Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Atheist Who Loved Christmas

No-one seems to bat an eyelid at Christians who enjoy drugs, promiscuous sex and Pulp Fiction, so why can't an atheist love Christmas? Just because our belief or lack of beliefs suggests one thing, doesn't mean we can find something else appealing in the whole nuttiness of Christmas.

Of course as a kid, I loved Christmas, but even as I got older, the magic didn't wear off and I continued to enjoy it even after realising I was an atheist. It's not just the vibe of the season, but Christmas songs, decorations, fake snow, animated Christmas shows (pre - 1980), the whole she-bang. The shopping, traffic nightmares and forced family visits (as opposed to the good family visits) are unpleasant, but it's all good times once you get away from that.

One of my favourite things is the Christmas songs. There is something so warm and comforting about those songs, from the sweetness of Away In A Manger and Silent Night to the more foreboding We Three Kings Of Orient Are and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. I love how uncomforting and not at all joyful the line "Tidings of comfort and joy" are delivered! I also like the songs about Santa, reindeer and trees, but oddly enough, I particularly enjoy the ones about Jesus! He is the reason for the season after all! Even though I think it's a load of bunk and he isn't mine or anyone else's saviour, who can't get into a story about a little baby being born and people being excited about it? If people can get all emotional about Steel Magnolias, why can't I get excited about the fictional story of Baby Jesus? I really like in Little Drummer Boy when he says "Mary smiled at me, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum". How exciting that would have been to have Mary smile at you! It reminds me of the time I got excited because I waved at Dave Navarro from the front row of Chili Peppers concert and he waved back between strums. It was so awesome to be acknowledged, so I know exactly how the little drummer boy felt! At least he can reflect on his story with reverence. In his fable, Jesus went on to be awesome and save mankind. In mine, Dave Navarro goes on to marry and divorce Carmen Electra, host embarassing TV shows and become and overall toss pot. AND the Chili Peppers went on to suck like nobody's business.

The whole gang is here, including what looks like 33 year old Jesus looking in on newborn Jesus. This must be what inspired 'Back to the Future'.

So, I really like my Christmas songs, so much so, that I get really angry about deviations from the original arrangements. I love tradional choral versions! One of my biggest gripes is the obnoxious "Saaaaaaaaaan-ta Claus is coming to town." I believe it first surfaced on Phil Spector's fabulous Christmas album, sung by The Crystals. Everything about this album is so awesome, even if not the original arrangements that I don't even see the re-worked phrasing of "Saaaaaaaaan-ta Claus is coming to town" as being bad, but in fact great. The problem is with all the subsequent copy cats. The vocalist in the Crystals version is just a great singer who sounds excited about and humbled by Santa's impending visit. In all these Mariah Carey wannabe styles, the singers don't give a crap about Santa. They just want to show off their chops by shitting all over what should otherwise be a joyful song about the world's fattest gift giver. All this "Saaa-aaa-AAAAn-ta Claus is coooo-ooo-ming to tow-own" can seriously go piss up a rope. It's not in the spirit of Christmas. I was in the supermarket last week and heard some vile version of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus by Kenny G. I'd think Santa was molesting rather than kissing Mommy with that horror version playing. I was so mad I thought I should write a blog about Kenny G and then I remembered I already had.

As I mentioned earlier, I really dig the Christmas story. You can find me watching a lot of shows about Jesus this time of year, though I must confess, they really just serve to firm up my case against. Still, when it comes to just the birth story, I just enjoy it in all forms like nativity scenes, films and I even found myself in church this time last year to see my pal Judah, aged 5 at the time in the nativity play playing a shepherd. Shit, I've even played Mary myself!

The beloved Rankin/Bass version of 'Rudolph' and the lesser known biopic of Nestor, the long-eared Christmas donkey who stuck it to all the people who gave him shit for his ears by TAKING MARY TO BETHLEHEM, bitches!

When the Christmas season hits, it's not unlikely that you'll see this non-believer sporting a Santa hat, and boy I think that hat came is useful this morning. Before I headed into the office, sporting it to spread joy with it in the workplace, I think it really took the edge of the annoyance of the guy who I rear ended on the way to work. I mean really, what kind of grinch can yell at a sweet girl with a Santa hat on, even if she just ran into the back of your brand new car? I attribute the good natured exchange to the Santa hat, bringing Christmas cheer to a shitty situation.

My poor lights. Merry bloody Christmas.

The greatest compromise of my lack of belief had me in London two weeks ago in a Mrs Santa mini-dress, go-go dancing on stage with glee to the words "Glory to the newborn king!" Not only was it a re-arrangement, but I was publicly rejoicing the birth of this Jesus character whom I vocally disbelieve in! But since the band performing the song was Supergrass, the punk version was awesome and I got to dance my little heart out like I always dreamed. Glory to the newborn king indeed for getting me involved in that whole scene!

That's me on the right

Shitty video of the event, but that's all I have. I'm on the right

So thank-you Jesus or your creators for this rolicking good time of year. The homeless and other less fortunate also thank you for giving them one month a year where people remember to care about them.

Merry Christmas!

The most wonderfully corrupt Christmas scene I've ever witnessed

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Great Bathroom Mystery

This an an account of someone else's story and the subsequent discussion that followed.

My friend JP was in San Francisco last week, sitting in a coffee shop with his friend Joe. Their table was close to the bathroom so they were able to vaguely note than a woman had slipped in without use of the key held behind the counter to prevent crazy homeless people from defiling their facility.

I guess since JP and Joe were not the designated toilet monitors, they were not required and subsequently did not stop the gentleman who obtained the key attached to a plastic spoon (am I the only person who finds these toilet keys utterly gross?) from the counter. The man proceeded into the unisex bathroom only to rush out quickly.

"OH. MY. GOD." he first said to no-one.

He then looked at JP and Joe and repeated "OH. MY. GOD."

JP asked him "What is it?", obviously taken by the man's horror which seemed to exceed to obvious discomfort that accompanies an accidental bathroom burst in.

"Oh my God." He may have said again. "There's somebody IN there."
And then he moved on, presumably returning they key, potentially paving the way for the mind blowing of another hapless coffee patron.

