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Saturday, November 11th, 2006
2:49 am - Goodbye
I'm just reviewing my journal tonight after monthsa of inactivity. I suppose I've outgrown the need to blog, at least for now. I'm a family. Mae and her daughter and I are a legitimate family, probably even more legitimate than the average North American family bound by law and blood.

I now live in a high rise in downtown. My parents and I went in together and bought a condo. Mae will bring her daughter over tomorrow so she can get acclimated to staying here on Monday nights, when I babysit her (while Mae is in school). I love this kid. She's absolutely the most adorable, hilarious kid I've ever met. I was worried at first that she would be quiet or dopey or...or that she wouldn't r eally be that cute, but I'd make a big deal out of her being cute because I'm associated with herm and once you get to know any kid they're usually pretty cute. But this kid is amazing, and I say this objectively. She turns heads wherever she goes. My family loves her, too.

And Mae's family loves me. We all love each other. It's incredible. It's on-the-nose: this is exactly what I was looking for when I left L.A. (and, honestly, not what I was expecting at all). Marriage is still a ways off - Mae has school to finish, and my new place is too mall for the three of us - but we're comfortably dating and monogamous and familial, and it's juts amazing.

So goodbye for now. I think this blog has expired. Thank you to everyone over the years who gave me compliments and/or vitriol.

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Monday, July 10th, 2006
9:13 pm - When the Squirrels Come Marching In
Over the weekend of the 4th - actually, the weekend just before the 4th - I drove back home to Des Moines, which meant my apartment was vacant for a good three days. When you leave your home for an extended period of time, I think there's always the fear that things will be in tact when you arrive back home, which means that the overt fear is that someone will have entered your space and rearranged (and possibly removed) certain items.

So imagine how freaked out I was when, after three days away, I walked in to my studio apartment and show a shaft of light piercing the plastic divider on the side of my air conditioner. It wasn't someone who invaded my space; it was a something.

I've noticed the outlines of gyrating squirrels in the little cove where my window-unit air conditioner sits. I think the sound of the unit's hum scares them away, and since I'm really just a walking nuclear core, when I'm home the air is on all the time. But that hum died down for 72 straight hours, and I guess the squirrels conspired. They tried to chew through the slat on the left side, and then decided it was futile, and began to chew through the actual wood frame of the window on the other side. they got through far enough that one of them evidently shoved its little rabies paw through and slid the divider open. EW!

Let me tell you, the only thing creepier than a human breaking in to your apartment is an unpredictable rodent breaking in. What was even creepier was that, a.) there was a horrible, decay-like smell coming from my kitchen, and b.) absolutely nothing appeared to have been touched or moved or soiled or stolen. The smell was evidently coming from a pan of water I had cooked pasta in and left on my stove before I left. But i've never smelled anything like that, and was convinced that it was actually squirrel shit, or, at the worst, a dead squirrel. So I was stalking my apartment looking for either a live or a dead squirrel, and I didn't know which I wanted to find less.

Since I didn't have anything to block the windows with, I had to spend that night in fear that I would be awakened in the middle of the night by a faint scratching sound, look up, and see a furry paw coming through the chewed-up hole in the divider. Luckily, the squirrels must've either realized I have nothing of interest to them (as intriguing as DVDs of all three seasons of Peep Show must've seemed to them at first...), or they could smell my neck-snapping rage from across the alley way. The next afternoon I bought two cement blocks that now rest in my window on either side of the air conditioner. Yeah, it looks ugly, but not half as ugly as a boot-stomped squirrel smear in the middle of my living room rug.

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Wednesday, June 21st, 2006
7:26 am
I continue to be amazed by the bathroom etiquette here at work. As I have stated before, my floor only has two stalls, and the actual toilets are so close together that you could, with very little effort, reach under the stall and grab the leg of the guy next to you. It's not terribly personal.

