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Sunday, May 29, 2005

An Australian man last night at the pub introduced himself as "the best jazz piano player in the world". He was wearing one of those neckties that has a picture of a keyboard on it.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

It was a busy night at the pub that I work at.

My sister noticed that we needed to re-stock some of the beers and sodas.

"Oh, I'll do it," I said, looking for any excuse to get away for a minute.

"No, I'll do it," she said, obviously thinking the same thing I was.

"There's only one way to settle this," I said. "Dance-off." I began twisting furiously.

"No," she said, getting the keys to the walk-in cooler and walking away.

"You realize you're losing points in the dance-off by not dancing don't you?" I asked, still twisting.

But she didn't hear me because she was already in the cooler, away from the drunken middle-aged ladies who were now dancing together sexually, using the pole in the center of the room as an aid.

"What did I tell you about dancing behind the bar?" the manager said to me. I stopped dancing.

But the joke was on them. I already had eight hundred points.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

I was in the kitchen making a sandwich when I heard it. The New Zealand version of Cops was on TV, and the Kiwi police had pulled over a car full of young punks, and were searching their car. They'd smelled pot in the car, and I assumed an arrest was imminent.

"It'd be really hard to be so upset about some kids smoking pot," I thought to myself. I mean, I don't do it, and I generally eschew all drugs, but still--it's just some kids smoking pot.

I sat down with my sandwich. The kids were totally yukking it up, making jokes, taking photos of the police with their camera-phones, pulling their shirts off and dancing around for some reason unbeknownst to those who aren't high.

The cop pulled out like three pipes and a small bag of weed. He breathalyzed the group and found that they were all drunk except for the driver, which admittedly showed some judgment.

"Do they have a breathalyzer for weed?" I thought.

Then the camera went to the arresting officer who explained the situation:

"Well, the driver wasn't drunk, and there's only a small amount of marijuana involved, so we're going to let these boys off with a warning," he said, and then he turned around and laughed with the group of boys who were singing a song together or something, and gave back the weed and the pipes. He got back in his car, the stoners got back in theirs, and they both drove off.

What the hell--?

"Bring me the butter from the kitchen."

Oh, there's a review for the extremely sexxy movie Last Tango in Paris in the "Movies" section.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

"If you're interested in getting your cock banged in Bangkok," the moustachioed man told me, "you can get a pretty good looking eighteen-year-old girl for about forty bucks for the whole week."

"OK," I told him.

"Oh for God's sake, I'm a church-going man," his friend said. "I go to to church every weekend. I play the organ at my church." He paused. "I don't want to hear this fucking bullshit."

I looked at the church man. "I'll have another beer," he said.

Me and My Best Friend

Early last year, I was leaving my friend Rachel's dorm room, and was feeling totally bloated. We had been out with some friends earlier in the evening, and went to a restaurant. I wasn't hungry at the time (I had eaten some mint tic-tacs the morning before), but with all those greasy pizza fumes wafting from the window, I could just feel the calories seeping in through my pores, nostrils, and mouth.

When I got back to the dorm, I went straight to the bathroom and knelt down in front of my familiar friend on the linoleum. Remembering something, I quickly jumped up, paused, because I had a strange headrush with momentary lapse of vision, recovered, and paced over to my bed, where I reached under the bed to grab my specially-made throat-safe dowel rod. Almost giddy, I went back to the purging room, and put Polly (because that's what she's called) in her home.

I gagged, convulsed, and felt that wonderful rush that comes from getting all the disgusting toxins and chemicals, and fat out of my body. Of course, nothing came out (it never really does anymore) but air, but in that air I could feel the molecules of grease and cheese from the pizza parlor escaping my body. I smiled to myself, and sighed contentedly. I got up again, and walked over to the mirror so I could call myself names. Before I made it to the shame station though, something amazing happened to me.

Denise, a voice said to me. Denise, I have something important to tell you.

I was alarmed at first, because I didn't know where the voice was coming from. Then I looked up, and saw her.

