Friday, December 17, 2004

Failed responses and creepy Christmas jingles

Couple of things here. Work reputation + Christmas music weirdness.

To begin, I do not have the most fantastic reputation at my place of business. I am seen as “that yellow-eyed booze hound of a guy who I think DJs or does professional keg-stands or something, but definitely smells like Vodka in the cafeteria line.” Not that this is completely untrue, but I do believe there has been some undue embellishment (of my nightlife), swirling about the water cooler at my work-joint.

That being understood by me, I try to be on my best behavior when making “small talk” with people at an adjacent urinal, or when passing through the pack of smokers that surround the main entrance. They all look at me with a knowing eye, fully aware that they have some “information” on me. And I don’t even know their names. I’m cool with them feeling somewhat superior in this regard, as long as two things occur: 1) they are never able to use any mis”information” on me as a weapon against me, and 2) I maintain my ability to be somewhat aloof, jovial, and even mildly entertaining during times when we do interract. That last one requires that all “small talk” be very courteous, confident, and sprinkled with witty banter. Most important of all: no one can begin to assemble the absolutely awful idea that Craig is some sort of booze-infused moron who thinks he’s better than all the married-with-kidlets folks that occupy every other cubicle in this piece. That would be both untrue, and disastrous for all those whom I owe wheelbarrows of money.

With that as a long-winded background, I must confess the possible beginning of the end of my previously perfect “sure he has a crazy reputation, but he seems like such a nice chap when I greet him in the halls” persona.

I was leaving work yesterday in a huff, racing against the dropping sun, in order to get a quick run before the moon took over. Waiting for the elevator, I was preoccupied with how dehydrated I was, and how friggin’ cold it was going to be while I ran in my mesh shorts along the lake. This is a real concern, as the cold weather pushes my legs to cramp, and with nothing but Amstel Light running through my system to stem said cramps, they will be victorious, and I will fold like the French. And I will have to crawl the wooded trails of the lake like an invalid. Crying like a wet kitten and peeing myself to keep from freezing to death.

But I regress.

So, the elevator arrived and I jumped in. There was a nice fellow in there who knows my name, and has used it to greet me on a number of occasions. I have no idea who he is, what department he works for, or his potential status as a possible leader of a Taliban splinter cell here in Texas. I don’t know this dude from Adam. And he knows my name. I don’t know what else he may know of me, and I don’t really care. I just wanted to maintain my cheery work persona. So, fella is all, “you look concentrated Craig, you got something going on after work?” To which I replied, all smiles, “Yup, I’m gonna try and squeeze my jog in before the sun calls it quits.”

Here is where the trap was set.

He quickly responds with, “well, you’re a better man than me! Heh-heh-heh!”

Now this sounds innocuous enough, doesn’t it? Just a harmless, self-effacing compliment extended to a coworker. There is an almost unlimited number of possible responses on my part, which accept this compliment and in an appropriate act of reciprocated kindness, also reverse his self-effacement.

My response?

“Yep….” Done. A half-assed affirmative reply.

And then blanket silence as my eyes trailed to the industrial carpet, followed by his obligatory “don’t you know it! Heh-heh-heh!” Which, by the way, was obviously loaded and ready to fire back at me, AFTER I had thrown up a witty reply for him aim it at. I failed to give him a decent target.

“Yep”? Is that it? What the fuck? Someone says to you: “you are looking really good these days! And I’m just a fat slug with the sex life of Big Bird: all fiction no friction!” and you respond with an affirmative “hell yes I am looking tight and fine, and you are indeed a fat fuck with no chance in hell of even convincing yourself to fuck you without the aide of date-rape drugs!”… Not good at all. Not. Good. At all.

I realized this, and was trying to hurdle over my self pity for being so dehydrated, making an effort to quickly construct a comeback, such as:

The easy-going: “Yeah, but I NEED to run, you look good without it!”


Senseless praise: “I’m just trying to appease the gods of health, but you? You’re golden man, GOLDEN.”


Name dropping wit: “That’s like Jenna Jameson commending Jeanine Garofalo for taking blow-job classes. Patting my back is totally beneath you man!”

