The Blogging Affairs Desk

When It’s Good, It’s Good, When It’s BAD, It’s Better…

Best of The BAD: Bullet Shortage

I’m transitioning into a new gig at my job and because of this things have been and will continue to be pretty hectic for me.  So, as a service to you, the readers, I’ve pulled some of what I consider to be my best article from the past year, and I’m re-running them for a little while.

I will be running new content once a week over at IRdC, as soon as my editors send me some topics.

But yeah, in the meantime, enjoy these re-runs.  This 3000 word article ran back last summer;  it was a report on not only a nation-wide ammunition shortage, but the intricacies of a local gun show.  NPR, eat your heart out.

I hope you enjoy it.

***

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, 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 owners, 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-foot 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 (there were probably a dozen other customers standing right next to me who heard his generous offer of 850, who no doubt would sweep in on that deal after I walked away).  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.

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 100%.

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.

February 11, 2010 Posted by | Around The Office, Living in an Insane Asylum, Those Crazy Politicians, World Wide Events | , , | Leave a comment

FNG

FNG (Military Jargon, noun, pronounced Eff-En-Gee): Inexperienced personnel that requires extensive training and supervision; Fucking New Guy, see also: Rookie.

Where I work there’s a high rate of turn over.  People come and people go like the breeze.  Of course, as a product of this, we’re always getting a new guy who is absolutely clueless as to what’s going on.

I come back from being away for pretty much a month to find in my office this kid.  And by “kid” I mean this guy is 18 years old, fresh out of where ever he came from, complete with teenage acne, patchy facial hair and a lack of eye contact.  His stature is smaller than my 120 lb, 5’4″ wife.  My waist line is probably the same as his chest size (32 inches).  He looks lost and confused, stuck behind my desk like a wadded up bad idea that didn’t make it to the trash can.

Jesus.

“Who are you?”  I ask.  He gives me his name, not with a lot of confidence but not exactly whispering it either.  I ask him what the hell he’s doing in my office and he tells me that he was told to come here so I could help train him, make him the man that I am.  I smile, pull my hoodie off from my head to reveal my vacation Mohawk, drop my bag and walk to down to my little room where I change clothes and use the bathroom.

I find out that one of my superiors has passed the buck to me to train this guy.  He, the superior, sugar coats his reasoning to me as I’m standing in front of him with a frothy toothbrush hanging out of my mouth.

“Jim, you’re the best we got in your department.  I don’t have the time to sit down and show this kid the ropes, it’s up to you.  He’s your pet now.”  I’m told.  I reply back that I already have a 50 lb Labrador that thinks it’s a lapdog, I don’t need another.  As he walks away, my superior curtly tells me to “get it done” and not in the ironic Larry the Cable Guy way either.

So I come back to my office and I’m looking at this kid.  He tells me his name and I tell him mine and we go from there.  He has a lot of questions about me (which I sort’ve fend off), about our work (which I try not to be negative about, but I don’t sugar coat it either) and what’s to be expected of him.  To this I tell him:

“Just show up on time, ready to work.  Have a good attitude even in the shittiest of situations, be prepared to take criticism, and learn from your mistakes.”  All generic advice, but advice I should probably learn to take as well.

I was once the ‘new guy’ too, and probably shared this kid’s ridiculous sense of nervousness.  Two months ago this guy was probably busying himself with Xbox and skateboards or whatever it is kids do now-a-days.  Now he’s showing up to work with his first very own real apartment that he’s just realizing that he has to fully furnish.

True story, when I dropped that bit of knowledge on him, he looked like I just hit him in the chest with a baseball bat.

“You mean they don’t furnish the apartments?”  He asked.

“Well, I mean, some they do, but usually not.  I mean, there’s going to be appliances and shit, but-”

“Like a blender?”

“What?”

“You said appliances…”

“Yeah, like a stove and a fridge…”

“Oh.  So like a couch?”

“No, that’s furniture, that’s not an appliance.”

“Oh.”

Wow.

I’m ten years older than this kid, so I can’t talk to you like I grew up in the ‘old days’ but seriously, I was kinda-sorta on my own by his age, living a few states away and getting by just fine.  I didn’t know how the world worked then, and even now I only have half a clue.  The difference between Me Now and Me Then is that now I know where to look for answers to life’s questions, like ‘when can I contribute to my IRA again for 2010’ and ‘How fucking fast does a cheetah run?”

I go to Google.

This kid hasn’t figured that out yet, and it’s up to me to show him.

It’s an amazing amount of responsibility, and it’s not a task I feel like undertaking with my usual blasé approach .  The last time I took a kid under my wing it resulted in him going overseas to fight pirates in the Gulf of Aden.  Do I want to be responsible for telling this kid’s parents that their son got shanked by some opportunistic jihadist with a hatred of corn-fed Americans and a love of sharp knives?  No.  Absolutely not.

That and I don’t want this kid to pick up my bad habits, which I’m sure he will anyway.  I don’t want him to have my sour attitude or my apparent lack of serious maturity.  As another one of my co-workers put it, when they learned I was going to be sitting on this egg of an FNG until he hatched into a productive member of our team: “He’s going to learn all the bad things you do, but hopefully, he’ll learn all the good things you do around here, too.”

It’s just a process that I’m becoming all too familiar with.  It’s a cycle, because likely, in 6 months, this kid will have moved on to bigger and better things, and I’ll be walking into my office to stare at the next little fucker that’s come down the line.

January 8, 2010 Posted by | Around The Office, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Getting Older, Smells Like Children | , | Leave a comment

350 Million People CAN be wrong….

So I restarted my Facebook account over the weekend, but only out of necessity.  You see, when we moved into our new digs, we neglected to check our cell phones to see what kind of reception we would be getting with the place until after we signed all the paper work and checks, etc.

Turns out, we’re lucky to get one bar, by the windows.  Usually it’s no bars or the dreaded ‘no signal’.  However, both those options are better than “searching….” being displayed, because while ‘searching’ for a signal, your phone traditionally uses more battery power, as it tries to boost it’s internal antenna to grab a signal it thinks is just out of its reach.

We’ve been getting by just on internet alone.  Thankfully having wifi enabled phones allows us to connect to our internet connection at home, so our iPhones aren’t just expensive paper weights that I drop 175 bucks on a month.

The problem becomes when one of us is home and the other is out and about running errands or working.  There’s no way to make a phone call or send a text to the person who’s away because there’s no cell reception.  We found this out relatively quickly on one of our first nights at the new apt when I ran out to the store to get milk, and Ang wanted me to pick up Nilla Wafers and paper towels as well.

Without ‘Push’ notification, email on the iPhone only updates every 15 minutes, meaning I could’ve gone to the store and came back in the amount of time it would’ve taken me to get the message if I wasn’t constantly refreshing my gmail (Apple offers MobileMe, which for a subscription price of 100 bucks a year, you get Push and Cloud features)

There’s the option of getting a traditional landline, an option I’m still giving deep consideration to.  My job somewhat dictates that I be accessible at all hours, and if I don’t have a working phone, it’s an issue.  My company actually provides free (1980s era) cell phones to employees who don’t have or can’t afford a cell phone, they’re that serious.

The problem with a landline is that it’s going to cost an arm and a leg down the line.  Comcast (our cable and internet monopoly provider) offers a deal where if you get cable, internet and a phone line you only pay like 100 bucks a month, oppose to just having cable and internet (like we do) and paying 110-120 bucks a month (like we do).

The rub is that after 6 months, Comcast jacks the price of the service up to 140 clams, leaving you either with the option to get rid of something, or pay out the ass.

I spoke with the installation tech who hooked up our cable and internet at the new apartment about the offer and this is what he said:

Call and speak to a customer service rep,” he suggested while speaking in an Irish brogue.  “They can sometimes set up deals with customers, like extended contacts for a certain price per month, that sort of thing,”

“But, what if I don’t want to pay the corporation, … maybe I’d rather just deal with the man on the street?”  I hinted.  He grinned a gnarled grin that only someone with a knowledge of the British Isles could love and brushed off the obvious attempted bribe.

