Monday, July 31, 2006

Iraqi Graffiti

Have you ever wondered what Graffiti was like in the days before the plague of gang violence and tagging? I hadn’t ever thought of it, but now I believe that I have found the answer in the walls of anything that can be written on, in the various hell holes I call home. Below are some examples which I found great humor in.

Bus stop in Al Asad. (AA is a large base which has an internal bus system to take marines to and from various parts of it, seeing as we do not all have our own vehicles. The bus stop is a plywood and 2X4 shed built by the Seabees. I spent a little time there. Probably because it is nice and safe)

“Ninja fact 26. Ninja’s don’t like waiting for buses”

“Seabee fact 1001.23: Seabees like drinking beer more than they like working”

“Seabee fact 1001.23A: The only thing Seabees like better than drinking beer is sucking dick”

PortaJohn in MP compound in Fallujah

“Demons begone from my ass. This I command thee”

“Due to KBR policy, all turds longer than 6” must be hand lowered” (KBR is a civilian contractor, whose policies and practices make sense to no one)

PortaJohn next to Engineers compound

“BEWARE OF THE JUS!” Immediately below is a crude picture of who I assume to be Hitler. Are all racists illiterate?

PortaJohn in MEF Compound

“Re-enlistment survey, yes no” The no column has it by about 80 or so.

“Nuke Iraq survey, yes no” Here the yes column has it. Apparently MEF is taking the surveys to where the marines will have the time to take them.

“How to win the hearts and minds? Two to the heart, one to the mind” Apparently suggesting that murder is better than friendship with insurgents.

Outhouse in Ramadi (notorious for the mortars raining down several times daily)

“Mortar explosions help the poo come out”

“Here is the home of those who DIDN’T shit their pants today”

And my favorite, in the camp where I usually stay:

“This is your home. Until I stop making money from my defense investments. Deal with it. Signed: GW Bush”

*For those who are a litte slow, this is a message from Sgt. Biff in Iraq. I am not serving in Iraq currently, as my marine Corps contract expired about a year ago. I did not write this, but I thought is was still damn funny.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Don't Be That Guy Volume I - The Sober Sexual Predator

It's 3:00 AM. Or 1:00 AM or 2:00 AM or maybe even Midnight if you live in Arizona. The point is it is an hour until last call and you are blitzed and so are your friends and you are either looking for something to take home or for the nearest garbage can. And maybe you confuse one for the other, I don’t know. You have been steady drinking ever since you took your last bite of dinner and would be lucky to remember your middle name. Maybe you are going to hook up, maybe you aren't, but it doesn't really matter; you’re sloshed like a fat girl on Valentines Day and don't really care. But as you look around the room, you spot him, leering in the corner with what appears to be a gin and tonic: The Sober Sexual Predator.

Now there are some guys out there who go out and don't drink for somewhat excusable reasons, if there is such a thing. Maybe he is the designated driver (although I have been hard pressed to find a group of people who hold fast to this rule) or maybe he is a Mormon or devout Muslim or going through rehab. While I pity these guys and the fun they are missing out on, their reasons for remaining sober are, at least, somewhat upstanding. Unfortunately most boys still at the bar at whoring hour are choosing not to drink for much more sinister reasons. What are they doing? Sitting in the corner, sucking on a soda water with lime disguised as a cocktail, and waiting for the girls to get drunk. And then pouncing.

The Sober Sexual Predator goes out with his "drinking" buddies, but instead of drinking he opts for a non-alholic drink, cleverly disguised as booze, and observes women. Keeping his wits about him, he knows exactly what to do and who to target. Once he finds the girl who has put away enough vodka to kill a baby elephant and appears to have little if any self esteem, he approaches her, buys her one more shot to push her over the edge, isolates her from her friends, and takes her home. Since he is “sober” and can get her home “safe.” What happens after that is usually a sexual encounter that the girls chooses to forget, and the SSP will grossly exaggerate to his friends who were too drunk to remember him leaving. The worst part is that he typically thinks he is a better person than the sot at the end of the bar who has been French kissing a Jack and Coke all night. Sorry, SSP, it is you, you sick fuck, who is the social pariah. Because while a Dean Martin Drink-Alike may go around the bar in a stupor, and may very well make inappropriate advances towards women, he is at worst laughed off as a harmless drunk and all is forgotten. You, on the other hand, are one step away from being put in “special population.”

Have I slept with some girls that were just as likely to vomit on me as sleep with me? Of course. But you know what, sicko? I was just as drunk as they were. If not more so. But you, on the other hand, are staying at a bar for the express purpose of finding a woman too drunk to tell you no. Shame on you. And shame on you again for pulling this "holier-than-thou" bullshit on your drunken friends the next day as you brag about your borderline illegal conquest. You come home and tell us we are wrong for drinking so much and that maybe if we'd drank less we would have gotten some? Fuck. You. Asshole.

