Sports and Social Media: The Shotgun Wedding Where We’re All the Father of the Bride

November 6, 2014

In an effort to lessen some of the tightness in my chest related to my Niners heading to New Orleans this week (not that the Saints are a particularly intimidating team right now, but, Jesus, Kaepernick is almost definitely going to get

C'mon, Mark, don't make me look like a dingus on this one.

C’mon, Mark, don’t make me look like a dingus on this one.

a bunch of delay-of-game penalties in that loud-ass building and those just push me towards a heart attack five yards at a time), I’ve turned my thoughts to Philadelphia where QB2 Mark Sanchez is about to start for the Eagles while Nick Foles’ collarbone remains stubbornly mangled (get well soon, Nick, you’re great!). Judging by my informal polling of Chili’s employees, all but, like, two of us think he’s going to choke. Why? Because of that butt fumble. And yeah, that was so, so shitty. And it happened so conspicuously (Christ, wasn’t that Thanksgiving?). But worst of all, we saw it dozens, if not hundreds of times. If that had happened ten or fifteen years ago, it would be long forgotten, and we might be talking about how Sanchez could flourish in Chip Kelly’s offense, where he might be allowed to throw the ball once in a while (and even if he isn’t, Sproles and McCoy are healthy, right?). If you play enough football, or do enough of anything, you are bound, sooner or later, to commit some sort of egregious blooper reel-type blunder. Unfortunately we live in an age where all that fuck uppery is captured by so many super high def cameras and we have whole channels dedicated just to playing those clips around the clock.

And it’s not just fuck uppery, it’s the great stuff too. And who can blame them? We all want to see iconic, crazy, tricksy, bullshit over and over again. That’s why we’re holding the shotgun in this bananas wedding where Social Media knocked up our beautiful daughter, Sports, and we’re demanding they…get married? I’m realizing now that this metaphor sounds psychotic, but I’m in pretty deep with it so I’m going to let it ride. But like all weddings where someone is holding a shotgun, I think this is a bad situation. I think it’s starting to change the game.

Which game? All of them. Well, maybe not hockey, yet, but it could be only a matter of time before the great frozen North falls in this wonky line. This first came to my attention last Spring when I watched LeBron James forgo an easy (for him) last second layup that would have tied the game and given the Heat a chance to win it in overtime, and he instead opted to flick the ball (behind his back if memory serves) out to Chris Bosh in the corner in an attempt to win outright with what would have been a super remarkable 3 pointer. I know how easy it is to sit on a couch (or in my case, lean against the sticky outer edge of a Chili’s bar) and talk about what stupid decisions athletes are making in the heat of play, and I’m not trying to do that, because I am genuinely impressed by and grateful for athletes and all the bonkers shit of which they are capable. That loss didn’t even end up mattering in the long run, obviously, the Pacers did not win the Eastern Conference Finals as a result of this play. What struck me about it, though, was that if the Heat had won it with that crazy behind the back assisted 3 pointer, we would have been seeing that clip at least twice an hour for a year, or at least until the next three second long high-octane ballet came along to usurp our Twitter feeds and SportsCenters. When did overtime become not thrilling enough for us?

I had the same thought this past Sunday when my beloved 49ers lost to the Rams after making the truly baffling decision to trust the very end of a pretty great 87 yard drive to an incredibly risky quarterback sneak that, sort of unsurprisingly, didn’t end well. Maybe it would have worked if it had been 3rd & goal an inch from the end zone, but it was the 1 yard line, and one yard is actually a pretty long way to try to secretly carry a football when all three of the feet in question are occupied by a wall of heaving flesh. Hey maybe they figured, worst case scenario, we move the ball forward an inch, or even lose a couple of yards, and either way it won’t matter to the sublimely reliable foot of Phil Dawson who will tie this bastard right up with a nice short field goal and send us to overtime (not that we have the best record against the Rams in OT, ugh, remember that tie? Dark Days.). But, lord, think how good the clip will be if media darling and former #1 jersey seller (now #3) Colin Kaepernick scores a rushing touchdown in the final 10 seconds of this fairly important conference game. But he fumbled and in gambling for glamour we let the W slip through our fingers. Or rather, pop out of them under a pile of giant dudes. Another thing that maybe would have worked is giving the ball to FRANK GORE, whose magic legs routinely piston through walls of heaving flesh and whose hands have yet to fumble a football this year (not that he’s been given nearly enough of a chance this season, but that’s 1200 words for another day). Kaepernick’s basically a walking hashtag, though, so by all means let’s get some clipssssss.

Flash back a week and some change to Game 7 of the World Series, where after two days rest following a complete game shut out, Madison Bumgarner is brought in as a reliever. Let me clarify that I love Madison Bumgarner, andbumgarner-game7 have loved him since I saw him get a base hit in 2012 while wearing a jacket over his jersey (he stepped up to the plate like ‘Hey man, I’m the pitcher, I just want to sit in the dugout in my nice jacket and take it easy for half an inning. PSYCH! BASE HIT.’ Great National League shenanigans.). My first thought when I saw him warming up in the bullpen were ‘Yahtzee!’ and ‘We’re Saved!’ and it wasn’t until my sister called bullshit on the move that I started realizing how crazy it was to put him out there. He had just pitched 9 innings two days ago. Are the amazing and delightful pictures of him and Buster Posey after the final out worth it if he has to get Tommy John Surgery before he’s 28? I mean, I get it, it’s Game 7, anything goes, there is no tomorrow, et cetera, but yikes. Maybe I’m overreacting, he does have until Spring to rest that arm. But it still rubs me in a weird way, like petting a cat backwards. Until he took the mound in Game 7, the series had been a very evenly stacked tug-o-war with neither side boasting a truly iconic, all-time-great-sports-moment type move, so this was the move. Without it what possibly could have been exciting about two teams competing for the title of World Champions, one of whom hasn’t had the chance in almost 30 years and the other of whom has had 3 chances in the last 5 years? Ugh, total snoozefest. Haven’t you heard? Baseball is boring, sports are lame, and you can’t even tell when muffins are vegan.

I’m not trying to say that I don’t want athletes to take risks. No guts, no glory. But also, too much guts, no glory. I guess what I’d like to see is a good balance of gutsiness and good sense where nobody gets too badly hurt. I realize that that sounds incredibly chumpy but I don’t care! If I have to see the Niners sacrifice one more game to the pagan idol of flashy quarterback nonsense I am just going to lose it.

