Monday, April 28, 2008


I have several friends who are militant nontexters. If i even suggest the possibility of sending a text message, they flip out at me. "That costs me fifteen cents every time you do that!" (nevermind that they dropped $700 on an iPhone. . . It's the fifteen cent texts that really keeps em up at night. Though to be fair, not all of them own expensive phones).

I'm not a big fan of talking on the phone. Nothing gets my goat quite like just wanting, say, someone's phone number or email address, and having to actually call someone up and spend half an hour on the phone in random conversation just to get something that shouldn't have even taken five minutes.

Prime example: I'm supposed to go in to work half an hour early each day to tutor my co worker before a class she has to attend next month. Five minutes before my alarm is scheduled to go off at the new half-hour-too-early-for-me time, I get a text message from this co worker telling me not to come in early because she has to leave early and won't be there anway. Fucking score! Not only do i get to sleep for an extra half hour, i didn't have to actually wake up for a conversation to deliver that information, which would have prevented me from falling back asleep anyway.

Anyhow, this isn't a rant at my nontexting friends so much as an example of how texting can, in fact, be useful; even desirable.

P.S. This isn't directed at you, Ang <3

Monday, April 21, 2008


I knew if i didn't stop now, i'd be thirsty in thirty miles, with no place to get anything to drink. I had a long way to go, so i might as well stock up. I stopped at a truckstop strip mall and got out of my car, casting my glance around at the various services and goods stores aimed at making a travelling man's life a little bit more comfortable. I just needed a convenience store.

I walked along the strip mall, glancing into some of the windows. There was a barber shop, with a man reclining in a chair while a man in a white apron smeared a white creamy foam on his neck. The knife he was about to be shaved with looked sinisterly unsuited to the task, and i glanced ahead at the next window. It was a dentist's office. The secretary looked up from her magazine at me and smiled prettily, as though she didn't hear the screams coming from the room behind her. She's probably used to it.

Finally, i came up on a door with a clown's picture on it. Under the clown's picture, the name Scribb's was spelled out in bold red lettering, and gave no indication as to what may be inside. I opened the door and peeked in. A man in a wheelchair with an IV peeked back at me from across a small room. Behind him, i could see a drink refrigerator-cooler like you see in a convenience store, and so i pushed open the door thinking i'd come to the right place. The store was tiny, i realized after coming through the entryway corridor. Only one of the flourescent lights worked, and another one blinked infrequently, casting a dingy smattering of dull light in the dirty little store. The man in the wheelchair smiled up at me and asked if he could help me. I looked around at his wares and saw stacks of beer crates in the middle of the floor, creating a narrow walk way that i could barely squeeze myself around to peer into the coolers. The ones on the far wall were completely empty, and the ones on the wall next to it had a few old two-liters of soda, but no diet Coke.

"Got anything caffeinated?" i asked him.

He smiled knowingly at me and opened the door to one of the empty coolers. I looked inside, and was surprised to see it was a doorway into another store. This store was brightly lit, clean and the shelves well-stocked. I looked back at him, about to ask why he'd hide all his stuff, but something about him gave me pause. He noticed my hesitation, and said to me, "Go on in! Find what you want, and i'll be waiting out here to ring you up. If i survive that long." He patted the pole of his IV drip grudgingly as he said this last bit.

Aside from being in the chair and having the drip, the man looked perfectly healthy. In fact, the more i looked at him, the more vital he seemed to become. I started noticing small things about him: his bright, intelligent eyes; the way his pulse beat steadily in his neck; the involutnary way he licked lips; the well-toned muscles in his legs. There was nothing at all wrong with this man, but something greedy and feral. Like a man who's been up to the buffet four or five times, a man who's no longer hungry, but still eats and is unsatisfied. At this point, i decided against pointing out the fact that there was no cash register at which he could ring me up, and i stepped through the door he was holding open for me.

