my computer is smelly.

i have an old computer. it's a laptop. sometimes i lug it with me places like the coffee shop or the deli or maybe somehwere else too. the outside of my smellbox is festooned with stickers ...but not flowery stickers, as "festoon" might have suggested to some. nope. they're just random stickers.

they were stuck there with the intention of infecting the smellbox with some character. we do that with our cars. when they get old, these automobiles (not 'cars'; cars are new) get little additions. they start to grow fuzzy dice or hula girls or furry steering wheels. and, you see bumper stickers that say "how's my driving?" or "my other car's a mazerati." and, then the car is named "steve-o" or "betty" or "kiki." somehow, the total sum of these attributes meets the minimum threshold of what we consider a personality because, as the clock winds down, we start to say things like, "kiki sure is fiesty, but she's been good to me" or "steve-o, he hangs in tough. he's a scrapper; that's why i like him." and so it goes.

i thought i could manage the same fate for my sharp-cornered laptop by stickering it. but, as its name is smellbox, it's pretty clear that the stickers didn't really do much for its character. they've been far outshined by smelliness. my laptop is that ugly, smelly kid that always grossed you out in gym class ...but, now, with the stickers, he's got an extreme case of acne.

icing on the cake.

my funky laptop is a people-repellant. it's the funk that does it; i'm pretty sure. i go somewhere with my smellbox, and i open it up and turn it on. it takes one to two minutes for the armpit-smell to waft up from beneath the keyboard. if you could see it, i think it would look like that stink-ribbon that always trailed skunks in old cartoons.

it's only a matter of time before that ribbon winds its way beneath elmer fudd's nose.

we all know what happens next:

can't shoot my smellbox though. i need it. to write this.

is it bad that i'm talking about it right now? i wonder if it can tell. maybe it will get back at me. like when that crazy computer started to eat richard pryor in superman 3. that would suck.


it's just me and my smellbox. everytime i sit down with it, people start to leave. i think the girl sitting next to me is talking about it right now. she's speaking russian, but sometimes she'll turn her head to look at me during her phone conversation and say some words in english, like "smelly" and "hairy" and "guy" and "computer."

poor smellbox. he's good, but no one likes to be near him.



first, some background:
microsoft has released a new little gizmo to compete with the ipod. it's called "the zune." you can't buy it yet, but a lot of people are talking about it. by a lot of people, i mean gadget freaks and techies who sit up all night scouring the interwebs for pr0n. not...say...housewives who sit in the audience of the ellen degeneres show and shop at kmart.

speaking of dancing lesbians, ms. degeneres decided to give a whole bunch of these little guys away to her audience. following her announcement, mayhem ensues. the good stuff jumps off at around 1:12 in the clip below.

basically, we get some good looks of 30- to 40- something women jumping up and down, screaming, yelling, hugging each other; it's a fucking frenzy. i think i even saw one girl start crying. take a look...

here's my gripe (i'm about to get all 'marketing-speak-y' for a minute): these women, this particular demographic--the audience that watches daytime soaps, oprah, and 'the view'--their ken revolves around things like new 'scrubbing bubbles,' febreze, playtex 24-hour bras, and manwich meals. i bet if you stopped one of them on the street and asked her to give you a zune, she'd track down the nearest police officer and tell him that you asked her to do something involving drugs or sexual favors; she's not sure which, but she's positive it had something to do with one or the other. and yet, when ellen mentions that they're all getting one of these things, they flip out like a bunch of 14 year-olds at an aaron carter concert.

this got me thinking: if they really have no idea what this doo-hickey is that they're being given, ellen could have probably said anything--ANYTHING--and they would've all still gone schizo. it's as if they came to the show just waiting for an excuse to go apeshit and jump up and down and hug each other. they were primed, they just needed an excuse. to that end, our nation's favorite daytime talkshow host could've said, "and hey! guess what! you're all getting tacos!"

Cue 'madness.'

or maybe they were just desperate for free shit. this paints an even bleaker picture.

1. it portrays our countrymen/women as a people ravenous for a handout, no matter how relevant or useful said handout happens to be.

2. the broadcast is transformed from an object of mere entertainment to that of psychological conditioning. this show and its audience's reaction cleverly becomes a model, exemplary of how all citizens of the free world should act when given something by someone of a higher caste. we must be grateful for their generosity; we must celebrate these crumbs for without them, we would only have CD players. and, god, would that suck.

imagine what would've happened if ellen offered to give them free sour cream, too; there would've been riots of celebration pouring from the studio into the street.