Sorry, it’s not the same as it used to be, where we could just program the box to give you free HBO or Pay-Per-View, it’s all monitored and regulated by dispatchers now, sorry.  But seriously, give them a call, and see if they’ll work with you.  They’re more inclined to make a deal, because it’s money in their pocket in the long run,” and he has a point.

Though, he did fuck up the install, requiring me to call Comcast later that night from the end of the driveway.  While some phone jockey gave me instructions on rebooting our modem and changing out the signal to our wifi, I had to place my phone in the dirt and run back and forth from our apartment to take the necessary steps in ensuring our computers had proper internet connection.  So what does he know, really?

The next option we briefly explored was using Skype, the Voice Over Internet Protocol service that let’s people video chat for free around the world.

Skype would’ve been a great fix-it option if it weren’t for the fact you need wifi to make it work.  Due to AT&T’s business practices, apps and services like Skype can’t make calls on the infamously bogged down 3G Network.  Calling out from home would be no problem, since there’s wifi there; it would be making calls to home where we’d need to find a hotspot someplace.

I found this out while at work all weekend, where I desperately ran around my office’s property in the dead of night with my phone out in front of me, trying to locate the strongest unlocked wifi signal from the surrounding houses so I could steal some bandwidth and call my wife.

Hint:  If your wireless network is named ‘linksys’, I’m pretty sure it’s being abused by some dude parked out front of your house right now with a laptop full of porn.

So, tired of emailing back and forth, which in this day-n-age without Push Notification is similar to communicating by message in a bottle, Ang suggested I open the dusty crypt that held my old Facebook account, reactivate it, and use the chat on there.

The Facebook iPhone App isn’t bad, and I don’t have a real beef with it.  Its minimalist, like how Facebook used to be, easy to navigate and its chat feature is similar to the iPhone’s SMS/MMS screen.

It was a gut wrenching decision, honestly, because I wanted to leave Facebook behind me.  I’m 28 years old, and in my humble opinion, I’m in the waning years of online social networking.  I use Twitter extensively, because there’s no real bells or whistles to it; I post something that’s on my mind, or post a link to this blog, and let it ride from there.

With Facebook, there’s too much required involvement.  I have to ‘poke’ back everyone that pokes me, even if I don’t want to.  Someone’s bound to send me some virtual gift that I sure as hell don’t want, but will have to comment on, lest I look like a fucking Scrooge.

There are too many people for me to keep in touch with as ‘friends’ only because they’re associated with people I interact with.  I don’t want to get status updates (and subsequently the notifications regarding a status I commented on from people I don’t even know) from the wife of a guy I work with, because she decided to ‘friend’  me after raiding her husband’s friend’s list and wanted to pad her own numbers.

I can’t reject her request, because then I’ll hear about it from the guy:

“Dude, be friends with my wife,” I don’t even know her name!  I just have the unsolicited knowledge that you two like to ‘do it’ doggystyle!

And speaking of  the people I work with,  I’d like to keep most of them at an arm’s reach distance.  I can’t unfriend them, because again, I’ll fucking hear about it in real life.

And that’s really the point: when I got rid of Facebook, the biggest reason of all was to reduce the amount of ridiculous , unnecessary drama that was bleeding into my life.  With anyone with a set of ovaries who posted on my wall, I’d be grilled by my wife and her Spetznas-like interrogation tactics.

Have you ever been waterboarded while trying to make pancakes for breakfast?  It sucks.

But wanting to be able to at least text with my wife meant more to me than dealing with Facebook and the bullshit associated with it.  Fuck it, I thought, who cares?

Within 24 hours I was back to checking my News Feed every twenty minutes.

Fuck you Facebook.  Fuck you.

December 8, 2009 Posted by | Around The Office, Blogging Couple, Corporate America Hates You, Getting Older, Gonzo Journalism, Living in an Insane Asylum, People I Hate, People I Love, The Great Indoors | , , , , | 2 Comments

My Brush with Grad School

About a week ago, I got bit by some bug of ambition.

I don’t recall exactly where I was or what I was doing, but suddenly it became very clear to me that I wanted to attend grad school.

Way back in the early years of 2006 I graduated college with a BA in Criminal Justice (nearly double minored, by the way…) and since then I’ve been of the mind that it was “good enough” to have just a bachelors.

But honestly, and this isn’t anything you don’t already know, a bachelors isn’t jack shit anymore.  It’s nice to have, but really, who doesn’t have a bachelors in something?

Today’s bachelor’s is yesterdays high school diploma.  It’s sad AND true.

So maybe that’s what I was thinking when I set into motion a desire to do more with my education.

According to US News and World Reports, the percentage of master’s degrees being earned online is roughly 7%, up from 2% just two years ago.  Add to that the fact that I work a steady job that puts me in front of a computer for at least eight hours out of every 50, going the online degree route was an ideal choice for me.

I know what you’re thinking: DeVry or Phoenix or any one of those “cyber universities” is as legit as a doctorate from Mickey D’s U.  I agree.  So my search consisted of actual stone-and-mortar universities that had an online “distance” learning apparatus.

To my surprise, a lot of major colleges are getting into this online gig, because it’s another way to make money.

See, colleges and universities see it like this:  We have a prospective student who’d LOVE to come to our school, can afford it, but lives in Indo-China.  Let’s set it up so he can “attend” classes, earn his degree, and more importantly, still pay us for his education.

It’s simple economics.

I learned early on in my collegiate career that you don’t technically have to attend classes, just as long as you have a course syllabus, get your papers in on time, and show up for the midterm and final.  Being in the classroom for lectures is just bonus.

So I settled on a school that was both prestigious and local: Boston University has an extensive master’s program in Criminal Justice, and since I already hold a degree in that arena it was a natural fit.

What also spurred my decision was that my employer offers Tuition Assistance, which from what I understand is fairly easy to apply for, as a few of my co-workers sing it’s praises with their own online college experiences.

Little did I know, however, what the school wanted in “tuition” and what was being offered for “assistance” were two figures far apart.  BU wanted just over 30 grand to attend their grad school for just under two years.  If you broke it down by semester hour, it was something like 500 bucks per hour.

And I don’t fault BU for those numbers.  Ranked in the top 20 schools by US News and World Reports, their grad school is prestigious stuff.  Just to be able to say you hold a graduate degree from Boston University should open doors like saying “Open Sesame.”

Now on the other hand, my company’s “Tuition Assistance” would only cover me for roughly 4500 dollars A YEAR.  This is a generous amount of money, however it does lend to people setting their sights lower.

I get paid a decent amount of money, which I’m somewhat horrible at budgeting, which in turn is frustrating because I like to consider myself somewhat financially savvy.  My rent gets paid, there’s always food in our house, our cars always have gas, and our pets are always able to get the care they need, should it arise.  However, I’m also still paying off 25 grand in student loans, a 300 dollar a month truck loan, my and my wife’s cell phone service, which I’m sure if we had cheaper phones, wouldn’t be too much of a problem, a growing credit card bill, utilities, food, etc…

I can’t rightfully expect to take on a new loan.

But BU wasn’t having it. They wanted me, and subsequently my money.  They sic’d their attack dog on me, this dude name Andre.  Andre was very excited when I told him my background.

“Whoa, so you already have your bachelor’s in Criminal Justice from John Jay?  That’s a good school, I know them.”  I thought he was blowing smoke up my ass, and maybe after all he was.  No one knows about John Jay except for hardcore CJ types; FBI guys, NYPD brass, etc.  On my old truck I used to have a “John Jay College of Criminal Justice” alumni sticker on the back window.  It would actually get me out of tickets.

“That place though, real ghetto,” and that’s how I knew he knew SOMETHING about the school.  The “campus” if you can call it that, is broken into various buildings, only two when I attended (it’s since expanded into other buildings) one of which was a renovated public high school.  It was pretty gross.

