Friday, October 28

I May Have Deserved That

In honor of getting my eyes gouged out for no reason and completely without warning, here's a little pirate ditty from quizilla for you all to pillage and plunder.
Which Jack Sparrow Saying Are You?

       "But WHY's the Rum gone?!"

[Listening to: Mr. Bungle, "Stubb (a dub)"]


Thursday, October 27

Obezyanka Nol

Monkey zero does not want to be at work today.
[Listening to: Le Tigre, "Deceptacon"]


Wednesday, October 26

Speedy Grandmas Dynamite

Speedy Grandma. It's a shot. One part Red Bull with Grand Marnier floated over the top. It's one of those shots that tastes like gasoline at first and then develops a rich, butterscotch type of flavor once you've taken it down. It's good. It's expensive. It's effective.

You discover things with the people in your life and then associate those things with them. You have experiences with friends and somehow tag them with the items that stood out from those memories. For me, red wine has a face. Black licorice jelly beans are a person. Grolshlager, Dove Bars, Shinedown, Apple Jacks -- the list goes on and on.

I used to have one grandmother who always gave my brother and me a cookie when we visited. We called her "Grandma Cookie." We had another Grandmother who always had those old-lady mints in a glass bowl on her coffee table for us to munch on whenever we dropped by to see her.
..Grandma Candy.
Who knows, maybe it's just me. I always wonder where these habits come from. Why I find myself always looking to canonize the events and people in my life. Maybe it's something about flavors. About my pallette matching with someone else in just the right way, at a single, certain time.

Regardless of the cause, I like the way it leaves me with these little sense-memory triggers for people in my life. I like the way I can look at a certain moon, or hear a song by Sublime, the Talking Heads, or even John Cougar Melloncamp and find myself wearing an instant smile.

In a way, it gives me a way to have those times and friends with me whenever I want.
Even if it does taste like gasoline going down.
[Listening to: Breaking Benjamin, "Sugarcoat"]


Monday, October 24

Martha

When I was in college I used to have this little ritual. Every couple of months I would find myself in some sort of life or death money mess where I had bounced some check or gambled with the ATM gods one too many times or not made a deposit into my account fast enough to beat out the ticking clock that was the electric bill payment I had made a day or so before hoping and praying that there would be money there when they went to cash it.

And whenever this happened I would skip all my morning classes, drag my sad sack self over to Barnett Bank on Thomasville road, and beg the Martha to make it all better.

The Martha was Martha Peterson, the customer service representative who would smile and nod her head while she pointed out my mistakes on a printed bank statement with the tip of her pencil. She would tell me that when I deposited money after a certain hour of the day that it wouldn't be available to spend until two full days had passed. She was the one who told me to go ahead and subtract bank service charges from my balance at the beginning of every month so that I wouldn't ever get "surprised" by them again. She would tell me these things time and time again, and never seemed to get angry or bothered when I came back the next month with the same exact problem.

But most important of all - at the end of every session where Martha would tell me what my banking mistakes were, she would go into her computer, wave her magic wand and somehow reverse all of the fees that her bank had levied against me for my misgivings.

No matter how much her talks had proven just how much the mistakes were my fault, no matter how much money her bank stood to gain in Insufficient Funds fees from my unique inability to synchronize my deposits with my spending, no matter how many times I went to her with the exact same sob story - she would take my pain away with the push of a button.

I even remember asking her once if what she was doing was legal.

But Martha would just smile and fill out her forms -- and within 20 minutes of arriving at her desk, I would always have cash again.

As the years went by and I moved on with my life I had to force myself to get a little better with my money, what with mortgages and other high-dollar bills breathing down my neck, but you know how it is sometimes. You miscalculate a little something here, or forget to write down a little ATM thing there, or you decide to get a cup of coffee at dunkin donuts before work when you really don't have the money -- and then one thing bounces, then another, and then it's fee fee fee fee fee and the next thing you know your ATM card is getting rejected like a wrinkled dollar getting kicked out of a vending machine.

The weird thing is that whenever this happens to me now (like it did last week), I start feeling like I've gotten in trouble at college or something.

Anyways, first chance I got I headed to the bank office near me and began talking to one of the people there. Her name was Angie. Cute, dressed sharply, not very good with her computer (but in a way that was kinda cute as well). She printed out my statement on the back of an office memo, and then piece by piece went over every fee with me, circling the dates with her pen. Each fee had a reason, and she found a way to trace them all back to a check card purchase that I apparently hadn't covered in my records, but clearly put me over the line once my credit card bill was paid.
My fault. Clear as day on the paper before me.
There was an awkward pause. She said something about overdraft protection, but I wasn't really listening. All I could think of was how short I was going to come up this month.

