Yes, you’re on my mind, and yes, I continue to vacillate between hoping you’re dead in a ditch and aren’t.
When I was on my deathbed last week, I’d had a really rotten day and thus plotted out how I would explain why it is a nickname seemingly EVERYONE has taken to calling me gets on my damn nerves; about how I’d just gotten cool with—dare I say, even proud of—people calling me by my last name only in recent years and OH THE DRAMA and a whole bunch of other things about which y’all probably don’t give a shit.
Since my lover once again saved me from drowning in my own snot and blood (oh yes, there was blood this time around, and a lot of it, too), I’ll save y’all the histrionics and get to the point, which is this: The nickname everyone thinks is so cute! and fun to say! or whatever gets people goofy about it has a tendency to make me feel like I’m not being taken seriously ("Awwwwww, c’mon, [redacted] ...!"), and that’s offensive. Worse is when someone gets all butt-hurt because I lay down an edict to not call me it—it’s like, “Well, hell! I’m sorry for not allowing YOU to call ME something that’s making me want to stab you in the ear right now. Can you EVER forgive!?”
(And before I hear all about how I can and often do shorten and make a nickname out of anything resembling a name, ask yourself if a) you’ve ever asked me to stop calling you whatever I call you, and b) if you have, if I’ve ever blown you shit for it. That’s what I thought. No no, not someone on your behalf—YOU, and did you ask me in a straightforward way, non-dick way.)
So there it is.
It was already published at my favorite music site, but I shall reprint here, because it was just. that. COOL.
Before the utterly gobsmacked throngs started filing out of the bar to mob him, and before he had a chance to absorb what just happened onstage, Brian David Blush sat on the hood of a stranger’s silver Toyota, massaging his forehead as if it would make the night’s events sink in faster.
He was a bit embarrassed, too, or a lot to hear him tell it. Just three and a half hours earlier, Blush wasn’t even sure he’d be allowed in to see his former Refreshments bandmates — Roger Clyne and Paul “P.H.” Naffah, the head and neck of Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers – play at the roadside restaurant just outside Elkhart, Indiana. So to have joined Clyne, Naffah and bassist Nick Scropos on well-loved tune “Nada” from their 1996 breakthrough record, Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy, was an event for which he was completely unprepared.
“Whatever you say, tell ‘em I was terrible,” Blush said, rather morosely assessing his first time onstage with Clyne since it all went wrong between them.
This was originally supposed to be a combined review of Clyne and the Peacemakers’ July 2nd performance at both the 30th Annual American Music Festival at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn, Illinois, and the band’s subsequent performance at Mr. G’s in Osceola, Indiana on July 27th. Anyone who’s ever seen an RCPM show knows how solid and fun they are, even (especially?) as Clyne tosses back shot after shot of tequila. Well, the band didn’t disappoint either time. Particularly heartening was hearing lead guitarist Jim Dalton come into his own, since 2009 was his first year with the band and he was a bit tentative and stiff with the music. But for Refreshments/RCPM fans, hearing three of the original Refreshments reunited for a short, impromptu jam session in front of the lucky 120 who came to the show is, as Veep Joe Biden might say, “a big f’in deal.”
The backstory’s been told a million times: After Fizzy Fuzzy propelled the Refreshments toward epic stardom, their second album tanked, the band lost its record deal and Blush dove headfirst into his already debilitating heroin and pill habit. He got kicked out of the band, and then he sold the Refreshments’ entire catalog – which includes the theme of long-running show King of the Hill — for $2,500 out of desperation. Bad feelings, naturally, ensued; Blush overdosed, then spent time in jail and went through rehab before landing in jail again and finally getting himself off the junk. He now resides in the South Bend area and plays in various bands.<
Which leads the story to July 27th: Blush’s buddy and bandmate, Mike Vance, heard RCPM was playing Mr. G’s and asked Blush if he wanted to go. It’s not that he didn’t, but after more than a decade of anger and resentment, he didn’t know how his presence would be received. Thanks to the Indiana Department of Motor Vehicles, he almost didn’t get to find out; now that Indiana mails residents their licenses and other IDs, Blush didn’t have his new license yet, and the bouncer didn’t accept the photocopy the DMV provided.
Defeated, Blush started walking away when he saw Naffah outside the RCPM tour bus. He walked up, and the unexpected happened: Naffah met him with open arms, and the guys took care of his entry issues as only good friends would.
“They snuck me in through the back door,” Blush said.
Blush sat on the left side of the stage, donning shades and smiling the whole time, even firing up a lighter every so often in homage to his favorite songs. Being comfortable in RCPM’s air space was all he needed, really, but then Clyne came out for the encore and called on Blush to accompany him on “Nada.”
He was overwhelmed from start to long after finish. While neither a perfect version of the introspective song or the final encore, no one dared take away from his elation at playing with old friends.
“Roger Clyne and P.H. Naffah, I came up with them. We were lucky enough to catch a break (all those years ago),” he said. “This has to be the greatest moment of my life so far, and I just came here tonight to say ‘Hello.’
“They affected the course of my life, and I will die being a Peacemakers fan.”
