Category Archives: About Me
I’m a bit distracted today and as a result, I don’t have wonderfully witty things to say. Perhaps it was a bit of cheese from last night or the scrambled eggs for breakfast this morning – you know, a simple digestion issue that’s causing the ghosts of past, present, and future to converge on this little Chicago apartment.
But I guess that’s how many of us experience New Year’s Day. A day to figure out how to reposition our lives, so they are more of what we imagine they can be and less of what they have been, all through figuring out how to reconfigure our Now.
So in order to get myself back on track, I’ve come up with the following list of resolutions:
1) Quit smoking – I know, it’s gross, disgusting and I do wish I’d never started. I’ve tried to quit before, fingers crossed this is the year.
2) Run 730 miles this year – My workouts tend to focus on weightlifting, but I need to have more cardio. Also when I run, I crave cigarettes less. So win/win! Why 730? Because it comes out to 2 miles a day.
3) Read 365 poems – Usually I have a list of books to read. This year, I want to try to produce more than I consume – so I’m going to bone up on poetry.
4) Write 52 poems – They’ll probably be at the level of my famous 10th grade emo poem “Black Wax Melting Into a Pool of Self.”
5) Finish the novel I started for NaNoWriMo – I already have 210 pages. I’d like to finish a coherent rough draft by the end of the year.
6) Post 365 blog posts this year – They may not be daily, but there will be 365 of them.
7) Create 52 pieces of visual art – I’ve always had an interest in drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography, so this year I’m going to try to create a few pieces (good or bad) to help me get a feel for the process. So if you’re cute and like to pose naked, call me.
So to keep myself honest, I’ll post about my progress once a week here, so feel free to ignore those posts since it’s always dull to see some be so awesomely successful and ass-kicking.
As I’ve discussed here and there, I’m a bit of a hypochondriac, but most people don’t care, since I’m pretty damn entertaining while hypochondriacking all over the floor.
Over the last few months, I’ve been feeling a bit off with symptoms such as fatigue and memory lapses. Now I know what you armchair doctors are saying, “Perhaps, my friend, if you didn’t drink so much, you wouldn’t have to call hangovers ‘fatigue’ and blackouts ‘memory lapses.'” To which I scoff at your unlearned opinion.
My trusty friend, Mr. Bottle would never harm me, so don’t maligne him. If you do that again, we’ll sue for slander! Unless you write it in the comments, then we’ll sue for libel!
That’s right, bitches, Mr. Bottle is an attorney and knows the difference between slander and libel. So you’d better be quaking.
But back to my non-bottle-induced symptoms.
Like a good custodian of my meat-flesh, I made an appointment with my doctor to have said symptoms checked and get a much needed check-up. The next available appointment was two weeks away, which gave me plenty of time to research and diagnosis my ongoing disintegration.
After many careful hours of diligent websurfing, I realized that my symptoms were actually two separate maladies, and I had to sadly start reporting to my friends and family that I was the first case of “Mad Cow Leukemia disease.”
Now reporting it to friends and family was sad mainly because they all seemed so utterly entertained with my imminent demise. Some laughed. Some pointed out that it would soon be named after me, since I would be the first to contract both diseases at once. This brought some comfort to my distressed heart, as I would at least leave a legacy beyond, “Oh him? Yeah, I slept with him once, it was by far the most amazing experience I’ve ever had. I wrote poetry about it, wanna read?”
So on the appointed day, I sat down with the doctor, and properly underplayed the symptoms. This is an important part of the doctor dance, as “Oh, I’ve been extra tired lately,” will be listened to, whereas, “I have extreme fatigue, people with carts need to move me between the bed and the couch,” is dismissed. So I told him overall everything was fine, except I had this, and this, and that other thing probably wasn’t much, but I wanted to bring it up in case it was a symptom of something. I also made a point to say, “I’m not even sure if these are symptoms of anything, but it was just different than usual, so I wanted to make sure it wasn’t anything of consequence,” which directly translates to, “I did NOT look this up on the internet!”
Well, the doctor nodded several times and with an uncharacteristic seriousness (he giggles during hernia checks for bejezus sake), he told me he wanted to run several blood tests to make sure it wasn’t one of many things.
And I felt vindicated.
I was right. Something was seriously wrong. Oh those friends and family that had tittered and joked would rue the day they mocked my ailments! Perhaps a few would commit ritual suicide in despair over realizing how poorly they had treated me. I hesitated before asking the doctor, “Can Mad Cow Leukemia be exacerbated by the stress of being mocked by a group of loved ones?”
