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World Star Gazette

Charlie/Male/31-35. Lives in United States/Massachusetts/Watertown, speaks English. Eye color is hazel.
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Saturday, June 21, 2003
Keeping Abreast of an Old Friend's Problem

Dragging you a little closer to lunacy with each sentence read...

Is it just me, or has 'tit' sort of gotten the shaft?
(Now, if a sentence with 'tit' and 'shaft' doesn't get me at the top of a few web searches, then I don't know what the hell will. Hmmm. "Doggy dildo donkey humpers!" Best to be sure about these things...)

Well, this one is off to a good start. :/

But (semi-)seriously, I feel bad for tit, I really do. I mean, put yourself in tit's place. (I know, if you could do that, you'd never leave the house. Moving on.) Anyway, there you are (tit, that is), born screaming and squiggling into Word Land, with the whole world in front of you. You're just a baby -- a period, maybe, or a caret -- and you can grow up to be anything you want.
(Well, that's not entirely true, of course. As we all know, there are four basic stages of word development, and some are mutually exclusive. All little wordlings start out as neuter words, with no reproductive capabilities. Most come into the world as some kind of punctuation, though you'll occasionally see a whole letter formed at wordbirth. (The curviest letters are obviously the most painful and problematic to squeeze out, which is where the origin of the term 'C section' really comes from.) Some words grow up neuter and stay that way, never developing sexual organs or bothering with children at all. (Examples of words unable to reproduce include 'pus', 'crapshack', and 'Alabama'.) Others develop into male words and female words, which can then reproduce to create the new words that get added to the language from time to time (like 'blog', or 'e-commerce', or 'Britneylicious'). The male words get that way by developing 'i's, of course. (Think 'penis'... but not for too long. If you think it more than twice, you're just playing with it.) Similarly, as you might expect, the female words all have one or more 'o's (like 'hooters', for instance). Finally, there's the tweener words, which have both types of organs, and can, as they say, 'self-pollinate'. (Which itself is an example of a tweener, of course. Other examples include 'hermaphrodite', 'Californians', and 'Richard Simmons'.)
Not much is known about the mating habits of words, as they prefer to bump serifs in private. All that linguisexologists can really tell us is that there's some exchange of material between the words, most likely the dot above the male's 'i' (hence, 'dotting your i's and crossing your t's' has a much different connotation for these little guys), and then a short time later, a new baby word comes careening out of the female's 'o'. It's beautiful. Really. I asked around. And not so different from us, when you think about it. Just like people, the female's preoccupation during sex is usually with her big 'O', while the male is focused solely on 'I, I, I'.)

Okay, where was I? Oh, tit. Of course. How could I forget?

So, here's tit, fresh-faced and rarin' to go, ready to make a name for himself. Things are fine for a while; tit grows along with the other words, maybe getting his 'i', and then a 't' to make 'it', and then adding on a 't'. Now he's 'tit', and that's just peachy. He's still a kid, in school learning phonetics and competing in spelling bees. Life is good, and he makes sure to eat all of his tildes and umlauts, so he'll grow up big and strong. But he doesn't grow -- all of his friends keep adding letters, and sprouting syllables, maybe even developing alternate pronunciations, while tit is left behind. 'Look, there goes that runty little tit,' the other words jeer. Or, 'C'mon, at least add a 'w'; at least then you'll be a twit!' Worst of all, tit is constantly harassed by the four-letter words. They're small little pipsqueaks, too, but they're bigger than tit, and they put him through hell and make him feel like shit. (Coincidentally, 'hell' and 'shit' are the worst offenders, though there are a host of others -- four-letter words can be so hurtful.) In the worst of times, tit considers radical measures -- running away, perhaps, or hyphenating onto another word, even (gasp!) augmentation surgery. But in the end, tit decides it's wrong to become somehow unnatural, and anyway, there isn't really room in tit for a 'C' or 'D' or anything, so tit suffers on in silence.

So tit's not having a very good time of things, and doesn't get to play much with anyone else during the formative years. (He's thinking of writing a book, by the way -- 'Growing Up Tit', which will expose the trauma of those troubled and awkward times.) But through it all, tit does have one friend. Another word in a similar position, who can well understand tit's trials and tribulations. It doesn't hurt that this is a close relative to tit, who's been there from the very beginning, to share the good times as well as the bad. That word, tit's companion and confidant, is, of course, 'tat'. Tit and tat spend most of their childhood together, becoming inseparably linked, and often talked about in the same breath. Around the schoolyard, it's always 'tit and tat this', 'tit and tat that', and 'hey, let's go give tit and tat their daily swirlies now'. Not a happy existence, but at least tit and tat have each other, and no one could tear them apart.

But in the end, even tat moved on, leaving a lonely tit behind. You see, once new words develop all their letters and learn all about how to spell and pronounce themselves and others, there's still one more hurdle to making it to graduation in word school. To make it out of Word Land, the elder scholars and professors must be able to find meanings for a word. Not just any old jumble of letters can pass through the hallowed arches of Webster U. and make it into the dictionary, and many fail to meet the mark.
(Truth be told, even tit has it better than these poor souls, left in Word Land to eke out a meager existence. Fully grown, but not quite complete and with no real meaning, the 'grunchy's and 'flubbo's and 'porkjuice's wander the landscape, struggling to survive. Their only hope of redemption is that someone might choose them for a proper name of some kind -- assign a car, or a company, or a child to them. It's not a dictionary entry, but at least it gets them 'out there', into the world of blue skies and ketchup packets and digital parking meters. The near-words left behind curse their luck ever more vehemently, praying that one day they'll get the call and become the next 'Yugo' or 'Enron', or the shining hope for all half-words, 'Krzyzewski' (once voted by his junior class as the 'Word Most Likely to Eat from Dumpsters for the Rest of Eternity'). It's not much to hope for, but it's all that they have.)

Anyway, back to our hero, tit.

So, the moment of truth finally comes, and tit is brought before the Council of Meaning, Sucommittee on Definition Assignment, Chairword Meme presiding. Tit's not having a good day. Just that morning, hell and fart were tormenting him, playing keep-away with his dot. He didn't have time to straighten the crosses on his t's, and his i is listing badly to the left. He's nervous, and flustered, and the interview doesn't go well. Frankly, the Council probably shouldn't have assigned tit any meaning at all, but they knew about his troubles, and decided to take pity on him. Of course, they couldn't bring themselves to give him a truly inspiring or majestic meaning, but they got him out the door and gave him a chance. From the official Webster University transcript, here's what the Council came up with for tit:

1. Vulgar slang. A woman's breast.
2. A teat.
3. A titmouse.

So, essentially, a boob or a cow boob or an undersized rat. Not a lot to work with. Still, tit was happy to be graduating, and thought that he might luck into some more meanings down the road.
(Extra meanings are sometimes assigned by the Council of Meaning (Subcommittee on Definition Additions, Co-Chairwords Euphemism and Entendre presiding). Additional meanings can be a mixed blessing, however -- in rare cases, the Council decides that a word has performed above and beyond the call of dictionary, and is awarded with a new, honorary connotation that represents an upgrade from previous meanings (like 'chill', or 'fly', or 'nugget'). Far more often, though, additional meanings are assigned to accomodate the nearly insatiable tendency of people to insult each other, or invent new terminology for their genitalia, or often both at once (as in 'cheesehead', 'peter', and, as it happens, 'nugget'. Oh, and 'Fred Durst'.).