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I Went to the Mall so You Don’t Have to

August 9, 2012

Spoiler alert: It’s pretty much the same as it was in high school except there’s, like, a dozen more haberdasheries. That’s not a joke– there is a goddamn hat shop every other store front. If you turned the mall upside down and shook it, literally thousands of Charlotte Hornets snap-backs would fall out.

Anyway, here are some things:

1. Vulgar Jogging Clothes

When I was walking past Lady Footlocker, I saw that they offer a whole line of empowering exercise shirts that boast slogans of varying sauciness, most of which have to do with needs for speeds and general day seizing (one proclaimed in bold letters ‘TODAY IS MINE.’ I think it’s a good confidence booster, but a little showy for my taste. I feel like I’d be more suited to a subtler display of this proclamation, like maybe on a tasteful archery arm guard. Oh! And a cute companion shirt would say ‘I feel the NEED: The NEED for NOCKS!’Just spit balling here.). What caught my attention, though, were two shirts placed side by side, one of which read ‘LICK MY KICKS’ and the other, ‘KISS MY SASS’. I read it as ‘LICK MY ASS’. I would hardly call my vocabulary prim, but this took me seriously fucking aback. Lick your ass?? Christ! No way, lady! It took me almost a minute to realize my mistake. I was that ready to believe that jogging had just gotten super in-your-face and brazen about demanding rim jobs from everybody. I’m glad that it hasn’t. Yet.

2. Artisan Sign Siren Songs

One hilarious idea that my local mall had was to hang up dangling artisan signs for stores, so that one could, in theory, take a gander down the galleria and see their options for places to shit-kick around while their watch battery was being replaced. This is Theoretical Artisan Signs 101. However, those of us who have studied Applied Artistan Signage know that this only works if the signs are dangling anywhere fucking near the stores whose presence they announce. The signs in this mall are set up completely willy nilly, miles away from the stores that they advertise! I followed these crocodile tears into all sorts of shitty traps. Oh you wanted some stationary? Fuck you, fartknocker, you’re at The Sweet Factory now! And joke’s on you double because the card store is now one Mordor away! You gotta go through Nordstrom, you sap! We’ll see you in Hell before we see you in Hallmark! Hahahahahaha!

3. Sanrio’s still got plenty of that shit.

Yep. No shortage of cell phone dangles and pen dangles and dangles for your dangles there. Oh, and as a bonus, they had some Hello Kitty Cotton Candy body wash on sale. So if you’re trying to make your musk more attractive to pedophiles, snatch some up!!

Hellooooo, Kitty!

Nothing says ‘I don’t have pubic hair’ like the smell of a Japanese first grader.

4. Silver Lining?

In hind sight, it’s great that Border’s Books bit the big one because now there’s guaranteed room at every mall for a Spirit Halloween Store! My local former Border’s has already made the transition. I would love it if they kept most of the cozy Border’s furniture/cafe around so that when I’m tipsily considering whether or not I have the gams to pull off various costumes with the word ‘wench’ in them (pirate wench, old west wench, bar wench, winch wench [elaborate pulley system sold separately]), I could do it while curled up in a comfy armchair with a pricey but totally worth it pain au chocolat. *Note: I specified ‘tipsily considering’ there because I always have to get a little drunk before spending $35 on anything that I know is just a armpit hole timebomb. Let’s put the smooth jazz atmosphere back into shopping for things that come in shitty little bags with plastic hangers attached.

5. Well Sears is a real shithole, eh?

I don’t remember the last time I was in a Sears before this morning, but I can tell you that I don’t think I’ve been missing much. That place is crapsville. I wandered in there because of its proximity to Watch Repair, where I was having my pleather band swapped for a metal one because the pleather one smelled like a Mardi Gras foot job. I think the most sure-fire way to tell you’re in a crummy store is if there is, on a mannequin, a floral pattern brassiere with a GOLD ZIPPER in the front. Who is buying zipper-front bras?? Answer: Only 1980s prostitutes. Also at Sears were some shitty generic school uniforms. Man those things are getting boring. Khakis and baby blue cap sleeve polos? Yark. In my day, our uniforms were like the tartans of Highland clans, proud flags indicating what institution was teaching us such noble pursuits as Social Studies and Language Arts. Also, the navy blazers and houndstooth skirts we wore would have been perfect in the event of an Impromptu Slutty Rural Victorian Era Fox Hunt/Yacht Party. Long story short, Sears is a dirty, shitty place with nothing to offer anyone.

6. Treat.

I used to, upon entering the mall, grit my teeth in preparation for the absolute assault of Abercrombie & Fitch’s blaring night club dick beats. But no longer! That store isn’t in this mall anymore! No more shitty house music bass-raping your eardrums! We’re free, guys!

 

 

Hey. HEY! Let’s all be less shitty, okay?? Jeez.

July 2, 2012

I am pretty aware that some of the things that I’m about to discuss are my own personal pet peeves, and it doesn’t make you shitty, necessarily, if they are things you do (although, honestly, it would also not contribute to making you awesome…necessarily). Some of these things, however, are shitty things to do, almost any shitty way you slice it. So in an effort to create awareness of some shitty things I hate, I made this list and encourage everybody to avoid doing these things, for shit’s sake.

1. Don’t not dole out courtesy waves always!

Or, always wave courteously at everyone who’s driving well and deserves it. I wave at fucking everybody on the road who is not actively making my drive worse. When I pass people I wave at them, ‘thank you for letting me pass!’. When me and some guy are at different parts of a 4-way stop, I wave at him ‘thanks for letting me go first!’ even if it was my turn anyway. I wave at pedestrians to thank them for not jumping out in front of my car, I wave at mail men to thank them for making frequent stops to get our mail to us. When I do something nice for another motorist and they give me a courtesy wave? I wave so fucking cheerily back at them ‘no problem, pal! thanks for that wave!’. I wave at every body.

Image

This is what I would look like if I was that woman and that was my car.

Some people have said that I’m not not a sometimes reckless driver, but I don’t have any tickets nor have I been in any accidents and the guy who has said this the most does and has. So Steve, if you’re reading, hold one dozen dicks at a fair, bro (just kidding?! Ah you’re all right). Just wave, please, everyone. You’ll feel better and be better and brighten a lot of days.

