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Thursday, September 29, 2005

"I was going to make you a cheesecake, or brownies or something," Sabrina said.1 "I'd probably eat half of them, but still . . . "

"I'd eat the shit out of them," I told her. "I love baked goods."

"What you should be eating the shit out of is my vagina."

"Ugh," I said, "the vagina is a little too close to the ass to use the phrase "eat the shit out of.""

1When I told Sabrina that I was posting this conversation, I asked her if it was OK to use her name.

"Do whatever you want," she said.

I told her I was worried that using her name might start a commotion, as an ex-girlfriend of mine shares the same name.

"People might freak out if they thought that she wanted me to eat the shit out of her vagina," I told her, "because she has . . . syphillis."

"Oh my God."

"I mean, a boyfriend."
I just made up this bit that could be used for some irreverent standup comic:
A friend of mine told me that his wife does this thing for him where she goes down on him while he's sleeping in the morning to wake him up.

I thought it seemed like a pretty good idea, so I decided to try it with my girlfriend, except the other way around.

She didn't seem to like it too much. In fact, the only thing she said was "Mmmppphhhh! Geh yeeaah fuccheng cochhh ouggha my mouggghhh! I'm hhhryyeng hoo shleeep!"

It Pays to Play1

I think if I were to ever write or direct a porn movie, it would be a poker-themed group sex movie called Seein' the Flop.2

The premise of each scene in the movie would be that a group of three guys and a girl (or maybe two girls, to spice things up!) would be playing poker, and the girl would eventually have nothing left to bet. The guys would suggest she bet some of her clothes, and eventually one guy would suggest that she "really see the flop" in a delicious double-entendre. "The flop" he would be referring to wouldn't be cards at all, but actually their penises, which they would then do her with. Here's part of a proposed scene:


ASHLEY BLUE: I don't have any more money, but I want to keep playing! What should I do?

BRIAN PUMPER: We'll work something out, sweetie.

ERIK EVERHARD: How about, if you lose, you really see the flop, by which I mean see our penises. And have sex with them.

ASHLEY BLUE: I'm game!

MR. MARCUS: I certainly do like the pot odds on this hand! I bet!

(ASHLEY reveals 72, and BRIAN, ERIK, and MR. MARCUS all show AT to a AT35 board. It's a split pot, and they all have nasty sex with ASHLEY.)

The MONEY SHOT:

ERIK EVERHARD: (Moaning) I'm aaaaall iiiin!

BRIAN PUMPER: Iiiiii caaaaaaaall!

MR. MARCUS: Meeee toooooo!(Upon recuperating, grinning, into the camera.) Sometimes it really does pay to see the flop.

BRIAN PUMPER: Yes, like, for example, if you're holding TJs in late position with only one caller!

MR. MARCUS: Yeah!

ASHLEY: (Cutesy) That's some "cumtinuation bet" guys!

ERIK EVERHARD: What does that even mean?

(Fade out to see the money shot all over ASHLEY's face as she waves goodbye.)

END


1I'm afraid I can't take all the credit for this post. The idea was originally born from a series of conversations between Lan, Tony, Andy, and myself.

2"The flop" is a part of Texas Hold 'em poker during which three community cards are revealed to all the players in the game, who are holding two "hole" cards. After the flop, the forth card, "the turn", and the fifth card, "the river" are revealed, and the players must make the best hand they can with five of the seven cards available. Additionally, "Seein' the flop" is a phrase that we've started to use for a girl taking on three guys, ie: "Man, that slut certainly did see the flop with those three guys."
For my birthday, a Texas grand jury got me a gift I've been wanting for quite awhile now: a stinging conspiracy indictment against Tom DeLay. So long, House Majority Leader position!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Hello everyone,

Please check out a newly-added link, Andy Garwig's blog, Fucking Righteous, as it will surely prove itself to be fucking righteous.

Now I have to get some sleep so I can teach high school P.E. tomorrow. We may be climbing up a rope.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The students in the advanced English class I taught today showed a small advantage in their interest in classwork and learning overall than some of the students I taught last week. Whereas the students at other schools seemed to be more interested in smoking weed and throwing gang signs, the students today worked on their assignments with interest and enjoyment.