Anyway, tit makes it through graduation, and waits for tat to get back from the interview. Well. As it turns out, tat's a star. The Committee is so enamored with tat that they assign all kinds of definitions -- tat gets to mean a 'pony', and a 'gunny cloth', and 'cheap and vulgar'. Not award-winning stuff, certainly, but not bad for a pissant three-letterer, nonetheless. But that's not the kicker. No, the real shocker -- at least to tit -- is that tat also gets verbed, right out of the gate. Tat's not only a thing, but it's also doing something, namely 'to make lacework', or 'to do tatting'. It's a spectacular honor, of course -- most noun words don't get verbed right away; it usually takes years, if not centuries, for these things to happen. (Just ask 'bed', or 'sack', or even 'verb' itself.) So immediately tit gets jealous; he's stuck with his crappy definitions, and no verbing, and he's pissed. Soon after graduation, tit and tat get into a huge argument about the whole thing, and they stop speaking to each other. And frankly, tit's never quite been the same since.

So that's the story of tit, and it's not a happy one. These days, tit is relegated to a lonely life, mentioned often but rarely with others, and almost never in good company. Mostly, tit hangs around with ass, but the less said about ass, the better. Saddest of all, tit and tat are now almost total strangers, and when they do mingle, it usually ends badly. 'Trading tit for tat' is especially problematic, as it reminds tit of the gap between them, and all that tat is that tit wants to be.
(Most of all, naturally, tit wants to be verbed, but it's never happened. So while you can tat something, and be a tatter, and even be tatted, you sadly cannot tit someone, nor can you be a titter, and you certainly cannot be titted. Trust me. I carried three G's around Vegas for a week, and no one would tit me. It just doesn't happen.)

Anyway, I just thought someone should know. Maybe we can start a tit trust fund or something, or do a telethon, something to help tit out. I don't know. But in the meantime, do try and keep tit in your thoughts. Pray for tit, if you think that sort of thing helps. And if you see tit -- you know, out there -- be nice. Say hello, maybe give tit a big hug, just to let tit know that you care. Tit's done a lot for us, and I for one think it's time to give just a little bit back.

Friday, June 20, 2003
In Dogged Pursuit of Scientific Discovery

If you don't understand it, it's probably because you just don't like it.

So, I'm wondering -- idly, to myself, though of course that's about to change -- whether dogs have nose hairs. You know, inside.

Maybe I should explain how I got to this particular train of thought before the men in their little white coats arrive.

It's simple, really. First, my nose started to itch. You know, inside. This happens with a fair degree of regularity, and I've found that hair is often the culprit. At least, I think it's the culprit. All I can really say for sure is that there's itching, and then the hair is discovered, and then there's a short burst of intense pain and that need-to-sneeze feeling when the hair is removed, and then there's no more itching. Maybe the hair's to blame all along, but I also recognize the possibility that the trauma of yanking things out of the fleshy inside bits of one's nose may simply overwhelm whatever irritation caused the itching in the first place. You don't cure jock itch, for instance, by slamming little Frankie and the twins with a car door, though I think it's safe to say that the itching would take a rather distant back seat for a while if you did.

So. Now I'm posed with a dilemma. (No, I'm not considering smashing my naughties in my Nissan, I'm back to the nose thing already. Let it go.) Here's the thing -- I'm not a nose picker; really, I'm not. I don't pick my own, and I only rarely pick my wife's (though I might do it more often if she'd let her guard down once in a while). But I know what's needed to put the kibosh on the itching going on up in my snooter, and it involves some rooting around, preferably with an instrument of some sort, and then something akin to weed-pulling. All of this would be just peachy if I were in the comfort of my own home, with my handy-dandy silver-plated Ronco personal grooming kit by my side. But I'm not. All I've got here is my wits, my fingers, and a semi-private bathroom down the hall. Well, that and a few ink pens, but I'm not going down that road again -- last time I went there, I couldn't see out of my left eye for a week.

Anyway, the options are not good. So far, I've tried to manage with a lot of nose scrunching, and nostril flaring, and rubbing the top of my nose, and underneath, and the sides, when what I really want to do is jump in there with both feet and a Weed-Eater and throw down. Sadly, that sort of thing is frowned upon in polite society, and probably even in the places that I'm allowed to frequent, so I refrain. And itch. And flare, and scrunch, and rub, and godammit, this sucks ass!!

Okay, deep breath. Let's regroup. We've all been faced with these sorts of challenges, and we've made it through the rain. Let's look at the list of socially acceptable options available to me. I could:

A) Call it a day, head home, and tweeze the living shit out of the inside of my honker in the comfort of my own bano.
2) Sit here and continue to sniff, prod, wrinkle, and scratch like a coke fiend, and hope the Nose Hair Fairy comes and waves her magic follicle to make all my worries go away.
III) Trudge down the hall to the office bathroom, lock myself in a stall, and have myself a little excavation party.

Certainly, the last option is the most convenient, and perhaps the one to which I'll end up succumbing. But there's always been something a little deviant about sitting on a shitter and doing anything besides what you're expected to be in there doing. Namely, making a number one or two, browsing through literature of some kind, or reading graffiti. Those are the only sorts of activities that are supposed to be supported by a bathroom stall, and this is not an area where I'm normally interested in breaking new ground.
(As an aside, I'd like to share my very most favorite bathroom graffiti moment ever. I was shagging flies in a cozy little stall in Pittsburgh, PA. (Damn, that sounds cool -- I mean, I've never used 'shagging flies' as a euphemism for pinching loaves or dropping nougats before, but that sentence sounds like the start of a Springsteen song or something...) Anyway, I was sitting there, reading the usual graffiti on the walls: 'yo mamma', 'lick me', elaborate drawings of topless women, and big schlongs, and topless women with big schlongs... pretty standard fare.
And then I saw this scrunchy, tiny inscription on the wall, past the paper holder, just inches from the door. But I couldn't quite make out what it said. So I leaned in closer, and closer, and it was really, really tiny, and finally I could just stretch forward enough and squint hard enough to read:

Well, maybe it's just me, but I'd've crapped in my pants if they hadn't been draped around my ankles at the time. You really never want to laugh out loud in a public crapatorium stall, but I did. And all I could think was, 'Yes. Yes I am.' I owe some smartass out there a beer...)