I held off on that question though, as it’s obviously a question for my loved one to ask after the doctor has broken the horrific news and I’m always one for following Miss Manners’ rule of etiquette.
So blood was taken. And more blood. And still more, to the point where they were arguing whether I should be given juice and a cookie before they took the next fifteen vials. But I waved them off, a concussion would add nicely to the story.
It took a week before I got the results back. Each day I waited, looking at my phone every fifteen minutes, willing the doctor to call with the bad news.
What if he didn’t want to give me the news over the phone? It was nearing the holidays, I would be out of town, and this was information I needed to share in person with my family. I was getting desperate and told the Boyfriend I was going to call the doctor myself.
“Just wait. He’ll call you when he has the results,” the Boyfriend said levelheadedly.
“But if I don’t find out soon, I might forget what he tells me,” I said.
“Why do you think that?”
“Uhh… I have mad cow disease? It’s a thing!”
At that point, the Boyfriend poured himself another glass of wine. Apparently he was wishing for forgetfulness as much as I was fearing it.
Then, last Friday, hours before we were to leave to spend the holiday with my family, the doctor called.
“So, we ran a lot of tests and overall, things came back positive.” He started running through the list of good results:
- thyroid – fine
- testosterone levels – beast-like
- cholesterol – awesome
- blood counts – enviable
“But we did find something,” he said, and I felt my heart leap. I suddenly knew what he was going to say. I knew it with my whole being. It was one of those moments where you can hear the future speaking to you from a distance, so when it finally morphs into the present, you aren’t surprised by the words, “it’s leprosy.”
I steeled myself for this awful news. A feeling of nausea welled up my esophagus as I envisioned my perfectly shaped nose falling off Michael Jackson style.
And then the doctor said, “You have a Vitamin D deficiency. You can pick up supplements at any health food store.”
Son of a Mother! Life is so unfair!
To those of you that celebrate Christmas, don’t hurt your families.
If you’re like me, you’re now on day 3 or 4 of sitting around the house playing yet another game of Euchre or at a point where A Christmas Story on repeat is actually starting to get old.
And chances are, Santa ain’t going to be leaving the type of package under the tree that’s gonna help relieve all that stress. Granny couldn’t handle the shock and unfortunately, Santa gives based on the lowest common denominator in the house.
Which is why I never got my paint gun.
Mom thought I’d hurt someone.
I just wanted to decorate the basement.
So remember… Santa hurts artists, but you shouldn’t hurt your family.
Today, I’m writing to you from Detroit – and in honor of Detroit, please enjoy Nicklas Lidstrom, a former Detroit Red Wing and all around beefcake.
I have nothing quite this tasty to enjoy for the long holiday weekend. In fact, I’ll probably be enjoying the exact opposite, an afternoon at the mall with the goal of visiting Spencer’s Gifts.
The Boyfriend is insisting we do something fun while in Detroit and that’s the best we can come up with.
But never fear, always make the best of a bad situation, I say!
So I’ve changed me phone’s screensaver to rotate photos a little less PG than the one we have here… it’ll give me something to look at while the Boyfriend scopes glow in the dark posters, which I will promptly nix as appropriate wallwear for our apartment.
Unless of course we find a Channing Tatum poster with glow-in-the-dark nipples – it’s just sexy-odd enough to fit into my life.
Have a great Sunday and may you enjoy some of my reserve of Funday!
I’m what you might call a “late bloomer.”
As a child, I was insecure and focused on trying to fit in. I didn’t spend much time on developing talents or interests – which is a shame.
One of the things I wish I had spent time on was learning to draw and paint. I don’t claim to have a natural talent for it, but even without talen, I obviously would’ve become one of the modern masters of artisticry.
Now that I’m older, and have passed the age of introductory classes and free-time, I spend time doodling on my iPad, playing with paint programs. The image above is something I did a few months back.
I won’t quite my day job anytime soon, but there’s something incredibly relaxing about picking up digital drawing in my spare time. It feels like the right place for me to be.
So I still have to tell you all how I got the Boyfriend, but today, I’m going to tell you how we got the Dog.
The Dog hasn’t been mentioned much on the blog, but he definitely deserves his place in the pantheon of my life. He’s weird, he owns it, and thus he belongs with us.