Part of the assignment was to write sentences with various dependent clauses. One student, who I'll call "Goldstein" for anonymity's sake, suggested the following sentence for his elliptical:

"The Palestinians, always resourceful, decided to blow themselves up again and act like animals."

"That's very good Goldstein," I said, "but that's actually an example of an appositive adjective sentence, not an elliptical clause."

Maybe these "advanced" kids aren't any better than the thugs.

Monday, September 26, 2005

A couple of weeks ago, several of us were discussing an important question.

"Would you rather have the ability to shower instantly or brush your teeth instantly?"

Andy and I chose teeth brushing, and a few others chose showering, Lan among them.

Today, while we were sitting in the dusty 105 degree heat in between bands at the ACL Festival, filthy, sweaty, and covered with dirt and grass, Lan recalled the previous question, and my choice.

"What do you say now?" he asked.

"Yeah, I was just thinking about that," I said. "I was thinking about how I could really go for a teeth-brushing."

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Courtesy of Tony

I wonder if the Scorpions'1984 hit "Rock You Like a Hurricane" has been receiving fewer requests over the last few weeks.
I probably spend one to two percent of my week worrying about whether or not my future wife will be attractive by the time she reaches middle age.

"At least I know now how not to impress you."

While the Walkmen were playing after SOUND team's performance at their ACL aftershow, a girl approached me and asked me where she knew me from.

"I don't know," I said, because I had no idea who she was.

She eventually figured out that she saw me at Lan's karaoke party about seven weeks ago, which, after thinking about it, I remembered. For some reason (not least of all the Pacifico bottle she was drinking from, I'd guess), she equated my appearance at the karaoke party with membership in the band.

"You guys are so great," she gushed. "You're the only reason I came here tonight. I really wanted to see you."

For the next half hour she lavished affections on me--kissing my face, draping her arms around me, and finally grabbing my crotch--all the while talking about how much she loved my band.

The comedic height of the situation occurred when she turned to see Andy, a friend of mine, and asked him if he liked SOUND team, for my sake, I assume. He said he loved them. She pointed to me and jokingly said that I wasn't much of a fan. You know, because I'm in the band.

I leaned over to Andy and told him discreetly that she thought I was in SOUND team for some reason. He cracked up, and we high-fived.

She leaned into me, rubbing my chest. "You know, you just made his day. He's one of those geeky kids who loves your music and you totally made his day."

After the show ended, she left relatively quickly (after kissing me goodbye), and me and my group of friends stood around talking to each other. The actual members of the band were there, and as they were talking with friends, a steady stream of random girls interrupted their conversation to flirt and tell them how much they loved their music. If the scene were depicted in cartoon form, there would be a mystical fog shaped like a beckoning hand emanating from their vaginas.

Looking at frontman MO, it was easy to see that the attention mostly annoyed him, and I couldn't help but feel how unique that feeling probably was among people in his position. Then I remembered something he said the day before.

"All the stuff associated with this is all bullshit. I just want to make music."

Friday, September 23, 2005

There's nothing like teaching kids to make you feel like you're actually an adult. The first couple of days that I found a substitute teaching position, I found myself pretty relaxed about what I would let the kids get away with. I mean, I guess I don't really care if they talk, or if they go to the bathroom, or if they even finish their assignments. All I really want them to do is not tear things up and behave reasonably enough so that the classroom isn't in shambles by the end of the period. Besides, if they don't listen to me, what am I going to do? I can't beat them, I'm not experienced enough with the disciplinary systems in the various schools I go to to implement any meaningful punishment--why should they listen to me?

Yesterday I changed tactics. I was getting sick of kids running around the classroom, and showing me little to no respect. (On my first day, I witnessed a group of seventh grade girls discussing how many guys they slept with. "Six," said one. "Since I've been at this school." In another ninth grade math class, a girl re-told a story to her friends about how totally stoned she was in first period, dude. In both cases, I was sitting at a desk within eight feet of the discussion.) What I discovered was this: kids, like animals, respond to shows of strength and will always try to push the limits as far as they can.

In the classes I taught yesterday, if a student looked up from his or her desk for more than ten seconds, I asked them to pay attention to their assignment. If there was whispering, I threatened to separate the talkers. They responded, and in each of those classes the kids were like quiet little monkeys figuring out how to work the food machine.

