Archive for August, 2005

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K, Ted.

Posted in Blog on August 29, 2005 by trevorgregg

Another weekend draws to a close, as weekends are wont to do.

Not a bad one. Filled with encounters, possibilities, plots, movement. I spent another wonderful night with the caring and hospitable folks at the Cheng Sunset Youth Hostel, or as I like to call it Le Chateau Taraval. I spend more nights in that place than I do in my own home, which is certainly not a bad thing. At least not until my welcome is worn clean through. The reunion tour continued, with another night out with Ye Olde High School Crew in another Asian club. I thoroughly enjoy the SF Asian scene, despite my obvious genetic and cultural pariah status in such places. Towering over the crowd like a redwood in a cornfield, I scope the scene. The boogie, the strong drink, the good times, things work out. The night is a series of pep-talks and strategery discussions with The Boys in regards to The Ladies, interspersed with bouts of rumpshakery, boozing, and general merriment. The height advantage gives one the perspective, both literally and metaphysically, to truly appreciate the subtle and mysterious nuance of the entire dance club phenomenon.

To a truly objective observer, like an alien or maybe Jesus, dance clubs must seem absolutely incomprehensible. Pointless gyration and brainrotting, weird encounters between strangers and a suffocating atmosphere of sexual tension and machine-spewed smoke… in a way it’s incredibly ritualistic. The Approach, the Encounter, the Acceptance or Rejection, the Dance, all have their own delicate steps which must be followed precisely, lest either party become confused or frightened or honest, thus negating the entire point of the thing. I won’t go into a detailed analysis of these fragile, hip-hop fueled ceremonies, but rest assured they do indeed exist. And time and again I have born witness to their strangeness, even participating when circumstances require or suggest it. The methods employed on the dance floor vary so greatly that hundreds, nay thousands of reports and analyses could be conducted on their intricacies, both tactical and psychological. Perhaps one day someone with patience, or absolutely not a god damn thing to do, will conduct such research and I will peruse it. Perhaps. For now, I’ll keep doing my thing.

For the record, PFC Alex Wong gets the Silver Star of Not Giving A Fuck for his valor in the get-down booty blasting battle of Saturday Night. You’re an inspiration to us all, soldier. Your mother would be proud.

What else… you pine for details, don’t you. Stories. Anecdotes. Phone numbers. But like a crack dealer, I operate on my own schedule, I control my own merchandise. That’s why I make the big dollars and y’all rob Circuit City every other friday just to pay for your internet connection and get your fix. Suckas.

You all crave, you fiend for the scoop on the brief but torrid love triangle experienced while picking out an iron at Target in South San Francisco. After all, what kind of woman can my compatriot and I meet picking out a fucking iron at fucking Target on a fucking Sunday afternoon? She was… all the adjectives that leap to mind are simply too crude for the job, too easily misinterpreted. You gutterdwelling muckraking scumsacks will tarnish the thing irreparably with your toxic, sinful fingers. She was a refined beauty, I suppose is a good way to put it, as classy a lady as has ever graced South City Target. After Eric and I dazzled her with our combined wit and our endearing ignorance about the sacred maternal art of ironing, things heated up. There was charm and flirtation and meaningful smiles spraying every which way, as glorious a mess as that time Peter Magee got fucked up on black tar heroin and turned the weedwhacker on Paul’s birthday cake in their living room, but without all the screaming and cops. The years and the distances and the awkwardness fell away in those few glorious moments, and what began as an innocent conversation between a couple of strapping postgrad studs like us and an undeniably alluring housewife who has most certainly still got itended in romance. Ten minutes of bonding, and the Aisle 6 may as well have been the River Seine in Paris. Four hearts were broken, when we finally had to part ways and head to our respective cashiers. Well I guess only three, but certainly hers broke twice. Which counts as four.

Alas, she’s lost to us forever. Undoubtedly her day, if not her month, was made. Ours certainly was. To have two college age daughters and still work it well enough to enchant the hot boys at Target… that’s a rare god damn achievement. All the other secretaries? dental hygienists? PTA moms? will be brimming with envy, and rightfully so. You will be sorely missed, Mrs. Whatever.

We’ll always have Housewares.

The rest, the rest is just filler. Fine print, you know. Too tired and weirded out right now to present a cohesive narrative of any kind.

I really, really have to get out of here. Despair waits like a pissed off loan shark at my door, tire iron in hand and aiming straight for my knees. Shit.

Two public announcements, before I retire.

