Monday, February 28, 2005
There must be something about hamster young that makes them particularly appetizing. If they're anything like human children, though, the act of eating one's young must be a powerful, ancient evolutionary instinct for the hamster. Children--in case you didn't know--are totally disgusting.
Which is occasionally hilarious.
And occasionally the bane of my existence.
See, my youngest boy has a horrid, awful, sticky head cold. All mucus (unless you spell it "mucous", then I mean that) and drool and everything in the world like dirt and dog hair and the dog in general sticking to the liberally applied muc(o?)us and drool. Basically he's a foul, filthy, wheezing beast.
When he's sick, he doesn't sleep well. That means long days of pissed-off-edness to ruin my day as designated caregiver because of the a) constant crying and b) snot-covered shirt shoulders.
So when my poor sleep-deprived child fell asleep face-down on the carpet in my living room between the coffee table and the couch at 10 am, my paternal instinct kicked in. I went racing around looking for the camera so I could humiliate him with the picture at the appropriate time later in his life.
No camera. Damn. Ah, let him sleep on the floor. At least he's not crying.
Twenty minutes later, he woke up just to remind me that he is still occasionally asthmatic. Hack, wheeze, cough, choke choke choke. I can't find his older brother anywhere, so I assume he's inhaled him whole. It sounds as though something that size is lodged in his throat.
Break out the stupid nebulizer and give him the stupid breathing treatment with the stupid two-year-old medicine that we never stupid use any stupid more because we (stupidly) thought we were past all stupid this.
Still with the wheeze, hack, cough, choke choke choke.
Hello? Can I get my boy in to see the doctor?
No, sorry, doctor is out. Take him to Urgent Care.
Fuckers. There goes my very important mid-day chips-eating time.
The absolute best thing about kids? When you take them to Urgent Care, they bump you to the head of the 2-hour long line if you... uh... word it just right on the sign-in sheet. "Asthmatic; still wheezing and labored breathing after treatment given. Permanent shade of purple. Last Rites given by priest."
There are some basic constant laws that govern the universe. One has to do with gravity and physics and math or some shit. The other says that by the time you are seen at Urgent Care, all your symptoms will magically vanish. So the Urgent Care doctor glares at me and tells me to waste his regular doctor's time next time we have a phantom crisis.
Fucker. I could have been home eating chips. The good kind too with the salt and vinegar.
Run home, pick up oldest boy from school, homework, then to First Ever T-Ball Practice. Fucking kids and their fucking stuff. If it isn't muc-o-us, it's the t-ball. One of these days I'm going to get asthma and join an organized sports league, you watch. Then they'll all be sorry.
What I'm trying to say is, look, I'm sorry I didn't post a new blog post at the regular time. Sometimes shit just happens. It doesn't mean I love you any less. It's just that child-neglect isn't that hard to prove in this day and age. I gotta keep an eye on the long term. You understand, don't you?
I knew you would.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.9
Sunday, February 27, 2005
Just A Little Off The Top
Better than anything else, I think modern global corporate capitalism survives. Most people would be tempted to say that it sells crap nobody wants or needs best, and yes the sales numbers of The Da Vinci Code were impressive, but mostly I'm amazed at the extent to which modern mass-media driven capitalism rolls along, completely unchallenged.
It doesn't do so by destroying all who would dare stand in its path, no. Instead, it absorbs everything--pro, con or indifferent--as it rolls forward.
Victorian capitalism at least had Marx to keep it honest. Now you can buy a t-shirt or bumper sticker with a hammer-and-sickle or Che or Mao (not Marx himself, though... not photogenic enough) on it at a novelty store near you.
The problem for points of resistance to the media-driven global marketing machine is that once any point of view rises to a high enough level of general popular awareness, it is absolutely ripe for a marketing campaign. This was evident when the first mass-produced Peace Sign T-Shirt (get the matching belt-buckle, knapsack and head band for just $15 more!) was sold or when hip-hop evolved into MC Hammer floating with the aid of his parachute pants while shilling for Taco Bell.
It's the paradox of resistance: for a message to be spread widely enough to be effective, transmission across corporate-owned airwaves is required. They can, of course, put your slogan on a billboard and splice in commercials for Viagra and Metamucil. Over time, add in the neutering effect of nostalgia and what was once radical is not only mainstream, it's kitsch and we end up with abominations like the new VW Beetle.
This of course applies not only to products but modes of thought, though in slightly different ways.
Take political correctness, for example. I think the general initial aims of political correctness (or whatever it was once called) were admirable: pause for a second and reconsider the source of your predispositions. Question socially constructed prejudices in an attempt to realize the world from another point of view. An idea I could get behind.
As this approach, this challenge, gained a cultural foot-hold to one of not just dominance but ubiquity, the goals and attitudes changed into some kind of bizarre thought-policing where you weren't allowed to tell Polack jokes anymore and not just because they're tedious and unfunny but because you weren't allowed to.
In the climate created under the PC Thought-Regime, it's impossible not to have some of the basic tenets seep into one's subconscious (or even conscious) world-view and color our interactions with others, especially when unexpectedly confronted with a minority or social sub-group we are unfamiliar with. Oversensitivity leads to fear of saying the wrong thing. Many white people, for instance, when confronted with a Mexican for the first time will point out how much they like Cinco de Mayo and how they had a piñata one year at their birthday party, talking quickly and nervously for fear they might let fly an accidental "wetback!" and reveal themselves to be the horrible racists they knew they probably were in the first place.
This is a lot of exposition and overanalysis, but something happened to me today. Something so unexpected that I'm still sort of traumatized by it. The experience itself was fine, but the surprise of it is something I may never recover from.
See, I... well, I...
I got my haircut today.
Wait! There's more!
I got my hair cut by a midget. Er, Little Person. She was short. Man, I'm sweating already.
I'm going to stop here for just one second. I think everyone knows at this point that frequently on this blog, I tell lies. Huge lies. Completely fabricated whole entire sections of total bullshit in the misguided service of some larger bullshit point. This is not one of those times. You're going to have to take my word for it.
When I first saw her at one of my local chain haircutter establishments, I admit I stared. Not Omigod Freak Show! stared, but more like "How the hell is she gonna..."
But then I saw her box. She had a box she could stand on so she could reach. And she reached.
Logisitical questions cleared, I took my seat.
I'm all chatty and wordy in this forum, but out amongst people where you have to speak and there is no BACKSPACE button, I mostly limit myself to grunts and gestures. It's easier that way. We already know from a few days ago that I don't do small-talk, so if my hair is getting cut or my oil is getting changed or whatever, Pops no talky. Cash in exchange for services rendered, the end. No new best pals.
But then I was worried she would think I wasn't saying anything because she thought I was uncomfortable being worked on by a person of her limited stature, so I felt like I had to say something, but in that situation, you know... it's haircut talk really. She asked me how I wanted my hair cut. All I could think of was the word short.
And I thought "Holy Jesus, I'm in an episode of Seinfeld."
I soldiered on. I survived. I found out it was her fifth day on the job. Then I was able to focus on her nervous amateur incompetence and grumble inwardly about my inexpert service, so the ice was officially broken by my natural tendency to be an asshole.
I even shorted her on her tip. I mean I tipped her less than normally I might have. What I meant to say was her gratuity was perhaps not quite what she may have hoped for.
Aw hell. The Thought Police are going to get me for that one.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.4
PS- Were the Oscars on tonight? I forget. The best awards-show story I've read (maybe ever) was Halle Berry showing up at the Razzies to accept her Worst Actress award for Catwoman. Hot and a sense of humor. If only she loved me like I love her.
Friday, February 25, 2005
I Might Recite A Small Prayer/If I Ever Said Them/I Lay Down On An Iron Frame/And Find Myself In Bedlam
This morning my kid's school had it's "Donuts with Dad" event. That's where before school starts, fathers are invited to take a pretend interest in their children by showing up before the first bell for free donuts and painful small talk with other fathers who'd rather be elsewhere.
I looked for the special table acknowledging the dads who show up there every goddamn day to shuttle their little sprogs off into the care of an institution with a strong history of buggery (what is the matter with these people? No common sense, I tell you). Normally it's just me and one other dude in the mornings, then all moms.
Next year I'm going to petition that we rename the event "Let's Everybody Steal Pops' Fucking Parking Space". Honestly, let's just call it what it is.
Plus, they should probably reschedule the event for April or May next year. Holding these forced-interaction events when at a time of year when it could possibly rain is an exercise in futility. 99.9% of the talk was weather related, as far as I could tell (it's hard to be sure as I was only in the hall for about 30 seconds, a blur of motion as I whisked in and burgled a pastry). There was one pair of men as I was walking out (I swear this was true) telling each other how much they weighed. I don't want to know what their larger discussion topic was, but past that, I think my conversation sampling is reliable. "Man, can you believe the rain?" "Yeah, that was some rain." "Well, thank God we've got a break now." "Yeah, thank God." "I almost forgot what the sun looked like." "Haha yeah, the sun..." "I'm about 187, 189 somewhere in there."
There are two problems I have with small talk. First, it's everybody's default, which is to say it's the lowest common denominator. Being entirely socially retarded, it's simply a reflex I do not possess, so in that respect it's frustrating.
Secondly, in order to have a more interesting discussion, small-talk is required in order to gauge common points of interest and general conversational aptitude. I think a much better system would be if everyone got t-shirts printed up that listed their areas of interest or expertise. For instance, I could wear one that said: Hi, I'm [Pops]. Baseball. Sports in general. Politics (Democrat). Sharks. Midget porn. Vanilla Ice. Decoupage.