He continued “and right now you’re _____ ________ (my current job) and you used to be a cop for four years?  What was your GPA like when you left John Jay,” and here’s where I thought it would be over for me.  I didn’t try very hard in the end of my collegiate career.  I was going to classes just to sleep in the back of the room with my tattered John Jay ball cap over my eyes.  I never participated in class discussions, I had a bad attitude.  At the time I was working part time for a local Police Department, so I had this feeling that a bunch of civilian MBA holders couldn’t tell me dick about real life police work.

So my grades somewhat suffered.

“Uh, 2-point-something?”  I said.  I figured there’d be a pause and he’d go into the whole “well I’m sure there’s a school out there that’s right for you…” speech, but he didn’t.

“Ok, well we’ll need your transcripts to verify, but yeah dude, you look good to go, we just need you to get this package filled out and we can get the ball rolling.  The only downside is that this all needs to be completed by Dec. 20th.”

Which at the time was about a month away, with Thanksgiving in the way and college finals quickly approaching; If I remembered correctly, most schools wrapped on the semester about 15 days into December, so really, when you looked at it, I had maybe two weeks.

Not a problem.  The hardest part would be to get those letters of recommendation.  BU actually wanted me to get an LOR from an old prof from my old school.  This was going to be problematic.

“Uh, I graduated in ’06.  I wasn’t exactly like, class president or anything,”  Andre understood.

“Just get me something, by any means necessary.”  What the hell did that mean?  Was I being told to just fake an LOR?  I mean, I could, and no one would know….

So I was getting pumped; Andre emailed me all the stuff I needed to get done and by when and I whipped out the ol’ credit card and gave him the non-refundable 70 dollar application fee over the phone, plus another 25 dollar (again, non-refundable) fee to get my official transcript from JJC sent over to him.

I felt like an idiot then, and I still do now.

When I finally told Ang, my wife, all of this, she was less than pleased.  She knows we’re comfortable, but bringing on new debt, a lot of it at that, was something she wasn’t on board for.  We discussed it over the next two days, and I realized she was right, especially after I saw how little the Tuition Assistance was going to be.

What compounded things further was that my company is going to be sending me to a two week training seminar in January that I’ve been dying to go to for the last two years.  The start of this seminar and the start of my online classes was the same week.  So I’d be two weeks behind before I even started.  Not good.

But this doesn’t mean I’m giving up on the idea of getting a graduate degree altogether.  When more time and money free up, I’ll probably re-float my interests.  Maybe I’ll send Andre a nice email asking him to hold my application fee and transcript in a folder someplace, so I can revisit BU in the future.

November 29, 2009 Posted by | Around The Office, Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Getting Older, Not Enough Time, Shameless Self Promotion | , , , | 1 Comment

Reviewed: Modern Warfare 2

Kazakhstan: a hellish frozen tundra that would easily be confused with some other planet rather than a former communist bloc satellite country of the Soviet Union.

But alas, being a member of the super secret and elite Task Force 141, you don’t exactly get to pick and choose which locales “they” send you to.  You might be freezing your ass off in the Permafrost today, sweating it on in the narrow funnels of death that make up the shantytowns of Rio.

Infinity Ward’s beyond-anticipated “Modern Warfare 2” dropped this week, and I finally got my hands on it, though not my own copy.  No, for my own, I’m apparently going to have to wait for Xmas.

“Ang, I need to know, are you going to get me Modern Warfare for Xmas?  Cuz if you’re not, I’m just going to go and buy it – right now” I said with half a foot out the door, pointed in the general direction of the mall.  At 28 years old, I don’t get excited for new games like I used to when I was a seldom-bathing college kid eight years ago, but when a massive game, one you’ve been dying for since this time LAST YEAR finally hits the streets, it’s like a crack fiend finding a lonely rock in the bottom of his pocket after going dry for a few hours.

“Yeah, I am going to get it for you,” my wife says from next to a cutting board where she’s working some cucumbers into the evening’s meal.

“Ok, well, would you be interested in getting it for me NOW… and you know, it can be an early Xmas gift?”

“No,” she chops into the cuke hard with finality.  “I imagine it’s going to be such a pain in the ass to get that game for you around the holidays that I refuse to have you go and get it for yourself, no.”

I frown.

“Or, ok, you can get it, or I can get it right now … but you can’t play it til Xmas.”

Ah, the bitch!

Though, procuring the game will be easier than she knows.  After a month and a half after any major game’s release there’s going to be plenty of used copies in circulation, thanks to the numerous fanboys who consume a hot game like “Modern Warfare 2” in its entirety a few short hours after purchase and move on like a pack of locusts.  Hell, I would imagine now, even after a few short days since its release there’s bound to be a used copy at the local GameStop.

However, I don’t know if I can last that long – “til Xmas”, ugh.

But fortunately for me, a guy I work with has a cooler wife than I, who let him go and get it, and he brought it into work so at lunch we could all crowd around the giant tv in our lounge and watch the Suburbs of Washington DC get pulverized by Russian regular army.

As you can tell, MW2 takes its queues from mostly war fantasy, oppose to the earlier incarnations of the “Call of Duty” franchise which were mostly settled in and around historically-accurate World War 2.  The trend to break away from the oversaturated WW2 shooter market started in 2007 with Infinity Ward’s “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” where the franchise went for a more current events-type look and feel.  Between the two games, MW and MW2, there was “COD5: World at War” which borrowed heavily from MW’s graphic’s engine to bring players familiar with the franchise back to WW2 with an updated look.

And that brings us to the technical aspects of MW2:  It doesn’t look much different from MW in the aspect that the surroundings and people all share the same rendering.  Sure, character outfits have changed and you’re engaging Brazilians oppose to Arabs in some respects, but the character movements and interactions don’t fall far from the original MW tree.

However, along with the storyline what does get an improvement is the arsenal of weaponry that’s available to the player, along with the ability to double fist small arms (an ability that was grossly missing from the first MW, but can be found in just about every other shooter available).  The old standby’s like the M4 and Kalashnikov are present, but sniper rifles with attached thermal imaging scopes to old clunky side-by-side shotguns are at the player’s disposal as well.

The storyline is a lot darker and slightly more convoluted as well.  Early on, like in all “Call of Duty” games (the Modern Warfare titles still apply, even though the COD has been largely dropped) you’re introduced to your playable character, and brought to a shoot house, or tactical assault mock-up, where pop-up targets present themselves for engagement.  Your sure-footedness in this section will allow the game CPU to suggest a level in which to start the campaign.

An interesting twist that Infinity Ward brings with the latest chapter of Modern Warfare is the addition of civilians.  In previous shooters the player is encouraged to shoot at just about anything that moves with little in the way of consequence.  Hell, hit one of your own guys and he stumbles, but picks himself up and carries on with the mission.  Maybe says something smart about your aim (or lack there of), or in the very least identifies himself as a friendly.

But no more, as I found out after laying down an entire magazine of digitized 5.56mm from my tricked out M4 in the shoot house; in the earliest of stages of the game you can fail by blasting a steel cut out of a little booger-picker holding an ice cream cone.  This game-play element introduces us more hardened virtual trigger pullers to the real-life aspect of Rules of Engagement.

But in the actual mission game-play of the campaign, whacking a civilian has little to do with you failing.  I mean, don’t go targeting them, but if one or two civvies get in the way, well… didn’t they know there was a gun fight outside?

One of the more disturbing and darkest parts of the game happens earlier on as well.  As a member of Task Force 141, you infiltrate an underground Russian crime ring and stage a massacre at a local Russian airport.  Infinity Ward gives you the option of skipping out of this early mission with a disclaimer that says something to the effect of “hey, this is going to get real nasty” but I wonder who among us is going to skip?  And doesn’t that disclaimer only entice the gamer into seeing what all the fuss is all about anyway?

