Monday, February 27, 2006

The Thin Line

Have you ever been in love with someone who didn't love you?

It's not that they treated you badly. In fact, they may have even treated you well. They could have been the kind of person that would do anything in the world for you just to see you smile, but they just didn't love you and nothing in the world was going to change the way they felt.

In the end, the only way most people can deal with the hopelessness of that kind of rejection is to hate the other person, even if that means inventing reasons to do so.

It's like the way you hated the cool kids in high school. You'd call them names, start rumors about them, write disparaging notes about them -- but if they'd ever invited you to join them you would have leapt at the opportunity.

I think that's why so many failed relationships end up with one or both people hating the other. It's not that they suddenly can't stand the person they once loved (and maybe still love) so deeply, it's just that it's easier to hate the other person than to admit that they can't be with them.

So have you ever loved someone so much that you hate them?

Well, then you know how I feel about bacon.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

West Coastin'

I'm about to drop off of the grid for the next week and a half or so. I only mention this because if I didn't, I'm pretty sure that nobody would notice that I'm gone.

If I find some free time, I'll post a little something but in the event that I don't, I've assembled some reruns for you to peruse in my absence. (Hence the picture on the right of Rerun. You remember him, right? The little brother of Lucy and Linus? I'm so funny! Ha, ha, ha...ugh)

Notice that I don't call it a "Best Of" because, let's be honest, even the best dreck is still just dreck in the end.

Those of you looking for good writing will want to either click on one of the blog links to the right or take your chances with the "next blog" button above, because you certainly aren't going to find any here.

Wednesday, February 15: The Pick Up Artist

Thursday, February 16: Blown Job

Friday, February 17: Duel You Love Me

Saturday, February 18: Modern Day Romeo and Rhett Dreams

Sunday, February 19: Jesus Saves and Behind the Election: Pope Benedict XVI

Monday, February 20: Triage

Tuesday, February 21: The End of Innocence

Wednesday, February 22: 30 Second Relationship

Thursday, February 23: Survey Says and Stranded on the Escalator

Friday, February 24: Behind the Scenes

Saturday, February 25: Monkey Business and Son Spot

Sunday, February 26: The Origins of Ash Wednesday and Junk Mail

If you find my absence too much to take and you desperately need to speak with me or see me, I'll be at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in beautiful, historic Union Square through this Sunday. Please try to avoid crowding me in the lobby, though. Those kinds of scenes get embarassing after a while.

Alternatively, you can simply wander around the Embarcadero in the morning as you're almost certain to find me passed out there after one of attempts at a morning run.

After Sunday, I'm just going to land wherever feels comfortable as I travel around seeing the sights and exposing the western region of the United States to my own special brand of ineptitude. I'm sure I'll have lots of long and not very interesting stories to tell when I return.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day

Ah, Valentine's Day is upon us once again. It's that magical time that florists, Hallmark shareholders, private investigators, and divorce attorneys dream of all year long. The one day a year that pick up lines like "Hey, look. I have a heart-on for you." might work. The day where single people feel obligated to throw "I Hate VD" (erm...that stands for Valentine's Day - though the sentiment works either way) parties to show the world that they're okay being alone - and then spend the entire event scanning the room in the hopes of meeting that special someone who will rescue them from having to attend those stupid parties the next year.

For those who are already with someone, the pressure is on. I took a walk on lunch and the stores are packed with guys searching for that special gift that screams "See? I didn't wait until the last minute!" before taking their loved one out for that ultra-romantic Tuesday night dinner that every woman dreams of.

Just a hint for the men out there. If you've already found the woman of your dreams (or are ever fortunate enough to do so), don't wait until Valentine's Day to show her. Buy her flowers for no reason; give her a massage after a she's had a tough day; wash the dishes after dinner; write her notes to show her you care; truly listen when she speaks to you; show her that you support her as she chases her dreams; let her know in every way possible that you treasure every moment with her and that you're lucky to have her in your life. Do these things as often as possible, not because you think it's what she wants, but simply because she means so much to you. Even if things don't work out in the end, at least there will be no doubt as to how you felt. It's far better than looking back and saying "I wish I'd told her..."