As if the story wasn't intriguing enough at this point, I delight in the ability to be able to tell you that there is MORE!

The startled gentleman, apparently homosexual in orientation, but by JP's account, this had nothing to do with the flamboyance of his reaction, was at the counter of the coffee shop when that bathroom victim/assailant approached him. Yes. SHE approached HIM. I listened with baited breath, expecting this ballsy San Francisco woman to scream at him for his audacity to intrude on her.

"Was that you?" she calmly enquired.

"Yes." he woefully replied.

"I'm so sorry you had to see that." she continued and left.


WHAT WAS SHE TALKING ABOUT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!

Upon JP's conclusion of this story, a discussion followed as to what could have happened. JP believed it was period related. I made a remark that suggested I thought it involved insertion of a tampon, but he made it clear that his belief was that it was tampon removal. Clearly a soiled tampon trumps a fresh one in the horror department. Gregg was not convinced. He said given where the incident happened, in the Mission near Dolores Park, this was not a place where women made any apologies for their periods. The fact that he couldn't count how many art shows he had been to which included "pieces" containing tampons soaked in menstrual blood only punctuated the idea that periods were to be embraced, nay, displayed, and apologies were certainly not made. The discussion continued.

We then moved over to another orifice. The one on the other side of the block. Was it some kind of bowel mishap that she was cleaning up? If she was simply caught sitting, that again was nothing to apologise for the other person having to see. No-one seemed to get behind the fecal disaster idea, or anything relating to periods or poop since both would have been taking place in the precise place they are supposed to occur and leave nothing to apologise for.

Our last hope was some sort of injection. We seemed to rally behind the notion that she was a diabetic and when the guy walked in, she had a needle in her arm. JP made it quite clear that she didn't seem like the junkie type and seemed quite collected when she came out of the booth of mystery. This was the best we could come up with, but still, there was an air of dissatisfaction in the car where this conversation had unfolded.

Any other plausible or creative suggestions? Comment away. Stephanie has privately contributed the possibility of a coat hanger abortion. Next!

I think it's safe to say that this story has ruined my life. I've already offered JP money to come to San Francisco with me where we will wait at the coffee shop, for however long it takes, until either party returns so he can identify them and we can ask them what the fuck was going on. Then again, the desire to solve the mystery might keep me alive with my unquenchable thirst to find out and I might break all longevity records and live to be 147 at which point I peacefully pass uttering the words over and over "I'm sorry you had to see that...".

Monday, November 24, 2008

How I almost came full circle with Alanis Morrissette

Back in 95/96/97, while it might be hard to believe it now, Alanis Morissette was all the rage. She was packaged to us as crossing pop and rock lines and coming off with some credibility. While I never classed her as rock, I thought she was alright in small doses and still maintain that You Oughta Know is pretty awesome (while still being slightly gay), and certainly not just because Flea and Dave Navarro played on it. Considering what a tool Dave Navarro has proved himself to be, I would say, in spite of it.

There was definitely some serious Alanis Morissette Kool-Aid being passed around, even in countries that don't have Kool-Aid (click here and scroll down to "Drinking The Kool-Aid" if you don't know what I'm going on about) as many people lapped her up without question, not knowing about her debut release, tucked away in the used record stores of Canada with a tracks entitled Oh Yeah! and Party Boy. The machine foisting the new Alanis on us did all they could to suppress that history to deliver us this "genuine" article of edgy pop/rock female angst. Perhaps it was refreshing to see a strong female in music who wasn't crying on stage and showing her breasts (see: Courtney Love) which made her so appealing at the time.

The Early Alanis she and her label didn't want you to know about. From 1991, the Canadian only release, 'Alanis' for which she was known as "the Debbie Gibson of Canada".

My sister, not uncharacteristically for her, was overwhelmingly swept up in the Alanis epidemic sweeping the globe. There was one wretched song of hers called Head Over Feet for which Rebecca was excited there was a video at which point I was introduced to it. While the song made me feel like I'd swallowed a blow fly, both incidents leading to eagerness to get it out of me, my sister was just beaming and I could see this song really got to her in a deep way, so in a rare feat of strength, I kept my opinion about her music taste to myself.

Alanis on one of my favourite shows, 'You Can't Do That On Television'. I wanted to be on that show SO BAD so I hated her even more once I learned she had been on it. And here she is standing next to, I think, Alistaire, whom I had a big crush on. Grrrr!

Alanis toured Australia in early 1997, I believe and of course Rebecca had to go. Taking a leaf out of my play book, she arrived at the venue over 7 hours before the doors opened to ensure her spot at the front which she did indeed secure. I trained her well. After the show, which she was just glowing from, Agatha, Mark and I picked her up for some follow-up stalking. It's not as sinister as it sounds, it's just easier to call it that. For us, the night isn't over with after the lights go up after the band leaves the stage. No. That's just the intermission. We grabbed Rebecca and positioned the car for a car chase to lead us to Alanis' hotel. I'm a bit fuzzy on the details, but I can tell you that while a car chase from such a large arena is tough, we pulled it off. We followed the van containing Alanis to the Hyatt on Russell St, where it disappeared into an underground parking garage. We parked on the street and waited in the lobby for Alanis to come down.

While we were there, we bumped into some other people from our band chasing scene. We knew them from our rock bands, so we were surprised to see them there. I think they just enjoyed the thrill of the chase which was the only reason Ag and I were interested anyway. Not sure why Mark came along, though he did own Jagged Little Pill. There were only six or seven of us waiting and we managed to talk to some of the people in Alanis' band including a young Taylor Hawkins, the now famous cross-dressing drummer of the Foo Fighters. Finally, Alanis came down and headed for the bar. We called out to her, but she just walked by with her posse and ignored us. This was back before we knew hotel bars allowed anyone off the street come in and drink, so we felt like we were getting away with something by sitting in the lobby. You can do so much more with confidence in your actions!