But my mind tripped, went sideways on itself, and resulted in little more than heavier breathing as the elevator stopped at dude’s parking floor. He exited with little fanfare. Not even a “take it easy”, a “good luck on the trails” or even “I hope you get eaten by machete-wielding bears out there you pompous prick.” Nothing but crickets. I think my cover here is blown. Fuck it. The jig is up, and that was bound to happen sooner rather than later. We had a good run, the job and I. We really did…

On to the second note. At my work, Christmas tunes blare out of the sound system in the bathroom, so I get to crap to sounds of Nat King Cole and all seventy-three renditions of Frosty the (pedophile) Snowman. Needless to say, it is doing wonders to speed up my pooing process this holiday season.

Two Christmas songs that get to me:

Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer

For those of you who swear by this song, you obviously aren’t listening to it. To begin, the song is little more than a step-by-step about how his drunken grandmother, who forgot to take her pills, trudges out into the snow and is mauled by the North American equivalent of a wildebeest, and they find her dead body on Christmas Day. If that weren’t fucked up enough, he then goes on to hypothesize that it was one of Santa’s reindeer, and that his Grandmother’s untimely death by way of an unidentified cloven-hoofed animal is proof that St. Nick exists, and that Christmas really is all good and full of merry love.

Okay. This is jacked up on so many levels, but the obvious ones are: 1) reindeer are real. It could have been any one of the thousands of non-flying variety of reindeer that kicked his grandmother’s ass. If Santa’s sleigh were pulled by a team of goddamn pegasuses (that word just DOES NOT look right to me), and he had some sort of proof that they tramped his granny (feathers AND hooves perhaps? Fairy dust at the scene?), then he might have a hot lead on the existence of Santa. Just because some woodsy creature killed your bourbon-bent grandmother is proof of nothing beyond a potential that you are genetically predisposed to the same fate. 2) If this were indeed the work of Santa and his sleigh-bearers, then good ol’ St. Nick would be wanted for some weird-ass version of vehicular manslaughter. He would probably be convicted in absentia, and now be classified as a Class C Felon by Federal court (considered a “habitual offender” given the multitude of burglaries, attempted burglaries, operation of a toy factory without proper documentation, and failure to declare and pay property/duty taxes on goods imported into the US). Now that’s just downright wrong to put Santa into such a twisted and sick plot to kill old ladies, or sell records, whichever is sicker.

But it has a catchy melody, and the idea of some bumpkin’s granny getting trampled by Bambi’s distant cousin is somehow entertaining (but on a “Faces of Death” level-type sickness).

Baby It’s Cold Outside

This has to be the creepiest date-rape song ever written. And it's a Christmas tune? Whaaaa?

Some lady is dropping in on a fellow during some bad weather, he's all horn-doggin', she’s playing hard-to-get, and the dude is having none of it. This dude is totally going to ball this chick, with the aide of alcohol and possibly Rohypnol, and they made it into a Christmas song. I bet a more modern version will come out during my lifetime that will end with her getting reamed and the dude being a basketball star from “early in the millennium”. Jesus Christ. The things that will pass for holiday cheer almost astound me. What happened to mistletoe? Am I just old fashioned here? Fuck it.

My all your reamings be merry this season.

Damn you pegasuseseseses!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

This might make me a sensitive, yet lazy putz.

I’m not saying that I don’t like a good razzing from workmates. I’m not saying I have any issues with getting booed while public speaking. I don’t even REALLY care about the fact that a chimpanzee may be running my country whilst donning a man-mask: taking my tax dollars for the new crusade and better banana technology. I really don't have THAT many hot-buttons.

I might not be as sensitive as some portray me as being.

But I do hate the fucking meandering, ever-changing, varicose-looking crack-set that is spreading itself into my field of vision by way of dendritic expansion across my goddamn windshield. Now I have to Benzwenger because it is really starting to cramp my style.

Having been raised in Houston, there is much importance placed upon the automobile. Not just the value of the thing, but the care that has been put into the outward appearance of your bucket. You can own an ’86 Ford Tempo that has not seen new oil in 8,000 miles that will be more than acceptable if you wash it daily, keep the crazy-ass Japanese air freshener swapped out, Armor All EVERYTHING (including windshield wiper blades), and buff that waxed finish until you can see the future in the reflection.

