Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Final Chapter

This post will officially wrap up my critically acclaimed & much ballyhooed web log. Fear not, loyal adherents; even as we speak, a new, super-sophisticated blog is being fabricated that will make this trite technological tome an ancient dinosaur of the past. Rather than focus my creative output on grousing & kvetching, I've decided to steer things more in the direction of a "day-in-the-life" series of dispatches.

Think Harvey Pekar meets Hunter S. Thompson. My new blog won't be anything like that, but it's a funny concept if you think about it.

So for all of you out there who ever wondered what it's like, day in & day out, to walk a mile in my clearance-sale shoes, I say this: brace yourself! Steve Martin said it best..."Comedy is not always pretty".

Thursday, February 01, 2007

"Time enough at last!"

Class is in session, people! Let's all read through these quaint song lyrics & see how I was able to score in the 99th percentile on the vobulary section of the State of California's annual standardized tests for grades looking up every word I didn't know in the lyrics of the three albums that constitute Bad Religion's "classic" period. Well, that & reading like I was that guy on The Twilight Zone.

"1,000 More Fools"
I heard them say that the meek shall reign on earth,
Phantasmal myriads of sane bucolic birth.
I've seen the rapture in a starving baby's eyes,
Inchoate beatitude, the Lord of the Flies.
So what does it mean when your mind starts to stray? Kaleidoscoping images of love on the way.
Brother you'd better get down on your knees and pray. 1,000 more fools are being born every fucking day.
They try to tell me that the lamb is on the way,
With microwave transmissions they bombard us every day.
The masses are obsequious, contented in their sleep.
The vortex of their minds ensconsed within the murky deep.
So what does it mean when your mind starts to stray? Kaleidoscoping images of love on the way.
Brother you'd better get down on your knees and pray. 1,000 more fools are being born every fucking day.

"Get Off"
lascivious, it's all that i can think of as i drag my feet, searching like Diogenes,
dangerous, the adjectives of the decade and of your alluring intricacies,
i can see your green-screen mentality and i feel the sting of its consequence,
and i know i shouldn't but it's too much to ignore, an emotion i deplore,
every time i look at you, i just want to do it, i can clench my fist right through it but i just want to get off,
rectilinear, this direction we've been heading never realizing we are on a runaway machine, angular, the momentum that does turn us one step further on our ladder, one more turn toward the east,
yes i realize your green-screen mentality and i know it's shared by many more,
i know it's quite impossible but i'm damned to find a way to revolve the other way,
every time i scrutinize i just say "screw it",we're on a ride down a blind conduit and i just want to get off

"I Want To Conquer The World"
Hey Brother Christian with your high and might errand,Your actions speak so loud, I can't hear a word you're saying.
Hey Sister Bleeding Heart with all of your compassion,Your labors soothe the hurt but can't assuage temptation.
Hey man of science with your perfect rules of measure,Can you improve this place with the data that you gather?
Hey Mother Mercy can your loins bear fruit forever?Is your fecundity a trammel or a treasure?And I want to conquer the world,
Give all the idiots a brand new religion,
Put an end to poverty, uncleanliness and toil,
Promote equality in all my decisions
With a quick wink of the eye, And a "God you must be joking!"
Hey Mr. Diplomat with your worldly aspirations,Did you see the children cry when you left them at the station?
Hey moral soldier you've got righteous proclamation,And precious tomes to fuel your pulpy conflagrations.
And I want to conquer the world,
Give all the idiots a brand new religion,
Put an end to poverty, uncleanliness and toil,
Promote equality in all of my decisions
I want to conquer the world,
Expose the culprits and feed them to the children,
I'll do away with air pollution and then all save the whales,
We'll have peace on earth and global communion.
I want to conquer the world!

OCD in the 323

When I was just a wee lad, knee-high to a grasshopper, I had a hang-up where if I touched something accidentally (like bumping my foot on a chair-leg, or brushing against a door-jamb as I walked through) I had make sure I touched it with the same body part three more times. That's four times total. Within a year, this little pecadillo faded away into memory.

But it was replaced by an uncomfortable preoccupation with not being turned around. This one's a little harder to explain; if I were to turn to my left, & keep turning until I was facing forward again, I would become extremely uncomfortable until I turned all the way around to my right & was subsequently re-aligned, or untangled, or whatever the hell I was. That one took a while be over & done with. But eventually it was a thing of the past.

