Archive for August, 2004

Fitter. Happier. More productive.

Posted in Blog on August 25, 2004 by trevorgregg

The world is, at times, a profoundly aggravating place.

Scratch that, aggravating is the wrong word. Aggravating applies to bad drivers, to country music, to loud children. No doubt the world can be an aggravating place, but it isn’t right now.

Right now it’s the murky grey wastes between Disappointing and Disheartening, a place far east of Aggravating but on the same latitudinal line of unhappiness. One of the things that gets to me about life as an adult is that I’m never really caught up. I’m perpetually doing things and working and organizing, but there doesn’t seem to be any end to the sheer amount of crap I have to do. There is always another dentist appointment, there is always another broken computer, there is always another lab report, ad infinitum. The hole only seems to get deeper, and it pisses me off. I’m never actively moving forward, I’m just patching holes in the levee; mixing my metaphors, putting things off, and not sleeping enough.

I’m haunted by the universal intimation that, no matter what I do, I’ll always be behind. If I wasn’t so mind-bogglingly lazy and unmotivated, I could get on top of shit and go forward. Perhaps. Even at the best of times, however, shit perpetually slips up. Some douche crashes into my truck, I get sick again, my checkbook doesn’t balance, blah blah blah. The sheer mundanity of it all kicks me right in the spiritual junk.

Jesus it’s late.

Of course, like Cake says while covering that one chick’s song, I will survive. Fuck it. Statistically speaking, if I sack up and deal with this junk long enough something good will come around. Poverty and frustration can only last so long.

I logged on to this damn thing intending to write an overpowering and indisputable response to Chuck Klosterman’s back asswards moronic article about why mainstream country music is good, but I don’t have the energy. Instead, here’s the Reader’s Digest version:

Yadda yadda yadda, the world would be a utopia if everyone who enjoyed country spontaneously caught on fire, i hate you, white people are stupid, go fuck yourself.

Imagine that sentence stretched and polished and structured into a multi-paragraph argumentative fortress. Good work. Now it’s just like I actually wrote it, except now I can get to sleep before the sun comes up.

Over and out.

Oh hey, god dammit:

For future reference, if you are a cool and witty and attractive girl, and you already have a boyfriend, please have the common decency to act vapid, look trashy, and spit when you talk. It helps preserve the sanity of all parties involved. Thank you in advance.

-T.

p.s. Napoleon Dynamite is the god damn funniest movie in years, without a doubt. Go see it.

Stay classy, San Diego.

Posted in Blog on August 24, 2004 by trevorgregg

Despite Southwest’s soul-shattering incompetence and blatantly malicious delay tactics, I have returned to the one and only Bay Area safely, if not punctually. I shouldn’t complain, I suppose; This is the risk one takes when flying Southwest, the Greyhound of the Skies. I suppose a two hour delay was to be expected, since the weather in San Diego was an atrocious 70 degree dead calm.

My heart is not in these jibes, however. Truthfully, I didn’t give a shit. You’re telling me I have to sit an extra hour in a well-lit, dry place and read my book where I won’t be bothered? What do I care? I love to fly; I can enjoy all the anonymity and isolation of a busy public place while seeing cool cityscapes, reading, and eating free peanuts. If Great America had rides like that, maybe I could spend more than 12 minutes inside without wanting to stab myself to death with something rusty. I imagine my airport experiences to be quite different from the average; my friends, especially the female ones, always talk about meeting random people and yapping with them for hours. They describe this experience with a mix of excitement and disdain, the balance tipping one way or the other depending on their level of interest in the other person. I, on the other hand, lack whatever characteristic it is that makes people approachable. I may be the most sociable anti-socialite I know, yet I somehow manage to slip beneath the traveling public’s collective radar. Which is great. Plus, flying really adds a finality, a sort of definite punctuation, to a trip. I know exactly when my enjoyable weekend began and ended, because it’s the time marked on my boarding pass (plus 2 hours, you late assholes).

