Fey, Fi, Faux

Last weekend, I was invited to the moment I had been waiting for. The moment to sing the jingle of Army's tune into the ear of a good looking, sweet young man. And in his brain, that tune would be lodged -- gestating, vamping, tickling. And slowly it would grow on him until he realized what he could have with me. And then, we'd make sweet love... er... music together.

Of course, this young man was non other than Jay, my new boyfaux. Who happens to have a legitimate live-in boyfriend. Meh, details.

Rules of Engagement

Jay had invited Feyonce to a Christmas party at his place, and she was able to bring along a friend or significant other... or in our case, her signifauxcant other. It was my shot to size up Jay's boyf to see who this character is, what state of bliss (or discord) they shared, and how I could wreck it all with my charming ways. Yes, neo-conservative so-called Christians... this is truly the only gay agenda out there. And it doesn't concern you at all, so go fear things up elsewhere.

So Feyonce and I rocked out another party before hitting this all-important one. And like any Army, I needed to devise specific rules of engagement:

Rule #1: Make sure I get on Jay's radar.

Rule #2: Employ defense mechanisms when necessary. For instance, it was imperative going into this knowing that his boyf was quite inferior to me. Their relationship had to be in shambles.

Rule #3: Lots of ammunition. You can't win the offensive without being loaded. Inhibitions slide, your guard is down, and maybe some action is seen.

Rules in mind, we get to Jay's apartment complex, and basically everything is covered in ice. No salt in the parking lot, on the sidewalks, or anything. So we're sliding our way to his door, when we encounter the frozen steps from Home Alone. And no railing to grab hold of. So Feyonce and I are crawling up the steps, praying we don't land jaw first on concrete, cracking up the whole way there.

Let The Games Begin

We make it alive and Jay greets us at the door. He looks adorable in his collared shirt and sweater. Jay makes the introductions to the seven other people there (one of whom I knew already), and I spot the boyf. The enemy. The distraction. And he's well, kinda cute. But somewhat of a stereotype. Little bitchy. Little sassy. In my unbiased opinion, I think Jay could do much better.

I crack open a Guinness. And out comes the dreidel. For a drinking game. I felt a bit at ease that a Jew was in the group, like it was kosher and all. And thankfully, Jews don't believe in Hell. Let's just say that "Gimel" meant everyone drank. I forgot the rest. I was focused on making eye contact with Jay whenever it was appropriate. My message was subliminal, an unconscious code.

Jewish Girl mentioned something about Yiddish, and I commented that Feyonce and I were beschert (meant to be). We laughed about that for a while. I broke out a few other choice Yiddish words I knew from my viewings of Seinfeld and Sex and the City. My mis-education.

Then came the wine. First red. Then white. Then more white. And then things loosened up. We played some other game that didn't work out too well. I was certainly feeling tipsy. I kept hitting the food like it was nobody's business. The pepperoni, cheeses, spicy pigs in a blanket, cookies, et al. -- I was Bogarting the buffet every bit as much as I was "Beau-guarding" the boyfaux.

As a subplot, Feyonce was interested in one of the other attendees. She, too, had gone into the evening with some intentions to reconnoiter this gentleman. We both made sure to dress as dapper and smart as we could. A couple of sexy fauxances ready to divide and conquer our men. I had my Jay. She had her Billfriend. He seemed like a cool guy. Feyonce confesses to liking slightly nerdy guys, and he fit the bill. Literally.

Now the rest of the evening is pretty much blanketed with some of the most bizarre things I've ever said. And sadly I have forgotten most of them. So I'll attempt to recreate the few I recall with the following vignettes:


Jay: "I want to sing karaoke, Feyonce."
Army: "What would you sing?"
Jay: "Something from the ballad genre."
Army: "You can't sing a genre, you have to give us actual song names!"
Fey: "Whoa now, Fauxance. Well what would yours be?"
Jay: "Yeah?"
Army: "Love Shack and Grace Kelly by MIKA!" (a bit too self-satisfied)


To Feyonce: "Yuck. I'm burping gross weenies."


Not a specific quote, but I used the words fabulash and luscious way too much. Sometimes luscious meant "tasty" or "excellent." Other times, it meant "drunk."


So the short of it was, I got sauced, and then I got saucy. I ended up doing this dance in the kitchen as Jay air-conducted to the marching band music that was playing. It was as if we were both vying for Feyonce's attention... but we didn't know it at the time. She had to keep sober because I had imbibed a bit too much of the wine. So much for my gay agenda.

In all, it was a great evening. I enjoyed the group's company, I got to interact with Jay and the boyf, and have more fun with my Feyonce. I felt better knowing the boyf had some flaws, and it actually made me move on a little. Thankfully when I'm wined up, I don't become a depressed boozy old fairy.

Driving Miss Hazy

So the night ended with me scooting down the Home Alone steps and then "walking" with my hands and sliding on my feet across the ice rink. Thankfully, Feyonce drives manual. I gave her mild sass for stalling Andrew right away, to which she deftly replied, "the drunk person cannot criticize my driving." Touche.

I crashed at her place and woke up at 5:43 a.m. to record the details that eventually became this entry. In the background, freezing rain was pounding on the house, encasing my car in a shell, and creating a new layer of danger to the world. But I had no hangover. Nor did I have any hang-ups about my boyfaux sleeping with another man.

Margaritas En Masse

If the term en masse is defined as "in a single body or group," then the powerful potion I imbibed on Friday was contained in my single body. And by powerful potion, I mean the 26 oz. salt-rimmed frozen mug kind.

It was my Friday "girls" night out with the Lovebrarian and my humor twin Watson. First stop was authenticate Mexican (for the Midwest) and a little love potion #9 - the frozen margarita. Or in my case, the sleep potion. Tequila is my slow-acting roofie. Guess I drugged myself. Bad rule of thumb if you plan to take advantage of yourself.

Not that I was planning on such a thing...

Anywho, Watson heard about this free Christmas concert going on that evening and thought it would be interesting for us to attend. It took place in a Catholic church, which is generally a no-fly zone for yours truly, but to be honest, I was desperate for a blog entry. What a "writer" will do for some good material!

Little should I have known the clue in the title... it was a Christmas concert alright. In a beautiful church. Where the congregation was so stoic, I thought it may have been a funeral. At a cemetery.

I can only imagine that I wasn't struck by lightning because my thoughts were too clouded. I confess: I may or may have not been tipsy. In a church. My margaritas en masse had become margaritas in Mass. And my head was swimming in a dazed haze, crawling through the strange passage of time, set to the sleepy backdrop of stoic caroling and chanting. If being boozy in church is bad form, then being dozy is just plain uncouth. I slipped in and out of consciousness. My powers were useless against them.

I don't know how the hell long we were there, but at one point, Watson, who was noticeably uncomfortable for us the whole time, said we should roll. And roll we did. She felt bad, being the only religious one of our trio, because the concert was a joy-bust. But hey, how would she have known? It wasn't her usual church.

After the spell broke, I did come away with a few thoughts. No more tequila for me. I passed out by 9:00 p.m. Bad news bears. And secondly, it was reaffirmed that I truly do not understand organized religion. I get that it moves people and provides meaning and inspiration. I can see how it lifts up others. But it just doesn't do anything for me... even when I've had a few.

Then again, maybe this visit wasn't the best example of a dry run (in more ways than one!).

Things That Were Said

Army: "I don't know, there's just something about a jockstrap that I find... creepy. (Pause) I'm not sure why... I have to get to the bottom of it."

