Thursday, July 31, 2008

Somnolent Cinéma Fabergé: Inherit the Cylon Wind

I’m sitting on the witness stand in a stoic country-bumpkin courtroom that looks as if it had been built a couple hundred years ago. It’s stifling hot and humid and there’s no air conditioning. Dusty old wood-blade ceiling fans slowly spin overhead but to no avail. The people watching the trial are all fanning themselves with old-fashioned hand fans. Everyone is dressed in 1920’s drab outfits and the room stinks of sweat and cow manure with a hint of Old Spice.

The attorney for the plaintiff, who looks faintly like old time actor Fredric March, is sweating profusely and barks out at me.

“Just answer the question Mr. Chausse!”, he shouts.

My attorney, who is the spitting image of Spencer Tracy, is sitting at the defense table cradling his head in his hands, nodding woefully as if something had just gone terribly wrong.

“I’m sorry, what is the question?”, I peep out.

“Did you or did you not admit that you crashed your automobile into the plaintiff’s collection of Fabergé eggs!”, the Fredric March doppelganger spits out at me in frustration. “Answer the question…so help you God!”

“Objection!”, the Spenser Tracy look-alike exclaims as he jumps to his feet and points accusingly at the attorney for the plaintiff. Reporters in the back of the courtroom rush towards him and there’s soon a volley of old time flashbulbs on Brownie box cameras popping and flashing.

“Over Ruled.”, states the judge, an ancient crumpled man in flowing robes with a long white beard holding a long golden staff. He looks over to me and says aloud for all to hear while staring me straight in the eyes, “So help you ME!”

Outside, a flash of lightning is accompanied by a loud crack of thunder. Everyone in the courtroom loudly bursts out in unison, “Praise the Lord!”, and begins to clap and sing a rousing hymn. At the plaintiff’s table, the lady who had wailed so vehemently during the accident scene is fanning herself and in the midst of fainting as her redneck husband comes to help prop her up. “My beautiful eggs, my lovely eggs…gone from this world!”, she cries.

The judge slaps his gavel down and proclaims to the court, “Judgment for the plaintiff in the amount of $666 million dollars!” He turns to me again and stares at me sternly. Suddenly his eyes glow bright red and he begins to laugh insanely. The people in the courtroom all stand up together and I see that they are now dressed in Battlestar Galactica Colonial uniforms. They all stare at me and scream out, “So say we all!”

Then I wake up.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What EVIL Drives...

Things are progressing along at a relatively good clip regarding the processing of my claim.

Gotta hand it to the gecko, I think they’ll pull through for me in a timely fashion. The adjuster is checking out the car today and I should know a little better by this evening when I’d get a check…and, more importantly, for how much.

Of course the humorous TV commercial with James Lipton “translating” for the “actual customer” implied that a claim check could be cut within 10 business hours. We’ll see how much over that timeframe my claim takes. So far it’s about 16 business hours since I filed the claim online. Eh, if I can get a check today or tomorrow, that’d be fine with me. If it takes ‘till next week though….arrrgh!

I figure I should get “replacement value”, that is, the actual cost including taxes, etc. of getting a replacement automobile of the same make, model, year, mileage and condition as the insured vehicle. I’d have to read the fine-print to be sure, but that sounds logically like the way it should work. If they assess the car as a total loss, which, well you see the pics in the previous post, I think they will.

So, scoping around, I figure a replacement cost for the car would be around $5,000 (about what I paid for it last year). After my $500 deductible, that should provide me with about $4,500 to use for a new one. At least this is what I hope. We’ll see what actually is provided.

Adding that to what I have available in my checking account, and I am faced with one of two choices; either go out and buy a similar used car for cash, or, drop a really nice down-payment on a newer used or even a brand-new car.

I don’t come away from all this with the illusion that I will suffer no losses and only gain.

Yes, a replacement value payoff for the car should be a much better deal for trading up than if I tried to either trade-in the car as part of a purchase deal from a dealership or attempt to sell it to a private party. In those situations, I would have been looking at $2,000 to $3,500 max. The price in both cases tied closer to book value.

But, my insurance rates may now go up since I had been paying pretty low rates being that I am middle-aged, work in an office 3 miles from home, drove a conservative-styled car with many safety features (like ABS brakes and airbags which helped minimize this event to just a property loss issue rather than adding personal injury to the mix, thank you!), and, until this past weekend, hadn’t had an accident in about 20 years.