Denise, it's me, Ana, she said. I've come to whip your ass into gear.

She was beautiful. She had sparkly skin, golden-blonde curls, and she was thinner than Mary-Kate Olsen, and at least half of Lara Flynn Boyle at her thinnest. Gorgeous.

Denise, you've been a great disappointment to me lately. I saw you eat those tic-tacs yesterday morning, and I saw you in Luigi's tonight.

"But I didn't eat anything!" I protested, hoping to trick her.

What do you think I am, an idiot? she snapped. You think calories don't get into your pores? Give me a fucking break!

I started crying. "What do you want me to do? Please help me be as thin as you are!"

She giggled. You'll never be as thin as me, she said. But I can help you get pretty thin. Now here are the rules:

1. No carbs
2. No protein
3. No dairy
4. No sugar
5. No vegetables or fruits
6. No fats


"Yes! Yes!" I cried. "Why didn't I see it before! This is truly the route to perfection!" Then I had a second thought. "But how will I live?"

Don't be an idiot, Denise. You can still have water and gum.

Her words washed over me with a cooling, calming effect, and I felt at ease.

I'll be checking up on you, you little bitch. You better follow the rules.

I nodded gently, and thanked her for seeing me.

The next few weeks were like some kind of fantastic dream. In fact, I can't say for sure that I wasn't dreaming most of the time, since I didn't really have the energy to get out of bed or anything, but each day was a victory, and I had never felt happier.

I got notice that I was failing a couple of my classes, due to the fact that the times that I was able to go to classes, the synapses in my brain weren't firing correctly, and never fully understood trivialities such as my identity, what I was doing, and what season of the year it was.

It turns out that it was the end of October, nearing Halloween. When I asked my friends what I should dress up as, there where a myriad of suggestions. Rachel suggested I go as a tree branch. The school nurse threw out the possibility of going as an unwrapped mummy, since my skin had recently begun flaking and cracking on virtually all visible spots of my body, due to lack of vitamins A and E. My ex-boyfriend Jonah joked that I should go as someone with a severe eating disorder, or possibly a slide rule, which I considered, but later rejected. I ended up collapsing in front of the closet while I was trying to make up my mind. It turned out OK anyway, because several large clumps of my hair had fallen out, and I pretended to myself that people knew that I was dressed up as a zombie.

When I was released from the hospital after two months (it would have been sooner, they told me, but I kept ripping the intravenous feeding tube from my arm), I was utterly miserable, and Ana was furious.

You little bitch! What did I tell you about attracting attention to yourself!

"I'm sorry Ana!" I sobbed, "My roommate found me collapsed on top of my broken legs (which were brittle as pretzel sticks (ooh gross!)) and took me to the hospital without me knowing it! Then I couldn't get out of it because the doctors had me strapped down! The first two days were spent force-feeding me liquids because they say when they tried to take a blood sample, nothing but sand came out! Please forgive me!"

If you think you're going to pass out, do it inside the closet, that way no one will find you. What did I tell you?

" 'It's not about how many days you live, it's about how good you look when you die'," I repeated our mantra back to her.

That's right. Now do your 4600 jumping jacks and we'll talk about whether or not you'll have ice in your water for dinner.

"Yes ma'am!" I started jumping, not noticing that my fingernails were flying off with the force from my flailing hands.

Things have gotten better since that first trip to the hospital. Ana is there to help and guide (and discipline!) me, and of course I've got a very supportive community of friends that stop me when I'm in the mood for a green bean.

A lot of people don't approve of my lifestyle. I call these people "fat people", and show my pride by tying my white ribbon on my silk body wrap (because my legs can't support the weight of a safety pin). Click the below image to learn more about being pro-Ana!


the underground grotto: we got spine

Monday, May 23, 2005

"I am not drinking fuckin' merlot!"

Gidday mates,

There's a review of the fantastic 2004 film Sideways and a review of the very average 2002 film Hollywood Ending in the "Movies" section.