B-Dub: "There is no bottom of it!"


Army: "There's just something about long hair on a guy that I find unattractive. Cut it short already! Long hair is for girls!"

Mamabean: "I think he's hot either way."

Army: "Oh c'mon! That's not even a hairdo... it's a herdo."


Mamabean: "I'll make the general's chicken and you can bring over some eggrolls."

Army: "Deal. Should I also bring over some pot tea?"

Mamabean: "Um, pot tea?"

Army: "Yeah, that was supposed to be hot tea, but who knows after today. (stops to ponder) Can you even make tea from marijuana?"

Lil' known fact to me: Actually, you can.

Facts and Figures.

Yeah okay, Army sure knows how to pick them. I have an uncanny ability to pursue ambiguously straight men, yada yada. Firmly established.

If you're new to the program, check out my Beaucoup of Beaus.

So of course, when I met Feyonce's classmate a few weeks ago, noticed his good looks, sweet charm, and genuine quality, I became immediately skeptical. How could he be available AND gay?

Our first meeting was serendipitous, really. I had worked until about 7 p.m. and on the shuttle bus to the Parking Lot at the End of the World, my Fey boarded with a small group of others, including one dashing young gentleman. I was at the back of the bus and she didn't notice me. So I just observed their group talking and made eye contact a few times with Classmate.

At the Parking Lot at the End of the World, Fey saw me and we started chatting. She introduced me to Classmate, whom I'll call Jay. We exchange hellos and Fey is quick to casually explain the Feyonce/Fauxance bit is just an inside joke, thus debunking any idea that we're anything more than good friends. Good one, Fey.

Jay's all, we've met before. And as it turns out, I gave a presentation at Illinois State a few years back and he was in attendance. I thought he looked a little familiar but who knows when you see so many people every day. Hmm, so he remembered me, eh?

Anway, as soon as I part from them, I watch from my car until Fey is alone so I can call her up. Laughing at my haste, she says she doesn't know about his "status" and promises to keep an open ear and eye, thinking we would make a cute couple. And um yeah, we would!

Now it's speculation at this point, but I may or may not have joined a social networking website run through our university to find out more about Jay and imbed myself into his unconscious mind. I'm playing it like George Constanza... remind the person of your existence in small ways. It's a subtle approach, a whisper campaign, as I like to call it. Soon enough, I'm like a radio jingle he just can't shake. He'll be humming my tune.

Plan now engaged, I lay low for a bit as part of the hush phase. Today, I get a phone call. From Feyonce.

F: Yeah, I have some bad news.

A to himself: Great, he's another ambiguously straight man. I'm going into rehab.

F: Your "boyfriend" already has a boyfriend. I befriended him on Facebook and there it was with photographic evidence.

A: Figures.

I finally find one of my own people that I'm attracted to and want to pursue and he's taken. But that's the second story of my life. You know the first.

A: Is the boyf cuter than me?

F: (laughing, placating) No. Of course not!

A: Do they look happy? Or is there some discord underneath it all?

F: Well the boyf goes to Arizona State.

A: Oh please. I can work myself into this one. The long distance thing never works.

F: That's not tacky!

A: Desperate times, desperate measures.

In all seriousness, who's to know their true status. Fact is, I've known people to maintain an "in a relationship" status on MySpace et al. simply because it was uncomfortable to change it. I tell you, these websites are life-support for failed relationships of every measure and kind.

He still seems like a guy worth knowing. And I'll just see what happens. If it's merely a friendship, then great. If I attack him in a fatal attraction kind of way, well, I'll write you guys once I'm out for good behavior.

The Balance of the Universe... On My Middle Finger.

I suppose some would say it isn't good Karma to extend a middle finger to the vast universe out there... but then again, I am the universe (as are you), so in a way, I'm merely flipping off my greater self. And well, Karma can kiss it, too.

Why the dramatic huff, you ask? Why, let me tell you, in even grander throes of blopera (um, that's blog opera to you)!

Don't trust The Universe. Just when you think everything is in its place, there is balance, and the answer to the meaning of life is 42, The Universe
steps out from behind the curtain with a guttural "Mwu-haha" and the episode is over...

Seems now the meaning of life is 50. Because of inflation? Nope. Hazard another guess? Well, it's because that's how old you have to be to join AARP... and I JUST GOT INVITED!!!!

That Benevolent (or should I say, Malevolent) Order otherwise known as the American Ass-ociation of Retired Persons (now cowering under the acronym of AARP) sent me a damned Membership Order Form today! ME!

Look at this face? Is this the face of a retired person? Or of a pretired person? I'm not even close! I still have my allure... my twinkle! In fact, at a conference this past week, my fellow colleagues from across the nation kept mistaking me for a student.

Usually, I have to do what I can to be seen as a professional because of my youthful appearance. Especially on campus when I have to belly-up to the bellies of Provosts, Directors, and Deans, oh my. And now, this Undistinguished League of Biddies wants to set me on a course for the planet Geri
atrix at warp speed? I think not! Check the records and your trifocals. I haven't made your short list yet, pappy!

So listen up, AARP, you old fogey. Take back your lousy AARP-SVP and the offer of a free pedometer when I join or renew. My clutch purse is off limits to your coffers (and incidentally your coffins). And rest assured that whenever I aimlessly aim my finger at The Universe, you will forever be at the center of my affections.

iRant: Highway Musings

Are We Where Yet?

So yeah, I'm skeptical of a lot of technology when it first comes out. I always have to ask the question, why do we need that? And why shouldn't I ask that question? Lord knows there are plenty of solutions to problems that don't exist out there... Someone has to police this techno-crap and gripe about it.

Here recently, it seems everyone needs some kind of navigation system in their cars. Whether it's TomTom, Magellan, or some other dude's name, folks need that GPS like never before. On a recent trip, I couldn't help noticing the numerous glowing screens in so many dashes and suctioned to the windshields. How did we suddenly become so directionless? Just a few years back, people rarely consulted paper maps, and those were usually road trippers. If you didn't know the way, you went to MapQuest or (if you know what you're doing) Google Maps. Now, we can't go to Walgreen's without depending on the robo-broad bossing us through every right and left turn. I mean, seriously. This is a perfect example of how technology has made people passive and responsive instead of planful and (dare I write this trendy word) proactive.

Out of no where, we are constantly lost and at a constant loss of where to go... Thank god we took thinking out of the equation.

The Unofficial Pace Car of the Highway

Why is it that whenever people see a Highway Patrol cruiser, they immediately jettison their brain, as if it was a smuggled illegal cargo? My favorite response comes from the lead-foot nosedive brake-job guy. Good one, smooth operator. The Statey will never suspect your speed correcting tactic, only, he's already clocked your dumb ass. See, when you notice the Statey from about 100 feet away, yeah, he's already clocking ten cars behind you. 'Member? Back where you ejected your common sense? Perhaps if you weren't on the phone while changing tracks on your iPod and finishing that Star-too many-bucks coffee, you wouldn't look like the ass hat you are.

And my favorite witnessing this week is when the Highway Patrol car pulled out into the fast lane from the median. And suddenly no one will pass him. Even when he's driving under the speed limit. Hey morons, we aren't in the first lap of the Indy 500, and besides, I don't think your P.O.S. Chevy Aveo would even qualify for a go-kart race. He's not the pied piper, you Lemmings. Pass him up! He's probably doing 60 MPH just to laugh at you idiots with your timid little toes tapping the pedal.