2. Stop the pre-flush nonsense, you nutty broads!

When I’m in a multi-stall public bathroom, I’ve noticed that a lot of ladies will flush toilets before they use them. Come on, ladies! What?! Why are you doing that?! Ack! THREE GALLONS OF WATER. What you’re saying when you do that is ‘whatever is in this toilet is not fit for me to pee on’. Nothing ever is not good enough to receive your urine, ma’am. That’s crazy.

There is one time when it is acceptable to pre-flush, and that is when you see a toilet that already appears to be at critical mass and you are just about sure that if you add your tinkle, the whole thing is going to fucking hell in a hand basket. I would especially recommend pre-flushing if these circumstances present themselves at Serendipity III in Manhattan, where the bathroom is RIGHT DEAD CENTER IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DINING ROOM and the tourist in front of you who just black widowed the shit out of the only toilet didn’t risk flushing because she KNEW her sewage sabotage was sufficient and would result in an embarrassing pootastrophe, so she left you holding the bag. Then you have to tell one of those salty waiters (aren’t the waiters there the meanest? They must make a fortune and yet they’re all giant grumpelstiltskins. Fuck that noise) that there’s ‘water’ all over the damn bathroom floor, which will mean that soon, ‘water’ will be all over the dining room floor because an insane person designed that restaurant. You will try pretty hard to convince this waiter that it isn’t your fault, and he will not believe you AT ALL. You’re friend from high school that’s visiting from the Bay Area will ask you what that was all about and you will say ‘Pauline, we have to get out of here basically immediately’. In this instance pre-flushing is not just acceptable, but prudent. Otherwise, come on, don’t, it’s so wasteful. Every bathroom isn’t CBGBs. There isn’t vomit from 1982 in that toilet that’s going to splash up and give you some 80s punk rock disease like heroin addiction. You’re probably just in a clean-ish Applebee’s or something, so chill out, ladies.

3. When you go to the movies with me, please, please don’t tell me whether or not you’re going to see or not see one of the movies whose trailer you just saw.

This is one of the pet peeves I mentioned. You’re not a bad person if you do this. But for some reason it makes my skin crawl when people turn to me after a trailer and say ‘I think I’ll pass’ or ‘ooooh what d’you think??’. We can talk about them after the movie, guys! Come on! For some reason it bothers me extra if the trailer was just a teaser. A teaser doesn’t make up any one’s mind one way or another. If you are watching a teaser trailer, you have probably already made up your mind to see/not see that movie. Nobody is watching a teaser trailer for Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2/2 and thinking ‘yeah maybe I’ll check it out’. You probably already know if that’s something you’ll be checking out. Twilight is very polarizing. You knew before the sneak peak. When you snuck puck (sneaked peaked? sneak pucked?) it, you were just resealing the deal one way or the other and I don’t want to know about it, friendo. Also, after seeing an action movie trailer, turning to me and saying something like ‘whew! that was intense!’ is something I won’t like. Of course it was intense! They just crammed a whole action movie into 3 minutes and launched it at your face from a huge screen with all these massive speakers surrounding you! I would not be at all surprised to hear that the ‘Savages’ trailer induces labor.

Like with pre-flushing, there is an exception to this rule. It is okay to turn to me and grip my forearm tightly when we are at some weird megaplex in a mall in Orange County and we’re on drugs eating some In-n-Out burgers that you secreted in and we’re there to see Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest because it’s 2006 and the trailer for Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium comes on and it’s so delightful we can’t even deal with it and pee a little. It’s okay, after that, to say, ‘Oh my God’. And I’ll say, ‘Oh my God’. That’s the only time, though. (For the record, I did not end up seeing Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, and found Pirates of the Caribbean 2 to be very convoluted and too much work. I don’t remember a lot about it, but I remember never knowing what the fuck side I was on. I left the theater 3 times during the movie to buy 3 different Icees [First cherry, then Coke, then Cherry Coke]. Each time, I was incredibly paranoid that the concession counter teen would smell my crazy over-powering onion breath and kick me out for eating In-n-Out, even though I’d spent a king’s ransom on Icees).

4. Don’t wear that hat if you don’t support that team! Eww, come on, what the hell?!

I don’t care how much the Cincinnati Reds match your shitty sneakers, don’t wear their hat if you can’t name one of their pitchers. Don’t be a shit. Come on. In this day and age, you can find a hat of any color you like for a team you DO support. If you don’t support any teams, you shouldn’t wear any logo hats at all. Get a plain hat. That is all you deserve, you charlatan. It’s not the Milwaukee Bucks’ fault that their hats match your Christmas sweater, so stop philistining around and embarrassing everyone. Come on. Quit it.

April Shit Showers Bring May Adventure Flowers

April 26, 2012

Remember when I was so psyched about March? Well that has obviously come and gone and if you follow ‘Summer of One Thousand Bullshit’ then you might have noticed in my last post that things since the Final Four have been glamorless and squalor-y in the motel in which I find myself residing. The news isn’t all bad though! All this April bullshit has left my checking account pretty swollen in a below-the-poverty line sort of way. Not, like, encephalitic levels of swelling, but definitely spider bite swelling. Not a bad spider bite that will kill you, but a pretty gnarly one that itches like a bitch. To clarify that analogy, let me summarize: if my normal financial state is smooth, unblemished skin, my current state contains some venom and has a bump on it? A money bump. Or the venom is the money? I have really made a pig’s ear of this shit. Let’s forget the whole thing. Just remember that I am low-stakes rich, and stoked about it.

So all the air mattressing, leaky showering, semi-insane screaming neighboring, it’s all been worth it because now I can leave Tahoe in style (read: with a cooler full of dope sandwiches and a 12-pack of Low Carb Monster Energy Drinks) and pursue National Park Passport stamps to my heart’s content for almost the entire month of May. For those of you who don’t know me well, understand that the pursuit of National Park Passport stamps is second only to my friends and family on the list of things that maximum elate me. Visiting National Parks, Monuments, and Historic Sites is what I was put on this glorious Earth to do. There are some 1500-odd stamps (including bonuses) of which I have collected 234 since acquiring my first stamp January 1st, 2007 (Point Reyes National Seashore). Collecting the rest isn’t on my ‘bucket list’, it is my ‘bucket list’. Some of you might think that this hobby is for 7 year-olds. The prominent placement of the passport stamps among the Junior Ranger souvenirs in visitor centers across our fucking sweet land lends credence to your theory; but I’d like to see a 7 year-old take 3 weeks off from work to drive to Topeka to visit the Brown vs. The Board of Education NHS. Swish.

