Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Keeping In Touch

It’s been a while since I’ve written, my apologies to those of you who actually read this… [knock, knock, knock] Hello? Anyone there?


Anywho… so I got an IM last night from an old… uh… friend? (Acquaintance? Lust? IM buddy?) Basically, he’s a guy I met once in a bar, had a brief but nice chat and then IM’d a few times. I didn’t think he was really interested in me (or that he’d forgotten me—which was most likely the case) and we quickly lost contact. Suddenly, he was back!

I was quite happy to hear from him—he’s rather cute—and thought that maybe my luck with men might actually be turning around.

Alas, no such F’ing luck.

The guy, I’ll call him Buck, has a freakin’ boyfriend! Well, crap on a stick, what’s up with that? Don’t guys usually start contacting old friends/acquaintances/lusts/IM buddies after the breakup?

He started asking me questions about cigars and pipes, etc. And I replied that I enjoyed them, although, most of my pipe experiences have more to do with 4:20 than tobacco. (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

Apparently, old Buck has quite a thing for ‘gars and God bless him for it. Too often I’m told they smell, they’re offensive, they sit around and do nothing all day but watch Sports Center… okay that last part only applies to me, and my quiet lust for anchor Trey Wingo, but I think you get the drift. He’s a man who likes men who like cigars and the guys that like them for it. Who wouldn't love that?

Now if only he would break up with his current love (or cheat on him) because it’s been a while and I’m feeling mighty restless…


If I’m thankful for one thing this Thanksgiving, it’s that Thanksgiving is over. What a silly holiday: you have to gather with family that mostly drives you crazy and eat until you’re sick, and then sit around with those same losers, because you’re so stuffed you can’t manage to get the hell out the door. Worse, Christmas is less than a month away!


I’ve barely done any shopping… I’m trying to be “creative” with my gifts to friends, which can mean only one thing: none of them will be speaking to me next year after they receive my crappy gifts. The idea was somewhat original, the wording mostly clever, the execution, however, sucked like a Hoover set on high shag. Ugh. It’s too late now, the sleigh is packed and the reindeer are raring to go—so my sad, poor friends will be getting the worst gift with the best of intentions.

Okay, that’s a little extreme, my intention was not to be lusciously kind, but to save money. I just thought something that was handmade would be charming, no matter how poorly made. Unfortunately, I lack any kind of creative talent. I’m good with ideas, shitty with execution.

Story of my life… which can be found in a hastily hand-bound book with mostly illegible pages, that is pointlessly and poorly illustrated.

I did manage to get most of my bills paid off this month. Big chunk of change to accomplish that, but I feel much better getting a lot of that debt off my financial books (also hastily hand-bound and poorly illustrated).

Well, I can’t think of much else to say today, but have a night evening. Maybe I’ll be more creative the next time I write… which could be tomorrow, or possibly 2005, keep looking and find out.


Monday, October 21, 2002

Palm This!

So, my boss gave me her old Palm Pilot as she recently upgraded to a newer, better, faster version. Apparently, it can fly, do her laundry, her taxes and her nails, all while keeping track of her many meetings.

The version she gave me, sits in my office, causing me aggravation and collection dust. At least I think it’s collecting dust, as I boxed the little fucker up and threw him way up on top of my filing cabinet, where it is out of sight and it can rot until for all I care.

Oh, how did such a happy-go-lucky boy like me get so pissed off at an inanimate object, you ask? Well, last week, Carla, my boss, gave me her old Palm Pilot. She handed me the box, the cradle, the Palm Pilot, the instructions and installation disk—everything I needed to get started right away! Oh boy!

It was all so simple.

I followed the instructions, installed everything and hit HotSync, which is supposed to link everything together: my Outlook calendar, address book, tasks, etc. Instead, it started to download all of Carla’s information from the handheld onto my computer! I yanked the SOB out of the cradle and rechecked all the settings. I made sure that the information on my computer would override the information on the Pilot. I didn’t set it up to exchange or synchronize the information. No, I wanted my computer to override the handheld.

I tried again.

Again, the bastard started to download Carla’s information!

Carla suggested I uninstall and reinstall and make sure the system knows to delete her old information.

So, I uninstalled… the folks at Palm were too kind not to attach a uninstall function on their program like everyone else, so I had to search around for a while until I remembered that Microsoft had a link to uninstall any of my programs. God Bless the boys at Microsoft. (Who’d ever thought I’d say that?)

I tried again. This time, when installing, I was not asked to enter my name. Odd, I thought, but who knows? We’ve been hanging out for the past few days, so maybe it understands me? Maybe this time, it will work.

It didn’t work. Again, Carla’s system attempted to invade mine.

Once again, I deleted and once again I reinstalled. This time, I carefully checked each install page and set up everything as carefully as possible. When I went to HotSync, it seemed to know that I was going to shut if off, so it pulled a fast one and dumped Carla’s vast and neverending datebook onto my computer (even though I had set the parameters to never allow the handheld to override the computer. Never).

Since the little bastard wouldn’t listen to me, I said a quick and happy “Fuck you, you fucking piece of fucking shit,” uninstalled again, and promptly threw the “fucking piece of fucking shit” back in its fucking box and under my fucking desk.

When I relayed the story to a co-worker (sans the many “fucks”), she suggested that I do a “hard clean” of memory on the handheld. If hard clean meant dipping the thing in a vat of boiling ammonia, followed by a vat of acid, well, I was all for it. Apparently, I only had to push here and prod there and life was good again. So, after prodding and pushing and pulling and a slight tug here and there, it cleared.

I reinstalled again.

This time, Su—a coworker and a successful user of Palm and its many fine Palm products—stood by me while I installed. She read each page carefully. Oh, dear Lord, was she careful… and slow. As much as I wanted her to hurry her ass up and read, I realized she may be on to something: reading and following directions apparently works for many.

We completed everything and life was good. “Hurray!” I exclaimed, “You did it Su!” Su patted me on the head and said, “No, we did it.” And she was right and everything worked out wonderfully…

…if by wonderfully one means: to totally not fucking work worth a fucking good god-damn!

When we went to HotSync, the system said that because there were “multiple users” on the system, it could not download information from Outlook. Where are the multiple users? Only my name was on the registration. Only my name was on my computer. And only my name was on the handheld.

Well, to make this already too long story not go on too much longer, we couldn’t find the answer, and man, did we try. When we would try and sync, we would get a message telling us to go online and look up “Syncing Multiple Handhelds to Same Profile.” So we searched and searched and searched their website. You know, there is no listing for “Syncing Multiple Handhelds to Same Profile.” And what little information there was on synching (or “syncing” as they spelled it) was not helpful at all. I mean, not one bit.


So, we spent about two hours going through the program, trying to sync the damn thing up—or at least figure out why it thought there were multiple users. Carla was no longer listed anywhere, why did it think there was someone else?

We thought it may be confusing my Outlook profile [clion] with my full name, which I’d entered into Palm at registration. So, we adjusted it and tried again.

No sync.

Uninstalled and repeated the process…

…and did it again…

…and did it yet again…

Each time, we tried something different, hoping we’d find the key.

We read the instructions all the way through and still no luck. The little bastard just wouldn’t give. Finally, I’d had enough and once again, uninstalled.

Then Andrew came in my office.

He had Carla’s USB cable that she’d originally ordered for her handheld (now mine) and did I want it? I practically grabbed it out of his hands. It was the connection! That was it! Oh, how silly I felt…

I reinstalled and then tried to attach the USB cable.

What the fuck?

There was a disk that came along with it, but it didn’t open the installation. When I tried searching the disk, I could never find anything that would start the installation process.

So, I followed the directions, which are very detailed, very precise and yet, incredibly vague. How do the folks at Palm stay in business? Why do people use their products? Is it a world full of masochists?

The directions said to make sure that Palm software was installed, but when I tried that, it didn’t work. So I tried again… after uninstalling again.

I think we all know what happened, don’t we? You know it ended up in a box on top of a cabinet in the deepest, darkest crevices of my office, so why go on? Yet, I must.

Suffice to say, I don’t see how the little bastard could help me accomplish anything. It wasted an entire day of my life. I had things I could have been avoiding at work today, things that I won’t be able to enjoy avoiding tomorrow.

As I was getting ready to leave, Su walked up to one of our IT people and asked if they had any experience installing Palm Pilots? After working all day and pulling what’s left of my hair out of my head, I certainly didn’t want to find out that it only takes minutes to complete. I was ready to kill her.

“Yeah,” smiled Neil, “It might take a few minutes, but I can get it all sorted out in a few minutes.” Now I was ready to kill him.

Right now, I’m enjoying my hatred of Palm too much to allow anyone to quickly and easily install this bitch of a program. So, I’m going to wait a few days, before I request some help.

However, if they don’t run into any problems, then it will clearly be my incompetence that I couldn’t get it to work—and I will probably be even more ticked off (if that's possible). But if they can’t install it, then victory is mine and that “fucking piece of fucking shit” Palm will be torn apart by my palms!

Incidentally, I did send an email to the fine folks at Palm… they say they’ll get back to me in 24 hours. God help the poor bastard that has to help me, as they may end up on the back of a very tall cabinet, collecting dust…

Monday, October 07, 2002

Sweet Home Alabama

I hate seeing movies alone. It’s so depressing. But I really wanted to see Sweet Home Alabama this weekend, and since I couldn’t find anyone to go (and it was so last minute I only called one person), I was forced to go all by myself.

Comedies are the worst to see alone, especially for me. I laugh far too loud, or I’ll try and cut a loud laugh off and sound like I’m choking. Suddenly, everyone is looking over at the pathetic guy choking in the dark… Or worse, I say something out loud, some silly comment and then I’m the guy talking to himself in the theatre. I used to mock those people—and now I’m one of them.

My only way to combat a situation like that is to try and sit near some people and look like somehow I “belong” to them. Usually, I try and listen in to their conversation and laugh when they make a joke. When they look over, I smile, say I couldn’t help hearing and make a favorable comment. In my sad, pathetic little mind, I’m now going to the movies with them. I don’t feel quite so alone.

However, that doesn’t prevent me from making those choking noises…

Back to Sweet Home Alabama, it’s exactly what you expect it to be: cute, funny and no surprises. Sure, there were those people in the audience that audibly gasped at moments (and those of us who laughed at them), but nothing we didn’t already pick up from the trailer.

I tend to hate “cute” and “sweet” movies because they try so hard to be cute and sweet that they end up being pandering and obnoxious. The credit for the success of this film goes directly to Reese Witherspoon. Reese, as always, is adorable and plays the part of Melanie Carmichael, the embarrassed former Southerner well.

