Sunday, July 31, 2005

Mendiferous Mind

Hello menschen.

Today the grass is a vibrant green and the skies are blue. Songbirds sing and a cool breeze blows. For all intensive purposes everything is going wonderfully well. Nothing is amiss. Today all my worries have been washed away. It’s almost cliché.

My feelings are a melodic mélange of munificence and magnificence that yearn to be mellifluous. I have embraced the myopic monotheism and the monopolies that have revealed themselves to me in the prevailing pedagogy of the proletariat. I’ve realized that a faithful dialectic is preferable to a stubborn dyslogistic view. Misanthropic tendency was a mortiferous elixir that threatened to be a scourge upon my soul.

Oh yes. Catharsis. Purgation of the spirit leads away from purgatory - No more pandering and patronizing in an effort to placate the masses. It is the pathway to perfection and to peace, not just frantic phonetics.

Deconstruct the immaculate deception. Discard the shameful theatrics and the stained veneer of propriety. Destroy the sad simulacrum and the flaming effigy of false representation. Display proper deference during this dismal period of deception and decay and exalt, embrace, and even indulge in this epoch of enlightenment. Hold as true as a Triatic Stay throughout the torrential downpour of delicious deviance.

Open and read and be in awe of the most benign and benevolent of the holy books:

The Dictionary.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Out of Context

Dancer: “So, you guys married? Kids? Or what?
Junior: “Fuck that.”
Senior: “Divorced. I just buried my best friend last weekend.”
Queue Awkward 12 Second Silence.
Dancer: “Vex?”
Vex: “Nope. Hey Senior, sorry about your friend. How ‘bout you sweetness?
Dancer: “Just got out of a two year relationship. Got a dog though.”
Queue most annoying twenty minute discussion of dogs ever.

Junior: “I think I’m falling in love. She’s wonderful… smart, and so much fun. I think I’ll invite her to Mexico with me.”
Vex: “Really?”
Junior: “It’s what I’ve been missing – a good girl to come home to every night.”
Vex: “Yeah…umm… How long do I have to wait?"
Junior: “For me to ask her?”
Vex: “No, for you to clue the fuck in to what she meant by “Massage Therapist” and “Dancer.”

Senior: “Junior’s starting to piss me off.”
Vex: “He has a knack for that sort of thing.”
Senior: “Yeah. But I mean really starting to piss me off. He has no idea how to treat a lady.”
Vex: “Ahh… Smitten with Dancer, eh?”
Senior: “A bit. She’s hot. Think she’ll let me take a picture of her titties?”

B.S: “Dude, you know the best thing about dirty girls?”
Vex: “Nope.”
B.S: “They’re Diiiiiiiirrrrttttty.”

Junior: “My brother-in-law is with the H.A. My dad has a string of strip-joints in Texas. My sister is about to get married to a guy with the Italian Mob an’ my cousin works for the Mexican mafia.”
Vex: “So you, of course, are instantly bad-ass cool by association?”
Junior: “No. I’m just sayin’ if there’s any problems I can pull some strings.”
Vex: “Yeah, OK Puppet-master. Grab me a beer, eh?”

Frighteningly intoxicated stranger: “I lost my wallet.”
Junior knocks Dancers glass to the floor where it shatters loudly.
B.S: “I guess it was true.”
Senior: “What?”
B.S: “If they can’t eat it or fuck it, they’ll break it or lose it.”

Junior: “So, like, one question I gotta ask - What the fuck is the trick to hangin’ upside down on the pole? I tried in once and fucking landed on my head.”
Dancer: “It’s all in the shoes baby! All in the shoes!"

Vex: “Time to go kids. Were outta here.”
Junior: “Fuck that.”
Senior: “No way man. We’re heading downtown to see her in her school girl uniform.”
Junior: “Fifty bucks says we stay for an hour.”
Vex: “Shut up, finish your beer, and let’s go.”
Senior: “Hundred bucks?”
Vex: “Shush. Let’s go.”
Junior: “What? Gonna cost us thousands?”
Vex: “If ya got it Junior. I may be easy, but I sure as hell ain’t cheap.”
Dancer: “Good one.”