Listen, slimeball, unlike you I do not go to a bar to find girls to sleep with. If they are there, fine, but my main mission is to get as drunk as humanly possible. And unlike you girls find me attractive without being in a mind-altered state. You, sir, are beyond socially unacceptable for going out to a drinking establishment with the sole objective of taking advantage of an intoxicated female. You're just a fucking joke.

The moral of this story? When you go to a bar, drink. You look much less shady and are probably a more upstanding indiviual. Drinking in a bar is not a bad thing, since that's pretty much what bars were created for. But staying sober in order to score some mentally incapacitated trim? That’s just sick. You, sir, are a borderline sociopath and have no place in my social circle. So go up to the bar, do a few shots of 151, and talk to me when you can't talk clearly. And for the love of God leave the girls alone. If they don't like you sober, they're never going to like you drunk.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

USMC Does Not Stand for U Steal My Clothes

Girls, please educate me about something: Why is it that every time you spend the night in a strange, or sometimes not-so-strange guy’s house, apartment, dorm room, or cardboard box you feel it necessary to take with you some article of their clothing? And why, when you decide you need such a souvenir, is it always, without exception, one of my Marine Corps T-shirts?

Now, if you frat boys, or former frat boys, out there think that girls stealing your fraternity letters to proudly display to the girls back on Floor 5 of the freshmen dorm is bad, let me hip you to what I believe to be the Holy Grail of Sex Souvenirs: The USMC T-Shirt. Over my life I have purchased or otherwise “acquired” no less than 13 Marine Corps T-Shirts in one form or another. And do you know how many I have left today? 2. That’s right, 2. And none got lost, none were inadvertently donated by a moronic real estate agent (like all my uniforms) and none mysteriously flew off the bow of a fishing boat. Do you know where they all are? Probably being pulled out of an old clothes box by a current husband or boyfriend who is saying “Where the FUCK did you get this??!!!”

The first time it happened I thought it was sort of cute: The girl wanted to brag to her friends that she had spent the night with a Marine. How sweet. I’m honored. Then it happened again, and then I started to notice that whenever I pointed a girl to my T-Shirt drawer for Walk of Shame attire, they were somehow magnetically drawn to any shirt with the word “Marine” on it. I remember one girl putting on a shirt that said “29 Palms Iron House” and I began to politely suggest she wear another one since “That one may be too big.” “No I like this one,” she told me, and began to gather her things to leave. “You’ve never even fucking been to 29 Palms? Do you know how bad that place sucks? It’s like going outside on the hottest day of the year and blowing a hairdryer in your face And then throwing sand in that hairdryer. You don’t rate wearing that, you don’t even get it!.” Like most people, she just ignored my rant, smiled demurely and asked me for a ride home. What was I going to do, rip it off of her?

One girl I was dating I forbid to wear my grey USMC shirt with the letters in black block across the front. That one was sacred and I could not risk it becoming a fuck trophy. So what did she do? One day while I left for work or class or some shit, she went in my drawer, took it out, put it in her purse and I never saw it again. And she only admitted to me that she took it when I ran into her 5 years later.

Why is this girls? Would it be so hard to take my “Race for The Cure 2001” shirt? Or the one from the 1999 Micron PC Bowl? Or anything that says Von Dutch? I know Marines are known worldwide for our ravenous sexual appetites and larger-than-average apparatus, but is it really necessary to steal our clothes to prove you got your brains fucked out? Can’t you just relay the story of how some Lance Corporal on shore leave gave it to you the best of your life and let it go? Seriously. Do you ever consider that someone may ask you if you served in the Corps? What’s your response going to be then? “No, but I fucked one once and stole his clothes?” Yeah, that makes you look classy. I like those shirts, I wear them with pride. Dare I say they get me laid form time to time. I have about 50 T-Shirts in my dresser, it is not necessary for you to take one of the few, the proud, the Marine T-Shirts. Stop stealing my shit. I went through 3 months of Hell to earn the right to wear that stuff. You only went through about eleven minutes.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Hot Judge, Cell Phone Etiquette, and Kickball on The Front Page

My deepest sarcastic apologies to anyone out there who has missed my ranting and raving over the weekend. Really I am sorry. The goddamn sun finally came out and I decided my tan was more important than my blog this weekend. So all of you jackasses who call me a bog addict, remember that tanorexia was my first disorder, and therefore will always supersede any later ones. I have some good shit lined up for this week, but I had a lot of shit I wanted to get off my chest before I continue. If you don’t like it, I guess that’s one more day you are going to have to go without my priceless insight.

1.) There is this judge who lives across the street from a couple of my friends. She has like nine of her signs out front for her re-election and I swear, judging by the signs, she is the HOTTEST FREAKING JUDGE EVER. Bronwyn Catherine Miller may soon replace Judge Jules and Judge Julie of Playboy’s “Sex Court” fame as my favorite judge alive. Apparently she presides at the South Dade Justice Center, which is where any litigation brought on by myself would take place, so this really works out perfectly. Awesome. My next step is to mull over the various people I could conceivably sue just to get some face time. Perhaps those guys I got in the bar fight with last month. I think I have some permanent vision loss. Now, would Judge Miller be turning any heads at Prive on a Friday night? No. But I would wager she is the best looking non-defendant at the SDJC on any given day. Although those traffic court prosecutors are not bad either….

