Sunday, January 31, 2010

This Pleases Me

I spent a lot of my youth trying, and failing miserably, to affect an air of disgruntled dissatisfaction. I was the worst at being an angsty youngster. Mostly I just came off as a raging douche.

But, that was then and, you know, this is now. If anything, I'm annoyingly posi these days. An added benefit of embracing fun has been enjoying fun music (Lady Gaga, The Very Best, etc) without the least bit of concern. One of my favorite fun bands of the past couple years is Los Campesinos, and they have a new album, and I am pleased. Seriously, they rule:

Los Campesinos "Romance Is Boring" from Alanedit on Vimeo.

Friday, January 29, 2010

An Open Letter to the Parents of Philadelphia

Dear Parents of Philadelphia,

You all have lost your damn minds. I'm talking, of course, about strollers here. These things are out of control. I saw one the other day with a full suspension, cup holders and upholstery made of fine corinthian leather. I understand the keeping up with the Joneses arms race that your life becomes when you finally give up and decide to start repeating all the mistakes your parents made - even though you've been swearing since you're 12 that you won't. And oh yeah, just in case you were wondering, when we aren't masturbating while crying or cruising the internet for people to bone at 3 a.m., all us single, childless people are having a good laugh at you.

I also understand that you need a sturdier stroller for the city. The streets of Philadelphia are not smooth, as we all know. Heaven forbid little Caden or Dyylan spill his $9 raw, organic milk smoothie while you skirt from Whole Foods over to Anthropologie to buy a sexy little outfit in a vain attempt to jumpstart the old sex life. Why bother, when you know you're gonna pass out in it anyway? Also, I'm pretty sure monied white folks are off the names that aren't really names now that poor white people have picked up on it. I think y'all are back on classic names at the moment; so substitute Caden and Dyylan with Thomas or Nathaniel.

The two people who read this estimable blog are probably wondering why a guy who is, let's face it, the male version of a cat lady would give a flying fuck about such a thing. Well, the thing is, I have to walk these sidewalks and I often run on them. There is nothing more frustrating than running the few blocks to the river trail and getting locked in behind some asshole who's stroller takes up the entire fucking block. These people think that because there's "precious cargo" aboard their push-powered hummer prams that they don't have to yield to pedestrians in the slightest. Nope, they are free to go about their day blocking up the entire sidewalk with their retarded indulgence. Seriously, you'll never get caught up behind one of these rickety bitches:

That kid looks just as happy as any third-generation trustafarian rolling about in a $900 stroller with anti-lock brakes and satellite radio. Myself, and everyone I know, were pushed around in these things in the late seventies. We came out just fine. Yeah, just fine.

Sometimes I Rule at Stuff

Like taking pictures. Took this one the other day:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fine Fine, My Internet Dating Steez

Ok, so Short and Curly called me out on some internet dating nonsense. I'll admit it, with just a tinge of shame, I too am, or was, an internet dater. Sac omitted one interesting little tidbit about her internet dating history, though. It's where we met oh so many years ago.

I'm pretty sure I never quantified my approach to internet dating the way she did because I'm not as much of an overthinker. But there are definitely some things I kept in mind whilst browsing the morass of desperation and gross casual sex that is OkC.

Pictures and Such:
Pixelated and out of focus - seriously, the number of people who can't just upload a proper sized pic to this site is astounding. But, it's a quick and easy way to eliminate retards.

Old boyfriend poorly cropped out, with a block over his face or not obscured at all - hung up. If you do go out on a date with this person you'll spend most of the night hearing stories about how awesome/awful this dood was/is.

More than one picture with more than one friend - trying too hard to overcome internet dating stigma. "Look I have real friends!!!!" It's 2010, calm down, everyone internet dates.

Face only photo, self taken, from above - I'm just gonna go ahead and guess that you and I have wildly different interpretations of the term "slender" when it comes to body type.
And now, since this blog is mostly about me making fun of myself, here are some "tweaks" I made in crafting my own profiles:
Hats - I did this without even realizing it. It's no secret that my hair has been beating a hasty retreat to my shoulders and ears for some time now. Turns out that I am subconsciously a little more insecure about this than I'd like to be, as I was wearing a hat in every picture in my most recent profile.

