the notorious bettie

Happy Birthday to Bettie Page.

Forget the anorexic ditzoids on tee vee, Bettie is about as perfect as they come.

See Also.
the things we carried
Last night, Tim O'Brien came to speak at a local school. He is the author of the much anthologized "The Things They Carried", and many novels. He has recently turned that short story into a book, all revolving around the theme of the original story.

"The Things They Carried" is about an infantry group in Vietnam; the story of their experience told, literally, according to the things they carried. There is a plot, but it isn't linear; you know where the story is going from the outset, his description dosen't so much get you there as much as fill it out.

Reading the story is more like looking at a snapshot than watching a movie. The whole scene is a stillshot; the prose is poetic, descriptive. The effect that O'Brien achieves is a sense of reality.

For combat vets, the scene is remarkably, almost disturbingly familiar. O'Brien is reading your memory, putting you back in the moment. A lot of the details may be differant, but you've been there: perhaps with differant equipment, perhaps a differant situation, but you've been there.

For civilians, this story is a vicious, touching taste of the daily life of a soldier. Oddly, non-military types seem more affected by the story than vets. Several incedents seem shocking, all the more so because they are told with such casualness; but the casual nature of it is a part of living the life.

Either way, his writing is the most accurate, and effective, piece of war-story I've seen or read. It reminds me of "A Day in the Life of Ivan Dinisovitch", only much less boring; it is a perfect rendition of "A Day in the Life".

Which is all the more surprising because, strictly speaking, O'Brien's stories aren't true. He is a Vietnam Vet, but the stories he tells mostly never happened. I get nervous when people start fooling around with the word "Truth", and the ambiguity it leaves, but in this case O'Brien has managed to deliver the truth through fiction. He has taken what he saw and, in a process known to many as "Telling war-stories", he has hit home on the reality of war. It isn't "True", but it is the Truth.

(To be continued...)
um, mary?
A bunch of nutty Catholics have decided that some stain on a wall resembles the Virgin Mary, and have built a shrine around it. Now, look very closely at this photo, and the dark spot to the right of the painting. Think "Pictures in clouds".

Okay. Now...what else shares that shape? A long vertical oval, with a bunched bit at the top, and a longer space below it.

Look at the picure again. Think Jenna Jameson, if it helps.

I can't be the only person that sees poontang in the suppossed "Stain of the Virgin Mary".

Maybe I'm just obsessed, but my first thought seeing that stain was that it may resemble Mary, but it's not her face we're looking at. I'd like to post a pic for comparison, but I'd probably get kicked off blogger, and besides, I'm walking the line to Hell already.
to write or not to write
Content's been a little scarce lately. Nothing new about that. My "New job" dosen't have internet access. Among many other things, like decent pay or any redeemable qualities whatsoever.

Nobody cares when someone writes about blogging, but hey, tough shit.

First off, thanks to everyone that commented down below. It's nice to know that others have been in the same position, and the sympathies are, seriously, very much appreciated.

I don't want to turn this into some goth-kid whine-blog. If I have a tendancy to whine here, it's because I mistake my whining for "Amusing Rants". I've actually deleted several posts over the past week for that very reason. I write them, and then think, "Do all I want people to think is that I'm some overdepressed SNL parody?" That's not who I am, so no. Sometime, I hope to turn those posts into something worth reading, the trick is making them amusing without coming off as a cry for help, or whatever.

I just write about what's going on for me. I'm not looking for a mercyfuck here, it's just the story of my life. Love it or leave it, in the most literal sense.

So, having said that, I want to address this comment:
people are reading your stuff from a former likely place. Just a word of advice if you even care.

The answer to which is, I do and I don't.

Any blogger that claims to not be a narcissist is a liar. I do want a few people to read this trash, and to give feedback. Every once in a while.

The "but": If people don't like what they're reading, great. It's a big internet, this is a very small corner.

Greyhawk of the Mudville Gazette, who is one of the few bloggers I first discovered and still read, was kind enough to link me and add me to the milblogs ring when I was just getting started.

I'm assuming that this is what the commenter was reffering to; folks surfing the milblogs ring don't want to read somebody bitching about what an evil whore their boss is.

See, I thought about this alot. First I got a link from the Gazette, then from the Llamabutchers. So I started thinking, what kind of stuff would they like to read?

That was the first of many times this blog went dark. I had nothin'. As soon as I started trying to figure readership into the picure, I could do no right.

