Saturday, October 30, 2004

Well, well, well. What have we here? It is 2:41 a.m. and we are listening to songs. Dave is wearing sunglasses, Lauren is chewing gum busily, her jaw working like industrial machinery, Rebekah is marshalling troops for the home stretch; I am sitting here basking in the thickness of it. The music is humid and soft.

I am wearing blue jeans and a borrowed T-shirt. I am going against the grain. My shirt declares my affection for Stereolab.

There are four conversations in one. My palms sweat. "I'm shooting a video in that state." What state? "Kansas. Outside Wichita. I know this sounds like bullshit but trust me."

My friends. My friends. We are closing in on 30,000 hits. This is a significant number.

There are car keys on the speaker. We are listening to the Shins, My relationship with the television is evolving for the better. Short hair pulled back in a bun. The hardwoods creaking beneath our feet. Neighbors out of town, I'm told.

I will write at great length.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

I was dining last night at P.F. Chang’s, a delightful bastion of cheap Asian cuisine, where the waitstaffers wobble around the crescent-shaped dining room refreshing water glasses and primping their finely crafted hair, when something occurred to me. Staring absently at an ostentation of sororitarians, I was suddenly perplexed by the Western compulsion with using chopsticks at Eastern restaurants.

There, sitting silently next to my own pair of chopsticks, was what culinary scholars have called the greatest utensil in the history of dining. I refer, of course, to the fork. And as I sat there watching those giggly Greeks desperately shoveling rice into their hungry maws, I could not help but wonder why it is they neglected their four-tined instruments.

Fork: tailor made for the twin tasks of shoveling and harpooning.

Chopsticks: unwieldy and complicated, however sultry in the skilled hand.

I continue to struggle with things that are of little or no consequence.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The older I get, the more I like onions.

Monday, October 25, 2004

The weekend was good; the temperature was satisfactory. I wore short sleeves and went for a walk around the Village pond, where sign after sign reminded me that there is no fishing. Ever watch ducks? Me neither, really, before this weekend. Watch some ducks and laughs are guaranteed. Ducks are the comedians of the animal world. They’ll quack you up.

Saturday night, after an Italian feast down in Lakewood, I saw the coolest sunset — fuzzy cirrus slung like pink shag across the western sky. The Merrill Lynch building reflected the scene onto Mockingbird Station, where commerce hides the sunset under normal conditions. People were freaking out. I couldn't blame them. It wasn't their fault.

Hero was a visual fuck bomb. I recommend it for anyone who does not suffer sea sickness under normal conditions.

This week, I look forward to consuming leafy greens and keeping fit. I’m getting on in years and I should be watching my sodium intake. Maybe I should have my colon inspected. But not by a physician. Maybe just by someone at the grocery store.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Not only is it as beautiful as a hot chick covered in cheeseburgers, but it makes the simplest prose sound spectacular.

For additional fall funnery, check out Grandaddy’s new video.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I’ve had less than a dozen cigarettes in the past five days. My lungs are like “What the fuck, dude?” My brain is pretending it doesn’t know me. I have to build some bridges before it’s too late. Before my body decides to run out without me and smoke like fifteen packs of Lucky Strikes. I have decided to build these bridges using carbon fiber and epoxy. And good-old American know-how.

This past week has been like a trip down a crazy river, only not nearly as fun.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

It’s not that I don’t like going to hospitals. I just detest the enormous inconvenience of it. I am beginning to think I might have pneumonia, but I don’t want to go to the hospital. This chest pain can’t go on like this much longer. It’s more annoying than having to go out to dinner with a tornado siren. Fuck.

Double fuck.

Monday, October 18, 2004

I battled the forces of Influenza with grace and compassion. I emerged victorious yesterday evening. I had never had the flu in my adult life until this past weekend. For anyone looking into getting it, don’t. It’s not nearly as cool as it sounds, although the part about laying paralyzed on the couch covered in cold sweat was pretty sweet.

There has been much ado about newspapers endorsing presidential candidates. I hope to get to that later.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I had a dream last night based on fact. Mankind flew, spinning through the cosmos on a ball of dirt and minerals. Some people were sick, but we couldn’t decide if it was the motion that ailed them or if something else caused their sickness. I wasn’t a doctor; I didn’t know. But I told them that gravity holds us down, that they shouldn’t blame the orbit and spinning for their sickness. I suspected their inner ears were infected and said as much publicly. On the record. A coalition of professional physicians would confirm my hypothesis just days later.

