Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I was going around a gradual corner and my back tire slid out, bringing the right side of my body tumbling down like a total dumbass.
“You okay?” asked the guy smoking a cigarette on his porch in a very unsympathetic tone.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” This sentence was preceded and followed by a healthy string of curse words. I’ve heard swearing can help mitigate pain, but I wasn’t thinking about that at the time.
As a result of this incident I had a bleeding scrape on my elbow, road rash on my hip, and a small scrape combined with an ever-growing bump on my upper thigh. I noticed today when I momentarily trotted that both of my knees are sore as well.
Pain sucks, right? Yeah. Still though, I’m a little happy that I fell off my bike yesterday. I’m not saying I’m masochistic. It’s just that it makes me think of when I was younger and I would scrape my knees and whatever else kids do all the time.
I haven’t fallen off of my bike it a very long time. It makes me feel like I will soon be watching Stick Stickly and eating Cheerios in the middle of the afternoon before going for a swim or playing football in the front yard. It almost makes me forget that I’m living in the Grown Up world and I have actual things to worry about.
No money + No job < Out of juice + Shoe shopping
Aside from that, there are other things to be gained from having open wounds. I have always enjoyed having cuts and scrapes and I’m not really sure why. In a backwards way it makes me feel like I’m getting stuff done. It’s proof that I actually get off of the couch once in a while and do something with myself. A scrape on your arm means you had to do something to get it there. If nothing else, it gives you a small story to tell.
The scrapes that used to cover my face (see picture on left) are an exception to this viewpoint. Those made me feel like a monster for a couple of weeks. People tried to act like they weren’t thinking, “Holy shit, what the hell happened to that guy?” Kids stared. And the story wasn’t even a good one.
“You know how they have signs telling you not to jump into the pool? Yeah, that still applies at three o’clock in the morning.” That’s it. Great story, idiot.
Back to the bike crash. When I got to Atlanta, I almost knew I would be coming off of that bike at one point or another. I figured it would be from the narrow roadways and lack of bike lanes. I guess it’s better that it was done in the safety of my apartment facility with some apathetic asshole watching than in the middle of a street with cars driving a foot away from me.
Friday, July 24, 2009
I’ve always loved talking to people that think homosexuality is the worst thing in the world. Their arguments are restrained to either, “God says it’s wrong,” or, “That’s fucking gross.” These two arguments don’t hold too much weight with me and my favorite way to refute it is with the broccoli argument.
It goes like this:
Some people like broccoli. I don’t. The fact that they like broccoli doesn’t make potatoes, corn, or anything else I enjoy eating taste any worse. The fact that I don’t like broccoli doesn’t mean that they should be unable to eat it because my taste doesn’t reflect upon theirs. If they want to eat broccoli, fine. It doesn’t matter to me because it has absolutely no effect on my life what they do in the privacy of their home with their own plates and cutlery.
This argument tends to work pretty well unless the other person used the God argument, in which case they will always be right because God said so.
I found a stand-up clip that reflects basically what I’ve thought all along. His name is Louis C.K. and he knows what he’s talking about.
I've also heard that people are against homosexuality because it is unnatural. However, it's been proven that homosexuality exists in nature. If homosexuality exists in nature, doesn't that make it natural?
Thursday, July 23, 2009
"What are you going to do today, sir?"
"Oh I don't know. Maybe I'll go to the arcade and high five a panda before going to work at the fireworks factory."
I've had a couple friends go over there and I heard some weird stories. Apparently there are deer everywhere in the city that are so used to people that you could walk right up to one and give it a backbreaker if you wanted to. I also heard about a Japanese bath house experience, but I don't remember it well enough to relay it here. I believe there was something about a dude that had climbed up on the sink to get a good look in the mirror to give his asshole a good cleaning. There also might have been something about an electrified bath.
I was floating around youtube, since I have far too much free time, and watched a handful of videos that illustrated how Japan is the weirdest place in the world.