Career Description - I hate describing my job because it sucks, it's nothing I want to do with my life and there's no way to frame it to seem impressive. This section usually became a way to show off my biting wit and self-effacing hilarity. Usually something like: I gleam the cubicle from 9-5 blah blah blah.

Movies, Books, TV etc - I have great taste in all this shit, if I may toot my own horn a little bit. But, I've got a penchant for sloppy romcoms, shitty teen coming of age or transformation movies, the occasional musical, terrible mopey whiteboy pop and the like. Did I hone up to any of that? Hell no.
In the end, internet dating is no worse or better a place to meet people. Granted, it seems to be a bit more tolerable for guys, as girls are way less creepy than us, and if you're not a complete cretin you get to meet some awesome women and walk away with some good friends if the dating shit doesn't work out. But, I think, for me at least, I'm just gonna stick with real life for a while. Parades have been a great place as of late.

Relationship Advice

I'm friends with lots of girls, mostly because I had bad male role models growing up and I'm, admittedly, a bit of a fruit. As such, I end up giving lots of relationship advice. This is hilarious because I fucking suck at relationships myself. Yet time and time again I find myself dishing out real talk to my estrogen friends. I've decided to just start responding to everyone in relationship-ese. Por ejemplo:

Kacie: i know but dont u think its weird that she never called me back

me: she clearly just doesn't like should text her, but if she doesn't respond you can't write back because then she'll know that you LIKE her!
This was a coworker asking me if I thought it was weird that our boss hadn't called her back.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rising Tide

Saturday was a perfect Philly day. It was one of those days that causes you to smile smugly and nod softly when some asshole from the suburbs starts prattling on about how dirty the city is and all the crime and whatever other misguided notions they've gleaned from watching Action News between trips to the Wal Mart and the big box, feedbag crap restaurant where they stuff their face. You smile because you know days and nights like this exist in Philly.

I spent the afternoon dicking around with Short and Curly. We trucked down to the market, played with our cameras and talked about poop. We have a very childish friendship. I got myself a Lime Jarritos and a pretty awesome churro at this weird little Mexican bodega/bakery near Washington - it's the one with the melty cakes in the windows. After the market, we decided to walk over the to Ritz and pop in on whatever movie was starting when we got there.

I got a call from Dr. Awesome as we walked down South Street. She wanted to meet up after the movie and I was obviously stoked. It was shaping up to be a nice little Saturday. We saw "An Education". It was meh, mostly because I couldn't get past Peter Saarsgard's shit English accent.

Dr. Awesome was waiting outside after the movie and I bid adieu to Short and Curly. The good Dr. and I walked from 5th and Market up to the Barnes in Rittenhouse and did some book shopping. After that, we went to the Snack Bar for booze and cheese and all was right with the world. We got our tab and walked over to McGlincheys. We played paper football there for a while and drank whiskey. Though, I should point out that I dished out an ass whupping at paper football the likes of which hasn't been seen in years.

We needed food. Good Dog was too crowded, so we decided to pack it up and head to my neighborhood. We hopped into a cab and were a block or two on our way when I remembered the bottle of wine in my hand, the spanish byob nearby on South and my torrid romance with sangria. "Dood, let's go to the spanish place on South. They can turn this shit into sangria." I was feeling articulate. The cab turned around and we rolled into Apamate just as a party of two was getting up.

After dinner we walked over to Bob and Barbara's. I don't know what has happened to that place, but it looks like a Drexel dorm threw up on it. It's chock full of kids these days. And my god, the sartorial decisions some of these children make are enough to make you fear for the future of this fine country. We ordered more drinks and Dr. Awesome made me slow dance with her to the jazz band. I protested, but I was kinda loving it. After a bit, I was over feeling like the oldest person at the bar and convinced her it was time to leave.

We headed outside and it looked like we were in for one of those softly boozey nights where you're full of food and you wanna hug kittens in front of a fire while you listen to recordings of Shel Silverstein poems.

But then the universe launched a cascade of shit specifically to remind me that I am one of its favorite playthings.

We were standing on the corner of South and 15th when I realized I didn't have my murse anymore. Normally this wouldn't have a been a big deal, but my camera and ipod were in it. I started to freak out, so we hightailed it to Mcglinchey's. I was pretty sure I didn't have the bag at the restaurant and they were closed anyway. I powerwalked the three blocks up 15th st while Dr. Awesome tried to allay my fears about losing my stuff. I'm pretty sure she was laughing at my ridiculous speed walk form too, god knows I would have been.