2.) Do not ever talk on your cell phone around me, ever. Unless it is a critical matter or something pertaining to whatever activity you or I are participating in, any other calls can wait. I don’t do it to you, don’t fucking do it to me. You want to catch up with your second cousin in Boise? That’s what your bedroom is for. Checking in with your girlfriend/boyfriend? It can wait for a car-ride. Work-related call? If it’s not during business hours and you are not a drug-dealer, pimp, or on-call neurosurgeon, it can wait. Trust me, it can. It is just plain rude and I am not the only person who doesn’t like listening to other people’s cell phone conversations. Especially when you are sitting right next to them and have nothing else to do. Unless the person on the other end of the line is dying, they’ll be there when you get home. So show some goddmaned courtesy and wait until you are alone to call them back. Ever notice how my phone often rings when we hang out but I rarely if ever pick it up? Exactly. Take the goddamned hint.

3.) On a similar note, to the nine or ten of you who called me this weekend and I did not return your calls: Do not take it personally. Sometimes I really don’t feel like “catching up” with anyone, nor do I want to listen to you drunk at a Pearl Jam concert. I am not being a dick, you are still my friends. But sometimes people, and especially guys and especially me, don’t particularly feel like having conversations with anyone that are not immediately relevant. I am doing fine. I hope you are well. Eat a Honey Glazed Maple Barbecue Dick.

4.) Strippers should no longer be allowed to wear glitter. Ever.

5.) If you thought this Kickball thing I’m doing was unusual, think again. Those of you who bothered to look at the front page of the Miami Herald may have noticed a little article on the bottom of Page One about our Kickball league. The picture was taken about five feet from where I was standing, our team even gets a small mention, and they give a nice explanation of how “Flip Cup” is played. If mine was not clear enough. Though you will undoubtedly be smarter for not having read that particular section.

There. All done. The proverbial blog-shit has been taken and now we can continue. Tomorrow.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

As if I Needed Another Reason to Despise Florida State

We take our beer pong pretty goddamned seriously. Which is why I did not especially appreciate a group of Trailerhassee Trash attempting to take over my Green-and-Orange “U” emblazoned Beer Pong table with their little drinking game called “I’m a Raging Flaming Queen.” Some of you may know it as Flip Cup.

Flip cup, for those who didn’t go to college, is a sort of relay-race drinking game where teams line up on opposite sides of a table. One person on each team chugs a beer then attempts to flip their now-drained cup over once they are finished. Once they have completed this task, the chugging-and-flipping responsibilities are passed to the next person on the team until the entire team is done. It really requires no discernable skill other than having a wrist limp enough to flip a plastic cup upside-down, and has absolutely no place in a fine drinking establishment like Tavern in The Grove. A frat party, maybe. A football tailgate, okay. But definitely not in a bar. Though I suppose Florida State has always lagged far behind Miami in both athletics and academics, so it would reason that they would shun the coordination, strategy, stamina and mental toughness required for Beer Pong in favor of this relay race for spaz’s and retards.

My roommate and I took over the Beer Pong table from some idiots playing 10 Cup Pong in a crowded bar (VERY inconsiderate) and won another three games in a row. As we basked in the glory of yet another Pong conquest, we were approached by a trio of blondes that more or less made the Cowgirls look like the three little pigs. I will give one thing to Florida State; they do have some unbelievable women. Unbelievable looking, and unbelievably stupid. One of these blow-up-dolls with a pulse was so naive as to inform me that it was now time to play Flip Cup, which I found rather odd since we had just run the table and, by any bar rules, had the right to determine what would be played. I guess Miss Trailer Park 2006 failed to realize that a 26-year-old local is a little bit different that a 20-year-old frat boy playing pong at the TKE house in Tally. But she quickly learned.

One thing I love about myself is that I have the innate ability to tell a drop-dead gorgeous woman to fuck off and shut her cock-holster when I think she is out of line. Actually, I rather enjoy it. There is really no better feeling than saying "no" to someone who always hears "yes." So this solid 9 and a half and her equally as nubile friends are trying to move in on my pong table after I just won 3 games in a row? Not in my Tavern, bitch.

"If you wanna play us a Beer Pong, go to the bar, buy yourself a pitcher, and we can play. Otherwise get off the table and give someone else a chance.” Stunned that her appearance did not immediately force me to give in, she tried another tactic. "No, here's how it's gonna go," she told me, now flanked by a couple more knockout friends and a few dudes who were obviously trying to use flip-cup as a prelude to flip-skirt. "We're gonna come on the table and play flip cup, and you're gonna leave." I looked her dead in her baby-blue eyes and said "No, sweetie. I'm sure you think you're cute and that we're just gonna up and leave because you want us to. But it doesn’t work like that in this bar. We play pong on this table, not faggy-cup or whatever it is you play in Tally. So you can go stand over there and wait your turn and hope we lose, or you can shut the fuck up and go home."

