2.25.2005

Over the river and through the woods.

This is long, so don't feel badly if you skip it.



I met “Uncle Walt,” the man I would later call “Dad,” while playing with the He-Man coversheets to my LiteBrite.



There was something exciting, pre-sexual, about pushing each blue colored peg through the outline of The Sword of Power. The soft resistance and then ecstasy, the glow from within, colored brilliance and beauty revealed.



Even more than Hasbro’s quiet comment on virginity was its strong message of conformity: the overwhelming despair I felt when my clumsy, pudgy hands went astray and accidentally pushed the peg through the unapproved blackness, a white hole to reveal my past indiscretions to me every time I flipped the switch, and no smoothing of the paper could hide the Y-shaped light of judgment peering through the tear of sin.



Of course, sitting cross-legged on the floor of my grandmother’s house, I felt only anxious excitement, the lessons absorbed but too subtle for me to yet notice as I quietly mouthed the words “By the power of Grey Skull!”



“Uncle” Walt—it was my mother’s policy for me to call all her grown-up friends not Mr. and Mrs. but Uncle and Aunt--was about to enter the intermittent phase as “Landlord” Walt. My mother and I were staying with my grandmother, her mother, while mom tried to get back on her feet after the divorce, and the good Walt offered us the basement half of his home in Rochester Hills, Michigan.



Before that my mother’s days were spent as a waitress, leaving me to the whims of my grandmother’s bizarre humors.



My grandmother is a recovered alcoholic, on the wagon for longer than I’ve been alive. I don’t have that many clear memories of the time we stayed with them in Chicago, nor the other relatives and friends. Whenever my mother and I talk about it, I always have to ask what kind of dog Uncle and Aunt Whatever had; I remember the dogs, large furry people that would put up with all kind of abuse if you just dropped your food now and then.



I do have six other memories from that Chicago house:




  1. Sitting at the dining room table with a bag of Chewy Chips Ahoy and my actual, blood-relative, Uncle Tom, listening to the tribulations of a bespectacled man whose dream was to be an air force pilot in a time before lasek surgery and breathable contact lenses. As we talked I watched Uncle Tom eat the entire package, one at a time, each cookie popped into his mouth with each breath. This was back two recipes and a size larger ago, when anything worth eating was filled with Red Dye #2, sugar and lard. My uncle now has moderate diabetes, which runs on his side of the family but not my mother’s, as they do not share the same insulin-deprived father.

  2. I was playing with my Care Bare over-sized playing cards on the front porch. The Windy City, living up to its name, tore 2 of Clouds Share-Bear and Ace of Hearts Tenderheart Bear out of my hand. They flew into the street, the Forbidden Territory and I, perhaps foreseeing their future collectability, screamed and cried. My mother rushed out and was so angry that I had scared her into believing I was hurt, spanked me.

  3. Once, setting the table, I thought I saw a ghost out of the corner of my eye, a white, ethereal nimbus that stayed only half of a second once I locked my eyes onto it. I wasn’t afraid, just curious, but it did not reappear.

  4. I had a stuffed fox, creatively named Foxy. Back when I knew how to fold paper hats, boats and airplanes he and I were colonels, pirates and fighter pilots. My grandparents’ stair case reached up to a balcony overlooking the vaulted ceiling living room. My grandfather, an engineer, was always teaching me new airplane designs and he, Foxy and I would launch them off of the balcony, judging on speed, length and duration of flight.