Hoo roo,

Christopher Zane

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Fame!

Another hazard of being a celebrity exists in the risk that you take in being a celebrity, and then not being a celebrity anymore. More clearly put, what happens when you run out of talent? Or it's exposed that you were never really talented, but merely lucky?1

I watched a documentary on a guy called Fat Lip, who was a member in the hip-hop group The Pharcyde back in the day. He quit or was ousted from the group after their biggest single ("Passin' Me By") and their biggest album (Bizzare Ride II the Pharcyde, which went gold) hit, but since that time hasn't really done anything.

"Have you had to work since you left the group?" the film-maker asks him at one point.

"Not yet," he says, looking at the camera drearily, "but it's coming. One day you'll see Fat Lip working at Burger King and you'll know I finally ran out of money."

Imagine being in the limelight, being constantly catered to, seeing your name and picture everywhere you go, free dinners, free clothes from designers who just want you to be seen with their gear on, invitations to celebrity galas. And then imagine having all of it vanish rather suddenly. I can only imagine that for a star of television, film, or music, it would be hell. I mean, these are people whose primary joy is being looked at and adored.

You can't exactly get a regular job after being the star of a hit sitcom, or having the summer's biggest pop hit. What are you going to do, work at the mall, or an office or something? Of course, a lot of formerly famous musicians, actors and actresses end up working behind the camera or microphone, but this obviously can't happen to everyone. Don't tell me the guys from Deep Blue Something (whose "Breakfast at Tiffany's" will forever stick in many minds as one of the worst songs ever) are mastering tapes for today's superstars.

In the end, I guess the only person to blame for losing credibility and financial status is the celebrity themselves. If they didn't invest or put money away for a rainy day, I pretty much have no sympathy for them. What did Young MC think, he was going to keep pumping out hits forever?

I suppose it's possible, especially since if you're on top, you're surrounded by yes-men and kowtowing suckas who will tell you whatever you want to hear.

Ever since coming to understand (well, "understand" in the loose sense of the word) just how fucking weird Michael Jackson is, and how crazy Britney Spears is becoming, I've been convinced that being famous will fuck you up. Being famous but broke is probably a sobering reality that most stars could use every once in awhile.


1Cough, Ringo Starr, cough, reality show stars, cough, Ashton Kutcher. Ahem.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Happy 53rd birthday, Mr. T!
I was thinking earlier today about how much it would suck to be related to someone famous. I mean, pretty much anything you do wouldn't really add up to much next to them.

Ritchie Valens scores a hit with the song "La Bamba", and his older brother, who is a cartoonist, feels a bit bitter of his kid brother's success. Ritchie comes home to see his family after a tour.

Ritchie Valens: Hey everyone, nice to see you. Did you know that I'm a superstar now, thanks to mixing hot Latin flavors with rock 'n' roll?

Ritchie Valens' Mom: Oh Ritchie! We're so proud of you! Your brother Alfredo is doing very well, too! He won $300 in cash and prizes in a drawing contest the other day!

Ritchie Valens: Hey, that's awesome bro!

Ritchie Valens' Brother: Yeah. Thanks. (Mutters under his breath. Later goes to his drawing studio and throws things around violently because he'll never be as famous as his brother Ritchie Valens.)

Ritchie Valens: Hey, don't look so down. I'm going to die in a plane crash in the next couple of years anyway with Buddy Holly, who is much more famous than me anyway. Oh, and The Big Bopper will be there too, but he's probably less famous than me, so it may not be worth mentioning.

But if this re-enacted scene from the tell-all 1987 film isn't enough proof, just take this story that was related to me by a reliable source:

Joe Cocker's brother, Vic Cocker, is the chairman of a very helpful and successful charity in England. The man helps lots of people, and makes a good bit of money doing it. By any person's standards, he's doing pretty well for himself--there's only one problem. He's Joe Cocker's brother.

