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The Savageness of Business/The Shotgun Accord of 2009

The Realtor called again this afternoon.

To get everyone on the same page, there’s been this slow boiling Cold War between my wife and I, our utterly inept landlord (whom I discovered today, does appear as though she were a human-fish hybrid), and the real estate company she’s trying to sell our apartment through.  All parties despise each other to the point where our front step is something similar to the 38th Parallel.

We’re in the process of moving out of here, because Ang and I are fed up with having to deal with the bullshit that consumes us on a daily basis in our “quaint (see also: small, old, dingy)” apartment on Main St.  From drunken hooligans parading down the thoroughfare throwing glass bottles at houses, to the 7am weed-whacking that we’ve yet to pinpoint a location on, yet hear nearly daily, we long for something quiet, out of the way, and without the bothersome-yet-polite nagging from The Realtor.

As stated she called today, which took me off guard.  Typically phone numbers that come up on my phone’s screen that I don’t readily recognize I tend to send off to vmail; that is after all, why voicemail was invented, to screen calls from undesirables, am I right?  But being that I was driving, I felt compelled to put everyone’s life at risk, mine, my wife’s, other motorists, and answer.

“Hi, is this Jim?”  Came the cheery voice of the cuntbag Realtor.  At first I thought it might’ve been the nurse at the doctor’s office we just left a short while ago; maybe we had left something behind, or there was some missing paperwork, etc.  But she followed up her greeting with “This is ____ (rhymes with ‘spam’) from _______ (rhymes with ‘fuckhole’) Reality, how are you today?”

Fuck!

We were just coming back from a doctor’s visit where Ang had been knocked out so a small camera could be rammed down her throat and pictures could be taken of the small ulcer she’s gone on to name “Squirmy.”  While the photo’s were ‘Sear’s Portrait’ at best, we did get a B-Roll to take home with us.

Regardless, Ang was passed on in the passenger seat and I could tell she was going to be groggy for the next few days.  The very thought of a realtor dragging some so-and-sos through our apartment right now made my asshole itch.  Before I could even answer her initial question of ‘is this Jim’ she was already ramming her commission-earning greed-cock down my gullet and making my eyes bulge and tear.

“I was wondering if it’d be ok to show the apartment this time tomorrow,” we had an agreed upon an armistice after our last interaction, which I can’t remember if I went into or not in the last article I wrote regarding this topic.  In short, after she pinned her calling card on our door while we were out, and I came just short of calling her a miserable bitch from the 9th circle of hell when I called back, we agreed on what I call the “Shotgun Accord” where she would give me a 24 hour heads up before bringing prospective buyers by, and I wouldn’t shove the barrel of my Remington 870 into any “trespasser’s” face.

She was holding up hear end of the bargain, and under normal circumstances I’d be obligated to give her the go-ahead.  But I glanced over at the crumpled form of my wife, passed out in the passenger seat complete with her cute way of snoring like a man, thinking of her inevitable anesthesiologist-induced hangover, and had to pull the wife-card.

“Ugh, ____, it’s not going to happen, look, my wife’s real sick, we’re just coming back from the doctor’s where my wife had an IV rammed into her arm and a camera down her throat.  She’s in no position to have people tromping around where we live.  She needs rest.”

“Oh, that’s too bad.  Well, what I can do is call back the agent and find out if the people are locals or out of towners, and if they’re local, we’ll reschedule for later in the week, and if they’re out of town, we won’t bring them upstairs, how about that?”

The bitch!  Like, everything I just said to her apparently didn’t resonate one bit.  I understand that she’s got a business to run, and time is money, but I just told her that my wife’s bed ridden and sick.

I grip the steering wheel and twist, feeling like I’m going to snap if off the column.  Ang murmurs.