So she had her dudes play us for rights to the table, since they apparently had not developed the ability to tell a hot girl “No.” And we dispatched them quickly as well. Just to drive home our point, we played a couple from FSU and beat them in four turns. Which made the bleached-blonde from Sarasota who kept showing us her ass-crack as she tried to distract us from making the One Cup ask us "Wow, you guys looked like you would suck. You're pretty damn good. Where do you go to school?" I smiled. I still look young enough to be in college. Or at least I do after a night of beer-pong in a dark bar. "Thanks," I told her, "We don't go to school. We go here. Beer Pong is all we've got." Fuck you, Florida State. Go home, play your Flippy Cup, and I’ll see your sorry asses on Labor Day.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Fidelis Must Be Latin for "Bragging About Sex"

Jarhead is one of the few movies I have enjoyed vastly more than the book. And no, I am not some Jake Gyllenhaal-loving homo, nor do I hate on Tony Swofford for being a Marine who can write who actually did something with his talent. No, the reason I like the movie so much better than the book is that it left out all the useless shit Swofford threw in that was completely irrelevant to the Gulf War story. And by irrelevant shit, I mean irrelevant Sex Stories.

Swofford, like so many US Marines, finds it necessary to work a sexual anecdote into every otherwise asexual story. Sadly, he is far from the exception. During my time in the Corps, I noticed that most Marines were wholly incapable of carrying on a conversation without including some form of sexual braggartry. And with these anecdotes inevitably came a lengthy physical description of how drop-dead hot the girl was, since we all know Marines have such high, high standards. For some reason Marines can't jut say "I was dating this girl," or "I slept with this chick." They will instead will phrase it more like "I was dating the smoldering Brazilian model" or "I was fucking this girl for like nine hours and she asked for it in the ass." Tasteless, truly tasteless.

After a few years of swapping Fuck Tales, I began to realize that 90% of them were grossly exaggerated or bullshit. And that anybody getting that much ass was not fucking 9's and 10's. It began to get extremely irritating. It is one thing to relay a tale of a sexual encounter, I guess among guys those sorts of thing come up. It is quite another for me to say, "Hey, Suarez, can you hand me that 3/8 socket wrench" and have Suarez go, "Yeah. Man, this thing is about the same size as the vibrator I was using on this girl last week. Man, she was sooo smoking hot." And that is pretty close to a real conversation I once had while replacing a radiator.

My mom once said that all men are like this. But having spent considerable time around Marines and civilians, I can safely say Marines are 100 times worse. Here is my theory as to why this is: Marines have a LOT of time on their hands, both in peacetime and in war, so the common subject of sex often comes up. Marines are intuitively alpha-males and are constantly trying to one-up each other due to the macho image of the Corps. So the natural progression of "Who fucked a hotter chick" or "Who partook in the more depraved sex act" is to be expected. The stories are almost always either made-up or exaggerated, so Devil Dogs have to start inventing shit to look like the bigger stud in front of other Marines. Also, Marines are, for the most part pretty fucking stupid, and the notion of tact and etiquette when discussing sex is often lost on guys with an IQ of 38. Lastly, Marines do not adapt well to the civilian world. So when put back out into society, they may well find stories of banging a silicone-enhanced stripper to be normal bar chat with a group of fellow mortgage brokers at Happy Hour, when in fact their cohorts are usually thinking "What a braggart asshole."

I make a concerted effort to not brag about sexual conquests too much. An occasional story is okay, but you will never hear me talking about how smoking hot some girl I slept with was, or get into too much detail about what we did. I find it truly tasteless and irrelevant and, to me at least, bragging makes me lose respect for you rather than gain it. Like JoPa once said "Act like you've been there before." So while there are many positive traits I have retained from my time in the Marines, excessive bragging about sexual conquest is certainly not one of them. That is, of course, unless you ask.

Monday, July 17, 2006

West of I-95

In my first-ever post, which I think about nine of you have read, I talked a little about what life is like in Dade County. Not “Miami,” mind you, but Dade County. I am not going to get redundant here as I made this point very clear in my opening post, but the idea all of you non-Miamians have about “Miami” in your head, and what is, in real life, Dade County, are totally different. Well at least they are if you venture west of I-95.

East of the Interstate is South Beach. Also contained there are Bal Harbour, Brickell, Downtown and just about every other part of the city the Dade County Board of Tourism and CSI want you to see. But none of that is really Miami. Sure, it may be the city you see on TV or in rap videos, but it is about as much Miami as The Strip is Las Vegas. I had a conversation with a girl who had moved to Dade from some shithole in the Midwest or Rocky Mountains or something, and she said she absolutely loved it here. Shocked that a year-relocated white person would still be touting the virtues of our fair city, I asked where she lived, and she told me somewhere in the Beach. Apparently she rarely if ever ventured West of I-95. Well, OF COURSE you love Miami, sweetheart, you don’t fucking live there. You live on the Travel Channel.