The other guys – Clyne, Naffah and in his own way Scropos – also came away healed. Scropos wasn’t in the Refreshments during the troubles, but he knew enough about it to know there was “weird blood.”
“I thought it was really neat,” the bassist said. “Everyone’s really humbled by the experience, and I’m happy for the guys.”
When told that Blush called his own performance “terrible,” Naffah smiled while remembering how self-deprecating his old friend is. He also admitted to being a bit apprehensive at the thought of sharing a stage with him again and was glad it all happened as an impromptu jam, lest everyone be all twitchy about it.
“I haven’t talked to him in years, and nobody knew where he was – the last I heard, he was in Detroit,” Naffah said. “We needed this, though. I wish the guy the best and will jam with him anytime.”
As for Clyne, perhaps the most hurt by Blush’s actions way back when, he was a bit overwhelmed with the moment himself.
“This was the building of a bridge I burned a long time ago,” Clyne said. “Forgiveness is a good thing, and I hope Brian got as much peace out of it as I did.”
Talking to a friend and former colleague the other day, and she asks me if I’m still keeping up with ye old blog. I told her, “Well, I’m not NOT keeping up with it, but yeah, my last entry was in September,” and she was all, “You should at least let people know you’re not dead.” It’s always kinda been my thought that bringing attention to the fact that you’re not blogging is kind of trying to BRING ATTENTION to the fact that you’re not blogging, as in “Look at ME, everyone! Don’t you MISS ME when I’m not around!?” as if all y’all do is sit around to hang off my every word. But since she made the point:
No, everyone, I’m not dead.
So 2009 ended on an Ok note considering that Pimp’s alternator croaked in the lefthand turn lane of a major intersection during rush hour; interestingly enough, it was this final straw that snapped me out of what’s had to have been the most terrible, horrible, emotional no-good week I’ve been in months, kinda like “Yeah, this is the blood-clot cherry on a shit sundae, so I might as well just lighten up because the crying hasn’t helped!” There were mitigating factors to this terrible, horrible, emotional no-good week—like the reason I was home for NYE instead of out seeing the boys, for example—but there’s no need to hash, and some of it I can’t talk about here, anyway, because I promised. Anyway, I’m feeling better now, although the week made for some creative suicide ideation techniques!*
Hopefully this year will get me going and writing here again, but in the meantime I hope y’all are well, the holidays were full of love and laughter and that your aspirations for this year are fulfilled. N’ shit.
[*No, no no, I’m not and never have been suicidal, so don’t freak out or anything. That’s what meds are for.]
Some months ago, maybe around Thanksgiving or Christmas, I got a small package in the mail from Dad’s sister up in Michigan, and in it were photos they’d found of him. They were the usual you’d expect—elementary class shots, shots of him with his bike, his first car, even a couple sitting half-asleep in a ... well, it wouldn’t have been a car seat in 1934, but some sort of seater thing when he couldn’t have been more than a couple months old. Anyway, I’m looking at them and chuckling at his big ol’ jug ears and teenaged dorkiness when I shuffled to the above picture.
Now, those of you who’ve been in The Resort have seen the one photo I have of Dad on the bookcase: He had to have been about 1 when it was taken, and it’s one of those old-timey, hand-painted things they did in the early 1930s, where they painstakingly added some unholy shade of peach to make the sepia tones more natural. His hair brushed neatly to one side and way-serious expression, I don’t want to say there’s an inherent sadness to it because no one smiled in pictures back in the ‘30s. Really, he just kind of looks like a little old man-boy in a ruffly apricot gown.
So when I came to this shot—him slumped over with unbridled, toothless baby joy—I promptly lost it.
Eight years ago today was Dad’s wake. It was also the day where it was made abundantly clear by Mother to me that SHE was the only person who lost him. Yeah, he raised me and taught me to read at age 2, but he was her HUSBAND, you see. Because of that (as well as various other sundry reasons having to do with my well-documented aversion to feeling feelings), I don’t often talk about him, or at least not without people prompting the conversation. There’ve been quite a few people who’ve brought him up to me this summer, though, interestingly enough. Something else kind of interesting, at least to me, is that my aunt sent the pictures to me with not a word about sharing them with Mother. I struggled with that for a few days, too, over whether I should.
Yes, but if I may go on record here and point out that how the hell was I supposed to know G/BF was setting her son’s voicemail when I thought Buddy over on ”All Over the Map“ got Farrah Fawcett’s cancer wrong!?? (He didn’t, btw.) And anyway, if I heard someone yelling “RECTAL CANCER!” on voicemail, I would it hilarious. I may be the only one, but I’m Ok with that.
