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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

From the New York Times:
In a finding that is likely to intensify the debate over what to teach students about the origins of life, a poll released yesterday found that nearly two-thirds of Americans say that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in public schools.

The poll found that 42 percent of respondents held strict creationist views, agreeing that "living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time."
In an unrelated story, a different poll found that 42% of Americans are complete fucking retards.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

He's Got Big Balls

Have you ever been out on a date with a girl, and you realized you had the ultimate move that you knew could either lift you up to super-sexual stardom or banish you into the dark, fully-clothed recesses of the girl's mind? I recently heard this true story and my understanding of what it meant to have big balls was suddenly altered forever:

Sandy and Mark met at Starbucks one afternoon in 2002 while she was studying for a mid-term. He approached her and asked her briefly about her classes, and soon asked her out on a date. She said yes, because he seemed like a nice guy, and because she was in a period of her life in which she said yes to nearly every date because hey, it was a free dinner, and often, a good story resulted.1

They went to dinner and saw a movie on their first date, had a nice if not unmemorable time, and Mark dropped off Sandy without receiving a kiss goodnight. On their second date the following weekend, Sandy and Mark got into a conversation about who they thought was the hottest celebrity, and each revealed they thought that Britney was totally hott.2 Later that evening, they went back to her apartment to hang out and talk. While Sandy went in the other room, Mark browsed her bookshelf and noticed something intriguing: An anthology of erotic stories as collected by Penthouse magazine.

"What's this?" he asked when she got back into the room.

"Oh, that's just something a friend got me as a joke," she said.

The rest of the date went on without event. Mark called Sandy the next day and asked for her address. Thinking he was going to send her flowers, she gave it to him, and was surprised when she received a thick envelope the next week. What was in the envelope she wondered? Could it be a love letter? Cash? A lease to his apartment? A wedding invitation? No. It was none of these. Instead it was a twenty-page, single-spaced erotic fan-fiction novella involving Britney Spears, Sandy, and of course Mark.

She read the document with amazement. The story basically described a fantasy in which Sandy and Mark went to see Britney's concert, and were later invited to go back stage and meet Britney, at which time the three of them fucked like wild animals.

Mark called two days after Sandy got the letter and asked if she received the package.

"Uh, yes," she said.

"Did you read it?" he asked.

"Yeah, I did."

"And what did you think?"

"It was . . . interesting."

"Ah. Well, I figured you'd either react one of two ways: turned-on or weirded-out."

"I think I'm weirded out."

"OK, well, see you later."

The couple never went out again.

Mark, for your bravery and daring, you are awarded the
Life of Zane "Big Balls" award. Congratulations.

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1This is the first time in history in which I've ever heard of a girl dating for the sake of voyeuristic entertainment.
2You know, back when she was hott.
This morning while I was lying in bed, semi-conscious, I made up the following joke. I have a tendency to subconsciously steal jokes from other places, but I'm pretty sure this one is all mine:
A guy walked into a bar with a sad look on his face.

"What's wrong?" asked the bartender.

"I've got a problem," the guy replied. "I woke up one morning some time ago with a naked girl in my bed. Four years later, we're still happily together."

"Well I don't see anything wrong with that," said the bartender.

"Did I say naked girl? I meant Osama bin Laden."

The bartender retrieved his shotgun from under the bar. "Get outta my bar, you terrorist."

Monday, August 29, 2005

Incredible New Discovery, Pt. 2

So after some snooping, I discovered that the two most popular ways that people discovered this blog (besides hitting the "Next Blog" button) were searches on MSN and Yahoo.

One reader from Iran searched the phrase "Anus+Girl" (search result four) and came up with this.

One reader from Canada searched the phrase "Nose Dildo" (search result seven) and came up with this.

I hope all my fellow smut-searchers eventually found what they were looking for.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Growing up, my mother always warned me not to fool around with plastic bags on my head.

"You'll suffocate and die," she said.

