Sunday, September 30, 2007

On the Road Again Part 3: I threaten a Dog

Because I don't believe in straight lines, I am almost done re-capping my trip to St. Louis. You can read the rest of the story in Part 1 and Part 2.

When I first met the world’s most annoying chihuahua, Crash, I sat down on the couch and a blurry running rat-like creature scurried up my leg, scaled my torso, and gave me a headbutt in the chin, then started licking my face.

The dog was strangely needy. He was addicted to attention. I know this because he would shake constantly, like he was going through withdrawl symptoms if there wasn’t someone constantly petting him. I thought I could escape the dog's clingyness when I went to sleep, but I was wrong.

I slept on the futon in my friend's guest room. Despite his repeated denials, I have a sneaking suspicion that the futon was in fact, the dog's bed. My old roommate has 3 daughters and 2 chihuahuas. All his daughters and one of his chihuahuas seemed normal, but the smallest of the five, a dog the size of a burrito was mysteriously taken with my company. Despite my best efforts, the dog manged to burrow his way under the covers and decided that he wanted to sleep in the space between my chin and my shoulder. I rolled over a couple of times in my sleep and gave it my back, and when the dog wanted to work his way back to the front of my neck, he did it in the most annoying way possible: by walking on my face. As if this wasn’t bad enough, about the third time I rolled over in my sleep, the dog had enough of my fidgeting and decided to keep my from rolling over by biting me on the nose. Asshole dog!

I shoved him off the bed and saw him climb into one of my shoes and take a seat. At first I thought it was cute that the dog was so small that it could sit IN my shoe like it was a papasan chair, but then a frightening thought occurred to me:

“Dog…I know you don’t value our friendship as much as I do, but if you're sh1tting in my shoe, you’re about to have a very bad day.”

Luckily, the dog had decided to show a little class. I think he realized that if he shit in my shoe, that I’m the kind of person who would shit in his dinner bowl as payback. (yes, I sometimes wonder about my parenting skills also). Anyway, I took a picture of him so that you folks would get an idea of what I was up against. I put my hand near the dog so you get a sense of how small he was.


Friday, September 28, 2007

Odds and Ends: Dave Barry and Verbal Judo

1. Verbal Judo

I met (and accidentally insulted) Dave Barry on my lunch break last week. He was doing a book signing near my office and since he's an author that people have actually heard of, I figured it would be nice to get a (signed) copy of his book. Recently I listened to a copy of one of his books on tape, that was narrated by this unfunny jackass. I intended to tell Dave (we're on a first name basis) that the guy's delivery was terrible, and that I prefer his books in writing because I can insert my own (funnier) delivery in my head. And if you're asking yourself why I listen to Books On Tape, it's not because I'm illiterate--just lazy.

The line to meet Dave was longer than you would see in most cities, because people in DC actually read books instead of using them as decorative props like they do in places like Los Angeles. As I got closer I heard the sycophants kissing up to Dave as he signed their tomes. "I just finsished [your book] and it's the funniest thing I EVER read." or "I can't believe you're here, Mr. Barry, I have all your books and I want to marry you and have all your babies" or "Dave, would you be interested in joining a multi-level marketing group...which isn't a pyramid scheme, I swear!"

I lost my train of thought as I got closer in line because I was mentally mocking the fans, then when I got to the front of line, instead of saying what I intended to say, I said

Ninja: "Hey man, I heard one of your books on Books on Tape, and it's not as funny out loud"

Fans: [gasping sounds]

Dave: I agree completely, they were never intended to be read out loud and I prefer them in written form too.

Wow, Dave Barry is a blackbelt in Verbal Judo. Rather than disagreeing with me, he used my own energy against me and executed a verbal hip throw. I think he should go into politics. I'd rather have him giving speeches and dealing with diplomats than "The Decider".

2. People who take Sports too Seriously Should Be Castrated

People who take sports too seriously are usually jackasses. Wait, let me re-phrase that. They are usually jackasses who have nothing going on in their lives. Like primitive cave people who wear animal skins and dance around a fire to absorb the raw power of the wolf or bear spirit, they put on their jerseys, paint their faces and grunt and howl in front of a TV as if they are absorbing some part of the team's victory and elevating their worth when the team wins.

