Tuesday, September 18, 2007

No, Wait

So, A and I were sitting at a table, eating lunch after a memorial service last Saturday. A friend of my mom's sat down with us.

"So, who is this?" she asked, indicating A.


"A, what..."

"Do you want to know her last name?" I asked. Strange.

"No, eh, you know."

"Oh, uh, she's my fiance."

"Oh, congratulations. So, when is the wedding? It can't be May 10, I can't make it then."

Can't make it? My parents have been allocated 35 people. She's a bubble person. It is not clear she'd make the final cut of people who will actual get an invite. "Uh, it's May 25 next year."

"Oh perfect. Then I can definitely make it. I've never been to Texas," she said digging into her food.

Wait, I thought she didn't know who A was or anything about the wedding. "Yeah, it's nice. We'll be near Austin."

"You need to send save-the-date cards. People are sending them out. Wait too long, and people will agree to go to other people's wedding."

Really? I turned to A. And told her, with my eyes, that we should wait to the absolute last minute. At least that was what I was trying to do. Did she get it? She was chewing, so I couldn't really tell.

"She's right," a woman next to her said. "You can't wait. I already have two weddings in May. Where is it going to be in Texas?"

Wait, who was this? I didn't even know who she was. I felt the situation spiraling out of control. I almost lied. That way, this woman might end up in Dallas or something on May 25. Sure my mom's friend might too. But, hey, like I said: she's a bubble person.

Frankly, I don't get the desire to go to someone else weddings. I barely want to go to my own wedding (shhhh -- don't tell A). Not because I don't want to be married. Because I don't want to be on display. Weddings have an air of mildly crass exhibitionism.

People like my mom's friend have probably gone to 50, maybe 75 weddings in their lifetime. Shoot, I've been to 25 or so. And it is gotten to the point that the cultural diversity is starting to fade for me. Somehow I've ended up at two Sikh weddings and still haven't figured out that since I'll be sitting for two hours, better pick a spot against a wall. (If you don't know what I am talking about, sit cross-legged on your floor for 10 minutes; you won't make it unless you are into meditation.)

The free booze and food is not worth the monotony. Well, maybe one more time for me. Next May 25. After then, that's it.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Manifesto

Bin Laden has released a manifesto. In it, he criticizes the current Democratic-majority Congress for being ineffectual and expresses strong anti-tax views. Where have I heard that before?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Republican Debate Blogging

Before I start, A expressed some concern that she came off as a closet redneck in my last post. Far be it for me to imply that a rodeo-loving, country-singing Texan is any such thing, let me assure you she is quite the sophisticate. In fact, she still hasn't returned last month's Atlantic. So there, I hope that clears things up.

To the debate...

  • McCain's jowl tilts to the left. I wonder whether the voters are noticing.
  • Romney and Giuliani have the same tan. Is orange some sort of visual vote trigger?
  • Huckabee speaks honestly, saying that some of the anti-immigrant rhetoric is racist. His jowls seem more centered than the others. Seriously.
  • If Ford could design a car that could literally be powered by the blood of immigrants -- undocumented or not -- Tom Tancredo would be for it. In fact, he probably thinks it would be silly not to support something like that.
  • Fox has a new twist where they interrupt people eating dinner at some dinner and ask them policy questions. This meathead cop talks about how he -- a police officer from Haverill Massachusetts -- is "overwhelmed by illegal immigrants." Haverill, MA? He really stuck it to all those fucking Canadians polluting the town with their politeness.
  • Romney says that the key to stopping illegal immigration is to get rid of the magnets, in particular cracking down on employers who hire them. I don't disagree with that completely. But, since the employers need these immigrants, it does not stand that you block the immigration -- temporary or not -- of these workers.
  • Duncan Hunter claims that Democrats make any member of their caucus committee chairman upon conviction. If that is true, the more ambitious ones are in a hotel room right now with a bunch of hookers and blow. Make them male hookers, and Congressman X could be a Deomcratic presidential candidate one day. Obama is doomed.
  • Huckabee just expressed concern for a child "whether it is in the womb, a coal mine." Here, here. We need to focus more on the issue of child mining safety.
  • Ron Paul: 9/11 was the federal government's fault.
  • Brownback: Same sex marriage leads to more children born out of wedlock. More marriages, fewer children born in wedlock? I don't follow the math.
  • Paul: The people who said there will be a bloodbath if we pull out are the same people who said it will be a cakewalk in the first place. He's been properly absorbing Obama's message. Someone on the stage is audibly laughing at him.
  • Huckabee: We have to stay in Iraq because it honors the troops who have died there. Wouldn't we have honored them better if we hadn't needlessly sent them to their deaths?
  • Tancredo: Radical Islam wants to destroy America. Where is Radical Islam located? Near Oman? The Solomons? Seriously, I want to know so I don't end up there.
  • Tommy is trying to bond with Mickey. It's like he's searching for family somewhere. He seems lost. What? I am watching Rescue Me. I've had enough of the other shit.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Flea Bitten