This is, so far, still a Milblogs site. I'm glad it is, and not because of whatever traffic I get from it; the military is part of me. I do write about military stuff every once in a while, but only when it comes up. Today, the army is no longer a huge factor in my life. Hell, even when I was with the army, I wasn't much of a high-speed soldier; I did my job and didn't get involved with much of the bullshit.

Now that I'm out, it's a memory for me. An especially resonant one, have no doubt, but not a part of my daily life or my most prominent blog stuff. It's something I bring up when it's relevant.

To be honest, there's alot of shit from over there I would just as soon forget.

I'm thinking of turning my war stories into a book. That could be interesting, although very trying. That is not what you will find here, however. This is, as advertised, the poorly typed rantings of an ex-mil, ex-punk, ex-geek. Or maybe none of those "ex"'s. Whatever I am, daily life (or, unfortunatly, weekly life) is the fare. If this crap dosn't fit the expectations of some readers, then, oh well, thanks for visiting and all that.

As a final, humorous note: One of the reasons I'm not worried about losing visitors is I'm currently hitting about 30 some odd people a day, which would be fantastic for me, if it wasn't for the fact that about 95% of them are here looking for the Amityville horror house. (Currently, I'm the last link on the page, all because I wrote about a haunted house trip. They aren't reading, but at least they're bumping my sitemeter stats).

So, to the folks that read this garbage once every few weeks, thanx. If you aren't finding what you like, then no hard feelings, I'm sure you're all very good people.

Or at least, you know, somewhat good people.
drug docs
Here's a political topic that hasn't been quite run into the ground yet:
A fourth-generation pharmacist whose drugstore still sits on the courthouse square of his conservative small town downstate, State Senator Frank Watson knew exactly what side to take when Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich ordered pharmacies to fill prescriptions for women wanting the new "morning after" pill, even if it meant putting aside their employees' personal views

Does a pharmacist have a right to refuse to fill a script written by a physician?

John Cole at Baloon Juice argues that a pharmacist is, essentially, a government-licensed drug dispensing machine; the pharmacist takes orders from a doc and should fill them no matter what their personal opinion on the script.

Here's my thing: a pharmacy is a privately owned business. As such, they should be allowed to refuse to do business with whoever or whatever they want. They're government licensed, but not government mandated.

If I get a marriage license, I don't expect the government to tell me how to execute that marriage. If a car inspection joint wants to refuse a sticker to someone because they are morally opposed to having shit dangling from the mirror, that's their right. I don't agree in that case or the morning-after case, but it's their right to disagree with me and run their business accordingly.

Some folks there are making the argument that script drugs aren't like bread, you can't go just anywhere and get 'em. Again, I call bullshit. I grew up in a small town. That town had almost as many pharmacies as bars. I would be willing to bet that several of them will dispense the requested medication. If not, there were probably a hundred within driving distance. It sucks if you wound up in fundie land and couldn't get the pill on your first try. If it sucks that bad, go find another pharmacist and don't ever patronize that first place again. Everybody understands a hit to the pocketbook.

I don't want to criticize Cole too harshly, because I like his blog, but I want to mention this:
This is not a morals issues. This is an issue about buttinski creeps trying to impose their values on others. Do you stand in judgement of overweight people when they go in for their blood pressure meds?

How about someone who needs an antibiotic to combat a sexually transmitted disease? If they are single, should you deny it so they can suffer yuor God's wrath? If they are married, do your morals dictate that you call up the patient's spouse?

He's right and wrong, it isn't a morals issue: it's an issue of what individuals do with their property. In any of the situations above, the pharmacist can refuse to sell those drugs on his ground. If he disagrees with singles getting VD meds, he shouldn't sell them. It's his business, and he can run it into the ground if he so desires.

Most of all, having the government intercede on how a legal business is run is friggin' criminal. Yes, the pharmacist requires a license, so he can be trusted to the state not to sell drugs to people that shouldn't have them, and to distribute drugs in the proper amount. But refusing a morning after pill isn't selling blackmarket Oxycontin, it's a business decision. Perhaps a stupid one, but stupid decisions are the basis of liberty. The government is there to protect people, not to manhandle people into doing something they legitimately think is wrong.

I don't agree with that pharmacist. If I found out that someone in my area was doing something like that, I would avoid their business like the plauge. But I would not be writing my senators to force that person to sell drugs he didn't want to; it is his right to refuse and my right to refuse to give him my money.
You know, you'd think that being unemployed would give me more time to write.