Then I started up with something that still has me in it's grip, although in recent years it's been notably toned down. I started checking things. First it was the doors. I wanted to make sure they were closed all the way, & locked. No biggie, right? I was just being safety-conscious, right? It was a strange day when I mustered the lucidity to realize that getting up in the night to unlock & relock the door several times wasn't the standard fare for people in their early twenties. The point was driven home when I found myself checking the stove afterwards. Standing there in my dark & dirty kitchen, staring at the blue flames of the burners, turning them on & off, leaning down to see if I could smell gas, I knew that what I was doing was, in a word, why did I keep doing it?

And why do I check the front door now, sometimes unlocking & locking it until I like the way the click sounds. Sometimes I get out of my car again & re-check just to be sure. And sometimes I get halfway from my parking spot to work & have to go back & check if my car doors are locked. If it rains, I fight, I mean FIGHT, to keep from walking down to see if I left the windows of my truck open.

The isolated instances in all these years when I discovered an unlocked door made it all worth it.

Another little trick is setting the alarm clock so the minutes add up the hour. I know that sounds a bit Dali-esque, but it makes perfect sense upon cloder examination. Let's say it's 8:17. There! 1 & 7 add up to 8. What better time to get up? Or let's say you want to beat traffic. Well, how about getting up at 7:43? Or 7:34? Or even 6:51? I've tried to re-set my girlfriend's alarm clock this way but she's on to me. Hey, it used to be a lot worse...I used to only be able to get out of bed when the numbers added up.

Just for giggles, I did a perfunctory look-up online & found a self-administered test...the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) that kindly explained to me that I was most likely experiencing "moderate" OCD. Now, let me be honest with you, dear reader, & admit that I probably would have scored lower, or "mild", but I didn't like the way it looked when I filled in the answer-bubbles that way.

That can't be a good sign.

I know I've only relayed the "compulsive" aspect of this little merry-go-round. I'll save the "obsessive" for a dark & stormy night. I mean, if I could just write about it here like it was no big deal, I wouldn't have to run around checking things & futzing with 'em like a freakin' maniac, now would I?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Poop & the world poops with you.

Let me start this post where the last one left off, much like the 1st track on Mayhem’s “Grand Declaration of War” starts with the exact same guitar riff that wraps up the last track on their previous EP, “Wolf’s Lair Abyss”.

I shouldn’t be surprised that I’m already logging some potty time, what with all the vegetables & fiber. But one thing that I’ve learned about myself is that when I’m dropping the kids off at the pool, privacy is a beautiful thing. I dunno why…maybe I’m maladjusted or self-conscious or neurotic or whatever, but it really puts a crimp in my style when someone else is moving their bowels less than 3 feet away from me. Seeing their feet brings their presence to the forefront of my awareness & I have to dig deep & focus on the task at hand, or else I’ll spend all day in the damn latrine.

And let me ask you, friends & faithful readers, who in the hell talks on their cellphone while they’re taking a dump?! I can see talking on the phone while you take a leak…AT HOME. In fact, I’ve done it a few times in my younger days when the steady intake of beer dictated several bathroom breaks during the course of a normal telephone conversation. But to be grunting & groaning & befouling the communal air of those around you (apparently when it comes to the courtesy flush I’m the Last of the Mohicans), then to take a call & carry on a conversation…it’s beyond the grasp of my diet-enfeebled mind.

Now, I know I’ve discussed reading on the toilet, but the difference is that reading is a quiet, solitary activity. Unless you’re reading aloud to someone. That’s an idea…I should bring a book to the john @ work & start reading out loud to myself. I’m wrapping up the 1st volume of the complete Sherlock Holmes stories; think that’s too incisive for the men’s room crowd? Might wanna start them off with something a bit more pedestrian, like Grisham’s latest smattering of legal claptrap.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Health-nuts & dingle-berries

Back to Phase 1 of the SouthBeachDiet...except I’m still eating fruit & oatmeal for breakfast. I’m trying to get down to 160-165lbs. My strategy for keeping hydrated is drinking a quart of SmartWater (makes Evian taste like donkey-piss) before lunch, then refilling the bottle at work after lunch. The water cooler here dispenses something akin to recycled pond-water, but adding a dash of powdered CrystalLite nudges it towards potability. I grabbed a couple psyllium-husk fortified dried-fruit bars at Trader Joes too, we’ll see how disastrous the results are. Speaking of Trader Joe’s, a little while ago, this blogger & his significant other split the cost of some greeny-green pills (I think their official name is “Green Life” or “Live Green” or “Living la vida verde”) from their vitamin aisle. I spotted blue-green algae” & dried spinach on their ingredient list & knew I had to try ‘em…those are two key ingredients in “Life Force”, a supplement endorsed by Randy Couture. Good enough for the first man to win titles in two UFC weight-divisions, good enough for me.