Since we knew she was right there, finally, we decided to send the big fan in. We sent a giddy Rebecca into the bar with Mark along for back up. The rest of us waited outside. With just two people going in, there was no great fan assault, especially since those of use remaining weren't really fans. We waited just a little bit and they were back out again looking tense. What had happened? Rebecca went up to her and asked her for an autograph and was met with the reply "I'm busy." She was just sitting back and chatting with her friends and resting on her man, with just enough time to completely break the heart of a 17-year-old.

We were all in shock. Ag and I had done this so many times and had never been met with this kind of response. If she was being mobbed, we'd understand. But there was just two people, one of whom never opened his mouth, and she just couldn't be bothered. It was official: Alanis Morrisette was a complete fucking bitch. Mark seemed angry, while Rebecca was just sad. I felt so bad for her. Upon reporting this story to my mother, a new fury flared up. Our mother was outraged that she didn't have the time for one of the people who helped put her up where she was. To rub salt in the wound, on the same night, there was a special on TV about Alanis where she stated how she always has time for her fans. LIAR.

Years went by but that incident continued to sting my mother, even long after my sister was over it. Any talk of fans and celebrity would lead to my mother's blood boiling and saying "I always think of that Alanis Morissey (sic). Couldn't even give Rebecca an autograph. Who does she think she is? She wouldn't be where she was if not for people like that. If I ever saw her, I'd give her an earful." I kid you not, this came up numerous times for years, and certainly within the last year, so that makes over 10 years of Alanis loathing and fantasy scolding from my mother. I can't tell you how much she longed for this seemingly impossible day when she could stick it to Alanis and tell her was a bad person she was. The venom was as strong this year as it was 11 years ago.

Alanis' first single from her follow up to 'Jagged Little Pill' was 'Thank U' for which the video received universal acclaim for its grossness.

Which brings me to Houston last month. I was there for a work trip and lucky enough to be put up at the Four Seasons. My co-workers and I agreed to meet in the lobby for dinner at 6:30 which I was promptly ready for. As I walked around from the elevator to head into the lobby, I happened to glance up at the check-in desk. And there she was. It was Alanis Morissette. Was it...? No, I was projecting. As I was the first from my party down, I plonked myself down on a fancy chair and observed this woman consuming me. Upon some deeper examination and the fact that the people she was with looking like crew type people, I was convinced. Yes. It was her. I later checked her tour dates and she indeed was playing Houston that night in a venue considerably smaller than the one she played the night she snubbed my sister.

So there before me was the big chance my mother had waited for. The ridiculous chance she talked about but would obviously never, ever be realised was there right before me. For my family honour, I had to get up and say something...

But I couldn't.

I was paralysed. I knew my mother could have done it, but I was too weak, and terrified of humiliation that I just couldn't. Alanis and her crew walked to the elevators and she was gone. My chance was gone. I felt like such a failure to my family.

The Four Seasons lobby where nothing took place. I didn't snap this to document my failure, I just googled for it.

I spoke to my mum a couple of days later and prefaced my story with "I did, or rather didn't do something for which you will never forgive me." I told her what had happened and as predicted she flipped out. "You know I'm such a forgiving person...but I dunno about this." (she was being playful) She couldn't believe my luck and that I had blown it. She wasn't really mad at me, but she was bitterly disappointed. She the proceeded to tell me what she would have said, much along the lines of what I said before. "Of course she would have pretended like it didn't bother her and it rolled off her back, but she would have heard it and it would have RUINED HER DAY!" she emphatically concluded. She chuckled that she may find it her heart to forgive me some day. I still may regret this for the rest of my life.

The next call was to my sister who was extremely shocked, but clearly this burden had been carried all these years by our mother, not her. She concluded the conversation with "Thanks for letting me..." I thought she was going to say "know", but instead I was met with "down." Ouch! It was all good natured, but still, the disappointment in me was apparent.

So I didn't have the balls when I had the chance, but since that miserable wench probably sits around googling her own name to find out how fewer people care about her with each passing day, I can only hope that she will stumble upon this to receive her official "Fuck you!" from my family, not that my dear, sweet mother would ever say that, but that's totally what she means.

Just put a fucking sock in it, bitch.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Movie guilt

As regular readers may have assessed, I'm often a socially awkward, nutty mess. Here's yet another chapter in my struggle to comfortably sail through simple social settings. Thankfully, I've eventually realised that I am not alone in movie recommendation anxiety.

The problem I struggle with is the pressure to ensure the good time of others. In the instance of orchestrating a movie viewing, if their movie viewing is of my urging, then I feel a tremendous pressure for everyone to like it. If they do not, I feel that I have failed them miserably and that my good character and presumably respected taste will be tarnished. The problem with this coniditon is that it prevents ME from having a good time. I'm now wondering why I'm writing this since its a lot like my birthday party blog from 11 months ago. I don't think I repeat myself too often, so fuck it. I shall proceed.

(Oh shit. What if they think I'm boring and out of ideas and stop reading my blog? What if they thought I was cool all this time but this blog evokes the final yawn before they close the door on The Angry Tiki? Why do I write blogs? I'm just asking to be judged and I can't take the heat. Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit....)

The first noted instance of movie guilt, and possibly the benchmark for all related nausea ocurred, I believe, in 1996 when I organised for my gang of friends to see the newest Leslie Nielsen movie, Spy Hard. Yeah, I know. It seemed like a good idea at the time. We all liked The Naked Gun films, so it stood to reason this would follow suit, but instead the whole thing was a disaster. There must have been about eight of us who went which was a great responsibility to provide entertainment for. Shortly after it started, my friends were getting up and going outside to smoke, returning, groaning at the movie, shaking their heads at me, then leaving again. Since I had been the champion of this screening, I felt compelled to sit it out and honestly, I didn't think I thought it was so bad. Perhaps I was a late bloomer in my cynicism, but I daresay that today I can out cynic all those fuckers put together any day of the week and twice on Sunday. But not quite yet in this story. I suggested this movie, everyone hated it and my reputation was mud. I copped a lot of shit for that one.

What happened? It says right there that it "Absolutely hilarious" and "Very funny". What gives?

