Archive for May, 2009

All my friends are junkies.

Posted in Blog with tags , , , , on May 21, 2009 by trevorgregg

Music – Toots and the Maytals – Funky Kingston

The Universe does not concern itself with the trivialities of fairness and compassion.  The planets turn, unmoved by even the greatest plights of man.  The stars watch our every tragedy and triumph with the same silent, expressionless stare.  The fall of an empire is of less import to the cosmos than the death of an ant.  Entropy and chaos and gravity and heat death, these are the things that interest the heavens.  All else, truth and love and evil and betrayal, is unworthy of notice.

I remember this in times of trial.  It helps me retain a proper perspective.  I find solace in the ultimate unimportance of my every action and accomplishment.  I find peace in the knowledge that the universe gives not even the most infinitesimal flying fuck about any of us.

This philosophy grants me the serenity to move past the grave, GRAVE fucking injustice of my missing Bay to Breakers to attend Ellie’s cousin’s stupid wedding.  It helps cool my rage at the fact that I’ve missed out on the most supremely amazing and epic festival of the year to eat bad cake and watch two people I’ve never met start together on that long and rutted path to married American oblivion.

I received several texts during the wedding, things like “WHERE YOU AT BRO?!” and “WOOOOOOOO”.  People were sending me photos of smiling, jubilant, beautifully happy people dancing in the streets, people wearing stupid hats and loving life.

I turned my phone off.

Those around me probably whispered about what a romantic and sensitive person I am, since there was a hint of tears in my eyes as the newlyweds walked down the aisle.

“What a beautiful ceremony!”, people said.
What am I doing here.
“They look so happy together.”
Fuck my life.
“What a lovely dress!”
Stab me in the face.
“Congratulations!”
With a soldering iron.

We went back inside and hovered around the bar.  We were unable to drink at our table since we were sharing it with Ellie’s ultra-religious cousins, so we drank like servants, standing in the hallways and vestibules of the country club.  It was 99 in the shade, the kind of hot day that elevates a tie and long sleeves from an inconvenience to a war crime.  The kind of day meant for revelry and dangerous, irresponsible partying, not for formality and esoteric ritual.

Ellie sensed my discomfort, and was kind.  She brought me an iced tea and shielded me from her relatives.  She didn’t drag me to the wedding, after all. My own exaggerated sense of boyfriendly duty and responsibility did that.  I had told her I would go months ago; I said yes without a second thought or, more importantly, a glance at the motherfucking calendar.  It was my bad, and she cannot be held accountable for my inability to keep track of my god damn social engagements.

Her family is very nice as well; infinitely better than I’ve dealt with in the past.  One of my ex’s grandfather’s threatened to drown me if I ever broke up with his granddaughter.  Another ex’s father, excited to have a male in his household full of daughters, once dragged me downstairs after a Christmas party to show me his Uzis.  This is not a metaphor.  He had Uzis.  He also used to lecture me endlessly on the perils of hydrogenated fats, especially in peanut butter.  This is true.  You can’t make this shit up.

Compared to that, a short wedding on a hot day with Ellie’s friendly, normal family is paradise.

On any other Sunday I would have attended happily, and without objection.

On any other Sunday.

What’s done is done, though.

One cannot dwell on past failures.  To do so would only stoke the fires of regret, of bitterness.

Best not to think that I’m the soberest, most clear-headed person in San Francisco this ugly, cold morning.  Best not to think of the shame I’m burdened with for missing the Hetero Pride Parade.

Best not to think of myself as a fucking pariah.

Besides, Houseboats approaches.  And with it, Redemption.

Even now there are fifteen 30 packs in my garage.  There are eleven bottles of cheap tequila.  Six bottles of rum.  Ten boxes of wine.  A jug of some blue shit from Ecuador that has no name except in Ancient Aztec, and would get us 5-9 with no parole if the Feds knew Mo had smuggled it into the U.S.

Preparations are underway.  Calls are coming in from across the state.