First, jazz elitists are worthless humans. You are pathetic in every way. Your idiotic self-righteousness rivals that of vegetarians, who I also hate but not as much. The holier than thou attitude and overtly rude behavior is not the appropriate way to relate to someone so much younger, stronger, and remorseless than you. Heed my warning, lest you aggravate someone less… forgiving than I, next time. You disgust me with your pettiness and your entire life is a meaningless charade. Your wife hates you and your passion is stupid. I loathe you, and I hope your precious public radio gets canceled.

Second, I received a fax moments ago from a reliable source in New Delhi informing me that Hurricane Katrina was summoned by Islamic militants and is set to destroy all of western civilization and kill all puppies everywhere. This may be the final showdown. I’ve formulated a plan of action for tomorrow, which I suggest you all follow or at least consider. In response to this brutal assault, I plan to sleep late, and then get up and read for most of the day. I may also play WoW and write. God bless America, and Pat Roberts, and oil conglomerates.

I hate everybody, except for the pretty waitress I danced with at the jazz club.

You’re cool.

-T.

p.s. Plans are in the works for an Event the likes of which none of you have ever seen. Watch your mailboxes. Get your suits and dresses cleaned.

Prepare, for The Function approaches.

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Shit kickin speed takin truck drivin neighbors downstairs

Posted in Blog on August 27, 2005 by trevorgregg

Behold, the return.

It’s late, much later than it should be. Through some kind of karmic shitstorm, The Man closed the Bay Bridge right before my compatriots and I headed back from S.F. We spent what may have amounted to several lifetimes sitting in traffic, desperate to pee and frustrated with the world. One of those nights. I dunno.

Sometimes you eat the bear, and well, sometimes the bear eats you.

I’ve discovered an important phenomenon: the Royale With Cheese effect does not seem to function at sea level. I’m convinced that San Francisco’s altitude, and thus air density etc., are to blame for the failure of this marvelous alcoholic quandary. Ignore the naysayers, the cowards who claim the RWC effect to be nothing but psychosemantic nonsense; some of us have seen, have experienced, it’s full power. Trust me, it does indeed work. At least in the proper circumstances.

Another night at the bars. The Marina… not my favorite district, but it has it’s upsides. The Marina functions as a sort of refuge, a reservation, for 100% mainstream trendy heterosexual white people in San Francisco. As one might imagine, such folks are in the minority, but down there along Union and Filmore there’s a little slice of the world that bland & indistinguishable Gap honkeys can call home, in the midst of so much freewheeling Californian deviance. One of the benefits of the place is something which a dear friend of mine referred to as the Critical San Francisco Boyfriend Shortage. Men are by no means in short supply in The City; it just so happens that a significant portion of them are A) Gay or B) Worthless. That really beefs up the odds for the rest of us, friends. Indeed, the Marina does have a very reservation sensibility to it. A few blocks, partitioned off from San Francisco proper, where 24 year old post-graduate girls with Economics degrees can go to be hit on by 29 year old douchemugs whose desperate, needy eyes grow more desperate and needy with every inch of hairline lost. A place where those without any real sense of individuality or purpose can go to really be themselves. There’s only so much one can hate a place, though, where the beer is cold and the girls are cute.

Not that any serious Magic happened. The bars are still the bars. However, the place at least gives one the sense of potential, of possibility, a feeling which doesn’t seem to occur often sitting in my room reading. Random, scattered conversation with members of the fairer sex, no matter how pointless, still appeals to me in some base and inescapable way. It helps, however, that such potentialities are crushed utterly under the weight of Circumstance; poverty and my atrocious living situation make even the most harmless liaison almost completely out of the question.

It’s the Early Twenties Golden Era, kids. Anything can happen. Even coed naked Duck Duck Goose with a tazer. Long story.

For the record, the 510 Connect continues to dominate my life with an almost divine ruthlessness. There is no escaping your past, in the Bay.

My descent as a worthwhile human being continues unabated. Back in my college days, my refrigerator provided an ideal breeding ground for all sorts of decay and disease, an environ where entropy seemed almost tangible. You could almost… no I take that back, you could smell the dissolution of molecular order, and it fuckin stank. Now, that environ has expanded to a spiritual level in Home. Despite the relative cleanliness and propriety of my situation, the rot continues. New lows may be achieved before we Turn This Thing Around, boys and girls.

Oh christ and now I have the hiccups. There goes my decade.

A moment of abject nerdiness, if you’ll permit me.