So I'm in the bathroom just a moment ago, and I'm nearing the end of my process, when a fellow dumper enters the stall next to me. He sits down - without using a liner (although I understand that they don't really do anything to keep you safe from doodoo remnants) - and doesn't make any noise whatsoever. Not that I wanted the guy to make noise, but it's almost worse when stall neighbors turn to stone. So I'm running maintenance, right? And I'm tearing off paper and wiping, and you can hear everything, and no one else is in the bathroom besides us, so there's no ambient noise or socialization covering up my dump clean-up noises.

I get done shitting, flush, pull my pants up, and go to the sink, and the guy still hasn't made a noise, right? But, like, the minute I get to the sink, I hear that emptying-a-mustard-container shitting noise from the guy's stall. He decided to keep all of his wet, explosive doodoo in until I walked five feet away. I could distinctly hear every last bit of human waste throttle out of this guy's butthole.

If this guy was so embarrassed for me to hear him release sloppy joes, why didn't he wait until I had left the bathroom entirely? I seriously fail to understand the bathroom etiquette at my office.

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Wednesday, June 14th, 2006
7:31 am
Well, I know what date rape feels like. My girlfriend fell asleep while we were doing it last night, and I must've carried on for a good thirty seconds before I even realized. In her favor, she was pretty drunk, and I'm certainly not mad at all. I'm just sort of creeped out that I can associate myself with roofie-users.

How do you spell "roofies," by the way? The actual drug name, I think, is Rohypnol, so I don't even know where "roofies" came from. And I don't think that's how you would spell it. I think that's how frat guys would spell it.

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Saturday, June 10th, 2006
1:48 am
Last weekend at around this time, I was fucking my girlfriend. And I make issue out of this because while I was fucking her, I kept pretending I had just picked her up at the bar.

She and I - what name can I give here here? How abouy Mae? - Mae and I met some old friends of hers at a pub downtown. Mae was unhappy with her hair, so she borrowed a hat from her sister, which made her look sort of scenester-y. She also had on a very short red 1960's skirt that I had bought for her (and request be worn often), and black tights and heels. She was, by far, the hottest chick at the pub, which was filled with those sort of dough-faced Midwestern girls with generic mall clothes and bitchy attitudes. Dime a dozen, right? Well, my baby costs more than eight-tenths of a cent.

When we got home, it was enevitable that we would screw, since we were drunk, her period was looming (in fact it was unconcerningly late), and, well, we both looked good.

I didn't even have to ask Mae to keep the hat on; she seemed to know what this all meant. I pulled her skirt and tights down, and went in for the kill. I kept looking at Mae, whose head was sort of kinked to the side - I was behind her - and imagining that I was fucking a complete stranger that just so happened to be the hottest chick in the bar, and had come home with me.

For some reason, I felt guilty about this. Usually when Mae and I have sex, it's intense and pleasureable, but very loving. Luckily, Mae quelled my guilt the next morning by saying she also was sort of pretending that she'd gone home with a guy from a bar.

Which brings me to my second and final point - This is exactly the relationship I've been looking for. I want someone who's hot and aware of being hot and plays in to that, but I need need NEED someone who is not only smart, but mature enough to keep up conversation. Of course, all guys want this, and it doesn't really exist. But, I'm telling you, I've found the perfect girl. The morning after our objectifying fucking session, she woke up and ran out to get coffe; I woke up and made breakfast (not generic "breakfast" breakfast - I made hasbrowns with fresh gold beets and shallots), and we sat outside and smoked and drank and talked about everything from the biology of the large intestine to how miserable a woman in my department is.

God, I love this girl.

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1:35 am
For all my pissing and moaning about how terribly self-centered our society is, I must say, I was blissfully surprised by how I, a call center rep with laryngitis, was met today.

Firstly, I simply couldn't leave work. Each year, you're given four unexcused absences, and I've used two. I absolutely need to get my tonsils removed, but that ain't gonna happen until at least this winter, when I've been at the company for a full year (and can use long-term medical leave). So I'm on pins and needles, praying I don't have more than two unplanned flare-ups between now and January 12.

