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Fear and Loathing and The Southern Maine Ammo Crunch of 2009

I think it would be easier to find a red headed virgin in Rosalita, Mexico who wasn’t suffering from Swine Flu before I’ll ever find 9mm bullets in Southern Maine.

At least, this is what I was “lead” to believe last Sunday morning while traveling over fifty miles on a motorcycle when temperatures hit 83 degrees before I even left the house.

I made the tactical error of putting on a shit-ton of personal protective equipment – more than necessary, which includes UnderArmor, thick gloves, Kevlar jacket liner, etc – before ever walking out the door of my mother’s house.  By the time I got to my bike, one street over at my father’s house, I was pretty much covered in a thin sheen of sweat.

My objective was simple, though pulling it off would be a beast of a completely different temperament:  I had to find bullets for the new Glock pistol I bought the day before at the local Biddeford Gun Show, a gun show that was once the flagship gun collector’s exhibition in Southern Maine, but since the winding down of the Bush Administration, The Show has somewhat become a shell of it’s former glory.  Gone now are the giant booths with tactical webbing-based vests and shoulder harnesses.  Displays of military-grade firepower that only Level Three Licensees can legal own, gone as well.  Even the old guy with the snow-white beard to his belt buckle, pushing a hand truck with an old Browning air-cooled .30 cal mounted machine gun was absent from the proceedings.  No, all that seemed to remain were a few logie-looking booths and venders with various instruments of death and destruction, marked up by at least 15% to as high as 50% depending on whom you were dealing with, and how exotic the piece was.

But what had returned were the crowds.  In recent years the Biddeford Gun Show’s attendance has somewhat fallen off, which in turn, diminished the level of prestige of the participating venders.  The surge in populace this year seems to stem from the current Democratic Presidential Administration, and the fears that a black Democratic President will “any day now” pass legislation abolishing the Second Amendment and send federal law enforcement officers into the homes of every Red Blooded American who owns firearms to forcibly strip the weapons from their hands, and possibly march them to a cattle car to be shipped into the wilderness in the dead of night.

This and other mythoi were being exchanged amongst the crowd of surly late-middle-aged panic-mongers in attendance at the gun show.  As I weaved through the crowd examining table after table of weaponry I overheard a number of what some could consider outlandish accusations, rumors and innuendo from those who paid seven dollars to get their hand stamped at the door.

“Any day now, Obama’s going to raid our homes and take our guns away,” grumbled one gun owner in farm-chic clothing.  Another:  “We’re only as safe as we make ourselves, no one’s going to take that away from me!”

The crowd of about one thousand constantly seemed to be teetering on the edge of full blown riot, with tensions flowing with every disgruntled half-truth that was being uttered as (mostly) men fingered cheap Spanish-imports of cloned 1911-A1 .45 ACPs and grease-packed AK47s.  Overall the mood was dark, and if you tried to inject another point of view, shed of optimism if you will, you were seen at best as a simpleton, and at worst, a spy.

I found this out when I stupidly tried to bring to the attention of one show goer who I was 90% convinced was a member of either the Klu Klux Klan or the Hell’s Angels that Mr. Obama has a little too much on his plate to deal with the issue of Second Amendment Rights at the moment, especially concerning the economy, filling out the rest of his cabinet, partisan politics, and that whole “Middle East Thing.”  I tried to assure the barbarian that if the issue was ever going to be approached, that number one, it wouldn’t be at least until the far side of two years from now, and number two, there’s far too much support against anti-firearms legislation in the country to make a significant impact on the individual gun owner.  Similar to anti-abortion, -gay rights, and -marijuana legislation, the laws enacted would be far too controversial, and no elected official would dare disenfranchise at least half of his electoral base.

“What are you?  One of those statistic-spewing faggots?”  Said the Klansman-Biker, who then worked up enough phlegm in his throat to convince me he was going to hock it into my face if I didn’t get enough room between me and him very quickly.

For the rest of the gun show I kept a very low profile.

Purchasing a firearm is still incredibly easy, despite what gun-owners in attendance would like the layperson to think.  Aside from the fact I was standing in the middle of a 100,000 square converted ice arena, surrounded by tables and tables of guns with only one police officer standing duty by the front door, procuring a pistol, rifle, shotgun, authentic Nazi memorabilia from World War 2, or whatever you fancy is a matter of spending a few moments filling out a simple page of generic government paperwork (“no, I’m not a convicted felon,” and “no, I’m not addicted to any controlled substance, including marijuana” are actual questions with YES/NO boxes next to them.), submitting to a Federal Background Check through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and handing over a credit card to the federally licensed gun dealer to whom you’re giving your business to.

After haggling over the price of my Sig Sauer P230 .380 that I wanted to trade up to a Glock 19 9mm, as well as buying a new Remington 870 12 gauge shotgun (my father is moving to a trailer park in Florida later this summer, and asked if he could have my old Mossberg 500 for home defense), I tried to get the dealer to give me a “sweetheart deal” on an DPMS/Panther AR15 that he had listed for 1100 dollars.  I explained to him that being that the DPMS was a “flat top” receiver with no sights, I would have to go out and buy a sighting system at a cost of about 200-300 dollars.  I also brought up the point that I was already buying two guns off of him and if he wanted to move the products, he should cut me a deal.

He gave it some thought and came back with an offer of 950, a considerable mark down, but I figured he could do better.  On average, an AR15, which three years ago would have retailed for about 600 bucks, were going for between 975-1300 dollars at this gun show.  Getting him even below those numbers was a good deal, but I figured I had this guy on the ropes and he could go lower.

And I was right because he came down as low as 850 after a few more minutes of my complaining.  I then told him I didn’t want it and that I’d take just the pistol and shotgun, which seemed to piss him off a little.  I realized that I had no real practical use for a high powered rifle in a dilapidated apartment complex, and that the likelihood of me shooting through our walls and into the apartment of one of the neighbors, although enticing, could cause greater legal ramifications for me down the line.

So I sat down in a metal folding chair and filled out the proper paper work.  And even though I accidentally omitted my social security number on the federal gun buyers form (I honestly usually put it down, as I’m inclined to believe that by not, if gives the BATF an excuse to deny my background request, even though it’s marked in bold letters that providing that information is completely OPTIONIONAL), less than five minutes after I put ass to chair, I was handing my credit card over to the dealer, and walking away with two highly lethal weapons that I could virtually do anything I wanted with.

But I just had to load them first.

I walked around the floor of the gun show a little longer and came to a booth that was selling re-loaded-at-home rounds and hefted a box of 9mms.  When the booth’s vendor told me that the box of 50-count bullets was going to cost me 25 dollars (usually a box – or “square” as it’s called in certain gun-circles – of 9mms goes for about 15-20 bucks, reloads less, obviously) I dropped the box along with my jaw and walked away.  The vender called after me, telling me that he had already sold two cases (roughly twenty boxes per case, and the case I plucked that one box out of was about down to three squares left) and would probably be sold out by tomorrow.

What he didn’t tell me was that there’s virtually no ammunition in Southern Maine at all.

