Homosexuality + I am crazy, Part 1:

It's probably just some perverse combination of my narcissism and self-consciousness that leads me to believe that every man who strikes up a conversation with me is trying to hit on me. I mean, I've had friendly conversations with strange guys, and I've had friendly conversations with strange guys who asked if I wanted to go out sometime.

So, there's this cafe that I often go to, and there's a young man who works the front counter, who is really probably just trying to be friendly to a repeat customer when he converses with me, but he does converse with me. Now, I always get nervous when strangers try to talk to me, because I have issues and I am crazy. And when these strangers are young men who obviously put some sort of effort into looking attractive, I am of course convinced that they want to get into my pants most likely becuase I have sort of repressed homosexual tendencies or something. It's been made clear to me on many occasions that people assume I am gay, which I can't really blame them for considering I am frequently swishy, listen to Erasure/PSB/RuPaul on occasion, and talk about sucking cock all the time.

This is further evidenced by the fact that fully half of the comic books/graphic novels that I own are gay/lesbian themed, and this particular day I was reading Stuck Rubber Baby (which is brilliant, by the way. Howard Cruse is a genius. I wish I could write fiction well or draw well. He does both and for this I want to lick his brain respect him as an artist.) which is a graphic novel about growing up gay, confused and white in the south in the 60's.

So I unthinkingly place this book on the counter while I place my order, and the guy asks me, "What's that about?", pointing at the book. And I just hten realized that this could easily be construed as being a blatant wink wink, nudge nudge manuever. Especially since it's excatly the kind of manuever I would try if I were trying to pick up on someone. I am the kind of person who will notice the Smiths button on someone's jacket in class and make a point to wear a Morrissey T-shirt the next to see if they notice. (Oh, you're reading Coupland? We should go out sometime. Oh, a Blur pin? My place or yours? Guess I'd better carry this issue of Optic Nerve with the cover facing outward in a very conspicious manner in front of you so that you ask me to marry you!) I'm pathetic like that.

So anyhow, this book with the admittedly pretty gay cover is sitting on the counter, and I'm thinking, "Well, I could just say it's about growing up gay, confused and white in the south in the 60's, and then follow with the disclaimer, 'But I'm not gay!' Or, I could just say it's about growing up gay, confused and white in the south in the 60's and leave it at that like it's no big deal..." But instead I chicken out and just go with "It's about growing up white in the south in the 60's" And this may just be me being paranoid, but something about the look he had said to me, "It's about a little more than that, fairy."

You know, I probably just want to believe that everyone who talks to me is really hitting on me because I have some deep-seated issues about being attractive to whoever. It is certainly an ego boost whenever anyone genuinely is hitting on me. Not like it really happens all that much, but it has. More than half the time it's been guys, probably because guys are just more likely than girls to hit on someone.

Or maybe most guys are just more obvious about it than I tend to be. (You didn't chat me up while I'm very clearly displaying this Sock Monkey graphic novel? Even though you are wearing a They Might Be Giants shirt and everyone knows that Tony Millionaire, the artist behind Sock Monkey, also did a number of album illustrations for TMBG? Why not? Do you think I'm ugly?)

If people have dysfunctional families, do robots have malfunctional families?


So, if you see someone fall and hurt themselves, and you wished to express your sympathy by saying, "Oh, that's horrible.", but you actually thought the affair was rather funny and instead mistakenly blurted out, "Oh, that's hilarious.", would that be a schadenfreudian slip?


I bet you've been spelling "just deserts" wrong.

It's okay, I did too, but no longer. I feel so enlightened now that I have one more obstacle surpassed in my journey towards total mastery of the English language.

I was just looking through some past postings and I realized I should apologize sincerely for unemployed Ken. Then I realized I don't get paid for this, so you get no apology. "Hey! It was free, asswipe!"

I also discovered that the quantity of my posts appears to be inversely proportional to the amount of free time that I have.

I also discovered that I really need to redesign and recode this thing, the CSS and HTML is held together by boogers and string. It's a good thing I'm not looking for a web design job any more. Especially since my resume is the worst example of said booger and string held-togetherness.

Today on Sesame Street:

Big Bird is looking for Ernie, with help from the viewing audience. He stands in a park wondering where Ernie could be. Ernie appears, upside-down at teh top of the screen and mocks Big-Bird for not looking hard enough. Big Bird does not notice and decides to look for Ernie behind a bush. Suddenly Big Bird is in the circus, atop a platform. On another platform is a box. A tightrope spans the gap between the platform.

"I'm here, the box is there. How can I get from here to there?", wonders Big Bird.

"Walk across the tightrope, you freakishly huge dumb-ass!", responds the viewing audience.

"What's that? I should cross the tightrope?", asks Big Bird.

"Holy shit! You can hear me? I'm sorry I called you a dumb-ass! Please don't eat me!", pleads the viewing audience.