World of Warcraft is a game of social interaction. What makes it truly interesting is that, predominantly speaking, only those people too socially inept to interact in the Real World play this game. What this leaves you with, essentially, is an entire populous of people completely incapable of relating or cooperating on even the most basic level. It’s a game whose most basic tenets rely completely upon large groups of people, a world whose economy and structure are all modeled in parallel with the Real Universe, and yet every tool who plays the thing with any regularity is almost guaranteed to be a blithering virgin idiot. What this translates to is that while I’m minding my own business massacring dwarves and cleaning purple Elven blood from the end of my spear I’m almost sure to get completely fucking obliterated by some level 60 assclown who has spent so much time playing WoW that his character has become, in essence, an invincible godling. I’ve got a secret to share with you, purple-geared Pallys who fucking corpse camp me in Felwood: you might kill me on the internet, but when the day is done you still suck at life. So lick a ball.

I hate the god damn hiccups.

At least… at least I have something to look forward to. Not hard drugs or fabulous wealth or beautiful sandy beaches, but something better.

What’s better than that, you ask?

Coolio starring in the Sci Fi channel’s Made for TV Movie “Pterodactyl”

If seeing Coolio, Coolio of Gangster’s Paradise and Fantastic Voyage fame, fighting dinosaurs alongside secondrate actors who couldn’t hack it as extras on Angel doesn’t make your day, I don’t know what will.

http://www.scifi.com/pterodactyl/

Christ, it’s almost 5 AM.

Soon, friends, I will have become completely 100% feral. I can nearly guarantee it. The thin and tenuous ropes which moor me to the world of social normality are fraying rapidly. Seizures, violent tendencies, and a complete loss of spoken English is probably only a week or so away. After that, kids, it’s all long fingernails and bloodshot eyeballs in the dark. My main homestank Frank Herbert speeds the way. His every word is a golden treasure to be worshiped and studied like a Dead Sea Scroll.

Hi ho.

-T.

We are plagued by a corrupt polity which promotes immoral and/or unlawful behavior. Public interest has no practical significance in everyday behavior among the ruling factions. The real problems of our world are not being confronted by those in power. In the guise of public service, they use whatever comes to hand for personal gain. They are insane with and for power. -Bureau of Sabotage

The insects are huge and the poison’s all been used

Posted in Blog on August 22, 2005 by trevorgregg

Should have written last night, when I was still all wound up.

It’s announcement time: the Early Twenties Golden Era can now officially commence. Friends, employment is imminent.

I’ve still got a few interviews to go through for other companies, but unless they offer me the rewards of Islamic paradise such as 72 virgins and excellent dental coverage, I will soon be gainfully employed by…

*drumroll*

Mr. Wesley Lazara.

Together we will form a merry pair of IT superheroes, a sort of Mel Gibson / Danny Glover duo bringing hope and fast internet to the confused and disenfranchised. Dry your tears, little one, for we are here to fix your computer.

This sets it all in motion, kids, because the last obstacle between me and said Golden Era was, of course, dollaz. Now, well not now but very soon, I’ll be living in The City and reveling in the glory of youth and independence. Prepare yourselves.

———————————————

Fishing Conversations on Fallen Leaf Lake

“Hand me the bow and arrow.”
“What?”
“It’s in the locker under the minnow bucket. Get it quick, he’s coming around again.”
“He who?”
“That douchemug waterskiier, who do you think? Give me the bow.”
“You can’t shoot a waterskiier with a bow and arrow.”
“They’re hard to hit, granted, but even if I miss I’ll scare him off. Give me the god damn bow.”

Those of you not in the know may be unaware of the eternal struggle between fishermen and waterskiiers. The two sides have been locked in remorseless territorial competition for so long, nobody even remembers who started it. It’s a very Gaza Strip kind of relationship.

———————————————–

Today’s Honorary Deputy badge goes to Mz. Candace Cheng, for beating up a schizophrenic homeless psycho in Oakland just moments after finishing her 14 hour MCAT test. Kudos to you, Deputy Cheng!

———————————————-

I can’t write during the day. This all feels wrong, the words don’t work. I’ll be back at a more respectable hour.

-T.

NERF PALLIES.

Posted in Blog on August 18, 2005 by trevorgregg

SERIOUSLY.

SERIOUSLY.

Love you so much it makes me sick

Posted in Blog on August 18, 2005 by trevorgregg

Gather round the campfire, kids. Why? Cuz it’s damn dark everywhere else.

The Early Twenties Golden Era continues its holding pattern at 30000 feet, nowhere to land. The war for employment drags on, each day a flurry of applications and faxes and cover letters as I assault various companies, trying to convey my worth as a person in one miserable document. Hire me, I say, for I can contribute. The vice grows tighter, the need for escape and forward movement and change grows stronger. Try not to think about it, T. Chin up and fists tight, make that paper and keep that beeper chirpin. It’s a must.

