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 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…

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

This weekend I cleaned out under my bed. Buried deep beneath the mountains of dust bunnies, missing socks, and unpaid parking tickets rested the treasure: my (mostly crappy) movie posters! I am now releasing many of these onto an unsuspecting world. Yes, my collection of late 80’s and early 90’s movie posters are a fascinating trip through bad filmmaking and even worse film marketing. True, there are a few Academy Award winners within, but far too many pieces of junk that I felt I had to possess. Oh, the give-me, give-me of the 80’s!

Alas, I spent the weekend blowing dust out of the tubes (finally, I was blowing something on a Saturday night…) and sifting through the posters, wondering why in God’s name did I ever decide I wanted these in the first place… and wondering why I was sitting at home on a Saturday night going through my (mostly crappy) poster collection, when there is an exciting world of nightclubs, discos and bars where I could be ignored and dismissed by hundreds of hot guys.

Life is grand, no?

Friends said I should sell them on eBay, because, “I’ll make a fortune.” I’ve seen what posters are going for on eBay—a fortune, it isn’t. Plus, since I am the laziest son-of-a-bitch you'll ever meet, I have decided to give them away.

If you are reading this and you see a poster you like, send me an e-mail and I’ll give you the poster. If you are in some far corner of the world (known to me as “outside the San Francisco Bay Area), you’ll have to send me postage, because I am not made of money—right now, my net worth is calculated in (mostly crappy) movie posters and dust bunnies.

What posters are on the list, you ask? Well, I’ll list them below. Note that the first section consists of rolled posters in good to excellent condition, the second section consists of folded posters in okay (but mostly crappy) condition.

Godspeed to you perusing this list of (mostly crappy) posters.

29th Street
Abyss, The
Amazon Women on the Moon
Back to the Future II (teaser & release version)
Batman Returns (teaser & release version)
Big Business
Big Easy
Black Widow
Brain Candy
Cape Fear
Child's Play
Come See the Paradise
Cool Runnings
Cool World
Days of Thunder
Dick Tracy
Die Hard
Die Hard 2
Do the Right Thing
Doors, the
Dry White Season, A
Dumbo Drop
Edward Scissorhands (teaser)
Field of Dreams
Fish Called Wanda, A
Fisher King, The
Frankenstein (Mary Shelley's)
Fried Green Tomatoes
Gate, The
Good Morning, Vietnam
Gorillas in the Mist
Guilty by Suspicion
He Said, She Said
Hellbound: Hellraiser II
Hudson Hawk
Hunt for Red October, The (teaser)
In the Line of Fire
Interview with a Vampire
Jetsons, The
Joy Luck Club, The
Judging Your Life
La Bamba
LA Story
Last Action Hero
Last Starfighter, The
Late for Dinner
Lawnmover Man
Less Than Zero
Less Than Zero
Licence to Kill
License to Kill
Look Who's Talking
Lord of the Flies
Maid to Order
Midnight Run (A and B version)
Milagro Beanfield War, The
Mr. Holland's Opus
Mr. Wonderful
Mrs. Doubtfire
My Cousin Vinny
My Girl
Narrow Margin
Nightmare on Elm Street, A
Old Gringo
Pacific Heights
Perfect World
Pulp Fiction
Radio Flyer
Raising Arizona
Rambo III
Return to Snowy River
School Daze
Searching for Bobby Fischer
Sex, Lies and Videotape
Soldiers Story
Someone to Watch Over Me (A & B versions))
Steel Magnolias
Tales from the Darkside
Total Recall
Wall Street
War of the Roses
Wedding Banquet, The
Working Girl
Worth Winning
Young Guns

Angel Heart
Better Off Dead
Blue Velvet
Boy Who Could Fly, The
Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension
Color of Money, The
Crocodile Dundee
Cross Creek
Dead, The
Driving Miss Daisy
Fly, The
For All Mankind
Fright Night
Garbo Talks
Gardens of Stone
Great Muppet Caper
Jagged Edge
Karate Kid II
King of Comedy, The
Lucky Lady, The (Pia Zadora!)
Manhattan Project, The
Masters of the Universe
Money Pit, The
Mr. Mom
Muppets Take Manhattan, The
Never Cry Wolf
Outrageous Fortune
Places in the Heart
Police Academy
Red Dawn
Romancing The Stone
Short Circuit
St. Elmo's Fire
Star Trek IV
Starman (teaser & release version)
Sweet Dreams
That's Dancing
Weird Science
White Nights
World According to Garp, The
Year of the Dragon, The

Feel free to e-mail me at ###@####* (be sure to note Movie Posters in the subject line). There is no guarantee any of these posters will be available as some friends have expressed an interest in stopping by and checking out what I've got (if only they weren't talking about the posters). First come, first serve.

*Don't feel free to email me... the posters are long gone (why do people email me on something that is 4 years old?