Quite the opposite. Between writing resumes (much more challenging than I had thought), job hunting, housework, and catching up on school stuff I had been blowing off for my ex-employer, I can barely find time to drink a case of beer a night.

So, some quick notes:

Deadwood is good stuff. Put it on your Netflix list.

Scarecrow is not such good stuff. We rented it hoping for a good cheesy horror flick; this one is bad beyond expectations. It isn't really even good for a laugh. Plot synopsis: standard high-school dork gets picked on a lot at school then killed by some bad redneck parody that had a few minutes earlier been fucking his mom. After his death, he unexplicably either becomes a scarecrow or merges with a scarecrow; along the way he picks up some super ninja skills and a desire to kill characters that have nothing whatsoever to do with either his death or the plot.

The first half of the movie is a total waste. The acting is quite possibly the worst I have ever seen. The guy cast as the high school dork is at least 30 years old; I got the most entertainment out of the shots showing his bald spot. In fact, none of the high schollers are anywhere close to high school age; I don't know why but for some reason they couldn't find bad actors in their early twenties and had to settle for worse actors in their thirties.

Every character in the movie is a (poorly acted) sterotype, from his white trash mom and her fuck-of-the-moment to "the only girl in school that gives a shit about the dork".

After his death/resurrection, the movie gets marginally better. But still, the scarecrow insists on a bad pun before each kill, the kills are neither particularly gory nor interesting, and there is no further plot development. Literally, the plot stops after the incredibly bad first half.

Between every scene is a seemingly endless bit of stock film of corn and moon or flashbacks to earlier scenes. It was so monumentally boring I was practically begging to get it over with already. Starting with the opening credits, which were the same five shots repeated over and over for at least two days, the director for some reason felt the need to insert the same boring shit in every scene change. By the 75th shot of a scene I had already seen and a Winnebago, I wanted to shoot my tv.

There is no worthwhile explination why or how this dead guy suddenly became a ninja-scarecrow. There are at least three endings offered, none of which are any good. Alot of stuff appears out of nowhere (the killer has weapons he didn't have before, characters pop out of the woodwork, etc). The script sucks so bad it makes me want to puke that someone got paid to write that drivel; the acting is absolute bottom barrell; the direction is so bad it makes my high school videos look like fucking Hitchcock.

Redeeming values (they are very few, but): the scarecrow getup was pretty good; cheesy but spooky, would've worked great in another movie. The guy that played the scarecrow also designed the costume, which is apparently his regular deal, so props to him. The girl that played the dork-friendly eventual hero (or villian? who fucking knows?) did pretty well with a for-shit script and a part not even remotely suited to her.

Other than that, it's all crap. I can't even reccommend it for something to laugh at due to the pure boredom of so very many scenes. Pure crap, stay away. Best review, another good review.

In other news, I just discovered a Monty Python disk that wasn't stolen with the rest of my cd's; part of their "Final Ripoff". Great stuff.

Also good, for those who like chick-rock that isn't too fucking girl-power: Poe. Great stuff; slightly techno, occasionally personal, overall fuckin' rocks.

Another chick rocker, while I'm at it: Mary Prankster. Very clever, folksy style. Has a way with words that is unsurpassed, but isn't fucking obnoxious about it like some girl singers I could name.

Also, neither of the two above has received the recognition they deserve. They are much better than some of their more famous counterparts, check them out.

I actually went to a Mary Prankster concert once, years ago, on a night that is better left forgotten. She was playing acoustic that night, no band backup, and I was still very impressed. I bought one of her cd's that night and got a picture taken with her afterward (the birth of me doing the stupid "Rock and roll will never die" thing in every fuckin photograph). Good time, despite the company; she can connect with the crowd in a rare way. Which is to say, she has a smart way with her words, and the lyrics of her music reflect it.

Finally, Mary is stupid hot. I just thought I'd throw that in. I understand the band has actually broken up, but I'm too fucking lazy to look up the details right now; check out the stuff at that link. You won't be disappointed.

On another note, Harp Lager is Guinness for pussies. Excellent beer, actually, good for nights you feel like an Irish but don't feel like drinking something you have to chew first. Just don't drink it in public, or else people like me will make fun of you for not having the balls to buy a real beer.

Apparently, the people at Guiness are too lazy to put together a Harp homepage. I respect that sort of aggressive laziness, so no link.