Well, I'm constantly amazed at how passionately these idiots feel about "their" team. But THIS takes the cake. It seems that some guy walked into a bar frequented by Texas A&M fans wearing an Oklahoma U t-shirt. One of the Texas fans didn't take kindly to his shirt, so he, literally, ripped the guy's balls off. Now this story would be bad enough it was just two alumni fighting in a bar over their respective schools' teams. But neither of these redneck assh0les went to either school. That's right, they were both fans of colleges that neither of them attended. (why doesn't it surprise me that someone who would rip a guy's nuts off in a bar fight never attended an institution of higher learning?). Now, don't get me wrong. I think that people who take sports too seriously should be castrated, but I think this is taking it a bit too far.

3. Truth is Stranger than Fiction

You know, they say you shouldn't put something in an email that you would be embarrassed to see on the front page of the NY Times. This isn't exactly the Times, but still funny nonetheless. I don't know if I'm laughing harder at this guy because he told every lawyer in the state of Montana that his wife was having sex with another man, or because he sent every lawyer in the state an email and despite 12 years of public school, four years of college, and three years of law school, never figured out that you spell "rUmor" with a "u" and not with a phonetic "oo".

4. Leaving the Law

I often think about what I would do if I left the law completely. I'm always glad to read about people who jump ship to do something totally unrelated, like this guy who left the law to become an electrician. I don't think I would leave law to do home improvement full time because 1) manual labor sux, 2) I'm lazy, and 3) I like the money. But I'm happy for him nonetheless. I'll tell you who I'm not happy with is THIS guy. I'm happy he found something he likes better than the law, but his real passion isn't baking; it's marketing. Warren Brown sells overpriced, mediocre cakes and uses the excuse that his cakes shouldn't be judged against real bakers because he's not a real baker, just someone with a passion for baking. Well, if he was baking his own cakes, maybe I would buy into that. But if you've got 3 stores, and a TV show and you've got employees doing the baking for you, then maybe you should hire people who know that a cake should taste like it's main ingredient, not butter. And if you market yourself as selling "cakes like your mother made", well I got news for you Warren. My mom is a terrible cook, and if she ever baked me a Cayenne-Mango Chocolate cake with Buttercream frosting, I would say "Mom, firstable, how did you even know where the kitchen was, and secondly, what's that horrible burning smell?"

5. I'll have some more tales from Illinois soon, but pics are involved, so be patient.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

On the Road Again: Part 2

Ahhhh, Bloomington! The Dallas/Fort Worth of Central Illinois, how could I not love thee? Apologies for the last drunken post. Very uncharacteristic of me--not the drunken part, but the posting while drunk part.

Moving on, I took the Amtrak up from St. Louis to here last night. Amtrak will never replace flying, but for short trips (Like DC to NYC) you can't beat it. Amtrak is like the attractive, gold-digging secretary who you have sex with once in a while, but who you will never leave your wife for. ("No, really, Tammi, I will tell my wife about us...soon. I mean, my kids are graduating from college in 8 years, so just be a little go try on that lingerie I bought you.")

I like midwesterners because they are genuinely nice people. Southerners are "fake nice", but if a midwesterner says something like "come back soon", they don't mean the exact opposite, like people in the south. I think that's why it's so surprising that most serial killers come from the midwest. And the attitude toward crime is really different too. When we went for dinner the other night in a St. Louis suburb with my old roommate, he literally didn't lock his front door. "what for, we're only gonna' be gone a couple of hours?"

Now, before I get some hate mail, let me say that I know a lot of nice southerners. And the food there can't be beat (except for grits, which I don't understand what the fuss is about). I mean, deep fried cheese versus something like a mississippi mud pie? That's like a fight between Woody Allen and Randy Coutoure. So while there are some really nice southerners in particular, the average midwesterner is nicer than the AVERAGE southerner.

That said, Central Illinois is a weird bird. The entire middle of the state is completely flat. You could build a hundred houses here and not use a level once. Besides being flat, every square inch is covered in corn to keep the evil spirits away. Corn = good mojo. I'm leaving for the wedding in a couple of hours, but just to show you how nice people are: when I asked about renting a car at the front desk, the clerk said "you don't need to rent a car, that's the church that Charley over there goes to, he can probably give you a ride." So I'm getting a ride with a really nice midwesterner who I just met in about an hour...who I hope is not a serial killer who will kill me and eat parts of me, and make a weird human suit out of my skin and dance around in front of the mirror with his bits tucked between his legs. Wish me luck!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Free Plug Fridays

For those of you who like Art (i.e. those of you who are part of civilization and eat with forks and knives instead of tearing strips of meat from the fire with your fingers), there is an Art Show Thingy ("The Art Romp 20") at the Warehouse in DC. It's from 6pm 'till whenever tonight. One of my friends is showing some Art there so you should definitely go. And I'm not saying that you should definitely buy something there, but if you do, it should be one of his pieces. I will be there, which is an endorsement in itself since I only go to look at good art.*

Also, don't forget the 2007 SAMBO Summit Training Camp in Staten Island, NY next weekend. Three full days of training with three top fight instructors for the bargain price of only $400. You can't beat that with a stick! Actually, you can't beat that with anything, because that's how tough SAMBO Combat Training is, bitchez!

