Wednesday, August 28, 2002

OK, fuck commentz. Apparently, the website that hosted my kick-ass commentz no longer exists. Or some shit. I tried to visit to see what was going on. I figured they maybe unplugged something by accident or spilled coffee on some important server hardware. Instead of getting answers, however, I was directed to some site that sells domain names. What's up with that noise? I don't want to buy domain names, bitches. I want commentz in da hizzouse. More on this developing situation as details become available.

Monday, August 26, 2002

Commentz have left da house. I'm gonna' try to fix this. First I have to figure out why commentz have left da house. Blah.

Friday, August 23, 2002

Commentz iz in da house.
Aw Yeah.
Everybody in da house say yeah.
Now put your handz in da aaaay-er
And wave em like you just don't cay-er.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Here again for the first time are my famous television capsule reviews:

Six Feet Under (HBO) — This serial documentary follows the trials of a homeless man who lives in a casket just off Times Square in New York City. Hijinks at its purest form. Often, this destitute trickster dons a cunning rubber-nose disguise and sneaks up on people with a wooden paddle. He then beats them severely. I like this show because they don’t cut out all the swear words. RATING: Three Stars

ER (NBC) — ER is an acronym which stands for Enemy Rangers. This show is about a group of renegade rangers who are exploiting our nation’s precious natural resources for their own material gain. In the last episode, several dissident rangers banded together in a scheme to sell baby seal heads to the Russians for precious jewels and nuclear secrets. Luckily, their plan was foiled when the Russians turned out to be real forest rangers who quickly arrested the wrongdoers and released the baby seal heads back into the wild, unharmed. RATING Four Stars

God, this is fucking boring as hell. I need a new idea.

I was on the cusp of sleep last night and I had this great idea. I thought to myself: “Why not just grab my bedside pen and write it down?’ To which I replied: “Naw, man, I’m way too comfortable.” So instead I stopped and made a concerted effort to embed my awesome and cool idea into my head, so as not to forget it when I woke up.

It didn’t work ... obviously.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Today has been quite bizarre. I got a phone call this morning from “O,” the guy at The Village leasing office who was handling my rental application. O speaks with a lispy Asian accent that makes him very difficult to understand. I am fairly certain that he uses this accent to his advantage, to confuse angry or overly curious potential leasers. To the best of my recollection, this is a fair and accurate transcript of today’s conversation.

O: I’m sorry.

Me: Sorry ‘bout what?

O: We have declined your rental application.

Me: What? Why?

O: Because you have an eviction on your record.

Me: Yeah, I attached a letter to my application explaining that eviction. I mean, I paid my rent. We were evicted due to my roommate’s failure to pay. You can verify that through their leasing office.

O: Yes, but you wrote this letter.

Me: Well, yeah. The application said to explain any eviction on an attached sheet. So that’s what I did.

O: Yes, but no. We need a letter from them saying you paid the rent.

Me: OK, I can have them call you ... (silence) ... or do you need it in writing?

O: No.

Me: What?

O: Yes, please.

Me: Um. I think you’re breaking up ... I don’t understand.

O: It’s our policy.

Me: What is.

O: To rock your socks off.

Me: Huh?

O: Excuse me, our policy is to have dinner with me. And maybe a foot massage and a soak.

Me: Listen, I don’t understand. Should I have the leasing office send you something verifying that I paid my rent—

O: Idaho!

Me: How ‘bout this: I’ll call them up and tell them they need to call you. Would that work?

O: Probably not.

Me: When would be a good time?

O: Is this Mike?

Me: Yes. O, I’m trying to figure out what I need to do.

O: Oh no, you can’t do anything. It’s our policy.

Me: What’s your policy? I don’t get it.

O: If you’ve been evicted, you are declined.

Me: Then why did you have me explain why I was evicted on the application?

O: In all likelihood, that's what didn't happen.

Me: And why make me pay an application fee after I told you up front that I was evicted? I mean, if your policy is to reject any applicant who’s been evicted.

O: I have some dressing on my shirt, for possibly some fun of some sort from there, OK?

Me: Have you lost your fucking mind?

O: If you have them erase your name from the lease, you can reapply in 30 days. But you must wear some shoes this time and write it backwards. Maybe some new shoes for cross training.

Me: Erase my—? Are you—? What the fuck are you talking about?

O:: Oh, something in your apartment. (giggles)

Me: So let me get this straight. It just took you three and a half weeks to decide that you have a policy declaring that no one who has been evicted in the past can be approved for an apartment at this property?

O: You maybe could move in.

Me: I’m not so sure I want to. As a matter of fact, I’m certain I don’t want to. I don't think you know what the hell you're doing.

O: Please don't be angry with me. And have a drink of water, while you're at it.

