Monday, June 29, 2009

The Beginnings Of A List - or - If Nothing Falls In The Middle Of A Wood, Do The Trees Get Bored?

Once in a while I get drunk for no reason... alone. I had plenty of reasons to get drunk tonight, but not one of them could justify getting drunk alone. I did it anyway. Now I find myself typing, wondering, and feeling wanderlust. That’s always been one of my favorite words, wanderlust. It’s almost an onomatopoeia, except neither part needs to make a sound. Spittoon is my favorite onomatopoeia. Wonderlust is just what happens after enough years of the sound of nothing happening.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Two Quotes, One Drunk - or - Who Was That Funny Little Fat Man

"If you are going through hell, keep going."
-Winston Churchill

"I may be drunk, Madam, but tomorrow I will be sober and you will still be ugly."
-Winston Churchill

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What's Brown And Sounds Like A Bell? - or - Dunnnnng!

-What’s that damn smell?

I came home from work sticky, sweaty, dirty, and exhausted. I opened the door and a wave of putrid air hit me like a sledgehammer. A sledgehammer that has been soaking in the bowl of a full to the brim Port-O-Potty, located outside of a TacoBell, in the hot summer sun, for weeks, in New Jersey.

-Good God, this place smells like shit!

Not in the, “You drive like shit,” or the “this chicken salad sandwich tastes like shit,” or the “Man, you look like shit,” kinda way. And certainly not in the “Goodness, the aroma of this place leaves something to be desired,” kinda way either. When I opened my door, it was like someone had loaded up a slop bucket full of hot, peppery, baby diarrhea, and had launched it directly up my nostrils. I could feel the stink instantly coating the insides of my sinus cavities. There was a very happy dog waiting for me, ready for a walk around the neighborhood and love in the form of back scratches and belly rubs.

-Holy fucking shit, Ollie. What the fuck did you do?

I am dog-sitting Ollie the Wonderdog. My buddy works for Oprah and she has taken everyone that works for her, including my buddy and his girlfriend, on an all expenses paid three-week luxury cruise on the Mediterranean Sea, including five charted first class jets for transportation, an entire cruise boat to themselves, every meal covered… fuck it, it’s obvious that I’m jealous. No need to keep dishing it out. They are happy, I’m about to walk into a literal shit-storm.

-That is just awful, Ollie. Just fucking awful. Holy Jesus balls, that fucking stinks.

I am happy to dog sit. Maybe there will something waiting for me when my buddy gets back from this opulent trip, something made out of solid gold. There was something waiting for me when I got back from work today, sticky, sweaty, dirty, and exhausted. Something wet and brown and made entirely out of pure horrible.

-Where is it? Where the fuck is it, Ollie. Good fucking lord, it stinks. Where is… Oh. My. God.

Ollie had taken a pretty soft poop while I was walking him during my lunch break today. I couldn’t pick it all up with the baggie, I just kinda smeared it around for a while. Bright brown, completely unsolid, with the consistency of melted chocolate, and covered with shiny slime. It just oozed along the grass when I tried to pick it up. After spreading it around, I gave up, threw the brown-and-yellow-coated bag of nasty in a sidewalk trashcan and walked to the deli to pick up my sandwich. Needless to say, it ruined my lunch.

-Holy fucking hell, Ollie.

There were puddles of what appeared to be liquidly brown mud on my kitchen floor. Three big ones infront of the the kitchen sink, and five or six little ones splatter around the stove and my cooking rack. There were dried brown dog foot prints between the puddles. You could almost see the stink rising off each mess; similar to the way a highway wavers on a hot day as you look down a long stretch of road, but green and pungent and eye watering and fully saturating the air. I had closed my windows so that the AC that I usually keep off during the day, would keep Ollie cool. The stink had nowhere to go. It could only seep into the cracks on the floor, into the sheets of my bed in the next room, into the cushions of my sofa and the clothes in my open closet. That smell could get everywhere I lived and fester and stink. I was pissed at first, but then I started to realize what had actually happened. Ollie had dropped a wet one somewhere in my apartment in the last 4 hours since my lunch break walk. He couldn’t help it, the dog was sick from something, probably the peanut butter I gave him so that the fist sized glucosamine horse pill he needs because of his bum hips would be something he would actually want to take. Boy oh boy, did that dietary detour bite me in the ass. But upon further examination during the gag inducing cleaning of these shit puddles on my floor, during which I had a washcloth I had rubbed bar soap on as to not have to smell the stink, this mess I was looking at didn’t look like it had been pooped out. He must have known that dropping a deuce in the kitchen of the dog-sitters apartment was the wrong thing to do to me, and he must have tried to destroy the evidence. By eating it. A quick glance at his mouth proved I was right.

