honorary Hose Monster:
Watch a dog get busy with Pikachu.
This Internet thing just never gets old.
Wow. I'm speechless. An HIV-positive muppet. Who knew they would ever get this far?
Of course, it's going to happen in a country where the issue is particularly relevant, by still, an interesting step.
I have been reading a lot of blogs lately, checking out the various features of all of them and trying to decide which ones I want to cannibalize. Did you know that you can set up a personal PayPal account and people can give you money through your blog? It's kind of a neat feature, but I cannot decide if it is a horrible thing to ask people to give you money. Not that anyone would. One of the best parts of the Internet is the fact that it is mostly free.
I'm also trying to find a way to add comments to my blog.
No pude quitarme la vista de sus ojos. Era como una luz indefinible emanse de su rostro, y aunque acabó de entrar un montón de gente, a mi parecer no había nadie salvo esta mujercita en el aula. Me di cuenta en aquel momento de que, un día u otra, la querría...
* * * *
They had all made the trek to our classroom on the third floor for the same reason: to meet me and my classmates with the hope we could prove mutually beneficial. I stood at the front of our group, eager to have the best chance to meet the four or five different people and set up four or five dates.
She was the only one I ever saw.
Two steps into the room and we knew it. Our eyes locked in silent understand, mine saying "My god you're beautiful" and her eyes dancing a "No te muevas. No hagas nada. No rompas este momento absolutamente perfecto" tune to me. Paralyzed I stood waiting for our matchmaker to conclude her introduction, trying to decide if I ever wanted this moment to end or if I could deal with the curiosity another second. The white noise in my ear was deafening.
At the sudden silence, she looked at me, asking me with her glance if I was going to continue standing there with my eyes wide or come and say hello.
She was everything for which I had hoped. She became my muse.
I believe each of our lives is a quest to find some deeper meaning to our actions, or to accumulate mass amounts of wealth, or to make the world around us better. With over 5 billion people on this Earth, mostly unhappy, I wager that quite a few human quests continue without much hope of reaching fruition.
But my own search for meaning ended today when I discovered this.
A few weeks ago I received an email from my boy Ruffneck. I have not seen the guy for probably about four years, but I know he's just as solid as ever. Ruffneck was one of those great people who told me to keep running with my strange thoughts. And now I have the Hose Monster Blog.
Anyway, like many of my friends connected to my Southern Cal life, Ruffneck works in the emergency field, and is on his way to becoming a full-blown paramedic. He's doing his internship with LACOFD in Inglewood. Unless you know a little something about Southern Cal, the word Inglewood probably does not mean a whole lot to you. But it's right up there with its much more publicized neighbor of Compton in gang presence and general danger. Ruffneck passes a quote on to me: "When it gets hot in the Wood, people get crazy."
Anyway, a few weeks ago, Ruffneck and his crew get a gunshot call to handle. The 23-year old patient has a total of seven gunshot wounds: one in the right leg, two in the left leg, two in the abdomen, the big toe on one foot blown off, and a final shot up the rectum. This is what I mean about Inglewood. It's not just dangerous. It's maliciously dangerous if you get caught in the wrong place or with the wrong people.
But my boy Ruffneck has a job to do. He goes to work.
On the rig heading into trauma, Ruffneck is working on our unfortunate guy when the patient squeezes my boy's arm, momentarily diverting Ruffy's attention to his eyes. And Ruffneck sees the fear in his eyes, of death, or paralyzation, of having to maybe have tubes strapped to his body for the rest of his life and having to shit in a bag or any other combination of horrible things that might result from a gang encounter gone bad at 2 in the afternoon in the middle of the week.
Ruffneck sums it up best when he simply calls it the fear of the Unknown. And in that moment, this guy loses his identity as a gang banger and becomes just one other casualty of so many things I cannot even adequately list them, one other person trying to deal with the fear of the Unknown. In many ways, this patient is having to relive that awful moment when your mother drops you off at school for the very first time and you have no idea what to expect or do. You just sit there crying, begging for someone, anyone to help you, to tell you what to do. And with seven gunshot wounds on you, I don't care if you are five years or 35; at that point you're not an adult. The fear is too much, the Unknown is too threatening. You're back in kindergarten. But you don't have any recess or nap time to look forward to at this point. Just the thought that if you're lucky and pull through, you can shit in a bag for the rest of your life.
