Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Last Straw. Again.

The last time I talked about Ric on this blog was back in this post where I mentioned that I'd casually ended our friendship after I picked him up at the airport. That was last September. And though he tried to call me a few times after that encounter, I'd remained steadfast and vigilant in my complete isolation from him. Except I didn't de-friend him on Facebook, so I was checking his status updates and vicariously touching base without his knowledge.

I eventually broke down in January as it came time to get ready for his promised 50th birthday bash in Key West. Well, of course, that had fallen through. The plans had whittled down to spending a couple days at a Disney resort. And before long that idea was nixed too since none of his friends were ponying up any funds for it. I know I certainly wasn't.

But it did turn out that what we eventually settled for was funded by me...dinner at Olive Garden. And who else did I foot the bill for? Joe, of course. Why would I think Ric would want to have a friendly dinner with just the two of us?

It wasn't long before we were in the routine again of my value in his life being relegated to only an online Civ gaming opponent.

Two nights ago, he called and as I picked up, I got ready to play another game of Civ but he actually invited me to come out with him to his new fav bar Friendly Confines. He was already toasty, but so was I having just guzzled down some gruesome-yet-potent Lime-a-Ritas. So, drunk and lonely, I drove up to Lake Mary, met him at the bar and we played NTN trivia...just like old times. But then things started getting weird...

This guy from South Africa was sitting near us and we were chatting with him but after a few minutes of banter he suddenly got up and left. Ric and I have that effect sometimes. Especially if we're crass and obnoxious. Perhaps we were. I was sucking down pitchers of Miller Lite like it was Kool-Aid.

Then this other dude, looking like a John Lennon-wannabe, came and sat by us. He immediately started acting like we've all been best buds for years and wanted us all to start singing drinking songs. He loudly began the chorus of "Ninety Nine Bottles of Beer" and goaded us on to join in. Ric and I tried to laugh him off but after a couple of minutes of ardent prodding on his part I felt bad for the obvious drunk and began with "I...wanna rock and roll all night...and party every day!" We three were soon loudly belting out the KISS tune together, garnering smirks or scowls from the other patrons, surely looking like quite the near-to-being-cut-off group we surely were.

The dude admitted he was trying to get us all to sing a song together as part of a bet he had with some guys outside, as he pointed to the large window behind us. But no one was there. He tried begging for some of our beer and Ric shut him down. Within a minute or two he forgot all about us, pressed his focus solely to his phone and before long was gone.

Ric then texted his "boy toy" Brandon. We finished our beers, I loaded Ric's bike into my trunk and we headed off to get Brandon to bring him to Ric's for some jaccusi time. Again, just like old times with this new fey twink playing the part formerly filled by Gary.

This kid is either a total free spirit or a complete flake, I haven't figured out which but before long, just like old times, he's playing the flirty Gary role perfectly and he's snuggling up to me in the hot tub. With Ric right there, we're coyly talking about sexual proclivities and before long I'm massaging, then sucking his toes.

Of course, just like old times, this brought up all the old feelings about Gary's "infidelity" and flirting with me. Brandon and Ric had a fight and Brandon set out to walk home to his temporary residence at a nearby hotel. I implied to Ric that I was staying out of it but intrigued by this hot kid, I got dressed and went out looking for him. I was too drunk to remember which hotel he was staying at so I eventually gave up trying to find him and drove home.

Ric called me this morning and said "I hope you had fun fucking that slut Brandon." I denied doing anything with him (which is true) but didn't admit that I was thinking about it. I reminded Ric that Brandon was the one flirting with me and I was just being hospitable. He didn't buy this. He asked me two more times if I'd hooked up with him and I got fed up and told him I'm not going to talk about it anymore. What's more, Ric told me that he'd de-friended me on Facebook Tuesday morning in the heat of his anger about my alleged liaison with Brandon. I checked it out and sure enough he had.

So now he thinks I stole his "boyfriend" a kid who admitted he was only having sex with Ric for money (Ric, of course, denies this) and he'll probably not call me back for a while. Frankly, I'm hoping he never calls again. 'Cause, this time, I'm done, baby! I'm over his accusations and petty behavior.