I consider myself to be an avid gamer where nothing really upsets me as long as it’s pixilated- many  video game hookers from Liberty City  have fallen to my sociopathic tendencies.  However, selecting the “play thru” option and being forced to march ankle deep through politically-inspired civilian carnage blackened my soul.  You have the option of not firing a single round into the crowds of people scurrying for their lives, but just to watch the event unfold made me want to put the controller down and walk away for a bit.

Parents with kids who have, up until this point managed to convince you that Rated ‘M’ games are ok for them to play after school, be cautioned.

The question that seems to get asked more and more frequently regarding violent video games is “how far can they go, and are they willing to go that far?”  I’d hope to think that Infinity Ward has reached the wall.

But it is all just fantasy, as are the missions with the Army Rangers that center on the aforementioned attack on DC.  The intensity of the house-to-house fighting was truly the most thrilling game-play experience I’ve had in a long while.  As implausible as an attack launched by the Federated States of Russia seems, the plot device does ring of certain truisms; stolen technological hardware allows the Russians to jam our NORAD satellites and cloak their advance towards our seaboards.

But then there’s a fair share of military fantasy as well:  Super Secret Special Forces globetrotting in denim jeans and load-bearing vests, shooting their way through civilian-lined neighborhoods.

The game is challenging and goes beyond the mindless trigger pulling.  Whole missions hinge sometimes on just one shot, while others are a frantic and deadly cat-and-mouse chase over shantytown roof tops as a militia of Brazilian Irregulars advance on you – and you’re unarmed.

Unfortunately we don’t have an Xbox Live account here at the office, so I can’t personally comment on the online play.  When I interviewed a few co-workers who have already purchased and played the game online, the general consensus orbited between ‘dope’ and ‘fucking awesome.’

While “Modern Warfare 2” doesn’t break any new grounds visually, it’s an inspired and above average offering for a genre that’s easy to write off as spent.  What MW2 manages to do is up the ante for shooters further, at the same time toeing the line of what is considered acceptable for battle-hardened gamers (and good taste), while featuring content that goes well above and beyond my long awaited expectations.

November 14, 2009 Posted by | Around The Office, Blogging Couple, Getting Older, Why Am I Watching This? | , , , | 1 Comment

Tid Bits: Runner Snob/Social Networking/The Power Company

Tid Bits is a new thing I’m going to try.  In short, it’s basically ideas or short articles that I couldn’t flesh out enough into full length pieces, so I’ll just throw a bunch of them together in one post, each roughly 500 words or less.  Think of it like a stew made up of left overs that were too good to throw out, but not really enough for lunch.

If it turns out to be a successful idea, I may run it once a week.  We’ll see.  First up:

Runner Snob:

I do a lot of running, usually on open roads dense with mid-morning or afternoon traffic.  This is hazardous, however I feel a greater threat to my body from running on a treadmill.  Don’t ask me why, the answer is too long to explain, just take for granted it has something to do with joints, tendons, muscles, etc.

So I road run.  Road Runners are a select breed that I like to think of as a cross between urban bike messengers, rebels with nothing to live for, and fighter pilots.  We take somewhat calculated risks, where if our calculations are off even by a fraction, it could result in a delivery truck running over our legs, or worse, some idiot texting and driving pulling out from a side street without looking both ways, causing you to flip over their hood and into their windshield, spilling your skull-guts all over the blacktop like a pinata at your girlfriend’s cousin’s quinceanera.

But being a road runner also makes you a terribly obnoxious snob while out running.  The reason is many-fold, from having to deal with other pedestrians whom have no clue how to give way to someone running past them (that stupid half step, lean in, lean out, don’t-know-which-way-to-go dance) to sighting massive Peopalo (half person, half dumb water buffalo) crossings where these dumb herd creatures stand on city curbs, usually grazing from a bag of microwaved popcorn with vacant stares, waiting for a crossing signal to change.  They’ll step right off the curb in front of you, even as you give them a “head’s up!” from a distance of 15 feet.

At best, you break your stride, and have to dart around them like a nimble… something or other.  At worst, you plow right into them and fracture your rib cage on their massive, sagging arm.

Yes, running makes me a pretentious asshole who wraps himself in over-priced spandex, with some dangling piece of Apple electronic from my ear.  I wear ridiculously futuristic-looking sunglasses and running shoes that resemble one of P. Diddy’s outfits from 1999.  But I’m still better than you, “you” being the fat lazy piece of shit mucking up my run by simply standing there dressed in some frumpy overcoat with coffee stains on it, mouth agape, getting fatter off of the car emissions and farts from their fellow peopalo.

Social Networking:

I was in my local GNC yesterday and I happened to run into the wife of a guy I work with.  We had idle chatter; the bullshit about the collective knowledge that Venn Diagramed into what we both knew.  She then hit me with this:

“I haven’t seen you on Facebook lately, what’s up with that?  Did you unfriend me?”

Jesus, this stupid drama never ends, does it?  One of the cardinal reasons I dropped off the FB Radar was over dumb conversational topics like this.  First off, my life is far too important to be spent worrying about what others online think about me, secondly, I found that I spent too much time dithering to the point of brain numbness on each and every person in the known universe’s fucking Facebook page.  The endless updates streaming in from people I hardly spoke to in High School let alone in real life, the advertisements from Wendy’s, Lamborghini, and RockStar Energy Drink, all of which I gladly subjected myself to by clicking the “I’m a Fan” button.  I was sick of it, all of it, and most of all I was sick of the inevitable real-life interactions with people that seemed to center on fucking Facebook.

I looked at the woman, and with probably a look of total hatred, I explained that I killed my Facebook page.

“Really?!”  Genuine surprise.  “Good for you, I wish I could,” and it hit me, quitting Facebook, especially when you work a pedestrian job such as behind the counter at GNC, was like trying to quit smoking.  I mean, what else were you going to with your free time, when no one’s in the store, but to log on to your Facebook Account and endlessly click “refresh”?

I went on to explain that one of the bigger reasons I got out of Facebook’s grasping control over my life was because of the pointless arguments I was getting into with my wife.  The constant insecure “who’s that writing on your wall?” and “Did you ever sleep with her?” questions were enough to make me want to put a bullet through the giant fucking monitor that is my entire computer.  It wasn’t worth it anymore, life was/is simpler without the faceless corporate dickwad Facebook looming over everything I do, say, touch and make.

“You’re what, 27?”  I asked her.  She nodded.  “You’re too old to have a Facebook anymore, I’m sorry.”  And with that she agreed as well.  And that’s another reason why I gave it all up.  I’m a married 28 year old male, Facebook shouldn’t have a role in my everyday life anymore.  I’m not a college kid or a young upstart looking for a foothold into a career.  I have a stable job that allows me to pay all the bills and rent and have a little left over at the end of the month to do the things me and the wife like to do.

But I know she, this wife of a friend won’t give it up, the same way I know this guy at my work will likely never stop smoking, try as he may.  His (our) job is too stressful and has too much downtime for him to go out and get a quick smoke.  It’s a rollercoaster, where we’re up and down so frequently that he can only decompress by taking a few lonely drags out on the smoker’s deck.  At night I walk by, and there he is, alone, leaned up against a wall, dragging away looking at his feet.  I honestly feel fucking sorry and sad for him, but I know he won’t let go of the little white dick until he’s moved on to something that’s a lot quieter and completely different.

This girl, this wife of a friend from work, will not let go of Facebook for the same reason.

The Power Company:

Kudos to Nstar, our local electric power regulator.  Bravo for being on scene so quickly and doing such a thorough job last night when apparently the power went out in our neighborhood at like, 3 am.  I don’t know much about the details, as I was able to sleep through most if the hullabaloo, but my wife on the other hand, could not.

This translates into me hearing her tell me all about with, in that way a woman wearing curlers and shaking a rolling pin, would tell it.

I do remember some of it, though, particularly the part where because the transformer Nstar was working on was affixed to a telephone pole that sat directly in front of our bedroom window, they shined a 1000 watt spotlight into our bedroom for three straight fucking hours.  So thanks for that.

