Title Optional

Trying to give the people what they want which seems to be just me being me and not caring much. Like what I did today. Like how I used to write in my journal.

Today I went to work. 4th day in a row, yesterday was a double. I mean I shouldn’t be complaining because I could’ve gone to bed sooner rather than hanging out with pals, but it’s the weekend and Louis was in town and everyone loves Louis. True or false: It was an interesting weekend. So anyway I worked a lot and hung out with pals. Double Sunday. Another brunch today, because it’s a Monday holiday. I’m a crybaby but the point is I was very tired this morning and I worked brunch into mid-day and I got through it. My horoscope say that things are gonna pick up. I have to do a good job cuz I rescinded a two-week notice (essentially done that like three times in the past few years.) So I had to do a good job and-

The girl at table 23, she was Austrian and the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Unbelievable. Table 23 drank so much. Like maybe I should have cut them off- yeah right. They were there forever, after I changed out of my pajamas and well into mid-day. You know the dream would be that table 23 finishes and I get to leave and we all leave at the same time and just have an amazing time walking around the city but yeah right.

We all left at the same time. We did.

I have to give myself an hour to get there. Rolled out of bed at about 7:41. No shower. Setting up at 9:00. Staff meal, then it begins. I always felt really nervous when I was first hired and I still get a little nervous now because I have issues. Table 23 came in for pajama brunch. A Filipino guy about 30, a cute girl about 24, and the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen in my life from Austria. And they drank a lot and stayed waaaaay after the rush. I changed out of my pajamas and into the black shirt and jeans after we 86’d brunch. They moved to the patio (table 6) and got more drunk.

I left with them. We went to a bar but I only had ten bucks. I lost my card a few weeks ago but I only sent in for a new one last week. Still waiting. I left my card in the atm machine. We don’t get cash, our tips come in a check. I’ve probably done the leave-card-in-atm thing about 20 times in my life. Between 10 and 20 times. Table 23 had to pay for me. I’m not in the habit of really having my shit together. I went to work with a Ten in my wallet and no access to the bank (Memorial Day) and these people who tipped me well bought me a drink at another bar. And a burrito. The guy who goes to the bathroom when the bill comes. Pathetic. I’m going to take them all out. I can afford it. Highland Kitchen. I feel like shit. I explained things to them. I’ve never seen anything like that Austrian girl in my life. My horoscope acknowledged that it’s been rough. She showed me a picture on her phone. A little puggish dog. She told me she had a boyfriend. I didn’t ask or anything, I mean we talked about a lot of things. I think it was a Pug in the photo. She had a boyfriend. She and her brother had put a Post-It note on its rear that read (In Austrian) “I stink because of my asshole.” Something to that effect. Never seen anything like that before in my life.

MISSION PHOTOS

This was taken toward the end of my mission. These photos were all taken with my 35 mm camera (A couple of photos were sent by friends, but they were also taken on film.) I apologize for the quality. This was an impulse post, and laziness prevented me from attempting to scan the photos. But my iphone 5 did alright. Roughly chronological order and roughly July 2001-October 2002

This was taken toward the end of my mission. These photos were all taken with my 35 mm camera (A couple of photos were sent by friends, but they were also taken on film.) I apologize for the quality. This was an impulse post, and laziness prevented me from attempting to scan the photos. But my iphone 5 did alright. Roughly chronological order and roughly July 2001-October 2002

This is at the Seattle ariport. I'm about to head to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah- for about 3 weeks of training. Uncle David is on your right and Uncle Tom is on your left.

This is at the Seattle airport. I’m about to head to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah- for about 3 weeks of training. Uncle David is on your right and Uncle Tom is on your left.

That's my friend Deloy. We went to college together and he was in the MTC with me. Since he went to Russia and had to learn a new language, he was in the MTC for 2 months or so.

That’s my friend Deloy. We went to college together and he was in the MTC with me. Since he went to Russia and had to learn a new language, he was in the MTC for 2 months or so.

Elder Gunning, if I remember correctly. He studied with me in the MTC, but went to a different mission. Oklahoma, I think.

Elder Gunning, if I remember correctly. He studied with me in the MTC, but went to a different mission. Oklahoma, I think.

I got the "MIssionary Goggles" early, as I'm only taking that photo because that girl was relatively scantily clad. Everything is conceptual.

I got the “MIssionary Goggles” early, as I’m only taking that photo because that girl was relatively scantily clad. Everything is contextual.

My mission was called the Colorado Denver South Mission. It covered the Southwest part of the state and into Kansas. My trainer and I were based out of Ulysses, a town of about 5000 people.

My mission was called the Colorado Denver South Mission. It covered the Southwest part of the state and into Kansas. My trainer and I were based out of Ulysses, KS, a town of about 5000 people.

Corn

Corn

Interstate 70 disected the South Mission from the North Mission. I think this is to give missionaries a little taste of everything (city/country) Though I never served in Denver. This was a special trip where we were allowed to see a baseball game on our day off. We often didn't have to dress in "proselyitng clothes" on our day off, but President made us dress to the game. To keep us in check, I think.

Interstate 70 dissected the South Mission from the North Mission. I think this is to give missionaries a little taste of everything (city/country) Though I never served in Denver. This was a special trip where we were allowed to see a baseball game on our day off. We often didn’t have to dress in “proselyting clothes” on our day off, but President made us dress to the game. To keep us in check, I think.

Elder Mississippi Smith. The Mississipi is because there was always more than one Smith in the mission at a time. He was from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I remember because NFL great Brett Favre had a home there and he told us stories.

Elder Mississippi Smith. The Mississippi is because there was always more than one Smith in the mission at a time. He was from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I remember because NFL great Brett Favre had a home there and Smith told us stories.

Girls. I wasn't the only one who did this, okay?

Girls. I wasn’t the only one who did this, okay?

Even awkward when I kiss a car. But it's an M5. This car was all the rage when it came out.

Even awkward when I kiss a car. But it’s an M5. This car was all the rage when it came out.

This was taken in my second area. I was transferred from Kansas to Colorado Springs. Usually about 12-14 missionaries in a zone. (My mission.)

This was taken in my second area. I was transferred from Kansas to Colorado Springs. Usually about 12-14 missionaries in a zone. (My mission.)

This youngster lived in the neighboring apartment and he'd walk in and hang out.

This youngster lived in the neighboring apartment and he’d walk in and hang out.

We were lucky to live in  an apartment it another companionship. (Other people to talk to at the end of the day.) Langston on your right, was my companion. He was a great young missionary, only out a few months longer than me. Martinson in the back and his companion Idaho Ray.

We were lucky to live in an apartment with another companionship. (Other people to talk to at the end of the day.) Langston on your right, was my companion. He was a great young missionary, only out a few months longer than me. Martinson in the back and his companion Idaho Ray.

I'd be lyin' if I told you ladies didn't hollar at me and Langston walking down the street.

Langston.

Every 6 weeks, the mission was shaken up with a Transfer. Elder Ka'onohi (Elder K) was transferred in as my companion. Elder Kieth and Tennessee Ray replaced Idaho Ray and Martinson. There is the child again.

Every 6 weeks, the mission was shaken up with a Transfer. Elder Ka’onohi (Elder K) was transferred in as my companion. Elder Kieth and Tennessee Ray replaced Idaho Ray and Martinson. There is the child again.

Elder Kieth, on the right at a transfer meeting. Those were days off as well. Kieth wasted no time getting ready for basketball, which was played in the gym at the church where the meeting was held. He always wanted to roll his sleeves up, which was a source of contension. Photos were always taken at transfer meetings as missionaries went in and out- often transfered hundreds of miles away, with the possibility of not seeing some of the guys until after the mission- if ever again.

Elder Kieth, on the right at a transfer meeting. Those were days off as well. Kieth wasted no time getting ready for basketball, which was played in the gym at the church where the meeting was held. He always wanted to roll his sleeves up, which was a source of tension. Photos were always taken at transfer meetings as missionaries went in and out- often transferred hundreds of miles away, with the possibility of not seeing some of the guys until after the mission.

Kieth VERY QUICKLY pit me into this position.

Kieth VERY QUICKLY put me into this position.

We found this suit when we cleaned out the apartment.

We found this suit when we cleaned out the apartment.

Elder K. Nice of him to take this photo after we parted.

Elder K. Nice of him to take this photo after we parted.

Okay, check this out. Natasha, in the front there- well we baptized her- so now she and Elder K are engaged, more than 10 years later. No joke. Elder K asked her mom what hymns we should play at the baptism. Her mom suggested "You Can't Always Get What You Want." by the Rolling Stones.

Okay, check this out. Natasha, in the front there- well we baptized her- so now she and Elder K are engaged, more than 10 years later. No joke. Elder K asked her mom what hymns we should play at the baptism. Her mom suggested “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones.

Elder K was in love with this new bike he got at a transfer meeting and rode it around the church parking lot.

Elder K was in love with this new bike he got at a Transfer Meeting. Elder K was one of the best teachers in the mission. When I found out he was going to be my companion, I was told “You’ll get in some doors.”

Elder K and I hung out with this woman Rita a lot. She wasn't interested in the church though.

Elder K and I hung out with this woman Rita a lot. She wasn’t interested in the church though.

The old fellow is Bob and he's taking a photo of Elder Smallwood. He'd been baptized a year or so before I met him, and always hung out with missionaries. He was very serious about his portraits. We did laundry at his house and occasionally watched TV (Not supposed to watch TV.)

The old fellow is Bob and he’s taking a photo of Elder Smallwood. He’d been baptized a year or so before I met him, and always hung out with missionaries. He was very serious about his portraits. We did laundry at his house and occasionally watched TV (Not supposed to watch TV.)

I think this is the transfer meeting where I became a trainer. 6 months into my mission. I went from being jr. companion (The other guy in-charge) to trainer. It was a big deal that 5 people from my group (You're always compared and associated with the guys you came out with) So 5 people from my MTC group trained. It was a big deal and I was nervous. Elder Tikalsky from South Jordan, Utah is my new greenie.

I think this is the transfer meeting where I became a trainer. 6 months into my mission. I went from being jr. companion (Where the other guy is in-charge) to Trainer. It was a big deal that 5 people from my group (You’re always compared and associated with the guys you came out with) So 5 people from my MTC group trained. It was a big deal and I was nervous. Elder Tikalsky from South Jordan, Utah is my new Greenie. And he is to my right. K and Langston are my old companions when this photo is taken.

Posterity photos are a popular thing at Transfers. K trained the tall guy, who trained the other two.

Posterity photos are a popular thing at Transfers. K trained the tall guy, who trained the other two. (When I posted this I didn’t realize that the “Tall Guy” (in the middle of the three white guys) is barely taller than the other two.

K and Bob.

K and Bob.

Wedding Photo?

Wedding Photo?

Langston made the cake- he was really into it. It was important that it be made from scratch- no cake mix. I think it was Bob's 61st. Bob sadly passed away a couple of years ago.

Langston made the cake- he was really into it. It was important that it be made from scratch- no cake mix. I think it was Bob’s 61st.
Sadly, Bob passed away a couple of years ago.

Bob had fake teeth. We didn't know that and he freaked us out the day he took them out. Here is Elder Haukenema paying tribute.

Bob had fake teeth. We didn’t know that and he freaked us out the day he took them out. Here is Elder Haukenema paying tribute.

When my dad saw this photo he said that Haukie was a "big boy."

When my dad saw this photo he said that Haukie was a “big boy.”

He was big.

He was big.

Elder Caldwell. He was on his way out when I met him. One of those guys you listened to because he'd been around a while.

Elder Caldwell. He was on his way out when I met him. One of those guys you listened to because he’d been around a while.

Elder Lane Foulger out of Eugene, Oregon. I really liked this guy.

Elder Lane Foulger out of Eugene, Oregon. I really liked this guy.

Another

Foulger

My companion Elder Duff, from Poland, Maine. He kept me up at night telling stories about Maine. He made me want to move there. I fell in love with Maine and he's the reason I always wanted to move there to write. Duff was a convert to the church- baptized about a year before his mission. He was an amazing person and a darn good missionary. Despite what his hairline tells you, you're looking at a 19 year old.

My companion Elder Duff, from Poland, Maine. He kept me up at night telling stories about growing up there. I fell in love with Maine and he’s the reason I always wanted to move there to write. Duff was a convert to the church- baptized about a year before his mission. He was a darn good missionary. Despite what his hairline tells you, you’re looking at a 19-year-old.

Duff cooking.

Duff cooking.

As with all things, it took me a while to figure out how to make a good pancake. (My problem was the better was always to thick. Once I learned that, I made some decent hotcakes.)

As with all things, it took me a while to figure out how to make a good pancake. (My problem was the batter was always too thick. Once I learned that, I made some decent hotcakes.)

Duff and I. We were taken to Zio's for pasta. we loved when members of the church took us to Zio's.

Duff and Me. We were taken to Zio’s for pasta. we loved when members of the church took us to Zio’s.

Duff is pointing out that "Door" is spray-painted to the side of the door.

Duff is pointing out that “Door” is spray-painted to the side of the door.

This is my favorite picture. We rode around in the backs of trucks often. To and from Transfer meetings. Duff and Elder Goettman on the right. Goettz was quiet, but about as cool as it got. He played in a band back home. He was into the Black Crowes and stuff.

This is my favorite picture. We often rode around in the backs of trucks. To and from Transfer meetings. Duff and Elder Goettman on the right. Goettz was quiet, but about as cool as it got. He played in a band back home. He was into the Black Crowes and stuff.

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Goettman is pointing out an attractive female in this photo.

Elder Hiestand, on the right, was a good friend of mine. That's a member of the church in the middle. I guess he'd about my age now. We looked up to him because he had a beautiful wife and was super cool. He drove us around in a convertable Ford Galaxy from the 60's. We were in that car one night when he took 4 of us to buy ice cream. He opened his wallet and said "Get whatever you want Elders, I have eleven dollars."

Elder Hiestand, on the right, was a good friend of mine. That’s a member of the church in the middle. We looked up to him because he had a beautiful wife and was super cool. He drove us around in a convertible Ford Galaxy from the 60’s. We were in that car one night when he took 4 of us to buy ice cream. He opened his wallet and said “Get whatever you want Elders, I have eleven dollars.”

Hiestand was a darn good baseball player.

Hiestand was a darn good baseball player.

I think this is outside the Red Robin. A real fancy chain out West.

I think this is outside Red Robin, a real fancy chain out West.

Elder Fineangenofo (If I remember.) Also Elder F. Hiestand's Greenie. So he was doing the whole missionary thing while also learning English. Not easy.

Elder Fineangenofo. Elder F was Hiestand’s Greenie. So he was doing the whole missionary thing while also learning English. Not easy.

Close-up

Okay, so this guy, his name is Doug, and it's a whole other blog post that involves a limo, a fancy hotel, and stripper cash (what he's holding.) But like I said- another blog post. Yeah, that's a bottle of wine, and yeah, he's wasted.

Okay, so this guy, his name is Doug. Doug is a whole other blog post that involves a limo, a fancy hotel, and stripper cash (That’s what he’s holding.) But like I said- another blog post. Yeah, that’s a bottle of wine, and yeah, he’s wasted.

That's Smallwood inside Doug's limo. Doug didn't come with us, so we got to mess with the radio and stuff, like IN THE MOVIES.

That’s Smallwood inside Doug’s limo. Doug didn’t come with us, so we got to mess with the radio and stuff.

Elders Moses is standing in Doug's hotel bathroom. Hotel Monaco, if I remember correctly- in Denver.

Elder Moses is standing in Doug’s hotel bathroom. Hotel Monaco, in Denver.

I think we'd been playing baseball in out proselyiting clothes. Foulger on the right and Romney on the left.

I think we’d been playing baseball in our proselyting clothes. Foulger on the right and Romney on the left. (Google says the word is proselytizing, but we said proselyting. One less syllable.)

Our job wasn't easy, so we kinda went crazy sometimes.

Our job wasn’t easy, so we kinda went crazy sometimes.

Debauchery is a popular photo genre amongst missionaries. This toilet setting is very cliche, but cliche for a reason.

This toilet setting is very cliché, but for a reason.

Again with the debauchery.

Again with the crude.

The TV isn't even on. The cigarette ain't lit.

The cigarette ain’t lit, and the TV isn’t even on.

This car was owned by one of the "lesbians" from the apartment upstairs. The sticker reads "When I was your age we had to walk 2 miles to get stoned and have sex." This is a very typical missionary photo.

This car was owned by one of the “lesbians” from the apartment upstairs. The sticker reads “When I was your age we had to walk 2 miles to get stoned and have sex.” This is a very typical missionary photo.

The caps are on those bottles, we didn't drink beer. We took the beer from these women. One of both of them were members. It  was like a confiscation thing. The women later came back and got it- I think. I remember for sure them calling and telling us to giver their beer back. We may have poured it down the sink, I don't quite remember.

The caps are on those bottles, we didn’t drink beer. We took the beer from a couple of women. One or both of them were members. It was like a confiscation thing. The women later came back and got it- I think. I remember for sure that they called and told us to give their beer back. We may have poured it down the sink, I don’t quite remember.

I don't remember where we found this keg that Elder Hanson from Des Moines Iowa is holding.

Also, I don’t remember where we found this keg that Elder Hanson from Des Moines, Iowa, is holding.

The keg made a very mediocre night stand, as you could imagine. The mission wanted us to get rid of it, even though it was empty.

The keg made a very mediocre night stand, as you can imagine. The mission wanted us to get rid of it, even though it was empty. You can see that other missionaries autographed it.

The only time on my mission on entered a liquor store. We got five bucks for it.

The only time on my mission we entered a liquor store. We got five bucks for the keg.

This is another blog post as well, Elder Steed crashing into a rock pile after riding his bike down a set of stairs. The good Canadian cut up his hands pretty badly but didn't utter one swear word.

This is another blog post as well- Elder Steed crashing into a rock pile after riding his bike down a set of stairs. The Good Canadian cut up his hands pretty badly but didn’t utter one swear word.

We were the Fountain zone and we called ourselves the Cottontails. We were supposed to play this team made up of a family. The family, The Bartons, if I remember, had beaten a couple of other zones in softball games. They played a real smoke-and-mirrors/finesse style softball. When I was in Fountain with Hiestand, Foulger and company, I knew we had a zone that could beat the Bartons. So we made t-shirts. But the Bartons didn't even show. DIDN'T EVEN SHOW. Cuz we would have annihiliated them.