This really is the last straw. This time I mean it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Best Harlem Shake Ever

Every time one of these viral memes takes hold of the collective consciousness for its fleeting moment in the fickle spotlight of fatuousness, I think of Andy and how much he would have creamed his pants daily if he was still alive. We are living in a Warholian wet dream, folks!

I, like Drella, love the ephemerally famous and in homage even performed my version of the Gagnam Style dance moves when I was on my cruise, no doubt to the awe and appreciation of the hundreds of other passengers likewise engaged in drunken silliness. Now we have the Harlem Shake fad. Eh, s'alright but if you ask me, the clip below is the best version by far.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

YUMMY!: Hearty Tuscan Pot Roast

click pic to for close up


Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs. beef shoulder roast
1 package Pioneer Au Jus gravy mix
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 medium russet potatoes, unpeeled, roughly chopped into about 2" cubes
1 stalk celery, rough chop
1/2 yellow onion, rough chop
1/4 green pepper, rough chop
1 3 oz. package sun-dried tomatoes, whole
1 pint button or crimini mushrooms, washed and whole
1 tsp. minced garlic in olive oil
1 pat of unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. ground thyme
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tbsp. dried onion flakes
1 tbsp. Kraft Tuscan dressing
1 cup Chianti (optional)
salt and pepper

In a large crock pot, throw all ingredients together and cook on low for 8 hours. Seriously folks, no other difficulty than layering the ingredients into the crock pot in this order from bottom to top: Au Jus gravy mix whisked with chicken broth, potatoes, peppers, onions, celery, and sun-dried tomatoes. Place the beef on top of this mound and add wine, dressing, garlic, butter, onion powder, dried onion flakes, seasonings and spices and top with mushrooms.

Ten Years Ago...

It kinda seems like a lifetime in the past, but just ten years ago I was at the start of my slippery slide into koyaanisqatsi. This blog was, in part, created to chronicle those years as I had started to crawl out from my psychological and financial trench and made baby steps towards as semblance of stability.

Of course, I have the whole story of those dizzying days all retold on this blog for your enjoyment. And it all starts here, ten years ago.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

SIMS CREATION: TV Memories Series: "Mad Men"


Having seen "Mad Men" win award after award, year after year, I'd always thought I'd try out this series, but after seeing one episode, I felt lost so I never became a fan. Until now, that is. I'm watching it for the first time from the beginning through to the most recent season thanks to Netflix. These characters are so messed up and the times were so different yet it was only about 50 years ago.

I'm halfway through season 2 and these main characters may or may not still be around in the current season. They're all so delicious, I'd guess they are. From left to right we have Pete Campbell, Betty Draper, Don Draper, Roger Sterling, Joan Holloway and Peggy Olsen.

The scene looks a little off though, what with everyone not smoking or drinking whiskey.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

The Collapse Of Western Civilization

Today I read an article confirming that the U.S. Postal Service will no longer deliver mail on Saturdays.

This action is just the latest in a string of events that have occurred over the past few years that surely are a sign of the "end" times. It hits home the fact that our society is crumbling beneath our very feet and I'm of the generation that has lived long enough to have seen this slow-but-sure disintegration first hand.

If I had to point to a decade in my past that has, to me, fulfilled the aspirations of mankind on a progressive path for the most part, it would be the 1970s.

Up to the 1970s, Western Civilization had grown, virtually unabated (even a couple World Wars hadn't stopped it) since the dawn of the Renaissance. It did a bang up job in ancient times with the Greeks and Romans too, but the Middle Ages kinda put a kabosh on that.

After the 70s, everything became, well, complicated and wrought with stressors that, unless you looked the other way on purpose, foretold of the end of our way of life.

In the 1970s, we were giants.

We built massive rocketships and blasted off to the moon. So nonchalant were we to such awesomeness, our astronauts even used the adventures as golf outings.