But part of my problem, that I hear about at least weekly, is my ability to sleep through most anything.  This is true, and I attribute this fact that I even slept through my own birthing.

Somewhat True Story:  When I was born, doctors thought for a second I was stillborn, but suddenly I awoke, rubbed the peach-fuzz stubble around my mouth, yawned, blinked my eyes, and looked around the room.  Immediately I asked if someone was going to the store, and if so, could they pick me up a litre of Canada Dry ginger ale and a Snicker’s bar.

Fast forward to the age of 7 or 8, and my parents decided to take me out to a stock car race.  I was fast asleep in my dad’s lap, no earphones on, by the fourth lap of the first race.  I even slept through a massive crash where two motorists were severely mangled, and a fire truck was called on scene to yank out whatever body parts they could separate from the wreckage.

I’m a heavy sleeper, which is irksome to my wife, who fears that any moment, members of the Atlanta Falcons are going to storm into our apartment and presumably start a pick up game in our living room, using our dog’s disembodied head as a ball.

If I learned anything about Nstar firing the planet-evaporating death ray from the Death Star into our most sanctimonious chamber at the oddest hours of the deadest part of the night, it was that I should probably set the alarm on my phone as well as my bedside alarm clock, in case this happens again when I have to work the next morning.

November 5, 2009 Posted by | Around The Office, Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Getting Older, Living in an Insane Asylum, Out and About, People I Hate, People I Love, Shameless Self Promotion | , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Life Without Facebook

If you follow me on Twitter you might have read a post recently that read something like “I just dragged my #FB account into the middle of a dusty street, put a snub nose revolver against its head, and pulled the trigger.”  That would signify me getting rid of Facebook from my life.

It had been a long road I had walked to get to that decision, and it didn’t come lightly.  The factors for me kicking that account over the side were many: it took too much of my time, privacy concerns with posted content, and more importantly the trouble Facebook seemed to get me into.

My wife and I used to get into so many arguments on Facebook over stupid shit like “what did you mean by that posting?” if one of us posted something on another’s wall (a public forum that anyone can read, in case you’re one of the few who have no clue who Facebook works).  It’s not worth the hassle.

Plus, early on at my job I took some heat for some things posted on my Facebook page.  Apparently, my boss at the time didn’t have enough to do, so he decided to snoop through people’s online accounts (this was admittedly before I realized I could set security settings and block anonymous access).  He found some pictures and content he didn’t agree with and made it a workplace issue.  While I disagree with his intrusion, it’s my own fault for putting stuff out there I don’t want certain people to come across.

Plus, Facebook’s interface was becoming more and more bogged down.  I wrote an article a while back about the bloated corpse that is Facebook, and little has changed since.  When I tried to upload my photos from my wife and I’s honeymoon in Niagara Falls, Facebook took the load (maybe 50-something pics) but then turned around and told me there was a failure of some sort.

I knew it wasn’t on my end, because FB has done this to me in the past on many occasions.  But that was the last straw; I was through dealing with this corporate ballsack and it’s creepy cyberstalking.

I posted a status at about 11am telling people I was going to smoke my FB account by 1600, and if they wanted to stay in touch, follow me on Twitter.  I reposted the same status a few more times during the day, and at 1603, after getting my wedding pictures and a few other choice pics off of Facebook, I nuked the account.

For those of you who never got rid of a social networking account, there’s an awkward Q&A that follows.  When I tossed my Myspace profile into the garbage can in 2007 there was a series of little questions you could answer yes and no to, such as “were you overwhelmed by the amount of mail you got regarding your Myspace account?” and “Did you ever fear that your content was being sold?”  Facebook was no different, even adding little explanations to attempt to assuage your fears.  When I selected “Privacy Concerns (I had more than one reason but FB only allows for one option to be picked)” a little window popped up plaintively giving some tired excuse about how FB’s new Terms of Service does blah blah blah to ensure your privacy online.  That’s great for FB, but what about some other dickbag who can hack in and take whatever information they want?  Not that I keep anything so sacred on my old FB page but still.  It’s a case of too little too late.

Besides, I’m older than FB’s targeted demographic now.  FB caters more towards the 17-24 year old market, where kids can share their interests via “fan-ing” a particular page.  Like Reeboks?  There’s a fan page for it.  How about Sharks?  Yup, check it out.

I was primarily using FB to help promote this blog, but when I really thought about it, FB promotions were futile.  I had a total of 40-something friends, half of which already followed me on Twitter, the other half weren’t really interested in my articles anyway.  It was just more work to post updates to both FB AND Twitter, and have them be different.  And due to Twitter’s minimalist design, I can be a little more free about who I promote to, oppose to having to individually edit myself based on whomever’s reading my FB posts.

In the end, it just made more sense to get rid of FB.

However, some weren’t pleased with my departure.

“How the hell can I stalk you now!” Lamented my wife.  “How will I know when some random bitch posts something on your wall?!”

However, in the last 24 hours since I left FB I feel freer, life seems a little less complicated.  Sure I have knee jerk reactions to checking out what’s going on with people, as I wait in a queue for the ATM, but that’s fading rather quickly.  No, the freedom’s totally worth it.

October 18, 2009 Posted by | Around The Office, Corporate America Hates You, Getting Older, Not Enough Time, Shameless Self Promotion, The Great Indoors | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Collapse

My unrealized greatest fear of humanity’s demise came to me while I was sitting on the toilet, taking a shit and reading this past month’s Esquire.

I don’t recall the article, but it basically suggested that the End of The World, The Apocalypse, etc, wouldn’t be in the form of a giant fast-moving meteor falling from the heavens like the fist of God to smite us, or the eventual albeit inevitable collapsing of our own life-giving star, but rather a slow a monotonous plod towards cultural and intellectual rock bottom.

As I squeezed my anal muscles, I accepted this fate for mankind as its likeliest.

Even the satirical online newspaper The Onion ran a recent article about the Nadir of Human Civ, citing that since the Renaissance – humanity’s climax according to the piece – we’ve been on a steady downgrade since, culminating last Friday afternoon when apparently some tourist in Chicago mistook the MOCA as a shopping mall.

And what song is the piper piping that’s leading us all down the path to collective boorishness?  Texting.distracted-driving-texting

More and more I’m hearing stories of people literally killing themselves over typing out short messages on  a tiny keyboard while driving.  Hell, I was listening to a program this morning on my way to work that discussed the topic of Teens Texting While Driving that reported that in a recent AAA survey, some 54% of teens state that their biggest distraction while behind the wheel was …. Wait for it….

Driving.

What’s that sound?  That strange, loud whirring sound?  …Oh, it’s Charles Fucking Darwin spinning in his grave.

But we can’t solely blame teenagers as being the only ones who text and drive, as largely anyone with a cell phone and a text messaging plan does it, yours truly included.

But the point I’m trying to make out of all of this is that culturally, collectively, we’re all slaves to tiny machines.  I, for one, will reach into my pocket every time my phone buzzes, even if it’s to glance down at one of my wife’s many texts and put my phone back on lock.  We, all of us, have been conditioned to respond immediately to stimuli such as a text, email, phone call, etc, the same way Pavlov’s dog responded to the sounds of a can opener.

Remember back when if someone was trying to reach you, and you weren’t home, people would either A) leave a message, or B) call back?  Remember what an answering machine was?  It was that bulky, crème colored box with a little tape in it, long before the days of voice mail.
00000112936-ATT1738DigitalAnsweringMachine-large.jpeg
I long for the days that would allow me to be as inaccessible as possible.  One of the few joys I take out of life right now involves me running 6 miles twice a week with nothing except an iPod and digital diver’s watch attached to me.  For that 50-sum odd minutes I am truly inaccessible unless you track me down in a car, and even then you’d have to know which route I run on which days.

That was, until one of my bosses request I take my cell phone with me on my runs “just in case.”