The Realtor doesn’t miss a beat, and it’s hard to miss the smugness in her voice:  “_____ (our landlord, rhymes with ‘Turdface’) tells me you guys found a place, so you don’t need me to give your info to our rental agent?”  When we last spoke, the Realtor told me she had a hook up on some nice rental property down the road from us, and she was going to have an agent contact us ‘very soon.’  That was weeks ago and we hadn’t heard one word from anyone from this agency until now.  I bit my tongue before telling this witch to hop back up on her broom and go fuck herself.

That was actually the scenario that I figured had probably gone down (not the broomstick penetration); that our shitty landlord had, in a surprising and uncharacteristically act of selflessness, contacted The Realtor and told her to back off of us.  We’d be gone in a few weeks, no need to hassle good people.  But I guess I was mistaken.

“Yeah, we found a place,” I conceded.  If she, The Realtor, knew this information, why wouldn’t she just leave us alone and let us move out, and start showing the place in earnest next month, when we’re not there and she doesn’t have to bother anyone?  The Savagery of Business!

I wanted to explain that scenario to her but I’d be wasting my breath.  The longer property sits on the market, the less likely it’ll get sold, that’s Real Estate 101 for you.  She wants as many dipshit buyers in our living space as possible.  I’m actually quite surprised that there hasn’t been an open house while we’re sitting at our kitchen table eating breakfast.

As of press time (which is later in the evening after taking the call) I’ve yet to hear back from this miserable bridge troll that’s in charge of selling this property, which means that sometime tomorrow afternoon, some fucking out-of-state dickbags and this happy-go-lucky machine gun target are going to be making all sorts of ridiculous noise during my wife’s convalescence.

Consider the “Shotgun Accord” to be officially null and void.

November 16, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Living in an Insane Asylum, Out and About, People I Hate | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Honeymoon

You can see pics from the trip here – ed.
There’s something special about returning to work after taking time off, especially if that time off was regarding your honeymoon.  You feel so blissfully out of touch it’s amazing to find your desk as you left it, belongings mostly intact.  This all seems to soften the blow that your tub of fat-free yogurt has gone missing altogether.

That said, the time spent on your honeymoon is magical; everything seems to go right even when it’s terribly wrong, like getting lost in Upstate NY.

We weren’t really lost; the plan was to drive off the highway for a bit, see some of the “real” countryside of upstate, the side you don’t see on Rt 90 on your way to Buffalo, of all places.

I had been scanning the New York Times’ Real Estate section and observed that homes in the Saratoga Springs area were going for between 175-200K.  Good homes with two stories, a yard, maybe even a pool.  Perfect, I thought, just what we were looking for.

But Corinth, the small hamlet where we ended up, is New York State’s scraped elbow.  There’s nothing but mountains, trees, dirty depressing dilapidated store fronts, a gas station every ten feet, kitty-cornered from one another, each seemed to be manned by the same grimy-faced local who knew, instantly, that you were from out of town.

Such a local, a waitress in some sort of strange service station/diner, a face that looked beaten with a sun-heated shovel pointed her gnarled nicotine stained finger nail at the ATM in the far corner of the establishment when I asked as to where one could be found.

“You always miss it,” she hissed, as if to indicate that she knew I was from out of town, and I represented every wayward traveler to ever cross the town line.

And of course, it was easy enough to tell we, my wife and I, hadn’t graduated from the Corinth Regional High School.  Although dressed like slobs, our clothes didn’t reek of diesel fuel.  We were driving around in a whisper quiet Toyota Prius, paying more attention to our iPhones than the surroundings of the small dent in the Earth that was Corinth.

Remember in “Back to the Future” when Marty first arrives in the 50s and the locals think he’s an alien?  He has this crazy looking car with gull wings for doors, in a biohazard suit, etc.  The local hick farmer nearly cut him in two with a shotgun blast for crashing into his barn, but was too petrified to pull the triggers.

That’s what it was like for us, driving around Corinth with out of state plates in a car that made no noise.

We had enough “small town charm”, not bothering to stop at the Dollar General (we did eat in the one restaurant in town that didn’t look like someone’s wind-smashed porch.  A Chinese food place called Golden Dragon, or Double Gold, or Lucky Dragon… I think it’s a rule that Chinese restaurants have to have either “dragon” “gold” or “lucky” in their names in our order get a business license.) before high tailing it the hell out of Dodge.