So it goes without saying that life is a shit-ton better when I’m not dying of some flesh-eating virus’ cousin or whatever. The Cat & Co. visit over Memorial Day was a great time—spent a lot of time in the city learning ... stuff, like at the Field Museum, for instance: We were walking through the Animals of Africa and Antarctica and whatever when we came upon a walrus skeleton. I don’t know if y’all have ever SEEN a walrus skeleton, but as I was looking at it I notice there’s a rather large bone situated between its legs, and not like a tail. I pondered this for a moment before I whispered to Cat “Cat, are you seeing what I’m seeing here?” to which she was all, “Yeeeeeah, I see it.” So we pondered it a bit longer before sharing our findings with Mr. Rags (her ex-husband with whom she’s reconciled, huzzah!) out of earshot of T-man, who’s at that age where anything scat-related is the greatest thing ever. Well, later at dinner (and I gotta interject here for a moment that for those of you who love Emilio’s Tapas: It was good, but I still think Arco is way better. Too bad it was CLOSED the Sunday we were there for whatever reason, forcing us to almost have to eat at a REALLY expensive little Japanese joint that looked good based on the recommendation of the two gay gentlemen we interrupted at dinner and California Rolls she and I scarfed down to use the bathroom), Cat whipped out the old Crackberry to look up whether walruses have ... bones in their bones. Sure enough, ALL animals have weiner bones except for, like, four of them, of which man is included. So as Cat’s sharing this information, T looks at us and said, “I know what you guys are talking about,” and we were all “No, you don’t,” when he looks at Cat and points at his unit. I of course started cracking up while Mr. Rags had to explain that we don’t point at that in public. Anyway, Mr. Rags isn’t convinced that Cat and I actually left the museum to go shoe shopping while he and T went to see the museum’s Pirate thingy; he thinks we just stood there marveling at the walrus bone.
[Fun fact: Did you know walrus bones can get up to at least 4 feet long and that one time, one that size went up for auction with a starting price of $16K? Tons of people bidded on the thing because it’s an oddity and why wouldn’t you want a walrus weiner bone in your collection? True story.]
There are other stories to tell from that weekend—like the yentas sitting behind us at the Cubs game and another scatological exchange with the BoyofWad, but I think my favorite parts had to do with T and me; it got to the point where all we had to do was look at each other, and we’d just start laughing for no reason, thereby proving once again that I’m nothing if not 12. That’s one groovy little kid, though.
Now, things have taken a somewhat contemplative turn up in these here parts—a turn that has me itching for trouble. And it IS a full moon this weekend ...
Here’s another thing I hate about being a grown-up: Coming home from G/BF’s Monday night, my throat was bothering me again, so much so that I couldn’t move my tongue without wincing, right? I get home and head to the linen/medicine cabinet for some Tylenol only to discover my Tylenol had an expiration of 02/06, and I thought to myself, “Wait, it really couldn’t have been THREE FREAKIN’ YEARS** since I’ve bought Tylenol, and am I going to die if I take it? And when did I have to start paying attention to OTC med expiration dates, anyway? If I barely pay attention to the expiration of milk—when I even have it in the house—how can I be expected to pay attention to something with a longer date? Deh.” I ended up taking a shot of lemon juice and throwing back some ibuprofen, of which I’m (pretty) sure was bought more recently than ‘06 because it all but quelled the tongue/gland pain and didn’t kill me. I do have strep, though, so you know, that might.
Two words for this past weekend:
Freek’s a local jazz quartet whose rhythm section is comprised of 2/3 of The Unit, and they played their first gig in awhile Saturday night. Yeah, I keep pimping out the guys as if I’m getting rich off doing it, and some of y’all are probably, “Jesus, whatever already” (I’ll tell you what’s “Jesus, whatever already”: The hillbillies at the end of the block who were neither drinking responsibly nor, more important, QUIETLY this morning at 2 a.m. This isn’t open acreage, you Cheech-sounding motherfucker, so how about taking the hootenannies inside!?), but ... unreal, people. Outside of a brief flirtation with Scofield when I dated the One-Eyed Wonder in high school, I know nothing about jazz other than it’s like a song that starts out as the skeleton, and it’s up to the musicians to weave the organs and muscles and skin and nerves and stuff around it, and it doesn’t always come out the same way twice. It was good, then, that I had no real musical reference on which to get stuck, because then I would’ve totally missed the sheer joy and artistry emanating from every pore as they played. The drummer, for example (yeah yeah yeah, it’s always the drummer, I know): I’ve seen him play just about every weekend since the end of January-start of February, and he’s always really good—hardly breaks a sweat, looks like he can do it in his sleep and probably does. Watching him play what he loves Saturday, though? “Visceral” comes close to describing it in that it felt as if someone just set him loose, and yet there was such control in everything he did. Just gorgeous to behold.
But here’s where the high drops kinda: As I was heading down 12 (which is one of my favorite drives in the whole world, but oddly just the heading-back part, not going toward) and flipping through the iPod looking for an even remotely challenging drumline, there wasn’t a one, and it reinforced the notion that playing in NWI really is a suckfest. Not that the guys don’t love playing, because they do, and they’re grateful to be as popular as they are. But like Cheeks and I were talking about earlier that evening, there’s a million other things they COULD play that would make THEM happy but would confound or completely turn off their audience, so what do you do? Still, just hearing how elementary the drum parts were in my playlist compared with what I now know he’s capable of was almost heartbreaking.
[*BFE = Brooklyn Funk Essentials]
[**See, I KNEW I’d bought Tylenol recently, because there’s a whole new bottle of it that I completely overlooked the other night. But I got good drugs now, so it doesn’t matter.]