“Can you fit a Zodiac in the back of your truck?”
“Do you still have my Stevie Wonder’s Greatest Hits tape?”
“You’re an engineer… Explain to me what we need to do to have a bonfire on a lake? Like ON the water?”
“How long can a stripper stay in a cake before she asphyxiates? What if she has a scuba tank?”

We’re packing our life vests and our bail money.  Soon we’ll descend on Slaughterhouse like starved wolves on a rotting carcass.  We’ll rage like we did in our younger days, safe from the prying, judgemental eyes of God and Decent American Folk.

Alcorn’s already on his way to Folsom to pick up Justin from prison.  Mo’s coming by to drop off some groceries and her hunting rifle.  Blake, completely out of PTO and sick days, is faking his own death to leave work early on Friday.  The Old Crew is reuniting.  The Pact still stands.

We leave at 6 AM tomorrow.
God help us all.

Advertisements

Not a retraction

Posted in Blog on May 19, 2009 by trevorgregg

Music – John Prine – Paradise

A final note on Bay to Breakers:

A bit ago I wrote about how loathesome and vile the NIMBY assroosters who were protesting against B2B were.  I wrote that I hated them and prayed for their agonizing and slow deaths.

I am not apologizing.  All you assholes are still terrible and should be ashamed of yourselves.  You are the anti-cool and nobody wants you in this town.  Move back to Orinda with the rest of the fucking wet blankets.

That being said, I was partially duped.  San Francisco played up the whining of these douchebags so subtly and with such political finesse that even I, hawkeyed disbeliever that I am, fell for it.

Oh but I was mistaken.  I forgot for a moment that the government of this city, that governments in general, do not care one tiny whit for their fucking citizenry.  If they did, SF wouldn’t be full of addicts and thieves, and would smell less like human shit.  The vocal NIMBY shitbags, though… they were just patsies this time.

Now, I hate the Chronicle as much as the next man.  San Francisco’s “Official Paper” hasn’t been fit to line a fucking birdcage for twenty years, and I will not shed tear one when it collapses under the weight of its own obsolescent suckitude.  The Death of Print Journalism in SF will be mourned by none but Luddites and Chronicle employees.  Anyone who reads the news regularly enough to give a shit knows not to read the Chronicle.

Sometimes a diamond of truth makes an appearance in the mountains of black, foul coal the Chronicle shovels out every day, though.  And in their latest B2B article, one appeared.  Underneath eight inches of quotes from Western Addition assholes complaining about “property damage” or whatever the fuck, there was one sentence of particular interest.

I can’t find the article now, probably because the Chronicle’s website is so fucking ghetto and broken and worthless, so I’ll paraphrase. (Attention SFGate, 1996 called and wants its crap-ass website back.)

‘The cleanup fees for last year’s Bay to Breakers cost sponsor ING more than $50,000 more than estimated.’

You DON’T FUCKING SAY.

A hundred years of glorious tradition overturned on the whim of some whiny twats on the Panhandle? I don’t think so.  I should have known better than to believe Newsom and that scourge of the City known as the SFPD when they tried to pin this Death of Fun campaign on the NIMBYs.  No way.  They don’t give a shit about those people.  ING, however… ING is a multinational corporation.  ING can make campaign contributions.  ING can afford kickbacks.  And ING was unhappy with the mess they’d had to clean up last year.

This little factoid, dropped into the ass end of a boring article by some careless copy editor, made it all so clear.  The City hadn’t caved to the NIMBYs, they’d sold us out to the Multinats.

So next year, instead of going that extra mile to key every Audi and poop in every driveway from Fillmore to Lyon because those assholes are ruining our B2B, let’s just tear down or deface every ING poster we see.  There will be no shortage of them, I guarantee it.

On second thought maybe we should do both.  Just to cover our bases.  There are a hundred thousand of us after all.  I’m sure we can find the manpower.