***

Niagara was beautiful however, a trip that I will never forget, thanks to technology.  We arrived late, after putting in 12 hours on the road between Portland, ME and Niagara Falls.

We left later than what I wanted to, due to a slower start, but at the time it seemed the all engines were firing just fine.  But with a stop at the Tim Hortons before even leaving my mom’s home town – which sucked up about half an hour – we were in rough shape.

We pulled into the tiny B&B around 1930 and were greeted at the door by a charmingly cheerful owner, a young woman whom I had no idea would be old enough to have mothered a kindergartener.  She had our room squared away, a tiny “French Room” at the top of a set of grand stairs, with a private bath and tiny television.

Ang instantly took to the shower, as 12 hours on the road will make you believe that God himself demands you bathe.  As for me, I asked to be pointed towards the nearest liquor store.
Cassidy, the matron, busted out a touristy map and with a black pen started to scribble out a route by foot towards the nearest liquor store.

“You want to avoid this area, entirely,” she squared off a section of about twelve blocks due north of where we were.  “It’s a HUGE ghetto.”

But that’s who I am, a shit magnet, that despite my best efforts, would haphazardly wind up waist deep in … dark… waters.

I followed the instructions to what I thought was a “T”.  Taking a left where I was supposed to, staying on a street, etc.  I found myself looking at a dimly lit convenience store, a ratty Caddy idling with a rhythmic clank and rattle.

I rubbed my stubble and wandered in.  Inside I found what you’d find in any inner city general store:  non-descript bags of neon-colored popcorn, 24-count cases of Natural Ice, on sale.  Nylon doo-rags in cellophane packets dangling from a spinning wire rack , non-NFL sanctioned Buffalo Bills memorabilia, 40 oz bottles of some brackish-colored alcohol stacked at the end of one of the aisles (the brand escapes me, but it wasn’t one of the ‘hood classics’ like Cobra, Colt .45, or Steel Reserve), scratch tickets, festering hotdogs on rollers, and black people shouting at each other.

I went in looking for, of all things, wine, a loofah, and tampons.  Maybe a snack for myself, since it was likely we weren’t going to be having dinner.  I left with nothing but fear that at any moment I was going to become a tragic victim of urban violence.  A sad state of affairs, when a young promising male, successful in his own right, was gunned down at a convenience store  outside of Buffalo, NY.  Another tale of “wrong place, wrong time.”

I can see the befuddled detectives standing over my splayed out corpse, bullet wounds in my back leading towards a growing puddle of blood:

“What the hell was this guy doing here, anyway?”  One says to the other, as he flick’s my out-of-state driver’s license.

“Fuck if I know, probably trying to score drugs,”

***

We did the whole sight-seeing bit, which given the time of year, wasn’t a whole lot.  We were only really up there for one full day sandwiched by two days of traveling.

The weather was some-what cooperative; to ask for warmth so late through October would’ve been asking for too much.  But at least it didn’t rain, which would’ve been too much for either of us to stand.

We did the falls, got wet, then went shopping at the outlets, which seemed to be the best option going, as the mall was crowded.

That night, we went to the Casino.

Admittedly, the last time I was in a casino I was 21 or 22, a raging alcoholic who often surrounded himself with hooligans equally intoxicated.  The last time I was in a casino, we were asked to leave by security.

What had happened was innocent enough:  We had been gambling, I think, and decided we wanted to go to the fancy buffet on whatever floor above the betting floor.  We, the three or four of us, clambered into a glass elevator and rode upwards.

At some point, this kid named Anthony, or Michael, or Patrick, … some Irish fuckhead, decided to pull down his cargo shorts and press his ass cheeks against the glass.

Security met us at the elevator just as the doors opened to let us out.

Now, some five or six years later, I was going into a casino with my wife on my arm, wearing half a suit I bought off the rack at H&M before we left for the vacation.