Things that have struck me dumb since, oh, let’s say Saturday:
-- On tonight’s second Intervention episode, the dude took to drinking foamy hand sanitizer when he couldn’t get out of the hospital quick enough to hit the fifth of vodka he had stashed at home.
-- The customer at the restaurant who, when he discovered his order was wrong, said—and I quote—“If I wanted to be treated this bad, I’d have stayed in Afghanistan.” Seriously? You’re really going to equate not getting your burritos grande to getting shot at in the desert? That’s a tad dramatic, n’est-ce pas!??
-- Then pal and co-waitress Double D (as in “Designated Driver,” you pervs) told the douchebag that her brother’s been in the Middle East twice already, yet she still doesn’t get why we’re there. I mean, I love that she said it, but during work where other customers might hear probably isn’t the best time or place.
-- In the first episode of Intervention—and this is one I’ve seen before, so how I missed this, I’ve no clue—the love-interest enabler chick basically just told the world the drunk with whom she’s in love either can’t get or keep it up. Wow. Hope he didn’t see THAT when he got out of rehab.
-- On our way home from the boys Sunday morning, G/BF tells me her latest nightmare (who we now refer to as “Dumbass No. 3,” or DA3 for short) told her if he moves back up here, he would STAY WITH ME so she could feel safe in knowing what he’s doing. O RLY!?? Because I would WANT his dumbass germs contaminating the resort.
-- The blatant homoeroticism of the latest Quizno’s ads: “Put it in me.”
-- Cheeks wearing a blowup doll with an arm-sized appendage on his head. (Ok, that didn’t strike me dumb, but it needed to be mentioned. We have the pictures to prove it.)
Despite all the toy play, I didn’t enjoy the weekend—still felt rotten and had family nonsense, after which I should’ve just taken my ass home instead of forcing myself to be social, because that rarely works and then I end up all fired up about stuff that’s, like, whoa, what the hell are you talking about. But tomorrow, I have a Cubs game with my old boss, so a slight change of scenery should do me good, and she and I always have a good time. Actually, it’s going to be an expensive month: Cubs tomorrow, RCPM Friday, another Cubs game over Memorial Day and possibly Great America at the end of the month to see my niece in her dance recital. Maybe I should start enterprising stories more.
I just retrieved the following off my voicemail from a certain 8 year-old ginger:
If y’all haven’t read Cat Rags’ post on this very subject, do. That kid KILLS me, and he and I are going to be living it up in a couple weeks, when Cat makes her triumphant return to the north for a bit of mayhem.
So anyone hear Miss anti-gay marriage California’s defense for the cheesecake pics of her that’ve been leaked? She’s saying they were released to ruin her reputation and poke fun of her values ... (sigh). I mean, her idiot comments on gay marriage aside, I watch enough E! Channel to know that pageant contestants? Not supposed to pose for pictures without their clothes on, and I don’t think that’s changed from the ‘80s and Vanessa Williams, so if she knew she was going to hop on the pageant circuit, why would she allow the photos to be taken in the first place? I don’t know, I guess I’m just annoyed by the hubris of her trying to turn it into a religious persecution argument when hey! shouldn’t have been posing in your panties in the first place, dumbass!
Similar but not congruent, G/BF ... not so much into boyshorts, she informed me apropos of nothing the other day when we were on our way to Localpalooza II. Apparently, there are creepage issues that *I* don’t experience. And now I’m sure you feel better for knowing that.
I think my rock n’ roll lifestyle has caught up to me again, because my sleep’s all screwed up and I woke up with my throat on fire and bloody mucous, making me completely miserable and reclusive on such a gorgeous day. (And before anyone says anything about my hypochondria, whatever this is is NOT H1N1. The thought didn’t even cross my mind. I’m serious! I ain’t all freaked out about no stinkin’ swine flu. Now, sinus cancer? That might’ve been googled. Go big or go home with your pretend illnesses, I always say.) This is going to be one of them nonstop weekends, too, including a family Communion thingy that got thrust upon me this morning by Mother for Saturday, so whatever this is better get gone quickly.
I was just sitting here ruminating over how I was going to even start telling y’all about the weekend when the one of the many levels of hell that is my job popped up in my inbox: It’s graduation time, and here’s the first of about 20 you’re going to get to cover! Want it!?? No, I DON’T want it, because damn Region people don’t know how to act during commencement ("WE LOVE YOU, NEECIE!"). But I will do what I always do, which is take as many as they shove down my gullet with the understanding that I’m going to bitch about it the whole time, because I’m nothing if not consistent.
I think the best way to sum up the weekend is it was Girlie/Bitch Fantastic’s (G/BF) weekend to alternately shine and crap out early. From the top: Friday night, I’d just gotten off the horn with my seester to solidify plans for her coming in (she didn’t, although she’s talking about coming in this Friday) when G/BF calls, first to bitch at me for not picking up my phone all day (I get like that sometimes) and then to enlist my help in finding her cousin who inexplicably went MIA. We were talking when all of a sudden her husband starts cussing and yelling like a fool for some reason I didn’t even catch, which is nothing new but whatever. We hang up and I press on with laundry when I get a text from her about 2:30 a.m.: “Relationship emergency. Get here now!”
