Friday, February 27, 2004

It isn't just dishwashing and other gloves that stymy me, of course. I could post for weeks just on the myriad items in the physical world with which I'm congenitally luckless. Swiss Army knives, for one. I do not, as far as I know, have the hand strength of a toddler, yet it's beyond me to calmly and confidently pry up a blade or tool from within the body. I almost rip my nails from their beds trying, to say nothing of the injuries I court. How's it done? How's it done?

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Yesterday morning, I got the last parking space in the entire BART lot, BART's ridership for the day being swollen by the storm and its effect on the roads. This was an unprecedented stroke of luck for this profoundly unlucky person. Hence, my certainty that it will at any moment now be negated by a stroke of tremendous bad luck. It's coming, for sure, but what form will it take? I think the smart money's on that severe leg break I live in daily fear of for no particular reason. Yes, I think I'm about to shatter a femur, probably with a "spiral fracture" a la Mike Vick. Christ, I can feel it already.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

I cannot produce content this morning, as California has forgotten it is California and has come down with hurricane, and I can't string enjoyable sentences together when soaked to the skin and trembling like a fennec pup. So, in lieu of a legit post, I give you fennec pups.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

The final item in this month's Harper's Index:

Average number of handstands an adult male panda does daily: 8

This is not something that should have escaped my knowledge. Clearly, I have been derelict. I vow never to permit such a lapse in the future. No enormous, animate toys will perform simple gymnastics unbeknownst to me.

Monday, February 23, 2004

I'm not one of those remarkable personages who can tolerate the touch of scalding water, hot untempered by any palliative cold at all, during dishwashing. Yet I resisted the acquisition of rubber gloves for many years, eschewing them as unacceptably namby-pamby (an impression not helped by the delicately, tremblingly tulip-pink shade of the gloves I now use). Having given in to the ever-increasing evidence that hot, hotter, hottest water was needed for my dishwashing (chiefly what a crap job I was doing with the not-quite-scalding water), I'm now distressed by a certain cognitive fault in which I cannot, for the goddamn life of me, keep straight which glove goes on which hand. Yeah! Seriously! Unless I hold up a hand, digits plaintively outstretched, and try to match it to a similarly-digited glove, which is far too humiliating. I don't even try anymore. I pick one up and try to put it on. If it's the correct glove for the hand, good. If not, I try again, shouldering sad resignation.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Young urban toughs, when at a bus stop, almost invariably perch on the bench's back, spurning the apparently emasculating luxury of the intended seat. Have you ever done that, or attempted to? It's physically demanding at best, and certainly painful. So there's something almost lion-hearted about the practice, something obstinately vigorous. I reject even the most austere comforts, it says. I am 16 and I am steely. Cute.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

There were so many reasons to resist The Darkness. They seemed a bit overly Spinal Tap-ish there at the beginning, didn't they? "Do we really need another novelty band?" I spat, before even having heard them. And then there was a big push from MTV, before they'd really started to catch on, which is always off-putting. At some point, I was forced to hear a song. Within days, I couldn't listen to anyone else. Still can't. But I think the most telling thing is that last track on the album. It is soaring, majestic, gleaming. It makes me tear up. It reaffirms my belief in the restorative power of rock. And it is about jerking off. What a feat of songwriting, to wring such evocative power from a masturbation anthem! God bless them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Why must brown people be such hot sauce fascists? Can't I choose which hot sauce to purchase and use without being the subject of such cruel mocking, such relentless rolling of pretty, disappointed brown eyes if the hot sauce does not meet with approval? Because I am not genetically predisposed to a mouth lined with asbestos, I must be treated in this way? It's my house, and etiquette should not permit the critique of my pantry, however honkified it may be.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Having never sold drugs myself, I suppose I'm ill-qualified to judge the techniques of the professionals, but I do question certain of the tactics of my neighborhood pushers. The most significant of these: I would assume that one of the key attributes of a smooth transaction is some degree of subtlety, "plausible deniability". So why do these guys stand in the middle of the street, forcing cars to squeeze around them as they make no attempt to hide either the cash or the baggied goods? Is that really a sustainable long-term business plan? The middle of the street?