The suit was all black, complete with vest.  I wanted to wear the whole thing, but Ang protested, saying I’d be way over dressed.  I relented and opted to wear designer blue jeans with the jacket and vest.

Walking on to the betting floor was a lot like what I imagine walking on to a kill floor of a slaughter house circa 1890.  It’s disgusting; cigarette smoke hangs in the air just above the dizzying lights and sounds of all the machines.  Mummified remains of happy grandparents sit in front of computerized screens, punching buttons in some sort of twisted scientific experiment.

“How long can we keep these withered bodies here, pressing the same button over and over again, using the Reward System?”

Some were so addicted that they had some sort of punch card attached to a lanyard plugged into the machine.  If we could somehow harness the power from five hundred elderly people mashing buttons for 12 hours at a whack, we’d have solved the energy crisis.

I’m not a gambler, I make terrible bets and even worse decisions when I’m faced with a choice in my betting.  All one has to do is watch me agonize over my fantasy football picks every week to get a clear idea on how I’d make a terrible gambler.

We made a round of the floor, went to the bar, and each got a beer.  I sipped my beer and decided that I was going to play blackjack.  I had 50 dollars in my pocket to use towards that end, and I made up my mind that I would not walk out with less than that amount, so help me god.  I found a lonely dealer at a blackjack table and sat down.

The dealer and I chatted for a bit as I played, and before I knew it, I was up by about 100 dollars from my initial 20 dollar investment.  The pressure suddenly got too high, or maybe it was boredom at how easily I was making money.  I even hit on 16 and drew a five, much to the dealer’s amazement.  I knew nothing of player/dealer etiquette, and failed to tip as I got up from the table.  He changed my chips from stacks of fives to a few stacks of tens.

It was then, holding the tens in my hands, I could see the addiction welling up.  If I bet just one of these chips, worth 10 dollars, I could potentially double it, and then double that amount, and so on.  I could FEEL the gravity of the table; a pull on my spine no short of someone actually reaching in and tugging on my bones.

I finished my beer and found Ang back at the bar, checking her phone.

“How’d you do?”  She asked.  I shrug.

“Well, I have fewer chips,” and I opened up my hand to show that I indeed had fewer chips, but they were worth a lot more than what I started.  She was pleased, especially when I said I was going to cash out and we were getting the hell out of there.

The entire time, walking across the floor to the cashier, I felt eyes on me.  Maybe it was how I was dressed (“what’re you so dressed up for?” the dealer would ask.  “I’m on my honeymoon,” I told him.  “Huh, where are you from?”  “Cape Cod.”  “…You came out to Niagara Falls and you’re from Cape Cod… on your honeymoon?  What, you don’t like palm trees?”) or maybe it was that I was walking out with the casino’s money.

I was for certain that in order to cash out I’d be required to fill out a mailing slip so they could send me promotions, or invite me back, etc.  But no, they simply took my chips, counted them out, and handed me back the appropriate amount of money back, hassle free.

We left, the feeling of a thousand eyes on my neck following me out of the casino.
***

We were on the road early the next morning to get back to reality.  The sky was gray, the air cold and uninviting, almost telling us that we were doomed.  Fourteen hours we arrived at our apartment with two ferrets and a load of bags that needed to be hauled up a flight of rickety stairs.  The dog was picked up shortly after from a friend on a rain soaked night that welcomed us home like the chilling embrace of a bear trap.

October 21, 2009 Posted by | Blogging Couple, Corporate America Hates You, Getting Older, Gonzo Journalism, Out and About, People I Love, Shameless Self Promotion | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

866

My brain feels fidgety, which makes my whole body kinda numb, but panicked at the same time.

I think I’ve run out of things to do, to say.

But at the same time, it feels like my mind is swimming in gasoline, like it itches and I can’t scratch at it.

I need something else to occupy my hands, my attention, that sort of thing.

I feel bitter, like this beer in my mouth, this stupid lemon wedge the smiley face I don’t want.

