Archive for August, 2010

Moms Know Best (“I found the secret to life: I’m okay when everything is not okay.” Reprise)

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

“You need to stop pining over this guy,” my mom said.  I had called her to explain how Jayme makes the dressing for steak salad.  (Ginger, balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, and water, cooked on the stove top with onions.)

“If you’re referring to my new blog post, this is a totally different guy than last summer,” I informed her.  “And I’m not pining.”

“Well, you need to forget about him,” she went on,  “The sweetest revenge is shaking ‘em off quickly.  Forget about him.  He isn’t worth a fart.”

I laughed.  “But mom, forgetting about these guys isn’t good for my creativity.”

She sighed.  “You need to be with someone who treats you right.”

“But these guys do treat me right at first!  Then they turn out to be complete shitheads,” I said  “Really though, I’m fine.”

“It’s just that when you write about it, you seem… disturbed,” she claimed.

“Disturbed over the situation or disturbed in general?” I asked.

“Over the situation.”

“But I am disturbed over the situation!” I told her.  “It disturbs me that people can be so completely shitty.”

“Well, they can.  So deal with it,” she replied.  “I’m the mom, and moms know best.  If you see him, ignore him, or be really nice.  If you feel like he is really slime, then ignore him.  I’m telling you.  Moms know best.”

“I hear ya,” I agreed.

“I found the secret to life: I’m okay when everything is not okay.”

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

“Here’s the truth: (a) I’m an artist, (b) I don’t want to have tough skin, (c) I don’t want to live in a world where everybody has to have this tough skin and has to pretend what happened didn’t hurt my feelings, and (d) it does hurt my feelings!”
-Paul Reubens, b.k.a. Pee-wee Herman

Last night an old friend showed up at my door.  “Just come to the bar,” she said.  “Who cares about that stuff?  We’ll have fun!”

But I care.  And I shouldn’t have to pretend that I don’t.

“I told him he had to be nice to you,” another friend said.  It confused me.  She should have been telling me to be nice to him.

It’s difficult not to hold a grudge when One has been so completely wronged by Another, especially when Another shows absolutely no remorse for his/her actions.  One can forgive without Another’s apology, but still feel the need to not grace Another with One’s company.  And this is not to say that Another gives a shit either way.  But One needs to act with self-preservation in mind, and this may involve not forgetting Another’s proven insincerity.

Additionally, it’s not only about One forgiving Another, but about One forgiving oneself.  That’s where the antipathy lies.  It’s self-resentment for believing anything that Another ever said, and making foolish decisions based on that trust.

A few weeks ago I was at the bar with Tom.

“I like it when you write about weird shit like being a Terminator,” he said.  “I don’t like it when you write about your boyfriends or report weird news.”

“I’m going to quote that in my blog,” I told him.  “So, anything else, Tom Carley?” I asked.

“Yeah.  Tom Carley is the coolest dude in the world and all the ladies should flock to him,” he responded.

My recent writing hiatus was not due to a lack of heartbreak or confusion.  Additionally, I have no shortage of blog notes about “weird shit like being a Terminator” or “weird news”.  I’ve just been busy working.  And trying to be happy.

See, the other night in bed, I decided that I would be happy.  I repeated the word over and over in my head: happy happy happy happy happy…  I imagined conversations, for example:

“How are you?” a random person might ask,
To which I would reply “Happy.”
Then they might say, “Why?  What do you have to be so happy about?”
And I would tell them, “No reason, just trying it on for size.”

Still, I don’t think I’ll smile often.  I’ve never really been a smiley person.  People who smile too much seem hollow and disingenuous, as I’m sure people like me appear cynical and unfriendly.

But I’m not concerned with those unintentional judgments.  They spontaneously combust somewhere between “Nice to meet you” and the 40th drink, or else they’re confirmed, which really has nothing to do with the physical act of smiling.

That is to say, it has more to do with reality and the people that inhabit yours, and mine.  We’re primates, sometimes throwing feces out of anger, and other times picking bugs off one another for amusement.  But if you sit in front of the plexiglass for long enough, eventually you’ll see each individual show some sort of honest affection.

I’m not sure about that last statement, but I want to believe it.  So, I do.

Somewhere Between D.C. and New York

Friday, August 6th, 2010

It was a beautiful day.