San Diego was, as always, a hoot. Although I make no mistake about my absolute loathing for L.A. and its surrounding regions (i.e. south of Santa Barbara until about Camp Pendleton) and routinely wish that entire hive of scum and villainy would crash into the purifying waters of the Pacific, San Diego is still fun enough to deserve escaping this terrible fate. Granted, a good 90% of the population is ridonkulously boring clones that dress, talk, and act so similarly they are completely interchangeable. Granted, I fucking hate rich white people and much of SD is like a more wholesome and wealthy version of Pleasantville. Granted, the Chargers are crap and would lose to a women’s Under 15 flag football team by at least two touchdowns assuming such a game could ever be arranged. In light of all these glaring failures, however, San Diego is still decently cool. Good bands, excellent restaurants, pristine weather, a dope ass bomb diggity samba club at Cafe Sevilla, and of course my friends all do a good deal to offset the problems of the region. Alone, the ridiculousness of 4000 guys wearing the same dickies shorts, reversed and flat-brimmed meshback hat, and flame tattoos would overwhelm me in seconds and I would spontaneously combust. Traveling in a group of friends with finely tuned senses of humor, however, makes the experience not only bearable but enjoyable. We can shake our collective heads and joke relentlessly about the sprawling SoCal Blonde Horde, safe within the walls of our staggering intelligence, wit, and judgment. So much fun.

Finally, we, well I suppose just “I”, cannot shower enough praise upon my hosts/hostesses in the south. The Wheeze (aka P.I.M.Pete aka Shanky McSausagefingers) and Couev (aka Carousel Chris aka The Stump), my brothers in arms through many a dark hour, leered and lusted and bantered with me all up and down the streets of P.B., making me nostalgic for our glory days back in Tenaya. Jo, who will henceforth referred to as Empress Jolene, Ruler of the Southern Sands and Prime Ministress of Fun, did more than her share to make me enjoy myself. She not only showed me a good time and came through in many clutch restaurant-choosing moments of chaos and danger, she had the good taste and foresight to room with easily the coolest chicks for several hundred miles around. It takes a lot, in fact it takes a god damn bulldozer made of special alloys (50% Steel, 20% Titanium, 30% cool) and fueled by pure unrefined kickass to get me to take back some of my bitterness against the female race, and these ladies did it. In a land where trashy chicks are a dime a dozen and intelligent, cool girls are as rare and as underground as Clippers fans, The Empress has gathered a veritable host of feminine awesomeness in her home. They tower over the rest like a redwood trees in a grassy field. Fuck that, like redwood trees on a putting green. Keep up the good work, ladies, you’re fighting the good fight.

Now, I suppose it’s time to bring my head down out of the clouds and prepare myself for the harsh realities of traffic, technical support, and fog. Se la vie. It’s good to be home, I suppose. But not that good. A few hours of sleep and this entire weekend of festivity, alcohol, and dancing will seem like a faded dream. My sunburn will heal and my teeth will start to grind again. Fuck it, it was fun while it lasted. With that, I’m gone.

peathe out.

-T.

This is ground control to Major Tom

Posted in Blog on August 20, 2004 by trevorgregg

Attended my first wedding shower at work today, what the shit is that about.

If I ever make the mistake of giving up my backbone, logic, ideals, and everything I hold sacred and actually get married, I sure as shit will not tolerate the kind of things this poor bastard has to put up with. Although I can hear an audible crack as hopeful hearts across the nation break in unison, I would say easily about 99.5% of a wedding is idiotic and I refuse to participate. Sorry ladies.

First of all, the gifts. I don’t want any of that shit. Any of it. I don’t want pot holders. I don’t want a wok. I don’t want your fuckin Ikea bathroom set. Maybe it’s a female thing to want never ending piles of useless bullshit to fill up the void in the cupboards (read: your soul), but I am not interested. This dude today had to grin and thank someone for two cake-frosting spreaders. Two. They were different colors, that was the only difference. Are you kidding me? I have a deepseated and overpowering allergy to junk, and EVERYTHING you get at a wedding is junk. EVERYTHING. Every gift at a wedding should be either cash or flammable so as soon as the guests leave you can spend it or burn it. No matter what stage of your life, you should be able to move your every earthly belonging in the trunk of a Cadillac, and it should take you less than an hour to pack. Anything more than that, including placemats, gravy boats, and George Foreman anything, is superfluous crap.

Second, the advice. Shut up you stupid pear-shaped yammering shrew. I’m glad you’ve struggled through 27 years of marriage, Aunt Hambone, but I don’t care and the last thing I want is you squawking at me on this dark day. This is not your moment to shine, to dispense bits of shit you pretend are clever or appreciated, this is my time to think quietly about the mistake I’m making and resign myself to fate. Watching, judging, look at the baby, look at the baby. How the poor groom could stand up there smiling and demurring when he should have been jumpkicking every annoying ass person in sight was beyond me.

Third, the crooning. Crooning at a wedding should mean automatic ejection from the premises, like cussing at an umpire or punching a stripper. You’re not fooling anybody, you evil, embittered hen; I know the inner workings of your wicked mind. At best, you’re jealous and judgmental, offering congratulations while your heart curses them to suffer through the same decades of nuptial misery that you’ve endured. So shut up.

