Peek Pic 123
OK folks, at the risk of making this blog exclusively about motorcycles and scooters, I have an announcement to make: On Friday, I became the proud new owner of a Piaggio BV 250! In graphite black. I even took (and passed) the written test to obtain a learner's permit for a motorcycle license. Officially,
I can now drive a motorcycle it is legal for me to drive a motorcycle. God help us all.
I get it on Wednesday over lunch and I am pee-my-pants excited. To celebrate this momentous occasion, I am having a contest to determine a personalized license plate for it. Here are the rules:
1. Send me an e-mail containing your suggestions by 5:00pm on Friday, August 4.
2. Per the State of Kansas: The plate can be no more than FIVE letters and/or numbers. Dashes and symbols are not acceptable; instead leave a blank space. Letters and/or numbers cannot be profane, vulgar, lewd or have an indecent meaning.
3. I would somehow like it to be related in some way to saving energy or gas or the environment or combating fat-cat oil companies. For example, when I thought it could be six letters, I was going to use "OZNSVR." But alas, my creative genius was once again stifled by the bureaucratic elite.
4. Assuming I even GET five, I will post the top five suggestions here for everyone to vote on. The winner will get a $25 gift certificate to an online retailer of their choosing and a link to my naked pics on Manhunt.net. OK, just kidding about the link--that goes to the losers.
5. Void wherever contests of the sort are illegal. Must be this tall to ride this ride, or over 18, whichever comes first. Contest winner may experience a temporary spike in fame; however, paparazzi not guaranteed.
Now get to work. And hurry. I'm impatient, ya know.
It is a beautiful day outside, so I have my upstairs windows open. I'm folding clothes on my bed when I think I see a very large Bald Eagle land on the roof of my neighbor's house. My first inclination is to find my camera, but it isn't in my bag or on my nightstand. I panic and furiously rummage through my chest of drawers to no success. By the time I get back to the window, I see only two chickens and a rooster.
But then I am suddenly sprayed with a water hose by my college friend Sally, who is downstairs watering her flowers. Her mother is sprawled on a float in the backyard pool and is wearing a bikini (and shouldn't be). "Come over and play," she says, and I appear instantly on the pool deck. We hug, and as I am letting go, the ground turns dark black and begins to swell in huge waves like a cross between a tsunami and an earthquake. I watch my house overturn like a capsized boat. Sally and I hold hands and dive into the pool together to avoid being swept away. When I come up for air, I am swimming in a flooded, abandoned house with dark mahogany walls and lush tapestries.
I'm now doing a competitive breaststroke down a long hallway in the house. The house is beautiful and I'm taking it all in and enjoying the long, easy swim. I swim for several minutes in complete peace--just me and the sound of the water rushing over my ears. I concentrate on my stroke and examine the antique furniture in the corner of my eye. When I reach the laundry room the water disappears, and my colleague, James, is standing naked watching his clothes spin in the dryer. Oddly, it's completely non-sexual and we speak casually as we might do at work.
I open the back door and I'm walking down stairs in my old Dallas high-rise apartment building. I talk with my neighbors as we walk down and discover the fire alarm has sounded and we are evacuating as instructed. Two people in front of us get into a fight over a bright orange jacket. A small Asian boy finally takes the jacket away from them and the fighting stops. We exit the stairwell into the parking garage and pile into my friend's Range Rover. I explain that I get very sick when I sit in the back seat as we spin round and round and round the circular parking garage ramp. I'm so nauseated I have to jump out.
I land, unhurt, at the feet of a valet just outside the lobby of the Bellagio in Las Vegas. He asks if I need help and I tell him "Did you know I'm getting a motorcycle?" He says "Awesome, dude," and gives me a hand to help me up. I'm suddenly feeling better and notice that he's short and very cute. I dust off the sleeves of my dark purple velvet dinner jacket and dig a quarter out of my pocket. I kiss it and flick it in the air. I wink at him flirtatiously and say "Wish me luck." He winks back and smiles. I make a note that his teeth are perfect and walk inside.
So I took this dumb little Politics test this evening as I was watching Myth Busters. As it turns out, I "exhibit a well-developed sense of right and wrong and believe in economic fairness." OK, no shocker there. But then they asked me to make up a law--any law--that would be enforced by goons with lethal force if required. Can you guess which one is mine?? Click to enlarge:
Oh, and I'm not really sure if I answered any questions that would allow them to categorize me as a "taker." That test is MAGIC, I tell ya. :P
--In case you were wondering, it is practically impossible to say the word "effervescence" when wearing Invisalign dental appliances. Not that this pops up into everyday conversation, I'm just saying. Or not saying.