Me: You're a fucking idiot. (Hangup)

Friday, August 16, 2002

I carry a bunch of shit in my wallet. Among the items is a list of names I've either heard or conjured up on my own that I want to use in stories. On that list:

• Subhash
• Plotkin
• Manish
• Shrivastava
• Dorraine Bungo
• April Lempa
• Polly Nichols
• Barbara “Barb” Beccue
• Mercedes Carlton
• Hokkani Boro

Pretty pointless, eh?

Thursday, August 15, 2002

When you're driving around tomorrow running errands and such, keep your eyes peeled for the new FedEx delivery trucks. The ones with "FedEx Express" emblazoned proudly on the carriage. That's just stupid. If you can't see why, well, you're probably not my friend anyway.

Coolest description of an outfit, ever. Courtesy the lovely and talented Miya Kim:

"Tonight, I'm wearing a long, slinky gray dual side split skirt, flowy spaghetti strap all-black tank, a funky necklace of some sort and my favorite patchwork blue denim Steve Madden platforms.  Booyah."

Pure lyrical magic.

The History of Bookkeeping, Part I

One of the most fascinating components of any large business is the bookkeeping department. Invented at the height of the Industrial Revolution, the bookkeeping department was charged with the duty of keeping books for large corporations whose books were in constant disarray by virtue of their sheer size and consequent inability to understand the tenets of book organization and maintenance. As industry grew, the need to hire individuals to keep books became evident. CEOs who tried to keep their own books quickly realized their folly, as the books became disorganized and unwieldy and were often left in break rooms and executive bathrooms. This would lead to much confusion when, inevitably, accountants would ask to look at a company’s books and executives would simply shrug their shoulders and ask “What books?”

Enter the Dandy Corporation, a linen manufacturer based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In 1903, Charles H. Dandy, confounded by the epidemic of lost and mis-alphebetized books, decided to devote a department to the “keeping” of the books. He hired his personal assistant, one Marjorie Hossenfuss, to head up the department and populate it as she saw fit. Mrs. Hossenfuss, a German immigrant whose husband, Jameson, dabbled in number theory, envisioned a department devoted not only to the keeping of the Dandy Corp.’s books, but also a department whose image properly embodied the art and science of bookkeeping. Her correspondence with sister Gertrude, describes her bookkeeping theory, specifically in this email dated 4 Aug. 1903:

“Dearest Gertrude,

America is a truly wonderful country. Hope all is well in Deutschland. Don’t go starting any wars!!!

Good news. My boss, Mr. Dandy, has charged me with keeping his books! Moreover, I have finally become pregnant, though the doctor has told me the child will likely be small and brittle and will vomit at the slightest touch, like its father. Speaking of Jameson, he is still battling consumption, though we still have no idea what it is he consumed. His limbs are getting shorter, and he has begun walking with a limp; however, he is a proud man and insists he is doing it on purpose.

As for the bookkeeping department, Mr. Dandy has told me I have carte blanche. That’s French! I sorely miss you and would love it if you would consider coming here to work with me on this important project. I know mother has fallen ill and she relies on you, but you can tell her you’re just going to the market and will be right back.

I have read that the most important part of any successful corporate environment is establishing a strong identity and work ethic. I believe this can best be achieved through a strict dress code consisting of long, fluffy dresses, orthopedic shoes and black knee socks. I will also decree that all of the employees under my charge shall have freckles. I do so love freckles!

Your loving sister,

This represents, of course, the earliest human record of bookkeeping theory. In the following months, Gertrude did, indeed, move to Milwaukee, leaving her mother under the supervision of a local haberdasher. Together, the sisters would establish the first successful corporate bookkeeping department and, in the process, set a standard for other corporations to strive toward.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

As another football season rears its beautiful head, women across the country are wondering what us men are getting so damned excited about. In a word: Fantasy Football. I know, that's two words. But in the minds of America's sports fans, the words are like one word because we never did too well in Language Arts classes. We were too busy thinking about sex and football. Girls, on the other hand, with their superior command of English and what not, will never fully understand what the weeks leading up to football season are like for those of us whose hearts bleed the trademark colors of our favorite football squads. They will, however understand the depth of frustration human beings are capable of enduring as we try in vain to school them on the finer points of the play action pass and the safety blitz. We do this because we know it's important. The same way women are under the mistaken impression that men are fascinated by their new toenail polish. Gleaming Mudsuckle or Guilded Lavender. Whatever. In August, we care about football. In six months, we still won't care how well those shoes match your new capri pants, but we'll be more willing than ever to put up a front and pretend. And pretend we will. Convincingly. For we are cunning young men who enjoy football and we love our women. But when it comes down to it don't dare ask us to miss overtime so we can meet your parents for dinner. Don't dare even look at the TV remote on Sundays. We will fight you for it. Don't dare ask us how much we spent watching 15 simulcasts at the local watering hole. We will tune you out like the background music in a doctor's office. We will make no apologies. We will pontificate on the importance of our fantasy football rosters as if it were a matter of national security. You can have us back — mind, body and soul — as soon as the last second has ticked off the last clock in the last stadium in February. We love you, ladies. We really do.