On a more personal note, since I lived the lyrics to this song for a few years, I thought it kind of appropriate for Valentine's Day.




Anyway, I'm off to the west coast in the morning but I wanted to say that I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day with your loved ones, and that the memories of this day make you smile for years to come.

And finally, I'd like to wish a Happy Valentine's day to someone who has meant the world to me from the first moment that I saw her, from the first second I heard her voice, from the first time her beautiful smile made my heart skip a beat, and from the first instant her voice turned into music every beat of my heart.

I know I played this video a few weeks ago, but the lyrics speak the words I've always tried to say:


Monday, February 13, 2006

Awake is the New Sleep

There's nothing like a good old Nor'Easter to dump 20+ inches of snow in the region and make the commute back from New England resemble Admiral Perry's trek to the North Pole. Yeah, it was just like that. Except I'm pretty sure he didn't drive an SUV. Or have plows out there trying to make the roadways safe. Or roadways for that matter.

Okay, maybe it was nothing like that. Anyway, needless to say, the trip home too much longer than I thought - partially due to my desire to stretch the weekend out as long as possible. By the time I got home, and got a parking spot shoveled out, it was pretty much time to drink a cup of coffee, and watch the WB 11's breathtakingly beautiful Lisa Mateo update the transit situation before jumping in the shower and heading off to work.

I mean, I jumped in the shower and headed to work - not her. She was already at work. And I'll just assume she showered before she went in.

Now to be fair, I could have slept for an hour or two before I came in, but I didn't want to miss even one of the traffic and transit reports. As a result, I'm suffering through an endless morning on no sleep and six cups of coffee (thus far). Anyone who's in the area should feel free to drop by and escort me home later as I'm sure to be a babbling idiot by around six tonight.

Well, more of a babbling idiot than usual.

On the bright side, the person who escorts me home will have the option to either (1) place a cup next to me on the subway for donations - and keep the proceeds or (2) roll me when I fall asleep and make off with my wallet and iPod.

It's your call.

Interested parties can meet me in the building lobby after work.

Epilogue:
It's now 3:35 p.m. and I just proceeded to take a micro-nap

...while standing on my feet

...in a conference room

...teaching a class.

Fortunately, my knees buckled and I woke up. I think everyone there is convinced that I'm a narcoletpic. I think I'll be able to use that to my advantage in the future.

Then again, maybe they think I'm so boring that I put myself to sleep.

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Week In Pictures XXXIV

Random Friday Thoughts:

- I took today off but thought I'd post before heading out for a long weekend away from NYC.

- I was supposed to go to Mr. Dennehy's last night, but I got hijacked by several friends and never made it. Would up instead at a very strange party in Williamsburg that re-confirmed that I'm neither cool nor bohemian enough to hang there on a regular basis.

- Overheard a woman on her cell having the following conversation: "I really don't feel too good and I had a bad day at work and...are you even listening to me? No you're not. You're talking about Kenneth Cole shoes! What guy talks about shoes like that? You know what? F*CK YOU!"

- There's a salad place called "Toss" near my office. I think I may have watched too much "Oz" because I just can't bring myself to eat something called a Toss Salad.

- My (non-married) sister starts her new job tomorrow. While there, she'll be working closely with a guy she was desperately in love with for a long time. I'm worried about her, but at the same time I just don't understand it. I mean, what kind of fool wastes their time loving and pursuing someone who's clearly not interested in them and...

Oh.

Uh...never mind.

- For those of you wondering what my Super Bowl party was like, this video should give you an idea:


Erm...except it wasn't at Pizza Hut. And there were no teenage boys there. And we didn't have pizza....

Otherwise it was EXACTLY like that...except for Jessica Simpson.

You see, the dress she wore to the party was black, not red.

And on that note, let's move on to the Week In Pictures:


Manufacturers are already struggling to keep up with the demand for what is expected to be the summer's hottest drink accessory - floating baby ice cubes.


Creationists are gloating after uncovered a suprisingly well preserved picture of God placing Adam on earth.