-Oh shit, Ollie.

He had eaten his own soft dog diarrhea as penance for crapping on my floor. That is the only way he knew how to clean up. What a good boy!

-Oh fuck, Ollie. Are you alright, boy?

The smell was overwhelming. Even with the soap-saturated towel over my mouth, I was gagging. He had puked up his own fecal matter all over the kitchen. What was once a semi coagulated pile of soft dog crap, was now an immense splattering of half digested shit and stomach bile. And it stank. I opened the windows, cranked every fan I owned, and bleached the floor, thrice. Ollie started whimpering. He had to go again. Since then, he has been “spurting” on all the neighborhood lawns every half hour or so. The walks are just long enough for me to return to my apartment and get a fresh whiff of dogshitpuke. Even straight bleach can’t completely destroy it. I’ve given Ollie a shower. I’ve washed shit off my hands more times today than at any time in my life before. My folks always said, “make every day count for something.” Today counts for the most nauseating, sickening, vial and oppressive feces I have ever had to deal with.

-Ollie. Did you get this idea from 2 Girls 1 Cup?

So, now I sit in the remaining stink, mostly bleached out at this point, typing this undeniably gross retelling of my adventures with a friend’s dog’s shit and vomit. I feel like this is an exercise in descriptive storytelling. Maybe I just want someone to suffer along with me. Thanks for reading. And thanks, Ollie, for making today, an otherwise normal and unremarkable day, noteworthy to say the least.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

An Open Letter To Someone Far Away - or - It's Tuesday

It’s Tuesday. I’m drunk before 11pm, which is uncommon. Usually it takes a lot longer for m e to be drunk on a Tuesday. I was gonna call you. I probably still will, but I might lose all motorcation when I hit the pillow. Motorcation is motivation with clutch and a gas pedal. I don't have a gas pedal. I’m that drunk. It’s not because I drank a lot. It’s because there is no such thing as spring here. A week ago it was barely 60° and today it was 95°. Beer and bourbon hit a lot harder when it’s hotter. Tomorrow is gonna be hotter. Tomorrow I'm not going to drink beer and bourbon. Drinking on Wednesday doesn't seem as sexy, as pointless, as obsquatch. I work in a green house which adds about 20°to the outside temperature, not to mention the humidity... oh yeah, this is all F not C because we don’t catch on fire or anything. The boss gets a bit pissy when he is hot. His wife gets worse, and for some reason, she hates me. We have an unspoken agreement; she will yell at me for no reason and I will ignore her and say thank you when she is done. You should call me, because I might just pass out before I call you. Tomorrow I don’t have to work until noon but I’m gonna catch up on sleep tongith, after I do or don’t call you, because of the complet lack of spring. Typing with one eye is not as easy as drinking with one eye. Not that I have one eye, I’m just only using one. I should call you, but I’m gonna finish this first, then maybe take a cold shower and pass out in front of the AC with Ollie, my three tweek dog sittie. He likes you, I know it. You’ve never seen where I work, I like it, just not the boss’ wife, when it’s hot, cause she is a bitch. I don’t like her most of the time, but who fucking cares. You should come over and we’ll get a drink. Or rather, I’ll be drunk and you’ll be here to laugh at me. I’m totally gonna call you right now, unless I pass out. Holy crap, I've lost my phone.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What Is The What Book Review - or - Please Enjoy This Book

