Hold the Glimmer

Archive for the ‘Duuuke’ Category

She is my muse, love.  My life.  My soul, which I never knew or believed existed until I felt her breath… my breath, filling my lungs.  Lately words have been flowing from my heart that I never expected to hear, feel, or believe.  It is as real and as drastic a transformation as I have ever experienced.  Apparently, it is wholely possible to look forward to speaking to someone just moments after hanging up the phone – to miss someone mere seconds following farewells.  It seems that, despite all doubt, in all appearances, potentially, probably, ipso. fucking. facto. that love not only exists, but that I find myself eyebrow deep in it.  This is a first.  Many firsts, in fact.  But, certainly the first time I find myself deep in something that did not require legal, medical, or moral assistance to get out of.

I am writing this for the same reason I’ve ever written anything, because I have to.  I have written, to date, a number of letters beyond my ability to count (which is to say, I’ve run out of fingers and toes) regarding the subject of love, the subject of my love, addressed to… well, you get the point.  I have killed four pens, 2.5 notebooks, and three packs of evelopes in just a couple of months.  So for anyone wondering if The Duke of Glimmer has been writing… he has, but only for one person as of recently.  And although she prefers not to share my attention, I’m sure she’ll grant me reprieve in this case.

My love is music, for I found her through music.  My love is friendship, for I found her through friendship.  She is dance, and light, and laughter… gorgeous hot days, and long desert nights.  She is drugs – I will not lie.  The greatest (seriously, the greatest) drug I’ve ever known.  I am convinced she is the path to my enlightenment – if that is a thing and it can truly be achieved.  And if not, I’m just fucking happy.  Really happy. Happy enough to write this sappy post that you will probably read, say “awww,” puke, then take an insulin shot.  And that’s fine.

The point is that it’s real and it’s out there – love.  It’s not something you’re expecting to find, or that you seek out on purpose.  It just grows, organically – non GMO, always fair trade.  I didn’t even know I wanted it until love found me, but now I’ll fight with the passion of a thousand souls to keep it, this fire that burns in my heart.  There’s no formula, just live your life and let it find you.  It will.  Somehow it found me.  Somehow there’s a beautiful woman in this world who is just like me, but better… so much better.  Genuinely, just ask Tracy, she’s better… and she loves me, lucky fool that I am.  So for anyone struggling or lonely out there – trust me, if you’re holding the glimmer, sooner or later the universe will send someone to share the burden.

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(Hi. Hello. My name’s Duke.  That’s not my real name.  Some of you know my real name, but that’s neither here nor there.  Many of you have yet to grasp that I post on this blog too – and when I write, it’s in blue – hence the blue font you’re reading.  Contrary to popular belief, I have never used online dating to find men – not that I wouldn’t – I just don’t like men, or online dating.  Tracy does, and that’s fucking weird, which is why I share a blog with that weird sexy bitch.  Anyway, this is just a public service announcement to let you know who I am, again, and what color I write in, again.  Now back to your regularly scheduled pissing and moaning…)

I’m still shaking off the depression from reading Tracy’s rant about seeing the sun after work.  Fuck the sun and its mocking glare, sadistically laughing at me in my windowless closet!  Whoa, ok, let’s pull it in – I actually like the sun, and daylight savings time, because I hate waking up and leaving work in darkness like a goddamn Alaskan (they’re not reading us up there anymore, are they Tracy?).

Through the first tangent and onto the next one…  You’re lucky you live in an age where people who used to get paid for talent now give it away for free – thanks again, interweb.  At least it keeps the pedophiles at home surfing the Gymboree catalogue instead of out trolling playgrounds with primer colored vans marked “FREE CANDY” on the side.  Too on the nose?  I like to set the bar high early on, just as a litmus test.  If you’re still with us, you are creepy – and that turns us right on.  Speaking of creepers and interwebs, did you hear/see/read Rick Santorum’s comments about internet porn perpetuating vile and deviant behavior in today’s public?  I just want to thank Rick Santorum (if you haven’t yet found out what “Santorum” is, please google it – I can’t repeat the definition here because it makes me blush), and the entire right-wing candidate pool for always giving me something to talk about when I have absolutely nothing to share with you people.  I always thought it would be hilarious to run for President under a fake persona and just exaggerate every socially regressive talking point until the American public realized it was being fucked with – Borat style – and started laughing at how ridiculous political discourse had become… but the character I’d invent would be just like Rick Santorum, or Sarah Palin, or Michelle Bachmann, or Newt Gingrich, or Mitt Romney… and the American public already takes these people seriously.  I guess anyone with a microphone has to be treated as if their “ideas” are legitimately viable.

