Wednesday, May 25, 2005

I don't know if you've heard, but George Bush's new refrain is "I've only just begun" or "I'm just getting started." His handlers realize people are wondering why he won't abandon his floundering Social Security agenda and shift the focus to more pressing issues, like Medicare. So Rove and Luskin and the rest of the politicos sit in the back room and come up with the idea that Bush won't look so out-of-touch with the real problems Americans are facing now if they can somehow create the illusion that he's "just getting started," that the Addressing of Urgent Issues is right around the corner. But Bush will take his Texas time. He'll mosey on up to the Urgent Issues after he's finished ironing his chaps.

"I'm just getting started," he says. I wonder if he knows what a chilling statement that is.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

I've posted more photos.

Friday, May 20, 2005

I need to stop reading stuff like this first thing in the morning. Especially when only a half hour ago I was being cut off by a woman who could not understand the alternate flow of a four-way stop. I am now moved to tears. Tears of sex.

I feel stronger this week than I did in weeks past. Our softball team emerged victorious late Wednesday night, clinching a first-place finish with a last-second rally. Champions. Cham-peeee-unz. It rolls off the tongue. It lands on your shirtsleeve. It looks like barbecue sauce. You ask if anyone has any seltzer water, without thinking what a stupid question that is. Your family tires of your inane requests. They send you to live with your aunt, who was queen of the Seltzer Water Festival back in aught four. She still wears the sashe. She smells like an old cask of gin.

Now check out these biceps. Tremble in terror. We won T-shirts.

If you plan on emerging any time soon, I suggest you do it victoriously. I suggest you gird up your loins. Gird them all the way up, if possible, and you’ll be a champion in no time. Your biceps will frighten children. Your loins will also frighten children. Make sure you gird them up securely. So they don’t roll off your tongue.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

I hereby declare my deepest gratitude to George Galloway. It seems they don’t castrate and lobotomize politicians in Europe.

Starting to feel the momentum?

Friday, May 13, 2005

I got in and out of the DMV in just under 1 hour and 15 minutes. I am beaming. And I am happy to report that I did not — not! — have to pay the ridiculous New Resident Tax, which you already know, if you have been following closely, is the single most hated tax in my life.

I got a personalized license plate that reads: 4NIK8

No I didn’t. But I thought about it as I sat there watching an oscillating fan oscillate, blow the hair puff of an elderly state employee, scatter a stack of line numbers. You know, line numbers — those numbers you get out of the red, nautilus-shaped dispensers that tell you what number you are so you know, if you’re good at counting, when to step forward and place your order. ‘What if I were rich?’ I wondered. ‘What kinds of awesome personalized license plates would I get? WAXWING? CUB FAN? AWESOME? PRTYGRL?’ Oscillate right. Oscillate left.

If I were rich I could hire someone to think up awesome license plates for all of my pimped-out hot rods. I could call that person by whatever name I wanted him to have. I could change it at my leisure. Confuse him. Or her. Confuse him and her. Make them have sex with each other on my living room floor while I watched from a throne perched at the top of an audacious marble staircase, with a bottle of top-shelf gin in each hand, a cigarette dangling precariously between my lips, designer pants bunched up around my ankles.


Fifty-seven happens to be my line number. I step to the counter, make all sorts of complicated transactions in record time, then politely punch the receptionist in the face and run. When I run I look like one of those motorized erector set beasts from back in the day. The ones you would try to build like the diagram but which would end up looking more like a pile of broken pencils. The ones that would scare the dog. Attack you in your sleep. With a bottle of top-shelf gin in each hand.

Hey. I don’t want to become another sad face on the morning commute. I’m saying that with all sincerity. More sincerity than you could possibly imagine. Try this: Think of the most sincerity you can think of at one time. Now think of twice as much as that. You’re getting close. Close to the edge. The cutting edge. And that’s where I want to be, chilling with dead supermodels, wearing space-age slacks, and oozing sincerity.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I could write at length about the conspicuous lack of rain in Dallas, but that’s exactly what they want me to do and I won’t fall for it. I won’t stand for it either. It’s best to just not talk about it. To stay seated. To bend my elbow and watch the toothsome University dog walkers on post-work promenade. (I have been trying for weeks to wedge “toothsome” into a sentence without having it look like I consulted a thesaurus. And this raises issues that go way back. Back to before cell phones, when a high school journalism teacher accused me of plagiarism [which word, “plagiarism,” I didn’t just look up; the first time that’s happened in all my puff; I have been wary of that cursed word up to this point; we’ll see if I got it right sans safety net; I refuse to look it up; semicolon; close brackets].) I just punctuated myself into all sorts of hell.