This store looked like a convenience store SHOULD look. There was a soda fountain in one corner, gleaming like it had never been used before. The coolers appeared to be stocked with anything you could possibly want to drink, and the shelves looked like they held anything you might want. My first glance reported snacks, dog food, rugs, and hygiene supplies. I walked over to the cooler and started looking for some diet Coke. I saw every soda imaginable, except diet Coke. I frowned a little, and decided to look for a snack. I walked around the aisles, looking for Little Debbie oatmeal cream pies, finding every other snack under the sun except those. My eyes came to rest on a neatly stacked row of Twinkies. I decided i wanted Twinkies instead, and they disappeared. I blinked a couple of times, and saw Ho-Ho's sitting in their place.

Frustrated, i started to make my way back towards the door, when i saw a middle-aged black woman sitting on a brown leather couch knitting. She looked up at me and smiled smugly at me. "Can't find what you're looking for?" she asked me.

"Not quite. . ." i started, not wanting to be rude, but wanting to share my frustration.

She nodded knowingly. "There's another level to the store," she said and gestured down at the floor. I looked down, and i saw a little black eye painted there. In the center of the eye was a flashing lens. "Focus on it, and you'll be taken there," she said. I looked back up at her, and saw the man from the entry room sitting next to the woman staring hungrily at me. Instead of focusing on the lens, i came and sat down next to the woman and the man and began to speak of mundane things, anything inconsequential that popped into my head. They looked confused, but responded to my small talk. I could almost hear them thinking to one another. But she's young, and oh-so pretty, i thought i heard him think. He obviously knew nothing of what i was concealing. I casually asked them, after a few minutes, how i was to get out of the next level of the store once i got there. They pretended they didn't hear the question and continued talking about the weather. I smiled at them and got up.

I walked back to the eye, and they kept up the facade of small conversation while watching me intently. I smiled at them, and noticed the man's IV bag was almost empty. His vitality was waning with the liquid in the bag, and i knew my looking at the eye was vital to his survival. Well, then, i thought to myself and focused on the eye. I felt myself being drawn in towards it. Let him drink me up, i won't last long. I was dying of liver cancer anyway.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

But It's For The CHILDREN!

You know what really sticks in my craw? Those tools who gasp over entertainment programming content, and then rally together against it with the age-old battlecry: Protect Our Children! Be it tv shows or web sites, there's always some jerkoff out there prepared to ruin it for everyone else so they can let their kids mindlessly channel-surf (or web-surf) without fear that they might come across something they consider morally questionable.

Seriously, people. If you don't want The Children watching Family Guy, change the damn channel! Most cable/satellite companies provide the means to set up parental controls for those busy parents who can't be bothered to monitor what their Children are watching on tv. Same with internet companies. Don't want your Children viewing offensive websites? Again, take ten minutes out of your busy life to set up some parental controls. Or (here's a great idea), take the computer out of your kids' bedrooms and put it in the living room where you can actually see what little Johnny and Suzy are looking at. The idea here is involvement.

Parents are so self-involved these days that they'd rather see a show yanked from the Tuesday night lineup (or, worse, see some kind of legislation against certain types of programming) than to have to pay attention to and exert some control over what the hell their kids are watching. I thought this kind of rampant jackassery was only prevalent in the US, but apparently it's infected South America as well. The Simpsons was yanked in Venezuela, because of viewer complaints (more asshole parents who don't seem to understand that changing the channel is an option). The complaints were about what you'd expect: Not appropriate for Children, etc. Though i'm sure there's more than one channel on Venezuelan tv, watching another one apparently wasn't enough. Good thing they replaced it with a more wholesome, educational show: Baywatch =/

South America Sucks Too

Friday, April 18, 2008

You Know What's Bullshit?

Co workers. There's always that one ass clown who has these ridiculous expectations of the people he works with, knowing damn well he'd never live up to these expectations himself.