But two years later when I covered my cousin Thomas' head with a plastic bag, all he got was a concussion when he passed out and hit his head on the coffee table.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Sensitive Tax Attorney

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There was once a tax attorney who was very sensitive.

One day in court, the judge decreed that he was too sensitive to fight the case.

He was later fired for sleeping with the fifteen-year-old daughter of one of the partners.
I decided that I'm never going to do anything that I don't want to do. So, from now on, I'm only wearing cut-offs.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I Meet Bobcat Goldthwait and a Local News Anchor

I was walking around town the other day when I met Bobcat Goldthwaite.

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I called a friend of mine up who was walking around another section of town—the gay section of town. He’s not gay, he just likes to shop at nice clothes stores, and that’s where they all are, amidst the all-male strip clubs and hair salons. My friend is a big Bobcat Goldthwaite fan.

My friend is black

On the way over to meet him, my friend began fantasizing about what it would be like to finally meet his hero.

My friend dreams about Bobcat

But by the time he’d gotten there, the only person of any interest around was a local news anchor.

Friend shops at Gay Store

Anchor says friend is gay

The News Anchor wasn’t nearly as entertaining as we imagined Bobcat to be.

Boring news anchor


Stay tuned for . . . the Sensitive Tax Attorney!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

From the New York Times:
At the heart of the debate over intelligent design is this question: Can a scientific explanation of the history of life include the actions of an unseen higher being?

The proponents of intelligent design, a school of thought that some have argued should be taught alongside evolution in the nation's schools, say that the complexity and diversity of life go beyond what evolution can explain.
Reading this article made me remember times, as a teenager, in which I found myself actually arguing the basics of this issue with co-workers and classmates.

I mean, I didn't evolve from no monkey.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Let Me Axe You a Question

While shuffling through some old papers a few days ago, I came across a bunch of "Would you rather . . . " questions that I either made up or stole from somewhere else. Feel free to answer none, some, or all of these.
Would you rather . . .
- (If you're a woman) Date a man with an absurdly small penis (like the size of a thimble), or a man with a ridiculously large penis?
- (If you're a man) Date a woman with hilariously large breasts, or no with really really small breasts?
- Win $500 for yourself or $50,000 for charity?
- Fly or be invisible?
- Burn to death or drown to death?
- Eat a whole stick of butter or drink a jar of pickle juice?
- Live forever or die tomorrow?
- Eat a human arm or a cow brain?
- Have no taste or no smell?
- Have three small eyes or one giant eye?
- Walk in on your parents doing it or have your parents walk in on you doing it?
- Look really really good and feel kind of crappy all the time, or look really ugly and feel awesome all the time?
- Lick a dog's balls or your sibling's nipple?

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Continuing Saga of Me and the Maintenance Guy

A few years ago, I went apartment hunting with Lan. I was only looking for a one-bedroom, but Lan is known to have good judgment and consider questions that others who are looking for a new place to live may not think of. In each location we visited, he went directly to the bathroom and flushed the toilet.

"What is he doing?" the apartment-finder lady asked me.

He emerged from the bathroom, shaking his head. "You're going to want to find an apartment with a much stronger flush than this one," he said. "Let's go."

Unfortunately I didn't have Lan around when I found the new place, so I didn't think to check for flush-strength. When I went to the toilet this morning, it was clear that I had picked a place with below-average flushing capabilities. I was going to have to do a double-flush after the reservoir refilled. I went into the other room to put on a CD while I waited. I was quickly distracted, and forgot to reflush.

Soon, the maintenance guy knocked on the door and said he was here to re-caulk the bathtub. He went through the apartment, and it wasn't until I heard him flush the toilet that I realized that I hadn't fulfilled my duty as a toilet-goer.

I laughed so hard I had to cover my face with a pillow so he wouldn't hear me as he caulked.

Incredible New Discovery

A lot of people think that Vincent Van Gogh died in 1890. The truth is, he's still alive and well, and making music under a surname.