Then she smiled, clicked a few keys, and reversed the charges.
And more to myself than anyone else, I said,
"Thanks, Martha"
[Listening to: Mindless Self Indulgence, "Prom"]


Thursday, October 20

Butterfly Effect

I drove by myself the other night. A former me.

I was pulling into a parking lot on my way to meet a friend when I passed by this guy -- long hair in a ponytail, a well- (perhaps over) worn tank top, comfortable shorts, and bare feet. There was a sort of 'lazy overweight' look to him. Maybe he worked in a cubicle, squeezed in meals between meetings. Maybe he doesn't get much time to work out anymore, or simply can't find the energy. Maybe his weekends had become more about football and beer on the couch than hanging out with friends. These things happen. It's not the end of the world.

He was folding a baby stroller down to put it in the back of his car and there was a single white towel draped over his shoulder -- the way a new parent always wears it.

For every similarity that I found intruiging, there were a handful of differences (he wore glasses, his hair was lighter and not thinning, etc.) that kept it from being any kind of Twilight Zone moment. But for some reason, the image of that towel stuck with me. I don't know -- it's such a simple thing, and yet there are so many memories and moments wrapped up inside of it. Your kids are only ever that age once. When you're trying to raise and protect them at that time, the days and nights seem to go on forever. You wonder if there will ever be a time when you won't be folding carriages or mixing formula or waking up to see why they are crying in the middle of the night.
But it does end.
And when it's over, it feels
like it only lasted a second.
There are memories that can never be taken away, but little kids have a way of making you forget what it was like day in and day out when they were infants. The feeling of constant tiredness, the quicksnap fights that would erupt when the balance became uneven between a husband and a wife, the way that those fights could instantly melt away and be forgotten. You could be a villian with a TV remote and a hero with a mug of hot tea all in the same day.

And yet no matter what else happened, no matter what new challenge or crisis arose, the most important thing always stayed the same - knowing that the child would only truly fall asleep sleep when you were holding them close, rocking slowly with your hand on the back of their head and a single white towel draped over your shoulder.

There are some things in life that you can't get back.
There are things you can't appreciate until they're gone.

These things happen.
It's not the end of the world.
[Listening to: 30 Seconds to Mars, "Savior"]


Tuesday, October 18

Fubaredeux

If you've read this blog for any amount of time you'll start to notice just how cyclic the tides in my life tend to be. It's not something I really want to happen, but the same themes always seem to find a way to come back into my life over and over again.
I'm in trouble at work again.
..Serious trouble.
[Listening to: 30 Seconds to Mars, "A Beautiful Lie"]


Monday, October 17

The Bad Touch

About a week ago I bought a 12-speed bike at a pawn shop. With the river run coming up I need to get back in shape, and I wanted to try a little cross-training this year to see if I could get some better results than I did with just jogging alone. Plus the last few times I went running my knees starting screaming in pain, so I wanted to try to build up my conditioning a little more before I start pounding the pavement again.

It's weird though -- Its literally been years since I've owned a bike. I had one in college for a while, but I leant it out to someone and well, long story short - it got stolen. Before that though, we're talking like 5th or 6th grade, back in the days when your bike was the only possible way to get around.

Anyways, the bike I found turned out to be a pretty nice one -- and after a trip to a local repair shop to get the brakes tuned up I took it out last night for a spin. 2 miles, nothing crazy -- but definitley enough to get the blood pumping. As expected, it was easier on my body than running - in fact once I cooled down I felt really charged, like I could have done a couple more miles easilly without causing myself too much harm.

The only bad thing about it was the seat. If I had ever wondered (and I really hadn't until about a mile or so into things) why cyclists have such tiny asses, I certainly know the truth now. Then again, I think I've finally found the perfect motivation to get in shape quick -- because when I got back home it felt like I'd been locked in a Turkish Prison for a couple of years.