I take one, one, one cuz you left me

Posted in Blog with tags , , , on May 15, 2009 by trevorgregg

Music – Nightmares on Wax – Mind Eye

I drove through Berkeley in a foul mood.  Traffic there coagulates in arbitrary and unpredictable ways, often leaving even the most agile and creative of drivers stuck for twenty minutes at a fucking yield sign south of Cedar.  Seventy year old bicyclists and assholes in diesel Volvos doing 15 in a 35 cause endless backups and blockages.  Militant pedestrians cross streets with deliberate plodding slowness, a form of subtle protest against those universally reviled oppressors known as People With Real Jobs and Shit To Do.  Residents double-park their Minis on one-lane winding roads in the hills while they load and unload their bratty children.  All this, combined with Berkeley’s completely arbitrary and schizophrenic street layout, makes it a nightmarish place to get anywhere quickly.

I watched a light change three times at 2nd and Gilman without moving more than a foot, and when I finally got through the intersection I floored it up the hills towards Wes’s place.  A woman loading her kids’ bikes on to the rack of her MDX was stopped, perpendicular, in the middle of Marin so as to cause the maximum possible amount of frustrating backup.  I gunned it around her into the oncoming lane as she screamed “SLOW DOWN!” in to my open window.  I gave her the one-finger salute, shouting ‘Fuck you and your ugly kids you inconsiderate whorebag’ back over my shoulder.  Probably a bit of an overreaction, but tempers were running high in my truck and Plastic Jesus and I had had quite enough of these tards.

Within the next six blocks I was stopped eleven times by pedestrians, bikers, two Subarus driven by people old enough to have fought in World War 1, and one fat dude on a Segue.  Shouting obsceneties and weaving recklessly, I wished them all horrible and lingering deaths for their blatant disregard of common goddamn road etiquette.  ‘Fuck off and die, Berkeley drivers’ I shouted to the winds.  Four straight years on the kill-or-be-killed streets of SF has sharpened my driving instincts to a razor’s edge and I have no time for your bullshit.

The sad truth of it is that Berkeley’s automotive incompetence is but one aspect of a much larger affliction.  The seeds of revolution planted there by our parents’ generation have blossomed into weeds of whining discontent.  The hippies long ago lost their last shred of credibility and have become self-righteous grey-haired assholes, unbearable in every way.  Their grand and glorious plans to change the world have devolved into pathetic squabbles over parking spots and community landscaping.  The fight for the Greater Good of Mankind has been abandoned, and the Berkeley residents turn their not-inconsiderable grassroots power to combat evils like Target and noise violations and non-organic produce in the school system.

I see their kids walking around with rolling backpacks and cellphones and lunchboxes full of sushi and polenta.  I hate to break it to you motherfuckers, but all the Whole Foods products in the world won’t make your snot-nosed fifth-grader any better at youth soccer.  While your kid eats a thirty-dollar school lunch free of hydrogenated fats and high fructose corn syrup, the best athletes in the world are growing up in fucking Nigeria eating nothing but dirt and mealworms once a day before they go out and run four minute miles.  Maybe if you spoiled your kids less they’d get fast and it wouldn’t take your family of four TWENTY FUCKING MINUTES TO CROSS SOLANO WHILE I’M STOPPED THERE REVVING MY ENGINE AND HATING YOU SO MUCH.

FUCK.

Berkeley jumped the shark back when I was about eleven and has gotten progressively more awful every year since.  The residents, the crazy local politicos, the traffic, the unbearable snobbery…  That shit with the protesters living in the trees, the twenty-five year old planted-by-the-school oaks is just the cherry on top of the shit sundae.  My god, you fuckers.  Get ahold of yourselves.  And stay off the roads for fuck’s sake.

Admire my son, admire my home

Posted in Blog with tags , , , , , on May 6, 2009 by trevorgregg

Music – Tom Burbank – Slab

Today I’ve decided to do something special.  I’ve written a poem.  It’s called “I Suck At Fun”

——–
“I Suck At Fun”
by Trevor

So many people at the crappy Mexican restaurant
On a Tuesday?
Oh fuck I forgot it’s Cinco de Mayo

——-

For shame.  Twenty year old me is even now working feverishly on a time machine to travel forward to May 2009 and kick twenty-seven year old me in the balls for being unforgivably sober and boring on Drinko De Mayo, America’s Favorite Adopted Holiday.

In my disgrace, I drank a punitive six pack of Corona alone while watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia reruns.