I will bring you up to Speed, if I see him. I’ll ask him when it’s going to rain. I’ll box his ears with stone tablets. I’ll record the sound for posterity. (Don’t tell me. Don’t even say it. I already know. I’m in the thick of Teen Angst.) Speed dismisses things with a wave of the hand and I tell him that’s a boring way to dismiss things, to dismiss them instead with a handshake. No one would see that coming, I tell him. And stop wearing that monacle, for god’s sake. You look ridiculous.

Can you tell that I haven’t thought this through? If not, I have. Thought it through.

In the coming weeks, watch me not.

A kind soul gave me a Flickr Pro account and I went apeshit, posting several thousand photos of my urban mistress. I may or may not have gotten misty-eyed during the entire photo-archive-scavenging process.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

A play in one part.

BUSH: Welcome to the Social Security Café. What would you like to eat? Can I interest you perhaps in some of our fine doughnuts?
DEMS: No thanks. We’re starving. We’d like your top sirloin, medium rare, please.
BUSH: I’m sorry. You have to choose doughnuts. But you can choose any kind of doughnuts you want.
DEMS: But we don’t want doughnuts. Doughnuts are bad for you. The people want us to come home with something better than doughnuts.
BUSH: Oh, I see. I guess you’re just not willing to compromise then.

(Dems huddle together, talk for a couple minutes, nod their heads in agreement)

DEMS: OK. We've decided we'll settle for a hamburger. Can we have a hamburger?
BUSH: Nope. You have to choose doughnuts.
DEMS: How ‘bout some chips and queso?
BUSH: Uh-uh.

(Dems huddle again, shrug shoulders)

DEMS: Eh, we’ll pass. (exit Dems)
THE PEOPLE: (to Bush) So what did they want?
BUSH: They had no idea.

Last night I watched a L’Oreal commercial with a bunch of powdered sweethearts pouting and gyrating over the creamy white backdrop of your run-of-the-mill cosmetic netherworld while their darkened eyelids nictated to the obnoxious rhythm of some inane runway techno. Platinum bugs fluttered about in breezes generated offscreen and the women’s faces glowed in the delicious brilliance of what one can only guess is a soundstage located somewhere near the core of an active supernova. I was stricken with a sudden urge to apply blush and thereby reinforce the subtle ridge of my cheekbones. Because I want men to love me for me.

The techno song — the one that was causing all of the half-naked commotion — was the same one that Geico uses in a commercial that has its company mascot, an animated gecko, doing the robot. If I am shitting you in the least may my firstborn be a neocon.

The single force that I have to make a constant conscious effort to combat on a daily basis is that of marketing. I find the practice depressing. There are exceptions (like the Aquafina spot that depicts hard-core soccer fans hoisting bottled water in various European beerhaüses while singing about drinking), but they are few.

On the whole, marketing bolsters my worst fears about Other People — that they are shallow, solipsistic bastards just like me, only with an eyeliner that really brings out their features and makes them look all retro-hot, like Ann Margret in Bye Bye Birdie. That they are getting a better rate on their car insurance than I am and doing the robot with glee. That they love driving at the butt crack of dawn because where they live people with new cars are allowed — by virtue of some unspoken agreement — to leave ten minutes before anyone else and make all the lights and get really sweet parking spots when they get to work. That they are served only the most symmetrical of burgers with bright red tomatoes and ripply sheets of fresh lettuce. That they are getting superior investment advice because they have a broker who treats them as a person and not as a number. That when they drink beer, spectacular babes and their shy, bookish sisters lay them on command.

What kind of world is that? And where do I apply for a membership?

Monday, May 02, 2005

More Fry Street photos.

I know. You’ve probably had it with the Blinking Bush. Don’t panic. He’ll fade away like a rock star. Every new post will push him down. He’ll whirl into the eddy of my archives and get sucked down toward some lame post from yesteryear. Or yesterday. Would that it were!

Hold on a sec. The coffee machine is beeping. You know what that means. (Twenty seconds elapse here. I drink it black, so I walk into the office kitchen, clean my cup, fill it to the rim, and return. Type some stuff in parentheses.)

The tale of the bride with the cold feet is the most asinine story adopted by the cable news networks since the manufactured shark-attack hysteria of ‘03. It’s a shame things happened the way they did. But can we just be glad she’s alive and leave it at that? Must they dissect this poor woman’s mental breakdown ad nauseam for public consumption?

That's what those heartless bastards did all weekend. For hours and hours on end. Breathless anchors, pundits, legal experts, psychologists, noisy info graphics, emotional neighbors, incredulous strangers, and, of course, the bloodthirsty mob. I can’t believe that some people are so outraged by what this woman did that they can’t wait for her to pay for it. See her suffer for what she did. More disturbing than the fact that this woman freaked out and ditched her social network on the eve of her wedding is the fact that so many are loudly calling for her head.

Can we talk instead about Bush’s plan for Social Security? Did you know that if you invest your personal voluntary private socialist retirement activist account stockpile fund into Treasury Bills (as the President suggested during his press conference) that you are guaranteed to lose money? Discuss this and other fun topics.