My bag was at the bar. I breathed a sigh of relief, profusely thanked the barkeep and was happy that any hiccups for the night were over. Yep, any and all hiccups done and done. Right.

The cab ride home was uneventful. It wasn't till I went back out in search of Gatorade and some other crap that I got smacked right in the face with a bit of Philadelphia's incongruous provincialism. My first stop was the 24/7 mart on my corner. I may have to have a chat with the owners of that joint, as with a name like that, one may have the crazy thought that they'd be open past fucking midnight on a Saturday. Being that midnight on a fucking Saturday clearly falls within a few of the 24 hours that occur seven days a week. But, they were not open. Fine, I would cruise over to fourth street. The convenience store over there had to be open. It was not. By now I was starting to get a little annoyed, but I knew the Wawa on second would be open, and it was only a few more blocks out of the way. Whatever, it was fine. I walked up there, got the gatorade and some other stuff and walked home.

I knew the fire would be lit, I would be able to hug a kitty and maybe I could download some recordings of Shel Silverstein poems. Life was wonderful again.

I dropped off the gatorade in the living room, breezed by the Dr. and headed upstairs. As I walked into the bathroom I heard something from downstairs, "I think something may be wrong with your toilet".

Meh, water level looked ok to me, but there was a floating kitty turd I'd dumped in there before I headed out. I flushed.

Then I panicked. The water level was going the wrong way, coming up instead of going down. Swirling. I pulled off the resevoir cover and jerked the little lever up and down. I'm not sure what I was hoping to accomplish with that, but it did nothing. The water crested the bowl and spilled out onto floor. I threw towels down and started talking to the toilet: "c'mon man, stop. There's a girl downstairs I like, you can't do this to me now. C'mon. Fuck toilet. Stop. Please."

The toilet didn't listen.

Soon enough there was a thin film of water on the bathroom floor. This sucked but the towels were doing a pretty good job of soaking up the water. Disaster averted, or so I thought.

While all of this was going on, Dr. Awesome was trying to make sure I knew that she didn't clog the toilet. I knew she didn't but I was a little preoccupied with trying to stem the tide to respond. It was only when she called up the stairs again: "Greg, there's water coming through the ceiling".

Fuck me.

I walked downstairs to see water bleeding into my closet. And with that water I watched Shel Silverstein, my warm belly full of booze and happiness and the warmth of the fire melt away. My kitty even ran upstairs.

I'm being melodramatic here, of course. It was only water. I cleaned that shit up and got on with my life. The fire was awesome, the booze was awesome and Chester snuggled up like a champ.

The next morning I got up, picked up some coffee and walked to the hardware store. There's just no way to casually walk through town with a hangover holding a plunger in one hand and a coffee in the other. Any which way you slice it, you look like a guy who's getting ready to do some serious damage.

A toilet overflowing is just never fun, but in the end it did little to put a damper on a most excellent Saturday and Sunday ruled pretty hard too. I just have to make sure I have my plunger at the ready next time I drop some kitty turds into the toilet.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Super Power, Fuck Yeah

The only super power I wanted as a kid was the ability to stop time. Ok, I also wanted to fly, wanted x-ray vision and wanted to be invisible. But, stopping time was tops on my list. If you could stop time you could do whatever you wanted: see boobies, drive fast cars, steal a bunch of money, punch a jerk in the face, whatever you wanted. The possibilities are really limitless.

I decided today that I still kinda want this power. Mostly because some assface just said this to me:

"So, when are you gonna leave this dead end job?"
Well asshole, I've submitted a shitload of grad school applications, but when I get rejected from all of them I'm not really sure what I'm going to do. But, thanks for asking in the rudest way possible. You fucking idiot.

But, I'm getting off track here. I was talking about super powers. Basically, if I had the ability to stop time, I would've done so, picked this harpie up, put her in a trash can and walked away. Maybe I would have waited until I caught her walking really fast. Then I could have stopped time, positioned her directly in front of a wall and restarted time. People walking into walls is always funny.