Warning: the next sentence is disgusting.

Using some hard-learned foresight, I picked up some Charmin’ wet-wipes from Target in case I have any trouble smoothly processing some of the culinary joys Phase 1 has to offer.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Marquis of Queensbury Spin Cycle

Conversation between an old black man & your humble narrator at the laundromat, once he saw I was reading “TapouT” magazine:

OBM: “You know when De LaHoya’s fighting?”
YHN: “Huh?”
OBM: “You know when De LaHoya’s fighting?”
YHN: “Naw.”
OBM: “He’s fighting this month though, right?”
YHN: “Yeah, I think he is.”
OBM: “He’s getting up there in years, but he can still make it to the bank.”
YHN: “Yep. He owns the company, right?”
OBM: “That’s right. Even when he lose, he win.”
YHN: “He still needs to go down in weight. Not up.”
OBM: “Oh hell no. There’s nothing for him up there. You seen Rocky yet?”
YHN: “Yep, that’s what I’m talking about.”

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

21-haiku salute to Gerald Ford.

Without any votes
You blundered into power,
A would-be fascist.

The road to DC
Is too oft traveled by fools,
Clumsy & righteous.

After Watergate
Nixon called in a favor.
“I beg your pardon?”

At Hell’s seventh hole
The Devil is teeing off
Heads up, Mr. Ford!

Look into his eyes,
The true window to the soul.
Still I see nothing.

Hey that reminds me…
Dubya wasn’t elected
And neither were you.

Another one down,
And another library
Named after a fool.

The road to Heaven
Can be a difficult one
Whoops, you tripped & fell.

Cerberus fast approaches
Nipping at your heels.

Plants die in winter.
Elections in November.
Ford met us halfway.

The truth sets us free.
And you, you ignoramus,
You set Nixon free.

You were MVP
And part of the GOP;
So long, SOB.

The funny part is
You were always dead to us,
We who choose to vote.

The world keeps burning,
Young soldiers keep on dying.
No one will miss you.

Another dead jock.
Say hi to Ty Cobb for us
When you meet in Hell.

I have to wonder
If you knew how to spell it;
d-e-m-o-c-r-a-c-y, fool.

Hells gain is our loss.
They’re retiring your number
And your carcass, too.

Slow news day today:
“Dunderhead ex-President
Bites the Goddamn dust”

I heard Betty Ford
Really put away the sauce.
That’s right, I went there.

Hey America,
Dust off your dancing shoes
Meet me at Ford’s grave.

Not the sharpest knife;
Still you stabbed us in the back,

Friday, December 15, 2006

How Muhammed Ali ruined the sport of boxing

“His momma called him Clay; I’m’a call him Clay.”
-Arsenio Hall, in ‘Coming to America’

Here are just a few things that Muhammed Ali contributed to the downfall of boxing. And yes, boxing is suffering through an inglorious Autumn with the icy throes of Winter on the horizon, poignantly juxtaposed against the blossoming Spring of mixed martial arts. Let’s examine in closer detail…

- By relying solely on his athletic ability to win fights, he turned his matches into overhyped Toughman Competitions. Keeping his hands practically at his waist instead of anywhere near his face, & employing his idiotic “rope-a-dope” tactics, Ali not only erred against the axioms of the sport he ironically called a “sweet science”, he also ensured the most possible damage to his body over the course of his storied career. Pugilisms elder statesman didn’t have to be a brain-damaged, nerve-damaged, broken shell. But that’s what happens when you break the unforgiving laws of science.
- By converting to Islam & joining the ranks of Elijah Muhammed & Malcom X, Ali’s message was painfully clear. Fuck America, where he had risen from poverty to become a self-made man & the most famous athlete of the century. Who needs the American Dream when you have the vituperative rhetoric of the Nation of Islam? Ali was graciously paving the way for his worthy successor, “Iron” Mike Tyson.
- By not reporting for duty during Vietnam, he could have made a statement about humanitarianism & the brotherhood of man. Instead he made it a racial issue, specifically pointing out that no Viet Cong had ever called him a nigger. So instead of bringing attention to how senseless the war was, he fanned the fires of racial hatred. What better way to stop a war abroad than to start one at home?
- By constantly shooting off his mouth before, during & after his fights, he single-handedly molded boxing into the obnoxious spectacle it is today. Now fighters feel they have to say something outrageous & wear something outrageous, instead of making an impression by being a great boxer. Which, I have to say, Ali was not.

Next time you see Mike Tyson do something stupid on national TV, a tip of the hat is due to Cassius Clay. We were the dopes, & he roped us indeed.