Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Grand Theft Fuckface

There are moments in one's adult life that define who he is. Penning a novel. Saving a crippled child from an oncoming train. For me, it was standing with a bunch of teenaged animals outside of a Gamestop on 86th street awaiting the official release of Grand Theft Auto IV. And by "animals," I mean a rowdy slew of just the worst kind of quasi-criminal dirtbags you could possibly imagine. Illiterate, ignorant shitheads whose highest aspirations are to one day "get paid, son" and, maybe, manage a Denny's. So there we were, thugs, myself, and one fifteen year old boy with his mother biding our time until a video game came out. And I couldn't help but wonder if the fiftyish mother was starting to second guess her decision to vouch for her son's purchase, seeing as everyone around us were obnoxious gangbangers.

I heard a young punk behind me mutter to his friend, "Yo, I can't wait to shoot someone in this shit."

Then I felt sick to my stomach. Not because I was offended or because I was disgusted by this bottom feeder's lack of sophistication. I felt sick because that's what it all boiled down to, really. That was the experience we were all hoping to get out of playing this game. The freedom to act out the violent fantasies of some devilish thug without any real consequences. Despite whatever morality tale lies at the heart of this game (and there always is), these kids surrounding me don't care. They don't care about the story or the elaborately constructed virtual New York. They just want to shoot someone in this shit.

As I walked away with my copy, I couldn't help but think that maybe we're now beyond desensitization to violence. We crave it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Good gravy, am I sick of this woman

There is a middle-aged woman in my office who is the epitome of a washed-up actress and she drives everyone up a wall because she is an insufferable busybody. She openly eavesdrops on private conversations and hovers where she's not wanted. She's the same woman who a couple of weeks ago "overheard" my conversation with the office manager about Kath's show. The reason why she didn't hear it from me directly is because she is the last person on the planet I would invite to ANYTHING remotely drama related. Why? Because when she does turn up to these things, no matter how small or low budget, she insists on getting comped because she's "in the industry" and she offers unsolicited criticism after the show. Simple-minded, niggling snipes from a embittered nothing of a woman. I hate her with all of my might and want nothing more than ill fortune to rain down on her.

The only reason I brought this up is because she made a characteristically snide comment to me about a half hour ago. This older gentleman in the office was wearing the same colored shirt and pants that I had on and he drew attention to it, saying "Hey, we're like brothers! Could you tell the difference if I weren't as old as fuck?" Of course, this woman immediately said "the only difference I see is that your wife ironed your shirt."

Why you miserable bitch. Oh, my shirt's wrinkly is it? Well, so's your face. The trouble is, I can actually iron my shirt if I thought this job really mattered at all. You can't iron your face...though I suppose I could give it a shot for you. Rather clumsily and with great force.

Ugh. I hope she gets a paper cut. In her heart.

My first lolcat

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Lots of time on my hands...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

He could bear it no longer

I didn't see the latest "Will Ferrell is a hapless champion at some quirky sport" movie, but apparently the former SNL star wrestled a bear in one of the scenes. The bear, it turns out, was upset with its contract:

Yahoo News: Bear gave off no reasons for concern before trainer's death

Shockingly, a trained grizzly bear can be unpredictable. Unfortunately, a bear makes for a poor vampire as its attempt to draw blood from its trainer ended in the removal of the entire neck. If you ask me, the bear's fit of rage was exactly one scene with Will Ferrell too late.

ADDENDUM: Notice how in most cute, fun articles about animals they use the third person personal pronouns "he" or "she." "Tommy the bear! He's just like one of the family!" When the bear rips some dude's throat out, though, journalists go straight to the third person impersonal. "The bear murdered its trainer by taking his head in its paws and tearing out his lymph nodes." Not so cute anymore, I guess.


And now that I'm on the topic of annoying celebrities: Hey, Kanye West, WE GET IT! YOU LOVE LOUIS VUITTON! Does his name have to appear in every song now? Jesus Christ in a pickle jar, are you THAT strapped for words that rhyme with don? How about:

- I met a guy named Ron.
- My father is an ex-con.
- I love jerk chicken, mon (if you're Jamaican)

And to tell the truth, I'm not too impressed with rappers who rap about what they did in the club the night before anyway. Guess what?! Telling me what French fashion designer you were wearing while you sipped expensive cocktails isn't very interesting. In fact, it's pretty gay. Very gay, now that I think about it. (And I mean "gay" in both that eighth grade "going to the mall is so gay" way and, of course, "homosexual.")

Don't rappers kill each other anymore? That's what we want to hear.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Cottonelle? More like Cotton Swell!

I cannot begin to express my pleasure and gratitude that baby wipes are now accepted as suitable for adults and infants alike. You don't understand...regular toilet paper now seems BARBARIC. I mean, what were people doing before? I'll tell you what: pawing at their brown eyes with burlap sacks. Finally, dignity has arrived at the bathroom. It's like leaving the stall with a freshly polished nickel.