--I still have a rash on my chest. In keeping with the manner in which I was raised (by total hypochondriacs), I shall hereby speculate on its origin: 1) allergic reaction to taking large doses of workout-enhancing glutamine; 2) allergic reaction to Lever2000 liquid soap; 3) allergic reaction to Casey's Advantage Flea and Tick prevention; 4) herpes shingles caught from tractor seat; 4) brain tumor; 5) my bed is infested with lice or crabs or scabies or other invisible microoganisms that are slowly devouring my skin; 6) leprosy. It HAS to be one of those, I'm sure of it.
--Last night I finished the book, "The Kite Runner." At first I didn't think I was going to like it, but I enjoyed it immensely. I didn't know a whole lot about Afghanistan prior to reading it (not that I do now), but it turned out to be incredibly educational for me with regards to the culture and lifestyle of the Afghan people. I highly recommend it. I've even taken to calling Casey "Casey jan." Isn't that cute? I'm like, sooo multi-cultural.
--Throughout my life, I've done lots of statistically dangerous things: driven a car at high speeds, taken a shower, flown in airplanes, smoked, rock climbed, ridden a bicycle with no hands, drank to excess, jet skied, etc. etc. But not ONCE prior to these events has anyone felt obliged to cite: a) death statistics; b) anecdotal emergency room horrors; or c) relatives or friends having an accident in said event. Why does everyone feel so comfortable doing this with regard to motorcycles? Geez.
--And, in an effort to completely ignore the aforementioned critics, I signed up for a Motorcycle Education/Safety Course this morning. It's August 2-4, Friday from 6-10, then Saturday and Sunday from 8-5. I'm really excited about it. They're gonna teach us how to do wheelies and ride over the top of cars and how to roll out from under an 18-wheeler without breaking a nail. I think they also teach basic motorcycle skills (they provide the motorcycle!), how to use/wear proper safety equipment and other important skills to avoid the dumbasses in cars that kill us. Listen to me, I'm already an "us."
OK, so here's a thoroughly oversimplified version of why we're doomed to the eternal scorn of nature's wrath unless all of you get off your fat asses and do something:
The planet, for millions of years, has been a finely tuned system. There has always been a natural balance between things that emit carbon dioxide (things that breathe, forest fires, decaying plants, volcanic eruptions), and other things that absorb it (trees, plankton, seawater). Everything was hunky-dory until the late 18th century when humans started burning fossil fuels (creating more CO2) and cutting down all the trees (absorbing less CO2). Now we're screwed, and you will all surely die either from a tsunami, famine or the lack of reality television due to world-wide power outages.
So we all create carbon dioxide. Some more than others. The average American household emits about 60 tons of CO2 into the air each year. Some of you that do a lot of talking and or breathing, maybe even more. That may not seem a lot to you, but when you multiply it by 73 million homes, you're starting to make an impact.
But enough about the problem, Al Gore can convince you of that. I'm here to tell you about all the things you can do RIGHT NOW to reduce CO2 tonnage considerably:
1. Quit wasting energy. Turn off lights, turn up your A/C, buy a fan, take off some clothes, move to NYC where there IS no electricity, buy an efficient dishwasher, insulate your house or windows. Easiest thing: Get on your tricycle and pedal to the nearest Home Depot and buy THREE energy efficient flourescent bulbs, then replace the old, inefficient ones. Hurry!
2. Make smart transportation decisions. Walk. Take a bus. Buy a hybrid. Carpool. Get a bike or a scooter or a skateboard or a little red wagon. Do you know the bus routes to your house to your office? Does the bus even go there (mine doesn't)? Call and complain if not (I did). Even one day a week would help.
3. Recycle, reuse, reduce. Quit being a typical American consumer and cut back. Each ton of recycled paper saves 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space; 7,000 gallons of water; 17 trees; and 4,100 kilowatt-hours of electricity. Gluttony isn't pretty, or fuel efficient. [Important Note: If you accidentally go overboard with this and decide to put a bumpersticker on your moped that says "Live simply, so that others can simply live," you will be ritualistically stoned to death.]
And I'm not just saying this to be alarmist, but if you don't do something in the next, say, two weeks, your energy-loving selfishness will cause billions of innocent animals and humans (God's little creations, ya know) to die excrutiatingly painful and prolonged deaths. How can you even SLEEP at night???
Now, I'm off to the scooter store. I'm gonna get a cool one. Who wants to be Ponch?
I just got back from a visit with the Orthopedic Surgeon where it took me longer to fill out my forms than for him to diagnose me with tendonitis. He prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication, Mobic, to heal me, which I'm told neither makes me feel giddy OR drowsy. I also have to go to physical therapy three times a week for a few weeks to get ultrasound treatment. Cross your fingers that my therapist is a blond ex-sailor named Sven.
I tried to get serious with him and ask him questions, but he treated me like an idiot.
Me: So is it OK to walk the dog or walk on the treadmill?
Doc: Sure, as long as it doesn't hurt.
Me: What about icing it or using a compression sock?
Doc: You can do that, if it hurts.
Me: And do you think I need to come back?
Doc: Not necessarily. Only if it continues to hurt.