Van Gogh Self-Portrait      Moondance

Thursday, August 18, 2005

This is Bullshit

If this guy can get twenty comments per post reiterating old Seinfeld bits with no added commentary, I should be a fucking internet celebrity.

Me and the Maintenance Guy

I woke up this morning to a knock on the door. I usually sleep just in my boxers, so I threw on a t-shirt and stumbled through the living room.


I opened the door. The maintenance guy told me he needed to make a list of things he needed from the hardware store to fix up the rest of my apartment. Then his eyes bugged out a little and it became clear that he was making an effort to keep his eyes on my face.

I let him in, and when I shut the door I realized the source of his nervousness. I was creating a tent that would not be inadequate for a small troop of boy scouts.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I couldn't figure the girl out. There were times when she seemed interested in me, and I thought I'd made it clear that I was interested in her, but for whatever reason, every time I approached her to make conversation or hung out with her, she seemed distant and uninterested.

Finally, we were hanging out together one evening when she'd had too much to drink.

"You can't be nice to me," she slurred. "If you're nice to me, then I won't like you."

So that was it. When I was nice, it was a turn-off. When I ignored her, poked fun at her, or behaved indifferently, she found herself drawn to me. I was surprised that she knew herself well enough to recognize that in her--most people who hate themselves deny it externally, or haven't admitted it to themselves. But what was I supposed to do with that? I wasn't really interested in a girl who didn't respect herself enough to let a guy be "nice" to her, but I wondered--if I started being mean to her or ignored her, would she think that I was just heeding her advice and be more attracted to me, or would we be rid of each other?

I decided to perform an experiment. The next words out of my mouth:

"I never told you this before, but you really stink."

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

And as a bonus post, the lyrics to the best show on television, The Andy Milonakis Show:
Rock peas on my head but don’t call me a pea head.
Bees on my head but don’t call me a bee head.
Bruce Lee’s on my head but don’t call me a Lee head.
Now please excuse me, I gots to get my tree fed.
You wear name brands and I make my own clothing.
I hang out with an apple who loves self-loathing.
“I hate myself.”

Pancake on my face makes me extra happy.
I like shampoo bottles that sit on my lappy.
Cause it’s my show you can’t tell me what to do.
When life hands me lemons I make beef stew.

So yo I gotta go, it’s time for me to rock it.
I put baloney in my left pocket.
Smear some cream cheese in my gold locket .
Cause it’s my show I’m Andy Milonakis.
It’s my show I’m Shmandy Shmila-Shmakis.
It’s my show I’m Andy Milonakis.


Once people start to recognize the style and topics that are covered in a blog (even an unpopular blog), the blogger is only a short distance from becoming a self-parody.

I went to House of Pies last night with Joey and Jess, and Jess was telling a story about how her younger brother was succeeding admirably in his goal to be a failure at life.

"Well, he just got into a car accident while intoxicated, only two weeks after getting his license back after having it suspended for . . . hitting someone while intoxicated."

"So he's doing well," I said.

"Yeah. He's talking about going to real estate school. I don't know."

"Wasn't he in college? I thought your parents sent him to A&M Corpus?"

"Yeah, he took three classes and never went back," she said, seeming a little discouraged with him. "But you'll like this--of the three courses he took, he failed two."

"That sucks."

"You want to know what he took? English, PE, and "How to Succeed in College". Guess which one he passed."

""How to Succeed"?"


I laughed loudly. "Hello ironic twist!"

"Yes," she confirmed, "he failed PE and "How to Succeed in College"."

Joey laughed, more at the intenstiy of my reaction than the irony of the situation, I'd guess. "You're going to blog about that, aren't you?"

"Actually, I was thinking about it."

" 'I was having coffee with some friends the other night, and an extremely funny thing happened . . . ' "

"Go to hell," I told him, still laughing at the irony.