You think about a lot of things you would otherwise not experience because of your friends and their experiences. Thinking about this reconfirmed my general lack of fear of death. It just does not really bother me. When my time comes to go, go I shall.
But I realized from this story that I can be terribly afraid of life sometimes.
I cannot even imagine if baseball could really contract midseason.
I remember just a few years ago how I could hardly stand baseball. Watch a few hundred hockey games, and you'll see how hockey is infinitely superior to any other game on this planet. Then watch a baseball game and tell me you don't find it just a bit boring.
But a funny thing happened last year: The Chicago Cubs caught my attention. The CUBS! The "We haven't won a chamionship since 1908" Cubs!
The people of this city, the greatest baseball staduim on Earth and the team that plays in it turned me around. All of a sudden, I'm a Dodger fan again. I'm hoping the Red Sox will stick it to the Yankees this year. I hope that Paul Konerko will win the triple crown some day soon and that some one a helluva lot more affable than Barry Bonds will soon hold the "most home runs in a season" honor.
What happened with the All Star Game Tuesday night was disgraceful. I don't care if the teams ran out of players. Bring back Willie Randolph, set up the cage and have another home run derby to determine the winner. The fans would have loved it. And considering how much money some of them paid for tickets, they sure as hell deserved it.
At the end of the day, baseball is still just a game. But it's a game that underlies so much of who we are as a nation and a culture, and for as much contempt the game brings (I'll never like the Yankess. You hear me? Never!), in the end, it brings us together. Remember how we reacted to the return of baseball last September, and how last year's World Series was the most therapeutic event of all of last year? I do. And I remember finding a little bit of joy in baseball again.
Less than a year later, the forecast is gloomy. The steroid-popping players might strike.
I don't think all of this will destroy baseball. But it will alienate a lot of low and middle class people who enjoy the release the game gives them, and would jump at the opportunity to just play baseball for the small sum of $100,000 a year or probably a lot less than that.
I need to be more positive in my blog. I must take a break.
Why the long face?
Well, in addition to the fact that this is the second conversation with you/myself in as many days, which clearly indicates my lack of sanity, everyone hates me.
Oh come on now.
Nope. Everyone hates me.
I don't hate you.
You can't hate me.
Because you depend on me for your existence.
You derive a lot of power from that, don't you?
You should. Maybe it will make you happy.
There are larger concerns. Like the fact that everyone hates me.
Okay, prove it. Who hates you?
Well, in the last few months, I have become exceedingly successful at pissing my friends off. Half the time I don't even understand what they're mad about. Usually things end up okay, but one situation is troubling.
Since you only have about five close friends, it seems dumb to say everyone hates you.
Thanks for reminding me that I am a loser.
That's not what I meant.
So what's this one situation?
I don't want to talk about. But it involves perception gaps.
What do you mean?
Essentially, every time I do something that from my point of view is me trying to consider my friends and their emotions, someone else understands it as me being underhanded and terrible.
The hardest part is that I cannot decide whether I really am just a total prick and if my thinking that I am trying to be a good person is all a hallucination.
You're bringing me down. Smile. After all, Dicky Cheney finally got what was coming his way.
It will blow over and nothing will come of it. The only reason you know about it now is that the media needs stories and loves to perpetuate ones with big names involved in scandals.
At least the All Star Game was exciting last night.
Yeah. And then the game ended in a tie. What a load of crap. Bud Selig sucks. He's destroying baseball and killing the game for the fans. Tony knows what he's talking about on this matter.
Boy you're grumpy today.
Sorry. I should be happier.
How was last night? Did you win?
