Saturday, May 24, 2008

I'm deaf and my brother is retarded

So I was having dinner with my family tonight. It was a nice dinner, nothing too far from ordinary I guess. But tonight I was reminded of my childhood, which made me laugh.

First off, I was never officially diagnosed with ADD. My family has never really believed in therapy. "They'll brand you as a retard and it will stick with you forever!" they would say. That being said...

I went to a Catholic school from kindergarten through 7th grade. It was an OK time...and by that I mean I hated it. My kindergarten teacher, Ms. Troll, was really a nice lady. She was very sweet and genuine, though now, knowing what I know about children and their whiny, sadistic behavioral ways, I don't doubt that she went home every night and beat her dog. I know I would have. Anyhow, I was never a kid who teachers ranted and raved about. I was never told that I was gifted or talented more so than my classmates - like my brother was, but more on that in a minute. I was just your average, overweight little kid who hated going to school. Because of this resentment I often daydreamed; a trait I remain loyal to this very day. I would sit in class, with my stupid navy blue pants and tucked in polo thinking of sword fighting with bad guys, and me always the victor. I also thought a lot of ninjas, sneaking through the woods to assassinate evil-doers without ever being seen. While this brought me great, unrequited joy, my teachers felt otherwise. My grades were okay, usually a B average. But I rarely participated in class. When called upon, I never really new the answer, not because I didn't know the answer, but because I hadn't been listening to the question. Ninjas are way cooler than state capitols.

In the 2nd grade I remember my teacher calling a parent-teacher conference, I wasn't sure why. I had to wait outside the classroom while my parents went in for the talk, so I amused myself by judo kicking the teatherball and sharpening knives out of sticks I found on the ground. On the way home, my parents turned down the radio to ask me a question. I wasn't paying much attention so my mother screamed, "Joshua! Can you hear me!"

Of course I can hear you. You just yelled at me.

"Well," she said, "all of your teachers think you are deaf. Are you deaf?"

Though I heard the question, I didn't answer. By that time I was already back to thinking of being on a ship defending the princess from swashbuckling pirates. Turns out, the school had scheduled the annual hearing test much earlier than usual, just to see how bad my hearing loss was. I surprised them when I could hear just fine. "Well if you can hear perfectly well," my teacher said, "why don't you ever answer when you are called on?" I looked at her to give the typical childish response of, "I don't know," but in the process became distracted because I envisioned her face turning into a dragon.

Perhaps the scariest moment of my life. As time went on, the teachers recognized I wasn't deaf, or stupid, but simply disinterested.

My brother had a similar story. His teachers (the same ones I had, and it wasn't a big school, so they knew my family already) thought that he was mentally disabled. At lunch, the yard duty lady would always hound him and his friends, because they would start digging up the soccer field. "What are you doing?" she would yell. They would sit there, stupidly, "we are digging for fossils." He was even busted when he would ask to go to the bathroom, and after not returning for 15 minutes come back to class with dirt-stained knees. "Where were you?"

He was digging for fossils.

Much to their surprise, when he went to a public school, where his and mine reputations weren't already tainted, he was placed in advanced classes and a SMART program for gifted children. He is now going to Cal Poly for a degree in physics. And me, well, I still don't really pay attention.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A List of My Dislikes: Part 4

1. The term diva. Primarily used by gay men and under-20-something girls, the term has gained unexpected adaptation, and has thus lead to severe overuse.

Just like when the local [crappy] radio stations get their hands on the new top hit [which was released in real cities months earlier] and play it on every station until you know the words by heart, and then despise yourself for knowing the words, such an effect has been brought about by diva.

According to Wikipedia, which is one of my most favoritist websites in the history of the sentient beings, it is derived from the Italian word "diva", meaning "goddess". In the relatively recent vernacular, it was used to describe some female of outstanding vocal artistry. But now is used to describe, pretty much any girl, who can speak her mind, while embracing a wardrobe that is classified by its users as "good fashion". For example, when I recently asked a gay friend of mine, "Hey, how is [insert name] doing?" He responded, "Well, you know...she's just a diva. You can't stop a girl like that." What in God's green earth does that mean?

2.SpaghettiO's. I want to meet the redneck bastard who ever concocted such a foul, uninviting entree. Eating SpaghettiO's is like eating Hot Pockets. The last time I had these formidable little O's of thrice-processed floor scum, I felt like much less of a man. Sadly, that feeling has yet to wear off. Whoever this genius was, though, is much richer than I probably ever will be. Redneck son of a bitch. He's probably the same guy who came up with the slogan "Save a cow. Eat a vegetarian." Which brings me to my next dislike.