The Fountain zone- we called our softball team the Cottontails. We were supposed to play another team comprised of mostly a family. The Bartons, if I remember. They had beaten a couple of other, past zones in softball. The Bartons played a real smoke-and-mirrors/finesse style of softball. When I was in Fountain with Hiestand, Foulger and company, I knew we had a zone that could beat the Bartons. So we made t-shirts. But the Bartons didn’t even show up. DIDN’T EVEN SHOW. Cuz we would have annihilated them.

Typical day off

Typical day off. P-day, or Preparation day. That’s when we were supposed to do laundry and stuff.

What a squad

What a squad.

Elder Steed. We called him Prince William.

Elder Steed. We called him Prince William.

The Olympic Training Center was in Colorado Springs. A visit there was a decent P-Day activity as we weren't allowed to do much else.

The Olympic Training Center was in Colorado Springs. A visit there was a decent P-Day activity as we weren’t allowed to do much else.

We weren't allowed to kiss girls, so Hiestand is settling here.

We weren’t allowed to kiss girls, so Hiestand is settling here.

I remeber that it rained this day and that Elder Smallwood attacked Elder Moses. The fight was broken up pretty quickly.

I remember that it rained this day and that Elder Smallwood attacked Elder Moses. The fight was broken up pretty quickly.

Another Transfer

Another Transfer

We used to watch the girls play softball out of the window in our room.

We used to watch the girls play softball out of the window in our room.

And we'd tell Moses to calm down and not yell vulgar things loud enough for them to hear- we represent the frickin' church , after all.

And we’d tell Moses to calm down and not yell vulgar things loud enough for them to hear- we represent the frickin’ church, after all.

Moses. I don't know if this is the day our companionship began or ended.

Moses. I don’t know if this is the day our companionship began or ended.

Moses is burning a tie on his sixth month anniversary, as was customary. Ordinarily a mission is 2 years.

Moses is burning a tie on his sixth month anniversary, as was customary. Ordinarily a mission is 2 years.

This is a photo of Pueblo, Colorado, my last area. Pueblo is an hour south of Colorado Springs, where I'd been about 10 months. The missionary on the far right is Elder Thurgood. We were together two transfers and had some serious fun. He was my 2nd greenie. Very smart kid. This is a posterity picture. Tikalsky is next to me with his first greenie. This made me a grandfather.

This photo was taken in Pueblo, Colorado- my last area. Pueblo is an hour south of Colorado Springs, where I’d just spent 10 months. The missionary on the far right is Elder Thurgood. We were together two transfers and had some serious fun. He was my 2nd greenie. This is a posterity picture. Tikalsky is next to me with his first Greenie. I became a Grandfather this Transfer.

Wood is making the goofy face.

Wood is making the goofy face.

We went to a game in P-day clothes and got busted. President was not happy.

We went to a game in P-day (plain, not proselyting) clothes and got busted. President was not happy.

Must have been the first game.

Must have been the first game, as I’m wearing proselyiting clothes or simply- pros.

My Greenie, Tikalsky.

My Greenie, Tikalsky.

My trainer, Elder Arizona Ray is in the hat. This is his posterity photo.

My trainer, Elder Arizona Ray is in the hat. This is his posterity photo.

This is the famed "Girl Across The Hall." Or Gath. Elder K told her she had beautiful eyes while talking to her about the church in the hall. She was DIRECTLY across the hall.

This is the famed “Girl Across The Hall.” Or Gath. In the hallway, as she was coming or going, Elder K told her she had beautiful eyes while talking to her about the church. She lived DIRECTLY across the hall.

We spent Christmas with a Mormon family, as is typical.

We spent Christmas with a Mormon family, as is typical. You see Bob came along.

Taken in Denver. I like this picture despite the ink stains.

Taken in Denver. Sorry about the ink stains.

Elder Milius came out of the MTC with me, though I never got to spend much time with him. He's wearing Bob's cardigan.

Elder Milius came out of the MTC with me, though I never got to spend much time with him. He’s wearing Bob’s cardigan.

A photo sent from my friend Deloy in Russia.

A photo sent from my friend Deloy in Russia.

Life-Long pal Tyson sends love from Africa.

Life-Long Pal Tyson sends love from Africa.

Mart

hanson

Kieth

ROMNEY

MOSES

Grimace

He's protesting having to wear Pros to the baseball game by wearing a bow-tie. Missionaries don't wear bow-ties.

He’s protesting having to wear Pros to the baseball game by wearing a bow-tie. Missionaries don’t wear bow-ties.

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Aside

Miss Connections: The One with Nipples and Jesus

Let’s start off this week’s Miss Connections with an example of an MC that I see more often than I want, because, while I don’t believe in the institution of marriage, I like to believe that those who get married do. And yet MC seems to be an attractive place for people to post totally discrete solicitations that will never be seen by anyone other than their desired party: 

But You’re my Wife’s Best Friend… – m4w – 34 (Crossing the Line)

…..and I golf with your man. But I feel the sexual tension between us. The other night when we bumped into each other coming out of the bathroom, that intense look. I know if they weren’t in the next room. I’m so tempted to cross the line, but we can’t…right? Or can we? I know you’re out there struggling with the same question. Advice from others with any similar experience welcome. So confused…

Okay, just between us middle-aged cuckolds, let’s be real: you’re not confused. You’re unsure in the way that people who only want to risk a marriage for hot sex are unsure. Because if that hot sex never happens, well, it’s going to be a goddamn shame about that deposit on your wedding hall. And the years of building an emotionally meaningful relationship with another person will be lost—not to mention your wife!

But, even married men will be men, right?

Just one night – w4m

I keep thinking about our conversation and imagining many scenarios with you. So curious just want one night with you but your my husbands friend. I find you so attractive .. What do you think ? Hopefully you read these!

This is one of the many reasons I love MCs: just when it seems that someone has posted an MC that cements stereotypes about one demographic, you get another that proves everyone can be just as scummy! Didn’t think that the first poster would get anywhere with his MC? Well, think again, because turns out his friend’s wife does want to get freaky in the breakfast nook!

Though, not in the way that this next poster wants to get freaky:

Hot Ass Baseball Dads – w4m (North Andover)

God damn!

I love going to baseball each week just to watch all the incredible good looking baseball dads who are so involved.

Maybe I should pretend to forget my stance so one of those hotties that walk by and say ” hi” can touch me and give me goosebumps!!!!

I love sports and hot dads!!!

Who wrote this, a prepubescent baseball player? Why else would she be practicing her stance at a kids’ baseball game? And the use of exclamation points is clearly indicative of a Tiger Beat connoisseur. The title of this posting should be “Spice Up My Life (Daddy Issues),” because this little lady has a taste for salt and pepper! At least she comes by it honestly. About as honestly as this next poster:

Chestnuthill Bofa ATM – commented about your nipples – m4w

Around 5:45pm at the Bank of America ATM near the Atrium mall….you were a gorgeous brunette in super tight jeans and a white top with no bra. You look like Megan Fox. I walked in after and could clearly see your nipples thru your shirt. I have no idea what came over me, but when you turned around to leave I said “you have absolutely beautiful nipples”. You looked right at me awkwardly and said thanks and then left.

I’m not a perv. It just came out. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Just want to say sorry if I freaked you out…

Dear ATM Man,

I’m so glad you posted this. To be honest, I was a bit freaked out—but now that you explained that you were simply ENTRANCED by my MESMERIZING nipples, I totally forgive you. In fact, this isn’t the first time a man has been simply unable to control himself around my ENGROSSING nipples, and it’s probably my fault for wearing that shirt. You’re definitely not a perv, just a normal guy put under extraordinary circumstances.

Anyway, I appreciate the MC. You could probably sense that I check this religiously and so this was the best way for you to apologize to me.

Want to have wild sex in public sometime?

Sincerely,
Megan Fox

And, last but not least, perhaps the greatest MC to have ever graced the Internet:

 

Susan – m4w (with Jesus)

I forgive you. In the time of Noah so shall it be in our time. Forgiveness is what you lack along with common sence, I suggest you Take Jesus into you’re heart and maybe you will not be such a hateful bitch

There’s things I could say, ways I could deconstruct this and the emotional state of the person who wrote it, but dear baby Jesus—who clearly endorsed this message—why would I?

Stat Brief/News For May 8th

NEWS:

Mark VanMiddlesworth, or MVMW, as he’s known around the offices here at SFSF, is Esephesef’s Reader-of-the-Last-Little-While. Or the Winter-Into-Spring Reader of 2013.

MVMW already has a computer science degree from Harvard, if his current matriculation at MIT wasn’t enough for you. (We’re pretty exclusive here at SFSF.) Sarah wanted to go younger with SFSF’s Reader Award, but I stuck to my Double-Ivy guns. Readers sans degrees from both colleges need not apply. In fact, MVMW just barely slides in as SFSF’s Reader-Of-The-Last-Little-While as he has yet to complete his work at MIT.

In truth, MVMW is the Reader-of-the-Last-Little-While because he’s been pretty complimentary to the blog. I think he once said via facebook that “this blog is amazing.” The decision to name MVMW the ROTLLW might seem a little self-serving, but does this look like the face of concern? You need cheerleaders. I need cheerleaders. The world-

We like readers who are good at science and stuff. Readers whom you can take home to meet mom.

Moving on to search-terms-people-entered-causing-them-to-inadvertently-stumble-across-SFSF. (May 7th 2013):

1)-shannon brown bulge- Shannon Brown is a professional basketball player for the Phoenix Suns.

2)-slim young men with bulge- “Slim young men” indicates plural. So the person made a mistake when he or she typed singularly “with bulge.” Despite that inconsistency, it is the hope of SFSF that the person found what they were looking for. (AFTER reading every bit of shallow & mundane content on this blog of course.)

3)-san francisco streetfighter- Yup, TWO PEOPLE typed “san francisco street fighter.” Safe to assume they were looking for -as MVMW would say- “an amazing blog.”

Search terms for May 8th, 2013:

1)-spiderman bulge- Lately, I’m finding comfort in the familiar.

Better than "biker bulges drive me nuts." Actually no, it's not better than that.

For more on the bulge stuff, you should scroll down until you find the VIDEO stat brief. It’s the only Video Stat Brief- for now. We could put a short link up, but by neglecting to do so, we’re forcing readers to skim through other stuff as they look for the video. Finding the video shouldn’t take too long though, as there are 3 total videos on SFSF. (I think.)

Anything Else?

Yell With Me

I lie in bed a lot. I J.O. I’m J-O-K, I suppose.

Supposed to be working on something long-form.

Gazing at the stars, Orion told me to be me. He told me to just be Aaron Litchfield. He confided that he knew I was good, as if it was a secret.

Be delusional?

No no, that’s not what he meant. Everyone’s not happy with who they are he told me. Everyone’s unhappy with who they are and it bugs him.

Take a deep breath, he said. No, don’t take a drink of that beer, or a puff of that cigarette. Just breathe-

Air.

Yell with me, he said. Orion told me to SCREAM at the stars, loud as I could. But I had to do it vicariously through him. He’s got a good strong voice anyway.

Crom can’t focus when his nose is stuffed, he said he can’t think about anything else. I’ve been a mouth breather since birth. Excuses excuses excuses.

*       *       *

That’s that. Okay, so if you haven’t checked in lately, Sarah has a new Miss Connections, and I have a conversation with Blaze. Just scroll down.

Miss Connections: Love Lockdown Edition

Boston’s been through a lot this week. Its people have been subjected to emotional rugby, which is a game I am convinced has no rules other than “hurt each other,” only made worse by the relentless media coverage.

But through it all, Bostonians carried on—living, loving, loving from afar, loving in completely inappropriate ways and then posting about them on the Internet. Such as this first MC:

A much better show than Oblivion! – m4mw – 41 (Danvers)

Not a missed connection, really — I saw everything! (a la Patrick Stewart in “Extras”) — but thanks to the young couple who spent the entire, overlooooong 5 pm showing of Oblivion at Liberty Tree shamelessly getting it on in the back row. Obviously, I’m the guy who was sitting midway down the row shamelessly watching!

Obviously!

I suppose thanks are also due to the producers of this particular big-budget snoozer for not providing any competition to your writhing lapsex. I give you a five star review, three more than that flick deserves….

You didn’t seem to mind my brazenly watching you go at it — you even stuck around a bit as the credits rolled, perhaps waiting for me to leave. (I wanted to see who the key grip was, honest!) Anyway, if you enjoyed the added thrill of an audience, hit me up – the next matinee tickets will be on me. :)

The best part about this MC is that this man has clearly realized a fetish he never knew he had: being able to be a movie snob and an envoyer at the same time! Getting off to his own snarky one-liners about the movie he’s watching while others are getting off! When he says “the next matinee tickets will be on me,” he means it—because if there’s not a film playing at the same time, he’s not interested.

But as skeezy as it is to be getting down and dirty in a movie theater, and even moreso the man watching it, this next MC is truly in poor taste:

Girl on CNN – m4w – 28 (Watertown)

Just wanting to let the girl that was interviewed by CNN after the suspect was caught know that she is hot.

Solitary confinement can do a lot of crazy shit to your psyche. My brother was once put in solitary confinement in the Navy (and it had nothing to do with ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,’ so you can put away the jokes about “seamen,” as if my grandmother hasn’t made them already anyway). He said he learned how to win at Monopoly…against himself. I can’t remember ever finishing a game of Monopoly, aka The Four-Hour Exercise in How to Steal Money from the Bank Without Anyone Noticing, let alone after I’d spent time making up my own alter ego and then giving her the ol’ Capitalism Shakedown. The only time I’ve been in solitary confinement was (semi-)voluntarily for much of my childhood, and I ended up writing poetry…about how much I love America. Like I said: it changes people.

So it’s not totally unreasonable for this guy to make a totally inappropriate advance after being stuck in his house for hours on end. I mean, this woman was probably the first one he’d seen all day, if you don’t include his lipstick-smeared right hand.

But how, how how how did he justify this to himself? “I wish I could care about what this woman is saying, or the horror that my entire city went through over the past few days, but all I can think about is how sexy her mouth looks when she says, ‘I’m just happy the terrorists have been caught.’ Mmmmm. It’s even hotter than when my hand-mouth says it.”

I didn't mean it, baby. Oh, come on, Carol, you know I was joking! Don't give me the silent treatment, Carol.

I didn’t mean it, baby. Oh, come on, Carol, you know I was joking! Don’t give me the silent treatment, Carol.

The next poster has significantly better judgment when it comes to understanding what is MC-appropriate:

Hey, girl, hey. – w4w – 21 (Davis Sq.)

Hey. You with the face. I saw you looking and LIKING. Thumbs up. Two of em. BAM. Saw you outside of Diesel looking gay as a fish. And I like that. A lot. Hit me up. Alright, you had navy and green flannel on with these tight black jeans. Rocking a nice big pair of boots with laces. You had these glasses on… you look smart like WHOA. Like you go to Tufts or something. You probably have a tattoo. I’ll probably like it.

The fact that “gay as a fish” and “flannel” describes half (which, if anything, is a severe underestimate) of the clientele of Diesel, and that I’m sure similarly quirky and bold, yet coy and tongue-in-cheek, MCs have been posted for them many times, did not make me less endeared to this one. I think it’s because of the poster’s obvious self-awareness in writing this, and her ability to point out the ridiculousness of MCs in general without literally pointing it out (“Hey. You with the face.” instead of, “There’s no way you’ll ever see this, but…” =1,000,000 eprops [those are still legal virtual tender, right?]).

It could also be that I imagine Tom Cruise voicing the lines, “I saw you looking and LIKING. Thumbs up. Two of em. BAM.” And who isn’t whisked away to Wet Dream World by the thought of Tom Cruise hitting on you?

Answer: All the humans.

Answer: All the humans.

But this last MC, as always, takes the award for Most Heartwarming:

You mailed me my lost wallet?!?! (Brighton Ave, Allston)

I’d had a horrible Friday night, trying to cope with my sister’s deteriorating condition due to cancer. I started crying at the bar, surrounded by my friends and went to try to find the bathroom to compose myself when one of the bar staff told me I had to leave and escorted me out. In no condition to be alone, I tried frantically to text my friends to come find me as drops of rain and tears fell onto my phone, to no avail. Lost, disoriented, abandoned and scared, I managed to find a main street to catch a cab home, shakily got out onto Brighton Ave and walked one block to my house, losing my wallet along the way.

When I finally realized it was missing, too much time had passed for any hope that in a well-trafficked area, I would find my wallet. The thought of canceling and replacing everything was a constant reminder all weekend of the anxiety, shame and sadness of that night. Something told me, the entire time, that it would come back to me.

I checked the mailbox every day to see if someone had dropped it in there and when I ever reached in and felt the mailer today my heart jumped. I couldn’t tear that stupid stretchy FedEx plastic fast enough. There it was! But the biggest surprise was not that all three of my credit cards, my Charlie card with over $50 on it and four $20 bills were inside, along with my license, library card, hospital cards and medical alert card (I have a chronic illness); it was that inside there was one extra thing: a small piece of paper torn from a notebook that read, “Hey, found your wallet on the ground in Allston. Hope losing it temp. didn’t cause too much trouble”

I had to fight back a tear, I was so grateful. It may seem like a small thing, but for me it was much more than a lost item, a hassle and money. I cannot express how proud I am of Boston right now, and this one particular, anonymous good Samaritan. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You can be sure this good deed will be paid forward many-fold.

Boston has a reputation for being a city of cold-hearted bastards—which is perhaps not helped by the fact that many Bostonians pride themselves on being cold-hearted bastards—but it is small, astounding acts of kindness like this that prove even New Englanders can be nice.

Or that we need to build a wall around the city, Texas-style, to prevent any more foreigners from ruining our reputation as borderline sociopaths.

Aside

Just Another Brief Conversation With Blaze

BLAZE
Hi Aaron it’s Blaze

AARON
Hey man.

BLAZE
I heard about those attacks in Boston. You’re right next to that. I want to make sure you’re okay.

AARON
Oh, thanks. Yeah, I’m okay.

BLAZE
Are all your friends alright?

AARON
Yeah…thanks for asking. How are you?

BLAZE
Ummm, pretty good. I saw a bunch of busses in Torrey Pines the other day and I thought it was a load of people here to see Jesus.

AARON
Oh, no way! They were looking for Jesus?

BLAZE
No, I just thought they were.

AARON
Oh.

BLAZE
So yeah I saw a bunch of tour busses full of these people here to see Jesus and I thought of a speech I’d give them.

AARON
No you didn’t.

BLAZE
Yeah I did. So I thought of this speech and I thought I’d give it to you and you could put it on your blog.

