Category Archives: Stories

Brendan Tries Muay Thai

I tried Muay Thai recently for the first time last week.  I don’t have any plans to become a mixed martial arts athlete any time soon, but it’s something I had to do, both because I feel as though one should constantly challenge themselves to develop in different ways so that the through the crucible of awkwardness and near humiliation they can find themselves transformed into a better stronger more pure version of themselves… AND because I had talked about doing it so much that my wife bought me 10 classes at a local Muay Thai school and if I didn’t take the classes, she was going to be really pissed off at me.

My desire to take up this training is complicated.  The most simple explanation is that several years ago, I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that in having lost weight, I had very little muscle tone.  Having had a few on again-off again extended trysts with the gym, in the past, I knew I could do better.  So I started lifting.  Slowly but surely, I became stronger and added actual muscle to my body.  One day at the gym, I saw a heavy bag and thought, I’ll go ahead and punch this a few times.  I’m much stronger than I used to be, I’m going to wail on this thing.  Very quickly, I realized I would get exhausted and really had no idea what I was doing.  Unlike a lot of people in internet discussion threads, when I have no idea what I’m doing, I try to learn more.

Enter months of watching boxing videos, MMA, videos.  Slowly but surely, it became something I would try to learn more about.  I bought hand wraps.  I bought boxing gloves.  I got better, but after a time, I realized I probably wouldn’t really do well if I  were in a physical confrontation.  I was faking it but I had no idea what I was doing.   Don’t get me wrong…

I’m 6’2, 235 pounds and people assume I played football in high school (I didn’t, I wrestled though.  Badly).  People my size generally think it’s not a good idea to pick trouble with me.  It’s a great feeling.  At the same time, I had an older brother who was much more the naturally athletic type, who, though I could easily out-grapple growing up (I sucked in matches but man I could outwrestle most people who had no idea what they were doing), he had MUCH better hands (punching abilities) than me.  Like a Civil War  trauma surgeon’s assistant, I caught so many hands.  I had to figure out what I was doing.

Watching mixed martial arts videos, I generally came to realize that the fighters in the octagon use Muay Thai so much because it’s so damn efficient.  It’s the science of 8 limbs.  There’s no silly forms or impractical stances.  It has basic parts of boxing, but adds kicks, knees, elbows, trips and throws, and makes use of clinching.  In the past, when I watched boxing, I would see boxers lock up and just look like they were hugging because they were exhausted.  It ruined the sport for me for a long time.  In muay thai, it’s not just hugging.  It’s the setup for all of those trips and throws.  And it can be so damn efficient.

So I made an appointment for my first class as this would be a one on one experience.  The impression I got over the phone was that I would just be learning basic things like how to not hurt myself by sprinting headfirst into a cinder block wall.  That’s not part of Muay Thai or anything, but they probably not want me to do that, especially on my first class.  I figured I could get in a quick weightlifting session and a little bit of cardio beforehand and not really suffer any negative consequences.  I took my preworkout supplement, had a good workout and came home with enough time to eat my first real meal of the day and then shower.

I got to the class and my instructor showed me the basics of kicking with my front and rear leg and basics of throwing jabs, crosses and hooks.  Still running high on the tail end of my preworkout, I found myself pouring sweat just standing still.  After a half hour, my instructor said “well that’s the end of the one on one, you ready for your first class?”

Not knowing what I was getting into, I smiled and started stretching.  It turned out I was getting into fighter conditioning.  What followed was 30 minutes of a 60 minute class based in repeating the teacher’s commanded combinations five times and then calling out your partner’s repetitions as they performed them.  I made so many mistakes.  Not just in form and footwork.

I barely ate during the day and hadn’t digested the food I just ate.  I was in the ironic situation of having calories sloshing around my stomach and not having any in my bloodstream.  Being used to hitting a poor heavy bag, I unintentionally put way too much effort into each punch.  Lastly, and possibly worst of all, I didn’t breathe properly.

