Monday, May 31, 2010

My Life Can't Be This Boring

There must be some grand narrative here, but I can't see it. Imagine that, a writer without a life worth recording.

Oh well, I suppose hanging around to find out whether it ever comes together is as good a reason to keep living as any.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Quote of the Day

Nepotism is a great thing if you're from the right family.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Quote of the Day

No bargain is worth buying if you do not need it.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Quote of the Day

Porn is for guys who are too lazy to objectify women in their minds.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Another Vacation Shot in the Ass

Aside from a quick overnight to Missouri, we haven't been on a vacation since June 2007. I've planned numerous trips, many to the point just before making reservations, but something always comes up. Most of the time it involves the dogs. So as my wife's month-long vacation approaches, I should have figured something would happen.

Longtime readers may recall Rosco's ACL surgery in March 2005 (or more likely recall his near-biting of Governor Blagojevich a month later). At the time, some people told us that dogs often need the opposite knee done within 6-12 months. I suppose we're lucky that Rosco made it five years, but now he's 12 years old and needs another $3,000 operation.

The little bastard had better live to be 18 so we get our money's worth. I'm counting on him being too ornery to die.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lane Tech Lolitas

Today I had lunch near massive Lane Tech High School, my wife's alma mater. After ordering my sandwich, I sat at the counter facing the sidewalk. Lane Tech has an open campus, so many students went out for lunch. As I watched waves of attractive young females walk by, I couldn't help thinking, It's a jailbait parade!

Then "Burning Down the House" by Talking Heads played over the restaurant's overhead speakers. I thought, Holy shit, these girls weren't even born when this song came out. And a split second later, These girls weren't even born when Talking Heads broke up!*

All my life, I've been training to be a dirty old man.

* "Burning Down the House" came out in 1983 and the band officially broke up in 1991.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

NCIS: Los Angeles

Spoiler alert

Wow, this week's episode of NCIS: Los Angeles was utterly heartbreaking. The way it all went down was just terrible. Although I wasn't excited about that particular character, seeing the reactions of the others really got to me. I know that's how the real world is, but I don't necessarily want to see the real world on TV. I prefer the massage parlor approach: happy endings.

Yet as I'm writing this, I recall that one of my favorite things about Chasing Amy is that it didn't have a happy ending. Maybe I want TV to have happy endings but not movies? I think it's an investment issue. I've invested much more time in getting to know and care about characters on a TV series than in a movie.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Not Depressed

Some people would say that I'm depressed, that I should seek professional help, and/or that I should be taking medication. Those people are missing the point.

First, I'm not depressed. Hell, just yesterday I took the dog for a walk, and according to the anti-depressant TV commercials, depressed people don't walk their dogs.

Second, I have no respect for the psychology field. I know too many psychology majors who are total head cases trying to figure out their own problems while professing to help others. It's at least 90% bullshit anyway.

Finally, I am strongly anti-pharmaceutical. Everybody wants to take a pill to feel better these days. Just because it's available by prescription doesn't make it any less a mind-altering drug than LSD or Ecstasy. I think I'd rather not live at all than live in that state.


My fortieth birthday is less than a month away. Since my mind has been processing a mid-life crisis for several years, I didn't expect to give this milestone much thought. Besides, I always said I'd die before turning forty. I still might.

But the occasion is making me more introspective than usual, and I will probably be writing a lot about it this month -- if I have the nerve to bare my innermost fears and self-loathing on the World Wide Web.

When I turned 30, I had the world by the balls. I had a six-figure income, a promising career, a successful business, the best physical condition of my life, engaging hobbies, and a loving wife.

In the new century, I have driven headlong into a ditch. My income has dwindled to an annual tax deduction, and my "career" is a case study in ennui. My body has suffered the double whammy of losing the war against genetics and losing interest in active pastimes. Actually, I'm not interested in much of anything these days, active or not. My wife is still around, which may be the only reason I am, too.

Most frustrating, my current dilemma is not that I can't get out of the ditch, it's that I can't even find a good reason to bother. I'm in a position that many would envy -- my wife doesn't mind being the breadwinner, I have lots of free time, and while not well off, I'm not broke. And yet I'm missing something, and I fear that I won't figure it out until it's too late to matter anymore.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Shiny Happy Bloggers

It's okay to be happy -- it even happens to me every once in a while -- but perpetually effervescent bloggers are obnoxious.

Record Store Day: Good Idea, Awful Execution

I'm late blogging about this, but April 17 was Record Store Day. Many artists released special products in limited editions to promote/celebrate the occasion. Since the Drive-By Truckers were releasing a special 7" vinyl single (!), I headed down to Laurie's Planet of Sound hoping to get a copy. Although I arrived 15 minutes before they opened, there was already a long line.

To make a long story short (for once), I waited in line for over an hour with a bunch of damned hipsters. When I finally got into the store, a clerk announced that they were sold out of the following... And proceeded to rattle off maybe 30 releases. Naturally, DBT was one of them.

Obviously the manufacturers deserve most of the blame for Record Store Day being complete bullshit. They press ridiculously limited quantities of product and ship too few copies to each store. But I blame my store, too. First of all, the only limit was "one of each item per person." If there are only five of each item to begin with, how long will that supply last? Okay, so the first 20 hipsters scarfed up all the good stuff. Then with so many items sold out, somebody should have informed those of us waiting outside. I wasted more than an hour of my time and didn't get a damned thing. Is that supposed to make me feel good about my local record store?

Before I participated in Record Store Day, I genuinely wanted to support my local record shop. In fact, I make a point of buying new releases there even though I know they are much cheaper at But Record Store Day just pissed me off. So screw 'em. The new Hold Steady CD is coming out soon, and I'm not going to buy it from Laurie's. And I'll never "celebrate" another Record Store Day.

Long live independent record stores. Fuck Record Store Day.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Truth in Advertising

I saw an ad for a vibrator today (don't ask), and one of its features was "100% waterproof to enhance your pleasure." I suppose that is technically true, since nothing spoils the mood like an electric shock to the privates.* But I thought that was a funny way of putting it.

* Actually, I can think of a few things, but I'd rather not.