Well, it’s really her story to tell, so I won’t share particulars except to say “LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE!” and that having the big, dead weight off her shoulders is already doing her a world of good. What WASN’T good was the lack of sleep the bullshit caused as you’ll see; I didn’t leave her crib until 6:15-ish, and I think she and Curlie were up a little longer than that.
(On the subject of dead weight, I should mention that in between all this, the phone rang twice, and whose number should it have been but that of TOG. Not sure if he dialed me by accident or was leaving a “calling card” so that I would get back to him, but the appropriate response, of course, would’ve been to not respond. I, however, am not quite in the mood at this point to not respond and would much rather be as annoying as humanly possible, so I texted some crappy little remark. No response, so I guess that makes HIM the mature one for not taking my bait. Good for him; he gets the cookie. Yawn.)
(I should also add that I’m not anti-men or anti-relationship at all; in fact, there’s a gentleman or two I might be interested in as we speak. I’m just fervently anti-dumbass, and an inordinate amount of male dumbasses have been pissing up my rope lately, is all.)
After about 5-ish hours, give or take, I got up and made my way over to Dark Lord Day, the widely popular beer festival Three Floyds throws to celebrate their signature stout that *I* think tastes like molasses but people are crazy-wild about. I covered the event, but after experiencing it once, I’m ready to get a crew and pitch a tent out there next year. Freakin’ thing is a Dead show, only with much nicer and less smelly people; they had the Waco Brothers out there performing and some other band I can’t remember but is supposedly really good. Well, so you can’t go to a beer fest without partaking; it’s not like I was getting out of there without trying some with all the beer hippies offering me a swig of this or swig of that, anyway. Let’s see, that was 2-ish, 3-ish in the afternoon? Came home, showered then picked up G/BF and Curlie and headed toward a breast cancer benefit where we caught Bravo Johnny in one of their two or three reunion gigs of the year. I’d never seen them before, but it kinda turns out I really didn’t need to—chicken-egg, you see. I mean, they are really, really good, but just saying.
At this point, we headed over to G-Town for TSB, and this is where it all started going to hell for G/BF, in no small part because I kinda happened to mention to my D-List celebrity BFFs that she’d had a rough weekend and may need some liquid assistance. They of course obliged and, well, lack of sleep + several 7-7-roses limes + a metric shit-ton of tequila shots = TKO, and by time we got to the boys, she was all “I can’t do it. I just can’t do it.” So Juggsie, G/BF’s pal of a zillion years, left Curlie and I with the boys, who were crooning “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” to some busted-ass Rod Stewart lookalike (no seriously, this dude was rockin’ the hair) as we walked in, which freaked me out because ew? Really? Then, just as THAT debacle was over, some guy in a wheelchair offered to let Cheeks ride around with him, and who would Cheeks be not to take him up on that? I’m sure other shenanigans went on, but after getting into my second Stella, I too started to wane. White Castle (but not that pulled pork nonsense) was procured, the end.
Fun fact: G/BF calculated our spendings Saturday. Grand total = $200 worth of alcohol between the three of us. That’s a lotta booze, folks.
For those of y’all who aren’t on FB, I’m having issues with posting pictures from the night, so I’ll try to post them later.
Did any of y’all hear something about a cat being tossed out of a baseball game by its tail? One of my dearest friends/old editors has been yakking about it on FB, and I of course am all horrified at the thought. No, I don’t want a youtube link if it exists; I just want confirmation so I can prolong my outrage accurately.
Witnessed a near ass-whooping tonight at one of the bars a town over, and it was AAAAAAAALLLL Cheeks’ fault. I was at home catching up with Kaffy and CatRags and getting my underwear in the wash when Girlie (who sometimes wants to be known by her handpicked superhero name, Bitch Fantastic, from here on out) rings in to let me know she and one of her pals are out at said bar, get my ass over there. Threw on some clothes and arrived to Cheeks without the rest of The Unit (and here I COULD make several scatological “That’s like A without B”—what the hell’s that device called?—thingies, but they would be WRONG, WRONG WRONG. Also, Cheeks has informed me he’s now reading along with the class). So I’m sitting there with the gals drinking my Dog Style and trying to come up with our obnoxious request for the evening because it’s my new goal in life to think of the most pedantic, awful song requests for them to perform ("Hell is for Children” was particularly inspired, I think, and has been my favorite so far), and a crowd starts gathering at the door. Upon further examination, we notice that the big hairy bouncer at the front is squeezing the neck of some douchebag like he’s going to pop his head like a zit while others are trying to separate others and we don’t know what the hell’s going on when suddenly, Cheeks yells “GO FUCK YOURSELF, CONVICT!” then starts singing “Why Can’t Weeeeee Be Friends?” which we thought was hilarious and perfectly appropriate. There was one chick who clearly didn’t, however, because SHE RUSHED THE STAGE AND TOOK A SWIPE AT HIM WITH HER NAILS. Now, all we saw was her bounding up to the stage, and we were like, “Whoa, holy shit!” but we didn’t think she actually made contact with his flesh.
