After Magritte

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We sold our souls for $300.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Something is Shitting in my Backyard

Had a tough week at work last week. I was working every night until late.
Something is shitting in my backyard.
Went to dinner on Friday night. The restaurant was way to hot and I couldn’t get comfortable. It was OK if you were by the door, but we were by the kitchen.
Something is shitting in my backyard.
I wanted Canada Dry Ginger Ale. The greatest non-alcoholic beverage in the world. They had Sprite. Or Lemonade. Good Lemonade is the second best non-alcoholic beverage in the world. This Lemonade was just OK.
Something is shitting in my backyard.
We had a 3 yr. old with us. She can get fussy. When it took them over 35 minutes to bring me Chicken Marsala, she got really fussy. It was at the point when I convinced my wife that we were leaving without eating and surviving on crap at home. Where I am motioning for the waitress to bring the check and cancel the order. That’s when the food comes.
Something is shitting in my backyard.
The bill was $38.65. A terrible bill. We make a huge mess with the baby, so I don’t like to skimp, but service was lousy. But I only have $45, and can’t possibly wait for a credit card to come back. So, I give the cash. Obviously, the waitress never comes back with change. I hate when they assume that.
Something is shitting in my backyard.
We get home. The garage door is broken. It will not open. After taking many things apart, and getting covered in grease, I find out have a broken spring. $215 dollars later, my garage door opens.
Something is shitting in my backyard.
A skunk has sprayed the backdoor and may have crawled under the deck and died. Shimmying around on the gut, flashlight in hand. Luckily, nothing seems to be under there. However,
something is shitting in my backyard.

I don’t know who, or what it is. But something is shitting in my backyard.

Friday, January 27, 2006

One Million Little Book Sales

So, with everything going on, one thing on the top of everyone’s radar is James Frey, whatever and his book A Million Little Pieces. It’s not a memoir, it turns out he made the whole thing up. Oprah at first defended him, then she ripped him a new asshole for lying to her.

Let me say right now. Of all the people in the world, I would not fuck
with Oprah. James Frey, you are gonna be in a world of hurt. Oprah
will get
medievil on your ass.

Now this book is obviously crap. It some hearwarming tale of overcoming addition, blah, blah, blah. What I find interesting is how pissed everyone is. It’s a book. He made shit up. Uh, it’s called fiction. So, freaking what if it didn’t actually happen. Huck Finn – not real, good book. On the Road – yeah, most of that is made up. Oedipus – motherfucker is probably not real.

It’s not like he was writing about Abraham Lincoln and just making shit up. What does it matter? The best part is that the media is all over this. However, when the republican taliban just made up a bunch of shit that led to a war in Iraq and over 2,000 dead solders. Well, the silence on that is deafening.

I live in a world where Oprah is the most influential person in literature. That is not good, but not the worst thing in the world. She tries. I like Oprah. Hell more people read because of her and that is a good thing. But I also live in a world where everyone gets their panties in a bunch because some guy called a novel a memior, but can't bother to care about being bullshat into an endless war. You called it, dude, Dying Rome.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Its gonna cost a little extra because of the poop

A few days ago, The Smoldering French Horn (the wife) and the Bassoon of Hope (the child) and I are in a preschool interview. The question of who is interviewing who is a good one. However, this school only accepts 20% of its students, making it comparable to say, Penn

Anyway, the Bassoon of Hope is in the process of potty training. She is quite good a peeing. So, we are in the little room, she is playing and we are talking to the teacher about the school. There is a kid sized closet right behind us where they have costumes and other dress up toys. The Bassoon goes into the closet and closes the saloon style doors. A minute or two later, we hear the telltale grunts. I open the door and she slams them shut saying “No”. Yes, she took a dump in there. Tremendous. Everyone had a good laugh.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

My (Middle Name) is Earl

My Name is Earl is actually not a bad show. I have TiVo’d it a couple of times. Kinda funny, kinda different. Anyway, the premise of the show is that Earl was a jerk but then starts believing in karma. So, he goes on this quest to make up for the wrongs he has done.

I have been thinking about karma with the blinding rage that the republican taliban has put me in lately. What does karma hold for the swift boaters, the K streeters, etc? Then I realized, probably nothing. I don’t think I believe in karma. I think that living right is its own reward. In your soul of souls, you know who you are.

I need to spend less time raging and more time doing better things. Less angry politics posts – more Tom Petty quotes.

Well I been to Brooker and I been to Micanopy
I been to St. Louis too, I been all around the world
I've been over to your house
And you've been over sometimes to my house
I've slept in your tree house
my middle name is Earl

Curse you, Dave Chapelle

Last night, in an attempt to fend off becoming a criminal, I was on the elliptical machine - it is a beautiful device - working out. So, while firming my sublime buttocks . . .



Acknowledge it before it destroys you

I watched re-runs of Chappelle's Show. Now, here I am, at work, ending every sentance with bitches, bitches.

PS. I've got chunks of guys like you in my stool.