Melanie is caught between her soon-to-be ex-husband Jake (played by Josh Lucas, who could not be any cuter) and Andrew (played by Patrick Dempsey, who is so JFK, Jr. it’s almost distracting).

My adopted friends for the feature sat directly behind me: two very chatty queens and their fag hag. I couldn’t say anything out loud, without looking like a complete idiot—so they were my voice in the dark. Unfortunately, I never got the opportunity to make a connection, so they were “my friends” only in my twisted mind. However, they made all the right comments at just the right moment—or should I say, just as I was thinking them.

When Jake took off his shirt, revealing his very nice chest (oooh… fuzzy!) one of the guys said, “Now that’s what I’m talking about.”) Whenever there was a close-up of Jake, and his eyes sparkled in the lights, they would sigh and talk about how damn cute he was… because he was so damn cute!

But when it came to the town gay-boy Bobby Ray, played by the very sweet Ethan Embry, they were very vocal about wanting to “put him on a plate and sop him up with a biscuit.” Okay, they didn’t actually say that, but I was thinking it when they were salivating over him, so close enough.

When Bobby Ray, Andrew and Jake were all standing on the front porch, I was letting my mind drink in the nasty possibilities of the scene, when one of the guys started making porn music sounds and the other queen said, “That’s a scene I think this movie really needs!”

Not only does this movie work well as a comedy, but the porn possibilities are endless. I have a feeling we are going to see several porn movies based on the very same concept. Frankly, they couldn’t come soon enough for me.

I’m sure they will make a sequel of this film, and I hope to see it with my new movie buddies… whoever they are.

Monday, September 23, 2002


This weekend a group of us went up to Yosemite for the weekend. I drove up with Scott and was pretty happy we were leaving so early, as I had never arrived in Yosemite until after dark.

Not that arriving at night is a bad thing, it’s actually quite nice. The place is dark and quiet. After setting up our tents, we would walk over to the bridge, and with an unobstructed view, we would sit down and gaze at the billions and billions of stars in the night sky. Among all the amazing things at Yosemite, the amount of stars in the sky just floors me (good thing I’m sitting down when I’m looking at them.

And in the morning, I would wake up to the most spectacular scenery: The trees that are so tall they go on forever and just beyond them sits Half Dome. Pictures do not do it justice. It is beyond awesome to gaze up at it. Half Dome is almost hypnotic in it’s grace and beauty. It’s truly inspiring.


Oops, back to my tale…

So, Scott and I left at 2:00, expecting to arrive around 7:30. Maybe that would be cutting it a bit close, but at least it wouldn’t be dark. We had directions, and since it’s not a holiday weekend, we knew traffic would be light.

The directions to Yosemite from San Jose are pretty clear: Take 280 South, which turns in to 680 North, up to 580 East , which turns into 205, and then east on 120 and you’re there! So simple, anyone can do it, right?

We did it all without a hitch. I chattered away, Scott slept—or pretended to sleep to shut me up—and we made really good time. Along 120 there are two big signs for Yosemite. The first says that Yosemite is 66 miles away. The second, some 21 miles later, notes that Yosemite is 45 miles away. I saw the 45 miles and stepped on the gas…

About an hour later, we didn’t seem to be any closer to Yosemite. I no longer saw any signs for Yosemite… in fact, I saw few signs at all. But Scott and I trudged on, noting “familiar” bits of landscape as we drove, not thinking that we’d never seen this area in daylight and how off we might be. No, Scott and I found something familiar with just about anything. “That rock looks familiar…” “Yeah, that mountain looks familiar… in the dark, it blocks everything, just like now…”

As we started up a hill that was a 26% grade, I began to get suspicious that we were not on the right path. Scott had been saying this for about 20 minutes, but I had been “sure” that we were going the right way.

We passed a group of campers and I thought that maybe we should pull over and ask. Scott practically grabbed the wheel from me and said, “keep driving. One of them has got a shotgun and the albino kid is playing a banjo…”

So we slowly chugged up the hill…

“Give me a sign, God. Something that says we’re on the right path,” I prayed very quietly to myself… and then I saw it. On the side of the road, the first white reflector to have any kind of notation clearly read: HWY 108.”

What the fuck? Where the hell did 108 come from?

We turned around and my car no longer heaved at climbing such a hill, instead, my brakes began to smoke as we made our descent down the hill, past the cast of Deliverance and to a little tiny restaurant in some town called Dardanelle. Dardanelle consists of a 1 pump gas station, a general store, a bar and a restaurant… all in the same small building.

The kind folks let us fill up on gas, (at the right reasonable price of two dollars and 30 fucking cents a gallon!) and informed us that we were about 150 miles away from Yosemite.

I had missed the turnoff, some 96 miles previous.

So we trudged our way back. Again we drove past Wawona, right past Cow Creek, through Strawberry Creek, and sure as fuck past Sugar Pine. Yep, we went past all those “familiar” areas that we had never seen before in our sad, sorry lives.

As we drove back, we passed a small sign for route 49 that would take us to Yosemite. I decided to avoid it, as I was unsure if it would take us some “back way” that would be unfamiliar to me. Versus the last hour and forty minutes that had been a regular trip to memory lane…

Again, I missed the 120 turnoff! So, about 2 miles later, there was a small turnout and I practically did a U-turn in the middle of the highway. “Fuckit” became my mantra. We then passed the “Yosemite, 45 miles sign” and then about 100 feet further, there was a teeny-tiny little sign that noted that 120 turned at the small turnout ahead.

So as to not confuse anyone, the wonderful people at the park service, put a small brown and mostly unnoticeable sign for Yosemite. You would think a park of such note would have a much bigger sign…

The second we turned on the road everything became familiar in that “Oh Christ, how could we have not realized how wrong we were before? This IS the way!” From then on, we knew we were on the correct road. Especially, after we past the intersection where route 49 merged with 120. If I had taken it, I probably would have saved myself another half hour…

We arrived on the valley floor some 45 minutes later… at 10:15pm. So much for driving into Yosemite during the day. However, Scott and I did get to see El Capitan under a full moon, which is quite stunning: the granite glowing with these deep, black crevices. Scott thought it looked teutonic, which I totally agreed with (after he explained what the word meant).

We made one or two wrong turns getting to camp, but we made it at 10:30pm… eight and a half hours after we left. But to be able to wake up on Saturday, open the tent and look up at Half Dome was worth it.

And that full moon I mentioned? It was so bright that we didn’t need flashlights to walk around at night. It was so bright, we kept thinking a light was on in our tent. It was so bright that we couldn’t see any stars!

Monday, September 16, 2002

A Good Ride

The traffic Gods were kind to me this morning: not much heavy traffic, some cute boys on the road, and an interesting diversion or two.

I had a lovely drive to work today. The interchange for 880 and 280 was remarkably clear. Hardly a slowdown at all. Usually it takes me about 10 – 15 minutes to muddle through… today, it was less than 2 minutes.

Then, as I was zooming along, I came upon a GMC something or other. It’s a 1970’s-era SUV that looks a lot like the old Ford Broncos. Very cool. Very butch. The dude in it was so adorable. He was this little guy in this huge vehicle, blondish, sweet looking, baseball cap, 30’s-ish. Too cute. Really enjoyed it.

Another guy zoomed up behind me in his truck. Another hottie, but dark-haired; deep, dark eyes; sultry looking. He had that “I’ve been emotionally hurt in the past, don’t come near me, however, I need a hug” look that I adore. I’m sure he’s straight, but I can dream, no? It was hard to keep my eyes on the road ahead.

As I approached Page Mill Road, traffic came almost to a complete stop. I thought it might be another water main break on Page Mill, but it turned out that a woman had spun out and her car was on the shoulder, facing the wrong direction. She had this look on her face that said, “Yes, I know I’m facing the wrong direction. No, I don’t know how it happened. Please leave me alone.”

Boy, her face certainly said a lot, didn’t it?

Traffic cleared up right after the spin out.

I have been continually tailgated by drivers on Stanford Avenue. For some reason these drivers have yet to catch the clue that the police are really watching that small bit of road. The speed limit is 25 and I go absolutely no faster than 25, even though I think I could walk faster. However, seeing two cars pulled over this morning on a road that is less than ½ mile long, was all the proof I need not to speed on that road. There are too many curves and too many places for cops to hide.

My last happy sighting was as I was driving into the parking lot. A very cute guy had backed his car into his parking space and was just sitting there, staring out as I drove by. I got a nice full on look at him. Great eyes. I think I’ve seen him around. Very handsome, guy. Probably in his mid-20’s… such a child. I feel so old… Yet, looking at him made me feel like a 25 year-old, or was it that I wanted to feel up a 25 year-old?

Kudos to the traffic gods…

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Java Jive Adventure…

I've removed this one... too many people can figure out who the respective parties are and I just don't want to go there.

If you MUST find out what was said here, send me an email: cmlion@hotmail.com

Monday, August 26, 2002

Good Friends; Bad Movie

My friend Scotty and I have a constant battle over which films to see. Our tastes vary widely, sometimes crossing over into one another, but for the most part we disagree entirely. He likes the more popular films, while I enjoy playing the elitist movie snob. Give me a good, long subtitled French film any day. This would, of course, drive Scott right over the wall. Not to say that he doesn’t enjoy art films, it’s just getting him there that requires work. He’ll go to the worst, schlockiest films ever and walk out surprised that it was mind-numbingly awful (example: Any film starring Vin Diesel). Yet, he will go kicking and screaming into an “art film” and walk out loving it.

So it was with great pain that I went to see Blue Crush last night… Good Lord, they could not have put in any more clichés if they tried. I would warn you about spoilers, but you have already seen this movie half a dozen times (and much better, I might add), that it is all but impossible for me to ruin this for you.

The story centers around Ann Marie—unfortunately, not Ann Marie of THAT Girl fame, that would have been too cool—no, this Ann Marie is a surfer chick who’s “the best anyone’s ever seen.” She’s so good that:
* no one, outside of her two friends and little sister have heard of her.
* the filmmakers have to constantly tell us that she’s so great, because she hardly surfs (she just relives the “horrible accident” again and again, to the point you want to yell out, “Just drown already!”)
* people have to constantly tell her how to ride the waves. Near the end, a champion surfer actually tells her that she is going to help her catch a wave, like she’s never done it before. Shouldn’t someone competing in the “Pipeline Championship” have some clue as to surf?