Dermatologists in India are working day and night to try to cure a horrible case of dandruff on the statue of Lord Bahubali in Shravanabelogola


The streets of China's Forbidden City are nearly deserted after terrified residents fled the giant mice that have moved into the area.


Hairstylists report that the big hair look, made famous but 80's musicians such as Howard Jones and Kajagoogoo is making a huge comeback this winter.


A tourist from Ohio is suing New York City for damage he claims to have received when shards of confetti became lodged in his skull as he stood in Times Square on New Year's Eve.


At the Grammy Awards, U2 frontman Bono bent to speak to Gwen Stefani's stomach about the plight of the world, causing the baby to be born several months premature as it tried to escape the pontificating.

Music Video code by videocodesforfree.com


David Letterman shaved Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's beard before moving on to more delicate manscaping chores during the commercial break.


Opthamologists issued a warning this week that watching too much soccer may result in permanent damage to the eyeball.


French pilot Timotei Potisek won the fist Touquet Enduropal motorcycling race despite a painful case of hemorrhoids that prevented him from sitting properly.


And finally, the cover of Vanity Fair's annual Hollywood issue will feature Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley posed nude alongside a fully clothed Tom Ford.

See? This is exactly why I should have been gay. Then I'd get to pose with beautiful naked women and afterwards I could have my way with...

Hang on, I think I see a flaw in this plan.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

How You Remind Me

I've noticed that a number of recently published books have incorporated the events of 9/11 into the narrative. Perhaps it's natural that this would happen. Perhaps the general feeling is that enough time has passed to give us some perspective on the events and that it's time to start capturing the events in a less emotional, more rational way.

To be honest, I'm kind of on the fence about the whole thing. I recognize that date is, for many of us, the defining moment for our generation but using it as a life changing moment at times seems lazy and manipulative. It's as if these authors want so badly to make a deep and meaningful statement about the personal impact that it had on people that they create stories just to illustrate it. Conversely, it sometimes seems that the author knew they needed a dramatic turning point for an otherwise ordinary story, so they re-set the time period to autumn 2001 and they were all set.

A few months back I read a book that dealt with the events in a very different way. In fact, in some quarters the author was critiqued for the way in which the characters spent a few days struggling with the tragedy - trying to make sense of it while simultaneously taking stock of their own lives - before settling back to a nearly normal life almost immediately. At first I could see the point, but then when I thought about it I realized that that's almost exactly what happened for many of us. The first day I spent in my office trying to track down people from my firm who may have been in the area. I was in the office until nearly midnight and after accounting for everyone, I took the train home and sat in stunned silence and disbelief for the entire ride. The next day I worked from home as the city was shut down. By the next week, things had pretty much returned to normal. So much so, in fact, that it reminders of the events - such as seeing crushed, dust covered cars on flatbeds or getting off the train, seeing a crowded parking lot and realizing that many of the owners were likely victims of the WTC collapse - were actually quite jarring. Then there were the wakes and funerals to attend over the next few weeks as it seemed that everyone either knew someone or knew someone that knew someone that was killed during the collapse.

As a rule, I tend to steer away from books, movies, and shows about 9/11, so when I'm caught by surprise when a book mentions it, it's almost like re-living the entire time period. Maybe I'm in denial, but I'd just prefer not to be reminded.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark

The post-Super Bowl depression has lifted and I'm finally able to face the world again.

Stupid officiating crew...

Anyway, after the game, my inbox was flooded with e-mails from people expressing condolences over the Seahawks loss and inquiring as to whether or not I'd committed post-game suicide. Eventually, I came to realize that the suicide questions were asked less out of concern than hope.
Anyway, after the drama generated by what I thought was a pretty tame post last Wednesday, I'm going to do my best to make this one as innocuous as possible.

The hell of having to terminate the employment (that's HR-speak for "fire") four people yesterday was more than made up for by a wonderful evening spent enjoying the company of A and M of Importing Guiness fame. It only took a second for them to feel like old friends, and within a few minutes I was able to but my bad mood behind me. It's hard to imagine two more wonderful people - or a better matched couple.