Due to the fear and panic in Southern Maine, which is more “red state” than the rest of the traditionally “blue Maine” people have been buying and stockpiling ammunition in bulk at alarming and albeit, unsettling rates.  I had no clue that the case was so severe until later that afternoon, after leaving the gun show with two firearms and no ammo (making them two of the most expensive paper weights I’ve ever purchased) I headed over to the local Wal Mart, where previously I’ve bought ammo on the cheap, which is exactly what I told the ammo vender at the gun show.

Blinded by ignorance, I walked into the Wal Mart and headed back towards the Sporting Goods section.  The inside of the Wal Mart looked third-world: gutted, stripped of any semblance of that cheery yellow-smiley face conglomerate that once dominated Biddeford Crossing for the last fifteen or so years.  No, the monolith with her ever expanding parking lot seemed frail and decayed, shelving bare, what I imagine a Wal Mart in some remote part of Serbia would look like on a good day.

When I got to the Sporting Goods section I ran into another red-stater, dressed in a typical aggressively patriotic t shirt featuring wording about “colors” and “running” and a picture of a soaring eagle or something to that effect, buying a hunting license of some sort.

I don’t hunt, so I have no idea what game season is in vogue right now, but being that summer’s coming up, and Maine tends to get overpopulated with tourists during this time, something about a bald, big-eared, mouth breathing caveman buying a hunting license didn’t sit well with me.

As the clerk behind the counter diddled the register to print out the hunting license I wandered around the section looking for the display of bullets.  When I found the display, a large locked glass case, I stopped suddenly with confusion.  I turned to see if anyone was watching me, any employee that could help me, but I was alone.  So I went back to the clerk at the register and inquired with him as he finished up the total on the red-stater’s order.

“Excuse me, but are you guys like,” and I trailed off for a second.  The Budweiser-swilling tradesman was barking at his collection of children, aged 6-11, about five or six of them, and his gutturally sharp chunks of words took me off balance for a second.

“That’s strike one!” he snapped at one of his brood, who were horsing around by the register.  “One more strike and you’re not getting ice cream!”

I wanted to clear my throat and correct him, in front of his children, that you technically get three strikes, (based off of baseball or Family Feud rules) but I kept my mouth shut and went back to the clerk.

“Are you guys, like, renovating or something?  Because your ammo case back there is empty and I…” and the clerk cut me off.

“We can’t keep that shit in stock for more than a day.  We put out orders for handgun ammo, rifle ammo, you name it, at least once a week, and by the time it comes in, we have so much of the stuff on back order, that it’s all sold by the time the truck pulls up.”  Jesus, I thought, they’re hording all the goddamn bullets!

The red-stater decided to inject his opinion on the matter as well:

“It’s a real pain in the balls,” he started, his voice phlegmy and choked, as if he was speaking from underneath a boot across his windpipe.  “I’ve been buying online, you can’t get bullets anywhere, not the Wal Mart in Scarborough, the Cabelas, LL Beans, Dicks,” he went on.

I was shell shocked, in utter disbelief.  There had to be someplace I could readily buy bullets today, right now.  What if there was an emergency, and I needed to shoot someone TONIGHT!  Nothing is worse than an unloaded gun sitting by itself at home when you go out to a family restaurant with your wife and mother and spend the entire night alternating your field of view between the Red Sox/Yankees game on the tv over your head and the front door of the establishment, waiting for some barbarian to come barreling in to kill everyone on Margarita Two-fer Night.

The next morning I got up early-ish and took off on my motorcycle, with messenger bag slung around my shoulders, to try every conceivable store that would be selling ammunition.

The thought had occurred to me that I could just go back to the gun show and try my luck there.  I just didn’t want to pay out the nose for cheaply “remanufactured” bullets, given the price of admission is seven dollars, and the mark up on the ammo is about 50%.

So all morning I rode up and down US Rt 1, looking for a place that sold bullets.  I first pulled into the local Cabela’s monstrosity and found that they wouldn’t open until 10 am, which by then would be too late for me, as my mother committed me to helping my tacky aunt and uncle move “unwanted” furniture from my father’s place to their place.  So up the road I traveled still, finding myself at the Scarborough Wal Mart.

Mind you, I’m on a motorcycle, dressed in a black Kevlar jacket, black “murder” bandana around my neck, black messenger bag, black boots, black Oakley Flak Jacket HJXs, and my throat is all weird from the ride.  I stride into the Wal Mart and try to find the Sporting Goods section, but if you’ve ever been into a different Wal Mart than what you’re used to, you know that their store is SLIGHTLY laid out differently.

So after walking around a bit, I find the section and come across similar results.  I’m pretty dejected, but on my way out I find a stock girl- young, petite, blonde – with a clipboard, doing some sort of inventory.  I walk up to her and get her attention.  Immediately she’s intimidated by me; it’s all but written on her face in magic marker, so I lift my shades to my forehead so she can see I’m no threat.

“Hey, you got any ammunition out back?”  I ask.  Unbeknownst to me ahead of time, my voice comes out as if I’m Dirty Harry and I just found out my dog has rabies.  Her eyes develop a sheen of wetness and her lip trembles.  Her voice small, tinny:

“No, we’re all out,” I figured for this based on the evidence and snarl a little to myself.

“Mm, what about the Dick’s up the road?  Know anything about them?”  I unintentionally growl.

“No…” it’s like a stalking lion talking to a church mouse.

“Don’t worry,” I try to ease her obvious fear of this big biker looming over her, asking about affordable munitions.  “I’m not mad, I’m not going to kill anyone,” she lets a nervous smile slip out.  “…because I don’t have any bullets.”  Her smile fades quickly and I leave the store, watching my back on the road for the next few miles for police cars looking for a homicide-crazed lunatic on a motorbike.

I have similar results at the next few places I try, either they’re sold out or not open this early on a Sunday, and after running out of time, I head back to my mother’s house to help move furniture, which is like eating a big plate of glass shards for breakfast.

Later in the day I called what was going to be my “last resort” before being forced to pay for rounds at the gun show.  I used to work for the Kittery Trading Post, an Outdoor Outfitter in Southern Maine that I’m somewhat persona-non-grata with due to an incident in their parking lot that involved myself, a stalker, and the Kittery Police Department over two years ago.  They have a huge firearms selection, dedicating their entire second floor to just guns.  If they didn’t have ammunition I could buy, no one in Southern Maine would.

I called and after being batted around from associate to associate for ten minutes, I finally got a hold of someone on the gun floor.

“Hey, I’m trying to find 9mms, you guys got any in stock?”

“No, all we got on hand right now are .41 magnums and .22s, we can’t keep anything in stock for more than a day,” the associate said into the phone.  “Once word gets out, we get nailed.  We had a shipment of ammo on Friday and we were just about sold out last night.  You’re best bet is online,”

In the end, I went back to the gun show and bought an overpriced box of 9mms, but only because I didn’t want to travel without a loaded gun.  And to add another element of horror to my story, I thought the ammo-epidemic was contained in Maine and other-like minded ignorant locales.  No.  It’s not.

