Friday, September 10, 2010

DragonCon 2010

I walked into work on Monday and heard the stories of what I had missed over the weekend. First, there were complaints of the unusually large amount of homos walking around and coming into the store due to Black Gay Pride Weekend. Second, there were jokes at the expense of all the people in town for DragonCon.

“I saw this one at the gas station, dressed as, I don’t know, some kind of Star Wars monster or something. I just don’t get it. Why would you want to dress like that?”

Why? Because that’s what they’re into. Some people like dressing as gangsters everyday, some people like dressing in skirts while others prefer pants. Different strokes for different folks, y’know?

I calmly explained this to them, but they still didn’t get it. So I looked back and forth at the two people I was talking to, tapped my foot a few times and said, “I was there. Both nights.”

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Ultimate Feminist

Although she became a total wuss since she married that dude from Bush, Gwen Stefani was pissed off in the nineties. Was she pissed because she grew up in Orange County California where the weather is awesome all the time? No. Was she pissed because her band took off, meaning that she’ll never have to punch-in to a real job ever again? No. Was she pissed because she was on the cover of magazines while gladly accepting the adoration of fans the world over?

No, she was pissed because she was oppressed. After all, she’s a girl in captivity.



Women had it pretty rough in the nineties. They were working the same jobs as dudes (although not making equal wages, but still). Lesbians were running amok. Salt N Pepa made promiscuous sex legit. Oh never mind, they could do pretty much whatever they wanted to.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Don't go to sleep.

Last year a friend of mine (named Katrine) and I decided to drive to Colorado from Milwaukee. Sixteen hour drive. She doesn’t have a driver’s license. We loaded up on Airheads, Combos, beef jerky, and 5-hour energy drinks and hit the road. Twenty thousand hours later we ended up next to mountains.

Halfway through Nebraska I lost my mind. Started shaking, couldn’t keep my eyes straight, started rambling meaningless words. So we pulled over to get some food. I thought that may bring me back to normality (totally a word). But we forgot that it was four o’clock in the morning and we were in the middle of bumfuck nowhere Nebraska and all they had was shitty microwave BBQ sandwiches and soggy bananas. So, of course, I ate a shitty microwave BBQ sandwich and half of a soggy banana in hopes of feeling like a person again. Kind of worked. And moved on after watching some redneck trucker shock himself on a toy that’s only use is to shock unknowing people (keep in mind it was labeled very well).

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Islam is not scary.

There’s a debate going on right now about whether a Muslim community center, including a place for Islamic worship, should be built two blocks from Ground Zero in New York. Many people think it’s a slap in the face to all the victims from 9/11, that it’s a tribute to Islam and a victory for the perpetrators of the attack.

Understandable. I can see where these arguments come from, but they’re wrong. The building of this community center, (yes, community center, including a culinary school, swimming pool, and performing arts center) is not of bad-taste, is not going to create more terrorists, and is not a victory for supporters of 9/11.

It’s a community center. That’s it. It’s a place to worship, swim a few laps, and get involved with members of the community. If the Muslim faith wasn’t attached to it, everyone would be saying, “Hell yeah, community centers are vital in large cities.” But Since the word “Mosque” has been attached to it, everyone assumes they’re going to be launching grenades from water-balloon launchers at Ground Zero.

Which is an important distinction to make, by the way. The building isn’t on Ground Zero. It isn’t located in the footprint of the Towers. It’s down the street. A short jog. Further than Brett Favre can throw a football. Out of shouting distance. It’s not like Al-Qaeda said, “First we’ll blow up the towers, hang loose for almost a decade, then build a community center down the street that gives local children a good place to be active and learn as the final ‘Fuck you!’ to America!”

People are outraged by this because they see a headline that says, “Mosque to be Built on Ground-Zero” and they freak out. To a lot of people, Islam equals suicide bombing, and mentions of 9/11 equals fuck-everybody-else. Blind patriotism springs up and eyes become shut off from reason and the actual facts.

The simple truth is that a mosque is nothing more than a place where Muslims practice their faith. The only differences between a mosque and a church or a synagogue are different songs and different names for “God.”

9/11 was a huge attack on America which caused people to “stand up” and “support the beliefs our country was founded on.” However, one of the original beliefs of our country was freedom of religion. That’s why we came over here in the first place. If the community center in New York is not allowed to be built because “it would be shameful to our country,” then we are enormous hypocrites and are only doing exactly what we are trying to stop: The dissolution of the core beliefs of our country.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Things learned.

A big motivating factor for moving across the country was to see/learn new things. A good way to do this is to meet new people and put yourself into situations you haven’t been in before. This has all been fully accomplished simply by finding the job I have had since January. Not only have I learned a lot more about the city of Atlanta, including many fancy shortcuts, where the hell everything is, and where the hell to stay away from at all costs, but I’ve also learned a lot more about life from my co-workers. Not that I’ve learned the meaning of life from them, but definitely a different perspective.

One of the favorite topics of conversations is women, during which I learn stuff like this:

1. Don’t fuck with no women who ain’t got no money. They’ll eat up all your food while you’re at work and leave your lights on all day.
2. When you slap her on the ass while hittin’ that shit from behind, spread your fingers so if she bangs someone later that day, he’ll still see a perfect outline of the handprint and he’ll know someone’s already been there.
3. Be sure to wrap it up with the pretty ones. They’re the ones with all kinds of diseases you ain’t never heard of ‘cause they get banged the most. The ugly ones you don’t have to worry about.
4. If you’re gonna beat your woman, make sure you get drunk first. Also, it’s better to do it while you’re in college, because you can get away with that shit in college.

I also get to learn new slang, including:

Smash: (verb) – To have sexual intercourse with. Ex: “She was giving me the eye, you know I’m gonna smash that ho.

BWM: (acronym) – Body Made Wrong. Ex: “Her belly stuck out further than her titties. Now that’s a BMW.”

I'll holla at ya: (interjection) - An expression used at parting. Syn: Goodbye

Butterhead: (adjective) – A woman that has a nice body but an unattractive face. I.e. Everything looks good “but her head.” (Also known as a Butterface)

What it do: (interjection) - Used to express a greeting. Syn: Hello

Stupid Booty: (adjective) – A booty that, while being sufficiently fat, is undesirable due to shape, curvature, or lift. Ex: “She got a stupid booty.”

Who: (pronoun) - Although conventionally used for requesting information regarding a person, also used in any situation where information is needed. Ex: "Meet me at 7 o'clock." "Who?" "Seven." "Oh, okay."

Miscellaneous things learned:

1. How to shoot craps.
2. If someone asks for your shoes in jail, it’s best to simply give them away because you’re going to lose them regardless.
3. A large percentage of nurses are assholes.
4. An overwhelming percentage of guards at the jail are assholes.
5. Hopping fences leads to holes in your pants. It doesn’t matter how old you are.

I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot of things right now, but that’s okay. I have a feeling there will be many more entries about work since it’s basically taken over my life lately.

Friday, July 2, 2010

20 million is a lot of dollars

Jaycee Dugard just got awarded 20 million dollars for her ordeal. “What is the ordeal?” you may be asking. Oh nothing big, just KIPNAPPED when she was 11 and held hostage for 18 years while being RAPED and having TWO kids during this time. No big deal? Yeah right. That’s fucked up.