Poor Ann Marie, she had an accident four months earlier (no scaring, outside of her psyche), and it renders her too chicken to take on the waves. However, every morning she gets up, checks the surf report, wakes up her friends so they can all go surfing. But every time she goes to take “big pipe,” she chickens out. No one seems to understand her… poor Ann Marie.

Soon she meets NFL professional quarterback… Donald Hollinger! No, no, no. His name is even less imaginative: Matt Tollman. She tries to resist him, but he’s such a friggin’ hottie, she can’t. This is the only part of the film I found real: he’s too damn cute to resist. So they sleep together—apparently, constantly. However, we never get to see any on screen action. If I were the screenwriter, here’s what I would have to say about that: I slapped 9 bigg’ns down to not see any bangin’? If the dude had shown a little more of his swolls, wantin’ a little backside action, that would be a fancy feast!

The ‘writer’ really should have to go back to remedial English in 7th grade… If I am going to have to listen to this drivel, show me some hot, hairy ass!

Her flirting with the QB, pulls our heroine from her training. Her (total lesbian) friend Eden, played convincingly well by Michelle Rodriguez is very upset that Anne Marie isn’t training. Eden gives the constant talks on “getting out there and doing what others can’t,” along with Anne “being the best,” and “showing everyone the champion you are.”) I’m not sure where on the cliché list those land, but I believe they are all within the top 15. The sad thing about Michelle Rodriguez playing Eden is that we are constantly reminded that whoever cast this film completely missed the mark: Rodriguez should be in the role of Ann Marie, as Kate Bosworth is in way over her head playing Ann Marie.

The night before the big surf contest, Ann Marie goes out to a Luau with Donald’s football team and their skanky wives. All are hos but think they are “all that.”

Naturally, Ann Marie goes into the restroom alone so she can overhear the other women talking about her (cliché #26). She comes out of the stall and makes some stupid remark, gives a woman her shoes—her shoes!—and leaves. The best part of the scene was when another skank walks out of a stall and says, “Ohmygod! Like, was that her?” I bet the people at Pulitzer are wondering if they can give out an award for movies.

Ann Marie does what any rational person would do in a moment like this, she walks fully clothed into a lagoon! Donald/Matt follows her in—fully dressed. What is the director saying here? Maybe he was hoping the actors would drown and he could get out of making this film? Actually, this is so we can have a discussion where the water spontaneously grows lights under the actors, so we can see them in the dark, murky water? Hey, is that a hungry, vicious shark? No, just a fantasy... a wonderful fantasy…

Because she doesn’t have a brain in her peroxide bleached head, Ann Marie asks Donald (Matt?) what to do. If he had said, dye your hair black, perm it into a flip, tease it sky-high and move to New York, I would have been happy. Instead, he took the cliché road out and asked her what she wanted (read: how do you see the picture ending). She said, “I want my mom to come home, I want my sister to go to school, I want to be on the cover of Surf magazine… even if I don’t win, I want any girl on Surf magazine.” Again, she asks him what to do and he says “Don’t let a man tell you what to do.” Which means: in a few scenes, I’ll tell you my tale and you’ll go out there and surf the best you’ve ever done in your life achieving all the aforementioned goals, plus me. That Donald says a lot in just a few words, no?

Finally, we get to the big contest. All the great female surfers are there. We know this because Ann Marie’s kooky side-kick Lena introduces them: “Hey is that [insert famed female surfing legend here]?” (If Eden has to ride Anne Marie’s ass to get her to train, then Lena is the one to encourage her to par-tay! Oh, that kooky Lena…)

Best of all is the announcer for the contest. Every sporting contest I have ever been to in my life is filled with the announcer giving out dry facts to the crowds. If there is an injury they’ll give a warning and maybe some encouragement, other than that, they are pretty quiet. Well not at this championship. No way, this announcer gives more of a commentary/play-by-play, speculating on what the surfers are thinking—even understanding what they are saying way out on the water. And the girls in the water can clearly hear what the announcer says—even under water! This is not good for Ann Marie, because the announcer constantly speculates why she is fucking up so badly. “Is it because of the terrible, terrible accident four months back? Could that be why she is so far behind and hasn’t a chance in hell of winning this, achieving anything in life, or getting laid by Donald ever again?”

To build drama, Ann Marie chokes about half a dozen times readying for her big ride. Naturally, she has a wipeout so she can come back to shore and get the necessary last minute pep-talks needed to go out. Donald comes by to tell her of the time that he got hit hard on the field and how he went back out there and did it. Gee, that was swell.

So, Ann Marie goes out one last time, and with the help of a world class surfer, is told to “paddle, paddle, paddle” to catch the “perfect wave.” Ann Marie gets perfect 10’s across the board! Although, the announcer says that this is not enough to win the meet, she is a champion none-the-less. Thank God for him, because I couldn’t have figured any of this out for myself.

Hurray! Ann Marie comes back on to the beach a champion! Everyone gathers round. Never mind the competition is still going on, the beach is crowded with people trying to get to Ann Marie—the loser, who botched it more times than anyone can count, but pulled it off at the end. Even the sponsor chick who is going to give her all she wants is there to greet her. Too bad mom didn’t show up—that would have pulled my lunch right up and onto the 15 year-old girl in front of me that was cheering when Ann Marie finally fucking did it. And then, just before the credits roll, comes the cover of Surfing Magazine with Ann Marie on the cover! She did it! Oh, the joy, the absolute joy.

Interestingly enough, Ann earlier stated that she wanted a girl on SURF magazine, what she ended on the cover of was SURFING magazine. Maybe they’re saving Surf for the inevitable sequel…

As punishment for making me watch this, Scotty now has to watch two horrible movies of my choosing. I am at this moment looking for some really bad subtitled French films…

Friday, August 23, 2002

Friday, Glorious, Friday!

I am SO happy it’s Friday. It’s been one of those weeks (I seriously do not want to relive the crap of this last week of pure hell), and I am unbelievably happy and grateful that the end of the week is upon us. It’s especially amazing to me that until a few years ago, I hated Fridays.

Long ago, in a lifetime far, far away…
…I used to work for these bastards that owned a chain of mediocre “Luxury Theatres.” I say mediocre, because they were once pretty cool, but due to the ineptitude of the management of the company, had slipped and the word luxury could not be applied to anything in the building. The company was riding on the coattails of their reputation that had been set 20 years before, and that rep was quickly erroding. An interesting side note: later they remodeled the theatres, added a lot of neon, digital projection, new seats, etc., and they seem even more behind the times. People still go, make no mistake about it, but the glory days are truly over.

Anywho… back to me.

Movie theaters do their primary business when ‘real people’ (i.e. those with jobs, or in school) are in their spare time. That would be evenings and weekends—for the school kids, Christmas break, spring break and summer break. So when were we busy at the theatres? Friday night, all day Saturday, Sunday matinee and a little on the weeknights (and the aforementioned school breaks).

While the rest of the country would be anxiously awaiting the weekend’s arrival, I would be dreading it. New movies, more crowds, and a disaster or two waiting to jump out at us. No matter how well planned we would go into the weekend, something would surely come along and F’ it all up. If a film didn’t break—and throw the show times off for the rest of the day—then employees were sick, if everything else was fine, then we ran out of some silly bit of stock like popcorn, coke, cups, along with the occasional napkins or straws. You’ve never seen a woman go ballistic until you tell her there are no straws (unless it’s when the tampon machine breaks—then you get a first hand look at the ravages of the PMS).

If we’d covered everything, that would be the night that all the plumbing (read: toilets) backed up into the snack bar, causing us to run around in our bare feet with our pants rolled up. Although it was disgusting, it wasn’t that bad until someone mentioned that the water level was quickly rising to the level of the plugs located around the snack bar. Great, do I want to die of typhoid or electric shock. Wait… wait… I’m thinking here. In the meantime, people are still clamoring for their popcorn—trust me you don’t want to get in the way of someone who came to the movies and can’t get popcorn.

Regardless of what crap went wrong, it was always at the worst possible moment. Usually, a general manager from the company would be watching when and employee would scratch their nuts; or my favorite: would drop a hot dog on the ground, pick it up, dust it off, and throw it back on the grill.

Those Fridays were a lot like Mondays for everyone else. It was crunch time, get the work done faster and better than before—generally, without any reward (at least monetarily). The satisfaction of a job well-done only goes so far for a 16 year-old (or a 36 year old, for that matter).

By the time Monday rolled around, it was a dream! The events of the weekend were over and the prep for the next weekend would begin—but at such a nice slow pace. I used to love Mondays—unless it was a holiday—then I’d f’ing hate them. I’d wander in on Mondays, get the place ready to open, read the paper, start some movies, make a call or two. If I was lucky, I’d see about 12 customers the whole shift. A day without seeing a customer was a sunny day indeed. Mondays, were just glorious…

Now I’ve done a 180 degree turn on this. I hate Mondays (unless they are a holiday) and love, love, love Fridays!

I have nothing of note planned for the weekend (okay, sure there’s the obligatory masturbation several times on Saturday—it’s been a busy week and I must catch up!). I do have a thing tonight I’m going to, but nothing for the rest of the weekend. I thought about the Lonestar, but why bother? No, that’s not self-pity, it’s my natural lethargic state. I’m excited about the weekend; it’s more about the prospect and potential of doing something amazing and fun, but not about actually going and doing something.

So, three cheers for Friday and all the potential for a possibly exciting, potentially fun, probably dull weekend. Hey, a lousy, lazy-assed weekend is still better than a fun-filled workweek.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

I am not depressed…

A friend came up to me and asked if I needed someone to talk with. I was a bit taken aback because I have never needed anyone present in order for me to talk. I am a constant running conversation that people just happen to walk into and out of.

Often, in the middle of a conversation, I will make reference to some off the wall subject and the person I’m talking to will give me that ‘look.’ (You know, the one that says they are worried that I’ve lost my ever-slipping grip on reality). How do I explain that while I’ve been talking to them for 20 minutes, they are at the tail end of a conversation that began two hours earlier? You just wandered into a pre-existing conversation, buddy. While I may be talking to you about an employee situation, the conversation began earlier when I wondered what I would look like bald… all over; then if I could have any super power, what would it be; to why I continue to hate Lani O’Grady (and, in fact, the entire cast of Eight is Enough, especially the dad); and slipping into what would the world look like if the sky was green and trees were blue; leading to how cool shag carpeting used to be; and finally, why cheese is such a silly word.

So when you are complaining about what a fricken nut-job an employee is and I say “just like Dick… as in Dick Van Patten?” don’t act like I haven’t been discussing this already. You just weren’t there. Trust me, this conversation will be going on long after you've left the room.

