Friday, June 03, 2005

No, I don't know the way. So what?

I don't deserve to write guides for anything. There's a certain pretension associated with guide-writing. You're basically claiming to be the shit, if you're writing a 'how to' guide on any subject. Seeing as how I have successfully managed to avoid mastering a damn thing whilst traveling this blue dot, it hardly seems reasonable that I would want to write guides for anything. I mean, I really don't know very much.

Yet, it seams [okay, 'seems' is better, but I hate editing. I hate spelingk even mo] to me that everyone else is equally ignorant of all things outside of themselves. So they search for perspective. And a good source of perspective would be other people's guides to things. Because really, it is just an opinion on a subject, no matter how 'expert' it may be deemed. So... fuck it. I'd like to write some guides. If I ever get beyond the task of picking out a list of potential guides (done), and actually pen one out (doubtful completion), then I'll write a goddamn guide on how to do THAT too. Man, this "guide" thing sure is easy!

Craig’s guide to floating down a river in an old-ass inner tube.

Craig’s guide to avoiding drunk driving.

Craig’s guide to efficient grocery shopping.

Craig’s guide to music critique.

Craig’s guide to wine tasting.

Craig’s guide to corner cutting.

Craig’s guide for the best tourist experience.

Craig’s guide to easing a horrific hang over.

Craig’s guide to dealing with boners in public places.

Craig’s guide to avoiding pushing crack dealers.

Craig’s guide to admitting that you’re so fucking wrong.

Craig’s guide to making any situation entertaining. For yourself.

Craig’s guide to dealing with drunk assholes.

Craig’s guide to being a drunk asshole.

Craig's guide to dealing with fine-ass women who get on your last nerve.

Craig's guide to arguing with yourself and winning.

Craig's guide to water sports and dancing to polka music.

Craig's guide to collegiate-style party planning.

Craig's guide to birth control.

Craig's guide to modern-day spiritualism and Alabama voting rights.

Craig's guide to shutting Craig the fuck up.


Thursday, June 02, 2005

Balance: Complete

Like I said I would (not that anyone actually read all the way down on the previous post, to actually see it). Since I’m all about balance: the yin and yang, orange and purple, porn and church, Bush and intellect… the sacred and the profane. Since I’m all about it, I toiled over a list of things that I LOVE. In the back of my mind, I knew that at least half of the things I love to do were soaked in booze. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my estimation was correct, if not understated. Word.


Drink Mandarin and Tonics until I am convinced I am fluent in Swahili. Oh yes. And I’ll talk your ear off. Pops and clicks and shit. Don’t dare me, ‘cause it’ll happen. Then we’ll all look stupid. GOD, that’d be great. Yes?

Tell stories about the many monkeys of my life. Sure, it sounds like I’ve had some sort of bestiality thing going with chimps, but that’s not what I’m referring to (this time). I’ve been a variety of monkeys in my life. Different stages, different experience sets, almost different personalities altogether. And for each monkey I have been, there exists a collection of stories explaining that monkey. Mostly for my own benefit, but I LOVE to tell stories to other people too. Especially if it involves something brazenly stupid that I’ve done. It feels cathartic in a way, as if these stories serve as an explanation to you, about who I am and where I am going. I’d rather be an understood idiot than some moron built by vaguery. Wow. Apparently ‘vaguery’ is not a word.

Well it is now goddamnit.

Sing while I drive. Perhaps off key. Perhaps while giving the ‘thumbs up’ to the soccer mom next to me at a light. Perhaps while making an illegal left turn, hitting the high notes on the James Laid CD with perfection. Maybe I’m trying to bust out some Rastafarian Styleee Mon while kickin’ the Marley. It matters not: the content. What matters is that I love to sing while I drive. Or when you drive, as long as I can control the stereo.

Eat pancakes. That’s all. Not much to that one. Pancakes are fucking delicioso. That’s Spanish. Mmmmm… Spanish pancakes…

Act like I know a-lot about important things. Not related to the “act like I understand advanced mathematics” thing, which bothers me to fits. No, no, no. Nothing like that. This is where I pretend to be an expert in some esoteric yet important field of study. Like Sparrow mating rituals. The origins of the wafer-thin humor used in all those dreadful Crocodile Dundee movies. Or the contextual history behind the use of quantum physics and game theory by the Wu-Tang Clan. If I’m having a good day, you won’t smell my bullshit. If I’m off, the whole conversation will end with me getting punched in the face by someone. Probably a stranger within earshot.

Read about sharks and shark-related shit. Boring, I know. But it HAS to make my list. I have an obsession with sharks. A dark, disturbing, borderline sexual (but definitely affectionate) fixation on the things. I read, remember, and spout the information on cue. I LOOOOVE to read about attacks (kinda morbid, sure, but that’s just your opinion) anywhere in the world. It’s an obsession which makes even me wonder about myself. And that’s okay.

Buy new colognes. I am a cologne whore. I have approximately 50 different scents in rotation as I type this. Perhaps 20 more are packaged away. And I have back-up bottles for my favorite fragrances. It’s a bit messed up, but I’ve been wearing cologne for the majority of my life. I have no idea what I actually smell like. And neither does anyone else. I wonder if my pheromones even make an effort anymore. Whatever.

Drink coffee first thing in the morning. Man oh man. Nothing like a steamy cup o’ joe first thing in the morning to kick start my daymare. A little go-go juice to keep me from sleeping on my keyboard is like a gift from the gods of white-collar labor. Sometimes I’ll throw a doughnut in there, or a breakfast taco, just to add to the exciting morning-mix. Then I read the entire interweb, front to back, trying to entertain myself. All that morning gloriousness starts with the hot-water-fied ground beans from some strange land. A foreign place where four year-olds are paid with bat-beatings to drag around baskets full of my future indulgence, managed by whatever local mafia called ‘dibs’ on the bean farms. Thank you WTO, you’re the best!

Sit somewhere and shoot the shit. I don’t do this as much as I used to. This requires the exact, necessary company. Like a tissue match, not everyone makes shit-shooting company for everyone else. Some combos work, some don’t. It seems to work best with someone, or some group of people, who will listen to each other and be constructively critical yet not judgmental. There’s a BIG difference between the two in my mind. One can be critical of my ideas without dragging in subjective denouncement/cheerleading. Critique can lead to a discussion, a back-and-forth, an exchange of ideas. A judgment ends with a period. BAM. Not open for discussion. As in:

Me: You know, I’m not so sure that man (used in the general “man = human” sense, but I would probably leave it as ‘man’ to see if I got a rise out of anyone probing me for imaginary misogyny) really needs to find fulfillment through materialistic gain, I mean, can’t you just get hammered and pretend you’re the shit instead of suffering through the rigors of being the shit?

Judgmental1: That’s just stupid Craig. And so is your drunk ass. Next.

Judgmental2: I love it! And your drunk ass! Next topic please.

Critical 1: Oh, so are you trying to say that the ACTUAL achievements have just as much value as the DRUNKENLY PERCEIVED achievements? Hm. How would society move forward as a whole if we’re all fucked up and bragging about lies? You can’t build football stadiums from blackout brags now can you? Seriously, can you?

Critical2: Right on brother! But it needs to be tempered a bit. Life gets too complicated to bog ourselves down with ONLY the physical environment. We need to find ways to reach out to ourselves within the confines of our own mind. Sure, whiskey would probably do the trick. But so would copious amounts of amphetamines. Am I right? Whoo!

Repeatedly win the lotto. Well, this is a bit of an impossibility, seeing as how I don’t play the damn thing, but I’m guessing that I would LOVE to do it. Unless the prizes were along the lines of “daily ass-whoopin’s for life” or “a new STD each month for thirty years.” Those prizes are pretty weak. And, come to think of it, I don’t really need to win the lotto to get them either.

My promise is complete. Poof, bitches. (sorry about that, I’ve been watching season 2 of the Chapelle’s Show. Killing. Me.)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Mood Balancer.

I'm feeling really spry today! Like a nice, new, crisp... peso bill, or something of equal or lesser value. And since I'm floating so high on life, I will temper it with.... Things I hate to do, in no specific order, with brief discussion. For you to read. Or not.

I hate to:

Call my health insurance provider. Whoa. Those are some UNhappy folks. They’re like DMV rejects, but with much, much more power over your life. Like:

Sir, that specialist is outside of the local network you established with your Primary Care Physician when you initiated coverage under your current plan.

Right, but no one knows what they’re doing when they start those things. Unless they’re fifty or have three kids. What about the majority of us who have other [shit] to do besides comb through the [fucking] reams of “plan material” I had to dolly to my car after first-day orientation? Huh?

Sorry sir, but your default plan only prescribes cash from your wallet. You’ll just have to make yourself a new kidney out of clay. Try Hobby Lobby for tips and materials, and stop crying about “the horrendous pain”. I’m not your mother. I’m not even human. Haven’t been since the Carter Administration.

Nail my right foot to a fishing pier. Not that I’ve ever had to do this, but I imagine it would really suck. I’m thinking of it being a sort of Pulp Fiction situation, like that involving the gimp in that pawn shop. Except that instead of a good ol’ fashioned forced-buggering, I would be coerced into nailing my foot to long-forgotten pier, decorated with scattered fish parts, rusted hooks, and other misc fishing shit. I don’t know where this vision comes from, but it is most unpleasant, and I would hate to do it.

Set up a wireless connection. Sure, it’s supposed to be easy. And if everything were set up the way it was supposed to be, and all the hardware was functioning properly, and the air density was just so, then it would be butter. But really, it’s more like the war in Viet Nam. You walk into it thinking it will be simple, quick, relatively inexpensive, and that the results will be righteously beneficial. One week into it and you realize that you just went full-force into a losing situation. A veritable rat’s nest of disjointed system\software\hardware issues which were only ‘designed’ for wireless after they were built. It proves to be extremely complex, time consuming, seemingly endlessly expensive (there’s ALWAYS more shit you need), and at the end of it all: you’re still just surfing the internet like back in ‘99. Oh well. Anything for My Lady.

Wipe my ass with leaves. Ouch. I’m a Charmin Ultra guy. I baby my ass. I want it thick and quilty, but not quilted. As Josh put it, “I don’t want to put my ass to sleep.” But leaves? Oh, shit no. I’ll hash-mark it, thank you.

Change a flat tire on the freeway. God… damn cars… just keep driving… Jesus Christ MAN, any closer and I’d be navigating that fucking Navigator! Now if I can just… get these nuts off… with the jack thing on the incline… and the tire… and the gas fumes all in my face… and oh that’s nasty. Oh, what the hell is that? It’s a fly infested mat of hair, blood, humors and teeth. I just had to catch a flat next to Yeti road kill.

Ask for help. That’s it. Nothing more to really add to that one. I’d almost prefer to drown (and almost did, at college age) rather than ask for aide. Call it pride. Call it stupidity. Call it inflated feelings of self sufficiency. But don’t ask me to call for help unless there’s blood, or an automatic transmission involved.

Pretend I understand advanced mathematics. You know when someone at the bar just busts out with some mathematic formula that actually has a human’s name assigned to it? As if that human invented the equation, vs. discovered it? Yeah, I hate pretending I have the slightest clue what they’re talking about. But anyone who is drunk enough to bring that bullshit up at a bar is too drunk to realize that no one else gives a shit. Man I hate pretending to listen, so I usually opt to take a ten minute piss while they clear their memory and forget what they were talking about.

Use a hand drill. My dad had one of these things. There are two varieties: the crank, and the geared pusher. The crank had to be, surprise-surprise, cranked. Very caveman-esque, and a real forearm builder. The geared pusher variety came out thousands (maybe billions) of years later and it worked much the same way as the old metal toy tops which you pump the stick on top, as if churning butter, and it would spin the top. A bit more complex than the cranking variety, but no less irritating to deal with when modern technology frolics all around you. If you’ve never seen any hand drills, then either you were born after 1990 or your dad didn’t get all pro-Amish on you whenever it came to your use of his power tools. “What? You want to borrow the drill? For what? To build a treehouse? Oh just use the hand drill.”

Drop surge-protected electronics into my bath water.
My guess is that the submerged hair dryer would just pop real loud and send enough of a shock through my body to delete all known passwords from my memory, then bring me inches from the most powerful orgasm of my life before it burned my mojo and left me standing in steaming water with a new gift of nervous twitching.

Tell people what I do for a living. This is not because I necessarily hate what I do, but more that I hate trying to describe it. I don’t offer up my job description to anyone, and I stutter a bit when asked. You see, it is boring is hell. And hey, lookey there, the description is miraculously even MORE boring than the actual duties as assigned! Wow!

Besides, most people, when they casually ask one another “so, what do you do?” stop listening as soon as the other person opens their maw. Unless you say “Naked Trapeze Artist”, ”Fluffer”, “Twisted Firestarter”, or “Dimestore Pimp, bitch!” well, they just don’t give two shits.

I am a bit exhausted today. Otherwise, I’d list some things I LOVE to do…

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A Team UnBuilt.

OM Weinermobile
Originally uploaded by truecraig.
There it is. In all her glory, my Pinewood Derby racer. The Oscar Mayer Weinermobile. Delicious.

My initial design called for the wood to be carved into the shape of speed. And not in any symbolic or metaphoric sense. I was going to carve that floater into the shape of a pill, nail the wheels to it, and race it under the name “Speedy”. That was my plan. And I was relatively excited about it because, really, who doesn’t LOVE stimulants?

Well, that plan got aborted as I sat on my living room floor, the day before the big race, with a crippling hangover, praying to busy myself with ANYTHING other than loud-ass power tools. I almost ran it as the naked block of wood with the phrase “this blows donkey dicks” scribbled across the top of it in magic marker. Left handed, so it reads real nice-like. I would have named it: “The Texas Work Force Commission is My New Home.” But I don’t believe it would have been to my advantage, in a ‘life sense’, to do such a thing.

My Lady recommended that I make it simple, slap it together, and get it out of the way so I could stop crying about having to do it. But I couldn’t stop the crying, which led to egregious procrastination, which pointed me in the direction of absolute desperation. My mind was blank. I even forgot the whole “Speedy” concept, and could feel the “donkey dick” idea creeping its way back in. Apparently, my mental decrepitude was noticeable, so My Lady threw out the Weinermobile idea. Oh... it was so simple. So brilliant. So… all I needed was a hot dog and some sand paper. Rarely does that combination provide relief of any kind, but it certainly did then.

The competition at the workplace for this event was intense. Designs were kept secret. People were raiding each other’s desks looking for clues as to the techniques used in the competition’s construction. There was much shit-talking. It was absolutely ridiculous.

And no Team got Built that week.

Come race day, I was looking forward to two things: the open bar, and getting out of work an hour early to race my hot dog. Never once did the idea of competition OR team-building enter my head. It all felt like an exercise of the fragmented mind. The race itself. The open bar with coworkers (several of whom have seen me on a tear, which they may or may not have blacked out during). My hot dog with wheels. It was surreal, but boringly so. I was really hoping for something more monumental, though I have no idea what that might have been.


I got absolute LAST place in every category. I did not get obliterated and fall onto the race track yelling “this shit blows DONKEY DICKS! WHOOOOO!” or get into any real tiffs with coworkers (other than calling one female coworker a ‘dude’ all evening long). A failure on all fronts. A shining example of how one can fail at the micro level (the actual races and awards for creativity, best name, most effort, etc…) AND on the macro level (what “Team Building”? And, no one got stupid at the open bar).

So I cut my losses, tossed the dog (ZING!), and went home with just enough of a buzz from all the free booze to go to sleep early. Such is life.