*Le sigh* I have to confess that I'm a little disappointed that it wasn't something more dramatic. I could use a little diversion in my life these days. Like maybe something that required surgery, or at the very least, left me with a hearty limp that required the use of a cane. I was hoping to be home-bound for a least month, where I could only use what little energy I had left to summon my "physical therapist" with a bell.
"Sven, honey, can you please fetch me some Nutter Butters and some cold milk? And a napkin. Do I feel like I have a fever? Maybe you should check my temperature. Not that way, silly. The REAL way!"
(Continued from Part 1).
The house on Eastchester Road was more than just a place to live, it was the epicenter of my indoctrination into a new and exciting world. Owen and Rick exposed me to things a small-town Texan would normally not experience so early in life. Beer soaked bar floors were replaced with plush red velvet carpet. Glenlivet scotch trumped Rolling Rock. Performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center felled football games and keggers.
Eastchester Road was also a place of memorable "firsts." It was the first place I lived without support from my parents. The first place I had my own bathroom. The first place I felt truly accepted as a gay man. The first place I watched gay porn. The first place I had a boyfriend sleep over. The first place I held a friend's hand after a diagnosis with HIV. The first place I drank Brandy and actually enjoyed it. The first place I drove a Volvo. The first place I called "home" since I left Texas. Memories there are rich and enduring.
Unfortunately, life at Eastchester Road became the victim of enmeshment and unrequited love. Things became tense in the house and the air was thick with emotion. I walked on tip-toes, literally. Doors began to slam, tears were shed. We each retreated from each other in our own ways--one in a bottle, the other in work. Me, I started graduate school. The trio was soon dissolved. I've neither seen or spoken to them in over 12 years.
I often regret the loss of two of my mentors, my friends. But I have no desire to wish things different. My harborage with Owen and Rick, albeit brief, had the single most profound impact on my life as any other event. I will always cherish my social and cultural alma mater. It still sits high atop the hill in my heart.
I met Owen in 1991 while co-teaching American Red Cross classes. He was 32 at the time, I was 20 and a senior in college. We began our friendship as going out buddies, frequently attending Westchester County's only gay bar (the name of which I have apparently repressed). Even though Owen was flamboyantly gay (which sometimes bothered me back then), I quickly embraced him not only as a friend, but as a mentor. He was extremely intelligent and cultured, and a fantastic teacher in both vocation as well as in life. I learned more from him than he'll ever know.
Owen regularly invited me over to his house where he rented a room from Rick. Rick, 36, was the owner of the house, a successful architect/general contractor and a longtime friend of Owen's. The house was on a corner at the top of a hill on Eastchester Road in New Rochelle, NY. It was large and furnished immaculately and had all the comforts of home. Celebrations and libations abound. Nearly every week, one or both of them hosted a barbecue, dinner or a party of some kind. I was always invited, and generally always attended.
The idea for me to live there sprung up in fairly short order. Soon to be exiting school, without a job lined up to be able to afford a place of my own, I cheerfully accepted. I gave notice to Judy, bailed out of my tiny basement apartment and moved in to the house on Eastchester Road. The duo of Owen and Rick soon became a trio that included me. I felt so, adult. Grown up. And finally, openly gay. It was what I had wanted all my life.
I only wish it could have lasted.
(To be continued).
1. Go to Costco. Buy shampoo, shaving cream and razors.
2. Stop to pick up food at new Chinese food place.
3. Wait for almost 20 minutes for Chicken Lo Mein.
4. Drive home to drop off goodies and eat.
5. Squirt shampoo all over jeans, steering wheel and center console.
6. Drop Chinese food on kitchen floor.
7. Pick up food, take aligners out, eat.
8. Clean floor and car.
9. Drive half-way back to work, realize I forgot my aligners, turn around.
10. Sit at desk, blog, choking on shampoo fumes emanating from my crotch.
How was YOUR lunch??
Dear Gunter Pest Control Company,
As a loyal customer, I thought I'd write to give you some feedback on my recent extermination visit. My most recent spraying, as performed by "Pat," caused me incredible stress and emotional turmoil. In fact, I am still having some residual effects of his visit even as I type.
First, how DARE you send an incredibly hot 20-year-old college junior to my house! Especially with an adorable buzzed haircut with a sassy flip in the front and the most incredibly vibrant green eyes I've ever seen. This just isn't the way to treat your customers. Unlike most of the curmudgeonly agents you've sent to my house in the past, Pat was impeccably dressed with his shirt tucked in and pressed, tan, size 28-waist pants and work boots. The NERVE of you to do that to me.
And this would've been OK until he got those tiny beads of sweat on his forehead from working in the garage and basement. And that sweet-but-sour sweaty odor of his--I may never be able to get it out of my mind. Honestly, I thought at one point I was going to pass out. Especially after he told me he was the was president of his fraternity and that this was his "last spray of the day" and how he was going to drink beers with his buddies on the golf course. This just isn't good customer service, period. I could barely even write the check. And that SMILE of his--I hate you!
Now don't get me wrong, Pat did an excellent job. He filled [almost] every crack in the house with his potent secretion--just like a professional. He even gave me a couple of extra cans of spray to do the attic when I can leave for a couple of hours. HOW DARE HIM, being so nice. Damn you, Gunter.
I appreciate the services you perform for me, but honestly, I'm too
sex-starved old to put up with this kind of treatment. Next time you send someone, he better pit-stained, stinky and sporting a good four inches of plumber-crack. Unless, of course, Pat is available again.
I'm leaving the office early today for three very important reasons.
1. I'm meeting my exterminator for my 6 month spray. Those damn crabs keep coming back in my--oh wait, this time he's spraying the house, sorry.
2. One of the wires that connects the garage door to the roller-thingy that's connected to the big metal spring on that metal-looking curved track that connects to the garage door opener broke this past weekend. Just snapped, right in half. Thank God my car wasn't in there at the time. So instead of making a simple repair myself in this 250 degree weather, I have summoned the local Overhead Door representative to do it for me. Call me lazy, but it's HOT. He arrives at 6:00pm. By then it should be a refreshing 642 degrees inside my garage. If he's cute, I'll make him some lemonade. If he's not, that poor bastard's gonna fry.
3. I need a nap.
Dear newly hired Account Manager that doesn't know your ass from a hole in the ground that caused me to wake up at 5:30am this morning to get to work by 8am to give you and your pimply-faced, runny-nose, camouflage-shorts-wearing sidekick a two-hour overview of our products and services during which you proceeded to type e-mails for the first twenty minutes even though there were only four of us in a tiny room and you were three feet away from me and my face was turning red from irritation and you clearly noticed it was bothering me but you continued doing it anyway until I finally said "Lisa, if you type one more letter on that keyboard I am going to slam that lid and chop off your fingers" after which you laughed thinking I was joking yet kept typing but then I stopped and crossed my arms and sat back in my chair and glared at you like I was scrambling your brains with my mind you finally stopped and then pouted like an admonished three year old,
Here's a Tip: Pissing me off is NOT consistent with long-term employment here. Now, consider yourself trained.
Have a good day,
--I've been feverishly writing all morning, but this time for work. Sadly, I was forced to use one of my least favorite corporate words to describe a task I'm working on: I was "vetting" a product concept. It sounds official, but really it means that I am just disproving a stupid-ass idea that was hatched like a foot-long turd by a member of the executive team. Probably while golfing. "I know! We can sell water to the ocean! Woo-Hoo am I smart or WHAT?? Dave--get on that, stat!" Kill. Me.
--Later in the year I will be reprimanded as being a barrier to outside-the-box thinking. This will earn me another EE, no doubt.
--People that double-blink aggressively while they're talking to me really make me nervous. Last time I checked, it's not necessary for your forehead and cheeks to touch in order for your eyes to close. Admit it, you just tried it didn't you?
--I got a sandwich and a drink from Arby's today (OK, fine, I had some curly fries, too) and on the side of the drink cup, I saw that Dr. Pepper is having a contest to give away 23 Hummers. "Internet Access and E-mail Required," said the label. Curious, I pulled the "Pull to Win" sticker off the cup where I was instructed to proceed to drpepper.com where I could enter my codes to see if I won. When I got back to the office (moments ago), I did just that. However, I bailed on the process because I was required to enter my name, home address, birth date, e-mail, gender, race, home and cell phone numbers, and even what Dr. Pepper brand soda I preferred before I was even able to enter the code (which I didn't do). What kind of a dumbass created that contest? And worse, who the hell wants a friggin Hummer as a prize? The truck, I mean.
--A while back, if you recall, I had a little crush on an Asian guy here at work. Eh, it really wasn't so much a crush as it was that I needed someone to stalk and he just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Anywho, I saw him at Arby's reading a very thick book and sitting in a posture that looked a lot like praying (eyes closed, hands folded). I had no idea that Arby's was such a holy place. Now ya know...
--I apologize for not having posted any Peek Pics lately. My camera has been "occupied" by anonymous apartment-hunting houseguests for both business and pleasure purposes. But now he's gone and I have it in my hot little hand. Pictures shall commence forthrightly. Mine, not his. Perverts.
A short video of my smile transformation via Invisalign. Feel free to sing along.
I am profoundly pleased to have been personally presented with a prezzie from a puerile pooftah pal. I have been proffered to produce 10 words with a "P" in the preceding position, plus a play-by-play of its personal pertinence. And I promise to pull the pin on this "p" poppycock posthaste:
The name of my blog and currently the most sane thing I do on a regular basis.
My primary source of emotional investment these days. Without your family, then who?
Without Casey, my Beagle, I'd be lost.
I like pretty things. I like pretty boys, pretty cars, pretty paintings, pretty flowers. Who can go wrong with pretty? Unless you're pretty ugly.
Do I really need to cite its relevance in my life?
My teeth, and my gums hurt like hell from my new Invisalign aligners. And so does my ankle, still. And I've got a big pain in my ass, too--from my job, not my last trick (whatever those are).
"Paid Time Off" (aka "vacation" or "holiday"). What I need badly. And somewhere other than my parent's house.
How I might describe my current outlook on love and relationships. I need to get that fixed, I know. Sometimes I'm not sure it's worth it anymore.
I am ALWAYS on time. Always. Never late. Never. I'm there when I say I'm going to be there. If not, you get a call.
I love to take pictures, especially of the more routine and mundane things in life. It's the visual equivalent of listening carefully. I enjoy taking the time to look closely at the things we most often times overlook.
I really hate being a PEST, but I suppose I can be PLAYFUL and PASS on a few letters myself (letters selected by closing eyes and hitting the keyboard). Guess what: you're PICKED.
M for How Does One Deal?
T for Sorted Lives
G for Shut Up, I Know!
F for Protean
L for Adriel.com
I only got out of bed maybe 4-5 times yesterday. Not from illness or depression or even laziness. Rather, I was immersed in Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. It's been a while since a book has held me hostage like that; causing me to forego the day's potential for social activity and/or requisite chores in favor of near-perfect prose. Read in less than 24-hours, this was my first Capote book, and certainly not the last.
And it was the perfect day to do it. The heat index in Kansas City was 115 degrees. My dedicated second-floor central A/C system did yeoman's work throughout the day without rest, but to no avail. Even while sitting perfectly still on the bed in only a pair of shorts, the tepid, humid air caused me to glisten, and Casey to lay lazily at my feet, lightly panting. There's something extra special about a good book, a hot summer day and loyal companion.
Ryan: I want to get a really cool place, ya know, by myself. I'm over roommates.
Me: Yeah, I've never been a roomie person either.
Ryan: And I think I should be able to get a nice place here in KC.
Me: Do you know how much can you afford for rent?
Ryan: Well, I'm not really sure, exactly.
Me: Have you done your budget yet?
Ryan: [Long pause]. Umm, not really.
Me: Well, if you don't have a budget, how do you know what you can afford?
Ryan: I dunno, I was just kind of ball-parking it.
Me: Would you like me to help you?
30 minutes later...
Me: So, with all of your expenses, it looks like your net each month will be about $27.
Ryan: That's not very good, is it?
Me: Well, it's cutting it kinda short to say the least.
Ryan: [Long pause]. Well, maybe the roommate idea isn't so bad after all.
Welcome to the real world, baby.
Today my company is celebrating "All [Company Name] Day." We're supposed to be celebrating our culture of innovation, customer satisfaction and accountability. Senior management has asked us to bring our kids, our families and even friends to work today to meet our co-workers and feel the "[Company Name]" experience. We've got some wonderful activities planned, starting off this morning with doughnuts and a rousing pep-talk from our CEO.
This makes me want to open a vein.
Picture over 100 people (half of whom are kids under the age of 12) in a large lunchroom, watching a Power Point presentation of last month's financial results and top sales deals. The CEO is talking, but through a speakerphone attached to a much larger speaker that makes very loud shrieks every 15 seconds or so. Both his voice and his words are, for all intents and purposes, indecipherable. Poor kids. They have officially confirmed that their parents are brainwashed drones that nod and smile on cue. Thank God there are doughnuts. This is MUCH worse than church.
I am sitting on the third row next to a good personal friend of mine, Lisa. Thankfully, we are far enough from the important people to be able to quietly whisper to each other. We discuss how preposterous this event is, and wonder how the kids are staying awake. We chat about our social lives and house projects and lack of significant events in our lives. We also mention the Michelin-Man-like fat rolls poking out of the much-too-short top worn by our Director of Data Operations. And how we can SMELL HER FLIP-FLOPS. Seriously, we could.
And now I'm back at my desk having feigned an "important client call." Thankfully, I have escaped being asked to drink Kool-Aid in the lunchroom. I now intend to finish this post, send a couple of e-mails and make two return telephone calls. Then I shall further celebrate my culture of accountability by taking the rest of the afternoon off and apartment hunting with Ryan.
Happy All [Company Name] Day!!!
This afternoon my friend Ryan (formerly of NYC, soon to be a Kansas Citian) is driving up from his home town of Tulsa to visit for the weekend. While I'd like to say he's coming just to see me, he's primarily coming to look for an apartment and to visit his "OTHER" KC friend, "Susie." Whoever SHE is. [Insert cat hissing sound here].
Anywho, I think tonight he wants to go OUT, as in take an unnecessary shower and get dressed up rather than down and go to bar where gay people are having cocktails, smoking cigarettes and trying to get laid. Frankly, that sounds just awful to me. I mean, who goes out on a Thursday night??? I have to WORK in the morning. Not that I'm particularly busy or need a lot of brain cells to perform my job, but it's the principle of the matter. Out on a Thursday night? What kind of riff-raff does that? I'll definitely have to be home by 10:30pm.
Where will we go? What will I wear? Will alcohol make my teeth feel better? What happens it I lose my aligners while I'm swinging around the pole on the dance floor? Or worse, what if they fall into my Cape Cod while I'm talking with a cute guy, or if I accidentally eat a handful of nuts while they're still in my mouth?
Pray for me.
I couldn't help but notice that lately I've been receiving a growing number of hits from outside the country. In the last 100 hits, 16 of them came from outside the U.S. I think this is just dandy. Welcome--all of you, whether you came here on purpose or just sheer dumb luck. Here's a list of the last 16 cities:
Mexico, Tesistn, Jalisco
Canada, Thorold, Ontario
United Kigdom, Kirk Of Shotts, North Lanarkshire
Germany, Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen
Canada, Gatineau, Quebec
Thailand, Bangkok, Krung Thep
Italy, Milan, Lombardia
Kenya, Nairobi, Nairobi Area
Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Turkey, Kocadere, Istanbul
United Kingdom, Leatherhead, Bromley
Singapore Senegal, Dakar
Canada, Orleans, Ontario
Mexico, Santa Luca, Sinaloa
Y'all come back, hear? And for Pete's sake, leave a comment so I can make fun or your accent. Oh wait...
Since I'm pretty much fixated on pain right now, I've been thinking about the times throughout my life that I've hurt myself or been in some sort of prolonged pain. For the most part, I've been pretty lucky--no major catastrophes or broken bones (so far). In an effort to try to take my mind off my teeth, I'm going to try to chronicle my previous injuries (sorry if some are repeated from previous posts):
--Slammed my thumb in the door of a 1979 Mercury Marquis. Lost a nail.
--Fell out of a wagon, got stitches in my chin.
--Fell while riding a bike in the snow, more stitches in the chin.
--Bit through my lip playing water polo.
--Burned my leg on a motorcycle muffler. 3rd degree burns.
--Blew out my hip flexor at water polo camp.
OK, this is the wimpiest list I've ever read. This doesn't make me feel better, it make me feel like I sort of deserve to have some mouth pain for a little bit.
What's YOUR worst injury?
OMFG, my teeth hurt.
I want to rip these goddamn plastic things off my teeth so bad I can't stand it. Seriously, I hate these things. I hate the feel of them. I hate the fact that they're in my mouth voluntarily and that they are hurting me so badly. I hate that I cannot think about anything else other than these goddamn plastic things on my teeth. My tongue is working the inside of my mouth like a dog to peanut butter. And I can't stop. The only way I CAN stop is to clinch my teeth. Which, by the way, is practically impossible. And when I do, it hurts, of course.
I am riddled with anxiety. Severe "I've got a spider in my hair" anxiety. I am completely on edge and extremely irritable. All I want to do is cry, and maybe pull the tails off kittens. Or sleep.
I'm giving it a week to get used to them. And that better happen fast or I'm going to have to be put in a padded room.
--I had a nice, relaxing visit with my parents this weekend. I arrived in Marble Falls, just outside of Austin, Saturday afternoon to a tupperware box full of chocolate chip cookies, which I reduced to crumbs in less than 48 hours. I also ate the majority of two medium pizzas and nearly three full cans of cinnamon rolls. I have no idea how my parents don't weigh 300 pounds.
--I don't know why I pack so many clothes when I go visit them. I didn't change my clothes from the time I walked in the door Saturday until I got ready for my meeting in Austin Monday morning. In fact, I'm not 100% sure I even brushed my teeth. Eww.
--I flew Southwest Airlines to get there, which I absolutely hate to do. I hate standing in line, and hate feeling like a 3rd-class citizen because I was too busy to get there four hours in advance, and I hate their crappy, dilapidated 1967 737-500s with no legroom and the fact that they pack their planes full and I have to sit next to someone in the middle seat. Bleh. On the bright side, Hertz didn't give me a PT Cruiser.
--As luck would have it, my Dad bought a 62" Mitsubishi HDTV, which is just one or two generations newer than my own 65" Mitsubishi HDTV. Without even having to look at the manual, I gave him first-class training on his remote, his connections, his screen formats and resolutions, etc. Obviously, I teased him for his 3-inch deficiency.
--I had a lay-over in Dallas for about 2.5 hours and my ex, Steven, picked me up so we could have lunch together. We ate at Ojeda's, one of Dallas' best family-owned Tex-Mex cooking joints. Delicious. It was really good to see him, as always. He promised he would come out one day and read the blog, but I'm not gonna hold my breath.