When I first saw this story I was like, “Well, yup, that’s seems about right.” But I was thinking as 20 million as an abstract number. Just something we say like “Dude, I just ate a gazillion sandwiches!” You didn’t really eat a gazillion sandwiches because that’s not a word and you were exaggerating.

All large numbers have become this to me. Six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. “Okay, that’s a really big number,” and that’s as far as I think about it. When you realize how large of a number 6 million is, you’re like “holy fuck.” Six million. That’s enormous.

When I thought further into the story of Jaycee Dugard, I realized that 20 million is a lot of dollars. Too many dollars. She’ll never have to work again. Not only that, she'll have enough money to buy an island, blow it up, and hang out in arcades and bars until the day she dies. It’s forever fun. I know, after 18 years of being raped, she’s probably going to have a few psychological issues. So her days might not be all fun, but that’s up to her.

So, 20 million dollars is a shit-ton of money and she gets all of it forever. Now, when comparing this, again, with the Holocaust, that’s a little fucked up. Think of all the money every Holocaust survivor got from their suffering. I bet it doesn’t equal 20 million dollars each. Okay, so Holocaust survivors had to have a maximum of about five years of hell. Dugard had 18. So maybe we should divide it by the difference. But no, that’s not even, because Dugard had food the whole time. I think that may even it up for the Holocaust, should probably even throw another few years onto Dugard.

But also, a thing called “inflation” comes to mind. I don’t have any idea how it works*, but I think the result is something along the lines of “Everything gets more expensive as the world gets older.” Sure, Holocaust survivors didn’t get 20 million each, but that’s just because one dollar could buy you two cars and half a boat back then. Things have changed.

Okay, nevermind. Maybe I was wrong to think 20 million dollars is too much to give one person. I guess what she went through is worse than the Holocaust.




*This is how I think it works: Everything is cool now and everything sucked then. Our new shit should be more expensive. How would you like to sit around with two channels, no remote control, and a fucking antennae that barely works? Sure, fifty cents for a ladder but it’ll fall over and drop you head-first onto the concrete if you sneeze.

But the fucked up part is that, now, all that old shit that used to cost a dollar now would cost twenty because it’s “vintage” and “collectible”. Shit, that shoots a hole right through that argument.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Is Mike Tyson retarded?

First answer is, no, of course not. He’s won over 300 million dollars. Plus, people used to call him “Kid Dynamite.” That’s awesome. Sure his voice is a little higher than a badass's voice should be, but, is he retarded?

Declared bankruptcy (even after the 300 million)? Prison time? Bit off Holyfield’s ear? Face tattoo? Threatened to eat Lenox Lewis’ children (even though he had none)?

Uhhhh, maybe.

You can make the argument that he was a professional boxer for 24 years and anybody would be retarded after getting slapped around for that long. Valid. I remember once telling my mother that I was interested in pursuing a boxing career when I was around nine years old (right after I saw my first Rocky movie). She proceeded to tell me that if you look closely during boxing matches, that you can see the brain matter that gets punched out of each boxer’s head during the match. Of course, I was horrified, so I focused on playing Mario Kart instead. All she would have had to say was, “Watch an interview with Mike Tyson," or I guess Muhammad Ali would have worked as well, "and see how awesome they sound. Still feel like getting punched in the head all day?”

This is all nothing new. However, I saw this video tonight.



Look at Tyson. He has a child’s demeanor. He’s gentle, he’s polite. There’s something about this video that just makes me want to give him a hug. And then I remember what he was like in the 80’s and I remember that I don’t want to be anywhere near him. It used to take him 30 seconds to knock out a trained fighter. Imagine what he could do to a hungover guy whose back gets sore for no reason.

I feel like I should define my usage of the word “retarded” since it has such a negative social stigma attached to it. Keep in mind, it’s not just a word assholes use to describe the mentally handicapped. It actually has a meaning.

This is the Merriam-Webster definition: “Slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress.”

Quote from Tyson speaking of his mother : “I never got a chance to talk to her or know about her. Professionally, it has no effect, but it's crushing emotionally and personally,” (read as: limited in emotional development).

I have no evidence of him being “slow or limited in intellectual…development or academic progress,” except for his own words.

Want some examples? Okay.

“My defense is impregnable.”

"I guess I'm gonna fade into Bolivian."

"He called me a ‘rapist’ and a ‘recluse.’ I’m not a recluse.”

“I want to throw down your kid and stomp on his testicles, and then you will know what it is like to experience waking up everyday as me. And only then will you feel my pain.” (Maybe we should file this one under, “Emotional Development.”)

I don’t want to purport the wrong idea. I love Mike Tyson. Aside from the crazy/ridiculous things I just listed, he also says awesome/ridiculous things like, "I can sell out Madison Square Garden masturbating." And, "I just want to conquer people and their souls."

Plus, he used to do shit like this.



It’s just that, I think he may be retarded. I’m not knocking him for that, though. Shit, if a retard can make 300 million dollars, it gives me hope to at least make over fifty grand in a year at one point in my life. It doesn’t matter if he eventually lost all of it. The same thing happened to MC Hammer, and he’s not retarded (in the literal sense). Plus, if Tyson takes offense to being called retarded, I don't want him to come looking for me.

Also, this is just hilarious.



"I broke my back."
"Uh, what do you mean by that?"
"My back is broken."
"A vertebrae, or what portion?"
"Spinal."

Classic retarded conversation.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Leggings are not pants.

My buddy Leslie Peckham got pissed off the other day, I guess. Saw some fucker that rubbed her the wrong way so she wanted to write about it and plop it up here. Being the humanitarian that I am, I awarded her the honor of posting on this site. She should feel lucky and thank me for being so generous. But, she probably won't because she's kind of an asshole. Anyways, here's what she had to say.

---

There’s a nasty trend happening that I feel should be called out. I’ll allow that tapered leg and cigarette jeans in all their antiquated glory are back, I’ll even admit, I enjoy form fitting fashions as much as the next vintage hungry hipster but somewhere the line is drawn. I’m talking about leggings.



Consider the following outfit: Nike hightops, leggings, and some vintagesque shirt. The hightops and the vintage tee claim 1980’s hip hop roots but the leggings say “I was working out today”. Wrong. Maybe it was laundry day and the shredded cutoffs that you intended to add to that outfit were too sticky to be worn in public. Maybe. Or in the shifting weather of spring, you weren’t sure if you’d be too hot in your skinny jeans so you work your quietest pair of skin tights into that outfit with a blousy top and a cute pair of flats. But does that blousy top cover your ass crack? No.

Seems like it would be ok, you’re a fit young woman and your legs are viewed at their best advantage when practically naked save for the black nylon ceran wrap you put on but guess what. Leggings are not pants. They’re an accessory. Let me repeat that: Leggings are not pants, they are an accessory, meant to be worn as pants underneath short dresses and long shirts. Letting your junk hang out does not make you look cute.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Living in America

I realized that I’ve been living in this apartment for almost a year and we still haven’t put anything on the walls. Plain, white walls. Boring. So I decided to spruce the place up a bit. First purchase? Chalkboard, of course. Feel like drawing a dinosaur on the wall. Go right ahead. Awesome idea.

After buying the chalkboard, I realized I needed chalk so I drove to Target to get some. And what did I spy while walking around? The next thing to go on the wall. Goddamn old glory.