Then people could just walk right up to me and ask "Hey, which do you think would win in a fight, a mako or a hammerhead?" or something and we could get right into that without having to slog through what kind of car I drive or where I bought my socks.
OK, so it's not the best idea, but something must be done. I think I read somewhere (I think it was here) that 90% of workplace shootings are caused by Acute Small-talk Fatigue. It's a plague, America. Worry about avian flu all you want, but you're far more likely to be killed by a co-worker after asking if they watched Joey last night.
That's a loaded example, but you get the idea.
Speaking of congregated Catholics and imminent death, I would just like to--once again--thank the press for their careful and considered coverage of the Pope's illness. I haven't seen such morbid necrophiliac blood lust since the Anna Nicole Smith-J. Howard Marshall wedding.
In case you forgot what that looked like...
Hope you weren't eating.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 8.1
Thursday, February 24, 2005
24 Hour Party People
Finally, the rain has let up. Still no sign of the sun as yet, though. Our final transformation into large-eyed, webbed-handed mole-people is days away, I just know it. I can already feel my skull expanding to accomodate my imminent ocular girth. I've begun eating grubs and weevils. It's important to be prepared.
The less said about that the better, I think. But keep an eye on your national news tickers. Or failing that, the Weekly World News.
I've always been susceptible to peer pressure. I've never actually made it to the inner circle of "cool kids", but it hasn't been for lack of trying. Smoking, drinking, Vanilla Ice, decoupage, I've done it all in an effort to ingratiate myself to the self-appointed age-group aristocracy. There was even that time when the brothers at Sigma Chi Epsilon required me to have sex with a homeless person (gender optional). I did it without question. And I wasn't even a pledge.
Grown as I am, there are fewer and fewer instances of peer pressure I have to contend with. Sure, every once in a while my kids will dare me to eat something really gross (a tip: refrigerated leftover pork-chops usually go bad at around 4 weeks), but it's just not the same.
A few weeks ago, though, my wife came home with a box set of the first season of 24. She suggested that we watch it. I was kind of indifferent. I simply don't have the time in my schedule to fit in every single show on television in a futile attempt to fill the empty void of my life.
Then she told me she had borrowed it from a friend at work who had insisted we watch it. I was in. I asked if there was anything else anyone at her work thought we should do. She said no, but I swallowed a live goldfish just in case.
Just as I feared, once I got past the tingle and glow of participating in activities suggested and sanctioned by complete and total strangers, I was drawn in by the show itself. For those who have never seen it, the format of the show (24 one-hour episodes occur in real time so a season lasts the course of a single day in the character's lives) in and of itself is completely hypnotic. Throw in some explosions and gunplay (and just a leeetle sex) and that was it for me. Because of the density of the story, it's the closest a TV show or movie has ever come to recreating the experience of reading a book. Except, you know, without all the words and junk.
We finished the first season and we're more than half way through the second now. It's a sickness in our house.
Kiefer Sutherland plays Jack, government agent and Angel of Death. Jack is always just about to die or killing someone. A bubble of destruction and exploding viscera surrounds our hero, expanding and contracting on a minute by minute basis. It's all terribly engrossing. Probably too much so.
I tend to get a little... animated. This is a little embarrassing, but I can't help but shout outloud as the story moves along, as Kiefer bounces from one harrowing crisis to the next. Also, I've taken (inexplicably) to referring to his bad-ass character as "Jacky-Jack". So a viewing session is punctuated with little gems like:
"Ooh, look out, Jacky-Jack!"
"He shoulda known better than to cross Jacky-Jack!"
"Damn, it's another bad day for Jacky-Jack!"
"Holy fuck! Oh holy fucking shit, Jacky-Jack! Oh my... holy fucking shit! Did he just... holy fuck!"
Mrs. Pops makes fun of me. I deserve it.
Before we get to the end of the post and the Narcissus Scale, I think I should take time out to mention a certain pop-culture hero for which no scale exists to measure adequately her own awesome narcissism. Of course I'm talking about Paris Hilton.
Paris is something of a running joke here in the Bucket. To be fair, part of the stories about her this week aren't really her fault. Someone hacked into her wireless T-Mobile Sidekick and stole her pictures, her schedule, her electric rolodex, everything, and posted them on the web. This is as much about technology outpacing security and the vulnerability of wireless technology in general.
But that's boring. Check out the pictures (WARNING: Boobies included).
Paris is in every single shot. If I owned a camera-phone (which I don't), I can't think how I'd end up in any of the pictures, let alone topless or striking super-fab glam poses. You have to applaud that level of self-obsession. As preoccupied with myself as I am, I can see I have a long way to go.
I know, she never meant these for public consumption and we'd all be embarrassed if things we thought were private ever got published on the internet. I know I wouldn't want people to see the pictures of me shirtless and making out with that dude I met at the gym sauna.
I guess it could have been worse for Paris, though. At least in still pictures, no one can hear you speak.
This post on the Paris Hilton Memorial Narcissus Scale: 0.01 (I am nothing in comparison)
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Look Ma, No Hands!
When Los Angeles is getting three times as much rain as Seattle, something is wrong. Even this parched semi-arid hellscape cut off from the sea by cruel mountains that I call home has more than doubled Seattle's rainfall totals thus far this year.
I mean, look at this:
Palm trees and funnel clouds. Everyone knows palm trees go with hurricanes, not tornadoes. And that's just on islands out in the middle of nowhere that TV stations here only cover because they're between the approaching hurricane and Florida. Or if there are any Americans on the island, that's big news. If the natives get killed, well, that's what they get for living in Hurricane Alley, innit? Besides, most of them don't even speak English or drink Coke.
Yesterday the Bucket covered the rain-related issue of mudslides and boulders falling into people's houses and killing their children. Today we cover something that is actually important, especially in California: driving.
Everybody drives. This is the part of the world that is absolutely allergic to public transportation. Buses are for the dirty scummy poor and college students. Trains are for killing yourself when stabbing yourself in the chest and slitting your wrists doesn't work. According to official government figures, there are 17 bazillion miles of paved streets and highways in southern California. Believe it or not, we need more. All of them are clogged with traffic. We don't carpool. We don't walk. We don't bike. We are Californians. We drive.
Well, not exactly. We sit in our cars and go from A to B at high rates of speed (when not stopped in traffic), but generally we're doing something else other than driving already. The radio needs tuning, the cell phone needs answering, food is being eaten, kids need beating and the newspaper, well, it's not going to read itself now, is it?
With all the rain this year, I've learned something very important: not only does water occasionally fall right out of the sky, but when it does, it will eventually hit the street. It's really basic gravity in action, but you wouldn't believe how many people out here are surprised by this natural miracle of meteorological physics. It's almost enough to make most of them let incoming calls ring through to voicemail. Almost.
Water on the ground in and of itself would present enough of an obstacle for me as a driver to make me consider hiding my keys from myself (oh, I could do it), crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head. Being totally honest, I consider the bed-and-covers option nearly every day anyway regardless of weather. My wife calls it "lazy bastard mode". I call it "energy efficient"; I'm conserving for when something comes up that I want or need to do, like walk downstairs so I can lay on the couch and watch English Premier League soccer on the big TV. It's important, I think, to have priorities.
What was I talking about? Oh yeah, driving. So it rains and the ground is wet. This is less than optimal, but still, this is not my primary problem driving in the rain. My problem is my windshield wiper settings.
Back in the misty dark past of my early driving days, the fancy cars had four windshield wiper settings: off, intermittent, regular and friction-burn. You might know the last one as "really fast", but in California I don't think it's ever rained hard enough long enough to use the "really fast" setting, so mostly it's just a fun setting if you like watching rubber windshield wipers smoke against glass.
The kick-ass chick-magnet minivan that I drive, however, has eight different intermediate sub-settings between "off" and "regular". They range from virtually-off (one wipe per every... God, I'm not even sure. It feels like an hour) to indistinguishable-from-the-regular-setting at the high end. Should I explain that one in more detail or is it more or less self-explanatory?
Whatever the thinking was behind such a technological marvel, for the chronically indecisive this is a potentially fatal distraction while driving in the rain. My primary goal now is not arriving safely at my destination, it's matching my windshield-wiper rate exactly to the rate of rainfall. Stoplights, other cars, trees, gutters, pedestrians, I can't be bothered. If the wipers go too fast, the windshield gets all streaky. If they go too slow, I can't see through the accumulated water. I am physically incapable of doing anything else if I don't have my wiper setting just right.
I understand the inclusion of separate environmental controls for backseat passengers, 10 cup-holders in a 7 seat vehicle, even the drop-down DVD LCD screen, but this... there's a point where convenience and customizability are simply in contradiction with common sense. I have enough decisions to make while driving--should I wear my glasses or drive for a while in exciting Blurry Vision again?--without having to consider the lifespan of my wiper-blades at second-by-second intervals.
So my appeal goes out to two all-knowing, all-powerful forces in American life.
1) God, please stop the rain. We agreed to persecute the gays in the last election, remember? Don't we get any credit for that? I know we didn't vote for it ourselves out here, but we'll totally go along with it in exchange for a string of good hair days. Enough with the damp already. Please.
2) To the Ford Motor Company: stop fixing shit. You put the Mustang back the way it was finally after 40 years of dicking around with the design. That is good. Learn from that. Put back the three-speed windshield wiper settings. I can barely concentrate on my GameBoy Advance while driving as it is.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 7.9
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Hear The Sound Of The Pouring Rain Coming Down Like An Armageddon Flame
I am Routine's bitch.