Fast forward to couple of years later. A Clockwork Orange was playing at an arthouse theatre and I had never seen it. My taste had blossomed, obviously as I was seeking out this well regarded film, revered by many of my musical heroes. I knew it was one of those "must see" movies of a certain ilk and so I advised my friend Mark and my sister of this "must see" aspect and advised they come along. I had no idea what to expect and subsequently, my mind was blown by it in a good way. At least I think it was. As much as I thought it was titilating and fascinating, I knew it was nothing like anything us suburban folk usually sought out. So my feelings about the film were completely confused. It was right up my alley, yet I spent the entire film with what felt like a large rock in my stomach and every peculiar and perverse event only made it heavier. "How much longer is it? How much more can they take? They must fucking hate this and me for bringing them to this. God, this is so awesome." I thought to myself.

Alex assaults a woman with a giant penis sculpture. Yeah, I guess that was shocking...the first time I saw it in Gone With The Wind! Sheesh.

Finally, it ended and I was relieved. We walked to car.

Rebecca: That was really good!
Mark: Yeah! I wouldn't mind seeing it again, actually.



You would think that lesson would resonate and be yet another reminder (and there are many) that I should chill the fuck out. It can work if I think about it and self talk myself into relaxing, but then I realise that that only applies to that incident and there could be many more Spy Hards ahead. No, actually. There really couldn't be anything that humiliating ahead of me.

I recently realised that I had accumulated enough of a collection of similar stories from other people to constitute an epidemic, if a total of four can in fact make an epidemic. To those of you who do not suffer from such incredible insecurity and self loathing, I salute you.

Here are some other examples from others:

My friend's mother got it into her head that she wanted to see a Kill Bill because she had heard all about Quentin Tarantino. After much effort to deter her, the mother was set to see the movie and so my friend struggled to relax through all the swearing and violence in the company of her mother. The discomfort wasn't misplaced as I believe the mother got up from the theatre with either no remark or something very vague and polite, not addressing what was just seen.

The blushing Bride in Kill Bill.

My brother-in-law Sam was afraid to go see the Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny with my parents because he thought it would be inappropriate to laugh at the certain things in front of them. He was somewhat forced to attend this family outing as the film featured yours truly in a stellar performance as an extra. Thankfully, my parents were well warned ahead of time and seemed to be able to roll with it and delight in mine and Neil Hamburger's performances.

I'm all over this scene from 1:37 onwards. Check it.

There is one other incident in which the guilt was carried by someone else regarding Gladiator, but since that incident ended in tears (not mine, thankfully), I feel it's best it remain untold, though I will say that I was able to comfort this person with my own movie guilt tales.

Oddly, even after the Tenacious D incident which I was not at, I was more disturbed to learn that my parents went to see Clerks II. I was not there and I did not recommend it to them, but somehow I felt awful by virtue of the fact that liked Kevin Smith movies and quite enjoyed Clerks II myself. My parents had Gold Class movie tickets which were expiring and were desperate to make use of them. For those who don't know, Gold Class are fancy movie tickets where you watch the movie in a special theatre with reclining seats and can order food and beverages to be delivered to your seat. These tickets are often prizes in work places which is how I think they came have them, however no amount of padding and champagne could prepare my poor, innocent mother for excessive planning and final realisation of a scene in which a man has sex with a donkey. I had so much guilt once I heard about that and I had nothing to do with it.

My mother should never have had to see a man doing the vagina thing.

I thought I was the only person to suffer this, but I'm starting to realise that I'm not. I'm hoping that shedding some light on the matter might help to alleviate some of the discomfort.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The male stripper and the heterosexual woman

*Note* This blog may, nay, WILL contain words like "queer" and "faggy" and reduce people of all orientations to stereotypes, but with no ill will intended, I hope you can get over it.

I write to you after waking up in horror at 4am. I awoke from a dream in which I was hanging out at my parents' house with my mum and and my sister only to have my sister announce that she is going to call "Rakesh" (name invented as actual name from dream is not remembered) her male stripper and all her friends for some evening entertainment. A playful fight ensues with me detailing why a male stripper is so horrible and why she has let me down, after allowing me to believe for some time that she did not find this kind of entertainment enjoyable, but in fact gross. She giggles endlessly and tells me to get over it. I retort that I would be sitting in the other room while it went on and said it would be like sitting in a room knowing a molestation was going on and not doing anything about it. As the debate rages on, furniture is being pushed aside to pave the way for Rakesh's impending arrival. While he never actually makes it, amid all the discussion, vivid pictures are painted. Apparently he is of east Indian descent and ripped like nobody's business. My otherwise prudish mother is on the fence about this whole thing, seeing all my points, but not thinking it's so bad for a "bit of fun". Again I feel betrayed. On and on it goes, ad nauseum, until I wake up disturbed and ready to blog.

For the record, I would like to state that in reality, my sister does NOT like strippers and at last discussion was known to abhor them. When planning her hen's/bachelorette party this past January, her other bridesmaids and I were pleased that we were not required to seek out a stripper. No doubt, I'd have washed my hands of the whole affair should she have wanted one.

The heterosexual woman's love of the male stripper is something that has long baffled me. In times where there is, sadly, a movement against gays and their fight for equal rights, the popularity of the male stripper, usually among the suburban female, the type more shielded for the flamboyant gay culture and more likely to oppose it, are the very ones summoning the supposed man-gods to shake their wangs at them for titillation.

As a heterosexual woman, I have never been able to understand why a straight woman would find a male stripper appealing. For lack of any better explanation, why do I want to see a gay man, more interested in himself than me, literally PRANCE before me? Male strippers are downright faggy, the very thing that so many of these woman are afraid of. I see this conflict regularly as I work for a company which sells some very queer fabric.

I give you Tom of Finland. Tom of Finland, for those who do not know, was a Finnish artist who in his career did over 3500 illustrations of gay scenes of men on various states of undress showing heavily accentuated torsos and over sized penises either bulging in pants or unleashed altogether. Whether or not the men are clothed or engaged with each other in a scene, a Tom of Finland scene is quite distinct and its ultra gay intent is never in question.

A Tom of Finland piece. Got bulge?

Back to the fabric, my company has a series of designs inspired by Tom of Finland. On my first day, as I was being shown the various groups in the collection, when I saw one of those I asked "Is this part of the gay group?" Despite this being obvious to me and many others, I'd say most of our client base does not seem to see it that way, much like they do not see the gayness of a male stripper.