So the story is, this chick was trying to put in a request or talk to him while he was in the middle of a conversation, and he was all “Hold up, give me a sec,” so she wigs out and tells her douchebag friends to tell him what-for, only instead of reaching HIM, they went up to aNOTHER table of douchebags, who got all puffy, and then fighting ensued and so on and so forth. I just hope they weren’t waiting for him in the parking lot.
Oh, and since everyone’s been asking, no, I have NOT given up my reporting career as perhaps my FBing has led y’all to believe. I HAVE been picking up shifts at the restaurant, though, since Girlie/Bitch Fantastic has been a little shorthanded and, you know, it’s the LEAST I can do n’ shit since I essentially live there, anyway. And I have to say, it doesn’t suck. I mean, I think I’ve talked about how I waitressed for a little bit in college and how God-awful it was and how even worse *I*was at it, but this is actually fairly cool. I just need to get the hang of it a little better, so no, I do NOT have a set shift and no, I will NOT tell you when I’m there. At least let me get a little better at it before you come in and try to make me lose my shit, huh?
First I get, “EnterTAIN ME!” then I get “Oh, OH! You go a whole MONTH without blogging, and now you want to do it aGAIN!?? WhatEVER!” The hell. A broad can’t get a break over here.
Show of hands: How many of y’all are having problems with your significant others? I swear, all my girls’ relationships are imploding, and it makes me really, REALLY glad I’m single. Like today, we were at the restaurant, and one of them was talking about how now that she’s asked her husband for a divorce, he’s now all up her butt and—oh God—CRYING all the time. Another one doesn’t have the crying (much), but hers is waiting on her hand-and-foot when all she really wants is for him to pay some of the damn bills. And yeah yeah yeah, I know emotions make me itch and all, but I was, like, horrified, because when I think about the usual complaints, it’s always women jawing about how their men are too involved in work and whatever. But a guy clinging would be SO much worse to me, I can’t even TELL you. Seriously, how do you get “I need to do everything short of wiping my woman’s ass” from “She’s asked me to start contributing to the household”!?? That doesn’t even make sense. But yeah, so, being able to never change out my jammies and loving my cats doesn’t sound quite so bad now, does it? (Not that it ever did to ME, but ...)
Hey, remember my skin flute? It’s on loan to The Unit boys since Holy Saturday. I don’t think they’re going to do anything completely disgusting to it, but I know it brought them great joy, hence the “Thank you, Easter Bunny!” reference. Cheeks took to it quite nicely, in fact. On another note, they played the HELL out of “Honky Tonk Woman”; these guys are really good, but I was FLOORED by how good that was.
Since my two whole fans have been endlessly harassing me to entertain them for the past week, all RIGHT, already! I’m here!
It’s been a little stressful in these parts the past couple weeks, what with our parent company on the brink of financial disaster (thanks again, Conrad—you filthy nutsack), waiting for the courts to release my paychecks and the whole thinking about what my next move should be thing and all, and there really just hasn’t been a lot to say that hasn’t involved me being in a semi-state of panic. I’m marginally better this week, although the thought that I might have to go back into an office setting makes me want to choke on my vomit like nothing has in quite awhile. The nice thing, though, has been the support of friends: A guy with whom I went to high school and who was on the periphery of my college crowd and his wife, for example, totally offered to pay for me to go to this benefit just because they thought I might need the distraction. I haven’t talked to this cat in 15 years, maybe? And I didn’t know him well in high school, either, but here they were, ready to take me out. I don’t even know what to do with that kind of kindness, you know? And Girlie or wad—Jesus. I wouldn’t even know where to start.
It hasn’t been an entire suckfest all month, though—in fact, some parts have been downright entertaining, such as those that involved our new favorite cover band, The Unit. It’s not often, after all, that you get to see the lead singer’s ass on a regular basis. It also may or may not be why we’ve taken to calling him Cheeks.
Evidently, I’ve been doing my job right this week, because damn people all butt-hurt and telling me how to do my damn job. Jesus. Look, lady, I didn’t stay for “the whole meeting” because my deadline is 9 p.m., and it takes me a half-hour or so to write up a story. Therefore, since I left at 8:45, surely you can see the dilemma, right? As for how I cover a story and what I end up writing about it, my job is to provide readers with the newest information humanly possible, and I hate to tell you this, but the people in the crowd were NOT SAYING ANYTHING NEW. I know you think they were, but between the nutjob who had his son refigure the study numbers, the Rush-wannabe wingnut accusing the board of entertaining real estate offers and HIS mother getting up and talking about how her father was the first union president, really, they weren’t. In fact, the only parent who offered anything remotely reasonable was the woman who asked what improvements would be made with the money that would be saved. And no, no one on EITHER SIDE gave any viable solutions, either, so tell you what: When the parents CAN say anything I haven’t heard ad nauseum since November, I’ll stop acting like I have better things to do. ‘k?
THAT one wasn’t even the best one, either. Behold the atrocity I got over the weekend; my comments are obviously italicized. [WARNING: It’s SUPER long.]
I am writing to you to let you know the utter distain and frustration I have for the article you wrote regarding the generous donation given by the Embassies of Christ Church in Gary, Indiana of $36,500 to retain a police officer from getting laid off her job.
[Yikes. Sounds serious.]