I bristled at the idea, two fold:  One: no, because unless there’s an emergency the size and shape of 9/11, this office can get by without me for just under an hour.  I don’t need to run with my phone because I’m not about to break my stride to stop and answer incoming calls.  Secondly, I have an iPhone and I’m not about to take something that expensive strapped to my arm on a run through a town where it’s driving inhabitants seldom glance right when pulling out of a side street.

Text messaging has also gotten me into more trouble than what it’s worth with my wife.  We communicate almost completely by text when I’m at the office.  As all things text-related, emotions are rarely conveyed as genuine, and misinterpretations abound when trying to get an idea across to another.  The wrong response or the slightest hint of sarcasm in an emotionally volatile situation can spell disaster.  Yet neither one of us will simply key the phone icon and call the other.  It all has to be done with typing.

I’m also a perpetrator of texting and driving, but less so now that I own an iPhone oppose to a Blackberry.  With the Blackberry and its textile keyboard, I seldom had to actually look as I typed, similar to typing on an actual keyboard.  With the iPhone, it’s a completely different ballgame, akin to going from a major league hitter with a batting average of .350 lifetime, to playing in India’s Premiere League Cricket Tournament overnight.

The iPhone’s keypad is nearly impossible to navigate even while looking at it, lest trying to drive, keep my truck from careening into oncoming traffic, and tell my wife that yes, I’ll pick up snap peas from the grocer on the way home.  Even in Landscape Mode, where you flip the phone on it’s side and alter the appearance of the keypad to a more traditional keyboard, it’s still difficult to type what you want to say.357161915_388509248a

For the last few years I used to be warily cautious around other motorists when I would see them driving with a phone stuck to their ear, and I still am.  However now, that wariness has been replaced with adjunct terror as I see someone, anyone, clumsily mashing the buttons on their phone as it rests atop their steering wheels.

As a race of people we’re intellectually crumbling.  We’re slaves to glowing boxes, big and small.  In an age where we digitally record television programs to skip the commercials, the largest recorded show is about The Golden Age of Advertising.  We’re constantly contradicting ourselves, killing ourselves, becoming increasingly complacent on technology to the point where we drive cars that do the parallel parking for us.

Our great-grandparents knew how many feet were in a hectare of land, could tell you what time of day it was based on the position of the sun in the sky, could recite by rote the works of Shakespeare, Thoreau, or Plath.  Our great grandparents, as children, bared more responsibility on a day to day basis than we do as adults today.  Hell, half of us can’t even balance our check books.

We’re over weight and lethargic, we couldn’t tell you who the last ten presidents were, but we can rattle off every Wayans brother.  We can’t quote more than a handful of words out of the Constitution, Declaration of Independence or even the Gettysburg Address, however we know all the funny Ralph Wiggum quotes.
Ralph_Wiggum
I’m not advocating for neo-Luddites to wrestle back control from the brain-sucked hordes of mouth-breathing, Wal Mart-shopping, fast food consuming, tiny keyboard-typing masses, I’m simply trying to warn the few of you still out there that give a damn that we’re slipping down the side of the food chain, and at this rate, we’ll long be at the bottom before Earth’s Quick and Messy End comes hurtling through space like the hail of bullets that took down William McKinley.

Look it up.  In a book, not Wikipedia, asshole.

October 4, 2009 Posted by | Around The Office, Blogging Couple, Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Living in an Insane Asylum, Out and About, People I Hate, Why Am I Watching This? | , , , | 1 Comment

Ex-Co-Workers: Your Office’s Lingering Fart.

In the working world people come and go, and the less transitory the job, the stronger the bonds are between co-workers.  I mean, if anyone was stuck in a foxhole with someone else long enough, I’m sure lasting friendships would be forged.

However, if you’re in a business where people tend to come and go like the breeze, it’s likely you couldn’t care less about your co-workers.  That isn’t to say that you won’t make a friend or two, or might be sad to see someone go every once in a while, however, largely you could care less.

It’s just faces in the crowd, really.

And that’s how I feel most of the time.  The bulk of people in my office I could give two shits about; you’re here, you work, and you transfer out in roughly a year or two.  It’s been nice knowin’ ya.

But what do you do when they come back?  …For a visit?

Is anything more awkward than an old co-worker coming back to your office to “hang out” and “catch up” especially when you’re busy at work?  Could you imagine sitting at your desk while someone you give less than two shits about jabbers on while leaning over you, perched on your cubical wall, not giving a shit that you’re a week behind a deadline and your phone is ringing off the hook?  Don’t you wish they’d take a hint and go the fuck away?Library_04619

Two such situations happened around my office recently, about five days apart, where old co-worker came back to the office to pay a visit.  Nothing to me is sadder than to discover a former co-worker just sitting around a common area waiting for someone to talk to, almost like a Trap Door Spider waiting to snatch some desert bird who haplessly came too close to their hovel.

But that’s what I walked into the other day when I was going from the little room I stay in when I’m here at work, to my office.  Between the two spaces I have to cross through a rather large common area, and who did I see leaning up against the wall?  This asshole that transferred out to our offices in CT at the beginning of Summer.

“Hey J, how’s things going for ya?”  He sticks his hand out.  I’m forced to be fake because the man is a born loser with a dark disposition on life, and I’m the exact opposite.  At least I like to keep up that appearance anyway.

No one was immediately in the area, so I couldn’t do the “hey,” shake, and move on bit.  I was forced to actually hit the brakes and chit chat.

“How’s Connecticut?”  I asked through somewhat gritted teeth.  He goes on to complain (because that’s a crowd-winner, right?  Who the hell cares how shitty it is, lie like everyone else and say ‘good!’) for a solid ten minutes about how it’s not like our branch, and how he hasn’t made any friends, so on, so forth.

This guy is the only guy I know who would frown while getting blown by Megan Fox.  He’s that miserable.

So after ten minutes of listening to him complain, I shove off, tell him I have some reports to run, yada yada yada, and he does that annoying thing where someone will start a whole new conversation as you’re taking a step to your right to walk away, just to reset their hooks in you.  I stop, looking around over his shoulder for someone to help me, begging god for someone on the PA to page me to some place, anything.  He locks me in for another solid two minutes before I finally stop him in mid sentence with:

“Oh hey, what happened with that (Blank)?”  He’s confused because he has no idea what I’m talking about, as I just made up an incident involving his new branch.  I take the pause to tell him I heard that (Blank) had happened and did he know anything about it.

“No…?”

“Oh, well, huh, that’s funny,” I say, allowing another awkward pause to settle in place.  I use that pause to segue into finally leaving this asshole leaning on the wall.  “Ok, well, I’ll be seeing you,” and I quickly turn and walk away without giving him a chance to try to rope me back in.iStock000000379976XSmallAnnoying2-main_Full

I heard similar stories of people’s run-ins with this guy for the rest of the day.  Apparently he didn’t get the message that no one really wanted to see him around.  I for one was close to paging security to come down and whisk him away, but I kept getting distracted by phone calls and text messages.

At one point I heard a page come across our PA system.  It was the guy’s voice, paging a co-worker of mine to come down to the break room.  Seriously, the nerve!

Jump ahead to this afternoon (as I’m writing this) me and some co-workers come in from a charity function here in town and there’s ANOTHER one of these former co-workers just hanging out in our administrative pool area!

This guy is ten times worse than the other guy because he’s a lying, stealing cheater with a big fat mouth and the balls to match.  He was caught red handed, twice, digging through my personal belongings both in my stay room and at my desk.  When confronted, he flat denied it to mine, and my supervisor’s face, both of us had been the ones to catch him.

He was assigned to our office a year ago from another office up the coast due to family illness.  While he was staying here, he did nothing but disrupt the natural course of business while failing to be productive.  He was a slimy leach latched on to the testicle of a happy working environment.   He was recently transferred out, back to his original office, after our office’s managers had decided they’d had enough of his antics.

But now, here he was, back again, smiling that gapped toothed smile, the very picture of an animated ventriloquist’s dummy.