This meant that, for today, since there were no open vacation slots, I had to stay until at least 2:15, and depending on how busy it was, possibly 4:15. And, dude, I sounded horrible. Everyone I talked to said I sounded like I was in pain (ironically, I wasn't). What really shocked me was, out of maybe 30 - 40 calls, all but one caller were affable and forgiving and even empathetic. I was so concerned starting the day that I would get bitched out and eventually sent home. Today was an odd social experiment.

So yay for humanity (during at least one day out of the year.)

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Thursday, June 8th, 2006
9:52 pm
My God, how long does it take for laryngitis to set in? Because I could talk this morning, but by 2:30 I sounded like Kathleen Turner with bad cellphone reception. I haven't spoken for four hours. Can my larynx heal itself overnight?

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Wednesday, June 7th, 2006
2:50 pm
Hey. I'm back. Hopefully more consistently. I guess when you get a steady job and a steady girlfriend, you start to realize that you blog because you're bored and trying to fill a void and maybe trying to communicate with people. But now that I'm not bored and I've met people, I suppose that's not a good reason to not have a blog...

So I give you:


Today I was taking a dump at work, and, as I have explained before, was literally about six inches away from a the guy in the stall next to me who was also taking a shit. How do I know he was taking a shit? Because he was making that crying/grunting noise that kids make when they haven't learned how to manipulate their ass muscles to work a turd out comfortably. I've got to know who this moron is, and when he wipes (which was also done through a haze of heavy breathing and grunting), he walks out of the stall, and I peer through the crack in an effort to see if I recognize something he's wearing. And, sure enough, I recognize the shirt. I can't quite place it, but I recognize it. Where have I seen that shirt? Who was that guy wearing it? Did he see my sandals and know it was me? Does the office now know I'm shitting?
Then it hits me - it was my manager.

--

I just walked by someone's desk and saw those elongated Jolly Ranchers, and I've decided I have a big problem with them. I feel that thin, plank-like candy should be chewy, not suck-y. What genius at Jolly Rancher took a step back, looked at the delicious little bite-sized cubes and said, "we really need to give people an alternative to these. Maybe...instead of going all the way in the mouth...they should only go part of the way in. Like a tongue. Yeah!" And then some other suit said, "Yeah! We've completely been overlooking the uncharted market of candies with exposed sticky portions. I mean, you've got suckers, but they're on a stick, so your fingers really don't get coated in sugar at all. We can dominate this fucking market."

Seriously.

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Thursday, March 30th, 2006
7:34 pm - Love in a Toilet
As I was having a piss today at work, I looked in to the urinal and noticed two pubic hairs entwined in the shape of a heart. I don't know what I'm suppose to make of that.

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Monday, March 27th, 2006
1:03 am - New Daddy
The time has finally come for me to meet my girlfriend's kid. (My girlfriend has a kid, by the way.) For some reason I was holding out until the six month mark - God knows why that time limit stuck in my head - but after not having my baby around for a week (she was in England), and being completely isolated during that week, and then having her come back and say that she's going to have her kid pretty much all the time for the next few weeks, I've realized that I'm a lonely, miserable bastard who only finds absolute comfort in life by being a lonely, miserable bastard, and I really should attempt to spend some of my down time with the person I love, even if that means I'll be spending it with her three year-old daughter as well, because no man is an island, and if I continue to only see her at work and spend my outside-of-work time alone, I will whither in to an even more anti-social bastard, and will know nothing more in the world but obsessive movie trivia. You know you're miserable when you don't even want to drink because it involves leaving your house.

Now, I've been very...not afraid, but I guess cautious...of this situation. I don't want to be a surrogate father, and I don't want anyone to think I'm their surrogate father. But my lady and I have mulled things over and decided that if we treat the situation as if I'm a friend (and not a boyfriend, per se, although I think some minor contact is acceptable), and I don't sleep over, and I'm not known as "New Daddy," or anything like that, that this will work out quite well. Or it will at least be a step in the right direction.