Big Bird carefully crosses the tightrope, to the oohs and aaahs of the audience. "Are we there yet?", he jokes halfway through. Upon his arrival, he steps off the far platform, which is revealed to be only a few inches off of the ground. He then opens the box, but Ernie is not inside!

Inside are singing pigs.

After the singing pigs complete their number, Big Bird finds himself once again in the park. This time, he decides to look for Ernie behind the statue. Doing this causes Big Bird to be teleported into a disco.

In the disco are dancing flamingos.

"Look, dancing flamingos!", exclaims Big Bird excitedly. Suddenly, another box appears through a platform in the floor. Big Bird tries to open it, but the box does not open, the box grows eyeballs and legs and begins to dance, too. "Maybe if we dance like the box, it will open.", says Big Bird.

Big Bird repeats the box's dance steps, and it does indeed open. Ernie is contained within. He congratulates Big Bird and the viewing audience for finding him. The viewing audience turns off the television. The viewing audience is wondering what the hell that was supposed to teach children. The viewing audience decides he'd best not ponder such things too severely and should instead go to work.


Ooooohhhh!!!!!! Tarnation!

So I'm walking back from lunch across the street, against the red light, mind you, but the walk sign showed the little green walking man, which as all you reasonable people, means that I can walk across the street. So, this numbnuts in an SUV (I really really don't want to fall into the mindset that everyone who drives an SUV is a blithering fucknut, but fate seems hell-bent on convincing that it's the case.) turns right through the red light, which is admittedly legal, but then he honks at me, since I am in between him and his very important heart surgery or whatever.
So I'm all like, "What?!"

"The light's not green!"

"The walk sign is, you dipshit!" (Yes, I called a complete stranger a dipshit. Usually it takes me much longer to collect enough evidence to say with conviction that someone is a dipshit, but this was a special case.)

But by this time, he had already sped away. Unfortunately, I did not get his license, because it is now extremely important to me that I track him down and explain in detail that I had the right of way and that he was WRONG WRONG WRONG!!! It's really troubling me to know that somewhere this tool is piloting his massive gas-guzzler around, convinced that I was crossing the street against the light. Admittedly, I often do cross the street against the light, but I was nto in this case, and I do not block people's way in doing so.

I'm not like one of those punk-asses I often see who will brazenly cross the street in front of your car and mad-dog you as if to say, "Yeah, that's right. You're not going to run me over, because I am a bad-ass and you best respect deez nuts, beeyotch!" Wow, what a display of masculinity. I feel as though my penis has shrunk several inches in the face of such a bold, baggy-pantsed display of jaywalking prowess. One of these days, I know I'm going to snap, and it'll be a dark, deserted backstreet where I finally just gun it over one of those wastoids. "That's right, you primitive little turdling! You call my manhood into question?? I call your right to draw breath into question, worthless fuckpile! Ha ha ha ha haaaa haa haaa!!!!"

I mean, really the only thing stopping me now is that there are witnesses. And you know what? I could go out right now and buy a gun. A person like me could go buy a gun. I'd only have to wait two weeks. I wouldn't get any less vindictive in that time. The next fool who cut me off in traffic? BLAM! I'd smear 'em without a second thought. I'm totally desensitized to violence. After all, I've played Doom!

Tailgating? POW! Failing to say "please" and "thank you"? BANG! White shoes after labor day? SPLORCH!

I wonder how many jerk-offs and assholes I could cap before the SWAT team got me....

Maybe I shouldn't give such things too much thought. Sorry, that fucker in the SUV really got my goat. Calm blue ocean... calm blue ocean... calm blue ocean...

So this morning, I was watching the 7 minutes of Sesame Street I allot myself while I eat my breakfast granola, and a Cookie Monster sketch was featured. Today he had a cookie with the letter "L" written upon it. Now, he said that this was a special cookie so he was not going to eat eat, as he had gone through a big change and he was goin to use his willpower to resist the temptation to eat the cookie. "That's great!", I thought to myself, "Cookie Monster's finally acknowledged that he has a problem and is doing something about it."

Now, I am thoroughly convinced that there is an underlying subtext to all children's television, especially Sesame Street, which is true, of course. Bert and Ernie teach kids about homosexual couples, Snuffaluffagus teaches kid about schizophrenia, Cookie Monster teaches kids about addiciton, and Elmo teaches kids about irritating little self-absorbed rugrats who always refer to themselves in the third person. (Incidentally, South African Sesame Street is introducing an HIV-positive monster to their lineup.)

So I know Sesame Street has gone through some changes since I watched it regularly, and I thought this was a great step forward. Cookie Monster's going to finally conquer his sickness and get the Cookie Monkey off his back. Today he tried to accomplish this by singing "La la la la" instead of eating the cookie. But he kept eyeing it and slavering and becoming more and more distracted from his singing reverie until finally he could control himself no longer. With the ferocity of a strung-out crackhead, he gave in to his Cookie Jones nad jammed the entire thing into his mouth.

