me Raideen, another of the Shogun Warriors, and gave Mazinga to my brother.




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Hi Raideen!!! Long time, no see.

This Santa was not only vengeful and petty, but cruel as well. I offered to trade Raideen for Mazinga, but my brother knew better. He said “fuck you.” Yes. Fuck me, indeed. And fuck you, Santa. For the rest of my childhood I saw my brother play with Mazinga and go on imaginary space adventures with it, while I was stuck with Raideen. I made the most of it, though. When Mazinga and Raideen fought, my robot had a flying fist that was actually capable of toppling Mazinga. To make mysef feel better about having Raideen instead of Mazinga, I would make Raideen defeat Mazinga every time, even if I had to kick it. This ritual would be followed by the ritual Shogun Warriors beating that my brother administered. Sometimes he would grab the 24” plastic Mazinga and beat me in the head with it. Someimes he would rip Raideen out my hands and beat me in the head with it. Sometimes he would grab some frozen ice pops and beat me in the head with them. Sometimes it would be a lamp...or a shoe...or gallon of milk...you get the picture.



A few years later when I was in sixth grade we were given letters from the first and second graders and our assignment was to write back to them…as Santa. As Santa? W.T.F? Confusion ensued in my fragile little mind. I asked my brother about this and he did what he always did when I asked him a question. He told me to “shut the fuck up” and grabbed the heaviest thing within reach and beat me in the face with it. This time, ironically, the nearest heavy object was the Mazinga robot. When I regained consciousness, I realized that there was no Santa. That in a way, we were all Santa. Except my brother, because Santa is not an asshole.



Anyway, I got some kid who wanted an Atari, or Nintendo, or whatever. The kid next to me got one from a kid whose mom died and he wanted Santa to bring her back. He showed it to the teacher and she took the letter away and gave him one from a girl who wanted Barbies. Yeah…that’s probably easier to write for a kid. Anyway, my letter went something like this.



Dear [Kid]



Thanks for your letter. Santa enjoys reading letters from Children. It’s much more fun than hearing Mrs. Claus tell me about her day. That woman just won’t quit flapping her yap. Don’t ever get married. Ho Ho ho!!! I don’t have my list with me, but if you’ve been a good boy, I’ll try to get your toy for you. It won’t be easy for me though. You probably don’t know much about electronics, so let me just say that getting midgets to make complex electronics using hand tools designed for woodworking is no easy task. But I’ll try because I’m Santa, and it will give me an excuse to spend more time away from Mrs. Claus and her nagging.



Anyway, try to leave a carrot out for Rudolph. He likes those. But if you forget, I won’t hold it against you. Santa is forgiving and loves you unconditionally, unlike your parents, who probably favor your older siblings or your teachers who are only working here because this is the only job they could get with a degree from that party school that pretends it’s a real college. Ho Ho Ho!!!



Santa.


The teacher later called me to front of the class and informed me that I mis-spelled “unconditionally” and that Mississippi Valley State is, in fact, a real college.

Coming Soon: Part 3 (where I chase my nephew with a severed pigs head (no, really))


_____________________________________________________________


UPDATE:

Because I am such a dork, I found the Mazinga Toy HERE. Note missles stored on the legs, that load into Mazinga's fingerz for firing. The little airplane in his head is detachable.


And HERE is Raideen. The fist with the axe shoots out, and he can launch little attack planes from his chest.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Damn You, Steve Jobs

I hate you , Steve Jobs. Right after I purchase a new cell phone and sign a 2 year contract, you come out with the world's greatest phone. I have to wait 2 years, which is longer than all my previous romantic relationships, to get my hands on that Apple iPhone?

For the next two years I have to stay with that horrible Motorola Razr and it's clumsy menus, when I could've had a phone, iPod, and internet device all in one cool gadget. I feel like the executive who has has to postpone marrying the mistress and keep making love to his first wife until he can figure out a way to kill her and make it look like an accident. I'll stay with you , Razr, but not out of love. It's only because I'm too cheap to pay the $300 cancellation fee to be with the younger, prettier model that I'm really in love with. Sure, in your day (3 months ago) you were quite a looker, but now there's younger, thinner versions and I think I deserve it. I know you think it's some kind of midlife crisis and I'll come back to you, but that's just wishful thinking. Oh, and don't bother asking for alimony...I'm broke.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

DC Corruption: Building Inspectors

Read this article by the Washington Examiner and find out why people hate DC. I’ll summarize: Building inspector slaps a stop-work order on a project (who’s owner is an FBI agent) and seeks a $20,000 bribe to lift it. The FBI agent records the calls and they begin an investigation on the inspector (complete with sworn affidavits and secret wire taps), but his corrupt colleagues still won’t lift the stop-work order. This is costing him $700 a day.