Stagnation is the ultimate display of weakness. I need out. I need to be On My Own.

At this point I’ll do most near any old thing to get out. Best Buy. Homelessness. Arby’s. Anything. I’ve even gone so far as to apply for Technical Writing jobs, much to my own disgrace. Taming the frothing, epileptic stallion that is my verbal style, lashing it to a mill post where it walks in a circle cranking out data sheets and training documents eight hours a day is a god damn travesty. If I start writing in complete, organized sentences and arranging my thoughts in a methodical, hierarchical way… Blech. Disgust, abhorrence, these words are too weak. Bulleted lists and graphs and Roman numerals and pi charts, that’s not writing that’s god damn farm work.

I’d take that job like that in a second, though. At least it’d be something; all movement is good movement. Perhaps I have the discipline and dexterity to keep my work and my life separate, who knows. Maybe, it’ll swing the other way. Maybe every drop of formality will be spent at work, and when it comes time to write in this thing I’ll have no coherence left, just adjectives and italics.

BLAUAU terrible RAPSCALLION phosphorescent belligErAtin soup, busta. ;;;; Rinse.

No sir I don’t like it. A little too modernist.

—————

The question is begged: Has there ever been a soul more tortured by the absence of tribulation?

Perhaps. If so, I’ll bet he was American. Only in this nation can a man be plagued by the absence of challenge.

————–

I saw a job posting for a sports writer in Woodland. The ad brought two questions to the surface, the first being whether or not I have The Talent and The Drive and the Mad Flizoetry to actually be gainfully employed as a writer, rather than as a techmonkey. The second is where the fuck is Woodland. Turns out it’s a dive town north of Dixon, and Davis. I can only imagine what kind of sportswriting is needed by the Woodland Daily Birdcageliner or whatever the hell they call themselves…

TOUGH TIMES FOR TETHERBALL TWITS
“We’re here at the Lower Woodland Over-40 Women’s Tetherball Semi-final Match, between Midge “The Lunchlady” Hurfurrsen and Patty “Boombatty” Lerou. Tonight’s bout has drawn a record number of attendees: Me, Woodland’s newest sports writer. The game was set to begin at 3:30, but the start time was delayed when Mrs. Hurfurrsen (the aptly named Lunch Lady, since she is… you know… the lunch lady) helped one of her students dig through the dumpster for his lost retainer after school. Indeed, the entire match seemed ill-fated, for after a much too brief opening series, Mrs. Lerou’s Depends burst in what can only be described as the most horrific and terrible sports equipment malfunction this seasoned reporter has ever seen. Luckily, the number of spectators (including myself) could be counted on Lance Armstrong’s nuts, so witnesses to the atrocity were kept to a minimum. Seeing that old woman’s diaper burst right in mid swing, smattering and splattering all kind of unspeakability on the hot asphalt, well, that’s the kind of thing you can never unsee. I think I may go home and hang myself.

Be sure and check tomorrow’s Birdcageliner for the East County Conference Lawndart highlights, straight from Farmer Art’s lawn behind his garage.”

Yeah… fuck.

————————-

But A Job Is A Job, friends. Dollars dollars dollars, that’s all that matters. I don’t live to work, I work to live.

Obviously there are jobs, and there are jobs. I think about all the jobs I’d really like to have, but I can’t seem to find ads for them. Monster.com does not list Pirate, Grave Robber, Mischief Maker, Gypsy, or Bon Jovi Impersonator as job titles, which is a load of horse shit. They don’t even have Samurai, or Hustler, or Playa. Cain’t they see? Hustlin’s in my blood. Sometimes, Internet, I think you just don’t understand who I am. Maybe we need some time apart.

Atrophying away my days in front of this idiot box is not the only terrible consequence of my monetary deficiency. Lo! The decay, it spreads!

Dutledu, dutledu, dutledu, dutledu
*Insert wavy arm motion they do in Wayne’s World here.*

Me: “Wassssup, girl. Lemme holla at you fo a minute”
Girl: “Wassup playa, what yo name?”
Me: “I’m just a jive turkey tellin it like it is, girl. Hoody hoo.”
Girl: “Why don’t you buy me a drink, hot pants?”
Me: “You in luck, girl, cuz I done seen some fool drive over a parkin meter bout a half hour ago, I’ma go get some money off the concrete and be right back.”
Girl: “You so crazy.”
Me: “True.”