To say that you minimized a major event that took place in the City of Gary and made it to look like a minor event is an understatement! You evidently are an expertise in downplaying that could have been a monumental change in our city had you wrote the article correctly.
[Hold up—did you just accuse me of subtlety? I don’t think anyone’s EVER accused me of subtlety before. Huh. No one’s ever called me an “expertise,” either, so this makes two foreign concepts for me to digest, and I haven’t even gotten through two grafs yet.]
Your slant and opinion was revealed in your headline title, “Church Kicks in Cops Salary, left much to be desired and showed your lack of respect in several ways. [Since I don’t write the headlines, please go on. I will say, though, it hasn’t been long enough to notice you forgot the close quote on the hed.] In the first place, the derogatory slang word, “cops” is not an endearing word that denotes honor and dignity nor is it a respectful word such as policeman, or police officer would bring to mind. The word cops is generally used by unsavory individuals who lack respect for our men and women who lay their lives on the line everyday to protect us, and your negative input and comments helped to bring forth negative comments from outside readers was even more frustrating.
[Again, had nothing to do with the headline, but would you have preferred the more common vernacular of “Po-Po?” “Pigs?” “New World Odor?” C’mon, at least let us have “5-0.”]
They were clueless like you, for Pastor Cedric and Joyce are giving and loving shepherds who have loving and giving hearts and believe in blessing others generously.[Huh? What has that to do with using “cops?”] They feed the hungry with food baskets and clothing every month, people in financial trouble get assistance from the Transition Housing we have, where those in financial distress don’t have to pay rent for a year, and are given free utilities to help pay off their bills, and every year, they give away brand new stoves, refrigerators and washer & dryers to help needy people. [I know; I was there during the service, where the good deeds were announced on the giant flat screens via “newscast.”] They have never had a Pastor’s anniversary, but instead give their members a Worker’s Appreciation every year at their expense.
[Mmmhmmm. They also have “Member Appreciation” cards that members swipe each week for the chance to win a trip to the Bahamas. Person with the most swipes wins. Wonder where the money for THAT comes from ...]
Secondly, you misspelled Pastor Cedric’s name(not Cedrick as you spelled it), and had you done your research or took time to even interview him or his wife, you would have known he does not use the title of Rev, and prefers to be called Pastor C or Pastor Cedric.
[He can call himself the Goddamn “Lord of the Rings” if he wants. *I* have to call him “The Reverend” on first mention and by his last name on all subsequent references. Don’t like it? Call the people after whose stylebook we and the entire news industry have modeled ours for the last 75+ years: (212) 621-1500. Good luck with that.]
You had the opportunity to show Gary and the surrounding cities of a love and kindness shown to Shanesha Emmons, who was about to be laid off her job due to the City budget deficit. Your article should have contained words like:
• WAY TO GO !
• GOOD JOB EMBASSIES OF CHRIST!
• WONDERFUL !
• CONGRADULATIONS! [This isn’t even a word.]
Yet none of the above words were present in your article at all. Why not? I’ll tell you why, because they are positive, uplifting and inspiring words. Instead, your condescending words painted a picture of distrust of motives, downbeat, unconstructive, unenthusiastic, and had a very pessimistic slant on a good deed that was done, and to me, your article was a waste of good paper.
[See, that’s interesting to me, because REPORTERS AREN’T ALLOWED TO EXPRESS OR INFER THEIR OWN OPINION WHEN THEY WRITE A STORY, and if you’re taking away all that ish from what I wrote, that’s coming from inside you. You might want to talk to the Olivers about that.]
Your style of writing reminds me of the National Enquirer [Note to self: Stop trying so hard.], where they feed on negative assumptions instead of reporting the whole truth of the matter. Good journalism-definitely not!
We have enough negative people, as well as some reporters, who down-play any good thing that happens in Gary, but they are great on reporting crime news, or articles that reflect anything bad and for you to minimize something great as this event was, the word unbelievable comes to my mind.
Your small dig when mentioning the Honorable Mayor Rudolph Clay [Aaaaaaaaah, I get it: You’re a city employee, aren’t you? Because I’ve never met any people who aren’t, yet call him “Honorable.”] was uncalled for and your total disrespect of not acknowledging Senator Earline Rogers, Ms. Emmons, and the Chief of Police who were present and on hand, was an insult to our distinguished elected officials, and the honoree, and this was basic elementary reporting that you neglected while writing your article.
[(takes deep breath) Ok. Point one: Now I’m not sure you even read the article, because Ms. Emmons WAS THE STORY LEAD, and Chief Harris comprised the WHOLE SECOND PART OF THE STORY. How is that not acknowledgment!?? Point two: Regarding my “little dig,” let’s talk about the “honorable” Rudy Clay’s views on crime in the city. Rudy has been quoted many times as saying “There’s no crime in Gary”—see
Evidently, a $10,000 fundraiser by the NWI Credit Union to the Northwest Indiana Food Bank was obviously greater than the $36,500.00 Embassies gave freely from their hearts. [Yes. Because the money EOC raised is worth more than money for a stinky old food bank—one that y’all over there at EOC likely dip into to do your good works since Angie and her crew give food to 92 entities throughout Lake and Porter counties, but you know, details and whatnot.] The donation by the Credit Union has a picture with their people holding a copy of the check and was on Page C2, yet not one picture of the pastors, mayor, police chief, the recipient, nor Senator Rogers’ picture of them holding the check for $36,000 make the paper at all-why I ask? There was a post tribune reporter there taking pictures.