Where was I?  Oh right… Rick Santorum said he wants a more strict reading of obscenity laws so he can protect the public from the vile harms of internet pornography.  Porn, according to Santorum, is toxic to marriages and relationships, and contributes to misogyny, violence against women, prostitution, and sex trafficking.  Nevermind that studies have shown that sexual assault and rape have declined considerably since the advent of the internet.  I suppose there’s no proof of a causal relationship there, but I don’t know any other invention that made access to orgasmic release easier, cheaper and safer for the public at large.  As much as I talk shit about the internet for draining people of their capacity to retain knowledge (I don’t remember, just google it), and dumbed down their personalities to the point of their individuality being nothing more than an ability to share ideas and art that other people have created – I still think it’s an amazing, interesting, vital, filthy, disgusting, beautiful tool that shouldn’t be censored in the slightest.  Personally, I’ve never seen internet pornography, but I hear good things – and if you have access, you should give it a try some time (and feel free to review your favorites right here in the comments section, or on our facebook page – like us, follow us, please or Tracy will beat me – click the button!).

Furthermore, (sorry, I have to get this train back on track) he’s accused the Obama administration of siding with pornographers over children, because the federal government isn’t out shutting down all nudey sites (not like they have anything more important to do).  Rick has vowed to do what Obama could not – raise America’s kids, because after all, that’s what we’re looking for in a President.  Even his own party is criticizing him for putting too much emphasis on social issues like this one.  But, he and his running mate, Rush Limbaugh, will hold steadfast in desluttifying America and making it repent for its sins.  Papa Santorum knows best, now go back upstairs and put some gosh darned clothes on!

He awoke from the haze of a six month hangover on March the 8th, in this foul year of our lord 2012…

Shit.  It’s Thursday.  I’m stuck in a box with no windows.  And somewhere outside this dim closet the sun is shining on people who’ve probably made far better life choices than myself – or yourselves, for that matter.  Because if you had any brains you’d be out there enjoying the day too, instead of slaving away for time off you’ll never get to take.

Let’s stop right there before I take you to the dark place too early.  Explanations will not be administered for where I’ve been and why I haven’t written.  Those of you who know me understand that I tend to disappear for hours, days, months at a time.  If you don’t know me… well, you’re starting to get the picture.  Our inconsistent rapport will eventually lead you to the conclusion that I’m the trainwreck cousin who shows up at Thanksgiving with a different look and new trashy girlfriend every year, only to rail against an establishment I never quite challenged head-on, then leaves sloppy drunk and doesn’t call again until Christmas – to tell you things have changed and I’ll be doing missionary work in Liberia through spring.

There I go rambling again.  The point I was trying to make is that Whitney Houston was a terrific singer, and it’s a fucking tragedy what happened.  Whitney, and Amy Whinehouse, and Lindsay Lohan… what? Oh Lindsay’s still alive?  She can’t sing, either?  Sigh… where have all the talented drug addicts gone?  I wonder if heaven’s got a coke dealer…

Alright let’s reel this thing in, because I haven’t even started yet, I don’t think.  So let’s focus on the substance.  The real reason I haven’t written, besides the lack of motivation, time, or thoughts worthy of wasting paper/webspace – is that nobody reads anymore.  Sure, you read the headlines that NPR posts on facebook.  But when was the last time you finished the article?  No, you’re into the internet memes about what your parents think you do and what you really do (spoiler: your parents think you do nothing that matters, you actually do nothing that matters).  You’re checking out the gif of some kitty falling off a table, or the latest youtube video about Shit Douchebags Say (something  something something FAG! something something let’s get some PUSSY!).  And if you  feel the itch to make a difference in the world, update your status to what color bra you’re wearing to fight against breast cancer, or grow out your chest hair to show solidarity with Greek austerity.  But you’re certainly too busy being interesting to care about what anyone really has to say, or what’s actually going on around you.  You’re too fucking busy being an armchair activist.  Maybe you’re sitting there saying “well what the hell have you ever done to make a difference?”  “Not a mother flippin’ thing,” I reply.  And even if I had (which I have), I wouldn’t tell you – because I’d rather entertain you with my sins, and hedge them privately with good deeds, like putting strippers through college.

All you have to do, to change the fucking world, is watch this goddamn video, and share it with 13 people, or else Kony is going to steal your grandmother in the night and make her a Ugandan prostitute. Isn’t this just a sophisticated version of the old chain emails from myspace?  Facefuck has become an amazing place, where information is shared and movements have taken shape.  But I hate to burst your bubble, awareness is not a movement.  Cures, solutions, revolutions, they don’t come about because you’re aware of the problem.  If people sat around at work and sent each other videos of kids dying from Staph infection – we’d still be waiting for someone to invent penicillin.  Hitler didn’t burn in a bunker because of viral internet memes making fun of his Michael Jordan mustache and love for killing Jews.  And, as powerful as twitter is, it still couldn’t stop Ahmadinejad from stealing another election and throwing anyone who protested in jail.  So keep updating your statuses to complain about gas prices – just don’t forget who’s slapping economic sanctions on who next time you’re at the pump.  Hashtag just sayin…

Dear, sweet, beautiful readers… I’ve missed you.  I hope you all had a great summer staring longingly out of your office windows at the birds chirping in the sunlit trees.  My office doesn’t have windows.  And the door is locked from the outside.  But that’s neither here nor there.  I truly missed you.  I tried to just have fun and not think about the wonderful times we’ve spent together – but, in the end, I just couldn’t stay away.  I care too much about your entertainment, and have far too many thoughts to leave them rotting in my own head.  So much has happened in the world since we last spoke.  Michael Jackson’s drug dealer, Dr. Murray, went on trial; Charlie Sheen got roasted like a crack rock in Amy Whinehouse’s apartment; Georgia put an innocent man to death and let a guilty man go free (guess which one wasn’t White);  Sarah Palin fucked an NBA player and her husband’s business partner (guess which one wasn’t White); protests on Wall Street have been going on for three weeks now (but American news only caught wind of it about two weeks after foreign journalists broke the story – whaaat a country); and of course Tracy got a new job!  Congrats on your success and happiness, dear friend!
 