I wonder if I can convince them to hang out wihth me every night...

At this time next week I'll be busy preparing for a business trip to one of my favorite cities in the world - San Francisco. I've had some really great trips there over the past few years. For During my first trip out there I had just begun dating a woman on whom I'd had a huge crush. While I was there, I spent every possible moment on the phone with her. Every time I saw something new, I'd call her and tell her how much I wished she were there with me. When I got back to my hotel, we'd then spend the entire night talking on the phone. Remembering that makes me smile. Then there was my birthday weekend a few years back, which was split between swimming in the pool at the top of the Palace Hotel and seeing every sight possible over the course of a long weekend. Of course, there were some horrible times there as well, but I'm trying to stay focused on the positive these days.

I've also managed to schedule a few job interviews while I'm out that way. After all, there's nothing like using your current employer to finance your job search. After the business portion of the trip, I'm going on vacation for a week during which I plan to squeeze in a few interviews in Seattle and Denver. Obviously, I'm casting a wide net in the hopes of finding an employer who won't notice my complete lack of intelligence and extremely limited skill set. I'll keep you posted and let you know how everything turns out.

As long as I'm (relatively) on the subject of my career, I thought I'd share with you the story of how I wound up in Human Resources. I didn't plan to end up here, you know. In fact, after graduating college, I thought I'd try to build a career in the music industry. It was a tough go at first, but eventually one thing lead to another and I wound up managing a jazz quintet.

One time, we were playing a huge fundraiser for a local charity. As the band neared the end of their set, the chairperson of the foundation introduced me to an older, bespectacled woman that she identified as their largest benefactor. The Chairperson spoke with us briefly, then left us to chat amongst ourselves as she drifted off to rub elbows with the other guests.

"I'm a big fan of your band's work." she said.

"Thank you." I replied

"And if you don't mind me saying so, your penis is quite lovely."

"Excuse me?"

"I'm sorry, I don't mean to be forward, but it's true. Your penis is beautiful."

"Erm....thank you? May I ask where you've seen...."

"Oh, on the internet of course. There must be hundreds of pictures."

"There are? I'll have to check that out."

"Are you not aware of them?"

"To tell the truth, not really"

"I suppose you wouldn't be. After all, that's what publicists are for, isn't it?"

"That's not what I would expect, no..."

"I realize this is forward of me, but do you think I could trouble you for an introduction?"

"An introduction?"

"Yes"

"To my penis?"

"Yes, if it's not too much trouble"

Needless to say, this was a bit awkward. On the one hand, I had no desire to accommodate her request. On the other, she had donated quite a bit of money to the charity and I didn't want to say "no" and offend her - and by extension the chairperson - at the risk of future paydays.

I looked her over - taking in her wrinkled face, her turkey neck, her skeletal frame...and I decided to see if I could stall her.

"Erm...when and where would you like this...um...introduction to take place?"

"Why here and now, of course. I'm only in town for the night and I'm flying out first thing in the morning."

Dammit.

"Right here? In front of all these people?"

"Yes. Is there a problem?"

"Well, I was thinking that perhaps someplace a little more private might be more practical. Perhaps a very, very quick introduction in your hotel suite?"

"Well, it would hardly be proper for us to be seen going into my suite. I am, after all, a married woman

"Erm...okay. Can we at least do this into the corner over there? Perhaps by those large potted plants?"

"Certainly."

I escorted her over to the relatively private area, unzipped my pants and pulled it out.

"What the hell are you doing?!?" ehe exclaimed.

"You said you want to meet it."

"I said I wanted to meet your PIANIST!" she roared, pointing to the stage.

Needless to say the very next day I began looking for a new job. I eventually wound up in Human Resources and the rest, as they say, is history.

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Week in Pictures XXXIII

I ran into a friend of mine on the subway platform last night and so we went out for a quick cup of coffee to catch up. Turns out that she's having some issues at home and so much of the conversation consisted of me listening to her complain about her husband. Granted, I was pretty exhausted (blogging and IMing all day is hard work), but I kept catching myself thinking that if I wanted to hear a woman complain about her husband all night, I would never have gotten divorced.