You don't need any more evidence than this blog. I write posts at the same time every day, five days a week. Then I write one more on Sunday nights, but always the same time on Sunday nights so that my dear, faithful readers will have fresh Bucket to greet them on Monday morning.
OK, so it's not really about you people. I tried to lie, but it's no use. It's the Routine. I've settled into the habit of writing at certain times and so I write at certain times, come hell or high water (more on that in a second). If I were being completely honest with myself (an overrated concept if you ask me) I would admit that I would write and post with the exact same frequency if everyone suddenly stopped reading. This is what I do instead of checking to see if the oven is turned off every 15 minutes.
The irony is if I were being completely honest with myself in the beginning, I never would have started a blog. I told myself the purposeful lie "Yeah, I'm fascinating. People want to know what I have to say". This is the basic lie all bloggers must tell themselves in order to start cataloguing their lives for public consumption. For many of us the lie stays a lie because we write about shit nobody cares about in uninteresting ways. Those blogs die well-deserved and timely deaths. For others the lie becomes self-fulfilling prophecy (don't know if I'd say "truth" so much) because we are able to write about shit nobody cares about in rudimentarily semi-interesting ways, just enough to draw a few suckers in and get the snowball rolling.
But again, this is outside of my general point. I'm writing now because I have to; my slightly abnormal brain chemistry demands it.
Blog writing is just a part of the daily routine, though. Now that the holiday has come and gone, we're back on School Time, one of two basic Day-Schedule Templates I carry around in my head to keep the demons of disorganization at bay. The other is, not suprisingly, Not School Time.
Because I am Routine's bitch, I ran through all the motions this morning. This includes turning on the television at 7 am to catch a little bit of the early news, primarily to check the weather. This was a patently ridiculous thing to do this morning. For those who don't know, it's been raining for a week straight in southern California. It's supposed to rain the rest of the week, too. I knew this. Everyone knows this. But still I had to check.
Before the weather came the general news. Wanna guess what it was about?
Mudslide in Highland Park.
Mudslide in Bel Air.
Mudslide in Glendale.
Mudslide in Orange.
Mudslide in Woodland Hills.
Mudslide in Mission Viejo.
If you don't live on a hill in SoCal, you live in a valley. It's just the way it works. So in these years when we get double or triple our average rainfall, you find yourself perched on the side of a hill capable of sliding or looking up at a hill capable of burying you while you sleep.
Because the persistent threat of earthquakes isn't enough to keep us alert, now we have to worry about giant boulders crashing into our bedrooms and killing us.
So tomorrow, Routine can go fuck itself. Instead of turning on the news to hear about teenage girls being murdered by rampaging landscape, I'm going to hit myself in the face with a hammer several times instead. I may wrap it in a cloth first, I may not. Either way I'll have to consider the long term as I will most likely have to work it into my daily schedule from here on out. Routine is not fickle.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 7.5
Monday, February 21, 2005
My Prediction? Pain
Finally, I'm #1. If any of you were to search for Pope sucks apples in a bucket, Google would return this blog as the #1 result.
Of course whomever made such a silly search was obviously looking for my blog anyway, so I guess I can't take too much pride in it. There can be no other earthly explanation for that search.
Also: does anyone who reads this know what happened to my Virtual Pus? It's one of the political sites that I read (over there--> under Liberalia) and it seems to have gone missing.
Being a left wing blogger, I'm supposed to write something about how awful it is that the President admitted that he smoked pot. The tapes were made secretly by a friend who then decided to share them with broadcast media.
Yes it shows he's an image-first, politics-above-all-else, rationalization-is-the-same-as-truth special kind of Texas aristocrat. But did anyone not know that already? Honestly?
This quote here:
"I don't want any kid doing what I tried to do 30 years ago," Bush said in recordings made when he was governor of Texas and aired Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America." "And I mean that. It doesn't matter if it's LSD, cocaine, pot, any of those things, because if I answer one, then there will be another one. And I just am not going to answer those questions. And it may cost me the election."
Yeah, I guess we can infer he's tried them all and he's made the choice to publicly lie about it knowing full well that it was for purely political reasons. Great. Wonderful.
Now we know two things: 1) President Smirky McChimpy is capable of making astute (if obvious) political judgments and 2) the idiot "liberal media" is either not liberal enough or run by moronic incompetents. Come on, how much did we have to hear about Clinton's marijuana use in 1992? This guy's got coke, LSD and pot and they couldn't get him on one. All we had were some half-assed rumors in 2000 that no one could find any way to substantiate. Not to mention the fact that the guy got a pass on being a fall-down drunk.
Nah, it's just depressing.
Besides, how am I supposed to concentrate when I hear that Die Hard 4.0 is in the works? Apparently Bruce Willis gets zapped by a magic laser, broken down into digital bits and then is trapped inside a computer being used by terrorists to steal gold from a plane on top of a building. Ned Beatty is set to co-star, I think.
Let me just be clear: I don't need Die Hard 4. I also don't need--while we're sharing--Rocky VI, Rambo IV or Terminator 4. Come to that, I didn't need Rocky IV or V, Rambo II or III or Terminator 3. What the hell was Rocky V about again? Did anybody see that? No Mr. T in it, so I couldn't have cared that much at the time.
What the hell is the matter with Sylvester Stallone, anyway? He did Cop Land in 1997 and everyone thought "Oh, he's going to finally try to be an actor again". But then... nothing. It's all crappy vanity projects. I'm not the only person who realizes that the man's only made two good movies in his whole career, right? Rocky and First Blood. End of list. That's not nearly enough. In fact, he owes us for subjecting the world to such awful horseshit as Rhinestone and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot and Judge Dredd and Cobra and Over the Top and Oscar... basically everything in his IMDb listing.
I have no idea how to end this post. Since my last one ran over into this morning by 11 minutes, this is technically my second posting of the day, which is frankly more than most of you deserve.
I post six times a week. They can't all be golden.
This blah on the blah blah thingy: Blah.blah
The internet is an amazing place, really. The fact that I think of it as a place at all says something about it. Mostly it says that I don't leave the house enough and I've got my perspectives all out of whack again. No worries, though. That's why Jesus invented Paxil.
Just about anything you want, you can find on the internet. If I wanted, say, Gillian Anderson's and David Duchovny's heads superimposed on explicit pictures of people having sex, I could find that. I can tell you with some shame that I have found that. Many, many times. It's never as beautiful as I imagined it, but it's close.
You can find flight schedules or marital arts instruction or buy a gun or learn how to improvise an explosive device out of a headset, a bag of peanuts and a ginger ale... basically all your domestic-terrorism needs.
Sometimes, however, the information you find can actually be interesting and useful. For instance: did you know that there were three different kinds of milk-protein allergy? It's true!
First there's what's commonly known as "lactose intolerance". If you suffer from this condition, ingesting any kind of dairy product will produce an icky tummy and some diarrhea. This is a painful and serious condition only if you are a total pussy.
The second kind is "fast-onset" milk allergy, the one that causes true anaphylaxis and can kill you if you take in the smallest amount of milk protein. This is milk allergy for hardcore types who can't be bothered with nickle-and-dime lightweight shit like "lactose intolerance"; the kind of people who look death in the face every time they walk past a Dairy Queen.
The third kind is somewhere in between, a "slow-onset" milk allergy. The severity of the reaction falls somewhere in between the first and the second, only it can (possibly) progress to the severity of #2.
But Pops, you're thinking, why is this interesting to me?
Well, chances are it isn't. But you've already read this far. Might as well finish, eh? Plus, there's vomit at the end! Just try not to keep reading...
See, we are Catholic. That means we're not supposed to eat meat on Fridays. During the non-Lenten season, the American Bishops have worked out this deal with the Vatican whereby we can subsitiute some kind of charitable act in lieu of the ban on all meats on Fridays. Our charitable act is to eat meat on Fridays. Keeps the US beef industry on it's feet, you see.
During Lent, however, this is non-negotiable, apparently. If we were to ingest some kind of animal flesh (other than fish) on a Friday between Ash Wednesday and Easter, then the devil will come and kill us in our sleep. Or something. It's been a long time since cathechism.
That's why this past Friday we ordered a cheese pizza. Bland, you say? Why yes. Yes it was.
But my oldest boy, he's had a milk allergy (see? remember?) of the third variety (don't tell me you forgot already...) since birth. So no cheese pizza. Being an excellent father, I decided to order him some bread sticks on the side. I told him this. He seemed excited.
But alas, when they arrived, the bread sticks were coated with parmesan cheese. No bread sticks for oldest boy. It was back to his regular diet, saltines and mayonnaise, finished with a fine Dominican cigar.
See, what I forgot to do (and I realize this in hindsight) was to let my son in on my parmesan cheese realization. So when I found the bread stick box again, five of the six bread sticks were missing.
Now, if you don't have children, you might not realize that pediatricians have no idea what they're doing. None. It's all guesswork. Children change too goddamn fast to keep up, so they are constantly making ridiculous shit up just to get parents out of their offices as fast as humanly possible. Somehow the wait is always 3 hours anyway, but the bending of the natural rules of spacetime inside a pediatrician's office will have to wait for another post.
Our pediatrician had told us that our son would "outgrow" his milk allergy at around 6 months. When he didn't, the pediatrician said he would outgrow it at 1 year. Just like that. Out of the fucking blue. Then it was 2 years. Then 4 years. Now it's supposed to be any day now. So sometimes we forget to take his allergy seriously.