The first Rocky movie I ever watched was Rocky IV, complete with James Brown’s musical number “Living in America,” Apollo’s flag shorts, patriotic undertones, and the most inspiring speech ever (“If I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!”) And don’t even get me started on the training montage. Goddamn it Rocky is awesome.



Anyways, I bought the flag and hung it on the wall. Now various scenes from Rocky IV run through my head every time I walk into my living room. Needless to say, this might have been the best purchase I’ve made since the last time I bought Cheetos.

When I opened the package, I noticed a small insert entitled, “Our Flag – how to honor & display it.” This eight-panel pamphlet is full of random facts and rules for being a proud owner of the flag. One of the most surprising ones was the preferred method of disposing of it.

“Always dispose of a worn flag properly, preferably by burning it.”

Burning it? Really? Isn’t that what people get pissed off about? What about all those videos from the middle east where people had effigies of George Bush being hanged, automatic weapons being fired into the air, and American flags burning? Everyone was so quick to judge this as an anti-American act, but, as I have now learned, they were only disposing of the flag in the proper manner. I don’t remember the translations of their chants, but maybe they were just saying, “America is tits and this flag is unsatisfactory! Let’s go buy a new one at Wal-Mart!”

Another big one in the “Care and Respect” section of the pamphlet, says “Always treat the flag with respect. Never use it for advertising purposes.”




This has to be a joke. Either that or the companies that use the flag for advertising are actually the opposite of what they claim to be: Patriotic. If they truly were, then they would know that using the flag for advertising is against the rules.

Under the, “Displaying the Flag Properly,” section, it gives the rules for hanging the flag with other flags. Oh, sorry, “subordinate” flags.

“When the U.S. Flag is in a line among a group of subordinate flags, the U.S. Flag should be at the left of the line as seen by the observer.”

That’s right. If you’re not American, you’re subordinate. Who says Americans don’t respect other countries?

This is only a small dose of the wealth of information included within the pamphlet. There are many other rules that are simply too boring or moot to write about. My only hope is that I don’t get too drunk on July 4th and burn the fucker before I can wear it like a cape and recite the entire Rocky speech.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I'm a doctor!

Some friends of mine have a wonderful site called Doctors of Za. It's a pizza review website based in Wisconsin. Even if you've never been to the places they review or don't even plan on doing so, their articles are still funny enough to make it worth the read.

A couple weeks ago Tyler contacted me about writing a guest article for them which I gladly jumped at. An excuse to eat an entire pizza and call myself a doctor? Hell yeah. Well, it was posted today and can be found here. Check it out and then click around for a while, chances are you'll find something to laugh at.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

CBS, we ask the dumb questions

"As you know we're the only ones to put the heat on them every week."

First line in the story. Oh that's right. I forgot how health inspectors sit around and talk about cartoons while CBS news checks if people wash their hands.

God damnit.

For people not from Atlanta, the local CBS news station asks the "tough questions". Trust me, they tell you every ten seconds so it has to be true.

I watch a lot of local news, and I often get angry. However, I've never been angry enough to write an e-mail to explain how much I hate it. Keep in mind, I went to school for journalism. I hated it before I learned about it, and I hated it more when I did. Now when I see reports like this it makes me hate it even more than I thought possible.

I can't find an embed code on the CBS page so I'll just post a link here.

Watch it. Go ahead. Does it seem like bullshit? It should. And here's why.

First of all, Dickhead Adam catches the manager at lunchtime when she's busy seating tables. Is she avoiding the tough questions, or is she just doing her fucking job?

Okay, they got a bad grade on their surprise health inspection. That sucks. They should do a better job of having their employees wash their hands and have their refrigerators at the proper temperatures. Duh. Not groundbreaking news.

But CBS tries to make it seem like they're "sticking up for the little guy" and "giving a voice for the rest of us" by saying what is blatantly obvious. What's more, they are doing so in a backhanded way that vilifies the employees at said restaurant to make themselves seem righteous.

Want an example? Go to the 1:27 mark and watch how they turn the manager asking the reporter to repeat himself, freezing the screen and saying this:

"And from the look on her face, she'd probably like to wash her hands of the failing inspection."

Oh really? Because from the look on her face she probably couldn't hear the fucking question.

Editing like this pissed me off so much I had to e-mail these pricks and tell them how much I hated the segment. These are the e-mails unedited. I know I come across very unspecified in my original e-mail, but I was pissed and mind-puking my disgust. Either way, here it is.

_________________________________________

Monday, April 19th 12:32 p.m.

I just watched your report about The Flying Biscuit on the noon broadcast. I have to say, it sucked and you suck...bad. You're "tough questions" were the equivalent of something a six year old could come up with.

"46, thats not a good score."

No shit. Great journalism.

I hate how on CBS you guys are so proud of your "tough questions" that you try to create conflict where there is none. You interviewed the manager during lunch. You asked her a question and she asked you to repeat it. You then froze the screen and focused on her facial expression like she was trying to avoid the question. You did the same thing at the start of the interview. You came in during lunch, no wonder she couldn't speak with you immediately. Restaurants get busy during lunch. Everyone knows that, it's not interesting, it's not a conflict, and this isn't journalism.

Your interview asked "Why aren't these things getting done?!?!?!" when in fact it had all been taken care of. Good work on digging up the dirt, Action Adam. I can't believe this is what you get paid for.

Josh Rank

________________________________________________

I was happy to find a response e-mail.

________________________________________________

April 19th 1:24 p.m.

Josh,

Thank you very much for your email. I appreciate your opinion. This report was not about us trying to create conflict. Keep in mind, the FB scored 46 points and a 'U' for unsatisfactory. If they had passed their surprise inspection, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation via email and I certainly would not have had to question them regarding violations. The FB had food items at unsafe temperatures which is a serious health violation. That said, they have corrected most of their violations and we have already reported it.

As I stated in the report I am a FB fan. I have featured several great scores from multiple locations during the past seven years. I don't believe I've ever heard from you regarding the good scores we've mentioned. At any rate, thanks for watching CBS Atlanta News!

Regards,
Adam Murphy
CBS Atlanta

_______________________________________________

Nice. A passive-aggressive personal shot in there? "I don't believe I've ever heard from you regarding the good scores we've mentioned." Duh. I'll get to that in my response e-mail you dick.

_______________________________________________

April 19th 3:23 p.m.

You haven't heard from about the positive scores because those reports didn't piss me off. You say the report is not about creating conflict, and, ideally it isn't. But the way you posed your questions was aggressive and, frankly, unfair to the person you were interviewing. I hope you use a little more discretion in the future and report the news, instead of trying to make it.

And just so we're clear; It's not the fact that it was the Flying Biscuit that pissed me off. It's the way the story was presented and executed.

josh

_______________________________________________

I know, misused semicolon. Don't care.

_______________________________________________

April 19th 6:54 p.m.

Okay fair enough Josh. Thanks for your feedback!

Adam Murphy
CBS Atlanta

________________________________________________

What a dick.

The only thing CBS Atlanta has going for it is the 4:00 broadcast. They figured out that it doesn't matter who reads the stories since none of them have any talent anyways. Might as well pack the room with a bunch of hot chicks. Example? Dagmar Midcap.