Fifteen minutes later…

Me: “Here’s yo Cosmo, girl. Took me a bit to count out 1200 dimes, but you know, I’m a sweetheart like that.”
Girl: “I know, playa, I know.”
Me: “Let’s head back to my place. It’s nice, but my roommates is kinda old, good folks though.”
Girl: “Aight. Lemme say peace to my girls right quick.”
Me: “I’m just sayin don’t trip if they call me “Son” or whatever, it’s jus this big joke we got going. It’s complicated. Roommate stuff.”
Girl: “AIN’T NO CUTUP GOIN ON IN HERE! YOU LIVE WITH YO MAMA!”

KABOOM.

Movement, movement is all that matters.

Girl you ain’t Spanish, that’s Hawaiian Silky.

———————————-

Another reason I hate technical writing is that you have to use Word.

Can we talk about the most infuriating piece of filth software ever crafted by demonically-possessed human hands?
You don’t work Word, you coax it.

No, I don’t want those bullets to be indented five inches. No, I don’t want those graphs to realign outside the picture. No, I don’t want to fucking capitalize ‘internet’.

LISTEN BITCH I AM AN ENGLISH MINOR. ENGLISH MINOR. I KNOW MORE GRAMMAR THAN YOU DO YOU WORTHLESS FUCKING COMPUTER PHANTASM SO DON’T YOU TELL ME WHEN TO USE ‘WHICH’ AND WHEN NOT TO. YOU BITCH.

Like bonzai and chainsaw juggling, writing anything complex in Word is a subtle and dangerous endeavor. Word likes to do your formatting, your grammar, your thinking for you. Which is all well and good, if you want your document to come out looking like it was written, designed, and revised by a chimp, or a professional athlete. You want anything decent out of it though, you’re gonna have to fucking work at it. You have to wheedle, connive, convince, and cajole Microsoft’s Magical Horseshit Machine into not lining up your paragraphs.

Can you imagine doing that every day?

Perish the thought. Viva la notepad.

——————————–
Now I am weary, and shall retire.

First, a few shout outs. You people listen to Wild 94.9, which is 95% Castro Valley High kids giving props to other Castro Valley High kids on the radio, so you can damn well sit through my shit.

Props to my main homegirl and soon to be roommate Ms. Sawyer for her new employment, make that money kid.
Props to C-Murder preemptively for being the first person ever to score a 100% on the MCATS this coming Saturday, what what.
Props to Pete for beating me out of the Living At Home Soulrotting Purgatory, that’s my dawg.
Props to whatever thieving internetoid spent the time to upload 24 (twenty four) Tupac albums for my listening pleasure. How Thug Life can you get.

Night, kids.

“It seems that the devil controls the business of my life.”
Simon Bolivar, August 4, 1823

-T.

p.s. You have no idea what kind of seizure this raving gave my spell-checker. It was glorious.

Meditations of the unemployed

Posted in Blog on August 14, 2005 by trevorgregg

Being a loser is completely glorified in the media.

Just like bulimia and gang violence, loserdom has been idealized and transmogrified into an almost zen-like state, a nirvana of jobless peace filled with rock and roll, x-box, and curly fries. Aside from the cinematic crimes of the Revenge of the Nerds series and Dangerous Minds, I feel like this false portrayal is easily the most tragically misleading load of horse shit to date. Being unemployed and broke fucking sucks.

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, I swore upon various religious texts that I would never end up back here. Guess the fuck what.

They say you can never go home again. Turns out you can, it just sucks gargantuan wang. Blossoming adulthood wilts under the steely judgmental eyes of parents, and independence, pimpery, self-worth, and all other holy things vanish like so many farts in the wind. Fuck moving home, fuck being broke, fuck being a loser.

Listen closely, kids, I’m not going to repeat myself. Dependency is a crime, in any form. Emotional, financial, whatever. It’s an intolerable weakness that has become so pervasive in our great nation as to be tolerated, even accepted as normal behavior.

But not here. I hate the weak.

Independence is the only true virtue; such is the tao of ice coldery.

Watching myself since I got back from Brazil, from Montana… It’s a dark and depressing tale of worthlessness and decay. Filling out applications, writing cover letters, sleeping alot… It blows. Such atrophy I have never known.

So here I am, sitting at a desk in a room I swore up and down I’d never inhabit again, loathing everything. How did it get this far. Am I not educated?