Also, planning shit sucks. I can barely get my self together to call four people to go to a movie, forget organizing catering for hundreds of people. Seating arrangements? Are you joking? Fuckers better bring a bag lunch and some lawn chairs to my shit. And you know there’ll be a cover.

I don’t know why I’m ranting about this, since it’s all academic anyway. I plan on dying alone under an overpass in Iowa before I hit thirty, reeking of malt liquor and broken dreams. Better to end up at the bottom of a Steel Reserve bottle than to be ground on down for decades by some nag with the authoritarianism of a prison warden and the romantic sensibility of Stalin’s embalmed corpse. I guess through some sort of cosmic transference I’m feeling all the fury that the poor bastard groom should be. He’s at home plugging in a new blender and sorting his Bed Bath and Beyond gift certificates, and I’m here fighting the good fight. Conservation of Resentment, it’s a fundamental law of physics.

Those whacky amoebas are definitely onto something with the whole asexual reproduction concept. I applaud you, bacteria, we could all stand to learn a little something from you.

I can sense that my fervor is making some of you nervous, so I’ll lay down the proverbial pen for the night. After all, fuck it. It’s not my neck in the noose. I’m still living wild and free, like a gazelle. A manly gazelle. A gazelle with huge fucking horns and fangs, the kind of gazelle that will rip a hyena in half and then go home and pound a sixpack. You know what I mean.

Off to SD tomorrow night. Southerners, plan your schedules accordingly.

-T.

Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz

Posted in Blog on August 17, 2004 by trevorgregg

Brevity, it would seem, is the word of the day.

I find it ironic that the more I have to document, at least from a literal point of view, the less I sit down and pound my life into this keyboard.

More high-stress, volatile Chaos in the Workplace. To the casual observer all would seem normal, but there’s blood in the water now. Things are bound to Happen, and they are no doubt beyond the scope of one lowly intern, so I shall leave them be. No more of that messy talk, let’s move on.

Another person I went to high school with had a kid, bringing the world total of inept parents into somewhere in the three billions. When the revolution comes and I rule by divine right and popular demand, people will need permits to have children. You need a license to drive, you need a license to own a god damn dog, yet any old assbag can go out and procreate till their heart’s content. What kind of back asswards reasoning is that? You know what’s more complicated than a dog? A god damn little person. I wouldn’t even mind so much, except I know your filthy, warped larvae are gonna go to school with my gifted and obedient progeny a few years down the road and will be a terrible influence.

There is a mosquitohawk the size of a flamingo crashing around my room right now. It’s huge and angry and just challenged me to a game of NBA Street. I will not abide such horseshit in my house and lord help you, you demon-bug bastard, once I find my hockey stick.

*Time passes*

Crisis resolved. The bastard escaped with a sixpack of Coors Light, my car keys, and a broken wing, but at least he’s not gonna wreck the ceiling fan or kick over my monitor again. I’m not worried; I’ve never known an insect that could drive a manual transmission.

I’m expecting great things from this coming weekend. San Diego is a town of good times, and I fully expect to Party Hard. Granted, the Southerners of our fair state leave a lot to be desired in the ways of intellect and spirit, but I’m not going down there for heated debate or earth-shattering revelations, now am I. They may be a strange and foreign people with the depth of a kiddie pool and the moral perspective of fruit bats, but they certainly know how to have a good time. Someone once said (Mark Helprin, I think) that people from warm climates have no character, and perhaps he’s right. How to explain Canada, though…

I’m out of my depth for a week night. Your homework is to listen to the conversations of people you don’t know and if they say something brazenly stupid or ignorant, call them on it. Mercilessly. Good luck, children.

tomorrow is just another day
-T.

… No ticket!

Posted in Blog on August 16, 2004 by trevorgregg

Sunday night, always a time for reflection and recuperation, particularly so after a weekend of this magnitude.

As I see it, there are several kinds of fitness. All of them are, in essence, a person’s ability to withstand various kinds of stresses, hardships, and exertions, and these abilities are enhanced by training and exercise. There is, of course, physical fitness; depending on one’s exercise habits and constitution, when faced with a situation requiring physical stamina and dexterity, one will fail or succeed based on how well they’ve maintained themselves. There is also intellectual fitness; people who do not maintain a certain level of mental agility through problem solving, quick thinking, and learning crumble at the first sign of trouble or difficulty. This is why people from other states cannot drive in San Francisco, and why people from Castro Valley are scared of public transportation: they are not faced with an adequate amount of stressful environments and situations and so are unable to cope with even the most mundane stimuli.