There ya go. I don't want to talk any shit on Dagmar in case she Googles herself and finds this page. If that happens, e-mail me Dagmar, we can discuss this whole debacle over coffee.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bums vs Homeless People

One of the main moves of the homeless folk around here is to stand at a street corner, wait for a red light, and then try to get money/cigarettes off of the people waiting in their cars. I see this all the time. Sometimes they'll pretend to cry, sometimes they'll be wearing big smiles, sometimes they'll be holding signs that say stuff like "anything will help, god bless!"

The place where I work is located on a fairly busy street corner. This means a lot of foot traffic and a lot of homeless people hanging around. I've come to know a couple of them since I see them all the time. My favorite is a guy named Hawk. He's a guy I would classify as "homeless" and not a "bum". Bums are the ones on street corners. Homeless people may beg, but they're not in your face about it, or may do odd jobs for a few bucks.

After Hawk and I talked one night, he realized I was a sympathetic figure and kind of began taking advantage of me. If he asks for a couple bucks, he does so in a very polite way. Usually, though, he washes my car. I'll be walking around the store, into the parking lot, and notice a running puddle of water.

"Please don't let that be my car."

But, of course, when I turn the corner I see Hawk wiping away on my hood.

"Oh, hey! Three more minutes and you woulda never known I was here!"

I then have to sit around and wait for him to finish up, make small talk, and fish out a few dollars when he's done.

Not that big of a deal. I'm a few bucks poorer, but, at least my car is clean (kinda). It may get annoying how he'll do it whether my car is dirty or not (three washes in two weeks? C'mon man) but it's still better than him just saying "Give me a buck."

A few nights ago, I ran into a Bum. Capital B. This guy is a bum in all sense of the word. I saw him standing on the corner of 14th and Williams street at one o'clock in the morning. Work was stressing me out and I didn't have any patience for the scroungy white dude on the corner with a sign asking for my money.

I pulled up to the red light and tried not to make eye contact with him. Once eye contact is made, a bum won't leave you alone. He stood maybe ten feet away from my window and I could feel his stare burrowing into the side of my head. I finally gave him a quick glance, shook my head, and gave a little dismissive wave. This is a move I have perfected. It usually gets them to leave me alone with one try. Usually.

After my dismission maneuver, he continued to stare at me, holding his sign. I looked at the green light that I didn't have, noticed the pedestrian-walking sign was still lit, and knew I'd be there for at least a few more minutes. His beady, angry eyes, were still drilling me through the window.

I did the move again. He saw this and did the move back to me, highly exaggerated, mocking me like a six year old. I gave him the what-the-fuck hands and he got pissed.

He dropped his sign, began walking towards me car, and yelled, "Fuck you!" He continued coming at me so I looked left, looked right, and ran the red light. I figured that if I got pulled over, I could just tell the cop what had happened and he'd probably understand. I watched in my rear-view mirror as the man kept staring at me until I turned a corner.

I don't know why this guy had targeted me like he did. There was another car right behind me the whole time and he didn't even look at it. He figured I had money that he deserved and didn't want to wait to get it. That's what amazes me. He was pissed that I didn't give him my money. What the hell? Why does he deserve it so much? He should be happy/grateful/shocked if I actually do give him money. If I don't, he should be like, "Yeah, well, I mean, it's not my money anyways."

So that's cool. Bums are annoying. Homeless people usually have an interesting story to tell you. Go talk to a homeless person and avoid every bum you see.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I can understand police brutality.

It's pretty easy to say police brutality is wrong. Because it is. The inherent abuse of authority it implies is enough to make the case for it's wrong-ness. Not to mention the beating of a defenseless individual.

That being said, I can easily understand the need sometimes to kick an asshole's face in after finally slapping the handcuffs on him/her. Think about it, if you had just chased somebody, at very high speeds through residential areas where kids run around and bunnies frolic, wouldn't you want to punch him in the face for selfishly endangering everyone around you just to avoid paying the price for their own actions? I imagine the thought of a squished kid running through the mind of a cop as he/she kicks the criminal while he lays on the ground.

At least, that's what I would be thinking while I did it. If I were a cop, I would definitely beat the hell out of at least a few people by the time I retired. For sure. I get mad enough at people doing the job I have now, I can't imagine what I would do if I saw assholes like this on their worst day, every shift.

"Stop. Selling. Drugs. You. Useless. Pile. Of. Shit." I would yell as I punched until my arms got tired, trying not to rip up my knuckles too badly.

Plus, our penal system is pretty screwed up. Someone may get arrested and released on the same day, only to go back and do whatever they did right before they went in. Maybe if they were put in a figure-four leglock before being tossed in jail, they would learn that prostitution/selling drugs/stealing cars is illegal.

I'm not saying that all police brutality is acceptable. Far from it. About a month ago I saw a cop standing on the sidewalk with a man in handcuffs lying on the sidewalk, apparently unconscious. The cop looked around, took out his nightstick, and bopped the guy in the stomach a couple times. This isn't acceptable brutality. The man on the ground was no longer a threat, he had probably already gotten a healthy beating before I arrived, it was the middle of the night and no one was around (so it's not like the guy was endangering and innocent, church-going, citizens). If the guy had been pulled from a car around 3:45 p.m. I might be able to understand a little better. But this guy didn't pose a threat. Good try, cop. But you have to learn to withhold the beatings for more qualified applicants. Or at least do a better job of making sure no one is watching.

"Hey! You'll be singing a different tune when you're the victim of some overzealous cop!" you may be saying. Yeah right. Been there, done that.

When I was in high school, a cop got a little liberal with his method of apprehending me. I don't hold it against him. I deserved it. He would have been totally justified in kicking me in the ass and throwing me into a wall. I'd be okay with that. Sure, not while it was happening, but looking back on it now, he would have been right.

I'd bet that the majority of police brutality cases are just some egotistical cop wailing on some minority. However, there are some instances where the cop is totally justified in giving a leg-drop of the top ropes to some asshole.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fuck (some of) the troops.

It's too bad this video was released on the day Tiger Woods had a press conference because it got swallowed in the black hole of the news cycle.

This is a video of U.S. soldiers taking out what they think to be insurgents. As the video explains, what they think to be a gun turns out to be a camera held by a journalist.



I understand that it's very difficult to know what something is from a great distance. I understand that when a threat is posed during a war, that threat will be removed. I understand that there are probably twenty different things that happened right before this that led to the helicopters being in this position and the perceived necessity to fire. I have never been in any form of the military or in a situation like this, so I understand that there is a lot of things I don't understand.

That being said, this is fucked up. Listen to how eager the shooter is to shoot when the van pulls up. There is nothing that looks like a gun yet they can't wait to annihilate them. The celebration and light-hearted banter between the soldiers shows just how much they have been desensitized towards the Iraqis.

My main beef with branches of the military is this brainwashing and groupthink mindset. "Your enemies are not people. They are enemies." The van rolled up and the shooter only saw Iraqis, enemies. Even though they didn't have guns and were only helping wounded people, they were enemies. There was no thought to how the deaths of these people would affect family members, friends, or whatever. There was only the thought of, "enemy." Therefore, they were ripped apart by a giant gun in the sky.

A lot of people are stressing the fact that this video shows U.S. soldiers killing unarmed civilians. This is horrible, no doubt about it. But that is not the part that pissed me off the most. It's the dialogue. It's the blatant disregard for the people seen through the binoculars (or whatever they use these days).

"Let me engage. Can I shoot?" says one of the men while the van is being loaded with the wounded.