First up, a commercial:
I know that American commercials occasionally have nothing to do with the product they are selling. That being said, I was quite surprised when I saw the pretzel-wafer things at the end. Doesn't it sound like they are saying "vagina" in the second clip? Also, the women in the last clip are a lot creepier than they need to be.
Next, an instructional video.
The dance doesn't seem necessary, but, hey, I've never tried using dance to learn a language. Maybe it helps to flail your arms about in an organized manner to learn how to form a complete sentence. I've heard that the best way to perform well on a test is to mimic the atmosphere you studied in while taking it. Meaning that if you eat while studying you should eat while taking the test. Using this approach, I am now picturing a Japanese woman about to shit in her pants in New York and having to dance while she explains her situation to a cab driver.
Japanese cute time:
I first heard of this cat on another blog. His name is Maru and I guess he's a big deal in Japan. The cat even has its own blog. I'm counting this as evidence that the country is obsessed with all things cute. This doesn't really attribute to my theory that the country is collectively crazy because cute things are pretty cool.
Game shows have balls on the other side of the world:
Japanese game shows have gotten pretty notorious for being out of their minds. There's even an American game show called "I Survived a Japanese Game Show." I've seen quite a few clips from these shows, but this might be my favorite. Watch the yellow guy get through and then watch everybody else get ruined. The point seems to be to rattle off a bunch of Japanese gibberish before you get whacked in the nads. I'm guessing it's somewhat of a tongue twister.
I want to go to Japan. Someone please send me there.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Now, I may not have a strong belief in God. In fact, I don't have any. That being said, I don't really care about the movement these people are acting out. "In God We Trust" is a slogan, a phrase that people say all the time without thinking about what it means at all.
When I was in elementary school, we said the Pledge of Allegiance every day. Did I understand what was meant when I said, "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all?" No. Definitely not. "Indivisible" meant "invisible" to me, and "liberty and justice for all" might as well have been Spanish. But, I memorized the words and said them like a robot while making faces at my friends in class. None of the words mattered to me because it was the same as saying "I'm sorry" for stealing someones cookie. You say it because you are expected to but you don't care. You're not sorry. That cookie was damn good.
In 1956, while the country was busy freaking out about the imminent invasion of communists like Boris and Natasha, the phrase, "In God We Trust" was named as the country's official motto. I find it weird that our country has an official motto that contradicts something explicitly stated in the First Amendment to the Constitution while we don't even have an official language. So next time you hear someone complain about a foreigner not being able to speak "our language," you can tell him/her to shut the hell up because we don't have a language.
This being said, I still don't care about the engraving. It doesn't bother me that our money says "God" on it, it doesn't bother me that little kids all over the country are reciting the Pledge with the words "under God" in it, and it wouldn't bother me if "In God We Trust" was carved in stone in Washington D.C. I'm sure it's already there somewhere, what does it matter if it pops up again?
I could see members of religions that don't believe in "God," but another variation of the figure, getting angry about this situation. "Why not put Mohammed, Buddha or Jobu on the Capital?" But for a person who doesn't believe either way to get all worked up about it just seems to be picking a fight.
Our government is directed by religion whether we like it or not. That's just the way it is. Imagine if a presidential candidate admitted that he/she didn't believe in God. There would be no chance for them. I don't think this is right but I'm pragmatic enough to know that it won't change anytime soon.
Maybe these people filing the lawsuit are more motivated than I am. Maybe these people have stronger convictions and believe that things should be the way they should be. Maybe we need people like this to wake the rest of us up to influence us to take action of our own volition. This, however, won't happen. We're all too fat, lazy, and apathetic to do anything about anything. Especially something that hasn't brought about much controversy since it was first put on our money fifty years ago. We've had it in our pockets this whole time. Why wait until it's in a building on the other side of the country (the people that filed the lawsuit are from Wisconsin) to get all antsy about it?