"Hello folks, in just a minute you'll be watching one of the greatest singers of this day and age perform. That's right, Leo Sayer. But I'm here to talk to you about something serious, and we can do something about it. I'm Vic Cocker, chairman of the Foundation for--"

"Wait a minute, did you say Cocker? Like, as in Joe Cocker? Are you related?"

"Well, yes, he's my brother. But about the charity--"

"Tell us a story about Joe!"

"Yeah, what's he really like?"

"Well, he's an alcoholic and he never calls anyone in the family, but that's besides the point."

"Tell us about Woodstock!"

"Yeah! Woodstock!"

"People, please! I'm the chairman of a very successful charity! I spend my time helping people, and my worthless brother is running around drinking Jack Daniels and singing "You Can Leave Your Hat On". Please let me finish this introduction so you can enjoy Mr. Sayer!"

"Woodstock! Woodstock! Woodstock!"

And so on.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

One day in my sophomore Biology class, I was doodling on a sheet of notebook paper. I was sitting next to a friend, and in order to amuse ourselves, I began drawing a picture of a superhero: "Mr. Dildo Nose". Mr. Dildo Nose, as you would expect, had a dildo for a nose. (It was really a vibrator, but with my inexperience, I didn't know the difference--wait. Not that I have a lot of experience with dildoes and vibrators now, but--nevermind.) The dildo/vibrator had vibration lines around it. Mr. Dildo Nose wore a surprised expression, as if wondering to himself, 'How on earth could my nose have become a vibrating dildo?'

The teacher asked a question, and since I knew the answer, despite my not really paying attention, I raised my hand. The teacher called on me as I put the finishing touches on the hero.

"Yes Chris," she pointed.

"Dildo," I said loudly, apparently reading the caption of the drawing.

"Excuse me?" the nun asked. (I went to a Catholic High School.)

"Um, clorophyll," I mumbled.

Nobody really erupted with laughter, but they did look at me with puzzled, shocked expressions. I turned red and sunk into my chair.

Then I started on the heroine: "Ms. Vagina Mouth".

Monday, May 16, 2005

Dinosaur Comics 530

"What's the deal with second base?" I asked. "Nobody actually knows what it represents. Second base in the sexually euphamistsic sense, of course."

"Everybody knows what second base is, Chris," DM said. "First base is significant glances across a crowded room, second is quietly holding hands, third base is eating the same strand of spaghetti and a home run is totally smooching!"

"I find those bases to be highly improbable DM."

"I think that people know what the bases are, but if they don't, that's cool too!"

"Why?"

"I don't know, I think it makes the whole crass 'How far did you go?' talk a lot more adorable if the guys involved are just making it up as they go along."

"You mean, you think it's cute that these tough guys really have no idea what's going on?" I asked.

"Yeah!"

"But wimpy guys talk about girls, too!"

"Wimpy guys talk about a lot of things," DM pointed out.

"Yeah," I said, "like computers."
While I was camping on Fraser Island (an isolated sand island in Australia) with a group of people, I couldn't find my contacts case one night before bed. Instead, I decided that I'd put them in a bottle of water to keep them moist until the morning, and then put them on using the solution. The night passed, I slept in an uncomfortable tent, and when I woke up I went to get the bottle that I'd stored in my backpack for safe keeping. It wasn't there. After asking around, I found it, and it was about half as full as it was when I left it, and it was filled with raspberry cordial (basically liquid kool-aid). I freaked out, and tried to sift through it to retrieve my lenses, but it turned out that this damned Scottish girl actually drank them.

"Oh," she said.

I was pretty pissed, because it meant that I'd have to wear my glasses for the next week and a half until I got back to New Zealand.

I looked at her. "Why did you take the bottle out of my backpack?"

"I don't know, I was thirsty. I thought it was everyone's water," she said, not apologizing. Except it sounded like "Ay dinnae, ay wos thairsty. I fot it wos everyoone's wo'er."