When I we finally got back to The Hook, I logged on to a few different sites that specialize in “hunting accessories” to see if I could purchase ammunition in bulk, only falling into my fellow statesmen’s hysteria half way, more concerned that the ammo crunch will continue to make getting rounds in the future difficult.  Three of the four sites I visited had handgun ammo on backorder, and another had some available, but it wasn’t anything special, just Full Metal Jacketed bullets at 115 grain.

So in the end, what does this mean?  It means I’m going to call Charles Schwab later today and buy stock in Winchester, American Federal, and UCM.

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April 30, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Fear and Loathing, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Gonzo Journalism, Living in an Insane Asylum, Out and About, People I Hate, Those Crazy Politicians, World Wide Events | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Snippet of What I’ve Been Working On

Been a busy week here at the BAD.  More news on that to come shortly.  While you wait, why not take a gander at 1000 or so words of the short fiction I’ve been working on after hours…

***

He packed lightly, bringing with him three books, toiletries, some clothes, two pistols, another ceramic knife, one hundred thousand dollars in bundled cash, sunglasses, SIM cards for cell phones, a pair of running shoes, and his iPod.

He had called Katie to see if she wanted to drop by and she said she was actually in the neighborhood, and she was going to pop over unexpected anyway.  Dreamer sat on his couch and watched tv until his door buzzed.

He keyed the speaker, she identified herself and he buzzed her in.  He popped the door to his apartment and got out two beers and set one on the counter top while he sipped the other.  A few moments passed and Katie walked in the door wrapped in a short pea coat, her eyes behind square rimmed glasses, her face beaming.

“This for me?”  She motioned for the beer.

“No, it’s for your sister,” Dreamer said with mock sarcasm.  She lifted an eyebrow and picked up the beer from her side of the counter and took a pull from the bottle neck.  She took off her coat, revealing her thin-but-curvy body, and pressed herself up against Dreamer who was leaning against the stove in the tiny kitchenette.

“Funny, I didn’t know my sister was in town this week,” and she kissed him lightly on the lips.  Dreamer kissed back a little, his mind someplace else for the time being.  The conversation with his handler still lingered in his psyche and it was readily apparent to his girlfriend from the bookstore.

The two of them had been dating regularly for the last month or so, enough to the point where Dreamer considered her to be his girlfriend exclusively.  That is, he didn’t really have much time to go out and see anyone else, but nor did he want to.  They had sex, and sometimes she would crash at his place.  Seldom did they ever really go out, maybe to the occasional bar or night club, once to a comedy club in Manhattan, but most nights were spent in eating take-out Sushi or Tex-Mex.

Once, Katie cooked an actual home-made meal for Dreamer, which Jimmy thought was comparable to his own mother’s home cooking.  It was then that she sealed it for him.

“What’s the matter?”  She asked, which brought Dreamer back to Earth.  He cleared his throat and set his beer down between the gas burners on the stove.

“I gotta go away for a while, and I don’t know how long,” he said evenly, with the cold efficiency he had developed through much practice in front of a mirror and victims.  She hesitated as her hipster-thin body became stark and rigid.

“Huh?”

“It’s business related.  My company is uh, relocating me for an unspecified amount of time to do some work up in Canada I guess. Montreal.  So uh, I gotta leave tonight, by train.”  She pushed back off of him and leaned against the opposite L in the counter.

“Well, how long are you going to be gone for?”

“I dunno, but I guess I’ll be coming back, eventually,” Dreamer shrugged.

“That’s fucked up- they didn’t even tell you how long you’d be gone for?”  She asked.

“No,”

“Not even a ballpark?”

“No.”  She swallowed this.

“That’s fucked up,” she repeated.  “I was just starting to kinda like you too.”

“I know, me too Katie.  It’s not fair, but it was better than the alternative, I guess,” and Dreamer realized he was thinking out loud more than talking to his girlfriend.

“What was the alternative?”  He knew she was going to ask so he had an answered prepared.

“They were going to let me go,” he said and sucked on his beer bottle.  She nodded and scratched her chin a little.

“Can I come and visit you?”

“Eventually, after I get things sorta established, you know?”  She nodded and closed the distance between the two of them.

“Ok, just, you know, be safe, that sort of shit.  Given with what you read, I’m sure that won’t be a problem for you though, you know?”  She referenced the copy of Complete Hand Combat Vol. 9, and a beaten copy of Famous Small Arms Review 2001 on the coffee table in the other room.  Dreamer smiled a little and gave her rear a squeeze.

“Sure.  But listen, I gotta finish packing up, I gotta catch a seven o clock train, so,” and he trailed off.  She leaned up and kissed him softly, and touched his face.

“Just be safe ok?  I worry about you sometimes.  You tend to get very serious out of no where and it’s just…”

“Yeah I know, it’s just my job, you know?”

“Yeah,” and she broke away.  She picked up her coat, took another swig of the beer and let him walk her to the door to his apartment.

“Give me a call when you get in, ok?”

“It’ll probably be early, like, five-ish,”

“I don’t care, I’ll probably be up with worry, you know?”  Dreamer rolled his eyes.

“I have a mother, you know,”

“Really?  I thought you were hatched,”

“Such a smart ass.”

“You love me”

“Maybe.”

“Bye, James.”

“Bye Katie, walk safe, ok?  Oh here,” he dug into his wallet and produced a yellow Metro Card.  “I still have like, two weeks on this Unlimited, you want it?  I’m taking a cab into The City so…” She snatched it from his outstretched fingers.

“I’ll give it back to you when I see you again,” and she smiled.  They said their good byes again, and he shut the door after her.

Although he was already packed and it was only five in the evening, Dreamer wanted some alone time and decided to take a shower, since he was probably going to be stuck on a train for up to fifteen hours.  He undressed in his bedroom, took a towel from his linen closet and padded into the shower.

***

April 26, 2009 Posted by | Not Enough Time, Shameless Self Promotion, Written Works | , , | Leave a comment

Ugh!

Leave it to me to be bamboozeled at a critical moment and end up walking out of the local Shaw’s Supermarket with some fruity (by “fruity” I mean “gay”) “flavored water.”

I could sit here and tell you until I’m blue in the face that I had no intentions of purchasing flavored water at all, that my goal was to quench my thirst with a standard bottle of good ol’ fasion water-tasting water.  It wasn’t until I was firmly seated in the cockpit of my truck and unscrewing the cap that I realized I had purchased something I did not want.

The cashier’s strange glance should have told me something was amiss, but I ignored it, figuring she was only noticing my flaking apart skull.

I sat behind the wheel of my truck, a big black manly truck and stared down at the vinaigrette shaker-shaped bottle and turned it over in my hands, looking down at the Dasani logo with a halved kiwi along side a strawberry dipped in dew.  My mouth turned wretched, as a snarl developed in the back of my throat.  I immediately turned the bottle over in order to see what the caloric intake for consuming a bottle of flavored water would be, but there was none; only 3% of your daily sodium intake was present.  Still, that’s 3% more than regular standard water.

I’m not even a big water drinker.  I don’t like drinking water, but given my various activities, if I don’t drink at least five glasses of the stuff a day, my piss goes nuclear orange and I get chapped lips like a motherfucker.  I pretty much have to be mindful of drinking water in the very least and force myself to drink it at the most extreme.

This is how the scenario worked itself out:  I was in line at the checkout at the supermarket, picking up some stuff for dinner tonight.  I was parched and strategically placed for this scenario are these upright coolers with glass doors that show you their cool refreshing contents.  I simply opened the door, blindly reached in, and extracted what I was lead to assume was plain water, and tossed it on the belt with the rest of the shit I was buying:  Bottle of marinara, sub rolls, frozen french fries, block of sharp cheddar, etc.

And like I said, it wasn’t until I dug the bottle out of one of the bags in the seat next to me that I discovered the fuckers had me.

I sighed and took the cap off the bottle and had a quick look around before taking a sip, only to ensure that no one I knew would happen by and see me drinking something no upstanding man would ever consider letting past his lips.  Do construction workers, policemen, marathon runners, etc, reach for a chilled bottle of flavored water?  Hell no.  They want the raw product, the untreated shit.

The stuff hit my lips and tongue and I nearly gagged on the spot.  It was like drinking regular tap water out of a dirty glass.  I’d prefer the taste of gun barrel over this junk.

I quickly dug out the receipt for the groceries and found what they charged for the water.  Two dollars and fifty-five cents.  TWO DOLLARS AND FIFTY-FIVE CENTS!  JESUS!  I could’ve sucked pond water through a used vacuum tube and had a more enjoyable experience than drinking this shit.

This shit tasted like a monkey wiped his ass with a banana peel and then used the peel to stir whatever vat this shit was collected in.

In the end, due to my thirst and insanely annoying chapped lips, I drank the whole bottle in a manner of gagging gulps before I took off from the parking lot.  As I drank, tears rolled down my cheeks.  I felt like I was mouth-raping myself with Rainbow Bright’s strap-on cock.

I got home and wasted no time getting into the shower and eating a box of baby wipes.

April 21, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Gonzo Journalism, Out and About | , , , | 1 Comment

The Hobo On The Corner of 59th St Had a Sandwich Board Sign That Read: @ Everyone: THE END IS NEAR!!

By now I’m sure you’ve heard of Twitter, the micro-blogging site that keeps the kids tapping on their keyboards and smart phones while you try to have a civilized dinner for once.  Twitter is the fastest growing web-application-based program on the internet as of the time I write this article (Sunday evening), meaning that by the time I post it sometime tomorrow afternoon people will be pretty much over it.

If you’re part of that 2/3rds collective that still has no clue what Twitter is, but frustratingly keep hearing about it in every news media outlet, let me explain it to you:  You get to update your friends and “followers” with “tweets” or 140-character-or-less posts on the Twitter site.  When you post one of these “micro-blogs” everyone who has been following you will be notified of the update telling them that you’re waiting for your laundry to finish up in the dryer, or doing other fascinating things in your mundane life.

I don’t Twitter; I see no need to Tweet the banal ins and outs of my day-to-day life because I already do this for the most part on my Facebook page.  This brings me to my next point, which is Twitter is essentially a status update for people without a Facebook page, or want to update their going-ons without all the hassle of setting up some ridiculous social networking site-page.

My other gripe with Twitter is that it’s a flashy “of the moment” kind of fad that I can see Dave Navarro commenting on in the next “I Love the 00s” episode.  At 140 characters, is there enough room to really get the point across that you’re out of bread or that the line at DMV is too long?

I did hear a report recently that a heart surgeon tweeted one of his open heart surgeries.  Awesome… as I’m lying on my back with my chest open and heart in a stainless steel dish next to me, the surgeon is busy bending over his keyboard instead of my slowly cooling body.

Oprah is now Tweeting too.  Great, so now my mom can be more thoroughly brainwashed.

Twitter is a lazy way to get attention and be inundated with ridiculous advertisements should you decide to “follow” a particular commercial brand or product.  My comrade in blogging arms, Hokie recently wrote about his falling out with a local brewery that he had been following on Twitter, after the company tracked him down and DEMANDED he follow them.  What came were a bunch of lame ads.

In a culture where we digitally record our favorite television shows just so we can fast forward over the commercials, we are now volunteering to be bombarded with ads from our favorite places to shop.

And maybe that’s just the ticket that companies and advertisers alike have been looking for.  Commercials On Demand.  Instead of making viewers of whatever sit through three and a half minutes of ads that we don’t care about (local used auto dealers, heavy flow maxi pads) we could curtail what ads we are subjected to by just clicking on the brands that we favor the most.

I have done this on my Facebook page, where I have become a “fan” of different brands, stores, etc, and I receive regular “status updates” from these pages which are, in fact, basically ads.  I found this to be very irksome at first, however I’ve grown to accept it.  I clicked on those items and to be associated with them, I pay the price:  which is being bombarded by daily updates from fucking Banana Republic and Outback Steak House.

But back to the topic at hand:  I hate Twitter, and I feel like its one more step in the direction of the Fall of Man.  Text messaging has crippled civilization, socked the art of conversation in the mouth, and kicked polite etiquette down a set of stairs.  How soul crushingly annoying is it to be with another human being in the same space, an in mid conversation, the faint sound of a buzzing cuts through the air, they stop mid-sentence to dig into their pocket, and return a text message on the fly.

I’m just as guilty as the next guy, because I do the same thing.  I resent my dependency on connectivity to everyone at all times, and my inner Luddite dies a little more when I follow through with ignoring of my wife, therapist, co-worker, mom, whoever  for a few seconds to send a babble of short words or phrases through the air via cellular stream.  I need to work on this; but like I said, since about the age of 16 I’ve been addicted to being connected.

This week, starting on Monday is “Digital Detox” Week, which is leading up to Earth Day next Sunday I think.  I’m not sure on those dates, and my caseworker, …er… fact checker is out of the office for some goddamn reason, but it’s a week where we can unplug ourselves from technology in order to reconnect with a life less complicated.  As granola as it sounds, it wouldn’t be the worst idea for certain people to try to get back to a life before Blackberrys, high speed internet downloads, online poker tournaments and “sexting” your high school-aged next door neighbor.

…Wait, what am I saying?  You know how many hits to my site I’d lose?!  Jesus!

Anyway, forget I said anything….

April 20, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, People I Hate, The Great Indoors | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Tea Bagging’ is Just The Tip of The Iceburg…

I’m going to be right up front with you and tell you that I have no idea what the whole “tea bagging” protests are about.  I do know it has something to do with conservatives rallying behind Rush Limbaugh, perhaps in an effort to “tea bag” the Obama Administration.  I also know that they held up my wife and I for about twenty minutes due to a protest going on between us and the Mac Store down the road…

Because, you see, the guy’s barely been in office for three months and he’s supposed to have this whole “economic mess” wrapped up by now right?  I think that’s what Mr. Limbaugh is getting at with his call to arms… or hot caffeinated beverage as it were.

I thought we elected a black guy as President, not Jesus Horatio Christ.

Anyway, so yeah, how out of touch are conservatives in the first place?  Is there anything more pretentious than tossing tea bags down on the ground?  Last time I checked, the hard working (or maybe hard laid-off) American didn’t sit around drinking tea, he or she probably drinks coffee.  Probably black, luke warm, out of a travel mug while they wait in line for a pay day advance.

Conservatives are SO FUCKING out of touch it makes me almost want to switch my party affiliation (when Ang asked me earlier today if I ever would I said no, but didn’t have a good excuse as to why I wouldn’t, but I was deft enough to leave it at that.)  Do you wanna know how out of touch conservatives are?  Let me break it down for you:  First off, where the hell were these people when George Bush was taking his time, tenderly screwing us all from behind?  You know where they were?  They were either at their Klan rally or in the cube next to you pretending to be an Obama vote.  Also, they were strategically ignoring information, as in, the reason why the national deficit has quadrupled in the last few months is because Mr. Obama has decided to include war spending for both Iraq and Afghanistan, something that Mr. Bush seemed to leave out of his annual budget for the last eight years.

Look assholes, our country is in a clusterfuck of epic proportions.  It’s not going to fix itself over night or even probably in the first year.  I mean, the guy came into a job where the last guy basically dragged his wet asshole all over the floor after leaving an upper decker (ask your dad) in the common toilet.

One last thing:  The last time a nation gathered and marched to the beat of a manic-depressive hate- mongering pill-popping orartor, wassss….. think about it.

April 15, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Living in an Insane Asylum, Out and About, People I Hate, Those Crazy Politicians, World Wide Events | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Blogging Affairs Desk

You might’ve noticed a change around the ol’ site.  Don’t worry, things are just fine and haven’t changed a bit.  Well, except that bit about the name.  I was getting tired of tagging everything with “I’m Just Saying…” so in an effort to piss off everyone who has me listed on a blog roll I changed the name.  But fret not dear readers, you can still expect to get the same quality complaining here as you have come to know and enjoy.

If it has anything to do with people famous for no reason, mind rotting reality television, or twisted personal tales of corruption involving gun violence and alcohol, it’ll be covered here at the new Blogging Affairs Desk.

I’m just… you know what I’m saying.

April 10, 2009 Posted by | Living in an Insane Asylum, Shameless Self Promotion, Too Much Time | , , | Leave a comment

Fear and Loathing At Opening Day

I honestly have no idea how to start this article.  I know I have to write it, which I think is somewhat of the roadblock in chief; that is, when I HAVE to write something, it seldom wants to come out.

I can’t FORCE it out.  I might pop an “O” Ring.

Regardless, my head is swimming with other tidbits of information that I want to put down on paper.  Britney Spears’ latest CD is actually good.  The latest Kings of Leon CD is better.  There’s no fucking jam in the fridge here at work, so how am I supposed to make my ritualistic PB+J at three in the morning to go with this cup of cheap tasting coffee?  My elbow is fucking killing me, and I wish I could juice up on steroids.  Fuck the health risks, I’m not a pro athlete nor a role model.

But I can’t talk about any of these things, because there’s a bigger story to tell, sorta.  I have to tell you about Opening Day.

***

Opening Day, for any red blooded American Male not only signifies the end of a long drawn out winter/hockey season, but traditionally it’s the real start of spring.  Look around you, men, as your favorite ball club strides out to take the field on your team’s Opening Day, and see how the women are now dressing in less.  Gone are the pea coats and scarves that cover their bodies.  They forgo turtle necks for tank tops, furry boots for flip-flops.

The calendar says Spring started weeks ago, I say it starts on Opening Day.

For the past month, the few people at my job whom I can tolerate just long enough for me to have a civil conversation with them,  planned an epic excursion to the Boston Red Sox Opening Day this past Monday.  Nate had a hook up with a guy who used to work in my company who now owns his own limo service, so we all chipped in X amount of dollars to hire him to take us into Boston and wait around for us to get absolutely shit faced while paying for the cheapest seats available to watch grown men play a game that most children get bored of playing about the same time they discover their ability to touch the tits on Next Door Nancy.

The plan went like this:  Those involved in this trip would get the day off from work, and we’d all rally at Nate’s house at for 1030 in the morning in order to catch the limo into Boston, some two hours away, to catch the 205 first pitch.  On the way into Boston, we would get absolutely shmammered by drinking an assortment of booze that we would provide ourselves, so that we wouldn’t have to pay Fenway Prices for the same experience.  We had the limo until 730 that night, so we would probably do something completely stupid, like take the limo to a casino or strip club, following the likely 530-ish end of the game, if we even made it that far without one of us passing out, getting sick or being arrested.

When the plan was first formulated there were only four of us going:  Myself, Kev, Rog, and Nate, plus one guest apiece.  I was obviously going to bring Ang along, but as the date crept closer, she became more skittish about piling into a limo with a bunch of rowdy 20-somethings to get drunk and watch baseball all afternoon on a Monday.  Same went for Rog’s female guest, who was supposed to be flying in from Miami, but backed out at the last minute.  This left Nate with his girlfriend Michelle, who suddenly became the only female on the trip.

Kev had to drop out all together from the limo ride as he found out his wife’s sister and husband were going to the game as well, and he would meet us at the park by taking his own transportation, in order to meet with his extended family first.  So now what had started at a limo of 8, whittled back down to four.

In our excitement of the upcoming event, we (the original) four blabbed the event all over work, causing some less-than-desirable characters from around the office to pop their heads up from behind their cubes and pretty much invite themselves along.  How do you say “no” to someone with whom you work, who tends to think their included in your clique?  So, in an act similar to shooting yourself in the foot, once said foot has been firmly placed into your mouth the invitations were extended to the other folks.

The upside was that now the cost of the limo could be spread out a little thinner; instead of four people paying a total of 700 bucks, it was now seven people, 100 smackers per person, which if you know anything about attending a Sox game, is the cost of admission alone.  Parking anywhere in the vicinity of Fenway Park and its tangle of neighborhood streets will run the average dupe from Rhode Island or New Hampshire fifty bucks, plus a six block hike to get to Yawkey Way or Lansdowne St, whichever gate they’re sitting at.  Tickets for the game cost an average of 70 bucks last time I bothered to look which was last season.  Concessions at America’s Oldest Ballpark will run you about $4.25 for a fucking hotdog, $4.50 for a Coors Light draught which is 40% foam.  The average family of four, not counting souvenirs like t-shirts, bobble headed dolls, baseball caps, etc, is looking at roughly a 500 dollar day to watch 9 innings of baseball you can watch for free at home.

You’re paying for the EXPERIENCE.

So I was grateful to squeak by with only paying a fraction of the cost, for an Opening Day game, which was a repeat of last year’s American League Championship Series against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

I had never been to ANY Opening Day, ever.  I had been to some great games at Fenway, including a bunch of Sox/Yankees games from the late 90s and early 00s where Pedro Martinez faced off against an aged Roger Clemons.  I even got to see a game from a swanky Sky Box the same year that the All-Star game was being held at Fenway.  But no, Opening Day, what I consider in the world of Fandom to be the equivalent to standing in the first row of runners at the start of the Boston Marathon, had never come my way.  I was so excited about this trip that I had special Red Sox t shirts made up for both me and my wife, with our names on the backs, with the numbers representing our birth years.  Hers is red, mine’s the traditional blue.  I bought a new light jacket.  I purchased roughly fifty dollars in booze.  I stretched.  All I fucking did was chatter about Opening Day for the weeks and days leading up to it.

On the day in question, I got up early and got dressed, kissed the wife goodbye and heeded her advice about bail.  I made a few phone calls to the guys as if there was anything else they needed and took a short list with me to the local Luke’s Liquors dressed in all my Opening Day Garb.

I was walking on sunshine even though the weather was predicted to be nasty.  All weekend long we had been monitoring the forecast which called for 80% rain on Monday, Opening Day.  But I had an incredibly optimistic outlook, trying to send good vibes to the Weather Channel Gods, to keep the rain away for a day or better.  And besides, what little rain was being forecasted was going to hit in the middle of the afternoon, so there was still a good chance we would be able to catch a few miserable innings without a shining sun to warm us before knocking off to look at gyrating tits in a poorly lit strip club in New Jersey – possibly.

So into the Luke’s I walk, whistling some tune, grabbing a green grocery cart and pushing it up and down the short aisles, grabbing a few bottles of Sprite, a 12 pack of Molson Canadian, two bottles of cheapish champagne, some fruit punch, cups, ice, and to substitute my usual 20 oz Sapporo, a 32 oz Sam Adams.  I wheel all of this up to the register, which is manned by a mustached older gentleman who looks and sounds like an old sergeant I used to work for when I was a cop.

“Going to Opening Day?”  He asks as he rings in my order.

“Yuh,” I say between whistling and snapping my fingers from behind a pair of sunglasses.

“I can tell,” he beeps another bottle on to the receipt.  “You know they canceled the game though, right?”  He’s looking at me over the tops of his glasses the same way my old sarge used to when he would be correcting one of my reports.  I stop in mid beat, mid snap and mid whistle, and look at him.

“You’re fucking with me,” I say, looking into his face for any signs of a gag, a joke, a “HA, you’re on Candid Camera!”  But there’s nothing.

“No seriously, they just canceled it because of the weather.”  And he’s completely serious.

“Nah!”  I object.  Normally they won’t call a game until at least an hour before the first pitch.  To call an afternoon game in the middle of the morning was ridiculous.  The man behind the counter reaches over and turns up his radio, which is tuned into WEEI, the local sports talk radio.  Larry Luccino, one of the principal owners of the Red Sox franchise, is being interviewed:

“We at the Red Sox organization wanted to save everyone the hassle and just call the game now, ahead of time, we feel it would be irresponsible of us to make everyone come out to the park just to wait around, get cold and wet, to hear the inevitable.  All of our forecasters are predicting 100% rain at the time of the first pitch,” and he went on.

I must’ve looked like I just got punched in the dick, because the guy behind the counter, who was boxing up my booze looks at me from over his glasses and offers:

“Hey, I hate to be the barer of bad news but…” and he trails off.  I’m stunned and the look on the face of the guy who works the early shift at the local liquor store is one of a person who has just molested a five year old at the circus.  I numbly pick up my box of stuff and walk out the door.

Once I get into Ang’s car (we switched for the day) I dug into my pocket and called Nate and gave him the bad news.  Apparently they hadn’t heard yet and like AIDS I was giving them same diseased information I had just received from someone else.  He told me to come out anyway so we could formulate a back up plan.

Heading over, I somewhat figured it wouldn’t be a total bust.  I was nearly certain that the “undesirables” wouldn’t have shown up namely because they were all talk and hardly ever came out to the wild shit me and my clique did in our off time, including parties, etc.  So imagine my surprise when I walk through the door to Nate’s house, that they’re both sitting on the couch dumbly watching television.

At least one of them put forth the effort to at least wear a Red Sox t shirt.  The other was dressed as if he was going to spend the rest of his day on a couch while his kids ran around the living room screaming at the tops of their lungs.  My mood went from bad to worse faster than it takes Dick Cheney to kill something.  I shuffled into the apartment, digging my 32 oz of Sam Adams out of the box and asked for a Church Key to open it.  I sucked it down bitterly as the discussion turned towards alternatives for the day’s plans.

Mind you, we still hadn’t paid for the limo yet, which was on its way.  How easy would it be for us to just call the guy off and cut our losses here and now, send everyone home to our wives, kids, girlfriends and Xboxes, divvy up the booze and say “see ya back at the office!”  It wouldn’t be hard at all, but the look in everyone’s eyes, including those who were not explicitly invited, said one word and one word only:  party.

The room was split down the middle as far as what to tell this fucking limo driver when he showed up:  Michelle, Rog and one of the undesirables wanted to go to a casino, Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun, whichever was closer and had the most affordable slots.  The other undesirable, Nate and another guy in our clique, Bryce voted for going into Boston and bar hop.  Granted, this was the safer option as it had no chance of me blowing a bunch of money on “black” but it was a sour taste in my mouth to go into Boston in a limo to pay for booze I already paid for, plus the fact that it was going to be with people I couldn’t stand.

I had to cast the deciding vote, of course.

I weighed out everyone’s arguments while seated on a toilet and judiciously proclaimed that we would split the difference between the two venues.  We’d travel to Boston to see Kev and his people, have a few drinks, and by early afternoon start the trek to one of the casinos in Connecticut where we would most likely encounter enough vice to send us all back to church the following weekend.  This seemed agreeable to most everyone and at the same time we reached the consensus, the limo pulled up to the house.

I was half expecting something ridiculous, unrestrained and gawdy, like when you’re driving down the highway and pass a stretched Ford Excursion or something else that seems to defy carbon footprint-logic.  What pulled up was an all white Lincoln, similar to what most people see in prom photos.  The driver was the same guy that Nate knew from the limo company and handshakes were had all around.  Booze was loaded along with people and soon gangsta rap music was being bumped loud enough for the driver to give up trying to explain the “rules” to a bunch of rowdy kids.

I quickly positioned myself into the furthest reaches of the 14 passenger limo, nearest to the whiskey canters where I started pouring myself a triple and adding a slice of lime for visual effects.  Everyone else started cracking open Bud Lights and breaking balls.

By the time we got into Boston, not a single drop of rain nor whiskey had spilt.  I was floaty-drunk, giddy, piss-filled and cramped from the fact that my knees were up near my chest as I tried to get a little room away from the undesirable that was donkey-laughing in my ear for the last 90 minutes.

One more round, please!

We arrived at Faneuil Hall and staggered out of the limo to find the skies gray and foreboding.   The gaggle of Red Sox adorned drunkards marched down the street towards the Black Rose, a pub/restaurant where we all agreed we would need some high carb food to help balance out the elevated levels of booze in our systems.  I ordered a turkey sandwich and split an order of onion rings with everyone at the table, making sure not to make too big of a pig of myself, risking falling off of my diet.  I washed down my meal with a tall black Guinness.

One of the undesirables was an older guy who shall remain nameless who tends to be the “mother” of the group, which means he’s usually a fucking downer.  All morning and into the evening I would catch him giving me dirty, disapproving glances, overhear him mentioning to someone else how “drunk” and “out of control” I was.

