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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A wonderful quote:

"What is a life, really, except the relationships you have with other people and the effect that you have on them (and vice versa)?"

P.S. Conclusion to "Friends and Lovers" will be here tomorrow!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Friends and Lovers (Part One)

It all started pretty innocently. My friend Robin posted an ad on Craigslist looking for someone to adopt her pit bull puppy, Odin. She got several calls, including one from a man who told her that he was looking for a pit bull for his wife.

"The man she spreads her legs for has one, and I thought I might get one all for her," he said.

Robin ignored the comment and talked only about the dog. The man gave Robin his wife's e-mail address, and asked if she would send her some pictures to see if she was interested. Their correspondence begins below.

From: Robin
To: Tami
Date: Sat, 4 Feb 2006
Subject: Odin

Here are some pics of my boy. He's even prettier in
real life if you can imagine that. Let me know what
you think.


From: Tami
To: Robin
Date: Sat, 4 Feb 2006
Subject: Re: Odin

I saw the pix of your dog Odin, and I think my husband talked with you this morning about him. How big were his parents? Do u have pix of the parents? I have a friend that has a pitbull and I'll prob be over at his place later tonight and maybe I can bring him sometime to see your puppy! I can think of a billion things to ask but I just read ur Cragslist ad and it sounds like he's good.



From: Robin
To: Tami
Date: 4 Feb 2006
Subject: Re: Re: Odin


I have a picture of his mom that was in the shelter. She is more petite than Odin is and she weighed about 40-45lbs. She had a good temperment and she was adopted out. I know nothing about his father, I am not even sure he was 100% pit bull, I just know that Odin looks mostly pit bull. Feel free to ask if you think of any more questions, I will be glad to tell you everything I know about him. If you are interested in meeting him let me know. He is such a good dog, I just want to find a good home for him where he can finally have some stability in his life.



From: Tami
To: Robin
Date 4 Feb, 2006
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Odin


It's kinda late tonight and I'm at my friends. He wants to stay in tonight and we're kinda involved having fun ... so tonight won't work. My friend thinks your dog is 100% pit and we both think he's awesome looking. I've been around dogs off and on
all my life but haven't had one for several years and I've been wanting a pet of some kind. I dont really want a cat but I've been debating between a dog and a snake!

Another friend has a really beautiful snake but I cant get my husband to agree
to that. My hubby is sweet and wants me to have a dog! My friend's pit is a girl but I want a boy dog but not to breed so I'll probly get your dog fixed when I can find a vet. I think that cuts down on agression? Does your dog hump things? What does
ur dog prefer eating?

Maybe we can get together sometime and I can bring my friend to see ur dog! I better get back to playin! Have an awesome night!


To be concluded in Part 2.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Happy third anniversary of the war in Iraq!

Here's a little piece of information for all you who say we aren't winning the war:

Iraqi Civilian Casualties: Between 33,710-37,832

Coalition Casualties: 2,314

Check out the numbers, people; that's a 15:1 ratio! Anyone who says we aren't on the winning side of that equation needs to go back to school!

The way I see it, we're doing fine. Sure, if those figures were reversed, there'd be cause for concern--but we're obviously up, and things are better than ever. We'll have this thing wrapped up in no time, and I'd put money on that. I'd even give you, say, 15-to-1 odds.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Radiohead's "Optimistic" came on at work last night.

"Who is this?" I asked aloud.

This is one of my favorite games at work. People at the restaurant generally have good taste in music, but they take it so seriously that getting under their skin is pretty easy.

"Chris, this is Radiohead," one girl said.

I looked at her quizzically. "Who the hell is that? I'm pretty sure this is the Beatles."

"It's not the freaking Beatles! I think I know Radiohead!"

I began singing "Hey Jude."

The girl rolled her eyes and began walking away toward the soda station.

"Wait a minute," I said. "Maybe you're right. Maybe this isn't the Beatles. Maybe it's Radiohead."

"I know it's Radiohead."