AARON
If you write me a speech from Jesus I guarantee you that I’ll put it on the blog.

BLAZE
Okay, good. You know what? I’ll do that right now, I’ll hang up and email it to you right away.

AARON
Okay. Thanks Blaze.

BLAZE
Well Aaron, I’m glad you’re alright and I hope everything is okay in Somerville. Tell your friends that your friend Blaze says hi and I will go write that and send it right away.

AARON
I’ll do that. See ya Blaze.

Go ahead and spell check Blaze’s prose if you think you find an error. I did, like an idiot:

It was the cloudy day of Sunday February 3rd 2013. I Blaze Ginsberg, I am taking myself to ride the city bus to Fifteenth Street Beach. As I go I see a murder of tour buses roaming the streets. I think is Jesus Christ back, I think he is?

Jesus’s speech:

Fair people of today,  I have come your way,  I have these things to say-

Hatred is not the way; you have some nerve to hate someone because they are disabled, black, or gay.

People of the Holy Cinemas of California, you have some effrontery to hate this girl because her name is Mercury!  Ye with the least amount of sin cast the first stone; let this girl be at her own.

I have come back to remind, if you want salvation some day, love acceptance and kindness should always be the way,

That is all I have to say, your Wholly Ghost Savvier,
Jesus H. Christ
%      *      *      %      *      *      %
Here you can read The Holy Cinemas of California, an older conversation with Blaze. That’s where he references Mercury and stuff.

News: Evening Edition

Pop Punk

Poetry:

They’re Coming Down Next Weekend

by Aaron Kingsbury Litchfield

Mrs. Retter, Period 6 Remedial English

Oh, I’m sorry, this looks really good on me.
And they take it. And it’s gone.

She’s a tall girl. She’s almost six feet tall.
Do you know what its like to know that your mother and your aunts are all skinnier than you?

I have to hide my clothes in the attic. I go up to the attic and nothing’s there. What are you going to do?

You were born with a scowl on your face. I put it in your baby book. I said, man that is an angry baby. Now though you have a nice smile. You look like Prince William. But I have to go.

Troy fell four times on his way to school. They’re having a bit of a freezing storm.
Ok love you. Bye.

Have you read the one that was basically a phone conversation with my mom? It’s mostly non-fiction.

Sports:

-Last I reported the San Diego Padres were 1-5. Tyson said the pitching was hopeless and their best player, Chase Headley was out. Since then, they had a merciful day off followed by a nice win where they won like 9-2 or something. I don’t know the exact score, but it was a good win. Their “bats came alive” so to speak. It was one game.

Honestly, I’ve lost hope already. They are currently losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0, and I’ll be darned if they come away with a victory. HOPELESS. Raise your hand if you care about sports? Seriously none of my friends out here care about sports anyway.

Update:

-It’s now 3-0, LA. I told you they stunk.

Miss Connections: Minnesota 2.0 Edition

I recently visited my good ol’ home state dere of Minnesota, and in honor of the Land of 10,000 Lakes, this week’s MCs are all from the Minneapolis Craigslist. As we all know, most MCs in Minnesota happen in the supermarket, like this first one:

adam corolla fondled your pinneapples – m4w – 33 (uptown rainbow)

He questioned price on some cookies as made cashier run an isle to check a price..tdude then decided to hit in u..I noticed that he was touching all your items u were going to .buy then the more as he searched for change …I SAVED your gum and ran it outside to u as cashier said that would be sweet …I SHOULD HAVE ASK U TO DINNER. god knowyou weren’t eating pineapples after his grubbing hands were i on them …we did have a nice quick chat about him ..thou u think u digged him lol

What this guy lacks in grammar, he sure makes up for in chivalry! I mean, he SAVED her gum from both the much afeared Produce Fondler and her own terrible short-term memory. (We will ignore the fact that the cashier, whom the poster assumes is actually named “Cashier,” had to tell him it would be a sweet thing to do before he did it. Proving the fact that even sociopaths can do good deeds if given a bit of probing!) He SHOULD HAVE ASK HER TO DINNER, but apparently didn’t because she actually digs the Fondler. Which is not enough of a sign of this woman’s fetish for people who grope grapes, because this man still thinks he can reach her via MC.

Fact: You Are Both Weirdos, and Not The Kind Who Are “Meant For Each Other.”

This next poster expresses the same sentiment:

a poem… – m4w

you came into town

you turned my frown upside down

you went home with a douche

there is no good rhyme for douche

Well played, sir. Well played.

Okay, but where are some sweet postings for thoughtful people?

You Bought My Son’s Nerf Gun at Target – w4m – 38 (St. Louis Park)

My son was checking out at Target with a bag of nickels and you stepped in and bought his Nerf gun. I’m not sure if you were just sick of waiting in line for the a target check out guy to count up the change…either way you made his/my day. A first I thought it was Target that gave him the toy then he explained it was you. I wish I had known this before you walked out the door so I could say thank you. I was checking out in another lane and wanted my son to buy his own toy to learn a lesson about how much things cost and their true worth. You stepped in and taught him a far more important lesson about kindness and generosity. Thank you so much.

Wow, this is so kind. I mean, I’ve seen Pay It Forward, and Minnesotans do have that reputation for being what Bostonians would call “wicked nice, like retahded nice,” but this is really nice…a bit too nice.

Okay, here’s what actually happened: the boy was taking way too fucking long to pay for a $12 Nerf gun with a bag of nickels, because he was paying for it with a bag of nickels. The man behind him started mumbling angrily under his breath about how much he’d like to hit the kid with the bag of change, but the kid (who makes up for his poor business sense with a heightened sense of hearing) heard him and began to cry. The man, not wanting to draw more attention to himself lest people question his motives for purchasing Toilet Buddies, paid for the kid’s Nerf gun. So, not only did the kid get a free Nerf gun, he also learned that by crying, he can get anything he wants. And thus, another sugar baby was born.

This one is called, "Ca Ca Cow." I shit you not.

This one is called, “Ca Ca Cow.” I shit you not.

Congratulations, Mom—your son is going to grow up to be a socially-acceptable type of prostitute. Don’t worry though, his sugar daddy/momma will teach him the value of a dollar…because he’ll know exactly how much work he needs to do to get one.  

This next poster knows exactly what I mean, since women are apparently throwing themselves at him for no good reason:

You dig my accent? I have a question – m4w – 33 (St Paul)

Yet again I get a remark today from a very attractive young lady who said she loved my accent. Very flattering and everything but…

1) I guess I don’t understand how an accent can be ‘hot’ and

2) I don’t understand why I’m always told that in situations where I can’t capitalize on it, shall we say.

What’s with that?? Answers on a postcard please… or in an email. Especially if you’re the young lady who served me in Noodles & Company on Ford Parkway this morning ;)

Here’s some answers:

  1. You suffer from an inability to hear any sort of accent, like being verbally colorblind. Right, there’s nothing inherently ‘hot’ about an accent, unless you think that people who are from a different place are interesting and thinking about them moving their tongue in creative ways to speak your language reminds you of making out. Just like there’s nothing inherently ‘hot’ about blonde girls…unless you like blonde girls.
  2. I’m interested in what a situation that you could “capitalize” on would look like, and why this seems to be a widespread injustice committed against you by kind females. Should the young lady at Noodles & Company have first removed her name tag/t-shirt and then complimented your accent? Should she have waited until you used the restaurant’s bathroom and then whispered it through the keyhole?

At least she didn’t describe your accent as sounding like “a rubber life raft bobbing on a sea of steel drums.”

And, in normal Miss Connections fashion, we’ll end on a tender note:

TCF teller at Cub (scared of thunderstorms) – m4w (Hanson/Northdale Coon Rapids)

You weren’t my teller but I was next to you. You are the most beautiful woman I have EVER seen in my life! Your eyes and ur lips were so amazing! And your smile made me feel good! Scared of thunderstorms your boss said. I’d love to know more about you!

You’re right—her smile IS lovely!

The Newest

Ship

Stolen Volkswagen Beetle:

-It was found, and the story about the recovery is here. I think this is transcendent, honestly. Ten years ago, this would have never happened. When I was in high school, the Beetle would have just disappeared. It would have been stripped of parts and the body would’ve been recycled for a measly $100. But Google Earth and a rabid, severely connected group of automobile fans found this car before it had a chance to be completely done away with. What occurred on a silly website about cars is a fascinating and brand-new development, and I don’t think it’s anomalous.

Skeptics and cynics are apt to say that the baddies will always be one step ahead of justice. In the world of sports, they’ve been arguing that point with respect to steroid use for over a decade. Sophisticated masking agents will always be ahead of the anti-doping authorities, they say. I haven’t always agreed. I think at this point, Alex Rodriguez and Lance Armstrong have clearly lost the steroid battle, and they were at the top of their respective sports, with the most resources. Despite this, the general public has clearly convicted them losers. I dismiss their substantial wealth as evidence to the contrary. A-Rod’s enourmous contract almost mocks him at this point. They will be buried losers, while great, pure, athletic talent will be rightly heralded. People watch Ken Griffey Junior and Bo Jackson highlights on YouTube, and rap about them in songs. A-Rod grows more irrelevant with every swing of Mike Trout’s bat.

Netflix Instant:

-The documentary You Don’t Know Bo is pretty goodIt’s about our country’s best two-sport athlete ever, Vincent “Bo” Jackson. It’s part of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, where they boast 30 documentaries, made by 30 different directors. It’s a little  annoying how each documentary has an intro with each director giving an exlpanation of the forthcoming film. It’s like ESPN can’t help but put their stamp on everything. They can’t ever disconnect the leash. They brag about how each film has a different director, but you can’t help but wonder how much influence they had over all the movies. Despite this, You Don’t Know Bo is good and Bo Jackson is the man.

Baseball Teams With A Budget Fractionally As Large As The Red Sox:

-I asked my friend Tyson what is wrong with the San Diego Padres. (They have 1 win and 5 losses.) He told me that their abysmal start is because Chase Headley (their best player) is injured and their pitching sucks. Hopefully they get it together.

Hugh Hefner News:

-I read a terrific article about the 87-year-old magazine editor in this month’s issue of Esquire. (Hefner began his career as a copy editor at Esquire.) Here’s a photo I took of a memo to his company in 1961:

Ahead of his time

Ahead of his time

I highly recommend the article. I won’t say much more about it, but I have to include this quote from Hefner’s new editorial director, Jimmy Jellineck, regarding his opportunity to work for a high-profile magazine:

“If you forget that, [it's a privilege] that’s when you fall down the rabbit hole and you’re writing on the Internet at home in your underpants. I’d rather put a gun in my mouth.”

Danny Hastings Everybody

NEWS 4/2/2013

No particular reason I chose this photo other than I left it out of the last thing I posted.

No particular reason I chose this photo other than I left it out of the last thing I posted.

First off:

-The past few months, I’ve been reading the car enthusiast website, Jalopnik, pretty religiously. It’s geared a bit toward younger folks. The writers are all big-time car fans. One writer, whose avatar is an 8 bit depiction of his real-life 1973 Volkswagen Beetle, had his real-life 1973 VW Beetle STOLEN.

This will be an interesting story to follow as it’s safe to assume that whomever is responsible was unaware that the owner of the car writes for an online publication that enables him notify an audience of rabid car enthusiasts immediately. So if any SFSF readers on the west coast (Dad?) spot the car, notify SFSF or Jalopnik.com. Hopefully that dude gets his car back.

Entertainment:

-Clark Gable’s son was arrested this morning or last night or something for drunk driving. This may not seem interesting but he did somehow manage to crash into SIX parked cars. Clark Gable died within months of his son’s birth. It can’t be easy being Clark Gable’s son. So, good recovery sir, and try to limit the damage to 3 cars per outing, okay? I really don’t blame him. Clark Gable’s son? Can’t be easy.

-Here’s a random inciteful link

facebook News:

-Linda Muffy had to unbutton her pants before noon. “Woof” she said, regarding this development.

-Aaron Gundy wants people to purchase art books for him.

-It can be assumed that Carl Dupree hurt himself after reading his recent post: “Owie.” Good recovery Carl!

Sports:

-The San Diego Padres have lost the first two games of the season to the New York Mets. The first game they fell 11-2, while 8-4 was the result of the second game. As of right now, (2 outs, bottom of the 5th) the Padres are ahead 1-0 in their 3rd game with the Mets. Keep your fingers crossed!

Free Netflix Documentaries:

-I’ve watched a few good ones in recent days. The best (hard to really classify this one as best, or anything other than mind-blowing) is called Dear Zachary. It’s about a 28-year-old gregarious, absurdly loved young doctor who was killed by his psychotic ex-girlfriend. A custody battle ensues, and it just turns into, like I said, one of the most mind-blowing, powerful documentaries of all time. I’d be remiss to not mention this film as it was made in a DIY, to-hell-with-convention courage that SFSF can only bow to.

Events taken from my facebook page:

-Tomorrow (April 4th) Applejam Presents: Meek is Murder/Hivesmasher/(there’s something else after the slash, but the network I’m using is currently blocking facebook.) (I think). Point is, I know about this event because my friend Devon’s band, Lunglust is playing. Lunglust is “groovy hardcore.” If you want to see groovy hardcore, go to that event. I hope it’s not some illegal underground thing that I’m not supposed to be blogging about.

-Friday April 12th at 2 pm, the Democracy center is having a “Democracy Cafe at the Democracy Center” where they’ll be “serving up FREE fair trade coffee from Equal Exchange, FREE pastries and offering their always free wifi.” Stop by to find out more about what radical things go on at the democracy center, they say.

-MALE NURSES is playing at Elks Lodge Thursday April 18th from 3 am, to 4:20 am. They’re playing with CULO, BIRTH DEFORMITIES and like 25 other underground, traveling or Boston-based punk bands.

-Saturday April 20th, 292 Castle is putting on an art party. This is the second annual Art Party. Peachpit is expected to play, along with 292’s latest child, Tentacle Mother. There’s no mention of Daniel Hastings playing at that party, but their should be. I have a song or two that I could play. But I might just stand in the corner and cry until I leave before things get going.

-My cousin Taylor Redd Short is somehow marrying a gorgeous girl on Friday June 7th at 7pm pacific standard time, in Sammamish, Washington. Taylor Redd caused lots of trouble in his youth. I think the most common image that comes to mind is of him throwing a golf ball at a glass coffee table. I have witnessed Taylor punch a car, giving it a pretty sizeable dent. He’s always had enormous athletic talent, but’s he’s never cared much for it. Taylor’s father managed Family Fun Centers for the entirety of Taylor’s youth, so I had the pleasure (there was also undeniable jealousy) of watching Taylor take batting practice in the cages at the FCC, and hit the ball with a grace and dexterity that should be impossible by a five-year-old, only to cross over and do the exact same thing from the left side. “Ain’t no big deal.”

My favorite thing about Taylor though, is the day of his baptism. He was 8 years old. Baptisms are a pretty big deal in most religions, and it wasn’t an exception in ours.

Baptisms are supposed to be reverent and all that. It’s a special day, a day one becomes accountable for his or her actions. Anyway, family and friends gathered at his house afterward as is customary. eventually the ice-cream man came, and Taylor ran out to the street and banged on the door of the van and loudly accused the driver of being a

“JOANNA WITNESS! HE’S A JOANNA WITNESS.”

Way to begin a lifetime of accountability Taylor Redd!

Update:

Somehow the Padres pulled it off, 2-1. Good job!

Roxane (so neopostmodern)

September 14, 2008 (2 Months In Boston)

Hey Roxane,

I got your letter in the mail today. It was nice to receive a letter in the mail. On the subject of your identity, I think the only thing that helps with that is time. Really. You can read tons of books and meet tons of people, I mean, maybe there’re SOME things you can do, like travel… I don’t know. Being alone helps, but… it’s so frustrating. I think time is what clears up the brain better than anything else. Nothing gives you the perspective of time- seeing events from a distance, and yourself as a different person. My old roommate Lilly from Seattle told me that it’s difficult, if not IMPOSSIBLE, to write about a subject when you’re still immersed in it, particularly when things are severely dramatic. I think it’s at least true in my case. That’s how I justify being unpublished at 26.

I’ve made so many shower manifestos, as far back as 12 years old. I’d promise that I was going to go to the batting cages more, &  lose the baby fat. The next school year was always the year I’d get a girlfriend and be confident & popular. And get good grades.

In High School, I told people I liked punk music, though it wasn’t really punk. In retrospect, my favorite band at the time, Face to Face represented me perfectly- high energy, but the lyrics were too vague. They just didn’t go there. They were too restrained.

When I saw them live my senior year at a New Year’s show featuring about 20 bands, all the more tattooed punk kids- fans of Guttermouth and The Vandals gave way to a more grave crowd when Face to Face took the stage. I was happy to see other Face To Face fans for the first time; many of them looked more like me- less decorated, and more restrained. There was minimal moshing when they played.

I liked Face To Face, but I didn’t put their posters on my wall. I was always in awe when I saw other kids rooms. All that expression! I was severely envious. I never decorated any of my rooms growing up. My rooms looked like empty-nester bedrooms that are converted to guest rooms after the kids leave. There were only a few hints that my room actually belonged to a person.

I looked up to a fellow in high school named Justin. He’d pick me up for seminary (basically an hour of church before school each day) at 5:45 am. Cheshire Cat, in Justin’s truck on the way to the church was my introduction to Blink-182. Justin dated pretty girls and had about 4% body fat. He always had cool shoes. He flipped through my CD collection once and observed that he had every single CD that I had, but of course he had about three times as many.

When I went to BYU-Idaho before my mission, I was out late one night with my roommate Kyle and his girlfriend Jen. I was crazy about Jen, but there was nothing I could do at that point. We were in an empty parking lot while he did some pretty athletic things on roller blades. He jumped off a six-foot wall while spinning around. Rollerblading in my native San Diego was considerably uncool, as there in an ocean to surf in and skateboarding was taking over the world. I didn’t skate though, I just hung around skaters and wore what they wore. Anyway, I made fun of Kyle for his rollerblading. I told him it was gay. He got distinctly and justifiably angry. He looked at me.

“What do you do Aaron? YOU DON’T DO NOTHIN!'” He pointed at me.

I didn’t do a damn thing. My failures to make the baseball team my freshman & sophomore years in high school were too fresh, so I never said a thing about baseball. What was I supposed to say when asked if I played sports? When people did ask, I told them I wrestled in 10th grade. I laughed it off and blamed the skater friend of ours who convinced a few of us to wrestle that year, subjecting us to the humiliation of a singlet.