That night then (this would be Friday), Mrs. Pops and I are downstairs watching Lost, which we had recorded. From upstairs, we hear some snuffling. Then some whimpering. Then some coughing. Mrs. Pops goes upstairs to check. Here's the conversation:
MRS. POPS: Are you OK?
MY SON, THE VOMIT CANNON: I don't feel good, I don't--HLLLAAAARRRRRGH!
[Vomit in the hallway.]
MRS. POPS: Aw, goddammit! In here, in the bathroom. [to me] I need help up here!
ME: What do you need me to do?
SPEWMASTER: I don't feel good, make it stop... HLLLLAAAAARRGH!
[Vomit everywhere in the bathroom except the toilet bowl.]
MRS. POPS: [Expletive(s) deleted.]
So he hurls on the floor. Mrs. Pops doesn't want to make him stand in it to puke into the toilet, so she decides just to let him yak all over the tile and then clean it up later. I suggest perhaps the sink? Consensus is reached and he mostly hits the target from then on.
This went on for about 15 minutes.
Then I went on the internet and found out everything I could find about milk allergy. After a big, fat dose of Benadryl (partially to knock him out, I admit), we were convinced by the unverified information we found anonymously posted online that he would still be alive come sunrise and finished watching Lost, which was quite good.
And now I have been able to share my story with you via this wondrous and enigmatic medium. It truly is a wonderful place... thing... resource. Whatever.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.0
Friday, February 18, 2005
Land Of Trees And The Mysterious, Elusive Flying Shoe
Bored bored bored bored bored bored bored bored.
Oh the doldrums of blogging in February. Too late to recount the time you on New Years' Eve when you drank too much pink champagne, threw up on your mother-in-law and then spent the next three days in the hospital recovering from hospital poisoning, too early to tell the story about how this St. Patrick's day when you will drink too much green beer, throw up on your mother-in-law and spend the next three days in the hospital recovering from alcohol poisoning.
Basically, it's hard to be a blogger when the occasion to drink artificially colored alcoholic beverages is non-existant.
It doesn't help that there's absolutely nothing else going on. Nothing.
As sharp and painful a memory as last year's election is, man, I'd give anything for those days again. Every other week one of the two candidates would make an ass of themselves in some easily-bloggable way. Then I could knock this thing out in 15 minutes with a brief re-cap stolen from other blogs, add some easy dick jokes and I'd be back in front of the TV watching the 1952 Olympic bronze medal curling match on ESPN Classic.
What we need is a political event with some splash, with some zazz, with some pop. Something like a debate. Remember how easy those were to cover? We could immediately adopt Our Guy's wild misrepresentation of the Other Guy's position and then boo and hiss when the Other Guy did it to Our Guy. Plus, it was always an excellent opportunity to use the word "douchebag". Everyone instantly knew what you were talking about. All the points of common reference handled themselves; no need for exposition or explanation and certainly no reasonable cause to write a three or four paragraph introduction of nonsense just to establish a questionable quasi-comic premise.
Imagine my shock and horror when I realized this morning--completely by accident as I dug deep, deep, deep into the various internet news services in order to avoid blogging about how Bono was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (again)--that last night I had totally missed some kind of stealth debate held way up in the media-and-politics hotbed of Portland, Oregon between new DNC Chairman Gov. Dr. Howard Dean and Defense Department advisor, neo-conservative PNAC-flavored war-profiteering douchebag (yay!) Richard N. Perle.
It's possible that I may have made up my mind before the debate started.
Apparently, the event was a blogger's dream. It seems to have been centered wholly on the issue of Iraq when the event was billed as a general foreign-policy forum. It's hard to say for sure since all I have to go on are local news reports. What we missed, though, was something I've always, always wanted to see in a political debate: a member of the audience screaming obscenities at one of the participants, rushing the stage and then chucking his shoe at them.
Of course I don't wish to see anyone hurt. The shoe never really came close to Mr. Perle, the target of both the obscenities ("motherfucking liar", according to reports) and projectile footwear.
Dean said some stuff about them, Perle said some stuff about us, whatever. Did I tell you a guy rushed the stage, called Perle a motherfucker and threw a shoe at him? Awesome.
The downside of the Awesome, of course, is that there's nothing left to say about it, really. How do you top thrown shoes? At least with the presidential debates you had to pretend to engage the content. Sometimes the events themselves present you with the pinnacle, a point which you as a blogger cannot top, but must simply recount and move on.
Is this what it's like to be a reporter? What a crappy, boring job. I think I understand why that "Jeff Gannon" dude branched out into gay prostitution as a complement to his job as a fake White House reporter. There's no way regular everyday news could hold a person's interest.
It does beg the question: what does CNN's White House Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux do to keep herself entertained when the White House press room goes dark?
I have some ideas. Oh yes, I have some ideas.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 7.1
Thursday, February 17, 2005
Not Quite As Gay As The White House Press Room, But Still Pretty Gay
I had been sort of obliquely aware of the story about Alan Keyes' gay daughter. I was surprised when the story first came out (er...) that I didn't have a stronger reaction to it. The Alan Keyes Senate "race" vs. Legislative Rock Star Barack Obama in Illinois was sort of a recurring theme on this blog from birth through Election Day.
OK, that might be a slight misrepresentation... I was a lot more interested in the Alan Keyes crazy than I was in the no-contest contest between himself and Mr.--excuse me, Senator--Obama. As both a Catholic and a huge, huge fan of people who are publicly crazy, I am convinced Alan Keyes was put on this earth specifically to entertain me. We know he wasn't put here to hold elective office, so I think that's the most likely scenario. God didn't want me to bored as I entered my 30s, so he put Alan Keyes here to make me smile from time to time by being a funny, funny Catholic fundamentalist.
So I was as surprised as anyone at my own tepid indifference to the richly ironic story of Mr. Keyes having a daughter as queer as a three-trillion-dollar Social Security bill. Then I hear that in response to his daughter's gayness, Mr. Keyes and his wife followed Jesus' prescription for dealing with sinners by throwing her out of the house and refusing to pay for her Ivy League education. I can't remember which book of the New Testament Jesus did that in... I think it was Matthew. Because we all know Jesus was all about judgment and persecution and ostracization.
Again, Mr. Keyes is Catholic, just like me. Well actually, not really anything like me or any other Catholic I know (and I know a lot of them). What most non-Catholics don't really appreciate is that there are grand pronouncements of what the church is and what it will or will not accept. And then there are the basic interpersonal relationships at the parish level between actual human beings that aren't--can't really be--directed by wide generalities of dogmatic policy. The Church says being gay is wrong (a position I cannot, as a matter of practical course, blindly accept, sorry), but I can't think of a single Catholic who wouldn't be horrified at the idea of shunning a child with acts both petty (the tuition thing) and grand (turning them out of the house).
Besides, I don't know what exactly the program is at those places you send your gay kids to in order to have them turned straight, but I don't think "cutting off their tuition payments" is on the list. I always thought it was more electric shock therapy and heavy doses of good clean hetero porn.
I think the main reason I didn't really care is that Keyes is no longer the freak show he was during election season. Constantly running 70 points behind in a race is already fascinating. Add to that the total hypocrisy of his candidacy--from a man whose one and only public defining characteristic were his precious principles--and it just all tickled that part of my brain usually reserved for Monty Python sketches.
Now that he's a nobody again it's just... well, all the fun is out of it. If I'm going to kick my dog, I'm not going to do it while she's sleeping.
Yesterday however, the Bucket's Ivory Tower Bureau Chief and token Republican Rita did point me toward a link I couldn't entirely ignore. If you're annoyed by today's post, it's entirely her fault.
The link led me to Maya Keyes' Xanga site. Go ahead and look, I'll wait. Back? Good.
OK, I'm not suggesting that she had her Xanga all configured with all the graphics and stuff before she came out, but just in case she did--and especially for the benefit of all parents out there--I would like to point something out: if your daughter has a website/Xanga/blog/whatever that includes pictures of a naked woman with butterfly wings emerging from a cocoon, your daughter is gay. I'm sorry, there just is no other explanation. The only way the symbolism could be more stark would be for her to use the symbols I-M-G-A-Y. It's quite a clue, Scooby Doo.
Mostly I'm writing this as a warning to Maya Keyes, though. I'm a little worried for her well-being. You can cross the hard-core conservative wing of the Republican party in the short term, but eventually they will ask Jesus to give you cancer. It's sort of a win-the-battle-lose-the-war proposition.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 6.8
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Requiem For A Pepper
First of all, I changed the font and font-size of my blog title thingy. My monitor makes me run at higher resolutions, so let me know if it's too big on your screen. In the event that it is, I will certainly take it into consideration as I'm telling you to get bent.
Second, I'd like to apologize to all my loyal readers for yesterday's unfortunate post. I'm very sorry if anyone felt slighted or unappreciated by my shameless begging for new readers. I should be more gracious and appreciative, you're absolutely right. In all honesty I'm very very happy with the little group that I find myself amongst. I'm quite happy with the blogosphere as it is and my place in it.
Yes, this means that my ploy failed and I have no upsurge in readership after one day. So we're stuck with each other, OK? Don't misunderstand, when blogger superstardom comes calling I'm going to drop you small-timers like a hot rock. For now, welcome and thanks for your continued support.
...dot dot dot...
When I was growing up, the world was a very different place. Maybe it's the fact that I'm older, more aware, still struggling with the aftereffects of that accidental overdose back in '02, but things seem so much more chaotic now, less clear-cut.