The topic for discussion today, however, is politics… dun dun duuuunnnnn.  Can you feel that weird energy in the air?  We don’t know what the problem is, who the culprit is, how to solve it, why it happened, or to which country we should emigrate.  All we know is, Americans are not happy – and it’s the dark fella’s fault.  We’ve been tread on by new taxes (false), new government run health insurance (false) – new mandates to confiscate all firearms, force abortions, and subsidize flamboyantly gay roommates for everyone (false, false and false).  But never mind all that – it doesn’t matter what is true or false anymore because real hardworking Americans (wink wink) have decided they’re going to take their country back – so you better nail down the furniture, board up the windows and brace yourselves.
 
If you haven’t seen any of the Republican primary debates, let me paint a picture for you – it’s like watching 8 used car salesmen auction off the General Lee to a group of recently paroled hate-criminals.  In other words, it’s a fucking hootenanny.  The candidates, while terrifying in their own right, have been scrambling to match intensity with the frenzied audience of psychotics and sociopaths who clearly smell impure African blood in the water – and I’m not talking about Herman Cain, the most out of place Black guy since Token from South Park.  Herman Cain is an ex pizza boy; the former CEO of Godfather’s – probably the worst cardboard excuse for pizza available on the market.  He made the company profitable by closing over half its locations – so he’s obviously qualified to create jobs during these tough economic times.  Now I could tell you he’s a mathematician, master of computer science, syndicated columnist and former ballistics engineer for the US Navy – but that would be neither funny nor entertaining… And although Mr. Cain is probably the candidate least likely to earn a reality TV spin-off – he’s still crazy enough to say out loud, in front of cameras, that Planned Parenthood was created to “help kill Black babies,” and that communities should have the right to ban mosques.  Furthermore, he’s proposing to somehow balance the budget by only charging 9 (NEIN NEIN NEIN) percent across the board on personal/corporate/sales taxes.  Look people, I know nobody wants to pay taxes, but that’s how our government funds things like roads, bridges, schools, law enforcement, national security, disaster relief, social services, et cetera, et cetera.  Despite the masses in the streets crying bloody murder over the possibility of the highest of the high class getting taxed at 39% instead of 35% (which will certainly usher in a new era of communism), back in the fabled 1950’s (“when the streets were safe” and bathrooms were segregated) the top bracket was taxed 70%.  Yeah, you read that right – rich people, err I mean job creators, were paying SEVENTY PERCENT of their income in taxes and STILL living like royalty. 
 
Enough of the sane and sober Herman Cain, you won’t be hearing much about him in the coming months anyway.  Let’s pick on someone a little more fun – like the esteemed governor of Texas.  James Richard “Rick” Perry is the guy George W. calls up when he needs someone to beat at checkers.  He was a real crowd pleaser at the debates when roars and cheers boomed from yahoos upon the declaration that his great state had murdered, I mean executed over 230 prisoners under his watch – mentally handicapped and women included!  Hot damn, now that’s something he can feel proud of while relaxing at his favorite retreat, Niggerhead Hunting Camp.  And, much like Dubya, Perry too was a male cheerleader with a distaste for academia in college; who also happens to think our nations problems can be solved through prayer, instead of, you know – science and stuff.  Are you ready for a story?  This year the lone star state suffered through a terrible drought.  In early April, about 15% of the state was under extreme duress from lack of rain – and wildfires had slowly begun to spread.  Governor Perry, knowing it was time for a leader to spring into action, did the most logical thing – he held a statewide prayer-a-thon, dubbed “Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas” from April 22-24.  So all the good citizens took the weekend off from lassoing cattle and shooting beer cans, to hunker down and ask Jesus to send water from the sky to nourish their crops and stop the fires.  But God, angered by the insufficient amount of cross burnings, turned His back on His faithful servants until nearly 80% of the state was charred and dried like a tasty hunk of jerky.  Though I suppose Rick can’t be blamed for the Almighty’s negligence, it does beg the question – is God reliable enough to be called upon when President Perry takes office? 
 
