Thursday, November 18, 2010

Self Test - Are You A Clown?

This is a checklist that one should run down every so often when one suspects that they are entering clowndom.

1. Does your face makeup leave a crotch print when you give head to your mate?

2. Do you believe that honking a horn twice is a suitable substitute for the word "yes"?

3. Is your car four doors or two?

4. Do you carpool?

5. Has one of your co-workers recently tossed a bucket of confetti in your face?

6. Are your suspenders holding up ridiculously over-sized pants?

7. Do you buy your shoes several sizes too big?

8. Are you a redhead? Is your hair curly?

9. Does the smell of elephant shit make you horny?

If you answered "yes" (or honked a horn twice) to 5 or more of these questions, you are indeed a clown. The people around you are perfectly justified in treating you the way they do. Stop whining and carry on.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Long Overdue Reflection on My Trip To Europe

Hello folks, it's been a minute. I've been doing absolutely nothing, but it was time consuming. I spent the last half of October (a fortnight) in Europe, county-hopping. This is a pretty big deal, given my well documented fear of flying. I went to my doctor (a.k.a. the world's most boring doctor) and asked for some anti-anxiety pills. She prescribed me Ativan (I think) and sent me on my way. That was step number one.

The second step was planning the trip, which consisted of going to Rome, Florence, Venice, Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris, and finally London. After arriving in Rome, it would take a myriad of trains and one flight internal within Europe to see everything I needed to see as a cultural tourist. I even got to take a Eurostar train through the Chunnel. The fuckin' Chunnel, Africans!

I got back in one piece, but truthfully, I never really analyzed the trip as I was taking it. No deep thoughts, no insights, just everything at face value. It wasn't until I returned that I looked back and thought "Hey, wait a minute, that guy was trying to seduce my wife!" or some other shit like that. With that being said, here's what I remember in short, bite sized, millennium attention span appropriate blurbs.

Man, fuck Rome. Yeah, I said it. And Rome's mama.
The Trevi Fountain is dope. Gelato, outstanding. My fat, stereotypical American ass ate pizza most of the time and it was the best pizza ever! We stayed for three days in two different places, a dope hotel first, then a dope bed and breakfast. With all this being said, why fuck Rome? The people. They are the rudest I encountered on the Continent and I WENT TO PARIS!!! And it's a lot of old with not enough new mixed in. It's a world city based on tradition rather that it's real place in the current world in my humble opinion. So, you can keep it, you crazy romantics (literally!).
After 3 days, we took a hi-speed train to Florence.

Man, Florence is all that. The DiMedici's had it right holding down Florence. It's old as shit and as beautiful as fuck. When I pictured Italy, Florence is the city of which I was thinking. Quality architecture, The Uffizi Museum, THE David. Pure dopeness. The next time I go to Italy, I can skip Rome and take my ass directly to Florence. We were only here for about 4 hours before we hopped the train again to get to Venice.

Overrated like an Ivy League degree. Venice is for lovers? I'm a lover. It's not for me. Hypothesis flawed. My lover? She didn't like it either. Fucking canals are gorgeous. Endless dead ends into canals when you're walking are not cool. That plaza where all the movies are shot in Venice is very nice (my research tells me it's Piazza San Marco or St. Mark's Square), and well worth the 400 photos I took there. I felt like Jason Bourne, if he were a fat, balding loser and at the tail end of his life.

We flew to Brussels after staying overnight in Venice. We flew on Ryanair. Some words of advice: avoid Ryanair. One hour of being stuck on the tarmac, after which we took off and the flight attendants tried to sell: lottery tickets, perfume, scarfs, other various sundry items. H-O-O-D-S-H-I-T. It was a cheap and relatively quick way to get from southern Europe to the north, but man oh man, Ryanair is worse than Spirit and I fucking hate Spirit with a red hot burning passion.
I spent about 3.5 hours total in Brussels. I didn't really see that much shit, except a waffle sales woman and a frites sales man. That's all I needed. I didn't see Manneken Pis, apparently the most famous piece of art in Belgium, but I saw many, many replicas, mostly made of chocolate.

Seriously, they love this little pissin' bastard.

The next stop was the train station and off to our next 3 day destination...