  5. There are four different instances involving my refusal to eat certain foods at dinner. My grandmother’s rule was that you clean your plate, no matter how long it takes you or how little you like it. She was poor when she raised my mother, aunts and uncle, and had an almost Depression era thriftiness. My mother’s rule was that you try everything, but if you don’t like it, don’t force it—presumably she made this decision because she was raised by my grandmother. As we were in my grandmother’s house, however, her laws superceded my mother’s. I was forced to eat pea soup after repeatedly telling her it would make me vomit. It made me vomit. Directly into the bowl, with no aesthetic difference in presentation. A similar instance involved cooked beets which got cold while I ate, as I always did, one thing at a time on my plate—all the meat, all the starch (potatoes normally) and then, only then, all the vegetables. Another time I spilt my water on my Wonderbread, which made it taste, as I said at the time, “like pee.” My grandmother teased me about drinking pee and I had to eat it anyway. The last involved everyone’s favorite childhood pastime: crossing one’s eyes. She kept telling me it would stick that way and it never did, until one time at lunch, while I picked at some macaroni and cheese she had enough. She hit me sharply on the top of the head, hurting so badly that, in hysterics, my eyes did stick and I stumbled to the bathroom, running into walls and crying, fearing spending the rest of my life as a freak, my grandmother laughing in the background. I would die worthless and alone, and every person mocking me would be multiplied into two people, increasing my eternal torture. I wept and vomited in the bathroom until I realized that my eyes were no longer crossed. I hated my grandmother for a long time after that. Later I learned, in her drinking days, she beat my mother so badly that she fractured my mom’s jaw, damaging the nerves and killing two of her bottom front teeth. The damage was not discovered until twenty years later.

  6. I had returned from visiting my father in Tennessee or Florida or Main or New Mexico. I was wearing a coat covered with new wing pins from cheek-pinching stewardesses (as we called them back then) and awe-inspiring pilots. Telling my mother about my trip to the cockpit (those were the days), I realized my prized stuffed animal, a Sad Sam puppet, was not in my luggage. A call to my father revealed he did not have it in California or Oregon or Texas either. I was depressed for a week, but Foxy enjoyed his new promotion.

  7. After getting a bean stuck in my nose, having my mouth, once again, washed out with soap and Tabasco for back talking, and breaking one of my toys on accident, my grandfather cheered me up by juggling eggs and upsetting my grandmother.



My grandparents moved into a smaller house after my mother and I left, somewhere in one of the outlying suburbs of Chicago. My grandmother remains odd, with a cynical, crude sense of humor that once made me laugh so hard as a child that I farted uncontrollably. She is a chronic smoker, even after being hospitalized for emphysema, flat-lining and coming back. Even after being in the hospital for over six weeks, long enough to get the nicotine and the habit out of her system. She is unapologetic about it, perhaps rightfully so, describing it as her own personal choice. She is also a hypochondriac and claims to be allergic to any number of things that make it hard for her to breathe.



My grandfather, always an esoteric figure in my childhood, making his own custom joystick for his Commodore 64 or kicking the respective asses of 20-year-olds at basketball now has a bad knee that is forcing him to retire, a fear he has long harbored.



While some of his good humor is gone, his eyes still twinkle every now and again and I think, maybe once more, I could convince him to juggle some eggs.

2.23.2005

16850

Some of the most outwardly depressing things I have seen are those commercials are the ones of the office guy getting ready to work, where the presentation is almost stop motion, each frame taken 24 hours and one second later, his suit changes with every step he takes, the season changes, haircuts, but his routine is so set that, within his clothes, he follows the same path as regular as clockwork.
The mind-numbing monotony of it all. I’m in a job I at least moderately enjoy; writing feature stories and a crime blotter for a small weekly, and still I feel as if I’m futilely clawing at muddy walls as I slide inexorably towards my grave. Even in my recreation my days are the same, watch a movie, read a couple chapters of a book, play Xbox for an hour or two, play with dog.
Times like this plague me with horrible, frightening thoughts. That we are all trapped in purgatory, not bad enough for hell, not good enough for heaven, and completely unable to remember the lives that came before and brought us to this place. And, that greatest fear of mortal man, that I will be forgotten, not only because of a life not pushed to its potential, but because it is inevitable that I, a grain of sand on and endless beach, shall ultimately be overlooked as the waves of time wash over me, bury me, pound me ever smaller and insignificant until I ultimately disappear.
I am getting evermore anxious to join the peace corps, for while it will offer, eventually, its own grove to get stuck in, I always enjoy the first couple months of blazing the trail.

