Friday, August 05, 2005

Oedipus was a douche bag? For serious?

The funniest shit I have ever seen. Possibly ever. Make sure you zoom in on the images and actually read this dude's paper. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

It's fucking ART people. ART.

Chicago Day 2, Pt 1: that bus was nasty.

We woke up somewhere around noon on Day 2 of the Chicago trip (I got pretty fucked up, big surprise, on Day 1). The weather was still brilliant, and we really wanted to take advantage of it. Food was foremost on our minds, and JJ had already decided that we would be eating at this Vietnamese restaurant around the way. The only problem was that the establishment was too many blocks to walk, so we were forced to ride the bus.

Oh, mass transit in metropolitan cities. Soooo fantastic. All the "big city" tour books always recommend that visitors check out the bus system so that you can travel about the city and “take it in”. What they always fail to mention, but what should be completely obvious to the average mind, is that public transportation is barely functional and far, far, far from luxurious. It's an A-to-fucking-b translation, and nothing more is promised. Coming from, and having lived in large cities, we were well prepared for the standard and reasonable irritations associated with riding buses in downtown settings. I was expecting to see some sleeping bums, really shitty graffiti, and maybe a puddle of urine somewhere between the back row of seats. But this trip was special. And by “special” I mean “unduly nasty”.

We boarded the bus and saw two empty seats to our right, just past the requisite blind man in a wheelchair with some child who I assume was somehow related. The kid had to have been somewhere near ten years old, and the dude in the chair must have been four hundred and thirty five. Give or take a century. Dude probably invented the “pointy stick” for improved hunting, when in his prime. We passed them for the empty seats. My lady took the left seat, and I intended to take the right. However, it was occupied by a thin set of paper adverts. Upon trying to remove said adverts, I noted a strange resistance. I tugged and it released. Upon inspection, it was apparent that someone either sat on some chocolaty nougat, or shit themselves straight through their trousers. And then made a half-assed attempt to remedy it with a blanket of coupon inserts. I immediately let loose of the evidence, disturbed at the discovery. My lady was most disappointed at the situation.

I decided to stand.

At the next stop, some people relinquished some seats further back, so we took them. JJ acquired a seat directly across from us. An elderly woman and a teenaged boy came aboard. The woman took the clean seat while the teen eyed the greasy, dirty spot on the seat next to her, and then sat right in the nougat crime scene without blinking. Dude had to have known there was an issue there. That’s life in the big city I guess. But it's still fucking nasty.

Just before we reach the next stop down, some woman behind us starts prodding who I believe was her son, telling him to run out and get her something "real quick like". Initially, the kid, probably fifteen, is completely uninterested in the errand. But she’s adamant, and is pushing him with the whole “do it for your momma” guilt-trip bullshit, so when the bus stops he runs out the back door. He jogs up to some dude leaning against a quickie mart window, and they make a sideways-glancing exchange. The kid runs back on the bus with momma’s request and hands it over. “That’s a good boy for momma!”

For all the current and future bus-riding mothers out there: buy your own fucking dope. Send your kids to college, not on crack runs. There’s wrong, and then there’s that. Don’t they deliver that shit in Chicago? They do in NYC. I mean, fuck.

Two stops down, the largest and still operating-on-two-feet man I have ever seen in real life lumbers on and makes his way down the aisle to stand between JJ and me. Now I take no issue with anyone who may have some sort of glandular disorder, physical impairment which precludes them from healthy exercise, or a woman who has just given birth to quintuplet silverback gorillas. Obesity is no joke. I read CNN, so I am aware that it is a national concern. Dude was big, I mean, he was probably twice in pounds what the wheelchair guy was in years. But his weight was not the issue. It was the sad and utter disrepair of his attire and hygiene.

Yes, I am critiquing the attire of others riding an inner-city Chicago bus. Sounds pointless, doesn’t it? On the one hand, who the hell am I to critique ANYONE on how they look or smell? And on the other, it’s a goddamn public bus , what the hell should I expect, right? But you had to see this guy. If he had looked down at me and said “worst. bus ride. ever,” I would have written him off as a hilarious and overzealous fan of The Simpsons. And that would have been brilliant. Almost brilliant enough to overlook/oversmell the sights and odors involved.

The man's gear was atrocious. Just awful. And for me to take notice, AND remember, is saying a-lot.

He was wearing grey sweat pants, and he was obviously making sure that they earned their name. You could see the soak-lines running down the legs from the waistband, at differing rates of dryness. Like the rings of a tree. I’m pretty sure there were Doritos bits stuck to the inside of his left knee, clinging there in silent desperation, hiding, imbedded in tufts of balled-up cotton fibers. His green t-shirt did not quite cover all that… material which folded over and into the pants area. Some pink-belly goodness peeking out from below. Various holes and stains dotted his back like the grain and knots on a sheet of pine plywood. The man was an amazing piece of work.

I never considered it, but later My Lady confided in me that she has something of a phobia that in tight public spaces, such as a bus or elevator, large and profusely sweaty people will fall or rub on her. Sure, that’s pretty disturbing, but I was too busy swimming in mixed fascination at the man to consider such horrors. He was so secure, just emitting this “hey fuck y’all, I gotta get to my D&D tournament so you can breath in my being. Inhale it, shitheads ,” kind of vibe. And boy, what an odor his being brought with it. Dude was RIPE. He smelled the way I would expect a dead cow, soaked in dumpster wine, and placed in a shed for a month, in Haiti, to smell like. Parts of that man had not seen soap in years. Fella reeked of dying extremities.

Damn. I feel like I have spent far too long describing this man in such a sinister light. I’m sure he’s actually a great guy who loves his grandmother, donates to the Red Cross, and remembers his friends’ birthdays. But shit, he made one hell of an impression on me based on his far less impressive attributes.

Whatever. Moving on.

A few stops later and we got the hell off. Right in front of the restaurant...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

My Words, Spreading Like Fungus?

I have started to write for Austinist (not "THE Austinist", just "Austinist"). This is part of my cleanup plan. Another element in my effort to keep out of trouble, although it will probably require more effort than what is required to write a free-column. However, Austinist is by far my favorite Austin-based site to see what the hell is going on around here. Most other publications are old and shitty.

Theirs is tip fucking top. And hopefully I will be able to write in almost the same way I get to rant here. Tell some stories. Act like I know things that I clearly have no clue about. Ramble on and on about details of issues no one cares about. It will be awesome. And you are more than welcome to drop by Austinist periodically to check it out. And if you live here in Austin, feel free to send me any information you have on art openings, parties, shows, independent film screenings, new bars, whatever. I'm no journalist, but I can get that info to the right people and spread your word.

Word to words.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Don't Believe it? Just Watch Me.

The unthinkable is currently under consideration. This statement will require repeating, periodically, amongst the other sentences. It really is that serious.

Anyone who knows me, or has even met me (briefly, even), is fully aware that I am a huge proponent of drinking intoxicants. I don’t stand behind the juice just because I’m a drunkard, although that might be debatable on some level. I stand behind it because it is a fantastic out, a great barrier remover, a splendid way to go ahead and just give up all that worthless pretension for a few hours, and fine fuel for making all the mistakes in life (except the ones that endanger OTHERS’ lives) that really should be made. Besides, if you know what you like, then it tastes really damn good.

But just like everything else, there comes a point where it simply isn’t necessary. Gasp! I know. The unthinkable is currently under consideration.

But not permanently.

You see, my personality is one that lends itself to a truncated life, littered with all abandoned vices, all of which are fully capable of peace-ing-me-out of the post-womb. I’m not particularly interested in going out early, but if it happens, then so be it. However, it MUST happen amongst joyous circumstances. Like a failed parachute, while skydiving naked. Or hot sex in a tent on Kodiak island. Maybe a bad barrel ride down Niagara. Whatever.

What it CANNOT be is from a baseball bat, wielded by some douche balloon in some random public place who is simply sick and tired of hearing me talk a circus port-o-potty’s worth of shit because I’m drunk and my mind is boringly swimming through an oatmeal mush of general malaise. That’s where my sirens start to sound, and words like “abuse” and “temperament” get tossed around between my… selves. Myselves? You know what I mean.

In other words, when something destructive is no longer entertaining to me, then it needs to get curbed. If you aren't enjoying your state of obliteration, then you are, by definition, abusing it. Even worse, if you are irritated and cranky instead of laughing and telling lies about how cool you are, then you're wasting AND abusing it. And right now, I’m seriously on the cusp of getting my GROWN ass completely tore down for acting like a complete dick when I’m sauced. Sure, getting thrown out of bars is fun. It really is. But you don’t want your friends to be cheering on the bouncers and shit. You want them to get your back, even if you don’t deserve it.

BOUNCER: Hey, fucker, you peeing on the couch?
YOU [with only one eye open, leaning hard to your right]: Uh, maybe. That or someone else just peed on it. With my dick, apparently. Maybe.
BOUNCER: [lunging at you, slobbering] My MOM has to clean up that shit with a wet-dry vac! Ahhhh! I hate drunk people even though I work at a bar! OH MY FUCKING GOD I MUST CRUSH YOU!
[Lots of punching, some knocking down, laughing, crying, maybe a broken zipper in there]
YOUR FRIENDS: [option 1, preferred] Dude! Get the fuck off him, you're going to push his hemorrhoids out his ears!
[Mad Friend-defense ensues, you get hauled to safety, no one ever sits on that couch during subsequent visits]
YOUR FRIENDS: [option 2, not so preferred] What the...? Fucking Craig! Here, I'll help you drag him to that flight of cement stairs out back! He's been crying the last couple of hours and think I might like to watch him die at the hands of an angry bar-mob! Sweet!
[Bad Friend-defense ensues, you get kicked in the head by your out-of-town guest and your coworker steals your wallet before they roll you into the alley out back, where strangers join in by beating you with deck timbers and loose plumbing pipes]

Don't kid yourself, that could totally happen.

I'm extremely attached to my friends. For bad, and for worse. Even if they're tempted to get all Benedict Arnold on me. Maybe they’re just touchy every now and again, and that’s alright. We cannot be dependable ALL the time, right? But I CANNOT have my friends joining in a good ol’ ass-whooping on me, just because I have diarrhea of the mouth.

More importantly, I don’t need to be having diarrhea of the mouth. Not only does it sound completely disgusting, it is entirely preventable.

Cranky people are cranky for a reason. Every irritable lion you’ve ever met has a thorn in its paw. Problem is, no one has the time or patience to pull out anyone else’s thorns. So we’re on our own.

And in the process of finding my thorn, the most basic and necessary step for anyone with a personality as shifty as mine is to consider the unthinkable. Time for a break. Time to re-establish reasons to celebrate. Time to give myself something to cheer about when I’m plastered instead of “man, I need to do something with myself. I’m not designed for this shit. Blah-blah, poor little me, blah-fucking-blah.” Once this sort of inebriated self-consolation starts to repeat itself in front of live audiences, the speaker needs to put down the cup of impairment, stop crying about doing nothing, and go out and fuck some shit up.

Something that will bring back the jovial drunk that really, really wants to hang out. He really does. But there just hasn’t been good reason for him to drop by lately. So, dry up the double-old-fashioneds and hiballs until he returns with something to sing about. Otherwise, you just end up kickin’ it with a really surly fucker who spends WAY too much goddamn cash on booze. And food. And he tends to burn the seats with lit cigarettes or kick strangers at bus stops. It makes no sense to call that guy if you plan on going out, so if he’s guaranteed to show up every time you’re out, then just don’t bother with it.

Not until you’re sure he’s on vacation. ‘Cause that dude’s a total dick, and he’s going to get your face all kinds of broken.

So. The unthinkable is currently under consideration. And after typing this out, I believe I have come to the conclusion that I shall shelve my boozing until I get something worth boozing about. Like a finished book. Or a mastering of Chinese. Or a bronze sculpture of my naked body, wrestling Neptune, in front of any public library in Wisconsin.

Especially that last one. Jesus, that would be the best thing to happen to anyone, ever.

Of course, this means that I might be curiously absent from this blog thing for a bit. Not because I only blog when I booze, but because I might choose to do something more productive with my work hour.

Bygones. Boozegones. You get the idea.