Does this not sound like a ten-year-old playing a video game? Is this what we get for giving young, immature men giant guns and telling them local, brown people are evil?

To be fair, I know not all soldiers are like the ones shown in the video. When the children are found at the end, two soldiers scoop them in their arms and literally run them to safety. Sure, they were eventually turned away, but it still doesn't dampen the compassion shown by these soldiers.

These are the soldiers that deserve those stupid, yellow magnets you see on the backs of minivans in suburbia. But to blindly support ALL troops means you also support the bratty kid with a fucking cannon unloading on a dude for trying to take pictures. And if you support that troop, you're a fucking asshole, too.

Monday, March 1, 2010

My dog is better than yours.




I’ve debated for a while on whether my dog is either a complete idiot or just stubborn. I now believe that she is not only not an idiot, but she’s got it all figured out.

Ask her to sit and she’ll simply stare at you. Call out her name and maybe you’ll get lucky and have her look at you. I’ve tried teaching her how to shake, ring a bell when she wants to go outside, and lay down. All failed. This, one might think, means she’s stupid. However, I don’t think she can’t learn tricks. I think she simply doesn’t want to. What’s in it for her besides a treat that she’ll probably get eventually, anyways?

She knows how to sit, but she’ll only do it if you have food in your hand. Call her name with some food and she’ll be right next to you. Why won’t she do this in the absence of food? Because who gives a shit, that’s why. She doesn’t care about jumping through hoops to make me happy. I admire this. Who the hell am I to tell her what to do anyways? I’m just some dude that bought her leash. This doesn’t entitle me to complete ownership of her.

People often equate an obedient dog with a good dog. I don’t share this view. Long before I got her I thought about how people treat their dogs like slaves. Something as small as making a noise when your master doesn’t want you to can result in verbal abuse or even a beating. That’s fucked up.

I think a good dog is one that does the thing the owner got it for: Company. A good dog sits next to you on the couch, runs to you when you get home, and has a generally nice disposition. My dog does all of these things. Sure, she won’t roll over or bark when prompted, but who really cares? That’s not why I have her around. She’s here to hang out. And she does that very well.

This whole deal about a dog “liking” you is an interesting one, too. Do dogs really “like” people or do they just like a person because they give them food and backrubs? I think, to an extent, it’s true that if you feed a dog and don’t punch it in the face all the time, it will like you. But, I think dogs have an inclination towards certain people while shunning others, just like the rest of us. My evidence of this is the few months before the dog became officially “mine.”

She was staying with an ex-girlfriend of mine, which meant I only saw her once in a great while. During this period I hadn’t fed the dog once, taken her outside, pet her, or had any contact of any sort. However, when I would finally show up she would get so excited she would literally piss herself. My explanation: The dog likes me. Boo-ya.

And I’m not saying that she likes me because of my wonderful personality or anything like that. I think it’s very situational. I was there when she left the Humane Society. I was there to carry her up the stairs to my apartment because she was too afraid to walk up them. I slept next to her on the kitchen floor the first night with my fingers in the cage so she would stop crying long enough to fall asleep. These things built a level of trust between us that I don’t think she’ll have with anyone else. She’s my partna. And I know how when people say their dog is sad or happy that it’s actually just the person projecting their emotions onto their pet, but I don’t think this is the case here. We’re partnas.

And now as I write this, at four in the morning with Alameda snoring beside me, I’m thinking about if I would rather have her listen to all of my commands or just keep being a bitch (not in the literal sense, because she really can’t help that). I think I’d rather have a dog that does whatever she wants. It’s more respectable. Sure, it gets pretty annoying sometimes when I’m walking her and she tries to pull me down a hill because she found some interesting scent, but I like that about her. Her curiosity about the world and all it’s wonderful odors trumps everything else, including my desire to walk on pavement and keep my shoes clear of shit (since no one in my apartment complex knows how to pick up after their dog). Curiosity is one thing I really enjoy seeing in people so it follows suit that I enjoy having a dog that likes to investigate every damn thing she possibly can.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Backflips gone wrong. A retrospective.

I had a bit of an accident the first week I moved to Atlanta. The evidence of which is in the picture of myself you can see to the left. I’m pretty bored and feel like writing something so I might as well spin you a web of stupidity.

Ted and I went to a Braves game with his sister and her dude earlier in the day. We imbibed a good amount of Miller Lite tall cans before leaving and hitting the bars. The bars didn’t offer anything too exciting besides a cross-dresser in a cheerleading outfit. We elected to spend the night drinking heavily to offset the mundane bar experience. We returned to Ted’s apartment, where I slept on his couch until we procured our current apartment, we decided to head to the pool. The pool hours ended at ten, and it was nearing three in the morning, but we didn’t care.

“Fuck the rules!”

We entered the pool and went right to work. Yelling, diving, splashing, general stupidity. It’s amazing nobody called the cops or at least the apartment complex to complain about the noise. The pool is surrounded by apartments and we were yelling like it was two in the afternoon on the Fourth of July while AC/DC played on giant amplifiers next to the pool while bombs exploded from un-oiled tanks.

Eventually, we realized that neither of us had ever done a backfilp. This, of course, had to change. I stood on the edge of the pool, facing out, and jumped backwards with no real plan in mind. I had watched the Olympics in the past and played a lot of Tony Hawk, so I felt I was qualified to just go for it. I jumped, pulled my legs up, and held until I crashed into the water.

“Did I get all the way around?”

“Pretty much. My turn.”

We practiced our backfilps until we had them perfected. This new skill, of course, would come in handy later. However, we couldn’t stop there. Backflips turned into running backflips which turned into gainers (spinning the opposite way of your momentum). Jumping off of chairs followed that before I decided to do a harmless swan dive. Pocahontas did one in the Disney movie, can’t be too dangerous, right?

I jumped, with impeccable form, and entered the water. In my enthusiasm, I forgot the pool was only five feet deep. I hit the water with enough force to travel ten. After breaking the water tension I immediately hit the concrete. My hands scraped along the bottom like I was clearing snow off of my windshield, followed by my face that hit like a half-deflated basketball.

I stood up and immediately grabbed my teeth to make sure they were still there. Luckily, they held strong. I walked towards the edge of the pool and Ted noticed something was wrong. I got out. He followed me and inspected my wounds.

Nose isn’t broken, teeth aren’t missing, can still walk. Success. Everything else is merely details. I grabbed my towel and felt the blood begin to run. My face was pretty much covered in blood as we walked back to his apartment, joking along the way. It would have been very easy to get embarrassed or mad about what happened, but that wouldn’t be fun. The blood dripped down my face, onto the pavement, onto my chest, and all we could do was laugh. It was just too ridiculous to take it seriously. Sure, I could have broken my neck, but, I didn’t. We made it out so who fucking cares.

I went into the bathroom and looked at my face, or, I guess, what was left of it. Ted grabbed me some band-aids and anti-bacterial cream and I patched myself up, not looking forward to the next day.

When I woke up, I was surprised that my face wasn’t the part of my body that hurt the most. It was my stomach. It seems obvious now, but I hadn’t really thought of it before then: Doing backflips for an hour works out obscure stomach muscles. I didn’t know I had backflip muscles, but I do, and it’s pretty apparent that they were out of shape.