When I was leaving the school to go back home, I walked past two kids making out in the cafeteria. I only saw them out of the corner of my eye, and in a flash, I wondered if I should bust them, or keep walking. I mean, it wasn't too long ago that I was that kid trying to see how far I could get with a girl in the school cafeteria while I was supposed to be studying photosynthesis.

"Excuse me," I said sternly, "where are you supposed to be right now?"

"We ain't got class," the boy said, noticing my sub badge. "It's a free period."

"That's fine, we'll just go ask your principal about that. Let's go."

"Aight! We going! Damn!"

"Get to class."

I followed them down the hall and watched them scurry into their separate classrooms.
Of all the things that are happening right now--Hurricane Rita's effect on the citizens of coastal Texas and Louisiana, and the Austin City Limits Music Festival here in Austin (go see SOUND team tonight there at 5:15 tonight!), for some reason I can only think of what happened last night, and that is my viewing of Judd Apatow's hilarious film 40 Year Old Virgin, which I can't recommend highly enough.

If you haven't seen it yet, do it. If you aren't going to ACL this weekend, or suffering from the storms in the Gulf area, do it this weekend. This is a hilarious movie that is good for many reasons on multiple levels.

Bags of sand!?!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong

I am originally from Houston, and as a result, I've been pretty concerned about many of my family and friends who are still there and debating whether or not to evacuate their hometown for dryer places. The following is a correspondence I had with one of those Houstonians:
Hey dogg,

Are you getting out of Houston, or are you staying to be flooded in and abandoned by the government because you are a poor negro?

One love,

Zane
My friend wrote back quickly.
Dear Chris,

No, I am not fleeing Houston. Yes, I am a negro, and yes I am poor. The difference is that I am a negro with weaponry. And this weekend I am gonna get my shoot on.

People said "Those N'awlins negros are some craaaazy uncivilized negros!" I beg to differ. Those were people who were simply in the right place at the right time, doing what any reasonable well-armed negro would do in those circumstances.

That was their time--their time. But this weekend is our time--our time, and we are gonna show our Gulf Coast neighbors what a real breakdown of civilization looks like, and maybe I can come up on some furniture or a plasma screen. I can already hear the jealousy in the voices of our far-flung cousins in New York and LA saying "Those are some lucky negros!" But you know, Chris, I've never believed in luck. Luck happens when opportunity meets preparation. And I am imminently prepared. Fifth Ward reprezent.

Best,

J-Bone

"A man oughtta be able to light his cigar once in a while."

I may vote for Kinky Friedman for governor based simply on these few goals (from his website), which are listed in order of importance:

- Political correctness must be abolished

- De-wussification

- Hanging out with Willie Nelson

- Education

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

"What you need to do is find a smart girl and mold her."
I think part of the reason I was so fecund in New Zealand (and part of the reason why I'm less productive in Austin) is that in New Zealand I was separated not only from all the distractions of friends, events, and goings-on, but from all the cultural input that I saturate myself with on a daily basis.1 How can I put things out when I'm constantly putting information in? That's not to say that it's impossible to work while you're reading, listening to music, and watching movies--just that it's much more challenging and much more difficult to stay on task.

Dave Chappelle did a sketch in the second season of his show2 about the internet being a good way to get distracted. The sketch is basically him walking around the internet, which is represented as a physical place, and trying to find the score of the Knicks game. He's constantly distracted by porn, pop-ups, and online gambling. By the time he finds the score, he's jerked off three times and punched out an online gambling pop-up salesman.

There's not much of a difference between my attempts at tackling long-promised projects and Chappelle's desire to find basketball scores.

1For example, I bought eleven CDs today.

2Which I spent all of Thursday evening watching, start to finish. Another example of my inability to focus.
Ingmar Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage should be mandatory viewing for anyone who is thinking of getting married.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Four Books by Paul Auster

Paul Auster is now officially one of my favorite authors. I admit that I might not be at a point at which I have the perspective to give him that title as I've only read four of his books (well, six if you count the three short novels in The New York Trilogy as one each), but I think I've got a good understanding of his style, approach, and ability.

Strangely enough, I first read Hand to Mouth, a sort of autobiography of his life as a writer. He talks about his difficulties in becoming published, and his hard-nosed refusal to do anything but write. My enjoyment of this book (especially despite not having any knowledge of what his struggle lead to) is what intrigued me into picking up his other books.