Back in the late 1980s/early 1990s when I was a scrawny, spotty, sexless teenager... hang on, it occurs to me that one might read "sexless" as "without gender", which was definitely not the case. My gender reassignment surgery happened just days after my freakishly tragic birth and has thus far been a rousing success. So no smart aleck comments, you.
What I'm trying to say that back then, my deep, deep, deep sexual frustration was just one of many things I was rock-solid sure about at the time. If anyone was to ask me at the time, "Hey [Pops], are you having sex tonight?" I would be able to say without even thinking a very sullen yet high-pitched "Nope." Now when people ask me that (I have nosy friends) I just laugh, which you'll have it admit is far more ambiguous and potentially sad.
Back then I knew who the bad guys were. Despite GW Bush's attempts to paint the immediate geopolitical environment in stark black-and-white, it's a garbled mess and we all know it. But back then, we knew exactly who the enemy was; it was the giant pink blob that stretched across half of every cardboard globe in every public school classroom from 1945-1991. No, not Canada. I'm talking about the Soviet Union. Commies. Russkies. Reds. Ivan. I'm still not sure what they did, but I knew I hated those fur-hat-wearing motherfuckers. Back then we didn't think we were going to die in some kind of nuclear holocaust like we do now with these namby-pamby run-and-hide terrorists; back then we fucking knew we were goners. Those crazy red bastards were going to incinerate us all. It was just a matter of time.
Also, it was so much easier to watch TV back then. Three channels and a couple of cable outlets if you were one of the yuppie freaks who indulged in such obscene decadence. You either watched Golden Girls or you watched Full House and that was it. OK, so "easier" might not be the best word to describe it. It sure took a whole lot less time to get bored with the TV and make the command decision to masturbate, though. See? Simpler.
As the world gets more complicated and slippery in my rapidly advancing years, one thing disturbs me more than anything else. It's possible that this little piece of knowledge, this little bit of bedrock intellectual surety that is/was the cornerstone of so many other things was a regional thing limited to people in the southwest. Let's find out, shall we?
In the late 1980s/early 1990s, it was universally understood that the spiciest thing a human being could consume was the jalapeño pepper. The problem with history is that statements can be made and then backed up with all the documentary primary-source evidence you want, there's still no way to fully recreate the context, the practical daily reality without having lived the experience yourself.
Back in the day, the very mention of the word "jalapeño" would make people break out in a hot sweat. Their tongues would loll out involuntarily and they absently fan their opened mouths with their hands. The jalapeño was king. The jalapeño was more ubiquitous than air or sunshine or happiness.
Everyone knew one person, one crazy motherfucker, who would actually eat jalapeños. That person was a legend. You talked about that person in hushed tones even when they were nowhere around. At the baseball game, you would get your relish and onions for your hot dog from the common condiment bowl with the extra-long plastic spoon. You would eyeball the little untouched bowl of cut-up jalapeño and dare yourself... but your nerve would always fail you, just at the end. And suddenly a giant hairy biker-looking dude with tatoos and dark shades would shoulder his way in and load up on the things. As you walked away you would shake your head: "that fucker is crazy" you'd say. And you'd be right.
People back then would be awed and shamed by stories their one Mexican friend who would regale them with about their old-country grandmothers who would eat jalapeño straight and by the dozen. As amazing as such feats were, in the back of your mind you would know that the old girl was probably driven by the abject desperation of poverty. She probably also ate cactus and lizard when she had to. That would have to be the explanation. No one given any other choice would be out-there enough to eat death-by-spicy jalapeño.
And when a restaurant chain opened with the audacity to call itself Chili's (sic), you didn't have to ask yourself what that pepper in the logo was. It was a jalapeño. There was no other.
But like everything else now, the paradigm has changed in favor of intractable complexity. Like the quaint old custom of wearing your underwear inside your pants, jalapeño dominance and ubiquity has been coarsely cast aside in favor of crass, red-hot, bastard new-think.
Novelty, thy name is chipotle!
Everything is chipotle now. A whole new restaurant took it as its name. Want spicy in a restaurant? You have to order the thing with chipotle in it. Grilled chipotles, diced chipotle, chipotle cream sauce, chipotle mayonnaise, chipotle barbecue sauce. I don't know if it's the redness of the pepper that makes it more desirable than the old standard jalapeño or just the romance of the vaguely Aztec-sounding name, as though we as a nation had resurrected from the ashes Chipotle God of Piquancy in time for all eaters of food to worship.
As much as it breaks my heart to see jalapeño trampled in the dust as the world stampedes en masse toward the altar of Chipotle, my age and experience do me some service. I know that just over the horizon there is always lurking the Next Thing, even for the seemingly unassailable chipotle.
So don't get too comfortable. I have seen the future. All roads lead to habanero.
Where we go from there, I don't know. God help us when we get to that point.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 3.6
PS- A brand new Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy trailer is available at Amazon. The release date has been moved up to late April now. Mark your calendars.
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Congratulations are in order to the person who found this blog by entering the Yahoo! search words: my right foot ran over by minvan about year and after ran over my foot change color. I'm not going to lie to you people, I have no fucking idea what the person searching could have possibly been after. Are they saying that happened to them or they are indulging some kind of foot-injury fetish? I'm a little afraid to guess. All I know is that the Bucket was #9 on the search results list. I've never been more proud.
Today's actual post begins now.
I work hard for you people. I really do. Each and every day (minus Saturdays, the one day per week I set aside for forced, awkward family together time... but I'm thinking of you, Reader, the whole time I'm with them, I swear) I sit here in front of my keyboard, completely naked, crack open an ice-cold Tab (careful not to spill) and set out to entertain the nearly dozen of you who read this every day.
What you usually get is a lengthy exegesis on some random topic of my choosing, overblown and tortured for every ounce of personal entertainment I can wring out of it in the faint, faded hope that somehow, someway I might bright just a glimmer of hope and joy to the lives of people procrastinating in front of their own computers when they should be doing something else. No, I don't judge you for reading this. Although I will say it speaks volumes, people. It speaks volumes.
As for me, what do I have to show for it? Yes that's right, a handful of pretend blog friends who don't even know my real name. Don't misunderstand, you don't know my name because I don't want you to know my name, mostly because I can't afford the extra security. Motion detectors aren't free.
According to my Sitemeter, after seven months of blogging, I'm up to 7,805 visits to my site. Believe me, I'm truly grateful for each and every visit, for every second spent ingesting the chaotic festering swill that fills the Bucket each and every day. I know all of you are out there, investing the time, thinking to yourself "this is going to get good soon, I know it".
There are two cruel truths I feel obligated to share with you. First, like any book by John Grisham or fantasy hack Terry Brooks, this is never going to "get good". I know, you've put in the hours and you want your payoff, but sadly, this blog thus far has represented me working at my optimum level of competence. Sorry. Believe me, I know how you feel. I read all four of the Scions of Shannarra mini-series of novels. Yeesh.
Second, I've come to the realization that for a measly 7,805 visits, I'm working way way way too freakin' hard. As fulfilling as it can be to mildly amuse a select few bored internet users waiting for their donkey porn or stolen Bay City Rollers MP3s to download (you know who you are... as does the FBI, by the way), this is no way to become a blog-star.
I'm obviously doing something horribly horribly wrong. I mean, look over at Sugar, Mr. Poon?. That guy writes like five lines a day and he's got nearly 100 times the web-traffic this piece of crap draws. That's what I call efficiency.
Screw you people and your joy, I want to be famous.
I could stand to cut my time involvement on this thing down by a factor of ten as well.
Keeping that in mind, I've decided that I'm going to try a one-day experiment. I'm calling it the Democratic Presidential Candidate Strategy for Blog Success. Just like John Kerry or Al Gore, I'm going to pander shamelessly to every imaginable demographic. And we all know how well it turned out for those two.
If you're new here, drawn by some of the search-words you find below, please disregard all the above nonsense and start readiiinnnnnnng...
Hello! Welcome to my blog.
I only have a few minutes to write between classes here at the college I go to. Man, class sure is boring. I do like to drink a lot and have casual sexual encounters though boy, let me tell you. All my professors are terrible and awful and ugly and stupid except my Psychology 104 prof who is, like, totally hot.
I'm exhausted right now though. Yesterday was a long day. My significant other and I attended the joint GLBT Respect Our Rights/Hands Off Our Guns Second Amendment Rally on the lawn in front of the administration building yesterday. The demonstrations were very peaceable, believe it or not, and even though I can say I strongly disagreed with the side that I disagreed with, we had an open and frank exchange of ideas that led to greater mutual understanding.
Chris and Pat were there and they brought Pat's mom's famous tuna salad to the picnic. Pat shared the recipe.
2 cans of tuna
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
2 hard-boiled eggs, diced
4 cups Manischewitz wine
1 teaspon tarragon
I think it's the tarragon that makes it so good.
At the afterparty, these two girls were dancing together and then totally started making out and taking each others' clothes off. I heard pictures could be found at www.mythofthehotlesbians.com. Some people were offended I think and they said they would prefer www.peoplehavingsexinthemissionaryposition.com and still others suggested I try www.nopornwhatsoever.com. I think you can totally guess which one I chose. The other two are of no interest to me whatsoever.
We went back to the apartment later and watched our absolute favorite TV show ever, Lost. Or was it Alias? Or maybe it was X-Files, Star Trek, 24, Buffy, FarScape or Hannity and Colmes. I forget. Anyway, could you believe it when that guy did that thing? It totally blew us away.
Then we turned the TV off and did some knitting. As we did, we kept Jesus in mind the whole time.