Of the design named "Heavy Equipment", a description by one of our customers reads, "With a cheeky title to boot, these cut construction workers don hardhats, tool belts, and little else as they strike some racy poses atop a ground inked with blueprints. Hmmm...perhaps it's time for a remodel at my house!" Keep in mind that many of our customers are quilters from all over the country, many from America's heartland, aka, Bible belt, aka queer hating country. It delights me no end to have an apparently conservative quilter tell me she wouldn't mind having him (pointing to one of our 'hunks') leave his slippers under her bed. Poor thing hasn't a clue that he would not want to leave his slippers under her bed. Not because she's old, overweight and wearing a cat sweater, no, he would not even want to leave his slippers under the bed of her hot, barely legal grand daughter. This man is a homosexual and prefers the company of men.

Building a fence to block the view of ugly, scary tits.

Back to the male strippers, my confusion persists. The male stripper type, when he physically exists in the heterosexual world is almost always a self absorbed, too concerned with his own appearance to pay the necessary attention to a woman. One common gender difference is that females instinctively need to preen and make a good presentation for males. Males can be slobby and even stinky and be attractive to females. So when men start adopting the female role of preening and obsessing about their bodies, there seems to be some gender role reversal going on. Might I call this behaviour...gay? As a preened man goes against the natural order of things, I am baffled as to why a straight woman finds this man attractive. Gay or straight, he's not into you!

Finally, the dancing. Looks aside, when it happens on a mardi gras float, this kind of display is nothing short of queer. No question that this to the homophobe is the second grossest display of an abomination, the first of course being the old rogering to the rear. But take out the balloons and the multitudes of surrounding gays, and this man can now be brought into your living room for some almost-innocent fun.


Not gay

If there are any women reading this who are attracted to gay men, I'd love to hear from you. I get the idea that accentuated muscles show signs of strength, useful for protection, but when that strength is used only for lifting weights and reaching for the bottle of Nivea for Men Revitalising Body Lotion, I cease to find how this can be reassuring or attractive.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Caring more or less

I have some better blogs in the works, but I've been reading instead and being lazy, so I thought I'd fill in the gap with something that's bothered me for some time. It's a mistake that has hit twice in the last two days, and many times before so I am setting it straight once and for all:

The phrase is "I couldn't care less." COULDN'T, not COULD. So many times people say "I could care less" and it's flat out WRONG.

Let's examine the intent of the phrase. "I could/couldn't care less." is used when someone is trying to emphatically state how much they do not care about something.

Archibald: Did you hear Martin got hit by a car last week?
Miriam: I could care less. He's an asshole.

Miriam saying she COULD care less means that whatever level her caring is about it, she could go lower. It suggests that she cares about this somewhat. To help you visualise this, look at the meter above and imagine her caring about Martin is at a 5, which would indicate she COULD care less. Zero through four still await.

Petreus: Did you hear Carrot Top is in a critical condition after one of his stupid prop gags went wrong?
Murphy: I couldn't care less. That guy is sucks.

Murphy is saying he can't care any less than he does now. His care factor is at rock bottom. The needle is at zero. HE COULD NOT CARE LESS.

Carrot Top: still at large, unfortunately.

Oddly enough, I am actually wearing a house t-shirt at this moment with a "Care Factor" and the needle on "0" as we speak and I swear the shirt did not inspire this blog, though it may have reminded me that visuals of such meters exist.

I don't know who you are, but if you identify yourself as someone who says "I could care less." please break this down and amend your mental phrase book.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Trust God, but pray for rain

Focus on the family douchebag prays for rain

This is this first time I've ever done any kind of follow up to a previous blog, let alone consecutively, but recent events have prompted me to do so.

My last blog talked about how so-called believers in the almighty have little or no faith in their creator as demonstrated by the effort they make to intervene in what could be argued is God's plan. It's the next post down, so I needn't explain it again. I didn't realise that prior to my writing it, James Dobson of Focus on the Family had one of his cronies make a video calling for prayers for "abundant rain, torrential rain....flood advisory rain," in Denver on August 28th, the night Barack Obama was to accept (and now has) the Democratic nomination. As the final night of the convention was moved from an indoor arena to an outdoor football stadium, I suppose they saw this as an opportunity to silence his message.

As is turns out, it did NOT rain last night. No, it was a perfect evening and Obama was able to deliver his magnificent speech without a hitch. The speech was everything it needed to be riddled with solutions, quelling doubts and reaching out across the political divide and uniting. Very un-Christian sort of stuff, as you can see. So if Dobson believes in God's plan, and God "let" this invigorating speech happen, why would he have prayed against it? God's plan and prayers don't add up. A prayer is like saying "Yo God, your plan sucks balls. Can you do this instead?"

The lack of rain leaves a gazillion unanswered prayers. If this isn't God sending a message as to his "plan" I don't know what is. Dobson and cronies, don't you think this might be a SIGN FROM GOD that you should vote for Obama? I know, I know, it's only a message from God or part of his plan when it suits your agenda. Carry on.

But wait! There's talk of postponing the Republican convention, scheduled for next week as a full force hurricane is scheduled to hit the Gulf Coast. Nowhere near the convention itself, but it should coincide with it, stealing headlines and serving as an apt reminder of how skillfully the present administration handled Katrina. Now THAT'S a message from God I can get behind. Maybe this "God" fellow isn't so bad after all...oh, now I'm being like them.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The faithess faithful

I was just reading the cover of a record entitled Ten Reasons Why Madalyn Murray O'Hair Must Be Stopped...and Ten Ways To Stop Her. I didn't know who Madalyn Murray O'Hair was, but according to the cover, she was an atheist attorney who sought for the removal of prayer and Bible reading in public schools. She succeeded, bless her heart, so this record is an effort by preacher, Bob Harrington to stop her atheist views being spread. While further reading has suggested she was a bit of a corrupt sicko, I'm still surprised Harrington was so scared of her.

