Monday, June 29, 2009

His Name is David

And he comes from Spain. Don't pronounce his name like us simpletons in CA, though. Try DA-veet, and you'll be closer.

I talked to him at the airport because his shoes were off, and he happen to sit by me. Chance? Fate? It wouldn't soon matter.

That's so smart

I said to him not knowing that he would become part of the next four hours of my life...even though the flight from SF to SD is only about one hour.

Is dis normal...what's da word...procedure?

He asked me about having to take his shoes off at security. This and his accent led to a full barrage of questions.

He was from Spain, and a teacher of children, looking to improve his English. He had spent the last few weeks studying in New York, and was now on his way to San Diego where da surf was bedder.

I was just amazed that I had never thought of this before. Why not wait to put my shoes back on at the gate? Why the rush to put them on right away at security? With all his accent and all our was the shoes. It was the shoes.


Flash forward and we are back home. I checked a bag in SF because I discovered putting a suitcase in an overhead compartment with a bum shoulder is not so easy. It was a little embarrassing to ask my five foot nothing boss if she could "stow it" for me on the way to SF...this time, I had planned ahead.

I watch the conveyor belt travel counter clockwise. Around and around. I hate checking bags because I have places to go. I'm busy. Why wait? I have to go do...something? Nothing? I don't know what. All I know is that I need to be there.

Then Da-veet walks up, he is waiting for bags, too, and I think about his shoes, and how brilliant he is. Innocently I ask where he is staying, and he tells me downtown San Diego.

And thoughts of my feet being free and running in sand fill my head. I can be this guy. I can do it, too. So I ask Da-veet if he wants a ride. I was in no rush after all...and a pressure let go that started in my toes and slowly worked its way up my body. It empowered my hands and tingled my fingers. My hair stood on end. And my bag came onto the conveyor belt. It was time for the adventure to begin.


He had two bags the size of dead bodies, so I joked that he couldn't kill me if he was a mass murderer. He laughed. His English is really good. We shoved his life into my car and started towards downtown: All I need is the address.

And while he looked, he discovered he didn't know where he was going. He had a phone number with no address. My ten-minute adventurous jaunt became an hour. Then two. We called a number. Then another. I spoke to someone in Canada. He accidentally called the San Diego police department. We sat on First Street, in The Gaslamp, parked in the yellow as he fiddled with his papers, and I struggled with an iPhone.

He apologized. And he apologized again. He apologized for apologizing. His accent grew thicker. His words failed him. His shoes tightened.

We eventually found his home, and I let him know again and again that it was no trouble. I had nowhere to be. And as I dropped him off, I remembered the image of him carrying his shoes and sitting down next to me...and how lucky he really is.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

So Relax...My Ass...

You know when you are in the middle of a situation, and you don't really feel like you are participating until, before you know it, you look up and your girlfriend is staring at you while another man is holding and gently caressing your hand?

What the Hell?

You know that feeling of then being zapped back into reality and quickly pulling your hand away, pretending like it never happened...


And then she comes over and asks the obvious question: "Why is that guy holding your hand?"


You know what I mean, right?

Well. Let me explain.


We went back to the fair last night and we were on our way out when an Asian guy who spoke less English than a mute donkey coerced us into entering the "So Relax Massage Booth"

It sounded relaxing after all.

I asked him if my shoulder would be ok...seeing as I just broke it.

Yes he said instantly

I asked him if they would be nice to my collarbone.

Yes, before I was done speaking.

I, of course, checked for complete understanding by asking if he would let me kick him in the balls and call him Francine while I poured chocolate pudding down his pants singing an a capella version of I'm Too Sexy.

Yes, he coolly replied.

Clearly any fan of Right Said Fred is welcome to massage me.

I went into the So Relax booth and was passed off to "Andy." The chances that Andy's name was actually "Andy" is about as likely as me tongue kissing Mylie Cyrus after her fifth Grammy. "Andy" was clearly from China and only knew how to say one thing in English for the first 12 minutes of our relationship:

"What's matter? Too hard?"

But I'll get back to this.

