Friday, January 07, 2005

Visual -> Counter Visual = photos... not so good.

Jesus Christ. Can't a person take two photos, within a reasonable amount of time between, and look like the same goddamn human being? I understand that people go through physical changes. People grow moles. They get haircuts. They get balls cut off or develop multiple sclerosis. But I, personally, do not change a whole hell of a lot from year to year. I gain 10, or I lose 10. I remain the whitest of white boys, with a doublish-chin, and kinda spiky-ish kind of hair. My pants never fit right, and my shoes are typically dirty. That's the baseline standard.

Yet here are two photos, posted courtesy of my good friend, The Big O, which have to have been taken maybe... four months apart? Four months, MAXIMUM. So I'll leave it to you, especially anyone reading this who does not know me, to judge. This shit's ridiculous.


In this photo, I am kicking it with Pat and Jason. I am the penguin on the right. It was a badass wedding, and Pat (the fellow on the left) was the Master of Ceremonies. He kicked ass, the couple kicked ass, and the whole damn thing was in Las Vegas (the Sinatra Suite at the Riviera), so it kicked more ass than anyone still alive could possibly comprehend. You do not understand how much it kicked ass. Get comfortable with the cold-hard fact of the thing.

Anyhow, back to my pointless narcissism. In Photo ONE, all things are not as they appear. I appear to be fairly tall in that photo. This is far from the truth. I am 3' 6". Yes, you read that correct. I am actually a Mayan descendent, from a family of curb-washers and hydrant hurdlers.

Second, I have a swagger about me. Almost as if I have some laid-back level of "coolness" to me. This, also would be a misnomer. I have no such cool-factor, and wouldn't know where to buy any.

Thricely, I am smoking a cigarette. This is preposterous. Totally beyond ridiculous. I always smoke more than one cigarette at a time.

Fourthly, I am without a drink. What the? No fucking way. At a wedding? Where I had to dress like a butler? I don't remember much about that wedding, but I do remember that I had a cup of Mandarin & tonic surgically attached to my left hand. I drank so much that Vegas got BORING to me. Now that is stinking drunk. And you cannot get that way by standing around looking a Dean Martin reject (sans booze). This, no joke, is proof that Photoshop was somehow applied to this "work of art" posted by Oscar. Congratulations Oscar, but your doctoring of the photo is proven quite cleanly by my empty left hand. This photo is a fake amongst fakes.

Now for your consideration...


Wow. What a specimen we have here. You wouldn't believe it, but I am the guy in the photo (the other two are very wonderful ladies who I am most blessed to be allowed to know in this world), and I am approximately thirty feet from the camera, one foot in front of the beautiful woman on the left. Her proportions are normal. So, you see, my head is the size of her torso. "One size fits all" my ass. My noggin' is beyond the comprehension of any fashion designer who peddles their shite beyond the automatic doors of Wal-Mart. This photo actually caught me eating the shoulder of the fantastic woman on the right. See it? I've already chomped down, and was chewing her rotator cuff when Oscar captured the moment. I had three piping hot Gyros after that. And then Best Wurst to get my bowels right. And then three pints of beer to wash that mess down. Jesus, I love good beer. And rotator cuffs.

I cannot knock this photo too much, because it is a much better representation of who I am, in my natural environment. I was at Deville, probably on a Friday, drunk as fuck, and being taken care of by the wonderful woman on the left. I'm sure there are three cigarettes lit and burning between my fingers, two shots of bourbon on the table, and someone across from me exclaiming "I remember that, you really should have kept your pants on." They were probably referring to an event like this one (I am the idiot wearing the black pants).

But the point of this whole post was for me to point out how different, and misrepresentative a photograph can be. These two are months apart. A month is not long enough for such change. The lighting, the angles, the head-tilting, all the GQ bullshit makes a photograph an almost worthless measure of what a person actually looks like. Besides, neither of those photos shows just how difficult I can be. Maybe the one with my pants down gives a hint. Whatever. That's my best side anyway.

Damn you tuxedos!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Going, going... GONE! And what a bender it was.

So there went 2004. Poof!

That really should be more profound. “Poof!” just doesn’t do the year much justice. I should do a better job at shouting out to last year, for many things happened which require more… profound… ness.

My girlfriend moved in with me this year. This is more than a milestone for me, it is a conquest over my own fears of intimacy (whatever that means). Really, it is important for me because it signifies that I am not the seven year-old toy monger that I was a year before. I now have to share my living space, which is the most sacred of spaces to me. It is where I am who I am, all the time while there. No hiding, no ducking, no shirking. And now she is an audience to my own “theatre of the broken”. It is a beautiful thing, and it happened in 2004.

I lost the friendship of someone who I thought was a close friend. Everyone experiences the loss of a few friends of the opposite sex, whenever you enter into a relationship. You get serious with someone, and a select few people disappear from your life because they were only there for their own benefit. Usually, these are surface-friends to begin with, so the cut is not very deep. But I thought this person liked me for who I am, not who they expected me to be, for well over a decade. Apparently I miscalculated the value of our friendship, and it has been a frustrating loss. This disappointment occurred in 2004.

I started jogging last spring. I have enjoyed my time out on the trails, my dippings into runners’ high, and the general feeling of health associated with controlled physical excursion. I started getting my jog on, in 2004.

The IRS decided to kick the living crap out of me this past year. For those who know me, this should come as no surprise. Since my teenage years I have been involved in various business ventures and “high finance” activities without the benefit of mentor, accountant, or tax lawyer. I have always done my best to account for such activities within the confines of law and the tax code… but some items are just so damn gray. It is a wonder that I made it this far. The IRS brought a slight miscalculation on an old tax record of mine to my attention during 2004, and it has been a tenuous existence for me ever since.

I stopped DJing. I no longer have the equipment to do so. It is a brave new world for me, and I am looking forward to what I will do with my time. I shed my most prized hobby (again) in 2004.

I stopped drinking for 36 days, back around February. Prior to that experiment with sobriety, I would have denounced such plans to go dry as both self-destructive, and doomed to failure. I am proud to say that I discovered many things about myself during that time. I learned that my head is not necessarily more clear without booze. I learned that I still sleep like shit when sober. I learned that many times I drink in order to make the world more interesting to me. I learned that I don’t give two shits what opinions drunken people have, and that no one should put much weight in mine. I learned that beyond the dimly-lit horizons of my daily life and beyond my ambitions in business, humor, and entertainment: I am interested in enjoying my time on this planet above all other things. That this is a selfish notion, continues to elude me. Sometimes a stiff drink aides in my quest for entertainment, but it should never be my sole source. I gained this grain of sober intuition while living through 2004.

I continued to feel the importance of my friendships in 2004. Bonds were made, strengthened, and tested during the year. There were many rekindlings as well. I have always felt that my friends occupy the same space in my mind that many reserve strictly for blood-relatives. In fact, I would put good money on the notion that most of my friends place their family high above their friendships. Not that I am against such a practice, or that I require my friends to treat me in-kind. Everyone has their reasons for prioritizing their life-relationships, and I have no desire to discredit anyone else’s methodology. But 2004 bolstered my method, and my friends continue to pull whale-weight in my life. Cheers to reinforcement in 2005.

During the course and events of 2004, I realized that I MUST do what interests me, or I lose interest in life as a whole. Even if the risks do not make sense, or the payoff: nonexistent. Sometimes, you must burn in order to force yourself to rebuild. I go stale otherwise. This blog (another creation of 2004) sits alongside my essays, short stories, babbling prose, and the three long stories (novels? Whatever they’re called.) as evidence that I am continuing to search for whatever it is that floats my boat. When I stop looking… I better be carried by six.

I hope your 2004 was as beneficial and interesting to you as mine was for me. I hope 2005 is your best yet, and that you drink to be merry, and don’t marry while drinking. Or something like that. And pay your taxes right, for the love of all that is holy. Fuck…

Damn you mis-filed taxes!