Hold the Glimmer

Archive for the ‘Duuuke’ Category

Maybe I’m off my hinges, but it seems like our generation is really into this concept of “no regrets.”  It’s a nice idea – covering up the fact that certain events in your life have left you emotionally and physically scarred by insisting they made you the person you are today, and that you’re happy with who that person is.  It’s good to lie to other people about your internal satisfaction, for the same reason the Joker took a knife to his mouth – because a smile tells the world everything is okay.  But let’s cut the shit, because the clock is ticking and there’s a heck of a lot we missed out on.  We missed our big chance to ask Susie Peppercorn to the 8th grade formal.  We wish we had been more trusting of the nice guy who promised us candy in his van around the corner (Jolly Ranchers would have been worth the risk, in retrospect).  We should have thought of a game plan instead of letting the words flow out of our mouth like syrup mixed with desperation when we talked to that pretty blond at the bar last Friday.  I’m just being straight up – the magic book has scientifically proven that the world is ending in a few days.  So we can either get busy living, or get busy wishing we had lived more.  Since I still can’t bring myself to believe in magic – I’m going to pour myself a drink, and get busy regretting all the stuff I didn’t do with this life…

  • I didn’t get to escape from prison.  Why would I want to go to prison?  Come on, didn’t you ever watch OZ?  It’s awesome.  Rick Fox was on it.  And yes, I realize one has to be arrested, tried, and convicted before such a possibility can arise – and I certainly have no regret in failing to participate in these endeavors (although in all honestly, I’ve come closer than I’d like to admit).  I just always wanted to start a riot in the mess hall to create a diversion, dig through a concrete wall with a rock hammer, crawl through grinding turbines of power generators, sneak up on guards and stealthily break their necks with my bare hands, climb on the roof of a compound with flood lights searching as the helicopter flies in through darkness just in time for me to grab its dangling ladder, and pull myself to safety with machine gun bullets whizzing past my head.  It might be the claustrophobia caused by my crackerjack box of a cubicle that has me jonesing for an epic jailbreak, or perhaps I’ve seen Shawshank Redemption one too many times.  But for once, I would have liked to be the one who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side…
  • I regret not building that kick ass fort every kid dreams of.  I’m talking about a fort built of pillows and plywood, forged out of blankets and brawn.  Three stories of no-girls-allowed-big-boys-only fortliness, with a secret stash of playboys under a loose floorboard, a system of string-and-tin-can telephones connecting all the other forts in the neighborhood, trip wires surrounding the premises to warn us of approaching adults, a bar, pool table, jacuzzi, fly maids, a butler, a tricked out stage setup with automated light shows, huge plasma television, a kitchen with a chef, stripper p…  What?  Too much?  Hey, ask any guy – we all wanted one (as kids, and still today as adults), and if you were one of the lucky few who actually had it – I hope Jesus condemns you first.  You don’t deserve heaven, because you’ve already been there.    
  • I wish I had performed stand-up.  I think of comedians as class clowns who were never forced to grow up and get real jobs like the rest of us.  They live the dream, drunkenly offending and badgering their audience while occasionally sharing a gem or two about life – kind of like what we do here at HTG, but on stage… for money.  I’m not trying to say I’d be particularly good at it, because in truth I stumble over my words when struggling to make awkward conversation with the cashier at Vons (she’s only known me 20 years).  I guess for starters (is it late for starters?) I wish I had the nerve and comedic prowess to do it, but that’s neither here nor there.  It would have validated my existence on this Earth to be one of the few people to ever command a microphone and make people laugh, on purpose. 
  • I really wanted to hold a public office.  Even the city councilman from Bumfuck, AR gets his own parking spot and his name immortalized in some registry log for having voted to remove the stop light next to Art’s Barbershop on 6th Street.  It’s history, man, and I wanted to be a part of it – even a small one.  Getting elected to a public office validates your existence because lesser beings agree you’re more qualified to lead than they are (seriously, that’s what you’re saying by voting instead of running – if you think you can do better, you should).  Anyway, just like comedy, I’m not saying I’d be any good at it – but there’s just something appealing about wearing a power suit, and accepting briefcases full of money and free weekends in Laughlin as payment for allowing untreated waste from the local power plant to be rerouted through the city’s drinking water facility.  
  • I never got published!  I know it’s a pipe dream, but all I ever wanted was for someone to stumble across my facebook page, read my status and say, “give that man a book deal!”  I guess Shit Duke Says wasn’t as big a draw as I’d hoped.  And cocktail napkin musings aren’t taken too seriously, regardless of how nicely they’re bound together when shipped to Random House.  So, instead, I’ve kept my day job – sneaking over to our blog whenever nobody is looking (like right now, for instance) to put together wild gibberish with the intention of entertaining my fellow working men and women – who want, just as much as I, to creep out the window of reality and puff on the magical dragon of procrastination.  The intention was always to use this as a stepping stone – a practice ground to develop my skill (or lack, thereof) until it was worthy of sharing on a professional level; at which time I could execute my blogger-in-crime’s method of quitting with a bang, and move on with my rockstar writer lifestyle…  