Speaking of reliable negligence – Michele Bachmann.  Did you laugh just then?  I did.  I wonder how far she could fit a corn dog in her mouth…  
 
 
Oh Lord.  Tracy… I just… I can’t… I… alright, fuck it.  So here’s Michele Bachmann gagging on a huge dong, I mean dog.  How’s that for Presidential?  Looks like she learned the skill from her husband, Marcus (right) – who, by the way, is totally not gay, and totally doesn’t run a camp for psychologically converting homosexuals.  They’re just good people on a mission from God to teach children that evolution is an unfounded theory, and everyone in the world came from one couple, sharing the same genes – which is why it’s OK to marry your sister.  She’s against educational programs like the International Baccalaureate because they don’t expressly recognize Christianity’s superiority over all other religions.  But, this isn’t about Christian bashing – don’t let me make this a religious issue.  Michele is so much more than a socially conservative fundamentalist – she’s also openly stupid, or at least assumes we are.  This is a woman who, upon hearing China’s suggestion in 2009 that the world should stop using the Dollar as its reserve currency – immediately claimed the Obama administration was trying to force Americans to use the Yen, and proposed a resolution to bar the dollar from being replaced by foreign currency.  Seriously.  She even attacked Rick Perry on probably the only logical piece of policy he ever saw through – the mandatory free vaccination of women for the Human Papillomavirus, which if left untreated could turn into cervical cancer (God’s way of punishing fornicators – fuck, I went religious again).  Bachmann is firmly rooted in the belief that the President of the United States of America, as well as many members of Congress, are secretly anti-American – and the media should embark on an in-depth exposé on just how many of these public officials actually hate our country.  As much as I would love to dismiss her as just another Sarah Palin/Christine O’Donnell idiot yokel with a snowball’s chance in hell at the presidency – that would be naive.  The woman has a law degree from Oral Roberts (teehee), a masters of law from William and Mary, and is a serious political junkie.  She’s been an advocate from a young age, and even pounded the pavement for Jimmy Carter back in the 70s; yet lays into President Obama by comparing him to the “socialist” Carter.  She was a tax attorney for the IRS, yet is somehow completely against taxes.  Must be hard talking out of both sides when your mouth’s full!  So who is Michele Bachmann and what’s really going on behind that crazy evangelical scheming blank stare of hers?  Keep crying about “Obamacare” and you might just have the displeasure of finding out…
 
 This one is for all my libertarian freedom-from-government friends who have been blinded by the smoke and mirrors of Ron Paul’s hypocrisy.  Nevermind the fact that he won’t get anywhere close to winning this election.  Forget that he is absolutely a conspiracy theorist and probably batshit crazy (almost as much as his idiot son, Rand Paul).  Yes – the Fed is bad.  They have fucked us.  Yes we need to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan.  And yes, medical marijuana should be decriminalized.  Now that we got that out of the way – how about this… Ron Paul is against a woman’s right to choose.  He thinks his religious beliefs regarding when life begins should give the government the right to ban abortion.  He made a huge splash at the GOP debates when he was asked if an uninsured man who slipped into a coma should be treated.  Doctor Paul’s response, “What he should do is whatever he wants to do and assume responsibility for himself.  That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risk.” Right, pull yourself up by the bootstraps, you fucking vegetable.  No handouts!  Atlas Shrugged!  Zig Heil!  Sorry, I got ahead of myself there… but when pressed on whether he thought this person should die, the crowd – again hungry for blood – screamed “YEAH!”  Holy shit people!  What fucking country do I live in?  I don’t know how you can claim to be, or aspire to be, the greatest nation on Earth if you’re completely against the idea that everybody, no matter the circumstance, should at least have the right to medical treatment.  I get that the government isn’t a charity, but maybe it’s my crazy liberal upbringing that makes me believe that as the overseer of this massive state, it should at least provide the basic services that aren’t supposed to turn a profit.  Libertarians like to hang their hat on the idea that we don’t need government; that private businesses and non-profit organizations can take care of everything.  They won’t.  They do not.  Private businesses beget greed and turn simple services into dollar signs.  Non-profit organizations can hardly stand on their own two feet most of the time.  But the government – which is not some foreign entity, it’s us – people, much like yourselves – could provide those services if we just allowed them.  Instead, you clamor for them to raise your kids for you, tell you what you shouldn’t do with your body, and decide which country we should be meddling with this week.  Freedom from government when it suits my fucking purpose is more like it.
 
 Are you starting to feel my frustration here?  Let me abandon this form and just shoot you straight.  There’s a lot of complaining going on out there about how ineffective Barack Obama has been.  It’s been a tooth and nail battle, and his opposition has played power politics every step of the way.  So do not, for one second, think this is the best that could have been done.  But also don’t be fooled – it could have been way, way, way waaaaaay worse.  You could have Mitt “buy nearly bankrupt companies, fire 90% of the labor force and sell for profit” Romney.  You might get Newt “blow me in the parking lot while my wife is in chemotherapy”  Gingrich.  Or, God forbid, Rick “reinstate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” Santorum.  It’s a bleak pack out there, and the rest of the also-rans aren’t even worth mentioning.  I can tell you this much though – no candidate in the running has absolutely any plan of moving this country forward.  The only resolution being suggested (in about 9 different flavors) is to roll back the progress we’ve made, and stick to the original status quo of letting the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be let down by someone who shares my sense of social and financial justice, than proper fucked by someone who couldn’t care less about anyone making less than seven figures.  So check your bank account before making your final decision – because there is 1 guy who isn’t working for the best interest of millionaires, and a hungry fucking pack of hyenas who are.  We’ve got 13 months until the Presidential election, and now is the time to get over all disappointments and disillusionment.  As hard as it is to sell “not as bad as it could have been” you really have to realize how bad it almost was.  Word around the rumor mill is that Sarah Palin (even after everything) is quietly looking to throw her mama grizzly hat into the ring, so look forward to more fiery political rants in this space [note: as of right now, 4pm 10/3/11 Palin announced she will not be running – but that won’t derail the Fear Party Express or our countinued coverage].  Till next time.  Vote responsibly.