But we really love football.

Friday, August 09, 2002

There are several ways to take a shower. Most all involve getting wet. Those that do not involve getting wet are quite rare, and have yet to be documented by scientists, despite the fact that their existence is a statistical certainty. The major types of shower that have been observed are as follows:

• Quick Wash
• Relaxing Rain Soak
• Heavy Jet Clean
• Group Gym Spray
• Couple Sex Rinse
• Anti-Labido Chill
• Post-Crime Guilt Scrub

Quick Wash: The quick wash typically occurs either early in the morning or late at night, though it can in fact be undertaken at any time. It consists (in most cases) of an individual entering a conventional shower stall and cleaning himself. Efficiency is the primary goal of the Quick Wash. One sets out to clean oneself in a brief period of time, so that one may then go out and get a decent breakfast or lay down for a pleasant, comfortable sleep, for example. Quick Washes can involve couples. This, however, is a rarity.

Relaxing Rain Soak: What the Quick Wash is to shower efficiency, the Relaxing Rain Soak is to gross wastefullness. The RRS is usually utilized as a stress-reliever. Cleaning is not a primary objective, though it may be a pleasant side effect. This is the type of undertaking the massage settings on your shower head are custom suited for.

Heavy Jet Clean: The Heavy Jet Clean is normally the afternoon refuge of those who work in construction, the sex trade or other endeavors that result in stout layers of heavy dirt and grime on the body. The Heavy Jet Clean is the Quick Wash on crack.

Group Gym Spray: This is perhaps the most fascinating of all documented showers. Decorum for the GGS varies immensely between the sexes. While men in group shower situations tend to avert their gazes from the human private areas (or altogether ignore the existence of these areas by talking about sports), women, according to many published reports, engage in heavy petting, sensual kissing and nipple tweaking (often accompanied by a barrage of playful towel snaps and shrill giggles).

Couple Sex Rinse: Once again, here the object is not necessarily to get clean. The object is rather to engage in all sorts of sexy stuff while enjoying a gentle, erotic rinse. A couple Quick Wash may follow. (Group Sex Rinses are also available, yet not as common.)

Anti-Labido Chill: Most often, this shower is taken by males of the species when sex is not readily available, or rather when sex is readily available, but someone has a “headache” or is “too tired.” The ALC is typically preceeded by loud arguments, rolling of eyes, threats to "get it elsewhere," etc. Cold water is then a must to extinguish the male’s raging sex drive.

Post-Crime Guilt Scrub: Made popular by all sorts of fictional characters throughout history. When one commits a crime, we find, they often compensate for their guilt by compulsive washing, often to the point of bleeding. A good way to avoid such compulsive behavior is to refrain from engaging in illegal activity.

Thursday, August 08, 2002

Today's entry comes courtesy of my good friend and colleague, whose made-up name I have yet to determine, but who (trust me), is a very nice guy who is looking to mow lawns for cash, if you know anyone. Take it away:

"Thank you, Mike, for the heartfelt introduction.

Hey peoples. Please to meet you. Here's a little poem I wrote for your grandmother.

I done cracked my tooth on a muffin.

You know what I'm sayin'?

I said I cracked my tooth on a goddamn muffin.

As I sit here in my living room,
contemplating another glass of milk,
my cracked tooth throbs in despair.

The briar patch in the front yard
is teeming with rabbits,
all wanting a piece of the pie in the sky.

All wanting to fly.

The milk is sour, like the sourness that
consumes my soul,
when I eat Mexican food.

You dig?

Grandma is in the kitchen.
I walk in and remind her
not to put her head in the freezer

Buy more milk, grandma,
so I can live in a place
where milk is more available.

Ask about our free delivery,
and complimentary hot sauce,

I cracked my tooth on a muffin, yo."

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

OK, now suppose you were interested in seeing a movie. One of those movies with the crazy, confusing endings that people talk about afterward in coffee shops and opium dens. One of those movies whose ending is all mysterious and hush-hush and the subject of all kinds of directionless speculation. Suppose you were interested in seeing such a movie.

Now further suppose that while reading a newspaper article covering some current event or other, you read a reference to the movie you were interested in seeing. And the reference contained in the article seemed so innocuous that you didn’t really think anything of it. But now suppose that the reference — while seeming to contain no spoilers of any sort and even coming off sort of as a non sequitur — was indeed a spoiler. A spoiler so understated that the writer himself probably had no idea it could ever be seen as such. And now you, as someone who would like to see this movie, suddenly develop a very accurate idea about what this movie is about by combining this reference in the article with information you’ve gleaned from the movie’s trailer. And you’ve surmised all this subconsciously. Suppose.