Now. Where the hell was I? Oh, right, Roto-rooting my Durante.

So, anyway, to make a long story only marginally shorter, I've (obviously) been obsessed with nostril hair for some time now. And it got me to thinking (wishfully, I might add) about that little pile of nose hairs that you accumulate (on a tissue, or by the sink, or in your wife's jar of cold cream, whereever) when you're actually able to get in there with the tweezers and get all up in your bidness. All those short little hairs, all the same length, piled up willy-nilly like driftwood on a beach. And that's exactly the kind of hairpile that I noticed last night on our dog's blanket -- twenty or thirty in all, in a neat little stack, and too short to be proper dog fur. Well, I didn't think much about it at the time, but now -- afflicted as I am with my current condition -- now I have to wonder: could the dog go through the same hellish nightmare that I'm currently enduring? And if so, then were those really doggie nostril pubes that I saw last night? And if so, how the hell did she get them out? Our dog can't take a dump without stepping in it; now I'm supposed to believe she's coordinated enough to tweeze?!
(While we're at it, don't you think there'd have been just a smidgen of evolutionary pressure on dogs to not tiptoe through the turdies when they're squeezin' out the cigars? Really, c'mon -- how long have dogs been around, and wolves before them? Ten, fifty, a hundred million years? I mean, I learned to walk around my Baby Ruths after I'm done parking them, and it only took me sixteen years! (Okay, sixteen and a half. Still!) I would've really thought that by now all the shit-steppers would be weeded out, and all we'd have left are dogs with shiny, happy sanitary feet. But no. From a lifetime of smelly, nasty experience, no. It's almost enough to drive you to cats, fastidious little peckers that they are...)

I'm sure I was leading toward something... Oh, right, my dog's nose. (As usual.)

Well, now I'm curious. I've never noticed my dog having nose hairs before, but to be fair, I've never really flung an eyeball up there to check, either. But now I'm gonna; I've got to know. Maybe she's got the secret that'll free me from my boogery chains that bind. Of course, this is not a mission that I undertake lightly. Besides the problem of getting the dog to hold still, and not drool or snot or pee all over me, there's also the matter of equipment. I don't think I'll need the jaws of life or spelunking gear or anything, but it's dark up them holes! (How often do you find yourself saying that, hmm?) So I'll need a flashlight, and maybe a...er, spreader of some sort. Like a tongue depressor, maybe, just to get a good look around the landscape.

But that's not the biggest problem, of course. The biggest problem is that my wife will saunter in while I'm in the middle of my little experiment. And believe me, the last thing you want in your marriage is to be seen holding the dog in a headlock, with a flashlight in your mouth and a tongue depressor in your hand, saying, 'Hold still, girl, this'll only take a second.'

So, I don't know, and I can't stand this torture any longer. I suppose I'll leave the dog and her mysteries alone for now, and concentrate on doing a little deforestation in my own Department of Interior. I managed to dig up a plastic spork, so if I can just find some eye protection, I think I'll hit the head and go to work. If you'll excuse me...

A Boston Compendium in Three Acts

A blog? Something my body needs already! I like that...

So, I live in Boston. I just registered with some sort of Boston BlogRing, so I thought I ought to mention it. Just to stay in the club, you understand. Anyway, let me tell you about Boston.

Generally speaking, Boston's a cool place. I've lived in a couple of places and (when I can strap my anklet on the dog and duck the parole officers) I occasionally get away to visit others, as well. Of everywhere I've been, Boston's probably my favorite.
(Favorite for living, mind you. There are plenty of better places to vacation, as far as I'm concerned, and certainly you wouldn't want to be caught dead here. No, literally -- it's fine to be seen here; just don't dream of dying here, at least not if you fancy yourself the burying kind. See, Boston's an old, old city (by US standards, anyway), and they've been burying people here for so long and in such a small space that I'm convinced they've got cadavers time-sharing the coffins. Plus, it's hard to get into a good graverhood these days, what with people dropping off and being shoved in the ground every day. You don't want to be stuck in the 'new money' section, with the obelisks and fancy holograms and crap like that. On the other hand, you don't want to get mingled in with the old schoolers, either. You think your parents or grandparents give you shit about the 'old days'; some of these jokers are going on 400 years old. How'd you like to be lying there forever having to hear about how things were so much better before automobiles, or sliced bread, or the Louisiana Purchase. Or non-webbed fingers, for Chrissakes. No, much better you should live here for a few dozen years, then get away on vacation somewhere quiet, like Oregon, maybe, and just park your carcass right there for the rest of eternity. Or better yet, arrange to have yourself charcoaled up after you're dead, and get yourself sprinkled onto the mound at Fenway Park. Maybe if we can get enough ghosts on our side in that damn place, we'll finally beat that fat-assed Babe and his curse into submission...)

Right. Now where the hell was I? Oh, Boston.

Okay, so you probably know some things about Boston, good and bad (the aforementioned baseball Mecca, the Broons (there is no 'I' in team, and I swear to God I've never heard the 'I' pronounced in our hockey team's name, either), the schools, the Cape and the Vineyard (for those more fortunate and/or fiscally fortified than I), the Tea Party, the horrible drivers, the Big Dig, and so on, et cetera.

So, I won't tell you the same old boring shit about all of that. Here's what I can offer to the visitor to the Boston area, the wary traveler unwise in the ways of the wacky New Englander tribes:

First, there's the whole idea of 'Boston' as a city. See, I've been lying to you from the very first sentence of the post. (Right, so what else is new?) I actually don't live in Boston, nor do I work in Boston. To be precise, I live in Watertown, and work in Cambridge. Both of these abut Boston, of course, as do a half dozen other towns, but they're technically not 'Boston proper'.
(For those of you unfamiliar with Cambridge, it's much easier to explain. Cambridge is home to Harvard, MIT, and just about everyone who ever attended either institution and is still interested in lording it over the rest of the world. It's filled with free thinkers, liberal philosophy, coffee bars (no Starbucks, please!), and poetry readings; it serves microbrew beers only (or better yet, mead), crosses the street whenever it damn well feels like it, and doesn't own a television. Or if it does, it only watches PBS, C-SPAN and the snooty parts of BBC America. If you live in America and look toward the East, you may just see it among the clouds, peering disdainfully down its nose at the rest of the country.)

Damn, lost it again. Oh, right, 'Boston proper'.