In reality, I was drunk, yes, but not to the point of being out of control.  Being drunk and out of control would be defined as staggering around with one’s pants around their knees, waving a pistol around in a public place, like a subway (the train or the sandwich shop, whichever is appropriate).  I did not partake in this behavior.

No, instead I simply drank quietly and staggered around, bumping into the occasional wall or barstool, fielding calls from my wife with a drunk accent so potent that even Ang could smell the booze on my breath on her end of the call.  I was at no time a hazard to anyone, except maybe a few waitress who weren’t moving fast enough to keep a fresh flow of booze coming my way.

But still, his comments towards me, not to me, were irksome.  If I really had been out of control, I imagine I probably would’ve said something to this guy in the form of kicking him square in the face with a black Chuck Taylor.

When I wasn’t dealing with him and his frowning disapproval of my good time, (“he’s going to end up getting us all arrested!” I would overhear him saying with actual worry to Rog, which somehow proves that this guy has never been drunk in public in his life) I was dealing with the other undesirable buying me drinks and giving me shoulder rubs.

Now, I’m all for another guy buying me drinks all night.  This would explain why I hang out in gay bars.  However, when another man’s hands touch me – to do of all things, rub my shoulders (?!), I get antsy and nervous.  I was almost waiting for him to offer me a blow job in the bathroom, to which I would’ve probably shot him on sight.  I’m not homophobic, I just think I’m classier than being taken to some bar bathroom.

So because of all this, my mood was darkening.  I soon removed myself from just about everyone in the party due to my drunken boredom with the people and activities.  We wound up playing billiards at Jillian’s, a bar a block from Fenway that is half arcade/bowling alley/pool hall, half restaurant.  I tried playing a few games but tired after my hand-eye coordination made it nearly impossible for me to make shots I would otherwise make blindfolded.  Deeper into the pit of boredom I fell.

We soon took off, back to the Cape, music playing in the limo with me laying down in one of the corner seats, alternating between texting Ang, reading the NY Times on my Blackberry, and telling everyone that I was “fine” and “just tired, ready to get home.”  What was supposed to be a male adulthood adventure turned out to be something like a flaccid attempt at coitus where you substitute the frustration of Blue Balls with the frustration of Just Wanting to Get Home Already coupled with an idiot playing with the “mood lighting” in the limo every twenty or so seconds.

No, Opening Day, … what was supposed to be the Real Opening Day, was a complete bust.  The game was rescheduled for the following day at 405, which turned out to be beautiful.  The Sox stomped the Rays 5 to 1, Becket pitching a strong 7 innings only giving up three hits and the one run.

Don’t tell anyone, but we’re planning another trip, this time, Nate, Kev and I are going to attempt to go see the Sox play the queeahs from New York on the 24th.  If anyone else asks, tell them the games on the 28th.

I’m just saying….

April 10, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Fear and Loathing, Gonzo Journalism, Living in an Insane Asylum, Out and About, People I Hate | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Unmailed Letters: Fully Moved In Edition.

Sometimes it’s better to write out letters to people who piss you off and NOT mail them.  Here at IJS, we encourage this behavior, however have found that we have to revoke Jim’s postal stamp priveledges.  -ed.

Dear White Trash Across The Street,

I wanted to drop you a quick line and tell you all to die.  My wife and I do not appreciate your loud, drunken beer can and bit-o-wood fights you have with each other on your front lawn, which is strewn with automobile and what I assume to be non-functioning tractor parts.  Every ten minutes the quiet ambience of our world is shattered with the sounds of a garage door being flung open and some sort of conversation that is being shouted instead of spoken like a normal human being.

So for these crimes, the next time – and I assume it will be soon – you bunch get rowdy at 8 am on a Saturday morning when my wife and I are trying to sleep in, I plan on positioning myself with a pneumatic BB gun with a Tasco 3 power scope and start raining pain on you from the third story of the building across from you.  I’m aiming for necks, foreheads, beer cans, genitals and whatever else I feel will be necessary to drive the lot of you back indoors at least temporary.

Thanks,
Your new neighbors.

To The People Who Live In Our Building,

Why the fuck does it smell like some sort of garlic shrimp dish every time I walk in the hallways?  It’s like as soon as I heave open the heavy security door down stairs, I’m slapped in the face with this gut curdling aroma of 3rd world country cuisine and unwashed feet.  Can any of you backwater Haitians explain this to me?

Or maybe it’s because we’re white and are not used to the smell of whatever ethnic food you either spilled in the hallway and never bothered to clean up, or are constantly cooking.  Seriously, it smells like Top Ramen on steroids and it’s nauseating.

I’m actually embarrassed to bring people over for fear I’m going to have to explain this shit-smell to them.

And what’s the deal with you keeping your apartment door open all the time?  I step out to take the trash to the dumpster and I’m looking into your living room.  And then there’s this sketchy kid of yours, who’s sitting on the couch, looking back at me, like I’m the one with the problem.

If you want to keep your door open, ok, cool.  Just don’t be surprised when I throw a canister of CS gas into your apartment to knock down the smell of god knows what goat-like animal you’re boiling in your kitchen.

Sincerely,
Those White Folks Across The Hall Who Just Moved In.

To The Drug Dealer Down Stairs,

No thank you, I do not need your help moving shit into our apartment, please stop asking questions about “what’s in the safe.”  There’s nothing in this big green locked box except instruments of death and destruction.  But since you’ve introduced yourself, I’ve found it impossible to keep the box for it’s intended purpose, instead keeping my shotgun and pistol at easy access should you do enough cocaine to give you the balls to try to burgle my apartment in the middle of the night.

You know how I know you’re a drug dealer?  You wear nothing but sweat pants, drive a BMW 525i, and walk around with half-lidded eyes all the time.  Sure you’re friendly, because you’re a business man always looking for a new customer, but I’m sure your attitude towards us will change once you realize what I do for a living and how close I come to ramming a nine inch combat knife through your neck every time I see your face.
Keep your fucking distance,
Jim.

To The Person Who Designed Our Parking Lot, and the People Who Use It,

I have no idea what schedule drug you were smoking when you designed that parking lot sir, but it’s a shit show.  It’s a grand mal shit show.  It’s defunctionalism at it’s most ardent level.

You do realize that most automobiles are like, at least 8 feet across by at least 20 or so feet long?  If you understand that, then why would you make the parking spaces roughly 7.5 feet wide by 15 feet long?

Seriously, trying to wedge my truck into a parking space in that parking lot is like playing the game Operation.  I’ve also seen on two occasions already, other tenants scraping their rear quarters against the rear quarter of another tenants vehicle and do nothing but pull forward, adjust their tires and try again, and then pull away without a second thought.

What the fuck?

I also love how there’s one spot per apartment, and yet it seems everyone that lives in this complex has nine cars.  There’s also only so many “guest spots” in the lot, which usually get taken either by guests, or more often than not, other tenants and their non-functioning vehicles.  This will result in me parking behind my wife’s car, causing my giant black truck to stick way out into the middle parking lot, a target for any coke-tripping asshole to slam into my rear end, and not bother to stop to leave a note.

I refuse to leave my motorcycle in this lot, period.