Seriously, while I was riding last night it was like there was this voice in my head screaming
"Whoa buddy, what did I ever do to you!?"
[Listening to: Dead Kennedys, "Too Drunk to Fuck"]


Sunday, October 16

I'll Be Dietrich and You Can Be Dean

Focus the eye and push the button. Expose the emulsion and freeze the pixels. Pictures of moments, places locked in time. Still life realism in its purest state. But like any painting, the question still remains -- "Is this really all that's happening?"
find

You can see someone for a second and tell things about them. You can take impressions, make sketches, realize texture and shadow. But do you truly know them inside? Can you really tell what's underneath?

Think of the people you have loved. The ones who have faded away with time. High school sweethearts, relationships that couldn't stand the tide. The ones that got away, ...the things you messed up. Picture those people in your mind. The faces, the memories, the things they did that made them special. Each one savored for what it was and at the same time perhaps remembered for what went wrong. They're all a part of who were are now, the good and the bad. We miss them in private but at the same time hold parts of them alive with us forever as we seek those qualities in the people we meet in our lives today.

focus

But when you look at those pictures, when you open up those scrapbooks of the past.. do you really get to see everything? What's reality? What's idealized? Where do the lines blur?
Can you ever really know?
Can you ever really go back?
Every now and then you'll get a phone call. A familar voice dressed up in a whole new life. Memories replayed. Maybe there was a breakup. Maybe there's a reunion. Maybe it's just one of those days. Photo albums and old memories. Reflections against the past shimmered in the pools of reality that collect on the street when it rains and rains and rains..

Of course I miss you. Anyone with an open eye can see that. But it's not really the point anymore, isn't it? The point isn't those things we wish we could have back, but where we would put them on the shelves of the lives that we live now, if there is room at all. It doesn't mean the door is closed, but it does mean that I don't think any of us can just ..walk back through, you know?

capture

This world of mine isn't perfect, but it's different. It's new and exciting. Every day there is cracked ice to walk over, finish lines to try and cross. I don't win every race, but I certainly feel like I'm running in a lot more of them now. It's a good feeling.

develop

Why I couldn't find this before.. Where I'll be tomorrow.. I don't know.

But this is where I am now.
This is where I live.
[Listening to: Mindless Self Indulgence, "Shut Me Up"]


Thursday, October 13

Chocolate Frosted X

Sometimes this country sneaks up on you. Sometimes no matter how much you want to keep something out of your life, it still finds a way to sneak in and reveal itself. I don't know, maybe part of it comes from living in the south, being inundated with attitudes that still exist even when everyone wants them gone.

Understand something here -- the absolute last thing in this world that I'd ever want to be thought of is a racist. The very idea of it bothers me deep down inside my soul. But the sad thing is that sometimes it just slips. Sometimes you say things without even thinking. You don't even realize that certain ideas are a part of your consciousness. But when it's out, there's no putting it back. You can't un-say a slur. You can't take back prejudice.

Take this morning -- Out of bed late, rushing out the door pulling shirtsleeves over your fingers and driving at lightspeed across the interstate to get to work on time. No time to think. No time for breakfast. No time to brew a pot of coffee on your way out.
But you need that cup of joe.
Late or not, you gotta have that caffiene. Your head is pounding from last night's happy hour and there's no way you'll ever be able to deal with the 120 thirteen year-olds that fill up your day without at least a little bit of help.

But where do you stop? What's the fastest way to get coffee when you're racing to get to work before the boss starts coming down on you for showing up late?

In this town, that answer is easy: Dunkin Donuts. It's on the way, they mix in cream and sugar for you, and they understand what it means when you check your watch every ten seconds while you're in line. It's not the best java in freakville, but it's certainly the quickest fix for the money.

The thing about it though is that once you've been to the same fast-food place for a certain period of time you start to get a feel for the people who work there. Or don't work, as the case may be. Fast food jobs don't always attract the most dedicated of employees; but there's STILL nothing worse than going somwehere when you're in a serious hurry and realizing once you get inside that you're stuck dealing with the lazy crew.

Maybe that's what got into my head this morning. Maybe that was the cause. Because the very moment I stepped into Dunkin' Donuts it was instantly clear that everyone behind the counter was Hindu. The skin tones, the accents -- it was all right there to see.

And before I even realized what I was doing, I blurted out the first thought that came into my mind:
"Thank God the white people aren't working today!!"
[Listening to: Dangerdoom, "Bada Bing"]


Sunday, October 9

Actually Spoken During the Course of My Evening

Me: "Friday night was total craziness - Half the time I felt like I was David Lee Roth."
He: "Dude, half the time you are David Lee Roth."
[Listening to: Mynx, "I'm So L.A."]


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