I picked up my phone and saw two messages I had sent the night before. The first was sent a little before three a.m. that said, “Going to the pool, fuck the rules.” The next was sent a little before four a.m. that said, “There is blood everywhere.” That pretty much sums it up.

I walked to the mirror and saw the holes in my face and the chunk of hair that was probably plastered to the bottom of the pool and thought, “Well, I hope I don’t have to go to a job interview for a couple weeks.”

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cleanliness is Next to Speediness

I contacted a guy a couple months ago about a local magazine he was starting. It was to be based around the service industry. Reviews, stories from work, etc. I threw something together for him to try to get a feel for what he wanted. I sent it, he liked it, then I lost contact with him. I don't know if it's ever going to happen so I might as well put my article on here.

Here it is:

We all know that we don’t live in a perfect world. People habitually speed up when they see yellow lights as well as pretending the change in their pockets doesn’t exist when walking past Salvation Army buckets. However, when people step into a restaurant they seem to believe they step into a world of magic. A world where everyone washes their hands and no corners are ever cut in the name of efficiency. This, however, is wrong.

I have worked in many different kitchens throughout my pursuit of the American Dream and have noticed a few running themes. I’ll skip past the obvious one, that every kitchen has at least one habitual substance abuser, and talk about the side of working in a kitchen that most people don’t want to think about: Fast-paced restaurants are not spotless.

Sure, they may be clean enough that people don’t get sick, but they aren’t the shining, sparkling havens of cleanliness we may want them to be. Mr. Clean is not the kitchen manager and Scrubbing Bubbles do not slide all over the floors at night. Sorry. When you’re trying to figure out if that strand of melted cheese is a hair or not, don’t be so quick to assume it didn’t come from someone’s head. Or worse.

I’m not saying every restaurant is infested with mice and filled with drunk cooks farting into their hands. Far from it. Restaurants are usually able to find a happy medium between being safe and sanitary while also delivering food promptly. The truth is, people rarely get sick from food. It happens, but it isn’t as big of a threat as some think. You could lick a high school basketball court from one end to the other after a game and not get sick. You could eat a filet of fish that has sat on a counter for three hours and not get sick. Trust me. I’ve served it.

When it comes to getting grossed out by un-cleanliness, I am at the top of the list. I habitually wash my hands when out in public out of fear of catching a cold. I stand as if surfing when I ride the MARTA train to avoid touching the poles. But when it comes to sitting in a restaurant, I am a pragmatist. I know what happens back there and I’m okay with it. As long as I don’t see my burger hit the floor, I’ll eat it. However, I‘m not going to trick myself into believing it never happens.

You may be wondering how restaurants can get away with having below-standard sanitation practices when there are health inspectors hired by the city to regulate this very thing. It’s pretty easy; they don’t do their jobs well. Every restaurant I’ve worked in got a notice about a week before the inspector arrived. These were hell weeks. All employees would be scrubbing every inch of the building to prepare for the inspector. When the day would finally come, we would hide the list of things we needed to dress up to seem acceptable. The inspector would walk around, find a couple minor problems, like the refrigerator door’s seal not being tight enough, write our little grade sheet and move along. As soon as the inspector would leave, we would all breathe a deep breath and continue using the same gloves to handle beef that we used for the chicken.

This system of health inspectors is not completely worthless, however. Restaurants are now required to post their cleanliness grade for customers to see. This gives the restaurants the incentive to perform well. In early 2008, a restaurant in Gwinnett County scored 13 out of 100. Yeah, that’s right, 13. The health department closed down the restaurant after probably continually muttering, “You have got to be kidding me. Just wash your fucking hands! It’s easy!” So, if Mar Y Tierra in Lilburn opens back up, go the first week when the health problems are all fixed because they will surely revert to their old ways soon after.

Okay, so some restaurants take the idea of expediting the food a little too far. But I will stand by the general idea that complete cleanliness is unnecessary. Sure, I’d like it if every restaurant that ever made me a sandwich did so without skipping any sanitary steps, but then again, I’d like wings to sprout out of my back so I could just fly to the liquor store. We can’t always get what we want so we might as well get used to reality. I’m going to have to keep driving drunk to the liquor store and you’re going to have to keep eating sandwiches cut with knives that touched raw meat.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Graffiti is cool.

One of the first things I remember seeing when I moved here was a piece of graffiti that said "Pray for ATL."


(you can click on the images to make them larger)

Throughout the following months I saw many areas covered in graffiti and just kind of quickly glanced over them as I drove by. There are a few in particular that caught my eye.


I don't know what this is all about. I think it might have something to do with this...



There's also this...


After a few months some names began poking out at me, as I saw them all over the place.

One of such tags is a guy that goes by "Vomet."



I drive all over the city for my job and see his tag wherever I go. I've seen him on old buildings, new ones, highway overpasses, street signs, and basically anything else you can think of that is outside.

Here's one I saw on an old, shut down building where the name of the business would go.



Here are a few others spotted throughout the day.







Notice the "Hi Haterz" in the corner? Nice touch, someone else.

Another name that I've seen a lot around town is a guy/girl that goes by "Nope."



I like this guy because he tends to tag on other people's tags a lot while also tagging on places that have been painted over by "the man." Oh, you didn't like it when people wrote on your walls? Think it looks better without graffiti? Nope.



Here's another one where the tag wouldn't show up with just black paint. Solution? Put down a white base first.



Krog Street Tunnel is basically a collage of the city's graffiti artists packed into about a hundred yards of concrete. This is a view of one of the sidewalks leading through it. There is another full side like this as well as the pillars between the traffic lanes that are also filled with pictures and tags.



There are the normal tags throughout, like this giant one from Nope and another from Vomet.





There are also a plethora of random, nonsensical pictures strewn between the tags.











and some inspirational words...



There are a ton more pics of just Nope and Vomet but it would be superflous to put every one I've seen on here. There would be too many to count, since I start getting confused around the mid-thirties.

I don't know anything about graffiti. An old neighbor of mine used to do it and talked about it one night. From what I gathered from that conversation, it seems like an underground community. I picture one graffiti artist seeing another person's tag on a hard to reach spot like a highway overpass and silently nodding his head in approval. I think it's more than just some rapscallions vandalizing public property for the hell of it. I think it's a group of people with (sometimes) real artistic talent and a carefree, "fuck you" attitude. Both of which I can easily get behind.

I like seeing these pictures all over the place. Also, I saw a dead bird today in the parking lot of a grocery store. Looks like it got rocked pretty hard.



ALSO, this.

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK Day

Where I come from, Martin Luther King Day is no more important than Arbor Day. Everyone still goes to work. Everyone still goes to school. It wasn’t until I moved to Milwaukee that I realized some people take this holiday seriously. Namely, black people. Since there were, maybe, three black people in Appleton when I was growing up, MLK day was not a big deal. Milwaukee, however, has a large black population. Thus, big deal. The university was shut down, and people actually mentioned it.

Now I live in Atlanta. Ebenezer Baptist Church, where MLK was a pastor, is about a mile from my house. I was excited for the festivities of MLK day, and not just because I like large gatherings of happy people.

We drove to Ebenezer around noon. On the way there, we had the radio on. They were playing an MLK speech with a Dr. Dre beat behind it. I guess you gotta get the kids to listen somehow, right?