I pretend it’s ok, because life is all about appearances.

Don’t let on that things are spinning out of control,

or that you’re unhappy.

Everything’s fine, really.

Turn up the radio, listen to the news.

Sip.

Listen to the sounds of your organs churning inside of you, your teeth gnashing, your muscles quaking.

Crack your fingers, sit down in front of the screen, stare.

Wait for it to come to you.

Backspace, backspace, backspace, start over.

Running head start.  Jump in.

Your eyes sting, your brow weeps, you look like a lost sailor.

You wish someone would see how hurt you really are.

You wish one person would see how hurt you are.

Fuck it, carry it like a load evenly distributed across your chest.

One step, two step, march.

Everything looks cheap and tastes cheaper.  You can’t get around the feeling that everything is set up to fall under your weight.

You get the sense that… despair is a better alternative.

But you fight against it.

You have plans, at least.

August 7, 2009 Posted by | The Great Indoors, Written Works | , | 1 Comment

The Rare Instance When Supporting Your Local Grocer Is A Terrible Idea

First, let me explain that I’m all about supporting the local guy, like 90% of the time.  That other ten percent goes to like, Netflix oppose to “Dan’s Awesome Videos” where I’m sure if I need a VHS copy of “Gone Fishin'” he can hook me up, but sadly I’ve saturated my taste for anything with the comedic buddy stylings of Danny Glover and Joe Pesci.

No, I dig the local bookstores, local bars, local coffee shops, etc.  There’s a community vibe that hovers over places like that, where you can kinda see the same “hey, we’re in this together, whatever ‘this’ happens to be” which nine times out of ten, is a local business.

But man, the grocer down the street, what a fucking shit show.

To wit:  We live on a main street in a sleepy harbor town on Cape Cod, so by “sleepy” I mean “jam packed with ding-dongs without a goddamn clue, for the three warm months of the year.”  The entire Northeast, for the most part, collectively deals with people from “Out of State (New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Quebec, etc)” during this time of the year, and we trade the fact that none of these people know how to properly navigate a sidewalk or use a crosswalk to get from one ice cream shop to the same identical ice cream shop across the street for their hard earned tourism dollars that they spend on the same generic Navy Blue sweatshirt with a silk screened CAPE COD across the chest (for my Maine readers, substitute Cape Cod for MAINE, for my Michigan reader, substitute Cape Cod for a Maple Leaf.).

It’s August, and frankly I’ve had enough of the tourist bullshit.

I was sent to fetch some garlic cloves for tonight’s dinner, and there’s a local grocery store at the end of the street, maybe a three and a half minute walk.  Along the way I pass by a small park, a restaurant/bar, a wine and spirit store (one thing I do love about where I live, is that it’s at least classy enough not to call itself a “liquor store” like they do in the black neighborhoods.), the box office for the local theatre, and then the market.

Remember those Warp Zone pipes from Super Mario Brothers on the old Nintendo?  You’d jump up on top of one, and squat, and magically you’d be brought to some other location, usually a perilous place.  Yeah, the grocer’s front door is like one of these pipes, where walking through it transports me to fucking mid-coast New Jersey.  The place is crawling with people, most if not all of whom are from out of state, and absolutely no one has a clue as to what the hell is going on.  Trying to navigate through this mish-mash of mouth breathing breeders makes me want (to paraphrase a line from Chuck Palaniuk’s “Fight Club”) “stalk up and down the aisles with a gas-operated AR10 rifle, pumping rounds into the chests of every fucking face I see.”

And on the subject of the breeders, the place is crawling with them.  I can’t think of any greater child-rearing deterrent to a late-20 year old guy than having to be held up at the front door by some balding, pot-bellied, bad hair cut having, tacky clothes wearing asshole trying to plaintively shepherd two obnoxiously inattentive children, equally tackily dressed, clutching melting ice cream cones which they’re getting on everything they touch.  Yes, I’m waiting for this piece of shit to herd his little cattle into the store so I can go in and buy an over priced jar of marinara, some cloves of garlic, and some imported beer.