Being completely isolated in this big house is certainly of no help. My parents, retired and restless, spend their summers wandering the Great American Wilderness with various aunts and uncles, trailer in tow. That leaves my pathetic ass here to water the lawn, pick up the mail, and contemplate the universe between naps. Not havin dollars makes shit worse; I can’t swing the cash to go out and lead any form of a normal social life. My overly loving and generous friends buy me drinks, but that just sucks. People don’t buy me drinks, I buy people drinks. Charity is a filthy word. Alone, haunting this empty house, I get real weird. Regular social interaction is all that keeps me from reverting to some previous incarnation, a shriveled and twisted creature that hard drink, exercise, and good friends banished years ago.

Now the only dude I’ve seen in four days is the mailman.

Everything is OK though. I have new friends.

The cast of Law and Order SVU; we’s folks now. I had never watched an episode of any legal drama before that god damn typhoon we sat through in Brazil, and now I watch them all day. They’re fascinating for no good reason, completely absorbing me in a way no show since Ren and Stimpy has managed to do. Turns out, with a little foresight and an accurate TV guide, you can make it through an entire broadcast day, 11 AM to midnight, watching nothing but the X-Files and various Law and Order incarnations.

Like I said, I stop going out and I start getting weird. I find myself eating an entire package of mint It’s Itses in one episode, and cheering like fat mom at a high school softball game whenever they get the Bad Guys.

“YOU TELL’EM, ICE T. YOU STOP THAT CHILD SLAVERY RING. THAT’S MY DAWG.”

I watch my neighbors through the blinds, silently staring like a lemur as my neighbor works on pouring his new driveway. What should I sneak over and write in the concrete tonight, I wonder. Pimps up hos down? Some Shakespeare quote? Kerry Edwards 04? But then the commercial break is over and I slink back to the safety of the recliner.

I downloaded the entire Beck discography. Beck fucking rules. I’ll turn up Mellow Gold to full blast, dance around my kitchen in nothing but basketball shorts and a creepy smile, eating pop-tarts and waiting for my phone to ring. Sounds fun, right?

Wrong, bitch. Dead wrong. I need out and I need out now. This is not the auspicious beginning to my Mid Twenties Golden Age that I want; sinking into the quagmire of worthlessness that is the Live At-Home Post Graduate. A completely unacceptable state of affairs. Employment must be procured, to free me from my fiscal chains. Miss Sawyer will be moving up here soon, and our fabulous apartment in San Francisco/Oakland/Somewhere will be the site of such merriment and festivity as the world has never known. But not if I can’t pay rent.

A paycheck is the key to it all. Freedom, expansion, mobility, women, revelry, it all hinges on the Almighty Dollar, the American God. It’s becoming a problem, poverty. I’m one handle of Wild Turkey away from filling out a fucking Best Buy application. That’s how desperately I need to move. Welcome to Jack in the Box, may I take your order? I realize that the whole finding a job thing is a slow and painful process, like acupuncture or a Warriors game, but I have no patience for it. None.

The way I see it, it’s time for all you ingrates to give back. Ask not what Trevor can do for you, reader, but what you can do for Trevor. Help me help you. No job = no money = no fun = no interesting blog entries. Look my shit up on Monster.com, I’m a qualified IT professional, computer engineer, and writer. Take your pick, I’ll do whatever, just get me a vocation. Hire me.

Let’s enjoy a sample entry, should my unemployment continue:

September Somethingth, 1:30 PM.
—————
Just got up. Thought about taking a shower, decided against it. Watched The Golden Girls, it was good. My phone rang, and it was a company offering me a job. They said they’d let me do whatever I wanted to and pay me $100,000 a year! Then I woke up, turns out I had passed out on the coffee table again. I think I’m gonna build a battleship replica out of fruit snacks tonight, unless there’s bass fishing on TV.

I think I’m gonna cook some Top Ramen and then maybe call Information, just to hear a human voice.

I also saw a squirrel on the power lines, he (or she) was funny.

The End.
————

the horror.

-T.

Odds on eight, sucker, and twenty on the hard six

Posted in Blog on August 7, 2005 by trevorgregg

The phone rings, it’s 8:30 and I’m deep asleep.

Regina: “Hey there. Where are you?”
Me: “Gurgle. Muffle.”
Regina: “Are you there, Trevor?”
Me: “What? Whatthefuck o’clock is it?”
Regina: “Where are you?”
Me: “The couch.”
Regina: “What couch?”
A fair question, I suppose.
Me: “I was on the border of… well fuck. Let me do some research and call you back.”

Click.

So I wandered across the room and split the shades, letting in that hateful Nevada sunshine. A pyramid, New York, the Eiffel tower… Oh christ, I’m in Vegas.