Donut Holes

a long day's afternoon is upon me, and i need a quick fix to keep my wits. i stroll over to the local coffee shop to pick up a double espresso (yeah, i know). it's been pretty busy at work, so i'm hoping that the line will move quickly.

let me digress for a moment. i have been cursed. specifically, a dark, pestilent plague has been cast upon me when it comes to waiting in lines. its modus operandi is to make me wait in line as long as possible for no reason. and, for the most part, when i am waiting in said lines, i am in a desperate hurry. i'm not sure why i'm always in such a hurry, but i think the act of waiting in line in and of itself has something to do with it. and so, i will say this: i fucking hate waiting in line.

the nature of a line is like that of a reservoir, and a reservoir is the illusion of the polite management of pressure. millions and millions of gallons of water have been corralled and bottled-up, exerting unheard of amounts of newton-meters of force on whatever has been engineered to contain it. usually, this containment comes in the form of a dam. so, there sits a tranquil midwestern town, over which looms the tall shadow of the great dam. behind this barrier is our gigantic volume of water dying to release its energy and rush freely over what is currently an impoverished, dry river bed; this water yearns to replenish and restore what was once a fecund valley, now occupied by...say...a coffee shop.

people in line are no different. as more gather, the pressure rises. however, we're not as passive as our liquid counterparts. so, as the line augments, its members become raucous, perturbed. they too feel the need to embark upon their intended paths, but something is holding them back: the dam. this time, though, the dam is equally unique.

it talks.

not only does it talk, but it has a cash register, an apron, and lingo. it has its very own fucking lexicon. and, it slings this ridiculous polysyllabic nonsense from its oral orifice at freakishly high volume, right in your face. this dam is running interference, trying to stuff its reservoir to maximum capacity.

meanwhile, this plague of mine, it festers and gurgles in the confines of my inner monologue and ultimately manifests as a throbbing neck vein. hitting something is usually the desired recourse and release. yet, as is the case, there isn't anything acceptable to hit. so i just stew, while the dam keeps spouting crap--the bottled up muck that results from stagnation.

finally, there's just one person--let's call him "Mongo"--in front of me. enter stage left, The Curse.

m: "yeah, uh, what are those there?" Mongo says, looking and pointing at round objects with holes in them, lying just beneath the glass counter top.

mind you, Mongo has no accent; he isn't from a far away place, untouched by man, dams, and coffee shops. all things considered, it in fact appears that Mongo is fairly accustomed to this procedure of ordering an object of which he is desirous.

d: "hi sir, how may help you?" as if the dam didn't just hear what Mongo had so astutely asked.
m: "yeah, those there," still pointing, "what are those?"
d: "those are donuts, sir," the dam replies.

then it enters into a long-winded exegesis, using the untranslatable lexicon to describe the history of said donuts and their romanticised journey. they started as sacred wheat in a remote african province and were blessed and harvested by anointed shamans (can you pluralize that?). from there they underwent an ancient, secret process by which they were combined with the rendered animal fat of sacrificial goats. bob's you uncle and, a dozen steps later, you got fucking donuts.

they're fucking donuts, not the holy sacrament.

m: "hmm, what was that you said about this one here," pointing at a donut that looks like this:

the explanation continues and, after another two or three wasted minutes, we get another gem:

d: "...and so that there is our luxurious glazed donut."

A glazed donut. Christ.

m: "okay, i think i'll have this one here. this one with the...uh...the stuff on it, right here. this one on your..."

Mongo turns around so that his right and left are synchronized with those of the dam. Mongo thinks for another minute, making sure the "right" he's about to refer to is in fact the same "right" of the dam. long pause--

m: "...the one on your right."
d: "the one here?" dam is pointing to his other right.
m: "no, that one, there on your other side."
d: "this one, here?"
m: "yes. yes, that one. that's the donut i'd like to order." Now all attention is focused on a donut that looks about like this:

m: "what's on that, anyway?"
d: "oh, i have no idea. it looks like..."
m: "yeah, gimme that one."

and here is my problem: who takes fifteen minutes to order something, let alone a goddamn donut, when he doesn't even know what it is? what if what he's just ordered isn't actually food at all? what if it was a mistake, and it's actually a mouldy cow patty that's found it's way from africa all the way to this counter? and, due to the intricate aging processes of mould, it just happens to resemble a donut?

what if Mongo is deathly allergic to not one, but ALL of the ingredients in this age-ripened-mouldy-cow-patty-donut?

what the fuck?!

i hope he chokes on that thing, has an allergic reaction, turns bright purple for ten days, then, a month later, his penis falls off.

i finally get to the counter.

a: "i'll have a double espresso, please." Gritting teeth.
d: "let me tell you about our exotic blends of beans..."

something has gone terribly wrong.


That Doesn't Fit You

i'm going to be an asshole.

but someone needs to be. for all of our sakes. because frankly, this shit won't stand. correction: it can't stand. rather, it more or less hangs ...loosely ...gathered at the edges ...flapping, flopping, bouncing.

that shit hanging out from the side of your jeans, that's not cute. that's fat.

now, i'm pretty sure someone is getting pissed at me right at this moment. try not to be too angry. i'm just letting you in on the shit-talk that's going on behind your back, after it trundles by.

oh, and also, don't think this is gender-specific. that's just the best picture i could find. men are equally heinous perpetrators. let's examine a few errors in judgment:

there's the ass-taco

the gut-bomb

and man-jugs

if any one of these things is made more visible, is enhanced, or is accentuated by your clothing, you are one of two things:

a) a retard
b) blind

if two or more of these symptoms is exhibited by the patient at any one time, they should be euthanized immediately ...or at least shown to a mirror.