PSS. Actually, I like Billy Idol, but that was a great skit.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

An Open Letter to Any Veteran's Organization

I was not sure who to ask on this, but I imagine someone at your oganization has seen this article from James Webb - a Vietnam Veteran.

I am deeply disturbed by the attempts to discredit and smear any veteran who does not march in tune with the president - John Kerry, Max Cleland, John Murtha and John McCain. The attempts to discount and dishonor them and their service is a national discrace.

My question is will your organization take a stand on this issue? Will you stand up for these veterans and use your moral authority to put a stop to this behavior. Or is your service distinguished only if you have the correct politics?

Thank you.

PS. I will never donate a nickel to any organization that does not take a firm public stand on this.

More Rage

I just hate them so much. Anyone who aligns themselves with these people has no soul. No soul at all.

I would like to see someone ask Scotty McCellan about this. I'd like to see this ont he front page of every paper in America. I'd like to see a lot of things. But what am I going to get . . . Well here is the front page of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Largest paper in Ohio). Feh. The only thing worse than republicans is the media.

And let me make something clear. To quote a dipshit, "You are with us or against us." So, what's it gonna be, bitch. You either support swift boating or not. Period. And if you vote GOP for county dogcatcher - you are a swift boater. There is no, "but the Dems this, Tax Cuts that, Business regulation this, Homeland Security that". No. You get the whole package. This is no buffet. You are giving a big fuck you to all our veterans. And you probably wave the big flag on the 4th of July.

Three Hundred Dollars. We sold our fucking souls for Three Hundred Dollars.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Statistical Observation

So, in what percentage of couples is the man better looking than the woman? My guess is 10%.

A supposed alumnus

To continue my riff on my education. (Humming Glory Days).

I almost did not graduate from LSJU. There was an incident over approximately $30. When I arrived on campus, I moved into a student apartment. There were 2 guys who were holdovers from last year who were already in the place. There were 4 small bedrooms and a big common room with a kitchen, living room and dining area. While, my bedroom was fine, the common space – well, two 22 yr. old guys had been living there for a year and, well it looked like it. Sink piled with dishes to the point that you could not get a glass of water without moving dirty dishes. 7-8 paper grocery bags filled with trash lined up on an inside wall, with festering trash piled up everywhere. A really nasty smell. We shall not speak of the bathroom.

So, I move in and we kinda clean up a little but generally live in squalor for a year. Next year, I am in a new place with 2 other guys. We all move in at the same time to a reasonable place. At the end of the first term, I graduate and am moving out. The sweethearts at the housing office have me moving out 24 hours after the completion of my last final – Dec 17th or so. A nice touch. So, I clean up my room, clean out the sink, vacuum the common areas and leave. My two roomies are staying in the place for the next year and are living there for the bulk of the holidays.

A few months later, I get a letter. I am being charged 1/3 of the cost of cleaning the apartment. They inspected the place on 12/29 or so and found: dust, dishes in the sink and general clutter in the common areas. Ironic, no? I send back a letter, letting them know that I was not paying this. I cleaned the place when I left and they waited 10+ days to inspect it – not my problem. Commence fucking yourselves.

But, you know that scene in Liar, Liar, where Jim Carry’s car gets impounded and he is trying to tell them off, but can’t lie and says, “I’m just gonna end up bending over and taking it.” Well, that’s what happened. 6 months later my employer at the time required that I prove I had a master’s degree or I would have to be paid less. So, I had to send LSJU my $30 to get my diploma. Bastards.

Part Two – More recruiting

The above story is particularly interesting to me because I had a little recruiting experience with LSJU as a student. Before my turn as a graduate student, I taught junior high in Oakland. The school was poor – both in who it served and quality. Anyway, I suggested the math club take a field trip to LSJU and take a tour, go up Hoover Tower and then attend the competition where the Engineering 101 students show off their projects.

A pretty good idea, no? Get some of the best students at an underprivileged school to check out Stanford and maybe get some excited about engineering or college or whatever. The Prof for Engineering 101 was totally into it. He sends me all this information and invites us to be right in front for the competition. I call the admissions office to ask about a tour. ~$35 for the group + ~1.50 each to go into the tower. Lunch in the dorms would be ~$8 each too. I mention the part about the poor minority students. No luck.


Fun, Fun on the Farm

Ah, the joys of college sports. Now this is not like the Colorado debacle. No crime, just classic comedy. The old alma mater – Leland Stanford Junior University – paid for students to take football recruits to a strip club – the New Century Theater.

I don’t have that much of a problem with this. Strip clubs are legal. This isn’t the worst college in America -- the women involved were willing, paid participants, no one got raped. This is how it should be. The clubs have bouncers and rules and everyone knows what they are getting into. This isn’t gang raping coeds at some campus party by the 7th floor crew.

However, this does show something about the nature of college football. I mean, college football is entertaining, that’s for sure, but it provides nothing educationally, morally, etc., etc. It’s not just the big time. It is any level. It is embedded in sports. There are probably kids roiding on 4th grade pee-wee teams. Please no sermonizing and dammit, I am not watching Remember the Titans, Rudy, Glory Boys or any of that other sports schlock.

