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First and Last Months Rent and a Private Tour of the Bedroom: a very true and ultimately pointless loveless love-story in three acts

April 12, 2012

I get a text at 9am: “Hi this is Toni from the leasing office.  I would like your permission to show your apartment at 6pm tonight“.  Here we go… I’m not moving out for another three months and already I have to contest with the constant coming and going of prospective renters, there to give my home the most thorough scrutiny possible in their given 7 minute walk-through.   I can already feel the stress of strangers interrupting movies and the paranoia associated with the uncertainty as to whether there is a pile of condoms on my bedside dresser.  It’s too soon to for this to start.  I check my lease, and my landlord has given himself the right to show my apartment “four months prior to the termination of the lease.”  This is bullshit!  It’s not enough that he’s kicking me out of my kick-ass apartment, but he has the nerve to have had the foresight to fuck me over a year in advance…

I’m firm in my response to Toni: “It’s fine tonight, but in the future, always provide us with 24 hour notice prior to showing, and anytime after 5:30pm is a no-go.”  A victory.  The only thing that feels better than my resolve is my thorough use of proper punctuation in a text message.  I mean business.  What do you have to say about that, Toni?

It’s an almost immediate response: “Thank you sooooo much!  I really appreciate it.  I know it can be super annoying, but we will of course be brief and respectful of your space.

Wow…  I feel like a complete dick.  I drink half of my morning coffee and cool my head before responding.  This is a situation that calls for a joke.  I write the first funny thing that comes to my mind: “Also, we haven’t had time to clean up the mess from last night’s blood orgy, so please excuse us.”  Send…  Fuck!  In what world is that an appropriate thing to send a person you don’t know?  Is it even funny?  Okay, it’s pretty funny, but NOT.  APPROPRIATE.

Once again, her response is almost instantaneous: “Well that’s pretty standard for a Tuesday night.”  Huh…

It had begun.  The textual conversation continues for nearly two days.  For the first few hours, the conversation consists primarily of witty back-and-forth quips, both of us trying to top the other with dry irreverent humor.  Then, it gets sexual… quickly.  Too quickly for a strictly textual conversation between two people who have never met.  It’s subtle at first–a testing of the grounds–then becomes overt, explicit, and kind of super hot.  What’s happening?  What am I doing here?  Is this smart?  What’s the worst that could happen?  She could be ugly–like really ugly.  I feel shallow for thinking it, but it’s a clear and present danger–a real possibility.  So what if she’s ugly?  Nothing has to come of this… right?  The texting goes on throughout the day and into the night.

Early the next afternoon, I get a text from her asking if it would be alright to show the apartment to a client.  She apologizes for the being so last-minute and asks if anyone’s home.  “We’re all here,” I tell her.  Everyone is hung over and my roommate is making breakfast for the house when they arrive.  The group files through the door:  two young girls (one of which I’m hoping is her), and older woman (Oh god, I didn’t even consider this.  Please don’t let that be her), and a dude (Wait… Toni is a girl’s name right?).  They all stand around, taking in the apartment, not saying anything for what seems an eternity.

The cute girl says, “Which one of you have I been texting?”  Thankyoujesus.

“That would be me.”  We shake hands and introduce ourselves.  It’s cordial but nothing special.  Without skipping a beat she moves on to show the apartment.  My roommates and I exchange knowing glances and carry on about our business calmly.  Aaron realizes after the group herds out of this room that he’s left a pile of used condoms on his bedside table.  We all laugh about it and go back to our coffees.  The group made no notice.  As quickly as they came, they’re now leaving.  Toni gives me a quick glance back on her way out to thank us for letting her show the place, and then she’s gone.

Hey… no harm no foul.  She saw me and she wasn’t that into me.  I’m almost glad the roles weren’t reversed.  I would have been far more awkward in her position.  I get a text from her five minutes later: “The lady said your place was a ‘showstopper’.  Must have been the pile of used condoms.  I’m coming back over later.

Game on.

The sexual tension is palpable as we sit across from each other on the couch, drinking a bottle of wine.  I’m thinking it’s a classy move to open one up and realize soon after that I might as well have poured us both some malt liquor or rubbing alcohol.  Neither of us care.  We’re making small talk and each waiting for the right moment to make a move, but for some reason it doesn’t come.  And it doesn’t come.  And it doesn’t come.  All the witty banter and rapport from our texts have gone out the window in light of the impending hookup.  She’s boring me with talk about real estate and I’m boring her with talk about whatever the hell it is that I do, and it’s a goddamn farce because this is not why either of us are here.