Are there life-long residents who live out there? Sure. Are there people from West of 95 who prefer to live east because it’s nicer? Of course. But I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about the transplants who claim to have moved to Miami but are really living in our version of Disneyland. They think Miami is full of beautiful models and sandy beaches and charming art-deco apartment buildings when, in fact, it is really more full of slightly-overweight Hispanic girls with back tattoos, man-made lakes and track homes. But they wouldn’t know that if they’ve never driven on the Turnpike.

West of I-95 is Dade County’s version of Flyover country. Aptly named, since most people who come here fly over it on approach but never set foot there except for their trip to the Rental Car counter. It is flat and ugly and where the bulk of our population lives. While it gets no real media attention, it is the home of large, influential numbers of people that are largely ignored when Hollywood comes to town. It is the blue-collar Cubans, the blacks, middle-class Hispanic families and what’s left of White Dade. It is the people that make this city what it is, both good and bad. It is Miami’s heartland and it’s the Miami nobody ever sees. If the words “Palmetto Expressway” don’t immediately send you into a fit of crying rage, you don’t really live here. If you can go a whole day without being forced to speak Spanish, you don’t really live here. If you’ve never sat on US-1 and thought “Would it have been so fucking hard to extend 95 to Homestead?” you haven’t really lived here.

I do not claim to be some hardened local, becasue like many who live here I too am a transplant. But what I am not is a permanent tourist. What I am not is someone who came down here for the weather and the beaches and refuses to leave my little tropical paradise bubble. If you have never lived in a place that did not end in Beach, or Coral Gables, you get no Dade cred. You’re just a step above a snowbird and 2 steps above a tourist. Before you go off touting the greatness of Greater Miami and The Beaches, think about where you live and what you do. If you don’t go west of I-95, you don’t really live in Miami, you live in a fantasy world.

Friday, July 14, 2006

I am a Baby Blue Saturn

Just south of Gainesville, an historic moment in my life was reached on Monday afternoon. With Cliff behind the wheel, my trusty Baby Blue 2002 Saturn turned 100,000 miles old, and kept on purring all the way to Miami. Some may say “Christ, 100,000 in four years! You’re running cocaine to Seattle, aren’t you?” but, sadly, it is hardly that interesting. Moving to California and back was part of it, living 58 miles away form a girlfriend for a year was another. The point is my car has seen a lot of places and stood up extremely well despite my constant abuse.

I do not slow down for speed bumps. Ever. My idea of maintenance is an oil change every 3000 miles and fixing whatever breaks. Radiator flush? Injector cleaning? What the fuck is that? And I wonder why my car has all the pickup of a golf cart. The brakes are still courtesy of that illegal immigrant who kept my ex-girlfriend in the champagne room for two hours at the Crazy Horse. Seeing as how we broke up in 2004, this makes for some interesting noises. The right rear window is pulled out from the frame, since some crackhead in the Grove decided he wanted my new Razr phone a year ago and considerately managed to acquire it without breaking any glass. One year and couple hundred rainy days later, it is still pulled out from the frame and I think the molds are starting to form their own government. Thank god for Fabreeze and scented oils. Suffice to say, my car has treated me very well, despite my wholehearted neglect.

I love the fact that I drive a Saturn. It makes a statement without making a statement. Some of you may say “Yeah. It states that I am a broke ass who can’t afford anything better than a four-year-old economy car,” but I think it goes deeper than that. It says, “I really don’t feel like I need to impress you with anything other than myself.” It speaks of confidence, and not feeling a need to overcompensate for other shortcomings. It says I am proud of who I am and where I am in life, and if you don’t like it you are not my kind of person. It says that I see a car as a way to get form one place to another and not as a reflection on me as a person.

I often slam my Saturn keys down on a bar to drive this point home. This is part satire on jackasses who do it with Porsche keys, and part my way of letting a girl know that I am not going to try and pretend to be something I’m not in order to make her like me. Because you can’t lease looks, personality, or a sense of humor. My last girlfriend, a bartender, said that when I did that it was the moment she knew she liked me. She also drove a Saturn and was of much the same mindset. Again, I think by letting a girl know straight off that I am not going to try and impress her with material things it sends the right message. And you say I’m going about it all wrong.

My Saturn, when it is clean, is Baby Blue. I selected this color because I thought it matched my eyes. My sister found this endlessly entertaining for some reason, which I never understood until one of her friends from Costa Mesa (and leave it to an Orange County girl to point this out) explained that complimentary eye color does not make you look hot in a $14,000 car. “You know why it’s funny?” she told me, “Because if you are talking to a girl out of the window of an ’02 Saturn, you’ve already lost. No girl is gonna say ‘So what if he drives a lame car. Did you see those penetrating blue eyes?’” Point taken, but it still doesn’t show dirt and is my favorite shade of blue.

