How I choose to blame an Akita instead of dealing with reality

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There it is, the enemy. Not the exact one, but near enough. Fuck this guy (girl, actually).

I also toyed with some other titles based on how this story turned out. The one I would have preferred to use was “How a car accident saved my life”. That would have been thought-provoking, no? If those kind of things happened to me, this blog wouldn’t need to exist, frankly.

As my ideal post title suggests, I was in a car accident recently. I don’t wish to belabor this point because, ultimately, it’s just not terribly interesting. You might be able to make the argument that the rest of this post, hell, the entire blog is uninteresting. Well, who’s the dumbshit reading it, then? You. So, obviously, your assessment means dick. If I could tear away from dressing down foolish readers, I’ll get back on point.

The accident is mere prologue. Now, I have never been one to buy into destiny. I don’t honestly buy into much of anything, to be honest. But, sometimes, it seems to me misguided to ignore tea leaves when they line up perfectly. Unless, of course, if they line up exactly when you need them to. The universe does not work in your favor. Light does not pierce through when times are their darkest. They just don’t. Don’t be an idiot…like me.

To quickly get through this I will give you the chain of events and you can’t decide just how retarded my thinking was is. The accident forces me to put a $300 hold on my credit card in order to rent a rental car. The dopey kid that drove into me is found at fault, returning the $300 back to me. The fucking Misfits get back together! We’ll stop here to properly muse on this point. With Prince’s death and plenty of regrets already hanging over my head, the chance to see my favorite band of all time in their most powerful iteration play one of their only 2 scheduled shows (the first shows in 33 years) was something I was not going to allow myself to miss. Now flush with additional wiggle room of debt, I delay my going to lunch from work eight days ago to buy three day passes to a festival of which only the Misfits have been announced. I’m really serious about not missing this, past the point of rational thought.

The reason this is significant is that if I hadn’t stayed in the office to buy these tickets (and, yes, I bought them on company time, using company resources; Fire me, I don’t care. Only death will keep me from the Misfits.), then I wouldn’t have been there to help V, we’ll call her. The process of what I have to help V with should normally take no longer than 10 minutes, and that’s if the customer is really indecisive and/or fucking stupid. In all fairness, I’ve had a lot of over ten minute consults, if you follow me. V, as far as I can tell, does not strike me as either indecisive or fucking stupid. You may come to the conclusion here soon that I am the latter.

We talk for nearly an hour about music (mostly punk rock, including the Misfits and Bad Religion), Star Wars, and other stuff that doesn’t really matter and are actually all that matter. Most importantly, unprompted, she said her favorite Batmobile was Tim Burton’s 1989 version. During our conversation, I give her plenty of outs. “Well, I’ve got everything I need here”, “I’m sure you probably need to get going”, and “I think your dog might be dying in your car by now”. The last one is paraphrased as well as something I file under “not my concern”, but I am trying to gauge interest here. I’m making her laugh with C material at best (though my best is probably B-) but I’ve never had trouble getting women to laugh at me. FFS, it’s like she was made for me. The problem is that I can’t just come out and ask a customer out because it could create a conflict of interest, life is not a sitcom, and I am not Sasha Mitchell.

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I have no idea what he has to do anything. I just felt like no one is talking about Sasha Mitchell anymore and it really isn’t a shame.

The best thing I can do is sort of suggest that she should go see the Misfits as well and, perhaps, we can see each other there. [Side note: Guess where the Misfits are playing, with Glenn Danzig. Riot Fest. Redemption is mine, I’m thinking.] I am not anticipating seeing her at work again since I am at a location that I work at maybe once a week. You might say, “If you aren’t going to see her at work again, then why not ask her out right then and there?”. To that, I say, “Shut up, Patrick Duffy”.

Let’s stop here for a moment. I’ve even put this section in bold as to denote the halt. Am I totally off-base? I have gone on record and created an entire blog here about how shitty I am at reading signals but does it seem to anyone else the potential for something here? Obviously, I haven’t divulged the full content of our conversation but V’s sheer willingness to leave her dog in the car for a (superfluous as it pertains) 45 minutes just talking to me is cause for further review, no? Am I overthinking it? Almost certainly.