So this morning at about 1:07 am, my co worker. . . Let's call him "Nick", called me because one of the morning technicians called off. Now, i am already scheduled to arrive at six am, and am staying until closing (around 5:30 pm) because there isn't anyone else there for the rest of the day. This, in and of itself, is something he'd never in a million years do. At 2pm, he'd hightail it outta there regardless of what kind of shit storm he was leaving the closing pharmacist to deal with. Anyway, i told him i can't open because i'm coming in for second run and closing. He paused, and i just KNEW he was gonna suggest i take a long lunch or something. Then he said, "Well, can't you like, go home for a couple of hours after first run and then come back?" Like he'd ever do that for someone else.

Me: "No, retard. I have to make second run, which happens about an hour and a half after first run's done."

Nick: "Oh. . ."

Me: "Was there something else?"

Nick: "Well what am i going to do about first run?"

Me: "You'll have to help the techs draw." *click*

Now you're probably feeling sorry for poor Nick, but let me tell you something: The pharmacist who did first run yesterday only had two techs to draw, and he helped them out once he got done compounding the drugs. Nick is the kind of guy you'd actually have to TELL "Hey, help the techs out when you're done!" because apparently when HE went to pharmacy school, he was encouraged to believe that when he graduated and got a job, he'd be given a legion of technicians to command so that he'd never have to lift one of those well-manicured fingers to do anything he didn't feel like doing. And Nick never feels like doing anything that isn't pharmacist-ly.

The perfect solution to the problem in his mind: Call in the closing tech to work a 16.5 hour day so that he doesn't have to draw doses. I wish i lived in whatever alternate reality these assholes live in, so life could be all about me too.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Racial Pride?

I recently received this blurb as a bulletin here on myspace (my retorts/remarks/comments are in purple):

Proud To Be White
Someone finally said it.
How many are actually paying
attention to this?

There are African Americans,
Mexican Americans,
Asian Americans,
Arab Americans,
Native Americans, etc.
And Irish Americans, and French Americans, and Italian Americans. . . What's your point?

...And then there are just -
This is what we all are, IMO

You pass me on the street
and sneer in my direction.

You Call me 'White boy,'
'Cracker,' 'Honkey,'
'Whitey,' 'Caveman,'
... And that's OK.
I confess, this hurts my feelings.

But when I call you Nigger,
Kike, Towel head,
Sand-nigger, Camel Jockey,
Beaner, Gook, or Chink
... You call me a racist.
. . . but on the other hand, i don't do this as a retaliatory measure. In fact, these are words not generally found in my vocabulary at all.

You say that whites commit a lot
of violence against you,
so why are the ghettos the most
dangerous places to live?
As if anyone WANTS to live in a ghetto.

You have the United Negro College Fund.

You have Martin Luther King Day.

You have Black History Month.

You have Cesar Chavez Day.

You have Ma'uled Al-Nabi.

You Have Yom

You have the NAACP.

And you have BET.

If we had WET
(White Entertainment Television)
... We'd be racists.

If we had a White Pride Day
... You would call us racists.

If we had White History Month
... We'd be racists.

If we had any organization for only whites
to 'advance' OUR lives
We'd be racists.

We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,
a Black Chamber of Commerce,
and then we just have the plain
Chamber of Commerce.

Wonder who pays for that?

If we had a college fund that only gave
white students scholarships
... You know we'd be racists.

There are over 60 openly-proclaimed
Black-only Colleges in the US ,
yet if there were 'White-only Colleges'
... THAT would be a racist college.

In the Million Man March,
you believed that you were
marching for your race and rights.
And white civil rights were in danger WHEN in this country?!

If we marched for our race and rights,
... You would call us racists.

You are proud to be black,
brown, yellow and orange,

and you're not afraid to announce it.

But when we announce our white pride

... You call us racists.

You rob us,
Again, as if the only people who ever rob white people are nonwhites.

carjack us,
and shoot at us.

But, when a white police officer

shoots a black gang member
or beats up a black drug-dealer
who is
running from the LAW and
posing a threat to ALL of society
... You call him a racist.

I am proud.

... But, you call me a racist.

Why is it that only
can be racists?

There is nothing improper about this e-mail.

Let's see which of you
are proud enough to send it on.