A little over 8 years ago, the Boyfriend and I moved from our first shared apartment to our second apartment. The first apartment was a trial run, though neither of us intended it to be that way. We found a couple looking to sublet, because they were moving to the suburbs with their newborn. Seemed like a good deal, except they didn’t tell us that the building was going condo in 7 months.
We found that out when we went to sign the lease with the landlord, two weeks before our move date. So, we sucked it up and went with it.
For our next apartment, we had several requirements – dishwasher, central air, and the Boyfriend pushed to have a place that would accept dogs. I’m terribly allergic to cats, and he wanted a pet.
As mentioned before, I’m usually strongly against many of the Boyfriend’s ideas, and the dog was no exception. I’m a bit of an introvert and don’t relish change – the Boyfriend usually has grand plans that result in our having a kitchen, two closets, and a storage space filled with discarded Cuisarts that seemed like a good idea at the time. Over the years, we’ve learned to balance each other out – he pulls me forward, I trim him back – and we each accept the other’s input as necessary balance.
But we’re not there yet. Not 7 months after having moved in together. I was unemployed (long story), he was unhappy with his job, and money was running low; but he kept pushing for a dog. So, to at least remove some of that pressure, I asked if we could hold off until I was employed again and had payed off the debt I’d incurred while on the dole. He grudgingly agreed.
As if the Fates heard the deal, and had my head on a block, I got a job a week after the deal was struck. A few months later, I had payed off the money I owed and was in the clear.
In fact, I walked in the door, having just mailed the last payment, to find the Boyfriend sitting on the couch with a flyer.
“There’s an Angels with Tails event tomorrow. Do you want to go? There will be several adoption agencies there with lots of dogs. We can walk up and down the street, look at the dogs, and just … get a sense of what type we might want.”
Ugggg… I thought. But I’d promised, and so with an angry grin, I agreed to go.
Now you probably assume I’m a dog-hater, but I’m not. I grew up with dogs and consider them an important part of family life. I’m the guy that stops other dog walkers on the street in order to pet their dogs. I don’t watch movies where dogs are the main characters, because I know I’ll burst into tears. I’m pretty much a dog whore, in the platonic sense of the phrase. And if you can’t think of a platonic sense of the phrase, you’re a sick bastard and I don’t want you commenting here.
I had two issues with getting a dog. First, as previously mentioned, the Boyfriend gets really excited about stuff and then loses interest. If that happened, I’d be stuck with the responsibility of caring for it. Second, we’d only be living together a few months – I’d spent most of that time unemployed and life was generally stressful. I’m not saying I was planning on breaking things off, but it was something I was acutely aware of at the time. If we had a dog, it would be that much more difficult to untangle our lives.
Up until this point, even though we were going to wait to get a dog, the Boyfriend had been researching breeds and rescue agencies. He’s a veritable Wikipedia of whatever subject he’s currently interested. Great for buying a television… kind of meh over sushi. So he’d narrowed us down to a few types of dogs – Greyhounds, Whippets, German Shepards, and a few others.
My narrowing of dogs was the following. The dog had to be able to run with me, even though I don’t run, I figured having a dog would force me to. No miniature dogs, I’m a klutz and don’t want to accidentally break a small animal. No pitbulls, because I grew up in Detroit and Detroit pitbulls are the spawn of Cerberus (look it up!).
So the next day, when it came time to go to the pet parade, I hemmed and hawed, suggesting maybe we should do something else. But the Boyfriend just looked at me and said, “We won’t get one today. And you promised. Afterwards, we can go for ice cream, I’ve already found a place near the rescue extravaganza. They have gelato!”
Well, shitballs and hollyhocks, I was in.
So we took the train to the pet showing. As advertised, four blocks of a major street were crowded with dogs, cats, and rabbits looking for homes. We walked up one side of the street and down the other, talking to rescue workers, petting a few dogs, and overall being very disappointed. The dogs were gorgeous, but we both expected an immediate spark, a “That’s the one!” moment. The Boyfriend was getting depressed and I felt bad for dragging my feet for so long on the dog thing.
We were almost back to our train stop, when we came by a rescue group that was there with just one dog. The poor thing was curled up next to a no parking sign, in front of a bar. “Hey there!” One of the guys called to us, “Why don’t you meet our little guy here?”