If you aren't blessed with the ability to split your attention and still operate your vehicle, don't do it. Maybe you should let TomTom take the wheel.

And Another Thing...

The entrance ramp exists so that you can achieve the speed of the highway by the time you reach it. Do I really need to say anything else about this? It seems that I do...

Hit Me Baby, One Maher Time

As you may know from way back when, I already professed my intellectual crush on Bill Maher. Well, my love-o-meter recently flew skyward when I caught a rare and captivating piece of live television last week. I'm speaking of the recent episode of Real Time With Bill Maher.

Now, I don't normally catch this show on TV because it's on HBO. But I do subscribe to the free podcasts of the show and listen to them religiously. Much like folks like their news and debate from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, I get my fix with Bill. Let's face it, the only way to cut to the heart of matters is with humor.

Anyway, Bill's show was hijacked this past week by several (perhaps four?) heckling kooks preaching about none other than 9/11 Conspiracy Theory. In case you missed it, our faithful digital friend, YouTube, has graciously time capsuled it for your viewership...

Now imagine watching this unfold in live TV. I happened to be away for a conference and flipped through the stations as the show was coming on. And then this went down... at first, I thought it was a joke or part of the show. A bit off-kilter for Bill's sense of humor, but who knows. Then it just kept going on with the ranting until Bill breaks open his emergency can of pissed-off whup ass and kicks these kooks out of the studio!

Kill, Bill, Kill!!

You can say a lot about these 4-some minutes of television. This is what I have to say...

1) I won't credit the bush administration for much, but I'll put it this way. It's stacked with conniving people who have done some fecked up stuff, but their lies and their exploits are consistently as see-through as Britney's under drawers. They couldn't manufacture a plausible case for war, produce WMDs, make a plan, organize a rebuilding effort, plan to plan, and on and on. You think they can orchestrate the destruction of a building with little preparation in the wake of a terrorist attack when bush is trying to read to children and sits there for 7 minutes "dumbfounded?" Or as I like to call it, his normal face.

And if by miracle they somehow did all that, we'd know about it because these guys can't cover up shit. And if you think they put together the whole attack, bitch please. Take your meds, find some evidence that we didn't go to the moon, Hitler is still alive, and Jesus has signaled His returned in the reflection of a puddle in front of your local Subway.

2) I'm sure these Truthers thought they had a victory, but here's the reality. You made yourself look like bigger asshats than you already are. And you'll only attract more asshats to your cuckoo cause; not sane and rational thinkers. Which your cause clearly needs. And the reason you have to resort to guerilla tactics like this is because no one will listen to you in a normal forum because of your already-established dumbassery and general detachment from this thing we like to call reality. Pop some more pills, mix it with booze, repeat.

3) I applaud Bill for what he did. I think there's no tolerance for stunt-tactics like this. Once again, people in this country have proved they are so aching for attention, they'll do anything to get it. As for me, I'll get my attention the old-fashioned way... from the few people who choose to read my blog and listen to MY meandering rants and conspiracies.

Now, about that gay agenda we've been working on...

Got It Bad

Got it bad, got it bad, got it bad/
I'm hot for Teacher!

Yes, sing it along to the classic Van Halen of my youth. With Dave. "Sit down, Waldo." LOL

Today our campus's Teach for America rep came to speak to our group about the amazing opportunities for our ambitious, motivated, and compassionate students to make an impact in our country's most impoverish schools.

And this guy was a dreamboat. I'd guess he's in his mid-twenties. Nice sideburns. Dressed smartly. And such a charismatic speaker. I like how he used his nonverbals. Yeah, I like a good gesture. His were well-placed.

I think he made us all want to sign up for our two year stint! Yes Mr. Teach for America, I'll drink the poisoned Kool-Aid. Your wish, my command. All that. Now let me take another look at ya.

Yeah so, he did mention this alleged girlfriend at one point during an anecdote. But it was likely in the context of a comfortable friendship. Words of endearment. No more. I didn't see any ring on that finger. So he's available. And he's gay until proven straight in my court of law. LOL

Boy, that man was a tasty beverage. Got it bad, got it bad, got it bad. I'm hot for Mr. Teach for America!

I've been Touched...

No, not like a "I've been touched by the bad man in my swimsuit area" kind of touched!

I mean, I've been Touched. No guys, not Touched by an Angel in a holy spiritual sense. Get with me, here, c'mon! Do I have to spell it out, already?

I am now the owner of my very own iPod Touch, e'rybody! And it's suh-weet. I can't keep my hands off of it. Literally!

If you haven't heard of them, think of the iPhone without the phone and the camera. So it's even slimmer yet still has twice the capacity with a 16 GB flash drive. And unlike the iPhone, this one has a WiFi antenna, so when I hit a local hot spot of wireless fun, ka-ching. Free internet access. Download a song from iTunes Store at the Espresso Royale? Don't mind if I do! Watch YouTube clips on my lunch break? Yes-huh! Stare at hours of porno while at work? Heck y... er, of course not!

The screen for watching movies is killer. This will be my new travel companion when I fly to Baltimore and Denver this month. I dropped a little extra skrilla for this software that converts DVDs to iPod video format, so I can have all my faves in my hot little palm. Oh yeah, babies!

We're talking Kill Bill, Clue, Grindhouse, Maverick, Big Lebowski, Groundhog Day, Dodgeball, The Prestige, Glitter (but not really), and the rest of the oeuvre!

And switching up from my Mini to the Touch, I have to give big ups to Apple for an awesomely improved interface. I feel like I'm in the future where everything is a touch panel. And I'm quite impressed with the sensitivity of the screen. I thought I'd be mistyping on the little keyboard, but it works very well.

It's such a thing of beauty and a marvel of science, I shed a tear. What can I say? (sniff) I'm touched.

The Next Room

In my previous post about the death of Robert Jordan, I mentioned that he had stepped into the next room. I wasn't familiar with that turn of phrase until the passing of my step-mother. Her good friend spoke at her memorial service, and she read aloud a piece that mentioned this idea. But that was several years ago, and I have only that vivid image in my memory. The name and everything had faded.

After some internet investigation, I uncovered the full passage:

Death Is Nothing At All

Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way that you always used. Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was, let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval,somewhere very near, just round the corner.

All is well.

-- Henry Scott Holland

Now I'm not a religious person. I'm spiritual to a degree and after a fashion. But even if I put all of that aside, there is something poignant and fundamental from this idea that our passing is merely a transition into the next. That death should not diminish us, even though it causes sadness. That we are better for knowing the people we know and knew. And that their finality is not an end if we celebrate who they were and what they meant to us.

I'm reminded of the series finale of Six Feet Under entitled Everyone is Waiting. As if to say everyone who has passed is in the next room. Ready to ask how we've been. I imagine Darlene, my grandfather, and even RJ himself entertaining each other with jokes, sitting around a small table, an intimate and quiet affair. I peek in on them and smile to myself. Such characters. They'll be in there till all hours of the night.

And off to bed I go, knowing that they still have life. That they'll be saving a seat for me one day. And that we'll carry on, as if only time had passed, and nothing more.

So Long, Friend

Two days ago, I found out that one of my favorite authors passed away. His name is James Oliver Rigney, Jr., but if you know him at all, it most likely by his pen name of Robert Jordan.