A hard thing to fathom so early in the morning, looking down on the strip from the executive suite’s panoramic window.

The fog in my mind started to clear, and things became more manageable. The pieces began to fit. Craps tables and hard drinking till 3:30 or so. Laura must be asleep in the other room. Bruce? Who knows.

Vegas. Huh. Well, Trevor, you’ve woken up in many more questionable places than the executive suite. Just assess the situation.

No dead bodies. No visible wounds. No open flames.

It’s cool. Be cool.

I called downstairs. The little notepad read Bally’s. An important clue!

“I need two boxes of Dayquil, a handle of Southern Comfort, and a half-gallon of Diet Mountain Dew, with cherries. To get my bearings.”

Click.

Now, only one thing remains.

I’m flat broke, my car keys are missing, and all I’ve got with me is a fishing vest, my guitar, and two Vonnegut books from the Hayward Public Library. (Deadeye Dick and Galapagos)

What the fuck am I doing in the Bally’s executive suite in Las Vegas?

************************************************************

A week ago, penniless and weary, I skipped town in a rented white Jeep Cherokee headed for Idaho.

Two weeks of unemployed sorrow, lolly gagging, and spiritual decay had taken their toll. Watching the phone like a starving cat watches a gopher hole, waiting for a call back… Being unemployed is god damn miserable, friends. Here’s a simple mathematical equation for all of you who think work sucks. No money = No fun.

So when my neighbor told me he was bound for Montana to catch up with my family on their perpetual vacation, I said hell yeah I’m coming. Flyfishing and relatives are just what I need to combat vagrancy and depression. Let’s blow this joint.

We drove east at top speed, headed for Salt Lake City. Surrealistic Pillow blaring and a car full of fishing gear, booya.

Booming out across the cadillac desert is, to me, always an adventure. All those whacked-out desert towns… They’re places beyond description, outside the normal scope, timeless and insane. Elko… Lovelock… Battle Mountain… Deeth Starr… Who inhabits these places? Why? Every one has the same ingredients; Dusty streets lined with crumbling buildings and rusty double-wides, signs riddled with bullet holes, a ratty diner staffed by weary, soulless old women. The streets are haunted by tumbleweeds and broken dreams. The Nevada desert is beautifully tragic in a very real and tangible way, a way that’s hard to comprehend and harder to communicate. Abandoned strip mines, impoverished Basque farmers, gas stations full of broken slot machines. What a fucking place. I love it.

We stopped for the night in Wendover, a town which straddles the Nevada – Utah border. A bumpin place on a Saturday night; all the sinners from SLC (And there are more than you might think) head over the state line for booze, gambling, CCR cover bands, and various other forbidden diversions. Blue-collar border casinos rule, there’s simply no other way to put it.

A sandstorm blew in from the Utah flats, assaulting us with grainy, hot wind. We were trapped inside. Nothing to do but hit the craps tables, and hit them hard.

The people that patronize places like the fabulous Peppermill Casino are just tops. Absolute quality folk, let me tell you.

Your typical Wendover tourist has at least two of the following four characteristics:

1) Serious geriatric (90+)
2) Multi-generation Inbred
3) Untreated Syphilitic
4) Methamphetamine User

Now, just for variety, I’m going to write a song about people in Wendover casinos. Sing along if you know the words.

Oh, Art from Provo, you should have finished high school
Soulful backup singers: “High schooooooooooooooooooooool”
Then your pastie thighs might not be stuck to that bar stool
SBS: “Bar stoooooooooooooooooooool”
I know life’s been hard, I know your wife’s a lard
SBS: “Ooooooooooooooooooo”
and that the only thing you pray for is another high card
SBS: “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”

Chorus:
SBS: *clapping*
SBS: “Dooooo wop doowop”
But ooooooooo don’t you fall under Wendover’s spell
We both know it’s the fifth circle of hell
Don’t order shrimp cocktails, you’ll get dysentery
Don’t get your steak rare, and stay away from dairy
Just smile, read your cards, and drink to Lady Luck
And try not to think about how much you suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck
SBS: “You suuuuuuuuuuuuck doowop”

Oh Mary from Wells, you need to treat them herpes
SBS: “Herpeeeeeeeeeeeeeees”
You smell like the rest home, don’t sit so close please
SBS: “Close pleaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaase”
I know life’s a disappointment, but please please get some ointment
Your AA sponsor called, said you missed another appointment
Ooooooooooooooo
Aaaaaaaaaaaaa

Chorus

Harmonica solo

What the hell am I doing here, with these hustlers and tricks
SBS: “Hustlers and triiiiiiiiiiiiiicks”
It’s 2 AM in the desert, and I can’t roll a six
SBS: “Can’t roll a siiiiiiiiiiiiix”
I’ll just try not to think, about how far one can sink
I ordered a half hour ago, where’s that bitch with my drink
SBS: “Bitch, where’s my driiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiink”

Chorus

You suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck doowop

Violate your parole! Escape this hole!
The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem!
SBS: “You’ve got a problemmmmmmmmmmmmmm”

*Fade out*

Platinum hit, friends. Platinum hit.