Monday, August 15, 2005

I went to visit my grandmother a few days ago at her place in Huntsville, the prison capital of Texas. If I didn't have a real sense of being back in my home state while being in Houston and Austin, I was certainly reminded of it when I got there. My uncle owns a ranch there on which a good portion of my family lives, along with various dogs, pigs, cows, and other barnyard animals.

My grandmother has always been a little bit crazy, but as it happens with most people, the older they get, the more they lose touch with reality. My dad and I spent a few minutes with her walking around my aunt and uncle's newly-built home, my grandmother telling various stories that didn't really seem to have a beginning or end. Often, they would end with "He wants to marry me," for seemingly no reason.

When we left, my grandmother was driving the Cadillac my dad and his siblings bought for her back towards her house through a field (rather than on the dirt road) in what probably seemed like a straight line. At one point she slammed on the brakes and started yelling and waving her hands around.

"Where's my button?! Where's my button?!" She was talking about the remote-entry button she'd been given for the gate between the road and the ranch. We pulled over and tried to find out what was going on.

"It's probably back in the house," my dad yelled.

"Or in your purse," I added. I'd seen her carry it in with her, but I wasn't sure if she'd brought it out. She began panting worriedly.

"But--I need it! I--I need it!"

"We can go back to the house to check," I offered.

"I need it for my health!" I overheard her say.

"Forget it, we'll be here for an hour if we get mixed up in this," my dad said.

"I'll open the gate for you, you can find it later," I called over to her.


"Wow, I'm really glad she said that," I said. "That's the craziest thing she could have said."

"At least there are really cows out there," my dad said.

Eventually we got through the gate and waved goodbye to my grandmother, who seemed to have completely forgotten about the button by the time she had passed the gate.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

A review for John Singleton's terrible film Four Brothers, which stars Marky Mark and André 3000, is in the "Movies" section.

Friday, August 12, 2005

I ran into a woman, an acquaintance of my family's, the other day. Her son goes to St. Edward's University, a small liberal arts university in Austin.

"He really enjoys it there," she said. "In fact, he said that a lot of kids from UT (University of Texas) wish that they were going to St. Ed's. It's a really good school."

Which, I imagine, is what a lot of parents tell themselves when their kids aren't accepted into my alma mater.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bill Hicks had a point in his bit about pornography and advertising:
Supreme Court says pornography is anything without artistic merit that causes sexual thoughts, that's their definition, essentially. No artistic merit, causes sexual thoughts. Hmm . . . Sounds like . . . every commercial on television, doesn't it? You know, when I see those two twins on that Doublemint commercial? I'm not thinking of gum. I am thinking of chewing though, so maybe that's the connection they're trying to make.
Dove soap has a new series of ads out that has been discussed in an article on Slate (among other places)--the gist of these ads are that the girls appearing in their underwear are "curvier", or to use the more popular phrase "fatter" than the average model, and that they, you know, use Dove soap.

It would be a bit over-the-top to call the ads a phenomenon, but they're definitely getting more publicity and attraction than the average ad campagin. In all the excitement of wondering whether or not having fat girls in ads will become more popular in the future, or if it will hurt Dove as a company in the long run because they become known as "the fat brand", people seem to have forgotten the whole basic premise of the campaign: to sell soap.

I don't really see how these ads are any different than the ads with professional models in them. It's definitely easy to see how Dove is able to use the campaign for its intended use--if they had used your average really hot model or celebrity for the ad, it wouldn't be being discussed in the media, amongst bigger girls who are cheering about the beginning of their equal representation in print ads, in the annoyed backlash conversation of skinny girls who don't think they have to be curvy to be beautiful, or on this blog.

I know it sounds polemic, but I often have to remind myself of a simple truth when things like this come up: the most important goal of every business is to make money. It isn't to represent women accurately, or to provide a voice for the under-represented, or any other altruistic end unless it serves that first and most important goal. Ad companies or any company for that matter are not above pretending to stir-up controversy if it will sell more product, and that's exactly what's going on with the Dove campaign.