Queue five-hour interlude and distinct venue change.

Drunken trollop that sits down next to me: “You’re Vex right?”
Vex: “Yeah.”
Drunken trollop: “I’m Drunken Trollop.”
Vex: “Pleasure to meet you Ms. Trollop.”
Drunken trollop: “You look sad.”
Vex: “Strange. I never felt that way until you sat down.”

Senior: “It’s your shot fucker.”
Vex: “Doubtful.”
Senior: “I said it’s your fucking shot.”
Vex: “I know.”
Senior: “So you gonna shoot or what?”
Vex: (Directs Senior’s attention to the table where he is playing someone else) “You’re up.”

Clueless AudioSnob: “This music sucks.”
Vex: “Go talk to the DJ and request something.”
Clueless AudioSnob: “What do you want to hear”
Vex: “Something I haven’t heard for awhile. How about some Police? But the older stuff, you know, before Sting joined the band.”
Clueless AudioSnob: “Cool. Be right back.”

Amusing Bartendress: “What’ll it be Vex?”
Vex: “Club Soda.”
Senior: “What?!”
Junior: “You serious!?”
BS: “That’s a first.”
Amusing Bartendress: “Twist of Lime?”
Vex: “Negative.”
Amusing Bartendress: “Careful cracker, I don’t need no fights in here.”

And to make the day complete 5:30 Am rolls around and the phone rings:

Vex: “Hello?”
Junior: “Dude, I got a problem.”
Vex: “Tell me you didn’t call just for this early morning news flash.”
Junior: “No man. I gotta go to work, but the bitch won’t leave.”
Vex: “Personal problem. Why the fuck am I awake?”
Junior: “How do I get rid of her?”
Vex: “Umm… Call a cab and give her five bucks for cab fare.”
Junior: “Can I borrow five bucks?”

Friday, July 22, 2005

Darkness and the Lies that Bind.

The Lands of Zion, Utopia “Light”, July 2005

The people take pride in the majestic views from their homes, their friendly nature, and the obscenely incredible gene pool. It is a place where beauty reigns supreme. The community is filled with sickeningly sweet and lovely people. It is free from refuse, transients, and any other form of unsightly trash. Take a trip to the bank, the Laundromat, and the coffee shop are you are amiably greeted by an Angel. It all gives the illusion of Pleasantville in living colour and given a cursory look it is an award winning locale. The ugly and the off-colour are quickly escorted out of sight. Out of sight and out of mind. There is no place for it here. It is, after all, Paradise.

Well, unless you find little comfort in a place where drinking yourself into oblivion is damned near impossible and is generally frowned upon; where everything you encounter reeks of falsehood; where everything is protected by a shimmering veil of righteousness and shroud of deception.

Venture forth into the darkness and discover the true ugliness that writhes and seethes behind a veil that no longer shimmers in darkness. Here you find the true heart that pumps blue-black blood through varicose veins. In the night the masks fail and if an interloper is careful to avoid attention they can begin to learn of the infidelity, adultery, alcoholism, and envious spite buried deeply by dawn.

At sunrise faces of perfection emerge and the illusion is skillfully crafted once more and passing visitors remark on how simply splendid it all is. You retreat to a lonely sanctuary and desperately attempt to come to terms with the incongruity of it all.

Perhaps it is not incongruous at all, just a basic matter of balance. You’ve wandered so long through a world of clouded grey that you’ve long forgotten what it feels like to live in a world of pure virtue or utter debauchery. What must it be like to bask in the glorious light of god during the day, yet dance to the devil’s tune throughout the night? A matter which is clearly worthy of further investigation; delving deeper into the darkness; and exposing yourself to the blinding brilliance of the light.