Friday, February 13, 2004

Dear Comic Book D*cks:

A guttural "SCREW YOU" from the bottom of my pitch-soaked heart for making Google image searchs for "wolverine" so light on the animal and so heavy on the stupid c*cksucking comic book character. F*ck you and your search-clogging arrested development.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Over the years, I've struggled to develop a reliable method to deal with my arachnophobia. Nearly all of these techniques have been fatally flawed from the outset, usually in ways I should have been able to foresee. My most recent attempt continued this personal tradition. I planned to imagine that any spider I might encounter was a tiny robot, not a living creature bent on terrifying me but a benign little machine, like those skittery metal wind-up toys. Was it so difficult to predict that this would lead to nightmares involving infernal armies of robot spiders pouring into my home?

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Hey, who's up for some completely uninsightful and dead-obvious gender analysis? I recently received a Pottery Barn Kids catalog. From it - from the bedding featured therein, specifically - I learned that young boys have the following interests:

- airplanes
- trains
- frogs
- The Wild West
- camping
- Arctic wildlife
- space travel
- automobile racing
- dogs

For girls it's:

- the color pink

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Our leader's recent State of the Union address contained, as was much commented-upon, lengthy references to some puzzling irrelevancies, like steroid abuse and how laudable it is when a man and a woman get married. I find the NBA's newfound enthusiasm for stamping out grass-smoking among its players similarly irrelevant. One can understand why the consumption of performance-enhancing drugs would be cause for league concern, but pot? Isn't this a bit like, say, testing high-level chess players for excessive boozing? I.e., testing for behavior in no way likely to give a player a competitive edge, in fact quite the opposite? Far as I can tell, the only difference between the league's known burners and the nonsmokers is that the burners have slightly better tattoos. (It's a nice Egyptian tableaux, in case it's difficult to make out.)

Monday, February 09, 2004

What does it mean that, at least once a week, I'm struck by a thunderclap of paralyzing panic in the form of thinking "Oh my Christ, where are my keys? I have no idea where my keys are!", while driving my truck, keys in the ignition? Am I such a fan of anxiety that my mind feels obligated to create occasions of ridiculous terror for me to savor?

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Yesterday afternoon, I was addressed, by a male co-worker in his late 60s, with three gender-based pet names in one sentence. "Thanks, babe, you're a honey of a doll." I doubt this set a record, but it probably tied one.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

I had a mostly delightful time at the Golden Gate Kennel Club dog show last Saturday, despite my fairly grave reservations about most breeders, but I have a couple of questions:

1) I note that bulldog heads are still getting bigger. They're already so large that most bullie pups have to be born via c-section. Isn't that big enough? Do they really have to expand yet more grotesquely? What next, test-tube bullie babies? If a dog's proportions are already so distorted that it cannot be birthed, why are you bulldog breeders still doing this?

2) How do Chihuahua people continue to maintain, as a group, that their dogs tremble because they're cold? I beg your pardon, Chi breeder lady, but that dog of yours, in a 70-degree room, wearing a sweater, and tucked inside your sweater, is not trembling because she's cold. She's trembling because she could easily fit inside a coffee mug, and the world presses huge against her tininess.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

It must've been a while since the last time I watched PBS's Newshour with Jim Lehrer. It seems that between my last viewing and my viewing last night, much has changed. Or so I'm led to believe by the quality of Gwen Ifill's interview with a Kurdish leader following Sunday's suicide attacks on Kurdish governmental buildings. The first question she asked this man was "So, how devastating were these attacks?" How devastating were these attacks that wiped out about six dozen people, including many of the leading lights of your insanely persecuted people? Pretty darn devastating, or only sorta? Christ. Has the Newshour's quality dipped to the level of the locker room interviews after a basketball game, in which "So, how are disappointed are you in your team's 54-point loss?" is the journalistic norm?

Monday, February 02, 2004

During the entire television run of "Touched by an Angel", a series in which a crack squad of energetic, occasionally sassy angels assisted the earthbound with sundry troubles, my mother routinely asked me if I'd started viewing it yet. "Routinely" as in every week for about six or seven years. Each week, she was surprised to learn I'd not yet begun my certain (she fervently believed) fandom. When the series ended its run, I thought with relief that I'd be free from this weekly questioning. As it turns out, my mother has merely tranferred the habit onto "Monk", in which an obsessive-compulsive private investigator twitches and spazzes his way through zany detective capers. Madcap fun, I'm sure, but not really to my taste. Yet every week, the plaintive inquiry: "Have you started watching "Monk" yet? Oh, Jennifer, why not?"

What will it be after this one? "Autistic Kitty PD"? "Kung Fu Down Syndrome Power Hour"?