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Archive for April, 2005

In Which I Have Six-Pack Abs

April 28th, 2005 1 comment

Good golly! Who knew it was this simple?? 45 minutes after the first visit to my new gym, I am FUCKING RIPPED! I went from a BMI you measured with powers of four to a fit, trim and exceedingly sexy forty-something that passes for late twenties!

DAMN! What an idiot I was not to do this sooner!

Oops! Gotta run out for a coke and a pack of smokes!

CYA, fatties!

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In Which I Haven’t Fallen Off The Face Of The Earth…Yet

April 25th, 2005 No comments

We spent Thursday through Saturday in NYC and it was wonderful. By a sheer twist of fate, Jest Magazine had their national release party on the night we arrived, so my wife and I dropped the kids with her aunt and uncle and zipped into the city for a trendy little Soho (or Noho or Whateverho) gathering. I finally got to meet the folks I cyber-work with. I spent a good deal of the night talking to one of the senior editors from Mad Magazine and had I not left his card in my suit jacket, would have accepted his invitation to “stop by the office”. YOIKS!

So much stuff to process with almost no time to do it. Rest assured, three people who read this, there’s more to come. Just keep saying to yourself – “I want to hear about the American Girl store”.

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In Which It Doesn’t Get Much Clearer Than This

April 21st, 2005 1 comment

Every now and again, you read Wonkette, scratch your head and think to yourself, “She just made that up…didn’t she?” Then you follow the link and find out that, no, she didn’t make that up. Then, as you read the original for a fifth time, you wonder, “Hmmm, is this a prank site like Whitehouse.org” and you dig a little deeper to find out that, no, they’re actually serious.

Then you crawl under the covers, whimpering and shaking with fright.

That’s the scenario with Move America Forward and their response to Voinovich’s decision that rubber stamping John Bolton’s appointment to the UN might be a bad idea.

[dinner sound effects/cutlery]
Wife: Honey, were you watching C-SPAN today? Did you hear how disloyal Senator Voinovich was to Republicans and President Bush? Voinovich stood with the Democrats and refused to vote for John Bolton, the man President Bush has chosen to fight for the United States at the UN

Husband: No, I was streaming it on the Internet at the office, but from what I could tell, Senator Voinovich played hookey from the hearings?

Wife: Yeah thatís right. Heís missed most of the Bolton confirmation hearings, but then shows up at the last minute and stabs the President and Republicans right in the back.

Husband: Thatís ridiculous Ė the United Nations needs reform, we need someone who will stand up for the United States and fight the UNís corruption and anti-Americanism.

Wife: Shame on Senator Voinovich. After the Democrats smeared Condoleeza Rice for Secretary of State and Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General, how could Voinovich side with the Democrats in smearing John Bolton?

Husband: It seems like Senator Voinovich has become a traitor to the Republican Party.

Wife: Enoughís enough. Iím logging on to Move America Forward dot com to register my protest with Senator Voinovichís office.

Husband: What was that site? Move America Forward dot com ?

Wife: Yep, Move America Forward dot com

Yes. Read that again – A TRAITOR TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

Now, maybe this shows that Republicans are so desparate to hold on to power that they don’t mind sounding like Stalin. Perhaps the electorate in Ohio, after hearing this ad, will scratch their head and wonder if America is really about blind allegience to a Party Line or whether maybe, just maybe, it’s about what best for the US.

HA! I was kidding!

I’ll be under the covers if you need me.

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In Which We…Well, You Have A New Pope

April 20th, 2005 No comments

DUDE! The new Pope is, like, so TOTALLY ROCKIN’ and rad, according to Cardinal Josip Bozanic of Zagreb

”We worked really quickly and really well to choose a great new pope.”

Same doctrine, great new look!

Of course, everyone commits indiscretions in their youth, like, say, fighting for the Nazis, but, hey, if if a drunken cokehead can be President of the United States, then why can’t a Nazi become Pope? Don’t stress about it, Catholics!

And sex abuse? Let’s coin a new term – “Vast Protestant Conspiracy”.

”I am personally convinced that the constant presence in the press of the sins of Catholic priests, especially in the United States, is a planned campaign, as the percentage of these offenses among priests is not higher than in other categories, and perhaps it is even lower.”

If I’m getting the logic right, he’s saying that the numbers on murderous, drug abusing, embezzling priests need to match the numbers for priests abusing kids in order for both statements to hold weight. Sin is a straight line.