But, that’s all in the past.  Like a spiteful bitch mother who blames her children for the loss of her dancer’s figure, I have nothing left but regrets and broken dreams.  “And now, the end is near, and so I face, the final curtain…”  Here’s hoping they read books in Hell.  Say goodnight Tracy.

(Editor’s note: We aim to entertain, amuse, frighten, and offend. The blue font means you’re about to read something borderline insane… By Duke.  Got that glimmerheads?  Duke blogs in blue.)

 

“I don’t know how many of you people believe in astrology… Yeah, that’s right.  That’s right baby.  I am a sagittarius… the most philosophical of all the signs…  But anyway, I don’t believe in it. I think it’s a bunch of bullshit, myself. But I’ll tell you this, man, I’ll tell you this… I don’t know what’s gonna happen, man, but I wanna have my kicks before the whole shit house goes up in flames…”
-Jim Morrison
 
He was the Lizard King – the great prince of cosmic philosophy and mystic wisdom.  I’m just the chameleon trying to blend in – the kid with my head down in the back of class, hoping the cruel sadist of a teacher won’t call me up to the chalkboard.  But having my kicks has always been a top priority in life, especially now that I know the shit house goes up in flames in just a few days…  WHAT?!
 
Pull a little closer, because it’s about to get real…  Harold Camping, a ministry leader and retired civil engineer from Oakland, CA, has decisively calculated the date of The End based on prophecies from the Book of Revelations, and claims that “beyond a shadow of a doubt, May 21 will be the date of the Rapture and the day of judgment.”  Ho-ly shit.  TIME, NPR, Huffington Post, and even ABC News are running with this story like it’s the birth of Mariah’s twins!  After all, what does the media love more than celebrity offspring?  Right – death, destruction, and mayhem – ratings, baby!  Now, as a sinner and total non-Christian, I admit that this “Rapture” is a new concept to me.  So I did some googling, as any young man does when he’s searching for God… and came across the official website for the End of Days, www.wecanknow.com (pronounced “we can know, dot com”).  Go ahead, check it out, I’ll wait…
 
Back?  So, 9 days from today, approximately 200 million good little boys and girls will magically ascend into heaven, leaving the rest of us miscreants to suffer wars, plagues, fire and brimstone here on Earth until the end of the world… which will take place on October 21st (looks like there really won’t be a basketball season next year).  But wait, hasn’t almost every generation believed it would be the one to see the apocalypse?  I mean, every time the tribulations of mankind become seemingly insurmountable, isn’t there someone standing on a soapbox crying that the end is near?  Are things so bad these days?  I know the economy sucks, and we’re still in Afghanistan even though Bin Laden is dead, but come on – in 1914 the whole world went to war.  Then in 1929 the stock market crashed so hard they named the shanty towns built on broken dreams of investors after a poor schmuck who wasn’t even a year into his presidency (Hoovervilles, you don’t have to look it up).  THEN, in 1939, the world went back to war… AGAIN!  Man, that would have been a pretty climactic way for the Almighty to draw the curtains – He is one for showmanship and pageantry, let’s be honest.
 