2.21.2005

16445

This is for someone else to write, as I am too lazy. Good for paperback writers or perhaps a script treatment. Anti-hero, maybe, maybe religious, I don’t know. Like I said, lazy. Read The Ax by Donald E. Westlake for flavor.



Miles Alguire is the layoff guy, the outside, impersonal consultant hired by employers that have to practice some “employment restructuring” and “let people go.” Miles sole purpose in life is to walk through the doors and hand people their walking papers, accepting the animosity and anger that would otherwise go towards the management. If necessary, he even claims to be the consultant responsible for the decision of whom to fire, accepting full responsibility—and a lot of tongue lashing—from the suddenly unemployed.



Small, quiet and polite Miles listens to the violent outpourings from people whose services are no longer required.



Basically he travels around the globe to get shit on.



Miles doesn’t mind. He has his collection of jazz records, a fat paycheck, a formidable parakeet and 15 safe deposit boxes and drop sites around the world holding detailed dossiers and contact lists for his previous employers.



You see, Miles doesn’t work for the automotive, information or manufacturing industries. No, he’s a Company man, through and through: Yakuza, Italian and Russian Mafias, any organized crime ring big enough for middle management.



Times are changing. Used to be if Two Guns Eddy wasn’t pulling his weight you fitted him with heavy shoes and scuba lessons. Nowadays things are more organized, more civil. A Columbian cartel might want to drop protection for local gangs that rough up the locals too much and cause a little too much bad P.R. Miles goes in, dissolves the official ties, and the bumbling, leaderless ruffians get rounded up and arrested within a month. The Russian Mafia’s new leader is not quite as deviant as the last and wants some restructuring, upping the drug and arms sales but dropping the white slave trade and child pornography rings. Miles goes in, gives them the pink slip, dodges a few bullets and is on his way. He’s been doing it for awhile.



Miles, clever little Miles, always dodges the bullets, listens to threats but has never been so much as pushed. Miles has a secret, a dirty little secret, that he whispers in the ears of those he lay off, a little severance package for damned. Wait, he says, wait just a little while.



Next week Miles is visiting an influential Iranian gentleman who has invested a bit of money in weapons manufacture.



The waiting, it would seem, is just about done.

2.19.2005

If you have an RSS feeder.

Plugin or standalone, add this DEAD to your feeds. Returns an up-to-the minute count of coalition casualties in Iraq.

2.16.2005

More Quotes.

(At Borders)

Me: I can’t find Sin City.

Wife (pointing towards information desk computers): Did you check the kiosk?

Me: . . . I no longer like that word.

Wife: You liked it last week.

Me: Things change.



Coworker (on other side of cubical wall): Who put this here?

Me: What, where?

Coworker (supposedly pointing): This!

Me: I have no idea what you are talking about.

Coworker (now audibly shaking some papers): This!

Me: Damn you and your indefinite pronouns.



Coworker (After I discussed vodka filtration): I’ll have to tell my son. You sure know a lot about this stuff, you surprise me with new information everyday.

Me: I did go to college.

Coworker: I went to college too, and I didn’t learn so much about drinking.

Me: You didn’t go to Northern. People said all we had were bars and snow, which left heavy drinking and skiing as the only two real recreational options. And I’m afraid of heights, so . . .



Wife: I love you.

Me: I love you too. (feigning exasperation) I have to say that all the time. I think I’ll just make a sign, like Wile E. Coyote, and hold it up when necessary.

Wife: Jerk. Why don’t you just get it tattooed on your forehead so you don’t have to go through the trouble of lifting the sign? ‘I love you . . . (pause) Autumn.’”