Fuck.

So I managed to get around the store, which might I add is haphazardly organized; beauty products and pasta sauces are in one while, produce and napkins are in another.  There’s really no rhyme or reason to how things go, and I often find myself looking for an employee in a blue polo shirt as if I was in Best Buy and couldn’t find a BlueRay copy of “Training Day.”  When I do find an employee, it’s usually some middle or Eastern European college kid who barely speaks enough English to get hired, and has no idea where I can find a package of hotdogs and light bulbs (presumably they’re in the same aisle, I’m sure.)

I finally get what I came in for – a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Non-Fat Frozen Yogurt, this month’s GQ, and two boxes of matches, and now I’m standing in some serpentine line that seems to be the very definition of free-form.  I’m clueless as to where the line ends (or begins?) only knowing that between me and the old lady ringing in orders at the register, are about twenty people, each with a handful of small items.  There’s the mom with the package of hamburg, some laborer with a sixer of Red Stripe, an older couple from Quebec it sounds like, buying some prepped dish, etc.  And it seems that everyone has to have a conversation with the cashier.

People.  People, listen to me.  When you’re in a grocery store that resembles some Turkish open air bazaar, and there’s a growing horde of people behind you, one of which is near to the point of lashing out in violence if he can’t pay for his extension chord, rice pilaf and Snickers Bar RIGHT NOW, do not start some idle conversation about people you two mutually know, or about local events.  Not everyone is on a goddamn vacation, some people have wives at home who are burning the shit out of dinner because it’s taking them twenty minutes to bring home the bacon, spinach and peach chutney, ok?  For the love of Christ, His only begotten son, place your items on the counter, slide to your right, produce cash or debit card, pay, take your baggie of things, and get the fuck out of my way.

God help you if you pull out a check book.

August 4, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Gonzo Journalism, Living in an Insane Asylum, Out and About, People I Hate | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ever Wanted To Know What Goes On Inside My Head?

This is exactly what goes on inside my head every time I look in the mirror naked.

July 26, 2009 Posted by | Living in an Insane Asylum, Shameless Self Promotion, Why Am I Watching This? | , , , , , | Leave a comment

In His Prime

An oldie but a goodie, I bring you back to 1982, when Michael Jackson literally was the King of Pop.  ….Sigh, if only he had cut this album (or maybe Bad too) and died in a fiery plane crash along with Lionel Richie, which would have cemented their fates as Pop Music Gods…

Anyway, here’s “Thriller”, directed by John Landis and featuring a voice over by the late Vincent Price.  Epic video, especially by today’s standards.  Enjoy.

May 22, 2009 Posted by | Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, People I Love, The Great Indoors, Why Am I Watching This? | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Unmailed Letters: Fully Moved In Edition.

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

Dear White Trash Across The Street,

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

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

Thanks,
Your new neighbors.

To The People Who Live In Our Building,

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

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

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

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

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

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

To The Drug Dealer Down Stairs,

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

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

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

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

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

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

What the fuck?

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

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

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

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

To The Owners of Our Apartment,

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

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

Looking for loopholes in the lease,
Jim and Ang.

To The Realtor,

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

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

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

Pissed Enough to Maybe Actually Do It,
Jim.

I’m just saying…

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

Hey, Got Any Cake?!

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

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

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

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

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

Which I did.  Twice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m just saying….

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

For The Fanboys…

Ang sent me this last night saying in the email “thought of you.”  I watched it this morning, and could clearly see why she got that impression.

If you’ve ever felt like you were ment for more, this one’s for you.  (Don’t mind the subtitles)

I’m just saying…

March 27, 2009 Posted by | People I Love, Too Much Time, Why Am I Watching This? | , , , , , | Leave a comment

FO3 v. GTA4 GOTY?