Andrea, Becky, Caitlin, and I were at an Applebee’s somewhere between D.C. and New York. While Andrea and Becky perused the menu, Caitlin and I stepped outside to smoke cigarettes.

Upon exiting the establishment we immediately found a bench, most likely placed there by the fine people of Applebee’s for the enjoyment of nicotine-addicted customers like ourselves. We sat down and saw that directly in our view was a teenage girl sitting in her car. She was parked in a spot labeled “Carside To Go”.

Suddenly, out of the restaurant came an Applebee’s employee carrying a bag of food. The employee walked the 30-ish feet to the teenage girl’s car and handed over the neatly packaged meal. In exchange, the teenage girl gave the employee a credit card.

The employee then walked back into the restaurant. Moments later she emerged once more, and walked back to the car so that the young girl could sign the credit card receipt. The teenager drove away with her meal, never once having to endure the sunny, 75 degree, 30-foot walk into the corporate eatery.

Caitlin and I were amused. We stopped the Applebee’s employee as she walked back towards the door.

“Excuse me, um, how exactly does this work?” Caitlin asked, though the tone of her voice and look on her face posed a different question: You understand how ridiculous this is, right?

The employee looked at us like we were crazy. “It’s Carside pickup. You just call and place your order, then you park in one of those spaces and we bring your food out to you,” she said and walked inside.

This left Caitlin and I to talk (and laugh) amongst ourselves. Instead of parking and walking what can only be a short distance in a lot so small, people would prefer to sit in their cars on a gorgeous day while an employee walks back (“Here’s your food!”), and forth (“I’ll just go run your credit card.”), and back (“Sign the top receipt and keep the bottom copy.”), and forth (“Thanks and have a great day!”).

In reality, it probably takes longer than if one were to just go inside and pick the food up him/herself.

Don’t get me wrong, we did see the benefits of such a service – elderly people, mothers with a car full of children, handicapped… wait a minute.

“Wait a minute,” I said. “Where are the handicapped spots?” Caitlin and I looked around… and around… and around. Behind us, noticeably farther from the Applebee’s entrance than the Carside To Go spots, were the handicapped spots.

We looked at each other, eyes wide and heads shaking.

“I am continually amazed at how lazy America can be,” I noted.

Our cigarettes were done. We went to our table and joined Becky and Andrea, who were still debating about what to order. I had made my decision long before our arrival. Actually, we were there for one purpose, and one purpose only:

“I’m going to eat the shit out of some ribs,” I reminded them.

Things That Drugs (Allegedly) Make People Do

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

On May 21st, 2010, Jarrod Wyatt, 26, and Taylor Powell, 21, decided to enjoy some mushroom tea.  As the psychedelic drug took effect, the men became preoccupied with the notion that the end of the world was near, and that soon there would be a final struggle between God and the devil.

They thought that a tidal wave was coming.

Hours later, Sgt. Elwood Lee was dispatched to meet a man who had reported a stabbing.  The witness, a friend of Wyatt and Powell’s, took Lee to a nearby house.  It was there that Lee found Wyatt, naked and covered in blood, standing over Powell’s mutilated body.

“I killed him.  Satan was in that dude,” Wyatt told Lee.  Wyatt was convinced that Powell was the Devil.

“At one point,” Lee said in court, “[Wyatt] asked if we were God, or if we were God coming to save him.”

After cuffing Wyatt, Lee took a closer look at Powell’s body.  The majority of Powell’s face had been removed and an eyeball lay strewn across the room.  There was an 18-inch incision in the chest from which his heart was ripped out.  The victim’s tongue was also cut out and cooked in a wood burning stove along with the heart.  Wyatt told investigators that he cooked the body parts because he was fearful Powell was still alive and he “needed to stop the Devil.”

A lawyer representing Wyatt has claimed the wild mushrooms caused him to act in such a violent way and that he had no control over his actions.  “My client was trying to silence the devil,” said James Fallman, Wyatt’s defense attorney.

Wyatt has been charged with first degree murder, aggravated mayhem, and torture.  He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.  However, prosecutors argue that the act of removing Powell’s heart, tongue, and face took enough time to prove evidence of intent.

Prosecutors added the torture charge because Powell was still alive when his heart was removed.

Jarrod Wyatt (above)