My youth has officially deserted me.

It must be nice to be normal

Posted in Blog with tags , , , , , on May 6, 2009 by trevorgregg

Music – The Violent Femmes – Add It Up

Eddie and I rode the 41 Union back through the Marina on Thursday morning.  He was headed to work and I was headed back from the doctor.

The 41 has a reputation for being the best looking bus in San Francisco, a reputation well deserved.  It’s a far cry from the filthy, Third World freakshow 27 I usually ride up from Market and through the TL, a bus that’s a cross between Arkham Asylum and a open sewage trench.  Most of the blondes around us on the 41, by contrast, wouldn’t be caught dead riding without an hour’s worth of makeup and their finest cashmere.  After all, the 41 is where you meet husbands.  Unlike the 27, which is where you meet rapists.

Today was a special day, though, and a bunch of the girls were wearing face masks, messing up their hair and hiding their expensive lipstick.  Behold the power of Swine Flu FUD.

Eddie and I laughed like madmen after we climbed on at Pierce and saw fifteen chicks probably all named Nicole and Brandy and Lauren rocking masks they’d stolen from their oral surgeon and med student boyfriends.

This is exactly the kind of hyper-reactionary white people behavior I adore.  Eddie, who despite his dark skin and ostensibly Spanish heritage is about as Mexican as Thor Heyerdahl, immediately started coughing and snorting, convulsing and twitching as though overcome by all manner of foul contagions.  He collapsed into a seat next to a tall brunette in a pressed business skirt no doubt on her way to her Important Downtown Career Job.  Sneezing and drooling, moaning like a B-movie zombie, he leaned against her every time the bus rattled over the slightest pothole.

HACK HACK SNEEZE
“Escuse me meess, do joo have a teessue?” He asked.  The girl, wide-eyed with terror behind suddenly inadequate blue mask, plunged into her purse and brought out a full pack of kleenex.
“OH thank you so much, meess. Muchas gracias.”  He said, touching her arm appreciatively with his disgusting infection-vector Mexican hands.  She nodded and looked out the window, too scared even to speak.
“You are so sweet to share your teessue weeth me.  Do joo wanna have deenner some time? Can I have joor number?”
This was too much for the poor girl, whose sense of decorum was rapidly losing out to her instincts for panic and flight.  She yanked on the stop line like it was a goddamn parachute cord and leapt for the door, barging through the crowd.
“Maybe nest time eh?”  Eddie shouted, spittle flying.
She shoved her way out the door as soon as the bus stopped, preferring the long walk to work over a hacking bloody death at the hands of Eddie’s Supermexican Deathgerms.

I scooted over to the now-vacant seat next to him.  The entire bus looked at me, appalled by my obvious deathwish.

“Your Mexican accent is fucking terrible.” I told him. “You sound like Nacho Libre.”

“Screw you whitey. Your reign of oppression is over.  The swine flu is my people’s Weapon of Mass Destruction.”

“Now that girl is gonna be late for work; she’s gonna go home, drink a pint of hand sanitizer and probably cry all through her forty minute shower.”

“Serves her right. Viva la raza.”

“You’ve undone fifty years of race relations in ten seconds.  Everybody on this bus that just watched you wipe your pigflu boogers all over that pretty girl’s arm is gonna loathe and distrust latinos for the rest of their lives.  Cesar Chavez hates you.”

“Not my fault your people are so racist.”

“Motherfucker don’t say ‘your people’.  You’re from fucking Marin County, you square.”

“She was pretty scared, huh.”

“Haha yeah. It was great.”

I highfived his outstretched, plague-ridden hand.

We sat for a second, aware once again of the fearful and awkward glances of the other passengers.  We got to Van Ness and headed for the door.  The people parted before us like the Red Sea for Charleton Heston.

“DON’T WORRY FOLKS.” Eddie shouted as we stepped out.  The whole bus started at the noise. “IT’S JUST ALLERGIES.”