I was placed upon the massage chair, and my mouth and nose were forced through a small breathing passage. "Andy" started off by jabbing his elbows, both of them, into my traps with the gentleness of an Andre The Giant bowel movement fist clench. I then became instantly paralyzed with fear as he coarsely moved to my neck and rubbed my skin with his right thumb like he was trying to remove rust from a 1925 penny that had been soaking in an iron bathtub since WWII. Clearly intuitive by nature, "Andy" took my squirming to mean that perhaps something had gone awry.

"What's matter? Too Hard?"


It seems "Andy's" listening ability was far surpassed by his speaking ability. I'm not sure he was acquainted with the word "Yes" during his brief stint in the US, and he moved to my head which, unbeknownst to me, somehow must resemble a bongo drum. He beat my temples and cranium to a pulp, massaging the deep tissue of my brain. Shit. I didn't even know my brain was sore.

This was all a prelude, though, to my favorite part of the massage when he got behind me and straddled me like I was Demi Moore and he was Patrick Swayze from the pottery scene in Ghost. He then, no lie, took his knee, while straddling me, and rubbed it all the way down my IT band, from my hip to my lower leg. While he pushed his entire body weight into me and onto the leather massage chair, I started audibly laughing because this might have very well been the most homoerotic moment of my life...and I was paying $12 for it.

"What's matter? Too hard?"

I now only hoped he meant his massage techniques...and not anything else on him.

He ended the most traumatic 15 minutes of my life by literally closed-fist punching my legs, back, kidneys, back, spleen, and spine to the point where my laughs were rendered staccato:

Ha PUNCH ha...ha PUNCH ha PUNCH ha PUNCH ha...ha PUNCH

I got up from my beating, er, massage and staggered around looking for Tauni. She was at the end of her punching bag session from the looks of it. I was wobbly, and felt like I might fall over.

"Andy" came over, picked up my left hand, and started massaging my fingers.

"What's matter? Too hard?"

I kind of just stared at him. I really felt like I had just been pummelled.

"You strong man. You strong."

He said this as he was stroking (yes, stroking) my fingers. One. By. One.

I looked over to Tauni again...and she had walked over and asked me her very much suitable "Why is that guy holding your hand?"

I looked "Andy" in the eyes and his malformed teeth glistened.

I looked back at Tauni.

We ran-walked away from the So Relax booth as quickly as possible. We held hands, realizing that not only were we not relaxing...but our skin burned and our dignity was shaken.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sage Advice

Ah Kaiser. You are to hospitals as McDonald's is to fast food. You might as well have signs in your patients' rooms that say: "Safe is emptied nightly. We have no bills over $20.00. Don't forget your flu shot."

During my last appointment, Doctor Chuckles comes in with a grin and a handshake. He pretends we have been friends for years, but I'm not sure I would be friends with this buffoon.

Mark Man-ass? he states upon clasping my hand.

Sure. I'm not in the mood to correct him. I just want my diagnosis.

I'm Greg. Your P.A. That is a Physician Assistant.

No...I never saw an actual doctor one time during my recovery...but that's ok...I have never really seen Ronald McDonald in person, either. I know he exists. And I know he is a clown. In fact, Greg has a lot in common with a clown, now that I think about it. He is goofy and probably cries himself to sleep at night. Oh, he also had a rainbow wig on and size twenty shoes.

Nice to meet you, Greg.

So, been doing a lot of push ups? How many can you do?

And my heart sinks. Push ups? Was I supposed to do push ups? Did I just fuck up my recovery time? No. I haven't been doing any.

Oh, well. A lot of people say 100.

What the fuck is this guy talking about? He could at least juggle or ride a unicycle or something. His jokes were falling flatter than Mylie Cyrus's ground breaking Fly on the Wall Um..ok. Was I supposed to be doing push ups?

No transition, he just moves on. So how long has it been since your injury? Nine weeks?

Yeah, a little over.

He doesn't look at the x-ray. Doesn't touch my shoulder. How does it feel?


Well, you're fine, then. But don't go lifting weights at the gym tomorrow or anything. Snicker, snicker, snicker. And then he snorted. SNORTED. And snickered some more.

OK, well, I kind of want to start training for triathlons again. Is that ok?

Yes. Just don't fall off your bike. That would be bad. I couldn't tell you what would happen. But just don't fall. That could be very, very bad.