I finished my book. What is the What, by Dave Eggers. It’s an account of a Sudanese boy, Valentino Achek Deng, in the middle of a bloody civil war between the Northern and Southern halves of Sudan. He “walks”, with thousands of other boys, across 800 miles of Sudan wilderness and away from the slaughter of his family, friends, and culture. He walks away from the Sudanese government as it tries to destroy him. He walks away from the Sudanese People Liberation Army as they try to recruit him for the simple purpose of haphazardly tossing him into the fray to soak up bullets. He walks from refugee camp to refugee camp, losing what little sense of what a real home is with every step. He is followed by death, pursued by it, almost to the point of being doomed to bring death with him wherever he goes. Everywhere he looks, everywhere he steps, someone is dead, or dying, or doomed to die for no reason at all. There is destruction, there is deception, there is misery, and there is seemingly endless suffering. I read this book very slowly. It demanded more attention than any other book I have read. I would read one hundred pages on one of my days off, then I would put the book down for a week or two just so that I could processes the events in it’s pages. There is no plot per say to this book; it is more an account of events, which start with the destruction of his village and the slaughter of it’s inhabitants, and from there gets darker and darker and darker. At times, it seemed like reading this book was no more than an exercise in suffering; how many more ways can I read about children starving to death on the road side; being shot at by perceived allies; being ripped apart by bombs, mines, lions, and machine guns? How many friends must this insect of boy lose in order for this book to finish? Although there is never a break from the sensation of complete loss that this story invokes, there are beautiful moments along the way. There are characters that made me smile, events that lifted me up, and moments of hope that inspired me to keep reading. A sharp stab in the gut quickly followed these events as the suffering continues to compound upon Achek. I found myself holding my breath, gasping in horror, shaking my head and murmuring, “Good God,” to myself while reading. This story is hard to take. It does not let up. It does not provide a chance to “catch your breath and find beauty in the world” as so many fluffy books I’ve read do. It is raw. It is harsh. It drags you though the gravel and broken glass. It crushes your bones and makes your skin crawl. It tests your limits for compassion. It can break any believer’s faith in God as it tests Achek’s faith openly and bluntly. It will break you down and not build you back up, that part is up to you when you close the cover. It made me weep, honestly, and I haven’t cried in many many years. It is an amazing book. Simply amazing.

I usually don’t tell people this. I’m not sure why. It doesn’t seem important for other people to know, but it is important for my family and me. In 1997, my parents sponsored an African boy, a refugee named Kay. He was my age, maybe a year or two older. I was at College when he moved in, and only knew him by name when I first met him that winter in my driveway. He didn’t speak English very well at first, and would always add an “ee” sound at the end of every word. “I like-ee dat.” He looked foreign and unlike any other black man I had ever met, but he had a smile that would take over his entire face. It would make anyone around him smile along with him. Kay’s story came to me in a patchwork from him, my parents, and others who helped and befriended him. This is what I’ve come to know about Kay.