We rode in heavy steel automobiles on newly paved roads and interstate highways without the bother of seat belts or fear of ruination if we enjoyed a can of beer or two while cruising through the fresh, clean countryside over steel bridges that were assuredly safe and sound.

Our cities we being transformed into gleaming towers of steel and glass. Monolith structures that rightly rose from the rubble of demolished inner-city slums, derelict warehouses and crumbling factories. No pesky revitalization teams or ethnic homestead bureaus or neighborhood protection committees stood in our way. Bulldozers meant progress.

We celebrated our nation's bicentennial with pride and patriotic fervor. Red, white and blue polyester leisure suits may have been a bit too much, but damned it, we were proud to be American. We needed to look forward past our recent minor setbacks like a pathetic, drawn-out needless war in a far flung part of the world and a corrupt and arrogant president who had left office in disgrace. (Little did we know then we'd repeat this in about 30 years.)

Kids played on the side streets and in parks, even after dark and got plenty of fresh air, physical exercise and sunshine. We kids weren't cooped up indoors all day. We didn't have video games, and we didn't fear child molesters.

If people wanted to talk to one another they "went visiting", or simply out for a walk and talked to each other, face to face. If we were lonely, far away or on the road, we spoke to total strangers with respect and civility through CB radios.

When we needed to throw trash away, we did so, effortlessly and without guilt. We didn't separate our garbage into recyclables. Mess around with our garbage? What? We were civilized!

We utilized technologies that would be replaced in later decades by inferior "upgrades." Vinyl records and cassette tapes, electric can openers, electric knives, warm glowing incandescent light bulbs, console cabinet TV sets, transistor AM-FM radios, electric typewriters, folded paper roadmaps.

But above all, and without worry, we knew we could depend on our letters and packages being accepted and delivered six days a week. We knew our mailman by name and he knew us. Since most dads worked and kids were in school during weekdays, Saturday would be the one day of the week we'd have a chance of greeting our mailman and receiving our post from him. Mom would get her magazines and letters from Aunt Mable, we kids would get our mail-order goodies and free sample packages of new cereals and treats. Dad would get a few bills, of course, but it was the price for living in the zenith age of civilization.

And we all loved it.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Speechless

So Will and RJ checked out my post of their Sims 3 likenesses and RJ is shown here viewing it, speechless.


Sunday, February 03, 2013

Synecdoche Synchronicity



I'm just a little person,
One person in a sea
Of many little people
Who are not aware of me.

Jon Brion - "Little Person"


I rented this film this week, not knowing if I'd like it or not and after one viewing, I just can't get it out of my mind. "Synecdoche, New York" has totally fucked with my head. It's like I see the world through an unimaginably complex crystal now, cut into innumerable facets, some clear as can be, others totally opaque, and the rest, every combination in between. Words, in fact, can't even begin to describe.

Charlie Kaufman is nothing short of a fucking genius. If "Being John Malkovich", "Adaptation" or "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" hadn't already convinced you of that, then Synecdoche surely will. If you can't see it, you just didn't get it.

I won't go into a review here. There are plenty of other peoples' blogs that can do that far better than I could. But I did want to share a quirk of coincidental synchronicity I picked up on just now as I was re-watching the movie, simultaneously analyzing and researching it, virtually frame-by-frame.

Right now on my computer, I have the DVD paused on the scene where Philip Seymour Hoffman's character learns about the fictional book "Little Winky." I googled the book title and came upon a YouTube video of the same scene that I'm watching in the movie filmed by someone direct from their TV screen as they tested out a new video camera. So, like the multiple themes of duplication and redundant representation highlighted in the film, I find myself watching a movie, while watching a flash movie on the internet of a scene of that movie videotaped while someone was watching the same movie that I'm watching.

Um, I told you words can't describe it.

Now I'm afraid that I'm doomed to spend the rest of my life catching glimpses of infinite regression archetypes and nihilistic visual metaphors in a semi-coherent jumble of Jungian-Kafkaesque-Fellini-meets-David Lynch on acid vignettes.

Oh, but actually, that's how I've always seen the world. This movie just made me more aware of it.