‘Tis the only way. And it can’t really be wrong – It is in the interest of science, enlightenment, and understanding. There is no more worthy a cause. Your soul may suffer, but you are a martyr, and so long as you don’t get caught – A happy one.

A few last words to the wise: Invest in a bottle of aspirin, import a bottle of something decent, avoid speaking unless absolutely necessary lest you slur something along the lines of “You’re Mamma”, drink plenty of fluids, ensure you have a full tank of fuel, and buy yourself a dark pair of shades.

And if anyone asks: You “Are conducting vital research.”

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

All bark. No Bite.

I despise peanut brittle and coleslaw. I feel quite the same about Cracker Jacks and the pathetic prize within every box. Pink popcorn tastes like regurgitated refuse, and sushi is quite possibly the most disgustingly vile trend to ever sweep across North America. Scotch is like turpentine in my mouth, and no declaration that it’s “Like velvet on your tongue” is going to sway my judgement. The song “Stayin’ Alive” creates an almost physical reaction that forces me to remove myself from anyplace that plays it. Babies are not cute. They are drooling, needy, alien looking little creatures with tufts of hair. Bean salad always has, and always will, suck. Advancements in the design of modular homes makes no difference, I still flatly refuse to live in a trailer. Playboy is pornography no matter how you try to rationalize it (And I’m OK with that) and sex will always sell. I still believe in antiquated ideals such as honour, nobility, and chivalry despite the fact that they seem to be losing the battle to the almighty dollar. I think conventional organized religion has been turned into a dirty joke and I view religious leaders with disdain. Politicians are even worse. No one can convince me that there is a successful political representative out there who hasn’t sold out in one way or another. It’s the nature of the game. A game in which I fully expect to watch both sides paint their faces in bold colours of either red or blue and wave foam fingers in the air during the next election. I’m appalled that political experts claim to be surprised by the Governor of California’s endorsement of muscle and fitness magazines. Globalization has become an excuse for corporations to exploit third world countries under the dubious guise of “Economical Growth”. Environmentalists are wasting their breath - Greenbacks speak louder than Greenpeace. Celebrity trials are meaningless except as forms of media revenue - Guilty or not they always end up richer in the end. Atrocities which result in the deaths of millions occur, yet some bitch with cold feet gets national coverage. Oprah may as well have been a politician and Dr. Phil and his make-it-all-better-pill can kiss my ass. You want a dose of reality – Watch Springer and just see how much people are willing to give up for their five minutes of fame. It’s a sad, sick world out there and normal is a comforting myth, nothing more (evermore…). Marijuana is not the root of all evil unless you really consider sloth and gluttony to truly be sins. I fear I will never understand women, Chia pets, abstinence, or why more people aren’t arrested for public indecency. Stupidity should be a crime. You’re ugly, does that really mean I should suffer because of it? You’re pretty, but must you be such a cunt? You’re underprivileged, so why are you above taking a job doing what the rest of us started out doing? Why must I support your too-good-to-pump-gas ass? The key to appreciating wealth and opportunity is to have at sometime gone without it. Take the spoon from your mouth, get over yourself, and focus on what is truly important - Like how you can benefit from this mess. Everyone should have a shiny new soapbox and is entitled to their opinions, and you just read a few of mine…

… Now enlighten me. What the hell are yours?

Friday, July 15, 2005

Visceral Vanity and Wasted Wisdom

Out in the real world I have a tendency to speak rarely, with the notable exception of a few close friends which I feel comfortable enough with to babble about whatever crosses my mind. Those select few have my undying respect, as well as my sympathies. I am well aware of how I can get occasionally. But yes, in general, I am the quiet one in the corner diligently pretending to be doing whatever it is I am supposed to be doing and pointedly ignoring the farce of human interaction that occurs around me. There is just far too much false praise and pointless flattery; an overabundance of feigned interest; a generous supply of forced optimism and enthusiasm; too bloody much false modesty; and of course the always present need for small talk.