I have an addictive and obsessive personality so, predictably, I think of little else but this exchange and its imaginary significance. Gee, if all that other crap wouldn’t have happened, then I wouldn’t have been buying these tickets andI wouldn’t have been the office…and so on and on and on. The Butterfly Effect. How could I put any credence into a scientific theory that spawned an Ashton Kutcher movie?

Back to reality (briefly) and I monitor V’s reservation with the other location because I’m a freak. Even though I am not there, I work there semi-regularly so I have access to their system. She scheduled her reservation on a day that I was to be working at my regular location with no way to leave. I turn in my dignity and ask the guy that will be working there to, somehow, someway, talk me up to her. He says no problem via text, prefaced by “Haha”. Yes, I’m so very funny. My handing you my balls for the moment is very amusing.

Later in the day, I’m still monitoring her reservation because (even though I’m really pathetic) I won’t cross the line to full-on digital stalker. Lo and behold, she rescheduled for two days later at noon. When I am not working. I consulted a buddy to see if going there on my day off to “look for my lost charger” or other lame excuse was a good idea. He suggested it before I did because, while he wasn’t sure what to make of my interaction with V, he had to concur that “it wasn’t nothing”. He’s all married and shit, so I figure he has to know something, right?

The day arrives and I get the settlement for my car, not the (hopefully) larger injury settlement but it’s a start. Like any masculine, manly man, this says to me that it’s time to buy new clothes. I drop over $120 on jeans, a new belt, new New Balances, and a Punisher t-shirt because I’m a huge fucking nerd. The actual value of the clothing was over $220 so I can at least hang my nonexistent hat on my ability to find bargains. The shitty thing is that it is now 11:50 after showering and I have to make a 35 minute drive in 10 minutes.

I did not defeat the laws of physics nor did I find an old obsolete sports car with a flux capacitor. I never thought I could say this but if it weren’t for the legion of wishy-washy bags of lose that inevitably show up at noon every day, I would have missed V entirely after arriving after 12:30. That being said, she was in the home stretch of her paperwork when I arrived, having shown up on time and had to wait for the aforementioned losebags. I don’t interrupt because I fashion myself a non-asshole that doesn’t like to distract people while they are working, all prior instances of me doing just that aside.

I overhear V saying something about homeowners insurance and it made me wonder: how many single women have homeowners insurance? This, on the surface and much deeper, is a very stupid question but, regardless, it made my spider sense tingle. Once she’s finished, we talk extremely briefly as I don’t really have a good reason to be there. I was going to walk to Starbucks to get the guy working with her a drink as a thank you for offering to help me after laughing at my pathetic-ness. I had a built-in excuse to see if she wanted to get a coffee or lunch or whatever. But, as luck would have it, that black akita was once again waiting in her truck. I am a lot of things but I am not the type of guy that asks a woman to leave her dog in the car for an hour after it has been sitting in that same car for over half an hour already.

Since I have no real moment or opening here, I grasp at straws. The best I can do with the limited time I have is to bring up Riot Fest and see if she would like to go if I could get additional tickets (didn’t want to say “pay for” as to imply expectations). She said she “wasn’t sure” she could go since it wasn’t until September. What the fuck kind of answer is that? I know when it is. That’s why I took those days and the day after off. She smiled and said maybe and see you later. Not bloody likely. I knew all too well what that meant. I walked to Starbucks because I figured that I should at least make good on something.

I bring the drink back with me and give my work friend the postmortem. His response is similar to that of my other friend but much more misguided, just telling me that I give up too easily. That is one of my defining traits but I’m not going to give him the satisfaction of admitting it. I tell him that my powers of deduction are downright Sherlockian and then I prove it when I ask him for the name she used as her emergency contact. “Eric something and he lives at the same address”.

“See?”, I say.

“That could be her gay roommate.”

I don’t want to tell him that I once had a gay roommate (some might say several) because I’m not going to give him the satisfaction of admitting his idiotic theory has any merit.