The Boyfriend stopped to chat with the rescue worker. I bent down and scratch this lifeless, lump of a dog. He wasn’t mistreated, just hot and tired. He wagged his tail as I scratched his ears and I did my usually dog talking thing, “Hey there buddy. It’s hot out, isn’t it? Yeah, I know.”
The Boyfriend swooped in and started scratching the dog’s back. “Who’s a pretty dog? You are, aren’t you? You’re just gorgeous.”
“Would you like to walk him?” Asked the rescue worker. He’d been joined by a few other folks from the same rescue group. Peer pressure was setting in. I didn’t want to be rude, but I was skeptical that this dog could actually walk.
“Yeah, sure. That would be great,” I said.
So we took the dog for a walk around the block, the rescue worker in tow. He asked us questions about our living space, our history with dogs, already interviewing us for the application.
The dog seemed nice, but he was lethargic and a pitbull. So no running and definite breed restriction issues. I was already feeling bad about having to say no to the rescue worker. He seemed like a nice guy.
But the Boyfriend was really excited about the dog. Cooing him up, petting him constantly, he was quickly falling in love.
When we got back from the walk, I was talking with the rescue guy, when suddenly the Boyfriend jumped in.
“Do you want him? Let’s get him. What would it take to get him? Is there a wait list?”
“So… you want him?” The rescue worker asked.
“Well, let us have a quick conversation first,” I said.
“Okay,” the worker said.
“Don’t give him to anyone else while we’re gone,” the Boyfriend yelled over his shoulder.
We had a quick talk about getting the dog. The Boyfriend was so excited, I couldn’t say no. But I wasn’t thrilled with the prospect of having this dog. But I tried to remind myself, this was what compromising was about, and hoped that this was the right thing to compromise on.
When we went back, there were seven rescue workers from the agency waiting. None of them had dogs with them and the rescue event was coming to a close, so I figured they were getting ready to pack up.
“We’ll take him,” the Boyfriend said.
And I swear to God, every one of those seven rescue workers broke down in tears. Some of them were sobbing uncontrollably – men, women, it didn’t make any difference.
The Boyfriend and I gave each other a look. Well, we gave each other different looks. Mine said, “What the hell is going on?” His said, “Damn, hippies!”
The rescue worker we’d been dealing with most of this time got himself under control and explained why everyone was crying.
“We were all there when he was rescued, two years ago. His previous owner had chained him to a tree and left him there, under fed and malnourished. He was about 30lbs underweight when we rescued him. Since then, he’s been held as evidence in the abuse trial against his former owner – and pitbulls of his age don’t usually get rescued. But we’ve all worked with him over the years, he’s one of the favorites, and he’s just the sweetest dog any of us have ever met.”
Well if that’s not a fucking endorsement of a canine, I don’t know what the fuck is.
They were so excited, they sped up the process and dropped him off that afternoon. They did the apartment check, had us fill out some paperwork, and then left us alone with the Dog.
The three of us stared at each other with the same expression, “What the fuck have I gotten into?” Then the Dog curled up and took a nap.
A few months later, the Boyfriend and I were talking about how lucky we were to have gotten the Dog.
“You know,” the Boyfriend said, “I didn’t even like him. But you were so excited about him, I figured it’d be my only chance to get a dog, so I faked my excitement.”
“Shut up. I faked being interested in the Dog too, because I thought you liked him so much. I mean the way you jumped in to ask if we could adopt him right then and there.”
“Oh THAT! Well, there were these two girls in the bar, total Lincoln Park Trixies, eyeing the Dog and talking about how they wanted him. Like I was going to let a couple of trixies take something away from me!”
So, between misunderstanding and a feeling of competition, we came away with one of the sweetest, most gentle dogs I’ve ever known.
And like his Daddies, he has a problem with humping.
A perfect fit for the family!
Like many people in the US, I’m trying to make sense of the shooting in Connecticut.
Not that sense can be made from the nonsensical, but I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate this moment into my sense of self, community, and country.
I traditionally fall on the side of more gun control. My reasons aren’t politically astute, they have nothing to do with the Constitution, they’re just simple conclusions I’ve made from my life.
I was one of those bullied kids that couldn’t figure out how to stand up for myself. I had parents that blared Rush Limbaugh day in and day out, so I could regularly be surrounded with hate and vitriol in order to grow into a “good conservative.” I was a soft spoken, well meaning kid, who often felt controlled by and helpless in the world around him.
In short, I wasn’t the sort of kid you would want to have access to guns.