So, Boston itself is roughly the size of Oprah. Big Oprah, of course; it's a city, after all, but the city limits really don't rope off that much area. Watertown's similarly postage-stampy, as are many of the itty bitty 'cities' in Eastern Massachusetts that somewhere along the way thought they'd be better off as separate entities. I imagine it went something like this:
'Screw Boston,' said these clever young bucks way back when. 'Who wants to be a part of all that history and fame and money dripping all over? Who needs access to the port and the ocean and the mouth of the Charles River? Instant credibility and recognition? Feh! Not for us. No, better we should separate ourselves into tiny anonymous townships and fiefdoms, and then fight like hell to maintain our independence, making sure that none of that dirty 'big city money' shall ever come into our coffers. We'll be Belmontians and Watertownies and Medfordites, proud and poor, and some day trivia questions will be written about our hallowed acreage. And there will be much rejoicing.' (Yay!)

That's the geography of 'Boston' in a nutshell, really. 'Boston' is just a little bit Boston, and largely Brookline and Cambridge and Somerville and Belmont and Charlestown and a hundred other runty little villages who didn't want to be called 'Boston', but still are by the 99% of the free world that doesn't give enough of a rat's heinie to make the distinction. So what does all of this mean to you, a potential visitor to the asylum? Well, first of all, it means that you can't swing a dead cat anywhere between Cape Cod and Maine, at any time of year, without hitting at least a dozen of those bullshit campaign signs that people string all over the goddamned place. See, more towns per square mile just means more town council members, and treasurers, and selectpersons (selectpeople? What's the PC term here?), and comptrollers per capita than just about anywhere on the planet.
(And of course, as every good politico knows, the only right way to get elected, to spread your word among the constituents and separate yourself from the competition, is to plop thousands of signs -- with nothing but your name and mug shot on them, natch -- all along every highway, parking lot, and philosophically-aligned neighbor's yard that you can possibly reach by car or on foot. Throw those bitches up everywhere -- street corners, electric poles, shop windows, you name it -- and if you win the election (and there's any slush money left to support it), maybe in a year or two, you can think about taking them back down. Or not. By that time, you'll be up for re-election, and you'll just need more, anyway.
Okay, I know this tangent gets me a little edgier than most, but I just can't leave it at that. Who told these guys that a good way to get elected would be to mingle their litter together and throw it all over God's creation? Has politics really sunk (or risen, for all I know) to the level where it's justifiable to fight that damned hard to get a name in front of a potential voter's eyes as they cruise down I-95? Do they really think that the person is going to go into the booth on Election Day and just blithely pull the levers (or punch the holes, or tap the screens) of the people whose names he/she can remember, or of the stooge who had a 'kind face' on the placard across the street? And if that is what they think, ye gods help us, are they right???)

Okay, went way off base that time. What was I saying before? Ah, what all these little dink towns mean. Gotcha.

So, of more importance to the casual traveller, I would think, is this: despite the historical differences and petty arguments that must have served to separate these little towns at some point, it seems that there's one area in which they all have very similar tastes: street names. You'll find that certain street names (Beacon, for instance, and Washington, and Main, of course, but also Harvard and College and a few dozen others) pop up in just about every single place you go. In some cases, the name continues unchanged through several towns, as it should in any normal place with city planners who are neither drunk nor gibbons. (Beacon Street, for instance, passes from Boston to Brookline and is handed over relatively unscathed to Newton, where it finally peters out.)
As you might expect (by now, from me), these cases are vanishingly rare. Most of the time, Boston will have a particular Street, and maybe an Avenue or a Place, while Brookline will chime in with a totally separate Street of its own, and perhaps a Terrace, and then Cambridge will throw in a couple, and Arlington gets in the act, and pretty soon you've got to carry your own GPS with you just to get a cabbie pointed in the right direction. Even the cases where it should be easy, it just isn't. I know that Harvard, besides being a school in Cambridge and a street name in several other towns, also runs continuously from Boston to Brookline. However, in one place it's 'Harvard Street', and in the other it's 'Harvard Avenue', and no one short of a Boston University historical scholar seems to know which is where, when they switch, and for the love of Pedro Martinez, why? Why, why, whyyyyyyy?
What's the bottom line? Well, you have a couple of options, short of buying the GPS for your fanny pack. You can usually get around okay if you have a map, but you need to know enough beforehand to get the right map, of course, and if you're planning on travelling more than about 600 feet, you'll need two or three maps, because you'll end up crossing through several different cities on your trek. While it's possible to plan that well ahead of time, the best bet is to arm yourself with a whole frickin' Eastern Massachusetts atlas, and just hope it's not open to Woburn when you think you're looking at Wellesley, or Medford when you're trying to make a left turn somewhere in Malden. In fact, maybe it's better to scrap driving altogether and just use the public transportation system.

Then, there's the public transportation system.
Thankfully, they opted not to simply call it 'Mass Transit', which is good. There's one less groaner we have to walk around with every day. But there are some issues nonetheless. For one, I'm still trying to figure out how the real acronym (MBTA, 'Mass Bay Transit Authority, I think it is) gets shortened to 'the T' when people talk about the trains. Maybe it was originally the 'M', and they threw that out because people got it confused with that guy in the James Bond movies; and so they tried the 'B' and people started calling it the 'Bee-yatch!' instead, so they just kept moving down the letters, and the third time was a charm. Really, I don't know. But it doesn't make any damned sense, as far as I can tell.
Or maybe it's just 'T' for 'Train', like in some pre-schooler's alphabet book. There are many, many well-educated, literate, eloquent people here in Boston, let me assure you, but I can understand the need for simplicity at the times when you actually need a train (namely, 8am, when you're still drooling on your tokens as you board; 6pm, when you're too fried to zip your fly, much less dither about whether you're catching the 'M', the 'T', or the 'Bee-yatch!'; and 1am, when all you really want is somewhere to pee and sleep (neither of which are allowed on the 'T', as it happens, though many of the cabs in Boston smell as if they're rather flexible with one or both of the rules)).
Which brings us to the more damning problem with Boston's public transportation system. I would very much like to meet another city that has decided, as Boston seems to have done, that it's a Good Idea™ to stop train and bus service one half hour or more before the bars spill their payload of drunken businessfolk and fraternity brawlers into the cobblestone streets. So you can either stay sober and drive yourself home early, with the option of taking a ride on one of Uncle Sam Adams' trolleys, or you can whoop it up until the bouncers hustle you out the door, and be stuck with the ever-more-depressing options of:

A) walking home (if you live in, or on the other side of, South Boston, this option is not open to you under any circumstances)
ii) bumming a ride home, which means your chauffeur for the evening is either also loaded or likes to hang out late enough to close bars without drinking; either way, he/she should be considered dangerous and unstable
3) paying a grumpy Eastern European fellow wearing a wife-beater and someone else's toupee $40 to sit in his stench for half an hour to get you home in his cab/mobile bedroom