While I keep my apartment and myself immaculately clean, my car is the great exception. I figure since I am often the only one there, who cares? The Saturn in registered in Washington State, although it has spent a total of about 36 hours in said location. This has more to do with outstanding tickets and a dislike of Dade County DMV’s than it does with any attachment to the Evergreen State. Although the powder blue Mount Rainier plate does match the car very nicely. There is a faded "Semper Fi" sticker on the window, which shows how long it's been since I was actually in the Corps, along with parking decals from two different condo complexes. All of these things are what make my car my car. It may not be glamorous, it may not be sexy, hell, it may not even be able to go much over 60 miles an hour without violently shaking. But it’s mine and I love it. And if you can’t love it back, then you’re not the kind of person I’d want to be around anyway.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

So Much for Birmingham

A little while back, I wrote a post about blog groupies. Or, more specifically, why I didn’t have any. What I got in response were several emails telling me why I didn’t have any and why no woman would be stupid enough to chase after me. Thanks, I appreciate that. But one day I opened up my Gmail and there was a short message with three attached pictures from a girl in my favorite southern city of Birmingham. She said she was sure I was going to get lots of groupie mail now, but she wanted to be the first. And judging by the pictures, I would have been satisfied if she were the last. My better sensibilities and the few friends I sent it to all told me no girl that attractive reads blogs. Period. So I figured it was either a joke being played on me by one of my anonymous haters, an even meaner joke being played by one of my friends, or a girl who sent me pictures from 5 years and 75 pounds ago. But, since I was going to be in Birmingham anyway this weekend, I thought “What the Hell” and invited her to meet up with me when I was in town.

Well, apparently this girl, we will call her Southern Girl, or SG (yes, MonkeyPants, I am biting off your shit. Get over it) was not completely comfortable with meeting me out alone. I guess not everyone is as bold as Alice to risk being seen alone in public with me. So she asked if she could bring her friend along. I agreed, and decided to make it a group night out bringing along Cliff, my friend Jeff and his wife. So SG rolls up to this restaurant and I meet her in the parking lot and the first thought that goes through my head is “No one can ever make fun of me for writing a blog again. Ever. If this is what my fan base looks like, you can all shut the fuck up.” Her friend was not bad looking either. That is, unless you factored in the she was in the midst of a 24-hour drinking binge.

This became painfully obvious as we sat down to dinner and she began to yell at the guy at the next table “Hey, I know you! You’re Ron Jeremy!” Granted, the guy was a dead ringer for The Hedgehog, but nobody else at the table had bothered to mention it to him as he was trying to eat dinner with his wife. Who did not look much like a porn star. After insisting that our neighbor was, in fact, an adult film actor for a good deal of time, she began calling a guy who was presumably an ex-boyfriend, and insisting that SG drop her off at his house after dinner. “I need to get me some ass!” I believe were her exact words. I guess Cliff just wasn’t her type. SG tried to talk her out of it, and into coming out on the town with the rest of us. It got to the point that she had to drag her into the bathroom to try and talk some sense into her, but it did not fly. SG looked flustered and irate at her friend, but ultimately told us she would drop her friend off and meet us out. “Please don’t think I’m like this at all,” she told me “I had no idea she’d act like this. I’ll meet you there in like 30 minutes”.

Now, usually when a girl says “I’ll meet you in 30 minutes” it means “You suck. I’m blowing you off, have fun hitting on fat girls because I am out of your league.” And this, of course, was my first reaction given my track record of getting blown off. But I had had a few opportunities to talk to SG before I met her, and she had seen pictures of me before, and judging by her tone and body language and the fact that she was not form Miami or Orange County, I honestly believed she would show up. And, oddly enough, the rest of the group agreed. So we continued out to a bar called Dave’s where we sat down and waited for her to meet up with us.

45 minutes later, I get the following text message:

“OMG! My friend is getting arrested. This is a total nightmare!” As soon as I saw that, I just pursed my lips, smiled and nodded. I knew this would happen. I thought it wouldn’t. I hoped it wouldn’t. Everyone said it wouldn’t, but deep down I knew it would. Apparently the friend had gotten more belligerent with some cops than she had been with Ron Jeremy, but unlike Ron they did not have a sense of humor about it. At one point she kicked the window of the cop car and the last communication I got from SG (after multiple apologies and a couple of phone calls) was a text saying that she was following a cop and had to get a bail bondmen. Night. Over. Now, the more pessimistic and cynical among us may say “Wow, she went to a lot of trouble to blow you off. But you got blown off,” and the optimistic might say, “Who creates a story like that just to blow a guy off who she’s never met?” I guess I’ll never know, but I like to believe she was telling the truth. That, and since she reads the blog I couldn’t very well call her a liar, now could I?