3.Stupid bumper stickers. Unless your car is at least a decade old, don't litter it with other people's wisdom, or lack of common sense. Driving down the road the other day, I saw one of the most unforgettable bumper stickers my eyes have ever seen. On the left side was a large pair of breasts, barely covered by a low-cut top. On the right was an infant curled up in the fetal position flashing the peace sign. In the middle was the text: "Back off. I let my babies choose for themselves. Vote 'pro'."

Now, just fancy me, what the hell does that mean? I can see the direct reference to the baby (baby, babies) but the boobs? Ok, boobs are often referred to as "babies" in a low-ball way, but how do boobs correlate with [literal] babies? And how can unborn fetuses choose for themselves? What the hell is going on here? Who exactly is the target audience? What message are they trying to convey? Now, you can call me a stereotyping asshole, but the sticker was on a 2004 Kia Sportage, which also had a license plate cover telling me to, "Back the fuck up!". I didn't find that very polite. There were two children in the back, and a golden retriever barking incessantly out the window. The woman driving was smoking a cigarette and was wearing an NRA trucker hat. The guy in the passenger seat, weighing 50 or so pounds less than the driver, had a flat-billed hat tilted slightly to the side and was smoking a tipped cigar. They were bumping some Master P when the gentleman passenger started moving his hand like a conductor and lip-syncing the words to the [terrible] song.

My heart sank.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Relationships are like Disneyland

No, sadly its not as optimistic and fantastical as you may well be imagining. The sad truth is, relationships are, in fact, just like a visit to Disneyland.

Relationships are tricky little conceptual entities that can tinker with the hearts and minds of even the strong-willed and implant a seed of jealousy deep into the core of the soul. Just like the fantasy that is Disneyland.

Disney uses those under-the-belt commercials - you know, the ones with the happy, cute little kids, the father that is [presumably] an insurance salesman, the mother that is [presumably] a stay-at-home mom, in the ginormous house that stays immaculate - and these commercials show the family's dreams of children wearing Mickey Mouse hats, taking pictures with Tinkerbell and the dad, who [presumably] hates his insurance job but is free to run and play as a kid when he is in this land of wonder. This is similar to the feelings relationships exude to us bachelors of the world. We see two people; two happy people. Even when they aren't happy, at least they have each other to be unhappy with. I imagine picnics in the park, romantic getaways, sharing the most intimate parts of oneself over a glass of wine and a gourmet dinner.

Then you get to Disneyland.

After the long obnoxious flight (or in the case of my childhood, a 14 hour caravan drive with two other families) you are greeted with absurd happiness. "This can't be real," you think to yourself. "Everything is splendidly fabulous!" Then you pay $60 to $80 per person, just to get in for the day.

A slight pucker of the sphincter.

Then, after security screenings that make the airport look like a proverbial "Disneyland", you enter the gates to be welcomed by swarms of children wearing bright colored clothing, some on child leashes. Parents clothed in their vacationers best; Hawaiian shirts for the dads and "Proud to be a Disneyland Mom" tees for the moms, and both sexes have their shirts tucked in, for reasons still unknown to me. They talk on walkie-talkies in grand attempts to locate each other, though they are no more than 30 feet from one-another. But who can tell in a population dominated by corn dog vendors and suited characters - speaking of which, I didn't know Peter Pan was Asian... Your toes are repeatedly annihilated by the running over of stollers and their naive navigators, little children with stupid big-eared hate spill frozen lemonade all over your leg. You look at the little smart-ass who is now laughing at you and you want to smack that hat right off his head, maybe say something to the tune of: "Hey man. You're not a mouse. You don't need those big ears. Stop lying, be true to yourself. Stop living your life behind a mask. Because if you were a mouse, I'd set some cheese in the corner and when you got it, SNAP! would go the child-size mousetrap. You like cheese motherfucker?"

But then you find a ride you think you will enjoy. And you wait in line for two and a half hours. But the gurus of Disney have mastered the psychology of those lines. They weave and wind through hallways and duck and cross and go into rooms then back out into the open. They do it to tease you. So just when you think you are getting close, BAM, another hallway. Then you ride the ride for 36 seconds, all the while sitting next to a portly gentleman who reeks of Polish sausage and pipe tobacco. Then you find your family, who is exhausted from walking the endless grounds and riding Dumbo five times, so you go eat a $6 hot dog and a $4 cola. Each. And this continues. It's just about then you ask yourself, "Why in God's holy name did we buy a 4 day Park Hopper pass?" By two o'clock in the first afternoon, you are ready to return home. But, in reality, it is only just beginning.