Me: Nah, too permanent. Maybe I could get ‘I love you’ tattooed and then get a little whiteboard installed after that. ‘I love you blank,’ because, hey, you never know.

<punched in arm>



(Wherein I get one-upped)

Coworker (looking at photos of high school jocks): Why is it that they never smile? What is this pose called, looking angry with the chin out?

Me: It’s called “Macho Posturing.”

Coworker: Why can’t they smile?

Me: Because every time you smile your testicles shrink. Medical fact.

Coworker: It’s like ‘Hey, look up my nose: no brain!’

2.13.2005

Valentine's Weekend

Tried to treat the wife to a whirlwind romantic weekend in Detroit.
The stops:

4 1/2 star Italian restaurant Roma Cafe'. Oldest Italian restaurant in Detroit, the owners refused to move after the surrounding neighborhood went to pot, the result is a questionable looking establishment with bars on the windows in a terrible neighborhood, but on the inside a truly classy joint (old male waiters in tuxedos) featuring old-style cooking and almost instantaneous service.

Dirty Detroit erotic art show. Paintings, sculpture and photography, not to mention a cash bar, 1950's porn and topless waitresses. Strangest mix of people I've ever seen.

Baker's Keyboard Lounge, oldest jazz club in the world. The best music I've heard live, with great food to boot.

"Rock n' Roll is about sex, plain and simple. Rap is just about fucking; crass but to the point. But jazz, baby, jazz is about making love."
--said by a drunk me

And then the Pontchartrain Hotel.


Some pictures here.

2.10.2005

For those that like online tests and generators.

This should keep you busy for a while. I"m talking to you Stef.

Quotes of me.

At first I thought posting quotes of myself would be unbelievably arrogant and obnoxious. And then I realized: This is LiveJournal, that’s the point.



So here are a few quotes from the last week:



Autumn: What did you think of Stomp?

Me: I liked it.

Autumn: It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. I wish they would just talk, instead of miming everything.

Me: I think that was on purpose. To emphasize the sound they made without using their voices. I think that was the point.

Autumn: I didn’t like that part. It had no story.

Me: Well, it wasn’t called Talk. Maybe next year I’ll take you to go see Monologue: The Musical.



(Talking about Lent).

Autumn: We (Baptists) don’t have to give up anything because we aren’t as fat as you Catholics.

Me: That’s because, as everyone knows, you burn more calories being self-righteous than you do feeling guilty all the time.



Co-worker: You want to talk to officer, officer, um, officer . . . Oh golly . . .

Me: Ah, another Irish cop.



Intern (watching video of me getting tasered): Why are you lying on the mat?

Me: Because I fell down.

Intern: Wow, was it really that bad?

Me: Yes, awful.

Intern: Then why did you do it?

Me: Because I am ridiculously stupid.

Taserist.

Fun facts about tasers.
  • Actually an acronym for Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle, proving that you too can have the futuristic devices of the 1950's. Also proves that weapons manufacturers are sadistic fucks.
  • A taser, versus a stun gun, actually shoots two sharp barbs (often straightened fish hooks) up to 50 feet connected to copper leads. The farther apart these barbs land on the body, the farther the current travels and the more it hurts--6 inches is recommended an effective distance. Effective shots can be made by merely getting an attackers thumbs.
  • The average output is 50,000 volts. It is, however, current, not voltage that determines electricity's fatality. Voltage merely hurts like a bitch.
  • The recommended duration of a jolt is 5 seconds. People have passed out from the pain after 2.
  • I got 5 seconds with a barb spread of approximately 12 inches.
  • There is a half second when you think you can fight through it, but then that moment is over and you'll never know if you could fight it because 1)Dear sweet god the pain and 2) You'll never ever want to do it again. In that way it is kind of like circumcision.
  • Any incapacitating weapon is dangerous, but tasers are actually quite safe. Few fatalities exist and they are even relatively safe for weak hearts, as their output is less than that of a defibrillator, which pacemakers have to be able to withstand.
  • That said, they are a lot worse than a cow fence and ouch.
  • A video of my electric torture is available for viewing.