Ahh the sweet taste of recovery.  Anyone who had the unfortunate displeasure of talking to me yesterday knows it was an all day marathon hangover here at Duke’s desk.  I had a pretty wild Tuesday night in Hollywood… watching Gustavo Dudamel drop BOMBS on The Bowl while conducting Mozart.  Weren’t expecting that one were you?  Well we like to keep you on your toes here at HTG, so I switched venues to something a little less dangerous and traded in the UNTZ for the pleasant fluttering of flutes and cellos.  I have to say, it was a blissful experience.  Classical music isn’t something I typically go out looking for, but I’m not ashamed to say I found it… or it found me.  I won’t sit here pretending I took it seriously the entire time – because I spent the first few minutes scanning the orchestra for Black people (just out of curiosity) – and I was disappointed, yet hardly surprised, not to find any.  However, somewhere around the second bottle of Pinot (you stay classy, glimmerface), I found myself sitting there with eyes closed just focusing on the multitude of notes filling my ears.  Albert Einstein once said that Mozart’s music sounded as if he had just stumbled upon it – like it had always existed as part of the inner beauty of the universe.  I thought of it as listening to calculus – like a brilliantly solved equation unfolding in my mind.  I mean, I never passed calculus (3 tries), but it was how I imagine a brilliantly solved equation would sound if I possessed the ability to solve one, and then turn it into music.  Moving on…
 
It’s important, I feel, to get a well rounded sampling of the stimulus available out there.  So often we limit ourselves to a certain genre of music or events – that we forget to take time to open ourselves up to the diverse plethora of pleasurable experiences.  When was the last time you went to a jazz bar and listened to the blues?  How often do you participate in wild haired drum circles?  Ever have your face melted by the metropolitan opera?  Maybe you’re just too busy posturing in line at Club Douché, waiting to pay $18 for a glass of ice with three drops of vodka in it…
 
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to shit on anybody’s idea of a good time – I did that enough last week.  If you like clubbing, if you’re really into following around that one band I probably never heard of, if you’re at Avalon every Friday night for a dose of boom boom (see you on the dancefloor, Tracy) – that’s great!  Have at it.  I’m just saying, be open to switching it up a little, because there’s a lot of interesting shit out there.  There’s plenty of fun, cool, alternative places to have a few drinks and a few laughs with good company… Festivals, wine tastings, art exhibits, comedy clubs, concerts, plays, carnivals, jazz bars, 1980’s clubs, 1780’s clubs.  No wait, seriously.  What if there was an after hours spot that played Vivaldi and only served 18th century cocktails?  Powdered wigs and tights optional, of course.  That might sound like a Renaissance fair, but I think going out should be about more than just getting sauced and looking for sex.  It should involve all the senses, and require some active thought and participation.  What about a reggae joint that’s also a medical marijuana dispensary – so you could get irie when the bomboclat rasta tells you to?  I’m just spit balling here, but If those kind of places exist, tell me – I’m there.  If not, feel free to run with these ideas or come up with your own, because the recreational landscape needs even more mind blowing fully immersible experiences.  Places where you can really get a feel for alternate perceptions, cultures, and lifestyles.  We live in the future, and although we have yet to invent a time machine, I want to walk through doors that transport me to other times and places.  I don’t want cheesy theme bars, I want to transcend.  Challenge accepted?  Good.  Go.

One would think taking some serious time off from writing would provide an opportunity for thoughts and ideas to cultivate in the mind.  One would think…
 
I can’t say with any degree of accuracy where or who I’ve been since I last disgraced the interwebs with my complaint-laden gibberish.  Hazy snapshots come to mind, but much like a conversation with my parents – I can never divulge anything more than generalities and insignificant details.  I’d like to say that I’ve grown as a person, learned about myself and the world, gained culture and wisdom and understanding; but the reality is I’ve burned off too many brain cells to have possibly gained anything more than an early onset of alzheimer’s and a lifetime ban from… well, it’s not important.
 
Lately I’ve been wondering how much is too much?  How far is too far?  At what point do we stop pushing the limits of public intoxication and weekend warriorhood?  When do we make the jump from running-into-the-stands Ron Artest to sweet charitable goofball Metta World Peace?  What the fuck does Metta even mean, anyway?  (Editors note: I’ve decided that Metta is my new favorite word and officially a new glimmer game.  See how many times you can use that word in a day; via email, casual conversation with your boss, to the girl crying in the bathroom stall next door…you get the picture. Game on!)
 