And so I am listening to him and thinking: What the fuck is wrong with Doctor Chuckles? Don't fall? Don't fucking fall? Why the fuck would I want to fall?

My entire time with him lasted about two minutes. In the past twenty four hours, I have run two miles, swum 800 yards, and biked 10 miles. Everything feels pretty good...and I have done Greg proud.

I haven't fallen. Not one time. Snicker, snicker, snort.

Monday, June 22, 2009

My version of 9 1/2 Weeks (9 down, zero to go)

I was pushing my memory a bit, but as I left the doctor's today, about 9.5 weeks after I broke my collarbone...I had a vision of Mickey Rourke (pre jacking his face up) and Kim Basinger pop into my head.

Didn't they star in some soft core porn called 9 1/2 weeks?

So, I came home and checked it out. They did!

Apropos to my 9 1/2 weeks, the two lovers are seen in this clip as devouring food, each other, themselves. Wow. If they added a little McDonald's in there, they really would have captured my two months off!

So, of course, I had to come up with titles for porn movies involving my collarbone:

Marky Does Bone Healing

Deep (Soft Tissue Damage Near My) Throat

Touch My Bump

I Want to Collarbone You

Catch My Road Rash If You Can

Point being, I have been given clearance, Clarence. Now comes the fun part...trying to get back into shape...and lose the 25 lbs I packed on in my 9 1/2 weeks.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ball Attacking Bug (8 down.....4 to go?)

God. He is like crazy and shit. Is he (not to genderize the thing, but I am using this pronoun as purely a linguistic measure, not misogynistic device) there? Why does he do the things he does?

For the sake of this blog, let's assume God exists and is paying attention to ME right now. That's right. Not you. Not North Korea. Not even Adam Lambert. Me. Does God pay attention to things other than "The Axis of Evil" or "Might-Be-Gay-American-Idol-Runner-Ups-But-Now-Is-Gay-And-Has-Been-Gay-All-Along-Pop-Culture-Icons-Of-The-Moments?" Again...for the sake of this blog...I shall presume YES.

To take this a step further...would this God care about my broken collarbone and how much emotional turmoil this injury has put me through? Not to say that I can't handle it or am I being a "pussy" about it (and yes, I am going for a record with the quotation marks this blog. I believe the previous record is 25...not sure how it is an odd number.)...because does God help pussies? I will presume hence I can't be a pussy otherwise the entire premise of this blog would be blown.

So...if nothing else...I have established that God cares about watching me...knows about my broken collarbone...and, most importantly...I am not a pussy.

Now I can proceed:

God is testing me!


Test Number One -- The Dog

I came home and had to take my dog for a walk three days ago. You see, she is now too much of a princess to use her pad anymore. She's a small dog, and much like a cat, has a little place to "do her business" inside the house. Somewhere along the line, Little Miss Thang decided that her pee/poop "was gross" and she will only go outside. While outside, she does what I can only say is close to a handstand so that no body part of hers is near her now dreaded excrement.

So...I take her out, and have not held her leash in my left hand for two months just in case she decides to tug. You see, with a broken collarbone, a tugged leash would be like a kick in the balls. NO THANK YOU!

We walk, we walk, we walk...and she has not tugged one time. I forget about my arm. I forget about the dog. I switch hands for one second. Literally. One. Just so that I could scratch my leg. soon as that leash is in my left hand...she must have seen God himself because she pulled on my arm with tractor-trailer power. TUG!

Seventeen pound dog leash tugs are not usually accompanied with grown men screaming. This one was.

Test number one complete, though...There was no stabbing pain. There was no kick to the balls. There was only a grown man who envisioned shoving his dog's face in poo.

My arm must be getting better!

Test Number Two-- Derek Fisher

Those of you who read this and actually know who I am (yes, there is more to me than hating Mylie Cyrus), know that I am somewhat of a sports fan. Just kind of. To many, the love of sports, sports teams, and sports somewhat a religious experience. You pray. You hope. There are icons. There is good. There is evil. Yes, is all very Biblical (again...just linguistics here...I could have just as easily used "Koranical," but I don't even know if that is a did give me a chance to use more quotation close to 25).