Last night was great and then it turned bad. We won at volleyball and went to have some beers. I had a great time. Then I left the bar and learned that everyone hates me.
You like to dwell on negatives.
You're very observant.
You should cheer up.
I know. But I have phone calls to me to which I am not at all looking forward.
Just make it through the day.
That's what I keep telling myself.
I'll give you some space. But I will check in on you later.
Dear City of Chicago:
Thank you for deciding to close the other half of my street and the streets around my apartment today for "street cleaning."
As a friendly reminder, the parts of the streets you perhaps "cleaned" yesterday are dirty again. I noticed that this morning while searching for a place to park my car. I will bet you're like me and you become a little annoyed when silly things like tree leaves and bird doo doo mess up your clean streets. Can't they tell you just cleaned the streets?
Since the clean streets have greatly increased the quality of my life, we probably should clean them again tomorrow.
Happy to help,
Hi Hose Monster Blog.
How are you doing today?
Better now. The day started out pretty poorly because the City of Chicago, for all its greatness, can really blow sometimes. But the day has improved since then. I'm playing volleyball tonight.
Volleyball is fun. All that rolling around in the sand and the cute girls and the good looking guys...
You had better stop. You're starting to sound like me.
Well I should sound like you. I'm your creation.
So I have been reading myself a lot lately, and it seems like you have an obsession with women.
Because I think they are the most beautiful creatures in the world. Don't you?
I'm partial to comic books.
You admire organisms similar to yourself. You're a man. You like women. I am a piece of electronic text. I like other types of printed text.
So you like the ladies. Do you like them too much?
What do you mean?
Do you go chasing after every one you see?
No. I may be accused of such actions every now and again, but it's a lie. I'm really a simple, one-girl kind of guy.
Is that why your girlfriend thinks you have kissed way too many ladies?
I don't know. But I try not to make a habit of kissing multiple girls at one time. Whoever gets to be the object of my affections should hold that place uncontested.
Have you always been perfect at that?
No. But I have always been pretty close to it. Only two infractions come to mind.
That's pretty good.
I'm just one guy trying to fight the good fight.
Speaking of your girlfriend, does it bother her that you are obsessed with women?
On the topic of my obsession with women, I guess it's all in how you look at it. From my point of view, I think I have a profound appreciation of women. But with regards to my girlfriend, I hope it does not bother her too much. Besides, I'm pretty sure she knows that I am obsessed with her.
I couldn't explain it if I tried. It just is what it is.
Do you? Perhaps you can teach me how to articulate it some day.
Can't do that. I'm your creation, remember? You will have to create the articulation in me before I can show you how it's done.
It's okay. It's more fun feeling silly all the time anyway.
So what do you have in store for me in the future?
I've offered to let Blondemaster K guest star in you. I don't know what she will write. I also have to tell you how my boy Ruffneck is working on some serious shit these days and learning lots about life from it.
Sounds deep. What does he do?
Goes into the ghetto and tries to save lives. He's a good guy.
Just like all my friends. Anyway, I have to jam--
Wait! Where you going?
I have to change for volleyball.
You're leaving so soon?
It's time to go.
So I probably won't talk to you until tomorrow then, huh?
I'll just sit here in my lonely electronic world, with no one looking at me.
Beg people to read you. I have had some success that way.
Tell people to read me Chris! I need the attention!
I'll do my best.
You're a nice person.
Sometimes. I try to be.
You do okay.
Thanks. Well listen, I really do have to go now, or I will be late.
I'll miss you.
Play well tonight. Win.
I always want to. Good night.
As a service to my female readers (and I think almost all of you are women, lucky me), I will now make a very embarrassing list of things you do that have great potential to drive me crazy. Feel free to laugh at me or tell me I am crazy.
Driving a vehicle with a manual transmission. I know this may appear to have some sort of phallic connection, but I swear to you that it does not. I think it just has to do with watching the lady be in total control of the machine and know exactly how to coax the reaction she needs out of the vehicle.