He wrote the amazingly rich and detailed series called The Wheel of Time. And if ever there was an opus that told of a fictional world, his main series of 11 novels, a prequel novella, and various companion pieces was near the top of them all. With nods to Tolkien, mythology, and world cultures, he borrowed familiar bits of what we know and wove them in with his own creations of magic, cultures, characters. Oh so many characters. No seriously. Lots of characters!

And while the series began to slow after the sixth book, the eleventh really picked up the pace. And RJ, always devilishly coy at book signings, would remark that the series would end with however many books it took to tell the story. As you may surmise, he had not intended it to last as long as it had. But after the last book, he had clearly stated that book 12 would commence the main series. And if it was a 2,000 page tome that required a hand truck, he said, that's what it would be. LOL

It would be the end of over 17 years of storytelling. But he never got to see it end.

See, RJ recently developed a rare blood disease, amyloidosis. And if ever there was a fighter, it was RJ. He kept in touch with fans via his blog. Fan support was incredible. But in the end, the disease caused complications that led to his death. We knew his time was limited, but the suddenness was unexpected.

It feels like a betrayal that a creator did not outlive his own creation. So often, you assume the person will keep going on long after the ink has dried and the paged dog-eared. But sometimes it isn't the case.

I remember at book signings how particular and funny he was. I'd drag my family and friends along to get the books signed. My friend Aaron and my step-dad Greg were hooked, too. So we had an entourage. RJ would always correct people for mispronouncing the names and terms he created.

My big bro, Jim, cracked us all up once when he turned to us and remarked, "Robert, you had me at Seanchan." You probably had to be there, but it was hilarious. And then you get up there and feel compelled to ask the big man something about the series as he neatly and purposefully signs his name. Every time, the old sass, he gave me his patented response, "Read and find out." Curse you, RJ! His slight smile would follow.

As I understand, the last book will be published. He's committed the bulk of it to audio tape or paper. Selfishly, I'm happy to hear that. Like any reader, I'm invested in the story, the characters, and the outcome. I want some closure!

But I keep coming back to the fact that, even though he had the final scene of the last book locked in his head all along, he won't get to see his readers respond. Or hear their thanks for the enjoyment he's brought. Or the ideas he's given. Or the inspiration for future storytellers.

I suppose he's stepped into the next room now. Wherever it is that everyone goes in the end of this life. Who's to say what that is. We all have to read and find out.

Hey man, nice TWIKE!

After work today, I ran into (not literally) one of our computer guys, M@. Our relationship started off a bit bumpy because right after my promotion was official, I came into work that night and moved into my new office. LOL - What can I say, I get antsy with transition and just feel comfortable having all that stuff done and out of the way. Plus the new office is much bigger : )

Needless to say, I jumped the gun and the computer tech guys weren't ready to set up my new computer, the internet port wasn't working properly, and basically I caught them off guard. After a bit of email to-and-fro between the main tech guy and our associate director, things were "settled." Fortunately, I ran into two of the guys over lunch that same day and went over to them to apologize for what I did. They took it well and said they should be able to get to it that afternoon.

Well, M@ and I ended up chatting it up while he set up my computer, and let's just say, we have a bunch of nerdy common interests to seal over any troubled cracks in our professional relationship. It was actually a bit uncanny how many TV shows or book series that he mentioned that I'm also into. So now we're basically the best friends on earth.

Anyway, back to this afternoon at the elevators. We're chit-chatting on the way down, and Mama Bean parts ways with us. M@'s all, "where are you off to?" Taking the bus to the shuttle lot, I respond. "Want a ride there?" To which I'm all, hecks yeah.

Come to find out, his mode of transport 'round town is an electric/human-powered hybrid. It's called a TWIKE, which basically sounds like Elmer Fudd named it. But you know, it's German. Those crazy kids with their language!

He owns one of less than a dozen TWIKE's in the US. Most of them are in Europe, natch. And they cost quite a bit of dough. Nevertheless, it is a cool set of wheels! He has it parked right in front of the YMCA. He pulls the electric cable from the building and shows me how to get inside the cockpit. You can't step on the floor because of it's light body construction. And you feel like you're riding in the future.

It can run either completely electric or you can pedal to ease the drain on the batteries. It can run pure electric for about 40 miles,
which extends under pedal power. He got it up to 50 MPH once, he said, which seemed crazy!

The controls are more like that of an airplane / sail boat. And there's this neat little control panel in the center that reminds me of the time circuits from Back to the Future.

The TWIKE turned quite a few heads and produced many smiles. It drives on all the regular streets because it's classified as a motorcycle. I'd be a bit afraid of being clobbered by Soccer Mom in her Monstrosity or even worse, a bendy bus. But M@ piloted the TWIKE with ease. It was a bit bumpy on the rougher spots but otherwise accelerated smoothly and quietly like any good electric engine should. And the braking system is regenerative, so stop and go traffic made the batteries rather happy.

The ride was an enjoyable and exciting end to my day. M@ said he's on the waiting list for a new one, which he's been twiddling his thumbs over for 2 years. Each TWIKE is hand built, so production is quite limited.

As I watched him skim away, I overheard a bus driver waiting at the lot calling out to a pedestrian, "No, no. He's pedaling it. It has pedals." They probably thought it was some fancy enclosed tricycle. But then again, I guess it sorta is.

Too Freaking Funny!

Yeah, so this is my first attempt at adding a YouTube video to my blog... let's see if I can keep from blowing things up!

Anyway, thanks to The Lovebrarian for revealing this MADtv clip to me. I love the clever humor!!!!!

The Moment of Truth

As you may have read, I rocked out my interview last week, or so I thought...

While at work today, my coworker HH got a phone call when I was chatting with her in her office. It was from one of the committee members contacting her as my reference. Ooh! Good news? Sure, but not a done deal. They could be contacting all of the finalists. Still, it distracted me even more. I knew I would likely hear back today either way.

After lunch, I overheard a quick conversation about the search chair leaving a message for JP the British Boss. They were both on the committee for this position, and the timing seemed right. Perhaps she called to finalize the deal and make the offer to their candidate? But was it me?

I had been nervous all weekend and just wanted the Band-Aid ripped off. Job or no, I needed some answers. No matter how well I thought I did, you just never know with these things.

It figures that the call came through when I was with a student. So I tossed my little kiddy out of my office (no, not really), grabbed my cell phone to listen to the calm and unrevealing message from the search chair, and quickly dialed her number.

The secretary put me through...

"How's it going, Army?"

"Hello Search Chair, good to hear from you. I'm very nervous."

Chuckle. "Why should you be nervous when we're offering you the position?"

Laughter. "Are you kidding me? That's wonderful news!"

WOO-HOO!!! I was ecstatic! I had been wanting this promotion really badly for so many reasons but tried to not get my hopes too high. But it all worked out in the end!

So I'm basically jazzed : )

And that's all for now!


So I've been very "vocal" about the jacked-up old house we used to work in. But I haven't mentioned much about the swanky new space, which is awe and then some. I have my own office with brand new furniture and a window out into the hallway (though sadly no windows to the outdoors). But I thank my lucky stars for what we ended up with. It's really amazing. No more stench vent. No more weird sound tunnels. No more everything creaking.

And right now, we don't have the full space. We had kicked out some folks for this space, but one department had to stay behind until their new space is built. We were concerned upon moving in that these folks would hate us. I mean, we're a loud bunch. We have 18-20 year olds busting in with their cell phones and their sometimes less than courteous manners. These people never make a peep over there.