Anyhow, back to wanting to talk…

Apparently, Scott (one of the sad few who actually reads this stuff) read my blog and thought I seemed depressed. Looking back, I realized that I may have seemed depressed—but I’m not. I’m just bitter. There’s a huge difference—I’m not exactly sure what that is—but none-the-less there is a difference.

I decided to check into the last few entries and after looking back , I want to extend to you from the bottom of my heart, my sincerest apologies. Christ, what drivel. So sorry. Poor Chris… So depressed. So depressing…

If you’ve read them (and managed to get past all the type-os and grammatical errors) I’m so sorry for you. God Bless You for attempting to get through all that. Jeez, I thought I was only a little bitter—I’m pretty fucking depressing to boot.

I have now made an executive decision that from this point forward I will stop being depressed and start being positive! (Hurray for me!) So let the positive spin begin!

[crickets chirping]

Um… I’m sure I can think of something positive to say. Something. Positive. Something. Pos...

Okay! Got one! That script I was working on? I stopped writing it... because it totally sucked. Okay, not normally a happy thought, however, I’m writing a much better script now! It’s a hair's breath from soft-core porn, but at least it’s something near and dear to my heart. That’s a good thing, right?

Funny thing… I just type the word porn and there’s a smile on my face. Good lord, I am such a perv. (I do not think of that as a complaint or something to be depressed about, it is merely an observation. Please do not judge me as depressed or bitter at being a perv, as it is strictly an observation, not a complaint).

I think need to add a little sunshine to my day (to keep me on the happy trail of joy), so I think I will go home and watch some porn… that will perk me right up (no pun intended).

See? I’m a happy l’il camper! Positively the happiest little pervert around, as I’m going to go home and watch some porn… all alone… talking to myself the whole time…

Ah, Crap… now that’s depressing.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Do You Believe In Ghosts?

Santana Row, the former Town & Country Village Shopping Center burned yesterday. My God, what a sight! Flames shooting hundreds of feet in the air, apartment complexes miles away catching fire, traffic for miles diverted and backed up—in short, a real disaster. Sadly, the $500 million complex was exactly a month away from it’s grand opening. Who knows what will happen now.

While only 20% of the 40 acre complex burned, Building #7 was the largest building in the complex. It is also the main building along Winchester Blvd., which is across from the Century Theatres, so if you want a showpiece, this is the spot you DON’T want it to burn, because EVERYONE is going to see a burnt out hulk of a building rather than your crowning jewel.

Thankfully, Crate & Barrel (mind you, the BRAND NEW, JUST OPENED A MONTH AGO Crate & Barrel) did not suffer any damage. That C&B is one awesome building… plus, it’s a great store.

Oh, yeah, and no one was hurt…

Talk about a warped and twisted sense of priorities, I’m more concerned that a store is okay, versus the safety of the workers? Ugh. Actually, I think it’s because I knew the workers were okay, I could worry about trivial things, and come up with my conspiracy theories.

In my world, there are no accidents, it all happens according to some plan. Be it “The Man,” Tom Wopat, or Martha Stewart, I know nothing just “happens.” Someone has plotted or done something. This fire couldn’t be an accident, it happened at the shift change, when fewer workers were on, construction was almost complete, the sprinkler systems were about to be finished… hmmm… there’s something sinister going on here.

Conspiracy Theory #1: Santana Row Owners Did It.
Building #7 was to house the $15,000 per month condos for businessmen. When Federal Realty (the owners of SR) started construction of “the Row,” we were at the top of the internet & real estate bubble. Since that has popped (actually, more like ‘came crashing down with great thunder’), will they be able to rent to a high-end market? What company is throwing around that kind of money in these hard times? What person in this area is throwing around that kind of money?

The building burned at the shift change, when fewer workers were inside, thus, allowing the fire to start unobserved. Plus, any liability incurred with the loss of life is severely limited by most of the employees being out of the building.

Where this falls apart is that we have known the economy has been dropping for a while. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to have made some adjustments to the floor plans? Or convert them into smaller apartments than to burn it all down? Besides, Fidelity Realty is an INSURANCE company! Who do you think is their insurance company, Farmers?

Conspiracy Theory #2: Worker Wanting Job To Continue/Disgruntled Employee
With only a month left to go and not much new construction on the horizon, I’m sure a lot of these construction workers are a little concerned. Where are they going to find their next job? With all these workers looking for a job, will anything this big be coming up—if not, where will they all find work?

Why not at Santana Row?

By burning down the main building, Fidelity Realty will need to get their centerpiece up and running again ASAP, and they will need construction workers. Why look, here are some right now… just waiting to work… with no other immediate plans.

Once again, it was on the shift change, so no one could see what was going on, plus, the arsonist’s fellow construction workers would be safe from the fire. It’s perfect… but not quite.

The problem is, construction isn’t stopping at this point. There are several other phases of construction that are starting up as soon as the main buildings are done. The Ciné Arts complex needs to be built and several other condos and housing units are scheduled to start as well. There is still time to burn something else down after the current project is done.

Now, there is the possibility of a disgruntled worker. Never underestimate the power of the disgruntled worker to really F’ things up. But why not destroy more? Did they hope it would ignite the entire complex? Why not start a separate fire two buildings over and get the whole place going? It seems too random to be disgruntled.

Nope, this seems a little more emotional…

SOLUTION: Conspiracy Theory #3: Sarah Winchester
For anyone who has worked or lived around the Winchester Mystery House knows, Sarah has always made her presence known. When she doesn’t like something, she has a way of making that distinctly clear.

I worked at the Century Theatres, next to the Winchester House and across from Santana Row (then called Town & Country) for years. Sarah had a way of coming in at the worst possible time and really f’ing things up. Bulbs would blow in projectors, films would snap at start, odd things would go missing when you saw them moments before you needed them. All attributed to Sarah.

To keep Sarah out of the projection booth, we used to have to keep the light on in the projection booth when we closed at night, or else the next day, She would wreak havoc. New managers never believed this theory… until the day they opened the theatre and the light was off—and things suddenly went terribly, terribly wrong. The first (and last) time it happened to me, I walked in the booth and it was completely dark. I laughed and thought “I’ll prove that theory wrong.”

First, the first film I started broke at start (I’d checked it three times). I started again and it snapped just after the previews ended. Then, about an hour and a half later, the bulb in C-house blew. As I was changing it (an arduous task) the bulb in B-house blew. Once those two bulbs were changed, I went to start A-house again… the bulb blew. As I was changing the bulb in A-house, I said, “Damnit, Sarah, I believe you. Go away!” Problems stopped.

I was not the only one to have incidents such as this. On the later occasions I walked into the booth and the light was off, I spoke to Sarah, begging her to go somewhere else. I opened the door to the outside and shoo-ed her away. No problems. Later that morning, I told the new assistant about Sarah being around and to shoo her away. He laughed… and two films broke on him, until he shoo-ed her away, too.

In 1906, Sarah’s house was a massive seven stories tall. She felt that the ghosts did not like such a high house and that she should build out, not up—so they sent the San Francisco earthquake to bring it down. Down it came.

Now suddenly, new construction, across the street from her house is growing taller by the day. Did Sarah decide that she didn’t like such a tall place? Well, there are taller buildings just to the east of her house with no complaints. However, Building #7 appears to be on a rather touchy spot.

Years ago, there was a restaurant in the old T&C called The Brave Bull. It was a beef joint that was a little iffy, to say the least. I knew several people who worked there as waiters and bartenders and they always made comments that Sarah didn’t seem to like the place much (seriously, who did?). They reported odd things that would go wrong and how late at night they “heard strange things.” Eventually, The Brave Bull, located on the same spot as Building #7 burned down.

Also on the same spot as Building #7 was Eli Thomas Menswear. I knew a guy who worked there and he said that weird things used to happen all the time. During my stint at the Town & Country Theatre, things occasionally happened, but not with a great deal of regularity. The stores that stood where Building #7 stood, there was a significantly higher frequency of strange happenings. I suspect that Sarah wants nothing on that particular spot and I think she has made her point abundantly clear.

To Fidelity Realty/Santana Row, I issue this caution: Do not underestimate Sarah Winchester’s ability to F’ around. Make peace with her, even if it’s to tell her to go bug someone else. What about the senior center next door? I’m sure they have a lot in common (death, one being there, the others so close. Maybe they could compare ailments?) Typical of old people, Sarah won’t leave until you force her to go.

For those of you who still think that Sarah didn’t do this, remember that employees of the Century Theatres did not always believe in Sarah’s abilities, we had to be taught a hard lesson. In November of 1981, the Century 22, the flagship of Century Theatres, directly across the street from Building #7, and next door to Sarah’s residence, burned down.

“I do believe… I do believe… I do believe…”
--The Cowardly Lion, The Wizard of OZ (1939)

Monday, August 19, 2002

Lazy Days of Summer…

I haven’t written in a while. I could say I’ve been incredibly busy: traveling, working, out with friends, on dates, getting laid… but I’d be lying. The reason is pure and simple: I’m lazy.

Sometimes I just don’t feel like writing… sometimes I want to surf the internet… sometimes, I am actually working. As for dating… let’s leave that carcass alone. There is nothing there to speak of, so I’d rather not depress myself any more than I already am.


Don’t feel like a failure… be one!
I have not gone to the bars in ages. I’m not sure why—sudden burst of insecurity is all I can think of. I have posted to half a dozen websites in their personals sections… no response. Not one fucking response. How depressing is that?

I thought I was witty in my personal ad… maybe I was just annoying. Should I write something like “Hey, wanna get fucked?” Maybe that would be the kicker that would get a response. Good Lord… what if they sent a response that said, “Absolutely not!” I guess not getting responses is akin to that, eh?

I have no desire to go back to the bars, as I was not exactly a hit to start. Okay, I did have a nice first evening, but that was in comparison to the vast emptiness of anything previous. I chatted with Keith, I drooled over poor JD (the poor bastard had no idea that he’d hit on such a freak—maybe he did: I never heard from him again).

After that first night, my evenings at the Lonestar were strictly observations, with almost no contact with anyone outside of a bartender (who is REQUIRED to speak. Even then, they aren’t too chatty—so much for the tip-really-big-and-they’ll-like-you-and-introduce-you-to-some-hottie theory).

Okay, we’re moving on from Poor-Pathetic-Not-Getting’-Any section of our blog.

Elvis HAS Left the Building (and so has Groucho)
Apparently, after years of reports that he is alive and directing traffic in some small town somewhere, Elvis is, in fact, dead. Yes, he’s been dead for 25 years. So what? The bigger story (in MY book) is that Groucho Marx has also been dead 25 years. 25 years TODAY!