All told, my road trip from South Lake Tahoe, California to Damascus, Virginia (via South Point, Ohio) should land me a healthy 30 stamps, ranging in color from the vibrant orange of the Mid-West region to the distinctive baby shit yellow of the Rocky Mountain region. About this, I am beyond stoked.

The stamps aren’t even the only terrific shit coming my way in May! At the end of this trip I’m going to be sipping whiskey and smelling foul on the Appalachian Trail, surrounded by my beardedest buds at Camp Riff Raff, where in the past we have partied heartily enough to garner the sponsorship of Miller-Coors, who will be giving us a metric shit-ton of beer. Also pretty much the whole time I’m going to be dressed old-westily, which is going to be a damn blast. My old West attire will come in handy when I am Maid of Honoring the shit out of my dear friend’s Cowboys & Indians themed wedding at this Trailapalooza. Fucking yes.

Damascus is still many pop tarts from now, though. What other awesome shit am I going to be doing until then, you ask? Well for starters, I’m going to finally get to see this fucking thing in person:

There are straight up 17 NPS stamps within a 10 minute radius of this beast.

Also I’m fixing to see this m’rf’cker as I cruise through Denver will my sun roof open and my left arm getting painfully charred from prolonged dangling out the window:

Photo (used without permission) courtesy of the incomparable Ashley Cunningham

Hopefully when we recreate this photo, I will be less hammered on Peach Schnapps. Or, rather, I hope that I will be able to hide it even a little bit better.

Other highlights of May include, but are not limited to: leaving this horrible, horrible motel, leaving the jerkwater Chili’s I work for in Carson City, Nevada (oh btw, Carson City is the biggest podunk crap heap of a city I’ve ever seen. Lots of ignorance, not a lot of good Indian food–> worst of both worlds) and returning happily to my home Chili’s in Barboursville, West Virginia, where I belong, among friends, slinging queso to hill people. If I’m ever asked to define irony, I’m going to cite the several months my co-workers in Nevada made fun of me for being a redneck (quick background on me: I was born in San Francisco and received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in New York City. I’m about as redneck as an interracial gay couple driving a Prius) when they themselves lived in Carson City, Nevada. Irony, folks! Also, I realize but don’t care if any of that made me sound pretentious. Normally I go to great pains to avoid sounding pretentious, because I’m actually pretty fucking all right, but in this case I don’t give two shits. Carson City is a complete butthole and I do not care who knows it. I guess we could add ‘never going back to Carson City’ to the list of great things about May 2012!

Other May highlights include the weather, which will probably be temperate and awesome, the release of the 12th Sookie Stackhouse book which I am going to shamefully devour in private, Mother’s Day (I’m not gonna get to spend this with my Mama, but hopefully you all will. Unless you and your mama don’t get along? If that’s the case then I’m sorry and I hope you guys can work it out), the potential for me to attend some West Virginia Power minor league baseball games, which I will do with gusto despite their being a farm team for the Pirates (yark).

Four more days of this hellish April shit show and May Magic kicks off! Can I get a fuck yeah?

My Sweet Digs

April 18, 2012

In my last post I made mention of my incredibly sweet living situation in this really delightful motel that I just can’t get enough of being inside of. The internet connectivity there is sort of a pipe dream, so I’m here at my local library, surfing the web, trying not to imagine how much nicer it would be to live here at the library, and subconsciously planning to hide in the bathroom before they close and start a new life living here, amongst the periodicals (the YA fiction section has comfier looking chairs, but there’s a huge tapestry of Robert Pattinson that is just incredibly distracting and creepy and I don’t want it in my new room).

You may think that I’m being a prima donna about this (motel life, not the tapestry. I think I’m being pretty reasonable about the tapestry), so I’m going to take you on a virtual tour of some of the things that make my digs so sweet. Also, you should know that up until yesterday, there were four full grown adults and one puppy living in this room with all their worldly goods. Two of the adults have since been killed by fellow members of a tontine in which they were participating embarked on  a hitchhiking race across the country. They took the puppy with them.

So without further adieu, let’s begin this tour! I’m going to focus on the little things that I think make this room really special. Like the inside of the closet door:

QUAINT.

There’s no door knob, but if you need to lock yourself inside, there’s a super convenient deadbolt! Obviously, someone has been murdered in this closet. Probably he or she fled into the room, locked him or herself in the closet, but were immediately spotted by the murderer, through the giant gaping hole left by the abscense of a knob. Probably, the murderer toyed with the poor closet refugee by putting his sinister eye up to the hole and looking around goofily like Jack Torrance. Maybe the victim tried to rake their fingernails across that eye, but the deadbolt got in the way (I can’t imagine another way for paint chips to be so ferociously absent from that spot) and they were so disheartened by their poor aim that they just didn’t even bother trying again. At that point, obviously, the murderer inserted his gun and/or poison dart-loaded bamboo chute into the knob hole and the motel guest got got. There’s a chance this never happened, but I just can’t imagine that that’s the case.

Another really fun thing is the bathroom door stop!

COZY.

The rubber stopper piece (which some might say is the linchpin of the whole doorstop operation) has vanished, leaving this rusty bolt to bear the brunt of the work (the work being not damaging the wall). Don’t tell the bolt this, but I do not think it is qualified for this job. Luckily (!) someone thought of that and made this:

PRACTICAL.

This beautiful, mocha plastic baseboard is a really elegant way to protect the cinder block walls from any harm the rusty bolt doorstop might engender.

Let’s take a trip outside real quick and take a peek at the Lone Pine’s venerable facade:

RUSTIC.

I found this vintage 2008 photograph here on the internet, but I assure you nothing has changed in the past four years. I’d like to address the name ‘Lone Pine Lodge’. I’d put a quick estimate of the number of pines in the vicinity of the lodge at eight hundred thousand. Even in this picture there is evidence of, like, nine pines. What I’m getting at is that I think the lodge has a stupid name. If you could see behind the lodge, you might be surprised, as I was, to find that I have, by no slim margin, the least luxurious car in the lot. My stylish, gold 1997 Volvo 960 wagon looks like a real pig in lipstick compared to its neighbors, a Saab convertible, an older but no less stately Mercedes, a newish Mustang, and my roommate’s 2008 Nissan Sentra. Other than the Sentra, I have no idea to whom these vehicles belong. I guess my imagination just can’t conjure the image of any of my neighbors taking time out of their busy days of sitting outside in sweatpants of varying degrees of shabbiness, discussing the varying severity of their various illnesses in voices of various volumes, smoking their various off-brand cigarettes–to visit a car dealership and leave with these cars.