There are lots of frustrating aspects about the home renovation process. The cost is one of them. Everything costs more and takes longer than you expected. A lot more. That’s money that could be used doing other things that cost money like taking nice vacations, buying cool electronics equipment, frequenting Vegas brothels or paying off the World Bank debt of a small African nation.

I’m not going to talk about some of the other things that suck, like the dust. You know, the dust that gets everywhere and covers all your prized possessions in a fine layer of dust so that you live in a giant powdered doughnut. The dust that kills your CD players and won’t come off your suede jackets. No, we’ll skip that and stay talking about the money.

Big projects, in addition to being costly in terms of materials, and incompetent contractors, are also expensive because they place you in contact with the DC bureaucracy. You see, anything more than changing a light bulb in DC will probably require a permit. Actually, it will require several permits, each of which costs money, and will require you to come into contact with a building inspector. For those of you that have never met a building inspector, consider yourself lucky. After you’ve met one, you would probably come away with the impression that it would be more fun to meet a serial killer in a dark alley or get kicked in the nuts while wearing a mickey mouse costume than to meet a building inspector. Even getting an anal probe from a space alien would probably be better than meeting a building inspector. At least with an anal probe from an alien you would get the impression that the space people did what they did to you for some scientific purpose, but after meeting a building inspector you know that you’ve been anally raped for no reason other than the building inspector is an incompetent corrupt asshole. Incompetent, because if he really knew anything about construction, he would be a contractor, and corrupt because I’ve never met one that wasn’t constantly looking for a bribe and extorting people.

Now, before I get an angry email from someone who has a dad or brother that is a building inspector, let me say this. If someone in your family is a building inspector (especially in NYC or DC) then your family member is a thief. An incompetent, corrupt, extortionist and a thief. There, I said it. Now you know why uncle Billy drives a really nice car and has the nicest house in your family despite being a low-level public servant of below-average intelligence.

One of the reasons that inspectors can steal with impunity is that they have so much discretion. It’s almost impossible to do anything without having some minor technical violation. And if that’s not enough, the inspector can require you to do things that aren’t required by the building code just because they feel like it. If the building code says that hole should be 2 feet deep, the inspector can say “well, I think it needs to be 3 feet. So you can rip that stuff out, do it the way I say and call me back to re-inspect, next month, or…you can pay me to go away.” Delays cost lots of money, and so does re-doing things. Pretty soon you’re so poor that you’re walking around with no underwear like Britney Spears or Paris Hilton. I probably shouldn’t have said that. I’m sure that now I’ll get a bunch of hits by people googling for pictures of Britney Spears with no panties or Paris Hilton. If that’s what you’re looking for, then here it is. (NOT WORK SAFE). And thanks to Kikimia for finding that.

Anyway, when I used to work with my dad I would see these leeches looking for a bribe all the time. The bigger the project, the bigger the bribe. Most people pay because it’s cheaper to pay these degenerates than to fight it. Remember, if you file a complaint, it will be investigate by the inspectors colleagues, and then you will still need an inspector (that is probably friends with the guy you complained about) to sign off on your work before you can finish your project. And you know that incompetent low-level bureaucrats of below-average intelligence are not known for their impartiality.

Well, this FBI agent didn’t pay. Maybe he’s new to construction, or maybe the inspector just got greedy. I mean, $20,000 is a lot of money to extort from one person. I don’t know what he needed the money for. It probably wasn’t that his kids were in a private liberal arts college like Georgetown, which is expensive. I doubt if anyone who is related to a DC building inspector (who are borderline retarded) would ever make it into a place like that. So he was probably blowing the money on coke-whores or gambling in Atlantic City—the poor person’s French Riviera. If he had stuck to extorting a couple of thousand from each person, then they probably would’ve paid to make it go away and not filed a complaint. Since it’s costing him $700 in interest costs while the DC government drags it’s feet, if the guy had asked for two thousand, instead of twenty, that would be less than a week’s interest payments. But the guy got greedy—thieves usually are.

So even though there’s tape recordings of these guys soliciting bribes and threatening to hold up this guy’s project, the stop-work order is still in place. This is DC, after all. The DCRA will take their own sweet time in deciding what to do about it. In the meantime, the other inspectors, this guy’s friends, will be “inspecting” his property and finding new things wrong with it until he goes bankrupt and decides to sell it to someone else who will be more-willing to give a bribe to someone who is more corrupt than Dick Cheney and dumber than Anna Nicole Smith. Welcome to DC!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Christmas Part 1: The Legend of the Santa Ninja

At the risk of almost-certain death, I think I should tell you about the Santa Ninja, and why I hate him, then I’ll tell you about my Christmas. Many people don’t realize that Santa was actually a ninja. He was. He was half-chinese and half-japanese and his name was San-te Takahashi. San-te (which means 3 harmonies in Chinese) was a powerful ninja during the 12th century. Before he learned ninjitsu he studied Northern Eagle Claw Kung Fu for a year and a half, which made him almost invincible when he incorporated that into his ninja training. Each style was powerful, but combined, they were unbelievable. It was like taking a shark and putting a laser on it, or like taking ice cream, wrapping it in bacon, then covering it with chocolate syrup. He was so skilled that he stopped using a sword to kill his opponents (out of boredom) and would resort to using his ninja “shuko” claws to dismember an opponent.