Will there be any big ta-doo over this? No. Just like his death, Groucho Marx will be completely run over by a drug riddled and bloated, has-been of a rockstar. Pity poor Groucho, who had the bad timing to die the same week as Elvis. Say what you will about Groucho, he and his brothers defined comedy in the 30’s and 40’s. His impact on comedy continues into today. The man loved and used irony with abandon. He poked fun at the establishment and made comedy more than pratfalls.

What else can I rant about?
I’m in a rather bad mood with all this ranting, so I’ll stop. It’s just so easy to complain.

I should get back to work… but it’s so much easier to procrastinate. With my penchant for laziness, I have a feeling that procrastination is going to win the day.

Finally, I’ve won something: Laziness! It's the best of both words!

Monday, July 15, 2002

In God We Trust

I know this is a little late, but I’m a procrastinator, so you’ll just have to bear with me. This “one nation, under God” debate is bugging the crap out of me. Do we not have enough to worry about in this world than to worry about some line in a pledge… to a flag? Not the country, mind you, but a friggin’ flag.

In saying the Pledge of Allegiance, a strictly optional function, one has several choices if they disagree with the wording of the Pledge:

1) Don’t say the pledge. Very simple: just don’t say it. “I disagree with it.” “My religion forbids it.” “I don’t do pledges.” Whatever. You don’t have to say it, it isn’t a requirement. I’ve known kids growing up that didn’t say it and that was fine. Sure they were weird, but it wasn’t because they didn’t say the Pledge, it was because they claimed they were aliens here to observe our ways.

2) Don’t say “under God.” Again, VERY simple. You just say, “one nation [pause], with liberty, and justice for all.” Unless you have a problem with liberty and justice, and then you can leave those words out too. If you also have a problem with “one nation,” you should go back to number 1.

3) Say something else. Can you do that? Can you make up your own words? Sure! It’s a free country! Besides Happy Birthday, no one (and I mean NO ONE) can sing any song completely without changing the words, either by choice or ignorance. “’Scuze me, while I kiss this guy.” Haven’t we heard that comment about Hendrix’ “Kiss the Sky”? Heck, I’m not even sure if that’s the right title—but you know what I mean, so that’s okay. Go ahead and say “one nation, starring me…” or “one nation, I’m not wearing pants…” or whatever you feel is appropriate. If someone questions you, show them the Bill of Rights and note your right of Freedom of Speech.

4) Make the country stop saying the part that you don’t like by suing. See, this is where I’m different than most folks. I don’t feel that just because I don’t like something, that it should be cast aside without any thought of how others might feel. I’m not into rap music, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t exist… okay, bad example. It shouldn’t exist. Jeez, that music sucks… Uh… Christianity. I’m not big on Christianity (except for Christmas, because I get presents and time off of work), but I’m not going to tell everyone else that they can’t be Christian, just because I may have some issues with it.

When did the consideration of the one outweigh the values or wishes of the many?

It’s not like “under God” is specifically saying “under the Christian God (Yahweh) who you should bow down and pray to…” No. It’s saying God. Your God. Whomever you believe in. Remember, the Bill of Rights states “Freedom of Religion” not from religion. “under God” is who you make it to be.

“Under God” is who we put our faith in. The higher power or non-higher power that we believe in and chose to help us in our life. If you are a Christian, then it’s the God of the bible. If you are Muslim, God is Allah. If you are Buddhist… it’s Buddah. If you are a Pagan; Ghia—Mother Earth. If you are an atheist and only believe in you… guess what? That “under God” is you.

Just as I don’t like the Christian Right telling me that if I’m not Christian, I’m not patriotic; I resent those that tell me I can’t have religion within the government. The President is sworn in holding a bible. When we take an oath in court, we swear to tell the truth, the whole truth or so help us God. It’s who we put our faith in, people. Get it?

Religion and our beliefs are a significant part of our lives it carries it through everything we do. People need to relax and let others live their lives as they choose. They need to stop being so offended at everything and get on with their lives. Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing to offend you and take care of what you are doing to not offend others… or at least understand what it is that bothers them.

If we continue this road of one side wanting to strip out all references to religion and the other stripping away anything joyful and fun, we’ll be living in a mighty boring world.

And God help us if that happens…

Monday, July 08, 2002

On The Hunt… For A Life

My life is eternally incomplete… I wonder if I will ever actually finish anything that I start? This weekend I accomplished nothing. I had plans to accomplish things, more likely start the process that would eventually lead to an accomplishment or two, but I blew them off for, uh…, nothing important. I go through life, setting goals, ignoring them while watching a rerun of Hometime (hey, I just love Dean and Robin… I loved JoJo, but now I love Robin).

My friends, few that I still have, all were out of town doing various things that people with lives do: camping, visiting friends in far off cities, performing maintenance on a vacation home, etc. Me? I fed my friend’s cats… and watched Real Sex on HBO (“It’s not just television, it’s damn-near soft-core porn!”)

Stop! Too much damn excitement!

My sister was housesitting for my parents, so I could walk around the place talking to myself. I did manage to come up with some funny bits that I neglected to write down.
I certainly hope my fish enjoyed the show, as the moment is lost to history.

I did manage to finally start on my Project Greenlight script. Not pleasant at this point. I’ve discovered that the script has major plot holes that I need to fill without seeming too cliché or that I’m simply trying to fill desperate plot holes with an added scene here and there.

The idea is simple, I’ve just got to get it to move well. It’s one of those situations where I know what I want, I know what I need, I just don’t know how to get it or go about getting it. I take that back: I know exactly how to get it… but am I willing to put in the time and effort? I’m sure I’ll piss away the opportunity. At least I’m consistent in my continuous failures.

Personally, I don’t think this is something that Greenlight will want or use. But I’m trying to get myself to complete some scripts. I have a folder full of “ideas” and articles that could be pretty cool, but mostly unworkable (i.e. I’m unable to put in a slight effort to make them workable). I have another folder full of treatments and partial treatments and the vague beginnings of an outline for a treatment, but nothing completed. I need to actually complete something and if a comedy about a perpetual bridesmaid is going to get me to complete something, then damnit, I’m going to do it. Or pretend that I am between naps.

It’s supposed to be a comedy and we shall see if it indeed turns out that way. Currently, I’m trying to get each act organized in some sort of recognizable order. Try as I half-heartedly, maybe, kind-of, sort-of did, I still am WAY off from having a treatment that makes any kind of sense.

Since I bought Final Draft over a year ago, I felt it was time to dust it off and start using it. It seems to work fine, but it’s taking me a while to learn just what the hell it does and how the hell it works. What ever happened to manuals included with the purchase of the software? System help is now online, and I just don’t have the energy to go and look up much needed information. So, I just hunt around, hoping to stumble across my answer.

Which is such a metaphor for my life, it’s scary. I hunt around and can’t find my life: “Shhh, I’m hunting life.”

I have more to say on this issue, but I don’t feel like writing about it right now. Maybe I’ll finish this up tomorrow…

Friday, July 05, 2002

Happy 5th of July!

Working on the 5th of July… what a pointless endeavor. It’s like working the day after Thanksgiving—is anyone else in the world working (except for those poor bastards in retail)?

If I had done any of the things I did this morning, I still would not be at work, as it stands, I was almost here on time. I went to the gym at 5:30—no one was there—and why would anyone be there? They’re home nursing a massive hangover. I took a long shower, buffed my feet (damn, are they callused), moisturized those calluses (ahhhh), went to Starbucks (mmmmmMocha!), wandered into the bakery next door and pondered getting a turkey & cheese filled croissant, thought better of it, and then bought one anyhow (thus negating the entire morning workout). I hit the freeway at 7:30, the moment I was supposed to be at work, and still managed to pull into my parking space at 7:50. No traffic at all. God Bless The United States of Slacking America.

So now, I’m sitting here, wondering why I completed so much work before I left on Tuesday… I’ve got nothing to do. I keep walking around asking people how they are doing, do they need help, how was the fourth, are you as bored as me, etc. Most of our conversations end with a whimper and I wander off… to torture some other poor soul with my inane banter.

I’m sure there is work to be done… somewhere. But I want to go out and play! The foothills are right outside the door to my building (okay, across campus, but I can see them from where I’m typing). I want to go lay in the grass (and that is right outside the front door). I want to be a part of this glorious day!

Actually, I want to take a nap. Not only am I bored, but tired.

Not that I did anything for the last two days. I did some laundry, but have neglected to fold it, so it is sitting on my unmade bed (the sheets were part of the loads of laundry). Lethargy is my word for the day… week… month… year… (life?)


I thought of a bunch of interesting things to right this morning, but none of them inspire me right now.

I’ll try to jump start my desire to write… hmmm… nope. Nothing.

I watched the fireworks last night. Alone. All by myself. How f’ing sad is that? There I sat among thousands of people, all alone, going “ooh… ahh…” Ugh.

Four Hoochie-Mamas sat down by me and proceeded to discuss, in no particular order, the following: being drunk; going to parties; “that whore, Carlise;” being whores themselves; that cute guy Nathan… no, not that guy, the taller one, with the hair; his friend Kevin, “even though he’s short and stuff, he’s got a big one. No, I swear! It was like so gross… and it was cool;” how drunk they got at that party; how sex in high school was always good, because they didn’t know any better; whatever happened to that bitch Celia, “she still owes me ten bucks;” throwing up in the pool “at that hella cool house where Dan was that time and nobody was there but us and it was so weird, ‘cuz he totally said there were going to be a bunch of people at that party and it was only us and those two ugly dudes… yes, totally weird;” and on and on they yammered.

Needless to say, I was bored out of my mind and listened to every foul-mouthed word they uttered. I wanted to hear more about Kevin and his “big one.” Not a whole lot on that dude.

On the way back, I went to use the restroom at the Fairmont—far less horrific than I thought. I thought it might be packed with all the revelers leaving at the same time, but only two teenagers were pissing and talking. How they can talk and piss at the same time is beyond me. I talk to myself constantly, but find when I’m at a urinal, I’m surprisingly silent. I just don’t like chatter and piss.

These kids were just chatting away… moving forward and back—checking distance? Cock size?—who knew? Anyhow, as I was starting to walk away, I heard one of the guys say, “Dude, you’ve got total bone.” To which, the other guy responded with an appropriate and desperate: “Dude!” I’m assuming he was noting that I was still in the room, because when I turned back, they were both looking at me, while shielding their exposed bits and pieces. I gave them my patented “what the fuck” look, washed my hands and moved on.