And how about the stellar reportage by Michael Paulson, who, with a combination of cunning and people skills, gets quotes like this that bring home the impact of the choice

“American Catholics will either be dismayed, confused, or overjoyed by this election,” said Stephen J. Pope, a theologian at Boston College…

Woo. That gave me chills. They might love him, hate him, or not be sure what to think. Dang!

The biggest issue, I guess, is that Benedict XVI is a hardcore, don’t-take-no-shit kind of Pope. There will be no tolerance for gay women priests having abortions on this Pope’s watch. This will make some Catholics mad. But if you don’t like the rules – leave. There’s an infinite number of Jesus’ to believe in. Want to have sex with a lot of different women? There’s a Jesus for that. There’s even a Jesus that will save you from alien abductions.

One of the reasons that I don’t follow the path of Christianity is because I have too many theological issues with the several churches I’ve been to. I’m not learned or smart enough to get into a discussion of schism between the Old Testament God of Wrath and God 2.0 (aka Jesus) that preaches love and tolerance. How can one God be open to so much interpretation? Here’s the thing – If the Pope is the direct conduit to God, why the election? One would think that God would make it painfully clear who he wished to speak to and that everybody, Christians and non-Christians alike, would immediately understand.

Instead, it took five rounds of voting.

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In Which It’s Vacation Week

April 19th, 2005 3 comments

Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t wait for vacation week to roll in? Maybe you single people still feel that special thrill creep in through your toes and coarse through you as you delegate your various responsibilities amongst your co-workers with barely concealed spiteful glee. Yes, you’ve earned your week or two weeks off. Now it’s time to do absolutely nothing! Well, enjoy it while you can, young-uns, because once you start breeding, you can kiss that brand of freedom goodbye. No longer will you jet down to Sandals and blow your drink tokens on some dental hygenist from Omaha in the hope that she’ll return the favor and blow you. Sky diving, hang gliding? No and no. Camping and hiking? Sure – with a toddler on your back while keeping an eye on the five year old so he doesn’t eat the white berries.

Honestly, it’s not the major vacations that suck. It’s the little vacations like “spring vacation”. You’ve got a week to…well, both you and your spouse could take the week off and do something fun (AKA, something the kids won’t hate). But that takes a week away from the two weeks allotted for “not working”.

So, since I’m Mr. Work From Home Dad, it falls to me to figure out
1) How to avoid my clients for a week while
2) Finding activities for the kids that allow me to get home quickly if a client calls with an emergency and
3) Not get resentful that the kids are home when, by rights, I should have the house to myself.

All in all, day one of Vacation Week went smoothly. They watched a movie while I got a few things done. Lunch. Errands (new soccer cleats, Ben Frank’s, the libarary, Home Depot) and the park. Still when my wife breezed through the door from her glorious day at the office, I gratefully embraced her.

“Do you wanna go out for a half hour, hun,” she mercifully asked.

And how!

Normally, I hate Starbucks. I refuse to drink their coffee which, as Sam Walters rightly points out, tastes like burnt ass. Still, on a bright and glorious spring evening, there’s nothing better than sitting outside with a cold beverage and the only place close by is a Starbucks. So I slumped down to Planet Perfect where they mist the air with Eau du Joni Mitchell every fifteen minutes and give Bono the benefit of the doubt.

I was weary. I wanted no real human contact. I wanted to grunt and be grunted at and then sit in the sunshine by myself.

“Hi, sir!! Welcome to Starbucks!! What can I get for you today!!”

Some people are just too fucking excited to be working at Starbucks. And before me stood the prime example. Tall and slender in her khakies, black shirt and tan apron, she reminded me of a girl I dated twenty odd years ago. Shortish blond hair in tight curls and her sweet face framed with rimless glasses, she was adorable and had she not been so damn perky, the weight of the day would have melted off my shoulders into a puddle at my feet.

“Yeah,” I grunted, “a small Vanilla Bean shake thing.”

My first rule of Starbucks – never order correctly. Use small, medium and large. Call frapacinos “shake” or even “coolatas”, if you must. “With cream and sugar” works, too. Most Starbuckians blink or try to correct you. Stella Starbucks just smiled even wider, the bitch. I handed her my money.

“And what’s your name, sir!!?”

Huh? My name? Was this part of the whole we-want-to-be-seen-as-an-extension-of-the-community-instead-of-the-corporate-kudzu-we-really-are thing? Why the HELL do you need to know my name? I don’t want to have a personal relationship with you. I want my fucking coolata. Are you hitting on me?