I am sick and fucking tired of service interruptions on my internet cable. Once every few months was annoying but understandable; two or three times a week is fucking ridiculous. And I wish they would hire someone in tech support with an IQ in the double digits that could perhaps (imagine this!?!) answer my basic questions. I know they have to treat every caller like an idiot due to the high occurrence of moronic callers, but they should be able to handle people that know where the power button is on their computer as well.

Hm. No politics on this one; political shit has been pissing me off even more than usual lately. Go figure.

I take Pittsburgh's suck ass parkway thru the tunnels into work every day, and about once every two weeks somebody decides to drive their car into the tunnel retaining wall, which makes me late. Not alot, five or ten minutes, and I always call to let work know what's going on. To me, this falls into the "Shit happens" category.

Last summer, I built up a lot of these few minutes late days. I know it sucks for the person I'm relieving, but I show up early alot too, to try and make up for it.

But because of that, I built up a reputation. It dosen't matter how often I'm a half hour early; if I am thirty seconds late or even early just under the wire it goes into my record and I'm suddenly the guy that's always late.

Since I started school, it's become alot easier to be on time. No parkway; just skate across town and I'm there. I'm still a few minutes late here and there, but very rarely and never seriously.

So to the point, which I should've put up top. Thursday afternoon, I was going to be late. I left early for school and didn't take my uniform, so I called in and told them that I'd be a half hour late because I had to run home.

I drive back into work, and my boss tells me I'm no longer welcome there. Actually, she dosen't even have the fucking gonads to tell me that; she tells me that I'm suspended and may be terminated. I'm being punished for excessive tardiness.

In the past six months, I've been late 3 times, all under five minutes. This was the first time in that period I have been seriously late. I called in to let them know what was going on. Again, I think shit happens. Apparently my boss disagrees; we're all suppossed to be perfect.

I called my boss's boss to schedule a meeting, as I had been asked, and I learn that my ex-boss has decided she dosen't want me on her site anymore. The person that I had thought was playing on my side has turned out to be the one out to fuck me all along; the company still wants me, the site dosen't.

I don't have the space to fully explain why, but that's a real pisser. That hurts.

I worked for that site for four months before I had to go to the desert, then another year and some change after I got back. With proper management, I was by far one of the best employees that stupid department had ever seen.

But somewhere along the line, they decided that being a bit late was a superior concern to actually being able to do what the fuck an employee is supossed to do. Saying that I am among the best ever through there isn't bragging; think of the typical security guards you've seen.

Not a tough standard to beat.

I did my job as I was expected, and I did it well. I did everything that I was told to do, and more. Aside from mild tardiness, my boss could never come up with anything I was doing wrong. Toward the end, she started citing "Lack of motivation", but couldn't think of any situation where I had exhibited a lack of motivation. She just felt that I wasn't performing well. No reason why, just didn't feel that I was performing up to standard.

I have no idea how to help her feelings. When told something to change or improve upon, I did it. But I can't change her "feelings".

So, after years of service and dedication, for which I had been promoted and asked to the fill important positions, my reward is being dismissed for letting them know I would be a few minutes late. Not even fired to my face, but pushed out and advised of my termination later, by a proxy.

I'm told that there is another, lower paying, less desirable position opening up soon. Hmm. Excuse me if I don't just jump all over that shit.

So, I'm tring to view this as an opportunity. Honestly, I was pretty much over that job already; alot of things were pissing me off about it, not the least of which being my drama queen boss. She gives females in managment postions a bad name.

I'm trying to find something else. I have to work up a few resumes; one for security, one for computer soft and one for computer hard, but I think I can do okay. Unfortuantly, the bills were drowning me before and will only get worse in this period of unemployment, but I'll do the best I can.

It'll all work out in the end, and maybe for the better; if I can find a tech job then it will be a big step up for me. Nobody wants to hire someone that hasn't even completed an associate's yet, but I'm working on it.

But holy shit, what a pain in the ass I didn't need. I was comfortable with that job I hated; now I have to find a new job to hate, and figure out how to pay bills in the interim, and do that while keeping my grades up at school.

On the upside, now I can say all the bad things about my ex-boss I want, and they can't do anything about it; they already fired me and will probably give me a bad referance. There's a lot of material there, coming soon.