As a supposed alumnus (more to follow) of LSJU, however, I am a little pissed. Over $300 was spent on strip clubs for these football recruits for this incident. We all know it was a lot more than that as this has surely been going on for years. As an aside, I do love that these guys turned in the receipts. A nice touch. Now, during my tenure at the junior university, I received exactly 0 dollars to spend on strippers. This despite paying a healthy tuition and passing more than ½ my classes.

Meanwhile, from 2003-2005, the LSJU Football team went 13-20 – with a loss to UC Davis. Methinks the return on our stripper money was not good. I mean, if you are going to spend the University’s hard earned dollars (through haranguing alums, sweet-talking grants out of the Federalis and upping tuition on students) on strippers, can you at least win some games? Is that is too much to ask? I mean, showing some class is clearly out of the question – it is college football. What about just win, baby?

Also, please don’t call me begging for money so the math department can have computers and poor minority students can have financial aid and then blow it on strippers. Sticks in the craw.

The coach at the time was fired. Don’t worry, he was fired because he went 13-20, not because of the strippers. Where is ole Buddy Tevens now? Yep, back at Dartmouth. (the other Alma Mater). I guess that’s good news for Elegant Entertainers in Chester,VT (alas, they have no website).

Monday, January 09, 2006

Why Democrats lose

I know a lot of people pontificate on how to win elections. Unfortunately, my guess is that most of these people are really saying, “run the country exactly my way, and you will win elections” or “hire me to win elections.’ So here is my take, and you don’t even have to hire me.

Pre Bush, the ideological agreement in this country (between people with any intelligence and decency) has been about the size of the government. The classic conservatives want smaller, the classic liberals want larger. I am not addressing the social wingnuts at all here. (Post Bush, there is just the insane kleptocracy of the republican taliban, but that is another post).

The huge advantage that the conservatives have in this argument is that just about every interaction with the government that a private individual has is horrific. If you want to argue for universal health care, how do you respond to the argument of “So you want going to the doctor to be like going to the DMV?” I cannot tell you how much this pisses me off. It allows the conservatives to sidestep the actual issue, because they can count on the country having no confidence in the government to execute. That was the only logic behind the attack on Social Security. Without the Iraq disaster, you have to wonder if it would have worked.

It is a matter of simple competence. If you want to convince someone that the government should be bigger, it needs to do a better job doing what it is supposed to do. And not just the big – Katrina disaster, CIA – things. Even the little things, especially the little things. That is my interaction with the government. The face of the government is the surly woman at the DMV. Yeah these are different levels of government, but most people view it all as government.

So, would it kill the Dems to run on a platform of better government and then actually deliver. Slight improvements on little things would make such a huge difference in how people felt about their government. That would lead to more support for larger government.

So here are two of my recent examples of trying to deal with the government on any level.

First, I needed the damn 2 cent stamps. To the post office I go on the Sat before the postal increase. There is no extra staffing there, and both machines are broken. So, you have to wait in line forever behind some person mailing a live goat to Burkina Faso (They have a lovely film festival by the way).

Second. I get a letter from a city department of scenic Oakland. I have a question regarding what they want me to do (Some form needs filling out), so I call the number on the letter. During normal business hours – not even at lunch time. 25 rings, no pick up. Call back 10 min later. On the 25th ring, it is picked up. The person who sent me the letter is not in, but their assistant might be, so I am transferred there.

OK, who has assistants now anyway. In private industry, not many people. I have no assistant who takes my calls. Maybe ½ the VPs at my company have assistants. At my last place only the CEO did. But it gets better. I get the assistant’s voice mail. Leave a message, please call me, blah blah blah. 10 days later, no call.

I call back. I get the actual person from my letter’s voice mail. Please call. That was a month ago. I may have even left another message. WHO THE FUCK DOESN’T RESPOND TO A VOICE MAIL. How do these people have jobs? What exactly do they do all day? Clearly, I will never hear from them. I threw away their letter. Hope it wasn't important.

The Dems have a great opportunity to run at every level on a platform of removing all the “Brownie’s” The only problem with that is, if you win, you have to actually get rid of them.

Paging Mr. Nixon

More to come on this, but what we are starting to see is the Government is learning the tricks private industry has known for a while about databases. Previously, you could count on governement incompetance keeping you safe from government snooping. But I imagine that they are getting better at it. It is petrifying that the IRS can in 20 states, now only audit Democrats.

At times, when waiting on a 20 minute line to exchange money for various goods and services while a disinterested sales clerk reads People magazine, I will comment how the Communists must have won. Now I realize that the Communists may not have won, but the Soviets sure did.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Welcome New Readers

Hi Steve. Please note that this blog is not ready for prime time.

For you, I have a link to Bacon. Hmmm. Bacon.

You will never have these 30 seconds back.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Diresome Hole Spew

Diresome Hole Spew.

The wife, Smoldering French Horn, is reading a book called Cloud Atlas. Last night, she reads me a passage containing the phrase, “Diresome Hole Spew” I believe I have the name for a second blog. The contents would just be republican Taliban quotes. Or maybe a parody blog.