I dreaded beginning-of-the-year-questionnares that asked about hobbies and interests. I wasn’t in A.P. English so I didn’t feel qualified to talk about how The Great Gatsby hit me like a freight train, and how I immediately went out and bought Fitzgerald’s first book, This Side of Paradise, and ate that up too.

You know Roxane, I went on my mission and stuff and that’s when I got to thinking about things. I took a psychology class at Miramar College after I came home. I was 22. We discussed identity one day. The professor explained how people become who they will be for the rest of their lives when they are in their teens. I remember walking to my car after that day of class, puzzled. I recalled how This Side of Paradise ended. Amory Blaine said that he knew himself, but that was all. When I read that line I thought Amory was lucky, because I didn’t know myself. I admitted that even if I had an identity, I wasn’t sure what it looked like, or how to explain it. Weezer’s Pinkerton was basically on a loop in my stereo around that time.

I wonder how you decorate your room

I moved to Seattle a couple of years later, after Amy. For the first six months I lived with my brother and his wife in Redmond, the suburb that houses Microsoft. My bedroom in that apartment still resembled a grown-up kid’s room at his parents’ house. But then I moved across Lake Washington to Green Lake, just a couple of miles north of downtown Seattle. My new roommate Lilly was a writing major from Emerson college in Boston. She was 22, I was 24. I was extraordinarily excited about this. I was going to learn from her. I considered her a powerful force on the other side of the fence. We shared a good-sized basement apartment.  On our living room couch I told her I was going to write a memoir about being a missionary and all that. I showed her my missionary name tag. She beamed as she grabbed it from me, clutched it to her chest and announced that it was going on the outside of my bedroom door. I joked about how unskilled I was. My memoir, Delusional Degenerate would be “By Aaron Litchfield, with Lilly Smith.” (But I’d really write it myself though you know.) She smiled and said that would be so “neopostmodern.” I showed her something I wrote about visiting my Mormon friends’ father at the law firm. She smiled and said it needed exposition. She told me I wrote stream of cosciousness. Stream of Consciousness? I had to look up exposition also. Duh, just break down the word. EXPOSE. C’mon Aaron.

I bought a Weezer poster for my new apartment in Green Lake, though days after I’d moved in, it was still hopelessly unraveled on my bedroom floor. I mean people could SEE that poster and they could make their snap judgments about me! Lilly probably thinks Weezer sucks! She met me at the entrance of my room one morning and I saw her gaze down at the poster. I awkwardly told her I didn’t even know if I was going to put it up. She said it was OK, that keeping it on the floor was so “neopostmodern.” And she walked away.

I just stared at that poster, lying on the floor, in a tube shape, wide as a soccer ball.

Seattle. Age 24. You got a girlfriend dude. Don’t know how, but it happened. How about this little apartment, huh? Called me right after they showed the place even though they said a couple of days. Hadn’t been driving for 5 minutes. Said I was just a good fit. Good Fit… Don’t wanna be labeled, huh? Same reason you can’t get a tattoo. Don’t want to be defined, do ya pal? Can’t have limitations… True Romance is like the greatest movie ever! Tony Scott IS in fact a cheeseball. He directed TOP GUN for goodness sake! But True Romance has Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette. They’re perfect. PERFECT how their careers didn’t pan out. Make it better. Tony gave it a Hollywood ending. It needed that. Actually made it even more Tarantino than Tarantino would have…Look at that poster… you love literature, but you simply gobbled up Moneyball, like no other book. Stayed up all night & it’s a baseball book by a finance writer.

“It’s so neopostmodern” she said.

I could't find a Blue Album poster, OK?

I could’t find a Blue Album poster at the time, OK?

Conchords

IMG_0199

Spaceman

People draw on the wall in my room. The ridiculous ones are by Jason. Like, he did the spaceman here.

I drew these idiots.

I drew these idiots.

Spaceship

I think Sarah drew this.

I think Sarah drew this.

Vader

No In & Out out here. East coast only has cynicism.

No In & Out out here. East coast only has cynicism.

Balloon Man

Rain

Peter Pan

Bright Lights Big City

Black Cloud

French Cloud

Tease

Fedora

Stand

Television

Discipline

SFSF Spring Video Statistical Brief

Thanks to Stephanie from Buffalo, NY for her help filming.

Miss Connections: It’s A Lot to Digest

Anyone who knows me, even just through the social mediaz, knows that I’m totally incompetent when it comes to any form of technology. You could probably put oven mitts and a blindfold on a monkey and they would be able to figure out how to use the Internet better than I can. (Though, to be fair, I am referring to one of those monkeys that’s, like, only a few hundred thousand years removed from human evolutionary history. You know, the smarter ones. Whatever.)

The point is, no matter how much of an imbecile I am at technology, this woman is worse: 

Anthony Roberts I am feeling you – w4m (Waltham)

 staticmap

moody st

Your name is Anthony R ( I know your last name just not posting it here for obvious reasons)

I think your really cute and I want to get to know you but I am not sure if you feel the same

while you talk to me occasionally you have not asked for my number

but i want to hang out with you so email me if you see this

So, not only did this woman include Anthony Roberts’s full name, she also included a city, street name, and MAP of where to find him. I guess her idea of “being discreet” was not posting his cell phone number or Social Security number on the Internet. Well, at least she’s posting for someone she’s met IRL, unlike the next poster:

looking for your Dad – w4m – 72 (Arlington)

Hi, you are a nice young couple, we sat at the Legal Seaside bar enjoying “Portuguese Seafood Stew” yesterday (Friday March 15); we had a brief conversation about your dad, you and your husband live in Grafton.

I was there with my date, I would love to get in touch with your dad. My date was OK, but not what I’m really looking for. If you happen to see this, please ask your Dad to give me a call.

Thank you.

Okay, questions:
1. What did this person say about their father that was so appealing? “He’s filthy rich, ages better than a fine wine and is the best shuffleboard player in his retirement community”?
2. What exactly is a 72-year-old woman looking for? Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of senior citizens dating, because it gives me hope for the future and is like a big middle finger to the stereotype of chaste old folks, but at what point do you decide to just ride out your time by following the adage, “Love the one you’re with”?

3. Why is “Portuguese Seafood Stew” in quotation marks? It makes the dish sound more insidious than seafood anything already is.

I applaud this woman for her shamelessness, though, I really do. Just like this guy:

Man Who Ralphed at Park Street – w4m – 26 (Park Street (alewife))

To the well dressed gentleman who decided a crowded train platform at rush hour was a good place to lose your cookies.

I hope you’re OK. I would have helped but I suffer from a serious form of Emetophobia and was busy trying not to faint and or cry. It’s odd that no one seemed to acknowledge your sickness–but at least I can take comfort in knowing that if I were to suffer from a serious medical ailment, everyone would pretend not to notice.

Oh, is it your first week in Boston? Don’t worry, the collective nonchalance becomes ingrained in you after a while, so that not even you will notice when you throw up in public. 

Hope you were just drunk (at 5PM) and not suffering from the Flu. Let me know if you are OK and also WHY GOD WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME.

Again I ask: is it your first week here? Because he was definitely drunk. Why do you think the streets of the Financial District are lined with giant Irish pubs?

It’s really sweet that this woman is inquiring into his well-being. I mean, acknowledging that he did not intend to throw up at all, much less in order to send her into a conniption, or maybe just handing him a tissue as he was hurling would have been more considerate, but…this is, uh, nice.

Okay, I’ll fess up: I chose this one partially because imagining a man wearing a business suit and throwing up in public makes me feel better about my liberal arts degree. No, I don’t have a full-time job with a steady salary and an office in a skyscraper, but hey, you don’t see me blowing chunks in front of the evening rush hour crowd. At least, no one would be surprised if I did.

Though that mental image hardly competes with this one:

Muffin slap – m4w – 28 (Cambridge, ma)

I saw you on the street today. You had really long fingers. Like, way long. You could probably scratch your knees without bending at all. Also, your neck was fast. It moved with a quick swagger if you know what I mean. By the way you were really good! Now I like a lot of sauce, but this was one sassy slump. You were carrying 14 muffins in one hand with those dumpy fingers and all I wanted to do was create a good muffin slap across your sexy bugs. Contact me if you saw me creating a muffin slap opportunity. I am a man.

This MC reads like it was written alternately by Don DeLillo, a horny British brat, and…Aaron, actually. The language here is just glorious—your neck was fast. It’s a horrifying image, but it’s a very specific one nonetheless. “Sassy slump”? I don’t know what the hell that is, but dear God do I love it. And it’s anyone’s guess as to what this woman was really good at, but even the most overarching and misplaced compliments can deliver a self-esteem boost. The only part I totally did not understand was what a “muffin slap” is.

In addition to being effectively Amish when it comes to technology, I am totally out of the loop on the culture of anyone who grew up after the 1970’s. Naturally, I went to Urban Dictionary for the definition of “muffin slap”: 

This is a physical diss for all girls who have muffin tops. You approach one of these unfortunates from behind (for those more daring, or rather semi-retarded, you can advance from the front) and with both hands slap her muffins.

muffin top

Awww yeah, I wanna slap me summa dat

So this man, who provides absolutely no other description of himself than that he has a penis, is either being a huge fatphobic asshole, or just very open about his muffin slapping-fetish. And because I’m optimistic, and a little in love with his poetic description of her sassy slump sauce, I will assume it’s the latter.

You find that quick-necked woman, Man, and may you both slap each other’s muffins.

Miss Connections: When The Weirdos Come Out to Play

Scanning Missed Connections for interesting posts can sometimes be disappointing. Most posts are horribly vague–one this week actually just said, “You were hot, walking down the street. We made eye contact.” so, EVERYONE who left their house that day–or just vengeful nonsense–“Fine, go back to that whore, but will she ever understand what ‘Raging in the Deep’ means like I do?”

This week, however, the Freaks of Boston really came out in full force. Take, for example, this anti-pedophile:

Indoor Playground – m4w – 36 (Watertown)

Went there last week and was impressed with the mommies and nannies. I’m tall, lean, and bearded

If we smiled and made eye contact, say hi.

Have a good day

Let’s consider for a moment how a 36-year-old man found himself at an indoor playground stalking female child wranglers in the first place. He makes no mention of a child, like, “I was the dude with the five-year-old dressed as Spiderman who was screaming for an ice cream cone,” so I can only assume he was there alone. This is how I imagine his day went down:

–Wake up on couch in front of the TV, having fallen asleep to infomercials for Chia Pets that look like Obama, cigarette butts and Bud Light cans littering the floor
–Wallow in self-pity
–Drink a Gatorade and eat the leftovers of a Meat Supreme pizza you don’t remember ordering
–Decide to clean yourself up and go out (eventually settling on your nicest sweatshirt and a quick sink wash of your armpits)
–Search for some place more exciting than the dank bar you usually frequent in the early afternoons, remembering that women your age often have children and therefore congregate at schools, but loitering at an elementary school is creepy, so you eventually settle on the nearby indoor playground
–Feel strangely drawn to the maternal figures at said playground because you clearly need someone to take care of you, though it doesn’t really matter who at this point so no need to remember any of these women in particular detail
–Return home feeling like you’ve accomplished something and maybe grown as a human
–Wipe away said feelings by writing a MC for any and all of the women you just stared down while they tried to herd their children away from you
–Return to the couch, the only one who truly understands you

As much as that MC weirds me out, the next one hits a bit closer to home—because I actually used to live here:

courtyard Fremont you were role playing a dog getting pounded loved – mw4mw – 35 (Boston )

we went to bill burr Saturday night.

When I was a freshman at Emerson College, right in the heart of downtown Boston, they ran out of space for all of the incoming co-eds (“Oops, you’re homeless!”) and had to rent out the entire 7th floor of the Courtyard Marriot, down the street on Tremont. (Bill Burr was performing at the Wilbur Theatre that night, not twenty feet away. Also, “Fremont” Street is in Mattapan.) A lot of weird shit happens when you live in a hotel, but this is by far one of the strangest:

you were in the room next to us…
you role played a dog while your husband or boyfriend fucked you crazy from behind.
then you talked about it after you came and you got the outfit from I party…
thin walls in the hotel, but we want to meet you.
it was hot
email us the room number you were in
would love to have a drink together.

So at first you’re all, “Oh, they listened to a couple doing it doggy-style. It’s weird that they could tell the position through the walls, but otherwise this is pretty normal.” And then the poster is like, “BAM, I mean a literal dog outfit. Not only did we listen to the whole thing, we also realized we’re furries and into foursomes. Let’s make it happen.” It’s kind of beautiful, in a way, that these people found each other…it’s also disturbing for me to imagine all this going down in the bedroom I occupied for a year. How many people played out their “Shaggy Dog” fantasies on my sheets before I lived there?

This is one of the least creepy things you find when Googling "shaggy dog fantasy." Just...trust me.

This is one of the least creepy things you find when Googling “shaggy dog fantasy.” Just…trust me.

This MC, however, is even more personal…

Red Line, Green Line, Copley – m4w – 25 (Copley)

I got on the Red Line at Harvard and noticed you sitting with your friend. We both transferred to the Green at Park, and I sat directly across from you. We made eye contact. We smiled at each other. My heart literally started racing. We both got off at Copley. I wanted to say something to you, but you raced away and I thought maybe I had freaked you out. If you see this, and your heart started racing too, I hope that you respond.

You: short dark hair, jeans, pumas. Me: short dark hair, jeans, pumas.

…because it is definitely just a post for himself. Narcissists, take note: when you get goosebumps from seeing yourself in the reflection of a subway window, it’s time to hit up the Family Dollar for a pocket mirror. It will save you a lot of money in T passes.

Miss Connections: The Science Edition

Much like cold sores on a college campus, the love of MCs has spread across this frat house of a nation. My friend and fellow MC lover, Joel, recently brought this infographic to my attention:

Image

Take a minute to soak this all in.

No no, take your time, there are at least 50 states up there.

Okay, so a few disturbing trends:

THE WALMART BELT

Public spaces where people congregate and “hang out” are generally the types of places you’d imagine seeing someone from across the room, maybe even having a few words of dialogue, and then later being retroactively ballsy/desperate enough to write a MC. In most of the South and Midwest, it seems the hip joint where all the cool cats go after work and before re-runs of Cops is…WalMart. For anyone who’s seen People of WalMart, you know there’s a lot of connections to be missed.
3363This woman, for example, was caught building a meth lab on a WalMart shelf in Oklahoma. I imagine that MC would read something like:

M 4 W –

Hey girl i saw you down aisle 5 next to the economy sized bleach cookin up some meth, and some love in my hart. i cant stop thinking about the way you mixed those household chemicals into a highly addictive, brain-sizzling, life-ruining substance. i’m interested in chemistry too, and i think i have sum with you. you didnt stop until the cops came and dragged you out–i love a woman with confidence. let me know if you want to get freaky through the glass pane of a supervised room during visiting hours.

THE CAR

So either Georgia doesn’t have WalMarts, or (more likely) they are so far away from where humans live that more time is spent in the car driving to and fro. Or all the retirees driving through Georgia on their way to Gated RV Community, FL are undressing each other with their eyes in a last-ditch attempt to check “swinging” off of their bucket lists. Which is actually really dangerous, because RVs are like road whales, and you’re probably going pretty fast. Senior Citizens: Stop. Eye-fucking. While. Driving.

Seriously.

PARKING LOTS

I mean, I know Rhode Island is small, but goddammit you guys–parking lots? Is every MC written by a bored suburban teenager, or someone who fell in love with a member of their rival gang’s family and can only express themselves through dance?

"It's really hard to land my jumps when cars keep trying to park here."

“It’s really hard to land my jumps when cars keep trying to park here.”

COLLEGE CAMPUS

Utah –> Brigham Young University –> Mormons.  I once worked with a woman who told me she had gone to BYU to find a husband. She has a doctorate and is the Executive Director of an international non-profit.

I’ll let Aaron elaborate on that.

But the most disturbing trend, by far, is…

AT HOME

I had to look at Indiana a few times before finally accepting what it actually says. “Athome”? It could be a really hip bar. No, maybe it’s “at ho, me.” Dear God, it really just is “at home.” And because I don’t like incest, I wanted to assume the best: Indiana is full of people looking for themselves. It’s really just an Existentialist State, where most people lounge at home in pools of ennui, wondering whether they really exist at all, and whether it even matters anymore.

And then I went to the Indianapolis MC list and found this:

Mail Carrier – m4w – 29 (Noblesville)

My dear love. You know I would have done anything for you. I still can’t believe you “took care” our twins. You told me to back off while you were leaving your husband then go and get a boyfriend. You said you loved me. I have mixed emotions that I don’t get to see you anymore since you transfered. Part of me misses you and the other part is glad I don’t have to see what I can’t have. Hope your boss is making you happy.
Mike
…it gives mail-order bride a whole new meaning.  It’s genius, really: why leave the house when you can get love delivered to you? I mean, shit, order a pizza and see who shows up. Let them take care of your twins, even! Just don’t be upset when their franchise of Domino’s suddenly “stops delivering to your zip code.”
Oh, and to the states where the gym was the most frequent site of MCs: the rest of the nation hopes you feel really great about finding toned, sweaty, half-naked people attractive. We can see the beauty in people anywhere–but especially in stores that sell bulk items.

Movie Review: Identity Thief

Beyond bad; Stupid, not funny, and extraordinarily formulaic.

It’s the old Planes, Trains, and Automobiles concept wherein two opposing characters are forced to travel across the country. One is a straight man, the other a joker. The concept is so overused and this film is so bad.

Zack Galifianakis and Robert Downey Jr. proved that the teat had been sucked dry with 2010’s Due Date. In the 90’s, Chris Farley and David Spade executed the formula much better with Tommy Boy. 

Anyway, Jason Bateman’s character gets a raise from $50K to $250K a year. But holy shit, his identity gets stolen! After his new boss threatens to let him go, Bateman comes up with a plan: Drive to Florida, pick up the thief and bring her back so she can explain to the boss and the cops that everything is cool.

Melissa McCarthy plays the rotund thief. She was pretty funny in the film Bridesmaids, but not this one.

The evil T1000 from Terminator 2 has a role in this film.

But it sucks and it will show you absolutely nothing new.

NEWS (Video)

Aside

VDMC: Valentine’s Day Miss Connections

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than scouring the annals of Craigslist’s Lonely Hearts Club for the most laughable attempts at making human connections, I always say!

At least, that’s what I’m saying this year, because my Valentine to SFSF is the first Miss Connections of 2013!

I DIDN’T CHOOSE TO IGNORE YOU LADIES

[This is both the heading of the first MC, and my apology for being so negligent in writing Miss Connections. Moving on...]

YOU LADIES ARE WRITING TO ME AND YOU ARE NOT BEING HONEST WITH ME. I HAVE NO IDEA WHICH OF YOU LADIES IS WRITING WHAT BECAUSE YOU ARE HIDING, WHICH ISN’T FAIR BECAUSE MOST IF NOT ALL OF YOU LADIES ARE WRITING TO ME.

That’s an amazing track record, isn’t it? Most, if not ALL, of the ladies who read this MC are writing to him. I’m almost afraid to post this, for fear it might turn into an Internet version of The Ring—once you read this MC, ladies, you have seven days to write to him or you, uh…cease to be a lady. I mean, you probably have enough time to read the rest of this blog post, but after that you should definitely consider writing to him.

I HOPE TO MEET A LADY IN PERSON.

Ah, the mystikal sighting of a lady! How long mere mortals have yearned to see one in the flesh!

YOU LADIES ARE GOING TO HAVE TO ACCEPT ME FOR WHO I AM. IN PERSON. I AMN’T FOUR PEOPLE. A SINGLE MAN, LOST, LONELY AND AFRAID AT TIMES.

Goddammit. This last line is so naked, so vulnerable, it almost makes me feel bad for mocking the poor guy. I just want to tell him that there is a place on the Internet for confessions of weakness, and it’s called Xanga circa 2004.

Okay, let’s try someone who knows whom they’re addressing, first name and all:

Sarah who works at Museum of Science + Children’s Museum. – m4w – 25 (The Sinclair)

hey,

i never do this, and I’m not sure what your story is, but we met tonight at the sinclair. you were with some friends but didn’t care much for the bands playing.

you told me a sub-par story about a coffee shop and a guy in a wheelchair. although you were slightly tipsy, it was adorable. i think you said you’re from texas.

i wasn’t in a great place to have a conversation, and you said you usually don’t talk to strangers, but I would love to hear more of these sub-par stories sometime over coffee or drinks.

I will admit that I opened this MC because my name is Sarah and, though I have never worked at either of these museums, I have always wanted to. So I imagined myself being this Sarah, one who works with science and brats and goes to concerts and talks to strangers. I imagined opening an MC where the poster describes me first as a disinterested audience member, then as a sub-par storyteller, who is adorable despite the fact that she is tipsy (which is definitely a euphemism for “sloppy”), and then almost maybe remembers my home state.

And then I promptly copied, pasted, and mocked. As adorable as this guy probably thinks he is in this MC, Sarah is offended. She thinks that wheelchair coffee shop story was worthwhile, and she doesn’t usually talk to strangers because, even when they have the buffer of the Internet between themselves and her, they will feel the need to tease her in order to win her affections. May as well tell Sarah her eyes are two mesmerizing crumbs of stale bread in pools of curdled milk, for God’s sake.

The next poster finally got it right:

Cute Toll Collector I-90E – w4m – 29 (Brighton/Allston Exit)

Me: brunnette, bangs, blue eyes, blushes easily. You: blond, very short hair, great smile.

You were so good looking I got flustered trying to hand you change…you may have been slightly amused? I make that drive every Monday and I think I’ve seen you on one other occasion and had a similar experience. Just thought I’d let you know the effect you’re having on female motorists.

Okay, it’s not the most inventive or heartwarming MC I’ve ever posted, but I appreciate it because it’s written for a toll collector. Do you understand how relentlessly boring a job like that is? You are stuck in a phone booth, asking grumpy passersby for change. It’s like being a professional highway panhandler. No one expects to have fun doing that job, and along comes this woman who not only gets flustered trying to hand you a handful of nickles, but she thinks about you enough to write an MC later. Now THAT is romance!

But the last MC this week goes not to the most romantic, but the poster who clearly has the best sense of humor:

To the girl who flipped me the bird this afternoon – m4w – 24 (Lechmere, Near Science Museum)

You: Irate woman (probably mid-late twenties), sunglasses, driving some sort of gas-guzzling “luxury” SUV.

Me: The blue-eyed dude in a silver Toyota Corolla that was unwittingly blocking some sort of stupid left-hand turn opening that could only be found in Boston/New England.

There was a huge cluster-fuck of a traffic jam just past the Lechmere T stop. You tried to make some insanely stupid, stubborn move across my lane. I, being trapped between a bunch of other cars (this was a traffic jam, bee tee dubz) had nowhere to go. You proceed to throw your hands up in exasperation and when I proceeded to mock you, you flipped me one hell of a sexy middle finger.

I laughed in return and threw one back at you. You then (I could only guess by your agitated facial expressions and lip movements) cursed at me and flipped another sweet, slender middle finger in my direction. I responded with a double-dose of “fuck you” symbolism, and you drove away.

Coffee sometime? Maybe we can tell each other to fuck off in person.

I had to read this MC a few times to decide whether I thought the poster was passive aggressively ranting or legitimately asking this woman out. Despite the fact that he insults her car and portrays little that he likes about her, I feel like this is a real MC. He doesn’t sound angry, and there’s no other reason for him to write all of this on CL unless he actually wants to chance finding this woman. Who knows, maybe he’s into rageful females.

But the real MC should be for this guy:

P.S. To the old dude who followed this girl through the same lane and shook his fist at me, you’re the man. I proceeded to mock you too, and instead of getting pissed like previously mentioned girl, you laughed and threw up a peace sign. You win.

He certainly does.

Restaurant Review

New England isn’t known for its Mexican food, and I don’t think it ever will be.

It didn't occur to me to take photos until after work, when everything was closed. Sorry.

It didn’t occur to me to take photos until after work, when everything was closed. Sorry.

SFSF Restaurant Review

Picante Mexican

735 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge (Central Square)

I’ve eaten at Picante a few times. It disappoints almost every time. The food seems to be well-made, with quality ingredients. But it’s also pretty bland and heavy on the rice. Mexican rice is a pretty boring food.

Perhaps Picante’s problem is that they’re one of the only decent Mexican food places in their price range in greater Boston, which gives them a bit of an inflated ego.

Doesn't take much to be a highly decorated Mexican joint in Cambridge, MA

Doesn’t take much to be a highly decorated Mexican joint in Cambridge, MA

Authentic is often attached to food establishments. I don’t pretend to know what authentic Mexican food is. I went on a church thing during my first adolescence that took me to Tijuana, Mexico. There, we took part in a service project for our Mexican-Mormon counter-parts. The Mexican Mormons were gracious enough to cook a meal for us, which I remember being heavy in veggies and potatoes, with no hint of spice. So maybe Picante can claim authenticity. Who knows? What matters with food is whether or not it tastes good.

I used to live in Central Square and I ate at Picante a few times because the food options are limited. (Food options are always limited though, right?) Like I said earlier, the food at Picante has always been disappointingly bland. I ate fish tacos there once and had to suffer through mango salsa and grilled fish. It was laid out in do-it-yourself fashion. Mango salsa is stupid.

Picante’s pretentious interpretation of fish tacos is pretty much what you get anywhere outside of my native southern California. In San Diego, there’s a pretty big chain called Rubio’s that does fish tacos way better, if not authentic. They fry up whatever white fish they get ahold of and put it in a corn tortilla with cabbage accompanied by a flavorful, spicy mayonnaise sauce. I always add more kick from their salsa bar, which is pretty good. I’m not even going to go on about some of the other Mexican joints in San Diego. They’re good, trust me.

If bland, the meat at Picante has a natural texture to it, as if the chicken they purchase comes from birds that are let out of their made-to-fit cages and into the daylight every now and then. The meat feels as if it isn’t loaded with steroids, at least not to Roger Clemens levels.

I said that my taco salad was $8.75 and later $8.25. It was one of the two. It definitely wasn’t $7.00, as the website advertises. I’m sure they just haven’t updated the site in a while.

Their salsa bar is also pretty good. There are a few varieties to choose from. Absent from the salsa bar though, are carrots marinated in jalapeno juice. Lots of Mexican food places back home have delicious, soft, jalepeno-soaked carrots available for free at their salsa bars.

So I give my meal 4 out of 5 stars. That’s based solely on last night’s experience; I can’t promise everything at Picante is going to be as good.

Circumcision

I went to my uncle Sonny’s house the other day and the title topic came up. He told me that he knew a fellow who “left the schmuck on” his son. He felt bad for the son and expressed concern that the kid was going to suffer when he got older.

“Poor kid’s gonna suffer.”

I was with Peachpit the other day (minus Hannah) and I told them about this. I explained that I understand that it’s a bit more hygienic to have the tip cut off, but I wouldn’t necessarily agree that someone being left in a more natural state was going to suffer. I wouldn’t use the word suffer.

Louis brought up the Jewish circumcision ritual. We all agreed it was weird, but it’s really not any weirder than circumcision in general. Cutting the tip of the fucking penis OFF. Additionally, Louis reminded us of the common theory that the uncircumcised have better feeling during intercourse. (I considered simply using sex in that last sentence, but couldn’t resist. Sorry. INTERCOURSE. Of course.)

“My Dad was circumcised down by the river.”

That’s what Jason said. Seriously. He explained that his father took him to the river where the procedure took place.

“His sanitation was jumping in the river.”

Peachpit Practice

Peachpit had Thanksgiving practice last night.

 

Cincinnati

Sophie picks me up in Detroit, and we drive the six hours or so to Cincinnati. Like most stretches of freeway across the Midwest, the sights are all an homage to driving culture: huge buffet restaurants next to even bigger shopping malls, an “adult play place,” and billboards selling insurance and conservative morality.

Sophie and I have spent a lot of time driving together since we became close friends in high school, and the introspective, philosophical conversations inherent to long rides in the darkening night come easily. We discuss where we are and where we’re going, two 20 somethings with no obligation to stay put, and then giggle over silly stories and bad jokes. We’re driving down to see Eddy, another high school friend, who studied violin at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and stayed after he graduated to continue working on the music scene and to play with his band.

We pull up to Eddy’s house, a three-story building wedged in next to a police station. Eddy lives on the top floor, and the bottom two floors are used for his music program. He tells us this area is East Price Hill, which used to be a really nice area when the Price family still lived here.  It’s still not as degraded, however, as Lower Price Hill.

“The poverty rate in Lower Price Hill is around 40%,” Eddy says. “It’s one of the scariest places I’ve ever been. The poverty just strikes you.”

“What’s the poverty rate in Cincinnati in general?” I ask.

“About 30%,” he says. “Oh, wait, I thought you asked about Price Hill. The whole city in general? It’s much lower. Cincinnati has, per capita, the highest rate of millionaires in the country.”

“No way.”

“Yeah, especially the neighborhoods surrounding the city, like Indian Hill and Mariemont. Indian Hill, as a community, was the biggest supporter of George W. Bush in the 2008 elections, financially.”

And yet the biggest problem for Eddy’s youth orchestra group is money. MYCincinnati is a program that Eddy’s friend Laura founded just over a year ago and he joined, just after he had graduated from college, based on the lifesaving program El Sistema in Venezuela. The idea was to keep kids off of crime-ridden streets, away from temptation and out of harm’s way, and to give them skills that would help them succeed in other aspects of their lives: discipline, camaraderie, self-esteem. This structure, which has been replicated all over the United States (including SFSF’s base in Massachusetts) serves the same purpose everywhere, and is successful in turning out not only incredibly talented musicians, but also lowering crime rates and building more beautiful communities.

Eddy and Laura teach children how to play the viola, violin and cello everyday after school for two hours. Laura teaches the children who had never played a note on any of these instruments before joining the program, and Eddy guides the returning students, evidence of a successful first year. All of the instruments have been donated by a local violinmaker who simply believes in the program.

Sophie and I help out one day. Eddy puts us in charge of child-wrangling; basically, take the kids as they filter in, make sure they get their instruments and head to the correct orchestra. Eddy tells us that he and Laura suspect or know that many of the children have autism, Asperger’s, or some sort of condition that makes it difficult for them to function in social situations. One boy, who looks like a 9-year-old version of Benicio del Toro, refuses to let go of his stuffed beaver toy, and sits it next to him while playing. Eddy invites me into his orchestra room and introduces me to his musicians.

“Sarah and I grew up together,” he says.

“But I thought you were from China!” shouts one of the older girls.

“No, he’s from Minnesota,” replies a younger boy.

“But he looks Chinese!” she shouts.

Eddy quiets the rowdy musicians, then says, “My parents are from Korea, but I was born in Minnesota.”

“Oh, so they were immigrants?” shouts the same girl. “They came here with nothing but a suitcase and the clothes on their back! We learned about this in class.”

I talk with some of the kids at snack time, and realize that most of these kids are either immigrants themselves, or the children of new immigrants. Many are fluent in Spanish–immigrants from Guatemala and other Latin American countries, Eddy says. I ask them to teach me something, but they’d rather gossip with me about other students instead. After snack, one child sweeps up and the rest get back into playing position. Their parents start arriving, many mothers who just smile at Sophie and me, but when they speak it’s with a melodic foreign cadence.

The Happy Maladies, Eddy’s band, rehearse almost every day we’re there, and Sophie and I get to sit in while they perform. We sit on the bed in a room barely big enough for the four band members and their instruments.  I write down the first things that come to mind as they play:

a kaleidoscopic fever dream//the punk rock of string quartets//the joy of barely bridled chaos//emotional wanderlust//being wrapped up in a satin curtain from your grandparents’ house and rolling down a hill of wildflowers on the first day of spring

Though he was always gifted at music, I never heard Eddy sing until recently. It gives me chills every time. I smile to myself, an inside joke with my memories of his love for Joanna Newsome and Bjork. He and his bandmates are all very down-to-earth, modest even after playing a complex original tune on the banjo or upright bass and harmonizing all the while.

Eddy’s friends move slowly and lightly, and smile frequently. Everyone seems genuinely interested in meeting his high school friends. When we’re not at a concert or helping with Eddy’s orchestra program, Sophie and I drink coffee and play board games and write. I begin to feel like I live here.

On our drive out of Cincinnati, Sophie and I pass an enormous statue of Jesus, arms wide enough to encompass all of His children doing 80 on the freeway, next to a flashing billboard. “OUR GOD…IS BIGGER THAN…OUR STATUE!” The tongue-in-cheek humor and laidback attitude of the Midwest, as conservative as it can be, is what gets lost in the headlines, and is what makes me love it every time I return.

Detroit

“This is called, ‘urban prairie,'” Taylor says as we drive past yet another empty lot overgrown with rusty grasses. I look down the street and realize that these patches of overgrown city greenspace are actually the norm, not the anomaly as I had assumed before she pointed it out.

“There’s been a problem recently with wild dogs,” she says. “Wildlife attracts wildlife.”

We drive past abandoned houses, crumbled and crumbling, buildings with fire damage next to houses that look like perfectly habitable Midwestern homes.

“Are there a lot of house fires?” I ask.

“Yeah,” Taylor says. “The day before Halloween is called, ‘Devil’s Day,’ in Detroit. A lot of houses are set on fire, as sort of a gang initiation.”

“Abandoned houses?” I ask.

“No, ones that people live in,” she says, and I can see that the pain it causes her to repeat this has hardened into heavy totem that she carries somewhere inside her lungs, to remind her when she speaks that this has never been easy for anyone to voice. We are walking around the Heidelberg Project, a series of reclaimed houses that stretch across two blocks in Detroit’s East Side, a neighborhood replete in urban prairie. The sidewalks, empty lots, and houses still standing are all part of the art, done by a group of local artists intent on reviving the community.

There is a lot of street art in Detroit, because it’s just so easy.  Land is ample.  So are canvasses.

This giraffe was part of an outdoor theater, made from reclaimed building materials, old furniture and makeshift light fixtures. You could say he’s part of the urban jungle.

I met Taylor my first semester in college, and we became friends over a shared interest in social justice issues. She moved to Detroit over a year ago to do Teach for America. She always wanted to be a teacher, and told them to send her to the place that most needed teachers, the place that others didn’t want to go. She currently teaches sixth-grade English. Outside of class, when she and her boyfriend, who also does TFA, are not debating the best teaching techniques, she takes her students out for hot chocolate and cheers them on at their football games. She’ll tell you it’s her job, but only about half of what Taylor does is actually required. She just knows that a lot of these kids need it.

“It took me a long time to understand that the people who live in these houses are severely impoverished,” she says, gesturing at beautiful old brick houses with scalloped awnings and long driveways. Her idea of poverty, coming from the West Coast, was much different. “In Seattle, poor people live in ugly high-rise apartment buildings. Here, everyone with money left, and all of these houses went up for sale. They look nice from the outside, but then you walk in and there’s no furniture. It’s really confusing.”

Poverty is different in places with space. Instead of cramming the impoverished into as small a space as possible in the center of an unsavory urban neighborhood, the city allows them to sprawl over unkempt land, live in large but dilapidated houses, away from any grocery stores or hubs of public transportation. Access to the city is still dictated by wealth, but that wealth is determined by convenience and crime rather than space or aesthetics.

I spoke with my father a lot while I was there. At first, he called to ask me how I was enjoying the Motown in Motor City.

This was the closest I got to anything Motown-related while I was there.

One day, he calls to tell me the police chief of Detroit has just resigned. “They’re telling visitors to the city to ‘enter at your own risk,'” he says. “You need to get out of there, now!”

“Dad, I have no way of leaving. Sophie’s picking me up tomorrow and we’re driving to Cincinnati. I’m leaving then,” I say.

“Well, okay. Just don’t walk around any neighborhoods you don’t know by yourself at night.”

My dad grew up in a rough neighborhood. I grew up in a very clean suburb of the Twin Cities. Our city repaved a lot of the biking trails around the lake near my house when I was in high school. He says I don’t know what it’s like. I tell him I feel like I’m in a disaster zone. “New Orleans without Katrina,” I hear it’s been called.

At least, that’s how I feel when I drive through the city without stopping, without slowing down to see any of the community gardens that have literally sprung up in the wake of urban collapse, the bicycle cooperatives, the independent bookstore hidden in the basement of an organic restaurant, the churches and churches and churches, and, of course, the art.

Taylor lets me borrow her car while she teaches one day, and I explore the city a bit alone. I stop at all of these places. I talk to a woman at a bookstore that sells mostly books geared towards Detroit’s largely African American community, many of which incorporate spiritualism and religion into their discussion of racial politics in America. She tells me that the space also operates as an art gallery most days. She laughs a lot during our conversation, but it never seems forced. People on the street ask me how I’m doing. I remember how genuinely friendly people are in a lot of the Midwest; it’s just part of the culture.