She’s finishing up some belabored story about some bullshit, just trying as best she can to pass the time in the least awkward way, while waiting for me to make a move, and that’s when that voice in my head that’s been screaming at me to do it for the past 45 minutes says, “WHO GIVES FUCK!?  IT’S NOT GOING TO BE SMOOTH!  JUST DO IT.”  And I can’t agree more.  I’m doing it… but I’m not.  Zach is coming up the stairs.

I had no idea Zach was even home.  He’s been in his room this whole time?  It’s 9pm–is that asshole just now choosing to wake up!?  Now!?  He reaches the top of the stairs, sees us on the couch, and sprawls down on the carpet in front of us, stretching and yawning like an unemployed cat… that I hate right now.  From the floor, he asks what we’re up to.  We both reply curtly and stare.  Like an amazingly perceptive cat, he rises and lumbers his way back downstairs mumbling something about going to the store to pick up food, walks out the door, and as far as I can tell, never comes back.

We make out.  It’s really hot.  She’s somewhat loud.  Aaron comes home from work and from upstairs we don’t care.  We continue to make out and she continues to be loud.  I get a text from Aaron that says “You have a perfectly good room.  Why don’t you move into it?”  We do.

It’s two days later and communication has been at a minimum but I get a text from her: “At a former client’s party in your building.  What are you doing.”  I reply and ask her what she’s doing afterward.  She texts me back: “Coming over to your place.”  She does.  It’s great.  Really great

It’s the next day, and the texts have been higher in volume and far dirtier in content than the previous days.  The subtlety from before is completely abandoned and our textual exchanges are, for the most part, a recapping of the highlights of the previous night’s tryst, or foreshadowing things to come in delicious and explicit detail.

That night, she strolls into my place with a group of prospective renters, never once speaking to me and barely making eye contact for the entire 7 minute showing.  She’s playing it cool in front of her clients, and it’s strangely sexy and fun; made even more so by the fact that her last few texts, which she sent no more than 15 minutes earlier, were essentially a love letter to a certain part of my anatomy–admittedly, to which she gave more credit than it deserved.  But just. So. Hot.

***

I’d like to say that this story has a good ending–one with a twist, or some sort of cathartic moment, or even a lesson to be learned.  It’s been a week and change since I’ve seen Toni.  I’m pretty sure she went to Europe for a while; I can’t really say.  The only thing I can say about this whole experience is that, as of right now, I’m glad it happened.  But who knows… maybe this will turn out horribly and I’ll regret the whole experience for whatever unseen reason.  Either way, this is all just the shittiest possible ending to this story, so from this point forward, I’m making it up.

***

I’m at work a couple of days later, doing whatever bullshit it is that I do at work when I get a another text from Toni: “Hey.  Left my sweater at your place.  Wouldn’t care but my mom hand-knitted for me a few years ago.  Drop it by my place tonight and I’ll make it worth your while;)”  The only thing I have on my plate for the evening is a date with George R.R. Martin, so I promptly cancel those plans and make my way to the address she sent me.  Her place is only a 10-minute walk from my house.  I arrive to find a modest but classy-looking brownstone with a small garden in the front.  This isn’t what I expected.  I don’t know what I expected, but this isn’t it.

I ring her buzzer (not a euphemism) hoping it isn’t one of her roommates that answers the door.  Ideally, I’d like to make a b-line straight for the bedroom without having to make small-talk or suffer the old roommate size-up which will inevitably happen if they’re at all up-to-date on our goings on.  The door opens and it’s not Toni.  It’s also not a roommate, as far as I can tell.

“I’m sorry.  I’m not sure if I rang the right buzzer.  I’m here for Toni.”

“You’re here for…”  Enough time passes that I can tell she’s not likely to finish her sentence, and the expression on her face tells me she’s not comprehending what I’m saying.  She’s elderly, but looks to be fairly with it, so I rule out senility.

“Yeah, Toni ____…  Sorry, she may have sent me the wrong address.”

Toni sent you this address?”

Now I’m confused.  “Yeah, Toni.  You know Toni?”