OK, you must now further suppose that your girlfriend — who is quite fetching and intelligent and who has seen this movie already — wants to see it again. Wants to see it with you. Wants you to see it with no preconceived notions about its ending or plot or whatever. Naturally. She wants to see you enjoy it and be amazed the same way she was amazed. But now, through no fault of your own, you have deciphered the movie’s great big hairy secret. Through no fault of your own.

Now suppose your girlfriend found out that you’ve unintentionally decoded the movie’s riddle. And now, get this, she no longer wants to watch it with you.

Supposing all of these events actually happened in real life. My question is this:

... Wait ...

... Damn ...

I forgot the stupid question.

Monday, August 05, 2002

You haven't lived until you've slow danced to John Lennon's "Watching the Wheels" in a near-empty café in the middle of a Saturday afternoon.

Unsolicited plugs:
The All Good Café in Deep Ellum. The Monterey Chicken Club w/avacado is one of the best sandwiches I've ever had and Missy the server is good people.
Sushi Kyoto on Hillcrest across from SMU. Miya and I went Friday for my baptism into the world of sushi. The wait staff helped us execute a proper saki bomb and the chefs put together some delicious sushi. Miya taught me how to use chopsticks and eat my sushi with the proper reverence and class. Dinner for two has never been so much fun.
Friday Poetry Slam Competition at The Blind Lemon in Deep Ellum. Always a good bet and only a $3 cover. And in case you haven't heard, Dallas has some of the best slam poets in the nation. You ever watch that new Def Poet Slam on HBO? These cats are just as good. And the host, the legendary Clebo Rainey, exudes enough energy to power NYC on New Year's Eve.
Polyphonic Spree. If you haven't heard this Dallas band live, you're missing something special. They're back in town and they're playing at The Curtain Club in Deep Ellum Friday, August 9. Don't miss it. Their live show makes my heart thump extra.

Friday, August 02, 2002

Temperatures today in the Dallas Metroplex are expected to top off around 100 degrees. It’s humid. The air is heavy with the sick weight of bad climate. As the local air quality rating vacillates between orange and red, more and more people are losing their heads. Literally. Yesterday, some climate-crazed redneck put a bullet in someone’s head on Central Expressway, right at the Mockingbird exit. Blew the thing clean off. The headless driver's pickup came to rest near the side of the road and he was miraculously able to dial 9-1-1 on his cell. This all occurred in the northbound lanes. At the height of afternoon rush hour. Traffic was backed up all the way to downtown on both 75 and the access road. Commuters, unaware of what the holdup was, honked their horns in confusion. Helicopters circled madly above, trying to get a quality shot for the evening news. Passersby gawked down into the expressway canyon from the street above. It was a surreal scene, as the drama unfolded on what was possibly the hottest afternoon of the year.

This convergence of humanity provided me with a rare opportunity to collect massive amounts of really important data for ClimateWatch. While I have spent most of my time up to this point eating fancy lunches and taking air temperature readings using a rectal thermometer, I have looked forward to the opportunity to closely examine the human toll of the climate’s unrelenting relentlessness.

As I wandered around in the post-shooting cacophony, I attempted to take random pulse and blood pressure readings from volunteers, as well as non-volunteers. Most were skeptical, if not downright violent, but a few consented to submit to a brief battery of basic tests. I found that each and every one of the subjects suffered from acute osteoperosis, brought on no doubt from the bone-eating properties of poor climate. My associates later told me that my methods for determining skeletal girth were “highly unusual and possibly illegal.” Apparently, taking measurements of this kind “by eye” is purely a European concept, and has not as yet received acceptance in the states.

Needless to say, I collected a wealth of physical data, most of which went to support whatever hypothesis it was that I wanted it to support. With such comprehensive lists of numbers and such, ClimateWatch will no doubt pave the way for other scientists and maybe even dentists to conduct peripheral studies into the effect of bad climate on physiological anamolies in the human population. I have laid much groundwork with my research. I’m beginning to wonder if a Nobel Prize is really out of the question, after all.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

Here is a blatant ripoff of my work. I have been saying for years that the sun is directly involved in global warming. Many thought I was insane when I first made this discovery. I even spent three years in a Turkish sanatorium for continuously refusing to recind my statement. They told me I was there for selling used rabbits while wearing a sun dress in the middle of a Chicago winter, but I knew better. That was no sun dress. So anyway, now this Johnny-Come-Lately is trying to pass off my well-documented assertion as his own. If I see this homunculous on the street, I shall beat him about the head and neck with a rubber mallet, then steal his sideburns for sale on the black market.

Last week, I wrote a fashion story. I wrote this story as a joke. Today, it ran in the paper. Don't ask me how it happened.

Check this crazy shit out.