Writing's good, life's not so much. That's about the usual.
white trash wednesday: tales from the plastic badge
As an astute reader may have noticed, your humble author is currently employed as a "Security Enforcement Engineer", or, as I prefer to be known, "Rent-a-pig". After a moderate high school performance and a tour with the Army (for a career builder! Ha!) staring at cameras for hours on end and keeping the drunks away from rich people is pretty much all I'm qualified for.

Over the years, I have moved up the low-ceilinged food chain; from retail to hospital to corporate security. Along the way I've met an interesting cast of characters, both in the public and as cow-orkers. I've thought about writing these stories out many times, either as fact or fiction; sometimes as a Bond-satire, sometimes in a more Mikey Spillane style. Today, I'll share with you a story from just last night, titled "Murry and me".


"There's a guy in a green jacket out back, lookin' at the cars."

Looking at the cars? Is that suddenly illegal? Well, if he isn't an employee, he's trespassing, so I guess I oughta go boot him out.

I strap on my radio and butt out my half-smoked square, wishing this guy had waited another five minutes to start oogling other people's wheels so I could finish it. I already know what it's going to be: some bum wandered out of the city and was looking for someplace to sleep, or something to steal for his next bottle. But God forbid the pencil-necked dorks that work in this place tell the guy to scram, he might breathe on them or something.

When I get to the back lot, there's nobody walking around but an employee heading home. I do a circle of the lot for the benefit of the cameras, but I know where the guy's at: at the far end of the lot, there's a set of storage sheds that haven't seen use since the Carter era; the local vagrants build everything from cardboard mats to small cookfires to clotheslines out there. Technically, it's on corporate property, but me and the bums have an understanding: they stay back there and away from the building, and I won't go to the trouble of kicking them into a differant alley.

I check the narrow valley between sheds, and sure enough, there's a pair of blue jeaned legs poking out under a garbage bag blanket.

I walk back to the building where I find the pansy that works on the nightime cleaning crew, standing next to the dumpster smoking. I tell him what's going on and make a joke about how at least the weather is nice; which turns out to be a mistake. The guy promptly lisps out a diatrabe about how it's just so awful, in this country, we have homeless people like that. Just awful. Nobody cares, but he feels so bad for them, they have mental problems, dontcha know, and on and on, in this country, it's so AWFUL, he feels soooo bad.

Some people.

Anyway, a few hours later my buddy in the green jacket wakes up. The sun had just gone down, and I figured that he must be set up opposite most people: instead of being woken up when the sun comes shining down on him, he wakes up when the sun goes away. There aren't many cars left out back for him to stare at, so instead he stumbles his way toward the building; either toward the dumpster for breakfast or toward the doors to try to get in.

The doors are all locked, but I can't have this guy stumbling around right outside, he might make a play for a secretary heading home late or try to break the windows or something. Hell, he might try to spider-climb the building or just walk around the lot with his joint hanging out; the cleaning guy was right about one thing: alot of these guys are completely fucked in the head, there's no telling what they'll do.

So again, I get a call on the radio and have to butt out a smoke halfway; this guy has no damn curtosey. I walk around the back of the building while the radio operator is bitching that he has lost my vagrant on the cameras. I tell him to calm the hell down, I'm almost there, but when I reach the lot it's empty. He's not in the dumpsters, he isn't yanking on the locked doors like a retard, he's nowhere to be seen. I continue to walk around the building, rounding a curve back out to the front when I almost step on the guy.

He's not quite leaning on the building, but standing really close. Not really standing, either, but staggering; he's so shitfaced he can't even stand in one place, and I can smell the eau de homeless on him from four paces away: piss, very old body odor, and lots and lots of cheap booze.

My buddy dosen't notice me yet, his attention is straight ahead. So I stand and watch him, wondering what he's going to do, until he takes a hesitant step forward. Good, I think to myself, that direction takes him away from the building and outta my hair.

I follow him around a massive set of electric transformers, hoping he dosen't fall into them, keeping my distance so he dosen't notice me when I find out he's not heading away at all. On the other side of the transformers is a small lot for the charity that works out of the fifth floor, and a couple of slicks are standing by their Mercedes shooting the shit. By the time I see them my vagrant has already stumbled a few feet from their back bumper and stopped, swaying back and forth, seemingly entranced by the license plate. The yupsters are giving him nervous looks, wondering if he's going to attack them or piss on their car or what, when they spot me coming up behind the guy. I give them my best "Nothing to worry about, I'm a professional and have this under control" wave, and enter the cloud surrounding my new buddy.

