Hold the Glimmer

Archive for the ‘Not A Tyler Perry Post’ Category

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.

Why hello there, glimmerheads! It’s been a hot minute (week, month, whatever) since we’ve spoken, but how are you?  Me? I’m alive! Believe it or not, I held the glimmer long enough to not buy a gun and “go corporate” and instead got a new job!  (Pause for gasp, shock, sigh, and breathe….)

Now, said new job is still within the same company, but at the absolute very least, I’m no longer responsible for spoon feeding or physically wiping my bosses’ asses.  I no longer have to scrub coffee out of the poor, tantrum ridden carpets!  No more verbal abuse over the phone as bossman blames me for his chauffer’s poor driving skills in Omaha! I survived hell! Can you believe it?!  I now have actual responsibilities, and yes, that scares me closer to death than I need to be, but ultimately a pretty goddamn rewarding drive home, full of reflections of daily accomplishments and accolades.  Who would have guessed how far a simple “you’re awesome” or “thank you” really goes?  My new job makes me feel needed, wanted, appreciated- basically how any normal human being should feel.  This may explain my lack of posting, but after switching to this new position and thanks to multiple comments from coworkers, I realized I was on suicide watch for the last three years.  Apparently, once you start smiling again, people get weirded out by the lack of somber attitude, and wonder what’s really wrong.  I’ve been elated to inform them, my absolutely freaked out parents, and all of you that I’m actually HAPPY! 

Ahhhh fuck. 

This blog is sooo gonna die soon.

Nope, I will not let it.

There are so many other aspects of life in which holding the glimmer is absolutely crucial.  I’d tell you the recent events of a gorgeously long legged pedestrian (ya, that’s actually me, all five foot five of me) crossing the street and getting hit by a drunk driver AFTER said drunk driver had already hit a car and was trying to flee the scene around 3am in Hollywood, but I still have anxiety and leg spasms, so why not dive into where holding the glimmer is most needed- my love life.

Here is my declaration: I’m officially an on-line dater. Go find me. I don’t care.  I just told you I’m online dating; do you think my integrity, morals, or values really matter anymore?  Actually, are you mildly attractive with a steady income, little to no emotional or personal issues that need fixing (ie: mom/dad issues, past major drug problems, abandonment anything…)and need a date?  Needle in a haystack I say, but hey, maybe you’re out there!  Blog dating is still online dating, right?  Duke, I think I’m on to something here…

Online dating, you are a beast of many colors.  After a slightly too long “off and on” relationship, I decided I was interested in feeling actual worth again and with little to no interest in wading  through the pudding-like consistency of a  bar scene to find my next beau, signed myself up for some good ol internet fun (don’t you dare define fun, ok?) And fun I found!

After completing the unnecessarily arduous profile, I sat back and relaxed, hoping Mr. Right (now?) would show up in my inbox.  Roughly 39 seconds later, I received this: (please note, every single name below HAS been changed (kinda), in fear of repercussions and, well, I slightly feel bad for them…)(Ok. Maybe some haven’t. Sue me.)

___________________________________________________________

Ikeepawordforyoualways:

Gorgeus Halo my beautiful.  I am in study to become doctor at UCLA. GO BRUINS! Wanna meet to talk to me possible today ? Ciao

____________________________________________________________

Ok. Who the fuck is in charge of admissions at UCLA, because this person either needs to be fired, or sue the shit out of Ikeepawordforyoualways for slandering such an institution. 

____________________________________________________________

Justthetip:

Wanna cuddle?

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Right. Let’s cuddle.  Is this before or after you saw my legs off with a dull machete and carve out my arms then spoon feed me my toes with my own (now detached) hand?  (Let’s be real honest. Screen name Justthetip- hilarious. Do I want to cuddle?  I don’t even remember what it’s like to cuddle, let alone if I even know HOW to cuddle, but you bet your ass I want to.  Unfortunately, I have to trust my instincts and anyone willing to be that forward in a “first impressions” kind of world gives me the heebee jeeb’s.)

After countless “let’s bang” or “will u marrie me plz” emails, I thought I found gold when I struck up a convo with a seemingly literate and attractive man.  After a few email exchanges, we decided on meeting for drinks.  I mean, what could go wrong over drinks?