I caught something briefly in the New York Times this morning that struck me as odd.  No, it wasn’t the article about Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s trip to Mexico, nor did it deal with China’s rising military.  No, the article, in the Arts Section, had to do with The Game Developer’s Choice Awards naming “Fallout 3” 2008’s game of the year.

First, let me tell you that “FO3” is a good game.  Hell, I’ll even venture to say it’s a great game.  But I wouldn’t go so far to say it’s the best game that came out in 2008.

I could go on and list some other prize-worthy games that came out, but the game that sticks out in my head the most is RockStar’s “Grand Theft Auto 4” which was released last April for the major consoles.  With it’s sprawling, high art concept-design, deep story line, amazing rendering, why was GTA4 overlooked?

Or maybe the question I should ask is why FO3 was selected?  I mean, I’ve played about 50% of it before I had trouble with the game locking up on me at inopportune times (just reached a crucial way-point, but was some distance to an auto-save, that sort of thing).  FO3 is a great game and has depth to it, but honestly I found it to be a bit tedious.  Sure you can “fast track” from location to location on your map, once you’ve “discovered” it of course, but that takes away a lot of possible “experience points” you could be earning towards “leveling up” your character.

So in essence, you’re left with plodding along some barren wasteland, killing/discovering shit for hours at a time until you reach your destination, or you can jump around from locale to locale, but be killed on sight in later missions.  Awesome.

Another aspect that I enjoyed, yet tasted the second edge of the double edged sword was how you can loot, pickpocket, grave-rob, however you want to call it, dead bodies.  But this becomes tedious too, as you either get weighed down by all the shit you’re carrying or you take forever to get from point A to point B because you’re busy bending down to pick up shit from bodies.

The one thing I did like, that I’d like to see in more games is the customization of weapons and other items within the game.  For instance, use a pistol too much and you start to notice it’s accuracy starting to diminish, as well as reloading takes longer because you can’t quite snap down a lever or there’s a feed jam.  So you have to stay up on your maintenance or else weapons and armor will literally fall to pieces in your hands.  They also lose their value, diminishing the amount of “caps” (bottle caps – what they’re apparently using for money in the post-apocalyptic future.).  Also, money, food and ammo are scarce, which only adds to the realism, but can make things frustrating when you find yourself in a fire fight with three Super Mutants and little in the way of cover or concealment.

Again, these are elements of “Fallout 3” that I enjoyed in the beginning but grew tired of the longer I played.  It’s a great game, but not for someone who hates to sit through long, terribly boring voice acting just to get some information about the next mission.  I’ve spent probably half the total time talking to boringly sad “wastelanders” than killing shit.  That’s a terrible ratio for someone who plays video games with the sole purpose of killing shit.

So yeah, basically, the game breaks down like this:  Talk to a guy for fifteen agonizing minutes, spend another half hour walking to the next town, maybe shoot a wild dog or two, maybe a crab person, get to the next town, talk to another person forever, blah blah blah.  Not Game of the Year material, at all.

No, not when GTA4 is as immersive as it was, with a beautifully scrawling backdrop, enhanced physics, a witty, deep storyline, and the biggest difference, online play.

I’m not usually a proponent of online multiplayer, because you often deal with piece of shit middle/high school kids with nothing better to do than train in stomping the shit out of you.  Plus you get to put up with their high-pitched taunts and hushed swearing, because mom’s in the next room making meatloaf.  It’s like going to the gym and lifting weights next to a guy who has nothing better to do/worry about other than lift incredibly heavy things over his/her head repeatedly, and who taunts you for being only a casual health and fitness nut.

“Grand Theft Auto 4” in my eyes, is the Game of the Year.  But possibly bestowing that title on it would be too obvious?  Maybe it would be setting a bar too high for other games?  And what about Playstation’s
“Little Big Planet?”

At least GTA4 doesn’t lock up on me as I finish a forty-five minute walk across town…

I’m just saying…

March 27, 2009 Posted by | Corporate America Hates You, Gay Shit I Know Too Much About, The Great Indoors, Too Much Time, Why Am I Watching This? | , , , , , | 1 Comment