“Vex, are you OK? You’re awfully quiet.”

“Oh, I’m fabulous thanks. Don’t worry about me.”

It usually happens when the most vocal member of the group realizes that I don’t seem to be hanging on their every word which naturally means there most be something amiss. Why else would I not find them to be the most fascinating orator to grace the planet?

It’s bad enough when it happens amongst friends and associates, but it drives me completely insane when you are introduced and the first thing out of their mouth is:

“Vex was it? So what do you do?”

The question itself really is innocuous enough; however, it always comes across to me as “So, How much do you make and where do you fit into the financial food chain?” and invariably expect to hear a twelve minute monologue on what it is they do, how much they make, and how well their recent investments are doing declared in voice loud enough to be heard by anyone within fifty feet. Somewhat harsh I understand, occasionally people are truly curious, but rarely, and I’ve decided to play the odds.

Is it wrong that I started this yesterday fully intending to see it through to completion, but now find myself bored with the prospect? Within the span of eight hours whatever I deemed inspirational has faded into but a foggy memory. I remember thinking it was important, that somehow everything was going to take shape and fall into place as some fickle divinity had planned. I hate it when I think wrong.

Instead I’m stuck here wishing I had a beer and a cigarette, as though somehow those two things would wash away the lingering lassitude. On a normal day it usually does just that, but today I get the distinct impression that it just won’t be enough. Today the void may just be deep enough that it needs a smidge more to fill.

But where, I ask you, does one find a suitable smidge in Utah? Back home, in what I often erroneously refer to as the real world there are smidges aplenty. Years of practice has taught me all the tricks I require to locate the perfect smidge to act as a placeholder in any given void. Dislodged from my element and I become… inept, anxious, and hopelessly adrift in a pathetic pool of insecurity. Some animals can smell the fear. Some are predators. Some have two legs. It’s all I can do not to shiver despite the heat. Heat which seems to do nothing productive, except perhaps, to make me once again crave the cold, comfortable embrace…

I suppose one day I may tire of prosaic, pedestrian, placeholders and seek a more permanent solution to the issue. Even now I can feel the urge lurking just over my left shoulder whispering twisted notions of happiness and health into my ear.

Marlborough and MGD may not be enough to fill the void, but I’m quite certain they will be sufficient to drown out that sickeningly seductive voice. From there I’ll my faith in Bacardi and see just how deep this damned hole really is.

Until then, however, I’ll grip tightly to the understanding that I am fabulous.

“What do I do?”

I do just fine.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Wasted Time

The intense desire to differentiate yourself from the rest of the world; to ensure your own identity; to prove your own uniqueness; to prove to yourself that you are, without a doubt, originally you or the need to believe that in some fashion you do not fit the mold; to believe that you are special is overwhelming. No one wants to go through life thinking they are a clone, some tragic waste of time, effort, and energy without direction or purpose. Just some wasted replica of something else that already exists.

It’s a struggle that gets harder to do with each passing day. The day I was born I had only to compete with about four billion others for uniqueness. Today I have around six and a half billion. By the year 2020 eight billion others will be desperately searching for that one thing that makes them them. It kind of makes me wish I had existed a thousand years ago. With only three hundred million or so roaming the planet I’m quite certain I could have been the first one on my block to come home with a new tattoo and a bad attitude.

Now? So passé.

So what is a person to do? What mark can you possibly leave behind that hasn’t already been etched into the billboard of history and tagged by some young artistic vagrant? Drugs, alcohol, rebellion, anarchy, apathy – It’s all been done to death. Quite simply we are running out of creative methods to assert our individuality. New creative outlets are drying up quickly. One cursory glance at modern mainstream music and Reality TV should be proof enough of that.