Assuming this was just bad luck, it is a perfect example for those of you who wonder what I mean when I say my luck with pretty girls is terrible. This is not the 10th time something like this has happened, and I assure you it will not be the last. If I was in fact blown off, well then, I suppose you could ask SG the answer to why attractive girls immediately lose interest. But it is neither here nor there. At the end of the night it was the same old story, and this chapter of White Dade history is officially closed. That being said, I think this blog has gotten waaaay too EMO this week, and I am going to drop the “God, Why Can’t I Ever Get a Hot Girl?” theme. It is starting to read like a girl’s blog told form a male perspective, and I can’t be doing that. It just ain’t me. Those of you who know me know I am hopelessly transparent in person, and I guess my writing is the same way. Tomorrow will be an ode to my car, and next week, I will be back to my racist, misogynistic ranting self. But we all have a soft side, so give me my week to have mine.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Fat Kid Complex

For those of you who don’t know, I was a fat kid. Not obese, as I was raised in the pre-obesity epidemic era, but I still got teased a lot between the ages of 11 and 14 about my weight. And as we all know, those are really the best ages to be physically imperfect. My sister, who was between 8 and 11 at this time, was perhaps the most ruthless. Fortunately, at 14 I shot up about 4 inches and lost 15 pounds thanks to a squash class I was taking, and soon I was a lanky High School freshman. While being skinny was certainly better than being fat, I still knew I would need a better body if I was going to be able to attract the pretty girls in my High School. And so I began working out.

While other kids played sports, or the fat ones played video games after school, I took the public bus to a gym in the projects and lifted weights. And ran. And biked. And swam. Every day. By my junior year I was 220 pounds and being recruited to play on the football team, which had been my dream all along. My obsession with fitness has grown from there, and save for a couple of stretches I have worked out 4-7 days a week for over 12 years. And my work is never done. I can always be bigger, more defined, have less of a stomach. I can always have a better tan, more manicured nails, a better haircut. It never stops. Because when your first experiences with women all end in them calling you fat and telling you to go away, that is how you always look. What happens then is you become grateful for any female attention you get, and pretty much end up sleeping with anybody and dating anyone who bothers to stick around. When my sister got mad at me for sleeping with too many of her friends, I informed her of the complex she’d given me and said, “Hey, maybe if you hadn’t called me lard ass all through middle school you wouldn’t be subjected to your entire sorority talking about my penis. You brought this upon yourself.”

Monday, I talked about Ryan, who has taken this to an extreme of becoming a triathlete and power lifter. He also eats like complete shit, but somehow manages to be an elite amateur athlete. We had drinks again on Monday night, after I had written that post, and we began exchanging psycho girlfriend stories, which I found funny since I had just hours earlier sketched out our striking similarities. Turns out he also spent a good deal of time with a girl who, among other things, threw all his clothes down a stairwell and dumped a bottle of red wine on them, broke his surfboard in half, and spent the night at her ex-boyfriend’s house. My first question was “Did she have a coke problem?” which unfortunately was not true. At least mine could blame some of her instability on the drugs. At any rate, after seeing his lack of success with normal girls, I was not at all surprised to see that his last girlfriend, much as mine, had been batshit nuts.

Because here is what happens: Fat kid grows up with a complex and now has a better body than 95% of the guys out there. But still no confidence. So pretty, normal girls become out of his reach. But the pretty, psychotic ones are not and often become obsessed with him. This is the attention he has wanted ever since 6th Grade Susie was the first to tell him she only “liked him as a friend.” And since the psycho is actually very attractive, he sees this as his only chance to be with a girl that he is not embarrassed to take out in public. Until she opens her mouth. Crazy hot girls are kind of like a 10-year-old Lexus with transmission problems: They are very impressive to show off, but inside they are so damaged the constant maintenance makes you long for a Hyundai.

For me, I’m not sure if it will ever end. Much like Ryan, I think externally at this point I understand that I am not a fat kid anymore, and actually some may say my body is my best feature. But internally, every time you are rejected and the pretty girls aren’t lining up at your door, you assume it’s because you haven’t gotten your body fat down under 10%. And so you lift. And you run. And you bike. And you swim and you tan and you get $85 haircuts. And nothing changes. So you go back to the gym and work harder. Maybe there are some fat kids who grow up and realize that the answers to their problems are not all found in the weightstacks, and that you have to work on the inner person as well. And when you find him, please let me know. For now, I bid you all adieu. I’ve been on the road for a week and my stomach is looking disgusting.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Like Me, But So, So Much Worse

I rolled into Gainesville a few nights ago with Cliff and after demanding we eat at the first Chipotle I saw we proceeded to the apartment of a friend of his. Now Cliff had told me stories of this guy, about how he was a power lifter and ran triathlons and was one of the best looking guys he knew and yet still managed to have little if any luck with women. And I could see such a thing being the case in a hot-guy hotbed like Miami or LA or New York, but in Gainesville? A college town? C’mon. When your major competition are guys whose income is derived from Student Loans and Work Study, you really have no excuse if you are anything over an 8.