Nothing.  Absolutely nothing went wrong.  There was good conversation, he made me laugh, I made him laugh, we shared some similar stories, parted ways with phone numbers and decided to meet up for dinner a week later.  Easy enough, right?

The day of date, he suggested Hamburger Hamlet (let it be known- this restaurant was AWESOME…. in 1972.  It was a celebrity hot spot, dark and intimate, couldn’t get a table for hours.  This place is now an elderly melting pot, tables always available, a sad old hostess and a menu full of tasteless “creations” with a Rockefeller like price tag.) I cringed inside and thought to myself, “with all the awesome restaurants in Los Angeles, of all places to ever choose, of any restaurant that serves to the under 80 crowd, WHY THIS PLACE?”  It wasn’t fair to judge, so I kept my first instinct quiet and decided to make the best of the decision and show up. 

I got to the restaurant and sat down at the bar about 10 minutes before anticipated date and ordered a Jack and Coke.  As I’m waking my senses with whiskey, and realizing my date is now 10 minutes late, in walks M (that’s what we’re calling him. Just go with it.), wearing a zip up hoodie, jeans, sneakers, and with ear buds still in ear, because who could stand to walk in to a restaurant without music, right?  Kill me.

We say hi, give an awkward hello hug and he comments, “Oh, you’ve already started?” 

Well OF COURSE I’ve already started drinking.  I hope my eyes didn’t roll back too far into my head when making eye contact, because I promise they would have if I were fully sober.

“Excuse me, bartender? Can I get a screwdriver?” –M

A Screwdriver. Really. A. Screw. Driver.  A screwdriver? Are your parents in Laughlin for the weekend? Are we in your mom’s garage playing beerpong and listening to Blink182? Is this your first time consuming alcohol? Honestly, think of the last time you ordered a screwdriver from a bartender, waiter, hostess, whomever.  I’m sure it won’t take too long for you to think about because you NEVER HAVE.  Screwdrivers are for children who don’t drink.  Screwdrivers are in lieu of Mimosa availability. 

Sigh. Just go with it Tracy, just fucking go with it.

We get a table and start trying to form a conversation, but I’ve never sat next to a man who’s ordered a screwdriver, so I’m a little off myself.  The waiter comes by and asks if we need more drinks and I order another Jack and Coke and M orders a Corona.  Yes, a Corona.  Because, what better beer would you want to quench your thirst while sitting at a restaurant that charges $50 a person minimum. I was under the impression that Corona’s were reserved as a “pool” beer, a “beach” beer, maybe an “on sale at a great price” beer, but never have I thought Corona’s were an “order at a restaurant” beer.  Maybe it’s just me.

After being informed of M’s lack of interest in shell fish because it “tastes weird”, we are ready to order.  As a connoisseur of the soup, I ordered the lobster bisque with a half chicken sandwich.  Probably not my best order, and damn those garlic fries looked good, but I was on a date.  One must be aware on a date. 

“I’ll have the 12oz angus rib eye.” –M

“How would you like that prepared?” -waiter

“Well done, of course.” –M

woah.

Excuse me.  I said excuse me.  Are you joking?  Are you fucking kidding me right now, sir? Did you honestly just order a well done steak, and then further emphasize how well done you enjoy your steak with an “of course”?! Of course you enjoy the taste of footwear for dinner?  Of course you’re cooking off a campfire in Uganda?

The waiter awkwardly walks away, and M goes right back in to full conversation.

“WOAAAAHHHH woah woah woah.  Hold on a second.  We need to assess something here.  You’re from Chicago and you just ordered a well done steak?” –me

“Ya, I don’t really like raw meat.” –M

“Oh of course, I mean, who eats raw meat.?  But a well done steak?  You should have just ordered a hamburger, or we could have gone to 7-11 and gotten you some beef jerky.  Medium? Medium rare? Both non-raw options that give you full flavor of the steak.  That just seems like such a waste of perfectly wonderful meat.” –me

“It’s just how I’ve always had it.  That’s not going to change.” –M

“Well ok, I uhhmm, I have to go to the bathroom……” –me

I take out my phone and text Courtney- “he ordered a well done steak.”