Maybe I was supposed to cut the shit after college, but it has only gotten worse – or better, depending on your perspective.  These days I have money to party in ways I always wanted when I was a broke student living on spaghetti and Italian dressing.  Now, every year feels like a competition to outdo last year, and the result is always the same – I’m the big winner.  The best is yet to come, which is both exciting and frightening, because as I keep surpassing myself – I’m almost positive that my body is losing.  It has to be.  Something has to give at some point.  It’s only a matter of time…
 
Normal people chalk up their hazy years to youthful rebellion and move onto the long boring phase of domesticity as a result of their ensuing maturity.  They get real jobs, settle down, have kids, and everything else takes a backseat to “life.”  I’ve started a career, not a star-studded one, but a career to be proud of nonetheless.  One that requires me to be a responsible upstanding adult, which I appear to be during work hours.  I’m surrounded by nice people – friendly grown folks who work hard even on their days off, pick up their kids from school, pay their mortgages, remodel their homes, and occasionally play golf or poker if they have a couple of hours free.  Nice people – fucking squares.  Did they start off that way?  God forbid.  Was it a gradual breaking of the exuberance and spirit that once had them preaching free love and Tuesday night skinny dipping?  It seems that even the ex-hipsters and night owls eventually sold out in the name of practicality and parenthood – two concepts with which I’m entirely unfamiliar.  
 
The other night I tried something completely outrageous and out-of-character.  It was despicable, unforgivable; my parents would be proud.  I stayed home, and did nothing.  Actually, I stayed in my hotel room.  I’m living at the Marina Del Rey Marriott right now, not that it matters or that you care – it’s just a detail to flesh out the story.  So, on a weekend night (it was Thursday, but I had Friday off), I sat in my hotel room, ordered room service, and watched my view of the pacific ocean with its sandy beaches and docked sailboats.  It was quiet, serene; just lovely.  I remember thinking, which is already a big deal for me… “Maybe I can do this – mellow out and step back from the edge.”  I’ve always been attracted to the locomotive lifestyle of monsters and rockstars.  All my heroes had the grit to push their limits, and as a result cranked out some incredibly profound bodies of work.  But, then again, all my heroes are either dead or in rehab.  Perhaps there’s something to this simple life of sobriety.  It seems a moment can be enjoyed without slurring obscenities over loud music, or offending patrons at late night diners.  Of course by 10pm I was absolutely bored with the view, the television, the room, the book I brought, and myself.  I hit the 8th floor for some free concierge Chivas, and the rest of the weekend was a blur from that point on…
 
Some might call that a failure in abstinence.  Clearly I’m a little off when it comes to prioritizing my free time.  My idea of fun can range anywhere between high-fiving dancing midgets to looking into the very face of God (sometimes in the same night).  In the middle of a year when I’ve lived harder than ever before, asking to stop and smell the proverbial roses is a tall order.  In all honesty, it feels like the only time I have to reflect on this hellish existence is the thirty minutes after pouring myself into my desk chair, before the calls start coming in and the meeting notices pop up for the day.  Break up the monotony of work through play – earn the right to play through work, and sleep when necessary.  Sounds great, but every system or schedule heads toward chaos.  A wrench in the machine, or a week or two off the grid might be just the necessary break it takes to perpetuate the craziness and keep the plates spinning in the air.  Hah, a week or two… I could barely stand four hours.  Like any exercise though, one can’t just max out right off the bat.  You build up.  So my four hours can be expanded to an entire evening, and eventually a weekend, and then a whole week.  A whole week… I can feel the neurons regenerating at the thought.  It sounds like madness comparing relaxation and sobriety to working out, but I suppose some people have to try to eat more pizza, watch more television, and remind themselves what a sunset looks like through fresh clear eyes.   
 
So I do admit, a holiday (that’s English for vacation) from the insanity is in order, but I don’t plan on slowing down permanently anytime soon.  This year will pale in comparison to next year, and that’s just how I like it.  How far is too far?  We’re not there yet.  Taking a break gives me the chance to reflect on the good times passed, and plan bigger and better ways to conquer the night.  This has nothing to do with rebellion, or having trouble appreciating myself, or running away from any deeper issues.  I know what I’m looking for – to fulfill a dream – the American Dream, the fucking Global Dream.  The dream of participating without restraint in the human condition.  To use up the body I’ve been given tasting the fruits of life all over the world.  The operative word for the unattainable here would be balance.  Personally, I don’t believe in it.  If everything is in equilibrium and you’re feeling comfortable, you’re probably sleeping too much.  At our age, only the flounders feel any consistent level of comfort.  Monsters thirst for more – not as an indulgence in gluttonous bullshit, but as a quest for the kind of experiences mere mortals only see with their eyes closed; not to repeat the same fun and games until we grow tired and give them up, but to challenge ourselves to break out of the box we live in and truly feed our souls.  When my time is up, I won’t be looking back to say I missed out by sitting on the sidelines.  What would be the point?  To live in consistent boredom until the end of time, in hopes that heaven will make up for everything that passed you by on Earth?  Sounds a little uncertain to me.  Because when I finally do settle down – it won’t be because I was too scared to find what I really wanted.  In the meantime, I’m going to test my tolerance for discomfort by taking deep breaths and experiencing some calm.  And if you see me sitting there obnoxiously tapping my feet, it’s not because I’m fiending – it’s just to remind myself the ground is still there…
 