I'm very proud of myself that I've made it to a point in my life where I can recognize my ridiculous behavior, and turn it around. This is exactly the girl I've been looking for, so I shouldn't be miserable, but I'm so used to being miserable and alone and not needing anyone that I continue to make excuses to be miserable, and one of those excuses is, "I don't want to hurt a kid," and it's as clear as day right now that there's a way to date someone with a kid and meet their kid and not be a surrogate dad and still be comfortable. I'm excited to meet the kid.

Boy does this beat banging hot 22 year-olds.

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Tuesday, March 21st, 2006
8:49 pm - An Analogy
I break months of silence to tell you this:

I've grown yet another mustache, and I've realized the perfect analogy for what it's like to have a furry caterpillar on your upper lip. It's exactly like Helsinki Syndrome. Basically, I'm Patty Hearst, and the mustache is the Symbionese Liberation Army. When I look in the mirror, I don't necessarily see the mustache for the horrible, hateful, radical terrorist group it really is; I kind of empathize with it. And as each day goes by, I become more and more attached (figuratively, natch) to the 'stache. I understand its plight, and I sort of agree with it.

I know that the minute I get rid of the stache - the minute the FBI pulls me, Patty Hearst, from the lukewarm embrace of a bunch of radical post-teens who think robbing banks and attemtping to feed the homeless for a few days with some rich guy's ransom money - I will snap back to reality. I will see my pale and emaciated face in the mirror and recognize that the mustache was just a virus all along. I will realize that I can once again smile at children in an elevator without their parents thinking I'm a creepy molester.

Also, I'm still with my griflriend. She's in London right now, visiting for the week, and I don't really miss her. I'm a miserable bastard, and I'm teeth-clenching comfortable and maybe a bit relieved being alone. This isn't to say I don't love her or want her back, but I suppose I've been scarred enough that I go in to hibernation mode when left to my own devices. But, yeah, my girlfriend's fucking awesome. I completely trust her, and we've both been very open with one another through this whole thing, and it's like no other relationship I've ever had, and probably ever will. I feel guilty that I don't miss her, but we discussed tonight (and, yes, she's calling me from London to bullshit, which is awesome in and of itself) how you tend to miss your loved one more when you're the one who's left. When you're stuck at home, you sort of just deal with it.

Hi. I'm still alive. I like life.

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Thursday, February 2nd, 2006
7:50 pm - Here's What's Missing
Here's a generic update, so I can get to the meat of things: fondled a one-time Playboy model, found out my ex-brother-in-law won the $117 milion lottery jackpot (which caused much Christmas turmoil), and scooped up a steady girlfriend who I not only work with, but who has a kid.

But, really, I want to tell you what I overheard in the cafeteria today. There were two middle-aged asexual wife-types sitting a table away from me, and one was telling the other about her friend, a mother of a teenage boy, who we will call Theresa. She had set up a breakfast date with her son this morning. So one of the wife-types says, "Theresa goes, 'my son blew off our breakfast date to have lunch with his girlfriend!' And then she said, 'Well, it could be worse. He could've dumped me for his BOYfriend!'" And then both wife-types started laughing manically.

Why is that funny? And why is it awful for your son to have a boyfriend? I really don't understand how in this day and age we're still whigged out about that. Shouldn't you be concerned if your son is dating someone who is dishonest, or disease-ridden, or...Jesus, even an annoying stereotype. if I had a son and he was gay and he brought home his boyfriend, and the boyfriend was all flailing limbs and catty pop culture references, I'd be annoyed as Hell that my son was dating a transparent, garden-variety fag. Find a guy with some substance!

Also, it's worth noting that the funniest thing I've heard all year (so far, which isn't saying a lot) was spewed during a New Year's party. I was sitting near two white girls who were setting up a board game. One girl was telling the other how to play the game, which she explained thusly: "YOu have to match two pieces of the same type. Some are short, some are tall, some are light and some are colored." I turn around, face her, and say in a very obviously hammy condescending tone, "Uh, yeah, we don't say 'colored' an y longer. We say African-American." The girl looks at me and says - and I swear to Christthere was nary a trace of iorny - "YOU need to watch the movie Crash. Maybe THAT will help you solve your problem." Verbatim qoute.