I woke up at about 7 this morning and it felt like it was 5. The autumn dawn tricked me. My clock radio activated at 7:15 and the radio personalities were discussing news items from around the world. I got out of bed and cleaned up and got dressed.

(Last night, before I went to bed, I got a call from the printing press telling me that some of the photos the PDFs we sent were not at premium resolution. I told him I would fix the problem. I drove back to the work on empty streets and bounded into the office. I fixed the problem like I said I would and put the new PDFs on the FTP site. I called Chris at the press and told him the problem was fixed. He checked the files and confirmed.)

I couldn’t find my lighter this morning, so I put some matches in my pocket. I have four wooden matches left in a Rosewood Resorts matchbox. I’ve never been to Rosewood Resorts.

Monday, October 11, 2004

When future civilizations excavate the city of Dallas and try to figure out what I was doing the weekend of Oct. 10 & 11, 2004, they will find that I spent most of my time indoors, watching TV and being a shameless layabout.

They’ll have no way of knowing that I got drunk and ate a pound of crab legs, because I was wearing a disguise at the time.

Friday, October 08, 2004

"Wanna' buy some wood?"


It is a refreshing commentary on the state of election coverage when even CNN’s Tucker Carlson crowd surfs during the commercial break.

So last night after another wrinkly broad got fired on The Apprentice, I flipped around and was delighted to find that Dr. Strangelove* was just beginning on AMC. Most of you have seen Dr. Strangelove. Many of you have seen it in the nude. But have you ever seen it during the height an election year? If not, I recommend it. The parallels are uncanny. By that, I mean that they are entirely without can.

After Slim Pickens rode the H-bomb to paydirt and Dr. Strangelove outlined a plan for 100 years of underground hedonism, you’d never guess what happened. There on a white stage sat vice president** John Edwards and a kindly AMC between-the-movies host. The host asked Edwards about the movie’s pertinence today and the senator (vice president**) responded with a very eloquent answer that involved some very important words***.

I left the room, went outside and had a cigarette. I can’t wait to vote my ass off. Vote an ass in. Get an asshole out. The possibilities are endless. But the choices are two****.

*Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

**Not yet vice president

***Amazingly, neither “health” nor “care” came up

****Some will tell you there is one choice consisting of two options

Thursday, October 07, 2004

I’m surprised that nobody’s ever taken me aside at a dinner party and told me that I am doing myself a great disservice by not having seen Ingmar Bergman’s Through A Glass Darkly.

I am also surprised that no one has had the common courtesy to let me know I’ve been walking around with my fly ajar for the last thirteen years. But I am a proud man. I shall keep my fly unzipped for the next thirteen years, lest people think it has been an embarrassing oversight.

I no longer have mixed feelings about the changing seasons. I have decided to embrace autumn. Sexually.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

John Edwards was terrible. Just terrible. He locked down so hard on his talking points that he could not be persuaded to abandon them, even when it would have been to his advantage. I am completely convinced that had Gwen Ifill asked him “Senator Edwards, aside from health care, what do you think is the most important issue for seniors in America?”, he would have answered “Well, Gwen, it’s funny you should bring up health care. The current administration has spent [statistics statistics statistics] and we can do better. We will do better.”

Edwards was painful to watch. I expected him to know better than to come off like a slick-talking lawyer type, but that’s exactly what he did, even when it worked to his own disadvantage. Edwards was handed the debate on a silver platter when Gwen asked him to speak about how he thinks the current administration has polarized America. Had I been on that stage, I could have spoken extemporaneously on the subject for five minutes, maybe more, and done so with conviction. What did Edwards do? After a dispassionate, 20-second answer that, to its credit, addressed the question at hand, Edwards did it again: he abandoned the opportunity and dove into a canned speech on health care.

By debate’s end, I thought it looked like Edwards had engaged the autopilot and was no longer paying attention.

