Thursday, November 17, 2005


Tell me what you hollered back. Don't take his picture.

Tell me what you said. Tell me you told him he was a "limp dick."

Tell me you got into a fight.

I Am a Little Drunk

Good times, good times.

At the Gym

So, I was at the gym tonight, and this huge guy, I mean, broad, not tall (not much taller than me, anyway), with that amazingly defined triangular shape, the huge shoulders, walked up the stairs ahead of me.

And I was transfixed.

Not in a "Wow! That's hot!" way (I tend not to like overly butched up guys) but in a "Wow! I want to be that buff!" way.


In Which the Protagonist Drinks Whiskey & Is Happy to Be Alive

Beautiful night. Cold, but good. Just got back from the gym. Jazz playing. Roommates cooking dinner and chatting in the big kitchen. Drinking some whiskey, transcribing some writing work I did this afternoon. Getting ready for a great weekend in NY.

Doesn't get much better.

On Being Better

It's been some time since I talked about being better. I guess you could say I've been too busy working at it to reflect on it.

To be honest, I'm not really sure where I'm at with it. I'm writing like a maniac, at lunch, on the bus, on the train, at home. I'm switching out notebooks soon because this one's full. I have a marketable book that's halfway done. I'm about to drop another waist size as well (in a good way), and my biceps have gotten bigger and denser after many weeks of neglect. I'll be in NY this weekend, and Ohio next week to visit a very, very good friend of mine who I've know for more than a decade. I'm going home for Christmas, paying my own way totally this time. I'm moving to NY next year, and moving again a year after that.

My job pays me a living, I like the people I work with, and I have a bit of breathing time this week before I get dumped with another whirlwind of "real work" terror in December. That's pretty fair.

I'm working out regularly and getting work done. Though you may not think it's on the list, I'm also glad I've had some time for blogging.

There are still things I desperately want, but I'm at the point where I'm actively working toward all of my goals, so there isn't much to complain about except, "Gee, it takes a lot of time to be the person you want to be." And that's not much of a criticism at all.

I am still in constant wonder at the way things are turning out.

I think I'm getting far more than I hoped for.

Thoughts On Meaningful Work

I went out ot lunch today at a local place that sits on the first floor of one of the buildings in our corporate complex. I haven't been here since I had the flu, because after eating their baked potato soup, I promptly went home and vomited.

I've been coming here for two years, and the turnover in the waitstaff is predictable. Most people try to stay out of food service if they can, or use it to pay bills to get through school or divorces. For some, a very few, like, say, my parents, it becomes a career. But not always because you want it to.

It's not usually you're first choice.

You don't sit around in fourth grade and say, "I want to be a waitress with I grow up." And if you do like the work, you're not supposed to.

I've always had a terror of these sorts of jobs, likely inspired by my parents, who dreamed of something like what I've now got: my ability to walk out of college and at the very least get myself a 401 (K) plan, health benefits, enough money to pay rent in a decent town, time to pursue other passions, holidays off, paid vacation.

They didn't want me to spend my relative youth the way they did, working 12-hour shifts, weekends, holidays, coming home smelling of burger grease and french fries.

The irony, of course, is that my parents did achieve that comfortable white collar life, the dog and the big house and the (mostly) college educated children, a little something for retirement.

And they did it flipping burgers. It got them where they wanted to be, just a little later in life than they probably wanted.

But when I'm here at lunch, watching a handful of the servers still working food service, paying bills, I wonder - do they have a plan? Do they want to run this place? Or is this enough? And are they OK with that? Am I? Because some people are OK with it.

I wasn't.

Certainly, there are things I like about all of the jobs I've had. I worked harder as a waitress and had less freedom than the job I have now, and I make twice as much money now, only the labor we exert in serving others is seen as a lesser labor than sitting on our asses typing out words and numbers and running paper reports about actual work done by others.

I take some comfort in the fact that the tower crews whose work I report on make more money than I do. You know how they get up those 200 ft cell phone towers?

They climb.

I think I have some guilt about how I work. I have some guilt about being on the other side of the table. I don't understand money. I don't understand the value of work. I look around at what everyone else makes for what they do, for how hard they work, and it boggles my mind at how undervalued the people who actually do things are. We pay managers six figures to run reports and bitch about how they don't know what's going on in the field. You want to know what's going on in the field? Put on a hard hat and get into the field. I spend all day reviewing tower audits, and I've never been to a cell site.

I remember, while working in the corporate office at the burger joint, when the VPs realized the company had grown so big that over half the office staff hadn't come up from behind the grill. They'd never seen a deep fryer up close. My mom helped spearhead a campaign to encourage office folks to get their food handlers' cards and go and help out in one of the burger joints for a day.

For paper pushes, it was an eye opener.

And, I think, for some, deeply satisfying.

We get so divorced from real, tangible work, hunched at our desks, making up reports, fielding information. But at day's end you have nothing to show for it but a paycheck.

For me, hey, that's really all I need.

But I must say, there are days when I'd like to learn how to climb a 200 ft tower and replace an antenna.

They'd pay me more, too.

I'm Going to Lunch

It occurs to me why, after a while, writers don't read reviews.