If these people had taken a different route, one with more pizazz, I might be more behind this idea (I'm behind it, but in the laziest way possible). If they had, perhaps, put together a march, made flyers, eye-catching posters, thought-provoking viral videos, or anything else that's a little more fun than a fucking lawsuit, I'd be a little more enthusiastic. But no, they chose to put together a lawsuit that won't even be as entertaining as the episode of Judge Judy I'll be watching soon.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
We were talking about trying to find a job when he pulled his card out. Mechanical Engineer. He was 5’ 9’’ with dark hair and dark glasses. When he spoke, he barely moved his jaw. Kinda like Clint Eastwood. He wore a tucked-in flannel shirt that, combined with his glasses and awkward demeanor, made me think of Jeffrey Dahmer the whole time I talked with him. His wife sat at the end of the table, across from me, with a mouth full of braces.
His advice was to get some business cards, “It’ll help with networking.”
“Of course I’ll get business cards,” I thought to myself, “except they won’t help me find any work.” I knew right away the card would be covered in swear words.
He wrote down a web address for a company that will send you 250 business cards for free (besides shipping costs).
I’m going to have to wait a few days before I can order the cards since I don’t have enough money to cover the shipping charges. I’m pretty excited to receive my package of 250 of the most useless business cards to ever be printed. I foresee many hat tips and card giveaways in local Atlanta bars throughout August. Part of me wants to try to get rid of them all in one night, which wouldn’t be too hard, and part of me wants to make this last as long as possible.
This is a preview of the wonderful business cards that will eventually come my way. It’s a good thing my desire for free pancakes kept me up long enough to learn about www.vistaprint.com. If it wasn’t for the Dahmer-looking guy, my life would have continued to be incomplete. One month from now, I may not have a job but I will have business cards.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I saw him again. Once again he was right outside the McDonalds on Ponce. He had his special gloves. He had his whistle. He was annoying between twenty to thirty people at the same time. Who is this magic man, you may be asking? Why, it’s none other than the most useless public servant I have ever seen in my life. It’s the police officer directing traffic in the street outside of the McDonald’s driveway.
The first questing that came into my mind when I saw this man was obviously, why the hell would McDonald’s warrant a traffic cop? Then came, my tax dollars are paying for this kind of shit? I then wondered if the man had chosen this as his specific job, since I have seen him there a couple times now, or if he did something wrong and his supervisor decided to punish him by giving him the dumbest job in the city.
Not only does this guy have to perform a useless task all day long, but he has to have every car that passes hate him. While waiting in line for the traffic cop to let you go past McD’s, the air is filled with a cacophony of horns and angry yells.
“What the fuck is going on?”
“Get out of the fucking way!”
The most enjoyable part of watching this man work is the manner in which he does it. His movements are very theatrical; grand waving motions with his arms, superfluous use of his whistle, a slight hop in his step as if he is giddy to be directing traffic outside of McDonald’s.
It almost seems as if this man believes his job is the most important thing he will ever do with his life. I’ve never met him, so, maybe this is true. However, I think that paying an electric bill on time is probably more important than the service he is providing. I’m going to guess he at least came close to paying a bill on time at least once, which is good enough.
I first heard of this man from my roommate and figured he got lucky and saw the only time it would happen. Today marks the second time I have personally seen him which leads me to believe this man will be around for a while.
Halfway through writing this, I decided I needed a picture to illustrate the situation a little more clearly. (Yes, this is how important my days are. I have time to drive to McDonald’s and take a picture of a traffic cop.) I thought, “There’s no way he’s still there. I saw him over an hour ago. He probably just works around noon during lunch time.” That might at least make a little bit of sense. However, he is still there. It’s now the middle of the afternoon, McDonald’s was near empty, and this man is still there.
I’ve seen this man work a useless job with as much vigor as a mountain climber near the summit. I have a feeling there are a few cops on the street that couldn’t care less about their jobs. I would like to see my McDonald’s man chasing down some drug dealers on the news and see some asshole that gives out jaywalking tickets supervising a parking lot.
This, however, makes too much sense and will definitely never come to pass. A committed officer will continue being useless while useless cops are pulling us over for not using a directional while changing lanes.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Instances like this are not uncommon. “Hey! Dude! Nice beard!” I hear it most often at bars, but the occasional beard-enthusiast will show up on the street once in a while.