“I’m her mother.”  Aaaaaawkward!

“Oh…”  Now I’m the flustered one.  “I just… I came to um… she left this ahhh…  I have her sweater.”  I hold it out to her with both hand as I would a peace-offering.  She takes it, studies it carefully, and gives me a good long look.  This is far worse than the roommate size-up.  This is the maternal uber-judgement.

“I made this for her.  Where did you get this?” she asks me, accusingly.  She knows the answer already, but she just wants to hear me say it.

“Look,” I say, already defeated, “Toni’s been… Toni and I have been… seeing each other for the past couple weeks or so.  She left this at my place the other night.  I mean… not that like she slept over, or anything.  But not that like I didn’t want her to.  I mean, I didn’t kick her out or anything.  She said she had to get up in the morning and she wanted to wash the se–… she needed a shower, and… Look, can you please just give that to her?”

After an unbearable moment: “Toni isn’t here.  Come in.”  FUCK!  I could run.  I could just totally run like a teenager running from the cops at a barn rave.  But I don’t.  I enter this woman’s home.  The look on her face as she holds the door for me reminds me that I’m entering her home, not as a welcome guest, but as the sex-crazed, under-achieving, 30-year old loser that’s diddling her daughter.  I hate you Toni.

She leads me to the couch and we sit across from one another.  There’s a picture of Toni on the coffee table between us.  No one is speaking so I point to the photo and say, “Cute picture.”  No response.  “Are you expecting her back anytime soon, cause I can just come back later or–”

“Toni died three years ago in a car accident.”

“Excuse me?”

“Toni’s dead.”

“Toni’s…”

“Dead.”

“Dead?”

“Dead.”  It’s my turn to look dumbfounded.  There’s a good long beat while I take this in.  “You’ve been fuckin’ a ghost, son.”

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“Hunger Thoughts?”

April 5, 2012

“Hunger Thoughts?” was the subject line of an email to which I replied, not only at 5am, but so drunk that I remember nothing of doing so.  It was my good friend Jonathan inquiring as to my thoughts upon my completion of the first Hunger Games book.  Here’s the email I don’t remember sending:

“I have so many thoughts.  Just as a warning: I’m not sure if you’ve read the book or seen the movie already, but some of this might be spoilers.  I’m assuming if you’re asking, you’re familiar with one or both.

I have yet to see the movie, but just finished the book.  I came into it with a lot of hype.  So much hype in fact that I was past the point of thinking it could not live up to it, and more in the territory of knowing it was going to be a bit simple, and really really really wanting to like it because so many people whose opinions I trust absolutely love it.  What’s important to know is that I gave it more than its fair share of due.  I really tried to like it.
Bottom line: it was a very entertaining story that I could not enjoy thoroughly because of how poorly written it was.  First person, present tense?  Are you fucking kidding me!?  You couldn’t possibly pick a more simplistic and limiting format to write a book.  The entire time I was reading it, I couldn’t help but think its intended audience was ESL students, or even that it was written by an ESL student.
On top of that, the book was at least half as long a the better version of itself should have been.  The entire time I was reading it, I felt like I was reading the Cliff’s Notes for the real Hunger Games.  She writes the story as if she’s summarizing a longer book.  “I wake not feeling rested because last night was very difficult to get through.”  Why!?  What are you talking about!?  Why don’t you actually describe some shit?  You’re a writer of books.  This isn’t a screenplay.  The director isn’t going to fill in your blanks.  That’s Your. Fucking. Job.  You’re a writer!  Jesus.
Furthermore, I can’t even really give her credit for the concept or interesting parts of the story because all of that is completely stolen from the Japanese book Battle Royale, for which no credit at all is given.  It’s like an homage without even a head-nod.  It’s not even an homage… it’s just plain theft.
Because she spins such a good yarn, though, I put all of this aside and read through the book and was genuinely engaged despite it all… until the end.  What the fucking hell!!!!?  Here’s where the spoilers might come into play if you haven’t read it or seen the movie (not even sure if this makes it into the movie, cause it shouldn’t):  the shit with the mutated wolves that used to be the contestants?  That shit was as fucking stupid as a highschool girlfriend.  I could not have been more insulted that she just threw that stupid bullshit into the book, and so late in the game.  I feel like she was trying to finish the book and needed one last twist but had nothing left to steal from other writers’ work and then decided she’d get her 9-year-old son shit-face wasted and let him come up with how it would end.  And that’s where the mutated wolf people came in.  What.  The.  Fuck!?
And then, to top it all off, I couldn’t have ended on less of a cliffhanger for me.  The only thing she had going for her in this entire book was the action aspect of the plot which had completely been wrapped up.  The only thing left at the end of the book is this dilemma that pertains to the WORST love story ever.  It’s like the main character is torn between two boys, both of whom she has never had any real kind of relationship to begin with.  She chose to end the story and entice people into reading the second book with the aspect of the story which would have required the most writing skill–the human aspect, the love story.  Unfortunately, she sucks and I couldn’t be any less interested in where the fucking  quasi-love story ends up and will absolutely not be reading the second book.
Here’s my final word:  As far as the book goes, I was able to look past all its flaws and genuinely enjoy it up until the last 30 pages.  Also, because the book is pretty much written like a script and not a novel, I’m hoping it’s going to make a much better movie in the hands of a director.
I’m super drunk right now and apologize for how long this rant has become.  These are my thoughts.  What are yours?
E”
As it turns out, he liked it more than I did.  Maybe I was a bit harsh, maybe a bit drunk (blackout), but ultimately, I think I may be right on the money… except for the part about the movie being better.  I was dead wrong about that.