After parking, we walked to MLK’s tomb. It was a fairly somber atmosphere. A lot of people had their cameras and video recorders out, but there was also a large group of disinterested kids that had obviously been dragged their by their parents. It was a little weird standing in front of the tomb. Within that concrete box lay the man that everyone has loved so much that they pretty much beatified him.

I also thought about how weird tombs are. We lock dead people in boxes that will never disintegrate. Which I guess is also kinda funny since MLK was all about integration, but I digress. These revered people are forced to become a pile of mush that will never do what the pile of mush is supposed to do: Become one with the earth and contribute to new life. Whatever, I just think it’s weird. If I ever die, I want to be tossed into a hole, no coffin, so the earthworms can dig into my freshly dead flesh. Here’s to you, worms.

We left the tomb and I became annoyed. What was the first thing I saw? A table promoting light bulbs. Because that has a lot to do with civil rights and community organizing, right? The street was blocked off for a few blocks and booths had been set up all along it. There were many people hocking shoddily made MLK shirts, MLK bracelets, MLK necklaces, MLK posters, etc. Oh yeah, and deep-fried Oreos. Can’t forget about the Oreos.

After running the gauntlet of exploitation we walked to the church across the street from the tomb, where they were having the service. We had watched some of the service on TV before we left. They had a large TV and sound system set up outside the church so the people that couldn’t get inside could still hear the service. I was bored with the speakers we had seen earlier. They all pretty much said how great MLK was (which is to be expected), made a reference to Obama, and tried to sound important. No one had anything new or interesting to say.

However, the final speaker, Dr. Cornell West, the one that was speaking when we were there, was really good. He effortlessly spoke in the “important” tone that the other speakers were trying to imitate. He was animated, funny (at one point he discussed moral constipation and the need for moral diarrhea), clever, and did a great job of referencing MLK while also extrapolating from his teachings. At one point, we walked over to the church while he was on and looked through the windows. We couldn’t hear what he was saying while doing this but we could see his body language. Even a deaf person would have enjoyed his whole speech.

After he finished, we drove home and I grabbed my bike to head back downtown for the march. About ten blocks of Peachtree were sectioned off and there were people everywhere. I got there before it started so I walked on the sidewalk from the starting point to the end.



People were everywhere. Some were chanting, some were singing, some were beating drums and dancing. Everyone was in great spirits. One thing I found a little strange were the protesters. They weren’t protesting MLK or anything like that. They were protesting completely unrelated topics like health care and unemployment. I’m all for organizing like this, but what did they hope to accomplish? Yelling, “more jobs!” at someone that works at Walgreen’s isn’t going to further your cause at all. Good try, maybe next time.



The whole atmosphere had a sense of comradery to it that, I guess, MLK hoped we would have every day. It was great to see, but also a little disheartening. I knew that January 19th would be the same as January 17th. People will still be mugging each other, people will still be ignored. Luckily, I missed the news because I probably would have kicked a hole in it if there were any robberies today. I’m sure there were, that’s why I’m not looking at the websites.

When the march started, I was near the beginning in front of the Hooters restaurant. It wasn’t intentional, just a happy accident. As the groups went past me, I got to see all the adolescent males notice the Hooters, tap their friends on the shoulder, and laugh/yell/wave at the girls watching from the window. Amusing.

This was the first MLK day that I thought anything beyond, “Shit, the post office is closed.” Watching the speeches, well, I guess just Dr. West’s speech, actually had an impact on me. This was not expected. I think it’s because the goal they have, the world they want to live in (as do I), would be very easy to reach if people weren’t such jackasses. The solutions are very simple. It basically boils down to, “don’t be an asshole.” That’s it. Don’t be an asshole and we can have parades where everyone’s smiling and kids wave at Hooters girls every day. Doesn’t that sound nice?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Shut ‘em down, open up shop.

The first time we saw DMX, we were horrified. We were parking near a grocery store to enter the liquor store while he was stalking the parking lot. He was taller than us, stronger than us, and had a look on face that basically said, “Don’t FUCK with me. I will not hesitate to rip your heads off with my teeth.” The blue bandana wrapped around his head and horrible expression of anger reminded us of DMX. Therefore, his name became DMX.

We continued to have DMX sightings since, but have been able to avoid contact with him until this week. We parked at the grocery store and then noticed him patrolling the parking lot again.

“Oh shit, it’s DMX,” said Ted.

We carefully got out of the car and started power walking towards the entrance of Kroeger. He noticed us immediately.

“Oh shit! Oh hell naw!” he said. “I can’t fuck with y’all! Ya’ll some bad mother fuckers!”

We laughed and continued walking towards the store. Who knows what this man is capable of. He just might throw a car at us and take our wallets at any minute. However, he continued walking towards the store as well.

“I knew as soon as I saw you guys get out the car that you were some bad mother fuckers,” he told me as we stood side-by-side. “Hey man,” handshake, doesn’t let go, “I love y’all. Ima do something real special for y’all. How long you gonna be in there?”

“Uh, ten minutes or so.”

“Ten minutes,” still holding my hand. It was like we he was proposing to me. I couldn’t stop thinking about the man we had seen the day before at the bus stop. He had his shirt off and was maniacally scratching his shoulders and back. His skin looked dry and chalky, covered in some sort of fucked up skin irritation. As DMX held my hand, I thought about that man’s skin, and how whatever was wrong with him could be slowly transferring itself to me. “Alright, I got a surprise for y’all when you come back out. I used to do this all the time in New York. I got a surprise for you.”

We walked inside and immediately began freaking out.

“Should we tell the security guard?”

“Should we ask for an escort?”

“What the hell kind of surprise could he possibly have?”

“It’s either his dick or a gun. He is for sure going to show us either his dick or his gun.”

“He said he did it all the time in New York. Great. He’s a professional mugger.”

We gathered our items and proceeded through the checkout. We stood before the door with our bags and looked back and forth at each other.

“We should try to find a group to walk out with.”

“He’s going to show us his dick or his gun. God damn it.”

We took a deep breath and stepped outside, power-walking to the car. We both did a quick scan of the parking lot: DMX was nowhere to be seen.

“Alright, get your keys out. He could be anywhere.”

As we walked around the van that was between the car and us, we thought we were home free. As I started putting the key in the door, Ted stopped and pointed to the passenger-side door. DMX was bent over and doing something to the door. Of course, I immediately suspected he was trying to break in.

He noticed we were back and popped up with a smile on his face. “I told y’all I’d have a surprise for you. I’m almost done.”

He walked around the car to my side and I noticed he had a rag in his hand. He was wiping all the dirt off of my car. His surprise was to clean my car by the time we got out of the store. Holy shit.

As he finished up, I threw the keys to Ted to unlock his door so we could make a quick getaway if necessary. Sure, he was doing something nice and was acting nice, but these things can go sour in a second. I’ve dealt with a lot of bums and beggars. I’ve seen them get angry for no reason.

While he was wiping down the windshield, he started telling us about life. We learned his name is Andre. We learned he’s from Long Island. We learned that John Gotti was a real gangster. We learned how the drug dealers in Atlanta are doing it all wrong. We learned he was hungry for chicken.

He completed his task and we gave him a handful of change and a couple of dollars. He thanked us a billion times, gave me a fist-bump, and then another handshake that turned into us simply holding hands again. He rambled on about nothing and we eventually managed to close the car doors, which was not easy.