seriously though, it's no wonder europeans make fun of americans for being fat. just look at the shit we wear. the clothes we're picking out aren't doing us any favors. okay fine, europeans smell funny, but you've never heard someone go, "those italians girls, they're so fucking fat and ugly." on the other hand, when a tourist begins to rant on america, the only thing you can pick out between his nasty teeth, characteristically strong b.o., and terrible halitosis are the words "americans" and "fat" (...which are then followed up by the questions, "where is Mac Do? and why no mayo with french fries?")

at any rate, people need to be better judges of appropriateness. just because matthew mcconaughey goes around shirtless and lindsay lohan forgets to wear ...well, clothes... doesn't mean that either of those things will work for you. next time that saleswoman tells you those hotpants look great, be a harder sell and spare us the pain of watching you wear them.



i had lunch outdoors on monday. i had worked just about every hour of the past couple of days, and i wanted to enjoy the daylight a bit. i had a lumberjack breakfast at the diner around the corner: pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage...swimming in syrup. reason being i'm always counseled, "feed a cold, starve a fever." feed, i did.

i sat, somewhat bovine in my sleep-deprived state, with an equally zombie-like spectre that was my lunchtime comrade. we were humbly munching on the softness of our sap-soaked flapjacks. then two men passed by our outdoor feed plot. they wore black t-shirts with white words upon them. the words read, "remember 9/11."

then i remembered ...that morning.

i never watch the television when i get up in the morning. but that morning, i turned it on. and, there was the local morning newscast. that day it wasn't particularly bubbly. no, it was dark; it was a memorial. that morning there was a telecast on the local news memorializing the tragedy of 9/11. there was a telecast like this one on every channel on the television that morning.

then i remembered ...cnn.

cnn had replaced their "red-alert" ticker. instead, there was a black band filled with white letters. for days, i had been seeing this new alert ticker as i visited the site filled with all the news and information i could handle. in all those visits, those white letters only read one thing: "cnn's exclusive footage of 9/11 to be rebroadcast, uninterrupted here on cnn.com on monday."

then i remembered ...nicholas cage.

for weeks, i realized i had been seeing hundreds of adds that focused on two very tell buildings and one cop with a handlebar mustache. the buildings were the two towers of the world trade center. the mustachioed-cop was nicholas cage. as usual, he looked like shit. the movie was called World Trade Center.

then i remembered ...pennsylvania.

months prior, i remember having seen more adds for another movie about a plane crash. the plane couldn't make it to its final destination. apparently, some bad people took control of the plane. the passengers, unhappy that they couldn't arrive where they needed to go, decided to take matters into their own hands and put an end to this misdirection before it got any worse. in the end, the plane crashed in pennsylvania. everyone was killed. no one got to where they needed to go. no one needed to die for that. the movie was called United 93.

then i got ...angry.

there is something terrible and something great in all of us. but, it's mostly terrible. we pick at scabs. from time to time, we get hurt. and, when we get really hurt, we get cuts or scrapes. and, as those minor fleshwounds start to heal, we get scabs. these marks aren't necessarily troublesome, but sometimes they itch a lot. they also feel different than regular skin; and, they look funny. thus, i think it's safe to say that these aren't things we want so much as that they're things we have to deal with ...at least until they heal properly.

most of the time, we get anxious. we are determined to move forward. we don't want to be pestered with some awkward looking, strange feeling blotches. no, we need to keep moving. besides, those things really do itch like crazy. in our haste to push forward, we start to scratch. and, in the end, the scabs usually come off earlier than our bodies intended. and that leaves a new wound, smaller than the last one but no less raw.

the process starts again, and finally, we get a scar--discolored and melty--where smooth, healed skin should have found its way. now, that mark will always be with us, never to be forgotten.

this is how we've handled 9/11. yet, still worse because we didn't really prolong our ugliness for the sake of moving forward, as a people or a nation. we're pushing forward for a profit, a bottomline. it can be said that these "memorializations" have been perpetrated not by a people, but by corporations. however, it is a people that makes exploitation acceptible. and so it seems to me that we've set ourselves down the long path of destroying the healing process of a people. and, we've lost focus.

really, who the fuck likes nicholas cage?!


Deep Thoughts

there is a rhythm to things.

i can't quite figure out the beat, but i know that there is a rhythm. which is to say, that, inevitably, particular events or occurrences or thoughts strike me with a frequency i can't predict. there is a surety to these happenings, but it only evinces itself once the moment is upon me. and so, there seems to be some certainty, but only with hindsight.

Hesse called these times "moments of clarity."
Nietzsche called this dynamic the "eternal recurrence."

for the latter, the fate of man hinged upon breaking the cycle. the problem is that the rhythm becomes oppressive and renders its victims apathetic to its regularity. moreover, the issue isn't just the regularity, it's the entrenchment. only when you try to make that first step do you realize how deeply embedded in this rhythm you've become.

wittgenstein might refer to this paradigm as a symptom of "shared meaning;" to break from it demands a deconstruction of all previous conventions. but, now the problem becomes the fact that no one can understand you.

this then begs the question: if left all alone with meanings only you understand and conventions by which only you can operate, will a rhythm--some new kind of rhythm--find its way into your life once more? is this just a different expression of the eternal recurrence?