Anyway, now that I've reached the end of what I like to call "the longest and most hell ridden week in recent memory", I can begin to look forward to what should be a fun-filled weekend -- unless the Seahawks lose, of course.

Even as I type, preparations are already underway for the massive Super Bowl XL (so named because only an extra large Super Bowl could contain the glory of my Seattle Seahawks) party at my place. Local restaurants are busy placing the final touches on the furniture made entirely out of buffalo wings (including cup holders filled with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks) that will be placed upon raised platforms amidst the salsa that being pumped by the gallon directly onto my living room floor by several tanker trucks. Nacho boats will float majestically across the Salsa Sea until they are plucked and devoured by the drunken hordes wading through the room. Meanwhile, the kitchen has been covered in dry ice and filled with kegs ready to be tapped at game time, allowing ice cold beer - the elixir of life - to flow through hoses ingenuously run across the ceiling and dropped down so that they're only an arm's length away at all times.

Good times, my friends. Good times indeed. In fact, it really doesn't even matter who wins the game. As long as it's the Seahawks, of course.

Anyway, as I promised a few weeks back, y u're all invit d to the pa ty. Th addre s is...

Da mit. I th k my ke bo rd is run i g out of ink. I'l b ri ht ba k...


Earlier this week, President Bush gave his State of the Union address, which pretty much went like this: "I just want to tell the American people that I'm in way over my head here. I honestly have no idea what the hell I'm doing. Thank you and good night."


The President later credited his speechwriters for their simple, elegant, and forthright prose.


Meanwhile, there was renewed sympathy and understanding for former President Clinton's infidelities after his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) displayed her "orgasm face" during a post speech discussion on sexual technique.


As part of yesterday's Groundhog Day festivities, the famed "Punxsutawney Phil" received his annual prostate exam.


As did the Pandas at the National Zoo in Washington, DC.

We interrupt this post to bring you an important announcement. Earlier this week, I invited people to come up with captions for a few pictures that I'd planned to use for this weeks WiP. Here are a few of the one that folks submitted:


First experiments of transplanting animals on people's heads have been successfully achieved by this man having a porcupine transplanted to his head. "We live in a kind of symbiosis and it's just so great, cause you never feel lonely", he states. Others want to follow this "make your pet a part of yourself" campaign. - Yasmine

Sadly, the proverbial honeymoon over, young Corey Hart was about to find out what blushing bride Pink *actually* looks like at 6 AM. - The Idle Receptionist

PETA is enraged as a new porcupine-fur hat trend sweeps the nation. - Trevor


Mr. Chang was told time and again not to play with his food. - Doug


After hearing the cow jumped over the moon, Picabo Street announced she would not be outdone by a heifer. - Grant

ET decided not to go home... - Jobee

With the invention of the Zuble, or, Super Bubble, skiers no longer have the inconvenience of physically touching snow. - The Idle Receptionist


Taxis impatiently tool around the busy Calcutta streets, waiting for their next fare. - The Idle Receptionist

It NOT a mouse. It's a rock. - Jeanne

Oops. I mean, "It's NOT a mouse. It's a rock." - Jeanne

The driver of at the rear of this picture barely escaped with his life after his trunk popped open at the starting line of a recent race in Bombay. - Joe

We new re-joing the regularly scheduled WiP, already in progress.


After rigorous fact checking by the publisher uncovered more fabricated events, Random House announced they will be re-releasing James Frey's best selling books under the new titles "Roughly Eighty Little Pieces" and "My Imaginary Friend Leonard."

And witht that said, let's move on to our video of the week:



Scientists studying avian migratory habits in Varna, Bulgaria announced that they've found a man that's been raised since birth by a group of swans.


Major cities around the world have begun installing frozen margarita fountains as a way of improving the morale of residents.


Right wing groups are clamoring for a recall of the The Beastiality Foundation's 2006 calendar calling it "disgusting", "obscene", and "disturbingly arousing".


Lucy Liu has joined the growing list of celebrities who refuse to wear the fur of dead animals, opting instead to sew love puppies together to make a warm winter coat.