Oh, and the fucking pile up of… random ass cars and trucks left on that strip of grass out front is real classy.  I love the fact we have a decrepit limousine from some 1980s era porno movie just sitting out there, not being moved or used for anything.  Makes pulling out of the lot real easy.  Really, you son of a bitch.

Staying up all night waiting to hear the sound of a car-on-car crash,
Jim and Ang.

To The Owners of Our Apartment,

I don’t even know where to begin with you two.  It shows you really don’t care about your tenants when it takes you a month to deposit a rent check, because of a first name error on the second parties name.  Fuck that.  I’m sure the check was sitting around on someone’s desk and it became one of those “oh shit, I forgot it again,” things.

Do you know how nerve racking it is to have 900 dollars sitting in your bank account, and you’re afraid to spend any money because you don’t want the first rent check to bounce?  Fuck you, both of you, I’ve never met such unprofessional landlords.

Looking for loopholes in the lease,
Jim and Ang.

To The Realtor,

You’re a scumbag.  You’re so much of a scumbag that you freak out my wife and she has fears that you’re going to let yourself into the apartment and rape her.

You’re a fucking Window Nazi too.  You interrupted my shower to complain about a window that was slightly cracked open cuz Ang had been smoking.  You were all condescending about it too, eating a fucking snack and asking me if the “heat was ok.”  I was in a towel, but I would’ve dropped it and rushed you had there been any further sign of provocation.

If it weren’t for the fact that the rent was cheaper than where we were living previously, and that the owners pay for the heat, I’d walk down to your office and kick you square in the balls in front of a group of people.

Pissed Enough to Maybe Actually Do It,
Jim.

I’m just saying…

April 4, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Gonzo Journalism, Living in an Insane Asylum, People I Hate, The Great Indoors | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Measuring Desperate Measures

I spend a lot of time leafing through unclehenrys.com, a somewhat analog version of eBay for Maine and New Hampshire.  Mostly I use this to find guns being sold privately by old Vietnam vets who live in trailers out in the woods.

On their website’s opening page, a weekly poll is taken with usually three or four answers to choose from.  I never pay much attention to the poll, but this week’s caught my eye.  To wit:

“If times got real tough, what would you give up last?”  With the choices of “Computer” “Cell Phone” and “Gun.”

I was bemused by the question and possible answers so I submitted my answer after a little careful consideration.  I thought about the answer I wanted to give, based on the answer in all reality I would give should the need arise, and also based on past experience.

I decided that likely, the last thing I would give up would be my cell phone.  The relationship I have with my Blackberry is almost like one I would have with my own parents.  I depend on my phone for nearly everything as far as communicating with the outside world, keeping important dates and information in line, etc.  I cannot readily function without my goddamn cell phone, sad to say.  I didn’t choose my computer because in it’s condition I doubt I’d get much money for it, and in all likelihood, I’d probably pawn off my guns first anyway.

But what I was surprised to see, as a result, was that more than half of the poll takers (56% at the time of this posting) chose to retain their weapons despite everything, which I found unsettling, obviously.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, but what is this information really telling us?

I understand that the majority of the people who use unclehenrys.com are gun-owning Red Staters, who have tattoo’d on to their bodies Charlton Heston’s immortal “You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold dead hands!”  And even though in my heart I didn’t want to part with my guns first, I knew I would have to, due to it’s being the least utilitarian device I own.

Does this mean that when Mainers are pressed with hard economic times, we’ll be mugging each other on the streets of Portland?

Likely not.  More likely it means that Mainers (at least this sampling of Mainers who took the poll) are more or less afraid of someone coming to rob them in the middle of the night.  They hear stories about masked bandits breaking into homes to rip off small electronics to sell for a cheap high.  Meth in Maine is still a problem; however, instances of home invasion are still low.

Lower than the Cape at least.

The fear is reflective of the fact that people are more likely to believe in their unwarranted fears in tough economic times, because they do not want to become the next “somebody” that they keep hearing about.  That “somebody” whose home was broken into and wife and daughter was tied up and left for days to eat the duct tape off their faces.

This has happened to no one.  It’s little more than an internet rumor.  But in hard times, people will believe almost anything.  Ask any snake oil salesman.

I’m just saying….

April 4, 2009 Posted by | Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Too Much Time | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hey, Got Any Cake?!

Good news:  I’ve officially lost and managed to keep off twelve + pounds since I started my work out and diet program a few months ago.

Bad news:  I’m now addicted to “cake.”

“Cake” as it’s now known on the streets is a powder or crystal form of weight loss protein shake supplement that encourages lean muscle growth, suppresses appetite, and heals muscles that tear under work out conditions.

I’m addicted and here’s how I know:  I got off the stuff for a week, yet continued to work out and holy shit did I feel it.

Muscles that normally are ready to go the next day were sore as shit.  I was tired, feeling like I spent the night letting punk teenagers beat the shit out of me with metal baseball bats and chains.  I would wake up at 0445 to get up for a three mile run feeling like I had been hit by a bus and dragged the three miles.  It was enough to make me turn over and go back to bed for another hour.

Which I did.  Twice.

But the tale of the tape is this, Cake is working and worth every penny of the fifty sum-odd bucks I pay for it twice a month to get me through.  I’ve trimmed down and have definition in my ab area.  My chest is tighter, not so saggy.   If I stand in front of the gym mirrors wearing all my UnderArmor I look like a fucking X-Men.

Responsibility lays somewhat with my diet too.  I do two “cake shakes” a day for the protein, plus I’ve been monitoring my portions and actually chewing my food.  The easiest way to do this is by simply PUTTING THE FOOD DOWN when you’re chewing a bite.  Set the fork down, enjoy the flavors in your mouth.  It doesn’t have to be shoveled into your mouth and swallowed.  What are you doing that’s so important later in the day that you can’t enjoy the meal?

In a survey taken by some health magazine I was reading in a waiting room last year, ¾ of Americans don’t eat breakfast.  Eating breakfast alone will set your metabolism for the day; it’s like hooking your thyroid up to a car battery.  This means less snacking in front of the screen while you sit on your ass and file TPS reports.  Breakfast doesn’t have to be a Denny’s Grand Slam either (unless you’re still drunk at 3am), you can do what I do and have a fig bar or banana with your morning Cake Shake and call it good.

In our society we’re too conditioned to our half hour lunch breaks, skipping breakfasts, and finding a way to get something in our stomachs for dinner.  In America we try to do as much shit as we possibly can in a 24 hour period, and for what?  We forgo sleep and food to get in extra hours at the office.  No wonder why a third of the population is obese.

We need to take the European approach and actually stop what we’re doing and enjoy the little things in life.  Think about it:  Fuck the economy, the bad news, the impending depression, doom, gloom, etc, and eat a fucking apple on a park bench.  Enjoy and chew each bite.  Listen to the sounds around you and avoid eye contact with the hedge funder who’s rattling a can of pencils in your face.

Oh, one the side affects of “cake” is it makes you an idealist.  Also, gives you great abs and defined shoulders.

I’m just saying….

April 2, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Gonzo Journalism, Not Enough Time, Shameless Self Promotion | , , , , , | 2 Comments