Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Music Appreciation: The Pixies

"I wish someone made music this good nowadays."

Off Load Your Soul

If you ride the Washington DC metro train long enough you'll become familiar with the term "off loading."  It's what happens when you're completely immersed in a really great book and the train operator says, "Sorry, folks, we're going to have to off load this train."  And then all of us spoiled, grumpy, entitled commuters have to exit the train like babies being woken in the night and rudely taken out of our warm, cozy cribs.  It's at this moment you see people for who they truly are. Watch their faces. Listen to their grumbles.  Without context, you'd assume the train operator just asked us to get down on the tracks and push the train.  Thanks.

These are the moments I relish.  Simply because I use these instances in my life to remind myself how fucking great I've got it.  After four years I'm still able to maintain a mortgage on our lovely condo; I have a woman in my life who STILL, after witnessing all my faces, loves me unconditionally; I have a beautiful son who can't be anything less than a messenger from God (or a message from God); I have feet and legs and vision and hearing and taste buds and a mind that never allows me to feel satisfied; I have vehicles in the garage; I have comfortable shoes; I have a job that affords me silly dalliances like video games and comic books; and I have a seat on a heated train car speeding me into our nation's capitol twice a day five days a week.  I know there's more, but I didn't have enough time to think of them because another train arrived to pick us up three minutes after we off loaded.  Interestingly, my fellow off loaded passengers were still angry.  The ones with the shiniest shoes always seem to be the most put out. 

And then I got to work and opened the newspaper and got reminded of even more things I'm thankful for, like not having a bomb detonate near me on 15th Street, or having an empirical country's soldiers occupy my country because they want access to our oil.  Maybe it's time more people in this great country of ours got off loaded in the middle of their routine, mundane lives so they can think about how fortunate they are.  Maybe the fresh perspective will help someone somewhere like it helps me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dare to Get Closer

Please watch this video.  It's important to me.

Kinky Koffee

The cream in my thermos of coffee decided it doesn't want to meld into/mix into/merge into what I typically drink every morning, that being a brown-colored concoction sweetened with sugar.  Instead the coffee is still black with millions of floating particles that I assume was the cream.  I'm drinking it anyway.  I'll probably be sitting on the toilet later.  But I have to have my coffee.  And Starbucks coffee is awful, which sucks because there's four of them in every direction in a one-block radius from where I'm currently sitting.

Why does the coffee at Starbucks Coffee suck?  Am I the only person to ponder that question?  Or, am I the only person who walks in asking for a simple cup of coffee?  Are the barristas even trained to pour a simple cup of coffee?  "Are you sure you don't want whip cream or caramel goo squirted in that coffee?"

I'm going to open a coffee shop.  And the only way to get a cup of coffee is to belly up to the counter and sit on one of those circular, spinny stools.  And the coffee will be served in an actual coffee cup on a saucer.  And we only serve coffee.  Black.  The ball's in your court when it comes to adding cream and sugar.  No muffins, no tea, no juice, no anything other than a cup of coffee.  But there will be free wifi and ample electrical outlets to plug your laptops into.  And the waitresses will be topless - only women with symmetrical areolas will be hired.  Just checking to see if you were paying attention... there won't be any tits.  But you might see an attractive person hanging out writing a script for a play that might make it to an off-Broadway production someday.  And maybe that person is into the same sexual deviancies you are.  Only one way to find out... come on down to my yet to opened coffee shop.  I think I'll call it Jason's Coffee Shop.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Stubby the PIg

Saying "I stubbed my toe" does not do the act justice.  It's not like we're dipping our piggies into a tepid pool to test its temperature.  We violently kick dresser corners, table legs, and coffee tables so hard that stars blot out our vision for a few seconds before the pain surges in waves like an unforgiving tsunami of torturous agony.

My toe is purple.  Purple!  I accidentally "stubbed my toe" on James' baby swing and now my blessed toe is a shade of purple my body has never been.  If it's broken I'll never know, because I refuse to sit in an emergency room for seven hours.

Which Lethal Weapon movie was it where Riggs was tied up and some thug was hammering his toes?  THAT'S how I felt!  Just like Lethal Weapon!  And now I have a purple toe like a bad ass.