Have you seen Crash? It's hands down the worst movie I've seen all year. Iti's hilariously contrived. I love how every character is unabashedly and unashamedly racist, usually for no good reason. I love the idea that Matt Dillon represents all cops in Amercia, who walk around using the n-word when they don't get their way. I love the cliche young, disaffected black character who, despite being a thug, has very clear philosophical views on racism. So everyone's ridiculously racist, and then some of them get hurt. How will that help me change my life? I mean, have you seen Phat Beach? Now there's an anti-racism message.

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Sunday, January 1st, 2006
11:13 am
I was at a New Year's party last night, and at one point found myself sitting with two girls who were playing a board game involving colored game pieces.

"The object of the game," one girl was explaining, "is to match four pieces who all share something in common. They could all be short or tall or hollow pieces, or even colored pieces."

"Uh, actually it's Africa-American," I told her. She shot me a piercing look and with absolutely no trace of humor or irony, said, "You really need to watch Crash. Maybe that would help you."

I love the idea watching a movie will completely quell racism. I also love the idea that I'm racist for making a socio-linguistic joke.

God, I've got to watch Crash now.

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Sunday, November 20th, 2005
3:43 pm
I'm quite offended. I just saw the new issue of Men's Health magazine with Adrien Brody on the cover. He's got his shirt off and he's smiling, and the headline reads, "SCRAWNY to BRAWNY!"

Being a thin, white, North American man, I'm obsessed with other thin, white, North American men who are perceived as attractive or sexy. This means that I've been aware of Adrien Brody since his break out in Spike Lee's Summer of Sam. From what I can tell - and I just watched Adrien Brody in Oxygen, which was released in 1999, the same year as SoS - the guy hasn't gained any weight at all. He's always been thin and incredibly muscular, and the picture of the guy on Men's Health shows absolutely nothing in contrast. He's just as thin, and just as ripped.

What is this ridiculous obsession we have in this country with masculinity being associated with girth? I love watching French and Italian and even British movies movies from the '60's and '70's where male protagonists, like Alan Delon or David Hemmings or Michael Caine, aren't these ridiculously ripped, creatin-dripping neanderthals. They're regular dudes who have PERSONALITY and are sexy. David Hemmings is a MUTANT! But when he starts banging chicks in Blow Up, it makes total sense. He's sexy.

In the '90's, when Pulp had touched Britain with its brilliance, I could not have been a bigger Jarvis Cocker fan. Nor could my girlfriend at the time. She was in Iowa City one weekend and found a black-and-white poster of Jarvis really belting out a line, his spindly little legs twisted in to each other like a little kid ramming pretzel sticks together. I showed the poster to my sister and she goes, "Ew! Who's that guy? He's ugly. He looks like a nerd" Certainly, Jarvis Cocker isn't the handsomest man around, and he does have a generically nerdy look (as do most Indie Rock Dudes, which is one of the exact defining traits of an Indie Rock Dude), but the guy is sexy. I bet that guy bangs like a pirate, and I bet he's administered an incredible amount of orgasms. Vin Diesel, on the other hand - if he is straight, that is, which I'm thoroughly unconvinced of - appears to not even know how to kiss a chick. There's a scene in XxX where he's making out with Asia Argento (another person who isn't distinctly attractive, and is incredibly skanky, but is still uber sexy) and it looks like he's trying to lick the placenta off a newborn deer. It's offensive.

Now, I'm not saying that if you're a beefy guy who spends most of your time in the gym, you're a lousy lay, or if you're an emaciated geek you're great in the sack. What I am saying is, beauty is only skin deep, and this concept that sexiness and masculinity being proportional to girth is absolutely ridiculous. I've fucked around with so many hot chicks who just didn't know what they were doing, and I've fucked around with, well, chicks who were hot but were also sexy and had something much deeper going on, and they were incredible.