Upon reading that record cover, it reminded me of a conversation my friend, a reasonable and loving Christian, had with his brother-in-law, a right wing, evangelical, hate-filled Christian. I presume hate-filled since the brother-in-law was delighting in the fact that on the November ballot there will a measure to annul the gay marriages which were recently allowed by the California Supreme Court. This dipshit brother-in-law had the narrow-mindedness to say that if the gays weren't stopped that the human race would die out. Yes, he really said that.

I must say I am baffled by the desire for any religious organisation to legislate their doctrine. How little faith can they have in their God that they think you need to legislate to save the human race? Do they think God is simply going to let the human race die out? If it does die out from butt-fucking and kooch slamming gaining so much popularity, then wouldn't it be safe to say that that's part of God's plan and those who do not succumb to the lure of Satan will be spared eternal torment and instead enjoy eternity at the right hand of the father?

God needs you to stop this abomination.

I've said for a long time, and as seen in the aforementioned examples, that I think often the most die hard believers haven't the faith they claim to have or think they have. They are scared to trust God, and not scared enough of God himself to follow his teachings. If they really believed in eternal damnation, there would be a clearer moral distinction between the actions of believers and non, but there isn't. Jesus taught of love and forgiveness, and these evangelical Christians are caught up in something very different. Proselytising and living behind a facade of what it means to be a good person does not a good person make. Playing along with this facade has resulted in a complete misplacement of values and love among Evangelicals in America who would rather support the pro-life, Bible bashing candidate who uses religion to win votes, while ignoring this same constituency on economic and social issues. These people distrust God so much, they are easily swayed into aligning themselves with the side that only pays lip service to moral interests, while completely ignoring the core of Jesus' message. As long as there is someone supporting prayer in school, they don't really care about the people who have no homes, food or health care. That is what legislation should be working to fix, not solving the woes of this apparently weak God who can't fend for himself and get his own shit done.

It use to irritate me, but now I laugh, when believers feel sorry for me and my lack of belief because it again just highlights their distrust in God. Examples like these also show how scared these people are. I'm not scared of the things they are scared of. I'm not scared of dying. I don't want to die, but I'm not scared of it. I'm scared of people I love dying, but I don't really care about myself (though I do fear any physical pain that may accompany the dying. No thanks.)

These people who fear the world will go gay or their kids will go gay show so little faith in themselves as parents (since they believe it's a choice) and in their God. They have no faith that God will shine his light, or whatever he's supposed to do to keep these kids on the right path. They don't have faith in their own abilities as parents, perhaps because they palm off too much responsibility onto God who they deep down don't have faith in. I think in their subconscious, these people know what I know. If you want to get things done, you need to do it yourself. I believe this and work toward this. If one is consumed by the idea that God is taking care of things, but deep down doesn't think he can, they end up making leaps of faith they don't believe in only to be left asking "Why?" when things don't work out. They seem to have as much faith in God to keep the world God loving and heterosexual as one would have handing over their taxes to a Taco Bell cashier who says she's good at maths. Instead, they no show no faith by legislating and protesting to get the job done. It shows as much faith God as if you hired an accountant from H & R Block to oversee what the Taco Bell employee was doing with your tax return. No faith at all. These people are intervening to make sure God does what he says he wants done.

I'm sorry, but I just can't believe I found a picture of a man and a Taco Bell employee holding something that looks like a cheque or government form.

If a family loses a someone through a tragedy like a car accident, or cancer, or anything, the loss is attributed to "God's will" or "God was teaching us a lesson." however when it comes to gays taking over the world, why are people not so trusting in God's plan then? Perhaps God knows there are too many people in this world and is trying to cull the population by creating less people who will procreate. Why are these people so distrustful of God's plan when the plan presents something scary like homosexuals or people who don't believe in God? I understand they probably justify these things as fighting Satan, but seriously, these people need to get over themselves! Do they really think they are more powerful than GOD? Of course they aren't if he is who they claim he is, so why the fuck does he need help from them? God will take of it...or will he?

It is a relief to point out that not all believers are like this. There are plenty of good Christians who will allow God's will to unfold as it should (or maybe they are just complacent, I don't know.) In the Saddleback forum which took place this past weekend in which Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama fielded questions regarding how their beliefs factored into their candidacy, Obama had the following to say on the subject of gay marriage. While he opposes gay marriage (which greatly disappoints me), he also opposes an amendment to the constitution to ban it. Here's what he said:

"I think my faith is strong enough and my marriage is strong enough that I can afford those civil rights to others even if I have a different perspective or a different view." - Barack Obama on rights for same sex couples.

He seems to trust his God a lot more than the most outspoken "believers", and yet they don't buy into his style of Christianity.

It must really suck to be these people. They are scared of so much and the thing (God) that is supposed to protect them from such horrors, they don't even trust that he knows what he's doing. If they truly believe he has a master plan, they need to get out of everyone else's business and let God work his magic.

Don't sweat it! If the gays and non-believers get out of hand, he can do this in two shakes of a lamb's tail or less!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Occasional innocence

It's always a treat to watch a movie again that you knew well as a kid and realise how much innuendo you missed, simply due to the fact that you just too young at the time to know the ways of the world and to grasp the debauchery before you. I somehow managed to believe, though I knew about sex, that in Teen Wolf, when Scott stays back after the theatre rehearsal and Pamela takes off her bra in front him that he kept his clothes on and all they did was kiss. The howl Principal Rusty Thorn hears from the parking lot was merely because Scott was happy to making out with Pamela. I saw it again a few years ago and at the moment of the howl thought "Oh! They were totally fucking and he just blew his load!"

Pamela Wells gets out her goodies for the lucky Scott, but they just kiss and that's it.

Another classic incident was from Ghostbusters when, while interviewing the librarian following her encounter with the free floating vapour in the basement, Venkman asks "Are you, Alice, menstruating right now?" However at the age of 7 and onward for several years after that, I heard it as (since I didn't know what menstruating was) "Are you Alice Menstrating, right now?" like that was her name and he was asking her if she was herself. When the other librarian asks "What's that got to do with it?" "Back off man. I'm a scientist." was the perfect answer because, duh, it was a perfectly valid question to ask if she was Alice Menstrating at that moment! She might have been possessed! Boy, what a revelation that gag was when I saw the movie again!