American tennis player Bob Bryan was escorted out of the awards ceremony at the Australian Open after he performed fellatio on the championship trophy.


And finally, after the team's equipment was stolen, Lille forward Kader Keita saved the day by allowing his teammates to use his head as a ball.


A Sri Lankan model was named this year's winner of the coveted "World's Most Nailed Woman" title.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want

A few of the comments from Monday's post dealt with my lack of self-confidence, so I thought an explanation might be in order before I get to the other things I'd planned to post today.

The truth is that I'm not quite as self-deprecating in real life as I am in this blog - though it is pretty close. A lifetime full of relationships with people who take niceness for weakness, and who consequently took advantage of me as a result is bound to leave a person questioning himself at times. To quote The Smiths, "Haven't had a dream in a long time. See the life I've had would make a good man turn bad."

The painful end of a relationship that meant everything to me left me further drained. As a result, I've become very private of late. In fact, I doubt I'll ever truly open up to anyone again given people's propensity to use my vulnerabilities to inflict maximum damage when they grew angry. While I'll never understand how anyone can abuse a person who does nothing but love them, I know enough now to protect myself from that. I'm also well aware of the choices I've made to see only the things I wanted to see in people, regardless of how massive the evidence to the contrary might have been.

Of course, that's not to say that I'm a great person to be in a relationship with, nor does it mean I'm an innocent victim of events. In every relationship I've been in, I can point to hundreds of things that I did wrong and that given the chance to do so, I would change.

I think what happened in my last relationship was that for the first time I loved someone with complete abandon without regard for the consequences of not protecting myself. I learned what it was like to worry about another person's happiness more than my own. I tried to fill her life with laughter and romance, and to give her my undying love and support. In the end, it still wasn't good enough. It was hard to come to grips with that - and to lose my best friend and soulmate in the process, but it taught me to be more careful in the future.

Only recently have I begun to feel like myself again. I'm back on my feet and optimistic about what the future holds - including moving out of New York at some point in the near future. Yes, I'm still pretty shy. Yes, I'm painfully aware of many of my shortcomings. Yes, I still hurt from many of the events of the recent past.

Yet at the same time, I know that being aware of those things is the first step to learning how to overcome them. I used to tell "L" that I tried hard to be the best person I could so that she'd be as proud to be with me as I was with her. Now I realize that I need to be a good person for myself and see what happens from there.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Selected Scenes from Brokeback Mountain - Starring Clark Gable & Humphrey Bogart

The touching reunion...

RHETT: I tried everything. If you'd only met me halfway, even when I came back from London...

RICK: I remember every detail. The Germans wore gray. You wore blue.

The climatic ending...

RHETT: Don't flatter yourself, I'm not a marrying man.

RICK: Inside of us we both know you belong with Victor. You're part of his work, the thing that keeps him going. If that plane leaves the ground and you're not with him, you'll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.

RHETT: Open your eyes and look at me. No, I don't think I will kiss you. Although you need kissing badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how.

RICK: And you never will. But I've got a job to do, too. Where I'm going you can't follow. What I've got to do, you can't be any part of. I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to know that the lives of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that.

RHETT: Please don't go on with this. Leave us some dignity to remember out of our marriage. Spare us this last.

RICK: You are too much for me Rhett, you sonofawhoreson bitch! I wish I knew how to quit you.
RHETT: Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

RICK: Here's looking at you, kid.

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The Week in Pictures Preview
I've been thinking a lot about how funny I find the alternate captions that people write in the comments section of the "The Week in Pictures" posts, so I thought it'd be fun to put up a few of the ones that I'd planned to use this week and see what captions people would write for them.

If you're interested, put your suggested captions in the comments section. You don't have to come up with captions for all of them (or any of them for that matter), just the ones you choose. I'll include some of them in Friday's post.

Picture One:


Picture Two:


Picture Three:


Picture Four:


Oh, and for those of that think I'm doing this because I've run out of ideas, a quick read of the blog will confirm that that isn't true. Clearly, I ran out of ideas a long, long time ago.