There is a third form of fitness, however, that is much harder to pin down. It’s partly physical, partly mental, and partly… something else all together. Perhaps more important and more difficult to maintain than either of the others is, for want of a better word, a fitness of character. I’m not talking about and sort of hokey spiritual do unto others yay 4 jesus after school special bullshit most people associate with this kind of fitness, I’m talking about true blue god damn stand up character.

I know droves of people without character, whose personalities and lives are so two dimensional and drab it pains me to converse with them. Do they lie awake at night, filled with a sense of emptiness and hunger, tearing themselves to shreds trying to understand what it is they are missing out on? Or do they drift along in blissful ignorance and ease, condemned forever by their innocence and fear? I honestly don’t know.

There are those of us, however, who need experience to the same degree we do food and water. When my life is boring, easy, or empty, I can feel my character weakening, atrophying at an alarming rate. I become almost suburban in my inability to handle situations, flustered and frustrated by the most trivial events. When the most trying obstacle of my day is making small talk with the cashier at the grocery store and I still stutter and feel awkward, I know something is wrong. Weekends like this one are a must for keeping up an adequate level of resiliency, and although I may be staggering with exhaustion, dehydration, and chaotic brain chemicals, I know I am better for it.

What can I do to keep my character strong, you ask? Let’s use this weekend as an example.

1) Severe sleep deprivation. 7 hours in three days is about right. You’ll never know what you’re capable of until you sack up and do it, and overcoming the need for sleep is a perfect example of this. I’m tired as shit but I’m still up ranting, I didn’t cop out like a weak sauce spineless pansy, did I? No. Because I have character.

2) Heavy drinking. Good lord, cheap alcohol is to character building what Met-RX is to athletics. The “quality” of your beverage is inversely proportional to its ability to build character. Microbrews and margaritas build about as much character as watching Carebears reruns or napping. Olde English, on the other hand, packs a powerful 1-2 punch of awful taste and hangover severity which makes it a USDA choice character stimulant. That shit goes straight past your liver to wreck your very soul, and it lingers like a mother in law, assaulting you with misery and discomfort for days after the fact.

3) Getting lost. The farther you are from home and the more stressful the situation in which you get lost, the better. Driving aimlessly through the wilds of San Francisco is a good place to start, but to get the most bang for your buck, I think places like Southeast Asia, Beirut, and anywhere above the Arctic Circle generate the most amount of character per mile. I don’t care how bland you are to begin with, if you’re on the run from the police and low on gas in some place like Istanbul, you’re gonna have so much character you could bottle it and sell it. If you survive.

4) Going to the Oakland Fleamarket.

God dammit I have no idea where I was going with this.

It made sense at the time. Maybe. I’ve spent a lot of this weekend building character, which has obviously taken a toll on my coherence. Let’s move on.

I am looking forward to the new school year with the same sort of optimism and excitement that a death row inmate does his execution. This year is going to be a bitch, and the pathetic amount of motivation I had to begin with ran out long ago. I can only hope that my current balance of academic inertia, despair, and desire to be rid of that cursed university will push me up this last, steep hill. I suppose there’s nothing to do but man up and finish. To drop the ball now would be true folly, downright un-American.

What a terrible god damn post. I blame you.

I can feel the weasels closing in now, baying and scratching at my door. Maybe it’s not weasels, maybe it’s the RIAA come to whip me with an extension cord for downloading Guns N Roses songs. Maybe it’s the ghosts of all my fallen enemies, returning to take revenge on me from beyond the grave; mounds of rotting flesh and bone with hate in their little red eyes. Who the fuck knows. I won’t let you scum take me alive, though. Me and my Louisville are ready for whatever comes through that door. You creepy bastards don’t stand a chance.

God damn, is tomorrow Monday already?

What the hell even happened this weekend?

Where am I?

-T.

Man vs. Beast

Posted in Blog on August 13, 2004 by trevorgregg

Things are definitely starting to pick up around here. A sense of momentum, of impending change and movement, has returned to life although the summer is far from over. The future is no longer filled with mere possibilities, and I no longer have to squint to see the events coming up on me at blinding speed. From bored to busy in one week flat, quite the turnaround.

“What does the future hold, Wise One?” I can hear the mortals croon.

“Great things, my son. Great things.”

I will not leave it at that, for I am a benevolent master, and a benevolent master does not skimp on the foreshadowing.