While my primary motivation for wanting this power, petty vengence as opposed to a sophomoric bacchanalia, has changed a bit...I still want this shit.

Quickly Now

I logged into twitter today for the first time in a couple months. I've been a spotty tweeter, at best. But I've been having some seriously awesome thoughts lately that the world, the world in this case being the 80 people who follow me, needs to see in 140 character bursts. Upon logging in, I realized something: real people aren't tweeting anymore. The whole thing is a clusterfuck of blogs and news services, celebrities and douchebag "new media" marketing types.

So I logged out, and will probably delete my account soon. I just don't see the point anymore, especially since I'm dicking around with this blog for at least the next 11 days or so.

Oh yeah, I logged on originally to post the following: It's a bummer that sour patch kids and swedish fish don't come in a king size

I can't help but feel that twitter missing that tweet is almost the internet equivalent of the burning of the library at Alexandria. Almost.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Photo Evidence

Of why I hate my job:

This is old, but it gets the point across.

Wayback Machine

I've been a doofus pretty much my entire life. It should come as no surprise that I was pulling boneheaded moves as a lad too. It's not like I grew some short curlies, developed an adam's apple and all my childhood grace and charm suddenly melted away. Cary Grant of the He-Man set I was not.

This particular bit of awesomeness happened at swim team practice some time when I was about nine or 10. I don't really remember how old I was, but I'm pretty sure I was sporting a mullet of some sort. That mullet was almost certainly baked into a shade of blonde that I can only find in my beard* these days. I'm sure my skin was bronzed from endless hours spent in the pool, on a bike or stomping around in a creek somewhere.

So there I am, this tanned up and mulleted redneck, milling around in the morning, crusty-eyed and half asleep, before swim team practice. Summer swim team was a big deal in my town. Pretty much every kid within 25 miles was on that stupid team and for most of us it was the first sport we played. We ranged in age from us youngsters all the way up to high school seniors. Simply put, there were, what I considered at the time, a shit ton of people wandering around the pool deck, limbering up and getting ready for practice that morning.

And there was me, wearing a pair of sweats having just pulled off whatever t-shirt I was wearing. I had no desire to swim that morning, but practice was practice and I couldn't swim in my sweats. I kicked off my Chucks, and got ready to drop trow, down to the maroon speedos we all wore. My sweats made it to about mid-thigh when I realized I saw white where I should have seen maroon. I'd forgotten to put my goddamn swim suit on. Somehow, in my half-awake preparation, I'd managed to get completely dressed, for swim practice, while forgetting the most important element of such a practice: something appropriate to swim in.

I wrenched my sweats back up as fast as I could. Thankfully, no one saw me standing there half-clothed in sweats with my tighty whities hanging out. I did have to suffer the humiliation, though, of informing my coach that I wouldn't be able to practice that morning because I'd forgotten my suit.

In the long run, it didn't really matter as I was a terrible swimmer. For me the team was something I was kinda forced to do, something I sorta enjoyed and mostly a great fucking excuse to eat raw jello mix using my finger as a spoon.

*my beard is fucking weird. I'm pretty sure you can find every color that occurs in nature in it if you look hard enough. But, more on that later.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Learning Annex

I've probably posted this elsewhere, and I may have even told you about it if you have the extreme pleasure of knowing me in person, but my dad has his own weird little lexicon of phrases. Most of them are euphemisms for the wildly profane and blasphemous expletive: "Jesus Christ"

I didn't really understand them growing up, but now I kind of love them. Here are all that I can remember:
Jeezum Petes
Jiminy Christmas
Holy Cats

There are more, but I'm blanking on them now. I'll update as I remember them. I'm working on my own personal expletive, as well. The best I've got thus far is: Funky Mayonnaise. Usage being something like this:
Funky Mayonnaise that's a huge turd.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Quick Rant

So, I get to work with some interesting people. Most of them are strong evidence in the case against natural selection. Frankly if such a thing existed, most of them wouldn't have survived beyond their teens. One of my favorites, and a shining example of all things wonderful about my workplace, is a spunky gal who goes by the self-ascribed nickname of Bootsy*.