--On Sunday night I watched the Astros from Houston challenge the Cardinals of St. Louis in a baseball contest (can you name the movie I'm referencing where a similar line was uttered?). As we watched the game, I scolded my parents for being the WORST possible fans I have ever heard. "Oh Lord, here we go again," "Oh great, now they're starting THAT crap, "I can't believe he'd make such a bonehead mistake," was all I heard for the first half of the game. To offset the negative karma, I countered with "Atta boy, ____, you'll do better next time," "Shake it off, shake it off--he can't phase us," and "Good hustle, good hustle." Eh, it was the least I could do for those poor, crappy Astros.
--Austin is a nice town. If I were to move--which, honestly, I am considering for a variety of reasons--it would be there. It sure was HOT, though. Damn. But since I'm a native Texan, I know that's just par for the course.
This morning I went to the dentist to pick up my Invisalign teeth aligners. For whatever reason, I was really excited about getting them. Now, not so much. I'm having an awful case of buyer's remorse, and I want to rip them off my teeth and plant them around the perimeter of my back yard, where, after moderate watering, they will magically turn into a seven-foot picture-frame cedar fence with three gates. I'm ashamed that I spent money on vanity rather than the practicality of home investment.
These things are going to suck a lot more than I expected them to, even though everything was spelled out for me clearly in the 8.5"x11" glossy brochure. I can't drink soda or coffee, just water. I can't smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco. They dig into the top of my mouth and I talk like Elmer Fudd. I seem to do a lot more drooling than I used to, and they make it almost impossible for me to clinch my teeth really hard, which is something I have developed quite a habit of doing lately. I only take them out when I eat, and when I do, I have to brush and floss before putting them back in. I may go strictly with a liquid diet to avoid all this hygiene nonsense.
They made me 15 upper trays and 19 lower trays, which equates to about 5 months or so of torture. Or, as I look at it, about $1,000/month to straighten teeth that obviously didn't really need them in the first place. Oh well, I'll just try to look on the bright side--maybe it'll improve my already stellar fellatio skills.
Each year our company follows strict guidelines for annual performance evaluations by grouping us into three categories. Around 5% of employees receive "Needs Improvement," 80% "Meets Expectations," and 15% or less receive "Exceeds Expectations." It is emphasized that those that get an NI are basically dead meat and should be looking for another job, and that those that get EEs are gods to be worshipped. You know, going places. Picking out the corner offices, etc. etc.
Today I got my evaluation from my boss. In my five years with this company, I've always been an ME, which says that I've been doing exactly what they expect of me: working my ass off. But THIS year?? Nooooooo. Apparently, taking extra long lunches and spending a lot of time writing on a "blog" has made a significant impact on my work. Not using my PTO appropriately, leaving way too early (after coming in way too late) and reading Augusten Burroughs' books in the Mother's Room also seemed to effect my performance. Sadly, all of these things MAY be true, except that in this completely surreal corporate environment, it earned me my very first EE.
Kiss the ring, bitches. ;)
Riiiiing. Riiiiiing. Riiiiiiiing. Answering machine. "Hi, you've reached 830...
Mom: [Like she's just run a marathon] HELLO!?!
Me: What on earth are you doing?
Mom: [Laughing] Well, we're having the new TV installed and there are boxes and styrofoam everywhere.
Me: So you thought my call was so important, you hurdled them. You're so good.
Mom: Actually, I was running away from your father.
Me: What'd he do this time?
Mom: [Whispering] Oh Dave, after those poor kids took three hours setting our new TV and satellite up, it took him only about 10 minutes to completely screw it up.
Me: That long, huh?
Mom: He won't read the instructions! He just started pushing buttons and everything went crazy. It's not anything like our old one, he doesn't know what he's doing.
Me: Just call the people back out to fix it.
Mom: He won't do that, he's too proud.
Me: Then you do it.
Mom: Yeah, right. He'd kill me. When you get here, you better be ready to help him.
Me: Of course I will.
Mom: And I need help putting songs on my new iPod. I lost my "iPod for Dummies" book.
Me: So you didn't read the instructions, either, huh?
Mom: Hush. And while you're here, I want you to download that new FoxFire software you were telling me about.
Mom: And if you have time, do you think we can get a few of Daddy's old Anne Murray cassettes onto the iPod?
Me: Mom, I'm only there for two days. You know I intend to eat cookies and coke floats for most of that time, right?
Mom: [Grinning at her adorably funny son] I can't wait to see you.
My Yahoo horoscope today:
Explore any mysteries people dangle in front of you -- a discovery awaits you. Hmmm. That means either a really hot time with my future husband, or a flaming case of gonorrhea. Damn those Yahoo bastards for being so vague. How does Nancy Reagan do it?
All events age 17 (from one single summer) at the YMCA Summer Day Camp.
--As a reward for good behavior, we had taken a group of 12 kids to the mall to play video games at the arcade. They had a fantastic time except that when we got back, there was only 11. We knew for a fact that we didn't leave anyone at the mall because of our fool-proof counting system. She had somehow disappeared AFTER we got back to the Y. After nearly 3 hours of frantically searching, we found her asleep under the back seat of the van.