Then again, who am I to say how idiotic a notion this is? Maybe I shouldn’t give up on this no matter how pointless or ill-advised it might be. It wouldn’t be the first time that I pursued a non-single woman, which of course she isn’t. What, with her gay roommate that happened to live in Hawaii at the same time as her (I may have done a little digging after this). Eureka! The only real obstacle is the fucking dog. Jesus, leave that beast at home.

How did it take almost 2000 words to articulate something so inane?

How I wonder why I even try

I realize that most of these posts now haven’t been all that humorous. Unfortunately, the moroseness continues. I don’t recall if I mentioned this before but I have Crohn’s Disease. Tomorrow, I have my third surgery related to its complications. Now, I realize that I’m pretty lucky. Of my three, two (including this one) would be considered minor. There have been a lot of people with Crohn’s that need two hands to count the procedures they’ve had. They probably have more to live for.

Ever since my diagnosis, I have tried to maintain a level head and even keel. I remember my doctor calling and telling me my treatment options. He remarked that he was surprised at how well I was taking the news, that my road to remission was a long term commitment. I asked him what good would crying and throwing a fit do. I thought at the time that this must be a sign of maturity but what if it was resigning myself to this fate. Perhaps it didn’t matter to me if I recovered or not.

I wonder now if all of what I have had to endure these last five or more years wasn’t my desire to get better but rather what was expected of me. Don’t get me wrong, suffering is not something I’m keen on doing. But the fact that I don’t even know for sure when I was diagnosed should tell you what little importance I place on this whole thing.

Why am I even trying to get better? What actually matters to me? I could probably answer the second question that but the answer would likely only make further elusive the answer to the first. I don’t really have any reason to persevere. If I let myself go, I’d probably be missed but not too greatly. I’ve left no impact on the world nor even an individual. I’m exactly the kind of person easily forgotten. This isn’t self-loathing, it’s cold pragmatism.

What will happen is, tomorrow, my procedure will go uneventfully and then I’ll go home to wallow for the next two days. I’ll put on my strong face and play the gutsy part of someone overcoming. Underneath the mask, I’ll be wondering if the grief, pain, and discomfort that will go along with the recovery is worth it. The answer will be probably not. After all, what’s the point of clawing just to hang on to something that doesn’t exist? Why fight so hard for a future when there’s nothing to look forward to? For fuck’s sake, Donald Trump could be the next president and Jesse Eisenberg is Lex Luthor. Who wants to live in a world like that?

How they really do come in 3’s (or how Ziggy played guitar)

What a tough couple of weeks it has been? We’ve lost one of the progenitors of heavy metal and one of the greatest talents in rock& roll history. In between the passings of these two titans of music, I lost my grandfather. Sorry that this blog has become synonymous with death but that’s what gets me inspired these days.

I was on my home from work last Sunday when I received a text from my aunt that the family was told to say their goodbyes to my 93 year-old grandfather, as he only had  “hours to live”. This was a surprise but hardly the biggest one possible. While I cannot discount the pain that my family feels, I did not really know him that well. Therefore, the blow didn’t strike me as devastatingly as it, perhaps, should have.

I hadn’t seen him in about decade until I started making regular trips to Florida to visit my father’s side of the family. It had been a big longer than that since my father died, less than 12 hours before my maternal grandmother’s passing. The experience of that day has largely numbed me to grief. That coupled with the fact that my grandfather’s Alzheimer’s was advanced, to say the least, made his death easier to compartmentalize. All of the Sunday dinners at the grandparents’ home in Itasca were as distant a memory as my grandfather’s memories of me. The last few times I spoke with him, he never acknowledged me by name but was nonetheless happy for the conversation. Likewise.

With that in mind, I must admit to a twinge of guilt. On my way to work this past Monday, I heard the news of David Bowie’s passing. That struck a chord with me like a sledgehammer against an anvil. I was 16 when I became a massive fan of Bowie and his take on industrial music with the Outside album. Bowie was part of the tapestry of my youth ever since the film Labyrinth. But Outside made me want to explore his catalog in greater detail. I feel like there were some good albums in there and some really not good albums. That’s my opinion and the man’s passing doesn’t change that view. The fact is that no one is perfect, as talented as they might be. But in that search, I came across what I still hold as my 2nd favorite album of all-time, the first being fairly embarrassing.