She stole my heart when she threw a party a couple years ago. The party flier was a thing of beauty. It featured sexy glamour shots of the host and asked attendees to bring "donations". The donations part is funny because this wasn't a fundraiser. Well, it wasn't a fundraiser for anything other than Bootsy. I can't really express how awesome this flier was. I should have scanned it and started a web site devoted to this flier. I should have gotten it airbrushed onto a license plate for the car I don't own and gotten it tattooed on my ass. It was that good.

I'm writing about Bootsy today because one of my favorite quotes from her is the following:

"Oh, I am a personal trainer. I do it out of my house."

Now, I guess I should mention that Bootsy is a good 20 pounds over weight. And not 20 pounds over some crazy bullshit ideal of a rail-thin woman. She's 20 pounds over what a healthy person of her age should probably weigh. Also, as a personal trainer, she makes some interesting food choices. Today, I watched her make a tuna salad (I could smell the spackle of mayonnaise) sandwich on Wonderbread. This thing was piled high with arterie clogging goodness. I guess that wouldn't have been so bad, but 20 minutes later when I went back into the lunch room she was preparing another vile sandwich.

Bootsy, my hat is off to you, your flier and your misguided thoughts on health and nutrition.

*I changed this just a bit for obvious reasons, and because I'm not 100% sure what the actual nickname is.

Made Connection

Missed connections. Most adults treat them the same way we did masturbation in high school. We're all doing it, but nobody's willing to fess up to it. Well, nobody's willing to fess up to it first; once somebody admits to being a fan, though, everybody admits they do it too. And, most of us are just reading them, not posting them. I mean the people who post them, talk about a bunch of poorly adjusted malcontents. Reading them, looking for yourself, trying to remember what fucking shirt you were wearing in Whole Foods last Tuesday because that one might be you and staring at people in the Last Drop so some lonely asshole finally posts one about you is one thing...but posting them, my god, it takes a sad, sad soul to do such a thing.

So this one time, I was drunk and posted a missed connection.

I used to live at 23rd and Spruce, and my walk home took me by the Snack Bar on 20th Street. Over the weeks I started to develop a walk by crush on one of the waitresses there. She was adorable and every day I'd try to casually strut by whilst taking a peak to my left to see if she was working. The crush was harmless; except for the one time I almost walked into traffic because I held my creepy gaze a bit too long. She looked cute that day, leave me alone.

At any rate, I'm prone to fits of idealism and romanticism when I'm drunk. It's even worse when I'm drunk on wine. I went out one night two years ago and got good and properly shitfaced on wine before tottering home with some gross food. It was probably about three bites into my italian hoagie from Old Nelson that the brilliant idea of posting a missed connection for my crush hit me. Couldn't hurt, could it? I put my hoagie to the side and composed what is probably the best missed connection in the history of missed connections. If I'd had the foresight to realize what an enormous douche I was being, I would have saved it. A quick check of my spam email account and craigslist confirms that it is, sadly, lost to the ages.

I'll try to recreate the post, as best I can, here:
Snack Bar Waitress: M4W

I'm sure you have a boyfriend, but I just wanted to tell you that I think you're beautiful and if he doesn't tell you that every day then he doesn't deserve to breathe the same air you do blah blah blah

I woke up the next morning hoping against hope that I just dreamed about posting a missed connection. Hoping that I hadn't finally crossed that thin line between single dood and creepy internet guy; and fine I'll admit it, there was probably a tiny bit of me that thought this would lead to a sweeping and intense romance. God I suck.

I opened my spam account, saw the confirmation email from craigslist and wallowed in a dull shame I have yet to encounter since. But, there was something else in my spam account. A response! Huzzah! My drunken dalliance had paid off, surely this would be a great story to tell our 15 grandkids some day and I started to plan our first date and picked out puppies and kitties we would get together and then I stopped acting like an asshole and actually opened the email.

"I don't have a boyfriend"

You're goddamn right you don't. This was a good start. I should have done this years ago. I took the name in the email address and did some light facebook stalking just to take a look at my future wife. There was only one problem. It was the wrong fucking waitress. Granted, this girl was cute too, but she was way too young and decidedly not my crush.

Dejected, heartbroken, a little thankful that my drunken shitheadedness didn't out me as a complete creep to my walk by crush...I was all of these things. But mostly, I was umm, I was...well, I don't fucking know. Sometimes you just do something stupid that's kinda funny and there isn't any grand lesson man. Sheesus, this is a blog, not a Goofus and Galant cartoon.