A few nights ago...I was at my church...which is to say my couch...I was praying for a Lakers victory. There is no way God would let Orlando win. None. Not if there were really a God, right?

Done by 5 with only about 30 seconds to go...the Lakers make a dramatic comeback...capped by Derek Fisher nailing a three to send the game to overtime with just seconds to play.


I jump to my of my pew, (yes, I realize I changed metaphors here...wasn't the couch just my church, not a pew? Don't pay attention to stuff like that. This is just a blog and I can take liberties like that because...well...just because. I am the God of this blog, anyway...and in my world, changing a metaphor mid-story is just fine.) raise my hands to the ceiling...YES. YES. JESUS. YES.

Arms flailing. Feet jumping. Fists pumping.


Yeah...NOT a good idea with a still healing collarbone. But I was alive. And so were the Lakers more importantly.

I MUST be getting better.

Test Number Three-- Ball Attacking Bug

If you can imagine how traumatizing it is to have a bug attack your balls, you are a better man than I. I had no idea. But I don't have to try and figure it out anymore because it happened to me last night.

Now, it is true, we are all God's creatures...but some of these creatures buzz...and fly...and are just icky. Do we have to count these we need to love them? I don't think so. Especially if I am sitting on my couch minding my own my boxers. I honestly believe that once a man is on the couch...and the pants come off...if that time becomes disturbed for any reason...we should have the right to kill.

So there I am...relaxed, reading about the Del Mar Fair on my laptop. I was on the food section...and just saw that this year they will have chocolate covered bacon. That's right...chocolate covered bacon.

About five feet in front of sliding glass door is open. We get a nice breeze at we often leave it open...door and screen.

I think to myself, Wow...chocolate covered bacon. Why didn't I think of that?...when


Something slams into my upper thigh...right between my left leg and my balls....and somehow under my boxers.

I turn to Tauni, who is on the other side of the room nowhere near me, the couch, or thoughts of chocolate covered bacon...and am about to question her:

Tauni, why did you throw something at my balls. You know, normal evening discussion.

When I turn to look at her, she is frozen in mid-movement. It looked like she was playing a game of freeze tag...and the thing that had tagged her was a twelve foot tall cockroach. She looked scared and disgusted.

Before I could ask my question and before I could ask her why she looked so creeped out...I felt a little tickle. On my balls.

That's weird. I don't usually feel a...what the..

And I reach down, with my left arm...the bad one..and am jamming my hand onto my balls because there is something new down there...AND IT IS MOVING.

I grab it (the bug) throw it on the couch, jump up, and do what I figure is the only thing I could do while my girlfriend is still frozen in time and I have just been attacked by a bug...UNDER my boxers:


And I am tap dancing on the floor...and Tauni is oddly not frozen anymore...but laughing. And laughing. She is in a fit...and I can't even find the room to be mad because all I can say is Oh my GOD...oh my GOD...IT ATTACKED MY BALLS. IT ATTACKED MY BALLS.

We eventually corner the beast with a glass cup on top, and a paper plate on the bottom. God's little creature didn't like this. So it hissed. Loudly and repeatedly.

Something that could hiss had been on my balls. Is there no grosser thing in the history of time?!?!?!?!? arm was ok. I had jerked, and grabbed, and thrown...with the bad arm. And I wouldn't have known I was ready to do that...without this ball attacker letting me know.

(For more information about the bug who attacked my balls, please visit Ball Attacker and scroll half way down the page. Look for: An adult ten-lined june beetle--Polyphylla decemlineata.)


My Dog. Derek Fisher. A Ball Attacking Bug. All part of the healing process. Not physically. Mentally.

Thanks, God....I really could have done without the "bug" on the "balls" though...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Could You Love Me Like My Dog...Owner

When I was in college, my girlfriend gave me a cutesie book entitled Could You Love Me Like My Dog, by Beth Flowers.

In it, it gives page after page of quotes like "Could you always protect me" or "Could you never stop putting your head in my lap." Shit like that...clearly, the catch being, to describe things dogs do that would be romantic if a person did them, too.