Friday, October 21, 2011


By Robert Morgan

A carburetor skips, and rocks
will skip along the surface of
a pond. A fugitive will skip
the country if he can, and crooks
will skip the payment of their debts.
And one can walk content or run
with joy across a summer field.
But why omitting steps is such
a sign of pleasure's hard to say,
as if the gap and shift, the quick
eliding interruption of
a stride, reflects the shiver jolt,
releasing dance; accentuates,
as heart is said to skip a beat,
the lift, arrhythmic, breathless gasp
and rush and reach of crossing first
one threshold then another in
the vivid hop from foot to foot,
the hurrying toward and with delight.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Let's Chat"

Sometimes my friend Ross likes to post the transcripts of instant message conversations we have on Gmail.  Here is the one we had this morning: LINK

We think we're funny and contribute to each others delusions of grandeur. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Indiana Jones + Nathan Drake = Awww Yeah!

Wanna watch Harrison Ford play video games for seven minutes? YEP!

He's playing Uncharted 3, the follow up to last years Game of the Year Uncharted 2.  It's being filmed for Japanese commercials, but you can tell his reactions to it are real.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tour de WTF

It happened again last night - a man cycled by as I was walking Leia and said something to me in a different language.  I think it was Spanish.  And it's not a greeting like Hello, because I know what hello is in Spanish.  No, this is a full sentence.  Maybe four or five words.  And it happens to me at least once a month.  The same dude riding by saying the same Spanish sentence to me.  The tone of his voice is positive and happy, so I'm pretty sure he's not insulting me.  If he is then he's the most passive-aggressive Spanish speaking bicyclist I have ever seen.  Eventually, I started putting my hands up every time he cycled by giving the international gesture for "What the fuck are you saying to me?"  Last night I yelled back to him, "I don't understand you!"  But he keeps cycling away.  I'm this close to staking this guy out.  Hiding in the bushes maybe.  Because I got questions.

Moral of the story: Life is a strange man saying something to you in a language you can't understand as he speeds past on his bicycle.  Once a month.  Forever.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Music Appreciation: Mother Love Bone

Here's some stuff

My bus was two minutes early this morning.  I ran to catch it successfully.  But two other people weren't so lucky.  I suppose if the zombie apocalypse were upon us we'd be down two more humans. 

I watched Cameron Crowe's documentary Pearl Jam Twenty on Saturday night.  I'm not a big Pearl Jam fan, but holy shit this movie was fantastic.  I was transported back to the early Nineties.  The story of Pearl Jam and the birth of the Seattle grunge sound was surprisingly enthralling.  I suppose it helps that I was coming into my own regarding musical tastes during that time period, but if you care about music at all I highly recommend watching this movie.

We shopped at Whole Foods over the weekend and spent gobs of money on meat.  Honestly, if you like meat you really can't do better.  There comes a time in a man's life when he has to ask himself: How important are my meat purchases?  Am I satisfied with the shitty normal grocery store fare? 

We tried shoving solid food in James' mouth yesterday.  Nope.  Not ready.  He had the same look on his face as me when I ate eggplant the first time. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I'm finding it increasingly difficult to maintain this virtual personality with people spread across the country who could give two shits about what I had for dinner or what TV show I think is best.  Facebook has taken something away from me.  But I can't figure out what that is.  Yet. What I do know is that I miss the way people sound when they talk.  I miss eyes and lips and hair and shoes and music.  When did we start losing conversations?  Can I blame Facebook?  Am I allowed to blame Facebook?  Guns don't kill people...

There's experiences we're missing out on.  There's facial expressions we can't see.  Music heard as a collective group carries so much more water.  So much more.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Good news: I have a new comic book shop.  Aftertime Comics in Old Town Alexandria.  Got off the train one stop early and walked, with the help of my iPhone GPS, three blocks until I came to the old store front.  The store was tiny with worn carpet and that musty smell that says, "You found it."

Wayne, the enthusiastic clerk, tested my comic knowledge with a series of questions about what books I read and what books I used to read.  According to him, there's much I don't know.  But I think that's how you pass the test.  Allow Wayne to think he is better than you.  Let him be your guide and teacher of this pulpy world.  Wayne and I talked for an hour. Many people entered the store and left while I was in there.  Some people came in for their "subscriptions" and left.  Half of them were girls.  Wayne tried to include them in our conversation regarding the recent movies Thor and Captain America.  Most agreed that Thor was the better movie which goes against everything I heard.

The meeting ended with a handshake and the standard tattoo everyone gets when they become exclusive members of a comic shoppe.  Metaphorically speaking.  

Funny Pages

Terrible news: My comic book shop is closing.  Where the heck am I supposed to buy my comics every week?  I feel like my favorite uncle died.  You know, the one who always got you the best Christmas presents.  Now I'm on a quest.  The Journey to Find a New Comic Book Shop! 