Oh yeah, two years later I met the wrong waitress at a party and went on three dates with her, one of which she showed up wasted to (it was a Tuesday). But, that's a different story for a different time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sexy Times

I woke up in the middle of the night last night. It could have been 2 a.m., could have been 5 a.m., I have no clue. This happens a lot, so I wasn't too worked up about it. I laid there for a while, thinking about stuff. Then I started to hear the subtlest high pitch noise. I tried to strain my hearing, which consisted mostly of me extending my neck a bit and turning my head to the side. My hearing is pretty shit, but I swear I could make out sexy noises. This is odd because the trinities in my courtyard and the attached apartment building seem to be inhabited largely by asexual neckbeards and their female counterparts.

The noise dropped off for a second and I started to do some quick math in my head. The equation looked something like this:
[Shame of Pleasuring Oneself to Neighbor's Sexy Time²]XValue of Entertaining Story Later X Normal Personal Mastubatory Shame = Fuck It, What Else Have I Got to do Right Now

The noise came back. I slowed my breathing and tried really hard to hear. I'd almost convinced myself that these were definitely sexy noises. The noises were so soft, but they could definitely be a woman in the throes of passion. Maybe. I listened harder, trying to separate a moan or howl from the ambient noise and traffic outside. The noise hitched a bit, got a little louder, some sort of crescendo? I was waiting for some dirty talk, some definitive proof that my neighbors were definitely getting it on. Then the noise sneezed, shifted its fat body and cooed out a soft purr. In short, I was about 45 seconds away from pleasuring myself to my overweight cat's wheezing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The cozy little house I share with my two cats, and a dog sometimes, often smells like bar b q. Sometimes it just smells like fire. That's because I am barely a man. Well, barely a man in the old John Wayne, dirty hands, can rebuild a carburetor sense. What I'm trying to get at is: I suck at fire. As such, living in a house with a fireplace has been a comedy of slight errors and self clownings the likes of which are, frankly, par for for the course for my life.

My first "fire" took a good 73 minutes and a third of a Philadelphia phone book to get lit. For my efforts, I was rewarded with a billow* of acrid dark smoke wending its way up my ceiling before caroming back into the living room and coating my possessions with a lovely odor of whatever shit wood it is they sell at the Ack-ame. But, I learned an important lesson from this first disaster: open the flue before lighting a fire. My next few fires were uneventful, and I even got somewhat adept at lighting them. With every fire, though, I struggled with some rogue smoke that would work its way back into the living room. I'd check and recheck the flue. It was definitely open every time.

Thus we come to today, the 19th of January in the year of our lord 2010.

I piled some wood and some kindling into the fireplace and got a nice little fire going in record time. But, as always there was a faint trickle of smoke bleeding into the living room. The flue was definitely open. I tried opening a window, just a bit, as I'd had some success creating some sort of air current before.

No dice.

I grabbed one of the fireplace tools, the pointy one with the hook. I don't know what this tool is called, so it shall be henceforth referred to as: the thinger. My plan was to grab the flue handle with the hook and give it a good tug, just to make sure it was open. I quickly realized the chances of actually achieving this without lighting my arm on fire were pretty close to nil. I made a half-assed effort to make myself feel better, though. I jabbed the, umm, thinger, up the chimney one last time. As I did so, a black mass tumbled out of the chimney, and I, for the first time ever**, shrieked like a woman and jumped up one foot, ran in place for a second, did that "ewwww" gesture that looks like a slight seizure and dry heaved. It was the charred body of a pigeon.

Then its head fell off.

And I dry heaved again.

Not being sure what the accepted protocol is for rodent disposal, I spent some time staring at the burnt little shit. I thought about feeding him to the cats, but he was a bit overdone. For the briefest of seconds I considered a proper burial. But, that would have been retarded considering how many animals I've had genuine affection for that I've sent to meet their maker through the porcelain gates of the old commode. In the end it seemed most practical to use the shovel fireplace tool thinger to scoop him into a bag.

I laid the little fellow to rest in some grocery store bags that I daintily tossed into the shady alley outside my courtyard that houses our trash. A fitting funeral, if you ask me.

*this is a noun. trust me, I had to look it up too.
**this week