What a magnificent city! What a standard they have set as a civilized nation. What a magnificent group of good, kind, friendly people. How the fuck did they get to this from being a nation-raping, diamond stealing, Shell Oil owning, apartheid supporting, Afrikkaner spawning, Congo-colonizing, West Michigan living sons of bitches? I don't know, but I can tell you I didn't think of their colonial chicanery once while I was there. And seriously began to think about how I could live there for good at some point in my life. It was that magnificent. I even bought new shoes in Amsterdam (for the record, I wear a size 47 EUR).

I know I only got a slice of life. Hell, I didn't even smoke weed or go into a sex show. I did all the great shit associated with being in Holland, like take pictures of windmills and go to the Van Gogh Museum without the sinny stuff and it was still by far the best leg of the trip. I even got to drop laundry off, pay a few Euros and come back a couple of hours later to clean drawers. They are at once completely organized and completely laid back. God bless the Dutch (does not apply to the ones in West Michigan).

After 3 days, I was sad to leave. We had to board a regular train back to Brussels to catch a hi-speed train going to Paris. Only the regular train had technical issues and we got delayed over an hour, missing our connecting train. When we got there, the woman at the ticket counter told us not to worry, to just hop on the next hi-speed train to Paris. When we tried to board, the conductor told us to fuck off, we'd missed our train, tough luck. We protested, he again said fuck off. We got on the next hi-speed train anyway, with no seats. TAD sat near the luggage and I stood. When the on-board conductor checked our ticket, he just chuckled and we were fine. Fuck that other conductor.

Wow! Paris! The City of Lights! And dirt. Plus crepes.
We stayed in an area I'd like to call the "Brooklyn" of Paris. It's a little gritty, kinda up and coming in some spots, a few hipsters here and there, but mostly where working people live. It was one of the best "real city" situations we'd been in thus far. We essentially dropped off our heavy ass backpacks and roamed into the streets to find food. Luckily, they tried to make us feel right at home at the first restaurant we went to.

All in all, it turned out that the reputation for Parisian rudeness did not bear out in my short stay. It was all good. They were less rude than both the Romans and the Londoners. In fact, Parisians seemed to be working hard to counter that reputation by being very helpful in most instances that we had to interact. Maybe it's because it looked like I might strike them at any moment, but still, the trip to Paris was good and nobody got hurt. I'd like to go back someday.

After 3 days, we were off to Jolly Old England. Yay, Chunnel!

London is a great city. Free fucking museums! It's the perfect nerd town. Everything's in English! Bonus! The people aren't particularly kind, and they are on a whole some of the most unattractive people I've ever seen, but they have a damn good grasp on mixing the modern with the historic. And I'm in love with their subway branding.

It's the kind of place I could see myself living if it weren't for the stifling class system and the fear of having hideously ugly grandchildren.

Me and TAD were at Wicked and towards the end, somebody fainted or had some sort of episode. One of the ushers yelled "Is there a doctor in the house?" and a lady hopped up and sprinted towards the front to help. I'd never seen that before. The person got the help he or she needed and I paid a lot of money to not really see the end of that fucking play. The show went on, but me and my fucking compassion for other humans made me miss some key points that tied up the ending.

There was a lot of off and on rain, of course. And nobody really has better fish and chips than you or I have already had here in the States, but London was not bloody bad.

So that was my anniversary trip.

Monday, September 06, 2010

To my good friend Three, who has just turned 40, while I remain firmly in my thirties

Dear Three,

I just figured out how I will murder you.

Don't be alarmed by this revelation. I am not doing it for selfish reasons, for the pleasure of not having you walk the earth will give to me and many, many others. I'm just doing it so you will no longer age, embarrassing yourself as you become more senile, fragile, corny, and generally wack. I want to kill you out of love.

I'll invite you to my next birthday party, where I myself will gracefully glide across the threshold into my forties. It will be December then, a chilly wonderously wintery Detroit December. Many of our other friends will be in attendance as the DJ plays my favorite hip hop. We'll likely be at La Casa De Habana, the cigar bar I love so much.

I will beckon for you to join me outside, to get away from the smoke and the din of assembled revelers, under the guise of having a heart to heart chat with my dearest friend. We will look up at the starry, dark Downtown sky and marvel at the chill we've both experiencing for our 40th year.