I hope Adrien Brody is pissed over that Men's Health issue. I hope he makes a statement. It's great to see people like Brody (and - at last - Patrick Dempsey) being recognized as sexy. Maybe we're getting some taste again in this country. Although that's doubtful. Have you seen the fucking "OC?"

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Saturday, November 19th, 2005
11:40 am - Gettin' it Hard
Last week I took a huge shit at work, and I started wondering about anal sex. My dump was such a relief. There's no way once that thing had come out of me that I would want it back in there.

So when you're receiving anal sex, does the emphasis go on the penis going in the ass, or coming out? Like, when you're having vaginal heterosexual intercourse, the guy emphasizes the penis going in, right? He's always working toward thrusting inward, and the penis only comes out so it can go right back in. But if you're fucking an ass, do you emphasize pulling it out? Does it only go in to come out? Is that why it feels good?

Seriously.

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Monday, November 14th, 2005
11:39 pm
It's supposed to snow tonight, and because of this I can't sleep. I have been in bed for an hour, reading and occassionally peering over the top of the book to look out the window, hoping to see dusty powder slinking into my building's alleyway. Since the radiators in my building have been set to "nuclear reactor," I've had to open my windows, and while I read and wait for the snow, I realize that snow makes absolutely no distinguishable noise when it falls, but you can still hear it. Do you know what I mean?

An hour ago I realized I don't have an ice scraper. This carries quite a problem since I would have to drive to get an ince scraper, and I can't very well do that if I haven't scraped the ice from my windows. This means I may have to go to Walgreen's on the way to work, which is actually in the opposite directon from the office. I will also have to let my car sit idle while it heats up, which really sucks because that means that for that idle time I will be getting 0 mpg, and my tank average will falter, all because I haven't thought ahead and purchased an ice scraper because I'm still mentally in California.

This morning it was so cold that My gas mileage went down by 4 MPG on the way to work. It was so cold that I cursed myself for not wearing long underwear. And it was, indeed, so cold that I thought about all of the errands I had to do after work, and how annoying it would be to do them in the freezing, pitch black Midwestern night. This, of course, could not help bring up the question of what it was like in Los Angeles at that very moment, and how much easier my errands would be, and how I wouldn't have to worry about wearing an uncomfortable under garment solely to keep me warm for the total of maybe five minutes outside, and potentially risk sweating like a wrestler for the reast of the day spent indoors.

My conclusion is that I'm sure Los Angeles is lovely right now, but if I were living there, I bet I'd be miserable. Or more miserable, rather. I dont' know exactly what it was, but I was never quite happy there. Here, in Minnesota, i bitch endlessly about the ridiculous drivers and across-the-board passive/agressive behavior and that retarded accent. But I really love it.

Please snow soon, Minneapolis. I need you tonight.

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7:55 pm
There's a woman in my office who looks exactly like the living embodiment of a Daniel Clowes character. She's got bad skin and buck teeth and that goofy, uncomfortable look on her face. It's amazing.

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Sunday, November 6th, 2005
1:01 pm
I've somehow worked my intestinal track in to a routine where I poop at around 8:20 every morning, just before I leave for work, which allows me to completely skip the horrendous process of taking the Work Dump. However, our office closes early on Friday, which means I have to come in an hour early, which means that my scheduled poop time comes round while I'm standing in my cubicle taking phone calls.

On top of all this, I may have mentioned that the men's room on my floor is a terribly uncomfortable environment to make boom-boom in. There are only two stalls, and the toilets in these stalls are literally two feet apart from each other. When you're sitting on the bowl, you could easily reach down – without a lot of effort – and grab your neighbor's foot. (Also, we have to wear security badges that clip on to your waistband, and since your pants are around your ankle while you're doo-dooing, people can totally read your badge, which has a picture of you smiling on it. You're not anonymous at all. I shove my badge in my pocket.)

Today, of course, 8:20 rolls around and I really have to shit, but my break's not until 9:15. About four minutes before my break I end a call and dart for the bathroom, determined to not spend my entire fifteen minute free time breaking bread. As I walk in, I see feet under one of the stalls (and I have to take the handicap stall, which I hate because I'm afraid someone who's actually handicapped will roll in to the men's room and have to wait for me to finish shitting).