So that’s where I am coming from, and I while I have not done my part to retain the “ghetto fabulousness” of my ride by practically living at the carwash, I do take issue with a white-trash banner-of-a-crack crisscrossing its way across my front glass. Back in the day (as it still is on an ’86 Ford Tempo), before the glory of nose-crushing airbags, these cracks were caused by the booze-inspired connection between the interior glass and the foreheads of those in the front seat. Simple logic flow: Sixteen Mandarin & Tonics  swerve in auto  meet a freeway pylon  forehead meets windshield  your trashy ass doesn’t mind dealing with the splintered front-view so the crack becomes part of the “rustic ambiance” that pervades that piece of shit you drive to the feed lot.

But my crack has more humble beginnings. I was driving down Congress Ave on a Sunday afternoon. The sidewalks were sardine-canned with pointless wanderers and droves of kidlets menacing the downtown wildlife (pigeons, squirrels, bums). Apparently there is an abundance of lazy-ass rocks, just laying about on the sidewalks, begging to be moved across the avenue. And a couple of monkey-children, with the help of their dumbass apathetic parents, were doing everything in their power to help the dreams of those stones come true.

So there they were: a couple of eight-year olds slinging rocks across the street, over the waiting-for-the-next-green-light traffic that I was sitting in. Then the inevitable happened. One sad little stone’s dream of migrating to the southbound side of Congress was ruined, as was the pristine glasswork of my windshield, by the ill-aimed pitch of one young hoodlum. It started out as a little star-chip, but eventually bled out a crack when the weather dipped the temp down last winter. It gave my glass a real unappealing cut that moved across the passenger side. Having other priorities, I let it slide, intending to get it fixed whenever my budget gave me the green light to do so.

But then, that sinister ass-crack got restless and branched off, heading to the driver’s side, and now it is threatening my view. At night, when drivers are heading toward me, the refracted headlights within the crack beam out in laser-like bolts, like I’m driving into a goddamn disco ball.

And the worst part is that with each irritating inch that I see the crack expanding, I feel deeper and deeper hatred for that little boy and his shitty throwing arm. Little fucker.

I re-read this post. And I realize that I’m just crying like a refugee because I was too lazy to get the chip repaired, and now I’m too lazy to get the window replaced. That’s what this really boils down to. Craig is being a lazy turd, and he wants to lay the blame for that on some typical 8 year-old who did nothing beyond the standard activity of unattended 8-year-olds: break Craig’s shit. I can’t blame them.

Besides, that’s just my kickass Karma [deep, deep deficit] coming back to haunt me. I mean, shit, at least they weren’t shooting at me. I would hate to get capped by an third grader on a random Sunday. You know, with it being the “Lord ’s Day” and all. Just seems goddamn wrong to me.

Damn you lazy rocks!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

That... Blasted Furnace... Nottafinga!

I got a tree. And that bad-boy has lights, some bead-string-thingies, and an Ole St. Nick topper. Yup. No Grinch up in this bitch, fo sho. I REALLY hope my lady likes it. I picked it out by my lonesome, but she was my inspiration. She has the most kickass ornaments too. Mine look real tired, trite, and dude-ish in comparison. So, I am excited for her to put the finishing touches on the thing when she gets back this weekend. Word.

Home Depot was littered with real winners for trees. I mean, some of those things just needed a good shake to be needle-free. Good thing there’s no smoking allowed in the garden section, or I might have burned that piece to the ground (with the aid of some xmas-tree kindling, and the common indecency of a smoker to always treat the world as his/her ashtray). I also noticed that many of this year’s trees are remarkably fat instead of whispy-thin as they have been in years past. Are these “Houston-fatass” trees? Round-bottomed merry-bushes designed and trimmed to match the rotund wrecking-ball proportions of their holiday-making owners? Regardless, it better not be a trend because “Decking the Christmas Bush” not only sounds really uninviting, but also could be grounds for treason under the current administration.

Moving on. My allergies, while breaking me into little snotty pieces, are being made worse by my own hand. I went running yesterday, around the (apparently) cedar-lined lake (freezing my jiggling ass off) and then went drinking with V-dog. Of course, drinking invited its best friend: smoking, and when those two get together – good lord, the pack of smokes combined with all that cedar pollen to completely destroy any chance of decent sleep. Plus, it was hovering around 20 goddamn degrees last night, and my heater decided that it was a lost cause to try and battle the icicles forming on my snotty nose. So I could see my breath when I got up this morning. I cursed it like Ralphie’s dad in A Christmas Story. “It’s aaaaa cliiiinnnnkkkerrrrr-er!” Mundang-noodle furnace. Killing me over here.

So, a pound of cedar pollen + pack o’ smokes + more booze than a Tuesday warrants + frozen tundra for bedsheets = Craig sleeps in two hour intervals, broken by shivering fits and peppered with marathon coughing extravaganzas.

I have survived worse though. One night, in Toronto for New Year’s Eve, while staying at a Youth Hostile (kinda hostile, really, and there weren’t many “youths” about the place) I ended up blasting some dumbass Austrian douche bags who decided that it was okay to turn on the lights and begin chattering their most awful-sounding language at roughly six in the morning. The room was approximately as big as the four bunk beds that were in it, and those crazy third-reichers might as well have been using bull-horns to discuss WHATEVER they were discussing. I had just put my head-cold to bed a couple of drunken hours earlier, and thanks to the bottle of Nyquil, was happily coughing myself through dreamland when Heinrich and Adolf decided to hit the lights and begin barking without using their “inside voices”. Pricks. So, I apparently sat up in my multi-drugged condition and told them to “shut the fucking hell up or I am going to suffocate you both with a dirty sock full of my own warm feces” or some such tasteless phrase. Well, maybe not the sock part, but it was something along those lines. One of my traveling buddies told me of this the next morning, as I was obliterated and did not realize what I had said. It was all very knee-jerk, and completely appropriate.

Ending note, related to above story: All you “early-risers” out there need to understand something: if you insist on getting up before a reasonable hour (before 9am), then go ahead and do so. Get up, and go out into the world where the rest of the “early rising” population is. DO NOT hang around the sleeping quarters of the rest of us while doing “awake” things such as: practicing your drumming techniques, playing with fireworks, or yelling at other early-risers in a language that was obviously invented by human-hating robots. We night-owls do not go into your sleeping spaces after midnight and do those things to you. And that is why you are threatened with death when you act like such an insensitive dick at six in the AM.

I am soooooo glad we got that out of the way, aren’t you? I knew you would be. Now go to sleep, or I will be forced to fill a sock…

Damn you dry cough!

Does anyone care that I have not posted a Drink Story in a while? If not, I will continue my break from them. Word to words.

Monday, December 13, 2004

My mind is utter mush

My ears channels hurt today. And I have to pee every ten minutes. This "cedar fever" thing is destroying my sense of personality. Not that I was the most animate or jovial person before, but between the drugs, the no-sleep, and the fits of snot, I am worried that I will no longer be able to feel anything beyond sleepy irritation.

I could not sleep last night, so I did what every man-of-men would do. I ate two bowls of Raisin Bran, drank half a bottle of Nyquil, and watched Sex and The City episodes until I passed out. Approximately 3am. This is an unacceptable lifestyle, and it is absolutely killing me. It is worse than my recent attempts at lifelong alcoholism (which left me nothing less than exhausted, broke, and bereft of anyone's respect). At least the boozing helped me entertain myself, and gave the illusion of a progressing personality. But this whole TV-bran-drugs thing is a COMPLETE waste of time.

I have never wanted a cough to produce some swallowable material in my life. Fucking killing me over here.

But, I must soldier on, acting as if I am overcoming some huge obstacle in my life, in order to give my day's activities a heightened level of meaning. As in: buying a Christmas Tree, all by my lonesome, is a monumental task if I am to it under the TV-bran-drugs condition. Somehow, I will convince myself that accomplishing even the most mundane tasks (which I would not have bothered with otherwise - because they are tedious, and do not fill me with any feelings of accomplishment under normal conditions), are amazing feats of bravery when executed from behind a blinding curtain of attacking pollen. Yes...

And of course, no one else will see it that way. The Christmas Tree guy will call me a pussy, and potentially queer for buying a Christmas Tree all by myself. And the guys at Home Depot will ask me to stop wheezing and snot-drooling like I'm Jerry's favorite kid, while asking them questions about the mechanics behind a "hissing" toilet (it keeps me up at night, okay? All that incessant hissing might be the culprit behind the canceling out of the wondrous effects of Nyquil).

Until I accomplish these brave, brave tasks under the iron-fist of allergies gone wild... I will simply be a zombie at work, downing yet another cup of coffee, just to stay lucid enough to avoid being handed a cardboard box by security. Utter. Mush. Today. My Mind. Is.


Damn you boning Cedar trees!