His skill with eagle claw and the ninja claws earned him a fierce reputation. He was so good with them that they bestowed upon him the nickname “claws”. To make things interesting, he also avoided shurikens and instead of the deadly ninja stars, he would throw pieces of soft coal with such force that they would be impaled into an opponents chest. San-te “claws” Takahashi, killed and killed, but although business was good, the recession made many of his clients fall behind on their bills.

The man who would eventually become Santa faced a dilemma. He needed to collect on his accounts payable, but didn’t want to alienate his customers by killing them and their families if they didn’t pay quickly. Then he devised a clever method for friendly “reminders”. He would break into his clients homes and leave them little messages of friendship and bill collection.

Dear Mr. Uhiro,

Thanking for hiring me to kill lord Fujimoro. It was a great pleasure to dismember him for you. I recently sent you a bill, which is now more than 30 days past due. I am sure this is an oversight on your part which you will remedy immediately. After all, since I broke into your home and placed coal in your socks and put them on your feet as you slept, instead of killing you, you must see that we are friends. And friends pay their bills. If we were not friends, I would feel no remorse in taking money from your enemies to kill you. Ha Ha Ha! I am kidding about killing you (but not really). Please pay your bill by this week.

Yours in death,
San-te!

P.S. I am not kidding. I will kill you if you do not pay. Ha ha ha! Ho! Ho! Ho! I make a good joke!!! (but maybe I am not kidding, pay now!).


The method of collection worked so well that he decided to use it in marketing. He began breaking into the homes of other lords and leave coal in their socks as they slept with messages like “If I was on business, you would be dead now. Ha ha ha!!! Ho ho ho!!! I am kidding, but not really. Please hire me…or die a painful death. I am looking forward to killing your enemies (or you) Love, San-te.”

Out of fear, the other lords banded together and hired evil magical forest elves to kill him. The elves cast spells and attacked him with magical toy-making tools, but Santa was too powerful. He couldn’t kill them either, though. Their magic was too powerful. Eventually, they agreed to call it a draw. Santa sat with the elves over sake and watched Geishas with them; he got them really drunk then tied them up and tortured them until they revealed their elf magic to him. He then enslaved them and made them make toys so that he could beat children to death with them if their parents did not pay. He enlisted the help of his favorite Geisha Mizuko to help him while he was away. He told her that if they became rebellious, to show them the deadly ninja shuko claws to frighten them back into submission. That’s how she got the name Mizuko “claws”, which eventually became Mrs. Claus.

Santa, armed with elf magic became so powerful that he would kill hundreds of people on the same night. The frightened lords would sleep barefoot and place their stockings by the fire because they were afraid of his coal pranks. They lit great fires in the fireplace to keep out Santa, but he was so powerful that nothing could stop him. He wore red, the color of fire to show that he was so powerful that he didn’t need to wear the ninja black robes. Then he would make noise with a sleigh pulled my magic reindeer so that people would know he was about to break into their houses, but they couldn’t stop him. He even began to overeat because killing as a fat ninja was a little more challenging. His most famous tale involves when killed an entire village on Christmas. He entered the houses completely unarmed and proceeded to kill the inhabitants using nothing but their own gifts. He used Starbucks gift cards and CDs as throwing stars and even beat a man to death using nothing but a pair of fuzzy bath slippers (although, to be fair, this took several hours).





Anyway, over the years Santa’s story, recorded on the sacred ninja scrolls, made its way into a monastery that was inhabited by dyslexic monks. It was there that San-te “Claws” Takahashi became Santa Claus Takahashi, then Takahashi Santa Claus, and eventually, inexplicably “Kris Kringle, Santa Claus.”

It is not know when the west found out about Santa Claws, but they were so afraid of him that they turned him into a jolly man who gave toys to children because they were afraid that if they spoke badly of Santa that he would find them and kill them in the most disgusting way that he could think of using items he found in your house.

Santa eventually liked the stories he heard about him as a nice guy and he commanded his slave-elf army to make him toys for the children. When the first elf said “toys, Santa? You mean toys of death? Or regular toys?” Santa said “Ho ho ho” and killed him. Then the elves got to making toys and have been making them ever since. Merry Christmas.

Next time: Part Two. Santa enacts his vengeance on a 6 year old Home Improvement Ninja.