A Message to 2011 From A Grateful Guy

December 16, 2011

This is for you, 2011.

For the past few years, I’ve been keeping what’s known as a Gratitude Journal.  Sound familiar?  It may have been suggested you keep one by either Oprah or your therapist — they both know what’s best for you at 4:30 in the afternoon.  For those of you who don’t know what it is, as the name suggests, it is a journal in which you detail a few things everyday for which you are grateful.  It’s that simple, and I’m living proof that it does improve one’s outlook on the world.

Seeing as 2011 is quickly coming to a close, I thought I’d look over my 2011 Gratitude Journal entries to recap this year’s journey.  Below are some highlights in chronological order:

  • Without an agent I don’t have to give a percentage of any parts I book.
  • My nights are free since I didn’t book that part.
  • My hair is falling out slower than it was.
  • My dad and I are finally becoming good friends.
  • It was a beautiful day for his funeral.
  • Panic attacks bad, anxiety meds goooooooooooooooood.
  • I don’t have to leave town since I didn’t book that part.
  • At least it’s not a world war.
  • My chronic back problems aren’t worse/more frequent.
  • My job gives me insurance.
  • My insurance may not have covered the medical procedure, but at least with my mom’s help I still have some of my savings left.
  • I can keep my job/healthcare since I didn’t book that part.
  • Turning 30 isn’t so bad.  I’ve still got lots of time for… [unfinished entry].
  • MY GIRLFRIEND MY GIRLFRIEND MY GIRLFRIEND MY GIRLFRIEND!
  • She broke up with me before I proposed.
  • Local liquor store has a deal wherein, if you buy 10 bottles, the 11th is FREE!
  • Anxiety meds still soooooo gooooooooood.
In conclusion, my message to 2011 is this:  GO F*** YOURSELF!  And another thing — you owe me BIGTIME!  Keep that in mind when I play the lottery this week.  Oh, and just in case you didn’t hear me the first time, GO. F***. YOUR. SELF.
Happy Holidays, Everyone!  And here’s to a happy new year!
xbox,
Eric

Bushwick Holds A Mirror Up To Me

July 25, 2011

Muscular Old Man-Faced Yoga Babies.

Bushwick, Brooklyn–in an attempt to prove it’s good for more than just plastic bag factories and raping coves–recently held the 2011 Bushwick Open Studios, where boring everyday folks like you and me are granted access what were once  rat-infested plastic doll factories and are now rat-infested art studios, to view the wares and works of some of New York’s finest and “finest” artists.

Bushwick’s art scene reminds me of what the tunnels of Iwo Jima must have been like during WWII: it’s a vast and complicated network of corridors and rooms, filled with a seemingly endless supply of desperate people, wallowing in months worth of their own filth and bombed-out debris.  Navigating through, one is charged from all directions by parental disdain, ironic and detached statements about violence, and the shame of masturbation.  It’s a harrowing and unforgettable experience–one that a person is lucky to have made it out of unscathed… you couldn’t truly understand unless you were there.