We keep somewhat of a skeleton crew here at the office on the weekends; most of our bosses are at home, rightfully so, and we who are left behind are given a work list of things that require taking care of.  I don’t work every weekend, only a handful at a time, and it’s nice.

Luckily, most of my co-workers were already in the admin pool area when this dickwad sauntered in off the street to have lunch with us.

I avoided him at all cost, because I felt like I’d likely pummel him to death with my bare fists should I interact with him.  I went into my office without closing the door, as so Ivy, my dog who’s staying with me at the office this weekend, could come and go as she pleased.
complainer
In walks fuckstick.

“Cool dog, when did you get him?”

“We got HER, a few weeks ago.”

“Oh, how much did she cost?”  Who the fuck asks that?  I’ve been asked about every normal, sane question you can ask someone about their dog, and not one person asked me how much I spent on her.  And nothing is so trashy as to ask anyone how much anything costs.  Decent people don’t talk about money like that.

“Excuse me?”  I say while squinting and looking up from my screen.

“How much did you spend on her?”  He asks again while petting her. This gets under my skin real quick.  I avoid the question and ask him to shut the door.  He shuts the door, but he’s still in my office, petting my dog.

“No, I meant, shut the door with you on the other side of it,” I explain to him.  He looks up at me with a confused expression and I see the lightbulb eventually come up with a flicker.  Quietly he turns and opens up the door to my office and steps out, leaving it open.

Once you’ve left a job, be it through transfer, firing or quitting, don’t go back.  People have moved on, take it from me.  Your so-called “friends” at the office have pretty much forgotten about you the moment your car door slams shut for the last time in the company parking lot.  As you shuffle your box of belongings around on your passenger seat, people are already erasing your contact information from their email address books and rolodexes.  You’ve been “unfriended” by everyone at the office on Facebook, your tagged pictures have been “untagged.”  You’re like a fart, hanging in the air until you waft away and are forgotten for good.

How many farts do YOU really remember?

Just move on, make new “friends” where ever you land.  Always keep looking forward, and forget those behind you.

September 14, 2009 Posted by | Around The Office, Corporate America Hates You, Living in an Insane Asylum, People I Hate | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dissecting Cosmo

So imagine walking into your office and you catch this whiff of some fruity concoction; it’s over powering, destabilizing, and instantly you wonder if someone set off a Febreze bomb in your working space.

With coffee in hand you set your things down and looking back up at you from your desk is Megan Fox, the “it” starlet of the moment, complete with the allure of a flash frozen whore.

Someone left a Cosmopolitan Magazine on my desk, whom I have no idea, since my office is a shared workspace and I do work with members of the opposite sex.

“Cosmo” as it’s called by its utterly slutty readership has a home in America’s beauty salons, high school lockers, and under your little sister’s mattress.  I figured I’d go into the magazine and dissect some of it for my readers, because shit, it’s midnight, I’m up, you’re up, wouldn’t you like to know what men think about a magazine that purports to KNOW what men think?

The Cover:
megan-fox-cosmopolitan-magazine-october-2009
As stated, Megan Fox is on the cover, set on a pink background, she’s wearing a skanky looking pinkish dress, complete with fan-blown hair, and a bunch of gaudy costume jewelry that looks like it was purchased from a local flea market.  I do not understand her appeal, only that she’s conventionally hot.  I guess she has a new movie coming out, but… whatever.

Of course there’s headlines detailing what’s inside the issue, some of these include “Bad Girl Sex: These 12 Moves Will Show Him Your REALLY Naughty Side.  We Call Them The “Dirty Dozen.” This headline will forever ruin the classic war movie of the same name for me.  On the same subject, 12 moves?  I’m confused because I’ve been having sex for a while, and honestly, there’s really nothing new to discover, at least in my own mind, that a sexual partner, particularly a girl, can do that hasn’t been done in every porno movie I’ve ever watched while only wearing one sock.  Girls: here’s the real scoop:  Just show up, that’s it.  You don’t need “super secret dirty new moves” to impress us.  Just… climb on board.  Really.

Another headline:  “One Question No Guy Can Resist.” … Whatever the fuck that means.  Girls, ask a guy any question about himself, or his opinion, and likely he’ll cough up an answer, as long as it pertains to his thoughts regarding sports teams, high school glory days, beer vs. beer, or if he’d be interested in seeing you naked.  When it comes to that stuff, we’re usually open books.

The last headline before I move on:  “The Sexy Ass Workout:  2 Weeks to Tight Cheeks.” I don’t know what it is about that lede, but it’s so utterly unattractive.  Anything with the word “ass” in it just… ugh, and you know, I’m an ass and leg guy too?  But seeing it in big bold black letters under Megan Fox’s right tit just… it’s so unclassy.  Maybe it harkens to that “Flirty Girl Fitness” commercial I see advertised in the mornings that I’m watching old “Saved By The Bell” episodes.  You know the commercial, a handful of strippers prance around with the promise of getting “fit” by doing “sexy” stripper routines in your own living room.

But you know better.  You know that the tantalizing bodies on the screens are not the ones doing squats next to their crumb-covered couches at home.  No, it’s gross heavy weight housewives lamely attempting to get into some sort of shape in order to seduce their husbands, who will only be closing their eyes and imagining the gyrating girls from the commercial when they get to sticking it.Fat_figurestore_pole

That said, let’s take a look inside…

I flip through fifteen sum-odd pages, re-wafting that noxious gas back into my office.  Every page I turn is an ad for something or other, make up, perfume, clothes…

I’m not surprised or unfamiliar with this, as I read “Esquire” and “Men’s Health” somewhat religiously.  Periodicals have to pay the bills I understand, and advertisers know this.  If you’re interested in men’s fashion, expect Calvin Klein ads to be littered about your magazine.  Women’s mags are no different.

I get to page 18, and on the bottom left corner there’s a picture of three celebs with the title “If You Had To Choose…” with the options of Musicians Jon Legend and Jon Mayer, and actor Jonathon Rhys Meyers, with the option to “shun, shag or marry.”  Men play this game too, but it’s typically called “Friend, Fuck or Murder” and it tends to involve female celebrities.  But in this case, I would Friend Jon Mayer (I follow him on Twitter), fuck Jon Legend, and probably murder Meyers, only because I hated the two and a half episodes of “The Tudors” I’ve seen.

More ads, more ads….

I come to the article on Ms. Fox, and I’m somewhat confused because the opening pages are photo splashes of her, full body shots, her in flirty tantalizing poses, which makes me flip the magazine back over to make sure I’m still working through an issue of Cosmo and not “Maxim.”  I know girls check each other out and probably are more inclined to bi-sexual fantasizing then men (for instance, I doubt I’m going to crack open next month’s “Esquire” and find a spread of a shirtless Alex Rodriquez on bed sheets…).  It’s just confusing.

Apparently Ms. Fox has filled out some sort of questionnaire here that they’ve superimposed into the article as filler, because even I’d be hard pressed to get 700 words out on an actress with a pool of talent shallower than anything bought at Kmart.

Information gleaned from the questionnaire:  Ms. Fox’s nickname is apparently “bird” which is never explained (maybe it’s explained in the article, but I didn’t bother to read it), her most “tomboyish trait” is her “sailor mouth” which … I’m not sure if it turns me on or makes me think of festering scurvy sores… in another life she was probably a man… According to Ms. Fox the only thing sexier than sex is a Funny Boy (Bobby Hill, watch out!)… her ideal date would be a “sexy sandwich with Andy Samberg and Jonah Hill (first of three times I would throw up in my mouth and be forced to swallow it back down while researching this article) …. The most scared she’s been was when “any time I go on stage – instant diarrhea” (That’s two!  I just want to know if she uses the loose 1 dollar bills she’s collected to clean herself up?)… and in ten years she’d like to be “still working.”  Megan I hear there’s some prime real estate over at Vh1 on Sunday nights if you’re looking… or Hollywood Square, bottom right, under Bruce Valanch and next to John Stamos’ stunt double.

megan-wants-a-millionaire-cancelled

I skip ahead to the next article, titled “What He’s Really Doing at a Bachelor Party.” I’d like to point out at this time that I’m listening to Tom Waits on my Pandora radio station to help balance out the estrogen that’s bleeding out from this magazine.