The Rise of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was full of theatrics and amazing songs. It was a Rocky Horror precursor and the gateway that got me to the Berlin records with Iggy Pop, just a few more added benefits to its existence. The only track that isn’t absolutely perfect is “It Ain’t Easy”, the only song not written by Bowie on the record. It’s an album that gives me great comfort in its ability to inspire so many different emotions. It’s a slice of life with an extraterrestrial twist. It also deals heavily with death and endings, in general. My favorite song on it has always been “Soul Love”. Every line sticks out to me despite my not believing in souls or God or anything. I’ve always taken it as love being something that happens to you or is inflicted upon you, not something you choose for yourself.

That’s rather the way it is with family, isn’t it? You’re supposed to love them, you don’t choose to. And now, at 36, I am left with one parent and one grandparent. Both are strong and amazing women but the family I actually like seems to be shrinking while the one I can’t stand grows like a plague. I’m grateful for all the time I spent with my grandfather in recent years, even though he may have had no inkling as to who I was some of the time. I wish I could have been at his service to hear some stories that I didn’t get to hear from him, 50 or so times. I just hope that I made his time on Earth better when I was there just as Ziggy did for me.

How sometimes laughter is not the best medicine

Robin Williams hung himself this last week. That’s a very surreal sentence to write. Substitute anyone’s name there, anyone from reality, and the effect is the same. The act itself is not done as a mere flirtation with death. This is something done with purpose after much deliberation and likely other less successful attempts. More sad than the finality of it all was my reaction to the news, which was that his son had gone the same way…in a movie.

In the last film of his that I really enjoyed, Williams played an aspiring writer and teacher and father of a little prick obsessed with sex and making everyone’s life a bit more hellacious. World’s Greatest Dad, directed by Bobcat Goldthwait (yep, him), is a film where the son accidentally strangles himself during auto-erotic asphyxiation. Not wanting this to be the way his son died, the Robin Williams character stages the scene to look as though he just hung himself…with a belt. He even goes so far as to write a suicide note.

It begins: “To all those I hate, I don’t know why I’m writing this. You never cared about what l thought or felt while I was alive. Besides you’re all too shallow to comprehend the pain I feel.”

The note is leaked throughout the son’s school and affects the student body and teachers in a profound way. It ends up becoming a national phenomenon, earning the Williams character fame and wealth as it becomes published. The father’s own pride eventually gets in the way as he wants the world to know that they were his words, not his horrible son’s, that they are so moved by. The world seeks not to embrace him but turns on him as a result.

This brings me to the truly horrible internet trolls that attacked Zelda Williams, Robin’s daughter. I wish I felt the death of my father as deeply as Zelda obviously does. But, unlike her, I didn’t love my father. I barely knew him. How people can be so low as to begrudge a young woman the chance to grieve her own father is beyond me. The whole “coward” argument of suicide is just some outdated macho bullshit that neanderthals say to, oh, I don’t know why they say it. Honestly, I have to imagine that thoughts of suicide are not uncommon. I know I’ve felt it on numerous occasions. Its allure is strong the harder things get, the heavier they weigh on your chest and, eventually, it just feels like it’s all caving in.

I can’t answer why Robin Williams would do it anymore than why I haven’t. I’d like to think, for me, it’s because of words similar to those in the film’s note. I admit to having a good deal of hate in my heart. I honestly believe it’s what gets me out of bed most days. That those that ruined my life don’t get to be the end of it. I need to know that my life continues on my own terms. Granted, there’s always the runaway bus or lightning strike to finish me off. Maybe Williams felt the same way.

The truth is that everyone’s threshold for the sheer amount of bullshit they are willing to take is unique. No one reacts to things the same. If someone judges their situation as hopelessly beyond insufferable, they are totally within their right to say enough is enough. Then again, people also want to condemn those that want to be taken off of life support when they have no quality of life left. Dr. Jack Kevorkian spent over eight years in jail because he believed that people should have the freedom to stop suffering from physical ailments.