*If you are an artist and I don't go see your stuff then, yes, that means you suck.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Odds and Ends

Having Monday off for Labor Day should allow me to loaf for 24 extra hours this weekend. DC is like a ghost town this weekend because all the sheep have left town in order to go to the beach and hang out with the same people that were trying to get away from. This is one of the times when it's fun to be a contrarian. Driving around this city, there are parking spots everywhere. You would think you died and went to parking heaven.

In order to catch you up on the events of the past couple of weeks:

I made some progress on my house during the weekend that my brother was in town. I'll post some pics when I have some time. My house is starting to look surprisingly normal. I had a female visitor yesterday, and she didn't have that terrified "silence of the lambs" look when she used my bathroom. So that's a really good sign.

Blog Stuff and Blogging:
DCist and DC Blogs both linked to my piece about the my Mac vs. Coca Cola Classic episode last week. I think pretty soon the NY Times and the New Yorker will discover my irreverent observations about life and I can start wearing sunglasses to nightclubs and become a pretentious asshole like the people who drive in from Arlington to go to "edgy" clubs in DC.

I met undefeated Slap Boxing Champion and Award winning blogger Listen to Leon last week when he made the mistake of volunteering to be a guest bartender at the Common Share. When the mob of people at the bar started getting more impatient and was fashioning make-shift torches and pitchforks from the bar stools and something went wrong with the beers on tap, I think he realized why people who work in bars complain about it so much (well, besides the fact that they are usually whiney a-holes). Anywho, Leon was up for a Black Weblogs Award this year and I was gonna endorse him, mostly because his blog is funny, but also because I've never met the other people who are up for it. Unfortunately, my neighbors got wise to me "borrowing" their wiFi connection and I was too lazy to get to a coffee shop to endorse his candidacy until it was too late. If it makes him feel any better, I didn't vote in the past two presidential elections either.*

1 - Corrupt flunkie Abu Gonzalez resigned this week so that he could "spend more time with his family" and find good places too hide while avoiding a subpoena and possible perjury charges. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

2 - Bathroom sex pervert and US Senator Larry Craig announced he will resign this week. He still claims that he isn't gay because whenever he had "gay" sex, he was thinking of his wife...and about going to church. And we all know that people who go to church aren't gay.

I also find his allegation that the only reason he was playing footsie with an undercover officer in the next toilet was because he "takes a wide stance" when dropping a deuce to be unconvincing. It just so happens that I crap at least once a day (sometimes several times a day if I've had Tex Mex or Ethiopian food). And Friday I conducted a scientific toilet experiment. As I dropped the kids off at the pool, I took the widest stance possible with my jeans around my ankles; wider than the stance you would take if you were constipated and needed the widest possible base to brace yourself for the extreme physical exertion of taking the biggest dump of your life. And unless you're not even wearing pants, it's not possible to touch the sides of the stall unintentionally, no matter how wide your stance is. Busted, Senator!

3- Second rate news hack and political spokesperson Tony Snow also announced he was leaving the White House (ditto for Karl Rove). This smells like rats leaving the sinking ship. Although the metaphor is kind of insulting to rats.

The visit from my family was not as bad as I'd imagined it would be (but only because in my imagination the visit ended in me running for my car under a hail of gunfire). It turns out that despite the feral children, we only almost got banned from one restaurant in DC. I've discovered a new mathematical law while they were here. The annoyingness of children increases exponentially by the number of children. So A = Q times C(nth power). So if one child displays Q annoyingness, then three kids exhibit Q x Q x Q annoyingness. As you can see, when you get to around 40 or 50 children, the annoyingness nears infinity and will actually alter the fabric of the space time continuum. I think that's how black holes are created, but I'm not a science dork or anything, so I can't be sure.

*Neither election was decided by exactly one vote, so don't get preachy on me.