Also, I have the ticket. The state trooper said that he understood it was the road conditions and the rain that contributed, but he did have to write me a ticket for careless driving. That’ll be about $130 after I take the online traffic school course to eliminate the points on my license.

As far as the property damage to the redneck's 1979 Ford pick-up, there's no way it'll exceed the $25,000 property liability coverage I have. That's a relief. Whew! Though these yahoos might try to get themselves a sleezy lawyer and sue me, but they don't have anything to stand on. They just have big, loud country-bumpkin trash talkin' mouths. I actually wondered if they were "fixin' to string me up" that day. Gulp!

In the meantime, I’m riding around in my rental. It’s a Chrysler 300. This car is very cool-looking and is a sweet ride, but frankly it’s too much car for me. And it drinks gas like it’s going out of style. (Which it is, really.) I can’t wait to buy my replacement and turn this bad boy back in. Plus, it reminds me of the satanic car in that cheesy 1970’s flick “The Car”. I’m scared of it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Whiff Of Formaldehyde

It keeps cropping up, every now and then.

I take a bite of my lunch, I wake up in the middle of the night, I'm haunted by the ever-present scent of formaldehyde.

What's causing it? I can't say.

But a part of me thinks I'm experiencing some kind of "Jacob's Ladder" syndrome. That is, the fact that I am in reality dead but my spirit refuses to see reality as it is and insists on going on as usual.

Yesterday, while driving home from Port Canaveral along a thin two-lane road the usual afternoon cloudbursts opened up suddenly in front of me as I cruised homeward at about 65 miles per hour. Having no A/C, my windows had been down and I had to quickly flip switches on the driver's side door to bring them up.

As I drove into the wall of water that was the front of the rainstorm, I felt the tires beneath me react to the newly wet asphalt and I slowed to get a better grip. The roadway surface seemed well-designed and adequately drained so that while I had to drop to 60 mph, I could maintain that speed comfortably.

But, suddenly, the road surface changed and there was a layer of water covering the slick asphalt. The car began to hydroplane and I couldn't maintain control of the steering. Luckily there was no on coming traffic, otherwise it would be now, at about 60 mph, head on, that I would have crashed. Instead the car veered across the left side of the road and towards the shoulder. I ran off the road despite my pulling on the steering wheel to the right and plunged into a grassy covered ditch, about 3 feet deep. The velocity of the vehicle propelled it through the ditch and as I watched in utter amazement, the airbags deployed and warning dings sounded.

The car slowed but the inertia sent it flying out of the ditch towards the front yard of a house. The car slid into the back of a pick-up truck parked in front of the house. With the airbags already beginning to deflate from the initial impact with the side of the ditch about half a second before, the car now plowed into the back of the truck with just the seat belts to hold me back.

I watched the front of the car crumple and the truck was pushed a few yards forward by the force of the impact. The various contents in the back of the truck spilled out the now damaged back of it onto the hood of my car and the area just in front of my now stopped car. At the moment of the second impact, all power ceased in the car, the windshield wipers froze in place, the radio went dead, the air bag siren and dashboard warning lights went out. What appeared to be smoke wafted through the car interior and when I inhaled it smelled like a strange mix of burned plastic and, oddly, formaldehyde.

I unlatched myself from the seat belt, opened the door and exited the vehicle. It seems, thankfully, I was not hurt but for the exception of a tiny scratch on my right thumb.

The homeowners exited their house and were screaming about their damaged property, wailing in the rain that they couldn't believe it had happened to them again. Apparently, I was not the first driver to wipe-out in their yard. After a minute or two, they thought to ask if I was okay. I said yes. They called 911.

The paramedics came and I told them I was okay, they let me sign a waiver and left. The police arrived and assessed the scene. They called a tow truck and then I went with the tow truck driver to drop off my dead car in their lot and he drove me home.

But I still smell hints of formaldehyde.

Is it just the olfactory memory of the chemical-like smell of the cornstarch in the airbags, or, is it the new fluid in my blood-drained veins?

I can't tell.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Astral Yearning

I’m staring out my window, daydreaming…

I see a white ibis across the road. It dips its bill into the water of a small retention pond, stretching and flapping its sizable wings. It clamps down on something and begins to awkwardly take flight. These large birds are beautiful but not at all graceful in flight, until they have attained a height at which they can begin to soar. They do that very well.

One of my favorite classic films from the 70’s, “The Other”, has a scene in which the mildly psychic grandmother plays “the game” with her twin grandsons. She teaches them to use the powers of mind-over-matter projection to do things like focus on a crow and be able to see what it sees as it flies through the air.

I’m focusing on that ibis. I want to fly above the pond. I want to fly above the corporate office buildings and meticulously landscaped lawns and parking lots. I want to fly above Heathrow, looking down on the golf courses and mansions with their screened-in swimming pools. I want to fly away.

But my reverie fades to reality as a delicate tone indicates a newly-received email and I avert my stare from the fauna of the outside sunny and free world and focus on my computer monitor emblazoned with the company logo desktop wallpaper calling me back to work.

Ever have one of those days where it seems to be such an arduous chore to keep from just walking out of the building, jumping in your car and driving away, right there and then with no forethought or planning, to places unknown? You just want to go. Somewhere. Anywhere.

But we don’t. We stay and do what’s needed. We endure the waiver of our right to total freedom because, of course, that right really doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion.

Oh nothing would physically prevent me from acting on a fleeting impulse such as this, and, with apologetic reparations at a future time, it’s likely that major negative ramifications could be avoided. Call it sanity time, or, do the expected, and just fallaciously declare sudden illness caused the impromptu departure.

It’s not like I haven’t done it before.

But not today. I’m comfortable here and wouldn’t jeopardize my now solidly founded reputation as a responsible and dependable team member.

But in my heart lingers the wanderlust.

And it whispers softly to my soul, promising me that on some plane somewhere, in some alternate reality, I soar through the sun kissed clouds and gaily fly free amongst the ibises, with not a care or concern in the world.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

You Just Won A Million Dollars!

Woo Hoo!

I remember years ago actually ordering magazine subscriptions through outfits like Publishers Clearing House not because they offered the best rates (although the rates were quite reasonable) but because I might be rewarded for my stamp-licking efforts by winning the sweepstakes jackpot.

Back then it was a million dollar grand prize.

Oh, how I imagined using that amount of money! The wonderfully luxurious things I’d be able to buy! My oh my!

But a million dollars doesn’t go as far as it used to, does it?

Imagine if Ed McMahon and his crew arrived at your front door with balloons, confetti and champagne, as well as a huge oversized poster board check for ONE MILLION DOLLARS!

Still pretty great right?

Well, if you lived in, say, Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe and a Prize Patrol showed up at your door with a big ass check for a million ZIMBABWEAN dollars, you’d probably sic the dog on them for wasting your freakin’ time!

The estimated cost of just printing a big check like that would have exceeded its value countless times over.

Put another way, after the crew was gone and you were left holding that big rectangle, it would cost you way more than it was worth to use a trash bag to toss it away.

The check would be worth about 0.00003125 American CENTS!

For all intensive purposes, worthless.

Many third-world nations have notoriously huge numerical denominations in comparison to the base units of currency for industrialized economies like the US and Europe.

But the Zimbabwe Dollar used to actually be worth MORE than the US Dollar. Kinda like the British Pound and European Euro are now. Currently the exchange rate is something like 1 US Dollar = 33.2 Billion Zimbabwean Dollars. That's billion, with a B.

What happened? Well, basically, this guy:

Robert Mugabe.

While he steals elections, runs his country like a mobster, and is unabashedly racist and homophobic, his people are being forced into a medieval-like barter economy since the cash is literally not even worth the paper it’s printed on.

But at least everyone can call themselves billionaires, right?

Woo Hoo!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What Does $4.00/Gallon Buy?

I read with amazement the continued progress being done on the Burj Dubai skyscraper in Dubai, UAE, in the Persian Gulf. But I can’t help but wonder how this massive project is funded. Especially considering that you can likely drive around many a US city and see construction projects that have stalled or outright halted due, no doubt, to the growing recession and real-estate crisis.

The Burj Dubai tower still under construction but proceeding along merrily, has, since earlier this year, surpassed the 629 meter (2,063 foot) KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota to become the world's tallest man-made structure.

Developers of the new building have yet to reveal what the final height of Burj Dubai will be but it is expected to reach 900 meters (2,953 feet) when completed early next year.

But wait…there are plans by a Dubai-based competitor to build an even bigger building in the Gulf emirate.

State-owned Nakheel is planning a 1,200 meter-high (3,937 feet) tower that would comfortably surpass Burj Dubai.

Flush with windfall revenues from high oil prices, other Gulf oil states are reportedly considering joining the race to build the world's tallest building.

Saudi Arabia, which sits on a quarter of the world's proven oil reserves, is planning a mile-high (1,600 meter, 5,249 foot) tower in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, according to the London-based Middle East Economic Digest.

So next time you're filling up that Ford Expedition, rightly make this comparison in your head:

$150 to fill up my SUV = the cost of an hour with a moderately-priced "escort".

And you'd be right…either way you’re paying to get screwed.

But in the case of the Gulf state oil barons, they’re using your money to immortalize their plunder of your ass...

By erecting the biggest phallic symbols in the world.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tearjerker Love Story Film Fest Weekend

Having exhausted my supply of Netflix-provided BSG DVDs (until the next shipment, that is, which should, BTW, wrap up the set), I watched TV movies this weekend. To my surprise, I lucked out since many of my favorites were scheduled. I'd seen each one of these films, but they are, in my opinion, some of the most re-watch-friendly movies out there.

But, as well I knew in advance, I needed to make sure I had an ample supply of tissues nearby.

First up was "Brokeback Mountain".

I actually hadn't seen it since watching it in 2005 during it's debut weekend at Lake Mary Cinema. The waterworks certainly gush out freely when watching in the privacy of your own home. Oh, I assure you, I had tears running down my face at the theater too, but I tend to try to hold it together more if in public.

Most Heartwretching Scene: There are plenty of them, but I think the one where Ennis finds the pair of bloodied shirts hung together in the back of Jack's boyhood closet says so much with virtually no words. Beautiful. Bravo, Ang Lee! Bravo, Heath Ledger...and I'm sure I'm not alone in shedding an extra tear or two based on the fact of his untimely demise...he will be missed!

And Bravo to Bravo as well for airing the movie in primetime, and not, apparently, cutting any scenes that might make the homophobes run in fear. Full man-on-man passionate kissing on basic cable TV. We've come a long way, baby!

"Starman" was next.

Huh?, some might say. Yes "Starman". It's not your usual love story to be sure. Much more appropriately categorized as Science Fiction, of course. But it has it's moments. After all the Jeff Bridges character is a virtual clone of her dead husband, and even though it's an alien, there's a "little bit" of her hubby inside. Put common sense aside and just feel it; it'll work for you.

Most Heartwretching Scene: When the Jeff Bridges alien reveals to Karen Allen's character that she is pregnant with their baby, and that the baby will be biologically a human offspring of her and her departed husband, but will have the Starman's knowledge. (Ok, choke back that disbelief and let the moment consume you. Let your logic drift away and free your heart.)

Then there was "West Side Story".

Aside from the thrilling visuals, the spot-on choreography and the stunning music this is, after all, the enduring Romeo and Juliet story of love and tragedy. I've seen this film about 5 or 6 times, but, as I was thinking this weekend while watching it, I would really love to see this as a live musical.

Most Heartwretching Scene: After the fiasco of the rumble during which, in a blind rage, Tony kills Bernardo (Maria's brother), Tony and Maria meet and though her heart is heavy over the death of her brother at the hand of Tony, she forgives him and they embrace. The song they breakout into, "Somewhere" is one of my all-time favorites and always gets the tear ducts flowin'.

Finally, the King of the Tearjerkers, "Titanic".

I think I wrote about this movie and it's personal connection to my own tragic tale of lost romance around the same time this film debuted in theaters. The Jack and Rose story was the Justin and Michael story.

This movie, of the four presented here, is the most re-watched as well. I probably have seen it about a dozen times.

Most Heartwretching Scene: There are so many of them, but probably the one with the biggest impact, of course, is the scene where Jack and Rose are floating in the ice-cold water after the ship goes down. It's a long one, and I am always crying throughout...which makes it hard to see, you know. Jack's encouragement to her, his reassurance, and then, his silence since he's dead. Seeing the lifeboat manoeuvring away after vainly searching for survivors, she has to let his corpse go and sink to the bottom of the cold, dark sea alone as she struggles to get the whistle which will save her life. Ahh. Need I say more?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

SCRAPBOOK: Hometown Memories

We begin a new feature I'll post up from time to time...SCRAPBOOK. A collection of images I harvest from various web sources, themed with some connection to my experiences of my life and all the "special" meanings that entails. Exciting, huh? No. Well screw you then. ;)

Today's entry is all about the place on earth I hatched and was weened, Woonsocket, RI...

So "trow me down the stairs my shoes" and walk this way into the Wayback Machine, Boy Sherman:

Here's one of the railroad bridges that cross over the Blackstone River. When I was 12, my friends and I walked across this. And then a train came and we ran and I nearly got killed but jumped to the other side at the last minute, then I later got a role on Star Trek: Next Generation...oh wait...that was Wil Wheaton in "Stand By Me". Okay, but I did walk across this...and tried not to look down between the ties to the river far (~50 feet?) was really scary!

Here's one of the great "weenie" places on Main Street. I remember for years these delectable quintessentially Rhode Island hot dogs were available here for just 25 cents each. Yum!
If you ordered a bunch of them, this guy would sit them lined up on his nice hairy forearms as he ladles the sauce and other condiments on them. Yum? Sure, why not...adds "character". BTW, check out his tatoo. Swank! You know this guy must have been in the Navy when he was younger and still, even now, he'd kick your ass where you stood if he had reason to!
Here are a couple, "with the works", ready to chow down...looks like there's some coffee milk here to wash 'em down with.
I learned to swim here. I think I fell in love, at the tender age of 11 with one of my first proto-boyfriends, David P., here too. Watch for a full FLASHBACK on that one. Oh, it's also the place my guardian angel worked at in the 70's. His name was George.
The Stadium was right near the YMCA and on Saturdays we'd go see a movie there. It was a cool thing to look up at the ceiling in the lobby...we kids got a laugh out of seeing a naked lady up there. (Rococo-style Beaux Arts frescoes). It looks like they have live performances there now. Though I think the theater manager should be a tad more careful with spelling ("Grease", maybe?).
Making our way south now, towards nearby North's the HoJo's I practically grew into adulthood at. Started there as a teenage dishwasher boy and left a teenage soda jerk man. Lots of life lessons learned early on here.
I remember we used to frequent this drive-in when I was a little boy. Then it fell on hard times and turned into a XXX drive-in, so we didn't go there anymore. Just as well, who wants to see titties and gashes anyway. Yuck! Well, it seems like it's back to being "legit" again. Whoopie! (Well, probably less of that steaming up the cars now, though.)

My memories of Woonsocket are mainly fond and longingly melancholy, sometimes illogically so since it, like so many places we remember from our past, is no better than any other place, when you get right down to it. But it's our lost youth that we yearn for.

I was scouting blogs and came across one by a writer who at the time of her post lived in Atlanta. She apparently writes Anne Rice-ish horror novels and went on an homage trip to Providence a few years ago to visit the former stomping grounds of famed horror author H. P. Lovecraft, a RI native, if you didn't already know. She made a side trip to Woonsocket and writes about her experience:

Sprouting from the banks of the Blackstone River, from the mills that fill the narrow valley, Woonsocket has impressed me as a town afflicted with the meanness that too often comes with fallen industry. Imagine a strange fusion of small-town suspicion and inner-city threat. There's a museum of "work and culture" (or something like that) downtown, and some half-hearted attempts at gentrification, but these attempts to foster myths of a heritage of proud workers only seem to underscore the squalor and poverty that one encounters at almost every turn. The big houses along South Main Street, before the descent to the river, have a similar effect. I can imagine nothing good in this place. It seems to radiate slow, smoldering hatred, this town. You can see it in the eyes of the people, especially the younger people. I would not live in Woonsocket for a million dollars. Really. Almost every place I go I see ghosts, but it's not often they seem to possess such a terrible despite.

It's weird hearing it from an "outsider", but, yeah, basically she's summed the city up in one succinct, and boldly truthful paragraph.

That's my hometown...a bitter, festering ghost town.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

FLASHBACK: Fall 1984

I thought I was going to have a heart attack and die. Right here, in class, in front of everyone. I was trying so hard to not burst out laughing at this joke of a classroom...

In the previous session of this Creative Writing class, we had just turned in our latest assignment to the instructor and now today, after he had graded them, he selected a few of the better ones for the class to read aloud as a group. There were about 10 or so stories the professor had chosen for group review. Mine was one of them.

He picked students round-robin-style to read one of the stories out loud. This group was a classic example of the community college "lowered expectations" standard. Most of these stories were either boring and formulaic or just sublime re-adaptations of "what I did last summer" fare. Snooze-ville to say the least.

So when it came 'round for my story to be read, I wasn't sure how it would be received. It was definitely not your usual pablum.

The girl picked to read it seemed barely literate to begin with, and, throw in the fact that the story was written in Cockney-ish slang in the first person perspective, she, of course, fucked it up.

"Hey, there's a lot of misspelled words in here.", complained one of my classmates to the instructor. Each student had been given a mimeograph copy (yes, that's right, those purple-inked moist, smelly pages) of each of the stories so they could read along. I could almost see my professor's eyes roll in condescension. But he was too professional for that. Instead, I let my eyes do it for him.

"It's meant to be misspelled. It's in the vernacular of the character.", he tried to explain to the dim wit who protested that I got away without negative points for my "bad" grammar.

The giggles were welling up in me, and the unbearable urge to outright roll on the floor with laughter was coming on strong.

"...blow the fuckin' lacto-sacks off the skanky cunt.", the bubble gum chewing girl read out loud in stuccatoed speech.

"Do you know what he means by "lacto-sacks"?", the professor asked the room. No one answered. I gazed around and saw on their faces a mixture of confusion and revulsion. It took every fiber of my powers of self-control to keep a screaming belly laugh from ripping out of me. How no one noticed my face as red as a beet is beyond my understanding. Thankfully, they all seemed to be staring down at their copies of my story, trying to wrap their tiny heads around it's simple, but twisted plot.

"Breasts. The character is shooting the woman in the breasts with his AK-47, a Russian-issued assault rifle.", said the instructor with a totally straight face, not a hint of censorship or hesitation in his voice. Bravo! I thought. This guy is cool. I was a little concerned over how he'd receive the assignment. Not so much for the subject matter, but perhaps he'd object to the violence and the language. But as I expected, this guy was a free-thought hippy type so I'm sure he loved it when a student had the 'nads to write with no expected boundaries. I was only happy to make his day.

I eventually held it together and didn't embarrass myself by bursting out laughing at everyone. But it was tough, let me tell you. After all, this community college had recently changed it's name from Rhode Island Junior College since it had become notoriously referred to by it's acronym as R.I.J.C. = Rejec (as in Reject). You can change the name, but the student body remains true to form.

Here is the story, BTW, my little Cold War inspired homage to the famed Burgess novel. Well, actually, it's a re-write that I just did. The original was lost years ago. But it's fairly close.

Interesting and true side-note: I chose the name of the car they drove, a future-model-year 1997 Durango as a fake car name that sounded similar to other contemporary durable all-terrain vehicles. Totally by chance, Dodge chose Durango years later as a real SUV model name. Weird huh? Maybe one of my former classmates became a designer for GM and thought back to my story when they had to name their new car design? Uh, very unlikely. :)

A Clockwork Red-Orange

By Michael Chausse

I was drivin’ me ’97 Durango along the dusty highway with me comrades, crusin’ ‘round lookin’ for to make some mookie-mookie and bust in a head or two.

Outs the corner of me eye, I spy a dirty bloke wit one ear, crouched in an alleyway beside an ol’ rusted fridge, swiggin’ from a half empty bottle of Stoli. Cribbed the Joy-Juice he musta ‘cause, you know they ain’t makin’ the good shit no more, for sure. And even if they was, this guy didn’t look the sort to have the scratch to buy it, even if he put up every ration card he ever got.

“Where’d ya get the grog, brotha?”, I says in English to our new comrade as we pull up to ‘im and gets out the car.

“Fuck off ya filthy Blatnoys!”, answers he.

Wrong answer.

Before we slit the smelly ‘Merican swine a pretty ruby necklace, we give our Spetznazs a lil’ workout and kick ‘im ‘round a bit, makin’ ‘im all bloody-bloody. After we grab ‘is bottle from ‘im, that is. We can’t let this primo hooch goes to waste now, can we?

Back in the Durango, we finish off the booze and follow it up wit hits off the olMethy-Pipe as we roll through the dark city ruins towards the brightly-lit camp. The sign above the gate says “The People’s Center for Re-Education of New Los Angeles”. But to us, it says here be our proving grounds.

“Hey brotha!”, I greets me comrade Vlad manning the guard house.

“Ivan! My man, how’s it hangin’?”, he replies in the new ‘Merican lingo that’s catchin’ on, makin’ me cringe… After all, who’s supposed to be the “re-educators” here?

Vlad whispers to me, “Check it out, man, there be a couple o’ hot new prisoners, er, I mean “pupils” we brought in from the hills yesterday. They’re in Indoctrination Tent E. Real primo sweeties. The kind they used to call ‘Valley Girls’. ‘Member? ‘…gag me with a spoon…’ and shit like that. Ha!”

“Ya, I’ll gag them wit somethin’, but it ain’t gonna be no spoon, if you know what I mean!”, says I as me Johnny starts to come awake, imaginin’ those Barbie bimbos makinmookie-mookie wit me.

We gets to the tent and sure enough, sittin’ by themselves in one of the concrete walled intake cells are two blond girls in their tattered and torn pink and green outfits streaks from mascara-laden tears staining their bruised and muddied faces.

Bein’ the gent I am, I let me comrades have at ‘em first…never been one afraid to gets me sloppy seconds.

Finally, I takes me wench up the back door and I scream out “Mother Motherland!” as I drive home me payload. But as I’m pullin’ up me trousers, the bitch pulls out a makeshift blade that was hidden under the bench and tries to plunge it into me heart. I step aside just in time, grab her arm as me comrades pounce on her and we force her to release her shiv.

“Hold her!”, I exclaim to me buds as I go outside the cell to where we stowed our gear. Me comrades have the naked bitch pinned with her back to the grey cinderblock wall as I raise me AK-47, take aim, and blow the fuckinlacto-sacks off the skanky cunt.

After we off the other one, we joke with Vlad and tell him that it was unfortunate, but these two Bourgeois Capitalist Dogs could not be “re-educated”.

“Hey, bro…you want this?”, Vlad says, pointing to a small cage holding a little white poodle. “Those bitches had it with them when we captured, er, “rescued” them.”

So that’s how I came to own me little Zasha. She reminds me of Vanya Jin-Jin, me little doggie I had back home before the war. Before the nuke blast that incinerated her along the rest of me family.

“Who’s me pretty girl?”, I coo to Zasha, me mates crackin’ up at me bein’ all lovey-dovey. I join in on their laughter as we tear down the dusty desert road in our ten-year old car headed for some new heads to crack and fresh pussy to mookie-mookie.

“We’re gettin’ closer, Comrades!”, I shout to me buds as we make our way towards Vegas and pass a sign on the side of the highway: “Welcome to Nevada SSR”.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Need Pegglers Anonymous

Me: "Hi my name is Michael and I can't stop playing Peggle..."

Group: "Hi Michael!"

At home 'till the wee hours, and even at work, I just can't "put the mouse down and step away from the computer" if Peggle is loaded up.

I mentioned this game in yesterday's post, but now it's gotten ridiculous. I just can't stop. I keep telling myself, even when I'm dead tired and need sleep bad..."Just one more game!"

Can anyone help me?

Seriously though, this game is highly addictive! It's so simple in it's design, but that's it's lure. Unlike stupid puzzle games where you soon get to a point where it become overwhelmingly difficult and feel like your nerves are going to crack, Peggle eases you into play, and, though the levels do become progressively more challenging, there is adaquate reward for besting these tests, mainly in the form of fun graphics and musical tymphanies.

If you haven't a clue as to what game I'm referring to, do yourself a favor...if you dare, 'cause you will get hooked you know, and google it. Or, go right to the game publisher:

Don't blame me for your submission to it's power. You will become a bleary eyed zombie, wearing out your mouse button and, when you do finally collapse into a fitful sleep, the strains of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" will unfortunately haunt you through the restless night.

Beware the unicorn!

The cake is a lie!*

*(Oh that's another addicting game!)


Must have coffee!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Centaur Love

Ok, I just saw this Old Spice body wash commercial depicting a hot guy, normal from the waist up...below, he's all horse. He's showering, presumably with his Old Spice body wash, and is saying crap to humorously get you interested in body wash but for me, I'm all horny. I need me some man-horse love!

TMI? Maybe. Sorry. Kinda like how I'm turned on by dwarves...

Especially their hairy little toes...

And it helps if they, for some reason, have only one testicle...

And they treat me like dirt, spit in my face and talk really, really nasty.

Anyway, back on the reality front...

I ended up passing on contacting Ric or Scott. I made it as far as the house, saw that there was a dark blue Chevy Cobalt with rental plates (ya, if you're a tourist driving on our roads here in Florida...we have ways of telling!). No doubt it was Scott. But no one was home, and when I checked out Jax, I didn't see them there either. It was dinner time, they may have been at Longhorn or some other restaurant.

One of the reasons I didn't seek out reconciliation with Ric...I got addicted.

Yup. I'm a junkie.

Addicted to Peggle, that is!

I just discovered this simple little puzzle game just this weekend. And once I started, I just couldn't stop.

Nvidia offered a special edition for free through the Steam online game portal, and after a few non-stop hours, I went and bought the full version.

Today at work, I played the online version for hours, and hours, and how the time flew!

Right now I'm watching BET. That's right...I may not be a brotha, but I'm down with it! No really, the movie "Soul Plane" is playing (or is it playin') and it's exactly what I expected...silly and constantly parodying the usual stereotypes. All, supposedly in fun, of course. It's okay doesn't watch a movie like this and think "Oscar material".

The thunderstorms are raging over Central Florida lately, and tonight's no exception. It sounds like the background special effects for a B horror flick out there!

Make's me tired.

Just as shoulder feels better after a good night's sleep, so I guess I'll head off to bed.

It's gonna be okay, folks, I just feel it. I think I'm headed in a new direction...and gonna find the right friends, and, perhaps, if lucky, maybe even Mr. Right.

Dare I wish it?

But, seriously, not a mutant though.

Not unless it's the last resort, that is.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Heat Is On

Oh the hot and ugly dog days of summer are definitely here. Ultra high humidity, daytime highs in the mid 90’s and nighttime lows in low 80’s. Ugh!

I got a new pair of glasses this week (Giorgio Armani). Insurance covered $200 towards the $350 price tag. Yikes! Ya, I know, I never usually splurge on trendy designer things (hello, I buy my clothes at K-Mart for cryin’ out loud!) but I thought, “Why not?”. I am in the midst of a personal reconstruction plan; visiting doctors, trying to loose weight, getting dental work done, buying new clothes. I’m even considering, gulp, buying a new car. Well, maybe…

A car is an extension of its owner and makes a personality statement about who you are…so they say. I don’t feel that a ten year old Buick describes me. I think I’m much more of a Prius or something like that.

But, I don’t know about a car either, since I very much appreciate having no monthly car payments and a very low insurance rate. Why would I literally “trade that in” for a flashy status icon?

Speaking of flashy status icon…I sooooo want an iPhone. But, really folks…why would I need it? It’s not like I have any friends to call.

That reminds me, Ric’s friend Scott is down from Indiana visiting, staying as a guest at Ric’s place, in my former room, for an extended weekend.

I like Scott. Unlike Ric, he’s a life-long fag, like me. That is, we realized we favored men over women a long time ago, in our teens. I seem to get along better with these types of “family” members, since, I think, we have shared coming out angst stories during our “formative years” rather than the older guys who, after years of pussy chasing decide to “turn to the cock side”. (LOL, cute play on words…I just came up with that! Ha…I slay me!)

So, the question is, will I call Ric and apologize for my tirade?

I may have to just “show up” at his door in person, as he may well be screening calls to prevent another fiasco of a phone conversation with me. I doubt, especially with Scott there to help advocate for me (In the unspoken Code of Queerdom, we “lifers” stick together), that Ric would outright reject my plea for reconciliation. There may be some heated discussion and I’ll no doubt be forced to take my licks.

Despite all my misgivings about our love/hate, co-dependent and dysfunctional friendship, I have to admit I miss him.

I guess I may be human after all.

Friday, July 04, 2008

By Your Command

I'm in the midst of watching all the episodes of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series, from the miniseries to Razor, about 18 DVDs. It's taking a few weeks.

As an avid fan, I'd thought that I had seen most of the episodes, and that this endeavor to watch each episode chronologically would eventually bore me since it would be like watching repeats.

But I hadn't realized just how many episodes I missed. In retrospect, I guess it's not that surprising...

Battlestar Galactica airs on Fridays at 10pm on the SciFi Channel, with an encore of that episode 2 days later at the same time. Well, during the first and second seasons of the show, watching TV that late on a Friday night would be out of the question most weekends because either I'd be out drinking along with Ric, or, when I was at Convergys and had to get up for work at 5am every other Saturday, I'd be fast asleep. And Monday perpetually a scheduled workday, would make staying up on Sunday nights a hard proposition. So either I watched the episodes I did catch after getting drunk or, if sober, half asleep. Needless to say, it's now like I'm seeing this series for the first time, really.

Watching a series on DVD has the added benefits of enough time for fansite, blog and wiki updates so you can enrich your viewing with added information from other fans posted on the Web. Also, the DVDs themselves have all sorts of goodies like commentary, podcasts, deleted scenes and other extras. Finally, and most obviously, you can choose when to watch them. No gods forsaken time slot that SciFi Channel forces you to adhere to.

Get it "gods forsaken"...gods of Kobol.

Now understanding the whole arc of this show, I see so much of it in the context of comparison to my own personal Koyaanisqatsi. The downs, the ups and the downs be followed by an endless loop of more of the same.

And like the show, it seems my enemies can take on the disguise of an innocent friend. But it leaves me wondering...

Am I one of the humans or am I a Cylon?