This isn’t meant to be some diatribe but it’s been simmering in my head for the better part of the week. IT was something I shrugged off initially but it just kept gnawing at me. Gene Simmons, a Grade A pile of shit, went on a rant of his own about people with depression and that they should all just kill themselves. Well, Gene, not everyone can survive on nothing outside the basest desires of blowjobs and money hoarding. I had won tickets to see Def Leppard and KISS, so I went (it was two days ago). I want to say that I walked out after Def Leppard because I simply disagree with the Demon tongue’s comments and not just the fact that KISS is terrible.

It took a while to realize that the loss of Robin Williams actually meant something to me. When I was a kid I liked some dumb stuff. But two of those were not Mork & Mindy and the cartoon Popeye. When they made the Popeye movie and Williams was the title character, it was the first time I understood the concept of actors. There was a connection. Mork is still Mork but he can also be Popeye. I’m sure this would have happened soon anyway after seeing Paul Reubens as Pee Wee Herman and then Pinocchio. But Williams was the gateway.

Very few people die and it makes no impact. It’s the one way we know that we ever lived at all. I’m not sad but it does feel like there’s a small whole in the world. A whole that can still be filled however any individual feels they want to. While Williams was a gifted comedian, I like a more diverse Robin. Beyond just telling jokes, he could be a powerful and riveting performer. In lesser hands, Rainbow Randolph from Death to Smoochy is single-faceted. Williams played the part with depth and complexity. His performance was vulgar and vicious, yet vulnerable and, yes, funny. Though later in life, he seemed to always want to give us the run-on sentence spewing spastic lunatic because that’s what he felt we wanted. All I really want to do now is something I’ll never get the chance to: give the man a hug and tell him ad nauseum, “It’s not your fault.”

How foolish I’ve been and will probably continue to be

The one thing I know for sure is that nobody really knows anything for sure. The thing about life is that you’re always learning, always changing. Most times, you don’t even realize it. My latest appointment with my general practitioner made that clear to me. I recently took part in a sleep study which revealed that I don’t have sleep apnea. What the doctor said when he saw the results is the same thing What I like about this doctor is that he’s a doctor for the right reasons.

Too often, we are looked at as lab rats getting pumped with medications just to see what fixes one problem only to create a few others. Those, then, have to be treated with more pills and on and on down the line. You can tell that this doctor actually gives a shit. He actually tries to find out the root cause of an affliction. Now, he’s not a psychiatrist and he didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know when it comes down to the details of my poor health. However, he summed something up for me that I wasn’t sure I had figured out yet. I’m not who I want to be. I’m not even myself anymore.

People who deal with me on a regular basis but don’t really know me may find this hard to believe, but I am too nice for my own good. The reason they may not have seen that is because I’m too exhausted from all that I have given. I am an enabler. I have allowed myself to be taken advantage of repeatedly by people I loved to the point that love no longer holds any meaning. This isn’t my pity party and you’re all invited. If you don’t like it, please, by all means, get the fuck out. But facts are facts. Ultimately, my position in life is directly in result of my litany of poor personal decisions.

Outside of a handful of great friendships, for which I am infinitely grateful, the amount I have given (emotionally and financially) has been, at best, inversely proportional to what I have gotten back. There are certain cases that exists as exceptions to that rule. My mother is in quite a hill of beans because of a horrific accident she was in and she needs my help. Do I ever expect any kind of return on that investment? No. Because I know that my mom would die for me, she nearly has. My whole life, she has worried that what she has given me or my two vapid, unappreciative piles of monkey shit sisters hasn’t been enough. To listen to those two, it never fucking is. My mom shouldn’t even have had me. The doctors told her she would die during childbirth. The idea that I could have been stuck with my drunk mess of a father would have left me FUBAR for life. That she would say, “fuck it, just do it” (likely not verbatim) before even knowing me tells me everything I need to know about her character. The amazing thing is that she would still do it after getting to know me.