"But you have to admit that in many ways, Radiohead is like the British Beatles."

The girl began filling up a soda. Ten seconds later, she paused and looked at me, her faced screwed up in consternation.

"The Beatles are British."

"I guess the jig is up!" I laughed.

Friday, March 17, 2006

"My boyfriend doesn't respect my intelligence," she complained.

"Does your intelligence deserve respect?"

Thursday, March 16, 2006

My aunts and uncles serve one purpose for me--to remind me of what could have been.

"We're lucky as hell," I told my sister around Christmas time. My aunt was in the other room screaming at her children and grandchildren to "Just be still goddammit!" Her daughter, two years my junior, was absent-mindedly clutching her newest child while focusing on the plate of ham and green beans on her leg. The kid was only about eight months old and already looked maladjusted.

Madge glanced uneasily at the child's position on our cousin's knee. "I know," she said, "Mom and Dad rule."

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Ever wondered what the Simpsons intro would look like with real life actors? No? Well, do you have a minute or so to kill? Click below or go here.

Monday, March 13, 2006

"Man, when I start my rap career, my name's gonna be Wiley Wiggins."

"Chris, you can't have that name, it's already somebody else's name."

"Yeah, I know. It's the name of the guy I just waited on. I saw his credit card and decided to steal his name for one of my aliases. I'll be Christopher Zane A.K.A. Wiley Wiggins A.K.A. Peter Paparazzi A.K.A. Inspektah Chef."

"No--Wiley Wiggins is already somebody famous."

"I waited on a famous guy?"

"He was in some movie . . . oh yeah! He was the main guy in Waking Life! And he was in Dazed and Confused!"

"Well whattayaknow."

Friday, March 10, 2006

My family usually spent the Fourth of July in Huntsville; my 13th summer was no different. My aunt and uncle owned a ranch there, and they either gave or rented small homes or trailers to those in my family who hadn’t married into wealth. My grandmother lived in one of those trailers. So did another aunt, and four of my cousins.

Huntsville isn’t exactly a hotbed of high culture. The biggest feature of the region, as many know, is the state penitentiary. The second-biggest draw is the bowling alley where my cousin Martin used to work. In the area where my family lives, they don’t even get their trash picked up; they burn it instead. It was for just that reason that my dad suggested he and I stay around an extra day.

"I think it’d be nice of you to stay around and help your grandmother fix up her lawn tomorrow," he said. His tone of voice implied that if we didn’t pick up garbage, we might go catch a movie, or go sailing, or whatever else struck our fancy.

"I don’t think I’ll do that," I replied.

"Well, your mom and your sister already left, so tough shit."

The next morning, after sleeping uncomfortably on my grandmother’s smelly old couch, my dad woke me up and informed me that he was going to mow the grass, and I was going to pick up all the garbage that the wind had blown around. I sighed and put on some shorts.

"Do you want some cereal, Christopher?" my grandmother asked me.

"I don’t think you have any, Grandma."

She looked confused. "I could’ve sworn I had some around here . . . " She wandered off to the living room—to find some cereal, I assumed.

I stepped out the rear door of the trailer into the oppressive Texas heat. The grass—it was really more like jungle bush—was up to my waist. My dad appeared from around the corner with a push-mower that rivaled the Fisher-Price Bubble Mower in both power and size. It was tough to mask my disgust.

"Just start picking up the trash," he said preemptively. "Don’t worry about the lawn." He gave me a roll of garbage bags and patted me on the shoulder.

I trudged out to the middle of the one-acre yard and observed my task. There was trash everywhere. Old cans of Squirt, paper towels, sun-bleached empty bags of dry dog food, and—ugh, how could she even need these?—feminine hygiene products. Slowly, I got to work. Fifteen minutes and nine pieces of trash later, I heard my grandmother calling me from the door of her trailer.

"Christopher, honey? Do you want a Squirt?"

"No grandma, I’m fine."

"OK! Watch out for the cows!"