“But Duke,” you exclaim, “nobody has ever mathematically predicted the end of the world based on the actual word of God!”  Oh no?  Harold Camping (yup, same guy) originally predicted that the Rapture would occur on September 6th, 1994.  Hmm… well… human error can get the best of anyone, so he went back to the drawing board with his Bible and his calculator until finally he grew a media empire large enough to spread his doomsday message.  Err… I mean, until he got the date right.  His “non-profit” broadcasting company, Family Radio, currently has a net worth of $122 million which is used to control radio and television stations across the globe.  The man has a following, so you may want to check if your surgeon really thinks you’ll need more than a few months to live before you go under the knife anytime soon.
 
My real problem with this whole notion of a fully calculated doomsday… is that he came up with the algorithm based on numbers he assigned, out of his ass, to occurrences referenced in a fairy tale.  Yes, I said it, fairy tale.  Religion is fine, faith is great, belief keeps hope alive – I’m totally with you, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.  But, like all fairy tales, they were written by human beings as a means of convincing children and simpletons that there are rewards for being a good person, and consequences for being a bad one.  You know, because being a good person for the sole purpose of doing the right thing just isn’t enough.  People need incentives, which was especially true thousands of years ago when it wasn’t common knowledge that murder, rape, theft, and dishonesty are counterproductive to societal advancement.  I do believe in God in the sense that there’s some force tending the light at the end of the tunnel.  I do not believe He’s ever written a book – men wrote those books to control the behavior of brutes and barbarians, and they’ve served that purpose well – not counting the wars that have been fought over their claims.
 
It’s almost comical the responses some of these back peddling yokels come up with to cover their bases.  MSNBC spoke to one of Camping’s followers from North Carolina who claimed, “If May 21 passes and I’m still here, that means I wasn’t saved.  Does that mean God’s word is inaccurate or untrue?  Not at all.”  Alright, fair enough, if you’re still here then you weren’t saved.  But the assertion still stands that 200 million people, or roughly three percent of the world’s population, will ascend to the Pearly Gates.  So, if there isn’t an astronomical hike in the number of missing persons, and nobody is seen floating into the sky by the 22nd, then can we agree God’s word is inaccurate?  How about when we’re still around to celebrate Halloween?  Do we get a public apology?  Will Family Radio sell off its assets and give $122 million to science, or better yet… the poor?  Shit, I probably have a better shot at 4 foot 10 inch White Jesus coming down from the heavens and choosing me as the first person to join him in the kingdom of glory and uneventfulness.  Say your prayers, kids.  I’ll stay behind for the five month blowout orgy before we all meet again in Hell.

Are five days enough to let the heat cool off from the Spike Lee/Tyler Perry black-on-blacker race wars?  Speaking of which, I think that bitch Madea snuck into my dresser drawer and replaced all my ties and dress socks with panty hose and a do-it-yourself home weave kit!  Hey, if the mumu fits… no no, fuck that shit, I’ll keep my day job, thanks very much.  It may be hectic and thankless, but it’s dignified – sort of.  Anyway enough about transgendered millionaires, here’s a bitch-fit about you and me…

Look, I get it.  You’re busy at work.  I’m busy too.  I work for one of the biggest defense contractors on the planet.  The team I work with, the shit we do – it represents roughly 9 billion dollars in potential revenue.  So trust me, I am fucking busy.  But, I also have needs.  I get lonely in this tiny office with no windows.  Our understaffed team is made up of a tough skinned little old lady and two over-the-hill programmers.  While they are all friendly and great to work with, they couldn’t understand me on a personal level if their pensions depended on it.  Alright, I’ll be honest, I’m one of those people who needs constant communication with someone… ANYONE… but preferably someone who cares enough to reciprocate my attention.  So when I’m not training stubborn financial experts, testing software modifications, troubleshooting user issues, answering calls and emails, or working one of the many side projects that totally aren’t in my job description – I like to reach out and touch who ever is available, digitally I mean.  I’m talking about my only medium of sanity between the 8 to 5 hours, gchat.  If you’re on it, if I see your name on a daily basis, chances are I’ve asked what you’re wearing at least a few times.  And if you’re cool, you’ve probably lied and described something far more interesting than the bland corporate costume you bedrudgingly threw on that morning.  Maybe it’s kind of sad, but that’s the best entertainment I get all day. 
 