This got me thinking about how fucking crazy dog owners are. I have been spending a lot of time at dog parks recently...and seriously, next to engineers, dog owner's have to be the most socially inept people in the world (myself excluded, of course.) So if I were to write a book about the situation, I would entitle it Could You Love Me Like My Dog Owner...and here are some of the quotes it would contain:

Could you ask my how old my dog is every time you see me because you either have zero memory or are deaf?

Could you only talk to me like your dog is actually talking to me and you are just playing the voice inside his head because you are incapable of carrying out true person-to-person interaction that doesn't involve your dog?

Could you mention the size and color of your dog's poop on a regular basis?

Could you tell me how purebred your dog is like it is some sort of reflection of your familial line?

Could you think you are original when you say my dog looks like the Men in Black dog?

Could you either (a) dress up like you are going to a debutante ball or (b) like you just got finished with a gangbang with no in between while at the park?

Could you say that "my dog never does that home" as it tries to hump the poor, blind kid in the wheelchair.

Look for it in paperback soon!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Breaking Point

I get tired of the high road. It's hard to be the one who consistently acquiesces when confronted with bull-headed assholedom. I preach it to my students. I am it day after day.

But today was not that day.

My complex has what is virtually a one-way road to the street. Today, a "gentleman" decided to park his car right in the middle of it while he unloaded his vehicle. This neither disturbed me nor made me think twice. There were tons of spots, some of which were mere feet from where he parked his car.

Weird, but I'm sure he needs to be there.

I get into my car, start to back up, and simply decide to wait for him to finish being completely self-centered. Take your time, I think. I'm not in a hurry.

In the midst of totally not bothering him, looking at him, smelling him, he starts to get flustered. He starts glaring at me, shaking his head, and continues to raise his voice while he retreats into his car. I am intrigued. As soon as he closes the door, he clearly starts YELLING AT ME (although I can't hear him because he didn't do this until he got into his car) and gesticulating to the point where I thought he might throw his back out.

On a normal day, I would give an apologetic gesture, a wave, a smile, and simply make him aware that no one was at fault here. This was some sort of interpersonal misunderstanding. I would make everything ok.

But, like I said, this was not that day.

I roll down my window and scream so he can hear me through his car door:

WHAT? WHAT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU! And cup my hand in a c-shape behind my ear.

Now there have been few (very, very few) instances where I have engaged someone like this in my life...but what I have noticed, and what held true again today, is that people are generally pussies, and all you really have to do is stare at them, and they will back down. So this day, that is what I did. I just stared at him with my hand behind my ear until he eventually stopped yelling and sheepishly rolled down his window. At this point, I explained:

Look, man. I'm not in a hurry. Just take your time.

To which he then starts to explain how he only wanted my spot (or the spot behind me) and was trying to get into it but couldn't because I was in HIS way.

The fact that I found this ironic, a lie, or utterly ridiculous when there were ten other spots right in front of him, was of no importance, but I again did not let my gaze leave his eyes. He would look to the spot, to his steering wheel, to his hands, to his watch, and every time he looked up, there I was...

What would you like me to do? Would you like me to pull forward so you can park?

Yes and he hurriedly rolled his window back up.

Mid roll, I caught his gaze and he froze. His window half open, I explained: I will pull forward. Just don't yell at or get angry with me for no reason. I felt like I was talking to one of my students.

He paused, and continued to roll up his window.

SO...why write this? Who cares?

It wasn't until later that I thought "What if today were his day to pull out a gun and shoot someone...even though he normally doesn't do stuff like that." was not that day, either.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Dear Idiot II

Ah yes...time has come to re-open the mailbag...and let the world know what kind of morons follow my blog. I have selected my three favorites for your enjoyment.

Stupid Question Number 1:


I was sorry to read about your accident. Did it hurt? I hope you are feeling better.

Toronto John

Dear Idiot:

To be fair to you, you did ask me this question before I blogged and re-blogged about my collarbone, but I still have to ask, what the fuck is wrong with you? Yes, dipshit, of course it hurt! Have you ever gotten a paper cut before, John? Do they have those in Canada? I assume they do (you probably stole them from us). Now...imagine, simpleton, if you can, a really, really, really bad paper cut...but the paper is made out of asphalt and the cut was actually the shattering of your collarbone on said asphalt. Ouch, eh? Idiot.