Next I read his most famous work, the aforementioned New York Trilogy, which I felt was pretty incredible. The trilogy works mostly within themes of solitude, varying levels of out-of-mind experiences, metaphysical trickery, and romance, all within skewed versions of the detective genre. Of the three, I found myself most engrossed in The Locked Room. His fascination with dreams and fantasy is not unlike another of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami.

I later read The Book of Illusions, a novel Auster wrote a good fifteen years after The New York Trilogy. In it, Auster tells the story of an English professor who, after the death of his wife and children, becomes obsessed with the work of a little-known silent film comedian, and soon finds out the truth about his work, and what happened to him after his mysterious disappearance. A very solid and satisfying read.

Timbuktu is a much shorter work than the others, and remarkably different in style--for starters, the entire book is told through the eyes of a dog. There is no real mystery to be solved in Timbuktu, and although I often wondered where the book's plot could possibly be going, I never found myself bored. It's an emotionally accessible book, without any complicated themes (the metaphysical shifts in reality take place on an easier-to-understand level than some of the other aforementioned books) or tricky character manipulations. An enjoyable, accessible book.

Something all of these books have in common is the relief of understanding that Auster isn't trying to change your life or steer you towards an agenda; he is simply telling an original and entertaining story. Somehow though, by the end of each of his books, I felt like I was being given more than just a well-crafted tale; something bigger seemed to be at stake, and a change may have taken place after all--inadvertently affected or not. Paul Auster is a strong voice in American fiction, and if the rest of his catalog turns out to be as involving as what I've read so far, there is much to look forward to.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

"Man, I hate waiting on kids," said DG, a co-worker. "They're always screaming and crying and complaining and spilling shit. I mean, I like kids, but I hate waiting on them."

I chuckled politely, because it's pretty much true.

"There's no way my mom would've let me act like some of those kids do in public," added SG.

"Yeah," agreed DG.

"My mom would've beat the shit out of me," said SG.

"Uh, ha ha ha . . . hmm . . . " I said.

"No, seriously, she would've really beaten me."

"Hm," I said. "This has turned less into an amusing anecdote and more into a horrifying tale of childhood abuse."

"It was terrible," she said. "I probably shouldn't talk about it at work."

"Um, ha ha, oh boy."

Friday, September 16, 2005

I added a couple of links in the sidebar:

- The Perry Bible Fellowship - Hilarious and dark comics.
- Dinosaur Comics - I had the wrong link to this in the past. I fixed it. Smart and funny comics about dinosaurs.
- A Softer World - Comics done by friends of a friend, nice photos, funny captions.
- Re-added Roger Ebert's site. Good movies reviews there (most of the time). Check out his review of Deuce Bigalow 2.
- Not in the sidebar, but here's an example of one of the most miserable lives I can imagine. The backstory is that she's a psychic lesbian who's married to a man because that's what tradition says you should do. She's not sexually attracted to her husband, and dates women, but somehow refuses to get divorced. Reading this is not unlike the fascination that many people get from watching a car accident.
I had selected my shoes and was heading towards the counter when a middle-aged man, with a middle-aged paunch, dressed in business-casual stopped me and asked me if I recognized him. I didn't.

"You look really familiar to me. You sure I don't know you?"

"Nope," I said.

"You ever work in high tech?"

"Nope."

"Huh. You look just like a guy that used to work security where I work. I used to code IP addresses. I do e-commerce development now."

"Okay."

"What do you do?"

"I just got back from being out of the country, so I'm just getting back into it."

"You in school?"

"Graduated."

"You seem like a bright guy, you ever think about working with computers?"

At this point, I'm thinking that the guy is some kind of personnel guy looking to hire young web entrepeneurs. He asked me a couple of questions about my travels, and I gave nonspecific answers.

"You know, we oughta trade numbers, I'd be interested in talking to you about all this."

He was very slick, I'll give him that. The whole thing took about a minute and a half, and before I knew what was going on, I had a pencil and a business card in my hand that he supplied. As I was writing, I finally started thinking something was a little weird about the situation.

'Why is this guy so interested in me?' I wondered. I began to doubt that it was a professional interest, and was in fact an interest of another kind. An assfucking kind, if you know what I mean.