And that was what Taylor always told me about Detroit: it’s been hit hard, yes, by a disaster of our own making, but the people who stayed, the people who couldn’t afford to leave and those who could but chose not to, are all working to keep  the energy of Detroit alive, to build and create and transform.  The city is now an incubator of innovation in almost every area of public life, and the people who live here aren’t giving up on themselves, or Detroit.

[If you're interested in helping provide books for Taylor's classroom library, check out her wishlist of books. Her school can't afford to provide any for her kids, and her students truly feel special to receive these packages!]

Just What I Needed

A few weeks ago, I found out that my Great Uncle Sonny lives up the road from me. I grew up in San Diego, and most of my family is on the West Coast. I’ve visited Sonny a few times now. He has the same exact Somerville accent as his twin sister, my Grandmother (Dad’s side.) His last name, -Kingsbury- is my middle name. Since birth, I’ve been accused of having a name that is soaked with pretension, though Sonny says it’s “just a hic name from Vermont.”

Below is a photo of Esephesef‘s uncle. He’ll be called upon for all avuncular duties, like telling me to go back to college and whatnot. I think Sarah’s in the clear, though maybe he’ll tell her it wouldn’t hurt to eat a slice of cheese every now and then.

“Go To School!”

Often people are dumbfounded when they learn that I moved here for no other reason than “To get away”, “To write”, or “Cuz I broke up with my girlfriend and it was time to go.”
One person asked very emotionally, “Why the F***would you move out here.?!” People seriously get offended that I moved here from sunny San Diego.

The Debate

The SFSF house watched the debate last night. At one point there were seven of us in front of the telly for Obama, Romney, and the really old man from PBS who didn’t have a chance.

There was a twenty-year-old in attendance for the presidential debate. In fact, she encouraged the viewing of it. I argued against and suggested just going to my room and listening to music, and having an informal SFSF meeting with booze. Sarah was on her way home, and like I said, I preferred that to watching the debate. The 20yr/old expressed the importance of the debate and attempted to sell it by enthusiastically describing “watching while it all goes down.”

I told her I would just watch highlights, read about it, and watch what John Stewart does with it. I explained that debates are hard to sit through, because they never really say anything or answer any questions. Debate’s are largely about wedge issues and debaters throw a bunch of loaded statements and numbers out that absolutely must be fact checked in order for any rational intelligent person to come to a conclusion about the debate. The debater who was most ethical and accurate -or however they judge them- can’t be proven until later, when everything has been sorted out. By the end of the debate, the audience tends to be left frustrated and annoyed (except for die-hard, single-minded, sycophantic viewers) because the candidates barely talked about anything at all, and the things they did touch on were grandiose and, like I said require all kinds of research to confirm.

I explained to the 20yr/old that it’s just best for me to read about it later.

But we watched it. Afterward, one SFSF house inhabitant said that he felt like he gained nothing; In-fact he’d lost intelligence. I also felt confused. Mostly weird. I know I heard Romney say trillions many times. Trillions in deficits.

I think the hackneyed vagueness of it all is why, immediately after a debate, the news people talk about body-language and quickly-intelligible pronouncements, like Obama and his anniversary.

Miss Connections: The One That Aaron Wrote (I Bled For You)

Hey, I was writing an incoherent piece about food, a vague follow-up to yesterday’s “Kinda Snarky”, when I got real hungry and decided to go into the square to get some, uh, food. I locked my bike across the street from Diesel Cafe and went in and ordered a small Iced Vietnamese to go.

Then I went to Chipotle to get a burrito, which was so graciously stuffed, that it required a few attempts at wrapping up the tortilla and two sheets of tin foil. I knew that this burrito was going to be eaten out of a bowl when I got home.

So then I walked back down Elm Street, toward my bike, which locked in front of Eastern bank. I had to walk my bike since it would have been quite a chore to ride it with my super-stuffed burrito and my Vietnamese.

That’s when I heard you on the phone with someone. You assured the person you were going to finish writing about Blondie soon. Your hair was on the shorter side for a young girl, but still very feminine. You are probably in your early twenties.

I walked past you and as I did so, the whole manic, “Oh-shit-now-or-never/you-won’t-know-if-you-don’t-throw-yourself-out-there/what’s-the-point-esp-when-you-consider-your-current-job-situation/Fuck-me-I’m-30″ monologue that every human is familiar with ran through my head. (Upon further consideration, it’s fair to assume Patriots tight-end Rob Gronkowski is unfamiliar with that sort of monolouge- at least to that extent.) Nevertheless, I decided to stop when I reached the other side of the street (the corner Dunkin Donuts occupies, I think.) I had to pretend to examine my keys because I couldn’t pretend to look at my phone, as I left it at home. The possibility existed that you wouldn’t follow me across the street, rendering my key-chain examination more pathetic.

But it paid off. You followed me across the street. (Follow isn’t the most correct word, but I like it. There’s hope in its usage.) We walked alongside each other for a few seconds before I had the gumption to ask you if you were writing something about Blondie. You explained that you were actually referring to a friend of yours you call Blondie. I explained that I was a writer and that I liked Blondie, so that was my weak justification for opening a conversation with you.

You asked me where the Bank of America was located, not just an ATM, but one you could go inside and actually talked to people. I told you that it was around the block a bit and that I was going that way. (Thankfully!) In the minute or so that we walked together you asked me if there was any place fun or cool around here. I asked you what you meant. You explained that you meant dancing and stuff. I told you that you’d have to go to Central Square. There’s a place called Zuzu where you can dance to good oldies songs and stuff. Then you asked me if I knew where one could find a place where one could dance some sort of esoteric dance. I asked you what the esoteric dance was that you spoke of.

As I walked with you (clutching my Vietnamese and Chipotle burrito,) I banged the pedal of my bicycle up against my leg a couple of times. It broke the skin a little.

 

How to Remember Coming Out to Your Mother

I never wanted a tattoo until the day I knew I was going to get one.  It’s a similar feeling, I hear, to finding the person you want to marry.  My parents decided to get married after only six months, and they have been happily married for over 25 years now.  My mother said she just knew, that when you meet your soulmate, the one whom you’ve loved in every life before and will love in every life after, there’s no question.

Yesterday, while standing at work, I knew I had to come out to my mother.  I never wanted to, or felt I needed to, until I just did.  I left work, walked across the street to the Prudential Center, and sat down on the steps leading up to the Food Court.  I was sitting under the sign for Flamers, a hamburger joint.  Keeping my sense of humor in this situation, I realized, might be the only way to get through it.

I thought about having the conversation in the privacy of my own house, but sometimes I feel that expressing myself in the anonymity of the city is easier than the intimacy of my home.  I never go to the Prudential Center.  It’s a shitty shopping center with shitty architecture and I knew that if this memory turned out to be horrible, I could remember it with unequivocal disgust.  I had thought about doing it in front of the Copley Library, because it’s my favorite building in the whole city–the architecture is gorgeous, it has great art, the books go on forever, they have maps and this beautiful empty room I can only ever find by accident–but I would never want to chance losing that gem.  So I sat down next to a bunch of teenagers wearing shirts with trendy slogans and meandering through the waning days of summer, and told myself it was only a moment.  It would be over and then it would be a memory.

I called my mother’s cell phone.  She didn’t pick up.  I felt like I was going to throw up.  That coffee was not a good idea.  I called the home phone.
“Hello, sweetie!”
“Hey, Mom.”
“Oh, honey, I can barely hear you.  You sound all echoey.”
“Really?  Oh.  Can you hear me at all?”
Pause.  “You sound like one of the adults in the Peanuts cartoons.”
I walked about five feet away.  “What about now?”
“I don’t know, I can’t tell.  Keep talking.”
I did my best impression of the teacher in Peanuts.  “Wah wah wah, wah wah, wah.”
My mother laughed.  “You’re so funny.  But I still can’t hear you.”

I tried calling her again.  I adjusted the volume on my phone.  I called her cell phone.  She finally started laughing so hard at the absurdity of the situation that we hung up.  I biked to Commonwealth Avenue, where I hoped to find a quiet bench.  Instead, I found the Boston Women’s Memorial and sat down next to Lucy Stone.  She was lying on her side, writing something with a quill.  Her monument cited her as a journalist and abolitionist and activist for women’s rights.  Whatever forces of irony and coincidence that were conspiring in this moment gave me, at the very least, some sense of peace, like this conversation was meant to happen this way.

I called my mother again.  “Ah, that’s much better!” she said.  “So then, what’s up?”
“Well…” I began.  I had practiced my opening line countless times in my head, but it seemed irredeemably inadequate.  All words seemed weak, hollow, but they were all I had.  “I want you guys to know things about my life, even though I don’t need to tell you, because I live in Boston, but I think it’s important that I tell you something about myself that I have recently discovered, which is that”

inhale

“I am bisexual, and”

hold it

“sometimes I like women”

totally redundant but it doesn’t matter keep going

“so I thought that you should know that.”

There was a slight pause.  I wasn’t crying.  I hadn’t thrown up.

“Okay.”  And that was it.  She knew.  She knew and she didn’t freak out.  She expressed some confusion, which is not unique to my mother or people of her generation–“I understand being totally gay, and I understand being straight, but I don’t really understand the in-between”–and I told her it was a feeling, it’s not something that can be rationalized.  It’s like when you just know that you’ve met the one, or that you want something on your body for the rest of your life.  It’s when you discover an indelible truth about yourself, something that can be covered with clothing or lies but will never change its shape or force.

She said I didn’t have to rationalize it.  She said she wanted me to be happy, in whatever way that meant.  She said my friends and family don’t care because they love me as a person.  We talked about spirituality and God and the possibility of other universes.  We talked about signs and coincidences.  We talked about ghosts and the afterlife.  She told me my dad was holding a poker game at their house later that night.  She said she wouldn’t tell anyone else, unless I asked her to, because it wasn’t her business to tell.

I told her I loved her.  We thanked each other.  I hung up, giddy and hungry and exhausted and ecstatic, and biked home through the city streets, feeling freer than I ever had before.

I think it was me.

We had a Nintendo that we had to share.  All three of us played, but when Tyler and I wanted to see what happens when you beat the game, we watched with chins on our fists, deadly silent as Mario made the crucial eighth-world jumps.

We also had a seven acre hill of dry brush. Adam caught snakes. Five foot long bastards, maybe two inches thick. I think they were mostly Bull Snakes. He’d stuff them into pillow cases and hang on to them for a couple of days. I never saw him catch a Rattle Snake, but he says he did. He read books on reptiles. I never touched the stuff.

He wrote something once. Dad and Janis read it. Two 12 year olds at an arcade. “It’s not like we were getting intimate or anything!” So good. So grown up.

After a relative died, my Dad hung two rifle-less Civil War bayonets (one with dried blood) and an old machete over the fire-place. We had sword fights. Tyler, usually with the machete, was the fiercest.

We’d throw the bayonets straight up and marvel at how they’d just stick in the ceiling. We’d hurl them across the room and marvel at how they’d stick in the floor.

My dad summoned us with one syllable.

“BOOOOOOOOOOOYS!”

rhythmic tumble

“Who put the hole in the couch?”

“…”                         “…”                         “…”

“Who put the hole in the couch?”

“…”                         “…”                         “…”

“WHO put the hole in the couch?”

“I dunno”              “no clue”                   “…”

“OK.”

And he let us go, liars.

Brunch with Peachpit

From left- Travis Fletcher, Hannah & Louis Waxman, and Jason Reyes

“Sooo, FOCUS, group. Feedback on the show, one at a time- how’d we do?”

“I couldn’t really hear the trumpet at the beginning.”

“Hey look, Sarah’s here.”

“OK I’M DRESSED, I LOOK LIKE A HUMAN-“

“Oh, I could totally hear it. Super Loud.”

“A REAL HUMAN BEING-“

“I have definitely never heard the vocals like THAT. It was kind of scary.”

“arealhumanbeing DESPITE THE FACT THAT I’M STILL DRUNK!”

“Sarah really is drunk, isn’t she?”

“WHO CAN I FIGHT?”

“What did she say?”

“AWWWW FUCK ME!”

“It looks really good when you say that with half an eyelid down.”

“WHAT IS DRUNK? WHO IS SOBER?”

Travis, Jason, Louis & Hannah

“Don’t you guys have a writing party going on? It’s Sunday.”

“Yeah, but I think it was cancelled today.”

                                                                                                                                           “How long has this been going on? Thanks for the invite.”

“Oh, well now you’re invited. Jason goes, he’s not even a writer.”

“Yeah, I just go there and take off my pants and jack off.”

“Yeah, he does do that an abnormal amount.”

“It’s quiet, I can just jack off in peace.”

“Well, the sound of jacking off is the original beat isn’t it?”

“Yes, it’s very percussive.”

“Helps the work ethic.”

“Some people play jugs, I just play the-“

“That is how music started, isn’t it?”

“Yeah Mozart or something was like having a good time, and you know…”

“Well, first there was the heartbeat, THEN the beat-off.”

“Of course Jason, the romantic.”

“SOOOOO, again, one at a time, how’d we do last night?”

“WELL I WAS FUNNELLING PBR’S”

“Is that how bad it was?”

“Funneling them INTO MY EARS! I WASN’T LISTENING TO SHIT!”

*    *    *    &    %    $    *    *    *

So yeah, SFSF ate brunch with Peach Pit Sunday, August 12th. It was the day after their show at Precinct in Somerville. I wasn’t funnelling PBR’s- at least not into my ears- and I’d say it went well and I definitely heard Louis’s trumpet. Jason, Louis, Hannah, and a third Waxman named Sam gave us an impromptu show afterward. I can’t post it here, so I put it on the SFSF facebook page.  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sanfranciscostreetfighter/269083733191512

ETHER 12:27

For-

My girlfriend spoke Japanese better than her younger siblings. By the end I could distinguish three distinct styles: She spoke formally to her grandparents, casually to her mother, and lastly my favorite -which she would occasionally exercise with her immediate family- an over-the-top mock formal which sounded like a severely feminine Japanese stewardess doing the seat-belt routine.

She always told me to make outlines. I told her it doesn’t work like that, I couldn’t explain.

The movie theater had 18 screens and a giant lobby to accommodate enormous weekend crowds. On a Friday night there’d be eight employees selling tickets- four behind the glass on the left and four on the right. Two wound-up lines of people taking up most of the floor left a path in the middle to go through to the greeter, who stood near the back, facing the entry.

But this was a weeknight and the basketball court-sized lobby was empty. I ripped a total of two tickets during my first hour at the greeter’s podium, and that was it. Nicole Kidman With Brown Hair sat alone behind the box office glass on my left. The second box office, across the lobby to my right was dark and empty. Suddenly, I heard a squeel from the intercom. There were no customers, but I quickly dismissed what I’d heard and figured it was an accident. I was thinking typical thoughts of how I never had a chance with a girl like her during my two-hour tour at the greeter’s stand. I shouldn’t’ve even been thinking about it because she was a 17-year-old senior in high school and she’d come in with her boyfriend before. I was a chubby jr. college student. Box office employees had a bit of seniority. They were trusted workers who typically worked at least a year before transitioning to box office, where they generally stayed. They seemed to have actual relationships with the General Manager. Her office was behind them. They didn’t have as much fun as ushers, who basically walked around lazily for eight hours, sweeping popcorn under the seats.

An usher’s only real struggle was greeting, and making attempts to avoid it. A greeter would jealously watch the mob of free ushers emerge from the 1-9 side as they walked past,  gracefully scooping up stray kernels of popcorn without assistance from the broom. These one-handed flourishes seemed to taunt the greeter. as they moved across to theatres 10-18. Most new employees began by working concessions, which was behind the greeter’s podium, where was just enough space for dozens of sprawling families to order nachos and 52 ounce drinks. Concessions was a nightmare. My tenure behind concessions was mercifully short because the woman who got me the job went to high school with my pal Tyson, and I think she understood my embarrassment selling popcorn and drinks to people I knew from high school, which I was four years removed from. Teenage girls had it the worst, they really had to claw their way out of concessions.

So I was at the podium, thinking about how I didn’t have a chance in hell, cursing my life. Kidman was a senior in High school. I was a Jr. college student.  But I heard that megaphone squeal out of the box office a second time.

“Yeah, you, COME OVER HERE.”

I awkwardly walked over to the box office and she slipped me a napkin that said:

I think you’re cool.

We should hang out! :)

When I came home from my mission over a year earlier, I gained about 15 pounds in a month. I didn’t have a job and I kept myself busy playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4. 11-year-old little brother Nick turned me onto it. I remember the astonishment on his face when he saw me still playing in the living room at 7:30 am during his morning routine. I just gave him a guilty smile and wondered aloud if I was permanently damaging my thumbs.

I made a couple of attempts to lose the weight and failed. I once put on my archless skater shoes and ran about two blocks before turning around, defeated.

“Didn’t make it very far didya?”

“nomomthankyou.”

So Kidman told me I was cool. I went home that night and put on my new running shoes and ran down to the park. In tenth grade, a kid from church convinced me to join the wrestling team. He was big on running stairs. The first time up he’d touch every single stair, which he said was good for quickness. On the even intervals, he’d skip a stair with each stride. That was good for -I don’t know- strength. The park had a decent stairway that ascended from the parking lot to the field above. It was about twenty stairs. Every single, every other, every single, every other. I began that night.

A couple of months later and fifteen pounds lighter I checked the usher schedule, which listed the times that movies ended, and told my friend Shannon that next up was theater drei followed by theater elf.

“Oh, you took German in High School? My friend-“

Yeah my girlfriend- she took German in high school. Japanese wasn’t available, but she probably wouldn’t’ve taken it if it were.

We all went to get fastfood on a ‘Theatre break.” A theatre break is when there are like 45 minutes with no theatre to clean. We’d just bullshit in the break room or find somewhere to hide. -This was the only one of my 20+ jobs where I never looked at my watch- So Shannon and I snagged my girlfriend from concessions. I made a joke at the drive-thru that she laughed at. That’s when I knew I liked her. But she had a high school boyfriend. But maybe she was gonna break up with him because she was going away to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  I called her at noon on a Friday in June and asked her if she wanted to go out the next night. She said she couldn’t go out on Saturday because it was Shannon’s birthday.

It had turned into the exact same all-or-nothing Loyd Dobler situation In the 1989 film Say Anything. Lloyd asks Diane Court out on Saturday. She has plans. Then he asks about Friday, the current day. She hesitates for a painful second and says “why not?” And you know, a whirlwind romance ensues.