I walk in the stall, put a seat liner on the rim - which doesn't do much good because the seats are ergonomically correct, like they have a little bucket swoop in the back, so when you sit down on the taut liner it crinkles and crackles and tears - pull my pants down, relax, and juuuust get ready for the whole process to begin. I notice that I've made a lot of noise. Then I realize that the guy in the stall next to me hasn't made any noise at all since I walked in the bathroom. In fact, He hasn't grunted, sniffled, farted, or even moved an inch. He's dead still. No matter how badly I have to go, I'm terribly self-conscious at this point. Is he passed out? Dead? Has he OD'd? I conclude that he's embarrassed, and I've interrupted his secret dump, and he's going to wait me out, so now I'm even more self-conscious about making noise, and I know that when the actual physical process of elimination begins, there will be sounds. Maybe some gassy sounds, and definitely some plopping sounds.

What makes things worse is, he's got on these well-worn Asics running shoes, and a pair of pretty skanky-looking jeans, which I can see under the stall. I estimate that he's probably a run-of-the-mill dude, and run-of-the-mill dudes don't really have a problem being gross in general, so they certainly don't have a problem dropping a loaf in public. He's got to make noise some time; I decide to wait him out.

One minute goes by; two; three. Five minutes in, the guy hasn't moved at all. He's in a shit trance or something. And to make matters worse, I've been teasing my colon this whole time, and now I've got to suck it all back up and wait until later when this clown isn't in the bathroom. Which means, unless I want my phone stats to suffer, I've got to wait until lunch, which is three-and-a-half hours away. FUCK!

So I do what any neurotic Workplace Dumper would do: I tear of a line of toilet paper and pretend to wipe. I feel like if I just stand up and walk away, that's even weirder, and I know this guy can hear everything, even the faint sound of toilet paper brushing against my ass. (Although I'm actually wiping it against my thigh, which makes a congruent sound.)

--

Around twenty minutes before lunch is over, my buddies inform me that there's a relatively private bathroom on the second floor where I should be able to shit in peace. I throw my lunch remnants in the wastebin and charge hustle down the hall. When I step inside the men's room, to my horror, I notice the exact same setup as earlier this morning: two stalls, one occupied, handicapped stall available, toilets roughly two feet apart. Dammit. Well, at least there's no way the building has two silent shitters, right?

I line the seat, sit down, rustling ensues...and the guy next to me still hasn't flinched. Two in one day! At this point, I'm prairie doggin', so I don't care. I sit down and let loose.

To my stall neighbor's credit, he did grunt a couple of times. It wasn't an outright grunt, rather it sounded like he was clenching his teeth and grunting silently until the force became too much, wherein he accidentally grunted out loud. I don't think he even shit; like me earlier, I think he came in, sat down, and just couldn't go.

I certainly hope he didn't shit because he left without washing his hands.

I, on the other hand, was weightless for the rest of the afternoon.

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Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005
7:05 pm - The Plague
The plague that is rapidly finding its way, here in Minneapolis, toward my empty heart is the plague of self-consciousness. There is nothing less attractive to me than a woman who absolutely cannot stand herself, and has to make up for it by announcing how much she can't stand herself.


Karl called me on Saturday evening and asked if I wanted to go to a Halloween party with him. It was being held in a warehouse in Northeast, and Karl swore up and down there would be hot chicks.

I almost didn't go, since there was a $20 charge for people not in costume, and while I was certainly dressed in a nice suit, I wasn't really wearing a costume, per se (although Karl lent me a pair of glasses with a penis for a nose, which garnered so many offended looks I felt like I'd at least paid in karma). But, for some reason, when I walked in, I wasn't asked to pay. I quickly tore the dick nose disguise off my face. What my not paying meant, however, was that every time I went outside to smoke, I had to chance getting caught coming back in, since my hand hadn't been stamped. So when I found a designated smoking area inside the warehouse, complete with four chairs and swiveling naked woman sculptures all contained under a little canopy, I made myself cozy.