“I’ll call you in 5. Get out of there immediately.”

And I did.  I pulled the “my friend needs me and I have to go” card.  Of course I felt guilty, but I couldn’t sit with this man and watch him attempt to cut that poor piece of meat, knife grinding into the gristled, tasteless product.

Maybe I’m that girl.  Maybe all I could think of was introducing this specimen to my father at a dinner table and he orders a well done steak, with repercussions of us both getting verbally berated by the man for wasting meat, money, and time.  Maybe this makes me sound like the biggest bitch of the west coast, but what else would I discover from a man who orders….screwdrivers…and eats leather? I’m just not willing to take that chance. I may be single, but I’m not desperate.  

So yes, justthetip, just for a second, just to see how it feels.

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

 

Do you know how many times a day I get asked if I have a gun?

Moments ago, our Chief of Compliance walked out of a heated meeting in our Chief of Legal’s office, which just so happens to be right across from my desk.  She slammed her papers on my desk, threw her glasses across the room, and asked if I had a gun.  I forced a chuckle, gave some kind of witty “OHHHHH It’s THAT kind of day” response, and went back to my important Sarah Palin gchat convo with Duke.  A mere 49 seconds later, above mentioned Chief Legal strides out of his office and to my desk- “I just need one bullet, just one.”  Um. Excuse me? REAL SHIT, CORPORATE.  REAL. SHIT.  I understand corporate is brutal, but recently this question has been surfacing more often than “Tracy, where’s the toner?” (same place as it has been since the day we opened up shop folks.  The toner has yet to move.  The toner will never move.  The toner is still in the exact same place as the day you asked a year ago. I still remember this conversation because you then proceeded in asking where the supply room was and I asked if you, as a founding officer of this fine establishment, knew where anything in this office is. You replied with “no”, a hearty laugh, and a swift exit. I digress.) Does corporate really think of guns that often?  Are we thisclose to letting the postal office off the hook and coining “going corporate?”  Do I get a gun too?

Please?

Speaking of firepower, here’s your fun fact of the day:

Operation Glimmer was a code name used to throw off the dirty Germy’s during WW2.

(Thank you again, Howard Stern and Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Glimmer)

Oh glimmer, how you make my world go round….

In continuing with our efforts to keep this blog going and holding the glimmer in any way, shape, or form – I’m going to clear up some confusion.  You see, Duke and I are often asked what exactly it means to “hold the glimmer”.  Most of the time, I respond with “How am I supposed to know?” or “Who the fuck are you anyway?” or “Find your own definition, you bastard devil child!”  This time is different.  I may have an answer and you may have to continue reading to see if this really fleshes out in to a worthy response.  Chances are dimmer than a candle during Chanukah, but let’s hold the glimmer (see what I did there.)

The problem with defining hold the glimmer is that it’s a lot like love- everyone has their own interpretation (my love definition comes from Sleepless in Seattle, yours…unclear (and stay tuned for the next blog on how movies ruined my ideals of love, life, friendship, money, …everything.))

A few years ago, I sat down to a regular Sunday night of catching up on important current events and cultural affairs (read- trash TV) before the monotonous work week.  As I was perusing the options, the remote got jammed and landed me directly in the middle of Lamar and Khloe’s televised nuptials (slight fabrication, I chose to stop where I did.  You see, up to that point, I had yet to watch any Kardashian filth.  These Kardashians run amok throughout my town, live directly across the street from my boss who constantly reminds me of their lavish affairs and camera crews, and have yet to do anything of worth outside of beautifying their family for money and seriously awesome threads.)  As I watched in awe and dismay, I started realizing the Kardashians are what’s wrong with the world (big statement with no follow up.  Sorry.)  You know the saying, “The world is your oyster”?  Well the oysters are running out.  They’re nearly fucking extinct.  And it’s the likes of those Kardashians who are ravenously inhaling them; raw, fried, doused in vinaigrette, whatever… Do we finally understand the oyster comments now?  OK.