Of even more interest than art are the artists themselves who sit in their studios and greet you with anything ranging from an assortment of wine and cheese to a firm and simple stink-eye.  Some of the more outgoing artists are eager to explain their work to you–their influences, their purpose, or their intentions; what that solid grey line represents and why the buffalo is wearing the purple wig–and others just stare at you with the aforementioned stink-eye,  either way, carefully observing how much time and attention you give to each of their pieces, be it an ironic letter to jesus (oil on canvas) or a daily happy-face journal (ink on lined notebook paper).  The experience is akin to what I would imagine it would be like if you were at a restaurant and the chef personally brought out the food and carefully watched you eat all (or some) of each and every dish.  I should have kept a tally of how many times I found myself staring at a piece for far longer than it deserved, under the watchful eye of its creator, allowing myself to move on only after mustering up a contented smile on only the lower half of my face, nodding my head slowly, and saying something like “Mmm… I really like this.”

Of course, none of this is to say there wasn’t some mind-blowing spectacular  art on display.  For instance, one studio housed an array of metal sculptures depicting overly muscular babies with grotesque old man faces doing various yoga poses, as well as life-like representations of mutilated animals.  I think, perhaps, it’s one of those things where you have to see it to fully appreciate it, as is commonly the case with great works of art.

As could be expected, the most memorable experience from my day’s foray into Bushwick had nothing to do with the art, but with one of the artists.  Upon entering one of the many studios, I found myself in a common room, connecting three different artists’ studios.  In that common room sat the three artists who rented the place, one of which caught my eye, and I his.    We stared at each other for a noticeably awkward amount of time.  He looked so inexplicably familiar to me, but I couldn’t place his face.

“I know you,” he said to me.
“I know you,” I replied, both of us still staring, “but from where?”

He asked me if I had a studio in the building and I told him I didn’t.  I asked him if he went to NYU and he didn’t.  We played the name game for a while spouting out various friends, trying to find the connection between us, but to no avail.  Finally, I said “this is going to bother me,” and I casually strolled into one of the connecting studios.

There, I found a diorama of a room with two sections: the front section — simple, stark, and minimalist, consisting of a few geometric objects, and the second section — a miniature version of a beautifully decorated room, complete with tiny wallpaper and tiny ornate Victorian furniture.  This second section, however, was only slightly visible as there was a partition in front of it, blocking the view.  As it was a diorama, this was the piece’s only vantage point, resigning the viewer to seeing only a fraction of what’s contained in the beautiful and mysterious miniature room.  If this is true that the quality of art can be measured by its ability to get a reaction from it’s viewer, then that particular piece was fantastic, because I walked away frustrated and all kinds of pissed off.

I strolled back into the common room, where I met once again with my familiar friend and his two studio-mates.  They were all three staring at me now with knowing smiles on their faces like they knew a joke I didn’t.  I was sure they were going to let me in on the secret of what lied beyond the partition in the tiny room of the diorama.

Instead, the familiar-looking guy said, “Hey.  We figured it out… where we know each other from.”
“Okay,” I said, “Let’s hear it.”
“We look familiar to one another because we look exactly alike.”  His studio-mates nodded their heads silently and I examined his face.

He was absolutely 100% correct.  True story.

Some more fine art from the Bushwick Open Studios, 2011.

Wine For An Emerging Manhood (Grow Up)

November 4, 2010

Bottom line is this: I’m pushing thirty years old and I’m beginning to fear that the ever-popular and newly coined developmental stage “emerging adulthood” no longer applies to me.  What does this mean?  It means I’ve run out of my last excuse for being a complete dipshit and I need to face the facts and start acting like what I am–a grown-ass man.

Amongst other things, like choosing a career that doesn’t involve “the arts” and settling down/settling on a good-to-moderately good lady and moving in with her in order save money for that Roth IRA that my dad pressured me to open and to which I never contribute, I need to educate myself on the ins and outs of wine.  My sudden arrival at actual adulthood–and by “sudden,” I mean almost a decade in the making–has inspired me to man-up and finally learn to appreciate a fine wine in the same way that I currently appreciate a fine dungeon raid with my guild, a fine post-noon wake-up, or a fine piece of cinema, starring Keanu Reeves.

