Monday, April 26, 2010

Sarah Redux

For those of you who've been wondering, "Hey! Whatever happened to your gal pal, occasional fake date, and ultimate Weirdness Magnet Sarah? You know, that drunk 26-yr.-old who sends you those crazy text messages?" (previous posts w/pics here, here, here, and here, in case you're new or missed 'em).

Well, she's still around and yes, her life is as much of a soap opera as ever.

(I really shouldn't enjoy this as much as I do, but remember: I have no life of my own; I have to live vicariously through others. And Sarah knows I blog this stuff; in fact, I think she kind of likes it. Someone should use this stuff for a novel.)

Anyway, after a long period of silence I get this on my phone the other day:

I feel very silly to have been cuckolded by someone who'll never get the reference.

No further explanation, though I suppose none is needed. Then I sent out one of my occasional G. W.-is-in-a-pissy-mood-and-wants-to-bitch texts, basically saying that the blood pressure medicine I'd just started (hydrochlorothiazide, should you be interested) was making me feel really crappy. So Sarah responds with the following series of messages:

Perhaps this will make you feel better. I spent an hour trying to convince an old hook up/my ex's nemesis to come over and have drunk crying girl sex.

After about 20 text messages i'd broken him down to maybe, then "probably, i mean, i don't know how this night's gonna go" the best i could get was a probably.

People like me do favors by having sex with people like him. They certainly don't beg for it. But i had no choice it was the most hurtful thing i could do to the ex. And yep i called him after and told him about it. this is what happens when you don't take your medicine.

Then she forwarded me the text which started it all:

Hey. Do you want to have sex with a crying drunk girl later? I'll try to keep the crying to a minimum. I know this is not the most appealing offer. Sorry.

Her commentary:

Oh it's also a nice touch that we hadn't spoken in 5 months and he had no idea who the text was from.

And then this morning:

Sometimes when life meets you with situations where you feel the only option is to sleep with a train hopper, It's really not even a step down to sell your plasma on the way home.

On my hour and a half walk of shame the circus train passed by, but it was 100 feet to high to jump on. That's the way my life is. Close enough to see what i want, but to far away to do anything but watch it pass by.

You know, I bitch a lot about aging, about starting to develop Old Man problems and such, about the loss of friends and relatives, but I wouldn't want to revisit my twenties fer nuthin'!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

More of the Random Crap Which Infests My Brain

Let's blame Brother Wayne for this particular brain spasm; he's the one who posted a pic by Travis Pitts (available as a T-shirt!):

Yep, that's Velma from the Scooby-Doo franchise as a zombie/vampire hunter, the sole surviving human member of Mystery, Inc.

What? You never wondered which of the Scooby gang might survive the Zombie Apocalypse? It had to be Velma; Shaggy would have been too stoned to defend himself in any meaningful way (oh, c'mon; you know he was rockin' the ganj), Daphne was too damn self-absorbed ("Wait! I can't leave without my make-upaiieeEEEEE!!!"), and Fred? With that E-Z access ascot he was walking Purina Zombie Chow from Day One (that should be a Zombieland rule: "Clothing--loose lacing loses lives").

Velma would have already read, memorized, annotated, tested, and corrected The Zombie Survival Guide long before the SHTF. Come Z-Day, I want her by my side.

And, yeah, I've always been more of a Velma kind of guy--the same way I prefer Maryann over Ginger.

Wherein I Reveal I Resemble Orson Welles Only Physically

My friend Anne writes a column for Richmond Magazine, the Big! Glossy! Colorful! Monthly! local 'zine for the Upwardly Mobile and the aspiring UM. It's worth the price of admission and, yeah, I'm pimpin', but I ain't lyin'.

Along with her column she also maintains a blog wherein she offers quick little snippets of her life as a Hipster Mom. The entries are lots of fun, especially since her son is... well... he's quite the character!

A recent post revealed The Boy's desire to become a filmmaker, something I deeply relate to, and presented the reader with his very first effort, Bomb Like A Bat. Sure, he had a little help, but damn! The kid's four-and-a-half and he's already made a video! I'm almost *mumble mumble hedge cough* and I've never made a video! Been in a few; never created one.

Obviously, such a state of affairs demanded serious rectifyin' and so, armed with little more than a vague understanding of Windows Movie Maker and fueled by innumerable swigs of Diet Pepsi and green tea (separately, not mixed. What, you think I'm an animal?), I cobbled together this:

Yeah, that's Richard "Kinky" (Big Dick) Friedman and The Texas Jewboys singing about Charles Whitman, the Texas Tower sniper. Kinky's got his own take on the subject, but his is more of a documentary than a music video.

I recognize the flaws--the images could have been better synched with the music, for one, but I didn't feel like messing too much with the audio timeline and the occasional serendipitous pairing of lyrics and pictures amuses me--and justify them by saying, "sometimes it's better to get the thing done than to get the thing perfect."

Enjoy it (if that's the right phrase) while you can. Being one huge-ass copyright violation wonderful example of artistic appropriation, participatory culture, and fair use (ahem!), it probably won't be up for long.

Oh, and serial killer expert Brother Wayne's critique?

"Nice work, {G. W.}. Now please make a video for 'Billy, Don't Be A Hero'."