Neither of them was very cute, so the thought of them doing some sort of Bel Ami hot porn in the bathroom was not something I was going to actively ponder. Instead, I left and walked behind the ugliest family in the world, any thought of sex went completely out of my mind.

I’ve been housesitting for Larry & Shawn. Actually, I’ve barely been doing that. I stop in twice a day, feed the cats, feed the fish, water the plants, pet the one cat that will come near me and leave. I’ve now got my moves down so I can do an arc through the apartment and be in and out in less than 10 minutes. Twice, I’ve stayed a little longer to pet the cats and make sure they aren’t going bonkers.

Harley, likes attention and comes up to me and meows for me to pet him and get covered in white cat hair. I swear, even when I don’t pet him or sit down, I can still leave that apartment covered in cat hair. Mika (I think that’s how it’s spelled--there's probably a Y in there to make it exotic...) ignores me completely. Whenever I try and pet her, she moves away. Fine. Whatever. Bitch.

After the fireworks, I stop by the apartment for the final feeding of the day and Mika is nowhere to be found. I search and search and search with no luck. The apartment is not that big… where is she? Then I began to wonder if somehow, she got out. I look off the balcony for blood. Nothing. I start moving things… heavy things (bookcases)… irrational things (newspapers on the floor—like the cat has become flat since 10:30 that morning). Still nothing.

I sat down, trying to get my story straight. I began to wonder if Mika sneaked out when I was leaving, or maybe she was on the balcony when I was watering the flowers and she finally couldn’t take it any longer and jumped.

I tried to get Harley to help, but he seemed to only want to play with the rubber mouse. Occasionally, he’d run over to an area and I’d think Lassie was taking me to find Jimmy in the well. Alas, no, it was another rubber mouse.

I sat down again, defeated. While Harley scratched and played with my toes (I was thinking of it as penance for losing his playmate), I tried to think of what I was going to tell Larry & Shawn about how I lost their f’ing cat.

Harley took a small chunk from my toe and I yelped, as I pulled my leg up to inspect the damage, Harley went to work on the other foot and I saw movement to my left. It was Mika, calmly strolling into the room looking bored. She had that “what are you doing here?” look on her face.

I asked her where she had been and she looked back towards the closet I had ransacked earlier. “You were hiding because of the fireworks, weren’t you?” I smiled. Ignoring me, Mika went to the tall, cabinet at the far end of the room and lazily stretched out, trying to look incredibly casual.

The way the fireworks were booming through the downtown and the car alarms it had set off convinced me that Mika had run to hide in the closet. Now that it was over, she was trying to act cool and collected.

I walked over to her and told Mika I knew she was scared. Harley, looked up with that “You go” expression on her face. Mika would have none of it. In fact, she rolled over and faced the wall. I turned on the television to the fireworks and brought up the sound. The first bang of the fireworks and Mika was moving like a bolt of lightening back into the closet. Harley sat in front of the TV cleaning his paw…. Probably thinking “chicken S’t.”

I gave Harley a pat on the head and a wave to the chicken of the closet and went home. Back to my bed that I still haven’t put sheets on… or the mattress pad… and slept for 8 hours. It was a good restful sleep. So why is it all I can think of doing right now is take a long nap?

Monday, June 24, 2002

Dear Ann, Now that you’re dead, who’s going to take over your column?

Sadly, there will be no reply to this question, because, poor Ann is dead. At 83, Ann Landers has written her last column, and she never answered my question, even though I wrote her weekly: Everyone talks about length, but no one talks about girth, which begs the question: is having a long-thin dick better than having a short-thick dick? She died before she could tell me. Maybe that’s what killed her: she was testing the theory with a variety of marital aides.

Ann always said her column would die with her and, oddly enough, Ann’s dead but her column will continue on for another month. Which seems odd when you consider how many asking advice for issues that seemed so time sensitive: “I’ve got a lump…” “Who do I call when there’s a fire…” “I’m getting married next week…” (Wouldn’t it have been awful for some poor schmuck to get back from their honeymoon, pick up the paper and read Ann’s reply: “Don’t marry that freak!”)

Then again, Ann wasn’t always well-timed. She seemed to be still stuck in the 50’s at points, especially on women’s issues. I believe within the last year she mentioned something about women staying home while the man went out and worked! Yet, she still encouraged young people to practice safe sex. A 50’s sensibility in a 90’s world?

That chick was enigma. Who else could offer advice on issues on the subject of family harmony, keeping the peace, and being the better person in personality quarrels, all while carrying on a 20-year feud with her twin sister? Actually, the answer would be her twin sister: Dear Abby!

Well, Abby isn’t getting any younger, so I think someone needs to step in and start answering those questions. I think they need to be concerned for others. I think they need to be witty. I think they need not be a they, but a me.

“Now, Chris,” you are undoubtedly saying, “how can you say that you are the most suitable person to answer questions from the heavy-hearted and the easily confused?” Short answer: I’m not. Long answer: I’m not, please write me at my column and I’ll have an answer for you there… someday.

Let’s get started on “Dear Chris” (The Queen is dead… Long live the new King!) Here are some actual letters to Ann and how I chose to respond to them:

Dear Chris: My neighbor has an 18-year-old daughter who attends a prestigious high school. She was recently notified that the girl will not graduate because she has missed too many days and no longer meets the graduation requirements. She has been given ample opportunity to make up the missed work but has chosen not to.

Her parents informed me today that they still plan on throwing her a graduation party the afternoon her classmates graduate. They have asked me not to tell anyone their daughter did not actually finish school. Should I attend the party and bring a gift? -- San Jose, Calif., Neighbor

Yo San Jose! Dude, I know you! Rock on!

Okay, your question is good, but doesn’t give the important information: will alcohol be served? What about the free food? While it’s not your place to say anything, you can always get drunk and let things ‘slip.’ Or get really drunk and tell everyone in a really bad toast.

On your way out, be sure to pick up your gift and return it…

Dear Chris: My husband and I enjoy sleeping in the nude. It makes us feel comfortable and intimate. We have two children, ages 5 and 8, and we are careful to be dressed before they wake up in the morning. Although we do not lock our bedroom door at night, we have taught the children to knock before entering. We keep our bathrobes close by to put on quickly.

Last week, our 8-year-old daughter had a bad dream and ran into our room without knocking. She was shocked to see us naked. To make matters worse, she told her grandmother. My mother-in-law has told several friends and family members about our "lewd practice," making it seem ugly and shameful.

Please, Ann, what should we do? My husband and I are both embarrassed that it has become everybody's business. -- A Family Matter in Maryland

Dear Lewd Naked Mama: Have you ever heard of locking the fucking door?

Dear Chris: I have three grandchildren, the oldest a 6-year-old girl, "Krissy." This girl is very bright and very pretty, but unfortunately, she is very spoiled. I work every day and can see my grandchildren only on weekends. Krissy's other grandparents see her more often.

Last week, Krissy said to me, "I don't want to hurt your feelings, Grammy, but my other grammy is my favorite." She said this in front of my daughter-in-law and 4-year-old grandson. No one said a word. I was embarrassed and hurt, but I decided to let it go. Yesterday, she did it again, saying, "I love my other grammy better than you."

I realize children sometimes say cruel things unintentionally, but I think Krissy is old enough to know better. It bothers me that her parents do nothing to curb her trouble-making tendencies.

Right now, I am avoiding Krissy and her parents, but obviously I have to find a way to resolve this. Any ideas? -- Less-Loved Grandma in Virginia

Dear Grandma: Next time Krissy makes a remark like that, you need to do three things: 1) smack the smile off the little brat’s face, 2) say something to the effect of, “well, that’s a relief because your brother is my favorite grandchild,” and 3) tell her mother that none of the jewelry is being left to her or that monster Krissy. If you don’t have any nice jewelry, start buying some with the money you would have spent on the brat and that bitch of a daughter-in-law. You’ll soon see a turnaround in the behavior as they will spend the rest of their lives sucking up to you. If there is another granddaughter, start buying the kid jewelry.

Dear Chris: My 17-year-old son, "Jordan," is a casual pot smoker and has no intention of stopping. As a result, my husband and I refuse to let him drive our car alone until he tests drug-free for three months in a row. One of us always accompanies him. We also told him he has to get his grades up enough to qualify for a "good student discount" so we don't have to pay such high premiums on his insurance. He is smart enough to keep a "B" average but doesn't bother.

Jordan insists he would never drive while under the influence, but I can't be sure. He constantly complains that all his friends own cars and he is tired of walking or biking everywhere. He wants us to buy him a car, and I have to admit, it would relieve us of a huge burden. Any time he needs to drive somewhere, either his father or I have to accompany him.

My husband and I don't want to be the bad guys in this relationship, but Jordan is so insistent on having a car that it is creating problems at home. What do you think we should do? -- Mom in Denver

Dear “Mom”: What kind of parent are you? Who let’s their kid “casually” smoke pot? Your job as a parent (and yes, it is a job) is to forcibly guide the kid into the future, making him a better person and citizen whether he wants it or not. Your kid is a spoiled brat that will feed off the teat of society for the rest of his life or until your life insurance pays out. Get some balls and be a fucking parent. Tell the kid that if you catch him doing any more pot, he’s going to military school. In the meantime, get him a bus pass and tell him those are the only wheels you’ll be supplying him until his grades are up.

Dear Ann Landers: My boss and his wife like to socialize with his employees. Yesterday, he suggested my husband and I meet the two of them for dinner at an upscale restaurant.

Ann, I don't want to socialize with my boss. My job is stressful, and I look forward to going home and relaxing. My boss is OK professionally, but I can only take him in small doses. If I had to see him evenings and weekends as well, I would lose my mind.

Several of my co-workers feel obligated to see the boss socially, but I don't agree. I don't want to hurt the man's feelings or put my job in jeopardy. Can you suggest a tactful way to deal with this problem? -- New York Employee

Dear New York Employee: Wow, you’re the guy that still has a job in this shitty economy. Okay, I feel for you: lousy job, annoying boss, and spending your off time with both. Best bet, for you job and your sanity, is to go out every third time. This way you are not too predictable, don’t look like you’re sucking up and don’t look like you’re avoiding him.

Dear Chris: One of my son's friends has been diagnosed with testicular cancer. I was stunned because he is so young -- in his early 20s. I decided to research the subject on the Internet and discovered that testicular cancer is the most common cancer among males aged 15-35. Yet it is curable if found and treated early.