But they've been awesome. We did a formal breakfast meeting this week with introductions, and they are all really hilarious. Well, except for a few sour apples. I'm thinking of this woman I can only refer to as Scowlella. She has this permanent frowny face and doesn't make eye contact. I think she needs sex. But then, that's my mental solution for anyone who's fussy.

And speaking of which, one of our "neighbors" has this smoking husband I like to call Hottie McHotterson. This man is sexay! He has nicely defined arms, perfectly tanned, great smile, sideburns (and I love a good sideburn), and today he was wearing this t-shirt tucked in behind his belt, board shorts, and sweet little Keen shoes. I was praying right then for a show called "Husband Swap." But then, I don't have a husband, so let's just call it "Husband Snag."

Then of course he spoke, and if I hadn't known better, his mannerisms and speech softly whispered "gay" into my ear. Damn these hot ambiguously straight men!

He's usually in our shared break room for lunch, and today we had this nice chat. they were telling me how great Keen brand shoes are and he says, "I can let you use mine for a while. Are you a 10.5?" For you, sweetie, I'll be anything you want. But much like Cinderella's wicked step-sisters, my foot was too big. "No, I'm an 11.5." But for you, I'll be anything you want...

Then home today, I noticed my not-yet-legal teen boy neighbor running down the street shirtless. Here we go again. Totally not fair. He runs into his house, and then I see him going in the opposite direction shirtless, underwear exposed, skateboarding. Today has been pure torture! Yeah, I know, call the police on the homo pedophile, right?

Certainly a break at my favorite coffee house will provide a needed respite from alluring men. And right into the den of estrogen I go. And no Barista Boy in sight, thankfully.

But instead I'm sitting, as I type, next to this table of 10 angry cheerleader moms arguing about fund raising for their precious lovelies. From what I gather, there could be an inevitable showdown between them and the skanky football moms. Take out your earrings, ladies, and get the Vaseline. It's time to take it to the streets, old-school. Cranky booster betches. This one mom, the outspoken ringleader I'm calling Momzilla, is a bossy sort. These women need sex.

But that's my answer to everything...

An Inner View Through An Interview

So why aren't interviews called inner-views? Why, when you get to know a person's thoughts, cares, interests, fears, and all that crap?

Who makes these rules, anyway?

Anyway, today I had a big interview for an Assistant Director position in my office. Army's moving on up (only on his hopes right now, but perhaps in reality very soon)!

It's a great position, and I'm really jazzed about it. But today didn't start off so auspicious...

The Swarm

Apparently, today is one of the worst days ever for pollen count. Like 1.21 jigawatts!! of volume in the air. I heard there was even a warning! Good lord! Thank god for my generic Claritin, or as I like to call it, Generitin. But even that didn't fully come through as my nasal passage bouncer. I had to down some immediate relief stuff and take some ibuprofen for the pressure headache. So I ended up a pill head with a throbbing alien in my forehead trying to hatch from the larvae beneath my skull.

I just imagine the air thick with tiny yellow tennis balls invading my airspace and landing on the surface of my insides and outs. Curse you, pollen! Curse you, I say!

The Punisher

I knew that when I got up early and my head was soupy, today would be trouble. So it came to no surprise as I was cautiously speeding to work that Punishment Light was up to its usual antics. Sticks and stones, Punishment Light. You shall not have your day of victory!

Still, I felt completely out of sorts and beat down for my afternoon interview. Perhaps time was on my side...

The Karoshi

The Japanese have a term for death from overwork. That was my morning. I was fussy and fuzzy, and here come the students. And the projects in between. And the notes from the previous day. And the emails piled in the inbox. If this was my pre-test to handling stress, boy was I failing.

Lunch out of the office with a little sody pop helped. I finished up a project and headed home for my impending interview.

The Sun Not Suiting Me

Let's just say that men don't have many options for business wear in the summer. Women have skirts, cute tops, and accessorization. Men just have hot suits with piled-on layers topped off with a noose... er, tie. Mind you, I looked stunning in my suit with my new Express for Men shirt and tie. But it was a sweat tent inside. Thankfully my drug cocktail of pills and sody had cleared my head! Merciless sun, curse you, too!!

The Inner View

With the exception of a few questions, I rocked out the interview! I had a scenario in which I need to make a decision between two candidates, and my reasoning for person B was solid. My mock
presentation was creative and engaging. And my answers came out as I had pretty much wanted them to. I get nervous being put on the spot, but it helped that I knew all these people and they knew what a rock star I am.

It's hard to interview with JP the British Boss because he has a poker face during interviews. I remember that from way back when I got my current job. He gives almost no feedback. Before and afterward, he's his regular jovial and talkative self. But in this venue, it's hardcore JP, Wales Hold 'Em style.

The To Be Continued...

So now comes the wait. But only for a week. It's out of my hands, and I did the best I could. On the way back home, Punishment Light stopped me again, but it couldn't keep me down. My tie was loose, my top button undone, and one of my favorite Radiohead songs had just released itself from Andrew's speakers. The song is called "Let Down." But I'm not expecting one of those next week...

Sign Language

As you travel around the world or your neighborhood, surely you've run across an odd or out of place sign before. Signs are everywhere. I shared a few of my found favorites a while back.

So naturally, I love it when I was referred to a couple of hilarious websites by my co-worker crew member, S-Dub. There's something about the generic airline safety brochure drawings and the WWII-era poster style that gives me the tingles. But of course, the captions hold the humor!

Check them out:
Safe Now
Air Toons

I dare you to try to not laugh your ass off! It can't be done. Shout-out and mad props to Dub for her sweet hook-ups : )

Oh yeah, and now for a shameless plug of a little creative sign I came up with...

I'm Not an Addict... Maybe That's a Lie.

Who would have thought I could ever find a simple little board game that I love so much more than Settlers of Catan?

And then I met Carcassonne. I was at a mall game store looking for something like Settlers but a bit different. I asked the guy if he had suggestions, and he pointed me to this little blue box flanked by many smaller, similar boxes -- the collection of its add-ons.

My eyes locked, and at first, it wasn't all fireworks and dazzle. I checked out what junk it held in its trunk. I read over the back captions and checked out the pictures. Like a deceiving singles add on Match.com, I was unconvinced. Even the praise of Store Guy did little to sway me. He was like a good friend desperate to have his odd friend be shown a good time. And then Store Guy made a sweet offer: if I didn't like the game, I could bring it back. It was like I could erase it all if we had a bad date. Store Guy was a good game pimp. I slapped down my cash.

Like any good date, Carcassonne came with instructions. This is how I work. Don't do this with me. If only boy dates were so easy. Still, though. The instructions left me skeptical of a promised good time. Fortunately, I had reinforcements to play with me. Vick (Army mom), Lola (the grand ma-ma), and Egg (the step-daddy-o) indulged me due to their past Settlers enjoyment.

And then something magical. The game rocked! It's relatively basic in its design, but like any good game, the strategy is in the nuances. And the add-ons (which I've since laid down fistfuls of cash to procure) help to build larger maps, add new strategies, and insert other rules and impending chaos. The nice thing is that you build the map as you play, so it will never look the same twice. It's always fun to see how it will come together.

Guinness World Record for largest Carcassonne game

Everyone who plays is skeptical at first. Only after a game does it get under your skin. And like any good drug, it gets better with each use. Now I'm a fiend for this game! I just can't get enough. I even drove Pops to buy up the whole shebang himself. I've got my friends and family hooked on Carcassonne's sweet love. My next victim will be the lovely Gouda herself! Mwuhahaha!!!