I've had to deal with all types, from the lowest of the winos to irate rich businessmen. One thing I have found to be universal is that, when you're telling someone they have to do something they don't want to do, the best way to go about it is to try being friendly first. Firm, don't apologize or ask permission, but don't be a dick about it either. Some guys like to try to push people around, espeically the bums; take the small amount of power granted them by their plastic badge and whack people over the head with it, but usually all they get for their bluster is resistance and a fight that a different tone could have avoided. Too much work for me. If push comes to shove, I can be as much of a dick to whoever I'm dealing with as I need to be (and when that time comes, it dosn't matter who they think they are, I've been told off by better people and they still wound up doing what I told them the first time around anyway), but I've found it's much easier to try the sugar before pouring on the vinegar.

So after I wave reassurance to the yupsters standing by their car, I go over to the transient and put my hand on the filthy elbow of his Vietnam-era Army jacket. "Hey, buddy. This here's private property, I need you to keep on moving." He turns his unsteady gaze on me; I look into his watery, rheumy eyes, and say it again to make sure he heard. "You need a doctor or something? You feeling okay?" He mutters that he's feeling fine, though he looks to me about ready to suffer massive organ failure and fall over dead right on the spot. "Allright, then, man. If you're okay, good. But you can't be here, you gotta keep on moving." He nods acceptance and starts a shuffle backwards. I tell him thanks and go around him back to the main entrance.

I figure I'll stand out front to smoke a cig and make sure this guy gets on his way, but when I check behind me to make sure he isn't harrassing those guys again I find he's decided to follow me. Eventually, he stumbles up to me and asks for a light. I pull out my Zippo, but of course he dosen't have a cigarette to light. I check my smokes, there's only a few left so I just hand him the whole deck. He seems to suddenly think he's fuckin' Houdini, because after fingering every filter with his crusty fingernails he tries to make the pack disappear without me noticing, even though I have no desire to get them back. This act of prestidigitation consisted of him stumbling a 180, stuffing it halfway into the pocket of the sweater he had under his jacket, then stumbling back around.

I lit his smoke (without handing him my lighter) and watched him stumble in place for a bit. He kept turning toward me, then away, taking a few steps in either direction, then eyeballing me out the side of his eye. He was trying to figure out if he should make a play, try to steal my wallet or jacket or something. I hoped he didn't have a knife, and kept my eye close on him. I'm not a big guy, but eventually he seemed to realize that, big guy or not, he's still a shithammered old homeless guy and I'd still kick his ass, knife or no.

I asked him for his name, which got a suspicious look and the word "Mrrrree". I told him my first name, and he said it was nice to meet me. I think. Either way, we were friends now. I said, "Okay, Murry, I gotta go back inside now, but I need you to clear outta here. Get away from the building, or my boss will have my ass. Got it?" I got that shaky nod again, went back in, and watched Murry on the camera.

At first, I thought he was going to stumble right back over to the two slicks that were still talking by their car. He headed back in that direction, and I went back outside figuring Murry must be one of the ones where being nice wasn't going to work out. But Murry shifted course about halfway there, and instead headed to the Jersey barrier seperating our lot from the neighbors.

I figured he was going to climb the barrier and head into the Strip District, which would be fine with me because then the real cops would have to deal with him, but he encountered some trouble with the barrier. I watched him as he spent a few minutes trying to swing one leg up over the two foot high cement, but after several tries he apparently exhausted himself and just leaned on the barrier instead. He turned around and leaned that way for a bit, then fell into a sitting position, legs splayed out in front of him. After some time I figured he either fell asleep or died there, but either way wouldn't be causing trouble for a while. He was still on corproate property, but I've never had much luck explaining exactly where our invisible property lines lie to shitfaced homeless people, so I just let him be.

After another hour or two, Murry roused himself from the curb. He stumbled over to our front parking lot as I watched from the fourth floor. I was hoping he was heading back into the city, maybe to the cardboard box he called home or whatever places sell booze to a person like him.

No dice. Instead, he stumbled into where the late workers, including myself, had parked their cars. Of course, he singled my jalopy out as his favorite, and went into his staring-at-the-license plate routine. I don't know if maybe he was trying to figure out its code or if my rear bumper was speaking to him or what, but I was already on the elevator heading to the lobby.

by the time I exited the front door he had worked his way around to the driver's side window. I don't know what he thought he was going to do; he didn't look to have the dexterity to hotwire a car and if he tried to burglurize it all he'd get would be a psychology textbook and an empty hamburger wrapper.