Example: I went to a baseball game a few weeks ago. Around the fifth inning I went out into the concession area to smoke a cigarette. While standing there with my friend, I heard some guys behind me talking.
“Hey,” one of them said to me.
“Hey man, we were talking about how awesome your beard is before. It’s kinda funny that you’re out here.”
My first reaction was to be a little embarrassed. Then I said, “Wait, so you guys were checking me out?”
“Uh, yeah. Ha ha, kinda.” Nervous laughter. This was getting weird.
They were seated in the section to my right, had seen me, and discussed the hair on my face. Now, I could understand this if my beard went to me knees, or had a nest of birds in it, or was on fire, but this was not the case. I had even just trimmed it a few days prior, so it wasn’t long at all.
I tried to just turn around and keep talking to my friend but these guys decided they had broken the ice and could now start talking about old times. (“Remember when I saw your beard before? Ha ha ha…”)
I was polite, but happy to get away from these guys. I felt like I was a celebrity but for a really poor reason, like forgetting to put on underwear before getting out of a car.
These comments come strictly from guys that don’t have beards. It’s as if they think that being able to grow facial hair equates to being able to chop wood for ten hours straight before sleeping with God’s wife. Manly shit.
It may be the equivalent of penis-envy, but for beards.
Dudes that have beards may give a nod of recognition once in a while, but mainly they just walk on by as if it isn't anything to shout about. You know why? Because it isn’t.
It’s just a little bit of hair covering the lower half of my face because I want to use half as much face wash. It’s just economical. These are hard times and sometimes you just have to grow a beard and tough it out.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Since that night, I hadn’t been to any other gay bars. Until last night.
“Hey Josh, you wanna go to a dyke bar?” says a lesbian friend of mine.
“Of course I do.”
We walked in and it was exactly the way you might imagine a gay bar, even if you’ve never been to one. Loud dance music could be heard from the sidewalk, bright lights flashed, illuminating all the wonderful lesbians that filled the place.
At some point in the night we acquired the glowing plastic tube things that you might find at a roller rink. Why and how? I have no idea. “You’re at a dyke bar, don’t ask questions,” I told myself.
At one point, I decided to take a seat. I saw a woman sitting by herself so I decided to talk to her. We chatted for a while about skydiving, Washington D.C., and mountains. I was aware that I was at a gay bar, but, for some reason I thought she was straight. I guess she didn’t give off the dykey aura.
After talking to her for a while, my dyke friend rolls up and says, “Hey, are you gay?”
The girl I had been talking to you says, “Yup.”
“Cool, let’s dance.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. You’re at a dyke bar Josh. Everyone’s gay but you.
I felt like I was invading a secret society. Like I was spying. Like my team had sent me undercover so I could learn they’re secrets and take them down from the inside. That’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Gays want breeders to be gay and straight people want dykes to be straight. Right?
I’m going to take something out of context right now: I totally took a dyke home from the dyke bar last night. If you ignore the fact that this was the dyke that I’m friends with and took me there, it might sound like something special. In all actuality, I just went back to my house with a couple of friends after bar close. Not quite as cool. Still, I can say that sentence without lying.
So, I may not have a job and I may be really poor and basically useless right now, but, at least I took a dyke home from a dyke bar last night.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
While driving home from dropping of a handwritten resume (that’s right, handwritten resume), Ted and I came across an intersection with a line of cars stretching about four blocks. We were perturbed but not surprised. Atlanta is pretty bad at setting up road systems that are able to support the volume of cars it is supposed to support. The fact that it was rush hour played into our acceptance of the situation as shitty, but not overly stupid. This however, all changed when we reached the intersection.
The intersection in question is a fairly main one. It connects Ponce De Leone with Boulevard, which may not mean anything if you’re not from the area, but those are two streets that connect a lot of businesses and two pretty main sections of town. Now, this important intersection, filled in all four directions with cars trying to go home from work or out for a bite to eat or to the grocery store or to visit a friend’s house or whatever, had four red lights. I don’t mean that they had four red lights awaiting one side to turn green, I mean the lights were red in all four directions and they weren’t going to change anytime soon.