I'll begin to toss my hat up in the air. You'll wonder what I'm doing, but I'll keep talking about the Lions or some chick at the party with a giant ass and a tight dress. You'll dumbly ignore the growing intensity of the tosses while acknowledging the ineptitude of our local sports team and the hook on Linda Sue. During this time I will succeed in dislodging a giant icicle.

As the icicle falls, I will catch it, and while you are blathering away I will shove that icicle through your jacket and into your pitifully aging heart. I'll drag you into the foyer and sit your body in a chair. It'll be assumed you're just tired from all the partying, so people will let you "sleep". In the meantime the space heater I'll have set up near you will work to melt the icicle.

The murder weapon will melt while I'm mingling with my guests. No witnesses, no murder weapon. The perfect crime.

Happy Birthday, Three!


Friday, August 27, 2010

The Blueprint For Education

I sat on my balls yesterday.

I climbed into the driver's seat of my car as I was leaving work yesterday and I sat on my balls. I yelped and hopped out of the car, the pain coursing through my body. I stood, bent with my hands on my knees, waiting for the pain to go away. I looked to the sky and breathed heavily, trying to meditate my way out of the discomfort. Slowly, but surely, the sensation subsided and I was able to take that seat again, a little more carefully this time. But I'd learned my lesson. Some lessons aren't taught, or even casually passed along. It's just something you do that you are forever cognizant that you mustn't ever do again.

I won't sit on my balls tomorrow.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Place Where I Work

I've been looking for what seems like forever, but in reality has been 3 years, for a new job. I hate the place that I work. I hate my boss, especially. And the people that I work with are the absolute worst. Clerical staff is the bottom of the barrel, but the rest of the cast of characters are gaining ground in earning my rancor.

One person in particular remains on my nerves. I know she is my replacement. I don't make this lightly. She is my boss's favorite, because she is HIS boss's favorite, owing to the fact that it is his best friend's daughter and he told my boss to hire her for an open management job we had. Whatever the polar opposite of "speaking truth to power" is, that's what my boss does. So he's particularly deferential to her and her "ideas". She's been here almost a year, and it has been a particularly irritating year.

Have you ever seen Robin Williams doing his shtick? The stream of consciousness, everything's a gotdamn joke thing that he does? That's this bitch. I have yet to have a real conversation with her. I'm technically her fucking boss too, and she's just blathering and making light of shit constantly. It's oft-putting and weird. I'd like her to work on projects and I literally just avoid her and go to her highly professional (and more qualified than her) staff. Fucking freak. Other people are starting to notice and making sly mention of her being spazzy. I can't remark on it to them, but it gives me some comfort that it's not just me that notices.

The issue is, I care and I don't care. I think they are grooming my boss for a job in city administration and when his position comes open, I as his deputy, will get leapfrogged. That's the part I care about. Getting skipped over for a promotion and having it handed to a subordinate is embarrassing. I don't wanna be a clown for anybody. The part I don't care about is the job, as I've stated. I wanna go soooo badly, and I'm getting no love out there. I'm going to a career coach next week, so I'm finally soliciting external help to get me the fuck out of here.

I got so many irons on the fire, my name should be Smith. I wish one of them would pay off soon.


Friday, June 04, 2010

Somewhere along the way...

Somebody made the decision that there were important things to know. I don't know how these important things to know were determined: by a single person, by a tribunal, by happenstance. I can't call it, but there was a subset (or superset) of facts and information or even abstract understanding that was picked out of all things that are knowable and called "vital". The esoteric nature of the emergence of this group of datum is still a mystery to me, perhaps someone's put the origins in a book that I haven't read, which is entirely possible. One thing is certain: if you were/are in relative possession of a mastery of this set of information, you are deemed intelligent. I know a lot of people who are deemed intelligent by the people that deem other people intelligent, themselves deemed by others as intelligent. This declaration comes in the form of citations, diplomas, degrees, advanced degrees, etc. The people I know who are deemed intelligent go on to identify other people of worthy education intelligent. The cycle continues....