By now you can probably see how this transfers to relationships. You see something that somebody makes look real nice. Like it will make you happy. You want to be happy. So you get one. You get into a relationship.But it's not that easy. First, you have to initiate the conversation. Get out of your comfort zone, make the girl laugh, maybe buy her a drink (if you're a sucker), and get her number. After a few days, sometimes weeks, of playing phone-tag and unofficial dates. You move on to a real dinner. Cha-ching. If you're lucky, she'll at least attempt to eat the steak and lobster she ordered.

Another pucker of the sphincter.

Next thing you know, you have none of that spending money you once had; her various problems have somehow become your own; you have deserted your friends to wait in line for that unfathomable ride, and after the all-too-brief period of ecstasy you get as your reward for such hard work, you just don't want to do it anymore.

A few long, drawn-out weeks later after the bickering has begun, she mentions the thought of having kids.

Your jealousy that was once so strong for the company of another has suddenly shifted directions. You now envy your buddies who told you to stay single all along. You watch them, longingly, as they go to a football game, or to the bar together. Your only thought; "You like cheese, motherfucker?"

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The cat's in the cradle; The chicken has flown the coup; The eagle has landed

It worked. My genius plan has worked. Okay, it's not that genius, but I was right in assuming that a lot of people would click on the link if they thought it had something to do with sex. Today alone, as of 10:30 this morning, the vast majority of visitors landed on the Sexy Girls link.

However, there is a downside. The vast majority of those visitors were only on the site for a matter of less than 30 seconds on average. I guess because I haven't posted in the past month, the number of daily visitors I have seen has decreased dramatically. So, two days after a daring post, my plan seems to be working again.

You know what else is a shame? When I last posted about a month ago, the number of subscribers to my RSS feed at FeedBurner was in the high 30s. Today, it showed only 10. Yes, 10. That just goes to show me that I have not yet achieved the popularity level of Those dirty sons o' bitches.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

XXX, Sex, sex, sex. Adult. Free nude girls, Pics, Videos

Sorry. Don't mind her. She seems nice. This is an experiment; a keyword-loading experiment. I figured that one of the most common searches on the internet is porn, xxx, free nude, free pics, free videos, nude girls xxx, or any derivative thereof. This is more for me seeing how many people search for sex, xxx, adult, free nude girls, pics or videos. I am betting that a good number of people will click on this link they think is for XXX, Sex, sex, sex. Adult. Free nude girls, Pics, Videos, but in all reality is not for XXX, Sex, sex, sex. Adult. Free nude girls, Pics, Videos, but for humor instead. I guess only time (and stat counters) will tell the truth. We'll see in a couple days. But as for things not dealing with XXX, Sex, sex, sex. Adult. Free nude girls, Pics, Videos........

Anyhoo, it has been almost a month since my last post. Not sure exactly why, but just haven't felt there is anything worth relating. Until today. I will title this, "The Deception of Watermelon".

I can't tell you how unenthusiastic I am about this fruit. I mean, just look at it. It is a beautiful looking fruit. At the mere mention, many a person will salivate at the refreshing qualities of these familiar wedges. It's also a bit nostalgic, don't you think? When one thinks about watermelon, one usually thinks about children running through the sprinklers in the back yard; gaily smiling with a big, luscious wedge in his hands. Or, it could even connote memories of barbecues with friends and coworkers gnawing diligently on this palatable dessert after a few cold brewskies and homemade hamburgers.

To me, however, I feel let down. With all these vivid pictures the concept of watermelon brings to mind, I, more often than not, find it to be tasteless. You know, when you expect this -->

but you are unkindly presented with something
that tastes more like this

mixed with only slight hints of this ---------------->

It's like the watermelon gods are playing sick, twisted jokes not only on my taste buds, but on the psychological me. Too many times I have faced these terrible instances, and thus have been programmed to not even desire such a dastardly fruit.

Tell me, why do we, time and again, fool ourselves into thinking there is something more to this phenomenon? Is it true belief that watermelon is always refreshing? Is it just a social standard by which people abide? Have we been conditioned to eat this fruit and not question, or notice, even, the watermelon's inability to satisfy? Or, is it simply we consume more and more in the hope that one chance dining experience we will find what it is that watermelon claims to be - a vibrant, refreshing and tasty treat for the whole family to enjoy?