We tried to get some sleep, but then the new baby kept us up. Man, it's hard to be parents in this day and age. I tell you.
And um... uh... picture of a puppy:
And one of a scantily clad famous person:
Enjoy, America! I will sit back and watch the Sitemeter smoke.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 8.8
Monday, February 14, 2005
I have been told that women are strange and mysterious creatures, the understanding of whom has and always will defy males. There are entire blogs dedicated to this notion. Go on and check if you don't believe me. I'll wait.
There was also a whole generation of hack comedians who devoted their entire unfunny careers to obsessively cataloguing the differences between the sexes, the central gag of which is (always) the simple predictability of men vs. the crazy, crazy erratic female. If it weren't for this piece of conventional wisdom along with a few others (airplane food is bad and babies, wow, what a handful they can be), brick walls in the 1980s would have simply held up buildings, never knowing their glorious showbiz heyday as ubiquitous hack-comic backdrops in the early days of Comedy Central.
Despite the hi-larity made from the commonly-accepted supposed obviousness of the observations, I have never been particularly confounded by women. This, I'm sure, has a great deal to do with the fact that I grew up surrounded by chicks, one grown and two growing. I am convinced that the reason why I didn't date much in high school had more to do with the absolute necessity for a break from gyno-domineering than the fact that I was shy and greasy and undersized and hairless. Sure being gay would have meant subjecting myself to ridicule and discrimination in some circles, but for the most part it sounds like all blowjobs and sporting events (leave me alone, it's my distortion and I'll indulge it if I want to).
But alas my fascination with boobies and--conversely--horror at the naked male form (one day I will shower nude, my therapist tells me. When we get all the dosages right...) turned me irrevocably hetero, tragically setting me on a path to find that which I sought to escape: the company of women.
In the meantime, I cultivated knowledge. I had overheard enough half-conversations on the telephone when my sisters would use it not to be shocked by Sex and the City, for instance.
Generally (and most importantly) what I learned from living with three women 24/7 for nearly 20 years--the single most important thing that best prepared me for married co-habitation-- is this: living with a woman sucks.
No no, let me finish. That's only part A. It has nothing to do with tampons or mood swings or taking forever to get ready or anything else. It's not even because they're women. It's because they're people. That's part B. That's right. Women are people. You read it here first.
I've lived with my family, I've lived in dorms, I've had male roommates and I've lived alone, all before I was married. The only way--the one and only way--to ensure a complete 100% lack of occasional bouts of mind-crushing annoyance is to live completely alone. The single, solitary thing wrong with this world, the #1 reason people suffer stress and violence and doubt and loss, is other people. And that's just in general. Put one in the same house/apartment/bed with you night in and night out and you will at least once per month try to figure out how to make it look like an accident.
Do you have to ask what "it" is?
Don't misunderstand though, I'm not knocking occasional bouts of mind-crushing annoyance. We are conditioned to co-habitate, either socially or naturally. There are probably some evolutionary predispositions at work having to do with communal living for safety and surety of procreation. Me, I do it so I don't have to do all the laundry. And the procreation thing.
But for all my lucky, happy knowledge, for all my pragmatism when it comes to females, there is one thing I do not even begin to comprehend and absolutely never will: menstrual synchronicity.
For those who don't know, that's when the menstrual cycles of women who spend a lot of time together magically synchronize so that they're all on the same cycle. This phenomenon's existence has been scientifically categorized and proven, but the how and why of it are completely up for speculation.
The prevailing theory is that it is something to do with pheromones, but I have another theory, one that's kind of disturbing and obviates most of the rock-solid science of the rest of my post. The theory: telepathy.
That's right, telepathy. Women are telepathic. One half of the human population on earth possess the ability to communicate with one another silently via their brain-waves. It's the only thing that makes sense. Not only are women capable of transmitting their menstrual calendar information to other women in close proximity, but they have the ability to exercise complete mind-body integration into a level of control that includes even the basic autonomic procreative functions.
This of course in no way explains the reason why this level of bodily synchronization is necessary. Maybe it's some kind of coven hierarchy where the alpha female imposes her monthly cycle on lesser females as a show of pack dominance. Or maybe it's just nature's messiest party trick. Man may never know.
Knowing about and understanding the existence of this psychic power (make sure you give me credit when this story breaks like wildfire in the national news media) means there's an entire level of female thought happening below the surface, upon which we the tele-neutered males must skate, cutting pictograms in order to convey our non-psychic messages to one another.
The only comfort the telepathy theory gives, though, is that it does explain that three year period where neither my mother nor my sisters said a word in the house. It wasn't that they were ignoring me, it was that they were having lively conversations with one another in their heads, simply forgetting that I lacked the ability to participate. Yes. Yes, that has to be it.
The $64,000 question, of course, is this: can women only telepathically communicate with one another or can they actually read mens' thoughts as well? Here female readers, guess what I'm thinking right now... No, not as I write this, I mean right now wherever I am as you're enjoying this magnum opus of even-handed rational scientific thought.
Nope. Nope, you were wrong. It was boobies again. Better luck next time.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 8.5
PS- Speaking of things being emitted from people's genitalia, actor Tom Sizemore got caught trying to use a rubber dick to pass clean urine during a doctor-observed court-mandated drug test. The kicker: the product is so commonplace, it even has a brand name: the Whizzinator. Look it up, you can buy one yourself. That's for all the Bucketeers who may like to occasionally get themselves hopped up on the goofball, but still like their jobs.
Sunday, February 13, 2005
For the most part, Mrs. Pops and I think the choice of private Catholic school for our firstborn was the right decision. Sure, the whole magic Jesus thing makes us a little uncomfortable, but that's just because we're public-school raised commies who have a lot of lazy political biases we fall back on reflexively in certain situations. Normally if we hear "school" and "Jesus" in the same sentence, our first thought is (naturally) "ACLU". So by and large it's taken some getting used to, having our oldest in a school where giant smiling bloody Jesus faces are hanging on just about every wall and notes home from the principal always end with a passive-aggressive "God bless you".
Apart from Jesus and all that stuff, what we weren't prepared for was the extracurricular commitment we were getting ourselves in to. I've talked before about the 25 service hours per year every family is required to put in (they will charge you $50 per un-fulfilled hour at the end of the year), on top of all the fund-raising we're responsible for above and beyond our tuition.
When they start cutting in to our rare Mr. and Mrs. Pops Kid-Free Alone Time (check your local Pay Per View listings), that's where I draw a line. It's a strong line, a bold, manly line that I draw. If crossed I will pout, I will sulk, I will make cutting comments under my breath about the inadequacy of certain school office administrator's attempts at coloring their hair. Oh yes, it is all out war.
So I really really really really didn't want to go to "Joey & Maria's Hawaiian Honeymoon" dinner theater "comedy" show (I'm not going to link it directly, you're going to have to Google it yourself) at the school hall Saturday night. Dinner theater. Woo. It's not that I'm a snob... no, it is that I'm a snob. Watching struggling actors struggle to entertain me with dialogue not fit for a fixed stage between mouthfuls of cafeteria chicken is outside my list of Top Ten Ways To Spend An Evening (it's #18 if you're wondering, after "Clam-bake" but before "Rodeo").
Besides, Mrs. Pops and I hadn't been out alone together since our anniversary. That was in August. The school has no business trying to program our precious babysitter-covered free time.
Did I mention they were offering two (2!) hours of service time if we would kindly attend? Yes, well, that was enough to send us. That and the Jesus. He just stares and stares every time I have to go into that office.
For those who don't know, "Hawaiian Honeymoon" is the very necessary sequel to the dinner theater smash hit "Joey & Maria's Comedy Italian Wedding". That's a show where you pretend you're at a wedding reception for people you don't know who are all crass Italian stereotypes who are (apparently) only allowed to speak in puns and clichés. Dinner is served, a "plot" is played out and you also get to enjoy all the things you normally only get to enjoy at weddings. Like the Chicken Dance. And the Conga Line. And the Throwing of the Bouquet.
The only difference is it's a lot less interesting when it's not your tight-ass Aunt Betty out there with her dress over her head, finally loosening up after four Bloody Marys. It loses its whimsy when it's the 4th grade teacher making a drunken mess of herself. There are going to be some very awkward parent-teacher conferences this year.
And since it's dinner theater, the actors like to go out and mingle. In character. As an acting exercise, it's lovely to see the young people get to improvise and hone their craft. But for $50 a ticket (that was not a typo), I think I bought myself some fucking separation between myself and the entertainment. Please, leave me the slightest space so that I might fill it with suspension-of-disbelief. That's hard to do when someone whose parents obviously named them Trent or Austin is trying to convince me his name is Guido from eight inches away.
Ooh, but the kicker is that this "Honeymoon" thing (which is all, I suspect, exactly the same show as the "Wedding" one, Chicken Dance and all) is that there's murder and someone totally pretend-dies. Off stage.
And just like a real wedding reception (which, I think they forgot to write in, this was not supposed to be) this show is freakin' in-ter-min-a-ble. We got there at 6:30. We left at 10:30 and it wasn't even close to being done.
So the good news is, I can't spoil the ending for you people just in case you ever find yourself trapped in a similar situation and can't bring yourself to gnaw a leg off and get out of there. I have no idea who killed Don Ziti (yes, they all had Italian-food themed names. Clever, no?).
But I would like to thank my in-laws for watching the kids overnight. And for agreeing to take them a little bit early so we could go see a movie first (we saw Sideways, which was really good, although not the Be All End All Of All Film Ever as the ads and reviews suggest). And last but not least (you may want to turn your heads for this one), I'd like to thank my wife's Aunt Flo for keeping the tone and tenor of the evening absolutely consistent straight through til morning.