My basic understanding, though, is that the information that is used to deem one intelligent is a circumstance of culture, societal norms, and an collective acknowledgment that a person has a sufficient knowledge of the generally acknowledged subset (or superset) of information available. I hear the words intellectual, savant, genius and shit like that bandied about in certain circles, words that are used to imply that the speaker has the gravitas to bestow such designation upon others, giving both the designator and the designated props. If I call Walter Mosley or Spike Lee a genius, I'm taking a little for myself for being able to recognize genius therefore inviting myself to that little party.

I'm saying all that to say this: I don't fucking know anymore. I don't like being a part of this game. If someone says or writes something and I recognize the reference or find a deeper meaning in it, then who the fuck am I to say that they're intelligent? Maybe they're writing down to me. Who knows. What I do know is that the dominant culture makes those rules, period. They dismiss ghetto dwellers and trailer park residents as being "ignorant", but people are playing by entirely different sets of rules than the "mainstream". Is it intelligent if a person from a different cultural understanding to try to go reason with a hostile person if from the "hood" person's observation of similar circumstances and symbolic identifiers tell him the only way to deal with that person is through violent measures? Viewing every situation through one cultural prism distorts the true nature of intelligence. When I say I've seen what I've thought to be true geniuses in the "hood", I'm not trying to be condescending or take any credit for myself for that recognition. People do what I could never do and what I'd never think to do. I'm in awe of it and I refuse to let cultural bias color that.

Intelligence is everywhere. It is nuanced and not concrete.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Should I?

I was thinking about starting a new blog with photos of fat women in wedding dresses. What do y'all think? I think a fat girl in a wedding dress is the most adorable thing in the world, so I'm trying to gauge interest to see if that's just me. Probably, but still...I like the idea.

After not being able to jumpstart myself on this book I've been writing forever, I'm moving on to a new book. It's part self help book and part novel. It's called Deconstructing K.e.i.s.h.a. and it's gonna be HOT SHIT, my friends. I have a concept and it's sorta like Watchmen, but not a graphic novel and not about superheroes. It's structurally like the Watchmen novel, not content wise. I can't wait to really start it. I've just created the outline for the story, which I usually never do.

I'm trying to wade back into seeing my friends since I live one hour away from them now instead of 2 1/2 hours. I come their way, but I'll be damned if they don't make the occasional drive to my neck of the woods.

Still trying to get out of Satan's Anus employment-wise as soon as I can, but it's not easy. The economy is picking up in some sectors, but not in the public sector. We'll see, I still have many, many irons in the fire.

Be Cool, kids.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Bad Cop/Horrendous Cop

Hello folks! How's it going? I needed a little forum to talk about politics a little bit and what I'm feeling right now.

This has been a miserable period of time for me personally when it comes to politics. I was wary of O.bam.a when he started (it's documented on this very blog), but I held my nose and voted, as I've always done. I gave the benefit of the doubt to this man, like I have many people before him. For the first time, I was given the opportunity to vote for a black man for President. Shit, he wasn't Alan Keyes or Clarence Thomas, so at least he wasn't the worst choice as our first black President. I've been doubting that wisdom for a while now.

This two party nonsense has got to stop. We literally have the choice between out and out racist, misogynist, gay-bashing xenophobes, who feed off each others vileness, and covert racists and misogynists, who are dim-witted and cowardly on many fronts, that are too consumed by guilt to outwardly embrace who they really are. And I believe both are working in tandem to ensure absolutely nothing changes for the people who fund this experiment we call "our country".

I most certainly will never, ever vote for the Re.publi.can ticket, but I'm done with the Dem.o.crats too. It's over. I will not vote for another supporter of cowardice and avarice again. I will most certainly vote my conscience, and not give a fuck who actually "wins" because I have been convinced there is ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PARTIES. The are frauds. I will not jump up and down because you don't call me n*gger to my face, but you look at me and think "n*gger" and treat me as though I should be grateful that you supposedly treat me as an equal. That's a lie. You patronize the fuck out of me, you are definitely not looking out for my best interests. I know this, I've known it for a while and I have no one to blame but myself. I am an unabashed liberal, and I'll vote for liberal candidates, period.

