Sunday, November 22, 2009

Exciting Excitations.

I looked into the cupboard this morning to figure out what to eat for breakfast. Translation: Which kind of Ramen Noodles will I have today? I gazed onto the pile of square packages that reside behind the wooden door.

Chicken? No. Oriental? Nah. Wait a second. Is that? Yes! A package of roast beef flavored Ramen!

I hadn’t had this flavor for a while so I was excited to jump back into it. Almost immediately, I thought, “Well, that’s a strange thing to get excited about.”

Lately, I’ve found myself getting excited over mundane aspects of my days. I don’t know if my being poor and unemployed contribute to this, but I have a suspicion that it does.

Examples:

A couple of nights ago, I ran into a bum. Weird, right? We were getting into my car as he started giving us words of wisdom. “Unlock my door. Unlock my door,” Ted repeated as I continued listening to the bum. We finally got inside the car and the bum walked on over and began telling us that he loves us. Which was nice. He saw the change collection I had and, of course, requested his share. I grabbed a handful of pennies and handed it to him. He asked for another, so I gave it to him. When he finally left I found myself excited that I had successfully avoided the three quarters while handing the man handfuls of pennies. I could easily turn those quarters into a burger from the dollar menu.

I found a giant cockroach in my bedroom last night as I was trying to fall asleep. I heard it. HEARD it. That’s how I learned it was there. It put on its loud boots and clomped around until it caught my attention. I saw it, swore, stood up, grabbed a shoe, and then contemplated the attack. After psyching myself up I finally ended it. As I picked up the shoe, the cockroach’s legs were still twitching and I continued yelling, “Oh no. Oh no. Oh no,” until it was fully flushed and out of my life. Then I got excited that I didn’t have to deal with it anymore.

Taking the dog out can prove to be an annoying experience. She has no attention span and is very stubborn. She’s like a child without a diaper or the potential to eventually clean up her own shit. So, when I take her out and she pees/shits immediately, I get excited. I don’t have to walk behind her going, “C’mon. C’mon!” I don’t have to step over the other piles of shit that other dogs have left behind. Most importantly, I can return to the couch without delay. I’ve always thought it funny that people get excited when dogs relive themselves (assuming I’m not alone in this). “Good girl! Yeah! Take that piss! This is awesome!” Picturing somebody standing behind a dog, making eye contact with the shit as it slides its way to the ground, and getting excited makes me laugh.

Maybe it’s a good thing to get excited about little things like this. I’ve always thought that if I could look at the world like a four-year-old, when everything was new and interesting, I would be much better off. I once watched a kid open and close a door, giggling like a drunk, for fifteen minutes. Click, open, slam, close, laugh. Repeat. That’s all he needed.

The more I think about it, I think this is just my inherent laziness coming out. If I can be happy opening and closing a door then I won’t have to go out and find something to entertain myself with. Whatever, I don’t mind. Maybe I should just start huffing paint fumes every day until I become clinically retarded.

We’ll just say that my getting excited about a new flavor of Ramen or holding onto my quarters after a bum attack are good things. Little spices to make my day better. We’ll ignore the connotations of an 18 cent meal and the perceived high value of quarters that point to my being a bum with a roof. Because, honestly, that’s all that is separating me and the man that told me he loved me in the parking lot of the grocery store.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Driving in Atlanta is stupid.

I began noticing differences within the first half hour of the first day I came to Atlanta. I had always heard about how bad the traffic is here, which I attributed to a large population. Rush hour. You can’t blame anyone for rush hour.

This, however, is not the reason driving in Atlanta sucks. Sure, there are way too many cars. And, sure, they don’t have any form of required driver’s education classes to take before you get your license so no one knows how to drive a car. And, sure, the lanes are far too narrow and the traffic lights screw up occasionally. These are problems, but, really, nothing you can easily point to as an absurdity worthy of ridicule (well, maybe). My main beef with driving around here are the traffic signs.



I noticed this one when I was being shown around town the first day. At first glance, I recognized it as the Ghostbusters symbol but without the ghost. I’ve seen this red circle before and know it to mean that whatever is in the middle is bad. No whatever-is-in-the-middle allowed. But, since this sign has nothing in the middle, I was led to believe nothing was allowed in the intersection. No nothing allowed. It took me a few months but I finally figured out what it means. The sign is placed on the opposite side of the intersection that it faces and is over oncoming traffic. The lane it sits over lines up with the left-turn-only lane from the sign’s point of view. This makes sense, kind of. This means that they put the sign up because too many people were pulling into the left turn lane, thinking it was a normal lane, and driving head first into oncoming traffic. This must have happened a great number of times to warrant the pressing of these signs and placement of them throughout the city.