In the same bit that I started with, Hicks concluded with what I think is a fitting reminder to those who have noticed and talked about the ad campaign but have completely let that number one goal go unnoticed.
I'll tell you the commercial they'd like to do, if they could, and I guarantee you, if they could, they'd do this, right here. Here's the woman's face, beautiful. Camera pulls back, naked breasts. Camera pulls back, she's totally naked. Legs apart. Two fingers, right here, and it just says, "Drink Coke." Now I don't know the connection here, but goddamn if Coke isn't on my shopping list that week. "Dr. Pepper." (Poses suggestively) "Snickers, satisfying." (Bends over, spreads butt-cheeks, mouth-guitars "I Can't Get No Satisfaction") Damned if I'm not buying these products! My teeth are rotting out of my head, I'm glued to the television, I'm as big as a fucking couch. "More Snickers, more Coke!"
And if you'll look here, you'll find a review I wrote for on my fucking math book (under the title "Good Math Book") when I was taking "Math for Liberal Arts Majors" in community college at age twenty.

I'm proud to note that I'm the top reviewer for the item, and my review was helpful for two out of two people.
I saw a couple of old black guys selling watermelons on the side of the road today.

"Boy," I thought, "I hope they never meet a white person."
A couple of years ago, a girl I know got fired for drinking on the job. A mutual friend of ours told me what happened, and finished the story with "her parents think she has a drinking problem. Isn't that insane?"

I said that it seemed a little anxious of them to bring up something like that from that one incident.

"Well," she continued, "she also got an MIP a few months ago. And a DUI after that."

"Oh," I said. "Does she have a drinking problem?"

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

On fire

Based on the dialogue "Baby, you put the 'ass' in 'asinine'." "What?" "You heard me bitch," by Lan D. Ho. Compiled and Google Image-Searched by Christopher Zane.

Monday, August 08, 2005

"As conscious beings, we exist only in response to other things, and we cannot know ourselves at all without knowing them. Moreover, there is nothing in theory, and certainly nothing in experience, to support the extraordinary judgment that it is the truth about himself that is the easiest for a person to know. Facts about ourselves are not peculiarly solid and resistant to skeptical dissolution. Our natures are, indeed, elusively insubstantial--notoriously less stable and less inherent than the natures of other things."

Harry G. Frankfurt, On Bullshit, 2005

My ex-girlfriend decided to buy me a pair of jeans for my birthday a couple of years ago. We went to Express for Men, where they were having a sale on various jeans. I tried several pairs on, and eventually decided on one that I liked. A few days later, I put them on to go to a different mall with the same ex-girlfriend to buy a gift for a mutual friend. At one point while we were in the car, I realized there was a discolored spot near the crotch of the jeans. ‘Maybe I can exchange them at the Express store in this mall,’ I thought. I suggested it to my ex-girlfriend, and she seemed dubious of the success of my idea.

When we got into the store, we found that there was a guy working there that she knew from school, and we asked him if it would be OK if we exchanged the pair I was wearing for another pair. He said he didn’t see why that would be a problem. I arched my eyebrows and grinned at my ex-girlfriend, who rolled her eyes. I found another pair of jeans of the same style and size, and brought them to the dressing room, along with a couple of other pairs of pants I was interested in. After a few minutes in the dressing room, someone knocked on the door and asked if I was alright. I said I was. I decided against all of the pants except the one that I would exchange for the ones with the spot on them, and when I came out, the man who had knocked on the door was standing there smiling at me patiently.

“Did you find everything OK?” he asked me. He looked like the kind of person who would be a manager at a hip mall-fashion store for men. Denim jacket.

“Yes, everything was fine. I’m just going to take the ones I’m wearing.”

“Well, you’ll have to take them off so we can scan them and take off the security tag.”

“Ah, but I’m going to exchange these,” I began, holding out the ones I was going to exchange, “for these,” I finished, pointing to the ones I was wearing.

“You wore those in?” he said with a concerned look.