Musically talented women. Tori Amos can be really strange, but she's just dripping with talent and emotion, so I think she's really hot. I have also always claimed that Sarah McClachlan could have no legs or something equally sad, but if she could sit down and sing Angel to me, I'd be hers to command.
Girls sporting Victoria's Secret stuff. This one is purely visual, but damn it's good times. I'm sure there are plenty of other equally hot lingerie brands out, but Vicky's simply has it down. These two friends of mine decided not to take their Xmas tree down this year and instead turned it into a holiday tree. In April they celebrated the Vicky's semi-annual bra sale by decorating their tree with pictures from the catalogue and their own personal Vicky's selections they owned. I did the classic double take the first time I saw the tree, and then I spent the rest of the night just thinking, "DAMN!" Mmm...
Women in black. Black is simple But black is also extremely sexy. Pants, shirts, suits; all of it sounds pretty good to me. And when you get to take off one item of black off and discover black beneath it, life just gets that much better. Combine this one with item #3 and find out what kind of power you can have over me.
Confident, intelligent women. Very attractive qualities. No need to say any more about that.
Sports fans. I dated this girl once, and we'd spend our nights listening to Pat Hughes and Ron Santo broadcast the Cubs games. It was great. Now if I can only find a girl in black watching the Kings, life will be perfect.
Certain names. For some strange reason, I have always found women with cool names like Elizabeth Hurley, Heidi Klum and Gillian Anderson to be extremely attractive. Couldn't quite tell you why. Combine this one with items 3 and 4 too. Good times, good times.
Adventurous types. Girls who do things a bit outside the normal are fun. I like to scuba dive. I'll jump out of an airplane again, or go base or bungee jumping whenever, and I could easily see myself throwing down a $500 one-time bet in Vegas just to see what happens. It's fun to have people with me who will do the same sort of crazy things.
Good dancers. I like dancing. I have rhythm. I may not know a lot of formal dancing methods, but I sure as hell enjoy making it up. And doing it with you is beyond fun.
Real women who may not comply with all these traits, but drive me nuts anyway, who I get to see and be with and enjoy in my real life. You know who you are. And you are terrific.
Okay, I've embarrassed myself enough for now. If I think of new ones, I'll pass them along. Thanks girls, I adore you all.
Dear City of Chicago:
I like you very much. Especially in the summer. Your women are beautiful, your food is superb, your outdoor pursuits are something to experience, and your Old Style is tolerable, especially when enjoyed in a frosty glass from Meier's Tavern on Lake in Winnetka.
However, your "street cleaning" and parket ticket procedures are complete and utter shit.
You inform me at least weekly that I cannot park my vehicle on certain sides of the street near my apartment building because of street cleaning. I comply and do not park my vehicle in these restricted areas. Sometimes this costs me some time, but as a good citizen, I observe these restrictions. I also do not care for paying parking fines or fearing that you have towed my poor vehicle away.
When I return home from work, I notice the street has not been cleaned. But the vehicles left in the street cleaning area have received parking tickets.
My neighbors and I appreciate honesty. Instead of posting signs that say "Street Cleaning," please change the text of the signs to read "Shameless Revenue Generation."
The larger question I need to ask is why you need to so shamelessly generate this revenue. I know running a city as prominent as you requires a lot of money, but have you looked at your sales tax figures lately? The residents of Cook County pay exorbitant sales taxes to purchase goods. I don't like the high rates, but if that is the cost of living in such a city as you, then I understand and I begrudgingly accept it.
This morning's debacle was quite another story. Closing off one side of the street is an inconvenience, but I can usually find a place to park my vehicle without too much delay. However, closing off 50% of the streets on one morning in the same area means that we peaceful citizens have to get extremely lucky to find a parking space to avoid your shameless revenue generating.
This morning I drove around for 20 minutes looking for a place to park. One intense headache later and three bus routes away, I finally found one. I was late for work this morning.
I expect each and every one of those restricted parking streets to be clean when I return from work today. If not, you can expect a meaner letter tomorrow.
Wow. Poor David Hasselhoff. Who could have seen this coming?