[No, there wasn’t, because only a handful of reporters take pictures, and I’m not one of them.]
A half-fuzzy picture of 3 people in the choir with the article did not compare and again, added insult to injury. [It’s too bad you feel that way, because the performance was spectacular and much more visually attractive than a pack of mopes holding a damn check. But since YOU know how to do our job better than we do, I’ll make sure to pass your critique to the award-winning photographer who took the shots.] This reflected to me on the attitude of your Editor as well, is why I am sending him a copy of this letter as well.
[I’m sure she’ll welcome it ... as much as anyone likes anything from a know-it-all harpie.]
I feel you both did an injustice here and owe my Pastors a positive rewrite for the negative coverage given [Will I get to go to the Bahamas if I do?] because something good like this could have generated much good will in the city had it been done right, and it seems this was done purposely. Nobody could write such a bad article about such a good event unless it was done purposely. How sad!
[Yes, I intentionally set out to offend a large portion of the population by not using “Way to Go!” in my story. Do you know how dumb that sounds?]
The next time you are assigned to do any news worthy and exciting about a wonderful event that is done in Gary-DON’T! PLEASE DECLINE!! We want positive reporting when a positive thing happens.
[There you go again with that “positive” nonsense. I told you: I DON’T GET TO EXPRESS OR INFER OPINION WHEN I WRITE A STORY, so anything negative you took from it is ALL YOU, sweetie!]
I would rather have no news reported than to have your slanted view with your gratuitous remarks reporting anything else good that happens in our City.
[So then I guess you’re really going to hate knowing that I’ve moved into the Gary office and have been given the church beat, huh?]
One last note: The story she’s bitching about? Was referenced ON THE FRONT PAGE.
Because I may have just inadvertently given one a death sentence, and I need to find her a home.
I was heading to my dye job this afternoon when, in somewhat of a déjà-vu* moment, I heard loud mewing coming from the bushes. So I psssssspsssspssssssssed, and a pretty little brown and cream calico – one that looked suspiciously like one of my other downstairs neighbor’s kittens that she got in the fall – ran out of the bushes and gave me tummy. She wasn’t malnourished, but her lower back was all ragged and full of dander. She kept following me to my car and crisscrossing my legs as I walked, and I was just heartbroken and outraged because I thought I saw this kitten out a week or so ago, and if this was Pixie, I was going to have to hurt a bitch because I TOLD this heifer that I would look in on the kittens since she’s not home a lot, and now she’s just kicking one OUT THE HOUSE!?? Aw HELL NAW. But I had to make my appointment, so thinking it’s no-kill, I called Animal Control to come get her, right? Well, I just found out from Girlie that my town’s animal control is NOT necessarily no-kill, so now I’m even MORE heartbroken than I already was. She’s really pretty and very friendly; if anyone’s interested, hit me up. I would take her in a HEARTBEAT iff’n I didn’t think the boys would go ape.
Now for a complete digression, does anyone else think Taylor Swift looks like a stuck-up ferret? Discuss.
Here’s another digression: Suppose you were chatting with a gentleman you fancy, smiling and generally being cute (or as cute as someone like you can be), and when you said something makes you excited, the gentleman pulls back your jacket to, ahem, GAUGE said excitement. Would you consider that getting hit on or playful banter? Whatever it was, it got ME all tingly – so tingly that I completely blocked out that AFTER we got done talking with my gentleman crush, I slid on a patch of ice and fell flat on my ass.
[UPDATE 2/18: Got a call from the animal control lady—she didn’t get the kitten, and when I called for her in the bushes a minute ago, I heard her, so she’s still here, and I can now get her someplace safe.]
[*For those who haven’t heard the story, I found my oldest in the bushes. He, however, was two weeks old when I found him; this kitten is considerably older.]
Info meme #1
Typelogic says I'm an INFP.
Check my weekly astrological groove here.
Give it to me, baby.
Pssst ... My birthday's Feb. 3, and I want this, and this, and this ...
The Make-Believe Oral Cancer Foundation (M-BOCF) is now accepting donations on my behalf. Won't you please help those of us who jump to hideous conclusions regarding our oral health and help me get a root canal or two!??:
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Broad said: Like I said, my feelings are complicated on the matter, so ... I’m interested, however, in Her Highness’ thoughts on… ...[go].
Caterina said: ARGH!!! Not to deny you your goddess-given right of reflections and wishing what might-have-beens, but this guy was straight up… ...[go].
Wholovesya? said: By the by, guess who was most nasty about the charitable giving? The frigging church. My church and my mom’s… ...[go].
Wholovesya? said: By the by, I’m not the only one I know. I have friends who work at soup kitchens because they’re… ...[go].
Wholovesya? said: As you know, I was a voyeur to the beginning of this, and I was loving your comment! I have… ...[go].
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