|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Herman Fucking Wouk
Yeah, um, sorry about the below. I had a(nother) little health scare this week, which leaves me wondering exactly when I can figure on seeing fear turn into a productive and proactive approach to maintaining my weight/cholesterol/colon/flat feet/psoriasis/all of the above.
Naturally, I'm currently drinking at 3PM and just left the grocery store with two pints of heavy whipping cream and a pound of butter to go with the pancetta and fettucine I am cooking for dinner. Here's to productive and proactive procrastination!
Flew out of Philly yesterday, plane was delayed. Big surprise there, although I'm nowhere close to the cautionary tale spouted by breathless cable news correspondents embedded at JFK parroting the same old bullshit you hear on Easter and Thanksgiving every year - it's raining somewhere, call ahead, don't bring your big bottle of shampoo with you and think you can get through security.
I had a McGriddles at the airport and was only two hours late to beautiful cloudy Milwaukee.
By the way, on the shelf in a bathroom in the Milwaukee airport there were two books - a Louis L'Amour western lying atop a glossy coach's manual entitled Complete Linebacking. If you could identify two books cuddling spine-to-spine doomed to lie three feet from exposed snausages, I would assume this particular combination would indeed be the most secure in their synergistic masculinity.
Least secure? Bridget Jones' Diary sitting atop a Christopher Lowell home improvement tome.
Headed out last night with my dad and his wife, along with my long-time friend Michael from college to a wine store/bar (2004 Rosenbaum Zinfandel - aggressive at first, finishes chalky and tart - not very good), followed by a trip to a new(ish) martini/"tapas"* bar called "KA." Actually, it's spelled "K" "A" "umlaut," and although I don't really know how to pronounce it, I can affirm that extraneous punctuation makes everything at least 20% more expensive.
*Are you a Spanish-themed restaurant? No? Then knock it the fuck off with this "tapas" bullshit. Please and thank you.
I managed to get drunk last night on white wine, red wine and gin, and lost a prop bet when I set a stupid low over/under line on a "Combined Tattoos" wager at 4.5 without properly considering that the bartendress with the nose ring might be good for at least six tattoos all on her own.
She had eleven. Michael took the over. Shit.
Speaking of the bartendress, as my dad and his wife are regulars at this joint, a variety of service personnel were trotted over for introductions, including the attractive nose-ringed bartendress. I offered a handshake along with the introduction, and shook her hand like I meant it. She immediately said, "Well, that was certainly a firm handshake." Didn't seem to be ironic or sarcastic, so I'm curious as to what that meant. Am I supposed to just give her my hand and let her control the shake ("The Charles Nelson Reilly")? Or do I offer the hand but bend the wrist towards the floor and let it hang there like a wet fish ("The Paul Lynde")? I don't know what the hell she was expecting, but where I come from, if you're going to shake a hand, shake a hand. Sheesh.
As we were finishing up our last round of drinks last night, a couple of friends of my dad's walked in, and he invited them to sit and have a quick drink with us. They were married, about 40-45, and she was easily on the north end of his bell curve for attainable women. As we got to talking, she mentioned she was a high school teacher for advanced placement literature. Eventually I asked her what her favorite book was, and she immediately offered A Prayer for Owen Meany, which happens to be my favorite book as well. We started talking about the book, she's obviously engaged with me directly in the conversation, and just as soon as she says something about how she's constantly looking for books to keep the young men in her class engaged, my dad jumps in and starts talking about Herman Wouk.
Herman Wouk! Come on! I don't care if her husband is right across the table (and stewing a little bit in his own juices, as she casually mentioned that she has a "hard time getting him to read," and here she is excitedly talking books with a younger man), at that moment the invocation of Herman Fucking Wouk was paternal cock-blocking of the highest order.
You heard me.
It's not every day that the stars align and I'm graced with an attractive woman who wants to talk about something that I can effectively and gracefully discuss at length, and somehow my old man finds a way to completely derail the conversation. I'm not saying I would have had a chance to score, all I'm saying is that were this woman flying solo, and were I devoid of induced patriarchical interference, I could have had that woman eating out of the palm of my hand in fifteen minutes.
Then again, she had that funny Wisconsin accent, and all the women up here reek of Gouda. At least that's what I need to continue to tell myself...
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Here's How It Works
1) Fixate on how much you suck.
2) Amplify said fixation into a frenzied hurricane of self-flagellating deprecation.
3) Allow said hurricane to surreptitiously spread its destruction into far-reaching corners of your head. This part is kind of like the wake of a massive power outage when your refrigerator and the water treatment plant in your town come back online, and you're scared to eat most of your leftovers and they tell you to boil what comes out of your tap. In other words, if one thing is poisonous, you just begin to assume it's spoiled everywhere else too.
4) Assume the circular logic of self-defeating prophecy (I suck / no one wants to hear me bitch / I can't talk to anyone about this / I'm going to suffer in silence / I'm a horrible person with no friends / I suck) to be true and allow it to feed on itself.
It's been an exceedingly difficult couple of weeks, for no real reason in particular - just a lot of little tiny ones. If I can somehow put away the idea that I'm better off just wallowing quietly in the corner, I'll be back soon enough. Until then, Merry Christmas y'all.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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