I must confess, i don't understand racial pride at all. Race isn't an accomplishment! You don't work really hard for years, scrimp, save and sacrifice to finally achieve your race as a reward for all your efforts; it's an accident of birth. So i had mixed feelings about this bulletin when i initially read it. While it's true, if there were a White Entertainment Televison, all kinds of action would be taken against it, but on the other hand, why would a white person feel the need to make his own Million Man March? Since when have whites' rights in particular ever come under fire? The programs the author of this bulletin is so derisive of (NAACP, United Negro College Fund, etc) were put in place for a reason: that was the only way an impoverished black child could afford college, and most blacks' lives needed advancement because they weren't getting the same advantages afforded their white contemporaries (this is history, my misinformed author-friend, not opinion or something other races are doing specifically to piss you off). Whether or not these programs are still relevant or necessary in this day and age is a subject for a different discussion.

I guess my basic problem with a post like this is my same problem with the whole racial issue in the first place. Racial hatred is never going to die unless people give it a rest (i.e. stop making the comments, stop teaching the sentiments to your kids, stop using the slurs). I also believe racial hatred is being partly sustained by this concept of racial pride. People of all ethnicities need to come down off their Pride Pedestals and start working toward the equality we all claim to want.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Tetris and Bon Jovi

I was in a traveling performer group, and we were doing our routine in the restaurant of this hotel. That day we were a human tetris game, which we started out on a pedestal of foam blocks that looked like the various tetris pieces. We’d climb on top of each other, and fit our bodies together, and when the last of us slipped into place, we’d turn into the foam blocks like the ones we started on. Then we’d start doing the same thing on top of the foam blocks that were just made out of us, all the way up to the ceiling. When we were done, the audience clapped, and we knocked down the tower of foam tetris pieces, falling down with them. We didn’t injure when we hit the ground, because we had foam in our DNA, so even though we looked like normal people, things just didn’t hurt us.

I wandered out into the lobby, and i saw Jon Bon Jovi out there. I wanted to get a picture of him to send to my friend Jen (the biggest Bon Jovi fan i know). So he posed next to the girl he was with, but when i went to take the picture with my camera phone, we both fell over, and i didn’t get the picture. We laughed about it together, about how clumsy we were, but when i went to snap the picture again, he dodged out of my view and ran away from me. Apparently, that was my only shot.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Trees Don't Like Us

I was running away from something with an older lady. I think this lady was supposed to be my mother, whom i didn’t really know. We came up on a path that led into some fir trees, which after a minor hesitation, my mother pulled me along. There were several women there, tending the trees, dressed like they belonged at a Rennaissance Festival. My mother spoke briefly to one of them, and the woman frowned at her. "This isn’t Christmas, you can’t just come here with anyone you want", the woman said disapprovingly to her. At that point, i felt the trees glaring down hostilely at me, willing me to get out of their grove. Sadly, i turned to my mother and behind her i saw a smaller tree. Like an irrepressible child among stern adults, the little tree loved me and beckoned to me, offering its shelter. Though the woman my mother spoke to clearly didn’t like this, she dared not argue. She merely stalked away. I went to the tree, and its underbranches parted for me, and then folded behind me, its soft needles caressing and embracing me as i made my way to its trunk. I wrapped myself around the base of it and felt myself become smaller, unnoticable. Just as the last of me disappeared, i felt the source of our hunter drawing near. It stopped before my tree, an amorphous black mist. I knew it could sense me near, but if the trees disapproved of the presence of me and my mother, they were simply not tolerating the black mist. I could see the mist shrinking under the weight of the trees’ unwelcome, and it moved on, fearing for its existence. Relief washed over me, and i tried to step out of the tree. The tree didn’t want to let me go. I pulled a little harder, trying to coalesce at the base where i’d disappeared, and i felt the heartbreak of the tree at the thought i’d leave. Panic washed over me at the thought that this shelter would become my prison. I felt the tree release me sorrowfully. Resisting the impulse to rush out of the tree before it changed its mind, i let compassion wash over me and chase the panic from my mind. I wouldn’t be safe out there with the mist. Why not stay with the one who loved me when no one else cared?