Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Corn Chips & Pie Will Return

in Thunderball.

In the meantime, here's a fistful of anecdotal chaff:

  • Purchased an espresso pot from a great used cookware store on Divisadero in SF. Upon learning I live in Baltimore, the guy behind the counter told me about hangin' with Divine in Venice Beach during the 1980s. "Glen" wore a white muumuu to the beach. He loved to drink Diet Pepsi in bulk and jump up & down on a friend's waterbed. That's about as crazy as the stories got.
  • Robin Williams was behind me in line at a bookstore. I didn't catch what he was buying, so we may feel free to speculate that it was a point-of-purchase book about unicorns. There is a better joke here somewhere, but I don't have it in me.
  • While I was riding the Airport Beer Dragon in Miami, the woman next to me turned & said, with no intro or buildup, "I just got out of a very abusive relationship." She then described how her boyfriend, a vicious ex-con, threatened to kill & skin her dog while she was away for the holidays. I glanced around nervously & said loudly, "Well, sounds like you blew it! He's quite a catch! Hop on that train before it leaves the station! Gotta run!"
  • It is a glorious day in the Bay Area.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Solstice nuggets

What does one do when one's flight to San Francisco is canceled? There are really only 3 socially acceptable options: 1) drink, 2) blog, or 3) drink and blog.

  • This is a typically perceptive post from Dervala Hanley on depression, on Against Depression, and against depression. I had vowed to read Peter Kramer's book earlier this year, and now I must follow through. Damn it.
  • I know I'm a week late on this, and I'm sure sports talk radio has made the point... but since I now live in Baltimore, I feel obliged to comment on the Knicks-Nuggets brawl. Here on Carmelo Anthony's home turf, you see that kind of thing every day. What happens to snitches on the streets of Baltimore? Open-handed slaps and panicked backpedaling. It's ugly.
  • Speaking of slaps, I was discussing revenge daydreams with a friend the other day. Sure, some people deserve a sharp blow to the throat. But others merely deserve a soft, chilly, damp slap, right across the ol' muzzle. The kind of greasy slap where the hand lingers on the face. Almost more push than slap. The mere thought delights me.
  • I'm thinking about devoting an entire week of Corn Chips & Pie to photographs of marine life. That giant halibut plucked a chord deep within me. F# minor.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I know you like analogies

The situation of an obscure blogger waiting for web traffic reminds me of a driver sitting in a line of cars, waiting for a signal to start the ignition and to drive into the cargo bay of a waiting car ferry. It is an interminable wait. One anticipates the moment of action: all you gotta do is turn the key. Shift into first. Release the clutch. In you go.

Unfortunately, I tend to dwell upon the unremarkable task before me. I overthink it, you know? And so when the time finally arrives, I turn the key. I shift into first. I release the clutch. I slam into the car in front of me. My container of flammable liquid—perched with foolish nonchalance upon the dashboard—tips over and empties its contents onto my crotch. As my mouth opens in surprise, I release the walnut pipe that had been clenched manfully between my teeth. As ember meets kerosene, my testicles explode in an eerily beautiful fireball. I jerk and writhe uncontrollably, inadvertently jarring the lever controlling the trunk, thus releasing my troupe of rhesus monkeys wearing Semtex belts (I’ve been training them for strictly artistic purposes) in full view of the customs & immigration officials.

So I’d like to thank Mr. Uncle Grambo for his kind mention of this blog on Valleywag. I fear, however, that even his considerable torque may be insufficient to budge this blog from the iron jaws of obscurity. Plus, this is the post that will greet new visitors. All I had to do was drive the fucking car into the ferry. And now I’ve set my crotch on fire again.

But hey, there's a picture of a really big halibut just below.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Here is a good website. It reports odd incidents involving marine life around the UK. Sperm whale beachings, tropical fish far afield, etc. Via the site, I found the accompanying picture of the world's largest halibut. Our waggish Norwegian fisherman also posed for another picture in which he simulates riding on the back of this monster from the briny depths.

As the Norwegian newspaper report states, "Uansett om det er reduksjon i prisen, så tjente han seg en pent dagslønn på gigantfisken." Hey, I hear that!

Also: my memory's not what it used to be, and I am many years removed from my stint on the Argentinian whaling vessel (El Pato Agujereado). But I'll be damned if this is ambergris. That woman should be ashamed of herself, exercising the nation needlessly like that.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

From each according to his ability... each according to his need. But what need, precisely? I think China needs to get the World's Tallest Prostitute on a plane to Inner Mongolia.

Here's why.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Just call me Ron Mexico*

Owing to an unusual turn of events, I found myself in Mexico City from Thursday until Sunday. Somewhat surreally (and uncharacteristically, I hasten to add), I experienced the megalopolis through the sensory filters employed by the top 0.001% of the Mexican economic elite. Cheerfully superhuman concierges. Absurdly good food. Pouilly-Fuissé and top-shelf tequila. Black SUVs with tinted windows; chauffeurs who were former matadors & who regaled us with tales of broken spines and altitude-handicapped bulls (bulls in Mexico City are smaller than bulls at lower altitudes, due to pulmonary necessity). Gated communities with private equestrian centers; ostentatiously tasteful cedar libraries with books on 16th century legal theory, and with a creepily clichéd first edition of Mein Kampf in Spanish. Blowhards and quietly brilliant rich men. Trophy wives with nonstandard facial geometry.

Luckily, we were able to get away for a while. The zocalo at night was hallucinatory: giant colored LED displays of holiday cheer loomed over the periphery, while groups of young people performed aggressive Indian dances in unison. It smelled like roast corn and propane. The mountain town of Tepoztlán is what I imagine Taos to be like: gorgeous and haunting if you can ignore the fucktard New Agers. A "doctor" with a stethoscope around her neck (in a touchingly simple bid for credibility) and her mascara-heavy tranny sidekick read my aura, for the hell of it. There was a problem when their Windows 95 operating system had trouble running the crude program designed to randomly spit out horoscopic gibberish... but I was assured that my aura was so crushingly powerful that the computer couldn't handle it. It was ok. Outside, a mariachi band played with flair and bogglingly tight coordination. A wedding party was breaking up. Cloudlike white flowers spilled out of the ancient church.

*My professor in an infectious disease class once referred to the Michael Vick herpes case as an illustrative example of asymptomatic shedding.


Look, the fact that I haven't posted in a while doesn't necessarily mean I thought the last post was all that great. All right? Will you get off my back now?

Also: good for Our Boy.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Pole explorer heads north

Hedy moved to Washington, D.C. from Poland when she was young. She and her husband raised two boys on little money, and could ill afford extravagance, but Hedy was determined to expose her kids to the Realm of the Metropolitan. DC wouldn't do: "Washington was a mausoleum then. Well, it still is."

But Baltimore-- now, Baltimore is a "real city." So every week, she took her two sons to Baltimore, walked the streets, and simply stood there on one particular corner. She instructed the children to "feel the pulse of the city rising from beneath the sidewalk." One day, a man approached them, and gently inquired why this little trinity made weekly appearances on the corner. Hedy explained her educational goals, and noted that Baltimore was as far as she could afford to take them on the train.

That winter, during another one of their vibe vigils, three men approached Hedy and gave her an envelope. Inside: cash for train tickets to New York. A reservation at the Hotel Dixie. Cash and recommendations for restaurants.

I am aching to add a joke of some kind here, but I'll just let this one be.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I am thinking

about just hanging it up and providing a mirror to Amitava Kumar's site.

The Web would be left with an alarming dearth of juvenile, unfunny jokes re: fecal matter and/or sexual situations, though. Who would step in to fill the void?