***********************************************************

I have a theory about why people live in places like Battle Mountain. Towns in the desert are riddled with abandoned cars, trailers, and rusty junk. There are those people, traveling westward in search of a better life, who never quite make it. Their car, their truck, their spirit… something breaks down in the remorseless heat, and they don’t have the money or the character to fix it.

Looking into that 16 year old waitress’s eyes as she brings me my Teriyaki Chicken, I know despair. Caged by five hundred miles of fractured wasteland and empty gray sky in every direction, hope dies a quick and dusty death out in the sagebrush.

What a fuckin place.

*************************************************************

The next morning, I wandered the corridors of the Wendover Days Inn, searching in vain for my Complimentary Continental Breakfast.

I huddled silently in the corner of the elevator, eyes averted and breath held, whenever other… guests… were aboard.

Each unmarked door I opened, I felt nothing but pure, unrefined terror. Wendover is a horrible place, in the sober light of day.
At the turn of each knob, I expected to stumble into a room full of dangerous Mormon separatists. Every door could lead to an armory full of blueprints and hunting rifles, fertilizer bombs and Zionist propaganda brochures. These bastards wouldn’t hesitate to murder a heathen like me and toss me in a ditch somewhere, to be devoured by the heat and the buzzards.

I tensed and prepared outside every tan door.
It’s cool. Be cool.

“Oh, excuse me gentlemen. I didn’t mean to interrupt your plotting, I was looking for the free continental breakfast.” I’d say.
“SLAY THE INFIDEL!” The one with LDS4 tattooed on his left knuckles and LIFE tattooed on his right would scream.
“Whoa there son, I’m not a Fed, just a hungry sinner in search of stale muffins.” I’d reply.
Out come the knives and the rifles, and I’m out the door at a full sprint with a half dozen fanatics in hot pursuit.

We’d flee across the salt flats, our Cherokee followed closely by a rusting, smoking Chevy Caprice bristling with guns and screaming white folks.

“You’ll never take me alive you swine!” I’d scream, throwing Altoid boxes and used double-A batteries out the passenger window in a futile attempt to return fire.
“I’m Jesus Christ with a laser gun, and you’re gonna die!” I’d quote.

Years of methamphetamine usage and proximity to uranium mines has left my pursuers snaggle-toothed, impotent, and insane. They are woefully unable to aim their shotguns, and blast away wildly into the salty dust.

Swerving and sliding our Trail-Rated rental Jeep, I’d lead the bastards right to the lip of the abandoned copper mine before slamming on my breaks. They’d squeal right by, shooting and condemning my sinful California soul to all manner of eternal torments. The Caprice, suddenly bereft of the sandy flats, soars gracelessly out into the void before exploding dramatically in the pit mine below.

“Booya, motherfuckers. Booya.”

*******************************************

Nothing was open in Salt Lake, of course. It’s Sunday, the Lord’s Day. I can’t remember the passage exactly, but I surely do recall Jesus damning all those who would keep their Del Tacos open on Sunday. We retrieved Laura from the airport, where a terrorist situation was in progress. Something to do with a van with suspicious wires and anti-American slogans. Luckily the SLC Airport Security Division is at the peak of their girthy vigilance, and so strung up orange tape around most of the terminal and barked at people. Although I was unable to get a clear answer or view the entire time, I suspect somebody parked their Caravan with a Kerry sticker on the back in a red zone. Regardless, in the Global Struggle Against Extremism (formerly known as the War On Terror) one can NEVER BE TOO CAREFUL.

NEVER.

NEVER.

Laura, Bruce, and I left the airport profoundly thankful for the deep paranoia and rights-trampling that keeps Our Nation safe from The Terrorists.

We found a Wendy’s on the edge of town, staffed by a skeleton crew of hunchbacked Mexican women, presumably non-Mormons like ourselves, and headed north to Montana.

To Be Continued.

-T.