“Well, what are you doing tonight? Wanna go to a Padres game?”

“…”

“…”

“Why not?”

I had about 20 dollars to my name and I wasn’t about to ask my mom for money, so I went up to Nick’s room. I knew he had a coffee mug on his dresser where he kept lots of change and I was pretty sure there were a couple of bills inside.

“NICK, I’m going out with a girl, can you help me out?”

He jumped over and immediately dumped it out on the surface of the dresser. In recent weeks he’d been asking me why I didn’t have a girlfriend when the brothers Tyson and Quinn were bringing girls around. He pulled out some crumpled bills, and much to my good fortune that little bastard had two ones and three fucking twenties. He didn’t hesitate to give it all to me. He asked me if I needed the quarters. I told him “nah” and promised I’d pay him back.

I tried to conceal my anxiety as I struggled to find a parking space downtown. She was totally cool. After finally parking in a garage ten blocks from the stadium, I began looking for a scalper. She was totally cool. Across the street from the stadium, I found an overweight middle-aged man in a Yankees jacket and paid him 40 bucks for two seats. He told me we were getting a decent deal and that the girl I was with was pretty. With a stutter I told him that I knew. He told me that all he wanted me to do now was tell the guy who would take our tickets that he, the scalper, needed a pastrami on rye. I deadpanned “Whatever you want dude.” So we walked across the street and up to the gate.  I told the young ticket guy that the Yankees fan over there needed a pastrami on rye. The ticket taker -a little confused and annoyed- looked at the scalper, I looked at the scalper and the scalper began laughing his Brooklyn ass off like he’d never seen anything funnier in his life. I wasn’t laughing. My girlfriend was hanging on to my arm. Jesus, she was totally cool.

I freaked out about eating my nachos for fear of looking like a stupid pig. I ate them slowly and methodically, careful not to spill cheese all over myself or have it crusted somewhere on my face. I gave up during the fifth inning and slid them under my seat. I’m ordinarily a damn good eater.

On the Big screen she saw the handsome outfielder, Xavier Nady.

“Ooooooh, who’s that?”

“That’s Xavier Nady. Kinda sucks” I muttered.

“Ohhhh it’s OK, I like you Aaron.” She smiled and squeezed my arm.

Shit, she thought I said it sucks that she thinks he’s cute. “No no, HE kind of sucks.”

After the game we went back to the theater and watched How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days after hours with like the whole crew. I dropped her off. She told me later she was surprised by the door-opening and all that old-fashioned stuff. I didn’t kiss her that night.

I kissed her two nights later. I took her to Tyson And Quinn’s (parent’s) house, where my article in Palomar college’s The Telescope  was taped to the refrigerator by Tyson. Tyson had blacked out the first part of the article’s title- Palomar College can be more than just-, leaving the title the author had intended which was simply High School With Cigarettes.

She met their parents too. When we walked out I had my hand on the small of her back and I told myself I was gonna kiss her that night, and it was going to be the first kiss that really mattered. We went back to my new apartment that I shared with four other movie theatre guys. One roommate was drunk on the couch. “Yoko Ono” he simply announced. We went to my room. We were there for maybe five seconds when I grabbed her head with both hands and kissed her. Then I shot over to the closet and grabbed a plastic bin that had Tony Gwynn’s rookie card and other personal stuff.

“Here’s a two dollar bill that was Tyler’s- my brother- this is my missionary name tag- oh, those marks on the back are from when a baby took it off me at church and chewed on it. That’s like tradition- I had more than one, but that’s like THE tag, you know, the first one they gave me- that’s not even Tony’s rookie card. It’s his second year card. See he’s already pretty chubby…”

I kissed her more.

I told her I loved her on the tenth day and she laughed at me. I dropped her off certain that I’d screwed it up and we were over. But somehow I saw her again the next day. And the next day.

On a Saturday evening I brought her up to my Dad’s house, a 45 minute drive to the high desert. Nobody was home so we went into the office as she checked her email. I heard the front door open and waited nervously before my Dad eventually popped his head and a single hand around his office door frame. With a nervous smile he muttered “Hello.” This behaviour was atypical of my dad.

I went to church during that first year home for some reason, even though I was mentally checked out, and writing The Big One in my head. The last day I really went to church, I’d been dating her for a couple of weeks. I thought I looked alright, in my favorite dress shirt, a Brooks Brothers steal I got at a thrift store. It was white with plum checkers. But I felt like a fucking idiot. Minutes before, I’d bumped into the bishop in the hall and he asked me if we could have a chat after the second hour. In the bathroom I looked in the mirror and asked myself what the fuck I was doing. Like I was in a movie or something.

In the bright, full, parking lot, I asked her what SHE was doing while I loosened my tie with my other hand. My tires chirped a little bit as one end of my tie was caught up in the wind and poking out of the sunroof.

At the door she beamed as she saw me in my church clothes and grabbed me by my plum collar. In slow motion she whispered-

“Sooooo handsome.”

That’s to illustrate how she made me feel.

With clenched toes, I sat at the foot of the bed as she read my first college essay. I was trying to get into one of the University of California Schools. 1000 of my words attempting to persuade a passing car to please not say “fuck you” to me and my missionary companion. My argument was that perhaps the passing car didn’t understand the pressure we were under.

“You ARE a writer she said.”

I saw my girlfriend almost every day that summer.

In late august I was in constant agony, waiting for her to tell me that she was going away to college and that she’d had a fun summer. When we were alone, she’d tell me she adored me, or tell me she really liked me. I’d just look at her, bottling my annoyance. As if her liberal use of like was intentional, to illustrate that it wasn’t the other one.

At a movie theatre party in late august we got into a little argument. It was our first. I was monitoring her drinking, she felt I was too nosy (To be fair, she got wasted after one beer. Wasted. She would get blotchy all over. There is a term called “asian glow”, but for my girlfriend drinking was like you or me walking into a bee’s nest.) We left the party early. I knew she was real mad when I asked her a pretty unmemorable question, to which she responded by asking me stoically if I wanted to get out “here.” “Here” was at the stop sign a quarter-mile down the hill from my mom’s house.

In front of my house she told me she thought I was too protective at that party. I told her I was sorry, but that she’s basically allergic to alcohol. She pukes after two shots. Allergic. Her mom even told her so.

She was still not happy with me. I began to wonder if this was it, in front of my mom’s house. She was going away to college. So I figured I’d give her the speech I was thinking about giving, even though I never convinced anybody of anything in my life. I told her that nobody was gonna freak out as much as me. Nobody was gonna sweat like I did. I disclosed my fear and disgust of 18-year-old freshman boys. I knew what they were; shirtless in gym shorts, as they rubbed their chests and adjusted their balls and stormed down dorm halls poking heads in and out of rooms as they referenced that hot asian chick. I told her it was difficult. When I first met her she had the high school boyfriend. The first time we did anything outside of work, I detailed my car, because I was gonna drive her to that party. Why? I don’t know. She had a boyfriend. I pointed out where the upholstery of my Reagan-era car was coming undone. It was the carpeted area that began at the bottom of the door and went underneath the pedals. When I drove us to that party I cleaned it out really good and used a bunch of fresh duct tape. She was going to California State Stupid Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo Expialadosious, so like why would she date me, if she was going away? She broke up with the other guy because she was “going away.” Plus I just went to Jr. College… it was just always tough, her going away. And when I thought she’d break up with me because I told her I loved her early or when I died my hair blue -just- nobody was gonna freak out. Oh, yeah, plus I told her that I borrowed that money from Nick. So she asked me-

“You love me right?” She was waving her hand in front of her face.

More from the driver seat than my own, and with my face in her neck, I pointed out the lunacy in asking that question but of course then I answered it.

She left for Cal Poly a week after her friend Emily began school, so we got to go down to San Diego State and get a glimpse of the college life a week early. Emily told us about her roommate who seemed nice but might be a pathological liar. Emily had thought she heard the girl say that her dad was a Pediatrician but also she swore she later heard podiatrist. We went to a thing in a big room where condoms were passed out.  The girl down the hall was really very sweet and they talked about nursing for like an hour the night they met. And of course a girl from their high school was on the floor below. I would kiss my girlfriend in the dorm room when they talked about that shit and the girls would pause and smile.

I started doing this thing where I’d go in for a kiss at normal speed, but suddenly I’d flare my nostrils and the speed I was closing in with would suddenly decrease. I would de-flare them and the speed would stay the same until I widened them again and the deceleration would recur. It was like a spaceship parking on the moon, with retro rockets firing in the opposite direction to facilitate a gentle landing. I used to do that in the mirror when I learned what retro rockets were when I was a chubby sixth grader. But I didn’t kiss the mirror, I swear. I’d just park my face on it.

When I drove down from Seattle to visit her at Cal Poly, I’d do the thing where I grab her face and kiss her.

She told me to get on my knees. So I did. Then she grabbed my head with a startling amount of force and said “This is what it’s like to be me, AaronChan.”

* * *

We broke up for good over Christmas break three years later. She was headed to Australia for her last semester of college. I was 26 and had just struggled through another semester of jr. college. We sat on the floor of her empty room. This was gonna be it. She told me I needed more confidence. She told me that she looked in the mirror almost everyday and tells herself that she’s pretty and smart. Through all the salt and snot, I burst out laughing. She was wearing these new tights and a big shirt. I was never gonna take those tights off. I told her that I was sorry, and I just didn’t know it was gonna take this much time. She told me to make an outline. I told her…that I didn’t even know… WHAT I wanted to say. I told her about how Nick was playing football now and how I push him so hard to exercise and run. He was a running back. I really wanted him to have a victory, you know? A triumph. So I told him to run stairs, like I’d been doing. The same stairs I began running when Nicole Kidman told me I was cool. He should alternate from running every-single to ever-other stair. I told her how I pushed him, but secretly I wondered if maybe it’s not in our DNA.

But I was at the gym the other day and this guy asked me to play one-on-one basketball. I hate basketball because it requires the most athleticism of the major sports and I felt I had none. So we began playing, and this guy played, you know, at least fairly regularly. He was a couple of inches shorter than me but had a muscular, athletic build. He had a decent shot. We went to the outdoor court on a uncharacteristically cold night in San Diego and I began playing basketball with this guy. I had the ball-handling skills of a toddler, and an archless shot. But I covered him. It was a low-scoring affair.

I explained to her that the sudden temperature drop combined with the extreme physical exertion had made it difficult for me to breathe. I thought I’d fully relinquished my asthma through years of running. But what occurred was an authentic, middle school era, chubby, snot-nosed attack. Hands on my hips, wheezing, with thoughts of impending heart failure, I’d line up in front of the arch, ready once again to cover him like glue. I couldn’t quit. He said I was fast.

“I’ll make an outline. You want me to make an outline?”

“You didn’t go to Cal Poly. You got in AaronChan, but you didn’t go because they didn’t require one of your ‘brilliant’ essays.”

“Cuz no one gave a shit, AmySan. I cared so much and where’s that essay that I wrote? Some electronic trash bin. C’mon babe, who else was writing that? When I was fifteen I got this special magazine thing, you know, How To Get Into College or whatever and I read an example of a good essay and it was about this young girl on vacation. She had a nice time with her family and I don’t know, they were hiking or something and she went off with this nice young boy. She had such a dandy of a time and she even kissed him at the end. And that was a great essay cuz she didn’t write about how she was gonna succeed or whatever, or about her grandmother’s death. She had a nice voice and she told a sweet little story where a cute young one-dimensional Mormon boy makes a cameo and kisses her.

“I just wanted my essays to be read, babe. I wanted feedback. I’d rather they tell me to give up the writing than nothing at all.”

“You want them to think you’re great and you want them to forgive your bad grades, because you think you’re owed, in ways nobody can quantify. You want the New York Times to love you. You know, I love you AaronChan.”

Love, present tense.”

“AARONCHAN!”

“…”

“You need to admit that you like some things about your old life.”

“…”

“Like your favorite scripture.”

“I don’t have one.”

“Yes you do Aaronchan. It’s Ether 12- something and it’s about weak things becoming strong. And you love that because you think you turned it around on The Church.”

“…”

“You hate to admit that you miss some things from that life, or that you learned anything. That’s why you can’t write anything. The same people you were supposed to go against, the family, Tyson and Quinn, they’re the one’s who love you the most and they’re the ones who keep you going. You love how your aunt told you that you’re not allowed to fail, when you lived with her before your mission. You use that as fuel- you think you turned that around on them too. But that’s who you are AaronChan. You put blankets on people when they sleep and you carried my little brother to his room when he was passed out drunk. You tell the CORNIEST jokes. You think you’re fueled by anger AaronChan, and you are, but do you think you could have done this on anger alone? You are Mormon AaronChan. No matter what you believe. Present tense.

“Why do you always need people to find you? Why do you need to write on a silly blog? I know, I know, you think you’re a punker. But I also know you want more people to hear you. You want to scream and cry out. You looooove that you first heard Arcade Fire when you were an hour outside Seattle, when you left me. Are you going to write about that AaronChan? Are you gonna tell them that you moved away from me? What was the name of the song? Rebellion. It makes you cry sometimes Aaron- how it went in and out of reception in the hills around Olympia.

“And you wish you could have Tyler but you know you can’t because you never talked to him about that stuff… and you just can’t. He’s not yours AaronChan and he’s not theirs either. You’re gonna have to learn to get along.

“Why do you always have to do it your way? Because you think people are going to find you, don’t you? You dare them to find the talent, right? Movie Reviews Of Movies I Haven’t Seen All The Way Through? Dawson’s Creek? Really AaronChan? Please. I don’t know how hard people look, they might be more relaxed than you. I know what you want to write about. You want to write about God and reason and existence and good and evil and hope and love and fear and everything else. And I don’t know if they know that.”

“Don’t go.”

“I have to go. And you have to go to Boston and be a writer, like you always wanted to. And you can do it. And it’s OK that it’s going to take a while because you’re ambitious. And you have ADD.”

She picked up a pen that was lying on the floor before her. She slowly began to push it toward my face until she actually began putting the uncapped end into my nostril. I jerked my head back and swatted the pen away. For a moment, I held my hand up silently in defense. She frowned and exhaled. So I dropped my hand and let her go.

I Don’t Think I’m Gonna Fish

This is an old thing, originally written in the summer of 2012. It is one of my favorites. It’s in the style of a grade-school report, written as if my third grade teacher asked the class to write about what we’d done over the summer. I felt it was appropriate considering my company and what we did that day. I changed the spellings of their names because I was afraid of what they’d think which was probably a bit sensitive considering since this is a pretty “lite” post, and that my blog was read by about one person a month at the time. (As opposed the the current 1/day.)

I Don’t Think I’m Gonna Fish

By Aaron Litchfield

Who: Aaron, Chef Ray, Benny, Reed, and Reed’s Dad

Where: Cape Cod

When: The end of summer

Why: For fun

What: I went fishing with my friends Chef Ray, Reed, and Benny.

Friday Night 9:30pm- Benny and I met Chef at a Dunkin Donuts in Dorchester. Benny looked around alot.  He asked me about ten times where Chef Ray was, and he kept saying he should have been there by that time. I told him I didn’t know what was up, and that maybe it’s no big deal.

9:35- Chef Ray showed up.

10:50- We arrived at Benny’s parents house where Chef and Benny played video game soccer while I watched a Bill Murray video on my computer. Chef Ray looked over when he heard me laughing. He said:

“You like that shit don’t you?”

“Yes, I do Chef.”

Saturday we woke up and took our time doing things.

11:00 am Saturday- I went out and got Benny and Chef Ray coffee while they played more video game soccer. I got to drive which was cool, because I don’t have a license.

12:30 pm- Benny and Chef finished playing video game soccer. They like that shit. They get really into it.  I think it was exciting for them because usually Benny plays at his house, while Chef plays at his house, with little girls kicking and poking him and asking him waaaaay too many questions when Chef just wants to relax a little bit. But now they were at an empty beach house in Cape Cod, and I think they were happy to play together in the same room. They were yelling at the screen and stuff.

12:45- We went to our friend Reed’s Dad’s house. It was a 15 minute walk away.

1:00- We met Reed’s Dad’s girlfriend at Reed’s Dad’s house.

1:05- We said goodbye to Reed’s Dad’s younger girlfriend. So it was Benny, Chef, Reed, Reed’s Dad I. We walked to the water and got in the fishing boat. Reed told us how his Dad was saying that we were going into Great White Shark territory and we all talked about scary and exciting that was. It took about a half hour on the fishing boat to get to where we wanted- a spot where the bay meets the ocean. Benny, Chef, and me rode in the back of the boat while Sam was up next to has Dad, who drove the boat. There were smelly fumes in the back that I think altered our consciousness a little.

1:35- We finally got to the edge of the ocean and the bay- supposedley home to JAWS. Chef, and Benny went to the front. Chef began putting his pole together right away. Reed and Reed’s Dad went after their hooks and bait as well. I began eating my sandwich. Reed’s Dad talked about fishing. He told Reed where he could catch this fish and how he should bait that fish. Reed said “oh, yeah?” and “Oh, no way” a few times. Also “Oh, OK Dad.” At a quiet point I just heard Reed say to his Dad-

“I like bluefish.”

1:40- I tried get up to go to the bathroom but I was nervous. I had to stand on the back ledge of the boat. It felt like someone was trying to shake the ground from underneath me. And I thought about Jaws exploding out of the water and eating me while I stood there, exposed. I sat down. Chef asked Ben if he was going to fish. Ben put his hand out flat and glided it forward-

“I like to ease my way into fishing.”

1:42 Reed’s Dad began throwing big pieces of fish guts into the ocean, right off the side of the boat. I think Reed was also afraid of JAWS.

“You wanna do that so close to the boat Dad?”

1:45- I finished the second half of my sandwich. Reed and his Dad began talking in hushed voices.

1:47- Benny leaned forward and began putting his pole together. Chef asked me if I was going to fish.

“I don’t think I’m gonna fish.”  I climbed up on the back of the boat again and tried to pee.

1:49- I was finally letting things go up there when Reed made an announcement to Chef, Benny and me.

“Hey guys, I’m sorry to say, but we gotta head back. My Dad has a doctor’s appointment at three.”

7 Dialogues

Below was an assignment I gave to myself to distract me from the realization that I was flying in a plane. I hate flying.