I got the first three digits of my phone number down before I realized what was going on, and I filled in the remaining spots with made up numbers.

When I handed the card back to him, he pulled his quickest trick yet.

"Yeah, we'll have to get together for coffee some time."

So we went from a business relationship to having coffee together after he had my number. The old bait-and-switch!

Then he said: "My son works here, that's why I'm here, by the way." He was wearing a wedding ring.

I said I had to get going, and I paid for my shoes and left. I told a friend about the encounter later that evening.

"What if you see him later in life and he punches you out for giving him a fake number?" she asked.

"I'll be damned if I get punched out by some married homo," I said.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Last night at around two in the morning, I was sitting on my couch in my boxer-briefs watching Simpsons episodes when a huge roach scurried across the floor in front of me.

Pumalike, I leapt up and smashed the bug with a rolled-up newspaper. Its guts came out underneath it. Pretty gross. I opened my front door and tried to swat the carcass out the front door. It took me a few times to get it all the way out, and then I had to try to swat it away from my front door so I wouldn't step on it next time I came home. About thirty seconds into it, I was satisfied and began walking back in.

It was then that I noticed my neighbor, who is perpetually sitting outside smoking cigarettes, no matter what time of day it is, sitting outside smoking a cigarette and staring at me. I leapt back into my apartment and closed the door.

Now every time I walk past her when she's sitting outside smoking, I wonder if she's thinking about how hot my ass looks in boxer-briefs.1

1Very hot.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Arthur, my personal trainer keeps trying to get me to buy extra shit from him: more sessions, supplements, water bottles, towels, gloves, workout gear, accessories, etc.

I already got through the most difficult part--signing up for a membership at a gym. There's an incredible amount of pressure involved in this activity; there are so many packages and options, and they make you feel like scum if you get the cheapest one. Not to mention that when you get into the gym, you look around and start thinking to yourself 'Yeah, I could start coming to the gym five days a week! Look at that guy over there; he looks fit. That could be me!' I begin to wonder why they say Americans are so fat when everyone here is running on a treadmill.

And when you're talking to the sales guy, who is inevitably wearing track pants and a polo shirt, you automatically start believing that being in the best shape of your life is your number one goal and you should do everything in your power to achieve it. As an experienced gym-goer, I managed to resist most of the add-ons, and selected a pretty basic package. Luckily for me, it was on sale, and came with a few personal trainer sessions, which brings me back to Arthur. Every time I see him, he asks me if I've bought the supplements yet.

"Get those supplements yet?" he'll ask. "It's really important that you get that multi-vitamin. And that protein. And that volumizer. It'll do a lot for your workout. Another client of mine? He gained 85 pounds on his bench press and twelve pounds of muscle. Incredible. Make sure you mention my name when you buy the supplements." He smiles as he puts the products into my hands. I slowly put them back on the shelf as I ask interested questions with no real intention of ever buying this stuff.

Today was our second-to-last session, and when he suggested signing up for an additonal six, I wondered what it would be like if I didn't make up an excuse or act like I really wanted to if it weren't for various external forces shackling me towards the negative.

"What you'll want to do is get six more sessions. They're on sale now, so it's six for the price of five. Only $299. This'll really help your workout when it starts to plateau. You don't want to plateau."

I looked at him for a minute, and thought about what to say.

"No," I said. "I don't want any more sessions."

"Uh . . . " he said.

"Let me know when you get those free nutrition packs in," I added, and then walked out the door. Then I went home and posed in front of the mirror.

Monday, September 12, 2005

And it's Deep, Too

I've recently asked a few of my friends and acquaintances a favorite question of mine: is there anything too serious to joke about? Almost all of them said yes.

I asked one of them what would be a good example of something that would fall in that category.

"September 11th," she said. She thought for a minute, then added "The Holocaust, but not Hitler. Hitler is funny."

I argued that there has been tons of comedy material done on the topic of September 11th (and the Holocaust for that matter), and much of it is pretty funny.1 She seemed dissatisfied with my example, and wasn't amused when I repeated one of the gags from a bit I saw about September 11th.2

"That's not funny," she said.

"There are just some things that you can't say," another friend said. "Some things are just too offensive to say to people--like racist jokes."