2.08.2005

I left just in time.

I sucked at softball on the ice last weekend, but found some delicious French onion soup and a massive bruise on my arm in the process.

 In other news, my previous employer and current competitor The County Press has been faced with a minor snafu. While it is embarrassing, the actual preventability of the instance and responsibility of the management is minimal. Some of the people that hire into running the presses at papers are just the sort that do a lot of drugs and other petty crimes. with the comings and goings of numerous paper trucks and vendors, it isn’t surprising it went unnoticed for so long.

What I find unforgivable, however, is how they handled the cleanup. They didn’t run any story until after the competitor (at the Flint Journal) ran their piece, and when they did, they buried a 250 story and didn’t mention the location of the crime until the end of the second paragraph. Embarrassing as it is, it is a legitimate news piece and to be scooped on something like this is a very bad faux pas. Not only that, but they headlined with a different drug story wherein a mother brought her son a syringe of heroine to school. Yes, hilariously stupid, but to make that more “important” than the crime literally happening at your back door is Nixon-esque.

If I still worked there, I would have pushed for a preemptive strike—professional news story like many papers dealing with scandal have done (recent cases of plagiarism and lies) along with a very well-thought-out editorial of the “We apologize, hope you don’t lose faith, and we’ll be doing everything we can to tighten hiring practices and security” variety. But they didn’t do that. They didn’t even include comments from their own editor or publisher in their little side-story.

Bad show.

2.07.2005

Holy Frikken Crap.

A little ugly, a little pixelated, but in five years . . . The future is now.

French Onion Soup Review: Lake Inn

A-


After failing horribly as an underhand slow pitcher, but before getting beaned with a softball in the arm, I walked into Lake Inn and ordered a tall Guinness and a bowl of French Onion Soup. Guinness was good, as always, but as the waitress approached with the FOS I actually let my hopes up for the first time in a long while. Good brown crock, cheese crust bubbled over the sides, even a fine grating on top of garnish. No side bread, but a good crock doesn't need it.
Now for the taste.

Only one type of cheese, a pretty good but not excellent mozzarella, a little let down, but the broth: excellent. Not too salty, not too strong, no heavy, bitter aftertaste. Nice big croutons and full, firm onions. Delicious. Wonderful.
Good show Lake Inn. Good show.

The Lake Inn is located at 3711 Hunt Rd., Lapeer, Mich., U.S.A.

2.04.2005

Old theory.

My first CD was Silverchair’s Frogstomp, since stolen. It was purchased in simpler times, when no one really knew CD’s were grossly overpriced, when I was in high school and had a job but no expenses, and when I was stupid enough to spend $16 for two or three good songs.

Since then I have only purchased CD’s which are great either in their entirety or, at most, have one or two mediocre songs (Maroon 5’s Songs about Jane, Tenacious D’s self-titled, Sheila Nicholls’ Brief Strop, the High Fidelity soundtrack).

Today, for reasons to tedious to go into, I revisited a theory I made in high school, which applied then and I am uncertain if it applied now.

To support my proposition have I selected, randomly, the tracklistings of five CD’s I purchased during my formative years, showing that in only one instance did my collection deviate from my little number conspiracy. The margin of error is personal taste, as I am certain somebody else liked one of the fetid pieces of crap lodged between the two or three gems. I am not certain if this issue has been visited before by a music critic or other interweb denizen, but link to it if it has.

My theory was thus: music released by one hit wonders and/or schlock artists who regurgitate “music” on a biannual basis will have a bare minimum of “good” music to sell their CD. With little variance these songs will be found on tracks 2 and 5 and/or 7. The rest is mediocre at best and is normally skipped during playback by all but the most diehard of fans. Exception: track 11 will either be pretty damn good or the worst piece of crap.