I will be the first person to admit that I need attention. Which is why my life is illuminated when I know definitively that someone reads my blog. For a certain Blondemaster K, however, the Hose Monster Blog has become something of an addiction. I must say I am extremely flattered. Nothing like a hot lady telling you to do more of what you already enjoy doing. Read on, Blondemaster K.
So my very first girlfriend gave me a copy of The Fountainhead long before we started dating. I read it and then turned into a serious punk ass for about six months. I got really into Ayn Rand for a little while. Thought she had her finger on something. And to some extent, yeah, she knows some shit.
Some folks have their issues with selfishness, and in extreme cases, I suppose their annoyance is generally justified. But seriously, if you don't consider yourself at all selfish, for what are you getting out of bed every day? I expand selfish in this case beyond the often narrow perception of self-centric thougt to consider anything from which you derive some pleasure. So if altruism gives you some great feeling helping others, knock yourself out and then go have a beer. But if you're doing it because you feel some outside compulsion, then I'd argue that you should probably focus on your own happiness for a time.
Digressions, blah. Anyway, I'm re-reading the Fountainhead at the moment (don't waste your time with Atlas Shrugged because it's just too unbelievable to be worth much of anything), and while I am deriving much food for thought, I keep thinking that Ayn falls into the trap nearly all philosophers do.
Dear Ayn Rand:
Your ideas are interesting. And I have a lot of respect for them and the thought that produced them. An effort like The Fountainhead does a wonderful job of elucidating your opinions. A bit heavy and over the top perhaps, but in general, all literature is, especially "great" literature. But you forget to realize that your ideas only work in book form. Why? Examine the idea of fiction itself: it's not real.
Karl Marx or St. Thomas Aquinas or whoever else you wish to consider all make the same mistake (and I know, it must pain you to see their names in text directed at you. Sorry.). Theories that sound great when applied to sociology remain only that: theories. What works on paper does not work in real life because humans are not by their nature black and white, and human interaction has too many variables for which to adequately account. Marxism and communism sound great on paper, just as capitalism or trickle-down economics do. But we have seen in history the proof that ideology is not a viable tool for directing ways of life.
Look at our own nation, the nation you celebrate and simultaneously condemn in your texts. What is certainly the most prominent nation in the geopolitical world at the current moment and arguably one of the more historical civilizations in terms of advancement, political experimentation and worldwide basketball domination, succeeds exactly because it does not allow itself to fall prey to ideology. The two-party system we currently have is the sleeping beast or the nuclear deterrent that keeps us all in line. We hate it often, or are annoyed by its daliances, but it is the mix of political thoughts and movements that keep the success and progress intact and the nation successful. Our civilization consists of elements of pure capitalism and pure communism, with lots of liberalism and republicanism keeping the balance. You might hate it, but it keeps the wheels of our nation going.
Aside: This past thought just made me wonder if ideologues such as Osama bin Laden or whomever wish the destruction of our country not because of our imperialism or religious and moral impurity or whatever, but because we do not accept the idea of ideology in this country. An amorphous entity is much more annoying than a solid cut-in-stone train of thought such as your jihad-based Islam (which by the way, is an abomination of the Islam preached in the Qu'ran, if you ever choose to read it carefully). Okay, end of aside. My apologies, Ayn. It will never happen again.
Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for thinking and believing and creating, and being selfish enough to share your thoughts with the rest of us. However, I wanted to give you a heads-up that you missed something important. I believe in a lot that you say, but my capacity of thought, which you so revere, allows me to see that I live in a world not controlled by absolutes, and as such, I make a hybridization of your thoughts with those of others and with my own. But again, I am in great debt to you for your contribution.
Back from vacation. The combination of sleep, golf, lots of food and healthy amounts of beer kept me from writing the last few days. I humbly beg your forgiveness.
Many things to write about in the coming hours and days. But nothing is more pressing than the question "How sweaty are you?"
I want to talk about The Fountainhead right now. But first I have to go write about the health care plans of some priests. I'll be back later.