I had seen this once before at an intersection not too far from my apartment. The lights turned red and stayed that way for a couple of days. This, however, wasn’t too big of a deal since the intersection was one that you normally wouldn’t even pay attention to because of its insignificance. I’m not going to say that I understand how it didn’t get fixed for a couple of days, since it was right next to a hospital so someone in some form of authority had to notice it, but I can understand how it wasn’t too pressing of an issue.
Today, however, seemed like it could result in an accident or at least a great showing of road rage at any moment. Before we reached the intersection, we saw a cop car waiting to go. He figured out he wasn’t going to be able to go so he flipped on his lights and continued along his way. We figured he might stop, call for help, and get the situation figured out. This didn’t happen in the next half hour that we were there so I’m guessing it didn’t happen at all. He got through and basically said “fuck you” to everyone else. Thanks, buddy.
When we finally got to the intersection, we saw the car in front of us go. We then waited for cars the opposite way to go so we could go next. You know, like a four-way stop. Like the way any sane motorist would approach the situation. We waved on the next car on the crosss street which opened the floodgates for all kinds of assholes to start piling through in front of us. Eventually one or two cars figured out to stop, keep in mind the cross street has two lanes each way, while others keep sliding through. Ted decided to say “fuck you, it’s my turn” and started driving through. I made eye contact with a man coming up on the passenger side, driving right at our car at about ten miles per hour, not understanding that he needs to stop driving before he hits us. There’s a car blocking our way, waiting to turn left, that is now being blocked by this idiot. There’s another car coming the opposite way of us that has to stop because everyone decided to go at one time. I wasn’t even driving, and I was yelling because everyone was being stupid all at one time. It’s as if we all had an agreement to just try and go, not thinking about the fact that we can’t jump each other like Speed Racer.
We eventually got through the intersection and stopped yelling about how screwed up it all was when we got pulled over. Ted pulled around a car waiting to turn left and made a point to use his blinker since there was a cop behind us, I watched him do it, but we still got pulled over. The reason? “You didn’t put your blinker on when you switched lanes back there.” Oh really cops? Thanks a lot. You’re two for two in being shitty in the last hour. Way to go.
At least the gas station had a handful of crazies to watch. Otherwise the trip would have been a total waste.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I woke up today with scratches on my chest and back, bruises on my hips, and what looks to be a small alien growing under the skin on my left forearm. I remember people telling me they thought my wrist was broken, but I’ve broken bones before and I knew this wasn’t anything to worry about.
I attended a fourth of July party at a friend’s house. Ted and I showed up a little early in our home-made shirts to help set up the beer pong table and get the slip ‘n slide ready. That’s right, a giant slip ‘n slide like in the Smirnoff Ice commercial. People began showing up a little after noon. Beers were shotgunned almost immediately.
After a couple of hours we were ready to hit the slip ‘n slide. This amounted to a giant sheet of clear plastic covered in dish soap and moistened with a hose. There was a blue kiddie pool at the bottom which we were only able to fill halfway on account of the incline. The soap idea came after a guy tried to slide down with only water laid down. He slipped, but he definitely didn’t slide. He hit the ground like a sack of nails and tumbled his way down the hill. We decided to get some lubricant.
The ground underneath the plastic had sparse grass below it and hard dirt beneath that. We made a weak attempt at finding rocks and sticks before putting the plastic down, but we didn’t do too good of a job. This made sliding down the hill quite a painful experience. Boogie boards were brought out but we mostly ignored them.
At first, people were taking three step lead-ins to the plastic, which only took them about half way down and a very slow speed. Ted and I decided to show them how to man-up by going as far back as we could and shooting down the hill like bullets.
The scratches I found today came from these head-first slides, as well as the backwards slides, superman slides, and rotational slides. I’m guessing the bump on my forearm is from when I tried to surf down the plastic on one of the boogie boards. I really thought I’d do a much better job than I did.