It's safe to say that 99% of the chicks there were heinous. I guess L.A. spoiled me. At ne point, Karl ran off to get a drink, and when he returned he told me that a chick had approached him, said she had seen me walking around, and wanted to talk to me. Karl, who's a genius, and who totally has my back, tells the chick that I'm a writer, I just moved from L.A., and I'm a little frustrated with the party, so I'm hiding out. He also tells her that it would be a little awkward if he brought her over to me, so she should stop by my seat on her own. Karl then raced to the tent area and told me what had just transpired.

I sat alone for a few minutes wondering if this chick was part of the 1% of decent looking women at the party. Actually, I wasn't wondering as much as I was praying. My odds were very slim.

About five minutes later, a really cute girl dressed in red, translucent shawls approached me. With a guy in tow. The girl – who was definitely one of the best-looking chicks there – had brought her gay friend along. The gay friend was incredibly nice and chatty, but the girl, Katie, was completely silent. So I sat and talk to the gay friend for five minutes. Then, when he was ready to leave, one of Katie's female friends approached us and started yacking at me, so there's another five minutes that I'm not talking to someone who's supposedly interested in me.

Once we were finally alone I had to figure out what to say to this girl, who I wasn't even certain I wanted to talk to since she had just stood around silently for the past ten minutes, and needed chaperons.

The only thing less attractive than being shy and boring is being so self-conscious that you doubt every last personal attribute, and you do it out loud. Katie instantly started putting herself down, and she started doing it in a mousy little girl voice. For as cute as she was, it was incredibly unattractive. Within five minutes I had learned all about her failed marriage to a German dude, her alimony checks and trust fund money, her ex-boyfriend, and whatever other peripheral information you could potentially vomit forth in less than five minutes.

At one point we're talking about kids, and Katie's eyes sort of get big. She opens her mouth, gasps a little, then says, "Oh. Um, there's something I forgot to tell you." She says this like she's breaking bad news, like she knew I would be completely disappointed in what se was about to admit. She creates this tension, like she's going to drop a bombshell. And the bombshell is, "I forgot to tell you...I have a kid."

You know, that's not really even a bad surprise. I'd date a single mom. What I mind is a single mom who makes a big issue out of being a single mom within ten minutes of meeting me.

This has become so commonplace recently, too. I keep meeting these completely downtrodden chicks who seem to have given up on the world, and haven chosen to live out the rest of their lives in a state of anguish.

Katie gave me her number. I'm too much of a perv and a jerk to not call. I know it will be a trainwreck, but she was hot enough to merit another conversation. A miserable conversation.

Later on that night I met a cute Eastern European girl whose number I got. As I was leaving the party, one of my friends clued me in that the girl had dated a mutual friend of ours, and the girl was evidently a little wacky. Like, she had a weird sex hang-up or something. Great. Why are all the hot ones fucking crazy? And why do they find their ways to me?

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Saturday, October 29th, 2005
11:22 am
One thing that has made this week so wonderful is that, tuesday through friday, just before I was fully dressed and heading out the door for work, I had the urge to take a dump. Furthermore, I actually DID take a dump at home, which meant my fifteen minute morning breaks didn't need to be used up in the shitter.

The men's room on my floor, by the way, only has two stalls, and it's shared by probably 100 dudes. The toilet has a scooped seat, so you sink in and back when you sit down to crap, and it messes up the non-contoured seat liner, which starts to slip between your legs and dip in to the back of the toilet. Then you lean forward and the toilet flushes automatically because it's, well, an automatic toilet, and it throws a fountain of dirty toilet water up your butthole and on to your ass cheeks. Plus, the actual toilets are maybe two feet apart and are separated by a thin metal wall, and there's always another bloke taking a dump when you're in there, so you can hear absolutely everything coming out of him. Like that moist crackling of the doody slipping out. I hate shitting at work.

Luckily I went four for five. Great week.

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