So with the idea that the world is your oyster, comes the fact that you actually have to find your oyster.  This is no easy task and I have no advice in how to find said oyster, as I’m currently still figuring this out myself.  You’re reading this blog.  You get where I am in life. From 9-5, it’s not pretty.

You may have to dig through three hundred shredded paper boxes to find one receipt for your bosses refundable car wash, alphabetically organize your said boss’ preferred hotel choices for when he stays in New York, or merely clean 20 coffee cups a day for the shmucks who left them in the sink and “forgot” to rinse them out the day before.  You may get yelled at for stealing toilet paper from the bathrooms because upper management decided they had no interest in further budgeting for your or any of the other two hundred and seventy employees constantly running nose.  These instances are all variables, all events that change from day to day and there is really only one way to handle them: hold the glimmer.

Holding the glimmer is keeping the hope that someday, somehow, somewhere, you will find your oyster.  Some find immediate relief in drinking, be it at the office (I don’t follow the “it’s 5pm somewhere!” rule.  “There’s alcohol somewhere that’s not being consumed” is my rule.) , at a conservative family function when you’re the only one with “liberal” seemingly tattooed to your head, or in your third year of the same class that’s keeping you from your BA.  A cup is a cup after all, and your relationship with what’s in that cup is entirely up to you and the cup.   Maybe your definition of “hold the glimmer” is laughing at old people when they fall.  Falling is funny and age should not be a factor in laughter and entertainment.  I don’t judge. I’m the one making paper clip chains, remember?  Maybe you’re brand new to the entire concept of hold the glimmer, and your idea consists of inhaling expensive cupcakes, listening to Insane Clown Posse, all while reading our blog.  GO CRAZY, you weirdo (but change the fucking station and take off the makeup.  You probably look ridiculous.  Just sayin…).  You do you, and send me a red velvet one if you can.  But in the mean time, whichever way you find most effective- hold the glimmer.  Hold it tight, hold it close, just hold the glimmer.

Below, you will find proof of Duke and I attempting to bar blog.  As he posted before, it was a complete debaucherous mess, ending in aioli on Asians (and multiple other sauces and fried foods), a righteous Friday morning hangover, and no post.   Write a comment, Shoot us an email, “like” our facebook fan page, and follow us on twitter @holdtheglimmer and @DukeHTG….because we have feelings too.

Guess who’s who?

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———-
…Goodnight Tracy
 
Welp.  The day of reckoning is upon us. In a mere 24 hours, I will be with Jesus.

Hahahahahahahahaahahah.

 Right. 

That guy wouldn’t pick me out of the “Who’s Going To Heaven” lineup even if it was between me and Charles Manson (Wow.  Shit. Just. Got. Real.)  I mean hell, I’m heading to Vegas this weekend solely to be with the sinners and celebrate our rise to power as all the good kids get dragged away.

-tangent-

Can we talk about how this is actually supposed to happen?  How do two hundred MILLION people miraculously disappear?  Do they all die a plague like death over a span of ninety minutes, getting bit by rats and popping boils?  Does one know they are chosen as they start self suffocating at 6pm (eastern folks, eastern.  That means 3pm pacific.  We good?)  Will chainsaws magically appear in the kitchen of a “chosen one” for their significant other to saw them in to bite sized Jesus baggage? What if all two hundred MILLION are dragged up to the clouds at the same time, while Joan Osborne’s “One of Us” screams through God’s loudspeakers?  I just…I need to know how this is physically happening.

-And, we’re back!

As Duke posted earlier, there will always be regrets.  Every person in my life knows I either hate them or love them (ya, start thinking about that one now..), so I have no regret in not including them in my list below (this is after all MY list.  Shouldn’t I have the final say who and what makes it on?). 

 

  • I never got to quit my job

(“OOOHHHHHHH! BIG regret you pansy ass!”- everyone who just read the first bullet point.)