So, a word of advice re: the Boston 'T'. Treat it like the restroom in a Taco Bell. (No, that doesn't mean pee on the walls when you think no one is looking.... what it means is:)
Feel free to use it when there's not much action around. At those off-peak times, it's likely to be (relatively) clean, roomy, and you won't necessarily have to clinically sterilize your seat before using it. Oh, and you're fairly likely to find some reading material that no one else is using, too. But -- avoid it if possible during rush hours, unless you enjoy rubbing elbows (and knees and thighs, oh my!) with random sweaty unattractive people, some of whom will be quite chatty. And finally, if you think you may be on the verge of an, ahem, emergency, try your damnedest to be sure that you can get home on your own rather than be forced to use the facilitiies under duress. It never works out quite the way you want, and often ends up necessitating a change of clothes and a long hot shower.

Okay, that takes care of the 'T', I think. What's for dessert? How about the weather?

I'm not sure that the weather in Boston is really that different from anywhere else, except maybe places that get warm ever. Actually, that's unfair. Certainly Boston gets its fair share of snow. Plus it hogs most of Connecticut's, and steals a bit of Rhode Island's, as well. But it's not particularly colder than a lot of wintry places, just really white and really wet (think Clay Aiken poolside after a Ruben cannonball).
Anyway, moving along quickly to get that image out of my head... the snow usually melts by May or so, just like most places (most places north of Canada, anyway), and then spring comes along. It's all good from there on -- we get about two months of spring, and about two months of autumn, and there's always that 17 minutes or so in between where it really gets warm! Eighty, almost. Relatively almost, anyway. In Kelvin.
Okay, I'm just lying now, though most people in the area would tell you a similar story. My real beef with the weather is just the opposite: for all the bitching and complaining that there's no summer around here, July and August are generally pretty miserably hot (on the north end of 80, and often 90) and humid (the frickin' city's built by a river, on the ocean, and it snows like hell during winter; how humid do you think it gets?).
So, fine. It's not Alabama, I hear you saying. (And I kiss the ground outside my door every day that continues to be true.) It's not Arizona. How bad can it be? See, this is where the attitude above really hurts. Because everyone around Boston focuses on the cold six (okay, eight, and maybe nine) months out of the year and bitches about how it's never hot, no one prepares for the heat when it does manage to haul its ass off the beaches on the Gulf and get up here. Air conditioners are rarer in Boston than Republican guest speakers at Harvard graduations. It's hot all damned day, hot in the house all evening, and the bed at night feels like a big sleeping bag full of hot fudge (and not in a good way, if you can believe that).
Anyway, I suppose I can understand why there's no air conditioning to be found around here. Most of the buildings are older than Strom Thurmond, though usually somewhat less rickety. But they've been through waves of upgrades over the past few years -- indoor plumbing, electric wiring, coat after coat of lead paint... I suppose they deserve a bit of a rest before jamming ducts from their basements up to their chimneys (sounds like a prostate exam, doesn't it, fellas?) to add A/C.
I suppose the only advice I can offer to beat the Boston heat in summer is to stay in a hotel, where the booze is expensive but the amenities are modern, or try sleeping on the 'T'. Not only is it air-conditioned, but you'll get a good night's rest. They call 'lights out' at 12:30, and they'll make sure you're tucked away safely before any of those nasty drunks come out to bother you.

Thursday, June 19, 2003
The Royal 'We' is Not Amusing

Could anything that involves this much drooling really be so bad?

Wow -- I really didn't think it would happen so quickly. Yesterday, I decide to write a tagline for each entry. And here we are, 24-ish hours later, and I've managed to write one that even I don't really understand. Cool! Apparently there's a party in my head, and I'm not invited...

So how about we talk a little bit about useful phrases for a while?

Okay, stop right there. Back it up. There are a few things that I've promised myself never to do, at least not without giving myself a good spanking for as punishment. (And when you get right down to it, can you really give yourself a bad spanking, hmm?) I won't try to dredge up the whole list now, but I do know that a couple of the verboten items were inspired by things that I often heard when I was a kid. One of them, for instance, was to never explain anything, to anyone, ever, by saying, 'Because I said so'.

I got that one a lot when I was a kid, probably because I was one of those annoying, nosy 'Why? Why? Why, why, why?' little monsters. And I'm sure I deserved it, at least sometimes, for instigating conversations like this:

Me: Can I go outside and play?
HPRP (Hitherto Perfectly Reasonable Person): No, sorry.
Me: But why?
HPRP: Because it's raining.
Me: Oh. Why is it raining?
HPRP: Um, well -- I think it has to do with low pressure systems or something.
Me: Oh. What's a low pressure system?
HPRP: It's -- ah, well, it's a weather system, with... um, lower pressure than you might normally expect.
(An aside: many of the people I talked to as a child were Perfectly Reasonable (to a point), but most weren't terribly Scientifically Inclined...)
Me: Oh. Why's the pressure so low?
HPRP (now becoming less of a RP, because I'm interrupting 'Hee Haw' or 'Matlock' or whatever the hell was on TV): I... um, I don't know. Maybe it had an air leak.
Me: But why does it have an air leak?
HPRP: I... just... but... go away.
Me: But why? Whyyyyyyyyy?
HPRP: Shut up. Go hump the dog or something. Minnie Pearl is on.
Me: Tellllll me. Whyyyyyyy?
HPRP: Just -- because I said so, ya chickensquirt! I made the leak, now it's raining, and you can't go outside because I Goddamned said so! There! You happy now?

And there's just no answer for that. No comeback, no more questions, just nothing.
(Though I did once screw up my courage and try, 'But whyyyyyy did you say so?' And I have never in my life been bitch-slapped so hard, before or since.)

So of course, people would figure out the pattern and start to play their trump card earlier and earlier in an effort to retain some scrap of their sanity. For example:

Me: Hey, do you know what time it --
Them: I said so! I said so! La la la, I fucking said so. That's it, end of story! La la la la...

Okay, I did say they tried to retain some sanity, but truth be known, most of them didn't exactly land on the planet swinging at a full bucket of balls to begin with, if you smell what I'm cookin'. Anyway, I told myself that I would never use 'Because I said so' as a reason for anything, ever, because it used to piss me off so much. That's near the top of my list of Things That I Must Never Do, No Matter How Tempting. So, naturally, I simply can't be around children, not even for a moment. And that's a Good Thing™. But I don't think that was my point this time...

What the hell was I talking about? Oh, right, the list of things not to do.