I actually found one fairly close to my home in Old Town Alexandria.  But this whole debacle got me to thinking... I should open my own comic book store in Alexandria.  With the closing of Nova Comics I know there would be a market... The only problem would be coming up with a catchy, clever name.  Like The Wizard's Spaceship; or, The Dragon's Lazer.  Jason's Basement... sounds like a creepy place to buy men's underwear. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

This is a Georgetown Cupcake

If you're a fan of inane reality television this will mean something to you. How'd it taste? Like dense hype. Rich dense hype.

Manifest Density

How do I describe the way I feel when no one sits next to me on the train?  It's not like I'm a jerk - I often hold doors open for strangers and wear that closed-mouth smile while walking through a group of people.  It's just... damn, I love having the whole seat to myself!  And if I'm lucky enough to score the seat that has no bench in front of it, holy shit heaven. 

You see, I'm a large man.  Large and tall.  The Metro seats are too small for me.  My knees always (painfully) press against the seat in front.  And if someone sits next to me, forget it - discomfort. 

So this morning my commute felt like a high speed Asian train.  Why do the good things go so fast?  Typically when I'm jammed against the glass, knees afire, the train feels like a creeping wagon train being pulled across rugged terrain by elderly mules.  Before I knew it my luxurious commute was over and I had to come back down from out of the clouds.

By the way, I'm reading The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides.   For ex-English majors and literature lovers it's a must read.  Recommendation made. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Occupy This

There's a tent city in the park across the street from the Metro station I use on my way to work.  There's a very nicely painted sign that reads "Occupy DC."  Aside from being harangued by dirty college girls and men who look like every college professor I ever had, it looked fun.

Or maybe I was just gazing among the strewn tents and camping gear longing to go camping myself.  Of course my camping experience has deer lazily strolling through my field of vision, as opposed to the homeless men eyeballing fancy REI water jugs.

Which brings me to my point: I certainly hope all these white people leave something behind for the homeless people whose land they're "occupying."  As far as demonstrations go, the clearest perspective I had was a clear division between the white people and their expensive nylon tents and the homeless (black) men in desperate need of a jacket.  A perspective, mind you, I was able to have on my way to WORK.  A job I obtained by putting myself through college, all while working full time in between classes so that I could pay my rent and buy groceries.

I do think it sucks that the government bails out corporations, but when it comes to putting food on the table for my family and keeping a roof over our heads I'll be working whatever job I can find.  And trust me, if I were in a situation where I suddenly lost my current job you better believe I'll be working somewhere. 

Yes, there are injustices in the world.  And often people born on third base think they hit a triple to get there, but it's no reason to stop moving forward and point fingers.  I'm no sympathizer of either side, but there's only one person who gives a fuck about you and your family.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Invisible Train

I can't think of a place that renders its occupants more invisible than the inside of a subway train.  Or, actually, it's more like we each independently think we're invisible to the world, but won't or can't tell each other that no, you're not invisible like me.  Kind of how we all agree on what red looks like even though its impossible to know if my red looks the same as your red. 

Today I looked up from my book and discovered a woman looking at me.  Typically, eye contact on the train is strange territory and usually accidental.  But this chick was looking at me.  Was she thinking, "Does he know he's not invisible?"  Or was she thinking, "Wow, that guy hasn't looked up once during this entire trip." Or was she thinking, "Red hoodie was a good choice, dude. Roll on, righteous man."  Or was she thinking, "I'd do him."  Prolly that last one.  Yeah.


S'like every other morning.  Except I think I need to educate myself on this whole Amanda Knox thing.  Firstly, Why does TV want me to care so much about this girl?  Wait a tick... sex game gone wrong?  Do tell.

Secondly, Occupy Wall Street, I'm not going to be a prick and say protesters are wasting their time, because hey this country was founded on nothing but protesting, but aren't there gobs of people who'd love to be there if not for the fact that they need to go to work so that they can pay the bills and feed their families?  And what is it they're protesting?  Capitalism?  Good luck with that, unemployed cute college chicks.

Back to the sex games, so let me see if I understand this... American girl and Italian boy convince British girl to participate in a sex game. British girl somehow (accidentally?) dies and the other two get charged with murder.  But wait, British girl had her throat slit.  I'm confused.  We've all had our sex games scares, but none of us has ever accidentally cut anyone's throats, am I right?

I obviously don't know all the facts.

Also, if I were a young Italian boy who somehow convinced two young girls to participate in sex games there is no way in hell I'm going to condone the murder of either of the girls thereby ending the sex games arrangement.  There has got to be so much more to this story.

TV made me care about this story and I ain't gonna get any closure, am I?  I'd appreciate a TV movie or something ASAP.  Thanks.

UPDATE: The sex games was merely a theory.  One of many in this very peculiar crime.