Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I Am Not Charlie Brown*

One of my favorite passages from the Hitchhiker's Trilogy is the one from So Long And Thanks... where Douglas Adams steps aside to comment on all the fan mail he's received, and how, inevitably, they all seem to ask the same question about Arthur Dent: "Does he, you know, do it?"

I was reminded of that bit the other day, as I was talking with co-worker and good friend K about some recent misadventures. "TBO, I never would have thought this about you...Why don't you talk about this stuff more often?"

I dunno...without getting all pop psychology on this, I have never really talked all that much about dating and women, etc. I just...I haven't. Sometimes there isn't anything to tell, other times there's too much.

I mean, okay, if I were to tell you that within the last two weeks I had a woman ask me if I wanted to go skinny-dipping in Lake Washington with her and her FTM tranny buddy; or that I drunkenly made out with another woman who was extremely homesick at the time; or that I inadvertently caused a woman to become so jealous of someone I wasn't even seeing she still won't talk to me...Look, I feel self-conscious just mentioning that here, where there is some modicum of anonymity. Why would I want to talk about it with more than a few close friends?

And besides, what impact does that have on your life?

"But, TBO it's not about the impact...Women like hearing about these things because it lets them know that you're not a robot, that you have a history, and that you're...a bit dirty."


Also within the last two weeks: Most every morning, on my way to the shuttle, I've been walking past this stunning redhead on her way to work. It's a nice vibey thing, it started out quietly enough, and then one day we caught each other checking the other out. Since then, it's been furtive smiles, good mornings and how dos. I don't know her marital status, her sexual leanings, age, name, anything; just the smiles and the vibe.

As much as I want to know more about her, I like having those question marks there. Keeps it simple, and, no matter how everything else in my life is going, there's always that smile...

It starts the day nicely, if nothing else.

*Crush on random redheaded girl notwithstanding, asshole.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Proposal: Preamble

So, I'm writing the second entry in an ongoing series of idealized treatises on aspects of singlehood aimed at America's lovelorn and horny (but using Seattle as the basis for these items).

The point of these is simply to put these thoughts out in the open, and hopefully effect a collective loosening of the puritanical underwear we've inherited from our forebears. Because, as stated in the first entry of these, the current modes of attraction are largely fear-based, fairy-tale/date-movie-influenced, and overwhelmingly frustrating.

This all came to me after my return visit to PR a couple of years ago, and noticed how differently these matters were handled. Then I started thinking about the French and the Brazilians, and how these matters are handled there, and came to the no-brainer conclusion: Things are easier there.

Why? Because, blah blah blah. I don't know if this is a generational thing or not, but it seems the more permissive the prevailing atmosphere, the more restrictive our behavior. Or something. Go ask a sociologist, if you'd really care to know.

I just know what I see: People who are too inexperienced with these affairs and find themselves lacking in confidence, or, after dallying a little, too fearful of any negative consequences that may arise.

Maybe none of this applies to you, and if so, a hearty congrats to you. Why don't you do your single friends a favor and chill them out? I mean, do you really need to be mackin' 24/7?

And just who the fuck am I? Just your regular shmoe, with regular luck with the short term, but working on the long term. Yes, I have been the low self-confidence, inexperienced, fearful person I described above. That is, until the shift in thinking, which was greatly aided by the trip to PR, took hold.

Outside of all of that, I just recognize that some people need to hear more than "relax and quit trying so hard" in terms of advice.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Here's Roosevelt Franklin with a Special Announcement


My name is Roosevelt Franklin. Some of you may recognize me as your surrogate on Sesame Street from your early childhood. In any scenario, I took better care of you than your stupid parents did, so listen up, dingbats!

Above me, you see a picture of one of my muppet friends, Herry Monster. Do you remember him? Do you remember the media fascination with him when he turned up missing for eight months, never to be heard from again? Do you remember how you forgot?

Well I do, because unlike an entire generation I could mention, I never got drunk, nor did I touch any kind of drug. I never forgot about Herry. I've been gone allll this time, searching for him, and others like him, because Herry wasn't the only one to go missing, not by a long shot. And did any of you notice? DID ANY OF YOU CARE?

I'm sorry, I'm shaking in frustration, let me calm down.

Well, I finally found out what happened, and I'm here to tell you about it.

One day, Herry went walking through the muppet forest, carrying a heavy box, humming that "Sing" song you remember (oh, you know the one), when his foot got caught in a trap. Herry was miles away from anyone, except for the wild muppets, and they talk to nobody. Herry chewed off his own foot (the only bodily remains of Herry that we can find, his muppetDNA found in the residue of the saliva on his leg), and attempted to get back home, but his tracks only reach a fraction of the way back.

Here, there was obviously a struggle and then, the evidence trail just disappears.

For years and years, this is how the case was left, a bloody stump and blue fur tufts left here and there, and no Herry. Until I ran across this:


Look through these pictures...See anyone you recall?

Take a look at the second to last one.

I'm sorry, I'm shaking again. But only because my friend Herry has been given a dye job and purple highlights only to be turned into...a HOODIE for some stupid burner to wear and impress their drugged out, naked, dirty thirsty friends.

Have you humans no shame? Herry loved you, he cared for you, he taught you how to recognize the letter H, and the number 13, and you...and you...(Yes I know I'm shaking again) And you kill him and wear him as a trophy?

I can't look at you anymore! If you felt any kind of emotion, you'd create an organization to stop this brutality, because it's not just Herry you have to think about, it's the Yup Yup Aliens, it's the big tall guy with the nose, it's Tully. Have you seen those guys around? NO. YOU HAVEN'T! And now you know why.

Oh you bastards...Oh you ungrateful murdering bastards...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Why hasn't anyone noticed this yet?

[TBO's note: I know ad critiques are more of my pal, Izzle Pfaff's, domain, but I've been kinda going through some doldrums lately (working on an NYC entry), and I kinda need to get the yayas out.]

So, in some of the online circles I travel, I started noticing the banner ads for True, the latest "safe online dating service," and they've been kinda niggling at me... If you haven't witnessed these yet, they are invariably a picture of some cheesecake, usually in a bikini, smiling toothsomely at the camera, and a caption to get the guy's attention. ("Wake up to this smile at True" or some such approximation.)

Listen, you have a dating service, you're gonna get the guys by the buttload* already, you don't really need to appeal to them.

Also, the guys suckered into joining up based on the ads -- assuming they're successful, and that this is what they want; also assuming anyone is this naive -- what are they gonna find?

I am speaking generally here. I know the majority of guys will not be thinking "True offers bikini babes for every man," when they join up, but what's the point?

No, the real problem is going to be attracting the ladies, and once they do join up, they're probably gonna be inundated with guys who will either have a one-track mind, or will want to rush things. ("Heyyour'rehotlet'sgooutdoyoudoanal?") And I'm sure there's the right target audience for that sort of thing, but I'm thinking that gals looking for the quick and easy guy probably don't really need a "safe online dating service."

To be fair, I just saw an ad that was aimed at the ladies. They promise that they screen for felons and married guys (maybe they should add assholes, wimps and that guy to the list). The picture attached? Hot, skinny model, wearing a tight red "True" t-shirt, and tight, small (if tame) underpants looking out of venetian blinds.

That's gonna attract women how?

I'm guessing that in the bigger markets they do have trouble getting the guys on there, or summat...but I guess I'm confused. I've never really been sold on the dating service option, and the experiences of my friends have sort of reinforced that. There are enough choices and pitfalls out there in the tactile dimension without adding online crazies into the mix.


Man, I think too much.

*(approx. three truckloads per buttload. Fuckload = 5 buttloads)

It's Time to Start The Music

Muppets! Complete Season 1! On DVD!

I. Want. It. I want it BAD.

I've been clamoring for them to come out with this for ages...I'm going to savor its presence now.

Okay, now that it's here, let's get cracking on the first 15 seasons of Sesame Street. Untouched. I want imaginary Snuffy, the death of Mr. Hooper, complete Bert & Ernie sketches, the psychedelic pinball "1-2-3-4-5," that little black kid with Harry the monster yelling "13!...14!", the soothing film footage of seahorses with equally soothing music, the creepy rubber band face, the "yup yup" aliens, Grover as a waiter ("Arroz con PoLLO!")...I mean the list is endless.

There was a while there where Noggin (or "The N") was airing original episodes of SS, at 1 and 2 in the morning. I doubt there were that many colicky kids up at that hour (and like they'd pay attention), so it seemed like they were programming with, uhm, people like me in mind. I'd get home from rehearsals, and I'd reeeelax while Kermit interviewed Little Miss Muffet, or the maestro struggled to find a rhyme for "in the air so high." I slept so well.

Let's get cracking CTW!