This is my life

 
Duke:  So I’m not going to dwell on this subject, because it was such a major disappointment to us all… but by now you know, The Rapture didn’t happen.  Or, according to good old Grandpa Harold, it happened – just not in the fire and brimstone and earthquakes and “form a single file line so you can be judged by the Great Scorer” kind of way.  However, the world is still going to end on October 21st, so don’t worry about picking a Halloween costume for the masquerade ball (you were going to dress like a slut with ears anyway).  Moving on…
 
Tracy:  HALT!  I am not merely “moving on” from this subject.  This isn’t a subject you can just throw away like a used paper towel or cover up like a drug run gone poorly.  Harold Camping negatively affected my life.  Do you realize how many flash mobs I created in Las Vegas last weekend, having to define and defend the Rapture?  Do you know how many people deemed me downright psycho, on the Las Vegas strip of all places?  Do you realize the extent of the conversation I had with my slightly too religious mother (I worship her, I swear I do.  More often than not, her purity is almost angelic and I question exiting her womb on a daily basis.  It’s just that- my mom is perfect.)  Harold Camping is not getting away with this by merely suggesting a new date.  I will not be duped into believing or accepting his apology.  I want an explanation.  I want an explanation now.
 
Duke:  ok ok ok ok ok.  ok.  alright.  okay.  You want an explanation – theatrics were expected, messiahs were promised, and like a little Jewish boy on Christmas, you were left with nothing but pencils and dress socks – I understand.  Think of all the schmucks who actually spent their retirement funds helping this old kook spread his message with billboards and pamphlets.  People moved entire families across the country so they could be closer to their leader (and have 3 extra hours of prayer before getting Raptor’d).  I personally spent a total of 5 work hours contemplating my impending doom, so let me know if there’s a class action suit we can get in on.  Anyway, as was expected, Mr. Camping was nowhere to be found Monday morning, May 23rd.  He took his time preparing his message, coming into the Family Radio station late that evening to deliver a somber statement.  And when he finally spoke to his congregation, via mass broadcast, he claimed that The Rapture actually had occurred.  But, it was a “spiritual” rapture (whatever the hell that means), and the world will still meet its demise on October 21st, as originally planned – without a doubt, you can bet your sweet asses.  Then, sounds of rustling could be heard from inside the studio, followed shortly by the cocking of a handgun, and the firing of a single shot… 
 
Have we beaten that dead horse into glue yet?  Now to move onto a much more spiritually pertinent topic – the stupidity of men in today’s advertisements.  Just to give you a little background, originally Tracy and I were going to continue on our noble journey through bad taste and shamelessly offensive entertainment by blogging to you (together) about a new idea for a holiday – National Slut Day (her idea, not mine) – live from our favorite dive bar / restaurant.  We had our laptops set up, munchies on the table, ideas flowing between bites… But, around the 4th round of Jack ‘n Cokes our focus began to waver… and around the 7th, I spilled our food (including assorted sauces and condiments) all over some poor Asian tourists who were just trying to discover hush puppies and root for the Miami Heat in peace (serves them right, that team is an abomination; Lebron should be tarred and feathered just for starting the “I’m taking my talents to,” cliche) but I digress…   
 
I’m a forward thinking, progressive type of individual.  I understand the struggle, ladies.  You want to be seen as equals – professionally, intellectually, spiritually.  It’s hard being labelled as sex objects, and seeing gorgeous bombshells on television and in magazines to whom you feel compared.  But can we just be real for a minute?  I’d rather be stereotyped as the object of everyone’s lust and affection, than as some idiotic oaf who is incapable of ordering a beer, remembering an anniversary, purchasing groceries, booking a hotel room, grilling a burger without setting the house aflame, or managing a fucking bank account on my own. 
 
No, you’re right.  I know, girls… I know.  Men are stupid.  We’re complete fools who would walk around drooling and mumbling to ourselves if it weren’t for you holding the whole of everything together.  Praise be to you all.  Sarcasm aside, I love women, you mean the world to me – genuinely.  You really do put up with a hell of a lot (but we’ll save that for another time, so don’t get all worked up on me).  All I’m asking is, how am I – as a man – supposed to be convinced to purchase a product or service from a company who has the audacity to call me a moron on national television? 
 
I’ll start with the biggest culprit and main offender, breweries.  Before our night deteriorated into a haze of uncontrollable laughter, the last commercial I remember clearly from Thursday’s Bulls-Heat game involved a young man calling his amazingly beautiful girlfriend (that’s another thing, they pair these goofballs up with smoking hot model types, like this jackass could ever gain so much as an acknowledgement from a girl like that)  to tell her that he won’t be able to join her for dinner because he has the bar exam.  We’ve all seen this commercial, yes?  Cut to the shot of a bartender holding a bottle going “Alright, are you ready for your bar exam?  Here we go… the first bar means what?!”  Sigh… the first bar under the beer label reads, in white font set upon a blue background,  “Cold.”  You with me?  This is now a literacy test.  Thankfully, our lovable simpleton gets the answer right.  Now onto the next question, barkeep!  “The second bar means…”  to which Shit For Brains replies, “The Coors Light is SUPER cold?!”  …Congratulations, you just ensured I will never buy Coors Light – ever.  It’s bad enough these advertisers think we’re so hapless that we can’t tell if a beer is cold simply by picking it up, they’re actually making it the selling point of the product.  I mean shit, you ever seen a commercial for a tampon that tells you when it’s time to put in a new one?  “Hey Teresa, what’s that dinging sound?”  Teresa answers, “Oh honey, that means I’ll be right back…”
 