Support:
1) Live’s Throwing Copper
Tracks:
1. The Dam At Otter Creek
2. Selling The Drama
3. I Alone
4. Iris
5. Lightning Crashes
6. Top
7. All Over You
8. Shit Towne
9. T.B.D.
10. Stage
11. Waitress
12. Pillar Of Davidson
13. White, Discussion
14. Untitled
“Selling the Drama” was, in a way, the title piece. “Lightning Crashes” was the best rock song, outside of Gwar, to use the word “placenta.” “All Over You” was one of my personal favorites, you might have to listen to it before you recognize it. I don’t even frikken remember the rest.
Listen to samples here.

2) Eve 6’s self-titled
Tracks:
1. How Much Longer
2. Inside Out
3. Leech
4. Showerhead
5. Open Road Song6. Jesus Nitelite
7. Superhero Girl
8. Tongue Tied
9. Saturday Night
10. There's a Face
11. Small Town Trap
This CD only had two songs I actually listened to: “Inside Out,” the chart-topping junior high poetry exercise I bought it for and “Open Road Song” which I still really like.
Listen to samples here.

3) The Verve Pipe’s VillansTracks:1. Barely (If At All)
2. Drive You Mild
3. Villians
4. Reverend Girl
5. Cup Of Tea
6. Myself
7. The Freshmen
8. Photograph
9. Ominous Man
10. Real
11. Penny Is Poison
12. Cattle
13. Veneer
A lot of people may argue for any of the other tracks, especially “Photograph,” but personally The Verve Pipe’s brand of heavy handed metaphor is a sort of music I can only listen to so much of before getting a headache, like RadioHead. I like them just fine, but they’re like musical wasabi. I think 2 and 5 were underrated, and I swear I’m not just saying that to support my theory. I didn’t like 8, and the only other one I might admit to liking is 11, the track number wildcard.
Listen to samples here.

4) Silverchair’s Frogstomp
Tracks:
1. Israel's Son
2. Tomorrow
3. Faultline
4. Pure Massacre
5. Shade
6. Leave Me Out
7. Suicidal Dream
8. Madman
9. Undecided
10. Cicada
11. Findaway
Try as I might, I really can’t remember why I bought this CD, especially as my first. I know nothing of the band and never looked for them again—the only thing I can guess is I saw a classmate with the fold out Warholian Frog poster in the CD booklet and thought “Hey, I identify strongly with quad-colored amphibians.
2 and 5 are ones I often programmed on my Sony Discman, barely edging out 4. “Suicidal Dream” was the anthem of high school Jeremiah: angsty narcissist.
Listen to samples here.

5) Stone Temple Pilots’ Core
Tracks:

1. Dead and Bloated
2. Sex Type Thing

3. Wicked Garden
4. No Memory
5. Sin
6. Naked Sunday
7. Creep8. Piece of Pie
9. Plush
10. Wet My Bed
11. Crackerman
12. Where the River Goes
Besides confusing me the first time I saw a NASCAR race, STP offers the only deviance in my random sampling. “Sex Type Thing” and “Creep” were perennial favorites, but nothing beat the parent-frightening intro to “Dead and Bloated.”
Listen to samples here.

2.02.2005

Damned.

Thank god for Autumn.

I had a dream last night of what my life would be if I had gone to work on computer software in Florida with my father after I graduated. The whole thing took place in the summer of 2007, but I had a pretty set of memories at the onset.

After working with my father for a few months I managed to immerse myself the same group of friends I’ve found in high school, college and work: sarcastic social critics immersed in pop-culture and possessing almost no ambition.

We’d hang out at this bar down there, Bull Dogs or something, munching on fries or jalapeno poppers and drinking rather a lot of beer. It became somewhat of a tradition to share ideas for books, movies etc. either those truly close to one’s heart or those purposely bad.