Let’s head back inside! Obviously, according to Dateline, one should always black light test a prospective hotel room. I don’t have a black light, but this is what I imagine a test would reveal:

FUNDERFUL.

Let me walk you through this. That’s a picture of our whole room. The whole thing is glowing because there’s semen on everything. Some places (the brightest spot) have more semen than others, but rest assured, there is no shortage of semen on everything here at the Lone Pine!

Somewhere I have a picture of a cockroach that we found in a water bottle, but I can’t find it on my roommate’s phone, so just try to picture it! It’s one of those little pissant type of cockroaches, not the full-on trilobite kind which cannot be killed by conventional weapons. Here’s a fun fact, I’m allergic to three things– one is cats, one is an antidepressant called Wellbutrin, and one is Madagascar hissing cockroaches. They secrete some kind of oil when threatened, and it gave me a terrible rash in the summer of 1996. I hated it.

So that’s my home for the next one and a half fortnights! I hope you don’t want to come visit because there’s no room for you anywhere! I could give you some discount Easter candy that I got, I guess, but that’s it.

Hey, Here’s an Idea

April 6, 2012

It’s not an excellent idea, but I think it’s okay. It’s for a game show called ‘Bestie or Beastie?’ where you have to guess if the thing in front of you is your best friend or some kind of, like, fucking monster or something that ate up your best friend and is wearing his or her skin as a disguise. If it’s a beastie, and you guess bestie, then you get carted off by the ghoul to his lair where he’ll make merry with your insides! But if it’s your BFF and you guess correctly then you guys get to go on such a fun cruise!! If it’s your bestie and you guess beastie, though, your punishment is that you probably won’t be friends anymore, because now your friend knows that you think they look like some kind of runcible hellion. If it’s a beastie and you guess beastie, you get to go on the cruise but you have to do it alone because that monster totally ogred your bro. Also there’s no guarantee that the beastie won’t fuck you up anyway. It’s a damn monster. Who even knows what kind of shit it gets up to? The show will be hosted by Rick Moranis. Gotta find some monsters, first, though. Also gotta find Rick Moranis. He’s probably just at a hockey game or something, though. Shouldn’t be so hard. Not as hard as the monsters anyway.

That’s pretty much my whole idea, so for the next 600 words or so I’m going to talk about all kinds of cool shit that I have. Partly because I always forget to reflect on things I’m grateful for around T’giving, so I’m going to do it at Easter instead, and partly because I am temporarily living in a pretty horrible residence motel to save dollars for my triumphant return to the East coast, and reminding myself of all my sweet shit will make me feel better about having to fraternize with my horrible neighbors.

1. Cruise Control in my station wagon

I’ve run through four automobiles in the past three year and this dope wagon is the only one that has its shit together in the cruise control department. The monster truck I drove from 2009-2010 was all cruise, no control. For serious, shit had no brakes. Also if you were to pantomime driving that truck in a straight line, and milking a cow, you would be miming the same damn thing. The steering was peculiar at best. The Volvo sedan I parted with in June 2011 rolled of the assembly line with (presumably) working CC but by the time it got to me (after 13 New England winters and probably some other mental New Hampshire-type shit, like a witch or something) it was pretty shot. It would engage occasionally by itself, but when it did I always thought the accelerator had gotten stuck and I’d panic and hit the brakes, totally wasting my chance to enjoy driving while fully extending my knee off to the side of the pedals. The Subaru that I had for a month might have had cruise control, but hell if I found it in the short time that whip was on the road.

2. A watered-down fast food soda in my station wagon

Possibly this list will just be about things that I’m thankful for that are in my car? I hadn’t intended it as such at the outset, but that’s what it’s looking like. You might not think that soda situation is that awesome, but let me explain that I fucking love the taste of watered down, old, flat, fountain soda. Sound gross? Probably is. But my favorite thing about getting food from a drive-through is leaving the ice and, like, a quarter inch of soda in the cup holder to melt for a couple days. Then, after a cold night when it’s had a chance to reach its optimal temp, I drink it on my way to different places, some times while eating an off-brand pop tart. Something like this:

Except it would be cherry flavored, because cherry is fucking better than strawberry, end of discussion. Right now most of the off-brand toaster pastry wrappers in my car (I should probably clean them up, but I don’t really give a shit. Also it’s better than having a car full of toaster pastry Rappers, who would be insufferable), are actually mixed berry (also better than strawberry), and some times the sun will reflect off their shiny foil surfaces and temporarily blind me and other drivers. Nineteen dead so far. Just kidding?!

3. All the extra cargo space the spare tire compartment affords!

If you’re like me, you have tons of shit. I, for example, have 16 books of Lawrence Ferlighetti’s poetry, and half of a non-op Barbie walkie talkie set that is basically a pink Zach Morris phone with a dope purple antenna. Also a few stuffed Fraggles and most of Friday Night Lights on DVD. All these precious possessions have been weighing heavily on my mind of late, what with my super fun move to this horrific motel,my imminent move back to West Virginia, and my eventual move back to New York. ‘How will I get all these things across our lovely country, and Nebraska?’ I ask myself. Then I found the answer! Cramming a bunch of shit in with the spare tire is working wonders! You might think that’s stupid. What if I get a flat tire? Won’t I have to dig through all that shit? To you I say this: If I get a flat tire driving cross country  with the wagon loaded down with about 1300 extra pounds of pots, pans, books, records, Fraggles, and sweatshirts from colleges that I didn’t attend, I will not be throwing the spare on that shit. It would probably explode as soon as I hit the rumble strips coming back onto the road after putting in on there. If I pop a tire on this drive, I will probably abandon the car, hitchhike to the nearest podunk wasteland, pretend to be a shaman, and spend the remaining decades of my life in relative comfort and a shroud of mystery. If this happens, please divide up all my incredible, awesome stuff amongst yourselves.

Simple Pleasures

March 29, 2012

To counterbalance the crazy boatloads of griping I’ve been shortening my life with lately, I thought I’d reflect this week on some of the tiny simple wonderful things that bring me so much joy.