Anyway, somewhere further down the list, but in no danger of falling off, is suggesting that 'we' are going to talk about something, when really I'm the only one doing any talking (or typing, or miming, or semaphore signalling, or whatver; don't be a picky-ass), and you really don't have the slightest hint of a choice about the topic of "conversation". This was always popular in the schools, and it cheesed me off to no friggin' end.

Mr. Assmunch or whoever would weasel his way into the classroom and sneer, 'Why don't we talk about the Industrial Revolution today?' Or economic instability in post-War Europe. Or hydrogen bonding in ketones. It could have been anything. Mind you, it was never anything good to begin with, but I think even hearing, 'Class, how about we spend a few minutes chatting about Suzanne Sommers' breasticles?' would've sent me into a tizzy.
(No, not that kind of a tizzy. Well, okay, maybe if it was Show & Tell day at the old schoolhouse, maybe just a little tizzy then...)

Anyway, the point is, or rather was, several paragraphs ago, that asking someone whether they're interested in talking about something, and then:

1) not letting them talk at all ('No talking in class!')
B) not letting them honestly tell you whether they're happy with your subject matter

is just plain rude. Annoyingly, unforgivably, 'Come over here so I can give you an atomic wedgie, you needledick doofus' rude. So I'm not doing it. And now I'm all annoyed and pouty. I'm gonna go have a cookie, and I'll have to talk -- just me, mind you, and without asking permission from anybody on the subject -- about useful phrases some other time.

Until then, take care of yourselves out there. 'Cause I said so.

"Hey, was that '30 Seconds to Fame' just now?"

Bringing ADD to new heights of... hey, what's that shiny thing over there?

I hadn't really intended on writing again tonight (tomorrow by the time I finish). But it's a guilty pleasure, and I couldn't stay away. It's like watching TV -- anything worthwhile, you know, like the news or baseball or Nova or anything on TLC that doesn't have a perky hostess -- but knowing that somewhere, out there, Buffy is on. Or whatever. For some people, it's Springer; for others, pro wrestling (and the line between blurs further each day, according to both camps).

Anyway, you know it's out there... that train wreck of a show that's 'really not my style', but your morbid curiosity compels you to peek in on. Oh, you make fun of it along with your friends, assuming it's even a show that gets mentioned in public. (Hey, if you're sitting up watching reruns of Harper Valley PTA on late-night cable, you're on your own. Even your friends don't wanna know...) But still, there you are, with your little sweaty thumb (do thumbs actually sweat?) punching in the forbidden numbers. Just a peek, you think, I'll turn it back when the commercials are over.
(Okay, point to make here -- you're just a little bit sadder than the rest of us if you're flipping over from PBS to your 'shit show'. First, you've got further to fall -- the slope from Frasier to Sabrina the Teenage Witch isn't nearly as steep as that from Masterpiece Theatre to Saved By the Bell, no matter how you rationalize it. And furthermore, you've got no excuse to switch, unless you were tuned in to see who's manning the pledge drive this season. No commercials means a higher exit threshold -- the rest of us can pretend that even Scariest Police Chases is better than those goddamned Old Navy commercials, but if you're last-channel-ing over to the WB every time David Attenborough clears his throat, then you simply want to change the channel. To top it off, the PBS crowd has been voted 'Most Likely to Sneer at Inferior Entertainment' since Big Bird was just a gleam in some overfed canary's eye. Judge Wapner's verdict: no sympathy for you.)

What was I saying? Oh, yeah, the guilty pleasure show.

Anyway, you don't just stop in for a 'peek', do you? No, of course not. You sit there watching that damned drivel until it's finished, if you're given the opportunity. Sometimes, you don't have that luxury, and you have to act fast. A key turning in the front door, and BAM! It's the Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, and 'How was your day, dear'? Steps approaching the living room, and CLIK! C-SPAN's on tap, and 'I didn't know you were still up'.

But it's okay. It's human nature -- at least, it's 21st century human nature -- to watch a little self-indulgent fluff now and then. It's healthy, even. (Of course, if's healthier still to be embarrassed about it, so don't take all this as carte blanche to start taping Felicity reruns and bragging about it over the water cooler in the office.) And so maybe, just maybe, it's okay for me to write a little self-indulgent fluff when I'd really intended to be answering email, scanning the latest news, and maybe checking a few baseball scores. (And now, an hour later, actually sleeping...)

As long as I promise to feel a bit sheepish and embarrassed about it (and I do, Scout's honor), then I think it's okay. Still, I think I'd better wrap it up for the night before I go too far. I think I hear my wife coming in to check on me, and my thumbs are getting awfully sweaty.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003
A Wall to Save Us All

Because a world without parentheses would make too much damn sense...

I thought that it might be nice to start each entry with a tagline. Well, maybe not nice, per se, but useful. For one, it'll keep me from constantly wanting to change the damned thing, or pining over descriptions I wished I'd chosen. See, this way, instead of that occasional nagging urge to think up a better desc and change it once and for all, there'll just be this enormous crushing pressure to think of a new clever one every frickin' time I want to sit down to write something. Better? Probably not. But certainly not nice...

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah -- I wanted to talk about the Big Wall.

No, not that big crumbling thing in China -- that's the Great Wall.
(What is it with building walls out in the middle of nowhere, anyway? China has theirs, the UK has Hadrian's Wall... it seems the US has fallen woefully behind in the all-important Enormous Defensive Wall Seemingly Built to Protect Nothing in Particular race. Let's hope no one in the Pentagon gets wind of this; we'll have reinforced concrete thirty feet tall all the way around South Dakota if we're not careful...)

Anyway, that's not what the Big Wall is. The Big Wall isn't really a wall at all.
(Now there's an L-filled sentence! You just got your Recommended Daily Allowance of L's all in one convenient serving, plus a little extra to snack on tomorrow.)

Um... moving right along... The Big Wall is actually an idea, a concept that lives in each and every one of us. Sadly, far too many of us ignore our Big Wall, and -- even worse -- refuse to acknowledge the Big Walls of others. I'd like to do my part to fight this troubling tendency by telling you just what the Big Wall is all about. It goes something like this:

As you wander through this life, you'll find that there are many things -- pairs of things, that is -- between which is a thin, fine line. Sometimes these lines, though thin, are clear and unwavering.
(For instance, the line between 'pregnant' and 'not pregnant'. There's really no argument about which you are at any given time, and frankly, for many of us male sorts of folks the line between the two really isn't all that fine or thin. But for others... well, entire sitcoms (though generally not very good ones) have been devoted to the fear/hope that one has become pregnant, and I'd say that the uncertainties surrounding most acts of becoming pregnant (or not) show that the line is definitely thin (and fine, and usually terrifying). But the line doesn't really move at all -- you're 'pregnant' or you're not, and ne'er the twain shall meet.)