And I didn’t.
My parents didn’t have firearms. My friends’ parents didn’t have guns. It just wasn’t something that was done in our community. Or if it was, I was kept in the dark.
To this day, the idea of my thirteen year old self having access to a gun terrifies me. And that’s my guiding principle when it comes to guns.
A few years back, someone tried to break into our apartment while I was home alone. Well, the dog was with me, but the second he realized that a stranger was breaking in through the window, my 60 lbs pit bull ran to hide under the bed. I scared the guy off by yelling at him. It was quite effective, actually. I simply channeled my father and yelled, “Hey! Knock that off!”
The dude mumbled, “Oh shit,” and ran away.
After that, the boyfriend wanted to get a gun, in case this happened again. He didn’t want either of us to be left unprotected.
So we had a long talk. I asked what if the person broke into the room where we kept the gun, while we were in another room? I explained that I didn’t know how to shoot a gun, and in the moment I’d probably hit the dog and not the intruder. I used all of the standard arguments. He listened, but wasn’t really swayed.
And then I said…
“If you get angry with the neighbors again. Or if you have one of those really awful days at work – ones like you used to have at your last company, is it a good idea for us to own a gun?”
That stopped him. It stopped him because it acknowledged two fundamental truths about human nature. We all get insanely angry from time to time and we all want to fix ‘broken’ situations.
To this day, I wouldn’t trust myself as a gun owner in certain situations. I wouldn’t trust most of the people I know.
I’ll get back to the regular sarcastic, snarky posts tomorrow. It just didn’t feel right today.
I’m a bit of a goon at times. Not the “strange man standing in the corner of the bar with the blocky head, green slime dripping from his lips, and bolts sticking out of his neck” kind of goon; I’m you’re average, run of the mill, big sister calls me a goon, goon.
But I don’t have a big sister, instead, I have two younger brothers, who are both straight, so they don’t use the word “goon” in reference to another guy. That’s my mantle to carry at the family dinner, and I do it quite well. Along with the common quip, which I attribute to Mark Twain, “Where did you buy that shirt? The Bass Pro shop?”
Usually the answer is “Yes” and we all sit around embarrassed that my witty comment turned out to be true and therefore no longer witty but just insulting. Unfortunately, no one can figure out exactly who’s insulted. I think my brother’s insulted because I called him out on wearing an bass ugly shirt. My brother thinks I’m insulted because his shirt made me go all Tim Gunn at the dinner table, and now my father has that look of “What has my life come to?”
Of course this assessment all depends on my brother knowing who Tim Gunn is, which he doesn’t.
To be fair, I don’t know who Bass Proman is either, though I suspect he’s not part of an internationally famous boy band.
Sadly, I digress, because the post has suddenly become about my strange relationship with a fictional brother that wears Pro Bass shirts to holiday dinners. I also digress because I want to point out, from my first sentence, that the words “dripping” and “lips” when used in conjunction are just naturally icky. Also, is it wrong that I think there’s something inherently hot about a guy with bolts sticking out of his neck?
I’ve shared too much, for which I apologize. I’m in a hotel room in the middle of LA right now. Slightly hungover, sleep deprived, and my room doesn’t come with a coffee maker (WTF – amirite?). I’m also wondering if I tweet Ellen DeGeneres about this if she’ll stop by with coffee on her way into work.
Also, I like the word ‘amirite’ because while it’s a total bastardization of the English language and indicates the fall of our society and yadda yadda yadda, when written out, I think it looks like the word for a lovely gemstone. Perhaps the birthstone for November 8th, which is my birthday. Right now, I have topaz, and no offense to topaz, but the poor stone was ruined by Mercury’s car of the same name.
That’s why cars should simply come with serial numbers. They fucking ruin everything else: Neon, Pintos, and Cutlasses. Remember when all three of those were cool, before Detroit manufactured them into cars?
I apologize for this post.
I apologize for not explaining why I’m a goon.
But mostly, I apologize for the lack of coffee in my hotel room. My god, what if I were entertaining?
I showed the boyfriend this comic from Lance + Jeff, and pointed out Jeff and I must be dating the same guy.
The boyfriend did not laugh. Instead, he threw the laptop at me.
And that’s all that matters in a relationship.
(PS – The boyfriend would never throw a laptop at me. I want to make that perfectly clear. Because one day he may read this post and then throw a laptop at me for making him look like an abuser. I like my laptop too much for that.)