I’m coming to realize that I’ll never acquire this nose for the vine if I don’t start drinking the finer wine.  (Yes, that sentence rhymed.  Thank you for noticing.  Rhyming is what sophisticated adults occasionally do, or didn’t you knew?  Crap…)  I’m currently in possession of 6 and half bottles of wine that I purchased online, unbeknownst to myself, while on a late-night Ambien-induced shame spree, but even I can tell it’s an embarrassing $70 of swill not worth putting out next to the Franzia and Bud Light on HeroQuest night.  With all of this in mind, I decided to revisit my oldest frienemy, the internet, (this time, completely free of any and all sedatives) and do what I do best when I’m sad and hopped up on Adderall–shop for material things with the complete faith that they will improve my life.  In this instance, I was on the prowl for not one, but two fine bottles of wine that would serve to impress otherwise completely unimpressed friends and ladies (with whom I have, but do not share a sexual attraction) and most importantly, would, upon imbibing, instantly verse me on important adult terms like tannins, vintage, varietals, vertical, noses, and notes–all those things that mean almost nothing to me in my current outgrown adolescence.

And so, I set out into the world on my Google steed, tracked down two bottles of red that I really couldn’t afford, and made them my own with my trusty Chase debit card.  Damn it felt good.  I felt like an adult.  I felt like a man–a real man–the kind that owns tie rack.  Like a man, I set out on the hunt, and like a man I bagged my prey.  Unfortunately, like a fucking child, I failed to research what I was buying and I now find myself with wine that won’t be ready to drink until 2013 and 2014.

I’ll admit I was sad and disappointed (but not overly surprised) when I realized my blunder, and, yes, I may have polished off a whole bottle of the aforementioned swill that I now refer to as my “Ambien Wine”, but as of this very moment I’m catching a wave of Adderall-induced euphoria and I must say that I’m feeling a lot more optimistic about the whole situation.  Sure, I’m not able to bite into these two bottles for another couple of years (do wine people say “bite”?), but by that time, I will have read Wine For Dummies cover to cover in the study of the brownstone apartment I share with my girlfriend/wife whom I met at my fancy new advertising job, and I’ll know exactly what “notes” to look for and how to eloquently describe the tasting experience to my investment manager Todd over a game of golf and/or racquetball… or HeroQuest.

But as of right this very moment, I’m going to treat myself to some whiskey and watch some Babe: Pig in the City… or maybe Point Break.

AMBIEN: Things Done and Forgotten

October 21, 2010
Courtesy of toothpastfordinner.com

Courtesy of toothpastefordinner.com

My psychiatrist, while overly generous with amphetamines, refuses to dole out any amount of Ambien to me.  “Refuse” maybe is not the appropriate word, as I haven’t actually asked for it, but simply implied on more than one occasion that the speed she’s pushing on me in high doses is hindering my ability to sleep.  Our conversations usually go something like this:

Doc: How’s the Adderall?
Me: Great, but I can’t really sleep…
Doc: Hmm…

Instead, I simply take my best friend’s Ambien and that works like a charm.  Now, before you (and by “you” I mean the 3 or 4 people who will end up reading this–who are you people, by the way, and how did you find this?) get all huffy and self-righteous about taking another person’s medication, you should consider that I give him some of my prescribed Adderall in return, so… there’s that.

Once again, I’ve buried the lead six feet deep.  I’d apologize, but I think we’re past the point of apologies, you and I, so let’s not.  You’ve made it this far, so let’s agree that we both share an equal amount of blame in wasting a significant amount of your time.  Sound good?  Moving on…

I have no problem with the efficacy of the Ambien.  I pop one,  wake up the next morning feeling rested, and crawling into bed is usually the last thing I remember from the night before.  For me, Ambien means no more sleepless nights lying in bed alone with my thoughts, which–you’ll know if you’ve read any of my previous posts–are not pleasant for the most part.  My problem has more to do with trust–the trust that, once I swallow that little white pill, I’ll put myself in bed and STAY in bed.

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up to the main theme from Back To The Future, which, per se, is not a bad thing.  Some might go so far as to say it’s a downright splendid way to start your day, and I would be the first to agree IF it weren’t the ring tone of my recently-exed girlfriend.  Because we agreed not to communicate with one another to speed along our whole “healing process,” I assumed the call was urgent and picked up.