Speaking of disgusting, a fellow on the train into work this morning was digging deep into his nose as if looking for loose change. Apparently, he was unaware of the other fifty commuters around him and their good taste to not jam digits into their uncovered orifices. Of course, he went on to shove his pointer finger into his ear as well. I half expected him to go the whole nine yards and ram a thumb up his ass. I would have then recommended Cottonelle to him.

New York is a hell of a town.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Don't mention the war

I have realized that my ideal haircut is very similar if not identical to those favored by Germans around, oh, say, 1941. It's difficult to relay this image to the all-Jewish barbershop I go to on 44th Street. I would imagine that "I would like the SS officer, please" would swiftly mutate the normal clip-clip motion of the scissors to more of a stab-stab stroke somewhere around my temple.

They say clothes make the man, but does that idea extend to the haircut? I'll keep you posted if I happen upon any notions of a national socialist party.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Enfermería General

I normally hate doing my laundry in Washington Heights, in part because doing one's laundry is one of the more tedious activities in his life, but mostly because the Heights is full of degenerates and scumbags. In fact, I find it hilarious that there's a musical about the Heights out right now. Somehow, I'm not sure that putting sexual harassment, littering, and gang violence to music makes anything better. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm not familiar with the rich culture all around me that, as a white man, I simply can't appreciate. Well, all I know is what I've seen. And I've seen lady friends move out of the Heights because of the constant barrage of aggressive men, glass bottles being thrown at passers-by, raw chicken being "delivered" to chimichurri trucks by having it thrown on the street, and a steady line of makeshift memorials to dead gangbangers. I've lived there about six years now, and I fail to see the charm.

Especially in the laundromat, which, in the Heights, doubles as a recreation center (read: place to dump one's obnoxious children). Even though last night's trip to the laundromat was relatively hassle free, I'm always amazed at the idiosyncrasies these people have simply doing the wash. Such as jury rigging EVERY machine in the place so only Fonzie could make them work properly. And, instead of putting a decent amount of clothes in a few dryers and drying them for a half hour, they like to put two or three items in each of fifteen dryers and dry them for five minutes. This practice leads to not only dryer monopoly, but it also makes one wonder why there's a single sock and a pair of shorts tumbling alone together, as if dancing a forbidden dance that only clothes understand. But the best laundromat quirk HAS to be the Spanish language soap operas they have BLASTING on the television in the corner. Last night's exciting tale involved women SCREAMING in some sort of dungeon while this borderline gay villain in a cape kept mildly threatening them. And despite the drama, the music would occasionally switch to a sort of bumbling, cartoon lilt and the prisoners would have exasperated fake fights with each other. And, my Spanish may be shaky, but from what I could make out, the theme song to this televisual gem involved the devil and love.

For all I know, that's what it was called. The Devil and Love. Anybody know if that's a show?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Boyd, howdy!

When I was a mere boy and a beardless youth, I was an avid L.M. Boyd fan. His column out of Seattle was a collection of trivia, a simple list of odd facts. And I loved it. I found a website that has amassed a smattering of his trivial records. Here are some of my favorites:

* Mythmakers of ancient England spoke of a monster in the shape of an emaciated cow called "Chichevache" that ate nothing but faithful wives. The bit of lore eventually lost currency. Some English say it was too silly. Some Irish say the old cow starved to death.

* It's only a coincidence that "nasa" in Hebrew means "to go up."

* Makers of medieval calendars marked two days of each month as evil days. Called them the "Dies Mali." During which nothing good was supposed to happen. Their label came down as our word "dismal."

* Yes, as reported here, anthropologists know of no human society whose children do not play hide and seek. But I left something out. Other animals play the game, too. Otters do. So do young deer.

* "Preposterous" comes from Latin meaning "before and after." Originally it was supposed to convey how ridiculous it is to put something first that ought to be last. Such as a cart before a horse.

* The old Romans thought a person's health changed every seven years. They also thought a mirror reflected a person's health, good or bad. It was a twist on this combination that gave us the superstitious notion that a broken mirror foretold seven years bad luck.

* Before people gave up meat for Lent, they celebrated with a "carnival." That word stems from "carne vale" meaning "goodbye, meat."

And for my lawyer boss:
* The original "esquire" — the man, not the magazine — was a young noble apprenticed to a knight. "Esquire" was one rank below "gentleman."

Ain't that the truth.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Only four more shows!

The first four shows were amazing and now you only have four shows left to see:

My Dead Mother is Funnier Than You

ArcLight Theatre, 152 West 71st Street (b/w Broadway and Columbus)
April 3 - 6 and April 10 - 13
Thursday through Saturday 8pm, Sunday 3pm

Tickets available through TheaterMania.com

Seriously, people like it.