From the 350 word article:  “The horror stories abound: binge drinking, strippers, lap dances, even full on sex with hookers!  You know your guy would never go there… but you also know guys act stupidly when pressured by pals.”

Ok, let me say this:  I’ve been to two bachelor parties in my entire life, neither sure as hell involved any sex with hookers, and only one involved a pair of non-English-speaking strippers who engaged in a dyke-fest on the floor of a HVAC shop while a bunch of coked out Colombians cheered them on.  Regardless, bachelor parties tend to be kinda lame.  There’s a collection of guys, both professional and personal friends of the groom who gather, watch a porno together and drink beer.  Usually, by nine-ish the married guys dip out to get back home to the wife and kids, leaving the single guys start getting picked off one by one by the booze fairy around 11ish.

Women: Honestly, you have nothing to fear from a bachelor party.

Also from the article, towards the end:  “A good time to drive your point [re: acceptable behavior at the bachelor party] home is right after a good romp, when the love hormone Oxytocin is raging for both of you.  Point out that you’re able to try new things in the bedroom because you trust him and know you’re the only one he’s doing stuff like that with.” If you read between the line here ladies, what you’re being told is to let us bareback it with you the night before, so you can say “look I let you hit it raw, you better not go to the party and bring back something nasty that’s going to make my insurance premium sky rocket the next time I get a check up.”

Moving on…

Page 48 has a huge graphic breaking down what’s apparently “Sexy vs. Skanky.”  A rhyming break down of acceptable and unacceptable fashion-type behavior.  Such helpful advice includes Sexy: “Being edgy” with a picture of the singer Fergie wearing what looks like an over sized t shirt she wore to a razor fight, and Skanky:  “Picking Wedgie” where model Victoria Silvstedt, clad in a bikini is digging knuckle deep up her ass to fetch part of her bottoms.vs23_medium

One more:  Sexy “Pumped up guys” with a picture of actor Taylor Kitsch, who I think is from the tv show “Friday Night Lights” but I could be mistaken, because I nor anyone else has ever watched a single episode of that show, and Skanky: “Frumped up girls” with a picture of Helena Bonham Carter walking some place wearing what looks like turn of the century bed clothes.

I have a problem with this because Ms. Bonham Carter is a sweetheart and hardly a “skank.”  Sure, she often looks like a crazy homeless lady, and I expect her at any second to have some small mammal leap from her hair, but she’s by no means to be lumped into the same circus of painted whores as the entire cast of “The Hills.”  She’s a very talented stage actress and will forever be Marla from ‘Fight Club.’  Cosmo, leave the poor woman alone.  I’m sure she has mirrors in her very expensive British estate, and she’s aware she leaves the house looking like a bedraggled bus riding bag lady.
helena_bonham_carter-pregnant
More ads… more ads… head starts to spin due to lack of sufficient O2 as office becomes saturated in perfume samples.

I get to a section called “Confessions” where readers submit embarrassing, albeit humorous anecdotes that involved their “V Zones” and an unnaturally high amount of accidents involving fellatio.  I chuckle, and figure the bulk of these are at least 50% creative fiction writing exercises, because “hooking up with a real hottie in the bathroom of this club” seldom ever really happens.

I skip ahead again, and now I’m looking at a series of close ups of some dudes eyes, with the headline “4 Truths His Eyes Reveal.”  Apparently if you study these four sets of eyes, you’ll be able to read our (men’s) minds.

Featured:  I’m Bummed – half raised eyebrows, slight smirk.
I Love You – Narrowed gaze, rapist quality eyebrows.
I’m Putting One Over On You – Eyes complete closed, face apparently becomes African-American.  Maybe it should read “I’m Putting One In You?”
I Want You – Steady, burning gaze that the longer I look into, makes me feel gay as a tree full of birds.

Not Featured:  Hunny, Get Me Another One? – Uplifted eyebrows with hopeful glint
Ugh, I’m Kinda in The Mood, (But Don’t Feel Like Fucking Around With All That Foreplay) – Squinted eyes, furrowed brow.
Please, Shut The Fuck Up – Upturned eyes, towards ceiling, almost asking for god’s hand to come down from the sky and smite thee.
I Hate Your Harpy Friends – Red eyes, bared teeth.

I next come across “The Guy Report” with useless information for women to “nudge” guys to do their bidding and to decode eating habits.  Of the eating habits “If he routinely finishes his meals long before you do, being in sync and savoring your relationship may not be priorities for him.” Or… or it could mean I’m just fucking hungry because I’ve been at work all day and the last time I ate was at about 9 am this morning which consisted of a piece of wheat toast and a handful of Corn Pops?  Lesson:  If you have time to over analyze our relationship based purely on how I’m eating, you need to check your insecurity.  The fact that I’m sucking down the meal you just made me should be a compliment.  The way I look at it, as a guy, if I’m spending my time chit-chatting to you and NOT shoveling a forkful of the meal into my mouth, I’m not interested in the food and if you made dinner, that doesn’t bode well for you, or our “relationship.”

Next page:  “Why He Calls You A Nag, When You’re Not.” …Too easy, moving on.

Blah blah blah, fashion accessory stuffy… Pandora is playing some funky shit…lights are blinking around me for some reason… the fear of keeping this magazine open much longer and developing a vagina in the course of writing this article hits my chest with a sudden thud….

The rest of the magazine is basically ads, either in-your-face variety of paid full page ads for hair products or slick-looking “reviews” of products that no doubt the manufacturers paid for to appear in the pages with glowing reviews by some editor.

A picture of Rob Thomas, … he looks like an autistic kid with a flashlight….Screening The Duchess NY

Now on to the obligatory sex stuff that is the pride of Cosmopolitan Magazine.  A collection of essays, tips, pointers, and pictures of soft core pornography to go along with it all.

Remember earlier when I mentioned that during the research phase for this article I puked in my mouth thricely?  Here’s number three:

From the article “Fun Little Tricks Guys Love:”  “Use Your Thong as a Hair Tie.” …I’m not even remotely making that up.

It goes on:  “There are few things guys like more than long hair, women’s underwear, and sex.  So combine all three!  If things start getting hot and heavy, stopping the action to go search for a pony tail holder will kill the mood.  Instead, grab – or take off – (get read for it…) your underwear.  Simply fold the crotch up so that the thong forms an open circle, twist your hair into a low pony tail or bun, and use your panties like an elastic band to secure your locks!”

…Ok.  I can almost… ugh… I can almost smell how disgusting of an idea that is.

Let me go out on this note:  If I were ever getting frisky with my wife and she … pulled off her underwear to use to tie her fucking hair back, I’d throw her out of bed.  Without hesitation, because I figure if she has gone past the point of caring that she’s now wearing her used, hot underwear on her head and still going to have sex with me, she’s either become Helena Bonham Carter or she’s just gone plain crazy.
advantagebridal_2069_1253233175
My wife, and just about every girl I’ve ever been intimate with since about the age 16 has an army of fucking hair ties laying around within reach of her at all times.  If there isn’t one already on her wrist, there’s bound to be one on her fucking ankle, or the night stand, or in her pocket or purse or on the floor, on the sink faucet, on the little Buddha in the bathroom, on a toothbrush… you get the idea.  And fuck it if you can’t find one… hell, there’s times when I can’t find a condom, but that doesn’t stop us!  We just say ‘fuck it’ and keep moving forward.

I refuse to have sex with anything that will wear it’s underwear on its head and still figure I will find it attractive.  So fuck you Cosmo, for misleading young women.  Watch for next month’s article on how guys apparently think snowballing their come back into their mouths is “sexy.”

Can’t wait.

September 9, 2009 Posted by | Around The Office, Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, Why Am I Reading This? | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments