Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Self Hero Worship

"To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man."
-William Shakespeare

Look...I'm no superhero.

I don't think I'm even one other person's hero on this planet.

And I certainly don't strive to be.

But all my life I've had only one expectation of myself:

To at least be my own personal hero.

Even at a young age I impressed myself with my intelligence. Yes, it was nice being recognized as bright by others as well, but real gratification came in the form of my own acknowledgement of my own accomplishments and skills. Perhaps this has a little to do with the previously mentioned slight dual personality complex I built a tad out of proportion in order to spice up the FLASHBACK post. Oh don't frown, you've all done it in your own blogs. Call it creative editing. ;)

Creativity was another attribute I wowed myself with. The nights I spent either designing, crafting, painting, drawing, writing or even composing music made me feel on top of the world. And I distinctly remember being caught up in the moment of creative verve almost literally patting myself on the back when I felt I'd achieved a breakthrough.

From my late teens onward I discovered that I had a talent for influencing other people and I egged myself on to hone this skill more and more until eventually I found that I could easily manipulate most people. Especially in regards to being able to lead a group and inspire confidence and optimism. Here was a talent that was reinforced by immediate reciprocation from the persons impacted but it also was very appreciated by myself-truly. After all, with it I was able to get things to play out as I wanted them to.

As time marched on I learned the art of discipline, though through many trials by fire. I found that through temperance, diligence and delayed gratification I could find a higher plateau of personal gratification, satisfaction and pride.

But then, like an angel falling from Grace, I faltered in my discipline. I regressed on many avenues to the point where it would appear to the outside, unaware observer that I'd never grasped the concept in the first place.

And so I suffered. Suffering clouded, and purposely shrouded, in the "deadly sins" of lethargy, gluttony, jealousy and disdain.

But then I found THE LORD. Praise JESUS.

Ummm, NOT!

(Sorry to cause a bit of panic to my fellow atheist readers...fear not...a fairy-tale fictional bogeyman will not guide me to "the light")

So what sustains my goal of living up to my own expectations?

Honesty and independence, baby! That's what it's all about. And that, I feel, is what I got goin' good for me.

Trying to win back some of the benefits of good ole discipline, but it's a baby step process.

Teeny weeny, but much applauded (if only by my own set of hands) baby steps.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Eh, What's Up Doc?

Moment of truth time again yesterday as I met with the PA at my new doctor's office. They had a much more extensive pre-screening questionnaire when compared to the relatively few health questions from the previous doctor's office.

Some of the questions got me thinkin'...like what age my grandparents and other close family members died. Except for Memere, they were all in their 60's including my mom. Cause (in order that they died): Pneumonia, Cancer (and likely cirrhosis of the liver), Cancer, Stroke (I think, I'm not sure) and either stroke or heart failure as a result of complications due to phlebitis. The nitty gritty details weren't really discussed about the last two, being Memere and my mother. I should have asked more questions at the time.

It hits home the truth that despite my concerted and conscious effort over the years to distance myself from my family for an amalgam of complex and diverse reasons, it boils down to the simple fact that I am still liked to them inseparably by genetics. Their DNA is the most similar match to my own and genetically transmitted tendencies like diseases and other determination traits cannot be ignored. So, it dawns on me that based on the cold hard facts I am already genetically predisposed to an early death, and the myriad of life-shortening ailments, diseases and disorders I have developed throughout my 45 years of life have, probably, in my sober estimation, reduced my chances considerably of bucking this trend.

I figure I got about 10 to 15 more years. Max.

And that's only if I can halt my progression of obesity, hypertension and diabetes to current levels and no further. But it looks like the conditions of these disorders will march on unabated if the past few years bear any witness to the near future.

I put a conservative estimate at about 8 years. Less if alcoholism, depression or other destructive influences escalate suddenly as it may. According to many of my DUI education courses, I'm showing signs of being on the verge of all-out dependence on alcohol...late stage alcoholism in which I must drink in order to simply function throughout each day.

Perhaps I'll be able to work with this new doctor in establishing a strong rebuilding foundation with an insightful assessment of my immediate medical needs and the comprehensive reversal of dangerous patterns and an immediate adaptation of a new, healthier lifestyle including proper diet, exercise and mental well-being which in turn might inspire new interests, better job prospects due to new energy and motivation, new positive, supportive friends and even a rekindled love life. Perhaps I'll even meet my ultimate soulmate and we'll enjoy a long, healthy and happy life together.


Or maybe I'll just end it right now by getting fucked up and ramming Nugget at 90-mph head-on into the grill of an oncoming tourist bus on I-4.

May as well make headlines and reduce the irritating number of tourists while I'm at it.

Th- Th- Th- Th- Th- That's All Folks!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

SNL Season 4 Wrapup

Tonite I finished watching the last episode of the fourth season of Saturday Night Live. The multiple DVDs chewed up several slots on my Netflix queue but it's been so worth it.

Season 4 was John Belushi's last and in my opinion, was probably one of the best seasons ever. I remember really being devoted to staying up late on Saturday night to watch this and though Mom and Dad were slow to warm up to this show at first, this was the year they started watching too. My mother was too stupid to understand much of the humor and I think my father got off on the innuendo jokes and the rather blunt language for TV in those days (ie: the whole "Jane, you ignorant slut..." recurring line during Weekend Update) and his hero John Belushi as the punky, cocky everyman.

Some of the guest hosts in this season really were impressively "Hollywood A-List" for the time, and by getting them Lorne must have started to realize how big SNL had become.

What a hoot to see things like Al Franken portraying a mudslinging candidate for Congress and the steadily escalating controversies he and his opponent were disclosing in their respective commercials.

John Belushi ranting as a Weekend Update commentator complaining about the soon-to-de-orbit Skylab and the talk by some that if it crashed into the World Trade Center it would knock it over.

Buck Henry playing a middle-aged bachelor uncle happy to babysit his two pre-teen nieces and take pictures of them in their panties. I doubt today's audiences would take too well to pedophilia humor.

This was the season a lot of references both during monologues and skits were made about the Not Ready for Prime Time players' use of drugs. Especially Belushi. It was common knowledge he was heavily using. One joke even predicted he'd be dead in a few years. Eerie.

This was the year the Olympia Cafe switched to Coke after a slick sales pitch from Walter Matthau.

Todd DiLamuca and Lisa Loopner were going on to college now and starting to think about sex with one another. Of course they were still ultra nerds.

And Father Guido Sarducci talks briefly about a planet on the other side of the sun, an exact mirror of Earth except that there they eat corn-on-the-cob vertically rather than horizontally as we do.

Ah the long lost days of classic SNL!

Monday, September 14, 2009

I've Been A Bad Boy

Yeah that's right, I've been bad and what you gonna do about it? I ain't confessin' or nuthin', I just want to tell you I ain't no angel, okay?

That whole Smash 2 thing...well that's over, I've been drinking again...back to my ole quantities...no problem. So if you was hopin' for the best, then fuck you, suckas!

I've been buying all sorts of cakes and ice cream and other decadent food. Who the fuck cares. Let it try an' kill me!

The whole world is goin' to hell in a hand basket, so I may as well follow suit.

Who the fuck cares.

I know I don't.

Monday, September 07, 2009

FLASHBACK: Summer 1978

School was out for the summer! Yay! But here it was, middle of the day and I had nothing to do.

I did a little reading in my room but it was a nice day and I wanted to get out and enjoy it. I went swimming by myself in the backyard pool for a while, but the water was still too cold to really enjoy it.

Mom and dad were working and my sister and brother were at Ruth and Memere's house. Not that I'd want to hang out with them anyway. I wasn't hanging out with my neighborhood friend David C. much anymore and my newer friends John N. and Camille weren't around...they were pretty much just school buddies at this time. My former best friend Michael D. was outta the picture and so was Steven A.; they were now my enemies. So it was looking like it would be a pretty lonely day.

Oh well, there's always myself I can talk to.

"Sssh! Don't tell the reader...we can't tell anyone."

"But it's ok, no one reads this anyway. Besides, just 'cause you talk to yourself doesn't really mean you're crazy. Like they say. A lot of people do it, they just don't admit it."

I talked more to myself lately. I'd pretend I was on my own sit-com starring me and I'd play my own laugh track with the "audience" roaring with laughter at my jokes or antics. Oh what fun. And only I could hear it.

I sometimes argued with myself, but that's ok. Arguments are sometimes healthy for a close relationship like ours...myself and me, that is. Our parents argued all the time. Wasn't theirs the epitome of a healthy marriage? Weren't we a well-adjusted, loving family? Of course we were.

"Really, I don't think so."

"Oh what do you know."

"I know what you know, silly, I'm you."

"Yeah, but you always like to point out the negative, look on the positive side, would ya?!"

"Go screw yourself!"

"Well fuck you too!"

"Ah, shut the fuck up!"

"Why don't YOU!"

Rarely would it come to physical fighting, but there'd occasionally be a few slaps across the face welling up a brief rosy-colored cheek for a while.

But then I'd make up with myself and occasionally I'd kiss my right hand lovingly, forgiving it for smacking me.

Anyway, out by the pool, I noticed a mass of red and black bugs crawling all over the trunk of the old tree behind the garage. I got closer and saw they were harmless little beetle-like things. Normally I'd shriek and run like a little girl at merely the sight of beetles but for some reason I liked these guys. They were harmless and didn't fly away when you picked them up. They had little baby nymphs that looked like miniature itsy-bitsy versions of the adults all running around the place as well. They were all so docile and didn't run away. Perfect little playthings.

Rather than the usual plastic doll dioramas I would set-up in my room and play with for hours, I started to devise all sorts of new and fun ways for these little red and black buddies to be hapless cast members in all sorts of little tragic scenarios I'd play out.

In one, giant needles would mysteriously fall from the sky, piercing their wingcases and underlying thoraxes, pinning them helplessly in place, despite their wildly twitching legs and antennae,'till they dried up hours later.

Another elaborate scene had them dwelling in houses which were, for some odd reason, constructed out of wooden matchsticks. They had to be glued into place with their feelers wiggling out the little open windows and doors. A group of them had also been glued to the plastic seats of a Matchbox car, sharing space with a number of matchstick heads.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck our happy bug families when the car careened down a hill and slammed into a rock. For some reason, this caused the matchstick heads to burst into flames, frying the silently-screaming passengers alive. Soon after, the house also went up in flames. The sizzles and pops could be heard loudly over the sound of sirens playing in my head.

"Okay, that's enough. Put it out now. Someone will see the smoke and tell mom and dad!", I warned myself, worried about getting caught.

"Don't be a pussy. This is fun. Look at them burn! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!", I smarmily answered myself back.

"Die little bastards, die!", we both sang out in unison.

"Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!"

Co-Worker Roast #4

A little late, now that it's been a month and a half since we "graduated" from training, but here it is as promised. The new job co-worker roast!

Vivian: Remember when Gilda Radner did her "mentally challenged girl" impression? This is Vivian. She was the first to chat me up in the lobby when we appeared for our first day of training (no, not "chat me up" in the British sense meaning flirt with me, but just simply chat with me). Vivian is the epitome of the dumb blond...and she ain't even natural blond! I guess that makes her an unnatural dumb blond. Her nightly breakdowns in training were hilarious to sit back and watch. She'd fall apart over the simplest concept and start cussing and crying...literally! She'd throw off her headset in frustration and storm out of the room for hours on end. You're thinking she didn't make it, right? Wrong. She's still with us although I think she's learned to get wasted before work now. She has this perpetual glazed-over Thorazine aura about her.

Jed: One glance upon this thin, tall, head-shaved, tanned and lanky dude and your gaydar beeps outta control. I mean, Jed is the stereotypical "catty fag". Like Daniel from Symantec, Jed has the swishy carefree gait, "give a fuck" attitude, and sour-faced condescending demeanor, yet, in truth, is as stupid as all shit. His fag-hag Amy is another trainee in the class and they are practically inseparable. Like all tight fag/fag-hag relationships, they nauseatingly complete each others sentences, constantly whisper-gossip rudely about everyone else and inappropriately giggle non-stop.

Heather: Another dame with nothing between her ears, she needed so much in-depth explanation for concepts we would never run across on a usual basis, like the interchange third-party processors for credit card transactions...who cares? Yet her irrepressible bubbly bon vivance on the phone and down-home, "frankly-speaking" way of talking wins her relatively hassle-free calls and easy sales. At the cost of handletime though. In her late forties but with good enough skin and a thin enough body to still try to get away with body-fitting dresses and a desperate "fuck me while I can still get wet" attitude.

Tisha (short for LaTishandaqua): First impression: Her welfare must have run out. Upon further review: You're right! Fixin' to pay her chitlin' bills and keep her baby daddy and herself in crack, Tisha slams her callers hard for that sale. Nonchalant about it, she's no doubt using every tactic in the book to hurriedly "get the going while the going is good...praise the Lord!" before they fire her busted-out booty. Then she'll git Tyrone to knife her manager and jack their car. Can chop that sucka up fo' mo' dope, my nigga! Sheeee!

Mark: One of the prissy Hallmark card tea party types, Mark brought Godiva chocolates for everyone several times throughout training...just because. (cue the saintly harp music) (Ya, and because your husband probably works at a high-end sweets boutique like Schokolade.) Of course Mark already has two Disney credit cards. I'm sure he screams out like Minnie Mouse in a high-pitched falsetto when his leather-clad chubby-bear hubby makes him snort poppers and plows his tight little ass every night.

Oscar: Though coming across very down-to-earth and "simple", Oscar alludes often to his Cuban cigar tastes, rare Single Malt scotch collection and his beloved hometown, the city by the bay, San Francisco. He pines for the days when he'd be flown in the company jet up and down the West Coast wooing his film industry clients with thousand-dollar dinners and expensive gifts. Then he moved to Florida, got into the real estate business and sold a crapload of sub-prime mortgages for beaucoup profit! When that industry bottomed out due in large part to its own "success", he came here. Now he sits next to me up on the floor, chained to the phone, just like me. Just another slave breaking his back rowing the galley ship. My how the mighty do fall.

The weird girl from Charlotte's first class: Okay, this short frumpy-looking chick from the class next to ours kept staring at me through her nerdy wire-framed granny glasses in the halls on breaks and such. And I mean stare! She doesn't let up. And me, being all high-and-mighty of course, I won't acknowledge her. The more you try to get my attention, the more I won't grant it...I'm evil like that. Well, now even when I see her on the floor upstairs, she's still doin' it. And that's only when I see her. Think of all the times she might be doing this when I really don't see her. Creepy.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Another Jerry Lewis Train Wreck

Earlier today, I was sitting in my car, stopped at the train tracks crossing Lake Mary Boulevard, waiting behind the red and white striped safety bar which had dropped in place a few seconds before I got to it. As the long CSX freight train passed by doing about 80 miles an hour, I kept wondering what would happen if it derailed just then. Surely at least some of its high speed cars would jump off the tracks and smash violently into my car, crushing me.

But now as it nears midnight on this Sunday night before Labor Day, having nothing much to watch on TV, I flip quickly though the channels and I have to stop and watch a real train wreck happening on the screen in front of me.

Jerry Lewis is doing his now-quite-tired annual ritual of making an ass out of himself and various other has-been celebrities with his telethon. Well, at least he's raising money for a good cause. But really, at quite a cost if you choose to watch this crap.

He just got finished murdering a very schlocky-choreographed multi-singer dance number featuring "God Bless America". He broke down trying to bark out the lyrics, which he's apparently forgotten and yelled to his off-camera staff that he should have cue cards with the lyrics on them so he could sing the "Jesus lovin' song". He continued to embarrass the other on stage singers with his croaky, totally off and incorrectly worded rendition to which he clearly wasn't even trying. I mean, you could see him roll his eyes throughout the thing, like as if he was saying "Who cares about this fucking number? It sucks".

Well, I agree, Mr. Lewis, but your rather conservative old-fashioned audience would likely disagree as they certainly are singing gaily along since they do, of course, love America and feel that God needs to be blessing this land. And I mean, how lame are you that you don't remember the lyrics to God Bless America? Really? I'm an athiest and I know the lyrics.

Charo (yes that Charo...she's still kickin' it I guess) just finished a peppy little Latin number shaking her no doubt well-used and ancient, yet plastic surgery reconstructed "Coochy Coochy!".

Reba McIntyre came on briefly begging for more donations and now Maureen McGovern is singing "Feeling Groovy" followed by "Let it Be".

Yes Mr. Lewis you senile old dried up prune with your homophobic comments and your outdated jokes which no one alive gets anymore...

Let it be. It's time for you to retire.

Friday, September 04, 2009

It'll Be O-Gay

I just love Bruce Weber's decidedly homoerotic photography (not porno...art!). Here's a little video by him. Yummy!