I'll take my trusted critiquers over random slapdash any day.

"When You Fall in Love With Something..."

Kariya, a former All-American in field hockey at the University of Maine, knew she was going to be a boxer from the first time she stepped through the ropes to spar. It was the typical trial by fire for a fighter at the KO Boxing Gym in Toronto, but with an added twist – since she was a female, she wasn’t particularly welcome in the club.

“They didn’t want me in the gym,” she remembered. “They wanted me to have a try at it and go. I got punched right in my face and I just wanted to get right back at him. Ever since then I knew that I loved it. I’ve always been intrigued by watching boxing and I’ve always been a boxing fan, so going in there, trying it, and understanding the discipline it takes and how difficult of a sport it really is, I wanted to really be the best at it.”

And yea, they've got a mention about her looks (sigh). But let's be happy it was a half-sentence throw-away line, and not the subject of the whole damn article.

Gamer Girl Action

Video games, by and large, assume that whether you’re playing a female character or not, you’re going to want to have sex with a female character, or at least be sexually attracted to a female character (or monster).


In Liberia, when their sons were kidnapped and drugged to fight for rebel factions, and when their husbands came home from brothels and infected them with H.I.V., and when government soldiers invaded their houses and raped them in front of their teenage sons, these were the women who picked themselves up and kept going. They kept selling fish, cassava and kola nuts so they could feed their families. They gave birth to the children of their rapists in the forests and carried the children on their backs as they balanced jugs of water on their heads.

These are the women who went to the polls in Liberia last week. They ignored the threats of the young men who vowed more war if their chosen presidential candidate, a former soccer player named George Weah, didn't win. "No Weah, no peace," the boys yelled, chanting in the streets and around the polling stations.

The women in Liberia, by and large, ignored those boys and made Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who is 67, the first woman to be elected to lead an African country. I wasn't surprised that Mr. Weah immediately said the vote had been rigged, although international observers said it had not been. In the half-century since the Europeans left Africa, its men have proved remarkably adept at self-delusion.

Heidi Fleiss Intends to Open a Brothel For Female Clientele

Fleiss plans makeover for Nevada brothel

LAS VEGAS - Former "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss says she's bound for a brothel in the southern Nevada desert that she wants to help remake into a resort featuring male prostitutes serving female customers.

"I am moving to Crystal," Fleiss said Wednesday of a desert crossroads 20 miles north of Pahrump and about 80 miles outside Las Vegas. It features two bordellos and little else.

"I am opening up a stud farm," Fleiss declared from her Hollywood home overlooking the Sunset Strip. "I am going to have the sexiest men on earth. Women are going to love it."

Joe Richards, who owns the Cherry Patch Ranch and Mabel's Ranch in Crystal, said he sent a "courtesy" letter Tuesday to inform the Nye County Commission that Fleiss will work for him.

"She's going to be madam hostess of Cherry Patch Ranch," Richards told The Associated Press by telephone. He called her an employee rather than a partner.

There's one possible problem, though. County Sheriff Tony DeMeo said that because Fleiss is a convicted felon, she could be banned from the county's legal sex trade. DeMeo sits with the five county commissioners on a six-member brothel licensing board.

Fleiss, 39, was released from a California prison in 1999 after serving 21 months for money laundering, tax evasion and attempted pandering.

Fleiss was convicted in 1995 of running a prostitution ring in which models-turned-prostitutes were flown around the world to meet wealthy actors and clients who paid as much as $10,000 for a single meeting.

DeMeo said he'd heard several reports in his three years as sheriff about Fleiss' plans, including a failed proposal by an Australian firm that hired Fleiss in 2003 to promote a 50-room brothel-hotel.

"This is different," Fleiss insisted Wednesday, describing movers packing her belongings and her plan to arrive in Nevada later this week. "I'm moving."

Nye County is among 10 rural Nevada counties in which prostitution is legal under county and state oversight. Prostitution is illegal in Clark County surrounding Las Vegas, and Washoe County around Reno.

If she really wantes to make money, she'll have male and female prostitutes, and she'll stick to that "women clients only" rule with an iron resolve.

Sucks that she's working for a man, though. Which is why I think the whole thing will come to naught. She's just another Charlie's Angel.

What's So Bad About Being Called A Lesbian?

The girls' soccer team at Immaculate High School celebrated a goal that helped them win the championship game. A copy editor for the local newspaper placed a caption beneath a picture that stated they were actually celebrating one of their teammates coming out as a lesbian. The caption was considered offensive and unprofessional.

While the copyeditor was lying, and so violated journalistic principles, what he (?) was lying about shouldn't have been an issue. Yes, it's stereotyping female atheletes, but you know, some women athletes are lesbians. So are some fashion models. If "lesbian" wasn't a "bad word" would people have reacted so strongly?

The day when calling somebody a "lesbian" is considered a statement of fact and not an insult will be a good fucking day. Why's "lesbian" have to be a curse word?

I enjoy being mistaken for a lesbian. Doesn't bother me a bit. Why should it?

Only 37?

"Strong drink."

- Daniel Handler, author of the Limony Snicket books, when asked how he kept his confidence in his first book through 37 rejections