As we drove away, I was shaking. I was nervous the whole time we were talking to him. I didn’t think we would do anything to us but, like I said, you never know. In all, I’d say it was a successful adventure. Horrifying DMX is now in love with us and my car got its dirt pushed around for a little while.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's snowing. HOLY SHIT.

It’s snowing. Here. In Atlanta. Wtf. I moved south to avoid things like this. Twenty degree weather? What the hell?

When I say it’s snowing, I mean it’s the southern version of snowing. In Wisconsin it would be referred to as a “dusting,” or a light flurry with no accumulation. To anyone from above the Mason-Dixon Line, this is no big deal. In Georgia, however, the sky might as well be on fire.

I refuse to leave my house. If people don’t know how to drive when the conditions are perfect, I’m not going to risk it in the snow. I’m sure no one will know to slow down before coming to a stop, or take corners slow, or anything useful like that. “What’s this white shit? Fuck it, who cares?" Vrrrrrrroooooooooooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmm…..

And then someone dies. Or gets hurt. Or gets into an accident, making someone mad, and then someone dies. I think I’ll pass on that whole scene.

This is a picture from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. When snow comes people think they won't be able to leave their houses for weeks so they stock up on the essentials. Seriously. Better get five gallons. There's no telling when this blizzard will let up.



The snow didn’t show up until the middle of the afternoon. The forecast said it would come around four o’clock. That’s right, four o’clock in the afternoon. You may be asking, why is this important? Because schools were already closed last night. Yeah. Schools closed down on the possibility of snow arriving in the late afternoon. It’s understandable, though. I mean, you can’t expect someone to drive their kid to school through a blizzard that dumps a whole zero inches of snow all over the city while said kid is safe at home anyways. And it’s not like education is really all that important. It’s the south.

On the bottom of the television screen right now they have the news ticker of the school closings for tomorrow. The snow is supposed to clear up by midnight. If schools closed for this type of snowfall in the north, the kids would never have a full day of school. They might as well close the schools when there’s a heavy downpour, or thick fog, or a leap year, or an asteroid. It all makes the same amount of sense.

I understand that they don’t have the snow removal capabilities that we did in Wisconsin. I understand that it’s a rare event around here. But to close school for two days because of a light snow shower that occurred during off-hours and will be gone by the time school would have started tomorrow? That’s fucking ridiculous.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year's resolutions are stupid.

If anybody actually stuck to their resolutions there would be no fat people, no smokers, everyone would play an instrument, and everyone would be happy. However, everyone’s fat, smokers are everywhere, and everyone hates their lives. Admit it. You do.

If you make a resolution you might as well throw a penny in a fountain and make a wish. It’s the same hopeful optimism that drives both activities. We all want to believe that if you find a penny, people will give you high-fives for the rest of the day. This, however, doesn’t happen. Ever.

If you make a resolution you might as well resolve to admit that you don’t have the ability to change what you want about yourself. If you really wanted those changes to happen, they would have happened already. Unless you have a near death experience on December 31st that gives you a new outlook on life, stop bullshitting yourself. It’s okay to admit this. No one has the ability to change everything. Sometimes you just are how you are. Think you should stop lying to people all the time? Well, if you have to make a resolution to stop doing it, chances are you won’t be able to stop. You’re a liar. Sorry. Accept it. Same thing goes for working out or dieting or any of the other cliché resolutions.

If you need a calendar day to tell you to do it, you’re just going to devolve to how you were in December, or November, or the rest of your life up until this point. Once the New Year becomes a thing of the past, so will your desire to better yourself. If you are going to try to better yourself, you should be doing it year-round. It should be a constant goal, not something you mark on a calendar. I know that these things need to start at some point. Might as well be January 1st, right? Bullshit. You’re just getting caught up in an annual fad that will dissipate as time moves on. Get back to the Cheetos and video games. Life’s much better that way, anyways.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Starting the year out with a bang.

Sometimes people hang out. Sometimes people celebrate a new year. Sometimes people get hit by cars. Guess how many of these I did last night?

I don’t really remember it happening; I’m going to blame a concussion instead of the alcohol, so this is pieced together through stories from my roommate and a few foggy memories. I’ve definitely learned something from this experience though: Getting hit by a car is exactly as cool as is sounds.

A few years ago I saw a woman get hit by a car. It was nuts. This lady got rocked quite a bit harder than I did, though. I was driving down Capital Drive in Milwaukee and saw a women standing on the side of the street. The street has two lanes of traffic going each way with a boulevard in the middle. I watched as the lady looked both ways and stepped into traffic. All four lanes of traffic were packed with cars going around 35 miles per hour. The lady Froggered her way across the first lane of traffic before she got lit up. She slid up the hood, slammed her head on the windshield and flew in the air. Flew. Up. Before crashing back down onto the concrete. I got out, called the police and watched as the stupid woman screamed in Russian while people came to help her. It sucks that she got hit, but, in all honesty, it was her fault.

I’m not exactly sure if my little run-in with the front of a car was my fault or not. I was crossing in the cross walk on a busy bar street with people jaywalking all over the place. It’s very possible that I crossed against the light, but, again, I’m not sure. Ted tells me that he saw it happen without knowing it was me. He stood on the sidewalk talking to his girlfriend and saw it happen over her shoulder. I guess I got hit hard enough for him to go, “Oh, shit! That guy just got smoked!”

The car hit me on my right side. I hit my head on the hood and slid up a little bit before the car stopped and I was thrown onto the concrete. People came to see if I was okay and the car took off. This is what makes me think the driver was at least as guilty as me in this transaction. The guy had to be drunk otherwise he would have gotten out like a normal person. Either that or he/she was the biggest asshole in the world.

I stood up, dusted myself off, and walked over to Ted on the sidewalk.

“Hey dude. I just got hit by a fucking car.”

I wasn’t hurt. I have a tiny cut on my head that looks like it could have happened shaving, if I shaved the side of my head. Someone walked up to me and told me there was a cop around the corner, and that I should go speak with him. I shrugged, said okay, and followed them.

The officer was nice and looked at me like I was a crazy person.

“Are you hurt?” he asked.

“Nope. I’m okay.”

“Do you want to go to the hospital?”

“Nope. I don’t have insurance. I could use another drink, though.”

One of the bystanders happened to get the car’s license plate number so they gave that to the cop. My interview ended there because there’s not really much more I could say. “I got hit by a car. It sucked. Whatever.”

I woke up today with a pretty well-developed headache. This could be due to my head hitting the hood of the car/concrete, or it could be from alcohol. I’m going to say it was the car/concrete. Throughout the day I noticed new aches and pains. A sore wrist, hip, and back are like the sprinkles on top of the headache sundae. Getting hit by a car rules.

We drove to Taco Bell for breakfast since no one wanted to go to Waffle House. On the way there, someone else forgot how to drive their car. We first watched as the guy drove through a red light. A couple blocks later we found ourselves driving in the adjacent lane to him, just a little behind. He, however, didn’t notice us. He decided to switch lanes without checking his mirrors or blindspot or just pulling his head out of his ass in general. He almost hit us, I got to give him a good blast of the horn, and then we gave him a pretty hardcore middle-finger session. It felt good.

As we drove away from the psycho, I realized that if that had happened, I would have gotten hit by two cars on the first day of the year. 2009 was a pretty shitty year and 2010 doesn’t seem to be off to a great start. Let’s hope I can stop getting hit by cars long enough to find a goddamn job.