On the Pros & Cons of Knowing In Advance What Your Auto Glass Repairman Looks Like

As one of the millions of Americans ‘searching’ for work and finding the apparent pickings so slim as to even warrant a pick, I have, like my fellow millions, thus far failed to find much by way of constructive hobbies.  Of course I could lay down that six album rock opera I’ve always dreamed of recording, the one about the misunderstood teenage computer gamer who gets his revenge against some vague negative life influences; or I could finally take up woodcarving, exposing my lack of patience and artistic flair in equally quick and conclusive manner; or I could (continue) to amass the world’s (okay, local area’s) greatest collection of golden era pornography (early 2006 to mid-November 2008).  But none of these seemed anything less than a whole bunch of work.  So instead, like my millions, I decided to medicate my dying brain with a little TV. Continue reading


Political Miscourse

The Man’s been calling
Says he wants my vote
I got down to stalling
I wanted his throat

The Man says the solutions are simple
Raise, cut, redefine, redistribute
I suggested problems and a couple of wrinkles
Class warfare and war warfare & crony tributes

I wanted him gone but it got me to thinking
How far apart we were but how we’re both sinking
How we both thought we needed some major tinkering
And how the state of the world could drive a man to drinking Continue reading

How to Tolerate & Maximize Shopping with Your Lady Partner

1)    Always check the sports listings before agreeing to anything.  When your team is on the tube, hold your ground.  When any other team is on, say “Well, honbuns, I was going to watch the big game, but what the heck.”  This earns critical bonus points.

This guy, what a douche bag. But a seemingly successful douche bag at that.

2)    Tell her that the most important thing is that she likes the new clothes she’s shopping for.  Let her pick out a hearty selection, hit the changing room, then plug in your earpiece and check the game.  Upon each exit, shrug the shoulders, pout a bit, and tell her alternately “hmm, I kind of like it,” “that one’s…interesting…” or even a gutsy “nope, not so much…” She’ll appreciate your ‘honesty’ on the way to buying whatever she wanted to buy anyway.  You can ‘appreciate’ it later the one time she wears it.

Continue reading

You Say Tuh-May-Toe & I Say Those Things Are Disgusting: Oh, Our Quirky Little Differences

You ever notice those funny little preferences that are actually pretty insignificant but about which we feel strongly? Well I decided to ponder a few of those in this short but let’s face it hysterically humorous accounting.

For example, some insist the toilet paper must be placed on the holder such that the paper rolls over the top coming away from the wall, while others insist that it should actually be slung back toward the wall and then clutched from beneath the roll.

Or, let’s take eating a cob of corn. Some folks are quite positive the best way to go is “typewriter” style, where you chomp, chomp, chomp your way down the cob then ‘ding’ rotate and repeat, while others prefer the pure rotation method which entails maintaining a single left to right position, rotating the delectable and potentially butter drenched ear in a clockwise or counterclockwise position, and only when a full mouth sized ring has been completed does one scale down the cob toward the other end and engage in another rotation of chomping.


The City as Organism: Have Urban Planners Become Latter Day Darwinians?

The city has oft been compared to a biological organism.  Like the simplest single cell organism, the emergence and growth of urbanity is a story of evolution, not creation, and just like our friendly amoeba, it can multiply, split, or become infected with bad DNA.  Despite best efforts to understand urban agglomerations, however, their origins, working features and adaptive strategies remain elusive and mysterious.

Never wont to let a good idea die, or, rather, to let any idea that can be mined and pitched for research dollars and parlayed into published articles, the urban research Academy has kept the comparative amoeba on life support (albeit a tiny, miniature system), and has expanded its vast analogical skills to include sexy biological spinoffs including fractal theory.  But where does this get us, exactly?

I recently read an interesting blurb on Seoul-based architect Lee Jang Sub’s “Complexcity” concept, which focuses on finding a “concealed aesthetic” in roadways “growing and evolving randomly through time.”   Sub provides as backing evidence satellite imagery that reveals a delicate lattice of roads, byways, and highways (though in this stylized vision perhaps we should refer instead to boulevards and parkways, quite possibly plated with gold) that reveal themselves unexpectedly and, in at least one case mentioned, is reminiscent of a gentle flower.  I presume that examples evocative of a lump of coal, or worse, some more valueless and amorphous lump-like mass, were omitted for convenience’s sake.

But the basic premise, that of a random evolution of roadways, is to me erroneous.  Continue reading

Commentary: I Think Cockroaches Need a Competent Public Relations Manager

Common household roaches A. German cockroach, ...

Image via Wikipedia

Stop! Before you stomp on that cockroach, think about things from its perspective. He is just trying to eke out an existence the only way his miniscule brain knows how, by sneaking out into the kitchen at night and snacking on crumbs left on the counter, appliances, floor, table, and chairs. What does he get for being eco-friendly (e.g. eating all the food you’re obviously not planning to finish and drinking water being squandered from the tap), quiet, and always willing to scurry away to some creepy dark corner of the kitchen when you enter the room, thereby showing the respect due you as the head of the house? A look of disgust and the brutal slap of a rolled up newspaper, that’s what. If she’s lucky, you don’t try to use some half-assed envelope, subjecting the poor thing to a mutually terrifying and needlessly prolonged “slap–pause–quivering antennae–slap–stillness–antennae twitch–scurry scurry–damn thing!–smack–SLAP!” drama. There’s no honor in that.

In short, I think cockroaches need a positively minded public relations professional capable of putting together some kind of image improving campaign…clearly as a species they have a public relations deficit that so often finds them subjected to the panicked spraying of half a can of Raid under the fridge despite the fact they’re now far out of the aerosol’s reach. Such a professional could help put a more friendly spin on this robust yet gentle creature that fears you more than you fear it (probably) and can’t help it if its stomach has disgusting teeth-like barbs the creepiness of which is unrivaled in the animate world. Continue reading

Playa Bonita

I travel whenever I am afforded the opportunity.  Good for the mind, good for the soul, travel can teach a great deal about life.  It makes plain the common elements of man.  It can reveal the colorful fancy of culture.  Sometimes, as was the case with my year 2000 trip to Cozumel, it can expose the intricate and delicate fabric of the heart.  All of its fear, all of its hope, all of its simple dreaming.

Looking back, the trip evokes so many differing images, snapshots filled alternately by peaceful remembrance of that tranquil island, and by the haunting revisiting of a near-death experience there.  These memories are complex for me now, and I focus more on sorting and categorizing them, searching them for meaning, than I do simply recalling them.

My friend Justin was the mastermind behind the trip that was to become, we were quite sure, the “time of our lives.”  Eight of us would depart for the Caribbean, our itentions being simple…to take over the island.  With the proper respect and reverence due, of course, no matter where the road may take you.  But there could be no mistake.  With this eclectic and so very hungry for fun crew, we would get what we had coming.  Deliverance.  Release from the mundane, colorless, dreary repetition of daily life.  We would take a stand, stake our claim, and for at least a brief moment, consume all of life’s offerings.

So on the second day of the new millienium, Justin, Jenny, Scratch, Tony, Jessica, Corey, Travis and I arrived in “The Land of the Swallows.”  Instantly transported into a world that held no boundaries for us and required nothing of our time. Continue reading