“I’m afraid we can’t exchange them.”

“But your policy is that ‘No sale is ever final.’ They even have the tags on them still. See?”

“Sir, you can’t wear a pair of jeans into the store and expect to exchange them.”

“If I hadn’t worn them in, you wouldn’t have any idea whether or not I had ever worn them. What’s the difference? Go over there, do the exchange, and I’ll wait here while you take the security tag off and stuff.”

“I can’t exchange these jeans.”

“Why not?”

“Because sir, as I explained to you, you can’t just wear something into a store and exchange it. It’s already been worn.”

“But they’re in perfect condition.”

He was growing less patient with me. “Let’s see if this makes it easier. You know when you buy a pair of shoes, and it turns out that you’ve changed your mind and you’ve already worn them? You can wear them around in the store and see if you like them, but once you take them out of the store and wear them around, you can’t return them. Do you understand?”

“That’s because there’s stuff in between the soles and the shoes can’t be resold. If someone wore the shoes around their house, or a hotel or something all day long and then decided to return them you would never know the difference, would you? You would take them back.”

“But you were wearing the jeans, sir. That’s the difference.” He seemed pretty pleased with himself for outsmarting me. I wanted to punch him in his middle-aged face.

I went back into the dressing room and took off the new jeans, folded them neatly, and stacked them on top of the pair of jeans I walked in with. When I left the dressing room, pantsless, the smug manager was still standing outside my door.

“I’d like to exchange this pair of jeans,” I said, holding up the old pair, “for this pair.”

“Sir, I can’t make any exchanges for you today.”

My ex-girlfriend later told me that the headsets of every employee in the store were buzzing with the news that some crazy guy with no pants was arguing with the manager. I could see customers and employees alike watching the situation develop as they browsed.

“Why not? I bet you couldn’t even tell which pair of pants are the ones I wore in and which were the ones are the ones were picked here.”

“I’m sorry sir, I can’t allow you to make any exchanges today,” he repeated.

“I don’t think I’m being unreasonable here. The situation is simple: I have some pants I need to exchange. These pants are in good condition, and the exchange is within your policies as I understand them.”

“I’--------ir, I ca-----------ou to make any-----anges to---.”

I stopped listening, and was now trying to locate my ex-girlfriend, who had grown horrified at the idea of anyone in the store knowing that we were ever associated with each other, and had left the store. I went back into the changing room and put on the original pair of pants, grumbling to myself angrily. I tried to hatch a plan that would show that damned smug retail manager who was really more clever: me. Nothing came.

“Are you OK in there sir?” a woman’s voice called out to me loudly. I learned later that Denim Jacket called on the female manager from Express for Women to see if she could take over for him. When I came out, the male manager was standing next to the Express for Women manager, who had the audacity to ask if I found everything alright in there.

“No, frankly I didn’t.” I faced Denim Jacket with my armful of pants that had remained in the changing room and dropped them at his feet, a move that was proudly approved of by 100% of the petulant children in the world who had been denied dessert after they rejected their peas.

The only solace I had was when I made my ex-girlfriend drive me to another mall (after a quick stop at home where I changed my pants and put the jeans into their original bag), where I exchanged the jeans with absolutely no trouble at all, because, just like I told that son of a bitch at the other mall, there was absolutely nothing wrong with them.

Just after I exchanged the jeans, the earth was attacked by giant space-birds. However, my leadership and strong presence in the jeans-exchange situation ultimately led to my becoming their master and commander, and the entire situation was of the utmost importance.


Sunday, August 07, 2005

"Man, I hate the winshield-washing guys," I told Lan as the windshield-washer approached the car while we waited at the stoplight. "I mean, I understand they're trying to make a living, but it's so frustrating that you have to deal with these guys at every light. They're really aggressive, so you have to like yell at them to stop."

"He's coming! Pretend like you're asleep!" Lan said.