1. Peeling shit off of other shit.
Peeling is the greatest. Labels, stickers, bananas, whatever, don’t matter; if something’s stuck to something else, I’m all about it. My favorite thing to peel by far is that strip of thin plastic that keeps the tissues safe in their box until you need them. I cannot get enough of peeling that shit off when the tissue box is empty. Because it’s always a clean peel. Always comes off in one piece. Like Borders’ price tags. When Borders went out of business last year, all I could think about was how that well of sexy, residue-free price tags had dried up, leaving me ten kinds of thirsty. Other peeling honorable mentions go to those UV protection stickers on sunglasses, 59fifty hat stickers (if you don’t peel these off, you are a fucking clown), and those little pieces of plastic that they put on phone screens.

2. Untying some kind of shitty knot.

Sometimes, the juice isn’t worth the squeeze on this one. For example when you buy a skein of yarn to make your friend a hat, and as so0n as you remove that little piece of paper wrapping the whole thing goes to shit. That knot is too shitty. But say your head phones get all tangled up? Or only a small section of that yarn? Eff yes. When I’m almost to the end of the knot, I get the exact opposite feeling of that horrible one where I’m about to lose at Tetris. There’s the same frantic feeling of being very near to something, but instead of the thing that I’m near being just the worst (losing at Tetris), it’s totally fucking all right (untying some shitty knot).

Note: every goddamn time I went to type ‘knot’ in that little paragraph, I accidentally typed ‘know’. Every time. Pain in the ass.

3. Removing that piece of plastic from new deodorant.

This is probably just a bastardization of peeling, but I love opening up a new stick, cranking that shit til the plastic’s fixing to fall off, and then lifting it gently away. I’m not totally sure what that thing even does, other than make my day, but I hope it’s here to stay.

4. Meeting little kids who love baseball, or have other non-shitty interests.

Obviously, the best kid is the one sitting by you in a baseball game with a scorecard that he or she is diligently filling out while wearing a hat that is too big. Another way to tell if a kid is cool is if they’re wearing a shirt like this:

SHARKSHIRT

Aggressively Awesome

Any child wearing a monochromatic tie-dyed shirt with an apex predator on it is the best kid. Although it should be noted that probably every kid who visited Cape May, New Jersey between 1991 and 1997 has a similar shirt and maybe is not necessarily the best kid. But I haven’t met every one of those kids, so who am I to say? Also those kids are young adults now, so it’s mooter than shit anyway. Other cool kid shirts have to do with outer space and the exploration thereof, insects, national parks, and volcanoes. Also, all these things make for cool adult shirts. This elderly Filipino man came into the gas station that I worked at in Wyoming wearing an incredible shirt that said ‘I survived Mt. Pinatubo 1991’ in a whole rainbow of day-glo puff paint letters above an erupting, day-glo volcano. If he hadn’t been 4 sizes smaller than me, I would’ve told him to name his price for that shirt.

5. Finding out my shitty optical drive is not, in fact, broken.

Just in time to add all 28 discs of the Game of Thrones audiobook onto the ipod for a hig speed burn ‘cross country. To give you some background which you may even have already guessed, my computer’s disc drive has been malfunctioning for like one year. Now, to my great joy, it isn’t anymore. Also, I’m going to be rocketing from Tahoe to West Virginia in some 5 weeks, and having a new audiobook will be an asset on that drive. I’ve been listening to The Chronicles of Narnia over and over again for like a decade.

6. Getting Mail

I love sending and receiving mail. Silly mail, serious mail, all kinds of mail. Stuff I ordered on the internet like this sweet Rangeley Lakes Region railroad patch that I scored for like $3:

Rangeley Patch

It's got my backpack looking good.

Around my birthday this year, an old friend mailed me, unheralded and unexplained, a red slide whistle. Excellent bit of mail! If you’re interested in having a pen pal, “get at me”, please, because I love that shit.

7. Switching empty jugs out of water coolers for full ones.

Pretty self-explanatory, I guess. This is just a really rewarding thing to do, and I lerv it.

Also, just to follow up from last week, my ruse TOTALLY worked. There were at least 8 or 9 people who arrived here at Summer Of One Thousand Bullshit after Googling ‘naked twi’lek’, and one person who arrived at an older post titled ‘Fuck You, Chairlift’ by Googling ‘fuck on a chairlift’. To that person I urge: please don’t do that. It sounds really dangerous and plus there’s lots of children around. Please have some discretion and don’t be a butthole on this one buddy.

Things Are Getting Out of Californtrol! Naked Twi’lek Jambaroo!

March 23, 2012

You might be wondering how I’m going to work naked twi’leks into this, and the truth is that I’m not. If you’re reading this because you Googled ‘naked twi’lek’ then you, sir or ma’am, fell for my ruse! If you’re wondering what a twi’lek is, you’re probably just as well off not knowing, but I’m going to tell you. Twi’leks are these things from Star Wars:

I thought that if I advertised that I was including some divested twi’lek action, my blog would start getting that coveted nerdvert traffic. When nerdy perverts start reading your blog, you win the internet (I assume). My only regret with this ruse is disappointing the poor saps that got here by Googling ‘jambaroo’, because Lord knows Google already condescendingly asked if they meant jamboree, and they were probably delighted to defy Google when they saw this one result for ‘jambaroo’, to see that they were not alone in thinking jambaroo was an acceptable spelling or that word. It isn’t, you poor bastards, I made it up because it is such a funny word. You’re living in a fantasy world, jambarooers.

Any who, now that I’ve got my stats up for the week, I can start talking about how things are spiraling out of Californtrol. Obviously, one could fill a warehouse full of books about how and why California is borderline too nutty for its own good (not a warehouse full of different books, mind you, that would be too many, I mean you could write one book and it would probably be popular enough that you would need to print a lot of copies. Say, a warehouse full.) and I don’t feel like writing that much in this sitting, so I’m just going to address the issue immediately in front of my super insightful face: vanity license plates.

First, let it be known that I love California. I spent the first 18 years of my life here, and then the 24th year, so obviously I’m inclined to think that it’s awesome (also, bias aside, this happens to be empirically true. Fact: the Winchester Mystery House exists, Fact: all the choicest members of my family live here. Fact: flag has a bear on it. Cut. And. Dry. Awesome.). Lately though, these aweless crummy license plates have been getting in my face.