I believe he was from Sudan, or some other war torn country in Africa. When civil war broke out in his country and spilled into his hometown, his mother sent him away. His father was already gone at this point; he was either killed or he abandoned the family, I’m not sure which. Kay’s mother could not provide for him and all of his brothers and sisters, so he left and, I assume, walked to Somalia. I don’t know if he witnessed the slaughter of the civil war, but I wouldn’t doubt that he did, as it seems the whole of central Africa starting ripping itself apart with machine guns. In Somalia, he stowed away abort a boat which was headed to Europe. The captain found him hiding in a cargo hold, sleeping against the hull, with no possessions and no food. They had been at sea for quite a few days when Kay was found. The captain took pity on him and put him to work scrubbing the inside of the hull. When they got to Europe, France I believe, the captain agreed to take Kay to Canada. Again, Kay worked on the boat in secrecy in exchange for food and passage. I’m not sure if he was given a bed. He lived in Montreal for a little over a year and decided he wanted to make his way to the US before winter. He was stopped at the border of Vermont. He had no passport, no papers, no ID, no visa, no reason for entering the US. He was not allowed in. He was not turned around and sent back to Montreal. He was not given an option to contact anyone. Instead, he was handcuffed, put in a car, and sent to a prison in Vermont. He spent a month in jail for trying to cross the border with no papers. That’s when my parents heard about him through a family friend, a Winthrop, as in a direct relative of the Mayflower Winthrops. My parents, along with the Winthrops and many of their other friends, are social activists, righting the world in tiny, tiny, tiny steps. This was a big one. Kay moved into the room across from my old room. I was in college, hundreds of miles away, as was my brother, and there was plenty of space in my folk’s house. They had hosted guests and visitors before, some formal, some political, some thrust upon them by me, all of whom where grateful for their hospitality. Kay was no exception. He enrolled in Montpelier High School, where my then girlfriend met him and, along with the entire MHS field hockey team, befriended him. He would run with the girls during their practices, smiling his huge smile while running backwards, and say to them, “I like-ee run!” My parents sent me photos of Kay’s birthday at their house. He is smiling and staring a huge cake, covered in candles. The first time I met him was in my parent’s driveway. It was snowing in Vermont. I shook his hand and introduced myself. He smiled his huge toothy smile. We would go for walks around the neighborhood and have splintered conversations due to my constant THC buzz and his broken English. It was understood that his life had been exceedingly hard up to that point and that he was grateful to have made it to my parents house, even though he hated winter. I told him at one point that I was happy to be his friend. He taught me how to say, “can I have a beer, please?” in Swahili. Nah Mah Bee-ah Tafa Dali.

Kay is now married and has three children. He lives in Burlington, Vermont and periodically drops in on my parents for a surprise visit. He calls me from their house and pretends to be the police, which is hilarious due to his deep accent and the caller ID telling me it’s my parents. We laugh and he tells me he is happy. He has never shown anything but happiness to me. He has proved to me that he is unbreakable.

His wife’s cousin, a childhood neighbor I had barely known growing up but fell head over heels for during a MHS reunion, captured my attention for a spell almost three years ago. She is the one who gave me What is the What during our brief, and ultimately heartbreaking, desire for each other. She mailed it to me and included a note that said, “Please enjoy this book.” I didn’t start reading it until our relationship was well past destroyed, and “enjoyed” is a tricky description for how I felt while reading the book, but there is no question that I am glad that I read it. This book put all of my heartbreak , all of the obstacles I have faced in life, and all of the challenges I deal with on a daily basis, into prospective. So, I will pass the message onto you, whether you are a stranger to me, or one of the many people I call a friend; whether you were once were a part of my life, continue to be a part of my life, will someday become a part of my life, or are completely removed from my life; who ever you are, please enjoy this book.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

You Are A Pirate - or - You Are A Fucking Pirate

Sometimes genius is hard to spot. Sometimes it is so fucking simple that you should be fucking kicked in the fucking teeth for not fucking noticing any fucking earlier. It's fucking funny to fucking see how fucking easy it is to be a fucking genius that I fucking wonder why the fucking fuck I am not a fucking genius yet.

Notice that they are the exact same footage, but one is 25 seconds longer.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Brotherhood Of The Royal Blue Headband Part 4

Maybe you should watch these first.

part 1

part 2

part 3

I think almost everyone who reads this has head me rant about how awesome Krumbine is. I think he is one of the most interesting and creative people to walk this cosmic shit stain that we call Earth. He has done collaborative work with a ton of hot people from around the world. Yes, they are all hot, which makes me feel hot, too. Not a lot of men make me feel hot without the threat of cock punching. If you know nothing about Krumbine, do yourself a favor and check out his videos and his blog. And if you flail your arms around while watching his videos, they are just that much better.

Krumbine's YouTube Channel
Krumbine's Blog
Krumbine's Talking Heads videos
The YouTube Rejects Series is an absolute must see
Collaborative Music Video about Krumbine
Strangers giving salutations to Krumbine in L.A.
Drunk strangers giving salutations to Krumbine in Chicago
Krumbination Appreciation Collaboration