The only problem is my helping her is to my own detriment. I can’t afford my own dwelling while saving hers. The worse part is that what I give is still not enough. My youngest sister is just a black hole which money and consideration gets thrown into with no hope of reciprocating. The easiest solution would be to get me sister sectioned but my mom can’t find it in herself to do it, just as I can’t find it in myself to abandon her. It may sound horrible when I say the best thing that could happen to all of our lives is for my sister to go to the cuckoo’s nest and I don’t say so lightly. If I knew how I could make that happen, I wouldn’t hesitate. There’s a paper to sign? I’ve already got it notarized.

Is that callous? I don’t think so, nor would anyone that has met my sister. At this point in my life, I just feel like people should get what they deserve. I don’t believe in an afterlife where we get our proper reward or punishment. I am probably not going to live another 35 years, so half of my life is almost definitely gone, barring a miracle. But, as you can infer, I don’t believe in those either. I don’t want to live the rest of my life making up for my sister’s laziness. I work two jobs and have nearly nothing to show for it. I have debts as well as debts to collect. Neither are likely to be paid off in my lifetime.

I’ve heard promises and assurances that everything I’ve done won’t be for nothing, that there would be some measure of reparations. Nearly a year after the last one, I’m done listening. I’m also done with those people entirely. Thousands of dollars, years of support and they can’t even pay me mind. These are young women whose own families largely gave up on them because of their shit decisions and self-destructive tendencies. I don’t know why I designated myself the savior of female dumbasses. I tried to give an olive branch but they burnt down my fucking tree and pissed on its ashes. But now their lives are all peachy keen, doing what they want to do and no one holding them back.

I’ve been told I talk in my sleep. More than that, that I yell. It’s, no doubt, one of these succubi that I’m yelling at. Maybe I’m actually yelling at myself to get away like the stereotype of the black woman yelling at the screen in a horror movie. “Don’t open that door. The mean blonde cunt is there.” “Don’t go in the basement. That crazy brunette is gonna cut him up.” Of course, they’re right. They’re right in the theater too but anyone that actually does this is annoying. More irritating still are the people who clap in the middle of, and at the end of, movies. Who in the fuck are they clapping for? Do they expect the cast or crew to come out from behind the screen and take a bow? I may have ranted about this before but it bears repeating. Don’t clap at the movies. It’s moronic. The point is my life is a horror movie. It’s no wonder I can’t sleep at night.

The sad part is that I can talk every day until blue in the face about the misery that has befallen me but I know that every opportunity is just another chance to repeat the same mistakes. I’m a fuckup. The evidence is all there. Even now, I know there’s still the chance that I will screw myself over. Hear that, ladies? There’s still a chance for you.

How people try to shit where I eat

Since when does suggesting a movie constitute flirting? According to my friend Holly, it’s when I do it to a semi-attractive female student. What she fails to realize is that attraction has little or nothing to do with it. I just appreciate good cinema.

Maybe it didn’t start off entirely innocently. Granted, the women in question was an incoming student at the college I work at and she had impossibly long legs. Of course I noticed, you couldn’t miss them. She was like a gazelle…and I was the lion? Damned jungle metaphors. The point is that I’m not blind but I know enough not to be overt or make any sort of inappropriate comments or advances (past lessons learned).

I don’t remember how the conversation began but it came around to the awesomeness of Kevin Spacey. People always talk about American Beauty as his real tour de force performance. He did win an Oscar for The Usual Suspects and Se7en might not have had the impact it did had it not been for his portrayal as John Doe. However, I am going to point to my favorite Spacey role, that of —— in Swimming With Sharks. The student mentioned how much she liked Horrible Bosses and I said if she liked watching Spacey belittle an underling, she needed to check out Swimming With Sharks. This is a totally reasonable recommendation to make seeing as we were talking about Spacey. There was no one left in the line so it wasn’t like we were holding up business. She and I haven’t exchanged more than 10 words since her first day so the whole thing was benign. Shut up, Holly.

On the other side of it, I had a different female student give me a Valentine. At first I thought it was just a piece of candy with some innocuous little note that everyone gets, like grade school. It was a small packet of those red Starburst, a.k.a. the good flavors. Nothing says love like sucking a lemon-flavored turd square. I go open the candy when I notice a blue Post-it attached. It says something to the effect of wanting to get to know me and her phone number. Ugh. I decided against eating the candy since I was not about to accept the sentiment.