Ya. I get it.  I’m wasting a spot on the elitist of lists. Seems like the most trivial of regrets to waste on such a noble scroll, but I’ve dreamed of that day for the last two years.  Remember when the “I quit” video of a hot chick with note cards spelling out the reasons she is quitting her job went viral?  All my coworkers gasped, my mom emailed me WHILE watching, begging me not to watch as she was afraid I would follow suit but in a less tasteful manner (she knows me so well..), and my newsfeed on Facebook was aflutter with commentary and reposting.   Personally, tears dropped with every single turn of a card as I was overcome with emotion.  She was so…thoughtful.  So…brave.  She was everything I ever wanted in a two week notice.  Granted, a week later, turns out awesome chick was just a fake (thanks again for crushing the dream that some people really do have balls in this world).  She still inspired me; and in a few days, I will 100% regret not shitting on my bosses desk, grabbing his hidden stash of 18yr scotch, throwing up the deuces, and screaming “fuck you corporate” as I exit the building.

  • I never got to eat a Big Mac

(please call the Un-American police as I have committed a crime….and then see sentiments from bullet point above and apply here as necessary)

I’ve never been a big fan of hamburgers.  As a child, I can remember inhaling hot dogs (literally, not figuratively) at family functions and BBQ’s, while Dad yelled that his burger wasn’t bleeding anymore and he could never eat such tainted meat.  Years later, I would come to find that my hot dog eating abilities would turn in to an obsession with seeing how many Dodger Dogs I could stuff in my purse and sneak out of the “All You Can Eat” section at Dodger Stadium (The record still stands at 22.  This is not a joke).  On the rare occasion my mom allowed her Mercedes to be seen in a drive-thru, I always ordered some form of chicken (yes, form.  I saw the other viral video of an unnamed restaurant mass producing their “nuggets”.  While the unfinished product would induce projectile vomiting from most, I immediately got in my car and drove to the nearest…rhymes with Shmick-Fonalds.  The same thing happened after watching “Super Size Me”.  I’m a marketing and advertiser’s dream.)  Regardless, I’ve heard wonderful things of this sandwich, special sauce and all, and do truly regret never being able to experience the joy that is Big Mac.

  • I never met Howard Stern

Oh, Howard, my hero.  I listen to you daily, religiously even. Your words, your reasoning, your undying devotion to becoming the king of all media have kept me on the edge of my seat during countless morning commutes and road trips. I know there are a multitude of reasons why we never crossed paths.  Mainly, I’m not an actress, porn star, author, tranny, athlete, comedian, game show host, willing to get naked on air or film (for free), but also because I live in Los Angeles.  I ponder what I would actually do standing face to face with my hero, but ultimately know I would stutter for words, pee my pants, and turn around in to a full paced sprint, hoping at the very least that the encounter makes it on his show.

  • I never really released my road rage

Maybe it’s just me (truer words have never been spoken), but every single time I get behind the wheel, it seems every horrible driver was notified via press release to get on the road and find me.  I’ve had my fair share of verbal confrontations (just because the window is up, doesn’t mean you can’t read my FUCK YOU lips).  I may be slightly overzealous with the only sign language I know as you cut me off at my exit on the freeway, but I’ve never stopped the car, stepped out of my vehicle and verbally… (or physically. I’ve been in one physical fight thus far in my life.  It started with ketchup and ended with me waking up in a police station with a fat lip, black eye, and no memory of how I got there. Baller.)… berated the asshole who almost made me spill my coffee.

Of all things I regret, I must admit that not focusing on my writing would top the list.  The poor regret didn’t even get a bullet point….(or a complete sentence…ugh)

So wherever you end up on Saturday, be it Hell, Heaven, or rehab, just know that life is one big regret. You either live or exist; but we all die.  Billy Joel and I can agree on one thing: “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.  The sinners are much more fun…”

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.

I’ve started playing a few new games at work that are revolutionizing my 8 committed hours to the office.  You have to understand, I work in the epitome of corporate, at the assumed “bottom of the totem pole”, titled CEO’s slave.  It’s a daily lottery of which farm animal my duties will most resemble or which exec decides to skip their therapist for the night and just hang around my desk, complaining about compensation, as if I’m making more than a PE teacher in Wichita.  Finding ways to entertain myself is difficult, especially when the “soul” count is at a very depressing bare minimum and diminishing with every broken copier complaint.  Staying sane becomes the pinnacle of importance and most difficult of tasks, especially when it’s expense report day and not one executive is expecting less than your monthly salary in a single report. 