You may notice the lack of direct links in this post. That's for security purposes. If anyone pieces together the who-what-wheres of this event, I'm a dead man. I already know the next time I stick my head in that office, Jesus is going to be giving me the Holy Stink Eye something fierce.
All hail anonymous blogging!
Did I mention I was from Montreal? Mais oui, je suis totally au Montreal.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.9
Friday, February 11, 2005
A Dialogue, With Commentary
I would like to congratulate the good people at Blogger for tweaking the way comments work in order to make it more user-friendly.
I would also like to invite all the people who tried to shame me into using HaloScan to bite me. I knew if I only stayed the course of not doing anything at all, Blogger would some day come around and rescue me from Comment hell. Or maybe they wouldn't have. Either way.
And now today's little drama. This is a true story, as it happened to me yesterday.
[Doorbell rings. Dog barks crazily, charges the door. I go to answer it, followed by my 21-month old. I hold the dog by the collar and open the door. Behind the screen is an African-American man, roughly my age, wearing a back-pack. He seems very happy about something. He regards the restrained dog. I don't tell him she only wants to lick his face.]
GUY: Whoa! She doesn't like soul food, does she? [laughs hysterically at his own joke]
[A ha! A salesman.]
ME: Uh, no.
GUY: I'm not here to move in with you or anything, I just need a second of your time. Here you go.
[He passes me a brochure through the opened screen door. I forget to read it. This is the point where I am never quite sure what to do. I know I'm not going to buy anything so I don't want to waste his time or mine, but I'm not a slam-the-door-in-someone's-face type. Plus, I don't have a shotgun.]
GUY: Hey Dad [this is where he starts calling me 'Dad'. I don't tell him I prefer 'Pops'], do you already have some [product name I've never heard of and can't recall... some kind of spray cleaner]?
ME: Uh... no.
GUY: Well Dad, lemme tell you, your neighbors loved it. You've heard of Michael Jackson?
GUY: This is what he used to get himself white. [laughs hysterically at his own joke again]
[At this point he produces a nasty, formerly white rag, soaking wet. He marks it with a ballpoint, sprays it with something out of a bottle, then rubs it with the bottle nozzle. The ink marks are mostly still there, but it's hard to tell on the dingiest rag I've ever seen in my life.]
GUY: Look at that. It can clean anything.
[This is where I start looking for the exit from this conversation.]
ME: Look, I don't think I'm going to buy anything today.
[I can almost swear I can hear a click! as he downshifts from the soft sell to the hard sell.]
GUY: I wish I could win the lottery and get a house like this instead of living in the projects.
[It occurs to me that this is not going to end well.]
GUY: This company gives guys like me a chance to sell soap instead of dope. Listen: if you had a product that could clean everything, would you use it?
[The answer to this question is obviously "Yes", but mostly out of laziness. Usually if something gets spilled, I just rub it with whatever's handy until it goes away. A rag, my shirt, the baby, whatever. But I don't want to encourage him.]
ME: I'm sorry, I'm just not interested.
[Another click! He points at me through the half-closed screen.]
GUY: I'm going to need that brochure back.
ME: Sure thing. Good luck.
[He snatches the wrinkly old brochure away and stomps off. As he's leaving he says loudly:]
GUY: That's a deadbeat dad right there.
I don't get a lot of chances to be insulted or called random names by people who don't know me, so it was kind of exciting. He didn't yell or threaten or do anything to scare my kids, so it wasn't really that traumatic overall. It was kind of shocking.
I think the most interesting thing about it is that he looked at my house and made all kinds of assumptions about who I am and what I do and where I come from. I wondered for a second if he was sort of angry with the neighborhood in general because we're a bunch of stingy bourgeois white folks, but you have to go down a block or two to find another white family in my neighborhood. And it's not like we're all a bunch of fat-cat retirees and executives. One of my neighbors is a nanny, another owns a small business, most of the rest are office drones.
I spent the most of the rest of the day feeling kind of agitated and defensive. I think it's finally starting to sink in: oh lordy, I'm upper middle class! I'm used to being around people my wife works with, nearly all of whom make more money than we do as a family. It never really occurs to me that there are people who might regard me and mine with any kind of envy or resentment.
As a bleeding-heart liberal, I suppose I should feel guilty and apologize for not living hand to mouth. But you know what? Fuck that guy. I've tried scraping out a living on less money than can actually support a human being, let alone a family. It sucks and I ain't going back.
Just to show him, for the next couple of days he's going to be the main character in my recurring violence/revenge fantasies. It will break my dad's heart to know he's been replaced, but don't worry dad, it's only temporary. Just like the guy who was an asshole to me at the printing shop that one time, this one will come and go and I'll go back to imagining kicking your ass very very soon.
[It's 8:30 pm. My wife is working until 10 pm, the kids are in bed and I just got out of the shower. I'm at the kitchen table, working on writing something for the first time in nearly a year. The wind is screaming outside ahead of a storm rolling in. Bing! The doorbell rings. The dog barks and charges the door (again). I check the peep-hole, but my porch light is off, the screen is in the way and our street-light burnt out two days ago. I can't see anything. I go back to the table and back to work. If it was the same spray-cleaner salesman come to murder me for not buying anything, I apologize for ruining your plansfor me twice. Better luck next time.]
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.5
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Where I Feel A Little Visceral
Many thanks to all who responded yesterday to my self-imposed suffering in the name of religion. It just goes to show you that everything in the Bible is probably literally true. Just look how my heroic act of not eating drew people out in massive numbers, invoking deep, spiritual reactions thinly disguised as making fun of me.
It's like the Good Book says (no no, not Tickle His Pickle I mean the other Good Book) in the book of Geephus 34:26-41 "Lo and they shall flock unto the Word when the Kicker Of Ass doth deny himself and yea verily do also blog post about it."
Praise be unto Geephus and his prophetic words.
Today's post was going to be all about how good food tastes, but then I made the mistake of reading the newspaper this morning. I found something in there quite troubling (and not particularly funny, but I'll give it a not-completely-inappropriate shot) and feel like I must share.
I've made the decision--about 45 times now--not to be so inside-jokey on this blog as much, referencing other readers in a small circle so that the content might be more accessible to people who wander in here looking for something interesting to read and instead are sucked in by the text version of my out-of-control animal magnetism.
I am about to break that personal pledge once more.
There has been a subtle on-going dispute between MPH and myself over whose home region is more of a wasteland conducive to the home production of methamphetamines. It has been my position that Riverside County, CA has natural advantages in the ready access to materials (from the heavily populated western 1/3 of the county) paired with vast expanses of open area peopled entirely by tortoises and dirt-bikers.
After this morning however, I am entirely ready to cede meth-lab-trash mastery to MPH's home state of Indiana. Normally I use this space as a forum to advocate for the greatness that is Riverside, the home of... nothing really in particular (apart from Yours Truly, naturally), punchline of jokes, the place in SoCal where tourists come only when they get horribly, horribly lost trying to find Disneyland.
But thus far, I can't find anything meth-related in Riverside to compare with this horrible story about greasy meth tweakers deciding to branch out into the exciting growth field of child murder. In most cases I'm all for diversification of one's resumé, but this is a case when I think the person(s) involved should have stuck to what they know. Now we can all only hope that the perpetrators fill out their CVs with a long stint buried in complete darkness under several tons of concrete and steel, then being slowly eaten alive by rats.
I admit with begrudging gratitude and jubilation that we don't have anything currently to compare to that in Riverside County (at least not recently). The best we could do was the case of the guy who killed his mom and then cut her head and hands off because he saw Tony Soprano do it. Sure it's sensational and grotesque, but it just doesn't have that depraved white-trash meth-lab dirt quality to it.
Flashy as our Sopranos story is, Indiana beats it again with this story about a brother and sister who killed their mother and grandparents, then took off to Vegas. They were recently caught in Missouri when they were found to have the bloody clothes still in their trunk more than a month later after being caught speeding.
I throw up my hands in the face of such brazen, unabashed stupidity. Indiana, I bow to you... but not all the way. Just enough so I can still keep my eye on you in case you were thinking of bashing my head in when I lowered it.
Give us time, though. I have faith in Riverside County and it's white trash flash. The headlines will be ours again when someone does something reprehensible and showy. Then all the shame and ignominy that is rightfully ours will be ours again.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 5.7
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
I Think A Better Name For It Would Be 'Really Really Slow'
People ask me why I participate in organized religion. Is it the sense of belonging? The basic human desire for metaphysical surety? The unbearable weight of paralyzing guilt? The constant drumbeat of failure against an impossible moral standard? The outside chance that I may be molested before, during or after a service?
Really it's none of those things. The main reason is the fasting.
Perhaps I should explain.
In the normal course of my day, if something remotely edible wanders into my field of vision, I will eat it. I don't necessarily want to, but if it was made to be consumed, I feel it is my duty to help said item fulfill its destiny. For instance, there is one single solitary Goldfish pretzel on the floor right now. One of my kids dropped it, who knows how long ago. On a normal day, the length of its stay wouldn't give me even half a second's pause, nor would the fact that it's lying under a pile of dusty toys on a floor where my year-round-shedding dog sleeps. I would eat that mini pretzel.