I had heard this student, on numerous occasions and against my will, talking on the phone about her foster kids and the like. Admirable to be sure, but I am not jumping at the chance to get involved in that mess. Holly just said I’m no fun as a result of that comment. If foster kids are fun, this would have been a barrel of monkeys. This was more like a barrel of monkeys flinging poop at each other. That’s not my idea of fun.

Students are here for ten months and I had no idea how many more this student still had at the school. I dreaded having to deal with this nonsense over the weekend, Valentine’s Day coming on a Friday this year. I was grateful for a three day weekend so that there was one less day to have to talk about this. But I was lucky. That student only had one week left of school before she was done and we never had to talk about it. She and I are probably both glad she waited as long as she did.

Sometimes, work finds me elsewhere. A couple of years ago, I tried a new doctor’s office because the general practitioner I had prescribed Metamucil for every ailment. Fucking idiot, that guy. I went into this new office and I recognized one of the medical assistants as a former student from the school I work at. Like Carl the janitor in The Breakfast Club, I am the eyes and ears of this institution. People have conversations that I really don’t want to hear at huge volumes so I can’t avoid them. There is a connection in my mind between this school, the drama I hear, and the drama on the daytime talk shows that the school advertises on. It’s all one in the same for me. Therefore, when it infringes on my life away from work, I flee. That medical assistant may be the best one ever but I won’t know because for all I know, she was one of the many that complained daily about her baby daddy in shouted expletives. That office is closed to me for life now.

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I can’t even go to the Walgreens around the corner from me, within walking distance. This is an immense inconvenience for me but I do it because the irritation far outweighs the convenience. My last trip to the pharmacy, I saw two former students. Mind you, unlike the medical assistants that I see every day, I generally only see pharmacy tech students on their first day and never again. But not these two jamokes. I went to pick up my prescription (one of many) and the guy at the counter asks, “Aren’t you from [the school]?”. “Yeah,” I respond, not wanting to go any further with that. “Hey [other guy], it’s the guy from the school!” he says to other guy. I didn’t realize I was such a celebrity that my mere presence warrants a “hey-look-it’s” deal. This is likely the only time in my life that I will know how Miley Cyrus feels, not that I’m going to ride a wrecking ball naked or anything. Probably not, anyway. Doesn’t this violate HEPA? You can’t just go around a pharmacy pointing and yelling “he’s over here”, can you? Beatlemania in the pharmacy!

In seven years of working at this school, I have become friendly with exactly one person and that was in year one. She was cute, she gave me her Facebook info, and we became “friends”. She went into the military and after a couple of years, I was eventually unfriended or lost or whatever happens when you don’t really know someone. It wasn’t anything I said directly to her as I didn’t really say much to her at all. It very well could have been something I posted on my wall, seeing as I write some tasteless shit sometimes. Really, it’s true. And I’m okay with that. I don’t need nor want my full-time work to encroach on my spare time. So to the next student that bats her eyelashes or whatever, it’s not you, it’s not me, it’s my work. I leave it where it is, where it can’t touch me.

How holiday gift giving is fucking exhausting

It’s been a while. Don’t worry. I’m still retarded.

Within the confines of my own family, I have informed them that Christmas (as it pertains to me) is cancelled. I don’t want anything. Don’t get me anything. Don’t expect anything. Let’s just try to enjoy each other’s company. A more achievable feat would be to not kill each other.

My part-time job has rendered me unable to get through this holiday season entirely unscathed. We have a fucking secret Santa. Santa is not real. That’s no secret. I normally scoff at these arbitrary customs but everyone else on staff is participating, which would make me more than just the solitary outcast that I already am. I’d be the cheap fucking bastard on top of it. The cap has been set at $15. Luckily for me, I found a kick ass gift for my recipient already, so I’m fucking done. I have already won secret Santa. To be fair, I guess the person that gives receives the best gift is the real winner.

If I was still hunting down gifts like a chump, the Rolling Stone guide would be of whatever the antithesis of help would be. Total credit for this post idea goes to Drew Magary of Deadspin.