So I meet his friend, we will call him Ryan, and Cliff was not joking. I am secure enough to tell you when a guy is good-looking, and this guy fits the bill. I am even secure enough to say when a guy is better looking than me, which he also was. A little shorter, but ripped with size, a great tan and blue eyes. Okay, enough gayness, suffice to say the guy was probably around a male 9. The first thing Cliff asks him after the customary “Hello” and cracking of cheap beers was “So how’s the sex life going?” presumably to prove his point to me. Ryan’s reply: “Man, I ain’t been getting any of that. But I have been making out like a motherfucker.” The only other guys I know who view that as a good thing typically have a last name like “Smith” and have multiple family members living in Utah. This guy just told botched hookup after botched hookup story until he finally told us about a Hawaiian Tropic model he had slept with last September. Okay, a little while ago, but still impressive, right? Well, he takes us over to his Facebook page where he has pictures of her and I have to say she must have gotten the sympathy vote in her competitions, because this girl was not much above a 7.

We traveled on to a typical college town establishment that featured 25 cent pitchers for a portion of the night and immediately began to binge drink. As we walked around, Ryan got looks from every girl we went by. Can’t say I wasn’t a little jealous, but I thought maybe I could get some of his leftovers. Well, all I can say is it’s hard to get leftovers from a guy who can’t even get his own. He approached two different groups of girls that were eyeing him like a new fish in D block, and was somehow rebuffed within two minutes both times. He said nothing offensive, nothing pathetic, but somehow these girls, mostly coeds between 19-22, began to seep interest like the Exxon Valdez. After two rejections, Ryan decided to try his luck with the beer box girl.

The beer box girl seemed a bit more receptive and a lot more attractive. After about 15 minutes Ryan comes over and says, “Man, that fucking pisses me off dude. That girl is smoking hot and she’s dating some baseball player at UF now. And you know what? She told me she had a crush on me two years ago when we had Engineering together. Fuck, you know how much I hear that? Why don’t these girls ever make a move?” Oh, Ryan, welcome to my world. But yours is so, so much worse. Because not only are you better looking than me, and therefore probably able to attract better quality, you have less competition living in a college town. And your game is apparently even worse than mine, which I did not think was possible.

Turns out Ryan was a fat kid too, just like me. And he also works out obsessively, just like me. And he also is obviously sexually frustrated, just like me. So it is nice to see that I am not the only guy in the world who blatantly underachieves because he was the guy who got “Wouldn’t touch him with a 10-foot pole” checked off when the girls in 7th grade passed around the “Who’s the hottest?” sheet. And in a sick, sick way, seeing this better-looking guy do just as bad in me in an easier environment gave me sense that I was not alone in my ineptitude, and that maybe I am not as pathetic as I thought. And that no matter how good-looking you are, it never matters if you lack the confidence to go with it.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Your Last Post for a Week and You Give Us THIS Shit?

Tonight is game two of kickball season and we are facing the Beer Pong All Stars. Apparently they were a good team last season. How exactly one ascends the ranks of the WAKA Florida Coastal Division to become a Kickball Powerhouse is beyond me, but I guess this team of All-Stars from another alcohol-soaked sport have figured it out. Maybe they are drinking less and can concentrate better. And if that is the case, they may be winning the game, but they are losing out in life. Hopefully I can get more than one at-kick tonight. Our only veteran player makes his debut this week and should be able to make the difference.

Speaking of that veteran player, tomorrow we head off on a six-day odyssey that will take us to those hotbeds of SEC football Gainesville and Alabama. I have never been to Gainesville before save for a memorable stop at Whattaburger, but I am excited to see how the Public School kids in Florida party. Except for that whole it being the middle of July thing. Apparently the daunted “Summer B” session just started, full of kids who couldn’t get into UF and so were forced to go to Summer School to gain admittance. Yes, young, dumb and spending their first weekend away at school in a college town. Just how I like ‘em. Then it will be on to Birmingham, a place whose greatness I will continue to understate lest I ruin the secret. If Cancun is a fat girl’s paradise, Birmingham is a fat man’s paradise. Or so says the resident fat guy I know who lives there.

I am a big fan of road trips, having driven from Miami to Seattle to Orange County and then back last Spring. Alone. Alone, of course, is the key word here. This will be my first extended road trip with anyone since me and Mormon Joe went to Provo in 1997. And, as agreeable a guy as he is, even we got into some arguments by the time we passed Ogden. So, as fun as I think this trip will be, I seriously hope me and Cliff do not end up killing each other.

Two posts I would be remiss if I did not point out:

A New York girl moves to LA and asks a question most of us here in Dade County would like answered. [Notes from Underground ]

Though I am usually not a fan of hot girl pictures, Miamista has a World Cup theme to this photoblog that I found most amusing. That, and I am trying to work on that whole "Not geting infuriated every time I see a pretty girl" thing. If nothing else, you will be surprised at the clothes Iranian women are allowed to wear these days. [Miamista ]

Should I find myself with some free time and a computer, I will try and give you an update from the road. Otherwise, I will see you all in a week with a full report. Trips to NASCAR country are anything but uneventful.