I saw a car with the license plate LUVSWIZ. I hated it. The only possible okay breakdown of that is if it means Lu vs. Wiz, which I can only imagine to mean that a man named LUis is in some type of wacky cannonball run winner-takes-all auto race VS. a WIZard, and the WIZard’s license plate is WIZVSLU, so we can keep them straight. I guess I’m rooting for the wizard, but I don’t know. Luis is probably the underdog what with not being trained in the magical arts and sciences, but I don’t like that his plate could be interpreted to express a passion for urination. I’m sure most people follow a ‘better out than in’ creed when it comes to their liquid waste, Luis, but every motorist needn’t be privy to you love of whizzing. (Pun not only intended, but painstakingly crafted).

Later that week, I saw a shitty Hyundai blasting some sort of terrible bass heavy techno remix of ‘Rocket Man’ with the license plate LEGIT. Shut up. Oh em fucking gee, you butthole, shut up. You! Yes, you, sir, behind the almost certainly illegal window tint that you put on you shitty Hyundai– you are the fucking worst person. The second worst person is the DMV employee who enabled you to express the imaginary legitimacy of your lifestyle via two rectangles of embossed metal. Shame on you. You are an employee of our state, have some pride, DMV guy. The third worst person is probably Pol Pot or somebody like that.

Some years ago, my Dad and I saw a minivan with the license plate AMASCAB. It was being driven by an old lady, so we thought perhaps it stood for grAndMA’S CABriolet (although, as I mentioned, it was a minivan, and not, in fact, a two-wheeled horse-drawn carriage, but it was probably just another way to make fun of grAndMA for being so old. Or perhaps cabriolets were not even involved at all although I doubt it.). Grandma’s Cab is the friendliest interpretation of that plate, though. I’m inclined to think it actually is a shortened version of the sentence ‘I AM A SCAB’. This license plate is, at best, sort of sad and gross. We all feel low from time to time, lady, but you needn’t tell the world that you’re a hardened crust of blood. Tomorrow’s another day, keep your head up! At worst, though, this old lady is an arrogant strikebreaker, way-too-proudly defying both the rights of American union, and Woody Guthrie’s ghost. Also, if Last Exit to Brooklyn taught me anything  (other than the fact that being gang raped to death is probably the worst possible way to die), it’s that strikes nearly always have some shady mafia side who will set fire to your minivan for, like, hardly even any money. If you want to be a fartknocking, picket-line-crossing scab, lady, that’s your rodeo, but have some damn discretion for Christ’s sake.

Also here in Tahoe you see an almost endless stream of vanity license plates involving Tahoe. Things like TAHOGRL, LKTABRO (Lake TahBRO), MTNMAN1, TAHO4EV, that kind of thing. I guess I don’t have any particular animosity toward this practice in general, but after the 15th or 16th one that I see in a week, I get to grumbling, especially because a lot of these plates are on Chevy Tahoes. I get it, guys, you love Tahoe. Take it easy.

I had more to say, but it slipped my mind. I guess tune in next week, when, if my ruse was successful, my post will be entitled ‘More About California! Metal Bikini Slave Leia Licking Festival!’.

The Times They Are a-Unacceptable.

March 16, 2012

In person, I’m not really a griper. Based on the amount of gripe I spit on the internet, one may find this hard to believe, but it’s true. Me < most people, vis-à-vis propensity for griping. Why am I making this distinction? Because I’m about to gripe like the world is ending and Zeus just announced that only gripers are going to get into Valhalla (wouldn’t that be FUCKING NUTS?!).

Here are some things I’ve been meaning to get off my chest:

1. People take too many goddamn pictures all the time.

If you go through my family’s photo albums, in addition to being incredibly impressed by their impeccable organization and handsome pleather covers, you will find a photographic account of only the best shit my family’s done. Sure, there are some great candid pictures from unremarkable days, but there is so little documentation of unremarkable shit, it makes those days seem remarkable. What I’m griping about here is young mothers with iPhones taking one hundred pictures of their shitty babies eating mac and cheese at Chili’s. You don’t need all them pics, ladies! Why would your nasty kid even care to remember some dumb dinner he mostly spilled on the floor, much to the chagrin of his frumpy ginger blogger waitress? He wouldn’t, so put the phone down, finish your chicken crispers, and take your mobile amateur photography studio out of my section, please.

Here is an example of a worthwhile child photograph:

BathingBeauties

This photograph was snapped shortly after my sister and I were crowned victors of the PST championship in the doubles division. For those of you unfamiliar with the PST, it stands for Pure Sex Toddlers.

2. Everything is a goddamn system.

Specifically, beauty products. I’m not going to waste time griping about the complicated luxury beauty products which I barely understand, I’m here addressing the ones that should be simple. Like shampoo. Shampoo is a necessity for me because I have a lot of hair and also I live in a society. Because of my choice to live among other people, I like my hair not to smell like my dank pillow (dank in both ways– it’s both perpetually clammy and musty and also fucking awesome and covered in a Power Rangers pillowcase), or to look so crummy. As a result, I like to not buy the cheapest shampoo. The problem is that once you break the $3/bottle glass ceiling, shampoo becomes step one in the hair care system. I hate that the most. Because of my powerful aversion to brushing out my dready tangles, I am more than willing to spring for conditioner (usually step two of the system) but the buck stops there. Leave-in treatments and mousses and drying agents and whatever the fuck can go ahead and suck it. Total scam. And it’s not just hair care that’s needlessly systemic! Face wash is a damn nightmare. I just want a not that greasy face. Also, I don’t want to buy four items. I just want the one that basically functions in, like, a soapy capacity. Toner, what on earth do you do? Also getting too weird: Mascara. This is the only makeup I buy, and it got that way because I assumed it was the simplest thing. WRONG. There are these double ended Darth Maul mascara systems that blow my mind all over the mirror. They promise things like ‘hey we’ll bring out your blue eyes! we’re SO FUN’, but unfortunately I don’t see anything fun about having $8 stolen from me by the false promises of Manic Panic. No more systems!