I considered burying her in the sand and throwing ham on her face so the dingoes would attack her, but instead I slapped my forehead, walked away, and went to brush my teeth with ocean water.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

"The American military is a terrorist organization," the unattractive Australian girl said passionately.

"Oh? How's that?" I asked her.

"War is terror, and especially in Iraq--"

"Hold on a second," I interrupted, "are you using the same judgment to start this conversation with me that you used to get that peace sign tattooed on your hand?"

"What?"

"Nothing, go on about how I'm a terrorist."

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Sorry girls, he's taken.

One of my closest friends, JMT, is engaged to be married.

I grew up living one street away from him, and after our initial meeting on the school bus at age twelve, we became close fairly quickly. From the age of about thirteen to eighteen, we were pretty much inseparable. An eighth-grade girlfriend used to call us "Croey" because we were so similar and were always together.

When he got a good job in Houston, and I moved to Austin for college, we kept in touch, but of course weren't as close. We saw each other every now and then, but in truth we were more willing to make the drive across Texas to see girls or family than just to see friends. (I don't think either of us were insulted by this--it's just kind of something that happens that guy friends understand.)

With his new job, JMT earned a decent amount of money, made new friends, and involved himself in a very different lifestyle than the ramen-eating/restaurant-working/studying lifestyle I found myself in during college.

"I was always going to do what I'm doing now," I said to him in a phone call once, "and you were always going to do what you are."

Just getting off the phone with him a minute ago, I found out his preferred proposal method.

"I called her principal (she's a teacher) and got her the afternoon off. Then I sent a limo around to pick her up, and had her driven around various spots around town--the first date we went on, the spot of our first kiss, her favorite restaurant. Then I brought her over to my house where her whole family and my family were waiting. (She's Hispanic, and family is very important to her--I can only imagine how pleased they were that they were included.) She was blindfolded when she came in, and I did the whole thing where I got down on one knee and all that."

"Did she say yes?" I asked.

"Hell yeah. You should see the size of the freakin' rock I got her."

Which confirms my suspicions that JMT is one of the most romantic and thoughtful guys in the universe.

Congratulations, buddy.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

A cover band that played at the hostel I'm staying at last night did a medley of

- "Imagine" by John Lennon
- "Walk on the Wild Side" by Lou Reed
- "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by The Rolling Stones

Instead of doing a traditional medley, they would do one verse of one song, and then trade verses with the other songs, going back and forth until they finally finished about twelve minutes later. The setup of the band was an upright acoustic bass, two acoustic guitars, and a guy with a harmonica, which actually does prove that you can't always get what you want when what you want is a band in the Southern Hemisphere that doesn't sound like an impression of Jack Johnson if he were about two-thirds less talented than he is now.

I don't hate all cover bands, nor do I hate all long songs1, I just hate long meandering solos that don't go anywhere and have no point2, and I hate really crappy covers of songs that add nothing to the original. I understand that these bands are really only in existence because people want to hear their favorite standards in a live setting, and they're entitled to their opinion--I guess I just hate getting trapped in a venue listening to bands that I don't want to listen to.

1 One of my favorite recordings of all time, Van Morrison's Astral Weeks features five songs (out of eight total) that are over five minutes long. Miles Davis' Bitches Brew has songs that are over thirty minutes long. Neu! and Kraftwerk are notorious for lengthy tunes ("Autobahn" for example). Not to mention Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here.

2Boy, do I hate the Allman Brothers' live sets, and Phish, and Trey Anastacio, and The Greatful Dead. I guess I just want the statement to be said, and finished. I'd rather be left wanting more than resentful that Gregg keeps starting another round of solos on each instrument, goddamn it.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

KG asked me if I considered myself "cocky".

When I hear the word "cocky" I think of fraternity jocks with great bods, sunglasses, and backwards caps chatting up birds with the greatest of ease during Spring Break.

"He's so cocky," the just-chatted girl would say to a friend over a can of Bud Light, "but he is cute. I think I'm gonna sleep with him."

So yeah, I guess I'm cocky.