So I think God for days like today, Ash Wednesday. Today is a day of fasting and reflection when I'm supposed to remind myself what a miserable sinner I am. Sure, not eating all day tends to make on hyper-aware of every passing second (less about reflection and atonement, though, than counting the minutes until I can eat my one meal today at dinner time), interrupting the routine just enough to put a person all inside his/her own head.
Mostly I like it because I have a Jesus-approved excuse to diet. I would never have the will power on my own. Today and six weeks from now on Good Friday, I will have the incentive to fast because I know that ingesting solid food will condemn me forever to the pit of eternal fire and torment after I die.
Don't get the wrong impression, I already know I'm going to hell. The record I have with the campus police from back in my college days is all by itself enough to ensure that (I still maintain that I thought she was sleeping at the time, officer). I just want to be sure that if I'm going to burn, it's going to be for something really great and not because I had some crackers on a day when crackers are verboten.
The main reason I'm happy about it is that now (and the subsequent season of Lent) I will be able to start the long road toward preparing for Holiday Season 2005. Lent is when I diet (all for you, Lord!) to lose the weight I picked up last holiday season in preparation for gaining the weight back on the Halloween-New Years run at the end of this year. I have to be mindful of the religious aspect though because with the constant weight fluctuation, I'm sure I'll be booking my trip to Jesus very very soon. The human heart can only bear so much.
So today I will have willpower. Externally mandated, divinely extorted willpower. Thank you, lord.
Thus far I've not yet reached the time of day when I usually eat breakfast, so everything is all sunshine and roses. Check back around lunchtime and I'm sure I'll be cursing God, Jesus, Buddha, Allah and any other deity who happens to cross me when I'm jonesing for a peanut butter sandwich.
Must go. Weak with the thought of what soon will be hunger.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.7
PS: Now for something completely inappropriate. The morning radio show I listen to on the way to drop my kid off at school was talking about a guest they were going to have later in the day. She was an author of a book about pleasuring your man that they (slightly) mistakenly identified as Tickle My Pickle (we can debate my parenting regarding listening choices at a later date). First of all--and I hate to disabuse anyone who longs for made-up sexual mystery--but there's no secret to operating a dude's junk. It practically does it all by itself. So I don't really get the book. Second, my three year old picked up on the rhyme immediately and shouted non-stop all the way to dropping his brother off through the Catholic school parking lot "tickle my pickle, tickle my pickle". Never been more proud, me.
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Spot The Pratchett Reference, Win A Pony
Happy Fat Tuesday everybody!
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, a day of absolute deprivation and despair as we prepare in joyful hope for the coming of our Lord and Savior J. H. Christ, Esq. by being really hungry and cranky and yelling at our kids for no reason at all.
But today, oh today... if only I lived in Rio de Janeiro or New Orleans. According to what I see on TV, today is all about boobies in those towns. The long, slow days of Lent, when our self-sacrifice makes us pray for death on a daily basis as we suffer without our caffeine or our nicotine or our $1,000/day internet porn addiction or whatever it is we choose to forego for 40 days is assuaged (apparently) by seeing as many boobies as one can right up until the last second. Because nothing says religious sincerity like a good old fashioned bacchanalia just before we devote ourselves to God.
But since I don't live in N'awlins or Rio and the only boobies I have regular access to are way out in Newport all day long, I decided to start the day off by wetting my corn flakes with Jim Beam. I felt kind of bad because of the promise I made to the family of the woman who donated my second liver (come on, I went to a state school... cirrhosis is like chlamydia in those places), but I won't tell them if you won't.
I have to pace myself though. Mrs. Pops said she's not bailing me out of jail any more. She sounded very firm last year after I punched that lady at the grocery store (she clearly had 11 items in the 10-items-or-less line, the bitch), so I'm afraid she might actually mean it. At least I know I can count on one of my new blog-made best-friends-forevers to come and get me in a pinch, right? Right.
Enjoy your gluttony, everybody.
Now, something else.
This picture is of the flowering plum tree outside my house.
Yes stalkers, take your notes. Mine's the house with the flowering plum tree out front. That narrows it down to every house built in SoCal in the last 15 years. Happy hunting.
That's not my SUV, in case you were wondering.
Anyone want to tell me what's wrong with the picture above? Anyone? No?
OK, try again.
From up close now. Lovely, aren't they?
Figure it out yet? OK, here's a hint: the pictures were taken this morning...
Got it? Oh that's it... yes! The flowers! It's spring-time in California! And it's the first week of February.
I tell you, I'm pretty damned ambivalent. Sure, it's nice to rub it in the faces of people who live in the godforsaken hell-holes all over this country, currently freezing their redneck asses off in dirt-floor hovels (or wherever it is you people live). I take a great deal of pride in accidentally being born someplace where the climate is generally mild.
But at the same time, for the love of all that is holy, it's February 8th. It doesn't start getting cool and rainy out here until the middle of December and then within eight weeks, the trees think it's spring. That means summer is just five short weeks away!
And of course summer lasts for eight months...
Sometimes my smog-caused 20% reduction in lung capacity hardly seems worth it.
The only thing I can take comfort in is that I know by the time I'm finished with the bourbon and move on to the hard stuff (I make it myself from apples and... well, mostly apples) I won't know my own name, let alone what season it is. That tree out front and I will have alot in common.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 7.7
Monday, February 07, 2005
The Race Race
I didn't really need Sitemeter to tell me that the internet(s) is (are) the home(s) of every sort of depravity tangentially related to sex and fetishism. There are whole courses on the reduction of all things to their value of exchange in modern capitalist society at the hippie ashram enclave I studied at in my early/mid-twenties, including not only possessable (new word? yes I think so) objets de crap but people (indirectly via services) and even thoughts, so long as they can be expressed as desire.
Somehow somewhere this always came back to pornography. I'm not sure how. The history of whatever the name is of the modern American intellectual paradigm that runs unchecked through many universities wraps up race, gender and shame all together as new students are channelled into finding oppression and resistance to said oppression in every corner of the globe. Personally I think it's all a dodge to avoid having to remember a bunch of dates when stuff happened, but that's probably why I'm not in grad school anymore.
The interdisciplinary approach fuses history with sociology and anthropology and economics and women's studies (the blurry catch-all of the non-penis set), all of which have pornography as their object of study and (ultimately) condemnation. Something to do with patriarchy and hegemony and lots of other intellectual buzzwords that have to do with people secretly making other people do what they want by accidentally exerting some kind of super-powerful control they don't understand.
Fetishism and exploitation are supposedly all bound up in this little circle of self-reference and feedback, like a snake swallowing it's tail. Incidentally, snake-swallowing-tail fetish websites are huge business these days.
Being out of graduate school and completely out of other ideas to blog about (come on Ashlee Simpson, do something already!), I have decided to do an in-depth internet study about fetishism on the internet. The original idea came (with lots of torturous permutation and overthinking added on) from a recent post by Steph featuring pictures of her and some of her friends. The pictures are perfectly innocent, but I thought "You know what, some dirty fucker is out there right now looking at these in completely the wrong way because he was out on the internet trolling for pictures of 'hot asian babes'."
Once the heebie-jeebies passed, I decided to exploit Steph and her friends for blog post material. (Side note to Steph: sorry kid, it's sink or swim.)
So I will be limiting my enlightening, intense research regimen to ethnic fetishism for several reasons a) it limits the over-developed desire to humans instead of things which b) helps me not accidentally look at pictures of people shoving inanimate objects where they expressly do not belong and c) I can do it without trying too hard.
My high-quality, fool proof method will involve using the flawless modern super-research tool Google. The search string will include the word 'hot' and then a national and/or generically ethnic category (e.g. 'hot asian' or 'hot bulgarian'), record the number of hits and then list them. This will tell us once and for all, beyond a shadow of a doubt, which ethnic group people the world over find the most masturbatorily satisfactory, thus bringing the races of the world closer together.
Not sure about that last part, but it's a lofty goal to cover for the fact that I'm about to do a list as a blog post.
Ready? Begin the Exploitation and Fetishization Derby! May the hottest ethnic stereotype win.
hot black: 26.2 million hits
hot guys: 24 million
hot asian: 11.5 million
hot russian: 9.76 million
hot african: 8.08 million (most of these seem to be about hot sauce of some kind)
hot australian: 7.87 million (most seem to be weather related, believe it or not)
hot european: 7.76 million
hot latin: 7.73 million
hot indian: 7.47 million
hot greek: 6.3 million
hot latina: 4.34 million
hot arab: 3.19 million
hot polynesian: 490,000
hot uzbek: 94,400
Other: 903 million
some I was just curious about:
hot chocolate: 4.82 million
hot hot heat: 12.2 million(!)
hot damn!: 3.42 million
hot carl: 2.09 million
charlize theron: 983,000
Well, there you have it. Once again Americans of African descent win the exploitation race. I don't know if that means they come in first or last, but there it is. As I thoroughly scanned each page('s very top line in order to find the number figure I wanted and move on) for their intrisnsic socio-historical value, I did get the vague impression that perhaps I was not returning 100% ethnic pornography results. I could go back and somehow fix it, sifting through all the data to get a result that skews more toward the "accuracy" side of things, but I think I've beat this premise to death and I desperately want to get away from it before I say something horrendously insensitive and offend myself.
Apologies to my Asian sisters and brothers out there (the research search criteria did not discriminate by gender). I know you've probably been laboring under the misconception that you were the most fetishized American ethnic minority out there, but that turned out to be just another urban legend like razor blades in apples, Richard Gere's ass gerbil and President Bush's bondage dungeon.
No, I'm totally kidding. I'm pretty sure that Richard Gere thing is true.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 2.0 (I give and I give...)