What does it all mean? It means you’re fucked. May as well sit back and relax, pop the overpriced purple placebo, chug a Bud, buy a SUV, and play with your kid’s beloved Tickle me Elmo that has sat untouched on a shelf for the last decade.

Unless you stop for a moment and quit devoting every waking moment to portraying the proper image and consider other possibilities:

Let us say, just for kicks, that you wake up tomorrow and spend absolutely no time worrying about your own appearance. You shower, not for you own pleasure, but so as not to overly offend the olfactory senses of those you encounter. You get dressed, not in the latest fashion, but whatever happens to be clean and comfortable. You forego the usual vain attempt to match your lipstick to your shoes, and leave the aerosol hairspray alone. You venture from the house with your cap/fedora/beret firmly affixed to your head as protection from the elements rather that some personalized tilted-just-right accessory. Stop at your favorite local coffee shop and use a refillable mug rather than the normal environmentally unfriendly paper and cardboard/styrofoam disposable cup you consume every morning of your life. Instead of purchasing the local paper in all its ninety-eight page glory for the sole purpose of completing an aggravatingly simple, yet inaccurate, crossword puzzle, you use one of the dozen left floating about the coffee shop. You could leave the house a little early, perhaps hitting the snooze button only once instead of the usual six, and permit yourself enough time to walk or take the public transit to work. Help a little old lady cross the street or get off the bus. Donate fifty cents and a cigarette to the panhandler on the corner who can’t help his addictions. Use the phone at work to call your father and say “hi”, rather than your friends overseas. Instead of skipping out of work early to make it for happy hour, drop in to the community center for a little volunteer work.

I considered the possibility. So now I’m going to run upstairs, take a half hour shower, fire up the truck, let it run for twenty minutes to be sure it is properly air conditioned, drive all the way across town to save thirty six cents on a pack of cigarettes, and hit the drive through at Tim’s. Some of you may be thinking of the harm I’m causing to the environment and perhaps hoping that I’ll stop and “Think about the children.”

Well, to be completely honest I did. I took a moment out of my day and considered the sad state of affairs the world will be left in because of people just like me. Then I realized that is only of real importance to people with children. And people with children, as far as I can tell, are doing a far worse job at saving this world than I am - Contributing to the overpopulation of the planet, which inevitably leads to more houses, more roads, more cars, more waste products, and not to mention the obscene amount of disposable diapers littering the landfills. Include the disposable plastic toys, the outfits that last all of six months before becoming outsized (And who wears hand-me-downs anymore?), the strain all the children put on our educational and social systems, and it really is looking bleak.

Which really makes me think the answer is for people to discontinue the reproduction process. No more children for, let’s say, the next decade. Stop the proliferation of new bodies now. Save the Planet.

Worst case scenario? I have 2.5 billion (Give or take) less people to compete with in my quest for originality by the year 2015.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Baa Baa Black Sheep.

So, you should have been on the road by 6:00 Am, but now it is 2:00 Pm and you still haven’t moved. Not your fault – You’re waiting on others, and they seem to be rather incapable of getting their shit together. No surprise, which is why you are sitting at a comfortably air conditioned establishment sipping on a beer awaiting the call rather than the appointed meeting spot you were to be at eight hours ago and no one has noticed.

A call comes in “Be there in half an hour.”

You order another beer. Forty-five minutes later another call comes in “We’re running late. Be there in twenty.”

Half hour later they arrive and declare “Change of plans.”

You manage to carefully conceal the shock and awe and respond only with silence lest speaking reveal how utterly thunderstruck you are by the situation.

“Drop this off in Corpus, and then leave this in Houston.” They explain.

“Fabulous. If I leave now I should hit Houston just in time for rush hour.” You reply. You place the vehicle in Drive and begin the journey. Four hours later you find yourself handing the third toll-booth operator a handful of coins and glaring fiercely at the surrounding mass of moronic drivers.