Next, street names. The city planners of Atlanta thought up about seven street names and just decided to repeat them no matter how confusing it makes the daily commute. Going for a job interview in a part of town you’ve never been before? Make sure to print out the directions from Mapquest and then throw them right out the window. While driving around to take a picture for an example of this, I found three intersections besides the one I had in mind.



Two of these occurred on the same street, two miles apart.



That’s right, there are two intersections of Ponce De Leon and Ponce De Leon within the same zip code.



The original target for the example was the corner of Clifton Road, East Clifton Road, and, again, Clifton Road. The first time I saw this sign I thought my head was going to explode. It is a three-way intersection where, I guess, Clifton turns into East Clifton and is intersected by Clifton. That makes sense, right?



Kramer knows what I'm talking about.



ALSO, there are 71 streets with a variation of the name Peachtree. Just sayin’.

The streets are confusing enough that, on this same excursion to find stupidity in traffic signs, I saw a fire truck get lost. I had a green light at an intersection and wasn’t moving. I was wondering why, but I wasn’t wondering too hard. When in Atlanta, you just have to assume you’re going to see someone do something stupid whenever you leave the house. After about 15 seconds a fire truck slowly entered the intersection. Once again, I didn’t give it much thought since the truck was crossing against the light. He just wanted to be safe. However, I saw the driver pause in the middle of the intersection, look around, and slowly continue through. After the truck passed, the light turned red and I had to wait. Before my light turned green, the same fire truck, lights still flashing, turned the corner a block ahead of me and came back through the intersection, turning left, going the opposite way it had originally came.



The driver had no idea where he was going.

Lastly, the parking situation here is a little interesting. It seems that you can park on either side of the street, facing either direction, whenever the hell you want to. I saw this car parked nose-to-nose with another car.



This isn’t unusual. The best part? Not only is the car parked the wrong way, but it’s also blocking a driveway. That’s right, there’s a driveway right outside the car’s driver-side door.

These are the reasons it sucks driving in Atlanta. I refuse to leave my house between 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. unless it is absolutely essential. If you ever decide to visit Atlanta, take this advice to heart. Also, if it starts raining, pull over immediately. Once the ground gets wet, everyone shuts their eyes and forgets that they don’t know how to drive.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Atlanta Pride.

They didn’t start serving drinks until 12:30. I know it was before noon but, goddamnit how am I supposed to enjoy a gay pride parade without being drunk? My choices were to either tally as many dude-blowjobs as possible or get drunk and dance the afternoon away. Luckily I had a water bottle half-full of whiskey to hold me over.

Once 12:30 rolled around we placed out drinks at Park Tavern and waited. And waited. I know that Coors is brewed in Colorado but I was hoping they would have at least some sitting around behind the bar. After we flagged a waiter and told him our server abandoned us, the waitress came back and took everyone’s orders again. Everyone besides me.

“Am I here? I’m here right?” I asked the person next to me.

Once in a while I need to make sure I’m still around. Automatic faucets seem to never work for me and people never move out of my way on the sidewalk. My only explanation is that I cease to exist every once in a while.

After finally getting our drinks we take off to find the festivities. There were gay people everywhere but no blowjobs. What kind of gay festival is this? We stumbled upon a cop and figured she could help us out.

“Do you know where the free blowjobs are?” a friend of mine asked.

She didn’t.

We found an open spot and waited for the parade to make its way to us. We could see it coming down the street like a typhoon of self-comfort and flamboyant cheer. Sailors without shirts. Roller skaters without shirts. Leather pants…without shirts.

As the floats and cars cruised by we decided to give something back to the paraders. I mean, they were giving so much to us. We offered pepperjack Cheez-Its to all comers and only a few were willing to jump onboard. The ones who refused, however, were not free from the cheese. I perfected a Cheez-It toss much like that of a Frisbee. The arc is the thing you have to get control of. Cheez-Its began flying at all angles towards all comers. Dancing on top of a float? Doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a treat. Zing.

We danced, slapped high fives, threw food, and drank in the gayest way possible and had a great time doing it. However, the group of lesbians ten feet away didn’t share my enthusiasm.

“Hey! Watch your mouth. There are kids around!” they said.

I looked left and right. Up the street and down the street. I was not able to spot one child. Even if there was a child, it’s pretty unlikely that it would be able to hear me due to the music being played at such a high volume. Besides, I don’t judge them for their lifestyle choice. Why should they judge me if I like to swear and tell cross dressers that I want to sleep with them. That’s unfair and they are hypocrites.

This led me to wonder, if a lesbian were to beat me up, would I be the victim of a hate crime? I decided that yes I would which gave me more motivation to ignore their warnings. I could’ve been the next Malcom X, but for straight people at gay pride events.

The festivities eventually ended and we made our way out. I left my friends to turn down a street where I though my car was waiting for me. It wasn’t. I walked around the neighborhood for a half hour before finally finding my beautiful, green Chevrolet.