1) -Is that the only bathroom?
-Yes, I’m afraid it is the only bathroom. Would you kindly wait?
-Well I suppose I don’t have much of a choice.
-I’m sorry.
-You should be. You’re a terrible person.
-Well I don’t know if I appreciate that.
-I think you do know that you don’t appreciate that.
-Don’t talk semantics with me!
-I wasn’t talking semantics.
-Shove it up your ass.
-Shove it up yours.
-Original.
-Fuck off.

2)-Listen, everyone listen: I’m gay.
-We know.
-Well, it’s official now.
-I thought it was pretty official when you told me you loved me, jack-ass.
-Well, I mean, now it’s OFFICIAL.

3)-Daddy, I want a new pony for Christmas.
-Honey, I just don’t know how possible that is.
-MAKE IT POSSIBLE!
-You think you can get ol’ Marvin to get me a raise? Cuz that’s what we’d need Sweetie. We would need a real boost.
-Give me your phone Daddy! I’ll call him!
-I don’t know darling, you see that might actually make things worse for us. Marvin might get upset.
-I will hurt him Daddy!
-No, not a good idea.
-I want a pony!
-We don’t have the space for a pony. We’d have to move to the country.
-Let’s move to the country!
-We can’t afford to. We can barely afford the house we live in.
-We can get a pony Daddy and we can put him in the backyard.

*     *     *     *     *

-Marvin this is Dottie Framington. Dottie Framington. Yes, Roger’s little girl. Would you give him a raise please so I can buy a pony?
-DOTTIE!!!

4)-I guess when the seatbelt light turns on, that’s a good time to walk around & open & close stuff & just in general look & act like a complete bafoon.

5)-That last one wasn’t really a dialogue.
-So what?
-Well, this is called “7 DIALOGUES.” Count em’, SEVEN. You’re a terrible writer.
-I hate turbulence. I really do. Toes clenched. Dammit, when do we descend? We’re supposed to be down in half an hour. Screw this! Figure out how to fly people!
-The plane’s got the weather channel on.
-Fuck flying. Fuck this.

6)-Hey, I was thinking about the old Crusader, I think you’re right- We should get it up and running again.
-The old Gyrocopter?
-You betcha. You’re idea wasn’t it?
-Yeah. I didn’t know it was called The Crusader.
-Yeah, it is. You know the detractors, they said you could pave the highways with gold with the amount of money we would need to spend on Gyrocopters.
-They changed everything huh?
-Sure did.

7)-I was just running & running & running. Over these hills. Through. Over and through these fields. I don’t know what they were growing…nah, I wasn’t getting prickly things stuck in my sock or anything. Just running free.
-Running free?
-Running free.

100 Words on Work

A while back I gave myself an assignment to write 100 words. I barely remember doing it but I found it in my notebook today. I should mention that this was written while I was working a former job.

Work

Only because I couldn’t think of anything else to write about. Because it sucks, it’s like prison, hell, waiting on people. I can do better than coffee shops, I can find a whole new, degrading, condescending, hell. The restaurant industry.

Drinks, alcohol, neat, double. Hell. On the rocks. Behind you. Stick with me, okay? Behind you. Hell. Faster. Faster. What’s going on right now? Where are we at? What’s the scoop? Do you know the table numbers? Go Pats, okay? Come here. I love you. Alright, have fun over there. Go Pats. Son of a bitch is leaving.

No Phone Calls

-So the Monkey, he lives in a cage right? It’s like the size of a very small jail cell. He has a bed. He sleeps there. Locked up. They feed him. Sometimes they let him out. He hangs out in the common area with another monkey named Dan. He tried to bang a monkey named Shirley a while back, but that didn’t work out. Shirley hangs out across the yard now. The Subject Monkey mostly hangs out with Dan during recess.

-What are you talking about Mr. Meardon?

-See class, we’re the monkey. You understand? That’s the metaphor. And all the time we spend freaking out about things, like where we’re gonna go to college or who we’re gonna marry- that’s the monkey, as he exits his cell and walks across the common. Our journey through life is the monkey’s walk across the yard. The college we want to attend is in the common as well as the person we want to be with. Nobody outside the grounds is available to us. Our personalities are manifested in the yard and by our interactions with objects and creatures in the yard. It’s simple, it’s all really simple.

-I’m going to go to Notre Dame, and that’s not in a prison yard!

-I’m saying this world is the monkey enclosure, you understand? We have limits. Yeah yeah yeah, more than the monkey, but we live in a confined space we call Earth- Earth, right now- and that’s it.

-The planet is sooooooo big, Mr. Meardon. And isn’t China bigger than The US?

-Yeah Suzie, but you’re still missing the point.

-I think you’re crazy Mr. Meardon.

-Okay, Jimmy, do me a favor okay? Head on over to China and after lunch give us a phone call and tell us just how big it is, alright?

-I can’t do that! How would I get there so fast? You’re mental.

-Alright, well, why don’t you get a plane ticket and fly there. Give us a call when you have a chance.

-My parents wouldn’t let me miss school. Plus we’re not exactly loaded…Mr Meardon, you’re being stupid!

-That’s my point, Jimmy. Everyone has limitations, you understand? So our world is bigger than some sort of monkey prison yard, so what? What I’m saying is, we live in one gigantic cage, one gigantic yard. Enclosure, if you prefer. And we’re just doing our thing, being monkeys. Giving birth, living, eating, dying, hanging out with Dan. Sometimes we hang out by ourselves. It doesn’t make much of a difference. Just like all the other creatures on the planet…let me ask you something, you think a monkey ever asks himself how he’s feeling?

-A monkey can’t do that Mr. Meardon.

-My point is, nature doesn’t care how we’re “feeling.” So we feel “down” because we don’t have the job we wanted, or the mate we wanted. Nature doesn’t care. We’re like the monkeys we observe. Maybe what’s going on is interesting, but ain’t nobody crying for us, you understand what I’m saying?

-Ain’t ain’t a word, Teacher.

-Who’s “not crying about us” Meardy?

-Aliens.

-Now he’s talking about aliens. He’s gonna go to the office again.

-No, I’m serious class. Raise your hand if you believe in aliens…c’mon put em’ up…Jimmy? That’s it? Whatever. You don’t have to believe in aliens to follow me. Okay, Suppose an alien came here to Earth. A bunch of aliens -and what we need to understand class- is were not talking about cheap sci-fi aliens from the 60’s.

-Like from Star Trek?

-Exactly. We’re not talking about a man who puts on an ornate rubber mask. We’re not talking about a 6-foot tall humanoid with two arms and a pair of legs, with an inside-out ass on his forehead. We’re talking about ALIENS. This shit is from another galaxy, you follow? We have no idea what these things look like. They can look like doors for instance. They can look like a fuckin’ cellar door. DOORS. That float around- not vertically but horizontally. They have what looks like a Goldfish swimming around in one of those cliche little fish bowls on the upper left side of the door. That’s what it looks like, but it isn’t a fish. We just have no other way to describe it, you understand? It’s really hard to fathom just what a creature from another galaxy looks like.

-He’s gonna get phone calls.

-Yup.

-Fine. Bring it on. 555-2307. I really don’t care. Anyway, in addition to looking like a sideways door and having a goldfish constantly swimming around their person, the aliens smell sooooooo ghastly. Oh man, you have no idea. They smell-

-Like Poop!

-Yeah, now you’re getting it. They smell like piss and vinegar and vomit and diarrhea, and the real kicker is -what you need to understand class- is they LOVE the way they smell. A male alien gets a whiff of a female and exclaims to his pals: “Damn, did you get a whiff of Shirley!!! She smells RIPE!!!

-WHAT ARE YOU SAYING MR. MEARDON!?

-My point is class- we spend all this time worrying out about everything, right? We ask ourselves how we’re feeling and we freak out about getting this or that job or we freak out when we’re just trying to get out of bed in the morning.

-And??? …He’s totally lost it.

-Shut up. So these aliens come, right? Let’s say they’re from that planet we just found-

-The one that the scientists say is like Earth?

-Yeah. Here’s my point: They arrive, and they see the ocean and the mountains. The dolphins and the sharks. The trees and the lakes. The monkeys and the humans. You think the aliens would think we’re special- any more special than the rest of it? You think they’d think we’re cool? They flew 2000 light years. We went to the moon a couple of times. The moon is lame kids. You fuckin think for one second that the aliens would think we’re fuckin cooler than the monkeys and the whales and the volcanoes? You think they’d care how we’re “feeling” whilst not giving a hoot about all the other stuff?

-Why all the F-bombs Mr. Meardon?

-Twice in the same sentence Meardy!

-It’s his style. It’s just his style.

-Whats with all the questions children? What are you saying, it’s my style? I don’t always swear. Let me do the talking okay? Anyway, you don’t have to believe in aliens to follow me. The aliens are also a metaphor. You know what the alien represents?

-The Union.

-Jimmy, why don’t you go for a walk? The aliens don’t represent a union. They’re everything. Everything in the universe that isn’t us- the sun, the moon, the planets that may or may not have intelligent life. All the galaxies & constellations. Aliens are even a metaphor for things here on Earth. The trees and the bushes, the vines and the bugs. All that other shit doesn’t care about us. They don’t give a hoot. They’re just living and dying. On one planet or another. This cage or that prison cell, you understand? It doesn’t matter. Nothing matters. But we spend all this time fretting.

-If none of that matters, why are you getting so heated? Why are you swearing?

-Yeah, now we don’t have enough time to finish Die Hard cuz Mr. Meardon decided it was time to get all personal and serious.

-…I don’t know…well, I don’t know. I do care. I guess that’s the problem. I care a lot and sometimes I think I care too much. I know it doesn’t seem like it cuz I’m a 30-yr-old substitute teacher who just plays Lethal Weapon while your teacher is out… I don’t really brush my hair… I’m a slob…

-Do you have a point today Mr. Meardon?

-His point is he cares!

-And he’s having a bad hair day! Awwwwwww, it’s okay Mr. Meardon!

-Is he gonna cry? ARE YOU GONNA CRY MR. MEARDON?

-Don’t cry Mr. Meardon, we love you. We won’t tell our parents about the swearing. No phone calls. Right everyone? No phone calls.

-Thanks Jimbo…no phone calls…anyone know where the remote is?

 

Basketball

-Basketball is a simple sport. You understand? It’s not too complicated. I don’t want you to think it’s complicated. You might be thinking you don’t know the first thing about screens, or other fancy things, but I want you to calm down. Basketball is a simple sport, my friends. It’s about putting the ball into the basket. Putting the BALL- into the BASKET. You get what I’m saying here? See, we’re a team, and I’m the coach, and what we’re here to do is figure out how to put this bad boy through that hole.
-The basketball is a bad boy?
-You don’t wanna know Kelly. Anyway, the game is about putting the ball into the basket. You can shoot it in. You get points when it goes in. The team with the most points wins- but the score is really the indicator of who was better at putting the ball into the basket. Michael Jordan was good at putting the ball into the basket.
-You can dunk it in!
-Yeah Jimmy, you can even dunk it in. You can do many different things to try to get it in, and there are rules regarding what’s allowed when trying to put the ball into the basket. But it’s about putting the ball into the basket, you understand? I know I know, you can say, “Hey, Coach Meardon, but isn’t the point also to try to stop the other team from putting the ball into the basket?” Yeah yeah, I get you, but the other team is also trying to put the ball into the basket. You know what I’m saying? Every team we play is going to want to put the BALL into the BASKET? You get it? Offense, defense, basketball is about putting the BALL into the BASKET …Dunking, three-pointers, jumpers- it’s all the same thing. You got me?
-You’re weird.

Bear In A China Closet

I have to give it a real effort when I work at my job now. I’ve had a lot of jobs. But Like I said, I have to really FOCUS.

In recent years, I began recalling lines my father repeated to me. DISCIPLINE AARON. I never really remember the context, I just see the words. DISCIPLINE popped into my head when I played tennis with my old roommate. He’d get so frustrated that he wanted to quit. We’d only been playing for about ten minutes, just warming me up when he told me I better stop screwing around. He would just rather go home. DISCIPLINE. An old friend of mine from the ravioli place said he thought I lacked discipline. But he said it like Mr. Miagi coaching The Karate Kid- “Aaron, you-a wrak DISCIPRINE!”

Get-that-through-your-thick-skull, my Dad said, with gravity. He said it slow. I hear it now. He made such an effort to make it clear. He said it in a way that suggested he knew it might not get absorbed very easily. Get that through your thick skull.

A couple years back I played bottle hockey with the fellas. We played after work, on the big metal tables at the ravioli place. I had a hard time learning the game. It annoyed the guys a little that I couldn’t understand the simple rules, rules about spinning quarters and stuff. I told my friend Dan that I didn’t have space in my brain for stupid rules. I thought that 100% of my brain time should be spent doing whatever it wanted to do. Really it was just laziness and it made me kind of stupid.

Oh yeah, so I have to give it a real effort at my restaurant. I value the job, and I’m grateful to have it. So that means I have to learn about wines and listen and pay attention and all that shit. It’s a struggle. I get really stressed out. A person yelped about me and said I was RETARDED, capitals. I’m not retarded actually. It’s a little frustrating, that shit. Because I’m not retarded.

I was in the class for smart kids in Kindergarten. The EARLY birds. I was the man. I remember in third grade I had my reading level assessed and I was told I had a FIFTH grade reading level. I read novels like Touchdown For Tommy. This one kid had a NINTH grade level, but you know, fuck ‘em- I ran around and shit. I got a perfect score on my jr. college placement test when I was 18. I was told I could “take any English class Bellevue Community College offered.” …So that’s somethin. It’s the little things. The best little thing was probably my old girlfriend’s college papers. She was a great student. She went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she majored in accounting. Anyway after a few B papers, she asked her (required) writing teacher what she needed to do to get an A. After he read a paper that had been over-hauled by me, he noted on her paper- “This is what you need to do to get an A.” When you don’t have the big things, it’s gotta be the little things.

Absent minded, I say. I try to argue that ADD doesn’t exist but I know I have the worst case of it. Everyone swears they have the worst case. Exposure to Ritalin came at age 24. I was living in Seattle, working at a coffee shop. I decided I should see a shrink one night while taking the trash out behind Tully’s Coffee. He diagnosed me with ADD on the first visit. In a later visit I asked him if it was what I said that gave it away, or how I said it. He told me it was “both.” Anyway, he prescribed me a bottle of Ritalin that I used infrequently over the next couple of years. Probably 30 or so 5-milligram pills that I took in 5 and 10-milligram doses. Ritalin definitely played a role in my jr. college triumphs over math. Prior to Ritalin I failed math three times. Performance Enhanced. And my English classes became awesome. I understood everything. I absorbed everything. I liked class. The craziest part was feeling normal. I felt that class on Ritalin was just like a normal person not on Ritalin. I felt normal for understanding everything. Dan once told me I need Ritalin. He pointed to me and said “You know what you need? You need Ritalin.”

Engage Your Brain, my Dad would say.

I don’t know man- My last college professor, when addressing our intimidation of the novel Ulysses, he told us that all those lines that we thought we were skimming over, we were really taking in, even if we thought absolutely nothing was going in.

All these justifications, excuses- “We’re not meant to be idle, we’re meant to run around, and fight for survival” Or “Well, intelligent people take longer to process, because they’re processing more blah blah blah-” all that bullshit I tell myself- I’m still an idiot. I leave the toilet seat down. Or up. I leave my zipper down. I forget stuff. I lose stuff. I don’t listen. So like when my mom would be upset and say “I told you, and you weren’t listening!”

My old step-dad had a nick-name for me, it was DESTRUCTO OBLIVION. Spacial Awareness is something I was told is very important. Also, I’m a Bull In A China Closet. One time I called myself a bear in a china closet but I was corrected. I’m in-fact a BULL In A China Closet. My older brothers called me Air-head. I was okay with it. When I worked at the coffee shop in Seattle, I heard the girls talking about Aaronisms. I perked up- “Oh, like things I say that are clever?” I was told, no, that an Aaronism was like when I forgot to dump out the mop bucket.

Engage Your Brain when I need to remember seat numbers at the restaurant.

Dogs On Walks In The South End

A woman asked me if this blog post was going to be negative. Nope. It’s just dogs on walks in the South end on a cold, sunny, late-winter afternoon.

Zooey was the first dog I photographed. His walker, didn't think the other dog should be in the picture. I don't know exactly what kind of dog Zooey is. Possibly whatever Lassie was.

Zooey was the first dog I photographed. His walker didn’t think the other dog should be in the picture because he wasn’t well-behaved. I don’t know exactly what kind of dog Zooey is. Possibly whatever Lassie was.

All of these photos were taken with the brilliant iPhone 5.

All of these photos were taken with the brilliant iPhone 5.

Here we have professional dog-walker Kris (with a K) walking Piper. Piper looks like a boxer.

Professional dog-walker Kris (with a K) walking Piper. Piper looks like a boxer.

Here we have the little Spirit being walked by his owner Danquell (pronounced Danielle.)

Here we have the little Spirit being walked by his owner Danquell (pronounced like Danielle.)

His given name was Spirit, but Danquell kept calling him Booboo.

His given name was Spirit, but Danquell kept calling him Booboo.

Nice little dog.

Nice little dog.

"No Booboo, I don't have anymore food."

“No Booboo, I don’t have any more food.”

Nicole is walking the bigger Keane with Abbey. Keane and Abbey have better things to do than pose for a stupid blog.

Nicole is walking the bigger Keane with Abbey. Keane and Abbey have better things to do than pose for a stupid blog.

South End

South End

I spotted them from afar.

I spotted them from afar.

Erin and Tyson. This white thing also looks like a boxer. You tell me.

Erin and Tyson. This white thing also looks like a boxer. You tell me.

Awwwwwww!

Is this "Dogs On Walks" post a stupid idea?

Is this “Dogs On Walks” post a stupid idea?

Okay, I hope I scribbled this down correctly. The big one on the right is Raleigh. The other "Doodle mix" is Dexter, and Elsie is in the middle. Chis is their walker. Nice coat Chris!

Okay, I hope I scribbled this down correctly. The big one on the right is Raleigh. The other “Doodle mix” is Dexter, and Elsie is in the middle. Chis is their walker. Nice coat Chris!

Denise is walking Churlie (Like from the Three Stooges. Pretty spot-on, huh?)

Denise is walking Churlie (like Curly  from the Three Stooges. Pretty spot-on, huh?)

Denise wanted me to make sure I tell ya'll that Churlie is 15 years old.

Denise wanted me to make sure I tell ya’ll that Churlie is 15 years old.

Hancock Building

Hancock Building

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Moms walking babies.

Moms walking babies.

About wraps it up.

About wraps it up.