Walk(man) On the Wild Side

So I joined the Isolation Generation the other night--I bought myself an mp3 player, a Sony Walkman NWZS545RED 16 GB Video MP3 Player (Red), to be precise:

Yeah, I know; all the cool kids have tiny little iPods of one sort or another, but I gotta tell ya, I don't trust Apple worth a hoot in Hell, especially for the prices they want to charge--far too often they've demonstrated they're perfectly willing to screw the consumer without benefit of lube and then laugh about it behind closed doors (I speak from experience). Sure, they're innovative, they've got cool products, cool ads, and cool designs, but let something go wrong and you'll be re-enacting the Basement Scene from Pulp Fiction with no hope of rescue by Bruce Willis.

But enough of that. Perhaps you're wondering why I bought a portable mp3 player at all, since I'm the one who rants at every opportunity about the ever-increasing loss of connectivity among and/or between people, about the gradual, inexorable, and subtle experience of isolation and alienation from The Real World that seems to characterize life in 21st-Century America.

Oh, right. That's probably just me now that I'm deep into Old Fartdom.

So anyway, I went to see my doctor (oops! I mean my Primary Care Provider. Damn, my age is showing again!) last month--well, actually, I saw my nurse-practitioner; I haven't actually seen my doctor since 2006. He's always off doing something else with other patients (curse this Brave New World! I mean clients.). No particular reason, just that they hadn't seen me since July of 2009 and they thought it might be a good idea for me to come in for a check-up. Long story short:

Blood Pressure--high
Triglycerides--high (high enough to make it impossible to get an accurate reading of LDL vs. HDL)
Blood glucose--high normal (obscurant way of saying the upper end of the acceptable range)
Vitamin D levels--normal... maybe*
Mental Status--Dysthymia bordering on major depressive disorder
Bottom Line--at high risk for heart attack and stroke

Well, duh! I mean, I don't go anywhere or do anything (besides work), I rarely see anyone outside of work, I'm a Master of the Sedentary Arts (ever wonder why I'm a boundless fount of useless trivia? Three things: books, television, and the Internet), sleep is my favorite indoor sport, I have a distinct affinity for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods (the imminent launch of the KFC Double Down--cheese, bacon, and sauce between two pieces of fried chicken--gives me and Homer Simpson equally large hard-ons), I work a crappy, low-paying job**, my father's dead, my mother has Alzheimer's, I smoke... I'd list more except it sounds like I'm having a Pity Party over here. Really, I'm not. My point is none of this is a surprise to me; I'm not that far into denial (I want to be, but I'm not. damn it.).

So, okay, some of these things are easily changed through medication (I'm now taking Wellbutrin, Lovaza, and a once-weekly Vitamin D supplement), diet (Crom help me, I'm now rarely eating meat, especially not "red meat," and am switching over to high-fiber, low glycemic foods***), and exercise.


People, I'm about as athletically-challenged as they come: graceless, uncoordinated, unmotivated, undisciplined, don't like to sweat...

However, for the most part I don't mind walking and, yeah, that's not the most strenuous of activities, but a fella's gotta start somewhere. For the past two weeks I've been taking a brisk evening stroll around the streets of Richmond for at least thirty minutes and, additionally, trying not to use the car for quick trips to the grocery store, the pharmacy, the local used-book or record stores (there's that pesky age thing again, but what else should I call it?), etc.

Problem is, it's boooooooring**** and I know myself; if I don't keep myself amused I'll shift back to those things that do amuse me--books, tv, Internet--until the neighbors start to complain about the strange smell emanating from my apartment ("He was a quiet guy, seemed all right, kept to himself... it's a shame something ate his face before the police found his body. At least his cat's okay. Kinda fat, though").

Enter the Sony Walkman NWZS545RED 16GB Video MP3 Player (Red). Oh, YEAH, baby! Load that sucker up with my favorite songs and albums, set it to "shuffle," and I don't care if I'm wandering around the Third Circle of Hell; I'm perfectly oblivious and content!

Couple of things, though:
1) Bursting into song at random intervals while struttin' behind the numerous dog-walkers on my street is, uh, "inimical to good fellowship". Especially if the lyrics are a bit...odd.

2) As is breaking out the air instruments during the guitar solo in "Stairway to Heaven" or drum solo in "Wipe Out." Makes the neighbors nervous.

All in all, though, it's been worth the money. I look forward to my evening walks, plan on weekend excursions deep into Forest Hill Park, and I'm rediscovering music I haven't thought about in years.

Oh, and I've lost ten pounds.

*This is a new thing some doctors are doing. Apparently, there is a school of thought that says what has traditionally been defined as a "normal" level is approximately half the optimal level, so I'm "normal" or "deficient" (as is most of the industrialized world) depending upon your point of view.

**I'm reminded of a Drew Carey quote: "Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar."

***Is there any subject more loaded with emotion, politics, myth, and misinformation than what to eat? In trying to formulate a diet to lower my triglycerides I'm often finding myself overwhelmed with contradictory information, some bordering on pure ju-ju. These are my current guidelines, should you be interested, though I find some of them a tad rigid (No more than 3 oz. of cooked meat, fish or whatever, per week? Not gonna happen.). The best advice I've found is from Michael Pollan: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." It's a little more complicated than that, but only a little.

Oh, and don't get me started on "dietary supplements"; that's where things become really weird. I ain't waving a dead, free-range, tofu chicken over nuthin'.

****Leg-hurting and blister-inducing, too. Didn't realize I had no shoes suitable for anything beyond the occasional 10-minute walk. 'Course, my weight doesn't help matters, either, but still. Eventually I hope to develop some calluses but for the moment I'm that guy, the overweight middle-aged man walking around in socks and sandals.