If you are looking for a fun game, check it out. If you love Settlers, I guarantee you'll love this game just as much, if not more. Highly recommended.

Dr. Lovebrarian

It's time to share another of my free therapy sessions with Dr. Lovebrarian.

So The Lovebrarian has managed a hook-up --> long distance segue with Sports Illustrated Guy. She met SI Guy in the most random way, and now they are "love" partners. And for her, it's the best scenario -- he lives a little over two hours away, so there's no clingy factor. It's just enough attention to be sweet and to carry on a regular single life during the week.

Which got me thinking... perhaps I've been approaching this dating thing from the wrong angle. We're socialized to believe that long distance relationships are difficult and rarely work out. But let's face it, for independent coots like me, sometimes you just want your space. I need to take a nod from my human resources background and attack this issue like a job search. Do we need to conduct a local, regional, or national search to find the right applicant pool? I've been doing the local thing, but clearly I need a regional search.

Plus it totally lends itself to expiration dating. Things get boring or just fizzle, you can blame it on the space between. I like the idea of a time stamped relationship. Maintain until freshness date. Promptly dispose : )

So SI Guy has this total librarian fantasy thing, in which The Lovebrarian is considering to cast herself. We came up with the cheesy lines like "do you know what the fine is for an overdue book, bad boy?" or "shame on you for forgetting your Dewey decimal system." LOL -- I pioneered the idea of an edible body stamp with the script "FINE" on it. My imagination is tweaked...

My two favorite Lovebrarian quotes this evening:

1) Matter-of-factly spoken: "I mean, I don't want an STD."

2) Regarding the kooky roomie's man: "And her boyfriend is on our couch watching America's Funniest Home Videos... and he was actually laughing at it."

I LOVE it when people get offended by the most inane details! That's a brain-share moment.

In a less common bout of serious talk, we explored the topic of spending money and materialism. We both agreed that spending money on experiences is more enjoyable to us than getting the latest and greatest thing. If you think about it, what is more memorable to you? A beautiful or exciting vacation, or that brand new iPod?" Now granted, I love my iPod, but when I reminisce about my favorite times, they don't involve hanging out with the little silver guy.

And in a way, spending money on experiences is a kind of savings account. An investment in the future. The Lovebrarian shared that when her grandmother was 101 years old, she couldn't see well, couldn't walk, and had trouble hearing. She told The Lovebrarian the only thing she had left were her memories. At that point, the objects we collect mean very little. But the peak moments of our lives have power. And when we're all old and gray, the most solid part of memory and cognitive function is long-term, episodic memory. An investment, indeed.

This is one way our society needs a course-correct. For birthdays, I take my friend or family member out to their favorite restaurant, and we have an excellent meal. To me, that's worth more than any thing I could buy for them.

So I guess what they say is true. You can't buy me love. But at least I can enjoy a free moment with The Lovebrarian.

iRant: Pedeadstrians

Motoring home around 10:00 p.m. this evening seemed innocent enough. We've all done it before. Little did I realize it was amateur daredevil night.

First Encounter:

I'm on a four-lane avenue (two lanes in each direction) with a speed limit in the neighborhood of 40 MPH. That's roughly 63 KPH to my non-American readers reader. Mind you, it's night. And I'm not exactly in a well-lit stretch of road. Then who should be cycling against traffic in my lane but some punk kid on his BMX bike. What the fook? Are you trying to die? Or is this some X-treme audition for the sequel to 80's B movie "Rad"? I had to swerve into the other lane to avoid damaging my precious car. Oh yeah, and to avoid killing someone's dear son.

Look, I know the term side"walk" conveys a certain misconception of its purpose, but rest assured it can handle non-motorized vehicles quite well. This isn't Europe. We don't want to share our roads in this country. And most people value their lives. So take note, Travis, and pedal your arse onto the sidewalk or you'll be the hood ornament for some late-night soccer mom's land frigate. End of story.

Second Encounter:

I didn't think independently-operating idiots could one-up each other, but wonders never cease. On this same avenue in a busier and faster section, I motor upon a guy on roller blades (yes, roller blades), swinging back and forth in the entire lane at a break-neck 10 MPH. What the what? Are you kidding me? Hey Caleb, see that unused stretch of pavement five feet over? That's called a bike path! It will accommodate your wheeled shoes with relative ease. And best part is, there aren't death machines with people distracting themselves from driving poised to turn you into road kill on the bike path. We call this a "win-win scenario."


Maybe we could keep these half-wits in line if we took some cues from Death Race 2000 and Carmageddon. I'm just saying...


Friday was certainly an eventful day. I'll have to shelf my synopsis with Therapist because it was a doozy. Let's just say it involved tears, albeit good ones. Necessary ones. I'll get to that story later on.

Friday afternoon, I ended up at my coffee stop to do some work, and at first, Barista Boy was there. Nothing much happened, as his shift ended shortly thereafter, but who better to replace him than Spy Girl. My informant. And what did my femme detective have in store for me? Or is a female detective called a detectess? Hmm...

Anywhen, as I was leaving, I went up to say hello to her, and she opens with, "I asked Barista Boy if he was gay, and he claims he's not." Interesting. So she has her doubts. She said he wanted to know why she asked, and she mentioned that she'd never seen him with a guy or a girl before and was curious. He had gotten a bit defensive, I gathered, asking if he gave off some kind of gay vibe or something.

Then she went on to say that he honestly isn't worth the time because his life is a mess. And the more you know, the sadder it gets. He really needs to get his shat together. Which is a shame because he does have a lot going for him. I guess he's been adhering to a strict drug regimen to keep his mind limber. Wow, tragic and straight. I'm shaping up to be some desperate amalgam of cliches, and that can't end well.

I thanked her for her candor. And her speedy work. That was one quick junket! Still, it would have been nice to have a "rendezvous" with him even if he is messed up. Dysfunctional people can be passionate, you know. Or into crazy outlier sex that involves a rolling pin, mood swings, and maybe even pedal pumping. I think I'm better off.

Well, maybe.

Sigh. So let's chalk him up on Army's big board of Disappointingly Ambiguous Straight Men. Wow, I'm racking up some list here...

- Barista Boy
- Ambiguously Straight Guy
- Pac Sun Tyler
- Red Robin Tyler
- Hot Server Guy
- God knows who else I'm forgetting right now...

My people really need to work out some system or code. Something.

This is getting ridonkulous.


So I finally worked up the nerve (or the noive, as the Cowardly Lion would pronounce) to do some detective work on Barista Boy at my new coffeehouse hangout. I appreciated everyone's suggestions on how to find out if he's one of my people, but in the end, I took a safe circumnavigation approach. Ask the co-worker.

The setting was perfect this evening. Closing time, and it was just me and Spy Girl. Barista Boy had been in earlier, and they were chatting for a while. In fact, I've seen these two chat on previous visits. So she has to know at least a little about him.

My opener was innocent enough: "Can I ask you a strange question? How well do you know Barista Boy?"

Spy Girl: "I guess fairly well, but only from work."

Army: "Do you happen to know if he dates men or women?"

Spy Girl: "Actually, I'm not sure. He hasn't really said anything about that. I've wondered myself. Maybe I can do some investigation for you."

Say what? My own mole within the organization? And a free agent at that? How could I be so lucky? And she promised not to connect her questions to me. Too good to be true? Can she find out who he "sleeps" with? Ah, she's my sleeper agent, hehe!