This sounds incredibly stupid to anyone who has never worked on a heavy bag.  When lifting weights, especially doing squats, one does “valsalva” breathing in which you hold your breath for a time to make your core as rigid and firm as possible.  When throwing a punch, you find yourself attempting to keep your core rigid for the maximum transference of energy from your hips to your hands.  If you ever listen to a boxing match, you will hear lots of hissing between grunts as punches land.  This is because the boxers let their breath out with each punch to maximize core rigidity but not hold their breath so long that they become winded extra quickly from moving around the ring and punching.

After a half hour, I was on the verge of vomiting, my eyes were bloodshot, my face was beet red, and my shirt was soaked in sweat.  My right bicep was so worn out from throwing right hooks that I could no longer hold my arm straight.  My heart would not stop racing and yet I wanted to pass out.  Having made plans before the class, I left at the half hour break.  When I left, I was so exhausted I didn’t even bother putting my shoes back on.  I shuffled off to my car, still gasping for air and started the engine… with my left hand, as my right bicep was still useless.

Before I left, I looked around the room and everyone had a big smile on their face.  Not because they were laughing at my idiocy, that I was some meathead better suited for putting idiotic amounts of weight across my back than fighting.  It was a smile of camaraderie.  Their eyes said “you’re not great yet, but you’re trying so you’re one of us now.  Welcome to the club.”  Before I left, my instructor asked how I was doing.  I told him “it’s the most tired I’ve been in a long time, but it’s the most alive I felt.  This is the hardest I’ve worked since wrestling in high school.”  I then drove home and laid on the floor and panted and asked my wife to rub my cramped arm because I was underfed, overworked and dehydrated.

I can’t wait to go back.

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Home Maintenance Sucks

Long time since the last post.  I’ve been busy.  My fiancée and I got engaged (hence the second word of this sentence).  Before that we got a house.  At the time we had the typical dreams of home ownership.  No matter how old you are when you buy a house, there is a common sense of teenage independence.  “Finally!  We can play our music as loud as we want!  We can paint the walls and not worry about paying a security deposit!”  And there is a part of you that wonders about it being an investment that you can eventually collect a slight profit on.

Home ownership is not just punk rock turned up to 11 and rainbows.  Nature is trying to destroy your house every single second of every single day in ways you cannot imagine.

Carpenter Bees

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

This is a carpenter bee.  Now, you know usual bees.  Black and yellow, make honey, they love eating Cheerios.  Enter carpenter bees.  These are bees that can still sting you, but they don’t make honey, they don’t give a fuck about eating cereal, and oh yea… THEY BURROW HOLES INTO ANY EXPOSED WOOD YOU HAVE ON YOUR HOUSE.

Now these sons of bitches annoying.  Most bees are polite.  They make their honey and mind their business.  No.  Carpenter bees say “Fuck you.”  And you say “Agree to disagree.”  And then carpenter bees say “Fuck your house, bitch!”  And then they burrow holes into your shit.  It’s not as though these guys go to Lowes and borrow a drill and carefully place holes in your deck or fence.  No, these little manic fucks hover up to some wood and then just hover and SHAKE THEIR ENTIRE BODIES AROUND, TWERKING LIKE A METHAMPHETAMINE FUELED MOLLY CYRUS WHILE THEIR JAWS GRIND THE WOOD AWAY.  And they don’t work alone.  For every one of these insane bastards  there’s a guard.  The guards don’t sting.  They just float in the air.  Creeping you out.
Crabgrass

Photo Credit: Wikipedia.

Crabgrass is one of those organisms that mankind once had a use for and then got bored with.  It’s like a government project that went wrong.  I imagine a lab where crabgrass was genetically engineered and some general being disgusted and saying “the funding’s run out.  Kill it.”  Someone hits it with a flame thrower and then buries the lab under fifty feet of earth.  The next day, crabgrass is outside of the general’s home at 1am.  The next morning the general is dead.  And now crabgrass has gone rogue.

Okay, so it doesn’t kill anyone, but what happens is this.  One day you see crabgrass in your lawn.  The next day there’s a little more.  Then one day in June your entire lawn is covered in the stuff and you don’t know what happened.  Crabgrass produces 150,000 seeds per plant, so if it gets established… you’re fucked.

Ants

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

These 6 legged fucks.  Carpenter bees work in pairs.  Ants work in thousands.  You see one ant?  That means there’s 8 million more.  If you’re in the south, it doesn’t matter what you do.  Boric acid works.  But every spring, they’re in your house looking for something sweet.  Well, that’s if you’re lucky.  Like bees, some of these motherfuckers come in a carpenter variety and THEY DESTROY YOUR FUCKING HOUSE.

Cockroaches

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

You’re thinking “no, Brendan, I don’t know anything about that.  I’m a clean person, you’re nasty bla bla fucking bla.”  If you’re in the south, you have dealt with cockroaches of some sort.  You might say “no, we don’t have cockroaches!  We have had water bugs though.”

 

This is a water bug:

Photo: Wikipedia

This is not:

Here in the south, we have warmth and humidity.  You know what cockroaches love?  WARMTH AND HUMIDITY.  Whenever spring comes back, flowers come in to bloom, it’s time to mow your yard again AND COCKROACHES ARE ALIVE AGAIN.

So yea.  There’s termites too.  Rain will get in your house and warp wood.  Nature hates you and wants to make your house a disgusting filthy place.  You will have to build fences, mow grass, kill bugs, kill bugs, power wash.  You will go to Lowes and Home Depot and just fork portions of your paycheck that will have you needing money several paychecks into your future.  And that’s if you’re LUCKY.  There is plumbing, Chinese drywall, and her getting bored.  Now because DDT is illegal, BED BUGS ARE A THING AGAIN.

And you have to deal with this all by yourself.  There’s no maintenance you can call.  Mom and dad don’t care.  It’s all for you to take care of.  You literally have nightmares about yellow nutsedge.

And you wake up and you spend more money on your god damn house.

Don’t let the bed bugs bite.

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What’s a Podcast: Episode 10: Travis Jones

This week, me and CB had CB’s long-time collaborator in indie films, writer, actor and storyteller, Travis Jones on the show. Not only did we talk about everything, like we do every week, but Travis told some amazing stories about his life, including failed romances that while humiliating are all too familiar and relatable.  Even more exciting is the fact that this is our TENTH podcast, meaning that if two assholes sit down and b.s. with each other long enough, someone WILL listen.

Click here to listen.

Also, in the future we hope to have some really exciting guys on the podcast.  including James Paulk, Chris Dembitz and the great, recently roasted Dan Ellison, the educated redneck (his term, not mine).

Lastly, there’s a Twitter account for the Podcast now @whatsapodcast, so that if you have any ideas you want talked about or general criticism to give me and CB, there’s an easily focused target for your outrage.  Or if you want to show some love, it’s a good place to do so as well.

See ya soon!

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Brendan talks religion

I work retail, as discussed earlier in this blog. I go to ring a customer up and she’s wearing a technicolor star of David necklace.

Me: I saw your necklace, are you Jewish?
Her: Well, let’s just say my boss is a Jewish carpenter!

Part of me wanted to be like “Whoa, you know Marty Horowitz? He did a great job on my parent’s cabinets.”‘ Instead…

Me: Oh okay.
Her: Yea, they really look at me confused when I go to the JCC [Jewish Community Center].

Now I’m kind of annoyed with this woman. As we talk more, she round about tells me that if Jesus was Jewish, then she kind of sees herself as a Jewish Christian.

Me: Do you read the Bible much?
Her: ONLY LIKE EVERYDAY LOL!!!!!111
Me: Are you familiar with Paul? I don’t know which letter it is [turns out to be Romans 11:17], but he makes the analogy about Christians being a graft of wild olives on to the tree of olives that is essentially Judaism.

Generally speaking, I find faiths living together in harmony a wonderful thing. But in this situation it pisses me off.

In short, Paul makes the argument in Romans that the Christians of the time were not Jews, that Jews have a special connection with God, that they are HIS chosen people. Christians, at the time of Paul [and maybe moreso now] were a bunch of barbarians doing all kinds of weird crap, and they thought that just because Jesus saved them, that made them honorary Jews, so they started doing things like getting circumcised. Because apparently, if you’re a new Christian, the first thing you do when you see Jews is say “Hey! Look at my dick! I’m one of you guys now!”

And they’re just like “oy…”

This is all moot if you’re not a fan of Paul’s work and feel like he over-legislates Christianity. That’s perfectly fine. But this zealot already claims that she reads the Bible every day, I just wish she would read only what’s in there and not go and start making inferences and what not. The thing is, I’m not even religious. I just know the rules, and if you start getting all preachy, I hold you to the rules more than other people.

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Podcasting!

So, I figured, if you’re into what I’m doing, my attempts at stand-up comedy and storytelling, you might be interested in another project I’ve started: Podcasting.  Me and my buddy CB Willkins have begun producing a new podcast called “What’s a Podcast?”  The idea behind this title was that neither of us had really ever fully researched exactly what we thought a podcast should be.  So this podcast is what CB and I think that people would be interested in listening to.  In essence, we both think a great deal of what’s on the podcast is what we both enjoy, bullshitting with each other and recording the stupid insights we have into each other’s lives.

It’s not on iTunes yet, as we’ve not produced a separate site/feed to host all the mp3’s, so for now, what we’ve done is produced the show and listed it on SoundCloud.com where it can be both Downloaded AND Streamed here.

I’m a bit late posting this, as the link above is to our second attempt at podcasting. If you like the link above, check out our first attempt here: here.

If you have any ideas about stuff you would like us to talk about, questions, and anything in between, shoot us an email at whatsapodcast “AT” yahoo.com.

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Selling Plasma

Not one of the TVs. The stuff that keeps the ol’ red blood cells, leukocytes and platelets from congealing together in my veins. I got paid on Thursday, but I was so backed up on bills that I thought it would be good to have one or two extra dollars in my pocket. I’d looked into selling plasma in the past and it seemed okay… a plasma center put a video online in which they had people sell it as “a nice way to relax for an hour or so” or “good time to catch up on reading.”

So, one day, I called up, it sounded like it was a slow day there, and a nice lady told me on the phone that I could be signed up and out the door in about 90 minutes or so. She told me that their hours were from 7am-7pm and that they even accepted people as late as 6pm for donations. At around 3 today, I figured it would be a good time to go check it out. I drove out there, and parked my car. The first open parking spot I saw was a convertible…

…with the back window all busted up, the ragtop all torn apart. As I walked to the car, I had a flashback to watching Harry Potter movies, and Harry’s first experiences with dementors… “it was as though all the happiness and hope in the world were suddenly gone.” There was a woman standing outside the building with a general countenance that made me feel as though she were likely to propose a fellatio for cash endeavor, a more common panhandling, a robbery, or some combination of the former in which I am serviced and then flees the scene without receiving money from me.

People sort of rushed past me to get in. The people who rushed past me, though we were in Virginia Beach, felt very Portsmouth. It’s odd. When you’re in the ghetto, everyone has this sense about them that, some might call swagger, some might call a war face… It’s this aura you sense that though things are ugly all around us, they have some sort of plan and attitude that’ll get them through this.

The plasma donation center is the exact opposite of this. When you’re in a plasma place, you can see the same emotion on every single person’s face… “I’m stuck in this room with your broke, tired hungry masses.” And the room was packed. I mean, it’s incredibly naive of me to go into a plasma business, on a Friday afternoon and think “oh gee, it’s not like I’ll be the only one who’d need money before a Friday night.” It was one of the saddest god damned sights I’ve ever seen in my life. Imagine the DMV, but every single person in the room is having such a hard time in their lives that they’ve decided they need to sell a part of their body just to make ends meet. And the room was crowded. They’d run out of chairs for people to sit on, and so there were people sitting on the floor. And people were still one-by-one coming in behind me.

It was so packed in there, that I didn’t even get a chance to sign up.

Depressing.

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Girls who place all of their self worth and value in personal appearance bother me

I’m not saying I like a girl who doesn’t care about how she looks. No sir, as a matter of fact, I’m quite happy silently mentally nitpicking various aspects of a woman’s appearance and deciding which aspects I do and do not care for. Ladies, if you see me eyeing you, half is thinking, yea, I’d hit that, but the other half is thinking something like “put on a bit too much make up today did we? What are we trying to hide?”

I like a girl who takes pride in how she looks. It’s a sign that she respects herself. What bothers me is women who put TOO MUCH stake in how they feel they are perceived visually. What I’ve noticed the most is, for better or worse, it seems like a girl who has at one time not been happy with their weight and not received attention from men that other women do. A lot of the times, when women lose weight, the desire to get guys’ attention metastasizes into something more toxic and sad that just scares guys like me off.

Example, I went out with my brother one night. As the drinks START flowing, this girl starts getting louder. A few more drinks, she starts getting flirty, talking a lot about herself, her talents at work, about penises and how they look huge in her hands since she has tiny hands. We walk to another bar, she whispers to me “I used to weigh 215 lbs” (she’s like 5’3). A few more drinks and she’s REALLY flirty. A few more and she’s pulling her shirt down and exposing cleavage, reaching for people’s crotches. A few more and now this bitch is crying. 10 minutes later, this chick is a train wreck, crying, yelling at the guy behind the counter who sells pizza like “how DARE YOU?!?!?! HOW F-ING DARE YOU!?!?!!” What the hell could a pizza guy do? Hell the worst thing he could say is something pizza related.

Another chick I know. She looks okay. A lil overweight. If she concentrated on eating right (a well-balanced diet lower in processed foods), getting 8 hours of sleep, and a long term plan of lifting weights and doing cardio, she’d be happy as hell in a year or so. Now, bear in mind, she’s not hideous, not a complete brown bagger. And she has good facial features. But the thing is, if you were to look at this girl’s Facebook, it’s like this:

“What’s wrong with guys?”
“I just wish guys around her liked me.”
“God, I’m horny, I wish there were more guys around here with a job, a house and a comfy bed” (meanwhile this girl’s still living at home).

You just wish you could tell these girls like “hey, you have a great rack, something going for you that most people don’t. But really deep down… personality wise… you have bad breath.”

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Storytelling Night at Belmont : Scary Stories

October’s Storytelling Night fell on October 30th, and with it being so close to Halloween, the choice was obvious.  We had to do scary stories.  As always, I told my story.  Here it is.

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Panhandlers

If you read my post on Portsmouth, VA. You know that I’ve been to bad neighborhoods.  Fallujah circa 2007 bad? Probably not. But, like the Moors of England in a Werewolf Movie, they were places you would never want to be after the sun went down.  That’s when the worst of the bad stuff goes down.  During the day, your worst threat of all is going to be pandhandlers.

Pandhandlers are a unique brand of scumbag.  My readers with hearts-a-bleeding might say “hey Brendan, you shouldn’t look down on these people that way… there but for the grace of God go you…”  and I would say to shut the hell up.  The only way you discover that pandhandlers are worthless is by granting them the basic human dignity of actually letting them speak to you.  You think to yourself “alright, I’m being a jerk by thinking this guy is going to ask me for money.”

So you let him speak to you.

And you find out you were right.  And what’s so bad about that?

I work harder than I think I should have to to collect every penny I get (I’m a comedian, theoretically, I should be able to just make a living bringing joy to people like you, right?).  What makes pandhandlers think that by standing around all day trying to get my money they are in any way inclined to get my money?  Panhandlers have different ways of annoying the shit out of me.

  • Getting your attention

All panhandlers have to get you to look at them before you give them money.  And, rather than have a narrow waist, bountiful chest and wide hips, like other people who want you to do things you otherwise wouldn’t have thought of doing, they must attract attention other ways.

90% of these ways are “Hey man!” shouted repeatedly. For example. Imagine you’re walking out of a convenience store.
“Hey man.”
You keep walking.
“Hey man. Hey man.”
You look over your shoulder to see a guy following you.
“Hey brother.”
After being asked 8 times, you finally ask what he wants, as though you are the mother to this man adapting the tactics of a three year old.
“You got 37 cents?”

Some people get creative with it. After taking a short cut through some projects, I was once flagged down by a woman. I imagined she was perhaps going to tell me that the road was out, or gang warfare was about to erupt two intersections down my path. Perhaps she was going to tell me I had a headlight out, or my car was shooting flames out of the exhaust. Maybe even that she was a time traveller from the future and was seeking a way to get me to send a message to Doc, who was currently in the future.

No, after taking too long to get to the ask (see below) she asked me if I had any spare change.

  • Taking too long to get to the ask

This panhandler maneuver is where said beggar piece of shit thinks he can trick me into giving him cash by reasoning with me.  This takes many forms, but is most often the “on hard times” routine.  First the peasant gets your attention, should you give in, you’re typically in for a good long story…

“I’m just trying to get my life together…”

“I just got out of the hospital…”

Those are two examples of the easy ones, openers, that if you’re lucky only take about 30 seconds.  Every now and then, your hobo will figure out that you’re not really in the mood to talk to someone who smells like shit, armpits and Steel Reserve breath.  This was the case with the girl who flagged me down at the intersection.    “Hey… hey… hold up… chill out… what you in such a rush for,” as if the urgent flagging me down was merely a greeting she gives everyone.

The worst example was when one of these stinky people in need could not decide on his opening story, causing him to drag the process  further yet.  His ask started off as a jumble of sad stories.  Seriously, this guy opened with a montage of Portsmouth tragedies… “I’m on hard times, you see, I just, my health, jobs is hard to get…” and then flabbergasted with his own lack of indecisiveness when it came to asking me for money, he gave up on being creative, and just stated “I’m black.”

Unmoved, I simply replied “okay… I’m white” and that I didn’t have any spare change.

  • Not having a clue about physical proximity

The gentleman who tried to sway me by his blackness, before talking, simply took two steps with his hand ready for a hand shake and stopped, just staring at me.  When I returned his stare, he just said “oh, I thought you were going to meet my hand,” apparently hoping for a handshake.  No matter what, people asking you for money always try to be as close to you as possible when doing so.

If you’re walking out of a convenience store, for some reason, panhandlers will keep a normal human distance, attempts at handshaking aside.  And in most situations, if a guy is asking me for money, I have no gotten to the point where once he has finished uttering the request, I will, as a reflex, reply “don’t have any cash on me, sorry,” which usually dispells these Dementors like a full throated “expecto patronum.”

The thing is, where hobos are, you typically don’t want to be. If you have a window open, a panhandler will try to get inside, as any parasite generally does.  It does not matter the degree to which your window is open.  If it’s only open two inches, they’ll put their mouths up to the opening and shout in to your car.  Do they think that if they can get their head in my car than they won’t get away? Or do they think that if they touch a car, they might attract some kind of peripheral wealth by association?  Maybe they’re just trying to annoy me into payment.

  • They’re just trying to get drunk/high/cracked out

People who want food, shelter and a new start at life go to homeless shelters and slowly work their way back into society.  People who want to drink expensive booze and sit on comfortable furniture work shitty jobs that make them crave booze even more.  People who want to just get shitfaced and not worry about their furniture… well they ask people who work miserable jobs for spare change.

Sure, they might ask you for change for food, or for water… but that’s not what they want.  Have you ever seen the frustration in a panhandler’s eyes when you actually give them food and water?  I had a fellow ask me for money across the street from a McDonalds, as he was broke and wanted a meal.  I wasn’t going  to give him cash, but the night before, my girlfriend had actually roasted some pumpkin seeds, seasoned them deliciously and packed some in my lunch.

“I don’t have any cash, but I have some freshly roasted pumpkin seeds.”

“Man, I don’t want no motherfuckin pumpkin seeds… god damn it…” he continued to trail off as he walked away, defeated.

 

  • Multiple ask levels

Apparently some panhandlers have worked in collections, apparent from their ask techniques.

“Hey man, you got a quarter?”

“No.”

“You got a cigarette.”

“No.”

“Can I get a ride?”

While I respect the fellow’s desire to  earn a positive response from me, seriously, if I don’t want to pay you to go away, and I don’t have a cigarette, and we know I don’t want you near me as evidenced by my rolling down the window a centimeter for you to shout through, why the fuck would I want you in my car?

  • Inconvenience

These guys have no sense of time.  I’ve had cats flag me down while on the phone, literally asking me to stop my conversation to see if I have any cash to give them.  Most recently, I exited The Boot with my girlfriend (you know, the hot chick I live with who roasts pumpkin seeds for me), and had a guy shout the ubiquitous “hey man” from across the street.  I didn’t answer.  It was date night, and as if my own horrible poverty wasn’t enough delineated by meal at this expensive eatery, I didn’t need to share any cash with a stranger to prove it further.

So we walked to the car.  The guy started following us down the poorly lit sidewalk.

“hey man!”

Still following us. In a rush, we got in the car, started the car and locked the doors.  As I had the car in reverse, the dude was still trying to flag me down or mug me.  I didn’t know, I didn’t stop to ask him.  As I drove away, the guy had this shocked look on his face, as if to say “whoa, an old crazy looking guy wearing a winter coat on an August night on the south runs across the street after a couple who obviously doesn’t want to be bothered, and this is the kind of treatment he gets?”

At any rate, I honestly hope these people can find whatever it is they’re looking for in life.  I hope they can find a clean release from their addictions, relief from their fatigue, motivation where none seems to exist.  So they’ll stop asking me for money.

For now, I’ll settle with the best panhandler of all time, from one of my favorite movies, UHF:

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Technical Difficulties

 

 

This week it’s been hot as hell.  It’s so hot, it’s too hot to even be racist.  Rednecks will just say begin a slur and then just forget about the hatred and wipe the sweat off their brows.  In all seriousness, it’s that rare kind of triple digit heat that happens a few times a year and causes the local news stations to run montages of mirages and heatwaves rising off asphalt while the anchors tell you to not to kill your old people and animals through ignorance in the heat.

Last week was much better.  Low humidity, a nice breeze, bearable heat.  It was great weather to go for a bike ride, so that’s what I did.  I mounted my trusty Bianchi Campione.  I was going to get a nice 11 mile ride in, taking a suburban route that would let me sneak down to Mount Trashmore and back.  I managed to get through most of the scary heavy 4pm traffic and into the neighborhood that would be the rest of my ride.  It was beautiful.  Sun low enough in the sky to just make everything beautiful, a gentle breeze carrying away any hint of what heat there was.  My legs were just beginning to warm up.  I was entering a zen like state where I felt one with the machine I was clipped into.  Pedaling, I rode faster, and faster, and faster.  I felt like I could take flight at will, and was just staying terrestrial through choice.

Pfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffftttttt

I’d run over a nail with my back tire.  Having had nails and tacks in car tires before, I wonder, how the hell do so many nails and tacks end up inthe road?  Are construction workers really that negligent in the use of their nails, where these things just fall into car tires all willy nilly?  Or is there a conspiracy among the rubber lobby to put these things in roads so people need to buy more tires?  Either way, I unclipped from the pedals and got my ass off the seat in time to avoid riding the bike with both tires entirely flat.

 

Putting on biking gear sucks.  Putting on biking cleats to clip into your bike, appropriate shorts and a shirt made of wicking material; and then sunglasses and a helmet (yea, I wear a helmet.  I owe enough money on my student loans that there’s no way in hell I’m letting the little bit of knowledge I’ve purchased be wasted by a bump on the head) is a pain in the ass.  The only thing that makes all of this worse?  Wearing all of this gear while next to a bike you can’t ride.  You just become a mockery of both man and machine.  Luckily, I was able to call my girlfriend to come and get me in my Subaru Legacy wagon.  At 203,000 miles, she was a beast (my car, not my girlfriend, whose mileage I’m not currently aware of).

 

And so I took my bike home and resolved to fix my flat when I had time.

A week later, I found myself with a great deal of time, as the timing belt of my dear Subie broke.  A trip to the mechanic confirmed this, along with new knowledge that my engine likely never run again.

So, stuck at home, able to drive only when I can borrow my girlfriend’s car is available (I don’t have money saved up to buy a new car) I figured I would record a new video blog.  And then I found out either my camcorder is broken or its charger.  The final meaning of either is that I can’t even record a proper video blog today.

Shit is just falling apart on me right now.  Thank God I don’t rely on a pacemaker, or else I’d probably be dead.

Fuck.

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