People are different, though.  We all have different schedules, responsibilities and distractions swirling around our heads.  We have diverse needs and communication abilities as well.  So it’s no surprise that there are so many various types of gchatters.  How many, you ask?  Did I take the time to categorize them and compile a list one day while stuck on a teleconference that really had nothing to do with me?   Maybe I did.  And maybe now you have something to read as you multitask between facebooking and pretending to give a shit about your job…
 
The Ghost – I IMed you three hours ago and you still haven’t responded, even though your status never went idle (yeah, I noticed, that’s what it’s there for).  Do you have me on the pay-no-mind list?  Did you die at your desk and your twitching rigormortis-stricken hand just keeps moving the mouse to fool your friends into thinking you’re still alive?  I know, I know, you’re furiously firing off emails and other such banalities that are paramount to your career.  Seriously though, everyone has a few a minutes in their to day to say hi to a friend and see how they’re doing.  In some cultures, that’s how they show they care. 

The Brick Wall – Hi. OK. You? Yeah. Oh. Cool…  I don’t think talking to one of these ice boxes even qualifies as a conversation.  I don’t know a lot of people who are completely bereft of personality – but maybe being at work just sucks it right out of you.  Perhaps you’re really quite interesting and have fascinating stories and opinions in real life, but you’re just illiterate or can’t type well.  No no, I understand.  You’re busy.  If you don’t even have the time to formulate full sentences or share a complete thought, maybe you should cut the bullshit and go handle your business.  I don’t want to tell you how to be a better slave or anything, it’s just an idea.

The Cliffhanger – You could be the greatest storyteller ever, if you could just finish a god damn story.  You escaped from the whore house brawl, stole the cop car, chased by thugs, you jumped from the speeding vehicle, hid in the bushes, then suddenly…. Ten minutes go by, twenty minutes, your name turns idle, you get logged off… What happened?  Did the thugs catch you as you were finishing that sentence?  No warning, no “hey, I’ll be right back, sorry.”  I don’t hear from you again for two days and when I finally do, you don’t even have the decency to finish the story!  In the meantime, I broke three office chairs from hanging on the edge of them for so long.  It’s not just the stories, either.  It happens during just about every conversation we have online.  They never end, you just disappear as if we weren’t even talking.  Imagine if we were having a discussion in person, and right as you were about to make a point, I turned around and walked away…

The Emo Queen – God, life is SO hard, isn’t it?  Shit, I pat myself on the back just for getting out of bed in the morning.  But once I’m caffeinated and showered, I lose the morose attitude and brighten up quite a bit.  After all, it’s just life – no big deal.  Then I get an IM that goes something like, “Kill me pleeaaaase, my mom said my green shirt is uglyyyyy.  I want to dieeee.”  Wow.  Relax, sweetheart.  Don’t kill yourself just because your mom is a shallow bitch and you have no taste… my mom points out that I’m losing my hair all the time.  You want to know why I’m losing it?  Because of her.  That’s no reason to cry.  Check my wrists – no scars, Ma!  So get over yourself, throw a sweater over that tragedy, and make your mom happy for a change.  Try doing it with a smile – it’s easier than you’re making it.

Tracy- The Perfect Gchatter (she put me up to it, I swear) – How am I?  Well besides choking on my tea from disbelief, I’m great!  Thanks for taking the time to ask.  Oh and you have an interesting anecdote, follow up commentary, and a warm, positive outlook?  Holy cow, it’s almost like there’s a human being on the other end of this electric window!  Perfect gchatter, I know your name isn’t always Tracy, but I am always happy to hear from you.  Hell I might even stop what I was doing just to say I miss you and make plans to hang out.  Then, when all that show of emotion is done, we’ll actually bid each other farewell before getting back to the insanity of corporate life.  I’ll do it with a smile on my face, because my day has just been MADE – you can bet your sweet ass on that.
 
I could go on for days, I’m sure.  But in the interest of time and space, I’ll wrap this up.  Let’s be real, nobody is perfect.  We’re all different.  I’m guilty of being all those characters at some point or another (and so is Tracy, but don’t tell her I said so).  My only goal here is to poke fun and make people aware of how they come across when they’re click clacking with their buddies.  Next time you’re escaping the monotony of your work day, just remember that’s a real live person you’re talking to – probably a friend.  So act like it.  lol. omg. asl? gtfohwts.