“Are you okay?” she asked.
“Um… yeah.  Why?”
“You didn’t sound okay in your email last night,” she said.
“Email?”

I won’t bore the four of you with the rest of the conversation because it was just that–Really. Fucking. Boring.  I will say, however, that right after we hung up, I got on my computer for some serious investigation as to what had transpired the previous evening in between the time that I took the Ambien and when I finally went to bed.

Aside from realizing I’m not alone and maybe got off easy (ambienoverdose.org), I pieced together the following:

1:21am – I posted  this link on Facebook, which leads to a video of the  really depressing ending of a Futurama episode.  Yes, Futurama did that occasionally.

1:37am – I receive an email from my ex asking if I was alright.  Apparently she watched the video and cried a bit.

1:42am – I reply to her with the following email:  “I’ve really needed a friend today.  Thanks for reaching out.  It’s just nice to know someone cares.  I’m lonely.  I miss you.”  And it was this gross-ass shit which led to a followup email, again inquiring about my mental health, followed by radio silence for the night, which I can only assume was the result of me laying my dumb Ambien-riddled ass in bed.  Hence, the call at 10am that morning.

But that’s not all, kids.  Whilst doing my sleuthing, I found an email in my inbox with the subject: “Order Confirmation.”  Yep… I also did some shopping.  Fuck-face here ordered four identical and truly awful bottles of blended wine that arrived at my day job roughly a week later.  And guess what arrived via UPS to my office just yesterday?  Like magic – bottles 5, 6, and 7, which I haven’t yet had the heart to try.

Here’s the really odd part.  I was curious as to why I didn’t receive an order confirmation for the second set of wine, so I took a closer look and eventually found the confirmation in my “Deleted Mail” box.  Okay.  No biggie.  An honest mistake.  A simple slip of the finger and it accidentally ends up deleted.  However, when I looked at my browsing history from that night, there is absolutely no record of me having visited the wine-selling website at all.  Not only that, but for about 30 minutes (around the time I received the confirmation) there’s no record of web browsing at all.  I ordered them while in “private browsing” mode.  I don’t have a wife or kids and I’m the only user of my computer, which brings me to the question WHAT WAS I ATTEMPTING TO HIDE FROM MYSELF!?  Aside from ordering wine, maybe I’ll never know.

It should also be said that before, after, and during all this, according to my search bar, I performed Google searches for the following (but not limited to the following) things: “people having sex with dolphins,” “proper way to wipe your butt,” and “banana integrity.”  Also, my desktop background had been changed to an artist’s interpretation of a scene depicting Chewbacca fighting Nazis with a crossbow while riding a giant squirrel.  I left that there.  That was the one good thing to come out of the evening.

The Huffington Post Remembers…Sort Of

October 14, 2010

I enjoy the Huffington Post as much as the next left-leaning coward that prefers to get their news from a source that rarely conflicts with their views and sensibilities.  The hard-hitting celebrity gossip and links to popular internet videos that keep me coming back are strategically placed at the bottom of the page, allowing me to remain up-to-date on important current events by reading the headlines for “real news” as I scroll further down into the pits of journalistic depravity.  It’s as if someone glued a Playboy inside the back cover of my New Yorker–in a good way.  I can recall a similar feeling while reading East of Eden.

For the first time however, Huffington’s lack of integrity has left me feeling personally shafted as a Texan, or rather, “Tex-Pat”.  In a recent post claiming to debunk some common myths of American history, some H.P. writers claimed that the battle at the Alamo was fought solely for the right to keep slaves.  Make no mistake, I’m in no way offended by this slight, but just find it so disappointing that the authors chose to play the easy and less-grounded slavery card in an effort to defame those men, when, in fact, there are myriads of other–more factual–ways to tarnish the memory of that great battle and those who lost their lives there.  One only needs to do small amount of research to realize the inside of the Alamo was populated by debt evaders, murders, convicts, failed politicians and, in general, poor judges of defensive position.

Jim Bowie was a badass, though; I maintain that.  He once gutted a man–with a knife bearing his last name–after having been shot and stabbed with a sword, and managed to slay three of his enemies from his deathbed.  Disney left those little gems out of the movie.

My point is this: if you want to simplify the motives of the Texas revolution, you needn’t look past some characteristics commonly found in Texas today: the unwillingness to pay taxes, the desire for small government, and an inexplicable disdain for Mexico.

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