3. Those dumb goddamn decals of stick people families are so dumb goddammit.

I don’t know quite why I find them so offensive, but I just think they are ten kinds of awful. I might take the same issue with them that I do with booster club lawn signs which is that they announce to potential maniacs the whereabouts and rough physical condition of your children (seems antithetical to today’s hyper-paranoid child rearing atmosphere), but maybe I just think they are a little boasty and shitty looking. That all being said, I had a blast designing this wacky version of my family where my dad is a murderer, my mom is a tight end, and my sister and I are grumpy coal mining twins:

Stupid Decal

4. There isn’t anything anywhere reminding me how goddamn awesome Iguanodons are!

I haven’t though about iguanodons in years, and I see this as being a sizable anti-boner as well as a relatively monstrous hitch in my giddy-up. I know that some of the blame lies with me, but come on! Is it so much to ask that major American cities erect modest statues of this excellent dinosaur as a reminder to the citizenry that iguanodons existed and were fucking cool? I don’t think I’m asking anything out of line.

5. Goddammit!

What this all boils down to is that I am getting pre-maturely irrelevant. I assumed people lost lost touch with shit in their late 50s, but I’m in my mid-20s and about 67% of the zeitgeist confuses, alienates, or enrages me. Allow me to list for you the contents of the back seat of my car: 1 compound bow, 5 arrows for said bow, a pullover Paul Kariya Anaheim Mighty Ducks windbreaker, and about three dozen cassette tapes. Where is there a place in this smart phone world for my analog music, weaponry, and Asian hockey player memorabilia? Maybe in some kind of a cabin? If you find it, please tell me, and maybe draw me a small, precise map of how to get there. Please make sure it is precise. Thanks!

At the Mountain of [March] Madness

March 2, 2012

March effing rules. Things are awesome, and looking to get awesomer in the days to come. Do you not believe me? Check out this dope calendar, then.

1. 3/11 – Selection Sunday.

I LOVE SPECULATING. As a result of this passion, making my bracket every year is among my absolute favorite pastimes. I develop unexpected loyalties to teams for no reason, and love it. Last year I had San Diego State in the Final Four (losing to Ohio State, whom I had winning the finals? Womp womp.). I don’t remember why I had such an unreasonable emotional bond with that team, but I was pretty upset when they went out, several rounds earlier than I predicted. If you’re new to bracket-making, here is some advice for you: a 12 seed always ends up playing a 13 seed, so make sure your bracket reflects that. Also keep in mind that the Big East is a shit conference full of overrated teams that will fuck you up in the prediction department (Pitt, Georgetown, I’m looking at you), so no matter how badly you want them to live up to your expectations, take their high-seeding with a grain of salt. Happy tournament, everyone!!

2. Spring Training is happening RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!

Baseball is, bar none, my favorite sport. And other than September (and October, if I’m lucky enough), there is no more exciting time than spring. Crazy shit happens in spring baseball. The Mets and the Orioles spend days at the tops of they’re respective divisions! The Kansas City Royals have a better record than the Yankees! Wonderful things! Spring training just reminds me that all of this excitement is just around the corner (opening day- 4/4). Something tells me this will be a good year for BAYseball. (BAYseball is a word I made up to describe the sport I love so dearly as it is played in places I love with equal fervor: the Bay Area, and the Bay State. Though I really only root for the Giants and the Red Sox, this term probably would make it seem that I’m also an A’s fan. Dammit. Well I guess I don’t wish them any specific harm, though at one of the first games I ever attended I rooted against them in favor of the Toronto Blue Jays, whom for some reason I thought had something to do with a dinosaur that at the time I thought was called Torontosaurus Rex based on a shirt my parents gave me as a toddler that had two such dinosaurs fucking around the Jays’ Skydome, presumably taking in a game or maybe slaughtering Canadians and destroying both their ballpark and notions of which animals are actually extinct. Probably the former, as this shirt was marketed as a garment for toddlers. When I learned of my taxonomic error, I was as humiliated as a 3 year old is capable of being and denounced the Blue Jays.)

3. St. Patrick’s Day!

I don’t think I need to explain to the internet why St. Patrick’s day is awesome, so I’ll just say this: This is the one day a year (since the release of the ‘Ginger Kids’ South Park episode, anyway) that being a ginger doesn’t make me a genetically inferior freak show. It’s a day where I can dress all in the color I am physiologically predisposed to look best in, and indulge in the pastime that I am ethnically predisposed to excel at- drinking Jameson and Guiness while eating corned beef and cabbage.

4. The Hunger Games Movie comes out!

Though I’ve been known to lampoon many a pop cultural phenomenon, I’m am all about this one. I did have to jump on the bandwagon late, however, due to a 90 person long waiting list at my local library (also my unwillingness to part with $14). Regardless, I’m on the bandwagon now and am grateful that my late arrival has shortened my waiting time for the movie release. Also the trailer was already out by the time I was interested in seeing it. Also I can’t wait to see how they render those fucked up bee stings in the movie. Hopefully, they will be adequately gnarly. Excited.

5. Probable Completion of my Tahoe goal!

By ‘probable’ I mean ‘definite’ but I don’t want to jinx it. My goal for my year in Tahoe was to read 70 books. I don’t know why I picked that number, but I did, and as of today I have only one book left to read with two months and change in which to read it.  Barring a Twilight Zone-esque irony fiasco where my glasses break and I can’t read any more, I’m pretty sure I’ll be okay. Even if that does happen, I really only need my glasses to see far away things, so I should still be fine to read that book. If you’re interested in seeing what I’ve read so far, you can look here. If you’re interested in criticizing me for including so many graphic novels on my list, you can regard my upraised middle finger and listen to my booming alto voice inquire as to how many books you’ve read since June, you buttmunch.

6. Jeort Weather!

Sure it’s snowed for the past 3 days, but who cares?! Jeort weather is right around the corner. For those of you who don’t know, jeorts are old jeans that have been made into shorts for the purpose of looking awesome. I only have 3 pairs of pants, all of them for work. Pretty much all the other bottoms I have are former pants that have since been jeorted. This DIY garment is a prime example of Frankenfashion, a cultural touchstone that I might have made up. Regardless, I have, like, 40 pairs of jeorts, each more precious to me than the last. I have formal jeorts (which are black), golf/business casual jeorts (which have minimal fray, no stains or holes, and are the most fashionable denim shade), driving jeorts (which sit absurdly high, keeping the button from irritating my navel–which is inconveniently located exactly on my waist line–on long drives), and drinking jeorts (which are a size too big, so that they don’t need to be unbuttoned or unzipped to be removed, making them ideal for situations where frequent urination is likely). Pretty soon it will be warm enough to wear them every day! Glory be to March!


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