Y'all can have the mainstream. I'll be swimming in a different stream.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Liquid Courage

Good day, townsfolks! What's good? I'm a little behind on updating this thing, but I'm here now. I really did have a hell of a lot to write about, but I've forgotten it as soon as I sat down to write.

It is a forgone conclusion that I'm bored. Work sucks, I can't find a new job, I'm in limbo stuck out in the boondocks west of Ann Arbor. I'm not excited in my life or in my career. My wife is fantastic, but we're both bored with shit in general. My saving grace for the past couple of days has been the rain.

Rain melts the fucking snow and that's good enough for me. Sunshine is rare so I'll take the rain as my melting agent.

That's a sad testament when the rain is the only thing you're looking forward to.

OK, back to work folks.


Monday, January 25, 2010

The Gun Show

Hey peoples, what's good? I just had a new experience this weekend. I've gone 39 years without ever having held a loaded gun, let alone firing one. And now I'm one step away from being licensed to carry a concealed one. Let me tell you how this happened.

In the summer between my 10th and 11th grade years, my best friend Rodney, accidentally shot himself in the eye. Rodney was a smaller than average kid. Getting fucked with on G.P. just for being small. He was hella cool, and hella smart, but frankly he got sick of being pushed around. He had an Honda Elite scooter and some hard cats on the block decided he didn't deserve it. They let him know the next time he rode past on it, it was theirs. He copped a gun from another set of hard cats on the block. He didn't know what the fuck he was doing with it and he caught a bad one in the eye. I'm still not exactly sure it was an accident, but that's the story I got.

Since, and actually before, then, I had a real antipathy towards guns. Cowards tools, I thought, so I stayed clear of them.

A few years back I got the idea that it wouldn't be a bad idea to have one, because shit, you never know how certain things may play out. We got some bad men out there with some bad intentions, and it you're on the wrong side of their way of thinking, you might become a victim. I was reluctant because then I'd become what I've always hated, a conspiracy minded nutjob. I do happen to live in the town where Tim.o.thy and the Nic.hol.s Brothers conspired to take down the Fed.eral Building in OK City.

The more I thought about it, and talked to friends about it, the more natural the progression seemed to come. So I signed up for the 8 hour permit to Carry a Concealed Weapon class. I told the instructor that I was a novice and ended up getting a little private instruction away from the class. It was strange to pull that trigger for the first time. There was a lot of power and a slight feeling of dread. After a while, I got into the groove.

After taking the written test (25 out of 26!), the entire class engaged in intruder cappin' scenarios on the gun range. That shit was actually fun, especially the yelling before shooting to give the intruder a chance to run. "Get the fuck outta my house, scumbag!" Fantastic.

In short, it was a great way to release stress, even though I still doubt I'll actually carry a gun around. The sad part is after one class, they'd actually let me.

Peace! (hehehehe)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Ay, yo! How's everybody? I hope you had a good MLK Day. I did, because it included not taking my black ass to work. Of course, everyone else at my job had to work, but I opted out. I think Martin would've wanted it that way.

My attitude towards work isn't as bad as it has been, though. Because I have no pending interviews, no oars in the water, no prospects whatsoever, I don't have an anxious feeling at work anymore. I used to be irritated, like "when are they gonna call me so I can tell my boss 'fuck you'?". Now? Since I'm not waiting for anything, work is just fucking work. And as bad as it gets, it's just something you gotta do. I still think it's just for the time being, but really, who knows?

I take solace in the fact that it's not the actual work. Like most instances, the issue is less the work and more who you have to answer to. I have to answer to not only my boss (fuck that guy), but the community at large (fuck those people). The combination is horrible. If one or the other was worth a fuck, the job wouldn't be so bad. My boss's insistence on sending out 5 staff people to rescue a cat from a tree (not literally, but you get the idea) is frustrating. And the public's insistence on asking for staff in the buildings department to rescue their cat from a tree is frustrating. I can't tell them "no" because it would piss off my boss, and without proper back up from your supervisor you're done. If he made the call that we're not getting involved in shit that our department's not responsible for anymore, the job would work as it should. But he won't cuz he's a chickenshit and when I ask him to do it he wants to talk about his philosophy on governing. Fuck that guy. I hope he chokes on his own vomit in his sleep.