Afterward, we hit it off and came to find out we know several of the same people. She's also pursuing my undergrad major of Psychology. So it wasn't awkward at all, and I established myself as the nice and casual guy. So she has to be vested in getting two sweet young men together for (some hardcore action) a nice old-fashioned date.

So Army has dispatched his spies to get the "lay" of the land. I'll report back if I can muster some action along his borders.

Stimulating Conversation

So it's time to introduce a few new folks to the ol' Me Thinks blog.

Rather recently, I befriended a nice Canadian librarian. I call her The Lovebrarian for numerous reasons. Love is part of her name. She breaks the librarian stereotypes by being young, attractive, and socialable. And the name just sounds hilarious!

Our lunch chat topics tend to cover areas of relationships. For example, she has many (what I have termed) friends with caveats. We all know about friends with benefits. Friends with caveats are those friends who you like, but... fill in the blank. For instance, "Sally is a true friend, but she does tend to be a control freak." You get it. Well, The Lovebrarian, come to find out, has a social calendar booked with friends with caveats! I love it : )

And of course, I've shared with her my many fauxships with clingy guys (Back Stories A and B) and my uncanny knack to come up with nicknames on the spot (like the guy who sat in the corner at this party nursing a glass of milk. I named him Cal. You know, for calcium. This is what I do.).

So The Lovebrarian invited me over for a lovely dinner this evening, and I got to meet her friend Mary Louise Parker (who really looks and has similar expressions to the actress). The best part is that I thought she did, but didn't mention it to her. And then we talked about the TV show "Weeds" and she brought it up. I was like, HELLS YEAH YOU DO! I had a bit of red wine, mind you.

And we had a wonderful conversation about sexuality. I needed this kind of stimulating conversation (pun intended) because I've been stagnating recently in more ways than one. Socially, intrapersonally, and well... in other areas.

Mary Louise Parker has sexpertise, oh yes. She counseled me on the ways of doing the deed. Because I have my issues in that arena. And this country shames such discussions because we're a bunch of closeted Puritans from the Victorian era with lace poofed out of our collars and sleeves, and other such nonsense. No wonder there are people getting off to pedal pumping! Gracious!

Then we got to talking about commitment, cheating, and all that. My favorite Mary Louise Parker quote of the evening was on the topic of schooling a guy who has basically no experience: "I won't do any more f*cking charity work!" Classic. And then The Lovebrarian won for inspiring the best screenplay idea: My Big Fat Green Card Wedding. Because as she put it, "The only failed marriage worth having is one in which I get my green card."

I shared more this evening that I usually do, and it felt great to be open. Being prudish is bland and against human nature. Too much shame and secrecy.

Boy howdy, I have some great conversation pieces for Therapist this week!!

NOAA Meets Noah

So, we've had some weather lately.

Well, we have weather every day, I imagine. But lately, it's been, like, more than just weather. It's been weather!

Mutha Nature has been nice this spring and summer so far. Temps haven't been crazy and we've had no big storms. But this week, well, she's a bit more nasty.

Like two nights ago, I woke up to what I could only describe as the belief that paparazzi were outside my window snapping photos of me in bed. Don't ask why I decided to pose and pout. My motives are my own. But what it actually ended up being was a lightning light show akin to Laser Floyd or something. And then the wall of water came down.

And more downpours last night. I half-expected Noah to row by, and in fact thought I saw an elephant lounging upon an arc, but it was just a big dude in a moving truck. Mistakes.

And then there was the hail storm. Which literally came on the heels of a discussion at work in which I expressed I didn't believe in the tenants of Christianity and shared my general displeasure with organized religion. Like part of the discussion, the heavens opened up, and it was almost End Times. I had my eye out for Kirk Cameron to show up, but bullet dodged.

Speaking of bullets, the onslaught of marble sized hail was pounding against our House of Cards, which we expected to cave in at any second. Worst of all, my dear Andrew was helplessly left to his own devices in the Shuttle Parking Lot on the Other Side of the World. I was fretting that I'd find him to be a pile of scrap metal, but nary a ding or dent. Every cloud, a silver lining.

Then again, Andrew recently received a safety recall in which the car could quite literally lose control at any given moment, so that's fun. I'm motoring in a zoom-zoom deathtrap until next Wednesday. Perhaps I could make it death proof?

This post has no structure whatsoever. Last bit -- the National Weather Service would do well to issue storm warnings and watches before they occur, not so much after. Just a thought, NOAA. Take it as you will...

Gimme A Brake

Today I was thrust into a whole new genre of human special interests. I've always lived life with the outlook that "folks is crazy" and I'll be damned if they don't prove it to me each and every day.

It all started innocently enough, as these kind of tales often do.

Smartens sent me a little Youtube video of their wee bebe, lovingly referred to as Baby J. I feel safe in sharing this nickname for two reasons: there are 50 bajillion videos on that site with little ones named Baby J, so his anonymity is maintained. It is also crucial in the big reveal of this tale.

Or should I say, the big revv-eal. Read on.

Youtube is so nice for listing "related" videos for us. Or as I like to call them, further distractions from life. It gives us that "just one more" hook we love to hate.

Well, this time round, I noticed a "related" video (and I'm using these quotes for good reason) was entitled "Baby J Revving the Cadillac." Hmm, did Smartens and Rasmatic let their little one take the wheel with such poor gross motor skills? No no no. As I clicked on the link, I was introduced to a whole new world of fetish. Or as it turns out, foot fetish, or as I like to call it, a footish.

That's right. It's a six minute clip of some woman "pedal pumping." I can't make this mess up, folks. As the whole thing unfolded before me, I noticed a bevy of these pedal pumping videos on the sidelines. All of them with women clutching, braking, and giving it the gas. Sometimes in pumps (pedal pump pumping?). Sometimes barefoot. Sometimes in pantyhose. Full foot. Big toe only. Toes spread out. This little piggy was grinding with the brake pedal. This little piggy caressed the accelerator. And THIS little piggy stared in disbelief. I had to show my co-workers. We were all perplexed, yet drawn in. It must have been the bizarro nature of it all. What arousal could someone get out of this experience?

I don't get the whole foot fetish thing. Or any fetishes, for that matter. I'm trying not to judge, but c'mon. Get a real fetish. Pedal pumping? That's pretty lame. Just rent a porn. Why all the innuendo? It's not even good innuendo.

Although, my favorite was a clip where the woman was making all the trite porno screams and pleasures while thrusting the pedals, being sure to whine, "this always seems to work when a man is in the car." Oh please. This isn't a fetish or a footish. It's a faux-tish.

It's like those lame phobias people have. Okay, afraid of heights, enclosed spaces, even clowns? I get that completely. But a fear of clocks or of the color white? Gimme a break. I mean, as I live and breath, that's what I call a fauxbia. Get a real fear, then let's talk.

Same goes with fauxtishes. I'm putting my foot down right here and now.

Ooh, did you like that, baby?

Recent Conversation

Army: "So I'm attracted to the guy that works at this coffee shop I hang out at. But I'm not sure if he's gay or not."

Bishop: "Just give him a little smack on the butt."

Army: "Well, that would clear things up, for sure!"

Bishop laughs.

Army: "See, he talks to me a lot, but he does that with everyone who comes in. Although he seems to take a special interest in me when I'm on the phone or with someone else. What do you make of that?"

Bishop: "This is pretty difficult, actually. It's not like you can invite him to join you for a cup of coffee. He already works at a coffee house."

Army laughs: "You're so right. I don't think I can crack this case. Maybe that butt smack wasn't such a bad idea..."