It is a pivotal time, my children, a time filled with excitement and danger at every turn. My friends face great tests, in both the literal and figurative senses, and my heart rides with them even if my ass rides only this chair. Whatever the outcome of these great battles, we will celebrate with much food and drink. Much drink. On Sunday we will celebrate the assured victory of the A’s over the Royals by attending this fine spectacle. Prepare yourselves, midwesterner scum, for you are far from home and you know not the fury of our bullpen.

Just beyond the horizon, even more important events loom. The return of the Man Train to Vegas, a two day and two night burn out across the Nevada wastes into that swirling tempest of neon and debauchery. We all travel with lighter shoulders and lower standards, this time around. For the most part, our hardy band is free of the vicious guilt and unwanted burdens collectively known as “serious relationships”, and so we will no doubt put our previous epic Vegas adventure to shame. Anything is possible out in that void of morals and responsibility, and God has no jurisdiction in Nevada. In fact, that’s the whole reason they built the city out there in the first place. Hours from anything resembling civilization, surrounded only by sage, dust, and baked rock, Las Vegas burns like a torch in the dark desert sky. They put it out there for the same reason they build nuclear waste facilities and maximum security prisons in Nevada, so that none of the bad energies exuded out into the surroundings will do anyone any harm. I mean shit, it’s the middle of the desert, who cares. If I don’t return with twenty grand, a deep knife wound, or a felony conviction by the end of the weekend, I will consider myself a failure.

Beyond that, camping. A trip to San Diego. The Return to San Luis. You are right to be apprehensive, my children, but do not fret. Things are looking up, and all of these have just the right kind of potential we need. Everything might just work out all right, after all.

Also, let’s hope that Andre Ward beats the living hell out of anything foolish enough to stand against him. Do it for America, Andre. Do it for Oakland. http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/document.cgi?f=/g/a/2004/08/13/wardgallery.DTL

Time to get some sleep. If all goes as planned, I certainly won’t be getting any this weekend. Rock you like a hurricane, bitches.

-T.

KEESHAWN! Shut that loud mess off!

Posted in Blog on August 12, 2004 by trevorgregg

I’m back like a vertebrae, you swine.

That’s right, all of you loathsome bastards praying for my untimely death have been let down by Jesus once again, and I laugh in your miserable faces.

A brutal day and night of chaos on the home front… We can only hope that the forces of the world realign themselves more appropriately by morning. Drama at The Office, and for reasons I will not discuss in so public a venue that place is going down in flames in mere weeks. Despair, all ye who doth mistake the true value of thine tech support personnel, for ye shall be deserted in thine hour of direst need! Also, my life of isolation is coming to an abrupt end, and so I have 24 hours to clean up 5 weeks of filth and neglect. How can one so small as myself generate such sprawling, monumental messes with little to no visible effort? I amaze even myself, sometimes.

I may have broken the fever, but my appetite has not yet returned. I’m running on a slice of cheese pizza and a gallon of oj for 2 days, must force feed myself tomorrow no matter the cost.

Can we talk about stupid people for a minute?

Exhibit A – http://www.wftv.com/news/3643877/detail.html

Put aside your wearisome compassion for a moment while we discuss how one could possibly go about becoming attached to a couch.

Now, I would consider myself to have an above average attention span. I can read a book in one sitting, I can listen to Alice’s Restaurant the whole way through, and I have indeed beaten the original Legend of Zelda from start to finish (both quests) without pausing or saving, but even on my most gloriously patient day, I could never sit down in the same spot for 24 hours straight. Multiply that impossibility by five godforsaken holy shit years, and you begin to understand the ridiculousness of the couch/ass hybrid. To have a piece of furniture graft itself to your skin because you literally do not move absolutely blows me away. To achieve the sort of immobility and atrophy the human body needs to become one with a god damn couch is a feat/shame beyond my pitiful conception, and the more I think about it the more my intellect ties itself in Escher-like knots. Let’s put that to rest, then, before I have an aneurysm.

On the other side of the coin, I can’t wait until my new pink shirt arrives:
http://savemarykate.blogspot.com/

Forget that she looks like the girl from the Exorcist for a moment and just imagine how pimped out it would be to have that shirt. Feel free to purchase it for me.

Exhaustion, both physical and spiritual, are kicking down my door with a ferocity that makes me wonder if they don’t double as D.E.A. agents during the day. I must retire.

Pour one for the homies that’s gone, and remember:
Together we can do this, one T-shirt at a time.

-T.