On the other hand, many of the fine lines you'll encounter will haze over and shift all over the landscape, sometimes winking out of existence entirely. The status of these lines may depend on the time of day, present company, current meteorological conditions, and a host of other criteria, but mostly, it depends on whether you've been drinking or not, and just how shit-faced you've managed to become.
(Literally thousands and probably millions of fine lines fall into this category. A few that spring to mind that are particularly susceptible to alcohol-related adjustment are:

  • 'edible' vs. 'non-edible' (and at its most extreme, 'edible' vs. 'made of concrete')
  • 'boinkable' vs. 'non-boinkable' (again, at worst, 'boinkable' vs. 'AARP spokesperson')
  • 'friend' vs. 'enemy' (though you may find 'friend' vs. 'random hobo', 'friend' vs. 'lamppost' and 'burly police officer' vs. 'enemy' to be less distinguishable the further you sink)

Okay, for any non-drinkers out there (are there any left?), how about 'breakfast' vs. 'not-breakfast'? If you eat it before noon, is it automagically breakfast? If it's the first thing you eat, but it's at 2pm, how about then? Are doughnuts always breakfast? How about with beer? At 3am? I dunno, but now I'm hungry...)

All right, where the hell was I? Oh, right, fine lines. Okay!

So. All of these gray areas in life, where it's hard to tell exactly what's what and which side of the line to plop your ass down on. Then there's this one:

Things you need to know
Things you don't need to know

Friends, this is where the Big Wall comes in. There is no fine, wispy, ephemeral line between these two concepts. No, sir. Between these, there is an enormous, hulking, three-feet-thick brick fucking wall that should never, never ever be breached, not even with the best of intentions.

Read that last bit again. Please. So few people seem to understand this part. Read. Re-read.
Read. Rinse. Repeat.

<Hans (or Franz, your choice)>
Read me now und believe me latah, girly man!
</Hans (or Franz, your choice)>

Please, folks, understand. I'm not against a little sharing now and then. I'm not condoning a solitary existence or walking around pent-up like a postal worker or some repressed Catholic matron. I'm just asking for a little forethought in conversation, just a little nod to your Big Wall and the Big Wall of others. I'm appalled by how many people out there barge through Big Walls like they're not even there. Spend some time on the streets; you'll hear it, too. You'll hear people out there -- real people! -- saying things like this:

  • Well, nobody was lookin', so I licked it...
  • So I'm giving Grandpa a sponge bath...
  • That's nothing -- let me tell you what cabbage does to me...
  • Yeah, by then I knew it wasn't a woman, but...

Clearly -- clearly -- there are things that no one needs to know on the other ends of those sentences. No one. Not you, not me, not Mom or Dad or the local priest or the Weekly World News. No one. And that's what the Big Wall is for -- to keep just those sorts of things at bay, out of sight, out of mind, and out of your nightmares. Too many people out there pretend that we (the rest of us, that is) need to, or want to, or are even willing to, know everything there is to know about them, no matter how spine-chillingly, screaming willy-inducingly disturbing it may be. Well, I say it has to stop. And a little Big Wall enforcement is the way to do it.

Here's all it takes. It's simple, really. Mingle amongst the ignorant heathens as you normally would; don't let on that anything is different. Converse naturally. If you want to get in a little practice, maybe, or you want to get that first encounter out of the way, ask about someone's health, or their pets. Or their grandparents. Or their weekend in Vegas. All of these are good ways to bring someone right up to the very edge of telling you something that you have no desire to hear under any circumstances.

Now, just as they're about to tell you all about the nasty oozy thing with all the wrinkles and the hair where no hair should be (that description works for pretty much everything you could've asked about above...), simply take the following actions:

  1. In a loud, authoritative voice, bellow 'Big Wall!! Big Wall!!'
  2. At the same time, raise either or both hands quickly in one motion over your head, as though you're pulling a sheet (or Big Wall) between you and the icky person about to make you retch.
  3. Look frightened and squeamish. This should be the easiest of the steps, and you may have started working on this earlier in the conversation. This is both normal and highly encouraged.

Your antagonist will likely do one of three things, all of which achieve the desired effect of preventing you from being a party to the horrors that were about to be unleashed. First, he or she may stop and gape at you, confused by your sudden yelling and flailing. It's also possible that all the action may frighten the person, and he/she will run away, dive under a desk, etc. to avoid becoming a victim of your sudden instability. Finally, and best of all, the person might just ask, 'Big Wall? What's a Big Wall?'. At which point, you have the opening you need to indoctrinate another poor soul into the Nirvana that is Big Wall awareness. And that's what it's all about -- I can tell you from experience, leading another person out of the Wilderness and to their Wall is just about the best feeling you can have. Not only will your new cadet be a better person because of it, but you'll also never have to hear about their baby's 'cute' green poop or transvestite hooker stories ever again.

Now, I won't lie to you. There are certain risks to being a Disciple of the Big Wall. First, yelling and gesturing wildly while someone else is talking can, in some circles, be seen as 'rude', 'inconsiderate', or 'jack-assed'. Be secure in the knowledge that in taking a small social hit by using the Big Wall, you're saving yourself and the speaker from a far more painful experience. Take one for the team, and be proud to do so.

Putting up the Big Wall may also frighten some in your audience. In a cruel twist of fate, those most likely to suffer health problems from sudden stress -- the young and the elderly -- are also exactly the same groups most likely to force you to whip out your Wall in the first place. Just be careful. Pace yourself. While battling wits with particularly fragile foes, you may even want to forego the standard behavior and mimic building the wall brick by brick from the ground up. This should cause your accoster to (eventually) stop and ask just what the hell you're doing, which again gives you the opportunity to sprinkle a little enlightenment in their direction. However, in losing the 'startle factor' (and because some of these subjects don't see so well in the first place), you may be forced to hear just a bit more than you can stomach. You'll have to decide whether your sanity or their heart is more at risk in these cases.

Finally, you only want to use the Big Wall in a real emergency. Don't cry wolf with the Wall, folks. It's like a powerful antibiotic -- it'll get the job done, but if you overuse it, the vermin will become immune to it, and soon you're back where you started, and without one of your greatest weapons. So be sure you're going to need the Wall before you whip it out and cower in fear behind it. There's probably nothing good on the other end of phrases like:

  • Well, now I had my hand all the way up in it...
  • But the other guy said his was even bigger, so...
  • I said, 'Hey, if you're not gonna eat it'...
  • So I was at Wal-Mart...