Budweiser had one a while back where a man comes home from a long day of work to find rose pedals strewn about his apartment, candles lit, and bud light in his fridge with a sweet note from his girlfriend telling him to come find her in the bedroom (where she’s waiting in his favorite lingerie).  Instead this meat head says “ooo beer!” and takes his Bud over to the couch where he just sits and drinks by himself.  Then it ends with him looking at one of the candles and saying “that’s a fire hazard” and putting it out with the bottom of his bottle.  Seriously, bro?  Yeah, little known fact – men like beer more than we like sex.  Right, and we secretly love soap operas and prostate exams too.  What if they did a reverse of that and a pretty girl came home to find her place all romantic-like, and on the coffee table was a box with the most to-die-for pair of shoes, a sweet note saying “I’m in the bed, come find me” and instead of going in, she just stood in front of the mirror checking out the shoes on her feet?  Well that would be pretty realistic, so probably a bad hypothetical…
 
I could make this whole post about beer commercials, but that wouldn’t give you the full picture of how stupid advertisement agencies think men are.  This one’s taking it back a few years, but before Carl’s Jr. started putting scantily clad Paris Hilton on top of a Bentley eating a burger (which I’m sure she threw up afterward) – they had that slogan “…without us, some guys would starve.”  I’ll give you two quick examples, because they’re just so amazingly baffling.  The first one shows a grown man wandering up and down the isles of a grocery store staring blankly at all the products he clearly wouldn’t be able to turn into food sustenance.  It ends with him in the meat section, looking down at a package of ground beef and poking at it with his finger.  The voiceover goes “without us, some guys would starve.”  Look, cooking isn’t easy – I went to college for long enough to burn a few meals myself.  But we’re talking about burgers here, folks.  70% lean ground beef (you want a little fat to burn up in the fire and leave the meat still juicy), mix in some salt, pepper, grated onions, a little turmeric (or whatever secret ingredient you prefer), shape em into patties and toss em on the grill.  It’s the easiest god damn thing in the world to cook – along side eggs, pasta, hot dogs, and sandwiches.  Gentlemen, if you can make these 5 dishes, you will never starve – and they are nearly impossible to fuck up. 
 
They had a similar commercial from that same time frame, the whole thing consists of a guy dropping an unpeeled, unpitted avocado into a blender – and turning it on.  Obviously this is a commercial for a guacamole burger, fellas – and the implication is that we’re too stupid to somehow access the innards of an avocado, mash them up, and mix in some peppers, onions, cilantro and salt (also on the list of easiest fucking dishes in the world to make).  It’s too bad Carl’s doesn’t sell soup, because I would have loved to see a guy put an unopened can of Campbell’s minestrone in the microwave and watch it explode, “without us, some guys would need fire and casualty insurance.”
 
Maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe most of the men in the world really are that soft headed.  Are there guys who get an awesome haircut and decide it’s a good idea to bet their life savings on 33 black?  Do some husbands need high definition photos of produce from their Nikon 3500, printed on super quality magazine paper in order to know what to buy from Ralph’s?  Can we not decide how much to put aside each month in our alternate savings account so we can save up to restore Dad’s old motorcycle without someone holding our hand?  I mean, you can’t officially be considered a man until you’ve forgotten your wife’s birthday – and you will need a phone that can simultaneously talk and work the internet so you can lie while covering up the tracks of your douchebaggery to avoid sleeping in the dog house for a week.  “Oh you thought I was taking you to a fancy restaurant, Sweetheart?  Baby, when I said steak dinner I meant the new steak sandwich over at Sonic!  Glad you wore that sexy little dress though, we’ll skip the drive-thru and order inside this time so everyone can see how good you look.  Let them know it’s our anniversary.  Go on, super size it, nothing is too good for you, Sugar.  I’ll even buy you an ice cream flurry for dessert.”  Christ, men are worthless.  I don’t know how they even get us to wear pants outside the house.  We would lose our car keys in our own pocket if it wasn’t for that jangling sound reminding us they’re there. 
 
In parting – yes, girls, it is sexist to only highlight your looks in advertisements.  But as often as you see women marketed as pure sex, they’re never shown to be complete idiots.  Men on the other hand are trashed on by the very corporations seeking our business… and somehow, they get our business!  Here’s a new idea for men’s shoes… they’re just normal shoes… BUT, they have pictures on the toes showing you how to tie your laces, just in case you forget.  Loop, swoop, and pull.
 
 
I hope you men out there were able to find a woman to read this to you.  Are you ready for your bar exam?
 
———-this bar means the post is over———-

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