The offending librarian ghost who just scared the shit out of poor Alice Menstrating.

And then there was that scene in The Neverending Story where Atreyu's horse Artex appears to be sinking into Swamp of Sadness and DYING. Boy, how I cried, but I watched it again and clearly, he's just sinking down into another chamber to hold hot "counsel" with other horses and unicorns. Yeah, that's what's really happening in that scene. He's TOTALLY, 100% alive though. I was so naive...

I'm sure everyone can think of instances like these, but as we grow up, through constant exposure to sex and innuendo, most of us are desensitised and see the crude and sexual gags as they were intended. My sister saw Pretty Woman at age 11 and didn't know what Vivian did for a living but that's just not going to happen today. As for me, I became the the foul mouthed, perverted minded person I am now at quite a young age, but there have been a couple of incidents recently, which show a shred of naivety left in me. Rather than being embarrassed by these things going over my head, I'm going to embrace them.

A couple of years ago, there were posters posted around our neighbourhood for the LA Leather Festival. I didn't think much about it, until Gregg asked our friend Emma who was visiting, with a faux sex voice "Soooo, are you going to the LA leather festival?" and Emma said she might and snickered and I just thought nothing of this exchange. I was just against a leather festival from being a vegetarian and an avoider of leather. I'm not sure how it was revealed, but it soon came to be known that I thought the LA Leather Festival was some sort of celebration of leather and it's uses and would sport a wide selection of belts and handbags. Once I realised what, in one of the gayest pockets of LA, the festival was, I sure felt daft. Still, I appreciated that for once, my mind didn't go straight to the gutter as it usually does.

Which leather festival suits your needs?

The most recent incident occurred at a Supergrass/Foo Fighters show. Stephanie and I were waiting around to go backstage after the Supergrass set and I saw a guy with a t-shirt that I thought said "Put Willy Wonka In Your Chocolate Factory" and I just thought it was a cute, and funny suggestion to other chocolatiers to make their factories better by putting the master, Willy Wonka in charge. I expressed this to Stephanie and she just laughed at me and said something like "They are talking about putting his wiener in your butthole!" and I said "No way!" and defended it. She went on to say it said "Put MY Willy Wonka in your Chocolate Factory" but since a fold in the shirt or faulty contact lenses made it difficult to see, I missed the "my". (I swear I'd have gotten it if I'd seen that) I insisted it was a nice sentiment being corrupted by Stephanie's sick mind. I usually hold her sick mind in the highest regard, but in this instance, I was against it. Stephanie later relayed the exchange to Gaz from Supergrass to which he said "He's talking about his penis." I was starting to realise I'd lost this one and I went on to explain my error with the LA Leather Festival. Gaz said it was nice to be innocent sometimes (I just hope he didn't think I was always that daft since we'd just met) and provided he wasn't humouring me, I agree with that sentiment.

Here's the shirt. I was wrong. It says "MY" plain as day.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cystfully yours

As cyst pictures are too gross, here are some cute animals instead!

A friend of mine has discovered a lump on her neck which she is concerned about. Her mother calls it a "neck bunion" which delights me no end. Our mutual friend alerted her the fact that I had recently dealt with a sebaceous cyst on my head, so she messaged me seeking, advice, comfort and pep. Here's what I wrote...

Oh it is SO okay to talk about my cyst! I'm happy to talk about it to anyone willing to listen and even some who aren't.

So my famous "lump" appeared perhaps 6-7 years ago on top of my head, a little to one side and visible to no-one. I was mildly concerned but my mum and Gregg insisted I get it checked out. I think I forgot to get it checked for a long time just because it was just there and never bothered me except for the fact that it grew/grows pube type hairs from that spot. I would be happy to put one in the mail for you with a guarantee that it's from my head.

So anyway, I had it checked out and the doctor said it was a sebaceous cyst which forms when a pore gets blocked. He said it was nothing to worry about unless it got bigger or if it hurt. He said to remove it, it would have to be cut open and pulled out (not drained like I'd hoped) which made me quite fearful of the whole process. Given my fear of needles, I was glad I could ignore it. I went on with no pain or growth, but after a couple of years, my mum and Gregg insisted it was bigger and that I should get it checked again. Again, the doctor said it was fine and not to worry about it.

This is Yakini, my beloved gorilla at the Melbourne Zoo.

Finally, a few more years passed, I was tired of it. Maybe it had grown and was in my way more, or maybe I was just suddenly more aware of it. It was always in the way if I would try to rest my head on a wall or sleep on a plane window on my left side. My head would just sort of roll on the nut and I had choose a less comfortable tilt of the head to work around it. I was going to get it out last year while in Australia, but I went into the doctor with not enough time before I left the country again for the cyst removal and subsequent stitch removal. In the following months, I went a bit mad and once tried to pop it with a pin (which I later read you SO shouldn't do). I knew Gregg wouldn't approve of this so my attempt occurred one night when I was home alone. I revealed this indiscretion at a tiki bar while intoxicated and as predicted, he was very annoyed at me, looking aghast while I told our friends. Another symptom of my frenzy, hereby known as "lump fever" was the time I plucked out all the pube hairs and left a small bald patch over the lump. My next trip to the hairdresser was a bit embarassing as he thumped my bald patch with his finger and asked what was going on.

So, when I went to Australia this past January, I sucked it up and booked the double appointment to get the cyst removed. I was so scared that I screamed at my mum because I told her not to book it until after my birthday because I didn't want to be thinking about it coming up and being unhappy. She went ahead an booked it anyway for AFTER my birthday but told me about it before which is exactly what I told her I did not want. She's a bit demented like that. I just knew I would be scared the whole time leading up to it so I didn't want a time set, so I went nuts at her and made her cancel it. After my birthday was over, I booked my own appointment.