...but it's possible that these are false alarms. Wait a beat. If the next few words include 'breast pump', 'pus', 'Vaseline', 'throbbing', or 'Volkswagen', sound the alert. Bring the Wall. Bring it old school, and don't take, 'But ya gotta hear this' for an answer. Be strong, and you'll sleep like a baby.

Okay. I'll assume that since you've gotten this far that you're with me. (Cause you're either with me or again' me on this one, and I don't wants ya again' me...) I'm hoping that you really, truly believe in the Big Wall the way I do, and I want you go forth and spread the Gospel to the masses. And please, for God's sakes, hurry. The masses have masses -- and lumps and boils and open sores and all manner of other beastly ailments -- and they're just itching to tell us all about them.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Boston Bears a Blog

Well shit, here we are.
(Which I'm still convinced were Neil Armstrong's first words on the moon, 'One small step...' be damned.)

Anyway, this is the brand spankin' new 'Where the Hell Was I?' log, the name for which will soon become excruciatingly obvious. Come on in -- sit down, stand up, park your ass in one of those backwards-ass desk chairs that seemed to be popular a few years ago, I don't care.
(Who designed that thing, anyway? 'It's good for your back', they said. 'It's good for your back, it's good for your back...', like a bunch of Day of the Dead extras. Is having a 'good back' really worth sitting like a knock-kneed emu for eight hours a day? I'll take the scoliosis and slipped discs, thank you very much...)

Anyway (again), this is pretty standard stuff, from what I understand. I use this to get the little demons and talking voices out of my head ('Red rum! Red rum!'), and you read it. Or you don't. Or you do, and you like it. Or you do, and you don't. Those are pretty much the only options. Do try to pick one and stay with it; we all need a well-defined role here.

Okay, so I'm now about 4 minutes in, and I've decided to change the name of the whole damned thing. I'm not usually quite so wispy ('Ooh, ooh, the tan pants, or the khaki pants?!? Oh, I feel faint...'), but I've got three (count 'em, three -- 1, 2, 3) good reasons for the change. And here, like it or lick it, they are:

1) The original name, brainstormed in a flurry at around 9am, was 'The Sitdown Standup Experience'. On further review (i.e., the 4 minutes -- now 6 -- that I've been living with my choice), it seems not quite right. Oh, it has its merits -- for one, I have been sitting for this entire time, and it has been an experience... but I haven't told a single joke, or mentioned nuns, rabbis, priests, dogs, God, Saint Peter, bears, rabbis, gynecologists, bartenders, Iraq, rabbis, blondes, kids named Johnny, or ducks. Or rabbis. So this certainly isn't standup, and probably not comedy.
(As an aside, and in my defense, nine in the morning is not my best time of day, I can assure you -- besides my lack of mental function at that hour, it takes me until about 10:00 to stop looking like the star of 'Harry and the Hendersons'. I'll leave it to you to decide which big hairy Sasquatch I mean by that ('Harry' or John Lithgow), and which it would be worse to look like for the better(?) part of the morning every day...)

Where the hell was I? Oh, yeah:

B) Deciding at the time to press on w/the ill-conceived name, what I really wanted was the URL sitdownstandup.blogspot.com. Fine. So I typed it in, and the BlogGods say:
"No, can't have. Name taken. Choose again, mortal."

So I tried the URL. Nothing there, 404 error, etc. Hmmm. Type it in again; BlogGods say:
"No, foolish human. No touch. Name taken. Once more and we banish to AOL. Make you use Outlook for mail."

Okay, so I obviously couldn't piss the BlogGods off any further. So I put a finger to chin and thought. Finally, an 'Aha!'.
(Okay, it was still before 10:00, so it was more like an 'Ugh-uhh'. Deal.)

Anyway, I wasn't so sure about the Sitdown Standup (Fight! Fight! Fight!) part anyway (and there's just one more reason to ditch it...), so I thought I'd abbreviate it and focus on the important part of all this -- the EXPERIENCE. Right? I mean, if it's not an experience, then what good is it? So I happily typed in my new URL and got it approved:


Now, I didn't see the problem with this at first, I really didn't. My half-started brain saw ssEXPERIENCE and all was well. It wasn't until I actually used the URL that I realized what I'd really come up with, in the pimply adolescent eyes of the Web:


Ick. On the other hand, maybe no ick. Sex sells, of course. Even the faint whiff of sex sells.
(Though it really shouldn't, I wouldn't think -- have you ever really gotten a nice big snootful of sex smell? I mean, at the time -- assuming you're with company while it's happening -- it's easy enough to move on and get back to the ugly-bumping at hand, or whatever it is you're trying to accomplish. But out of context, I wouldn't think it'd be all that pleasant -- all sweaty and musky and tangy in not quite the right way... like a wet moose dipped in expired duck sauce or something...)

Lost my place again... oh, right, the URL.

Anyway, I decided that though a site w/SEX prominently displayed in the URL might bring in the eyeballs, it was at least as likely to bring in a whole host of other body parts that I really don't have anything for just at the moment. And I could see the potential for those body parts to get all worked up and angry (but not in the way they'd hoped, really), and to hijack the fingers and brains attached to them into some sort of flame/spam/hack war against this site and all of the sex that it really, at the end of the day, doesn't represent. So, in the end, I decided that I'd rather risk the 'net equivalent of throwing a pig roast for a few expected friends and having no one show up.
(As opposed to having the party overrun w/rabid vegans and animal rights folks who weren't really invited, but are outraged and moved to destruction nonetheless. Hell hath no fury like an animal lover with the smell of pork in his/her nostrils... Oh, and no offense if you're a "non-rabid vegan", though it's not yet been proven to me that the term is not an oxymoron.)

'k, now where was I? Oh, right, last reason:

iii) Quite frankly, there was no 3rd reason when I started this thread, but I figured I'd come up with something, given how long it would take me to get to the friggin' point. And I have -- the 3rd reason is simply that it's clear from the work we've done so far together that a name along another line will be much more appropriate. I'm leaning toward 'Where the Hell Was I?', and hope to get the corresponding URL.
(I'll sacrifice an iMac to the BlogGods to make peace first; that's all the bloody fruit-colored things are good for, at any rate. I mean, even as paperweights and doorstops, they suck ass. Who wants a big lime-colored neon piece of crap in their hallway or holding down their papers, anyway?)

If that doesn't work out for some reason, maybe I'll go with 'Anyway', or 'Just Parenthetically' or something else that clearly indicates my difficulty in staying on track.

So I'm off to see the Wizards.
(God help you, don't add, 'the wonderful wizards of Blog!!'. Do try and keep a shred of dignity while you're here, eh?)

Anyway (my last 'anyway' for now, and my last parentheseseses), that's all I've got for now. Ten am has rolled around, so I've got my brain back, and I'm ready to face the world. Now where the hell was I?

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