   Here at HTG (Hold the Glimmer…see how I did that…we already have an abbreviation!!!), we have an interest in keeping you entertained, maybe even mildly amused.  While there has yet to be and most likely never will be a rhyme or reason to any of this blogosphere madness, we are genuinely interested in making this site a worthwhile click in your day.  In the last few weeks, we’ve realized there may be more than 4 regular readers, and while that’s close to the most awesome thing I’ve ever experienced, it also scares the shit out of me for two reasons: 1.You may actually enjoy the site, meaning I have to follow through with commitments and write, and 2. Well…ok..so there is only one reason.  But, I’m a people pleaser.  Do you see how well this relationship is working out already?  We have every intention of keeping this site awesome, and welcome any and all feedback, comments, knock knock jokes, even a little inspiration at holdtheglimmer@gmail.com, not to mention- we’re on that twitter thing @holdtheglimmer! And with that, Hold the Glimmer has the distinguished honor to introduce you to one of the finest degenerates Los Angeles has to offer, my good friend and HTG’s new feature writer, Duke.  Hold your applause, please.

 

     It seems like every great author started off composing stories about drunken struggling writers – themselves.  Hemmingway, Bukowski, Thompson – drunk, drunker, and druggie – all started out writing about how lost in the world they were as failed journalists and story tellers.  No wonder I identify with these degenerates so well… as a drunken struggler, I also fancy myself a writer, or at least someone with the gift of linguistic artistry.  But a writer without a topic is like a painter without a picture in his head or a naked muse on his couch – he’s just another alcoholic.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s no shortage of subject matter on which to pontificate these days…  Our political discourse is crumbling.  Our international relations are falling apart.  Our heroes are dead or making GAP commercials.  The prospect of finding true love in our society is about as real as Charlie Sheen’s respect for women.  And, it seems like the Earth is trying to swallow us whole after years of getting raped and abused by the big dick of industrialization.  Jesus H. W. Christmas, are you as depressed as I am yet?  No wonder there’s nothing to write about – every time I try to put a pen to a paper I have to go searching for a tissue!  I start off thinking to myself, “tonight I’ll have a drink and do some writing.”  Then a drink turns into four or five… I watch the news for some inspiration… lose all hope; take an ambien and go to sleep. 

 Then, one morning, a dear friend asks me to write a piece for her blog.  No problem, right?  Well half a day’s work goes by (the day goes by, not the work, it’s still there) and it finally occurs to me!  I bitch about not writing because I don’t have the inspiration.  So, I’ll start where my drunken forefathers started – with the struggle.  See, the only real difference between someone striving to write (me), and a normal person, is that a normal person doesn’t feel the need to make excuses or hate himself for not writing.  In the last year, I’ve written as much as this cup of tea I’m drinking.  That kills me inside, because I know I have the ability.  I look at the world around me and note some astute observations, but just as soon as I think I have a grasp on some concept, my point alludes me and I’m back to staring at three dots at the end of a sentence…

That’s when you search the bottom of your scotch glass for a quick tangent.  Speaking of which, The Flintstones WAS Liz Taylor’s last movie (or as far as I’ve seen, her only movie).

My favorite part of telling people I’m a writer though (fuck you, don’t judge me – sometimes you have to lie to be interesting) is when they ask me, “What do you write?”  I usually say children’s books about drug safety and proper usage of profanity.  Then when they settle their feigned outrage, I admit that I just scribble philosophical musings and fiery political rants on the back of cocktail napkins and TPS Reports.  Hey, I may not have a strong audience, but right now it’s more about keeping sane than about getting published. 

I guess it’s not so much that I’m a writer, at this point I most certainly am not.  I’m more like an observer of life and the world.  Sometimes those observations amount to lengthy pieces I aspire to turn into articles and books… and other times they sum up to a twelve word status update that nobody comments on (assholes).  The point, if there was one, is that – no matter what keeps you up at night, be it lack of creativity or the presence of strong drink – we all start out with the struggle.  And this is where mine begins…

 

(Glimmer- held.)


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