“Uh…Paul.”

“Ok! One vente Vanilla Bean Frapacino for Paul, please!”, she chirpped to the sullen girl who I would have preferred to deal with. “And,” she said sounding much like Candide, “How are you enjoying this beautiful day!!”

“Obviously, not as much as you,” I grunted.

“Oh,” she demurred, “it just comes naturally.”

Oh, I wanted to say, fuck off.

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In Which I’m A Lucky Dad

April 19th, 2005 No comments

My youngest child bought correcting tape at Ben Franklin’s today.

The oldest was interested in Alphaville, so we watched some of it. And now she wants to watch the whole thing.

I love my kids!

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In Which I Had A Fever Dream

April 17th, 2005 No comments

I’m slowly kicking this miserable cold and let me say that echinacea and goldenstar, or whatever hell it is, taste like shit. Yes, it provides temporary relief, but at what cost?

Either way, I woke up around 12:30am in a half dream about carrying out armegeddon on the US. According to the dream, I planted thousands of bombs throughout the country all set to go off in five minute intervals after a remote controlled plane flew into the White House.

I guess I have some issues.

I stood on a pile of rubble, surrounded by snipers and camera crews, giving a speech/manifesto to rival John Galt.

You’ll probably want to hold off shooting me so I can explain. So.

I’m not a terrorist. I don’t really have a “political” agenda. I did this mostly to show you idiots that no matter how much you plan for something, no matter how many laws you pass, no matter how many personal liberties you willing sacrifice to remain safe – you’re not safe. Ever. Deal with it. That’s what Americans should be doing anyway. Not standing in line to surrender their lighters so they can’t light the shoe bombs that they had to take off to get through security. You can kill someone with a pen, for God’s sake. You can stab someone through the eye with a paper clip. Shit happens and you cannot plan for it. Ever. All you’ve done with airport security is create a new industry devoted to airport security. It doesn’t make us safer, it gives us the illusion of being safer.

When I was a kid, I fell off a log and broke my collar bone. The town council of Buffalo, NY did not pass a law mandating that logs in backyards be cleared out. The playgrounds that I played on are now deemed “unsafe”. Guess what? I know an 11-year that broke her leg on one of the “safe” playgrounds. Guess that didn’t work too well, huh?

Everybody bitches about the government. Well, the government’s gone now. Do something. Or don’t. Vote back in the friends of the people that picked your pockets and gave the money to Big Business. Sure, capitalism works. As long as the government gives the airline industry billions of your dollars to prevent them from going bankrupt while they give their CEO’s twelve million dollar bonues and charge you five bucks for a stale sandwich. Capitalism works as long as the city of Boston builds the Red Sox a new stadium so they can continue to have the highest tickets prices in baseball.

This went on for seemingly hours and hours.

I told my wife about this dream and she laughed.

“So,” she smirked, “you conquered the world. And what was your first act as King Of The World?”

“No, no,” I corrected, “it had nothing do ruling over people. I just wanted to fuck things up.”

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In Which I’m Almost Back To Normal

April 17th, 2005 No comments

Oy. My sleep cycle is completely screwed up. Falling asleep at 7:30pm and sleeping twelve hours for a couple of days in a row…. Last night, I went to bed at 11pm. On a Saturday. I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I couldn’t even finish the movie I started (Alpahville, which I watch once a year or so).

I’ve got a couple of posts that I just can’t seem to get through due to a lack of focus. However, little tiny stuff – that I can do right now.

A few days ago, my editor at Jest sent out an email looking for good fake summer reading books. Apparently, mine submission was good enough and fake enough for him –

A Sequel To A Slightly Above Average Book Thatís Not As Good As The Original But Still Better Than Most Of What Passes For Literature by Dave Eggers

An Ear For An Ear: The Autobiography of Mike Tyson by Mike Tyson

Faust by Bono

Back on the horse before long!

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In Which My Wife Wouldn’t Be So Understanding

April 13th, 2005 1 comment

Via Atrios, the tale of threatened legal action over expressing your views about someone in the public eye.

Oh, I’d say more but then, well, the wife, ya know. Plus, I’m still ill and the medical advise depensing guy told me I shouldn’t tax myself.

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In Which I Provide Proof Of How Sick I Am

April 13th, 2005 1 comment

I actually watched The Blue Lagoon and felt sad that they died in the end.

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