When the big day came, I was quite terrified but calmer than I thought. I asked the doctor about liquid stitches I'd heard about on TV and he said that was rubbish and that I should chill out. I warned him I might cry and he said that he thought HE might cry and then I laughed and was marginally happier. When he approached with the needle to numb it, I started hyperventilating as I do when needles approach but with a quick nick, that portion was over with and numb. The doctor came back five minutes later to start cutting and I got all scared again but what he was doing just felt like a little scrape! It was completely fine and I wasn't at all bothered by it. He then pulled the lump out with a tweezer thing and showed me the little white egg I had grown. Steph told me it would be like an egg and she was right! I was quite impressed by it! It was probably about 1/2"/1cm long. He then put the cyst in a jar, stitched me up which didn't bother me at all and then it was all over. I was most afraid of the stitches but they were no sweat and I later remarked that I could have that procedure done to me all day! The doctor said he was taking my lump to pathology just to confirm it was a benign cyst and after he rounded the corner with it I called him back for one last look. If I could have kept my little egg, I would have.

So everything was fine and didn't hurt. He gave me some antibiotics that could mix with alcohol (he was so thoughtful because I didn't ask!) and I was on my way. As the anaesthetic wore off several hours later, it started to hurt, but I just got really drunk that night and hardly noticed it. I went back in a week and got my stitches removed and that was the absolute end of it. I wasn't keen on that final procedure, but again it wasn't much of anything.

I was worried the whole thing would cost about $300 but it only cost $60! I thought I had to pay for the return visit to remove the stitches but that was included! I then got the $80 bill from pathology and I went to pay that but that was covered by Medicare! And my antibiotics were only $6! You can see why I waited to go back to Australia to get it taken care of!

So that's my story. I hope it makes dealing with a sebaceous cyst sound like a barrel of fun. I really wouldn't be afraid to have it done again and now when I sit on the left hand side of planes, I roll my head against the wall like a loving cat.


*NOTE* The title "Cystfully yours" was how my friend signed her email in response to this message.

***UPDATE*** I am happy to add that my friend has reported "Guess who's benign and feeling fine?" She looks forward to her procedure on August 6th.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Trials and tribulations in blood donation

B.B. The Blood Drop

When my friend Dan and I were 17, he expressed a great interest in donating blood. Dan and I made frequent trips into the city (we lived an hour out of downtown Melbourne) but this one time, Dan expressed that he had done a bunch of research and planned to give blood this day. I admired his decision and we planned to head over to the blood bank on Collins Street after doing our usual round of record stores. As the day wore on, Dan got antsy to get to the blood bank. We headed down there, only to find after the arduous walk to the arse end of town that the bank closed at some stupid hour like 3 or 4pm. Whatever the case, we had missed it. We left and Dan was very cranky about not being about to donate blood. Gosh, I couldn't believe he wanted to give blood so badly! What a sweetheart, even if he wore stupid silky goth shirts and red lipstick that he was too embarrassed to buy on his own. It was nice to see he was as dedicated to this little cause as he was to his fussing about his goth appearance with clothes and cosmetics.

Some goth kids, much like Dan's crew at the time.

Not long after, while I was not with him, he told me he had made another attempt to donate blood, this time arriving during business hours only to be told that as he was under 18, he required written consent from his parents. Foiled again!

Finally, on a third trip, Dan made it there, during business hours, with the parental slip. It was finally going to happen. The person tending to him pricked his finger for a mere sample, but Dan fainted. After they roused him, he was put in a wheelchair and given a donut. No blood was given and it seemed as though he could not handle it as he shared my belonephobia (fear of needles) so blood donation was quite out of the question altogether.

Poor Dan. After all his gallant efforts, he simply couldn't go through with the procedure. After this incident, while attending a stage version of Trainspotting, Dan fainted in his seat as one of the actors described in detail the injecting of a needle. Holy crap! He was worse than me!

So Dan and I are now 30 and over the years since his fateful trip to the blood bank, I have told the story many times, always with a swell in my heart for his good intentions.

In that time, my own fear of needles has increased. It already existed at that time, but I think it has only gotten worse. I've required a few blood samples and shots in that time, and all have resulted in hyperventilating, and on one occasion, crying. If I am told I need a blood test I ask it be done immediately as the anticipation for it makes me crazy. When I was in year 8, my friend who was two years older got a tetanus shot at school. I feared this shot for two whole years, so by the time I was in year 10 and everyone my age was getting the shot, I dodged the co-ordinated who hunted me down for my permission slip (which I had not given to my parents) and on the day of the needle I stayed behind in the graphics room with the daft Mr. C who was too clueless to question why I was the only one not going for the needle. I wish I was as smart as Kristen who wisely got her slip signed, but then crossed out the needle part and only got the oral sabin against polio. I was willing to risk polio to not have that needle.

Dan's donation attempt always inspired me, but I knew I just couldn't do it. I then set about encouraging others who do not fear needles to donate blood. I felt that in doing so, I was doing my bit. I had been nagging at my sister for some time, since she actually stares at the whole injecting process with much delight, to go and donate blood. She was keen, and after a few years of urging, she finally got around to it and I believe she has now done so twice. I was once at a party and got talking to my friend's mum who is a blood bank nurse. I told her my whole scheme of encouraging others since I was too fearful myself and asked her what she thought. To my delight she was 100% behind my plan and told me how frustrating it is dealing with people like me who freak out and that's it's more trouble than it's worth. She also looked at my veins and deemed them crappy and hard to find, further supporting my reasons not to personally give blood. Once I got this vindication from the blood bank nurse, I proceeded about my business of badgering others.

This could be yours if The Prick is Right!

I've not really badgered too many, mainly my sister, so I urge you now, if you are not afraid of needles, please give blood! From what I just read on Wikipedia, blood banks struggle to keep a three day supply for day to day blood transfusions. If you can go in there, suck it up and give blood without a fuss, please do it!

In the USA, head to The American Red Cross site, or in Australia, the Australian Red Cross. Anywhere else, just bloody Google it yourself.

Back to Dan, as I said, I've been telling his sad story for 13 years now. Dan and his girlfriend were visiting Gregg and I in LA a couple of months ago and I thought it only right to fill Geri in on one of my favourite Dan stories. I got through the whole thing as I have told you after which point Dan added a footnote to the story which I never knew about my former goth friend,

"You know, the only reason I was doing it was because I thought it would make me pale."