One night I was proposing an idea for a reality show, to catch the tail end of a (thankfully) dying trend. (For some reason variety shows were the up-and-coming fad). It was a hideous idea, and I only shared it because I was drunk and I wanted a few laughs, but one guy, a blonde fellow named Mike that was new to the group, was actually the nephew of some Fox Television executive. He ended up pitching my idea to his uncle a couple of months later at a wedding or something, and, long story short, I ended up on board as a producer.

Truth be told, it kind of sucked. I didn’t know the business that well, so I was getting shafted left and right by Fox, and my show was so mind-bogglingly amoral that it, and in effect myself, were taken as the shining example of a world gone wrong. Worse yet, I knew it was a terrible show; I had only gone on board because I was hoping to make it a farcical satire of the genre, and get my foot in the door to be a show/film scriptwriter. But Fox took it seriously and America loved to hate it, so it was successful in the same way sensationalized news is successful. And I had to stay on, contractually.

The premise was this: someone would nominate themselves or someone they knew who was taken for granted by his/her spouse, friends, relatives or boss. Then, depending on the situation, something would happen and the subject would appear to disappear, die or otherwise be lost to those that took him for granted. After a month of hidden camera’s following those left behind, the subject would confront and either thank or damn his supposed loved-ones. To make it interesting, if it was proven that he was taken for granted, he would receive the full worth of his life insurance policy. If he was in-fact appreciated but a self-absorbed dick who nominated himself, the money went to his relatives. No matter what, families were broken up.

One of the ones from the first season involved an old guy, a sweet doting husband and his bitch of a trophy wife. Sure enough, as soon as he was “lost” while on a camping trip with some buddies, she whored herself up and started spending his money wholesale. Thing is, the poor guy got to watch the hidden footage, and at the end of every episode did one of those Real World reactions to it. It was heartbreaking. The bitch kept trying to cash in his life insurance, but the company, hip to the trick, kept stalling, saying a body hadn’t been found. It was awful.

And that’s all just the history. My dream took place as we were filming one of the last episodes of the second season. Fox had optioned not to renew our contract following a lot of bad press about how we ruined families and possibly contributed to a murder/suicide. Over the two seasons I had done everything I could to sabotage the show or get Fox to cancel my contract, but every stupid thing I did was taken seriously by the other producers and turned into just another way of tormenting the participants. And people kept nominating others and themselves.

It worked the same way The Bachelor did, insomuch that we filmed the entire first season in a hush-hush manner so that people didn’t know what was going on. The second season only happened because no-one thought you could do a second season, just like The Bachelor 2 or whatever it was called.

The one we were currently filming involved a spoiled little brat, an 8-year-old girl, who didn’t think her parent’s loved her. We had arranged for her to win a spelling bee to fly out to Washington on a chartered plane, which would be reported to crash. Because the bitch was too young for a life insurance policy, and because the other producers wanted to end the show on a bang, the “winning” side would get $1,000,000. It was craziness. After accompanying the little monster on the plane to the resort we were housing her in for a month, I took another unscheduled vacation to help a friend from Florida.

My buddy, George Romeo (Hispanic, it was pronounced Hor-hey) had a little non-profit organization that helped plan camps and activities for troubled youth. With some of the blood money I had made with the show (it had a shitty title like “Did You Miss Me?” or “Taken for Granted”) I had helped him purchase a new building for his business currently housed in a ramshackle singlewide in the middle of no-where. Just as I was starting to feel like I wasn’t a complete waste of skin, helping out those in need, I woke up.

This dream sucked.

2.01.2005

Target practice.

Considering I have never been called to jury duty, the illustrious colon of the law, I have instead volunteered for its arm.

Yes, sometime in the coming week I will stand blandly as recruits shoot me with a tazer. Why? Civic pride. The possibility of a good story. Memories and scarring that will last a lifetime.

And I'm frikken stupid.

Pictures and video though, so you bastards can guffaw as I twitch and, likely, soil myself.

Stay tuned.