Cookie Monster, C is indeed for Cookie, but C is also for Counseling. And it's good enough for you.


I am a worrywart because I am a genius with a brilliant imagination. This is what I have discovered after listening to this doctor fellow on NPR the other day. He said that worrywarts are always imagining the worst possible situations in their heads and that is why they obsess about things, and I was yelling back at the radio, "Yes! Yes! That's absolutely true, I am a genius because you said so, Dr. person-with-a-PhD-talking-about-your-book (I would link to said book right now, but it's been a while and I don't remember the title, I'm sure with my brilliant mind I could find out, but I am also lazy. Consider yourselves lucky for this fact, because if I were as much of a mastermind as I am and also motivated, you would all be my slaves by now) I worry because I'm so imaginative and creative and smart!"

To all my friends, I am so sorry, but you have all suffered the most horrible of fates in my head. You have been in car accidents, plane accidents, murdered, raped, beaten and left for dead, robbed of your cell phones, rendered financially destitute, abducted by aliens, lost, and convinced that you hate me forever. All of this in nail-bitingly-detailed worst-case scenarios played out in my brain, my huge pulsating overactive imaginating brain. I am sorry for all the trouble I have imagined upon you.

On the bright side, none of these situations has ever come true, and I am relieved to find you were merely forgetful, delayed, stuck in traffic, busy or out of the house or whatever. As I've always said, "Pessimists are rarely disappointed and often pleasantly surprised."

Watch out, though! Fate has a cruel sense of irony, and the moment I become convinced that these terribly tragic plays are merely the result of my enormous, powerful, omnipotent mind, they may come true! In which case I apologize in advance. Feel free to blame all of your troubles on me and hate me forever. If only I could be stupid and unimaginative and happy and care-free!

Fact: At some point in their lives, every dork, geek, nerd or other social misfit will become convinced that happiness and stupidity are somehow inextricably linked.

So, this weekend, while I was working, I stepped into the lobby to buy myself some cranberry juice from the vending machine (Consistently, in the lobby, the fruit juice vending machine attract text reads, "Ice cold Coca Cola". Considering that the vending machine does not contain any cola, this text should be changed. (This is how you think when you write bugs all day(shoot me))). Unfrotunately, dude was buying whole armloads of cranberry juices. "Rough night?", I ask. "No, I've got something planned.", he replied. "Oh? What's that?" "You'll see."

So I just think "Whatever, weirdo." and go to wait in line for a console while he buys up all the cranberry juices. Upon returning to my desk, I find an egg McMuffin, Nutrigrain bar and cranberry juice by my keyboard.

Say it with me now: Awwwww....

So I felt like kind of a jerk for railing on him earlier, even though he didn't know about it.

But then the next night as I was driving him home, he reached over and turned down the volume on LoveLine, one of my few... well.... one of my many guilty pleasures ("Yeah, my name is tammi, I'm 14 and this question is for Dr. Drew... A few months ago, I had unprotected sex.. and I haven't had my umm... period? since then? Does that mean I have syphillis?") to once again discuss the promotion process. "So I was talking to [supervisor] and he says that I need to make myself more noticeable if I want to get promoted. So I told [female lead] that I wanted to get to know her better. Do you think that was a mistake?"

To which I replied, "Look, I'm not your guidance counseler! Stop asking me this shit! And just for the record, if you wan tot make friends with your coworkers, it's best to do it becuase you actually want to hang out with them, not becuase you want to get promoted, or at least have the decency to make your ass-kissing less obvious!!! I mean, I appreciate th McMuffin and all, but for fuck's sake, man! Learn to co-exist with humans! It's tough, but I can do it!"

And then out loud I said, "I don't think she expected that. I wouldn't stress about it."

Thursday... Thursday's the first of August, so it would make sense to buy a light rail pass and start taking it then. Yeah, that's the ticket.


Today's secret word is "plethora."

So, last night Ami and I rented an episode of Pee-Wee's Playhouse for shits n' giggles. Thing is, every time I watch it, I have to view Pee-Wee subjectively as a middle-aged man in a gray suit bouncing around and acting like a complete and utter freakball. Of course, this fascinates me to no end, and since I am going to try and become Pee-Wee Herman for Halloween, I need to get inside his head and figure out what makes him tick.

Ami devised this outline of questions about Pee-Wee and the Playhouse. I should probably determine the answers to these if I really want to accurately portray this bizarre character:

I. How old is Pee Wee supposed to actually be?

  A. What is the highest level of education attained?

II. How is he able to support his extravagant home decor and lifestyle of purchasing bike parts and gag items whenever he pleases?