Eddie, always one to use his very marginal ethnicity for evil rather than good, asked for more ideas for terrorizing what he termed “The Cracker-Industrial Complex”.  I explained to him that in their darkest heart even the most liberal San Franciscan honkey believes everything they read in Newsweek.  They may not admit it, may not even realize it, but down in that primitive reptilian part of their brains they’re hopelessly terrified of whatever the evening news declares to be the latest Scourge of Humanity, be it swine flu or race riots or meteors or violence in videogames.  It’s a deeply ingrained part of the white American psyche and is most clearly visible in old white people, who are scared of goddamn everything from peanut butter to direct sunlight.  People know this and exploit the shit out of it.  That’s why Republicans do their best to blame the Democratic Party for everything from gang violence to stomach cancer; no matter how absurd the claim, some appreciable percentage of dumbass white people will believe it, and fear.

Armed with this knowledge about white america’s Achilles heel, I fully expect Eddie to destroy western civilization, if only to be a dick.

——

We hiked up the hill a ways, slowly because of my fucked up leg.

“What’d the doctor say?” Eddie asked.

“Torn calf muscle.  There’s a rend in my calf the size of a shotglass.  The swelling’s from internal bleeding, which is gross.  My cankle’s basically a giant human blood sausage.”

“Thank you for that image, it’s disgusting. Limp faster or I’ll be late.”

“Rather than be bitter and depressed about it I’ve decided to embrace my crippledness. To make it my own.”

“Yeah?”

“Yep.  It’ll be my new quirk.  My Dr. House-esque pimp limp.”

“Maybe you’ll start a trend.”

“Muscle tears will be all the rage.”

——

We went to Zeitgeist on Friday for Herbert’s birthday.  The back was deserted due to questionable weather; trendy assholes have the same aversion to rain the Wicked Witch of the West did. Can’t risk getting that eighty dollar Earth Day 1993 retro pullover wet. Not in these economic times.

We took up most of a table and, between seeing Sapo eat a dog treat and Amos get cursed at by a very angry very tattooed barmaid for leaving a small tip, it was a full night.  Lindsey and I met a dude who told us he was planning to write a book on capoeira.

Intrigued, we asked him a few questions.  It turned out that his knowledge of capoeira was based on absolutely nothing.  He told us he was researching, and by researching he meant downloading capoeira songs on Napster.  He told us he was translating songs (he speaks no Portuguese), and by translating songs he means…. not translating songs.

In any other arena an ignorant asshat like this would be dismissed out of hand as a crank and a fool.  He knows as much about his subject as he could read in three minutes on Wikipedia, has zero first-hand experience, and is obviously confused or wrong about the very few crumbs of knowledge he’s acquired.

After having spoken to him for ten minutes and already plumbed the murky depths of his ignorance, I can already tell he’ll probably get a three book deal and a forty thousand dollar advance.  Because completely clueless dropped-as-a-child functionally-autistic morons are exactly the kind of people who write capoeira books.  Check the bargain bin at your local Borders, they’re in there.  The only other capoeira authors are Mestres, who despite their authoritative knowledge on the subject are so crazy by definition that their writing is like something you’d find scribbled on a bathroom wall in a methadone clinic.

Why capoeira draws these people in like pudgy, empty-headed moths to a flame I cannot understand.  They don’t have the physical or mental stamina to actually participate in it or even to try to understand it on the most fundamental of levels, yet they develop a single-minded obsession with it.  Where the fuck do they come from?  Why do they feel the need to start blogs and write books and generally be fucking embarrassments?  Why do they all live in San Francisco?  Seriously, you guys. Go back to watching anime and reading Spiderman and relieve capoeira of the terrible shame of your existence.

I’m fully convinced that, thanks to the miracle of the internet, eventually enough of these people will find each other and coagulate into a Subculture.  They’ll print shirts and start YouTube channels and begin some sort of Capoeira Appreciation Festival, which will be to capoeira what the Renaissance Faire is to feudal Europe.
They’ll dress up like their favorite player, flame each other’s forum posts, and basically disgrace themselves utterly in the eyes of humanity and God.

All we can do is hope this guy’s job at Blockbuster is too time-consuming for him to actually get around to sitting down at his mom’s Gateway 2000 and facerolling his way through a full-length book.

Goddamn fanboys.