Four and a half hours later you arrive at your destination only to find the door locked and no one available to open the door. Calmly you pick up you phone and dial. You explain the situation and the answering party assures you the situation will be rectified. One hour seventeen minutes later you make a fifth call. This one, unlike the previous three, is answered. You explain the situation again.

“Oh shit, I got distracted. Give me a minute and I’ll have someone there.”

Thirty-six minutes later the gate opens, you deliver the package, and depart. Your phone rings and a very apologetic and helpful person offers advice on a place to stay for the night. You politely assure them it was of no great inconvenience and thank them for their help. After glancing briefly at the map you notice the place they suggested is an extra hour in the wrong direction.

You travel north, in the right direction, and stop at a pleasant little town that has a University and a State Penitentiary. It sounds like a delightful place to spend the evening.

You sleep, you awaken, and you begin your travels again. More helpful advice arrives via phone and in an effort to avoid stagnant construction areas and accident you detour through Mesquite to Plano and eventually over to Denton before the next call comes.

“Have you passed Ardmore yet?” They inquire.

You shake your head momentarily before realizing that response is likely not helpful. Finally you manage to utter the word “No.”

“Perfect!” They exclaim happily, “Here’s what we need you to do…”


Normally I find traveling to be very relaxing and extremely therapeutic. I have countless hours to consume with few distractions except for the occasional jackass on the road with me. For the most part my mind is permitted to wander aimlessly and mull over thoughts that are usually interrupted long before I achieve any real form of understanding. I enjoy the experience, even when there are Vampires. Today was Vampire free. Instead it seemed a day strangely dedicated to the memory of a far fore fearsome creature.

Today was Cupid’s Day.

It all started normally enough, but then these things usually do – In order to find some imagined conspiracy there must be a completely innocent sequence of irrelevant coincidences. The sequence must start somewhere. This sequence started at Love’s Truck stop for fuel.

It wasn’t until much later in the day that I realized how very odd it was going to be. I found myself cruising absently northward along Highway 83 when I encountered a fork in the road and had to make a decision. Veer off to the right and head towards Broken Bow, or stick to the left and head towards Valentine? Ever optimistic I headed to the left.

And soon regretted my decision. Construction, well, a congested area, a painfully chaotic array of flashing lights, and a vast number of brightly coloured signs advising me that traffic fines are doubled in work zones. As for actual evidence of construction or work – Nothing.

Nearing the end of the stretch of dilapitated roadway my path took me to a narrow bridge of questionable quality. I had no choice, however; but to cross the rickety old bridge to safely make my way across Dismal Creek.

Then through Bowman, Southheart, Dickinson…and then retrace steps back through Southheart. Another one of those “Change of plans”. Besides, I couldn’t comfortable remaining in a town called Dickinson – It conjures up visions of some backwater catholic priest and makes me feel dirty and used just passing through…

Anyway the journey finally came to an end at a quaint little lodge where it was deemed necessary to set up shop. Quaint and rustic. The kind with six phone lines available for 100 or so rooms. Internet access, normally my one connection to the outside world was almost impossible to get, and when I did it was at a blistering 32000. Hopefully this helps to explain my extended absence from the cyber world.

Disconnected from the internet, isolated in an area lacking text messaging or cell phone coverage I’ve begun to go… squirrlyish. Somewhat like a furry rodent on crack. Most of my co-workers didn’t notice a difference. Desperate for news of the outside world I perused a stack of week old newspapers in the lobby – USA Today. Classic literature.

It seems the finely trained officers of the Miami/Dade County area were called in to deal with a young schoolboy about seven or eight years old. The youth was allegedly threatening others with a shard of broken glass. Their reaction? Stun gun. Electro shock therapy for the little terrorist. Simply Brilliant. I’m sure there was no other possible way a full grown man in body armour could have taken down the young man. Unless, perhaps, they had tried offering him candy.

Screw it… I’m going to start hoarding nuts and hide in a tree for the rest of the year.
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