Cheney, on the other hand, came off like a gallant curmudgeon, swatting away Edwards’ tangential musings as if they were miniature spy planes hovering around his head. Throughout the two-hour face-off, Cheney rubbed his hands together busily, clearly hatching several plots to suppress free speech in America and shut down universities and other liberal breeding grounds. Part of Dick’s charm is his uncanny ability to reduce the most intricate arguments to rubble simply by denying the foundation of their content. He does this with such a cavalier air, as if his assertions are self-evident even to rodents, that most people never stop to wonder if he’s telling the truth. Cheney could have exclaimed last night that the (finger quotes) mess in Iraq (finger quotes) was impossible because classifieds reports only Cheney is privy to suggest Iraq itself does not exist, and his supporters would have left the room and spread that new fact vigorously. Or vociferously.

Let’s just hope no one is paying attention.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Tipsy is a word that should be reserved for giggly girls in poodle skirts who’ve had too many wine coolers. People in clubs typically achieve more advanced states of euphemism.

If everybody in da club gettin' tipsy, I predict the club owners go bankrupt within a year and sell the property to a Starbucks franchisee.

Monday, October 04, 2004

John Stewart nailed it down about an hour after the conclusion of the first debate:

“By tomorrow night, Bush supporters will have us convinced this never happened.”

So it took a bit longer than that, but the machine, which exists largely on the internet, has mounted a multi-faceted attack. We all watched the same debate, right? We know what happened. So why are people trying to convince us that we didn’t see what we saw?

Here are the lines:

Kerry won on style, but lost on substance.
The only substance George Bush had on his side of the stage was the crust collecting in the corners of his mouth. Bill O’Reilly has been using this veiled defense of the President’s performance. It doesn’t sound as partisan when you admit your opponent won before you note that his win was based on style. I heard Kerry outline a four-point plan for getting the United States out of Iraq. I heard him promise to corrale the world’s nuclear weapons in the next four years. I heard GWB grumble a lot. I’m not even going to continue deconstructing this argument.

We tuned in. We know what happened.

Kerry was relayed his answers in an earpiece.
Yes. Some people believe this. But the last man with presidential aspirations to cheat his way through an interview using an earpiece is still Ronald Reagan.

Kerry had a cheat sheet.
This morning, a host on Dallas’ No. 1 radio station actually presented this as if it were a fact, when all it really is is another desperate attempt to confuse the electorate with subterfuge.

Kerry forgot Poland.
This is true.

Friday, October 01, 2004

It wasn’t even close.

Last night John Kerry defeated George W. Bush in the first presidential debate. Hemingway wrote that a man can be destroyed but not defeated. Ernest Hemingway never met John Kerry. It was a thing of beauty; it was an ugly thing — to see the leader of our country mumbling and stuttering like a child while across the stage a tall, stoic man told America exactly what he stands for.

• John Kerry accused George Bush of having long-term plans to occupy Iraq. Bush never responded. He accused the president of mismanaging our alliances, to which Bush had no answer, other than: “I’m not going to let foreign countries dictate our policy.” Oh, please.

• Inexplicably, George Bush talked about declining an invitation to have America participate in a multi-national court of law, talked about it as if it were a good thing. What he said, in essence, is that American soldiers would not be bound by world law, that they essentially could do whatever they wanted — even in direct violation of the Geneva Convention — and never have to face the same kind of legal consequences for war crimes that every other soldier in every other country is subject to. Great, Mr. President. You adumbrated your own continuing tyranny.

• George W. Bush should never be allowed to utter the word “insouciance” ever again in a public venue. With any luck, he won’t have to much longer. Bush using the word to describe anyone else is so ironic that it almost makes you ignore his deplorable pronounciation.

• Now back to last night’s greatest moment:

Kerry on the Bush twins’ shenanigans, saying: “I’ve laughed at some of their comments.”

BUSH: “I’m trying to put a leash on ‘em.”

KERRY: “I’ve learned not to do that.”

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Kerry effectively framed a metaphor for Bush’s entire regime. Not only was the comment quick and delivered with the perfect tone, but it characterized Bush as the man he is: a dangerous man-child whose solutions to simple problems defy logic. And there was Kerry: a man who has learned from his experiences, a pragmatist who just knows better.

I feel today as if a dark, dusty film has been lifted from the nation. Bush took his first step out the door.