Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Beast Stirs

Hey all - any of my old readers still out there? It's been a good long time since I last posted anything, but I've been feeling the call of the wild lately. There's been a lot of change in the last couple of years. As my grandmother used to say: "Life is very long."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Missing a bad habit.

Yeah, I've quit smoking, but in my heart I'll always be a smoker. That's probably why today's Wikipedia featured article on the anti-tobacco movement in Nazi Germany tickled my little smoker's lungs. It gives me a legitimate reductio ad Hitlerum when I call the anti-smoking lobby "fascist."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

For Andi:

Loyal readers, thanks for checking in to check on me. I’ve been pretty quiet, mainly because I really don’t know how to blog this part of my life. Things have been going well with Meg and we’ll have been together for five months this coming Friday. The adventures haven’t stopped; they’ve just changed. The Famous International Playboy gig has been put on the backburner.

I have not had the opportunity to wear the bespoke tux. I did go to a bourbon tasting with Frankie and Bob, the “periodic table man.” Bob started dating Elisa, the Fulbright Scholar in April, and . . . well . . . he accidently knocked her up within a month after they first got together. They’re having a boy. As Elisa is Meg’s friend, and she introduced us, I have come to know Bob in all his nerdiness and it turns out he’s all right.

I smoked my last cigarette on August 7th, and haven’t fallen off the wagon. I must admit, I was a smoker for so long, it’s hard not to think of myself as a smoker. My lungs still have pangs of longing – not unlike hunger pangs – but I feel healthier for having quit. The Girl bought me a bottle of bourbon to mark one month smoke free and has kept a stock of Maker’s Mark at her place for me.

I made Meg a mix-CD, and here is the playlist. I call it the:

Sitting by the River Mix 2008
  1. Bring on the Dancing Horses – Echo and the Bunnymen
  2. Rebel Rebel – David Bowie
  3. Ride a White Horse – Goldfrapp
  4. Shoulder Holster – Morcheeba
  5. The Last of the Famous International Playboys – Morrissey
  6. The Death of Ferdinand de Saussure – The Magnetic Fields
  7. Sweet Jane – The Velvet Underground
  8. There She Goes – The La’s
  9. Brimful of Asha – Cornershop
  10. You Can Get it if you Really Want – Jimmy Cliff
  11. My Little Red Book – Love
  12. Picture – Kid Rock & Sheryl Crow
  13. Modern Love – Last Town Chorus
  14. Southern Cross – CS&N
  15. The Moneymaker – Rilo Kiley
  16. I Got You – Split Enz
  17. Pretty in Pink – Psychedelic Furs
  18. All out of Love – Air Supply

Turns out this is a pretty decent road-trip mix. . .

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Hey kids, greetings from the happy corner. I wish I had an exciting story or two, but the thing about being in a new relationship is that I think it pretty much makes for boring blogging. Things are going well with The Girl. I actually quit smoking cold turkey, and had my last cigarette on August 7th. For a decent run-down of my life lately, check out Frankie's rant here. And the following excerpt from an e-mail chain between my co-worker Walt and Frankie:

Frankie: The sooner you are able to reconcile that you need to say goodbye to the Jack you knew in April, the sooner you'll be able to move on. Then again, there's an outside chance that Meg figures out in the next few weeks that the real Jack is not the same guy she's been dating for the last two months and dumps him. That result is a long-shot though, because she sounds like the kind of girl who will convince herself that she can "change" him, and Jack has shown a propensity to actually give up all kinds of things for this woman.

So I'm guessing this is how it plays out over the next year or two: 1) Jack continues down the path of spending more time with Meg and her family and less time with his friends; 2) Your time with Jack continues to decline until it settles into a happy hour every third Thursday or so; 3) you get over it, because that's what guys do; 4) in about 18 months, after a particularly nasty fight during his first year of marriage to Meg, Jack realizes that he's marginalized all of this guy friends and asks you to have a few drinks so that he can apologize to you and vow to be a better friend; 5) Jack makes up with Meg and you go back to seeing him about once a month for 3 hours, yet now it's on the sly because Meg thinks you're undermining her.

Then again, if you fall in love and get married to a woman Meg likes to spend time with, you'll have more time with Jack, but only when you're together with your significant others.

Good luck.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Skin of my teeth . . .