I heard the groan of the mower as my dad labored to get past the first three feet of growth. Seeing me standing around, he let go of the handle, and the mower died.

"Wanna switch?" he asked as he approached.

"Nice try," I said.

"Why don’t we go over there, where the grass is lower? At least we’d be able to get something done."

"Yeah, alright," I agreed.

A few minutes after our new approach, I realized how pointless this all was. What we needed, I decided, was a riding mower. Then we could just drive over the trash. I decided to pitch the idea to my dad.

"Hey dad!" I shouted over the din. He couldn’t hear me; he was shoving with all his might into a two-foot-tall patch and I was about ten feet away.

Suddenly a loud mechanical crunch came from the mower. Something small and fast flew in my direction. Before I even had time to register what was going on, I looked down and saw blood pouring down my left leg. I let out a panicked high-pitched scream, and quickly began balancing on one foot. My dad rushed over and steadied me.

"What the—" he began.

"Get me inside!" I yelled, bouncing towards the trailer. By the time I got to the door, the entire bottom half of my leg was drenched in blood.

"Oh my goodness! Let me get some paper towels!" my grandmother rushed off to the living room. I collapsed into a chair in the kitchen. My dad brought a towel. In the commotion, I still managed to notice that it smelled like an old person. I blotted my leg and then pressed hard to stop the bleeding.

"What the hell was that?" I asked a few minutes later. Things had calmed down a little, and my leg was still attached, so my dad got up and went outside to see if he could find the offending object.

"He frowned as he examined the thing in his hand and sat back down. "It's the lid from a tuna can. It’s pretty rusty."

I looked at the gaping wound on my calf. "Well, let’s go to the hospital; I’m gonna need stitches."

"I don’t think there are any hospitals out here," my grandmother said worriedly.

"Well, we can just go to one of those clinics. There’s one just off the highway."

I hopped into the back of the van.

"Don’t get blood on my seats," my dad said. "This is a new van." It was, in fact, a used van. And we’d had it for a year.

In the 45-minute drive to the clinic, my grandmother apologized about 37 times.

"I’m so sorry, sweetheart," she said. "What can I do to make it better?"

"We’ll get him a happy meal on the way home," my dad suggested.

"I’m 13," I said. "I don’t want a happy meal."

"We’ll get you one with a good toy in it."

Three hours later I left the clinic with 14 stitches and several tetanus shots.

"Can we go home now?" I asked.

"What about your happy meal?" my grandmother wondered.

We drove around looking for a McDonald’s for 20 minutes. Finally my dad gave up and pulled in to a Burger King drive-thru.

"This is pretty much the same thing," he said. "What do you want?"

I looked down at my leg. The bandage felt like it was cutting off my circulation.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Happy anniversary of your death, Notorious B.I.G.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Monday, March 06, 2006

Let's just say that when I "returned" from "my best friend's bachelor party" "last night," "someone" had "thrown" a "giant rock" through the "window of my car" for "no reason."

No, this is not a metaphor for Muhammed cartoons.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

I guess I've been doing a lot of piggybacking lately.
There's a good reason they don't allow cameras in the Supreme Court.

Yesterday, the court heard arguments over the Texas redistricting case. As the day drug on, the arguments grew increasingly technical. According the the AP, "near the end of the argument Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dozed in her chair. Justices David Souter and Samuel Alito, who flank the 72-year-old, looked at her but did not give her a nudge."

Poor gal, stayed up too late playing online poker, I bet.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


1. Juxtaposition
2. Paradigm
3. Case in point

Your suggestions?
A kid in one of my classes is always talking to himself.

"Yo, Mr. Z," the other kids ask, "what's up with Andrew?"

"He's just eccentric," I tell them. "When he's old or a millionaire nobody will mind."

At what age does the word "eccentric" actually begin to apply? When you're 15 years old and you run through the halls with your hands to your sides and your backpack overstuffed with books, you're not eccentric; you're just weird.