Stupid Question Number 2:

Dear Manasseworld:

You are such an asshole. Where do you get off polluting the internet with your foul mouth? Boo hoo my hoo my are such a cry baby.

You suck.

Dear Anonymous Idiot:

Your words cut to the bone. THE BONE! I thank you for taking the time to classify me as an entity, and not an actual person. This sheds some light on your deeper reading skills. Maybe I should repost my writing in pictures so you can actually follow along. I'm not sure why you follow my blog if I am so offensive, by the way. I can only presume you are in prison or you are my mom. If all goes well, maybe I could consider you both in the near future(don't ask). Anyway, here's a riddle for you, asshole. Who has a small dick and just got banned from my in-box? OK...that's Brian Gunn, but it could be you, too, if you don't shape up.

Oh...and to answer your question: my chair, the shower...and sometimes with my girlfriend.

(I'm just kidding, Brian!!!!)

Stupid Question Number 3:


I've been reading your blog for about one year now. Who's Darron? You are always mentioning him on your tags (which I love by the way).

Curious Katrina

Dear Idiot:

That really could be a deep, philosophical question, but I will simply chalk this up to an idiotic one if you really have been reading me for about one year. He is a dude I have known since seventh grade. If you did any real investigation, you could probably discover he got me into blogging, we were the 2004 Yahoo National IMing champions (no shit), and we started Casual Critics together. I'm going to guess you were born in the 90's...because people your age dont try to figure shit out for themselves.

But...if this WAS a deep, philosophical question...I would have to say he is probably a transgendered pedophile. Just a guess.

OK...Keep emailing....IDIOTS.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Bitchiness Can Come in All Sizes

I saw Up last night. A pretty good movie. Heartwarming, really. My favorite character was Doug, a talking Golden Retriever (I think). He was the every dog: Dumb, loyal, slobber-filled. He made me think of my pug, Maggie, a lot.

Except for one thing.

Maggie, at times, is a real bitch.

I have definitely written about her...prima donna...nature before. But certain aspects of her personality become more and more defined as she gets older. And if she could talk, like Doug, I sometimes wonder what she would say. For example, when we go to the Starbucks drive thru near my house.

Maggie does not like this drive thru AT ALL...and she lets me know that every single time we go there by screaming bloody murder once we are in line. My normally mild-mannered and pre-occupied-by-crotch-licking dog becomes INCENSED by, I presume, a lack of control and waste of her time.

So, I offer to you the conversation I would have with Maggie in the Starbucks drive thru if she could talk like Doug from Up.

Me: OK. We are almost there. Are you going to keep it down today?

Maggie: What do you mean?

Me: We are almost...yeah know...there.

Maggie: Well, I honestly have no idea what you are talking about. I love going for rides, and always sit back here quietly. I am insulted that you would suggest otherwise.

Me: Really? OK..well, STARBUCKS is just up the street...and that is where we are going.

Maggie: What did you just say?

Me: I said Starbucks. We are almost there...and we are going to use the drive thru. Are you going to be able to handle that?

Maggie: Surely, sir, you jest. You aren't really going to...

Starbucks Employee: Welcome to Starbucks...can I take your order?


Me: Shhh...I'm trying to order. I'll have a...

Maggie: You better turn this car around. You better get me the fuck out of here right now. I swear...I am going to LOSE MY SHIT if you don't.

Me: Maggie...NO...bad dog. No!!!!

Maggie: You think you can shush me? Who the fuck do you think you are? Now either you keep driving the fucking car to the fucking park, or so help me I will take a dump right on your face. And I ate that pizza you left you know I've got diarrhea.

Me: Seriously. Maggie. BE QUIET.

Maggie: Oh. I see how it is. You the "big man" now. You the "alpha male." Listen here, alpha boy, I pissed on the remote. Yeah...I pissed all over it...and every time you changed the channel last night, I just laughed and laughed. How you like that? You like that? Now, unless you get the hell out of this drive thru in the next twenty seconds, you won't know how...and you won't know when...but you WILL find a little something I like to call regurgitated field mouse in your shoe. So what's it going to be?

Me: You are a real bitch sometimes, you know that?

Oh...she knows. She just doesn't care.