Readers of my other blog, Hannibal Collector (cheap pop), know I am a music fan. I pity any fool that has to try to find a gift for someone like me from this sorry ass list.20131125-giftguide4-x900-1385413455headphones

First off, these are headphones. You put them over your ears and sound comes out. The cheapest ones listed on here are the Jabra Revo Wireless, retailing at $250! There are described as “on-ear headphones [that] sync with any Bluetooth-enabled device for wireless streaming. Soft memory foam cups massage the ears, and a free audio-enhancing app lets you fine-tune the sound levels.” These had better massage my ears, back, feet, and anus for $250. I can spend that money on a woman whispering warmly in my ear, tits in my face, with a finger up my ass for that kind of dough. Not that I’m into that.

If that’s not good enough, there are the $1000 Sennheiser IE 800 earbuds. I thought this was a made-up brand from The Sims. “Sure, they cost as much as a monthly mortgage payment, but these earbuds live up to their” – I stopped reading there because if your choice is between your mortgage payment and some earbuds and you choose the latter, how in the hell are you going to listen to anything? Are you going to plug them into somebody’s laptop at Starbucks while you hold your change cup?
BooksI like books. Hell, I love books. I’ve worked in bookstores for the better part of the last 15 years. I really like music biographies. These, however, are kinda bullshit. The one on the left is a book by Ralph Steadman, who you may know as the artist from the Hunter S. Thompson books. He’s great and all, but $200 for a book is downright stupid. They’re only pushing that item because ol’ Ralph is a Rolling Stone contributor. Nice that they’re helping their guy but anyone who buys this should have their mescaline levels tested.

That is not the worst one, though. Former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman is selling a scrapbook for $250. Now, this was a guy who, at the age of 47, dated a 13 year-old. He later married her (when she finally turned legal) but that doesn’t make it any less creepy. Anything this miscreant may have in a scrapbook is likely something I don’t want to see.

shirtsWho doesn’t like a cool T-shirt? Not you? Get the fuck outta here. These come from something called Deer Dana: “Smart, witty and distinctive hand-illustrated shirts featuring cool people from Basquiat to Lil Wayne.” So, when do the cool people come in? Pictured here are Rick Ross and what appears to be Zombie Andrew W.K. Make me a mummified Miley Cyrus and I’ll give you your $60 and a festive dick kick free of charge.

morrisonPrints of “killer classic-rock photos” from the Morrison Hotel Gallery for $600. Don’t get a washed up rock DJ to write your copy, kids. That’s a free piece of advice. This might be worth it if it was a signed print by Frank Miller from his Daredevil days or Dark Knight Returns or even Sin City. Instead we get a picture of Bob Dylan smoking and ignoring Paul Phifer. Deal. rockpaperphotoHere’s the same damned thing but from Rock Paper Photo and for $400 less. Let me think. [Gives Morrison Hotel Gallery the finger]turntableI absolutely adore vinyl. It is my preferred media form for music. Even if I were filthy stinking rich, I’d still have to draw the line at $6500 for a turntable. Doesn’t that just make your skin crawl? “The turntable of the gods: Audiophile company McIntosh introduces a near-perfect model that’s like a Maybach for your LPs.” Even heavy-duty Apple products cost less than this. McIntosh, my ass. What the fuck is a Maybach? Stop trying to fool me into buying your fancy items by trying to make me feel inadequate. Next!

hoodThese are actually kinda cool. I must say that I would have never come up with hoodies dedicated to Yo! MTV Raps. Furthermore, I never would have dreamed of retailing them at $70. I’m in the wrong business. Anyone want to Kickstart a business selling Re-Run Berets?

weirdNo fucking clue. These are supposed to be Bluetooth stereos but all I see is Lego. guitarThis next item is $380. And guess what’s not included. The fucking guitar. It’s a case from BoWoo that is “protective, yet never uncomfortable to carry”. I guess money in the wallet is too uncomfortable to carry.

This guide also goes on to recommend XBox One and Playstation 4. Way to go out on a limb there, shitheads. Kids like video games. Dad wants tools and fishing gear. Mom just wants everyone to get along. Oh, just blow me, Rolling Stone.