After work yesterday, I met up with Sam and her friend Chrissie at happy hour. Over three cocktails, the topic of sex came up, and we became very graphic and open. It turns out Chrissie has been married 13 years and has never owned a vibrator. Sam and I committed to remedying that, so we left the bar and headed to the nearest sex store. I bought Chrissie an oscillating egg, and Sam bought her a rabbit. I figure she’ll thank us for that sometime soon. Her husband should, too.

While we were at the store, the Kaiser called me and asked if I wanted to join him for a beer at the Pub. You readers know I don’t go to the Pub very often anymore, so it sounded fun. I showed up there and had chicken strips and two beers. At about 9:00, Meg texted me and asked me what I was doing, and if I wanted to meet up, so I left the Kaiser.

I wasn’t driving five minutes when I saw cop-car lights in my rear-view mirror. I knew they were for me, and my stomach did a somersault. At three whiskeys and two beers, I knew I would fail any sobriety test he would give me. There was nothing I could do. I pulled over, and got my drivers’ license, registration, and proof of insurance ready. The cop walked up to my car. He asked if I knew why he’d pulled me over, and I said I didn’t. He claimed I had made an illegal left-turn. He asked if I’d had anything to drink. “No, officer. Not a drop,” I answered. He took my documents to his cruiser, and I crossed myself three times and pulled out my lawyer’s card from my wallet, ready to make the call I’d hoped I’d never make. My phone rang. It was Meg. “I just got pulled over, I’ll call you back,” I said.

The cop returned to my car, and gave me back my docs. “You’ve got to be more careful,” he told me. Then he threw me for a little of a loop: “Do you have your weapon in the car?

Yes, officer, in my console,” I answered. My concealed weapons permit must have showed on his computer.

Ok. Have a good night.

I drove home. Meg came over. I woke up at 4:00 this morning, and had a panic attack at how close a call that was. I’m going to church today to light a candle in thanksgiving, and resolving to be smarter about these things.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Quick Update

  • I went to Mexico City with The Girl for a week. Stayed with her cousin and had a marvelous time. We've been together a month now, and this was our first travel experience. Good travel companion all-around. Also, I ate grasshoppers while in Mexico City.
  • Zeke had been working on a one-year dry-spell, and went to Israel to meet a nice Jewish girl, and ended up doing his part for Arab/Israeli relations by having relations with an Arab chick while there. Shout-out to Z for breaking the spell with style.

Friday, June 13, 2008

One year on . . .

Today marks the one year anniversary of the Chronicle of a Mad Shoeshiner. Looking back at what I was saying last June 13th, I realize that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Life is good.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.
-J. Robert Oppenheimer, Interview about the Trinity explosion, 1965.

If you sit by the river long enough, you will see the body of your enemy float by.
-Japanese Proverb

Closed a three-month long, frustration-laden siege courtship on Saturday. I’ve tried to write out the story a few times and just can’t do it justice. Remember the Fulbright Scholar? Remember how she had lived in Mexico with the sister of one of my college buddies? Well that girl has a cousin named Meg, who it turns out lives about two miles from me. I met Meg at this function. I thought she was pretty and classy at the time. I didn’t see her again until this meet-up. After that we started hanging out somewhat regularly, albeit not romantically. I’d been working to change that slowly and steadily. And I finally cast the proverbial die at the Jefferson, the place we first met, in a cliché-laden WAWA (“where are we at?”) speech fueled by the liquid courage wrought by five hours of solid drinking.

That is all for now.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Fortune and Glory

I had to wake up early this morning to go to defensive driving school because I got a fucking photo-radar ticket for going 39 in a 25. Damn it. Blew half my Saturday. Got out in time to catch the Belmont, though. I have to say, I was a little disappointed that Big Brown didn't win the triple crown this year, making it now 30+ years without a triple crown winner. I wasn't even alive when Secretariat won the triple crown in 1973, but thanks to YouTube, we can all watch his Belmont race.

Before a crowd of 67,605, Secretariat and Sham set a fast early pace, opening ten lengths on the rest of the field. After the 6 furlong mark, Sham gave up, ultimately finishing last. Secretariat astonished spectators by continuing on the fast pace and opening up a larger and larger margin on the field. He hit the 1 1/4 mile mark at 1:59 flat, which was faster than the track record at the time. In the stretch, Secretariat opened a 1/16 mile lead on the rest of the field. At the finish, he won by 31 lengths and ran the fastest 1 1/2 miles on dirt in history, 2:24 flat, which broke the stakes record by more than 2 seconds. Secretariat's world record still stands, and in fact, no other horse has ever broken 2:25 for 1 1/2 miles on dirt. The video below is a little long, but it is also pretty awesome.