A and I went whitewater rafting this weekend. Low water levels on the Shenandoah made it a fun but mostly unremarkable event except for "Allie," about whom I'll say more later.

We got there early, so we decided to hit a flea market we saw going in. Flea markets are junk swaps that take your traditional expert junkemn, e.g., Fred Sanford, out of the mix and permit a bunk of amateur junkologists the opportunity to practice the art. They believe one man's junk is another man's treasure. Sometimes, maybe, but mostly it is just junk.

One guy seduced with the pitch, "Everything is super cheap." It was verbal musk for the frugal. We approached. "All jewelry is 50 cents. Except for those rings." Given the "high quality" of the rings they must have been at least a dollar each.

He was clearly selling some woman's prized possessions. Next to his stand was a boy who looked about six. He stared blankly at the ground, pounding it with a plastic mallet. Over and over again. "Real cheap," the man said again, "50 cents, no more." This had "my wife was fucking my best friend" written all over it.

We walked off and surveyed more stand.

"I want to go," I said after about fifteen minutes.

"Why? This is Americana."

"I want to leave Americana."

"No, there is so much here. So many cool things we could use to decorate the place. Like this." She was admiring a giant pez dispenser shaped like Homer Simpson's head. This admiration for kitsch was both shocking and troubling. "What is it, do you think people are looking at us weird?"

"No, I don't give a shit about that. I am talking about things like THAT."

I was pointing to a stand a few feet up. It was manned by a guy with a dyed mullet, tied back delicately in a pony tail. The hair was either brown and dyed black. Or black and dyed brown. Either way, it was a shitty dye job. Dye guy was also gun guy. He was in the process of laying out a remarkably diverse assortment of assault rifles for sale.

"Wow," A said.

"Now do you want to leave?"

Apparently not. She'd wandered into an indoor stall. Outside the entrance was an assortment of confederate flags. I assume she hadn't seen them, because otherwise I apparently had a front row seat to her losing her mind. The fact that the stall contained bongs and weird license plates only added to the mystery of why she went in.

Dye guy got out from behind the stand, and I saw he had on a hip holster containing a large calibre revolver. Nothing says "I have a small penis" more than a guy who has an obsession with guns. I am pretty sure if you measured the average penis size of guys at a gun show, it would be 1-2 inches shorter than the normal average.

A had emerged from the stand. "Do you see the gun on his hip?" I asked her. For some reason she missed it every time. I think she believed that maybe, deep down, I was making it up. Because the notion of a guy selling assault rifles being strapped is such a stretch.

We eventually left and made our way to the whitewater rafting adventure, where A and I were teamed with Jim, Allie and Eleanor, a father and his two kids. Allie was a fat, obnoxious nerd who deserved to be beat down every day of his life. I am not some sort of judgmental asshole who thinks these things all the time. That is just what Allie brought me to after spending four hours in a boat with him.

Allie's crimes included:

  • not rowing notwithstanding the fact thate he was the heaviest person on the boat
  • complaining about the rapids despite the fact that he refused to row
  • insulting and embarrasing his father incessantly (e.g., "my dad says there are no fish in this river. Just hillbilly spit. What? I can't help that you are a bigot.") The best moment of the trip came when his father said, "Listen lardass, be quiet or I'll throw you overboard. The only thing stopping me from doing that is that we'll have to fish your fat ass out of the river." It was completely appropriate.

Allie made re-think my stated desire to have nerdy kids. I have frequently said to A that I want my kids to be studious and not "cool." Especially my daughter, because that'll impede her from screwing. But, for every cool nerd, there are probably three nerds like Allie.