Wednesday, January 30, 2008

High Anxiety

I've always been a worrier. I've also had a pretty healthy dose of anxiety. I was really relieved when the Santa Claus myth was confirmed by my parents, since it meant I didn't have to spend another Christmas Eve throwing up after getting all worked up wondering what Santa was going to bring me. That whole "he knows if you've been bad or good" business wasn't helping matters any, either. I guess I'd been good, but had I really been good enough to trick the jolly old man for another year?
So yeah, anxiety is nothing new, but lately I've been nebbishing around like Woody Allen in between therapist visits. It didn't help that we went to a wedding where I didn't know anyone at all a couple weeks ago (my wife knew the bride's mom or something) and with no bar, I didn't have any antidepressant juice to help me out.
Then we had this training thing at work which was a little too much talking about your feelings and goals and stuff for my tastes. As we went around the room, I had a flashback to middle school as I counted down in terror as the next person spoke, realizing I had to come up with something smart, quick, but when my turn came I blurted out whatever popped in my head, making me seem like a smartass, when I wasn't trying to be at all, and why can't we just have training where someone talks and we sit and take notes and draw pictures and then we take a test or something and get to go home early? I mean, shit, we're a bunch of clerks and librarians, none of us want to speak in front of people. If we did, we would have been actors or newscasters or politicians. What's with all the getting in groups and talking about yourself stuff? Can I blame this on the Baby Boomers?
Well, at least I have a three day weekend starting tomorrow and I'm seeing George Romero talk about "Night of the Living Dead" while I eat nachos and drink beer Saturday night, and I've got some ebay/amazon treats coming so I should be alright. Just as long as I don't have to talk about my feelings for a while.

Friday, January 18, 2008

That's the Last Time I Let Lou Dobbs Cut My Hair

I’ve been getting my hair cut at the same place for a few years now. It’s pretty awesome. Not only is it cheap (10 bucks for a haircut), it’s a seriously old school barbershop, where they have old Playboys laying around and the woman who runs the place shaves the back of your neck with a straight razor and hot shaving cream at the end, which makes me feel like a cowboy.
We never really talk, other than superficial stuff about the weather, my impressive cowlick, and how yes, I want to keep my sideburns. I don’t care what the rest of America looks like, I’m keeping the 90210 ‘burns. Just wait – 10 years from now I’ll be seen as ahead of the trend, especially since by then I will have moved on to cultivate an impressive pair of ‘70s Elvis muttonchops.
Today I made the mistake of going in there while she was watching the news. They were talking about those kids that got eaten by the tiger or whatever had been taunting it previously. Duh. Anyway, that launched her into this whole thing about how it served them right because they were Mexicans who were over here to rape women and steal our jobs.
For the rest of my haircut (which wasn’t really long) she kept on the Mexicans coming here to rape women. I kept quiet, because you don’t really want to make your barber upset, but now I’m wondering if I’m going to have to find another place to get my hair cut.
Thing is, I like going there, not only because of my fundamental cheapness, but also because I really like that shave there at the end. I suppose if I don’t go in there while the news in on, maybe I’ll be OK.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

"They're Dead...They're...They're All Messed Up."

Finally bought 2 tickets for George Romero's February presentation of "Night of the Living Dead." Based on the John Waters and H.G. Lewis talks, its gonna be awesome. I'm hoping we'll have our flyers finished for this year's Film Festival contest by then, which I'm telling myself will be awesome as well. Don't want to give away any secrets yet, but "Night of the Living Dead" will be appropriate to this year's theme.

In more news of movies that inspired Misfits songs, Vampira died this week. She joins Tor Johnson, Bela Lugosi and Ed Wood Jr. in the afterlife, where I'm assuming they reenact "Plan 9 From Outer Space" constantly.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Somewhat Reassuring

I just determined that one of my headlights is out. I thought that my night vision was just getting a whole lot worse.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Egg Raid on Mojo

Like a lot of people, I was a real creep from the ages of 14 to about 19. I’d like to think hormones and chemicals and what not had a lot to do with it, and in my defense, today my assholishness is more of an occasional embarrassing slip-up rather than a defining character trait.
There are many, many things that make me squirm now when looking back. I was an ugly, whiny little shit with no regard for anyone except myself and when I got in fights, I really should have just let whoever it was pound my ass just on principle.
Like many powerless, angry nerds, most of my damage was directed at property, because to paraphrase Bruce Lee, property can’t hit back. I had a group of friends that would meet up fairly regularly to go egging cars at night. We’d usually meet at my house, I’d sneak out and we’d head down to the 7-11. I don’t know why we didn’t just take eggs from our house, because it would have spared us the need to go into our little play.
“So, your mom wanted us to buy eggs?””Yeah, she said she was making a cake. Kind of crazy to be baking a cake at 3 in the morning, but you know, that’s what she said.”
I don’t know why we bothered, since at that hour the 7-11 usually employed scary burnout dudes more interested in their copy of Kerrang than whatever mischief a bunch of kids were up to.
Then we’d walk down Manatee Avenue, hiding in bushes and throwing eggs at cars. Sometimes we’d pick grapefruit from trees if we didn’t feel like buying eggs.
Every now and then when driving through some town early in the morning, trying to stay awake, I wonder what I’d do if I heard the thump of a grapefruit on my hood. Probably freak out, spin out of control and drive off a cliff in a ball of fire like in the movies.
Luckily, we never caused anyone to wreck, and we knew the side streets well enough never to get caught.
The thing is; being bad was just so much fun. It was exciting walking down deserted streets with a handful of produce with my nerd army. It was exhilarating running through the sleeping city, hiding in people’s backyards, wondering if this was the time we’d get caught. Sort of like when I discovered skating and would pull off long grinds and railslides down the curbs of the streets I had egged a few years earlier. There was a point where you can feel momentum taking over and you are purely responding to physics and gravity. That split second where you feel weightless, not knowing if you were going to pull off your ride or fall on the pavement was an amazing feeling, and one of the few I found that replicated being a little asshole.
I’ve never had my house or car egged, but if I did, I couldn’t really get too mad about it. It’d just be the scales of justice.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Fantasy Man

I was trying to finish up some work on the desk last week when this fairly haggard looking dude came up. He was missing a couple teeth and smelled like those terrible poor people cigarettes. He was looking for two fantasy authors who between them wrote about 30 different series. Not that big a deal, and the guy was nice enough but after the third “So Crystal Elves comes after Magical Time Wand or does Castle of Mystery come between them” question, I was ready to beam the guy with my 20-sided die. I was helping him the third time when my boss came to the desk to relieve me. The book he was looking for could have been in two different places in the building, so my boss called upstairs while I checked the SF/Fantasy section. When I got back he was gone, on his way upstairs. My boss was laughing.
“What’s so funny?”
“That guy you were helping said you were very helpful.”
“Well, that’s always nice for the boss to hear.”
“He also said you were very cute.”
Nice to know I still got it.