I didn't mention it at the time because I didn't want to come off as an insensitive brute, but I think racist jokes are hilarious. Not because of how spot-on their stereotypes are, but because I generally like humor that is over-the-top and ostentatious, a category which racist humor fits it quite well.3, 4

People feel that some things aren't appropriate topics of humor because of the offense taken. Certainly, some things are bound to offend, and there is a time and an audience for those things. But the idea that they shouldn't be joked about is altogether wrong.

People's sensitivities grow tougher every year. As late as the fifties, happily married couples were sleeping in separate beds because it wasn't appropriate to spend the night side-by-side. Lenny Bruce was arrested for obscenity dozens of times in the 60s for saying "a ten-letter word that begins with "C"," and other expletives.5 In 1972, George Carlin was arrested for saying "motherfucker" on stage. How many people are offended by these examples today?

Bruce also said that "Satire is tragedy plus time. You give it enough time, the public, the reviewers will allow you to satirize it. Which is rather ridiculous, when you think about it." Words only have the meaning that we assign to them, and the chaste sensitivities of the general public exist solely as a result of the times and importance put on certain ideas--in other words, they're completely liquid.

People shouldn't necessarily be allowed to say whatever they like in public (that's why there are a couple of provisions to the First Amendment--including obscenity), but that's a different question than whether or not something can be joked about at all. We all maintain the right to be offended, but the correct action isn't to stop the offensive language, it's to walk away.

1Like David Cross' stand-up album Shut Up You Fucking Baby!

2Repeating a comedian's stand-up routine to someone who's never heard it is inevitably a good way to make someone smile politely, but not laugh.

3Some often-joked-about stereotypes: black people have big penises and are dumb; Jews have big noses and don't like to spend money; Asian people are smart; women aren't good drivers; blondes are dumb; white males like to makes up racist and sexist stereotypes.

4Admittedly, it takes an ultra-ironic and developed sense of humor to find these jokes funny on that level. I imagine I share my enjoyment of racist jokes with mostly rednecks and Klan members.

5"Cocksucker," like "nigger," was only one of the words which he said specifically to push people's levels of acceptance. "It's the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness," he said.

6A couple of years ago I went around asking people what the most offensive thing they could think of was. I was the winner with these two examples:

1. A sign or t-shirt that reads: "Fuck the Troops."

2. The image of Jesus jerking off with something shoved up his ass.

These ideas are very offensive, which, if nothing else, will show you what people in America hold dear to them.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

There's a girl at my job who's deaf. Yesterday Metallica came on the radio while we were working:

"I've had crabs, I've had lice/I've had the clap and that ain't nice/So what, so what/I've fucked this, I've fucked that/I've even fucked a school girl's twat" James Hetfield sang.

'I wish I was deaf,' I thought to myself. (Although I guess I could have just said it out loud with no consequences.)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

STATEMENTS OVERHEARD DURING ROSS' 36-HOUR GAME OF CIVILIZATION III

- "Throughout human history mankind has craved one thing: tin."

- "Oh, Rome. You want a taste of that sweet pussy? Well it ain't comin'."

- "Goddamit! Am I out of tin?! (checks) I am! Dammit!"

- "All I know is that I'm gonna cock-block the Romans."

- "As with every other successful society in history, the key is undocumented workers."

- "Nobody establishes an embassy in my capital city! Nobody!"

- "Why does everyone take so long to colonize Sicily? (Pauses thoughtfully.) Siciliy is like a hot girl with an eye patch. I mean, she's hot, and it's just an eye patch! Just get over there and colonize! Am I wrong?"

- (Appears troubled) "Should I murder the Jews?"
David Barash tears apart an apparently flawed new book about the evolutionary history of the female orgasm in the peer-reviewed journal Evolutionary Psychology. "The final arbiter is fidelity to objective, empirically demonstrable findings," Barash notes after citing her consistently un-scientific view of the origins of the female orgasm and exposes her prejudices.1 Then he asks an important question: " . . . [H]ow can we encourage people to prioritize empirical research and legitimate theory-building over the back-biting, ideological excess . . . ?"

A little over a year ago I got into a discussion with some acquaintances about the nature of "the game" (in relationships--not the rapper), and whether or not it was necessary for mature people to play. I argued that it was, and my more sensitive soon-to-be-adversaries disagreed. "People are just people," one girl said, "and if you care about each other and get along, you don't need to deceive each other or play games."

I argued that it was, and asked her how she would feel if a guy she met and liked called her two or three times a day at the beginning of a relationship. She admitted she'd feel a little weirded out. The conversation continued and I went on a short rant about the differences between men and women.

"But that kind of thinking is totally unhelpful," the girl complained. "It's really antiquated and negative. It doesn't really do anything hopeful or positive for people."

"What does that have to do with it being true?" I asked. "I'm hopeful about a lot of things, but it doesn't mean I can just pretend that they're true. I mean, I wish everyone in the world had health care, but it won't really help if I just pretend that they do. In fact I'd say it would do the opposite."

Both of us noticed that people were getting uncomfortable with the debate, and the conversation dissipated. At the end of the night, I told her it was nice talking to her, and offered my hand. She wouldn't take it, and mumbled something under her breath.

"The final arbiter is fidelity to objective, empirically demonstrable findings." What matters is the truth. The truth isn't always comfortable and it doesn't always, and in fact rarely ever, fits within what we want or hope the world to be like. The sooner we acknowledge the importance of reality, the sooner we can overcome our prejudices and dismantle the difficulties, large and small, that trouble us all.


1The feminist-offshoot ideology that attempts "to fight for definitions of women that are not based on their reproductive roles" (pg. 237) (quoted from Barash's review).

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

If you're ever in a situation in which aliens are attacking the world, and you're alone with a girl, I think it would be smart to take a cue from the movie Independence Day, and seductively suggest that it would be too bad if she died a virgin.

'But I'm not a virgin,' she might say.

It is at that point that you should tell her that your apartment isn't a hiding place for whores.
"Gilligan died," I told DT.

"Bob Denver? Yeah, I know."

"That's a shame," I said. "The most important man to die over the last few days . . . It's really a shame."

"What?! What about Rehnquist?" he asked.

"I think Gilligan could have taken Rehnquist in a fight," I said confidently.

"What the hell are you talking about?"

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Aufmerksamkeit!

Attention: Lan is now posting on his blog again. The world is now a more entertaining place.
I was at a restaurant the other day, and I ordered a hamburger with a side of grainy mustard. When the burger came out, there was a side of mustard, but it was the smooth spicy dijon kind.

"Can I get a side of grainy dijon mustard?" I asked the waitress.

"Is that not what you wanted?"

"No, I wanted the grainy kind."

"Oh, OK."

When she came back, she brought me a side of yellow American mustard.

"Ah, this isn't what I wanted," I said.

She seemed annoyed. "We have a lot of mustard. You have to be specific in the kind of mustard you ask for."

"Do you have a mustard menu?" I asked. "Because all I know is that I want grainy mustard."

Two guys who were listening at the table next to mine burst out laughing, and the waitress left, presumably to go down to the mustard cellar to root through the cases and cases of different mustards they have to find one that fit the "grainy" descriptor.

When she came back, she brought the right kind and set it down without a word.

"Thanks," I said. The mustard was even more satisfying because she was being a bitch.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

I Haven't Left the House Today, But I'm Kind of Afraid to Check

On the way out last night, a couple of us in the car noticed that the price of gas had gone up since that afternoon.

"$2.89!" MB exclaimed. "That's like twelve cents higher than it was this afternoon!"

We played poker for five hours or so, and on the way home, observed that prices had risen again since the time we'd been playing to $3.09 per gallon.

"Do you think hybrids will start to be recognized as a valuable investment?" Lan asked.

"What are you, some kind of hippie?" I said.
One exciting part of playing Texas Hold 'em is the anticipation of watching the turn and the river be revealed during a close showdown. I witnessed this again tonight first-hand.

I had a pair of pocket nines, and when I went all in against Tony, he revealed Queen-Ace. Soon the board showed another Queen, and I had only a slim chance to get the additional nine that would win me the hand and keep me in the game. It was a big hand, and the tension at the table was thick. The dealer flopped the river and the card took us all by surprise--the river revealed the very rare "Everybody Give Your Neighbor a Handjob" card, which led to some uncomfortable silences for awhile after that round of play ended.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Ross asked a valuable question last night:

"How many five-year-olds do you think you could beat up at once?"

He paused and let us think about it for a minute.

"My guess is all of them."