First, I say “good morning” and “how are you” to every single person I pass on the way to my desk.  Seriously- Every. Single. Person.  This game would be irrelevant if its sole intent was to learn more about the people I work with- of which I promise to have no interest.  Seriously.  I have my clique here, my inner circle of “normals” if you will, and have no interest in further friending from “how are you”.  It’s just too dangerous to stray.  The last thing I need to hear at 8:30am and before my first cup of coffee is how you stayed up until 2am cleaning your daughter’s throw up from witnessing your son’s explosive diarrhea.  What’s your problem asshole? Why would I ever want to know that you were knee deep in kid shit a mere 6 hours ago?  Don’t you know that I can tell the last time you washed your hair, and it wasn’t yesterday; what about those fecal hands?  I’m not interested in breeding and you’re only further scarring me from the thought.   I’m simply buying time, folks, not friends.  Sometimes, people get out on the right side of the bed and acknowledge your existence then respond with their go-to of the day, usually the weather (corporate lives for weather conversations, especially in elevators.  It’s a phenomenon I have yet to understand, but is on my list to conquer before I send out my “FUCK THIS PLACE, YOU SHMUCKS” mass email.)  Most times, a trusty head nod or half grin to symbolize lack of ability to communicate well with others, but still appreciated in my book.    

Now, you should know that my desk sits at the end of a green mile-esque hall (electric death chair and all), right in front of our trusty CEO’s lair.  The location of my desk, and the number of people I pass by in the morning, enables me to spend a solid 27 working minutes before I even press the button to turn on the worlds slowest computer. I’d hate to pull out Charlie Sheen’s last and only form of compensation; but in my book, by 9am, I’m already winning.

If you’re interested in a real time cruncher, try the water game.  Every 18 minutes (more or less depending on who signs your paycheck), get up and get yourself a cup of water.  You deserve it. Take the long way, of course. Not only are you hydrating that numb corporate body, you’ll also be making a new, wonderful, anonymous, full of games friend: the corporate bathroom stalls.  You see, if you’re drinking three cups of water every hour, your bladder has no other option than being holed up in the handicap stall (it’s spacious. There’s a handle bar and a place to put your purse, coffee, laptop…whatever. I feel no guilt in fully appreciating one of the minimal luxuries offered to the handi-CAPABLE.  Besides, I’ve yet to see anyone on the third floor wheeling their ass in here.  Equal opportunity employer? I think not.)  The benefits are countless; a healthier lifestyle, a little exercise, and of course the few minutes of quiet meditation before bossman throws a fit over the temperature of his coffee. 

Another game I suggest, nay, implore you to try is modestly titled the paper clip chain.  I know it sounds slightly above a preschooler’s level of competency, but it’s a wonderful mind occupier.  You’re on an hour long phone call with AT&T regarding the Iphone you DIDN’T drop in the toilet? Make a chain.  You were just asked to make 20 copies of a 200 page presentation due in two hours? Grab yourself a chair by that copy machine and make a chain.  See, it’s not the chain that’s entertaining, it’s the “after chain”.  These chains will give you minor gratification while assembling, but it’s when you hear the “What the FUCK” from the copy machine at 3pm and realize the eighty clip chain you worked on earlier that morning has been found that really gets your endorphins running.  haHA sir! Those paper clips aren’t gonna separate themselves! This game is also an awesome way to see who’s the new scumbag that takes things off your desk while you’re away.  You see, having to detach ONE paper clip from a chain of FIFTY takes time.  This isn’t an easy process and only the most skilled of assistants can unchain a paper clip swiftly.  So, while I’m casually walking back to my death lair after my tenth cup of water before 11am, you’re still untangling my paper clips, and 9 times out of 10 I will catch you.  And then I’m allowed to assume you’re the asshole not shutting the supply room door, or the prick that leaves his dirty forks in the break room sink for some maid (read: me) to clean, or the shithead that “forgot” to refill the paper after making one thousand copies of your MLB fantasy league.  That’s just how it is folks.  I didn’t create the game; I’m just the MVP.


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