The Punishment Light

If you drive a car, you have no doubt encountered one of these roadway adversaries. It's the mechanical bully that abuses its power. It wants to make you suffer. Worst of all, it does it without intention or desire, but you know deep down there is a method. That's because its hostility is systematic. It's the product of shatty programming and ass-hat engineering. The middle finger directed at your comfort cruise.

I'm talking about the punishment light. You know what I mean. That one traffic signal on your daily commute that defies all reason. You know its there to make your life hell. The red light of rage.


Earlier this year, I got into the first season of Weeds on DVD. It's a hilarious little show with clever stories and writing, interesting characters, and of course, is full of wordsmithing, like when they refer to the fake bakery as a fakery. How can I not like such a show?

Anyway, in one episode, the main character gets caught at this traffic light that stays red for several minutes for no good reason. There are no cars in any direction. But the light simply doesn't change, and she's left to wait it out. She calls it the punishment light.

The Duel:

I have my own punishment light. On my commute, there is a signal that intersects the main thoroughfare that I take with another side road that leads to residential areas. This side road is very lightly travelled. As you may know, many traffic lights change when a sensor plate in the road is tripped. Which generally make sense. Unless a dumbass flunky calibrated the sensor. Or an evil genius.

See, my punishment light will IMMEDIATELY change over once a car hits the trigger. No delay whatsoever. So if one stupid car pulls up to the light on this side street, they get an immediate green light. I get a foot full of brake pedal. And I hate to have my motoring interrupted. Especially in this godforsaken town of lousy traffic clusterfuckage.

And invariably, some sonofabetch will trip the damned thing every time I motor toward the light. It never fails. And the winner of the blood boiling contest goes to the city bus as it makes a wide turn to clear the curb and trips the damned thing. So I get to wait while the light goes green for NOBODY!

Jackass engineers! While I want to throttle all the people who don't deserve the privilege of using our roadways because of their thriving ineptitude, the punishment light and me... ooh, it's become personal. Man v. machine.

Deus Ex Machina:

This week I had a small victory. A bizarre power outage at midnight left my neighborhood without electricity for about five hours. It wasn't a big problem, but bothersome nonetheless. Anyway, on my way to work later that morning, I cleared the rise in the road to descend upon the punishment light as a cavalryman charges his enemy. And there, rendered useless and adorning a fold-down stop sign, was my powerless foe. It was divine intervention. My deus ex machina - god from the machine. The solution to my problem was found.

Sure, the punishment light was shortly reinstated to its former bullying status. But coasting through the intersection that morning was my betch-slap across its three-eyed face. It was my way of showing that light I knew it wasn't invincible. That I knew it answered to a higher power (no, not God, the power company). And from now on, I will see my punishment light as a tragic figure, tethered to is faulty mechanics, stuck in its ways, and never able to truly move on.

Lost In Translation

Have you ever looked at someone and just thought, "Are you a dork in your country, too?"

I saw this Asian guy on campus today who (god love him) was all decked out nerd-like in a mismatched way with crazy bad hair and 80's glasses, and it hit me. This guy cannot be cool in his own country. Or can he? Is it possible for someone to be a complete goofus in one place and a total mack-daddy studcake in another? Could two cultures really view the same person in such a totally different way?

I'm not sure that's possible. But then again, he did have a girl. And there I was. Casting my judgment and working my joke angle on this guy. It reminds me of this particular song...

It goes something like, "I started a joke, that started the whole world laughing. But I couldn't see, that the joke was on me." Hmm.

This post started out funny in my head... and now I've been sabotaged by my own line of thought. Somehow the geeky guy has upstaged me. Stupid brain.

Mental Manufactory: A Stiff Drug Cocktail

Does your work or personal life require overexertion of emotional investment? Do you feel under-aroused when listening to others? Can you simply not get it up for other people when you need to?

Performance fatigue is not your fault. If it isn’t one thing, then by god, it’s another. Yes, tell me again how smart your child is. No, I didn’t realize that was every detail of your afternoon, but please continue. Sure, I want to hear all about the melodrama that is your train-wrecked life.

You no longer have to suffer in head-nodding silence. Ask your doctor about Liagra.

Liagra is a medical miracle that lifts your spirits, engorges your attention-focus areas, and brings to your lips the phoniest smile you could ever muster. Now you can achieve the erect emotional wherewithal you have always wanted without the mental fatigue of putting your mind into it. And the best part is, no one has to know you are faking your “Oh?” face.

Side effects may include making your face stick that way and inexplicable death. If your over-interest in other people persists for more than eight hours, consult your doctor immediately. Liagra should not be taken if you are emotionally imbalanced or Tom Cruise (which is partially redundant).

Boring and tedious people are everywhere. And as of now, killing them is still illegal. But that doesn’t mean you should have to fake your arousal on your own. Just a little white Liagra is all you need. It will be our secret.

Liagra is endorsed by Allcock and Dickerson.

iRant: Clearing the Air

Okay, everyone. Read closely, jot down some notes, and spread the word. I don't want to say or type this again...

People do not buy hybrid vehicles to save money.

(Read that sentence again and do a double-take. Did it sink in?)

Yes, they cost more than their non-hybrid counterparts or equivalents. Thanks, Captain Obviouses of the nation. I agree that you shouldn't buy such a car with your prime goal of safe-guarding your clutchpurse. But please, stop mentioning this little "tidbit" when the topic comes up, like you are so enlightened with your devil's advocacy.

Yet speaking of devil's advocacy, take note that the most expensive Pruis is around $30K, which is far less expensive than many larger troop transports and hoopties busting up our roads. But still. People don't buy hyrbids to save money. So shut up.

Yes, they save fuel. There are many cheaper non-hybrids out there that get fairly similar mileage per gallon, like the Toyota Yaris and Corolla. Honda Civics do well, too. And others. But that's only part of the reason people buy hybrids.

Focus, Sally. Pay attention.

People buy hyrbid vehicles because they are environmentally-friendly! While this seems to be a Captain Obvious statement itself, I'm continually disappointed when no one seems to remember this aspect of these cars. In my estimation, it's a big selling point.

And in this way, hybrids are statement cars. But not status symbols like Cadillac Pimpcalades and Hummer busses and Chrysler 300 land yachts. And to me, a statement car is far superior to a status car. We don't need to know how small your "friend" is or for what inadequacy you're compensating. Just go develop a drug habit and give the ozone a break. Or go work out until you look like a cartoon super-mutant.

Are we clear?

Final Thoughts

If you want to save money on fuel costs, check your tire pressure. They should be inflated to their safety maximum. Tires that are fully inflated can increase fuel efficiency by about 10-15%, according to a test run by Senior Automotive Editor, Mike Allen, of Popular Mechanics. Also, use your cruise control when possible.

Remember, it's not about having the most efficient car on the planet, it's about using what you have wisely.

And Another Thing...

I almost forgot. Nobody is allowed to continue to compare the price of premium fuel to standard, as if the price gap is a bank breaker. It's 20 cents, people. You can pretty much count on that. So in a 13 gallon tank, that's a huge $2.60 price difference at the pump.

Likewise, stop driving an extra five miles for fuel that's a whole 5 cents cheaper. You just saved 65 cents to drive farther, Dr. Economist. When you taking the trip to Disney on that sweet payola?

Now stop reading and look at that iced mocha latte frappuccino freeze you just bought. How much did you pay for that daily treat, hmm? Nuff said.