"Murry, pal." I must've been downwind, I could smell him from ten feet away. He glanced up at me when I said his name. I gave him the hand-on-elbow, a bit more authoritatively this time, waiting for him to try something stupid, and told him to come with me. I led him over the curb in front of my car, which gave him considerable difficulty, and across the grass patch that seperated our lot from the street in front. In the middle of the empty street, I spun him around to look at me, which gave him a wobble.

"Look, Murry, you're making people nervous. Here's what's gonna happen. Don't cross that grass again. You do that, and you're trespassing, and I have to call the cops. If I have to call the cops, then I have to call my boss first and file a shitload of paperwork, and I get off in an hour. I don't want to be here all night doing paperwork and I know you don't want to spend the night in jail, so save us both the trouble and stay on this side of that fuckin' grass. Got it?"

He stared blearily at me. Then he muttered something that might have been "Sure, Frank, whatever you say" but instead sounded like "Fuck you." I watched him swaying in the middle of the street for a minute while he again gave me that priceless unsteady "I wonder what I can get if I roll this guy" look, but I wasn't playing this time and he knew it. Eventually, I nodded as if we had come to an agreement, and left him there.

When I left work that night, he was still standing there, swaying side to side, taking a few steps forward then a few steps backward, right in the middle of the street. Eventually, he'd get tagged by another drunk or get picked up by the cops; that road is slow but not totally unused.

Night shift has no idea what happened to the guy. Eventually, he disappeared while they were dozing into their coffee. So Murry, wherever you are, I wish you luck.

But stay the fuck away from my building, dude.


There it is, Tales From the Plastic Badge, chapter one. If you got bored and skipped it, I don't blame you; it's not exactly action packed. Hopefully, I'll be able to make myself stick to this, I do have some fun stories.

White Trash Wednesday meme via Sadie Lou. Sometimes, I think I like her blog more on Wednesday...feels like home. For more trash than you can shake a Bud can at, visit: It Is What It Is, MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Rachael Ray Redux, The Ebb & Flow Institute, Six Meat Buffet, Vince Aut Morire, Toner Mishap, The Jawa Report, Basil's Blog, Cranky Neocon, Cry Freedom, Dangerous Logic, Bubba.

Even though I'm not much of a practicing Catholic these days, I was raised Catholic and the church, whatever its faults, will always hold a special place in my heart.

The Catholic Church still means alot to me, someday maybe I'll explain why.

The Pope is about to kick it. I sincerely hope that he's right; that there is such a place as heaven, and that he will find a special place there.

The office of Pope is as both a spiritual and political leader. In everything he has done in office, John Paul II has excelled. He is a fascinating man; his accomplishments will resound and be studied for many years.

A worthwhile bit of video is available here; via Ace. Also see the links the Llamas have provided.

And if you're the praying type, pray for him; if you're the studying type, study him. Either way, his accomplishments are overwhelming.


howdy, thanks for stopping by. what you're looking at is the intermittent ramblings of an iraqi vet, college student, goth-poseur, comic book reading, cheesy horror loving, punk listening, right-leaning, tech-obsessed, poorly typing, proudly self-proclaimed geek. occasionally, probably due to these odd combinations, i like to think i have some interesting things to say; this is where they wind up.

"I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us...We need the books that affect us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside of us.

ace o spades hq
bargain-basement allahpundit
a small victory
army of mom
babalu blog
beautiful atrocities
being american in t o
belmont club
blame bush!
castle argghhh!
citizen smash
the command post
common sense runs wild
curmudgeonly & skeptical, r
curmudgeonly & skeptical, pg-13
dean's world
drill sergeant rob
exit zero
enjoy every sandwich
feisty repartee
fistful of fortnights
free will
four right wing wacos
ghost of a flea
half the sins of mankind
the hatemonger's quarterly
hog on ice
house of plum
id's cage
ilyka damen
incoherant ramblings
in dc journal
the jawa report
knowledge is power
lileks bleat
the llama butchers
memento moron
the mudville gazette
naked villainy
nerf-coated world
those damned pajama people
professor chaos
professor shade
the protocols of the yuppies of zion
protein wisdom
the queen of all evil
seven inches of sense
shinobi, who is a f'n numbers ninja, yo
tall dark and mathteriouth
the nose on your face
the thearapist
this is class warfare
texas best grok
tim worstall
way off bass

other must reads: