Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tattoo You

Poor people sure love their tattoos. Every third person that comes up to the reference desk looks like a Maori tribesman, if the New Zealand natives were infatuated with Taz, rings of barbed wire and hip-hop lyrics. My favorite used to be the young man with an outline of the state of Florida between his eyebrows, but today I crowned my new King of Tattoos.

Remember when someone was foolish enough to pass out at a party? Remember how funny it was when they woke up the next day with Sharpee-written witticisms and symbols over every inch of exposed skin? Well, I think that happened to this guy. He had all sorts of stuff scrawled on him in fonts that recalled that blocky handwritten style used in advertising to denote kids. You know, like a sign that says Lemonade with the E backwards. I couldn't read all of this guy's etchings, but I was able to preserve his best in this painting I commissioned acourtroom artist to do for the site.

I'm assuming these are the fellow's two favorite types of popular music. I feel this would be a lot more effective if they were on his knuckles or hands, if only for the chance to say, "Do you like country? Or do you like rock?" before punching someone. Another wasted opportunity.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Overheard While Eating Downtown

One attorney/city worker looking guy in his 40s to another

"What's wrong with you? It's like you don't even care who won American Idol anymore."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I finally gave in and bought an ipod. I have a perfectly good old school MP3 player, which is about the size of an old Walkman, but I had some extra scratch and decided to get something with more room (64 gigs!).

This might have been a mistake. I'm catching all sorts of stuff that didn't make it over into itunes and it is driving me insane.

"What? 'John Wayne Was A Nazi' didn't make it over? What the hell? The whole point of having a portable MP3 player is so that I can listen to 'John Wayne Was A Nazi' any damn time I want, which is right now! My old player would never treat me like this."

I'm also having trouble importing stuff in, which is causing me much more stress than I can handle right now.

Hell, it could be worse, I could have bought an iphone. Is there anything worse than being in a group when someone asks a question like, "I wonder if Bob Hope is alive." In the old days, this could lead to different conversational tangents, like how weird it is that Jerry Lewis is still alive. Or that Jerry Lee Lewis is still alive. Or that time Bob Hope played Gator Growl. Or what was that one player for Florida? You know, the receiver back in like '93?

Now of course, some chucklehead has to whip out his magic little phone and announce loudly that Bob Hope is in fact, dead, which also kills conversation and fun.

And don't even get me started on an Andy Rooney-esque rant on people texting during sporting events and concerts. What are you saying? "I'm at a baseball game. LOL." "This concert is awesome." Then get off the phone and enjoy it, dummy.

Jesus, you see what the new technology is doing to me? I should have stayed with my ancient old MP3 player.


I've been trying to connect to itunes for two days now. Apple's tech support is a picture of a feather saying 'breathe,' but it's sure designed well. I'm going back to my walkman.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ain't No Party Like a Skinhead Party

I was probably only one of two or three people delivering food from Hunan Palace in Atlanta who wasn't a skinhead. They weren’t Nazis or anything, in fact one of them was black and one was from somewhere in South America. Of course one of the big white power skins in Tampa/St. Pete was Puerto Rican, so who knows? I got along with them alright, we liked some of the same bands, but the whole worshiping this magical time in England from before they were born was a little strange, as was their habit of beating the shit out of people every weekend.

This made for some interesting weekend recaps. I'd get blow-by-blow stories about putting some dude in the hospital, while I'd come out with something like, "I saw The Crow at the dollar theater with my roommate. It kinda sucked."

It was weird running into them outside of work. I remember a Buzzcocks show where I was drinking with them before the band started where you could just feel the tension. Somehow, somebody was going to get their ass kicked that night.

Of course, it wasn't gonna be me, so screw it.

So I get invited to this party at a warehouse. A bunch of bands used to practice there til they got kicked out, so they figure they’ll have a big party and trash the place. I think I got a ride with someone after work. It soon becomes clear that everyone there is a skinhead, except for like 2 or 3 other people and me. Even though I had a pretty good idea nothing would happen to me, I had heard those guys tell enough stories about how they looked for an excuse to beat some outsider’s ass that I was pretty nervous. To take the edge off, I had a couple beers. A couple bands played while the rest of the skinheads destroyed the warehouse. After a few more beers, I figured I’d help ‘em out. Somebody handed me a crowbar so I started banging away on some drywall. “Oh shit! Hey, that’s a Jam song! I know that song!” I threw my crowbar to the ground and pushed past a bunch of skinheads and ran up to the band. Like I had many times in Gainesville when a band played a song I knew, I figured I’d help them out. I snatch the mic from the singing skinhead and give the crowd my rendition of "Boy About Town." About ¾ through the song, a reminder fought its way through all the beer in my brain. “Hey. You’re not at the Hardback. You’re at a skinhead party where you know a handful of these bald people. Do you think they appreciate you taking the microphone from their bald brother?” I sort of mumbled the rest of the song and tried to inconspicuously slink back to the corner.

However, the skins seemed to be impressed that I sang and was helping destroy the place, even though I had hair. They kept giving me drinks all night and I felt sort of like the nerdy waterboy hanging out with the football team. After a while I got paranoid that they were getting me drunk to surprise me with a stomping, so I took off on foot through a pretty sketchy neighborhood and walked about 2 miles home.

The next day at work I didn't hear that anyone got their ass beat, so I guess the whole thing worked out for everyone.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dream Warrior

Since I realize nothing is more fascinating than other people's dreams, here's one that I had the other morning.

I was teaching this adult education class with Steve Carrell. I recognized a few people in the class. At some point, a pack of rabid dogs run in the classroom. Steve is trying to keep everyone calm while I run for help (I can call him Steve since we taught together). Oh yeah, the classroom was up a ladder for some reason. So I go running around looking for help, but keep getting distracted. I finally make it back with some meat to lure the dogs out of the classroom, but the dogs have left or fallen asleep or something. Everyone still thinks I'm a hero though, because they don't know about how I stopped looking for help and would go off and do something else. At one point my friend Todd comes up and is all serious about how scared he was of the dogs. Then like a second later we start doing our impression of "Little Mad Guy," the kung fu movie where the wispy-haired master says, "Oh Fatty, why can't you catch those snakes? It's so damned easy."

This is what would happen in real life.

So come on, all you internet Freuds, what the hell does that mean?