I asked my male relatives and friends if they ever performed a testicular self-exam to check for lumps or swelling. Imagine my astonishment when not one of these guys had ever heard of it.

Please spread the word that men should be doing a monthly self-exam. Women can help by insisting that their husbands and sons take care of themselves. Maybe if men can get past their embarrassment about this sensitive subject, they will go to a doctor if they discover symptoms. It could save a life. -- Mary in Indiana

Dear Mary: Who would admit to a woman they check their balls? Besides me? You must be fun at parties: "Hi, I'm Mary, how often do you exam your balls?" Here’s what you do: the next time your son is locked in the bathroom for hours on end “combing his hair,” just mention to check his nuts for testicular cancer. This will accomplish two things, 1) he will get a much needed exam, and 2) he’ll get off much quicker and your bathroom will be freed up.

Dear Chris: My 16-year-old daughter received an invitation to a baby shower for a classmate. The father is a 21-year-old family friend who is well-off and has promised to be a responsible father. My daughter knows we disapprove of sex at such a young age, but I am afraid she will think having a baby is wonderful if she attends this elaborate shower. Should we permit her to go? -- Confused in Ohio

Dear Confused: What’s to be confused about? Simply explain the situation to your daughter this way: “It’s a good thing that “John” got “Sue” pregnant, because if it were you, he’d be in jail for statutory rape and you’d be big as a house your life would be ruined and what guy would want to date a girl with a kid? Have fun at the shower!”

If you have any questions you want answered, be sure to send them to me at cmlion@homail.com and put “Gimme Some Answers” in the subject line. If anyone actually asks a question, I’ll eventually answer.


Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Sick as a dog…

It’s good to be back at work. Hard for me to believe I would ever say something like that, but today it’s true. I think I’m always happy to return to work after I’ve been sick.

And was I sick yesterday… So bad, it could have been a Stephen King novel: Shitstorm.

It started as a normal morning, but quickly got ugly. I got up, stretched, took a whiz, and went to the gym. As I arrived at the gym, I was attacked by some of the worst gas ever expelled by a human being. Man, did it stink! Big, loud, smelly farts. Ahh… what a way to start the day!

I squeezed the last one out just before going in, had a decent workout without any… er, interruptions.

I had to make a quick stop at Larry & Shawn’s to feed their cats and fish, so I drove to their place with every window down. I could barely see through my tears. These monsters were heinous!

As I rode the elevator to the condo, my body sent me an urgent message that most of the gas was gone and the intense pressure that was building on my ass was not planning on staying in much longer. I kept thinking of Dr. Evil saying “hot, liquid MAG-ma.”

I dashed inside, stumbled over the cat, ran into the bathroom, dropped trou and… “oh dear God…” I won’t discuss the consistency, but let me just say that I physically shuddered several times and found myself shaking a bit afterwards.

The cats were clamoring at the door of the bathroom, desperately trying to get in and play, but when the stench crept over to them, they cried out and ran. When I emerged from the bathroom, both cats were in hiding.

I lit some matches, but it didn’t seem to help. I began to worry that the smoke alarm was going to go off. I think the firefighters could handle the smoke, but what I left in that bathroom no human could stand. I admit, I did worry that the gas I expelled, along with the matches, could have resulted in a nasty fire, but I was willing to risk it (after all, it was not my condo).

Thinking the worst was over, I left the defenseless cats to fend for themselves and made my way home. Getting home, I made a quick dash to the bathroom, where again, I shuddered numerous times. I began to wonder if I was sick or ate something terribly foul (sadly, I did not get laid over the weekend, so I didn’t eat anything like that). Going over the previous day’s meals, I could not think of anything that would make me so ill.

I flushed, washed my hands and started to brush my teeth when… ohmygodnotagain! I jumped back to the toilet. I thought of calling in sick, if only I could get off the toilet. New book title: The Dump That Wouldn’t Stop.

After a few minutes, I was okay and decided I would go in to work… and then it hit again.

The rest of my morning went something like this:

I called in sick.

Thought about lying down.

Instead, I went to the bathroom.

I turned on the TV and sat on the couch.

Immediately, I got up and went to the bathroom.

I watched TV for 10 minutes.

I got up and went to the bathroom…

I watched TV for 15 minutes.

I got up and went to the bathroom…

I watched TV for 20 minutes.

I got up and went to the bathroom…

I watched TV for 20 minutes.

I got up and went to the bathroom…

This pattern continued for a few hours.

I finally napped a bit (all that getting up and down wore me out) and awoke to the urge to… yep, go to the bathroom. How much food is in my system at any one time? Admittedly, there was not much there on the last few trips, but it always felt so urgent. I had to go. Jesus, the book should be called “Ass of Fury” (“Hell hath no fury like an ass spewing fire!”)

I ate some oatmeal, hoping it would calm my stomach, but an hour later, I was in the bathroom, going at full force. (Foreign title to the book: Dump de la Muerta.”)

Normally, on days I’m sick, I watch a little TV and try to get things done around the house. You know, little things that have been put off, like cleaning, etc. I was running to the bathroom so much, I was worried that if I took the garbage out, I would get half way there and be forced to run back, ass ablaze!

I was a prisoner of my bowels! Hey, that the best title for a book yet. Maybe I could write a new Harry Potter novel: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of the Bowels. “Quick, Harry,” Hermoine shouted, “before he fires off another one of his Slytherian Bombs!” Better yet, a love story, Mrs. Ludicrous: The Prisoner of Bowels. “Dear me,” Sarah Ludicrous sighed as she sent forth a plume of gas so foul that dogs miles away began to bark, “I am most distressed.” I fear I could go on, so I shan’t.

The rest of the day and night was pretty uneventful (both excitement and bowel-wise), I watched some TV and waited for Larry and Shawn to come by to get the keys to their place, so I could get to sleep.

I think it was an old Jewish recipe that saved my soul, cured my bowels and preserved my nostrils: a nice bowl of chicken soup.

“Chicken Soup for the Bowels,” now there’s a good book title.

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Is it Friday yet…?

It’s official. I am addicted to coffee. I cannot function in the morning without a cup of Joe. Sure, a guy named Joe—tall, dark and devastatingly handsome—would be lovely, but nothing beats my morning cup of coffee.

I used to go down [heh, heh… I said “go down”] and get a mocha several times a week, just for a pick me up after late nights, or (more aptly) to kill some time in the morning by avoiding work. After a short while, I started to get a cup around the same time every day. This would last until I had blown most of my paycheck on mochas and bagels for weeks and weeks and I would have to stop… and then I would get really depressed.

I used to think it was because I didn’t have any money, but now I realize I was depressed because I didn’t have my morning jolt of java goodness. This sudden realization came to me because it happened again this morning.

I have been trying to work out these last few weeks, getting up at 4:30am and going to the gym. Along with working out, I’ve been trying to eat better, cutting out sweets, eating vegetables, not swallowing when I’m perusing glory holes… you know, the usual stuff.

Anyhow, this cutting back has also included coffee. I do drink a Red Bull in the afternoon for a much needed afternoon pick-me-up-off-the-f’ing-floor, but coffee was definitely a “no.” Then, this morning, Nanci calls me and asks a simple question for which I nearly removed her head. Okay, I didn’t yell, but I was smarmy and sarcastic. For those of you who know me, you may be saying, “And that’s different because…?” Well, let’s just say I was smarmy and sarcastic… only more so. So much so, that Nanci thought I was being a “real bitch.” [Meow. She was right, but MEOW!]

We had a small thank-you gathering at work and I grumpily arrived, grabbed for the coffee, which promptly did not come out of the urn, which made me even grumpier… if that's possible. After smacking the urn a few times, someone suggested “removing the bolt,” which immediately made me think of Star Wars (remember Luke removing R2-D2’s restraining bolt and comedy hijinks ensued?). I removed the bolt, the coffee poured, I took a sip of the rich Starbucks’ coffee, my mind began to whir, and I started a Star Wars riff about bolts, R2-D2, Luke, Chewbacca…

Not one F’ing person got it. Thankyouverymuch… I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.

I then walked around and chatted with everyone, being the friendly, funny and witty me that everyone has grown to love. They laughed, we cried, I changed their lives. Okay, we all laughed… I was crying on the inside, but that is only because my stupid Star Wars jokes were not flying. Don’t these people know anything about pop culture? I mean… REALLY!

Anyhow, I’m on a bit of a Starbucks’ high right now, sailing along and feeling groovy. I think I might even be in the mood to get some work done.

Yes, I said I was going to get some work done. We’ve just come off an extremely busy time at work—deadlines all over the place, lots of late nights—and I went into lazy mode the second it ended. Now I’ve got to get myself back up into the idea I need to get things done. Nothing on my agenda is big. I could probably do everything in a couple of hours, so it seems rather easy to put it off. And put it off, I have!

Must. Resist. Temptation. To. Slack.

I guess writing this would be considered slacking, so off to work I go…

…but first, another cup of coffee.

Monday, June 10, 2002

Monday, Monday…

Man, I really wish we could nationalize a four day work week. The three day weekend would just be perfect. As it stands, the current two-day weekend sucks out loud. Just as I start to relax, the work week stress pulls me back in…

Here’s the breakdown of my oh-so-exciting weekend (hold onto your hats, kiddies!):

Friday: I went to the Saint Christopher’s Carnival. On the whole, it’s for little kids and families, but there are tons of cute dads running around. Some very hot looking guys. I went to high school with several of them. What the F’?! How did they get to be so F’ing cute?

I ran into Ron, a gay cop I know and we chatted for a while. He had been speaking with one of the women organizers and mentioned he would be doing security for San Jose Pride on Sunday. She thought it was “awful” and it was a good thing there were “no queers at the carnival.” Ron said, “except for the priests…” It really pissed her off. Good. Ron says he gets a lot of numbers from guys at the carnival. No word if they were priests…

We left early and went to a movie: “About a Boy.” I liked it, but spent 20 minutes this morning trying to remember what movie I saw this weekend. As one co-worker put it, “It couldn’t have been that good.” I guess not…

Saturday: I went to the gym and rode 15 hard miles [Keep your thoughts clean, kids], which is good for this wimp. Then I went to get my car washed…what a mistake. The guy taking my order at Classic Car Wash was terribly cute and thus, made me an easy mark for his sales pitch. I ended up going with the “Super Deluxe Complete Rip-Off Package.” It cost $100, took 45 minutes, and they couldn’t get the gum out of the carpet! How do you steam clean carpets and not get gum out?