  A. Does Pee Wee have parents?

  i. Is Pee Wee an orphan?

  a. Who runs the orphanage?

  B. Does Pee Wee have a job that is illegal or somehow not glamorous enough to include in his television and film appearances?

  i. Does he in fact deal drugs?

  a. What kinds of drugs?

  ii. Will no one hire him because he's a man child?

III. Is Dotty some kind of sick dysfunctional codependent freak?

IV. Is Yvonne some kind of sick dysfunctional codependent freak?

V. Is Chairy some kind of sick dysfunctional codependent freak? (Chairy is so obviously hot for Pee Wee. She must really love those lap dances he gives her. Ew.)

VI. Where geographically is the Playhouse?

  A. How long does it take Pee Wee to get home? (I mean, it must take a really long time. I'm sure what we are watching during the closing credits is an edited summation of his journey home. He traverses a veritable plethora AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH Ding ding ding! of time periods and ecotomes and yet doesn't ever actually arrive.)

I am personally becoming convinced that Pee-Wee is actually the king of some Eastern European nation who has been rendered mad by centuries of royal family inbreeding, he's certainly pale enough. The band of corrupt dukes who realy rule the country command the ruthless police force to take the hard-earned money of his citizenry and blow it on this ornate infantile fantasy palace manned by imaginative puppeteers who humor him in his delusion of youthful regression. He is merely a figurehead ruler, and when the revolution comes, the dukes will side with the populace against him. "He's mad!", they will cry, "Look, he's talking to a chair!". "I know you are, but what am I?! Go on Chairy, show them you can talk." But chairy will be ominously silent on that fateful day when the proletariats drag him kicking and screaming from the playhouse built with their own sweat and blood. No amount of mekka-lekka hiney ho's will stay the guillotine's blade as the dukes watch on indifferently, ignoring Pee-Wee's cries for help. "Et tu, Cowboy Curtis?" But Cowboy Curtis will turn away, a single tear fallsing from his eye.

The dukes will chant along, safe in the knowledge that although the people rise now, their act means nothing. Those in power will remain in power, the playhouse may rot and crumble to dust, but the paradigm remains unchanged. They will re-take their old positions of influence behind the scenes once the people elect their new leader.

That purple dinosaur leading the chants... how can he be corrupted? What is his weakness? Everyone has a weakness.

I think the next Hence The Name album will ship with a couple signal flares. That way, when people ask "If you were stuck alone on a desert island and could only bring three albums with you, what would they be?", ours will always be one of them!

As I was driving over the hill to Santa Cruz on Friday evening, I was desperately tuning my radio in search of something halfway decent to listen to. Imagine my surprise when "Common People" by Pulp came on. Imagine my extended surpirse when it turned out that it was on Live 105, and that they were giving out tickets to the Reading Festival. I wondered for a moment if perhaps I had entered an alternate reality where we had lost the revolutionary war, but then an SUV with a stars and stripes "Fear This" bumper sticker cut me off and I realized it wasn't so.

...and I wept.

Well, not really, but damn I wonder what it is up with my Anglophilia. They seem to make much better music than we can, better games than we do, and while not necessarily better movies, I can't remember seeing an actually bad English movie. Then I remember that it's probably simply a matter of exposure. I have to deal constantly with a bombardment of crappy American media, and the only English films that make it over here are most likely just a sample of all the films produced in England. So by virtue of being another English-speaking country (I don't think Canada makes movies, but Americans sure do make crpapy movies in Canada!), it looks like their hit percentage is higher.

As for the music, well, I've heard the theory about why Manchester has produced so many great bands. Namely: there's nothing else to do in Manchester than make music. Again, I'm sure there's a million really crappy English bands that I've simply never heard of because they were too crappy to be exposed to me in the states. So I think what I need to do to really appreciate U.S. media is move to England, realize that Sturgeon's law applies globally, and check out the American stuff that gets filtered over there.

It's very similar to being a Mac User, in some regards. PC Users are often saying that Macs suck because there are so few games for MacOS and you have to wait months or years before a good PC title gets ported over. Well, that may be true, but on the other hand, we don't have to slog through piles of crappy PC titles to get to the good stuff. For every Half-Life that gets published, after all, there are a dozen Daikatanas.

"That was Pulp with Common People, be caller #9 when you hear Firestarter by Prodigy and you could win tickets to fly you and a freind to see the Reading Festival in England!"

My grip tightened on the wheel. How was I going to get to a phone?

"You can see Pulp and other great acts like Sum 41, The Offspring, Slipknot, Puddle of Mudd..."

Never mind.

"kssshhffttpffftttt... next up on NPR, A Stanford mathematician explains how human rights abuses by the Isreali army are affecting Salmon migration in the Pacific Northwest "

Still looking for that dimensional portal...