The windshield-washer approached, waving his squeegie. He was wearing a tie, a polo shirt, and a couple of missing teeth. We both looked away, and Lan moved up a few feet to pass him. He wandered over to the next car.

"I bet he could get more money if he waved a hammer around instead of that squeegie," Lan said. "Like 'Ya betta give me some money or I'm-a gonna smash ya winshield in!' I bet that shit would work way better."


But before he could reply, we were attacked by giant space birds, and the entire happening was of little consequence.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

They all laughed at me when I was born with cans full of pork 'n' beans for hands, but I knew that I was special, and not a freak.

Bean hands rule.

I should have known my day for redemption was near when a change in soil variations made it impossible for beans of all kinds to grow--everywhere around the world!

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Soon, it was discovered that the president had a life-threatening illness that could only be cured with one thing: beans. By that time of course, there were no beans to be found anywhere. I was his only hope.

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Sadly though, it turned out that what he needed were black beans, not pork and beans.

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But before I could be taken to the galleys, the world was attacked by giant space birds, and the entire happening was of little consequence.


Thursday, August 04, 2005

I was eating at Hooters the other day with a friend, and I was having trouble ordering. I ended up with a buffalo chicken breast sandwich. Unfortunately, it wasn't on the menu, so I had to order a regular chicken breast sandwich and add buffalo sauce.

"How hot do you want it?" our waitress asked me. Her name was Donna, and she had on a lot of makeup.

"Uh, I don't know. Pretty hot, I guess."

She looked at me.

"Just give him three mile," my friend said. He was also having three mile, so I said that sounded good to me.

Donna smiled at me uncomfortably.

I said "As you can see, I'm a Hooters veteran, so I always make my orders with confidence."

Donna continued to smile at me--with a patience that was clearly beginning to run out, as if I were a Chinese immigrant trying to fill out an application for residency and I couldn't understand which box I was supposed to put my name in.

"Dude, she doesn't know what you're talking about," my friend said.

I turned to Donna. "Thank you very much."

Her confidence and patience went up a few points as she reaffirmed her grasp on the situation. He wants a chicken sandwich with hot sauce on it. I am a Hooters girl. I have to go buy some new panty hose for tomorrow's shift.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Like He Was Ringin' a Bell

When I was in the tenth grade, I joined a cover band that played mostly classic rock standards. Sometimes we’d play modern or alternative rock hits as well, but mostly we stuck to Zeppelin, Skynyrd, and the Beatles. A few songs into my first gig, which I hadn’t practiced for nearly enough, the band leader leaned over to me and suggested that I start off the next song. The song was “Song 2” by Blur, or “The Woo-Hoo Song”, as many people have come to recognize it.

I should explain something: I’m not a talented guitar player. I know the major and minor chords, I know barre chord positions, I know a few scales—but I have no conceptual knowledge of how to play music. I can probably piece together a song if I hear it on the radio, but only by trial and error, and I’ve never been able to successfully “jam” with anyone, with the exception of just repetitively playing simple blues progressions while someone else solos over it.

When I put my hand on the neck of the guitar to begin the song, my sixteen-year-old mind completely blanked. I weakly made a barre chord somewhere on the neck, strummed the guitar, and was rewarded with what sounded like the Shaggs in a practice-session, circa 1969. You know the feeling you have in that dream where you’re standing there in your underwear at school? This was like that, except for instead of underwear, I had a guitar strapped around my neck and was wearing nothing, and instead of having a penis, Richard Simmons’ head distended unnaturally from my crotch and was singing Engelbert Humperdink’s “Quando, Quando, Quando” with a lisp.

For a few moments, nothing happened. There wasn’t a sound to be heard in the entire saloon where we were playing, except for the nearly-inaudible sing-song whisper that may or may not have existed only to me: “My darling will you tell me when . . . . quando quando quando quaaaandooooo . . . “

The leader of the band leaned over again and looked at me, confused.

“Do you want me to start it off?”

“Uh, yeah,” I choked.