--I was the "tough" counselor. I had all the bad kids in my group. I ran a very tight ship, and when someone screwed up, the whole group paid the price. Most often the punishment would be physical activity such as push ups or laps around the track. I did every punishment with them. Once I got called into the boss' office and she told me a parent suggested I was being too hard on her kid (of course, he was the worst one). We laughed together and decided we'd make it even harder on him the next week. He needed it (and loved it) more than anyone.
--We once took over 60 kids to the Astrodome to watch the Houston Astros play a baseball game. We piled on two huge school buses, drove 40 miles into Houston, ate our box lunches in the grass, then all lined up single-file to get in the door. When I presented the ticket handler with a large roll of tickets she said, "Umm, honey, these tickets are for tomorrow's game." I
completely freaked out kept my composure and begged on my knees to let us in calmly negotiated our entrance.
--One of my favorite pictures I've ever taken was hung up on the Bulletin Board in the lobby at the Y. I had two kids on each leg, one on each arm, and one on my back. That's pretty much how it was the whole time I was there. Too bad I didn't think to get a copy.
--On another field trip, we took about 30 kids to an "animal farm." The flyers touted all the fun the kids would have petting and riding the animals, including numerous games and fun activities. When we got there, there was a mangey, nearly-dead pony tied to a tree, a cocker spaniel, a goose and a goat. The activities were a rusty swing set and horseshoes. I didn't even let the kids out of the car. It was awful.
--At a "lock-in" (where the kids stay the night in the gym), we were playing dodge ball with various sizes of the red, pimply rubber gym balls. I threw one pretty hard at one of the bigger kids and as he dodged it, it accidentally hit one of the smaller girls square in the face. It hit her so hard, she just stood there dazed for a full minute before the tears began to fall. I felt so awful I wound up playing dolls all night long.
--OK, OK. My last "Random Thoughts" post wasn't written with a lot of enthusiasm, so I'm going to give it another shot. I've had some powdered doughnuts and a Diet Dr. Pepper, so I'm getting some of my mojo back.
--Over the holiday, our vending machine vendor raised their prices for soda by ten cents. Now a drink costs $1.10. I don't have any particular beef with them raising the price, but I can tell you that my consumption of drinks via their machines will significantly drop because of this change. Mostly because I will never, ever, have a spare dime laying around. What kind of a barbarian carries around change anymore?
--I am really, really unmotivated at my job right now. So much so that I'm starting to feel like maybe I should start looking for another one. But I'm too unmotivated to do that, too. How motivating is THAT?
--Saturday night one of Kansas City's
nastiest oldest gay bars, the Dixie Belle (aka "the DB"), closed its doors for good. It had been open since 1987. In an effort to rekindle a few of the fond memories I'd had there, I decided to go on the last night with a few friends. Although no really special moments ever came back to me, I did enjoy watching a very large man projectile vomit from the elevated dance floor at the very moment the house lights came on. Now THAT'S an exit...
--Sunday afternoon I went over to a friend's apartment complex pool to get a little sun. Thinking there might be some regular folk (or worse, children) there, I decided to wear a pair of conservative board shorts. About 20 minutes into it, though, I couldn't help but notice how many gay people were there. Thank GOD I happened to have brought my very cute D&G box cut bathing suit. I mean, that could've turned out to be very embarrassing had someone mistaken me for straight. Yikes.
--On Monday I have a meeting in Austin, so I'm leaving Saturday morning to spend the weekend with my parents. I think it'll be fun. Two days are enough even for me to handle. I'll be sure to do some road-blogging to make up for the lack of posts this week. Thank you, btw, for those of you that brought that to my attention.
If you've never watched the ruggedly handsome and deceptively funny Mike Rowe on the Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs," you should. The show is really very entertaining, and I like him a lot. Not because he's willing to jerk off a horse, or crawl into sewer drains where mice run across his crotch, but because he sends my gaydar needle OFF THE CHARTS. He's good-looking, well-spoken, has a very tidy pad in San Francisco, single, etc. etc. And there's a lot of curiously-placed and overt heterosexual bravado that no straight man would ever feel the need to throw into the subtext of the show. But anyway, that's not why I'm writing...
The REAL reason I'm writing is because I don't think that Mike has really ever quite gotten to the DIRTIEST job around. Sure, he's tarred a rooftop, made some charcoal and sexed a baby chicken, but honestly, who wouldn't be willing to do that, right? Those jobs might suck, but they're not really all that dirty. If Mike had any balls (OK, well, if the Discovery Channel had any balls), he'd march down the nastiest truckstop porn shop, grab a bucket, and walk from stall to stall mopping trucker cum from the floor.
CUM MOPPER. Now THAT'S a dirty job.
--I'm not feeling particularly funny or smart or insightful or witty today.
--I have no exciting stories to tell or events to recite.
--I spent July 4th with a Beagle in my lap watching reruns of Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel.
--Now I'm back at my desk after five days off and all I want to do is go to sleep.