Instead of waiting there for 45 minutes in the sun, I decided to walk across the street and get a Jamba Juice. As I was standing in line for a refreshing beverage, I realized that I had not showered yet and I stunk from my workout. Jamba Juice is a confined space. Do the math. I felt so uncomfortable… not to mention how grossed-out everyone else must have felt. It was not my finest hour… er, 45 minutes.

When I got back to CCW, they couldn’t find my keys, so I spent 15 minutes waiting for them to find them in the little Detail Shack where no one thought to look. I started looking around my shiny car and realized it wasn’t just shiny clean, but shimmering like it had been slathered in oil, which it pretty much had. They used Armor-All on the dash and it looked like they used about as much as one could without it dripping off onto the floormats.

Speaking of the floormats…

I looked down and realized I had no floor mats! I had just started onto the freeway, so I had to drive around, find a suitable exit and get back (approximate drive time: 15 minutes). They had put them in the very back of the truck, where I couldn’t see them. A nice waste of time.

I needed a nap… but I kept finding things to do throughout the day and never got one [Aww… poor Chris].

By the time I finally got my act together it was time for a couple of buddies and I to go to dinner and Lonestar. We ended up arriving at the bar around 11:00. Not a great time, but we did manage to have a few laughs. One poor buddy had to pee all night, but every time he tried to pee in those f’ing troughs, he got really pee-shy, so he’d come back really frustrated. He finally found the “Lonestar Lone Toilette” and was pretty happy (and relieved) the rest of the evening.

It seemed like the whole place knew each other. I began to wonder if we had crashed a private party. There were only a handful of lone guys standing around. I know how they felt, yet, never made an attempt to talk to them. (I’m such a bastard.) However, they weren’t interested in me, I watched who they were ogling, and it certainly wasn’t me.

At one point this guy sat down by us and I thought he looked familiar. It wasn’t until he left a minute later that I realized I had spoken to him a few weeks earlier. His name is Keith and he’s from Oakland. I felt like a total idiot for not remembering him (especially, since he’s cute). Chalk up another botched opportunity. I’m nothing if not consistent…

Then I saw JD. Aw, shit. He’s the cute guy that I never called. Actually, every time I would Instant Message (IM) him, he was rather curt, and I got the distinct impression that Shawn’s theory was correct: “There’s a difference in being attracted to someone and being attracted to them right now.” I wonder if I had the wrong idea all along and he was never interested at all, so I let it drop. Also, a guy I was IM’ing said he knew JD pretty well and he didn’t think he was very interested. The story of my life.

Anyhow, he didn’t notice me sitting in the corner totally stalking him. I was panicked that he’d come over; bummed that he didn’t even look in my direction. I never caught Keith’s eye, or I would have waived… or probably not. I couldn’t remember Keith’s name until I was taking a leak as we were about to leave. I was standing at the trough when his name popped into my head. “Keith!” I cried out as I peed. The guy next to me said, “I call mine ‘Monstro.’ Like the killer whale,” he smiled flopping his aptly named penis. I smiled, stared, zipped up and slowly backed away…

Sunday: San Jose Gay Pride. I maintain the sole purpose for Pride is those who are extremely proud of their bodies can remove their clothing and show off in front of those of us who are deeply ashamed of ours. That doesn’t stop me from going and staring. I mean, Christ, these people have spent an ungodly amount of time working out, not to mention abusing an unbelievable amount of steroids, to achieve these bodies—someone has to be there to appreciate the effort.

So many cute guys. It’s nice to know we have a lot of ‘lookers’ within the community. We also have a lot of freaks. Who knew there were that many nut-jobs with a fetish for grass skirts, leather Roman skirts, lace bodices, and an occasional Star Trek uniform (this IS Silicon Valley).

Only one of the Weather Girls was there to sing “It’s Raining Men.” I swear the Weather Girls must have a very busy June. The only song of theirs that is a hit was “…Men” and they seem to appear at every gay pride event to sing that f’ing song. They are probably forced to split up so they can cover events on both coasts.

Only two of the Pointer Sisters were able to show (were they pulling a “Weather Girls?”). I wonder how they handled singing “Family”? “We are family/I got ONE of my sisters with me…” I know San Jose is “competing” with San Francisco’s Pride Festival, but it just seems like San Jose’s festival so on the cheap. Maybe we should go in another direction… to specialize. Make it more Latin-oriented (there is a huge Mexican/American community in the valley), or Asian-oriented… heck, anything to make it special. As it stands, it’s so…wimpy. Feel free to think of something and e-mail me an idea. I’ll pass it on… or claim it as my own idea and take full credit, it all depends on my mood.

We left Pride early and went to lunch at the Tech and then hung out by the pool at Shawn’s complex. Then a late dinner at Original Joe’s (“Not affiliated with any other Joe’s”) It was a nice lazy Sunday… if only I didn’t have to go to work today, it would have been a perfect weekend. Yep, a three-day weekend is an idea whose time has definitely come…

Thursday, June 06, 2002

I signed up for a speech class at work and now I have to actually go. Why do I do these things? Why do I put myself through this crap?

It’s a class on “impromptu speaking,” which I suck at and desperately need to work on my skills. But, it’s for the very reason I suck at it that I don’t want to go there. I have to stand in front of small group and speak! Put me in front of 1000 people and I’m okay, but in front of a small group, I choke.

Now I have to go stand in front of a small group and practice speaking to them. I ditched the speech class yesterday because I had to prepare a 2-3 minute speech in advance. I could think of nothing of any substance to discuss. I’m shallow. I fully admit it. Dare I say, I embrace it. I couldn’t hold a significant thought with a bucket. And I’m supposed to stand in front of a group of intellectuals and talk about something?

Things got busy… (or did I make things get busy…) and I had to cancel. Awww. I was SO disappointed.

No such luck in creating a diversion today, so I’m off to class… I’ll write when I get back.


Well, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. About a hair above painful root canal.

First thing our facilitator, Sharon asked was “Who was at the class yesterday?” I slunk down in my chair a bit (if you call being fully under the chair “a bit”). “For those that attended that class, this will be a piece of cake!” F’ing fantastic…

Because I had no coffee this morning and because of my desperately short attention span, I began to look around the room and realized two odd things. First, I was the only guy in the room. Great! Now everyone will know I’m gay. If I’m in a room with at least one other guy, then I’m okay, because then it’s a 50/50 thing. But the second I’m the only guy in the room, they all just know. It’s a fact. Unless it’s a dude that is just oozing testosterone, but I don’t ooze… or at least I try not to in public.

The second thing I noticed, and found far more menacing, was a video camera in the corner. Oh, Christ… they’re going to tape us! F’! F’! F’! I do weird things when I’m nervous, especially in a small group and I seriously thought I was going to distinguish myself in a way that would make me infamous throughout the entire company.

My stomach gurgled ever so loudly as to indicate that it was working on a long, loud and quite heinous fart. I groaned.

“Come on, Chris,” Sharon mused, “it’s not going to be that bad.”

She was in the middle of talking to us and I wasn’t paying a damn bit of attention. What if she gave us some key information? What if she told us something not to do? What if she explained ‘the rules?’

I realized that my panicking was not helping me listen and my chastising myself for drifting off only caused me to miss even more of what she was saying.

Thankfully, a woman arrived late and Sharon felt it necessary to recap.

We would pick from two boxes with topics. One was marked “Issues,” which had questions relating to political or social issues, the other was marked “fun.” Take a wild fricken guess which one I was going for?

We were to critique people on their performance, telling them what worked and didn’t. Thankfully, I was not first or last, I was right in the middle, where whatever embarrassments I might commit could be forgotten.

The first woman got up with a serious case of THO. My gosh, those high beams reminded me of the Fembots in Austin Powers. I think she spoke well, but I kept looking at those monsters—not that I’m into them (ewww), but how could I not notice?

The next few speakers were okay. Boy, we were a sad group. No one jumped up there and knocked us out.

Then it was MY turn…

I picked “What makes the best pet? Why?” I got up and told them my topic and went on about why dogs are the best pet—“they love you. Cats suck. Fish are dull. And birds? Whatever. But dogs, dogs are great.”

It wasn’t until after I sat down that I began to really come up with some fun ideas for my speech. Ideas like: How many cats have saved someone’s life? Have you ever heard of seeing-eye fish? Name an animal movie hero other than a dog? (Note: “The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh” was not about animals and stunk on ice.) You can’t name other hero animals in movies. There are no hero cats (I’m sure one could come up with a poor argument for “The Aristocats” or even “Gay Purr-ee,” but those are animated and I’m talking Lassie and Rin-Tin-Tin.

Oh, it could have been brilliant, but as it stood, it wasn’t horrible. And then came Jennifer.

Jennifer works in “relations” so she already had a jump on us. She also was cute and had a hot-muscled bod. Her topic was on how to relieve stress and she jumped right into exercise and the whole Zen bull that comes from it. I began to hate her more and more as I realized that her talk was everything it was supposed to be: quick, to the point, funny, brilliant, well spoken… oh, it was f’ing dagger into my heart. Whatever success my speech might have been was quickly forgotten.

Once the torture was over, we passed out what we wrote about each other—entering into a whole new realm of torture. One person wrote my conclusion sucked. Someone else loved it. Some felt I had good physical presence; other’s felt I was awkward. Half liked my use of my hands; one wrote I should only use it when making a specific point. In other words, these idiots didn’t have a clue and were messing with my mojo.

We went through the process again, this time, without critiquing. We had to say what we were going to work on and then do another topic. Interestingly enough, what everyone stated they were going to correct was the one thing they didn’t. It was ridiculous. I began to feel more at home with this band of merry fools.

My topic was “Which do you like better, Chess or Checkers? Why?” That was easy: “Checkers. I can’t play chess. I’ve had friends explain it to me again and again and I still haven’t a clue. Frankly, I don’t care. It just doesn’t do anything for me. Besides, checkers is fun, while chess is thoughtful. Thoughtful is another word for dull. We give the Checkmate to Checkers! King me!”

Thankfully, we finished early. Sharon asked us if anyone wanted to go again and three fools said yes. I said only if I could redo my first one… (ha ha—what a card).

As each person got up there, filled with their new confidence and determined to correct past mistakes, they all crashed and burned. Sharon looked at me and said, “want another go?” I politely smiled and declined. It’s like those idiots that didn’t get a perfect SAT score, so they go back and re-take it only to get a lower score.

All in all, I learned I’m an okay speaker, but would prefer to forget this morning and this experience. Of course, the last thing we had to do before we could escape Sharon’s clutches was sign up for a time to review the tape of our session, so we can relive the f’ing magic one more time…