The rest of the gig was pretty unmemorable.

Monday, August 01, 2005

I Think I Can Beat John Bolton

The Economist (among others) reported today that President Bush bypassed Congress and appointed controversial nominee John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations. The appointment is pretty characteristic of what we've come to expect from the Bush administration--an underhanded but legal tactic that will work, but bypass the normal procedures for such appointments. The president made a “recess appointment”, installing Bolton while Congress takes a break in August. This allows Mr Bolton to serve until the next congressional term begins, in January 2007.

Bolton is not only controversial because he's made a number of anti-UN statements ("It wouldn't make a difference if the New York secretariat building lost ten stories."; Personally signing an official letter telling the U.N. that the U.S. would have nothing to do with any International Criminal Court; "There's no such thing as the United Nations."), but because he's also a notorious asshole. There have been reports of him bullying and yelling at junior staffers, and in general his demeanor and language is forceful, brash, and uncompromising.

The question that's most important here seems to be whether or not Bolton's personality and position will lend itself to progress and change within the UN, instead of regression or more resentment towards the US. Some guess that Mr. Bolton, in his unfamiliar new surroundings, won't be as harsh or forceful as he's been in the past, and hope that he'll be more open to working with the other delegates.

Why leave it up to chance? I've got a suggestion that will almost certainly work:

Let me get a crack at him.

There are several reasons I’ll outline here which will show that without a doubt, my beating the shit out of new UN ambassador John Bolton will lead to a better future for America.

First, let's discuss my odds of winning. Bolton was born on 20 November, 1948, which makes him 57 years old, which is almost exactly two-and-a-half times my age. I'm younger, fitter (if the pictures are any indication), and healthier than his old ass.

Second, just look at the guy. When I first read about his behavior and exploits, I was surprised. ‘This is the guy who’s supposed to be intimidating people?’ I wondered. ‘He looks like someone’s nerdy uncle.’ This mustachioed character reminds me of Mr. Potato-Head when you put on the eyebrows under the nose and make him wear the little plastic glasses.

John Bolton, who is probably an unbelievable pussy, deep down.Also, high-ranking bureaucrats generally aren't aggressive outside of the parameters that they feel comfortable in. He may be a bully when it comes to his over-the-top views on foreign policy, but I'd be willing to bet that once I delivered the first punch to the face he’d cower in the corner like a dog being punished for soiling the carpet.

Finally, I have a suspicion that his aggression comes from an attempt to overcome low self-esteem and a deeper lack of confidence that may reside deep within. I think this deep-seated weakness will reveal itself the moment he’s threatened with a physical beating, and he will then beg for mercy which he will not be rewarded with.

“But Chris,” you may wonder, “what good would beating up the man who stopped the Florida recount in 2000 and serves as Rumsfeld’s man in the State Department do, besides, you know, catharsis?”

There are many benefits to pummeling John Bolton senseless, including the satisfying catharsis that would surely come afterwards. And then there’s the comedy aspect of it; the fact that I would be championed as a hero by liberals and internationalists around the world; and of course the hot activist girls who would be vying for my attention.

But the most important reward has been taught to all of us as we grew up, mostly in places like schoolyards, sporting events, and in bars. That lesson is that when bullies get beat up, they tend to think twice the next time they start bullying. I suspect that brutally kicking and punching Mr. Bolton to the edge of his consciousness would bring him back to a level of humility that most people use when dealing with others, something that the ambassador appears to have forgotten.

If you want to learn more about the story, check out the aforementioned Economist article, or the New York Times coverage.
Sometimes I worry that I'm becoming too cynical or ironic for my own good.

The other day, MO described a scene he saw while driving in town.

"I was just driving down the street, and I saw these two crackhead women fistfighting in the street," he said.

I began chuckling to myself at the hilarious image I created in my mind.

"I wanted to pull over to the side of the road and cry. I was like 'It's official, civilization is in full decline.' "

"Ha ha h--oh."