Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My blog is going as a blog that you ARE reading today!

This morning at 5:30 am, I woke up to the sounds of a 6-year-old boy amped up on candy anticipation, screaming his way through the suburban home in the suburbs from which my desire to escape is growing more desperate by the day. I sleep in his room, after all. Massive posters of Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera keep vigil over my slumber, and just last night I noticed a seam in Mariano Rivera's ass. That's when you know you've been somewhere too long.

The suburban home in the suburbs was teeming with activity beyond just my nephew this morning. My mother recently added a fourth dog to the pile of animals that sleep with her and my stepfather, as part of what I am convinced is an attempt to inspire me to write a hokey folk song that I will one day perform on the Muppet Show. There are now as many dogs in the house as there are calling birds on the fourth day of Christmas. And worse still, this fourth dog seems to have imbalanced the delicate chemistry among the other five of my mother's pets. Whereas before there were occasional, beautiful stretches of protracted bark-free silence for sometimes as much as seven minutes at a time, nowadays, the air crackles almost visibly while the throaty ruffs and woofs and moos and oinks carom off the hallway walls nonstop.

It's the moos and oinks that make me feel a little bit unwelcome. The barking is at least traceable to the dogs, and occasionally to the cats. But the moos and oinks are evidence that my mom might also share the sentiment about my having been there too long. I wonder if she's seen the seam in Mariano Rivera's ass too?

Escape was not the first thing on my mind this morning, however. Oddly enough, the first thing on my mind was that it was Michael Jordan's birthday which, as we all know, is February 17th. (It really is. I have no idea why on earth I know that.) Then, I thought, no, it's October 31st. My nephew is going to dress up as a blue Power Ranger to trick-or-treat. And I'm going to to kill him.

On the downside, killing my nephew would ruin the blue Power Ranger costume idea. But on the plus side, he could go as a very realistic zombie. Also, it would punch my ticket out of the suburban home in the suburbs pretty much for good. But hard time in the clink ain't exactly the ride outta town I'm lookin' for, Skippy. That's right, I called you Skippy. What.

What I am looking for, plain and simple, is some quality me time, some time with el muchacho que lleva el número uno, y que sabe como oprimir el botón SAP en su televisor para oir a los Yankees en español. Some ex-scape time, if you will. And what better day to ex-scape from oneself than Martin Luther Ween day, also known as not Michael Jordan's birthday, also known (much more conventionally) as Hallowe'en?

With the sounds of barking in my ear and a song in my heart, I set about getting myself dressed this morning, not as me, but as me in some far-flung future where I no longer live in the suburban home in the suburbs, and where the suburban home in the suburbs is probably still standing in a peaceful manner belying the veritable intestinal chaos going on inside it thanks to six, seven, maybe even twelve dogs at that point. (There is no stopping this woman!) My costume was more of an internal transformation, I admit that. But I was glad to see that NYC got right into the spirit with me. Take a look:

Penn Station, dressed up as Grand Central Station. Totally fooled you, didn't it. You totally thought it was Grand Central, right? Well you were wrong.

These angry commuters who would just as soon step on your face as look at you are dressed up as commuters who are only mildly angry, and would at least take the time to briefly consider what to have for breakfast before stepping on your face or looking at you. The blurry woman in the foreground is actually standing perfectly still, it was just a REALLY GOOD COSTUME.

This was how I knew New York was dressed up for the holidays. I think the entire city went as Boston or something, because otherwise, this has to be the biggest group of New Yorkers ever assembled without at least one yarmulke. Maybe all the Jewish gentlemen dressed up as lawyers and bankers for Hallowe'en. Who knows?
As for me, in addition to my costume as me several months from now, I have also spent some time in costume as a legal assistant who gets paid $8.00 less per year than I get paid, a legal assistant who gets paid $1.50 more per year than I get paid (that was hard to pull off), a legal assistant who actually knows something about the law, and an African-Indian princess.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Andrew Meyer's Letter to the Independent Florida Alligator

From the New York Times:

All Scores Settled in ‘Don’t Tase Me, Bro’ Affair

The Andrew Meyer seen in YouTube clips does not apologize. He rants at Senator John Kerry, struggles with police officers trying to escort him out of the room, implores them to “don’t tase me, bro,” and, quite disturbingly, wails in pain as they do it anyway.

But his lawyer, Robert Griscti, told the University of Florida campus newspaper that Mr. Meyer began drafting apologies immediately after his release on Sept. 18. Indeed, Mr. Meyer penned three separate apologies (available here) as part of a deal to avoid criminal charges, The Gaineseville Sun reports.

October 25,2007
The University of Florida Community
C/O The Independent Florida Alligator

To all my non-tased bros in the UF community and the non-tased members of Gator Nation the world over,

Because of my conduct and the resultant tasing, this last month has been a public trial for every bro who represents the University of Florida. For that, I want to sincerely apologize. I never wished to cast a negative light upon our fair University. I merely wished not to be tased, bro, as is evident from my repeated screams in the viral YouTube clips that started all of this.

At the John Kerry forum, I stepped out of line. There were rules in place to ensure that the forum was run in an orderly fashion, and I did not follow them. I think we all know what came next. I mean, that clip is everywhere.

In society, as in life, there are consequences (i.e. tasing me, bro) for not following the rules. In this instance, not following the rules, and the tasing of me that resulted from it, has imposed consequences for many more people than just myself, people who have seen this school, and perhaps their degree, tarnished in the eyes of others through no fault of their own. Granted, it's not as if they, or their "tarnished" degrees got tased, like I did, but that is very much beside the point.

For that again, I am truly sorry. As all of you who attend here know, The University of Florida is a fabulous institution, a place where many of the finest young minds in Florida come to be educated, grow as people, get tased, and ultimately begin to look forward towards their own careers.

No, okay, sorry, that was a joke. They don't really come here to get tased. I just wanted to see if I could slip that in there without getting tased. Please don't tase me for saying it. Or for using the word fabulous. I swear, I'm not gay. Don't tase me, bro.

Despite what the media has portrayed, I can not imagine a better environment for honest and open discourse, and the way that the UF community responded and really came together throughout the firestorm, without a single other incident involving student-tasing, proves that.

Student Government, which has provided thought-provoking and taser-inducing speakers throughout my time at UF, responded to the incident in the best fashion possible—they provided an open-mic platform on the Plaza of the Americas, complete with fake "taser detectors" at all the entrances as a goof on me. During a heated public debate, SG showed that they are committed to the students of the University of Florida. Yay for heated public debate where no one gets manhandled by the cops, right?

I would also like to personally thank all of the students of this great university. Your interest in this matter, whatever your position, is indicative of the true spirit of this university. UF is a free and loving and caring place, and your awareness and involvement has made me prouder than ever to be a Florida Gator, although if I breathe in too deeply to yell at football games, it still hurts a little. And speaking of football games, I'd like to single out Tim Tebow and thank him just for being the fabulous guy he is.

There is one last person and entity that deserves my utmost praise. To President Bernie Machen, and all of the UF Administration that has had to react to this situation, I thank you for your calm and just leadership during this time. I thank you both for allowing me to return to class, and for not tasing me, bro. Not tasing me, bro, proved once and for all that UF cares about the direction it is going in, and wants students to be a part of the decision making process.

And finally, I have one last apology to make. To everyone who came to see John Kerry speak, and to all concerned Americans who enter forums of public discourse in the hopes of perhaps getting tased and becoming a YouTubrity like me, I’m so sorry that I lost my cool in that auditorium and stole your opportunity from you. I went there to ask an important question; the question of voter disenfranchisement in America cuts to the heart of our democracy, and my failure to act calmly resulted in this important town forum ending without the discourse intended. It also, as you well know, resulted in several hundred volts coursing through my nervous system. I'm no biologicalist or anything, but that's probably not good for you. And for that, I am truly sorry.

Andrew "Quit Calling Me Taser Boy, Bro" Meyer

Monday, October 29, 2007

Me and A-Rod: Two Peas in an A-Pod.

It's painfully obvious to the world when a bloggerist (a title which I just made up) such as myself takes off for several months at a time, because bloggerism is at heart a results-oriented machine of commerce, business, and rampant insecurity. Less obvious, though, is when a Major League Baseball player such as Alex Rodriguez takes off for several months at a time. Especially when said Major League Baseball player (hereinafter referred to as "A-Rod", a title which I also just made up) is piling up season statistics like season statistics are slippery, fleeting, eel-like things that might get away from him if he doesn't pile them up like slippery, fleeting eels.

I hope that makes sense to you, my dear, sweet readers. And speaking of my dear, sweet readers, how are you all doing? All both of you? I feel like I spend so much time on this blog focusing on me, which has become a little bit cumbersome lately. Which is very much the bringing of me to my point here, which is about the whole taking months off at a time thingy.

Moving right along.

Baseball, unlike bloggerism, is not a results oriented game, and here's how you can tell the difference: While I was languishing for months on end without a fresh idea, it was obvious to me that Mr. Rod was in a similar emotional fetal position about how his summer was going. But he still managed to whallop 54 home runs, while I used my emotional fetal position as a model for the real-life fetal position in which I spent my summer and, so far, my fall.

It has less to do with the Red Sux winning the Whirled Series yesterday, and more to do with Britney Spears losing custody of her boys. No kidding, it has really upset me. And to a lesser extent, it has REALLY upset A-Rod too.

I think he made the right decision in opting out of his Yankee contract, because these last four years in the Bronx have been really tumultuous for both him and Britney. Remember that whole head-shaving thing, and the unwitting glimpses she gave the media of her hoo-ha? Is there any further need to wonder why A-Rod slumped to a sub-.300 average and only 36 home runs last year? I think these last couple of spins around the sun have been trying for all of us.

So even though he's walking out of New York with two MVP awards, and a season's worth of Yankee fans taunting him with chants of "M-V-P," and "We Love A-Rod," and "in A-Rod we trust," and "hey, Alex, show us your tits," I think maybe we all owe him the benefit of the doubt. It's been a rough four years. Don't let the eye-popping statistics fool you. Britney has managed to secure visitation rights to the boys, so we can probably all move safely on with our lives. But I think a change of scenery is in order.

So I'm announcing here, today, right now, on this blog that you are the only person not reading, that I am opting out of my contract with Dole Fruit, and relocating to Mackinac Island, Michigan. See you all on bicycles.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A big, fat thank you to Jacoby Ellsbury

Wow, can you believe how worked up we all got way back during the 2007 World Series when Taco Bell announced that free taco giveaway thing if someone stole a base, and then Jacoby Ellsbury stole a base in game 2? Remember how all those streets and middle schools got renamed, and the mayors of all towns everywhere signed declarations praising Taco Bell and its parent corporation, Yum Brands, Inc.? And then how it all went bad and there were those taco riots, and people were stealing other people's free tacos at knifepoint by like 3:30 in the afternoon on Taco Tuesday, and how big tacos were burned in effigy while children cried in their mothers' arms? Remember all that footage of those crying children and those burning taco effigies on the news? And remember how some of us were pissed that they weren't giving away something better, like a bucket of KFC chicken or free copies of Adobe Photoshop, and how we lobbied Congress and got that resolution passed condemning Taco Bell and Major League Baseball (and those assholes from Yum Brands, Inc. too) for having such a rotten idea in the first place?

Me neither.

In other news, free tacos!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The biggest sand trap in Ocean City, Maryland
(also known as "the state of Delaware")

What does it mean when a beachful of rednecks from the Delaware-Maryland border have the common sense to use SUVs with air let out of the tires for driving on the sandy roads, while two young gentlemen educated at a major northeastern university take a Honda Civic and end up spending an hour digging a two-foot-deep pit with the front-wheel drive until they're rescued by another redneck - this one armed with a truck-mounted winch - to pull them 50 feet to safety for the bargain price of $100.00?

I'll tell you what it means. It means I spent last weekend golfing in Ocean City, where such things are par for the course. Pun intended.

It also means that in the midst of 36 holes in which we managed to successfully steer clear of every on-course sand trap, my friend Laszlo and I got marooned in more than our fair share of beach on Saturday morning, which coincides oddly with the fact that, between the two of us, we had only one sand wedge. Perhaps it was the golfing gods themselves exacting revenge on us for such an act of hubris. "One sand wedge between two people? Blasphemy! Strand them on a beach access road in the hot midday sun in metrosexual clothing! Let them put those history and communication degrees to good use!"

The golf gods can be so cruel.

Basically, what happened was this: we golfed Friday and Sunday. Saturday was an off-day for half of the group, so Laszlo and I decided to drive up to Rehoboth Beach and check out the outlet stores at 11:30 in the morning. After a lively discussion about the distance from Ocean City to Rehoboth Beach, I yanked my iPhone (whose name is Knickers, by the way) out of my pocket and started doing some Google Maps work, made more complicated by the lack of included GPS.

I'm talking to you, Steve Jobs. If that is your real name.

I heard Laszlo say, "ooh, let's turn off here while you're looking." But, thanks to the painfully slow Edge network, I still had my eyes trained on Knickers when I heard him add, "this sand looks pretty soft. We should probably turn around."

I pulled my head out of my Knickers, but it was too late. Like a horny walrus errantly chasing after a PT Cruiser driving along a coast road during ebb tide, we were beached.

Here are some pictures:

This is after we had been digging for 45 minutes.

This is Laszlo operating the jack, while Knickers and I stand idly by, documenting the process for posterity. Before you go thinking I'm some sort of heartless jerk, though, take a look at the two men standing in the background. What you probably can't see from this resolution is that both of them are frowning, which is only because their facial muscles were so exhausted from laughing at us already.

This is the tow truck that came to rescue us. Laszlo claims he pulled us 20 feet, although it was really more like 50. 50 feet at $100 equals $2 per foot towed. I'm no mathematician, but that seems like a lot compared to, say AAA, which offers three miles of free towing for its initial membership fee of $59.95 annually.

This is a picture of Abe Vigoda.
$100.00 for 50 feet. And the friendly state parks official who didn't lift a finger of his sculpted muscularity to help us also informed us that we were lucky not to have gotten a ticket, which would have cost us $45 or $50. He said, "$45 or $50," which sounded an awful lot to me like he was just going to pull an amount out of thin air. In fact, a lot of the characters in the episode seemed extemporaneous and smug about getting us out, like the no-toothed gentleman in the teal GMC truck who showed up with a tow rope just after the hapless park ranger had committed us to using the towing service. The timing could not have been less sincere.

Incidentally, I spoke to Sarah after the show was over. Sarah is my new girlfriend, who just happens to be from Maryland. Her advice? "You could try letting some air out of the tires." So brilliant. So timely. I almost wonder if she wasn't in on the whole thing...

Update (10/25/07, 9:16PM)

Sarah wasn't involved. I retract that statement. See, there's no need to go calling your park police friends in Delaware, okay, sweetie?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Return of the Banantelope News
(But for how long?...)

I don't often bother publicizing it when I remember to update YATOPNRTB's sister site, Now Is The Time For All Good Antelopes to Come to the Aid of Their Banana, but it's just been so rare lately that I pretty much figure people have stopped reading. What, like none of those people have ever run a website for four years with only sporadic posts, then taken four months off for no good reason and re-emerged with a three-paragraph fake news story? Is that really a reason to give up on me?

Okay, fine, it is. But since I updated NITTFAGATCTTAOTB, I think maybe you should swing by.

That is all.