After everyone was too hurt to continue slipping and sliding, we decided to focus on the other main activity of the day: Drinking. I had a sandwich before I left my house that day but I didn’t expect it to be the only thing I would eat all day besides jello shots. The jello shots were strong, but they weren’t too filling. No matter how many of them I ate. A person floated around the backyard with a tray of red and blue jiggly shots like a waitress. This way, you could sit on the grass, play with one of the dogs, and not even have to stand up to take a shot. The only tricky part was trying to keep the dogs from taking a drink of your punch or beer. Or both.
The day culminated in my attempting to fall asleep on the grass wearing broken sunglasses while holding onto a dog’s leash so it didn’t fight with the other dog. This was around 6 p.m.
However tired I was, it didn’t stop the festivities. People either yelled at me to get up or simply piled on top of me until I gave up on resting. The rest of the night consisted of a pretty hardcore freakout regarding a missing phone, fireworks that could be seen from the front porch, and an elevator trip with a dog. All in all, a pretty successful night.
Friday, July 3, 2009
We bought general admission tickets, which simply means you get to watch ants play baseball, but we decided to sit on the third base line. We sat eight rows back for the first five innings before the rightful ticket holders showed up. "You had a good run, but now it's time to go," the guy said to us. We simply shrugged and moved a little closer. Once again, the rightful ticket holders gave us the boot. And once again, we just moved closer. This ultimately resulted in an event worker basically telling us to fuck ourselves.
On our way to the summit of the stadium, we stopped to have a cigarette. Two girls approached us to ask for a cigarette, so we began talking to them. During this time I learned one of them dropped out of high school, so they were off to a good start. They came with us to the general admission seats where we were able to learn more wonderful things about them. The next thing I learned is that the high school drop out was a complete moron. She could barely hold a conversation so I resigned to sitting in silence and hoping she got bored enough to just walk away. Half of me was hoping a foul ball would hit her in the head so I could use her for a foot rest, the other half of me simply wanted to throw her down the stadium seating.
While I debated how to get the hell away from this girl, Ted was talking to the other one. I was sitting in silence, slowly hating the girl beside me, when I received a text message. "dude, the girl next to me is 17" This was when we decided to go try to find the other people we were with. The dumbasses followed us.
We found our friends sitting in a row with one open seat. Ted happily jumped in, leaving me to sit in the row behind everybody with my two new best friends. The game ended but we had to wait for the fireworks to show up and amaze everybody. Fireworks are pretty okay, but I would much rather have slammed my head into a speeding car then spend another half hour next to these girls.
The fireworks did their deal and I tried to talk to the girl sitting next to me. I was now sitting next to the verified 17-year-old. She was one of these young girls that dresses like she's in her mid-twenties. You have to try to stop looking at her cleavage long enough to realize that she's not as old as she looks. Either that or ask her if she has ever read a book for fun. Both of these things will help you realize that you should run in the opposite direction.
The fireworks ended and we started getting our things together. The two girls must have gotten the hint from how I was doing my best to avoid eye contact with them while trying to hurry everybody else up. They awkwardly looked back and forth at each other before finally walking away without saying goodbye. This is probably for the best, though, I don't know if they are actually able to form coherent parting words anyways.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I haven’t had a job for over a month now. This is the greatest thing and the worst thing all at the same time. It’s been a while since I haven’t had a job or school to worry about. I’ve been thinking about the scene in Office Space where Peter says that if he had a million dollars he would do nothing all day. I can see the allure of this but I don’t know if I could do that for the rest of my life.
I’ve found that I am much more productive when I have other things to worry about. If I only have two hours to accomplish something, I’ll hammer it out. However, if I have all day I tell myself, “I’ve got all the time in the world, I’ll get to it later,” and end up laying on the couch eating Pringles and watching Divorce Court all day long.
Speaking of which, I’ve fallen in love with all the daytime court shows on TV. I’m slowly becoming as trashy possible, with a conscious effort. I bought tank tops, I drink tons of shitty beer with a cigarette in my mouth, don’t bathe, and rock the beard covered in sweat. Plus the court shows and Maury. Can’t forget about Maury.
I’m also writing for this website called www.deckfight.com now, so you can see more evidence of trashiness if you feel up to it.